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Public opposition against Thaksin pardon

Posted by hasekamp on 30 July 2009 at 11:12 AM
Opposition to the royal pardon for ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is heating up ahead of the red shirts' campaign to submit a petition to His Majesty the King. The People's Alliance for Democracy, the Privy Council and the Bhumjaithai Party have made clear they oppose the petition and are pressing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to prevent it going ahead. The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship and other supporters of Thaksin plan to wrap up the signature campaign tomorrow before submitting it to the Office of His Majesty's Principal Private Secretary, probably on Aug 7. Core leaders of the PAD yesterday held an urgent meeting to discuss a number of issues including the royal pardon petition for which the red shirts were hoping to get a million signatures. The public (political) discussion in connection with this subject seems difficut to place within Thai culture. Pibhop Dhongchai, a PAD leader, said the petition was a political move that would affect the monarchy and the judicial process as well as national security. The petition would put national security at risk by worsening the rifts between members of the public, he said. The government is obliged to protect the monarchy and the country's judicial system, Mr Pibhop said. A military source close to Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda said Gen Prem was concerned about the strategy of Thaksin's supporters. He was reluctant to take action however as it concerned political conflicts, the source said. He said some privy councillors who were former military top brass had questioned why the government and the military were doing nothing to stop the red shirts from submitting the petition. They viewed the petition as an attempt to possibly drag the monarch into politics and put pressure on him. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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The October 2008 charges

Posted by hasekamp on 28 July 2009 at 13:03 PM
The National Anti-Corruption Commission on Tuesday resolved to bring criminal charges against two more people in connection with the police crackdown on People's Alliance for Democracy protesters in front of parliament on Oct 7 last year, commissioner Wicha Mahakhun said. The decision was made at a meeting of the nine-member commission on Tuesday to consider a report from a committee investigating the cause of the violence. Seven people have already been charged. The seven are former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat, former deputy prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, police chief Patcharawat Wongsuwan, his deputy Pol Gen Viroj Phaholvej, former metropolitan police chief Pol Lt-Gen Suchart Mueankaew and deputy metropolitan police chiefs Pol Maj-Gen Likhit Klin-uan and Pol Maj-Gen Ekarat Meepreecha. Mr Wicha said the NACC, after going through the report, resolved to bring criminal charges against two more people and to bring an additional charge of serious breach of discipline against one of the seven people already charged. At dawn on Oct 7, riot police fired tear gas at thousands of PAD protesters who the night before had sealed the entrances to parliament building to stop the Somchai government from delivering its policy statement to the House to legalise its administrative power. In the evening of Oct 7, PAD demonstrators surrounded the Metropolitan Police Bureau offices and police there again fired tear gas rounds at them. When they returned to surround parliament later in the evening, more tear gas was fired at them. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Free education is government highlight

Posted by hasekamp on 28 July 2009 at 12:59 PM
One of the highlights for six-month government performance is the free service for 15-year compulsory education nationwide, PM's Office Minister Satit Wongnongtaey said on Tuesday. "The government has made it possible for the first time for 12 million people to access to free education," Satit said in reference to the implementation of a campaign pledge for free compulsory education ahead of the one-year deadline. One other notable achievement is the sufficiency community project, he said, boasting about the community-initiated, community-run development funds. Within six months in office, the government has already set up relief programmes for nine groups of people and business affected by the economic downturn. The nine groups included the senior citizens, the workers, the farmers, the poor and the small- and medium-sized enterprises. (Source: The Nation)


