Special report: Abhakara Day
Naval officials and worshippers on May 19 each year pay
tribute to Admiral Prince Abhakara Kiartivongse or Admiral Prince Krom Luang
Chumphon Khet Udom Sak, whose unstinting dedication to the development of the
Thai navy earned him the title of ‘Father of the Royal Thai Navy’.
Born on December 19, 1880, Admiral Prince Abhakara Kiartivongse is a son of King
Chulalongkorn, or King Rama V.
He spent his early years studying naval warfare in England and returned to Siam
to serve in the Royal Siamese Navy and contributed significantly to the
advancement and modernization of the navy, resulting in the improvement in navy
studies which incorporated western subjects, such as astrology, algebra,
geometry, and hydrography. His other best-known masterpieces include the
establishment of Sattahip Naval Base in Chon Buri and the Royal Thai Naval
Not only does the prince be respected for his major role in the advancement and
modernization of the navy, but he is also much loved by commoners for his
dedication to helping rural people. He was particularly interested in the study
of herbal medicine and used his expertise to treat people of all classes without
disclosing his royal background. As a result, he was also otherwise known as
Admiral Prince Abhakara Kiartivongse succumbed to influenza on May 19, 1923 at
the age of 43. Despite decades of his passing, Admiral Prince Abhakara
Kiartivongse’ contributions to the Thai navy and to society apparently imprint
unforgettable memories on many Thais. More than 200 shrines and monuments of the
Prince were erected throughout Thailand.
As a gesture of gratitude, the Royal Thai Navy decided to mark May 19 the
Abhakara Day during which time naval officials and worshippers perform religious
and charitable activities in commemoration of the Prince’s devotion to the
Thai, Chinese police arrest Thais, Taiwanese in China-based call centre scam
BANGKOK, May 17 - Thai and Chinese police jointly arrested 10
Thais and 2 Taiwanese in a China-based call centre scam to set up to lure Thai
victims in Thailand to transfer money to them in China.
Thai and Chinese authorities in Thailand told a news
conference that the syndicate, based in China's Guangdong province, scammed at
least 150 persons, cases that added up to more than Bt100 million.
The suspects were arrested on May 9 and brought to Thailand for investigation.
A Thai female suspect named Fahmon Chomponma said a friend had asked her to work
in China as shop assistant gaining Bt12,000-15,000/month. Once she arrived, a
Taiwanese person taught her the call centre scam process without her knowing she
was becoming one of the gang members.
Ms Fahmon said she had worked there for seven months. Her duties were to talk
firsthand with victims in Thailand, claiming herself to be an official from the
Bank of Thailand. She would tell a victim of his/her outstanding debt balance on
his/her credit card account.
Once the victim believed what was being said, he/she would be
transferred to a second line at which the person said he/she was from the
Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to receive the victim's personal
information including credit card numbers. The victim was here claimed by the
scam he/she was involved with a drug cartel, and the DSI officer would be
clearing out all the data as for his/her protection.
The last stage was where the victim was transferred to the third line at which
the person on the phone said he/she was a DSI high-ranking official, who would
help the victim off the drug list.
The victim here was told to make a financial transaction to a Thai bank account
in the country. Gang members in Thailand would then immediately transfer the
money to China.
Ms Fahmon said the syndicate could conduct deceptions to get the maximum amount
of Bt400,000/day. Her gang was seperated from a bigger call centre syndicates in
China. There are still many more scam groups in China, she said.
Meanwhile, in Thailand's eastern province of Chonburi, a group of 7 Chinese
people, of which the gang leader was a 33-year-old male, were arrested for a
call centre scam involvement at their residence in Bang Lamung district.
According to police, the apprehension was expanded from the previous call centre
syndicate where 22 people were arrested in regard to losses worth over Bt200
Police estimated the gang arrested on Thursday had more than 20 members, with
the remainder escaping, and caused losses of more than Bt1 billion in Thailand,
China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Japan. (MCOT online news)
Three more suspects arrested in call centre scam
BANGKOK, May 18 – The Thai authorities arrested three more
men in connection with call scams which surfaced in the past week, and seized a
large amount of equipment used in the international operation.
Police on Friday searched a house in Bangkok's Ramkhamhaeng
area after six suspects had been arrested at a supermarket on Thursday while
they were withdrawing cash of Bt1.3 million, believed to be given to the leader
of their gang.
Three persons arrested on Friday are Chinese, Taiwanese and Myanmar nationals.
Twenty-three landline phones, two computer notebooks, two routers, four
calculators and one surveillance camera were confiscated at the house.
Thai investigators collected evidence to forward to the economic crime division
to work with the Chinese police. The syndicate deceived victims in China and
Taiwan, causing losses of more than Bt100 million but there were no losses
registered in Thailand.
The recent arrests of call centre scam syndicates were
conducted under the cooperation of Thai and Chinese police. The suspects are
both Thai and Chinese nationals. Thailand-based centres were set up to swindle
victims in China and Chinese -based call centres were used to lure Thai victims.
To entice victims to reveal their personal information and transfer their money
to the scammers' bank account, the suspects told the victims by telephone that
they had been implicated in a drug case and the police would help clear out all
the incriminating data for their protection.
Thai and Chinese police on Thursday said they jointly arrested 10 Thais and two
Taiwanese in a China-based call centre scam, luring victims in Thailand to
transfer money to them in China.
Based in China's Guangdong province, at least 150 persons were deceived by the
syndicate, causing a total loss of more than Bt100 million. The suspects were
arrested on May 9 and brought to Thailand for investigation.
A group of seven Chinese were arrested Thursday for involvement in a call centre
scam at their residence in Chonburi, southeast of Bangkok.
