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Leicester fans mourn Thai boss killed in helicopter crash

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Leicester fans mourn Thai boss killed in helicopter crash | The Thaiger
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Fans have been laying out flowers, football scarves, prayers and tributes outside the Leicester City club grounds after Saturday’s helicopter accident, in tribute to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the Thai Leicester club owner fans credit for an against-all-odds Premiership victory in 2016.

“Leicester City was a family under his leadership. It is as a family that we will grieve his passing and maintain the pursuit of a vision for the club that is now his legacy.” – Leicester Club statement.

The club’s Thai billionaire owner died in a helicopter crash just outside the ground. According to witnesses it had just taken off from the centre of the pitch and was just gaining altitude when it appeared to suffer an unknown mechanical failure.

Fans streamed towards the stadium to express their gratitude and condolences, sensing the worst, but before official confirmation that the 60 year old businessman, had perished in the crash. Vichai frequently flew to and from Leicester’s home games by his family-owned helicopter. Four other people on the helicopter, including two members of Vichai’s staff, were also killed in the crash.

As emergency vehicles whizzed back and forth from the crash site, the car park in the rear of the stadium, a stream of people came to pay homage and their gratitude.

According to AFP, one 55 year old fan said, “He’s put Leicester on the map. He’s made us big, we’re not just a little club anymore.”

Vichai also had enormous impact on Thailand football, not only in the international arena, but developing Thai football and sponsoring many competitions and clubs.

Eyewitnesses report that the helicopter appeared to develop some mechanical problems in the rear rotor shortly after takeoff. Orange balls of flame engulfed the craft as it crashed to the ground, according to people that watched the horror unfold.

It was under Vichai’s ownership of the club that Leicester was able to produce one of the biggest fairytale wins in English football history by winning the 2015/16 Premier League title. The club had started the season as 5,000-1 outsiders to win the title.

Leicester fans mourn Thai boss killed in helicopter crash | News by The Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phu Quoc will be Vietnam’s ‘test’ island as it re-opens to foreign tourists

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Phu Quoc will be Vietnam’s ‘test’ island as it re-opens to foreign tourists | The Thaiger

Vietnam’s Phu Quoc, the tourist island off the coast of Cambodia in the eastern Gulf of Thailand, is going to start allowing foreign arrivals on a trial basis as part of Vietnam’s roadmap to re-opening to international tourism. As an island the trial will be a more controlled rehearsal for wider re-openings to tourists around Vietnam in the future.

Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Trinh Thi Thuy says his ministry has been working on a pilot plan to attract international tourists to select islands, Phu Quoc among those considered.

“Tougher measures should be taken to prevent another outbreak of Covid-19.”

Vietnam mostly dodged the Covid-19 bullet with only 26 cases patients still undergoing treatment and has managed to avoid deaths. In total the country has had only 329 reported cases of Covid-19 in a country of 97 million. There has been no community transmission in the last 49 days.

The ministry has assigned the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and Vietnam Tourism Association to start promoting the island, off southern Vietnam’s Mekong delta, to international tourists.

“There are people living there and domestic tourists visit them, and so the risks of community transmission must be taken into account while allowing international visitors back.”

“We are working with the Health Ministry to develop a set of criteria to ensure safety for international visitors. The tourism industry only wants to receive visitors from countries where the disease has been controlled.”

The tourism ministry is consulting with other ministries on air routes, visa issuance and lifting of travel restrictions for tourists from several countries and regions that have managed to control the pandemic, including Thailand.

The ministry looks to kick-start international tourism by reopening its doors to visitors from some select markets where the Covid-19 pandemic has been controlled – Japan, South Korea and China, Thailand, Australia and New Zealander are some of the countries under consideration for early re-entry back onto Vietnam islands.

Phu Quoc, dubbed ‘pearl island’, has become a popular tourist destination after it built an international airport in 2012 and the government instigated a 30 day visa-free policy for foreigners 6 years ago. Over the past year there were flights from Thailand with Bangkok Airways (out of Bangkok) and via Kuala Lumpur on Air Asia.

The island received over five million visitors last year, up 30% from 2018, including 541,600 foreigners. The country, like most of south east Asia, currently has a ban on scheduled international commercial aviation.

Phu Quoc will be Vietnam's 'test' island as it re-opens to foreign tourists | News by The Thaiger

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K-Pop fans mobilise to drown out racist tweets and hashtags

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K-Pop fans mobilise to drown out racist tweets and hashtags | The Thaiger

K-Pop fandom have weaponised their huge base and taken on the hashtags #WhiteLivesMatter, set up as a spoiler to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. But the huge fanbase of K-Pop has mobilised to spoil the spoilers. By flooding the hashtags with content, the K-Pop fans have been drowning out racist or offensive posts.

Instead they’ve used the hashtags to share pics of their fave K-Pop bands and performers, memes and lyrics that show support to the #BlackLivesMatter and the peaceful protests that are now spreading across the world.

The #BlueLivesMatter hashtag, often used in support of the police but also criticising #BlackLivesMatter protesters, has also been targeted.