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Thaksin plans satellite tv

Posted by hasekamp on 27 July 2009 at 12:06 PM
Ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra celebrated his 60th birthday on Sunday with what he earlier branded “a big surprise," announcing that he planned to set up a satellite television business with at least three channels dedicated to the Thai people. The announcement, via video link at about 9pm Sunday evening, was aired at a birthday dinner party at the Mangkorn Luang (Royal Dragon) Restaurant in Bangkok and two other sites holding parties to celebrate his birthday - Wat Uthaitaram in sub-urban Bangkok and in At Samat district of Roi-Et. A number of Puea Thai party members of parliament and members of the anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) joined the event at the restaurant. Dressed in a red shirt, Mr Thaksin said he planned to establish satellite television networks with 100 channels, with at least three channels to serve the Thai people. One channel was expected to be used to promote Thailand’s ‘One Tambom One Product’ (OTOP) output, another to broadcast ‘reality shows’ about Thai poverty and how the wealthy will help them, and the third channel will concentrate on providing education programmes for Thai students.
Earlier in the day, thousands of admirers of the ex-premier gathered at temples across the country to perform merit making ceremonies in their celebration of Thaksin’s 60th birthday Sunday morning and to ward off his bad luck. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Large airport crackdown

Posted by hasekamp on 25 July 2009 at 16:59 PM
A major crackdown on illegal taxis and unlicensed guides will be conducted at Suvarnabhumi airport starting July 28, according to a notice put up by the Airports of Thailand Plc in the airport on Wednesday. The crackdown will be jointly carried out by AoT, which is the airport operator. It is enlisting the Land Transport Department and Special Operations Division, provincial police from Samut Prakan and tourist police to help. The move came after Transport Minister Sohpon Zarum made an inspection trip to the airport and ordered the AoT to step up measures to prevent extortion gangs preying on foreign air passengers. Mr Sohpon managed to avoid any comment on worldwide reports of an organised gang operating from duty-free shops, whose members have reportedly cheated tens of thousands of baht from foreign tourists. The reports claim that the gangs, apparently operating in collusion with shop employees and rogue policemen, intimidate and browbeat accused foreign shoplifters and thieves into paying large "fines" in order to escape lengthy incarceration and trial and return to their own countries. At least one European country has warned its citizens not to shop in the duty-free area of Suvarnabhumi at all, and the alleged cheating has been featured in reports by the BBC, among others. The duty-free scams are in addition to the longtime Bangkok airport problems of so-called "black-licence taxis" which have no authorisation to carry passengers, and airport touts who try to steer naive arriving tourists to unwanted hotels and shady businesses. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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HIV infections to be reduced

Posted by hasekamp on 24 July 2009 at 13:29 PM
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Friday that his government would try to reduce the HIV infection rate by half and try to have no more than 5,016 new infection cases in 2011. Abhisit was speaking to reporters after chairing the meeting of the government committee on Aids prevention. The meeting was attended by Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Doctor Prat Boonyawongwiroj and permanent secretaries from other ministries concerned. Abhisit said the government would step up measures to try to reduce the new infection rate during the next two years. It will step up awareness campaigns on Aids and promote the use of condoms. The government will also come up with specific measures for specific groups which are under risks of contracting HIV, such as intravenous drug users, sex workers, homosexuals and economic migrants. (Source: The Nation)


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Thaksin goes digital

Posted by hasekamp on 24 July 2009 at 13:25 PM
Thailand’s ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has launched his personal communication channel using popular social networking to communicate with his supporters, who are planning his 60th birthday celebrations on July 26, according to his former legal adviser Noppadol Pattama. New accounts with the name ‘Thaksinlive’ are launched on Facebook and Twitter social networking. His pictures engaged in various activities are uploaded to viewers. His suggestions to the Democrat-led coalition government on particular issues such as preventive measures against Influenza A(H1N1) will be posted using the new communication services, said Mr Noppadol. Mr Thaksin’s birthday celebrations will be held on Sunday by his supporters at the Kaewfah temple in Nonthaburi, Mr Noppadol said, adding that the event is not aimed at creating a rift as some of his supporters are intending to make merit on his birthday. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Hillary Clinton in Phuket

Posted by hasekamp on 22 July 2009 at 13:25 PM
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Phuket on Wednesday for talks with her Southeast Asian counterparts and to attend the Asean Regional Forum. Security is tight at Phuket airport, where she landed, and at the Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket where the meetings take place. Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, Supreme Commander Gen Songkitti Jaggabatara and other military top brass are all in Phuket, intent of ensuring the safety of the meeting participants. The Internal Security Act was promulgated in the province days before the Asean forums began. Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, who is in Bangkok, told reporters that police, civilians and soldiers had joined hands to make sure that what happened in Pattaya during the Asean summit in April would not be repeated. Thailand would not be able to host an international meeting again if anything happened during the Asean meetings, he said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Eclipse hardly visible

