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No money for flood prevention

Posted by hasekamp on 28 February 2012 at 21:40 PM
The Budget Bureau has slashed the allocations for some flood-related projects by nearly Bt1 billion, a source said yesterday. According to official documents, the government had asked for Bt44.14 billion for many projects including a hike in the compensation paid to farmers with high-cost crops and the repair of the Air Force's flood-damaged military equipment, the source said. However, the Budget Bureau confirmed just Bt35.53 billion, the source said. Also yesterday, the Cabinet approved the launch of www.pmocflood.com tomorrow to report on the progress of assistance programmes for flood victims. The website will allow visitors to monitor how the government has been using the budget for flood rehabilitation. (Source: The Nation)


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Study the King's Words

Posted by hasekamp on 28 February 2012 at 21:37 PM
Thai people have to study His Majesty the King's teachings and ideas and not just express their love for him, Chaipattana Foundation secretary general Sumet Tantivejkul said on Monday. "We see the King but we don't often look at him. We want to see him because he brings us happiness but we have never asked ourselves about all the things he has done. "We would not be suffering today if we followed his ideas, trust me," said Dr Sumet, who has served His Majesty closely for a long time. Dr Sumet, an adviser to the government's water management committee, said His Majesty fully understands the social landscape of the country, and is aware that different places have different responsibilities and societies. Questions need to be asked in order to understand and develop each area correctly, he said. People will find peace and be free from suffering if they follow the King's virtues. Nothing is too difficult to do if our intention is strong, he said. "The liberal system is consuming the world and it can no longer survive because natural resources will be depleted. You can check and see that there are only 30 percent of the world's resources left," said the King's Chaipattana Foundation secretary general. He said excessive consumption is a common cause of global crises, as could be seen in the economic and financial crisis in 1997. Greed is the most difficult aspect to conquer and His Majesty had then introduced the Sufficiency Economy philosophy, he said. "His Majesty teaches dharma, which is to be moderate. Each individual, organisation and country has to know their own ability or strength and find the middle path for oneself. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Weekend boat market in Phuket

Posted by hasekamp on 26 February 2012 at 11:52 AM
Phuket Boat Lagoon will launch a new weekend market catering to boat owners on the weekend starting Saturday, March 10. The Weekend Boat Market is the brainchild of Boon Yongsakul, a member of the Phuket Boat Lagoon management team and a descendant of Phuket Boat Lagoon founder Kanit Yongsakul. The main concept of the market is a new shopping and trade market focusing on boats and marine equipment, Mr Boon explained. It will also hold garage sales and feature a garden food park. Promoted as a highlight is an outdoor stage for presenting live entertainment. Located on more than six rai of green lawn at the entrance to the Boat Lagoon, the market will be divided into four zones: boats, marine equipment, garage sale and the garden food park. The market will be open every Saturday and Sunday from 3 to 10pm. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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HRW: Thai courts denied bail systematically

Posted by hasekamp on 26 February 2012 at 11:48 AM
Thai courts have systematically denied bail in lese majeste cases involving red shirt supporters behind the 2009-10 protests, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday. The New York-based group said bail was denied in 12 cases involving members of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), while bail was granted for a leader of the rival yellow shirt People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) in July 2010. The UDD protested against the government of former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in Bangkok in 2009 and 2010, resulting in street battles that left scores dead and buildings ablaze. The PAD led protests against a previous government that backed fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, culminating in the seizure of the capital's two airports in 2008. "Bail appears to be systematically denied to members of the red shirts while they await trial for lese majeste," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. A verdict is expected on Tuesday in the case of Surachai Danwattananusorn, a prominent political activist charged with lese majeste in February 2011. His bail requests have been denied five times. The lese majeste law was seldom enforced before the September 2006 coup that toppled Thaksin, but there has since been a surge in cases, largely directed at Thaksin's followers, who have become increasingly outspoken in their public criticism of the establishment. A movement to amend Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lese majeste law, backed by some prominent royalists who claim that abuses of the law have harmed the institution's reputation, have been rejected by both government and opposition politicians. "The new government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has shown little interest in ending lese majeste crackdowns," Human Rights Watch said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Guaranteed no coup

