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Exam students, interrupted by violent ordination revellers, can resit their test

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Exam students, interrupted by violent ordination revellers, can resit their test | The Thaiger
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“The monk, Phra Monthien, said he was so horrified when he heard about what had happened.”

A dozen or so students, interrupted when a Bangkok school was attacked on Sunday by a group of 50 angry men running a rowdy ordination next door, will be given a chance to resit the important examination they were taking at the time.

The men stormed into Wat Singh secondary school and assaulted security guards, executives and teachers after being told to lower music they were playing to celebrate a monk ordination ceremony at the adjacent Wat Singh Temple in Chomthong district.

The students, who come from various high schools in Bangkok, were taking their General Aptitude Test and Professional Aptitude Test, commonly known as GAT-PAT, when the men raided the building.

Some of the men stormed into examination rooms, resulting in the testing having to be suspended for quite some time.

When the calm finally returned, exam organisers added extra time for the students to finish but 12 of the 248 students, caught up in some of the abuse and disruption, weren’t able to continue as some of them had been physically injured during the attack. Others were still in shock.

Asst Professor Sirida Burachat, director of the National Institute of Educational Testing Service (NIETS), said a re-examination would be held at the same school on March 5, from 1-4pm. Those who were able to finish have the option of re-sitting the exam, Sirida said, but they must notify NIETS by Thursday if they wished to do so.

Meanwhile, a monk and his mother tearfully apologised yesterday after hearing that the attack had been carried out by his friends and revellers who had been attending his ordination ceremony. The monk, Phra Monthien, said he was so horrified when he heard about what had happened he actually considered leaving the monkhood.

“My family and I are apologetic to everyone affected by the incident,” he said in an interview with a news program this morning, during which he was seen using his robes to wipe his tears.

“We didn’t know anything about what had happened.”

Phra Monthien said that the incident took place while he was inside the Ubosot of Wat Sing Temple and he only heard about the incident after the ceremony ended.

“When I heard about the incident, I wanted to leave the monkhood. I want to tell all my friends who were involved in the incident to surrender to police,” the monk said.

The chaotic scenes were recorded and later shared widely after being posted on several social media platforms.

When the ordination ceremony started at the temple, loud music was played through speakers even though hundreds of students were sitting their GAT-PAT tests nearby. Exam organisers rushed to the temple and told those involved to lower the volume, explaining that it would interfere with the examination.

The violence erupted back at the school after teachers approached the revellers and asked them to lower the music. The angry men injured teachers, resulting in one sustaining a broken arm and a school executive sustaining a broken nose.

A total of 15 people were injured during the incident. A student told police that one of the attackers distressed a female student by kissing her on the cheek. They also allegedly damaged school property while some others shouted out: “If my brother doesn’t get ordained, you don’t get to do exams.”

Exam students, interrupted by violent ordination revellers, can resit their test | News by The ThaigerExam students, interrupted by violent ordination revellers, can resit their test | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Bangkok

Bangkok air pollution predicted to reach “unhealthy” levels

Caitlin Ashworth

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Bangkok air pollution predicted to reach “unhealthy” levels | The Thaiger

Bangkok’s air quality improved during the lockdown period. In January, it was listed as the “third most polluted city in the world.” By April, air pollution levels dropped down to a “safe” and “healthy” US Air Quality Index, or AQI. Now, forecasts predict Bangkok’s air pollution will reach “unhealthy” levels.

Air with containing low levels of the air pollutant PM2.5 is considered “safe.” PM 2.5 is fine particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter. At high levels, it can be harmful to people’s health. AQI is measured by the concentration of air pollutants. An AQI at 0 to 50 is considered safe, while 300 and up is considered dangerous.

  • 0-50: Good
  • 51-100: Moderate
  • 101-150:Unhealthy for sensitive groups
  • 151-200: Unhealthy
  • 201-300: Very unhealthy
  • 301-500: Hazardous

Just yesterday, Bangkok was listed as the 16th city with the worst air quality in the world on Air Visuals with an AQI of 108 with PM 2.5 at 38 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3). This morning, Bangkok’s air quality was reported at a “moderate” level with an AQI of 95, according to Air Visuals.

Another website, through the World Air Quality Index project, reported the city’s AQI at 129, a level that can be harmful to sensitive groups. Both websites forecast the AQI to increase by tonight to “unhealthy” levels that could be harmful to someone’s health. Levels are expected to increase today to an AQI of 158 to 171.

The Pollution Control Department says the air quality in Bangkok fluctuates. While AQI was reported at a fairly high level yesterday, Bangkok has been between a “good” and “moderate” level with PM2.5 at around 20 to 42 µg/m3 detected by 71 air quality stations, according to the department.

