Thailand's national police commissioner General Somyos Phumphanmuang replied to a reporter's question about why Thai police have not permitted famed forensics pathologist and colorful hairstylist Dr. Porntip Rojanansunand to join police efforts to resolve the Koh Tao murder case. See HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the Korat Post Online editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email. Note that the editor of the Korat Post translated core material for Dr. Porntip's autobiography The Dead Do Talk, available at Amazon http://amzn.to/1y2Qizk for $10.00.
BANKGOK, Matichon newspaper
7 October 2014
Royal Thai police responded to a reporter's question as to why Dr. Porntip had not been involved in forensics examination of the embarrassing murder case of two British tourists on the Thai island of Koh Tao. Speaking to a gathering of reporters police commissioner Somyos Phumphanmuang indicated that he was friends with Dr. Porntip [For knowledgeable Thailand observers, this kind of comment can easily mean we still speak to one another,.] and after saying he had spoken of the case via phone with Dr. Porntip and that police had a commander, Thawatchai, send DNA samples to her. He then asked Thawatchai at the press conference table, "We sent DNA to her, right?"
The explanation was not transcribed by Matichon but appears on the paper's website in video format at http://www.matichon.co.th/news_detail.php?newsid=1412679584. Roughly Thawatchai stated that in fact "officials" - implication is that they are police - had advised to first proceed (meaning 'no' to whether samples were sent) with formal steps that involved the universities of Songkla Chulalongkorn, and Chiangmai, so as to proceed with formal steps and that was what has led to date with actual DNA samples happened to have not been sent to the author/pathologist. Headlines.
Great balls (tracers?) of fire!
Once again the legendary fireballs of Nong Khai are in focus as the Tourism Authority of Thailand and other agencies flaunt "magical" fireballs rising from Mekong waters flowing past the province and separating it from Laos. Not everyone is a fan of the supposed phenomenon, citing scientific observations that the 'fireballs' are rather tracer bullets fired from the other side of the river. According to skeptics, when the crowd on the Thai side ooh s and ahs, the din drowns out the echo of gunshots. See HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the Korat Post Online editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
NONG KHAI, 7 October 2014 (NNT) – Many visitors are arriving in Nong Khai province to witness the Naga fireball phenomenon, which occurs at the end of Buddhist lent around 5th-11th October 2014. A lot of people from all over Thailand are now traveling to Nong Khai. Many of them visit important attractions in the province, such as the Wat Po Chai temple where the Buddha statue of the province is enshrined. Some also cross the border to visit Laos. Most accommodation is now fully booked. The local administration and related agencies have put up signs giving travel directions, indicating parking spots, and recommending viewing areas for the Naga fireball phenomenon which is expected to occur on Wednesday night (8th October 2014).
This morning, traffic on Mittraphap Road between Udon Thani and Nong Khai was very busy. Many people traveled to Nong Khai today in order to check-in to their pre-booked hotel rooms. Hotels on the side of the Mekong River were fully booked, months before the annual Naga fireball season. It is expected that the local economy and tourism will be boosted by 30-40% in comparison to last year. This has the benefit of circulating more money in the province. The province has cooperated with hotel owners to control the rise in prices, so as not to be too expensive.Headlines.
"I want...I'd like..." Coup Head .
5 October 2014
Khao Sod (http://www.khaosodenglish.com/detail.php?newsid=1412429195§ion=) The unnatural methods employed in Thailand these days to induce love and honor and respect and item one on a twelve point list, loyalty, bespeaks a fundamental wrongness with Thai culture, exemplified and perhaps best viewed by a good overview of Thainess. Thailand's current leadership has in fact taken the bear out of the forest and allowed him to roam the suburbs. See HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the Korat Post Online editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
BANGKOK — Junta leader and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has encouraged Thais of all different faiths to embrace his teachings, which he has spelled out in a list of "Twelve Values."
"I want every Thai brother and sister to use my Twelve Values to guide their way of life," Gen. Prayuth said in his weekly televised address on Friday. "The Twelve Values are compatible with the principles of all religions, be it Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism."
The general also claimed that the country will have "peace and happiness" if Thai people strictly practice the Twelve Values he bestowed to them in July. "So I'd like to ask every religion to help publicise these Values, and to help devise teaching for people who have different religions," Gen. Prayuth told the nation. The Twelve Values are the following:
1. Loyalty to the Nation, the Religion, and the Monarchy
2. Honesty, sacrifice, endurance, and noble ideology for the greater good
3. Gratitude for parents, guardians, and teachers
4. Diligence in acquiring knowledge, via school studies and other methods
5. Preserving the Thai customs and tradition
6. Morality and good will for others
7. Correct understanding of democracy with the King as Head of State
8. Discipline, respect for law, and obedience to the older citizens
9. Constant consciousness to practice good deeds all the time, as taught by His Majesty the King
10. Practice of Self-Sufficient Economy in accordance with the teaching of His Majesty the King
11. Physical and mental strength. Refusal to surrender to religious sins.
12. Uphold the interest of the nation over oneself.
The Ministry of Education has already devised a poem inspired by the Twelve Values, which students at public schools across the country will be required to memorise. The Ministry is also working to turn the Twelve Values into a pop song. Gen. Prayuth, who wields a near absolute power as the Prime Minister and the chairman of the junta's National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), is increasingly seen as an authoritarian ruler with a growing cult of personality. He has banned all dissent and public protests against his military government, trying violators in military court.
Thailand's state media has been portraying the general as a popular, wise, capable leader who reluctantly staged the coup on 22 May to save Thailand from imminent disaster. Gen. Prayuth regularly lectures the nation about morality during his weekly addresses. In addition to his promoting the Twelve Values last night, Gen. Prayuth also urged all Thai Buddhists to stop drinking alcohol altogether even after the three-month Buddhist Lent ends next week; Buddhists are encouraged to refrain from consuming alcohol during Lent.
"Next Wednesday is the end of Buddhist Lent. I, in the name of Prime Minister and the Government, would like to express my admiration to all of you who have refrained from drinking alcohol and committing other immoral acts during Lent," Gen. Prayuth said. "But even after the Lent is over, you should not come back to it. If you can quit, please quit right away." He continued, "If you don't drink alcohol or commit other immoral acts, you will have a good health, the nation will progress, and our citizens will be strong. You won't be a bad example to your children in the future. You know all of this."
Dual Nationals in Thailand
27 August 2014
The Korat Post Editorial (Published in the United States of America) Anyone who travels into and out of Thailand, and who holds both Thai and US nationality, has a travel advantage that single passport holders do not. For example, Thai passports are great for Asian travel but not for travel to the US or Europe for visa reasons. Read our editorial today to see how it's done and what to be careful of not to do. Read main headlines story below.
PREM VISITORS REFRAINED
26 August 2014
From Khao Sod online
Privy Councilor and former Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda has reportedly requested all senior military officers to refrain from visiting him on the occasion of his 94th birthday today.
Gen. Prem is the chief adviser to His Majesty the King and considered an extremely influential figure in Thailand’s top military and palace circles. He is traditionally visited by high-profile politicians and commanders of the armed forces on his birthday.
This year, members of the military junta were also expected to visit Gen. Prem at his residence in Thewet district — just next door to the junta's headquarters — but his personal aide said the 94-year-old retired general has requested all visitors to stay away. "[Gen. Prem] has requested a private birthday event this year," said the aide, Lt.Gen. Phitsanu Phuttawong. "He has already informed secretaries of each armed force to send birthday cards or bouquets as greetings, but they don't have to personally show up."
The Privy Councilor made the request because he "did not want to bother" junta leader and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, or other members of the junta's National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), Lt.Gen. Phitsanu said. "Each commander has a busy schedule and many missions in administering the country," Lt.Gen. Phitsanu explained. Officials said Gen. Prem has also dispatched a personal secretary to perform a religious ceremony on his behalf at Thewaratchakunchorn Worawiharn Temple.
A Prime Minister from 1980-1988, Gen. Prem survived numerous coup attempts and is regarded as one of the most adept politicians in Thailand's modern history. Gen. Prem has served as HM the King’s chief aide since 1988. In July 2006, Gen. Prem threw his support behind the movement against then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra when he compared the military and government to a horse stable owned by His Majesty the King, and Mr. Thaksin to a "jockey" appointed to look after the institution. The speech, given to an audience of military cadets, led Mr. Thaksin to lash out at Gen. Prem and call him "an invisible hand" who was plotting to overthrow his government.
Two months later, the military toppled Mr. Thaksin in a coup. Gen. Prem accompanied the coup makers as they met with His Majesty the King to brief him on the takeover. The leaders of Thailand’s pro-Thaksin Redshirt movement have continued to attack Gen. Prem in speeches and rallies over the past years, including a demonstration right outside Gen. Prem's residence in April 2009 that ended in a military crackdown. See HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the Korat Post Online editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
30 July 2014
Railway Gazette, Korat Post Online High-speed rail is making a splashback in Thailand after the dictating junta indicated it approves two routes in Thailand. In addition, rail doubling will take place on other routes. Hi-speed rail costs are estimated at 400,000 Baht per meter.
A ground-breaking ceremony at Poipet in Cambodia on July 25 marked the start of work to reinstate the cross-border railway to Thailand. The ceremony was attended by Cambodia’s Deputy Minister for Public Works & Transport Guang Sun and Thailand’s Permanent Secretary for Transport Soithip Traisuth. The attendees viewed the site of a 43 m long bridge over a stream close to the border with Thailand; reconstruction of this bridge is a priority, with construction of 42 km of new 1 000 mm gauge railway between the existing Cambodian railhead at Sisophon and Poipet already underway.A further 6 km of line will be reinstated to reach the State Railway of Thailand network at Aranyaphrathet. The last trains ran on the Aranyaphrathet – Poipet line in the early 1970s.
The Thai government has already agreed to fund the 2·8bn baht upgrading and double-tracking of the 176 km line from Aranyaphrathet to the junction at Khlong Sib Kao, northwest of Bangkok. The Thai government has agreed to focus on implementing long-planned cross-border rail schemes ahead of the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the Korat Post Online editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
121+ 'Illegal' Acres Seized...Back
Photos courtesy of Bangkok Post newspaper. Shows local farmers and former land users assembled to protest against illegal use by influential figure.
29 July 2014
Bangkok Post, Korat Post Online (See original Bangkok Post report) AUTHORITIES HAVE SEIZED SOME 121 ACRES OF FERTILE FARMLAND AT A RESORT IN KORAT OWNED BY A LOCAL BUSINESSMAN. INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS IN HIS POSSESSION HAVE ALLEGEDLY REVEALED SEVERAL THAT WERE WITHDRAWN OR VOIDED LAND USE PERMITS, ETC.
Authorities report on Monday, July 28 that they had seized 3,900 rai of protected forest land that had been illegally taken over by an influential figure and in part used for a resort. According to official reports generated out of Army Region 2 in Nakhonratchasima, the figure had used fake documentation and false claims against local residents that he owned the property - which he did not. As of 28 July 2014, the land was temporarily seized and the alleged owner was facing allegations of illegal encroachment and possible other criminal claims related to the encroachments.
