DDPM to help provinces hit hard by shortage of rainfall
BANGKOK, 22 August 2012 (NNT) – The Department of Disaster
Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) is set to speedily extend help to those hit
hard by the shortage of rainfall in 4 provinces.
DDPM Director-General Viboon Sanguanpong revealed on Tuesday that DDPM
provincial and district offices in Surin, Buriram, Nakhon Si Thammarat and
Phatthalung have been instructed to provide water supply to those in need.
Mr. Viboon said all offices have also been ordered to supply water pumps to
farmers, who are in need of water for their crops, and to assist related Local
Administrative Organizations to dig more underground water wells, where needed.
The DDPM’s rush to help supply water in all 4 provinces was prompted by the
recent shortage of rainfall, since July.
In Phatthalung along, at least 8 districts have been declared disaster zones, as
more than 115,200 people have already been hit hard by the lack of rain.
Cabinet granted more budgets to support water management policies
BANGKOK, 22 August 2012 (NNT) – The Cabinet has agreed to
allocate more budget to support the water management policies in Bangkok and
across the country.
Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, who chairs the Water and
Flood Management Committee (WFMC), said on Tuesday that the weekly Cabinet
meeting has resolved to grant around 450 million baht in an additional budget to
the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and the Royal Irrigation
Mr. Plodprasop said that the additional budget allocation has been within the
Emergency Decree, which authorized the Finance Ministry to make decision on loan
applications to help manage the country’s water resources.
With this new amount, the BMA will be able to procure 30 more water pumps, while
the Royal Thai Navy will be able to purchase 10 water-pushing vessels.
At the same time, the Royal Irrigation Department will also get more money to
install garbage strainers and water-pump support systems.
Mr. Plodprasop added that the Cabinet will discuss next week the request from
the Royal Irrigation Department for 603 million baht more to implement the
siphon project at the Bang Chom Sri sluice gate in Ayutthaya Province and for
another 340 million baht for a new sluice gate and a semi-permanent water pump
station in Pathum Thani Province.
EGAT to adjust its policies related to water discharge from major dams
BANGKOK, 22 August 2012 (NNT) – The country’s power producer
is ready to adjust the amount of water to be discharged from 2 major dams to
accommodate the current situation.
Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi said on Tuesday that the
Cabinet has been updated on the current water situation across the country.
Mr. Plodprasop stated that the public should not worry about this year’s flood
threat while saying that the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT)
will lower the amount of water discharged from the Bhumibol Dam and the Sirikit
Dam to a moderate level, in order to ease the impact of the shortage of
This means EGAT will store more water to prepare for next year’s drought after
water storage at both dams is at an average of 51 percent of the total capacity.
At the same time, EGAT will release more water from Vajiralongkorn Dam and the
Sri Nakarin Dam, where average water storage is at 78 percent of total capacity.
The Science and Technology Minister has also expressed worries over the drought
situation in Thailand’s Northeast and South. He has assigned the ministries of
Agriculture, Interior, and Natural Resources to look into this problem already.
MRT to expand service due to increase in passenger demand
BANGKOK, 22 August 2012 (NNT) – The operator Bangkok’s
underground train system is going to expand its service after reports of an
increase in passenger demand.
According to Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) Governor Yongsit
Rojsrikul, with the number of MRT passengers going up by 10 percent per year,
from the previous average of 250,000, the MRTA is considering buying more trains
to add to its fleet of 19 cars.
Mr. Yongsit said that between 5 and 10 new cars will be procured to serve more
The MRTA Governor added that the implementation of a flat fare of 20 baht, as
called for by the government, will boost passengers’ number to more than double.
He reckoned that the 20-baht fare policy will likely be implemented on the Blue
Line MRT system in 2 years from now, before it is expanded to the Purple Line,
which is expected to be completed in 2015.
Mr. Yongsit went on to say that that the extension of both Blue and Purple Line
systems has been delayed because of the flood crisis in late 2011.
He said that as the MRTA will propose that the Cabinet agree with the
postponement of the construction deadline by 180 days, while pushing the
contractors to complete the project as planned.
Vachari appointed new Permanent Secretary for Commerce
BANGKOK, 21 August 2012 - The Cabinet has announced a list of
reshuffled positions within the Ministry of Commerce, in which a new permanent
secretary is appointed.
The Cabinet meeting on Tuesday appointed Ms. Vachari Vimooktayon, incumbent
Director-General of the Department of Internal Trade, as the new Permanent
Secretary for Commerce – the first time ever for a female to take up the post.
Ms. Vachari’s promotion came as her predecessor, Mr. Yanyong Phuangrach, is due
to retire on September 30 this year.
Many other senior officials in the Ministry of Commerce were also appointed to
new positions as follows: Mrs. Nuntawan Sakuntanaga as Deputy Permanent
Secretary for Commerce, Mrs. Srirat Rastapana as Director-General of the
Department of International Trade Promotion, Mrs. Pranee Siripan as
Director-General of the Department of Foreign Trade, Mrs. Piramon Charoenpao as
Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations, Mrs. Wiboonluck
Ruamrak as Director-General of the Department of Internal Trade and Mr. Noppadol
Saravasi as Deputy Permanent Secretary for Commerce.
