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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Gangs suspected in Bangkok blast; Red shirts, white masks; Tusks trimmed after fatal elephant attack; All silent on Bangkok F1 noise

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Gangs suspected in Bangkok blast; Red shirts, white masks; Tusks trimmed after fatal elephant attack; All silent on Bangkok F1 noise | The Thaiger
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– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Police suspect gang rivalry behind Ramkhamhaeng blast
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Police suspect that conflict between gangs involved in extortion from roadside vendors was behind the small explosion on Ramkhamhaeng Road, near Ramkhamhaeng University, on Sunday night.

Police and National Security Council secretary-general Paradorn Pattanathabutr ruled out linking the blast with the insurgency in the deep South.

The explosion occurred at a roadside stall at the mouth of Ramkhamhaeng Soi 43/1, at 8.50pm. Seven people, including passers-by, were injured.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pol Lt-General Khamronwit said that although a home-made bomb was used in the attack, the composition of the bomb was different.

He said the types of nails used in the bomb were different from those assembled in the southern border provinces. He said the bomb was apparently aimed at intimidating, not at taking lives like in the deep South.

Khamronwit said police would need more time to gather evidence and information before they could establish an exact motive of the attack. He added that police have not yet ruled out conflicts between gangs demanding protection fees from roadside vendors as a possible motive.

A bomb-disposal officer, who asked not to be identified, told The Nation that the maker of the bomb apparently wanted to make it look like attacks in the South. However, the bomb on Sunday night used less powerful explosives and it was stuffed with a lot of nails, in distorted shapes, the officer said.

He said bombs used in the southern insurgency attacks were more powerful and aimed at taking lives or causing serious injuries as the bombs used sharp and straight nails and pellets to harm victims.

Government Spokesman Teerat Ratana-sevi said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was informed of the explosion on Sunday night and she had ordered security agencies to urgently investigate the incident.

Teerat said police were checking for possible motives. Investigators initially suspected business conflict as the motive for the blast. However, terrorism has not yet been ruled out, the spokesman said.

He said the PM had instructed the police to step up security around Ramkhamhaeng University. Teerat denied earlier reports that police had arrested a suspect.

Paradorn said he had evaluated the situation and believed that the explosion was not related to southern insurgency because the facts were different.

Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will extract records from security cameras near the spot and give them to the Metropolitan Police. The records would come from cameras at the mouth of Soi Ramkhamhaeng 27, 41/1 and 53.

Red shirts join in cyber war of the masks
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Red shirts and pro-government supporters have kicked off a “red mask” campaign in opposition to the white masks of anti-Thaksin groups.

The campaign was born after Facebook users adopted the so-called Guy Fawkes white masks on Saturday to criticise the government and former prime minister and de-facto party leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

A Facebook user page named “Seu Moun Chon Khon Sua Dang”, (red shirt mass media), posted a message yesterday: “Please all red cyber warriors gather to attack an anti-government Facebook page at 9 o’clock every night by reporting on their page ‘It’s spam or a scam’. Please change your profile photos to ‘red mask’. Please send this message to your red-shirt friends to join in this campaign. War is started.”

“Seu Moun Chon Khon Sua Dang” postings on its target page included:”target=””target=””target=””target=””target=””target=””target=””target=”

An “Ultra Daeng Sayiew” page called for a red-shirt cyber attack on the Democrat MP Sirichok Sopha page at 2pm.

Sirichok said he didn’t worry about the red mask project because it did not have many people contributing to it. Also, he wasn’t concerned if the red shirts should report his page to Facebook because he did everything within the law.

Deputy Government Spokeswoman Sunisa Lertpakawat said no matter if it was white or red masks, in the social media and in the real world everyone had a constitutional right to express political opinions, as long as they conformed to the law.

Tusks trimmed after fatal attack
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The tusks of a 27-year-old elephant in the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Kraal have been cut after the animal attacked tourists on Saturday, killing a woman.

