Thai News

2010: April-June

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5th June   

The Pattaya Connection...

Cumbrian killer was a Pattaya regular and a sponsor
Link Here

Derrick Bird, the Cumbria shootings gunman, has been making the newspapers with connection sto Thailand and Pattaya.

He has been partaking in twice yearly trips to Thailand's fleshpots in a group nicknamed The Bad Boys.

One of the Bad Boys was Chris Bulmer who owned one of the trio's favourite haunts at Pattaya Beach - Spicy Girls A Go-Go. (Which has now been closed for 18 months)

Bulmer said: I knew a fair bit about him and when I heard a cabbie had gone berserk with a gun in Cumbria I stared at the telly. His picture came up and I recognised him instantly. I felt sick.

He told how Bird not only sent a bargirl a fortune from Britain, but bombarded her with messages promising to return to Thailand so they could be together.

Careful who you tease about being a Cheap Charlie

Based on article from

Derrick Bird, the Cumbria shootings gunman, was deported back to Britain after he was involved in a drunken row at a Middle Eastern airport, friends said.

The 52 year-old taxi driver become involved in the drunken rage with a friend at Doha airport in Qatar after being teased about money.

Security at the airport refused to allow him to board his connecting plane to the Thailand capital Bangkok amid fears he was a flight risk .

He had been travelling to the east coast city of Pattaya with several friends for a pre-christmas holiday last year.

The group of divorced taxi drivers, aged in the late 40s and 50s who travelled to the country several times a year, started drinking heavily during their short stopover in Doha.

One unnamed member then started teasing Bird about money who then lashed out at the departure gate and was then restrained by security.

Police then deemed him too drunk to board the flight and took him to a secure location to sober up before deporting him back to Britain.

A friend, who asked not to be named, reportedly said: It all kicked off though when Birdy mentioned that he loved Thailand because it was cheap and someone made a joke about him being cheap. Birdy saw red. He went mad and went for him and officials had to step in. They'd never seen him flip before and it really shocked them. He must have had a lot of stress just bottled up. He was taken off and the next thing they knew was he wasn't allowed on the flight and was flown back to England.


24th May   

Serious Shite...

Curfew breakers fined 2000 Baht and given 2 months suspended jail sentence
Link Here

36 people were arrested in Bangkok for violating the 11pm-4 am curfew Sunday night, raising to 511 the number of arrests since May 20, the Metropolitan Police Bureau announced Monday.

Pol Maj Gen Piya Uthayo, spokesman of the Metropolitan Police, said 511 people have been arrested for violating curfew intentionally or without justified causes since May 20.

They were sentenced to two months in jail and a fine of Bt2,000 each. But the jail term was suspended and they were put on probation for two years, Piya said.


20th May   

Burnt Out Protest...

The casualty list of buildings hit by Wednesday's arson attacks
Link Here

The Klong Toey MRT Station
Kasikorn Soi Ngamduplee, Siam City Bank, Siam Centre
Central World
Siam Square/Siam Theatre
Diamond Condominium (Behind CW)
Platinum Fashion Mall
Bangkok Bank, Tesco Rama IV
TV Channel 3/Maleenont Building Rama IV
Thai Stock Exchange
Tesco OnNut
Century Park Hotel
7-Eleven shop, Din Daeng
Manhattan Plaza (Plenchit BTS)
Bkk Bank, Asoke
Krueng Thai Bank, Asoke
Bkk Bank, Phrakanog
Bkk Bank, Victory Monument
Metropolitan Electricity office Klong Toei
Govt Savings Bank in Dindaeng
20 Telephone booths in Din Daeng
Office of Narcotics Control Board at Dindaeng
Office Building Din Daeng ( 12 year old )
Chang Mai Construction Company
BKK Bank, Chiang Mai
Khon Kaen City Hall
Udorn Thani City Hall
Ubon Ratchananee City Hall
Nonthaburi City Hall
Mukdaharn City Hall
Nakhon Ratchasima City Hall
IT Seer Rangsit
Seacon Square
Lad Prao Big C
Center One Mall Victory Monument
7/11, Victory Monument
Kasikorn Bank, Victory Monument
Government Saving Bank (Mitr-maitree Road)
Bkk Bank, Hua Lumpong


19th May   

Bangkok Ablaze...

Red shirts turfed out
Link Here

The deadly standoff in Bangkok reached boiling point on Wednesday as security forces launched their largest offensive since anti-government protests began and buildings were set ablaze in the Thai capital.

