Rohingya Crisis, Myanmar Military Commander Receives Thailand Award

 The Myanmar Military Commander, Min Aung Hlaing, received an honorary award from Thailand amid the Rohingya crisis that blanketed his country. Military forces Min Aung Hlaing has also been accused by the UN for ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Rakhine.

Global criticism rains on Myanmar since a military operation was held in Rakhine on 25 August 2017. The military operation was reportedly violent and triggered an exodus of 700,000 Rohingyas to Bangladesh.

Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi bore criticism, criticism and global outrage. Even the various awards and honors Suu Kyi received as a political prisoner, were revoked because of the Rohingya crisis.

However, as reported by AFP Friday (16/2/2018), Myanmar Military Commander, General Senior Min Aung Hlaing, who controls the military and oversees the 'cleaning operation' at Rakhine, receives an award from the Kingdom of Thailand.

Royal Gazette newspaper reported that Min Aung Hlaing was nominated for a royal award by Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn on 21 August 2017, just days before a military operation was held in Rakhine, Myanmar.

"For support and services for the Thai military," the Royal Gazette said in its report, referring to the reason for awarding Min Aung Hlaing.

Min Aung Hlaing attach a photo on his official Facebook account, which shows himself smiling after receiving an award from the Royal Thai in Bangkok. The award he received was named 'Knight Grand Cross First Class of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant'.

He also took pictures with the Royal Thai Armed Forces Commander, General Tarnchaiyan Srisuwan. The Royal Thai Armed Forces in a statement said the award was given to 'show close and long-standing relations' between the two countries.

But Fortify Rights human rights activity Matt Smith called Thailand should support calls for justice to be upheld in Myanmar rather than rewarding his top military officer.

"This is the man responsible for the military atrocities committed by the military with full impunity," Smith said. He referred to various violent practices, such as murder and rape, by the Myanmar military against Rohingya as reported by the United Nations.

Thailand defends its decision to reward Min Aung Hlaing. "This is a tradition of giving royal honors to the supreme commander of foreign countries," said a spokesman for the Thai Defense Ministry, Lieutenant General Kongcheep Tantravanich.

(nvc / imk)

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Thailand Expects On 'Magic Pill' to Raise Birth

Thailand has tried everything to raise the declining birthrate. Starting from providing cash bonus, to tax incentives. But on Valentine's Day this year, the Thai government is trying a new way of sharing vitamin pills.

As in many other Asian countries, the elderly population in Thailand is increasing rapidly. The birth rate fell sharply to 1.5 children per woman by 2015, from more than 6 children per woman in 1960, according to World Bank data

In Bangkok, health workers distributed folic acid and iron pills in colored boxes yellow, to attract couples to prepare for pregnancy. The pills are accompanied by a brochure containing an explanation of how to lead a healthy life to soon have a baby.

Previous relationships and sexuality are taboo subjects to talk about. But the behavior has changed and the Thai people have dealt with this issue more openly. Nevertheless, Thai health experts have to discuss more about the process of pregnancy and birth, if the government wants to raise the population.

With China, Thailand has a high proportion of elderly people compared to other developing countries in East Asia, World Bank data show . Thailand's population is expected to begin to decline by 2030, leading to economic problems such as shortage of labor and the number of taxpayers shrinking as the working-age population shrinks.

Various ways that the government launched are not very successful in boosting the birth rate, just like the neighboring countries Singapore, one of the countries with the lowest birth rates in the world. Experts say the financial incentives offered by the government have not been able to cover the true cost of raising a child.

 Health workers distribute pre-pregnancy vitamins to couples in celebration of Valentine's Day, in Laksi District, Bangkok, Thailand, February 14, 2018 .

Health workers distribute pre-pregnancy vitamins to couples in Valentine's Day celebrations, in Laksi District, Bangkok, Thailand, February 14, 2018.

The birthrate in Thailand in 2015 is 1.5 births per woman, below 2.6 births in Cambodia and 2.1 in Malaysia. Experts say that if Thailand wants the population to grow, birth rates should reach 2.1 births.

