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  • Twitter puts Bar B Q Plaza on blast for NSFW Thai schoolgirl pic

    After landing on the wrong side of Twitter, a popular mall shabu destination said yesterday that it fired a store manager for dismissing an intern who objected to his sexy student pic shared in work chat. Bar B Q Plaza said the manager of its Central Pinklao branch was fired for sexual harassment because his ...

    This article, Twitter puts Bar B Q Plaza on blast for NSFW Thai schoolgirl pic, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    After landing on the wrong side of Twitter, a popular mall shabu destination said yesterday that it fired a store manager for dismissing an intern who objected to his sexy student pic shared in work chat.

    Bar B Q Plaza said the manager of its Central Pinklao branch was fired for sexual harassment because his actions did not live up to its values. The restaurant also immediately offered to bring the intern back on after the issue was taken up by the anti-government cause.

    The episode started with a Tuesday tweet from a friend of the intern saying she was fired for challenging her manager after he shared a photo of a schoolgirl on a bed with her blouse open and cleavage exposed.

    “I gotta tell you. I don’t know who’s on which side, but I side with the students,” he wrote in the work Line group, referring to the youth-led protest movement.

    “Excuse me, as I’m a woman, I don’t feel okay that you post this kind of photo into the group, it’s like harassment,” replied the intern, who remains unidentified.

    The manager told her she didn’t have a sense of humor and kicked her out of the group before telling everyone else he would kick them out as well if they were uncomfortable with it.

    The tweet by user @Ladaishappy_  immediately got wide attention by using the #Mob20Oct, a hashtag adapted daily to protest-related topics.

     

    Read more of Coconuts Bangkok stories here

    This article, Twitter puts Bar B Q Plaza on blast for NSFW Thai schoolgirl pic, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    22 October 2020
    Coconuts Bangkok
    Viral, News, Bangkok
    https://coconuts.co/?p=1023074
  • ‘Severe’ state of emergency lifted over Bangkok

    The government on Thursday made good on the prime minister’s offer to revoke the week-old state of emergency imposed over the capital in response to mounting protests.  The emergency decree, which had been effective until Nov. 13, was revoked as of noon, according to an order published in the Royal Gazette today. It said that ...

    This article, ‘Severe’ state of emergency lifted over Bangkok, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    The government on Thursday made good on the prime minister’s offer to revoke the week-old state of emergency imposed over the capital in response to mounting protests. 

    The emergency decree, which had been effective until Nov. 13, was revoked as of noon, according to an order published in the Royal Gazette today. It said that the “severe situation has eased and ceased.”

    It was signed by prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. Last night, as ten thousand or so protesters were marching on his offices, he said he would lift the decree to defuse the situation, so long as demonstrations remained peaceful. 

    A nationwide state of emergency in place since late March, ostensibly to combat the pandemic, remains in place. Numerous protesters have been charged with violating it.

    Last night’s rally concluded with two protesters presenting a resignation letter ready for Prayuth to sign, and a vow that protests would resume in three days if he did not.

    Shortly after two protesters were filmed presenting it to smiling police, one of them, Patsaravalee “Mind” Tanakitvibulpon was taken into custody. She was charged with violating decree before being released on bail Thursday morning.

    Related

    Protesters held off near Government House by blockade of vehicles, police

    This article, ‘Severe’ state of emergency lifted over Bangkok, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    22 October 2020
    Coconuts Bangkok
    Politics, News, Bangkok
    https://coconuts.co/?p=1023061
  • Protesters held off near Government House by blockade of vehicles, police

    Thousands of people demanding the government step down and monarchy be reformed marched on Thailand’s Government House in Bangkok, overcoming police barricades to reach their destination before dispersing at about 9:30pm. Police had retreated from blockades erected along the way, and thousands of marchers gathered meters from the government’s seat of power, separated by a ...

    This article, Protesters held off near Government House by blockade of vehicles, police, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    Thousands of people demanding the government step down and monarchy be reformed marched on Thailand’s Government House in Bangkok, overcoming police barricades to reach their destination before dispersing at about 9:30pm.

    Police had retreated from blockades erected along the way, and thousands of marchers gathered meters from the government’s seat of power, separated by a canal bridge blocked by city buses, police vehicles, water cannon trucks and police. 

    “Fuck Prayuth!” they shouted in reference to Gen. Prayuth Chan-o-cha, who seized power in a 2014 coup and whose ouster they demand. Protesters also want the constitution rewritten by public-chosen representatives and reforms of the monarchy. Before dispersing, a letter was handed over to police representatives demanding that Prayuth resign within three days.