At least four people were reported killed as security forces seized control of the the protesters' Lumpini Park stronghold, prompting several Red Shirt leaders to call off their weeks-long occupation of the area.

Meanwhile black smoke could be seen rising over the Bangkok skyline amid news agency reports that protesters had set fire to the Thai Stock Exchange, the Central World shopping complex and other buildings.

We Thai people never experienced this kind of situation before, said Sirinun Siripanich, the assistant secretary to the Bangkok governor. This is like a mini-civil war.

Army Col. Sansern Kaewkumnerd confirmed to CNN that soldiers were given the all-clear to fire if they faced a clear threat.


Based on article from

The Thai government has declared a curfew in Bangkok from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. as rioting and violence spread across the capital.

An announcement signed by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and broadcast on television said nobody in the capital is allowed out of their homes during those times unless they have permission from authorities.

The curfew was declared Wednesday after Bangkok became a raging battleground in the aftermath of an army crackdown on protesters.


15th May   

Live Fire Zone...

A day of violence in Bangkok
Link Here

A day of violence on the streets of the Thai capital left at least ten dead and 125 wounded after renewed fighting erupted in the city's commercial heart yesterday. Soldiers fired bullets and teargas into the fortified encampment held for weeks by anti-government protesters, and street battles erupted in the city centre.

What began in early March as a defiant and proud rally intended to oust the Thai Government peacefully and fight for social justice had, by last night, largely unravelled as the army strengthened its stranglehold around thousands of diehard protesters.

Hemmed into their fortified encampment by troops, the remaining protesters digested the grim information that several of their leaders had quit. As long as the security forces remain loyal to the Government their options appear increasingly limited in the face of the army's firepower.

From dawn yesterday the protest site centred on Ratchaprasong intersection in central Bangkok was surrounded by armed troops and police officers in armoured vehicles. They fired live rounds and rubber bullets as well as teargas at members of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship. The group has spent weeks in the centre of one of Asia's most cosmopolitan cities demanding the dissolution of the Thai parliament, followed by elections.

Known widely as the Red Shirts, the demonstrators responded with petrol bombs and fired home-made rockets into the streets surrounding the upmarket district that they have occupied for nearly six weeks. Several thousand Red Shirts were still behind the high barricades of the site perimeter last night, protected by guards carrying thick bamboo staves.

From the stage in the centre of the demonstration some Red Shirt leaders were still shouting their defiance at the unseen presence of the encircling troops. Sean Boonpracong, a Red Shirt spokesman, confirmed the movement's leadership had fissured. Four leaders have decided to leave, he told The Times. Veera Musikhapong has resigned from the chairmanship. But there were still 16 leaders meeting here this afternoon.


15th May   

The Right to Peaceful Protest...

Libya and Thailand voted onto the UN Human Rights Council
Link Here

Libya and Thailand were among 14 countries elected as new members of the U.N.'s top human rights body in a vote that rights advocates criticized as uncompetitive and pre-cooked.

Angola, Mauritania, Uganda, the Maldives, Malaysia, Qatar, Moldova, Poland, Ecuador, Guatemala, Spain and Switzerland were also elected by the General Assembly for three-year terms on the 47-nation Human Rights Council, which is based in Geneva.

Both Libya and Thailand have been criticized by rights groups for their human rights records.

The council elections have become a pre-cooked process that strips the meaning from the membership standards established by the General Assembly, said Peggy Hicks, global advocacy director at U.S.-based Human Rights Watch.

States serious about the role the council can play in promoting human rights should push for competitive slates in all regions, and should be willing to compete for a seat themselves, she said.

Without naming any specific countries, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice made it clear she was not happy with some of Washington's new fellow council members: It's fair to say that this year, there is a small number of countries whose human rights records is problematic that are likely to be elected and we regret that, she said.

Iran also had been running for a seat on the council, but it withdrew its candidacy last month in exchange for a seat on the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.

Offsite Comment: Human Rights Just a Joke At the U.N.

See  article from By Anne Bayefsky

Once upon a time, the United Nations was about protecting human rights and Eleanor Roosevelt was the chairman of its premier human rights agency, the Human Rights Commission. This week, the U.N.ís top human rights body, renamed the Human Rights Council, is poised to add Libya to its membership. Libya will be elected by the U.N. General Assembly through a secret ballot in a process that champions geographic and religious loyalties over anything remotely resembling the actual protection of human rights.

