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Thailand News Today | More women accuse politician in major sex scandal

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3 more women have broken their silence, adding to claims of one of the largest sex scandals in Thailand involving a senior politician.

On Monday, another three women filed complaints with police against former Democrat deputy leader ปริญญ์ พานิชภักดิ์, for a total of eight women who have officially accused him of sexual misconduct.

Lawyer Sittra escorted the three women to file reports while telling reporters there are others who have yet to speak out. According to Sittra, one of the accusers is a 26-year-old woman who gave the lawyer an audio clip on Sunday, which has since been aired publicly. She claims Prinn raped her in 2020.

The lawyer said, “She claimed the suspect had offered money in exchange for her silence, but she has stopped receiving the money.”
Another accuser, Sittra said, is a 21-year-old woman who claims that Prinn molested her when she was an intern. The alleged attack happened in a car in 2019 when she was 17 years old. Another woman claims Prinn also molested her, but she has not consented to release the details of her ordeal to the public.

Sittra said that in addition to the three, there are another four women who were unavailable to join him on Monday to file their complaints. Most of the women say they were enticed to dine with Prinn before he allegedly attacked them. One woman even claims that Prinn drugged her. Meanwhile, another woman who is in the UK plans to present herself as a witness.

Monday’s allegations bring the number of women who have officially filed complaints to a total of eight. Three women had previously filed complaints with Lumphini police, with another one in Phetchaburi and one more in Chiang Mai. However, Thai media reports there’s already a higher number of accusers. Notably, Channel 3 has posted a report with the profiles of 14 alleged victims who have so far filed complaints with police against Prinn.

On Sunday, Bangkok’s South Criminal Court detained Prinn for three counts of sexual assault and harassment, before temporarily releasing him on bail, on the condition that he wouldn’t leave the country. Yesterday morning, Thai feminist groups banded together to stage a protest in front of Democrat party headquarters in Bangkok, in the wake of mounting allegations against the politician.

Regarding the first complaint from an unnamed 18-year-old woman, police say they’ve gathered enough evidence from a Bangkok hotel in Watthana district where the alleged attack took place. Accompanied by her mother, the young woman filed a report with police last week, opening the door for others to come out of the dark in what may be Thailand’s largest #MeToo case to date.

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Thai officials insist total traffic accidents, deaths during ‘7 Dangerous Days of Songkran’ were so bad

Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation — or DDPM — announced on Monday that the total traffic accidents and resulting deaths during last week’s “Seven Dangerous Days of Songkran” had actually reduced, compared to the average for the past three years, even though the number of deaths this year had increased.

According to a summary of the data from the DDPM, from April 11 to 17, there were 1,917 accidents, 1,869 injuries, and 278 deaths in total. The main causes of the accidents were speeding, at nearly 41%, and drunk driving, at nearly 22%. Motorbikes were the most frequent vehicle involved in the reported road accidents.

The director-general of the DDPM บุญธรรม เลิศสุขีเกษม said the statistics and information would be further analysed to prevent traffic accidents from occurring in the future, adding that the country’s goal was to decrease the death rate from traffic accidents to only 12 deaths per 100,000 people by 2027.

——-

Let’s keep it going with all the good news on Covid. A prominent Thai virologist has taken to Facebook to reassure people that the virus does not destroy the immune system the way HIV does.

According to Dr. Anan, the Covid-19 virus affects T-cells in a similar manner to HIV, but the outcomes of both scenarios are completely different.
The virologist from the National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology uses a study in the online journal, Nature, to illustrate his point. The study found that infected T-cells will destroy themselves, leading to a drop in the white blood cell count. In the same study, the Covid-19 virus was found to infect activated T-cells through a protein receptor.

However, the difference between Covid-19 and HIV is the lifespan of the infected cells. Covid-19 kills the T-cells, meaning very little of the virus can reproduce. In the case of HIV, the virus is able to use T-cells to help it to replicate.

The Dr concluded that “Since SARS-CoV-2 causes infected T-cells to die without multiplying and the RNA of the virus does not mix with the DNA of the host cell, SARS-CoV-2 cannot create acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS like HIV does.”

———
The leader of a rebel group in Thailand’s Deep South said the rebels will not engage in peace talks with the Thai government if the possibility of independence in Thailand’s southern border region is off the table. Under the framework of Thailand’s current constitution, the kingdom remains indivisible.

The group’s leader Kasturi Makhota made the announcement days after his rebel group the Patani United Liberation Organisation – or PULO – took responsibility for a double bomb attack in Pattani, which killed a fisherman and seriously injured bomb disposal officers. The attack broke the 40 day

Ramadan/Songkran ceasefire in the area was agreed upon by the Thai government and the Barisan Revolusi Nasional who are the most active rebel group in the conflict.

The situation highlights the discrepancy in the demands of rebel groups. Separatist groups have historically fought for the independence of the historical region of the Kingdom of Patani, which covers modern-day Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, and some parts of Songkhla province. However, the BRN is happy to negotiate with Thailand under the framework of the modern constitution under which division is not possible, suggesting the group’s hopes for the region may have changed.

Whereas Kasturi from PULO says the group “will not talk or negotiate under the framework of the Thai constitution because PULO wants freedom from Thailand”

Metabolism The Thai government says they informally talk to all rebel groups in the Deep South. However, two members of the Thai military said it was too soon to tell if PULO would be invited to the next round of peace talks held in Malaysia.

————

In a rare comment, the former leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, has called on the Burmese people to be united as stand trial and faces life in prison.

According to a Reuters report, the comments were confirmed by a source close to Suu Kyi’s legal proceedings. Suu Kyi, along with the democratically elected government, was ousted by a military coup on February 1 last year.

The former leader is now on trial, facing accusations of violating a state secrets law, multiple trumped-up corruption charges, and a raft of other offences. In total, the charges carry a combined maximum prison term of over 150 years. Reuters’ source says Suu Kyi is urging the Burmese people to be united and continue dialogue with one another…

According to the Reuters report, the anonymous source would not be drawn on why Suu Kyi is calling for unity but insists it is not a call to engage in talks with the Burmese junta. There has been no comment from the military on the matter.

The source reports that a verdict is expected next week in relation to a corruption charge that accuses Suu Kyi of accepting bribes of gold and cash. She has denied the charge. Last year, she was found guilty of several offences, in a trial that took place behind closed doors and was run by the military. Prior to the coup, she had faced international condemnation as a result of the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

After the military coup ousted Suu Kyi and her democratically-elected government, the United Nations and various rights groups have accused the junta of committing atrocities against the Burmese. The military refutes these allegations.

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