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Navy: Do not risk tourist lives

Posted by hasekamp on 27 November 2013 at 9:27 AM
The Royal Thai Navy has warned all tour operators to obey orders to stay in port during dangerous weather conditions following navy ships being dispatched to rescue tourists stranded at Koh Racha and the Similan Islands over the weekend. “quot;If the ports are ordered to close due to the weather, please do not launch your vessels. We understand it is your business, but please keep in mind that you are risking people lives at sea,”quot; cautioned Capt Thammawat Malaisukkarin, Director of Naval Civil Affairs at the Third Area Command. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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PM will not resign

Posted by hasekamp on 27 November 2013 at 9:24 AM
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra last night extended the invocation of special internal security law to cover entire Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan’#39;s Bang Phli district and Pathum Thani’#39;s Ladlumkaew district. Since October 18, the Internal Security Act (ISA) covered only three Bangkok districts; Phra Nakhon, Dusit and Pomprap Sattrupai. The law that prohibits mass gathering would directly affect rally sites on Rajdamnoen Avenue and others. In a special TV broadcast, Yingluck said her government has no choice but to use the ISA after the anti-government protesters stepped up their protests by invading, seizing many government agencies and destroying the assets including the front gates. The protesters also cut off electricity and water supplies in those buildings, the moves that would affect officials and people in general. The premier called for people not to provide cooperation with the protesters who broke the laws and to cooperate with government officers so that the situation returns to normal. (Source: The Nation)


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Three more ministries occupied

Posted by hasekamp on 27 November 2013 at 9:20 AM
Protesters led by the People's Army against the Thaksin's Regime Tuesday entered and occupied three ministries as well as besieging the Interior Ministry, the Metropolitan Police Bureau announced. Pol Maj Gen Adul Narongsak, the spokesman for the Metropolitan Police, said the People's Army group, which is led by Gen Preecha Iamsuwan and Adm Chai Suwannapharp, moved the protesters from the Makkhawan Bridge rally site on a siege of the Agriculture Ministry, the Tourism and Sports Ministry and the Transport Ministry at 11am. Adul said the protesters took over the three ministries and told officials to leave the compounds. Adul said leaders then led about 100 protesters to enter each of the three ministries and closed the gates, thus preventing officials from entering the compounds. (Source: The Nation)


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More rain in flooded South

Posted by hasekamp on 27 November 2013 at 9:18 AM
The flood situation in many parts of southern Thailand is improving, but now Deputy Interior Minister Visarn Techateerawat is warning southerners of another challenge - the influence of cyclonic storm Lehar due tomorrow and Friday. Following continuous rain, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Songkhla and Surat Thani still need monitoring. Visarn said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Cabinet members had instructed provincial governors to continue providing aid to affected people. A storm-warning centre has been set up in Songkhla to monitor the situation. Storm Lehar is currently moving over the Bay of Bengal. The Meteorological Department yesterday also forecast that more rain was likely in the South, with strong wind-driven waves up to 2-3 metres high in the Gulf. The department also forecast cooler weather for upper Thailand during November 28-30. (Source: The Nation)


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Tourism may be harmed

Posted by hasekamp on 27 November 2013 at 9:14 AM
The political conflict may affect the Thai tourism industry if the situation prolongs until the first quarter of next year. So far, no cancellations of air tickets and hotels have been reported among tourists heading to Bangkok and areas with major attractions. After anti-government protesters put more pressure on the government by marching to 13 places in Bangkok and occupying the Finance Ministry on Monday, the Association of Thailand Travel Agents (ATTA) expressed its worries about the situation and called for a peaceful end to the political problems soon. Nineteen countries have issued travel advisories for their citizens to avoid visiting areas near protests in the capital. The travel warnings came from Britain, France, Sweden, Japan, Taiwan, Canada, Austria, Israel, Brazil, Singapore, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Finland, Italy and Slovakia. (NOTE: This differs from another publication on the same day, in the same newspaper!) The Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association insists the Bangkok Countdown 2014 will be held at CentralWorld as planned. Tourists visiting the area are slightly down but the decline is expected to be short-lived. But Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the occupation of the Finance Ministry by protesters could hurt investor confidence and undermine tourism. Sugree Sithivanich, deputy governor for marketing communications at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said its overseas offices had reported no trip cancellations to Thailand, though offices in Europe have yet to send their reports. (Source: The Bangkok Post)

TAT believes that if the situation remains peaceful until the end of this year, tourism will not be affected and the target of tourist arrivals and income next year will remain intact.

If travel advisories reach Level 5 and tourists are banned from visiting Thailand, the number of visitors this year will drop by 8-10% to 25.75 million and tourism revenue will fall by 25 billion baht.

If Level 5 continues to the first quarter of next year, arrivals will increase by 7% next year compared with the 13% projection and tourism revenue will rise by 13% as planned.


