Radar problem causes flight delay at Suvarnabhumi airport
BANGKOK, June 22 – The power supply from an uninterruptible
power source (UPS) caused problems for radar controlling flights landing at
Suvarnabhumi airport, forcing some aircraft to land at U-Tapao Airport in
Rayong-Chon Buri provinces, according to Deputy Transport Minister Chadchart
U-Tapao is 115 kilometres (about 70 miles) from Suvarnabhumi
Mr Chadchart said that the UPS supplying electricity for the radar system
experienced problem on Thursday evening, and the back-up power supply was not
working. Engineers took around 40 minutes to repair.
During the time that there was no radar system functioning, some flights were
waiting, queuing to land at Suvarnabhumi airport, but six flights were running
out of fuel and opted to land at U-Tapao without any safety problems.
The aircraft re-fueled at U-Tapao before returning to land at Suvarnabhumi
He said that radar at Don Mueang airport was also not working given that it was
under the single aircraft navigation system covering both Don Mueang and
Suvarnabhumi. Each airport facilitates incoming flights with its own control
tower's navigation system only when aircraft enter a 10km radius of the airport.
A back-up radar system that could cover both airports together is at Thung Maha
Mek and could operate effectively, but there was no staff manning the system at
the time when it was needed, when there was power supply problem.
Mr Chadchart said the incident caused delays of 40 minutes for incoming flights
while the longest delay for departing flights was three hours. (MCOT online
Minister orders probe of Suvarnabhumi power system failure
BANGKOK, June 22 -- In an attempt to restore confidence among
airlines and passengers following Thursday’s power system failure at
Suvarnabhumi Airport, Transport Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan on Friday ordered a
probe into the incident with results to be concluded within 15 days.
The problem caused delays for 50 flights and forced 13
aircraft to land elsewhere -- six flights at U-Tapao Airport, two each to Chiang
Mai International Airport, Phuket International Airport and Malaysia’s Kuala
Lumpur International Airport, as well as one at Cambodia’s Siem Reap
The probe will be headed by Silpachai Jarukasemra, permanent secretary for
transport, together with a special fact-finding committee, including experts.
The investigation will examine causes of the incident, whether or not were
related to technical glitches, accidents or human error, as well as providing
short-, medium- and long-term measures to prevent any repetition of such a
problem, Mr Jarupong said.
Meanwhile, Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (AEROTHAI) and Airports of Thailand
(AoT) have been assigned to thoroughly study the incident and draft emergency
management procedures for their staff to deal with such an emergency.
The order came after Mr Jarupong and Deputy Transport Minister Chadchart
Sittipunt inspected the incident after the power supply from an uninterruptible
power source (UPS) caused problems for radar controlling flights landing at the
country’s main international airport, affecting operations of some 50 flights.
While experiencing the radar system failure, 21 flights were waiting, queuing to
depart and take off at Suvarnabhumi Airport with the longest at 105 minutes,
while 15 flights were in the air, queuing to land with delays of 30 minutes on
average, while the longest delay was 71 minutes.
In a related development, Squadron Leader Prajak Sajjasophon, president of
Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (AEROTHAI), admitted that such an incident
occurred in 2008 when monitors of the closed-circuit television system
The AEROTHAI chief explained that the latest incident resulted from the failure
of the power supply from an uninterruptible power source (UPS) which disrupted
the electrical power used for the air traffic control for half an hour, causing
a radar system failure for both Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports.
As an initial solution, the officials applied the radio communication signal to
manage the air traffic control in accordance with the emergency response plan.
The AEROTHAI president said that the life of the uninterruptible power source is
seven years and that the UPS has been used for six years, admitting that some
technical glitches which were beyond control might have occurred.
However, AEROTHAI has been improving the UPS system to 100 per cent prevent
power failures which will be completed in August.
Following the incident, Suvarnabhumi Airport Director Somchai Sawasdeepon,
denied that airlines asked for compensation, saying that AoT has already made an
explanation to the airline operators that the incident was beyond capability.
Meanwhile, the ongoing runway maintenance was expected to be completed within
August 9, Mr Somchai added. (MCOT online news)
Thailand, Russia celebrate 115th anniversary of diplomatic relations
BANGKOK, June 21 – Thailand and Russia celebrate the 115th
anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two
countries on Thursday.
Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul will preside
over the celebrations, attended by H.E. Alexander G. Mariyasov, Ambassador
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation, high-ranking
officials and the diplomatic corps.
Two cultural shows – Russia’s Swan Lake ballet and a Thai Khon mask play,
depicting the Ramayana epic -- will be performed at the event.
Thai-Russian relations began in 1897 during the reign of King Rama V and Tsar
Nicholas II of Russia. Relations developed smoothly and have grown strongly for
more than a century.
Regarding trade between the two countries, the value of Thai-Russian trade rose
by US$5.6 billion in 2011, an increase of 41 per cent from the previous year.
Thailand recorded more than one million Russian tourists last year while about
10,000 Thai tourists travelled to Russia. About 100 Thai students are now
studying in Russia. (MCOT online news)
2009 influenza H1N1 under control in Thailand's northeast
NAKHON RATCHASIMA, June 21 - The 2009 influenza H1N1
situation is now under control and no more patients have been found affected
with the virus, according to Nakhon Ratchasima Rajanagarindra Psychiatric
Hospital deputy director Dr Norachart Ratanachata.
Forty-one people were confirmed Wednesday as being infected
with 2009 influenza H1N1 in this northeastern province. Most of them have
improved conditions, he said
The patients were given Tamiflu, a drug for the treatment of flu infections
including bird flu, and have been under quarantine for 14 days.
About one-third of the hospital's staff (out of 350) have already received an
injection for flu prevention. Anybody with a temperature higher than 38 degrees
will be sent for a thorough and immediate medical checkup.