    Through megaphones, people exhorted the large crowd to “keep cool” and avoid violence. For their part, the police avoided a repeat of Friday’s violent dispersal of a smaller crowd in downtown Bangkok with water cannons and force.

    The march set out from the Victory Monument at 5:30pm after protesters again answered a call to defy an emergency decree banning gatherings to protest the government. 

    Getting their wasn’t easy. Tense scenes played out at 7pm with both sides refusing to back down at one line of police, who later withdrew after protesters dragged away the barriers and barbed wire separating them.

     

    Front line of protest march. Photo: Coconuts
    Front line of protest march. Photo: Coconuts

    It was the seventh mass rally in eight days. A clash broke out at about 5:15pm at Ramkhamhaeng University after about 100 pro-royalists in yellow shirts approached a rally there and demanded they leave. Police had to separate the group after one of them threw a traffic cone at a student speaking from atop a vehicle.

    In an address to the nation at about 7pm, Gen. Prayuth said he would defuse tensions by lifting the state of emergency he imposed over the capital last week.

    “I am preparing to repeal the severe emergency in the Bangkok area soon, except in the event of any serious situation,” he said.

    “We must heal the wounds before they get deeper,” he added.

    Related

    BTS Protests: Protesters told to gather at all Skytrain stations at 2pm

    This is a developing story and may be updated without notice.

     

    This article, Protesters held off near Government House by blockade of vehicles, police, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    21 October 2020
    Coconuts Bangkok
    Politics, News, Bangkok
    https://coconuts.co/?p=1023036
  • Collapsing islet decimates coral in southern Krabi province

    One-fifth of the coral off a small islet in the Andaman Sea were destroyed after roughly 50,000 tons of cliff collapsed into the water. Divers today found the massive rock fall, which happened Monday, lowered the sea floor by 5 meters. The rock split into two pieces now jutting from the water. The incident happened ...

    This article, Collapsing islet decimates coral in southern Krabi province, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    One-fifth of the coral off a small islet in the Andaman Sea were destroyed after roughly 50,000 tons of cliff collapsed into the water.

    Divers today found the massive rock fall, which happened Monday, lowered the sea floor by 5 meters. The rock split into two pieces now jutting from the water.

    The incident happened at Koh Mae Urai, also known as Koh Talu, amid strong monsoon waves and winds. While the exact cause is still unknown, the authorities found many fractures and cavities around the island and declared it hazardous to investigate further , according to Prayoon Pongpan, Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park chief.

    He suggested that tourists and fisher boats should stay away because there is a chance more rock could collapse.

    The island is 1 kilometer west from Koh Kai, a famous tourist attraction and scuba destination known for a bizarre rock formation that looks like the head of a chicken.

    Read more stories from Coconuts Bangkok here

    This article, Collapsing islet decimates coral in southern Krabi province, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    21 October 2020
    Coconuts Bangkok
    News, Environment, Bangkok
    https://coconuts.co/?p=1023034
  • Ordered off the air, Voice TV broadcasts live via gamer fave Twitch

    Update: A court on Thursday afternoon overturned yesterday’s ruling that four media outlets must cease operations, granting an appeal of the decision lodged by broadcaster Voice TV. Voice TV has found a novel way to reach its audience despite a government shutdown order by broadcasting live via game-streaming platform Twitch. With the station’s broadcasts unavailable ...

    This article, Ordered off the air, Voice TV broadcasts live via gamer fave Twitch, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    Update: A court on Thursday afternoon overturned yesterday’s ruling that four media outlets must cease operations, granting an appeal of the decision lodged by broadcaster Voice TV.

    Voice TV has found a novel way to reach its audience despite a government shutdown order by broadcasting live via game-streaming platform Twitch.

    With the station’s broadcasts unavailable after they were pulled by providers and its online platforms expected to go dark, it has, since yesterday, been broadcasting live and posting short clips online via Twitch. The channel’s editor in chief, Rittikorn Mahakhachabhorn, told Coconuts Bangkok that they don’t consider the government order applicable to the three-year-old VoiceTV x Twitch channel.

    “If they shut down our other online channels, we will launch new ones and rebroadcast on those. Every channel is our main channel,” the editor said

    He added that it would complement their larger channels such as YouTube and Facebook during the challenging time that they are only available online.

