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Third most suicides in Thailand

Posted by hasekamp on 28 February 2016 at 13:39 PM
BROKEN hearts and family issues were the most common reasons for Thais committing suicide, averaging around 300 a month or 4,000 cases a year, making it the third country with the most suicides, Public Health Ministry spokesman and psychiatrist Dr Yongyuth Wongpiromsan said. Japan reported the highest number of suicides, followed by Sweden and Scandinavian countries. Yongyuth, also chief adviser to the Mental Health Department (MHD), said the most commonly used methods were hanging (70 per cent), poisoning (20 per cent) and shooting (10 per cent). He said most suicides were committed by men. Major contributing factors included loss of self-control following excessive drinking of alcohol; health issues such as depression or chronic illness as many people, especially the elderly, did not want to be a burden on their children; family issues such as domestic violence; disappointment in love and the feeling of being abandoned or neglected, he added. (Source: The Nation)


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Songkran without water fights?

Posted by hasekamp on 28 February 2016 at 13:37 PM
The PM wants cooperation from public amid fears about severe drought and low water levels in country's dams. The government wants the famed Songkran Festival this year toned down to "rod nam dam hua" - pouring a small amount of water on the hands of revered elders to ask for blessings - in the face of the country's drought problem. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is concerned about the drought and has asked for public cooperation in saving water, while waterworks authorities are controlling water supplies, Government Spokesman Maj-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said yesterday. He said the government would soon campaign more to save water by asking the public to offer water blessings during Songkran instead of engaging in "water wars". Along with saving water, the premier wants to preserve the good tradition of the festival, he added. A spokesman dismissed reports that the entire country was facing severe water shortages. He said the Royal Irrigation Department reported there were 3 billion cubic metres of water in four major dams while there was enough water in dams for people's general use and for maintaining dams' bio-systems and for pushing out seawater along the Chao Phraya River basin area. He said most farmers knew there was insufficient water for agricultural purposes so those growing rice would be doing so at their own risk. The spokesman admitted some areas had been hit by severe drought, with drought disaster zones declared in 46 districts of 12 provinces. (Source: The Nation)


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Nok Air may lose its licence

Posted by hasekamp on 21 February 2016 at 12:55 PM
The government has warned Nok Air it could lose its licence if it allows passengers to be affected by its problems. Government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said after the cabinet meeting on Tuesday that the cabinet ordered the Transport Ministry to meet Nok Air chief executive Patee Sarasin to give the warning. The move followed Nok Air pilots' strike on Sunday which had called off nine flights and stranded hundreds of travellers at Don Mueang airport. If such an incident recurs, Nok Air's licence will be suspended and a third offence would result in the licence being terminated, Maj Gen Sansern said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Orangutan disappears from Phuket Zoo

Posted by hasekamp on 21 February 2016 at 12:44 PM
A 13-year-old orangutan that conservationists were fighting to free from Phuket Zoo has gone missing, confirmed Wildlife Friends of Thailand (WFFT). "Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division (NRECD) of the Royal Thai Police and Department of National Parks (DNP) agreed to investigate the case of Milo, agreeing to raid the zoo this morning," Edwin Weik, the founder and director of WFFT, told the Phuket Gazette. "DNP regional wildlife office found that Milo was probably illegally being kept at the Phuket Zoo, as there was no orangutan legally registered at the location." Police officers arrived at the zoo this morning only to find that Milo was gone, said Mr Weik. "All her photos with tourists were also removed from the zoo; they were even deleted from the Phuket Zoo's website," he said. "The owner of the zoo told the group of police and witnesses that he had released Milo into the Khao Phrateaw Non-hunting area, a small patch of rain forest on Phuket. He further claimed that is were he found her two years ago." (Source: The Phuket Gazette) REMARK: We find this story another reason NOT to visit Phuket Zoo. It is not a zoo, but an "attraction park" where animals are being trained to entertain the public. In most civilized countries, similar "attraction parks" are forbidden for decades already.


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No IS threat, but nevertheless higher security

Posted by hasekamp on 21 February 2016 at 12:36 PM
SECURITY at mass-transit systems and key attractions has been stepped up following a US embassy warning that Thailand is among the countries the Islamic State (IS) is targeting. The attractions include department stores and entertainment venues. Panitan Wattanayagorn, adviser to Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, questioned the timing of the warning. "The US has warned because there is a tendency for the IS to strike in different places but Thailand is not in the context of IS,'' Panitan said. Thailand has been on alert for terrorist attacks since the deadly Ratchaprasong bomb attacks last year, though it was not linked to IS, he said. "The US was a bit late to warn us. If it had warned us earlier [about the Ratchaprasong bomb attack] we would have addressed the case better,'' he said. He said he was not concerned about security measures at airports. He said border checks and water transport should receive more attention. (Source: The Nation)


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Up to 5 years of special rule

Posted by hasekamp on 21 February 2016 at 12:32 PM
PRIME Minister's Office Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana refuted claims yesterday that the government is trying to preserve its power via a mechanism to assist transition to a new administration - but insisted that the country should be under "extraordinary rule" for three to five years. A Cabinet proposal on the new charter to the Constitution Drafting Commission unveiled on Thursday included a special set of rules for the transitional period in a bid to avoid political turmoil. Suwapan said the recommendation stemmed from concern that the country would face another deep divide after an election, which could lead it to being a "failed state". Thus, the "special power" was crucial - as the administration would not be able to go on if there was more political unrest. However, the powers-that-be, as well as the CDC, would have to listen to the people before they decide on anything, the minister said. Pheu Thai Party secretary- general Phumtham Wechayachai said democracy lovers would never trust such a special mechanism. The political crisis which led to the military coup in 2014 was created by a group of people who have no faith in democracy, he said. Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said that Cabinet was concerned about the crisis the country had gone through before the May 22 coup. So, it recommended that the CDC find a solution to those problems. (Source: The Nation)


