The Manila Bulletin (www.mb.com.ph) reported that one day after the Philippines said China was preparing to start construction in the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, a spokesman for the Department of National Defense (DND) revealed that there are now approximately 75 concrete blocks spotted in the area, clear signs of new incursions.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, during the Congressional budget hearing on Tuesday had told legislators of the sightings of concrete blocks inside the shoal “which are a prelude to construction.”
DND spokesman Peter Paul Galvez, on the same day, said at least 30 concrete blocks off the Panatag shoal were spotted last August 31 during an aerial patrol by the Philippine Navy. Three Chinese coast guard vessels were also seen in the area.
Asked how the Philippines will prevent Chinese construction in the shoal, Galvez could only say: “Well at the moment we have the arbitration, our filing of our protest, so we are proceeding with it.”
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said despite fresh violations by China, the government remains committed to pursuing a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea.
4 Sep 2013
The National Police Office spokesman has threatened to execute tougher laws in case rubber protesters in the South intensify their protests to blockade airports and significant government offices.
Spokesman Pol Maj-Gen Piya Uthayo said if protesters blockade government offices, airports then they will be dealt with tougher laws, especially terrorism charge will be imposed on the wrongdoers.
He said blockading these important facilities would have a wide impact on the public and that violators would be dealt with toughly.
He also said that investigation by local police showed that protesters who blockaded the bypass 417 route, 500 meters close to the Surat Thani airport, are not farmers who are affected by the price falls.
Instead they are the group which tried to incite rubber protesters for political gains.
4 Sep 2013
Federation of Thai Industries says blockades of the southern highways and roads by rubber farmers have not yet affected tourism.
FTI vice president Ithirit Kinglek said that the scattered protests affected only some routes while hotels reported no cancellation or postponement of room bookings in Krabi and Phuket provinces.
However if protesters move to block airports, then it will have immediate impact on tourism, he said.
4 Sep 2013
International football assistant referee Thanom Borikut was shot and seriously wounded while he was on the way to the Sports Authority of Thailand on Ramkhamhaeng road.
He was immediately rushed to nearby Ramkhamhaeng hospital by a guard.
He went to the SAT to have a physical test prior to decide for Thai Premier League games.
By late today doctors said that he was out of danger but still has to remain in hospital for treatment of shot wounds on his body and leg.
It was still unknown if what is the cause of the shooting.
But according to Hua Mark police, witnesses saw two men riding in a motorcycle and the pillion rider fired four shots at Thanom, only two hit him.
Thanom was a former Lopburi-based Special Warfare Center soldier but resigned to take up the football referee profession. He spent two years to upgrade himself from 3rd grade referee to second grade and to international level in 2002 when he named an assistant referee to FIFA competition.
He was recently appointed to be the only Thai referee to decide in the final round of the World Football matches in South Africa.
4 Sep 2013
Bangkok railway station or Hua Lumpong turned chaotic early this morning when all trains could neither depart or enter the station after its railway control system broke down.
State Railway of Thailand governor Prapat Chongsa-nguan said the control system of all rail lines broke down disrupting all train departures and arrivals to the station.
But he said that SRT mechanics were hastily repaired by the control system and expected to get it back to normal very soon. All train arrivals and departures were late behind schedule several hours.
By late this morning, SRT said that the problem has been fixed and train services have return to normal again at 8 a.m.
3 Sep 2013
Former rector of Ramkhamhaeng university Professor Rangsan Saengsuk was acquitted of malfeasance in office charge by the Appeal Court today in a case which he and 10 other defendants was charged by a colleague.
A total of 11 executives of Ramkhamhaeng university, including the former rector Prof Rangsan, was accused by Pol Lt Charun Thaneerat, a former lecturer of the university’s education science faculty, of malfeasances in offices.
The Court of First Instance found the former rector and another executive Deputy Professor Raweewan Srikramkran guilty of the charge and sentenced each of them two years in prison and a fine of 20,000 baht each. Another executive Deputy Professor Prasart Sa-ngasri, the deputy rector, was given a one year imprisonment and a 10,000 baht fine. But imprisonment term was commuted to a two-year probation instead.
At today’s hearing of the appeal, the court reversed the first court’s verdicts and acquitted all of the 11 executive of the charges after finding the supported evidence were weightless.
Prof Rangsan said after hearing the ruling that he has to countersign in a research work of the plaintiff as a rector on duty. But he said that he was glad to be cleared of the charge by the court and believed that there was something in behind the case as some tried to persecute him at the time he was applying as a candidate for the rector post.