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MediaWATCH: 'White Shirts' Bangkok Street Protest

MediaWATCH: 'White Shirts' Bangkok Street Protest

Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Phuketwan MediaWATCH

A new daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective. Reports from national and international media, with translations into English from Thai.

Bangkok Post: Civic groups and business people have joined the ''Stop hurting Thailand'' campaign, urging political groups to end bickering that is causing social divisions. Backed by 21 organisations including the Thai Journalists Association and peace advocacy groups, a crowd of unity advocates dressed in white paraded through the capital yesterday. Similar events were held in all regions. The group wants the public to support the campaign by raising the national flag in front of their homes.

The Nation: Public prosecutors have asked Nicaragua and the United Arab Emirates to extradite fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, wanted for his alleged role in the Songkran Day riots, among other things. A red shirt rally is planned for Bangkok on Sunday. Australian bush retreat holiday icon, Leura's York Fairmont Resort, faces nightmare claims of unwashed sheets, dirty towels and a leaf-clogged swimming pool. The resort's problems came to a head at Easter-Songkran when police were called after more than 200 guests signed a petition demanding their A$250-a-night payments back. Mirvac group paid A$47 million for the resort in 2007. ''Obviously, they've made the wrong choices in the decisions they've made since," said the hotel's former business manager. Since then more than 200 of the 240 staff have been laid off and the few staff left are fed up.

Today's Must Read William Pesek writes: ''Thailand last month had to cancel a meeting of regional leaders, also planned at a beach resort, amid political unrest. Indonesia's confab is going off without a hitch.'' In reporting the Asian Development Bank's annual meeting in Bali, he highlights the success of the Indonesian model of democracy compared to Thailand. ''Indonesia is among the most politically stable countries in Asia, and deserves more attention from global investors,'' Pesek writes. ''The contrast with Thailand is obvious Today, its outlook is shrouded in political instability that has reached farcical levels.''

Kom Chad Luek: The secretary of a bank manager in Bangkok embezzled more than 400 million baht to feed his football gambling addiction. Police arrested the 23-year-old man but did not reveal whether he supported Liverpool or Arsenal. The man had a red BMW worth 10 million baht, a 30 million baht mansion and 12 million baht in his bag, ready to flee to Cambodia. Soldiers and police will enforce a five kilometre exclusion zone free from protests around June's Asean Plus Six summit on Phuket. The first attempt at a summit in Pattaya was cancelled when protesters invaded the venue. ''That incident was a mistake. We will make sure the meeting restores confidence in Thailand,'' Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said after outlining security measures to diplomats. ''The people of Phuket pledged to me that there would be no rally during the meeting.''

Wall Street Journal: Economists warn that Asia relies far more on international trade and tourism for growth and so is at greater risk economically in a viral outbreak. In an analysis of more than 90 countries ranked by population density, exposure to trade and other factors, Nomura economists found that nine of the world's 20 most vulnerable economies are in Asia, with Singapore and Hong Kong by far the two most at-risk. Other economies viewed as highly exposed include Malaysia, Thailand, India and parts of Africa and Latin America.

Thai Rath: A turtle has buried more than 100 eggs on a beach at Prajobkirikan, not far from Hua Hin on the Gulf of Siam. It's the first time rangers can remember turtle eggs being laid anywhere except the Andaman coast. Locals discovered the eggs when eight tanu turtle hatchlings emerged from the sand. They hope more survive. Monks at Pisanulok have left a temple where thousands of cicadas made too much noise for them to hear themselves chanting. Insects also invaded their beds.

Daily News: Thai primary or high school dropouts or even some low-level graduates should work on construction sites or on farms in place of Burmese labor, says the Minister of Education, Jurin Laksanawisit. ''Now even people with degrees cannot always find jobs,'' he said. The Government Pension Fund, Thailand's largest local institutional investor, now has about 12-13 percent equity investment in both domestic and global markets, compared with 17 percent before the global crisis, fund secretary general Visit Tantisunthorn told Dow Jones on the sidelines of the ADB meeting in Bali. The pension fund, which has about one million members, saw the value of its assets shrink by 4.22 billion baht last year, the first contraction since the fund was established in 1997.

Khaosod: A UN investigation of human trafficking in the sex trade across six countries reveals the need for Thailand and Burma to act to prevent women and children being brought into Thailand. About 200 children and women were taken into care by Thai welfare officials recently and will be sent back.

Phuketwan Phuket News

Phuket Begins Climb to Asean Summit Success
It's Official Ready, set, go. The race has begun to ready the island and its people for a Asean Plus Six summit, plus spinoff benefits. The island's profile and income should gain a boost.
Phuket Begins Climb to Asean Summit Success

Phuket's Economy in Question: IBAP May 15
Ask the Team Perhaps there is a question about the Phuket economy that deserves an answer. All we can offer for now are journalists, not economists.
Phuket's Economy in Question: IBAP May 15

Phuket TDA Base Will Teach Thailand to Swim
Photo Album The Thai Diving Association has plans to teach Thailand to swim at the big pool going in alongside its news HQ on the road to Phuket Airport. There's a big boat out the front.
Phuket TDA Base Will Teach Thailand to Swim

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