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MediaWATCH: Yacht Captain's Killers Jailed

Monday, November 30, 2009
Phuketwan MediaWATCH

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

bbc.co.uk Three Burmese teenagers have been jailed for up to 25 years for murdering British yachtsman Malcolm Robertson on his yacht Mr Bean off southern Thailand in March. Robertson, 64, was bludgeoned and thrown overboard. The killers, who pleaded guilty in a Satun court, were named as Eksian Warapon, 19, an 18-year-old known as Aow, and a 17-year-old known as Ko. The boy was jailed until he reaches the age of 24.

UKPA Linda Robertson, 59, held on a yacht for 10 hours before escaping her husband's murderers, said she believed the jail terms will give his killers time to reflect. ''I also believe they were victims themselves. I don't think they had any plan. The fact that they didn't kill me, which they could quite easily have done, shows some compassion from them.'' The Robertsons had sailed to Satun from Phuket, where they made many friends.

nationmultimedia.com Billionaire Prime Nature Group chairwoman Sunattee Nerngchamnong was shot dead yesterday outside her villa housing project in Bangkok by a man in a hood. Her husband, Police Major General Piyachart, is a former deputy metropolitan commissioner. They have three children.

Indo-Asian News Service Thai resort chain Dusit hopes to open its first luxury property outside the country in New Delhi next year. This will be followed by four more hotels by 2013. ''Expansion in India includes opening of the company's first-ever Dusit Devarana - the most luxurious brand under the Dusit International umbrella,'' said corporate director Anton Kilayko. Dusit has a joint venture pact with India's $100-million Bird group.

afp A Malaysian state government is probing investigators' claims that up to 60 percent of infrastructure funds amounting to billions of dollars have been siphoned off. Deputy chief minister of Sarawak on the resource-rich island of Borneo, George Chan, said his government is investigating claims by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. ''We want a full and detailed briefing on these claims,'' he told the Star newspaper, which said the total lost could run to ''billions''.

washingtonpost.com In a statement posted on his web site Sunday, celebrity golfer Tiger Woods accepted responsibility for what he deemed an ''embarrassing'' car accident just outside of his Florida driveway at 2:25am on Friday. He said his wife acted ''courageously'' to help him, but declined to provide further details, calling the incident a ''private matter.'' The case remains under investigation with possible charges pending.

miamiherald.com We get news faster than we ever have. We just can't trust it to be right. So patience, credibility and fairness are among the casualties here, too, at the intersection of celebrity and scandal - where voyeuristic rubbernecking is fun and nobody feels the need to tap the brakes, and the result is an international icon bleeding on the street while surrounded by more questions than answers.

nytimes.com The United Arab Emirates central bank on Sunday said that it stood behind domestic and foreign banks operating in Dubai after last week's announcement that Dubai World needed more time to pay back some of its $60 billion in debt. Dubai surprised the financial world on Wednesday when it said it would ask creditors of Dubai World, the conglomerate behind its rapid expansion, to agree to a six-month standstill on the debt. Global markets sank on the news.

dpa Thai Airways International is recovering well from the global slump in passenger numbers but needs an extraordinary rejuvenation to regain its '''rightful''' place as one of Asia's top airlines, the national carrier's president said. ''We have seen the bottom - 2010 and 2011 should be better, even in the face of very intense competition,'' Piyasvasti Amranand added. Khun Piyasvasti noted that airlines were scrabbling for business. THAI suffered a loss of 21.3 billion baht last year.

bangkokpost.com Thai Airways International's chief executive says Thai-owned carriers should form a united front against foreign rivals, especially the fledging budget carrier AirAsia, whose rapid expansion is seen as a ''threat''. ''Instead of fighting among ourselves, it would be better for us, Thai airlines, to stick together, co-operate and fight AirAsia, which is the biggest threat," said Piyasvasti Amranand. "They [AirAsia] are expanding rapidly, taking a lot of passengers away.''

wsj.com Swiss voters on Sunday approved a ban on the construction of new minarets on mosques, defying appeals from the government to reject the proposal and raising the specter of a new round of tensions in Europe concerning the role of Islam on the Continent. The vote highlights the persistent conflict over the integration of Europe's growing Muslim population into civil society.

canadian press Malaysia's government is trying to help a woman recover her five-year-old son from Belgium after her estranged husband took him there and defied an Islamic court order granting her custody. The case has stirred religious sensitivities partly because Elis Syuhaila Mokhtar has voiced doubts about whether her Dutch husband, who converted to Islam before they wed in 2001, was raising their child according to Islamic principles.

Associated Press Four US police officers have been shot dead as they sat working on their laptops at 8.15am on Sunday in a coffee shop in Tacoma, south of Seattle, Washington state, in what US authorities say was a targeted ambush. Officers are looking for one male suspect who fled on foot, but haven't ruled out an accomplice.

timesonline.co.uk Rwanda has become the 54th member of the Commonwealth. After gaining independence in 1962, the French-speaking Rwanda formed close ties with France. But after the 1994 genocide, when France was accused of supporting the Government that was blamed for the deaths of 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and Hutus, the country turned to Britain and severed diplomatic ties with France.

