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Russian rape story ‘misunderstanding’

Tanutam Thawan



Reports on social media that a 28 year old Russian woman had been attacked and raped on Koh Phi Phi are false according to local police.

Police say there was no truth to the suggestion there was a misunderstanding after the alleged victim told a Russian friend to contact police.

Polina Shemiakina, a Russian yoga teacher had arrived on the holiday island with her mother for New Year. The pair had left their hotel then got back to their room on the third floor after midnight.

Apparently the 28 year old wanted to go out late but her mother said no.

But the the woman later climbed down a rear pillar from the third floor room falling to the base of the building seriously injuring herself.

She went to hospital on Koh Phi Phi before mother and daughter traveled to Phang Nga. When her condition deteriorated she went to hospital in Phuket.

Krabi police chief Pol Major-General Bunthawee Toraksa

Meanwhile she told a Russian friend who could speak English to contact police and tell them what happened. The Russian woman and her friend claim there was a miscommunication in the reporting of the story. They claim police understood that the victim was saying that she had been attacked and raped.

Krabi police chief Pol Major-General Bunthawee Toraksa says this is not the case and there was no misunderstanding.

The Russians have apologized to police for the confusion and no charges have been made.


- Tanutam Thawan

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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Bangkok: Invitation accepted – 30 political parties will meet for talks Monday

Tanutam Thawan



Thirty Thai political parties have accepted the invitation to meet Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan at tomorrow’s (Monday) meeting hosted by the government. The government promised this ‘getting to know you session’ as part of the roadmap towards the next election, scheduled for February.

Gen Prawit says the meeting scheduled for June 25 will be attended by representatives of at least 30 political parties who have already accepted the invitation. Although attendance at the meeting is not mandatory, he said it would be ideal to have all parties, intending to run in the forthcoming election, take part in the discussions.

In the meantime, Election Commission secretary-general Pol Col Jarungwit Phumma says that conclusions derived from his discussions with Deputy Prime Minister for Legal Affairs Wissanu Krea-ngam regarding problems and obstacles faced by political parties will also be presented at Monday’s meeting.

Meanwhile the Thai PM, speaking from his week of talk in the UK, re-iterated his commitment to a February date for the next election. Read the story HERE.

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News Desk

Chiang Rai: Rescue operation looking for 11 footballers and a coach trapped in a flooded cave

Tanutam Thawan



11 teenage footballers, along with their coach, have been stuck in a flooded Chiang Rai cave since last night (Saturday). Rescuers have been trying to get to the team who are trapped in a flooded cave in the region’s Mae Sai district. The cave is located in the Tham Luang-Khunnam Nang Non national park.

The footballers are all from the Tambon Pong Pha and aged between 13-15. They went to the Luang Nang Non cave with their coach coach after finishing weekly training on Saturday afternoon. Thai PBS reports that 11 bicycles and a motorbike were found at the mouth of the cave by park officials at about 7pm on Saturday night.  Some backpacks and soccer shoes were sitting in baskets and attached to the bikes and motorbikes when rescuers arrived.

Park officials then contacted the chairman of the soccer team and asked him to come to the cave to identify the belongings and confirm if they belonged to his team.  He told the park officials that his boys and the coach went into the cave but then weren’t able to get out after water from heavy rains flooded the cave entrance. He said he had sought help from emergency responders from the Mae Sai district.

The rescue team arrived at the cave but weren’t able to get far because they didn’t have the right diving gear to access the flooded cave.

The same team returned this morning (Sunday) with their gear to begin their rescue mission.

UPDATE: Up to 2pm Sunday rescuers have still no located the missing team and their coach.

SOURCE: Thai PBS and Love Mae Sai Facebook page.

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News Desk

Chiang Mai: European tourist catches Legionnaires’ Disease in hotel

Tanutam Thawan



A European tourist, his nationality has not been named, has succumbed to the Legionnaire bacteria in a Chiang Mai hotel. A public health official in the northern city admits that the tourist went down with Legionnaires’ Disease after staying in Chiang Mai. He says that foreigners tend not to have resistance to the legionella bacteria that causes the condition.

But added that Thais have a natural resistance to the bacteria (in researching the topic we couldn’t verify any evidence of the health official’s claims.).

Sanook is reporting that Dr Sumeth Onwandee, head of the Urban Institute for Disease Prevention in the northern Thai capital, said that the hotel’s hot water systems including a reservoir for hot water, taps and shower heads were checked. The hotel was not named.

The bacteria propagates in temperatures of 32 to 35 degrees.

Infected people can develop a ‘kind’ of pneumonia. There are thought to be about 8,000 to 18,000 cases in the US each year. The disease was first identified after the 1976 American Legion convention in a hotel in Philadelphia.

Many legionnaires and other people died prompting one of the biggest disease investigations in US history.  There is no vaccine for the disease and prevention depends on good maintenance of water systems.

Dr Sumeth said that most Thais are immune though foreigners are more susceptible.

Sanook did not report on the condition of the tourist who contracted the disease.

SOURCE: Sanook

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