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Latest Articles

Thailand charges nine in anti-government protests dating to 2013

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand on Wednesday charged nine leaders of anti-government protests in 2013 and 2014 with inciting insurrection and sedition in an attempt to oust Yingluck Shinawatra, who was prime minister at the time. The People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and its supporters took to the streets for seven months, aiming to rid Thailand of the influence of Yingluck, and her billionaire brother, ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who had massive support among the rural poo
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Thailand welcomed a record 35.38 million tourists in 2017: ministry

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand welcomed a record 35.38 million foreign tourists in 2017, up 8.8 percent from the previous year, the tourism ministry said on Tuesday Thailand’s December tourist arrivals were seen at 3.5 million, the ministry said in a press release, up 15.1 percent from a year earlier. The ministry attributed growth in 2017 to increase numbers of tourists from China and East Asia.
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

India rice rates gain as Bangladesh keeps up purchases; Vietnam ends f

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Rice prices gained this week in India as Bangladesh continued to lap up the staple grain from its neighbour, while prospects of deals with the Philippines saw rates climb for the first time in three weeks in a relatively quiet Vietnamese market. Top exporter India’s 5 percent broken parboiled rice prices rose by about $2 per tonne this week to $423-$427. Traders from Bangladesh are aggressively buying new-season crop since prices in Bangladesh are still elevated, said an
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Tattoos lead Thai police to Japanese gang murder suspect

BANGKOK (Reuters) - A 74-year-old Japanese man accused of a gang murder in Japan 15 years ago has been arrested in Thailand after pictures of his tattoos went viral on social media, Thai police said on Thursday. Shigeharu Shirai was arrested on Wednesday evening in Lopburi province, 150 km (95 miles) north of the capital, Bangkok. Police said he had confessed to being part of the Yamaguchi-gumi gang within Japan’s Yakuza, but not to murder. Shirai is accused of being one of eight gangsters inv
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Thai junta says it will lift ban on politics, paving way for election

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Tuesday he would use a special order that gives the military sweeping powers to lift a ban on political activity that has been in place since a 2014 coup, paving the way for a 2018 general election. Major political parties had urged the government for months to lift the ban to allow parties to prepare for the vote and the announcement won some applause from government critics. Prayuth, who is also head of the junta, has said tha
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Thai government says to increase rubber purchases to lift prices

BANGKOK, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Thailand’s government plans to increase rubber purchases to 50,000-80,000 tonnes per year from the current 20,000-30,000 tonnes to boost prices, the agriculture ministry said on Friday. Rubber farmers in Thailand, one of the world’s biggest exporters of natural rubber, threatened last month to protest if the military government does not help prop up falling prices. The Ministry of Agriculture said it aims to boost prices above the cost of production, which it put at
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Thai police arrest Hells Angels gang members

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai police have arrested four members of a Hells Angels biker gang accused of drug crimes, violence and posing a threat to society, the Tourist Police said on Thursday. Three Australians and a Canadian were arrested on Wednesday in Pattaya, a major tourist resort with a reputation as a hub for foreign gangs, drug dealing and the sex industry. Piyapong Ensarn of the Pattaya Tourist Police told Reuters that two of the accused gang members would be deported and the two others
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Two American tourists fined in Thailand for 'butt selfie' at temple

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai authorities have fined two American tourists for public indecency for posing for a “butt selfie” in front of a famous Buddhist temple, police said on Wednesday. The two, who police identified as Joseph Dasilva, 38, and Travis Dasilva, 36, were arrested late on Tuesday at an airport in the capital, Bangkok. They were each fined 5,000 baht ($154) for baring their buttocks for a picture taken last week at Bangkok’s Wat Arun, or Temple of the Dawn. “The two American citiz
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Dining goes digital for Thailand's street food vendors

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Bangkok’s famous street-food vendors have joined the digital revolution, embracing payment via Quick Response (QR) barcodes that can be read using smartphones. Thailand is famous for its traditional street stalls that offer everything from stir-fried noodles to clothes and for many Thais eating out at a pavement stall is part of their daily routine. Now, some vendors in the capital Bangkok are offering digital transactions after the Bank of Thailand (BOT) last week gave the
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Thailand extends deadline to offload 2 mln T of rice left in stockpiles to 2018

