Thailand, Bahrain sign MoUs to boost ties, trade
BAHRAIN, May 14 - Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on
Monday held bilateral talks with her Bahraini counterpart and witnessed the
signing of three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to boost trade and
investment between the two countries.
The Thai premier is now on a three-day official visit to the
Gulf country (May 13-15) and was accompanied by Cabinet members including
Minister of Foreign Affairs Surapong Tovichakchaikul, Minister of Industry
Pongsvas Svasti, Minister of Commerce Boonsong Teriyapirom, and Minister of
Public Health Wittaya Buranasiri, as well as some private sector
On the second day of the trip, Ms Yingluck attended an official welcoming
ceremony hosted by the Bahraini government and held talks with Prince Kalifa bin
Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain.
In this occasion, the Thai premier thanked the Bahraini government, which as a
member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has supported Thailand's
approach in resolving the violence in the Deep South.
A high level representative delegation of the OIC led by Ambassador Sayed Kassem
El-Masry, a top advisor to the OIC chief, last week visited Thailand’s
southernmost province of Yala and was briefed by the Thai authorities on
Thailand’s responses to the violence in the region.
He said he will report on the situation to OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin
Ihsanoglu as he believes violence in the southernmost provinces was not related
to religious differences but a normal problem for a country with minority
Both leaders also discussed over the construction projects, particularly the
expansion of Bahrain's international airport, as Thai private sectors would like
to play a role in the Gulf state's property industry development.
The food security has also been raised during the talk as both countries agreed
to accelerate the agreement and framework on trade, investment, as well as
research and development on agriculture and halal food.
Regarding the cooperation on medical tourism, Thailand has approved the
extension of stay in the kingdom for Bahraini to the maximum 30 days without a
previously issued visa.
After the discussion, the visiting Thai prime minister and Prince Kalifa bin
Salman Al Khalifa witnessed the signing of three MoUs on cooperation on tourism,
culture and food security, trade and investment on agricultural products.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Surapong said that the prime minister of Bahrain has
reaffirmed to Ms Yingluck that Bahrain considered Thailand as the first choice
of trade and investment partner and that his government is confident on the Thai
Ms Yingluck arrived in Bahrain on Sunday and was granted an audience with HM
King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the
Crown Prince of Bahrain at the Al Rowdah Palace.
Bahrain is considered the closest friend of Thailand in the Middle East and it
has played the role of bridge builder, connecting Thailand to the Middle East.
(MCOT online news)
Bangkokians say hot weather effects emotion: Survey
BANGKOK, May 14 -- Three-fourths of the Thai capital’s
residents responding to a poll said that the ongoing searing hot weather this
summer season has affected their emotion, according to results released by a
The National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA)
conducted an opinion survey on the people’s feelings related to the scorching
hot weather, polling 400 respondents living in the Thai capital, from May 1-11.
The poll indicated that 73 per cent of poll respondents said that the sweltering
hot weather has affected their emotions.
In addition, almost 45 per cent of Bangkok residents believed that the sultry
weather could easily trigger brawls or quarrels, reasoning that it could make
people lose control of themselves, as they are easily agitated with accumulated
Bathing, swimming and applying cooling powder were the most popular methods for
people to cool themselves, followed by wandering around in air-conditioned
shopping malls, drinking lots of water and having some ice-cold refreshments.
(MCOT online news)
Gas leak factory apologizes to community
RAYONG, 14 May 2012 (NNT) – The Aditya Birla Chemicals
(Thailand) has apologized to the local community and said that it would take
responsibility for the effects from the gas leakage, which occurred on May 6th.
Executives and employees of Aditya Birla Chemicals have expressed their deep
regret over last week's accident, saying they will not ignore the impacts the
leaked chemicals has created.
The company indicated that the leakage was caused by a valve switch. It has also
listened to the residents' problems to assess the situation for further
assistance if needed.
The Aditya Birla Chemicals has distributed 50 chemical protection masks to
locals directly affected by the accident. The Industrial Estate Authority of
Thailand (IEAT) has ordered a temporary halt of the company’s operation for
inspections to find the root cause of the incident.
The explosion and fire on May 5th at the Bangkok Synthetics Co (BST)
petrochemical factory at the Map Ta Phut industrial estate killed 11 people.