The Obama administration is making no moves to call for the defeat of Libya or any of the other soon-to-be human rights specialists now running for a seat. And yet, the 2009 State Department Human Rights Report says that in Libya there is routine torture and abuse of detainees, legally-sanctioned amputations and flogging, sentencing of political opposition members without trial, indefinite detention of women and girls suspected of violating moral codes, homosexuality is criminalized, and their president claims that the Christian Bible and the Jewish Torah are forgeries.


13th May   

Hot and Bothered...

Heatwave in Thailand
Link Here

Thai health officials fear there will be heat stroke fatalities if the high temperatures continue for several more days.

The Public Health Ministry has warned the public to take precautions against heat exhaustion, which can also be fatal. It also raised concern of other heat-related illnesses brought about by the hot spell.

It was unusual that the maximum daily temperatures in many provinces were higher now than in April, which is typically the country's hottest month, said Maytee Mahayosananta, a meteorologist from the department's weather forecast bureau.

Department records showed the maximum temperature in Bangkok hit 39.7C on Monday, three degrees above the hottest day on April 27 when the temperature reached 36.7C.

Maytee said the prolonged hot weather partly resulted from the late arrival of cooling winds from the Indian Ocean. Warming sea temperatures had brought hot moisture to the land.

The extremely hot weather will stay for another few days, Maytee said: The temperature is expected to cool down when there is more rainfall in the country later this month.

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand reported a new peak load for electricity demand on Monday, when power consumption hit this year's record high of 24,009.9 megawatts. The figure was almost 10% higher than last year's peak of 22,044.9 megawatt. This was possibly due to massive use of air-conditioners on the unexepectedly hot day, Egat's deputy governor Banpot Sangkeo said yesterday.


6th May   

Pattaya Declared Safe Again...

But UK still advises to avoid all but essential travel to Bangkok
Link Here

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office have downgraded their advice to avoid travel to all of Thailand. However Bangkok is still noted as somewhere to avoid.

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with amendments to the Summary and the Terrorism and Security section. The overall level of the advice has changed; we no longer advise against all but essential travel to the whole country.

We advise against all travel to specific parts of Thailand. We advise against all but essential travel to other specific parts of Thailand, including Bangkok.


4th May   

Reds Elect to Consider Abhisit's Proposals...

Red shirts make positive noises about agreeing to November poll
Link Here

Thailand's red-shirt protesters say they are prepared to join the government's reconciliation process, but they have several conditions.

PM Abhisit Vejjajiva announced the plan, which includes an offer of polls on 14 November in a bid to end the political stand-off.

The red-shirts said they wanted a fixed date for the dissolution of parliament, and an assurance of sincerity .

They said they would continue their protest in Bangkok in the meantime.

A red-shirt leader, Veera Musikapong, said the movement backed Abhisit's proposal: We have agreed to enter the reconciliation process unanimously. We don't want any more loss of lives .

But he said that the Election Commission, not the government, should set out the timeframe for the election.

And another red-shirt leader, Jatuporn Prompan, said more clarity on the poll was needed: We want Abhisit to come back to us with a clear parliamentary dissolution date instead of an election date and we will meet and consider it again .

Abhisit's reconciliation plan offers polls at least three months later than the red-shirts had wanted.


12th April   

Under Pressure...

Thai PM asked to step down?
Link Here

Pressure is mounting on Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in the wake of Saturday's deadly clashes between troops and anti-government protesters.

Thailand's army chief has called for parliament to be dissolved, apparently echoing protesters' calls for polls.

Speaking to journalists, Gen Anupong Paojinda said he was reluctant to use force to end the stand-off: It must be ended by political means, he said. The problem will be resolved with House dissolution, but when to dissolve depends on the outcome of negotiations.

The Election Commission, meanwhile, has ruled that there is enough evidence to charge Abhisit's party over illegal donations.

The decision by the Election Commission must now be sent to the attorney-general's office for referral to the Constitutional Court.

It is not yet clear when this might happen but correspondents say the timing of this decision is extremely bad for the embattled prime minister.

On Saturday clashes between security forces and the red-shirt protesters left 21 people dead and nearly 900 injured. It was the worst political violence in Thailand since 1992.

