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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Thaksin believes protest will fizzle out; Industry gives warning; Mother-in-law admits contract killing [VIDEO]; Govt, Cambodia to work together

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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Thaksin believes protest will fizzle out; Industry gives warning; Mother-in-law admits contract killing [VIDEO]; Govt, Cambodia to work together | The Thaiger
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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Thaksin opposes House dissolution and Yingluck’s resignation
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Despite the mounting pressure against his sister’s embattled government, ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday instructed the ruling Pheu Thai Party to cling on to power in the hope the opposition-led rally against the amnesty bill would die down soon, a Pheu Thai source said yesterday.

Thaksin, who is believed to be pulling strings behind the ruling party, disagreed with an idea for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to dissolve the House of Representatives, according to the source.

He believed the anti-amnesty protest, now centring around the Democracy Monument, would fizzle soon after “the funds run out” and the Senate rejects the government-backed amnesty bill. He wanted Pheu Thai MPs to help retain the government’s status quo, the source said.

Ruling politicians presented a number of possible solutions to Thaksin, including House dissolution and the PM’s resignation, but the ex-leader disagreed with those proposals, according to the source.

In a bid to further pressure the government, nine MPs from the opposition Democrat Party yesterday announced their plans to resign, at the protest site at the Democracy Monument.

Suthep Thaugsuban and eight other Democrat MPs would resign their seats to be able to turn their full attention to leading the protest against the government, a party source said. Among the MPs who would resign are Thavorn Senneam, Satit Wongnongtaey, Witthaya Kaewparadai, Issara Somchai, and Chumpol Jullasai.

The party source said Suthep decided during a party discussion yesterday to resign so he could lead the protest without worrying that his role would lead to legal action against the party and to its dissolution.

Initially, the party had resolved to allow Democrat MPs to resign of their own volition. However, with the party worried about the by-elections coming up in 45 days, it decided only a few could resign. Many more Democrat MPs would resign if the government remains adamant, the Democrat source said.

Stocks take a hit

The political situation negatively affected the stocks and the baht yesterday.

The baht fell to a 7-week low at 31.62 per US dollar, weakening by 0.70 from Friday’s closing. The SET index closed at 1,405.91 points.

Traffic congestion in many areas of Bangkok worsened yesterday as anti-amnesty protesters gathered at four locations in inner city areas – Silom, Asoke, Ari and Saphan Kwai – before marching to Democracy Monument, where the main protest site was located.

Many business firms cancelled events scheduled for yesterday and later this week, citing severe traffic congestion in the city and the political situation. They included Charoen Pokphand Foods, Kasikorn Bank, and Seacon Group.

The Government Housing Bank announced the closure of its two branches near Ratchadamnoen Road from yesterday until tomorrow.

The Thai Chamber of Commerce planned an urgent press conference today about its concern over possible negative impacts on the country’s economy from the ongoing political situation.

Meanwhile, the Council of University Presidents of Thailand yesterday offered to mediate in the conflict between the government and its opponents.

The council of rectors held a meeting at Chulalongkorn University and came up with a resolution to offer to mediate the conflicts between the two sides. The meeting was attended by the rectors of 26 universities. The council has 27 member universities.

Thammasat University rector Prof Somkid Lertpaitoon, who serves as the council’s president, said the current political landscape was changing very fast and could lead to violence.

End conflict or economy may suffer, bosses warn
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The government should end the political conflict as soon as possible as it has affected economic stability, according to some top executives in the private sector.

Dr Boon Vanasin, chairman of the Thonburi Hospital Group, said the government should use its majority in the House of Representatives to kill the controversial blanket amnesty bill permanently instead of allowing the bill to expire in the next 180 days.

Moreover, the government should quickly proceed with major investment programmes, such as the Bt350-billion water-management project and the Bt2-trillion infrastructure project, to push this year’s growth in gross domestic product to about 4-5 per cent to restore investors’ confidence.

Boonyong Tansakul, managing director of Singer Thailand, said Parliament should be dissolved to bring temporary relief to the current political conflicts and tension, as the situation is not conducive to negotiation between the opposing sides. Members of the National Reconciliation Committee have resigned one by one, the Senate failed to achieve a minimum quorum to vote on the amnesty bill last Friday, and the public’s confidence in the government has dropped.

The current conflict has forced all parties involved to focus on the problem at hand at the expense of paving the way towards prosperity and economic growth for the country via the Bt2-trillion mega-projects, he said.

Likit Fahpyochon, former president of the Thai Retailers Association, believes the prolonged political rallies have a psychological impact on consumer spending, especially the middle-income group with considerable purchasing power, many of whom have joined protest rallies in Bangkok and major provincial cities and tourist destinations such as Pattaya, Phuket and Samui.

Anake Srishevachart, vice chairman of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, fears that if there are violent clashes between opposing groups, this will make foreign tourists worry about their safety. Several countries have issued travel-advisory warnings.

Dr Kesara Thanyalakpak, executive director of Sena Development, said the current political conflicts and protests had affected sales, consumer spending and the stock market, and might cause foreign-capital outflows as fund managers become concerned over the potential risks if the conflict is prolonged.

The Bt2-trillion mega-projects could be shelved if the current government has to step down, Kesara warned.

