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Family demands investigation after conscript found dead at army base

Caitlin Ashworth

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Family demands investigation after conscript found dead at army base | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand
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The family of a young conscript that was found dead, hanging in a military base bathroom, is demanding an investigation claiming the 22 year old army private was physically assaulted during his training and he had no motive to commit suicide.

Pichawat Wiangnon was found hanged to death at Military Circle in northeastern province Roi Et. Officers at the base said Pichawat used a rope to hang himself in the bathroom, according to Thai media.

An initial autopsy reported no internal injuries. The family was not allowed to see the body and does not believe suicide is the cause of death. The body was sent to a facility in Bangkok for a second autopsy.

Army chief Narongphan Jitkaewtae says the army will not protect wrongdoers and officers found guilty in a criminal investigation will face legal action.

“The army cannot deny responsibility when someone was found hanged in its jurisdiction. Those in charge will face disciplinary action.”

Prior to his death, Pichawat had failed to show up work and army officers found him in his hometown. He was “punished according to regulations” which involved public service tasks like farming, according to army deputy spokesperson Sirichan Ngathong.

Pichawat fled the base again. The army private’s mother, 47 year old Nooklai Boonwiset, said the atmosphere at the camp was hostile with numerous hazing incidents and her son feared for his life.

“He told me on the phone that he was pinned to the floor while his hair cut and hit in the back. Chili and salt were put on his back.”

She added that Pichawat had tuberculosis and would easily get exhausted. A doctor had even recommended Pichawat take a 6 month leave.

Army officers demanded Pichawat return to the base. The family complied with the military’s orders and brought Pichawat back to the base. The next day he was found dead.

Another conscript was recently reported dead. Sataporn Piadpad died while in a punishment cell at a military base in the Northeastern province of Phetchabun. While there have been rumours that the army private was beaten to death, the mother says her son died from heart failure. She says she will press charges on the Facebook user who spread the lies.

There is a long history of mysterious deaths and systemic hazing of conscripts whilst under the care of the Thai military. Read HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HEREand HERE for more stories about beatings and mystery deaths of trainees.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Bangkok Post

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

North East

Go looking for mushrooms, find 10 grenades – NE Thailand

The Thaiger

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Go looking for mushrooms, find 10 grenades – NE Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Nation

You’re just walking along, casually foraging for mushrooms when, behold, you come across 10 grenades! 10 LIVE grenades. That was the surprise awaiting a local mushroom picker in Si Sa Ket, North East Thailand, at the Huai Sala Wildlife Sanctuary.

58 year old Supin Thammaporn, was gathering mushrooms around the park when he found the unlikely cache of grenades. Military officials later confirmed all 10 were live. Supin immediately called local Army officials who sent out bomb disposal experts to the sanctuary to check the grenades.

It was not immediately obvious to Army officials on how the grenades had come to be left in the remote part of the sanctuary or who they had belonged to. Officials from the Phu Sing district have already started an investigation to determine if they were being stored in the sanctuary or left from some prior conflict or training exercise.

Supin, the mushroom collector, said he was happy nobody got injured from the grenades. Army officials commended the man for reporting the grenades. The 10 live weapons were removed and disposed of by the bomb disposal team.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Thailand

Isaan woman saves her husband from elephant attack

Caitlin Ashworth

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Isaan woman saves her husband from elephant attack | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

A woman saved her husband from a wild elephant attack by screaming and banging objects together, driving the elephant away with the loud noises. 33 year old Supat Klonsalab, a rubber tapper in the Isaan province Bueng Kan, is being treated at a local hospital. Luckily, his injuries from being stomped by the elephant are not severe.

37 year old Primanee Chairat says the elephant in the area caught her and her husband off guard, adding that wild elephants don’t typically roam in the area.

Chief of the nearby Phu Wua Wildlife Sanctuary, Taweep Khamphaengmuang, says elephants sometimes wander out of the sanctuary looking for food. He offered some money to cover Supat’s medical bill as well as some gifts.

To ward off elephants, Taweep recommends that locals place bright lights around the perimeter of their property and to burn chili peppers.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thailand

Tigers and tiger body parts seized from Thai zoo investigated for alleged wildlife smuggling

Caitlin Ashworth

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Tigers and tiger body parts seized from Thai zoo investigated for alleged wildlife smuggling | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Esan Daily Online

In a crackdown on suspected wildlife trafficking, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation seized 5 tigers from a private zoo in the Isaan province Mukdahan. DNA tests confirmed that at least 3 of the 5 tiger cubs are not related to the tigers in the Mudka Tiger Park & Farm, leading officials to believe the wildcats were smuggled in, according to DNP director general Prakit Wongsriwattanakul.

Thai media reports say that some of the tigers seized were not alive and photos of a severed tiger head apparently have been posted by various Thai news websites.

Apparently, this isn’t the first time the Mukda Tiger Park & Farm has been investigated. In January 2018, DNP officials seized protected species from the park including red pandas, grey-shanked douc monkeys and elongated tortoises.

Officials are conducting DNA tests on another 20 tigers and the results will be released by the end of the month. If found guilty of wildlife smuggling, the park owner could face up to 5 years in prison.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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