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Family file assault charges against Phuket policeman

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The parents of a teenage boy are considering legal action against a Phuket policeman they allege assaulted their son outside a municipal school in Phuket Town.

Anchada Tabkrai visited the Phuket Reporters’ Club office at Phuket Provincial Hall at about 2.30pm on Thursday to announce that her son, 15-year-old Atthaporn Tubklai, was hit on the head repeatedly by the off-duty officer.

Mrs Anchada, 42, said Attaporn was sitting in front of Tessaban Samkong School with his twin brother Atthapol and friends after classes finished on July 1.

Atthaporn was eating grilled meatballs on a stick when a young boy running by accidentally hit him, causing the sharp end of the meatball skewer to pierce his inner cheek, he said.

He lashed out, hitting the boy on the arm in return.

The child, a nine-year-old, went running to tell his father who was in a nearby car.

The father pulled up, rolled down the window and screamed obscenities at him, Atthaporn said.

After that the man parked the car, got out and approached him.

The large man squeezed his neck and hit him in the head five times with the other hand before leaving, the youth said.

The assault caused injuries requiring hospital treatment, the mother said.

Atthaporn’s parents informed the school administration, but when questioned about the incident the younger boy said that the man who hit Atthaporn was not his father but an uncle who was no longer in Phuket.

Subsequent investigation by the family revealed that the man was in fact his father, a low-ranking officer with the Tung Tong Police.

His name, rank and home address are all known to the family, she said.

“It was a children’s argument. The guy should not have done that. He hit my son in the head, which is very dangerous,” she said.

“My son is now wary and I have asked him not to leave the school grounds until we arrive to pick him up. He only leaves the school grounds after we arrive and call him by telephone,” said Mrs Tabkrai.

She is consulting with a lawyer about what action to take next, she added.

The family have already filed a complaint with Phuket City Police.

Phuket City Police duty officer Pol Lt Ekkapot Fangnian said that the case is now being processed and that the officer will be called in for questioning.

Mrs Anchada today confirmed that the family is scheduled to meet with a Phuket City Police duty officer tomorrow at 10am.

Tung Tong Superintendent Col Kraitong Chantongbai said he was aware of the case and had already questioned the officer, who told him he was only protecting his son against an unprovoked attack from an older boy.

The incident was not as bad as the family have described it, the officer told him.

The officer admitted to grabbing the child by the nape of the neck, but not hitting him, Col Kraitong said.

— Atchaa Khamlo

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Economy

Covid-19 shuts down 70% of Phuket’s tourism businesses

Caitlin Ashworth

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Covid-19 shuts down 70% of Phuket’s tourism businesses | The Thaiger
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Most tourism businesses in Phuket have closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and they probably won’t be up and running again until foreign tourists are let back in Thailand. Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew says around 70% of tourism businesses have closed, most of them just temporarily, but some have shut down permanently.

Before the pandemic, tourism to Phuket brought in 450 billion baht a year with 400 billion baht from foreign visitors while the other 50 billion baht was from domestic tourists. Thailand has been trying to increase domestic tourism to help revive the industry after the pandemic. Phuket’s governor says it helps, but not enough.

“Their visits can help solve some of our economic problems, but they cannot replace the need of foreign tourists.”

66.8% of tourism businesses in Phuket have closed temporarily while 2.8% have closed permanently, according to data by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency. The governor is trying figure out how to recover the economy, fast.

“By the end of September, the number of businesses to be closed will increase up to 70% for sure.”

While many businesses are closed, the governor says Phuket is “almost 100% ready to welcome foreign tourists.” The governor says he can’t give an answer to when foreign tourists will arrive in Phuket, but he claims they’ve “prepared every step,” from checking in at the airport to hotel quarantine. They’re just going to install some new temperature check machines at the Phuket International Airport and review the procedures for welcoming the tourists.

“We have to work and prepare carefully to welcome foreign tourists… We have to gradually open our door to welcome small groups of people first, in order to test our system, and then open for bigger groups.”