Posted by hasekamp on 25 February 2012 at 10:58 AM
Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat has reaffirmed that the army will not stage a coup and has warned the yellow-shirt People's Alliance for Demcocracy (PAD) to act within the law if it decides to stage rallies against charter amendments. "The national army chief [Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha] and I have told the media for the 101st time that there won't be a coup. I've said this repeatedly and I don't want to talk about it again," ACM Sukumpol said at a press briefing with Gen Prayuth on Friday afternoon. "Nobody wants to have a coup. If there is one I will tell you." (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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King concerned about greed

Posted by hasekamp on 25 February 2012 at 10:55 AM
His Majesty the King has expressed his concern about deforestation and the resultant flooding in Thailand and has urged the government to take severe action against those responsible. The King stressed the need for the government to plant more trees and to take harsh punitive steps against "greedy" civil servants who allowed illegal deforestation to occur. These approaches would help to both preserve forests and prevent flooding, said His Majesty. The King was speaking to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and members of the Strategic Formulation Committee for Water Resource Management (SCWRM) at Siriraj Hospital yesterday. His Majesty the King is widely recognised as an expert in water and flood management. The King has introduced several projects to cope with floods, including "kaem ling" (monkey cheeks) water retention areas to absorb run-off. His Majesty said last year's flooding was particularly disastrous because the deluge happened so rapidly and suddenly that it could not be drained away to the sea quickly enough. The King blamed this on deforestation, which has been rampant from the North down to the central regions, as well as in some areas of the South. Deforestation has also contributed to the frequency and severity of landslides in the North, His Majesty said. The King added that deforestation of different kinds of trees leads to different problems. Fast-growing trees are cut down sooner, while slow-growing trees yielding high-quality hardwood are attractive to poachers, and when they are cut down, it takes a long time for them to grow back. Both kinds of deforestation increase the risk of landslides, he said. His Majesty advised cultivating mixed forests of both fast-growing and slow-growing tree species. He pointed out that slow-growing trees put deep roots firmly into the ground, helping to prevent landslides. The King laid the blame for the destruction of Thailand's forests and consequent natural disasters on "greedy" state officials. "The problems stem from those who are greedy," His Majesty said. "Hardwood forests that are destroyed are difficult to recover. The blame lies with some civil servants who are greedy and crave money." The government must protect the forests and severely punish those involved in deforestation, the King said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Drought in the North

Posted by hasekamp on 24 February 2012 at 15:18 PM
Northern provinces of Chiang Rai and Uttaradit have been declared disaster zones affected by drought, with locals facing water shortages and damage to crops. Chiang Rai governor Thanin Supasaen has declared all 18 districts disaster zones. The drought is likely to be worse than last year and last for two months. In Uttaradit, Surachai Thatchakawin, a local official with the disaster prevention and mitigation office, said that the drought extended to nine districts and the province has been declared a disaster zone. Local residents, particularly those living outside the irrigation zones, are facing water shortages for household consumption and farming. Although the Sirikit dam released as much as 49 million cubic metres of water per day in line with flood prevention measures, it only benefitted people in the irrigation system zone and those living along the Nan River. About 20,000 households in 389 villages of nine districts have been affected by drought. Yothin Sumutkhiri, Uttaradit governor approved a budget of Bt18 million to help people in nine districts. Trucks carry water for distribution to drought-stricken areas every day. (Source: The Nation)


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Audience about flood prevention