The location, in Sung Noen district of Korat, some 30 km west of Korat heading back to Bangkok along Friendship Highway, is in the Sung Noen Forest Reserve. According to media reports, a local villager affected by illegal encroachment filed an appeal with the NCPO who then directed authorities to investigate and take action as needed. Such encroachment into protected forest has been a major problem in Thailand without any meaningful prevention and investigation in the past. Whether or not the Thai military will have a lasting influence on this issue remains to be seen. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the Korat Post Online editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Korat World Heritage Tunnels
Photos courtesy of Khao Sod newspaper. Click for rollover showing overall route, and
apologies for lack of resolution on the images.
25 July 2014
Khao Sod Online PREVIOUS CONCERNS REGARDING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF TUNNELING THROUGH KHAO YAI NATIONAL FOREST HAVE APPARENTLY BEEN PUT TO REST BY THAILAND'S RULING DICTATORS. THE NCPO HAS APPROVED THE ROAD TUNNEL PROJECT, OSTENSIBLY TO AVOID INTERRUPTION OF NATIVE SPECIES MIGRATION FROM ONE PART OF THE PROTECTED FOREST TO THE OTHER.
THAILAND'S ruling junta has announced that it approved plans to construct highway with accompanying tunnels within the protected World Heritage Khao Yai National Forest in Nakhonratchasima (Korat) province. The project is decades old in concept, and to date has been derailed out of environmental and conservation concerns.
On 24 July 2014, Mr. Kasemsan Jinnawaso, Secretary General of the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, and secretary of the National Environmental Committee disclosed that after a committee meeting the NCPO approved after consideration the project to connect the Khao Yai World Heritage site and Tublan (phonetically should be ‘Taplan’) National Park (http://bit.ly/WGDIq4 Thai) to Highway 304, km markings 42-47, cutting through the area. The Royal Highways Department is widening the existing roadway from two to four lanes but is required to produce a report outlining environmental impact of the work.
Mr. Chatchawan Booncharoenkij, Director of the Royal Highways Department stated that this highway (304) has been the location of frequent accidents as there were several locations where the road bottlenecked; that is, between km markers 42-57 and between km markers 26-29 that cut through the World Heritage site. So a design for tunnels was needed to allow animals to cross between opposite sides of the forest without being endangered by the highway. The 2.0 billion Baht budget being developed is for the fiscal year 2015. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the Korat Post Online editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
EU Listens to Rights Complaint
Former democratically elected Thai prime minister, possibly the last one Thailand will have,
appearing in a file photo with an EU representative. Thailand has recently been snubbed by
the EU for the 22 May 2014 coup.
6 July 2014
From the Nation, 6 July JUSTIFICATION FOR THE 22 MAY 2014 COUP WAS THAT VIOLENCE HAD TO BE PREVENTED AND THE NATION WAS NOT BEING GOVERNED. NO MENTION WAS MADE OF ULTRA ROYALIST INFLUENCES THAT LED TO LACK OF ABILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT TO RUN THE COUNTRY. SEE OUR EDITORIAL
An anti-coup group led by politicians from the ousted government has met with officials of the European Union's Human Rights Council to complain about alleged human rights violations in Thailand, according to a group leader.
The recently-formed Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy (FT-HD) reported on its Facebook post yesterday that Jaran Ditapichai, the group's European coordinator, led other representatives to meet with unnamed officials of the EU Human Rights Council in Paris on Thursday afternoon.
The group also presented a report on the current human rights situation in Thailand and requested advice from the EU officials, according to the FT-HD's post. The report did not identify any of the European officials the FT-HD claimed its representatives had met. There was no reaction from the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) yesterday. Jaran said the EU officials, who deal with the Human Rights Council foreign affairs, had asked the FT-HD representatives whether the NCPO would "return democracy to the Thai people soon" and his answer was that he did not think it would happen in the near future.
He told the Europeans that he believed the ruling junta would do so after it was sure that it could prevent the Pheu Thai Party and politicians loyal to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra from returning to power. The FT-HD was formed recently by former Pheu Thai leader Charupong Ruangsuwan and former politician Jakrapob Penkair, who are both close to Thaksin. The group will also be meeting the French envoy on human rights on July 10, according to the FT-HD's Jaran.
Meanwhile, a new group that calls itself the Front for the Free Thai Movement against Dictatorship has become active on Facebook. Its post said that it would join the fight to "have democracy back as soon as possible". The new group expressed support to the FT-HD and claimed to be independent. In a related development, the Foreign Ministry has revoked the passports of fugitive red-shirt leader Wutthipong Kachathamkhun, alias Koti, and red-shirt academic Somsak Chiamthirasakul. Foreign Ministry spokesman, Sek Wannamethee yesterday confirmed previous reports that the two men's passports had been revoked on the grounds that they were now wanted under arrest warrants over lese majeste charges. The ministry had also revoked a passport of red-shirt labour activist Janya Yimprasert on the same grounds, he said. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the Korat Post Online editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
"Tellin' it like it ain't"
Foreign civilian and military guests of the kingdom may be forced to listen, but they
do not ahve to agree. As well, they usually have civilian counterparts supervising them and
to whom they must report, so unlike Thailand.
1 July 2014
From Khao Sod 26 June 2014 - dated but relevant please see Korat Post editorial shortly COUPS IN THAILAND ARE DEJURE CARTE BLANCE FOR THE COUNTRY'S MILITARY. THIS TIME THEY WENT FURTHER THAN BEFORE, AND NOW PLAN TO REFORM THINKING! SEE OUR EDITORIALCan the military withstand the tide of history, if Thailand is susceptible to it, or can Thailand somehow keep lurking in the darkened corners of mandate?
A senior US official has asked for support from the US Congress to help move Thailand back to a democratic system of government. “The coup and post-coup repression have made it impossible for our relationship with Thailand to go on with ‘business as usual,’” Scot Marciel, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Asian Affairs, said in a congressional hearing yesterday. “Strong, enduring, bipartisan Congressional support for our efforts to move Thailand back towards its democratic tradition and to preserve our long-term friendship and interests are essential for a successful outcome.”
Mr. Marciel told a Foreign Affairs subcommittee that he initially hoped the Thai military would return power to a civilian government soon after staging a coup d’etat on 22 May. “However, recent events have shown that the current military coup is both more repressive and likely to last longer than the last one,” Mr. Marciel said. After the Thai army staged a coup d′etat last month, the United States suspended more than $4.7 million in military aid and cancelled a number of training programs with the Thai military. Mr. Marciel said the US is ready to “consider further measures as circumstances warrant.”
Since seizing power, the Thai military junta, dubbed The National Council for Peace and Order, has launched a series of repressive measures to silence dissent. The coupmakers have severely restricted freedom of expression through bans on political demonstrations, media censorship, and arbitrary detainment of perceived critics. “We do not believe that true reconciliation can come about through fear of repression,” Mr. Marciel said yesterday. “The deep-rooted underlying issues and differences of opinion that fuel this division can only be resolved by the people of Thailand through democratic processes.”
The US′s criticism of the military coup has provoked backlash among pro-coup Thais, most of whom are supporters of the country′s conservative and royalist political faction.
Some pro-coup supporters have launched a campaign on social media calling for a "boycott" of products made in or imported from the US as a retaliatory gesture against the American government, though no concrete action has been taken so far.
Anti-American rhetoric has been also been featured on a number of conservative media agencies in Thailand that support the military takeover. For instance, an editorial published by ultra-nationalist Naewna newspaper criticises the US government for "taking stance against the military coup and harbouring prejudice against the Thai authorities without bothering to consider the facts."
"Although the Thai authorities, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, have been unceasingly trying to inform the American authorities about the facts, the American authorities ignore these explanations, and continue to evaluate the situation based on their own opinion, which is in clear contradiction with reality," said the editorial, which was published on 23 June.
Supporters of the coup have frequently argued that foreign critics do not understand the political situation in Thailand. “Thai people are used to coup d’états, it’s the Thai style," a pro-Army activist told Khaosod English at one of the army′s "Returning Happiness" concerts. "The US is snooping," said the concertgoer, who asked not to be named. "I hear they support coups in some countries, so why not here?" HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Rumors Driving the Exodus
NCPO deputy spokesman Col Winthai Suvaree said migrant labour problems had accumulated for
a decade and the NCPO only wanted all migrant workers to be registered and work legally without
having to hide from authorities.
17 June 2014
the Korat Post online (US-based independent of Korat Post).
FromNational News Bureau 6/16/2014 THAI AUTHORITIES REPORT THAT THE FLIGHT OF TENS OF THOUSANDS OF CAMDODIANS WORKING IN THAILAND BACK TO CAMBODIA IS BASED ON FEAR CAUSED BY GROUNDLESS RUMORS. Despite the statement, migrant workers still flock back home, causing serious worries to Thai and foreign-owned factories in Thailand that depend on cheap labor.
BANGKOK, June 16 -- Amid the continuous exodus of foreign workers from Thailand, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has reiterated that it had no policy to expel immigrant workers.
NCPO deputy spokesman Col Winthai Suvaree said migrant labour problems had accumulated for a decade and the NCPO only wanted all migrant workers to be registered and work legally without having to hide from authorities.
“The work of ministries must be integrated and their directions and principles must be united in all dimensions. Humanitarianism and international standard are observed. This will be beneficial to operators and alien labor. Alien workers will receive adequate health services and enjoy health standards,” Col Winthai said.
Operators employing migrant workers could continue their businesses and should maintain order among their employees, and the NCPO will take rational and realistic action to support economic growth, national interest and sustainability.
Col Winthai said that urgent problems needing to be addressed were child labour, human trafficking, and corrupt officials and brokers. Solutions would focus on workers in the fisheries, textile and sugarcane sectors where protection was difficult.
In Sa Kaeo province, more than 2,000 Cambodian workers were waiting at the Aranyaprathet immigrant checkpoint to return to their homeland today. The Thai authorities deployed trucks to carry the aliens across the border to the Cambodian town of Poipet.
Since June 1, Thai authorities have sent more than 70,000 Cambodian workers from Sa Kaeo to Poipet. (MCOT online news) HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Udorn Districts Thank En masse
"Friends and farmers of Udorn Thani province beg to thank Mr. General Prayuth Chan-ocha head
of the NCPO in solving the plight of farmers..." Photo courtesy Manager Online.
28 May 2014
From Manager Online & agency sources (Manager Online is an ultra-royalist conservative group) EVENTS IN THAILAND HAVE MOVED QUICKLY THIS PAST WEEK, GOING FROM NON-FUNCTIONING DEMOCRACY TO TOTAL DICTATORSHIP - ALL IN A GOOD CAUSE. There is considerable support, already voiced, for the Martial Law and subsequent coup that took place beginning 22 May 2014. None from the international community. Even Thaksin's best friend, Cambodia, says it is without choice in cooperating with the Thai military. Note Korat Post earlier references to what the Thai general wanted - " In the second round of meeting today, the Army chief expects to get answers from all sides on five issues: election, neutral government, reform, protest and security measures, a source close to the meeting said."
Farmers and residents from twenty districts (akin to counties in the USA) gathered together today to thank the military for its 'saving the nation.' The group, comprising some 1,000 men and women, carried along a large banner with the coup leader's picture, and reportedly said "It's like dying and coming back to life!" At Camp 24, Sinlapakhom Army Camp, a reported 1,000 local residents gathered together to thank the Thai military for its interceding last week with a coup. Kind words were exchanged and appreciation shown. One report indicated that the group said, "Thank you General Prayuth and the National Peace National Council for Peace and Order, for interceding and helping farmers who were suffering from the rice mortgage situation."
"Atmosphere filled with smiles and joy..."