Thailand Research Expo 2012 to be organized during Aug 24-28
BANGKOK, 21 August 2012 (NNT) – National Research Council of
Thailand, or NRCT, is planning to organize 'Thailand Research Expo 2012' during
August 24-28. Over 600 researches will be showcased at the event.
The National Research Council of Thailand will organize the Thailand Research
Expo 2012 at Bangkok Convention Centre, Central World starting from August 24th
to August 28th. The event will showcase over 600 researches conducted by 100
The event is categorized into sections, namely agriculture, energy, and health.
Conferences on the topics of languages, culture, and environment will also be
Interesting researches displayed in the event comprise agricultural logistic
system, ASEAN cultures, and new diseases. Furthermore, a Thai-Chinese trade
seminar will be held as well to discuss trade strategies based on mutual
benefits of the two countries.
BMA sends water trucks to Nakhon Si Thammarat to put out forest fire
BANGKOK, 21 August 2012 (NNT) – The Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration (BMA) has sent a caravan of 20 water trucks to Nakhon Si
Thammarat to help put out the spreading forest fires.
Bangkok Governor M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra presided over the launch of 20 water
trucks and 100 officials tasked with helping put out the peat swamp fires in
Nakhon Si Thammarat. In addition to the twenty water trucks, the caravan also
included a fire truck, a repair truck, an information unit, and two light-equiment
The forest fires have spread to seven other districts in the southern province.
The assistance Bangkok has given is a gesture of thanks to the southern people
who earlier sent help to the capital during the massive flood in 2011.
Zoological Park Organization eyes for endangered species reintroduction
BANGKOK, 21 August 2012 (NNT) - The Zoological Park
Organization of Thailand has revealed its success in reintroducing Sarus cranes
into the wild after 20 of the endangered birds have survived since their release
According to Deputy Director of the Zoological Park Organization Veterinarian
Wisit Wichasilp, the ZPO’s research team has inspected a flock of Sarus cranes
after its reintroduction into natural habitat, a wetland in Buriram, earlier
this year, and found that all of the bred birds are doing well in the area.
The success prompted the Organization to plan for a release of another 10 Sarus
cranes next year.
Wisit said that if the released birds can breed naturally, the ZPO will propose
to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation that it
remove the cranes from the endangered species list.
He also disclosed a plan to breed R. e. siamensis (Thai Eld’s deer) that have
become 'extinct' in the country for over 50 years; currently, there are only 40
left in breeding centers worldwide.
The ZPO will follow in the footsteps of Burmese Eld’s deer’s artificial
insemination. If successful, the organization will make a huge progress in
reintroducing another 'extinct' species into the wild.
Rajavithi hospital receives UN award for diabetes detector
BANGKOK, 21 August 2012 (NNT) – Rajavithi hospital has
received a United Nations award for its diabetes detecting technology. The
hospital has also urged people who have diabetes to have an annual eye check-up.
Dr. Wilawan Juengprasert, Director-General of the Department of Medical
Services, yesterday presided over the opening ceremony of “Open House” event.
The event was held to showcase Rajavithi hospital’s technology on inspecting eye
diabetes with a diabetes detector. The hospital has also received an award from
the United Nations for its diabetes detecting technology and the services
provided to the people in rural areas.
She said the most crucial issue for people who suffer from diabetes is that the
disease could spread into the retina and will finally result in blindness. But
with the diabetes detector, doctors are now able to tell whether the patients
risk having the disease spreading into their eyes. If a patient has the risk, he
will be immediately sent to an ophthalmologist for further treatment.
Maehongsorn likely to experience flashfloods and mudslides
MAEHONGSORN, 20 August 2012 (NNT)-The Meteorological
Department in Maehongsorn province has issued a warning for its residents
against flash floods as storm ‘Kai Tak’ has brought heavy rains to Muang
district of Maehongsorn province.
The impact of Kai Tak, which lashed Vietnam over the weekend, was evident in the
northern province of Thailand, where the heavy downpour lasted up to one hour on
Sunday with the amount of rain recorded at 51 millimeters.
Although Kai Tak has begun to weaken into a lower pressure system, Maehongsorn,
however, will continue to experience heavy rains until August 25th, 2012.
Warnings of flashfloods and mudslides have already been put out to keep
residents on their toes, and for commuters to take extra caution on the road as
one of the roads in Muang district has reportedly been heavily covered in mud..
Bt20 fares on Bangkok electric mass transit within 2 years: MRTA Governor
BANGKOK, Aug 21 - Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand
(MRTA) Governor Yongsit Rojsrikul said the government's policy to collect a Bt20
fee for travel all routes of the capital's underground and elevated electric
mass transit trains will be in effect within two years.
MRTA has negotiated with its partners MRT underground operator Bangkok Metro
(BMCL), and the Sky Train Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS).
