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Russians Held for ATM Swindle; Thailand on 'Verge of Turmoil'; Aussie Boozers Barred

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
PhuketWATCH Daily Media Wrap

PHUKET: The daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective, plus relevant reports from national and international media. Beware of inconsistent imitations. A Thai tourist policeman and two Russians were arrested in Nakhon Ratchasima for allegedly using fake credit and debit cards to withdraw money from bank accounts belonging to people from more than 50 countries, police said. They had in their possession 328 counterfeit ATM cards and more than 2.9 million baht in cash. UDD chairwoman Tida Tawornseth called on red-shirt members across the country to "come out, as many as possible'' in a show of force at Rajamangala Stadium on Tuesday and Wednesday, and promised they would stay put and avoid confrontation with anti-government protesters. Hundreds of local residents in Phichit blew whistles to expel Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi from a public hearing in a symbolic gesture opposing the government's mega water and flood schemes. Plodprasop pointed at the protesters and used his personal whistle to blow back at them. Another protest group presented him with a bundle of grass. Editorial: Thailand is again on the verge of political turmoil. An ill-conceived amnesty bill pushed through the lower house of Parliament by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra earlier this month brought many thousands of demonstrators for and against the government into the streets of Bangkok, putting the country's fragile democracy in peril.
The Thai people deserve justice under law, not by amnesty. The antidote to Thailand's history of politics by coups and dubious court rulings is trust in democratic elections and reforms to strengthen the independence of the judiciary. Looking at Thailand's stock exchange, it is difficult to tell that there are ongoing protests in Bangkok. However, the foreign fund flows and the Thai baht tell a different story. Thailand: where has domestic demand gone? Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban called last Friday for signatures to impeach 310 ruling politicians who voted for the amnesty bill. A high-ranking source from the Democrats, who asked not to be named, said the party expected to get at least one million signatures by Sunday.

NNT DSI Director-General Tharit Phengdit said that it was too soon to disclose the names of protest sponsors. The DSI was transcribing protest leaders' speeches and trying to find connections between the sponsors and the rallies, the official said. Political instability in Thailand should not dissuade New Zealanders from doing business there, Prime Minister John Key says. He is in Bangkok with a trade delegation.

mcot Thailand's property market may enjoy a 10 percent growth this year, an expansion by 120,000 housing units, according to the Government Housing Bank. Samma Kitsin, director of the GHB Real Estate Information Centre, said there were 32,000 newly-built housing units in the first three quarters of the year and the figure will rise to 40,000 units by year-end. Indonesia is recalling its ambassador to Australia over allegations that Canberra spied on phone calls of the Indonesian president. Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said: ''This is an unfriendly, unbecoming act between strategic partners.'' The secretary general of the worlds largest bloc of Islamic countries said emotional visits to huge, trash-strewn camps of the long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim community - chased from their homes in Burma by Buddhist mobs and arsonists - brought him to tears. Four people, including two Chinese tourists, were killed after the tour bus they were riding plunged into a ravine in the hilly southern part of the resort island of Bali. The execution of a Pakistani drug smuggler in Indonesia, carried out in secret, is a shocking and regressive step, said Amnesty International. Death sentences are carried out by firing squad. Firing squads are made up of 12 people, three of whose rifles are loaded with live ammunition, while the other nine are loaded with blanks. Singapore is getting tough on all forms of harassment, in particular online harassment. Parents should keep the gates of their children's mind firmly locked from being corrupted by filth. Only then can our country be kept safe from the evils of the internet. A tourist killed in a crash crash in Thailand was not a New Zealander as Thai media had initially reported. The dead man had borrowed a New Zealander's car. Based on data from Bali Tourism Agency, the number of foreign tourist arrivals to Bali had reached 2,409,334 in the January-September period, an increase of 13.31 percent over the same period last year: ''We are still expecting to reach the target of attracting 3.1 million foreign tourists to Bali in 2013.'' [Phuket is likely to reach 2.7 million.] British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened during the Commonwealth heads of Government summit to push for an independent international inquiry into allegations of war crimes at the end of Sri Lanka's civil war if the island nation does not conduct its own probe by 2014. Australia's prime minister, Tony Abbott, is facing a diplomatic crisis with Indonesia over claims that Canberra tried to spy on the phone calls of Indonesia's president, Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and his inner circle and wife, Kristiani Herawati. With Malaysian authorities stepping up a campaign to root out undocumented workers in early September, a second wave of Burmese migrants returning to their home country appears to be underway. Despite 30 years of research and the expenditure of billions of dollars, no one has come up with a better form of protection against HIV than the condom. But worldwide only five percent of men use them.

Phuket World Sports Wrap Australia have suspended six players for their rugby match against Scotland on Saturday and sanctioned nine more for excessive drinking in Dublin last week. An American man has died on the surface after diving to a depth of 72 metres in a major international freediving competition. Nick Mevoli was the first death in the 21 year history of the sport, according to the sport's governing body.

Phuket Coming Events 2013

On November 24 the Camillian Social Center in Phang Nga, north of Phuket, will be holding a 30-kilometre charity bicycle ride. Team, family and individual entries are invited. The centre, supported by the Sarojin Khao Lak Community Fund, provides day care, education, food and physiotherapy for disabled children in the region. Start: 8.15am. Contact Khun Somchai at

On November 22 the American Chamber of Commerce Thailand will hold a real estate seminar at the Angsana Laguna Phuket. Topics include the trend in leasehold ownership, regulating real estate agencies and current island property trends. The event is public and ideal for for professionals, those working in real estate related businesses and anyone thinking of investing in real estate in Thailand. From 4.30pm to 6.30pm. Admission is 100 baht which includes one free drink.

November 24-December 1 Challenge Laguna Phuket Tri-Fest. Laguna Phuket

November 26 Phuket's honorary consuls meet with officials

November 28 French Fair, Jungceylon

December 5 HM The King's birthday

December 26 Commemoration of 2004 Asian Tsunami

Phuket Coming Events 2014

January 9-12 Phuket International Boat Show, Royal Phuket Marina

September 24-October 2 Vegetarian Festival, Phuket

November 14-21 Fourth Asia Beach Games, Phuket


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Saturday December 10, 2016
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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