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International Sports: Queen goes 3D; Clarke to miss Boxing Day test; Messi gets another

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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International Sports: Queen goes 3D; Clarke to miss Boxing Day test; Messi gets another | The Thaiger
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Queen Elizabeth goes 3D for Olympics tribute
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Queen Elizabeth will use her traditional Christmas Day message, filmed in 3D for the first time, to pay tribute to the world’s athletes for delivering a “splendid summer of sport” at the London Olympics.

In her personal address to the nation, the monarch will pay tribute to the competitors’ “skill, dedication, training and teamwork”, her office said.

The 86-year-old head of state provided an Olympic highlight when she made a surprise comic turn with James Bond actor Daniel Craig in a short film for the opening ceremony.

“In pursuing their own sporting goals, they gave the rest of us the opportunity to share something of the excitement and drama,” she will say, according to advance extracts.

The Queen missed a church service at her country retreat yesterday due to a cold, Buckingham Palace said. Her message was pre-recorded and will go out as expected.

It comes at the end of a landmark year for the royal family.

The Queen marked 60 years on the throne with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and her grandson Prince William and his wife Kate are expecting their first baby.

Prime Minister David Cameron issued his own Christmas message in which he talked of Britain’s “extraordinary year”.

“We cheered our queen to the rafters with the Jubilee, showed the world what we’re made of by staging the most spectacular Olympic and Paralympic Games ever and – let’s not forget – punched way above our weight in the medals table,” he said.

The first Christmas broadcast was given by Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather George V in 1932. It has become a Christmas Day tradition for many families to watch it together after lunch.

Clarke to miss Boxing Day test if fitness doubts remain
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Australia will not risk playing captain Michael Clarke in next week’s second test against Sri Lanka if he is not fully fit, chairman of selectors John Inverarity said yesterday.

Clarke is doubtful for the Melbourne test starting on Boxing Day after a hamstring problem forced him to retire hurt while batting on the fourth day of Australia’s 137-run win in the opening match of the series in Hobart.

The 31-year-old batsman, who is the leading scorer in tests in 2012 with 1,489 runs, has repeatedly said he was confident of returning to fitness in time for the second test at the MCG but Inverarity was not sure it was worth taking the risk.

“He’s a very precious asset and I would go low risk,” Inverarity told reporters after watching Sunday’s training session at the MCG, in which Clarke underwent light duties.

“He’s always upbeat, he desperately wants to play. But we certainly don’t want to push him especially hard in a test and for him to break down.”

If Clarke fails to prove his fitness over the next couple of days, his place in the batting order could got to Usman Khawaja, while all-rounder Shane Watson will take over as captain.

Amazing opportunity
Watson said he could fully understand why Clarke was so keen to lead Australia in the Boxing Day test at the MCG.

“It’s just about as big as it gets for an Australian cricketer,” Watson said.

“… It’s an amazing opportunity to think that something like that has come along in your life.

“But I’m trying not to get too far in front of myself at the moment. I know Michael will be doing everything he can to get right for this test match.”

Australia have been forced to reshuffle their pace attack due to injuries and fatigue in recent matches and are set for another line-up change with Ben Hilfenhaus ruled out of the second test.

Left-armers Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnston, and the uncapped Jackson Bird are vying to join Peter Siddle in a three-pronged pace attack at the MCG, with selectors likely to retain off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

Inverarity confirmed that the selectors would continue with their rotation policy to preserve the fitness of the remaining bowlers and Starc was next in line.

“It’s about bowling loads,” he said. “The science behind it is that they’ve got to build up their bowling loads so the oscillations are not very significant.

“If they do become reasonably significant, as they have done for Mitchell (Starc), then you enter a danger period, a high-risk period.”

(Writing by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by John O’Brien)

Messi ends 2012 with another goal as Barca march on
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Unbeaten La Liga leaders Barcelona continued their record-breaking start to the season when Lionel Messi struck his 91st goal of 2012 in a 3-1 win at Real Valladolid on Saturday.

The victory at Valladolid’s Jose Zorrilla stadium was Barca’s 16th in 17 league matches this term and restored their nine-point advantage over second-placed Atletico Madrid, who won 1-0 at home to Celta Vigo on Friday.

Barca have a La Liga record 49 points for this stage of a campaign and are 16 ahead of champions and arch rivals Real Madrid who are third ahead of their game at fourth-placed Malaga later on Saturday.

Valladolid kept a dominant Barca at bay until two minutes before halftime when Messi, who earlier shook the frame of the goal with a free kick, played Jordi Alba through on the left and Xavi turned his low cross into the net.

Messi uncharacteristically fluffed a simple chance early in the second half but the Argentine World Player of the Year doubled Barca’s lead in the 59th minute with a trademark run and finish.

Xavi’s clever back heel set the Argentine on his way and Messi dinked the ball between a defender’s legs before firing a low shot into the far corner.

It was his 26th La Liga goal of the campaign and his 91st of 2012, extending the calendar year record he broke earlier this month when he overhauled Gerd Mueller’s 40-year-old mark of 85.

Javi Guerra pulled a goal back for Valladolid in the 89th minute before Cristian Tello added a third for Barca in added time moments after coming off the bench.

