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Phuket oil scare ends; Phuket probes asthma

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket oil scare ends; Phuket probes asthma | The Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily digest of news about Thailand from around the world, compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community.

Phuket oil spill alert ends

PHUKET: A Phuket provincial marine official says no more oil is leaking from the sunken tanker.

Bhuripat Theerakulpisut told The Nation yesterday that the stricken vessel, the Choke Tavorn 6, was carrying 40,000 litres when it went down about 10 nautical miles from Chalong Bay after being damaged in a storm. All four crew members were rescued without injury.

Bhuripat said he went to the area with an undersea operations team, marine police, and other relevant agencies.

They found there was no more oil leaking from the boat. Marine officials had collected samples of water around the sunken boat to study the water’s quality.

“At this time, we believe the oil leakage will not cause environmental damage in the sea as the oil slick dispersed very quickly,” Bhuripa said.

Officials are now waiting for the better weather conditions to salvage the boat.

The owner of the vessel, a modified fishing boat, said about 25,000 litres of oil remained on board.

There were four tanks in the boat, he said, but they were not leaking. The oil had leaked from the boat’s machinery, not from a tank, he said.

Phuket health conference probes asthma

Kantar Health
Participants in a Phuket conference on health heard on Saturday that Asthma sufferers who opt to control the illness enjoy a better life than those who don’t.

Patients with uncontrolled asthma in Japan and the U.S. report having a significantly worse quality of life, and use significantly more healthcare resources, than patients with control the disease.

The news comes from a Health and Wellness Survey conducted by global health consultancy Kantar Health, the results of which were presented here in Phuket at the 4th Asia-Pacific Conference of the International Society for Pharmaco-economic and Outcomes Research (ISPOR).

The survey confirmed that patients with uncontrolled asthma were hospitalized significantly more often than those with controlled asthma, especially in Japan. In addition, U.S. patients with uncontrolled asthma visited hospital emergency rooms more often than patients whose asthma is controlled.

The conference, at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, opened yesterday and continues through tomorrow.

Thai PM ready to meet Hun Sen

The Bangkok Post
The news released by Prime Minister’s Office Minister Ong-art Klampaibul on Friday that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva would meet his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept 24 is most welcome, and shows a strengthening of the recent trend that has seen diplomatic relations thawing between the two countries.

Mr Ong-art made the announcement upon his return from Cambodia, where he reportedly met and had talks with Hun Sen for about an hour.

While both sides deserve blame for the lack of diplomatic maturity, it was clearly the Cambodian PM’s ill-advised appointment of Thaksin that set the stage for the worst of it.

Hun Sen may not have been aware that taking on a fugitive from the Thai justice system, and one who is still greatly admired by the opposition to the present government, would provoke hostility from the Abhisit government.

U.S. brothers nailed for human trafficking

CBS NEWS
Two prominent and popular brothers who operate the second-largest vegetable farm in Hawaii will be sentenced in federal court this week on human trafficking charges.

The brothers were convicted of shipping 44 laborers from Thailand and forcing them to work on their farm, part of a pipeline to the United States that allegedly cornered foreign field hands into low-paying jobs with few rights.

U.S. prosecutors accuse them of manipulating the Thai workers by promising at least a year’s employment at pay of $9.42 (283 baht) an hour, but instead delivering only a few months of work for little pay.

The workers were trapped on the farm, forced to choose between long hours with low wages and an unpromising future in Thailand, said former farm worker Somporn Khanja, who arrived at the farm in 2004.

Student activism waning

The Nation
The “golden age” of massive groups of student activists taking to the streets to fight for democracy is long gone and will not likely return in the foreseeable future, said student leader Anuthee Dejthevaporn, who has just finished his term as secretary-general of the Students Federation of Thailand (SFT).

“Thai society has changed. The age of middle-class [students] fighting for peoples’ rights is gone, because they have gained their [political and economic] benefits,” said Anuthee, adding that those middle-class students still fighting for democracy and other causes were now few and far between.

Although Anuthee predicted that more student activism would be seen because Thai politics was in a crisis, he said it would be “impossible” to match the numbers that joined the student movement two decades ago.

Today, Anuthee reckons there were no more than 100 active members of the SFT, which is pro-red.

— Gazette Editors

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Phuket

Phuket Governor and Vice Governor deny million baht bribe accusation

The Thaiger

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Phuket Governor and Vice Governor deny million baht bribe accusation | The Thaiger

Recently, an audio clip went viral, claiming to have recorded a conversation between an anonymous man and an employee from a project accused of having encroached on Sirinat National Park (in Phuket’s north west).

Phuket Governor, Pakkapong Tawipat, says that he had nothing to do with the voice recording, which detailed a 7 digit negotiation deal to end an encroachment case over the encroachment case.

Phuket Hotnews reports that, in the recording, the voice of an anonymous man can be heard calling the employee of a project owner, who had been charged over land encroachment.

The man on the phone asked for a 7 digit amount in order to drop the case, mentioning that the person who would sign on the case would be the Vice Governor Supot Rodruang Na Nongkhai, and that the Governor was aware of the matter as well.

