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Anti plastic bags

Posted by hasekamp on 30 January 2012 at 13:28 PM
The Phuket provincial government campaign to rid the island of plastic bags will start in earnest on February 27, when retailers across Phuket will start handing out free cloth bags to shoppers over the course of one week. The news was announced on Friday by Phuket Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosuttirak at the signing of the second Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of the “Phuket plastic bag free campaign”. At Provincial Hall to mark the occasion were Phuket Provincial Energy Office Chief Jirasak Tummawetch and Dr Wiwat Seetamanotch, deputy chief of the Phuket Provincial Health Office. The campaign aims to hand out 840,000 free cloth bags in 84 days to honor the 84th anniversary of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Most flood compensations paid

Posted by hasekamp on 30 January 2012 at 13:24 PM
Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said Monday that the paying compensations to flood victims in Bangkok for 30 districts has been done by 80 per cent. But he said the government has yet to approve compensations for 12 other districts, prompting residents of these districts not to receive compensation yet. (Source: The Nation)


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Elephants seized

Posted by hasekamp on 29 January 2012 at 11:12 AM
Authorities in Kanchanaburi and from the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department have seized 51 elephants from three elephant camps in Sai Yok district for inspection. Two more camps will be inspected this week in an effort to stop people taking the identity papers of dead elephants and passing the documents off as those of elephants taken from the wild. According to district Chief Somchart Theerasuwannachak, the officials are now inspecting the identity papers of the elephants and have collected blood samples from six elephant calves for DNA testing. (Source: The Nation)


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Warning to drugs criminals

Posted by hasekamp on 29 January 2012 at 11:08 AM
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung has warned drug dealers and traffickers that they will face the full force of the law. He said there would not be any extra-judicial killings as seen during Thaksin Shinawatra's drug war in 2003 that claimed the lives of more than 2,600 suspects. "But if drug dealers fight against the [police] officers, we have to resort to protect [ourselves]," Mr Chalerm said. "Those involved in drug networks might be killed by drug gangs, not police officers, to cut them from the drugs cycle." Mr Chalerm said narcotics suppression was one of the policies Pheu Thai campaigned on last year. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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WHO: Follow Thailand

Posted by hasekamp on 26 January 2012 at 15:39 PM
Inspired by Thailand's successful universal healthcare scheme, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is planning to encourage a similar model worldwide. "We will highlight the fact that this scheme is a form of investment for the country's economic and social development at international meetings where decision-makers from various countries gather," Dr Maureen E Birmingham yesterday said in his capacity as the WHO representative to Thailand yesterday. He was speaking at a forum held at the Centara Grand at CentralWorld as part of the Prince Mahidol Award 2011 events. Birmingham said WHO would also work with its allies in government, civic and academic sectors to push for the launch of universal healthcare scheme in various different countries. Dr Timothy G Evans from the BRAC University's School of Public Health said research on the implementation of the decade-old universal healthcare scheme found that the scheme covered up to 75 per cent of Thai population. "Thanks to the scheme, the rate of bankruptcy relating to medical bills has dropped from 6.8 per cent in 1995 to just 2.8 per cent in 2008," he pointed out. He said the scheme had prevented more than 80,000 families in Thailand from getting poorer. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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DNA database for elephants

Posted by hasekamp on 26 January 2012 at 15:34 PM
Natural Resources and Environment Ministry plans to build a DNA database of the 4,000 or so domesticated elephants in order to stop people from bringing in wild elephants and taking over identity papers of deceased pachyderms. Minister Preecha Rengsomboonsuk vowed to solve elephant related issues nationwide within a year. Preecha said he would contact the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of issuing elephant identification papers, for information about the beasts living in camps and elsewhere nationwide. Preecha explained that the killing of two elephants in the Kaeng Krajan National Park had alerted the authorities about elephant issues and that he had instructed the DNP to cooperate with police. (Source: The Nation)


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Nation Group to invest in satellite tv

