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MediaWATCH: Phuket Security 'Starts Thursday'

MediaWATCH: Phuket Security 'Starts Thursday'

Tuesday, July 7, 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.

Xinhua The Thai government is planning to deploy forces to secure a series of Asean meetings scheduled for Phuket later this month, Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said on Monday night. The 42nd Asean Ministerial Meeting and the 16th Asean Regional Forum will be held on July 20 and July 23. About the security measures for the meetings, Kasit said that everything goes smoothly and security officials, scheduled to be deployed on July 9, will cooperate with local authorities including Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation, to provide security for ministers. Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan will be in charge of security. Kasit blamed the invasion by protesters of the Asean summit in Pattaya in April on security failure.

Bangkok Post Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya reported to police after returning from Qatar on Monday afternoon to acknowledge charges relating to the People's Alliance for Democracy occupation of Bangkok airports last year. Khun Kasit is one of the 36 people summoned by police to hear criminal charges, including terrorism and violation of the emergency decree, over the PAD blockades of Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports.He reported to police before the July 16 deadline set by police, and was released after hearing the charges.

The Nation Pol Lt-General Wut Puawes, assistant chief of the National Police Commission, said FM Kasit denied all charges while being questioned by investigators at Thung Song Hong police station yesterday. The Foreign Minister also requested he be allowed to submit written statements in his defence in the next 30 days and said he would be available to give additional statements as and when requested. Pheu Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit insisted Kasit should step down, saying the Foreign Minister was the country's face and that with Kasit facing serious terrorism charges, it would be unsuitable for him to host Asean.

Bangkok Post Editorial Mr Kasit has two jobs on the same day next week. He is to go to the police stations to answer charges of serious crimes. And he is to start the annual series of Asean meetings with counterparts from around the world at Phuket. Participants and observers at the second event will notice and comment on the first. None of it reflects well on Mr Kasit, his ministry or the Asean meetings - most of which have not gone smoothly or professionally, even without the minister facing terrorist charges.

Associated Press The impending return home of a North Korean ship suspected of possibly carrying illicit cargo shows that efforts are working to enforce UN sanctions imposed against the country after its nuclear and missile tests, the chief of US Naval operations says. Admiral Gary Roughead said of the ship's reversal: ''I think that's an indication of the way the international community came together.'' Meanwhile, the 15-member UN Security Council issued a condemnation of North Korea's recent missile tests after holding a closed meeting Monday in New York. The meeting was requested by Japan.

Today's Must Read

Reuters Singers Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Usher and Lionel Richie, and Motown records founder Berry Gordy, will be among those taking part in Michael Jackson's memorial on Tuesday, the family's spokesman said. In the first official details of the public memorial in the Staples Center arena in downtown Los Angeles, Jackson's family said civil rights leader Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, and basketball stars Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant would also be among the participants.

smh.com.au Michael Jacksons' Australian record sales have been so strong since his death that he has taken over the top three positions on this week's ARIA Album Chart, with The Essential Michael Jackson, No.1s and Thriller. While Neil Diamond and Guns N' Roses have held the top two spots, no act has had the top three albums before. Including his output from the Jackson 5 days, the late King of Pop has 15 albums and 35 singles in the top 100 charts.

bbc.com For most Indonesians, it is basic needs like this that will be their focus in Wednesday's presidential elections. The incumbent, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is known for his stable and cautious approach to the economy. Although Indonesia has posted strong economic growth of more than 6 percent for the last two years, unemployment is a huge problem. It is estimated that more than two million Indonesians enter the labor market every year and there just are not enough jobs being created for them to fill. That has led to a jobless rate of 8.25 percent, considerably higher than that of its regional neighbors.

afp Robert McNamara, the US secretary of defense whose broad career as an industry leader and a global financial aid revolutionary was overshadowed by his role as key architect of the Vietnam war, died on Monday aged 93. From 1961 to 1968, McNamara oversaw the escalation of US combat efforts in the highly divisive Vietnam war that became known as one of the biggest military blunders in US history - a conflict McNamara himself came to describe as ''terribly wrong.''He was an early advocate of counter-insurgency operations and a primary architect of Cold War nuclear policy.

metro.us A large cache of Viagra-infused coffee beans has been seized by Malaysian police, the New Straits Times reports. Some 900 boxes of the extra-strong beans were taken when Health Ministry officials raided a Kuala Lumpur company that marketed their coffee as an ''energy booster.'' Drugs experts estimate the concoction's street value at more than $20,000.

smh.com.au A slanging match has broken out between Jetstar and Air New Zealand after the Australian airline claimed its troubled Kiwi launch had been sabotaged by dirty tricks. The Qantas subsidiary has had a bumpy ride since the launch of its New Zealand schedule last month, with complaints of late and cancelled flights, rude staff and dozens of New Zealanders turned away for failing to check in early enough. Jetstar chief executive Bruce Buchanan accused Air New Zealand of attempting to sabotage his airline, which has replaced Qantas in New Zealand with 84 domestic return flights a week.

Phuketwan Latest News

Phuket Bars to Close Tuesday, Wednesday
Latest All bars and clubs in Patong and across Phuket are expected to shut for 48 hours from early Tuesday to respect key Buddhist holy days. The closure may surprise some tourists.
Phuket Bars to Close Tuesday, Wednesday

Big Buddha Mon Celebration: Photo Special
Photo Album In a display of Phuket's remarkable diversity, hundreds of traditional Mon people flock to the Big Buddha to mark one of the year's most significant Buddhist holy days.
Big Buddha Mon Celebration: Photo Special

Phuket Opens China Door with 104 New Flights
Tourism Boost Twice weekly charter flights from China are set to begin in late July with regular flights to follow if all goes well. The TAT is keen to recover lost ground in world's biggest market.
Phuket Opens China Door with 104 New Flights

Phuket Chief Justice Strives to Improve the Law
Photo Album Being given a tour of the Phuket Provincial Court by the Chief Justice offers some insights into the legal system and a chance to see the mediation process in action.
Phuket Chief Justice Strives to Improve the Law

Phuket Drowning Toll Rises to 'At Least 30' in 2009
Latest Holidaymakers, residents and fishermen are among those who have drowned so far in 2009 in Phuket waters. The toll, including a dive boat tragedy, is well above recent years.
Phuket Drowning Toll Rises to 'At Least 30' in 2009

Recent Phuketwan MediaWATCH

MediaWATCH: FM Faces Police Scrutiny
News Digest Thailand's Foreign Minister pressured over PAD protest and Asean summit on Phuket; North Korea vessel due home; Federer wins Wimbledon; Burma unmoved; black box found.
MediaWATCH: FM Faces Police Scrutiny

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