Special Phuket Events

THE Aleenta Resort and Spa Phuket-Phang Na, a short drive north of the island, is on Monday evening releasing two sea turtles fitted with GPS tracking devices, funded through the donations received during Aleenta's 2009 turtle charity event. A shuttle bus will run from StereoLab at Surin beach for Phuket residents, leaving at 5pm and returning at midnight. Entertainment and dinner, details 076 580333 or e: rmphuket@aleenta.com

ON December 3 Anantara Phuket Resort & Spa holds an Infinity Sunset Session, partnered by Jim Thompson and noted international DJ Jose Padilla, to mark the start of Phuket's high season in ''sensational chill-out style''. The innovative Mai Kao beach resort's fashion and music presentation features fine beach wear and accessories. At twilight this ''unmissable'' sunset session takes off in refreshing island style by the infinity pool and beachside lounging area. Tickets range from 1200 baht to 2700 baht. Telephone 076 336100 or e:phuket@anantara.com

scmp.com China's naval build-up is a potential threat to all of Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam, the first conference of scholars on the disputed South China Sea has been told. Professor Carl Thayer, of the Australian Defence Force Academy, told the workshop in Hanoi that the new Sanya naval base on the island province of Hainan, home of China's expanding fleet of nuclear-armed submarines. ''would have strategic implications for the balance of power in the region''.

nydailynews.com A British husband and wife seeking a few days in a dreamy paradise on a recent vacation to Thailand have told a newspaper they were drugged by a trio they met in a bar, then brutally raped and further sexually assaulted. The couple, identified only as Richard and Susan, reported the assaults took place after they met an Englishwoman and her two male French companions at a beach bar on Koh Chang.

asiaone.com Employees of oil-giant Sarawak Shell are seeking Government intervention in an impending large-scale retrenchment exercise. The Sarawak Shell Staff Union, which represents 2700 workers, said Sarawak Shell had notified its staff of the impending retrenchment.

pr.com Ray Clemence, one of the most decorated footballers in England history, has chosen to holiday with his family and friends at Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket. His visit comes on the heels of a stay by 20 contestants in the Miss Belgium competiton, and their entourage.

indiatimes.com Travel and tourism companies are searching for a strategic partner: wedding planners. With travel for weddings growing at a frenetic pace, travel and tourism firms want to link up with the individuals behind all the big-weddings. Mumtaz Moiz, general manager, India, of Club Med, with destinations like Mauritius, Maldives, Bali and Phuket, said: ''We have taken wedding planners to some of our top resorts and we feel that the option of renting out the entire resort is very attractive for Indian weddings.''

scmp.com More than 400 torture claimants who arrived in Hong Kong in the first 10 months of the year had no identity documents, raising fears it will be difficult if not impossible to remove them if they fail to establish their claims. Human rights groups say many claimants throw away their documents before they arrive so it is more difficult to deport them.

scmp.com Health authorities in the bohemian town of Dali, Yunnan province, have given a non-governmental organisation 120,000 yuan for HIV/Aids prevention work, with half that amount earmarked for a gay bar. The bar will open tomorrow, World Aids Day. The move has been welcomed by some gays in China, but remains controversial.

dailytelegraph.com.au Developers are offering free trips to Thailand and flat-screen televisions to get new homebuyers to sign on the dotted line before the end of summer. A buyers' adviser said: ''Someone has to pay and it's usually worked out between the builder and the agent and they take less profit.''

thewashingtonpost.com The White House said that a couple auditioning for a television reality show not only got past layers of experienced, executive-branch security but also shook the president's hand at the White House during the Obamas' first state dinner. The security breach has caused hand-wringing inside the White House, and prompted an apology from the Secret Service.
V-Day For a Phuket Success That Isn't Open Yet
Photo Album Here's a new resort with a serious problem. People say the prices are too low for the quality of the product. It's a Phuket success story, and it hasn't opened yet.
V-Day For a Phuket Success That Isn't Open Yet

Phuket Regatta Starting Party: Photo Special
Photo Special Which comes first, the Phuket King's Cup Regatta or the party to celebrate it? Yes, everybody knows the answer to that one. Any chicken or egg will tell you. Here it is.
Phuket Regatta Starting Party: Photo Special

Accused Killer Replays Phuket Car Fire Murder
Reenactment Photo Album An unusual murder probe continues with a reenactment of the crime on Phuket. A Phuket businesswoman has also confessed to killing her Japanese husband.
Accused Killer Replays Phuket Car Fire Murder

Money is Not the Answer, Says Phuket Governor
Latest Phuket's Governor appears to have solved the jetski crisis. The issue of striking a balance between the island's future development and preserving the environment is much tougher.
Money is Not the Answer, Says Phuket Governor

Phuket Survey: Occupancy Down for High Season
Latest The record high season of 2007 2008 is just a memory as Phuket basks in sunshine but without the equally warming sight of credit cards being debited in vast numbers. What's wrong?
Phuket Survey: Occupancy Down for High Season

MediaWATCH: Yacht Captain's Killers Jailed
Phuket News Digest Three jailed for Andaman killing; Shock Bangkok murder; Dusit invades India; Huge Malaysia corruption claim; Tiger speaks out; Dubai wins support; Swiss ban minarets.
MediaWATCH: Yacht Captain's Killers Jailed

MediaWATCH: Tiger Woods Crashes, Wife Burns
Phuket News Digest World's most admired golfer undone in car prang; Dubai sparks fear of Global Meltdown II; Bali turtles saved from soup; Air traffic figures up; Malaysia, Singapore gamble.
MediaWATCH: Tiger Woods Crashes, Wife Burns

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Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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