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Growing support for Royal bicycle tour

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by Prasert Thepsri

His Majesty the King had his secretary, Air Chief Marshal Sathitpong Sukwimol, formally presented royally decorated shirts to be distributed among participants in the “Un Ai Rak: Bike for Love and Warmth” bicycle tour that the King will lead on December 9.

The Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces and the governors of 76 provinces were given the shirts this morning at the Royal Household Bureau in Bangkok.

Bicycle rallies will be held simultaneously around the country, with His Majesty leading the main 39-kilometre ride from the Royal Plaza in Bangkok to Lat Pho Park in Samut Prakan’s Phra Pradaeng district and back again.

The rallies officially open the second annual winter festival being hosted in the Royal Plaza of Dusit Palace and Sanam Suea Pa through January 19.

The bike rally participants can collect their shirts – which bear a cartoon family drawn by the King – on December 1 and 2 from 8am to 4pm at Supachalasai Stadium in Bangkok and city halls upcountry.

According to the Interior Ministry, Nakhon Ratchasima in the Northeast has the most participants registered so far, with 25,517, followed by Udon Thani (21,058) and Sakhon Nakhon (18,751).

The number of participants in the three southern border provinces has already exceeded the target of 5,000. Narathiwat has signed up 7,306 riders, Yala 9,946 and Pattani 6,180.

Information about the Phuket event HERE.

Growing support for Royal bicycle tour | News by The Thaiger

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Bangkok

18 Bangkok motorbike taxi drivers get prison for 2019 mass brawl killing a bystander

Caitlin Ashworth

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18 Bangkok motorbike taxi drivers get prison for 2019 mass brawl killing a bystander | The Thaiger

18 motorbike taxi drivers are sentenced to prison for their involvement in a mass street fight in June 2019 where a bystander was killed by a stray bullet. Bangkok’s Prakhonong Court handed down prison sentences ranging from 5 years to more than 27 years, according to Thai media.

The fight broke out between two gangs of win drivers, named by Thai media as Soi 1 and Soi 2, on Soi Udomsuk 1 in Bangkok’s Bang Na district. Around 50 to 60 drivers from Soi 1 attacked 20 to 30 drivers from Soi 2 with knives and other weapons, apparently because Soi 2 drivers, who were unregistered and operated without the proper orange identification vests, took customers away from the Soi 1 group.

A 20 year old Kerry Express courier, Weerawat Pheungkrut, was shot and killed when a stray bullet struck him in the left eyebrow. The drivers who were directly involved with the murder were sentenced to the longest prison terms, including leader of Soi 1 known as Pramuk. He was sentenced to 27 years and 10 months in prison and ordered to pay a 5,000 baht fine as well as 280,000 baht in compensation with a 7.5% yearly interest.

Other drivers with high prison sentences and also ordered to pay 280,000 baht in compensation with a 7.5% yearly interest:

  • Best was sentenced to 27 years in prison and ordered to pay a 5,000 baht.
  • Am was sentenced to 25 years in prison and ordered to pay a 5,000 baht fine.
  • X was sentenced to 24 years and 6 months in prison and ordered to pay a 2,500 baht fine.

Drivers with lower prison sentences:

  • Beer was sentenced to 6 years and 8 months in prison and ordered to pay a 6,666 baht fine.
  • Too, Nui, Bank, Fluke, Mai, Tam and Moo and Jack were sentenced to 5 years in prison and ordered to pay a 5,000 baht fine.
  • Oo, Nott, Bank and Ae were sentenced to 4 years and 6 months in prison and ordered to pay a 5,000 baht fine.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Business

Suvarnabhumi expansion being reviewed in line with “new normal” expectations

Maya Taylor

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Suvarnabhumi expansion being reviewed in line with “new normal” expectations | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Oriental Express

The 44 billion baht northern expansion of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport is being revised, to meet “new normal” requirements, according to Airports of Thailand. AOT president, Nitinai Sirismatthakarn, says the process will take 1 or 2 months to complete.

Nation Thailand reports that the airport’s new northern terminal will have the capacity to handle 30 million passengers a year, with Nitinai remaining optimistic about a return to normal figures next year. He says the availability of effective Covid-19 vaccines should fuel a return to normality, with passenger traffic at Suvarnabhumi eventually reaching pre-Covid numbers of 65 million in 2023.

He adds that the Satellite Terminal 1 should be completed in 2022, with plans also being drawn up to extend the airport’s existing terminal east and west. The Satellite Terminal 1 is expected to increase the airport’s capacity by an additional 15 million passengers a year.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Protests

Protest planned for courthouse tomorrow as verdict on PM’s residence expected

Maya Taylor

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Protest planned for courthouse tomorrow as verdict on PM’s residence expected | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

The Ratsadon (People’s Party) movement is planning a protest outside the Constitutional Court tomorrow as a verdict is handed down in relation to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s occupancy of a military residence, despite his retirement from the army. The ruling is expected at 3.00pm tomorrow and comes as a result of a petition lodged by opposition MPs in March, in which the PM was accused of a conflict of interest as a result of his residence.

Members of the Pheu Thai Party are leading the charge, claiming the PM should have moved out of the accommodation at the time of his retirement in 2014. For his part, the PM says he’ll move out if the court rules against him, insisting his occupancy of the military residence is not an abuse of power. According to a report in the Bangkok Post today, the military says the property has been re-classified as a “visitor’s house” and says it was provided to the PM for security reasons.

Wirat Ratana­sate from the ruling Palang Pracharath Party says members have not yet discussed a list of potential replacement candidates, should the court’s ruling go against the PM. Were that to happen, it would mean the end of his term as leader and the end of his current cabinet. Wirat remains optimistic however, that the court will find in the PM’s favour.

“We may have to discuss the matter with coalition parties. Still, let’s wait for the court’s ruling. Don’t jump to any conclusion that there will be a political accident. The outcome may turn out to be good.”

Meanwhile, authorities in Bangkok say they’re ready to handle tomorrow’s planned protest outside the courthouse. Pakkapong Pongpetra from the Metropolitan Police Bureau says officers have devised a number of security measures to maintain order during the rally and ensure events inside the courtroom can proceed as normal.

His statement comes as Ramate Rattanachaweng from the Democrat Party issues a warning to anti-government protesters that pressurising the court could lead to charges of contempt of court. He is calling on them to cancel tomorrow’s gathering.

Meanwhile, members of the opposition say they’re confident the court will rule against the PM, with the legal chief of the Pheu Thai Party, Chusak Sirinil, saying the designation of “visitor’s house” does not indicate a permanent residence.

“A visitor’s house is for temporary stays of 7 to 10 days, not forever.”

Prasert Chantararuangthong, also from Pheu Thai, dismisses the army’s explanation that the PM needs to live in a military residence for security reasons, pointing out that the army is not responsible for prime ministerial security. Meanwhile, fellow Pheu Thai MP, Arunee Kasayanont, suggests the PM should pay attention to what the people are demanding and resign immediately, regardless of the verdict.

“General Prayut can make a graceful exit by resigning before December 2 and thus respond to the demand of demonstrators.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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