Thailand accepts ASEAN Chairmanship for 2019 , vows to ‘advance partnership for sustainability’

Marje Pelayo   •   November 15, 2018   •   4365

 

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong formally hands over the ASEAN chairmanship to Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha during the closing ceremony of the 33rd Asean Summit on November 15, 2018.

 

SINGAPORE – The Chairmanship of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) was finally handed over by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha at the conclusion of the 33rd ASEAN Summit on Thursday (November 15).

In his closing remarks, the outgoing ASEAN Chair Prime Minister Lee thanked all ASEAN members and outside partners for the support towards Singapore’s vision of a resilient and innovative ASEAN.

He presented an infographic that reflects all the initiatives that ASEAN was able to established under Singapore’s leadership this year.

He called on all ASEAN members to maintain the spirit of unity and “continue to think regionally” despite individual and national interests.

“This is just the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for us. We are not and never will be done building and strengthening the ASEAN Community. We must continue to uphold the ASEAN friendship framework and engage our partners, keep our region open. We must be on the core of economic integration and pool our talents and resources to improve our people’s lives,” Prime Minister Lee said.

“Singapore has full confidence that Thailand as the incoming ASEAN chair will continue to take ASEAN forward and will uphold to continue working with the rest of the ASEAN family to fulfill our common goal – one vision, one identity, one community,” he added as he formally handed over the chairmanship to Thailand.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha in his acceptance speech vowed that: “Thailand will continue the good work on issues to which ASEAN has given priority in the past years.”

Specifically, PM Prayuth emphasized the ASEAN Smart Cities Network which aims at ensuring continuity and and sustainability in the ASEAN community.

He noted that since the establishment of ASEAN in 1967, it is commendable that the regional bloc has grown into becoming “a community and a region of peace and security” and has grown as the 6th largest economy in the world with roles recognized internationally.

He hopes that ASEAN will be able to grow to become the 4th largest economy in 2030.

The Thai prime minister acknowledges that there are a number of challenges ahead and so he encouraged all ASEAN member states to continue working in unity.

“All 10 countries must collaborate even more closely on the foundation of ASEAN unity on the principle of three M’s – mutual trust; mutual respect; and mutual benefit – to realize concrete deliverables and sustainability for ASEAN in all dimensions,” he said.

Before he ended his speech, the incoming Chair announced next year’s ASEAN theme which is “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability.”

In accordance with the regional grouping’s rotating chairmanship, Singapore will again have its turn as host of the ASEAN in year 2028. – Marje Pelayo

DFA: No Filipino harmed in Thailand shooting incident

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 10, 2020

There were no Filipino nationals harmed during the shooting incident in Thailand, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

In a statement, the DFA said no one from the nine reported Filipinos was harmed when a shooting incident occurred in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand, from the evening of February 8 until the early morning of February 9.

“The Philippine Embassy in Bangkok dispatched First Secretary and Consul General Val Roque posthaste to Nakhon Ratchasima to check on nine Filipinos who were reported to have been trapped in the mall at the time of the incident and had been able to escape and confirmed to be well and safe,” the statement reads.

The Philippine government and the Filipino people, meanwhile, offer their condolences to the Thai people, and in particular to the victims and their loved ones.—AAC

PSC recommends to postpone 2020 ASEAN Paragames due to nCoV threat

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 6, 2020

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has announced that they will recommend the postponement of the 2020 Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) Paragames due to the novel coronavirus threat.

“The PSC has recommended to postpone the 11-nation, multi-sport event in consideration of the novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (nCoV-ARD) medical issue,” the statement reads.

The sports agency said they will leave the decision to the Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC) which would also need to consult with the ASEAN Paralympic Sports Federation (APSF).

The Paragames was originally scheduled in January but was moved to March.

Meanwhile, the PSC also announced the postponement of PSC-managed events such as the National Sports Summit 2020, Philippine National Games, Children’s Games, and other activities.—AAC

Suspect arrested in robbery, gruesome death of toddler in Thailand

UNTV News   •   January 22, 2020

Thai police officers conduct an investigation next to the body of a victim at a crime scene after a robbery inside a department store in Lopburi province, Thailand, 09 January 2020 (issued 10 January 2020). EPA-EFE FILE/STR

By Lobsang DS Subirana

Bangkok –
Police said Wednesday they had arrested a man they suspect killed three people, among them a toddler, and injured another four during the robbery of a jewelry shop in a central province in Thailand.

Gen. Chakthip Chaijinda, a commissioner-general of the Royal Thai Police, confirmed the arrest of Prasittichai Khaokaew, a 39-year-old school director, who he said was linked to the gruesome incident at a Lopburi province shopping center earlier this month, footage of which went viral.

“The alleged offender has been questioned about his motives but details cannot be revealed at the moment since we have not finished the investigation process yet,” Chakthip said during a media briefing.

Prasittichai was arrested Wednesday morning after the criminal court issued an arrest warrant Tuesday evening.

Police did not reveal further details and said another press conference would be held at 10.30 am on Thursday at the Royal Thai Police Headquarters in the capital Bangkok, adding they would address the motives and official charges against the suspect.

“The alleged offender did not deny any of the charges,” the commissioner-general said. “He thought he wouldn’t be able to get away with it.”

Chakthip also said Prasittichai did not resist arrest and that he “accepted his own mistakes.”

Prasittichai teaches at Wat Phochai School, a primary school located in Singburi, a neighboring province of Lopburi. Local media said he was originally from Lopburi, but police did not confirm this.

Security camera footage from Jan. 10 shows how a man wearing a balaclava shoots at customers and staff while approaching the counter. He then gets on the counter and proceeds to walk up and down, before rummaging through valuables and making off with a handful of jewelry.

Police said the man, who was wielding a gun with a silencer, first shot at a security guard before proceeding with his rampage.

A separate video shows how a child walking by falls to the ground after sustaining a wound to the head before his mother takes him away to find cover. Authorities said the boy died at the hospital.

Out of the more than 10 million firearms in Thailand, only 6 million are legally registered, according to Australian monitoring organization GunPolicy.org. EFE-EPA

lds-ht/tw

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