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Offline Last Active 09 Jun 2018 11:33

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Thai Court Orders Immediate Arrest Warrant For Andy Hall

24 April 2018 - 08:38



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Thai court orders immediate issuance of arrest warrant for Andy Hall

Submitted by editor4 on Tue, 24/04/2018 - 15:09

Bangkok South Criminal Court today ordered for the immediate issuance of an arrest warrant for Andy Hall with a view to ensuring Hall’s attendance in the court to hear a verdict of the Appeals Court on multiple appeals against his September 2016 criminal conviction.

Diplomats from the EU Mission to Thailand alongside the UK, Finnish and Swedish embassy officials and officials from OHCHR and ICJ attended today’s hearing alongside Hall’s legal defence team, a source at the Court informed Finnwatch.

The court was originally expected to read the appeals verdict today but the hearing on the appeal was instead adjourned until 31st May 2018 given Hall did not attend the court in person. Andy Hall is currently no longer resident in Thailand and attests that he was not formally summoned to attend the Court today through any official or lawful channels.

In response to the today's news, Hall provided the following statement to Finnwatch:

“I have faced intolerable amounts of judicial harassment which essentially undermined my ability to do human rights work effectively inside Thailand. This is why I left the country in November 2016. I am disappointed and concerned this warrant has now been issued for my arrest and this unacceptable judicial harassment against me continues unabated.”

“I am currently receiving assistance from a team of international lawyers acting on my behalf on the issue of enforcement of Thai Court orders in criminal and civil cases against me when I am no longer resident in Thailand. I shall continue to consult closely with both my Thai and international legal defence teams on these issues and concerning the potential issuance of international arrest warrants against me. I shall also make representations to the UK government and the European Union to immediately raise concerns on whether today’s arrest warrant issued by the Court was in accordance with Thai and international law.”

On 20th September 2016, Andy Hall was sentenced to four years' imprisonment (reduced by one year and suspended by two years) and ordered to pay a fine of 200,000 baht (reduced to 150,000 baht) following his conviction on criminal defamation and Computer Crimes Act charges. The proceedings against Hall were initiated by a Thai pineapple company Natural Fruit Co. Ltd. in 2013.

Andy Hall left Thailand shortly after his conviction claiming unbearable judicial harassment when additional criminal charges were filed against him by a chicken farm, Thammakaset Company Ltd, in November 2016. His legal team, however, submitted an appeal against this conviction on 8th February 2017. Natural Fruit also appealed the verdict in December 2016 seeking an immediate custodial sentence against Hall. An Appeals Court’s decision can be further appealed to Thailand’s Supreme Court.

In 2012, Andy Hall interviewed Natural Fruit Co. Ltd. workers for the Finnwatch report Cheap Has a High Price, published in 2013. These interviewees’ testimonies detailed allegations of labour abuse which, when published by Finnwatch, provided the reason for Natural Fruit’s prosecution in this case.

Should Andy Hall fail to appear at Bangkok South Criminal Court again on 31st May 2018, the Appeals Court verdict may be read in absentia.

”We remain hopeful the Appeals Court will acquit Andy of all these charges. The charges against him stem from his legitimate work as a human rights defender and migrant worker rights activist. He is not a criminal,” said Sonja Vartiala, executive director of Finnwatch.

For more information on this and the other three criminal and civil cases filed by Natural Fruit Co. Ltd. against Andy Hall, please see Finnwatch Q&A document, last updated on 23rd April 2018.  

Psa - Man Died In The Dollhouse Last Night While A Lady Was Dancing For Him

19 April 2018 - 01:27

went to meet friends yesterday to shoot pool at country road.  arrived via motorcycle taxi just before midnight - a long line of police and squad cars were at the entrance to cowboy.  motosai taxi guy proposes he should take me anywhere else.  didn't look like they were rounding people up and curiosity got the better of me.

was informed by all the girls at country road that a guy had abruptly died at dollhouse while a woman was dancing in front of him.  dollhouse was completely shut down - a lot of drama in the street.

