Thai News and Views, November 2008-June 2009

"Holloway suspect involved in Thai sex trade" - RNW News, November 10, 2008
Joran van der Sloot, the main suspect in the disappearance case of US teenager Natalee Holloway, has been filmed in Bangkok where he was allegedly recruiting Thai girls to work in the sex industry in Europe...


'Safe to visit south Thailand' - New Straits Times, November 10, 2008
..."Malaysians, especially those from Kelantan, can go to Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani. They will be safe.
"But since most of the bombing attacks occur in the evening, Malaysians should come only during the daytime.
"I give my guarantee that Malaysians will be safe," he said at a press conference here...


Bangkok police arrest Abinayashree - Chitramala, November 10, 2008
The Police Department of Bangkok recently arrested Abhinayashree for her unruly behaviour. The Police also said that she was disturbing the passers by. Abhinayashree was in a complete drunken state whe she was arrested...


Cambodians rely on magic against modern Thai weapons - AFP, November 10, 2008
A couple of weeks after their deadly border shootout, a Cambodian infantryman admits Thai troops have better weapons, but he's confident his pink "magic scarf" will ward off bullets...


Frozen dews happen on Doi Inthanon - The Nation, November 11, 2008



Govt monitoring Aussie held in Thai case - AAP, November 12, 2008
...Senator Faulkner said the Thai public prosecutor had until the end of November to bring the case to court.
Senator Faulkner said the government could not intervene directly in the judicial process.
"Mr Nicolaides is subject to the Thai judicial process, the government cannot interfere in that process, just as we would not welcome an attempt buy a foreign government to interfere in our own."

150125Arun Title: Yingluck Shinawatra 28th Prime Minister [The cartoon illustrates that Yingluck , who recently faced an impeachment, is wearing a thorn crown like Jesus Christ who wore this in his crucifixion. The thorn is like being insulted by other. He/she has to be patient from this despising action. Likewise, Yingluck has insisted that she’s defamed by her opposition politician groups.] 150122Manager A tiger: Those reporters ask stupid questions. Caption: This Eastern tiger is very fierce. [In the cartoon, the Eastern tiger refers to PM Prayuth who is a member of ‘Eastern Tigers’ clique within the army which includes Gen. Anupong Paochinada and Gen.Prawit wongsuwan. . He frequently attacks the media for reporting the news which may create the bad image to the government and destroy the harmony of the nation.] 150127naewna Title: Are you ready, Thai people… Yingluck’s paper: a note for governing the country Panthongtae’s paper: a note for the exam Caption: Ready to vote a silly boy to be the new PM like the silly lady? [Due to his active action on the politics, Thakin’s son Panthongtae Shinawatra is expected to follow his father’s path to play in the politics. Some people say that after using his family members such as his sister and his brother-in-law , be his puppet, Thaksin may support his son to be the future PM. Panthongtae was accused to cheat the exam while Yingluck was criticize on her lack of political knowledge and frequently made mistakes in the public. ]

SEA Field Trip: It's called Bangkok for a reason - jaunted.com, June 24, 2008
...More common than spicy street food and heavy foot traffic in Bangkok is the sight of a balding, middle-aged man with a pockmarked face, potbelly and ponytail striding alongside a beautiful young Thai woman.
Their arrangement is apparent and immediate. Rather than get horrified, saddened or disgusted (and at times, my boyfriend, who co-wrote this travelog, and I felt all of the above), you'll have to accept if not embrace Bangkok's most common trade in order to enjoy the city...
Gone was the sexually liberated guise of Western strip clubs. Instead, women with limited options stood before a crowd of ogling men, as Johns pointed out their choice and bought their companion for the night.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Have morality… before it is too late - June 25, 2008
Left side: What do you think of the things people like to do? Anybody like to…
Kill animals - Commit adultery - Drink alcohol
Right side: The School of Life
Right side (largest white letters): Have morality… before it is too late
Power of sacred rules that is unexpected - By Atcharawadee Wongsakol
On top right red band: Available at book stalls now

Baiyoke LED - June 30, 2008

Alexander writes: I've been on Baiyoke last week and took a picture close up of the LED's that have been installed recently


(Photo: Alexander)

Thai national loses belongings to chatmate - Philstar, June 28, 2008
A middle-aged Thai tourist from Phuket lost his luggage containing personal belongings, money, visa, mobile phones, Rolex watch and laptop to a Filipina acquaintance whom he met through the Internet site Friendster inside a hotel in Butuan City...

Thai police keep a close eye on nude Chinese fundraiser - EARTHtimes, June 28, 2008
Thai police are keeping a close eye on the nude photos of Xiao Yun, a 19-year-old Chinese girl who has allegedly been using her enticing website to raise funds for Sichuan earthquake victims, media reports said Sunday...

Thai tycoon snaps up Sydney hotel - Calcutta News, June 28, 2008
TCC Land, owned by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, is to fork out $76 million (USD 73 million) to buy a 4 star hotel and tavern in Sydney...

Siamese method - Wikipedia, June 2008
The Siamese method, or de la Loubère method, is a very simple method to construct any size of n-odd magic squares...

On hold, as usual - Bangkok Post, June 30, 2008
Thailand's telecommunications industry continues to be a casualty of politics, to the point that poor neighbours Laos and Cambodia today can even boast some technologies and services that Thailand lacks...

Norwegian Doctors: Sex Is Risky In Thailand - ScandAsia, June, 2008
The statistics are clear: Thailand is the country where most Norwegian men infected with the HIV-infection...

Proposed new broadcasting law regressive, waters down prior commitments to community broadcasters, warns AMARC - IFEX, June 18, 2008
On 10 June 2008, the Cabinet approved for submission to Parliament a draft bill titled "Independent Organisation for Broadcasting and Telecommunications Bill". The draft bill is intended to replace the provisions of the Allocation of Telecommunications and Broadcasting Frequencies Act 2000. AMARC considers the draft Bill to be regressive in several key respects. In particular, AMARC is concerned that...


U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants - June 21, 2008
Their 2008 report on Thailand - This year Thailand scores an "F" in all categories except one.


(Photo: Sadartu for 2Bangkok.com)

“Thai people’s power to stay away from drugs” - Mae Sa Rieng Kindergarten (Ban Pong)

Anti-drug parade in Chiang Mai - June 30, 2008


(Photo: Sadartu for 2Bangkok.com)

Left: Thai people should stay away from drugs
Center: Never ever try drugs -  For good life, think carefully - Please stop smoking - It is very difficult to make money
Right: His Majesty the King is in our heart, we should stay away from drugs.


(Photo: Sadartu for 2Bangkok.com)

Left: We will help prevent drugs.
Center: Love the King, Care for Kids, Help prevent drugs
Right: Drugs are dangerous and harmful to the society. Stay away from drugs.


(Photo: Sadartu for 2Bangkok.com)

We will help prevent drugs. - Use drugs and go to jail - Don’t smoke

Demo-Crazy website - June 23, 2008

Higher Bangkok taxi fares to be enforced next week - TNA, June 20, 2008
...The existing fare which has been in effect since November 1996 has been adjusted due to soaring fuel prices in Thailand, he said.
Mr. Chairat said the new taxi fare would see the Bt35 flagfall remain as before, but the fare will increase by 50 satang for every kilometer travelled...


Thailand's elected PM under attack from all sides - AFP, June 18, 2008
Just four months after forming a government, Thailand's elected Premier Samak Sundaravej is under attack both in the streets and in parliament, raising new fears about the nation's stability...


Truckers call off blockade after government agrees to help - TNA, June 19, 2008
Thailand's truckers decided Thursday "at the eleventh hour"  not to go ahead with their threat to choke traffic in metropolitan Bangkok by halting their rigs and blockading roads leading to the Thai capital after the government at the last minute agreed to respond to their demands for help in response to soaring fuel prices...


Anti-government demonstrations in militarised Bangkok - AsiaNews.it, June, 2008

Press freedom vanishing from Thailand - Phuket Gazette, June 20, 2008
In his speech before the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand on Wednesday, Asean Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan delivered what might best be described as a severe reality check for Thai citizens. Citing statistics from Freedom House, the New York-based monitor of media freedoms around the world, he noted that less than a decade ago Thailand ranked 29th out of 194 countries surveyed, putting it among the top 15% in the world. In its data released last month, however, the agency's 'Freedom Index' saw Thailand in 127th place...

The toxic fumes leak

Thread on the forum

Gas leak won't harm community: Disease Control Department - TNA, June 10, 2008
Thailand's Department of Disease Control said the Tuesday morning gas leak from a plant in the eastern province of Rayong won't affect the communities nearby the factory, but some 20 persons who inhaled the gas remain hospitalized under observation...

Leaking gas at PTT factory injures over 50 workers - PRD, June 10, 2008

Gas leak at a Rayong factory injures 52 - The Nation, June 10, 2008

Cumene Gas Leaking from Phenol Factory (owned by PTT) at Huay Pong, Rayong - 2 Dead 42 Seriously Injured ... from 112 injured workers - Manager, June 10, 2008

PTT Phenol contains gas leak at Rayong plant - The Nation, June 11, 2008
PTT Phenol has contained the gas leak at its chemical plant in Rayong.
Those injured in the incident have returned home, and no damage was incurred to the plant, which is still under construction.
The company said the leak of cumene gas, occurring during a test run of machinery, caused 112 people to become ill.

Toxic fumes sicken over 100 workers - Bangkok Post, June 11, 2008
More than 100 workers were admitted to hospital after inhaling a toxic gas which leaked from a new PTT Phenol Co plant in Rayong province yesterday morning. The gas was contaminated with cumene, an organic compound used in the production of phenol, which can be harmful if ingested...
Most of the injured people were later released, but about 20 were in a serious condition and were admitted for three days of monitoring...

Come clean over toxic agents, say residents - The Nation, June 12, 2008
Their call came after an accident on Tuesday when toxic gas leaked from a partly built PTT Phenol factory and badly affected 120 workers...

NRI in Bangkok kingpin of fake currency racket - Gulf Times, June, 2008

Mystery surrounds whereabouts of Nepal's ex-crown prince - AFP, June, 2008
He was last seen boarding a plane to Bangkok a day after Nepalese newspaper Nata Patrika (New Paper), quoting family sources, said he could be planning to go to Singapore as early as Tuesday...


(Photo: Sadartu for 2Bangkok.com)

It reads: If corruption is eradicated, Thailand will prosper.

Some banners from a PAD venue in Chiang Mai
- June 30, 2008


(Photo: Sadartu for 2Bangkok.com)

It reads: Legal process is the core. Politicians must not interfere. (Bottom) Don’t be unreliable in governing the country.


