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Now also in Phuket

Posted by hasekamp on 30 March 2014 at 10:17 AM
The two factions of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) anti-government protesters in Phuket united today to march through Phuket Town and stage a motorcade along Phuket's west coast. The Krabot Rak Chart faction led by former Rassada Mayor Suratin Lian-udom massed in front of the Phuket Revenue Office on Narisorn Road, before joining fellow PDRC supporters led by Amnuay Kumban and Theerawut Sritularak in front of Phuket Provincial Hall at 9am. United, the protesters numbered about 1,000 people, said Mr Suratin. "Although we are divided in our opinions of how the protests should continue, we are united in that we want to show the government how many Phuket residents do not want them to be in power anymore," he told the Phuket Gazette. At 9am, the protesters marched from Provincial Hall then through the heart of Phuket Town coursing onto Montri Road to the Surin Circle (Clocktower Circle), then onto Rassada Road, Yaowarat Road, Phang Nga Road, left onto Montri Road to back to Provincial Hall. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Phuket's landscape being destroyed

Posted by hasekamp on 30 March 2014 at 9:51 AM
In the 1930s, parts of Phuket resembled a lunar landscape dotted with hundreds of pits, a legacy of its long history as a tin mining centre that brought hoards of Dutch, French, British and Chinese fortune-seekers to the island. But as demand for tin waned in the 1970s and '80s due to competition from other materials, the disused mines filled with water and turned into dozens of picturesque man-made lakes. Today, these lakes serve an important function in helping to meet the growing demands for non-drinking water from both residents and tourist resorts. But now a controversy has been sparked by the filling of one of the largest, Lake Srisuchart, by owner Boonkeng Srisansuchart, a prominent land developer on the island. The lake, in Muang Phuket's Rassada sub-district, once held 1.4 billion litres of water and supplied water to households and resorts in the area. But residents around the lake have watched in dismay over the past year as trucks have worked around the clock to dump landfill in the lake, reducing its storage capacity by at least 50%. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Suthep wants to block Parliament

Posted by hasekamp on 29 March 2014 at 21:12 PM
Parliament will not open until national reform is in place, anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban declared on Saturday. The head of the People's Democratic Reform Committee made the pledge after leading marchers from the last remaining PDRC base in Lumpini Park through the capital to the Royal Plaza. While the size of the crowd was in the tens of thousands, far smaller than earlier PDRC rallies, their determination appeared undimmed. "Today, I've paid respect to the statue of King Rama VII and I've come here to announce that we'll fight to bring back power to the people until the end and we'll not let this parliament function until national reform is implemented," said Mr Suthep. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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What will the Democrats do?

Posted by hasekamp on 28 March 2014 at 10:13 AM
The Democrat Party is expected to decide whether it will contest the new election at its annual general assembly Friday. It is likely the party will decide to steer clear of the election again, given that it could lose support from voters backing the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). Supporters of the Democrat Party and the PDRC are known to come from the same pool. The Democrats' two-day annual general assembly, which begins today, will see the party decide its position on the state of politics during this significant transition period. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Europe wants election date

Posted by hasekamp on 28 March 2014 at 9:59 AM
European Union on Friday called on all sides in Thailand to commit to dialogue to find peaceful and lasting solution to the ongoing political impasse. Spokesperson for Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, said in a statement. "The High Representative notes the ruling of Thailand's Constitutional Court of 21 March 2014 and calls upon the relevant authorities to set a clear timetable for new elections in line with Thailand's democratic and constitutional framework." She also called on all sides to commit to dialogue to find a peaceful, lasting solution and ensure that new elections involve the broadest possible participation. "The High Representative reiterates her urgent call on all involved to refrain from violence and act in accordance with democratic principles and the rule of law." (Source: The Nation)


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Suthep: no idea about neutral PM

Posted by hasekamp on 25 March 2014 at 8:33 AM
Anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban said today that he had never approached anyone to assume the interim premiership as the time is not ripe for the move. The secretary general of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) said the PDRC will not join talks with The Election Commission (EC) on the resolution of Thailand's political conflicts. Pro-government group of United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) or Red Shirts leader Nattawut Saikua has disclosed a list of people whom he claimed were candidates for an interim prime minister to replace Ms Yingluck Shinawatra in case she is indicted in connection with the rice pledging scheme. Mr Suthep said the PDRC has never approached anyone to become an interim prime minister and the Red Shirt's list of names derived from its own imagination. (Source:MCOT English news). Believe us, if Suthep would have anything to say about this, he and only he would become the PM without elections. Of course after elections he would not have a ghost of a chance.