Posted by hasekamp on 26 January 2012 at 15:31 PM
The Nation Group has unveiled a three-year, Bt500-million plan to expand its satellite TV business. The group plans to launch at least two more stations - Krungthep Turakij and Yaowachon Channel - taking the total number of its stations to seven. It aims to capture audiences in all segments and expects to boost broadcasting advertising to 40 per cent of total ad revenue. "The TV business is undergoing a period of transformation with lots of opportunities," a spokesman said, adding that there are now some 200 satellite TV channels. Meanwhile, satellite TV has become increasingly popular with a number of audiences amid intense competition. Therefore, those who are capable of producing content have a competitive edge. Nation Group, a leading media organisation that produces a vast amount of its own content, will strive to boost its TV business this year, he said. (Source: The Nation)


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Lese Majeste law remains unchanged

Posted by hasekamp on 26 January 2012 at 15:26 PM
The government will not amend the controversial lese majeste law, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday. Taking a clear stance on the issue for the first time, the prime minister said the institution of the monarchy should be protected and not interfered with. "We must not bring the monarchy into our business. As Thais, we have to protect the institution, not exploit it," Ms Yingluck said. Article 112 of the penal code prohibits defamation of the monarch. But critics say it is misused to further political ends. Ms Yingluck said the government's main concern is solving economic problems and rehabilitating the country after the floods. Ms Yingluck said people need to turn to one another and cooperate instead of focussing on amending the lese majeste law. "Right now, many people are still in trouble and need help so they can lead a normal life after the floods," Ms Yingluck said. "The economy dropped in the fourth quarter of last year. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Abhisit does not want a coup

Posted by hasekamp on 22 January 2012 at 19:09 PM
Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva Sunday expressed his opposition to the idea of a military power seizure in Thailand. Attending a party seminar in Ubon Ratchathani, Opposition leader Abhisit told reporters he disagreed with any call for the military to topple the Pheu Thai Party government. The call was made last week by the People's Alliance for Democracy. "A political change should not happen through nonsystematic means. We should help support the political system to proceed - and political problems should be handled by the mechanisms of the system," Abhisit said. "If we see that the government has done what is not right, we must use the Constitution to address [the problem] or should base our actions on the charter." (Source:The Nation)


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Treatment for wounded elephant

Posted by hasekamp on 20 January 2012 at 16:31 PM
A five-year-old elephant wounded during a gunfight between authorities and a wildlife smuggling ring in Ratchaburi's Suan Phung district on Tuesday will be sent to Lampang for treatment. Damrong Pidech, director-general of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, said yesterday that an investigation found that a Suan Phung policeman's son and a local politician from a neighbouring province were involved in the ring's operation. The ring was also suspected of having a connection with the slaughter of an elephant in Phetchaburi, said Damrong, who was visiting the wounded elephant at Khao Prathab Chang Wildlife Centre in Chom Bung district. While trying to deliver the young jumbo to Saraburi through Suan Phung, the gang, believed also to hunt elephants in Phetchaburi, ran into officials and the gunfight ensued. Officials say they will search for the remaining gang members and another elephant. (Source: The Nation)


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Tourism branch wants march on US embassy

Posted by hasekamp on 20 January 2012 at 16:28 PM
Tourism operators yesterday threatened to march on the US Embassy to meet with the ambassador if the United States refuses to withdraw its terrorism warning for Thailand within two days. "Those concerned operators will join forces to submit their demand to US Ambassador Kristie Kenney to learn more about the impacts of maintaining the warning," said Watchara Kannikar, spokesman of the Tourism Ministry. "They will also present information that they got in cooperation with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the National Police Office and other security agencies, which shows that Thailand is not a terrorist target," he said after a meeting of the National Tourism Policy Committee. With the raising of a terrorism-threat warning by the US, those operators are facing business losses as tourists mainly from China and India have changed their plans to skip Bangkok. (Source: The Nation)


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PAD wants to seize power

Posted by hasekamp on 20 January 2012 at 16:23 PM
The People's Alliance for Democracy on Friday organised a public talk to mark the Chinese New Year and its four leaders vowed to resume the struggle against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. PAD leader Sondhi Limthongkul, speaking via a telephone call from China, said the military should stage a coup in cooperation with the people in order to wrestle a complete control of the country from Thaksin. "If the PAD is to make a move once again, this time will not just confine to street protesting but a complete seizure of power," he said, pledging a make-or break struggle. Sondhi said he feared for the future of the monarchy if the Thaksin camp had its way. PAD co-leader Bhipop Thongchai said the PAD-led movement did not wane in the past six year but stood ready to step out and fight against the domination of rogue capitalists over the political system.
We remind our readers that the "D" in "PAD" stands for "democracy". (Source: The Nation)