(Photo: Sadartu for 2Bangkok.com)

It reads: PAD in Khon Kaen - Broadcast by ASTV - Stage for democracy

U.S. tells Thailand it wants democracy, not coup - Reuters, June 1, 2008

A new museum puts a Thai imprint on Angkor - IHT, July 3, 2008
...Anxious to promote the museum as a "learning cultural institute," the Thais are easily stung by such criticism. "We want to educate Cambodian people about their own history," said the museum's managing director, Sunaree Wongpiyabovorn. There are those "who know little about its monuments, and even less of the progress of Buddhism and what led up to it," she added.
Wongpiyabovorn insists there is no fortune to be made from the Angkor National Museum. Given that Vilailuck had to triple its original investment of $5 million due to the cost overruns, the company said it didn't expect to see a profit until at least a third of the 30-year lease has expired; under its "build, cooperate and transfer" contract, the management and financial control of the collection will then revert to the Cambodian authorities and the Ministry of Culture...

Leader of demolishers shot dead at Chatuchak Sunday Market - The Nation, June 4, 2008
[And just a note that it seems that Chatuchak Market is being slowly converted into a "modern" shopping area section by section.]
...The market was owned by Thanasarn Sombat, which has been unsuccessfully trying to evict vendors.
The gunfire frightened the men who tried to flee the scene but they were rounded up by police who happened to arrive at the scene.
They admitted that they were hired by Samlee between Bt200 to Bt500 each to demolish the shops.

Foreign capital leaving Thailand 'in certain amount': BoT - TNA, June 3, 2008

Gaudy pink millipede gets world recognition - Bangkok Post, June 11, 2008
And here is the actual list

Thailand: Failure Rate For Condos Nears 50% - Sin Chew Jit Poh, June 9, 2008
The chance of failure for condominium developers in Bangkok has grown to almost 50% as competition heats up amid a glut of fresh supplies, warned Aquarius chief executive Yongyuth Chaipromprasert...

Thailand faces possible capital outflows - cenbank - Reuters, June 9, 2008
Thailand will face possible capital outflows triggered by slowing global economic growth this year, Deputy central bank governor Bandid Nijathaworn told reporters on Tuesday...

Thailand confirms intervention to slow baht fall - Reuters, June 9, 2008
Thailand's central bank said on Tuesday it had intervened to slow the baht's fall and would continue to defend the currency if it remained volatile...

Thai buffalo - TNA, June, 2008
...Students at Ban Nam Tieng school in the northeastern province of Udon Thani sing a song called "Where're dung beetles gone?". Dung beetles are a local food during time of famine and can be easily found in buffalo dung. But they disappeared when farmers switched to using tractors...


From a press release - Cancelled - June 5, 2008
[UPDATE: We have just received word that this program has been cancelled.]
Hard Talk: Extrajudicial killing with Mr. Kasit Piromya, formerThai Ambassador to Washington, DC
Thursday, June 5, 2008, 6.00-6.30 p.m. at People's Alliance for Democracy's rally grounds at Makawan Bridge
The more than 2,500 of cases of narcotics extrajudicial killings committed during the Thaksin Shinawatra regime remain unresolved.
Instead of bringing drug-related suspects to justice through the judicial process, the police are said to have been told to 'do away' them and then shift the blame to drug gangs silencing their own members. Some of those extrajudicial killing victims were later revealed to not have been related to the drug trade.
This controversy has garnered attention from international rights agency such as Amnesty International, as well as the foreign media, but no answers were provided by the Thaksin administration.
However, until now, none of the thousands of cases have been solved and suspects be identified. Wrongdoers may forever not be brought to justice due to the efforts by the current administration to amend the 2007 Constitution to do away with the Assets Examination Committee, which is investigating this case to push it into the judicial system.
Journalist and democracy activist Sarosha Pornudomsak talks to Mr. Kasit Piromya, former Thai ambassador to Washington, DC, as well as other distinguished speakers, to clarify the many unanswered questions that surround this controversial issue on the PAD stage at Makawan Bridge

New trafficking law for Thailand - BBC, June 4, 2008
...Thailand already has an anti-trafficking law - but it does not work very well.
The police often refuse to recognise abused migrants as victims of trafficking.
A case in point is that of the survivors of an incident two months ago in which 57 Burmese migrants suffocated in a container smuggling them into Thailand.
The police argued that they were illegal immigrants, jailed and then deported them.
The UN defines a trafficking victim as anyone who is transported for purposes of exploitation...

The Met under construction on Sathorn Road - June 12, 2008
Project website

"President" Surayud - June 7, 2008
Thanks to Pklykoom for pointing this out.

The world's 50 most powerful blogs - June 6, 2008
On the Guardian list of 50 most powerful blogs is London-based Thai who blogs about Thai food.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
"How to win death" - June 6, 2008

It reads: How to win death - The Graduate School, together with the Life and Death Section, the Psychology Department, Faculty of Humanities, Maha Chulalongkorn Rajavidyalaya University, holds the academic seminar entitled “How to Win Death: Social Dimension Today” on Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 8.30am-4.30pm at the conference room of the Srisudaram Temple, Bangkhunnon, Bangkok Noi, Bangkok - Leading lecturer: Buddhist monk, Prof. Dr., Rector of the Maha Chulalongkorn Rajavidyalaya University...

"Very cold" metal pieces retrieved after UFO explosion over Koh Tral Island - Tien Trinh Thanh Nien News, June 02, 2008


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Hair banner - June 13, 2008
It reads: Prohair image - 90% of men suffering from hair loss or thin hair are caused by genes. Stop D H T, reduce hair loss, grow new hair - Advise with medical doctor or pharmacist at leading drugstores or www.askprohair.com - The presenter’s name is “Man” Supakit Tangtasawat - Prohair 02-686-9191

Thailand should learn 'bitter lesson' from Vietnam, says central bank - TNA, June 12, 2008
Thailand should be prepared to learn a bitter lesson its neighboring Vietnam had got from a short-lived and unsteady economic boom boosted by an inflow of foreign capital in large amount, according to the Bank of Thailand (BoT)...

Air America - June 14, 2008
Graham notes: Pretty interesting site with heaps of photos from the 60s and 70s in Thailand


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

"Designed by L&G" and "Hello Pippy Jung" - June 13, 2008
Henrik
reports: Ian Fuller took photos of the advertising display at the top of Baiyoke Tower.

Earlier: Baiyoke II lights - June 10, 2008
The top of the Baiyoke appears to have a new light display encircling the top. Anyone know anything about this?

Thai Airways increases Fuel Surcharges; to Suspend Bangkok-New York Flights - AsiaTravelTips, June 13, 2008

Lawyer identified - The Nation, June 13, 2008
[This lawyer may be identified, just not by this article...]

Illegal immigrants from Myanmar account for three-quarters of Thailand's foreign workers - Aljazeera, June 14, 2008
Pressure is mounting on Thailand to give greater protection to illegal migrant workers from Myanmar. Human rights groups say they make up around 75 per cent of foreign workers in Thailand, and that number is expected to rise in the wake of Cyclone Nargis...

"Thai Brides" on Little Britain - YouTube, June, 2008

US Congress Appeals to King of Thailand to Help Save Hmong Refugees - RushPRnews (press release), June , 2008
...The legislation was introduced and spearheaded by U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), U.S. Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) to seek to urge the Lao government and military to stop the ethnic cleansing campaign and mass starvation of thousands of unarmed Lao and Hmong civilians as well as to appeal to the King of Thailand and the Royal Thai government to work to stop the forced and involuntary repatriation of nearly 8,000 Lao Hmong refugees from Thailand back to the communist regime in Laos that they fled...

US blogger charged with insulting Singapore judge - Breitbart, June 16, 2008

And the blog: Singapore Dissident
...I am an American blogger who had intended to remain in Singapore only from May 25th 2008 to no later than June 3, 2008. My being charged for criminal offenses for writing a blog criticizing a Singapore Judge on May 29, 2008 is forcing me to remain in Singapore much longer than I had expected. This is causing me untold misery by my inability to attend to my law practice in the US and other financial difficulties including my inability to attend to my house mortgage and other financial affairs. Regardless of what I have to undergo, I refuse to surrender to this punishment by the Singapore authorities...

Thai prosecution of 'Merchant of Death' illegal - lawyer - RIA Novosti, June 16, 2008
..."The Thai criminal case was opened in breach of the law... It is a serious crime, even by Thailand's own legal standards," the counsel said.
"It is simply outrageous - a complete violation of due process. We will take this matter up - there is no question about that," he added...



(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Purse grabber in the Suthisarn area - June, 2008

It reads: Please beware! of snatch theft!
Find incident or clue, please inform Suthisarn Police Station
02-275-9125
Sign donated by Charnthawee Engineering Partnership Limited.

Reborn Thai - Bangkok Post, June 13, 2008
The descendants of the Kuomintang army from China are finally getting their Thai citizenship, and it's been a long and sometimes dangerous process, but now they can truly become part of the country they fought for...

Ads for "Thaksin, Fight" energy drink pulled - AP, June 17, 2008

Earlier: New energy drink: Thaksin... fight! - Matichon, April 11, 2008

Right: Ad for the new Thaksin-themed drink from Sunspark Company.
It reads: Give moral support - Give.. Thaksin Soo [Thaksin, fight]
At the bottom: Don't give moral support more than two bottles per day.

Cross-dressing students get own bathrooms at rural Thai school - Sin
Chew Jit Poh
, June 17, 2008
...Most rural Thais are conservative in many ways, but the trailblazing toilet initiative at Sisaket province's Kampang school reflects another aspect of Thai society: its acceptance of the country's very visible transsexuals and transvestites.
After a survey showed that more than 200 of the school's 2,600 students considered themselves transvestites, it decided to set up restrooms for them.
The signs on the doors depict a human shape split into half a male in blue, and half a female in red...

Police foil attempt to smuggle cooking oil, sugar into ThailandBernama, June 17, 2008

ASEAN+3 nuclear safety forum kicks off in Bangkok - Chinaview, June 16, 2008
...According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), among ASEAN countries, governments in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia have already launched plans for building their first nuclear power plants.
The Thai government has planned to build nuclear power plants with a total generating capacity of 4,000 MWs in 13 years from now, with the first plant put in operation in the year 2020, accounting for about 10 percent of total power generation.
Panels have been set up to conduct a detailed study of the project from 2008 to 2010, after which a final decision will be made whether to implement the nuclear program based on assessment of Thai public opinion...

Another Thai government on the way out?- UPI, June 2, 2008
...PAD leaders read several announcements from their affiliates in southern provinces. The first was from the popular tourist resort of Phuket: “If the police force the PAD demonstrators in Bangkok to disperse, we will close the airport!” Immediately after, another airport closure warning was received from Krabi, then another from Songkla, and a fourth from the southern province of Hatyai. Thailand’s political chessboard pieces were on the move, blocking off a knight, preventing a rook from moving...

When Indians in Bangkok went berserk over Bollywood stars - Thaindian, June 9, 2008
...She said: “It’s like a dream come true for us. We usually see them (stars) in films and admire them. But the experience of meeting them in person is ecstatic. I can’t explain in words how I am feeling right now...