    “We saw that it’s popular among new generations in many foreign countries, so we wanted to introduce ourselves there three years ago, and now Twitch is getting more popular in Thailand,” he said.

    Pheu Thai Party rallies to let gamers stream their hearts out

    The Criminal Court yesterday ordered Voice TV to halt all online operations for violating the Computer Crime Act and emergency decree, an order that is not yet effective.

    Human Rights Watch today said the government abused that decree to censor the channel as part of a campaign to “bully” the media.

    “Banning Voice TV is the Thai government’s latest attempt to stop the reporting about democracy protests and ensuing abuses against protesters,” said Brad Adams, the group’s Asia director. “The crackdown is part of a bigger effort to bully and control the media into becoming a government mouthpiece.”

    Voice TV, founded by a son of an ousted prime minister, is a frequent target of the military-backed regime and has been ordered to cease broadcasting in the past. On Monday, it was one of four agencies the police ordered investigated and shut down in the face of swelling protests across the nation against the government.

    Related

    BTS Protests: Protesters told to gather at all Skytrain stations at 2pm

    Thai court orders Voice TV to shut down all online operations

    4 Thai news agencies to be shut down by gov’t as protests explode: police

     

    This article, Ordered off the air, Voice TV broadcasts live via gamer fave Twitch, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    21 October 2020
    Thitima Sukontaros
    Politics, News, Bangkok
    https://coconuts.co/?p=1023016
  • BTS Protests: Protesters told to gather at all Skytrain stations at 2pm

    Protest organizers are asking people to gather this afternoon at every BTS station for what’s likely to be another round of protests.  After a week of nearly daily protests began Oct. 14 at venues across Bangkok, activist group Free Youth issued the call today despite a court order that it cease online operations, a directive ...

    This article, BTS Protests: Protesters told to gather at all Skytrain stations at 2pm, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    Protest organizers are asking people to gather this afternoon at every BTS station for what’s likely to be another round of protests. 

    After a week of nearly daily protests began Oct. 14 at venues across Bangkok, activist group Free Youth issued the call today despite a court order that it cease online operations, a directive confirmed by Putchapong Nodthaisong of the IT ministry.

    Via its Telegram channel, which has hit the cap of 200,000 users; Free Youth instructed supporters to gather at every BTS station at 2pm and await a 3pm announcement.

    As of 1pm, the BTS operator had yet announced any closures. The Skytrain system, a mainstay of middle-class mobility, has become a potent tool for organizing rallies. Commuters of the sprawling system depend on it, a fact which hasn’t stopped the government from shuttering it in part of full in its unsuccessful attempt to prevent mass rallies.

    The government’s also pushed since Monday to muzzle platforms covering the protests. 

    Broadcaster Voice TV yesterday was ordered by a court to halt all online operations after the authorities said it was guilty of violating the Computer Crime Act and the state of emergency imposed one week ago over the capital. It’s terrestrial broadcasts have become unavailable after providers cut the channel’s programming. 

    An order to shut down Free Youth’s page, followed by more than 1 million people, will depend on Facebook’s willingness to comply. The page has meanwhile asked followers to subscribe to a backup page

    Related

    Thai court orders Voice TV to shut down all online operation

    This article, BTS Protests: Protesters told to gather at all Skytrain stations at 2pm, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    21 October 2020
    Coconuts Bangkok
    Politics, News, Bangkok
    https://coconuts.co/?p=1023014
  • Protest leaders re-arrested as ‘important announcement’ teased for noon

    Two key student activists were freed on bail last night only to be immediately detained again. Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul and Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak were taken to the Border Police Bureau Region 1 in Pathum Thani province and, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, face another three to four charges each. The movement had demanded ...

    This article, Protest leaders re-arrested as ‘important announcement’ teased for noon, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    Two key student activists were freed on bail last night only to be immediately detained again.

    Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul and Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak were taken to the Border Police Bureau Region 1 in Pathum Thani province and, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, face another three to four charges each. The movement had demanded the release of all those detained last night, teasing a “big surprise” that turned out to be nothing more than a provocation to keep security forces on their toes.

    At 10am this morning, protest organizer Free Youth was teasing the public again, this time that noon would bring an “important announcement.” The group also vowed “no tricks” this time.

    While unprecedented displays of anger toward the monarchy have been displayed in the street, movement leaders maintain that they simply want reforms of the institution.

