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Thai Muslim patriarch slams terrorists

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Thai Muslim patriarch slams terrorists | The Thaiger

BANGKOK (AFP): The spiritual leader of Thailand’s Muslims, Sawas Sumalyasak, today expressed his support for an international alliance against terrorism, saying the perpetrators of the outrages of September 11 were “destroyers of religion”. Sawas, the head of the Central Islamic Committee of Thailand, said plans by the United States to launch military action to avenge the attacks on New York and Washington were aimed at terrorists, not Muslims. “If a war breaks out it is not jihad because the action is against terrorists, who are the destroyers of religion and lands,” he told reporters. Thailand has signed up to the international campaign being assembled by the United States, but has ruled out committing troops and is still considering whether to offer its territory as a base for attacks. After a meeting with Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai, Sawas backed the measured response. “Apart from its obligations to the United Nations, Thailand should not be involved in any activities which damage its reputation,” he said. Surakiart said he had reassured Sawas that so far the United States had not sought military cooperation from Thailand, but that if it did receive a request, Sawas would be consulted before a decision was made. A Bangkok University poll released today showed that 68.1% of Thais agreed with Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s attitude to the impending war against terrorism. The survey of 1,319 people found 40.3 percent objected to allowing any country to use Thailand as a base for strikes against Afghanistan, which is harboring the chief suspect in the attacks, Osama bin Laden. Yesterday, one of Phuket’s most senior Muslims, Manot Phanchalard, said, “Muslims in Phuket do not agree with what happened in the USA because these acts killed many innocent people.” K. Manot, who is secretary of the Islamic Committee of Phuket, added, “I want to make a plea to Muslims: whatever you may feel about these events, please keep your feelings to yourself. Don’t show them in public and don’t destroy the good atmosphere in Phuket.” He also made a plea to non-Muslims not to stereotype all Muslims as extremists. “We pray that we will not have a situation where Muslims are stereotyped. Islam is a religion of peace. We have no plans for action in Phuket and we pray to Allah for peace in this world.”



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Phuket

Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin

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Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin | The Thaiger

UPDATE: The suspect in this morning’s shootings, 53 year old Chana Rodket from Songkhla, has shot and killed himself in Saphan His this afternoon. He was a housekeeper a the beauty spa where the shooting took place.

Earlier, a South Korean man and Thai woman were injured in a shooting at a beauty spa near Naka Market in Phuket Town.

The two sustained serious injuries from bullet wounds. Wichit Police reports that they was notified of the incident at ‘The Beauty Spa’ at 10.30am.

Police and emergency responders arrived at the scene to find two injuried from gun shots. Blood-stained towels were found around the scene of the shooting.

The two people shot were 74 year old South Korean man, Kwang Hee Kim (father of Ms Eun Mi Kim, the owner of the Beauty Spa) and a 56 year old Thai woman named as Somsri Chuatonghua, a staff member at the spa.

Both taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital.

Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger

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Two shot in Phuket Town beauty spa this morning

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Two shot in Phuket Town beauty spa this morning | The Thaiger

A South Korean man and Thai woman have been injured in spa shooting in Phuket Town.

The two sustained serious injuries from bullet wounds after having been shot at the spa in Wichit today.

Wichit Police reports that they was notified of an incident at ‘The Beauty Spa’ in Wichit at 10.30am this morning.

Police and emergency responders arrived at the scene to find two injuried from gun shots – a 74 year old South Korean man, Kwang Hee Kim, and father of Ms Eun Mi Kim, the owner of the Beauty Spa.

The other person injured was a 56 year old Thai woman named as Somsri Chuatonghua who is staff at the spa.

They were both taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital. The suspect, Somphon, a house-keeper at the spa, is currently being sought by police.

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Bangkok

TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran

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TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is expecting more than 2.3 million local and foreign tourists will join the various Songkran celebrations this year. They say that should generate 20 billion baht+ in revenue for tourism and tourism-related services.

TAT’s Governor Yuthasak Supasorn says 300,000 international arrivals are expected to celebrate the five day festival starting April 12, along with two million locals who will travel to celebrate Songkran this year. Songkran falling on a weekend this year will also bolster local tourism numbers.

The number of Songkran-specific visitors is up this year, partly because of the growing popularity of the festival internationally and the government extending the holiday to five days this year, now starting on April 12 (although ‘Songkran, the Thai New Year, is actually on April 13).

Songkran festival extended HERE.

He admits that the bad publicity about the poor air quality in the northern regions is a problem, especially around Chiang Mai which has become a big international visitor favorite over recent yers.

Chiang Mai is one of nine provinces in the North struggling with smoke haze, mostly because of open-air burning of farm waste and rubbish, and localised bush fires. The heavy smog has caused temporary suspension of flights between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son although flights into Chiang Mai have been unaffected so far.

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