Just one day later, chlorine leaked from the Aditya Birla Chemicals factory in
the nearby Hemaraj industrial estate after an emergency shutdown of the plant's
IEAT: Chemical plant explosion in Map Ta Phut does not affect neighboring factories
BANGKOK, 13 May 2012 (NNT) – Structures of other main
buildings nearby the petrochemical factory in Map Ta Phut which exploded last
week, are unaffected.
Following a forensic inspection at the six subsidiary factories located near the
Bangkok Synthetics Co (BST), Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT)
Governor Veerapong Chaiperm revealed that the building structures of the nearby
plants were not affected.
Other systems including safety, electricity, ventilation, product conveyance,
and air pollution control have been reported to be operating normally. However,
the explosion has caused some damages to ceilings, roofs, doors, windows, and
As for the chemical leakage and contamination at Aditya Birla Chemicals
(Thailand) factory in the Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate last
Sunday, the IEAT reported that it was due to a problem in the chlorine control
valve of the hydrochloric production unit. The leakage was stopped in time
before it spread.
Six injured in grenade attack at Narathiwat Red Cross Fair
NARATHIWAT, May 14 - One soldier and five local residents
were wounded in a grenade attack yesterday in the southern province of
Two men on a motorcycle hurled two hand grenades at government security
personnel manning a checkpoint at a Red Cross Fair in Narathiwat municipality.
The six were injured by the fragmentation of one grenade only, as the other
failed to explode.
After the incident, the police detained and questioned one suspect.
Meanwhile, in the adjacent province of Yala, several schools began the first day
of the new semester on Monday amid tight security.
Army rangers and defence volunteers provided security at schools in the
municipality and guarded the routes on which teachers travelled to school to
ensure their safety.
Schools in rural areas are set to reopen on May 16. The Internal Security
Operation Command (ISOC) ordered all agencies to step up security measures in
line with a plan laid out earlier. (MCOT online news)
Nearby plants unaffected by last weekend's explosion and fire at Map Ta Phut
BANGKOK, May 13 - The main buildings' structure of plants
nearby were not affected following last weekend's explosion and fire at the
Bangkok Synthetics Co (BST) petrochemical factory in the eastern province of
Rayong's Map Ta Phut industrial estate.
The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) Governor
Veerapong Chaiperm said officials from the Forensic Science Office had inspected
six plants of BST Elastomers Co, a subsidiary of BST Group, which are located
near the BST petrochemical factory.
Mr Veerapong said the damage found at nearby plants were mostly in tiles, roofs,
door panels, windows, mirrors, and ceilings, while other systems including
safety, electricity, flare and vent, air pollution control, were not impacted by
the explosion and fire and were functioning normally.
Concerning the other incident of chemical leak on the same weekend at the Aditya
Birla Chemicals (Thailand) factory in the Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial
Estate, IEAT officials found that there was a problem in the chlorine control
valve of the hydrochloric production unit. The entire system was then shut down
for safety reasons.
Last Saturday’s explosion and fire at the Bangkok Synthetics Co (BST)
petrochemical factory killed 12 people and affected over 100 others, while last
Sunday's chemical leak at the Aditya Birla Chemicals (Thailand) affected at
least 40 workers and bystanders with dizziness. (MCOT online news)
Water retention areas to be finalised this month: Deputy PM Kittirat
TOKYO, May 13 – Designation of water retention areas under
the government’s flood prevention plan will be finalised by May, said Deputy
Prime Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong on Sunday.
The deputy prime minister said he expected that aerial maps
which are being conducted under cooperation with the Japan International
Cooperation Agency (JICA) will be completed by this month.
The aerial map will help indicate water retention areas and the government will
discuss with local residents and farmers, who will be compensated fairly by the
The government is ready to handle potential flood problems, Mr Kittiratt said.
Regarding disbursement of the budget from loans under a state executive decree,
which allows for the borrowing of 350 billion baht for water management and
flood prevention projects, he said that the first portion of the budget will be
disbursed in May and partly used towards water prevention walls around seven
industrial estates in central provinces.
