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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Thailand among Asia’s highest achievers; Thai TV unplugged; drought, erosion bite hard

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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Thailand among Asia’s highest achievers; Thai TV unplugged; drought, erosion bite hard | The Thaiger
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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Thailand joins ranks of ‘high achievers’ in East Asia
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Thailand has made it into the UNDP’s list of “high achievers” in East Asia, along with China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.

The rapid human development progress of Thailand and Asia-Pacific nations is helping drive a historic shift, with hundreds of millions of people lifted from poverty and billions poised to join the fast-growing middle class, according to the 2013 “Human Development Report”, which analyses more than 40 developing countries that have made striking human development gains in recent years.

The report attributes their achievements to strong national commitments to better public health and education services, innovative poverty eradication programs and strategic engagement with the world economy.

The report notes that Thailand’s success holds lessons for less developed economies, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Countries endowed with arable land can continue expanding stable jobs in agriculture, as did Thailand, whose employment pattern of the 1960s is comparable to that of many Sub-Saharan African countries today.

Thailand has forged millions of stable jobs in non-manufacturing industries such as retail, hospitality and construction, as well as in commercial farming. Stable agricultural jobs increased from just 519,000 in 1960 to nearly three million in 2008.

East Asia’s most dynamic economies – including Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam – could use their foreign reserve holdings and other resources for creative new approaches to development assistance within the region and beyond.

While these countries differ greatly in their histories, political systems and economic profiles, they share common factors. Most had assertive governments that sought to take strategic advantage of the opportunities offered by global trade, while reducing poverty and inequality through pioneering home-grown social programs.

East Asian countries like Thailand face many of the same challenges of developing countries in other regions – aging populations, environmental risks, political pressures and inequality – and countries will need to stay smart to maintain their momentum.

Asia-Pacific will see a striking increase in the share of the elderly in the near future. This will push up the dependency ratio, which is the ratio of younger and older people to the working-age population. The productive-age population, ages 35-50, currently the largest population share, will reach retirement in 15-25 years.

Advancing health requires more than high-quality health services. Human poverty is multidimensional and many countries are discovering that they need simultaneous interventions on multiple fronts, including improvements in health and drug technology, widespread vaccinations, and public and private investments in health.

Thailand’s universal health coverage is mentioned by the report as a bright spot. By 2009, 76 per cent of the population of about 48 million were registered in the universal health coverage scheme, which provides free inpatient and outpatient treatment and maternity, dental and emergency care. The scheme is fully financed by the government, with a budget in 2011 of US$34 million – $70 for each insured person – which accounts for 5.9 per cent of the national budget.

Cancellation of talk show prompts NBTC to act
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Following the abrupt cancellation of a controversial TV talk show on the Thai Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), an official with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission said an NBTC sub-committee will soon draft guidelines for local TV stations to follow when they are considering the cancellation of a program.

“This standard will be soon applied to all media outlets to prevent an abrupt cancellation or suspension of TV programs like in the recent cases of ‘Nua Mek’ and ‘Tob Jote Prathet Thai’,” Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the NBTC’s broadcasting committee, said.

The cases of the Channel 3 drama series “Nua Mek 2” and the Thai PBS talk show “Tob Jote” are similar in that the stations decided to cancel the shows themselves. Such actions can be allowed in accordance with Section 29 of the Act of Entrepreneur Affairs in Broadcasting and Television of 2008, Natee said.

“However, cancellation or suspension of TV programs widely affects viewers. The sub-panel on television programming and scheduling must therefore draft a proper guideline for TV stations to follow. The guidelines will be submitted to the broadcasting committee in the next two weeks,” he said.

The latest controversy involves the Thai PBS talk show “Tob Jote Prathet Thai” (“Answering Questions about Thailand”), which was yanked from the air before it was broadcast on Friday night. The program is hosted by Pinyo Traisuriyathamma, the outspoken executive editor of Open Books Publishing House.

The topic of the program was the “Thai Monarchy under the Constitution” and Friday’s fifth and final episode was to feature the continuing debate between Thammasat University lecturer Somsak Jeamteerasakul and social critic Sulak Sivaraksa.

On Saturday, Pinyo announced on Facebook that his show would no longer air on Thai PBS. He said his work as a journalist had been interfered with and he’d been intimidated by people in the organization.

Thai PBS managing director Somchai Suwanban said he had decided to not air the show after a group of viewers came to the head office to request the show’s cancellation. Somchai said he feared the program’s production team might be in danger so he decided to postpone the broadcast pending a review by a subcommittee in charge of receiving public complaints.

Somchai added that Thai PBS was a public TV station and it has the duty to allow people to air their opinions, but now the debate has been restricted to private discussions.