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Crisis affects economy

Posted by hasekamp on 24 March 2014 at 18:44 PM
Four months after political conflicts spilled over into the streets, the economy has increasingly felt more of the pinch, with industries reporting a sharp drop in output and small businesses struggling to stay afloat while morale keeps sinking. An international ratings agency also warned if things keep going south, Thailand's credit rating, a gauge on how much Thai companies have to pay to get loans, may be next in the line of fire. The Industrial Confidence Index in February dropped to its lowest level in 56 months. Federation of Thai Industries chairman Phayungsak Chartsuthipol said the index dropped to 85.7 in February, down from 86.9 in January. The index failed again to pass the 100 confidence benchmark, which is calculated from purchasing orders, sales, production, costs and industry performance measures. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Abhisit in Court

Posted by hasekamp on 24 March 2014 at 17:53 PM
Democrat Party leader and former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva appeared at the Criminal Court on Monday to examine evidence in a case he and his former deputy Suthep Thaugsuban are charged with murder and attempted murder in the 2010 military crackdown on red-shirt protesters.The case involved the <span style="text-decoration: underline;">deaths</span> of Phan Khamkong, a 43-year-old taxi driver from Yasothon and Kunakorn Srisuwan, a 14-year-old boy, near Airport Rail Link's Ratchaprasong station on May 15, 2010. It also involves the injuries of Samorn Maithong, a van driver, on Ratchaprarop road. The Criminal Court earlier ruled that the deaths and injuries were caused by military gunfire ordered by the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) under the command of Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep. The court set today for the examination of evidence. The lawsuit was read to Mr Abhisit, who denied the charges. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Court declares February 2 elections void

Posted by hasekamp on 21 March 2014 at 13:23 PM
The constitutional court declared the February 2 elections void, because no candidates stood in 28 constituencies in eight southern provinces, and thus making it impossible to hold the election on the same day nationwide. The article requires that a general election must be held on the same day throughout the country. The court ordered the Election Commission to consult with the government on the new election date. The three minority judges who did not think the election was invalid were Chat Chonlaworn, Udomsak Nitimontree and Chalermpol Ek-uru. (Source: The Nation)Although the Suthep clan will be celebrating this ruring with ultimate pleasure, people with a bit more common sense will realize that Thailand is back where it was before the unrest and that this is not good for the economy and the future of the country.


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Not much foreign interest for Songkran

Posted by hasekamp on 21 March 2014 at 13:10 PM
Foreign Minister Surapong Tohvichakchaikul on Wednesday asked the foreign envoys to help invite their people to come to Thailand to enjoy the Songkran festival given that the state of emergency has already been cancelled." He was speaking after updating foreign diplomats on the domestic political situation, including the relaxation of security measures. He said 21 ambassadors and consuls from 60 countries and representatives of four international organisations attended the briefing at the Foreign Ministry's headquarters on Si Ayutthaya Road. Security was tight with police and soldiers guarding the safety of participants. Surapong said he explained the invocation and revocation of the emergency decree and use of the Internal Security Act (ISA). (Source:The Nation)We must say that we - apparently like most foreigners - do not have the slightest urge to visit Thailand now, after Suthep and his comrades made such a mess of the country.


