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  • OPINION: ASEAN needs a well-rounded special envoy on Myanmar

    By Kavi Chongkittavorn Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah recently proposed that the special envoy of the ASEAN chair should be granted a tenure of more than a year and that...

    The post OPINION: ASEAN needs a well-rounded special envoy on Myanmar first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    By Kavi Chongkittavorn

    Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah recently proposed that the special envoy of the ASEAN chair should be granted a tenure of more than a year and that the person appointed need not be a foreign minister.

    The new idea came about because, in the past 18 months, the ASEAN special envoy, who also holds the foreign minister portfolio, has had to deal with a myriad of issues related to the ASEAN chair. Furthermore, the transitional period shortened the one-year timeframe of the special envoy’s responsibility.

    The idea should be given support, as the crisis in Myanmar is reaching a critical stage. The military junta in Nay Pyi Taw remains intransigent and has yet to implement the ASEAN 5-point consensus (5PC). The peace roadmap calls for an immediate cessation of violence, the holding of dialogue with all key stakeholders, the appointment of a special envoy to facilitate mediation, meeting with all the stakeholders and allowing ASEAN to provide humanitarian assistance.

    For the time being, the junta, which is officially known as the State Administrative Council, has allowed the special envoy to meet with only some of the stakeholders in Myanmar and approached action plans for humanitarian assistance half-heartedly.

    At the recent annual meeting in Phnom Penh, the ASEAN foreign ministers expressed disappointment at the junta’s overall attitude related to the organisation and its 5PC. Furthermore, in their closed door discussions, they expressed a readiness to impose new restrictions on Myanmar, if there is no substantive progress on the ASEAN roadmap.

    So far, Malaysia has been the only ASEAN member to meet with representatives of the National Unity Government (NUG), which is currently fighting the military junta. Last September, the NUG set up the so-called People’s Defence Forces (PDF), to wage war against the Tatmadaw (Myanmar’smilitary). Of late, some ASEAN members have threatened to meet the NUG, which has been described as a terrorist group by the junta.

    Saifuddin also suggested that, if need be, ASEAN should engage with dialogue partners. In fact, ASEAN has been engaging with dialogue partners from the very beginning. They are strong supporters of 5PC. China and India, two key dialogue partners, are on the same page as ASEAN. Both share a border with Myanmar and, together, they face common challenges emanating from the conflict inside Myanmar. Other dialogue partners, such as the US, Australia, the UK and the EU, have already provided humanitarian assistance through the ASEAN-led mechanism.

    In addition, ASEAN engages with UN-led agencies, such as UNICEF, the WHO and the WFP, which play an important role in providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Myanmar. The ASEAN chair is also in touch with the special envoy of UN Secretary General, Noeleen Heyzer, to coordinate efforts and initiatives to promote the peace process in Myanmar.

    Truth be told, after the coup on February 1st, 2021, ASEAN foreign ministers could not immediately agree on the choice of special envoy. To avoid further delay, they decided on the current formula, to have a special envoy who is also theforeign minister of the rotational chair.

    With the new proposal from Malaysia, it is a good time to shortlist candidates who could fit the profile for this challenging task. The person chosen must be sensitive to the complexity of Myanmar’s unique history, internal dynamicsand ethnicity. He or she must be able to represent ASEAN in all fora and communicate effectively with all the stakeholders in Myanmar, as well as with dialogue partners.

    The post OPINION: ASEAN needs a well-rounded special envoy on Myanmar first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    12 August 2022
    Opinion
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=294986
  • 28 Mountain B pub fire victims still in hospital, some still on ventilators

    Twenty-eight victims of the Sattahip Mountain B pub fire on August 5th are still being treated in hospitals a week after the blaze, including 11 who are on ventilators, according...

    The post 28 Mountain B pub fire victims still in hospital, some still on ventilators first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    Twenty-eight victims of the Sattahip Mountain B pub fire on August 5th are still being treated in hospitals a week after the blaze, including 11 who are on ventilators, according to the Chon Buri provincial health office.