Meanwhile, Dr Lalitya Kongkam, deputy director of Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima
Hospital, said the 41 patients at the other hospital have responded well to the
However, one patient was sent to her hospital on Wednesday, for the patient
suffered from alcoholism and was also infected with H1N1 influenza, causing
blood in his abdomen. She affirmed the blood symptom did not result from the
influenza. (MCOT online news)
13 red shirts convicted of arson govt offices granted bail: Justice Minister
BANGKOK, June 22 – A Thai court has granted temporary release
to 13 red shirt protesters appealing their convictions for setting fire to
municipal and other government offices in four upcountry locations and intruding
upon official premises during the 2010 political chaos, Justice Minister Pracha
Promnog said on Friday.
The justice minister said the ministry has prepared Bt26
million as bail bond for the temporary release of United Front for Democracy
against Dictatorship (UDD) members arrested and convicted for their roles in the
political unrest in 2010 for breaching the security law, invading state-owned
buildings, damaging assets and setting city halls and municipal offices on fire.
Gen Pracha said bail for the detainees on political cases has been conducted by
the Rights and Liberties Protection Department and the Lawyer's Council of
The bail requests have been sought at provincial courts for 31 red shirts --
four at Ubon Rachathani, five at Udon Thani, nine at Maha Sarakam and 13 at
The minister said Mukdahan court decided to grant bail for 13
detainees and the Rights and Liberties Protection Department will pose
altogether Bt26 million or Bt2 million as collateral for each of them on Monday.
Gen Pracha noted that the collateral was high as the 13 were earlier convicted
for 20 years and eight months in jail, consider a heavy penalty. They are now
appealing the court verdict.
The minister said the remaining detainees are waiting for decision from Ubon
Ratchathani, Udon Thani and Maha Sarakam courts, while another 14 persons were
detained by the Bangkok court and the Rights and Liberties Protection Department
will also provide them legal assistance. (MCOT online news)
Anti-corruption agency dismisses complaint against Thaksin's sister
BANGKOK, June 21 - Thailand's anti-corruption agency
dismissed a complaint against Yaowapa Wongsawat, younger sister of ousted
premier Thaksin Shinawatra, on a petition from the opposition Democrat Party for
having unusual wealth.
Mrs Yaowapa is also the wife of former prime minister Somchai
Wongsawat and a former political post holder.
Medhi Krongkaew, commissioner of the National Anti-Corruption Commission Office
(NACC), as chairman of a subcommittee to investigate this case, said the NACC
voted unanimously to drop the charges, for no links to Mrs Yaowapa's assets and
unusual wealth were found. Neither was there a false declaration of assets.
Regarding her three children, then underaged, buying stocks from four private
companies as being Mrs Yaowapa's nominees, the NACC investigation, which took up
to four years, found that the children had legal proof of their stock purchases
and they were not their mother's nominees.
According to the Democrat Party petition, Mrs Yaowapa might have submitted a
false declaration of assets and liabilities and she might have transferred the
assets of her family to her children while holding a political post. (MCOT
Opposition plans censure debate against government
BANGKOK, June 21 - Opposition Democrat party leader Abhisit
Vejjajiva on Thursday said that his party would promptly submit a censure motion
against the government once Parliament reconvenes.
Mr Abhisit said that his party was collecting information on
the government's alleged inefficiency and corruption but the party remains
undecided which ministers would be grilled.
"We are concerned over the government's work in three areas -- failure to
achieve its campaign pledges, readiness to handle the fluctuation of global
economy while its natural disaster management is still in question," the former
Moreover, Mr Abhisit said, the government also raised sensitive issues that
would benefit only a certain group of people but could lead to a social rift and
eventually affect the whole country, including the economy.
Once Parliament reconvenes, the Democrats will file a no confidence motion
against the government, he said.
Parliament ended its current session on June 19 and is expected to reconvene in
August. (MCOT online news)
Sacked national airline president files suit for unfair removal
BANGKOK, June 21 – The former president of Thailand’s flag
carrier Thai Airways International (THAI) has filed suit at the Central Labour
Court in Bangkok charging that the company’s board unfairly removed him as
president and chief executive officer, and is seeking compensation of Bt10
million or reinstatement.
The THAI board of directors resolved on May 21, with 12 of
its 13 members voting, to terminate Piyasvasti Amranand’s employment contract,
effective this month, and to compensate him with six months of his then current
salary. The compensation was estimated at Bt6 million.
Citing communication problems as the main reason, board chairman Ampon
Kittiampon explained that the panel made its dismissal decision despite Mr
Piyasvasti passing his performance assessment with a high score.
Piyasvasti said that the main reason for petitioning the court is that he wants
the state enterprise to have a high standard and good governance, particularly
because THAI is a listed company.
He said that the THAI board citing communication problems and the differences
regarding the procurement of new 38 aircraft as reasons for his contract
termination were not clear enough because his key performance indicator (KPI)
evaluation was 87 per cent and that THAI profits were Bt3.6 billion during the
1st quarter of 2012.
He could not confirm whether there was political motivation involved in his
removal, but the THAI board chairman himself must clarify the decision to the
public, otherwise reinstate him to his former positions.
The court set his first hearing on July 24 at 1pm. (MCOT online news)
PM: Cabinet delays consideration of NASA request on U-Tapao airport
BANGKOK, June 19 - Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
said on Tuesday that the Cabinet has not yet considered the request of the US
space agency to use U-Tapao Airport as an atmospheric studies base as the
government will set up a panel to study the overall details of the project.
The premier‘s remarks were in reference to the meeting she
chaired Monday, attended by the ministers of defence and foreign affairs, and
the country’s top brass, which agreed to forward the issue for today's Cabinet
The United States earlier requested to set up a disaster response centre at the
sprawling U-Tapao base, which straddles Chon Buri and Rayong provinces, and the
US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) also sought to use the
airport to conduct atmospheric studies.
The US move sparked concerns among the Thai public over security concerns.
Ms Yingluck said after the Cabinet meeting that the US requests were following
up a recommendation from the previous government and the overall content of the
project is good but the government will set up a committee to look through the
details again to ensure that it will benefit the country and not affect
The premier said once the information is clarified, the issue will be raised for
Cabinet consideration or deliberation in Parliament if needed under the
Constitution, Article 190, which requires parliamentary approval for
"I believe there is no impact on international relations and the United States
understands Thailand over the matter," the prime minister commented.