The elephant palace’s owner Laithongrien Meephan said he would fully support the attacked tourists and warned visitors to refrain from getting close to animals without a mahout’s supervision or at night.

A rite to trim Plai Ngam’s metre-long tusks by 20 centimetres was held yesterday after the beast on Saturday evening attacked a Saraburi couple, killing the wife and injuring the husband’s leg.

Laithongrien said the rite was to free the slain person’s spirit that remained with the elephant after it had killed someone. Releasing the spirit would teach the beast a lesson about what it shouldn’t do because elephants are large mammals with the ability to think, he said. After the rite, Plai Ngam would be chained in a corral indefinitely.

Saying he was sorry for what happened, Laithongrien said Plai Ngam was a good-natured elephant that never harmed anyone before. As the incident took place in its den, it might have thought the tourists wanted to harm it, Laithongrien said.

Ayutthaya police investigator Pol Lt-Colonel Pimook Nakkhampan said officers interviewed the beast’s mahout and temporarily released him, pending interviews with witnesses and the injured victim.

They may later file a charge of recklessness causing others’ death and injury.

F1 noise doesn’t rattle Pollution Control Dept
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The noise of Formula One race cars should not ha

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Burmese child contracted Covid-19 while crossing the border, report says

Caitlin Ashworth



Burmese child contracted Covid-19 while crossing the border, report says | The Thaiger

The 2 year old Burmese child, who tested positive for Covid-19 after leaving Thailand, may have contracted the virus while travelling from Thailand to Myanmar, according to a report from Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health Disease Control Department.

The department says they suspect the child was exposed to the virus while crossing the border from the Mae Sot border district in Tak to Myanmar’s Myawaddy town. The child’s parents worked in Ayutthaya and quit their jobs last month. The department says the toddler probably contracted the virus around September 4 to September 10 while the family was travelling.

The family crossed natural, unofficial passageways into Myanmar. The news website Xinhua says it was an “apparent intent to evade anti-pandemic measures at the Mae Sot border checkpoint.”

Those in Thailand who came in close contact with the family tested negative for the virus. 146 people who worked with the family at Ayutthaya migrant worker camps all tested negative for Covid-19. Those in close contact with the family in the Nakhon Ratchasima province, where the parents worked prior to Ayutthaya, tested negative as well. 2,635 people in Mae Sot tested negative for Covid-19.

Health officials are still investigating 2 apparent local transmissions of Covid-19. Earlier this month, a Bangkok DJ tested positive for Covid-19, breaking Thailand’s 100 day streak without a local transmission. The DJ tested positive for G strain of the virus, a more infectious strain that is typically found in imported cases detected during state quarantine rather than local transmissions. Health officials do not know where the DJ contracted the virus.

A Uzbek football player for the Buriram United team recently tested positive for Covid-19. He was asymptomatic and tested negative for the virus multiple times during quarantine after he arrived to Thailand. Although it seems like a local transmission, some health officials speculate the virus has a longer incubation period than 14 days.


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Video & Podcasts

Thailand News Today | Amnesty finishes, protest round-up | September 21, 2020

The Thaiger



Thailand News Today | Amnesty finishes, protest round-up | September 21, 2020 | The Thaiger

Daily video news about Thailand with Tim Newton

Get a visa or go to jail.

Thai Immigration Tourists, and anyone else with a lapsed visa, ha ve only 5 days to renew their visa or they could get arrested. The current visa amnesty ends on September 26 and there isn’t going to be another sudden announcement for another grace period, according to immigration officials. Those who overstay will face arrest and be deported back to their home countries. Immigration officials estimate there are more than 150,000 foreign nationals who need to have their tourist visas renewed. Immigration officials said today that people without a valid visa after September 26 could face jail.

“Overstaying the tourist visa is punishable by both a jail term and fine under the Immigration Act.”

Some foreigners who arrived on tourist visas earlier in the year have been in Thailand since late March when the Thai borders closed and many international flights were cancelled due to the world coronavirus pandemic. The visa amnesty was renewed twice since many people were unable to their home countries, but now the amnesty is coming to an end this Saturday.