The timing is set within two years because the number of commuters will quickly
increase due to the lowered fare, and in that case the number of trains should
be sufficient to demand.
BMCL currently has 19 trains operating. It needs at least double that number to
serve future demand once the Bt20 fee is effected, Mr Yongsit said.
He noted MRTA will continue rail line expansion in the capital. Blue and purple
lines, now under construction, were delayed by last year's flood crisis. The
Cabinet will be asked to consider an extension of another 180 days for
construction responsible by the private sector, due to the resultant delays.
Related projects continue for green, orange, yellow, and pink lines, covering
outer Bangkok in multiple directions..
With a budget of some Bt500 billion, the MRTA governor said, management and
construction is covered for up to seven years.
OOnce completed, Bangkok will have an electric train network of more than 200
kilometers like other big cities.
MRTA will manage the system and related services for further investment without
depending only on government funding. (MCOT online news)
Possible archaeological site unearthed in Lampang
LAMPANG, Aug 21 - Authorities in Thailand’s northern province
of Lampang have sealed off both banks of the Mae Tui River in a village after an
excavation accidentally found layers of old bricks that looked like an ancient
pagoda on a riverbank.
Lampang Deputy Governor Suwan Klaosunthorn said the operator of a backhoe loader
was digging in the river and fixing the riverbanks in Sop Kong village when he
came across layers of bricks attached to one side of the bank. The Mae Tui River
branches out of the Wang River, the major river running through Lampang.
Academics from the Ministry of Culture and the Fine Arts Department earlier
carried out a preliminary survey and said the layers of bricks could be a kiln
at least 400 years old. They said a thorough inspection would be needed.
The deputy governor has ordered local authorities to guard the site to prevent
people from damaging it and stealing art objects which might be found at the
site. (MCOT online news)
Thai taekwondo bronze medalist returns home to hero's welcome
SONGKHLA, Aug 21 -- Hundreds of Thais turned out at
Songkhla's Hat Yai airport this morning to welcome Chanatip Sonkham, a bronze
medalist from London Olympic Games who is returning her hometown in Phatthalung.
Chanatip or ‘Nong Lek’ won an Olympic bronze medal in women's taekwondo in the
Phatthalung Governor Winyu Thongsakul led Ms Chanatip's famliy and Phatthalung
residents to greet her at the airport on her trip back home for the first time
after returinng from London last Tuesday.
Students from Satree Phatthalung, Ms Chanatip's old secondary school, lined up
to welcome her with a parade escort of drummers and a marching band.
Upon arrival, her mother, father and local agencies gave her bouquets to
congratulate her for her success.
After that she went by convertible in a motorcade to her home town in
Phatthalung while Thai sports fans lining the route gave her a warm welcome.
Mrs Natchaya, Chanathip's mother, said she has prepared a traditional gaeng som,
a sour soup, her daughter’s favourite dish, to welcome her home.
Ms Chanatip began her Olympic gold quest by outclassing her Russian opponent to
score a 13-1 victory over Kristina Kim in her preliminary round and then
dominating Yang Shu-Chun from Taiwan by 6-0 in the quarterfinal.
However, Ms Chanatip's path to an elusive gold medal ended after she lost her
third bout to Spain’s three-time world champion Brigitte Yague 10-9.
The Thai fighter finally landed a bronze medal by beating Guatemala's Elizabeth
Zamora 8-0 to win the bronze medal.
Thailand received three medals overall from the from London Olympic Game, which
in addition to Ms Chanatip’s prize included a silver medal from boxer Kaeo
Pongprayoon, a bronze medal from weightlifter Pimsiri Sirikaew. (MCOT online
GLO to launch e-lotto in time for year-end
BANGKOK, 20 August 2012 (NNT) – The Government Lottery Office
(GLO) has agreed to comply with the Ministry of Finance’s policy to press
forward with the online lottery scheme before the end of this year.
GLO Director Police Major General Atthakrit Thareechat said he has urged the GLO
staff to speed up the installation of the two- and three-digit online lottery
system in order to have it up and running by this year-end, as opposed to the
initial timeframe of 6-8 months. The new deadline is in compliance with Deputy
Finance Minister Tanusak Lekuthai’s instruction.
Other preparations for the new lottery system, such as public relations
campaigns and usage training – both in technical and distributional aspects –
will need to be fast-forwarded as well, according to the director. The GLO and
Loxley GTECH Technology Co., Ltd., provider of the online lottery system, will
co-organize the training.
So far, Loxley has installed around 6,000 lottery ticket dispensing machines
across Thailand. Even though the online lottery scheme has been delayed since
2008, the company confirmed that it is ready to launch the system within 90 days
after the government lays down a clear policy on the matter.
SDHS Minister confident BKK will not be flooded this year
BANGKOK, 20 August 2012 (NNT) - Social Development and Human
Security Minister Santi Prompat has expressed his confidence that unless the
amount of rain this year is higher than last year, Bangkok will not be
Speaking of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security’s project to
relocate residents, whose homes were built over the canals, Mr. Santi has
already submitted a report on its progress to Mr. Prodprasob Surasawadee, who is
the chairman of the flood and water management committee, for acknowledgement.
