BANGKOK, 3 September 2015: Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau plans to explore on new markets next year to gain more major events and continue its policy of paying organisers to arrange events in the country. TCEB president, Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, said MICE strategies for 2016 will embrace markets in South Africa, eastern Europe and the Middle […] Read more...

The Appeal Court sentenced an elderly anti-establishment red shirt man once believed to be the mastermind of an anti-monarchy Banpodj Network to five years imprisonment during an in camera hearing.  

At Bangkok Criminal Court on Thursday, 3 September 2015, the court of appeal sentenced Chaleaw J., a 50 years old tailor from the northeastern province of Chaiyaphum, to five years in jail of offenses under Article 112 of the Criminal Crime Code, lese majeste law, and Article 14 of the 2007 Computer Crime Code for importing illegal online content.

The defendant was charged under the offenses mentioned for uploading audio clips with lese majeste content recorded by Hassadin U., aka. DJ Banpodj, a well-known red shirt radio host at the center of Banpodj Network, onto 4shared.com, a file-sharing website.

The jail term was halved to two years and six months because the defendant pleaded guilty, but the court did not suspend the jail term. The verdict was read in camera and no one was allowed into the courtroom except the defense lawyer and the prosecutors.

On 1 September 2014, the Criminal Court sentenced Chaleaw to three years imprisonment. However, since the defendant pleaded guilty and had never committed crimes before, the jail term was halved and suspended for two years.

Later, on 8 October 2014, the public prosecutor, however, appealed the sentence asking the Court to impose the maximum possible penalty against the defendant and to not suspend the jail term.

During the trial last year, the full time tailor from and self-taught computer geek said that he would listen to red-shirt online radio programs or save the audio files for listening later when he was busy with his military/police uniform tailoring.

He insisted that he did not intend to distribute the clips to anyone else and said he was not aware that uploading the clips could be a crime.

Chaleaw was among 28 people summoned by the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) under Order No. 44, issued on 1 June 2014. He was later charged with lese majeste after being detained for seven days by the military. The court never granted him bail and he imprisoned in Bangkok Remand Prison for about three months.

During military detention, the authorities accused him of being Banphot, but Chaleaw only confessed to uploading the clips and insisted that he was not Banphot. The authorities then interrogated him three times and also interrogated him using a lie detector, while most of the other detainees were interrogated only once.

A total of 14 people were arrested for their alleged involvement in the Banpodj Network. They were separated into two groups of 12 and two, each group facing different charges. Two of the 12 decided to fight the case, while 10 pleaded guilty. The verdicts for the 10 were read on 14 July 2015.

Hassadin or ‘DJ Banpodj’ is among the eight who were sentenced to 10 years in jail for violations of the lese majeste law and Article 14 of the Computer Crime Act. Meanwhile, the other two, including Hassadin's wife, were not found guilty of lese majeste, but guilty on a charge of supporting the activity of the network.  

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BANGKOK, 3 September 2015: The hunt for a group behind the Bangkok bombing focused Wednesday on an emerging link with Turkey as Thai police issued an arrest warrant for a Turkish national for possessing “war materials”. It is the first time the Thai authorities have revealed the nationality of a foreign suspect in the 17 […] Read more...

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A Pattaya Beauty Salon owner posted a disturbing video to Facebook on Wednesday of a man, nationality unknown, who touched himself as he stared at her through her shop window after first attempting to enter the shop. The man, who is suspected of not being Thai committed the lewd act at 4am on Wednesday and […]

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A house cleaner, who wishes to remain anonymous, presented herself to Pattaya Police Station to ask for protection as she had just won 12 Million Baht on the Thai National Lottery. The woman completed an official Police Report at 10pm on Tuesday and provided Police with the evidence of her win. Her initial concern was […]

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Prices of seafood have risen on average between 5 and 10 baht per Kilo following new regulations which came into force on 1st September which limits the time fishing boats can work in the Gulf of Thailand. Fishing Boats are now not permitted to fish for 9 days out of every month, between 1st and […]

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Late on Tuesday Night a road crash occurred in front of the Pattaya Provincial Courthouse which left a 34 year old Electrician thanking Buddha for allowing him to walk away from his overturned vehicle virtually unharmed. Khun Udomsuk was driving his Chevrolet Pick-up along the Thappraya Road and he admitted to driving too fast for […]

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The Thai authorities has revoked the passport of Chaturon Chaisang, a well known Phue Thai Party politician known of his criticisms against the Thai junta and the new charter draft.

