Discipline needed in politics – translated and summarized from Krungthep Turakit, December 8, 2007
I would like to comment on Thai politicians – and especially on the numerous occasions on which they have not conducted their political strategies in a well-disciplined manner. I raise this subject because of the case of Matchima Thipataya Party leader Prachai Leophairatana, who recently received an unsuspended one-month jail sentence. Prachai’s conviction [on contempt of court charges] resulted from comments he made on a publicly-distributed VCD. On the VCD, Prachai criticized the same court for their earlier judgment that he had been involved in corrupt practices – while he was in charge of TPI Polene PLC. The December 23 General Election will hopefully usher in a new type of politics, in which the law of Thailand is treated with supreme respect by each member of its society.
Why Thailand’s king is so revered – BBC News, December 8, 2007
The BBC’s Jonathan Head looks at the decades-long popularity of Thailand’s King Bhumibol, who is celebrating his 80th birthday…
Thai goalposts keep moving - SMH, December 8, 2007
To see the more bizarre extension of Thailand’s current election campaign you need to browse a few websites like goal.com, aimed at fans of soccer’s English Premier League.
There you will read that the deputy head of the Democrat Party, Apirak Kosayodhin, who is also Governor of Bangkok, last month signed a deal with Everton for its players and coaches to train a squad of young players at the Bangkok Football Academy.
This was to counter the kudos gained in soccer-mad Thailand by the exiled political rival of the Democrats, the ousted prime minister and billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra, with his recent purchase of Manchester City, followed by the club’s recruitment of three Thai players and its announcement of plans to open football academies in Thailand…
Thailand’s 40 richest - Forbes, December 7, 2007
One Night in Bangkok Shows the Folly of Bali - Bloomberg, December, 2007
…A recent UN report thickened the plot for officials in Bangkok. It found that Thailand’s per capita carbon emissions stood at 4.2 tons a year, higher than China (3.8 tons), Indonesia (1.7 tons), and India (1.2 tons)…
Sea Games: PSTM president banned from Thailand - The New Straits Times, December 6, 2007
Malaysian Sepak Takraw Association (PSTM) president Datuk Ahmad Ismail claims he has been banned from coming to Thailand to give moral support to other teams…
Japanese ‘Leaving Thailand For Viet Nam’ - Sin Chew Jit Poh, December 6, 2007
…Some core industries including electronics and automobiles have pointed out that production costs in Viet Nam are now much cheaper than in Thailand. The economy there has also been vibrant for years due to strong domestic demand.
The United Nations has noted that Viet Nam is becoming of the world’s best countries for investment along with China, Russia, Brazil, India and the United States.
Japanese companies are primarily concerned about political stability when making an investment decision, so they see Viet Nam as a good place to go, Kato said…
“People Republic of Thailand” virus - Dream Infection, December 5, 2007
Chased from streets, Myanmar monks get out message on video –
AFP, December 5, 2007
…Unable to speak directly to their followers in public, two senior monks — Nyanissara and Kawvida — have recorded their sermons on a video disc titled “The end of sinful people”.
In the sermon, they discuss the legend of a ruthless emperor who violated the teachings of the Lord Buddha, which resulted in him, and his followers, being sent to hell…
Honoring the King - December 5, 2007
Thanks to Graham for sending some scenes from the ceremonies to honor the King’s birthday in Tak Fa,
Above: Front pages of the December 5, 2007 editions of Matichon, Daily News, Komchadluek. The Komchadluek headline reads: The Supreme patriarch of the Buddhist faith praises the King: “(He) wins the hearts of people in the world”
King calls for unity, use of bio-fuels – Bangkok Post, December 4, 2007
…This year’s speech began humourously, with the king admonishing his 2-year-old grandson Dipangkorn Rasmijoti – the son of Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn – for talking during the ceremony.
“He is like his father. He talks a lot,” the King said of his grandson’s interruptions.
The king used his recent hospitalization and difficulties walking to urge Thais to work together for the sake of the nation.
