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3,200 runners turn up for the annual Mai Khao Marine Turtle Fun Run

Tanutam Thawan

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3,200 runners turn up for the annual Mai Khao Marine Turtle Fun Run | The Thaiger

There was a huge turnout for the 13th Mai Khao Marine Turtle Fun Run and Mini Marathon 2017, with 3,200 people taking part in the annual event. The opening ceremony was presided by Phuket’s Governor Noraphat Plodthong alongside Vice Governor Snith Sriwihok, Vice Governor Thawornwat Kongkaew, Uthit Limsakul, Deputy Director of The Tourism Authority of Thailand and Oriol Montal, GM of JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa.

Before the race kicked off the Phuket Governor requested participants to rise to observe 2 minutes of silence in memory of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The atmosphere was incredible with local people taking part in the run for fitness along with a message of conservation of sea turtles. The 10.2Km runners made a history again by running across Sarasin and Thao Thep Kasattri Bridge to Phang Nga province and back. It was the second year that organisers used this route for the annual Mai Khao Marine Turtle Fun Run.

“Healthy people make for a healthy community. I am delighted to be part of this amazing event. Huge thanks also goes to the foundation owners the Minor group, sponsors, partners and hardworking volunteers. This event would not be possible without them”, said Oriol Montal.

The annual Turtle Fun Run and Mini Marathon, while also aiming to encourage healthy lifestyles, is a collaborative effort by the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation and JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa to raise funds and awareness of the conservation work done by the Phuket Marine Biological Centre and its “The Injured Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Program” to rescue, rehabilitate and release (recovered) injured turtles, dolphins, whales and dugongs.

Phuket’s endangered sea turtles, which use Mai Khao Beach as a nesting ground, are facing multiple threats, their numbers having severely depleted in recent years. Commercial fishing kills thousands of them every year, while many more die from eating or becoming trapped in plastic debris littering the ocean.

The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation was launched in March 2002 during the grand opening celebrations of JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa to raise funds and awareness of the endangered leather back turtles which nest on the Mai Khao beach area.

In recent years, the Foundation has broadened its environmental projects to not only conservation of the leatherback turtles but also the environment generally. Several village, reef and beach clean-ups have been conducted in collaboration with the local community, schools and universities.

3,200 runners turn up for the annual Mai Khao Marine Turtle Fun Run | News by The Thaiger 3,200 runners turn up for the annual Mai Khao Marine Turtle Fun Run | News by The Thaiger

For more information about the foundation, please contact the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation…

maikhaoturtlefoundation@gmail.com

www.maikhaomarineturtlefoundation.org

Facebook/ Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation

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

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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ASEAN

Human hair trade exploits ASEAN women

Greeley Pulitzer

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Human hair trade exploits ASEAN women | The Thaiger

Hair extensions have become an essential part of the multi-billion-dollar hair industry, with estimated annual sales of 250 million to over 1 billion USD. Based on a 2018 Research and Markets report, the global hair, wigs and extension market is expected to surpass 10 billion USD by 2023.

Raw human hair has significant commercial value: it’s a coveted commodity to be processed into hair extensions and wigs. According to a report by the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), the global value for human hair exports in 2017 was 126 million USD. Asia exported 72.4 million USD, accounting for 58 percent of the global trade.

In India, the Tirupati Balaji temple earns 10 percent of its income through auctioning hair donated by devotees, raking in a profit of 25 million to 40 million USD annually.

There are three categories for collected hair: Remy, non-Remy and virgin hair. Remy is usually obtained from temple donations and is of the highest grade. Non-Remy hair is a lower grade, collected from individuals, and is typically broken or short. Virgin hairhas never been chemically treated.

In Southeast Asia, long hair is esteemed as a mark of beauty with deep religious and social meaning, especially in Buddhist countries. While most brands opt to acquire hair from India where it’s donated for religious reasons, in Southeast Asia, traders target impoverished areas to buy hair from desperately poor people whose poverty makes them easy prey. Hair extensions in the US can cost 500 to 2000 USD, but the owner of the hair usually receives only a fraction of that. For example, Nguyen Thi Thuy of Vietnam says the highest she has ever been offered for her hair is 70,000 Vietnamese dong, or 3 USD. Pheng Sreyvy from Cambodia fared slightly better at 15 USD for her locks.

According to the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association, women don’t know how to bargain over the price of hair. “They decided to sell their hair because they are poor, and they don’t know where to sell their hair for international market price,” a spokeswoman said.

The high value of human hair has made hair-theft muggings a recurrent problem in some countries, and some companies have resorted to chemical processing or a mixture of human and goat hair.

Increased awareness of exploitation has prompted many companies to collect hair from more transparent and ethical sources. While the human hair trade has provided many communities with income and opportunities, practices that exploit and deprive women of opportunities continue.

SOURCE: theaseanpost.com

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Expats

Thailand’s immigration police catch thousands of overstayers thanks to airport biometrics

May Taylor

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Thailand’s immigration police catch thousands of overstayers thanks to airport biometrics | The Thaiger

The chief of Thailand’s immigration police says the biometrics system in place at sixteen airports across the country has so far netted 1,000 people who are blacklisted or on watch lists, 700 who have arrest warrants out for them, and 45,000 who have overstayed in the country.

The Nation reports that the system is also used to detect fake passports as it uses UV and infrared light to compare the information stored in a chip in the passport with facial features.

It’s understood that in just three days, police were able to arrest 8,000 people for being in possession of fake passports, illegal immigration, overstaying their visas or criminals with arrest warrants out for their capture.

The notorious fake billionaire who married in a lavish ceremony costing over 3.5 million baht and then left his wife to pick up the tab, was recently arrested at Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport after being caught by the biometrics system. See story HERE.

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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ASEAN

Thai Airways announces cancellation of six routes to four ASEAN destinations

May Taylor

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Thai Airways announces cancellation of six routes to four ASEAN destinations | The Thaiger

The President of Thai Airways International says the airline is set to cancel six flight routes to Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

The Nation reports that Sumeth Damrongchaitham says the routes in question are all from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport to Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Phnom Penh, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and Yangon.

“These routes are all covered by a small number of flights and have low customer capacity. Once the cancellation plan is finalised, THAI will assign Thai Smile Airways to cover these routes instead.”

Sumeth cites increased competition as the reason behind the decision and the difficulties presented by rival airlines slashing prices to remain ahead of competitors.

“THAI needs to adjust our strategies too to preserve our reservation rate. We will focus on rolling out promotional campaigns until year end. However, next year’s strategy remains to be seen. Our prices this year have been reduced to a record low and if this strategy doesn’t work, we may take a different direction, such as seeking more partners for organisation tickets, increasing online channels, or giving privileges to frequent fliers.”

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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