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Southern insurgents likely behind the Bangkok bombings – Deputy PM Prawit

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Southern insurgents likely behind the Bangkok bombings – Deputy PM Prawit | The Thaiger

A meeting of Thai security and intelligence officials last night, chaired by Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, has determined southern insurgents were likely behind the spate of ‘warning’ bombs that went off around the capital yesterday morning. At the same time they haven’t completely ruled out political motivations despite an attempt by Thailand’s army chief Gen. Apirat Kongsompong to politicise the day’s explosions.

The blasts included one at Chong Nong Si BTS station, next door to the Mahanakhon building, the Government Complex on Chaeng Watthana Road (Building B), and the Royal Thai Armed Forces HQ.

The series of bombings injured four people, although it is understood that no one was seriously injured. All four are currently receiving in hospitals.

The national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda says an initial police investigation indicates that there are similarities between yesterday’s bombings and attacks carried out in seven southern and central provinces, including Phuket, in August 2016.

The police chief says that authorities “can bring the situation under control”.

Seven separate bombs were reported in five locations in Bangkok and Nonthaburi with five of them detonating, injuring four people. Fires also broke out at three locations – Bangkok’s Pratunam market area on Phetchaburi Road, a favourite tourist and local shopping destination. One fire is suspected to be arson and bomb fragments were reported to be among the debris.

Southern insurgents likely behind the Bangkok bombings - Deputy PM Prawit | News by The Thaiger

Sources report that bomb disposal experts say the bombs at several locations in Bangkok were “improvised devices” triggered by timers.

“They were designed to cause panic rather than inflict mass casualties. These bombs are similar to cluster bombs used in the serial bomb attacks in seven southern and central provinces on August 16, 2016.”

The timing of the incidents, during a meeting of regional foreign ministers at a series of ASEAN meeting, running since Tuesday, support the theory that the incidents are more about embarrassing the government and security forces rather than causing damage or harm. Ministers and officials from 31 countries were in attendance including US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Much of the foreign media coverage linked the explosions with the ASEAN meetings in Bangkok…Southern insurgents likely behind the Bangkok bombings - Deputy PM Prawit | News by The Thaiger Southern insurgents likely behind the Bangkok bombings - Deputy PM Prawit | News by The Thaiger Southern insurgents likely behind the Bangkok bombings - Deputy PM Prawit | News by The ThaigerSecurity was tightened around the Centara Grand at CentralWorld, near to where the ASEAN meetings were under way. At a Friday evening meeting between defence and security officials, chaired by deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, officials didn’t rule out any motives behind the bombings saying “that the attacks were intended to damage the country’s reputation”.

Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai says that the bombings had not affected the ASEAN meetings and the event proceeded as per schedule.

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ASEAN

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit

May Taylor

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Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | The Thaiger

November 4 and 5 have been approved as official holidays for Bangkok and Nonthaburi as a result of the 35th Asean Summit and Related Summits being held at Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok.

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul confirmed yesterday that the measure was being taken in an effort to alleviate traffic problems in both areas during the summit, adding that other state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand could implement the holidays for their subsidiaries at their own discretion and on a case-by-case basis.

“Government agencies in Bangkok and Nonthaburi will stop working on these dates. Meanwhile, state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand will consider announcing November 4 and 5 as holidays for their subsidiaries on case-by-case basis.”

“However, government agencies which have a necessity to provide urgent or previously scheduled services to their clients that cannot be postponed may stay open on November 4 and 5, depending on the decision by the heads of these departments.”

Some other public or regional holidays coming up…

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Two more Thai marine parks declared ASEAN heritage parks

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Two more Thai marine parks declared ASEAN heritage parks | The Thaiger

PHOTO: bluestars.info

“The two marine parks are Thailand’s fifth and sixth to be given the status of ASEAN heritage parks.”

Two southern Thailand national parks have been recognised as ASEAN heritage parks at this week’s 15th ASEAN environment ministers’ meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the home of Angkor Wat. Warawut Silpa-archa, Thailand’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, told reporters the ASEAN environment ministers voted unanimously to designate Haad Chao Mai-Koh Libong No-hunting Zone and Ang Thong marine parks as the 45th and 46th ASEAN heritage parks.

Ang Thong Marine Park, west of Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand, is made up of 42 islands rich in natural diversity, with a rare orchid, the Venus slipper, only available in the park. It is also the feeding ground for Bryde or Bruda whales, bottlenose dolphins and green turtles.

Haad Chao Mai-Koh Libong No-hunting Zone Marine Park, off Trang province, is rich in sea grass and corals and is the feeding ground of dugongs.

The two marine parks are Thailand’s fifth and sixth to be given the status of ASEAN heritage parks after Khao Yai National Park, Tarutao, Surin-Similan-Similan-Phang-nga Bay marine parks and the Kaeng Krachan forest complex in Kanchanaburi province.

To qualify as ASEAN heritage parks, they must meet certain criteria, such as ecological richness, natural characteristics, regional representation, high conservation importance, proper management, cross-boundary characteristics and connectivity between cultures and the ecological system and natural diversity.

Two more Thai marine parks declared ASEAN heritage parks | News by The Thaiger Two more Thai marine parks declared ASEAN heritage parks | News by The Thaiger

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Prayut heading to New York for six day trip, including attending UN

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Prayut heading to New York for six day trip, including attending UN | The Thaiger

Thai PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha and his entourage is leaving for New York to attend the 74th United Nations General Assembly tomorrow.

But the PM isn’t travelling alone. The six day trip to the US will also be made by Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa (and half a plane of ‘others’).

According to a schedule released to the media, Prayut will also attend two meetings in his capacity as this year’s chairman of ASEAN to represent ASEAN and Thailand’s roles in the international arena.

He will attend a high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage to show Thailand’s strong leadership with its national health scheme. The PM will also emphasise Thailand’s push to put universal healthcare on the world agenda.

Prayut will also attend the UN Climate Action summit and the Sustainable Development Goal summit. He is expected to say that ASEAN will accelerate development of the region and emphasise the role of local people as the centre of development projects based on the “sufficiency economy” philosophy, and that ASEAN would cooperate with the US and other nations in implementing development projects.

The Thai PM will assure the Asia Society that Thailand would cooperate with various countries on security, economic, social and environment projects, while the Kingdom also prepared to transform itself into an aged society and to develop smart cities and get its human resources ready for digital disruption.

During the meeting with the USABC, the PM will emphasise the strong points of the Eastern Economic Corridor project.

During the trip, Prayut will also meet and hold bilateral discussions with several foreign leaders, including Australian PM Scott Morrison, UN Secretary General António Guterres, as well as Tijjane Muhammad Bande, the chair of the 74th UN General Assembly.

On Tuesday, Prayut will attend a 9am banquette host by the UN secretary general for national leaders and their spouses. In the afternoon, he will attend the SDG Summit, as well as an evening banquette held by the US president and first lady for foreign leaders and spouses.

On Wednesday, Prayut will deliver a speech to the Asia Society at noon and attend a dinner meeting with executives of the USABC at night. The PM and his entourage are scheduled to fly from New York at noon on Thursday, landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 9.55pm on Friday.

SOURCE: The Nation

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