According to police, the arrests were linked to previous call centre syndicate
where 22 people were arrested in regard to losses worth over Bt200 million.
(MCOT online news)
Briton of Chinese origin arrested with six foetuses
BANGKOK, May 18 - A British citizen was detained today in
possession of six human foetuses set to be smuggled into Taiwan, according to
Police from the Children and Women’s Protection Sub-Division
on Friday told a news briefing that Chow Hok Kuen, a 28-year old British citizen
of Taiwanese origin, was apprehended at a hotel room in Bangkok's Chinatown
At the site, police found and seized six roasted baby corpses covered in gold
leaf which were hidden in a box packed in the baggage for smuggling to Taiwan.
The detention came after the police learned that there were announcements
related to sales of foetus corpses posted on some websites in Taiwan by citing
that the foetuses had been performed in the black magic ritual in Thailand.
The human foetuses to be used for black magic purpose were popular among
Taiwanese as they believed that the baby corpses would bring them good luck and
An initial investigation found that Chow Hok Kuen has run a business related to
amulets in Taiwan and has travelled to Thailand for several times to purchase
some amulets for further sales in Taiwan.
The suspect arrived in the kingdom in early May, saying that he was hired to
bring the human foetuses from a Taiwanese man in Thailand who said he often
delivered the corpses by placing them under a tree in a public park.
This was the second time he brought corpses, the suspect said, adding that all
six foetuses at Bt200,000 (some US$6,600) and will be sold on websites in Taiwan
with a starting price of $6,600 each.
Initially, Chow Hok Kuen has been charged with hiding and possessing the
foetuses, aiming at covering up the death and causes of the deaths.
However, the police are tracking persons related to the case, particularly a
Taiwanese man in Thailand, for further probe about the origin of the foetuses.
(MCOT online news)
PM visits Nakhon Pathom and Kanchanaburi
BANGKOK, 19 May 2012 (NNT) – Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra is scheduled to visit Nakhon Pathom and Kanchanaburi provinces where
she is to survey goods prices and discuss economic situation with local
This morning, Ms. Yingluck has planned to visit Nakhon Pathom’s municipal market
to check goods prices and meet local shop operators there.
The premier is to move on to Kanchanaburi province in the afternoon to hear the
progress of the woman role development program and exchange views on its
obstacles with representative of different woman groups.
She is then scheduled to follow the updates on the construction project of Dawei
Deep Sea Port & Industrial Estate by Italian Thai Co. before meeting with the
governor of Kanchanaburi to discuss economic development programs in the
province. The Prime Minister will later preside over a joint public-private
sector meeting aimed at solving economic problems in the country's western
Ms. Yingluck will tomorrow chair a cabinet meeting at Kanchanaburi Rajabhat
University and will return to Bangkok in the afternoon.
Court disqualifies UDD leader Jatuporn as MP
BANGKOK, May 18 – Thailand’s Constitution Court on Friday
disqualified Jatuporn Prompan, a key leader of the United Front for Democracy
against Dictatorship (UDD), as a Pheu Thai party-list member of parliament.
The verdict was delivered Friday morning, with a number of
UDD Red Shirt leaders and supporters showing up at court to give Mr Jatuporn
Speaking to reporters ealier in the morning, Mr Jatuporn said he would accept
the court's ruling no matter what the decision might be.
The court’s ruling upheld the decision of the Election Commission (EC) which
recommended his disqualification as a Pheu Thai MP.
The EC last year ruled that Mr Jatuporn lost his party membership for failing to
exercise his right to vote in the July 3 election because he was in jail weeks
before the general election.
Mr Jatuporn was jailed in Bangkok Remand Prison on charges of alleged terrorism
during the election, and the court rejected his request to leave prison to go to
the polling station.
Loss of his political party membership means that Mr Jatuporn has lost a
necessary qualification for being an MP.
He was also charged with lese majeste over comments made during a speech at a
UDD rally on April 10 last year.
The Department of Special Investigation recommended not to indict him. The
public prosecutors later dropped the charges against the Red Shirt co-leader.
(MCOT online news)
PM calls on ministers to clarify census system crash
BANGKOK, 18 May 2012 (NNT) - Following a nation-wide crash of
the Thai census database system that paralyzed district offices’ administrative
services yesterday, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra called on relevant
agencies to clarify the cause of the malfunction.
Ms Yingluck held a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit and
Permanent Secretary for Interior Phranai Suwannarat to discuss issues arising
from the crash.
The error disrupted district offices’ operations across the country as local
offices were unable to issue national ID cards or house registrations to
Mr Yongyuth said the computerized system for the Thai census database had been
operational for eight years, which are three years longer than the length of its
service life. Due to a complaint on the procurement procedure to boost the
system in 2010, the department could not procure new computers for the system,
resulting in an eventual system failure.
As a short-term solution, Ms Yingluck has instructed the Interior Ministry to
replace the worn-out system mainboard with smaller, newer spare parts in the
The premier concluded that she will hold further talks with parties concerned to
resolve the database procurement issue to prevent repetition of system crashes
in the future.
Dengue fever likely strengthens in rainy season
Bangkok, 19 May 2012 (NNT) – The Disease Control Department
has cautioned people to protect themselves against dengue fever which is likely
to strengthen during the rainy season.
Since the beginning of this year, dengue fever is reported to have killed nine
people and sickened 7,000 people. The Disease Control Department said the rainy
season which exists between May and June each year is usually a breading period
of dengue fever.