Meanwhile, a request to the disaster insurance fund to increase sublimit
insurance claims for the industrial sector from the existing maximum at 30
percent of the total insurance fund, the deputy prime minister said he ordered
Areepong Bhoocha-oom Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Finance, as a committee
member of the disaster insurance fund, to propose the issue to the committee
meeting for consideration as soon as possible. (MCOT online news)
Historic collection of books unveiled in Laos
The Commission for Information and Training under the Lao
People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee held a ceremony in Vientiane on
May 10 to launch a collection of books on the history of Vietnam and Laos’
special relationship during the period 1930-2007. Speaking at the event, Vice
President of Laos Bunnhang Volachit said the collection provides valuable
documentation on the history of the bilateral ties between Vietnam and Laos. It
was first initiated by President Ho Chi Minh and President Kaysone Phomvihane
and fostered by later generations of Party and State leaders and the peoples of
both countries. The relationship has become a shining example of international
relations, he said, adding that both countries continue to protect and promote
their special relationship and comprehensive cooperation. The collection
includes various works, including the History of Vietnam-Laos and Laos-Vietnam
Special Relationship (1930 to 2007); Party and State Documents; Chronicles of
Events; Memoirs; a Pictorial Book and a documentary film entitled ‘The Epic of
Vietnam-Laos Relationship’. The books summarise, in an objective and vivid
manner, an important period in the special relationship between the two Parties
and two States. It also reflects the aspirations of officials, soldiers and the
peoples of both countries. Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Ta Minh Chau said he
believes that this historical collection, plus the activities to celebrate the
Vietnam-Laos Year of Solidarity and Friendship 2012, will deepen bilateral ties
and raise the traditional friendship and special solidarity that lies between
Vietnam and Laos to a new level. He stated that the Vietnamese Party, State and
people are always grateful to Laos for its whole-hearted support and will do
their utmost to foster the special friendship that lies between the two nations.
Second Vietnam forum focuses on ASEAN
The Vietnamese Embassy in the US and the Forum on Southeast
Asia jointly held the second Vietnam Forum in the US on May 10. Attending the
forum, themed ‘the US-ASEAN relationship – the next step’, included ambassadors
and diplomats from all ten ASEAN countries, Australia and the US as well as
academics, researchers and representatives of non-governmental organisations
based in Washington . At the event, Nirav Patel, the Deputy Assistant Secretary
of State for Strategy and Multilateral Affairs at the US Department of State,
delivered a speech on the Barack Obama administration’s foreign policy towards
the Asia-Pacific region in general and ASEAN in particular. He said that the US
has been making a lot of effort to boost cooperation with Asia-Pacific
countries, not only in politics and security but also in economics, trade and
investment. This strategy focuses on cooperation with ASEAN because of the
organisation’s role and geo-political position, he said, adding that the US
supports ASEAN’s central role and will work closely with the bloc to ensure
security, peace, development and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. Vietnam
’s Ambassador to the US Nguyen Quoc Cuong applauded the US government’s
commitment to contributing to regional peace, stability and development. He
added that he hopes the US will initiate proactive measures and take steps to
promote the relationship.
Military officers prepared to ensure security in South during school term
NARATHIWAT, 14 May 2012 (NNT) – Military personnel in the
South are fully prepared to protect teachers and students during the new school
terms, which will begin on May 23rd.
In Narathiwat province, over 5,000 military personnel will be deployed in 13
districts to ensure safety of teachers and students in 375 schools. The officers
will be divided into three teams: security team inside schools, protection team
on the routes that teachers and students commute, and rapid response team for
According to intelligence reports, the Runda Kumpulan Kecil (RKK) rebel group is
planning to stage an attack during the school session.
Meanwhile, in Pattani Province, over 200 teachers from Islamic private schools
have discussed security plans with Pattani provincial police to prepare to work
together to ensure safety for both teachers and students.
Hospitals ordered to provide treatment to patients in a non-discriminatory manner
BANGKOK, 13 May 2012 (NNT) – Public and private hospitals are
ordered to provide necessary medical attention to emergency patients in a
non-discriminatory manner, or they will violate Medical Emergency Act B.E. 2551.
Public Health Minister Wittaya Buranasiri said that the government and the
Public Health Ministry pay heed to quality treatment and service being offered
for patients with emergency conditions in order to decrease mortality and
disability rates. With this policy in effect since April 1st, 2012 onwards, Mr.
Wittaya revealed that private hospitals have well cooperated. He stressed that
every hospital must comply by providing its best emergency care to patients
until their condition is stabilized before making appropriate transfers.
