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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  30 June 2014  

Thai junta to fast-track visas for Cambodians
Thailand’s military government has announced plans to fast-track work visas for thousands of Cambodians after a crackdown on illegal workers.

Three temporary offices have been set up along the Thai-Cambodian border where migrants will have their work permits processed.

“This is just a temporary measure which will be open for workers to register until July 25,” said Pakkarathorn Teainchai, the Sa Kaeo provincial governor, at Friday’s high-level press conference with officers from the Thai military. “But we are not sure how many labourers Thailand needs. It depends on the labour needs of Thai employers.”

Since the military seized power on May 22, the Thai junta has launched a concerted crackdown on illegal workers. The move triggered an exodus of Cambodians – up to 220,000 were reported to have poured over the border earlier this month.

But the decision to weed out the corrupt middlemen preying on Cambodian workers by offering illegal jobs has come at a high cost for Thailand. The country’s economy, which relies on cheap migrant labour, has been severely affected.

In a plan to entice workers to return, the Thai military government has announced that an official two-month work permit will cost just 80 baht ($2.50).

“Thailand’s policy is not to clear [migrants] out. [We] want to avoid Cambodian labourers being cheated,” said Pakkarathorn.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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