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Understanding the PhuketWan “not guilty’ verdict

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Understanding the PhuketWan “not guilty’ verdict | The Thaiger

PHUKET: All charges filed by the Royal Thai Navy against Big Island Media, Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian were dismissed yesterday. However, the Navy’s right to file those charges was upheld.

Judge Chaipawat Chayaanantapat addressed a courtroom packed with international journalists, but was noticeably devoid of members of the navy and the prosecuting team.

According to the court hearing, the charges against the pair stemmed from a report published on July 17, 2013, which contained excerpts from a Reuters special report alleging that some Thai naval security forces worked with human smugglers to profit from the exodus. The integrity of Reuters as a source was one of the saving graces in the case, the judge noted.

The judge explained that three key points in the case were required to be understood.

“Firstly, we judged whether or not the Royal Thai Navy could file the complaint in this case,” Judge Chaipawat said.

“Capt Pallop Komalodaka of the Royal Thai Navy was authorized to file the complaint to police against the suspects over the use of the term ‘Naval Forces’ in the article.

“The suspects and defence lawyers made the argument that ‘Naval Forces’ does not necessarily indicate the Royal Thai Navy. However, the Royal Thai Navy is one of Thailand’s naval forces, so they had the right to file the complaint.

“Secondly, we judged whether or not the suspects were guilty of criminal defamation. The suspects took words from Reuters, which is counted as a reliable news source. We believe that Reuters has checked their facts before publishing. The suspects did not formulate the paragraph in question themselves. Given these factors, we found them not guilty of [breaking] Section 328 of the Criminal Code, .

“Thirdly, we judged whether or not the suspects were guilty of violating Section 14 of the Computer Crimes Act [story here]. In this decision we considered the fact that the suspects took information from Reuters and distributed it through their own website. However, the information being distributed was not false information. Additionally, the information did not cause damage to public security or create public panic.

“Furthermore, the Computer Crimes Act was not intended to be used as part of criminal defamation cases.”

Siriwan Wongkietpaisan, one of the defence lawyers, said that her team had taken the case because they felt that criminal defamation cases could not be coupled with the Computer Crimes Act.

“This is especially important to understand when it comes to the media. It could have a serious impact on them and make it even harder for them to work,” Ms Siriwan said.

Following the judge’s announcement, Ms Chutima and Mr Morrison addressed the international press outside of the court house.

“The judges have done the right thing to prove that in Thailand we can believe in the truth and freedom of the media,” Ms Chutima said. “The benefit is not only for PhuketWan, me and Alan, but beneficial for Thailand and everybody who lives in Thailand.”

Mr Morrison expressed his gratefulness to the Thai judicial system.

“[The verdict] speaks to the maturity of the relationship that should develop between the military and the media in the future. I think in a mature democracy, the military and the media both understand each other, and both recognize and respect each others’ roles. And that’s what we hope is the outcome for everybody in this case,” Mr Morrison said.

— Chutharat Plerin

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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