Under the Medical Emergency Act B.E. 2551, a hospital must provide stabilizing
treatment for a patient with emergency medical conditions without inquiring
about the patient’s ability to pay. A hospital is prohibited to refuse offering
emergency care to emergency patients in any circumstances.
The Emergency Medical Institution of Thailand will be responsible for monitoring
the matter. Hospitals found to be violating the Act will receive penalties.
Culture Ministry offers workshop for Hajj pilgrimage leaders
BANGKOK, 13 May 2012 (NNT) – The Ministry of Culture has
provided a workshop for leaders of Hajj religious pilgrims, to ensure they can
better facilitate the holy mission to Saudi Arabia this year.
According to the new rules and regulations on Thailand’s Hajj Affairs, Hajj
pilgrimage leaders usually representing tour companies and travel agents
organizing the pilgrimage, must undertake a training course and own an
identification card as a pilgrim leader. Detailed information relating to Hajj
pilgrimage, such as rules and regulations on Hajj Affairs, immigration process,
travel and accommodation, health care, procedural steps in performing Hajj and
Arabian and English languages for use in daily life, are provided in the course.
Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the Southern Border Provinces Administrative
Center (SBPAC), Pol Col Tawee Sodsong said the SBPAC is planning to improve and
upgrade Thailand’s Hajj Affairs to the international standard within the next 3
years. In doing so, a large airport must be developed to accommodate Thai Muslim
passengers from across the country while a hospital and a hotel should be
available in the airport.
In addition, the SBPAC will push for those who are affected by the violence in
the deep South to gain priority access to the pilgrimage, by allocating its
quota of 200 people granted by the government each year for those people.
DPM: Water retention areas to be determined by May
BANGKOK, 13 May 2012 (NNT) – Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of Finance Kittiratt Na Ranong has revealed that the Japan
International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is set to finalize the aerial
photography of Thailand in order to establish a clear water retention area by
According to Mr. Kittiratt, the Japanese organization has contributed its
assistance to the development of Thailand’s flood prevention system. In his
discussion with JICA during his recent visit to Japan, JICA confirmed that the
aerial photography of the country was nearing completion; thus, the
determination of flood management zones should be announced within this month.
Once the aerial photographs are submitted, the government will be able to
indicate the exact location where monkey cheeks will be set up. Thereafter,
relevant agencies will be assigned to negotiate with local residents who may be
impacted by the establishment of water retention areas. They will also publicize
the government’s flood prevention scheme which consists of both short and
Karen rebel leader’s drug case will not grow into Thai, Myanmar bilateral issue: Gen Yuthasak
BANGKOK, May 11--- Deputy Prime Minister Gen Yuthasak
Sasiprapa on Friday said he believed that the drug-related case of Democratic
Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) Commander-in-Chief Gen Saw Ler Pwe, also known as Na
Kham Mwe, listed by Thailand as one of the 25 most-wanted suspected drug
dealers, will not be raised as an issue between Thailand and Myanmar.
Gen Yuthasak also reaffirmed that bilateral relations between
Thai and Myanmar government remained normal, adding that the cooperation between
the two countries continued. He pointed out that the ongoing problem was related
to a Myanmar ethnic minority group, not between Thailand and Myanmar.
However, Gen Yuthasak denied knowing details of the Na Kham Mwe case, saying it
should be the responsibility of Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrung who
heads the National Command Center for Drugs (NCCD).
Although the Karen rebel leader Na Kham Mwe threatened to shut down the
cross-border trade at a dozen locations from Tak through Kanchanburi provinces,
the deputy prime minister said the situation along Thailand-Myanmar border
He explained that military personnel from the 3rd Army Region were closely
monitoring the situation and also vowed to protect and keep sovereignty of the
So far, no additional army units have been deployed at the Three Pagodas Pass
border checkpoint in Kanchanaburi.
As the Cabinet is scheduled to meet in Kanchanaburi on May 19-20, Gen Yuthasak
said that he would take this opportunity to follow up the border situation as
In a related development, Pol Capt Chalerm on Friday reaffirmed that he is
prepared to travel to Myanmar to seek cooperation in the arrest and extradition
of Na Kham Mwe, if necessary.
The Karen rebel leader was named in an outstanding arrest warrant for drug
trafficking with a Bt1 million bounty.
At a press conference in Myawaddy Township on Thursday, Na Kham Mwe reemphasised
that he was not involved with drug trafficking. He said he will intensify
retaliatory measures against the Thai authorities and will make known the names
of persons involved with Thai-Myanmar cross border drug trafficking.
