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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: February election declared void; Farmers siege Lottery Office; Grenades tossed at judge’s home

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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: February election declared void; Farmers siege Lottery Office; Grenades tossed at judge’s home | The Thaiger
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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Thai court declares February 2 election void
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Thailand’s Constitutional Court on Friday nullified a February 2 general election in a ruling that will further delay the formation of a new government after months of street protests aimed at bringing down Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The court said the vote did not take place on the same day across the country and that violated a clause in the constitution.

Polling was disrupted by protesters in around a fifth of constituencies, leaving the House of Representatives without a quorum to convene and select a new prime minister.

It was unclear when a new vote would be held.

Farmers lay siege to Lottery Office
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Officials of the Government Lottery Office were abruptly sent home on Friday after Luangpu Buddha Issara led farmers on a siege of their office.

The monk demanded that the GLO use money raised from lottery sales to buy 100 tonnes of rice from farmers or at least fix the results of the next lottery draw.

The monk said the GLO must fix the first prize of the next lottery draw to be the license plate number of a truck carrying the rice if GLO refused to buy the rice.

After failing to get an answer, the monk had the rice dumped in front of the GLO and surrounded all gates. GLO workers then stopped working and returned home.

The monk led a procession of trucks, vans and farm trucks with 100 tonnes of rice from the Chaeng Wattana rally site at 9 am.

He demanded the GLO pay Bt12,000 per tonne for the rice.

The GLO chief legal officer Winai Wutthidet to come out to negotiate with the monk. Winai told Luangpu Buddha Issara that GLO Director Atthakij Thareechat was absent on a foreign trip. Winai promised to raise the farmers’ demands with the GLO board of directors.

The monk however ordered the trucks to dump rice in front of the office immediately and vowed to continue to rally there until the demand is met.

Bomb explosions near charter court judge
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Grenades were thrown at two houses near the residence of a charter court judge late last night, seriously injuring one man and damaging the house.

The houses were in a congested community on Ekamai Soi 30 and were damaged by the explosions.

The first grenade was hurled over the roof of a house and plunged into a bedroom, injuring Boonchuay Pimsamrit, 42, who was sleeping. The second explosive was thrown into an adjacent house but no one was inside.

Police said Ekamai 30 is connected to Soi Pridi Panomyong where the residence of Constitutional Court judge Charan Pakdithanakul is located. Police would not say if the explosions were an attempt to intimidate Judge Charan.

The Constitutional Court gave its ruling on the validity of the Feb 2 general election today following a petition by a university academic, seeking to nullify the nationwide poll.

Each charter judge verbally gave his individual statement on the case, followed by a verdict later in the day.

Meanwhile, a hail of bullets were fired at the Pheu Thai Party’s coordinating centre of red shirt leader Suporn Attawong in Nakhon Ratchasima. There were no casualties.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Win driver allegedly ran red light, hits teenage motorbiker

Caitlin Ashworth

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Win driver allegedly ran red light, hits teenage motorbiker | The Thaiger
PHOTO: naewna

A Thai motorbike taxi driver, known as a ‘win’ driver, allegedly ran a red light and ran into a teenage student driving on Sukhumvit Road in Chon Buri’s Sattahip district. The 58 year old win driver and the 18 year old student were both taken to the hospital. Emergency responders did not report on the extent of their injuries.

The student, Chatwilai Laopanna, told police that she was driving through the green light when the motorbike taxi driver collided into her. The win driver, Tawin Samila, admitted to police that he drove through the red traffic light.

Na Jomtien Police are reviewing surveillance camera footage to determine what potential charges will be pressed on the win driver.

‘Win’ drivers are an indispensable form of public transport for people to travel short distances, or cut through the heavy traffic, especially around Bangkok. But they are notorious for protecting their ‘turf’, erratic driving and flouting the traffic rules.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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Business

Struggling airlines to get reprieve through small loans, extension to fuel tax cut

Maya Taylor

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Struggling airlines to get reprieve through small loans, extension to fuel tax cut | The Thaiger
PHOTO: TAT News

Airlines in Thailand are being offered a financial lifeline, as the Government Savings Bank announces soft loans for carriers left struggling as a result of the current Covid-19 ‘disruption’. Nation Thailand reports that the GSB is offering the loans over a 60 month period, with an annual interest rate of 2%. Chairman Patchara Anuntasilpa says the proposal will shortly be put to Cabinet for approval.

Airlines have been left financially devastated by the fallout from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with countries closing their borders, passenger numbers plummeting, and carriers forced to slash the number of flights on offer. The services available, including the food services, were also curtailed early on as a preventative measure but that restriction has since been lifted. The effect is being keenly felt by all the airlines in Thailand, with the Kingdom’s borders closed to nearly all international traffic since March.

In a further effort to ease the financial crisis faced by Thai airlines, the Excise Department says it will extend the fuel tax cut for low-cost carriers by another 6 months from the end of this month. Patchara, who also serves as director-general of the Excise Department, says the tax may end up being abolished completely. In normal times, taxation on aviation fuel generates around 1 billion baht a year.

Air Asia has also cut some of its ground costs by using airport buses to ferry passengers from a cheaper aircraft parking area, back to the terminals, foregoing the costs of the airport airbridges. Flights from Phuket to Don Mueang, for example, are now a full ‘bus’ service, sometimes adding an additional 15 minutes at either end for the loading up of the buses and the trip to the planes or the terminal.

It’s understood the excise tax collected since October 2019 totals 503 billion baht, down more than 6.5% on last year’s figure. Most of the income comes from oil or oil products, cars, alcohol, and cigarettes.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Navy divers find captain’s body after boat sank in weekend storm

Caitlin Ashworth

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Navy divers find captain’s body after boat sank in weekend storm | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: @THAIMECC3

The body of a fishing boat captain trapped in sunken wreckage was found by Royal Thai Navy divers. The man’s boat sank during a weekend storm at the Surin Islands National Park, an archipelago of 5 islands in the Andaman Sea around 55 kilometres from the Phang Nga province coast.

The “Chan Udome Sombat 8” fishing boat reportedly sank around 9pm Saturday night from the storm’s strong winds and high waves. A Burmese crew member, Ammia Au, was able to swim to their nearby sister fishing boat “Chan Udome Sombat 6” and got help. The Third Area Thailand Maritime Enforcement Coordinating Center received a report from Khuraburi port officials about the incident.

Ammia told rescuers that strong wind and high waves caused the boat to take on water. He was sleeping and woke up as the boat was tipping over. He says he was able to grab a few things before jumping over.

The Navy searched the marine park the following day and found the body of the boat’s captain, Somchai Soonploy, trapped in the submerged boat. Divers came back yesterday and brought the man’s body back to the surface. The body was taken to a local hospital and the man’s family was contacted.

SOURCE: Phuket News

ศรชล.ภาค 3 ประสานการปฏิบัติ ช่วยเหลือเรือพลิกคว่ำ ในวันที่ 19 กย. 63 เวลา 21.00 น.ศรชล.ภาค 3…

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