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Thaksin reconfirms: New airport in 2005

Posted by hasekamp on 30 September 2002 at 11:40 AM
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has reconfirmed that the opening of Bangkok’s second international airport, that is to replace the current Bangkok international airport, will not be delayed. The new airport will be officially named SUVARNABHUMI and will be opened in mid 2005.
Although DON MUANG Airport is still capable of handling the current volume of passengers, it will be less comfortable than newly designed facilities as opened recently, or as to be opened soon, in neighboring countries. Therefore Bangkok needs a new airport of modern design before businesses turn away to nearby countries, Mr. Thaksin said. With geographical advantages and high numbers of tourists, the Prime Minister believes that the new Bangkok international airport can and should be incomparable to anything in the region.
So, if Mr. Thaksin is right, you will arrive at the new atirport from mid 2005 on. (Source: Public Relations Department)


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More Aids deaths than births

Posted by hasekamp on 30 September 2002 at 11:12 AM
The Aids epidemic has become so bad in Thailand that, at the moment only in some northern provinces, mortality rates in some northern provinces have equaled or even surpassed birth rates. This has been made public by the Public Health Ministry. This means that in this area the population will decrease as a result of the Aids epidemic.
Since 1984 Chiang Rai and Phayao have had Thailand's second- and third-highest Aids-infection rates, with a combined total of 23,500 HIV-positive patients.
Thanks to the national 30 Baht-per-visit health scheme, however, most patients are taken care of, the Ministry said.
Since Aids patients often develop tuberculosis, the number of lung-disease cases has also risen in the area. (Source: The Nation)


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Satellite towns around Bangkok?

Posted by hasekamp on 29 September 2002 at 19:55 PM
Assistant Professor Thanawat Jaruphongsakul of Chulalongkorn University has suggested the development of satellite towns as a way to prevent flooding in Bangkok.
He blames the problem of annual flooding on Bangkok's fast and random growth. He suggested that the growth of the capital should be controlled by leading the growth into satellite towns like the present towns of Chachoengsao, Ratchaburi, Saraburi, and Suphan Buri.
Mr. Thanawat is conducting a study on the subject, backed by the Thailand Research Fund.
Attention should be paid to the over-use of ground water, which has caused serious sinking of Bangkok, up to 10 cm a year. This is another cause of flooding.
In the short term, state agencies responsible for water management such as the Irrigation Department and the Electricity Generating Authority should coordinate better, he said.
Some low-lying areas in Bangkok outside the flood prevention walls have been under 50 cm of floodwater recently.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said yesterday that His Majesty the King had expressed concern on Friday about the imminent flooding of Bangkok. His Majesty has made many useful suggestions on prevention and water drainage, Mr. Thaksin said.
Meanwhile many areas in the provinces continue to be inundated. In Ubon Ratchathani, some roads in the town proper have become impassible. Heavy rain also continued at Roi Et. (Source: The Bangkok)


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Flooding expected in Hat Yai and Bangkok

Posted by hasekamp on 26 September 2002 at 15:40 PM
Hat Yai and Songkla are likely be the next places to undergo severe flooding, if the more than 300 millimeters of continuous rainfall per hour continue, weathermen say.
The Hat Yai city municipality says it is well prepared to deal with floods this year. It has a budget of 160 million Baht and plans to ensure swift drainage.
Meanwhile, in the Northeast this year's flooding has affected 11 districts.
In the Central Region, low-lying areas along the Mae Klong River in Kanchanaburi are expected to remain inundated as more water is to be discharged from the Si Nakarin dam.
In Ayutthaya hundreds of soldiers and workers have built a 500 m dyke with sandbags to protect the Bang Pa-in palace by the Chao Phraya river from flooding yesterday.
Boat trips along the Chao Phraya River to Ayutthaya have reportedly become more popular than ever during this period, especially among foreign tourists.
Meanwhile also low-lying areas of Bangkok are likely to be under water next week, when the flood surge from the North reaches the capital. One should think of areas like Sukhumvit and Banglampoo as low-lying areas.
The rising of the Chao Phraya River will coincide with spring tides this year, which will worsen the situation. Flooding can be expected in Bangkok from 3 to 5 October.
Heavy rain in Bangkok over the past two days has overwhelmed the city's ability to cope with the run-off and has led to major traffic jams. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Flooding nears Bangkok (news flash)

