The Top 10 news tales for Thailand in 2018

There are two Top Ten lists for the most popular stories of 2018. This list is voted by The Thaiger as Thailand’s most influential or essential stories. We may also have the list of the tales YOU clicked on essentially the most – coming next week.
For now let’s see, in no specific order, which tales grabbed The Thaiger’s attention in 2018.
What state as a simply visit by 13 members of a junior soccer staff into their local cave for a fast after-training visit, became one of many largest international rescue stories in the world this year.
For a selection of reasons, the story grabbed the attention of the world’s media and unfolded over a number weeks.
Twelve members of the group, aged eleven to seventeen, and their 25 year old assistant coach entered the cave on June 23 after soccer practice. Shortly afterwards, heavy rains partially flooded the cave, trapping the group inside.
Efforts to locate the group had been hampered by rising water ranges and strong currents, and no contact was made for more than every week. The rescue effort expanded into an enormous operation amid intense worldwide public curiosity.
On July 2, after advancing through slim passages and muddy waters, British divers John Volanthen and Richard Stanton found the group alive on an elevated rock about 4 kilometres from the cave mouth. Rescue organisers mentioned varied choices for extracting the group, including whether to teach them fundamental diving expertise to enable their early rescue, wait until a new entrance was discovered or drilled, or wait for the floodwaters to subside at the finish of the monsoon season months later.
After days of pumping water from the cave system and a respite from rain, the rescue groups hastened to get everyone out before the next monsoon rain. Between 8 and 10 July, all of the boys and their coach have been rescued from the cave by a extremely expert worldwide group.
The rescue effort involved greater than 10,000 individuals, including over a hundred divers, many rescue workers, representatives from about a hundred governmental companies, 900 cops and a pair of,000 soldiers, and required ten police helicopters, seven police ambulances, more than 700 diving cylinders, and the pumping of greater than a billion litres of water out of the caves.
There was one fatality, Saman Kunan, a 37 yr old former Thai Navy SEAL who died of asphyxiation on 6 July while returning to a staging base within the cave after delivering provides of air.
Watch The Thaiger’s tribute to the Tham Luang cave rescuers HERE.

The capsizing of a tour boat off the coast of Phuket on July 5, killing forty seven Chinese vacationers, was the worst maritime disasters to hit Thailand.
The Phoenix, carrying 89 Chinese vacationers plus 12 crew, and the Serenata, with 39 passengers and two crew members on board, capsized on the same day. However, unlike the Phoenix, everybody on board the Serenata was saved.
Shortly after the tragedy, which underscored concerns about safety, Thailand suffered one other backlash when Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan blamed the catastrophe on Chinese tour operators, saying they didn’t respect local safety legislation.
Though calls in China to boycott Thailand have been considerably calmed down by the Thai Embassy in Beijing issuing a press release carrying Deputy PM Prawit’s apology and PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s rapidly organized go to to the survivors and households of the deceased, the tourism business and Thailand’s security reputation still took successful.
The number of Chinese tourist arrivals dropped by up to 20 per cent between August and October, prompting the federal government to roll out new incentives, together with a waiver of visa-on-arrival fees from November to mid-January.
The full impression of the sinking might have been blunted by the Tham Luang cave rescue protection which was taking place on the similar time, focussing consideration of the world’s media on occasions in northern Thailand.
Read The Thaiger’s protection of efforts to contain some oft he fallout from the catastrophe HERE.

The rap song “Prathet Ku Me”, released in October might be mentioned to have topped the charts as it dropped at light all the issues people have had with this regime.
The rap quantity, produced by a gaggle of artists referred to as Rap in opposition to Dictatorship (RAD), spoke in regards to the rampant hypocrisy and injustice lower and middle-class Thais suffer because of the country’s unjust political structure. The music video was set against dramatic pictures of the October 6, 1976 Thammasat University rebellion, which additionally reflected the country’s deep-rooted political problems.
The quantity, released on YouTube, has garnered nearly 50 million views thus far.
Though loved by millions, this music has also raised fairly an argument. Conservatives in the country have labelled RAD as unpatriotic and responded by producing items of artwork also entitled “Prathet Ku Me” displaying the good aspect of Thailand.
Read The Thaiger’s protection of this story HERE.

Economical , because the young traveller Richard, sits on the seashore, embraced by the tranquillity of Maya Bay in a scene in the 2000 movie, “The Beach”.
In reality though, Thailand’s prime tourist vacation spot, Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Ley, has been suffering from over tourism, leading to extreme degradation of the surroundings and its ecosystems, together with the coral reef.
This was what led the Department |of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation to make a clear-cut determination to close the bay indefinitely to allow |rehabilitation – an action that earned the division praise internationally for deciding to selected nature over cash. But native tour operators weren’t happy about having their golden goose caged.
Many environmentalists, like noted marine ecologist Thon Thamrongnawasawas, stated this action was a “bang” that might ship ripples to other natural attractions that need therapeutic.
Thanks to those measures, some marine animals, such as black tip reef sharks, are lastly returning to the waterfront.
Due to this success, different locations have adopted go properly with – limiting customer numbers or closing the door to tourists so nature can heal itself.
Read some of The Thaiger’s comprehensive coverage of the closure HERE.

The start of 2018 began with a hot scandal involving Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan’s controversial collection of luxurious wristwatches, which many stated had been way past the means of an Army basic.
The controversy kicked off late last 12 months and continued grabbing public attention by way of most of 2018. When Prawit appeared at a Cabinet assembly sporting a 3 million baht Richard Mille, netizens could not assist however dig up different photographs of the general sporting other luxury watches that may have value a small fortune. He was later estimated to have a grand collection of greater than 20 such items valued at more than 20 million baht.
As of this week the NACC has cleared General Prawit of any wrong-doing.
Read some of The Thaiger protection of this story that saved popping up all through 2018 HERE.

