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Thaksin, Badawi tackle border issues

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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LAGUNA PHUKET: In two hours of consultation yesterday, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin and Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi discussed progress on initiatives aimed at improving bilateral ties and improving security in the troubled region along the border between the two countries.

The initiatives, laid out in the nine-point Joint Development Strategy (JDS) Action Plan signed by the two countries in August, are aimed at improving monitoring at border checkpoints through the use of “smart cards”, to be issued by both governments to their citizens, and at preventing the spread of avian ‘flu.

The mini-summit, held yesterday at the Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket, was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptapallop, Public Health Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan, Agriculture Minister Wan Muhamad Nor Matha and Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit, all of whom met for private talks with their Malaysian counterparts.

The entire entourage made the journey from Bangkok aboard the Prime Minister’s new Airbus A319, purchased with more than 1 billion baht in taxpayer money. It was the maiden journey by the aircraft, officially named Thai Khu Fa, but dubbed “Air Force One” by the media.

In a joint declaration to the press after the talks, PM Thaksin said the signing of an agreement to build a new bridge over the Kolok River in Narathiwat was proof that long-standing good relations between the two countries were continuing.

PM Thaksin said the talks had been productive and that he was satisfied with Malaysian efforts to provide security assistance in the troubled border provinces of Yala, Pattan and Narathiwat.

Malaysian PM Badawi said both countries shared the common objective of bringing peace and development to the border region, and that this fact was demonstrated by the JDS.

“The joint project to construct the bridge over the Kolok River was a good signal of how [we] wanted to facilitate access for people from both sides. The total budget was 8 million Malaysian Ringgit [87.3 million baht]. Each side will pay half. It is a small but important project,” he said.

The contract was due to be signed in Narathiwat today by both leaders and the bridge is scheduled for completion in September, 2006.

The Malaysia PM added that, besides tracking the movements of large numbers of Thais and Malaysians who cross the border frequently, the smart cards would also contain other security features.

He added that both countries would also increase their efficiency in combating communicable diseases such as bird flu.

“[When] anything happens on our side, we will immediately tell our friends in Thailand so that precautions can be taken,” he said.

Describing the talks, he said, “It was a formal meeting [carried out] in an air of informality.”

After the meeting Deputy Government Spokewoman Sansanee Narkpong told reporters that the leaders had also agreed eventually to allow the free flow of fresh food products across the border.

This morning, before flying to Narathiwat, the two premiers and their entourages – numbering about 50 people – enjoyed a round of golf at the Blue Canyon Country Club.

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Phuket

Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

Police tracked down and arrested a Burmese woman who allegedly left her newborn baby on a bench in Phuket’s Patong area last week. The mother faces charges of abandoning a baby.

The newborn was left in a reusable shopping bag on a bench behind a Krungthai Bank branch. A woman in the area heard the baby crying and found the newborn in the bag along with a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing. Police reviewed surveillance camera footage shows a woman, police later identified as Ei Ei Phyu, leaving the bag on the bench.

Police say the woman gave birth on September 9 at a local hospital in Surat Thani’s Phun Phin district. Ei Ei allegedly took a van from Surat Thani to Phuket on September 22 and stayed with a friend in Patong. The early the next morning, she allegedly left her baby on the bench before boarding a bus back to Surat Thani.

Burmese workers in the Patong area told police Ei Ei used to work at a local Indian food restaurant before she moved to Surat Thani to work as a rubber tapper. Ei Ei allegedly told police she is not in the position to raise a child.

In earlier reports, police said the baby is healthy and does not appear to have any injuries.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Thailand

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC

The Thaiger

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Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | The Thaiger

The upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night event in Abu Dhabi will feature Thailand’s only national marking her third fight with the UFC, the world’s largest mixed martial arts competition. 24 year old Loma Lookboonme, from Burirram in northeastern Thailand, will fight in the event on October 3, 2020.

Loma is a Muay Thai fighter who has adapted her MMA skills to fight in the UFC where she currently trains at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket. Loma qualified for the national team at the age of 19 and has fought in over 12 nations worldwide. She currently trains 6 days a week starting daily at 6:30am with a 3 kilometre run. In the UFC, she will be competing against China’s Angela Lee who is the undisputed champion of the 52 kilogram fist weight category.

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | News by The Thaiger

Loma’s parents are former Muay Thai fighters and her 2 sisters currently compete as well. She reportedly started training at 8 years old after being inspired by her father, whom she describes as her “hero.”

Like most Thais in such fighting sports, Muay Thai offers a way to rise out of poverty-and fighting for the UFC can be financially lucrative. But Loma says her only Thai sponsor is the gym where she trains, with the rest of her sponsors being from foreign brands. She says she is trying to get more Thai sponsors but feels that maybe she needs to win the UFC first before Thai brands notice her.

Loma lost her last fight and says her new opponent gives her nothing to lose. She says her goal is to get into the Top 10, but is not sure when it will happen. Loma says for now, it would be good to fight against someone in the Top 10 to help her prepare for her future.

FULL INTERVIEW: Thisrupt.co

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