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ASEAN NEWS
Lao workers return home celebrating Songkran as immigration rule relaxes

12 April 2016 (Readers 121)
National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT)

Migrant workers from Laos employed in Thailand have begun to travel home to celebrate the Songkran holidays with their families, as immigration regulations have been temporarily relaxed under the use of Article 44 by the Prime Minister.
 
Migrant workers from Laos in Bueng Kan Province has begun to cross the border at Bueng Kan Border Checkpoint back to their hometowns to spend the Songkran holidays with their families.
 
Migrant workers from Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia, are now allowed to travel back home in a special permit through the use of Article 44 by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, allowing eligible workers to return home, before returning to Thailand no later than 20 April 2016.
 
This permit has been issued as Songkran festival is also celebrated in the Kingdom's neighboring countries, and the measure is expected to help boost Thailand's positive image to migrant worker employment.
 
Merchants from Laos have also crossed the border into Thailand to purchase goods before reselling them in Laos during the festival, which is expected to generate a cash flow of 20 million baht.
 
Security officials have been station on high alert to prevent the smuggling of illegal items into the Kingdom. Songkran festival is celebrated in Laos as the Lao New Year, in an almost identical manner to how Songkran is considered Thailand's New Year celebrations.
 

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