The residents will be moved to a designated zone, according to Mr. Santi, which
is within a 5-kilometer radius from their old houses, in their new living
quarters expected to be erected by the Ministry of Social Development and Human
Security. The purpose of such endeavor is to remove blocking objects from
waterways in order to better manage the flood this year.
The Minister is confidence that the capital city will not be submerged under
water this year if the amount of rain does not exceed last year’s level. Canals
in Bangkok and its vicinities, he said, have been unclogged, dredged and ready
to handle the rainy season.
Army marks 110th anniversary of Ordnance Dept
BANGKOK, 20 August 2012 (NNT) – Army Chief General Prayuth
Chan-ocha has presided over a ceremony to mark the 110th anniversary of the
Ordnance Department at the department compound.
As part of the ceremony to commemorate the 110th year since the founding of the
Ordnance Department, Gen Prayuth presented a garland before the statue of His
Majesty King Rama VI this morning before participating in Buddhist rites.
The Ordnance Department is a support unit of the Royal Thai Army and is
responsible for providing the army with military materials, including weapons,
ammunition and vehicles, as well as conducting research on ordnance service
development for other army departments.
Women urged to eat vegetable to help prevent breast cancer
BANGKOK, 20 August 2012 (NNT) – A health expert has raised
awareness of breast cancer, suggesting that women consume more vegetables and
Department of Health Director-General Dr Somyod Deerassamee has revealed that
although breast cancer is found in fewer women than cervical cancer, the death
rate from breast cancer is higher.
She said breast cancer does not have obvious symptoms and its cause is not
clear. One-fourth of the patients tend to have a period at young age, exercise
very little, consume oily food, drink alcohol, or have a relative with the
disease; while experts still cannot find the real causes for the rest, or
three-fourth, of the patients.
Dr Somyod indicated one out of every 10 women will likely be diagnosed with
breast cancer in her life time. Although the disease is commonly found in women
aged over 40, it can also be found in many women aged between 20-30 years old,
adding many of them came to the doctor when the symptom is already severe.
The director-general suggested women should stay healthy, eat more fruit and
vegetables, consume less oily food, and exercise regularly. She also advised
women to check their breast on their own or visit a doctor if they are in doubt
as the disease can be fully cured if found at an early stage.
Two Asian females, two Caucasian males killed in Phuket pub fire
BANGKOK, Aug 20 – The charred bodies of four persons
recovered from Tiger Discotheque fire in the southern province of Phuket are
likely to be those of two Asian females and two Caucasian males, according to a
senior police officer.
Assistant National Police Chief Pol Lt-Gen Charamporn
Suramanee said their identifications would be known in one to two days.
Gen Charamporn told reporters that the forensic examination showed that all four
died from smoke inhalation and their bodies were burned beyond recognition so
that the forensic investigation was necessary to identify the fire victims, in a
process similar to that used to identify tsunami victims in Thailand in 2004.
He said that according to the initial investigation the four victims were two
Asian females and two Caucasians males. The belongings collected from the bodies
such as necklaces, bracelets, clothes, brassiere frames, mobile phones, belts,
and underwear were useful in helping to identify the victims.
Police collected more evidence at the rooms of persons reportedly missing and
suspected to have been killed in the fire, he said, adding that their identity
would be known in another one of two days.
Gen Charamporn said that the cause of the fire is under investigation but
initially believed that the fire began on the second floor of the entertainment
Meanwhile, Phuket provincial police forensic inspector Pol Col Kittisak
Noopheung said that DNA samples have been collected from relatives of the four
who were reported missing and the authorities are awaiting test results to
compare DNA from bodies of the victims.
The process was expected to take two days.
Four persons were killed in the fire that raged through the Tiger Discotheque in
Patong, Phuket last Friday, while 11 were injured. (MCOT online news)
Officials deployed to put out forest fire in South
NAKHON SI THAMMARAT, Aug 19 - About 1,600 officials have been
deployed to control forest fire in this southern province in an attempt to put
out the fire within three days.
Wirote Jirarangsan, the province’s governor on Sunday visited
officials and distributed necessities.
About 1,600 officials from the Royal Forest Department and soldiers from the
fourth Army Region were deployed to control the fire in five districts.
They aim to extinguish the forest fire within three days, by using helicopters
to pinpoint hotspots.
According to a report on Friday, forest fires in five districts have damaged
15,000 rai (6,000 acres) so far, including 600 rai of a 1,900 rai forest reserve
whose ecology is being studied by the Chaipattana Foundation, under royal
Artificial rainmaking to help control the fire cannot be done due to low
humidity. (MCOT online news)
Prime Minister invites opposition to probe alleged corruption in government spending
BANGKOK, 18 August 2012 (NNT) - Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra has denied an Opposition claim that there was government corruption
in regard to budget spending.
