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Thailand Live Wednesday 27 Jul 2011


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Thailand Live Wednesday 27 Jul 2011

News, Bits and Tweets

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Keep up to date with live updates from the news, hour by hour.

For breaking news,national, regional and international news updates on a daily basis only, this thread is closed to commentary so that those who wish to follow the news can find it here...

Commentary is still open for Thailand news in the relevant thread posted in News Clippings.

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Related topic: Thailand Live Tuesday 26 Jul 2011

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GERMANY'S ENTRY BAN FOR THAKSIN

Germany should decide on Thaksin visit : Panitan

By The Nation

Although it has not been confirmed whether former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been allowed to visit Germany, PM's deputy secretary-general Panitan Wattanayagorn said yesterday it was up to each country to decide whether to let an individual into their country or not.

He said the Foreign Ministry was verifying the issue. Panitan was responding to reports earlier this month that Germany had allowed Thaksin, who holds a Montenegrin passport, to visit the country.

"We actually want good cooperation between the two countries as the former prime minister is involved in legal cases," Panitan said.

The Supreme Court convicted Thaksin of corruption and sentenced him to two years in prison related to the Ratchadaphisek land scandal in 2008. The German government later put Thaksin on a persona non grata list, banning him from entering the country following his repeated phone-in addresses to anti-government rallies in Thailand.

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-- The Nation 2011-07-27

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Forest search team to undergo health check-up

By The Nation

About 30 forestry officials who went in search of the bodies of eight soldiers and a cameraman in Phetchaburi province's Kang Krachan National Park, have been instructed to undergo health check-ups after many parasites were found in their chief's blood following a slug bite.

National Resources and Environment Ministry permanent secretary Chote Trachoo said the chief of Kang Krachan National Park, Chaiwat Limlikhitaksorn, who went to search for the bodies of eight soldiers and a cameraman killed in a helicopter crash was bitten by a slug in the forest.

At the end of the search operation, he was sent to undergo check-ups at the Hospital for Tropical Disease. Many parasites were found in his body due to the slug bite.

"The type of parasite in Chaiwat's body could not be identified," Chote said.

This prompted Chote to instruct all 30 forestry officials who joined the search operations with Chaiwat to undergo health check-ups immediately at the hospital as they could develop illnesses due to the slug bite.

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-- The Nation 2011-07-27

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Crackdown on illegal resorts can wait not longer: chief ranger

By The Nation

A full crackdown against land encroachment and the illegal operation of resorts in the Wang Nam Khiao area of Nakhon Ratchasima could wait no longer, a chief forest ranger said yesterday, acknowledging that only a handful of actions had been taken against those facing eviction since 1999.

The chief of Thab Lan national park, Thewin Meesab, whose jurisdiction covers parts of the encroached-upon Wang Nam Khiao land, vowed to press ahead with the crackdown.The dismantling of two resorts first facing eviction a decade ago will now be rushed through, following additional authorisation from an outside agency, in order to "set an example to those attempting to resist the crackdown", he said.

Responding to requests by local politicians, as well as village heads acting on behalf of affected villagers, to await new policies on forest management from the incoming government, Thewin said: "We cannot wait any longer, as we have until now taken legal action against only a few of the 102 facing eviction since 1999 for illegal encroachment."

He named three resorts that are still operating despite the court's eviction order. Thalay Mok, Muang Nai Mok and Bang Pha Ngarm were ordered to stop operations and leave the area back in 2001.

He said the first two resorts would be soon be taken down to set an example, while the third was still fighting a legal battle with the Royal Forest Department (RFD).

Forestry officials and civilian authorities are facing further resistance from developers and resort owners, along with villagers and farmers who conduct tourism business with them.

The officials are running a public-relations campaign through to this coming Saturday to inform the local public about the crackdown, and will post no-entry signs at more resorts during the period.

Explaining the slow progress by forestry officials in tackling land encroachment over the years, Thewin said the joints areas connecting Wang Nam Khiao and the national park were vast, covering many districts in Nakhon Ratchasima and Prachin Buri and beyond the capability of forestry officials, whose numbers are small.

The chief ranger also said he had heard of a series of planned protests and road blockades by villagers who are against the crackdown, including those who own a number of properties in Kullavanich resort.

The owners have already met with him to discuss ownership of those properties after the resort was recently seized by the RFD.

At Tab Lan national park office in Prachin Buri, a press conference was held to promote the crackdown by the RFD on land encroachment in the park areas located in the province.

Meanwhile, in Songkhla, forestry and civilian authorities yesterday felled some 1,000 rubber trees grown illegally in a restricted area adjacent to Pa Khao Reng forest reserve in Hat Yai district.

