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Thailand Live Friday 5 Dec 2014


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HIS MAJESTY'S 87TH BIRTHDAY
Their Majesties are 'healthy for their age'

THE NATION

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BANGKOK: -- THEIR MAJESTIES the King and Queen are healthy for their age, clinical Prof Udom Kachintorn, dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital, said yesterday while urging Thai citizens to welcome the Royal Family on their way from the hospital to Amarin Vinitchai Hall in the Grand Palace.

The beloved monarch and members of the Royal Family will appear for an audience this morning to mark His Majesty's 87th birthday.

Udom spoke while presiding over a merit-making ceremony yesterday, in which hospital staff gave alms to 88 monks and took an oath to be good civil servants. The hospital will organise activities to celebrate the occasion today, while an exhibition on His Majesty's achievements will be held until December 16

Since yesterday evening, members of the public began gathering along the route, with many saying they would stay overnight to welcome His Majesty in the morning.

Meanwhile, HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, on behalf of His Majesty, will preside over a ceremony on Sunday to present the "Thong Chai Chalermphol" victory flag to the military at the Grand Palace, Lt-General Bundit Boonyapan, chief of the Royal Thai Armed Forces' Directorate for Civil Affairs, said.

Merit-making activities marking His Majesty's birthdays were being held across the country yesterday.

In Rayong's Muang district, the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, which marked its 42nd anniversary this year, joined the Thai Red Cross Society in organising a blood donation event in which 100,000cc of blood was taken from some 400 workers at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate. In the province's Pluak Daeng district, district chief Somchai Palanukhro led participants in planting 1,000 trees on land designated for a drug rehabilitation centre.

In Chon Buri's Sattahip district, some 2,000 military officers and their family members offered alms to 87 monks at the Royal Thai Marine Corps.

In Chiang Mai's Muang district, Governor Suriya Prasartbandit and Maj-General Sarayuth Rangsi, commander of the 33rd Army Circle, joined other officials and the public in a northern-style longevity ritual for the King at Wat Phra Singh. They also released 1 million fish into the Ping River and freed buffaloes.

In Prachin Buri's Maung district, some 1,000 monks and about 2,000 students and members of the public attended a mass and meditation at King Ram V Monument Plaza that finishes today.

In Uthai Thani's Maung district, Governor Somchai Lertpongpakorn led the pubic in the throwing of effective micro-organism mud balls and the pouring of 10,000 litres of effective-micro liquid into the Sakaekrang River as well as removing garbage and hyacinth from the waterway.

In Songkhla's Muang district, 19 competitors in a lantern competition at Laem Samila's Japanese Park showed off their creations.

They will be displayed until December 15 when the winners will be announced. The top prize is Bt50,000, while first runner up gets Bt30,000 and the second runner up gets Bt20,000.

In Nakhon Ratchasima's Muang district, former deputy prime minister Suwat Liptapanlop led some 5,000 military officers, civil servants and members of the public in the planting of 9,587 Siamese Rosewood trees.

Chiang Rai businesswoman Daorung Danmajak, 50, and her family walked from Pathum Thani to Bangkok to express their best wishes for His Majesty at Siriraj Hospital. A Kamphaeng Phet native, Somyos Sripanpring, 58, walked from his hometown to Bangkok, while a 100-strong bicycle group and 130 supporters are riding some 1,000 kilometres from Songkhla's Na Thawi district to Bangkok.

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have also sent their best wishes to the monarch on the event of his birthday.

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Their-Majesties-are-healthy-for-their-age-30249195.html

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-- The Nation 2014-12-05

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Obama sends birthday wish to HM the King

US President Barack Obama has sent a birthday wish to HM the King on the occasion of his birthday on Friday.

Obama said "the people of the United States join me in sending heartfelt congratulations to Your Majesty on your birthday this December 5."

