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No caving to Similan tour operator pressure

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No caving to Similan tour operator pressure | The Thaiger

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation is refusing to bow to pressure from tour operators in Phang-nga for it to ease current restrictions on the number of visitors to the Similan Islands.

Songtham Suksawang, director of the National Parks Division of the department, says the decision to limit the number of daily visitors to the island at 3,325 plus another 525 visitors for scuba diving was intended to preserve the environment and ecology of the island.

Overnight stays on Similan Islands are also currently banned under the new guidelines.

He says the department doesn’t want a repeat of the situation of the past years when the number of daily visitors spiralled to 6,000-7,000 on some days, well beyond the capability of the island to cope.

“The department doesn’t want to see Similans to end up like Maya Bay in nearby Krabi province which was recently closed indefinitely due to extensive damage caused to coral reefs and the beach from unlimited visitors.”

The parks division chief said he was not worried by the protest of tour operators who claimed that their business would be affected by the restriction because they had already accepted advance bookings from tourists to visit Similan island and that they were given only short notice about the restrictions.

“Park officials had been discussing with the representatives of the operators throughout the past year about the overcrowding problem on the island and about measures to put a curb on the number of visitors to preserve the island’s environment for long-term benefits for all parties concerned.”

Only few tourists visited Similan island yesterday – the second day of the two-day boycott imposed by tour operators to protest against the restrictions.

Tour operators have been taking tourists to Surin island over the past two days.

SOURCE: Thai PBS



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Phang Nga

Phang Nga Court convicts 11 men over gang rape of 14 year old

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Phang Nga Court convicts 11 men over gang rape of 14 year old | The Thaiger

A Phang Nga court has convicted 11 men and sentenced them to lengthy jail terms for gang-raping a 14 year old girl in the province last year.

Read the original story we broke on The Thaiger HERE.

News about the assaults came to light in September 2017 after the mother filed charges with police. She outlined a litany of abuses accusing up to 40 men in her Koh Raet community of repeatedly assaulting her daughter. It came to light that the daughter was often left home alone in the evenings while her parents went out to work in a nearby rubber plantation.

Community elders and relatives of the men turned the attack onto the family accusing them of being liars saying that their reputations had been tainted.

The Phang Nga provincial court handed down findings that all defendants were guilty of multiple counts of rape on the underage girl. The Court said they gang-raped the victim in her home at least 16 times between May 2016 and February 2017.

The Court sentenced the following to life in prison: Worachit Kongbut, Chatchai Srirat, Boonpoj Nonsee, Chalerm Samin, Sucheep Sumen, Thawatchai Thaogu and Nuttawut Butnoi.

The Court determined that Worachit was the first to assault the girl and forced her onto the beach to be raped by other men from the village. He also filmed and took photos of the assaults to blackmail her. Warachit and Boonpoj forced the girl to take drugs before the other men assaulted her.

In other convictions, Keerati Sumen was sentenced to 45 years in jail. Rangsan Chailiang received a 20 year sentence, Sayan Sumen and Nawik Jareuk got 15 years each. All have been ordered to pay the girl and her mother 18 million baht in damages.
A representative of the Muslims for Peace Foundation, who represented the young victim, said he was pleased with the ruling. Rochitdee Raimancha says the Foundation will continue to assist the girl and her mother, who have since to Bangkok to start a new life.
An attorney representing the accused says they will file an appeal over the convictions as he believes some of them are innocent.
The story was one of the most reported on The Thaiger in 2017. Here’s another of the reports as the full extent of the crimes unravelled, to the horror of Phang Nga locals.
Phang Nga Court convicts 11 men over gang rape of 14 year old | News by The Thaiger
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Phang Nga

Man found dead in his car at Ranong

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Man found dead in his car at Ranong | The Thaiger

A Ranong man has been found dead inside his car at a tourist spot today. Ranong is a five hour drive north of Phuket.

Police were alerted this morning that a car had been parked overnight in the parking lot of Grass Mountain in the main central district.

When police unlocked the car they found the body of a man, later identified as 32 year old Sutthipong Suk-aram, in the driver’s seat. A doctor determined that the man had been dead about 24 hours.

The car’s engine and air-conditioner were still on when the body was found and a charcoal stove, which had extinguished itself, was also found inside the car. The man’s relatives told police that Sutthipong had a quarrel with his girlfriend recently.

Charcoal briquettes emit carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a toxic, invisible gas that builds up indoors and can result in poisoning, unconsciousness, or death.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Krabi

13 provinces on alert for flash flooding

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13 provinces on alert for flash flooding | The Thaiger

The Deputy PM Gen Chatchai Sarikalya explained today that winter will officially begin in the nation late this month and the Meteorological Department has assessed that rains in all regions except the south will be 10-20 percent less than the usual average for this time of the year.

Meanwhile, flood warnings are in force in the south until Saturday night.

Permanent Secretary for Public Health, Dr. Sukum Kanchanapimai has ordered hospitals in flood-risk areas to closely follow updates and stock up on medications. They are to prepare plans both internally and with local citizens to ensure minimal impact in the event of flooding. Equipment is also to be moved to higher ground and mobile units are to be readied, especially to assist bed-ridden and chronically ill patients.

Director-General of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Chaiyapol Tithisakhas coordinated flood alerts for Petchaburi, Prachuap Khirikan, Chumporn, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phattalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Satun. Many of the provinces are on alert for mud slides until October 27.

Assistance can be requested by calling the department’s 24 hour hotline 1784.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

13 provinces on alert for flash flooding | News by The Thaiger

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Phang Nga Weather
November 19, 2018, 2:59 pm
28.3
°C
Temperature
91
%
Humidity
5
km/h
Wind from Northwest
2.6
mm
Rainfall
24
%
Cloud Cover
35
Heat Index

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