Author Archive: SoClaimon

British tourist shoots himself at gun range

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Man, 21, had argument over the phone in taxi en route to Phuket range, police say

A BRITISH man in his early 20s shot himself in the head in an apparent suicide at a shooting range in Phuket on Saturday.

The 21-year-old tourist hailed a taxi in the afternoon following a dispute with a male friend.

He instructed the cab driver to take him somewhere where he could shoot, and he was heard arguing with somebody on his mobile phone during the ride.

Staff and witnesses at the Thalang Shooting Range said the man arrived at the tourist attraction before 3pm, the Phuket Gazette reported yesterday.

The man hired an 11mm pistol and emptied his magazine at the target, before asking for three more bullets. He then turned the gun on himself and fired at point blank range, staff and witnesses told police.

The online news outlet Phuketwan quoted a staff member from the firing range as saying: “He came by a taxi. He bought a ticket for shooting an 11mm handgun and then shot himself in the head.”

A brief video clip, purportedly showing the moment the man turned the gun on himself, has been shared online. The clip shows the man’s shooting instructor running after the incident.

The footage of the incident, recorded on CCTV cameras at the shooting range, shows the instructor trying to stop the man turning the gun on himself before the instructor turns away holding his head in horror.

The taxi driver who picked up the British tourist from a hotel in the Bang Tao area, on the west coast of the resort island, said he heard the man arguing with someone on the phone while driving to the shooting range.

“We have taken statements from some witnesses. But we will question more people at the scene and we have yet to review any CCTV footage the facility may have,” Pol Lieutenant Kraisorn Boonprasop of the Thalang District Police Station was quoted by the Gazette as saying.

The man’s identity has been withheld until his family has been notified.

The United Kingdom’s Foreign Office was “urgently working with the authorities in Thailand to establish whether a British national has died in Phuket,” The Guardian newspaper quoted a spokesman for the office as saying.

Ex-rector pleads his innocence

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

THE INDICTED ex-rector of King Mongkut Institute of Technology Ladkrabang has insisted he had nothing to do with the Bt1.5 billion embezzlement scandal at the institution ahead of the first pre-trial hearing today.

Speaking at a press conference at his home yesterday, Thawil Phuengma also said people called him ajarn (teacher), not boss, the term that two other suspects in the case, fugitive Kittisak Mattujad and Pada Buakhao, reportedly called the person behind this crime.

Thawil presented the details of his assets and debts, which he said he submitted to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) before taking up KMITL’s top post.

They include 22 land title deeds worth Bt46.1 million and consisting of 13 plots in Bangkok’s Ladkrabang district, three plots in Kanchanaburi, three plots in Nonthaburi and one plot at three locations, Ratchaburi, Chacherngsao and Chonburi.

The assets also include the Bt12 million house, two apartments worth Bt20 million in total and four cars and a motorcycle worth Bt2 million in total.

He said he had submitted his asset details to the NACC two times after he left the KMITL – in November 2013 when his assets were worth Bt86 million and again in November 2014 when their worth was down by Bt200,000.

Thawil said he sold an 18-rai rice field (2.9 hectares) on Highway 345, obtained via family heritage, to fund a property purchase that yielded a hefty profit when he sold it.

He said he also purchased and collected gold ornaments, which he then re-sold for profit.

He also earned income from a security system business and an apartment renting business, while he worked as an executive at various agencies.

“I’m innocent and I didn’t embezzle money as charged,” he said, adding that if he were the embezzler he would live a more opulent lifestyle.

He said he had asked lawyer Songkran Atchariyasap, who chairs the Facebook network that rallies against acts perceived to harm the Kingdom, religion and the monarchy, to represent him in court.

He said Songkran had urged him to express his sincerity by performing a vow at Wat Phra Kaew, which he reportedly did last week, and opening his home to let the press see what he owns.

Thawil and his former assistant rector for finance, Sappasit Limnorarat, were among 14 individuals – 11 defendants plus three fugitives, Kittisak, Sompong Sahaporn-udomkarn and Tawatchai Yimcharoen – indicted by public prosecutor last week.

They are facing criminal charges that include theft, forgery of official documents, embezzlement, negligence of duty and money laundering.

Temple assets should be publicly revealed: panel

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

PAIBOON NITITAWAN, chairman of the National Reform Council’s committee on protecting Buddhism, said yesterday the NRC would consider the committee’s reform proposals tomorrow.

The committee studied the current state of Buddhism affairs and found four problems:

-Lack of audits or public disclosure of temple or monks’ assets, which tempted many monks into pursue personal gain rather than study and practise dharma;

-Cases of monks violating dharma winaya (discipline) possibly stemmed from administrative issues within the centralised Sangha Council, and caused the public to lose their faith;

-Some teachings and practices stray from the Lord Buddha’s dharma principles, such as those of Pathum Thani’s Dhammakaya Temple, |which needs to be probed by a committee to cleanse the clergy of impure practices;

-Thai authorities need to do more to support and protect religious activities by arranging for a more dynamic Sangha administrative system.