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/breakingnews/Obama-sends-birthday-wish-to-HM-the-King-30249163.html

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-- The Nation 2014-12-04

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Witnesses 'scared to testify' over Brit tourist murders: Thai lawyer
Bangkok, Thailand | AFP |

KOH SAMUI: -- A lawyer for two Myanmar migrants accused of murdering a pair of British holidaymakers on Thursday said key witnesses are too afraid to come forward, hampering his clients' defence as they prepare to enter a plea.

Full story: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/781655-koh-tao-witnesses-scared-to-testify-over-brit-tourist-murders-thai-lawyer/

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Russian ‘Fights Off’ Thieves with Muay Thai Moves In Pattaya
By Khaosod English

PATTAYA — A 27-year-old Russian man used Thai boxing moves to fight off a gang of robbers who attacked him and his girlfriend on a beach in Pattaya last night, police say.

Full story: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/781654-russian-fights-off-thieves-with-muay-thai-moves-in-pattaya/

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DUAL-TRACK RAILWAY SYSTEM
Sino-Thai rail project shown the green light

The Nation

Cost of collaboration still unknown, but minister vows adjacent land off limits to China

BANGKOK: -- The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) yesterday approved a draft memorandum of understanding to be signed with China for the development of a dual-track railway system, with the guarantee that China will not be allowed to use the land along the railway.

Full story: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/781713-sino-thai-rail-project-shown-the-green-light/

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UPDATE:

MURDER OF TWO BRITISH BACKPACKERS
Myanmar suspects indicted over murder of Britons on Koh Tao

KESINEE TAENGKHIO,
SUWANNEE BUNDISAK
THE NATION

BANGKOK: -- THE KOH Samui prosecutor yesterday indicted two Myanmar men over the murder of two British backpackers on Surat Thani's Koh Tao on September 15, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said yesterday.

Full story: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/781591-koh-tao-thai-court-charges-pair-over-murders-of-british-backpackers/page-10?p=8761159#entry8761159

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FUGITIVE BILLIONAIRE BUSINESSMAN
Police met Nopporn to investigate complaint before he fled

THE NATION

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Arrest warrant issued for another suspect alledgedly involved in abduction

BANGKOK: -- POLICE YESTERDAY confirmed that they had met and interviewed fugitive billionaire businessman Nopporn Suppipat after an alleged victim filed a police complaint in June accusing him of intimidation to write down a Bt120-million debt to just Bt20 million, senior police detective Pol Maj-General Sombat Milinthajinda said yesterday.

Full story: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/781715-thai-police-met-nopporn-to-investigate-complaint-before-he-fled/

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International Crisis Group doubtful on junta's 'road map to democracy'
Pravit Rojanaphruk
The Nation

BANGKOK: -- A report from the International Crisis Group has cast doubt on the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)'s pledge to restore democracy.

Full story: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/781716-international-crisis-group-doubtful-on-thai-govts-road-map-to-democracy/

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THAI
New THAI chief vows turnaround of fortunes

SUCHAT SRITAMA
THE NATION

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Montree Jumrieng, right, executive vice president for corporate strategy and sustainable development, passes the baton to new president Charamporn Jotikasthira yesterday.

BANGKOK: -- Charamporn Jotikasthira, who took over as president of Thai Airways International yesterday, pledged to restructure the national airline amid the tough global environment and disease outbreaks and restore its rightful membership in the league of leading carriers of the world.

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EDITORIAL
Gimmicks won't work in the South

The Nation

Neither dictating peace terms to the insurgents nor buying them off have worked - Prayut must get serious about a sustainable solution

BANGKOK: -- Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha always appears to leave room for interpretation in what he says in public. His recent visit to Malaysia provided another example. Peace talks with the Malay Muslim separatists in the southernmost border provinces were high on the agenda.