Posted by hasekamp on 22 July 2009 at 13:21 PM
Cloud cover and rain obstructed excited spectators from watching Wednesday’s solar eclipse, a rare celestial phenomenon. The Bangkok Planetarium held an activity for the public to view the eclipse from 7-9 am. Telescopes were set up for 200 students from nearby schools. However, onlookers were disappointed by cloudy skies and rain which blocked views of the astronomical phenomenon. Meanwhile, Air Chief Marshal Somchai Thean-anant, president of Aeronautical Radio of Thailand, said the solar eclipse didn’t affect the aircraft communication control system. The air traffic control tower at Suvarnabhumi International Airport and all flights operated as usual without any visibility problem. A large number of worshippers flocked to the Trimitr Witthayaram Worawiharn Temple to join a ceremony to expel misfortune. An assistant abbot said that the ritual was conducted to help those who believed the solar eclipse may cause misfortune and were worried. The prayer was held to help them meditate and purify their minds, he explained. In the North, the Faculty of Science of Chiang Mai University provided telescopes and proper equipment for locals to see the partial solar eclipse. Chiang Mai residents observed 63.4 per cent phase of the eclipse while viewers in Lampang saw only 50 per cent phase of the eclipse. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Next month flu vaccin in Thailand

Posted by hasekamp on 20 July 2009 at 10:17 AM
A model vaccine for treating the influenza A (H1N1) virus may be ready for use with humans and animals on a trial basis in August, a senior Thai Public Health Ministry official said Sunday. Dr Vithit Attavijjakul, director of the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO), said his agency had received assistance from the World Health Organisation with both technology and experts to manufacture the model vaccine curing the deadly virus. The production process is expected to be complete in August and then the vaccine will be used on trials with both humans and animals. Three sub-committees will be established to oversee trials for humans, vaccine registration and vaccine production promotion, he said. Dr Vithit said the government had allocated 600 million baht to buy two million doses of vaccine from France’s Sanofi-Aventis and that the vaccine will arrive in Thailand in December - when the virus is expected to reach its peak. The GPO is now producing about 20 million tablets of anti-viral drug Oseltamivir for reserve in August, said Dr Vithit. The agency now has four million tablets of the drug in stock. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Snow dome in Chiang Mai zoo

Posted by hasekamp on 19 July 2009 at 13:14 PM
The new attraction, a snow dome, housed in the panda-observation area, was fully ready to welcome visitors, with each session accommodating 50 people, Snow Dome project manager Pongsit Sittiwang said. Interest among the public was so great that tickets - priced at Bt150 for adults and Bt100 for children - for the first session (9.45am-10.20am) until the 12th session (5.25pm-6pm) were sold out in the morning. An Australian tourist said that although his country also had snow, it was fun to be exposed to it here. He said the dome was beautifully decorated and the ticket price was not expensive as the dome also provided thick jackets and shoes for visitors.
Panda-section chief Prasertsak Boontrakulpoonthavee said the Pnda cub was healthy, 44 centimetres long and weighed 2.9 kilograms. He said the weight should increase 100 grams a day from now on. Showing good physical response in general, the ball of fur can see with both eyes. The left eye's visibility is 2,5 centimeters and the right eye's 1cm. He explained that pandas could see for only a short distance and mainly depended on their sense of smell. The zoo plans a birthday party on August 6 for the cub's father, Chuang Chuang. Candles will be blown out, and the cub, expected to weigh 4kg by then, will be displayed twice a day for three days. (Source: The Nation)


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Her Majesty wants economical birthday celebration

