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Thailand News Today | Court fines “The Beach” producers 10m baht to restore Maya Bay


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Court fines “The Beach” producers 10m baht to restore Maya Bay

 

Thailand’s Supreme Court ruled that Hollywood movie company 20th Century Fox

 – now renamed 20th Century Studios – is required to pay 10 million baht in environmental damages caused by the movie 

“The Beach” back in 2000 starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Filming for “The Beach” began at Maya Bay at the Phi Phi Islands in Krabi province, southern Thailand, in 1998. 

After the film’s success, the bay became a world-famous tourist destination, but “The Beach” hasn’t been the same.

A filed a lawsuit against the movie company for offences under Thailand’s National Park Act (1961) and National Environmental Quality Promotion and Conservation Act (1992).

Lawsuits were against Thailand’s Forestry Department for giving the film production company the green light to “renovate” Maya Bay to make the movie picture-perfect. 

Unfortunately, the renovations had devastating and lasting effects on Phi Phi Island’s natural environment.

According to environmentalists, uprooting plants at Maya Beach and the levelling of barrier-forming sand dunes has led to mass soil erosion. 

Maya Bay was previously protected against soil erosion by native plants whose roots kept the sand together. Without the plants, all the sand washed away into the sea.

The Supreme Court has demanded Thailand’s Department of Forestry use the 10 million baht from 20th Century Studios to restore the natural environment at Maya Bay to its natural state.

The 250-metre beach at Maya Bay reopened in January this year after a three-and-a-half-year closure. 

It opened to tourists under strict environmental protection measures with a maximum of 375 tourists per hour between 10 am – 4 pm.

Authorities planned for the bay to reopen on October 1, in a few weeks. However, with today’s news, the bay may remain closed until further notice.

 

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The Thai govt predicted one million wealthy foreigners would snap up new long-term resident visas.

 

The Thai government predicted one million wealthy foreigners would snap up new long-term resident visas when the scheme started on September 1. 

In the first 12 days, the LTR visa has received….400 applications.  

Officials are framing the applicants so far as a glimpse of what’s to come as the programme gains traction.

The deputy secretary-general of the Board of Investment gave an interview in Bangkok 

where he confirmed that about 40% of the people who have applied for the LTR visa were retirees. 

Another 30% of applicants were digital nomads using to make Thailand their home base to work remotely. 

Split 30% between wealthy global citizens and highly-skilled professionals.

Americans were the most significant demographic to jump on the new LTR visa programme, with about 20% of the applications coming from the US. 

China was the second largest demographic, with about 15% of the applicants, followed by the UK with 10%.

However, in the four years since launching the previous visa scheme to attract long-term ex-pats to the kingdom, 

just 1,200 people submitted applications for the intelligent visa programme, 

so the 400 applicants this month could be called an improvement in comparison. 

Thailand’s strategy is to market to wealthy people, not just from around the world but also domestically.

The LTR visa is hoping to attract some of the 300,000 foreigners already living in the country using several different visa options, 

like retirement visas, education visas, business visas, or family-related visas.

Before the pandemic, tourism made up 12% of Thailand’s GDP. Authorities hope this new program generates one trillion baht per year in revenue, 

so those 400 applicants had better be multi-billionaires to meet that target. 

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China Airlines announced that it intends to launch flights to Chiang Mai in Thailand.

 

China Airlines announced the good news that it intends to launch flights to Chiang Mai in Thailand. The bad news is that it won’t happen until next year.

The Taiwan-based airline reopened its borders that flights to the northern city of Chiang Mai take off on January 20 next year.

The state-owned flag carrier revealed the flight to Chiang Mai is part of the airline’s plan

to attract more transit passengers to change flights in Taiwan on their way to Europe and the United States.

The airline also revealed that the number of its flights would increase by 30%.

In addition, those to Southeast Asia increased by 50% in the final quarter of this year.

China Airlines added that in early 2023 there would be 17 destinations available in Southeast Asia,

including flights to Cebu in the Philippines, Bali, Australia and New Zealand.

Sydney to Taipei and Melbourne to Taipei will be increased from their current two flights a week

to three flights a week in October and November and four times a week in December.

Brisbane to Taipei increases from one flight a week to three starting next month.

The flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane all feature the modern Airbus A350.

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Thailand’s Constitutional Court will read the verdict on suspended Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s eight-year term limit.

 

On September 30, Thailand’s Constitutional Court will read the verdict on suspended Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s eight-year term limit.

According to Section 158 of Thailand’s constitution,

“The Prime Minister shall not hold office for more than eight years, whether or not holding consecutive terms.”

His opponents say Prayut reached his eight-year limit serving as PM in August after becoming the nation’s premier in 2014,

a few months after he led a coup to oust the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra.

However, his supporters argue that his tenure started in 2017 when the King ratified a new constitution drafted by the military junta government.

Other Prayut supporters say that his premiership started as late as 2019 when Prayut began his second four-year term under the new constitution.

The Constitutional Court voted to suspend Prayut from his ministerial duties on August 24 while they reach a verdict on when his tenure starts.

Deputy PM Prawit Wonguswan stepped in as acting prime minister until the government decided on Prayut.

If the court rules that Prayut’s premiership began in 2017 or 2019, Prayut can continue as Prime Minister of Thailand.

Eight days after Prayut’s suspension, he submitted a 30-page document to the Constitutional Court regarding his eight-year term limit for the court’s consideration.

 

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Police handed pro-wakeskater Daniel Grant a 5,000 baht fine

 

Police handed pro-wakeskater Daniel Grant a 5,000 baht fine and a one-month suspended jail term for his wakeskating stunt in the Bangkok floods.

The 24-year-old watersports champion was found guilty of causing danger

and obstructing traffic for wakeskating on the flooded Phahon Yothin Road outside Bangkok University last week.

After Khlong Luang police caught wind of his video, which went viral on social media,

they summoned him to acknowledge the charges against him.

The half-Thai, half-English water sportsman set the record for the youngest world champion in wakeboarding history

when he won the 2010 WWA Wake Park World Championship 2010.

Daniel has been charged with causing danger to traffic – violating Thailand’s Traffic Act and Highway Act.

Many netizens showed their support for Daniel’s abilities, while others criticised him for causing danger to himself and others on the road.

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