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Thailand Live Saturday 10 Sep 2011


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Thailand Live Saturday 10 September 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 Friday 9 September 2011

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Satun covered in smog from wildfire

By The Nation

Wildfires in Indonesia have covered Satun province in thick smog, causing poor visibility and respiratory problems among residents.

The smog blew into the southern province a few days ago and was at its heaviest yesterday morning. A large number of people, mostly young children and the elderly, were found seeking treatment for breathing problems.

The South was hit by smog from Indonesian wildfires in July and then again in August. Public health authorities have advised residents to wear protective masks or cover their noses with wet cloth when travelling.

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-- The Nation 2011-09-10

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Rare manuscript found in France

By The Nation

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An original scripture of Trai Phoom Phra Ruang, a version published during the Ayuthaya period (13501767) relying on a historic tale describing about the Earth, Heaven and Hell composed originally in 1345 during the Sukhothai Kingdom, is in custody of the national archive in Paris, according to a senior Fine Arts Department official.

The discovery has altered Thai historians' belief that there were only pictorial documents about the Trai Phoom Phra Ruang tale made during Ayutthaya but the scripture found in the French national archive proved otherwise. The scripture has been copied with permission of the Paris archieve and been currently studied by Thai experts.

Trai Phoom Phra Ruang was composed at intiative of King Phaya Lithai, or Phra Maha Thammaracha I, who reigned between (13471368). It depicts three afterlife Lands where people go to. Hell is part of the first Land which includes Earth, Heaven is the second and Brahma is the third. People are reborn until they give up all their passions, and stay as eternal being in Nirvana.

The one found in Paris also contains a story "Phra Malai" - an Arhat Buddhist monk who roams between the three Lands and tells of good or bad karmas of people, in addition to the Trai Phoom Phra Ruang tale.

A total of 1,000 copies of the scripture in Paris will be made and given to schools and libraries, in addition to electronic downloadable version which will be posted online.

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-- The Nation 2011-09-10

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Kittiratt urges consumers to reach into pockets for rice farmers

By Petchanet Pratruangkrai

The Nation

Consumers will ultimately foot the bill for the government's ricepledging scheme, paying at least 50 satang more per rice dish to cover subsidies amounting to several billion baht.

After a meeting of the National Rice Policy Committee yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Kittiratt NaRanong said Thais would have to pay more for rice dishes to shore up prices for farmers.

"It's not that we aren't worried about consumers, but highpurchasing groups should spend more money," Kittiratt said, adding that the government plans to produce bags of lowerpriced rice through the ministry's "blue flag" project. However, the ministry has yet to offer any details of the price of such rice, or when the project will be launched.

The meeting settled on subsidised rates for paddy rice of Bt20,000 for jasmine rice; Bt15,000 for white rice; Bt14,800 for 5percent rice; Bt14,600 for 10percent white rice; Bt14,200 for 15percent white rice; and Bt13,800 for 25percent white rice.

Farmers must be approved by the Agriculture Extension Department, the management of local administrations and the Agriculture Ministry in order to qualify for the subsidy.

Kittiratt said the farmers would need to wait four months to redeem their rice, as the scheme is effective from October 7 to the end of February.

Responding to widespread predictions that the scheme will result in a big loss for the government, Kittiratt said this would depend on demand and supply in the global market, as well as how well Thailand manages releases of rice from its stockpile.

"Those who abuse this project for corrupt purposes will be responsible for any losses," he said.

Six subcommittees have been set up to focus on production; marketing; provinciallevel inspections; the pledging policy; release of stockpiles; and monitoring and inspection of the project as a whole.

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-- The Nation 2011-09-10

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Witness insists prachatai.com director guilty

By Pravit Rojanaphruk

The Nation

Prosecution witness Pol Lieutenant Boonlert Kalayanamitr told the court yesterday that prachatai.com director Chiranuch Premchaiporn had indeed committed a crime by not removing alleged lese majeste remarks posted by others on the site's bulletin board.

"We notified [Chiranuch] about the comments found on the website, and this is already an offence" under the Computer Crimes Act, Boonlert, the last witness from the prosecution side, told the two presiding judges. He added that the 10 "defamatory remarks" were visible on prachatai.com for 11 days.

Boonlert, who led the police investigation team, said Chiranuch was "very cooperative" when she was asked for the IP addresses of the people who anonymously posted the messages. Only one user's IP address was tracked down and police could not trace the rest because Internet shops only retain the information of users for a maximum of 90 days.

The single IP address found was traced to Jiraphan Charoenphon, who was acquitted by the court because there was no evidence that she had used the computer, which was in her parents' factory and could be accessed by others.

After testifying in court, Boonlert told reporters that there were many cases still being pursued, but wanted the subject dropped, "because giving interviews will affect the security and the Crown. It's dangerous."

Chiranuch faces 20 years in prison if found guilty.

Sarinee Achavanuntakul, a key member of the Thai Netizen Network (TNN) who observed the hearing yesterday, said the ruling would likely be based on the role and responsibility of an intermediary - Chiranuch in this case - which would then be interpreted under the Computer Crimes Act's Article 15.

When asked if not removing the posts quickly enough was tantamount to consent, Sarinee said: "It's still a point of contention as to what constitutes consent."

She added that further crackdowns on lese majeste offenders would likely continue, especially "under a climate where all [political groups] are competing to become more royalist than others. It's tough."

However, Sarinee defended Chiranuch for being cooperative and said she had no choice but to provide any and all information she had about the anonymous posters.

"The law does not give much leeway and is very obscure," Sarinee said, adding that Chiranuch was "legally obliged" even if she disagreed with the law.

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-- The Nation 2011-09-10

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NSC chief ready to fight against transfer

By The Nation

Former National Security Council secretarygeneral Thawil Pliansri yesterday applied for a week's leave after his new posting as adviser to the Prime Minister's Office was approved and said that he would appeal against the transfer on Monday.

He also complained about Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung's comments about him, adding that many of the statements were inaccurate. "His comments, like the one about it being my bad karma that is to blame for the transfer, are quite unacceptable," he said.

Thawil said he did not dare take Chalerm up on his dinner invitation, saying he did not deserve such an honour and was perfectly happy eating at home with his wife.

Meanwhile, a group of NSC officials yesterday submitted an open letter to Deputy Prime Minister Pol General Kowit Wattana appealing against Thawil's transfer, saying this was the first such move in the NSC's history and demanding a public guarantee that there would be no such transfers in the future.

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-- The Nation 2011-09-10

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UDD-Cambodia football match expected to hasten release of Thai detainees

BANGKOK, 10 September 2011 (NNT) – Interior Ministry Spokesperson Pipatchai Paiboon believes the upcoming friendship football match between red-shirt members and Cambodian officials will help speed up the release of two Thai detainees.

According to Mr Pipatchai, who used to make speeches on the stage of the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), a friendship football match is scheduled to kick off between UDD core leaders and Cambodian government officials on 23 September.

In the meantime, since some UDD core figures, such as Mr Natthawut Saikua, Mr Jatuporn Prompan, MD Weng Tojirakarn and Mr Korkaew Pikulthong, are still prohibited from leaving the country, an attorney has been assigned to petition the Criminal Court for permission for the individuals to travel to Cambodia for the game. However, if the Court does not allow their departure, the event would be organized in Thailand instead.

Mr Pipatchai pointed out that the Thai-Cambodian relations had been on a better note while the upcoming football match should help facilitate Cambodia’s release of Mr Weera Somkwamkid and Ms Ratree Pipattanapaiboon from Prey Sar Prison. He said their return home could take place as soon as next month.

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-- NNT 2011-09-10 footer_n.gif

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