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Online outrage over Premchai scandal


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Online outrage over Premchai scandal





Social media users demand ‘same standards’ in prosecution of tycoon amid fears he will receive suspended sentence.


SOCIAL MEDIA users on multiple platforms have furiously criticised construction mogul Premchai Karnasuta, who was arrested for allegedly poaching in a Unesco World Heritage site in Kanchanaburi province.


Photos of Premchai sitting in front of a tent, the fresh pelt of an endangered black Indochinese leopard and the remains of other protected animals have gone viral on social networks, including Facebook and Twitter as well as other websites, triggering angry comments from many people.


Harsh criticism also attacked Premchai, president of Italian-Thai Development (ITD), for allegedly using sophisticated rifles to kill defenceless wild animals.


The combined social media activity has launched “social sanction” campaigns against Premchai, on the grounds that the maximum penalties he faces could be five years in jail and a relatively small fine compared to his personal fortune.


Commentators have even said that Premchai might escape with a suspended sentence given his access to good lawyers and speculation about help from people in power.


Three campaigns have been launched on Change.org, reportedly to demonstrate the power of the people calling for justice in the case.

One of the campaigns, launched by Tulpitch Kaewmung, is titled “Investigations into alleged hunting in national parks have to be transparent and use same standards”. As of the press time, 89,275 people had signed the petition.


The second campaign, initiated by Atagorn Limparungpattanakit, explicitly targets Premchai’s company, calling for a boycott of ITD. He said the case should not be regarded merely as a personal offence because Premchai allegedly ignored laws although he must have been aware of them. “Therefore, ITD should be held responsible for this also.” As of yesterday, the campaign had received 67,396 signatures.


The third, begun by Tak Lim, called for wildlife lovers to join together to make sure that Premchai faced legal action for his alleged “murder” of protected animals for his own pleasure, receiving 970 signatures yesterday.


Facebook users also set up frames for profile photos that featured black leopards to express support for the protection of wild animals, particularly the endangered species of big cats. 


The population of the species worldwide is estimated to be between 900 and 2,100, with many people commenting online that the species could ill afford the loss of the animal allegedly killed by Premchai or his associates. As of yesterday, many Thai Facebook users had changed their profile photos.


Another Facebook user, Tossaporn Klunkaew, produced a cover photo for social media users showing a drawing of a black panther against a red background with the messages “Justice for Wildlife. Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary” at the top and “Crime Against Nature” at the bottom.


Other users posted on Facebook poems they had composed mourning the deaths of the animals in Premchai’s case, most of which focused on the leopard because the species is so rarely seen. 


A forest ranger at the wildlife sanctuary was quoted as saying that he believed the slain leopard had a mate as he usually saw them together, adding that he had seen it running in the area of the campsite.


Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30338351

-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-02-09
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2 hours ago, webfact said:

Social media users demand ‘same standards’ in prosecution of tycoon amid fears he will receive suspended sentence.

"same standards"......never happen.

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16 minutes ago, yellowboat said:

His company will have to spend billions green washing the elitist, entitled stench from its reputation.  Shows how those with outrageous amounts of money in Thailand think.  They lead by poor example.

His company has spent billions already, but those at the top want more or a job for the son

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All that "social media outrage", as honest and concerted as it may be, will achieve nothing as long as the authorities remain so skewed and corrupt as they are, being bought so easily with a few brown envelopes. Premchai also has powerful friends who will help him get off the noose. And even if against all odds he should be found guilty, he'll receive nothing more than a suspended jail term or - rather more likely - a fine that he will comfortably pay from his pocket change.


In any case, Thai memories are notoriously short and very soon all that "social media outrage" is going to taper out, evaporate into thin air and be forgotten as the next scandal involving yet another esteemed member of the grossly misnomed "high" society will grab everybody's attention for a few days. And on and on the circus goes - without anything ever really changing. 


And yes, I truly hope that I am wrong with my assessment.

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6 hours ago, mok199 said:

 poachers are nothing more than predetors,preying on wildlife with highpowered rifles..hang em


Totally agree with you. Even "legal" hunters fall into the scum category. But, after all the hoorah dies down? Remember the noise when the American dentist shot an almost tame celebrity Lion with a bow and arrow, then finished it off the next day?


Well, wonder what he's doing now? 


Wonder if this will change anything here either?

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