Ms Yingluck said the Monday meeting agreed to form a panel to study the projects
and the study period depends upon the committee, but the issue might not be
ready in time for next week's Cabinet meeting.
Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol earlier reaffirmed that the NASA plan would benefit
Thailand for weather forecast information, including the origination of typhoons
and monsoons and that one Thai aircraft would jointly participate in the
operation with three NASA planes.
Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said the idea for the Humanitarian
Assistance Center was initiated by Thailand in 2010 by then prime minister
Abhisit Vejjajiva when he attended the ASEAN-UN Summit. (MCOT online news)
Thailand inaugurates railway service for the physically-challenged
BANGKOK, June 20 – Thailand’s state railway service on
Wednesday inaugurated its first train, modified to serve physically-challenged
people, which will serve the Northeast.
Later in the year such services will be available on train
Deputy Transport Minister Chatt Kuldiloke presided over the launching ceremony
for Thailand’s first railway train equipped with such facilities for the
handicapped, the result of a gift by a Japanese railway company.
The train left the capital of Bangkok en route to the northeastern province of
Nong Khai along the Mekong River. The minister said the project is part of a
policy to make the train service access to all people.
The JR-West Japan Rail Company presented train carriages to the State Railway of
Thailand (SRT) to be modified to assist physically-challenged passengers.
The newly-modified carriage allows them to use wheelchairs to
get on and get off the train conveniently.
It costs Bt1.5 million to adapt each carriage. So far, work on two carriages has
been finished and eight others will be completed later this year.
The ministry plans to have the new service available in all routes to Thailand’s
four regions. The service is offered at no additional charge. (MCOT online news)
3 Britons arrested in call centre scam
BANGKOK, June 20 - Three British nationals were arrested for
alleged involvement in a transnational call centre scam, Thailand’s Immigration
Bureau chief said on Tuesday.
Police Lt-Gen Wiboon Bangthamai, commissioner of the
Immigration Bureau, said the three suspects were arrested with telephones,
internet connection devices, computers and documents about the victims.
The detainees were identified as Richard Ian Cook, Stovell Matthew Niel and
Carroll Matthew Peter.
Gen Wiboon said the arrest came as police searched a room in Sukhumvit Soi 26 in
the Thai capital after finding that a broker company was set up to lure victims
from abroad to transfer money for investment.
According to the commissioner, the calls were made via internet-based telephone
from Thailand to European countries such as England, Switzerland, Germany,
Sweden and Austria to convince the victims to transfer their money to a bank
account opened in Switzerland.
Gen Wiboon revealed the investment fund started at two
million baht or around 50,000 euros per person and the money was then
transferred from Switzerland to the bank accounts in Malaysia and then finally
forwarded to Thailand. One fourth of the money was disbursed to persons opening
the accounts, another 25 per cent for call centre staff, and the rest for the
head of the gang who lives in Malaysia.
The suspects however denied all charges.
They were initially charged with overstaying their visas and will be declared
persona non grata.
Police are now conducting further investigations to find if there are more
accomplices. (MCOT online news)
PM invites all sectors to celebrate Queen’s 80th birthday
BANGKOK, 21 June 2012 (NNT) – On the occasion of Her Majesty
Queen Sirikit’s upcoming 80th birthday anniversary, the government has invited
the public and private sectors to jointly celebrate the auspicious occasion.
The committee in charge of of Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday celebration,
chaired by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, has given approval to the
organizing of activities and projects in honour of the Queen on her 80th
birthday anniversary, which falls on 12th August 2012. Celebratory activities
will include a royal garden party and gala dinner in honour of the Queen to be
held after 12th August, a reforestation project under the collaboration of the
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Interior and the
Royal Thai Army, and a village project under the auspices of the Mother of the
Land’s Fund aimed at promoting public awareness about drug abuse.
An exhibition will also be held in honour of Her Majesty the Queen during
9th-14th August, as well as a concert on 5th September.
On this occasion, the PM has urged the public and private sectors to
collectively celebrate the auspicious occasion.
Science Minister to discuss water management advices from Chinese experts with Cabinet
BANGKOK, 21 June 2012 (NNT) - The Science Minister plans to
bring up all suggestions from China's water experts to discuss with the Cabinet
Science Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi said on Wednesday that Chinese experts,
whom he has been meeting with during the past 3 weeks, made useful suggestions
on how to improve Thailand's water management policies and the bureaucratic
structure in relation with the flood prevention as well as solutions to related
Mr. Plodprasop met with the visiting experts on an official trip to inspect the
progress on government-initiated water resource management measures earlier this
The Minister said that the Chinese experts also made a number of proposals on
various issues, such as the drainage system, the water retention system, and the
protection of key areas and structures.
He said that all suggestions and proposals will be presented to the Cabinet
meeting next Tuesday.
The Science Minister went on to say that the Chinese experts are expected to
make further inspection trips in other parts of Thailand after 2 weeks, in order
to help the country formulate more effective water management approaches.
Thani claims HADR at U tapao has nothing to do with NASA
BANGKOK, 20 June 2012 (NNT)-Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mr.
Thani Thongpakdi has insisted that the proposed establishment of the
Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) center at U-tapao military
airport is independent of NASA.
The US Defense Department had proposed to Thailand to
establish the HADR center at U-tapao, the project which was also favored by Mr.
Abhisit Vejjajiva, the then Prime Minister.
Mr. Thani claimed the HADR project and NASA’s mission to study the formation of
clouds in Thailand would be operated independently, despite both having been
initiated by the US.
The Spokesperson added that it was Thailand’s decision, without the American
influence, to run the HADR center, citing that it would do more good than harm
to many nations in this region. However, he added, the project is still being
negotiated and discussed whether participations from other nations are needed.
Commerce Ministry eyes promoting Thai food during Olympics 2012
BANGKOK, 20 June 2012 (NNT) – The Ministry of Commerce is set
to promote Thai food, restaurants, and fruit in the United Kingdom in
anticipation of the upcoming Olympic Games 2012, a move which corresponds with
the government’s Thai Food to the World strategy.