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So far 23 travel advices

Posted by hasekamp on 27 November 2013 at 9:08 AM
Twenty-three countries have issued special travel advice urging citizens visiting Thailand to be cautious, but protest leaders insist their actions will not damage tourism and are offering to explain their cause to international observers. The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday unveiled a survey of 68 countries, of which 23 are warning travellers about political protests in Thailand. The countries that have issued travel advisory notices include the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore. Only South Korea had updated information to its citizens on Tuesday, while the United States, France, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and China last amended their information for travellers on Monday, according to the ministry. Most of the 23 countries have issued general warnings telling their citizens about ongoing political protests in Thailand, although a number have specified areas to be avoided, including the US which suggests Americans should be careful near government agencies. Brazil has cautioned its nationals against visiting the Grand Palace and areas surrounding protest rallies at Democracy Monument. Diplomats from 56 countries and representatives of six international organisations were at the ministry on Tuesday for a briefing on the political situation after the government decided to impose the Internal Security Act (ISA) across all districts of Bangkok and Nonthaburi. Bang Phli district of Samut Prakan and Lat Lum Kaeo district of Pathum Thani have also been placed under the act. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Provincial offices occupied

Posted by hasekamp on 27 November 2013 at 9:05 AM
At least six provincial halls in the southern region have been occupied by anti-government protesters who said on Wednesday they will not retreat until they receive a signal from protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban. The demonstrators converged on the main provincial offices in Trang, Phuket, Surat Thani, Chumphon, Songkhla and Satun, but did not intrude inside the buildings or damage state property.
They occupied the compounds, awaiting further directions from Mr Suthep, who is orchestrating the campaign in Bangkok. There were no reports from other regions. The rallies in the six southern provinces followed his call on Tuesday night from the occupied Finance Ministry for anti-Thaksin regime protesters to take control of government offices in all provinces, to maim the government and show their defiance of the administration. The southern occupation was not deterred by a written order from Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan to all governors to fend off any attempt to take over the provincial halls, and threatening protesters that they could face prison terms of up to seven years if state property is damaged. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Finance Ministry wants end of occupation

Posted by hasekamp on 27 November 2013 at 9:01 AM
Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong has asked the Administrative Court for a temporary injunction to reclaim the offices of the Finance Ministry from anti-government protesters who have been occupying the site since Monday afternoon. Mr Kittiratt said operations at the ministry were suspended for a few hours on Monday afternoon but resumed on Tuesday when officials begun working from temporary offices. The use of temporary offices is unproblematic in the short term but a prolonged seizure of the state agency will reduce the ministry’#39;s efficiency, he said. Mr Kittiratt said the ministry has the duty to take legal action against those who are occupying its premises, so is asking the Administrative Court to order protesters to hand back the ministry’#39;s grounds and buildings. The ministry may also take up civil cases against protesters since a prolonged occupation of government offices will cause damages, which demonstrators must be held liable for, he said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Protesters are looking how far they can go

Posted by hasekamp on 27 November 2013 at 8:58 AM
Anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban has defied a warrant issued for his arrest by calling on protesters to storm all ministries and provincial halls nationwide today. The Criminal Court yesterday approved an arrest warrant for Mr Suthep for illegal assembly and invading government offices. The warrant had been requested by Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) deputy chief Khachonsak Pansakhon. Mr Suthep insisted last night at the Finance Ministry he would not flee as he said he respected the justice system but would not turn himself in to police until the so-called "Thaksin regime" is uprooted from the country. By Thaksin regime, Mr Suthep and the anti-government protesters refer to the influence of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra on Thai politics. He said if his supporters did not want him to be arrested, they should come to Bangkok to join the protests. "These could be my last words to you. I don't know what will become of me." The veteran politician urged protesters to stay alert throughout the night as he had received reports that the police would break into the compound to arrest him. Mr Suthep urged all anti-government demonstrators across the country to take over the fight by laying siege to all government offices. Mr Suthep's anti-government protest ally, the People's Democratic Force to Overthrow Thaksinism, gathering at Makkhawan Rangsan Bridge besieged the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry, the Tourism and Sports Ministry, and the Transport Ministry on Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue yesterday, as well as the Interior Ministry on Assadang Road near Sanam Luang. (Source:The Bangkok Post)


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Phuket flights resumed after storm

Posted by hasekamp on 24 November 2013 at 17:14 PM
Flights at Phuket International Airport have resumed to normal service after the storm this morning resulted in hours-long delays, forcing at least hundreds of travellers to seek refuge in the departure lounge. “quot;From about 9am to 11am some domestic flights had to be delayed because of the weather,”quot; Phuket Airport Director Pratuang Sornkham confirmed. “quot;However, all the flights are back on schedule. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Storm damage at Phi Phi

Posted by hasekamp on 24 November 2013 at 17:13 PM
Heavy seas at Phi Phi Island this morning sunk a large passenger ferry, beached a cargo boat and heavily damaged at least six speedboats and 20 longtail boats, officials have confirmed. The Andaman Jet Wave ferry, registered to carry 250 passengers, had yet to begin its daily operations of carrying tourists to and from Krabi and Phi Phi, explained Krabi Marine Police Inspector Chaiyasit Kancharoen. “quot;It was moored overnight at Tonsai Bay and started taking on water this morning,”quot; Lt Col Chaiyasit told. (SourceL: The Phuket Gazette)


