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Cabinet to consider visa-free travel for Chinese and Indian tourists

The Thaiger

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Cabinet to consider visa-free travel for Chinese and Indian tourists | The Thaiger
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The Minister of Tourism and Sports, Pipat Ratchakitprakarn, says he intends to introduce visa-free travel for Chinese and Indian tourists later this year. He wants to put the proposal to Cabinet as soon as possible.

Chins and India are targets for Thailand’s latest tourism promotions, so visa-free-travel is back on the table for urgent consideration. Currently, citizens of both countries have to apply for a visa-on-arrival although the 2,000 baht service fee is being waived until October this year.

But the new minister says that may change with both countries possibly joining a long list of countries that enjoy visa-free entry for a stay of 14 days. He says he would like to roll out the new visa-free entry by as soon as November this year in time for the tourist high season.

The move is part of a broader policy to increase tourism revenue and reverse the slow down in the tourism growth rate, according to ttrweekly.com.

Pipat says the Chinese market could still deliver as many as 11 million tourists this year up from 10.5 million in 2018. While tourist arrivals from India in 2018 reached 1.5 million, making it the sixth-largest source of visitors. The growth rate was an impressive 27% over the year before.

The latest proposal would introduce a one year pilot project offering Chinese and Indian tourists visa-free entry starting November 1, a day after the current visa-on-arrival fee waiver program ends.

“This time I would like to propose visa-free travel, not a free visa-on-arrival. I believe it would stimulate the tourism industry and result in a much stronger conclusion for the high season later this year.”

SOURCE: ttrweekly.com

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Crime

Young Thai photographer admits to attempted sexual assault of model

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Young Thai photographer admits to attempted sexual assault of model | The Thaiger

An 18 year old Thai photographer has admitted trying to sexually assault a swimsuit model during a photoshoot after the victim posted the account on Facebook. The young man turned himself in at a Chonburi Police Station and confessed to the accusations leading to police charging him with attempted rape.

The model posted that she escaped the sexual assault attempt on her Facebook account after the photographer showed up while she was changing her clothes in the bathroom. She says he attempted to rape her but left when someone walked by as she was screaming for help.

The alleged perpetrator said he was turned on while taking photographs of the model but didn’t intend to hurt her. However, he later sent her a text saying he could not control himself.

Photographer, Swimsuit Model, Police

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Business

“Come and see” – Ministry invites diplomats to see coconut-picking monkeys in action

The Thaiger

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“Come and see” – Ministry invites diplomats to see coconut-picking monkeys in action | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Atlas Obscura

The monkeys, and the Thai government, are hitting back at accusations macaque monkeys are being exploited, even abused, and forced to pick coconuts for commercial farmers. Some larger western retailers say they’re going to pull Thai coconut products off their shelves after being lobbied by animal rights activist that the coconuts were picked by abused and over-worked macaque monkeys.

The Thai Commerce Ministry, coconut farmers and the “monkey school” trainers are dismissing reports, and a dramatic video from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal), that the coconut-picking monkeys are maltreated. So they’re organising a tour for foreign diplomats and the media to see the monkeys at work and decide for themselves.

The permanent secretary for commerce, responding to the reports, says the monkey owners don’t abuse or exploit the animals which have been “humanely trained” to pick coconuts. He has instructed attaches in foreign Thai embassies to provide an explanation to retailers in other countries who have expressed concerns and even instigated boycotts.

“The ministry is ready to invite foreign diplomats to visit coconut plantations and see how the monkeys pick coconuts so they will realise this is not animal cruelty.”

The Bangkok Post reports that Pramual Pongthawaradej, a Demo­crat Party MP for Prachuap Khiri Khan province, the Chair of a House subcommittee tackling falling coconut prices, says they’ve approached owners of coconut milk plants to justify their practices to PETA. They’ve also asked the Department of Agriculture to provide details regarding the use of monkeys to pick coconuts.

A video from Touronthai shows an operating monkey-school posted 4 years ago…

But Somjai Saekow, an owner of a monkey school which trains macaques in Surat Thani, says… “the practice of capturing monkeys from the wild to pick coconuts ceased a long time ago”.

“Currently, monkeys are bred and raised before being trained. They are not forced to pick 1,000 coconuts from trees everyday, and they don’t work every day.

“Coconut-picking monkeys are mostly males and their abilities vary. The owner of the monkey receives 2 baht per a coconut picked.”

“Foreigners may not understand our livelihood. Also, humans are not built to climb up a coconut tree to pick fruit. They will be at risk, compared to monkeys which have the natural ability to do so.”

An owner of monkeys in Surat Thani, denied the claims of poor treatment or abuse of the coconut-picking monkeys.

“There is no cruelty. Actually, they are looked after well. They are fed well with rice, milk, and fruit three times a day. They are treated like family members.”

PETA claims pigtailed macaques in Thailand were treated like “coconut-picking machines”.

“Following PETA’s investigation, more than 15,000 stores will no longer purchase these brands’ products, with the majority also no longer buying any coconut products sourced from Thailand monkey labour.”

PETA said it had found 8 farms around Thailand where monkeys had been forced to pick coconuts for commercial export.

“Male monkeys are able to pick up to 1,000 coconuts a day.”

“Other coconut-growing regions, including Brazil, Colombia and Hawaii, harvest coconuts using humane methods such as tractor-mounted hydraulic elevators, willing human tree-climbers, rope or platform systems, or ladders, or they plant dwarf coconut trees.”

“PETA went further by calling on “decent people never to support the use of monkey labour by shunning coconut products from Thailand”.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Crime

5 year old Burmese girl raped, murdered in Tak

Jack Burton

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5 year old Burmese girl raped, murdered in Tak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: matichon.com

Villagers in the north western Tak province were shocked yesterday by reports of the rape and murder of a 5 year old Burmese girl. Her body was discovered in a forest in Mae Sot district. Police went to Muhajireen community in Mae Sot after being notified of the crime. They found the girl’s body, her hands and legs bound with rope and her clothes torn.

It’s was assumed the girl was raped and murdered. 3 suspects have been arrested while authorities await forensic test results. Mae Sot Hospital has confirmed the girl suffered internal injuries and bleeding. Doctors also found a piece of cloth stuffed in her mouth.

The community of about 100 residents were horrified by the news. They say the girl went missing at around 7pm on Friday and was found the next morning.

Witnesses claimed that they saw a man take the girl away while she was playing alone in the yard. He reportedly returned alone. It was later revealed the man had previously been convicted for rape and imprisoned for 7 years when he lived across the border in Myanmar.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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