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Learning is hard for PDRC

Posted by hasekamp on 21 March 2014 at 13:03 PM
The anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) on Friday reiterated it would continue demanding national reform prior to an election following the Constitutional Court's ruling that the February 2 election is unconstitutional and thus void. Thaworn Senneam, a top PDRC leader, said the ultimate goal is for national reform after which a general election will be held. He said he would lodge a complaint with the Election Commission today against the ruling Pheu Thai Party for illegally using the staterun Channel 11 in its political campaign. The PDRC will also file two petitions with the National AntiCorruption Commission (NACC), charging the government with supporting the red shirt separatist movement, and legislators from the Lower and Upper Houses with violating the law in passing the bill on the Bt2 trillion borrowing for infrastructure development. The caretaker government is approaching a deadend and the only solution for Thailand is national reform before holding a new election. (Source: The Nation)


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Another warrant for PDRC leader

Posted by hasekamp on 19 March 2014 at 15:07 PM
Thonburi Criminal Court on Wednesday approved a warrant for the arrest of core People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) member Chumpol Julasai, Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Tarit Pengdith said. Mr Chumpol is accused of leading protesters to obstruct advance voting in Phasi Charoen district on Jan 26. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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UDD afraid of civil war

Posted by hasekamp on 19 March 2014 at 15:03 PM
Newly appointed chairman of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) Jatuporn Prompan is deeply fearful of the possibility of civil war, while insisting the red-shirt movement is focused on peaceful means. This [civil war] is my top concern. As soon as there is a change [of administration] without respecting the majority, it is possible there could be chaos which could lead to civil war," he told the Bangkok Post. Mr Jatuporn has taken the helm of the red-shirt movement, replacing Tida Tawornseth who stepped down citing the need for new leadership in the current "special situation". Mr Jatuporn, who led the red shirts during protests to oust the Democrat-led government in 2010 which ended in bloodshed, insisted the UDD movement will avoid confrontation with anti-government groups. Mr Jatuporn conceded that some hard-core red shirts want to adopt more aggressive strategies which would carry the risk of violence. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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State of emergency lifted

Posted by hasekamp on 18 March 2014 at 19:05 PM
The caretaker cabinet decided on Tuesday to end the state of emergency in Bangkok and vicinity and replace it with the Internal Security Act (ISA) from Wednesday. The decision was widely expected after the Civil Court set strict conditions for the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) in handling anti-government protesters, saying their rallies to oust caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra were peaceful, in its ruling on Feb 19. The government was also under pressure from the business sector to lift the emergency decree. They argued that it damaged the tourism industry and many travellers had decided to visit other destinations instead. The current term of the decree had been due to expire on March 22. It has blanketed Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Bang Phli district in Samut Prakan and Lat Lum Kaeo district in Pathum Thani since Jan 22, after the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) accelerated its campaign against the caretaker administration. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Dangerous smog

Posted by hasekamp on 18 March 2014 at 16:16 PM
Provincial officials ordered the evacuation of residents from about 1,500 homes in Samut Prakan after a fire at a local garbage dump yesterday was declared a disaster area, and toxic fumes spread to many parts of the province and nearby areas in Bangkok. Kanit Iamrahong, the governor of Samut Prakan, said yesterday that three communities closest to the dump, with 1,480 families, had been evacuated. The governor declared Tambon Praeksa in Samut Prakan's Muang district, where the burning dump site is located, a disaster area. Many of the people evacuated were sent to the Tambon Praeksa administrative organisation office. The Pollution Control Department tested the air quality in areas around the burning dump and found harmful substances, such as sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and some carcinogenic chemicals. (Source: The Nation)


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Who wants to mediate?

Posted by hasekamp on 17 March 2014 at 13:32 PM
independent organisations are asking both caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Suthep Thuagsuban, secretary general of the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), to nominate 10 persons each in hope that the matching names can act as mediators to broker negotiation between the two sides. Leaders of the six independent organizations, namely the Election Commission, the National Human Rights Commission, the Office of the Ombudsman, the National Anti Corruption Commission, the Office of the Auditor-General, and the National Economic and Social Advisory Council hope they will get a reply from both sides within seven days. (Source: The Nation)


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Dangerous haze

Posted by hasekamp on 17 March 2014 at 13:20 PM
Concerned authorities are tightening measures to control open-burning, which they say has caused more than 400 forest fires since February. Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Chana Pangpibul on Monday met officials concerned to evaluate the provincial smog and haze situation as the level of dust particles measured in the upper Thai North reportedly exceeded safety levels. Many hotspots have been detected in Chiang Mai's Omkoi, Mae Chaem, Hot, Chiang Dao and Doi Tao districts. The province has also recorded more than 400 forest fires in February and March. Over 35,000 rai of farmland have been burnt by fires. (Source: MCOT online News)


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What do the agencies propose?

