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“Kayaking for Chao Phraya” – anti river-dumping campaign

The Thaiger & The Nation

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“Kayaking for Chao Phraya” – anti river-dumping campaign | The Thaiger

by Kornrawee Panyasuppakun

The vice rector of Thammasat University, Prinya Thaewanarumitkul, will lead other kayakers on a 400 kilometre long “Kayaking for Chao Phraya” campaign to collect trash and urge people to stop dumping their garbage in the river.

The kayakers start their 14 day journey on December 10 from the point where Thailand’s major river flows. They will kayak through 10 provinces until they reach the Gulf of Thailand, according to Prinya.

The 10 provinces include Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chainat, Singburi, Angthong, Ayutthaya, Prathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Bangkok and Samut Prakarn.

Each day, the kayakers will spend several hours collecting trash in the river, sort them and sell them to a private recycling company before continuing on their journey.

Currently, about 40 kayaks and boats are part of the campaign. Prinya has invited people living along the river to join the fleet on the way to collect trash and to learn how to sort it correctly. Also, the kayakers and everyone joining the event would pledge to avoid single-use plastic, be it plastic bottles, bags, straws, forks or spoons and use ones that can be washed and reused, Prinya added.

“No matter how much we collect, we cannot collect everything. Our main goal is to draw the attention of Thai people so that they stop dumping wastes into the river,” said Prinya.

Prinya did not answer how much trash he expected to encounter, but said at a smaller but similar event organised by Thammasat University to collect trash in Bang Pakong River, they had collected about a tonne of litter within a few hours. Wastes they often came across in the river included plastic bottles, foam food containers, and a lot of plastic bags, which seemed to have been dumped into the klong (canal) and river when there was no trash bin nearby, he said.

Light bulbs and spray cans were found as well.Some of the kayakers are foreigners like James Tadra, a US national who has lived in Thailand for eight years, and Won Hong Park, a South Korean national, who is here on a vacation.

There are also several Thammasat students like Kotachon Natumploy and Kittayachon Natumploy. They said they were not professional kayakers, but were determined to complete the journey and persuade people to stop dumping their wastes in the river. Thailand is the world’s six-largest contributor of ocean waste. And plastic waste in the country continues to increase at 12 per cent a year.

STORY: The Nation

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Bangkok

Professor: Military government too interested in tourism – not people’s welfare

Greeley Pulitzer

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Professor: Military government too interested in tourism – not people’s welfare | The Thaiger

A professor of Rangsit University has criticised the previous military government for focusing too much on tourism and not enough on the welfare of the Thai people. The professor was speaking at Chulalongkorn University at a seminar discussing street stalls and urban development.

She questioned the National Council for Peace and Order’s policy of clearing street vendors in all but a few areas such as Yaowarat and Khao San Road that mainly cater to tourists.

She claimed that the NCPO – in power since the coup of 2014 until this year’s election – was more interested in economic development through tourism than in the welfare of the public.

Having affordable street food options was not just about tourism, she said, it was vital for poor workers who have migrated from the countryside, adding that it was part of an informal rather than a formal economy.

“For years people had earned their living from selling goods and services, including food, on the streets.”

This in turn provided an affordable option to eat for workers who came to Bangkok on for large investment projects. The issue, she said, was not just about tourism but the wider economy that might benefit.

The professor noted that CNN had once called Bangkok the best place in the world for street food but this had changed with the sanitized food trucks that have appeared since stalls and vendors were banned from most areas.

The Thaiger notes that banning street vendors has divided the capital. Many are happy that the sidewalks are easier to navigate, but others – including tourists – have said that the lifeblood and character of the city has suffered.

SOURCE: Naew Na | ThaiVisa Forum

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Bangkok

Stricter controls and paperwork putting brakes on residential property market

The Thaiger

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Stricter controls and paperwork putting brakes on residential property market | The Thaiger

The honorary president of the Thai Housing Business Association, Atip Bijanonda, is tipping the local residential market may fall by up to 10% this year starved of economic confidence, the global economic slowdown and the loan-to-value limits.

But he also believes the situation is far from the situation leading up to the 1997 economic collapse.

The Greater Bangkok residential market is now valued at 372 billion baht (in 2018). That’s a rise of 29% compared to the year earlier. So the drop this year is off the back of a very successful 2017.

For this year the market has fallen by 5%, according to the Thai Housing Business Association, with the largest declines in Q2, in retaliation to the LTV limits taking on April 1.

Some of Thailand’s major developers are now shelving some projects as the market soaks up a glut of properties constructed over the past two years.

Three property associations – the Housing Business Association, the Thai Condominium Association and the Thai Real Estate Association – are having meetings with the finance minister discussing the current property market.

Topics for discussion are the improvement in property regulation, construction permits, licences and stricter controls over developers and lending. The associations also want to discuss the current delays on Environmental impact assessments (EIAs). They say that since the responsibility for EIAs was handed over to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration from the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning in 2016, the process is now taking much longer.

Speaking to the Bangkok Post, Kobsak Pootrakool, deputy secretary-general to the PM for political affairs says that stricter lending criteria and the LTV rules are the main factors obstructing mortgage approvals for homebuyers

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Bangkok

A cocktail of beer and insulin blamed for ATM robbery

The Thaiger

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A cocktail of beer and insulin blamed for ATM robbery | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Sanook.com

“After the combination of beer and insulin, Prakit grabbed a metal pole and drove his motorbike to the ATMs.”

A diabetic man is blaming his insulin injections after going on an ATM robbery spree. The man had three attempts to break into ATMs in one night, all unsuccessful. The incidents happened in the early hours of October 9. He was was arrested the next day on October 10.

The Sam Dam Police in Bangkok arrested 36 year old Prakit after a short investigation.

He had used a white Yamaha motorbike with no license plates as his “getaway of choice”.

Police received information about a man attempting to break into ATMs in the area. He used a metal pole to try and pry the ATMs open, but turns out it wasn’t quite as easy as he thought. His efforts contributed approximately zero baht.

The first ATM belonged to Kasikorn Bank, the second to Thanachart Bank, and the last ATM also belonged to Kasikorn Bank. The first 2 ATMs were located near the Bangbon Police Station while the last ATM was located around the Samdam Police Station (possible unwise selections of location).

Police reviewed the CCTV footage and tracked Prakit’s route home. They then arrested him and found the motorbike used as the vehicle in the robbery captured by the security footage.

Prakit admitted to attempting to break into the ATMs. He said he’d been drinking 6 to 7 bottles of beer just after having an insulin shot for his diabetes. He told police it made him go crazy “losing all sense of right and wrong”.

His sugar level was over 400 so he needed to take the shot right away when he was drinking. After the cocktail of beer and insulin, Prakit grabbed a metal pole and headed to the ATMs.

He insists that he went crazy and lost all sense of right and wrong saying he wore his pants inside out to commit the crime.

Prakit is currently awaiting prosecution.

SOURCE: Sanook.com | Thai Residents

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