    “The people’s demands are not to overthrow, but to offer a solution that brings Thailand back to a democracy where the kings are truly under the constitution,” Free Youth wrote this morning via Telegram. 

    One of their primary targets – Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-o-cha – said yesterday that the government’s primary responsibility is to “protect the monarchy.” 

    As to the controversial order for Voice TV to shut down, Prayuth asked the police to reconsider. However, he said any media agency found to spread “fake news” or have bad intentions should be censored. 

    Yesterday’s “big surprise” at 6pm was a fake out, but pro-democracy supporters at 6pm flashed three-finger salutes, sang the national anthem and denounced feudalism at BTS stations throughout the capital.

    The country’s oldest hospital, Siriraj, announced that it would treat every patient equally and without discrimination “regardless of their political stance.” Its statement came days after police in full riot gear shot water cannons – believed to be mixed with a chemical irritant – to disperse the crowd on Friday. 

    With nearly 400 doctors nationwide signing in a joint statement demanding the authorities refrain from violence, at least one doctor was fired from Mongkutwattana General Hospital with the hospital’s director reasoning they he doesn’t tolerate employees “allied with the king’s enemies.”

    This article, Protest leaders re-arrested as ‘important announcement’ teased for noon, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    21 October 2020
    Coconuts Bangkok
    Politics, News, Bangkok
    https://coconuts.co/?p=1022997
  • Jail time for selfies? Thai police pile on impotent threats

    The Thai government’s losing efforts to scrub massive protests from the public sphere are leading to ever expansive and peculiar threats, including a police threat that anyone taking a selfie at a rally faces a THB40,000 fine and two years in jail. Shutting down essential transportation and threatening to arrest all those participating have also ...

    This article, Jail time for selfies? Thai police pile on impotent threats, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    The Thai government’s losing efforts to scrub massive protests from the public sphere are leading to ever expansive and peculiar threats, including a police threat that anyone taking a selfie at a rally faces a THB40,000 fine and two years in jail.

    Shutting down essential transportation and threatening to arrest all those participating have also failed to stem escalating rallies, as have vows to prosecute those spreading “fake news.” For every threat, police brass point to the newly enacted state of emergency imposed over Bangkok.

    “We are under the severe state of emergency, which is a special law. We must hold this law seriously. Everything we do is under international standards,” police spokesperson Krissana Pattanacharoen said Sunday.

    The crackdown has elevated two medical professionals – one arrested and one fired – into protest heroes. This morning, doctor Tossaporn Serirak was freed on bail by the Pathumwan Municipal Court after his arrest for violating the emergency decree became a cause celebre.

    Tossaporn was greeted with salutes by protesters when he was released at about 9:50am. He was among five arrested Sunday for violating the ban on gatherings of more than four people. His arrest enraged witnesses who said he was only helping negotiate with the police and treat protesters injured by their water cannons on Friday. 

    Tossaporn Serirak on Monday morning was granted bail and released at Pathumwan Municipal Court with support from protesters. Photo: Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.
    Tossaporn Serirak on Monday morning was granted bail and released at Pathumwan Municipal Court with support from protesters. Photo: Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.

    Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said at least 80 people in five provinces have been arrested since Wednesday.  They include key activist leaders such as attorney Arnon Nampa and Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul. On Friday evening, a reporter from news nonprofit Prachatai, Kitti Pantapak, who was arrested as he sought directions from an officer following Friday’s crackdown.

    Kitti was charged with resisting a lawful order. He was taken to Pathumwan Police Station and released after paying a THB300 fine.

    A few hours after the Friday crackdown in which police in full riot gear used water cannons – believed to be mixed with a chemical irritant – to disperse the crowd, a group of nearly 400 doctors from hospitals across Thailand demanded the government and authorities stop using chemical-laced water or tear gas against protesters in a joint statement. 

    For signing the statement, at least one doctor was fired by her hospital: Jarosdao Rimpanichkit of Mongkutwattana General Hospital. The military facility’s director, Maj. Gen. Rientong Nanna, said the hospital doesn’t tolerate employees who are “allied with the king’s enemies.”

    Despite the state of extreme emergency in place over the capital since Thursday, protesters went on to gather at venues across the metropolitan area, which quickly spread to provinces throughout the nation. 

