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Judge commits suicide

Jack Burton

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Judge commits suicide | Thaiger
PHOTO: Kanakorn Pianchana - File photo

A judge is dead after shooting himself in the heart in his home in Chiang Mai province. He had previously attempted suicide in his courtroom after being pressured to change a verdict.

In October last year, Kanakorn Pianchana, then a judge in the provincial court of Thailand’s southern Yala province, publicly claimed he had been approached by someone who “forced” him to change the not guilty verdicts of five defendants, condemning three of them to death and sending another two to prison, despite the lack of sufficient evidence to convict any of them. Yala and the neighbouring provinces are the site of Thailand’s “Southern Insurgency.”

Kanakorn decried the unfair treatment of judges in the court, such as being required to work after office hours to write verdicts without overtime pay, and being forbidden to work in a second job to earn extra income. He urged lawmakers to amend the judicial charter to prevent senior judges from screening the verdicts of the judges in the lower court of first instance before they are delivered.

Judge commits suicide | News by Thaiger

On Friday October 4, he shot himself in the chest in his own courtroom. He was rushed to hospital and his life was saved.

This morning he was less fortunate.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

SOURCES: Thai PBS World | Newshawk Phuket

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Chiang Mai: Covid-19 cancels many Songkran events

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Chiang Mai: Covid-19 cancels many Songkran events | Thaiger
PHOTO: Songkran Day at Chiang Mai Wall won't be the same this year.

After a surge in new Covid-19 infections, Chiang Mai health officials decided to cancel Songkran celebrations and implement containment measures. As the virus spreads through Thailand, 281 new infections were just diagnosed on Sunday, reported in Monday’s daily Covid-19 statistics. These infections bring the total for the month of April to 662 people. With this outbreak spreading wider and faster than the first 2 waves of Covid-19, authorities are taking actions to try and limit the spread of new cases in the area, including the difficult decision to cancel some of this week’s scheduled Songkran festival celebrations.

Since the third wave of infections began last week, infection rates are growing and yesterday was the highest number of reported new cases yet. To combat the Covid-19 outbreak, Chiang Mai officials have closed all entertainment venues until April 23, cancelled many of the events planned for Songkran, and toned down the remaining activities. Even the traditional Songkran alms-offering ceremony at Tha Phae Gate had to be called off.

The cancellations due to Covid-19 outbreaks have hurt Chiang Mai, a popular tourist destination for Thais and international travellers alike, where Songkran is usually a booming holiday period. Many tourists have already cancelled their trip, and for those who do still come from Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, and Samut Prakan, a 14-day self-quarantine has been ordered, as well as registration through the CM Chana mobile app.

For those already in Chiang Mai who have spent time in entertainment venues, health authorities issued a warning and asked people who attended several venues to get tested for Covid-19. The 10 venues currently identified as high risk are as follows:

DC Chiang Mai
Ground Consol’s Garden
Infinity Club
Living Machine
Phor Jai Bar
Tawan Daeng
Tha Chang Cafe
Too Nice Nimman
Valentine’s Karaoke
Warm Up Cafe Chiang Mai

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Chiang Mai

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

Tim Newton

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Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | Thaiger

The TAT, ever the optimists regarding anything tourism related, even domestic tourism, predict that the Bangkok clusters that have emerged in the week before the Songkran break could reduce traffic and spending by up to half.

Today the CCSA is reporting 789 new infections and one additional death. 522 were local infections, mostly walk-ins to Bangkok hospitals, 259 were discovered through track and tracing. The remaining 8 were found in quarantine from overseas arrivals. In Phuket, another 17 cases have been reported today, taking the island’s week total to 43.

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | News by ThaigerGRAPH: Worldometer figures for Thailand, up to April 9

A 68 year old man from Nakhon Pathom province died on April 4 but wasn’t reported until today. The CCSA report that he died from Covid and “complications”. 33 other former patients have recovered and been discharged.

Last week the TAT estimated 3.2 million domestic trips would circulate 12 billion baht for the Thai economy. But the Tourism Authority has now slashed their estimates by half after hotels, airlines and bus companies reported mass cancellations in the last few days. Other provinces are reporting less than 20% cancellations. Although this weekend will see a lot of travel, Songkran doesn’t formally start until next Tuesday and the TAT expect there could be additional fallout as travellers decide to have a staycation for Songkran instead heading home.

Bangkok Post reports that 70% of travellers to Prachuap Khiri Khan and Hua Hin have already cancelled hotel bookings. Similar cancellations have been reported in Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Many other provinces, particularly in the north east and north, are also enforcing quarantine on arrivals or additional paperwork to try and protect their provinces from any of the Bangkok clusters.

8 north eastern provinces rare now requiring 10 or 14 day quarantine periods for anyone arriving from areas where new clusters have been reported. Chiang Mai provincial officials say that tourists from Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi – basically Bangkok and surrounding provinces – must complete a 14 day mandatory quarantine or conduct a test for Covid when they arrive.

The reality is that the travel and quarantine changes are outstripping the ability to communicate them all. Anyone crossing into other provinces in the next few day, especially if you’re travelling from Bangkok and surrounding provincial ‘red zones’ can expect some additional paperwork or a Covid test. Or even quarantine.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

All new Covid-19 infections in Chiang Mai are linked to nightlife venues

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All new Covid-19 infections in Chiang Mai are linked to nightlife venues | Thaiger
Stock photo via Pixabay

All of the new Covid-19 infections reported by health officials in Chiang Mai yesterday are linked to local nightlife venues. Over the past few days, 47 cases linked to bars and nightclubs have been confirmed, including the 36 new cases reported yesterday by the provincial communicable disease control panel.

With the rise of infections linked to entertainment venues, Chiang Mai authorities decided to close clubs, pubs, karaoke bars and other entertainment venues for the next week. Alcohol sales are also banned for the next 7 days. A field hospital has been set up at the Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre to care for a potential influx of Covid-19 patients.

“Those travelling to Chiang Mai from provinces considered the highest risk of infection, including Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Pathum Thani and Nakhon Pathom, must self-isolate for 14 days.”

The recent infections are linked to 7 venues in the area including Warm Up Cafe Chiang Mai, Tha Chang Café Chiang Mai, DC Chiang Mai, Infinity Club Chiang Mai, Ground, Living Machine and Consol’s Garden.

“Those who visited the venues are asked to go to a local hospital for a Covid-19 test.”

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Nation Thailand

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