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Coindition Italian tourist still a worry

Posted by hasekamp on 24 November 2013 at 17:10 PM
A doctor said the condition of an Italian tourist assaulted by two teens in Pranburi in Prachuap Khiri Khan on Thursday (see elsewhere on this page), was still a worry, so he would remain in hospital for another two or three days. Teenage boys hit Dominico Franco, 34, with a baseball bat before stealing his belongings. The man's skull was fractured. Police visited the man at Hua Hin Hospital for further testimony after arresting the suspects. Franco told police he was staying at a resort in Paknam Pran sub-district and that he wanted to return home as soon as possible. On hearing that the attackers had been arrested, he thanked police and Pasitta Inpan, head of the local Tourism Authority office. (Source: The Nation)


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King's health excellent

Posted by hasekamp on 24 November 2013 at 17:07 PM
His Majesty the King is in excellent health and enjoying his stay at Klai Kangwon Palace in Prachuap Khiri Khan, while Her Majesty the Queen's condition is improving, a senior royal physician said this week. His Majesty's general condition is excellent and he enjoys the palace's ocean view and other activities, including feeding the fish and - on the recent Loy Krathong Day - floating a krathong, said Clinical Professor Udom Kachintorn, dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital. The doctor did not provide details about the Queen's health. The doctor said the conditions at the seaside residence in Hua Hin district had contributed to the improvement in His Majesty's health. Preparations are ongoing for a public audience on the King's birthday at 10.30am on December 5 at the palace's Ratcha Pracha Samakhom Pavilion to accommodate an anticipated large number of visitors. (Source: The Nation)


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Italian tourist beaten by youngsters

Posted by hasekamp on 24 November 2013 at 17:05 PM
An Italian tourist, Dominico Franco, was beaten by two teenagers early Friday morning in Pran Buri, Prachuab Khiri Khan. Franco, found in a pool of blood near the entrance to Evason, was taken to Hua Hin Hospital. He told police later that the teenagers, 15 and 16 years old, used a baseball bat to hit his head. They took his Bt500 cash, a shirt and a helmet. Before the attack, the three had beer together. The two offered to ride him to his hotel as he could not get his motorcycle started. Pasitta Inthaphand, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) for Prachuab Khiri Khan, said she was upset with the incident as the province is a major tourist destination and this would damage the province’#39;s image. (Source: The Nation)


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Heavy flooding in the South

Posted by hasekamp on 24 November 2013 at 17:02 PM
Rainfall has ravaged many areas in the South with officials in Nakhon Si Thammarat declaring 11 districts as disaster zones. Eight Songkhla's 16 districts have also been classed as disaster zones. Five districts in Chumphon - Sawi, Thung Tako, Phato, Lamae and Lang Suan - were also flooded yesterday. Staff at Lang Suan Hospital, which is surrounded by water 50cm-deep, were preparing to evacuate patients yesterday to safer ground. Several sections of the Asia 41 Highway were also flooded. Khao Chairat sub-district in Pathiu, Chumphon, had some 100 homes and 1,000 rai of rubber plantations damaged by strong winds at 2am yesterday. Nakhon Si Thammarat Governor Apinan Suethanuwong signed a disaster zone declaration after 105,156 people in 11 districts were affected by floods. Some 50 schools were forced to close - 34 in Chu-uat district. Army Region 4 sent soldiers to help residents in Ban Tha Sung Bon in Tha Sala district, where some 100 homes were damaged by a storm surge. Meanwhile, in Nopphitam district, forest run-off hit three villages in Krung Ching sub-district and marooned 200 households there, while a house was also reportedly damaged by landslide. Songkhla's disaster zones were Muang, Chana, Singha Nakhon, Ranot, Sathing Phra, Khuan Niang, Krasae Sin and Rattaphum. Provincial authorities dispatched 26 flat-bottom boats to help victims in severest-hit Ranot, Sathing Phra and Chana districts, provincial disaster prevention and mitigation head Amnat Polmat said. But flooding in Songkhla has started to subside since rain stopped Friday night. To date 34,041 people in 63 sub-districts in eight districts were affected, although no deaths or injuries were reported, he said. In Surat Thani's Tha Chana district, some 2,000 households in the municipal area were swamped as two roads were under 70cm of water. With more water expected later last night from the brimming Khlong Pa reservoir plus runoff from Prasong sub-district upstream, officials urged residents to move their belongings to higher ground. In Phunphin district, a bus from carrying 42 passengers from Phuket to Bangkok lost control amid heavy rain on the Asia Highway at 3pm, which left 23 people injured. Phatthalung governor Seri Srihatrai was also set to declare all districts as disaster zones, if the situation did not improve. Runoff from the Banthat mountain range inundated Pak Phayun, Pa Bon, Bang Kaeo, Khao Chaison, Khuan Khanun and Muang districts. In Trang, over 2,500 homes in five districts were hit by floods. Na Yong district saw floodwater rise to 50-70cm deep, cutting three sections of Phetchkasem Highway, so motorists going to Phattalung had to use other routes. One death was reported in Ratsada district, when a six-year-old boy was swept away and drowned. In Prachuap Khiri Khan's Bang Saphan district, rainfall since 2am caused flash floods in some areas of Bang Saphan and Bang Saphan Noi sub-districts, affecting 15 villages. But district chief Thawil Chanthawora-nurak said water should go down quickly, as a canal gate connected to sea had been opened 20 metres to drain water out faster. (Source: Tĥe Nation)