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US maintain alert

Posted by hasekamp on 20 January 2012 at 16:18 PM
Whatever the Thai government may have said, the US embassy on Monday rejected a call from Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to lift its terrorist threat warning for Bangkok. US embassy spokesman Walter Braunohler told the Bangkok Post on Monday afternoon that the emergency message to American citizens will remain despite the arrest of a suspect believed connected to terrorism and an appeal by Ms Yingluck that the warning would damage Thailand's image. Mr Braunohler said it was safe to say there was heightened awareness and specific heavier measures in place since the alert was issued and therefore it would be maintained as long as there was the possibility of terrorist attacks in the capital in the near future. Asked what it would take for the advisory to be lifted, he declined to respond. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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King has stomach problem

Posted by hasekamp on 16 January 2012 at 14:21 PM
His Majesty the King has developed early-stage diverticulitis and is under treatment. The Bureau of the Royal Household said yesterday His Majesty the King experienced stomach discomfort and slightly quicker breathing than normal on Saturday. His body temperature and blood pressure were normal. The King feels pain when his lower left stomach is pressed. A scan found early stage diverticulitis that is common in the elderly. Royal doctors reported symptoms of the illness last November. Doctors have treated the King with intravenous antibiotics, and his breathing has now returned to normal. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Yingluck: Revoke terror threat

Posted by hasekamp on 16 January 2012 at 14:18 PM
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has urged the United States to revoke its terrorism warning immediately after the arrest of a suspected Hezbollah member linked to sabotage attempts in Bangkok. Defence Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa said on Monday Ms Yingluck made the call when she invited him to report on the alert situation after Washington warned of terrorist threats in Bangkok. He quoted Ms Yingluck as saying the warning, if prolonged, will damage the country. Gen Yutthasak said the issue had been discussed at a one-hour meeting between Gen Nipat Thonglek, director of the Defence Ministry's Policy and Planning Office, and Col Edward Swanda, chief of JUSMAGTHAI, the US Security Assistance Organisation in Thailand, and the US military attache on Monday afternoon. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Children's Day

Posted by hasekamp on 15 January 2012 at 19:21 PM
Yesterday (Saturday January 14) was Children's Day in Thailand. This is how it was celebrated in Phuket this year:
Children across Phuket enjoyed their special day today as Phuket celebrated national Children’s Day. Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha chaired the event at Provincial Hall, which included fun activities and stage performances. As part of the entertainment, teen idol Kao Jirayu Laongmanee, together with Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (OrBorJor) President Paiboon Upatising and the OrBorJor mascots, kept the children busy.Governor Tri opened his office for students to meet him and kids got the chance to be photographed sitting in the Governor’s chair. Phuket City Police held their Children’s Day event behind the Phuket City Police Station with fun games, presents and a free lunch. The Phuket Provincial Court and Phuket Central Juvenile and Family Court held an exhibition to educate children about the dangers of drugs and anti-social behavior. Children were also allowed to explore the court and visit the Chief Justice’s room. The Phuket office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) held an activity for 35 under-privileged children from Baan Nabon School. They went sight-seeing in Phuket by minibus, helped with a cleanup along Patong Beach, and were then treated to a Siam Niramit show. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Thailand does not believe terrorist threat

Posted by hasekamp on 15 January 2012 at 19:16 PM
Senior Thai officials scrambled yesterday to deny that Thailand faced an immediate terrorist threat, following a dramatic warning by the US Embassy to Americans living here. The Thai authorities, led by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung, however, confirmed the arrest of a terrorist suspect and admitted that security was being stepped up. The officials, however, were ambiguous and even confusing in their statements, and the US ambassador to Thailand insisted afterwards that the embassy warning "still holds". The Thai Foreign Ministry and the police both said the Bangkok government had been on a constant terrorist alert for some time, but the situation was now "under control" following cooperation with international intelligence authorities and stepped-up local measures. Unclear, of course, was the status of the person or persons in custody. The latest information indicated that only one person was interrogated and no charge had yet been levelled. (Source: The Nation)


