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MediaWATCH: 'One in Three' Patong Bars Close

MediaWATCH: 'One in Three' Patong Bars Close

Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Phuketwan MediaWATCH

A daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective. Reports from national and international media, with translations into English from Thai.

thainews.prd.go.th The Chairman of the Entertainment Club of Patong, Sompej Mosophon, says local business operators are facing losses that are generating staff lay-offs, NBT reports. About 30 percent of some 500 establishments, including pubs and beer bars, have closed, he says. At a meeting in Patong, Phuket Governor Wichai Praisa-nob told club members to observe laws on closing times and the exclusion of patrons under 18 or face prosecution. However, the request to extend opening beyond 2am will be passed to the Interior Ministry.

Bangkok Post Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has allocated seven million baht from the central fund for the investigation of the contents of a container on the seabed off Chon Buri's Sattahip district, Central Institute of Forensic Science director Khunying Porntip Rojanasunan says. Khunying Porntip expected a team of divers will be able to examine the first container next week to see if there are human skeletons inside. Some believe the containers hold the bodies of anti-government protesters who disappeared in 1992.

chicagotribune.com General Motors' Asian operations will be unaffected by its bankruptcy and the automaker plans to open new factories in China, Thailand and India even as it closes US facilities, GM officials say. In Thailand, GM says it will press ahead with a $445 million plan to expand its manufacturing base by building a new factory and upgrading another even as it expects vehicle production to plunge by nearly two-thirds this year.

Xinhua news agencyThailand is to negotiate with the Chinese government to allow a new-born panda and its parents to stay in Thailand, says Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti. Lin Hui, the female panda in the Chiang Mai Zoo had her first baby last week. The little panda is growing rapidly and already has some black hair around its ears, front and back legs. A delegate will travel to China for the panda family, now a prime tourist attraction, to stay in Thailand longer.

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The Nation Assassination bid survivor Sondhi Limthongkul said he believes he is qualified to become leader of the yellow-shirt PAD's New Politics political party and does not think being a bankrupt in the past will prevent him from taking the job. ''Legally speaking, there are no problems; but personally speaking, I have no answer now. But I can insist that I am not afraid of attacks even after the recent assault against me,'' he said. Khun Sondhi said the PAD would be above the new political party and oversee politicians from the New Politics Party.

Washington Post Two rights advocates write that Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First and Amnesty International have reported on the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed under the rule of Burma's military regime, including the recruitment of tens of thousands of child soldiers. The military regime also appears to have destroyed, forcibly displaced or forced the abandonment of more than 3000 villages in eastern Burma, where ethnic minorities predominate. Inexplicably, the UN Security Council has not systematically investigated these abuses, which probably rise to the level of crimes against humanity and war crimes. Such a move on Burma is not only justified but long overdue.

The Nation A spokesman for Red Bull's Beijing branch told the media: ''Our products, which are made on the Chinese mainland, do not contain cocaine and other ingredients banned under the Chinese food safety regulations.'' He said the Red Bull energy drink, which is produced in the mainland, has an ''independent formula completely different from the one used overseas.'' Taiwanese authorities confiscated cases of Red Bull imported from Austria after slight traces of cocaine were detected. Six German states have also banned Red Bull Cola.

asiasentinel.com Red-shirt academic Giles Ji Ungpakorn, who fled Thailand fearing lese majeste charges, writes that the use of force to capture unarmed demonstrators at Takbai in Southern Thailand in 2004 was a state crime. ''The 78 people who died, along with the others who were shot, were deliberately murdered by the Thai state,'' he writes. ''The government of the time, the army and the police were responsible for this crime. Yet the courts in Thailand have concluded that no officials 'did anything wrong.' In Thailand it is okay for the state to kill citizens, but people who criticise the ruling order go to jail.''

