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Phuket Media Watch: Palestine thanks Thailand; News office attacked; Western ships

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Media Watch: Palestine thanks Thailand; News office attacked; Western ships | The Thaiger
PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

‘Thailand recognizes Palestine as independent state’

Phuket Gazette / News Wires
PHUKET: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas thanked the government of Thailand after it apparently decided to recognize Palestine as an independent state. Thai officials were unavailable for comment.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said his office received an official letter from the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations on Tuesday which stated that the Thai government has officially recognized Palestine and has initiated a process to establish diplomatic relations.

The office of al-Maliki said it established communications with the Thai government after the new government of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra took office in August 2011. The foreign minister added that he would continue talks with his Thai counterpart to formalize the diplomatic relations.

The Thai government did not comment on Palestine’s announcement, and calls to both the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the UN and the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs were not immediately returned. If accurate, Thailand’s recognition will bring the number of countries which recognize a Palestinian state to 129.

Last month, Iceland also formally recognized Palestine after its parliament voted in favor of the move.

Daily News Rayong office attacked

Phuket Gazette / The Nation
PHUKET: An unknown number of gunmen in a pickup attacked the Daily News newspaper’s Rayong office early yesterday morning but no one was injured.The office of on Sukhumvit Road was ridden with bullet holes. Office furniture, air conditioning and neon tubes were damaged as well as a Nissan pickup truck parked in front of the office.

The vehicle belonged to Krittapas Taengphetch, 49, a reporter who was in the office when the attack occurred. He alerted police.

Found at the scene were 16 spent AKA rifle bullets, a 9mm bullet and two 9mm spent cartridges. Police are checking security camera footage from the surrounding area in an attempt to identify the culprits.

A police source revealed that the security video camera captured a golden-bronze single-cab Isuzu DMax pickup truck passing the office and a passenger in the front left seat rolling down the window and aiming a rifle at the office.

Daily News reporters suspect this attack is related to recent news coverage about a major Yaba (methamphetamine) gang in Klaeng district, which is reportedly linked to Rayong Provincial Prison inmates. The gang allegedly used war weapons to avenge another drug gang who had failed to pay them, resulting in death and injuries. The case’s suspects were on bail and might be disgruntled about the news reports.

An eyewitness, noodle vendor Khajornsak Chaisri, told police that he had seen the golden-bronze pickup truck with a driver and a passenger in the front seat. The passenger opened fire at the office before the truck sped towards Tambon Tapong.

Rayong Province is 1,010 kilometers north-east of Phuket Province (click to see map).

Ships from the West

Phuket Gazette / The Nation
PHUKET: The Portuguese – the first Europeans to hunt for treasure in Southeast Asia – got off to a poor start, spending two years in the early 1500s violently establishing a foothold in the Malay state of Malacca. Lesson learned, they were more diplomatic in Pegu, Sumatra and Siam.

Just how peaceful their history was in old Thailand will be examined in a conference in Ayutthaya next week on the 500th anniversary of Siamese relations with the West.

Over two days, dozens of scholars will describe what happened half a millennium ago when the hulking, bearded strangers (think of the frightening farang “guardian” statues at Wat Po) first appeared on these shores.

“Malacca was where East met West, and the Portuguese came to take over the maritime trade,” historian Charnvit Kasetsiri told reporters during a recent preliminary tour in Malacca, once known as “the Emporium of the East”.

The Maritime Museum makes it clear that the Malays still fume about Portugal’s invasion. With a replica of the Portuguese ship Flor de la Mar bearing witness, the version of history as told by the loser has it that the wealth of sultans was piled onto that boat and carried off to Europe, along with dozens of skilled female weavers, calligraphers and dancers.

Much more tragically, they didn’t get far – the Flor de la Mar sank in a storm off Sumatra.

Also among its haul were letters and gifts that King Ramathibodi II of Ayutthaya was sending to King Manuel I of Portugal.

The first contact with Siam occurred before the conquest of Malacca. The viceroy of Portuguese India, Alfonso de Albuquerque, sent his envoy Duarte Fernandes to Siam to make acquaintance. The relationship has continued uninterrupted ever since.

In 1516 King Ramathibodi II granted riverside land for a Portuguese settlement and permission to erect a wooden cross, thus guaranteeing their right to worship God as they chose. In return, the Siamese received lucrative market access to Malacca, its erstwhile trading rival.

— Phuket Gazette Editors



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Driver killed and 10 Burmese workers injured in Tak crash

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Driver killed and 10 Burmese workers injured in Tak crash | The Thaiger

by Pipat Jongmeekwamsook

A van driver has been killed and 10 migrant workers injured after the passenger van careered into a roadside ditch and hit a tree in Khamphaeng Phet in Thailand’s central west today.

The 27 year old van driver was killed and 10 Burmese workers were injured when their vehicle crashed in Khamphaeng Phet’s Kosamphee Nakhon district early this morning (Thursday).

Police believe the driver, Thongpoon Chanachan, fell asleep at the wheel and died instantly in the collision. He was taking the migrant workers from Bangkok to renew their visa in Tak.

Rescue workers found the Toyota van with the wrecked front section stuck to the toppled tree when they arrived at the scene on Phaholyothin Highway at 4.30am.

They had to use heavy equipment to extract two of the injured passengers from the wreckage. The other slightly injured passengers told police that they left Bangkok at 10.30pm on Wednesday to renew their visa in Tak’s Mae Sot district, on the border with Myanmar. All the passengers were asleep when the crash happened.

