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Thailand Live Wednesday 2 Feb 2011

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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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Naked Pattaya Brit comes back from hell - Horror story revisited

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Rebels kill family of four in Thai south: police

YALA, February 2, 2011 (AFP) - Suspected Islamic militants shot and killed a Buddhist family of four at their home in the south of Thailand before dumping their bodies in a forest, police said Wednesday.

The bodies of a 43-year-old man, a 33-year-old woman, their daughter, aged 16, and their seven-year-old son were found in a forest near a railway in insurgency-plagued Yala province on Tuesday.

Major General Chote Chawalwiwat said local people told the police they heard gun shots at the family's house, in neighbouring Narathiwat province, late on Monday but were too afraid to go and investigate the situation.

"They were the only Buddhist family left in their village, so the militants wanted to terrify and completely drive out Buddhists," he told AFP.

Shadowy Islamic insurgents have waged a violent campaign in Thailand's southernmost region bordering Malaysia since early 2004, leaving more than 4,400 people dead, including both Muslims and Buddhists.

Fighting appears to have intensified recently, with a bomb attack in Yala province killing nine villagers last week and an unusually brazen attack by armed rebels a week earlier on a military base killing at least four soldiers.

Thailand extended emergency rule on January 18 in most of the Muslim-majority region for another three months, despite rights groups' concerns about the powers given to the military.

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-- (c) Copyright AFP 2011-02-02

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Bangkok airport welcomes tourists for Chinese New Year celebration

BANGKOK, Feb 2 – Management and staff dressed in Chinese traditional outfits at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, the official gateway to Thailand, welcoming tourists with auspicious fruit and blessing banners written in Chinese as the Chinese New Year celebration began on Wednesday.

Airport Director Anirut Thanomkulbutra was among the Airports of Thailand (AoT) and government officials welcoming passengers on arrival at the airport and presented mandarin oranges, an auspicious fruit on the occasion of the Chinese New Year celebration.

It is expected that during the Chinese New Year festival from February 1-13, about 2.3 million passengers--including more than 98,000 Chinese tourists, mainly from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan--will arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Flying Officer Anirut said.

The increasing number of Chinese tourists was seen in the past two years due to cooperation among Suvarnabhumi Airport, the Ministry of Transport and the country’s flag carrier airline,

Thai Airways International, to boost Thai tourism among Chinese tourists.

A seminar was held in Bangkok, attended by Chinese tour operators, media from several Chinese provinces including Guangzhou, Kunming and Chengdu, as well as Thai tourism operators.

The seminar introduced Thai tourist destinations and participants exchanged information and negotiated business deals. More amenities have been arranged for Chinese tourists including signposts in Chinese, tourist information pamphlets in Chinese, and recruitment of Chinese speaking public relations staff at the airport. (MCOT online news)

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-- TNA 2011-02-02

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Diesel Subsidy Raised by 65 Satang

The energy regulator has increased the diesel subsidy by 65 satang per liter, in an effort to keep diesel prices below 30 baht per liter.

It expects the first batch of subsidy, worth two billion baht, will be able to maintain prices at the current level for 14 days.

The Energy Policy and Planning Office or EPPO has approved an increase in the subsidy for diesel fuel by 65 satang per liter, in an effort to curb prices at 30 baht, as global oil prices continue a rising trend.

The subsidy increase is effective starting.

Energy Minister Wannarat Charnnukul said the increased subsidy will contribute to higher marketing margins, which will help reduce the financial burden on retailers.

The marketing margin for B3 Diesel now stands at 1.06 baht per liter, and B5 Diesel at 1 baht per liter.

Wannarat further stated that the EPPO approved the first batch of a diesel subsidy, worth five billion baht, for this year, and three billion baht has already been spent.

He said the remaining two billion baht is expected to keep diesel prices below the 30 baht mark for 14 days, assuming that there won't be a sharp increase in global petrol prices during the period.

In addition, the energy regulator resolved that the Energy Ministry and the Excise Department will discuss loosening regulations and review of tax structures with regard to the replacement of B5 Diesel by B3 Diesel, in a bid to reduce palm oil consumption.

Currently, the excise tax rate stands at 5.31 baht per liter for B3 Diesel and 5.04 baht for B5 diesel.

Meanwhile, OPEC recently expressed concerns over protests in Egypt, fearing it might affect oil prices.

However, the group affirmed that they still have sufficient crude supply in their stocks, and, therefore, they are not considering increasing production at this time.

