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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Fears of major clash; Data on Imam killing; Military gunmen shot unarmed people: Court; US pushes for tougher trafficking sentences

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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Fears of major clash; Data on Imam killing; Military gunmen shot unarmed people: Court; US pushes for tougher trafficking sentences | The Thaiger
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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Fear of major clash if rivals face off at House
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: A political confrontation is looming between pro- and anti-government mobs, with Democrat Party MPs having decided to lead a group of supporters to Parliament House today, which is protected by a huge police force and controls imposed under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The opposition’s stance of combining street protests with its legislative efforts became clearer when Phatthalung MP Niphit Intharasombat said that future Democrat rallies against the Pheu Thai-led government’s push for an amnesty bill might be held jointly at Lumpini Park. There is now a large rally at this site by an anti-Thaksin Shinawatra movement.

Several pro-government red-shirt groups, including members of the Phuket Pitak Siam group (click here for article) are travelling to the capital to show support for the government and the bill, which would seek pardons for many pro-Thaksin protesters indicted for violence and crimes committed during the riots in Bangkok three years ago.

Supporters of the so-called People’s Army gathering in the provinces are expected to arrive in Bangkok today, when the bill is submitted to Parliament for its first reading.

The People’s Army, which has the tag “To Overthrow the Thaksin Regime”, said yesterday that it would heighten the scale of its rally by 9am today. The rally leader, retired Admiral Chai Suwannapharb, said all tactics and moves of organisers needed to remain secret, but people keen to know what the protest plans would be were welcome to join the rally.

Police spokesman Maj-General Piya Uthayo said there would be no further estimates on the number of anti-government protesters today, but he said an intelligence report noted that both sides were gathering a mass of supporters. An extra deployment would be made available – some six more units in total – to cope with the increasing number of people in each group, he said.

Speaking onstage at the anti-Thaksin People’s Army rally on Monday night, Niphit announced: “I now call on brothers and sisters of the Democrat Party to gather here.

“I also call on the brave to test the ISA, by converging outside Parliament House to give me support,” the MP said. “If you cannot enter the [ISA-imposed] zone, give me a call. Parliament debates [scrutinising the bill] are open to the public, and the ISA does not prohibit a peaceful gathering in the [ISA-imposed] zone,” he said.

Democrat MP Satit Wongnongtaey, said all Democrat MPs would lead a group supporters to the Parliament at 9am, and would ask policemen guarding the Parliament whether the supporters could get in the compound. “This is a symbolic measure signifying the Democrats’ fight [against the bill], both inside and outside the Parliament, as they would not violate the law,” he added.

At a party rally in Bangkok’s Uruphong area on Monday, fellow Democrat MP Suthep Thuagsuban vowed to stage a rally around the clock to “show off the people’s power” to the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. He said all Democrat MPs would “continue the fight outside the Parliament” if any person attending this rally sustained a scratch from police action. That was because the location – a public space under an elevated expressway – is outside the ISA zone, declared over three districts in Bangkok where Government House and Parliament are located.

Opposition whip and Democrat MP Jurin Laksanavisit said there would be no agreement made with the government on the duration of scrutiny or sessions of debate, as it would be useless to seek a time frame fixed by the government from 1pm to 11pm. He said a request would be made through the House Speaker and the PM for a live telecast of the House debate on the pardon bill.

Meanwhile, a group of red shirts visited the Democrat headquarters on Setsiri Road yesterday to call for support for the pardon bill.

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

BRN provided new data on Imam killing:NSC
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The authorities have received information from the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) group in relation to the killing of a prominent Imam in Pattani on Monday, but no details have been made available (click here for article).

General Paradorn Pattanatabutr, secretary-general of the National Security Council (NSC), confirmed this yesterday but refused to elaborate.

“Questions have been asked and some answers have arrived, but I can’t disclose the information,” he said.

BRN and Thai authorities have been engaged in peace negotiations, with the next round of talks scheduled to take place on August 18.

Imam Yakob Raimanee of the Central Masjid in Pattani, who openly worked with the Thai authorities, was gunned down on Monday. This assassination took place even though BRN had promised a truce during the month of Ramadan.

Paradorn has dismissed suggestions that the imam’s killing showed that the peace dialogue has been a failure.

“The imam was targeted earlier, two years ago,” he said, pointing out that the peace dialogue had only begun this year.

However, Paradorn acknowledged that after the imam’s death, people would become more reluctant to cooperate with the authorities’ efforts to end the turmoil in the deep South.

He said police were looking into Yakob’s killing in line with normal procedure, but the authorities would also ask BRN about the incident via Malaysia, which is the facilitator of the talks.

Paradorn said violence seemed to have intensified in the deep South during the latter part of Ramadan, adding that those who do not wish to see the peace dialogue go ahead were trying to disrupt it.

When asked if there were any other groups that wanted to become part of the peace dialogue, Paradorn said two other groups had come forward, but as of now the Thai authorities had decided that all contact would be made via BRN.

Meanwhile, the Scientific Crime Detection Division 10 Yala Centre said tests showed that the type of bullet and revolver used on Yakob matched the type used in several other security cases.

More than 7,000 people attended praying rites ahead of Yakob’s funeral late on Monday. He had commanded much love and respect in the local community.

Waedeuramae Mamingji, who chairs the Pattani Islamic Committee, said everybody was sad about what had happened. “But this will not affect religious leaders’ determination to promote the right principles and peace talks,” he said.

Waedeuramae said Yakob was usually given a sec

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | Digital Travel Pass, Chiang Mai outbreak, Alcohol ban | November 30

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Thailand News Today | Digital Travel Pass, Chiang Mai outbreak, Alcohol ban | November 30 | The Thaiger

Monday’s edition of Thailand News Today.