Although it is said that children are most susceptible to the dengue fever,
doctors warn that adults should not take the matter lightly. They disclosed that
half of the victims this year were aged above 15. The statistics imply that
dengue fever-induced deaths among grown-ups may have resulted from ignorance.
The number of dengue fever patients tends to climb in Andaman provinces,
Ratchaburi, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Rayong, Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Sawan,
Lopburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen and Bangkok. The Disease Control
Department has now instructed local public health officials to place their areas
under close surveillance.
Govt believes BKK safe from floods
BANGKOK, 19 May 2012 (NNT) – Science and Technology Minister
Plodprasop Suraswadi has ruled out the possibility of floods in Bangkok, saying
the rainy season this year is coming late as forecast.
In this Saturday’s government talk show, Mr. Plodprasob disclosed that the
combined amount of water in major dams was one percent lower than that of last
year. The dams are still able to store up to 7,000 million cubic meters of
The Minister revealed that all canals had been dredged up and dikes had been
built around them. Existing embankments have also been strengthened,
particularly those at the Rangsit Prayoonsak Canal. Therefore, a chance of
flooding in Bangkok could be close to nil.
The government has already spent THB25 bil from its THB350 bil flood prevention
budget. Most of the cash has been used in the improvement of road conditions,
the dredging of canals, and the construction of flood ways and dams to prevent
inundation in the capital and nearby provinces.
Although the capital is likely safe from floods, Mr. Plodprasop admitted that
other provinces in the Chao Phraya River Basin, such as Sing Buri, Ang Thong,
Chainat, Nakhon Sawan, Suphan Buri and Ayutthaya may be partly inundated.
However, prevention plans have been made for business areas in these provinces.
The Minister said that more than 200 close-circuit cameras had been installed at
business and populated areas so that the government could monitor the situation
more closely and alert people to any irregularities promptly.
The government has also invited foreign experts to share their flood-prevention
plans. Only the most suitable ones will be chosen for implementation.
Cabinet has green lighted Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing draft bills
KANCHANABURI, 20 May 2012 (NNT) - The cabinet has approved an
economic and infrastructural development plan in the western part of Thailand to
gain profit from the deep-sea port and industrial estate project in Dawei of
According to acting government spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard, Deputy Prime
Minister Kittiratt Na Ranong has been assigned to oversee the plan. The project,
which will be operational in 2015, is expected to stimulate trade and investment
and help increase the Thai GDP by 1.9%.
The cabinet has also approved an economic framework for the 8 lower central
provinces consisting of 200 projects worth altogether THB33 billion. 60 projects
are ready for immediate implementation with an average cost of THB100 million
As for prices of consumer goods, vegetables and fruits, the Ministry of Commerce
has been instructed to control the middlemen’s mark-up to lower than 50 % of the
At the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has been ordered
to promote the cultivation of pomelo and other potential fruit crops in Samut
Songkram, Samut Sakhon and Nakhon Pathom.
Additionally, the cabinet has given the green light to the Anti-Money Laundering
Bill and the Counter-Terrorism Financing Bill. The two bills will be sent to the
Office of the Council of State for scrutiny and later forwarded to the
parliament for deliberation. They are expected to sail through Parliament this
year, which will help lessen hardships the business sector has been going
through after Thailand has been put on the high-risk list issued by the
anti-money laundering Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The next mobile cabinet meeting is set to take place in the eastern province of
Chon Buri during June 18-19, 2012.
EGAT assures major dams unaffected by Myanmar quake
KANCHANABURI, 20 May 2012 (NNT) - Officials have confirmed
that the latest earthquake in Myanmar has not posed any impact on Thailand's 2
Sri Nakarin Dam Director Boon-in Chuenchavalit said on Sunday that officials
have inspected the structures of Sri Nakarin and Vajiralongkorn dams this
morning following reports of a tremor in neighboring Myanmar.
At around 2 am local time, a 5.1-magnitude earthquake was reported in Myanmar.
Mr. Boon-in said that the inspection found that both dams have not been affected
by the quake as the epicenter is 290 kms and 353 kms far from Sri Nakarin and
Vajiralongkorn dams, respectively.
He went on to say that the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT),
which oversees power production at both dams, has been checking on them
regularly with a detection system installed to ensure timely measures to deal
with any situation.
Motorway linking Thailand-Myanmar proposed at the cabinet
KANCHANABURI, 20 May 2012 (NNT) – The Regional Joint
Public/Private Sector Consultative Committee has reported to the cabinet its
resolution to support the planned THB190 billion deep-sea port and industrial
estate project in Dawei, Myanmar.
At the 4th mobile cabinet meeting in Kanchanaburi province chaired by Prime
Minister Yingluck Shinawattra, the joint committee has reported its agreement to
support Italian-Thai Development PCL which holds the concession to develop the
170,000-rai Dawei deep sea port and industrial estate project worth THB190
billion to be completed in 2015.
The joint committee has also given the green light to the planned construction
of the 90-km Bangyai-Kanchanaburi motorway worth THB45 billion as well as its
70-km extension route from Kanchanaburi to the border of Myanmar.
In addition, the Three Pagodas Pass, Bann Phu Nam Ron Pass and Singkhon Pass
have been approved to be established as permanent checkpoints with aims to
accelerate goods transport across the Thai-Myanmar border and to boost tourism.
Cha-am and Pranburi districts will be designated as special areas for
standardized tourism services.
At the cabinet meeting, a draft legislation on Anti-Money Laundering and
Counter-Terrorism Financing and a public debt management plan for fiscal 2012
were also tabled for deliberation.
Scorching heat causing slight damages to ancient ruins in Surin Province
SURIN, 20 May 2012 (NNT) – The scorching heat across Thailand
has caused damages to the ancient ruins in northeastern Surin Province.
