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Phuket football on a roll

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket football on a roll | The Thaiger
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Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily, pocket-sized packet of news from around the world, compiled by Phuket Gazette reporters for foreigners who want it short, sharp and straight to the point.

PHUKET: Football officials in Phuket have high hopes that the island will become the next haven for the AFC’s Vision Asia program.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, is the governing body of Asian football and one of the six Confederations making up FIFA. Responsible for running football in Asia, including Thailand, the AFC manages the Vision Asia Project which it set up to develop grassroots and youth football across the continent. (Further details at the-afc.com)

Eam Thavornvongwongse, president of the Phuket Sports Association, sees the Vision Thailand Project Phuket as a good opportunity to realize a lifelong wish – to see more players from Phuket wearing the national team jersey.

“I would like to see the re-emergence of players from our region… [but] there is still a lot to be done before Phuket football becomes more organized and systematic.” He wants FC Phuket, currently second in the Southern Region of the province-based Thai Second Division, to gain promotion to the First Division next year.

FC Phuket is sponsored by the Phuket Gazette. For details of the Club’s background and recent performance, see front page of the current issue of the Gazette, on newsstands this morning. (Subscribers to the online Digital Gazette, click here.)

Update: Phuket King’s Cup Regatta 2010

sailworld.com
The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is entering its 24th year, and the Organising Committee continue to innovate new twists.

Race Director Simon James says: “We have undertaken a review of Classes and Courses and have sought feedback from participants to see how the sailing can be improved and ensure we are catering to the vast diversity of boats and participants we have.”

In addition to the introduction of the Modern Classic Class (i.e., ‘less young’ boats), developments in 2009 saw the re-introduction of dinghy sailing and a re-designed monohull Cruising Class.

More changes are said to be in the pipeline.

The Phuket Gazette and PGTV are sponsors of this premier Phuket-based event.

Protests damaging Thai tourism

The Sydney Morning Herald
Thai tourism is taking a battering as the latest gruesome protests in Bangkok have frightened off visitors to the Kingdom, better known for its white sands and smiles. Thai Travel Agents Association President Surapol Sritrakul said the crimson protests had led to many tour cancellations, particularly in key Asian markets, estimating that tourism figures were down 20-30 per cent on the yearly average. “Blood is scary. Many people think the protests could be violent. They think the blood could come from killing. It’s not a good image for Thailand,” said Surapol.

Meanwhile, for a different and closer-to-home perspective on the crimson capers’ impact on key tourism destination Phuket, at least, see yesterday’s NEWS Hound here.

PM wants to unite Thailand

BBC
Thailand’s PM Abhisit Vejijjiva appears confident with the way he has handled the anti-government demonstrations in Bangkok so far, but admits the country was divided, and not just between the cities and the rural areas. “I’m saying that the divisions do run deep, and that political differences occur in a democracy,” he said. “But we have to stick to the rule of law.”

Mr Abhisit said he was doing all he could to bring Thailand together, including policies to help the economy in the countryside, adding that he had offered to meet the red-shirt protest leaders in order to tackle their grievances.

Thailand’s exports booming

Earth Times
Thailand’s exports rose 23.15 per cent year-on-year in February, to 14.4 billion dollars, as agricultural exports jumped and the sales of Thai products to developing Asian countries grew, the Commerce Ministry said yesterday. It was the fourth month in a row that Thailand saw a year-on-year rise in exports, the country’s main engine for economic growth.

Imports in February shot up 71.2 per cent to13.96 billion dollars, leaving Thailand with a trade surplus of 439 million. The Commerce Ministry expected Thai exports to grow 14 per cent this year and reach a total value of 170 billion dollars.

No cancellation of Lao flights to Thailand

Asianewsnet.com
Lao Airlines is optimistic that the political turmoil in Bangkok will not have a major impact on its business operations. The state-owned aviation company’s marketing director, Sitthideth Douangsiththy, says the airline will continue flights to Bangkok as normal – despite the fact that the Lao government has issued a warning advising its citizens not to travel to Thailand.

Passenger numbers on Lao Airlines’ Vientiane-Bangkok flights have not changed since the demonstrations began last Friday, he said. The Thai capital is a vital regional transport hub, so the vast majority of tourists travelling to Laos do so via Thailand. So any disturbances there also affect Laos.

— Gazette Editors

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

Phuket

Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Marina Krasnopolska

WARNING! Content below contains photos of self-mutilation that some may find disturbing.

The flags on Go Teng poles were lowered on Monday, ending Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival and symbolising that the spirits have returned the heavens. The flags are raised at the start of the festivities each year at participating shrines, calling on the spirits to descend from the heavens.