At the moment, only 3 venues in Phuket have been approved to operate as alternative state quarantine facilities. Anantara Phuket Suites & Villas has 100 rooms available, Anantara Mai Khao Phuket has 36 villas and Trisara resort has 15 villas.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Thailand’s Social Security Office forced to explain investment in Sri Panwa Phuket Resort trust fund

Maya Taylor

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Thailand’s Social Security Office forced to explain investment in Sri Panwa Phuket Resort trust fund | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sri Panwa Phuket Resort - Sri Panwa Phuket

The Social Security Office, a department under the direction of Thailand’s Ministry of Labour, is being asked to explain its investment in the trust fund of Phuket’s Sri Panwa Phuket Resort. The demand comes as members of the opposition and political activists call for an investigation into the property’s land rights. The owner of Sri Panwa Phuket, Vorasit Issara, has been condemned online recently, with his property attracting multiple negative reviews, after he criticised anti-government protest leader, Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul.

Thai PBS World reports that the Civil Society for State Welfare is calling on the SSO to clarify its investment in the Sri Panwa Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust, thought to be worth around 500 million baht. Nimit Thian-udom says that, while the SSO’s investment does not break any laws, the board must explain the reasons behind the investment decision and clarify the return on that investment. In addition, he says the SSO should attach more importance to good governance when choosing where to invest.

The call for clarity is echoed by opposition MP Chirayu Huangsap, from the Pheu Thai Party, who calls on the Labour Minister to explain the investment. He adds that any discrepancies will be reported to both the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission.

The land rights of the luxury Sri Panwa Phuket resort, which sits on prime land atop Phuket’s Cape Panwa, overlooking the south-eastern tip of the island, are also being called into question. Veera Somkwamkid, from the People’s Network Against Corruption, says he is looking into the property’s land rights and will pass his findings to the Department of Special Investigations.

For his part, the Labour Minister, Somsak Thepsuthin, says he doesn’t know if the property has been legally built, saying it’s up to the DSI to investigate and that a complaint does not need to be filed in order for them to do so.

Meanwhile, review site Tripadvisor has had to suspend reviews for the Sri Panwa resort, as anti-government netizens exact their revenge on the proprietor by posting negative feedback on the property.

“Due to a recent event that has attracted media attention and has caused an influx of review submissions that do not describe a first-hand experience, we have temporarily suspended publishing new reviews for this listing.”

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand

Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chachoengsao join UNESCO’s learning cities

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chachoengsao join UNESCO’s learning cities | The Thaiger
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3 cities in Thailand recently joined UNESCO’s membership of so called “learning cities” which are said to promote “lifelong learning” and sustainable development. Chachoengsao, Chiang Mai and Phuket joined the UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning Cities. Altogether, 55 cities from 27 countries, adding up to 230 cities in 64 countries around the world, according to UNESCO.

“These cities are outstanding examples of how lifelong learning can become a reality at local level. They have proven that effective lifelong learning policies and practices can support the development of inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and contribute to the 2030 Agenda.”

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning David Atchoarena says the recent new members have shown that they can make “lifelong learning a reality,” even after enduring the pandemic.

“With unprecedented urgency, the Covid-19-19 pandemic has underlined the necessity to build more resilient education systems for the future. With more than half of humanity living in urban areas, cities must be at the centre of this undertaking.”

David says he hopes it will inspire other cities in Thailand to follow.

“I very much hope that we will see many other cities from Thailand joining the network and working on providing lifelong learning opportunities for all to ensure a sustainable and peaceful future.”

The mayor of Chachoengsao, Kolayuth Chaisang, says his goal is to provide “effective education, thoroughly and equally to all citizens.” According to the Bangkok Post, the city is a key urban centre both economically and culturally.

The mayor of Chiang Mai, Tussanai Buranupakorn, says he wants to revitalise the city, while also maintaining the cultural significance. The city has a number of educational institutes, which goes along with UNESCO’s learning city principles.

Phuket is a hub of sustainable creativity, according to the Bangkok Post. The mayor of Phuket, Somjai Suwansupana, says he wants to preserve the city’s “identity, local wisdom assets and the charm of our multiculturalism.”

SOURCES: UNESCO |Bangkok Post

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