The well-attended gathering combined heroes and the downtrodden in legendary union, mutually hoping that these times would bring better ones with security and peace for the nation. Forty year old Mr. Samruay Phawong, a farmer in Tambol Kutcap, said he was elated that the military had stepped in. He indicated he had borrowed 80,000 Baht in the rice pledging scheme, for some seven months' use, 50,000 which was to have gone back into the fields, fertilizer, pay bills and so on. He thanked the military profusely for interceding, saying it was like being given a new life. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Unconstitutional? - So What!
Little things like martial law proclamations made outside the authority one is invested with in
the national charter are really not so little, but do tend to pale when put side by side with issues
that tear the nation asunder, or that threaten to create ancient divides that will do so.
22 May 2014
From the Nation, Bangkok Post, Thai Rath and other agencies and edited for grammatical correctness- See our editorial today (why a so-called neutral government is a pipedream, nightmare and far removed from a solution to Thailand's ills). APPARENTLY IF AN AUTHORITY IN THAILAND SAYS IT'S SO, IT'S SO. Such noble persons never heard the saying "Sayin' it's so don't make it so." Or if they did hear it the message didn't reach the upper floor. Just why Thai society and its major institutions are compelled to rationalize so much and belittle even more lies in the centuries of sakdina inculcation that developed - with much push and shove - into Thainess.
IN HIS FIRST meeting with warring parties yesterday, Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha mapped out resolutions to pull the country out of the ongoing political crisis, though the post-martial law declaration attendees all failed to come to any kind of joint conclusion. Representatives from the government, the ruling Pheu Thai Party, the opposition Democrat Party, the pro-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), the Senate and the Election Commission (EC) all presented their ideas to the Army chief.
The ideas they offered were no different from what they had previously proposed in public, which had failed to end the impasse. Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva outlined the very same roadmap that he had proposed earlier, Army deputy spokesperson Winthai Suvaree said. In the second round of meeting today, the Army chief expects to get answers from all sides on five issues: election, neutral government, reform, protest and security measures, a source close to the meeting said.
Regarding holding an election, Prayuth wants to know how polls can be held in six to nine months. On the issue of a neutral government, he wants to know if it will be a caretaker government or one that has full mandate. On reform, he wants to know precisely what reforms each side wants to see and in what form. On protests, the Army chief wants to know if the protesters could end their rallies and return home soon, acting Senate Speaker Surachai Liengboonlertchai, who was at the meeting, said.
"The commander did not order that the protests be stopped, but said he wanted to see the protesters go home while the negotiation is going on," he revealed. A source said Prayuth did not want to use force to crack down on either the pro- or anti-government protesters, but wanted all sides to stop their rallies peacefully. Prayuth also wants to put measures in place for the safety of people and economic security, the source said. However, people may not be able to come up with answers to Prayuth's questions overnight.
Pheu Thai 'ready to cooperate'
Pheu Thai Party's executive committee member Wan Muhammad Noor Matha insisted at the meeting that his party was happy to cooperate with the military, provided it was within the Constitutional framework, which did not allow a non-elected prime minister to take office. At the meeting, Justice Minister Chaikasem Nitisiri said people should be given the right to decide on the country's future through an election, and the martial law enforced by the military should facilitate a smooth round of balloting.
He said national reform required time and proper lawmakers to implement them. "A fully mandated premier without an election is legally impossible," he was quoted as saying at the meeting. Meanwhile, UDD leader Jatuporn Promphan said as the parties present were not able to find common ground, the Army should hold a public referendum to see if the people wanted reform before election or the other way around. He suggested that the referendum be held in September and the election be scheduled for October or November.
PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban, however, insisted that as the country did not have a prime minister, it was the Senate's duty to find a non-political individual for the premier's job and implement reform before the election. He said conducting a public referendum as proposed by Jatuporn would only create new conflicts. Prayuth told the meeting that he had enforced martial law because he did not wish to see any more bloodshed. "I want to see every problem settled within this forum before I retire [in September]. I don't want my juniors to take up this job. If the problem is not solved, I will not retire," he was quoted as saying at the |meeting. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email. We thank the editor of The Nation for visiting the Korat Post, albeit many years ago, and lend appreciation to our cause through joint coverage.
Mobocracy - Thailand's Solution to Democracy
Thailand's temporary prime minister and pro-government rep. Nirat Thamrongboonsong Phaisarn
(นิวัฒน์ธำรง บุญทรงไพศาล Pushing from the powerful well-healed elites and disenfranchised southern Muslim factions, as well from the Yellow Shirt anti-politician maniacs, forces in Thailand are at the gates of
instanity waiting to rip to shreds any hope for Thai democracy, or more properly, democracy
10 May 2014
From the Nation - See our editorial today. IF THERE IS A GOD THAT THAILAND'S reactionary Yellow Shirts and anti-election mobs appear to be near to accomplishing, it's total eradication of democracy in the Land of Smiles. It is being done through the usual catcalling and manic-depressive techniques good brainwashing machines use, but alarmingly with increasing credibility among the local populations that are more and more realizing that Thailand's internal culture and history are all wonderfully fake but wonderful anyhow and need to be made permanent.
Anti-government protesters yesterday began their "final fight" to topple the embattled government by occupying the country's five major television stations and other key locations, amid mounting fears of street clashes between rival political groups. Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban announced that the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) aimed to change the government peacefully within three days. He told supporters this was possible "if we all cooperate. But if within three days we have not got rid of this regime, then we will do what is necessary."
The government's Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO) warned of possible attacks at night against the protesters occupying the different locations. "A group of people with ill intentions will attack those participating in the protests at different locations. The public are advised to use discretion when participating in such gatherings for your own safety," CAPO said in a statement. "A group of people with ill intentions will attack those participating in the protests at different locations. The public are advised to use discretion when participating in such gatherings for your own safety," CAPO said in a statement.
CAPO also threatened to take legal action against the executives of any TV stations that agreed to follow requests by the PDRC, such as broadcasting its statements or stopping broadcasts of CAPO announcements. Suthep, who is the PDRC secretary-general, yesterday led a group of protesters to rally outside Government House, and he planned to stay there overnight in an attempt to force the Cabinet to resign. He requested a meeting with Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan, who became acting prime minister after the Constitutional Court ousted Yingluck Shinawatra on Wednesday for abuse of power in connection with the 2011 removal of National Security Council secretary-general Thawil Pliensri.
"If you find [Cabinet members], bring them to me. I wish to speak to them. I will be waiting at Government House," Suthep said. He also urged respectable people in the country, such as the Supreme Court president, the Senate Speaker and election commissioners, to hold discussions on a way out for the country. "If you can't find a solution in three days, I and my supporters will use our own ways to end this crisis," he said. Thousands of protesters from the PDRC and its allied groups gathered at the five major free-to-air TV stations - Channels 3, 5, 7, 9 and the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand - Government House, Parliament House, and CAPO headquarters.
The protesters called on the TV stations to broadcast statements from the PDRC, not to broadcast messages from the government or CAPO, and allow them to stay at the stations for three to five days. Channels 3, 5, 7 and 9 later agreed to the PDRC's requests, according to Satit Wongnongtaey, who is a PDRC leader. In response, the Thai Journalists Association and the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association issued a joint statement calling on the PDRC to vacate the stations and stop pressuring staff. Suthep earlier yesterday issued this message to the TV stations during his rally address: "We ask you to stop broadcasting news of this dictatorial government. We won't interfere with your normal schedule, but when we need to broadcast statements, we want you to cooperate." At Parliament House, Suthep met with Deputy Senate Speaker Surachai Liangboonlert-chai, in his capacity as the acting Speaker, and asked him and other senators to help find a "solution" for the country.
Surachai said before meeting with Suthep he would speak with independent agencies in a bid to settle the political crisis. He said the Senate might need to discuss the matter informally. Meanwhile, red-shirt supporters of the ruling Pheu Thai Party were preparing for a large rally starting today in support of the government. Red-shirt leader Kwanchai Praipana said he would lead more than 1,000 people from the Northeast to join the rally on Aksa Road in Nakhon Pathom province. "We are angry and we are ready to fight," he said. Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva expressed concern that the confrontation between the pro- and anti-government groups could lead to violence. He added, however, that the government was incapable of dealing with the problem - pointing to recent bomb attacks targeting many locations, including the house of a Constitutional Court judge who ruled against Yingluck. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email. We thank the editor of The Nation for visiting the Korat Post, albeit many years ago, and lend appreciation to our cause through joint coverage.
Brutal Murders Anger Daughter
Photo from Manager Online Remnants of parents stilllying in ashed, Sisaket police shrug
shoulders saying no evidence has surfaced to pursue case .
22 April 2014
Transedited by the Korat Post, form Manager Online HORRIBLE MURDER IN SISAKET goes cold quickly with no progrss by police. Encouragment was recently given by family membes who posted a 150,000 Baht reward for the arrest and conviction of the killer.
Sisaket – Daughter has had it! Issues bounty of 150,000 Baht for brutal killer who burned her parents in the middle of a rice paddy. Nearly three months have passed and police maintain they haven’t uncovered any evidence to pursue the killer.
Today ( 22 April) reporters gave an update on brutal killings where two grandparents were burned, Mr. Sanram Phanngarm, aged 63, and Mrs. Thong Phanngarm, aged of 63 years, residing at 15 Moo 8 , Tambon Hua Chang , Amphoe Chan, Sisaket province who died in the middle of a rice paddy when their hut caught fire and burnt to hopefully disguise real evidence in the case. But the medical examiner identified the dead 2 mortal wound from being hit, stabbed and entirely wrapped with sharp objects in the wrapping. There were traces of a struggle before apparently before being killed. The murders took place on February 10.
The lastest…at House no 15, Moo 8, Tambon Hua Chang, Ampho Thumpornphilai, Sisaket province, Miss Yaowapa Phanngarm, age 31, daughter of the deceased, revealed that the case was taking a long time with no progress, almost three months now. She stated that she and family
members and relatives paid several visits to the provincial police but were told no progress has been made in the case. She also indicated that police advised they still had no evidence to go on a manhunt to apprehend the killer. Miss Yaowapa said that this caused her and relatives to be extremely vexed and worried that the elderly couple might “die free.”
So to encourage police to hurry up with the investigation, she and relatives set up a reward of 150,000 Baht whereby if anyone had a tip that led to the arrest of the killer and trial, and was sentenced, they would immediately pay the reward money. Therefore, anyone with leads in the case should contact the Sisaket police and provide what evidence they had. The family would then immediately pay the reward once the case had been finally adjudicated. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email. We thank the editor of The Nation for visiting the Korat Post, albeit many years ago, and lend appreciation to our cause through joint coverage.
Both to Blame...Coup Tomorrow?
Thailand's current protest pontif, Suthep Thaughsuban, has not yet had to deal with any
meaningful investigaiton of treason and threatening national security, thanks to those who
are most responsible for supporting his unique approach to restoration of national unity.
18 April 2014
From Khao Sod and agencies THIS MAN HAS SET NEW STANDARDS forThailand's migratory shift from complete dictatorship to modified complete dictatorshiup. Or is that really the way it is? Doesn't Thailand really deserve special consideration because of its unique nature, unique institutional relationships and unique logic? We think not. See editorial.
