4 Jun 2018
1:13 pm

Admitting that he is breaking his promise to stay away from politics, former key leader of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) Suthep Thuagsuban has jumped back into the political arena as a key founder of the Ruampalang Prachachart Thai party which many believe is being set up to support Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha’s return to power after the general elections.

Suthep insisted that he will not contest in the elections but “will serve public interest”.

Mr. Suthep showed up along with the other founding members at the first meeting of the Ruampalang Prachachart Thai party on Sunday. The other founding members include former Bank of Thailand governor M.R. Chatumongkol Sonakul, former member of the National Reform Council Prasarn Marukapitak, vice dean of the Social Innovations Faculty of Rangsit University Suriyasai Katasila and Anek Laothammatat, former chairman of the political reform committee.

Mr Suthep told party members that he had talked with a wide range of people about joining a “real party of the people” and found several of them never expecting that they would actually enter politics. He cited the case of M.R. Chatumongkol whom he described as “a loud-mouthed official who dislikes politicians.”

He said the former central bank governor approached him to ask whether there were people who seriously wanted to set up a political party with the goal of serving public interest because he didn’t think there would be this kind of people since the mass protests in 2014.

The former Democrat heavyweight said he was very politically cautious after he resigned as an MP in 2013 to launch the mass protests against the Yingluck government. At that time he vowed not to contest an election or to accept any political post.

“But when our brothers who share similar ideology wanted to set up a party which will truly serve public interest , I knew that I must join them although I also

knew that I am a weak point of the party that will be subject to criticism that I swallowed my own words,” he said, adding that, from now on, he will not be in the background “but will stand alongside with the people”.

At one point Suthep was seen fighting back tears as he recalled the sufferings of many people joining the mass protests which he led and were subject to violent attacks by unknown militants.

Once the ban on political activities is lifted by the junta, Suthep said he would embark on a nation-wide campaign for the party. Suthep said that on his campaign trail, he will be wearing the same pair of his trademark sneakers which he used during the protests against the Yingluck administration in 2014.

Suthep’s latest political stunt has drawn criticisms from his critics. Key members of Pheu Thai Party chastised him for going back on his words and having hidden political agenda from the start.

4 Jun 2018
1:08 pm

Besides the crystal clear water and white sand, the Petra Island of the Petra Islands marine park in the southern-most province of Satun boasts a unique colourful stone beach filled with pebbles of diverse colours – hence its fitting name the “Five Coloured” stone beach.

The colourful stone beach covers just a small stripe of the beaches of the Petra island. It is located near the Khao Toh Ngai checkpoint. The colourful pebbles are usually submerged, but they come into full view to wow most visitors especially during the low tide.

Most of the pebbles on the beach are of five colours:

Red pebbles which are believed to date back to about 500 million years ago of the Cambrian Period. The red colour came from iron-oxide in the pebbles.

The grey or blue pebbles came from limestone formation of the Ertovixien Period which was said to be about 470 million years ago and the colour stemmed from alien matters in the pebbles.

The yellow or brown pebbles are eroded sandstone whereas the white pebbles which are quite common in most beaches are mainly quartz.

The “Five Coloured” stone beach is a part of the Satun Geopark, the first of its kind in Thailand which was endorsed by Unesco in April this year. The geopark covers four districts of Thung Wa, Manang, La-Ngu and Muang.

As with all Unesco global geoparks, the Satun Geopark has been granted the Unesco status for a 4-year period from this year until 2021 after which a re-validation process will take place.

Satun Geopark boasts a diverse abundance of fossils from the Paleozoic Era as well as diversified Karst topography. There is also evidence of submerged

landscape dating back more than 500 million years, a time when early organisms thrived. It is also home to Thailand’s largest cave, Phu Pha cave.

4 Jun 2018
12:57 pm

The second pilot whale has succumbed to its death after it was kept for treatment and observation for four days by a team of veterinarians and villagers who tried their best to save its life.

Photo: ThaiWhales’ Facebook page

The vets later cut open the whale’s stomach and they were shocked by the finding in the stomach – 85 plastic bags weigh about eight kilogrammes which were the cause of its death like several other dolphins and sea turtles which were earlier found dead because of plastic bags in their stomachs.

The 4.5 metre long pilot whale beached on the shore in Klong Natap, Tambon Natap, Chana district of Songkhla on May 29.  Villagers and vets from the marine and coastal resources research centre caught the mammal and put it in a stretcher floating in the sea to prevent it from drowning and, at the same time, to facilitate care and treatment.

But they could not save the beast.  Four days after, it died.

Photo: ThaiWhales’ Facebook page

The followings are an account of the final day of the poor whale which was posted on Facebook page of ThbaiWhales:

“May 31, I got up between 2-3 am to change shift with Mor Big (a vet) from the marine and coalstal resources research centre in Phuket.  Mor Big told Mor Aeh, another vet, who was resting in a tent that the whale’s condition appear to be improving.

