National

All posts in the National category

Media freedom under threat

Published April 20, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30368002

Media freedom under threat

national April 20, 2019 01:00

By The Nation Weekend

Advertisements

Sad-eyed Boonrod gets his own Facebook page after Gulf rescue

Published April 20, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30367991

Sad-eyed Boonrod gets his own Facebook page after Gulf rescue

national April 20, 2019 01:00

By The Nation

Boonrod, the dog rescued this week from the middle of the Gulf of Thailand, can now show off his own Facebook page with more than 6,000 followers.

Launched on Friday, Boonrod บุญรอดหมาอ่าวไทย (Boonrod Gulf of Thailand dog), has Facebook user Vitisak Payalaw serving as an administrator.

The rescue of the tan-coloured dog, named Boonrod (“Survivor” in Thai) by his rescuers, hit both domestic and international headlines after he was fished from the gulf last Friday by Chevron rig workers 220 kilometres from the shore.

They spotted his head bobbing between the waves. How he got there and how long he had been lost at sea has remained mysterious.

Boonrod was brought to Songkhla province to be under a vet’s care and is said to be recovering. His sad eyes, clearly visible exhaustion and quiet appearance pulled at the hearts of many who followed the rescue.

Boonrod will enjoy a new life, as the Chevron worker who rescued him has decided to adopt him.

His Facebook page is now full of drawings and paintings of him made by his followers.

Wanted American quizzed over ‘sea home’ off Phuket coast

Published April 20, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30367993

Wanted American quizzed over  ‘sea home’ off Phuket coast

national April 20, 2019 01:00

By THE NATION WEEKEND

IMMIGRATION police have questioned an American bitcoin investor who set up a floating structure off the coast of Phuket and is facing criminal charges related to the waterborne homestead, deputy national police spokesman Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen said on Friday.

However, Krissana declined to elaborate and the couple’s whereabouts are not known. Chad Andrew Elwartowski and his Thai girlfriend, Suprenee Thepdet (also known as Nadia Summergirl), erected the structure – inspired by the “seasteading” movement – on February 2. It is to the southeast of Koh Racha Yai, about 12 nautical miles from mainland.

The Royal Thai Navy and Phuket Maritime personnel boarded the structure last Sunday, saying it violates the law and poses a navigational hazard. Elwartowski had posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday that he and his partner were in hiding and feared for their lives, as they were being hunted down by the authorities. He later deleted the post. On Wednesday, Immigration police revoked his visa and put him on a blacklist.

The United States embassy in Bangkok is providing assistance to the two.

The embassy is aware of the reports that Thai authorities have charged Elwartowski, said Robert Post, its public affairs officer, on Friday.

“The embassy is providing all appropriate assistance and understands Elwartowski has engaged an attorney,” Post told The Nation Weekend.

Threatening sovereignty

The couple is facing charges of threatening the Kingdom’s sovereignty following the boarding of the structure last weekend.

Phuket deputy governor Supoj Rotreuang Na Nongkhai was preparing information to present to the embassy if it required further details. While Elwartowski has claimed that his waterborne home is outside Thailand’s maritime boundaries, the authorities have insisted that its existence violated Article 119 of the Criminal Code because Thailand’s territorial rights were disturbed.

According to law firm Siam Legal, Article 119 of the Criminal Code, which covers “intent to cause injury to the nation”, states: “Whoever does any act with intent to cause the country or any part thereof to descend under the sovereignty of any foreign state, or to deteriorate the independence of the state, shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life.”

The authorities are entitled to prosecute the couple as the structure is within the Kingdom’s territory, Supoj said. “Harm was done because they had invited people to set up [additional] structures and, so far, 14 people [have shown an] interest to join them,” he said, referring to the seasteading movement in which people seek to establish floating communities in international waters.

SPECIAL REPORT: Truth ‘MUST BE UNCOVERED’ in Premchai case

Published April 20, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30367994

  • Premchai after the court verdict delivery.
  • Wichian apprehended Premchai and his companions on February 4, 2018. File photos.
  • The rangers searched Premchai’s camp and around and found weapons and ammunition of various types.
  • The carcass of the slain black leopard.
  • Public awareness events about the case days before the court verdict delivery.