Full story: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/781719-thai-editorial-gimmicks-wont-work-in-the-south/

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Russians arrested as District Officers raid illegally run Pattaya Tour Companies

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PATTAYA: -- Late on Thursday Night, Government Officers from the Banglamung District Administration, with the assistance of the Thai Army, conducted raids on 4 Tour Companies in Pattaya and arrested 6 Russians who were suspected of working without Work Permits.

Full story: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/781720-russians-arrested-as-district-officers-raid-illegally-run-pattaya-tour-companies/

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Phuket government requests businesses to refrain from alcohol sales on Father's Day
The Phuket News

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PHUKET: -- Patong Police Superindent Chiraphat Pochanaphanhas confirmed that he has recieved an official request from the Phuket provincial government to ask all businesses on the island to refrain from selling alcohol tomorrow, HM the King's 87th birthday, Thailand's Father's Day.

Full story: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/781721-phuket-government-requests-businesses-to-refrain-from-alcohol-sales-on-fathers-day/

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Over 4,000 forums planned for reform
The Nation

BANGKOK: -- The Reconciliation Centre for Reform will hold 4,248 forums to gauge the opinions of students and adults as to what they want to see included in national reforms, National Reform Commission director Lt-General Pisit Sittisarn said yesterday.

Full story: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/781722-over-4000-forums-planned-for-thai-reform/

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BURNING ISSUE
Leaders must be willing to give way for sake of reconciliation

NITIPOL KIRAVANICH

BANGKOK: -- The junta's determination to promote reconciliation by adding a new section to the charter might be an uphill task, but that task has become even tougher after a Constitutional Drafting Committee (CDC) subcommittee put the amnesty issue on the table again.

Full story: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/781723-thai-politics-leaders-must-be-willing-to-give-way-for-sake-of-reconciliation/

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DIGITAL ECONOMY
Prayut urges 4G spectrum auctions as soon as possible

Asina Pornwasin
The Nation

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BANGKOK: -- Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday that he supported the plan to auction spectrum licences as soon as possible next year for fourth-generation cellular service, as well the establishment of a national broadband network and a national data centre.

Full story: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/781724-prayut-urges-4g-spectrum-auctions-as-soon-as-possible/

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Push for amnesty
THE NATION

BANGKOK: -- Anek Laothamatas, chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC)'s subcommittee on promoting reconciliation, yesterday insisted on proposing an amnesty idea for the charter drafters to consider but said it needed to be scrutinised carefully.

Full story: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/781725-push-for-thai-amnesty/

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Thailand steps up ivory trade control measures
By Digital Content

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BANGKOK, Dec 5 -- Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has tightened measures to control the ivory trade in the country.

Full story: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/781726-thailand-steps-up-ivory-trade-control-measures/

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Thai Shrimp Association fears EU may ban Thai fisheries products
By Digital Content

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BANGKOK, Dec 5 -- The Thai Shrimp Association urged the Department of Fisheries to tackle illegal fishing; otherwise, the European Union (EU) may ban Thai fishery products.

Full story: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/781727-thai-shrimp-association-fears-eu-may-ban-thai-fisheries-products/

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Mining company signs pact to drop lawsuits
The Nation

LOEI: -- The mining company Thung Kham signed a memorandum of understanding at the Loei provincial hall yesterday agreeing to drop eight civil lawsuits it had filed against members of the Khon Rak Ban Kerd Group.

The company was suing the group for leading residents from six villages to rally against the firm's gold mine in tambon Khao Luang of Wang Saphung district.

The MoU states that the company will officially withdraw the lawsuit at Loei Provincial Court on Monday, while the case at Phuket Provincial Court will be dropped on December 20.

Meanwhile, the villagers have also agreed to remove roadblocks tomorrow so the mining company can begin moving minerals out of the mine on Monday or Tuesday. This operation will be witnessed by state agencies, the company and the villagers, the MoU said.

As per the MoU, any side found breaching the agreement can be sued by the other for compensation.