Posted by hasekamp on 16 March 2014 at 23:25 PM
We have published that several agencies are trying to solve the political crisis. What do they propose? The four points main points are:. Whether to proceed with holding elections or institute reform before the election, or propose new alternatives that can be agreed by all parties. What needs to be reformed before and after the election and what will be guaranteed to be successful. Whether the current government should continue to work in a caretaker capacity until the election or whether there should be a new caretaker government that is neutral and agreeable to all parties without violating the constitution. How to stop violence and incidents that hurt the country. Each side will be asked to present recommendations to the opposite group as well as guidelines for their own group. A six-point road map includes:. Keeping the public informed and allowing the people to take part in promoting and pressuring both sides of the political divide to enter dialogue. Meet and listen to the demands of each side. Synthesize proposals from both sides and then create new ones that are neutral and agreeable to them. Coordinate and hold secret negotiations to adjust the proposals of the two sides and make them as compatible as possible. Hold formal meetings between persons of the highest authority on both sides to find acceptable solutions. The meetings will be mediated by six independent institutions. Hold joint press conferences to inform the public of the results of the talks.(Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Foreigner thinks he should kill a shark

Posted by hasekamp on 14 March 2014 at 19:26 PM
Photos posted online of a foreigner killing a small shark at Kata Noi Beach prompted outrage, but the act was legal, a marine official said. The pictures, posted on the Go Eco Phuket Facebook page yesterday, showed a man in the act of killing the shark on a rock. The post read, "We just received these awful pictures, it happened yesterday in Kata Noi beach." Readers said they were shocked and appalled by the photos. Tanet Munnoy, chief of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Region 5 Chief, said, "We can't do anything to him." "The photos show the foreigner at Kata Noi. It's legal to fish there, and the shark he caught looks more than 50 centimeters long," said Mr Tanet. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Effort to get out of this mess

Posted by hasekamp on 14 March 2014 at 19:16 PM
Seven agencies made an effort to end the current political crisis. At the meeting, the agencies came up with a "road map" and framework of talks between the two conflicting sides, Election Commission member Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said yesterday. political conflict, a member of one of the organisations said. He added that the chiefs of those agencies would hold a joint press conference on Monday about their proposal at the Office of the Ombudsman in the Government Complex. This was the latest in a series of efforts from different organisations and social sectors, including private businesses, to end the conflict that has continued for more than three months. The seven independent agencies are the EC, Office of the Ombudsman, National Anti-Corruption Commission, Office of the Auditor-General, Office of the Attorney-General, National Human Rights Commission, and National Economic and Social Advisory Council. (Source: The Nation)


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Elephants Day

Posted by hasekamp on 13 March 2014 at 19:14 PM
Rituals and buffet parties were organised at elephant facilities across the country on Thursday to mark Thai Elephant Day. At Chiang Mai Night Safari, seven elephants, the stars of the safari, were treated as VIP guests with a buffet of their favourite fruits - banana, papaya, water melon, pineapple and apple, among others. After the feast, they were allowed to spend a longer time in a natural water source in the safari. At Elephant Nature Park in Mae Taeng district, a feast was organised for old and handicapped pachyderms and international volunteers helped feed 200 elephants on the premises. A similar activity was also held at Maesa Elephant Camp in Mae Rim with a similar number of elephants involved. (Source:The Bangkok Post)


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Six die in elephant accident

Posted by hasekamp on 12 March 2014 at 18:07 PM
Six people were killed and two others injured in a road accident involving three vehicles and three wild elephants in Rayong province on Wednesday morning. One of the elephants, a male, was gravely injured. Pol Capt Thanet Piumsorasak, duty officer at Wang Chan police station, said the accident happened about 5am. A white Mitsubishi Pajero, with a Bangkok licence plate hit one of the elephants as they were crossing the Ban Bung - Klaeng Road, between kilometre markers 71 and 72 in tambon Payubnai, Wang Chan district. The area is in near the Khao Anglunai Wildlife Preserve, near Khao Chamao National Park and the forested Cambodian border. The sports utility vehicle (SUV) was carrying four people. It hurtled off the road after the collision. The male driver and a female passenger, died on the spot. The other two later succumbed to their injuries in Wang Chan Hospital. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Poll re-runs in April

