Thailand in the News Week Ending 6/19/10

U.S. Senator Demands End to Thailand Passport Components

New York Senator Charles Schumer is demanding that the government printing office halt all production of electronic chips made overseas and used in American Passports. Schumer sent a letter to the GPO this week after a years long investigation by ABC news and the Center for Public Integrity which which relayed serious concerns about how the GPO is handling security risks related to the outsourcing of passport components.

The actual chip is produced and fitted into the passports in Europe by Dutch company Smartrac; the passports are then shipped to Thailand where the RFID antenna is installed before the blank passports head to America. You can tell it’s an election year in America when all of a sudden Senators and Congressmen get very serious about issues that have been ongoing since 2008 when it wasn’t on their radar.

Schumer, who is the Chairman of the Committee on Rules Administration, demanded immediate action this week from GPO’s director, Robert Tapella. As the Committee on Rules Administration has direct oversight over the GPO there is the possibility that the overseas passport production will cease…or not, we all know the U.S. government likes to wait until people die before taking any real action.

Schumer and the GPO will have words, there will be hearings and soon after the mid term elections in November the story will disappear until next election cycle.

I’m not sure what bothers me more, the fact that a group of government idiots even allowed overseas production to begin with due to terrorism concerns or the fact that the U.S. government couldn’t even support their own country by hiring an American firm. Not that I have anything against the Dutch, if we needed a dike they would be the only country I would contact.

Pedophiles, Thailand Wants You!

Out of their country as it were. The Thai government is doing something right, and they are doing it in a big way. If you are a foreign national who has been convicted in your home country or elsewhere of molesting children then your days in Thailand are numbered. The Thai government is actively seeking out individuals in the Kingdom with a record and deporting them immediately.

The crackdown started this week with the deportation of a British school teacher Gary Robcoy, 30, who was rounded up at Potisarn Pittayakorn school in Bangkok, where he worked as a computer science and English teacher. He was put on a British Airways flight to London and likely told never to return.

One can only hope that this crackdown continues in earnest and we hear of many more cases such as this on a weekly basis. Gary Glitter got the message now it needs to be passed on to all the other pedophiles in Thailand..Get out and Stay out!

IMAX Comes to Thailand

IMAX Corporation signed a deal this week with Major Cineplex, the leading commercial theater operator in Thailand to open 2 IMAX theaters in the greater Bangkok area by October 2010 with a further 3 theaters to follow. IMAX has been pushing headlong into the Asian market signing on over 40 locations in just the past year.

Vicha Poolvaraluck, Chairman of the Major Cineplex Group:

There has been tremendous interest in The IMAX Experience(R) from moviegoers in Thailand and we are focused on meeting that demand with these five theatre systems, IMAX’s digital theatre system is ideal for our market as we have several premium locations and our first IMAX(R) theatre has enjoyed tremendous success.

Major Cineplex Group is the largest cinema operator in Thailand with 363 screens open at 49 locations. Several additional complexes are planned. Major Cineplex Group is also a leading Lifestyle Entertainment Company in Thailand whose business portfolio also includes  bowling centers, karaoke, ice-skating rinks, and retail space rental. Major Cineplex Group also integrates movie production business, theatrical film distribution, and DVD distribution business through its subsidiary company, M Pictures Entertainment. Internationally, Major Cineplex Group has a joint venture with PVR Cinemas in India to develop entertainment bowling centers and is enjoying substantial growth. Some of the new IMAX theatres will go into upcoming new projects.

Thai’s love Sanook  fun) and I can see IMAX going over huge in Thailand, especially if they show 3D ghost movies! If they do I will not be going with any Thai woman I know, I bruise easily.

That’s just an interesting sample of whats been going on in Thailand this week, Whats happening in your part of the world?


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10 Responses to Thailand in the News Week Ending 6/19/10
  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Laor Kaewyou, Talen. Talen said: Thailand in the News Week Ending 6/19/10 [...]

  2. Martyn
    June 21, 2010 | 5:28 am

    Talen I don’t know what it is with people like Gary Glitter. He had the world at his feet back in the 70′s and 80′s, he had the choice of the most prettiest women around. Why do so many big stars turn out to be such complicated characters. In GG’s case the lowest form of life. How many big movie and pop stars are out there now doing something which when it gets found out will sicken so many of us. Hundreds is my guess.

    Good on Thailand for taking such a definite stance on pedophiles, there should be no let up in their hunt for them all. Unfortunately here in the UK, Thailand has a bad name for harbouring child molesters but I kind of think along the lines of why do our western countries let them travel in the first place. This is more a western problem than a Thai one. Isn’t it us who breeds most of them.

    It does seem a bit strange your blank passports are flown around the world before being put to use by your government. I’d guess it’s just a small part of international trade deals that go on between countries.

    As you know I’m not a movie buff at all and it’s a rare occasion Wilai can get me into a cinema. Cinema’s are big business so I guess the IMAX Corporation deal is good news for those involved. Let’s hope Isaan gets a slice of the cake although I think as usual Bangkok will eat most of it first.

    I always enjoy your weekly reviews and I’ll look forward to the next one. I just sometimes wonder where you get such good stories from because I wouldn’t have a cat in hell’s chance of finding them. Best wishes from the UK.
    Martyn recently posted..Is the World Cup Vuvuzela Coming to IsaanMy Profile

    • Talen
      June 21, 2010 | 6:36 am

      Martyn, if we knew who all the pedophiles were in the world it would be a much easier placed to navigate. I would suspect we would be shocked if we knew the sheer numbers as they come from every country and every walk of life.

      If it’s important to national security you can be assured that America will screw it up every time…that,s why we are all paying for it at the airport these days getting our lighters confiscated and our dignity abused…all because the American government couldn’t call a spade a spade and go after the real culprits for 911.

      As for finding the news stories I just sift through all the news channels looking for Thailand stories…something usually jumps out.

  3. Catherine
    June 21, 2010 | 6:52 am

    Talen, I didn’t realise that Thailand was turfing out pedophiles. Good. Perhaps the Thai government should make use of their first class wanker extrating facilities before they put them on the plane.

    (Sounds harsh, but there is no love lost from my towards those who sexually abuse little kids).

    But on a positive but strangely odd note… Don’t we already have IMAX in Thailand? I’ve already been to one in Bangkok.
    Catherine recently posted..Learn Thai Podcast: World Cup & Football ThaiMy Profile

  4. Mike
    June 21, 2010 | 8:47 am

    Talen, it beggars belief about the US passports, but, I fancy the UK is now the same. On a slightly different track, if you wish to renew your UK passport in Thailand you have to send it too Hong Kong.

    While I welcome the move about pedophiles sadly it is too little too late in my opinion. Until Thailand has a professional police force such people will continue to operate(Bribes and Bail).

    Finally, I agree IMax will be a big thing here given the Thai humour etc God help us if Thai soaps ever go that way :-)
    Mike recently posted..Hilltop Temple Photo ImageMy Profile

    • Talen
      June 21, 2010 | 9:29 am

      Mike, it’s the American way…and sadly as you pointed out most of the west does the same.

      Pedophiles will always be with us no matter what country we are in but at least this new initiative is starting out well…only time will tell if they keep it up.

      Thai soaps on IMAX screens…now that is a scary thought!