    Thirteen patrons of the pub died at the scene of the inferno and four died later in hospital.

    The health office said that the condition of one of the seriously-burned victims on ventilators, 25-year old Vietnamese citizen Dinh Kim Le, has been steadily improving and doctors will soon take her off the ventilator, but she will remain in hospital under close observation.

    Dinh Kim Le’s elder sister related her sibling’s story on Vietnamese social media and organised a fund-raising campaign to meet her medical expenses at a private hospital in Pattaya, currently amounting to over 600,000 baht.

    The victim has now been transferred to a state hospital after her Thai friend could no longer afford to pay more medical bills.

    The victim’s sister reportedly managed to raise 46 million Vietnamese dong (around 70,000 baht).  Another 60,000 baht has been raised by the victim’s Thai friend, Apinya Mongkolsin, from Thai donors, who had paid the private hospital a 50,000 baht down payment so they would admit the victim. The state hospitals in Chon Buri had reportedly refused to admit her due to lack of the special facilities required by severely-burned victims.

    Chon Buri police searched the badly-damaged pub today (Friday) to collect sound-absorbing foam from the ceiling of the premises for tests.

    Meanwhile, the pub’s owner is out on bail after being charged with negligence causing the death of others, among several other charges.

    The post 28 Mountain B pub fire victims still in hospital, some still on ventilators first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    12 August 2022
    Crime
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=294983
  • Search on for tourist wanted for illegal fishing in southern marine park

    Thailand’s Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa has ordered park officials to track down a western tourist who was seen, in a widely-shared online post, with a bunch of...

    The post Search on for tourist wanted for illegal fishing in southern marine park first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    Thailand’s Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa has ordered park officials to track down a western tourist who was seen, in a widely-shared online post, with a bunch of parrot fish he allegedly caught in the seas off Phi-Phi Leh Island in Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi National Park in the southern province of Krabi.

    The tourist reportedly checked out of his hotel in haste on Wednesday, after the picture of him with the fish went viral on social media. His whereabouts are currently unknown.

    Ratchada Suriyakul Na Ayutthaya, director-general of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, told Thai PBS today (Friday) that a complaint has already been filed with the police, seeking their help in tracking down the perpetrator and the owner of the boat, which was hired by the tourist for the fishing trip.

    He said that he has also sought cooperation from tourist and immigration police in finding the tourist.

    He explained that fishing in the national park is against the law, especially the catching of parrot fish, which are important to the ecology of coral reefs.

    Meanwhile, the unidentified tourist has offered an apology via TikTok, saying that he did not know that fishing for parrot fish is illegal in Thailand because he had seen the fish being sold in the market.

    He said he is a professional spear-fisherman who has travelled the world and fished everywhere, adding that he had no clue that he could not fish in the marine park and that no one has ever told him that it is illegal to do so.

    He said he is deeply sorry and will not do it again. “Humans make mistakes,” he said.

    The post Search on for tourist wanted for illegal fishing in southern marine park first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    12 August 2022
    Around Thailand
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=294979
  • Thai PM leads officials to celebrate HM the Queen Mother’s 90th birthday

    Prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his wife led ministers, the presidents of parliament and the privy council, commanders of the three armed forces and the police, as well as their...

    The post Thai PM leads officials to celebrate HM the Queen Mother’s 90th birthday first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    Prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his wife led ministers, the presidents of parliament and the privy council, commanders of the three armed forces and the police, as well as their spouses, to perform a merit-making ceremony at Sanam Luang this morning (Friday), to celebrate the 90th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen Mother, which is also celebrated as the country’s Mother’s Day.

    Alms were presented to 91 monks from various temples in Bangkok at the ceremonial ground at Sanam Luang. Later, the prime minister and other senior officials went to the Grand Palace to sign a book to express good wishes to the Queen Mother.

    Image Credit: Thai Government’s Facebook page

    The Grand Palace will be open until Saturday for members of the public who wish to sign the book of good wishes.

    At 7.19pm, the prime minister and his wife and other senior government officials will join members of the public at Sanam Luang in a candle-lit ceremony to their express good wishes to the Queen Mother.

