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Phuket

PM Yingluck addresses nation ahead of fears of violence at Bangkok protest

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PM Yingluck addresses nation ahead of fears of violence at Bangkok protest | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra this evening addressed the nation in a televised broadcast to explain the Thai Government’s reasons for invoking the Internal Security Act ahead of this weekend’s mass anti-government rally in Bangkok.

To see the address, complete with English subtitles, click here.

Chief among the Prime Minister’s concerns were:

“Public gatherings and protests, especially those arising from public grievances, is provided for and protected by the Constitution. But such public gatherings must be peaceful, without the use of weapons, and within the boundaries of the law. I am ready to listen to any ideas and proposals, and to work together to solve any problems.

“But if a large number of people is mobilized by incitement, led by those who seek to overthrow an elected government and democratic rule – which is against the Constitution – and there is evidence that violence may be used to achieve those ends, then this is a case of national security. It is the government’s duty to preserve law and order, protect the lives and property of everyone – including those who are protesting and those who are not involved.

“But most importantly, the government must protect the democratic system under the constitutional monarchy. This is the reason behind today’s Cabinet decision.”

The news follows national police chief Gen Adul Saengsingkaew publicly expressing concern over possible violence in light of the large number of protesters expected to join the Pitak Siam anti-government rally led on Saturday.

The Cabinet approved the enforcement of the Internal Security Act in three districts in the capital – Dusit, Phra Nakhon and Pomprab – with immediate effect from today through next week in order to maintain law and order during the protest.

Specifically, Section 16 of the Internal Security Act allows the Cabinet, headed by the prime minister, to set up a military command center in specified areas in order to “prevent, suppress, eradicate, and overcome or mitigate the occurrence that affects internal security”.

British Ambassador to Thailand Mark Kent earlier today urged through the British Embassy in Bangkok Twitter account for “UK citizens in Thailand (especially Bangkok) please keep an eye on http://www.ukinthailand.fco.gov.uk and @ukinthailand for travel advice updates”

The British Embassy in Bangkok has reviewed its travel advisory for the area, noting that: “A large anti-government demonstration is expected to take place in the Royal Plaza at the intersection of Si Ayuthaya Road and Rajdumnoen Nok Avenue from 0900 on 24 November.

“The demonstration, which could attract up to 100,000 demonstrators, may run on until 25 November and is likely to cause serious disruption in the local area which includes Parliament, Government House and tourist attractions such as Dusit Palace, the Benchamabophit (Marble) Temple and Dusit Zoo.

“As a result of the demonstration the Internal Security Act (ISA) has been invoked and is now active in the Dusit, Pom Prab and Phra Nakorn districts of Bangkok. This is likely to mean an increased police presence and restriction of movement in these areas and the possibility of searches of cars or individuals and ID checks.

“Under the act the authorities can also limit the use of electronic equipment and, if necessary, impose a curfew. You should avoid this demonstration and any other protests.”

Earlier today, Apharat Chartchutikumjorn, Pitak Siam coordinator for Phuket, announced that up to 500 supporters will be departing Phuket to join the rally.

Ms Apharat estimated that more than 100,000 people from across the country will join the protest, which will be led by the retired general Boonlert Kaewprasit.

“Gen Boonlert said that the protest will likely last only one day, maybe two days, but not longer,” she explained.



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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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