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Starbung case settled out of court

Posted by hasekamp on 24 November 2013 at 16:57 PM
A street stall coffee vendor in Bangkok has dropped his "Starbung Coffee" signboard after Starbucks took him to court for trademark infringement, the defendant said on Thursday. "We met halfway in an out-of-court settlement," said Damrong Maslee, a Bangkok street coffee vendor whose legal tussle with the United States multinational has brought him social media fame in Thailand. Last month, a Thai law firm filed a complaint on behalf of Starbucks Coffee Company against Damrong, 44, for not complying with an injunction issued in 2012 to remove the "Starbung Coffee" logo from his sidewalk stall in the Thai capital. The international coffee giant demanded compensation of 300,000 baht (US$9,700s), plus 30,000 baht a month in legal fees. They agreed to drop the demand for compensation, and I agreed to stop using a circular sign for my coffee shop logo," Damrong said. He has also changed the name of his sidewalk coffee shop to "Bung's Tears," showing a man in a Muslim cap crying. Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Not enough cabs

Posted by hasekamp on 24 November 2013 at 16:52 PM
Air travellers have been warned to expect heavy road traffic and the lack of taxis due to the ongoing political protests in Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi airport announced on Sunday. The airport advised commuters to use public tranport such as skytrains, Airport Link, public buses and vans, and limousine service. Passengers can call 1722 for inquiries or contact information service counters at Suvarnabhumi airport around the clock. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Huge anti government demonstration

Posted by hasekamp on 24 November 2013 at 16:49 PM
Anti-government protesters estimated in the hundreds of thousands have joined Sunday's (November 24) rally at the Democracy Monument with organisers still hoping the number will swell to one million. By Sunday afternoon, Ratchdamnoen Avenue, where the Democracy Monument is located, was packed with at least 100,000 people, according to police estimates. Many had come from the provinces, mostly the South, where the opposition Democrat Party has a strong following. Ekkanat Prompan, a spokesman for the Democrat Party-led rally, said more than 400,000 people had joined the protest since Sunday afternoon and the number should increase to one million by the evening. "Protest core members have made a million stickers to give to the people who take part in our rally and over 440,000 have already been given out to the public from Sanam Luang to Larn Luang," Mr Ekkanat said. Suthep Thaugsuban, the protest leader and a former Democrat MP, pledged to draw one million anti-government protesters to the venue in the heart of old Bangkok by Sunday night. "This country needs rule of law, otherwise society is weak," said Anand Pomsuksan, 49, a factory worker in Samut Prakan province who joined the anti-government rally. "I don't like the Democrats either but they are more trustworthy than the Pheu Thai Party." Bangkok governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra, also a Democrat member, said the number of anti-government protesters in the vicinity of the Democracy Monument was estimated at about 400,000 as of 3.30pm and continuing to grow. He said there had so far been no reports of untoward incidents. The number of people was expected to be much higher in the night, causing him to worry about traffic, public safety, and patients requiring emergency treatment. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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ATM fraud by police officer and Russians

Posted by hasekamp on 19 November 2013 at 22:54 PM
A Thai tourist policeman and two Russians were arrested for allegedly using fake credit and debit cards to withdraw money from bank accounts belonging to people from more than 50 countries, police said on Monday. The suspects were identified as Pol Sen Sgt Maj Nonthapan Saengsuk, 37, Vasily Ivanoff, 27, and Serge Peterneff, 38. They had in their possession 328 counterfeit ATM cards and more than 2.9 million baht in cash. Provincial Police Region 3 chief Theerasak Glingpongsa said police had staked out ATM machines in Nakhon Ratchasima's Muang district after being tipped off that a group of Russians involved in card fraud were hiding in the area. Officers discovered the men were in possession of 100 fake electronic cards and 50,000 baht in cash. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Heavy rain expected in the South

