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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: State of Emergency lifted; Peace talks rejected; Thai radar may have spotted MH370; Toxic smog alert

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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: State of Emergency lifted; Peace talks rejected; Thai radar may have spotted MH370; Toxic smog alert | The Thaiger
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– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

State of emergency scrapped
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The Cabinet yesterday lifted the emergency decree in Bangkok and nearby areas and replaced it with the Internal Security Act, effective today.

Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said later that the move was aimed at boosting confidence in the business sector and reducing adverse impact on tourism.

Meanwhile, caretaker Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order would stay in place and put in charge of the ISA, but would not have the National Security Council in the structure after NSC secretary-general Thawil Pliansri is reinstated next month. A court ordered the government to reinstate Thawil at NSC recently.

Surapong said the government picked Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Tarit Pengdith to replace former NSC chief Lt-General Paradorn Pattanatabut as secretary to the CMPO. Yingluck said the Cabinet had instructed the CMPO to bring about swift prosecution of wrongdoers and ensure that truth prevails.

Deputy spokesperson Sunisa Lertpakawat said the Internal Security Act would be imposed in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Lat Lum Kaeo in Pathum Thani, Bang Phli in Samut Prakan from today until April 30.

Separately, a dud MK2 grenade was found outside Tonson Tower on Ploenchit Road some 100 metres from a military checkpoint early yesterday, police said. Ploenchit Road is part of the Bangkok business district.

Police said the tower is a fair way away from the People’s Democratic Reform Committee’s rally site at Lumpini Park and that the grenade had been lobbed from the nearby Ploenchit area but failed to explode.

Officials will check CCTV footage captured in roadside cameras and those at Tonson Tower.

Peace talk proposal rejected by both sides
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The door for negotiations to resolve the political crisis was slammed shut yesterday after caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announced that her government would not nominate 10 individuals to mediate talks with the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).

Six independent organisations called on both sides to name 10 people who could help facilitate talks and move toward ending the political impasse.

The six agencies – the Office of the Ombudsman, the National Economic and Social Advisory Council, Election Commission, the National Human Rights Commission, National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Office of the Auditor General – made this decision at a meeting on Monday to look for a way out of the deadlock.

Yingluck said she would not nominate mediators because PDRC secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban had turned down the proposal as well. “So, the government believes it will be useless [to nominate],” she said.

However, the PM backed the idea of mediators holding talks, provided they lead a way out.

Asked about the PDRC’s continued push for reforms before an election and the government’s insistence on holding a poll first, Yingluck replied that holding elections first was not a condition.

Meanwhile, Election Commis-sioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said he would give up trying to end the conflict if the caretaker government and the PDRC reject the proposal by the six agencies.

Somchai made this remark while issuing a letter addressed to both sides in relation to the six organisations’ offer to set up a non-partisan committee to collect proposals from the conflicting sides and make adjustments until a conclusion can be achieved.

He said the government and the PDRC had until March 24 to consider the proposal, adding that their replies to this letter as well as their answer to the proposal to nominate 10 mediators would be opened publicly at the same time.

He went on to say that if both parties were found to reject the idea, then the six organisations would give up, and say they had done their best. But he reiterated that holding a dialogue was still the best way out.

On Monday night, Suthep told PDRC supporters at Lumpini Park that he would not propose any names.

“It’s not that I don’t want to cooperate [with the agencies], but I don’t think I can find neutral mediators because Yingluck and her brother Thaksin will continue clinging to power,” he said. “They will use all means available to them to fight and will only seek talks when they have lost. We can’t accept their proposal to return Thaksin’s Bt40 billion that was seized by the court and hold an election before national reforms are put in place.”

Thai Air Force radar may have picked up MH370
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: An Air Force radar station in Surat Thani apparently detected a passenger aircraft that departed Kuala Lumpur but changed its course and went past the Malaysian port of Butterworth, Thailand’s Air Chief Marshall Prajin Juntong said yesterday.

The aircraft could then have headed for the Straits of Malacca, ACM Prajin said, adding that this information confirmed what Malaysian PM Najib Razak had told the press in relation to the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH370.

However, he said, it was yet to be confirmed if the aircraft detected by the Surat Thani radar station was actually the missing flight.

Malaysia continues seeking help from governments across Asia in the search for the Boeing 777, which has been missing since March 9 with 239 people on board.

Najib said the plane was deliberately diverted from its flight path and new data showed communication between the missing plane and satellites almost seven hours after it turned back and crossed the Malay peninsula.

Prajin said he would hand the information to the Malaysian Air Force.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said he and his Malaysian counterpart would soon discuss cooperation in the search for the missing aircraft.

Toxic smog alert near garbage fire
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Toxic smog from a landfill in Samut Prakan is threatening the health of both local residents and people working nearby – and officials believe the fire could burn for another five days.

Caretaker Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk has threatened to file charges against the operator of the landfill. He said details from the provincial industry office showed the 150-rai dump was operated by Kromphol Samutsakhon, under a licence that expired in 2011. “The operator is liable to charges related to the Factory Act BE2535,” Prasert said. He added that if the operator was found guilty, punishment included both a jail term and a fine.