The retaliation will relate to trade and investment, and not include any
He challenged international anti-narcotics bodies--including the US Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) -- to investigate the allegations against him.
The DKBA leader also said he was willing to face the charges in a court of law
if Capt Chalerm offered any evidence to support the claims. (MCOT online news)
Body of Taiwanese tourist drowned in Surat Thai reservoir recovered
SURAT THANI, May 11 - The body of a Taiwan airlines pilot was
recovered from the reservoir of a dam in this southern province after the
tourist boat he was in capsized on Thursday.
The body of the 47 year-old pilot was found after a six-hour
search. The boat hit a submerged log and capsized Thursday afternoon.
A Thai national, Adipong Wichienkaew, 24, also a passenger on the boat, was
injured and sent to hospital.
The Taiwanese pilot travelled with five friends including Taiwanese, Singaporean
and Thai nationals on a sight-seeing boat trip at the Ratchaprapa Dam. (MCOT
Environmentalists petition Court to revoke Rayong factories operation certificates
BANGKOK, May 10 - Following two industrial plant accidents
last weekend in the eastern province of Rayong, the environmental activist
non-governmental organisation Stop Global Warming Association (SGWA) petitioned
the Supreme Administrative Court Thursday, asking it to order government
agencies to revoke the operations permission certificates of Bangkok Synthetics
and Aditya Birla Chemicals.
Association chairman Srisuwan Janya said as representive of
the petitioners, he asked the Court to order the Industry Ministry and the
Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) to take action to revoke the
licenses, while also asking it to order the Office of Natural Resources and
Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) to reject the two factories' reports on
their impacts on health and environment.
SGWA also asked related parties to improve their response plans including risk
communications, emergency preparedness, evacuation and rehabilitation to link
with all plants in the Map Tha Put industrial estate.
The explosion and fire at the Bangkok Synthetics Co (BST) petrochemical factory
at the Map Ta Phut industrial estate last Saturday killed 12 people, while the
chemical leak the following day at the Aditya Birla Chemicals (Thailand) factory
in the Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate affected at least 40 workers
and others with dizziness.
The association had earlier identified the two plants as among the 76 factories
SGWA and other civil society groups petitioned the court asking for an
injunction against the industrial plants.
Mr Srisuwan said the Central Administrative Court injunction in 2009 ordered
suspension of 76 industrial projects at Map Ta Phut due to environmental
The court's decision came after SGWA and 43 Map Ta Phut residents had filed a
complaint with the Court seeking an emergency hearing and an injunction to put
on hold all projects int the industrial zone saying that state agencies had
failed to issue proper operating licences for the industrial projects.
The Supreme Administrative Court later allowed 11 of the 76 projects to continue
operating, while 65 were to remain shuttered until they comply with the
environmental and health requirements of Section 67 of the 2007 Constitution.
(MCOT online news)
Preah Vihear dispute at World Court may be prolonged until next year: Thai Deputy PM
BANGKOK, May 10 - Deputy Prime Minister Gen Yuthasak
Sasiprapa said on Thursday that Thailand will submit further written
explanations on the disputed land near the ancient Preah Vihear Temple to the
world court in June and that the case may be prolonged until next year.
The deputy premier disclosed the information after a meeting
with national security concerned agencies chaired by Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra attended by the commanders of Thailand’s three armed forces and
Thailand’s legal representatives in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on
the Thai approach in fighting the case after Cambodia in April asked the ICJ to
clarify and interpret its 1962 ruling on Preah Vihear.
In 1962 the court ruled the ancient Hindu temple belonged to Cambodia but did
not define the boundaries of the area surrounding the structure, which led to
sporadic clashes between troops of both sides since then.
Gen Yuthasak said today's meeting was the first time that the foreign ministry
invited the legal team to report the progress on the case, while the lawyers
also wanted to hear the information from the army by themselves.
Deputy Premier Yuthasak said that the ICJ has asked Thailand to submit further
written explanations by June 21, as Cambodia has already sent its written
explanations to the court.
Gen Yuthasak said the trial on the case might begin next year.