The prime minister gave the assurance that the government was willing to allow
the opposition to conduct an inspection in any suspicious project. If evidence
is uncovered, the Prime Minister asked the opposition to share it with the
government, so that it can undertake its own investigation.
The prime minister also said she welcomed the opposition’s move to dig for
corruption, and that the government was ready to clarify all matters. She
strongly denied an allegation that the government had taken a sum of money from
the budget allotted to each project being implemented.
As for the alleged involvement of politicians in forest encroachment in Phuket
province, Ms. Yingluck said that she had not yet received the list of the
suspected politicians. The paper is being prepared by the Office of Public
Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).
The Prime Minister reiterated that the government is working to raise awareness
against corruption in order to win confidence and recognition from foreign
investors and governments.
Special Report: Thai Navy’s role in ASEAN Community
With the ASEAN Community to be introduced in 2015, Thailand
has to prepare itself for the up-coming changes. There will be a lot more
cooperation between the members in this region. Everybody will have to somehow
play a role and fit into the new environment. The Royal Thai Navy as well will
have to prepare itself and play a part in the new community.
The word “ASEAN” stands for Association of Southeast Asian Nations. It was first
established in 1967, with an aim of strengthening relationships among the 10
member countries. Objectives of the establishment include accelerating economic
growth, social progress, cultural development among its members, protection of
regional peace and stability, and opportunities for member countries to discuss
Plenty of changes are about to come with the introduction of ASEAN Community.
The Royal Thai Navy will play an important role in cooperating with other
nations. The cooperation envisages all aspects in navy activities such as
preventing threats that could harm the region. There are 2 kinds of threats,
traditional and non-traditional. The traditional threat is an existing issue
that is going on in the region such as maritime boundary dispute, while the
non-traditional threat ranges from terrorism, piracy, drug and weapon smuggling,
to law violation and natural disaster. Other cooperation activities include
humanitarian assistance, disaster mitigation, anti-terrorism, and marine
The biggest issue in ASEAN that the Thai Navy is expected to play a corrective
role is the maritime boundary dispute. None of the ASEAN nations want to give up
what they think is rightfully theirs. This is a very sensitive issue and seems
to be an ongoing problem that is nowhere close to a conclusion. Despite all the
threats and problems, the Thai Navy will have to revise its strategies and
policies to be consistent with the ASEAN community as the motto of ASEAN states
“One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
After a seminar on the topic of the “Thai Navy’s role in ASEAN community”,
Professor Dr. Surakiat Sathirathai, former Deputy Prime Minister and former
Foreign Minister, has revealed that Thailand is still lacking behind other ASEAN
nations in many aspects. For example, Thai people don’t know the laws and
regulations of other ASEAN countries, or there are a lot of Thai people who do
not have a clear perception of what ASEAN Community will bring to them and the
nation as a whole.
Dr. Surakiat added that trust is the main factor that will drive the formation
of ASEAN Community to a success. Therefore, trust needs to be built between the
members. Successful cooperation and communication are based on trust.
In conclusion, as ASEAN Community is coming in 2015, Thai people immediately
need to be educated and informed of what will happen or what advantage or
disadvantage people could gain from the formation in order to prepare themselves
for the inevitable changes.
PM commits to canal dredging and reforestation for flood prevention
BANGKOK, 18 August 2012 (NNT) - The government have been
dredging canals and planting forests to help prevent floods this year. Sluice
gates damaged by major floods last year have been repaired while the
construction of permanent flood barriers have been implemented.
During her weekly TV program on NBT, PM Yingluck spoke of the government’s flood
prevention preparations, saying that the government had initiated a campaign on
clean canals after it found that canals were clogged with water hyacinth and
shallow. The campaign persuades locals to take care of the canals in their areas
with cooperation from all sectors. “Canal Inspectors” or those who have been
assigned to keep canals clean will play an important role in the campaign.
Moreover, the government has initiated a project to replant forests in honor of
Her Majesty the Queen as part of its flood prevention scheme while also raising
forest conservation awareness among the public.
On the drought situation in the Northeast, the prime minister said the
government would expedite aid to the drought-affected people.
Drought forces Surin farmers to plant rice in holes
SURIN, 19 August 2012 (NNT) - Drought has hit 17 districts in
Surin province. Jasmine rice paddies have been adversely affected by the long
gap between rainfalls, which has lasted over 2 months. The rice saplings, mostly
jasmine rice, which were planted using the conventional sowing method, have seen
a negative impact from the lack of rainfall. At total of 1.5 million rai of
jasmine rice plantations throughout Surin have been affected.
Royal rainmakers have quickly worked to seed clouds to produce rain over the
province. Farmers of Mai Dong Yen village, in the Phanon Dong Rak district of
Surin, have been unable to wait for rain, and have turned to planting rice in
holes they have dug into the ground. The holes are made by pushing a pointed
stick into the earth. Once the holes are made, rice saplings are placed in them,
and the holes are filled in with soil.
Farmers have noted that the drought this year is extremely severe.