Posted by hasekamp on 24 February 2012 at 15:15 PM
HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej granted an audience to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her government-appointed key panels for the improved watermanagement systems Friday evening. "We have reported progresses and findings from our recent inspection trips," Yingluck said. Last week, she and relevant officials visited many flood-hit provinces as they were trying to find better flood solutions this year. Last year, flood crisis wreaked havoc across dozens of provinces. She led members of the Strategic Committee for Water Resources Management (SCWRM) and the Strategic Committee for Reconstruction and Future Development (SCRF) into the audience with His Majesty, who is a respected water expert. The audience was granted at a meeting room on the 14th floor of Chalerm Phrakiart building, Siriraj Hospital. (Source: The Nation)


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Valentine marriages

Posted by hasekamp on 18 February 2012 at 17:44 PM
We have reported earlier about some of the 14-February marriages. here are the end results for Bangkok: The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) Wednesday reported 2,666 couples registered their marriage on the Valentine's Day, which were 218 couples less than the Valentine's Day 2011. BMA spokesman Wasan Meewong said Bang Rak district reigned top with 903 couples married - which increased from the previous period's 888 couples - followed by Bang Sue district at 125 couples, Chom Thong district at 83 couples, Sai Mai district at 73 couples and Lak Si district at 71 couples. Thirty-five couples registered divorces, which were 34 couples less than the Valentine's Day 2011. (Source: The Nation)


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Fast executions for drug criminals

Posted by hasekamp on 18 February 2012 at 17:39 PM
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung may want all condemned drug traffickers put to death as quickly as possible, but this would not solve the problem of widespread drug abuse. Instead, it would paint the country in a negative light, with little positive effect. Many of us, I believe, would love to see condemned major drug traffickers executed, to ensure they never again have the opportunity to poison our children with their filthy products. This is why Mr Chalerm\92s proposal for a special decree providing for the execution of drug traffickers condemned to death by all courts -- Criminal, Supreme and Appeal -- within 60 days of the final verdict has not triggered a public uproar. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Digital tv is coming

Posted by hasekamp on 18 February 2012 at 17:35 PM
Free television stations will start digital broadcasting trials in April, says the vice-chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). The NBTC will reserve two channels for high definition TV, said Col Natee Sukonrat. Under the NBTC's digital TV broadcasting roadmap for 2012-16, the transition from the analogue to digital broadcasting in Thailand will begin in January 2015, and will be completed within 10 years. Col Natee said the six free TV stations Channels 3, 5, 7, 9, NBT and TPBS are preparing to start their digital TV broadcasting trials in April. He said licensing for digital TV will start this month and is expected to continue until the end of 2013. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Two more bomb suspects sought

Posted by hasekamp on 18 February 2012 at 17:32 PM
Police investigators believe two other suspects may have been involved in the bomb blasts that shook Sukhumvit Soi 71 on Tuesday. National deputy police chief Pansiri Prapawat said authorities are now seeking to arrest a man they have identified as 52-year-old Nikkhahfard Javad who was seen on surveillance tapes in the area of a Sukhumvit 71 home just before an explosion ripped through it on Tuesday afternoon. Police so far have sought arrest warrants for four people related to the bomb blasts. They are suspected to be part of a team of Iranian nationals targetting Israeli diplomats in Thailand. Two Iranians are in Thai custody. Saeid Moradi, 28, was injured in one bomb blast and is being treated at Chulalongkorn Hospital, while Mohummad Khazaei, 42, was detained at Suvarnabhumi airport hours after the incident just as he was boarding a plane bound for Malaysia. Masoud Sedaghat Zade, 31, the third Iranian thought to have been involved, was arrested in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. A suspected female accomplice, Leila Rohani, is being sought for questioning. Immigration records show she left Thailand earlier this month for Iran. Mr Zade told interrogators he was an auto parts dealer and that he had visited Malaysia, Thailand and other countries in the region on business. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra may discuss the extradition request with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak when she visits Kuala Lumpur on Monday. Pol Lt Gen Winai Thongsong, the Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner, said police may have also identified a sixth suspect related to the bombings.
Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra, speaking after a briefing with police and security forces, said the entire city should be on alert for attacks. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, which now operates 15,000 cameras in the city, will install another 10,000 cameras this year. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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PM: Prepare for 2012 floods