Turmoil in Thailand - Lompoc Record, June 8, 2008
...On Wednesday, May 22, Laura Lo Xiong wrote in an e-mail: “Right now at this moment, the camp is on fire and more likely the whole camp will be burning down by tonight. Its horrible. I cannot sleep since May 16, 2008.”
The next day I learned that the huts had all burned.
I called Pastor Tia, minister of the Hmong Christian Alliance here in Lompoc, to ask if he knew of any Lompoc Hmong with friends or family in the camp. My call reached him in Minneapolis. He did not know of anyone in Lompoc, but someone in Minneapolis had just received a cell phone call from the camp. Their shelters gone, people were sitting in the sun and the rain. Someone dressed in black clothes had been seen setting the fire, but no one knew for sure who it was...

Competition For Jobs, Partners Sparks Height Craze In China - TV Regularly Promotes 'Stretching Machines,' Surgery Techniques - Local 6, June 6, 2005

China forces websites to register - Slashdot, June 8 , 2005
The Inquirer has the story that individual owners of websites and blogs must register with the government or face a shut-down. Apparently they will begin monitoring of all sites, both commercial and personal, beginning this month. Site owners have until the end of the month to register. The BBC has the story as well. From the BBC article: "'The internet has profited many people but it also has brought many problems, such as sex, violence and feudal superstitions and other harmful information that has seriously poisoned people's spirits,' said a statement on the MII website, explaining why the new rules were necessary."


Egat confirms snail fossils' destruction - Deposit mined, only small area still intact - Bangkok Post, June 8, 2005
...Only 18 rai of the 13-million-year old fossil layer was left, Egat officials told Administrative Court judge Veera Sangsomboon, who inspected the site on Monday.
...The revelation shocked Mae Moh residents, who have been seeking an emergency order from the court to stop Egat's mining operation pending the hearing of a lawsuit. The suit was filed by 18 villagers on April 7 against four government entities for destroying the prehistoric site--the cabinet, the industry minister, the Primary Industries and Mines Department, and Egat...


Lex live: Thailand - Financial Times, June 6, 2005
It looks as if Thailand's economy is heading for Bangkok-style gridlock. Gross domestic product contracted quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of 2005 - the first such decline for four years. The year-on-year growth rate has slowed to 3.3 per cent...

Signs dispute billboard safety - Bangkok Post, June 8, 2005
...The billboard in question was erected on the rooftop of a three-storey building. On the left side of the billboard, two signs were placed _ one by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and one by the Advertisers Association.
The BMA sign reads: "The structure of this billboard is not stable.''
The Advertisers Association sign reads: "The safety of the structure is guaranteed.''...


Abandoned and little-known airfields - June 9, 2005
Thanks to Dave Milam for pointing this out...


LAND DEAL: SRT swaps 50 rai for stake in PTT tower - The Nation, June 8, 2005
...PTT plans to build its own twin complex, in the same style as that of Malaysian rival Petronas, on a 50-rai plot of land next to its existing building on Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road. The new complex will be the headquarters of PTT and its subsidiaries.
...Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Somkid Jatusripitak earlier said he had instructed the State Railway of Thailand to propose a plan to better manage its assets, after discovering the state agency last year earned a mere Bt2.4 billion from leasing out land worth more than Bt100 billion...


Power plant project draws fire - The Nation, June 8, 2005
The government yesterday came under attack for approving the construction of a thermal power plant in Songkhla’s Chana district.
The Cabinet approved the Energy Ministry’s proposal to build the Bt16-billion thermal power plant, which would have a production capacity of 700 megawatts.
Construction, slated to start this year and finish in March 2008, involves installing a 27-kilometre distribution pipeline from the plant to electrical stations...


Microsoft founder to visit Thailand - TNA, June 6, 2005
The Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is scheduled to visit Thailand on 30 June to sign three deals with key government ministries on the information technology development..
The three memorandums of agreement include one covering educational activities with the Education Ministry, the promotion of the e-government project with the ICT Ministry, and the development of web services, according to Vice Minister of the Information and Communication Technology, Kanawat Vasinsangvorn...


Authoritarianism of the holy kind - Bangkok Post, June 6, 2005
...The monks who want to attend those UN conferences face an uphill task. For as far as the council is concerned, the UN is a political body, so monks should not be there. And they cannot, if the council does not approve their applications for passports...


'Thai Newspaper: Imam Khomeini Designer of Religious Democracy' - IQNA, June 6, 2005
A Thai newspaper covered Imam Khomeini's activities and thoughts in a full page on June 3rd one day before Imam's 16th demise anniversary.
Quoting an official of the central headquarters in charge of commemoration of Imam's 16th passing away anniversary, IQNA reported that the Thai newspaper ' Manager' pointed out Imam's opposition to the Shah's regime before the Islamic Revolution in 1978, and stressed Imam's role in foundation of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The newspaper also printed a picture of Imam that displays him casting his vote in the ballot box and referred to the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran as the designer of religious democracy.
The Manager Newspaper went on to describe Imam's character and his behavior at home and also the special attention he paid to the role of women in society.


Burmese workers file lawsuit against Thai employer - The Irrawaddy, May 27, 2005
A provincial labor court in Thailand's border town of Mae Sot on Thursday held its first hearing of a legal action brought by 22 migrant Burmese garment workers against a Thai employer for not paying proper wages...


Manhole covers of Japan - May 30, 2005

Lao Railway Authority starting the first railway project - Vientien Times, May 31, 2005
Civil work on the proposed railway project is expected to begin in September said a Lao Railway Authority (LRA) senior official. The railway project that many people have been awaiting for about 10 years is finally coming, according to LRA Deputy Director Sonesak N. Nhansana.
LRA who invited bids from consultancy companies, have already received three offers, all of them from Thai firms. The Government is giving greater priority to Thai companies because the Thai government has agreed to grant a low interest loan of 200 Million baht as well as aid to operate the railway project, said Sonesak...
Sonesak said that after the railway was completed they would allow Thai trains to use it for transporting passengers and goods until the LRA obtain their own trains, according to an agreement signed by the two countries...


Drawbridges in Thailand? - June 3, 2005
Lance writes: Normally, when my Thai wife and I cross Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans, LA, USA, we do so over the record setting causeway bridge. The bridge elevates at several points to allow for marine traffic. Recently we took an alternate route and had to wait for the drawbridge. My wife was amazed and said that she had never seen such a thing in Thailand. Are there no drawbridges in Thailand?...


LA's Thai Town - LA Weekly, June, 2005

'Model car' to be unveiled soon - TNA, June 3, 2005
Thailand's prototyped energy saving car, called the 'model car', will be unveiled soon when the government is launching a new campaign to promote energy saving nationwide...


Dawn of media freedom in Burma? - The Irrawaddy, June 2, 2005
...Political and dissident websites—such as The Irrawaddy—and even Bangkok newspaper sites like The Nation and Bangkok Post remain banned.


Powerful figure trying to get police to drop FBCB case: source - The Nation, June 3, 2005
[Ok, 2Bangkok.com readers, who is the figure mentioned?]
A “highly influential figure” is pressuring police to drop a misconduct case against former executives of the now-defunct First Bangkok City Bank (FBCB), a police source said. The source said the influential figure had asked police not to forward the case to state prosecutors.“The defendants in this case are not powerful, but the person behind them is,” the source said...


"Thailand - where dependence on drugs and booze is a requirement for all working visas" - Cinematical, June 3, 2005
Unflattering comments about Thailand: Tom Sizemore just turned down a role in The Fifth Commandment ("Thou shalt not kill," FYI), which would be filming in Thailand. In an unprecedented moment of good judgment, Sizemore determined that going to Thailand—where dependence on drugs and booze is a requirement for all working visas—might not be a good idea. Thus far, the actor has stayed clean for 3 weeks, consulted with his parents, and found God (not related to previously mentioned film). But still he faces some pesky probation violations that could land him in jail for up to 3 years. Jail is probably as bad as Thailand in terms of encouraging vices, so we're hoping he doesn't end up there, either.



Commentary: A scapegoat in Thailand? - International Herald Tribune, June 5, 2005
...If holding civil servants or government officials so gratuitously accountable for a mistake spreads, who in their right mind would take such jobs?
...As culpable as Rerngchai may be, a currency peg - which Thailand had until July 1997 - is a political device. It's a policy of the Finance Ministry that's carried out by the central bank. The blame for Thailand's crisis goes to poor transparency, dodgy corporate governance, negligible public accountability and cushy ties between government, banks and businesses...


Thailand's GDP shrinks in 1st Qtr on drought, tsunami - Bloomberg, June 5, 2005
Thailand's economy shrank for the first time in four years last quarter as drought parched rice and sugar crops and higher fuel costs curbed consumer spending...
Recent stories of note

February 6 tipped as compromise election date - The Nation, December 4, 2004
...February 6, a Sunday, is likely to be chosen as the new election date following a compromise between the government and the Election Commission, coalition and opposition lawmakers said yesterday...


Flyover projects put on hold - Bangkok Post, December 3, 2004
The planned construction of flyovers at Ekkachai, Kasemrat and Kluay Namthai intersections has been put on hold for another year.
The decision by the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning is seen as a compromise between the city administration, which wants the projects scrapped, and the Transport Ministry, which favours the projects...
Earlier:
City hall overruled on flyovers - Bangkok Post, November 30, 2004
The Transport Ministry has overruled city hall's decision not to build three flyovers at intersections in the Bang Bon and Rama IV areas.
The overpasses were planned at Ekkachai-Bang Bon-Bang Khun Thien, Rama IV-Kasemrat-Sukhumvit 26 and Rama IV-Sukhumvit 42 intersections...
However, Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit said a meeting yesterday insisted the flyovers were essential for long-term traffic planning, especially as Rama IV would become a main route connecting the city and Suvarnabhumi Airport...
The Bangkok Metopolitan Administration is under the control of the opposition Democrat party and Mr Suriya is secretary-general of the ruling Thai Rak Thai party.

What goes down must come up - Bangkok Post, December 3, 2004
...Thailand was the world's third and Asia's top performing emerging stock market in 2003, up 140% in dollar terms...
Yet this year it has been the loser and disappointed many investors, the SET off 15% making it the worst performing equity market in the world, even while Indonesia (+39%), Malaysia (+14%) and Singapore (+15%) have risen...

Wisarut points out these interesting links:

Ban Bu and Bangkok Noy Railway Station during WWII from the old local people - the day when the first bomb hit the Bangkok Noy Railway station 60 years ago on November 29, 1944 - Manager Daily, November 29, 2004

Siam Centre renovation - July 28, 2004
Siam Centre all set to receive Bt300m facelift - The Nation, July 28, 2004
Siam Centre, situated at the heart of Bangkok's most vibrant shopping area, is to undergo a massive Bt300 million renovation to attract more high-profile...
Siam Centre revamp to sport Japanese flair - Bangkok Post, July 28, 2004
Siam Piwat Co is planning a 300-million-baht facelift to give its 33-year-old Siam Centre a look reminiscent of Tokyo's bustling Shinjuku district to appeal to teenage shoppers...
It will be the third major renovation for one of Bangkok's most popular shopping centres. The first was undertaken in 1991 and the second in 1997...


French 'Spiderman' scales Jakarta highrise - July 25, 2005
We wonder when he will get to Bangkok...

