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General 'Seh Daeng' (Commander Red) slumps as a sniper hits his target

MediaWATCH: Moment a Marksman Made a Martyr

Friday, May 14, 2010

TROOPS were reported to be firing tear gas in Bangkok and moving on red protesters at Lumpini Park from noon. The Lumpini Park protest group is said to be one of the most radical, and supported Major General ''Seh Daeng'' Khattiya Sawatdiphol, who was shot in the head last night. MBK, the business conglomerate and operator of MBK shopping centre, has deferred for at least a year its plans to invest two billion baht in hotel projects in Phuket and Samui. MBK is waiting to see a recovery in tourism and the economy once the red shirt demonstrations end. [On Phuket, MBK's interests centre around the Loch Palm and Red Mountain golf courses.]

afp ''If you think the shooting of Seh Daeng will scare leaders and make them not dare to take the stage, you are wrong,'' one of the protest leaders, Jatuporn Prompan, said at the red rally site. ''No matters what the weapons are, it means nothing to people who are calling for democracy like us. We will not leave here as losers.''

Phuketwan MediaWATCH

A daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective, plus relevant reports from national and international media. Thomas Fuller writes: The general, Khattiya Sawatdiphol, 58, was struck in the head by a bullet during an interview with this reporter about 7 pm on the street in central Bangkok, near a park occupied by his hard-line followers. This reporter, who was facing the general and about two feet away, heard a loud bang not unlike a firecracker. The general fell to the ground, with his eyes wide open, and protesters took his apparently lifeless body to the hospital, screaming out his nickname. General Khattiya's last words before being shot were: ''The military cannot get in here.''

Sniper Still Unknown A Thai general who broke ranks to lead anti-government protests was shot in the head Thursday, an assault likely to inflame passions and undermine tenuous talks to end the demonstrators' two-month occupation of a prime Bangkok shopping area. No one took immediate responsibility for the apparent sniper attack on ''Commander Red'', who was injured and hospitalised. The government's emergency medical center said one protester was killed in subsequent clashes between demonstrators and security forces.

British Embassy Closes The British Embassy in Bangkok will close on Friday because of the ongoing security situation in the Thai capital. The Foreign Office said the demonstrations were close to the embassy and they did not want to put people in danger. It advises against all but essential travel to Bangkok and other areas. [The Dutch Embassy has also closed.]

US Embassy Closes

afp The US closed its embassy in Bangkok and said it was "very concerned" about the violence between the Thai government and protesters there. "We're very concerned, we're watching it (the violence) very closely," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters, adding the US embassy was closed to the public because it is near the trouble.

The Grenade Dance Warrior When anti-Thaksin protesters mounted huge and disruptive demonstrations against a subsequent government of his supporters, General Khattiya's eccentricity shifted into outright insubordination. While still a serving officer, he promised that he would take up arms against any of his colleagues who attempted another coup. The army commander responded by appointing General Khattiya to a new post - as an army aerobics instructor. ''Everybody laughed at me,'' he recalled. ''You don't assign a warrior like me to do a stupid thing like that.'' He warned his commander: ''I have prepared one dance. It's called the throwing-a-hand-grenade dance.''

Reds Split as Leader Quits A split has emerged in the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship. Veera Musikhapong has quit as its leader, a source says. Conflict within the ranks led Mr Veera to resign, the source said. UDD co-leader Korkaew Pikulthong admitted the red shirt bosses have been split down the middle. He said some key members including himself and Mr Veera wanted the protracted demonstration to stop, but the other leaders wanted it to continue.

Emergency Declared in 15 Provinces The government declared a state of emergency in 15 more provinces to block more red shirts from joining anti-government protests. Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation spokesman Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the new provinces were Chon Buri, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya, Udon Thani, Chaiyaphum, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Si Sa Ket, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan, Lampang and Nakhon Sawan.

Human Rights: Thailand Question Mark Libya and Thailand are among 14 countries elected as new members of the UN Human Rights Council in a vote that rights advocates have criticised as stripping the meaning from the body. Angola, Mauritania, Uganda, Maldives, Malaysia, Qatar, Moldova, Poland, Ecuador, Guatemala, Spain and Switzerland have also been elected by the General Assembly for three-year terms on the 47-nation council, which is based in Geneva. Human rights monitoring groups say several of the new members have spotty records of their own and do not deserve a seat on the UN's leading human rights body. Peggy Hicks is Human Rights Watch's Global Advocacy Director. ''We did detailed analysis of five states - Libya, Malaysia, Thailand, Angola and Uganda - all of which we saw as having problems that meant they did not meet the qualifications set in the General Assembly resolution establishing the council,'' Hicks said.

Singapore Changes Promotional Theme

aap Singapore has launched its new tourism theme, Your Singapore, embracing the island nation's multiculturalism and inclusiveness. It takes over from the five-year Uniquely Singapore campaign.

Toy Boy Fling Has High Cost Cougars beware - having a toy boy husband increases a woman's chances of an early death, according to a German study reported by the Daily Mail. And the younger her spouse is, the harder it is on a woman's health, researchers found. However, the trend is reversed when an older man opts for a younger woman. The more youthful his wife, the longer the husband is expected to live.