As temperature in Thailand shows no sign of dropping anytime soon, the
relentless heat has started to cause physical damages to a number of ancient
In Surin Province, Prasat Sikharaphum or the Sikharaphum Temple, an ancient
religious complex which consists of 4 main brick structures have suffered more
cracks and tears despite recent restoration.
The 17th-century, Khmer architectural-style complex earlier went through a
face-lift, which utilized new bricks due to the impact of continued hot weather.
However, experts commented that the modern-era bricks may not be strong as much
as ancient bricks, to withstand severe hot and humid conditions, especially when
rain has occurred from time to time.
The Fine Arts Department has dispatched a team of officials to check on the
damages before another round of restoration will be accordingly launched.
Bangkok police readied to keep order during UDD rallies on May 19
BANGKOK, 18 May 2012 (NNT) – Bangkok police have been
stepping up security measures to make sure that this weekend’s gathering of the
UDD supporters in the center of the city go smoothly. Metropolitan Police Bureau
spokesperson Police Colonel Preeda Sataworn said that the city police have been
instructed to prepare for the rally by the United Front for Democracy Against
Dictatorship (UDD) group at Ratchaprasong intersection on May 19th. According to
Police Colonel Preeda, special attention will be given to the safety of members
of the public and the demonstrators as well as buildings in adjacent areas. In
doing so, five companies of crowd-control police along with traffic police, SWAT
and bomb squads, all of which will make up 1,200 officers, will be on stand-by
in the area. The Metropolitan Police Bureau has also collaborated with the
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to keep hawkers with flammable substances
out of the rally ground and also to ban alcohol sales there. Police Colonel
Preeda estimated that traffic on Rama 3 Road, Vibhavadi Road, Ratchadapisek Road
and Henri Dunant Road will likely be congested on Saturday, when the
demonstrators are expected to be gathering from noon until 2 a.m. of Sunday.
Environment Minister urged provincial governors to find new disaster prevention measures
CHIANG MAI, 18 May 2012 (NNT) – The Environment Minister has
called on governors of provinces at risk of natural disasters to come up with
new measures to safeguard themselves against future threats.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Preecha Rengsomboonsuk said during a
meeting in Chiang Mai on the conservation and rehabilitation of forest, land and
the construction of levees that Deputy Prime Minister Yongyoot Wichaidit would
like the governors of 8 Northern provinces to step up their game in the
prevention of natural disasters.
In doing, Deputy PM Yongyoot has suggested that all governors come up with new
and more sustainable measures to save their respective areas from future natural
One of the approaches the deputy prime minister has called for is the preventive
policies against drought, which include the creation of Kam-Ling or water
retention area and the excavation of underground water wells in remote areas.
Another concern is the haze crisis in the North, which Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra has asked Mr. Yongyoot to remind all related governors to identify an
effective way to put an end to this problem.
Lan Bodhi Festival held to celebrate 2,600th year of Buddha’s enlightenment
BANGKOK, 18 May 2012 (NNT) - On the occasion of the 2,600th
anniversary of the Lord Buddha’s enlightenment, a celebration is held at Siam
Paragon business complex from May 17-20, 2012. The core objective of this event
is to teach the principles of dhamma to people from all walks of life.
During the event, entitled "Lan Bodhi Festival: Temple in the Cloud", people are
invited 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 is an exhibition entitled
‘What Buddha’s Enlightenment has brought us and how we can apply it in our daily
The event is organized in an old-fashion temple fair style to attract visitors
and passers-by. There are also chanting of prayers and interesting lectures from
distinguished monks e.g. Wor Vajiramedhi, Phra Paisal Visalo, and Phra Maha
Celebrity guests such as Pod Moderndog and Pey Arak as well as Stamp have been
invited to strut their stuff that also conveys Buddhist principles. The festival
is held at Siam Paragon from May 17-20, 2012.
Govt urged to forbid tobacco companies from doing social activities
BANGKOK, 18 May 2012 (NNT) - Action on Smoking and Health
Foundation has urged the government to forbid the tobacco industry from
conducting social activities, in compliance with the World Health Organization
(WHO) Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC).
As the World No Tobacco Day is approaching on May 31st, anti smoking activists
have reported that many tobacco companies in ASEAN have been conducting
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects to forge good relations with law
makers in the countries they are located in. The activists said they are trying
to create good image for themselves, making people believe that cigarettes are
common in the society and reducing the no-smoking campaigns’ intensity. In the
meantime, these cigarette companies are violating the FCTC, which indicates that
social activities are considered advertisements.
Around 6 million people worldwide die from smoking yearly, 600,000 of those are
second-hand smokers. In Thailand, around 500,000 new smokers are reported each
year. Today there are 13 million Thai smokers, with most of them being in the
range of 15-24 years of age. Over 48,000 Thais reportedly die from smoking every
Prakit Vathesatogkit from the Action on Smoking and Health Foundation is urging
the Finance Ministry to impose law forbidding cigarette makers from holding
social activities. He added government agencies should also reject any support
from these companies, while the media should continue to raise awareness on
dangers of tobacco.
Supreme Commander: Thailand, Cambodia on good terms
BANGKOK, 18 May 2012 (NNT) - Supreme Commander General
Tanasak Patimapragorn said that Thailand and Cambodia have been discussing the
border issue, adding that both nations are on good terms.
General Tanasak stated since both nations are having good relations, a joint
military drill for disaster mitigation will be conducted once again, after being
halted for a while.
He added that members of a joint working committee on the Preah Vihear Temple
issue are cooperating well. He said discussions are constructive, with members
agreeing to make the current disputed zone bomb free.
