Brexit: Saying goodbye to Europe

Compare hotel prices and find the best deal - www.hotelscombined.com

#Brixit

What Top Asian media think of Brexit…

Source: The Nation
*****
Advertisements

Chinese Spring Lantern Festival

Booking Banner number 1

The Spring Lantern Festival falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month.
In the fifteen days following of the Chinese New Year, China will celebrate the Spring Festival. People flock to parks to behold dragon dance and Chinese opera. And that goes cheerful and colorful.

Chinese Lentefestival 1

Love likes to have the final word, and on the last day of Chinese New Year celebrations, couples spend time together on what’s informally known as ‘Chinese Valentine’s Day.

Chinese Lentefestival 2

Hong Kong is a beautiful sight during this event, when colorful lanterns are hung in parks, flower markets and restaurants.

Chinese Lentefestival 3

The Lantern Festival of 2016 falls on February 22. There is no holiday for this traditional festival.

Chinese Lentefestival 4.png

Falling on the 15th day of the first lunar month, Lantern Festival is the first significant feast after Spring Festival, so called because the most important activity during the night of the event is watching various wonderful Chinese lanterns.
And because every household eats yuanxiao (a rice ball stuffed with different fillings) on that day, it is called Yuan Xiao Festival. For its rich and colorful activities, it is regarded as the most recreational among all the Chinese festivals and a day for appreciating the bright full moon, and family reunion.

Chinese Lentefestival 5

With a history of over 2,000 years, various traditional customs and activities are held during Lantern Festival that appeal to people of different ages, including watching lanterns and fireworks, guessing lantern riddles, performing folk dances, and eating yuanxiao.

Chinese Lentefestival 6

During the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), Buddhism flourished in China. So in order to popularize Buddhism, one of the emperors gave an order to light lanterns in the imperial palace to worship and show respect for Buddha on the 15th day of the first lunar month. During the Tang (618 – 907), Song (960 – 1279), Ming (1368 – 1644) and Qing (1644 – 1911) dynasties, lighting lanterns became a tradition for Chinese people.

Today, when the festival comes, red lanterns can be seen in the street, in each house, and store. In the parks, lanterns of various shapes and types attract countless visitors. Visitors marvel that various lanterns so vividly demonstrate traditional Chinese folklore.

Chinese Lentefestival 7

Beginning from the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279), guessing riddles is regarded as an indispensable part of the Lantern Festival. People write all kinds of riddles on pieces of paper, and paste them on colorful lanterns to let visitors guess. If one has an answer to a riddle, he can pull the paper to let organizers verify the answer. Gifts are presented to the people who get the right answers.

Because this intellectual activity is exciting, people from all walks of life enjoy it.

Chinese Public Holiday Calendar

*****

HOTEL BOOKINGS
Book Now

For the Best ‪#‎Hotels‬ and ‪#‎Resorts‬‬
We help you with your ‪#‎Bookings‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

ASIAN-BESTHOTELS
BANGKOK-BESTHOTELS
EUROPEAN-BESTHOTELS
HOLLAND-BESTHOTELS
VIP-BESTHOTELS

PLANET-ASIAN
GERRIT-TIENKAMP
TRIPADVISOR‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

Web Hosting

Thai-Chinese railway project on schedule

Compare hotel prices and find the best deal - www.hotelscombined.com

The 873-km Thai-Chinese railway project for the country’s northeastern line got underway yesterday as scheduled, Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said.

The 873-km Thai-Chinese railway project

“The project was not delayed,” he said, adding that even though more details would be added to the system design criteria work, everything was expected to be delivered within December.

As planned, the Thai-Chinese railway project will feature a double track with a standard gauge (1.435 metres), carrying trains with speeds of up to 180 km/hour for the Bangkok-Kaeng Khoi and Nakhon Ratchasima-Nong Khai-Kaeng Khoi-Map Ta Phut routes. The project is being developed as a government-to-government deal.

Arkhom said that after the ninth meeting between the two nations takes place in Bangkok on Thursday, the details on construction and financial costs as well as percentage of investments of each side should be revealed between January and February.

The railway project along the Lower East-West Corridor from Kanchanaburi to Laem Chabang via Bangkok and the Bangkok to Aranyaprathet route will have a total length of 574 km.

Also on a government-to-government basis, Thailand and Japan recently signed a memorandum of cooperation to improve the single-track railway, upgrade it to double track and develop two missing links between Kanchanaburi and Ban Nam Phu Ron for 26 km and between Aranyaprathet and Khlong Luek.

Arkhom said this project was important to both Thailand and Myanmar’s strategic transport plans as it passes four special economic zones (SEZs): Myanmar’s Dawie SEZ, Kanchanaburi SEZ, super cluster Eastern Seaboard, and Sa Kaeo SEZ.

