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Time to forgive: Phuket airport during the Bangkok blockade

MediaWATCH: Amnesty Call for Red, Yellow Shirts

Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Phuketwan MediaWATCH

A daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective and reports from national and international media.

Bangkok Post The coalition Bhumjaithai Party is calling for an amnesty for all yellow shirt and red shirt demonstrators as a way to ease political tensions. Bhumjaithai leader Chavarat Charnvirakul said the party would propose an amnesty bill to the House of Representatives today to clear the anti-and pro-Thaksin forces of all charges brought against them for actions taken during their rallies.

Straits Times Regional officials will discuss a proposed joint call for Burma to free democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi during a meeting in Jakarta later this week, a diplomatic source said on Tuesday. ''We will discuss it at a senior officials' meeting this week in Jakarta,'' the source, who asked not to be named, told AFP. Asean leaders will hold their next summit from October 23-25 in the Thai beach resort of Hua Hin.

Xinhua A moderate quake with magnitude of 5.6 jolted Sumatra island of Indonesia on Tuesday. No initial report of damage or casualties, the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said. The quake struck at 11:26 pm (1626 GMT) with the epicenter at 101km southwest Tanah Baya of North Sumatra province and at a depth of 30 km, the agency said. The Pacific Ring of Fire is where the undersea plates of two continents meet, causing frequent seismic and volcanic movements."

Today's Must Read Disappointed by the news that Manchester United had decided to skip Jakarta on their tour of Asia and devastated that his capital city had been hit yet again by deadly terrorist attacks, Glen Marsolis decided to turn an act of terror into an act of defiance. The freelance advertising professional transformed the unsold T-shirts which vendors were desperate to sell into symbols of defiant pride - by printing ''Indonesia Unite'' on the reverse side. ''We're trying to bail the street vendors out so we can give them some hope,'' he said. Bangladesh has called on the Burmese regime to improve living conditions for Burma's Rohingyas in order to stem the flow of refugees. Rohingya refugees from Burma had become a ''heavy burden'' for Bangladesh, Dhaka's Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said, according to the Bangladesh foreign ministry statement released on Sunday after a meeting between Moni and Raymond Hall, regional representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The Nation Kavi Chongkittavorn writes: By backing Senator Jim Webb's initiative, Burma's junta has managed to kill quite a few birds with one stone. Firstly, it has somewhat altered its image of a pariah state into one of a goodwill state with a merciful leader. Secondly, the trip has helped the international community to refocus on ways to secure Suu Kyi's freedom. Certainly, nobody, except the junta leaders, knows what her fate will be in the coming days and weeks. Thirdly, the junta now has ample time until October to ponder its next move, especially in response to moves that come from Asean. Disclosure of 10 previously unreported deaths at US immigrant detention centers highlights the need for reform at those facilities, say both immigrant rights groups and the government. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced the deaths that it apparently discovered during an in-depth review of agency records, which was prompted by a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union. In total, 104 immigrants have died at federal detention centers since 2003. The deaths revealed Monday were thought to have occurred between 2004 and 2007. The causes were not released. ''Medical care has been the chief concern,'' says Kevin Keenan, a local executive director for the ACLU."

Reuters It was one of the more unusual requests - but by no means the only weird plea for help that British embassies have received. A British woman who had gone abroad for breast-enlarging surgery was unhappy with the results and wanted the Foreign Office to step in. As did a mother in Florida who asked the consulate to help her teenage son pack his suitcase and drop him to the airport because he was feeling sick. In a round-up of jaw-dropping calls to consulates by Britons abroad, the Foreign Office lists requests like how to control unruly children, what's the weather going to be like and how to make home-made jam.

Phuketwan Phuket News

Rohingha Deaths in Custody: Human Rights Blow
Photo Album A second death in custody and the failing health of Rohingya boatpeople spotlight the official secrecy that Thailand places around issues of basic human rights.
Rohingha Deaths in Custody: Human Rights Blow

Police Catch Beachside Burglar in Record Time
Latest Two Australian mates enjoying Phuket thought a robber in the neighboring province of Phang Nga had escaped with their expensive gear. But police solved the crime in record time.
Police Catch Beachside Burglar in Record Time

Olive the Turtle Fights for Life on Phuket
Photo Album Phuket becomes a sanctuary for a Naiharn turtle that is probably the latest victim of fishing nets. The Olive Ridley species is uncommon on the island.
Olive the Turtle Fights for Life on Phuket

Phuket Scams 'Must End to Save Tourism'
Latest With pressure from the national government, efforts are being made on Phuket and in Bangkok to halt scams that are giving Thailand a bad name among tourists.
Phuket Scams 'Must End to Save Tourism'

Tsunami Dead Drowning in a Wave of Apathy
Photo Album Thailand is among 40 nations doing nothing to preserve the memory of the unidentified dead who perished on Phuket and along the Andaman coast in the tsunami.
Tsunami Dead Drowning in a Wave of Apathy

Recent Phuketwan MediaWATCH

MediaWATCH: Time to Go Visit Amazing Burma
News Digest Burma tourism door opens; global tourism down; Las Vegas stacks odds against terror; Next, skydive Singapore; North Korea nicer now; Thaksin petition; Indonesia celebrates.
MediaWATCH: Time to Go Visit Amazing Burma

MediaWATCH: Melbourne-Phuket Flights Coming
News Digest Virgin Blue aims long haul; Japanese economy grows; Call for China to act on Burma; Indonesia probes email threats; how to drop rates sensibly; Singapore shaken.
MediaWATCH: Melbourne-Phuket Flights Coming


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