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Muslim father’s online petition inspires Thai anti-child marriage activists

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Muslim father’s online petition inspires Thai anti-child marriage activists | The Thaiger

In the wake of the ‘marriage of a 41 year old Malay man and an 11 year old Thai girl, Malaysia’s government and netizens are proposing ways to ban child marriages.

Meanwhile, an online petition by a UK-based Malaysian Muslim father to ban child marriages has triggered an activist to begin a similar petition to ban them in Thailand too.

Umran Kadir, 40, said a “friend of a mutual friend” had started a similar petition.

“Two days ago I was contacted by an activist from Southern Thailand, as the people there are pushing their leaders to ban child marriages too,” he said.

Umran said the man had asked his permission to use the same illustration he used for his petition.

Muslim father's online petition inspires Thai anti-child marriage activists | News by The Thaiger

Read the original story about the ‘marriage’ between the 41 year old Malay man and an 11 year old Thai girl  HERE.

On his Facebook, Ekraj said… “In response to the child marriage case of the 11 year old Thai girl and 41 year old Malaysian man, Thai and Malaysian civil society have coordinated efforts to rescue the girl and explore the long-term prevention of sexual exploitation of children by eradicating child marriages.

“There is a long way to go to bring the man to justice and ensure our long-term collective aspirations are fulfilled. We need your support to achieve sustainable protection of our children and women. Thank you!

“The petition says that members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), such as Algeria, Oman, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, and Turkey have set the minimum age of marriage at 18 years of age. However, in Thailand, child marriages are permitted under the Civil and Commercial Code.

With an exception under the Civil Procedure Code, a man who has sexually assaulted an underage girl regardless of consent, which is a criminal offence under the Penal Code, can marry her with the permission of the court and by fulfilling the requirements of the law, it said.

The Islamic Law on Family and Legislation, and the Act on Application of Islamic Law in the Provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala and Satun, do not prescribe the minimum age of marriage but leave it to the discretion of the court, it said.

This has created a legal loophole for child marriages to be legitimised based on local norms and customary practices in several cases, all of which are in violation of the Child Protection Act, it said.

The loophole resulted in the case of a 41 year old man from Kelantan marrying an 11 year old girl from Narathiwat, Thailand.

In his petition, Ekraj also said that child marriages in the southern provinces of Thailand continue to be misused to deal with premarital pregnancy and rape, and to escape poverty.

“To protect the 11 year old girl and to prevent exploitation, sexual abuses, and for the long-term prevention of exploitation of all children, the undersigned individuals and organisations of the open letter urge the provincial governor of Narathiwat province, as the chairman of the Provincial Child Protection Committee responsible for the Child Protection Act to lodge a police report as a necessary prerequisite for the relevant authorities to investigate the case,” the petition reads.

It also said that the Thai government must seek the cooperation of the Malaysian Government to improve on the law and ensure their compatibility to prevent the misuse of legal loopholes between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Umran’s petition on change.org has received more than 22,000 signatures (at press time) since he initiated it on July 11 (July 12 Malaysian time).He also wrote an open letter to the Deputy Prime Minister on Thursday morning urging her to take a bold step towards ending child marriages.

Muslim father's online petition inspires Thai anti-child marriage activists | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation



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Southeast Asia

Mitsubishi testing their new regional jet

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Mitsubishi testing their new regional jet | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Japan Times

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ new 88-passenger Mitsubishi Regional Jet is testing the skies just as rivals Embraer and Bombardier are moving to sell off their manufacturing operations for jets with up to 160 seats to Boeing and Airbus.

At stake, particularly in the market for jets with fewer seats, is US$135 billion in sales in the two decades through 2037, according to industry group Japan Aircraft Development.

More cities in Asia and Europe are seeking to link up with each other and the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, the first airliner built in Japan since the 1960s, began certification flights last month in Moses Lake, Washington.

With fewer seats and smaller fuselages, regional jets are a different class of aircraft from larger narrow-body planes such as Boeing’s 737 or Airbus’s A320. The MRJ has a range of about 3,220 kilometres. The seating is 2+2 instead of 3+3 in a small Airbus or Boeing single-aisle jet.

After spending at least US$2 billion over more than a decade, the manufacturer is looking to get its jet certified and start deliveries to launch partner ANA Holdings.

Mitsubishi initially planned test flights in 2012 but blew past that deadline because of production difficulties. Now, the company, which makes ships, nuclear power plants and aerospace components, expects to have the plane ready for customers next year, a timetable that will test the company, said Mitsubishi Aircraft president Hisakazu Mizutani.

Mitsubishi Heavy is not the only Asian manufacturer betting that it can build aircraft cheaper and more efficiently. Commercial Aircraft of China (Comac) has a new regional jet in service, while Korea Aerospace Industries is studying whether to develop a 100-passenger aircraft.

“The aviation market in Asia is expected to grow further in the coming years and there will be demand for these aircraft,” said analyst Lee Dong-heon at Daishin Securities in Seoul.

“The shift in the regional aviation segment we have seen over the last year or so has opened opportunities.”

“The MRJ is fully capable of competing in the market.”

Mitsubishi testing their new regional jet | News by The Thaiger

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North East

Opening of a rail service between Thailand and Cambodia in Sa Kaew

The Thaiger

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Opening of a rail service between Thailand and Cambodia in Sa Kaew | The Thaiger

The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is leading a delegation to officiate at the opening of a new rail service between Thailand and Cambodia at Klong Luek railway station in Sa Kaew province. The Thai government funded the maintenance and restoration of the two kilometre rail track between Klong Luek station and Poipet station in Cambodia.

Rail services between Thailand and Cambodia were suspended for decades due to strained relationships between the two countries since the Cold War era. Although the relationship is much better these days there was little interest in the restoration of the rail link as people in both countries tended to prefer travel by road.

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Southeast Asia

Sea turtle returns to its nesting place – it’s now an airport!

The Thaiger

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Sea turtle returns to its nesting place – it’s now an airport! | The Thaiger

by Philippine Daily Inquirer – Asia News Network

Without a choice, with nature instructing her to lay the eggs on the same spot she’d emerged as a baby turtle, the poor reptile made the runway its nest on Maafaru island.

“Despite the unfortunate circumstances that befell the turtle mother, she is reportedly in good health and was released back into the ocean by locals,” wrote local news website The Edition.

The incident has sparked fresh debates on the environmental and social costs of the Maldive’s tourism-propelled growth (sounds familiar?).

“The question remains on how much of Maldives’ biodiversity must be sacrificed in order to propel our country forward industrially and economically,” the website said.

The airport,  which has a 2.2 kilometre, 40 metre-wide runway, was inaugurated in August last year. The UAE-funded project was built on Maafaru, one of the inhabited islands of Noonu Atoll, which is a traditional nesting place of the marine turtles.

Once a green turtle hatches and heads into the ocean, it rarely returns to land. When they reach sexual maturity, they travel long distances to go back to their natal place to mate and lay eggs.

The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is on the list of endangered species of animals by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Sea turtle returns to its nesting place - it's now an airport! | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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