The railway project will also link Myanmar’s Dawei deep-sea port with the Laem Chabang deep-sea port in Thailand.

In January, Japan will acquire three 12-foot containers to try out the Nong Pladuk-Laem Chabang deep-sea port route.

After that, Thailand and Japan will form a joint venture for route operations and carriage procurement as well as upgrading the track from single to double.

Source: The Nation

*****
For the Best ‪#‎Hotels‬ and ‪#‎Resorts‬‬
We help you with your ‪#‎Bookings‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
BOOK NOW SIMPLE CLICK ON THIS LINK ON OR THE BANNER
ASIAN-BESTHOTELS
EUROPEAN-BESTHOTELS
VIP-BESTHOTELS
HOLLAND-BESTHOTELS
PLANET-ASIAN
GERRIT-TIENKAMP
TRIPADVISOR‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Thai Police: Adem Karadag planted bomb

Mr Karadag is brought to the Min Buri court

Police on Saturday said a foreigner held in custody over last month’s deadly Bangkok attack was the same yellow-shirted man seen on CCTV placing a rucksack at the shrine moments before the blast.

Authorities have earlier said it was unlikely that either of the two men detained over the Aug 17 blast, which left 20 dead, were the bomber in what has been an often confusing and contradictory police investigation.

On Saturday, national police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri said the probe now revealed the first arrested suspect, a man police identified as Adem Karadag whose nationality remains unconfirmed, was the bomber.

“It is confirmed that Adem is the man in the yellow shirt based on CCTV footage, eyewitness accounts and his own confession,” Pol Lt Gen Prawut said.

“After he placed the bomb at the shrine he called a motorbike taxi and changed his shirt at a restroom in (nearby) Lumpini Park.”

Mr Karadag’s lawyer — who says his client’s real name is Bilal Mohammed — could not immediately be reached for comment but earlier this week had cast doubt on rumours of his confession to the crime and has said his client was not in the country at the time of the attack.

The suspect now faces up to eight charges including premeditated murder, Pol Lt Gen Prawut said.

Mr Karadag is due to undergo a reenactment of his alleged role in the crime — a standard Thai police procedure — starting at the shrine from 11am.

The unprecedented attack in the heart of Bangkok’s bustling downtown district last month stunned the nation and dealt a fresh blow to Thailand’s reputation as a tourist haven.

Earlier report: Military court approves 17 warrants for city bombings

The majority of the blast’s fatalities were Chinese visitors, who believe prayers at the shrine bring good fortune. More than 100 other people were left injured.

The motive for the bombing remains unclear but this month Thailand’s police chief linked the attack to China’s Uighur minority for the first time, after weeks of speculation over their role.

Somyot Poompanmoung blamed the blast on a gang of people-smugglers motivated by revenge for a crackdown on their lucrative trade including the transfer of Uighurs.

That motive has been widely dismissed by security experts who instead have pointed to Thailand’s forced deportation of 109 Uighurs to China in July, a move that ignited anger in Turkey where nationalist hardliners see the minority as part of a global Turkic-speaking family.

Mostly Muslim Uighurs have long accused Beijing of religious and cultural repression in China’s far western Xinjiang region, with hundreds of refugees believed to have fled in recent years, often heading to Turkey via Southeast Asia.

Police arrested Mr Karadag in a flat on the outskirts of Bangkok late last month saying he was in possession of bomb-making equipment and dozens of fake Turkish passports.

The other man is custody has been identified as Yusufu Mieraili, who was seized with a Chinese passport that police believe is real. It notes Xinjiang as his birthplace.

Mr Karadag’s lawyer Chuchart Kanphai has previously said his client was born in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, but moved to Turkey in 2004 where he received Turkish nationality and found work as a truck driver with his brother.

He entered Thailand on Aug 21, four days after the bomb blast, with the aim of finding work in Malaysia, the lawyer has said.

Source: BangkokPost

Compare hotel prices and find the best deal - www.hotelscombined.com

For the Best ‪#‎Hotels‬ and ‪#‎Resorts‬‬
We help you with your ‪#‎Bookings‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
BOOK NOW SIMPLE CLICK ON THIS LINK ON OR THE BANNER
http://gerrit-tienkamp.blogspot.com/
http://planet-asian.blogspot.com/
https://asiabesthotels.wordpress.com/
https://europeanbesthotels.wordpress.com/
http://www.tripadvisor.com/members/Gerrit_Tienkamp‬‬‬‬‬‬

Proposed Railway Lines in #Thailand

Railway Thailand

Plans are being put into place to form a railway line spanning 840 Kilometers between China and Thailand allowing commuters/passengers to travel from Kunming to Bangkok, the line is to run through Laos. The project however has been downgraded to a medium speed line in order to save costs and has a predicted completion time of 3 years and is expected to bring in 2 million Chinese tourist to Thailand each year. Also in order to help tourism a new rail link has been proposed linking Trang with Satun and Phuket Provinces.