The editorial team of “Tob Jote” defended their work on Facebook yesterday, saying the show was produced in a neutral manner with equal time given to both sides. They also said they believed that the content would have a positive effect on the high institution. The Facebook page has been accessed more than 600,000 times since the cancellation, the team said.

The show also came under heavy criticism during a Senate session yesterday. Appointed Senator General Lertrit Wetsawan, a former executive of Channel 5, lambasted the “Tob Jote” team, saying their ulterior motive was to topple the monarchy. He called authorities to take legal action against host Pinyo and his guests Somsak and Sulak for lese majeste offenses.

Appointed Senator Wanchai Sornsiri criticized the Thai PBS management for airing the series.

“Do not think that such content in the program is progressive or cool. It is like the saying, ‘to look for lice to put on your head’.’

Other appointed senators voicing their disapproval included Trungjai Buranasompop and Pornpan Bunyaratpan. They said that the taxpayer-funded Thai PBS should produce content that benefits most Thais, such as a show about the rice-pledging scheme as opposed to talk of amending the lese majeste law, which affects only a few.

Farmers warned of low water levels
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Thai Life

Top 10 ways to avoid getting Dengue Fever

Tim Newton

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Top 10 ways to avoid getting Dengue Fever | The Thaiger

There is no specific medicine to treat dengue infection. About 1 in 4 people infected will get sick, some very sick. A severe case of dengue can be life-threatening within a few hours and will probably require hospitalisation. The most common symptoms of dengue include nausea, vomiting, a rash, muscle aches and joint pains. Symptoms of dengue typically last 2 – 7 days. Most people recover in about a week.

A lot of Thailand is jungle. And the weather is very humid. Mosquitoes thrive in both situations. You’re in their domain and they’re not going anywhere just because you want to live here or are on your vacation. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the carrier of Dengue Fever which is very prevalent in South East Asian countries.

Your best way to avoid Dengue Fever is to avoid the carrier mosquitos which bite you. Here are a few tried and proven methods.

1. Mosquitoes love the ground

Most mosquitoes ‘hang around’ close to the ground so your feet and legs dangling under the table are an easy target and out of sight. You won’t hear them buzzing under there over the clinking of glasses and the tuk tuks whizzing by. If you’re heading out to dinner take some repellent for your legs, the lower on the legs, the more likely you are to be bitten there. Most restaurants and bars will have some spray – just ask them.

It’s the places we love and appreciate about Thailand, sitting amongst the tropical jungles, that are also the most dangerous when it comes to contracting dengue. And just because you’re staying on a 10th floor condo and think you’re high above the scourge of the mosquitoes, you’re not safe and plenty of mosquitoes will find their way to find you.

Top 10 ways to avoid getting Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

2. Sunrise and sunset

We love the sunsets in Thailand. And for the morning people, sunrises. So do Aedes aegypti, the type of mosquitoes that carry Dengue. So these times of the day you need extra precautions against mosquitoes. They will be around. If you are at an outdoor venue at the time make sure the fans are circulating the air under the tables and you have a quick spray of repellent – every venue will have some available.

Top 10 ways to avoid getting Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

3. They love your perfume

If you smell nice – a hint of perfume or after-shave here or there – the mosquitoes will be attracted too. Probably not your intended target. That scented soap the hotel provided (in the impossible-to-open plastic wrap) is likely a sweet smell for the relentless mosquito’s tracking system.

When they’re not biting you they’re usually attracted to flowers. Bland is better if you want to avoid mosquitoes. Buy unscented deodorant too. Try chocolates, flowers and an expensive restaurant to lure your partner instead.

Top 10 ways to avoid getting Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

4. Biege is back

Beige is back. Mosquitoes are fashion victims and seem attracted to bright coloured clothing. Bland coloured clothes are less attractive to mosquitoes. There may be a reason the tropical safari suit (and 70s fashion item) is beige.

(By the way, only Roger Moore as James Bond looks cool in a safari suit. YOU probably won’t look cool but it may help you avoid being bitten.)

Top 10 ways to avoid getting Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

5. Re-apply repellants

Whatever you apply on your skin to deter mosquitoes, you’ll need to re-apply every few hours. Just a quick squirt isn’t going to work all night. If you’re outside you WILL be perspiring and this both washes away the repellent and provides a new attractive scent for the mosquitoes.

Top 10 ways to avoid getting Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

6. They like it dirty!

If you’ve been out all day, trekking the hills, pounding the city pavements, swimming in the sea, lounging on the beach… Yum, you’ll be sweaty, salty and ripe for the mosquitoes. They like it dirty!

Have a shower, without using scented soap or lotions, before you head out for your sunset drinks at your favourite rooftop bar.