SPECIAL REPORT: Truth ‘MUST BE UNCOVERED’ in Premchai case

national April 20, 2019 01:00

By PIYAPORN WONGRUANG
THE NATION WEEKEND

PROSECUTORS DECIDE TO APPEAL AMID LINGERING PUBLIC ANGER OVER PREMCHAI VERDICT

AFTER CAREFULLY studying the Thong Pha Phum Provincial Court’s verdict, prosecutors working on the “black leopard case” have decided to appeal rulings against the defendants, including construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta, chief prosecutor Somchet Amnuaysawasdi told the Nation Weekend recently.

Following public uproar over the March 19 verdict, which saw the powerful and well-connected boss of the Italian-Thai Development Co effectively elude penalties on charges of joint hunting, possessing and collecting wildlife, the prosecutors decided to go ahead with filing an appeal on all verdicts against Premchai and his three companions, Somchet said.

The prosecution team forwarded its resolution and opinions to the Department of Appellate Litigation before the Songkran holidays, and expects the department to review and forward it to the Office of the Attorney-General for final consideration, he said.

“It should not take too long, and if the deadline is missed, then the prosecutors can seek a 30-day extension [for bringing the appeal to court],” said Somchet, who is also secretary to the vice Attorney-General.

On April 30 last year, the Attorney-General affirmed the Public Prosecution Office Region 7’s decision to indict Premchai on six charges, with the severest carrying a penalty of 10 years in jail.

However, the court only found Premchai guilty of carrying weapons in public without permission, “supporting” game hunting (which carries only two-thirds of the penalty of jointly hunting), and jointly possessing a kalij pheasant. Premchai escaped any penalty for the killing of an endangered black leopard whose carcass was found in his camp. As a result he was handed just 16 months in prison.

“I don’t know why the court ruled this way. It listened to our testimony and also that of the defendants,” Somchet said at a recent talk on the lessons learned in the black leopard case, held by the conservationist Seub Nakhasathien Foundation and the Thai Environmental Journalists Club.

 “Truth” revealed

According to Somchet and also the 39-page court verdict seen by the Nation Weekend, Premchai and his companions had travelled to Thung Yai Naresuan West Wildlife Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province on the afternoon of February 3, 2018.

They called in on Thung Yai’s chief, Wichian Chinwong, who suggested they camp in the Maharat forest protection unit, about 30 kilometres from his office at Ti Nuay.

The four then travelled on, before deciding to camp in a non-permitted zone near Huay Prachi. Rangers found them camping in the restricted area the following morning. Reports of “suspicious activities” led to a search of the camp and the arrest of the four suspects.

According to Somchet, Premchai claimed in court that he had left the camp for the Sesawo grasslands, above the Maharat unit, on his own and only returned at around 4pm, when Wichian’s assistant arrived to search the camp.

However, this contradicts the testimony delivered by Wichian’s rangers, who said they saw Premchai at the camp from late morning to early afternoon on February 4.

Due to these contradicting testimonies, Somchet ordered additional investigation. He personally checked the route from Ti Nuay to Maharat and found there was only one narrow, potholed path leading to the point where Premchai had camped. Also, there were checkpoints with rangers stationed in Ti Nuay, Ti Khong, Maharat, Dong Vi to Sesawo and onwards. Visitors on the route had to sign their names and get permission to pass through.

However, none of the rangers stationed on the route saw Premchai passing since February 3, which led prosecutors to question whether the tycoon had travelled to Sesawo as claimed.

The prosecutors said they also have critical evidence discovered 750 metres from Premchai’s camp. Wichian and his assistant found internal organs of wildlife hidden in a dry stretch of the Huay Prachi stream, along with a shotgun shell from one of the three guns seized at Premchai’s camp.

But the most critical evidence was the human faeces found three metres from the shotgun shell, which led the prosecutors to suspect that this was the spot where the black leopard was shot and skinned.

However, none of these details was referred to in the court verdict. Instead the court accepted the story that Premchai had nothing to do with the hunting of the black leopard or possession of its carcass. The court also accepted Premchai’s defence that he was in the Sesawo grasslands, and decided that the black leopard had been killed solely by one of his companions – Thani Thummas.

The court allowed that there were no witnesses to confirm whether anybody had joined Thani on the hunt, nor was any evidence presented to show that Premchai had anything to do with the hunt or any illegal activities later.

Hence, the court ruled Premchai had nothing to do with the hunting of the black leopard, apart from providing “support”, as the guns used belonged to him.