Posted by hasekamp on 15 February 2012 at 10:04 AM
A sense of urgency was prevalent in Phitsanulok province yesterday as Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra warned some 200 local officials that time was running out as far as preparing for this year's floods was concerned. "Little time is left. Let's not think about which agency you belong to \85 the time is here," Yingluck warned officials as she completed the second of her five-day tour on flood prevention and mitigation in the lower North and Central regions. The premier urged various agencies to execute their planned projects in three months and instructed up-river provinces to not stock up water in dams and reservoirs. Science Minister Plodprasob Surassawadee told reporters he expected 27 major storms to hit the Kingdom later this year. Yet despite the warm reception, locals still sounded uncertain about what Yingluck and her government can do to keep the situation under control. (Source: The Nation)


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Bomb suspect was first in Pattaya

Posted by hasekamp on 15 February 2012 at 9:58 AM
Iranian bomb suspect Saeid Moradi, 28, checked in to Top Thai hotel in Pattaya on Feb 8 late at night with a backpack. Shortly afterwards, he called a friend who arrived at the hotel with a large piece of luggage. Because the hotel is relatively small and old, guests are not subject to strict checks. Since both men were well presented and polite, hotel employees did not pay them much attention. The employee said Mr Moradi and his friend mostly stayed in their room. They didn't come down for breakfast or lunch and only in the evening or at night would they venture out. On Feb 11, Mr Moradi booked his room for one more night. He and his companion checked out on Monday at 11.58am and Mr Moradi left a 500 baht tip. Police yesterday checked Mr Moradi's room and reviewed CCTV footage. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Three bombs in Bangkok!

Posted by hasekamp on 15 February 2012 at 9:54 AM
Five injured in bedlam, one suspect blows his own legs off - Israel blames attacks on Iranian terrorists.
The bombs that exploded in a busy Bangkok street yesterday were intended for "foreign nationals" in Thailand, national police chief Priewpan Damapong said. He did not give further details but said only that the targets were not Thais. The blasts injured five people including a bomb suspect carrying an Iranian passport who blew off his own legs. Another Iranian suspect was arrested at Suvarnabhumi airport hours after the incident as he was about to leave for Malaysia. He is one of three suspects thought to be involved. The United States and the United Kingdom yesterday reissued their travel warning for their nationals in response to the blasts. Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak blamed the series of explosions on Iran. The incident came one day after near simultaneous attacks on Israeli diplomats in Georgia and India. Israel pointed the finger at Iran for the attacks but Teheran denied responsibility. Despite Mr Barak's accusations against Teheran, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said yesterday Israel was in contact with the authorities in Bangkok and was still awaiting confirmation that the man involved in the blasts was indeed Iranian. Two explosions were heard shortly after one another around 2.20pm between soi Pridi Bhanomyong 31-35 off Sukhumvit 71 Road. A passport found at one of the blast sites identified the severely injured man at the scene as Saeid Moradi, 28, from Iran. The suspect reportedly threw a grenade at a taxi in Pridi Bhanomyong Soi 31 after the taxi driver failed to stop to take him. He ran away from the scene to the front of Kasem Phithaya school on Sukhumvit 71 Road and allegedly hurled a box packed with explosives at a police patrol vehicle which was heading towards him. The device hit a passing pickup truck, bounced back, fell next to him and exploded. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Explosion at Sukhumvit

Posted by hasekamp on 14 February 2012 at 10:00 AM
Three foreigners were injured in an explosion on Soi Sukhumvit 71 Tuesday afternoon. The explosion occurred at 2 pm in front of the Kasem Pitthaya School. One of the foreigners lost his legs. Pol Lt Col Witthaya Poonsin, deputy commander of Klong Tan traffic police, said the explosion damaged a taxi. Witthaya said, a foreigner tried to throw a bomb at police but it slipped out of his hand and exploded. The blast cut both of his legs and he was rushed to the Chulalongkorn Hospital. (Source: The Nation)


