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Thailand Live Wednesday 2 Feb 2011

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City Police Chief Denies Planned Action against PAD Protesters

The metropolitan police commissioner claims the government has yet to order the police to take any action against the People's Alliance for Democracy.

Metropolitan Police Chief, Police Lieutenant General Chakthip Chaichinda said that the demonstration of the People's Alliance for Democracy or PAD is continuing peacefully as it has for several days.

The group's supporters have been taking turns giving speeches and doing various activities on stage.

Chakthip further said that although the PAD protesters have refused to negotiate with police, Commander of the Metropolitan Police Division 1, Police Major General Wichai Sangprapai, will continue attempts to negotiate with the protesters everyday.

As for the atmosphere of the protest, the city police chief said there is nothing to be concerned about.

He insists the government has not ordered the police to take any action against the protesters.

Chakthip noted that a number of police officers from the Metropolitan Police Division 1 and the Royal Thai Police Special Branch have been deployed to maintain security at the Cambodian Embassy as tension rises over the guilty verdict of two Thais in Cambodia.

The Cambodian criminal court found Veera Somkwankid and Ratree Pipatanapaiboon guilty of espionage.

Veera was sentenced a 8 year jailterm and a fine of 1.8 million Cambodian real, while Ratree was sentenced to 6 years in jail and a fine of 1.2 million Cambodian real.

The city police chief called on protesters who plan to stage a rally in front of the Cambodian embassy in Thailand to carry out activities within the scope of law.

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-- Tan Network 2011-02-02

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Additional 120,000 Tons of Palm Oil to be Imported to Alleviate Shortage

The National Palm Oil Policy Committee has approved the import of an additional 120,000 tons of palm oil over the next two months, to alleviate the current shortage.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said that the National Palm Oil Policy Committee has approved the import of 120,000 tons of palm oil, from now until March, as proposed by the Commerce Ministry, to alleviate the current palm oil shortage.

This is in addition to the 30,000 tons imported earlier.

Suthep expressed confidence that the additional import will address the shortage in the country before the domestic crops are available in the market in late March or early April.

The deputy prime minister indicated that the prices will be dictated by the market.

Meanwhile, P ermanent-Secretary of Commerce Ministry Yanyong Puangraj said he will call a meeting with palm oil manufacturers and the Public Warehouse Organization to discuss the exact quantity of domestic stock.

The ministry will address the shortages and have stock thoroughly distributed.

At the same time, Energy Minister Wannarat Channukul said the quantity of palm oil used to produce Biodiesel B5 has been sorted out for the time being.

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-- Tan Network 2011-02-02

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TPN lawyer Nuttaporn to file suit on Veera, Ratree's case with Intl Court of Justice; claims verdict was politically-motivated /TAN_Network

Suthep admits Cambodian Court's verdict in Veera, Ratree case was too harsh but says appeal possible; asks PAD not to exacerbate issue /TAN_Network

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Cambodia Refuses to Remove Controversial Flag

Cambodia has issued an official statement refusing to remove its national flag from the Keo Sikha Kiri Svara pagoda, saying the religious site is in Cambodian territory according to the agreement signed in 2000 and a set of maps with a ratio of 1:200,000 (one to two hundred thousand), which was allegedly accepted by Thailand.

The communique was published on the website of the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Friday.

It declared Cambodia's refusal to remove its national flag from Keo Sikha Kiri Svara pagoda as demanded by the Thai government.

Cambodia claimed the MoU of 2000 referred to the Franco-Siamese Convention of 1904 and the Treaty of 1907, which led to the establishment of the Joint Commissions on the Delimitation of Frontiers between Indo-China and Siam on February 13, 1904.

The Commission produced a set of maps with a ratio of 1:200,000 (one to two hundred thousand), which included the Temple of Preah Vihear, to be used for demarcation works between 1905 and 1908.

The map was referred to as Map “Annex 1”.

Cambodia said the International Court of Justice based its judgment on the Preah Vihear Temple dispute in 1962 principally on Map “Annex 1”, in which it recognized that the ancient temple was situated on Cambodia territory.

The statement noted that the Court considered that Thailand did accept the maps, and ordered the country to withdraw its troops from Preah Vihear Temple.

Cambodia, therefore, concluded that Keo Sikha Kiri Svara pagoda is legally on Cambodian soil according to the Map “Annex 1”, and insisted it will not remove its flag or relocate the pagoda.

The full statement can be found on Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs at www.mfaic.gov.kh

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-- Tan Network 2011-02-02

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2nd Army Commander Calls Cambodian Force Movement 'Routine Exercise'

The 2nd Army commander says the recent movement of the Cambodian military force along the border is a regular exercise.

He added that the Thai national flag will remain in the disputed area until the demarcation process is completed.

Commander of the 2nd Army, Lieutenant-General Tawatchai Samutsakorn, spoke with a news reporter about the ongoing tension between Thailand and Cambodia after it was reported that the Cambodian military has reinforced armored vehicles and heavy weaponry at the border along Sisaket and Surin provinces.