India 'to build biggest Buddha' - BBC, July 13, 2004
...The bronze statue is planned to be more than 150m tall, double the height of the 8th Century Tang dynasty Buddha in south-west China...
Local officials say it will be the world's biggest statue and that a 17-storey temple building with huge prayer halls will be housed inside it.
However, in the United States, plans are underway to build a statue in Houston, Texas, called The Spirit of Houston, that would be even higher....

Also: More about the Spirit of Houston statue (includes renderings)

Computer reconstruction of Prasat Phimai - July 26, 2004
It looks like a little Angkor Wat.

Bus/train hybrid - Slashdot, July 24, 2004
"...The innovative vehicle will run on road as well as rail. It is as applicable to freight as to passenger transport. Branch-line infrastructure costs could be at least halved because signalling and points could be largely, if not totally, made redundant."


Thai kickboxing film Ong Bak - BoingBoing.net, July 24, 2004
Lots of links to foreign distribution info about Ong Bak. Farangs seem to love it!

Three Gorges website - July 24, 2004
NSS points out: The Three Gorge Dams


The real Bangkok Hilton - BBC, July 24, 2004
Thanks to Don Entz for this link: ...Imprisoned for drug smuggling, his voice shook as he explained how he will only find out when he is to be executed two hours beforehand.
"I have no clue when I will die," Amporn said, "they could inject me today or tomorrow. All my life I hated drugs more than anything, I never thought that I would be arrested because of them.
"I told my kids don't touch them, don't get close to them, I hate them. I admitted I was guilty, why has society punished me so harshly? Why don't they give me another chance? I never committed a crime before."
Harsh sentences for drug smugglers are popular in Thailand.

In the Thai press - July 24, 2004
Something about Metro Life Shopping Bangkok Subway (in Thai)


Songkhla Lake Tunnel - July 23, 2004
Nils found this interesting proposal on the Yee Associates Website: Songkhla Lake Tunnel proposal from 1998.

Bridge Climb in Sydney - July 23, 2004

Antiques impounded - Bangkok Post, July 26, 2004
...Pol Col Tara Punasri, deputy commander of the police registration division, said although most of the products were fake, the law required a licence even for the sale of fake antiques. Offenders face fines of 2,000-5,000 baht.
A few antique Buddha images were found at some of the shops. The raid came after a number of antiques, including fakes, were seized by customs officers from departing tourists at Don Muang airport recently.


The story of Golden Gate Plaza
- Bangkok Post, July 26, 2004
The 18-storey plaza-cum-condominium project in Bangkok's Pratunam area was begun by Golden Gate Plaza Co Ltd, a wholly owned Golden Land subsidiary, in 1995. It was managed by Golden Land and Vikorn Srivikorn, a member of the family that controlled the parent firm, was the project manager. The subsidiary at the time had registered capital of 10 million baht while Golden Land was capitalised at 750 million...
However, Golden Gate Plaza went out of business after the 1997 crash and the project remains suspended to this day, though almost 80% of the work had been done...


Purported royal letter up for online auction - The Nation, July 26, 2004
...The one-page letter, initially listed for US$550 (Bt22,569), shows the letterhead seal bearing King Chulalongkorn's initials under the royal crown, as well as his purported handwriting and signature.
...A professional collector of items related to King Rama V, who requested anonymity, said that he doubted the letter's authenticity as there were plenty of fake items on auction websites.
"Basically, websites are not a place for real collectors…. No one could verify the items' authenticity out there," he said.
He added that such letters were common among collectors and an authentic King Rama V letter with similar content had been sold for less than Bt12,300.

Chiang Mai getting ugly - The Irrawaddy, July 24, 2004
...The meeting was prompted by an article in the March edition of National Geographic Traveler magazine that rated two prominent Thai tourist destinations—Chiang Mai and Phuket—as “Getting Ugly”. A scoreboard of destinations around the world was put together by the magazine and a team of graduate student from Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK.
...Professor Duongchan Apavatjrut, secretary-general of the Urban Development Institute Forum and a researcher at the Social Research Institute told the audience that earlier proposals to make changes in Chiang Mai were largely futile. She said she would rather suggest specific changes to be made than discuss abstract big-picture concepts that are generally ignored by the city’s administrators.
The deputy governor of Chiang Mai Province, the city mayor and the city district chiefs left the auditorium as soon each finished speaking and did not wait around to listen to anyone else’s thoughts.
She advised them to take down all the major advertising boards that stand atop the roofs of condominiums and office buildings, reasoning that most of them are flashy, cheap and painted in lurid colors, and so detract from the beauty of Chiang Mai’s ancient temples.
Her second proposal was that a number of buildings in the city painted inappropriate colors be required to be repainted to blend in with their environs. Professor Duongchan noted that Kyoto city ordered McDonald’s to change its logo color from the usual gaudy yellow and red to brown and green in order to preserve the metropolis’s historic district.
She also suggested that flower pots along the pavement be removed as they blocked pedestrian traffic. Professor Duongchan furthermore claimed that Chiang Mai International Airport was too close to the city, causing traffic jams and noise pollution.
Associate Professor Thanet Charoenmuang, a political scientist at Chiang Mai University complained that it was unlikely that the seminar would count for much as many of the prominent administrators—the deputy governor of Chiang Mai Province, the city mayor and the city district chiefs—left the auditorium as soon as each finished speaking and did not wait around to listen to anyone else’s thoughts.
In any case, none of the local government officials accepted that there was any justification for the National Geographic Traveler’s low ranking of Chiang Mai.
His closing comments at the seminar were that Chiang Mai is developing in a “Bangkok mold”—a primary city taking all the infrastructure, facilities and major universities for itself while leaving neighboring centers such as Lamphun, Lamphang and Chiang Rai underdeveloped...

What the Myanmar press thinks of US sanctions - The Irrawaddy, July 23, 2004
... Today’s article, written by Aung Moe San, was published in both the Myanma Alin and Kyemon newspapers on Thursday. It called the American sanctions a foreign policy publicity stunt aimed at winning support for President Bush and incumbent senators before the US elections in November. The article also accused Washington of attempting to make Burma its client-state.
The sanctions are misguided, the article charged, because Asian countries, including those from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, continue to trade with the military regime in Rangoon. Sanctions are also contrary to American efforts to promote market economies around the world, the article added.
It also pointed out that while the US censures Burma, it is simultaneously boosting economic ties with China, a communist state which runs a “socialist economy”...

Links from the TNA: Fans at funerals/Alcohol ban?
Public urged to use decorated electric fans as funeral wreaths - TNA, July 23, 2004
A campaign to encourage people to use electric fans decorated with flowers as funeral wreaths should be stepped up, according to senior government officials.
The Bangkok City Clerk, Khun Ying Nathanon Thavisin told TNA that using electric fans decorated with dried or paper flowers as funeral wreaths could help reduce the city’s volume of garbages, and could save money.
An electric fan can be an expression of love and friendship, it can also show respect at a funeral, she said...
However, Khun Ying Nathanon said, she was not launching a campaign against the florists.
She merely wanted to give consumers more options, she said.

Public campaign on ban of alcohol during Buddhist Lent - TNA, July 22, 2004
A campaign has been launched to encourage the general public to refrain from consuming alcohol during the forthcoming Buddhist Lent.
The campaign is scheduled to kick off on 1 August, the start of the three-month Buddhist Lent, with a declaration promoting a nationwide ban on alcohol over the whole Lent period...
Meanwhile, a recent survey found that the public overwhelming supported the campaign.
More than 90 percent of those interviewed agreed that people should be encouraged to refrain from alcohol consumption during the Buddhist Lent and other significant occasions
The ABAC poll was conducted by the Assumption University.

Southern land bridge project gets go-ahead - TNA, July 21, 2004
The government has announced plans to proceed with the construction of the so-called Land Bridge Project in southern Thailand.
The 28-billion-baht project, includes building a 250-kilometre oil pipeline from Phang Nga to Nakorn Si Thammarat in the South.
An oil refinery plant will also be built by 2010...
Once completed, the Land Bridge Project will become an alternative route for the transportation of oil from the Middle East to northern Asia...
Work on the project will start soon now that the cabinet has given the scheme the green light.

The first 2Bangkok.com meeting
Nils has a short report about the first 2Bangkok.com meeting which was held last night.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
Muscle car in Bangkok - May 8, 2008
We wonder who was the young Thai guy roaring along in this left-hand drive 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass with Nevada state plates on the expressway and Weepahwahddee Road...

Peterborough man sick in Thai hospital - Peterborough Examiner, May, 2008
...Bonnie also said on her second visit she had to escape from the hospital because they were pressuring her for money because Robert has no insurance.
“They wanted my passport. I had to get out of there on the floor of a taxi. I don't feel good about it because I had to leave my son there,” she said...


Thailand's removal of official who supported compulsory licensing 'important' step to 'protecting patients' health,' editorial says - News-Medical-Net, May 30, 2008
The Thai government's removal last week of Vichai Chokevivat -- "one of the most vocal opponents" of patent protections for drug companies -- from Governmental Pharmaceutical Organization's board is a "small" but "important" step in "restoring Thailand's international reputation and protecting patients' health," a Wall Street Journal Asia editorial says...

Good Medicine for Thailand - Wall Street Journal Asia, May 29, 2008
Slowly, the war on drug patents in Thailand seems to be turning...


Pink dolphins dying out fast - Bangkok Post, May 31, 2008
...At least four dolphins, also known as Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, were caught in fishing nets and died since the start of this year...
He said around 40 pink dolphins lived in the bay. But a recent survey found their number had decreased as some are thought to have moved to Surat Thani waters which are more peaceful...

Malaysia overtakes UK, Japan, Thailand in competitiveness ranking - Bernama, May 30, 2008.

BBC reporter accused of lese majeste - Bangkok Post, May 31, 2008
...In his complaint with the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) yesterday, Pol Lt-Col Wattanasak Mungkitkandi, of Bang Mod station, accused Jonathan Head of posting inappropriate photos on www.bbcnews.com...


Global Peace Index - May, 2008
Thailand slips one spot in the ranking to 118 out of 140.

"Significant details of the amended 2007 constitution" - May 23, 2008

Interesting screen grab from NBT last week:
- The Section three to twelve of the 1997 Constitution will replace those of 2007 Constitution
- Buddhist is the national region
- The proportion of the name list of members of the Parliament (MPs) for a no-confidence debate proposal against the Prime Minister will decrease from two out of five to not less than one out of five
- The proportion of the members of the Parliament (MPs) for a no-confidence debate proposal against the Prime Minister will decrease from one out of five to not less than one out of six
- The Transitory Provision of the Constitution will be provided to ensure the positions of the Parliament, Senators, Cabinet, etc.
- The Transitory Provision has cancelled all announcements by the Council for Democratic Reform under the Constitutional Monarchy, which are against the new Constitution


Secret list of 'influential people' drawn up - Phuket Gazette, May 27, 2008
...Although the list will not be released to the media, V/Gov Tri confirmed that all the people on the list live in Phuket.
The list is similar to blacklists drawn up by the government during Thailand’s war on drugs under the Thaksin regime. Blacklisted individuals were targeted as part of an intensive nationwide crackdown on drugs, which saw extra-judicial killings by police of more than 2,000 alleged drug dealers.
Thailand’s latest war on drugs began on April 2 this year, although neither Governor Niran nor V/Gov Tri were available to confirm or deny a link to this latest blacklist.


