The recent ruling from the Hague, that the South China Sea belongs to American proxies, has been ignored by everyone in South East Asia. This is explained by a recent Private Tye survey. We found that when translated into Asian languages such as Cambodian and Tagalog the phrase “the Hague says the South China Sea belongs to the USA” comes out as “Someone drinking Haig said China's sea belongs to Uncle Sam”
However, anyone, who thinks that the recent ruling on the South China Sea was made by the International Court of Justice, must have been drinking Haig. It wasn't, the International Court of Justice had nothing to do with the ruling. A fact glossed over by the western media with the phrase “the Hague ruled...” The ruling was, actually, made by the “Permanent Court of Arbitration”, which is a very different thing. With the Court of Justice, two nation states must agree to arbitration, with the Permanent Court, a case can be brought unilaterally. This is what happened with the South China Sea Philippines versus China case, from the outset China said it would not participate. It was a case with a prosecutor but no defense. Not surprising that China did not accept the ruling. The hilarious thing is that, with the new “Americans out” policy, the Philippines is also ignoring the ruling.
From the New York Times, which did not name the court, (12 July):
An international tribunal in The Hague delivered a sweeping rebuke on Tuesday of China’s behavior in the South China Sea, including its construction of artificial islands, and found that its expansive claim to sovereignty over the waters had no legal basis.
The landmark case, brought by the Philippines, was seen as an important crossroads in China’s rise as a global power and in its rivalry with the United States, and it could force Beijing to reconsider its assertive tactics in the region or risk being labeled an international outlaw. It was the first time the Chinese government had been summoned before the international justice system.
In its most significant finding, the tribunal rejected China’s argument that it enjoys historic rights over most of the South China Sea. That could give the governments of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam more leverage in their own maritime disputes with Beijing.
The tribunal also said that China had violated international law by causing “irreparable harm” to the marine environment, endangering Philippine ships and interfering with Philippine fishing and oil exploration.
“It’s an overwhelming victory. We won on every significant point,” said the Philippines’ chief counsel in the case, Paul S. Reichler.
But while the decision is legally binding, there is no mechanism for enforcing it, and China, which refused to participate in the tribunal’s proceedings, reiterated on Tuesday that it would not abide by it.
Speaking at a meeting with European leaders, President Xi Jinping was defiant, reasserting China’s claim to sovereignty over the South China Sea “since ancient times,” the state-run People’s Daily reported. His remarks echoed a statement from the Foreign Ministry. The tribunal’s decision “is invalid and has no binding force,” the ministry said. “China does not accept or recognize it.”
The foreign secretary of the Philippines, Perfecto Yasay Jr., welcomed the ruling as “significant” and called on “all those concerned to exercise restraint and sobriety.”
The five judges and legal experts on the tribunal ruled unanimously, and the decision was so heavily in favor of the Philippines that there were fears about how the Chinese leadership would react. Many in the region worry that Beijing will accelerate its efforts to assert control over the South China Sea, which includes vital trade routes and fishing waters as well as possible oil and mineral deposits.
“Xi Jinping has lost face here, and it will be difficult for China to do nothing,” said Bonnie S. Glaser, a senior adviser for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “I expect a very tough reaction from China, since it has lost on almost every point. There is virtually nothing that it has won.”
The Philippines filed its case in 2013, after China seized a reef over which both countries claim sovereignty. There has been speculation that Beijing might respond to the decision by building an artificial island at the reef, Scarborough Shoal, a move that could set off a conflict with the Philippines and its treaty ally, the United States.
The State Department spokesman, John Kirby, said Washington expected China to comply with the ruling. “The world is watching to see if China is really the global power it professes itself to be and the responsible power that it professes itself to be,” he said.
The main issue before the panel was the legality of China’s claim to waters within a “nine-dash line” that appears on official Chinese maps and encircles as much as 90 percent of the South China Sea, an area the size of Mexico. The Philippines had asked the tribunal to find the claim to be in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which both China and the Philippines have ratified.
