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Outrage on social media over child sitting on roof of moving car in northern Thailand

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Sanook

Photos of a young child sitting on the roof of a moving car have caused outrage on social media.

The pictures, posted on Facebook yesterday, show the child in school uniform, sitting on the roof of a car as it travels along a main road in Lamphun province, northern Thailand.

Debate rages over the images, with many pointing out how heartbroken the parents would be if anything were to happen to the child as a result of their recklessness. One person suggests the parents may have placed the child on the roof deliberately, as a way of attracting public attention.

Another claims to be so angry that he would like to teach the parents a lesson, and points out that if an accident were to happen, the other party would feel terrible for injuring or possibly killing a child.

The Facebook user who posted the pictures questioned what the car driver was thinking.

“This is so dangerous, how could you allow this? My brother sent me this picture. What made the parents think that a child sitting on the car roof while it is driving is considered okay? This is so dangerous. This took place at the Tha Jak Intersection, Lamphun Province. If it seems like I’m blaming someone then I apologise, but this is truly very inappropriate.”

According to one Twitter user, the mother of the child has been questioned by police and claims it was the child’s grandfather who was driving at the time.

She adds that her son loves sitting on the roof of the car and does so regularly. Apparently, she didn’t expect it to cause such a stir.

The police have fined her and given her a warning.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

 

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A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Lampang province sets example for vaccine registration

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Vaccine hesitancy is hampering Thailand's quest for herd immunity. (via Pixnio/Freepix)

Vaccine hesitancy is proving to be a big problem in the quest to reach herd immunity and reopen Thailand, but Lampang province has outdone all the others in jab registration. In the northern province with just 740,000 people, nearly 224,000 have already registered for their Covid-19 vaccine, a number only topped by Bangkok’s 7 million residents registering just over 500,000 appointments. In fact, Nontha Buri is third-ranked with less than a quarter of the number of registered vaccine appointment that Lampang has, and only 22 of Thailand’s 77 provinces registered more than 10,000 people.

The low registration numbers is a disappointing setback in Thailand rush to achieve a 70% vaccinated population necessary for reaching herd immunity. The figures show that the public is either distrustful of vaccines or disinterested in being vaccinated to help reopen the country.

The chief medical officer for Lampang credits their success to a vaccine rollout that started with public health officials and health volunteers, and then progressed to their relatives and then on to the public. Along with the health officials and their families, the jabs were given to retired civil servants to send out the message that while occasional side effects may occur, they were rare and local medical facilities were prepared to address any negative reaction to vaccines.

The vaccinated medical personnel were able to reach out and educate residents and show that they personally experienced no negative side effects from being vaccinated. This education and awareness plan has been ongoing for several months in the province with door-knocking in neighbourhoods to reassure people and help them book vaccine appointment. Lampang also took proactive steps online by launching their own Lampang Prom system that was later dovetailed into the national Mor Prom Line account in order to sidestep rollout snafus.

The vaccine messaging was further bolstered by a 10 line call centre to help people make their appointments online. Divisions of the hospital that were underused due to Covid-19 like social medicine, dental, rehabilitation, and PR were able to provide staffing for the call centre from 8 am to midnight.

This preparedness and education of residents have served Lampang well, and it is hoped that other provinces learn from their example and start getting the Thai population registered to vaccinate Thailand’s way to herd immunity.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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Thailand

3 journalists from Myanmar arrested in Chiang Mai

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo / Photo by Macau Photo Agency for Unsplash

Police in Northern Thailand arrested 3 senior journalists who had fled Myanmar due to orders from the military junta to stop reporting, the director and editor of the news agency Democratic Voice of Burma said in an email to the Associated Press.

The journalists, along with 2 associates, were arrested yesterday in Chiang Mai for allegedly illegally entering Thailand. Police were doing a random search, the editor says.

