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Phuket Media Watch: Thai PM orders investigation into army shooting of four Muslims

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Media Watch: Thai PM orders investigation into army shooting of four Muslims | The Thaiger
PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Thai PM orders investigation into army shooting of four Muslims
Phuket Gazette / News Wires

PHUKET: Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday ordered an investigation into the shooting deaths of four Muslims by paramilitaries in the restive south on Sunday.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ordered army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha to investigate the incident and report his findings in detail immediately. She said if those killed and wounded in the incident were found to be innocent villagers, the government would fully ‘take care’ of them.

On Sunday night, four people were killed and five were wounded when the Thai army rangers opened fire on a pick-up truck in the province of Pattani. General Prayuth said if the authorities were found to be at fault, those responsible would be punished through the justice process.

Lt-Gen Udomchai Thammasarorat held a press conference to give details about the shootings and said the assailants fired M79 grenades at an operational base in Nong Chik district before the shooting.

He added that a pick-up truck carrying a number of people was stopped for a search after rangers were dispatched to intercept the attackers. Some of the men on board got out of the pick-up truck and then opened fire at the rangers, he claimed.

Pattani governor Theera Mintrasak said yesterday a committee of inquiry will investigate the incident in order to ensure justice. The inquiry was expected to be completed within 30 days.

Angkhana Neelapaijit, chairwoman of the Justice for Peace Foundation, called on Deputy Prime Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa to show responsibility for giving out incorrect information on Sunday’s shootings. Yutthasak said those killed and wounded in the shooting were believed to have caused unrest, but residents say they were villagers who were on their way to a funeral.

“This shooting will make it more difficult for the government to win the trust of the people. Gen Yutthasak and the Region 4 Internal Security Operations Command must come out and admit a mistake was made, and declare publicly that the culprits will be punished within the justice system. They should not talk only about reparations,” Angkhana said.

Since 2004, over 4,800 people have been killed in the regions south of Phuket, including Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat, as local insurgent groups renewed their fighting efforts against the government.

More than 7,000 people have been injured in violent incidents launched by separatist militants.

The violence in the South of Thailand reached a crescendo and made worldwide headlines under former PM Thaksin Shinawatra when, on October 25, 2004, security forces arrested hundreds of local people who had their shirts taken off and their hands tied behind their backs. They were made to lie face down on the ground and suffered brutal beatings. At least 85 died in that incident and Thaksin was ousted in a coup the following year.

— Phuket Gazette Editors



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Prem Tinsulanonda dies of heart failure at 98

The Thaiger

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Prem Tinsulanonda dies of heart failure at 98 | The Thaiger

The President of the Privy Council, Prem Tinsulanonda (General Prem), is reported to have died of heart failure early this morning at the Phramongkutklao Hospital at the age of 98. He has had important roles in many levels of Thai society and politics for most of modern Thailand’s recent history (since 1932).

Just three weeks ago he was participating in the coronation of HK The King.

He served as president of the Privy Council during late King Bhumibol’s reign and, more recently, served HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn in the same role.

Between 1980 and 1988 he served as Thailand’s 16th prime minister. Among many other achievements he is credited with ending a communist insurgency and presiding over accelerating economic growth in the developing country.

A retired army general, he was a statesman who played a pivotal role in Thai politics with a firm commitment to and belief in sacrifice for the Thai Monarchy.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

Prem Tinsulanonda dies of heart failure at 98 | News by The Thaiger

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Former PM Chuan elected speaker of lower house

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Former PM Chuan elected speaker of lower house | The Thaiger

If the first item on the new parliament’s agenda is any indication, it’s going to be a very dynamic lower house. Things didn’t go smoothly on the first day.

Ex-PM Chuan Leekpai, a Democrat candidate proposed by the pro-junta Phalang Pracharat Party, secured 258 votes to 235 for Pheu Thai nominee Sompong Amornvivat. One MP abstained. Some Pheu Thai PMs also broke ranks and voted for Chuan.

The election of the lower house speaker, the only item on the agenda at the first meeting of MPs, took more than eight hours after Phalang Pracharat stymied proceedings and proposed a postponement of the vote for unspecified reasons. Boos and heckles accompanied the bravado which went on for hours until he acting speaker decided to call a lunch break, telling MPs to return at 1pm with things sorted out.

There were simmerings of discontent in the pro-junta camp after Phalang Pracharat reportedly wanted to field its MP, Suchart Tancharoen, for the post of speaker but the the bloc nominated Chuan at the last minute.

Pheu Thai MP Jirayut Huangsap objected to the proposal to put off the vote. A prolonged debate between the two blocs led to pro tem speaker Chai Chidchob, the most senior MP and former house speaker, adjourning the house.

Former PM Chuan elected speaker of lower house | News by The Thaiger

After a two-hour break, the house voted on the first motion to decide whether or not to reschedule the election of speaker.

The anti-junta camp, comprising seven parties that had signed a pact earlier, voted against deferring the election.

Finally, the house voted 248 to 246 with two absentions to elect the speaker on Saturday. Some of the pro-Suchart MPs also voted against the postponement.

The Phalang Pracharat-led bloc tried to swing the vote in its favour but failed.

The house hence had to vote to choose between Democrat Chuan and Pheu Thai’s Sompong.

What does all this mean?

The vote for the house speaker is the first test of the votes of MPs in the lower house. The theatrics earlier in the day when Palang Pracharat forced a delay in the vote was to allow last minute lobbying to ensure they had the Democrats on side. But, at this stage, the Democrats have not formally thrown their votes behind a Palang Pracharat coalition. The pro-Junta MPs support of a Democrat (and twice former Thai PM) for the position of House Speaker can be interpreted as an act of good faith to provide more inducement to garner their coalition support.

Bhumjaithai has also kept their cards close to their chest and are yet to formally declare how they will vote in the future.

But the votes in the parliament showed that the division is fairly even with a few Palang Pracharat and Pheu Thai MPs breaking ranks and voting independently. With the crucial vote for the next Thai PM coming up in the next few days there is still no clear sign that the votes will fall one way or the other.

After last weeks meetings the Democrats and Bhumjaithai could, just maybe, form a third bloc of votes so the parliament would have three voting blocs and no majority government. Whoever becomes PM with this arrangement would be ruling over an unpredictable and fragile government.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Thailand’s hero of the day: Phitsanulok big-biker ‘Tik’

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thailand’s hero of the day: Phitsanulok big-biker ‘Tik’ | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Itthiphon ‘Tik’ Petchphibunpong – Daily News

Kudos to Mr Big Bike, as he’s been nicknamed, the hero of the moment, who took matters into hand to help a family needing urgent help and was stuck in traffic in Phitsanulok in northern Thailand.

28 year old ‘Tik’, aka. Itthiphon Petchphibunpong, was riding his bike in heavy traffic when he was driving past car with a family whose daughter had passed out. Tik works for Sa-art Electric in the north of Thailand.

She was starting to foam at the mouth and they were worried they wouldn’t get her to the hospital in Phitsanulok in time.

Helmet-cam shows Tik parking his bike, knocking on the windows of cars around the family’s car to try and clear a path through the heavy traffic. But he realised this was going to be a slow process so he took the girl’s father to the hospital on the back of his bike as the cradled his sick daughter.

Watch the video on the link below…

https://web.facebook.com/tig1235/videos/2283241021994494/

They arrived in time and we’re happy to report that the girl is recovering after being transferred to another hospital. More than 2.4 million Thais have viewed the video and commented on the story of the latest Thai hero.

SOURCE: Daily News

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