Public Health ministry allocated THB198mil to fight Opisthorchis Viverrini in Northeast
KHON KAEN, 19 August 2012 (NNT) – The Public Health Ministry
has allocated nearly 200 million baht to fight the spread of Opisthorchis
Viverrini in northeastern Thailand
Deputy Public Health Minister Surawit Khonsomboon, on
Saturday, met with provincial governors, doctors, nurses, health officials and
village health volunteers in 20 northeastern provinces during the official
opening of a Cholangiocarcinoma treatment center at Khon Kaen University.
Mr. Surawit said that Opisthorchis Viverrini and Cholangiocarcinoma are two
major causes of death in the northeastern region, killing more than 28,000
people each year and causing significant damages to the region’s economy and
community while also posing threats to national security.
He stated that most patients are aged between 45 and 55 years old, the range
that represents active working population.
The Deputy Health Minister said that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has
announced the tackling of Opisthorchis Viverrini and Cholangiocarcinoma as the
government’s urgent strategic agenda to prevent the lives of more than 21
million northeasterners and to cut down the rate of Cholangiocarcinoma deaths as
well as the number of patients to 5 percent.
For this strategic policy, Mr. Surawit said that the government has allocated
more than 198 million baht to implement during 2012 and 2013 to promote a
consumption behavioral change among residents of the Northeast in hopes of
encouraging locals to refrain from consuming raw or semi-cooked fresh water
The budget is also intended to systematically enable healthcare personnel to
offer more cancer screening tests and medical follow-ups at all hospitals and
health service centers across 20 related northeastern provinces.
EGAT holds meeting to help prepare environmental and health impact report
LAMPANG, 19 August 2012 (NNT) – The Electricity Generating
Authority of Thailand (EGAT), through the Team Consulting and Engineering and
Management Company Limited, held a meeting to hear citizens’ and stakeholders’
opinions regarding the revision of a report on the environmental and health
impacts associated with the construction of an alternative electricity plant in
Mr. Suwan Klaosunthorn, deputy governor of Lampang, along with Dr. Sirinimit
Boonyuen, an environmental expert, and Dr. Benjaporn Boonyapukana, a health
expert, joined in to help point out the operation details, pros, and cons. Over
2,000 citizens and stakeholders attended the meeting.
The meeting was held in accordance with guidelines set by the Ministry of
Natural Resources and Environment. The process is now at the third stage,
requiring the report analyzing various impacts to be reviewed by citizens and
stakeholders. It is designed to allow citizens and stakeholders to join in
inspecting and reviewing safety protocols, as well as sharing their ideas and
opinions. This is to ensure that the final project meets with the expectation of
the majority of citizens.
Representatives of the opponents to the planned construction also attended the
meeting to make known the disadvantages of the power plant project, such as foul
smells, noise pollution, and reduced water and air quality.
327 years of Thailand-France relations celebrated in Ayutthaya
AYUTTHAYA, 19 August 2012 (NNT) – Thailand’s ancient capital
of Ayutthaya has been celebrating more than 3 centuries of the country’s good
relations with France.
Ayutthaya Governor Wittaya Phewpong said on Sunday that the province has planned
to hold a big celebration to commemorate 327 years of good relations between
Thailand and France.
Mr. Wittaya said that the event is set to take place during August 24th-26th, at
the province’s old City Hall.
He added that the highlights of the celebration are the revisiting to a
beautiful and cool Paris with the infusion of Thainess from the era of
Ayutthaya, a Lido performance and a Moulin-Rouge show, joined by world-leading
He said that France’s landmark monuments, including the Eiffel Tower and the Arc
de Triomphe, will be recreated for photograph opportunities, while fake snow
will also be created to make the experience more impressive.
The Ayutthaya Governor added that a special concert by one of Thailand’s country
singers and a number of traditional musical performances as well as a variety of
Thai foods will be showcased throughout the event.
Sukhumbhand to run for second term as Bangkok Governor
BANGKOK, 20 August 2012 (NNT) - Bangkok Governor M.R.
Sukhumbhand Paribatra has announced that he will run in the next gubernatorial
election under the Democrat Party banner.
Talking about working with the press, M.R. Sukhumbhand said conflicts with the
media do occur sometimes; but he has never attempted to interfere with the press
freedom. He admitted calling news executives to explain misinterpreted reports
and receiving good response from the journalists. He asked the press to be
neutral and reasonable, as impartial news reports could help him win another
Bangkok governor election.
The governor said if elected for the second term, he will push for another Halal
Kitchen Project in Sirindhorn Hospital to draw in more Middle East visitors,
given many of them travel to Thailand to get medical service. He said once the
project kicks start, it will help stimulate the capital's economy and generate
more income for the Muslims. The Halal Kitchen Project has been successfully
launched at Nong Chok Hospital.
M.R. Sukhumbhand also promised to push ahead with his plan to build a hospital
for the elderly in Bangkhuntien District, and ensured that various development
projects he has initiated will be carried out to completion if he is re-elected.