Posted by hasekamp on 11 March 2014 at 14:14 PM
The Election Commission on Tuesday agreed to set April 5 and April 27 for poll re-runs in constituencies where voting was cancelled on Jan 26 and Feb 2. Re-runs are necessary because protesters with the People's Democratic Reform Committee obstructed polling in several constituencies on both advance voting and general election day. EC secretary-general Puchong Nutrawong said the resolution for the poll re-runs had been based on a situation assessment made during the agency's March 7 meeting with governors and election committee chairmen from 15 southern provinces in Songkhla's Hat Yai district. Under the resolution, a poll re-run will be held on April 5 in Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala, Bangkok and Prachuap Khiri Khan province constituencies where voting was cancelled on Feb 2. Another poll re-run will be held on April 27 in the constituencies in Chumphon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phuket, Satun, Phangnga and Ranong where voting was blocked by PDRC protesters on Jan 26 and Feb 2. The date for a new election in the 28 southern constituencies where no candidates were able to register for the Feb 2 polls is yet to be set. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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20 provinces now drought zone

Posted by hasekamp on 11 March 2014 at 14:07 PM
The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) on Monday said 529 tambons in 91 districts of 20 provinces were now declared drought disaster zones. The affected provinces are Uttaradit, Sukhothai, Phrae, Tak, Nan, Phrayao and Phitsanulok in the North; Buri Ram, Maha Sarakham, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum and Si Sa Ket in the Northeast; Sing Buri, Saraburi and Chai Nat in the Central region; Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi and Prachin Buri in the East; and Trang and Satun in the South. Some of the areas have been struck by drought since October 2013. According to Thailand Integrated Water Resource Management, reservoirs in the country are now holding a total of 43,415 million cubic metres of water, 62% of their full capacity. However, only 19,912 million cubic metres of that amount, or 45%, is available for distribution.


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Some senators want order on Yingluck

Posted by hasekamp on 11 March 2014 at 14:04 PM
Twenty-seven senators on Monday petitioned Senate Speaker Nikom Wairatpanich to ask the Constitution Court to rule whether Yingluck Shinawatra's position as prime minister is still valid under Section 182 (7) of the constitution after the Supreme Administrative Court ordered the reinstatement of Thawil Pliensri as secretary-general of the National Security Council within 45 days. The 27 senators, led by Paiboon Nititawan, said Mr Yingluck might have violated Section 268 of the constitution in connection with the transfer of Mr Thawil. The petition was accepted by second deputy Senate speaker Anant Ariyachaipanich on Mr Nikom's behalf. Mr Anant said he would quickly examine the petition. If its format and signatories were verified, the petition would be forwarded to the Constitution Court for consideration.


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Court order to end rallies sought

Posted by hasekamp on 11 March 2014 at 14:03 PM
The Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) has filed a petition asking the Constitution Court to order the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) to end its protests. Pol Maj Yuthana Praedam, a CMPO official, filed the peition on Monday on behalf of peace and order centre director Chalerm Yubamrung. The petition states that the PDRC's protests had not been peaceful and without weapons, as required by Section 63 of the constitution, and it had carried out activities aimed at toppling a democratic administration and at capturing power through unconstitutional means in violation of Section 68 of the charter. The CMPO, therefore, asked the court to order the PDRC to end its protests. In addition to the 30-page petition, the CMPO also submitted to the court 60 large boxes containing 930 folders of documents and statements from people and police affected by the PDRC's protests.