Protests and coup rumours return - The Economist, May 29, 2008
Thailand's squabbling elites seem intent on ruining the country...


PAD confident, says protest will continue - Bangkok Post, May 28, 2008
About 3,000 protesters gathered in Ratchadamnoen avenue yesterday to support the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which is pressuring the government and parliament to give up attempts to amend the constitution. With the protest set to enter its fourth day today, PAD coordinator Suriyasai Katasila said yesterday the rally would continue.
... A core leader of the pro-government United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), Suchart Nakbangsai, on Monday took a picture of parliamentary reporters who quizzed him, saying he wanted to know their faces and study their backgrounds.
On Monday night, he took to the stage at an anti-PAD rally and urged supporters to charge towards reporters who had questioned him.
Core leaders of the pro-government group used a parliament conference room on Monday to deny any link with a clash at the People's Alliance for Democracy rally the previous day. The room was booked by a People Power party MP for Roi Et, Nisit Sinthuprai...

Bangkok's 'Slaughterhouse' children find a haven - CNN, May 27, 2008
[Thanks to Lance for pointing this out.]

Laos, Hmong Crisis: Thailand's Samak Uses Troops, Tear Gas - PR Newswire (Press release), May 24, 2008

Former Thai PM Thaksin plans 'modern city' in Cambodia: official - Straits Times, May 25, 2008

Chalerm allows one more day of legal cockfights per week - Bangkok Post, May 21, 2008

Long Neck Tribespeople Setup Local Tourist Attraction - Pattaya City News, May, 2008

Satellite images of the region - May, 2008
[Thanks to Nils for pointing this out.]


"Thailand, Samak Crisis: Senators Respond to Hmong Crisis, Hunger strike" - Media Newswire, May 21, 2008
...Massive hunger strikes and demonstrations have reportedly rocked the refugee camp in Petchabun, Thailand, after the arrest and imprisonment of Mr. Cha Lee as well as fears by the Hmong refugees of forced repatriation back to the communist regime in Laos that they fled...


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Sign on the expressway - May 24, 2008
It reads: “…the prosperity of the country means the lasting prosperity of the people of the whole country” - Royal Guidance given on July 20, 1967 - "...activation of sustainable economy" - Advance Info Service PCL

Ronaldinho makes overtures to City as his brother flies to Thailand for talks with Thaksin - This is London, May 23, 2008
Ronaldinho's brother - who also acts as his agent - flew into Thailand for talks with Manchester City last night. He asked for a personal audience with City's powerful owner Thaksin Shinawatra to gauge the interest in the Barcelona playmaker...


Not the Nation: Rich Thai Girl Totally Not Wearing Zara Anymore
Stylish socialite insists Spanish brand is no longer sufficiently exclusive...

Not the Nation: Chalerm Bookmarks 29 Websites
Interior Minister has change of heart after enjoying alternative news, blogs and forums for hours on end...

Soccer Snobs: SHINAWATRA: CITY FANS TO BE REPLACED
...A senior source at the club conceded that, “Thaksin feels the City fans started the season extremely well, but after Christmas felt they just weren’t pulling their weight any longer. He thinks he can find better fans to replace them...”

Incoming Thai Interior Min dies of heart failure-officials - Nasdaq, May 10, 2008
[Yet another instance of confusion between Taiwan and Thailand.]
Taiwan's incoming Interior minister Liao Fung-te has died of heart failure 10 days before he was due to take office, his doctors and party officials said Sunday. He was 57...

Homeland Security in Bangkok launches cyberwar against dissidents - Indy Bay, May, 2008
[Not sure what this is about and the website seems to be blocked from Thailand...]


India plans to invest in airport and cable car for Preah Vihear Temple [-An end to the dependence on Thailand's whims?] - The Mekong Times, May 9, 2008

PM: I didn't say banks on verge of ruin - Bangkok Post, May 9, 2008
Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej yesterday denied saying two commercial banks were on the verge of jeng, or bankruptcy, on a TV show which led to a run on the banks. Mr Samak was replying to a question put to him by Democrat MP Korn Chatikavanij during a House meeting yesterday...

Self-censoring Thai PM threatens to sue newspapers - Straits Times, May 11, 2008
Thailand's Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, who has a notoriously combative relationship with his country's press, threatened on Sunday to sue two local newspapers...


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

"Eat somtam" - May 12, 2008
It reads: Samak moans about the high pork price. We'd better eat papaya salad (somtam).
[This is a billboard for the film Somtam, a comedy and action film.]



Bankers downplay Samak comments - Bangkok Post, May 9, 2008

Thailand: Press freedom slips in Asia - Sin Chew Jit Poh, May 10, 2008
The state of the press in Southeast Asia is slipping. The findings, based on the report of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (Seapa), a regional press advocacy group, cited the continuing threats to press freedom across the region with Burma in the limelight.


Not the Nation: Paedophile caught in country that is not Thailand - May, 2008

I'm a man - May 13, 2008
It reads: Good personality can be built at Robinson – I’m a man

Bizarre light blub commercial - May 14, 2008
WiseKwai points out the "Bizarre light bulb commercial"

How Thaksin turned from saviour to sinner in a single season - The Guardian, May 14 2008
Fans who failed to question the Thai owner's past are now shocked to see how authoritarian he can be...

Gallery - The Guardian, May, 2008
Guardian gallery of Photoshopped Thaksin images including a Little Britain gag...

Thai fisticuffs on the high seas - Malaysia Star, May, 2008
Two Thai fishermen were allegedly thrown overboard into the South China Sea off the coast of Borneo Island during a fight...

Looking for Danny Hall - KhaoSanRoad.com, May, 2008
And more on missing people in the region.

Madam or slave owner? - The Age, May 16, 2008
...The women had all worked in the Thai sex industry and knew they were to work as prostitutes here. Four of the women were "purchased" from Thai recruiters for about $20,000 each (one woman was bought from a "Sydney owner")...

Thailand drops plan for rice cartel, citing humanitarian concerns - The Canadian Press, May 6, 2008

Korea falls behind Thailand in national competitiveness - KoreaTimes, May, 2008


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Free education - May 20, 2008
It reads: This year’s opening semester - Students in Bangkok are provided free education - Unconditionally... for the second time (quality schooling, international standards, students kept up-to-date with world’s knowledge) - The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration

DP World eyes Thai port - Lloyd's List, May 19, 2008
DP WORLD is considering a Baht2.6bn ($80m) deep sea port project in the south of the country, according to Thai government officials, writes Marcus Hand.
The transport ministry is to propose to the cabinet the building of Pak Bara port in Satun, a project that has been on the drawing board for years...
[The rest is available only for subscribers.]

"Thai border harassment intensifies: Thai soldiers cross the disputed zone at will to destroy Cambodian properties" - KI Media, May, 2008

Gorbachev buys mansion in Thailand - Pravda, May 19, 2008
...However, this information is difficult to be checked. Thai laws don’t let foreigners buy detached houses, only detached apartments are available. So all Thai mansions are registered on specially created local juridical people and it’s difficult to identify who the real owner is.

Canaries' chances of Thai-ing up Evans deal increases - Cheep Shot, May 18, 2008
...The reason for this is that Manchester City’s mad as a bucket of frogs Thai owner Thaksin Shinawatra is reported to have placed the entire squad on the transfer list...

A Question Of Attitudes; and Fair Play The Dr Thaksin Way - Guardian, May 9, 2008
...Dr Thaksin's Krazy Guide To Fair Play*: How To Sneak Your Team Into Euro Vase (with a little help from Human Rights Watch)...

"Worst owner of the season" - Telegraph, May 12, 2008

Alleged Thailand perv held without bail in N.J. - Boston Herald, May 12, 2008
A small-time New Jersey actor accused of traveling to Thailand to have sex with underage boys was denied bail yesterday. U.S. District Court Judge Michael...

Thailand museum director indicted in federal probe - AP, May 12, 2008
...Brown, the director of the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum at Bangkok University in Thailand, is accused of allowing her electronic signature to be used on appraisal forms that were donated at inflated prices to several Southern California museums so collectors could claim fraudulent tax deductions...
The raids followed an undercover investigation by a National Park Service special agent who posed as a collector interested in various artifacts. The agent learned that some of the artifacts managed to pass through U.S. customs because they had "Made in Thailand" labels affixed to them, making it appear they were replicas.
Court documents said the Markells and the agent met more than a dozen times and regularly e-mailed and called one another about antiquities from Southeast Asia. Some of the calls and meetings were recorded, the warrants said.


Arrested art historian dies at detention centre - Bangkok Post, May 15, 2008
A well-known art historian, arrested in Los Angeles in connection with a federal investigation into illegal trafficking of pilfered Southeast Asian art, died early Wednesday of a heart attack at a Federal Detention Centre.
Roxanna Brown, 62, wheelchair-bound was suffering from flulike symptoms severe enough to postpone her initial court appearance...

Foreign husbands flock to impoverished Isan - The Malaysian Insider, November 8, 2009
A hundred thousand foreign husbands in Issan, northeast Thailand, generating 10.5 billion baht (RM1.06 billion) in spending with 578,609 jobs created? Astounding figures. Got to wonder how accurate they are!...

High tide flood in Paknam - Paknam.com, November 8, 2009
...Samut Prakan is gradually sinking into the sea. During the high tide periods in November, the main city roads are submerged under sea water for three to four hours each day...
[In case you hadn't noticed, these posts, especially the flooded wat, have spawned many stories in international press where these interesting Paknam.com finds are re-reported as original news.]

Students on cultural trip end up at Bangkok sex show - Merchant News, November 8, 2009
An investigation has been launched by one of the countries oldest schools into reports that students who were on a school trip to Asia were allowed to witness a sex show whist out for the night in Bangkok's notorious red-light district...


PAD still trying to run Thailand telling PM Abhisit what to do about Cambodia and Thaksin - Asia Travel Examiner, November 7, 2009
...Meanwhile, potential tourists to Thailand should watch this situation closely as, if the PAD are allowed to control the situation like they were previously and it escalates, they could end up stuck in Thailand with no way of getting home...


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Watch while you drive - August 5, 2004
The latest fad on Bangkok streets is LCD screens for car dashboards. They have been around for years, but recently have been promoted as a normal part of any car stereo system and a preferred add-on now that CD players have become standard. Here, a taxi driver watches a Bee Gees VCD while driving.


Do you have Asperger's Syndrome? - August 5, 2004
(from Man With Train Obsession Arrested Again in NYC, New York Times, June 15, 2004) By now, Darius McCollum's exploits have become the stuff of city lore. He is the eccentric transit fanatic from Queens who has spent more than a third of his life behind bars for transgressions related to his posing as a New York City Transit worker. Among the notable offenses on his rap sheet are commandeering an E train on a trip to the World Trade Center from Herald Square when he was just 15 and taking a number of city buses for joy rides.
... Mr. McCollum's supporters, who rallied behind him after his last arrest, say that he suffers from a social disorder similar to autism, known as Asperger's syndrome.
The disorder is also called "the little professor syndrome." Its sufferers often become obsessed with specific topics, talking endlessly about them with stunning expertise; they have problems socializing, make inappropriate comments and avoid eye contact. Obsession with trains and train trivia is common among sufferers of Asperger's...


