Asia Briefs

Thai students on sedition rap

BANGKOK - Thai police yesterday charged 14 students with "sedition", a lawyer said, which could see them jailed for seven years, after they staged a peaceful rally against the ruling junta's sweeping curbs on civil liberties.

The pro-democracy campaigners from universities in Bangkok and the country's north- east are among the few public faces of dissent that remain in Thailand after the military seized power last year.

The severe charges follow a peaceful protest at the capital's Democracy Monument on Thursday where the students made impassioned speeches and sang songs urging an end to junta rule, cheered on by dozens of supporters.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Pre-bids for prison project

MANILA - Three Philippine companies have submitted pre-qualification documents for a 50.2 billion peso (S$1.5 billion) prison project north of the capital, a government official said.

Conglomerates San Miguel Corp and DMCI Holdings Inc, and contractor Megawide Construction Corp, submitted the pre-bid documents yesterday, Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar told reporters after the department received the documents.

The public-private partnership project is part of the government's efforts to improve the nation's prison system, the fourth most overcrowded in the world, according to the International Centre for Prison Studies.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2015, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe