DRG proposes charter change to end NCPO hold on power in election run-up

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politics March 13, 2018 19:24

By Wasamon Audjarint

The Nation

The activist Democracy Restoration Group (DRG) on Tuesday suggested changes to the 2017 Constitution in order to end the ruling legitimacy of the military-led government during the pre-election period.

The DRG is campaigning for an end to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and the turning of the junta government into an acting administration in the run-up to the general election.

These changes, the group argues, should ensure that the election is not delayed further and that the NCPO will not be able to prolong its hold on power.

In 2016, the government organised a nationwide referendum on a junta-written charter draft and imposed strict rules during the campaign period ahead of the national vote, disabling different opinions from speaking up against the draft.

Some of the activists who now form the DRG were arrested at that time for allegedly breaking the referendum law.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday brushed aside such a call from the DRG, reasoning that the Constitution’s Article 265 stipulates that the NCPO stay in power until the new government after the next election is in place.

The DRG has proposed that a possible solution is to amend Article 265.

“The NCPO often cites laws in ways advantaging themselves, saying that those laws have to be strictly followed,” the group said in a Facebook post.

“In fact, the 2017 charter was wholly written by the NCPO. It was amended even after approval in the referendum,” the DRG continued. “So, why can’t the charter be amended to pave the way for faster dissolution of the NCPO?”



Tourist police warn Thai women: Your white handsome man is really a dark skinned scammer!

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Breaking News March 14, 2018 09:02

By ThaiVisa

The Thai tourist police have produced Facebook posted warning for Thai women about Romance Scams.


One of the frames shows a cartoon white man who they say is handsome and rich.

But towards the end the police say that he is more than likely dark skinned and after your money.

The advice says that Thai women in middle age and middle class are the most likely targets of the scammers. They say they want marriage and claim to have sent gifts that need payments to be made so the presents can be released by customs.

 The advice says: “:Don’t be a victim – don’t believe sweet words”.

Don’t send personal details such as documents to them.

The advice comes under the banner of the tourist police with the slogan: Smart Tourist Police…Your First Friend.


Source  :  The Nation Multimedia

Prosecutors handed probe documents in Premchai case

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national March 14, 2018 01:00


ITD president and aides to meet with police today to acknowledge charges.

POLICE YESTERDAY submitted two thick files of investigation documents to provincial public prosecutors to support their allegations on nine poaching-related offences against the president of the Italian-Thai Development (ITD) construction firm and his aides.

Deputy national police chief Pol General Srivara Rangsibhramanakul, as chief investigator, travelled to Kanchanaburi’s Thong Pha Phum district to hand over the files.

Police allege ITD president Premchai Karnasuta, Yong Dotekreau, Natee Riemsaen and Thanee Thummart, violated wildlife Acts on nine counts involving poaching, having in their possession weapons without permits and the remains of protected animals.

 The alleged poaching took place between February 4-6 in Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary. The four suspects have been informed of the charges, which they denied.

Somsri Wattanapaisarn, director-general of the provincial public prosecutor’s department, said that they were aware that the case has attracted public attention as it involved a well-known person and protected animals. Therefore, they would handle the case carefully and with transparency.

Premchai and the three other suspects were freed on bail after being arrested in early February. He travelled to Bangladesh last weekend on his private jet.

He is scheduled to meet Natural Resources and Environmental Crime (NREC) police today at 10am to acknowledge additional charges of possessing without permits two pairs of tusks and illegal guns that were confiscated from his house in Bangkok.

NREC commander Pol Maj-General Panya Pinsuk held a meeting yesterday with his officers to prepare for today’s meeting with Premchai.

It was expected that Premchai’s wife Kanitta may also show up. The tusks that were registered as being from Thai elephants but turned out to be from African elephants, were registered under her name.

It was not clear whether anti-corruption police, who are investigating alleged attempted bribery by Premchai, will join the NREC officers.

Premchai’s lawyer on Monday requested a postponement of today’s meeting with police to acknowledge the charges.

Pol Maj-General Kamol Rienracha, chief of the Counter Corruption Division, said the lawyer gave no reason for the postponement and did not suggest a new appointment date.

