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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Violent deaths shake Bangkok to core

Legacy Phuket Gazette



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

Death, injury toll jumps after attacks
Phuket Gazette/ The Nation
PHUKET: The number of casualties from political violence over the past three months has surged to 21 dead and 762 people injured nationwide since November 30.

Of this number, 718 were injured in Bangkok, two in Rayong, eight in Pathum Thani and 34 in Trat.

Another policeman died yesterday from injuries sustained during a clash with protesters near Phan Fah Bridge last Tuesday, the Erawan Emergency Centre said.

The centre said Lance Corporal Sarawut Chaipanha died at 12:30pm at the Police Hospital.

In a related development, caretaker Public Health Minister Pradith Sinthawanarong visited patients at Rajavithi Hospital who were injured in the bomb blast in front of the Big C store on Sunday.

“It is time for us to seek a resolution together so no more people die. Bloody violence involving Thais should not take place again,” he said.

A medical workers’ network condemned perpetrators of the violence for using war weapons to kill and injure people.

Father grieving over his children’s deaths chooses to forgive
Phuket Gazette / The Nation
PHUKET: The father who lost his children to Sunday’s grenade attack says he is engulfed in pain, but feels no anger against the attackers who were apparently targeting the anti-government rally site.

“I am suffering the deepest pain, but have decided to forgive,” Thayakorn Yos-ubol said tearfully.

His two children, Korawich and Patcharakorn, were not among the demonstrators.

They were shopping with their aunt and cousin when they were hit by a grenade that landed in front of a Big C shopping mall on Rajdamri Road on Sunday afternoon.

Korawich was four and his sister six years old.

“I can’t cope with what has happened. My children were so pure and innocent. I really don’t know how long it will take for this wound in my heart to heal,” the devastated father said.

Mr Thayakorn went on to say that he had a simple dream for his children – he just wanted them to grow up and become good members of society.

“But now my dream is dead,” he said as he hugged his wife while waiting to pick up their children’s bodies.

Both children were pronounced dead at Ramathibodhi Hospital – the place they were born.

Korawich passed away on Sunday evening, while his sister succumbed to her injuries on Monday morning. Their nine-year-old cousin, Yothin Cha-aemram, is under intensive care at the same hospital.

Yothin’s mother, Nareerat Chairat, wished she had been hit instead of the children.

“Better me than my nephew, niece and son,” the distraught mother, who was in a wheelchair, said.

She sustained minor injuries from the blast.

Ms Nareerat said she and the children were about to hail a tuk-tuk to head back to Mr Thayakorn’s home when the grenade suddenly landed in their vicinity and exploded.

“I wish it was just a bad dream,” she lamented.

Mr Thayakorn said he hoped all sides would learn from this and bring an end to the chaos.

He said his focus was on holding his children’s funeral rites, which will be held at Phrom-wongsaram Temple (Wat Luang Phor Nane).

Meanwhile, the lawyer representing the relatives of the two men killed in bloody clashes at the Phan Fah Lilat Bridge on February 18 lodged a complaint yesterday at the Criminal Court against caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for her alleged role in the violent crackdown on protesters.

The lawsuit also named Chalerm Yoobamrung in his capacity as director of the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order, National Police chief General Adul Saengsingkaew, Department of Special Investigation chief Tarit Pengdith and a few other senior police officers.

Rally sites should be ‘child-free’, Unicef warns
Phuket Gazette / The Nation
PHUKET: The United Nations and UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) yesterday condemned the political violence in Thailand, particularly attacks over the weekend that claimed the lives of three children.

Unicef’s representative in Thailand, Bijaya Rajbhandari, said areas within and around the protest barricades should become “child-free zones” to ensure there are no further children killed or injured in the political crisis.

He urged the government, plus pro- and anti-government protest leaders and all parents to ensure that children do not enter protest sites and are kept well away from areas where people are rallying.

He also called upon authorities to ensure that those responsible for the attacks are brought to justice.

His statement came after two political-related attacks over the weekend – in Trat and central Bangkok – that claimed the lives of children aged four, five and six and left some others in a critical condition.

“[Unicef] condemns the violence that resulted in these tragic and senseless deaths and injuries to children. These incidents underscore the urgent need to keep children out of harm’s way in order to ensure their safety,” Mr Rajbhandari said.

A five-year-old girl was killed when gunmen attacked an anti-government rally in Trat province on Saturday night, while a four-year-old boy and his six-year-old sister died after a bomb blast in Ratchaprasong on Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that he is ready to assist in any way he can to end the political violence in Thailand.

“The secretary-general believes strongly that there is no place for violence by any side in resolving political differences and disputes,” Mr Ban’s spokesperson said.