Tawatchai said the recent movement by the Cambodian military is a normal exercise, and there is no reason to be alarmed.

The regional army commander also pointed out that the Thai military often conducts similar exercises in the area.

When asked how the government is planning to proceed regarding the Cambodian national flag planted inside the disputed area, Tawatchai responded that both countries' national flags will be planted in the area, and will be removed once the demarcation process is complete.

He also reaffirmed that cross-border relations remains in tact.

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-- Tan Network 2011-02-02

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4.8-magnitude earthquake that jolts Yingjiang county in Yunnan province damages homes and forces evacuation of 64,500 people although no reported injuries /MCOT

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Thais Shop for Chinese New Year Nationwide

Thais of Chinese descent are busy shopping for Chinese New Year, as celebrations contine.

The Chinese New Year celebration in Nakorn Ratchasima province is lively with people buying offerings to worship God and ancestors, especially at Mae Kim market, despite the increased commodity prices.

The gold market has faced a decline in demand as gold prices rise, causing people to switch from giving gold to giving cash, in the traditional of the red envelope, commonly known as Aung Pao.

In Kampaengpetch province, people are preparing elaborate food offerings for the Chinese New Year, despite increased food prices.

The best-seller items are steamed duck, chicken, pork, and fruit, among others.

However, the festival is a little less lively in Nan province, as vendors are complaining about the decline in sales compared to last year.

People are cutting down on spending and are focusing on the basics to conduct the prayer ceremony.

The same is true for the market in Narathiwat province, where unrest has strongly affected the situation, and most of population in the area are Muslims who do not celebrate the Chinese New Year.

In Pattani province, Joss-Houses are preparing to welcome people during this festival by putting up red-lamp decorations.

Lastly, on Phuket island, the Ministry of Public Health is inspecting commodities being sold in the market, to ensure consumer safety.

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-- Tan Network 2011-02-02

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PAD gives govt 3 days to evict Cambodian settlement, help Veera and Ratree; to decide on next major move on Feb 5 /TAN_Network

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Suthep displeased by Phnom Penh court ruling on Veera and Ratree; security stepped up at Cambodian embassy in Bangkok to prevent untoward incidents /MCOT

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PAD to Decide on Next Major Move on Feb 5

The People's Alliance for Democracy has given the government 3 days to evict the Cambodian settlement on disputed territory and extend help to Veera Somkwamkid and Ratree Pipatanapaiboon, now back in Cambodian jail.

The group asks its supporters to turn up on February 5 to vote on its next major move.

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-- Tan Network 2011-02-02

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Chart Thai Pattana Party Denies Involvement in PM Candidacy of Opposition's Censure Debate

Chart Thai Pattana Party has denied a rumor that a senior politician of a coalition party is tipped to be the candidate for the premiership in the Opposition's censure debate proposal.

Chief Adviser of the Chart Thai Pattana Party, Banharn Silpa-archa, denied having knowledge that Deputy Prime Minister Sanan Kachornprasart, also a leader of the party, will be nominated for the prime ministerial post in the next censure debate.

Banharn has pointed out that this is merely an unfounded speculation and questioned the intention of those responsible for spreading it.

Banharn also dismissed the possibility of another military coup, saying the situation is now relatively peaceful judging by the small number of protesters, noting that the country has already been damaged enough.

The chief adviser of the Chart Thai Pattana Party also expressed confidence that the pending charter change bill will be passed by the lawmakers in its third reading.

He said at least 20 of the party's 25 MPs will vote in favor of the bill.

Meanwhile, Somsak Prissananantakul, an adviser to the Chart Thai Pattana Party leader, has expressed opposition to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's plan to dissolve the House in April or May once the charter changes has passed and to call for a General Election with a set of special regulations enacted by the National Election Commission.

Somsak says this is a very important issue and the process must be done correctly.

Somsak claims the electoral regulations enacted by the election commission will not be respected and may damage the Democrat Party's credibility.

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-- Tan Network 2011-02-02

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New Horror Film Making Faces Supernatural Challenges

A famous comedy director has embarked on the production of a new horror film based on the true story of the baby fetuses found at Phai Ngern temple in Bangkok.

The director shared spooky events he experienced while shooting the film.

Director Phot Anont disclosed that the ongoing production for his forthcoming horror film, “Tai Hong 2” has encountered a lot of problems that deter the film's progress. He has called it a curse.

In one instance, a staff member took a picture that accidentally recorded the transparent body of an unidentified baby.

Phot said he will host a merit-making ceremony to pay respect to all of the deceased after the film's production is complete, as the cast and staff members are often experiencing bad luck while working as well.

“2002 Aborted Babies” tells a story about the scores of aborted babies hidden in the morgue of Phai Ngern temple in Bangkok.

The film features well-known stars such as 'May' Pichanart Sakhakorn and 'Tao' Somchai Kemglat.

The story will be included with a horror film called 'Tai Hong 2', a film that features three short stories, expected to be released later this year.

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-- Tan Network 2011-02-02

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