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Immigration to deport men after alleged eco-vandalism in Koh Phangan

Caitlin Ashworth

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Immigration to deport men after alleged eco-vandalism in Koh Phangan | Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Immigration officials say they will deport the Hungarian and the Dutch man who were photographed handing sea creatures whilst diving in Gulf of Thailand off Koh Phangan. The men were arrested earlier this week and charged with “intruding in an area designated for environmental protection.”

Attila Ott and Francesco Simonetti have been so-called “long-stayers” in Koh Phangan. Ott is a diving instructor and owner of Pink Panther Scuba Dive Club and Simonetti is a chef at Il Barracuda Restaurant & BBQ. Police say the men were diving in an environmental protection zone off of the island’s Salad Beach. Photos from their dive show the men picking up marine life and even “tickling” the sea creatures.

Deputy Director of the Royal Thai Army Pakpong Saibol confirmed the men will have their visa revoked and will be deported. He says it’s an “expensive lesson.” Under Thailand’s Immigration Act, those who cause harm or damage can be deported, Pakpong notes. A Surat Thani Immigration officer says the men offended many Thai people in the province and encourages locals to call the bureau’s hotline if they see anyone harming marine life or breaking other laws.

Photos of the men handling the sea creatures were widely shared on social media. Some say the men should get deported for disturbing wildlife. Others say the marine animals are not endangered and the men should just pay a fine instead. Since the men were long time residents in Thailand, and 1 of them is reportedly married, they should face punishments in the country rather than be kicked out.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Joe

    Friday, September 4, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    The threat of deportation will raise the amount of brown envelope money nicely.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, September 4, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    They will probably be happy to go if the Thais paid the fares.
    I would guess they have had enough of this persecution, simply because they are foreigners and likely to cough up big bucks.
    If Thais had done this terrible crime they would not even been arrested.
    And now it appears these marine animals are not even endangered.
    Could it be that the Thais that objected were in businesses in competition to the Pink Panther diving club . . .

    • Avatar

      chaochan

      Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 10:20 am

      I very much agree with what you are saying, if a thai person posted this nothing would have happend , the thai police just wants to show power for the sake of showing off

  3. Avatar

    lou

    Friday, September 4, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    xenophobia on the way

  4. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Friday, September 4, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    Seems Thai officials want to reclaim their country. Maybe the presence of bold and arrogant foreigners for too many years forgetting they’re guests.

  5. Avatar

    Geoff

    Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 5:13 am

    Fishy. Why deportation? Very harsh. Upping the ante? Competition?

  6. Avatar

    Alan

    Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 7:19 am

    Play by the rules or forfeit the privilege. Basic etiquette for guests in beautiful Thailand.

  7. Avatar

    Robert Elliott

    Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Good decision. These characters should have thought before taking these selfies and posting online.

  8. Avatar

    harry1

    Monday, September 7, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    a fine and a severe warning fits the punishment, it was a photo shot and wasnt endangering marine life, l hope they they reconsider, as the guy supports local business and local workers

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Politics

New NGO law could target anti-governemnt activists

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New NGO law could target anti-governemnt activists | Thaiger
PHOTO: The Office of the Council of State drafted the controversial law.

A controversial new NGO law was drafted with critics arguing it targets activists and the Thai government saying it ensures transparency. The Draft Act on the Operations of Not-for-Profit Organisations was written by the Office of the Council of State in February and debated in the second half of March, but could be passed into law soon. Human rights groups claim the law has provisions that would allow the Thai government to harass civil society groups and activism leaders by qualifying them as non-government organisations, or NGOs. The new law would require NGOs to re-register following new guidelines the government claims will cut down on dubious organisations claiming money but not working for the public interest.

The problem arises because the protests that have plagued the Thai government for that last year often receives backing from foreign groups. A statement from 3 UN Special Rapporteurs worried that the broad language of the law could restrict non-profits working for human rights, with a vague definition of what qualifies as an NGO potentially including any group and enforcing strict NGO regulations on them. Section 1 of the draft states a sweeping goal for the bill.

“[…]to regulate the operation of not-for-profit organizations in the Kingdom to ensure propriety, morality, openness, transparency, and the genuine serving of public and national interest without any hidden and fraudulent agenda.”

This broadness could be used to classify anti-government groups as NGOs and then punish them with little legal recourse. Another section allows authorities to circumvent warrants and advance notice to enter organisations’ offices and copy their emails or other sensitive documents. Equally worrisome are the harsh penalties of up to 100,000 baht in fines and 5 years in jail for those who break the law.

The Union for Civil Liberty stressed that the heavy-handed punishments could dissuade organisations that benefit society by stifling non-profit organisations and prosecuting those that do not sufficiently meet the government’s demands. The Centre for the Protection of Children’s Rights Foundation noted that the NGO law had become much more extreme than the original drafted version. The Bangkok Post suspected the bill is intended to intimidate protest groups calling for democratic reform and rallying against the lese majeste laws.

“The bill will clip the wings of civic agencies that challenge unjust laws and law enforcement. The government must be open to scrutiny. If it practises good governance, there is no reason for concern and the new law should not be used in a dubious way.”

The law has not been enacted yet but is expected to go to parliament later this month after a cabinet review.

SOURCE: Global Voices

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543, DDC recommends work from home in red zone areas

Maya Taylor

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Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543, DDC recommends work from home in red zone areas | Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/กรมควบคุมโรค กระทรวงสาธารณสุข

Thailand’s Covid-19 infections are still on the rise, with the Kingdom reporting 1,543 new infections in the last 24 hours. Only 3 of those are imported with 1,540 being cases of community transmission. Thailand has now recorded 37,453 infections. 8,973 patients are receiving hospital treatment, 41 of whom have pneumonia.

11 people are currently in a serious condition on ventilators.

1,540 were community cases, most from the hot zone of Bangkok with 409 new infections. Chiang Mai had 278 new cases, Prachuap Khiri Khan 98 and Chon Buri (including Pattaya) 98.

UPDATE: Dr Chawetsan Namwat, the acting director for emergency health at the Department of Disease Control, says that people will need to consider working from home for 2 weeks if they live in a red zone area.

He said that it may be necessary to increase restrictions further to mitigate the upward trajectory of Covid-19 that is expected to rise after Songkran. Those red zone areas include Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Samut Prakan, Narathiwat, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani and Sa Kaeo.

“To reduce risks, people should work from home after the Songkran festival.”

Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543, DDC recommends work from home in red zone areas | News by ThaigerHere’s the trajectory of the outbreak since April 1…

April 1 – 26 infections
April 2 – 58 infections
April 3 – 84 infections
April 4 – 96 infections
April 5 – 194 infections
April 6 – 250 infections
April 7 – 334 infections
April 8 – 405 infections
April 9 – 559 infections
April 10 – 789 infections
April 11 – 967 infections
April 12 – 985 infections
April 13 – 965 infections
April 14 – 1,335 infections
April 15 – 1,543 infections

Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543, DDC recommends work from home in red zone areas | News by Thaiger

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bangkok officials issue advice for Covid contacts required to self-isolate

Maya Taylor

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Bangkok officials issue advice for Covid contacts required to self-isolate | Thaiger
PHOTO: Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

The governor of Bangkok says anyone who has had contact with a Covid-19 patient must self-isolate for 10 days, the incubation period for the virus. Nation Thailand reports that Governor Aswin Kwanmuang has issued advice for those self-isolating, saying they must adhere to the following 4 steps.

1. Sleep in a separate room to other residents
2. Do not eat with other people living in the house
3. Separate trash, as garbage used by a potentially infected person can be a source of transmission
4. Use a separate bathroom where possible. If not possible, the potentially infected person should be last to use the bathroom, washing sinks and the toilet seat after each use

The governor says people who live alone in a house or condo can use a food delivery service, but must wear a mask while in the presence of food delivery workers, as well as washing their hands regularly. Condominium residents must advise the building manager that they are self-isolating and avoid using common areas such as elevators.

Masks should be worn at all times indoors and all residents should observe social distancing while in common areas. Building managers are responsible for instructing residents to observe disease prevention measures and should also undertake regular disinfection of common areas and manage potentially infectious waste appropriately.

Nation Thailand lists the following numbers for those who need further medical advice.

Covid-19 situation at the Bangkok Health Office Hotline (02) 203 2393 or (02) 203 2396 or (02) 203 2883 and (02) 245 4964 (24 Hours)

BKK COVID-19 website hotline (02) 203 2393 and (02) 203 2396 (service hours 8am-10pm)

People with Covid-19 symptoms should contact the Erawan Centre, Bangkok 1646. People at risk of exposure to infectious cases can call the Emergency Operation Centre at 097 046 7549 and the Department of Disease Control at 1422.

Infected patients can get more advice on self-isolation at the Medical Department Hotline 1668, the National Institute of Emergency Medicine 1669 or the NHSO 1330 hotline, 24 hours a day.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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