Director-General of the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP)
Nantawan Sakuntanak said that the DITP has been assigned to organize promotional
activities to boost the sales of Thai products in the UK during the pre-Olympic
season. The Ministry aims to take advantage of the influx of tourists and
athletes to England for the London 2012 Olympics, scheduled to take place during
July 27th-August 12th, as a way to increase market channels for Thai food
products as well as create a name for Thai goods overseas.
The Office of Commercial Affairs in London has been tasked to organize a number
of activities to promote Thai food products, restaurants and fruit. Thai
restaurants meeting the government's quality standard will be granted the Thai
Select symbol as a guarantee for its excellence in taste, hygiene and service.
At present, a total of 766 Thai restaurants abroad have been awarded the Thai
Among the numerous activities scheduled to be held across the UK, the DITP has
collaborated with British supermarket chain Tesco to hold promotional sales of
Thai fruit, such as mango, lychee, rambutan and mangosteen, in its outlets
Mrs. Nantawan pointed out that the move to promote Thai culinary and food
products prior to the start of the Olympic Games is in accordance with the
government’s Thai Food to the World policy, aimed at increasing the global
demand for Thai food.
MOAC sets up BOD for “Rice Cultivating System” project
BANGKOK, 20 June 2012 (NNT) – Ministry of Agriculture and
Cooperatives has set up the board of directors to direct and supervise “Rice
Cultivating System” project
Director of Rice Department Chairit Damrongkiat has set up a board of directors
to implement and oversee the 2012 “Rice Cultivation System” project, which is
divided into 2 sectors: the central and regional areas. The purpose of the
project is to push rice cultivation into a new system, focusing on participation
of farmers in making decisions on appropriate rice cultivation period that
coincides with the farms’ condition, economy, society, and government’s support.
However, the project aims to encourage farmers to change the habit of farming,
from growing rice year-round to growing it only twice a year. In between they
should also grow upland or soil-improving crops to rehabilitate the soil to
fertility as well as to reduce production costs from 6,760 baht per ton to 5,723
baht per ton.
NBTC demands clarifications from Channel 3 on bare-breast painting show
BANGKOK, 20 June 2012 (NNT) -The National Broadcasting and
Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is planning to summon Channel 3’s
executives, for a clarification on the latter’s decision to air a female
contestant painting on a canvas with her bare breasts.
Lieutenant-General Peerapong Manakit, chairman of the NBTC's subcommittee on
programme schedules and content, said the commission is demanding a meeting with
the channel’s top executives to discuss inappropriate content in an episode of
Thailand’s Got Talent, aired on June 17.
As Channel 3 is the sole license holder of the station responsible for all
broadcasting programmes, Lt-Gen Peerapong said the channel could be found
breaching section 37 of the 2008 Broadcasting Act.
The NBTC members recently held an internal meeting to deliberate on the
broadcast segment and ruled that the acts should have been censored prior to the
By today’s evening, the NBTC will issue the broadcaster an administrative order,
outlining guidelines for proper scheduling and content editing for broadcasting.
Cabinet decision sought on US request to use U-Tapao Airport
CHON BURI, June 18 -- Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on
Monday met with ministers of defence, foreign affairs, and the country’s top
brass, and resolved to seek a cabinet decision on the United States space
agency's request to use U-Tapao military airport to conduct atmospheric studies.
The Cabinet is to meet tomorrow.
Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, Science and Technology Minister
Plodprasop Suraswadi and Defence Minister Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol Suwanatat
together held a news conference after meeting to consider the plan for a
Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief Centre at U-Tapao and the US National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) request to use U-Tapao airport to
conduct atmospheric studies.
Mr Surapong said it agreed in principle with United States request o set up a
disaster response centre at the sprawling U-Tapao base, which straddles Chon
Buri and Rayong provinces.
He said the project idea was initiated by Thailand in 2010 by then prime
minister Abhisit Vejjajiva when he attended the ASEAN-UN Summit. He said
Thailand considered natural disasters as regional problems.
The minister said that the centre would not be a permanent agency, but would be
temporary, similar to Thailand's Flood Relief Operations Center (FROC) set up
last year to deal with the massive flood in the country.
The Humanitarian Assistance Center would be staffed when natural disasters
occur, in order to quickly respond to each incident and operate humanitarian
missions promptly, said the minister.
Mr Surapong said that the meeting agreed to set up a joint working group to
consider training courses for military and civilians to increase the centre’s
capabilities and effectiveness. Training will be designed for multi-national
participants not only from one country and the focus would be on humanitarian
assistance, not military exercises.
Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol said that the Centre would deal only with natural
disasters and that many countries would join in operating the centre, not only
the United States. Thailand is considered a centre of the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries so the centre would be based in
As for the request by NASA to use U-Tapao for a regional climate study, he said,
the issue would be forwarded for cabinet consideration on Tuesday.
He said the study would benefit Thailand for weather forecast information,
including the origination of typhoons and monsoons.
Three NASA planes and one Thai aircraft will jointly participate in the
operation, he said, and Mr Plodprasop would chair the working group to
coordinate the operation.
As the NASA request does not involve Thai sovereignty does not require
parliamentary approval under Section 190, clause 2 of the Constitution which
stipulates that any international treaties and agreements must first be approved
However, the foreign ministry believed that it needs Cabinet approval under
Section 190, clause 1 of the constitution and the Council of State would be
asked to confirm this.
Mr Surapong said he would inform China to clarify the issue to avoid any
Mr Plodprasop said that cooperation with NASA was a technical matter, to be
participated in by countries such as South Korea, China and Japan, and that the
operation would take two months from August to September.
NASA will begin to ship equipment this month so approval must be finalised soon,
he said, noting that this was not the first time that Thailand has coordinated
Thailand will benefit from the operation, including the flood prevention plan,
the minister said.
