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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Army will not meddle in politics; Ramadan peace push; Monk to return with “bigger greatness”

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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Army will not meddle in politics; Ramadan peace push; Monk to return with “bigger greatness” | The Thaiger
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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Army will have nothing to do with Thaksin return: Thanasak
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Supreme Commander General Thanasak Pratimapakorn said yesterday that the issue of whether former PM Thaksin Shinawatra will be allowed to return as a free man was not up to the military because it is not the Justice Ministry.

Thanasak said this in reaction to questions about the recently leaked audio clip purportedly of a conversation between Thaksin and Deputy Defense Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapha, in which they discussed several topics including the former leader’s return to the Kingdom.

Thanasak, who was on a working trip to Nakhon Ratchasima, insisted that the armed forces would not meddle in politics. He also said the armed forces would not discuss the clip with the press as there was nothing to say on it and he was not interested in the issue.

When asked about being referred to in the clip by his position, and one of the parties saying he was in good terms with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra after a rocky beginning, Thanasak said he was not offended.

“My principle is that I talk with other top brass with reason,” he told reporters.

Asked if the leaked audio clip would have a negative effect in his relationship with others in the armed forces, Thanasak reiterated he was not angry with anybody.

When asked how the public could be assured that the military is not being manipulated politicians, the Supreme Commander responded by asking reporters if the armed forces had ever been under any political manipulation.

BRN backs Ramadan peace push
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), which is believed to have authority to command some insurgents in Thailand, has announced a break in violence in the South for a 40-day period associated with Ramadan, a much-awaited statement, read out yesterday in Kuala Lumpur by a senior Malaysian official, said.

The period, which includes additional Muslim holidays, runs to August 18, although Ramadan this year runs until August 7. The areas to be free from violence are Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and five districts in Songkhla, said Samsamin Bin Hazim, chief facilitator for the Malaysian government, which hosted three official meetings between Thai officials and BRN members. The five districts in Songkhla are Na Thawi, Sadao, Saba Yoi, Thepha and Chana.

The statement says the next round of the meetings will be after Ramadan ends.

It stipulated that both parties believed that the ongoing dialogue was the best solution to bring peace and prosperity to Thailand’s far South. Any party that violates these conditions shall be condemned by all Thais across the country. Members of both parties will maintain best efforts to honor the peace conditions and mutual understanding about them to achieve the objectives during the holy period, it said.

Thai authorities are, as agreed, responsible for security operations in those areas and BRN is committed to establishing safety during the period, along with prosperity of local residents regardless of their race, culture or religion, the statement said.

The Thai authorities are obliged to scale down raids and security blockades.

To reciprocate, BRN will not resort to violent acts, including armed attacks, bombs, or ambushes on officials or civilians. BRN “will try its best” not to cause property damage or conduct attacks.

National Security Council secretary-general Paradorn Pattanatabutr said officials would not be “careless” during the period, but he was more optimistic as a whole. He said BRN would come under pressure if violence occurred despite their vows.

He said BRN acknowledged that a bomb by a railroad in Raman in Yala on Thursday was the work of insurgents opposed to the peace talks.

Monk says temples in Europe will take him: supporter
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Luang Pu Nenkham dismissed a threat by Thai monastic authorities to expel him and claimed Buddhist temples in France and Germany were ready to take him in. He said he would return to Thailand on July 31 with “bigger greatness”, key follower Sukhum Wongprasit said yesterday.

The Office of National Buddhism chief Nopparat Benjawatananun warned, however, that such a move was impractical and would still end up with the monk lacking authority or being unsupervised, because temples overseas weren’t under Thai law or the Buddhist Order Act.

A transfer of supervision needed permission from the previous supervisor as well as an official letter from the new supervising temple, he said.

Sukhum yesterday submitted a request for justice to the Supreme Patriarch’s Secretary’s Office at Wat Bovornniwet but it was turned down on grounds that he didn’t make an appointment and he wasn’t a “damaged party”. He also lacked a proper letter to show he had permission to act on the monk’s behalf.

So Sukhum gave the letter to Wat Bovornniwet abbot assistant Phra Thepsarnvethi, who said he would present it to Acting Dhammayut order head, Somdej Phra Wannarat, although there is a procedure in the Sangha chain of command to handle such issues.

