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Fugitive Duangchalerm surrenders

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Fugitive Duangchalerm surrenders | The Thaiger

BANGKOK (The Nation): Thailand’s most wanted man, politician’s son Duangchlarem Yoobamrung, surrendered to police last night after flying in from Kuala Lumpur. Duangchalerm, son of notorious MP Chalerm Yoobamrung, is accused of the murder of a policeman in a Bangkok nightclub just over six months ago. He has been on the run ever since. Duangchalerm breezed into the Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur minutes after it opened yesterday morning, then flew to Thailand along with eldest brother Artharn and an uncle. Police and his father met him at the Don Muang Airport’s arrival area after his flight touched down at about 8.45 pm. With open arms, a smiling Chalerm approached his youngest son, who looked fresh, relaxed and healthy. Duangchalerm, who was not handcuffed, knelt down and prostrated himself before his father, who bent over and patted his back. Chalerm claimed it was the first time he had met his son since the shooting in the ‘Twenty Pub’ on October 29 last year. In that incident, Duangchalerm allegedly shot decorated crime-buster Suvichai Rodwimut in the head. “This is my happiest day in six months because I missed him so much,” the MP said. He sat in the same police car as Duangchalerm, which left the airport in a tightly guarded convoy. They arrived at the Thung Song Hong police station shortly before 10 pm. At the police station, Chalerm was the first to get out of the car. Then Duangchalerm, still without handcuffs, followed him. The area erupted in a mix of boos and cheers. The cheers came from Chalerm’s political supporters, who carried banners encouraging the suspect to defend himself in court. Duangchalerm waved a clenched fist to the well-wishers as officers virtually hauled him toward the interrogation room. How, where and when Duangchalerm entered Malaysia remains unclear. Reports said he left Cambodia by boat from Kompong Som on May 1, but did not say who assisted him. The suspect was believed to have been sheltered in Cambodia by an influential figure with political links in Thailand. Police said the case would be forwarded to prosecutors as soon as possible, regardless of what Duangchalerm, who was charged with murder in absentia, said at the interrogation. They also vowed to oppose the Yoobamrung family’s efforts to seek bail. “We have a strong case against him,” said assistant national police chief Noppadol Somboonsap. “It’s been a long time, but our evidence doesn’t fade with time.” Some high-ranking government sources said the Yoobamrung family had been extremely worried by police signals that Duangchalerm would be targeted for extra-judicial killing if he did not surrender. (For additional related news see http://www.nationmultimedia.com/page.news.php3?clid=2&theme=A&usrsess=1&id=10554 .)



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Phuket

Phuket seastead will be removed today

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket seastead will be removed today | The Thaiger

The Third Naval Area Command will remove the seastead stationed off Phuket south-east coast today, belonging to an American bitcoin investor and seasteading innovators Ocean Builders.

Thai authorities plan to seize the structure as evidence in a criminal case. They fear the structure will continue to be a navigation hazard if left there.

US national Chad Elwartowski and his Thai girlfriend, Supranee Thepdet (aka Nadia Summergirl), are facing charges of threatening the Kingdom’s sovereignty. Last Sunday officials from the Royal Thai Navy and Phuket Maritime boarded the structure saying it violated Article 119 of the Criminal Code and also posed a navigational hazard.

The couple launched the ‘Ocean Builders’ seastead on February 2 off the coast of Phuket. The structure is located to the southeast of Koh Racha Yai, approximately 12 nautical miles (22.2 kilometres) from the mainland.

Elwartowski has claimed that his seastead is outside Thailand’s territorial waters, but Thai authorities insist that it violates Article 119 and challenges Thailand’s territorial rights.

“The Royal Thai Navy has full authority and duty to protect national interest and marine sovereignty in the area,” according to a Navy spokesperson.

Regarding the couple’s claim that they feared for their lives, Vice Admiral Sitthiporn Maskasem, commander of the Third Naval Area, said that authorities had followed the legal procedures.