“However, we believe he [Premchai] had a hand in the crime, because the guns belonged to him and he and his group together carried them to Thung Yai, where the black leopard was found slain and parts of it, including the tail, discovered in a cauldron.

“All this evidence was presented to court, but fine, we respect the court’s verdict. However, we will still defend our different views in the case,” Somchet said.

Sasin Chalermplarp, chairman of the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation, was more forthright, saying Premchai had cleverly directed the court to believe he was nowhere near the site of the crime and had shifted the blame to Thani.

Thani was found with two bullets in his pocket that were similar to the shell found at the scene. He was also reportedly shooting at squirrels, which to the court suggested a pattern of hunting alone.

However, unlike other defendants, Thani was not in court to defend himself, which Sasin said was another trick to avoid any links to his boss.

“Is it possible to elude punishment with such a simple trick like this? If they can elude punishment again at the appeal stage, then I think it is a lesson that our justice system should take seriously.

“It seems that their intention was never taken into account, and that the court only focused on the evidence presented to it. Premchai had taken the guns and his hunter with him. He did not follow the rangers’ instructions to move the camp, and they did not leave when the black leopard’s tail was found in the soup pot.

“There are lots of questions raised by this case, and these have stuck in people’s minds ever since the verdict was delivered. Society wants answers, and the truth must be uncovered at the appeals stage,” Sasin said.

Bailout package ‘TOO LARGE’

Published April 20, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30367996

x

Bailout package ‘TOO LARGE’

national April 20, 2019 01:00

By NOPHAKHUN LIMSAMARNPHUN
THE NATION WEEKEND

NEW HANDOUTS WILL ONLY HELP THREE TELECOM GIANTS, FOREIGN INVESTORS |AND A BILLIONAIRE, LEAVING CONSUMERS WITH VERY FEW OPTIONS

THE relief measures offered to telecom operators and digital TV broadcasters this month are far too generous, say academics, consumer advocates and anti-corruption groups who fear consumers will lose out.

At a seminar held by the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) and other agencies, TDRI president Dr Somkiat Tangkitvanich said the three main telecom firms alone will be get a combined Bt19.7 billion from the relief measures.

Under the package announced on April 11, telecom giants AIS, True and Dtac will be given the privilege to invest in the fifth generation (5G) cellular networks by paying combined spectrum fees of just Bt75 billion, Somkiat said.

It is only foreign shareholders and one Thai billionaire who will benefit from this package, said Somkiat.

Sari Ongsomwang, from the Foundation for Consumers, said these measures will not benefit consumers because there will be no competition in the sector.

Under the order issued by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) – enabled by the use of the Article 44 special powers in the interim charter – bailouts will be available for operators in the struggling telecom sector as well as for loss-making digital TV broadcasters. The latter can skip on paying their outstanding fees or take up an offer to return their licences.

Apart from extending the payment terms for telecoms operators to 10 years to help ease the burden on 4G operators, the order also offers 5G spectrum at a relatively low price and the proceeds will be used to cover the revenue shortfall resulting from the digital TV broadcasters’ losses.

Dr Mana Treelayapewat, a lecturer at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s School of Communication Arts, agrees that there will be little or no benefit for consumers because only big businesses will gain from the April 11 relief measures.

In a bid to help digital TV operators adjust to changing consumer behaviour, the NCPO order, for the first time, allowing them to return their broadcasting licences to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

This will help reduce the number of |digital TV operators from 22, a figure deemed far too high as consumers switch to mobile communication and related technologies.

Mana said that, as for the potential public benefits such as better digital TV content, these are unlikely to materialise, even though there will be fewer operators once some licences are returned.

“As for the quality of content, there are several factors such as competitive pressures and sponsorships etc. Currently, many TV channels have resorted to home shopping as a new source of income, and the regulator has paid no attention to this phenomenon [which runs against efforts to improve content],” he said.

The NCPO order also ties the relief measures offered to 4G licensees to those of digital TV licensees, as part of the broadcasters’ 700MHz spectrum will be reallocated to the upcoming 5G service.

In practice, AIS, True and Dtac have been given 30 days to decide if they want to spread their 4G-spectrum payments, worth over Bt100 billion, from the current four to 10 instalments over 10 years.

In return, they are required to purchase the 700MHz spectrum for 5G service, with at least two operators likely to pay about Bt25 billion each, so the NBTC has fresh funds to cover the loss of revenue from digital TV licensees.