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Illegal motorbike taxis

Posted by hasekamp on 13 February 2012 at 16:04 PM
Bangkok police have begun a crackdown on unauthorised operations of taxi motorcycles, after Wan Yoobamrung, a secretary to the transport minister, launched an inspection earlier this week and vowed to combat illegal operations based on mafia protection fees. A meeting of traffic inspectors at all 88 police stations in Bangkok was held yesterday to discuss the cleanup. Each police station is rechecking registration details of motorcycle queues and finding out how many are operating unlawfully. The inspection and checking of registration details are to be completed in a month. Bangkok police chief Pol Lt General Winai Thongsong vowed to take action against any police officers taking bribes or benefiting from the unlawful operations of unregistered queues. (Source: The Nation)


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Royal photo helps fundraising

Posted by hasekamp on 13 February 2012 at 16:02 PM
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has featured a photo she took of the famous Wat Chaiwatthanaram in heavily inundated Ayutthaya province in a photo exhibition which raised more than Bt1.3 million in relief funds, Culture Ministry permanent secretary Somchai Sianglai said yesterday. The photo was taken from a helicopter in which the Princess was travelling on October 14 last year. It was put on display in the event, held between December 830 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, and attended by 11,612 visitors. There were 200 photos displayed in the event, selected from 1,700 shots submitted by Thai and foreign photographers. "The visitors said they were impressed by the Princess\92 photo ,which they saw as a reflection of her concern over the flooding situation and the welfare of flood victims," Somchai said. (Source: The Nation)


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Hotel to be pulled down

Posted by hasekamp on 13 February 2012 at 15:58 PM
City authorities will move to demolish the Aetas Bangkok Hotel in Soi Ruam Rudi if the hotel operator ignores an order from the Administrative Court that the building is illegal. Deputy Bangkok Governor Thirachon Manomaipibul yesterday said he had instructed the director of the Pathumwan district office to order the owners of the hotel to pull it down as soon as the office receives an order from the Administrative Court. The court on Thursday ordered the Bangkok governor and the director of the Pathumwan district office to enforce compliance with the law within 60 days. On Sept 17, 2008, residents in Soi Ruam Rudi on Phloenchit Road filed a complaint with the court against the Bangkok governor and the director of Pathumwan district office. Apirak Kosayodhin was the Bangkok governor at the time. The complainants accused Mr Apirak and the head of the district office at the time of issuing a certificate which the residents said exaggerated the width of the road in the soi to build a large building in violation of the law. The law prohibits construction of tall buildings on roads measuring less than 10 metres wide. The court ruled Soi Ruam Rudi is less than 10 metres wide. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Warning from China

Posted by hasekamp on 13 February 2012 at 15:55 PM
The Chinese Consulate General has issued a strong warning about travel to Chiang Mai, following a series of attacks on tourists including the recent brutal mugging of a woman at a temple. The official website of the Chinese Consulate-General warns Chinese tourists of "numerous incidents of looting". The warning was posted on the website of the Consulate General after a 36-year-old Chinese female tourist _ Liu Xiao Hong _ was battered about the head with wooden clubs early in the morning of Jan 25. Ms Liu was visiting Wat Chedi Luang Woraratcha Wihan in Chiang Mai's Muang district at the time. She suffered serious injuries and was kept in intensive care in a Chiang Mai hospital for about a week. Chiang Mai police yesterday arrested two Thais in connection with the attack. They were identified as Natthapon Chaithep, 19, and Netamporn Insao, 21. Police alleged Mr Natthapon and Ms Netamporn struck Ms Liu continually until she collapsed and then ran off with her purse containing 1,500 yuan (7,356 baht), HK$200 (796 baht) and 5,000 baht. Police said Mr Natthapon was released from prison several months ago. They claimed he joined a gang of friends to assault foreign tourists and steal their valuables at several tourist attractions in Chiang Mai. A Chinese consular official who attended a press conference yesterday where the suspects were paraded said even though there have been arrests, the Chinese Consulate General in Chiang Mai would not immediately withdraw the warning from its website. The official urged local police to provide more safety for Chinese tourists. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Travel bans lifted at last

