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Thailand News Today | Coconut Business, Weekend protests, Pork dressed as Beef | November 13

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Thailand News Today for the last day of a busy week. Protests and the opening of the Blue Line will hold up traffic over the weekend. See you on Monday.

US grocers cut ties with Thai coconut milk company after PETA reveals monkey labour

Thailand’s coconut milk industry is under the spotlight again after PETA lobbies US grocers to boycott the products over alleged mistreatment of monkeys used in the collection of the coconuts.

Grocery stores throughout the US are cutting ties with the Thai coconut milk company Chaokoh and other Thailand coconut product suppliers following an investigation by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals into monkey labour at Thailand coconut farms.

PETA Asia claims the macaque monkeys are “snatched from the wild” and treated like “coconut picking machines.”

Costco, Wegmans, Walgreens, Food Lion, Giant Food and Stop & Shop have stopped selling coconut products from Thai suppliers that use monkeys to gather coconuts.

In the United Kingdom, the chains Waitrose, Ocado, Co-op and Boots announced earlier this year that they would stop selling some coconut products over the same issue.

But Thai farmers have hit back with videos showing how the monkeys are trained and treated and invited any of the grocery representatives to come and inspect their coconut farms and training schools for the monkeys.

Drugs bust in eastern Thailand nets 11 tonnes of ketamine, worth 29 billion baht

Police in eastern Thailand have confiscated over 11 tonnes of ketamine, thought to be worth around 29 billion baht, from a warehouse in Chachoengsao province.

The haul was made up of 457 bags, each containing 25 kilos of the illicit drug. Officers had expanded their investigation after 300 kilos of ketamine seized in Taiwan was found to have come from Thailand.

The head of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau says the size of the haul would indicate the drug was destined for overseas distribution, adding that officials will liaise with their international counterparts as part of the investigation.

“The drug is not popular in Thailand, and is mostly sold abroad, including Europe, Australia, Taiwan, Japan and Korea.”

Ketamine is mostly used as an anaesthetic or for sedation during medical procedures and in veterinary fields.

Chon Buri royalists, pro-government groups, gather to show support for the Monarchy

Thousands of royalist supporters and pro-government factions have come together in Chon Buri to show their support for the Thai Monarchy.

The governor of Chon Buri was also in attendance, taking delivery of a message of support from members of the rally. He said the message will be delivered to the palace so that the Royal Family can acknowledge the loyalty of Chon Buri residents and those from nearby provinces.

Participants held up pictures of Their Majesties, the King and Queen of Thailand, as well as portraits of His Majesty, the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. They waved Royal and Thai flags, chanting, “Long Live the King”, as they marched to Chon Buri City Hall.

Student protesters to repeat calls for PM’s resignation at Bangkok rally tomorrow

Meanwhile the “Bad Students” protest group is holding a rally tomorrow in Bangkok, another one of the groups rallying since August calling for the PMs resignation, and government and constitutional reform.

The pro-democracy activists will assemble outside the Ministry of Education building, before marching to the Democracy Monument.

The group says tomorrow’s event is a precursor to a much larger protest planned for November 21.

The students say the Education Minister has not taken any action to resolve ongoing issues within Thailand’s education system, including the alleged physical abuse and sexual harassment of students by school authorities, or listened to their views about reform to the Thai education system.

Union demands end to use of city buses to block protesters

And whilst on the ongoing protests, the city bus workers union is demanding an end to the use of BMA buses to block the path of protest marchers, saying the agency is being wrongfully dragged into the political conflict.

The State Enterprise Workers Union is demanding that no more city buses should be used by police as blockades to halt the progress of protest marchers.

The union also staunchly opposed a move by the Metropolitan Police Bureau and BMTA to bring claims against the protesters for damage to buses used as barriers.

Pork dyed with pig blood sold as expensive beef in Bangkok

Eaten at a barbecue restaurant in Bangkok? There’s a chance the beef you were eating was actually pork.

