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DMCR officials inspect the coral areas in Paklok

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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DMCR officials inspect the coral areas in Paklok | The Thaiger
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Last week locals spoke out against the establishment of a new marina near Koh Hei in the Ao Kung area of Paklok (in between Ao Po and Boat Haven marinas).

Conservationists and locals are worried that there will be damage to the coral if construction of a marina is started along with the dredging of a channel for boats to access the new facility.

Read the original story HERE.

Yesterday (May 20) officials led by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Director-General Jatuporn Burutpat inspected the area where there is an issue of potential damage to coral reefs raised by local residents near the Ao Kung area of Paklok.

Mr Jatuporn says, “the coral reef, mangrove forest and ecological system here are still plentiful. We are also worried that if a channel is dredged, it will affect the coral as locals have already mentioned. This issue must be discussed by a hard look at the facts. We have to analyse for good benefits and bad affects about a project like this as well as how necessary it is to have a marina for super yachts.”

“For my personal opinion, I agree with the development, but it must not damage the environment. If the project has any affect to the environment, is it worth doing? I don’t want to make any comment about the project which would be developed on personal land. I am only taking care of the area under my responsibility for the mangrove forests and coral only.”

DMCR officials inspect the coral areas in Paklok | News by The ThaigerDMCR officials inspect the coral areas in Paklok | News by The ThaigerDMCR officials inspect the coral areas in Paklok | News by The ThaigerDMCR officials inspect the coral areas in Paklok | News by The Thaiger

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Tourism

Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months

Maya Taylor

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Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jing Daily

The first group of Chinese tourists to arrive under the new Special Tourist Visa scheme are expected to land in Phuket on October 8. The Bangkok Post reports that a flight from Guangzhou in southern China will carry 120 tourists, who will spend their first 14 days in alternative state quarantine.

Arrivals who do not pass the initial health screening will be transferred to specially chosen hospitals, as “Patients under Investigation”. Those who do pass the screening will be transported to alternative state quarantine once they’ve gone through immigration processing.

Natthapon Nakpanich, from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, says the resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui will be the first to welcome travellers under the Special Tourist Via scheme. He points out that Guangzhou has not recorded any new cases of the Covid-19 virus for a prolonged period, meaning next week’s tourist arrivals are deemed “low risk”.

Natthapon says there will be a limit of 300 on the number of foreign tourists admitted each week, but this will be reviewed after the first phase of the re-opening. All arrivals will be subject to 14-day quarantine, although the Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has suggested reducing this to 7 days eventually.

Thiravat Hemachudha from the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre is not opposed to the idea.

“We can study this with foreign visitors who will arrive next month. During the 14-day quarantine they will be tested on the first, the seventh and the fourteenth day. If they are free of infections, we can shorten the quarantine to 7 days.”

However, not all are in agreement, with a doctor from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University cautioning against any shortening of the quarantine period.

Meanwhile, Phuket governor, Narong Woonsiew, says the province is ready to welcome the new arrivals, with Covid-19 labs in place at Phuket airport, and officials due to carry out a full dress rehearsal today.

Thanit Sermkaew, chief of the Phuket Public Health Office, says over 1,200 rooms at 9 hotels have been chosen as alternative state quarantine properties, with a total of 73 hotels, providing over 5,800 rooms, applying for consideration.

It’s expected around 5,000 rooms will be needed to accommodate tourists arriving under the SETV scheme, once they’ve finished their quarantine period.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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World

The world’s Top 10 languages, spoken by native speakers

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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The world’s Top 10 languages, spoken by native speakers | The Thaiger

I battle to speak one language, English, and can barely order my lunch in Thai. And, whilst studying French for 7 years at school, I can only ask a French-speaker for the time or order coffee. Sacre Bleu! The world’s most common languages changes over time and a world interlinked on the internet and aviation, like never before, is making profound changes to the way we communicate, as a species..

You can be sure the ‘conversation’ will stir some heated debate over which is the most spoken languages, generally, and natively. But the numbers win (which we have updated from statistics in recent years).

For pop culturalists, we’re sad to report that neither ‘Klingon’ (used by the Star Trek foes) or ‘Minionese’ have made it into the top 10 most spoken languages in the world.

 

When tallied, according to number of native speakers only, the following are the most spoken languages in the world, the languages people learn as their primary spoken tongue. When you count the Top 10 most spoken languages – the total number of people who actually speak them natively and as a second or third language, English is just slightly ahead of Chinese as the most spoken language in the world.

But here are the Top 10 languages, as spoken by native speakers…

1. Chinese, 1.3 billion Native Speakers

1.3 billion native speakers, roughly 918 million of whom speak Mandarin Chinese. It’s definitely the most spoken language in the world with 1 in 6 of the world’s population being a native Chinese speaker. Seeing as Chinese is a tonal language that uses thousands of logograms, it will certainly keep you busy. Even if you only count the speakers of Mandarin Chinese, it still has more than twice the number of native speakers than the second most spoken language. China’s other main dialect is Cantonese, generally the lingua franca of southern Chinese.

2. Spanish, 460 million Native Speakers

Looking at native speakers, Spanish is just ahead of English with about 460 million native speakers. If you want a language that will open up entire continents to you, Spanish is considered a good choice. It is certainly the main language of the majority of South and Central America, Spain, and even large swathes of the US.