The Supreme Commander said the next meeting's discussion will be on the process
to abide by the International Court of Justice’s decision ordering both sides to
withdraw their troops. He explained that the meeting will find ways that will be
fair for both sides, and that if the talks go smoothly, there would be no need
for a third nation to mediate between the two sides.
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebration
BANGKOK, 17 May 2012 (NNT) – His Majesty King Bhumibol
Adulyadej and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit have assigned His Royal Highness Crown
Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to represent them at the Diamond Jubilee celebration
of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, to be held in London.
The Bureau of the Royal Household announced yesterday that HRH the Crown Prince
will join in the celebration to mark 60 years of the British Queen’s reign, on
behalf of Their Majesties the King and Queen, at the invitation of Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II. The celebration will take place in London on May 18-19,
HRH the Crown Prince will be accompanied on this trip by HRH Princess Srirasmi,
the royal consort.
PM Yingluck rules out cabinet reshuffle
BANGKOK, May 17 - Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on
Thursday ruled out a cabinet reshuffle after the five-year ban from political
life of 111 executives of the disbanded Thai Rak Thai Party (TRT) expires at the
end of this month.
The premier said her government will not close the door for
those who have the capability to work with the government, but noted that it
depends upon the timing as resolving the people's problems is her government's
"I still don't know when [the banned politicians] will join the government as I
must see which field they want to work in for the country," said Ms Yingluck.
"The government wants capable persons, not only the 111 former Thai Rak Thai
executives, but whoever can help solve the country's problems."
When asked about a possible cabinet reshuffle, the prime minister said she did
not think of it during this period as she wanted to focus on the work, but she
will inform the public if there's any change.
The Constitution Court in 2007 dissolved the Thai Rak Thai party, headed by
former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Two senior party members were found
guilty of election law violations after they were directly involved in bribing
candidates from smaller parties to compete in particular constituencies to
ensure the minimum of 20-per cent eligible votes to win the seat in 2006
election was achieved.
The party dissolution was accompanied by the five-year political ban of its 111
The ban will expire on May 30 amid reports that many of the former TRT former
executives expected to return to politics and take ministerial posts in the
Yingluck Shinawatra administration. (MCOT online news)
Police eye suppressing football gambling during Euro 2012
BANGKOK, 16 May 2012 (NNT) - The Royal Thai Police is
planning to crack down on illegal gambling after UEFA Euro 2012 kicks off in
June by collaborating with pubs, bars and restaurants that will be broadcasting
National Police Spokesperson Police Major General Piya Uthayo said Deputy Police
Chief Police General Pansiri Prapawat has instructed every police station to
keep surveillance on any venues in its area that will be showing live broadcasts
of football matches during the Euro 2012 championship.
If owners of these places are found to have allowed gambling to take place, they
will be prosecuted and have their business licenses revoked. Educational
institutions have also been asked to encourage their students to stay away from
gambling. In the meantime, the Police Office of Information and Communication
Technology has been given the authority to shut down any websites involved with
Meteorological Dept warns of heavy flood-induced risks until 20 May
BANGKOK, 17 May 2012 (NNT) – The Thai weather office has
warned people in certain areas to beware of possible risks from heavy rain,
expected until this Sunday.
The Meteorological Department’s Deputy Director General Somchai Baimoung said
that heavy rain has continued to hit several parts of Thailand and the amount of
rainfall is likely to increase until May 20th.
Mr. Somchai stated that heavier rain is particularly forecast on the western
coast of Thailand’s South and in the lower part of the Northeast, the eastern
seaboard, the northern region as well as the central plain.
However, he said that rain will scatter and be particularly heavy near hill
slopes. Therefore, people living close to such areas are warned to watch out for
possible flash flood.
On a brighter side, more rain will help increase water storage in upstream
provinces, such as Sukhothai, Phetchabun and Tak, according to Mr. Somchai.
The Meteorological Department’s Deputy Director General stated that Bangkok will
likely experience heavy rain and consequential flooding, as statistics showed
that 4-5 hours of continued rain of more than 90 millimeters can overrun the
city’s drainage system.
Still, he is confident that there will not be a repeat of severe flooding as
Thailand has experienced late last year.
Deceived Thai women jailed in Hong Kong as Nigerian drug cartel couriers
HONG KONG, May 17 – Numbers of Thai women have been jailed in
Hong Kong for drug smuggling as they were deceived by a Nigerian drug cartel
using them as dealers.
Deputy Consul-General Suree Trairatananukool of Royal Thai
Consulate-General in Hong Kong said drug gangs lured Thai women to smuggle drugs
by asking them to become their girlfriends and inviting them to go abroad with
There are currently 71 Thais jailed in Hong Kong, of whom 55 are women, with 32
put behind bars under drug charges.
According to Ms Suree, some female victims willingly smuggled drugs while others
were deceived by their foreign boyfriends--mostly from Africa, of which 80-90
per cent were from Nigeria.
Hong Kong is used as a channel for drug smuggling. Three or four Thais are
arrested there each year for drug cases.
Ms Suree said there are two versions of the courier scenario, both involving
boyfriends who are drug cartel members. In both cases he tells the girlfriend he
cannot join the trip on the departure day and lets her travel by herself.
Leaving his baggage with her, he tells her someone will pick her up and she is
to give them the baggage in Hong Kong.
In another scenario, the boyfriend says he has problems and cannot join the
trip. He will tell the girlfriend to leave for Thailand immediately once she
arrives Hong Kong, and tells her to pick up a return ticket and a package from
his cousin who is already at Hong Kong airport.