Thai visions of hell - August 5, 2004
Japanese sites chronicling folk art interpretations of hell and punishment in Thai wats.



(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Offerings for Khao Pan Sa - August 4, 2004
Sunday was Khao Pan Sa (often called Buddhist Lent), the traditional beginning of the rainy season and the beginning of a three month period when monks are supposed to stay in the temples. Thus people visit temples at this time and give monks household items (so monks do not have to leave the Wat for offerings).
Large candles are thought to be an especially lucky item to give. Nowadays, as most temple use electric lighting, people sometimes give packs of florescent lights in lieu of candles. The color of the boxes for the lights is the same color as the large candles. Above are Khao Pan Sa light packs (left to right) from Toshiba (5 pack), GE (9 pack), and Sylvania (9 pack) produced especially for the holiday.


Monkey bridge - August 1, 2004
Thailand's latest bridge is the monkey bridge in Songkhla. It stretches across Road 407 by Tang Kuan Mountain.

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
'Transportation Futuristics' - July 30, 2004
Collection of early to mid-twentieth century drawings of future transport methods. Every section is great - monorails, oddities, helicopters, flying saucer bus, escape pods from airplanes.
How about the ROI on this project: This "transplanetary subway" would stretch from New York to Los Angeles with few stops in between. The train would be propelled by magnetic levitation (maglev) and the air in the tunnel segments would be evacuated to eliminate air resistance. With no resistance whatsoever, the train would be capable of speeds exceeding several times the speed of sound.
Later research estimated that the entire population of Los Angeles would have to commute by this subway to New York every day, and the entire population of New York would have to commute to L.A. every day in order for this proposal to be economically viable.

From the English-language press - August 3, 2004

Sun, wind energy to cool trains - Bangkok Post, August 3, 2004
...The wind and solar-powered system has been offered to the SRT by a British-based firm.
The company is represented locally by Chevco Asia, the governor said.
He said the SRT spends an average of 1.7 billion baht a year on fuel.
The amount of electricity consumed by air-conditioners on its trains costs tens of millions of baht, an average of 800-1,000 baht per car per trip...


New bridge first joint border project - Bangkok Post, August 3, 2004
A new bridge across the Kolok river, linking Tak Bai district in Narathiwat with Malaysia's Kelantan state, is expected to be the first project approved by the Thai-Malaysian Committee on Joint Development Strategy for Border Areas...
The first project is likely to be a bridge across the Kolok river, between Baan Bukehta in Tak Bai district and Bukit Bunga in Malaysia...

Thai's shameful walk-off sullies ASEAN final - Guardian Unlimited, January 31, 2007
... Singapore coach Radojko Avramovic was left mystified by the unfolding drama.
"I don't understand what the Thai coach was doing, or what point he was trying to make," he said.
"I don't think that's right. This is sport; it should be played like sport...


Bad press for Siemens trains - Further brake failures sideline a third of new trains - The Age, January 16, 2007
[Thanks to Danny for pointing this out.]


Quake predictors or just quacks? - Bangkok Post, January 2007
..."After that quake, I realised that whenever I heard muffled sounds, an earthquake would occur in the next few days, so I began to e-mail my predictions to the Seismological Observation Centre [SOC]," Lee told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
After several correct predictions, Lee became a national celebrity with reporters following him every day, asking him if he had heard strange sounds and when a big quake might hit.
Three dozen other earthquake predictors soon emerged, claiming they could predict earthquakes because they, too, could hear strange sounds or picked up other signs.
The SOC, fed up with their predictions, banned unofficial earthquake prediction in 2005. Violators of the ban face a 1-million-Taiwan-dollar ($30,000, or just under 1.1 million baht) fine...


(Photo: GWR)

Democrat poster in Hat Yai - January 16, 2007
GWR reports: Here is a Democrat Party poster that is now placed in many locations around Hat Yai. It reads: Chuan Leekphai [Leading party light and ex-PM(x2)], Pongsak Jirophat [Local politician and businessman, and also Khun Chuan's 'Southern' Secretary] and Abhishit Vejajiva [Party Leader] Wishing you Happy New Year and every success for 2550 to the people of Hat Yai [2007].




Online book: The Fascination of Siam, 1920 - January 23, 2007
Thanks to Anthony for finding this...

Thai businesswoman finds new work for buffaloes - M and C, June 1, 2009

Grammy supports piracy crackdown - TMCnet, June 1, 2009
...Vendors selling legitimate CDs have shrank to 2,000 from 10,000 outlets the past decade.
To adapt, Grammy altered its business direction toward the digital market by providing unlimited downloads of songs to mobile phone subscribers for 20 baht a month. It now has around 1.2 million customers...

Change in Myanmar would stabilize region - Thailandnews, June 1, 2009
Thailand's foreign minister urged the creation of an 'open society' in neighbouring Myanmar, saying that an end to repressive government in the military-run nation would help 'stabilize' the south-east Asian region...


Hints of Burma-Thailand tension appear in state-run media - The Irrawaddy, June 2, 2009
...Quoting a story from Bangkok’s Thai Rath newspaper on May 28, Myanma Alin reported on Tuesday that Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin, the 2006 coup maker who ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, warned that “if Thailand has a conflict with Burma, it will face defeat...” 

Thai parliament women speak out for Aung San Suu Kyi - EARTHtimes, June 2, 2009
Twenty-two female members of Thai parliament on Wednesday petitioned Myanmar's junta to drop current charges against democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and free her immediately...

Knock it off: One Thai museum's quest to educate Asia about counterfeiting - Time, June 4, 2009

"THAI Pays Tribute to Her Majesty the Queen Showing Extravaganza Ten Thousands Orchids Globe At Siam Paragon Bangkok Royal Orchid Paradise 2009" - Thaipr, June 4, 2009

A cancer drug from sunny Thailand? - ABC News, June 7, 2009
...In 2007, the results of a a 4-year, population-based, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial that involved approximately 1,200 women were announced. It reported that Yaamet-Dor, this time at 1,100 units per day, led to a 60 percent reduction in cancer incidence...

Lands of erotic fantasy and their complex reality - New York Times, June, 2009
An adventurous English friend named Belinda, searching some years ago for sensual ecstasy in the East, once described finding a special salon in upcountry Thailand, where she was invited to allow herself to be restrained quite naked on a cedar table and have three young female attendants gently apply a sweet-smelling unguent to her more delicate parts...


On the 2b forum: Thairath gone too far - Showing the naked photo of the dead David Carradine

FBI not allowed to intervene in Carradine investigation - Bangkok Post, June 8, 2009

FBI may be allowed to take part in probe into Carradine's death - The Nation, June 8, 2009

Carradine family takes action on probe, photos - WCVB Boston, June 8, 2009
David Carradine's family members, dissatisfied with Thai investigators and "profoundly disturbed" by the publication of a forensics photo in a Bangkok tabloid, are seeking help from the FBI and an independent pathologist and have threatened legal action against any media outlet that reprints images of the actor in death...

Carradine's family wants FBI to investigate death - Las Cruces Sun-News, June 5, 2009
The family of American actor David Carradine has asked the FBI to help investigate his death after his body was found in a hotel closet in Thailand's capital with a rope tied to his neck, wrist and genitals...

Attorney believes Carradine was murdered - WSYR 9 Syracuse, June 5, 2009
David Carradine's lawyer is calling on Thai authorities to launch a murder investigation because she believes the actor was killed and his death made to look like a suicide...


Martial arts expert convinced David Carradine killed by kung fu cult - 3news, June 9, 2009

HETHERINGTON: Blundering by bank cut off my cash in Thailand - Daily Mail, June 6, 2009

Director's debut gets Thai tongues wagging - Harborough Mail, June 5, 2009
A Gilmorton man who jetted to Thailand last year with just a screenplay and 6,000 has just finished making his first short film...


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

RBAC - June 11, 2009
It reads: The world steps ahead to the future - You must follow - Ratana Bundit University (RBAC) [The lady is Assoc. Prof. Sunee Sinthudecha, a well-known academic.]

Old shopping malls - June 11, 2009
Interesting Thai-language blog with some old ads and comments about Thai shopping malls.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Signs of drug dealing - June 11, 2009
This is part of a banner campaign in sections all around town asking people to inform on drug dealing activities to the local police. It reads: Signs of drug dealing - Inform Police Colonel Manop Sukonthanapat, Suthisarn Police station Superintendent - Mobile phone 081-9212327, 081-3134446 - Email: manop [email protected]


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Signs of drug dealing - June 12, 2009
This is part of a banner campaign in sections all around town asking people to inform on drug dealing activities to the local police. It reads: Amphetamines are hard drugs - It is putting lives at risk - It is a society toxin - Signs of drug dealing, inform tel. 02-282-6610 or P.O. Box 222 Lanluang Post Office, Bangkok or [email protected] - Police Colonel Rangsan Praditphon - Nangleng Metropolitan Police Superintendent - Metropolitan 1 Police Division 

Thailand's fearless 'Dr Death' - BBC News, June 11, 2009
...She also angered police over the so-called war on drugs, in which 2,500 people - mainly dealers and addicts - were killed.
Bodies were found clutching weapons and drugs as if they had died in gun battles with police. But Dr Pornthip discovered that residue from gun barrels had been smeared on some victims' hands after their deaths...

300,000 stray dogs roam the streets of Bangkok - DigitalJournal.com, June, 2009

Old Southeast Asia combat zone gives way to burgeoning trade corridor - ABD, June 11, 2009
...Overland shipments between Thailand and Viet Nam along the East-West Economic Corridor – which runs from Danang, Viet Nam, through Savannakhet, Lao PDR and into Thailand – can now proceed directly to their final destination. Shipments previously needed to be unloaded and re-loaded in Lao territory...

UC Riverside gets a trove of 'priceless' Thai literature - Los Angeles Times, June 12, 2009
...It's a virtual archive of Thai culture, taking in the full sweep of the nation's history, religious lore, art and anthropology. There's even a book on Abraham Lincoln, written in Thai.
"Every time I come down here, I can't believe we own this stuff," said McDaniel, a professor of religious studies, as he thumbed through a tattered 100-year-old volume of Buddhist children stories. "This is priceless..."

U.S. bans Australian who stole bar mat - Big Pond News, June 11, 2009
The Melbourne woman jailed in Thailand for stealing a bar mat has been refused a visa into the US...

Thai tabloids lurch between lurid and deferential - MSNBC, June 11, 2009
...But when it comes to reporting dramatic crimes, especially those involving sex and violence, all hell breaks loose. Crime reporting is so detailed that it tends to the gaudy and salacious, the death of David Carradine being the most recent example of over-the-top coverage.
In contrast, century-old lèse majesté ("injured majesty") laws mean that Thai media most often exercises self-censorship and is extremely cautious when it comes to covering the monarchy, military, judiciary or other politically sensitive issues...