There are many reasons to explain the decline in the birth rate in Thailand, from rising living and work costs, to population shifting from agricultural activities, which require much (19659002) Some have accused the success of free condom campaigns in the early 1990s, aimed at combating HIV / AIDS, as the cause of reduced births.

"From 1970 to 1983, the average 1 million Thai babies are born every year. After that, the birth rate starts to fall. Now only a little over 700 thousand babies are born each year, "Kasem Wetsutthanon, director of the Metropolitan Health and Wellness Institution, told Reuters.

Kasem accused the change in views of the traditional family as the cause of the decline in birthrate

" Now, many who thinks a child has a burden. "

Nalin Somboonying, 27, the mother of a four-year-old said some felt they needed to collect the price of things before starting to build a family.

" I think now people people want to be ready first. They feel they must have a house, a car, before they have children, "he told Reuters.

Satta Wongdara, 31, who took the pills at a kiosk at Lak Si in Bangkok, blamed long working hours.

"People now work more, so they do not have many children," Satta told Reuters.

However, Kasem said he hoped the pills, which he called the 'magic pill' could make Thais think twice about pregnancy.

"We want people to have more children." [fw/au]

Thailand, US Minimize Myanmar Military Attendance in Joint Military Training

Thailand and America downplay the meaning of the presence of Myanmar military personnel in the grand opening of the largest annual joint military exercise in Southeast Asia on Tuesday (13/2).

The Myanmar military has been accused of massive human rights abuses by crackdown on minorities Muslim-Rohingya, which made hundreds of thousands of people fleeing to Bangladesh. Some members of the US Congress have demanded that Myanmar not be included in the exercise.

"The truth is Myanmar is not a participating country," US Ambassador to Thailand Glyn T. Davies told reporters during a "Gold Cobra" exercise in eastern Thailand.

"They are not participants of this exercise," he asserted. He did not explain why Myanmar military personnel were present in the drill.

Thai military commander General Thanchaiyan Srisuwan admitted inviting Myanmar in the opening ceremony of the exercises. But the Myanmar flag was not flown.

The Pentagon and the US State Department last week said Thailand had invited three Myanmar military personnel to observe a part of the exercise focused on responding to natural disasters. But Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan said on Tuesday that the only Myanmar military personnel present were deputy military attachés, who were also a major. The personnel attended the opening ceremony with another defense attaché corps in Bangkok. [em/jm]

Hunting in Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand Construction Figures Arrested Apparatus

Thai officials say the president director of one of Thailand's largest construction companies has been arrested for hunting wildlife in a wildlife reserve and found to have the skin of a panther and other animals.

Department of National Park, Conservation of Flora and Fauna Thailand announced that Premchai Karnasuta was arrested on Sunday with three others after park officials were informed that they had set up camp in a rare wildlife refuge near the border in western Thailand.

The statement said Tuesday the park's guards found firearms and the carcass of a black panther, a rare chicken, and a deer. Guard officers file allegations of hunting protected animals and violate the law of arms ownership

Police say Premchai has denied the allegations. [lt]

Bomb blast at kiosk kills three in Thailand

A motorcycle bomb exploded in a market, in Yala province, southern Thailand, and killed three people on Monday, a spokesman for the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) said. Bomb attacks for the first time in the area after months, also injured 22 others.

"The culprits put a bomb on a motorcycle and parked the motor next to a market cart. Three people were killed by the powerful bomb blast, "said a spokesman for ISOC, Pramote Prom-in. The ISOC is a government force on duty in the region

No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing that occurred on Monday morning

Police said the bomber's motorcycle was placed next to a pork stall. [19659002] The majority of the population of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala provinces in Thailand are Muslim. These three provinces are where ethnic Malay Muslim rebels are fighting for autonomy. More than 6,000 people have been killed since 2004.

Police said the motorcycle was placed next to a kiosk selling pork, which is haram according to Islamic law. It is not yet clear if the bombs were deliberately placed on pork stalls to target Buddhist residents. A female owner of the kiosk, and a consumer, including three dead, police said. [fw/au]