Posted by hasekamp on 9 February 2012 at 16:53 PM
The Foreign Ministry said yesterday that countries that had issued warnings of possible terrorist activity in Thailand had now cancelled them. Foreign Ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdee said only Italy and Romania were still giving information to raise awareness among citizens visiting Thailand. He said the warning cancellation reflected the global community's confidence in Thai authorities. (Source: The Nation)


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New flooding in Ayutthaya

Posted by hasekamp on 9 February 2012 at 16:52 PM
Sena district of Ayutthaya was flooded due to heavy rainfall not the water releases by Bhumibhol and Sirikit dams, said Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand. In a statement, the agency said that the floods were caused by overflows from Noi River, after heavy rainfall during Feb 2-3. It also added that the Royal Irrigation Department is now pushing the water to the sea, expecting the situation to return to normal within a week. The statement was released following doubts that the two dams\92 water release may have caused the flooding. According to Egat, Bhumibhol Dam is releasing 60 million cubic metres a day while Sirikit Dam 49 million cubic metres a day. (Source: The Nation)


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New War on Drugs

Posted by hasekamp on 9 February 2012 at 16:49 PM
The Narcotics Suppression Bureau is going hi-tech in its efforts to detect drugs in transit through the two northern provinces of Phrae and Lampang, a major transportation route. The bureau plans to pay 600 million baht for two tunnel-like scanners that can X-ray vehicles for hidden drugs. The trucks drive through the tunnel and are scanned. The bureau wants to install the scanners along the main roads most frequently used by drug traffickers in the two provinces. Pol Lt Gen Chaiwat Chotima, chief of the NSB, says the machines are equipped with software to enhance the drug squads' ability to detect drugs hidden in vehicles. Any vehicle suspected of carrying drugs would be pulled off the road and put through a roadside scanner which displays details of items inside. The office is waiting for budget approval before proceeding with putting the scanner purchase out for bidding. If all goes as planned, the agency hopes to have the two machines up and running by the end of year. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Lese majeste law will not be changed

Posted by hasekamp on 9 February 2012 at 16:46 PM
Deputy prime ministers Chalerm Yubamrung and Yutthasak Sasiprapa on Tuesday gave their support to national army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha's stand against a group of seven Thammasat law professors who want to change the lese majeste law. Mr Chalerm said he fully supported Gen Prayuth's opposition to changing Section 112 of the Criminal Code relating to lese majeste. He called on other armed forces commanders to voice their support for Gen Prayuth on this issue. "I want to ask the Nitirat group - what can they do if the political sector does not want to amend Section 112? They are not the lawmakers," Mr Chalerm said. Mr Yutthasak also said he agreed with the army chief. The Nitirat academics should call off their movement, but the authorities should not limit their rights or freedom. "Some issues should not be raised because they might create division in the country, and anything that defames the monarchy or hurts the Thai people should not be brought up," Gen Yutthasak said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Coup or no coup?

