PHOTO: The Nation
The Thai Foreign Minister yesterday formerly summoned foreign diplomats yesterday afternoon, one by one, in a diplomatic dressing down about their appearance at a police station last Saturday morning.
The official ministry memo objected to the presence of envoys at the Pathumwan Police Station on Saturday when the Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit reported in to hear charges against him.
But the US Embassy has responded, telling The Nation that attendance at legal prosecutions is standard practice.
“Regardless of the intention, the presence of embassies’ representatives at the police station, with such visibility and with the publicity it generated, was clearly an act of political significance, seen by the Thai public largely as a show of moral support for Mr Thanathorn,” read the aide memoir, a copy of which has been seen by The Nation.
“The Thai government respects the rights of foreign embassies to monitor political developments and observe events of significance for the benefit of their analysis and assessment and for promoting friendly relations. But the incident at the police station while police were carrying out their duty “was clearly not consistent with international practice and obligation.”
Representatives of the UN Human Rights Commissioner, the EU, the United States, the UK, Canada, France, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands were present at the police station on Saturday when Thanathorn arrived to hear sedition and other criminal charges.
The charges referred to his presence at an anti-junta protest in 2015 and alleged that he had provided a vehicle for a protester to escape detention.
The billionaire-turned-politician accused the junta of harbouring a political motive for prosecuting him after his party did far better than expected in the March 24 election, capturing more than 80 seats in the House of Representatives and soundly beating the Democrat party,
Future Forward then joined the pro-democracy and anti-junta camp that includes the Pheu Thai Party, bidding to attempt to form a coalition against the pro-junta Phalang Pracharat and form government after the election.
The international community and local rights groups have criticised the junta for its plan to try Thanathorn in a military court.
Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai on Tuesday slammed the envoys who showed up on Saturday, saying their presence was diplomatically inappropriate.
“Foreign representatives could get involved in the Thai judicial process only when their own citizens were prosecuted.”
However, deputy National Police chief Srivara Rangsibhramanakul said the diplomats were invited to a briefing after Thanathorn’s interrogation at Pathum Wan Police station had finished.
“They did not join the interrogation session.”
The US Embassy, whose political counsellor was at the police station on Saturday, said having representatives attend such prosecution proceedings is standard diplomatic practice.
US Charge d’Affaires Peter Haymond was among the diplomats who met separately with a senior official at the foreign ministry yesterday to take the aide memoir.
SOURCE: The Nation
Bangkok home prices among the cheapest in the Key Global Cities report
Hong Kong maintains its position as the world’s most expensive residential city, while Bangkok ranks at #33 out of 35 global cities surveyed.
In the fifth annual Global Living Report, CBRE profiles the property markets across 35 key global cities. The results highlight that investments in urban areas such as transport infrastructure, connectivity, retail, cultural centres and housing are key drivers of economic growth.
“In the fifth edition of the ‘Global Living’ report, we have expanded the number of cities we examine from 29 to 35. They include the most exciting cities in the world, from emerging technology-driven powerhouses like Shenzhen and Bangkok through more traditional capital cities such as Rome and Lisbon, to rapidly evolving modern urban centres like Dubai and Johannesburg,” according to Jennet Siebrits, Head of Residential Research at CBRE UK.
The top three most expensive places to buy a residential property are all in Asia. Hong Kong remains the city with the highest value residential real estate, with an average property costing 39.52 million baht (USD 1.235 million), Singapore in second place, averaging 27.97 million baht (USD 874,372), and Shanghai third at 27.92 million baht (USD 872,555).
Bangkok stands at #33 position with an average residential property price of 3.4 million baht (USD 106,383), followed by Ho Chi Min City at 3.29 million baht (USD 103,057) and Istanbul at the bottom with average prices of 3.11 million baht (USD 97,396) amongst the 35 surveyed world cities.
The biggest year-on-year growth was experienced in double-digits by Barcelona (16.9%), Dublin (11.6%), Shanghai (11.2%) and Madrid (10.2%). London remains one of the top ten performing global cities, with the average property price of 20.7 million baht (USD 646,973) although growth was down by 1.1%.
You can read the full report HERE.
Find the largest list of Bangkok city properties for sale HERE.
Freak storm batters Don Mueang Airport, Bangkok
A random summer storm has struck Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport this afternoon. The freak storm affected more than 18 flights and stranded 3,000 passengers whilst the storm battered the area north of the main city.
At least one flight was re-directed to the nearby Suvarnabhumi Airport and another to U-Tapao Airport.
Strong winds caused a Lion Air mobile airstair to hit a Nok Air aircraft parked nearby, after which all 176 passengers on board the Nok Air flight had to disembark and board another aircraft. Their flight was delayed up to 90 minutes.
The storm disrupted flights in and out of Don Mueang Airport between 2pm and 4pm.
A mobile stairwell was more mobile than it was meant to be during the storm
The Aeronautical Radio of Thailand reported that the storm passed at about 3.15pm and normal services at the airport resumed soon after.
During the storm dozens of planes were parked waiting for a take off slot, while dozens others circled in the city’s vicinity waiting for the opportunity to land.
Pathum Thani was also hit by winds, so severe that they blew off a section of the Western University’s concrete wall. The falling debris seriously damaged four cars and two motorcycles owned by university staff and lecturers, though nobody was injured.
The Meteorological Department has forecast summer and electrical storms in the North, Northeast, East and Central regions, including Bangkok tomorrow and into the early part of the weekend.
SOURCE: The Nation
UPDATE: Armed Mercedes snake man to be charged
No previous mental medical health problems have been identified for the man who released snakes on the road outside Central World in Bangkok yesterday.
The incident caused bedlam and stopped traffic outside Central World. A man, armed with a large knife, stopped his new black Mercedes right in the middle of the road. He then got out, posted some signs around the car and started releasing snakes out of a blue bag onto the road in front of the bewildered passersby.
Read more about last night’s bizarre display HERE.
Metropolitan Police revealed at a press conference that the man was 42 year old ‘Kanetpitsanuthep’ or Kanthapong Jakkrapopmahadaecha. He told police that he was worshipping as part of his beliefs in the Buddhism and Hindu religions. He says he received power from the sun (solar powered snake release). The man released two cobras during his impromptu demonstration yesterday.
The man had a mental health check this morning. If police determine that he doesn’t have any mental health issues, he will face charges of releasing garbage in a public area, carrying a knife in public without reason and blocking traffic. Releasing the two cobras didn’t appear to attract any particular conviction.
Kanetpitsanuthep told police that he was nervous as his mother has just passed away last year and that his sister had suffered from cancer.
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