Thailand Video News | MFP could face dissolution over lese majeste, Songkran sees alcohol sale restrictions

In this video, Alex and Jay delve into a diverse array of news stories in Thailand, each with its own unique impact. From impending alcohol sales restrictions during Songkran for safety considerations, to the profound influence this festival holds over the Thai economy, viewers will gain insight into current affairs. Amidst the headlines, they discuss a local man’s astonishing survival after a ferocious encounter with a black bear, and the potential dissolution of the MFP due to its stance on lese majeste. Furthermore, they explore disturbing incidents involving an American man’s assault on a retired police officer and the shocking case of a horse’s sexual assault in Phuket, provoking contemplation on the intricacies of contemporary society.

Alcohol sales are going to see new restrictions this Songkran for safety reasons


To address the high incidence of road accidents linked to drunk driving during the extended World Songkran Festival from April 1 to 21, the Public Health Ministry, led by Minister Cholnan Srikaew, has implemented strict controls on alcohol sales, especially targeting sales to minors. The festival period is divided into a preparatory stage (April 1-10), main events (April 11-17), and a post-festival period (April 18-21). Authorities are tasked with enforcing sales restrictions, including limited selling hours and prohibitions on sales to those under 20 and in restricted areas. Measures include mandatory breathalyser and blood tests for those involved in accidents, with legal actions against vendors violating these rules. Cholnan highlighted the role of community checkpoints in preventing drunk driving. Last year’s Songkran period saw 4,340 casualties, with a significant number of accidents involving young people under 20, mostly on secondary roads, highlighting the critical need for these safety initiatives.

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Songkran is set to have a significant impact on the Thai economy

 

The Songkran festival in Thailand, a significant cultural event celebrated with water splashing activities, is expected to generate a substantial 24.4 billion baht (US$682 million) from an estimated 510,000 international visitors and 4.29 million domestic trips, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). This year’s revenue, forecasted for the period of April 12-16, marks a 49% increase from the previous year, with domestic and international tourism contributing 15.6 billion baht (US$436 million) and 8.76 billion baht (US$245 million), respectively. Bangkok alone is projected to earn 3.7 billion baht (US$103 million) from the festival, which will be celebrated at Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue from April 11-15. The festivities, extended across 21 days in April, will benefit from a 130 million baht (US$3.6 million) promotional effort by the government, showcasing 20 special parades and targeting a significant influx of tourists. This initiative comes as Thailand sees a robust return of international tourism, with 7.4 million foreign tourists contributing over 359 billion baht (US$10 billion) to the economy by March 10, led by visitors from China, Malaysia, and Russia, buoyed by visa exemptions and increased flight connectivity.

 

A local man survived a harrowing attack by a black bear

 

Over the weekend, a Thai man, Phumin Joysaku, survived an attack by an Asian black bear in the Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary, Buriram province, while searching for ant eggs. His wife, Warn Chernprakone, reported the incident, explaining that Phumin encountered the bear while collecting eggs, leading to severe injuries on his arms and legs. The attack took place near Khao Luk Chang, and Phumin managed to fend off the bear with a knife, inadvertently injuring it. He is currently stable at Non Din Daeng Hospital. This incident marks a rare case of aggression from a bear known to locals, with the sanctuary’s director, Aomsuan Raksat, identifying the attacker as a female Asian black bear, urging the community to report wild animals near residential areas for their safety and that of the wildlife.

 

The MFP may face dissolution related to its stance on lese majeste

 

The Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) has formally requested the Constitution Court to consider the dissolution of the Move Forward Party (MFP) due to its efforts to reform the lese majeste law (Section 112 of the Criminal Law), claiming it threatens the monarchy and the democratic form of government with the king as head of state. This action follows complaints by Thai lawyer Teerayut Suwannakaesorn and members of the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) concerning the MFP’s campaign activities. The ECT argues that the MFP has violated constitutional provisions related to political party conduct and has called for a judicial review, which is expected to conclude in about two months. Despite the potential for dissolution, MFP spokesperson Parit Wacharasindhu remains hopeful, stressing the importance of political party growth in Thailand and the non-normalization of party dissolution. The party has prepared a contingency plan and vows to continue its work, emphasizing the significance of this issue for Thai politics.

 

An American man severely assaulted a retired police officer


In a shocking incident at a local village grocery store, a retired Thai police officer, Arthaphon Premjit, narrowly escaped death after being choked by an American man in an unprovoked attack. The retired officer was enjoying snacks when the assailant, known only as a store customer, launched a sudden assault, leaving Arthaphon struggling for air. This act of violence is part of a pattern of erratic behavior displayed by the American, who has previously been evicted from the village for his disruptive actions. Despite attempts at mediation, Arthaphon is pressing charges, supported by witness accounts, including from the grocery store owner, Tuangporn, who intervened during the assault. Local police, led by officer Piphop Paenghom, are conducting a thorough investigation to ensure justice, amidst community concerns over the American’s aggressive conduct and previous conflicts within the village


An American man was caught sexually assaulting a horse in Phuket

 

In Phuket province, a disturbing incident was captured by CCTV at a horse farm in the Thalang district, where an 18-year-old American named Steven was recorded sexually assaulting a pregnant horse, leading to the animal’s miscarriage. This atrocious act, condemned by Watchdog Thailand (WDT) on social media, was not the teenager’s first offense, as it was revealed he had previously assaulted other pregnant horses on the farm, causing additional miscarriages. The footage displayed the assailant inappropriately interacting with the horses, with the assaults causing significant harm, including irritation and infection to the animals’ reproductive organs. Despite the risks associated with treatment, including the potential loss of pregnancy, the farm owner and Livestock Development Department officials are seeking ways to treat the affected horse. WDT has urged local police to apprehend the individual to prevent further harm, marking a shift from the farm owner’s previous inaction regarding legal complaints against the offender.

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