The Public Health Ministry has declared 500 metres on all sides of the site as a “red zone”. The amount of sulphur dioxide was more than 5 parts-per-million (ppm), well over the designated standard of 0.2 ppm. All residents in the zone are being asked to evacuate.

While evacuation is

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai medic cautions against reducing quarantine period for foreign tourists

Maya Taylor



Thai medic cautions against reducing quarantine period for foreign tourists | The Thaiger

A doctor from the Faculty of Medicine at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University says reducing the quarantine period for foreign tourists would be inviting disaster. Dr. Thira Woratanarat made his statement after a suggestion from the Tourism and Sports Minister that quarantine could be halved if all goes well when Thailand re-opens its borders to a limited number of foreign tourists.

“In Thailand, if we decide to follow the proposal to reduce the quarantine time to 7 days, it would be an invitation to disaster.”

Thira points to a growing number of cases in many parts of the world, with around 350,000 new cases a day reported worldwide. The number of total deaths from the virus is approaching the 1 million mark.

For its part, the government says Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn’s proposal is not under consideration and that all foreign tourists will be subject to mandatory 14-day quarantine. Officials say until the global pandemic situation improves, current restrictions remain in place.

A plan is underway to allow a limited number of foreign tourists to return to the Kingdom under a Special Tourist Visa scheme. The visa is due to be approved today when PM Prayut Chan-o-cha chairs a meeting of the government’s Covid-19 task force.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Van passengers hospitalised after gas leak

Caitlin Ashworth



Van passengers hospitalised after gas leak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: ปากช่องไทม์

Passengers in a van leaving from Bangkok ended up in the hospital after a gas leak went unnoticed. Many passengers began to feel dizzy and nauseous. Some had difficultly breathing before falling unconscious. Some passengers were even found foaming at the mouth.

The 34 year old driver, identified as Jakpong, was hired to drive the passengers from Bangkok to the Roi Et province. He says he started noticing a burning smell when passing through Ayutthaya. Jakpong stopped briefly at a gas station, but then continued to drive. A passenger started feeling nauseous and asked to stop again.

When the van stopped again at Nakhon Ratchasima’s Pak Chong District, the passenger who complained of nausea fainted while walking to the restroom. Other passengers tried to stand up, but some also fainted.

The petrol station attendants called the emergency line. All 9 people in the van were sent to Chong Nana Hospital. A doctor from the hospital says some passengers report they had difficulty breathing and dizziness before falling unconscious. Some were found foaming at the mouth.

The driver told emergency responders that he was only slightly dizzy. The driver says he had no idea there was a gas leak. Police are still investigating.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

#รถตู้เหมาแก๊สรั่วผู้โดยสารหมดสติทั้งรถ.เมื่อเวลา 00.15 น.วันที่ 27 กันยายน นพ.ณรงค์ศักดิ์ บำรุงถิ่น…

Posted by ปากช่องไทม์ on Saturday, September 26, 2020

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“Boss” commission chief says Thai justice system in need of reform

Maya Taylor



“Boss” commission chief says Thai justice system in need of reform | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Southeast Asia Globe

Former National Anti-Corruption Commissioner, Vicha Mahakun, who led the recent inquiry into the handling of the case against Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya, says Thailand’s justice system is in need of reform. Red Bull heir, “Boss” stood accused in a 2012 hit-and-run case that caused the death of a Bangkok police officer who was hit by Vorayuth’s Ferrari and dragged over 100 metres, before the car fled the scene.

Boss was never brought to justice and is believed to be living outside Thailand, having managed to flee the Kingdom. Despite various media outlets being able to photograph him living a jet-set lifestyle in London, Singapore, and Japan, Thai officials appeared unable to track him down. A “red notice” for his arrest mysteriously disappeared from the Interpol website. Finally, in July of this year, all charges against him were dropped.

The resulting uproar from outraged Thais resulted in the PM ordering an independent investigation, led by Vicha. Having presented his findings to the PM earlier this month, the chairman of the investigating panel says the whole Boss fiasco proves that Thailand’s legal system needs to be reformed. He says the decision to drop all charges in the case clearly came about as a result of corruption.

“Why was the case that should have been closed within a year delayed for 8 years? There’s a legal proverb ‘justice delayed is justice denied’. An attempt to delay it gives a clue.”

In addition to pointing the finger at prosecutors involved in the case, Vicha takes aim at the Royal Thai Police, saying reform there is long overdue. He adds that the Thai justice system is robust, claiming it is those working within it who are the problem. Vicha says Thailand’s ingrained culture of nepotism has affected not only the justice system, but has resulted in economic disparity, and says changes will be brought about by the young people now rebelling against the system.

“When 12 and 13 year olds march on the streets raising three-finger salutes, and adorn themselves with white ribbons all over Thailand, it shows how corrupt people with power are.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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