Since the February military coup in Myanmar, ousting state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi who had won the election in a landslide, more than 750 people have been killed by security forces. The military takeover also led to a clash with ethnic armies who support the anti-coup movement, including the prominent armed wing of the Karen National Union. Around 2,000 Karen refugees have fled to Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province due to violence between the Karen troops and the state military.

The junta has attempted to silence independent news media by arresting dozens of journalists and by revoking licenses that had allowed agencies to report in Myanmar. The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, or FCCT, says more than 70 journalists have been arrested since February. The Associated Press says there are currently around 40 journalists in detention in Myanmar, including at least 2 that work for DVB.

Many of the journalists arrested by the military junta are being held for violating Myanmar’s Penal Code which prohibits comments that “cause fear,” spread “false news, agitates directly or indirectly a criminal offence against a Government employee.” The charge carries a punishment of up to 3 years in prison.

The editor of DVB is urging Thai authorities not to deport the detained journalists and activists, saying “their life will be in serious danger if they were to return.” Photos in Thai media shows what looks like a video production studio set up at a home.

“They have been covering the demonstrations in Burma until March 8 – the day the military authority revoked DVB’s TV license and banned DVB from doing any kind of media work.”

The FCCT also released a statement calling on Thai authorities to release the journalists and offer them protection in Thailand.

These 5 individuals would face certain arrest and persecution, if not worse, for their work and association with the DVB, and under no circumstances should they be deported back to Myanmar.

Rather, the DVB journalists and their associates should be released from detention, urgently offered protection, and granted the right to remain temporarily in Thailand.

SOURCE: Associated Press

 

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Crime

American man arrested in Chiang Mai for allegedly killing pregnant Thai wife

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Photo via Siam Rath

An American man has been arrested for allegedly murdering his pregnant, Thai wife and hiding her body in a rubbish bin. Police say 32 year old Jason Matthew Balzer then dumped his deceased wife’s body in a field in northern Thailand. 32 year old Pitchaporn Kidchob’s mother became concerned for her daughter’s welfare after seeing Balzer flee their home on a motorbike. She then went inside the home to check on her daughter and found multiple bloodstains throughout the house.

After her mother notified police, they checked CCTV cameras and saw Balzer fleeing the area. They gathered a team of officers and sniffer dogs to go out looking for Pitchaporn’s body in a field about 15 kilometres from their house. There, they found her body stuffed inside a garbage bag. A report by Siam Rath says police arrested Balzer yesterday afternoon in the Hang Dong district of Chiang Mai, who then confessed to killing his wife and dumping her body.

Balzer moved to Thailand in 2019 after being previously charged in the state of Colorado in America for attempted murder at the age of 30. A report from TimesCall.com included details from the incident:

“The woman said she was sleeping in her bedroom when Balzer came in and wanted to have sex. The woman said she was tired, and Balzer became angry and took her phone.

She said Balzer then grabbed her arms and squeezed then and then hit her in the face and slammed her head into the bed’s headboard five times, according to the affidavit.

She told police Balzer then grabbed a revolver out of a desk drawer in the room and pointed it at her head saying, “I will kill you.” The woman was able to push the gun to the side, at which point it went off next to her head. She was able to get the gun away from Balzer and threw it under the bed.

The woman said that while Balzer tried to begin covering up the bullet hole in the wall, she fled to a neighbor’s house.

When police responded to the apartment, they found a fresh drywall patch in the ceiling and bullet damage to the kitchen floor, kitchen ceiling, bedroom floor and mattress. An officer also found the revolver under the bed.”

Balzer was arrested on suspicion of attempted, second-degree murder, felony menacing, second-degree assault, third-degree assault, criminal mischief, obstruction of telephone use, tampering with physical evidence, criminal tampering, domestic violence, and aiming a firearm at a person.

It is not known what type of visa Balzer obtained to enter Thailand. Police say he is in custody and is waiting to be transferred back to Nan province after fleeing to Chiang Mai.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

 

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