Posted by hasekamp on 19 November 2013 at 22:51 PM
The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department on Tuesday issued a severe weather warning for people in nine provinces in the South of the country from today until Saturday. The department’#39;s director general Chatchai Promlert said there will be heavy rain in the South, triggered by a monsoon over the region and the Gulf of Thailand. Mr Chatchai warned that people living near hillsides and waterways in Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Satun, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat should brace for heavy, rain, possible flash flooding, forest run-off and landslides between today and Saturday, Nov 23. Winds are expected to create strong waves between two and four metres high in the lower Gulf of Thailand. Small ships should keep ashore during the period, he said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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King grants audience for his birthday

Posted by hasekamp on 19 November 2013 at 22:49 PM
His Majesty the King will grant an audience to the royal family and his subjects on his 86th birthday on Dec 5 at Klai Kangwon Palace in Prachuap Khiri Khan province's Hua Hin district, the Royal Household Bureau said in a statement released on Tuesday. The audience will take place at Rajpracha Samakhom Pavilion at 10.30am, where members of the royal family, civil servants and royal guards will give their blessings to His Majesty on his birthday. The royal guards will renew their oath of allegiance to mark the occasion of the monarch's 86th birthday this year, the statement said. On his 85th birthday last Dec 5, the King made a rare public appearance at the balcony of Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall in Bangkok with the royal family before tens of thousands of well-wishers in a sea of yellow, the royal colour. On that auspicious occasion, he called on Thais to forge friendship and unity with one another. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Parliament opposes Constitution Court

Posted by hasekamp on 19 November 2013 at 22:45 PM
More than 300 lawmakers from both houses of parliament came out in one voice on Tuesday to attack the Constitution Court on the eve of its ruling on a constitutional amendment bill that would change the composition of the Senate to a fully elected chamber. They said the court had overstepped the boundary by deciding to take up for consideration the petitions aimed at derailing the bill, a decision they deemed interference in the legislative branch of government. The move by 312 MPs and senators came as red-shirt members began converging at Rajamangala Stadium to air their opposition to the court. House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranond and his deputies - Charoen Chankomol and Wisut Chainurana - led a campaign against the court at parliament. They confirmed their stance that the court had no authority to consider the petitions. They renewed their stand on this issue after 30 legislators representing the 312 lawmakers held a separate press conference at the same place to make their position public. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Mist in National Park

Posted by hasekamp on 17 November 2013 at 20:43 PM
Tourist flocked to the Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park this weekend to enjoy the view of mist from the 1,775-metre-high mountaintop amid chill weather. A lot of tourists were seen on the Pha Chu Thog cliff to the park to view the sea of mist. The mercury at the park dropped to 14 Celsius degree Sunday morning. Suwan Phanunampha, the chief of the park, said he estimated the number of tourists has increased by 70 per cent compared with the same period last year. (Source: The Nation)


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Limited Loy Krathong because of High Patriarch

Posted by hasekamp on 17 November 2013 at 20:40 PM
There will be muted celebrations for one of Thailand’#39;s largest holidays, Loy Krathong, the “quot;Festival of Light”quot;, in respect of the recent passing of His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara Somdet Phra Sangharaja. Traditionally, thousands of people across the nation release krathong, lotus-shaped floats traditionally made of banana leaves, with a small offerings of food, flowers, joss sticks and/or candles, into the waters of Thailand. This annual festival takes place on the full moon of the 12th lunar month of the year, falling on November 17, well within the within the 30 days of mourning for the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, who died on October 24. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Lanterns not off on Loy Krathong Day

Posted by hasekamp on 17 November 2013 at 20:38 PM
Today Thailand will celebrate Loy Krathong, the most picturesque festival in Asia. In Phuket Airports of Thailand (AoT) warned those celebrating Loy Krathong today that releasing lanterns in the Air Safety Zone surrounding the international airport could result in charges carrying a sentence of up 20 years imprisonment or death. The hefty penalty is cited in Thailand Air Navigation Act, BE Section 6(3).
“quot;People like to release lanterns during Loy Krathong, especially people staying at hotels or in areas where celebrations are being held,”quot; Acting Director of Phuket International Airport Kanputt Mungklasiri said. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Rally on Tusday and Wednesday

Posted by hasekamp on 17 November 2013 at 20:33 PM
Red-shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan announced on late Friday night that the red-shirt people will hold the next rally at Bangkok's Rajamangala National Stadium on Tuesday and Wednesday. The reds will stay overnight at the stadium, Jatuporn said at a red rally in Udon Thani. On Wednesday, the Constitutional Court is scheduled to deliver its verdict in a case filed against parliamentarians who voted for a constitutional amendment to change the Senate election system and againt the four coalition parties that backed that amendment. They are accused of violating the existing charter. Pheu Thai deputy spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ad Saturday said the rally will be held at 4pm to protect an elected democratic government. (Source: The Nation)


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Phuket tourism not affected by protests

Posted by hasekamp on 17 November 2013 at 20:31 PM
European tour agents are more concerned with the Public Health Ministry's health-insurance proposal than protests in Bangkok, said Somboon Jirayus, a hotelier in Phuket and former president of Phuket Tourist Association. Referring to the meeting with the agents in London where Thailand joined the World Travel Mart 2013, he said that despite warning against travelling to Thailand by some countries, these agents are not quite concerned as long as there is no violence. Rather, they were concerned with the proposed insurance, as this would duplicate what travellers have been paying for. "I told them that it’#39;s still a plan," Somboon said. (Source: The Nation)


