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PDRC leaders freed on bail, face sedition charges

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

PDRC leaders freed on bail, face sedition charges
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Suthep Thaugsuban and 12 other leaders of the anti-“Thaksin regime” People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) were yesterday freed from several days of military detention after acknowledging sedition charges.

PDRC co-leader Anchalee Paireerak said she and other prominent PDRC members, including Buddhipongse Punnakanta and Satit Wongnongtaey, were woken up at about 3am yesterday and by 4am were being escorted from a military compound to the Office of the Attorney-General for their arraignment on charges pressed by the Department of Special Information.

They posted Bt100,000 bail to secure their temporary release and were allowed to leave.

Suthep later reported to the Criminal Court to hear unrelated charges involving his role in the bloody crackdown on red-shirt demonstrators in 2010. He posted bail of Bt600,000 and waved to his supporters as he left the court.

Last Thursday, PDRC leaders, red-shirt leaders, Pheu Thai and Democrat representatives, senators and Election Commission (EC) and government representatives showed up for a high-level meeting chaired by General Prayuth Chan-ocha, who now heads the National Council for Peace and Order, to try and break through the political deadlock.

When the talks proved fruitless, Prayuth launched a military coup and PDRC leaders and other groups, with the exception of EC and senators, were sent to military facilities.

Phra Buddha Issara, the PDRC leader in charge of the Chaeng Wattana protest site, was also taken by troops to the Office of the Attorney-General. “I’ve been living at a military camp for five days. Cool! I’m fine,” he told reporters.

The monk said he had asked for permission from public prosecutors to come back to acknowledge the charge tomorrow.

Nothing could be confirmed about the fates of key figures with close links to the ousted government who were also being held in military custody, including reports that ex-PM Yingluck Shinawatra had been released.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Koh Samui

Raja salvage operation resumes, garbage truck, pick-up raised from seabed

Maya Taylor

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Raja salvage operation resumes, garbage truck, pick-up raised from seabed | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

An operation to raise the sunken Raja 4 ferry and its cargo of vehicles from the seabed off Koh Samui has resumed, after being delayed due to bad weather. The ferry sank on the night of August 1 as it was transporting several garbage trucks from Samui to the mainland. The ferry had set sail in bad weather and capsized when its cargo of trucks shifted during the crossing. 5 of the 16 people on board died in the accident.

Having first been suspended briefly due to bad weather a couple of weeks ago, and more recently due to storm Noul, the salvage operation is once more underway, with workers removing an 18-wheel truck and a pick-up from the seabed.

Nation Thailand reports that operators MS Service have been using 2 cranes, installed on 2 boats, to carry out the salvage operation. Prior to being lifted, the garbage truck was covered in netting, to prevent any further refuse from entering the water. Small boats were also used to pick up any rubbish that managed to escape the netting.

The Ministry of National Resources and the Environment has previously threatened to sue the ferry company over the environmental fallout from the ferry’s capsize. The ferry itself is yet to be lifted from the seabed.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thailand

But it was my idea! Thai producer loses battle for Ultraman superhero copyright

Caitlin Ashworth

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But it was my idea! Thai producer loses battle for Ultraman superhero copyright | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Flickr

A Thai producer says he came up with the superhero “Ultraman,” but he recently lost a battle with a Japanese special effects studio over the copyright. The Thailand Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the owner of the Thai Chaiyo Productions Company Limited who tried to claim copyright for the superhero films which date back to the 1960s.

Owner of the Thai production company, Sompo Saengduanchai, says the superhero comes from his imagination. He says he created Ultraman while on a fellowship in Japan studying film production. He claims he was involving the projects “Jumbo A”, “Ultraman 1 – Ultra Q,” “Ultraman 2,” “Ultraman Seven,” “Return of Ultraman,” “Ultraman Ace,” “Ultraman Taro,” “Jamborg Ace” and “Hanuman Meets Seven Superheroes.”

Chaiyo Productions Company Limited has been in a copyright war with the Japanese special effects studio Tsubaraya Productions Company Limited. The Appeals Court ruled in Tsubaraya’s favor, then Chaiyo appealed that decision. That appeal was just rejected by the Supreme Court Division for Intellectual Property Rights and International Trade.

The Japanese special effects studio is best known for the “Ultra” TV series. It was founded in 1963 by special effects producer Eiji Tsubaraya and the “Ultra” series first aired in 1966. His family ran the company until October 2007, when the family sold the company to advertising agency TYO Inc.

Sompo says he’s worried that the Supreme Court decision will have a negative affect on his movies. He says some are registered as national heritage cultural properties.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Politics

Deputy PM says “Big Joke” transfer not necessarily unlawful

Maya Taylor

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Deputy PM says “Big Joke” transfer not necessarily unlawful | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam says former immigration chief, Surachate Hakparn, shouldn’t assume his transfer to an inactive post in the PM’s Office was unlawful. Surachate, known by the nickname “Big Joke” (given to him by Thai media) headed up Thailand’s Immigration Bureau until he was unceremoniously side-lined by the PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha last year.

It’s understood he is now planning to sue the PM, claiming that the lack of any investigation against him shows there were no grounds for the transfer. His lawyer, Sitthi Ngarmlamyuang, says other officers transferred to the PM’s Office have since been re-instated, after being cleared of any wrongdoing. He insists his client deserves the same, pointing out that in the 1 year and 5 months since his transfer, there has been no investigation against him.

For his part, Deputy PM Wissanu says Surachate has the right to sue the PM if he so wishes but shouldn’t assume his transfer is similar to that of former National Security Council chief, Thawil Pliensri, who was transferred under former PM Ying­luck Shinawatra in 2011. The transfer was subsequently deemed unlawful by the Supreme Administrative Court.

The Bangkok Post reports that Wissanu doesn’t rule out the possibility of Surachate being re-instated, saying the PM’s Office should submit the issue for the PM’s consideration. For his part, Surachate claims his petitions to the PM have fallen on deaf ears.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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