(from 16 April) The Royal Thai Army has dismissed the rumour that a military coup will occur on 19 April, insisting that the armed forces are neutral in politics. "It′s just a rumour on the social media, like in the past," said Col. Winthai Suvaree, spokesman of the army. He also insisted that the military′s objective is only to serve the public, safeguard the borders of Thailand, and provide security to all sides amid the ongoing political crisis which has claimed at least 22 lives.
"I beg all brothers and sisters to exercise their judgement when they receive news and information," Col. Winthai told reporters. His comment came days after Gen. Saiyud Koetpol, former Chief of the Thai Armed Force, suggested that former Prime Minister and Head of the Privy Council, Gen. Prem Tinsulanond, serve as a "mediator" to end the conflicts by discussing the issues with members of the judiciary, the armed forces, and other prominent factions.
Gen. Saiyud′s comment has angered many pro-government activists, who view Gen. Prem as the chief engineer of the 2006 military coup which ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Some Redshirts also accuse Gen. Prem of harbouring a desire to serve as an appointed Prime Minister in the event that PM Yingluck Shinawatra is ousted by a coup.
Speaking at a small Redshirts rally earlier today, Mr. Nattawut Saikuea, core leader of the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), called Gen. Saiyud′s effort to encourage Gen. Prem to serve as a mediator a "screening of Jurassic Park". He added that he hopes no top official will take such a "backward" suggestion seriously. For comments, or corrections to this article please contact:email@example.com HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email. We thank the editor of The Nation for visiting the Korat Post, albeit many years ago, and lend appreciation to our cause through joint coverage.
No Government - No Problem?
Thailand's Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, alongwith other cabinet members,
is wondering what is to become of them now that Thailand's elites have determined that
a legitimate government is no longer a necessity.
8 April 2014
From Khao Sod and agencies NOW THAT THE WORLD KNOWS Thailand's unique "Thainess" nature has permitted the total eclipse of elected government in the name of national reform, domestic forces are gathering steam in what may become an epic battle between those who never had power, not really, and those who have always had it, really.
The US government has expressed concern to the Thai authorities over the deteriorating state of political crisis in Thailand, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs Surapong Tovichakchaikul. Mr. Surapong made the comment after meeting with a group of high profile American diplomats today, including US Ambassador to Thailand, Ms. Kristie Kenny, and Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Mr. Daniel Russel. According to Mr. Surapong, the entourage presented him with a letter signed by the US Secretary of State John Kerry which expressed his concern over the latest round of political crisis in Thailand, which erupted in November last year.
He added that the US does not wish to see a military takeover or any other type of coup in Thailand. "It is an issue that the US has grave concerns about," Mr. Surapong told reporters, "If it really happens, they won′t be happy". Mr. Surapong continued, "Simultaneously, the US wants to support Thailand to walk along the democratic path, to solve problems by engaging in dialogues, and to refrain from violence and chaos".
The Foreign Affairs Minister also lamented missed opportunities for Thailand to strive for greater diplomatic relationship with the US and other countries in Southeast Asia, as Thailand lacks a functioning government to engage in international actions, such as signing treaties and attending international forums. "We cannot do any of these things. We have to wait for the new government. It′s a great loss to Thailand," Mr. Surapong complained.
Asked to comment on the speech by anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, who threatened to install himself as a "Sovereign Body" and replace Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra with his own choice of PM and Cabinet members, Mr. Surapong said such remark amounts to "insurrection". "It is clear that Suthep wants to seize power into his own hands," Mr. Surapong charged, "He has never listened to anyone in the past ... It′s the way of dictators". He added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already translated Mr. Suthep′ speech "word-to-word". Mr. Surapong said the text of the translation will be sent to foreign embassies in Thailand to inform them of Mr. Suthep′s agenda. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL.
Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email. We thank the editor of The Nation for visiting the Korat Post, albeit many years ago, and lend appreciation to our cause through joint coverage.
Another Poor Court Verdict
On 3/31/2014 the Thai courts once again dismissed serious charges - this time murder -
against Thai police involved in reluctant witnesses and weakening evidence.
31 March 2014
From MCOT SAUDI ARAB officials and their government have been far more polite than Thailand would have been in the same circumstances, only to find the scales of justice tipped against them in favor of five Thai police who were earlier pretty much thought to be proven guilty of murdering Saudi businessmen and colluson with theft of royal family jewelry. Mostnotably among the stones is the famed Blue Diamond.
BANGKOK, March 31, 2104 – The Criminal Court today acquitted charges against five Thai police officers in connection with the illegal detention and premeditated murder of a Saudi businessman 24 years ago. Pol Lt Gen Somkid Boonthanom and four police officers allegedly took Mohammad al-Ruwali to a Bangkok hotel for questioning after which he was killed. The court said additional evidence including a ring, which was claimed to belong to Mr al-Ruwali, was insufficient and vague. The ring was supplied by investigative officers to support the murder charges. Mr al-Ruwali’s death has severely affected Thai-Saudi relations after the Middle Eastern country downgraded ties with Thailand and they have never been restored ever since.
The court said witnesses and evidence for the case must be clear since the suspects could face the death sentence if found guilty.
Mr al-Ruwali was involved in the job placement business between Saudi Arabia and Thailand before his disappearance in February 1990.
The Department of Special Investigation revived the case 2009 and indicted the five suspects in court only a month before the case was due to expire.
Saudi Arabia has suspected that Thai police were involved in the 1990 disappearance of businessman Mohammad al-Ruwaili and the murders of four members of Saudi Arabia's diplomatic staff in Bangkok.
The Saudi government believes that the murders were linked to the theft of US$2 million worth of jewels from the palace of a prince in Riyadh, many of which were never recovered. (MCOT online news) HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email. We thank the editor of The Nation for visiting the Korat Post, albeit many years ago, and lend appreciation to our cause through joint coverage.
Not Just Rubbish...
Samutprakarn used to have decent air and a relatively quaint image among those in the
early years of Bangkok growth. Today it is beset with manmade pollution and municipal
neglect in really tacking Thailand's refuse problems.
17 March 2014
Transedited from Manager Online 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.
Department director general Vichian Jungrungruang said that toxic fumes were harmful to the respiratory system and could cause eye irritations. And some of the gases caused by the fire could cause cancer. He advised children, the elderly and people with heart disease or high blood pressure to avoid breathing in the toxic gases, warning that some were deadly. His department would monitor the air quality in the affected areas and report the results to the public, the director-general said.
The agency yesterday urged people living within a 1.5km radius of the burning dump to move away from the area. Among the communities and housing estates nearby are Gallery, Natura, Sukhumvit-Praeksa, Baan Sawasdee, Supalai Ville, Panthiya, and Sap Thani. The fire began at around noon on Sunday at the former dump in Bang Pu industrial estate. The site, covering an area of 150 rai, has been abandoned for more than 10 years, according to local authorities. Firefighters managed to contain the fire after 12 hours but still failed to extinguish it. They said it would take at least three more days to completely put it out.
Kanit, the Samut Prakan governor, blamed strong winds for the spread of fire. He said a fire had occurred at the same site about five years ago. The governor said the owner of the dump, who was not identified, had been charged with violating public health and environmental laws. He said officials would try to find out if the dump was illegally used after being abandoned for more than a decade. Fumes from the fire affected at least five districts in the east of Bangkok - Bang Na, Prawet, Lat Krabang, Saphan Sung and Klong Sam Wa. Residents and office workers in Bang Na, the Bangkok district closest to Samut Prakan, yesterday reported breathing difficulties as smoke from the fire spread. Many wore protective facial masks. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email. We thank the editor of The Nation for visiting the Korat Post, albeit many years ago, and lend appreciation to our cause through joint coverage.
Over 1,000 affected by Storm
Surely this can't be Thailand! But it is, and in the northeast province of Loei. This editor
spent a few days there back in the mid-1960s on a Peace Corps training field trip, and
it was cold then!
17 March 2014
Transedited from Manager Online Loei’s provincial governor visited Tambol Saantom, Phureu District, after a severe hail storm damaged homes in seven tambols, impacting some405 households and 1,600 residents. Authorities hurried to survey and assist in recovery. Thai border patrol police and military also were called into action, helping to replace roofs. Local agencies were called to provide other assistance.
The above was after a fierce summer storm devastated areas of Tambol Saantom, Phuerea district of Loei province, where large quantities of hailstones fell to the ground and on houses and roads in the area, making the ground white. Large chunks of ice accompanied the hail, causing tree limbs to snap and smashing holes into roofs of private residences and government buildings leading to leaks when rain also fell. The rain led to several floors in residences and offices being flooded or partially inundated.
The latest reports as of 17 March 2014 included statements by the governor that the affected area would be carefully surveyed within a week, with assistance from volunteers, military and border patrol police, and that in a start to these recovery efforts, equipment would be arriving onsite on 18 March 2014. Regarding the storm the provincial meteorological office reported that on 17 March the area should remain wary, as well as other locations in other parts of Thailand.
Provincial authorities also cautioned local residents to remain on a 24 hour watch, anticipating possible repeats of similar weather. They also advised farmers to consider harvesting crops before they are damaged by further hailstones. Household owners were also advised to hurry with at least temporary repairs in preparation for the possible inclement storms. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Missing Plane, Thaksin Speaks
When long distance passenger aircraft went form four and three down to two engines, many
non-experts, such as passengers, were concerned. At issue is whether something took
place that another engine could have resolved, or were terrorists aboard?
14 March 2014
From the Nation, Agencies
R eported airframe design faults and questions related to whether those were addressed or not, and reports that the Rolls Royce engines on the plane continued to transmit data five hours after the aircraft disappeared, is adding to the conjecture of what happened to this plane. But the real news in Thailand has to do with recent statements by its ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Thaksin - "It's the elites supporting Democrats..." and sakdina?
While in Beijing, ousted and fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra recently made a number of political predictions and comments worth considering. Here are the highlights.
The caretaker Yingluck Shinawatra government is fighting a difficult battle but the international community sees what the government is doing as correct. Thaksin said the numerous legal cases with independent organisations were having a negative impact on the administration and the international community was closely watching whether there would be a repeat of the September 19, 2006 coup.l Thaksin believes there will be no repetition of the military coup because the top brass has learnt from the negative repercussions which accompanied the 2006 coup, chiefly the political upheaval that followed in 2009-10 and today. In fact, he claimed the armed forces were secretly brokering dialogue between both sides but no deal had been struck yet due to their inability to resolve some contentious issues.
Thaksin said Yingluck rejected his choice of advisers and aides and those she chose were not experienced enough and were outmanoeuvred by her opponents.
Yingluck wishes to have her own team although she accepted the recommendations of her older brother's advisers at the beginning, but her team is undeniably less experienced than that of her elder brother's or her opponents. l Thaksin acknowledged that there are a few people who are sincere toward him, while some others have acted out of their own interests and sabotaged him. Some of these people, he said, used his name to carry out some activities for their own gain and caused a negative impact on his name while Yingluck failed to rein in these people as she was not experienced enough.
l Thaksin said people with a good reputation were not coming out in public to help the Pheu Thai Party while those coming out did not have a good reputation. Some of these "good" people are not speaking out because they claim that Yingluck's aides have prevented them from airing their views. On the other hand, Thaksin said, there were people who wanted to become popular and please him but are making the wrong moves in public. Thaksin concluded by saying that the most important duty of the caretaker administration was to keep the government afloat until a new election or until a government was formed from the February 2 election. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Interpol Cautions Over Rumors
Security cameras caught the two clearly enough, but totally neglected was the Interpol database
that should have and likely would have raised alarms at the airport. Photos courtesy MCOT.
