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Slain policemen honoured in Royal ceremony

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Slain policemen honoured in Royal ceremony | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bangkok Post
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The two policemen who died ending the shooting rampage in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima were honourably received in a royally sponsored bathing ceremony in Bangkok yesterday.

The bodies of Captain Trakul Tha-asa and Senior Sergeant Major Petcharat Kamchadpai, both 35 years old, were transported on ceremonial trucks from Nakhon Ratchasima to Bangkok, their coffins covered with the national flag. Senior officers and guards honoured them in a ceremony. Later the bodies were moved to their home towns for funerals.

National police chief Chakthip Chaijinda praised all of the anti-terrorism officers assigned to end the shooting rampage at Terminal 21 mall in Korat, central Nakhon Ratchasima. He commended their dedication and willingness to sacrifice their lives to protect the innocent, as the shooter used military weapons capable of penetrating body armour.

Trakul and Petcharat were anti-terrorism officers of the Metropolitan Police Bureau. Their families will initially receive compensation of about 2.5 million baht each.

Last night, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that Their Majesties the King and Queen expressed condolences and offered moral support to the families of victims. Their Majesties also sponsored the funerals of those killed, sent representatives to visit the families and supported people cleaning up the scenes of the incident.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Banned politician says government silencing him by invoking Lese Majeste law

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Banned politician says government silencing him by invoking Lese Majeste law | The Thaiger

A banned politician, who criticised the government’s Covid-19 vaccine plan, is claiming the government is silencing him (again) by invoking the Lese Majeste lawagainst him. The alleged defamation case concerns his questioning of using one of the king’s companies as part of the Covid-19 vaccine strategy that he says will slow down the process of inoculations.

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit accused the government of PM Prayut of relying too much on Siam Bioscience to help in the vaccine plan, and pointed out that it is owned by the Crown Property Bureau, the organisation that manages billions of dollars in investment under the king’s personal control.

Siam Bioscience agreed to manufacture AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine and supply it domestically and across Southeast Asia. but Thanathorn says the deal “lacked transparency” and it was given an unfair advantage over other companies after the government ordered 61 million doses of the vaccine.

He says the government is slowing down the process by relying on just 1 company and points to other countries as they are already starting to inoculate residents. Both AstraZeneca and Siam Bioscience have not commented on his allegations, while the government has filed a complaint against Thanathorn citing the royal insult law under article 112 of the criminal code that can send law-breakers to prison for up to 15 years.

“The deals were not negotiated independently of each other. There was no selection process or comparison so questions must be raised.”

But a government spokeswoman, Ratchada Dhanadirek, maintains the filing of the criminal complaint was not politically motivated. Last year, Thanathorn was banned from politics for 10 years after a court dissolved his Future Forward Party for illegal loans, charges which were upheld by the Constitutional Court.

Meanwhile, others are criticising the government’s announcement to allow local municipalities to pay for vaccines as they say it coincides with upcoming elections. They point out that the government should pay for the vaccinations, especially in Bangkok, as they say the government has the funds to do so.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket police confirm speed limit of bypass road after locals complain

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Phuket police confirm speed limit of bypass road after locals complain | The Thaiger

Phuket police are confirming the island’s bypass road speed limit as 50 kilometres per hour. That is, despite years of back and forth between motorists and the law. The latest announcement comes after locals posted online copies of their speeding tickets, which showed the confirmed limit. The stretch of road, almost the only stretch of road where you could get a car up to 100 kph, has long been a speedway for cars, trucks and vans.

The reason they are complaining is that they say they were “under the impression” (code for “misunderstanding”) that speeding tickets would only be given to those caught exceeding 100 kilometres per hour along the bypass. They say police have “assured for years” that this would be the case.

Phuket City Traffic Police Deputy Chief Rungrit Rattanaphakdee says that normally motorists are allowed to drive up to 80 kilometres per hour on municipality roads but the bypass road’s speed limit is 50 kilometres per hour.

“Although drivers of private cars and motorbikes can drive not over 80 kilometres per hour on municipality roads in accordance with the Road Traffic Act, all drivers must follow the 50 kilometres per hour signs installed along the bypass road.”

But his interpretation of the law contradicts a statement in 2015 by former Phuket Highways Office Chief Samak Liedwonghat and Teerawat Liamsakun, who was Phuket City Police Chief at the time. Samak said back then, that the signs with a white background and red circle are advisory only. In other words, not mandatory.

Teerawat also concurred with Samak, in 2015, by saying that the signs were advisory only but warned that drivers may have an accident if they don’t comply with the advisory speed limit on the signs.

(Roll the time-machine music)

“Actually, speed is limited by law on this road the bypass road to 80 kilometres per hour in tessabaan (municipal) areas and 90 kilometres per hour in other parts. Our speed cameras are set to detect vehicles going faster than 100. Anyone caught going faster than that risks receiving a speeding ticket in the mail.”

Now, speaking to The Phuket News, Rungrit says the speed limit is mandatory but motorists would not be issued tickets by the speed cameras unless motorists’ speeds were higher than 100 kilometres per hour.

Locals say they are still confused as they say Rungrit didn’t respond as to why the motorists were being ticketed when travelling under 100 kilometres per hour as he maintains that fines are only given to those going over 100 kilometres per hour. The photos of the tickets showed most of those ticketed to be travelling at speeds of 90-99 kilometres per hour, which directly contradicts Rungrit’s new interpretation of the law.

“…. so far we have had tickets issued only to the drivers who drove faster than 100 kilometres per hour.”

“The signs are there to remind drivers to drive carefully under the speed limit, as normally drivers drive very fast on the road, leading to accidents.”

“We are trying to use technology to charge drivers’ behaviour, so we use speed cameras and have tickets sent to their homes.”

To be clear, Rungrit says the bypass road speed limit is 50 kilometres per hour, but you may be ticketed if your speed exceeds 100 kilometres per hour. That is, despite locals receiving tickets for going 90-99 kilometres per hour.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Thai senior and disabled citizens will receive 2,000 baht handouts

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Thai senior and disabled citizens will receive 2,000 baht handouts | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Post Today

While the government’s economic stimulus packages continue to roll out, there is also a concern for the disabled and senior citizens who are excluded from the criteria to get benefits from the government’s major aids at this stage. The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security plans to distribute 2,000 baht handouts to that demographic of the Thai population.

According to the MSDHS Permanent Secretary, the ministry has allocated the budget to help those underprivileged groups who are excluded from the main national relief measures. However, at the initial stage, the handouts will be distributed on a case-by-case basis with the help of reports from the community development volunteers about the actual situation of each affected household.

SOURCE: NNT

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