This year, 2 men were electrocuted while taking down the festival flags. A steel pole with the flag touched a power pole, electrocuting and burning the workers as they were trying to lower the flags. They were taken to the hospital.

During the festival’s street processions and ceremonies so-called “mah songs” channel the descended spirits. They enter a trance-like state and many practice self-mutilation to channel the spirits. “Mah” means horse in Thai, and some say the mah song acts as a horse for the spirit to ride.

Some mah song pierce their cheeks and other parts of their body with steel spikes and sometimes swords or other bizarre choices (we’ve seen petrol pumps, javelins, samurai swords and kitchen utensils). During the street procession, they walk for hours with the self-inflicted piercings, seemingly posessed by ‘spirits’ and muttering all sort of strange chants, verging on mild cases of Tourette syndrome. A team of devotees for each mah song wipe away blood and keep the wounds clean. Some mah songs even slice their tongue for the street procession. Blood drips on their chest and the ground. Waiting bystanders line the streets hoping for the blessing of a passing mah song. Some mah songs carry a black flag.

The event is an annual spiritual ‘cleansing’ for those in watching the processions. Onlookers lining the street bow their heads and place their hands in the “wai” position as the mah song waves flags and banners over their heads. Businesses along the procession route often set up an altar outside their shop and mah songs stop at each one to do a short ritual.

The Phuket government gave the festival organisers the “okay” to hold this years event with hopes that it would increase domestic tourism and generate much-needed revenue after the Thai government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic crippled Phuket’s tourist economy. Before this year’s festival, Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana asked that the mah songs “limit the level of torturing.” He also called for a limit on the number of people at ceremonies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

His calls were largely ignored.

The spirits will again return in 2021 to Phuket again cleanse the island’s large Thai-Chinese community.

Photos of the 2020 Vegetarian Festival by Marina Krasnopolska.

Phuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Daily News

As Phuket awaits foreign tourists, city officials are told to prepare a “response plan” in case of a second wave of Covid-19. An official from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports held a workshop in Phuket today to discuss the risk of another outbreak as the country opens up to those on the Special Tourist Visa.

The ministry’s permanent secretary Chote Trachu says now that the country is allowing tourists (who are required to quarantine upon arrival) an infection “may somehow slip through.” He says a response plan needs to be in place in case this happens, adding that there should be corporation from the Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Defense.

“If any tourists are found to be infected, the disease must not be allowed to spread among the people. There should be no panic, and public health officers will investigate the case. Tourist Police will track down the suspected person in an investigation with the Ministry of Public Health.”

Chote says all provinces – not just Phuket – should have a response plan. Although tourists must go through a mandatory 14 day quarantine upon arrival, Chote says there are some cases where the incubation period for Covid-19 is longer than 14 days.

“There are a variety of cases. Sometimes, the infection does not show after 14 days, or even 15 or 16 days. Each situation is different.”

Recently, a woman in Koh Samui tested positive for the coronavirus 5 days after she was released from a Samut Prakan quarantine facility. Traces of the virus were found on gym equipment the woman used at the quarantine, leading health officials to suspect she was infected before arriving to the island.

“We urge Thai people to not let their guard down. Everyone must wear masks, wash their hands and take care of personal hygiene. This will help prevent them from contracting the disease.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Business

Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub

Maya Taylor

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Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub | The Thaiger
Mai Khao beach in north Phuket - PHOTO: www.makemytrip.com

Industry officials are seeking the go-ahead for a project to transform over 140 rai of government land in Phuket into a world-leading medical hub. The project is budgeted at 3 – 4 billion baht, depending on which report you read. Kitkong Tantijaraswarodom, from the Federation of Thai Industries, believes the development of a medical and wellness hub in the sub-district of Mai Khao, north Phuket, will help revive the southern island’s battered economy. Phuket has become increasingly reliant on a steady flow of tourists over the past 2 decades.

The southern division of the FTI covers Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Patthalung, Surat Thani, Ranong, Satun, Chumphon, and Songkhla.

“The FTI will ask the government to green-light the project during the scheduled mobile cabinet meeting on the island on November 3.”

Kitkong says businesspeople in the south are anxious for the government to approve the project, which will provide both locals and foreign medical tourists with state-of-the-art medical care. The facility is expected to include long-term care, hospice and rehabilitation services, in addition to a dental hospital, sports therapy centre, and a medical training school for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and medical laboratory scientists.

The chair of the FTI’s southern chapter is also calling on officials to provide small and medium-sized businesses with additional support, in the form of access to loans, in order to deal with cash shortages.

“In the short term, the FTI wants the government to help SMEs, especially those in the tourism sector.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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