He also downplayed security concern, saying that U-Tapao would be used because
the Science and Technology Ministry's satellite centre is in Chon Buri's Si
Racha district not far from U-Tapao and the experiments must be carried out near
U-Tapao airport has a long runway which could facilitate NASA's aircraft, he
Cabinet extends emergency decree in southern border provinces
CHON BURI, June 19 - The Cabinet on Tuesday approved further
extension of the emergency decree in Thailand’s three southernmost border
provinces for another three months, said Anusorn Eiamsa-ard, deputy government
emergency decree will be extended from June 20 to Sept 19 as proposed by the
National Security Council (NSC) to facilitate the authorities operations in the
The Cabinet assigned the Internal Security Operations Command to collect
detailed information in affected areas on the number of attacks, security
issues, and official operations in the next three months to evaluate whether the
implementation of the decree can be reviewed in any particular district.
Agencies concerned were instructed to accelerate processes to bring
insurgent-related cases to court.
The NSC affirmed that enforcement of the decree does not result in any human
rights violations as feared by human rights bodies.
Formally termed the Executive Decree on Public Administration in Emergency
Situations, the measure first took effect on July 19, 2005 in Narathiwat,
Pattani and Yala. It was renewed for three months on Oct 19 that year, and
subsequently has been renewed every three months. (MCOT online news)
Haze hits Thailand’s southern provinces
SONGKHLA, June 19 – Seasonal haze and smog from forest fires
in Indonesia on Tuesday have blanketed Thailand’s lower southern provinces,
The ongoing haze and thick smog caused poor visibility in
Songkhla, particularly in the provincial seat, Hat Yai and Khlong Hoi Khon
districts. The haze was seen from the high-rise building in the prime business
areas of Hat Yai.
Responding to the haze, the southeastern coastal meteorological centre is
closely monitoring the situation to brace for possible impact on the public
although the haze and dust particles have not intensified nor have they severely
affect residents’ overall living condition.
According to satellite images of the ongoing forest fires on Indonesia’s Sumatra
Island, weather officials in Songkha found 310 forest fire hot spots recorded
today, increasing from 163 hot spots recorded yesterday.
Meanwhile, the air quality monitoring station in Songkhla reported that air
quality in the three provinces of Songkhla, Yala and Narathiwat did not impact
The density of the recorded dust particles were within safety standards. (MCOT
Thai Ministry of Culture concerned over ‘inappropriate’ topless painting TV show
CHON BURI , June 18 -- Thailand’s Culture Minister Sukumol
Khunploem said Monday that she will seek an explanation from producers of a
popular television show following a topless painting show aired on prime-time
slot yesterday (June 17).
Mrs Sukumol said she was shocked when viewing a video clip
featuring a female contestant painting a canvas using her bare breasts in the
renowned ‘Thailand's Got Talent’ show, which is a hotly-debated issue in the
social media networks.
The breast painting was too explicit, the minster explained. Thailand's Got
Talent, a highly popular programme among all age groups with high audience
ratings, was televised Sundays during prime time in the evening when family
members, including youth, watched the show.
Mrs Sukumol expressed concern about the part of the programme showing breasts,
which she described as ‘inappropriate’ for children, although she sees the whole
programme rated as of good quality one and encouraged Thai youth to showcase
their outstanding talent.
‘I don’t understand how the production team allowed the show to go on air
unedited as the show was not live broadcast,” she said.
Initially, the ministry will ask the programme producers and TV Channel 3 to
explain the censorship process and artistic expression as well, and will further
discuss the issue with relevant agencies.
The topless painting show, televised Sunday, was performed by a 23-year-old
woman who turned to face her canvas, began taking off her shirt and bra, then
threw coloured paint on her body and used her body and breasts for painting on
The female performer passed the audition to the next round voted by two male
judges but she failed to win the heart--and vote--of the sole female judge.
Thailand's Got Talent, a part of the world-renowned British programme ‘Got
Talent,’ was brought to the kingdom for the first time in March last year,
aiming to look for talented contestants regardless of their age, gender, and
type of act. The winner will be awarded prizes worth Bt10 million. (MCOT online
Guinean President to visit Thailand next week
BANGKOK, June 19- President Alpha Conde of the Republic of
Guinea will officially visit Thailand from Sunday to next Tuesday (June 24-26)
to foster bilateral relations between the two countries, according the Thai
Foreign Affairs Ministry.
President Conde will attend a welcoming ceremony held at
Government House on Sunday and will discuss with Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra bilateral cooperation in trade and investment, as well as technical
cooperation for further development.
In the course of the historic visit, the first by a Guinean president since
establishment of Thai-Guinean diplomatic relations in 1983, two Memoranda of
Understanding (MoU) will be signed, an MoU on Technical Cooperation, and an MoU
on the Establishment of Bilateral Consultations.
On this occasion, the Thai premier will host a dinner in honour of the visiting
Guinean president and his delegation at the Santi Maitri Building.
Apart from enhancing the relations between the two nations,
President Conde will meet potential Thai investors and businesspersons from
various sectors, particularly trade, mining, agro-industry, energy and
construction, intending to promote awareness of investment opportunities in
He also was set to visit major agro-industry facilities and meet with the
Guinean community living in Thailand.
The upcoming event is an opportunity for both countries to expand cooperation in
various areas, both at the bilateral and multilateral levels, for the mutual
benefit of both countries. The visit will also provide an opportunity to promote
better understanding and closer relations at the people-to-people level. (MCOT
Democrats will never join Pheu Thai government: Former premier Abhisit
BANGKOK, June 18 - Thailand's opposition leader Abhisit
Vejjajiva on Monday stood firm in his stance that his Democrat Party has no plan
to join the Pheu Thai-led government as earlier proposed by ousted ex-premier
The Democrat leader made clear his stance after the party's
former secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban revealed that convicted ex-premier
Thaksin had sent mediators to invite the Democrat party to join the government
in exchange for the party not objecting to the attempted rewriting of the
Constitution and the passage of a national reconciliation bill.
Mr Abhisit said Mr Suthep kept him informed in a timely manner on the issue and
the Thaksin-proposal to form a two-party government.
He said he had already informed the Democrat party executives of the matter.
"I reaffirm that the Democrat party has never had any [such] plan on that and
everyone agrees that the party will not join the Pheu Thai-led government but
[we] were still contacted," said Mr Abhisit.
Mr Thaksin can do anything for his own benefit and the move might only be an
attempt to test the water, Mr Abhisit said.