PM still concerned by water situation
BANGKOK, Aug 18 -- Prime Minister Yingluck Shinwatra thanked
the public and private sectors for assistance in dredging canals while expressed
worry over the water situation, as deforestation persisted.
prime minister said during the "Yingluck Government meets the People" programme
broadcast via Radio Thailand of the Public Relations Department, that dykes and
water sluice gates in Bangkok that were damaged during the massive flood last
year have all been repaired.
The programme this Saturday was recorded on Friday during the premier visit
Khlong Sam Wa in Pathum Thani to inspect the dredging.
The dredging work to allow more effective flow of water in canals has been
completed, she said, adding that CCTV cameras were installed at Khlong Sam Wa to
monitor the water level situation and will be expanded to other major canals.
Ms Yingluck said the government has requested cooperation from communities and
the private sector to help take care of the canals, with one company per canal.
Under the pilot project, 277 companies have taken part in caring for 307 canals,
The premier also proposed a water inspector project, as inspectors would be
assigned to help monitor canals.
However, she expressed worry over deforestation in upstream areas and stated
that reforestation project should be continued. (MCOT online news)
House of Representatives approves 2013 budget bill
BANGKOK, Aug 18 - The House of Representatives early Saturday
morning voted 279-8 to approved on the third reading the proposed Bt2.44
trillion budget bill for the fiscal year 2013.
House completed the second reading of the 2013 fiscal year budget bill Article
19-23 with only few debates from both government and opposition parties.
After the House agreed to conclude the second reading, the voting for the third
reading started at around 1.40am of Saturday.
The House passed the 2013 fiscal year budget bill in the third reading with a
vote of 279-8 with 127 MPs abstained.
The House meeting was closed at 1:45am after taken a total of 26 hours to
deliberating the bill from Wednesday until early morning on Saturday.
Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na Ranong, in closing speech,
thanked all the MPs and promised to heed their advice for consideration.
On May 23, the House of Representatives voted 274-1 with 177 abstentions to
approve the 2013 budget bill in its first reading after three days of
deliberation. (MCOT online news)
Foreign Minister set to visit Brazil and Chile
BANGKOK, 17 August 2012 (NNT) - Foreign Affairs Minister
Surapong Tovichakchaikul is scheduled to visit Brazil and Chile during August
17-20, at the invitation of his counterparts in both countries.
According to Deputy Director-General of the Information Department Sek
Wannamethee, the visit is aimed at strengthening bilateral ties between Thailand
and Chile and Brazil. The Foreign Affairs minister is set to affirm Thailand’s
position as a strategic gateway to ASEAN and a competitive and attractive
Mr Sek elaborated that as Chile and Brazil are two of the emerging and
growth-leading economies, the Thai government aims to further boost bilateral
trade and investment cooperation with the two South American nations.
The visit also marks the 50th Anniversary of Thailand – Chile Diplomatic
Relations. During his visit to Chile, Mr Surapong is due to pay courtesy calls
on Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and to hold talks with Foreign Minister
High on the minister’s agenda at the meeting is Thailand’s plan to finalize the
negotiation on a free trade agreement between Thailand and Chile. The
negotiation is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Following the meeting, Mr Surapong will present Thai books and artefacts to the
Diplomatic Academy of Chile for the use in its Thai study research. The Foreign
Minister is also scheduled to plant a Cassia fistula, or Ratchaphruek, tree at
Plaza Tailandia Park, where Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn
had presided over its opening ceremony. A Thai Pavilion is set to be built in
the park in commemoration of the anniversary.
Myanmar pledges to care for 92 Thai detainees, axe blacklist
BANGKOK, Aug 17 - Myanmar President Thein Sein pledged to
take care of all 92 Thais being held for alleged land encroachment and
possession of illegal arms and drugs and will delist the names of 13 Thai
journalist and columnists from its blacklist imposed 11 years ago, the Thai
defence minister said on Friday.
Chief Marshal Sukumpol broke the news after meeting with the Myanmar leader and
discussing a wide range of issues during his two-day official visit at the
invitation of his Myanmar counterpart to improve bilateral relations.
The minister told reporters after returning from Myanmar that he believed those
being charged for drug possession would not face harsh punishment as the drug in
their possession was marijuana, not heroin or methamphetamines.
Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol also said that the Myanmar authorities promised to
revoke a blacklist with the names of 13 Thai journalists and columnists. Among
them are Wassana Nanuam, a reporter for the English-language Bangkok Post, and
Suthichai Yoon, a columnist and editor-in-chief of the Nation Multimedia Group.
They had been banned from entering Myanmar for 11 years. (MCOT online news)
Thai government compensates victims of southern violence
NARATHIWAT, Aug 17 – Thailand’s Southern Border
Administrative Center (SBPAC) on Friday began compensating victims of the
country’s ongoing violence in the south.
Narathiwat, 468 people affected by the violence, which flared up in southern
border provinces since 2004, received money awards today in compensation money.
