Thailand week in review: Chemical sunscreen banned in national parks, “Fake news” law temporarily revoked, Pro-democracy protest heats up, and more

Here is a look at the top NATIONAL stories, chosen by our Pattaya News/TPN National team, from last week, August 2nd to the 8th, with some commentary. They are not in any particular level of importance but are listed in the order of date of publication.

1. Thailand bans sunscreen with harmful chemicals for coral reefs in the country’s national parks

The law is not considered new globally as a similar sunscreen ban has already been implemented in Hawaii and Palau. Sunscreen containing oxybenzone, Octinoxate, 4MBC, and Butylparaben are now prohibited at marine national parks in Thailand as such chemicals have been proved in international studies to critically damage coral reefs. A maximum fine of 100,000 baht could be charged against violators for violating section 20 of the National Park Act B.E. 2522.

Thailand bans sunscreen with harmful chemicals for coral reefs in country’s national parks

2. Foreign female tourist, participating in Phuket Sandbox, found dead at Ton Ao Yon waterfall, police believe foul play was involved

This shocking murder of a 57-year-old tourist from Switzerland had become notorious in the country last week and had raised public questions regarding the safety of the “Phuket Sandbox” tourist scheme. The victim was reportedly killed while visiting a remote waterfall after completing her 14-day stay at a hotel. The alleged suspect who was arrested on Saturday was a Thai national who allegedly committed the killing as part of a robbery attempt.

Foreign female tourist, participating in Phuket Sandbox, found dead at Ton Ao Yon waterfall, police believe foul play was involved

3. Thailand’s Civil Court temporarily suspends Prime Minister’s order to ban media’s freedom of speech

The controversial “fake news” law imposed by the Thai Prime Minister under the Emergency Decree in late July has been temporarily suspended after many representatives from media agencies filed a petition to the Court, reasoning that such law had unreasonably limited the rights and liberties of an individual which is against the Thai Constitution. The so-called “fake news” law has prohibited any news/information that could cause public fear, fearmongering, scaring people, or panic, even if the news was true, according to what was written in the Royal Gazette. The Court has temporarily revoked such regulations for similar reasons.

Thailand’s Civil Court temporarily suspends Prime Minister’s order to ban media’s freedom of speech

4. Pro-democracy Protesters, Thai police confront each other in Bangkok this afternoon

Due to the gathering ban in Bangkok under the Emergency Decree, a pro-democracy demonstration that was organized at the heart of the capital resulted in harsh confrontations throughout the day this past weekend. Nearly 6,000 heavy police officials were deployed and moved, from the Democracy Monument to Din Dang Intersection and Victory Monument, following the announcement of the relocation by the Free YOUTH movement to disperse the protesters. Multiple rubber bullets and tear gas were used at the demonstrations, injuring protesters, officials, and nearby residents, according to the pro-democracy supporters. Meanwhile, the protest organizer was also facing negative social media comments and criticisms as they failed to manage the peaceful protest.

Pro-democracy Protesters, Thai police confront each other in Bangkok this afternoon

And, that is all for this week. Thank you as always for reading the Pattaya News/TPN News!

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