Feature writer for the Life section
Suwitcha Chaiyong is a feature writer for the Life section of the Bangkok Post.
Last week, exiled Thai activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit, who was living in Phnom Penh was reportedly abducted. In 2014, the 37-year-old Thai political refugee had refused a military summons and in 2017, he was accused of violating the Computer Crimes Act. In an interview with the press, Maj Gen Burin Thongprapai said Wanchalearm wasn't facing lese-majeste charges. Regardless, news of his abduction has caused an uproar on social media. Most people (on Twitter) think that someone who has a different opinion than the junta government should not be made to disappear. Yet, some people also commented that there was no evidence to prove that the state was involved in his abduction while others went as far as to believe the abduction was fake news.
Travelling to environmentally-aware countries inspired singer and actor Phakin "Tono" Khamwilaisak to improve his motherland. In January, he launched a project titled "Kebrak" (translated as collecting love) encouraging people and students to collect garbage. After working with many people, the star learned more about waste pollution and how it affects all creatures, including marine animals.
It's fair to say that the campaign to reduce single-use plastic bag at major retailers and convenience stores since the beginning of the year has not been entirely smooth. While many understand the environmental concerns driving the campaign, there are still a great deal of people who can't look past the minor inconvenience of doing without plastic bags.
Three Bryde's whales were recently founded dead in the Gulf of Thailand in Samut Prakan, Chumphon and Surat Thani. After autopsies, the director of the Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Centre, the Central Gulf of Thailand found that fishing gear and marine debris were among the major causes of death. These endangered species must have come to the surface of the sea to breathe, getting themselves injured by fishing gear such as nets. Marine debris also troubled the whales' digestive systems, causing them to become sick, grow weak and die.
South Korea is one of the most popular destinations for Thais -- both tourists and illegal workers. According to the Ministry of Labour, there are 165,854 Thais living in South Korea, 143,169 of them illegally. Such a large number of illegal workers has caused Korean immigration officers to strictly screen Thai visitors. On April 20, a Facebook user shared a post saying that only five Thai passengers from a low-cost flight could get through Seoul, while the rest were detained for deportation. On the post, many comments blamed illegal workers for causing trouble for those attempting to travel legitimately. An unlawful worker defended himself by saying others didn't have sympathy for his poverty.
A couple of weeks ago, Pichayapa "Namsai" Natha, a member of BNK48, became a hot topic on social media when she wore a T-shirt bearing the Nazi swastika during a concert rehearsal. Following the ensuing uproar, the singer publicly apologised in tears, admitting she'd made a mistake, and had been ignorant of what the image symbolised.
A few weeks ago, a lawyer posted on Facebook, saying she had worked on a case in which an obstetrician was accused of sexually assaulting one of his patients. The lawyer suspected there might be other patients who had been abused by the doctor and urged them to come forward.