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Village chief’s son to face DNA tests for Koh Tao murders

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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Village chief’s son to face DNA tests for Koh Tao murders
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Police will today make arrangements for a Koh Tao village headman’s 22-year-old son to undergo DNA tests to either confirm or clear lingering doubts that he may have had a hand in the killing of the two British tourists on the island last month.

Police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri said yesterday that once the DNA test is complete, National Police chief General Somyot Poompanmoung, British Ambas-sador Mark Kent as well as representatives from the Institute of Forensic Medicine, would hold a press conference on the case.

“The DNA test will be conducted at 10am on October 30 [today],” Prawut said.

Mid last month, two British tourists were brutally murdered on Koh Tao off Surat Thani province. The murders made headlines both locally and internationally.

Police have arrested two Myanmar workers for the crimes, citing DNA matches and their confession. However, the workers are calling for help saying they were forced into confessing to crimes they did not commit.

Speculation on social-media, meanwhile, has been pointing the finger at 22-year-old university student Warot Tuwichien. He is the son of Woraphan Tuwichien, the village head of Moo 1 of Tambon Koh Tao and the owner of a bar on the island.

“I am ready to have my son undergo the DNA test to prove his innocence. It’s also for the sake of the nation,” Woraphan said yesterday. Both Myanmar and British embassies have now stepped in to look into the case as it involves citizens from their countries.

Britain has also dispatched members of its police force to Thailand to work on the case.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said yesterday that the British team was satisfied with the investigation on the Thai side. “It’s better than the team had expected,” Prayut said.

In a related development, the Myanmar ambassador to Thailand escorted the parents of the two Myanmar suspects to the Lawyers’ Council of Thailand yesterday, where the parents officially asked for help.

At the meeting, the council’s president Dej-Udom Krairit promised that he would lead a panel on the case himself.

“We are waiting to see the police investigation report. Then, we will plan how to fight the charges,” he explained.

The suspects’ parents plan to remain in the Kingdom until the case is cleared.

The National Human Rights Commission, meanwhile, has summoned the police to answer allegations that they tortured the two Myanmar suspects into confessing. Police are scheduled to answer to the commission’s summons on Monday.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Thailand

‘Safe zone’ in Thailand for refugees fleeing Myanmar violence

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Karen Information Centre

Due to the ongoing violence between the Myanmar military and ethnic troops, the Thai military has set up a “safe zone” for thousands of refugees in Mae Hong Son near the Salween River, the natural border between Thailand and Myanmar.

The prominent armed wing of the Karen National Union has openly supported the anti-coup movement in Myanmar, leading to clashes with the military junta. Recently, the Karen National Liberation Army reported took over a military outpost near the Thai border. Those just across the Salween River in Thailand said they could hear the gunshots and explosions.

Defence Ministry spokesperson Kongcheep Tantravanich says shelter and humanitarian assistance are being provided for around 2,200 people who have fled Myanmar.

Kongcheep says the “safe zone” is under tight security and only those authorised can enter. There are strict health and disease control measures are in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

His statement comes after the local civil rights group People of Salween River Basin Network called on the Thai government not to push refugees back, claiming that Thai soldiers had been ordered to tell the refugees to return to their home country due to a potential negative impact with border trade.

They say the Myanmar military has been carrying out airstrikes on Karen army bases and many Karen villagers fear for their safety.

Mae Hong Son governor, Sitthichai Jindaluang, also told a United Nations representative last week that refugees have been given shelter and assistance.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ศูนย์ข้อมูล COVID-19

1,630 new Covid-19 cases and 22 coronavirus-related deaths were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. There are now 29,376 active Covid-19 cases. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported 85,005 Covid-19 cases and 421 Covid-related deaths.

Out of the 22 deaths, most of the patients had chronic illnesses. Many contracted the virus from family members or close friends.

Most of the new cases were detected in Bangkok, particularly in districts with crowded communities and markets. While cases in Bangkok continue to be high, CCSA spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun says the number of new cases in most other provinces in Thailand is decreasing.

Health officials are rolling out proactive case finding campaigns in several high-risk communities, testing 9,000 to 10,000 per day, Nopakun says, adding that officials are working to provide the appropriate treatment as quickly as possible.

Those who test positive for Covid-19 and are asymptomatic must stay at an official field hospital for 14 days and then self-isolate at home for another 14 days.

Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

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Thailand

Thailand donates cash, equipment to Laos to help combat Covid-19 outbreak

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Royal Thai Embassy Vientiane

With Laos, just north of Thailand, under lockdown measures to control a spike of Covid-19 infections, the Royal Thai Embassy to Laos helping the country combat the outbreak and has donated cash and materials valued altogether at more than 16 million baht.

While cases have remained low in Laos since the start of the pandemic last year with active cases typically under 10, there was a spike in cases in mid-April and active cases are now at 1,302. The country reported its first coronavirus-related death yesterday.

Thailand donates cash, equipment to Laos to help combat Covid-19 outbreak | News by Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Laos as of 9 May 2021, according to Worldometers.

Donations from Thailand help supply mobile biosafety labs to conduct swab Covid-19 testing and beds for Covid-19 patients as well as protective equipment such including 50,000 medical masks and more than 2,000 Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, outfits.

An order of supplies valued at 8.5 million baht is set to be delivered by the end of the month. That order will have 2,000 more PPE outfits, Covid-19 test equipment, DNA/RNA extraction kits, and 2,500 test kits. Other equipment provided by Thailand include a defibrillator, patient monitoring machine, infrared thermometers, oxygen regulators, and pulse oximeters.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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