The committee suggested drafting a law on the management of temple and monks’ assets to ensure that benefits of monastic activities go to the religion, not a person’s pocket, and allow monks and laymen to participate for transparency.

Another proposal from the Paiboon panel was for a civil law amendment to ensure that the assets that a monk accumulates during his monkhood passes to the temple.

It said the Sangha Council’s 24th regulation or the Sangha Council Act of 1962 should be amended to allow the decentralisation of power and promote the participation of monks nationwide.

It also urged a mechanism to ensure adherence to dharma winaya and reform ecclesiastic education for monks so they are up-to-date and given importance.

Direk Thungfang, deputy chairman of another NRC committee, on political reform, said opponents of certain provisions in the draft charter would voice their opinions during an NRC seminar late this week in Pattaya. Among the issues to be raised are provisions allowing a non-MP to become prime minister, he said.

Chiang Rai men nabbed with 600,000 pills

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

The police Narcotics Suppression Bureau yesterday announced the arrest of two Chiang Rai men along with 600,000 ‘yaba’ pills in Bang Bua Thong district in Nonthaburi.

The suspects – On Saensuk, 26, and Sompol Tasam, 24 – were apprehended while on their way to deliver the drugs to an accomplice to relay the drugs to the South, on March 21, national police chief General General Somyos Pumpanmuang told the press. The duo reportedly confessed to police that they were hired by a fellow construction worker identified only as “Kham” to deliver the drugs in exchange for Bt50,000.

BMA plan to clean water in Klong Saen Saeb

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) plans to implement a water quality improvement project for major canals starting with Klong Saen Saeb to honour Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

BMA Drainage and Sewerage Department chief Kangwan Deesuwan said yesterday that after city officials improved the quality of water in Klong Phadung Krung Kasem to a satisfactory level, they came up with the next project to clean major canals – starting with the 40km-long Klong Saen Saeb.

“To recover the water quality, we will add some air into the water plus a bacteria-trapping substance, which will tackle contaminating substances in order to make the water clear and yield no foul smell. The project will be three months long,” Kangwan said.

He said they would start cleaning water in Klong Saen Saeb’s connecting canals – Jan and Bang Tei, which directly receive wastewater from the city. After that, the project would expand to other major canals such as Klong Lat Phrao, Klong Premprachakorn, Klong Bang Khen, Klong Sam Wa, Klong Lat Buakaeo, Klong Phraya Ratchamontri, Klong Bang Sue, Klong Prawet Buri Rom and Klong Phra Kanong.

BMA deputy permanent secretary Adisak Khantee said the city Drainage and Sewerage Department also had a plan to clean and dredge minor canals four times a year. He asked people not to litter in canals and install a grease trap at their homes before draining wastewater into canals.

Prodigies in training: Role-model science teachers unified to advance science education

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation–30256550.html

Education is the foundation of innovation. One can obtain an education simply by seeking knowledge from various sources including guidance with specialised instruction and training by educators or teachers.

Science education, in particular, requires experiments to help learners understand theories and sharpen skills in observing and processing. Science teachers have the responsibility to help learners to develop mental capability in a specific branch of science.

In chemistry, experiments and lectures must go hand in hand. Chemistry teachers are expected to be able to deliver knowledge through demonstrations, not only from textbooks. Teachers have to invest a lot of time in preparing and evaluating experiments while bearing the responsibility of assessing risk issues.

Chemistry teaching in most secondary schools lacks practical learning, with limitations in laboratories, equipment and costly chemical products. Without the experience of conducting a full chemistry experiment, students lack the inspiration to pursue higher education in the sciences.

Dow Thailand, a leading science company, and its partners saw these challenges and introduced the small-scale chemistry laboratory technique in their Dow Chemistry Class (DCC) project. It aims to offer a solution for science teachers with an effective and safe method that simplifies chemical experiments, allowing teachers and students to use environmentally-friendly and easy-to-find everyday materials.

The project, initiated in 2012, has had its fifth instalment with a “Train the Trainer” programme. The activity is designed to sustain the small-scale chemistry lab technique further in the form of intensive training for selected role-model teachers and chemistry scholars who have the capacity, passion and dedication.

The hope is to expand their pool of knowledge and pass it on to other teachers throughout Thailand, uplift science education and inspire students to have a deeper appreciation for science.

Bopitr Saengrattanachai, a teacher from Soonthornphu Pittaya School who has taught chemistry for 32 years, said last week most teachers think chemistry experiments must follow instructions from a textbook. But “the small-scale chemistry lab technique can be adapted according to whatever is available.”

