Will marine area in Myanmar be protected?


This video says about itself:

Reef Life of the Andaman (full marine biology documentary)

“Reef Life of the Andaman” is a documentary of the marine life of Thailand and Burma (Myanmar).

Scuba diving more than 1000 times from the coral reefs and underwater pinnacles of Thailand‘s Similan Islands, Phuket, Phi Phi Island and Hin Daeng, to Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago and Burma Banks, I encountered everything from manta rays to seahorses, whale sharks to shipwrecks. The 116-minute film features descriptions of 213 different marine species including more than 100 tropical fish, along with sharks, rays, moray eels, crabs, lobsters, shrimps, sea slugs, cuttlefish, squid, octopus, turtles, sea snakes, starfish, sea cucumbers, corals, worms etc..

From Wildlife Extra:

New Marine Protected Area for Myanmar

A new, possible Marine Protected Area in Myanmar’s Myeik archipelago is under consideration by the country’s government, Flora and Fauna International have reported.

Situated in the north-eastern Andaman Sea the archipelago comprises over 800 islands of white sandy beaches and coral reefs teeming with a diverse array of marine life.

Scientific surveys of the area have revealed around 287 species of coral and 365 reef fish species, as well as reefs rich in echinoderms, crustaceans, molluscs and sponges.

The MPA has been proposed in a bid to conserve this unique biodiversity from the serious threats it faces, such as overfishing, destructive fishing methods, and to support sustainable fisheries.

Frank Momberg, FFI Myanmar Programme Director said, “Myanmar’s fisheries resources have declined dramatically over the last decade. However, by establishing a marine protected area network Myanmar will protect important nursery grounds for fish, coral reef and mangrove areas critical to maintaining the livelihood of coastal fishing communities and the fishing industry.”

Tiger discovery in Thailand


This video is called Wild Indochinese Tigers in Thailand.

From Wildlife Extra:

Tigers recorded in Thailand’s Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary for the first time

Conservationists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) have for the first time captured images of a tiger in Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand, officially confirming the presence of these cats in the Sanctuary.

Covering 868km squared, Salakpra is part of the Western Forest Conservation Complex (WEFCOM), a priority tiger area located close to the Myanmar border. Although tigers have been known to live and breed in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in the northern part of WEFCOM, no tiger has been recorded as far south as Salakpra until now. The two sanctuaries are connected through the Srisawat Forest Corridor, which ZLS say could be an important area for tigers providing that the right protection is in place.

For years rangers, villagers and hill tribes people in the area have maintained that they have seen tigers and signs of tigers south of Huai Kha Khaeng, which prompted researchers at ZSL to undertaken the first comprehensive survey of Salakpra to investigate the presence of the big cat.

Last spring, they set up camera traps along known wildlife pathways into two areas of the sanctuary, and almost one year later they were rewarded with the first image of a tiger in Salakpra. Three days after the first image, another shot was taken of a tiger in a different part of the sanctuary. It was confirmed that it was the same animal in both images, and has been identified as a female born in Hui Kha Khaeng. “These two images confirm what rangers and villagers have long suspected – that tigers born in Huai Kha Khaeng are moving at least as far south as Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary,” says Craig Bruce, ZSL’s Senior Programme Manager for Asia. “Tigers are facing a very real threat of extinction in Thailand and across their range. That we now have evidence of tigers in an area where they have not previously been recorded is extremely positive news – it suggests they are using more of the WEFCOM landscape than previously thought. The next stage of our work will be continued camera trapping to build a picture of prey availability in Salakpra and determine whether other nearby areas are also being used by tigers.”

Thai military dictator condones murdering women


This is a music video by United States punk rock band the Dead Kennedys, live performance of their song called Holiday in Cambodia.

It is about Cambodia during the evil times of the Pol Pot dictatorship.

Now, in 2014, it looks like Thailand, neighbour to Cambodia, is not really a much better holiday destination, with its dictatorship now than Cambodia then.

We already know that, if you plan to spend your holidays in beautiful Thailand, then you can get into big trouble when taking George Orwell’s novel 1984 with you, as the dictatorship hates that novel.

And, no matter how hot Thai beaches can be, it seems very dangerous to bring your swimwear as well.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests ‘attractive’ female tourists cannot expect to be safe in bikinis

In a televised speech on tourist safety, following the murder of two Britons on the island of Koh Tao, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha questioned whether female travellers can be safe in bikinis

Natasha Culzac

Thailand’s military ruler has suggested that “beautiful” female visitors to his country should not expect to be safe in bikinis.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha allegedly made the comments as the investigation into the death of two Britons intensifies.

David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, were killed earlier this week after they attended a beach party on the island of Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand.

