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Access to Maya Bay, from the front, permanently closed

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Access to Maya Bay, from the front, permanently closed | The Thaiger

The closure of Maya Bay has come about after profound changes by chiefs of Thailand’s marine national parks. It’s been revealed that, far from being a knee-jerk reaction, the plan to close the famous tourist magnet is just the start of an entire new approach to marine conservation.

The closure is seen as an entry point for new tourism management that would also set a new standard for another 26 Thai marine parks that also suffer the burden of too much tourist-love.

Access to Maya Bay from the front of Koh Phi Phi Ley will be permanently closed following the upcoming four-month closure of the area to make way for a long-term rehabilitation of the environmentally degraded bay, which has suffered due to the overcrowding of tourists.

The bay, located in Had Nopparat Tara- Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, was made famous following the 2000 Hollywood film “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, but it has been degraded by the excessive number of tourists – at around 4,000-6,000 per day.

Access to Maya Bay, from the front, permanently closed | News by The Thaiger
Following a recommendation by marine experts, the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department decided in late March to make the bay off limits from June 1 to September 30.

“Like I said, we focus more on the health of our ecosystem, not income. If we manage to do this, we can do it elsewhere – the more environmental friendly management,” said Thanya Netithammakul, director-general of the department.

According to the department’s National Parks Office director, Songtham Suksawang, the rehabilitation process, as well as the new management approach, will be based on academic knowledge.

The department has begun exploring the present extent of the damage to coral reefs in front of the bay. Techniques to replant the reefs will be introduced once the bay is closed, including coral-reef propagation, he said.

Access to the bay, Songtham added, would shift to the back of the island, where a new aluminium and plastic pier and bridge would be introduced as a new access to the bay to reduce ecological impacts from tourists.

Their number of transport boats will also be limited to half of the present figures, while an e-ticketing system will be introduced to help handle tourist demand.

“It’s also sort of distributing tourists to other less-crowded spots to help handle pressure from them,” said Songtham, echoing the government’s toursim policy.

The Government has flagged that it wants tourist boats to take passengers to other islands around Phuket, whilst not as famous as Maya Bay, share the same topography and beautiful beaches.

Thailand still relies heavily on tourism, and according to Thon Thamrongnawasawat – a member of the national strategy committee on sustainable growth – it is one of the prime sectors highlighted in the 20-year national strategy to help drive the country’s gross domestic product.

Tourism currently comprises about 20 per cent of GDP, with annual revenue estimated at around 3.3 trillion baht.

This year’s foreign tourists are expected to reach 40 million, with more than 70 per cent tending to visit the country’s popular marine locations, Thon pointed out.

This has caused several popular marine spots to become crowded with foreign tourists, and their carrying capacity having become extensively compromised, he added.

Thon said he was glad to see the initiative at Maya and it would be a turning point for reform on marine resources management.

“It’s sort of you are telling the world that you are going to do this, and it is loud and clear this time. It’s also a critical point for the reform of our marine resources management,” said Thon, a marine ecologist who is also a member on the National Natural Resources and Environment Reform Committee.

Access to Maya Bay, from the front, permanently closed | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: The Nation, The Thaiger, Dr. Thon Thamrongnawasawat



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Thai PM condemns southern violence. Urges media to be ‘careful’ covering the story.

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thai PM condemns southern violence. Urges media to be ‘careful’ covering the story. | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Nation

Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has responded to escalating violence in the strife-torn South today by saying that the people behind the deadly attack at a temple in Narathiwat province on Friday night were seeking to ramp up attention given to the violence in the South to the international level and lure officials into conducting “forceful suppression”.

“Those who were behind the attack in Narathiwat’s Sungai Padi district on January 19 intended to destroy morale, spirits as well as the patience of Thailand in using peaceful methods to solve the ongoing conflicts and violence in the South.”

“They want us to use all-out suppression so that the case could draw international attention and later international involvement, as has happened in many countries facing internal violence,” he added.

“The attackers also exploited for their own benefit the reports in the media and social-media platforms concerning the attack in which two monks were killed, using them as channels for spreading their acts inside and outside the country.”

Trying to suppress coverage of the violence the PM urged the media to be careful with their coverage.

“The media and social-network users should understand the issues and help create confidence and be cautious in their reporting, so that they do not become supporters of the attackers.”

He acknowledged that the size of the areas subject to attacks had made it difficult for the authorities to fully take care of people, as well as sensitive targets such as teachers, students, monks and religious leaders.

“Those who want special protection should alert officials and authorities concerned. The public should help the authorities by providing information.”

Prayut also asked politicians to be careful in the statements they use in their political campaigns for the upcoming national election.

He vowed to continue the peace talks between the authorities and insurgents’ movements and groups, in order to demonstrate to the world that “we have adopted all kinds of measures, not only law enforcement, to restore peace in the southern region of Thailand”.

Thai PM condemns southern violence. Urges media to be 'careful' covering the story. | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Phuket

Legal action taken against people who removed beer cans from beer truck accident scene

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Legal action taken against people who removed beer cans from beer truck accident scene | The Thaiger

PHOTOS / VIDEO:  Thanakrit Asulyakul / Mana Sombat / Kanlaya Singkangrang / Kritsada Mueanhawong

Legal action has already been taken against four people who ‘removed’ beer cans after a truck carrying boxes of beer cans overturned in Phuket on January 11.

A logistic company representative has filed a report with police after more than 80,000 beer cans, valued at more than two million baht, mysteriously “vanished” after the truck overturned in Rassada.

Read more about the incident outside a Rassada 7/11 HERE.

The Phuket City Police Chief Col Sompong Thiparpakun says, “Four people have now been arrested. They have admitted that they saw other people taking beer cans, so they did too. They say they have consumed the contents of all beer cans. ”

“If evidence can be provided that other people took these beer cans and sold them, legal action will be taken against them too.”

“It was illegal to remove these items from the crash scene.”

Legal action taken against people who removed beer cans from beer truck accident scene | News by The Thaiger

Legal action taken against people who removed beer cans from beer truck accident scene | News by The Thaiger Legal action taken against people who removed beer cans from beer truck accident scene | News by The Thaiger Legal action taken against people who removed beer cans from beer truck accident scene | News by The Thaiger Legal action taken against people who removed beer cans from beer truck accident scene | News by The Thaiger

 

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Thailand

Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: สื่อสาร 01 / Siam Rayong Rescue Foundation

Rescue workers took two hours to free a woman from a car following a road incident in Rayong south east of Bangkok.

The Siam Rayong Rescue Foundation has reported that they were notified of the incident in Rayong city at 7am this morning.

Rescue workers arrived to find a car overturned after colliding at speed with a tree on the side of the road.

Rescue workers used four set of hydraulic cutters to free the injured passengers from the car. One woman suffered two broken legs and was rushed to a nearby hospital.

Looking at the wreckage it is a wonder no one was killed.

Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident | News by The Thaiger Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident | News by The Thaiger Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident | News by The Thaiger Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident | News by The Thaiger Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident | News by The Thaiger Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident | News by The Thaiger Woman badly injured in Rayong car accident | News by The Thaiger

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