The Democrat leader said that Mr Suthep's report regarding Mr Thaksin was
Mr Suthep on Monday stood by his claim, saying he disclosed the details
following Defence Minister Sukampol Suwannathat’s claim that no one, including
the army, wants to work with the Democrat party.
Mr Suthep said that Mr Thaksin sought negotiations via mediators several times.
The first time was in January, mediated by two non-partisan women of high social
rank. They invited Mr Suthep to talk with Mr Thaksin in Dubai where he now stays
in self-exile, or any country convenient for Mr Suthep.
The former deputy premier said at that time he rejected the invitation and the
last contact occurred on June 3 at 5.45pm. He was invited to the home of a
Mr Suthep claimed he was asked that the Democrat party stop opposing the charter
amendment and the reconciliation bill, and to stop the Democrat’s ongoing
rallies against the government in exchange for participation in the coalition
government and ceasing legal action against Mr Suthep and his son over alleged
illegal land possession.
The former Democrat executive said he rejected the request and pledged to fight
his case in court.
Mr Suthep said he last met Mr Thaksin in 2006, before the 19 September coup, at
Phitsanulok House, seeking to ease political deadlock during that period and
that they have not met since then.
However, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra dismissed Mr Suthep's claim Monday,
saying she has never heard of the matter and that the invitation was
The premier said that both parties play different roles under the democratic
system; Pheu Thai party is the government while the Democrats have a duty to
scrutinise the government's work.
Meanwhile, Pheu Thai MP and key red shirt leader Korkaew Pikulthong dismissed Mr
Suthep's claims, saying the invitation is impossible and that the Democrat move
is aimed to distance the Red Shirts from the ruling party.
"Mr Suthep's remark is groundless. It's just the Democrats' ploy to sow mistrust
among the red shirts against Thaksin and vent their anger against the
government," he said. "Mr Suthep sees that the government could be toppled like
[those of the] Somchai and Samak administrations if (the Democrats) successfully
pit the Red Shirts against the Pheu Thai.”
Mr Korkaew noted that if the negotiations did exist, the Pheu Thai party could
"A hundred of my fellow red shirts had lost their lives,” he said. “It's
impossible that I would join with Mr Suthep."
The Red Shirt leader said he is confident that the ex-premier would not make an
alliance with the Democrats as then he could not answer the public. (MCOT online
Logistics in Laem Chabang Port to Be Expanded in the Next five Years
BANGKOK, 18 June 2012 (NNT) – The Laem Chabang Port in Chon
Buri province has proposed the third phase of its logistics development to
facilitate goods transport and cope with the growth of Thailand’s eastern
Transport Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan presented a briefing
on logistics development at Laem Chabang to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra,
who visited the port as part of the fifth mobile Cabinet meeting in Pattaya on
18-19 June 2012.
He said that the third phase would be completed in the next five years, and when
completed, the project would increase the port’s capacity of accommodating 18.8
million freight containers annually in 20 years’ time.
According to the Transport Minister, the construction of a major road linking
the Laem Chabang Port with the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in Rayong is also
being planned, together with the building of a double-track railway from Laem
Chabang to Chachoengsao province.
A budget of 120 billion baht will be required for the expansion of several
transport network projects to enhance the potential of Laem Chabang, the main
deep-sea port of Thailand and a major gateway in Southeast Asia for goods
transport by sea.
The Ministry of Transport reaffirmed that the Dawei deep-sea port and industrial
estate development in Myanmar would not affect the operations of the Laem
Logistics Development and Tourism Promotion in Eastern Thailand
BANGKOK, 18 June 2012 (NNT) - The Ministry of Transport has
been assigned to undertake a feasibility study for the full operations of the
U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya International Airport on a commercial basis.
The decision was made by the Regional Joint Public/Private
Sector Consultative Committee, during its meeting on 18 June 2012, as part of
the fifth mobile Cabinet meeting in Pattaya, Chon Buri, chaired by Prime
Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
At the meeting, the Ministry of Transport was entrusted with studying the
construction of a high-speed train system in eastern Thailand, and it was also
asked to complete working out the terms of reference for the project by 2013.
The Ministry was also assigned to conduct a feasibility study on the expansion
of traffic lanes for Highway 36 and Highway 317. Results of the study will be
submitted to the Cabinet for consideration in the next three weeks.
As for tourism promotion, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment was
assigned to work with the Ministry of Transport in conducting a study on the
construction of a road around Ko Chang, or Elephant Island, on Ban Bang Bao-Ban
Salak Phet section, in Trat province. Results of the study will be submitted to
the National Environment Board and later to the Cabinet for consideration.
The Ministry of Education was instructed to work with the Ministry of Labor, the
Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and the private sector in arranging English
courses to develop language skills for Thai workers. The Ministry of Finance was
told to offer incentives for the private sector through the corporate social
Commerce Ministry cracks down on counterfeit goods all over Thailand
BANGKOK, 18 June 2012 (NNT) – The Ministry of Commerce has
ordered a crackdown on counterfeit goods around Thailand after receiving
complaints from consumers.
Ms Patchima Thanasanti, Director-General of the Department Intellectual Property
(DIP), revealed that the Commerce Ministry has instructed all provincial DIP
offices to suppress counterfeit products that violate intellectual property
rights in all local markets. The order was made after complaints were received
from consumers over a number of discounted products that were low in quality,
such as coffee, fish sauce, and soy sauce.
Therefore, the DIP will collaborate with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
the police and other concerned agencies to take serious action against people
involved in intellectual property infringements throughout the country.
At present, the penalty for trademark infringement is 4 years of imprisonment
and/or a fine of 400,000 baht. However, for product infringement, the penalty
lessens to only 1 year of imprisonment and/or a fine of 2,000 baht, prompting
the DIP to consider revising the law, so as to increase the penalty.
Vietnamese vice president visits Thailand this week
BANGKOK, June 18- Vietnam’s Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan
will officially visit Thailand on June 20-24 to strengthen bilateral ties
between the two countries, according to Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Madame Doan, as a guest of the Thai government, is scheduled
to meet with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Friday.
The meeting is intended as an opportunity exchange ideas and views to further
bilateral relations, cooperation and development as well as to foster strategic
partnership in terms of politics, economies, society, culture and education.
