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Thailand News: Lese Majeste upheld; Thailand slammed over Rohingya; DSI seeks to arrest 58 protest leaders

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Thailand News: Lese Majeste upheld; Thailand slammed over Rohingya; DSI seeks to arrest 58 protest leaders | The Thaiger
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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Appeals Court upholds lese majeste sentence
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The Appeals Court yesterday upheld a two-year lese majeste prison sentence against Jeng Dokjik for his speech during a red-shirt rally on March 29, 2010.

The court said the sentence would not be suspended for Yossawaris Chuklom, alias Jeng Dokchik, a former adviser to a minister and a leading member of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).

The court agreed with the lower court’s ruling on January 17, 2013, that part of his speech made from the UDD rally stage violated Section 112 of the Criminal Code and Articles 2, 8 and 12 of the Constitution.

After the court’s verdict, Yossawaris was remanded to Bangkok Special Prison pending the Supreme Court’s consideration of his request for temporary release, expected early next week.

Thailand slammed over Rohingya
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Lawmakers in the United States have urged the administration of President Barack Obama to punish Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia for not doing enough to fight human trafficking, accusing Thai officials of selling Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar to traffickers.

Republican Representative Chris Smith called on the administration to downgrade Thailand and Malaysia unless the authorities in these countries showed progress on the protection of the Rohingya refugees.

Thailand and Malaysia are transit places for Rohingya migrants who flee from harsh persecution in Myanmar, he told a House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on tier rankings and the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report on Tuesday.

“According to reports put out by Reuters, Thai authorities are selling Rohingya to human traffickers, where they are held in ‘tropical gulags’ until relatives pay ransom,” Smith said.

Those who do not pay are sold into sex slavery or hard labour and many die from abuse or disease, he said.

Thai authorities did little to prevent this situation, he said, adding that the Rohingya migrants are always sent to Malaysia, where they are also exploited as workers.

Myanmar is the source of the refugee problem because of its policies of discrimination, harsh persecution and violence, which force Rohingya to leave the country as boat people, he said.

In the report, “Tier 1” countries are those meeting anti-trafficking standards. “Tier 2” do not but are making a significant effort to do so. “Tier 3” countries do not meet the standards and do not make significant efforts to do so.

Tier 3 countries are open to sanction by the US government. A US law also includes a watch list, in which countries on Tier 2 for two years are downgraded to Tier 3 unless they receive presidential waivers, available for two additional years.

Thailand is on the Tier 2 watch list.

Mark Lagon, a professor of international affairs at Georgetown University, said in his testimony on Tuesday that Thailand was on the cusp of an automatic downgrade to Tier 3.

“Public unrest and shaky rule of law in the last year are no pretext for not telling it like it is in the TIP 2014 report,” he said.

DSI seeks indictment of 58 protest leaders
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Tarit Pengdith yesterday approached the director-general of the Office of Special Cases to indict 58 People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) leaders on eight grave charges – including sedition, insurrection, instigating chaos, trespassing, and violating election laws.

Tarit submitted 217 files comprising 57,514 pages of documents as evidence against PDRC chief Suthep Thaugsuban and the other 57.

The other charges are conspiring with more than 10 people to stage armed protests, resisting police orders, encouraging work stoppages to coerce the government, blocking election officials at polling stations from carrying out their duty, and preventing and disrupting the work of the Election Commission.

They are alleged to be in violation of Articles 113, 114, 116, 117, 215, 216, 365 of the Criminal Code and the Election of MPs and Acquisition Senators Act.

Ready to submit evidence

The evidence was given to Special Case Office director-general Nanthasak Poonsuk.

The DSI will submit evidence against seven other PDRC leaders including Democrats Ongard Klampaiboon and Boonyod Sukthinthai, who face the same charges, next week.

Nanthasak said a team of seven prosecutor would work together to decide on the cases.

The indictment will be classified into types of wrongdoing and not one decision against all 58 suspects.

While most of 58 suspects are at large, Sonthiyan Chuenruthainaitham and Sakoltee Phattiyakul were arrested.

Nanthasak said prosecutors would try to reach a decision before the detention deadline. Sonthiyan is scheduled to be released on May 10.

Govt ignores Abhisit’s reform offer
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The government and the ruling Pheu Thai Party yesterday gave the cold shoulder to an offer from Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva that would see him take a political break if his proposal to get the country out of the political crisis is accepted by all the parties involved.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said she was looking forward to seeing details of Abhisit’s proposal, which is supposed to be unveiled tomorrow.

“I hope that Abhisit and the Democrat Party will not set any conditions,” she said. “I believe that society is waiting patiently for the problems to be over. We are trying to find common ground, as Abhisit has said, so that we can move forward.”

