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“Show us the evidence” – Pheu Thai Party

The Thaiger & The Nation



Update from The Nation

The caretaker secretary-general of Pheu Thai Party, Phumtham Wechayachai, on Friday urged authorities to show clear evidence whether policemen who were interrogated on Thursday night were involved in the flight of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

He asked for evidence such as pictures showing Yingluck in the suspected car or the detained suspect, a police Colonel, driving the car.

“I can only hope that those who have been interrogated are not scapegoats,” Phumtham told The Nation.

He also asked deputy Police Commissioner General Pol General Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, who is in charge of investigating Yingluck’s disppearance, for a more prudent approach in dealing with the probe as Yingluck was a high-profile figure.

“I do not want to see a senior police officer let his personal feelings interfere in the matter,” he said.

Three police officers were taken into custody for interrogation on Thursday night for their alleged role in helping Yingluck slip out of the country.

A bronze Toyota Camry bearing the licence plate Chor Khor 5323 was seized in Nakhon Pathom province and was suspected to be the vehicle used to drive Yingluck out of the country.

Phumtham said he had not contacted Yingluck after she had fled but believes she is safe.

“We are concerned and are still waiting for her,” he said.

He believes Yingluck would explain about her decision when the right time comes.

Yingluck apparently pulled off a dramatic escape a day or two before the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders was to deliver its verdict on her on August 25.

She was accused of negligence in preventing corruption and irregularities over her government’s costly rice-pledging scheme.

The reading of the verdict has been rescheduled for Wednesday.

If found guilty, the former prime minister could face up to 10 years in jail and a lifetime ban from politics.

Phumtham said he was waiting to see if the Supreme Court would go ahead with the reading of the verdict next Wednesday as scheduled or suspend the reading.

Yingluck’s current whereabouts are unknown. She has not been seen in public since August 23, but it has been reported that she has joined her elder brother Thaksin Shinawatra in Dubai, where he has lived for years in self-exile.

STORY: The Nation

- The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thailand’s Rabies death toll up to 14 this year

The Thaiger & The Nation



The death of a 19 year old in Buri Ram, to the east of Bangkok on the Cambodian border,  and a 55 year old in Rayong, east of Pattaya, has raised the death toll in Thailand as a result of Rabies this year to 14. Both deaths occurred over the past two weeks.

Dr Suwannachai Watanayingcharoen, director general of the Disease Control Department, says a 19 year old man in Buri Ram, who’d been bitten back in April on the shoulder and chest by a dog, was not vaccinated against rabies.

The same situation with a 55-year-old woman in Rayong, bitten by a stray dog in January, who opted for “magical” treatment from a practitioner of traditional folk medicine rather than go to hospital.

Suwannachai says the two people had died of rabies this year in Buri Ram, two in Rayong and one each in Surin, Songkhla, Trang, Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phatthalung, Nong Khai, Yasothon, Kalasin and Mukdahan.

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Same-sex civil union bill ready for Cabinet in two months

The Thaiger & The Nation



A same-sex civil partnership law should be drafted and discussed before next year’s elections.

Pitikarn Sitthidech, the Rights and Liberties Protection Department chief, saystThe law, allowing same-sex couples to formally register as life partners, should be drafted by September.

It would then be submitted to Deputy PM and Justice Minister ACM Prajin Juntong, who would decide whether it should go to the Cabinet, she said.

Pitikarn says the sub-panel drafting the legislation that’s been hailed by some as a progressive step towards the legalisation of gay marriage would meet on July 25 to review its 63 articles. Panel members were likely to make adjustments, she said, some based on the experiences of other countries that have adopted similar legislation, such as Mexico, South Africa, Canada, Australia and Britain.

Pitikarn Sitthidech – Rights and Liberties Protection Department chief 

The bill will then be forwarded to the Rights Department’s law development committee for further tweaking in September, and then to Prajin, Pitikarn said. She pointed out that the process in some countries had taken up to 10 years, but Prajin wanted to fast-track Thailand’s version because of the many LGBT (lesbian, gay, transgendered and bisexual) citizens who deserve the same rights as everyone else.

Pitikarn said Prajin had insisted that the authors of the legislation understand the situation in society well and the sensitivities involved. He wanted guidelines set out to support the status of same-sex life partners registered in other countries who were now living in Thailand to ensure they enjoyed the rights to which they were entitled.

Prajin wanted it made clear which agency would handle registrations once the law comes into effect. And he expects the law to lay the foundation for the legalisation of gay marriage.

“Since the ministry began moving forward on this law, we have received good feedback from the LGBT community and a 60,000-name petition expressing support for the action, as well as much useful information,” Pitikarn said.

“I believe many more people are passively supporting this law – the many who haven’t yet expressed their LGBT status.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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