The Top 10 news tales for Thailand in 2018

There are two Top Ten lists for the most popular stories of 2018. This listing is voted by The Thaiger as Thailand’s most influential or important stories. We will also have the listing of the stories YOU clicked on essentially the most – coming subsequent week.
For now let’s see, in no explicit order, which stories grabbed The Thaiger’s attention in 2018.
What state as a merely go to by 13 members of a junior soccer team into their local cave for a fast after-training go to, was one of the largest worldwide rescue tales in the world this yr.
For a selection of causes, the story grabbed the attention of the world’s media and unfolded over a quantity weeks.
Twelve members of the group, aged eleven to seventeen, and their 25 12 months previous 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 find the group were hampered by rising water levels and powerful currents, and no contact was made for more than every week. The rescue effort expanded into a massive operation amid intense worldwide public curiosity.
On July 2, after advancing by way of slender passages and muddy waters, British divers John Volanthen and Richard Stanton found the group alive on an elevated rock about four kilometres from the cave mouth. Rescue organisers mentioned various options for extracting the group, including whether or not to show them basic diving abilities to enable their early rescue, wait till 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 teams hastened to get everybody out earlier than the following monsoon rain. Between eight and 10 July, all the boys and their coach had been rescued from the cave by a highly expert worldwide group.
The rescue effort involved more than 10,000 people, together with over a hundred divers, many rescue employees, representatives from about 100 governmental businesses, 900 police officers and a pair of,000 soldiers, and required ten police helicopters, seven police ambulances, greater 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There was one fatality, Saman Kunan, a 37 12 months outdated former Thai Navy SEAL who died of asphyxiation on 6 July while returning to a staging base within the cave after delivering provides of air.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 47 Chinese tourists, was the worst maritime disasters to hit Thailand.
The Phoenix, carrying 89 Chinese tourists 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 security, Thailand suffered one other backlash when Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan blamed the disaster on Chinese tour operators, saying they did not respect local safety laws.
Though calls in China to boycott Thailand were considerably calmed down by the Thai Embassy in Beijing issuing an announcement 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 industry and Thailand’s security status still took successful.
The variety of Chinese tourist arrivals dropped by as much as 20 per cent between August and October, prompting the federal government to roll out new incentives, together with a waiver of visa-on-arrival charges from November to mid-January.
The full influence of the sinking may have been blunted by the Tham Luang cave rescue protection which was occurring at the similar time, focussing consideration of the world’s media on events in northern Thailand.
Read The Thaiger’s protection of efforts to comprise some oft he fallout from the catastrophe HERE.

The rap track “Prathet Ku Me”, launched in October could presumably be said to have topped the charts because it dropped at mild all the problems people have had with this regime.
The rap number, produced by a gaggle of artists called Rap towards Dictatorship (RAD), spoke about the rampant hypocrisy and injustice lower and middle-class Thais suffer due to the country’s unjust political structure. The music video was set against dramatic pictures of the October 6, 1976 Thammasat University uprising, which additionally mirrored the country’s deep-rooted political issues.
The quantity, launched on YouTube, has garnered nearly 50 million views up to now.
Though liked by hundreds of thousands, this song has additionally raised fairly an argument. Conservatives within the nation have labelled RAD as unpatriotic and responded by producing items of artwork additionally entitled “Prathet Ku Me” displaying the great facet of Thailand.
Read The Thaiger’s protection of this story HERE.

Leonardo Di Caprio, because the young traveller Richard, sits on the seaside, embraced by the tranquillity of Maya Bay in a scene in the 2000 movie, “The Beach”.
In reality although, Thailand’s prime tourist destination, Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Ley, has been affected by over tourism, leading to severe degradation of the setting and its ecosystems, including the coral reef.
This was what led the Department |of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation to make a clear-cut determination to shut the bay indefinitely to allow |rehabilitation – an action that earned the department reward internationally for deciding to chose nature over cash. But local tour operators weren’t joyful about having their golden goose caged.
Many environmentalists, like noted marine ecologist Thon Thamrongnawasawas, mentioned this motion was a “bang” that might ship ripples to different natural points of interest that need therapeutic.
Thanks to these measures, some marine animals, similar to black tip reef sharks, are finally returning to the waterfront.
Due to this success, different places have adopted go nicely with – limiting visitor numbers or closing the door to vacationers so nature can heal itself.
Read some of The Thaiger’s complete protection of the closure HERE.

Gift begin of 2018 started with a hot scandal involving Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan’s controversial assortment of luxury wristwatches, which many stated have been means beyond the technique of an Army general.
The controversy kicked off late final year and continued grabbing public attention through most of 2018. When Prawit appeared at a Cabinet meeting sporting a 3 million baht Richard Mille, netizens couldn’t assist but dig up other pictures of the overall sporting different luxury watches that would have cost a small fortune. He was later estimated to have a grand assortment of more than 20 such pieces valued at greater than 20 million baht.
As of this week the NACC has cleared General Prawit of any wrong-doing.
Read a few of The Thaiger protection of this story that stored popping up throughout 2018 HERE.