Posted by hasekamp on 25 September 2002 at 11:34 AM
The flooding in Central Thailand has now reached Ayutthaya province, where among other things Bang Pa-In Palace is under threat and everything is done to protect Wat Chai Wattanaram in the town of Ayutthaya.
North of Bangkok the Chao Phraya River has overflowed rice fields. Not only overflowing rivers, but also excessive rainfall are to blame for the flooding in Central Thailand.
Near Kanchanaburi seven people are trapped in a forest by the water.
In Bangkok officials are "keeping the pumps ready". (Sources: The Bangkok Post, The Nation)


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Wisut case to court after all

Posted by hasekamp on 24 September 2002 at 11:56 AM
The Attorney General's Office has decided to prosecute gynecologist Dr Wisut (also spelled as Wisuth) Boonkasem after all on charges of murdering his wife, after further investigation reinforced the case against him.
Last year the prosecutors did not want to bring the case to court because they considered the evidence too light and they were heavily criticized for this decision. The relatives of the wife started their own investigation then.
As we reported extensively, Wisuth has allegedly murdered his wife, cut her into pieced and drained the pieces through a toilet in a hotel and a University building, where remains of human flesh were found in the septic tanks.
The Attorney General's Office said it was now convinced that the pieces of human flesh, found in the septic tank, belonged to Wisut's wife, fellow doctor Phassaporn Boonkasemsanti, and that the remains constituted solid proof that she was dead.
In deciding to take Wisut to court, prosecutors dropped their argument that despite records showing the doctor had checked into both places after being seen with his wife, questions remained as to how she died, what the murder weapon was, or whether she was really dead.
The decision to prosecute Wisut is based on four major points in the strengthened police case, according to the Attorney General's Office:
1. DNA tests prove that the human flesh belonged to Phassaporn, and forensic experts confirmed that the amount of discovered remains meant the person they belonged to must be dead.
2. Shortly before Wisut set up the last meeting with his wife, he obtained a large amount of a strong tranquilizer.
3. Wisut checked into a University building the same afternoon, and checked out the following day, when he checked into the Sofitel Central Plaza Hotel. Phassaporn's remains were found at both places.
4. Police investigators discovered there had been serious conflicts between the couple. (Source: The Nation)


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New flood warning

Posted by hasekamp on 24 September 2002 at 11:55 AM
A flash flood warning has been issued for the western coast in the South of Thailand as a depression in the South China Sea continues to gain strength.
Weather conditions could become very bad in the Andaman Sea in the next few days and heavy rains are expected in Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, and Satun provinces.
Also in north-eastern and central provinces flooding is expected. In the central province of Ayutthaya, the Chao Phraya River rose by another five centimeters yesterday. Flood control measures have been taken to keep the Siriyalai royal residence and the historical temple of Chai Wattanaram free from inundation. No recent warning for Bangkok has been issued. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Green fuel, no smuggling

Posted by hasekamp on 24 September 2002 at 11:54 AM
Some time ago His Majesty the King suggested to introduce green "biodiesel" as a fuel in Thailand. Of course this suggestion was implemented as soon as possible. And not only the environment benefits, but also the tax collector!
The green-dyed biodiesel fuel is sold free of excise tax and VAT to Thai fishing boats, as a way to stop them buying cheap fuel in international waters, or smuggled fuel in Thai waters. And this appears to work. Smugglers of fuel are now almost out of business. A spokesman of the Phuket Marine Police said that the sale of smuggled fuel has reduced rapidly and will probably be completely extinct in the near future.
Three companies now sell large quantities of green fuel in the Andaman Sea. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Should you buy your 100 Baht note on the street?

