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Phuket

Scottish tourist raped during festival

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Scottish tourist raped during festival | The Thaiger

PHUKET TOWN: Instead of enjoying her holiday during the island’s Vegetarian Festival, a tourist from Scotland ended up being raped on Tuesday night. The victim, 22-year-old Dawn Farmer, told police that she was raped by a man wearing the traditional white clothing popular with celebrants during the chaotic festival. The white clothing is associated with the festival’s undertone of purity, moral behavior, and sexual abstinence. Capt Nakorn Sangthong of the Tourist Police told the Gazette that Ms Farmer arrived in Phuket with her boyfriend on October 1 and checked into the Suksabai Hotel on Thepkrasattri Rd in Phuket Town because they wanted to see Phuket’s famous festival. As her boyfriend was feeling ill, Ms Farmer decided to leave the hotel by herself in the early evening to take a walk and check out the fire-walking ceremony held at Jui Tui Shrine on Ranong Rd. “She was by herself until 10:30 pm and got lost on her way back to the hotel. A Thai man came by on a motorcycle and offered help,” said Capt Nakorn. Ms Farmer told police that she thought the man was a motorcycle taxi driver, so she decided to get on the bike and asked him to take her to the hotel. Instead, however, the man took her to a dark corner in a Chinese cemetery in Baan Laem Chan on Sakdidej Rd. Capt Nakorn told the Gazette, “It was difficult for us to locate where the rape took place because it was raining really hard and the victim saw almost nothing along the way. “She defended herself, but the man forced her to take off her clothes. He punched her on the chin once and then several times in the stomach before raping her.” As the man prepared to leave, the victim begged him to take her to a place with lights or access to a street, but he refused. About 20 minutes later, Ms Farmer found her way out of the cemetery. A middle-aged Thai couple saw her and took her to the Tourist Police, who in turn took her to Wachira Phuket Hospital for medical treatment. Pol Lt Col Wichai Boonruen, an inspector with the Tourist Police, said, “Because of the rain and the darkness, the victim remembered hardly anything that would identify the man. “Fortunately, after going over the crime scene, we found her underwear with his fingerprints on it. We also found what may possibly be some of his hair on the ground, as Ms Farmer told us that she pulled his hair a couple of times while they were struggling.” Ms Farmer said at Muang District Police Station that she could not believe that such a terrible incident could happen to her in the midst of a religious festival. She also said, “I had planned to stay longer, but I don’t think so now – and I’m definitely never going to come back either.” “It’s such a shame that it happened during the festival. We must arrest the perpetrator,” said Pol Col Chalit Thinthanee, Superintendent of Muang District Police Station. “I am very confident that we will be able to do this with the evidence that has been sent to the Phuket Forensic Science Office.” Police later arrested two men aged 20 and 25, whose appearances and motorbikes matched the descriptions given by the victim. “But Ms Farmer confirmed that neither man was the one who raped her,” Lt Col Wichai said.



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Phuket

Phuket faces critical water shortages if the monsoon doesn’t arrive soon

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket faces critical water shortages if the monsoon doesn’t arrive soon | The Thaiger

Phuket is now, officially, experiencing water shortages, with water in the province’s three catchments just enough for the supply of tap water until May and the condition is expected to get worse if the annual monsoon doesn’t kick in soon. The annual south-west monsoon usually starts dragging in moist air and the ‘wet season’ sometime around Songkran each year.

Mr Kraison Mahamad, manager of the Phuket-based provincial waterworks authority (PWA), admits that tap water production would be affected if there is no heavy rain as water in Bang Naeo Dam, Klong Katha and Bang Wad would be enough for use until May at the latest, adding that his office had been told by irrigation officials to limit supply to prolong the supply of tap water to consumers on the tourist island.

As a contingency plan to ease water shortage problems, he said his office had contacted several independent suppliers for water supply, but also suggested that consumers should use water sparingly as well.

Phuket city mayor, Ms Somjai Suwansuppana, says that the municipal has been providing free water to about 18,000 households each day, with 70% of the water accessed locally and the rest bought in from private suppliers.

She said the municipal had contingency plans in place in case there are no rains next month by buying more water from water suppliers to meet consumption needs, adding that there will be sufficient water to meet the need of all the households if they use the water economically.

Ms Somjai says, for long-term measures, the municipal administration is mulling water salination projects or recycling of used water (like Singapore) which may not be acceptable now but may be unavoidable in the future if water shortage problems turns critical due to city expansion and increased population.

Mr Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, president of Southern Thai Hotels Association, said that hotels are hard hit by the water shortage problem and many of them have resorted to independent suppliers for water supplies to make sure there is water for guests even though the water fee is expensive at between 100-120 baht per cubic metre (The Thaiger has had reports of some people being charged up to 400 baht per cubic metre).

He admits that it is beyond the capability of hotels to secure huge raw water sources for water production, adding that the state should step in for help for sustainable tourism growth in the province.

Over the past months hundreds of residents had taken to social media complaining that their water supply had been randomly cut off or severely reduced, without notice. Some residents have had no water supply for over a month.

The PWA announced odd/even water restrictions on February 2 only to cancel them the following day on the recommendation of the Irrigation Department that there was adequate supplies of water on the island.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Phuket

Soldier attacked and killed by her husband over alleged affair in Rawai

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Soldier attacked and killed by her husband over alleged affair in Rawai | The Thaiger

A female soldier has been attacked and killed by her soldier husband over an alleged sexual affair in Rawai today.

The Chalong Police were notified of the incident at 8.30am this morning at a hotel on Patak Road in Rawai.

Police arrived at the room to find the 39 year old woman, Ratchadaphon Mongkonrung, a Squadron Leader with the Thai air force. She was unconscious when police arrived and rushed to to Vachira Phuket Hospital where she was pronounced dead upon arrival.

A 40 year old man from the air force (Master Sergeant), the husband of the woman, was waiting for police at the scene. He was taken to the Chalong Police Station.

Police say they checked with the hotel and found that they had been arguing as Nop-anan thought that his wife was having an affair with another man. He kicked her with his feet before calling for help.

The were married and had two children. Nop-anan is facing charges of attacking and killing another person.

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Phuket

Phuket’s water supply in a critical situation

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Phuket’s water supply in a critical situation | The Thaiger

Phuket’s water lords are now admitting the island’s water situation is in a critical situation – a situation they have had the power to avert but have chosen instead to ‘hope’ for monsoonal rains and go in search of alternative water sources to top up the dwindling catchment resources.

Phuket is now in the throws of a water shortage. The PWA says the water supply in Bang Ward Dam is only enough for the end of next month if no rain arrives.

The Phuket Water Work Authority manager Kraisorn Mahamat says, “The water in Bang Wad Dam (Kathu) is only enough up to the end of next month if there is no rain, while the other two reservoirs are enough until the rain comes.

Meanwhile some residents around the island have randomly had their water supply wither cut off completely or reduced to an useable trickle. Many are being forced to buy water from private water services. The sight of water trucks driving around the island’s roads has become common over the past month.

Phuket Irrigation says that authorities will now have to decrease the water supplies for residents to ensure that there is enough water until the end of this dry season. The issue of Phuket’s water management has become a hot topic on social media as residents and business question the management of the island’s water resources.

“We are solving the problem by buying water supplies from the private sector. We hope that we can handle the situation during this drought. Residents must help us to save water too.”

“Hope”. Yes, we checked. He said ‘hope’.

The Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansuppana says, “In the future we might have a project that can change sea water into freshwater or change wastewater into clean water if these water shortages continue.”

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