Abhisit, Yingluck’s predecessor as prime minister, said yesterday that he would by tomorrow unveil his proposal, the result of his recent meetings with key political players.

“If all the parties involved accept my proposal, I will not contest the next election and will not assume any political position,” he said. “This is to make sure that I will not derive any benefits if my proposal is implemented.

“I will just be an ordinary citizen who supports a reform that will be carried out in line with my proposal.”

Abhisit served as the opposition leader before the dissolution of the House of Representatives in December.

Pheu Thai secretary-general Phumtham Vechayachai said he was more interested in Abhisit’s proposal than whether he would or would not contest the next election.

“It’s no problem if Abhisit runs in the election or not,” Phumtham said. “It’s more important whether Abhisit’s proposal will benefit the country.

“If his proposal really offers a way out for the country, it’s no problem if Abhisit contests [the election] or does not.”

Deputy Pheu Thai spokesman Anusorn Eamsa-ard said he viewed Abhisit’s offer to skip the election as a ploy by the Democrat Party to pressure Pheu Thai to sk

— 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.

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News of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking

The Thaiger & The Nation

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News of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking | The Thaiger

After news hit of an American being arrested and sued for defamation over leaving a bad review about a Koh Chang hotel on TripAdvisor, many are taking to the internet to voice their opinions on the issue. The Sea View Resort owners say it tried in vain to negotiated with Wesley Barnes after he posted the reviews, but he continued to post completely untrue comments.

The owners released a five-page statement after the news of it suing the American gained widespread attention. You can read their response HERE. Then, Barnes submitted his own response detailing the situation which was also published online.

News of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking | News by The ThaigerNews of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking | News by The Thaiger

Now, the story has gained even more attention as netizens have begun posting their opinions on the controversial issue of Thailand’s defamation laws. Below, are some of those posts on The Thaiger’s Facebook page.

“Can someone clarify for me Thailand’s position on people leaving honest bad reviews as my girlfriend says it’s fine to leave a bad review of a business and it’s not defamation if honest of course? I have heard people say that you simply can’t leave bad honest reviews at all here but that sounds ridiculous. The thing about many Thais is that they think they’re beyond reproach. They can’t accept criticism because it’s not aligned with their grandiose self-image. Many also have a torrid time when it comes to ownership of their own actions and decision making.”

“OMG! He is arrested for a review.?! I know of an expat in Malaysia that wrote a bad review about a Thai-owned resort in Penang and he was sued as well. Be careful with what you share in that neck of the woods.”

“It’s one thing to leave a bad review but to throw in “modern slavery” remarks escalates to thai defamation law. He shouldn’t be arrested for his comments but you need to respect the country laws no matter how crazy they seem compared to your own country. This press is going to negatively affect the business way more than that review would have done though.”

“The owner should have settled with the review platforms privately and move on. I would hardly hold up Trip Advisor as a beacon of truth, however some people write extremely personal and vindictive comments that go beyond a review, in an attempt to gain product or refunds in return, this is an absolute fact, and hopefully this might make people think before they start writing reviews that are not exactly honest, I have read stories critical of the General Managers because they didn’t contact the guests, some really petty reviews by rather petty people.”

If Barnes is indeed found to be guilty of defamation, he could spend up to 2 years in prison and pay up to a 200,000 baht fine.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC

The Thaiger

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Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | The Thaiger

The upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night event in Abu Dhabi will feature Thailand’s only national marking her third fight with the UFC, the world’s largest mixed martial arts competition. 24 year old Loma Lookboonme, from Burirram in northeastern Thailand, will fight in the event on October 3, 2020.

Loma is a Muay Thai fighter who has adapted her MMA skills to fight in the UFC where she currently trains at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket. Loma qualified for the national team at the age of 19 and has fought in over 12 nations worldwide. She currently trains 6 days a week starting daily at 6:30am with a 3 kilometre run. In the UFC, she will be competing against China’s Angela Lee who is the undisputed champion of the 52 kilogram fist weight category.

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | News by The Thaiger

Loma’s parents are former Muay Thai fighters and her 2 sisters currently compete as well. She reportedly started training at 8 years old after being inspired by her father, whom she describes as her “hero.”

Like most Thais in such fighting sports, Muay Thai offers a way to rise out of poverty-and fighting for the UFC can be financially lucrative. But Loma says her only Thai sponsor is the gym where she trains, with the rest of her sponsors being from foreign brands. She says she is trying to get more Thai sponsors but feels that maybe she needs to win the UFC first before Thai brands notice her.

Loma lost her last fight and says her new opponent gives her nothing to lose. She says her goal is to get into the Top 10, but is not sure when it will happen. Loma says for now, it would be good to fight against someone in the Top 10 to help her prepare for her future.

FULL INTERVIEW: Thisrupt.co

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