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School closed after “pupils possessed by spirits’

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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School closed after “pupils possessed by spirits’ | The Thaiger

THALANG: The Director of Cherng Talay Wittayakom secondary school sent students home for three days from Monday, following an apparent case of mass hysteria the previous Friday.

On that afternoon, a number of students were supposedly possessed by a spirit after a backhoe being used as part of a renovation project accidentally damaged an old Chinese shrine behind the school.

According to some accounts, one girl first became possessed by the shrine’s spirit. She began pointing her finger at School Director Nachai Keimnipatt, screaming abuse at him.

Other students also showed signs of possession, some screaming until they collapsed. The wave of hysteria then spread in varying degrees to other students – and to some staff.

K. Nachai downplayed reports that up to 100 students had been “possessed” and that some required hospitalization for shock. He said the actual number affected had been about 20 or 30.

One teacher told the Gazette that about 10 students went to the hospital after the incident, while the rest simply went home.

K. Nachai told the Gazette that, following that Phuket Vegetarian Festival, some students had undergone ritual purifications at a local shrine for cases of possession.

“My students regularly served as mediums for the shrine during the Vegetarian Festival, so rituals were performed afterward to help release the spirits from them,” he explained.

“But on Friday I had ordered a backhoe to do some landscaping work in an overgrown area behind the school, and the operator didn’t notice the old Chinese spirit house, and damaged it,” he said.

“One student became terrified and began screaming, [claiming that] an apparition appeared to her after the spirit house was damaged.

“The spirit [appeared to have] entered the girl’s body. Through the possessed student, the spirit told me she no longer had a dwelling place and wanted a new shrine. I promised to rebuild the small shrine just for the Khaaw Spirit [which had possessed the girl] and another, larger, shrine for all the other gods and godesses. After that I called the hospital. Then the police came too.

“It was all very tumultuous,” K. Nachai said.

“With all their screaming, they frightened the other students and staff, so I made the decision to close the school for three days,” he said.

Ceremonies will be arranged to ensure there is no repetition of the strange event, he added.

“I have invited local community leaders to take part in ceremonies to atone for whatever bad things happened, and to dedicate the new spirit houses. These will be in a new area that will be easier to take care of, and more convenient for believers who want to pay their respects.

“Although I believe in science, I don’t want to be disrespectful [of their beliefs], so I myself will make offerings of pork, chicken and garlands of flowers,” he added.



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North East

Swiss man accused of overstaying visa and theft charges

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Swiss man accused of overstaying visa and theft charges | The Thaiger

by Kamthon Kongsombat

PHOTO: Security footage from the Phuket jewelry store in December 2018 – Facebook

The Immigration Bureau says they’re going to blacklist and deport a Swiss man who overstayed his visa and is also accused of series of thefts in Nongkhai and Phuket.

The Nongkhai deputy immigration police chief Colonel Prasit Somjaiprasong says that Julien Andre Junior Cotting, a 25  year old Swiss national, was arrested yesterday at a guest house near the Mekong River in Nongkhai on theft charge.

He was arrested after 42 year old Sai-arun Konwan, the owner of the Chorfah Gallery Hotel in Muang district, filed complaint with police that a foreigner had stolen her bag that she left in the hotel’s lobby on January 8.

She told police that she noticed Cotting having coffee in the lobby. Security camera checked later showed the suspect picking up her handbag and leaving on a rented motorcycle.

The handbag contained 1,000 baht cash, an ATM and other credit cards as well as other important documents.

Sai-arun said Cotting was a regular customer at the hotel’s coffee shop.

After the complaint, police searched for the suspect and noticed a suspicious-looking foreigner at a guesthouse. His passport revealed that he was Cotting and he had overstayed his visa.

After Sai-arun identified the suspect it was found that he had an outstanding arrest warrant on a theft charge in Phuket province where he allegedly stole a diamond ring in December, 2018.

Cotting faces charges of theft and overstaying his visa and will be prosecuted and deported, immigration authorities said.

ไชยยศ ไชยพฤกษ์ covered the story in Phuket last year. Here’s one of the photos from that post…

Swiss man accused of overstaying visa and theft charges | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Phuket

What to do if a pet tests positive for Rabies

The Thaiger

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What to do if a pet tests positive for Rabies | The Thaiger

PHOTO: PR Department

An announcement about animals in a Rabies Outbreak Zone.