Driver killed and 10 Burmese workers injured in Tak crash | News by The Thaiger Driver killed and 10 Burmese workers injured in Tak crash | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Opinion

Why the Chinese are infinitely more important than Western tourists to Thailand

The Thaiger

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Why the Chinese are infinitely more important than Western tourists to Thailand | The Thaiger

OPINION by Dan Cheeseman – Dan About Thailand

We need to wake up and smell the roses, us Westerners are no longer an important group for the Thailand tourism industry – in fact, we are what you would call ‘niche’ – and with good reason.

The Chinese are here in numbers and not only will this continue to grow but they also outspend Europeans per capita by 53% when in Thailand.

There are more Chinese…

The Chinese now account for 57.48% of all tourists in Thailand and what makes this even more staggering is only 8.7% currently have passports (120 million).

According to Jing Travel this could double by 2020 – that means 240 million Chinese able to travel (363% of the UK population – 66 million). They also go on to state that first time Chinese travellers are more likely to travel more close to home to begin with, so places like Vietnam and, you guessed it, Thailand.

Why the Chinese are infinitely more important than Western tourists to Thailand | News by The Thaiger

And the Chinese share of the pie will only grow.

No wonder Thailand are forecasting tourism to grow from the 38 million now to over 79 million by 2030.

Why the Chinese are infinitely more important than Western tourists to Thailand | News by The Thaiger

The Chinese Spend More…

Quite often I hear the European retaliation that they would like to see the spend levels per capita of Chinese, suggesting it to be low. This could not be further from the truth as shopping is an important factor for when they go on holiday.

The Chinese expenditure into Thailand is US$15,342,000,000 each year, which is more than any other nation. The average spend per day for a Chinese tourist in Thailand is US$192 – which is 53% more than the average Europeans US$125 daily spend.

Why the Chinese are infinitely more important than Western tourists to Thailand | News by The Thaiger

Read the rest of the story… Dan About Thailand

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Phuket

Top 10 ways to save water at home

The Thaiger

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Top 10 ways to save water at home | The Thaiger

Hot weather and Thailand’s boom-or-bust water issues (floods in wet season and water shortages in the hot season) are a part of our life. And it’s predicted that there will be hotter hot seasons and wetter wet-seasons in the future. Even if we’re not sure what the future brings we should all be conscious of our water usage, be more self-sufficient and empower ourselves to do something positive to protect Thailand’s precious water reserves.

Here are a few ideas that may help you become more water-wise…

• Shower with a bucket. Don’t let all that water pour down the drain and stick a bucket next to you whilst you shower. The plants will be grateful for an extra drink on hot days and save you using the hose sometimes. Whilst you’re at it, cut your 5 minute shower down to three minutes. Really, you can sing somewhere else! And, really, do we absolutely have to have four showers a day? No. A fresh spray of the deodorant and a fresh shirt will be perfectly OK during water shortages. For couples, well, shower together!

• Leave the water running whilst brushing your teeth? Try turning it off until you want to rinse out your mouth. All that useable water flowing down the basic drain whilst you’re brushing isn’t making your teeth any whiter! Same when you’re washing your hands or washing your hair. Turn off the tap whilst you’re doing all the scrubbing. These little habits could end up saving tens of litres every time you do these common tasks.

Top 10 ways to save water at home | News by The Thaiger

• Boiling pasta? Rice? Eggs? Once the left-over water has cooled use it to water your indoor or outdoor plants. Just make sure the water has cooled first!

• Washing the car at a car wash is more efficient than doing it yourself at home. Car wash businesses recycle a lot of their water. Even better, drive around with a dirty car now and then – it’s not hurting you or the car and will save water by delaying your car wash.

Top 10 ways to save water at home | News by The Thaiger

• Lawns use lots of water and daily watering during the hot season can soak up hundreds of litres of valuable. Letting your lawn go brown, be assured it will come back in the wet season. And long-term, landscape accordingly with water wise ground covers, succulents, and other plants that thrive in drought conditions. Lawns may be a luxury we can’t afford in these water-conscious times.

• Only run the dishwasher when it’s full. Even better wash the dishes by hand. Dishwashing machines are notable water wasters. Grab you partner or a friend and have a chat or a laugh for the five minutes it will take you to wash the dishes by hand. You could save up to 50-100 litres of water! And fill up the sink once and do all the washing together without leaving the water running all the time.

Top 10 ways to save water at home | News by The Thaiger

• Whilst it hasn’t been a worry in the past, our useable potable water supplies around Thailand are becoming an issue that won’t be fixed immediately. Consider installing a simple rain catchment system. They can be cheap or expensive and should be considered if you’re building a new house as an integral part of the design. Your roof is an amazing water-catcher. Use it.

• Flush the toilet less often and with less water. Most modern toilets have a half-flush option and there are other tricks to reducing the re-fill in your toilet’s cistern – putting a brick into your cistern is one way (gently!).

• Water the plants early in the morning. You’ll need less water, since cooler morning temperatures mean less evaporation. It’s not a great idea to water in the evenings, since this can promote mould growth in the humid Thai weather and hot evenings. And you really don’t need to water the driveway. It’s not growing. No one is going to walk past your house and compliment you on your sparkling clean drive-way.

• The dog WILL survive without being washed every day, or week. Indeed our dogs used to survive perfectly well without being washed at all. If the family pooch does need a wash try and use some of the water you saved from the bucket in the shower and be careful not to leave the hose on whilst rubbing in the shampoo. As for the cat, it is genetically programmed to clean itself better than you could ever hope to. Leave the cat alone – it DOES NOT need to be washed.

Top 10 ways to save water at home | News by The Thaiger

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