Deceived women are arrested at either Hong Kong or Thai airports, Ms Suree said.
In Hong Kong, suspects are given 26 years prison for drug cases, but in China it
carries the death penalty.
In the case of a Thai arrested in Kunming, the Thai consulate-general there
appealed for leniency, asking for imprisonment instead of execution. The appeal
is now being processed. The death penalty was once given a Thai suspected of
involvement of drugs in Guangzhou.
According to Ms Suree, police officers in Hong Kong usually conduct drug cases
until the last stage before informing the Consulate-General, which by then
cannot provide much assistance to the Thai suspects.
The most common drugs being smuggled are methamphetamine and cocaine, she noted.
(MCOT online news)
Govt to organize 2600th Buddha Jayanti celebration
BANGKOK, 17 May 2012 (NNT) - The government is prepared to
organize regional celebrations to mark the 2,600th year anniversary of Buddha’s
Speaking at a conference, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior
Yongyuth Wichaidit has announced that the Interior Ministry and the Office of
the Prime Minister have collaborated to organize nationwide activities to mark
the day of Vesak in 2012. Held under the name of the 2,600th Buddha Jayanti
celebration, activities, such as the ordain of monks and novices, candle light
processions, merit-making and meditation, will be held to commemorate the
2,600th anniversary of Lord Buddha's Enlightenment. Moreover, academic
exhibitions and cultural activities will also be held as part of the
celebrations, which will take place in all 76 provinces across the country, as
an act of worship to the Lord Buddha.
Meanwhile, the public will be allowed to pay respect to the relic of the Buddha,
which will be put on display at Sanam Luang on May 29. On Vesak Day 2012, which
falls on June 4, candle light processions will also be held in Bangkok at Sanam
Luang, as well as in Chiang Mai, Ubon Ratchathani, Pathum Thani and Nakhon Si
Thammarat, which have been selected to represent their respective regions in
hosting the regional activity.
Additionally, all provinces will also be gathering donations to support the
future works of the Office of National Buddhism.
PM Yingluck: Qatar trip, a great success
BANGKOK, 17 May 2012 (NNT) – The Thai prime minister has
reiterated that her latest official trip to Qatar has been a great success for
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said that in this week’s official visit to
Qatar, she has discussed numerous bilateral collaborations, such as Thailand’s
LNG purchase deal and Qatar’s planned future investment in the country.
Both nations also brought up the issue of cooperation in infrastructure and
transportation development between Thailand and its neighboring countries.
PM Yingluck said that related ministers from the two governments have been
assigned to continue the discussion of all issues while Thailand’s Board of
Investment has been instructed to study all relevant laws and regulations to
facilitate Qatari investment.
Moreover, Qatar has expressed its interest in Thailand’s farming industry and
The Thai prime minister also stated that the Qatari government has confirmed her
about the lifting of its ban on Thai chicken meat, which will come into effect
within 2 weeks.
Other topics of discussion between the 2 nations included Thailand’s offer to
help Qatar in the construction of basic infrastructure needed for its upcoming
hosting of the 2012 World Cup and the medical assistance for this big event.
All in all, the Thai premier stated that her latest trip is a big success.
Parliament prepares staff for ASEAN Community with English course
BANGKOK, 17 May 2012 (NNT) - Over 2,000 members of the
parliamentary staff will be enrolled in an English language course as a
preparation for the ASEAN Community in 2015.
Deputy House Speaker Charoen Chankomol said that the Parliament is set to
enhance its staff's foreign language skill by providing 2,000 civil servants and
employees who are working at the House of Parliament with an English course with
the objective of preparing them for the country's upcoming integration into the
ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The course aims to increase the staff's ability
to speak English by 70% within 3 years time. Meanwhile, parliamentary workers
should be able to communicate in English given the new Parliament building will
be open for public visits by foreign tourists as well.
Additionally, C8-C10 parliamentary officials will also be obliged to take an
additional Chinese language course.
Thai PM hails Qatar visit
DOHA, May 16 - Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said
on Wednesday that she was satisfied with her official visit to Qatar with four
agreements inked to boost ties between the two countries, while the Gulf state
promised to lift a Thai chicken import ban within two weeks.
The Thai premier, now on a three-day official visit to Qatar,
earlier held a full panel discussion with her Qatari counterpart Sheikh Hamad
Bin Jassem Bin Jabor Al-Thani who is also foreign minister.
Ms Yingluck praised the close ties between the two countries and thanked the
Gulf state for supporting Thailand's position on its strife-torn southern border
region at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
On business talks, Qatar agreed to lift its ban on importing Thai poultry within
two weeks, while Thailand pledged to extend stay period from 30 to 90 days for
any Qatari seeking medical treatment in the kingdom to boost the domestic
The Thai premier hailed the bilateral talks as successful with the signing of
four Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) including an agreement on public health
cooperation, on employment in Qatar, cultural cooperation and on trade and
investment cooperation in agricultural products, particularly halal food.
Thailand also agreed to purchase two million tonnes of liquefied natural gas
(LNG from Qatar for electricity production, according to the Thai prime
Ms Yingluck said she has instructed the Board of Investment (BOI) to relax its
regulations to facilitate foreign investors as Qatar is interested in investing
in Thailand's several industries including the capital market.
"Qatar gives importance on food security and agreed to buy Thai agricultural
produces and further talks will be held to finalise which products are needed by
the Qataris," the premier said, "Both countries will also cooperate on public
Ms Yingluck said that Thailand and Qatar have been named by the FIFA Medical and
Research Centre (F-MARC) as FIFA Medical Center of Excellence. She said the two
countries will work together on medical personnel exchange and joint investment
as Qatar is scheduled to host the Wolrd Cup in 2022.
