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UPDATE: Father and brother traveling to Thailand to speak to Saudi 18 year old

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UPDATE: Father and brother traveling to Thailand to speak to Saudi 18 year old | The Thaiger

The father and brother of a the Saudi 18 year old, whose plea for asylum is making international headlines, are travelling to Thailand later today to give their accounts to the UN refugee agency, the Thai Immigration police chief said on Tuesday.

But Immigration Chief, Surachet Hakparn says, if they wished to speak to Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, who ran away from her family during their trip to Kuwait, it would be up to the girl.

Surachet will act as a mediator in their talks with the UN High Commission for Refugees representatives, if the meeting goes ahead.

“I believe the father and brother of al-Qunun want to give information to the UNHCR for it to have both sides of the story. I think this will be fair to both sides.”

He was speaking after meeting Abdalelah Mohammed Alsheaiby, the charge d’affaires at the Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Bangkok, while discussing Thailand’s stance on al-Qunun’s high profile case.

Al-Qunun was detained on arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport during transit while en route to Australia. She alleged that she was being subjected to physical and psychological abuse by her family.

She planned to seek asylum in Australia and expressed fears that she would be killed if she were sent back to Saudi Arabia by Thai Immigration officials who had detained her at the airport.

Surachet claims that she was stopped at the request of her family who alerted the Saudi Embassy in Bangkok.

Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency says that it has taken into its care the Saudi woman who made the desperate plea for asylum after being apprehended at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

The agency says in a statement that it will take “several days” to assess her claims before taking further steps. The refugee agency also applauded Thailand for its decision to halt their deportation of Al-qunun and allow UNHCR staff to talk to her and assess her status.

“We are very grateful that the Thai authorities did not send back Al-qunun against her will and are extending protection for her,” said UNHCR’s representative in Thailand, Giuseppe de Vicentiis, in the statement.

SOURCES: The Nation

 



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Bangkok

Bangkok smog: Police on the lookout for dirty exhaust from vehicles

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Bangkok smog: Police on the lookout for dirty exhaust from vehicles | The Thaiger

by Khanathit Srihirundaj

It’s either a knee-jerk reaction, media stunt or something we hope to see a lot more of.

Checking vehicles with plumes of dirty smoke coming out of their exhaust.

To help curb fine-particle dust pollution in Bangkok, traffic police have increased the number of checkpoints where they will check vehicles spewing black exhaust smoke.

The number of checkpoints was increased on Tuesday to 20 from the previous 12, leading to 1,000 vehicles being cited and fined, traffic police commander Pol Maj-General Jirasan Kaewsang-ek said on Wednesday.

Jirasan said diesel-engine vehicles were the main culprits, along with too-old engines, and they together made a large contribution to the 60 per cent of the polluting PM2.5 particulates that were attributed to vehicle engines.

Police are putting an emphasis on removing the exhaust-spewing vehicles from the most pollution-prone areas such as Bung Kum and Chatuchak districts.

As there was insufficient staff for the checkpoints, police would ask that some officials from the Pollution Control Department be assigned to aid them during this period, Jirasan said.

In future, police may impound the vehicles or suspend the vehicle’s use as a more severe punishment, he added.

Bangkok smog: Police on the lookout for dirty exhaust from vehicles | News by The Thaiger Bangkok smog: Police on the lookout for dirty exhaust from vehicles | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Bangkok

Bangkok smog: Chatuchak school closes for the rest of the week

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Bangkok smog: Chatuchak school closes for the rest of the week | The Thaiger

A kindergarten in Chatuchak, to the north of central Bangkok, has suspended classes because of air pollution that has landed Bangkok in the top 10 list of worst-polluted cities.

Bangkok still lags far behind some of the world’s most polluted cities, including the Afghani capital Kabul (at 576), Delhi in India (306) and Mongolia’s Ulaanbaatar (300). But the Top 10 worst air-pollution list is not the list Bangkok wants to be in.

Bangkok and Pattaya remain in the ‘unhealthy’ or ‘unsafe’ levels today whilst some cities in northern Thailand are also suffering with poor air quality.

Surang Khamneungnet, director of Jananan Kindergarten in Chatuchak, said pupils had been kept indoors in recent days and the grounds sprayed with water three times a day, but the children had become listless and were eating less.

The school is closed for National Teachers Day today anyway but will remain closed tomorrow and Friday because of the air pollution, she said.

Chulalongkorn University logistics expert Manoj Lohatepanont at a seminar on Tuesday advised schools to consider closing temporarily to reduce health risks for students and curb the number of cars on the roads, one source of PM2.5.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha separately said the Education Ministry should use its discretion in deciding whether “at-risk” schools should be closed.

SOURCE: The Nation | aqicn.org

Bangkok smog: Chatuchak school closes for the rest of the week | News by The Thaiger Bangkok smog: Chatuchak school closes for the rest of the week | News by The Thaiger

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Crisis meetings in Bangkok today over smog solutions

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Crisis meetings in Bangkok today over smog solutions | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Nation

Urgent meetings are being held in Bangkok today to address the acute smog problems in the capital.

The Pollution Control Department and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration are gathering today in their latest efforts to battle with the persistent smog while dust particles continue to blanket the capital with smog levels alarming locals and causing tourists to cancel their holidays.

The meeting was organised after the authorities concerned rushed rushed to find solutions to help ease the problem, including cleaning roads more often, spraying water over Greater Bangkok’s sky (useless), trying to produce artificial rain with cloud-seeding and enforcing strict laws against vehicles emitting excessive exhaust fumes.

PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha “has instructed relevant authorities to introduce additional measures to deal with this situation”, Government Spokesman Puttipong Punnakanta said.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and the Army’s efforts to spray water to ease the pollution on Monday night and yesterday morning did not appear to help much.

For instance, pollution was marginally brought down to 90 from 96 on Monday and to 71 yesterday on Phaholyothin Road in the capital.

Crisis meetings in Bangkok today over smog solutions | News by The Thaiger

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