The 1,080 trees had been grown on 16 rai of fertile land. The area is also the source of a number of waterways.

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-- The Nation 2011-07-27

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Woodcutter shot dead in front of wife

By The Nation

Pattani

A wood cutter was shot dead yesterday in front of his wife and six-year-old daughter in Pattani's Muang district while on the way to cut trees in Songkhla's Saba Yoy district.

Police called to a bridge linking Tambon Khlong Maning's Ban Nomatu and Tambon Barahor's Ban Banrosaning at 7am, found the body of Waeharong Jaemama, 30, with his wife and daughter who were still in shock.

The family's pick-up truck had reached the bridge where two assailants blocked the road with their pick-up truck, approached the family and shot Waeharong at close |range, before walking |back to their truck and fleeing.

The young girl was reportedly so shocked and traumatised by the murder she could not speak. Police suspect either a personal conflict or the ongoing insurgency as a motive for the killing.

In Narathiwat's Ba Cho district, an ice-cream parlour vendor and former volunteer ranger was seriously injured when two assailants, pretending to buy snacks at his shop, shot him before fleeing on a motorcycle yesterday afternoon.

Masoree Kana,32, sustained serious gunshot wounds in both legs and was later transferred to Narathiwat Rajanakarin Hospital. Police blamed separatists as Masoree had been the target of an assassination attempt while serving as a volunteer ranger last year.

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-- The Nation 2011-07-27

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Railway police seize drugs

By The Nation

Songkhla's Hat Yai railway police seized 59,767 yaba tablets on the Bangkok-Sungai Kolok express train on Monday night- while Prachuap Khiri Khan railway police apprehended two male suspects along with 41,954 yaba tablets the previous evening.

Suspects Apiranan Akaraseubsakul and Narudin Bado allegedly confessed they were transporting the drugs for distribution by Sungai Kolok drug-dealing agents.

Police found the drugs hidden in a backpack and a computer bag in the eleventh bogey's luggage shelf at 11.20pm on Monday.

This seizure resulted from the arrest of two drug suspects on the same train in Prachuap Khiri Khan's Hua Hin district the previous evening. Interrogation revealed that besides the drugs found on Apiranan during the arrest, there were more drugs on the train.

Prachuap Khiri Khan railway police alerted their Hat Yai counterparts who searched for and found them.

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-- The Nation 2011-07-27

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Defendant not arrested for arson - witness

A prosecution witness in the CentralWorld and Zen Department Store fire case told the Criminal Court yesterday that he saw only one of the two defendants who are facing arson charges before the court being arrested on May 19 last year. However, the man was being arrested for robbery and not for setting the buildings alight.

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Army Chief Calls for Public to Express Loyalty to Monarchy

The army chief has urged Thais to express reverence of the royal institution, advising all Thais struggling in their lives to look to His Majesty the King for inspiration.

Army Commander-in-Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha said to the students, while presiding over the high school Songs for the Country contest, that the Monarchy is one of the most sacred institution in Thailand.

General Prayuth said the Monarchy unites the Thai people and that those who are disloyal should question their own citizenship.

The army chief called on youth and all Thais to draw inspiration from the pictures of His Majesty the King that are popularly put up in every home.

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-- Tan Network 2011-07-27

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Korn Departs Finance Minister Position

On their departure date, the Finance Minister and two deputy ministers have pledged to do their best as a part of the opposition party.

The outgoing Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij along with two deputy ministers, Pradit Pataraprasit and Man Patanothai paid their respects to holy images at the Finance Ministry on the day of their departure, as they move on to new positions as members of the opposition party.

Korn thanked everyone he worked with for their corporation during his term as finance minister.

He added as part of the opposition party, he will encourage the government to come up with policies to benefit the Thai economy.

He expressed confidence that all Finance Ministry staff are ready to work with the Pheu Thai-led government.

Korn went on the thank the media for all their reports on the current government's actions, as this helps facilitate policy making decisions.

He urged the media to continue reporting accurately.

Meanwhile, Korn said he hopes the next Finance Minister will have full knowledge of Macro and Micro economic policies as well as have enough credibility to push forward or stop any policies.

He encouraged the next government to focus on trying to balance the budget within the next 4 years.

He said that although the new government has the right to reconsider expenditure budgets for the year 2012, they should be aware that the policies that they campaigned on, like decreasing diesel taxes, decreasing corporate taxes, and cutting taxes for first- time car buyers all require a large budget.

Korn also expressed concern about the new government's plan to buy rice from farmers.

