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Krabi farmers threaten airport blockade

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Krabi palm oil and rubber plantation workers have threatened to blockade Krabi Airport if the government does not increase the legal minimum prices for their produce by next Thursday.

More than 500 plantation workers gathered in front of Krabi Provincial Hall on Tuesday morning to file a complaint to be handed to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The complaint calls for the government to increase the minimum price of raw rubber to 120 baht per kilogram and palm fruit to 5 baht per kilo.

The current regulated minimum prices, as set by the Ministry of Commerce’s Department of Internal Trade on May 14, are 81.5 baht per kilogram for raw rubber and 3.5 baht per kilogram for palm fruit.

“If we have not heard anything back from the government 10 days from now [by May 23], we will block the airport,” protest leader Chamnan Makpol warned.

Mr Chamnan accused the national government of failing to provide assistance to farmers across Southern Thailand.

“We have been in a difficult period since Ms Yingluck was elected prime minister. The rubber and palm fruit prices have kept falling, but she has never really helped us. She just works on creating her good image from time to time,” he said.

“In the past, when she distributed 40 billion baht to help poor farmers, the money never went to us. It all went to the middleman. Poor people like us got nothing,” he added.

Mr Chamnan pointed out that plans to provide financial assistance to rice farmers across the North and Northeast of Thailand, the heartland of the ruling Pheu Thai Party’s voter base, were already in motion.

“The government should care about us more. They should not just think that we are ‘yellow shirts’ and ignore us, and support only ‘red-shirt’ farmers in the North and Northeast. They haven’t even grown the rice yet, but the government has already set up a budget to support them,” he said.

“We don’t want to pressure the government, but we want to let them know we are in serious trouble,” he added.

Krabi Provincial Chief Administrative Officer Weera Jantharathipparak received the complaint on behalf of Krabi Governor Prasit Osathanon, who is in Bangkok on official business.

“I will report the problem to PM Yingluck immediately and will call in other relevant organizations to discuss it” Mr Weera said.

Satisfied for now, the protesters dispersed, but vowed to return in 10 days to see if their request is to be acted on.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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

Thailand

Hotels and restaurants raided, 50 arrested for allegedly cheating “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme

Caitlin Ashworth

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Hotels and restaurants raided, 50 arrested for allegedly cheating “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

Several hotels and restaurants in Phuket and Chaiyaphum were raided this morning and 50 people were arrested for allegedly stealing from the government subsidy scheme “We Travel Together.” The scheme was launched to help businesses that were financially hit by the lack of tourists during the Covid-19 pandemic and to stimulate the battered economy.

Last month, the Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn filed a criminal complaint against 312 hotels and 202 shops for allegedly cheating the scheme which covered 40% of room rates and offered e-vouchers. Instead of lowering prices to draw in more travellers, some hoteliers and restaurateurs allegedly raised their prices to get more subsidies.

This morning, police arrested 38 people in Chaiyaphum and 12 people in Phuket suspected of cheating the subsidy scheme. Suspects, including hotel and restaurant operators, face charges ranging from fraud and false identification to misusing electronic cards and adding fraudulent information to the computer system.

Nation Thailand says the verification system for the scheme was not stringent and people were able to register fake hotels and list fake bookings. Some hotel operators recorded higher prices for rooms to get a bigger payoff from the government.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thailand

Phuket eases restrictions, bars back to late-night hours

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Phuket eases restrictions, bars back to late-night hours | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Culture Trip

Things are getting back to normal in Phuket. The provincial government eased disease control restrictions, allowing restaurants, bars and entertainment venues to go back to their normal operating hours – no more midnight closure order – and lifting the late-night alcohol ban.

While bars can now stay open late and serve alcohol after midnight, dancing is prohibited and venues cannot serve alcohol in containers that will be shared among groups of people.

The Phuket Communicable Disease Committee agreed to ease the restrictions yesterday and an order allowing late-night hours and alcohol sales was posted today by the Phuket’s Public Relations Department.

“As the Covid-19 situation in Phuket has improved that there are no more Covid-19 infections found, the committee agreed to cancel the late-night alcohol ban in order to revive the economy of Phuket.”

All businesses related to gathering activities are warned to follow the Covid-19 preventive measures.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Crime

2 shot dead at Phuket Bus Terminal Saturday night

The Thaiger

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2 shot dead at Phuket Bus Terminal Saturday night | The Thaiger
PHoTO: Nashaplaneta.net

Police say 2 men were gunned down at the Phuket Bus Terminal by a colleague at the terminal along the stretch of Thepkasattri road heading into Phuket Town last night. The incident happened at about 10:15pm with the local police chief arriving along with medical staff from Vachira Hospital shortly after the incident.

60 year old Wian Iadchuthong, the alleged gunman, was waiting to surrender at the scene when police arrived. Police say Wian appeared to be drunk and told them he had a serious argument with the 2 men and decided to take their lives with the gun. Police say they found 50 year old Yod Sae Lee lying on the ground in front of a taxi service stand, badly wounded. He was given CPR before being rushed to Vachira Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

54 year old Prakob Chuthong was also found lying dead by the counter of a 24 hour car park service kiosk. Police say he had been shot 2 times, once in the left side of his head and once in his left rib cage, according to Bangkok Post.

Witnesses say before the shooting, Wian was quietly drinking alone. But after getting drunk, he walked to the counter of the car park service kiosk and allegedly fired 2 shots from a 9mm gun at point-blank range, killing Prakob instantly. Wian then ran towards Yod, who was sitting in front of the taxi service stand. Yod saw Wian coming at him with the gun and he ran away to 1 side of the terminal building, only to be intercepted by Wian who allegedly fired 5 shots. Yod was hit 1 time in the head, 2 times in the torso and 2 times in the legs. Yod was also rushed to Vachira Hospital where he later died.

An initial police investigation found that the 3 were close colleagues at the workplace, but often engaged in heated fights over motorcycle taxi and taxi services at the bus terminal.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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