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Bus flips, 26 Russians wounded

Posted by hasekamp on 17 November 2013 at 20:28 PM
A tour bus flipped over on its side in Rayong, leaving 26 Russian passengers slightly injured. The bus picked up the tourists from a hotel in Pattaya to Samet Island in Rayong. It skidded and went down the road at Khanam Rai Intersection, Panatnikom district in Chon Buri. The road was slippery because of rain, the driver said. All passengers were transferred to Panatnikom Hospital. All are safe, officers said. (Source: The Nation)


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Sixteen no-go advices

Posted by hasekamp on 12 November 2013 at 10:31 AM
Sixteen countries have issued advice against travelling to Thailand following the widespread anti-government protests, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand. They included the UK, France, Sweden, Japan, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Singapore, Norway and Germany. (Source: The Nation)


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Win-win?

Posted by hasekamp on 12 November 2013 at 10:28 AM
Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said Monday both Thailand and Cambodia won in the battle at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the Preah Vihear temple. "We could say we both win the judgement," Hor Namhong told reporters in The Hague after the court ruling. "By asking the court to interpret the 1962 judgement, Cambodia has only one will to settle the dispute with Thailand peacefully and to have Thailand to stay as a good neighbor. We are close to each other, we cannot stay away," he said.
The ICJ on Monday ruled that the vicinity of the Preah Vihear temple in according with Annex I map is under sovereignty of Cambodia. The territory in question does not cover the 4.6 square kilometre disputed areas but remains unclear how its exact size is. Hor Namhong said he interpreted the court judgement that it recognises that the map in Annex I made by France-Siam Commission 1904 and 1907, which have verified the limit of the territory between Cambodia and Thailand in the area of Preah Vihear temple. Secondly the court has also rejected the unilateral map made by Thai Cabinet resolution in 1962 to limit the vicinity of the Preah Vihear, he said. "Thirdly, the judgement said Thailand has to withdraw the troops to Thai territory beyond the limit of the border defined by the Annex I map," he said. Asked how large it is, the Cambodia minister said he cannot give precise quantification without the map and noted that Thailand and Cambodia have to come together to jointly define the vicinity of Preah Vihear. (Source: The Nation)


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Amnesty bill does not pass Senate

Posted by hasekamp on 12 November 2013 at 10:21 AM
Senators late last night rejected the - political highly sensitive - blanket amnesty bill in a bid to defuse political and social tensions. After 12 hours of debate, the senators shot down the controversial bill by 140 votes to 0. However, the move is not in line with the demand of Democrat Party protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban who urged the Senate to vote that the bill be classified as a financial bill and return it to the prime minister so that she kill the bill by refusing to endorse it. Without doing so, the government can revive the bill after a 180-day period. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Dead after massage

Posted by hasekamp on 11 November 2013 at 12:59 PM
A Russian tourist died after suffering a heart attack in the middle of receiving a massage in Bang Tao, on Phuket’#39;s west coast, yesterday. Sergey Taruraev, 37, was pronounced dead by medical staff at about 5:30pm, soon after his arrival at Thalang Hospital. An ambulance was dispatched by the hospital after being notified at 4:30pm, by staff at a massage salon at the southern end of Bang Tao Beach, that a man had gone into shock while receiving a massage. “quot;The rescue team tried to revive him and rushed him to hospital. The medical team tried their best, but could not save him,”quot; explained Lt Chatree Chuwichian of Thalang Police. Ms Taruraev told police that she came to Phuket with her husband and their son, and were staying at the nearby Chava Resort at Surin Beach. “quot;At about 3:30pm, I took our son shopping at Cherng Talay while my husband went for a massage,”quot; Ms Taruraev told police. The widow told told officers that Sergey had twice before undergone heart surgery. (Source: The Phuket Gazette) Despite the known heart problems of the Russian, we wonder what kind of massagee this was!


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Princess admitted to hospital

Posted by hasekamp on 11 November 2013 at 12:53 PM
HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has been receiving treatment at Chulalongkorn Hospital since Friday, according to the Royal Household Bureau. A statement released yesterday said the Princess was admitted with a stomach ache and fever. A diagnosis showed she had a ureteral stone. The medical team treating the Princess has advised that she stay in the hospital and temporarily refrain from working. The Princess is being given antibiotics and analgesics to relieve the pain. (Source: The Nation)


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Yingluck will protect sovereignty

Posted by hasekamp on 11 November 2013 at 12:38 PM
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra posted a message on her Facebook wall, asking public to have confidence that the government will fight for the Preah Vihear dispute case with their full effort to protect Thailand's sovereignty and national' s interests. (Note: Whatever she may mean by that). (Source: The Nation)
COMMENT: It does not look as if Thailand wil accept the ruling by the International Court of Justice easily. It looks in the Thai press as if the Thai population finds it has a better knowledge of International Law than the ICJ.


