Archive for ‘Thailand’

October 11, 2014

The Investigation Into Thailand’s Backpacker Slayings Is Officially a Farce

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The Investigation Into Thailand’s Backpacker Slayings Is Officially a Farce

@charliecamp6ell

 

Oct. 10, 2014

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://time.com/3487462/thailand-koh-tao-murders-hannah-witheridge-david-miller-zaw-lin-win-zaw-htun/

 

 

 

October 11, 2014

Thailand: Murder in the Land of Smiles

Thailand: Murder in the Land of Smiles

October 8, 2014

Thailand at ‘high risk’ of unrest

Thailand at ‘high risk’ of unrest

  • Published: 8 Oct 2014 at 00.01 | Viewed: 2,941
  • Online news: Social
  • Writer: Online reporters
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Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/social/436419/thailand-at-high-risk-of-unrest
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Thailand is at “high risk” of more civil unrest that would disrupt business and factory operations, a global forecasting company said in a worldwide survey released Wednesday (Thailand time).

England-based Maplecroft said its Civil Unrest Index placed 11 countries at “extreme risk” of unrest in the near future.

Thailand was ranked 16th overall, and placed in a second tier of 69 countries where the risk of civil unrest was high.

The Maplecroft introduction to the report did not say exactly why it considered Thailand at such high risk of unrest. It reviewed the prolonged protests in Bangkok earlier this year, which led to the May 22 coup and orders from the military that halted all protests nationwide.

“The (Thai) protests not only disrupted business operations in Bangkok,” the report continued, but also “caused the IMF to lower the 2014 projected GDP growth rate to 2.5%, down from 5.2%, which could cost the country an estimated US$9.8 billion.”

Maplecroft reportedly analyses a number of data points in assigning risk ratings to each country. Among them are governance, political and civil rights, abuses by state security forces, the economic situation and the frequency and severity of recent incidents.

“Tracking the trajectory of countries with rising levels of unrest should be a top priority for business continuity planners and risk managers,” according to Maplecroft’s principal analyst, Charlotte Ingham, quoted in the index introduction. “Civil unrest can create significant risks to operations and supply chains and impact the safety of employees and company property.”

Maplecroft said that despite the massive disruptions in the worst 11 countries, the most troubling problem was Hong Kong, the scene of recent pro-democracy demonstrations.

“The scale of the protests, which has cost retailers upwards of $283m, has seen Hong Kong move from the medium-risk category to high risk” on Maplecroft’s index.

“Beijing’s response will be key to determining whether the situation deteriorates further,” it said.

Asean neighbours Indonesia (23rd), Vietnam (24th), Cambodia (32nd) and the Philippines (35th) were all given the “high risk” label of No.16 Thailand.

Only 8th-ranked Bangladesh is among the extreme-risk nations at the bottom of Maplecroft’s ranking. The other 10 are, in order, Syria, Central African Republic, Pakistan, Sudan, South Sudan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Anti-government protests were the reason for Thailand’s low rank at No.16. The index specifically cited Vietnam’s anti-Chinese protests last May.

The outbreak of Ebola infections has raised the risk in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

October 8, 2014

Martial law remains as Thailand’s military ruler appoints ‘reform council’

 

Martial law remains as Thailand’s military ruler appoints ‘reform council’

Date:  October 7, 2014 – 1:25PM

South-East Asia correspondent for Fairfax Media

View more articles from Lindsay Murdoch

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Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://www.smh.com.au/world/martial-law-remains-as-thailands-military-ruler-appoints-reform-council-20141007-10r8to.html

Military rule: Former army commander Prayuth Chan-ocha attends a ceremony to pray for the health of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Military rule: Former army commander Prayuth Chan-ocha attends a ceremony to pray for the health of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Photo: Reuters

Bangkok: Thailand’s military ruler has rejected calls to lift martial law across the country as his regime appoints a 250-member advisory group dominated by people close to the traditional ruling elite.

Former army commander Prayuth Chan-ocha, who seized power in a coup on May 22, told Thai journalists there were still “unusual movements” like anti-coup protests and martial law was necessary to maintain law and order.

The law, which gives the military almost absolute powers, including the banning of gatherings of more than five people, makes it difficult for tourists to obtain travel insurance; one of main reasons for a collapse in the number of arrivals in a country popular with Australians.

