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Chiang Rai: Mu Pa team speak of their ordeal

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Chiang Rai: Mu Pa team speak of their ordeal | The Thaiger

As the team continues to recover in the Chiang Rai Prachanukro Hospital, the parents and guardians are now being given time with they kids. Here are some of the first details to emerge from some of the team members, as reported by Marisa Chimprabha…

Chiang Rai: Mu Pa team speak of their ordeal | News by The ThaigerChanin ‘Titan’ Wibulrungrueng

Chanin Wibulrungrueng, one of the 13 Mu Pa Academy football club members who were trapped inside the cave, told his mother, Aikan, that the team wanted to go inside the cave after football practice. Their assistant coach, 25 year old Ekkapon Chantawong, joined the trip.

“My son had an extra tutorial class that day after practice. He told me when I visited him in the hospital that he planned to go into the cave for just an hour and go home,” Aikan said.

Chanin, nicknamed Titan, is the youngest of the 13 Mu Pa (Wild Boar) team members who were trapped inside the cave after a flash flood hit the area and the cave, blocking their exit.

Chanin was speaking to his mother through a glass partition at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital where the group was undergoing a medical check-up.

“While we were in the cave, there was heavy rain that resulted in fast and heavy flow of water,” he told his mother.

“Coach Ek told the boys to build a wall to block the water but to no avail because the water ran very strong and fast. This forced us to retreat deeper into the cave,” Chanin was quoted as saying.

Chiang Rai: Mu Pa team speak of their ordeal | News by The ThaigerDuangpetch ‘Dome’ Promthep

In a separate interview with Thai media, another rescued boy, 13 year old Duangpetch or Dome Promthep, echoed Chanin’s account, saying that he joined the others on the trip because it was to be a short visit.

He brought a small amount of snacks on the trip. “When they got stuck inside the cave, they had nothing to eat,” he told his 45 year old father Banphot who visited him at the hospital.

His statement contradicted an earlier report that the group planned a small birthday party for one of the boys, so they brought food and snacks. Those reports comforted people outside the cave who believed that they had something to eat during the ordeal.

He told his father that on the day they got trapped, everyone panicked but Coach Ek calmed them down and tried to find a way out. Duangpetch said that Ekkapon told the boys not to move and to stay still so that they would save their energy.

“If we were thirsty, Coach Ek told us to use a flashlight to find a hole where rainwater seeped in. So, we drank that water to survive. We did not know the days and nights because it was very dark inside the cave,” he said.

Chanin told his mother that on the first three nights, he was so hungry that he burst into tears. He only consumed rainwater that seeped into the cave through the roof of the cave.

“It was really cold inside the cave. He told Ekkapon that, so he hugged my boy until he slept,” according to Aikan.

It was difficult for the team to sleep on the ledge where they were stranded as it was so small, she said.

Chanin also said that Ekkapon told them not to move a lot to save their energy and meditate to stay calm and not panic.

Duangpetch, the captain of the football team, said that the group was staying on higher ground when the British divers discovered them. They ran down to ask for help when they saw the divers. The discovery was recorded by the divers’ helmet camera, footage that brought joy to their parents and a worldwide audience.

Banphot said his son lost about three to four kilograms during the ordeal and he asked for pork barbecue, Thai-styled noodle soup and a new phone to replace the old one he lost in the cave.

Aikan said she prepared sticky rice and grilled pork which are her son’s favourite food when he leaves the hospital.

Chiang Rai: Mu Pa team speak of their ordeal | News by The Thaiger

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: The Nation

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Chiang Rai

Journey back to Tham Luang in ‘The Cave’ – VIDEO

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Journey back to Tham Luang in ‘The Cave’ – VIDEO | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Tom Waller on site during the filming of The Cave – AFP

Determined divers racing against time. Rising waters threatening lives. 12 teenagers and their soccer coach trapped inside for two weeks. A remote cave that most had never heard of.

The stuff of a Hollywood drama, except that it’s all true and happened in Chiang Rai last year. Now the first of several re-tellings of the story comes to the big screen in The Cave.

The ordeal in late June and early July last year had barely ended when filmmakers began their own race to get the nail-biting drama onto cinema screens. The first of those projects premiered at the start of October, when director Tom Waller’s The Cave showed at the Busan Film Festival in South Korea.

The film was shot over three months earlier this year and has been in post-production since then. The 45 year old Thai-British filmmaker says the epic tale of the Wild Boars (Mu Pa) football team was a story he simply had to tell.

“I took the view that this was going to be a story about the people we didn’t know about, about the cave divers who came all the way from across the planet.”