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Another warrant for Suthep

Posted by hasekamp on 11 March 2014 at 14:02 PM
The Criminal Court on Wednesday approved a warrant for the arrest of Suthep Thaugsuban on charges of murder and attempted murder in ordering the crackdown on red-shirt protesters in April-May 2010 at the request of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI). The other defendant in this case is former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who has already been indicted on the same charges in the Criminal Court. Mr Suthep, who was director of the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) in 2010, had been summonsed to report to the prosecutors for indictment and his requests for a delay had earlier been granted. After several deferments, the DSI asked the court to approve a warrant for Mr Suthep's arrest and its request was approved today. The court has now approved three arrest arrants for Mr Suthep.


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Tourism prospects

Posted by hasekamp on 11 March 2014 at 14:00 PM
UK visitor numbers to Thailand rose at the start of the year despite plunging numbers from some other markets in the face of anti-government protests in Bangkok. However, "at some point there will be a cost" if protests continue, according to Martin Craigs, chief executive of the Bangkok-based Pacific-Asia Travel Association (Pata). The "Teflon Thailand" image the country has earned for its "amazing" ability to bounce back from crises can't last forever, he added. "Of course, traffic [to Thailand] has dropped off," he told the UK-based Travel Weekly in an interview at ITB Berlin, the world's biggest travel trade fair. "What is instructive is how huge the drop is according to [government] travel advisories. "Hong Kong dropped 60% from January 2013 to January 2014. But traffic from the UK was almost 10% up [in the same period]." Mr Craigs said the reason was simple: "Hong Kong's travel advisory put Bangkok in the same category as Syria." Mr Craigs reported further that hotel occupancy in downtown Bangkok at just 20-30%.


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No more shark fin soup

Posted by hasekamp on 11 March 2014 at 13:59 PM
Dusit Thani Bangkok announced yesterday that shark-fin soup would no longer be available at any of its eight dining establishments. Removal of the dish emphasises the luxurious brand's environmental drive. Shark fin soup is a highly prized dish in Chinese cuisine, but the brutal way in which the fins are sourced - they are cut from sharks which are dumped back in the ocean alive but eventually die - has created an increasing imbalance in the ocean as shark numbers dwindle. Many shark species are now endangered.


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Kill order by PDRC

Posted by hasekamp on 11 March 2014 at 13:58 PM
A man who claimed he was detained for five days, beaten, tied up and thrown into the Bang Pakong River by anti-government protest guards on Thursday accused protest co-leader Issara Somchai of issuing a "kill order" for him. Yuem Nillar, 33, a security guard with a private company in Bangkok, was talking to reporters from his bed at the Police General Hospital. "I ask [Mr Issara] one last time if he could spare my life. He said €˜no' and must throw me in the river, whether in the Chao Phraya or feed me to a crocodile that's it," Mr Yuem told reporters when asked to give details about the alleged kill order by the co-leader of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). He is having trouble breathing due to his lung being lacerated from the impact of a solid object. Mr Yuem confirmed he could recognise Mr Issara as he saw him and heard him clearly while speaking to him. He also said he could identify the guards involved in the incident if he sees them in person again.!<br /> Mr Issara, a former Democrat MP for Ubon Ratchathani, denied Mr Yuem's allegation, saying the PDRC guards did not detain, torture or throw him in the river.


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Suthep stops shutdown

Posted by hasekamp on 11 March 2014 at 13:31 PM
(Originally posted on 1 March 2014)The Bangkok Shutdown will be shut down this weekend but the fight to oust the Yingluck Shinawatra government is far from over, protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban announced on Friday night. All of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) rally stages will be dismantled and blocked roads cleared, and all activities will then be moved to Lumpini Park. Only four of the original seven rally stages remain: at Pathumwan, Asok, Silom and Ratchaprasong. The decision brings to an end six weeks of major disruptions at strategic locations across the capital as PDRC campaigners sought to force the caretaker government's resignation. "The PDRC would like to return traffic lanes to our Bangkok brothers and sisters," Mr Suthep told the crowd at the Pathumwan intersection on Friday night. Lumpini Park will be more "comfortable" for protesters, especially those who have come to Bangkok from the provinces, Mr Suthep says. "My sincere apologies to all Bangkokians for the inconvenience. It's just something we had to do." He said nobody had forced the PDRC to dismantle the sites, not even the "incompetent" caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her deputy Chalerm Yubamrung. "We decided to stop the 'Bangkok Shutdown' but we'll continue to close down government offices and businesses of the Shinawatra family as usual and our fight will be more intense," Mr Suthep said. "I'm determined to end this by March so we can start national reform, so please be patient."