Romantic Route

Mr Pheerapol said a separate feasibility study is also underway for a proposed “romantic route” linking Ranong, Phangnga, Phuket, Krabi and Trang by road, which targets key popular destinations for couples. He said his office would work with the Rural Roads Department, the Highways Department and the State Railway of Thailand on the projects.

The rail link will have dual benefits helping local economy as well as targeting tourists as the line would pass through seaside and marine tourist attractions. The plan is to sped up the Trang-Phuket rail line study thus enabling cheaper transport of goods by freight train.

Mr Pheerapol said the “romantic route” project had the potential to pull in couples from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Agencies are focusing on proposals to build a light railway from Phangnga’s Tha Noon district to Phuket’s Tha Chalong intersection, via Phuket International Airport, he said.

By the end of the year, details of the project will be finalized and sent to the Office of the Commission for the Management of Land Traffic, he said.

Compare hotel prices and find the best deal - www.hotelscombined.com

For the Best ‪#‎Hotels‬ and ‪#‎Resorts‬‬
We help you with your ‪#‎Bookings‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
BOOK NOW SIMPLE CLICK ON THIS LINK ON OR THE BANNER
http://gerrit-tienkamp.blogspot.com/
http://planet-asian.blogspot.com/
https://asiabesthotels.wordpress.com/
https://europeanbesthotels.wordpress.com/
http://www.tripadvisor.com/members/Gerrit_Tienkamp‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

The Hunt is on

Hunt
Police put the alleged bomb courier in a yellow T-shirt for re-enactment near the Erawan shrine, but the focus is on Interpol to find the mastermind.

Police seek blast mastermind
Interpol help sought in overseas bolt hole

Police are seeking help from Interpol to hunt the suspected Erawan shrine and Sathorn pier bombings mastermind who they believe has fled to Bangladesh.

Deputy national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda, who leads the investigation into the bombings, Wednesday said Abudureheman Abudusataer, known as Ishan, is believed to be the head of the network which caused the deadly bomb blast at the shrine on Aug 17, based on the accounts of the detained suspects.

Interpol will be asked to contact Bangladeshi authorities following reports that Ishan had fled to the country, he said.

An investigation is underway to look into money wired from overseas to determine whether it was used to sponsor the attack, he said.

Pol Gen Chakthip said he is confident police will be able to arrest the yellow-shirted man, who was seen in CCTV footage planting the bomb-laden backpack at the shrine, based on evidence he gathered.

Hunt 2

Meanwhile, a source said investigations found Mr Ishan had sent an audio clip via Facebook to other suspects containing the screaming voice of a woman whom he claimed was a Uighur and was being deported from Thailand to China.

He met four other key suspects in Thailand. They are Yusufu Mieraili; Bilal Mohammed, also known as Adem Karadag; a man wearing a blue shirt who dropped a bomb into the river at Sathon pier, and the man in a yellow shirt who is believed to be the Erawan shrine bomber.

There is still another suspect living overseas who sponsored the attack, the source said, adding the person booked air tickets en route to Turkey for the suspects. Money was wired to the bank accounts of some suspects, the source said.

Investigators said earlier Mr Mieraili said Mr Ishan had arranged meetings of the bombing cell and assigned them their tasks.

Police sources said the warrant for the arrest of Mr Ishan was issued on Tuesday but police later decided to rescind it as more investigation was needed to ensure stronger evidence.

National police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri said information about Mr Ishan has been shared with Interpol to help check his records.

According to the spokesman, the bomb used in the attack was unusual and seldom seen elsewhere.

However, some bomb-making materials, including fuses, can be acquired in Thailand.

The National Council for Peace and Order called on fertiliser and chemical substance shops to install CCTV.

Pol Lt Gen Prawut insisted more than 10 people were involved in the bombing network.

READ MORE: The BangkokPost 

Hunt 3

Compare hotel prices and find the best deal - www.hotelscombined.com

For the Best ‪#‎Hotels‬ and ‪#‎Resorts‬‬
We help you with your ‪#‎Bookings‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
BOOK NOW SIMPLE CLICK ON THIS LINK ON OR THE BANNER
http://planet-asian.blogspot.com/
https://asiabesthotels.wordpress.com/
https://europeanbesthotels.wordpress.com/
http://www.tripadvisor.com/members/Gerrit_Tienkamp‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Were the Grey Wolves behind #Bangkok bombing?


