VIDEO: Top Stories of 2022
published : 30 Dec 2022 at 09:17
writer: Gary Boyle
A review of the biggest stories of 2022
Thailand began 2022 with a Covid-19 Omicron variant spike amid calls for easing of strict tourist entry rules.
Thailand had adopted complex entry requirements for foreign tourists, which drew increasing criticism from tourism operators as Covid cases fell and the restrictions hindered the recovery of a decimated tourism sector. The Test & Go scheme, which required overseas arrivals to undergo two RT-PCR tests during their initial seven days, ended on May 1.
The Thailand Pass registration system, which checked vaccination certificates, proof of hotel bookings, insurance and RT-PCR tests, ended on June 1.
A young doctor was killed on a pedestrian crossing when she was hit by a speeding Ducati motorcycle ridden by a policeman. Forensic experts said Police Lance Corporal Norawich Buadok was travelling at between 108 and 128 kilometres per hour when he hit 33-year-old Dr Waraluck 'Mor Kratai' Supawatjariyakul on Phaya Thai Road. Buadok was sentenced to one year and 15 days in prison for the doctor's death.
While Russia's invasion of Ukraine dominated world headlines, Thailand's biggest story in February was the death of TV actress Nida “Tangmo” Patcharaveerapong.
Tangmo, 37, drowned after falling from a boat into the Chao Phraya river on the night of February 24. Her body was found two days later.
After hearing conflicting and confusing statements from those involved, August saw prosecutors indict six suspects, including the boat owner and Tangmo's manager, on charges including reckless endangerment causing death.
A woman got into a street fight with a man who poured beer on her because she refused to have a drink with him. Unluckily for the man, the woman was a former boxer. The fight was widely shared on social media, leading to the man losing his job.
Thailand in June became the first country in Asia to decriminalise the use of cannabis, but designated the plant as a controlled herb and banned sales of all parts of the plant to people under age 20.
Deputy prime minister and weed enthusiast Anutin Charnvirakul said recreational use was never the goal of decriminalisation, while conservatives spent the rest of the year railing against the explosion of weed dispensaries throughout the country. Bangkok's governor Chadchart Sittipunt joined the debate after smelling cannabis while jogging near Khao San Road.
Police threatened severe legal punishment for a couple featured having sex on a subscription-based OnlyFans social media channel while on vacation in Nakhon Ratchasima. A local tourism association said the video was a stain on the reputation of the province.
A planned 300-baht tourism fee drew widespread criticism from the expat community as it was expected to apply to all foreigners without exception, serving as insurance coverage of up to 500,000 baht per person in case of accidents. Tourism operators were against the scheme, saying it would harm the recovery of the kingdom's tourism sector, and pointing out that most tourists already have their own insurance.
Twenty-six people were killed in a fire at a crowded pub in Chon Buri. Mountain B pub was operating without a proper permit, had a blocked fire exit and was soundproofed with highly-inflammable materials. The fire prompted the usual transfer of local senior police officers, and the pub owner was charged with recklessness causing death and injuries, and operating an entertainment venue illegally.
Thirty-seven people, 22 of them children, were killed by a disgraced former policemen with a gun and a knife who attacked a childcare centre in Nong Bua Lam Phu province. The death toll included the killer, who took his own life after killing his wife and their 3-year-old son at their home.
Phanya Khamrab had been expelled from the police force in January for possession of methamphetamine pills and had appeared in court on the morning of the massacre.
Police raided an illegal nightclub, disguised as a car wash business, that catered to Chinese tourists in Bangkok. 104 customers tested positive for drugs and 34 luxury cars were impounded. More raids on Chinese-owned businesses in Bangkok and Pattaya followed, leading to the arrest of Chinese businessman and suspected triad boss Chaiyanat 'Tuhao' Kornchayanant.
A navy ship, HTMS Sukhothai, sank in a storm off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan. There were not enough life jackets for the 105 crew members, and to date, only 76 have been rescued alive.
- certificate: an official document or record stating that particular facts are true - หนังสือรับรอง
- complex: having a lot of details or small parts that make it difficult to understand or deal with - ซับซ้อน
- court: the place where legal trials take place and where crimes, etc. are judged - ศาล
- criticism: comments that show that you think something is wrong or bad - การวิจารณ์
- decimate: destroy -
- decriminalise: make not criminal, so that people can do activity without breaking the law -
- disgraced (adj): having lost other people’s respect because of something bad that you have done; having done something that is extremely bad or shocking - สยดสยอง, เสื่อมเสีย, ขายหน้า
- dominate: to be more noticeable than the other parts or aspects of something - ครอบงำ, อยู่เหนือ
- drown: to sink under water and die - จมน้ำ
- enthusiast: a person who is very interested in something and spends a lot of time doing it - คนที่กระตือรือร้น
- forensic: relating to the use of scientific methods to solve crimes or to find out why something happened - เกี่ยวกับนิติวิทยาศาสตร์
- hinder: to hamper; to stop someone or something from making progess or developing - ขัดขวาง
- indict (verb): to officially accuse someone of a serious crime - ฟ้องร้อง
- inflammable: of something that burns easily -
- insurance: an arrangement in which you regularly pay an insurance company an amount of money so that they will give you money if something you own is damaged, lost, or stolen, or if you die or are ill or injured - การประกัน
- massacre: the action of killing a lot of people - การสังหารหมู่
- methamphetamine: a stimulant drug that increases alertness and energy, but which is dangerous when taken in large amounts or over a long period of time - ยาบ้า
- permit: an official document that gives you permission to do something - ใบอนุญาต
- rail: to express strong anger about something -
- reckless: not thinking about the possible bad effects of your actions - สะเพร่า
- recklessness: doing something dangerous and not worrying about the risks and the possible results - ความชะล่าใจ,ความเสี่ยง,ความไม่ยั้งคิด
- recreational: involving enjoyment - เกี่ยวการสันทนาการ
- sank: caused something or someone to go down below the surface or to the bottom of a liquid or soft substance; past tense of "sink" - จม
- sentence : (of a court of law) to give a punishment - ลงโทษ
- spike: a sudden increase - การพุ่งพรวดขึ้น
- stain (noun): an ugly mark left accidentally on clothes or the surface of something; blot, mark, spot - คราบ, รอยเปื้อน, รอยเลอะ
- triad: a secret Chinese organisation involved in illegal activities such as selling drugs -