12 March 2014
he speculation associated with this mystery of a major passenger plane incident at crusing altitude between Malaysia and China has everyone wondering just what really did happen. Interpol has cautioned that the speculation has more or less automatically led people to assume terrorism when it may not have been the cause. However, the fact that two men with stolen passports boarded the plane raises major doubts that it was anything but an explosion. .
BANGKOK, March 11 - Thai authorities on Tuesday revealed that the missing Malaysian Airlines' Beijing-bound tickets of two imposters travelling with passports stolen in Thailand were booked by an Iranian and paid by a Thai woman. Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar told a news conference Tuesday that investigators had determined one was a 19-year-old Iranian planning to enter Germany to seek asylum. A second passenger also travelling with a stolen passport has not been identified. Both bought their tickets in Thailand and entered Malaysia together, according to the Associated Press news agency.
Immigration Bureau commander Pol Lt Gen Panu Kerdlarppol disclosed more details following reports that the Italian and Austrian foreign ministries announced that the names of their two national matched the MH 370 flight manifest but the two men - Austrian Christian Kozel and Italian Luigi Maraldi - did not board the flight but their passports were stolen while they were in Thailand.
Gen Panu said the tickets were sold by a tour agent in the seaside resort of Pattaya via email contact with an Iranian named Ali on March 1 for an Italian passport for the route Kuala Lumpur - Doha - Copenhagen. The second booking was for an Austrian passport for the route Kula Lumpur - Abu Dhabi - Frankfurt.
The booking however was changed on March 6 for Kuala Lumpur - Beijing - Amsterdam. The Thai wife of another Iranian called Asem paid Bt51,000 for the tickets, in Pattaya. Gen Panu said Thai police have searched Mr Asem's Pattaya home as intelligence reports suggested that they linked with a forged passport syndicate for Middle East and South Asian people for travelling to third countries. He said there is no evidence proving a link to terrorism, but they chose Thailand as their operations base as the kingdom is a tourist hub with a large number of passports being stolen.
As for Mr Ali, Gen Panu said, the suspect is an operational member of the syndicate and has entered Thailand 19 times. He left Thailand Dec 1 last year. Police found clear evidence showing his forged passport orders with his clients, which is considered as a treat to Thailand's security. The immigration bureau chief said Mr Asem, an accomplice, has lived in Thailand for 17 years with a tourist visa. He entered Thailand last July via the Cambodian border. Gen Panu said the immigration bureau is conducting a further investigation to bring the culprits for legal prosecution. (MCOT online news) HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Is Secession Imminent?
Secession campaigner Wuttipongse, above, gives lively and impassioned views about
his total disgust with the unjust ways in which the Thai state machinery has allowed Suthep
Thaugsuban railroad Thailand against democracy.
8 March 2014
From The Nation
or a country with seemingly endless cycles of uncertainty and economic earthquakes, Thailand has once again fallen under scrutiny, but this time for something much diff rent than has ever really been talked about in the past - secession The talk is upsetting a lot of people, and making many others very happy - fed up with their countrymen.
The Democrat Party has petitioned the national anti-graft agency, calling on it to investigate the prime minister, two Cabinet ministers and 10 red-shirt leaders for rebellion over calls for a separate state in the North. Wirat Kalayasiri, who heads the party's legal team, said yesterday he had asked the National Anti-Corruption Commission to probe Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan and Deputy Commerce Minister Natthawut Saikua. The 10 red-shirt leaders include Jatuporn Prompan and Veerakan Musigapong.
Wirat accused the thirteen of rebellion for supporting secession from the country.The idea of partitioning parts of the country was raised at a recent red-shirt meeting and in some provinces where the red-shirt movement is strong. Wirat alleged that Charupong and Natthawut were present at the red-shirt meeting, with the interior minister even promising government support to implement all proposals by the red shirts. Some red-shirt leaders proposed the use of violence and suggested there needed to be an armed struggle against anti-government protesters.
Meanwhile, Royal Thai Air Force Commander-in-Chief ACM Prajin Juntong said that the RTAF was considering filing a police complaint against red-shirt leader Wuthipong "Ko Tee" Kotthammakhun for allegedly being behind the display of banners with messages calling for secession.
The banners were displayed at locations such as pedestrian flyovers in Don Muang in Bangkok, an area under the jurisdiction of the RTAF. Earlier this week, the Army filed a separate police complaint in Chiang Mai and Lamphun against red-shirt leaders who allegedly support a proposal to create a Lanna state in the North. Wuthipong and his lawyer met yesterday with Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pol Lt-General Camronvit Toopkrajank. He admitted to having banners displayed because he believed that the red shirts were treated unfairly.
Ko Tee said that Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha had ordered legal action against the red shirts while doing nothing against the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee. In Chiang Mai yesterday, RTAF officer Wing Commander Poramet Siritanont, at an order from the commander of Wing 41, filed a complaint with Mae Ping Police against red-shirt leader Petchawat Wattanapongsirikul for allegedly supporting secession. Petchawat said that his local chapter of the red shirts had been planning a so-called Democratic Republic of Lanna for more than six months. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
"Talk Bad, Action No Problem!"
Of course advocating seccession is illegal. Talking about it also illegal? Apparently Thailand's top military man thinks so and has initiated cirminal action against Red Shirts for talk, notwithstanding his total lack of action in defending the government from insurrection by PDRC and Democrat Party..
3 March 2014
From The Nation
hai army chief General Prayuth has finally taken action, legal and not yeet military, against Red Shirt activists who have lately been advocating seccession of northern Thailand from the rest of the kingdom. Prayuth, however, has been totally silent, it seems, in earlier declaration of independence from Pattani groups in the south. Surely the latter threat is more serious?
Army chief Prayuth says partition talk illegal; PDRC moves to Lumpini Park while reds travel from Udon Thani to other proivnces to organise more rallies
PRO-GOVERNMENT red-shirts in Chiang Mai and Phayao advocating |partition from the rest of the country will be charged with sedition under legal action launched by Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha. Third Army Region commander Lt Gen Preecha Chan-ocha, whose has authority over areas in the North, said yesterday that secessionist and related activities - including preparation for such action - were illegal under Articles 113 and 114 of the Criminal Code. Preecha said the charges would primarily relate to the activities of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) leaders in Chiang Mai and Phayao.
The first red-shirt groups to face sedition charges would be Rak Chiang Mai 51 and Red Shirt Phayao. Similar action would be taken against red-shirt groups in Phitsanulok who erected banners at several locations calling for the partitioning of Thailand and promoting a People's Democratic Republic of Lanna. Article 113 (3) of the Criminal Code stipulates that partitioning the country, through use of force or announcing plans to do this, is regarded of an act of secession. The crime carries a life term or death sentence.
Article 114 states that the preparation and collection of arms for partition and conspiracy to partition the country can result in a prison term of three to five years. Encouraging people to be involved in secessionist activities, or concealing acts that lead to sedition, is punishable with a three to five-year prison termใ [The Korat Post checked the Criminal Code on this item, and the actual maximum length of the prison term is indicated as 15, not 5, years. [Section 114 Whoever, collecting the forces or arms, or otherwise making the preparations or conspires to commit the insurrection, or committing any offence as the part of the plot committing the insurrection, or instigating the private persons to commit the insurrection, or Knowing that there are the persons to commit the insurrection and making any act to assist in keeping such secret intention to commit such insurrection, shall be punished by imprisonment as from three to fifteen years."]
Deputy Army spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvaree said earlier an order to charge the red-shirts was given directly by Prayuth to Preecha, his younger brother.
The news follows activities by red shirts in protest against the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee and their promotion of a People's Democratic Republic of Lanna. The term has been promoted in red-shirt media and widely seen via banners erected in public. "Security authorities have deemed such a statement illegal, uncreative and unsuitable to the current political circumstances," Winthai said. Red shirts in Chiang Mai, a stronghold of pro-government groups and the home province of caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, recently organised a parade in which red and white flags- the colours of the so-called Lanna Republic - were displayed.
Winthai called on people engaged in the promotion of the term to be careful about the legal consequences of their actions, as certain activities associated with calling for the partitioning of the country were serious violations of the law. "Freedom of expression is a right under the Constitution, but wanting to partition the country is not viable and certainly impossible to be accepted," Winthai said. Meanwhile, PDRC protesters yesterday left the Pathumwan intersection rally site to protest at Lumpini Park. PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban, together with co-leader and Student and People Network for Thailand's Reform coordinator Uthai Yodmanee, led PDRC supporters in relocating to the park in the city centre. The group marched along Phaya Thai Road to Rama IV Road, where Lumpini Park is located.
Suthep said that coming PDRC campaigns would focus on interrupting businesses owned by or linked to the Shinawatra family. He reiterated that moving to Lumpini Park was not a retreat, but a re-jig of PDRC strategies. The park's auditorium would serve as the centre for the protest, with feedback from supporters in and outside Bangkok welcomed. "The Lumpini rally site operates around the clock and will not stop until victory is achieved," he said to a crowd of supporters. Bangkok Metropolitan Administration staff have begun cleaning up vacated protest sites. Protesters camped at Asoke, Silom and Ratchaprasong have also shifted to Lumpini Park.
The move came after Suthep on Friday night announced an end to the "Bangkok Shutdown", which started on January 13 in an attempt to oust the caretaker government to pave the way for political reform. The old rally stages would be dismantled so that city traffic could return to normal today. However, he said the PDRC would continue their fight against the "Thaksin regime". One anti-government leader staying put is Buddhist monk Phra Buddha Issara, who is refusing to dismantle the People's Army to Overthrow the Thaksin Regime stage at Phan Fah Lilat Bridge. Pro-government red shirts gathered in large numbers in Udon Thani yesterday in an event dubbed "Beating War Drum". The gathering is a lead to a planned major protest over the PDRC.
The reds gathering initially on Saturday night, with many UDD leaders speaking on stage to rouse support from rural people who travelled from several northeastern provinces. Many then travelled in a convoy of about 400 cars and 30 buses to Kalasin, Maha Sarakham, and set up a second stage in Khon Kaen. Launching the convoy from Udon Thani to Kalasin, UDD chairperson Thida Thavornseth said now was the time for democracy lovers to launch an offensive to secure a foothold and reclaim power for the people. Udon Thani was chosen for the launch because the UDD wanted to give morale support to local leader Kwanchai Praipana, who was shot and wounded. Another UDD leader, the deputy Commerce Minister Nattawut Saikua, said the onvoy would later travel to the North. En route to Khon Kaen, the convey was greeted by local residents and later joined by another 100 cars. UDD leader Yoswarit Chuklom said there would also be Beating War Drum rallies in Lamphun, Lampang and Chiang Mai. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
The Only Person - NOT
No, the Reds are not above exaggeration. In surrounding the national cokunter corruption office yesterday, they said current caretaker prime minister Yingluck was the only person who could steer Thailand toward democracy. Not quite true.
28 February 2014
From The Nation
S avior status becomes few in the world, least of which are national politicians. Oftne lauded as great heroes of their countries, political personalities caught in a quagmire of deception and corruption are instead paraded about as the only solution to political troubles.
HUNDREDS OF redshirts surrounded the national anti-graft agency yesterday and camped out in a bid to prevent the agency from pursuing a corruption case against caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) had scheduled today for Yingluck to acknowledge her charges related to rice-pledging scheme, but the premier yesterday began her trip to the north. It is uncertain whether she will present herself to hear charges against her at the NACC.