Britney plans lavish break at Thai resort for her entourage - New Kerala, June 15, 2009
Pop princess Britney Spears, currently on her comeback tour, has planned a lavish break for her back-up dancers and key staff at a resort in Thailand...

Thai tops pizza as fattiest takeaway - NEWS.com.au, June 14, 2009
...Thai fish cakes had excessive amounts of salt, while Pad Thai contained 11.3g of fat per 100g and beef penang contained 8.8g, including 6.1g of saturated fat...

Thais told to wear facial masks amid rising flu cases - Xinhua, June 15, 2009

Supply of firearms to civilians heats up southern Thai conflict - Bernama, June 15, 2009
The Thai government has been asked to end the creation of armed civilian defence volunteer forces and supply of firearms to civilians in the restive southern Thailand as it had led to greater insecurity and ethnic polarisation among the population...

Anti-government fervor persists among Thailand's rural poor - Washington Post Foreign Service, June 16, 2009

20 armoured cars for VIPs approved - Bangkok Post, June 16, 2009
...The military has only only three armoured limousines.  One of them was badly damaged by protesters during the Songkran riots, one has a broken engine, and only one is available for use...

Thai streets disinfected as flu patients number rises to 310 - China Daily,  June 16, 2009

Tango Trikes - June, 2009

Suu Kyi’s detention affects Asean’s credibility: Thai PM - The Irawaddy, June 16, 2009

Thai PM Abhisit on Burma and Asean - FEER, June, 2009

Derelict structure on a pier in Pattaya - orientexpat.com, June, 2009
...This thread was inspired by a structure I saw in North Pattaya and I can't find out much about it. It was clearly visible from my hotel room just a few hundred yards away and it is a pier structure extending quite some distance out to sea. It looked like some old war time bombed out pier on the south coast of England, decaying and crumbling away into the water (all the pictures in this post were taken with my mobile phone, so sorry about the image quality)...

Report: Thailand, South Africa, Gaza Strip worst places for refugees - Voice of America, June 17, 2009
..."They towed them back out to sea with disabled engines, inadequate food and water, at least a thousand of them. Some 400 were rescued in Indonesia or found later and nearly died," Smith said. "Hundreds more were missing and presumed drowned..."

Rohingya with links to LTTE, Al Qaeda arrested in Thailand - Bernama, June 17, 2009
Three Rohingya involved in human trafficking and with links with the defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka, Al Qaeda and southern Thai insurgents have been arrested by Thai authorities...

Canada is source, destination for sex tourism: US report - Canada.com, June, 2009


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Drive-thru car registration - June, 2009
Scene of the drive-through vehicle registration at Morchit. It just takes a few seconds to register and get the yearly registration sticker--and no forms to fill out or sign.

Cambodia premier expresses regret - Gulf Times, June 18, 2009
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday expressed "deep regret" over suggestions by his Thai counterpart that an 11th-century Hindu temple ruin in a disputed border region be jointly administered by the neighboring countries...

"Defendant in BBTV case arrested" - June 19, 2009
From a theruthgroup.com press release: As you know, BBTV has filed a court order to halt illegal copying selling and re-broadcasting of its copyrighted programs by Los Angeles-based IPTV, which BBTV alleges has been illegally distributing its content on the website, ThaiTV.tv, and to Thai and Asian storefronts throughout the United States.
We thought that you might be interested to know that Mr. Noppadol Wongchaiwat, one of the defendants in BBTV’s US Civil Case, was arrested by the Thai immigration at the Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok International Airport) on June 16, 2009 on charges related to a separate case.
The arrest was made in accordance with a warrant issued by the Thai Criminal Court in October 2003 (Warrant Number 7068/2564). At that time, CAT Telecom Public Company Limited, a major international calling service provider in Thailand, discovered that Mr. Wongchaiwat and his team in Thailand engaged in an international calling card business without a license under the Thai Telecommunications Business Act 2001. Violation can be subject to criminal offences of imprisonment not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than Baht 10 million or both...

Earlier: Bangkok Broadcasting & T.V. Co. files court order to halt illegal copying, selling and re-broadcasting of copyrighted programs - PRNewswire, May 29, 2009

Academic Ghostwriting - June 19, 2009
Chris notes: This is kind of creepy - and scary. Would you want to be operated on by a doctor whose academic papers were ghostwritten?...
From a Google Ad: Dissertation writing
Specialist dissertation writing service for Far East students
"In ten years our work has never been detected..."
Our successful clients include:
* Senior business executives in the UK and abroad
* Doctors and Healthcare Professionals
* Senior social workers
* Military officers
* Government officials...

Bangkok's Vietnam-War era hotels still offering cheap thrills - M&C, June 16, 2009
[Great Bangkok hotel history! Thanks to Mick for pointing this out.]
...Surviving veterans include the Embassy, Federal, Florida, Grace, Liberty, Honey, Manhattan, Miami, Prince and Rex hotels, most of them situated along Sukhumvit Road.
There is a good reason they are so similar. Most were built to meet the specifications set by Tommy's Tours, a Thai company run by former air chief marshal Thawee Chulasap that monopolized the R&R tours to Bangkok...

Elephant-size loopholes sustain Thai ivory trade - PhysOrg, June 19, 2009
...TRAFFIC's survey documented over 26,000 worked ivory products for sale in local markets, with many more retail outlets dealing in ivory products than were observed during market surveys carried out in 2001...

Warden Message: H1N1 Influenza A - update - June 19, 2009
Interesting text from a U.S. Embassy email to citizens in Thailand: ...American citizens should be aware that the U.S. Embassy in Thailand cannot demand their immediate release if they have been detained or quarantined in accordance with local public health and legal authorities, and cannot attempt to influence the terms or duration of quarantine.  Quarantines in Thailand, however, have generally been of short duration...

Ladyboys 'kill' Kung Fu star David Carradine over sex - Daily Telegraph, June 19, 2009
 
David Carradine murdered by lady boys - ANI, June 18, 2009

Thai lawyers for Chinese 'spy' appeal revoked refugee status - Voice of America, June 19, 2009
...Thai media reports China has been pressing Thailand to extradite Li.
A Thai government spokesman said he could neither confirm nor deny the report. A Chinese spokesperson was not available for immediate comment...

El Al cancels flight to prevent sabbath desecration - Israel National News, June 20, 2009
El Al airline passengers in Bangkok, Thailand were ordered off the plane due to the company's commitment not to desecrate the Sabbath...


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Signs of drug dealing - June 24, 2009
It reads: Traces of drug dealing, inform Police Superintendent of your local area police station. If not being processed [if the case is not being pursued], please inform Police Colonel Pawit Lekhawanit (Deputy Metropolitan 6 Police Commander) - Call (mobile) 081-6136078 - Website www.metropolice6.com

"The Nation is in deep financial doo doo" - Thailand Jumped the Shark, June, 2009

Thai Ginger co-owner accused of paying workers to marry her relatives - Seattle Times, June 24, 2009



The title was later corrected - Bangkok Post, June 25, 2009

 


(Photo: Dr. Has for 2Bangkok.com)

Yala meeting - June 23, 2009
Dr. Has reports: Today [June 23, 2009] the Yala military task force calls a meeting of governmental school directors of the Yala Education Service Area 1 Office at the Yala Grand Palace hotel. The school directors discuss the security measures for school teachers. Recently, militants stage many violent attacks targeting school teachers, both males and females, Thai-Buddhists and Thai-Muslims. School directors suggest ideas for security measures implemented by the Army to reduce the chance that militants will stage attacks on school teachers.

Thailand Elite membership list revealed - June 25, 2009
A reader reports: ...It appears that on June 19, Thailand Elite sent out a mail to its members announcing a further reduction in benefits, but it was addressed with Cc:, not Bcc:, meaning that the e-mail addresses and hence identities of members were revealed! And that's not all: the card holders, who were already pissed off by the continuing reductions in benefits but couldn't individually do much about it, now know how to get in touch each other, so they've set up a private forum and are planning to meet up in Bangkok with an eye to suing Thailand Elite...



Naewna,
June 10, 2009 - The victims of the southern bandits - More than 1,000 Thai-Muslim people gathered to transfer the bodies of those who were shot in the mosque at night on June 8, 2009 by a group of south agitators, to Gubow cemetery, Ai Ba Yae village, Juap sub-district, Jor Ai-rong district, Narathiwat province.


 
Khaosod, June 11, 2009 - The funeral: This is a funeral ceremony for 10 dead people who died from shooting while they were praying to their god in the mosque at Ai Ba Yae village, Jor Ai-rong district, Narathiwat province. The Commander-in-Chief of the Army quickly went to the South for tackling the severe situation on June 9, 2009. (above and below)




Thairath, June 11, 2009 - A bomb explosion at the van station: The staff investigated the van station servicing transportation on the Yala-Hat Yai route which was damaged with a bomb explosion by the south bandits. Because of bomb pressure, damage was caused to a lobby, the vans, a diesel petroleum tank and one person was injured.

Krungtep Turakij, June 11, 2009 - Bombing the soldiers: The soldiers and the police investigated the road which was bombed by a group of southern bandits because they hoped that those bombs would hit the pickup was used for inspecting the area and protecting the teachers in Ka To village, Rue Sor Aork sub-district, Rue Sor district, Narathiwat province. The pickup was damaged and 9 soldiers were injured.


(Photo: Nils)

UFO crash at Asok - June 27, 2009

Will this stop the pandamonium? Thai elephants painted to look like pandas after the black and white bears steal their fans - Daily Mail, June 26, 2009

Intensified southern unrest is the Democrat’s noose – Abhisit’s hot issue - translated and summarized from Matichon; June 10, 2009
The statement of Col. Prinya Chaidilok, a spokesperson of the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 saying that current attacks were triggered by the government’s success in arresting leading insurgents, seizing weapons and preventing bombings, is contrast to the current news in newspapers.
The situation became intensified since May 27, when nine spots in Yala were bombed and burnt. Attacks kept occurring on June 2, June 6 and June 7.
On June 8, the situation got worse as insurgents attacked a mosque in Ban Ai Payae, Tambon Chuab, Amphoe Joh I Rong, Narathiwat province. Eleven people were killed and at least eleven were injured by the attack. It was the worst case in five years.
Now that the unrest is intensified, the government becomes on the defensive as five months have passed, but nothing becomes better as people expected. People are still killed and injured. The government should consider again if its “politics leads the military” measure works. It has to find the holes in the strategy.
The mosque attack is a very horrible one and created anxiety among people. The attack aims to create disunity between Thai Buddhist and Thai Muslim people. As the head of the government, Abhisit Vejjiajiva must figure the problem out or people in the three southern border provinces will be disappointed.