According to BBC Thai Service, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have confirmed that the ministry has revoked the passport of Chaturon Chaisang, an ex-Education Minister under the former elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra.

His passport has been revoked for about two weeks. The authorities did not inform Chaturon about the measure.

Chaturon’s passport was cancelled at the request of the Royal Thai Police because he has been charged with several offenses for his anti-junta stand.

The police in June 2014 charged him for violating Article 14 of the 2007 Computer Crime Act for posting anti-coup statements on his facebook account.

The former education minister also faces charges under Article 116 of the Penal Code, the sedition law, which could land him in prison for up to seven years if found guilty, and another charge for violating the junta’s order.

In January 2015, military officers from the 1st Army Region Command summoned Chaturon for a discussion. He was reportedly summoned because he posted comments on facebook and twitter about the impeachment of Yingluck Shinawatra, the former prime minister ousted out by the 2014 coup.

Chaturong posted a message on Facebook then saying “the impeachment of Yingluck, the ex-Prime Minister, is not only an injustice that has happened to an individual or a family. It is a part of an injustice which has been done against the people, the destruction of democracy, an act of robbing the people’s authority without returning it, and the construction of an undemocratic system.”

Parts of this recent statements on the new charter draft post on his facebook on Wednesday, 2 September 2015, says “the majority of the National Reform Council (NRC) should know that this new charter draft which would only bring disaster to this country would likely to be rejected by the public referendum. It is strange that they did not turn it down themselves.”

After the 2014 coup d’état, as a well known anti-junta icon, Chaturon had to inform the authorities and ask for permission to travel overseas. 

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Pregnant woman from Queensland suffers severed tendon in her ankle after being bitten while wading off Thai island

A pregnant woman has been bitten on the foot by what is believed to be a shark while she was wading in shallow waters off the Thai island of Phuket.

Jane Neame, from Queensland, Australia, who is six months pregnant, had a tendon in her ankle severed and had surgery at the island’s Bangkok hospital after the attack on Tuesday, the Phuket Gazette reported.

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Dear members and Friends of Rotary From time to time, the Rotary Club is asked to help projects which are not based in Samui, such as my recent appeal for help in providing second hand clothing for a mental hospital in Kanom. I have been asked to help again by a Friend of Rotary, Warunee […]

The post Friends of the rotary appeal for help to support a poor school in central Thailand appeared first on Samui Times.

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Zaw Lin, one of the two migrant workers charged with the Koh Tao murders took the stand in Koh Samui Provincial court today, 2nd September 2015, a day later than expected. After twelve days of prosecution evidence one further day was required for the testimony of a senior police officer who took the stand on […]

The post Zaw Lin accused of Koh Tao murders takes the stand as the defense present their case appeared first on Samui Times.

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BANGKOK, 2 September 2015: World Spa & Wellbeing Convention 2015 is on schedule to open 24 September with organisers saying the 17 August Erawan Shrine bombing has not impacted on registrations. Around 15,000 trade visitors are expected to attend the three-day event, 24 to 26 September, at the Impact Exhibition and Convention Centre in Bangkok. […] Read more...
BANGKOK, 2 September 2015: The hunt for a group behind the Bangkok shrine blast narrowed Monday as police revealed they had two new suspects — one of whom told AFP she was innocent and living in Turkey. Two weeks after the unprecedented bombing at the Erawan shrine that killed 20 people in Thailand’s worst single […] Read more...
BANGKOK, 2 September 2015: Two weeks after the Bangkok bombing, the shrine devastated by the attack has lost none of its lustre for ethnic Chinese devotees who have long flocked there hoping their prayers will be answered. The statue of Hinduism’s four-faced god Brahma is currently shrouded on all sides by a white sheet as […] Read more...

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A 27 year old Russian who is an amateur “Drifter”, was practicing his skills on Monday when his high-performance BMW burst into flames. Fire Fighters arrived at the Pattaya Indoor Stadium Car Park, located in Soi Chayapreuk 2 in East Pattaya just before 4pm on Tuesday and after 30 minutes the fire was extinguished. Mr. […]

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A team of over 20 Police Officers from Huay Yai Police Station arrested 22 suspected fish-fighting gamblers on Tuesday afternoon. Apart from the suspected gamblers, 4 angry fish and the sum of 100 Baht in cash were seized during the raid of a small forest area in Soi Huay Yai, where the fish-fighting event was […]