Mother-in-law admits she ordered killing
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Slain Olympic sharpshooter Jakkrit Panichpatikum’s mother-in-law has confessed to taking out a contract on his life.





“I needed to do it because he abused my daughter throughout the past six years,” Surang Duangjinda said yesterday.

She said her daughter, Dr Nithiwadee Phucharoenyos, was not aware of the murder plot. Police have charged both Surang and Nithiwadee with taking out the contract on Jakkrit’s life, however.

Both are now trying to secure bail – a move that is not opposed by the police.

Motherly love

“I did it because I love my daughter,” Sur

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Thailand

But it was my idea! Thai producer loses battle for Ultraman superhero copyright

Caitlin Ashworth

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But it was my idea! Thai producer loses battle for Ultraman superhero copyright | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Flickr

A Thai producer says he came up with the superhero “Ultraman,” but he recently lost a battle with a Japanese special effects studio over the copyright. The Thailand Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the owner of the Thai Chaiyo Productions Company Limited who tried to claim copyright for the superhero films which date back to the 1960s.

Owner of the Thai production company, Sompo Saengduanchai, says the superhero comes from his imagination. He says he created Ultraman while on a fellowship in Japan studying film production. He claims he was involving the projects “Jumbo A”, “Ultraman 1 – Ultra Q,” “Ultraman 2,” “Ultraman Seven,” “Return of Ultraman,” “Ultraman Ace,” “Ultraman Taro,” “Jamborg Ace” and “Hanuman Meets Seven Superheroes.”

Chaiyo Productions Company Limited has been in a copyright war with the Japanese special effects studio Tsubaraya Productions Company Limited. The Appeals Court ruled in Tsubaraya’s favor, then Chaiyo appealed that decision. That appeal was just rejected by the Supreme Court Division for Intellectual Property Rights and International Trade.

The Japanese special effects studio is best known for the “Ultra” TV series. It was founded in 1963 by special effects producer Eiji Tsubaraya and the “Ultra” series first aired in 1966. His family ran the company until October 2007, when the family sold the company to advertising agency TYO Inc.

Sompo says he’s worried that the Supreme Court decision will have a negative affect on his movies. He says some are registered as national heritage cultural properties.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Politics

Deputy PM says “Big Joke” transfer not necessarily unlawful

Maya Taylor

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Deputy PM says “Big Joke” transfer not necessarily unlawful | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam says former immigration chief, Surachate Hakparn, shouldn’t assume his transfer to an inactive post in the PM’s Office was unlawful. Surachate, known by the nickname “Big Joke” (given to him by Thai media) headed up Thailand’s Immigration Bureau until he was unceremoniously side-lined by the PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha last year.

It’s understood he is now planning to sue the PM, claiming that the lack of any investigation against him shows there were no grounds for the transfer. His lawyer, Sitthi Ngarmlamyuang, says other officers transferred to the PM’s Office have since been re-instated, after being cleared of any wrongdoing. He insists his client deserves the same, pointing out that in the 1 year and 5 months since his transfer, there has been no investigation against him.

For his part, Deputy PM Wissanu says Surachate has the right to sue the PM if he so wishes but shouldn’t assume his transfer is similar to that of former National Security Council chief, Thawil Pliensri, who was transferred under former PM Ying­luck Shinawatra in 2011. The transfer was subsequently deemed unlawful by the Supreme Administrative Court.

The Bangkok Post reports that Wissanu doesn’t rule out the possibility of Surachate being re-instated, saying the PM’s Office should submit the issue for the PM’s consideration. For his part, Surachate claims his petitions to the PM have fallen on deaf ears.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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New army chief declares he’ll protect Thailand’s monarchy and restore peace

Caitlin Ashworth

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New army chief declares he’ll protect Thailand’s monarchy and restore peace | The Thaiger
PHOTO: naewna

At a time of mass pro-democracy protests, with some activists facing charges for criticising the role of the Thai head of state, the new army chief says he pledges to restore peace and protect the country’s monarchy. In a ceremony formerly saying farewell to retiring generals, incoming army chief Narongphan Jitkaewtae said he would restore peace and be loyal to the Thai Monarchy.

His statement comes at a time when many people are speaking out against Thailand’s military-run government and calling for changes to the constitution (voted for by referendum in 2017). A number of protest leaders face charges relating to their actions at protests, like breaking the emergency decree back in July for holding a large public gathering, as well as violating the lèse majesté law for criticising or insulting Thailand’s King or members of the royal family.

“Protecting the monarchy with absolute loyalty and supporting the government to resolve national problems and working to advance the country are tasks for which the generals deserve the honour.”

Narongphan praised the more than 250 retiring generals, including the outgoing army chief, saying they all dedicated their time to protect Thailand and maintain law and order.

“We faithfully pledge to carry on your ideologies and perform our duties to the best of our ability, to ensure peace in society, foster national unity and support the country’s development.”

The retiring defence forces chief Pornpipat Benyasri said he was proud for his service in the armed forces and will continue to defend the country’s sovereignty, people and the Monarchy after his service has ended.

“We won’t hesitate to sacrifice our time whenever we are needed.”

SOURCES: Bangkok Post

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