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“Priceless” ancient manuscripts vanish from university, feared stolen and sold

Jack Burton

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“Priceless” ancient manuscripts vanish from university, feared stolen and sold | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Southeast Asia Library Group
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“Hundreds” of priceless historical manuscripts have been stolen from the Arts and Cultural Centre of the Nakhon Si Thammarat Rabhabhat University. A senior monk said the ancient folding-book paper manuscripts, known as “samut khoi”, contained stories and drawings featuring local history, traditions and culture, and might have been stolen and sold to people unaware that they belonged to the university.

The university’s rector has been suspended from duty by the university council. He says the books were stolen from the Arts and Cultural Centre more than 10 years ago, before he became rector.

He denies any involvement in the theft and says his suspension was related to the administration of the university and various complaints brought against him. He has filed a petition for justice with the Nakhon Si Thammarat Administrative Court.

The rector says he set up a committee to investigate the theft, filed a police report and asked the Department of Investigation to help with the investigation.

A public plea has been made for anyone who has what they believe might be one or more of the manuscripts to return them to the university. A centre has been set up by the university to accept the returned books.

A senior monk who helped establish the centre says anyone who returns any one of the missing books will not face legal action, as it’s quite possible they were not aware it was stolen .

On July 19, one of the missing manuscripts was returned to the university centre via a Buddhist centre in Bangkok.The next day, 3 large boxes containing more of the missing books arrived at the centre by post from the northeastern Khon Kaen province. They’re being kept at the Nakhon Si Thammarat Museum unopened, pending examination.

The monk said more are expected to be returned from Phetchaburi, Lampang and Rayong provinces, but didn’t elabourate.

The university’s acting rector says he expects the investigation to be completed in 30 days. A number of witnesses have already been investigated.

He believes insiders were involved in the theft.

The university’s assistant rector, acting as director of the Arts and Cultural Centre, said the centre has been closed for forensic examination.

He says he reported the disappearance of 309 historical works, but did not reveal how many such books were kept at the centre.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Crime

Mother abandons 3 young children in their locked Bangkok room for 3 days

The Thaiger

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Mother abandons 3 young children in their locked Bangkok room for 3 days | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Khaosod.co.th

3 young Bangkok children were abandoned in a small room for 3 days after the mother allegedly visited her new boyfriend. A neighbour was taking care of the youngest of the 4 children, a 4 month old baby, but the mother never contacted anyone about her other 3 kids. The mother hadn’t returned to pick up her baby from the neighbour, as promised. Police report that the 3 children had no food for the 3 days. Paveena Hongsakul from the Foundation for Children and Women called Police at the Khan Na Yao Police Station, a northeastern suburb of Bangkok.

Police received a report about the 4 children, aged 7, 6, 4 and the baby.

The 25 year old stepsister notified the foundation on Thursday informing police that her 32 year old sister, Gift, is the mother of the children. Gift’s husband is serving a sentence for drug charges and has been incarcerated for 3 years. Since then Gift had the 4th child, although the family is unsure who the father is. The sister claimed that Gift was always asking the family for financial assistance.

Last Monday Gift’s neighbour contacted the sister saying that she had been taking care of the young baby. She went to Gift’s room to see if she was there and the room was locked. She checked through a window and could see the 3 other children and noted that they were stressed and looked hungry.

When she asked the children about their mother the youngsters remained silent. She worked with the other neighbours to rescue the children through the window. Gift’s phone was left in her room. After filing a report with the local police the neighbour took the other 3 children in to care for them but told police that her room was only 33 square metres and there were 11 people living in her tiny room already.

Police and the neighbour tried to call Gift’s new boyfriend. Eventually he answered but told them that he was “far away and didn’t know when Gift could return”.

All 4 children are now safe at the foundation after a visit to the local police station as police wait to interview Gift when she returns.

