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3,000 Burmese “still missing’ in Phang Nga alone

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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3,000 Burmese “still missing’ in Phang Nga alone | The Thaiger

PHUKET: One month after the tsunami, more than 3,000 Burmese workers in Phang Nga are still unaccounted for, a seminar was told yesterday.

The meeting, arranged by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the international NGO, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), heard that many Burmese are still hiding atop hills and in rubber plantations in the province – often in bad conditions – too scared to seek help from the authorities in case they are deported back to Burma.

FES Coordinator Benjapol Sookhoom said researchers had interviewed more than 100 migrants in districts such as Khao Lak, Baan Koh Khor Khao and Baan Nam Khem – where Burmese people had been employed on construction sites or on fishing boats – between January 15 and 29.

“We asked them about their relatives and close friends they had been in contact with before the disaster occurred,” said K. Benjapol.

“After gathering the data, we calculated that around 3,000 Burmese labourers are still missing [in Phang Nga].

“We intend to present this information to the government in Bangkok and ask for its help in resolving the problem.”

The ILO’s director in East Asia, Christine Evans-Klock, said the seminar – at the Thavorn Grand Plaza hotel in Phuket City – should be the first step toward international organisations working together to improve conditions for the laborers and others like them.

She said, “These migrants have problems communicating with local people so they have little chance of getting other organizations to help them.”

Priorities for the government, according to K. Benjapol, are to make contact with the migrants and offer them food and medical help – as well as help in replacing work permits and other documents lost in the tsunami.

Said K. Benjapol: “I have met survivors with injured arms, who cannot get medical treatment because they have no money. At least one woman survivor has given birth alone, without medical assistance.

“The government should get help to them rapidly, to prevent other problems developing.”

He said the researchers had learned that many Burmese were killed on the boats on which they worked. Between 30 and 50 of them would work on one vessel and many of these were moored near the shoreline at Baan Nam Khem – ironically, because it was considered unlucky to take to the seas when the moon was full – when the tsunami struck.

According to government figures, 500 large fishing boats in Phang Nga were destroyed, many in the Baan Nam Khem area

K. Benjapol said that the situation further north, in Ranong, was still being researched.



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Phuket

Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | The Thaiger

A Thai man has been shot dead near Saphan Hin in eastern Phuket earlier today. The arrest warrant has already been issued for the suspect.

The Wichit Police were notified of the incident on Rattanakosin 200 pi Road near Saphan Hin at 3.40am this morning.

Police and rescue workers arrived to find the body of 30 year old Teerasak Saeong from Phuket covered with blood and laying on the road. Two bullet wounds were found on his right and left temple.

Seven bullets were also found around Mr Teerasak’s body. Nearby they found a motorbike. His body was taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital for full autopsy and identification.

Witnesses told police that Mr Teerasak was stopped on his motorbike and was talking with the suspect who was in a black car. The suspect shot at Mr Teerasak and sped away.

Mr Teerasak was the son of a member of Rassada’s Municipal Council. At this stage police believe that the two had personal conflicts. Police are now searching for the driver of the vehicle who shot Mr Teerasak.

Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger

 

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Phuket

Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | The Thaiger

A male Danish tourist, driving a motorbike, has died after colliding with a truck in front of a market in Kathu.

The Kathu Police were notified of the incident on Phra Phuket Keaw Road in front of the new outdoor Vintage Market in Kathu at 3am yesterday morning.

Police and Kusoldharm rescue workers arrived at the U-turn to find the truck and driver waiting. The driver of the truck was 36 year old Sontaya Suchata waiting in the middle of the U-turn area.

Nearby they found a damaged Honda PCX and 51 year old Claus Pathuel Jensen, a Danish national from Glostrup. He was found unconscious under the truck. He was rushed to Vachira Phuket Hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Police report that the truck was going to take a U-turn outside the market area. The truck driver says he was unaware that Mr Jensen was coming from behind in the right lane. The motorbike was unable to avoid the collision with the truck and Mr Jensen PCX ploughed into the rear of the vehicle.

Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger

 

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Phuket

Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Facebook/Claire Johnson

An Australian woman, who was caught overstaying her visa by 111 days, will be released from detention and deported by Thai authorities tonight.

She came to the media’s attention on Monday after sending urgent messages to a friend saying that she was being taken to a detention centre and that “they are taking my phone”.

46 year old Claire Amelia Johnson is an Australian Gold Coast resident. She will depart Bangkok on a QANTAS flight scheduled to arrive in Sydney tomorrow (Friday) morning.

She was due to return to Australia more than a week ago but on Monday evening sent messages to her friend Juliet Potter and told her that she was in an immigration detention centre in Bangkok and begged her to please “help me”.

Read The Thaiger story about her desperate pleas HERE.

Ms Johnson had been running a medical tourism business called Cosmetic Holidays International that offered cosmetic packages in Phuket”.

The business was voluntarily deregistered with the Australian Securities Commission in May 2017, after five years of operation, but her social media accounts continued to promote her cosmetic-surgery tourism business.

Thailand’s immigration chief, Surachate Hakparn, told Australia’s Fairfax media that Ms Johnson had been arrested, as well as fined, and would be deported after overstaying her tourist visa by more than 100 days.

“My Immigration Department will send her to Australia. She leaves tonight.”

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would say only that it was “providing consular assistance to an Australian woman detained in Thailand”, without naming Claire.

Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | News by The Thaiger

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