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UPDATE: Beach butt ban



After finding a large amount of cigarettes on Patong Beach following the results of several volunteer beach cleans, the Director General of Marine and Coastal Department announced that from November onward, the department will enforce the law –  Section 17 of Marine and Coastal Management Promotion Act  – to prohibit smoking on the beach.

“After collecting trash from Patong Beach, we found that there is an average of 0.76 cigarette per square metre, with a total 101,058 collected so far. This is a serious problem,” said the Director General.

“Cigarettes have direct effect on the natural environment. The butts clog the drains contributing to floods. When the cigarettes stay under the beach sand for a long time, it also negatively affects the eco system. And then when the chemicals from the cigarette butts reach the water, it also releases cadmium, lead, arsenic and some acid from insecticide which are poison to the natural food chain.

“From this November, we will enforce the law and we have already selected the first 20 beaches that we will control, such as Patong Beach, Koh Khai Nok Beach, Koh Khai Nai Beach (Phuket), Hua Hin Beach, Cha-Am Beach, Khao Takieb Beach (Prachuap Khiri Khan), Pattaya Beach, Jomtien Beach, Bangsaen Beach (Chonburi), Samila Beach (Songkhla) and others we are announcing in the next few days.

“In the future, the law will be enforced in every single beach across Thailand. Anyone who breaks the law will face 1 year in jail or a maximum of 100,000 Baht fine, or both,” he explained.

He added that apart from the smoking prohibition on the beach, it is also illegal to smoke offshore on boats as they found a large number of cigarette butts were collected from underwater. Regarding this enforcement, the department will discuss with the Marine Department to arrange strict enforcement.

- Kritsada Mueanhawong

Kritsada Mueanhawong lives the news. He chases it and delivers it, fresh everyday. Nathan Thepbamrung is a Phuket native that translates the Thai news feeds and prepares them for Phuket Gazette.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. harry1

    October 11, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    fly tipping all over the island maximum fine 2000 baht leaving a cig butt fine up to 100000 baht and imprisonment were is the justice in this which is worse and why are the powers that be intimidating tourism the hand that feeds Phuket ?

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Narathiwat: 40 pipe bombs seized at a checkpoint on busy highway



Police in Narathiwat have uncovered 40 pipe bombs together with other potential bomb-making paraphernalia from a pickup truck at a checkpoint. The pick-up was travelling on the Sungai Kolok-Takbai highway in the southern province of Narathiwat.

Thai PBS are reporting that highway police set up a checkpoint on the main north-south highway.  Around midday, a gold-coloured Isuzu pick-up approached the checkpoint and was stopped for a routine search.

A suspect, 36 year old Sanusee Yatae, was arrested while another, identified by police as Abdul-arsi Sama, managed to elude police and remains at bay whilst police continue searching.

The police unfolded two quilts in the passengers’ cabin of the pick-up and found the 40 pipe bombs.  The explosives ordnance disposal unit was then called in to check out the bombs.
Besides the 40 pipe bombs, there were two radio transmitters, four torches, two boxes of radio circuitry, 36 boxes of timer circuits set for five minutes, one box of timer circuits set for ten minutes, two boxes of time circuits set for 30 minutes and one steel pipe bomb.


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Thai PM features on front of Time magazine’s Asia edition



Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is being featured on the cover of Time magazine’s Asia edition for the start of July, available on July 2.

The cover carries the headline: “Democrat.  Dictator. Which path will Thailand’s Prayuth Chan-o-cha choose?”

General Prayuth Chan-ocha appears at ease among the lavish trappings of politics. Thailand’s Prime Minister is never far from doting courtiers in Bangkok’s 1920s Government House, a neo-Gothic building stippled with classical nudes and one particularly plump jade Buddha.

The cover story is “Thailand’s Leader Promised to Restore Democracy.  Instead, He’s Tightening His Grip”. The article has been penned by Charlie Campbell, the Beijing correspondent for Time.

The analytical article is mostly about the current political situation in Thailand under the junta and remarks from Prayut explaining why the coup was necessary.

“These were not four years of empowerment, but it was the time to solve problems, overcome obstacles and build stability, security to move forward to the future.”

Thailand’s Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha at Government House in Bangkok on June 1.
Adam Ferguson for TIME

The PM is currently on a European trip to shore up support for his government’s Eastern Economic Corridor and to keep Europe discussing trade with the Kingdom.

Prayuth, meanwhile, insists that his dictatorship is reluctant and temporary. “I never imagined becoming Prime Minister in this way,” he says. “It was the hardest decision of my life.” So he definitely won’t stay in power past February? “That depends on the situation and the people,” he says with a shrug. “I have no control over this.” Millions of Thais feel the same way.

The article also compares the problems across south east asia’s fragile democracies and compares some of the successes of ‘dictatorial democracies’, like Thailand, with some of the west’s elected, but fragmented, governments.

You can read the rest of the Time article HERE.

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