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Mob leader slams Cherng Talay Police

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Mob leader slams Cherng Talay Police | The Thaiger
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CHERNG TALAY, PHUKET: A member of the mob protesting alleged police inaction in the murder of a 12-year-old boy by an Internet cafe owner spoke with the Gazette late yesterday afternoon about why the group continued to block a stretch of Srisoonthorn Road through the night – even after the victim’s family had disbanded after meeting with the governor.

Identifying himself not as a leader of the the mob, but as a “big brother” who had their respect, the man said the protest is their way of venting pent-up anger against the Cherng Talay Police for failing to solve any in a string of five recent murders in the Bang Tao area.

One of the victims, killed in a hail of machine gun fire, was his nephew.

Police failed to inform him of any progress into the investigation, he claimed.

The group was particularly incensed by the alleged police reaction to a child who called from the internet café after 12-year-old Amornthep “Gaga” Panya-sirikul was shot in the head on Wednesday afternoon.

They allege the youth asked for assistance – only to be hung up on by police who didn’t believe him.

The man went on to say that he felt sorry for the public inconvenience caused, but that the group could think of no other way to force the police to work faster.

“We don’t want to make any more trouble for our country, which is already suffering enough from mob action, but what else can we do? Many times we cry out for help and all they do is ‘transfer’ the officer in charge. Then what? The transferred man goes to work somewhere else, but the problems here remain the same.

“The police just hope that people will forget about it [the crimes] someday, so they can get away with it [their inaction]. I just want to ask tourists and other people out there what they would do if they were in our shoes… if something like this happened to someone in their family. We have had enough of it,” he said.

A promise by Gov Wichai yesterday to seek his own transfer out of the province if the alleged shooter of the boy is not apprehended was not enough, he said.

“Think about it. If he is transferred he’ll just go and be governor somewhere else. What difference will it make?” he said.

“Why didn’t they do something immediately after the phone call? Can you tell me what kind of car can outrace police radio signals? Even if the kid had been lying, they could still have responded in a positive way, perhaps using it as an excuse to get out of the office and get some exercise… What would that cost them? All of their expenses are covered: the car, the gasoline. They should work for us, as we pay for all their costs [with our taxes],” he said.

Meanwhile, the boys mother, also incensed with the police response in the case, has told the Gazette that if the police cannot arrest the suspect within five days, she will lead a procession carrying her son’s coffin to the Cherng Talay Police. “We will protest until every member of the force has been transferred,” she said. More details of that story here.

— Tipwarintron Tanaakarachod

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

Tourism

Bangkok Airways add 3 new local routes to their schedule

The Thaiger

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Bangkok Airways add 3 new local routes to their schedule | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bangkok Airways' ATR72, servicing the re-introduced routes

Some domestic routes are being added as local routes continue to expand. This time Bangkok Airways has announced it’s resuming its Samui-Phuket, Phuket-Hat Yai and Phuket-Pattaya/Rayong (U-Tapao) flights.

The first additions to the schedule will be the Phuket-Samui flights resuming this Sunday, October 25, and the Phuket-Pattaya flights start again next Tuesday, October 27. The Phuket-Samui flights will be operating on Sundays and Wednesdays only on the airlines’ ATR72 turbo prop regional planes, same as before.

A casual search on the Bangkok Airways website, for a return flight from Phuket to Samui on November 1, then back to Phuket on November 8 indicates the cheapest fare (promo) is 2,430 baht. Coming back, the cheapest fare we found, again labelled ‘promo’, was 2,630 baht. Bangkok Airways operate as a “full service” airline and don’t compete with the country’s discount airlines. But they operate these three routes exclusively – like it or leave it.

Bangkok Airways say that the flights will be operated “with the highest preventive measures and standards”. Around the country the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand have eased a few of the onboard restrictions, including the start of catering services which were originally banned under the initial flight rules when domestic routes started flying again at the start of July.

The daily direct services between Phuket and Hat Yai are also being operated on the ATR72 aircraft. The flight to Ha Yai leaves Phuket at 8.40am and arrives at Hat Yai at 9:.45am. The return flights leave Hat Yai back to Phuket at 10.25am each day. The route was very popular for the airline before the ‘disruption’ when airlines had their fleets grounded in April.

The service between Phuket and U-Tapao, linking the party city with the party island, will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, again with the ATR72. Phuket to U-Tapao will leave at 12.10pm and then from U-Tapao to Phuket at 4pm on the three days. U-Tapao is about a 50 minute drive from Pattaya and the airport also serves the greater Rayong area.

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Phuket

4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket

Maya Taylor

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4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket | The Thaiger
Mai Khao beach in north Phuket. PHOTO: Booking.com

Phuket officials are setting aside around 4 billion baht to transform medical tourism in the southern province of Phuket, by developing a state-of-the-art treatment hub in the north of the island. The Bangkok Post reports that the Treasury department is planning to give the Public Health Ministry permission to use 141 rai of government land in the sub-district of Mai Khao, close to Phuket International Airport. It’s not the first time the proposal has come to light.

The concept is gathering support as Phuket battles to diversify its attraction beyond a tropical holiday island.

The aim is to develop Phuket as a world-class health and wellness destination, with facilities that will attract medical tourists from all over the world, as well as providing a high standard of treatment to the local population. It’s understood the facility will provide a full range of health services, including long-term care, and hospice and rehabilitation services.

The island already has a well-developed medical tourism market, but has been based around local hospitals and clinics linking up with foreign marketing companies in the past. “The International Medical and Public Health Service” has been conceived to create more long term financial security and diversification, and value-added tourism in Phuket, as the island has taken a heavy financial hit over the past 7 months.

4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Phuket Andaman News

The plan was first suggested in 2017, by then governor, Noraphat Plodthong and confirmed by the director of Phuket’s Vachira Hospital, Dr. Chalermpong Sukontapol, in July. At that stage, the estimated budget was 3-4 billion baht. The director-general of the Treasury department, Yuthana Yimkarun, says the plot is being offered to the Health Ministry for free. The land is thought be worth around 1 billion baht.

Yuthana says the ministry will manage investment, with approximately 2 billion baht required for the first stage of the project. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed over 2 years.

Meanwhile, it’s understood that unused government land that is currently managed by various government agencies may be moved under the remit of central government, with a view to increasing its worth. According to the Bangkok Post report, just 4% of government land is directly managed by the Treasury. The other 96% is controlled by various government agencies. Yuthana says the plan is to increase the percentage of state-owned land under the Treasury’s management to 10% within 2 years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

“Open the borders, safely”, Bill Heinecke, Minor International interview – VIDEO

The Thaiger

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“Open the borders, safely”, Bill Heinecke, Minor International interview – VIDEO | The Thaiger

Bill Heinecke speaks to Bill Barnett. The two heavy-hitters of Thailand’s hotel and hospitality sector, mull over the current Covid situation and the reopening of Thailand’s borders to some form of tourism. Bill Heinecke is the Chairman and Founder of Minor International.

Bill Barnett is the Managing Director of c9hotelworks.com

Now the Thai government has approved the special long-term tourist visa scheme (STV), hoteliers are remaining skeptical about reopening due to the lack of clarity in the recent announcement, which will reportedly take effect next month. The president of the Thai Hotels Association’s southern chapter says more hoteliers will consider reopening if the government gives further information about the plan in terms of prospective markets, arrival dates, origin countries, and flights.

Such details would allow hotels to prepare themselves ahead of time to offer services as alternative state quarantine premises as at least 60 hotels in Phuket are awaiting approval to operate such facilities.

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