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Bangkok braces for Black Lives Matter rally

Jack Burton

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Bangkok braces for Black Lives Matter rally | The Thaiger
PHOTO: ABC News
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The death of black American George Floyd at the hands of police burgeoned into a storm of protests reaching across the globe; one that will reach Bangkok this weekend. The vast majority of demonstrations over the past 8 days in the US have been peaceful, but some have turned violent and curfews have been imposed after looting in a number of US cities. “Justice for George Floyd (Peacefully Paying Our Respects),” a rally in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, is expected to be held Sunday from 1pm-3pm at a location to be confirmed.

Attendees are encouraged by the event’s organisers to wear black, wear masks, bring signs and practice social distancing. The event was announced Tuesday, and more than 800 people have so far expressed interest. Reached for comment this afternoon, organisers said the event is more likely be held “virtually”. Public assembly is currently banned in Thailand under the Emergency Decree enacted to fight the spread of Covid-19.

Thailand, which has its own history of police brutality, denied using using that decree last month as a pretext to quash an anti-government rally.

New charges have been announced against all of the sacked US police officers present at George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Minneota. The charge against the officer who held his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, has been elevated to second degree murder. 3 other officers, previously uncharged, now face counts of aiding and abetting murder.

SOURCES: Coconuts Bangkok | BBC

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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.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Avatar

    King Harold

    June 4, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    Good for Bangkok, I love Thailand. #blacklivesmatter all over the world.

    • Avatar

      ron

      June 7, 2020 at 1:38 am

      Except they are a terrorist organization

  2. Avatar

    Madeline Thompson

    June 4, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    This is kind of nonsense, making a big deal of this, in this country it is not really relevant. Please, Thailand, do not get on this particular bandwagon, it is very very much a N.American thing, and the US has many different factions manipulating the situation.

    • Avatar

      Prince

      June 4, 2020 at 8:39 pm

      That’s bullshit. Racism doesnt magically disappear at the thai border. Especially with so many entitled westerners here.

  3. Avatar

    Brian

    June 4, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Thai people, I’m sorry. Many Americans are crazy.

  4. Avatar

    John Smythe

    June 4, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    Thai people have no understanding of racism as it’s perceived in the US. Rallying under this label is only an excuse for “me too” participation. Don’t be blind following fools! Foreigners who don’t like the Thai environment should just go home, this isn’t your country in the first place. Behave or get out. You’re a guest and don’t forget it.

  5. Avatar

    R

    June 4, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    This was a deplorable act perpetrated by this police officers..and I hope they spend the time in prison they deserve..however it is not the norm as the media wants you to believe…George Floyd was not a role model citizen as media wants you to believe having spent 5 years in prison for armed robbery and numerous other arrest.Last weekend 49 people were shot in the city of Chicago..a usual normal weekend event week in week out but nothing said or protested and you never know their names because it is blacks shooting blacks…So do black lives only matter when it’s convenient for the political left Dems to create division of races.If you want to protest…protest for the good people who lost their businesses and good police who were severly injured or killed or is this behavior justified.Thailand has enough of their own issues that needs addressed without marching for something they don’t understand.

  6. Avatar

    Irrasmus Black

    June 4, 2020 at 11:40 pm

    As a Black American man residing in Thailand over the last 10 months, I find this very very interesting, this act of solidarity and support for Blacks. I have lived and traveled many many countries and my experiences in Thailand have caused me to assess and consider Thailand as the most racist country in the world, so I want to thank the element of people who were emotionally impacted by the atrocity of the unneccessary brutal killing of a Black man in the USA, that they feel the need to act in solidarity.
    I live in an area in Thailand that is very popular with White foreigners and I feel their unease, discomfort, and hatred, the hatred in their eyes when I am in their presence. They avoid eye contact and always maintain a cold rigid demeanor if they have to interact with me. This is an entirely different experience from what I have had living in Europe and North America, so I am wondering what element and mentality of White foreigners visit Thailand. I am reading the comments of some White foreigners who in their primitive minds cannot see the need for a protest or for people to stand up against what transpired in Minnesota. That saddens me and shows the need for this protest and solidarity with Blacks. I want to say thanks again to the organizers of this “Black Lives Matter” event in Bangkok.

  7. Avatar

    Kemah Family Dental

    June 5, 2020 at 4:07 am

    One thing is true, Thailand has Fake News Media just like the other countries under the influence of China’s power grab

  8. Avatar

    Duke Stern

    June 5, 2020 at 9:30 am

    as an american who is a minority, black lives matter as a movement is retarded.

  9. Avatar

    Marshall Lentini

    June 5, 2020 at 10:26 am

    It took global negromania to make one nostalgic for lockdowns.

  10. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    June 5, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Leave, J Smythe? They can’t.

  11. Avatar

    Stan Nomad

    June 5, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    ALL Lives Matter: racism is a two way street.

  12. Avatar

    Steve

    June 5, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    Since when are Thai women into black men?

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Crime

Pathum Thani police hunt “100 million baht auntie”

Jack Burton

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Pathum Thani police hunt “100 million baht auntie” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Police in Pathum Thani, just north of Bangkok, are tracking down a mysterious loan shark known as “Mrs. Millionaire” to face charges that she hired a man to beat a vendor who owed her money, leaving him with permanent brain damage. The woman, whose age is estimated at around aged 65-70, dresses plainly and carries a large rubbish sack around, which reportedly contains the cash she lends to traders in local markets, including the one outside the Zeer Rangsit IT centre where the March 12 attack occurred.