During her official trip to the kingdom, the vice president of the Socialist
Republic of Vietnam will travel to Thailand’s northeastern provinces of Nakhon
Phanom and Khon Kaen, where there are historical connections between Thailand
and Indochina, and will meet with provincial governors.
In addition, Madame Doan is set to visit the Thai-Vietnamese Friendship Village
and meet with the large Vietnamese community in Nakhon Phanom where Ho Chi Minh,
father and first president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam)
from 1945 to 1969 and an iconic leader of the post-World War II anti-colonial
movement in Asia.
Affectionately known to Vietnamese as Bac (Uncle) Ho, the Vietnamese
independence leader visited Bangkok and lived in Nakhon Phanom in the late
1920s. (MCOT online news)
Foreign minister defends NASA´s use of U-Tapao
BANGKOK, 18 June 2012 (NNT) -The Foreign Affairs Minister has
reiterated that the United States’ request to use U-Tapao naval base is strictly
for atmospheric studies’ purposes and does not breach national sovereignty.
Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. Surapong Tovichakchaikul said that the prime
minister’s meeting with the country’s top military commanders today in Chonburi
province is aimed at discussing the NASA’s request to use the naval base, which
has been seen by critics as threatening Thailand's territorial sovereignty
Nasa had earlier sought the government’s approval for its proposed use of the
base for disaster relief operations and for a climate study for two months. Mr
Surapong elaborated that officials from the Ministry of Science and Technology
would accompany the US space agency’s research teams in conducting the studies
and establishing a weather-monitoring centre.
According to NASA’s plan, the airport will also serve as a humanitarian relief
centre. Following Thailand’s tsunami disaster in 2004, the Foreign Minister said
Thailand is in need of such facility.
The matter will be tabled for further deliberation at the cabinet meeting
Mr Surapong also insisted that the agency’s plan to set up a base at U-Tapao
will not lead to China distrusting Thailand.
More measures introduced to curb illegal street racing
BANGKOK, 18 June 2012 (NNT) - In addition to launching the
‘Street Hawk center’ last week, the Metropolitan Police Bureau has instructed
seven police stations to conduct more raids on illegal motorcycle racing.
On June 13, the Metropolitan Police Bureau unveiled a Street Hawk center where
members of the public can report information about illegal activities or
suspected criminals relating to street racing and speed trials to their 1197
hotline or via their website, www.trafficpolice.go.th.
As an additional measure, Sai Mai, Thung Song Hong, Min Buri, Bang Khunnont,
Phra Khanong, Bang Sue and Jorakhae Noi police stations have been ordered to
deploy 300 officers on a nightly basis to patrol public areas and arrest those
participating in illegal motorcycle racing on public roads.
Since a number of speed racers have been reported over weekends, more raids will
be conducted during these three-day periods.
The public has been urged to come forward with more information in order to curb
the problem of juvenile delinquency.
Each mobile Cabinet meeting focuses on rapid provincial development
BANGKOK, 18 June 2012 (NNT) -Minister to the Prime Minister’s
Office Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan states that each mobile Cabinet meeting
emphasizes rapid provincial development of high quality.
Mr. Niwattumrong indicates that the Government has allocated funds for each
province to carry out projects, aimed at improving the quality of life of local
people and easing economic and drug problems.
In fact, he says, each province has its own budget for local development, but
the mobile Cabinet meeting will push for the rapid implementation of projects in
response to the local needs. This effort requires cooperation from all sectors
Government supports exchange student program and prepares for ASEAN
BANGKOK, 18 June 2012 (NNT) – Thai government is to hand out
“ASEAN Community” handbooks to elementary and high school students and promote
exchange student program between ASEAN members.
Taya Teepsuwan, Deputy Governor of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, stated
that the BMA is preparing for Association of South East Asian Nations coming in
the year of 2015 by educating elementary and high school students in Bangkok
through handbooks regarding the administration, history, culture, and language
of each of the ten countries in the ASEAN community including Thailand,
Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam,
Moreover, BMA will be planning to conduct an exchange-student program between
the 10 countries for Thai students to learn and improve their potentials and
knowledge in terms of communication, culture, and history of ASEAN members.
PM to chair Eastern Seaboard public, private sector meeting
CHON BURI, June 18 -- Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
today is chairing the 5th joint public and private sector meeting to find
solutions to economic problems in the eastern region on the second day of her
eastern province tour and Cabinet 'retreat'.
In the morning, Ms Yingluck will lead Cabinet members from
the Royal Cliff Beach Resort, Pattaya to Laem Chabang Port, in Bang Lamung
Transport Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan will brief the cabinet with an overview
of logistics system development supporting linking Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard
with development of Myanmar’s Dawai deep-sea port and industrial estate.
Laem Chabang’s port director will introduce the port’s development. Later the
premier and Cabinet will tour Port No 5 before lunch.
In the afternoon the premier will chair a meeting of the Regional Joint
Public/Private Sector Consultative Committee where the private sector will
propose development projects for Cabinet consideration.
Later Ms Yingluck will chair a meeting with governors of the eastern region
On Tuesday, Ms Yingluck will chair the Cabinet session at Chon Buri and return
to Bangkok in the afternoon.
The Chon Buri meeting is the Cabinet’s fifth meeting upcountry this year. The
panel met in Chiang Mai in January, Udon Thani in February, Phuket in March, and
Kanchanaburi in May. (MCOT online news)
Chon Buri police certain of security preparedness during mobile cabinet meeting
CHON BURI, June 16 - Local police are preparing the readiness
to monitor security during the next 'retreat' cabinet meeting at a Pattaya hotel
on June 17-19.
Chon Buri Provincial Police commander Pol Maj Gen Jamnong
Srisakul said 1,030 police officers are to be deployed at the meeting venue and
stationed along traffic routes.
Protesters to submit letters concerning their problems are expected to turn up.
In case the number is overwhelming, police from nearby provinces can be called
upon as reinforcement. They will be allowed to gather at an area prepared
outside the hotel.
The commander said he was certain the on-site cabinet meeting would be conducted
peacefully and not affect tourists in the area.