    A similar event is to be held in all provinces across the country.

    Image Credit: Thai Government’s Facebook page

    The post Thai PM leads officials to celebrate HM the Queen Mother’s 90th birthday first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    12 August 2022
    Highlight
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=294974
  • Mulan brings widespread heavy rain to Thailand’s north and northeast

    Tropical Depression Mulan, which weakened to a low pressure cell as it entered China’s southern province of Yunnan, has caused widespread heavy rainfall in some of Thailand’s northern and north-eastern...

    The post Mulan brings widespread heavy rain to Thailand’s north and northeast first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    Tropical Depression Mulan, which weakened to a low pressure cell as it entered China’s southern province of Yunnan, has caused widespread heavy rainfall in some of Thailand’s northern and north-eastern provinces, causing waterways to overflow and flooding in several areas, according to the Meteorological Department today (Friday).

    Affected provinces include Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Lampang, Phayao, Nan, Phrae, Uttaradit, Tak, Phitsanuloke, Loei, Nong Bua Lamphu, Nong Khai, and Udon Thani.

    In the Tha Wang Pha district of the northern province of Nan, a flood warning siren sounded at 6.45am today to warn residents along the Nan River to prepare for river overflows. Rainfall in the past 24 hours was measured at 125.5mm in Tha Wang Pha district and 175.2mm in neighbouring Thung Chang district.

    Landslides were reported in two villages in Bo Kluea district, blocking the road from Lak Lai to Bo Kluea. Highway officials have been trying to clear away the mud, fallen trees and rocks from the road. People living in four villages in the district have been advised to seek refuge on higher ground.

    In the Muang district of Chiang Rai, several houses and shops, and about 2kms of the Phahonyothin Road, were flooded. In Mae Chan district, river overflows breached a sandbag wall and inundated the market and some communities.

    In Phichit, the provincial governor has warned people living at the bases of the Phetchabun and Noen Maprang mountains to brace for flash floods. About 800 hectares of rice fields have been inundated.

    In Phitsanuloke, troops have been sent to help people in flooded communities and to erect sandbag flood walls.

    The post Mulan brings widespread heavy rain to Thailand’s north and northeast first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    12 August 2022
    News
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=294967
  • Pubs closed down by police found to be operating illegally

    A number of pubs in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit area, which were closed down by the police for operating without a license and/or for violating COVID-19 safety measures between November 2019 and...

    The post Pubs closed down by police found to be operating illegally first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    A number of pubs in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit area, which were closed down by the police for operating without a license and/or for violating COVID-19 safety measures between November 2019 and April last year, have been found to be still operating illegally, according to an on-the-spot investigation by Thai PBS reporters.

    For instance, a pub located at the mouth of Sukhumvit Soi 22 in Klong Toey district was closed in November 2019, after Thonglor police found that it did not have a permit to sell liquor and did not have a pub license. After a long closure during the COVID-19 pandemic, it reopened again as the situation improved, but was closed again by the police.

    Another pub, located in Soi Thonglor 13, was closed after Thonglor police searched the venue on April 1st last year and was discovered not to have an operating license and was failing to comply with safety measures, with a lack of social distancing and staff not wearing face masks. The venue features live music and dance performances. Another 60-day closure order was issued after the venue has failed to meet the legal requirements.

    Thai PBS reporters recorded the presence of a few security guards in front of this pub, directing patron traffic. A few police motorcycles were found among other motorcycles at the location and men, who dressed like policemen, were seen at the entrance of the pub.

    A third pub in the Thonglor area visited by the reporters, which was closed last March for operating without a license and violating COVID-19 safety measures, remains shuttered.

    Police in Bangkok have tightened up on spot checks of night spots after the fatal August 5th fire at the Mountain B pub in Sattahip district of Chon Buri, which has led to the deaths of 17 people so far and dozens of injuries, including some people who were critically injured currently on life-support system in hospitals.