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And now for something different

Posted by hasekamp on 2 March 2014 at 10:04 AM
The red-shirt United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) launched its mass counter-rally against anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) yesterday, aimed at mobilising supporters in the Northeast and the North. The UDD started its mass gathering yesterday at Thung Sri Muang in Udon Thani with a gathering of red shirts from eight upper northeastern provinces — Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Loei, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Bung Kan, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan and Sakon Nakhon. The rally will move on to Kalasin, Maha Sarakham and Khon Kaen today, UDD chairwoman Tida Tawornseth said. Ms Tida said the Udon Thani rally aimed to mobilise at least 50,000 supporters to kick off the campaign against the PDRC. It is expected more than 20,000 people would join the rally today. Next week, a northern campaign will launch in Chiang Mai. Other moves would be detailed later, Ms Tida said. “This campaign is our big rehearsal before we will meet those in Bangkok who do not love democracy,” she said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Suthep failed

Posted by hasekamp on 2 March 2014 at 9:58 AM
Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban bade farewell to the streets of the capital on Saturday as he prepared to consolidate the anti-government campaign at Lumpini Park. In a speech filled with jibes at "missing" Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and jokes about her "second capital" in Chiang Mai, Mr Suthep said the people of Bangkok needed a break. He said the Bangkok Shutdown campaign had served its purpose and now was time for a new push to oust the "stubborn" caretaker government. "If this was any other country in the world, we would have won by now," he said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)
NOTE: But this is Thailand and he failed, leaving government buidings in chaos and leaving the country with billions of Baht damage.


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Shooting at home rally leader's mother

Posted by hasekamp on 1 March 2014 at 11:56 AM
Unidentified gunmen opened fires at Khao Yai residence of mother of a rally leader who blew whistles at Thaksin Shinawatra’s ex-wife early Saturday morning, INN flash news reported. There were no reports of injuries and damage when the attack took place at 3am at residence of Khunying Sasima Srivikorn at Khao Yai in Nakhon Ratchasima province. Sasima is mother of Taya Teepsuwan who was among people who blew whistles at Khunying Potjaman Na Pombejra, Thaksin’s ex-wife last week. Unidentified gunmen opened fires at Khao Yai residence of mother of a rally leader who blew whistles at Thaksin Shinawatra’s ex-wife early Saturday morning, INN flash news reported.

There were no reports of injuries and damage when the attack took place at 3am at residence of Khunying Sasima Srivikorn at Khao Yai in Nakhon Ratchasima province.

Sasima is mother of Taya Teepsuwan who was among people who blew whistles at Khunying Potjaman Na Pombejra, Thaksin’s ex-wife last week. (Source: The Nation)


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Yingluck: Ready to die for democracy

Posted by hasekamp on 1 March 2014 at 11:53 AM
Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday that she was ready to "die protecting democracy", just as a soldier would devote his life fighting for his motherland. "I'm also the defence minister, which means I'm like a soldier who has to do his duty until the very last minute. A soldier has to keep protecting the last stand and be ready to die on the battlefield. I will die on the battlefield fighting for democracy," she said. Yingluck also said she was ready for negotiations with anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, along with other involved parties, through a mediator. However, she insisted she would not have the discussions broadcast live on television, as the veteran politician has been demanding. "I'm not a debater and I am not skilled at debating with Khun Suthep. I am sincere in wanting to see the country move forward, however. All of us have been feeling the pain; the country is in pain, the demonstrators are in pain and I do not wish to see any more violence," the premier said. Yingluck stressed that as caretaker prime minister, she remained the rule-keeper of both the country and its democratic principles, and therefore any talks with Suthep must be in line with democracy. (Source: The Nation)


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US want Thailand to investigate

