Reuters: Thailand’s military government approved plans for stimulus measures worth a combined 364 billion baht ($11.2 billion) on Wednesday in a bid to revive an economy laid low by months of political unrest. … “Overall, the measures to stimulate the whole economy will use a total of 324.5 billion baht ($10 billion),” he said, adding Read more...
Visit Bangkok's legendary shopping centre MBK and browse through its nearly 2,000 shops where you can find everything you need from fashion to electrical appliances, and dine at the city's favourite cuisine prepared by a vast choice of restaurants and ... Read more...
Posted in Okategoriserade.
Last year, rubber farmers were unhappy with the Yingluck government. AP on September 4, 2013: More than 12,000 rubber farmers protested and blocked roads Tuesday in Thailand’s south to demand that the government boost declining rubber prices, police said. Farmers from several provinces in the south, where most of Thailand’s rubber plantations are located, were Read more...
BANGKOK, 1 October 2014: Airports of Thailand reports August closed with a 10.69% decline in passengers passing through the Thai capital’s main aviation gateway, Suvarnabhumi airport. The country main gateway welcomed 4,010,934 passengers in August, compared to 4,490,981 during the same month last year. The data confirm independent assessments that indicated the tourism industry would [...] Read more...
BANGKOK, 1 October 2014: Double-billed IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific opened in Bangkok, Tuesday, with 800 exhibiting delegates looking to secure new MICE business for their hotels and destinations. The show continues to 2 October, hosted at the Bangkok Convention Centre, Central World. It continues to attract mainly loyal exhibitors from Asia, but there are some [...] Read more...
BANGKOK, 1 October 2014: Medical tourism is now a major market for Thailand’s tourism industry, although since the military coup and introduction of martial law, earlier this year, Bangkok’s main hospitals have seen a decline in business. Dermaster Personalised Beauty Institute communications director, Aporn Pornpiriyakulchai, told TTR Weekly during a site inspection last Monday that [...] Read more...
Southern Peasants' Federation of Thailand (SPFT)
On 24 September 2014, at about 16.30, two policemen, one intelligence army, two local ‘mafia’ and three unidentified man came to the Klong Sai Pattana Community in a Toyota, Fortuner, and a white Isuzu pickup truck. They told the villagers to leave the area within seven days. This is another attempt to intimidate the villagers to leave the area. The villagers were very terrified.
The Klong Sai Pattana Community has a legitimate right to stay on this land. This is pursuant to the decision and permission by the Agricultural Land Reform Office (ARLO) to allow the community to stay in this land. This permission is pursuant the Resolution made during the meeting of the Committee to Solve Problems of the Land Reform Network of Thailand No. 1/2009, that was chaired by Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, now former Prime Minister, on 11 March 2009 at the Parliament.
This attempt to force the community to leave the land is wrong. Although the land has been given to the Klong Sai community, a large area of this land is still being illegally occupied by oil palm plantations for the past 30 years.  In fact the Agricultural Land Reform Office (ARLO) did file a case against the Jew Kung Juy Development Co. to evict them from the land and was successful both at the Court of First Instance and the Appeals Court. The case is now being appealed before the Supreme Court.
There have been many attempts to force the people to vacate their land. There have been much violence, and to date 3 community leaders have been assassinated. The violence against the community has been happening since August 2009.
Recently, on 16 August 2014, two local ‘mafia’ have brought 50 soldiers to conduct searches of eight houses belonging to members of Klong Sai Pattana Community. This was done without any court warrant.
This was followed by the incident of 24 September 2014, when they were told to leave their home and land in seven (7) days.
The community states that there has been an attempt to sell this land by the Oil Palm plantation.
Southern Peasants' Federation of Thailand (SPFT) would  hereby  like to call on the Thai Government, The National Human  Rights Commission(NHRC), The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Delegation of the European Commission to Thailand, Diplomatic community and all  other Stakeholders ,  to immediate  act to ensure :
  1. That action be taken against the all persons who have threatened and/or inflicted the violence, against the community including also the said members of the army and police;
  2. That steps to be taken to  prevent any attempt to harass or evict Klong Sai Pattana Community from their land;
  3. That steps be taken against any attempts to wrongly and/or illegally sell the said community land to any third party; and
  4. That all is done to ensure the wellbeing, happiness, security and protection of villagers in the Klong Sai Pattana Community
Southern Peasants' Federation of Thailand (SPFT) has been established with main bjectives including coordinating with the state to implement agricultural land reform based on the community land entitlement and the establishment of Land Management Fund.
Located in agricultural land reform zone, Klong Sai Pattana Community covers 906 rais (362 acres) of land in Moo 2, Tambon Sai Thong, Chaiburi District, Surat Thani Province and all villagers in the community are members of the Southern Peasants' Federation of Thailand (SPFT)
BANGKOK, 1 October 2014: Thailand on Tuesday announced plans to give tourists wristbands carrying their personal details, as the kingdom falls under intense scrutiny over visitor safety following the murder of two British holidaymakers. Under the scheme hotels will distribute the wristbands to new arrivals. “If anything happens to them we will then know their [...] Read more...
Tourism authorities in Thailand are considering fitting tourists with ID bracelets so locals can identify foreigners who are "in trouble". The proposed ID bracelet scheme seems to be the latest in a series of haphazard responses to the brutal murder of two British backpackers on the southern island of Koh Tao. Read more...
Harrison George

The study tour by Election Commission officials to observe the recent Scottish referendum on independence has been widely criticized.  Some have noted that the Election Commission has not shown itself to be overly keen on organizing elections in this country, so why the interest in other countries? 