These are things that pet owners must do when it has tested positive for rabies.

• Pet owners must follow Animal Epidemics Act 2015.

• No person may move an infected animal or carcass specified in such announcement into, out of, through or within such zone unless they have written permission from the veterinarian who is responsible for such area.

• Anyone who does not follow the guidelines shall be fined up to 40,000 baht or jailed up to two years.

In any event, follow the guidelines of your local vet and consult the authorities in such a situation.

A district livestock development office in Phuket province has announced a Rabies outbreak zone in the Chalong area yesterday.

Read more about the establishment of the ‘zone’ HERE and a response from the Soi Dog Foundation HERE.

 

 

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Phuket

Soi Dog Foundation responds to Rabies outbreak zone in Chalong

The Thaiger

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Soi Dog Foundation responds to Rabies outbreak zone in Chalong | The Thaiger

Following the announcement form the Phuket Livestock Development Office that a rabies outbreak zone was set in Chalong area yesterday (January 17), Soi Dog Foundation Co-Founder, John Dalley, explained about the incident as the dog, which was indeed infected with rabies, was sent to Soi Dog Foundation for treatment after it was found very sick. It is the first dog which was found positive for rabies after several years in the one and only ‘Rabies Free’ zone of Thailand – Phuket.

A district livestock development office in Phuket province has announced a Rabies outbreak zone in the Chalong area yesterday.

Read more HERE.

“A dog was brought into Soi Dog by our dog catchers after it was reported to be vomiting and unable to stand,” said John Dalley.

“It received treatment for several days but did not respond, and symptoms of staggering and being unable to open its mouth, and head tilted to one side led our veterinary staff to suspect rabies as these are classic symptoms.”

“The dog was euthanised and its body sent to the Government testing laboratory. The result indicated that the dog was positive to rabies, the first positive case seen in a dog on Phuket for many years.”

Right after the rabies was detected, Soi Dog Foundation has worked closely with the local Livestock Development Office in order to control the situation.

“Soi Dog are working closely with the Department of Livestock to vaccinate all dogs within a 5 kilometres radius of where the dog was picked up. Soi Dog will focus on strays and the DLD on owned dogs.”

He urged that people shouldn’t be panicked about the situation but be always aware about the importance of vaccination if they get bitten (or scratched or licked on an open wound).

“There is no cause for alarm. We see numerous positive cases in dogs in Bangkok, but no human cases have occurred there in the past 12 months. The traditional picture of a rabid dog foaming at the mouth and attacking people is not a true picture, as with this dog. Anybody being bitten by a dog at any time should always immediately wash the wound with soap and water and go along to their local clinic or hospital to receive the necessary injections.”

John also mentioned about the message that Soi Dog Foundation has been trying to tell government, entrepreneurs as well as people in general that importing unvaccinated puppies to the safe zone like Phuket can be the cause that brings rabies back in the area.

“Although this is likely an isolated incident it should be noted that Soi Dog has repeatedly, over the years, warned of the dangers and requested successive governors to stop the hundreds of very young puppies being imported to Phuket each year for sale at markets and pet stores, but nothing has ever been done. We hope the new Governor will take action. These puppies are generally coming from uncontrolled puppy farms in rabies endemic areas.”

“Puppies cannot be vaccinated against rabies until they are at least 12 weeks old and are reliant on the mother’s immunity providing she has some. The case of a puppy seller in Chatuchak market dying from a bite from a puppy shows the danger.”

“In addition, removing vaccinated sterilised dogs from the street increases the chances of rabies spreading. The World Health Organistion, The Food and Agriculture Division of the United Nations, The World Organisation for Animal Health and The Global Alliance for Rabies Control have issued joint statements advising that the way to eliminate rabies in humans is to eliminate it in dogs first as much cheaper and more effective to do that.

If 70% or more of dogs in a country are vaccinated and strict controls on entry imposed, then you will eliminate rabies.

If you remove vaccinated dogs and put them in a pound, then you are reducing the number of dogs on the street that are vaccinated which allows for others to take their place that may not be vaccinated.”

If a member of the public sees a dog that is staggering or unable to stand then they can call the Soi Dog Helpline on 076 681 029.

Soi Dog Foundation responds to Rabies outbreak zone in Chalong | News by The Thaiger

Rabies control in Chiang Mi last year

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