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Foreigners, beware of marriage laws

Posted by hasekamp on 10 February 2016 at 16:47 PM
Every year I learn a host of new rules and regulations which impact property investors in Thailand, sometimes positively but often detrimentally, a lawyer told the Phuket Gazette. This year I learned something new, which either by chance or good fortune, my clients over 13 plus years here have never experienced. Unfortunately, I view the situation as being severely detrimental and anti-foreign investment in nature. If you are foreign and you marry a Thai, and you agree between you that all of your marital assets will be split 50:50 and designated as such, the Thai Government has found a way under which, even post marriage, part of this agreement can be completely excluded. This does not relate to the well-known exclusion of land, but to condominiums. Condominiums are much heralded as generally being available and favorable for foreign investment. Unfortunately, this is not always so. Most of my clients over the years have bought their condominiums outright with cash from overseas, or had the cash in Thailand, and due to the quirky rules on ensuring you have a 'Foreign Exchange Transaction Form' had to move monies out and then move those monies back into Thailand again with the bank fees and potential foreign exchange losses thrown in for good measure. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Students to explain new charter

Posted by hasekamp on 10 February 2016 at 16:41 PM
Army chief General Teerachai Nakwanich Wednesday defended the move to have Thai Reserve Officers and Training Corps Students explain content to the public on the charter draft and was not to mislead them to vote yes or no in a public referendum. Teerachai told a meeting of Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha wanted him to explain that the students had been sent to tell the public of the significance of a public referendum on a charter draft. The students also explained to the people about reform content in the charter draft. They would also accept feedback and recommendations from the public over the draft. The questions from the public would be answered during the programme "Decipher the Charter". "The students volunteered to creatively educate the public about the draft with a "public mind" and conscience in the country's interest. They do not want anything in return," he said. (Source: The Nation)


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Yingluck to be proscecuted

Posted by hasekamp on 10 February 2016 at 16:37 PM
A Finance Ministry investigation panel has concluded that former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was guilty of dereliction of duty in the rice pledging case, but would not reveal the extent of her financial culpability. The fact-finding committee, chaired by Jirachai Moontongroy, reached its conclusion on Wednesday after an investigation that began in April last year. Mr Jirachai, a deputy permanent secretary at the Prime Minister's Office, said the probe looked into two issues: Ms Yingluck's role in overseeing and monitoring her government's rice-pledging scheme when she was prime minister and chair of the National Rice Policy Committee, and the estimated loss of 518 billion baht based on the closing of the programme's accounts on May 22, 2014 when the military seized power. Mr Jirachai said the panel agreed with the National Anti-Corruption Commission's findings that Ms Yingluck was negligent in failing to stop corruption and losses in the rice scheme. He refused to reveal the financial compensation to be sought from Ms Yingluck, saying the figure would be sent to Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Tourist dies on speedboat trip

Posted by hasekamp on 9 February 2016 at 13:14 PM
A Chinese tourist was recovered unconscious from the waters off Koh Racha while on a speedboat trip today. Ju Zekai, 24, was rushed back to Phuket and transferred to Chalong Hospital where he was pronounced dead. "Mr Ju was on a day trip around Koh Racha with his girlfriend and 20 other tourists. He had gone for a swim alone and was discovered unconscious, face down in the water by his girlfriend," explained Capt Wuttiwat Liang-boonjinda of the Chalong Police. "CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation] was administered, but those attempting to save him were never able to find a pulse." Mr Ju's body was taken to the better-equipped Vachira Phuket Hospital to determine the cause of death. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Thaksin warns his followers

Posted by hasekamp on 9 February 2016 at 13:10 PM
FORMER prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has told Pheu Thai Party politicians to be ready for a general election, which he expected to come soon. "Get ready for a general election to be held soon," Thaksin said on Sunday via a video call made to a group of former Pheu Thai MPs who joined a Chinese New Year celebration organised by Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan at her residence in the Lat Pla Khao area. The former prime minister also said Pheu Thai members in Bangkok have a team leader in Sudarat, who is a "competent lady". He also has branded the draft constitution as "shoddy" and claimed it would cause the country to become "backward - like Myanmar and North Korea". "The draft constitution is shoddy, giving too much power to the Constitutional Court. This will lead the country to be backward like Myanmar and North Korea," he said. "I left home 10 years ago but our country has stepped back 20 years,'' Thaksin said. He also harshly criticised the junta. (Source: The Nation)


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Storm in the South

Posted by hasekamp on 9 February 2016 at 13:07 PM
A STORM surge and subsequent flood in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat swept 10 vacant homes into the sea in the hard-hit Pak Phanang district early yesterday while many local schools were forced to close temporarily. Local officials said later that 88 villages in six districts had been affected by the big waves. The "highest tide rise in 50 years" saw waves up to four-metres hit Pak Phanang coastal areas, swamping homes, farmland and fishponds. It also made parts of the beachside Pak Phanang to Hua Sai Road in Tambon Khanab Nak and Tha Phraya impassable - a three-kilometre section had waves crossing the road and hitting dozens of homes. Army and disaster prevention and mitigation officials helped residents move belongings to safer grounds. (Source: The Nation)


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