Police denied the request, however, insisting that Premchai and the other suspects had to show up.

The findings of a butchered black leopard and |other protected animals in Premchai’s campsite |has upset and angered the public partly because Premchai, a billionaire and educated man, allegedly poached in the wildlife sanctuary despite the fact he knew about the laws.

His company, ITD, that has had several contracts with the government, has a clear policy to protect the environment, the forests and wildlife.

Several civilian networks and others have called for police to investigate the case with fairness and transparency out of fear that he could evade prosecution.


Source :  The Nation Multimedia

UPDATED: Iraq lifts international flights ban on Kurdistan airports

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Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraq lifted on Tuesday an embargo it has imposed on Kurdistan Region since the September poll in which the autonomous region voted for independence from the central government.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi made the announcement following a meeting with police officers and employees at the Kurdish airports, according to a statement by his media office.

“The decision came after the local authorities in Kurdistan Region reciprocated to returning the federal authority to Erbil and Sulaimaniyah airports,” said the statement.

The decision, according the the statement, involves the creation of a special directorate for the control of the two airports that is under the federal interior ministry.

As part of the measure, the vetting system and passports departments at both Kurdish airports will be interconnected with the interior ministry.

Iraq imposed an international flights embargo on the two airports after a majority of voters voted in favor of Kurdistan’s independence from Iraq, a step which Baghdad deemed illegal.

Baghdad has, since then, demanded Kurdish authorities to hand over management of the two airports to the federal government.

Abadi has recently approved to partially lift the embargo to facilitate the movement of Muslim pilgrims from and to the region.


Source :  Iraqi News

Iraqi army kills four Islamic State militants while infiltrating into Salahuddin

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Salahuddin (Iraqinews.com) – Iraqi army, backed by pro-government troops, killed on Tuesday four Islamic State (IS) militants while trying to infiltrate into al-Shirqat district in northern Salahuddin province via western borders, a security source was quoted as saying.

Speaking to Knooz Media, the source said, “A group of IS militants tried to infiltrate into the Sunni-dominated al-Shirqat district coming from western borders, but troops of the Iraqi army and al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) managed to foil their plot and killed four of them.”

The source affirmed that the security situation “in the district is now under control.”

The IS group declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014, prompting the Iraqi government to launch a campaign with the help of the a U.S.-led international coalition to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens.

Although Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December, isolated cells believed to be linked to the militant group remain active in some parts of the country.

The surge in violence between armed groups and government forces has resulted in over 3 million internally displaced persons across Iraq and left more than 11 million in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.


Source :  Iraqi News

Central Bank of Iraq Auctions $201,715,251 on 13 March 2018

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Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) currency auction on March 13 registered $201,715,251 in sales, a 0.89% volume increase from the US $199,935,053 sold by Iraqi Dinar, credit and transfer at the previous auction held on March 12.

The latest auction was attended by 45 banks and 9 remittance companies. The same institutions attended the auction held on March 13 compared to the previous auction.

Data for the March 13 auction was made public by CBI Announcement Number 3654.

Dollar sales in the in the period January 1, 2018 to March 13, 2018 saw an increase of -1% compared to the sales of US $7.33 billion in the same period in 2017. The total amount of US currency sold by CBI in the calendar year 2017 was US $15.7 billion.

An analysis of the monthly dollar sales by CBI since January 2016 reveals highly fluctuating volumes. During the period from January 2016 to March 2018, sales of US dollars averaged US $1.82 billion per month. Peak volumes were reached in May this year when sales touched US $2.3 billion.

2017 January 2.2
2017 February 2 -9%
2017 March 2.1 5%
2017 April 1.8 -14%
2017 May 2.3 28%
2017 June 0.6 -74%
2017 July 2.2 267%
2017 August 2.1 -5%
2017 September 1 -52%
2017 October 2.2 120%
2017 November 1.9 -14%
2017 December 1.9 0%
2018 January 2.2 16%
2018 February 2 -9%
2018 March 0.8 -60%



Source :  Iraq News