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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Council to name top monk; Nurses apologize; Naomi Campbell pales

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Council to name top monk soon
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: BECAUSE of the position left vacant by the passing away on October 24 of the late Supreme Patriarch, His Holiness Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, at the age of 100, the Sangha Supreme Council would soon nominate his successor, the director-general of the National Office of Buddhism Nopparat Benjawatananun told Matichon Online yesterday.

In accordance with the 1992 amendment to the Buddhist Order Act 1962, the council-endorsed nomination would be selected from the eligible most-senior monks in the hierarchy, based on the amount of time the monk has held the title “Somdet”.

The name would be forwarded to the prime minister, who would then submit it to His Majesty the King, he added.

The appointment of the new Supreme Patriarch will take place after the royal cremation of the former Supreme Patriarch, according to Nopparat.

The monk nominated could come from either of the country’s two Buddhist sects: Maha Nikaya or Dhammayutti Nikaya. “In the past, we have seen Supreme Patriarchs from both sects,” he said.

Seven possibilities

There are seven “Somdet-titled” monks, with various degrees of seniority, according to the Matichon news report. First among them is Somdet Phra Maha Ratchamangalacharn, the 88-year-old abbot of Wat Pak Nam Phasi Charoen, who belongs to the Maha Nikaya sect. He is the most senior monk, as he received the title in 1995.

The other six monks are Somdet Phra Maha Wirawong, 96, abbot of Wat Samphantha-wong of the Dhammayutti Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2001; Somdet Phra Maha Muniwong, 86, abbot of Wat Ratchabophit of the Dhammayutti Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2009; Somdet Phra Wannarat, 77, acting abbot of Wat Bowon Niwet of the Dhammayutti Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2009; Somdet Phra Buddha Kosacharn, 83, abbot of Wat Suthat Thepphawararam of the Maha Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2010; Somdet Phra Thirayarnmuni, 66, abbot of Wat Thep Sirin of the Dhammayutti Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2010; and Somdet Phra Buddha Chinnawong, 72, abbot of Wat Pichaya Yatikaram of the Maha Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2011.

Keep checking the Phuket Gazette’s Thailand news pages, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter @PhuketGazette for the latest national news updates.

Nurses apologise for photo with slain officer
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Three nurses at Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Hospital yesterday apologised to the public for an inappropriate photograph taken in the hospital’s intensive-care unit.

Two of the nurses are seen flashing a “victory” sign in front of the body of Pol Sgt Nimit Deewong, who was killed along with two fellow bomb-squad officers in a blast in Narathiwat on Monday.

After the photo was circulated on social media from Tuesday night, the nurses’ action came in for heavy public criticism as being inappropriate, insensitive and unethical. Hospital director Chatchai Srinamwong confirmed that the photo was taken at the hospital and said an initial probe deemed the nurses’ action to have violated the patient’s rights.

Hence they were guilty of professional misconduct. Insisting that the hospital staff were committed to their work, he said the nurses’ action stemmed from a lack of awareness of the situation.

Nurse Patsaroh Rodomasae, whose face was captured, said she had no intention of offending anyone, while nurse Nosira Doloh, whose hand gesture was captured, said they meant no offence but were merely trying to signify that they would “fight” by continuing to work in the region. Another nurse, Norisa Jehlae, who took the photo, said she was sorry and asked for forgiveness.

Keep checking the Phuket Gazette’s Thailand news pages, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter @PhuketGazette for the latest national news updates.

Fans turn pale at sight of Thai magazine
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Staff at Vogue Thailand went for a tidal wave with a picture of supermodel Naomi Campbell that would be unremarkable except that she no longer looks – how shall we put this – quite as African-American.

The “whitening” of Naomi Campbell might have been cleverly explained away as a symbolic cleansing of her past public sins, but no such excuses were forthcoming as the furore spread around the world ahead of the November issue’s release today.

“Photoshop of Horrors: Vogue Thailand lightens Naomi Campbell’s skin and we’re not having it,” TheGloss.com strongly objected. “We hardly recognised you, Naomi Campbell,” Huffington Post huffed. Closer to home, Khao Sod shed a few choice critical words. The social media, needless to say, went berserk.

One of the most common complaints addressed Naomi Campbell’s failure to look like Naomi Campbell. Her local fans tend to love the supermodel’s “lite” version just as much, but many more comments and posts condemned Thailand’s obsession with pale skin and some even suggested that racism might lurk behind the retouching.

“It’s such a shame that retouchers aren’t just over-Photoshopping, but are in fact lightening the skin tone,” someone called Cosmic Voices wrote in Fashion Spot’s iFS Forum.

“It’s hard not to see a racial side to this – they lightened her skin and eyes, for god’s sake,” The Gloss fumed. The Huffington Post ran the original photo of the “real world” Naomi side by side with the brighter “Vogue Thailand Naomi” and asked readers, “Tell us if you can pinpoint the difference.”

Calmer tones were heard at FashionSpot.com. “The face is a bit airbrushed and she doesn’t need it that much, but otherwise I like it,” a Miss Dalloway said. “I like the 60s feeling,” agreed GlamorousBoy.

Vogue Thailand came up with a sort-of explanation on its Facebook page yesterday, posting a screenshot of an email from photographer Marcin Tysza, who shot the cover and the pictures of Naomi inside the magazine. “All my pictures have pastel tones – light, soft colours. That’s my style,” says the shutterbug (whose exposure settings nevertheless might need adjusting, we dare say). “If you see the rest of the story, all the pictures are like this – everything is light, including her skin.”