The voice clip reveals the conversation between the anonymous man and the female employee of the illegal project, “Have you reached a conclusion? Everyone is waiting for the answer”, while the employee replied that she already informed her boss that the money they wanted is in the millions, but her boss questioned why do they have to pay and where the money is going to go.

“Is it for the Governor? And who sign the papers?”

The man replied that Vice Governor Supot is the one who signs and that he knew about the negotiation and that there were 2 documents drafted in different ways.

The man also mentioned the name of a Phuket provincial Prosecutor and claimed that the prosecutor is very powerful as he had extended powers from the new laws enacted by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

The man also said that if they face any issues, the owner of the project would be blacklisted and it would be difficult for him to travel to and out of Thailand.

The woman on the line proceeded to make an appointment for her boss to meet with the ‘prosecutor’.

After the voice clip went viral, Governor Pakkapong said that he was made aware of the recording of the conversation earlier this month and that he had asked Vice Governor Supot, who was accused of bribery in the clip as well, to make a report to the police on August 6, in order to prove their transparency. He also reported the matter to his commander.

“I insist that the Vice Governor and I have nothing to do with the voice recording and we were falsely accused as being involved. This could have come from an individual from a “certain organisation” (un-named) that has called for bribes and used Governor’s and Vice Governor’s names for their benefits.

“After reporting the matter to the police we are waiting for an investigation and to see whether I have to take part as an informer,” said the Governor.

He said that the encroachment case is an old case from 2013. The Thalang District Chief has an agreement to prosecute the encroacher but when the case went to the provincial prosecutor, the prosecutor declined to prosecute the case and sent it back to Police Region 8.

The Police Region 8 sent the case back to Phuket provincial attorney office who would have to file the case to the Phuket Governor, but he insists that the case has not been filed yet.

The Phuket Governor said that he also informed the company that owns the project that he has never learned about the bribe and in any case, if anyone uses his name to ask for bribe, please contact him immediately because he has never asked for bribes and is ready to work on every case openly.

Meanwhile, Phuket Vice Governor Supot said that he has already reported to the police about the accusations in the voice recording and insists that he has nothing to do with it either.

SOURCE: Phuket Hotnews

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Patong

Daytime closure looms for Patong beach road

May Taylor

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Daytime closure looms for Patong beach road | The Thaiger

The mayor of Patong, Chalermluck Kebsup, has announced that from August 25, Thaweewong Road, better known as the Patong beach road, will be closed during the day while power and communication cables are installed.

Apologising for the inconvenience, Mayor Chalermluck explains that the closures will be between 6.00am and 4.00pm and expected to last until September 30. She says the work will take place during low season and will be paused for the busy high season.

A 400 metre section of road will be affected, from Bangla Road to Sawatdirak Road, with vehicles prohibited from accessing the area until 4.00pm. However, the restriction does not apply to pedestrians, with footpaths remaining open.

The Thaiger understands that certain vehicles will still be granted access, including those of business owners who need to reach their premises. Such vehicles will need to have permission granted by Patong Municipality. Taxis and tuk-tuks dropping off or picking up customers at these businesses will also be given access.

In total, the 228 million baht joint venture project will see the installation of communications cables, power lines and fibre-optic mains, along a 3 kilometre stretch of the beach road.

It has a completion date of March 5, 2020.

SOURCE: Provincial Electricity Authority

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Phuket

Palang Pracharath MP chastises Karon Police for not offering protection during condo visit

The Thaiger

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Palang Pracharath MP chastises Karon Police for not offering protection during condo visit | The Thaiger

VIDEO & SCREENGRAB: M Today

The Palang Pracharath member of parliament from Bangkok, Sira Jenjaka, had an argument with Lt Col Pratuang Polmana, Deputy Superintendent of Karon Police during his inspection to the controversial Peak Condominium in the Karon area of Phuket.

MP Sira was surveying the construction site of the project and the sales office, which also serves as a coffee shop, where he saw Lt Col Pratuang inside.

He stopped there and asked why the Deputy Superintendent didn’t send any officer from Karon Police Station to provide security for him, a standard protocol when parliament members visit a specific area.

The MP had publicly stated he had received death threats for revealing ‘problems’ with the ‘paperwork’ for the Phuket condo project that he claims has been built on land without the proper documentation.

Lt Col Pratuang said that he already prepared a team of officers to provide security for the MP but they were waiting for a confirmation. Then the MP asked his team to record a video of the conversation and said that, while he was not threatening anyone, he believed the police must respect and offer protection for a government MP who comes to work in the area, which was then followed by an argument.

There was a “middleman” who eventually separated the Deputy Superintendent and pulled him aside to calm him down. The ‘police whisperer’ then came back to apologise to the MP before they went inside the coffee shop for further private talks.

Read the original article about the allegations against Peak Condominiums in Karon HERE.

Palang Pracharath MP chastises Karon Police for not offering protection during condo visit | News by The Thaiger

The Peak Condominiums in Karon, currently under investigation after allegations made by Government MP Sira Jenjaka, who claims death threats have been made against him over the matter.

 

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