Sukhum requested that the Ubon Ratchathani monastic committee extend its deadline for Luang Pu Nenkham to report himself be postponed to July 31. Sukhum also urged Ubon Ratchathani monastic chief and the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to consider a recent confession by the monk’s younger brother, identified only as Suri, who they say is the man in the photograph picture, which people previously speculated was the monk and a female.

He said Suri, who ordained at the same temple, had left the monkshood a few years ago. He also urged that the DNA test result – key evidence in moves to disrobe the monk before facing criminal charges – should meet international standard.

Sukhum, who said he was in “constant contact via Line and Facebook” with the monk, said the monk would return on July 31 “with bigger greatness” and the threat by a temple at Ubon Ratchathani to expel him was not a worry, because Buddhist temples in France and Germany were ready to take him in. He said he would reveal details of his contact with the monk on Monday. Sukhum is linked to the World Peace University, which is also under investigation.

The DSI yesterday submitted a report of alleged criminal violations by the monk to senior monks at a temple in Ubon Ratchathani who are considering whether to expel him. They include a DNA test on the monk’s alleged son (results of which are due today).

Phra Rajathamkosol, abbot of Wat Tai Phrachao Yai Ong Teu, said the DSI should handle criminal allegations while his side handles the monk’s violations of Sangha rules. He expected the monk would be expelled by midnight last night.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | Immigration deadline, quarantine update?, arrests averted | October 30

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Thailand News Today | Immigration deadline, quarantine update?, arrests averted | October 30 | The Thaiger

Last day of the week and all the main stories from around Thailand. Thailand News Today, a bit late today but here it is…

Some immigration offices open tomorrow for last minute visa extensions

The latest amnesty is up tomorrow (October 31) and some immigration offices will be open for those who still need sort out their visa extensions.

Those who miss the deadline could face fines for overstay, immigration officials warn. The extensions all go into effect from November 1 and allow a 60 day stay.

Some immigration offices that are typically closed on Saturdays will be open tomorrow for those filing for extensions. Immigration Bureau commissioner Sompong Chingduang says immigration offices on Chaeng Watthana Road in Bangkok and at Muang Thong Thani in Nonthaburi, just outside Bangkok city, will be open tomorrow from 8.30am to 4.30pm. Check with your local immigration office.

Court rejects bid to arrest activists who led march on German Embassy

A bid to apprehend 5 anti-government activists who led a march to the Germany Embassy on Monday has failed, after a court in Bangkok rejected a police application for arrest warrants.

The Bangkok South Criminal Court has turned down the application for arrest warrants.

The 5 would have faced charges of sedition and other offences. But the court told officials to instead issue a summons, given that the protesters are students who only gathered for a short time and are unlikely to flee.

On Monday, protesters marched to the German Embassy to submit a petition calling on the country’s government to investigate whether Thailand’s Head of State conducted official business while in Germany. Which nicely segues to the next story…

German government does not believe the Thai Monarch broke the law on conducting state affairs

The German government does not believe the Thai Monarch broke the law on conducting state affairs during his time in the German state of Bavaria.

Germany says His Majesty the King has not violated the European country’s ban on conducting foreign politics on German soil where he resides. The government in Berlin briefed lawmakers this week, saying the Thai Monarch is allowed make occasional decisions regarding Thai state affairs, but he cannot continuously conduct business from overseas.

So far, the German government says they do not believe the King Maha Vajiralongkorn “continuously” conducted Thailand state business during his residence in Bavaria.

PM to visit Phuket on Monday as island’s economy lies in tatters

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is heading to Phuket on Monday, where he will meet with local business leaders and discuss proposals to help revive the southern island’s devastated tourism sector.

Despite Phuket Models and any number of promises from the Thai tourism sector, Phuket remains in a perilous situation whilst the government keeps its borders closed. Almost 100% of Phuket’s economy is derived directly or indirectly from tourist traffic.

Health officials propose reducing quarantine to 10 days

Health officials are suggesting cutting mandatory quarantine for international arrivals to 10 days. We’ve heard it all before but the idea has risen to the top of the Health Minister’s file again.

Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says the proposal will be submitted to the CCSA for approval. It’s hoped that a reduction in the quarantine period could help revive Thailand’s battered tourism sector. Only a tiny handful of STV tourists have arrived on the the tourist visa over the past month. The health minister said…

”The priority now is to strike a balance between people’s health and the economy. Thailand still has to rely on foreign tourists. Re-opening the country to foreign visitors will help put the economy back on track.”

The Minister didn’t say where all these tourists might come from or speculate when a reduction on the quarantine period might be introduced.

Police arrest woman for allegedly selling fashion dental retainers

Police have arrested a woman for allegedly selling and fitting fashion dental retainers and braces.

Police seized equipment used for making dental casts and retainers found at her home in Ratchaburi and charged the 27 year old with illegally fitting fashion dental retainers.

The woman has allegedly been selling the retainers on a Facebook page under the name since November 2017, targeting mostly teenage students.

In Thailand, braces and retainers are a fashion trend and also seen as a symbol of wealth. The Thaiger suggests that if you want a set of straight teeth, go to an orthodontist.

Floods in NE Thailand as Vietnam mops up after typhoon

Flooding persists in four north eastern provinces, including Nakhon Rachasima as of this morning. All in the wake of the weakening tropical depression that crossed the Vietnamese coast on Wednesday as Typhoon Molave.

‘Molave’ was the most powerful typhoon to hit Vietnam in 20 years. The remnants of the tropical depression are now centred over the west of Thailand where it continues to drop plenty of rain.

At least 35 people are dead, 100s injured, and 50+ missing in Vietnam as disaster mitigation authorities are now reaching some of the worst hit areas in central Vietnam.

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Dengue Fever

Lockdown may contribute to Thailand’s rise in dengue fever cases, study suggests

Caitlin Ashworth

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Lockdown may contribute to Thailand’s rise in dengue fever cases, study suggests | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikipedia

Social distancing and lockdown measures may have contributed to a rise in dengue fever in Thailand, according to a recent study funded by the Singapore Ministry of Health’s National Medical Research Council.

Researchers, which included scientists from the University of Singapore, examined dengue fever cases in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. No impact on the dengue transmission was found in Malaysia or Singapore, but in Thailand, they found that social distancing may lead to an increase in the number of coronavirus cases. They say the largest impact is in Bangkok Researchers say social distancing is expected to lead to 4.32 additional dengue fever cases per 100,000 people in Thailand each month.

Many people in Thailand stayed at home during lockdown measures put in place to control the spread to the coronavirus, but the study found that people in Thailand are typically bitten by dengue-carrying mosquitos at home rather than at work. Some people even travelled back home to their home provinces to be with their families during the lockdown period.

“Although it is possible for dengue infections to occur in workplaces, it was found in one study that 60% of dengue cases live less than 200m apart came from the same transmission chain, revealing that residential areas are a focal point of transmission.”

Reported dengue fever cases in 2019

Lockdown may contribute to Thailand's rise in dengue fever cases, study suggests | News by The Thaiger

Reported dengue fever cases in 2020

Lockdown may contribute to Thailand's rise in dengue fever cases, study suggests | News by The Thaiger

To read the full study click HERE.

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Thailand

Man arrested for allegedly driving with monitor lizards tied to his motorbike

Caitlin Ashworth

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Man arrested for allegedly driving with monitor lizards tied to his motorbike | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

A man was arrested on animal abuse charges for allegedly catching water monitor lizards, tying them to his motorbike and driving around Prachuap Khri Khan, south of Phetchaburi province.

The man, who is identified as Chaowalit, posted photos on Facebook of lizards tied up to the back of his motorbike. One photo shows a large monitor lizard tied up to the back of the bike, hanging upside-down. Apparently, Chaowalit has been posting photos for about 4 months now on Facebook page on wildlife hunting.

Officials from the Kui Buri National Park were notified about the photos and a team of special unit officers were sent to Chaowalit’s house to arrest him. He was charged with catching and harming protected wildlife as well as violating the Wild Animal Reservation Protection Act. If found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to 1 million baht.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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