In its decision, the tribunal said any historic rights to the sea that China had previously enjoyed “were extinguished” by the treaty, which lays out rules for drawing zones of control over the world’s oceans based on distances to coastlines. The panel added that while China had used islands in the sea in the past, it had never exercised exclusive authority over the waters.
The panel also concluded that several disputed rocks and reefs in the South China Sea were too small for China to claim control of economic activities in the waters around them. As a result, it found, China was engaged in unlawful behavior in Philippine waters, including activities that had aggravated the dispute.
The tribunal cited China’s construction of a large artificial island on an atoll known as Mischief Reef. China has built a military airstrip, naval berths and sports fields on the island, but the tribunal ruled that it was in Philippine waters.
A photograph, showing a Hmong child touching a drunken tourists watch, has been taken as conclusive proof that the child stole the watch. The photo was posted by an anonymous user on Reddit, the user claimed that his girlfriend did not notice at the time because “she was a bit drunk”. These totally unsubstantiated allegations have been accepted, not only by Reddit users, but also by newspapers such as Britain's Daily Mirror and the New York Post.
Until recently, Reddit had a section called Coontown where racialists could make derogatory remarks and jokes about black people. In addition to racialists, Reddit is popular with professional liars (shills who are paid to spread disinformation), perverts (such as 50 year old men pretending to be 15 year old boys) and foul mouthed cyber-bullies.
That Britain's Mirror takes the story verbatim from Reddit is not surprising. The Mirror is the flagship of Britain's “gutter press” and would never let the facts get in the way of a good story. More surprising is the New York Post's “Sneaky kids rob tourist in Thailand during this picture” by Natalie Musumeci. The idea of a “reliable source” would seem to be unknown to Ms Musumeci as her article is taken entirely from the Reddit post. But perhaps she deserves a Pulitzer for the hard work of going through all that filth just to come up with a few quotes from anonymous Redditors.
The Thai police became aware of the post and interviewed the two children, but found no indication of wrongdoing.
Private Tye found the Reddit Post at:
it might still be there.
The Story from Khaosod:
Hmong Parents Protest Children’s Conviction by Reddit
By Sasiwan Mokkhasen,
CHIANG MAI — After a photo spread the world over of their children “stealing” a tourist’s watch, two parents of the two Hmong children insisted to police Tuesday it was simply not true.
The photo of the foreign woman posing with two girls in Hmong ethnic garb in front at Chiang Mai’s most famous temple shot to the front page of Reddit after it was posted Sunday under the caption “Girlfriend in the progress of having her watch stolen.”
The image, in which one of the children’s fingers touch the strap of her wristwatch was taken as certain proof by most of thousands of commentators who upvoted it more than 6,000 times and in news stories it spawned around the world, which took at face value it captured a crime in commission.
Phujarat Jiraphakorn and Lulu Laowa today brought their two daughters, 7 and 10, who appeared in the photo, to answer questions after they were summoned by police
Anek Chaiwong of Phuping police said the parents were incensed and would have pressed charges for making a false accusation, were the foreign couple still in Thailand.
“The farang did not file any complaint to us,” Lt. Col. Anek said. “The parents of the kids are very concerned and said they would have filed a complaint against the false accusation were the farang still here in Thailand.”
In comments to the image posted to r/MildlyInteresting, MedardBoss, the original poster, implied the watch was later found missing among a few other disclosures.
“She was a bit drunk tbh,” he wrote. The account has since been deleted.
But the couple said they interrogated the girls, who denied any wrongdoing. They said they take them to every weekend to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep to make some money posing for photos with tourists for which they accept voluntary donations.
“They never beg for money,” Lulu said. “It always depends on how much the tourists want to give them.”
The Hmong mother said she didn’t see how it was possible for her daughter to steal a watch from someone’s wrist without them noticing.