    The post Pubs closed down by police found to be operating illegally first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    12 August 2022
    Highlight
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=294964
  • Huge volume of water crashes onto car from elevated motorway construction site

    A motorist narrowly escaped serious injury last night (Thursday) when a huge volume of rainwater, which had accumulated in a large plastic sheet hung on an elevated motorway construction site...

    The post Huge volume of water crashes onto car from elevated motorway construction site first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    A motorist narrowly escaped serious injury last night (Thursday) when a huge volume of rainwater, which had accumulated in a large plastic sheet hung on an elevated motorway construction site on the Rama II highway, crashed down onto her car.

    The water’s impact cracked the windshield of the car being driven by 33-year-old Thichakorn Pothalay.

    The woman told the police that she was driving to her home in a housing estate in Bang Khun Thian district last night from the Rama II area in the right lane of the Rama II highway. She said that she noticed water dripping from the elevated motorway and, suddenly, a huge amount of water crashed onto her car, forcing her to brake aggressively.

    She also told the police that there are several more plastic sheets hung along the structure and that she is concerned thatthey may also give way if there is more rain.

    A representative of the contractor responsible for the construction of that particular section of the elevated motorway rushed to the Samae Dam police station last night to arrange compensation.

    He promised that the company would compensate the victim for the damage, but would wait for a professional assessment of the damage first.

    Earlier this week, the Highways Department ordered a temporary halt to the construction of the elevated motorway, to allow inspectors to conduct safety checks after several incidents of construction materials falling from the structure onto passing vehicles had been reported.

    The post Huge volume of water crashes onto car from elevated motorway construction site first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    12 August 2022
    News
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=294961
  • Dozens in China infected with Langya virus found in shrews

    Dozens of people in China have fallen ill with a new virus that is also found in shrews, a report has said, but there is so far no evidence of...

    The post Dozens in China infected with Langya virus found in shrews first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    Dozens of people in China have fallen ill with a new virus that is also found in shrews, a report has said, but there is so far no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

    The infections were found in China’s eastern Shandong and central Henan provinces, affecting 35 people, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine this month.

    The virus is called Langya henipavirus or LayV, and patients reported symptoms that include fever, fatigue, cough, nausea and headaches.

    Some people also developed blood cell abnormalities and impaired liver and kidney functions, the report said.

    Research findings suggested shrews may be a natural reservoir for the pathogen.

    “There was no close contact or common exposure history among the patients, which suggests that the infection in the human population may be sporadic,” according to the report.

    But it also cautioned that its sample size “was too small to determine the status of human-to-human transmission for LayV”.

    Patients were mostly farmers and cases were found with help from a detection system for people with acute fever and a history of animal exposure, it added.

    Further investigation is needed to better understand illnesses associated with the virus, according to the researchers in China, Singapore and Australia who were involved in the paper.

    Cases of Langya henipavirus have so far not been fatal or very serious, Linfa Wang of the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, told Chinese state outlet Global Times.

    Wang was one of the researchers involved in writing the paper.

    Zoonoses are animal diseases that transmit to humans, and comprise a large percentage of new and existing diseases in people, according to the World Health Organization.

    Some are preventable through vaccination, while others mutate into human-only strains or cause recurring outbreaks.

    The post Dozens in China infected with Langya virus found in shrews first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    12 August 2022
    News
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=294955
  • London children to be offered polio booster as samples found

    Around one million children in London will be offered a polio booster vaccine after the virus was detected in sewage samples across the capital, health officials said Wednesday. “Following the...

    The post London children to be offered polio booster as samples found first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    Around one million children in London will be offered a polio booster vaccine after the virus was detected in sewage samples across the capital, health officials said Wednesday.

    “Following the discovery of type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus in sewage in north and east London,” a targetted booster does would be offered to children between one and nine, said a health ministry statement.

    There have been no confirmed cases of the disease, but it has been found at an increasing number of sewage plants across the capital. It was first detected at an east London treatment works earlier this year.

    The detected levels suggest “that there is some level of virus transmission in these boroughs which may extend to the adjacent areas”, said the statement.

