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Northern Thailand

Lampang’s horses, and their caretakers, doing it tough

Jack Burton

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Lampang’s horses, and their caretakers, doing it tough | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Petition Site
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2020 has been a bleak year for horses and their owners in northern Thailand. Horses and their and caretakers in Lampang province are now starving. Travel restrictions due to the national state of emergency and the Covid-19 crisis mean no income for the owners, and no grass or hay for the horses to feed on.

A local rescue team presented 84 horse caretakers with aid packages and some cash yesterday as they’re making no income because there are no tourists. Many families are having a hard time making ends meet and have no cash for horse feed. The horse-drawn carriage business in Lampang may come to a stop if the situation continues.

Lampang is one of the few tourist locations in the world where there are still horse carriages. Narong Chairungroung, one of some 200 horse caretakers in Lampang, revealed that over 700 of their family members are being affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Narong says he has 11 horses and 2 carriages. He and his wife have been working for over 20 years in the horse carriage business and normally make about 300-600 baht per journey. The income has been enough to send his children to school and make monthly payments. But now, he says, he tries to find food from different sources every day, but there is no money to buy grass which is about 200 baht per day for the 6 horses.

37 year old Thitirat Kittikam, another horse caretaker, inherited his business from his father. He started at 18, a total of 19 years working with horses. His horses are getting thin as there is not enough grass every day to feed them. It has been 2 months since the horse carriages were ordered off the roads.

The vice-governor of Lampang has heard the voices of horse caretakers and the province is working with the Lampang Department of Livestock Development to provide grass and food for the horses.

Elsewhere in Thailand, an outbreak of African Horse Sickness is killing horses in their hundreds in Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri and Phetchaburi, some of them race horses worth millions. Stricken farmers want action from the government and are pondering legal action, saying the plague is the result of importation of African zebras.

Lampang's horses, and their caretakers, doing it tough | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Better days for Lampang’s horse-drawn carriages – thaizer.com

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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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.

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Northern Thailand

Monk attacked by a swarm of hornets in northern Thailand

Maya Taylor

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Monk attacked by a swarm of hornets in northern Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sanook

A monk at a temple in the northern province of Lampang, south of Chiang Mai, has been attacked by a swarm of hornets, resulting in him being stung at least 30 times on his face, lips and body. Thai Residents reports that the attack took place at night as the monk was feeding the temple dogs.

Rescue workers were dispatched to Mother Suchada Temple after receiving reports of the attack. They found the monk, named only as 65 year old ‘Ekkachai’, in a serious condition, extremely nauseous and showing signs of tachycardia, when the heart beats at over 100 beats a minute. He was given emergency first aid on the spot and then transferred to Lampang Hospital for further treatment. It’s understood one or more of the dogs were also stung in the incident; their condition is not known.

The hornets are believed to be the species Vespa affinis, or lesser banded hornet, common in Asia. The abbot at the temple says they have been building a nest for around 2 months, with the nest growing by the day. He says he hopes someone who knows something about the insects could help with relocating the nest as he fears they may attack again.

Monk attacked by a swarm of hornets in northern Thailand | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Vespa affinis

The “lesser banded hornet” is a small to medium-sized hornet, with queens reaching up to 30mm, males 26mm and workers averaging 22 to 25mm.

The head is brownish red or black, pubescent, with some red markings on frons and vertex, black temple; compound eyes and ocelli black; dark brown antennae and usually pale brown underneath; black clypeus, coarsely punctate, posterior side of clypeus with broadly rounded lobes; mandibles and tooth black. Thorax black with many punctures and some erected hairs, propodeum black. Legs dark brown. Wings dark fuscous brown, tegulae dark brown. Gaster with some fine punctures, dark brown segments except first and second segments yellowish orange. In some specimens, the yellowish orange on the first tergite may be reduced to two transverse spots and a narrow apical band.

There are many colour variants across the range of the species, originally considered subspecies but no longer recognised; while there is a history of recognising subspecies within many of the Vespa hornets, the most recent taxonomic revision of the genus treats all subspecific names in the genus Vespa as synonyms, effectively relegating them to no more than informal names for regional colour forms. In Hong Kong and South China the wasps are mainly black, with the first two abdominal segments being a deep yellow, forming a conspicuous band. The sides of the head and thorax display some reddish brown. In Southeast Asian regions such as Singapore they are fully black, without reddish brown markings, and the abdominal band is a brilliant orange – Wikipedia.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Economy

Swiss clothing firm denies layoffs

Jack Burton

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Swiss clothing firm denies layoffs | The Thaiger
PHOTO: mgronline.com

Contradicting earlier reports, Triumph International (Thailand) has denied any link with a garment company that laid off 800 employees on Friday. A statement from the Swiss Triumph Holding AG on yesterday said the company sold its production facilities in Thailand to Body Fashion (Thailand) 4 years ago. Accoding to the company’s head of corporate communications:

“In fact, Triumph has handed over its Thai production network ‘Body Fashion Thailand as long ago as January 2016, to the Malaysian textile and apparel entrepreneur Robert Ng. In Thailand, all 2,757 employees and management were taken over. There were no lay-offs of personnel or management.”

The sale of the facility by Triumph in 2016 was part of a restructuring of its global supply chain to focus solely on marketing and sales.

On its website, BFT describes its business as outsourcing in the textile and clothing industry but doesn’t list the brands or names of its customers. It manufactures women’s underwear and swimwear. It’s unclear whether BFT still supplies products under the Triumph brand.

After a 3 month closure, more than 800 BFT workers arrived for work at the factory in the lower northern Nakhon Sawan province on Friday and were greeted with a sign saying they had all been laid off because of the slump in sales caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

SOURCES: Nation Thaland | Bangkok Post

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Weather

Heavy rains predicted for East, South and Central Thailand

Jack Burton

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Heavy rains predicted for East, South and Central Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Isolated heavy rain is forecast for the East, the Central region and the South. People in the areas are advised to beware of severe conditions. Thailand’s Meteorological Department predicts that the southwest monsoon over the Andaman Sea and Thailand is weak, while the easterly wind moves to cover the East, the Central, the South and the Gulf.

From Monday to Thursday, a strengthening southwest monsoon prevailing across the Andaman Sea and the mainland is expected to bring more rain to much of the country. Here’s the weather forecast for the next 24 hours:

North: Mostly cloudy with thundershowers in 30% of the areas; temperature lows of 24-27°C and highs of 34-36°C.

Northeast: Mostly cloudy with thundershowers in 40% of the areas and isolated heavy rains; lows of 24-27°C and highs of 34-37°C.

Central Plains: Mostly cloudy with thundershowers in 60% of the areas and isolated heavy rains; lows of 24-26°C, highs of 34-36°C.

East: Cloudy with thundershowers in 60% of the areas and isolated heavy rains; lows of 24-26°C, highs of 32-34°C; waves a metre high, 1-2 metres during thundershowers.

South (east coast): Mostly cloudy with thundershowers in 60% of the areas and isolated heavy rains; lows of 23-25°C, highs of 33-35°C; waves a metre high and 1-2 metres during thundershowers.

South (west coast): Mostly cloudy with thundershowers in 60% of the areas and isolated heavy rains; lows of 23-25°C, highs of 31-34°C; waves a metre high and 1-2 metres during thundershowers.

Bangkok and surrounding areas: Cloudy with thundershowers in 60% of the areas and isolated heavy rains; temperature lows of 24-26°C, highs of 33-35°C.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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