Their village headman also accompanied them to the police station Tuesday to vouch for the family’s clean record. Methaphan Fuengfukitchakarn said they are well known and liked, and said accusing the children on the basis on one photo was not fair to them.
Yet a number of users were less persuaded, leaving comments certain the girls were engaged in criminal subterfuge.
“I’ve lived in Chiang Mai for almost seven years. Those kids aren’t good; they’re expert. That watch is long gone,” Reddit user Oh_dear_ wrote.
Chiang Mai police aren’t convinced, saying they’ve never known children at the temple to
be criminal elements.
“We are deeply concerned,” Anek said. “There has been no such incident like this before.”
Clarification: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story indicated police knew children at the temple to be criminal elements, when in fact they said never knew them to be so.
Thai tourists, in traditional clothes, posing for selfies on the French Riviera is now a thing of the past. The new French regulation bans the use of Khon masks in streets, shopping malls, restaurants, coffee shops as well as beaches.
The other story from Coconuts Bangkok:
A former artist from the National Theater has called on the country to cease broadcasting a tourism music video that features "Thotsakan," a giant from classical Thai literature. She claims that the producers inappropriately represented the character.
Culturalist Ladda Tangsupachai filed a complaint with the Bundipatanasilpa Institute of the Fine Arts Department accusing the recent music video, featuring a group of Thai artists in costumes, of displaying Thotsakan conducting "inappropriate activities" such as driving go-karts and taking selfies.
The reason is that Thotsakan is king of the giants and supposed to be "elegant and intimidating." He is also major character in the classic Thai story “Ramakien.”
It seems that Ladda might have forgotten that Thotsakan has done far worse things than take a selfie — such as kidnapping the woman he loves in the classic story.
The tourism video was produced by a group of Thai artists who claim they didn’t receive any sponsorship for it. The visually stunning video shows Thotsakan and his fellow giants traveling across Thailand doing fun activities.
"So culture has be put on the pedestal? You can't touch or adapt it for the benefits of the country? I was threatened with a lawsuit for destroying the nation's culture," the director of the video, Bandit Thongdee, posted on Facebook in response.
Street theft is now a thing of the past in Jakarta. The simple expedient of requiring that all pick-pockets carry a sign saying “I am a thief” has solved the problem. The scheme has drawn considerable interest throughout the region and Thai police have indicated that they will introduce something similar in Bangkok.
General Garuda, head of the Jakarta Police, talked to Private Tye. “When people see the sign they steer clear of the thieves and don't get pick-pocketed. Keeping thieves in prison is expensive”, he said, “the new scheme saves the government a lot of money. At the moment the scheme is just for pick-pockets but will soon be extending it to all other forms of street crime. This will include prostitution and drug dealing.”
Private Tye asked what would happen to a pick-pocket that refused to wear the sign. “Well that would be a street crime, wouldn't it?” said the General “So the criminal would have to wear a sign saying “I refused to wear a sign”.” And if the criminal refused to wear that sign? “Isn't it obvious, the criminal would have to wear a sign saying “I refused to wear a sign saying I refused to wear a sign”.” The general replied.
What about non-criminals, do they have to wear signs? We asked. “You mean a sign saying “I am not a criminal”? No,” said the General, “but it sounds like a good idea”. What about people who are not criminal but are undesirable for other reasons, for example, a sign saying “I have uncontrollable flatulence”? Private Tye asked the General. “Another excellent idea” he replied. “would you like to become a Police consultant?”
Sure we said, you could have red signs for criminals, brown sign for undesirables and white signs for good people. Each citizen would be required to get their sign from their local Police station …
The real story from Coconuts Jakarta (Sept 23):
Pickpockets are obviously a serious problem in Jakarta, especially for people riding public transportation. But pickpocketing is also an especially risky business for criminals - those who get caught often suffer severe beatings at the hands of an angry mob, as happened just yesterday at the TransJakarta busway in Gambir.