Bomber 2-9
Adem Karadag’ has been arrested in connection to the Bangkok bombing. But is he a member of the Grey Wolves? Photo: Royal Thai Police.

On 8 July 2015, the deportation of 109 Uighur refugees back to China by Thai authorities shifted mob attacks against Asian tourists in Turkey to protests at the Consulate General of Thailand in Istanbul and the Thai Embassy in Ankara.

After stoning the consulate, smashing the windows and wrenching the doors open, the mob poured consular documents and files onto the street.

Roughly two months later, on 28 August a man identified as Adem Karadag, with a fake Turkish passport, was arrested by Thai police in Nong Chok district of Bangkok, as a possible key suspect in the 17 August bombing at the Erawan shrine.

He was found with dozens of fake Turkish passports and explosives similar to the ones used in what is now Thailand’s most deadly peacetime attack.

The recent anti-Thai and anti-Chinese protests by the Grey Wolves and the arrest of an alleged Turkish citizen by Thai police has sparked arguments putting the group at the forefront of those possibly behind the deadly bombing that killed 20 and left more than one hundred injured.

For example Susan Cunningham’s piece in Forbes outlines long-time security analyst Anthony Davis’ argument for the strong probability of the Grey Wolves’ involvement in the Bangkok bombings. Lindsay Murdoch of Australia’s Fairfax media has also outlined the Grey Wolves past activities, including military operations in post-Soviet states with Turkic people. But before the blame is laid squarely at their feet, a few key points need to be considered.

First, the Grey Wolves, a group also known as the Idealist Hearts, was founded in February 1968 to break the hegemony of socialist groups in Turkish universities throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Formed by the leader of the Nationalist Action Party, Alparslan Turkes, the group’s raison d’etre was anti-communism.

The Nationalist Action Party has since then held firm de facto control of the Idealist Hearts, although the organisation is not a formal sub-branch of the party. Hearts members came to be known as the Grey Wolves because of their logo, which was originally derived from a Turkic myth.

The organisation soon spread all over Turkey, and until the 1980s, a fierce anti-left stance was combined with Pan-Turkic myths, racism and some Islamic discourses under a typical fascistic leadership cult and strict hierarchy.

During the late 1970s many Grey Wolves sympathisers were recruited for counter-guerrilla operations and used as hoods in the paramilitary actions of the Turkish “deep state” (a group of anti-democratic coalitions with strong influence in Turkish politics) against rising left wing activism in the country.

During this era, members of the group were also involved in several assassinations of left wing intellectuals and a few massacres against Turkey’s Alevite population who were the main base of the far left during that decade.

In the decade following the 1980 Turkish military coup, the suppression of the Turkish left by the military, the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the consequent eradication of “the traditional other” of the Grey Wolves left the group in an ideological vacuum.

With this identity crisis a few sympathisers of the group became largely affiliated with the Turkish Mafia. Several members of the Hearts established connections with international crime, with some becoming hit men for international terrorist groups.

One frequenter of the Grey Wolves, Mehmet Ali Agca, who was convicted of assassinating a prominent left-wing Turkish journalist, was later caught at St Peter’s Square after attempting to assassinate Pope Jean Paul in May 1981.

In the 2000s the organisation turned into a nation-wide club where attendees were exposed to a blend of pan-Turkic, Islamist and anti-Kurdish racist ideas. Today the appeal of this ideological mixture is mostly attractive for Turkey’s least educated youth, and they gather in protests from time to time for pan-Turkic causes.

Despite the Grey Wolves possibly providing a large pool of followers to be used in petty crime, minor mafia activities and even human trafficking, I highly doubt their capacity and preparedness to conduct a bombing such as that at Bangkok’s Erawan shrine.

Simply put, the group has never participated in such a transnational mass bombing.

The person charged in Bangkok may be a sympathiser or a regular member/visitor of branches of this organisation in Turkey. He may also be a supporter of the pan-Turkic ideology of the Grey Wolves. Furthermore, the Grey Wolves might have been so agitated in their nationalist feelings for the Uighur cause to develop strong anti-Thai and anti-Chinese responses.

However, as an organisation the Idealist Hearts, or Grey Wolves, under strict control of the leadership of Turkey’s Nationalist Action Party, is unlikely to be the group behind the Bangkok bombings.

Dr M. Murat Yurtbilir is an associate lecturer in Turkish studies at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, The Australian National University. His research focuses on Turkish politics, history and foreign policy, and international politics in Central Asia.

Source: NewMandala

Compare hotel prices and find the best deal - www.hotelscombined.com