The Chon Buri retreat is the fifth upcountry cabinet meeting following Chiang
Mai in January, Udon Thani in February, Phuket in March, and Kanchanaburi in
May. (MCOT online news)
PM orders agencies concerned to closely follow up economic situation in Europe
BANGKOK, June 16 - Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on
Saturday expressed concern over economic woes in Europe will affect Thai
exports, order concerned agencies to closely follow up the economic situation in
PM said during “Yingluck Government Meets the People” program
broadcast via Radio Thailand and National Broadcasting Services of Thailand
(Channel 11) that the government has instructed relevant agencies including the
National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), Finance Ministry, and
Bank of Thailand to working together to monitor the situation and analyse the
potential impact to Thailand's economy, both directly and indirectly.
These agencies are tasked with understanding impacts correctly and work together
to build Thailand's economic strength, she said, adding that this approach would
help Thailand to prepare for and proactively prevent problems at the same time.
Ms Yingluck said that Commerce Ministry has discussed with
exporters who may be affected by the crisis in Europe and the government has
prepared to extend assistance while advising the private sector to be prepared
to respond to the situation.
As for the tourism industry, she said, new markets of tourists would be sought
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong who also
joined the TV programme, said that the international community was confident
that the European countries would be able to handle this economic crisis.
He was also confident that Thailand could handle the
situation and measures have been prepared to respond to the crisis.
Mr Kittiratt also added that Thailand's public debt would not become
non-performing loan as in several countries of the European Union (EU), while
expecting the eurozone crisis will not heavily affect the world economy like the
2008 Hamburger crisis.
He said Thailand's export goal remains the same, to expand by 15 percent, thanks
to negotiations to enter more markets.
The country's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow at least at 5.5
percent due to government investment in infrastructure for flood prevention, the
minimum wage raise, corporate tax reduction from 30 percent to 20 percent, low
interest rates, weaker energy prices, and weaker foreign exchange rate of the
He noted that the Thai economy depends on exports, domestic investment, and the
service sector (tourism). While admitting the EU's debt crisis would affect the
Thai economy, he was confident the government would mitigate the impact.
The premier has assigned all parties to reduce such impact, he said. The
Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM), and other banks were called upon to
prepare assistance to the private sector. (MCOT online news)
Kratom leaves seized in postal boxes heading to southern provinces
SONGKHLA, June 16 -- Thai authorities successfully
intercepted kratom leaves contained in postal boxes heading to the three
A working group on financial network of drug syndicates and
insurgent group in the southern border provinces and narcotic control agents
searched express mail postal boxes at a postal centre in Hat Yai, Songkhla and
found that illict drugs were packed in 41 parcels.
The seized illicit drugs included 40 kg of kratom leaves, 500 bottles of cough
medication with additional 40 separately packed in plastic bottles, and 3,200
tablets of Alprazolam, along with around 500 rounds of ammunition.
Authorities believed that the parcels were sent from drug syndicates based in
the south of Thailand that moved to Bangkok and the packages were destined for
their relatives in the three southern provinces.
Meanwhile, Phatthalung police stopped a refrigerated truck at
a checkpoint set up at Khuan Khanun district and found 60 kg of fresh kratom
leaves hidden in the truck amongst frozen chicken meat.
The fresh kratom was inside a black plastic garbage bag.
The driver, identified as Anucha Praipanas, 37, a native of Prachuap Khiri Khan
told police the he bought kratom from Chumphon at Bt300 per kg and planed to
sell to customers in
Narathiwat's Su-ngai Kolok for Bt600 per kg. He had already delivered kratom on
three occasions. (MCOT online news)
Irrigation Dept confident of no mega flood if rainfall normal
BANGKOK, June 17 – There is no risk of a mega flood this year
if the rainfall level is normal, according to a meteorological department
forecast, while two major dams will not overflow, said a senior official of the
Royal Irrigation Department.
Mr Suthep Noipairoj, Deputy Director General of the Royal
Irrigation Department, affirmed that the two major dams - the Bhumibol dam and
the Sirikit dam – are capable of retaining more water and that reserve water is
adequate for crop cultivation in the central region.
However, he conceded that low-lying areas in Ayutthaya and Ang Thong are likely
to be submerged as is a normal occurrence every year.
Nevertheless, residential, commercial zones and industrial estates will be safe
from flooding, he added.
Meanwhile, farmers in Phitsanulok have reinforced sand embankments to protect
paddy fields from floods originating from upstream North after northern run-off
started overflowing some areas.
Farmers in Baan Krang sub-district filled sandbags to build temporary dykes to
protect 3,200 acres of paddy fields nearly ready for harvest.
As rain continues and some rice paddies have been flooded, farmers asked the
provincial royal irrigation to speed up dredging of two canals and a river to
drain flood water into waterways flowing into the Yom River. (MCOT online news)
Health Ministry: 2 Thais suffer Ischemic Heart Disease every hour
BANGKOK, 17 June 2012 (NNT) – The Ministry of Public Health
has revealed that more and more Thais are currently suffering heart disease due
Deputy Public Health Minister Surawit Khonsomboon said during a seminar in
Bangkok that the latest finding suggested that around 2 Thais now suffer
Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) every hour, with one of them dies each hour.
Mr. Surawit stated that the problem is a health emergency, which calls for
urgent prevention and treatment as 70 percent of IHD patients have history of
obesity or high cholesterol.
According to the Deputy Health Minister, as many as 17 million Thais are
overweight or obese, with the number set to go up 25 percent each year.
Moreover, 20,000 of people with obesity die each year, while the government is
to pay more than 100 billion baht every year, to cure obese patients, who might
have suffered other related symptoms.
He added that the Ministry of Public Health is announcing a policy to speedily
promote health consciousness to battle obesity among Thais.
In doing so, the ministry plans to launch an awareness campaign for the public
to help them understand the threats and the risks of obesity and to adjust their
consumption behavior. The Public Health Ministry hopes that its campaign will
help reduce the number of patients through the right weight-loss approaches,
which means the cutback on sweet, oily and salty food while increasing vegetable
and fruit intake along with regular workout.