Captured criminals who are relatively luckier may avoid the public beating but be forced to endure something some would consider nearly as bad - extreme public shaming. In the past we’ve seen pickpockets found at train stations forced to stand and wear signs announcing their crimes, such as one woman who had to carry a sign declaring she was "the queen of pickpockets".
But this is the first time we’ve seen such punishment being used at a Transjakarta station:
The photo, from Instagram user Ojan Caravanya, has been going around social media recently. It was posted three days ago but it is not clear which TransJakarta station it was taken.
Most comments on the picture are positive, saying that the thieves got what they deserved and that their punishment would deter others from cry. Others added that similar punishments should be used on other types of thieves in Indonesia.
Police seeking the notorious Chiang Mai satirist have made the error of arresting a professional forger who was living peacefully in Bangkok. It was an easy mistake to make, Poophan Plod told reporters. Both have gray hair and pot bellies, both have an old and dissipated appearance, both are British and both have a maniacal stare.
The forger was quietly plying his trade in a commercial property in Phra Khanong when it was raided. When a policeman was shot during the raid we were certain we had the satirist, Poophan Plod explained. The body of a dismembered man in plastic bags was also found in the refrigerator, and confiscated.
“We realised we had made a mistake when the un-named Brit showed us a copy of his forged passport. He has since been released and his bags of body parts returned. The hunt for the satirist continues.” the Poophan concluded.
The story from Khaosod English:
BANGKOK — A police officer was shot in a raid on an alleged forgery den in southwest Bangkok on Friday afternoon which turned up five foreign suspects, firearms, drugs and a dead woman in a refrigerator.
Officers were left with a mystery on their hands when the relatively routine raid on a building in the Phra Khanong area turned up the dead body. In the course of arresting five suspects said to be a Briton, two Americans and two Burmese, a police officer was shot.
Forensic examiners were working to identity the body discovered in a large fridge on the ground floor of the commercial property.
Maj. Gen. Somprasong Yenthuam of the Metropolitan Police Bureau said police received reports that passports were being forged there, leading to Friday’s raid.
One of the suspects shot a Tourist Police officer in the chest during the operation, Somprasong said. The officer, Sgt. Maj. Kanjanapong Chedet, was in stable condition.
Police found three handguns and crystal meth inside the building, Somprasong said.
The story from Thai Visa Forum:
BANGKOK:-- A tourist policeman was shot in the stomach as ten cops armed with a search warrant investigated a business premises on Sukhumvit Soi 56 in Bangkok Friday afternoon.
Officer Kanchanaphong Chedech was rushed to hospital as a UK man, two Americans and two Burmese were arrested.
Met commissioner Sanit Mahathavorn and Surachet Hakpan chief of the tourist police then investigated the scene and a male body cut into five pieces was found in an industrial size freezer in the four storey property.
Ten police had arrived with a search warrant just after around 1pm and while they were carrying out the search Kanchanaphong was shot.
The maid told the police that the four men had moved in a week ago and had brought a large freezer with them. She said that it was plugged in all the time but she had not seen the men get any food or drink to put in it.
Commissioner Sanit arrived and ordered the freezer opened - they found the hand of what they originally thought was a young woman and a body covered in plaster.
When forensics officers arrived thereafter they discovered that it was in fact a man in the freezer and he was cut up into five pieces.
Police said it was too early to say who the victim is or what relationship he had with the five arrested foreigners.
The foreigners are believed to have rented all four floors of the business premises that is next to the Kluay Nam Thai Clinic on Sukhumvit Road, Soi 56.
The incinerator bus was first successfully tested on a Bangkok expressway in June. As reported by Private Tye at that time, the incinerator bus is designed to incinerate passengers without disrupting passing traffic. It does this by using highly inflammable material for seats and carpets. When the incinerator bus burns there are no petrol explosions that might injure passing motorcyclists or nearby property.
