Newsblog Video Gallery

The videos on this page are all field edited news footage of different events covered by John Le Fevre in the course of his work as a photo-journalist. All field editing work is performed using an Apple Powerbook G4 and iMovie software.

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Songkran Battle for Bangkok
April 8 – 13, 2009

For five days in April 2009 the “red shirt” pro-democracy movement under the umbrella of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) besieged Thailand’s Government House demanding the resignation of Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.An estimated 150,000 people attended the so-termed D-Day mass rally and over the the next five days the gatherings were still attracting large crowds. On the fifth day the situation deteriorated with increasing levels of violence as the red shirts grabbed control of areas outside of the protest area.

On the sixth day the violence inexplicably increased until protesters were battling the Thai army on the streets of Bangkok . This is a compilation documenting those days.

The are more photos and stories at Thailand pro-democracy rally, April 8, 2009 photo special

Battle for Bangkok photo special

Thailand political unrest continues as hundreds of thousands rally in Bangkok

Thailand on the edge ahead of mass pro-democracy protest

Thailand Prime Minister dead man walking as Asean leaders flee Pattaya

Monk – I saw Thai army shoot monk and people at Din Daeng

Rumours fester among Bangkok red shirts as emergency decree continues

Red shirts defiant as “third hand” blamed for Thailand riots and assassination attempt: Thai tourism plummets
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Opening of the annual Yi Peng
Festival in Chiang Mai

In Chiang Mai the annual Loi Krathong ceremony coincides with the traditional Lanna Yi Peng Festival (Festival of Lights).Commonly called Sky Lanterns, the Yi Peng Festival involves the launching skywards of thousands of tubular lantern hot air balloons called “Khome Loi” as an offering to Buddha and to cast away grief, misery and ill-fortunes.

The lanterns are constructed using traditional bamboo formed into hoops and then coated with either tracing paper or Saa Paper made from the branches and leaves of the mulberry tree.

A small candle placed in the base provides the hot air to fill the paper envelope and float the lantern gently skywards.

More on Thailand’s Loy Krathong and the Chiang Mai Yi Peng Festival can be found here: Loi Krathong Festival and Chiang Mai Yi Peng Festival ‚Äì festivals of floating lights

A pictorial feature on the Chiang Mai Loi Krathong and Yi Peng festivals can be found here: Chiang Mai Loi Krathong and Yi Peng Festival pictorial special
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Video of the arrest of William Thomas
Douglas for the murder of Gary Bruce
Poretsky in Chiang Mai

Gary Bruce Poretsky, a 46-year-old resident of Hawaii was shot to death in the Northern Thailand city of Chiang Mai in the early morning of March 22, 2008 by Australian man William Thomas Douglas.

Douglas turned himself in to police several hours later. In this video shot on March 23 Douglas clearly says he shot Mr Poretsky because he didn’t like him.

At his trial in October, 2008 he claimed he couldn’t remember shooting Mr Poretsky.Douglas was sentenced to four years prison for the murder of Mr Poretsky with the sentence being cut in half to two years because of his guilty plea.

A full report on the trial can be found here: Cash payment lowers sentence for Australian murderer
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Video of William Thomas Douglas’
trial for the for the murder of Gary
Bruce Poretsky in Chiang Mai

Sixty one year old former Perth resident William Thomas Douglas was sentenced to four years jail for the murder of 46-year-old Hawaiian resident Gary Bruce Poretsky in the Northern Thailand city of Chiang Mai in March 2008.

However the former Australian Army Vietnam War veteran will serve just two years after having his sentence cut in half for pleading guilty.

Douglas claimed to have been working as a police informer during the 28-years he has lived in Chiang Mai and is reported to have boasted of having killed two drug traffickers while working with the police.

A witness told the court Douglas “pulled out the gun and shot Gary two times in the chest. Gary fell to the ground and then Douglas fired a third shot into his head.

Douglas claimed that Mr Poretsky had antagonised him by criticising the Vietnam War and had said “Australia should not have followed the US into the Vietnam War and that Australia and Thailand were dictated to by the US.

A full report on the trial can be found here: Cash payment lowers sentence for Australian murderer
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Video of Elephants’ birthday at Mae
Sa Elephant Camp Northern Thailand

Elephants have a long association with Thailand and for many years were the backbone of the country’s forestry industry.

From an estimated 200,000 plus, the number of wild and domesticated elephants in Thailand has dwindled to an estimated 2,500 today.

In 1963 the white elephant became the kingdoms national animal and in 1998 the government proclaimed March 13th to be Thai national elephant day.