    This article, Jail time for selfies? Thai police pile on impotent threats, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    19 October 2020
    Coconuts Bangkok
    Politics, News, Bangkok
    https://coconuts.co/?p=1022861
  • Thai court orders Voice TV to shut down all online operations

    The Criminal Court today ordered broadcaster Voice TV to halt all online operations after finding it guilty of computer crimes and violating the state of emergency. The court made its ruling, which affects the independent broadcaster’s website and social media, based on evidence presented by the Digital Economy and Society Ministry, according to ministry official ...

    This article, Thai court orders Voice TV to shut down all online operations, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    The Criminal Court today ordered broadcaster Voice TV to halt all online operations after finding it guilty of computer crimes and violating the state of emergency.

    The court made its ruling, which affects the independent broadcaster’s website and social media, based on evidence presented by the Digital Economy and Society Ministry, according to ministry official Putchapong Nodthaisong.

    “Its Facebook page will be closed within 3 to 4 days. There is no specific date,” he said, citing a provision that service providers must page content that is deemed to instigate the public. 

    He said the ruling only applied to online because broadcast was the purview of state telecom regulators.

    “Television is the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission’s responsibility, so they have authority to revoke the license.”

    Voice TV at 1:30pm said it had yet to receive the order and defended its commitment to fairness and a free press.

    “Throughout 11 years, Voice TV has been a media outlet that upholds democratic values,” the station said via Facebook. “We openly, transparently provide a space for the public, and we are responsible to report every fact from all sides … We demand the authorities involved exercise their power fairly.”

    Voice TV, founded by a son of an ousted prime minister, is a frequent target of the military-backed regime and has been ordered to cease broadcasting in the past. On Monday, it was one of four agencies the police ordered investigated and shut down in the face of swelling protests across the nation against the government.

    Putchapong weighed in with his opinion that the channel had violated the emergency decree, put in place over the capital Thursday, because its broadcast persuaded people to join the mass gatherings.

    The government has refused to back down in the face of protests it has been unable to contain and has moved to muzzle coverage it does not deem favorable.

    Yesterday, police ordered that four news agencies – Prachathai, The Reporters, The Standard and Voice TV – be investigated and shut down, as well as the page of main student activist group Free Youth. However, today’s court ruling only applies to Voice TV.

    Yesterday, a number of media associations lodged formal protests against the move.

    Related

    4 Thai news agencies to be shut down by gov’t as protests explode: police

    This article, Thai court orders Voice TV to shut down all online operations, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    20 October 2020
    Coconuts Bangkok
    Politics, News, Bangkok
    https://coconuts.co/?p=1022951
  • Free Youth vows ‘surprise’ if gov’t fails to release protesters today

    A key activist group behind nearly a week of daily protests has given the authorities until 6pm today to release detained activists and revoke the emergency decree, else face “a surprise.”

    This article, Free Youth vows ‘surprise’ if gov’t fails to release protesters today, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    Update: Organizers have called for people to gather at all BTS stations at 5:50pm for a “big surprise.” At 6pm, the National Anthem is typically played at all stations.

    A key activist group behind nearly a week of daily protests has given the authorities until 6pm today to release detained activists and revoke the emergency decree, else face “a surprise.”

    After its platforms on Facebook and Telegram were threatened with closure, Free Youth gave the deadline for its demands that the authorities release dozens of activists who have been arrested on the first day without a major rally since Wednesday. 

    “At 6pm of tomorrow, the government must release all our friends,” Free Youth posted on its Facebook on Monday. “The emergency decree must be revoked! If you don’t do as we demanded, there is no way to stop the movement of the “people.”

    Activist leaders who have been arrested and not yet been released include lawyer Arnon Nampa and Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa. Student movement leaders Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul and Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak have been granted bail and are expected to be released today. Twenty protesters were released from prison last night, including Chaiamorn “Ammy The Bottle Blues” Kaewwiboonpan, a singer-songwriter responsible for an oft-sung protest anthem (“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Fuck you, Tu!”) mocking prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha by his nickname.

    Still, many of the movement’s organizers remain behind bars.

    Members of the Thai Academic Network for Civil Rights walked to the parliament this morning to deliver a petition signed by 1,118 university professors demanding the government stop harassing protesters following Friday’s crackdown, in which police dispersed the crowd with water cannons, believed to be laced with a chemical irritant.

    The cabinet on Tuesday afternoon approved convening a special parliamentary session on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27 to debate the current political protests and possible resolutions.

    This article, Free Youth vows ‘surprise’ if gov’t fails to release protesters today, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

    20 October 2020
    Coconuts Bangkok
    Politics, News, Bangkok
    https://coconuts.co/?p=1022928