Earlier in the day, Ms Yingluck held talk with executives of ASPETAR, the Qatar
Orthopedic and Sports Medical Center, which has been accredited as the first
FIFA Medical Center of Excellence in the Middle East.
In Asia, only Japan, Thailand and Qatar have been named FIFA Medical Centres of
The Thai premier said she was confident that the Thailand’s world-renowned Thai
hospitals would be able to support the role of ASPETAR in the 2022 World Cup.
Bangkok Hospital, a private institution, is designated as F-MARC's Medical
Center of Excellence and, has begun work with ASPETAR.
Ms Yingluck is scheduled to leave Qatar Wednesday night and arrive Bangkok
Thursday at 7.20 am. (MCOT online news)
Storm hits North, Southeast; one killed in Chonburi
BANGKOK, May 16 – Some northern provinces were hit by heavy
downpours and gusty winds and a woman was killed in Chonburi, southeast of
Wilai Kuwentai, 65, was killed in her sleep as a large tree
branch hit her head. Her husband, Sawai, 62, was also injured as the branch hit
The Meteorological Department northern office in Chiang Mai warned of storms and
strong winds through the week.
Khomsan Suwanampha of the northern disaster response office worked with the
Chiang Mai municipality surveying damage from Tuesday night’s heavy rain to help
affected residents. Large trees and billboards were toppled, damaging homes and
In Mae Hong Son’s Pai district, a summer storm damaged houses and crops. Damage
has not been assessed, and roads remain blocked by felled trees, but civil
servants and villagers are working to clear the way to open the roads to traffic
The weather department warned of heavy rainfall and potential
flash floods across much of the country.
A high pressure ridge covers Thailand’s upper Northeast, and a moderate
southwest monsoon prevails over the Andaman Sea, the Gulf of Thailand and on
The weather system carries more rainfall over Thailand with isolated heavy to
very heavy rain in the North, the Northeast, the East and the Southwest coast.
Today through Friday residents in normally at risk areas should beware of
Winds are strong, and waves in the Andaman Sea are at a 2-metre level, with
warnings to shipping to proceed with caution during the period.
Surachai Thatkawin, an official of a disaster prevention and mitigation in
Uttaradit, coordinated with local authorities and the Army to deploy about 100
personnel to help repair more than 500 homes in Laplae and Phichai districts.
Hundreds of homes were damaged by a summer storm.
The province declared the two districts disaster zones to speed up additional
help as soon as possible.
In addition to homes, a number of orchards were also destroyed by the storm.
Residents in at risk areas were warned to brace for possible mudslide as the
rainy season is about to start.
Laplae district was hit by mudslides in 2006. (MCOT online news)
65 kg of ice seized in two cases
BANGKOK, May 16 -- Eight drug suspects, including members of
a Malaysian transnational drug ring, were arrested with about 65 kilogrammes of
crystal methamphetamine, also known as 'ice, were confiscated in two separate
cases, according to Thai police.
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrung on Wednesday chaired a news briefing at
the Royal Thai Police headquarters about the two arrests and illicit drug
seizures following the drug sweeping operations by officials of the Office of
the Narcotics Control Board and police of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau.
A combined force of drugs police and the narcotics control board apprehended six
Malaysians suspected of being part of a Malaysian transnational drug syndicate.
The suspects detained at a house in Hat Yai include Abdul Rahim Bin Kassim,
Sahat Bin Kassim, Salawati Binti Wagiyoh, Norzawati Binti Ramli and two other
Twenty six kilos of crystal meth, 22 grammes of heroin, Bt 5 million in cash,
Malaysian ringgit cash equivalent to about 770,000 baht and other assets were
impounded in the arrest.
Earlier, Malaysian authorities coordinated with Thai officials to monitor the
moves of the drug ring, police said. The detention came after the police learned
that the syndicate arranged an appointment to check the illicit drugs at the
place in Hat Yai.
The Malaysians entered southern Thailand to smuggle the drugs, sent from
northern Thailand, to sell to their customers in Malaysia.
Responding to the drug seizure, the police planned further arrests of suspects
related to the case.
In another drug case, Sutat Suay-ye and Bundit Hathaiworakarn were nabbed with
38.9 kg of ice and 40,000 methamphetamine pills.
Initial investigation showed that Mr Bundit hired Mr Sutat for Bt100,000-150,000
each time to pick up and deliver the drugs.
From Sept 11, 2011 through May 15, the Thai authorities handled 244,000 drug
cases with 235,000 suspects and assets valued at some Bt1 billion, police said.
(MCOT online news)
Police seize tiger carcasses en route to China
BANGKOK, May 16 -- The Crime Suppression Division (CSD) on
Wednesday raided a rented house in Bangkok's Khan Na Yao district today, seizing
the carcasses of two tigers, one panther and one fishing cat, and arrested one
Thai and one Vietnamese.
The suspects were identified as Thai national Chawinthorn
Thongtin and Ho Xoan Nhat, a Vietnamese.
The raid came after a tip off that the carcasses were being carried into
Thailand from Malaysia via the Sadao checkpoint in the southern Thai border
province of Songkhla and were being kept at a house while en route to China via
Laos and Vietnam.
Mr Chawinthorn told police that he was hired by a Vietnamese who was to wait for
the delivery of the carcasses in Laos. He drove to collect the contraband from
Songkhla and brought them to the house, where another man was to pick them up
later for carrying to the northeastern province of Nong Khai bordering the Lao
The suspect said he was paid Bt8,000 for each trip and there were normally three
trips per month. Drinking-water bottles were used to cover the carcasses to
avoid police at the checkpoints.
