The Thai Visa/the Nation web page, Khaosan English and Inspire Pattaya all went with “water ban”. Like last year, this makes it Thailand’s most popular April Fools’ Joke. Its a joke that is repeated so often that it should be declared a National Treasure and be given protected status by UNESCO.
Amazingly most of the readers comments in Thai Visa show that they did not know what day it is, and they thought the post was true. So, here is Private Tye’s April Fools’ joke:
The Thai Department of Statistics revealed that the I.Q. of the average farang resident is now below 50%. The Department said that the increase in the number of severely retarded farangs now living in Thailand was due to the large number of Alzheimer sufferers who retire here and the fact that any farang idiot can get a job teaching English.
Amazing Thailand - Ex Tourism Authority (TAT) Governor gets fifty years prison for corruption. TAT has always hated backpackers, beach party people and heavy drinkers who come to Thailand for the nightlife. They use all their money to promote prim and proper tourism. Tourists should come for Thailand’s culture. They should watch Thai Classical Dancing for Tourists at their hotel (performed by factory workers who do not have any idea what they are doing) then go off in a Tour Bus to one of the new, built for Tourists, temples (made of steel reinforced concrete with no monks in residence). TAT has paid advertising agencies to come up with some truly spectacular slogans such as “Thailand – the Land of Smiles” and “Amazing Thailand”.
It seems that prim and proper Juthamas Siriwan, the former Governor of TAT, took a prim and proper bribe of 60 million baht from a couple of Americans for a prim and proper film festival contract. Like most officials on the take, Juthamas sought to hide the money in her Daughter’s account, but, Amazing Thailand, her Daughter has been given 44 years in the prison. So, they are both off to the Land of Smiles.
The Story from the Nation (29 March):
Ex-TAT governor Juthamas jailed for 50 years for corruption
The Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases on Wednesday sentenced former Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Juthamas Siriwan to 50 years in prison for demanding and receiving a bribe of more than Bt60 million so an American business couple could manage the Bangkok International Film Festival.
Juthamas’ daughter, Jittisopha, was sentenced to 44 years in jail on the same charge. The court also ruled to confiscate the Bt62 million from them.
The mother and daughter avoided the media at the Criminal Court. Prosecutors last year indicted Juthamas, 70, and Jittisopha, 43, for seeking the kickback from the American couple. Juthamas was TAT governor in 2005 when the kickback was allegedly paid.
A group of insurgent squirrels gained access to a transformer, caused a short circuit and burned down a Club in Pattaya. The squirrels were killed in the fire, Pattaya police reported.
The insurgents are part of a group known as Independence for Squirrels In Siam (ISIS). They demand their own independent state in the last 50 square kilometers of forest left in Thailand. They claim that they have been driven from their homes by Burmese migrant workers cutting down Thailand’s national forest to grow maize for the Argro-Industrial Food Processing Companies.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that a maize crop, after harvesting, leaves behind fields of dry straw. Pyromaniacs set fire to this straw and the flames soon spread through what is left of the forest. The squirrels are then forced to migrate to urban areas to avoid the flames. It is estimated that there are now more than a million migrant squirrels living in Thailand’s cities. A spokesman for ISIS said that squirrels had nothing to loose and would rather burn in a transformer than burn in a maize field.
However, the migrants have not been accepted by locals, especially in Pattaya (Thailand’s leading sea-side resort). A protest group has been organised by Goring Wilders, a Dutchman who owns the “Wogs not Welcome” bar. In an interview with Private Tye, Wilders told us that Squirrels did not accept Pattaya’s culture and that they frequently stole from grocery shops. “They should go back to their own country” he said.
Pattaya police said that they would get on to the ISIS insurgency problem when they had time, but that at the moment they were busy rounding up African prostitutes and Ladyboys.
The story from The Nation (15 March):
A squirrel was blamed for transformer explosion which led to a fire broke out at an entertainment venue on Pattaya City’s Walking Street in Chon Buri's Bang Lamung district Wednesday morning.
No one was injured.
City mayor Pol Maj-General Anan Charoenchasri said the blaze started after a squirrel triggered an electrical problem.
Following the fire report at about 8am, Muang Pattaya Police Station investigation superintendent Colonel Chatchapil Pattarasiriporn contacted the Fire Department and five fire engines were dispatched. It took firefighters about 30 minutes to extinguish the blaze, which destroyed the inside of the Rock Street Pattaya club.