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Chamlong is back

Posted by hasekamp on 11 November 2013 at 12:35 PM
Chamlong Srimuang, a former leader of the People's Alliance for Democracy (which, we remind our readers, has very little to do with democracy), on Monday announced that he will play a leading role in the planned rally with the People's Army to protest against the International Court of Justice's ruling on Preah Vihear Monday evening. (Source: The Nation)


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BREAKING: ICJ: Monument is Cambodian

Posted by hasekamp on 11 November 2013 at 12:32 PM
Cambodia's sovereignty over a disputed temple on its border with Thailand extends to the natural promontory bearing the monument, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled Monday. However, the court rejected Cambodia's claim that it was also awarded a nearby hill, called Phnum Trap or Phu Makheu in Thailand, by the 1962 ICJ ruling that was being interpreted in Monday's judgment. Pheu Makheu is in the disputed 4.6 square kilometre area. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Protesters against amnesty bill

Posted by hasekamp on 11 November 2013 at 12:26 PM
Protesters led by the Democrat Party were reinforced by four other groups on Monday (November 11) hours ahead of the 6pm deadline for the bill to be removed from parliament. The deadline was set by the Democrat's protest leader and MP for Surat Thani, Suthep Thaugsuban. Mr Suthep has said he will tender his resignation as an MP later this evening.
(Note by Hasekanmp Net: we did not follow this issue, because it is a quite complicated issue in Thai politics. We will only occasionaally post about it.)
In Silom, demonstrators led by Dr Tul Sitthisomwang, leader of the anti-government multi-coloured shirts group, marched in protest to police headquarters in Pathumwan before moving on to Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue. Another group of protesters met at Asoke and stopped at police HQ before marching on to Democracy Monument. Two others rallying at Ratchadaphisek and Saphan Kwai were also making their way to the opposition's protest site. "Today is very important. We want all people to come out to show their power," said Ekkanut Promphan, rally spokesman for the Democrats. The rally will be peaceful, he added. Another key protest group led by the Anti-Thaksin coalition and the Network of Students and People for Reform of Thailand vowed to stay put nearby at Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue and Makkawan Rangsan Bridge. The group has decided to stay where it is while it maps out its next move, Nitithorn Lamluea, an advisor to the network, said. The large gathering of disparate protest groups comes as the Senate deliberates the controversial amnesty bill. Senators have been discussing the bill since 10am. The session could go on until around 11pm, Senate Speaker Nikhom Wairatpanich said before the meeting began. If it does draw on into the evening, Mr Suthep's 6pm deadline to have the bill removed from parliament would be missed.
Another contentious issue drawing protesters onto the streets is the International Court of Justice ruling on the disputed area around Preah Vihear Temple by in The Hague, which is expected on November 11. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Will water management plan lead to corruption?

Posted by hasekamp on 6 November 2013 at 14:40 PM
THE NAKHON SAWAN Chamber of Commerce warned yesterday that the government's Bt350-billion water and flood-management scheme would only open the door to widespread corruption. "We have been given little information about this ambitious plan, so we cannot say we agree or disagree with it," Wassana Assaranurak, a representative of the chamber of commerce, said. She was speaking at a public forum on the scheme held by the Office of the Prime Minister at Nakhon Sawan Rajabhat University. "It seems like the government does not want a real public hearing as it has shortened the process and decided not to provide information to people before they attend the forum," Wassana said. "We are worried that if people are not given true information before attending the hearing, this loophole will lead to corruption." (Source: The Nation)


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Another plane incident

Posted by hasekamp on 6 November 2013 at 14:36 PM
A THAI flight burst a tyre while landing in Chiang Rai yesterday morning. Nobody was injured in the incident. Smud Poom-on, director of THAI Emergency and Crisis Response Management Department, said all 197 passengers and 10 crewmembers were safe. The return flight to Bangkok was delayed by about 55 minutes due to the accident. (Source: The Nation)


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Their Majesties' health still improving

Posted by hasekamp on 6 November 2013 at 14:33 PM
Their Majesties the King and Queen's health condition continue to improve while they are recovering at the Kraikungwol Palace in Hua Hin, the dean of the Siriraj medical school said Monday. Doctor Udom Khachinthorn, the dean of the medical school, said His Majesty could navigate his electric wheelchair on his own and His Majesty navigated the wheelchair to feed fish at a pavilion on the seaside every evening. His Majesty also looked cheerful and always smiled and laughed to the officials, Udom said. Udom said Her Majesty's health condition has improved to the normal level and Her Majesty could walk for 700 to 800 metres at a time. Their Majesties have no schedule to return to Siriraj Hospital in the near future, Udom said. (Source: The Nation)


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Former Google CEO judges Thailand