“My legs don’t walk in union. I was saying the other day that the military and civilians need to be united. If we are not united, the country will face disaster…”
On a serious note, King Bhumibol used his birthday eve speech to admonish the navy for recently expressing the wish to buy a submarine, noting that submarines were unsuitable for Thailand. The Gulf of Thailand is a notoriously shallow body of water…
"No booze, sex on Thai king’s birthday" - Jakarta Post, December 4, 2007
Thailand abandons managed baht exchange rate-paper - Reuters, December 3, 2007
Thailand has quietly abandoned the managed floating exchange rate of the baht it adopted in 1997 and reverted to the old system of a basket of currencies…
We’re still using float, BOT claims – The Nation, December 5, 2007
For now, the Bank of Thailand’s senior director Pongpen Ruengvirayudh is denying the central bank has quietly abandoned the managed float system in favour of a basket of currencies to curb the baht’s rise…
Illicit sex bad for health - The Star, December 3, 2007
Out of 5,529 heart attack deaths in Asia, 34 happened during sex. Of that number, 27 were having illicit sex, reported Berita Minggu on Sunday…
Thailand’s ‘Doctor Death’ transforms police work -
ABC, December 3, 2007
…A cancer survivor, she has fought death one-on-one, and has battled the country’s male-dominated criminal justice establishment, which has been quick to belittle one of the most powerful women in the profession.
The outspoken doctor frequently appears in the media to challenge autopsy findings by police, who control all aspects of criminal investigation in Thailand.
As a result, she has become a prime target for harassment, bullying and lawsuits.
“Police … they don’t like me. They say bad things about me, like, I’m not a good doctor, or I steal money. Because they see me as a threat undermining their power,” she said…
Air-con paddy wagon -
December 1, 2007
Above is a new air-con Thai police paddy wagon. Below is the old, open-air wagon and a photo of the interior with a handcuff dangling from the bars.
A harsh new film law – The Nation, November 29, 2007
ETA forced to rethink airport highway route - Bangkok Post, November 29, 2007
…The expressway was endorsed in 2004 by the Thaksin Shinawatra government, which gave the ETA approval to make a feasibility study of the 22.5km route, which encompasses areas in five city districts: Klong Toey, Wattana, Suan Luang, Prawet and Lat Krabang, and Bang Phli district in Samut Prakan.
The first 17.5km section, known as M1-1, starts from the Chalong Rat-Suvarnabhumi expressway in Wattana district and heads to the airport. The other 5km route heads into the city over Rama IV road to the Customs Department intersection in Klong Toey, with four possible route options.
Thailand: Denial of HIV treatment erodes success on AIDS – Drug users driven away from effective HIV programs - Human Rights Watch, November
…In 2003 the government of former Prime Minister Thaksin launched a
repressive “war on drugs” that resulted in the extrajudicial killings of
at least 2,275 drug users or dealers. A lasting consequence of this
campaign has been to drive many drug users away from effective HIV/AIDS
prevention and treatment, out of fear of arrest and police violence.
…”The Thai government pays lip service to its official policy, which
is to treat drug users as patients rather than criminals,” said
Suwannawong. “In reality, police collect information about drug users
from health clinics, and arrest peer outreach workers outside drug
treatment clinics. Drug users risk criminal charges if they seek health
care services which are theirs by right…”
Vietnam drop in FIFA world ranking - Antara News, November 27, 2007
…The country, who failed to reach the third qualifying round for the FIFA World Cup 2010, were behind Thailand, who moved to 113th in the world ranking as leaders in the region…
Group floats plan to keep rising sea out – B100bn wall will save city from being flooded - Bangkok Post, November 26, 2007
Alarmed by the prospect of global warming triggering a rise in sea levels, disaster prevention experts and a local political group yesterday called for the construction of a 100-billion-baht flood prevention wall to save the capital from being inundated. The call was made at a seminar on climate change and its impact on Bangkok held yesterday by the Bangkok 50 group, a political clan run by members of the now-defunct Thai Rak Thai party (TRT)…
Honeymooner’s deadly drug pact - SMH, November 26, 2007
…The court heard she had only been married a matter of days when her new husband Justin Paul Dann, 36, pressured her to swallow 28 cocaine-filled condoms as the couple honeymooned in Bangkok, Thailand, on December 18 last year…
Thailand’s counterfeit pipeline: Porous borders, government inaction allow bogus goods to travel the world - Trading Markets, November 26, 2007
…Thailand’s central role in the fakes trade earned it a place of dishonor on the U.S. government’s 2007 survey of intellectual property-rights violators worldwide. After 14 years off the list, Thailand was labeled one of the world’s worst offenders last spring, joining perennial pirates China and Russia, and nine other nations…