Posted by hasekamp on 22 September 2002 at 12:47 PM
The new 100 Baht notes, with King Rama V as well as King Rama IX on it, seems to be a hit. As we reported before, on the black market you have to pay 150 Baht for it already. Now the black market has moved to the street. Hawkers sell them at traffic lights and other places where they expect clients. The price with them is also 150 Baht. Some of them say they make 1000 Baht a day profit. One sdays he makes 20,000 Baht a day, which means he sells 400 notes a day! If hawkers can obtaion 400 of these new notes a day (at 100 Baht apiece), we wonder why the general public thinks they should pay 150 Baht instead of going to their bank. We believe this is a temporary hype, and eventually they will the most be worth 100 Baht.
The new banknotes were issued this month by the Bank of Thailand (BOT) to mark the centenary of Thai banknotes. The bank issued 15 million notes. As things look now, this will not be enough and more will be printed. As soon as they raise the number to 60 million, there will be one for every Thai, from baby up to the aged. So, what new number will the BOT choose?
Thailand has always been sensitive for hypes, and this seems to be the latest example. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Dam water will be diverted

Posted by hasekamp on 22 September 2002 at 12:47 PM
His Majesty the King has advised (which in practice means "ordered") the city administration of Bangkok to divert water, discharged from dams to Samut Prakan, to save Bangkok from flooding. The King gave this advice after he officially opened the new Rama VIII Bridge across the Chao Phraya River on Friday.
He said the city administration should divert water being discharged from dams north of Bangkok to Khlong Photi as well as Khlong Dan in Samut Prakan to enable the water to reach the sea faster. He also told officials in Bangkok to work carefully to keep water discharges from dams under control. We have reported a few days before that this did not always happen.
Apart from this advice, His Majesty also said that the Rama VIII Bridge would be able to take away some 30% of traffic volumes from Ratchadamnoen Avenue and Charansanitwong Road. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Four foreigners get life for drug trafficking

Posted by hasekamp on 20 September 2002 at 21:49 PM
A Dutchman, a Briton and 2 Nepalese were found guilty of trying to traffic 3.4 kg of heroin out of Thailand and were sentenced to life in prison. The four were Dutchman Marinus Hendrikus Parlevliet, 48, Briton Julian Nicolas Gilby, 34, and Nepalese Hari Garung Bahadur, 27, and Pore Ghale, 30.
The court originally had given death sentences, but these were mitigated because of their cooperation with police investigators.
Prosecutors told the court that Parlevliet, Namoy and Gilby were all arrested while Parlevliet and Namoy were saying farewell to Gilby. He had been scheduled to fly with the drugs to Taiwan.
Police found the drugs hidden in a chamber of Gilby's suitcase. Police later arrested Bahadur and Ghale for providing the drugs.
The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) tipped off Thai anti-narcotics police that Gilby would try to smuggle heroin from Thailand. Police staked out his hotel room. This once more proves that is highly inadvisable to try to smuggle drugs either in or out of Thailand. It is very unlikely that these four will ever get out of prison alive. Life in prison means what it says in Thailand. (Source: The Nation)


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Who is to blame for the flooding?

Posted by hasekamp on 19 September 2002 at 11:32 AM
We all thought –so far- that the weather (and possibly also deforestation) is solely to blame for the recent flooding in Thailand. That seems only partially true.
The Royal Irrigation Department also is to blame. The Department has admitted that it miscalculated the volume of run-off from the North. Therefore too much water was released from Pasak dam, which water flooded the provinces downstream, among which Ayutthaya province. However, the Pasak dam would still have been able to hold most of the water.
The Interior Minister has reprimanded the department at a meeting of governors of 10 provinces in the Chao Phraya river basin yesterday for not warning the people about the (unnecessary) discharge.
Historical temples have been inundated in the northern part of the Ayutthaya province, not in the ancient capital itself. Some Temples were hit by floods with water levels of 10-40 meters. Checks showed, however, that the temples had escaped the water without damage.
Meanwhile, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is looking a long-term cooperative plan with other agencies to fight flooding from water run-off in the capital. Planned permanent concrete and temporary sand walls, up to three meters high, should be able to limit flash floods along the Chao Phraya River banks. Most of the walls are finished, the rest is expected to be ready by the beginning of next year. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Beware at Chatuchak!