Posted by hasekamp on 17 July 2009 at 17:19 PM
Her Majesty the Queen has expressed appreciation to the Government for its plan to arrange various activities in celebration of her 77th birthday, August 12. She also wishes that the celebrations be held in an economical way, without extravagance. Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Satit Wongnongtaey, in his capacity as Chairman of the Public Relations Committee on the Celebrations, said that Her Majesty had made known her wishes taking into consideration the current economic crisis. He said that the National Commission on the Celebrations had agreed to encourage people to fly the national flag and a flag with the initials of Her Majesty, “So Ko,” at their premises, from August 1 to September 30. According to Minister Satit, the Ha Thanwa Maharaj Foundation is scheduled to hold the celebrations between August 9 and 13. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has been invited to lead a ceremony for the presentation of offerings in front of Her Majesty’s portrait and a candle-lighting ceremony on August 12 at Sanam Luang in Bangkok. Public performances will be held at six open-air stages at the Royal Plaza and all along Ratchadamnoen Road. A campaign will be launched to encourage people to wear Thai fabrics from August 1 to 12. An admirer of Thai fabrics, Her Majesty the Queen has played a vital role in promoting Thai silk, especially mudmee. She has also helped preserve this unique and beautiful silk material and other Thai silk fabrics. (Source: Public Relations Department)


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ASEAN members confident

Posted by hasekamp on 17 July 2009 at 17:16 PM
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan said on Friday ministers from 27 countries will attend the upcoming regional foreign ministers and related meetings in Thailand's Phuket resort and are confident in the security preparations of the Thai authorities. Thailand will host the 42nd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM), the Post Ministerial Conferences (PMC) and the 16th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) beginning Friday (July 17) and running through next Thursday (July 23). Dr. Surin said that the ASEAN ministers will arrive in Thailand on Saturday, while the ministers from countries in the wider Asia-Pacific region will arrive in Phuket for the ARF meeting on Wednesday July 22. The ministers from all 27 countries are satisfied with the security measures provided by the Thai security agencies and confident that this will lead to a positive outcome for the negotiations on trade and investment between ASEAN and its dialogue partners, he said. The ASEAN chief added that Thailand has prepared intensified security plans to safeguard the ministers and other participants including reserved planes and optional standby airports in nearby Surat Thani and Hat Yai in case of untoward incidents. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Flooding in the North

Posted by hasekamp on 13 July 2009 at 11:55 AM
Torrential rains caused heavy flooding which destroyed 300 rai (120 acres) of paddy fields in Thailand’s northern province of Uttaradit, while landslides continued to block a road in Surat Thani on Monday. Flash floods and forest run-off inundated around 120 acres of rice fields in the municipality areas of Uttaradit after unusually heavy rains hit Uttaradit since last week, according to Somchai Mankemthong, mayor of Uttaradit municipality. According to the initial assessment, the damage amounts to around Bt1 million. The damage and flooding situation will be reported to provincial authorities in order to provide compensation to farmers as well as heavy machines to remove debris and dredge canals. Meanwhile, more heavy rain in the southern province of Surat Thani triggered landslides and forest run-off in Phanom district. Traffic between Phanom and Kapong districts was cut off. Roads were completely closed for repair for one week, according to an official of the provincial disaster response office. In Phattalung, strong winds and heavy rains over the province on Monday, damaging 170 homes and more than 10 rai (4 acres) of rubber plantation, as well as durian orchards and other fruit farms in Kong Ra district. The emergency allocations will help residents repair damaged homes before heavy rains resume. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Flu warning by SMS

Posted by hasekamp on 13 July 2009 at 11:51 AM
Mr Abhisit said his ministry had adopted a proactive approach to fighting the flu. The ministry would ask mobile phone service providers to send short messages telling their subscribers about the country's flu outbreak in which about 2.4 million people are thought to fall into high-risk groups and to advise people about flu prevention. The ministry will also consider sending letters with information about how vulnerable people such as the elderly and sufferers of multiple diseases should deal with the flu, Mr Witthaya said. He also said doctors and medical personnel at state-run hospitals were required to wear protective masks all the time while on duty. This measure would be extended to private hospitals soon, Mr Witthaya said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Now 18 flu deaths