The UN court last July ordered both Thailand and Cambodia to immediately
withdraw their military personnel now present in the provisional demilitarised
zone and refrain from any military presence within that zone, while urging both
countries to work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to
reach an agreement to allow the regional bloc's observers to enter the disputed
The two countries were also ordered to revive their stalled talks to resolve the
conflicts. Both must report developments to the court until a decision on
Cambodia's main request for interpretation of the 1962 order is finalised.
The Thai deputy premier, however, noted Thursday that there is no progress on
the setup of a joint working committee between the neighbours. (MCOT online
Registration period for illegal migrants to be extended
BANGKOK, 11 May 2012 (NNT) – Employment Department
Director-General Prawit Kiangpol says the period for nationality verification
for illegal migrant workers should be extended.
Mr. Prawit said not all illegal migrants would be able to claim their
nationalities by June 14th, 2012. To solve this issue, he will propose to the
Cabinet to consider an extension of the registration period.
The most common illegal migrant workers in Thailand are from Myanmar, Laos and
Cambodia. There are currently 8 registration centers. Three are in Chiang Rai,
Tak and Ranong provinces which are able to accommodate 3,000 – 4,000 people
Meanwhile, 5 other centers recently opened in Surat Thani, Samut Prakan, Samut
Sakhon, Chiang Mai and Bangkok can only provide the service to 300-500 migrant
workers a day. Mr. Prawit attributed the delay to inexperienced staff members at
these centers as they were new to the jobs. Besides, the opening of the five
centers had been delayed by 80 days due to a few formalities. This has indeed
delayed all the other processes involved in giving alien workers the rights to
work in Thailand, he added.
According to him, more than 700,000 migrant workers remain unaccounted for.
Around 500,000 of them are Burmese nationals and the rest are Cambodians.
Lan Bodhi Festival to be held at Siam Paragon to celebrate 2,600th anniversary of Buddha’s enlightenment
BANGKOK, 11 May 2012 (NNT)-On the occasion of the 2,600th
anniversary of the Lord Buddha’s enlightenment, a celebration will be held at
Siam Paragon business complex from May 17-20, 2012. The core of this event is to
teach the principle of dhamma to people from all walks of life.
During the event, entitled Lan Bodhi Festival: Temple in the Cloud, visitors can
expect to see exhibitions, listen to lectures by both academics and monks,
participate in different panels of discussion as well as enjoy entertaining
activities and cultural performances.
All of these activities will encompass the Lord Buddha’s teachings and their
interpretations for use in daily life. Among them will be an exhibition entitled
‘What Buddha’s Enlightenment brings and how we can use it in our life’.
The event will be organized in an old-fashion temple fair style to attract
visitors and passers-by. There will also be chanting of prayers and interesting
lectures from distinguished monks e.g. Wor Vajiramedhi, Phra Paisal Visalo, and
Phra Maha Sompong, etc.
Celebrity guests such as Pod Moderndog and Pey Arak as well as Stamp have been
invited to perform at Siam Paragon in this event to play their music that also
carries Buddhist principles. The festival will begin from 10.00 hrs – 20.00 hrs
from May 17-20, 2012.
Andaman coast threatened by erosions
BANGKOK, 11 May 2012 (NNT) – Several popular beaches along
the Andaman coast might become things of the past if nothing is done to prevent
Chief of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources project to draft
preventive plans against coastal erosions along the Andaman Coast Phayom
Rattanamani said that at least 40 spots in six coastal provinces are being
They include such beaches as Hat Pak Meng and Ban Laem Makham in Si Kao
District, Trang Province; Rawai and Nai Yang beaches in Phuket; Ban Nam Khem in
Phang-nga; Laem Son National Park and Ban Thale Nok in Ranong; Noppharat Thara
Beach and Ban Tha Lane in Krabi; and Ban Thung Sapoh, Ban Pak Bara, Ban Pak
La-ngu and Ban Rawai Tai in Satun.
The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources has assigned the Prince of
Songkla University to conduct a study into the problem and draw up solution
guidelines to be later made into an action plan to protect beautiful southern
beaches from coastal erosions.
A rare transit of Venus to occur on June 6
BANGKOK, 11 May 2012 (NNT) - According to the National
Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT), a rare planetary event, the
transit of Venus, is due to occur on June 6 this year. The next transit is
expected 122 years from now.