The Catalan club were without coach Tito Vilanova, who had surgery on his saliva glands on Thursday and was released from hospital only hours before Saturday’s game.

Assistant coach Jordi Roura has taken charge on a temporary basis until Vilanova is well enough to return.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Phuket

Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital

The Thaiger

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Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital | The Thaiger

A female prisoner is on the run after escaping from Vachira Hospital in Phuket during a doctor’s appointment. 58 year old Siri Phodam allegedly escaped after asking her prison escort officer to use the toilet. But she took a long time to come back, and was found to have escaped. CCTV cameras caught her dressed in a blue hospital patient shirt and a sarong leaving the hospital quickly. A Phuket prison officer says the woman is 158 centimetres tall and has dark skin.

“Some of our own officers are searching for her, and we have also sent the prisoner’s description to all Phuket police stations. However, at this stage we have not found any clues.

Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital | News by The Thaiger

“If anyone finds a person matching the prisoner’s appearance, please inform us by calling 076 212 104.”

Siri was imprisoned after being charged with posessing illegal drugs and lived in Moo 2, Rawai.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket’s annual vegetarian festival gets the green light – VIDEO

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket’s annual vegetarian festival gets the green light – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Caitlin Ashworth

WARNING: The content below contains photos and videos of self-mutilation that some may find disturbing.

Somehow Phuket’s annual vegetarian festival is to go ahead next month, but officials say they will ask participants to strictly observe social distancing. Good luck with that! For those who don’t know, the festival isn’t exactly known for the food. It’s known for blood, body mutilation and more blood.

During street processions for the weeklong event, also known as the Nine Gods Festival, so called “mah songs” are known to practice self-mutilation and are said to enter a trance-like state, channeling spirits through their body. “Mah” means horse in Thai, and many suggest the mah song acts like a horse for the spirit to ride.

Many mah songs pierce their checks, ears and lips, some with large swords and thick needles. Some slice their tongues continuously for hours, blood dripping down on the street. Others appear to be in a trace walk barefoot as firecrackers explode on the ground.

Mah songs march down Phuket’s streets for hours with a team of devotees to help tend to their wounds, adjust the piercings, wipe away drool and blood, and keep them hydrated. It’s understood that devotees wear white as a symbol of purity. It’s also reported that they abstain from eating meat, drinking alcohol and having sex during the weeklong festival.

It seems gruesome, but it’s actually very spiritual. Business owners and locals line the street, some setting up altars. Mah songs stop at each one and do a quick ritual. Some mah songs carry a black flag, waving it over onlookers who bow their heads and place their hands in the “wai” position. Some spend time blessing the elderly and handing out bracelets to children. During a procession last year, a woman held up a bracelet as said “the ‘Spirit’ gave this to my mother.”

This year, the festival will have to be a little different to abide by coronavirus prevention measures. The Bangkok Post says it’s the first festival since the outbreak. The head festival organiser Prasert Fukthongphol says “we will seriously enforce social distancing measures and require all participants to wear face masks.”

The grotesque piercings, noisy parades and visits to the shrine, are good news for Phuket’s tourism and bad news if you’re a vegetable. Many adherents to the Chinese-heritage local festival will go without sex, alcohol and meat for the week of so of the festival. The week of events and ceremonies hopes to scare away the bad gods again but, especially this year, attract some extra visitors to the festival.

Another Vegetarian Festival in Chon Buri has also been given the green light. The event is planned for October 16 to the 26. This year’s main event for the festival will be in Naklua at Sawangboriboon Thammasathan Foundation at the Sein Sua Chinese Temple, but many other events will be around the city throughout the week.

Phuket's annual vegetarian festival gets the green light - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Phuket's annual vegetarian festival gets the green light - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Phuket's annual vegetarian festival gets the green light - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Phuket's annual vegetarian festival gets the green light - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Phuket's annual vegetarian festival gets the green light - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Pattaya News

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Phuket

Officials says no illegal land encroachment at Phuket’s Sri Panwa resort

Maya Taylor

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Officials says no illegal land encroachment at Phuket’s Sri Panwa resort | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sri Panwa Phuket Resort - Sri Panwa Phuket

After coming in for some negative online attention recently, the land title deeds of the Sri Panwa Phuket resort have been investigated and found “to be in order”. The 5-star hotel first attracted the attention of netizens when its owner, Vorasit Issara, publicly criticised anti-government activist Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, calling for her arrest. He also claimed she wasn’t Thai, a factually wrong and inflammatory statement.

His Instagram tirade prompted outrage from those who support the current protest movement, with netizens calling for a boycott of his property and leaving several negative comments on various review sites. Trip Advisor suspended the hotel’s account due to the online attack.

Shortly after, the Civil Society for State Welfare called on the Social Security Office to clarify its investment in the resort’s trust fund. This was echoed by at least one opposition MP and anti-corruption activists.

Responding to the land rights issue, the Phuket Land Office has issued a statement to say the hotel does not occupy state land. The resort stands on 56 rai of prime real estate, overlooking Phuket’s south-eastern coast. The land office has confirmed its paperwork is all in order.

Meanwhile, it’s understood Charn Issara Development, owners of the property, have threatened to sue the resort’s critics for defamation.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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