Phuket tourist may be charged in jet-ski death

Phuket NEWS Hound

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

PHUKET: The young man whose jet ski allegedly crashed into 20-year-old Loh Ying Jie in Phuket has not been allowed to leave Thailand and will likely face criminal charges on Thursday, according to the New Straits Times.

But the charges against Mr Tang Jun Han will depend on the ongoing mediation sessions between the families of the two young men, said Col Arayapan Pukbuakao, police superintendent for Phuket’s Kathu District.

Both families are now locked in discussions in Phuket over the amount of compensation. Initially the Lohs asked for S$500,000 (approx 11.7 million baht) before lowering it to S$250,000. The Tangs made a counter-offer of S$100,000.

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In a phone interview, Col Arayapan said Tang could be charged with a ‘wrongful act’ that ’caused the death of another’.

The accident occurred on April 2 off Phuket’s Patong Beach and Mr Loh died in hospital on April 13.

Army chief to handle protests

Earth Times
Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Friday night appointed General Anupong Paochinda to head the government’s Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situations, which is responsible for enforcing emergency law. He replaces Suthep Thaungsuban who has had little luck in quelling the month long demonstrations in the streets of the capital.

Anupong is generally regarded as more peaceful than Suthep. Protest leader Weng Tojikarn says, “It may be good news for us because Anupong is a pigeon, not a hawk”.

Suthep has been blamed for several botched security operations against the red shirts, such as the April 10 violence in which 24 people died, and Anupong has stated publicly that he would be reluctant to use violence to settle the anti-government demonstrations.

Protest leaders may surrender

Leaders of Thailand’s anti-government protests said Saturday that they we would turn themselves in to police on May 15.

Lawyers for the protesters sent letters to the Thai government saying that 24 members of the group would turn themselves in. Those intending to do so have been named on arrest warrants and were wanted by the Thai police.

Three of the leaders embarrassed the government on Friday during a botched raid. The three were able to elude security forces who had surrounded them in a Bangkok hotel.

More trips canceled

Asia One News
The worsening political situation in Bangkok has prompted more Singapore schools to put off their plans to travel to Thailand.
During the holidays from March 13 to 21, at least four schools scrapped field trips to the country when unrest was deemed imminent.
For the coming June break, tour agencies have reported that at least nine secondary schools that had booked student field trips to Thailand have now either put the trips on hold or changed their country of destination. Three have changed to Cambodia, three have put their trips on hold, and three have cancelled their travel plans entirely.

Woes persist for tourism

Bangkok Post
Apichart Sankary, an executive member of The Federation of Thai Tourism Associations (Fetta), says the private sector is extremely worried over the political conflict in Thai society, suggesting that “the situation might deteriorate as has happened in Burma.” In his view, the dissolution of Parliament or the premier’s resignation would not resolve the conflict, and negotiations are the solution.

Prakit Chinamornpong, the president of the Thai Hotel Association, said currently there were no new bookings for the low tourism season from May to September. Visitors from Asian markets normally help maintain low-season occupancy at 50-60%.

He says promotions similar to last year are needed, when hotels and tour operators cut prices by 30% to encourage Thais to travel domestically to compensate for the drop in foreign visitors.

— Gazette Editors

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