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Big drugs bust

Posted by hasekamp on 15 January 2012 at 19:12 PM
Metropolitan Police seized some 100,000 ya ba tablets worth Bt30 million along with quantities of marijuana and crystal methamphetamine, or "ice", in two separate drug busts, police chief Pol Lt-General Winai Thongsong told the press yesterday.
In the first case, Nonthakul Sirisri, 29, Worapas Thes-ngamthuan, 34, and Phumarin Chaikhet, 31, were arrested with 88,000 ya ba tablets, 27 kg of marijuana, 28 grams of crystal meth, a 9mm pistol and 22 bullets. Worapas and Phumarin were arrested in a sting operation in Bangkok's Thung Kru district, leading to the subsequent arrest of Nonthakul and the seizure of the drugs.
In the second case, Wikanda Meesuk, 21, was arrested with 15,957 ya ba tablets in Rat Burana district. After a police investigation determined that a drug delivery took place in Soi Pracha Uthit 14, police arrested Wikanda with 200 ya ba tablets before searching her home in Soi Pracha Uthit 69, where they found 15,757 tablets, Winai said. (Source: The Nation)


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Serious crash in Phuket

Posted by hasekamp on 13 January 2012 at 10:59 AM
A fatal motorbike accident in Phuket Tuesday night was compounded when a car that slowed to survey the carnage was hit from behind and launched into a crowd of onlookers. A pregnant woman was killed and four others were injured, one critically. Thalang Police were notified at 6:45pm of an accident involving two motorbikes on Srisoonthorn Road (Route 4027), about 800 meters east of the Heroines Monument. Dead at the scene was Sudjai Athaan, a 37-year-old rubber tapper and resident of Srisoonthorn Village 3. She was six-months pregnant. Phuket Kusoldharm Foundation workers transported her body to the Vachira Phuket Hospital morgue. The second victim, an unidentified male, was rushed to Vachira Hospital for injuries described by rescue workers as "critical". After observing the wreckage, one rescue worker said Mrs Sudjai was probably driving against the traffic with a load of laundry when she hit the other vehicle head-on. Neither person was wearing a safety helmet, the rescue worker said. (Source: The Nation)


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US issue terrorist attack warning

Posted by hasekamp on 13 January 2012 at 10:51 AM
The US Embassy on Friday issued an urgent alert for its citizens in Bangkok of poosible terrorist attack. The alert said foreign terrorists may be currently looking to conduct attacks against tourist areas in Bangkok in the near future. US citizens are urged to exercise caution when visiting public areas where large groups of Western tourists gather in Bangkok. (Source: The Nation)


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Call to amend lese majeste law

Posted by hasekamp on 13 January 2012 at 10:48 AM
A group of prominent figures with royal lineage have appealed to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to amend the lese majeste law. Eight people with royal lineage signed a letter which they sent to the PM on Saturday asking the government to change the law. They are MR Sai Svasti Svasti, MR Saisingh Siributr, MR Narisa Chakrabongse, Vara-Poj Snidvongs na Ayudhya, Gen MR Krit Kritakara, MR Powari Suchiva (Rajani), MR Opas Kanchawichai and Sumet Jumsai na Ayudhya. The letter said the number of lese majeste cases had increased substantially in the span of seven years, from zero in 2002 to 165 in 2009. News about these cases has been reported around the world and resulted in increasingly intense attacks on the institution of the monarchy, it said. The group cited in support of its move His Majesty King Bhumibol's address on Dec 4, 2005 in which he said putting people who criticised the monarchy in jail only caused trouble to him. "There have been many governments since the King made his remark, but none has embarked on improving the lese majeste law, including this government," the letter said. "Since this government organised activities to celebrate His Majesty's seventh cycle birthday in 2011, it should take the opportunity to realise His Majesty's wish on this issue as well." Mr Sumet, one of the letter's signatories, said the group met towards the end of 2011 to mull over the issue "in view of ongoing abuse of the lese majeste law and the effect it has on the country at home and abroad". "Most important of all, our group wants to draw attention to the fact that His Majesty himself has criticised the law," he said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Final death toll New Year holiday