The 13 young men entered the Tham Luang cave complex after soccer practice and were quickly trapped inside by rising floodwater. The boys were forced to spend nine nights lost in the cave, whilst Navy Seal and other diver searched frantically, before they were spotted by a British diver.

It would take another eight days before they were all safe, against all odds, in a risky mission.

Waller was visiting his father in Ireland when he saw television news accounts of the drama.

“I thought this would be an amazing story to tell on screen.”

But putting the parts together after their dramatic rescue proved to be a challenge. Thailand’s government, led by the military NCPO, became very protective of the story, barring unauthorised access to the Mu Pa team or their parents. Waller often feared his production might be shut down.

His good fortune was that the events at the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai province had multiple angles and interesting characters. Especially compelling were the stories of the rescuers, particularly the expert divers who rallied from around the world. He decided to make a film “about the volunteer spirit of the rescue.”

Other people proposed telling the story from the point of view of the boys, and Netflix nailed down those rights in a deal brokered by the Thai government.

“I took the view that this was going to be a story about the people we didn’t know about, about the cave divers who came all the way from across the planet. They literally dropped everything to go and help, and I just felt that that was more of an exciting story to tell, to find out how these boys were brought out and what they did to get them out.”

Waller even had more than a dozen key rescue personnel play themselves.

Waller said they were natural actors, blending in almost seamlessly with the professionals around them, and helped by the accuracy of the settings and the production’s close attention to detail.

“What you are really doing is asking them to remember what they did and to show us what they were doing and what they were feeling like at the time. That was really very emotional for some of them because it was absolutely real.”

Waller says his film is likely to have a visceral effect on some viewers, evoking a measure of claustrophobia.

“It’s a sort of immersive experience with the sound of the environment, you know, the fact that is very dark and murky, that the water is not clear.”

“In Hollywood films, when they do underwater scenes, everything is crystal clear. But in this film it’s murky and I think that’s the big difference. This film lends itself to being more of a realistic portrayal of what happened.”

Some scenes were filmed on location at the entrance to the actual Tham Luang cave, but most of the action was shot elsewhere.

“We filmed in real water caves that were flooded, all year-round. It is very authentic in terms of real caves, real flooded tunnels, real divers and real creepy-crawlies in there. So it was no mean feat trying to get a crew to go and film in these caves.”

The Cave goes on general release in Thailand on November 28.

ORIGINAL ARTICE: Associated Press | Time.com

Journey back to Tham Luang in 'The Cave' - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Tom Waller – Associated Press/Sakchai Lalit

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Air Pollution

Less monitoring, more enforcement – Prawit warns northern officials

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Less monitoring, more enforcement – Prawit warns northern officials | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Thaiger

Thai Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan and Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa were in Chiang Mai yesterday to give provincial governors and state agency officials a ‘heads up’ in preparation for another looming season of forest fires and haze.

The North suffers perennial choking smog from approximately February to April, and Prawit passed on a message from PM Prayut Chan-o-cha who, he said, was fretting over the impact on people’s health.

He said the Environment Ministry would take the lead in coordinating with neighbouring countries and related local authorities to monitor the fire problem both in and outside Thailand.

The fires are lit in northern Thailand, and over the border in Myanmar, as burn-offs to prepare for the next year’s crops. Last year’s choking smoke haze was headline news for months.

SOURCE: The Nation

Less monitoring, more enforcement - Prawit warns northern officials | News by The Thaiger

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Chiang Rai

Thai police officer arrested with nearly 200,000 meth pills in his luggage

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Thai police officer arrested with nearly 200,000 meth pills in his luggage | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Thai PBS World

A serving policeman has been arrested by police in Chiang Rai province after 198,000 methamphetamine pills were found in his luggage on a Bangkok-bound bus.

Mae Sai district policemen at a checkpoint in Tambon Pong-Ngam, stopped a Nakhonchai Tour bus bound for Bangkok from Mae Sai, for a routine check. The officers found a locked suitcase on the luggage rack above the front seat, occupied by Pol Lt-Col Surachit Thavuth, and asked him to open the bag for inspection.

Pol Lt-Col Surachit Thavuth is a police investigative inspector in Uthai Thani in central Thailand.

Surachit managed to run out of the bus and hid in the roadside bushes, but was eventually apprehended and brought back to the bus to unlock the bag, where the methamphetamine pills were found.

Surachit told the police he went to Mae Sai to take delivery of the drugs for transport to a drug dealer, whom he identified as ‘Oak’, in Bangkok in return for 100,000 baht. Following his arrest, Thai PBS reports that Surachit was temporarily suspended from duty and a disciplinary committee has been set up to deal with the matter.

Royal Thai Police deputy spokesman Pol Col Krisana Pattanacharoen said the national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda ordered the investigation to be expanded to find the mastermind behind the drug deal.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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