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Chiang Rai: Mu Pa team speak of their ordeal

The Thaiger & The Nation

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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

900,000 meth pills and 3 kilos of ‘ice’ seized after brief shoot-out

The Thaiger & The Nation

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900,000 meth pills and 3 kilos of ‘ice’ seized after brief shoot-out | The Thaiger

Two suspected drug smugglers have been arrested at a Chiang Rai hotel following a short shootout with police. Police also seized 900,000 methamphetamine pills and three kilograms of crystal methamphetamine.

Acting on a tip-off, a team of narcotics suppression police staked out at a border point in Ban Tham Phatong in Tambon Tha Sud in Chiang Rai’s Muang district. They saw a car come out of the forest at 12.10am on Saturday.

Police followed the car to the Kriang Suwan Hotel and watched two men carry bags into a room. Police surrounded the room and informed the men that they would be searched.

Police said one of the suspects, 45 year old Pallop Ruangsri pulled out a .38 revolver and opened fire at them. He tried to climb over a barbed wire fence to escape but was shot once in the hip. The other suspect was identified as 35 year ol Charnrit Suwanmol.

Pallop was sent to the Chiang Rai hospital under police custody.

The drugs were found in eight fertiliser bags inside the car. Charnrit told police that he and Pallop were hired to smuggle the drug from the border to a central Thai province.

STORY: The Nation

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Chiang Rai

Ceremony held in Chiang Rai marking 100 days since the death of Saman Kunan

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Ceremony held in Chiang Rai marking 100 days since the death of Saman Kunan | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Thai PBS

A religious ceremony has been held at a temple and near the entrance to the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai to mark the 100th day of the death of Saman Kunan, a former Thai Navy SEAL member, who died trying to help save the trapped Mu Pa football team.

The religious ceremony was organised by the Mae Sai district office, the Chiang Rai cultural office and the provincial office of social development.  The 13 Mu Pa team members and their parents were involved in yesterday’s ceremonies.

Thai PBS reports that the religious ceremony started at Wat Phra That Doi Wa in Mae Sai district, then the temple’s abbot led the group to the entrance of Tham Luang cave, where the 13 were trapped for more than two weeks before being rescued by Thai and international team of skilled cave rescuers.

Tham Luang park officials opened the gate at the cave entrance to allow all the ceremony participants into the cave’s first large chamber to pay their respects to ‘Ja Sam’ and all the other people involved in the search and rescue operations.

Another religious ceremony was held at the nearby museum where a huge painting, depicting rescuers and telling a story of the rescue mission, was put on display in honor of all participants in the rescue mission that captured international attention.

The painting was painted by national artist Chalermchai Kositpipat and several Chiang Rai artists.

Ceremony held in Chiang Rai marking 100 days since the death of Saman Kunan | News by The Thaiger

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Chiang Rai

Mu Pa – The Movie. The frenzy for rights.

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Mu Pa – The Movie. The frenzy for rights. | The Thaiger

“The Wall Street Journal reported that Universal had offered $1.5 million (49 million baht) to be split among the boys and Ekkaphol.”

Stampede for the cave drama scoopnational October 20, 2018 01:00 By The Nation Weekend
Producers of movies, games, and books are queuing to see who gets a share in the Tham Luang story

After Hollywood studio Universal Pictures reported that they’d acquired the rights to make a movie about the Tham Luang cave rescue, the Culture Ministry continues to insist that no such rights have been granted to anyone.

Culture Minister Vira Rojpojanarat said this week that the Creative Media Panel the government, established for the purpose of examining proposals about the story, would hold an open call from November 15-23 for submissions for rights to make movies about the cave drama, as well as for depictions in all other media.

Several Hollywood-based and Thai studios were swift to pitch plans for feature and documentary films about the cave rescue, with even games-makers joining in the friz to depict an event that caught the world’s attention.

Vira says the government was “representing” the 12 youngsters rescued from the Chiang Rai cave, along with their coach and their parents, to protect their intellectual property rights. The panel, set up in July, has officials from the culture, tourism, foreign affairs and human development ministries and reputable figures from the Thai film industry.

To date there are 22 movies, a TV series, animated games, music videos and books in the works, Vira said.

Five foreign film studios and five in Thailand are proposing feature movies and 10 documentary projects have been touted by companies at home and abroad. Three projects involve books and music videos, and Thai and foreign news media have extended invitations to the boys and their coach to be interviewed on 27 different TV programs.

Watch an excellent documentary prepared in the days following the final rescue from the Australian Four Corners program…

Vira said local moviemakers could make their pitches to his Culture Ministry, while foreigners have to submit their proposals to the Tourism and Sport Ministry. The Creative Media Panel is also tasked with screening the information flow to and from the boys and safeguarding both their privacy and the country’s image. Once rights are granted to specific film projects, it will also oversee production.

The panel will help the families negotiate contracts with foreign studios, Vira said, with careful attention paid to their intellectual property rights. The restrictions on rights do not apply to the use of information already in the public domain, he said. Vira did not name any studios interested in the Mu Pa story, but it was widely reported that Universal Pictures had sealed a deal with the boys and their coach, Ekkaphol Chantawong, as well as Australian cave divers Dr Richard Harris and Craig Challen.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Universal had offered $1.5 million (49 million baht) to be split among the boys and Ekkaphol.

It listed Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca as producers, a duo previously associated with box-office hits “Fifty Shades of Grey”, “Captain Phillips” and “The Social Network”.

Despite the report, panel members have insisted that no studio had as yet been granted the rights to produce a film about the cave rescue. Ekkaphol has also been quoted as saying he has accepted no such deal.

“But we are not sure if Universal Pictures bought the rights from the Australian divers,” panel spokesman Lt-General Weerachon Sukondhapati-pak said.

At least three other major foreign studios have expressed interest in producing movies. De Warrenne Productions, headed by Thai-Irish producer-director Tom Waller, recently announced plans for a movie titled “The Cave”.

He was looking for distributors at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was Waller who made the award-winning films “Mindfulness and Murder” and “The Last Executioner”.

Pure Flix managing partner Michael Scott and co-producer Adam Smith interviewed people around the cave in the immediate aftermath of the rescue in early July. Their firm is known for Christian-theme movies like “Do You Believe?” and the “God’s Not Dead” series and they hope to focus on the inspirational aspects of the rescue operation.

“Now You See Me 2” director Jon M Chu and Ivanhoe Pictures meanwhile announced they were teaming up for a movie about the incident.

“There’s a beautiful story here about human beings saving other human beings,” Chu said on Twitter.

The cave rescue drama that began on June 23 held people across the world spellbound as efforts to locate the Wild Boar team were repeatedly stymied by rising water levels and strong currents. Thai Navy Seals, joined by a slew of foreign professional divers including Australians Challen and Harris, coordinated the complicated operation.

One former Navy Seal, Lt-Commander Saman Kunan, lost his life in the operation. The boys and their coach were all safely extracted during a complex three day operation by July 10.

STORY: The Nation Weekend

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