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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
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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 https://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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Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Thailand

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC

The Thaiger

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Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | The Thaiger

The upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night event in Abu Dhabi will feature Thailand’s only national marking her third fight with the UFC, the world’s largest mixed martial arts competition. 24 year old Loma Lookboonme, from Burirram in northeastern Thailand, will fight in the event on October 3, 2020.

Loma is a Muay Thai fighter who has adapted her MMA skills to fight in the UFC where she currently trains at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket. Loma qualified for the national team at the age of 19 and has fought in over 12 nations worldwide. She currently trains 6 days a week starting daily at 6:30am with a 3 kilometre run. In the UFC, she will be competing against China’s Angela Lee who is the undisputed champion of the 52 kilogram fist weight category.

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | News by The Thaiger

Loma’s parents are former Muay Thai fighters and her 2 sisters currently compete as well. She reportedly started training at 8 years old after being inspired by her father, whom she describes as her “hero.”

Like most Thais in such fighting sports, Muay Thai offers a way to rise out of poverty-and fighting for the UFC can be financially lucrative. But Loma says her only Thai sponsor is the gym where she trains, with the rest of her sponsors being from foreign brands. She says she is trying to get more Thai sponsors but feels that maybe she needs to win the UFC first before Thai brands notice her.

Loma lost her last fight and says her new opponent gives her nothing to lose. She says her goal is to get into the Top 10, but is not sure when it will happen. Loma says for now, it would be good to fight against someone in the Top 10 to help her prepare for her future.

FULL INTERVIEW: Thisrupt.co

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Tourism

Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs | The Thaiger

Phuket Airport is officially ready for tourists as authorities say they have finished installing Covid screening labs in an effort to welcome international travellers. The 5T Model for Covid-19 is being used at the airport with the goal of screening large groups of people in a quick and efficient manner. The Phuket health chief says the 5T’s stand for Target, Testing, Treating, Trusting and Tracing.

Phuket has one large airport at the north end of the island but is separated into two separate terminals – a domestic terminal (the original airport terminal), and a new international terminal opened in 2016.

The target category refers to the target groups of tourists while the tracing stands for software that will be used to monitor their movements. The testing category refers to Covid tests that will be implemented to travellers upon arrival along with the treatment and trust categories signifying the readiness of resources for medical treatment and confident communications between all parties respectively.

The Covid-19 lab container module has been set up at Phuket airport’s Terminal X (the terminal opened for charter flights opened in 2014) and will be tested tomorrow with its operation to start on September 30. As large groups of tourists could arrive (later in the year, the lab is reportedly capable of testing 96 people at a time with test results becoming available in 6 hours. What the airport would do withe tested passengers whilst waiting for 6 hours, has not been detailed at this stage.

Such a readiness plan to welcome foreign tourists originally singled out Phuket due to its popularity with travellers, and as a so-called guinea pig model to test in a controlled environment (Phuket is an island joined to the Thai mainland by a single 300 metre road bridge). Once dubbed the Phuket Model, authorities have proposed to rename the plan to “Special Tourist Visa” due to the confusion and opposition it reportedly caused. The scheme is reportedly now being proposed for all areas of Thailand but only allowing foreigners from specific countries.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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