He said the Pheu Thai Party has announced that they would buy rice priced 60 to 70 percent higher than the market price.

This has encouraged rice hoarding, which leads to elevated prices.

He said it will effect the government budget as they also plan to help reduce household debt burdens.

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-- Tan Network 2011-07-27

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EC Inspects Tampered Ballots in Ratchaburi Province

The Election Commission has assigned a committee to investigate election fraud in Ratchaburi Province.

The election commissioner, Surapon Srisubin, gave an interview after large number of ballots were found in Moo 18, Tha Pa Sub-district of Ban Pong, Ratchaburi Province.

The initial inspection determined that the 183 ballots found came from Constituency 4.

They were torn apart and packed in a plastic bag before being dumped.

The Election Commission, or EC, will determine whether they are genuine ballots and the commission will investigate who is behind the ballot tampering.

Normally, ballot boxes are tightly guarded at police stations after they are counted.

However, Surapon stated that the case would not affect the endorsed MPs for Ratchaburi Province.

Only Constituency 4 MPs have not been certified by the EC yet due to a complaint against Bhumjaithai MP-elect, Chaworarat Chindhammmitra.

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-- Tan Network 2011-07-27

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Narathiwat bombing damages rail tracks; service paralysed

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NARATHIWAT, July 27 -- A bombing on Wednesday damaged State Railways of Thailand tracks in Rangae district of this southern border province, but no casualties were reported.

The five-kilogramme homemade bomb placed near the rail line between Salowkadae railway station and Maruebo railway station, was detonated at 5.30am by an unknown persons in Ranage district.

The powerful explosion damaged the rail line forcing the temporary suspension of train services in Thailand’s three southernmost border provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.

Services is expected to resume at noon.

Initially, security officials presumed the bombing to be an action of a group of suspected insurgents or by a drug ring aiming to retaliate against the government’s narcotics suppression campaign.

Forensic experts and troops from Narathiwat-based Task Force 38 rushed to inspect the scene of the incident and found two more bombs buried beneath the track. The authorities used a high-powered water gun to destroy the bombs.

Another bombing occurred just 150 metres from the site of the first incident, but no casualties were reported.

In the neighbouring province of Pattani, two soldiers from Pattani-based Task Force 25 force were wounded in a roadside bombing while on patrol in Yarang subdistrict Wednesday morning.

Presumed insurgents detonated the explosive device by remote control as the security team passed by. The wounded were sent for treatment at a nearby hospital. The scene has been cordoned off for forensic tests and a police investigation is underway.

The latest violence occurred two days after five teachers and two security volunteers were wounded by a roadside bomb attack in Yala’s provincial seat.

Since 2004, the insurgency in the three southern border provinces has intensified, resulting in over 4,300 people people and wounding and injuring many others, mainly local residents and government authorities. (MCOT online news)

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-- TNA 2011-07-27

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EC Hints at Endorsing Required 95% of MPs Today

The Election Commission has announced that it is possible that 475 MPs, or 95 percent, of the lawmakers in the House of Representatives will be endorsed at today's meeting, which would allow the Lower House to convene.

Election Commissioner Somchai Juengprasert has announced that it is possible that 475 MPs or 95 percent of MPs in the House of Representatives will be endorsed by the end of the fourth deliberation session scheduled for today.

This would allow the Lower House to reconvene for the first time since the July 3 election.

Somchai claimed that the Election Commission intends to endorse the remaining 73 MPs in order to ease the current political tension.

He also personally believes that the MP status of red-shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan should have been approved long ago.

About the possible issuance of red and yellow cards, Somchai could not say for certain as many of the complaints were reviewed before.

He also commented on the case in which a number of ballots were found to have been destroyed in Ratchaburi Province's Constituency 4, saying that it could just be an attempt to discredit the poll panel.

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-- Tan Network 2011-07-27

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Protesters Block Lignite Mine Firm in Lampang

Villagers in Lampang Province gathered to protest against a planned lignite mine in the area, saying the project endangers the local environment.

A total of 100 residents from two villages in the Ngao District in Lampang province protested a proposed lignite mine, citing an environmental-related impacts as their main concern.

During the protest, they blocked the entrance of the firm that is responsible for the project and installed a wooden fence to prevent staff from entering the building to conduct an environmental and health impact assessment.

A resident said the company bought 1,000 rai of land from villagers and told them the firm would be running a eucalyptus farm.

However, the project eventually turned out to be a lignite mine.

They insisted that they will pressure the firm until the project is completely scrapped.

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-- Tan Network 2011-07-27

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