Posted by hasekamp on 9 February 2012 at 16:41 PM
Pheu Thai party-list MP Jatuporn Prompan has challenged national army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha to make a public announcement that the army will not stage a coup in April, and said there will be a red-shirt rally this month. "I've received the report of a coup from an army official who took part in the military crackdown on red-shirt protesters in April 2010, and it matches with another report from US intelligence," Mr Jatuporn said on Thursday. Asked about a report that Gen Prayuth plans to legal action against him for making the coup claim, the red-shirt core member challenged the general to officially declare there will be no coup as long as he is in charge of the army. "If Gen Prayuth can turn down anyone's proposal to carry out a coup, I'll praise him," he said. Mr Jatuporn said he would like to thank Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat for his advice on not talking about a coup. The minister advised him to cease his comments. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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New ID cards for elephants

Posted by hasekamp on 4 February 2012 at 19:32 PM
A new type of identity card should be issued for elephants, which should have embedded microchips, an updated photograph every six months and an updated record of every unique change, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry said yesterday. The proposal will be taken to the Interior Ministry, and if it is okayed, permission for the movement of every elephant will have to come from provincial governors. This should make illegal movement or getting the pachyderms to beg more difficult, permanent secretary Chote Trachoo said. The current identity cards used for elephants are easy to forge, while some continue being used after the elephant is dead. Since officials have limited knowledge about the animals, they are prone to getting fooled by mahouts using false or forged identity cards. At present Thailand has some 2,000 domesticated elephants and 3,000 in the wild. (Source: The Nation)


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Less dengue fever after flood

Posted by hasekamp on 4 February 2012 at 19:28 PM
The number of dengue fever cases fell by more than a third last month in Thailand after last year's floods interrupted the breeding cycle of the mosquito that carries it, health officials said Friday. In January, 1,056 cases of dengue haemorrhagic fever and one death were reported at public hospitals, down 36.2 per cent compared with the same period of 2011, the Communicable Disease Control Department said. Dengue, which is usually pandemic in Bangkok, is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which prefers to lay its eggs in clean, standing water commonly found in urban settings. In October and November, the central plains and parts of Bangkok were hit by the worst floods in five decades, but the resulting inundations were fetid and unsuitable for the Aeges aegypti to breed. (Source: The Nation)


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Cancer is killer number one

Posted by hasekamp on 4 February 2012 at 19:26 PM
Cancer is believed to be the No 1 killer in Thailand accounting for about 20 per cent of deaths in the country every year. In 2010 alone, 58,076 people succumbed to the disease. "However, cancer is curable if symptoms are detected at an early stage," Deputy Public Health Minister Surawit Khonsomboon said Friday at an event held to raise public awareness about cancer. February 4 is marked as World Cancer Day every year. Dr Wilawan Jeungprasert, director-general of the Medical Services Department, said people over the age of 30 should undergo a checkup every year. (Source: The Nation)


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Police raid on Bang Kwang prison

Posted by hasekamp on 4 February 2012 at 19:24 PM
Prison officials and police launched a major raid on seven zones at Bang Kwang Central Prison in Nonthaburi yesterday. They seized 40,470 baht in cash, some crystal methamphetamine, or ya ice, 39 smuggled mobile phones, 20 sets of gambling paraphernalia and 27 items of pornography. The raid was carried out jointly by 650 officers from Police Region 1 and Bang Kwang prison officials. Nonthaburi governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu said inmates' cells and occupational training houses at the prison's seven high security zones were searched. The prison has about 200 prisoners on death row and 1,300 others serving life imprisonment. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Travel ban to be lifted?

Posted by hasekamp on 4 February 2012 at 19:20 PM
The Foreign Ministry yesterday called on nine countries to lift their travel warnings about terror threats in Thailand. Britain, Australia, Austria, Taiwan, South Korea, Italy, Japan, Romania and Canada are still warning their citizens to be careful when visiting Thailand. "We hope the travel advisories will be adjusted to reflect the current situation," the ministry's permanent secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow said. Earlier this year, what was believed to be a terror threat in Thailand prompted many countries to issue travel advisories. Thai authorities have already arrested Atris Hussein, believed to be a member of Hezbollah, for the unauthorised possession of chemicals that can be used to make bombs. Sihasak said the Foreign Ministry had yesterday informed ambassadors that Thai authorities had already taken measures needed to remove any concerns about a terror attack. Police said investigation into Hussein's case is ongoing but refused to disclose any details. (Source: The Nation)


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