Posted by hasekamp on 7 January 2012 at 11:44 AM
The seven dangerous day period of this New Year Festival has seen a decrease in road casualties and accidents compared to last year, with 335 deaths and 3,375 injuries in 3,093 accidents, the Road Safety Centre reported Thursday. Most accidents resulted from drunk driving and Nakhon Sawan and Buri Ram had the highest number of victims killed at 18 persons each. Saying that on January 4 alone, 237 accidents killed 21 people and injured 259 others, Deputy PM and Interior Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit told a press conference that the centre would study road accident-related issues during this seven-day period to suggest measures to the Cabinet for the upcoming Songkran Festival. Ten provinces had no road accident deaths: Sukhothai, Tak, Nong Khai, Udon Thani, Si Sa Ket, Nonthaburi, Trat, Satun, Yala and Pattani. From December 29, 2011 to January 4, 2012, there were 3,093 accidents (404 cases or 11.55 per cent fewer than last year), killing 335 persons (23 persons or 6.42 per cent less than last year), and wounding 3,375 persons (375 persons or 10 per cent less than last year). Chiang Rai had the most cumulative injuries at 121 persons and the most accidents at 115 cases. Most accidents resulted from drunk driving (37.28 per cent) and speeding beyond legal limit (20.63 per cent). Most accidents involved motorcycles at 81.47 per cent followed by pick-up trucks at 9.34 per cent. Over half (62.30 per cent) of the accidents took place on straight stretches of road and the period from 4pm to 8pm saw the most accidents occurring at 28.87 per cent. About 54 per cent of road casualties were of working age. The nationwide checkpoints stopped 4,797,164 vehicles and punished 643,445 law-breaking motorists, mostly for not wearing helmets (200,909 cases) and not carrying driver's licence (185,856 cases). (Source: The Nation)


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Compositions by HM the King in French

Posted by hasekamp on 7 January 2012 at 11:41 AM
His Majesty the King's compositions have been performed in French on January 5 at the auditorium of Siriraj Hospital. "It's the first time we have received royal permission to provide French lyrics to His Majesty's songs. This is of course a very special occasion," Culture Minister Sukumol Kunplome said yesterday. "We would like to show His Majesty's musical talents to the whole world". The performance, with HRH Princess Chulabhorn Valayalaksana in attendance, will start at about 8.30pm at. The Gitasiravadha Foundation and Mahidol University's Faculty of Medicine organised the event to commemorate His Majesty's 84th birthday last month. Tonight's concert will feature 27 royal compositions with French lyrics. She believed the move would also bolster Thai - French ties. During his childhood, His Majesty studied in Switzerland and spoke fluent French there. His Majesty's royal compositions have had English version for decades, but efforts to provide the French version to his musical creations have started not so long ago. Premika Sucharitkul, an expert in French language, is tasked with the mission to provide the French lyrics for His Majesty's royal compositions. The French versions include Saisons d' Amour (Love in Spring), Cocorico! (Near Dawn), Flamme d'Espoir (Candlelight Blues), and Crepuscule de Soir (Twilight). (Source: The Nation)


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Flooding in the South

Posted by hasekamp on 7 January 2012 at 11:37 AM
Five flood hit southern provinces will have to brace for more downpours and possible flash floods, according to the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department (DPMD). "Heavy rain is forecast for eight southern provinces between January 6 and January 10," DPDM director general Wiboon Sanguanpong said yesterday. Of the eight provinces, Songkhla, Yala, Pattani, Phatthalung, and Nakhon Si Thammarat just experienced flooding, which was triggered by cloudburst during the New Year holidays. "It's possible that flash flood, overflowing and landslides may hit those provinces again," Wiboon continued. The three other risky provinces, he added, were Surat Thani, Satun and Narathiwat. (Source: The Nation)