Apparently, local meat suppliers have been dyeing pork in pig blood to give it that red meat colour and selling it off to Bangkok eateries as expensive beef. Thailand’s Department of Livestock says meat and cattle carcasses were seized from a home in Nakhon Pathom last month and recent tests show that more than 100 kilograms of the “beef” they were selling was actually pork.

The faux beef was also being sold online. The department is now warning local barbeque restaurants to watch out for the fake beef.

Trains offline during Royal opening of Blue Line Saturday

Two MRT stations are offline on Saturday from 6am, and part of the route later in the day, for the official opening of an extension to the Blue MRT Line by His Majesty the King.

Sam Yot and Sanam Chai stations will be shut from 6am, and the line between Sam Yot and the terminal station at Lak Song, will be closed from 4pm.

The two stations and the closed section will be reopened after the ceremony.

His Majesty the King and the Queen will officially open the new Blue Line extension, at Sanam Chai station at 5pm.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Khun plastic

    November 13, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    If those monkeys were not up the trees grabbing the nuts they would present a very real safety hazard to passersby or somchai having a snooze at the base of the tree, especially when it’s a bit breezy.

    What would they prefer,send children up on a bit of string to do this essential safety work!

    The locals have found an environmentally friendly and sustainable way to deal with this potentialy dangerous situation and also as a bonus a source of mixer for my rum.

    All the monkeys I have seen shooting up the trees look to be very well cared for to me and I suspect enjoy the exercise and mental stimulation it provides.

    Would they prefer, they sit around bored doing nothing?

    I think the us based distributors are being a bunch of cheeky monkeys!

    • Avatar

      Robert Elliot

      November 15, 2020 at 12:09 am

      What?

  2. Avatar

    Dan

    November 16, 2020 at 2:55 am

    US and UK stores are full with products manufactured by workers in almost slave conditions. But animals are far more important to them.

    BTW, the trained monkies don’t feel mistreated. For them it’s like playing. Same like police dogs or race horses.

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Thai netizens say pro-government royalists carried out Wednesday’s protest shootings

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Thai netizens say pro-government royalists carried out Wednesday’s protest shootings | The Thaiger
Thailand’s netizens are refuting police’s claims that pro-democracy protesters carried out Wednesday’s rally shootings. The shootings occurred at the rally site near Bangkok’s Siam Commerical Bank head office, where the rally site was originally planned but was then moved after protesters tried to avoid a clash with pro-government royalists. However, shots were fired, with police arresting a suspect on charges of attempted murder, shooting in public without reason, and carrying a firearm in public.

The netizens found footage of the scene, in which they say they identified the faces of the offenders. The revelation came after Deputy Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner Piya Tawichai blamed Ratsadon guards for the shootings and injuries.

Meanwhile, the pro-democracy leaders have been called into questionby donors to the movement, as they have criticised how the leaders have used the donations, when a guard was shot and injured. Netizens took to social media to ask what “fairy godmother” Inthira “Sine” Charoenpura and Pakorn “Hia Bung” Pornchewangkurn were buying with the donation money with some online comments mentioning the display of yellow ducks and props as a poor use of donation funds. Some criticisers pointed towards using the donations to buy protective gear for protesters after the shootings occurred, prompting the 2 leaders to issue a statement that they would now use such funds for the injured guards.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thai protests to continue in full force into December in line with symbolic calendar events

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Thai protests to continue in full force into December in line with symbolic calendar events | The Thaiger

The pro-democracy protests are set to continue well into December, according to Thai security officials. Officials have been preparing to cope with a rise in anti-government activities as symbolic calendar events are coming up. Today the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration group says a protest will take place outside the 1st Infantry Battalion on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road in Phaya Thai District, giving credit to the predictions that there will no end in sight to the protests.

Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, a secretary to PM’s Office Minister Anucha Nakasai, made the announcement yesterday in light of the Constitutional Court being set to pass a ruling this Wednesday on whether PM Prayut is guilty of occupying a house that is meant for military officials.

Prayut is accused by the opposition of engaging in the conflict of interest by occupying the army residence. Such a move should have ended with his army chief tenure in 2014, according to critics.

Following the upcoming ruling on Wednesday, the symbolic calendar event of Constitution Day falls on December 10, a day which will ignite more protests as one of the main demands of pro-democracy demonstrators is to have a new Thai charter, along with the resignation of Prayut and reform of the Thai monarchy.

But despite the anticipated rise in rallies, security officials have ruled out the possibility of a military coup. Critics remain sceptical as many demonstrators claim the government has put police on the front lines of the protests, dressed in yellow shirts, in an attempt to spark a clash to pave the way for a coup. The current PM, when he was the head of the Thai Army in 2014, also said there would be “no coup” against the elected Yingluck Shinawatra government. A month later the NCPO led a bloodless coup and installed Prayut Chan-o-cha as the interim prime minister.

Piya Tawichai, the deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, says protesters yesterday gathered near the Imperial World Samrong shopping mall in Samut Prakan before marching to the Bang Na intersection to rally, partially blocking the road. According to Kissana Phathanacharoen, the deputy spokesman for the national police, the protesters did not obtain permission for staging the rally.

Some protesters also reportedly spray-painted traffic police kiosks with messages that criticised the police for “ditching the people,” and smashed kiosk windows. Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, a protest leader, posted on Facebook yesterday that she has been summoned for violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code, which bans anyone from criticising the King which states:

“Whoever defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years.”

Rung says she believes the summons is linked to the September 10 anti-government rally.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Chiang Rai

Ron Howard to direct cave rescue feature film ‘Thirteen Lives’ in Australia

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Ron Howard to direct cave rescue feature film ‘Thirteen Lives’ in Australia | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The entrance to the real Tham Luang cave near the Myanmar border in far north Thailand

The Australian Government is putting up A$13 million to Imagine Entertainment and film giant MGM to shoot a live-action feature film called Thirteen Lives, based on the Chiang Rai Tham Luang cave rescue story. The film will be shot in Queensland, Australia in the hinterland areas behind the Gold Coast.

The film will be directed by Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, The Da Vince Code, Cocoon, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Splash, Frost/Nixon), and start filming in March 2021. The state’s Gold Coast hinterland will double for Thailand with a similar hot, humid climate.

The Australian Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher MP, says the production ishould inject more than A$96 million into the Australian economy, “directly creating around 435 jobs for cast and crew”.

Thirteen Lives will tell the remarkable story of the effort by many volunteers, including Australians, to undertake an incredibly complex rescue. And I am proud to say that this story will be told here in Australia.”

“I understand this project will also undertake a significant amount of cutting-edge visual effects work here, a great opportunity for our local post, digital and visual effects companies.”

Thirteen Lives follows the true story of the 2018 Tham Laung cave rescue of the Mu Pa (Wild Boar) football team, trapped in a cave by heavy rain and flooding in Chiang Rai, far north Thailand. After the team was stuck for days with no supplies and falling oxygen levels, a group of diving and rescue experts from all over the world were called up to work together with their Thai counterparts to save the 13 young men. Among those experts were a group of divers from the United Kingdom and Australia.

The first major feature film about the rescue operation was The Cave, released in October 2019. The film was quite critical of the Thai red-tape which hampered much of the early rescue efforts.

Ron Howard has worked with plenty of Australians in the past.

“From Thirteen Lives to the animated projected I am directing with Animal Logic in Australia, I am excited about the opportunity to film and work in Australia and dramatically expand on that list of collaborators whose sensibilities and work ethic I have long admired and respected.”

Imagine Entertainment and MGM’s Thirteen Lives will be distributed by Universal Pictures International.

Watch a message from director Ron Howard HERE.

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