Tuesday, December 18, 2018
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A gay American couple who author the Instagram page “Travelling Butts” have been arrested at Don Mueang International Airport for having taken photos showing their backsides with the respected Temple of the Dawn.

Police have so far only identified the two as Joseph and Travis, as their identities have yet to be confirmed with the Bangkok Yai police station whose jurisdiction covers the temple.

Immigration Police deputy spokesman Pol Colonel Choengron Rimphadee said the two were arrested at the outbound immigration counter at the airport.

The spokesman said when the couple were checking out at the counter, the online database of the Immigration Bureau alerted police that they were on the arrest watchlist.

On November 24, the Manager Online reported that the two had taken the so-called “buttfie” showing their bottoms with the Temple of the Dawn in the background. Police then began searching for them.

The two were handed over to the Bangkok Yai police station for further action. The spokesman said the charge would not be a normal public indecency charge. Instead, they would be charged with committing indecency in a place of worship, which carries a long jail term.

Following their arrest, the two have deleted all the photos taken in Thailand, leaving only their “buttfie” photos taken in other countries.


South African wins Miss Universe, Thailand in Top 5

Posted by pakin On November - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, was crowned Miss Universe after the elimination of Miss Thailand Mareeya Poonlertlarp in the best showing by a Thai contestant in 29 years.

Miss Universe is 22 years old. She won a year-long salary, a luxury apartment in New York during her reign, and many other prizes.

Ms Mareeya’s showing was the best by Miss Thailand at the Miss Universe pageant since 1988, when US-raised Porntip “Pui” Nakhirunkanok was crowned Miss Universe.


Q3 growth of 3.7-4% forecast

Posted by pakin On November - 20 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Thailand’s economic growth is expected to expand by 3.7-4% during the three months to September mainly because of stronger growth in exports and tourism, say economists.

Charl Kengchon, managing director of Kasikorn Research Center (K-Research), forecast the economy grew 3.8% year-on-year during the third quarter, up from 3.7% in the second quarter.

“The stronger growth forecast is mainly based on continued growth in external demand supported by the global economic recovery, as seen in the robust growth in exports and tourism,” he said.

Merchandise exports grew stronger than most expected at 12% in the third quarter, up from 10.9% growth in the second quarter.

For tourism, the effect of the crackdown on illegal tourism operation is minimal, reflected in the strong recovery in tourist arrivals since late last year, said Mr Charl.

He said domestic demand in the third quarter also improved, as seen by the continued improvement in private consumption and government expenditure.

Private consumption indicators grew 1.9% in the third quarter, matching growth in the second quarter, while government expenditure rose by 13.3% in the period, up from a 3.8% contraction.

However, concerns remained for farm income, which saw downward pressure from softer agricultural prices and the effect of the recent floods in the Northeast.

During the three months to September, farm income shrank 2.6%, down drastically from 15.9% growth in April-June.

K-Research is expecting 3.7% full-year growth both this year and in 2018.

Don Nakornthab, senior director of the macroeconomic and monetary policy department at the Bank of Thailand, said earlier economic growth in the third quarter could expand by 4% year-on-year supported by robust export growth.

The National Economic and Social Development Board is due to announce the July to September reading today.

Tim Leelahaphan, an economist for Thailand at Standard Chartered Bank, said the economy is expected to improve in the third quarter driven by two main engines: merchandise exports and tourism.

Standard Chartered forecasts GDP to expand 3.8% in third quarter year-on-year, up 0.6% from the second quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis.

“Exports and tourism will remain the heroes in the third quarter, but the interesting point is domestic demand also showed signs of recovery as well,” said Mr Tim.

He said consumption on durable goods, mainly cars, continued to recover in the third quarter while manufacturing production also grew well in the period.

State spending accelerated in the third quarter as it is the final quarter of the fiscal year, said Mr Tim.

“However, private investment remained sluggish in the period and it is expected to be that way through the next year,” he said.

The bank projected the economy to grow 3.6% this year and 4.3% in 2018.

There is a good chance GDP growth in the third quarter would breach 4% year-on-year, the strongest in 4½ years, said a recent Credit Suisse report.

“Monthly economic figures for the third quarter showed good momentum on industrial production, as well as improved demand with robust exports and recovering domestic spending, especially in consumption,” said the report.

In the third quarter, non-durable goods consumption has clearly recovered from a slump while consumer spending is expected to improve further in the fourth quarter, said the report.

The report said real GDP should accelerate to over 4% in the second half, which will result in 3.8% full-year growth for this year.


CDC defends proportional vote system

Posted by pakin On November - 20 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) defended the new voting system on Sunday, following growing criticism from political parties that it is designed to weaken an elected government.

The new system will add up the votes parties receive in all constituencies nationwide to determine the percentage of party-list MP seats each is allocated.

Politicians claim the new model will prevent major parties from gaining a majority of House seats and being able to form a single-party government. This could result in multi-party coalitions which are seen as lacking political stability.

CDC chairman Meechai Ruchupan said the system is designed to make sure that every vote cast on election day counts. Unlike the old first-past-the-post system, votes cast for losing constituency candidates will still be used to calculate the number of party-list seats.

Mr Meechai was referring to the formula to be used to calculate party-list seats to ensure the threshold of 150.

The total number of MPs is capped at 500, 350 of whom are elected from constituencies and 150 coming from the party list.

He also dismissed as “speculation” the criticism that no party will win enough seats to form a single-party administration.

“If a party gets many votes, those votes will be counted and used in the allocation of the House seats. But of course the party can’t get more from the party list than its proportion of votes even if it wins a landslide victory,” he said.

The CDC chairman also said politicians’ concerns cannot force any changes because the new voting system is included in the new charter while the organic bill only specifies the details.

“The calculation isn’t difficult and it will be done by election officials,” he said.

Mr Meechai said the voting system also has another key feature which is equally important, pointing out that “no” votes (spoiled votes) will not be wasted as the proposals require constituency MP candidates to win more votes than the total number of “no” votes, to qualify for a constituency MP seat.

Pheu Thai’s Chusak Sirinil insisted Sunday the new voting system is designed to cripple major parties, and when combined with other conditions such as the qualifications and the nomination of the prime minister, the new system is designed to allow the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) a prolonged stay in power.

The Democrat Party, on the other hand, warned the new voting system is not foolproof and politicians can come up with a strategy to undermine it.

Democrat deputy leader Nipit Intarasombat said a large party will use the tactic of dividing itself into smaller parties to contest elections, only to form a coalition government later.

This can help win as many as 250 seats, he said.

However, he said the elected government will face a stability crisis due to the 250-seat senate, which is appointed by the regime.

Nikorn Chamnong, director of Chartthaipattana Party, echoed Mr Niphit’s view that the elected government will lack political stability.

“What will happen is that the elected government is weak. And despite the problems it [the voting system] can’t be fixed because it’s part of the charter,” he said.