BANGKOK, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Thailand has extended a deadline to offload the remaining 2 million tonnes of rice for animal consumption or industrial use in state stockpiles from the end of this year to an unspecified date next year, the commerce ministry said on Friday. The country’s military government inherited 18.7 million tonnes of rice built up under the previous government’s rice subsidy scheme, and has since held several auctions since taking power in May 2014. Nanthawan Sakuntanak, perm
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Vietnam's neighbors, ASEAN, targeted by hackers: report

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A hacking group previously linked to the Vietnamese government or working on its behalf has broken into the computers of neighboring countries as well as a grouping of Southeast Asian nations, according to cybersecurity company Volexity. Steven Adair, founder and CEO, said the hacking group was still active, and had compromised the website of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) over several high-profile summit meetings. ASEAN is holding another summit of reg
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Catalan leader's farmhouse pact to make last stand in Brussels

BARCELONA/GIRONA, Spain (Reuters) - Twenty-four hours after Spain removed him from power, Catalonia’s leader had resolved to leave the country and take his independence campaign to the heart of the European Union, but first he needed to tie off an important loose end.
By Sam Edwards
Reuters

After year of mourning Thailand's 'floating basket' festival returns

BANGKOK (Reuters) - People in Thailand celebrated the Loy Krathong or “floating basket” festival on Friday, following a year of mourning for late King Bhumibol Adulyadej that saw many celebrations muted or canceled. The mourning ended on Monday after a five-day funeral last week, and many citizens have returned to wearing colored garments after having stuck to black for a year. Participants in the festival pay respects to the water spirits, floating small, traditionally-hand crafted rafts carr
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Thailand aims to boost exports; India rates dip on fresh supply

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Rice prices were relatively stable in Thailand this week as the country aims to attract more foreign buyers to boost exports, while prices in India slipped amid increasing supplies from the new season’s crop. Thailand’s benchmark 5-percent broken rice was quoted at $382-$386 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, which compared with $375-$388 a tonne last week. The country has exported 8.23 million tonnes of rice since January to September this year, according to Thailand’
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Aid groups struggle to improve dire conditions for Rohingya refugees

(Reuters Health) - More than a half-million Rohingya people have fled the latest wave of violence in Myanmar for refugee camps in Bangladesh, and most lack clean water, latrine facilities or even shelter from the elements, according to a Medicins Sans Frontiers physician based there. “There are hardly any latrines so people have tried to rig up their own plastic sheeting around four bamboo poles, but there is nowhere for their waste to go except into the stream below. That is the same stream th
By Anne Harding
Reuters

Technicolor Thailand is back after a black-clad mourning year for late king

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand officially ended a year of mourning for its late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Monday, marking a return to colors for some after a monotone year during which many wore black from head-to-toe out of respect for their revered monarch. Hundreds of thousands of people thronged Bangkok’s historic quarter to bid farewell last week to King Bhumibol, who died in October 2016. His $90 million-dollar funeral, full of pomp and ancient ritual, took place over five days. His remai
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Rice prices in India dip on rising supply; Thailand eyes Sri Lankan demand

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Rice prices in India slipped this week on expectations of a rise in supplies from the new season crop, while rates for the staple grain edged higher in Thailand as traders were optimistic about the possibility of demand from Sri Lanka. Thailand’s benchmark 5-percent broken rice was quoted at $375-$388 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, up from $375-$385 last week. “There looks to be demand from Sri Lanka, which we’re optimistic will translate into more demand for Thai
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Late Thai king's remains returned to palace after night of tears