Two middle-aged sisters, caught on tape attacking a pickup parked in entrance of their house in Bangkok with an axe and a spade in February, shot to fame because the “furious aunties”. Initial public condemnation of their motion quickly turned to sympathy once they informed their story of how five illegal markets close to their home, and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA)’s lack of response, had made their lives miserable for years.
In May, the Central Administrative Court ordered the BMA to pay 1.47 million baht in compensation to the Saengyoktrakarn family and to clear all illegal markets from their neighbourhood, which is situated inside the Seri Villa housing estate’s designated residential zone. Though the BMA stated it was willing to take away the markets, it appealed the compensation ruling.
In November, a Bangkok court docket sentenced 37 12 months old Ratchanikorn Lertwasana, the girl whose pickup blocked the gate, to a one-year suspended jail term and a 5,000 baht fine. The court ruled that she had violated site visitors laws by parking on a public highway in a fashion that blocked a constructing entrance, and violated a criminal code by annoying or inflicting hassle to different persons.
However, not all choices have been in favour of the sisters. The Central Administrative Court on December 4 dismissed the family’s lawsuit towards the BMA and the Bangkok governor, during which they alleged that the defendants had amended the legislation in favour of the markets and different business buildings throughout the property.
Another a type of stories that simply went on and on and on… HERE’S a few of The Thaiger’s protection.

Premchai Karnasuta, president of Italian-Thai Development Plc, was apprehended on February four along with three companions within the Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, after rangers searched his unauthorised camp and found carcasses and components of wildlife, including the carcass of a skinned black leopard.
Premchai was charged with six offences, together with playing an element in poaching “protected species” and poaching protected species in a “protected area”.
If discovered guilty, he may face four to five years in jail together with a fantastic of between 40,000-50,000 baht.
The investigation has also expanded to other allegations, including tried bribery to evade wildlife poaching costs, unlawful possession of weapons and illegal possession of ivory – all of which Premchai has denied.
The courtroom started deliberating the case in December, with both sides taking turns to provide testimony.
A story that truly caught the creativeness of Thai netizens during 2018 HERE.

Earlier this year, Chiang Mai residents observed patches of cleared forest at the foot of Doi Suthep, a sacred landmark that has been proposed for World Heritage standing along with the outdated city.
From an outcry over small patches being cleared at the foot of the mountain, the problem has escalated, tarnishing certainly one of Thailand’s most revered institutions – the court.
The Office of the Judiciary had constructed a new workplace 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 quantity of years ago.
Despite its claim of legitimacy, locals consider the properties are encroaching into natural waterways of the pristine forest, which ought to have been built-in with the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park.
They additionally claim the constructions – 45 houses plus nine low-rise condominiums and a courtroom office – taint the non secular worth of the mountain, thus reducing the area’s chance of profitable World Heritage standing.
The government appointed sub-panels to settle the difficulty with the residents, who collectively formed the Doi Suthep Forest Reclamation Network, they usually agreed that the constructions be demolished, leaving the site as a “no man’s land”.
However, thus far, no properties have been demolished as the federal government claims there aren’t any laws backing this measure.
The Thaiger coverage of the Doi Suthep story HERE.

Bangkok’s beloved Dusit Zoo, recognized domestically as Khao Din, stated goodbye to Bangkok in September.
The 80-year-old zoo, situated in the city’s coronary heart, was a part of many people’s childhood reminiscences, which is why 1000’s confirmed up within the final two months to capture a memento photograph. 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 residence marked the start of a model new journey. In the most important relocation of animals in Thai history – greater than 90 species were sent off to the Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chon Buri, as properly 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 ready.
Mae Mali and her great grandson Tua Kheow, nonetheless, will live in Khao Kheow completely with the relaxation of their family.
The 118-rai Dusit Zoo was in-built 1895 during the reign of King Rama V, however only formally opened to the basic public on March thirteen, 1938.
Read about Mae Mali’s new residence HERE.

An unlikely whistle-blower had a big impact 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 exposed irregularities on the Khon Kaen Protection Centre for the Destitute during her internship there in late 2017, she was just a 22 12 months outdated scholar at Mahasarakham University’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Her complaints about suspicious activities on the centre obtained her into bother with many lecturers. Yet she refused to again down.
Panida stood by her complaints about how officers at the centre suspiciously signed documents to assert reimbursements for funds that should have gone to the destitute.
Thanks to her unwavering determination, her complaints lastly reached the ears of the Office of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha early this 12 months.
An investigation later revealed that a quantity of prime officials had been concerned. On February 23, Prayut transferred many high-level officers 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 possibly be cleared. On June 12, the Anti-Money Laundering Office seized Puttipat’s assets, and some weeks later, he dedicated suicide.
Panida, who has already received several awards for her braveness, is now an official on the PACC..

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