Posted by hasekamp on 6 November 2013 at 14:28 PM
This country has what it takes to be a major player in Asia, says Google's former CEO, but not without an Internet that looks more like the rest of the world's. The rise of the Internet across the world has shifted into a new gear, where the next 5 billion to come online will be very different from the first 2 billion who used it. These people will live and work in countries like Thailand, and economies like Thailand's will be defined by the Internet as much as by their roads, schools or electrical grids. The question is, what sort of Internet will Thailand choose? Building an Internet for a country means more than boosting the number of devices and connections. It also means the amount of information online: business addresses, literature, government services, museum exhibits, maps, textbooks, recipes and… well, as we all know, anything can be online, and what people can do with the Internet counts just as much as how many phones there are. I find that a lot of businesspeople and officials from countries like Thailand ask "Why", when it comes to doing things online? As they build up their national Internet, they define the Internet according to all the things they don't want people to do with it. But if you focus mostly on what people can't do with the Internet, you're wasting a national opportunity. If you focus on all the good things they can do with it, you find they flourish and so does your country. To prove my case, all I have to do is point to the Thais who have looked at the Internet and, instead of asking "Why", asked "Why not?" That approach transformed their businesses and lives. (Source: The Nation)


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Starbucks vs Starbung

Posted by hasekamp on 6 November 2013 at 14:22 PM
The Intellectual Property and International Trade Court has urged Starbucks and a local coffee seller to try to settle trademark infringement dispute before the next hearing on Nov 18. The court on Monday dismissed the multinational coffee chain's petition seeking the arrest of the owners of the Starbung push-cart coffee business. Starbucks had sought arrest warrants for Damrong Maslae and his brother Damras for allegedly failing to comply with an injunction that bans them from using the Starbung logo displayed on their vending stall. The company's petition said an inspection found the vendors were still using the contentious logo while selling coffee between Oct 10 and 15. However, the petition was rejected during the court's first hearing on Monday. The duo's coffee stand, operated on the curbside on Phra Arthit Road, is called "Starbung Coffee" with a green-and-white logo that Starbucks claims infringes on its intellectual property rights. Mr Damrong maintains his logo is inspired by his religion with symbols that unmistakably represent halal, stars and the crescent moon. Green, he insisted, is the colour of Islam. Bung (shortened from Abang or older brother in Bahasa Malay) is a word generally used for a Muslim male. Mr Damrong and Mr Damras were not in court on Monday. The judge decided not to issue arrest warrants for the defendants and gave them another chance to appear in court to answer questions. The judge set the next hearing on Nov 18 at 10am and urged both sides to enter settlement talks. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Phuket taxi driver murdered

Posted by hasekamp on 3 November 2013 at 11:54 AM
The man who fatally stabbed a Karon taxi driver in Samkong early yesterday morning turned himself in today. Jirawat Kongtanote, 22, has been charged for the murder of his neighbor, Teeranan Phongkrathin. Mr Jirawat accepted the charge, saying, "We were friends and I stabbed him." The two men had a long-running argument that involved, at least in part, Mr Teeranan's anger that Mr Jirawat did not show him respect, said Phuket City Police Deputy Superintendent Prawit Engchuan. The stabbing occurred following a run-in between the two men. "I was riding my motorbike back home and saw Teeranan on his bike at the entrance to the street where I live," Mr Jirawat told police. "He called me to stop and said ‘Lately, you've been ignoring me when I talk to you.' "Then he punched me in the face," Mr Jirawat said. Mr Jirawat rode off and gathered some friends to look for Mr Teeranan. They found him drinking with a group at Samkong Shrine, said Lt Col Prawit. "Teeranan threw a bottle of water at me," said Mr Jirawat. "We fought, and I stabbed him once, and then ran away," he said. Mr Jirawat fled to the home of relatives in Sri Soonthorn. Police secured an arrest warrant for him yesterday afternoon, but by 9:30pm he had arrived at Phuket City Police Station with his parents to turn himself in. (Source: The Phuket Gazette).
We publish this, to show that in arguments in Thailand weapons are easier used than in many other countries.


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Phuket will have speed cameras

Posted by hasekamp on 1 November 2013 at 21:17 PM
Four speed cameras are being set up on Phuket roads in an effort to reduce road traffic accidents and increase awareness of speed limits, police said. The cameras may also help police solve crimes, as they may capture images of suspects fleeing crime scenes, said Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Saneh Yawila. The total cost of the cameras, which are expected to become operational by January, is 16.8 million baht, Col Saneh said. Two of the cameras will be deployed in Phuket City, and two in Thalang — one along Thepkrasattri Road and one in the Tah Chat Chai area, he explained. "We can't reveal the exact location of the cameras; it's an official secret," Col Saneh said. "When someone drives over the speed limit, the camera will record a video with a time stamp. From the video, we can capture a clear image of the driver and the car's license plate. Then a computer will check the plate number against our car registration records and print a speeding ticket," Col Saneh said. Police are in the process of setting up the cameras, testing them, and training officers how to use the system. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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