Top 10 ways to avoid getting Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

7. Check the mosquito coil is working

Mosquito coils work very well as a general deterrent but you’ll need to be vigilant that the coil’s fumes are blowing in your direction. Set them on the ground, where most of the mosquitoes tend to gather, around your legs and feet. Check them regularly to make sure they haven’t stopped burning.

Top 10 ways to avoid getting Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

8. Blinded by the light

Mosquitoes are attracted to light so if the lights are off outside and on inside, the mosquitoes will be headed towards the light. Not only mosquitoes, just about any bug is going to be attracted to light. If you want to get the bugs outside again, turn on a light outside and the lights off inside and open the doors. They’ll head out towards the light.

Top 10 ways to avoid getting Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

9. Spray your room before you go the bed

Mosquitoes will track you down, wherever you are. No matter if you’re in a five-star hotel over-looking the Andaman Sea or a back-packers in the hills of Chiang Mai, they don’t discriminate. If there’s a hole in your room’s defences, mosquitoes will find a way in. Windows and doors, obviously, but also vents – anywhere there’s access to the outside.

Best to spray your room before you sleep and keep the doors and windows closed, unless you’ve got fly-screens without any rips or tears. Many of us don’t like sleeping with the air-conditioning but better a dry throat in the morning rather than a case of dengue.

Top 10 ways to avoid getting Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

10. Nets and fans

A mosquito net above your bed is a cage that keeps you in and the mosquitoes out. Make sure there’s no way in for them – they’ll find a way if there is. A good fan will also work very well but it’s got to be blowing hard enough so the mosquitoes can’t make a three-point landing on your body.

A gentle zephyr on #1 setting won’t do. If you get the position of the fan right and have the setting high enough you’ll stay cool and the mosquitoes will not be able to land on you and bite.

Top 10 ways to avoid getting Dengue Fever | News by The Thaiger

Bottomline

South East Asia has been declared the region with the greatest risk of contracting dengue by the World Health Organisation. Instances of Dengue are on the rise but you are well able to control most of the risk factors.

The Aedes Aegypti is also known as the tiger mosquito with the distinctive black and white stripes. They most frequently bite at sunrise and sunset but this species also bites during the day. But you’re only at risk if the actual mosquito is carrying the Dengue virus.

Conservatively, at least 50 million people contract Dengue each year and Dengue is thought to cause around 20,000 deaths per year around the world. The fever can take around a week to incubate after you’ve been bitten. You might start with a measle-like rash followed by a fever and lack of energy. Victims describe it as flu-like symptoms but many react quite differently depending on the strain of the virus. Some people even get excoriating muscle and joint pain.

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Thailand

News of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking

The Thaiger & The Nation

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News of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking | The Thaiger

After news hit of an American being arrested and sued for defamation over leaving a bad review about a Koh Chang hotel on TripAdvisor, many are taking to the internet to voice their opinions on the issue. The Sea View Resort owners say it tried in vain to negotiated with Wesley Barnes after he posted the reviews, but he continued to post completely untrue comments.

The owners released a five-page statement after the news of it suing the American gained widespread attention. You can read their response HERE. Then, Barnes submitted his own response detailing the situation which was also published online.

News of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking | News by The ThaigerNews of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking | News by The Thaiger

Now, the story has gained even more attention as netizens have begun posting their opinions on the controversial issue of Thailand’s defamation laws. Below, are some of those posts on The Thaiger’s Facebook page.

“Can someone clarify for me Thailand’s position on people leaving honest bad reviews as my girlfriend says it’s fine to leave a bad review of a business and it’s not defamation if honest of course? I have heard people say that you simply can’t leave bad honest reviews at all here but that sounds ridiculous. The thing about many Thais is that they think they’re beyond reproach. They can’t accept criticism because it’s not aligned with their grandiose self-image. Many also have a torrid time when it comes to ownership of their own actions and decision making.”

“OMG! He is arrested for a review.?! I know of an expat in Malaysia that wrote a bad review about a Thai-owned resort in Penang and he was sued as well. Be careful with what you share in that neck of the woods.”

“It’s one thing to leave a bad review but to throw in “modern slavery” remarks escalates to thai defamation law. He shouldn’t be arrested for his comments but you need to respect the country laws no matter how crazy they seem compared to your own country. This press is going to negatively affect the business way more than that review would have done though.”

“The owner should have settled with the review platforms privately and move on. I would hardly hold up Trip Advisor as a beacon of truth, however some people write extremely personal and vindictive comments that go beyond a review, in an attempt to gain product or refunds in return, this is an absolute fact, and hopefully this might make people think before they start writing reviews that are not exactly honest, I have read stories critical of the General Managers because they didn’t contact the guests, some really petty reviews by rather petty people.”

If Barnes is indeed found to be guilty of defamation, he could spend up to 2 years in prison and pay up to a 200,000 baht fine.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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