Thailand military dictatorship bans Orwell’s 1984


Airline advice on dictatorial Thailand

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

In-flight magazine urges passengers: ‘Don’t take Orwell’s 1984 to Thailand

Posted 23 minutes ago by Evan Bartlett

An airline has warned passengers not to take a copy of George Orwell’s 1984 to Thailand, where a strict military regime is in power.

A photograph on social media shows an in-flight magazine, purportedly from Philippine Airlines, with a list of five tips on how to blend in seamlessly in the south-east Asian country.

Tip number four urges tourists not to carry a copy of Orwell’s dystopian novel should they be mistaken for an “anti-coup protester”.

Thailand has been controlled by a military junta since a coup in May – the regime has banned international media and a man was allegedly arrested last month for reading a copy of 1984 in public.

i100 has contacted Philippine Airlines and is awaiting comment.

GENERAL NAMED THAILAND’S PRIME MINISTER “Three months after overthrowing Thailand’s last elected government, this Southeast Asian nation’s junta leader is stepping out of his army uniform for good — to take up the post of prime minister in a move critics say will only extend his time at the helm and consolidate the military’s grip on power. Thailand’s junta-appointed legislature voted unanimously Thursday to name Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha to the new job during a session in Bangkok.” [USA Today]

General Prayuth Chan-ocha, Thailand’s coup leader, was unanimously chosen as the country’s new prime minister on Thursday, by a National Legislative Assembly (NLA) he had hand-picked. The NLA, which is stacked with military figures and a handful of business leaders, was installed last month by the ruling junta, which seized power on May 22, ousting the elected Pheu Thai Party government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra: here.

Thai musician gets fifteen years jail for criticizing royal family


This is a music video of a song from Thailand.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

03-08-14, 10:25

In Thailand, a musician has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for insulting the Thai monarchy.

According to the court, the 28-year-old suspect wrote in 2010 and 2011 on Facebook disparaging comments about King Bhumibol and other members of the royal family. …

According to the verdict, the unnamed musician insulted the royal family nine times in two years. …

The Thai army did a coup d’état in May, and decided to maintain the ancient protection of the royal family and even to make it more draconic.

New wolf snake species discovery in Cambodia


This video from Thailand is called Common Wolf Snake – Lycodon capucinus; about a relative of the newly discovered snake.

From Wildlife Extra:

Distinctive new wolf snake species discovered in Cambodia

A new wolf snake species has been discovered in Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains.

Wolf snakes are nonvenomous members of the family Colubridae, and named after their large teeth that are found in both jaws.

This distinctive, almost chequered, coloured snake was discovered by Cambodian herpetologist Neang Thy, Fauna & Flora International’s (FFI) research adviser in Phnom Penh, in a high altitude montane rainforest.

He said: “Given its unique colouration, submontane habitat and altitudinal separation from other wolf snakes in the region, the species will probably prove to be endemic to the Cardamom Mountains.”

The new snake has been named Lycodon zoosvictoriae by Thy in honour of the Zoological Parks and Gardens Board of Victoria in Australia, which has supported FFI’s studies in the region for several years.

Thy said: “The support FFI received from Zoos Victoria has helped build the capacity of Cambodian researchers and conservationists and has greatly improved understanding of Cambodia’s reptiles and amphibians. Naming this species in honour of Zoos Victoria will ensure a memorable and historical record of the support they’ve given FFI, both in discoveries and conservation of the Cardamoms.”

This discovery is the eighth new snake to be found in the Cardamom Mountains since survey work began in 2000.

This video is called Elusive New Wolf Snake Species Found In Cambodian Mountain.

The scientific description of this new species is here.

Thailand military dictatorship Internet censorship


This video says about itself:

28 May 2014

Anti-coup protesters in Bangkok managed to capture a Humvee of the Royal Thai Army, Wednesday. They covered the vehicle in anti-coup graffiti and threw litter on its roof.