Negative attention on the country – to which 800,000 Britons visit each year – appears to have left its leader attempting to offer explanations for why young travellers may run into trouble there.

Speaking in a live broadcast today discussing tourist safety, he said: “There are always problems with tourist safety. They think our country is beautiful and is safe so they can do whatever they want, they can wear bikinis and walk everywhere,” according to the AFP news agency.

He added: “Can they be safe in bikinis… unless they are not beautiful?”

No arrests have yet been made following the murder of Miller and Witheridge, whose bodies were found less than 100 metres from the location of where the gathering was being held on Sunday night. …

The bodies were taken to Bangkok and autopsies have today found that Witheridge died from head wounds while Miller suffered severe blows to the head and then drowned in the surf. …

These comments [by dictator Prayuth Chan-ocha] were rebuffed by Witheridge’s MP, Brandon Lewis, who told the Daily Mail: “I have not seen anything indicating that there should be any blame on the victims, and right now the investigation will hopefully be targeted on finding the perpetrator of the crime.

“I hope the focus will be on bringing whoever committed this barbaric crime to justice.”

See also here.

Thailand military dictatorship violates human rights


This video is called The Junta’s Police State: Thailand on the Brink (Dispatch 5). It says about itself:

2 July 2014

It’s been over a month since Thailand’s army overthrew the country’s elected government in a coup d’etat. In that short time, the new ruling junta has secured almost total control over the country and succeeded in silencing most of its critics.

Thailand has quickly come to resemble a police state, as hundreds of people have been detained, “invited to talk,” or “given time to meditate,” as the junta puts it. Most are released after a week — at which point they have signed a document indicating their promise not to oppose the coup, or face years in jail. Others have been sent to military courts for judgment, where no appeal is allowed.

Authorities have offered cash rewards for anyone who can bring them a photo of their fellow citizens taking part in anti-coup activities. Hand salutes, eating sandwiches, and reading controversial books in public are now illegal if they are considered to be motivated by anti-coup sentiments, and the media continues to be heavily censored.

The junta says 90 percent of Thais support the coup — which is a questionable number, having come from their own surveys.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Rights group calls for end to Thai junta’s supression of dissent

Friday 12th September 2014

Amnesty International called on Thailand’s military yesterday to end a “disturbing pattern of repression” since it seized power in May.

The rights group said it had received credible reports that detainees had been tortured.

“Three months since the coup, a picture emerges from our investigations of widespread and far-reaching human-rights violations perpetrated by the military government that are still ongoing,” Amnesty Asia-Pacific director Richard Bennett said.

“The Thai authorities should end this disturbing pattern of repression, end human-rights violations, respect its international human-rights obligations and allow open debate and discussion — all of which are vital to the country’s future.”

The army has justified the May 22 takeover claiming that it had to act to restore stability after months of political protests which paralysed the former government and triggered sporadic violence which had left dozens of people dead and close to 1,000 injured.

Since then, the junta has shown no tolerance for dissent and crushed open debate on the nation’s fate. Martial law is in effect and political assemblies of more than five people are banned.

Amnesty said 665 people have been summoned or detained by the junta so far. A breakdown of those targeted indicated “a clear case of political persecution and an attempt to silence dissent.”

The vast majority were politicians who opposed the coup, along with academics, activists and protesters.

Amnesty said they were held without charge or trials and security forces had revoked passports and threatened family members.

Thai Military Bans Hunger Games Salute: What Protesters Can Take From Hollywood: here.

Thai dictatorship bans human rights presentation


This video says about itself:

31 May 2014

In junta-ruled Thailand, where the army recently took power in a coup, the simple act of reading in public has become an act of resistance. On Saturday evening in Bangkok, about a dozen people gathered in the middle of a busy, elevated walkway connecting several of the capital’s most luxurious shopping malls. With pedestrians trundling past, they all sat down. They then pulled out such titles as George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” — about life in a totalitarian surveillance state — and began to read.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Thai junta forces law group to cancel rights event

Wednesday 3rd September 2014

Thailand’s ruling military junta forced a human rights group to cancel a presentation on the situation in the country yesterday.

The military told Bangkok-based Thai Lawyers for Human Rights that if it had concerns about lack of freedom of expression or access to the justice system it should report them to the Interior Ministry.

The lawyers’ group had intended to host a discussion and release a report titled Access to Justice in Thailand: Currently Unavailable.

But Amnesty International Thailand campaign co-ordinator Sutharee Wannasiri said that soldiers had phoned more than 30 times on Monday calling for the event be cancelled.

The group condemned the pressure exterted by the army, saying that it had “created an atmosphere of fear in society” and deprived people of their rights.

Several participants showed up at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand anyway, “to say that there were threats and harassment from the military,” Mr Wannasiri said.

See also here.

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.