The small-scale chemistry lab is effective and safe. The kit has been widely used in microbiology, molecular biology, medical techniques and nano-technology experiments. The method has been used in chemical classes in countries around the world.

Kosol Munjit, a young energetic teacher from Map Ta Phut Panpittayakan School, said he has seen tremendous changes in his students’ participation in class. “The small-scale chemistry lab makes chemistry experiments more accessible. Students gain experience in doing the experiment themselves, so they are more keen on seeing the results, which is the best way to learn science.”

Dow Chemistry Class is a collaboration of Dow Thailand, the Chemical Society of Thailand under the patronage of HRH Princess Chulabhorn Walailak, Rayong province, Secondary Educational Service Area Office 18 and Rayong Primary Education Service Area Office 1.

Assoc Prof Supawan Tantayanon, ex-president of the Chemical Society of Thailand and head of the small-scale lab of the Dow Chemistry Class, said Thai students have a tendency to be less motivated to become a scientist, as it is perceived to be a career that doesn’t generate high income. But he said: “The |introduction of small-scale chemistry labs in Thai classrooms permits endless opportunities for both teachers and students.”

Poranee Kongamornpinyo, public affairs director of Dow Thailand, said the goal is to expand knowledge of the technique as widely and sustainably as possible. The project has had five phases – introduction, training for science teachers at 21 pilot schools in Rayong, follow-up and evaluation, contest and |outcome reporting, and Train the Trainer.

Corn farm fires causing North smog

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Chiang Mai chamber reveals 5 million rai being burnt to clear fields, asks businesses to take responsibility

The Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce has revealed that the burning of corn plantations to clear the fields, covering 5 million rai in the North, is the main cause of the severe haze problem facing the region every year.

As a result, the chamber yesterday said it would contact business operators who bought corn for animal feed and urge them to take some responsibility for the major health threat.

Readings of small particulate matter up to 10 microns in diameter (PM10) were still high early yesterday with Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai and Muang districts topping the list with 218 and 204 micrograms per cubic metre respectively.

Next was Mae Hong Son (207 micrograms), followed by Chiang Mai (181-194 micrograms).

The level considered safe is up to 120 micrograms.

It was reported that thousands of people – up to about 7,000 in some cases – had sought medical treatment for illnesses caused by the haze each day the past week in the eight upper northern provinces.

Deputy Health Minister Somsak Chunharas yesterday visited Chiang Mai where up to 3,000 haze-affected residents sought treatment each day last week.

Somsak instructed the provincial health office to provide 200,000 facemasks to affected people.

Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce deputy chairman Wittaya Krongsap, a member of the Chiang Mai-based private sector committee tackling haze, said the annual problem did not mainly stem from outdoor burning in communities or cross-border wildfire smoke.

Wittaya said an academic team in Chiang Rai found that the main culprit responsible for 70 per cent of the problem was the fires at corn plantations to clear the fields.

In terms of the number of corn plantations, Chiang Rai ranked third behind Tak and Nan, he said, adding that in the North the burns were carried out between February-March.

Wittaya said the chamber would contact relevant agencies and ask business operators who bought corns for animal feed to take some responsibility for the problem.

The chamber would also urge the authorities to notify the farmers and tell them to do the field-clearing burns in rotation rather than burning all sites at the same time.

Meanwhile, Chiang Mai Natural Resource and Environment Office director Jongkhlai Worapongsathon wants relevant agencies to reassess the situation and issue new measures to tackle the problem.

He suggested that the burns must take place gradually before March, adding that his office would ask those promoting corn growing and major companies buying corn to take responsibility for the problem and promote alternatives to the corn-husk disposal.

Alternatives include using corn husks to make fertiliser and animal feed, he said, adding these measures, if adopted, should help in reducing the haze problem next year.

Chiang Mai University geography lecturer Suthinee Dontree said most corn farmers mainly opted for the burning method because it was cheaper while the region’s farmland geography was largely mountainous, making it difficult to bring in machinery.

She said an increasing number of northern farmers had turned to growing corns because many lived on mountains, hence they had no other career choice and no legal farmland.

Corn also required minimum amount of water and the crop was harvested quickly in three to four months, she said. Suthinee said the burns occurred between January and March and some big companies who bought the produce, should help deal with the problem.

Klongchan gets funds ready for creditors as rehab looms

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation–30256511.html

KLONGCHAN Credit Union Cooperative has arranged Bt300 million to ensure liquidity after it was rocked by the embezzlement of Bt16 billion, chairman Padet Mungthanya said yesterday. He said details of a court-ordered rehabilitation plan should be clearer after April 4.