Wichien Chantaranothai, deputy secretary-general of SBPAC, and Apinan
Suenuthawong, governor of Narathiwat, together presented the money as part of
the Thai government’s rehabilitation of the victims of southern violence,
conducted at the Provincial Islamic Committee Office in Narathiwat.
About 2,520 people are eligible to receive compensation totalling 152 million
baht. For each case, the injured have received 30,000 baht compensation and
persons who became handicapped in an insurgency-related incident received
120,000 baht each.
Compensation money was presented to 468 cases on Friday.
In Yala, Police Colonel Tawee Sodsong, Secretary-General of the SBPAC presented
the compensation to relatives of persons affected in three major incidents of
violence in 2004, in which losses partly incurred due to actions by officials
representing the state.
Cash awards were paid to families of 442 persons killed in the incidents. The
government’s Southern Border Center verified the information in all cases before
endorsing the cash award. (MCOT online news)
Lack of rainfall adversely affects Nakhon Ratchasima´s rice paddies
NAKHON RATCHASIMA, 18 August 2012 (NNT) – In determining the
overall impact of suspended rainfall in the province, the Office of Agriculture
of Nakhon Ratchasima, undertook an investigation. Initially, it was found that
over 1 million rai of paddies have been damaged.
Nakhon Ratchasima’s Office of Agriculture has instructed each of its district
branches to quickly assess the damages, in order to prepare a proposal for the
Nakhon Ratchasima governor to declare the affected areas drought zones. This
will lead to assistance for the farmers.
Help for affected farmers in the initial stage is underway in 21 districts.
Royal rainmaking has been requested, and operations for artificial rain have
quickly begun. However, the amount of rainfall in the target area is still very
low. If there is not enough rain, the Office of Agriculture of Nakhon Ratchasima
may have to declare no less than 5 districts as drought zones.
Govt declared success in rice-pledging scheme
BANGKOK, 18 August 2012 (NNT) – The government has declared
its success in the rice-pledging program, which is said to have helped raise the
standard of living for more than 2 million households.
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said on Friday that the
government-initiated rice pledging scheme has been a success, as it has helped
raise the standard of living of more than 2 million farmers’ families, out of
some 3 million households registered with the Ministry.
He revealed that about 6.9 million tons of unhusked in-season rice were pledged
with the government while approximately 10 million tons of the off-season rice
produce were pledged with the government.
The Commerce Minister stated that the program has effectively raised local rice
price to 11,000 baht per ton, while the average global rice price now stands at
678 US dollars per ton, which is already higher than last year’s price of 500
dollars a ton.
Mr. Boonsong is confident that if this trend continues, Thai farmers will be
relieved from debt burden and have a better standard of living within 2-3 years.
He said that the government forecasts Thai rice exports at 8 million tons for
Security forces in Deep South staying extra-vigilant around all state offices
BANGKOK, 18 August 2012 (NNT) – The government has ordered
security forces in violence-plagued southern border area to step up surveillance
measures around all state offices.
Deputy Prime Minister General Yuthasak Sasiprapa said that the Thursday bomb
attack in front of the Panare District Office in Pattani Province was intended
as a symbolic act of violence during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
General Yuthasak said that the blast did not seem to be aiming at taking lives
or property damages, anyhow.
In any case, the Deputy Prime Minister has urged the Army Region4 Commander to
instruct all security officers to step up the monitoring of vehicles entering
all state grounds in the far South.
He stated that the inspection of all vehicles is essential in the prevention of
Govt to speedily investigate wildfires at Phru Kuan Kreng Wetland
BANGKOK, 18 August 2012 (NNT) – The government has pledged to
speed up the investigation into ongoing wildfires at the Phru Kuan Kreng
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Friday got an official update on the
wildfires at the Phru Kuan Kreng Wetland in southern Nakhon Si Thammarat, which
has devastated thousands of rai of forest and farmland.
Natural Resources Minister Preecha Rengsomboonsuk has visited the wildfire-hit
areas and ordered officials to speedily put out the fire.
An investigation is set to begin once the wildfires have been doused, especially
into allegations that local politicians have encroached the forest.
The Prime Minister said that investigators have begun collecting evidence into
the claims and pledged that justice will be served in this case.
She also said that the government will consider more serious punishment for
University of Phayao holds National Science Week event 2012
PHAYAO, 18 August 2012 (NNT) - Assistant Professor Dr. Wiboon
Wattanatorn, deputy dean of research and quality assurance at the University of
Phayao, presided over the opening ceremony for university’s Faculty of Science’s
National Science Week event, to be held from August 17 to 19. The opening
ceremony was attended by administrators, professors, university personnel,
university students, and students from the University of Phayao Demonstration
The event will play host to a number of activities. Among these will be science
and technology exhibitions from various agencies within the university and
elsewhere, a science project competition, a contest of local wisdom, a
science-themed drawing contest, a mobile planetarium, and numerous games for
which prizes will be awarded.
Dr. Wiboon revealed the National Science Week event is being held in response to
the continuous development of both science and technology. The event aims to
spread knowledge about both science and technology. It is also hoped the event
will entertain visitors.