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

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.

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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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