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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Teen slays own family; Yingluck faces protest murder charge; Pattaya tourism falls

Legacy Phuket Gazette




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

Teen suspect ‘confesses’ to shooting his family
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: A 19-year-old boy has allegedly confessed to shooting dead his parents and younger brother after he tried and failed to pass the blame on to the dead sibling, according to police.

Pol Colonel Sunthorn Himarat, a superintendent at Pathum Thani Police Headquarters, yesterday said the suspect made the confession in the face of solid evidence.

“Recordings from a closed-circuit TV system show the suspect turned off all eight security cameras at home where three blood-covered bodies were later found,” Sunthorn said.

Poor academic records

On Sunday, the 19-year-old boy initially told police that his younger brother had poor academic records, had been berated by his parents, and got angry.

Sunthorn said the suspect also tried to convey that he was not involved in the murders and that his younger sibling killed the parents before turning the gun on himself.

“But from the spot where the gun was found, it was impossible for the younger boy to have shot himself,” Sunthorn said.

He said police started having doubts about the older boy’s claim after available records showed the younger boy was a good student. “We then examined the older boy’s academic records and found the suspect had study-related problems himself. From there, we found so many pieces of evidence against him,” Sunthorn said.

According to the ongoing police investigation, the 19-year-old boy has now admitted he was angry his parents had failed to buy him a car and seemed to love his brother more than him.

Over the weekend, he put a soporific drug into the food eaten by the parents and younger brother. Then, after they had gone to bed, he allegedly shot them.

While the shocking murders have prompted public condemnation, his relatives hold no grudges against him.

“We are forgiving,” a 58-year-old woman said at the funeral for the three victims.

The relative said there was no point in directing anger at the boy as she believed what he needed was moral support.

“In fact, this was a warm family of four. His dad always brought his family along when he visited his relatives,” she said.

She said her in-law was quite strict with her children. The mother had always instructed her children to behave well and not be a burden to others.

“For example, when we offered our nephews cash gifts during the visit, the mother would advise her sons not to take the money,” the relative said.

As of yesterday, police sought court permission to take the teenager in custody.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Rajanagarindra Institute’s deputy director Dr Wimonrat Wanpen said this case should remind everyone of the need to take good care of one’s family.

“When such violence happens, often family factors are involved,” she said. She pointed out that spoiled and physically or verbally abused children could resort to violence.

Wimonrat said when raising children, adults should use both love and rules. “Balance the two well and things should be fine,” she said.

Mental Health Department deputy director-general Panpimol Wipula-korn said her department had already contacted police to provide assistance in the 19-year-old murder suspect’s case.

Court rules today on Bt2-tn bill
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The caretaker government might scrap the Bt700-billion high-speed train project if the Constitutional Court rules today that the Bt2-trillion loan bill was passed in violation of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, the Thai Federation of Industries (FTI) was concerned that the delay in the country’s infrastructure project might impact economic growth for the next seven years.

The court verdict is expected to be delivered today. The court started hearing the petition, filed by the Democrat Party, on January 8 after the Senate had passed the loan bill.

“I’m not worried about the ruling on the bill as we respect the court’s verdict,” said caretaker deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana.

The court will decide whether the loan bill violates Articles 169 and 170 of the Constitution.

The government argues that the Bt2-billion loan is not a kind of “State Fund” under Article 169 of the Constitution. Therefore, it does not need to go through the House in the same way as a national budget. If the loan is not a state fund, the government will not have to report the fund’s financial statement to the House and the Senate as stipulated by Article 170.

The huge loan bill, already passed by the Senate, gives the Finance Ministry the power to borrow up to Bt2 trillion to finance the infrastructure projects such as double-track railways, mass-transit electric trains, sea ports, motorways and high-speed trains.

Asked how the government would accept responsibility if the bill was ruled unconstitutional, Phongthep said in normal circumstances, the prime minister might have had to take responsibility and resign or the government would have had to dissolve the House.

“But, as House has already been dissolved and we’re a caretaker government, we don’t need to do anything to accept responsibility,” Phongthep said

Caretaker Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt said the government would alter its infrastructure development plan if the Bt2-trillion loan bill was found to be in breach of the Constitution, by putting off some projects requiring huge investment such as the high-speed trains.

Premier Yingluck Shinawatra said if the court’s verdict went against the Bt2-trillion loan bill, it would be sad as Thailand would lose an opportunity for infrastructure development.

PM, five others sued over Phan Fah clash
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Relatives of the two anti-government protesters slain in the clashes at Phan Fah Lilat Bridge nearly a month ago yesterday filed a criminal lawsuit against caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and five others for premeditated murder.

Thanusak Rattanakot and Supoj Boonrung died from gunshot wounds during the clashes between police and an unidentified armed group in the area on February 18, which left six people dead including both protesters and police.

Chaiwat Sitthisuksakul, a lawyer representing relatives of the two deceased, filed a lawsuit with the Criminal Court against Yingluck and five others including caretaker Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung in his capacity as director of the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order.

The lawsuit charges them with premeditated murder for ordering police to disperse the protesters.

The lawyer said relatives of the other two protesters killed in the clash had filed a criminal lawsuit against the caretaker prime minister and others on similar charges. Yingluck could face more lawsuits from those injured or otherwise affected by the dispersal.

EC votes for Bangkok governor re-election
The Nat

— Phuket Gazette Editors


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