IN BRIEF:


WEBSITE BAN: ICT tells Internet providers to deny access to separatist site The Information and Communication Technology Ministry has ordered all Internet service providers in Thailand to block access to a Muslim separatist website, an adviser to the ministry said yesterday. Wutthipong Pongsuwan, an adviser to Minister Surapong Suebwonglee, said ISPs in Thailand had been ordered to block access to the website of the Pattani United Liberation Organisation (www.pulo.org). He said separatist websites were one of six kinds of sites that Thai ISPs must block. He said a certain ISP earlier had failed to block the Pulo site, so it was warned in a letter to comply with the law. PM DEFENDS PALLOP: Transfer not for disobeying orders Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday defended a general in charge of southern security, saying he was transferred to streamline the chain of command and not for insubordination. General Pallop Pinmanee, deputy director of the Internal Security Operations Command, was relieved of his duties in the South after he disobeyed a direct order not to storm the Krue Se Mosque in Pattani on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, who issued the order, said on Thursday. Seen as an attempt to salvage Pallop's record, Thaksin said the transfer order had nothing to do with the alleged insubordination. Thaksin said, after designating Defence Minister General Chettha Thanajaro to oversee security operations in the South, he was obliged to remove Pallop who previously held Chettha's job. TOKYO: Ex-foreign minister will receive Japanese honour One of the premier's advisors, Krasae Chanawongse, will be among three foreigners to be given Japan's highest royal decoration for his outstanding and continued contribution to Thai-Japanese relations. Krasae, a former foreign minister, will receive the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun at a ceremony this month. Not many foreigners have been granted the decoration. This year, it will also go to former Ethiopian president Tesfaye Dinka and Singapore's former ambassador to Japan, Lim Chin Beng. MUSEUM: Fees 'won't cover operating cost' Large companies and state enterprises will be encouraged to pay the operating costs of a planned National Discovery Museum. The museum, which will highlight the history and development of Thailand, will cost Bt3.7 billion to build, and more will be needed to ensure it runs smoothly, said Chai-anant Samudvanija, chairman of a subcommittee overseeing the creation of the museum. Admission fees alone, at an expected 5 per cent of total costs, will be insufficient, he said. The museum, due for completion in 2009, will be in Bangkok's old city. A venue will be selected from among historic buildings owned by government agencies, including the Defence Ministry and the Public Warehouse Organisation. CHARCOAL DEATH: Suicide suspected Investigators are likely to conclude that a student who was found dead with a burning brazier inside his car committed suicide, police said yesterday. Major Thanarat Rungrojdee, an inspector at the Samsen police station, said the results of an autopsy on Thanakorn Vatcharadai, 29, a post-graduate engineering student, did not show any traces of foul play. Thanakorn was found dead in the driver's seat of his Honda parked at his house in Bangkok's Dusit district on April 19. A charcoal stove with smouldering embers was found on the floor behind the front passenger seat. Thanarat said investigators had learned that Thanakorn had been found unconscious inside his car with a burning stove late last year. The police officer said investigators could not establish a motive for suicide.

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