Banyan Tree Up, Sees Property Hitch Mainboard-listed luxury resorts operator Banyan Tree said that its first quarter net profit rose 2 percent on-year to $5.34 million. The improved earnings was accompanied by a 9 percent hike in its revenue to $96.2 million. Banyan Tree said the good showing was largely driven by its hotel investments segment. Higher revenue was seen mainly from its resorts in Thailand and China, which partially offset lower revenue from the Maldives. Banyan Tree says the current political riots in Bangkok may result in slower pick-up in bookings compared to last year. It adds that its property sales in Thailand will also be significantly affected.

Travel Alerts and Deaf Ears Andrew Bolt writes: It's astonishing that so many of us still dare travel. Or perhaps we've heard so many such screams of alarm now that we treat them all with indifference or contempt - even the few we shouldn't. Which suggests that what Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is protecting is not us, but itself.

Pacific Jobs Fall to Thailand American Samoa's last remaining tuna cannery says it's cutting its work force by another 600-800 people to keep up with global competition. StarKist Co. says this will shrink its American Samoa work force to fewer than 1200 employees, down from a high of more than 3000 in 2008. CEO Don Binotto said it's difficult to compete when workers' wages are nearly 10 times those of its competitors in Thailand and other countries.

Almost One Million Now Legit The Thai government has helped legalise nearly one million previously undocumented labor migrants. The government is working to register an estimated two million migrants. As of May 12, 932,255 had received proper travel and work documents, according to the Department of Employment - including 812,984 from Myanmar, 62,792 from Laos and 56,479 from Cambodia.

Malaysia Booms in Q1 The Malaysian economy recorded a robust growth of 10.1 percent in the first quarter this year, much higher compared to 4.4 percent growth in the fourth quarter of last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said. He said the country's Gross Domestic Product forecast for this year was now revised to 6.0 percent from an earlier estimate of between 4.5 percent and 5.5 percent.

Gambling Legal in Malaysia

afp Mainly Muslim Malaysia has legalised sports betting, a move supporters claim will curb illegal gambling and boost government coffers. Ascot Sports, a company controlled by influential tycoon Vincent Tan, has been granted a licence that will allow it to offer odds in time for the hugely popular English Premier League season.

Tiger May Divorce in Sweden Tiger Woods and his wife Elin Nordegren may file for divorce in Sweden in an attempt to keep details of one of the world's largest settlements under wraps. The beleaguered golfer is said to have hired a lawyer specialising in international child custody arrangements. It is thought that Miss Nordegren would move back to her native Sweden, where she has been renovating a house, and proceedings could then be filed there.

Phuket Coming Events

May 21-23 Paragliding on Phuket.
May 23 Tourism Authority of Thailand bicycle ride around Old Phuket Town. A guided tour, with meals and a t-shirt, for just 100 baht. Bookings from May 10. Details: 076 217138 or 076 211036.
May 26 Boy George plays at Seduction, Phuket.
May 31-June 5 Eight-nation football tournament for players over 55 at Surakul Stadium in Phuket City. Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Taiwan, Iran, Armenia competing.
June 4-13 Phuket International Film Festival, Coliseum Cineplex, Phuket City.
June 13 Laguna Phuket International Marathon. Fun runs, too.
July 21-25 Phuket Six Senses Race Week, Evason, Rawai
December 4-11 Phuket King's Cup Regatta

February 9-13 The Bay Regatta - Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi
LIVE UPDATES Shots, Blasts, Injured as Bangkok Descends into Darkness. Rebel General Shot in Head, Emergency in 15 Provinces. Reds Plot Highway Blockade
LIVE UPDATES: Warning, Graphic Photo Album
LIVE UPDATES Shots, Blasts, Injured as Bangkok Descends into Darkness. Rebel General Shot in Head, Emergency in 15 Provinces. Reds Plot Highway Blockade

Phuket Grenade Warning Left at 'Yellow' TV Office
Photo Album An unexploded grenade left at the front door of the yellow shirt ASTV office on Phuket is being treated as a warning by the office manager. Phuket police are investigating.
Phuket Grenade Warning Left at 'Yellow' TV Office

Phuket Tourist Confronts Starving Bag Thief
Breaking News A Russian tourist is robbed at the same spot where a young Swedish visitor had her forearm slashed by a cut and run thief. A suspect says he stole because he was starving.
Phuket Tourist Confronts Starving Bag Thief

Krabi Joins Phuket's Lower Air Fares Push
Latest Intense competition for travellers has led to prices being pushed higher by Thai Airways, a move that has cost them the support of businesspeople in Phuket and Krabi.
Krabi Joins Phuket's Lower Air Fares Push

Phuket Storm Breaks Andaman's Steam Heat
Latest Drenching storms over Phuket City early today marked the beginning of the monsoon season after an extended period of heat and humidity that even threatened to damage coral reefs.
Phuket Storm Breaks Andaman's Steam Heat


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Friday September 25, 2020
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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