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Posters of missing persons removed by Ubon University security

Jack Burton

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Posters of missing persons removed by Ubon University security | Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Enquirer

Prompted by the abduction of Thai activist Wanchalearm Satisakit in Cambodia, a student group called “Kob Plerng” (คบแพลิง) at Isaan’s Ubon Ratchatani University put up a string of posters of people assumed to be abducted by the Thai state. They were removed by university security this week. Ubon Ratchatani is one of the four major city centres in Isaan, north east Thailand.

It’s been over a month since Wanchalearm was abducted and his fate remains unknown. The posters were placed in front of the Faculty of Political Science, in a move meant to demonstrate the importance of protecting people’s rights from forced disappearances. CCTV footage from the early mornings of Wednesday shows university security removing the posters.

One of the students involved in organising the activity told Thai Enquirer that it was to expose the lack of effort from the government in finding information on Wanchalearm’s whereabouts.

“All I wanted to do was to demand the whereabouts of one person and I question the people that took down the sign… is it that dangerous? I don’t see how what I am demanding is against the law and this is another human being… we should help ask the government to find the truth about his case.”

Posters of missing persons removed by Ubon University security | News by Thaiger

The dean of the faculty of political science at the university says he gave permission to the students to set up the posters in front of the faculty building.

“This proves that life does not matter to those that ordered this to happen on campus. What the students are fighting for is to protect the rights of people who have gone missing.”

“It raises a big question of whether we can feel safe on campus or not because of what happened. Would the students feel safe when they are expressing their opinion because of what happened? What if students come to study at the faculty at night, how can they feel safe? This is something that the university needs to explain to the students, to protect their rights and how their lives can be protected on campus.”

The dean says both the university and the Special Police Branch denied any responsibility in ordering the posters to be taken down, but the security guard caught on camera says he was ordered by the Special Police Branch to take down the posters.

Posters of missing persons removed by Ubon University security | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: Thai Enquirer

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    “Help the government find the truth about the case”
    I suspect the government know the truth behind the case.
    When Thai citizens who opposed the Thai government go missing, who are the likely culprits?
    why are western governments not speaking up?
    The had plenty to say when 2000 went missing during the south African apartheid era.

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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.

Transport

5 killed, including 2 children, in north east Thailand bus disaster

Tim Newton

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5 killed, including 2 children, in north east Thailand bus disaster | Thaiger
PHOTO ม้าข่าว HorseNew

5 people are dead, including 2 children, and another 12 seriously injured after a double-decker interprovincial bus caught fire near Khon Kaen. It was heading to Bangkok. The bus erupted into flames just after midnight on the Mitrapap highway. There were 33 passengers on the bus. The bus driver was also injured.

The 407 Pattana Company bus left Bung Kan province on the Laos border, near Vientiane, last night, stopping in Udon Thani before making its way to Bangkok.

Witnesses say a rear tyre burst and then caught fire just after the bus had left Khon Kaen. The fire then spread to the engine compartment in the back of the bus. The bus soon became engulfed in flames, according to the Bangkok Post. Fire units got to the burning bus soon after but it took an hour to extinguish the flames.

12 people suffered serious burn injuries whilst 16 others were able to get out of the bus before it was engulfed in flames.

Police have spoken to the bus driver and will continue with their investigation.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Girl in a coma after being struck by skyrocket launched from temple

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Girl in a coma after being struck by skyrocket launched from temple | Thaiger
Wat Na Prathat / Photo via Google Maps

A 10 year old girl is in a coma and in critical condition after a piece of a wooden skyrocket struck the girl in the head. The firework was launched during a cremation ceremony at a temple in the Pak Thong Chai district of the Isaan province Nakhon Ratchasima. The girl was waiting to be picked up at the nearby Ardwitthaya School when part of the wooden firework hit her head.

Natcha “Nong Milk’’ Sawasdee hit the ground, bleeding profusely. She was rushed to the local hospital and then transferred to the intensive care unit at Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital. The wood penetrated her skull about 10 centimetres deep, a recent scan shows.

Other students were hit by pieces of the exploded wooden skyrocket, but their injuries were minor.

The men who launched the skyrocket are facing charges for recklessness causing serious injury. They say they launched rockets at the cremation ceremony, but aimed toward rice paddy fields where there were no people. Due to the wind, pieces of the exploded rocket flew back into town, they say.

Wat Na Phrathat often lights fireworks during cremation ceremonies, residents say. But this time they used a different firework made from wood and PVC.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Crime

Senior official arrested in north-east Thailand on 2 million baht bribery charges

Maya Taylor

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Senior official arrested in north-east Thailand on 2 million baht bribery charges | Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

A senior Thai official in the north-eastern province of Mukdahan has been arrested, along with his assistant, on bribery charges. The provincial chief of the natural resources and environment office, Suradet Akkarach, and Ms Pan Saengviroon, are accused of receiving 2 million baht for facilitating the return of confiscated Siamese Rosewood timber to a merchant from Laos.

The timber, housed in 11 containers and valued at around 600 million baht, was impounded by the authorities in Mukdahan in 2006, on suspicion it had been illegally obtained. The case was heard in the provincial court, then the Appeals court, and then the Supreme court, which acquitted the defendants and ruled that the timber should be returned to its owner, EL Enterprise.

The arrests of 58 year old Suradet and Pan came about after a Laotian timber merchant filed a police report on February 24, accusing Suradet of offering to return the timber for a payment of 2 million baht.

The police subsequently set up a sting operation for when the merchant, named as Kamsavai Pommachan, arranged to meet Suradet and Pan to hand over the money. As soon as Pan took delivery of the cash, both suspects were arrested. According to a Thai PBS World report, Suradet insists he was not involved in the bribery, but Pan has confessed to the charges.

Panya Pinsuk from the Central Investigation Bureau, and Chivaparb Chivatham from the Royal Forestry Department, gave a press conference yesterday, in which they confirmed the arrests of both suspects and the seizure of 2 million baht in 1,000 baht notes, as well as 4 smartphones.

According to Chatupat Burupat from the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, Suradet is an ex-employee of the Royal Forestry Department and would have known how to go about returning the confiscated timber.

Following the arrests, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Varavut Silpa-archa, says he has ordered Suradet to be transferred to an inactive post while a committee investigates the case against him. The minister acknowledges that there is proof of bribery, but says an investigation is still required to ensure fairness. He says he expects the committee to report back within 15 days.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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