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Mon, January 23, 2006

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ANTI-GOVT CAMPAIGN: Thirayuth: Sondhi a threat to democracy

Says drive to ‘return mandate to King’ would disrupt country’s political development. Noted social critic Thirayuth Boonmi yesterday warned against the campaign by media tycoon Sondhi Limthongkul to oust Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, saying it would disrupt the nation’s long process of democratic development. Thirayuth, a Thammasat University lecturer, was commenting on Sondhi’s so-called campaign to “return the mandate to His Majesty the King”, interpreted by observers as a move to try to remove Thaksin from office.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: looking beyond thaksin era:

Academic-turned-politician Anek Laothamatas analyses the current political scene and sees little future for Thaksin Shinawatra and his policies

Second bridge to Burma opens in Mae Sai

The foreign ministers of Thailand and Burma yesterday opened the second Mae Sai Friendship Bridge in Chiang Rai to facilitate bilateral trade and transportation between the two countries following a slowdown due to a political deadlock in Rangoon.

WOMAN’S DYING: wish to punish traffickers who ruined her life

Urairat Soimee, 38, said she was lured into prostitution in Japan and jailed for killing her “mama san” (pimp) before she was sent back home after authorities found she was dying of cancer. Believed to be in the last stages of the disease, Urairat said she has one last wish.

Two drug offenders on the run; 3 caught

Nakhon Pathom police are hunting two drug offenders who escaped from a local narcotics rehabilitation centre early yesterday morning. One was caught a few hours later and two others late last night.

Spate of water buffalo deaths in Phang Nga

Two districts in Phang Nga have effectively been quarantined following the death of almost 100 water buffalo over the past week. Livestock authorities declared an epidemic in the two areas as they try to contain the spread of a disease called haemorrhagic septicaemia.

Princess attends dinner celebrating Indian award

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn yesterday attended a special dinner thrown for her by the government to celebrate her being awarded the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development.

FTA TALKS: New lead negotiator to be named Wednesday

Public opinion on who should face the US team to be taken into consideration. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra will hold a meeting on Wednesday to select a new chief negotiator for the Thai-US free-trade agreement talks, a vice commerce minister said yesterday.

Suspected militants slip past armed force

A combined force of 200 soldiers and police yesterday failed to locate five suspected militants who narrowly escaped a two-hour hunt, which ended with the discovery of weapons and items used for bombs.

TRT puts pressure on Apirak

Continuing its attack on the Democrat-led Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), the Thai Rak Thai Party yesterday insisted Bangkok Governor Apirak Kosayodhin would have to be held responsible for any corruption in the bidding for 16 road construction projects, even though they had been handled solely his deputy.

Public sees gains from At Samat

The prime minister’s anti-poverty mission in Roi Et’s At Samat district last week destroyed the value of encouraging people to be self-dependent, Democrat party-list MP Kriengsak Charoen-wongsak said yesterday.

Couple’s killers elude police

Police still have no solid evidence to pin down any suspects in connection with the murder of two Lao-American social activists in north-eastern Nong Khai province last week.

‘He was charming in those days’

Former Mahachon Party leader Anek Laothamatas’ first impression of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was his laudable fatherhood.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: Chuwit’s future as MP in balance

The Constitution Court will rule on Thursday whether Chat Thai Party deputy leader Chuwit Kamolvisit should be disqualified from being a member of Parliament.