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World

PM weighs in after Thai national injured in Gaza explosion

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: An explosion in the Gaza Strip injured a Thai national this week. (via Flickr/Jim Forest)

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has made statements expressing concern and sorrow for the violence in the Gaza Strip as recent explosions have injured a Thai national. Thailand has a quota for agricultural labourers that work on exchange in Israel, with about 250 workers travelling to Israel each week on a charter flight. 3,100 Thai workers are currently already working in Israel.

Among the Thai labourers is Sitthichok Nanam, a 24 year old from Udon Thani who was injured in the Gaza Strip this week by a Hamas-launched explosion. No details about the nature of his injuries have been released yet, though he was treated at Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva already. The Thai man had been working in Israel since June of 2017.

The Thai Royal Embassy in Tel Aviv passed on the information to the Labour Ministry who then contacted his family in Udon Thani to keep them updated on the situation. The ministry also requested funds to take care of the injured Thai man as well as to help other labourers who may need assistance.

Conflict has been escalating in the region as Israeli police and Palestinians have battled most recently over Muslims gathering at the Damascus Gate for iftar, the evening meal after daily fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. This is in addition to balloon bombs and dozens of rockets being launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel last week and other growing local conflicts.

PM Prayut has weighed in on the international matter since it does affect Thai citizens working near the Gaza Strip and in the region. His concern was added to a recent statement Thailand released regarding growing violence in the area.

“Thailand is deeply concerned by the violence in Israel and Palestine and strongly urges all parties concerned to exercise utmost restraint and refrain from any provocative actions that could escalate the situation and cause further casualties of innocent civilians and damages to heritage sites. Thailand also expresses its condolences and sympathies to those who have been affected by the violence.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Crime

Priceless Buddha statue stolen in March found at a bus stop

Neill Fronde

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In Lop Buri’s Tha Wung district, a rare Buddha statue went on a mysterious and strange trip having been stolen in March and just found at a bus stop nearby. The statue was stolen from a local museum in the Central Thailand province at the beginning of March and was spotted yesterday morning sitting at a bus stop.

The statue is of Phra Sri Arya Maitreya, an important figure in Buddhism that represents the future Buddha in heaven. This Buddha will later come to the human Realm after Gautama Buddha. The statue is of the future Buddha in a seated position holding a fan in his left hand and is considered a Priceless historical artefact.

A monk was out collecting food donations yesterday morning and saw the statue sitting alone at a bus stop only one km from where it was stolen. He immediately contacted local leaders and the police to inform them of his discovery. Lop Buri Police suspect that whoever stole the statue dumped it at the bus stop after coming to the realization that selling it or getting any value out of it would be exceedingly difficult. With everyone on the lookout for the statue, it would be hard to find a buyer and they would easily be caught if they attempted to sell it.

The museum is volunteer-run, operated by the “We Love Wat Lai” local conservation organisation, and they were preparing to open a new extension building for the temple Museum. This statue of Phra Sri Arya Maitreya was set to be a highlight of that wing.

Police have suspicions that the theft may have been an inside job, though no arrests have been made as of yet. An advisor for the local Museum group who is also a cultural expert stated that the volunteers running the museum have decided to install CCTV for future security.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Norwegian-flagged ship with 6 Covid-19 infections off Songkla

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: A Norwegian-flagged ship with 6 Covid-19 cases floats off Songkla. (via Boa.no)

A Norwegian-flagged ship is currently floating off the coast of Songkla in the south of Thailand with 6 crew members infected with Covid-19. The offshore support vessel is named the Boa Deep C and is currently anchored near Ko Nu Island and awaiting further instructions. A spokesman for the Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre confirmed that the boat has been waiting there since May 12.

At the Songkla Deep Sea Port, an official in the International Disease Control Office reported that the boat has 29 crew members on board for a journey that began on May 1 from India. The boat previously docked at port in Singapore for a stopover before travelling on to the Thai port.

The offshore support vessel arrived in the area around 8 am 0n May 11. At that time, Port of Songkla officials inspected the ship’s documents and administered Covid-19 swab tests to all people on board. The ship was originally cleared to travel on to Chon Buri and departed at 5 pm.

But later that evening around 10 pm, test results came back and revealed that 2 crew members from Ukraine, 2 from Poland, 1 from Russia, and 1 from India all tested positive for Covid-19. The ship was immediately ordered to return back to Songkla port by the local marine office.

The vessel arrived back the next day and was instructed to anchor by Ko Nu Island and await further updates. They were informed that travelling to any other seaport in Thailand or a nearby oil platform was strictly prohibited for any crew member. A field hospital was established on board the ship to isolate and begin treatment of the six Covid-19 infected crew members. None have reported any severe symptoms yet.

The maritime enforcement centre has dispatch patrol boats to observe the waters around the vessel and make sure that nobody leaves the Covid-19 infected ship and that nobody is allowed onto the boat. Officials in Songkla will continue to monitor the boat, stating that the ship is free to return to its country of origin at any time as long as they inform Thai officials first.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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