An international Digital Travel Pass could be the magic bullet to restart global tourism

A new international Travel Pass, a sort of digital health certificate, may be the way forward for countries to re-open their borders and international airlines to get their planes back into the air.

The International Air Transport Association says the ‘digital’ certificate will support the safe reopening of borders.

As Covid-19 testing and the results becomes more reliable and nuanced, Governments are looking to testing as a means of limiting most of risks of Covid-19 when reopening their borders. The hope is that the new Travel Pass will replace the quarantine regime imposed by many countries and the hopes that a vaccine alone will solve the problems.

2 more cases identified in the northern Thailand Covid-19 mini outbreak

2 more people have been confirmed as infected with Covid-19 in the current mini-outbreak in Northern Thailand.

In this case both women had crossed the Thai/Myanmar border and worked at the same bar in Myanmar as the original patient, feared to be a potential super-spreader.

The 2 women, aged 23 and 26, illegally crossed the Burmese border at Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai, from a border town on the Burmese side of the border, last Thursday night.

All 3 went to work there last month, but returned to Thailand after Burmese health authorities imposed a curfew from midnight to 4am.

Another 4 people have since been identified as “high risk” and are all being tested today. When added to the food delivery and hotel staff, the amount of people considered “at risk” could be up to 30.

Children injured on Hua Hin carnival ride, no safety certification submitted

3 children were injured when a carnival ride malfunctioned at the Hua Hin Red Cross Festival in Prachuap Khiri Khan.

The required safety certification had not been submitted and local officials are investigating. Carnival rides now are closed for the rest of the festival.

10 children were on the ride around 10pm Friday when the hydraulics system broke, causing the arms of the ride to drop to the ground. The injured were taken to the Bangkok Hua Hin Hospital with some bruises. Doctors said all the kids are now fine.

Twitter suspends Thai royalist linked account which spread pro-government propaganda

A Thai royalist-linked account was suspended on Twitter following a review by Reuters reporters that found the account was spreading pro-government and pro-monarchy propaganda.

Reuters says they found tens of thousands of tweets from accounts amplifying the pro-government agenda, which an expert claims is a move to counter the pro-democracy movement.

Twitter said… “The account in question was suspended for violating our rules on spam and platform manipulation.”

In October, Twitter suspended 926 accounts linked to the Royal Thai Army which were “amplifying pro-government propaganda.” The Army denies they were associated with the accounts.

Ron Howard to direct cave rescue feature film ‘Thirteen Lives’ in Australia

The Australian Government is putting up A$13 million for a live-action feature film called Thirteen Lives, based on the Chiang Rai Tham Luang cave rescue story.

The film will be shot in Queensland, Australia in the hinterland areas behind the Gold Coast.

The film will be directed by Ron Howard and will start filming in March 2021. The state’s Gold Coast hinterland will double for Thailand with a similar hot, humid climate and landscape.

Thirteen Lives follows the story of the 2018 Tham Laung cave rescue of the 13 members of the Mu Pa football team, trapped in a cave by heavy rain and flooding in Chiang Rai, and the international rescue that followed.

The first major feature film about the rescue operation was The Cave, released in October 2019. The film was quite critical of the Thai red-tape which hampered much of the early rescue efforts.

Ban on sales and promotion of alcohol online starts December 7

From December 7 you’ll no longer, officially, be able to purchase alcohol online in Thailand.

The Thai government will prohibit the sales and promotion of alcoholic drinks on every online platform from December 7.

The ban includes direct sales, promotion and introduction of alcoholic products online, but will not include electronic payments of purchases at retail stores, restaurants and bars.

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Crime

Police officer allegedly shoots and kills married couple, injures ex-wife at Isaan restaurant

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police officer allegedly shoots and kills married couple, injures ex-wife at Isaan restaurant | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siamrath

A police officer was arrested for allegedly firing shots in an Isaan restaurant, killing a married couple and severely injuring his ex-wife. 44 year old Aram Sangchai is facing charges of premeditated murder.

Aram had just returned home to the Isaan province Buri Ram from Bangkok after working with a police unit at the November 27 pro-democracy protest. The Bangkok Post says Aram “stormed” into the restaurant with a handgun and opened fire. He waited at the restaurant and surrendered to police.

The victims were taken to the Non Suwan Hospital where Jaran and Somkid Sukwong, ages 42 and 37, were pronounced dead. Aram’s ex-wife, 42 year old Nucharin Kaewchaturat, was transferred to Buri Ram Hospital and is in serious condition.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Hua Hin

Children injured on Hua Hin carnival ride, no safety certification submitted

Caitlin Ashworth

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Children injured on Hua Hin carnival ride, no safety certification submitted | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

3 children were injured when a carnival ride malfunctioned at the Hua Hin Red Cross Festival in Prachuap Khiri Khan. The required safety certification was not submitted and local officials are investigating, according to Mayor Nopphon Wutthikul. Carnival rides now are closed for the duration of the festival.

“Preliminary inspection revealed that they had yet to submit safety certification signed by licensed engineers from related government agencies. We will further investigate this matter to find out if there was misconduct by any official.”

The children were on an octopus amusement ride when the hydraulics system failed. Children rode in colourful cars attached to arms that arch and connect to a central axis, resembling the shape of an octopus. The central axis spins and goes up and down.

10 children were on the ride around 10pm Friday when the hydraulics system broke, according to the festival organiser Pannee Klomtheri. A Facebook user made a post saying she saw the ride collapse. Pannee says the injuries are not serious.

“Three children were injured and were sent to Bangkok Hua Hin Hospital with some bruises. Doctors said all the kids are now fine. There was no death caused by the incident.”

Pannee says the octopus ride and other nearby rides will be closed while local officials inspect the site. The festival ends on December 6.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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