Welcome to the start of the final week before Christmas. A mainly fine day with a bumper sunset on the way this evening. We have news & weather updates, all day, seven days a week, on The Thaiger 102.75 FM. Let’s head to today’s main news stories…

Militants set fire to a bus in Yala

Militants armed with rifles have torched a coach heading to Bangkok after removing the passengers in Yala’s Bannang Sata district in the latest violence in the South.

Prior to the attack, the militants also set up roadblocks with trees that they had cut down and set fire to villagers’ houses. When police arrived at the scene they found the double-decker bus belonging to the Siam Dernrod company on fire and firefighters trying to extinguish the blaze. The bus was completely destroyed. A staff member, who was on the bus, told police that the bus was from Betong with 13 people on board. The driver was forced to stop after seeing burning tyres on the road.

He said that after the bus stopped, a group of about 10 armed men in camouflage emerged from the roadside and demanded that everyone get off the bus. They poured petrol on the coach before setting it alight and then fled the scene on foot.

Cycling for the sea turtles

1000 cyclists rodwaround the southern part of Phuket yesterday to raise awareness about the island’s sea turtle population and release 80 young turtles at Cape Panwa.

Rawai Municipality, along with the Andaman Rotary Club and Royal Thai Navy Area 3, hosted the “Cycling for Sea Turtle Preservation”. The route took them from Nai Harn to Phuket Town, Saphan Hin and Cape Panwa, then back to Nai Harn.

HM The King sends blankets to Nong Khai

His Majesty the King has sent 2,000 blankets to the poor in Nong Khai over the weekend. Ceremonies were held to hand over the blankets. The provincial administration reported that more than 10,000 people were affected by a cold spell in Rattana Wapee and 23,371 others in Phon Phisai.

Crackdown on counterfeits in Khao Lak

And there’s been a crackdown on counterfeit goods in Khao Lak, just an hour north of Phuket overnight. The crackdown has targeted retailers who have been selling fake goods for up to 10 rears as well as up to 20 local government departments who are alleged to be involved in taking bribes. Investigators believe there are thousands of illegal workers in the trade up the Phang Nga coast working in illegal fake goods.

Conference say we should pay for plastic bags

A conference organised by NIDA at Thammasat University has met under the banner: “Plastic bags. We use them so who must pay?”

The answer from the conference was… the Thai people.

The conference used a recent survey that says more than 50% of Thais agree that the best way to lower the amount of bags used is to make consumers pay for them.

Experiences in foreign countries that have had success with this method were brought up for discussion.

French Muay Thai fighter ends up with a titanium plate in his head

The photo of French Muay Thai boxer has gone viral after images emerged of a brutal head injury sustained during a fight from his Thai opponent.

The incident took place when the man’s opponent landed a big elbow during the bout at Patong Stadium last week. His head was fractured with a large indentation from the elbow but remarkably he kept on fighting and never felt dizzy. The fight was eventually stopped by the referee. The fighter ended up in hospital and underwent surgery to insert a titanium plate. Yikes!

Toon only has 400 Km to go

Artiwara “Toon” Kongmalai finished day 47 of his charity run yesterday after covering 50 kilometres ending in Tak province and with donations soaring to 849 million baht.

As of yesterday, Artiwara had covered 1,790 kilometres, leaving about 400 kilometres to reach the final destination in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai.

E-Traffic tickets are now in use

The use of E-traffic tickets started officially yesterday and are being distributed to the Kingdom’s provinces.

Thailand’s traffic police are now using the new ticket fining system for traffic violations. The good news – you’ll be able to pay the fines online two days after the issue of the ticket. The bad news – the system tracks the fines and links the information with the Land Traffic Office. The fines will also be linked to a new points system where you’ll start with 12 points and each violation will reduce the amount of points you have.

The new e-tickets are in both Thai and English language and allow police to tick off the infringements rather than writing everything out in long-hand. They will be used in Phuket once they arrive.


Power & water disruptions

The Provincial Electricity Authority in Thalang says electricity supply will be interrupted in parts of the Thalang District next Thursday with works being carried out on new high-voltage power cables.

Meanwhile the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority says there’ll be interruptions to the water supply tomorrow with repairs to mains pipes in parts of Cherngtalay and most of Kamala.

Contact the PEA or Phuket Provincial Waterworks if you need to know more about those interruptions.
Phuket Provincial Water
07 631 9173 or 1662
Provincial Electricity Authority
Call 1129 or click for their website


- Phuket Gazette & The Nation