Thailand or Siam? What’s in a name? - The Irrawaddy, June 29, 2009

Recently worsening  violent attacks - Doubt on the statistics of the decreased violence toll - translated and summarized from Issara News Center; Author: Issara news team; June 10, 2009
Regarding the Southern violent attacks that were reported during the previous 20 days (May 18, 2009 to June 8, 2009), 4 teachers were killed and 5 injured. 15 security guards for school teachers were injured. The militants staged 9 blast attacks in the downtown of Yala on May 27, staging car-bombing attack in Narathiwat’s Yeengo district that killed 2 and injured 19 on June 7 and also the deadly Mosque shooting attack in Narathiwat’s Choairong district killed 11 people on June 8.
The security agency insists that the statistic record of violent situation has decreased during the previous one year period. To explain the intensified degree of violence, the joint civil police military source states that the related cause is the militant attempt at revenge on authorities.
According to the source’s review:
1) the teacher attacks occur usually during the school opening period, but this year, the loss is revealed as greater than the previous year
2) the car bomb attack in the Yeengor district and the mosque massacre in the Choairong district is related to the seizure of militant “zone” leaders during the past 2 months.
The Army views that the peace-reinforcing project in 217 villages also greatly impacts the militant operation in the red area and, additionally, the Islamic Conference Committee’s recent meeting did not include discussion of Thailand’s southern violence as its agenda. Therefore, the militants have to increase the degree of violence to make world see that the unrest situation in the South is a “problem.”
Regardless of what the army and the national security panel claim, the question is that the government and the security agency have to explain why the policy, claimed to be “on the right track” generates such problems. This is what the army and the security units have to answer to the public. Likewise, to answer doubts about the large amounts of budget recently allocated to the army.

Panithan believes red-zone seizure cause of mosque attack - translated and summarized from Thai Rath; June 10, 2009
On June 9, Deputy Spokesperson to the Prime Minister’s Office Supachai Jaisamut announced that the Cabinet approved a budget of 400 million baht from the central budget for victims of southern unrest. The budget will be allocated to government units to help people affected by the southern unrest.
The Cabinet has also approved special monthly payment for officials operating tasks in the southern border provinces and four districts of Songkhla.
Panitan Wattanayakorn, Spokesperson for the Prime Minister's Office, gave his comment about a mosque attack in Amphoe Joh I Rong, Narathiwat province, which killed ten people. He said that the attack was an effort to counter the government. Government’s projects in the South have turned local people into siding with it. Several leaders have been arrested. These make insurgents unhappy. However, the overall number of violent attacks declined by 40-50 percent. Malaysia is willing to help Thai government ease the unrest. It will visit Thailand’s southern provinces at the end of the year to increase the efficiency of local schools.

Statistics in April reveals high toll - Daily shooting attacks increase - Pattani reported critical high toll - translated and summarized from Issara News Center; Author: Issara news team; June 4, 2009
[In coming days we will be posting reports detailing separatist activity in May and June.]
The record of violent attacks that occurred in April, 2009 is slightly higher than the record of the previous month (March). However, the death toll decreases with 29 dead. The accumulative death toll from January, 2004 up to the present reaches 3,550 already. The report reveals that there were 89 violent attacks in April, 2009.
36 violent attacks occurred in Pattani province, 9 of which were from the Yarang district, 8 of which from the Saiburi, 6 of which from the Nongchick, 2 apiece of which from the city district, the Kokpoh, the Yaring, the Mayor, the Thung Yang Daeng and the Kapo district and 1 of which from the Panare district.
There were 21 violent attacks that occurred in Yala province, 8 of which were from the city district, 4 of which were from the Yaha district, 3 of which were from the Raman district, 2 apiece of which from the Bannungsata, the Krongpinang and the Tarnto district.
There were 32 violent attacks in Narathiwat province, 8 of which were in the Rueso, 6 of which were from the Bacho, 5 of which were from the Rangae, 3 a piece of which were from the Janae and the Choairong, 2 apiece of which were in the Waeng and the Sungaikolok, 1 apiece of which was in the Takbai, the Sungaipadee and the Srisakorn district.
There were 60 shooting attacks, 26 of which were in Pattani, 16 of which were in Yala and 18 of which were in the Narathiwat. There were 13 bombing attacks, 2 of which were in the Pattani, 2 of which were in Yala and 9 of which in Narathiwat. There were 16 torching attacks, 8 of which were in Pattani, 1 of which in Yala and 7 of which were in Narathiwat.
Regarding the violent victims, there are the total of 100, 29 of which were dead and 71 of which were injured.
Pattani reports 41 on toll, 14 of which were injured officials, 13 of which were dead locals and 12 were injured locals. 1 militant died and 1 other suffered injured.
Yala reports 37 on toll, 3 of which were dead officials, 13 of which were injured officials, 10 of which were dead locals and 11 of which were injured locals.
Narathiwat reports 22 on toll, 8 of which were injured officials, 1 of which was dead local, 12 of which were injured locals. One militant died.

Table 1: Summary of Violent Incidents in Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat Provinces, and 4 districts of Songkhla Province

Types of Incident

Pattani Province

Yala

Province

Narathiwat Province

4 districts of Songkhla Province

Ambushes with gunfire

26

18

18

-

Arson attacks

8

1

7

-

Bomb attacks

4

3

10

-

Attacks injuring people

2

2

9

-

Attacks damaging assets

-

-

-

-

Incidents in which nails were strewn on highways

-

1

1

-

Table 2: Victims Injured or Killed in Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat Provinces, and 4 districts of Songkhla Province

Group

Pattani Province

Yala Province

Narathiwat Province

4 districts of Songkhla Province

State officials injured

14

13

8

-

State officials killed

-

3

-

-

Ordinary local citizens injured

12

11

12

-

Ordinary local citizens killed

13

10

1

-

Insurgents injured

1

-

-

-

Insurgents killed

1

-

1

-

 

The loss of three southern border provinces comes close - translated and summarized from Phujatkarn; Author: Sirianya; June 11, 2009
This column is to express concern on the ongoing violent situation in the South for fear that in the near future Thailand might have to lose the southern border lands. The mosque massacre that killed 12 in Narathiwat on June 8 did happen and it has not happened in this country before. After the shooting a rumor was spread putting blame on the state authorities for the massacre. What should be mentioned here is that firstly, the bloody event that occurred has removed the previous view that the policy on violent situation is on the right track and the situation has improved. Secondly, the state authority, even now, does not know who they are fighting with.
The truth to be accepted here are
1. The government has spent more than 100,000 million baht up to now in the South. This amount could make the south prosperous economically. However, the southern economy is still not progressively developed.
2. Despite a large number of police military forces dispatched to the South, the loss of life of the people continues, likewise the violent attacks.
3. The strategy that military forces become target of the militant operations in the local areas ensures continuous losses.
4. The geographical area of the South is canvassed by militant supporters who work in villages and the militant exercises continue.
5. We are lacking the profound understanding that the militants are using a prolonged war strategy to reach their goals and at the same time, they are pushing ahead on making the issue become internationally discussed by the Islamic Conference Committee. We do not really focus on His Majesty the King’s royal suggestion on developing policy with profound understanding for the locals. If one wants to understand the real “military leads politics policy”, they should read the book named “Land philosophy” by Statesman Gen. Prem Tinnasulanonda to get to the concept. As for land development, I comment that if we followed it, things would be less problematic and open hope of opportunity for the great Thai-Muslim land to be well-developed with cooperation with world Islamic community.

Sound from the South: Three brave governors - translated and summarized from Matichon; June 17, 2009

http://www.matichon.co.th/news-photo/matichon/2009/06/pol03170652p1.jpg

Winai Kharuwannapat
Narathiwat governor

He is in charge of aiding people in distress, boosting civilians’ morale and confidence, holding a talk among people, and devising a scheme with other organizations to solve problems.
When we visit his place, much safety cautions are required and we have to avoid the risk and always be careful.
"I have to admit working here is tough because governor of the three affected provinces not only have to work like other governors, but we also have to deal with the crisis here which is far tougher than in other area,” he said.

http://www.matichon.co.th/news-photo/matichon/2009/06/pol03170652p2.jpg
Teera Mintrasak
Yala Governor

The core strategy is to create understanding among people so that it will ease conflict, restore faith, and reduce mistrust. In order to raise their feelings of justice, it is significant to make them apprehend cultural and racial diversity, or the so-called scheme “Solving Southern Unrest by Culture”.
The activities are aimed at creating unity and peace among the population. Moreover, people can file their complaints at “Peaceful Yala Centre” that was organized for a year. State officials including soldiers, policemen, and sheriff are based there to provide assistance.
Besides, the centre is also available for the accused that want to surrender themselves. Up to now, there are 275 sympathizers and eight accused insurgents presenting themselves at the office.
"I visit my people and check on projects initiated by his Majesty the King and other projects such as living quality development, village development including youth and female’s right. If our children are strong it will bring peace to Yala. We have to focus on drug abuse problem by giving them education, sport, and jobs. All of these are to keep them from joining the insurgents. My security is not that important because I do it for the sake of the country,” he said.

http://www.matichon.co.th/news-photo/matichon/2009/06/pol03170652p3.jpg

Teerathep Sriyaphan
Pattani Governor

He places emphasis on raising the quality of life and supporting family businesses, either full time or part time. Civilians should have security and income which the state is responsible for.
Justice is the first priority. Every case should be tried equitably to find the real motive. We should create the feeling that provincial organization is the place they can rely on.
He, therefore, employs His Majesty the King’s principle saying understanding, approaching, developing, and unity will lead to love among human being. Furthermore, he resolved to fight poverty by supporting careers and offering jobs for fresh grads. Otherwise, unemployment would lead to drug abuse as well as, afterwards, unrest in the area.
“When we have to work in a dangerous area, we cannot be careless. Sometimes, we need to call for reinforcement. Although working here is tiring, I will to do it for the country. To me, being a governor is the peak of my life, so I devote my life to it. If I have to sacrifice my life for the civilians’ happiness, I will do,” he said.

In Thailand, a new party tries to take back the swastika - Time, June 18, 2009

New parliament in progress - Bangkok Post, June 30, 2009
...The spokesman said Yothin Burana School will be relocated to a 16-rai plot in Soi Wat Soi Thong with about 1,000 million baht while the relocation residents of two communities to a townhouse project in Soi Wat Kaifa will cost about 266 million baht.

[Soi Wat Kaifa is a 100-rai plot next to the Chao Phraya River. The location of a new parliament building has been one of the hottest issues over the years with each new government trying to push through their own plan over the calls of conflict of interest.
Other areas proposed over the years:
- a 311-rai golf course in Nonthaburi's Pak Kret district, owned by the Irrigation Department
- a site on Vibhavadi-Rangsit road
- the Thai Plywood factory owned by the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry
- a 400-rai privately-owned tract in Samut Prakan
- a plot in Lop Buri near Pasak Chonlasit dam
- the railway park behind the Chatuchak park area
- the shopping complex at Lak Si
- a plot in Muang Thong Thani
- the Treasury Department's plot in Chachoengsao's Bang Nam Prieo
- Don Muang airport]

Thailand: Fakery, enshrined - The Christian Science Monitor, June 7, 2009

Bangkok's tourism ranking replaced by Udaipur - The Nation, July 13, 2009


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Billboard: What women want - June, 2009