Unity force: King Bhumibol has endorsed a new National Reform Council.
Unity force: King Bhumibol has endorsed a new National Reform Council. Photo: AP

Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who underwent surgery to have his gall bladder removed on Sunday, has formally endorsed a new National Reform Council that will draft a constitution to take effect by next July, the Royal Gazette reports.

While the council is supposed to represent a cross-section of Thai society, the military regime has appointed few supporters of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Mr Thaksin dominated Thai politics for much of the past decade.

Public concern: People pray outside Siriraj Hospital where King Bhumibol has undergone surgery.
Public concern: People pray outside Siriraj Hospital where King Bhumibol has undergone surgery. Photo: AP

Many of those appointed are critics of Mr Thaksin, who was deposed in a 2006 coup, and his Red Shirt supporters, some of whom have been purged from the ranks of the security services and bureaucracy.

Red Shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan said he was not surprised that Red Shirt supporters or members of the former ruling Pheu Thai Party were not appointed because his group refused to join the council.

“We won’t stand in the way of the reform process,” he said.

Weng Tojirakarn, another Red Shirt leader, said there was no point in the group participating because the military junta would make the final decisions.

Meanwhile, military, political and religious leaders have led entourages to Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital to sign a book of get well messages for 86-year-old King Bhumibol, the world’s longest-reigning monarch.

Doctors said the king’s overall condition had improved after Sunday’s surgery.

King Bhumibol is seen as a unifying force in the country and his health is a subject of great public concern.

October 8, 2014

Thailand police chief denies torture in investigation of murdered British tourists

Thailand police chief denies torture in investigation of murdered British tourists

Updated 8 Oct 2014, 11:11am

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-08/thai-police-chief-defends-murder-investigation-of-british-touri/5797406

David Miller and Hannah Witheridge

Related Story: Two men confess to British tourists’ murder: Thai police
Related Story: Thai police have ‘useful information’ on murdered British tourists

Thailand’s police chief has defended the arrest of two Myanmar men for the murder of two British tourists amid concern the pair may have been tortured before admitting to the murders.

The bodies of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were found on September 15 with severe head wounds near where they were staying on the southern island of Koh Tao.

Police were widely accused of bungling the investigation and pressure grew for them to solve it quickly.

Last week, police said two Myanmar workers had admitted to killing the tourists and that DNA found on Ms Witheridge matched samples taken from the two men.

“I insist that all officials in this case have done a good job. A perfect job,” national police chief General Somyot Poompanmuang told a news conference in Bangkok.

He said there were originally 243 suspects in the case.

The accused pair, who have been identified only as Saw Rim and Win, both 21, have been charged with the murder of both Britons and the rape of Ms Witheridge.

If found guilty, they could face the death penalty.

Their lawyer Aung Myo Thant said the case was a “set-up and not based on hard facts”, according to the Democratic Voice of Burma, an independent Myanmar news organisation based in Norway.

“From what we have learned, there are inconsistencies with both the forensic report and evidence provided in the case,” he was quoted as saying.

Police have stressed the importance of their DNA evidence.

“DNA found on the deceased’s body matches the suspects,” lead investigator Suwat Chaengyodsuk said.

“This is something that cannot be denied.”

Police said a mobile phone belonging to Mr Miller was also found on Saw. A third Myanmar migrant worker is in police custody but has not been charged.

Police dismiss abuse allegations

Some rights groups have voiced concern over accusations of abuse during the investigation.

“A number of serious allegations of physical abuse against Myanmar workers as part of the questioning process in this murder case have been raised to us,” Andy Hall, a Thailand-based rights researcher, said.

“The accusations do not concern the two or three persons currently detained for the murder.

“We do not have enough evidence or information at this stage to comment on how or if the two accused have been scapegoated for this crime or not.”

Migrant workers often face discrimination in Thailand and have been used as scapegoats for crimes before. But police denied using force during their interrogation.

“I confirm that there was no abuse of any of the suspects,” Mr Suwat said.

The case will be forwarded to a court on October 14.

The tourist industry accounts for 10 per cent of Thailand’s economy and has yet to recover from a slump in visitors during months of protests on the streets of Bangkok that preceded a military coup in May.

ABC/wires

 

 

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