Despite her modest appearance, she’s been dubbed the “100 million baht auntie” and linked to a gang which employs violence to chase down unpaid debts.

63 year old Weerapat Kampiranon, who’s run a market stall outside Zeer Rangsit with his wife, selling crab fried rice for the past 8 years, complained to Kukot police last week about the assault, which took place as he and his wife were packing up for the day. He had been in a coma for months.

The couple later addressed the media with celebrity lawyer Ronnarong Kaewpetch, who demanded Pathum Thani police explain why loan sharks were able to ply their trade freely around the market, even after the government told them to drive “informal lenders” out of business during the Covid-19 virus epidemic.

Weerapat says he was getting on his motorcycle while his wife went to the toilet when the attack occurred. A man wearing a cap and face mask hit him 4 times over the head with a heavy object, leaving him with internal bleeding and temporary loss of brain function, requiring 2 months’ hospitalisation.

His wife says she heard the sound of her husband being struck and raced out in time to see the attacker, who fled the scene. Pointing to a large caved-in area on the side of his head he told police he can’t remember much about the attack.

“Doctors say I have lost 10% of my brain capacity and the damage is permanent. I had to re-learn how to walk, and still stammer a bit.”

Weerapat’s wife says the past months were gruelling – medical bills for his care came to 100,000 baht, which they raised from relatives.

“He was in critical condition for 4 nights, and I wasn’t sure he’d make it. I was worried about losing the mainstay of my life. It was like bringing up a child. He had to start again.”

Weerapat said “100 million baht auntie” has many customers in the marketplace outside Zeer. He borrowed an initial 60,000 baht from her in late 2016 as he wanted to sell T-shirts and open a new branch of his stall. She charged monthly interest of 10%. He carried on borrowing and his debt at one point reached 80,000 baht, though she agreed to halve the interest 2 years ago when the economy soured.

Ronnarong, the lawyer, says Zeer Rangsit is well known for its loan shark lenders. Police have issued a 10,000 baht reward for information leading to auntie’s arrest, but say they’ve been unable to establish her name and know little about her. They say she’s unlikely to be as wealthy as her nickname suggests nor attached to any gang.

Pathum Thani police hunt

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Bangkok

Poll shows most Bangkok residents dissatisfied with public bus service

Jack Burton

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Poll shows most Bangkok residents dissatisfied with public bus service | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

A recent survey by Bangkok Poll showed most of the city’s residents aren’t satisfied with the capital’s bus services, citing long waiting times, shabby conditions and thick black exhaust. The poll, conducted June 25-29 by the Bangkok University Research Centre, surveyed 1,299 people aged over 18 to gauge public satisfaction with city buses.

The largest group, 46.7%, said they were unsatisfied with buses operating on Bangkok streets; 33% were partly satisfied and 20.3% were mostly satisfied.

Asked to identify the problems with the capital’s public buses, 61.1% complained of long waiting and inadequate numbers of buses. Another 51.7% said most of the buses are old, while 41.2% complained of black smoke.

Asked to suggest improvements they’d like to see, 61.6% said they want buses to arrive on time to shorten commuting times. Some 53.1% wanted all city buses to be air conditioned. About 51.9% wanted them to be less crowded by adding frequencies and seats, in line with “new normal’’ and social distancing measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, according to the poll.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Thailand growing more expensive for expats

Jack Burton

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Thailand growing more expensive for expats | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Business Traveller

According to Employment Conditions Abroad, Bangkok and Chiang Mai are among the 30 most expensive cities for expats in Asia. The capital of Turkmenistan might not spring to mind when with considering the priciest cities, but according to ECA International it ranks first on both the global and Asian tables, a 5 point rise up the rankings due to an ongoing economic crisis, food shortages and the resulting hyperinflation.

The survey is performed in March and September every year, based on a basket of items such as rents and utility fees. Car prices and school fees are not included.

In Asia, Bangkok ranks 28th, just above Chiang Mai, according to the latest ECA International survey on the cost of living for expatriates. But it dropped out of the top 50 global rankings from the report released in December 2019. In global rankings, Bangkok is now at 60 and Chiang Mai at 142. Bangkok has lost a good deal of its former appeal for budget-conscious travellers and expatriates, rising 64 places over the past 5 years, according to the survey.

ECA says a rapidly expanding economy and increased foreign investment, at least, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, made Thailand more expensive, fuelled by the strengthening baht.

“The baht has strengthened considerably, making the country more expensive for expatriates and tourists. However, this trend has slowed over the past year, partly in response to government attempts to weaken the baht in order to keep the country competitive.”

Hong Kong is the second most expensive city in Asia after Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), but ahead of Tokyo and Singapore. Singapore is rated the most expensive place for expats in Southeast Asia and has led that ranking for many years.

Hong Kong remains sixth in the global standings, 1 place ahead of the Japanese capital. Singapore was fourteenth in Asia, dropping 2 notches from the previous survey.

Ashgabat’s sudden rise to the top of the is largely attributable to the economic dilemmas of Turkmenistan’s government, according to ECA. The energy-rich Central Asian nation faces severe inflation, and a black market for foreign currencies has caused the cost of imports to rise. Both factors have sparked a large increase in the costs visitors pay.

The ECA says Chinese cities fell across the board due to signs of a weakening economy and poorly performing currency, even before Covid-19 began taking its toll.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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