“May 31, the team got up at about dawn with the vets preparing medicine and to assess the beast’s condition as officials take turns to lift up the whale.   Weather is good, but very sunny.  Mor Big walks up with a piece of plastic bag soaked in stinking fluid – the same foul smell when a whale was cut up.  He said the whale shook violently and then he found this plastic bag, but no one was sure whether it came out of the whale’s mouth or not.  But then everyone in the tent started to understand the cause of the whale’s sickness.

“In the afternoon, the vet on duty shouted from the sea that the whale’s condition has worsened, shaking violently.  Almost everyone was in the water to help out…in that moment of life.”

Photo: ThaiWhales’ Facebook page

The three vets tried to administer medicine while about ten people were in the sea water to keep the whale from shaking which might cause water to flow into its blowhold to the extent that it might choke.

But the whale shook violently trying to throw out the plastic bags inside its stomach.  In the meantime, the vets tried to help the whale throw out.

Photo: ThaiWhales’ Facebook page

Another ThaiWhales’ Facebook page post said an official observed the whale’s breathing and didn’t feel it was breathing for up to 10 minutes. Another official then shouted to report that he didn’t feel the pulse of the whale.  A CPR was later administered using a special device.  A few more CPR were administered, but the life sign didn’t return.

The whale remains breatheless and everyone removed the rope tied around the whale and tried to bring it ashore to save its life.  But it didn’t respond and its heart stopped beating.

4 Jun 2018
12:28 pm

Former assistant abbot of Wat Samphanthawongsaram Phra Phrommedhi, who is wanted on embezzlement charges, has been arrested in Germany after having escaped an arrest warrant in Thailand two weeks ago via the Laotian border.

Phra Phrommedhi, now known as Chamnong Dhammajari after he was stripped of monastic rank by His Majesty the King, was reported to have failed in passing an immigration check at Frankfurt airport after German immigration authorities were alerted of the arrest warrant issued by Thai Interpol.

According to Thai Interpol, they had alerted several foreign countries via Interpol that Phra Phrommedhi was a wanted fugitive.

Phra Phrommedhi and several other high-ranking monks are accused of embezzling state funds for temples. Five senior monks were stripped of monastic ranks by the King, and five have been arrested on May 24.

Phra Prommedhi and former abbot of Wat Sa Ket Phra Phromsitti, however, managed to escape.

But Phra Phromsitti, now known only as Thongchai Sukkho, turned himself up to police last week.

However, Phra Phrommedhi had escaped via the Laotian border from Nakhon Phanom with help from his disciple.

The disciple who is a local businesswoman was detained for questioning by police.

According to her confession, she helped the monk cross over the Mekong River from Nakhon Phanom to Laos and from there to Cambodia and Vietnam. From the Ho Chi Minh airport, he boarded a flight to Qatar. And from Qatar, he flew to Germany.

30 Apr 2018
9:31 pm

The military has prepared a handbook on crowd control to be distributed to officials on the ground to brace for a rally planned to be staged by the pro-election activists on May 5 and May 19-22 to mark the 4th year anniversary of the coup in 2014.

Besides the handbook on crowd control which will conform with international standard practice, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon who is in charge of security affairs also instructed the military to coordinate with the Justice Ministry to ensure that the military’s operation does not go against the principle of human rights.

Mr Rangsiman Rome, core leader of the pro-election activists, said that the rally would be the biggest the group had ever held to commemorate the coup in 2014 and the activists would stay overnight at the protest site.

Rangsiman Rome

Defence Ministry spokesman Lt-Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich said that the military would employ the “Korakot 52” plan to deal with the protest while the Bangkok’s peace-keeping force would be on alert in barracks and would be deployed once the situation warrants their deployment.

He said that the government was not worried with the protest and was confident that the protest would be peaceful and would not spiral out of control like the Black May event in 1992.

30 Apr 2018
8:33 pm

Twelve of 14 men who fired gunshots into a roadside bushes during a wedding ceremony in Khao Chaison district of Phatthalung province on April 23 turned themselves in today (April 30) to the district police to acknowledge the charge of firing guns in public.

The suspects told the police they took turns to fire six guns into the bushes and they recorded video clips of the course of shooting in order to keep them as a memory.  They said they spent about 40 bullets in the shootings.

The six guns were also handed over to the police.

They also said the two others were travelling to upcountry provinces and would surrender in the near future.

Pol Col Trivit Sriprapa, the deputy commander of the provincial police, said although the suspects confessed and apologized for their brazen act, police would still charge them with firing guns in public without good reason.

บอกแล้ว เตือนแล้ว ไม่ฟัง.!! ที่ไหนละเนี้ย!ขอบคุณคลิป/ที่มา : @ปัญจะ อุบลสอาด

Posted by ชยาภัสร์ แซ่อือ on Sunday, 29 April 2018

30 Apr 2018
6:04 pm

Prominent labour rights activist and former editor of Voice of Taksin magazine Somyot Prueksakasemsuk had his first taste of freedom after he was freed from jail this morning (April 30), having served his seven-year imprisonment on lese majeste charge.

