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5 drown after passenger boat sinks in Uttradit’s Sirikit reservoir – UPDATE

Jack Burton

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5 drown after passenger boat sinks in Uttradit’s Sirikit reservoir – UPDATE | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Police question a witness after a passenger boat carrying 11 people capsized in the reservoir of Sirikit dam in Uttaradit on Monday morning. One passenger is dead and four are missing. - Boonnam Kerdkaew
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(UPDATE: 7:07am, the Thai-language daily Khao Sod now reports the number of drowned at 5)

One passenger has drowned and four others remain missing (presumed drowned) after their boat struck a submerged tree stump and capsized on Sirikit Dam in the northern province of Uttradit, near the border of Laos.

Rescue workers recovered five passengers and the boat’s skipper from the reservoir, but four remain missing. A woman’s body has been recovered.

Police say the boat was leaving Ban Huay Ta village in Tha Pla district, carrying the boat’s owner-operator, 10 passengers and a car, as well as agricultural materials. It was bound for Ban Tha Rua when it struck the stump, floating just below the surface, near the Koh Men and Koh Tao islands, about two kilometres from its destination.

The director of Phrae provincial marine office says the water level in the reservoir has dropped significantly over recent months and could have contributed to the captain losing his bearings.

SOURCES: The Bangkok Post | Thai PBS World

 

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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.

Drugs

Buri Ram province chosen as first site for medical marijuana harvesting

The Thaiger

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Buri Ram province chosen as first site for medical marijuana harvesting | The Thaiger

Thailand’s northeastern province of Buri Ram has been selected to be the first to harvest medical marijuana at home under a ministry-sanctioned pilot project. The community that has been selected by the Cannhealth Institute, is located near a hospital in the Isaan province and features 10 houses in the provinces Khu Muang district.

Each house would be allowed to grow 6 cannabis plants in its garden, with Dr Kitti Losuwanrak, the director of Cannhealth Institute, saying they need to use non-contaminated soil and water for harvesting because “we only accept quality, chemical-free cannabis”.

Kitti says the project is part of the aim to allow ordinary citizens to grow medical marijuana and is being led by the Minister of Public Health. However, the project still needs to jump through a few hoops to get government approval – one being from the Food and Drug Administration as growing marijuana is still illegal, despite it being for medical use.

“Villagers can grow cannabis in their homes, as all they need is sturdy fences.”

The Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, and leader of the Bhumjaithai Party, has always been a strong advocate of relation of rules related to cannabis and marijuana in Thailand. The Bhumjaitahi party’s votes are crucial to the government’s fragile coalition.

The community was selected because villagers showed the interest and ability to follow ministry rules, according to Bangkok Post. If approved, the north eastern province will become the first in the country where people can grow medical cannabis in their homes without getting into trouble.

“The Ministry of Public Health want to observe the feasibility of homegrown marijuana by using this pilot as a test case. If the outcome is encouraging, the ministry is going to expand the project to other provinces.”

The government approved the legalisation of medical cannabis at the end of 2018, but it is only approveable by the state. Now, the health ministry is lobbying to amend the narcotics law to allow people to grow. Kitti says if the test community is approved, it could start the process of growing by early 2021.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Drugs

9 arrests as police net huge drugs haul in 4 cases in north, north-east

Maya Taylor

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9 arrests as police net huge drugs haul in 4 cases in north, north-east | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Khaosod

Millions of methamphetamine pills, over 800 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, and over 700 kilograms of cannabis have been seized by police in 4 separate cases. The Narcotics Suppression Bureau confirmed the seizures, along with the arrests of 9 suspects, at its headquarters in Bangkok. The parade of police and the seized narcotics are a staple in Thai police PR.

The Bangkok Post reports that the first bust took place in the north-eastern province of Sakon Nakhon, when 19 year old Anupan Piemfah and 44 year old Monchai Pliennoi were arrested at a petrol station after police received a tip-off that they were in possession of 704 kilograms of cannabis. The drug was discovered in 16 sacks, inside a Toyota car. It’s understood the men had picked the drug up from suppliers in the north-east and were delivering it to customers in central and southern Thailand.

Police in the north-east also arrested 4 men and seized 455 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and 50 ecstasy tablets. The suspects are 27 year old Thanapat Tancharoen, 28 year old Komsan Pothisonothai, 41 year old Wuthipong Surarit, and 33 year old Niran Thongkallaya. They are accused of picking the drugs up at various locations along the Mekong River in the north-eastern province of Nakhon Phanom, with plans to deliver the drugs to customers in the southern province of Pattani, on the Malaysian border. During the arrests, Wuthipong shot at police as he tried to flee. He and Komsan also face charges of illegal possession of firearms.

3 men of Hmong ethnicity who live in Tak province, bordering Myanmar, have been arrested in Nakhon Phanom and the northern province of Nakhon Sawan. All 3 are accused of transporting over 4 million methamphetamine pills, concealed in 19 sacks. They have been named as 33 year old Noohua Sae Mah, 28 year old Wathanyu Sae Song, and 22 year old Niboon Songsatwong.

The fourth case netted 370 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, 400,000 meth pills and 250 kilos of ketamine, which were seized at a sugar cane farm in the north-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, also known as Korat. It’s understood the drugs were due to be picked up by smugglers. As yet, there have been no arrests in this case.

Last week, police seized over 11 tonnes of ketamine, valued around 29 billion baht, that was being stored at a warehouse in the province of Chachoengsao, just east of Bangkok.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Weather

Fair weather for Thailand’s north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings

The Thaiger

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Fair weather for Thailand’s north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Landslide on Koh Samui - Camille's Samui Blog

The Thai Meteorological Department has incorrectly forecast the tracking of the tropical storm ‘Vamco’, instead warning Thais to “brace for the impact of Typhoon Vamco over the weekend”, according to Bangkok Post.

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

But the track of the storm is not even forecast to reach the far north of Thailand until late Monday or Tuesday, although there could be some rain and higher-than-usual winds in some locations. Indeed, the reliable forecast for many of the north eastern and northern Thai provinces for the forecast period is for mostly sunny conditions, according to AccuWeather (below).

As of yesterday, the Typhoon Vamco had killed at least 42 people in The Philippines, as residents returned to devastated homes following the worst flooding in years around Manila and nearby provinces. The typhoon cut a path similar to another typhoon just 10 days before, through the middle of the northern Luzon island.

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

Tracking Vamco – AccuWeather

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

Weather.com – Khon Kaen

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

Weather.com – Chiang Mai

The Thai Meteorological Department noted that the eye of the storm yesterday was in the South China Sea, about 500 kilometres east of Da Nang in Vietnam and is expected to make landfall early morning Sunday. But the tropical depression will lose a lot of its impact once it crosses the Vietnamese coastline and tracks north westwards through Vietnam and Laos.

“It is expected to make landfall over Vietnam by 15 November 2020 and then downgrade, respectively. Isolated light to moderate rain is likely over the Northeast and the North, during 15-16 November 2020.”

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

Meanwhile, heavy rain and have featured in the central south, including Koh Samui and Chumpon, flooding many areas. Areas in all eight districts of Chumpon province have been effected. Parts of the Asia Highway, running north-south, have been under water.

Fair weather for Thailand's north east this weekend despite incorrect warnings | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: AccuWeather |weather.com | Bangkok Post | TMD

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