Posted by hasekamp on 12 July 2009 at 17:01 PM
The Ministry of Public Health confirmed Thailand’s 18th death due to the Influenza A (H1N1), a 19-year-old man from the southern province of Krabi, according to Deputy Permanent Secretary Paijit Warachit. The man was a worker in a rubber plantation in Thungyai district of the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat. He died at hospital on Saturday night. Provincial health official Dr. Nopporn Chuenklin said that health officials were sent to the area he lived and worked to investigate how he contracted the virus. The governor of Nakhon Si Thammarat convened a meeting Sunday after the new death was reported. Meeting at city hall the participants to discuss preventive measures to contain the spread of the potentially lethal virus. Workers are scheduled to spray disinfectants in two districts of the province on Monday. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Sunday open the country's first H1N1 vaccine laboratory at Silpakorn University. The vaccination pilot plant is expected to be operational in October. The first two million doses of vaccine were expected to be ready by January at the latest, said the public health minister Witthaya Keawparadai.(Source: Thai News Agency)


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More and more flu

Posted by hasekamp on 10 July 2009 at 15:47 PM
The Public Health Ministry confirmed 146 new cases of A(H1N1) flu on Friday, raising the country's total to 3,071 since April 28, and one more death - taking the flu toll to 15. The ministry said 2,735 patients had recovered while 20 others were still in hospitals. The ministry's Bureau of Epidemiology said the latest death was a 63-year-old woman from Samut Prakan province. She suffered from valvular heart disease, high blood pressure and a lung infection. She died on Thursday night and the ministry was notified on Friday afternoon. More than half of the flu-infected patients were between 11 and 20 years old, the bureau said. The country would not face a shortage of the anti-flu drug oseltamivir. The minister also insisted he would not resign for failing to curb the flu outbreak as demanded by opposition MPs. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Will Abhisit catch Thaksin?

Posted by hasekamp on 9 July 2009 at 17:26 PM
The government is liaising with the Fijian authorities to extradite fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra back to Thailand, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Thursday. "The government is checking if Fiji has the same extradition law as England," Mr Abhisit said. According to Pacnews in Fiji, Thaksin met Fijian Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama earlier this week and proposed a US$280 million investment package in return for being offered asylum. The ousted premier was believed to have departed for Tonga on Tuesday on his private jet. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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14 flu deaths

Posted by hasekamp on 9 July 2009 at 17:24 PM
The cabinet on Thursday approved the temporary closure of tutoring schools for 15 days starting Monday to limit the spreading of influenza A as the Public Health Ministry confirmed three more deaths from the virus. The move came after the Public Health Ministry reported that many students have caught the virus while at tutoring schools. All tutoring schools throughout the country will be closed from Monday until July 28, the cabinet decided. The temporary closure was necessary because most tutoring classes were in airconditioned rooms, which facilitate the spread of the virus because the students are in confined spaces, Deputy Education Minister Chaiwuti Bannawat said. The cabinet also asked owners of online game shops to cooperate by closing their business during the same period, because many young players had also caught the infection.
The Public Health Ministry on Thursday confirmed three more deaths from influenza A and 211 new infections. The 12th victim was a 52-year-old traffic policeman in Bang Na, Bangkok, who suffered from kidney failure. The 13th victim was a student in the 11th grade at Maha Sarakham University demonstration school in the northeastern province of Maha Sarakham. The 14th fatality was a 17-year-old girl who had been treated in Srinagarind Hospital in Khon Kaen province since July 3. She died on Tuesday, and her blood test on Thursday afternoon showed that she was positive for the A(H1N1) flu. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Democrats behind Kasit