Based on the NCPO order, digital TV licensees do not have to pay the remaining B13.6 billion, or 40 per cent of their licence fees. In addition, NBTC will pay a combined Bt18.7 billion in network fees on behalf of the broadcasters over the next nine to 10 years in order to help them survive.

At this stage, at least four or five broadcasting licences should be returned.

Academics believe this is a major policy mistake, as the NBTC has miscalculated on the rapid adoption of mobile, streaming and other technologies in Thailand, making traditional TV broadcasting unprofitable and less attractive to audiences, advertisers and investors.

Meanwhile, the NBTC said it wants to position Thailand as one of the first countries in the region to adopt 5G mobile technology with a rollout expected some time next year, even though the private sector suggests it will take more time for the market to be ready for it.

Mana said the process for 5G adoption is risky due to the lack of transparency and policy debates ahead of implementation.

At present, streaming and OTT (over-the-top) technologies have gained popularity in Thailand as reflected by YouTube, Facebook Live, Netflix, Google and Line TV, which have the potential to outpace traditional digital TV broadcasters for entertainment, news and other content.

Mana said 5G services also need compatible devices that should be widely available in the next three to four years, so the telecom operators may be unsure whether it makes sense to invest in 5G spectrum now.

Australian Tham Luang cave rescue divers receive Thai Royal decoration

Published April 20, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30367989

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha, right, shakes hands with Australian cave diver Richard Harris, as fellow Australian cave diver Craig Challen, second from left, looks on, in Bangkok on Friday.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha, right, shakes hands with Australian cave diver Richard Harris, as fellow Australian cave diver Craig Challen, second from left, looks on, in Bangkok on Friday.

Australian Tham Luang cave rescue divers receive Thai Royal decoration

national April 19, 2019 18:25

By The Nation

2,044 Viewed

Australian cave divers Dr Richard Harris and Dr Craig Challen received The Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn at a ceremony in Bangkok on Friday for their crucial role in the Tham Luang cave rescue of 12 young soccer players and their coach.

After attending the ceremony, they also had a meeting Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Australian cave diver Richard Harris being conferred the Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn in front of a portrait of Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn in Bangkok.

“It’s very exciting, it’s great to be back,” Dr Harris said.

“We had no idea at the time of the rescue that this was going to be such a big story.”

This was the first time that Drs Harris and Challen had returned to Thailand since their crucial contribution to the rescue of the 12 young Wild Boars soccer players and their coach from the Tham Luang cave complex in Chiang Rai almost a year ago.

Australian member of the Thai cave rescue team, Craig Challen (R) and Richard Harris (L) talks to the media during an interview at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok, Thailand, 19 April 2019. // EPA-EFE PHOTO

Harris and Challen were also in January jointly named Australians of the Year – one of that country’s highest honours.

The pair will now travel to Chiang Rai and return to the Tham Luang cave site to meet with the soccer team and their families.

“That’s really exciting for us to go and see them, and to make sure they’re well and see how they’re doing after the rescue,” Harris said.

Australian cave diver Craig Challen being conferred the Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn in front of a portrait of Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn in Bangkok.

Thais share their Songkran experience – with 2.8 million tweets

Published April 20, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30367984

Thais share their Songkran experience – with 2.8 million tweets

national April 19, 2019 18:15

By The Thaiger

Thais flocked to Twitter during this year’s Songkran to share their experiences. This year’s #Songkran’s festivities generated 2.8 million tweets from April 12-16, with the conversation peaking on April 13 at around 6pm with 71,000 tweets per minute.

This year’s #Songkran’s festivities generated 2.8 million tweets from April 12-16, with the conversation peaking on April 13 at around 6pm with 71,000 tweets per minute.

The celebration of the Thai Buddhist New Year, Songkran, is a time for family. It’s the time for reflection on the past year, for paying respect to elders, and for preparing for the year ahead. Whether enjoying the water fights, travelling overseas or spending time with family, Thais flocked to Twitter to share their Songkran experience.

And however people enjoyed playing with water, spending time with friends, or seeking inspiration for the year ahead, hashtags proved a popular way for Thais to come together and share their Songkran experience on Twitter.

The top Thai language hashtag and second most popular overall was #สงกรานต์, the Thai language equivalent of #Songkran. The hashtag was used widely as a rallying cry to events and activities taking place all across Thailand.

