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“The worst type of child abuse” – Doctors call on ban for underage boxing

The Thaiger & The Nation

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“The worst type of child abuse” – Doctors call on ban for underage boxing | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Nation

by Pratch Rujivanarom

International paediatricians say getting children to box professionally is “the worst type of child abuse”, and is calling on Thai lawmakers to pass a law banning children under the age of 12 from the boxing ring in order to prevent them from suffering long-lasting brain injuries.

The 13th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion has revealed that unless the amendment banning children under 12 from participating in boxing matches becomes law soon, some 3 per cent of the new generation will grow up with learning disabilities.

As the new Boxing Bill continues to drag through the Thai Parliament, Dr Liviu Vedrasco, a program officer at the World Health Organisation (Thailand), said banning the sport among children below 12 was necessary because not only does it have a long-term impact on brain development, it is also a very serious case of child labour.

“Child boxing is totally unacceptable, as it is the worst form of child abuse and needs to end now,” Vedrasco stressed.

“These child boxers are encouraged by their parents and boxing camps to fight each other to earn money for their family and generate income for the camp. Gamblers also bet on them. This deplorable practice continues despite the fact that the sport damages the children’s still-developing brain and leaves them with incurable learning disabilities and other physical and mental health impacts for the rest of their lives.”

Hence, he said, the Boxing Bill needs to be passed as soon as possible so children can be protected from harm and not taken advantage of.

Dr Gary A Smith, a child health expert from Child Injury Prevention Alliance in the United States, also pointed out that many studies vividly verify that brain injuries from boxing lead to serious health-related consequences.

Dr Jiraporn Laothamatas, Ramathibodi Hospital’s Advanced Diagnostic Imaging Centre director and neuro-radiologist, explained that brain injuries sustained by children lowers their IQ and increases the risk of them suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s later in life.

“Remember that children are the future of our society. Imagine what will happen if 300,000 children, who are child boxers today, lose out on opportunities due to learning disabilities caused by brain damage at a very early age,” Jirapon said.

However, she said, since Thai boxing is a national sport and part of Thailand’s cultural heritage, children below the age of 12 should not be total banned from boxing.

Instead, she said, they could learn the sport using proper safety equipment, but not be allowed from actual boxing matches until they are old enough.

STORY: The Nation



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Election

Premchai verdict and prison sentence comes just 5 days before the election

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Premchai verdict and prison sentence comes just 5 days before the election | The Thaiger

Premchai Karnasutra, once listed among Thailand’s richest people, has been found guilty in a Kanchanaburi court of poaching protected animals, and sentenced to 16 months in jail.

Wildlife rangers arrested the 64 year old tycoon along with four other associates in the Thungyai Naresuan nature reserve, a world heritage site in Kanchanaburi in February last year.

The incident has caused public outrage in Thailand over the past year since the story came to life. Social media has been running strong with people expressing their scepticism that the country’s justice system would bring the 64 year old to justice, claiming the system often allows the rich and powerful to walk free.

The judge said Premchai, the president of construction giant Italian-Thai Development, was sentenced to a prison term for poaching protected animals and illegal possession of protected animal carcasses, and firearms offenses.

Wildlife rangers said they tracked down gunshots and followed the sound at the time only to find the carcasses of a black leopard, a barking deer and Kalij pheasants left behind.

The black leopard, listed as a vulnerable species, was found dissected and scalped.

The rangers, said they were offered bribes but turned them down. They also found two rifles, a double-barrelled shotgun, and ammunition by the campsite.

Apart from the social media outrage in the lead up to today’s verdict, graffiti depicting black leopards has also popped up around the country in a bid to pressure authorities to find Premchai guilty.

With the election only five days away the outcome of today’s verdict and sentencing was always likely to provide ammunition for undecided voters.

Premchai’s legal team have not announced an appeal of the sentence at this stage.

Kanchanaburi is Thailand’s far west on the Myanmar border.

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Premchai imprisoned for 16 months – Kanchanaburi

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Premchai imprisoned for 16 months – Kanchanaburi | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Premchai arrives for this morning’s verdict – Khaosod English

Premchai Karnasutra, the Thai construction tycoon, has been imprisoned for 16 months after the verdict on the long running case was announced in court this morning.

The Thong Pha Phum Provincial Court has sentenced Premchai to 16 months in prison for weapons-related charges and conspiring to poach wildlife. The court found him not guilty of poaching a black panther in the wildlife sanctuary.

Premchai, the boss of Italian-Thai Development, Yong Dodkhruea, Nathee Riamsaen and Thanee Thummat were charged by the Office of Public Prosecution Region 7 in April last year on six charges, acting through prosecutors in Thong Pha Phum.

The charges were filed after the four were arrested by park officials on February 4 of last year in the Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, in Thong Pha Phum, in possession of firearms and the carcasses of a rare black leopard and other protected animals.

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Six per cent of Thai university students have attempted suicide

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Six per cent of Thai university students have attempted suicide | The Thaiger

Recent research reveals a disturbing finding that over 6 per cent of university students have attempted suicide.

The study findings have been highlighted after several students killed themselves in recent weeks.

“From research on university students’ depression during the past three to four years, it can be concluded that 6.4 per cent of students turned suicidal and tried to take their own life,” said Asst Professor Dr Piyawan Visessuvanapoom, lecturer at the Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Education.

The studies were both in Thailand and overseas, she added.

According to the research, most student suicide attempts were in dormitories or homes.

The common triggers for the actions were quarrels with someone very close, learning problems and relationship issues.

“Health problems, anxiety, stress and poor ties with parents and friends contribute to depression,” Piyawan said.

“Given that half of university students’ lives were about studies, lecturers could play a role in preventing a descent into depression.”

“Lecturers should understand that students are diverse. When a group of students cannot do something, try to understand them and see how you can help.”

Asst Professor Dr Nattasuda Taephant, who heads the Centre for Psychological Wellness, explained that everyone becomes sad from time to time.

“But if sadness is prolonged, a person may sink into depression.”

Nattasuda said academic results that were below expectations, plus money problems, soured romantic ties or friendships, or the sudden loss of something important could upset students’ lives and drive them into depression.

“The depressed tend to view the world and their situation negatively. Their past experiences affect their interpretation of what they are facing,” she said.

She said those with depression tended to keep themselves away from others, lose interest in their studies and become suicidal.

“What the depressed want most is someone who agrees to listen and think for them. Lecturers, friends and family members can improve their emotional wellbeing,” she said.

She said parents in particular should avoid any suggestion that they do not accept their children’s mistakes.

In serious cases, he recommended that the depressed seek counselling from experts.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

SOURCE: The Nation

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