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Miss Universe Thailand steps down after social-media row

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Miss Universe Thailand steps down after social-media row
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Bowing to pressure, Weluree Ditsayabut yesterday tearfully relinquished her Miss Universe Thailand crown.

I give up this title,” the young beauty queen said at a press conference.

Appearing before media without a crown and a sash, Weluree said she had taken the move to end huge pressure that had taken a toll on both her and her mother’s happiness.

“I understand that a public figure is subject to public scrutiny. But I couldn’t take it when those comments gave my mother sleepless nights. When she is unhappy, I can’t be happy either,” she said, as tears ran down her face.

Not long after claiming the Miss Universe Thailand 2014 title last month, Weluree came under a barrage of severe criticism. She was criticised for having a less-than-perfect figure and for many things she had posted previously on social media. They included rude words and harsh remarks about red shirts.

When the social-media storm against her started, Weluree tried at first to ask for understanding and an opportunity. She promised to improve herself and insisted that she was not affiliated with any political group.

Asked why she had opted to toss it in, Weluree said yesterday: “I am worried about my mother. At first, I wanted to keep going. But any struggle isn’t worth if that makes my mother unhappy.”

Weluree also denied speculation that the organiser of the Miss Universe Thailand 2014 event pressured her to step down.

“The organiser only advised me to make a careful decision,” she said.

Weluree said she hoped all youths would learn a lesson from her case.

“An act out of ignorance can come back to haunt us,” she warned.

Pranom Thavornvej, manager of the Miss Universe Thailand pageant, said the organiser would conduct more extensive background checks on applicants, including their posts on social media, next year.

With Weluree giving up her crown, first-runner up Pimbongkod Chankaew will assume Weluree’s duties from now on.

“I wish to express my moral support to her,” Weluree said, adding that she would talk with the pageant organiser on what needs to be done about prizes worth about Bt4 million that she won in the event.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai medic cautions against reducing quarantine period for foreign tourists

Maya Taylor

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Thai medic cautions against reducing quarantine period for foreign tourists | The Thaiger
PHOTO: AFP

On one side there is a push to re-open Thailand’s borders to re-start the beleaguered tourist industry. On the other hand Thai officials are try to keep Covid-19 contained and fear the re-opening of the borders. Even the suggestion to reduce the quarantine time from 14 to 7 days is not gaining support from health officials.

Now, a doctor from the Faculty of Medicine at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University says reducing the quarantine period for foreign tourists would be inviting disaster. Dr. Thira Woratanarat made his statement after a suggestion from the Tourism and Sports Minister that quarantine could be halved if all goes well when Thailand re-opens its borders to a limited number of foreign tourists.

“In Thailand, if we decide to follow the proposal to reduce the quarantine time to 7 days, it would be an invitation to disaster.”

Thira points to a growing number of cases in many parts of the world, with around 350,000 new cases a day reported worldwide. The number of total deaths from the virus has now reached the 1 million mark.

For its part, the government says Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn’s proposal is not under consideration and that all foreign tourists will still be subject to mandatory 14 day quarantine. Officials say until the global pandemic situation improves, current restrictions remain in place.

A plan is underway to allow a limited number of foreign tourists to return to the Kingdom under a Special Tourist Visa scheme. The visa is due to be approved today when PM Prayut Chan-o-cha chairs a meeting of the government’s Covid-19 task force.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thailand

Van passengers hospitalised after gas leak

Caitlin Ashworth

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Van passengers hospitalised after gas leak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: ปากช่องไทม์

Passengers in a van leaving from Bangkok ended up in the hospital after a gas leak went unnoticed. Many passengers began to feel dizzy and nauseous. Some had difficultly breathing before falling unconscious. Some passengers were even found foaming at the mouth.

The 34 year old driver, identified as Jakpong, was hired to drive the passengers from Bangkok to the Roi Et province. He says he started noticing a burning smell when passing through Ayutthaya. Jakpong stopped briefly at a gas station, but then continued to drive. A passenger started feeling nauseous and asked to stop again.

When the van stopped again at Nakhon Ratchasima’s Pak Chong District, the passenger who complained of nausea fainted while walking to the restroom. Other passengers tried to stand up, but some also fainted.

The petrol station attendants called the emergency line. All 9 people in the van were sent to Chong Nana Hospital. A doctor from the hospital says some passengers report they had difficulty breathing and dizziness before falling unconscious. Some were found foaming at the mouth.

The driver told emergency responders that he was only slightly dizzy. The driver says he had no idea there was a gas leak. Police are still investigating.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

#รถตู้เหมาแก๊สรั่วผู้โดยสารหมดสติทั้งรถ.เมื่อเวลา 00.15 น.วันที่ 27 กันยายน นพ.ณรงค์ศักดิ์ บำรุงถิ่น…

Posted by ปากช่องไทม์ on Saturday, September 26, 2020

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Crime

“Boss” commission chief says Thai justice system in need of reform

Maya Taylor

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“Boss” commission chief says Thai justice system in need of reform | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Southeast Asia Globe

Former National Anti-Corruption Commissioner, Vicha Mahakun, who led the recent inquiry into the handling of the case against Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya, says Thailand’s justice system is in need of reform. Red Bull heir, “Boss” stood accused in a 2012 hit-and-run case that caused the death of a Bangkok police officer who was hit by Vorayuth’s Ferrari and dragged over 100 metres, before the car fled the scene.

Boss was never brought to justice and is believed to be living outside Thailand, having managed to flee the Kingdom. Despite various media outlets being able to photograph him living a jet-set lifestyle in London, Singapore, and Japan, Thai officials appeared unable to track him down. A “red notice” for his arrest mysteriously disappeared from the Interpol website. Finally, in July of this year, all charges against him were dropped.

The resulting uproar from outraged Thais resulted in the PM ordering an independent investigation, led by Vicha. Having presented his findings to the PM earlier this month, the chairman of the investigating panel says the whole Boss fiasco proves that Thailand’s legal system needs to be reformed. He says the decision to drop all charges in the case clearly came about as a result of corruption.

“Why was the case that should have been closed within a year delayed for 8 years? There’s a legal proverb ‘justice delayed is justice denied’. An attempt to delay it gives a clue.”

In addition to pointing the finger at prosecutors involved in the case, Vicha takes aim at the Royal Thai Police, saying reform there is long overdue. He adds that the Thai justice system is robust, claiming it is those working within it who are the problem. Vicha says Thailand’s ingrained culture of nepotism has affected not only the justice system, but has resulted in economic disparity, and says changes will be brought about by the young people now rebelling against the system.

“When 12 and 13 year olds march on the streets raising three-finger salutes, and adorn themselves with white ribbons all over Thailand, it shows how corrupt people with power are.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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