3. English, 380 million Native Speakers

You may have already noticed that this article is written in English, so you’re one of the 380 million native English speakers. An additional 754 million people speak English as a second or third language, not necessarily fluently. English has had success as the lingua franca (common language) of business, trade, travel, aviation and international relations. The pervasive cultural power of the US in the second half of the last century means that English still dominates the world stage, for now anyway. For people in developing nations, ‘English’ means ‘opportunity’ and a ‘better quality of life’.

4. Hindi, 340 million Native Speakers

To complicate matters, India has 23 official languages, with Hindi and Urdu leading the way. It is widely debated if these two dialects are separate or just one big language, Hindustani. It is spoken mainly in northern India and parts of Pakistan. At the moment there are moves to have Hindi displace English in the southern Indian states as the primary language of official communication. You probably didn’t know it, but you already speak Hindi when you use the words bungalow, shampoo, jungle, bandana, pyjamas, cashmere, punch (the drink) and jodhpurs.

5. Arabic, 317 million Native Speakers

Arabic, like Chinese, is again broken up into numerous dialects that some could even describe as separate languages just lumped together the sake of convenience. Modern Standard Arabic is a primarily written form, closely related to the Classical Arabic of the Quran.

6. Bengali, 228 million Native Speakers

Huh, what? That’s a language? Yep, and it’s number 6 on the list. People who speak Bengali are principally in the western parts of today’s India and Bangladesh. The Partition of Bengal by the British in 1947 separated West Bengal, now part of India, from its counterpart East Bengal, now Bangladesh. Bengali is the language of Kolkata, the Andaman Islands and 160 million Bangladeshis. The country is almost completely surrounded by Indian territory and faces the Bay of Bengal.

7. Portuguese, 220 million Native Speakers

Thanks to some intrepid explorers in the 15th century, Portuguese is spoken in a few colonial outposts and not just in Portugal. Portuguese traders and conquerors brought their language to Africa, Asia and the Americas. Apart from Portugal, the language is natively spoken in Brazil, Goa, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bisseau, São Tomé, Príncipe (all former Portugues colonies) and, interestingly, Macau.

8. Russian, 154 million Native Speakers

Russian remains one of the 6 languages spoken in the United Nations, and responsible for the literary classics of Dostoyevsky, Nabokov, Chekhov, Gogol and Tolstoy. Not a lot of Russian words have become commonly used in English, except maybe ‘Vodka’. Hmmmm.

9. Japanese, 128 million Native Speakers

Japanese speakers mostly live in Japan, one of the most ethno-centric cultures in the world. Japanese boasts two distinct written forms – hiragana and katakana, and makes extensive use of Chinese Kanji characters. Some Japanese speakers also live in the US, the Philippines and Brazil.

10. Lahnda, 118 million Native Speakers

Lahnda (Western Punjabi), is a Pakistani language that primarily includes Western Punjabi. The Punjab was sliced in two by the British when they left, and millions of people were forced to abandon their homeland. But they’re slowly taking their revenge, Bollywood-style. Punjabi music now account for 50% of Indian chart-toppers.

French? German? Indonesian? You get a chance in this next list, the most commonly spoken languages by the total numberof people who speak them.

1. English, 1.134 billion total speakers

2. Mandarin Chinese, 1.118 billion total speakers

3. Hindi, 615 million total speakers

4. Spanish, 534 million total speakers

5. French 280 million total speakers

6. ‘Standard’ Arabic, 274 million total speakers

7. Bengali, 265 million total speakers

8. Russian, 258 million total speakers

9. Portuguese, 234 million total speakers

10. Indonesian, 199 million total speakers

The world's Top 10 languages, spoken by native speakers | News by The ThaigerSOURCE: Babbel.com

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Crime

Sarasas school teacher charged with assault for allegedly abusing students

Caitlin Ashworth

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Sarasas school teacher charged with assault for allegedly abusing students | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Prachachat

The Nonthaburi teacher, who allegedly beat and mistreated kindergarten students, faces charges of physical assault and violating the Child Protection Act. The charges follow reports of abuse after classroom surveillance camera footage from the Sarasas Witaed Ratchaphruek School spread on the internet. Videos show a teacher, identified as Ornuma “Khru Jum” Plodprong, pushing a child to the ground, dragging another across the room and repeatedly hitting the kindergarten students.

Your comments…

• School administrators must be investigated.

• About time. This kind of abuse is the norm in Thai schools and it’s about time they did something about it.

• How about the other 3 adults who were in that room when it happens . NONE of them went forward to help that poor kid.

• Many expat teachers I came across when my daughter was still at school were ‘illegal’ & while they should accept blame, the schools which charge for expensive expat teaching should be held accountable.

Police say more charges for violating the Teachers Act could follow. They say 8 parents are also planning on pressing separate charges. Following the reports of alleged abuse, the Office of the Private Education Commission, or OPEC, set up a committee to investigate all of the 42 Sarasas private schools around Thailand.

Khru Jum, along with staff who allegedly witnessed the abuse, were fired. OPEC teamed up with the Department of Mental Health to send psychiatrists to the school to evaluate children.

Other video footage from the Sarasas school in Nonthaburi, a suburb in Bangkok, shows a male teacher grabbing a student by the arm. The teacher was identified as a 25 year old Filipino man named Marvin.

The video has sparked an online backlash and immigration officials went to the teacher’s house to check his paperwork and also checked more than 70 other foreign teachers at the school. Immigration officials have now reported that the Filipino teacher is not legal to teach in Thailand, is only on a tourist visa and down’t have a work permit.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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