K-Pop fans mobilise to drown out racist tweets and hashtags | News by The Thaiger

After K-Pop fans flooded the hashtag with photos and videos, the term started trending on Twitter, reaching a much broader and global audience than its intended US base. Some fans are now focusing on other tags such as #AllLivesMatter.

The protests, and the social media storm, began following the release of a video showing African-American George Floyd being arrested, then killed, in the US city of Minneapolis. In the video four white police officers are seen arresting Mr Floyd. One officer, Derek Chauvin, is seen kneeling on the man’s neck even after he pleads that he cannot breathe. He was eventually taken to hospital, unresponsive, and pronounced dead on arrival. The four police officers have now all been charged; Mr. Chauvin with second degree murder.

George Floyd’s death has sparked huge protests in multiple cities across the US against racism and the police killings of black Americans. The protests, now in their eighth day in many locations, have been largely peaceful but also been politicised by both extremes of the US political landscape.

So if you click on the #WhiteLivesMatter hashtag now you’ll be bombarded with thousands of K-Pop posts and messages of support for the US protesters, sometimes accompanied with lyrics and videos displaying messages of peace and anti-racism memes.

The most popular K-Pop band, indeed the most popular band in the world at the moment, BTS, released a rare political statement yesterday, standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The band has more than 26 million Twitter followers and their statement was posted in English and Korean.

“We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together. #BlackLivesMatter.”

 

K-Pop fans mobilise to drown out racist tweets and hashtags | News by The Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

They arrived! One Thai/Australian family’s battle to re-unite.

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They arrived! One Thai/Australian family’s battle to re-unite. | The Thaiger

Common sense has prevailed and the uphill task faced by father Sam Kelly last week has had a favourable ending with his Thai wife, Kannika, and 2 children. Ronny and Adam, arriving safely this morning in Brisbane, Australia. His months-long battle with common sense and the vagaries of Thai officialdom has resulted in at least one family being re-united soon – one of many such cases. Not all of them end as well with families around the world still separated by border closures, bans and lack of flights.

This time last week the prospects of Sam’s family getting onto a repatriation flight, organised by the Australian Embassy in Bangkok, looked doubtful as capricious Thai red tape was shuffling his family around as they battled to get from their base in Phuket to Bangkok and then onto the flight. The repatriation flights are rare and seats extremely limited. The flights are a bureaucratic nightmare to organise and Sam was doubtful last week that all the pieces of the paperwork puzzle would fall in place.

Suffice to say Sam, speaking to The Thaiger this morning, was overjoyed.

“They made it! My family have arrived in Brisbane safely and are currently undertaking their mandatory quarantine period there.”

In Australia, the government pays all the bills for the mandatory 14 day quarantine period. Kannika and the 2 boys are staying at a five star hotel in the heart of Brisbane. Sam is stuck on an offshore oil rig with another 3 weeks of work ahead of him before he can be re-united with his family.

You can read the whole background to Sam, Kannika, Ronny and Adam’s adventures to re-unite HERE.

“There are many people we would like to thank, and forgive me if I miss anyone. Firstly from the bottom of my heart I would like to thank the senior Thai government officers that were directly involved…

• General Anupong Phaojinda (พลเอก อนุพงษ. ์เผ่าจินดา) Minister of The Interior รัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงมหาดไทย

• Mr.Chatchai Phomlert นายฉัตรชัย พรหมเลิศ Permanent Secretary ปลัดกระทรวงมหาดไทย

• Mr.Thanakom Jongjira นายธนาคม จงจิระ Director General อธิบดีกรมกาปกครอง

• Mr.Pinij Boonlert นายพินิจ บุญเลิศ Pathumthani Governor ผู้ว่าราชการจังหวัดปทุมธานี

• Mr. Jirawat Dusadeetharangkool นายจิรวัฒน์ ดุษฎีธารางกูร ปลัดอาวุโส ธัญบุรี (Thanyaburi District Senior Officer)

• Mr.Pisanu Prapathananun นายพิษณุ ประภาธนานันท์ Thanyaburi District Chief นายอำเภอธัญบุรี

These officials moved mountains and did everything within the Thai law to make sure my family was safe and released in time for the flight. Without these people we may have not be back together for many more months.

I would also like to thank…

• The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra and The Australian Consulate in Bangkok. The staff here have worked very hard to get everything sorted with the relevant Thai authorities for my family to make this flight. I cant even begin to explain how many phone calls and emails were bouncing back and forth between us all.

• All my friends and family from the 4 corners of the globe, Maritime Union of Australia members, the Phuket expat community and the Thai and Australian media who all got involved in my plight. Much love to you all and thankyou for all the phone calls that were made and emails that were sent on our behalf.

Lastly but not least, We would like to thank Australian Ambassador McKinnon and the Thai Government for chartering and arranging these repatriation flights. The effort that goes into this is unbelievable.”

They arrived! One Thai/Australian family's battle to re-unite. | News by The ThaigerThey arrived! One Thai/Australian family's battle to re-unite. | News by The ThaigerThey arrived! One Thai/Australian family's battle to re-unite. | News by The Thaiger

They arrived! One Thai/Australian family's battle to re-unite. | News by The Thaiger

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