Three groups of redshirts joined yesterday's rally. The reds from Nonthaburi province, led by Chavalit Suriya and Suthichai Posapol, those from community radio groups - who padlocked the gates at the NACC and set up a stage and camped out - and a civil society group of 70 red shirts. Mock coffins of NACC commissioners were placed in front of the office and petition letters were submitted by protesters demanding honest and equal treatment for all politicians.
None of the nine commissioners reported for work at the NACC yesterday. Beginning her tour of the north and the northeast yesterday, Yingluck arrived in Chiang Rai province to a warm welcome from locals who embraced her and loudly called her to fight on. The greetings left the premier's eyes brimming with tears. Hundreds of supporters of the prime minister gathered at the Air Force base and she later chaired a meeting at Chiang Rai police command on drug suppression.
A number of Cabinet members were present: caretaker Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan, Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt and Deputy Education Minister Sermsak Pongpanit. Deputy Police Chief Pol General Pongsapat Pongcharoen was also with the group. Yingluck later visited Chiang Mai, her home province. Next week she will go to the Northeast to Udon Thani and Khon Kaen provinces, both strongholds of pro-government red shirts, to look into the issues of drought and drugs. Kritsanapong Prombuengrum, leader of red shirts in eight northern provinces, said the reds are prepared to welcome and ensure the safety of the premier. Supporters will be deployed at various risky spots during her visits to the northern region.
"We must protect and ensure the safety of the prime minister, because the premier is the only person who can advance Thai democracy," he said. He said the red shirts could not guarantee the safety of anti-government supporters if anyone should blow whistles as a symbol of protest against Yingluck. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Roiet 3 Dead 25+ Injured-Bomb
Another senseless youth-instigated violent incident leading to over two dozen injuries and three deaths in Roiet province. Photo courtesy Manager Online
27 February 2014
Transedited from Manager Online
ombs remain the tool of choice in youth-related violence as a crowd in the northeast province o Roiet discovered on 24 February 2014 Two sixteen year olds and a forty year old succumbed to injuries caused by the blast.
Roiet - another explosion on morlam stage! The incident took place in the middle of a crowd next to the Baan Talaew Temple Chapel, after a gang of youth brought a bomb there to attack rival youth. Reportedly the explosion happened by accident as the bomb was being handled for use, leading to three deaths and initially twenty five injuries.
On 25 February 2014, at about 03:30 hrs. police col. Pattapongse Pattanavibul, stationed at Suvannabhumi received a report that a bomb explosion had occurred in front of a morlam stage, within the temple grounds located in Moo 14, Nayai Tambon, Suvannabhumi district of Roiet province. The report indicated that there were deaths and injuries, and as soon as received the officer gathered a team and headed to the site. There police found morlam singers also on the ground among the crowd. Nearby was a small depression caused by the bomb blast sized around ten centimeters deep and thirty centimeters wide. Nearby was shredded clothing and shoes, as well as several morlam singers who were standing around shocked at what had happened.
On the scene investigations revealed the identities of the three killed: 40 year-old Mrs. Vijiwan Sribuala, 16 year-old Mr. Surawut Udla, and 16 year-old Mr. Abhisit Saengnete. According to the event’s organizers, strict measures had been taken to protect the gathering, including recruiting police, army and other volunteers all numbering around fifty. Despite the precautions, however, the youth were able to smuggle in the explosive device. Police indicate that the device was not thrown into the crowd but according to witnesses and evidence had been taken in by one of the deceased, Mr. Surawut. Witnesses reported that he had brought a backpack into the crowd and from this and other evidence Surawut had been placing the device for a delayed explosion when mishandling it caused the early activation.
The motivation for the attack was an apparent argument Surawut had with a rival gang of youth two days before. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
"Sliding Toward Civil War" - BBC
Just after Red Shirt leaders meeting at the Suwat Liptapanlop political headquarters
in Korat announce beat of war drums, a grenade attack outside Big C supermarket
in Rajaprasong, Bangkok kills two. Photo courtesy of the Nation.
24 February 2014
Editorial lead-in: Yestereday Thailand-based BBC anchor Jonathan Head ended his segment coverage of the most recent political violence in Thailand by stating that the kingdom was sliding toward civil war with seemingly no way to stop it. Was he more accurate than we can be comfortable with, or do we not understand Thainess and things will not go that far? See editorial.
Bombs and grenades and IEDs in Bangkok? Hopefully not again, as yesterday's tossed grenade attack into a gorup of anti-government rally members took two lives and injured nearly two dozen. Are the gloves off in Thailand now that the end is declared near by anti-government leader Suthep Thaughsuban?
Political tension and violence is intensifying as rival camps - the government and protesters - vow to step up their campaigns to bring about a swift victory. The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) co-leader Natthawut Saikua suggested yesterday that the caretaker government set up an administration "in exile" in the North or Northeast, adding that the red-shirt movement or UDD was all set to go to 100-per-cent combat mode. Natthawut was speaking during a "UDD war drum" meeting attended by 4,000 UDD members at the Liptapanlop Building at Chalerm Phra Kiat Sports Stadium in Muang district in Nakhon Ratchasima.
The meeting came up with 11 proposals for the caretaker government. They include: no stepping down, arresting People's Democratic Reform Committee chief Suthep Thaugsuban and PDRC co-leaders, and exercising civil disobedience against "unjust" rulings and decisions by independent agencies. "The government must not be defeated. This is an order from the people,'' Natthawut said. Meanwhile, PDRC co-leaders declared to end the game by launching an "onslaught" against the caretaker government and Shinawatra business empire.
Phra Buddha Issara, leader of the PDRC's Chaeng Wattana base, said he had arranged for 10 buses to transport protesters today to disrupt Shinawatra businesses, but did not reveal the targets. PDRC spokesman Akanat Prompan said rapid-response teams would be sent to government offices to urge bureaucrats to stop working for the "Thaksin regime". UDD chairwoman Thida Tavornseth said to protect democracy, the red shirts had to fight against coup attempts, PDRC chief Suthep, plus independent agencies and the courts, which she claimed were unjust. Jatuporn Promphan, another UDD leader, warned that when the time was right, major roads in Bangkok would turn into a sea of red when the UDD travels there.
Continuing, "It will be our historically greatest struggle to preserve democracy,'' he said, claiming the reds would ensure no clashes or loss of life. The reds were also considering calling a public boycott of the rival camp's business interests, he said. "No one allows himself to be harassed without striking back. If we do not stand up and fight, it means we give our motherland to Suthep,'' he said. Suriyasai Katasila, coordinator of the Green Politics group, said the country's political saga had entered its final chapter with violence expected to boil over. The Thaksin regime had been shaken to its core. The PM was cornered and felt her life was in danger because the military had distanced itself and the police had buckled to public scrutiny. "The red shirts' hard core is Thaksin's last resort plus his crony police officers helping him to carry out underground operations focusing on instigating unlimited violence,'' he said. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Suthep Loves the Gunmen!
The popcorn guys wearing masks so they can't be interviewed. Photo courtesy Khao Sod.
Editorial lead-in: Thailand is imbroiled in a class-clash that oneside admits to and the other denies. Elites against the poor, the smart against the ignorant, the urban against the rural. Is civil society in Thailand possible with this going on constantly?
22 February 2014
On 20 February 2014 anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban has delivered a thinly-veiled threat that Redshirts supporters might face armed militants allied to his movements. Mr. Suthep, leader of the People′s Committee for Absolute Democracy With the King As Head of State (PCAD), said at a rally stage in Bangkok′s Silom district that he has been informed about the Redshirts′ upcoming rally to intimidate the PCAD supporters on this Saturday.
"Go ahead. Come. The popcorn vendors have already prepared the popcorns for you," Mr. Suthep said, "Don′t blame me if the vendors serve popcorns at you". The popcorn was a reference to unidentified militants who appeared among PCAD protesters with military-grade weaponry which they hid in a popcorn bag during a standoff with pro-government protesters in Laksi district on 1 February - a day before the snap election was held.
Several people have been injured by the gunfight, in which the PCAD militants apparently outgunned the pro-government protesters. "Popcorns vendors" has since become a euphemism among the protesters to describe the mysterious gunmen. "In the past, they have retreated as soon as they encounter 4-5 popcorns vendors," Mr. Suthep continued, adding that the Redshirts leaders should summon their supporters out to contest the PCAD protesters "so that it will be over quickly". He stressed that the PCAD is not affiliated with the gunmen in any way, however. "We don′t [personally] know these popcorn vendors," Mr. Suthep told the crowd, "But let me say I love them so much". HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Thais in Japan for Evac?
Japan has snow. But this much? Recent meteorological reports indicate more cold weather and
storms on the way, distupring world weather patterns.
Editorial lead-in: The Thai government has recently indicated special concern for Thais in Japan who have become subject to the cold weather the region is experiencing. The Thi embassy in Japan has opened a hotline and the Japanese government has recommended stocking up on rations.
18 February 2014
The Thai Embassy in Japan has been on standby around the clock to help coordinate evacuations of Thai tourists who may be trapped by snowstorms, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
Sek Wannamethee said the embassy had coordinated with concerned agencies to provide assistance to Thai tourists, stranded by snow storms at hotels and various resorts in Japan. The tourists were advised to stock up on food and drink to survive for at least three days, and avoid travelling this week, Sek said. The embassy has opened a hotline on (++81 90) 4435 7812 for Thai tourists to seek help. Sek said many Thais had already called the number, adding the embassy was also coordinating via tour firms. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Tourists who visited without visas who may have to overstay the 15-day visa-free period because of the storm should contact the embassy promptly. A severe snowstorm sweeping across Japan has killed 19 people and left more than 1,600 injured, media and officials said yesterday, as the extreme weather sparked widespread transport chaos. The storm is now moving toward northernmost Hokkaido, Japan's meteorological agency said, warning of heavy snow, blizzards and avalanches as well as high waves along the northeast coast, which was battered by a quake-sparked tsunami almost three years ago.
Peaceful Lawbreaking by PDRC
Photo shows willing Thai citizen helping to seal off a state-owned building to prevent its
use. Disruption of government operations has been a landmark of the Suthep movement. Photo
Editorial lead-in: Claims remain amazingly unbelievable that the current anti-government protesters are peaceful. They have many times used significant physical force to block public and state employee access to roadways and buildings. The advocating of the right to deprive others of their rights is bad enough, but the apparent agreement to this by traditionalists is outstandingly shameful.
17 February 2014
Anti-government protesters of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) today sealed the Government House entrance gates to block caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from entering the compound. The protesters led by secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban, joined the allied group of the Network of Students and People for the Reform of Thailand (NSPRT) which camped out near Government House following the announcement of the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order of its intention to retake the area around Government House this week.
Mr Suthep led his supporters to pour cement over sandbags blocking Gates 1 and 2 of the government seat, without any disruption or prevention from security personnel.The protest leader said he mobilised the crowds to Government House because CMPO director Chalerm Yubamrung challenged the protesters by announcing that he would open way for Ms Yingluck and the government to return to work there although they do not have legitimacy to remain in power. Another protest leader, Thaworn Senneam, said he was confident as the CMPO would be unable to retake the five areas now occupied by the protesters, while saying that the government must take responsibility for any violence which occurs during this tense period.
