THE Metropolitan Police Bureau has ordered all stations in the capital to speed up checks of surveillance cameras in their areas in a bid to provide better safety for the public.
Deputy chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau Pol Maj Gen Surachai Kuandechakup said yesterday that he had ordered all 88 police stations in Bangkok to check if CCTV cameras work properly or need any repairs after some small explosions in the capital in recent months.
He also ordered city police to patrol important and crowded |locations in order to prevent any criminal or illegal activity.
Surachai said he also instructed police stations to speed up the |formation of a network to monitor risky incidents.
There have been three blasts in Bangkok over the past two months, but authorities have said a suspect arrested this week confessed to being behind the bombs.
The suspect was identified as Wattana Pummares, 61, who previously worked for the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand as an engineer. He was reportedly an active red shirt supporter.
Wattana confessed he was behind bombs at Phramongkutklao Hospital in May 22, outside the National Theatre on May 15, and in front of old Government Lottery Office on Rajdamnoen Avenue, as well as several incidents back in 2007.
THE CHIEF of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken a stand against a new organic law governing the agency that could result in it being restructured.
NHRC chairman What Tingsmith maintained that selection of the agency’s members was in line with the Paris Principles and its work had been well recognised both domestically and internationally.
He suggested the best solution would be to remove only people who did not meet qualifications stipulated by the new law. The NHRC chairman made clear his stance after the organic law written by the Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC) took clear shape and is set to be tabled before the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) tomorrow.
CDC chairman Meechai Ruchupan had said earlier that the NHRC could also be reconstituted because Thailand had been cautioned that the selection of commissioners had not been in accordance with the Paris Principles relating to the status and functioning of a national institution for protection and promotion of human rights.
The Paris Principles were adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Commission in 1992 and by the UN General Assembly in 1993.
In the organic law governing the NHRC, it is being argued that current commissioners do not meet international requirements, which stipulate that they must be from diverse sectors, Meechai had said.
In response, the NHRC chairman countered: “Such stipulations in the organic law are nowhere to be found in the Paris Principles.”
The principles only laid out that the composition of the commission must ensure the institution could represent diverse factions related to human rights protection and promotion in society, What said.
The NHRC chairman slammed the CDC, saying that their stipulations were way beyond those of the Paris Principles and that they were inflexible. T
Strict qualifications would only make it hard to recruit commissioners in the future, he warned.
In countering criticism that the NHRC’s work and composition were problematic, What said the agency had been continuously recognised both in and outside the country. In addition, the make-up of the commission also showed diversity – there were rights advocates, a former judge, and social workers.
It was evident that the NHRC had worked for the national and public interest in promoting and protecting human rights, What said.
The NHRC chairman said that in deciding to reconstitute any agency, sacrifices made by commissioners in giving up previous jobs should be taken into account. A reconstitution would also cause difficulties in the agency’s work, he said.
(Reuters) Qatar promoted a plan to split Iraq along sectarian lines, Iraqi Vice President Iyad Allawi said on Saturday, voicing support for the isolation of Doha by some Arab states.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have broken off ties and imposed sanctions on Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism and courting regional rival Iran – allegations Doha denies.
Allawi is a secular Shi’ite politician who has some support within Iraq’s Sunni community. His position as vice president is largely ceremonial and his views do not reflect those of the government in Baghdad, headed by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
Abadi has refused to take sides officially in the Gulf Arab rift but criticized the sanctions imposed on Qatar, saying they hurt the population, not the Qatari government.
The prime minister belongs to the Dawa party, which traditionally has close ties to Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional foe.
“In Iraq, Qatar adopted a project similar to that of Iran; to split Iraq into a Sunni region in exchange for a Shi’ite region,” Allawi told a news conference in Cairo. “Unfortunately, some Arab states were silent when it came to Qatar.”
Allawi was in Cairo to meet Egyptian leaders including President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for discussions about oil and the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya.
“It is time we all spoke honestly and made things clear (to the Qataris) so we can reach some results,” Allawi said. “After that confrontation, comes reconciliation.”
Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Four persons were wounded due to a bomb blast that hit western Baghdad, a police source said on Saturday.
Speaking to AlSumaria News, the source said “An IED placed near a store that sells construction materials in Khan Dari region in Abu Ghraib district, western Baghdad, exploded causing injury of four people.”
“Security troops cordoned off the blast spot and transferred the wounded to nearby hospital,” the source, who preferred anonymity, added.
Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State Sunni extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.
According to a monthly count released by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, violence and armed conflicts left 824 Iraqis dead and wounded during the month of May.
Nineveh came on top of the most affected governorates with 354 Iraqi civilians were killed and another 470 injured. Baghdad came in second place with 86 victims and 22 injured. Anbar came third with a total of 136 casualties (47 killed and 89 injured)
The total number of victims marked a rise from 317 Iraqis in April. In March, the victims reached 1115, according to UNAMI.
The multi-billion dollar transfer of taxpayer money from Catholic schools to public schools under the government’s “Gonski 2.0” funding model has been exposed in secret data given to the Senate crossbench ahead of a crucial vote this week.
The Department of Education data shows the country’s public schools would receive a $4 billion windfall over the next decade if the Turnbull government’s school funding changes pass while Catholic schools would be $4.6 billion worse off than under the current legislation.
The leaked modelling examines how public, Catholic and private schools around the country would be affected by the Senate’s decision to block or support the new funding model.
It shows Catholic schools would lose $705 million over the next four years if the new model is passed while public schools would gain $693 million.
The private school sector would see little change, picking up just an extra $12 million over the next four years.
The data will focus the mind of the Senate crossbench on the likely hit to public schools if they reject the government’s changes, and the consequent bonanza for Catholic schools.
The modelling obtained by Fairfax Media is based on a conservative “best case” scenario of how Education Minister Simon Birmingham would respond if its legislation is blocked.
It shows funding for NSW public schools would increase by $72 million over the next four years and $225 million over the decade compared to current legislation.
By contrast, NSW Catholic schools would lose $1.16 billion if the changes are passed and the NSW private school sector would be $138 million worse off.
Victorian public schools would be $202 million better off over the next four years and $1.24 billion better off over the next decade – an increase exceeded only by Western Australia.
Victorian Catholic schools would be hardest hit by the government’s changes and would be $1.6 billion worse off than under current arrangements.
The private school sector would see little change overall in Victoria, receiving $30 million less than under current legislation.
The data helps explain the ferocious response from the Catholic school sector to the government’s new funding model even though its funding is increasing overall.
National Catholic Education Commission executive director Christian Zahra said: “Minister Birmingham and his Coalition colleagues need to think long and hard about if they want this attack on Catholic education to be their legacy.”
Senator Birmingham said federal school funding would increase by almost $19 billion over a decade under the government’s plan, with spending on Catholic schools rising by 3.5 per cent annually.
According to the modelling, the government’s changes would save the budget $771 million over a decade because of the hit to Catholic schools.
These include extra funding, a fast-tracked spending timeline and a new independent schools resourcing body as recommended by the Gonski review.
The benefit to public schools under the new model would be even more dramatic than the modelling shows if the government agrees to a further funding boost.
Greens education spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said: “The Greens only want to do what is best for public schools.”Ultimately, any decision on whether we can support the government’s proposal, or an improved version of it, rests with the party room.”
Labor education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said the Greens should not do a “dodgy” deal with the Coalition.
“The only proposal that’s on the table at the moment is a $22 billion cut to schools, with the hardest cuts hitting public schools,” she said.
The modelling compares the government’s new model to a scenario where it is blocked by the Senate.
The scenario assumes the government maintains the overall funding announced in this year’s budget, complies with the current legislation and gives so-called “non-participating” states such as Victoria 4.3 per cent annual funding growth.
The Turnbull government has repeatedly said it will not fund the final two years of the big-spending deals Labor struck with state governments in 2013.
Education Department officials recently confirmed the deals are not legally binding and can be terminated at any time.