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Prime Minister Defends “Lisa” and “Bocelli” New Years Scheme

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Thailand’s Prime Minister has defended his government’s plan to spend some US$3 million to secure K-pop star Lalisa “Lisa” Manobal of Blackpink and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli for this year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry confirmed that both stars will perform at this year’s New Year’s Eve shows in Phuket. Their performances have been included as part of the country’s tourism reopening scheme.

The decision came under fire after it was revealed that the deals would cost around US$3 million. Government critics believe the money could be better spent to support the economy.

Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said the proposal to hire the performers will be discussed at a cabinet meeting on Nov 16th.

He said his ministry will need to see the details of the contracts prior to them being finalized. He said the drafts should be ready by the end of this month.

Government confident on New Years and reopening

Mr. Phiphat also said presently his ministry has not yet asked the government to allocate the necessary funds from the central budget for the event.

He insisted that the plan to bring both singers to Thailand merited economic value. He also said most of the funds will come from the private sector and through sponsorship.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration allayed concerns that the Nov 1 reopening might be delayed as new covid-19 coronavirus infections remain high.

The CCSA assistant spokeswoman said contingency plans will be put in place to ensure the reopening is a success.

Meanwhile, the Public Health Ministry announced on Monday morning that Thailand logged 44 new Covid-19 fatalities and 8,675 new cases during the previous 24 hours. Furthermore, 9,589 Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovering from covid-19.

Since the pandemic started early last year, there have been 1,859,157 Covid-19 cases, with 1,740,316 complete recoveries so far.


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