At the PDRC rally site on Chaeng Wattana Road, protest leader Buddhist monk Phra Buddha Issara today is scheduled to negotiate with the secretary-general of King Prachadhipok's Institute who is seeking its reopening. The monk will also file a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman and the National Human Rights Commission for the arrest warrant issuance against him despite having not committed any crime.
Meanwhile, prospective MPs for the ruling Pheu Thai Party in the Northeast met today and announced that they would hold a mass rally Saturday in the northeastern province of Sakhon Nakhon to fight against any attempt of the PDRC to topple democracy. The group said they will also oppose to a coup and reject all "unconstitutional" conditions to end the crisis such as the formation of an unelected government. (MCOT online news) HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Is this Suthep fan out of her mind or merely a loyal natioonalist who loves her country?
Editorial lead-in: Listed to Suthep these days and you will soon realize that this characature of virtue is having gthe time of his life. He jokes about the ridiculous nature of the Thaksin-puppet (his words) government and spreadswjhistle blowing mirth about how stupid Chalerm is.
16 February 2014
Anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban yesterday ruled out the possibility of talks with politicians in power and also rejected a proposal for a national unity government with figures from all parties. Suthep said he would only talk with Thaksin Shinawatra, who he said was the de-facto leader of the government, if the ex-premier met him in person at the Dusit Thani Hotel, which is near the main protest site at Lumpini Park.But he didn't think Thaksin would dare to return to Thailand for such a meeting and risk being arrested after being convicted and sentenced to two years' jail for abuse of power.
"So the door for talks should be considered shut," Suthep said. "I won't have a talk with Yingluck [Shinawatra, the caretaker prime minister], either in secret or in public. Also, I won't negotiate with any representative from the government because they have no real power," he said.
Suthep, who is secretary general of the People's Democratic Reform Committee, said his group also opposed the idea of replacing the current caretaker government with a national unity administration consisting of Cabinet members from all political parties. "That's because we believe that such a government would include people from Thaksin's network," he said. He still insists that the caretaker administration must go and be replaced with an appointed "people's government".
Suthep said this goal would be achieved if thousands of rice farmers stage a protest against the government in Bangkok. He said the PDRC would be ready to support the farmers. Meanwhile, the government's Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) has resolved to summon individuals and businesses suspected of financing the PDRC's protests for questioning, said Tarit Pengdith, a key CMPO official who is also director general of the Department of Special Investigation. He said bank accounts of these people and companies would be "frozen" if they failed to provide convincing explanations.
Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung, who is in charge of the CMPO, said yesterday the prime minister could return to work at Government House on Monday although he wanted her to wait till Wednesday. He said he had instructed Metropolitan Police commissioner Pol Lt Gen Camronwit Thoopkrajank to thoroughly check the compound to ensure it is safe for the PM. Yingluck has been unable to enter Government House since protesters began camping out outside the site three months ago. Chalerm said he would not order an operation to reclaim protest sites at the Pathumwan intersection at the moment, adding he wanted Suthep to "go broke" having to pay for holding the protest.
The protest site at Government House, meanwhile, got a clean-up after police managed to reclaim an area on Friday. City workers took part in the "big cleaning day". Pol Maj Gen Nipon Charoen-phol, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said that the area from the Royal Plaza to the Makkhawan Bridge was cleaned up in preparation for the Red Cross Fair in late March. In a related development, 40 more companies of crowd-control police were sent yesterday from several provinces in the north. They will serve as reinforcements to some 30 companies that have already been dispatched in Bangkok, according to a police source. The police are expected to help increase pressure on protesters in the capital or a possible crackdown on PDRC protest sites, the source said. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Farmers Join Anarchy Moves
Rice stocks in Thailand's northern region to be seized and power taken from government to conduct any business with it. Photo from MCOT.
Editorial lead-in: This editor's wife is half-Indian. But for my part, having lived and worked with various ethnic communities in Thailand over my own 46 years here off and on, I've also noted and felt the hate speech wrath form so-called "good Thais" who made one inane claim after another just to get rid of an enemy of their own convictions..
10 February 2014
Farmer leaders today abruptly walked out of a meeting with key Cabinet members who failed to tell them when they would be paid for the rice they sold under the subsidy scheme. The disgruntled farmers announced that state rice stockpiles nationwide would be seized, starting from the North, and the government would no longer have the legitimate authority to sell the rice acquired from farmers.
Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister/Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisarn was accompanied by three Cabinet members from the Agriculture, Commerce and Finance ministries in the meeting with farmers on the overdue payments issue. Farmers insisted on a specific timing for the payments which, they said, have been delayed since October.
Mr Niwatthamrong said the government has successively paid to farmers during the last six months and that the payment delay was due to the House dissolution which poses restrictions on the caretaker government on spending. He said it was also difficult for a caretaker government to borrow from financial institutions, promising that the caretaker Cabinet would be asked in its weekly meeting tomorrow to approve Bt712 million from the central fund to pay farmers.
The farmer representatives blamed the government for failing to work out preparations for rice payments before the House dissolution and negotiate with the Election Commission and financial institutions to allow the payments, leaving the burden on the farmers themselves.
They immediately left the meeting, saying they were dissatisfied with the negotiations.
Kittisak Ratanavaraha, leader of the Northern Farmers Network, said the government has now lost its legitimacy to sell the rice in the state stockpiles which will be sealed off nationwide, starting in the North today.
Protesting farmers moved back to the Commerce Ministry where they have staged a rally since the weekend. (MCOT online news) HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Keeping a Low Ethnic Profile? Indian national Satish Sehgal, photo above courtesy of The Nation, has lived in Thailand for half a century. As a direct result of demonstrating against the Thai government, he has been singled out for deportation. The racial prejudice issue in Thailand is one that makes this case sensitive, alarming and perhaps sadly, hopeless. See today's editorial.
Editorial lead-in: This editor's wife is half-Indian. But for my part, having lived and worked with various ethnic communities in Thailand over my own 46 years here off and on, I've also noted and felt the hate speech wrath form so-called "good Thais" who made one inane claim after another just to get rid of an enemy of their own convictions..
10 February 2014
The Nation and the Korat Post Online
Facing a nasty Ministry of Interior process recently started to deport him from the country, PDRC financial supporter Satish Sehgal just announced that he wa foregoing any furhter demonstrations in support of the revolt and its leadership. While Satish had put his proverbial mouth where his money was, and many of us have the right to do so if we have the cinviction, there are those among us who are well advised not to. Such as presidents of business associations in Thailand whose organizations are heavily dependent on government goodwill and whose activities in the kingdom are governed by that. Besides being president of the India-Thai Chamber of Commerce, and an executive of a well-known agency, Mr. Satish is perhaps first and foremost "one of us" - that is, a foreigner. Thais are both xenophobic and racially prejudice, and as a general culture under Thainess, are very likely to throw some of the most hateful things our way to get rid of us. One of those is the power of the Thai government to kick your behind out of Thailand.
From the Nation...
9 February 2014
India-Thai Business Forum chairman Satish Sehgal said yesterday that he would end his political activities after the government's Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order issued an order to deport him from the country on grounds that he had led protesters to besiege state premises.
Satish proclaimed his innocence, saying he had never taken the role of a leader of the anti-government protest and had never taken to the rally stages. He said he had only carried out political activities to protect the country and its institutions.
The CMPO has alleged that Satish had led protesters to besiege several government offices and even surrounded the Civil Aviation Department after the state of emergency was announced. Satish called on the National Human Rights Commission on Friday to help him fight the expulsion order. "Whatever the outcome of my case, I insist I will not leave Thailand because this is my dearest home,'' he said. The businessman took pictures with People's Democratic Reform Committee protesters at the Saladaeng rally base and said the PDRC leaders and protesters understood his intention to cease his political activities. Meanwhile, Department of Special Investigation chief Tarit Pengdith said the DSI would reveal tomorrow the names of 58 suspects believed to have financed the PDRC protest.
He said that about 30 of them had contributed a million or more. He said the DSI had looked into financial transactions and activities right from the start of the rally or before emergency was imposed. He reasoned that with this financial support, the PDRC has been able to continue its rally, forcing the government to impose a state of emergency. Tarit said he has assigned DSI deputy chief Pol Lt-Colonel Wannapong Kotcharak to check both people and jurisdictions that have financed the PDRC.
He said the officials in the panel to check suspected financial transactions would include Anti Money Laundering Office (AMLO) chief Pol Colonel Sihanart Prayoonrat, representatives from the police force, the Revenue Department and the Office of the Narcotics Control Board. He said authorities would use the CMPO's power and the emergency decree and not the money laundering law to launch investigations into financial transactions. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Abhisit Avoids Red Shirts - NKP
Photo courtesy Manager Online. The number of people in the group gathered to protest Abhisit was reported to be around fifty.
Editorial lead-in: Note that articles appearing on these pages from the Manager Online are chosen for Isaan-relevance in many cases, and not for the editorial views ot that paper which is owned by arch enemy of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Sondhi Limthongkul.
8 February 2014 (Manager Online, regional section)
Transedited by the Korat Post online
Nakhonphanom - Only a handful of Red Shirts gathered at the NKP airport when Abhisit Vejajivva landed there yesterday to honor son of well-known businessman at his engagement party.At 11:00 hrs. on 8 February 2014, at the Nakhonphanom airport, approximately fifty Red Shirts gathered together to show opposition to the leader of theDemocrat Party as he stepped off the plane to be welcomed by friends to an engagement party for the daughter of a businessman friend. The ceremony took place at the Dusit, meung district, Sakonakhon. The Sakonakorn airport didn't have an incoming flight schedule so the former prime minister chose to fly into NKP.
There were over a hundred police on hand who had traveled to the airport to provide security and ensure no incidents took place caused by troublemakers. Police had brought in a van parking it in front of the passenger lounge at the airport as a decoy, and for actually picking up the party leader had arranged another van parked behind the terminal bulding. Police cars led the way out of the airport to Sakonakorn. When the Red Shirt protesters realized what had happened, the became displeased but then dissolved the gathering. At 12:00 hrs. Abhisit arrived to join the engagement ceremony as an honored guest for Mr. Isara Sunthornwat, son of Mr. Saengchai Sunthornwat, former director of the Mass Communications ofThailand agency (MCOT).
Most recently Mr. Saengchai had received the position of party list parliament representative (MP) prior to the parliament being dissolved in March 2013. The ceremony went without a hitch and no members of the Red Shirt UDD arrived to interfere.Mr. Abhisit later thanked all of the ceremony guests and that he kept personal track of the two men - father and son - the former whom he knew as a hard worker and who non-stopping worked with the Democrat Party. Abhisit told the guests that much of his time was being engaged by being guest of honor at many such happy occasions. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Loei Restaurant's Close Call
Careless trash burning by restaurant owner in Loei province leads to five rai grassland blaze
and confession of being less than watchful.
Editorial lead-in: Taking a break for a moment we turn to some of the environmental things we notice in Thailand form time to time, such as massive roadside fires.
LOEI - 7 February 2014 (Manager Online, regional section)
Transedited by the Korat Post online
Widespread grassland fire in Loei province extinguished after emergency fire crews called in, saving nearby restaurant. At 17:45 hrs on 6 February 2014, a grassland blaze erupted next to the Saon Restaurant in Loei, situated next to farmland, Maliwan Road, Tambol Na-an, meung district, Loei province The blaze erupted to grow to some five rai in area. The cause was burning of trash by the restaurant owner who admitted that he had lit the pile of refuse but had not paid much attention afterward. He was able to call in the fire fighting crew who put out the blaze before it reached his restaurant.