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The body of a 39 year old Store Owner was found in a 2nd floor bathroom by a man sent to collect rent from him on Tuesday afternoon. Police and medics arrived at the NS Electrical Shop on the Tepprasit Road and made their way to a second floor apartment where the store owner was […]

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Banglamung Police announced on Tuesday Morning the arrest of 2 women and 1 man who are accused of selling Thai National Lottery Tickets for 10 Baht more than they should. The vendors were caught at the Laem Chabang Market, located at the far northern outskirts of Pattaya and were seen to be selling the lottery […]

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Thai prime minister says foreigner was held at Cambodian border in connection with attack that killed 20 people

Thai police have arrested a main suspect in the bomb attack on the capital last month that killed 20 people, the prime minister has announced.

Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters the man was arrested on the Thai crossing with Cambodia. “It’s true. He has been arrested at Sa Kaeo checkpoint,” the leader of the junta said during an afternoon press conference on Tuesday.

นายกฯประยุทธ์ ยืนยันแล้วว่า สามารถจับกุมมือระเบิดราชประสงค์ได้แล้ว เป็นชาวต่างชาติ อยู่ระหว่างหลบหนี pic.twitter.com/zD8kuVgLAf

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A Russian tourist reported to police that a Cambodian woman on Jomtien had snatched his gold necklace which was worth 100,000 baht. He explained that a group of females had approached him and offered a massage at a modest fee. However, whilst the massage was in full swing, one of the women grabbed the jewelry and the man’s bag and ran away with her peers. Police found the victim’s bag later in a nearby wood and the expensive necklace was also there. Investigators said the thief was probably afraid and dropped the stolen stuff in panic. Read more...
A Thai man, Yodrak Klomsakul, 32, was hospitalized after being stabbed with a knife by a group of Cambodian men at Jomtien beach. Two Cambodian men are thought to have stumbled by chance on the Thai group’s fishing rods. The blamed Cambodian duo was so annoyed that they asked other friends for help then chased the Thai man into the sea and stabbed him twice. One of the alleged culprits was caught by police later at Soi Wat Boonkanjanaram. He said he did not know anything about stabbing people. Read more...
John Draper

On August 26th Khon Kaen University was visited by a joint EU-French delegation consisting of Mrs. Luisa Ragher, Deputy Head of EU Delegation, and Mr. Pierre Colliot, Counsellor for Culture and Cooperation (Embassy of France), guests at a seminar to emphasize the importance of the upcoming 21st Conference of Parties Climate Change Conference, to be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11.

The key role of this conference is to prevent global warming from reaching two degrees above the 1990 baseline by 2030. This temperature increase would likely trigger a largely irreversible upwards temperature spiral which will see many of the world’s large coastal cities, including Bangkok, under threat from rising sea levels and their effective rendering uninhabitable by 2050-2070. Further, Trat, Chantaburi, and Krabi are all exposed to coastal erosion, which is already occurring.

The COP21 conference, which replaces the failed Kyoto Agreement, seeks to create a common legal framework that applies to all 195 countries, both developing and developed. According to Mrs. Ragher, it also aims to create “clear, fair, and ambitious targets for all countries based on evolving global economic and national circumstances”, as well as a rolling review of country targets and a framework for legal accountability.

Countries are required to submit Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) – indicating the level of their commitment - by October 1st, 2015. China, the US, and the EU have already committed to INDC’s, as have another 26 countries. Mrs. Ragher indicated that she was “fully confident” that Thailand would be able to submit its INDC on time, and to that effect, the EU and France are working with the Thai authorities.

Thailand is in fact the 23rd largest carbon polluter in the world, though it is only the 80th in terms of per capita – its high absolute ranking is largely a factor of its size of population and medium-sized economy. However, its CO2 output has risen by 289% from 90,766 kilotons in 1990 to 262,228 kilotons in 2013, according to EDGAR, the Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research. Reversing this trend will require serious commitment from the Thai government, including a visionary leadership towards a socially sustainable Thailand where the ecology is given equal weight to the economy. Instead, the Thai military is denying villagers access to publicly available information from Thai PBS (the Thai BBC) about oil concessions in Isan, an affront to multiple human right treaties guaranteeing freedom of access to information.

Moreover, as reported in The Nation, Thailand is “locked into a future based on another 20 gas power stations (17,728 MWe), another nine "clean coal" power stations (7,390 MWe), then 14,206 MW of renewable energy, including hydro, a large proportion of which will be imported from Laos or Myanmar” as well as up to two nuclear power plants. Regarding nuclear, given the fact Thailand cannot even maintain the service level of the airport link or guarantee the maintenance of its airport services, this option should be treated with concern bordering on alarm.