“We are neither hunting them down nor threatening them,” said the commander.

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North East

Forecast drought will weaken the Thai economy

The Thaiger

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Forecast drought will weaken the Thai economy | The Thaiger

Thailand suffers calamities at both ends of the annual weather spectrum – both drought and flood. But as the demands on agriculture grow, with a growing population and the rise of tourists and development, the effects of these two extremes are becoming more apparent.

Which leads us to this year’s outlook of lower rains which is exposing the poor management of the Kingdom’s water resources. Greater development and growing population bases hasn’t been met with more or larger water catchments.

So Thai farmers are expected to face a tough 2019 as forecasters say the drought will be more acute than usual, lowering the water levels in reservoirs in the central and northeastern provinces especially.

Int eh south, Phuket, Thailand’s largest island and surrounded by water, has an acute water shortage as of Songkran and, without adequate monsoonal rain between now and November, will be facing a water crisis if it has to rely on its own island resources.

The Director General of Department of Agricultural Extension Samran Saraban says the drought this year is exacerbated by El-Nino weather cycle which causes temperature to rise 1-2 degrees higher than normal and cause the water levels in major reservoirs to drop to worrisome level. Higher temperatures mean more evaporation and more usage of reserves.

The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has called for farmers not to grow off-season rice as drought is predicted to spread into northeastern and eastern regions. That there will likely be a new administration coping with political instability will not help leaders focus on the country’s looming water shortage.

The long dry season will lower certain farm outputs, pushing up their prices. However, an overall farm income is set to decline because the drought will leave other negative affects to farmers who are also the consumers as well. This will affect the purchasing power of farm households, which account for one-third of Thais.

Etc, etc, etc.

Economists estimated the damage from the drought on the economy this year could be high. Kasikorn Research Center estimate the drought could cost at least 15.3 billion baht. Whilst Anusorn Tamajai, Dean of Economics Faculty, Rangsit University, estimates the drought to cost even more – 20-30 billion baht -because it would affect the outputs of off-season rice, sugarcane and tapioca.

“It will dampen the purchasing power of farmers in the second quarter.”

Siam Commercial Bank’s Economic Intelligence chief Yanyong Thaicharoen said that the lackluster farm income can slash the growth rate of domestic consumption this year to 3.5% versus 4.6% growth last year, in addition to other factors, namely, high household debt and slower demand for durable goods.

Spending power from farmers, according to SCB, is crucial to sustain the growth of the economy. However, the grassroots economy is bracing for negative outlook this year.

There will be intense pressure on this season’s management of Thailand’s valuable water resources, through the remaining hot season and as the catchments gather water during the monsoon.

Forecast drought will weaken the Thai economy | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: Thai PBS | The Thaiger | Wikipedia

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People

Patong’s trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal

The Thaiger

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Patong’s trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Patong Police / Theeraphong Penmit / Newshawk Phuket

A Phuket boy has been rewarded after setting an excellent example for the rest of the Patong community.

8 year old Kosin Ta-ngam, who is studying at Sai Nam Yen School in Patong in Pratom Suksa Three, has been collecting garbage in the filthy Pak Bang Canal and along Patong Beach since the beginning of this year.

He lives with his grandmother and other relatives. His grandmother has been looking after Kosin since he was 10 months old.

A certificate, scholarship and life vest have been awarded to Kosin by the Patong Police Chief Col Anothai Jindamanee for displaying excellent citizen for the community as a youth volunteer and being an active part of keeping the city clean.

The Pak Bang Canal, running through the back of Patong into Patong Bay, has been a dark, dirty mess for decades. Many promises have been made to clean it up but it remains a disgraceful waterway flowing through Phuket’s main tourist town.

The tiny eight year old seems to be able to achieve a lot more than the local municipality with all their money and machinery.

Kosin, you are the Thaiger hero for today and we salute you!

Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger

Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger

Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger

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