Posted by hasekamp on 7 July 2009 at 12:25 PM
Thailand’s ruling Democrat Party on Tuesday threw its full support behind Foreign Affairs Minister Kasit Piromya who faces terrorism and other criminal charges related to the seizure of Suvarnabhumi International Airport late last year for not resigning from his post, according to Thepthai Senpong, spokesman for party leader Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. Prosecutors may or may not indict Mr. Kasit, depending on the evidence, Mr. Thepthai said, noting that the opposition Puea Thai Party is urging Mr. Abhisit to expel the minister from his post, in order to obstruct the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers meeting due to be held later this month in Thailand’s Andaman Sea resort of Phuket. On Monday, Mr. Kasit reported to police and denied that his involvement in People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) activities at the airport represented terrorism, the charges that were leveled against him by the authorities for being present and participating in seizing the airport for eight days last November and December. Police charged him along with 24 others, main leaders and prominent PAD members for intruding and closing down Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport with the intention of bringing down the government of then prime minister Somchai Wongsawat. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Kasit stays on

Posted by hasekamp on 7 July 2009 at 12:18 PM
Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya is vowing not to give up his seat in cabinet and will fight the charges brought against him in connection with the Suvarnabhumi airport closure last year by yellow shirt protesters. As it looks now, the Thai government also wants to keep Mr. Kasit at his post. Mr Kasit, speaking for the first time since being named by police as among those who will face charges for instigating the airport rally, last night said the charges, especially those relating to terrorism, were "unacceptable". Mr Kasit said the charges did not place any pressure on him and he was confident he would not be asked by other cabinet ministers to step down. He said even if he was indicted by prosecutors on the terrorism charge, he would not quit the cabinet and would "fight all the way". Mr Kasit is among 25 people facing terrorism and other criminal charges for the Nov 25 to Dec 2 siege of Suvarnabhumi airport as part of a campaign to force the resignation of the government led by the People Power Party. Another 27 people face charges related to the simultaneous siege at Don Mueang airport. Of the 52, 16 were involved in the closure of both airports. Only the protesters at Suvarnabhumi will face terrorism charges as they were seen as having violated the Criminal Code. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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No more panda show

Posted by hasekamp on 7 July 2009 at 12:10 PM
Chiang Mai Zoo has decided not to extend the visiting period for a close look at the baby panda during the long holiday. Prasertsak Buntrakulpuntawi, the zoo director for panda research, said separating the cub from Lin Hui was getting difficult as the mother panda was very protective of its offspring. The zoo's staff were ordered not to put the cub on display in a separate enclosure from today. The curtain on the three-day grand celebration fell yesterday amid growing calls to continue with the display for another two days. Thousands of visitors yesterday braved the rain to get a closer glimpse of the fluffy bear. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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One more Mexican flu death

Posted by hasekamp on 3 July 2009 at 16:30 PM
Thailand's Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) confirmed Friday one more fatality from influenza A(H1N1), raising the country's death toll from the new virus strain to six. Permanent Secretary for Public Health Prat Boonyawongvirot told reporters that the sixth victim was a 30-year old man who worked as a day labourer. He visited a doctor at a Bangna hospital last Sunday (June 28) after showing flu-like symptoms since June 20. The diagnosis showed him to be suffering from tonsilitis and was given medication by the doctor before he went home for recovery. However, instead of getting better his symptoms worsened and he was admitted to hospital on Tuesday (June 30). The doctor found that the patient experienced severe lung infection and died on July 1. Dr. Prat explained that the death report was delayed because he was not in the MOPH list of influenza A(H1N1) victims and needed laboratory confirmation on July 2 before the announcement. He said the victim was considered overweight at 123 kg and 165 cm height. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Politicians do not want to hear of petition for Thaksin

Posted by hasekamp on 3 July 2009 at 16:25 PM
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Friday condemned as inappropriate the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship's (UDD) campaign to collect a million signatures of support for a petition requesting royal clemency for fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra. The UDD leaders and their red-shirt supporters should not try to bring the royal institution into politics, he said. To petition for a royal pardon, the convicted person or his relatives must present the petition, not other people purporting to act on their behalf. Royal clemency could be granted only to convicted felons serving jail terms. The most important thing, he said, was that Thaksin must first admit to his guilt. Mr Abhisit said the government will ask state agencies to help ensure the general public has a clear understanding on this matter, so they do not become the dupes of those trying only to create confusion. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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