SOURCE: Thai Residents | Khaosod.co.th

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Thailand

Charter vote delayed, committee formed and Senators escape Parliament by boat – VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Charter vote delayed, committee formed and Senators escape Parliament by boat – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: Protesters gather outside the Thai parliament - Tanaporn Choopanya

Thailand’s MPs and Senators have kicked the constitutional can down the road at least a month after the parliament failed to agree on charter amendments. A panel will be sent up to examine 6 motions that were proposed and debated over the past 2 days. Meanwhile, up to 2,000 protesters were gathered outside the unfinished parliamentary buildings as an act of solidarity for the MPs supporting the changes to the current Thai Constitution.

The reality of the vote, and the setting up of an investigative committee, could push any votes on real reform well into 2021.

The 2 Houses of Parliament voted 431-255 to delay the vote. Opposition Pheu Thai and Move Forward MPs stormed out and missed the opportunity of nominating anyone to the new 45 member parliamentary committee to examine the motions, whilst the remaining members chose members for the committee. Move Forward Party’s, Pita Limjaroenrat, described the vote as “a way to stall for time” complaining that the decision “was moving the country towards a dead end”.

It was not known how the NCPO hand-picked Senators would vote on the bills. Many were thought to side with the idea of constitutional reform but the reality was that, in most scenarios, they’d be voting themselves out of a job if any reforms went ahead. Thailand’s entire upper house is a military-appointed rump of conservative former businesspeople and Army officials, mostly men.

Charter vote delayed, committee formed and Senators escape Parliament by boat - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

The protesters viewed the afternoon’s proceedings as a blunt stalling tactic to keep the current parliament, and its unelected senators, in power. The session ran until 8.30 last night. Rather than face the angry mob of anti-government protesters at the front of the building, most of the senators escaped on boat at the rear of the building, which backs onto Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River.

The demonstrators, with a consistent theme of reform over 3 months of rallies, are demanding changes to the current constitution because it was drafted by the NCPO who kicked out the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra in 2014.

The protesters specifically point to the NCPO-appointed senate and the power they wield to elect the country’s prime minister, even though none of them were elected (nor was Prayut Chan-o-cha).

Protesters say they will now organise the next lot of rallies in October. Meanwhile, the Parliament is now is recess.

PROTESTSLive scenes from today’s protest rally to lend their voices, albeit from outside the The Parliament, to the debates inside about amendments to the Thai Constitution. The Thai parliament buildings are unfinished and, so it seems, are the student and anti-government protesters.

Posted by The Thaiger on Thursday, September 24, 2020

 

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Road deaths

Bangkok DJ dies in high speed crash on notorious ‘death road’

Caitlin Ashworth

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Bangkok DJ dies in high speed crash on notorious ‘death road’ | The Thaiger
PHOTO: INN News

A well known local DJ died early this morning in a high speed car crash on a Bangkok road bend nicknamed “Curve of 100 Deaths.” Police say his car’s speedometer was found stuck at 200 kilometres per hour.

Police suspect 33 year old Annop Poonsripattana was going around a curve when he lost control of the car due to the slippery road conditions from the rain. His black Toyato Altis was found smashed into an electricity pole around 2:30am today. The impact caused Annop to be flung to the back seat. Police say his skull was shattered and his neck broken.

A security guard at a nearby building says heard an explosion and the electricity cut out. The entire area went black, he says. The so called “Curve of 100 Deaths” is near Ratchada Criminal Court in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district. The guard says many fatal crashes happen on the road.

“This area is highly prone to road accidents. Just last week a mother and her small child were killed here.”

The Ratchada Road curve so dangerous that locals honk when driving through the curve to show respect and to ask for permission from the spirits of those who have died there for safe passage, according to Coconuts Bangkok. In the past, many people have left offerings like zebra statues in honour of those who died in car incidents while driving on the road.

Annop played music at many entertainment venues in Bangkok. He was also a contestant in the Take Me Out Thailand TV show in 2015. An autopsy is being done at the Police General Hospital. Electricians are working to fix the electricity pole and restore power.

Bangkok DJ dies in high speed crash on notorious ‘death road’ | News by The Thaiger

An event with Annop Poonsripattana.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Coconuts Bangkok

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