NARIT’s Director, Boonrucksar Soonthornthum, said that on June 6, the planet
Venus will pass directly between the Sun and the Earth from 8.32AM to 11AM,
becoming visible against the solar disk. The event can be viewed from most
corners of the globe, except for West Africa and the West coast of South
The last visible transit of Venus took place on June 8, 2004. Sequences of
transits occur in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, with transits
occurring eight years apart followed by a gap of 122 years, then a gap of eight
years and then another long gap of 106 years. Nobody can witness the event no
more than twice in his lifetime.
Mr Boonrucksar added that the transit, similar to a solar eclipse by the Moon,
can be observed with the naked eye using filters designed specifically for the
purpose such as eclipse-viewing glasses.
UNAIDS praises Thailand for effective HIV/AIDS prevention strategy
BANGKOK, 11 May 2012 (NNT) - The Joint United Nations
Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has praised Thailand for her effective campaign
on fighting against HIV/AIDS.
After a meeting with UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia
and the Pacific Dr.Nafis Sadik, Public Health Minister Witthaya Buranasiri said
Dr Sadik praised Thailand for its effective AIDS prevention strategy in the past
She said Thailand is among the top countries in the world to have successful
HIV/AIDS campaigns, adding Thailand’s plans coincide with the the UNAIDS target,
which includes no more new patient, no more death, and no discrimination.
Mr Witthaya stated that the nation has earmarked a 44-billion baht budget for
the HIV/AIDS prevention plans from 2012-2016, and set the target of no more than
4,900 new AIDS patients by 2016.
According to the minister, around 10,000 new patients have been found and that
over 480,000 AIDS patients still alive in Thailand in 2011. 30-40% of AIDS
patients are drug addicts who share needles.
PM prepares clarifications on Preah Vihear case
BANGKOK, 11 May 2012 (NNT) - Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra has held a meeting to prepare for the Preah Vihear case
clarifications with related agencies before forwarding the clarifications to the
International Court of Justice (ICJ) in June.
In preparation to fight in court against Cambodia on the ownership of the
4.6-kilometer area around the Preah Vihear Temple, the premier has met with
security agencies, Foreign Ministry, and legal advisors on international law.
Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul and Thai Ambassador to The Hague
Veerachai Plasai announced that the prime minister expresses her concerns over
the preparation procedures and wants all sides to have the same information so
that the case is more credible.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa said the Thai security
agencies have prepared clarifications and information including all protests
from the Thai side against Cambodia, to which Cambodia did not respond in
anyway, to submit to the court in June. He expects the case to be decided next
Srinakarin Dam unaffected by earthquake in Myanmar – Official
KANCHANABURI, 10 May 2012 (NNT) – The director of Srinakarin
Dam has assured the country that a recent earthquake in Myanmar has not posed
any effect on the dam’s structure.
Srinakarin Dam Director Boon-in Chuenchavalit said that the early morning
4.2-magnitude quake in Myanmar on Wednesday has not affected the dam in any way,
as the epicenter is as far as 663 kilometers from its location.
Mr. Boon-in asserted that officials have performed a thorough inspection after
the quake was reported and that the structure of Srinakarin Dam remains strong
He added that, at present, Srinakarin Dam is holding 12.96 billion cubic meters
of water, or 73.06 percent of its capacity.
The Srinakarin Dam Director has expressed confidence that there will be
sufficient water supply to ease the drought crisis, which has been hitting farms
downstream from the dam.
9 agencies ink MOU on deforestation
BANGKOK, 10 May 2012 (NNT) - Nine agencies have signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) on deforestation to mutually counter the recurring problem.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Yongyuth Wichaidit, on Wednesday,
presided over the signing of an MOU on forest conservation and deforestation
suppression among nine agencies, including the Interior Ministry, the
Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry, the Natural Resources and Environment
Ministry, the Defense Ministry, the Royal Thai Armed Forces, the Royal Thai
Army, the Royal Thai Navy, the Royal Thai Air Force and the Royal Thai Police.
Mr. Yongyuth stated that Their Majesties the King and Queen have expressed the
desire to see the Thai forests protected from the ongoing deforestation. Thus,
it is essential that all agencies collaborate in protecting the forests and
suppress deforestation in order to fully revive the environment.
Meanwhile, Interior Permanent Secretary Pranai Suwannarat said that
deforestation for business and agricultural purposes is a chronic problem, which
is the main cause of natural disasters and global warming. With its existing
regional and local networks nationwide, the Ministry of Interior hopes that the
collaboration with other agencies will yield a more efficient outcome in
preventing the problem of deforestation.