Energy ministers of oil producing nations are scheduled to gather for an unofficial meeting on February 22.

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-- Tan Network 2011-02-02

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PAD gives 3-day ultimatum to govt to bring back 2 Thais

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AFP: Thai 'Yellows' vow protest after Cambodia verdict

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Drought in Thailand less severe this year thanks to more rainfall

BANGKOK, 2 February 2011 (NNT)-Although Thailand’s agriculture industry will likely face drought this yea, the impact will be much less severe than last year’s, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, adding that the Ministry has already put a contingency plan in place to help farmers.

According to Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Theera Wongsamut, the plan to tackle drought problems is divided into two phases; the first of which, which has been in place since last October will end in March this year; the second phase is slated to begin in April and will finish in September this year, during which a natural phenomenon called ‘La Nina’ usually occurs.

La Nina is a buildup of warm weather in the Pacific Ocean, which consequently causes drought in this part of the world. Thailand is among the countries affected by this phenomenon almost every year. However, thanks to more rains predicted this year, the effect of the drought will be minimal, said Mr. Theera, adding that authorities will nonetheless keep an eye on outlying areas not under the provincial irrigation project in spite of the favorable forecast.

The Ministry has also urged farmers to limit their rice growing areas during the dry season to about 15 million rai of farmland to avoid water shortage problems, given water is also needed for household consumption during the dry season.

In related news, seven provinces have so far been declared drought disaster zones. The seven provinces are mainly in the North and Northeast.

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-- NNT 2011-02-02 footer_n.gif

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Online shopping increased among Thai shoppers

BANGKOK, 2 February 2011 (NNT)-MasterCard Worldwide has revealed buying air tickets is the most popular purchase on line among Thai shoppers under the recent survey on online-shopping.

According to the poll, over 67% of 500 Thai people aged between 18-64 being surveyed said they use internet as an alternative to traditional shopping. The figure is 6 % higher than the average number of online shoppers in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. The survey was carried out from 3 September to 1 October last year with 8,500 people from 15 countries participating.

In Thailand, people of 25-34 years old represent the largest group of shoppers and the majority of them are female. The survey suggested that, in the 3 months to September 2010, Thailand has the highest number of online shoppers placing orders via mobile phones which accounts for 34% of the Thai respondents. Another 30% of them said they will continue to buy products or services on the internet through their cell phone in the next 6 months.

MasterCard Worldwide Thailand has also said that over 92% of Thai people said online transactions are safer especially if they are being done on a mobile phone. The credit company said it is a good opportunity for credit card industry now, given the popularity of the card at present.

The followings are the most popular products among online shopper in Thailand: air tickets (33%), clothes (33%), accessories (32%), DVD/CD/VCD (29%), hotel rooms (27%) and cosmetics (25%). In terms of products ordered through cell phones, there are food supplements (24%), food delivery (22%), movie and concert tickets (20%), mobile phone software (19%) and cosmetics (17%)

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-- NNT 2011-02-02 footer_n.gif

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State Railway Seeks New Airport Link Operator

The State Railway of Thailand is looking for a new company to manage the Airport Link as it did not renew the contract with a German firm to manage the system.

State Railway of Thailand, or SRT, Deputy Governor Pakorn Tangjetsagao said the contract with German firm DB International GMBH, or DBI, to manage the Airport Link and maintain the tracks has ended since January 31.

The SRT did not renew the contract because DBI had canceled all overseas projects. Moreover, DBI had asked for an exemption of the fine on the late installation of the computer system.

The SRT has demanded an eight million-baht fine for the delay of one month in the installation.

The contract with DBI was for three months at 40.74 million baht.

The SRT has contacted five independent experts which had worked with DBI to manage the system while shortlisting private firms for a long-term contract.

Four firms have been shortlisted, including the Bangkok Mass Transit System, or BTSC, which operates the BTS Skytrain, the Bangkok Metro, which operates the MRT subway, Siemens from Germany and EMAST, which operates Malaysia's electric train service.

The BTSC and EMAST have expressed an interest in managing the Airport Link, so both companies have been asked to submit a proposal.

The final decision from the SRT is expected in a month.

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-- Tan Network 2011-02-02

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Crude oil price has risen to $100 a barrel the 1st time since 2008 due to the unrest in Egypt: Al Jazeera /via@tulsathit /RT @Nattha_tvthai:

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Truck Driver and former Prisoner arrested on class 1 drug offences in Sattahip

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