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Flood prevention

Posted by hasekamp on 7 January 2012 at 11:34 AM
On Tuesday, the Cabinet will study a master water and flood management plan aimed to help 17 deluge prone areas, Vichien Chavalit, secretary general of the government panel on reconstruction and rebuilding, said. According to committee member Anond Snidvong na Ayudhaya, at least Bt300 billion would be required to build flood ways, large and medium sized reservoirs, as well as a signalling system in the North, the Central and Bangkok. The eight measures proposed include restoring and preserving forests and other ecological systems; creating a national water storage system and operating major dams; restoring and boosting the efficiency of existing irrigation infrastructure; building a national database and early warning system; as well as setting up emergency and contingency relief operations. Also proposed was the designation of catchment areas and compensating people whose land is needed for this; setting up a new agency to oversee the projects; as well as encouraging public participation. However, key committee member Pramote Maiklad, former Royal Irrigation Department chief, was sceptical, saying that the ideas were not sustainable enough to cope with flooding in the long run and that solutions were only short term ones created once the initial Bt17 billion budget was approved. (Source: The Nation)


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Fire at Chatuchak

Posted by hasekamp on 7 January 2012 at 11:29 AM
A fire destroyed several book stalls at Chatuchak weekend market overnight, but the cause of the blaze was not yet clear, Pol Maj-Gen Methi Kusolsarng said on Thursday. He said investigators would look into whether it was linked to criminal extortion of vendors by gangs and influential persons extorting money from traders at the market. He said it was possible the fire might also be linked to the takeover of the management of the market from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration by the State Railway of Thailand. The SRT, which owns the land, took back the management of the market from the BMA on Jan 2 after the city refused to pay the new rate demanded for an extension of the lease. The fire broke out about 9pm in a one-storey structure near gate No 32. The blaze destroyed stalls No 34, 35, 40 and 41, covering an area of about 25 square metres, reducing to ashes most of the used books in the shops' inventories. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Phuket tourist dies in motorbike accident

Posted by hasekamp on 2 January 2012 at 19:16 PM
A young Russian woman died when her motorbike was hit by a car early yesterday, making her the sixth road accident fatality in the first four days of the "Seven Days of Danger" holiday road-safety campaign in Phuket. The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Phuket Office (DDPM-Phuket) identified the deceased as 26-year-old Elena Kireeva. According to DDPM-Phuket, Ms Kireeva’s motorbike was hit by a Mitsubishi Pajero on Chao Fa West Rd in Wichit at about 6:30pm. Also injured in the accident, which occurred near the Sukko Spa, was 49-year-old Russian Andrey Sergeyvech. It was not reported which of the Russians was operating the vehicle, which the DDPM-Phuket said made a dangerous overtaking maneuver to cause the collision. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Traffic death toll now 241

Posted by hasekamp on 2 January 2012 at 19:12 PM
Every celebration leads to traffic victims in Thailand, in most cases because drivers use too much alcohol.
The first four days of the New Year Festival's "seven dangerous days" has seen 241 lives lost and 2,382 people injured from 2,167 road accidents, the Road Safety Centre announced Monday. Public Health Minister Witthaya Buranasiri represented the centre to announce that on the New Year Day, which was the fourth day of the monitoring period, 562 road accidents occurred, compared to 777 accidents last year. He said 76 people were killed on the New Year Day, compared to 83 last year and 600 others were injured, a reduction from 845 last year. Witthaya said drunk driving was - as usual - the main cause of the accident, followed by breaching of the speed limit. (Source: The Nation)


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New Year's speech by His Majesty the King

Posted by hasekamp on 2 January 2012 at 19:07 PM
His Majesty the King has reminded Thai people to live with consciousness, be mindful and brace for unwanted events in the future.
In his address to mark the New Year, the King picked last year's flood disaster, which he said should be the most severe the country will face, as a reminder of the fact that people cannot only expect happiness in their lives. In 2011, he said, the situation looked normal until late in the year when water run-off from the North triggered severe floods in many provinces, plunging several thousands of people into hardship and danger. "As I have said many times, suffering, threats and hindrances will come to our lives from time to time. Nobody always stays happy," the King said in his statement. "Everyone thus must prepare their body and mind for facing and preventing hardships with carefulness, reason, knowledge and unity." His Majesty also urged Thai people to adopt Buddhist teachings by trying to remain mindful by being aware of what they think and do all the time. In carrying out their duties, everyone should do so in a manner appropriate to the situation. His Majesty also thanked all parties for organising a ceremony to celebrate his seventh-cycle birthday properly and beautifully. The King ended his New Year address by wishing all Thais to be happy, stay safe and healthy throughout 2012. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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