Tsunami drill held in Phuket
PHUKET, 10 May 2012 (NNT) - The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation
(DDPM) is holding a tsunami alert and response exercise in Phuket province
during May 10-11 in order to ready local authorities and residents for possible
giant waves in six provinces along the Andaman Coast.
Deputy Interior Minister Pol. Lt. Gen. Chalong Sonjai explained that the great
loss of lives and properties sustained from the 2004 tsunami in Phang Nga,
Ranong, Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Satun provinces has prompted the government to
organize a tsunami drill. The aim of the exercise is to prepare all relevant
parties involved in tsunami response operations and enhance the alert system,
operation command, and inter-agency coordination in a tsunami scenario.
Meanwhile, DDPM Director-General Viboon Sa-nguanpong said that the tsunami drill
is a functional exercise which involves local authorities, military and
residents. The exercise stresses mainly on data analysis, tsunami alert and
operation command. The experience and problems encountered during the drill will
be beneficial for the enhancement of the the country's tsunami response plan.
OIC advisor visits sufficiency economy center in Pattani
BANGKOK, 10 May 2012 (NNT) – The representative from the
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has visited the Sufficiency Economy
Learning Center in Pattani province.
Advisor to the OIC Secretary-General Sayed Kassem El-Masry has traveled to the
Sirindhorn Military Camp in Pattani province to observe the works and
achievements of the Sufficiency Economy Learning Center as well as meet victims
of the Southern unrest.
The Self Sufficiency Learning Center was founded in October 2008 with the
objective of creating sustainable peace based on equality and justice in the
three southernmost provinces. The center also follows HM the King's advice to
"understand, reach out and develop" in its effort to improve the people's
quality of life. In order for southern people with different religions to live
together in harmony, the center uses different approaches including the policy
of letting politics lead military actions, resolving conflicts in a peaceful
manner, respecting human rights and developing a balanced quality of life.
The center has tasked itself with educating the locals on HM the King’s
Sufficiency Economy philosophy, which could be adopted to improve their daily
lives. Until now, the Sufficiency Economy Learning Center has already welcomed a
total of 221,678 participants. In consequence, 410 farms based on the
sufficiency economy principle have been developed in 5 border provinces. The
center plays an important role in improving the people's life quality and allows
the locals to realize the authorities’ sincerity in resolving the Southern
PM: Govt doing its best to resolve Southern unrest
BANGKOK, 10 May 2012 (NNT) – Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra has reiterated that the government is putting its full effort into
the restoration of peace in the three southern border provinces.
Upon welcoming a group of youths from the southern provinces at the Government
House this morning, the PM said that everyone, regardless of their hometown, is
a Thai citizen. Thus, all must learn to love each other and live together in
harmony. The PM also termed this visit to the capital of the southern
adolescents as their chance to experience the way of life in Bangkok.
On behalf of the entire Thai population, Ms. Yingluck expressed her full support
for the people of the violence-stricken South to pull through the local unrest.
Additionally, she urged the locals to report any problems to the government
directly in order to receive its full assistance.
Meanwhile, the network of women in the deep South has admitted their lack of
confidence in the PM’s experience in resolving the situation in the South.
Members of the network who were in the visitors' group said however, they now
realized the Prime Minister’s determination and will support her in the effort
to bring peace back to the southern border provinces.
In response, the PM stressed that the government will work to find the best
solution to this problem, while saying that all relevant agencies have been
instructed to integrate their plans and efforts for a more efficient outcome.
Govt urged to focus on unwanted pregnancy problems
BANGKOK, 10 May 2012
(NNT) – The National Economic and Social Advisory Council (NESAC) has suggested
the government pay more attention to teen pregnancy problems and uplift abortion
Talking about solving the unwanted pregnancy problems in Thailand, NESAC Member
Suttinun Chantara said related agencies have discussed appropriate plans and
concluded that the government should support the legalization of abortion pills
and improve the abortion standard.
Mr Suttinun also suggested that Criminal Law concerning abortion be repealed so
that people with unwanted pregnancies could seek abortion as an option, adding
that birth control law should also be amended.
In addition, the NESAC urged the government to strictly punish those who sell
and distribute pornographic materials and pubs and nightclubs that allow
children under 18 in, given they encourage teenagers to commit sinful acts.