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Thai families in mourning over mystery killing of two Thai students in the US

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thai families in mourning over mystery killing of two Thai students in the US | The Thaiger

“The room was locked from the inside when the building manager tried to gain entry, apparently adding substance to the theory there was nobody else involved.”

Kornkamol Leenawarat left from Thailand back to Seattle, Washington on August 21. Just two weeks later she has been found dead in her apartment along with the body of her roommate Thiti-orn Chotchuangsap.

The only daughter and youngest child in her family, Kornkamol returned home early last month to celebrate Mother’s Day on August 12 with her father and older brothers; her mother had already passed away.

Seattle police are investigating the murders of both Washington University post-graduate students.

Reports of the killings detailed how the victims’ bodies were riddled with knife wounds, causing alarm in Seattle that such a vicious act could occur in the quiet residential area close to the university and in a city regarded as one of the safest in the United States.

Kornkamol was studying law in Seattle, having graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Thammasat University and attained a master’s degree, also in law, from a university in Boston, Massachusetts.

Her family lives in Pathum Thani province, where they are well known, due to some of them being local politicians. They say Kornkamol’s ultimate goal was to one day become a judge. The only information to have emerged so far about Thiti-orn is that she was from Samut Sakhon province.

Deputy immigration police commissioner Itthipon Itthisarnronnachai said yesterday he had been notified that both bodies had been discovered on Tuesday bearing multiple stab wounds.

He declined to speculate on details surrounding the deaths, in particular on speculation in US media reports that this was a murder or murder-suicide.

The murder-suicide theory was raised following a report that the apartment was locked from the inside when a building manager went to check it at the request of Kornkamon’s family, made through their relative in the US.

Kornkamol contacted her family almost daily, so they were immediately concerned after they failed to reach her and university administration officers told them she had been absent from class for many days.

Ittipon confirmed the report that the room was locked from the inside when the building manager tried to gain entry, apparently adding substance to the theory there was nobody else involved. Moreover US police have declared that they are not seeking any suspects.

Speaking at the same press conference, Pol Lt General Suthipong Wongpin, immigration police commissioner, said immigration records showed that Kornkamol had left Thailand on August 21 and Thiti-orn on August 27.

Immigration police will liaise with relevant authorities to help the families of both women travel to the US.

An elder brother of Kornkamol, Weerasak Leenavarat, said that his family is in deep mourning for the loss of their friendly and lively daughter and sister.

SOURCE: The Nation

Thai families in mourning over mystery killing of two Thai students in the US | News by The Thaiger

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Politics

PM defends the 80 billion baht munition spend

The Thaiger & The Nation

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PM defends the 80 billion baht munition spend | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Nation

Speaking to the House of Representatives’ budget debate for the 2020 financial year yesterday, PM and Minister of Defence Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha defended the expenditure for the Defence Ministry. He claimed they must reserve a budget of 70-80 billion baht for buying munitions and vehicles for defense purposes.

“This money is part of the Ministry of Defense’s allotted budget, nothing to do with the central expenditure budget.”

“Our military personnel are patrolling 5,000 kilometres of border both by land and sea.”

“It’s a dangerous and important duty and they need modern ships for efficient operations.”

The Nation reports that the PM explained to the parliament that the Ministry’s existing fleet is more than 60 years old and most of the ships require urgent repair or replacement.

“All our neighbouring countries have modern ships, and Thailand needs to keep up with the changing world to maintain our negotiating powers, as well as show our potential and capability to protect our resources, especially around naval borders.”

“The Ministry of Defence is trying its best to reduce costs, such as by using smaller ships or even trying to build the ships domestically. However, we cannot let up on naval patrol. As you can see from skirmishes with illegal, unreported and unregulated foreign fishing boats, we need to protect our people and resources as well as prevent matters that might escalate into bigger conflicts.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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Thailand

Points deduction system for drivers to be introduced mid-December

The Thaiger

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Points deduction system for drivers to be introduced mid-December | The Thaiger

The point deduction system, for traffic and road infringements, is tentatively scheduled for activation for motorists and motorcyclists in mid-December. It is hoped that the system will help reduce road fatalities and injuries on Thai roads.

The deputy commander of Highways Police Command says that every licensed driver will be given an allocation of 12 points. Each time the driver commits a traffic law violation, points will be deducted. When there are no points left, the driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days, after which the driver or motorcyclist will have to undergo training administered by the Land Transport Department to get their licence back, and another 12 points.

Those who don’t attend the training, however, will have their licence returned after 90 days, but with only 8 points.

Points to be deducted differ, depending on the offence. Offences are divided into four categories:

• One point deduction

Using a cell-phone while driving; exceeding the speed limit; not wearing crash helmets for motorcyclists; not wearing seat belts; not giving way to emergency vehicles, riding on the sidewalk and not stopping for pedestrians on zebra crossings.

• Two points deduction

Running a red light; driving on the wrong side of the road; reckless driving; driving while his/her license is suspended and drunk driving.

• Three points deduction

Organising or promoting street racing without permission; hit-and run; driving while under the influence of narcotics; driving while under the influence of alcohol exceeding 150mg per ml.

• Four points deduction

Driving under the influence of alcohol exceeding 200mg per ml, drunk driving in a way which may cause serious injuries or death to the other people; driving in a manner disregarding the safety of the other people or causing trouble to other people.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Economy

Opposition hits out at government’s military spending in 2020 budget

May Taylor

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Opposition hits out at government’s military spending in 2020 budget | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Reuters | The Business Times

The opposition is accusing the government of being more concerned with military arms than the daily struggles of Thai citizens. During a debate in Parliament on the budget bill, the government was accused of caring more about the growth in military spending than citizens’ financial woes.

The opposition levied the attack after PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha delivered the 3.2 trillion baht bill to the House of Representatives. The debate on the 2020 budget is expected to continue for two more days and if approved by Parliament, the bill will come into force early next year.

The PM says the budget aligns with the “20 year strategy” to improve the living standards of the nation’s citizens while growing the economy, but opponents accuse him of making defence spending a priority.

The leader of the opposition, Sompong Amornvivat, claims that in the five years the PM has been in power, total spending has hit 14.3 trillion baht, with loans of 2.2 trillion baht, without any significant growth in the economy. He accuses the government of spending more than 6 billion baht on defence, with the Interior Ministry getting 25 billion baht more than last year.

It’s also understood that the government has also put 518.8 billion baht aside, which it can spend as it wishes, without the consent of Parliament.

The government’s tourism stimulus plan, whereby domestic tourists would be given cash incentives, also came under fire as Sompong declared it a waste of money that would do nothing to boost productivity.

The subject of the PM’s oath-taking fiasco reared its head again, as the leader of the Seree Ruam Thai Party, Pol General Sereepisut Temiyavej declared the PM and his government unfit to rule or propose a budget bill as a result of it.

Anudit Nakorntab from the Pheu Thai party said the government should postpone unnecessary spending on military arms while the country’s citizens battle economic hardship, accusing the previous junta-led administration of also prioritising the military in its spending.

SOURCE: The Nation

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