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Monday MediaWATCH:  Thai Alert on Swine Fever

Monday MediaWATCH: Thai Alert on Swine Fever

Monday, April 27, 2009
Phuketwan Monday MediaWATCH

A new daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective. Reports from national and international media, with translations into English from Thai.

Bangkok Post: Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva calls for increased surveillance after a swine influenza outbreak kills more than 80 people in Mexico. Livestock Development Department chief Yukol Limlamthong says the department had banned the import of live pigs from the US and Mexico, with Thailand last importing live breeding pigs from the US in 2006.

Panga Vathanakul, managing director and founder of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort in Pattaya, where the Songkran Asean summit was stifled by a red shirt invasion, says the hotel estimates damage from the protests at 14.4 million baht, including cancellations and repairs. But she says guests have disappeared and the resort needs tour agencies' help to recover. Praipon Koonsap, an economist and member of PM Abhisit's advisory team, says the global economy, especially in the US, has shown signs that it may start recovering. He believes the Thai economy will expand again in 2010.

Thai Rath: Big storms with dangerously high winds loom over two days in central and northern Thailand, with high waves forecast for the south. Winds are reportedly going to reach 15-35 knots over the next two days. The newspaper warns people to check weather forecasts before heading out. As an emergency economic measure, the Interior Ministry has asked the Government for 2.9 billion baht to cover water bills around the country.

The Nation: A ''grand meeting'' of the Peoples' Alliance for Democracy on May 24- 25 will decide the structure of a new as yet unnamed political party, says one PAD leader, Chamlong Srimuang, in a long interview. The party should '' command a majority of MP seats'' after the next general election, and be the coalition leader in the next government, he says.

Today's Must Read

Wall Street Journal: In Chiang Mai, the impact of the economic slowdown is pronounced, James Hookway reports. With the global recession and political tensions eating into revenue streams, some local businesspeople are joining the anti-government protesters to vent their frustration. ''The wild card in restoring some order, however, is the speed with which key parts of (Thailand's) economy are unraveling,'' he writes. Red-shirts have continued gathering in Chiang Mai.

Reuters: With predictions that Thailand's economy could shrink 5.3 percent this year if political unrest continues, Chamnan Chamsukkee, who owns a small automobile parts factory in industrial province of Ayutthaya, says the economy is hurting everyone but protests are ''making it much worse.'' His revenues are down 50 percent. Most others nearby are also suffering from the four-year standoff.

Matichon: The Democrat Party has asked Foreign Minister Kasit Pirom to cancel the passport of Jakapob Penkea, the rabble-rousing red shirt who has suggested violence might be their next course of action. Constitutional changes proposed for Thailand should be referred to the public first in a referendum, the newspaper says. On Tuesday, April 28, the PM is due to meet with Cabinet about the US-Mexico outbreak of swine fever and what Thailand should be doing.

Khaosod: Parents should take responsibility for educating their children, says the newspaper. In modern Thailand, children have sex and have children of their own at a younger age, so parents need to be proactive, it adds. Unwanted children and sexually transmitted diseases result from a lack of parental awareness, the newspaper says.

Straits Times, Singapore: In his regular Sunday address, PM Abhisit Vejjajiva said the rescheduling of the meeting of Asean leaders is now being coordinated among the 15 other countries involved. ''Every country wants to have the meeting soon so we can discuss ways to solve the global financial crisis,'' Khun Abhisit said. ''They want to see peace and order in our country and practical security measures.''

Kom Chad Luek: The wife of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra has flown to Dubai to meet her husband. The newspaper also reports that 111 red shirt leaders have headed for the UAE capital, on a separate flight. The next series of protests is likely to begin on May 17. Courts have closed 59 websites that promote a pornographic cartoon. Teenage suicides, the newspaper says, spring from five causes, including harsh parental criticism.

MCOT.net (TNA): Myanmar and Thailand have signed a memorandum of understanding to fight human trafficking, especially of women and children. Thailand's Minister of Social Development and Human Security, Issara Somchai, said he had signed the agreement with Myanmar Home Affairs Minister General Maung Oo in Myanmar's administrative capital of Naypyidaw on Friday. Under the terms of the pact, the countries will prevent cross-border trafficking ''as well as developing and implementing joint actions between the two countries.''

The Nation Channel: A weather warning is current throughout the country for the next two days, with storms and high winds predicted for northern and central Thailand and high seas in the south.

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