Others have pointed out that under the current constitution there is no referendum mechanism (and no voting at all, in fact, except among those, like the National Legislative Assembly, who have been pre-selected and can be relied on to vote correctly).  And of course independence, such as the Scottish electorate has just declined, is specifically, categorically and unconditionally banned by Section 1 of the constitution: ‘Thailand is one and indivisible kingdom.’

Claims of misuse of taxpayers’ money were fuelled by the holiday-type snaps of the EC tour group posted in the internet by some cynical sod (and aren’t we all grateful for cynical sods).  Unless of course polling and campaigning took place in castles and museums. 

And yet others have pointed out that Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn’s assertion to have learned an important lesson — “Each side fought with reasons” — was immediately belied by his personal and abusive attacks on critics of his trip.

So what is the point of an official observation of an activity in a foreign country that can never be carried out here?

I cannot claim to fathom the reasoning of officials on a freebie.  But such boondoggles are not as infrequent as you might think or hope.

There was, for example, the Town and Country Planning Department’s trip to Canada to observe best practice in snow clearance.  The seriousness of the exercise looked rather questionable when it was discovered that the trip to Ottawa, Toronto and Niagara Falls was scheduled for July. 

But the officials who took part argued that certain aspects of the technology of snow clearance could be applied to floods.  This explains the unusually large numbers of bulldozers and backhoes seen stranded in deep water whenever the flood waters reach waist height.

A training course for traffic police in Japan also failed to achieve its objectives.  Trainees were asked to observe simulated traffic law infractions and deal promptly with the miscreants. 

The role-playing motorcyclist deliberately not wearing a crash helmet rode past the Thai officers, circled the block and went past again.  And again, with no action taken.  The trainers thought it necessary to alert them to what they had missed.

Suddenly realizing their error, the Thai policemen immediately tried to make amends – by setting off in pursuit on motorcycles while wearing their ordinary police caps.  The mass arrest that followed sadly brought a premature end to the training.

A study tour to Germany by a party of judges was instigated by someone in the judiciary getting hold of a copy of Streckfuss’ ‘Truth on Trial in Thailand: Defamation, Treason, and Lèse-Majesté’.  And even more surprisingly, reading it. 

From the explanation of lèse majesté in other countries, it was learned that apart from modern Thailand, the most recent explosion of lèse majesté cases was seen in imperial Germany more than a century ago.  The judges wanted to know how the German political system managed to maintain a consistently high number of prosecutions, and, more importantly, why this had come to an end.  The lessons learned would be very valuable if applied to Thailand, they argued.

The judges were somewhat taken aback to find that Germany itself no longer has a majesté to lèse.  The emasculated lèse majesté law that lingers on the books only applies to foreign heads of state and has fallen into disuse. 

It was only after strenuous efforts by the Thai Embassy in Berlin that the judicial party was dissuaded from suing the Bundesverfassungsgericht, or constitutional court, for gross negligence in allowing matters to deteriorate to this sorry state.  It was impressed on the judges that questions of royal privilege were already a sensitive issue between the two countries.

One apparently ludicrous foreign spree has since turned out to be quite prescient.  Some years ago, a Patriotism Promotion class from the National Defence College visited major song-writing and film-making establishments around the world (including Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood).

At the time, criticism of the armed forces was still recognized as part of the right to freedom of expression and many ridiculed the idea of men in uniform learning skills from the entertainment industry that have traditionally been exclusively the work of the private sector.

‘Who expects a general to write pop songs or the screenplays for soap operas?’ said one wag at the time.

Now we know.

About author:  Bangkokians with long memories may remember his irreverent column in The Nation in the 1980's. During his period of enforced silence since then, he was variously reported as participating in a 999-day meditation retreat in a hill-top monastery in Mae Hong Son (he gave up after 998 days), as the Special Rapporteur for Satire of the UN High Commission for Human Rights, and as understudy for the male lead in the long-running ‘Pussies -not the Musical' at the Neasden International Palladium (formerly Park Lane Empire).


A Thai man said he was beaten up by police after he turned down a police offer of reward money if he agreed to be a witness in the murder case of two British tourists in Thailand’s tourist island of Koh Tao, southern Surat Thani Province, according to ASTV-Manager online.
The report says Pornprasit Sukdam, 37, on Tuesday complained to Kobchai Saowalak, kamnan (subdistrict head) of Koh Tao Subdistrict, and asked for protection. 
Pornprasit said the police detained him at 1.30 pm on Monday. During the interrogation, the police investigators asked him to agree to pretend to have knowledge of the incident, Pornprasit said. The police allegedly offered him a 700,000 baht (about 21,600 USD) reward and guaranteed him witness status. However, since he was not involved with the crime and did not have any knowledge related to it, Pornprasit declined the police offer. 
That made the police angry, he said. The police allegedly beat him up before releasing him on Monday at 6.30 pm.
He decided to tell his story to others since the police planned to interrogate him again on Tuesday and he feared being beaten up again.
He added that he does not plan to pursue a case against the police, but wants to assert his innocence. He is willing to cooperate with the police, but not by force.
Meanwhile, the kamnan of Koh Tao Subdistrict urged the police not to use violence with suspects and not to arrest a scapegoat. 
Pornprasit is a taxi driver on Koh Tao and member of the Sun Service Football team. A football match was held on the day of the murders. The team members are now the focus of the police investigation. 
The bodies of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were found with severe head wounds on September 15.