Source: Thethaiger.com

US Embassy helps citizen threatened with death penalty over ‘seastead’ off Phuket

Published April 20, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30367972

Nadia and Elwartowski/Facebook's Chad Elwartowski
Nadia and Elwartowski/Facebook’s Chad Elwartowski

US Embassy helps citizen threatened with death penalty over ‘seastead’ off Phuket

Breaking News April 19, 2019 17:22

By The Nation

4,730 Viewed

The United States Embassy in Bangkok is providing assistance to its citizen who was accused of violating Thailand’s sovereignty by building a “seasteading” structure off the coast of Phuket.

The US Embassy is aware of the reports that Thai authorities have charged US citizen Chad Elwartowski, said Robert Post, US Embassy Public Affairs Officer, on Friday.

“The Embassy is providing all appropriate assistance and understands Elwartowski has engaged an attorney,” Post told The Nation.

Elwartowski and his Thai girlfriend, Suprenee Thepdet (aka Nadia Summergirl), launched their seastead project on February 2 off the coast of Phuket.

The floating structure is located to the southeast of Koh Racha Yai, approximately 12 nautical miles from the mainland.

The couple are facing charges of threatening the Kingdom’s independence after the Royal Thai Navy and Phuket Maritime personnel boarded the structure on Sunday and said that it violated criminal law and posed a navigational hazard.

Meanwhile, Phuket deputy governor Supoj Rotreuang Na Nongkhai was preparing information to present to the embassy if it required a further explanation.

While Elwartowski has claimed that his waterborne homestead is outside Thailand’s maritime boundaries, Thai authorities have insisted that its existence violated Article 119 of the Criminal Code because Thailand’s territorial rights were disturbed.

According to the Siam Legal international law firm, “Section 119: Intent to cause injury to the nation” states that, “Whoever does any act with intent to cause the country or any part thereof to descend under the sovereignty of any foreign state, or to deteriorate the independence of the state, shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life.”

Authorities were eligible to persecute the group of people as the structure was within the Kingdom’s territory, Supoj said.

“The harm was done because they had sent an invitation seeking people to set up [additional] structures and so far 14 people [have shown an] interest to join,” he explained.

Parade delivers 86 jars of sacred water to temple of the Emerald Buddha for Coronation

Published April 20, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30367970

Parade delivers 86 jars of sacred water to temple of the Emerald Buddha for Coronation

Breaking News April 19, 2019 17:00

By The Nation

A parade was held on Friday to bring 86 jars of sacred water from a royal monastery to Wat Phra Kaew (the temple of the Emerald Buddha).

Attended by all provincial governors and top figures of the Interior Ministry, the parade started from the Wat Suthat Thepwararam Rajawaramahavihara. Its destination was the ubosot of Wat Phra Kaew, the only royal monastery inside the Grand Palace.

The parade included a marching band, flag-holders and people carrying trays made of gold and silver.

In all, the parade involved 1,200 people and was about 178 metres long.

Collected from across the country, the sacred water will be used for the Coronation of King Rama X on May 4.

While being kept at the Wat Suthat Thepwararam Rajawaramahavihara, the sacred water underwent Brahmin and Buddhist rituals to invoke angels’ gatherings and blessings.

Immigration police question ‘seasteader’

Published April 20, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30367967

Immigration police question ‘seasteader’

Around Thailand April 19, 2019 16:52

By The Nation

2,538 Viewed

Immigration police have questioned an American bitcoin investor who set up a floating “seasteading” structure off the coast of Phuket and is facing criminal charges related to the waterborne homestead, Deputy national police spokesman Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen said on Friday.

However, he declined to elaborate.

Chad Andrew Elwartowski and his Thai girlfriend, Suprenee Thepdet (aka Nadia Summergirl), launched their seastead project on February 2 off the coast of Phuket.

The floating structure is located to the south east of Koh Racha Yai, approximately 12 nautical miles from the mainland.

The Royal Thai Navy and Phuket Maritime personnel boarded the structure on Sunday, saying that it violates the law and poses a navigational hazard.

Elwartowski posted on his Facebook on Tuesday that he and his partner were in hiding and feared for their lives, as they were being hunted down by the authorities. He later deleted the post.

On Wednesday, Immigration police revoked his visa and put him on a blacklist following the legal suit.

%d bloggers like this: