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Phuket Red Shirt Village rally just a “test’, says local leader

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Red Shirt Village rally just a “test’, says local leader | The Thaiger

PHUKET: One of the men named responsible for organizing a red-shirt rally near Nai Yang Beach yesterday has denied any intent of establishing a “red-shirt village” in Phuket.

The true aim was to determine how many people would protest against such a rally, said Surin Yotharak, a local village leader in Tambon Sakoo, the subdistrict immediately south of Phuket International Airport.

“The red-shirt leaders wanted to see how many people would protest this rally. We have every right to hold rallies like this. The people who protested against us today say we are trying to incite conflict by holding it, but this is just an excuse,” Mr Surin told reporters yesterday after the rally, which attracted about 50 people.

“We all think differently and have our own beliefs. Some people in Phuket agree with us holding this rally,” he added.

Mr Surin’s comments came after about 200 anti-red-shirt protesters removed a street blockade, at the request of senior police at the scene, at about 4pm to allow the red-shirt supporters to leave.

“There are no plans for us to establish a Red Shirt Village in Southern Thailand. The communities we want to establish are for the sake of democracy. We want our communities to be strong and immune to the drug problems that the government is focusing on,” Mr Surin said.

Rumors circulating in the days leading up to the rally speculated that anywhere from 500 to 2,000 red-shirt supporters were to join the rally, many of them travelling from other provinces.

Prominent red-shirt leaders such as Thida Thavornseth, Dr Weng Tochirakarn, Jatuporn Prompan and Kokaew Pikulthong were rumored to speak at the rally. However, none of them showed up.

The red-shirt rally was organized in main two areas. Many supporters were to arrive at Nai Yang Beach in the morning, and then move to a stage set up down the road next to Thalang Technical College. The street blockade intended to stop red-shirt protestors from massing at the initial rally point on the beach.

At the beach rally point, was Mr Surin’s brother, Sutha Yotharak. Mr Sutha supported his brother’s claim that the rumors of establishing a red-shirt village in Phuket were nothing more than misinformation.

“In fact, the rally was called to address drug issues in the area. Red-shirt leaders were invited because they are part of the political system and might be able to help, because the government doesn’t seem to be able to stop the spread of drug use,” Mr Sutha said.

Mr Sutha also asked expressly not to be reported as a red-shirt supporter. “In this, I am just a local villager,” he said.

However, tensions throughout the day initially ran high, with police arriving in force to keep the crowds of supporters separated.

Officers who had come to maintain the peace, and who had already searched the protesters for weapons, did not allow the protesters to cross into each other’s areas for fear of a fight erupting.

Protesters yelled at members of the red-shirt rally and demanded that they remove a sign that said “Democracy village fight against drugs, assembling for better democracy, amending the constitution” from their stage.

Only after negotiating with Phuket Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosuttirak, Police Region 8 Deputy Commander Pisan Chuldilok, Phuket Provincial Police Commander Chonasit Wattanavrangkul and Thalang District Chief Naruenart Supattaraprateep, did the anti-red-shirt protestors agree to lift the blockade, but many maintained their presence at the junction.

Some of the protesters left the area after the red-shirt supporters departed, but some remained in the Nai Yang Beach area until about 8pm.

— 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.

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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