Posted by hasekamp on 1 March 2014 at 11:46 AM
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday called on Thailand to investigate "politically-motivated" attacks, denouncing the deaths of several children as "horrifying." "As allies and close friends of the Thai people, we are profoundly saddened by the deaths and injuries that have shaken the country," Kerry said in a statement. "I call upon Thai authorities to investigate these attacks swiftly and bring those responsible to justice," he said, adding "violence is not an acceptable means of resolving political differences." Violence linked to the rallies has left 23 people dead and hundreds wounded in recent weeks, including four children killed in two separate grenade and gun attacks on opposition rallies last weekend. "As a father and grandfather, the death of several innocent children is particularly horrifying, and must at last be a wake-up call to all sides to refrain from violence, exercise restraint, and respect the rule of law," said Mr Kerry. He insisted that the United States does not take sides in Thailand's politics, saying it was up to the Thai people to resolve their differences. But he highlighted US concern about "the employment of other tactics that undermine Thailand's democratic values and processes, inhibit compromise, and further exacerbate political tensions." (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Abhisit found guilty

Posted by hasekamp on 1 March 2014 at 11:43 AM
The Central Administrative Court yesterday ruled that former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was guilty of dereliction of duty for failing to reinstate former police chief Patcharawat Wongsuwon. Mr Abhisit signed an order to dismiss Pol Gen Patcharawat in October 2009 after a National Anti-Corruption Commission investigation found him guilty of mishandling the 2008 protest by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) in front of the parliament building. Two people were killed and almost 500 injured in the police dispersal of PAD demonstrators. Pol Gen Patcharawat appealed against the sacking with the Police Commission, which ruled that Pol Gen Patcharawat was not guilty and that he must be reinstated as police chief. The Police Commission forwarded the resolution to Mr Abhisit to reinstate Pol Gen Patcharawat, but no reinstatement order was signed. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Suthep should end completely

Posted by hasekamp on 1 March 2014 at 11:41 AM
Caretaker Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul thanks anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban for deciding to dismantle most of the rally sites in Bangkok, and tells him that he will never triumph over the government. People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) secretary-general Suthep announced on Friday night that the all of the rally stages will be dismantled and blocked roads cleared, and all activities will then be moved to Lumpini Park next week. Mr Surapong, an adviser to the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO), said before attending a security meeting on Saturday that he wanted to thank Mr Suthep for returning traffic lanes and allowing businesses to resume normal operations. "If possible, I would like Mr Suthep to end the rallies entirely because the protest had continually been raised to higher levels but it had not succeeded. "Mr Suthep always changed the conditions and he still couldn't defeat the government. If he continues fighting, he would do more harm to himself," Mr Surapong said. The PDRC's decision to end the Bangkok Shutdown campaign was likely due to the declining number of protesters joining its rallies. Fewer people decided to join the PDRC rallies because of Mr Suthep's "undemocratic" demands, he said. He said the caretaker government will see if the emergency decree should be revoked in the capital. The enforcement of the decree will end of March 22. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Suthep stops shutdown

Posted by hasekamp on 1 March 2014 at 11:38 AM
The Bangkok Shutdown will be shut down this weekend but the fight to oust the Yingluck Shinawatra government is far from over, protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban announced on Friday night. All of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) rally stages will be dismantled and blocked roads cleared, and all activities will then be moved to Lumpini Park. Only four of the original seven rally stages remain: at Pathumwan, Asok, Silom and Ratchaprasong. The decision brings to an end six weeks of major disruptions at strategic locations across the capital as PDRC campaigners sought to force the caretaker government's resignation. "The PDRC would like to return traffic lanes to our Bangkok brothers and sisters," Mr Suthep told the crowd at the Pathumwan intersection on Friday night. Lumpini Park will be more "comfortable" for protesters, especially those who have come to Bangkok from the provinces, Mr Suthep says. "My sincere apologies to all Bangkokians for the inconvenience. It's just something we had to do." He said nobody had forced the PDRC to dismantle the sites, not even the "incompetent" caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her deputy Chalerm Yubamrung. "We decided to stop the 'Bangkok Shutdown' but we'll continue to close down government offices and businesses of the Shinawatra family as usual and our fight will be more intense," Mr Suthep said. "I'm determined to end this by March so we can start national reform, so please be patient." (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

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