Sunday, November 16, 2008

Apirak resigns

Apirak resignsBangkok voters will vote in a new governor election in January with Democrat deputy party leader Korn Chatikavanij tipped to run in the contest after Bangkok Governor Apirak Kosayodhin (photo) announced his resignation yesterday.

Mr Apirak’s resignation, which will take effect on Nov 20, came one day after he was implicated in City Hall’s fire engine procurement scandal by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC). The anti-graft agency ruled that he had violated the Criminal Code’s Article 157 when he opened a letter of credit for the 6.8-billion-baht deal.

Mr Apirak, who was re-elected in a landslide victory on Oct 5, said his decision to step down even though the case has yet to go to court is to set a standard for Thai politics.

Mr Apirak protested his innocence, saying he had sought advice from various agencies, including the Interior Ministry and the Commerce Ministry, and was advised to open the letter of credit for the purchase to go through.

Election commissioner Prapun Naigowit said the new governor election is tentatively scheduled for Jan 11, noting that the Election Commission must fill the post within 60 days of Mr Apirak’s resignation.

He said Mr Apirak is not obliged to pay for the new election.

Mr Apirak also apologised to Bangkok voters who re-elected him as governor, and the Democrat party which backed his bid for re-election.

‘‘I apologise to the people for this. I also apologise to the Democrat party and the executive board. I will return after I go through the justice process,’’ said Mr Apirak.

He said he had decided to run in the city governor election in October because he was confident that he had done nothing illegal.

The party gave full support to Mr Apirak to fight the charges in the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions.

‘‘I think he has made the right decision. City voters can now choose a new governor instead of waiting in uncertainty,’’ said Democrat party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Mr Korn, a Democrat MP, said the party never doubted Mr Apirak’s transparency and would do its best to help him fight the charges. ‘‘Mr Apirak has taken responsibility in a way that he believes will help the development of democracy,’’ Mr Korn said.

Mr Korn did not rule out running for Bangkok governor, saying he would comply with whatever the party decided.

tip – to say who you think will get a particular job ការនែនាំ
implicate – to show or suggest that someone is involved in wrongdoing ជាប់ទាក់ទង
scandal – a situation in which important people behave in a dishonest or immoral way that shocks people រឿងអាស្រូវ
graft – corruption អំពើរពុករលួយ
rule – (of a court or other group with similar authority) to make and announce a decision
violate – to do something that is against the law ល្មើសច្បាប
criminal code – the systems of laws dealing with crimes and their punishment ប្រមូលផ្តុំច្បប់ព្រហ្មទណ្ឌ
article – part of a legal document, agreement or law that deals with a particular point មាត្រា
landslide victory – an election victory by a very large margin or amount ការឈ្នះដាច
protested his innocence – claimed that he had done nothing against the law បញ្ជាក់មិនបានខុស
transparency – an honest way of doing things that allows other people to know exactly what you are doing
rule out – to stop considering something as a possibility ប្រកាស់ថាវាមិនអាចកើតឡើងបាន
comply – to obey a rule or law ប្រព្រិត្តតាមច្បាប់

The Queen’s elephants

Chiengmai. Tonsak. Kungrao. Surin. The names of the star elephants at the Copenhagen Zoo are Thai because they are from Thailand.

Actually, most of the elephants at the 149-year-old zoo are principally from Thailand due to long-standing relations between the two countries.

The first two Thai elephants, Chang and Eng, arrived in Denmark in 1878 as a gift from the Danish consul in Siam.

The zoo’s successful elephant breeding programme began when Their Majesties the King and Queen gifted three elephants — Chiengmai, Lampoon and Buag Hah — to Their Majesties Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid as a royal gift during their state visit to Thailand in 1962.

‘‘Chiengmai is now the great-grandfather of 12 calves,’’ said zoologist Bengt Holst proudly. ‘‘They are housed in various zoos in Europe.’’

In 2001, Denmark received another three elephants from Thailand. Two of them — Tonsak and Kungrao — were royal gifts from Their Majesties the King and Queen to Their Majesties Queen Margrethe II and Prince Consort Henrik during their visit to Thailand.