Known as “the self-propelled crematorium” the incinerator bus was intended for the transportation of illegal migrant workers. Large numbers have been produced by the Thai automobile industry. They are intended primarily for export and manufacturers are looking forward to large orders from the USA when Trump becomes President. But its not just the USA, a manufacturer's spokesman told us, we are hoping for orders from The French and British Governments who need to empty the “Calais Jungle”.
It is not clear why the bus pictured above, was being used to transport Thai factory workers. Its possible they were going to be laid off and the factory wanted to avoid severance pay.
The story from Thai Visa Forum:
RAYONG: -- A bus travelling in the ban Chang area of Rayong burst into flames yesterday as ten employees on their way to work fled just in time.
Driver Chainarong Ratmanee, 44, had smelled smoke and stopped, advising everyone to get off the six wheeler, reported Thairath.
It was just in time - fire spread rapidly from the back into the passenger compartment and gutted the vehicle. Fire services took 30 minutes to quell the flames but by this time the bus was a blackened shell.
The workers were going to the C Wan company around 7am Thursday along route 337 in the Samnak Thon sub-district. Police and fire investigators are probing the blaze but initial thoughts suggest a faulty compressor was to blame.
A Government megafarm scheme, which will cut production costs and raise productivity (i.e. use more chemicals), has been started. Participating farmers will be given low interest loans to buy chemicals and modern harvesting equipment (instead of hiring harvesting contractors who have already bought the harvesting equipment). Farmers who mortgaged their land decades ago, who are paying off a mortgage on their house and a loan on their pick-up truck, are sure to welcome the additional debt burden.
The scheme is a splendid example of out with the old and in with the new. On Monday Apiradi Tantraporn, the current Minister of Commerce, signed an order demanding that Boonsong Teriyapirom, the former Minister of Commerce, and five others pay 20 billion baht in compensation for the failed rice pledging scheme (which took place under the preceding Yingluk Government). Later that day, Apiradi sign a memorandum initiating the rice megafarm scheme.
The megafarm scheme has been described as a “great leap forward” reminiscent of Stalin's collectivization of farms. Naturally, bankers and chemical companies are ecstatic, but other sectors have also welcomed the news. A spokesman for Thai Hospital Holdings Co. Ltd. told us that many hospitals were now planning to increase the size of their Oncology Departments. More chemicals on the rice means more Carcinogens in the food chain and more patients in the cancer ward, he explained.
But it is exporters who are most excited. The international Gastronome has always found that Thai rice tasted, well, a bit too much like rice. The new rice will be a gourmets delight. A smooth base line taste of nitrogen (from ammonia fertilizers) overlaid by the mellow flavour of Glyphosate (from herbicides) a tart hint of Methyl benzimidazole carbamate (from fungicides) and a strong aftertaste of Organophosphate (from pesticides).
The story from the Bangkok Post:
The government is moving ahead with a megafarm scheme under which the government pledges to procure machinery and agricultural equipment for farmers who cut production costs and raise productivity. The Commerce Ministry yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry and the Interior Ministry to proceed with the development plan and collective support with an aim to develop 426 rice megafarms spanning 800,000 rai this year. A list of participatory farmers will be compiled, with modern equipment deployed during the farming, including harvesting machinery. Participating farmers can borrow up to 5 million baht with a 0.01% interest rate from the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), while the Commerce Ministry is responsible for marketing and sales of the rice, finding interested buyers, mostly millers and local agricultural cooperatives. In late August the cabinet approved 3.25 billion baht worth of lending packages via the BAAC for megafarm projects from 2017-19. As of Sept 7, there were 386 rice megafarms being implemented, spanning 500,000 rai. A total of 57,775 farmers from 66 provinces are participating. Agriculture Minister Chatchai Sarikulya said the government aims to expand the scheme to cover 1,000 rice megafarms next year. The government is reviewing incentives to lure more farmers to take part, he said. Charoen Laothammatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, supports the scheme as it cuts farmers' production costs and raises their productivity and competitiveness. Rice prices are unlikely to rise much in the short term thanks to higher rice supply, he said. Thai export prices are now quoted at US$375 a tonne for white rice 5%, or $30-40 a tonne higher than Vietnamese grains, while Thai Hom Mali fragrant rice prices remain strong at $680-700 a tonne. Mr Charoen urged the government to speed up sales of rice state stocks as soon as possible to help lift rice prices because it would lessen speculation. The government still controls some 8.4 million tonnes of rice from pledging schemes during 2011-14. The National Rice Policy Committee decided last week to delay a plan to dispose of its stocks to curb any adverse impact on rice prices as new supply from the annual main crop is preparing to enter the market. Thailand is forecast to produce 23 million tonnes of paddy in the main harvest, with new supply gradually hitting the market from late September.