The top 5 cities with the worst air quality, as of this morning on Air Visuals, are Delhi, India with 192 AQI; Shenyang, China with 186 AQI; Beijing, China with 174 AQI; Chongqing, China with 172 AQI and Chengdu, China with 167 AQI.

Bangkok air pollution predicted to reach

Pollution forecast for the week of October 26 to November 1, according to the World Air Quality Index project. Red means air pollution at “unhealthy” levels and orange means air pollution at levels “unhealthy for sensitive groups.”

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Air Visuals| World Air Quality Index project

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Protests

Protesters mass at the Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok for the first of 2 scheduled rallies

The Thaiger

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Protesters mass at the Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok for the first of 2 scheduled rallies | The Thaiger

Crowds are gathering at the Ratchprsong intersection in Bangkok, one of the promised locations for a rally in response to last night’s refusal of the Thai PM to resign. Thousands have already gathered and, if the weather holds out, the numbers will continue to swell as the evening approaches.

Ratchprasong intersection is one of the busiest intersections in the city, right in the middle of the central Bangkok shopping district.

People have crowded the roads at the intersection, with hundreds of onlookers watching from the skywalk that is strung under the BTS tracks. The crowd is building along Ratchdamri Road, in front of Central World. Banners are being prepared on site with demands for the Thai prime minister’s resignation and other calls for action. Some of the banners are being taken from protest to protest, becoming a canvas for thousands of protesters to share their signatures and messages to the Government.

Messages on one of the banners read “We are the people”, “Everyone is a leader”, “Thailand is for the people”, “Police should protect the people”.

Musical performances are planned for this evening as the peaceful rally slowly grows in number. People’s Party and Free Youth merchandise is also being sold, along with the usual assortment of food stalls along the sides of Ratchadamri Road.

Many of the protesters have also mentioned the prospect of pro-royalist protesters turning up but have expressed their hope that the protests to continue peacefully. At this stage, there has been no sign of yellow shirted demonstrators at the site.

There are very few police patrolling the intersection as of 4.45pm, outnumbered at this stage by opportunist motorcycle taxi riders waiting for the conclusion of the rally. First aid, food, safety gear and merchandise are all on hand, much of the assistance from University volunteers.

There has also been a smattering of foreign protesters joining the Thais, also flashing signs of support, in English.

Tomorrow protesters have promised to march from the Sam Ron intersection to the German Embassy, a symbolic march to draw attention to the chosen overseas domicile of a “very important person”.

Many of the key protest leaders remain in jail, refused bail yesterday by the Appeals Court. They are still in residence at the Bangkok Remand Centre

The State of Emergency, forbidding the gathering of any more than 5 people, was dropped last Thursday morning after being in operation for a week.

Some protesters today say they would have been happy to keep defying the State of Emergency and fear that the removal of the emergency provisions could draw out more Royalist rallies with the potential for violent interaction between the two groups.

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Protests

Protest locations announced for today and tomorrow, PM says he “won’t quit”

The Thaiger

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Protest locations announced for today and tomorrow, PM says he “won’t quit” | The Thaiger

10pm came and went. Last night’s deadline had been set for the Thai PM to resign. It was never likely to happen, and it didn’t. Protesters yesterday promised that, if the prime minister didn’t stand down, the protests would resume again. 2 protests have now been announced in central Bangkok for today and tomorrow.

PM Prayut was attending Buddhist prayers at Wat Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram in Phra Nakhon, Bangkok. When asked about his response, the 66 year old merely responded “won’t quit”.

“I urge everyone to conciliate and help solve problems together.”

Now protesters say that rallies will resume today and tomorrow.

The Dao Din group, one of many smaller factions that are all operating under the broader Khana Ratsadon 2563 student-led protest movement, including the Free Youth movement, has announced that a rally will be held at Ratchaprasong intersection at 4pm today.

There has also been a gathering announced for a rally at the Sam Yan intersection at 5pm on Monday where protesters will then march to the German Embassy, about 1.5 kilometres away on Sathorn Road, a clear reference to HM the King’s favoured overseas domicile.

Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa, who was released from the Bangkok Remand Prison on Friday. called on protesters to assemble at Ratchaprasong today.

The telegraphing of the 2 events will likely spur police to secure the busy intersections. But, in the past, the protesters have been able to switch venues at the last minute using social media and encrypted message apps to stay one step ahead of the security and police forces.

Tomorrow the 2 houses of the Thai Parliament will meet for 2 day emergency session called on by the speaker of the lower house Chuan Leekpai. Lower house elected MPs will be in session with the hand-picked NCPO-appointed senate. Opposition MPs have voiced concern that there will be no votes following the 2 days of debate and have accused the government of using the emergency session to stall true reform. Votes from the government’s fragile lower house coalition plus the votes from the senate will be able to put down any motions during the session.

Protest locations announced for today and tomorrow, PM says he

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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