Autopsies carried out on the bodies of nine protesters killed in clashes with Thai security forces in Bangkok at the weekend have revealed they were struck by live rounds.


11th April   

Getting Serious...

BBC report on the red shirt situation
Link Here

A month ago, Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva might have felt relatively secure, despite the opposition's anger at his government.

But then the anti-government protesters, the red-shirts, began their protests in the old heart of Bangkok, to press for new elections, and Abhisit has spent the following weeks under military protection, unable to go home or to his office.

He had to beg generals to implement emergency laws intended to clear the demonstrations once and for all.

And when the troops finally did decide to move against the red-shirts on 10 April, it was a botched operation, leading to the deaths of some 20 people, both civilians and soldiers.

The red-shirts are still in control of some streets in the capital. Huge trucks are blocking public access to the central shopping district and the original base camp at Phan Fah bridge is gathering new recruits during the day.

The high number of dead damages both sides, but analysts are wondering where the government can go from here.

The last time there was this much bloodshed on the streets was in 1992, when pro-democracy protesters fought against the appointment of an unelected general, Suchinda Kraprayoon, as prime ministe.


10th April   


People getting killed in Bangkok protests
Link Here

Four civilians and four soldiers were killed in clashes between the army and red shirt protesters, the Bangkok deputy governor said on Saturday without giving details.

Deputy governor of Bangkok Malinee Sukavrejworakit also said 242 people were wounded.

Thai troops fired rubber bullets and tear gas on Saturday at demonstrators who retaliated with petrol bombs.

Based on article from

Several protesters and soldiers have been injured in escalating clashes in Bangkok, the Thai capital.

Thai troops fired live rounds and tear gas directly at protesters, known as red shirts , at a bridge next to the regional UN headquarters, wounding at least one in the arm, a Reuters' photographer reported on Saturday.

Riot police have clashed with protesters and have fired tear gas at them. Shots have also been fired, Al Jazeera's Wayne Hay, reporting from Bangkok, said.

Based on article from

See some great photo journalism at Unrest in Thailand


7th April   

Red Alert...

Thai PM calls an emergency in Bangkok
Link Here

Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has declared a state of emergency in Bangkok amid escalating anti-government protests.

In a televised address, Abhisit said the move - which gives sweeping new powers to the security forces to tackle protesters - would help restore order.

Emergency law gives sweeping powers to the security forces and in theory bans public gatherings of more than five people, our correspondent says.

This is the fourth state of emergency in the capital since 2008. It comes hours after thousands of red-shirt protesters marched on parliament - forcing MPs to flee the building.

Thousands of red-shirts had earlier gathered outside parliament and were faced with similar numbers of riot police. The parliamentary session was abandoned shortly after it had begun and senior politicians, including Abhisit, were ushered out of the building by security guards. A group of protesters then barged their way into the grounds of parliament, but retreated shortly afterwards and there were no reports of violence.

The protesters want Abhisit to resign and call elections.

The government had vowed not to use force against the red-shirts, and the protesters too had said their demonstrations would not be violent. But Abhisit said in his televised address that the protesters could no longer be considered peaceful after their march on parliament.

Tens of thousands of anti government protesters remain in the commercial heart of Bangkok and show no signs of moving voluntarily.


4th April   

Shops See Red...

Rallying red shirts descend on Bangkok commercial areas
Link Here

Thousands of Thai protesters are remaining defiant in their campaign to topple the government, ignoring deadlines to end their Bangkok protest.

The anti-government protesters, known as the red-shirts, are continuing to occupy the capital's commercial heart.

They are calling on Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to dissolve parliament and hold early elections.

Abhisit appeared on TV to urge the protesters to end their rally, claiming they were violating security laws. He called on protesters to stop blocking roads.

Abhisit said the government would pursue peaceful negotiations and urged those angry with the protests to be patient.

An anti-government demonstrator sleeps on the pavement in Bangkok, 4 April 2010 Many protesters are from rural areas and slept on the streets

On Saturday, the supporters of ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra blocked roads and forced shopping centres to close.

It is the third consecutive week of mass rallies, but the first time that protesters have targeted shops and restaurants rather than government and military buildings.

The demonstrators occupied the commercial area on Saturday, and although the government originally issued a deadline for them to leave, it said later that negotiations would continue.

The BBC's Rachel Harvey in Bangkok says there is no sign of protesters dispersing. She says there is also no sign of security forces and the atmosphere is still good-natured and peaceful.

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