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Dive operators get court reprieve

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Dive operators get court reprieve | Thaiger

PHUKET: The Administrative Court in Nakhon Sri Thammarat has ruled the new regulations affecting Phuket dive operators suspended indefinitely, pending the results of a court case challenging their legality.

News of the suspension came from Aekachai Soonthorn, who has been appointed defense attorney for the province in the case. Aekachai is also Secretary to the Phuket Provincial Chief Administrative Officer (Palad), Nivit Aroonrat, who has been central to the new regulations’ implementation.

The case was lodged against the province, which brought the new regulations into effect October 1, by members of the Thai Diving Association (TDA).

TDA representatives told the court on October 19 that the strict new rules infringe on their privacy rights and are very difficult to comply with, and requested that the court temporarily suspend the regulations until the court rules in the case.

The suspension was granted by court order on October 30. The court cited in its decision concerns that former Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura may have overstepped his authority by authorizing the regulations.

The court accepted that some procedures required under the regulations, including the submission of business information, appear incompatible with the stated aim of the regulations, environmental protection.

“Although the judge understood why Phuket province issued the regulations, he said they might give too much power to the Governor. The judge said that we have many laws to use to protect the environment, so we should use existing laws rather than make new ones,” Aekachai said.

He added that he intends to appeal the suspension to the Supreme Administrative Court in Bangkok within the 30 days allowed.

The appeal has been prepared and is awaiting the signature of Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit, he said.

Gov Niran became the nominal defendant in the case with his October 31 promotion to the post of Phuket Governor.

Aekachai said the court had not yet set any dates to hear testimony in the case.

Pongsawan Sathatham, a TDA committee member also serving as its attorney in the case, told the Gazette that in the meantime TDA members are running their businesses as usual.

Palad Nivit said he was unaware of the court ruling, but said that the province would continue to appeal any court orders suspending or rescinding the regulations.

“I’d like to do thing right to preserve the country. Even if the court does not agree with the provincial announcement, we still want to perform our duties as well as possible,” he said.

 

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Phuket

Phuket sets quarantine requirement for those entering the province, some exempt

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via PR Phuket

A 14-day period in quarantine is required for those entering Phuket who are either not vaccinated against the coronavirus or have not been tested for Covid-19 within 72 hours of arrival.

Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong made the announcement yesterday, adding they will no longer require Covid-19 tests on arrival. Phuket News notes that the required tests were problematic, particularly for truck drivers who were delivering essential items to the island on a regular basis.

“If you stay in Phuket shorter than 14 days, then you will be in quarantine as long as you stay on the island… From today on, no rapid tests anymore. Arrivals without any documents must get the quarantine order at the checkpoint.”

Piyapong says staff from the Phuket Public Health Office will hand out quarantine orders to those entering the province. The a copy of the order will be sent to the Emergency Operation Centre, which will follow up with those who are in quarantine at their homes or hotels.

The main Phuket checkpoint will only be open from 8:30am to 8:30pm. Only delivery vehicles can enter outside of those hours.

Those only entering Phuket for a short day trip are exempt from the quarantine rule, according to the Phuket News.

SOURCE: Phuket News

 

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Phuket

Fishermen find space debris off the coast of Phuket

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Phuket Andaman News

Local fishermen found space debris, possibly from a satellite or space shuttle, on the seabed just 6 metres below the surface by Koh Ael in Phuket. At first, no one knew exactly what it was.

Specialists from a Navy explosive ordinance disposal unit were first called to look at the round, hollow metal object which was about 45 centimetres in diameter. 3rd Naval Area commander Vice Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengpaet told reporters at a press conference that the team took photos of the object and found it appeared to be a rocket fuel tank, possibly used to launch a satellite or shuttle into space. He said it matched photos online.

Both the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, or GISTDA, and the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, agree that the object was most likely a fuel tank for a rocket.

Since the fuel tanks usually contain harmful chemicals like ammonia or hydrogen, divers examined the space debris to make sure there were no chemical leaks before bringing the object to shore and taken to the navy headquarters. The space debris will be taken to the GISTDA to be studied.

“If other objects similar to this one are found elsewhere, people should not touch them. They could contain hazardous chemicals. They should immediately inform Region 3 Thai-MECC or local officials.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Phuket

Phuket police search for foreigners who were seen drinking beer at a restaurant

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo by Tembela Bohle for Pexels

Phuket officials are serious about disease control orders banning parties and gatherings with friends, especially when alcohol is involved. They’re so serious, that apparently they’re searching for 4 foreigners who were seen drinking beers at a restuarant in Rawai.

Police raided the restaurant yesterday at a complaint from a woman who works for the local district office. She was out on a campaign pushing for locals to wear face masks when she noticed that some people were sitting at the Roxanne restuarant, having a beer. Photos as well as a video was sent to the police showing a group of 4 foreign men and 2 Thai women sitting at the restaurant together.

Along with police officers, local officials from the Muang District Office and Rawai Municipality showed up to the restuarant. Reports say the men were seen driving off on motorcycles just as as the team of 10 officers and public officials arrived. The beer was still on the table when police arrived.

Officers took the owner of the restaurant and 4 of the employees to the Chalong Police Station. The owner is facing charges of breach of the provincial order banning the sale of alcohol and allowing the consumption of alcohol on the premises.

Just last week, police raided a home in Cherngtalay, breaking up a gathering of 6 people. 2 men from the UK who work in Phuket were taken to the police station and fined 6,000 baht whilst police were still waiting for another 4 people to present themselves at the police station.

As part of the disease control measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, preparing Phuket for a possible Covid and quarantine-free reopening in July, officials have banned social activities and gatherings, with the expection of traditional events like funerals. Phuket authorities have warned that foreign residents who break the rules could be subject to being deported.

SOURCE: Phuket News

Phuket police search for foreigners who were seen drinking beer at a restaurant | News by Thaiger

 

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