Surin is a gift from the people of Surin province to the Danish people. ‘‘The Thai elephants are our biggest attraction,’’ said the zoologist, adding that they are considered the Queen’s royal elephants in Denmark.

qele2The royal elephants were moved from castle-like quarters to a more natural and stimulating abode this year, a ceremony presided by Prince Consort Henrik and his grandson Prince Christian.

The new Elephant House is covered with glass domes to allow more sunlight, with better temperatures and humidity control. The sand-covered floor helps protect the elephants’ legs and feet while providing a soft ground to lie on.

The outdoor area is shaped like a dry river bed with mud holes and a deep ditch for the elephants to bathe. There is also a distance between each feeding ground, thus forcing the elephants to walk for food as they would do in the wild.

The new Elephant House is designed by famous UK architect Norman Foster.

principally - mainly
consul - an official chosen by a government to live in a foreign city, in order to take care of people from the official's own country who travel or live there, and to protect the trade interests of that government
breeding - the keeping of animals or plants in order to produce young animals from them
calves - the young of various other large mammals such as elephants and whales
zoologist - a person who scientifically studies animals
Prince Consort - the title sometimes given to the husband of a ruling queen
stimulating - if an activity is stimulating, it causes your body to be active
abode - the place where someone lives
presided - to be in charge of a formal meeting or ceremony
ditch - a long narrow open channel dug into the ground usually at the side of a road or field, which is used especially for supplying or removing water, or for dividing land
bathe - wash
architect - a person whose job is to design new buildings and make certain that they are built correctly

Posted by Terry Fredrickson at 03:14 AM

Mar's take on Venus

I THINK I'M one of those men who cannot understand women at all and there are several incidents that make me think perhaps I never will be able to.

For example, when my girlfriend and I are in a car and choose some music, I try to play something that she can listen to but she insists on listening to what I like despite the fact that our music tastes are on opposite corners of the universe. When we end up in an argument, she blames me for not giving her any respect and thinking only of myself!

There was once I had to involuntarily tell her stories about my exes and if I have to say, my girlfriend is one of the most jealous women in the country and I know the last thing I should do is to talk about any other woman, but my own mother, to her.

However, she persisted, and forced me to and after that, I was blasted for telling her the most disgusting story in the world. After that, we quarrelled for a whole week because of some bygone nonsense and she managed to make me feel as if I was the worst man in the universe for a while.

Actually, I don't expect girls to understand me but I actually wish they understood what justice means! For God's sake!


Abuse the Youth's vocal/ guitarist

nourishing - if you nourish a feeling, you think about it a lot and encourage it
Mars - men
Venus - women
take on - a particular way of understanding something
incidents - events which are either unpleasant or unusual
insists on - states or demands forcefully, especially despite opposition
blames - says or thinks that someone or something did something wrong or is responsible for something bad happening
involuntarily - not done by choice; done unwillingly
exes - (in this context) ex-girlfriends
jealous - unhappy and angry because someone has something or someone you want
persisted - tried to do or continue doing something in a determined but often unreasonable way
blasted - criticised severely
disgusting - extremely unpleasant or unacceptable
quarrelled - fought, argued
bygone - belonging to or happening in a past time
justice - fairness in the way people are dealt with

Posted by Terry Fredrickson at 02:31 AM

68,000 poor families of Cambodia receive emergency food assistance from ADB

68,000 poor families of Cambodia receive emergency food assistance from ADB

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Over 68,000 poor families of Cambodia have received emergency food assistance following the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Directors' approval of the project last month, said an ADB press release here on Friday.

"This assistance is making a very real difference in the lives of Cambodia's most vulnerable, particularly its children," said ADB Country Director Arjun Goswami.

"Putting food on the tables of Cambodia's poorest families, just one month after the project's approval, is a commendable accomplishment by the government," he said, adding that food distribution has been supervised by independent NGO monitors.

One of the primary objectives of ADB's emergency food assistance is to help support Cambodia's efforts to ameliorate the food price inflation shock on the poorest and most vulnerable families in the seven provinces around the Tonle Sap Lake, and in three urban slums around Phnom Penh, said the release.

The project targeted the poorest 20 percent of poor families in 200 selected communes, it added.

The ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in the Asia and Pacific region through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.

Established in 1966, the ADB is owned by 67 members, 48 from the region. In 2007, it approved 10.1 billion U.S. dollars of loans, 673 million dollars of grant projects, and technical assistance amounting to 243 million dollars, according to the release.