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Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai: Former Thai Navy SEAL dies during rescue

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Chiang Rai: Former Thai Navy SEAL dies during rescue | The Thaiger

A former Thai navy SEAL has died while on the way way back to the ‘hall 3’ area from where the 13 footballers are stranded. He was participating in the rescue of the 13 footballers in the Tham Luang Caves in Chiang Rai. He had finished his paid work with the Thai Navy SEAL team but was working with the rescue teams as a volunteer.

Apparently, according to a media briefing in Chiang Rai at 9.30am, the Thai diver was undertaking a long dive, fell unconscious and could not be revived. He was transferring an air tank from Hall 3 to the ‘T’ intersection in the cave. The incident happened at 8.37pm last night. The diver was Petty Officer First Class Seaman Kunan. He was 38 years old and originally from the province of Roi-et. His body was taken to Sattahip Naval Base in Chonburi.

Chiang Rai: Former Thai Navy SEAL dies during rescue | News by The Thaiger


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Chiang Rai

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

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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

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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.

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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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