Two middle-aged sisters, caught on tape attacking a pickup parked in front of their house in Bangkok with an axe and a spade in February, shot to fame as the “furious aunties”. Initial public condemnation of their motion shortly turned to sympathy after they advised their story of how five unlawful markets close to their home, and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA)’s lack of response, had made their lives depressing for years.
In May, the Central Administrative Court ordered the BMA to pay 1.47 million baht in compensation to the Saengyoktrakarn household and to clear all illegal markets from their neighbourhood, which is located contained in the Seri Villa housing estate’s designated residential zone. Though the BMA mentioned it was prepared to remove the markets, it appealed the compensation ruling.
In November, a Bangkok court sentenced 37 12 months outdated Ratchanikorn Lertwasana, the girl whose pickup blocked the gate, to a one-year suspended jail term and a 5,000 baht nice. The court docket dominated that she had violated visitors regulations by parking on a public road in a fashion that blocked a constructing entrance, and violated a criminal code by annoying or inflicting trouble to different individuals.
However, not all decisions had been in favour of the sisters. The Central Administrative Court on December 4 dismissed the family’s lawsuit against the BMA and the Bangkok governor, in which they alleged that the defendants had amended the legislation in favour of the markets and other business buildings within the estate.
Another one of those tales that simply went on and on and on… HERE’S some of The Thaiger’s coverage.

Premchai Karnasuta, president of Italian-Thai Development Plc, was apprehended on February 4 along with three companions in the Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, after rangers searched his unauthorised camp and located carcasses and components of wildlife, including the carcass of a skinned black leopard.
Premchai was charged with six offences, including taking half in a component in poaching “protected species” and poaching protected species in a “protected area”.
If found responsible, he could face 4 to five years in jail together with a fine of between forty,000-50,000 baht.
The investigation has additionally expanded to other allegations, including attempted bribery to evade wildlife poaching charges, unlawful possession of weapons and illegal possession of ivory – all of which Premchai has denied.
The courtroom started deliberating the case in December, with either side taking turns to offer testimony.
A story that actually caught the imagination of Thai netizens throughout 2018 HERE.

Earlier this year, Chiang Mai residents observed patches of cleared forest on the foot of Doi Suthep, a sacred landmark that has been proposed for World Heritage standing together with the old city.
From an outcry over small patches being cleared on the foot of the mountain, the issue has escalated, tarnishing certainly one of Thailand’s most revered institutions – the court.
The Office of the Judiciary had constructed a model new office and residences for the Court of Appeals Region 5 and its officers at the foot of the mountain, claiming the 140-rai plot had been legally granted by the military and the Treasury Department a couple of years ago.
Despite its claim of legitimacy, locals believe the properties are encroaching into pure waterways of the pristine forest, which ought to have been built-in with the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park.
They additionally claim the buildings – forty five houses plus 9 low-rise condominiums and a court workplace – taint the religious worth of the mountain, thus decreasing the area’s chance of profitable World Heritage standing.
The authorities appointed sub-panels to settle the difficulty with the residents, who jointly formed the Doi Suthep Forest Reclamation Network, and so they agreed that the buildings be demolished, leaving the location as a “no man’s land”.
However, so far, no properties have been demolished as the federal government claims there are no laws backing this measure.
The Thaiger coverage of the Doi Suthep story HERE.

Bangkok’s beloved Dusit Zoo, recognized regionally as Khao Din, mentioned goodbye to Bangkok in September.
The 80-year-old zoo, situated within the city’s coronary heart, was part of many people’s childhood reminiscences, which is why thousands confirmed up within the ultimate two months to seize a memento photo. The biggest attraction, in fact, was the celebrated 52-year-old hippo – Mae Mali.
As for the thousand or so residents of the zoo, the closure of their home marked the beginning of a model new journey. In the biggest relocation of animals in Thai historical past – greater than 90 species have been despatched off to the Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chon Buri, as well as zoos in Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Songkhla, Ubon Ratchathani and Khon Kaen Zoo.
These animals will stay of their new homes until their everlasting, more spacious habitat – being built on land gifted by His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn in Pathum Thani’s Thanyaburi district – is prepared.
Mae Mali and her great grandson Tua Kheow, nonetheless, will reside in Khao Kheow permanently with the rest of their family.
The 118-rai Dusit Zoo was inbuilt 1895 in the course of the reign of King Rama V, however solely officially opened to the public on March 13, 1938.
Read about Mae Mali’s new house HERE.

An unlikely whistle-blower had a huge effect on Thai society this yr, as she has courageously dropped at mild large-scale corruption at the Social Development and Human Security Ministry.
When Panida Yotpanya first uncovered irregularities at the Khon Kaen Protection Centre for the Destitute throughout her internship there in late 2017, she was only a 22 yr previous student at Mahasarakham University’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Her complaints about suspicious activities on the centre got her into trouble with many lecturers. Yet she refused to again down.
Panida stood by her complaints about how officials at the centre suspiciously signed paperwork to say reimbursements for funds that ought to have gone to the destitute.
Thanks to her unwavering willpower, her complaints finally reached the ears of the Office of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha early this yr.
An investigation later revealed that a number of high officials have been involved. On February 23, Prayut transferred many high-level officials on the Social Development and Human Security Ministry, including its then-permanent secretary Puttipat Lertchaowasit.
Two months later, the Cabinet permitted 60 12 months outdated Puttipat’s dismissal unless his title could presumably be cleared. On June 12, the Anti-Money Laundering Office seized Puttipat’s property, and a few weeks later, he committed suicide.
Panida, who has already obtained several awards for her courage, is now an official at the PACC..

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