Posted by hasekamp on 18 September 2002 at 13:20 PM
An unexpected raid by forestry officials uncovered dozens of endangered birds and plants on pet stalls at Bangkok's Chatuchak Weekend Market.
Among the 29 endangered birds found during the raid were hill mynas, red-breasted parakeets, bulbuls and laughing thrushes, a senior forestry official said.
Four pick-up trucks loaded with endangered plants, mainly vines and orchids, were also found, officials said. Illegal possession of endangered species of fauna for commerce is punishable by a fine of up to 40,000 Baht, four years imprisonment or both.
The tricky part for you, visitor, is that anyone caught in possession of endangered plant or animal species is liable to a fine of up to 5,000 Baht or imprisonment for one year. So, know what you are risking when you buy endangered plants or animals on Chatuchak market or elsewhere, if it comes to that. (Source: The Nation)


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Special Phuket yacht

Posted by hasekamp on 17 September 2002 at 16:51 PM
A clever businessman (a non-Thai) has conceived a sailing yacht, specially designed for the Phuket sailing conditions. What is so special about the Phuket conditions is not completely clear to us, but who would ever want to sail around Phuket without this specially designed Phuket-ready yacht?
Mark Horwood –the clever businessman- says the first models will be assembled in Phuket, starting a few weeks from now. They aim to launch the new model in time for the King’s Cup later this year.
At the moment is looks as if you can own your special Phuket-ready yacht for just 1.5 million Baht. The new yacht was designed by John Duncanson (another non-Thai), winner of some sailing awards. (Source: the Phuket Gazette)


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Another mobile cabinet meeting

Posted by hasekamp on 17 September 2002 at 12:31 PM
Since the Thaksin government came into power, every now and then so called mobile cabinet meetings are being held. The cabinet travels to a region then and discusses, next to the usual agenda, topics, related specially to that region.
The next mobile cabinet meeting will be held in Phitsanulok and Uttaradit, on October 11, 12 and 13. Locally inspired agenda point will be strategies on the development of the lower northern region of Thailand.
The Thaksin cabinet has held its former mobile cabinet meetings the North, Northeast, and South of Thailand respectively. The Central region includes Bangkok and therefore gets enough attention. This means that all the four regions of Thailand have had their turn now. So now it is time to hold the meetings in sub-regions, like the lower northern region in October. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Flooding relief and prevention

Posted by hasekamp on 16 September 2002 at 16:50 PM
The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives will seek a budget of 300 million Baht for helping the people who were affected by the recent flooding in 33 provinces, especially in the North and the Northeast. If the flooding should remain, the Minister will seek assistance from the Finance Ministry to find ways to reduce the financial pain for the afflicted farmers.
Instant cash is available for farmers who need to buy materials such as fertilizer and pesticides.
Meanwhile Bangkok is believed to be safe from flooding, thanks to preventive efforts. That is, if no unusual heavy rains are still coming.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said that officials have worked efficiently this year in the assistance to people hit by the floods, resulting in quick solutions and distribution of relief packages.
The Prime Minister also said that he had an audience with His Majesty the King, to seek royal advice on flood prevention. His Majesty is an expert in many fields, including flood prevention. His Majesty appeared to be very concerned about the people affected by the flooding. Video tapes with aerial views of the provinces hit by flooding were shown to His, which helped him in giving advice.
His Majesty suggested a quick release of water from the Pasak Jolasid Dam in Lopburi Province to the sea, via the Bang Pakong River. The dam, built at the suggestion of His Majesty the King himself, has played a major role in absorbing flood water, and in preventing it from entering Bangkok. The dam is currently holding more water than its standard capacity.
According to the Prime Minister Bangkok is still in a capacity to control floods. The 44 waterways in the city that were cleared recently have helped to absorb water. (Source: Public Relations Department)