    The last case of polio in the UK, which can cause paralysis, was in 1984.

    The wild version of the virus now exists only in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but a type of vaccine that contains small amounts of weakened but live polio still causes occasional outbreaks elsewhere.

    Oral polio vaccine (OPV) replicates in the gut and can be passed to others through faecal-contaminated water. So, although it will not hurt the vaccinated child, it could infect their neighbours in places where hygiene and immunisation levels are low.

    While weaker than wild poliovirus, this variant can cause serious illness and paralysis in people not vaccinated against the disease.

    The discovery in the London sewage samples suggests “there may be localised spread of poliovirus,” said polio eradication expert Kathlene O’Reilly.

    That would most likely be among individuals who are not up to date with their polio immunisations, she added.

    Polio immunisation coverage in London stands at nearly 87 percent, according to the WHO, lower than the rest of the country.

    “For the majority of the population, who are fully vaccinated, the risk is low,” said Vanessa Saliba, consultant epidemiologist at the UK Health Security Agency.

    “But we know the areas in London where the poliovirus is being transmitted have some of the lowest vaccination rates.

    “This is why the virus is spreading in these communities and puts those residents not fully vaccinated at greater risk,” she added.

    The post London children to be offered polio booster as samples found first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    12 August 2022
    News
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=294951
  • Hug her like you mean it

    Here’s a little tip if you don’t want to buy a basket of chicken essence or bird’s nest soup, or go to a crowded sukiyaki restaurant: Ask your mother to...

    The post Hug her like you mean it first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    Here’s a little tip if you don’t want to buy a basket of chicken essence or bird’s nest soup, or go to a crowded sukiyaki restaurant: Ask your mother to cook for you instead. If she can still do it, that is.

    She will be much happier. It’s what she always did anyway. Willingly and with a heart full of love. Why the taste of what mom cooked sticks around forever no matter what is the worst-kept secret in the universe. She put nothing extraordinary in there except her subconscious thoughts that the finished products must be best for her child or children.

    Open secret it is, but that’s also why nobody else can ever come close to copying “How my mom used to do it.”

    But if her age means the simple task of cooking is a little too much now, a wholehearted hug will go a long way.

    August 12 has been too commercialized. There is no surprise, though, because the intended target is us, not her. We are made to think that arriving with a warm smile and a basket full of expensive fruits or top vitamins or taking her to the best restaurant on the beach or in town is the way to go. And the people who make us think so know all too well that she will never complain, that she will look happy come what may.

    She’s a giver, not a taker. Even when she looks at the basket as if it’s the most precious thing in the whole world, she is giving. She does not want you to ever think that your “act of love” is superficial. One thing she will never do is devaluing whatever you do.

    The minute you were born you were given a blank check. She will do things nobody else will ever do for you. Ever wonder why there’s no greatest mom stories ever told? In a world full of heroic tales, it
    somehow beggars belief that we tend to record and glorify what happen on battle grounds or in sports stadiums rather than what is done day in and day out without fanfare yet sometimes in a taboo-defying manner.

    It’s not limited to man, mind you. A video clip of a mother rat diving into a flooded hole to rescue her children one by one went viral. A man, armed with a huge stick, chased a mother dog that had stolen his beef to her hiding place, only to find her watching her puppies devour the loot hungrily. A mother sparrow, belonging to one of the world’s nerviest species, stayed by the side of her injured baby in a human home for two days and only flew away when the little one died.

    There are tales like those, and there are “simpler” ones that are no less reflective of mom’s love. When something is so omnipresent, it’s easy to take it for granted. That’s why many of us say “I should have realized it sooner and done something about it earlier.”

    If you believe in hell, also believe that she will go there if that is necessary when you are concerned. Remember, God can’t be everywhere but mom can. That’s why he, if you believe in divinity, created her in the first place.

    Give her a good hug. That’s all she needs.

    By Tulsathit Taptim

    The post Hug her like you mean it first appeared on Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world.

    12 August 2022
    Highlight
    https://www.thaipbsworld.com/?p=294942