Thailand's Political Parties have been horrified by the fact that a Democratically elected Commerce Minister should be forced to pay back some of the money he made from scams and graft. A spokesman for the Thais-who-love-themselves Party, said it will be the end of Democracy in Thailand forever. If politicians are not allowed to keep the money they made from corruption while in office how can they be expected to pay people to vote for them? And unless people are paid to vote nobody will turn out at elections. The spokesman said.
Thai Democracy, interrupted by periods of Military Rule, has worked well since the 1980s when Mr Tenpercent became Prime Minister. Its a simple system: you get a Government job, take some bribes, buy some votes and get a better Government job with more bribes and kickbacks so you can buy more votes. Eventually, you can become Prime Minister. The system is also open to the private sector. You bribe Government officials to give you exclusive rights to do something, say, sell whiskey, operate a mobile phone service, sell Lumyai to the Chinese or operate the Airport Duty Free shops. With one of these monopolies in your hands, you have a virtual license to print money. With all this money you can start your own Political Party (when you have finished buying Football Clubs) and become Prime Minister.
Prior to the military coup, Thailand's Tammany Hall style Democracy was praised to the heavens by the BBC and The Guardian Newspaper (who have long defended voters rights, except when they vote for Brexit).
The story from the Nation:
Civil-liability case launched to seize Boonsong’s assets
THE GOVERNMENT is proceeding with formal action to recover more than Bt20 billion in compensation from ex-politicians and bureaucrats to cover financial damages resulting from the previous Yingluck government’s fake contracts to sell rice to China. Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had given the green light for the permanent secretary of Commerce to proceed with the civil liability case, after which six defendants will be formally advised of the charges.
The bogus government-to-government (G2G) rice deals, involving a total of 6.2 million tonnes of Thai rice, were signed and executed by former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and five others.
Civil liability law covers all elected officials and bureaucrats accused of causing financial damage to the state while in office. The law empowers authorities to seek financial compensation in relevant cases.
Defendants have a total of 45 days to dispute the charges after which the Commerce Ministry will forward the case to the Department of Legal Execution, which has the authority to seize the defendants' assets pending a ruling by the Administrative Court.Chutima Boonyaprapat, the outgoing permanent secretary who retires on September 30, said the ministry had a team of lawyers on this case, adding that defendants may seek an injunction on the seizure of assets and fight the case in court.
Wiboonlasana Ruamraksa, the incoming permanent secretary, said she had no details on the case, so it would take time to review the case before she can sign the executive order as assigned by the Commerce minister.
Warong Dejkijvikrom, a former Democrat MP, said the commerce minister appears to have lacked political leadership because she assigned the permanent secretary to sign the executive order on her behalf.
As well as former commerce minister Boonsong, former premier YIngluck Shinawatra is also expected to face a massive civil liability lawsuit as a result of the rice-pledging scheme. State losses and financial damages in the case are estimated to be Bt178 billion to Bt286 billion covering five rice production seasons.
The rice-pledging scheme was the largest farm price intervention effort covering all paddy that was sold to the government at around Bt15,000 per tonne, against the prevailing market price of only Bt7,000 to Bt8,000 per tonne.