In questioning Mr. Wiwat Rengwisut, owner of the restaurant, he stated that the cause of the fire was that a younger staff member had taken the refuse outside to burn and did not pay any attention to the fire once it started. No one noticed the fire spreading as it fed on fuel in the form of dry grass. Once the spreading fire was noticed, however, staff and owner attempted to put out the flames using water but were not able to do so. Mr. Wiwat said that it was fortunate for him that the flames were doused before actually reaching his restaurant.
Abhisit - "Dissolve Pheu Thai!"
One other thing that has remained consistent with the Thaksin powerhouse is the ability to producce a party logo very similar to the one before. The current one resembles the old TRT logo.
5 February 2014
The Korat Post Online - USA Server Served
From the Nation
Editorial lead-in: Lots of conjectiure on the fate of the Pheu Thai party headed by Thaksin's sister Yingluck Shinawatra. Democrat Party leader Abhitit Vejjajiva has filed petition to have the party dissolved.
BANGKOK 5 February 2014 (the Nation)
The Democrat Party lodged a complaint with the Constitutional Court against Pheu Thai, calling for dissolution for pushing the February 2 election despite an Election Commission recommendation to delay thenational poll.
Party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said caretaker premier and Pheu Thai party-list MP Yingluck Shinawatra had ignored the election agency's key recommendation, an act regarded as a violation of an important charter article. It has requested dissolution of the Pheu Thai Party because executive authority was utilised, via government acts such as the declaring of a state of emergency, which afforded it control of political expression over others in the run-up to the poll.
Article 68 of the Constitution stipulates one's right to protect the Constitution. It also prohibits any act that would seek change or to obtain authority through unconstitutional means. The article also permits dissolution of political parties found to have done this, and can ban party executives from participation in political activities for five years. However, Pheu Thai party-list MP Ruangkrai Leekitwattana said duty and decisions in regard to arranging or postponing elections did not belong to a government, and that neither Yingluck nor the caretaker government utilised executive authority to gain advantage over other parties.
The Democrat Party would also seek to impeach Yingluck and all members of her Cabinet for their "misconduct" and roles in arranging the February 2 poll, Chavanond said. This would be done through the National Anti-Corruption Commission, via a signature campaign seeking support from a minimum of 20,000 people. He dismissed a Pheu Thai statement that the Democrats had no right to void the February 2 election results because it failed to field candidates.
Meanwhile, EC chairman Supachai Somcharoen said a new election would be arranged if rulings by the Constitutional Court or the Ombudsman's Office found that results of the February 2 poll were invalid. And a new royal decree may need to be issued by the caretaker government to fix problems in 28 constituencies in the South, as no candidates had registered for these seats. Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said a complaint will be loged today with the EC to seek the dissolution of the Democrat Party, for former MPs' roles assisting in protest rallies, in violation of Article 68. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Does Charter Sanction Revolt?
Symbolic respect for a constituiion upheld by a chalice does little in real life when major political parties do not pay attenttion to it, or otherwise do what they can to undermine it and its intent..
4 February 2014
The Korat Post Online - USA Server Served
From National News Bureau of Thailand
Editorial lead-in: Now the Election Commission finally comes out of the closet and announces it has the solution to resolving the undertain election results. We are more or less sufe that reform is not one of those ways it has in mind.
BANGKOK 4 February 2014 (NNT) — Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has quoted section 68 of the constitution as the reason he did not participate in the February 2 general election. The Pheu Thai party, on the other hand, will also be using the same legislation to effect the dissolution of the Democrat party. According to Mr. Abhisit, the general election that was held on February 2 was in violation of Section 68 of the constitution. He further stated that the election was in vain, as he did not see how a new government could be formed - adding that more all-too familiar problems would inevitably follow. Article 68 reads as follows:
Right to Protect the Constitution
Section 68. No person shall exercise the rights and liberties prescribed in the Constitution to overthrow the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State under this Constitution or to acquire the power to rule the country by any means which is not in accordance with the modes provided in this Constitution.
In the case where a person or a political party has committed the act under paragraph one, the person knowing of such act shall have the right to request the Prosecutor General to investigate its facts and submit a motion to the Constitutional Court for ordering cessation of such act without, however, prejudice to the institution of a criminal action against such person.
In the case where the Constitutional Court makes a decision compelling the political party to cease to commit the act under paragraph two, the Constitutional Court may order the dissolution of such political party.
In the case where the Constitutional Court makes the dissolution order [no dissolution order has yet been made] under paragraph three, the right to vote of the President and the executive board of directors of the dissolved political party at the time the act under paragraph one has been committed shall be suspended for the period of five years as from the date the Constitutional Court makes such order."
If we reread Abhisit's supposed authority in referring to this article, and then read the article, we can see there is no relationship between the two.
Pheu Thai spokesperson Prompong Nopparit, on the other hand, has filed charges with the Election Commission (EC) accusing Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban and 8 other core members of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) of obstruction the general election.
Moreover, the Pheu Thai party will on February 5 submit to the EC chairman evidence collected since the beginning of the demonstrations on October 31 last year until February 2 of this year, which clearly shows Mr. Abhisit and other party executives participating in the mass rallies, in order to have the Democrat party dissolved for violating Section 68 of the constitution. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Udorn - 'No' Votes Win!
In the Northeast Red Shirt enclave of Udornthani, no votes are reported to have outnumbered those for Pheu Thai candidates, sending another blow to the Shinawatra machine.
3 February 2014
The Korat Post Online - USA Server Served
From National News Bureau
Editorial lead-in: Apparently rice scheme hanky-panky is taking its toll on the Shinawatra inertia, leading to a numberical defeat for the acting government in perhaps its greatest stronghold in the country, Udorn Thani provice. Even those who used to back Thaksin seem to be voting with their feet. It's not a good sign for democracy, either.
3 February 2014 - from The Nation
Ratchathewi district Voters Hold Their Own Election
Pro-election supporters in Ratchathewi district made their own ballot boxes and papers after the real ballot boxes and voting papers could not be delivered to polling stations in the area.
Pro-election supporters in Ratchathewi district made their own ballot boxes and papers after the real ballot boxes and voting papers could not be delivered to polling stations in the area. They organised their own election activities, as there were no electoral or district officials present at their polling unit.The voters also made a big banner with a message saying: "The Ratchathewi district chief doesn't want an election so we'll vote by ourselves."
2 February 2014 (NNT) — Votes “No” in the northeastern province of Udon Thani were almost as high as votes for election candidates in the Sunday polls, according to the Election Commission (EC). After all polling stations in Udon Thani were closed and vote counting began, candidates number 15 from the Pheu Thai party led their competitors at all polling stations. However, votes “No” were not far behind from votes the candidates received, said the provincial Election Commission (EC) in Udon Thani, one of the strongholds of the ruling Pheu Thai party.
There are nine election districts and 2,255 polling stations in Udon Thani. All of them were able to arrange the general election on Sunday. Voter turnout was 47.75%, significantly lower than the 2011 voter turnout of 70.13%. No violation of the election law has been reported. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Decadent? - OMG!
Lady Mo monument far right. We are pretty sure that whoever wrote this piece for Thailand's National News Bureau didn't check the meaning of decadent, but you never know...photo courtesy Korat Post.
31 January 2014
The Korat Post Online - USA Server Served
From National News Bureau
Editorial lead-in: One of the many things that expatriates will experience in Thailand is an often overwhelming reluctance to consult with native English speakers who can edit a poorly-written sign. The problem also has to do with social hierarchy as those below are afraid to ask those above for help lest they appear ignorant .
NAKHON RATCHASIMA 31 January 2014 (NNT) — Nakhon Ratchasima, also known as Korat, has reported at least 10,000 visitors to the city each day during the Chinese New Year festival. Locals and visitors joining in on the celebrations gathered around the Thao Suranari Monument which has been set up as the main venue. Families and excited participants currently roam around the event area enjoying the colorful Chinese decorations and brightly lit lanterns.
Visitors who came to take part in the celebrations have been very impressed with the decadent atmosphere and especially the Chinese lanterns. The event is held from January 30 to February 1, and is expected to receive at least 10,000 visitors each day. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.
Cobra Gold 2014 Arrives
Marines drinking cobra blood, army and navy helping build school facilities and working with local health workers...and oh, those noises in the sky! Editorial.
30 January 2014
The Korat Post Online - USA Server Served
From Stars and Stripes, Huffington Post, Bangkok Post, others...
Editorial lead-in: Thunder overhead and ear-shattering roars of afterburners mark the trail of multimillion dollar aircraft buzzing over this city of a quarter million. More unseen but much more appreciated is the joint foreign-Thai assistance given to local organizations and communities.
From Military Times 21 January 2014
About 5,000 U.S. troops are forging ahead with a multinational military exercise in Thailand despite widespread disorder in the capital, Bangkok, where officials declared a state of emergency Tuesday after anti-government protests and violent attacks spread throughout the city. Known as Cobra Gold, the exercise began Friday in Thailand’s Phitsanulok province, about 230 miles north of Bangkok. It’s Asia’s largest military exercise, which brings together troops from Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the U.S. This year, China also is participating as an observing nation.
The U.S. contingent includes personnel from the Marine Corps, Army and Navy. Chuck Little, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Pacific, said that so far no changes have been made to the exercise, which is scheduled to run through Feb. 22. But U.S. officials will be watching what happens in Bangkok and beyond, he said. “Safety of U.S. forces participating in exercises is always a concern,” Little said, “so we will continue to monitor the situation.”
It's Not Reform, But Revolt
The guns and bayonets have not yet appeared for the most part, but pretending that this is a reform movement in Thailand instead of the insurrection it is is irresponsible. Editorial.
28 January 2014
The Korat Post Online - USA Server Served
From agencies, reports
Editorial lead-in: The guns and bayonets have not yet appeared for the most part, but pretending that this is a reform movement in Thailand instead of the insurrection it is is irresponsible. And we mean it. Don't lie to us or yourself as to what you are up to.
BANGKOK, 27 January 2014 (NNT) - The army confirms all army officers perform their duties according to the laws and calls on the public to understand them. Army spokesman Col. Winthai Suwaree says the army chief and the police commissioner-general have agreed to urgently arrest the culprits of all violent incidents during the anti-government rallies.
Col. Winthai on Monday elaborated that the Emergency Decree obligated the Center for Managing of Peace and Order (CMPO) to be responsible for the deployment of police personnel to maintain peace and order amid the protests in Bangkok. In response to the protesters’ request for the army to step in, the spokesman said army officers must carry out their duties within a legal framework and there must be laws to protect them. Col. Winthai also called on all groups of protesters to rally in a peaceful manner and not to use to violence which would only make things worse.
Meanwhile, Blue Sky TV and ASTV have aired Suthep's stage statements where he has warned the country's peace and security commission that if it does not just itself down he will lead a bunch of his mobs to close it. The total disregard that Suthep, the Democrats, the military and elites have for civilian government is reprehensible in the extreme. While they may have reasons to fight against corruption, doing it by depriving everyone of the right to choose is not democracy. Also on 27 January 2014, a large coalition of Department of Community Development civil servants appeared on PDRC media TV to announce support for reform and opposition to elections at this time. HEADLINES. EDITORIAL. Comments to the editor via message to his Facebook page or to email@example.com. Alternatively contact personally to receive direct email.