While gas power stations may be a reasonable development pathway given they are the least worst option of the fossil fuels, ‘clean coal’ technology at the moment is limited to sulfuric and nitric acids and particulates. The removal of carbon dioxide from power plants requires carbon sequestration techniques – presently in development and unproven, and therefore likely to be expensive - on an industrial scale. Moreover, the state should stop ordering mega-project power plants – notable for their corruption – and instead decentralize to provincial requirements by specifying the amount of energy that is required, not the type, with coal being blacklisted.

The alternative to coal means making good use of Thailand’s strengths. Mrs. Ragher pointed out the EU wants to work with Thailand on its INDC as it is a key country for them in the region – it is the second largest carbon polluter after Indonesia and is ahead of Malaysia. Moreover, it is a semi-tropical country and therefore has viable alternative ‘renewables’ such as biomass and solar, as in Thailand’s Low Carbon Society Vision 2030, as well as the less-developed ocean thermal. Even under this vision, 324,170 kilotons of CO2 will be emitted in 2030 – an increase of 124% from 2013 levels. So, drastic action is required if Thailand is to meet the COP21 target of driving down emissions from the 1990 baseline.

In fact, if Thailand is to begin reducing emissions at all, power plant emissions must be driven down through use of more efficient technologies, such as Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) and Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT). In addition, energy savings must be created through insulation of industrial buildings and changeover to LED lights and more energy efficient appliances, including air conditioners and refrigeration.

Moreover, there needs to be a total paradigm shift in assessing the energy supply mix. Solar in particular is expected to contribute minimally to the energy mix under the Business as Usual scenario – at under 5%, even less than nuclear. Nonetheless, it is certainly capable of meeting the needs of several megatons of energy if integrated into new buildings a standard via rooftop solar or as urban solar via related solar farms and flow-battery storage, with the aim being net zero energy buildings, villages, and towns.

In terms of contributions universities and individuals can make, Khon Kaen University’s representative at the seminar pointed out that KKU possesses one net zero energy building and is experimenting with biogas generation as well as the use of NGV (buses). However, it was pointed out that KKU’s cycle lane policy is a failure as only one such route exits and students have not converted from using motorcycles. One problem, pointed out by a KKU student representative, is that global warming is simply not high on the average student’s radar.

It was clear from the seminar that emphasizing the need to reduce carbon pollution requires transformational leadership from the above as well as bold action. Instead of buying three Chinese submarines for 36 billion baht just because it has some spare money and an empty submarine base, the military government would be better advised considering the conditions in which they and their children will be living in one generation’s time. As such, it should roll out subsidies for university research on solar and boost urban solar and solar farming rather than buying toys for the boys.

 

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Bright Knight Customs (BKC) Koh Samui’s custom paint specialists for bikes, cars, helmets, boats and more now has fully customized, quality, imported fiberglass helmets in stock. These are imported helmets that are legal for wear in E/U countries and DOT approved. Here are a few examples of the helmets they have in stock now (Many […]

The post Bright Knight Customs now stocking fully customized imported fiberglass helmets appeared first on Samui Times.

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BANGKOK, 1 September 2015: International tourist arrivals to Thailand posted an improvement of 30.93%, January to July, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ data. Released late last week, the ministry’s data showed the country attracted 17,504,204 international visits during the first seven months of the year up from 13,368,979 visits during the same […] Read more...

Yesterday, Monday 31st August, a French tourist was killed at Namuang 2 waterfall in Koh Samui. Early reports suggest the tourist, who was on a group tour, had stepped outside a safety barrier, after being asked to return to safety, the man slipped sixty meters sustaining fatal head injuries during his fall. In February this […]

The post French tourist killed at Namuang waterfall Koh Samui appeared first on Samui Times.

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BANGKOK, 1 September 2015: The hunt for those behind the Bangkok shrine blast narrowed Monday as police revealed they have two new suspects after more bomb-making paraphernalia was found in a suburban apartment. But two weeks after the unprecedented attack brought carnage to the city’s commercial centre, the motive for it remains shrouded in mystery. […] Read more...
BANGKOK, 1 September 2015: Thailand’s Ministry of Transport is pushing 17 infrastructure projects covering land, rail, water and air transport, according to a National News Bureau of Thailand report. Minister of Transport, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, gave a progress report on the government’s infrastructure development projects in a national TV broadcast, Sunday, confirming the government was pushing […] Read more...

