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Phuket ‘Seasteaders’ told to pack up and go home

The Thaiger

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Phuket ‘Seasteaders’ told to pack up and go home | The Thaiger

PHOTO: An artist’s impression from the seasteading website

The ‘seasteading’ couple, that have set up a ‘floating’ home some 15 nautical miles off Phuket’s coast, are now the subject of an official complaint by the Thai Third Naval Area Command (that oversee Phuket’s security).

Chad Andrew Elwartowski and his Thai wife, Supranee Thepdet are said to be in violation of the the Thai Criminal Code.

The couple is believed to be in the early days of setting up an ‘independent state’ in international waters. A source, speaking to the Bangkok Post, believes the couple are preparing paperwork to codify their new ‘seasteading’ status in international waters.

But the Phuket Marine Office is being asked to contact the couple and ask them to remove the structure.

“If left untouched it will hinder shipping navigation since the route is used for transporting oil to Phuket.”

A source for the Phuket Marine Office says the couple’s claims that they are in international waters, and outside of Thai maritime territory, are untrue.

Phuket 'Seasteaders' told to pack up and go home | News by The Thaiger

In the meantime, Vice-Admiral Sittiporn Maskasem, commander of the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command, is sending officers to where the structure is set up, 15 nautical miles southeast of Racha Yai island off Phuket. Radio communication with the offshore platform has so far been unsuccessful.

It is believe that the American Mr Elwartowski made his fortune on early Bitcoin trading. The pair reportedly aimed to set up a permanent shelter out of any state territories by exploiting a loophole in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. 

A movement by some to set up autonomous, independent ‘nations’ has become popular in the cryptocurrency community, particularly the ones who became rich from the early trading of the controversial ‘closed system’ currency systems.

From the seasteading website

We believe the first key step is for seasteading to become not just possible, but sustainable – technologically, legally, and financially.

In other words, the cost of living on the ocean must be low enough, and the business opportunities promising enough, such that there is an economic incentive for people to live on seasteads. Currently, the high cost of open ocean engineering serves as a large barrier to entry, and hinders entrepreneurship in international waters. This has led us to look for cost-reducing solutions within the territorial waters of a host nation, while still remaining dedicated to the goal of obtaining political autonomy for governmental experiments.

Therefore, our plan entails negotiating with a host nation for maximum autonomy for a seastead in exchange for the economic and social benefits it could provide. This will allow for a proof-of-concept, and will hopefully spawn many more experiments with floating cities around the world, including those further offshore, and under different legal arrangements.

Phuket 'Seasteaders' told to pack up and go home | News by The Thaiger



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Entertainment

BTS match long-standing Beatles’ record and reach the Top 6 in 26 countries with new album

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BTS match long-standing Beatles’ record and reach the Top 6 in 26 countries with new album | The Thaiger

South Korean band BTS is making waves across music charts around the world. Their new album ‘Map of the Soul – Persona’ has matched a long-standing Beatles record of having three number one albums on the US Billboard chart in one year. The all-male band comprises RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook, all aged between 22 and 27 years old. They debuted in 2013 amid the highly competitive K-Pop industry but have been able to break free and become international superstars selling out stadiums around the world, singing mostly in Korean.

BTS visited Bangkok in at the start of April filling the Rajamangala Stadium for two nights, the only band that has ever achieved two sell-out concerts in the massive sports stadium.

At the same time the seven-member band has reached the number one position in the Billboard Top 100 Artists and their candy-coated new single ‘Boy With Luv‘, with US singer Halsey, has debuted at #8 (this week) in the Billboard Top 100 with most music pundits predicting it will hit the number one spot in the next few weeks. The single is in the Top 30 of 35 world music charts this week.

In the 24 hours following the single’s release, ‘Boy With Luv’ broke the YouTube record for the most views in 24 hours, beating out fellow South Korean K-Pop band BlackPink. ‘Boy With Luv’ was viewed 74 million times in 24 hours!

The band has been flipping between the US and Asia actively promoting their new album and single which was released on April 12, including their much-discussed live performance on Saturday Night Live. Accused of being just another music ‘fad’ BTS continue to break music records and break down stereotypes in the ‘white-washed’ world music industry.

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Election

Thanathorn says he’s confident he won’t be penalised by the EC

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Thanathorn says he’s confident he won’t be penalised by the EC | The Thaiger

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the leader of Future Forward Party, says he’s confident he won’t be penalised by the Election Commission over allegations he breached the Constitution and the election by holding shares in a media company, V Luck Media, when registering for the March 24 election.

Thanathorn says he will submit his defence with the commission by next Monday and insists on his innocence.

Thanathorn is dismissing the possibility that he could be penalised by the EC by being barred from running in elections for one year, leading to his being disqualified as an MP.

The commission sent Thanathorn a formal notice on Wednesday that he was charged for breaching the Constitution and the MP election law after he was allegedly found to be in possession of 675,000 shares in the media firm when he registered his election candidacy. Thanathorn was given seven days to respond to the charge.

The Constitution and the MPs Election Act forbid poll candidates from being proprietors or share-holders of media companies. Thanathorn insisted that he had transferred all the shares to his mother prior to his candidacy registration and dismissed  the charge against him as part of what he described as “politics of personal destruction.”

The Future Forward Party came in third place, behind Pheu Thai and Phalang Pracharat, and ahead of the Democrats, in votes from the March 24 poll. The party was only formed in the last year and put up the fiery 41 year old as its leader and prime ministerial candidate.

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Bangkok

Freak storm batters Don Mueang Airport, Bangkok

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Freak storm batters Don Mueang Airport, Bangkok | The Thaiger

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.

Freak storm batters Don Mueang Airport, Bangkok | News by The Thaiger

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.

Freak storm batters Don Mueang Airport, Bangkok | News by The Thaiger Freak storm batters Don Mueang Airport, Bangkok | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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