There were hopes that the end of the visa amnesty could co-incide with the introduction of the new Special Tourist Visa so that those either unable to leave, due to lack of flights or problems returning to their home countries, could ‘roll over’ onto the new 90 day visas. But that has not been announced at this stage and remains just wishful thinking. The best thing you can do, if you don’t currently have a valid visa to stay in Thailand, is urgently contact your embassy, make an appointment online at your nearest Immigration office, or speak to a professional visa agent. But, be warned, there are plenty of scammers posting official looking urgent posts in social media offering to issue you with a visa so you can stay in Thailand. Do your homework before spending money with any visa agent.

Weekend protest rallies draw 30,000 people but no formal response

Protesters gathered from early Saturday morning at the Thammasat Tha Prachan campus. Although officially denied permission to hold their protest on the Campus grounds, the demonstrators stormed the campus’s gates, without resistance from onlooking police or security officials. By the afternoon the crowd had reached some 30,000 people, less than the 50,000 expected but a lot more than the 15,000 expected by government officials in the lead up to the Saturday rally. Largely peaceful the protesters sat in the wet season drizzle to listen to speeches and performances before marching together to the adjacent royal parade grounds of Sanam Luang. Here the protest continued under the watchful eye of police, all unarmed, who barricaded off sensitive areas of the historic parade grounds and access to the Grand Palace.

The protest continued into the night and punctuated the themes of political freedom, new Democratic elections, the dissolution of the Thai parliament and, controversially, reforms to the country’s revered monarchy. On Sunday morning there was a symbolic placement of a brass plaque to commemorate the event, seen as a replacement to a similar plaque that commemorated the Siam Revolution in 1932 that mysteriously vanished in 2017. The protesters then marched to the Privy Council to officially hand over a copy of their 10 point manifesto.

Meanwhile, 45,000 books – a collection of speeches and poems by some of the protest leaders – were seized in a nearby Bangkok house. The books were to be handed out to protesters. 5 people were arrested at the time.

Alcohol banned at national parks after complaints of trash and drunk tourists Alcohol is now banned at national parks after tourists allegedly got drunk at a waterfall and others left a load of trash by their campsite. Just last week, trash left at a campsite at Khao Yai National Park was boxed up in a parcel and sent back to the campers. Other tourists were allegedly drunk and making a lot of noise at the Namtok Samlan National Park, Varawut says. He says both groups of tourists face charges for their actions.

• Alcohol is banned at national parks for the time being

• Loud noise is not allowed after 9pm and noise must be stopped at 10pm

• When renting a tent, tourists must provide identification, address and phone number

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MP files complaint against 3 opposition MPs for allegedly joining the protest

Caitlin Ashworth



MP files complaint against 3 opposition MPs for allegedly joining the protest | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

A member of parliament filed a complaint against 3 opposition MPs for allegedly joining the weekend’s pro-democracy protest where activists demanded reform of the Thai Monarchy. He’s also putting together a legal team aimed at dissolving the members’ 3 opposition parties.

Palang Pracharat MP Sira Jenjakha says he has a photo of the 3 members raising their hands in a 3 finger salute, a symbol of resistance against the military run government. He says the protest was illegal, and the location, the Royal Field next to the Grand Palace, is off limits to unauthorised people.

He filed the complaint with the Chanasongkhram police against Mongkolkit Suksintharanont, of the Thai Civilized Party, Peerawit Ruangluedolapark, of the Thai Rak Thai Party and Nattha Boonchai-insawat of the Kao Klai Party.

A legal team assigned by Sira will collect evidence and file a petition with the Constitutional Court calling on the dissolution of the 3 opposition parties: Thai Civilized Party, Thai Rak Thai Party and Kao Klai Party.

He says he also plans to ask the House Speaker to investigate the 3 members to determine if they breached the parliament’s ethical conduct.


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