The cooperative board, tasked since Friday by the Bankruptcy Court to formulate a rehabilitation plan for submission in three months, held a meeting yesterday over related points including creating the plan, remedial measures, and whether they need to hire a consultant.

After the meeting, Padet said his role as chairman and the tasks of other executives would end under the court ruling – they would become executives to formulate the rehabilitation plan instead. He would seek clarity from the Cooperative Promotion Department on the status of the board, as their term is due to expire tomorrow.

Padet said he gave approval during the meeting for loans to cooperative members, who would be able to borrow up to 10 per cent of their savings deposit amount but not more than Bt50,000 per head, at 6 per cent interest per annum. This loan would be available once a month, for up to five months, he explained, adding that this would cost about Bt199 million. He said they had enough money to cover this.

With some members wishing to withdraw money – Bt170 million in total – the cooperative had arranged Bt300 million to ensure liquidity, he said.

The meeting yesterday resolved that requests to withdraw money would be put before the court, and when it receives court approval, the cooperative would notify members to take their money. He said it was initially set that members would be allowed to withdraw up to 10 per cent of their savings amount but not more than Bt20,000.

He said the board would seek advice from the Department of Legal Execution on the definition of “creditor”. The department only counts people with savings deposits. The board told the court that cooperative shareholders should also be regarded as creditors. So, the board would initially require its members to give details of their share holdings in the “letter of creditor status” form, to protect their rights. The form would be posted to members to fill in and be returned by May 7, he said. As soon as they find a solution to the “creditor” status, they would notify members in a meeting on April 4.

Padet said creditors could submit the form from April 7 onwards, following the court order being published in the Royal Gazette. He warned that those who submitted the form after May 7 would miss out on the chance to get their money back.

In related news, Nakhon Ratchasima Teachers’ Savings Cooperative Ltd, one of Klongchan’s creditors, which is owed Bt540 million, concluded a proposal yesterday for an eight-step plan, which will be submitted to Klongchan next week. The cooperative’s manager, Yongyuth Buaphud, said the eight steps include:

1 Nakhon Ratchasima Teachers’ Savings Cooperative Ltd would file a request for Klongchan to repay the debt in one month;

2. The teachers’ savings cooperative would assign a representative to submit a request for its debt to be repaid;

3. The Klongchan board should create the rehabilitation plan in three months or in up to five months (if the two one-month extensions are applied);

4. The teachers’ cooperative must be informed about the rehabilitation plan so they can study it first;

5. The Bankruptcy Law’s Official Receivers would convene a meeting to vote on whether to accept Klongchan’s rehabilitation plan for submission to the court;

6. In case creditors are not happy with the Klongchan plan, they would propose amendments and vote before the amended plan is submitted to the Bankruptcy Court. If the court approves the plan, it would be binding on all creditors and it must be implemented in five years;

7. If the plan is implemented and results in a good trend towards recovery but without all debts paid, the court could extend it for another two years;

8. The creditors must have their debts repaid within 5-7 years from the day the court approves the rehabilitation.

Monks confirm getting big cheques from former cooperative boss Supachai

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

TWO MONKS from Wat Dhammakaya told Department of Special Investigation (DSI) officials that they had received donations from Supachai Supa-aksorn, former president of Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative and a key embezzlement suspect, but insisted they were not close to Supachai, a source at the DSI revealed yesterday.

Phra Khru Palat Vijahn Thirangkuro and Phra Montri Sudapaso, who met DSI investigators on Friday, confirmed that they had received cheques from Supachai and explained how the money was spent, the source said.

Phra Khru Palat said he had spent Bt119 million in constructing a youth centre in Lop Buri province, while Phra Montri denied the reported Bt100 million sum, saying he actually received a donation of about Bt5 million and it was used to produce materials to train novices.

The source said the information given and some points that the monks failed to clearly explain would be discussed at an upcoming meeting of investigators, to determine whether to file charges against anyone. The investigators are in the process of interviewing people tied to 878 cheques that Supachai signed.

A source said that Wat Dhammakaya abbot Phra Dhammachayo was scheduled to meet the DSI over the donations from Supachai next Thursday.

Up for auction

ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

The Anti-Money Laundering Office will hold a second auction of 20,000 assets confiscated from former Central Investigation Bureau chief Pol Lt-General Pongpat Chayapan from tomorrow till Thursday.

They include paintings and drawing from famous artists, porcelain, silverware, crystal, furniture, handicrafts, artifacts, ancient Buddha images, watches and clocks. The first auction, held from March 5-8, saw 867 items being sold for Bt38 million. AMLO chief Sihanart Prayoonrat said a major portion of the Bt7 billion in assets confiscated from Pongpat were company shares, land and houses. Assets that were not sold in the first auction would be auctioned in the second one and unsold items would be kept in the National Museum.

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