Army chief urges talks
Phuket Gazette / The Nation
PHUKET: After a weekend of deadly violence, Army Chief Prayuth Chan-ocha yesterday urged all parties to sit down and talk – to try to find a way to prevent the country from plunging into further drama.

In a rare television address on military-run Channel 5, Gen Prayuth reiterated that the army had no intention of playing an active role in forcing a solution to the ongoing political strife.

Meanwhile, caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said in a separate interview that there was nothing better than all sides coming together.

“When violence is used, the pain will eventually be felt by the nation,” she said.

However, the Ms Yingluck said she would not resign as demanded by anti-government protesters, because it would create a political vacuum.

Gen Prayuth, reading from a prepared document, said it was the government that had the primary duty to stop people using violence, and he believed some of those behind the violence were linked to attacks during the 2010 red-shirt protests.

The army is collecting evidence and investigating in order to bring the culprits to justice.
“The army are not afraid of doing duties to bring those responsible for the violence to justice. However, we worry that there would be more casualties, as some groups do not understand and oppose our duties,” he said.< — 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.


Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7





Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday


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Stimulus package gives more back the more you spend

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: A new stimulus package aims to get the middle class spending. (via Flickr - Marco Verch)

A new stimulus package targeting middle and high-income people aims at increasing spending by offering more e-voucher the more you spend. Ying Chai Ying Dai, which translates to “the more you spend the more you get”, will reward those who spend between 46,000 and 70,000 baht with a 7,000 baht e-voucher. This part of the government’s 225 billion baht stimulus package hopes to encourage 4 million qualifying middle- to upper-class people to spend more money by refunding 10-15% back, according to the Finance Ministry’s Fiscal Policy Office.

People wishing to participate must register and make their purchases through a government e-wallet system. The system works by refunding 10 to 15% of purchases with a maximum of 7,000 baht. So at 15%, a person who spent 46,000 baht would receive back the full 7,000. On the 10% scheme, 70,000 baht in spending would be necessary to reach 7,000 cashback. No details were available on what determines the percentage level.

An additional 2,000 baht will be available for people participating in the “Section 33 Rao Rak Kan” and “Rao Chana” scheme. The plans are expected to push 85.5 billion Baht back into the economy as recipients must spend the cash by the end of June.

The 50/50 stimulus program that has been popular with the government covering half of what people spend for half for food, drink, and other items up to 150 baht per person per day will also be expanded. That plan began on October 23, and ended at the end of 2020, covering 10 million people with each receiving 3000 baht. The second phase of the popular program added 5 million more people and raised the limit to 3,500 baht per person.

A third phase of the “Khon La Khrueng” stimulus plan is expected to begin in July with participants getting a maximum of 3,500 baht each to spend, and opening the program to 16 million new people. This massive expansion though will stipulate that anyone participating in this program cannot also participate in the Ying Chai Ying Dai scheme.

All of these cash and voucher benefits aimed at supporting vulnerable groups, along with cash handouts for people who have state welfare cards, are part of 245 billion baht the government is spending in an attempt to keep the economy from collapsing. This falls under an emergency loan decree allocating the government 1 trillion baht total to cope with Covid-19.

SOURCE: The Phuket News


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Covid UPDATE: 2,044 new cases and 27 deaths, provincial totals




Deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Natapanu Nopakun / Photo courtesy of the Royal Thai Government

2,044 new Covid-19 cases and 27 coronavirus-related deaths were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. There are now 29,320 active Covid-19 cases. 1,170 Covid patients are in critical condition including 367 on ventilators.

Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported a total of 78,855 Covid-19 infections and 363 virus-related deaths.

Out of 27 new fatalities, patients were ages 30 to 90. Most of the deaths were in Bangkok and surrounding provinces. Several contacted the virus from family members.

Provinces with the highest number of new confirmed cases…

Province New cases Total cases since April 1
Bangkok 869 16,917
Nonthaburi 201 3,032
Samut Prakan 165 2,902
Chon Buri 89 3,128
Samut Sakhon 69 1,299
Surat Thani 60 1,035
Pathum Thani 39 1,099
Chiang Mai 33 3,180
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 32 607
Nakhon Pathom 29 746
Ranong 29 329


Districts in Bangkok with the highest number of confirmed cases…

District New cases
Khlong Toei 46
Pathum Wan 24
Bang Khae 24
Lat Phrao 13
Ratchathewi 10
Pom Prap Sattru Phai 9
Bueng Kum 9
Phasi Charoen 8
Bang Khun Thian 8
Din Daeng 8

Covid UPDATE: 2,044 new cases and 27 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger


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