The Mae Sa (Maesa) Elephant Camp is a big tourist drawcard for those visiting Northern Thailand generally and Chiang Mai in particular. The camp has 73 elephants in its park and runs an active breeding program. A calf was born the night before the 2008 elephant birthday celebrations.

A story on the elephants’ birthday party can be found here: Elephants birthday a jumbo celebration in Thailand
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Video of Poi Sang Long ceremony in
Mae Hong Son, Thailand Day 1

Day one of the three-day-long Poi Sang Long ceremony in the Northern Thailand city of Mae Hong Son.

The three day Poi Sang Long ceremony traces it’s origins back to Buddhist legend which tells the tale of Prince Rahula, the son of Buddha, who gave up his worldly possessions to follow his fathers teachings and who became the first novice Buddhist monk and youngest ordained Buddhist monk 2,535 years ago.

Practised by the Shan people of Burma and Northern Thailand, Poi Sang Long means Festival (of the) Crystal Sons and is a rite of passage ceremony undergone by boys between seven and 14 years of age.

One of the largest and most colourful Poi Sang Long ceremony is held each year in the Northern Thailand city of Mae Hong Son (province [of the] three mists early in April.

It is believed that by participating in the Poi Sang Long ceremony and joining the monkhood the boys will gain merit for their parents.

More can be found on the Poi Sang Long ceremony in Mae Hong Son here: Poi Sang Long ceremony follows Shan traditions
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Video of Poi Sang Long ceremony in
Mae Hong Son, Thailand: Day 2

The second day of the Poi Sang Long ceremony in Mai Hong Son, Northern Thailand.

More can be found on the Poi Sang Long ceremony in Mae Hong Son here: Poi Sang Long ceremony follows Shan tradition
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Video ofPoi Sang Long ceremony in
Mae Hong Son, Thailand: Day 3

The third and final day of the Poi Sang Long ceremony in Mai Hong Son, Northern Thailand.

More can be found on the Poi Sang Long ceremony in Mae Hong Son here: Poi Sang Long ceremony follows Shan traditions
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The copyright to all the material on this page is held by John Le Fevre. Permission is granted for non-commercial use providing the appropriate credit is given and a backlink/pingback provided.

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Buddhism festivals; Chiang Mai, Corruption; Conservation; Crime; Elephants birthday; Gary Bruce Poretsky; Mae Hong Son; Mae Sa Elephant Camp; Murder; Northern Thailand; Poi Sang Long ceremony; Religious festivals; Shan hill tribe; Thailand; Thailand Festivals; Thailand legal system; Thailand tourism, Thailand travel, Tourist murder, Vietnam Veteran, Vietnam War, William Thomas Douglas
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5 Responses to "Newsblog Video Gallery"

  1. James Barclay   April 2, 2011 at 4:50 am

    Hi, I was reading the forum on journalism.co.uk and came across a link to your blog so I thought id check it out. Are the short video clips you’ve taken from a digital camera or an actual video camera? James

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    • John Le Fevre   April 4, 2011 at 6:26 am

      Thanks very much for visiting James,

      All of the video (not much currently) was shot with a Sony digital 8 Handycam. I use Canon 50D’s currently for still work and find the sensor in them to be quite good. The same sensor is now used in the 550D and 600D which both have video capability so I would expect the quality to be similar, while my Canon lenses are undoubtedly better quality than in a Handycam. I haven’t run any experiments as yet but hope to soon.

      The need to either carry extra memory cards or upgrade to a larger capacity version for a SLR with video capability is something to keep in mind as broadcast quality video takes up a lot of memory space.

      A situation I would hate to find myself in is having a full memory card of video when I needed to shoot stills, or in the ehat of the moment find I was shooting video when I should have the camera set to still images.

      Thanks again for visiting.

      John

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  2. Bill Bartmann   September 5, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Excellent site, keep up the good work

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  3. val   July 24, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    The monk with the blacked-out face (and I saw the photo before you added the black square) appears to the the same monk as pictured elsewhere in your blog, namely here:

    http://photojourn.wordpress.com/battle-for-bangkok-photo-special/battle-for-bangkok-36/

    Not exactly a third-party independent observer.

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    • John Le Fevre   July 24, 2009 at 10:01 pm

      Thanks for reading but the photo of the monk in the first story you are referring to has never ben published without the blackout and the monk in the second photo is definitely not the same person. You will notice that the colour-shade of the robes are different, which indicates a different order of monks – from what I am told.

      If it had ben the same person the photo of the second monk would have been included on the same page to show his objectivity – or lack there of.

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