When Farang Go Native (A Thai Perspective)

31 January 2018 - 21:16

LInk -- Khaosod


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"When in Rome … ” begins the truism about how to behave in foreign lands. We’ve all heard and understood this. It makes sense. When visiting another place, one will fit in and be loved by embracing the customs of those living there.

But what may start as an endearing and commendable effort – learning some language, meeting some social expectations – can become annoying to the very natives whose approval is sought. Behind one’s back, the whispers begin: You’ve gone native.

For Thais, navigating society’s ground rules is difficult enough. But those rules are learned from birth, enabling people to find their peg in the social hierarchy. As junior members slowly work their way up through age and position, the rituals become easier. To wai or receive a wai, to stoop when passing, to never stand over someone your senior – all of these teachings are ingrained.

Keen observers can instantly read who’s who from body language, without needing introductions to know everyone’s place in the pecking order.

Enter the foreigner, who upon arrival in the kingdom hears or reads about the many cultural dos and dont’s and substitutes hard cultural learning with a travel blog post titled “Top 10 Thailand Dos and Don’ts.”

Soon positive feedback is won for a few superficial gestures as novelty and intrigue leads to a false sense of being accepted.
Most Thais react warmly to efforts to learn the language and customs. It’s a great show-off to friends and family to derive much “face” from. From foreign ambassadors to engineers and teachers, newcomers who demonstrate they’ve learned some subtleties of custom are applauded.

Take “James,” a towering American hunk of upper middle-class upbringing with an Ivy League education. For all his good intentions, he looks awkward when he hunches over to wai someone clearly his junior. Or clumsy when he only offers one wai while everyone is trading them in multiple upon saying goodbye, because he thinks one should be enough.

After years in Thailand, indications of his Christian upbringing are replaced by meditation, traditional medicine and sunrise alms-giving at his local temple. His determined stride is replaced by a shuffled gait and opinionated philosophy become internal monologue no longer expressed to others.
Then there’s those who feast on the attention and just keep going. Like those with Viking spirit from the northern hemisphere who gain fame and fortune as acclaimed country singers. Or the loved-and-hated American YouTubers or droll Australian writers, all admirable for their Herculean efforts to be as Thai as possible.

Here’s where I’d urge restraint to: Lavish them with too much praise and risk seeing them “go native.”
When people “go native,” they risk partially entering an unfamiliar group only to find their own kind also don’t like it. Shedding one’s identity so effortlessly suggests little value placed on one’s tribe in the first place. People wonder why and question where the line is drawn. To please the natives, that’s understood, but if it’s to shed despised traits for complete reinvention of self?

What was endearing to the natives may eventually become annoying, even demeaning.

As Thais, we are small in stature, admire Western success, send our children overseas for education if we can, and try to hold on to our traditions while moving toward modern Western success. To suddenly see those we admire abandon their personas and take ours to the n’th degree confounds the mind. Have they moved so far forward only to step back? Surely if our culture and traditions are so coveted by Western ideals, why are we so slow to succeed?
So go ahead and show some thoughtful deference to your adopted country, but stay committed to your legacy, keep your identity and find your dignity intact and much-admired for doing so."

Fantastic Dialog On Millennials & Social Media As Vanguards Of Prudish Apathetic Co...

09 September 2017 - 01:56

Stickman Article: Hidden Cameras/thai Nightlife - And - Rise Of The Thai Vloggers

10 May 2017 - 10:17


Good read, was happy to see this article -  a topic a few friends and I have speculated on a lot over the past year:  the phenomenon of youtube channels filming the bar areas with hidden cameras (and how it's done so clearly) for profit, how long they'll get away with it, and what to think about it.

Separate of that there is also the emergence of a plethora of Thai Video Vloggers with youtube channels - Sonny Scholenbruch (had some sort of nervous breakdown online though), Rob/20 seconds in Thailand, Kev in Thailand (pattaya), Scott Mallon, etc. etc. etc.

I actually like that this happening, but it does give unearned credibility to a group of 'amateurs' and there is no check on the accuracy of what life here is portrayed as -- which leads to interesting results.  But overall I see it as a kind of video version of forums like this (when they were more active).