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Pangolins again

Posted by hasekamp on 15 September 2002 at 23:34 PM
Once more pangolins (a rare kind of ant eaters) were on their way to the Chinese kitchens, but luckily were saved. This time the number of saved pangolins was 410 in Nonthaburi, where an acting mayor and a junior policeman were among eight people arrested, and 124 in Nong Khai.
Following a tip-off, a special task force stopped a pick-up truck near a reservoir in Mak Kong village in Muang Nong Khai district. The driver fled the scene.
The seized pangolins will be freed in the Phu Wua wildlife sanctuary in Nong Khai. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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150 Baht for a 100 Baht banknote

Posted by hasekamp on 15 September 2002 at 23:34 PM
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has issued commemorative 100 Baht banknotes, to mark the 100th anniversary of the introduction of paper currency in Thailand. Now already you have to buy them at 150 Baht apiece on the black market, and experts say the price will only go higher.
It is a limited issue, which feature the portraits of King Rama V and King Rama IX on one side and the royal coat of arms on the other.
If you want to try to get them at the BOT or at other banks, you have to queue up in long queues.
Collectors look forward to getting a much higher price for their notes as years go by.
There are –by the way- just about 10 serious collectors of antique banknotes in Thailand. All are wealthy people; ready to pay cash for whatever they are after. The identity of these collectors is kept secret because they are afraid of theft, he added. (Source: The Nation)


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Thaksin's message to Bush

Posted by hasekamp on 13 September 2002 at 15:09 PM
Without further comment we publish the message of Thailand's Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to US President George W. Bush on the First Anniversary of the Terrorist Attacks in the United States:

Dear Mr. President,

As we commemorate the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, the images of overwhelming devastation and grief remain vivid in my mind after having personally visited Ground Xero and the Pentagon last December. Thailand deeply shares the anguish of the American people particularly the grief and pain of the families of innocent victims.

On this occasion of remembrance, I wish to reiterate on behalf of the Government and the people of Thailand, our solidarity and full support for our American brothers and sisters to rid the world of this heinous crime against the civilized world. We shall continue to render all possible assistance within our means and resources to the international community in the fight against barbaric acts of international terrorism.

Yours sincerely,

Thaksin Shinawatra

Prime Minister of Thailand
(Source: Public Relations Department)


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Thailand one year later

Posted by hasekamp on 11 September 2002 at 13:23 PM
What does Thailand remember in particular of September 11 2001?
Two Thai women are listed as dead (or presumed dead) as a result of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.
Two other Thai women, the head of the Board of Investment office and the deputy director of the Tourism Authority, suffered severe burns.
The offices of the Trade Promotion Center, Board of Investment and Tourism Authority, as well as the premises of the Thai Farmers Bank were destroyed.
The Thai stock market went down with all stock markets in the World and even closed on September 12 in order to try to prevent panic selling. Now it is roughly at the same level as prior to September 11.
Thailand became –eventually- part of the international coalition against terror. The US therefore were granted permission to fly over Thailand for military objectives and the US were granted to refuel and support their aircraft at airbases on Thai soil. We know that a war took place in Afghanistan, which was partially successful. The Taliban were driven out, but Osama bin Laden and his network were not destroyed.
Now President Bush of the US wants to make a new war, this time in and against Iraq. Thailand is no supporter for that new war. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has said that he would like to see Iraq pressured to re-admit United Nations arms inspector without conditions, to avoid a new war.
Mr. Thaksin even said that war should be avoided at all costs. He said he empathized with the United States which was rightly concerned about Iraq’s hidden arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. He, however, could not conceive war as a solution to the conflict. (Sources: The Bangkok Post, Public Relations Department)


