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MediaWATCH: Stayput Monk Takes On US Law

MediaWATCH: Stayput Monk Takes On US Law

Tuesday, June 9, 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.

Associated Press Gunmen opened fire on a mosque in southern Thailand during evening prayers on Monday, killing at least 10 people, police said. The attack was one of the most deadly since an Islamic separatist insurgency began in Thailand's three southernmost provinces in early 2004. More than 3400 people have been killed, most victims of the insurgents. Five or six men shot automatic rifles into the mosque in Narathiwat province's Joh-I-Rong district on Monday, police said. Among those who died at the mosque was the Imam, or prayer leader. Most of the 19 people wounded in the attack are in serious condition.

Bernama Malaysia and Thailand agreed on Monday to step up cooperation in responding to unrest in Thailand's troubled south, as Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva made his first official visit. After talks with Malaysian PM Najib Razak, Khun Abhisit told reporters he will adopt a conciliatory approach towards Thailand's Muslim region. ''We thank the Malaysian government for the close cooperation and support on the matter, in both security and socio-economic aspects,'' Khun Abhisit said. The two leaders discussed cooperation ''under the three E's concept, education, employment and entrepreneurship.''

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wsj.com Thai monk Phra Bunphithak Jomthong entered the US four years ago on a religious visa and has since served a burgeoning Buddhist community in Southern California. Barefoot and in a saffron robe, Phra Jomthong recently gave his job description: ''to share Buddhist practices and to promote peace and harmony among people.''But the US Government wants to deport the 47-year-old monk, after denying him permanent residency, or a green card, on the grounds that he was employed without authorisation after his temporary religious visa lapsed. Immigration authorities hold that a religious occupation or vocation constitutes ''employment.''

thestar.com.my The Malaysian-proposed oil pipeline connecting Kota Perdana in Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah, to Songkhla in Southern Thailand, received a boost when PM Abhisit Vejjajiva pledged to give the proposal due consideration. He said the Thai National Committee on Energy, which he chairs, would deliberate on the proposal. ''There have been many proposals. The Foreign Ministry has now passed the matter onto the Energy Ministry. When I go back, I want to see where things stand,'' he said.

bbc.com About 3000 ethnic Karen villagers have reportedly fled from Burma into Thailand in recent days because of a new Burmese military offensive. Aid groups say the refugees are from Ler Per Her camp in eastern Karen state, near where the Burmese army is reported to be attacking Karen rebels. It is thought to be one of the largest movements of refugees across the Thai-Burma border in a decade. Former Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong visited Burma on a ''goodwill trip'' on Monday, as international anger against the regime continued to mount over the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi.

dailystar.co.uk Kill Bill star David Carradine was dressed in fishnet stockings and a woman's wig when he was found hanged. Red lingerie was laid out on the bed in his Bangkok hotel room. And an erotic photograph had been pinned to the wall.Carradine's family complained that a picture taken in the room where he died had been leaked to a Thai newspaper. But the fresh revelations about the 72-year-old actor's bizarre clothing shocked them and seem to support police claims that he accidentally killed himself while carrying out a kinky sex act. It also throws doubt on accusations by the martial arts star's family that he was murdered after uncovering a sect of kung fu assassins.

marketwire.com Archer Entertainment Media and Communications and Buzz Entertainment have announced a motion picture division to begin with a debut epic movie, Kings of the Sea, in Phuket.The ''drama with comedic overtones'' will presage East-West competition over land and sea dominance, depicting the adventures of pirate Edward ''Blackbeard'' Teach, and his ''heretofore unknown'' encounters with Admiral Zheng He, the famous Chinese Muslim explorer. ''The Thai Islands are the perfect setting for the ocean adventure,'' a spokesman said, ''and will showcase to the world what an amazing destination Thailand offers.''

Reuters Gulf states have expressed interest in livestock and rice farming in Thailand to secure food supplies, a Thai official said on Monday. Food security has topped the policy agenda in the Gulf Arab region following rampant inflation last year that underscored its dependence on imports and prompted countries to buy land in developing nations. ''Gulf countries have shown interest in investing in farms for livestock and rice production in Thailand,'' said Pilun Fupapol, consul of Thailand's commercial section in the United Arab Emirates. He added that these deals are most likely to be on a government-to-government level as Thailand does not allow foreigners to own land.

smh.com.au Passengers who find themselves cooling their heels at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport while waiting for a connecting flight can now escape the airport for a few hours. Starting this month, passengers on stopovers of less than 12 hours can sign up for a four-hour city tour. Options include seeing the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha, boating along the klongs, watching a cultural production at the Siam Niramit theatre or being pampered with a massage and spa. Other tours include shopping, golf and seeing animal life (crocodile farm and aquarium). It's hoped the tours will inject much-needed funds into the city's tourism industry.

hurriyet.com.tr The fate of Turkey's Formula One racing circuit, Istanbul Park, is being debated after a paltry attendance of 32,000 at Sunday's Grand Prix. It costs 70,000 euros a day to hire. ''We had a big tyre company interested in staging a promotional event, but they were shocked by the price and went to Thailand instead,'' said Koray Murato, who edits Autocar magazine. ''They threw in a holiday in Phuket and still did the whole thing cheaper.''

Phuketwan Phuket News

Arrests Fail to Slow Theft of Phuket Forest Land
Latest Officials are concerned at the rate of disappearance of Phuket parks, with encroachment of forests continuing despite the arrest of those caught misappropriating land.
Arrests Fail to Slow Theft of Phuket Forest Land

Englishman Drowns at Karon, 'Girlfriend Expecting'
Updating News The girlfriend of an Englishman who has drowned at Karon beach on Phuket is flying home alone and pregnant, Phuketwan has learned. It's the third drowning in a week.
Englishman Drowns at Karon, 'Girlfriend Expecting'

Phuket Set to Greet Kuan Yim: Photo Special
Photo Special An attraction with special appeal to Chinese visitors is to be built off Saphan Hin park in Phuket City: a platform out to sea that will house a statue of female deity Kuan Yim.
Phuket Set to Greet Kuan Yim: Photo Special

Phuket's Grand Mosque Plan Wins the Governor
Photo Album With one in three of Phuket's population being Muslim, the prospect of a Grand Mosque is a significant ambition. And now the plan has three potential sites and the Governor's support.
Phuket's Grand Mosque Plan Wins the Governor

All Safe in Patong Emergency Rescue Practice
Photo Album A rescue drill involving a gps system and aircraft support was carried out on Patong beach today to demonstrate what should happen when tourists strike trouble at sea.
All Safe in Patong Emergency Rescue Practice

Monsoon Riders Title, Kalim Beach, June 12-14
Phuket has had surf competitions since 2002 but nothing like 2009, with three tournaments each over three days in a big new series. Local riders with face a test against the best.
Monsoon Riders Title, Kalim Beach, June 12-14

Phuket Fashion & Music Week, Patong, June 24-30
Photo Album High stepping models strutted their stuff in Patong at the preview of the first Fashion Week at Jungceylon that promises parades and a party every night.
Phuket Fashion & Music Week, Patong, June 24-30

Recent Phuketwan MediaWATCH

MediaWATCH: Shocked Carradine Family Call FBI
News Digest The family of actor David Carradine, shocked by a Thai newspaper, call for FBI help; corruption levels surveyed; Mexican shootout in Acapulco.
MediaWATCH: Shocked Carradine Family Call FBI

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