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Mining-company-signs-pact-to-drop-lawsuits-30249192.html

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-- The Nation 2014-12-05

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Traffic rearrangements during King’s celebrations

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BANGKOK: -- Roads around SanamLuang are closed to traffic as of 4 am Friday morning to pave way for the celebrations to mark the 87th birthday anniversary of His Majesty the King.

The roads include Na Phra Larn, Maharaj, Thai Wang, Sanam Chai and Na Phra That. They will be reopened to normal traffic after the end of the celebrations.

Security has been stepped up throughout the celebrations with the highway police on the standby to ensure road safety and to help motorists during the long weekend.

Source: http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/traffic-rearrangements-kings-celebrations

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-- Thai PBS 2014-12-05

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Apple may be developing a stylus for a larger iPad


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Thaivisa today spotted a patent application by Apple that was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which describes an advanced stylus that can be used touchscreen devices such as an iPad, iPhone or even a future touch-enabled Mac.



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Ailing Thai king advised not to appear for 87th birthday
Bangkok, Thailand | AFP |

BANGKOK: -- Thailand's ailing but much adored King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been advised by doctors to cancel an annual appearance to mark his 87th birthday Friday, the palace said.

The king, who is the world's longest-serving monarch, has spent most of the last few months in hospital as fears over his health mount in a nation where he is seen as unifying, father-figure throughout a turbulent six-decade rule.

"A team of royal physicians examined the king on Thursday evening... and agreed that he is not ready to grant a royal audience therefore they have recommended he cancels royal activities," the Royal Household Bureau said in a statement early Friday.

In October the king underwent an operation to remove his gall bladder after tests revealed it was swollen.

He was last seen in public in early November.

The king's birthday -- also known as "Father's Day" in Thailand -- is a public holiday and Thais traditionally wear the royal yellow as a sign of devotion to the monarch, while roads are lined with royal flags.

Elaborate celebrations were expected at the royal palace in Bangkok, where the king traditionally makes an appearance and gives a brief statement to his subjects.

He last failed to make an appearance in 2008 for his 81st birthday celebrations following ill health.

Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn was already expected to carry out some official ceremonies to mark his father's birthday.

Most Thais have only known King Bhumibol on the throne and anxiety over the future once his six-decade reign ends is seen as an aggravating factor in Thailand's bitter political divide.

His period as a constitutional monarch has been pock-marked by nearly 20 attempted or successful coups, the last in May which saw the army topple the elected government.

Thailand remains under martial law, a condition the arch-royalist army says is necessary to keep the peace as it vows to expunge the kingdom of corruption and reboot Thai democracy.

Critics of the military say it has used its status as the defender of the monarchy as a pretext to grab power from the elected government aligned with Thaksin Shinawatra -- the billionaire self-exiled former premier whose emergence as an electoral force in 2001 shook up Thai politics.

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-- (c) Copyright AFP 2014-12-05

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Audience with the King at throne hall today to be cancelled

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BANGKOK: -- The Bureau of the Royal Household issued a statement Friday morning saying the earlier schedule for His Majesty the King to leave for the Amarin Vinitchai throne hall in the Grand Palace today to grant audience to well-wishers will be cancelled.

In the 11th Announcement, the Bureau said the King would be accompanied by Her Majesty the Queen, HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, HRH Princess Chulabhorn and other members of the Royal Family to the throne hall today for the audience.

But it said the team of doctors have conducted physical check on His Majesty again on Thursday evening.

The team viewed that His Majesty was not yet physically prepared for the audience, and recommended that the king cancels the function.

In according to earlier schedule, HRH Crown Prince MahaVajiralongkorn will lead members of the Royal Family and other court members to express their well wishes to the King.

After that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, and president of the National Legislative Assembly Pornpetch Wichitcholachai will represent government officials to express their well wishes.

Later, the King will deliver a brief speech to his well wishers, and return to Siriraj hospital.

Source: http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/audience-king-throne-hall-today-cancelled

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-- Thai PBS 2014-12-05

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