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Turtles and other animals confiscated

Posted by hasekamp on 10 September 2002 at 12:33 PM
More than 6,000 protected turtles have been confiscated by the Forestry Department. As usual, these protected animals were destined to be turned into dishes in the kitchens of Chinese restaurants. The turtles in question were on their way to restaurants in Songkhla.
Sadly this is not the only case of protected animals on their way to Chinese cuisine (but luckily also in the other case the animals were saved from the Chinese cooking pot: In Bangkok police confiscated 40 snakes, 300 turtles and an unknown number of crocodiles. In this case corruption is involved: The Forestry chief said that there is firm evidence that officials worked together the with wildlife poachers.
The turtles that were confiscated are protected species under the Wildlife Reservation and Protection Act, and are worth about 300 Baht each, for a Chinese restaurant. That makes the total seizure worth or almost two million Baht. The turtles were packed in 145 boxes and were in poor condition. They will be released in Khao Laem and Sri Nakharin national parks in Kanchanaburi province. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Flooding continues

Posted by hasekamp on 9 September 2002 at 12:22 PM
Flooding continued in the North and Northeast of Thailand yesterday and more bodies of victims were found. Meanwhile vast areas of farmland and roads remain under water.
In Phetchabun province seven more bodies were recovered from flood water.
Heavy rain created landslides in many parts of the Chiang Mai-Lampang-Phayao road, reducing traffic to almost zero.
In Nan province many roads are under water. In several other provinces in the North and North-East the situation is similar.
There was some good news, however, in Loei province. Water levels began to lower and electricity, water and telephone links were partly restored there. But on the other hand water is still two to three meters high and more than 1,000 families are still unable to return to their homes.
In the Central region of Thailand water levels in canals leading to the Chao Phraya River rose about 30 cm yesterday. People in Ayutthaya province are now preparing to evacuate.
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand said that despite the flash floods and heavy rain, all the dams under their jurisdiction, except Vajiralongkorn dam in Kanchanaburi, are still able to accommodate the large volumes of water.
Torrential rains killed at least 12 people over the weekend, with many others still missing, a Public Health Ministry official said yesterday.
For the moment we strongly advise those of our our visitors who had plans to visit the Northern and North-Eastern areas, to revise their holiday plans and visit the Southern areas of Thailand instead.
As mentioned, the Central areas of the country is also under threat of flooding at the moment. Bangkok mostly is protected reasonably well against flooding, but the other Central provinces should be avoided now, in our opinion. (Source: the Bangkok Post)


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Loei province under water

Posted by hasekamp on 6 September 2002 at 16:45 PM
The whole of Loei province, in the northern part of the North-east of Thailand, in inundated.
The flooding seem to be heavy this year. Some time ago we already had report about them, and a warning for Bangkok has been issued recently.
Officials now report that there are no human casualties in Loei province, but a local source said that an unidentified woman has been badly bitten by a crocodile, one of eight that escaped from a farm in Muang district. Several people are reported to be missing.
The flood that has hit Loei is said to be the worst in 24 years. Rainwater from the three big mountains poured into the Pong, San and Loei rivers which burst their banks, flooding several thousand communities and vast areas of farmland. The majority of Loei municipality is about one meter under water. About 4,000 families are left in the dark and drinking water is scarce.
All roads to Loei are impassible.
The Loei governor said that the flood affected nearly 50,000 people in 10,150 families, destroyed 120 roads and nine bridges and forced more than 30 schools to shut down.
The official death toll of all the recent floodings in the North and North-East of Thailand has now risen to 37. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Her Majesty the Queen honored with award