After the army and protesters had vacated the area, police arrived to clean up the scene and tow the vehicle away.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Dutch people in Thailand warned

Saturday, May 31, 2014, 12:53 (Update: 31-05-14 , 13:42)

Dutch people in Thailand must be careful on social media with statements against the military coup, the Dutch embassy in Bangkok tweets. Nine days ago, the army took over power in politically divided Thailand.

The new rulers yesterday banned sending [so-called] provocative messages through Facebook or other social media. Offenders risk two years in prison.

On Wednesday, Facebook was already unreachable for 55 minutes.

Fleming

On Thursday, police in Bangkok arrested a 42-year-old Fleming because he was said to have criticized the coup. The man, who has lived for several years in Thailand, wore a T-shirt imprinted with Peace Please.

He was released on the same day .

Suppressing

Police and soldiers are present in large numbers in the places in Bangkok where the two political camps during the last six months continuously demonstrated. There is no one to be seen.

In a shopping elsewhere in the city, police arrested a man who to a TV camera briefly showed a sign with the inscription: “elections only.”

Singer Taylor Swift has cancelled a sold-out concert in Thailand after the coup d’état: here.

Class War: Thailand’s Military Coup. Outnumbered by the country’s rural voters, Thailand’s once vibrantly democratic urban middle class has embraced an elitist, antidemocratic agenda: here.

HUNDREDS of demonstrators shouting “freedom” and “democracy” rallied briefly near a shopping mall in the heart of Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, yesterday to denounce the country’s May 22 coup: here.

The Thai military, which seized power in a coup on May 22, is consolidating its rule, clamping down on sporadic protests, arresting opponents and critics and ruling out any elections for at least 15 months: here.

An international workers’ union has declared the Thai government to be “on trial” in an impending defamation case against a British human rights defender who exposed alleged modern-day slavery in its canned fruit and fishing industry: here.

Thailand‘s military rulers say they are monitoring a new form of silent resistance to the coup – a three-fingered salute borrowed from science fiction blockbuster The Hunger Games – and will arrest those in large groups who ignore warnings to lower their arms: here.

Critics charged yesterday that Thailand’s military junta plans to make the country’s constitution less democratic: here.

Thailand’s military is promoting itself as a US ally amid escalating tensions produced by Washington’s military build-up against China: here.

Here are five ways extreme copyright rules can be used to censor the Internet (Thank goodness for @openmedia_ca!): here.

Elephants comfort distressed herd mates


This video is called Asian Elephants Console The Distressed.

From Wildlife Extra:

Asian elephants reassure each other when distressed

February 2014: Asian elephants console others who are in distress, using physical touches and vocalizations just like humans, say scientists.

The findings are the first empirical evidence of consolation in elephants, “For centuries, people have observed that elephants seem to be highly intelligent and empathic animals, but as scientists we need to actually test it,” says lead author Joshua Plotnik of Emory University.

A group of 26 captive Asian [elephants] at an elephant camp in northern Thailand were observed for nearly a year by the researchers, who recorded stress incidences of individuals and the responses from other nearby elephants.

“With their strong social bonds, it’s not surprising that elephants show concern for others,” says co-author Frans de Waal, an Emory professor of psychology and director of Living Links at Emory’s Yerkes National Primate Research Center. “This study demonstrates that elephants get distressed when they see others in distress, reaching out to calm them down, not unlike the way chimpanzees or humans embrace someone who is upset.”

The study found that nearby elephants would then comfort the distressed individual through directed, physical contact which often included using their trunk to gently touch the distressed elephant’s face, or put its trunk in the other animal’s mouth, in a move a bit like a handshake or hug.

Plotnik says. “It’s a very vulnerable position to put yourself in, because you could get bitten. It may be sending a signal of, ‘I’m here to help you, not hurt you.'”

In addition, elephants frequently responded to the distress signals of other elephants by adopting a similar body or emotional state, a phenomenon known as “emotional contagion,” which may be related to empathy. Groups of nearby elephants also were more likely to bunch together, or make physical contact with each other.

The current elephant study’s limitations include the fact that it was restricted to captive animals. “This study is a first step,” Plotnik says. “I would like to see this consolation capacity demonstrated in wild populations as well.”

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