BANGKOK (Reuters) - The ashes and bones of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej were returned to the palace on Friday as part of an elaborate, five-day cremation ceremony that drew hundreds of thousands of black-clad mourners to Bangkok’s historic old quarter. King Bhumibol was the world’s longest-reigning monarch when he died a year ago aged 88. His seven-decade rule spanned some of the most tumultuous moments in modern Thai history, including several coups, a deadly crackdown on student protest
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Factbox: Funeral of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Crowds began gathering in Bangkok on Wednesday for the official beginning of the funeral of Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The lavish five-day event, which runs until Sunday, opened with rows of Buddhist monks in orange robes chanting prayers. A funeral procession and cremation ceremony are scheduled for Thursday. About 250,000 Thais are expected to attend the cremation ceremony, which will be led by the new King Maha Vajiralongkorn. King Bhumibol, 88, who rul
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Thai vegetarian festival expects record spending

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s annual vegetarian festival began on Friday with record spending expected from Thais abstaining from meat-heavy diets to earn spiritual credit during the year-long mourning period for the late king. Tiny yellow flags fluttered over shops and stalls in Bangkok’s Chinatown to show those with vegetarian-friendly dishes. The festival is particularly popular among Thai Chinese. Spending on food, transport and donations to Buddhist temples to ‘make merit’ during the fes
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Go-go going as Chinese women fuel Thai tourism boom

BANGKOK (Reuters) - For decades since the Vietnam war, the scantily clad dancers in the go-go bars of Bangkok’s Patpong red-light district have been the face of Thailand’s tourism industry. But last year for the first time, the country drew more women tourists than men as a surge in Chinese female visitors outweighed a longstanding distortion spurred by men drawn to the world’s “sex capital”. The shift is welcome news for Thai authorities, who have tried to promote the country’s shopping, beac
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Rice prices up in India, Vietnam as rains dampen crop supply

Workers fill a sack with rice at the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) market yard on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, December 1, 2015. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files BENGALURU (Reuters) - Rice prices in India and Vietnam rose this week as prolonged periods of rainfall threatened supply in the two major exporters of the grain. India’s 5 percent broken parboiled rice prices edged up by $4 to $404-$407 per tonne as heavy rainfall in key growing regions is expected to delay harvesting. “K
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Son of Thailand's ex-PM Thaksin charged with money-laundering

FILE PHOTO: Ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (L) stands with his son Panthongtae during a news conference at a hotel in Bangkok February 28, 2008. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang BANGKOK (Reuters) - The only son of fugitive former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been formally charged with money-laundering, the Department of Special Investigations told Reuters on Wednesday. Panthongtae Shinawatra is accused of receiving a 10 million baht ($300,000) check in 2004 related to an ea
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Thai hotels booked up ahead of funeral of revered king

The Great Victory Royal Chariot is pulled during a funeral rehearsal for late Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 15, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha BANGKOK (Reuters) - Hotels in Bangkok’s bustling old town, home to a backpacker enclave favored by foreign tourists, are booked up as Thailand prepares to host the lavish funeral of its revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej next week, the hotel association said on Monday. The funeral of King Bhumibol
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Floods, landslides in Vietnam kill 37 people, thousands evacuated

HANOI (Reuters) - Floods caused by a tropical depression in Vietnam killed 37 people, one of the highest death tolls recorded in the country from flooding, the disaster prevention agency said on Thursday. Forty people were missing and 21 others were injured after rains caused landslides and flooding, mostly in northern and central Vietnam. “Our entire village had sleepless nights...it’s impossible to fight against this water, it’s the strongest in years,” Ngo Thi Su, a resident in northwestern
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Thai junta sets firm date for election after many false starts

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha attends the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries in Xiamen in southeastern ChinaÕs Fujian Province Sept. 5, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Schiefelbein/Pool BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand will hold a general election in November 2018, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Tuesday, the most precise date he has given yet for the vote since taking power in a 2014 military coup. Prayuth, head of the ruling junta, said the exact date would be announc
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters

Thaksin's son calls for an end to Thai money-laundering probe

BANGKOK, Oct 3 (Reuters) - The only son of fugitive former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Tuesday asked for a money-laundering investigation against him to be dropped, saying it was politically motivated. Panthongtae Shinawatra is accused of receiving a 10 million baht ($299,000) cheque in 2004 allegedly related to an earlier corruption case involving 9.9 billion baht ($296.14 million) of fraudulent loans extended by the state-owned Krungthai Bank when his father was prime minister.
By Suphanida Thakral
Reuters