A provincial court in southern Thailand dismissed defamation charges against two journalists accused of defaming the Royal Thai Navy for reporting the allegation of navy’s involvement in trafficking Rohingyas.

The provincial court of the southern province of Phuket on Tuesday morning dismissed defamation libel suits against Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian, two journalists from Phuketwan news website, accused of defaming the Royal Thai Navy for reporting about the Navy’s involvement in trafficking the Rohingyas in Southern Thailand.

The two journalists  reported on July 17 quoting from Reuters’ article entitled “Special Report: Thai authorities implicated in Rohingya Muslim smuggling network,” which accused the Thai naval forces of benefitting 2,000 baht per Rohingya for cooperating with human traffickers in Phang Nga, a southern province north of Phuket.

The Thai Royal Navy in December 2013 filed charges under Article 14/1 of the 2007 Computer Crime Code, which prohibits importing false information into computer system, agaist them for defaming the navy.

Thai navy officer Captain Pallop Goamlotok, plaintiff on behalf of the Royal Thai Navy, stated that the problematic paragraph “is false information which caused disgrace and harm to the reputation of the Navy.”

Early on, Morison and Chutima denied all charges. “If the navy really have nothing to hide and truly not involved in this, they should just hold press conference clearing up their image. Using lawsuit is just plainly wrong solution,” said Chutima.

In the previous trials, Chutima testified to the court that after reading the Reuter’s report alleging the Thai authorities’ involvement in the Rohingya trafficking ring, she unsuccessfully contacted several navy officials for clarifications on the matter and also reported the Thai Royal Navy’s statement, which denied the allegations.

Chutima said that she also contacted Lt Gen Manas Kongpan, then the Director of the 4th Division of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), who has now been charged with 13 counts over human trafficking and other related offences.

According to Niran Pitakwachara, a commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) who testified on the case during the defendant's witness examination hearing, Article 14 of the Computer Crime Code has been largely misused.   

He mentioned that the law has been mostly used to prosecute those who expressed certain political opinions online and those accused of defaming the monarchy under Article 112 of the Criminal Crime Code, lese majeste law.  

Sawitri Suksri, a law lecturer of Thammasat University, an expert on computer crime, who also testified on the case, commented that Article 14 of the 2007 Computer Crime Code is a major obstacle to freedom of expression.

She said that the wordings of the law is confusing and leave too much room for personal interpretations of  the judicial officers, resulting in its misuse.       

Since the beginning of the court case, international human rights organization such as Human Rights Watch prompted grave concerns over the charges against to two journalist, calling on the Navy to drop charges immediately.

“The  Navy's decision to sue Phuketwan marks another dark day for press freedom in Thailand and shows clearly how easily the Computer Crimes Act can be abused,” said Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch Asia Deputy Director, adding that the government should abolish the “draconian CCA law,” preventing similar abuse to journalists in the future.

Voicing similar concern was media freedom advocates Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) who condemned the action of the Royal Thai navy.

“Targeting a small online news outlet for publishing what is essentially a humanitarian story reflects a bully’s strategy to silence critics, sending a strong warning that anyone who expresses something they disapprove of will be prosecuted,” said SEAPA in their statement.

Josef Benedict, Amnesty International’s South East Asia Campaigns Director, pointed out that although the court’s ruling is positive, it does not mean that the general situation of freedom of expression in Thailand has improved.  

“The acquittal of these two journalists is a positive decision, but the fact is that they should never have had to stand trial in the first place let alone face the possibility of years in jail. The Thai authorities have again shown their disregard for freedom of expression by pursuing this case,” said Benedict.   

Since its establishment in 2008, Phuketwan, has won several international human rights awards for their investigative reporting on the Rohingya refugees, who escape persecution and violence from Rakhine state in Eastern Myanmar.
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Late on Sunday Night a 36 year old Minivan driver reported an encounter with a “fake” Police Captain who reportedly cheated the driver out of 5,800 Baht. Khun Wittawat presented himself at Pattaya Police Station and told Investigators that he had been contacted by a man claiming to be a Police Captain working at Pattaya […]

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Complaints have been received by Pattaya One regarding the Pratamnuk Mountain area which appears to be used by fornicating couples who leave evidence of their encounters for all to see. We made our way to the area on Monday afternoon and saw for ourselves numerous opened condom packets and a number of used condoms which […]

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