Posted by hasekamp on 5 September 2002 at 14:46 PM
Her Majesty the Queen has been awarded the Louis Pasteur award for her contributions to the Thai silk industry.
The Agriculture Minister said the award will be officially presented to Her Majesty during the 19th Congress of the International Sericulture Commission (ISC) to be held in Bangkok from 21 to 25 September.
The ISC gave as its reasons for honoring Her Majesty with the award that Her Majesty the Queen has studied and developed native silk since she became Queen. She has encouraged people to use traditional skills, through intensive training, to raise the quality of Thai silk products. As a result, the fabric has won a world-wide reputation for quality and design, not only in clothes but also in furnishing and decorative items. (Source: Public Relations Department)


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Wisuth case revisited

Posted by hasekamp on 3 September 2002 at 16:33 PM
At least 20 more witnesses will be needed to convince the Criminal Court that Dr Phassaporn, was murdered by her estranged husband Dr Wisuth Bunkasemsanti. Dr. Phassaporn’s father is now working at the case, because the public prosecutor has refused to bring it to court.
We remind our readers that Mr Wisuth has allegedly killed his wife, cut her to pieces and dumped the pieces through a toilet into a septic tank in a hotel, where they were identified. We reported about this case in February last year.
Because nobody actually saw Dr Wisuth kill Dr Phassaporn, most evidence was circumstantial or based on forensic evidence.
So far, 20 witnesses have testified on the family's behalf. They include relatives, city police investigators, a forensics expert, staff of a restaurant where Wisuth was seen dining with Dr Phassaporn, and employees of Chulalongkorn University, where the victim lived.
To us it seems an almost impossible case to bring forward 20 more witnesses. On the other hand a conviction on the basis of only circumstantial evidence should be considered impossible. So, after 18 months the case seems not to have come much closer to a solution. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Rama VIII Bridge open on 20 September

Posted by hasekamp on 1 September 2002 at 18:17 PM
The RAMA VIII Bridge will be officially opened on 20 September 2002, with His Majesty the King presiding over the ceremony at 17.19 hours.
The Permanent Secretary of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has said that the Bureau of the Royal Household has confirmed His Majesty's presence.
The opening date of 20 September coincides with the birthday of (former) King RAMA VIII.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will hold a rehearsal of the ceremony tomorrow in cooperation with the Bureau of the Royal Household.
A viewing deck elevator will be constructed that is able to lift 5 people at a time to the top of the tower, which can accommodate a total of 20 persons, at the height of 160 meters, to observe a spectacular view over Bangkok. Presently the elevator is under trial operation. Our source does not tell us if this elevator will be open to the general public (Source: Public relations Department)


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Economy recovers, says IMF

Posted by hasekamp on 1 September 2002 at 18:16 PM
Thailand's economy has regained levels attained before its financial crisis that started in July 1997, according to an annual review by the International Monetary Fund.
The IMF has loaned 14 billion US dollars to Thailand, to help the country out of the severe crisis during 1997 to 2000. Last week the Thai government said it would pay back its debt to the IMF. Large debts will, however, remain with other countries.
The IMF further said that that prospects for continued recovery depend on further measures to address a number of structural weaknesses. It suggested Thailand should accelerate reforms affecting corporate debt and banks' profits and balance sheets. (Source: Public Relations Department)


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Bangkok expects flooding

Posted by hasekamp on 1 September 2002 at 18:14 PM
City hall in Bangkok has set up an emergency relief center in each of 50 districts of the city in anticipation of possible flooding in Bangkok over the next two weeks.
Preparations are being made to cope with water from the North and heavy rain that could be brought on by a depression.
The 24-hour relief centers will give warnings about run-off hitting the city and look after sewage and drainage systems in their respective areas.
A combination of run-off from the North and heavy rain is expected to swell the Chao Phraya river around 15 September.
The city authorities are confident that the city can deal with water from the North, but warns people living along the banks of the Chao Phraya to stay alert for sudden flooding. The city has prepared a million sandbags in the event of the river breaching its banks.
So this year the annual flooding season seems to start early. Mostly the peak is in October. (Source: the Bangkok Post)


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