Channel NewsAsia A history professor from Thammasat University is spearheading a campaign to officially call Thailand Siam. Charnwit Kasetsiri says: ''The name change in 1939 had a political agenda. And I believe that it is time to reconsider it. So I think Siam is a much better name than Thailand. Politically and ethnically, the name Siam is correct." He says the name is more inclusive of the various ethnic groups who live in the kingdom rather than Thailand, and will foster unity, harmony and reconciliation.

Belfast Telegraph A British woman facing trial in Laos for alleged heroin trafficking secretly impregnated herself with the sperm of another prisoner in a bid to escape the death sentence, a Laos government-run newspaper said today. Samantha Orobator's case at first drew international attention over concerns that she could be executed by firing squad if found guilty. But under criminal law in Laos, a pregnant woman cannot receive the death penalty. The Vientiane Times quoted police as saying that the woman told authorities she secretly obtained sperm from a fellow prisoner to impregnate herself.

Straits Times A businessman close to Kelantan prince Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra has refuted claims that Indonesian model Manohara Odelia Pinot made a dramatic escape from her 'abusive' royal husband. Mohd Soberi Shafii told The Straits Times that Ms Manohara had, in fact, left with her husband's consent. ''What escape? She took her bags and clothing with her. If she escaped, she would not have had time to take her belongings. She was allowed to leave,'' he said. Asked if the prince would personally respond to her allegations, Mr Soberi said he did not want to engage in a media war.

covchurch.org Datelined ''Southern Thailand,'' a report says 105 new believers affected by HIV/AIDS were recently baptised in a single service by staff members of the Sustainable Development Research Foundation. ''This was no ordinary baptism,'' says Covenant missionary Bob Shim. ''Children frolicked in the ocean, people stood on the beach laughing and talking, but in the water, it was a sacred place. What stood out most was the joy and hope on their faces. Some of the newly baptised even broke into dance after coming out of the water.''

Xinhua news agency A woodcutter was swallowed by a crocodile in south Burma's remote Myeik Archipelago, local media reports. The crocodile appeared suddenly as the man crossed a canal. Villagers nearby, using motor boats, killed the crocodile on the next day, the report said. The body of the woodcutter was found inside the five-meter animal.

Phuketwan Phuket News

Phuket Woman Guides PAD to 'New Politics Party'
Photo Album The yellow shirt PAD movement that has generated change in Thailand is becoming a political party with the help of a Phuket woman, and a feminine majority.
Phuket Woman Guides PAD to 'New Politics Party'

Latest: Phuket Airport Flight Crash Report Released
Latest The long awaited report on the investigation into the One Two Go crash in 2007 at Phuket airport has been released, criticising the pilots and making recommendations.
Latest: Phuket Airport Flight Crash Report Released

Phuket Launch Celebrates 100m Baht Coke Sleek
Photo Album Icons change with the times, too, and the shapely Coke bottle that is familiar to generations raised in the 20th century gave way first to the squat can. Now meet the Sleek.
Phuket Launch Celebrates 100m Baht Coke Sleek

Patong Killing: Singapore Woman Set for Court
Latest A Singaporean woman charged with murder is expected to appear in a Phuket court, one of several unusual shootings on the island in 2009. Phuketwan updates the dossiers.
Patong Killing: Singapore Woman Set for Court

The Day a Flight Vanished at Sea Off Phuket
Air Safety History With the Phuket air crash report coming on the day an aircraft disappears over the Atlantic, Phuketwan recalls an incident that took place off Phuket more than 20 years ago.
The Day a Flight Vanished at Sea Off Phuket

Recent Phuketwan MediaWATCH

MediaWATCH: Stress, Fatigue in Phuket Disaster
Details are slowly coming to light of the causes of the 2007 air crash at Phuket airport; consumer prices in Thailand shrink in May; An Indonesian model and orangutans cause consternation in Malaysia.
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MediaWATCH: Red Bull Ban May Boost Sales
Latest A ban on Red Bull in parts of Germany may boost US sales; Call for controls on the export baht; Panda birth boost for Chiang Mai tourism; Advocate may pursue Tak Bai justice.
MediaWATCH: Red Bull Ban May Boost Sales

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