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‘Maldives’ style resort in Chanthaburi closed down after raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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‘Maldives’ style resort in Chanthaburi closed down after raid | The Thaiger
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Officials have raided and shut down a popular island resort that was advertised as “the Maldives of Chanthaburi”, saying it encroached on the sea. Chanthaburi is south east of Pattaya, about an hours drive from the Cambodian border.

Pongpat Wongtrakul, the Provincial deputy governor, led marines of the Chanthaburi and Trat Protection Taskforce, marine park officials and harbour officials in the 9am raid on the Koh Chik Resort.

They found 10 guests waiting for a boat to take them back to the mainland, but neither resort owner Narong Hongbin nor any staff were on the premises.

'Maldives' style resort in Chanthaburi closed down after raid | News by The Thaiger

The resort became popular after advertising its bungalows built over the sea on Facebook, adopting the name “the Maldives of Chanthaburi”. The TAT had even made promotional videos about the resort and location (below).

Environmentalists complained to the Marine and Coastal Resources Department, and on Monday Governor Somchai Leewongsakorn inspected the island.

Pongpat said the resort owner had not sought permission to build structures in the sea and must demolish the bungalows within seven days or else the authorities would do the job for him, and send the bill.

He said forestry officials would determine whether the part of the resort on land encroached on protected forest.

Guest Thirawat Kornthiangtham said he’d checked in yesterday and was shocked by the raid. He said he’d heard the resort was fully booked two months in advance.

Neighbour, 57 year old Srirat Lohasart, says closing the resort would hurt local people who sold it food and otherwise did business on the island.Of the resort’s 15 bungalows, nine of them sit on platforms directly above the sea surface, akin to most resorts in Maldives.

STORY: The Nation

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Thailand

Stricken horse farm owners consider suing government over AHS virus outbreak

Greeley Pulitzer

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Stricken horse farm owners consider suing government over AHS virus outbreak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: mcot.net

An outbreak of African Horse Sickness has already killed more than 200 horses in 4 provinces, including Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri and Phetchaburi since it was first reported on March 26. Now, at least 1 owner of a horse farm is considering suing the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, along with other agencies, for approving imports of wildlife from Africa. African zebras are believed to be the source of the disease that has killed many prized racehorses.

The owner of a racehorse farm in in Nakhon Ratchasima, Uthen Chatphinyo, says AHS has killed 21 of his 160 horses. The dead horses were valued at around 50 million baht. The owner of another farm says he’s lost 20 horses that he bred for sale. Each horse was valued at 400,000 to 800,000 baht.

A group of owners and academics yesterday asked the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry to include AHS in the list of diseases to be controlled under the Animal Outbreaks Act. The act bans any movements of horses, prohibits the import of zebras and other wildlife species, and mandates a panel to deal with AHS.

A former dean of the Faculty of Fisheries at Kasetsart University says it’s important to find out who imported AHS-infected wildlife from Africa which led to the transmission of the disease to local horses.

“Zebras, for instance, are freely imported through Suvarnabhumi International Airport as though they were cats or dogs. This is because zebras are not among the controlled species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The state must investigate and find out exactly how many zebras were brought in between last December and February of this year and where the imported animals are.”

The Bangkok Post reports that, in February, some zebras were reportedly sold to buyers in the Hua Hin district of Prachuap Khiri Khan instead of being re-exported to China as planned. Blood tests revealed that these zebras were infected with AHS.

An investigation soon discovered that the outbreak began on Feb 24 at several farms in Nakhon Ratchasima in Thailand’s north-east. The department took all possible measures to contain the outbreak including screening horses, testing their blood for AHS and instructing farms not to move their horses.

There is a vaccine for AHS, but it is not currently available in Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

14 Thai provinces apply travel restrictions for residents

Anukul

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14 Thai provinces apply travel restrictions for residents | The Thaiger
PHOTO: youtube.com

14 provincial governors around the country have declared ‘travel restrictions’ in and out of their provinces. Under the emergency decree PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has given full authority to provincial governors to increase prevention measures. The ‘lockdowns’ are done to help contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

In some provinces, inter district and inter sub-district travel is also being restricted.

The 14 provinces and the dates for travel restrictions …

  • Chiang Rai, 9 – 30 April
  • Tak, 2 – 16 April
  • Nan, 5 – 17 April
  • Phrae 10 – 17 April
  • Bung Karn, 7 – 30 April
  • Phuket, 30 March – 30 April
  • Songkhla, 6 – 30 April
  • Satun, 3 – 30 April
  • Trat from 4 April until further notice
  • Pattani from 28 March until further notice
  • Yala from 29 March until further notice
  • Narathiwat from 29 March until further notice
  • Pattaya City from 9 April until further notice
  • Ranong from 6 April until further notice

Travel restrictions and ‘lockdown’ orders differ from province to province, check you local media for details. Most are also rolling out checkpoint temperature checks or even door-to-door checks of residents.

14 Thai provinces apply travel restrictions for residents | News by The Thaiger

Exemptions are made for, transportation of necessary goods, medical care personnel and those who receive permissions from officials to travel in and out of their provinces.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai army puts off military purchases until coronavirus outbreak passes

Greeley Pulitzer

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Thai army puts off military purchases until coronavirus outbreak passes | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

The Royal Thai Army says Thailand “needs to heal” after the Coronavirus pandemic is over in the country so plans to delay purchases of military equipment in the 2020 defence budget. They say the change is in order to prioritise national recovery efforts in the wake of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

A Defence Ministry spokesman says cuts to the 2020 budget for military hardware and projects are being considered. The Ministry says they’re well aware of what needs to be prioritised for future situations.

“The military’s mission is to protect and help the people, and support the government in solving national problems while maintaining the availability of troops and equipment to protect the nation.”

A spokesperson says that any procurement project that is able to be delayed, without affecting foreign contracts, must be delayed.

“The Army is currently considering which projects will come under the 2020 budget, and will continue to discuss the projects in the 2021 budget.”

The spokesperson clarified that some 2020 budget funds have already spent and military contracts under the budget may have binding contracts.

Speaking about the upcoming controversial purchase of Chinese made submarines under the 2021 budget, the spokesperson said that the Royal Thai Navy is considering the matter and “related legal consequences carefully”, realising that budget “must be used to restore the nation and economy”.

SOURCE: The Nation

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