Government sources said Yingluck could be held responsible for 20 per cent of the damages or Bt35.7 bill.
In a surprise move, Neuman has left his job as mascot of Mad Magazine to take on the challenge of running Facebook in Thailand. He explained that Mad magazine was not the lunatic organization it used to be and that Facebook in Thailand was the truly insane sort of thing he was looking for.
Facebook had hired Sarawak Headhunters Inc. to find the new executive. They found two candidates Neuman and John Wagner from Boston Consulting. Apparently Zuckerberg favored Wagner but during the final face to face interview he could not tell the two apart, so Neuman ended up getting the job.
The relationship between Facebook and the Thai government will be crucial. When asked about the Facebook Eight, Neuman said he thought that eight was quite good but he hoped to increase the number of Facebook users to ten by the end of the year.
Neuman intends to increase staff size and indicated that Doraemon might soon be joining his team.
The real story from Mumbrella:
Facebook hires Boston Consulting executive John Wagner as first Thailand country manager
Facebook has announced the appointment of its first country head for the Thai market, hiring an executive from the consulting sector to lead the social network out of Bangkok.
John Wagner leaves his role as partner and MD with Boston Consulting Group to take top job at Thailand where Facebook launched an office a year ago to monetise its 42 million-strong user base.
Wagner, who has lived in Thailand since the 1990s, said one of Facebook’s ambitions for the Thai market was to help businesses “tap into the power of mobile to help them grow domestically and abroad.”
He brings 20 years of experience to the role, including stints at Citi where he was an analysts and Monitor Group, where he led development of consumer and market insights.
The recruitment process appears to have taken some time, with regional boss Dan Neary saying in September 2015 that the company was on the verge of hiring the right person for the country manager job. The Thai operation has been supported from the Southeast Asia team in Singapore since launch.
Thailand was among the first countries globally to rollout Facebook’s Shop section, a feature that enables businesses to showcase their products on their page.
Thailand is also an interesting market in that 95% of Facebook users in Thailand do so with mobile devices, and nearly twice as many Thais send Facebook messages to businesses each month compared to the global average.
With an on-going war between the Burmese army and various insurgent armies seeking independence for the Karen, Kachin and Shan states, it is not surprising that Suu Kyi shows admiration for Lincoln.
However, it seems she is not so keen on his legacy of racial and religious equality. Nor, according to senator Bob Corker, is she enthusiastic about stopping human trafficking.
So who is next for the Nobel Peace Prize?
The story from Reuters:
U.S. senator blasts Suu Kyi's 'dismissive' reaction on trafficking
A U.S. senator said on Wednesday that he was "somewhat appalled" by Aung San Suu Kyi's reaction to her country's record on human trafficking, underscoring concerns about human rights that are shadowing the Myanmar leader's visit to Washington.
"While we certainly appreciate the work Aung San Suu Kyi has done to ensure a democratic transition in Burma, I am somewhat appalled by her dismissive reaction to concerns I raised this morning about the problem of human trafficking in her country," U.S. Republican Senator Bob Corker said in a statement released to Reuters after a breakfast meeting with Suu Kyi and Vice President Joe Biden.
"After witnessing her lack of regard for Burma's dismal track record on this issue, I plan to pay very close attention to her government's efforts to prevent innocent human beings from being trafficked and sold into forced labor and sex slavery," said Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, spent many years under house arrest for her opposition to the military junta that ruled Myanmar for decades.
The United States placed Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, on its list of the worst human trafficking offenders in June for failing to do more to curb widespread abuses, hoping to prod its new government and its powerful military to address the issue.
"Obviously, it's not an issue that she displays much of a concern for, and I expressed my strong disappointment at her dismissive response," Corker told Reuters in an interview later on Wednesday.
Although Corker said he supported sanctions relief for Myanmar as a way to support its young democracy, he said he would look for ways to convey the importance of the trafficking issue to the United States.
"I am going to explore ways to cause them to care a little bit more," he said.