A cleaner told police she heard the transformer in front of the shop explode three times before the flames spread quickly in the business and she and fellow workers fled the building and alerted police.
Turtles could provide a source of funding for National Parks according to a government spokesman. “The turtle is known as an Omsin (piggy bank) and people love to throw money at it”, he continued. “Everybody likes them and they are an indigenous species. Currently anybody visiting a historical park is required to give huge amounts of money to a Unesco.”
“The Unesco is a greedy, ugly creature that was introduced into Thailand by Europeans in the 20th century. The money thrown at the Unesco is never recovered, it all goes to Paris where it is spent on gourmet dinners (of sharks fin and turtle soup) and used to buy apartments in Manhattan” the spokesman told Private Tye.
“If we replace the Unescos with Omsins everybody will be happy and we can use the coins to maintain our historical parks. If we leave things as they are, our historical parks will end up like Palmyra” he concluded.
The story from Reuters (6 March):
Thai veterinarians on Monday removed 915 coins from a 25-year-old sea turtle which had been swallowing items thrown into her pool for good luck, eventually limiting her ability to swim.
The coins and other objects removed from the turtle named Omsin - piggy bank in Thai - weighed 5 kg (11 lb). The turtle itself weighed 59 kg (130 lb).
The green sea turtle, living at a conservation center in Sriracha, Chonburi, east of the Thai capital of Bangkok, had been finding it hard to swim normally because of the weight.
The vets said they believed the seven-hour-long operation was the world's first such surgery.
"We think it will take about a month to ensure she will fully recover," said Nantarika Chansue, of Chulalongkorn University's veterinary science faculty, adding that the turtle would need six more months of physical therapy.
There was no immediate estimate of the value of the coins, some of them foreign and many corroded.
Charged with the task of catching anybody not wearing a helmet, a new force of Robocops is being raised. The Robocops will be equipped with a new Gizmo, which will learn to recognise people not wearing helmets or not wearing hats that look like helmets.
In a land where methamphetamine consumption is at epidemic proportions, Government corruption rife and murder commonplace, its good to see that the police have their priorities right. People without helmets are a menace to society that can not be underestimated.
It is still not clear how the new “intelligent” Robocops are to go about arresting violators. Historically Robocops have been an elite incorruptible force. However, despite their untouchable reputation, they have had a poor arrest record.
The other story from Thai PBS (1 March):
Thailand Research Fund (TRF) has developed a smart image capturing and ticketing system that could automatically detect motorcyclists and pillion riders who do not wear crash helmets, and then issue them traffic tickets.
The new innovative system called “Ja Choei Intelligent Detecting and Ticketing” system was handed over to the Metropolitan Police Bureau for trial first at Suthisarn police station.
The system will be put in service in April with aim of catching and fining motorcyclists and pillion riders ignoring the police campaign for them to wear crash helmets for their safety as fatal accidents involving motorcycles tops all road accidents and resulted in highest casualties every year.
The innovation is hoped to help traffic police to strictly enforce the traffic rules and reduce the number of traffic violators, particularly motorcyclists.
According to statistics, 65% of traffic accidents and road related fatalities came from motorcycles.
TRF researcher Dr Mongkol Ekpanyapong said the automatic detection system could check whether the motorcycle riders and their passengers have worn crash helmets or not through using closed circuit cameras to capture them at the front and at the rear.
He said the system would lock the images of the motorcyclists and passengers who were not wearing safety helmets by using machine learning techniques. The images would then be sent back to the data base of the Traffic Police Division.
He recalled that TRF has captured numerous pictures of motorcyclists and passengers with and without helmets during the laboratory tests and forward to the computer to let it learn.
This was like teaching the kids to differentiate the images of motorcyclists and pillion riders with and without helmets which needed so many pictures until the computer could learn and tell the difference.
He said the cameras would be installed at five metres high which would be the best position to clearly and accurately capture the pictures of violators.
The images captured would be sent to automatic vehicle registration plate inspection system so traffic tickets woukd be automatically issued to the violators.
But traffic police will recheck the tickets for accuracy before they are sent out.
Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau Pol Maj Gen Jirapat Phumichit said the system would be put on trial period in the area under the charge of Suthisarn police.
He said during the past six months, the system could detect the violators with high accuracy at 84 percent. There were 116 violators per hours.
He said the police will start using the system in April.
If the system works with positive results, it would be expanded to cover more locations, he added.