Mr Somyot who was former core leader of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), or the red-shirt movement, was embraced by his son and daughter who were at the exit gate of Bangkok Special Prison to welcome him.

After his release from prison, he briefly told the media in front of the prison that he would carry on with his political activity to demand the restoration of democracy.  He added that he would write a book about his hard life and mistreatments behind bars.

Somyot was arrested by immigration officials at Aranyaprathet border checkpoint on April 30, 2011 after he was charged by the Department of Special Investigation with lese majeste over an article in the Voice of Taksin magazine written by Mr Jakrapob Penkair under the pseudonym of Chit Polachan.

During the court trial, Somyot, then the magazine editor admitted to the court that he didn’t read every article to be printed, including the one by Chit Polachan, because the latter was a wellknown figure, a former minister and reliable. He also defended that Chit’s article did not offend the Monarchy as charged, but was critical of the feudal system.

On January 23, 2013, the Criminal Court found Somyot guilty of lese majese and sentenced him to ten years in jail.  But during the trial of the lese majeste case, the fomer UDD core leader was jailed one year for defaming Gen Saprang Kalayanamit, so the combined sentence of the two cases was increased to 11 years.

The Supreme Court upheld Somyos’s lese majeste conviction on February 23 last year, but commuted the 10-year jailterm to six years which he had fully served on April 30, 2017.  But he continued to be locked up behind bars to serve the one-year jailterm on the defamation conviction against Gen Saprang until April 30 which was the last day of his imprisonment.

30 Apr 2018
11:16 am

A chief monk at Tha Utane district of Nakhon Phanom province had been defrocked for visiting a Karaoke club in Mukdaharn province in civilian clothes.

The chief monk was identified as Phra Maha Samai Sithichayo, the chief monk at Tha Utane district.

According to Mukdaharn police, they inspected a karaoke parlour last Friday night on a routine inspection of night entertainment venues, and came across a visitor inside the parlour.

The man resembled a chief monk in Tha Utane district who a police officer in the payrol team was familiar with.

The officer then took his picture and sent it to his police colleagues at Tha Utane to confirm.

They later confirmed the man was actually the chief monk at Tha Utane district identified as Phra Maha Samai Sithichayo.

The chief monk was later escorted to Wat Sribunruang temple and defrocked by senior monk on the same night.

Interviews with local residents by Thai PBS in Tha Utane showed most of them didn’t believe the chief monk visited the Karaoke parlour reasoning he was a social worker and developer who never had such inappropriate behaviour.

But a novice who had close association with the chief monk said on Friday night he was called to accompany the chief monk to Mukdaharn.

The chief monk didn’t tell him what he would be doing there, saying only that his brother would arrive at 8.00pm to pick them up to Mukdaharn.

The chief monk was dropped at a petrol station in Mukdaharn, he said.

He added that it was until in the morning when he heard that the chief monk was caught at a karaoke parlour and was defrocked.

 

 

 

 

 

30 Apr 2018
10:54 am

Bangkok- Khanom bus ran off Highway 41 and crashed into roadside tree injuring about 20 passengers on Monday morning.

The bus from Bangkok was on the way to Khanom district of Nakhon Si Thammarat with 36 passengers when it slid off the highway in Chaya district of Surat Thani at 5.00am, and crashed into tree by the roadside and flipped over.

 

About 20 passengers were injured.

Rescue and relief officials were alerted and arrived at the scene shortly afterwards. All were admitted to Chaiya and Thachana hospitals for treatment.

Bus driver Somsak Jaijang, 55, claimed a 10-wheeler cut in his right lane too close in overtaking his bus, forcing him to swerve to the left to avoid hitting it.

The bus then slid off and fell into the ditch before striking a tree and flipping over.

But highway police said they suspected his claim as GPS tracking system of the bus showed he drove over restricted speed limit twice before the incident.

Besides they also found no tyre traces that showed the bus driver had applied the braking system before it went off the road.

He was booked for speeding, police said.

29 Apr 2018
10:12 pm

A medical doctor and his girlfriend are next to be summoned by the police for interrogation for their role in promoting Magic Skin slimming food supplement products.

The national deputy police chief Pol Gen Veerachai Songmetta

The national deputy police chief, Pol Gen Veerachai Songmetta, said Sunday that said that summonses had already been issued for Dr Piyapong Hovilailuck, better known as Doctor Bond Take Me Out, and Ms Paveena Namsongkram for questioning.

He alleged that the two were with one of the eight arrested suspects, Mr Kasit Worachington, to help promote Magic Skin products through Mr Kasit’s Facebook page.

He said the three were required to report to the police for interrogation on May 11.

Pol Gen Veerachai hinted that the conduct of Dr Piyapong and Ms Paveena in promoting the products could be considered to be giving false statement to mislead the public – an office which is liable to three years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of 30,000 baht.

He described the duo as celebrities who are wellknown among the public from their “Take Me Out” TV programme which has a large following in the social media circle.