Evidently he wanted to recreate the Prada ’60s look, taking advantage of Campbell’s wrinkle-free complexion. He said Naomi and her agent had seen the pictures and loved them. So Tysza is sticking to those “pastel” tones and says he’ll be

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Illegal border crossings bringing in new Covid-19 infections

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Covid-19 infected border hoppers cross borders like this one betwen Malaysia and Thailand (via Wikimedia)

Authorities are worried about illegal border crossings into Thailand bringing in the Coronavirus after 5 recent Covid-19 infections from such crossings. Bypassing all health and security checkpoints along the border, 5 Thai nationals were identified today as being positive for Covid-19 after they snuck into the country, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

Authorities nabbed 2 after border crossings from Malaysia illegally on April 28 and May 3rd, while another snuck across the Burmese border into Tak on May 2. The last 2 came from Cambodia on Thursday across the Sa Kaeo border. All 5 illegal border crossers are now in state hospitals for Covid-19 treatment.

According to CCSA data in the first four months of 2021 a total of 15,378 people were arrested by Thai authorities while sneaking across borders. Even after security forces increased patrolling along the borders, people managed to sneak in from Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos, and Cambodia. 6,700 of those who crossed the border were Burmese citizens, while another 1,700 of them were Thai nationals.

With nearly 400 lives lost to Covid-19 and over 83,000 people having been infected in the pandemic, the CCSA declared that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and National Security Council Secretary-General Natthapol Nakpanich agree that these illegal border crossers without Covid-19 screening are a serious problem.

Many Thai people work in Malaysia and as the pandemic drags on they are sneaking across the border, desperate to make it home to their family. Another recent case found illegal Burmese border hoppers in a taxi en route to Hat Yai after they crossed into Thailand from the Malaysian border. They were trying to travel incognito across Thailand in order to cross the border again back into their home country of Myanmar.

The dilemma is even worse at the Burmese border as the often violent protests following the February 1 military coup has been pushing much of the country into poverty, and creating refugees who are flocking to the border in hopes of crossing over to safety. Many are seeking to escape the conflict and find work in Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Economy

Thailand Consumer Confidence Index hits record low

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Thailand's Consumer Confidence index slips again to below the pre-pandemic record. (via CNN)

The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce has reported that the Consumer Confidence Index has hit another new record low of 46.0 in April. The Covid-19 global pandemic has had a devastating effect on the economy and consumer confidence has fallen frequently to the lowest points that it has seen since 1998.

The president of the UTTC believes that consumers generally don’t feel like there has been much of a recovery for the economy since the global pandemic began and without a stimulating event to motivate economic growth, the index is expected to continue to fall further. The university estimated that if the third wave of Covid-19 continues past the end of May the economy can expect to lose 400 to 600 billion baht.

The UTTC president stressed that the government should hasten to step up relief measures and make sure they continue relief and economic stimulus throughout the pandemic to avoid economic catastrophe. He predicted that the economy and the Consumer Confidence Index will continue on a downward slope without any hope of improvement until the vaccine rollout gets well underway towards herd immunity, and new Covid-19 infections are decreased dramatically.

Today saw another 2,101 new Covid-19 infections and 17 deaths in Thailand. Vaccination efforts are continually being stepped up, but still remain woefully slow.

The Consumer Confidence Index first started falling last year, with a drop below the previous record low in 1998 in April of 2020, when it fell to 47.2. A few months later, by July of last year, it had recovered significantly, climbing back over 50. But by March of this year, the index had fallen again to 48.5. With April’s tumble of 2.5 points, the Consumer Confidence Index pushes once again to a new record low.

SOURCE: Thai Business News

 

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Thailand

Thailand searches for cow vaccine for lumpy skin disease

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: An example of a cow with Lumpy Skin Disease. (via newindianexpress)

Move over Covid-19 there’s a new disease sweeping the country as Thailand’s cow population is afflicted with a lumpy skin disease. The Department of Livestock Development is now working on procuring vaccines from overseas manufacturers to import and treat the cattle population in Thailand. The lumpy skin is caused by pustules that are the most visible symptom, perhaps more detectable than other bovine signs such as drooling, loss of appetite and drowsiness.

The cow disease is spreading in the North, Northeast, and Central Plains area of Thailand and has been found in 18 provinces total. First identified in Roi Et, it has now spread in Chiang Rai, Kalasin, Kanchanaburi, Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Nakhon Pathom, and Nakhon Phanom. The first case of the lumpy skin disease was reported in Don Daeng village last month and on April 9th officials reported it to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

The lumpy skin disease is found in cow pens and spread through flies, ticks, and mosquitoes, but the DLD says not to panic, it is not transmissible to humans. The department is distributing important information about symptoms and how the disease spreads to breeders and farmers in the area. They’re requiring the breeders to monitor their cattle closely and have imposed measures to control the disease in heavy hit areas.

To prevent the spread of disease in livestock, traders are being requested to not buy and sell cattle within 50 km from disease-stricken regions. And for farmers caring for cattle, the DLD recommends spraying insecticide in all areas to prevent transmission via insects. Finally, in case the cattle were jealous of traveling humans, the DLD is advising farmers to prevent disease spread by isolating any new cow that comes into their farms with a 28-day bovine quarantine where they should be kept under nets to keep insects away.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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