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Korat shooter video goes viral

Jack Burton

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Korat shooter video goes viral | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Kannikar Copland, the mother of Metha Lertsiri, holds his picture during his funeral in Udon Thani on Tuesday - Yuttapong Kumnodnae, Bangkok Post
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A video, purportedly showing the soldier in last weekend’s mass shooting killing an army private before taking guns and ammunition from an armoury, has gone viral today. It comes after a week of editorials and public condemnation of the behaviour of netizens and media who shared gruesome images of the slaughter.

The three minute clip, the authenticity of which has not been confirmed, was reportedly obtained from rescue workers in in Nakhon Ratchasima. The shooter himself streamed much of the massacre as it happened. The Thaiger chooses not to share any of the video or stills.

The video appears to be a compilation. The first clip, which is without sound, shows a man resembling the gunman, Jakrapanth Thomma, armed with a shotgun and walking to the armoury of the Surathampitham military base. He can be seen talking to 23 year old Private Metha Lertsiri, who was guarding the site last Saturday afternoon when the massacre began. Metha walks into a nearby room and the soldier fires two shots into his back. The private falls to the ground. The soldier then fires shots at the lock of the door to the next room and opens it.

Metha was Jakrapanth’s fourth victim. He had already shot three people dead nearby before taking several weapons and ammunition from the armoury and beginning the rampage that cost the lives of another 25 people.

The second clip shows the cordoned-off scene at Wat Pa Sattharuam monastery and some of the spots where nine people were gunned down

News reports at the time said that after Jakrapanth took the guns, he stole a Humvee, but the army insists it was just a modified truck. He then went to the monastery and began randomly shooting passers-by, killing nine before driving to Terminal 21 shopping mall in downtown Nakhon Ratchasima.

The third video clip was taken in front of the mall at night. Gunfire can be heard from inside and rescue workers are seen carrying a woman and escorting a man to get medical help. Volleys of gunfire rang out before dawn on Sunday, hours before forces entered the ground floor of the mall where the gunman had holed up. Police commandos shot him dead around 9am, ending the rampage that lasted more than 17 hours.

The death of the Private Metha, a single father, left his four-year-old son orphaned. The army yesterday posthumously promoted him to the rank of sergeant for his dedication to duty.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Thailand

Rare sighting of an endangered clouded leopard at Isaan mountain range

Caitlin Ashworth

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Rare sighting of an endangered clouded leopard at Isaan mountain range | The Thaiger
Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation

An endangered clouded leopard was spotted at a mountain range in the Isaan province Si Sa Ket. The rare sighting, captured using a camera trap, was the first time in about 20 years the wildcat has been seen in the Phnom Dongrak mountain range which borders Cambodia.

Since the park rangers stepped up patrol against poaching and made efforts to increase food and water sources, more small predators like foxes, dholes and leopard cats have been returning to the area, according to director of a local conservation office Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn.

“Today in the Phanom Dong Rak Wildlife Sanctuary there is a clouded leopard, which is a medium sized predator.”

Camera traps were set up by local conservation officials from November 1 to 24, capturing footage of the rare clouded leopard. The cameras also filmed hog deer, Asiatic wild dogs, a Malaysian night heron and a leopard.

The clouded leopard is classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The organisation says the leopard is hunted for the illegal wildlife, adding that the leopard skins have been seen in market surveys along with bones used for medicines and meat for exotic dishes.

Clouded Leopard exploitation for pelts are well documented in several countries, including the infamous Tachilek market along the Thai–Myanmar border. The frequency of Clouded Leopard parts available at market indicates increased pressure from hunting…However, the trade of cat parts from Myanmar into Thailand has diminished and reaffirms the role of China in the trade of cats out of Myanmar.

Sightings of the clouded leopard have also been reported at the Kaeng Krachan National Park, Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, Khao Sok National Park and Khao Yai National Park.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | IUCN| Thai PBS

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Transport

State Railway officials sign 5 high-speed rail contracts as part of project linking Thailand and China

Maya Taylor

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State Railway officials sign 5 high-speed rail contracts as part of project linking Thailand and China | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wei Kakurai / Wikimedia

Officials from the State Railway of Thailand have signed 5 high-speed rail contracts worth more than 40 billion baht, in the latest development in the Thailand – China rail connection. It’s understood the contracts cover phase 1 of the railway, from Bangkok to the north-eastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat).

It’s hoped that section will carry its first passengers in 2023 and that the line will eventually reach further north, to Nong Khai, and from there, link with a rail connection connecting Laos and China. The high-speed trains will run at speeds up to 250 kilometres an hour.

Nation Thailand reports that the contract signing took place at the Transport Ministry, between SRT governor Nirut Maneephan and the 5 contractors, Nawarat Patanakarn, Thai Engineer Industry, Italian – Thai Development, SPTK Joint Venture, and Civil Engineering. In total, the project will involve over 100 kilometres of railway, with a budget of 40.275 billion baht. The first phase of construction involves 14 contracts, with work under the first one completed and ongoing under the second.

Nirut say the 5 new contractors are expected to take delivery of the land in early 2021, with the 7 remaining contracts being signed next year.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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North East

Monk dies after jumping in front of speeding train in north-east Thailand

Maya Taylor

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Monk dies after jumping in front of speeding train in north-east Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.one31.net

A monk has died after jumping on to rail tracks and into the path of an approaching train in the north-eastern province of Si Sa Ket, near the Cambodian border. The incident occurred at a provincial train station in front of horrified witnesses at around 10.30am yesterday.

According to a Nation Thailand report, police say the 55 year old’s body was dismembered in the incident. Witnesses report that he jumped onto the tracks and stood with his arms open, in the path of an oncoming train. They say there was no time to save him. Police have launched an investigation to determine the motive behind the monk’s suicide.

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: Nation Thailand

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