Police said each tiger carcass would be worth Bt700,000 if successfully smuggled
beyond Thailand because every part of its body could be used.
The men were charged for violating the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act.
(MCOT online news)
5,000 troops deployed in far South for school term security
BANGKOK, May 16 - 5,000 soldiers have been deployed in
Thailand’s southern border region to ensure safety of teachers and students
during the first semester of the new school year, according to Thai army chief
Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha.
The Royal Thai Army dispatched more than 5,000 soldiers to
provide security at 400 schools in the southern border provinces, to escort
education workers and students, at the start of the new semester.
Gen Prayuth however pointed out that uncertain schedules and routes from/to
schools remained an obstacle for the protection measures as the teachers and
students were susceptible to attack. Some residents, particularly teachers,
preferred to travel without the protection and that also made the mission
The army chief explained that about 10 soldiers were deployed to protect
teachers and students for each trip.
As a result, it was difficult for the soldiers to provide security thoroughly if
the education staff travelled outside the planned routes.
The personnel stationed in the restive southern region were soldiers working on
both community development and security, Gen Prayuth added.
Meanwhile, Tuesday’s meeting of the strategic committee responsible for the
strife-torn southern border provinces categorised and grouped approaches for
security and development in line with the National Security Council’s strategy,
the army chief said.
Since the unrest erupted in the restive southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and
Narathiwat in 2004, over 5,000 people, including civilians, soldiers, government
officials and insurgents were killed. (MCOT online news)
National Warning Center: Heavy rain expected throughout Thailand
BANGKOK, 16 May 2012 (NNT) – The National Warning Center has
issued the latest advice on the possibilities of scattered heavy rain throughout
the country during the next couple of days.
The National Warning Center, on Tuesday, issued its first “Heavy Rain in
Thailand” warning, dated May 15th, 2012.
The warning stated that high pressure front from China is now covering the upper
part of Thailand’s northeastern part, while the southwestern monsoon active in
both the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand is currently getting intensified.
As a result, Thailand is expected to experience more wet weather and also heavy
rain in the country’s northern, northeastern and eastern regions as well as the
western coast of the South from now until May 18th.
The National Warning Center has asked people residing in areas prone to risk
from heavy rain, including flash and wild flood to be extra-careful.
It also warned ships on the western coast of Thailand’s South to be cautious
while at sea as high waves in the Andaman Sea can be as tall as 2 meters during
Celebration for 2,600th anniversary for Buddha’s Enlightenment to be held
BANGKOK, 16 May 2012 (NNT) - A well-known Buddhism university
is prepared to organize the 9th International Day of Vesak event, with a focus
on special celebration on the 2,600th year anniversary of Buddha’s
The Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University (MCU), the Public Relations
Department, and other related organizations will organize the 9th International
Day of Vesak celebration at the University in Wangnoi, Ayutthaya from May 31st-
Most Ven. Prof. Dr. Dharmakosajarn, rector of MCU, said that the event will also
combine the 2,600th year Buddha’s Enlightenment, known as Buddhajayanti,
celebration in the event as well. It will also be organized to celebrate Her
Majesty the Queen’s 80th birthday anniversary which falls on August 12th, 2012
as well as His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn’s 60th birthday
on July 28th, 2012.
The National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT) will broadcast the event
live on May 31st and on June 2nd. The Public Relations Department will be the
TAT to hold Miracle of Thai Food and Fruit Festival 2012
BANGKOK, 16 May 2012 (NNT) – The Tourism Authority of
Thailand (TAT) is set to host the 'Miracle of Thai Food and Fruit Festival 2012'
with over 40 booths selling products from across the country in order to
stimulate the country’s tourism and economy.
The Miracle of Thai Food and Fruit Festival 2012 will feature Thai food from
four regions, popular Thai food among locals and foreigners, as well as seasonal
CNNGo has previously ranked Thai food among the 50 most delicious dishes in the
world, with Massaman Curry topping the list at number 1, followed by Tom Yum
Goong at number 8, Nam Tok Moo at 19 and Som Tam at number 46. Thus, the TAT
will help Thai entrepreneurs in boosting the economy by promoting food which are
well-known among foreigners.
The TAT expects that the organization of this event will also stimulate the
country’s tourism as well as the economy. The overall spending by the event’s
visitors last year stood at 30 billion baht. Meanwhile, a 10% growth has been
estimated for this year.
The Miracle of Thai Food and Fruit Festival 2012 will be held during 25-27 May
at Central World.
TAT hopes to present revamped Thailand Elite Card project to Cabinet by end of May
BANGKOK, 16 May 2012 (NNT) – The Thai tourism authority is
hopeful to present the revamped Thailand Elite Card project for the Cabinet to
review very soon.
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Deputy Governor Wilaiwan Tawitsri said on
Tuesday that the TAT’s work on the operational restructuring of Thailand
Privilege Card Company Limited (TPC), which is in charge of the Thailand Elite
Card project, is nearing completion.
Ms. Wilaiwan stated that the result of the revamp is expected to be ready for
presentation to Deputy Prime Minister and Tourism Minister Chumpol Silapa-archa
on May 29th.
She said that, by meeting the expected deadline, Mr. Chumpol will be able to
present all information for the Cabinet to consider, in hopes of receiving an
80-million-baht emergency budget for the TPC to continue its operation until the
end of December 2012.
The TAT Deputy Governor conceded that, if the to-be-proposed project receives a
Cabinet approval, a new budget of 200 million baht will likely be acquired to
pursue further upgrade of the company.
Government to step up work to resolve insurgency
BANGKOK, May 15 - Deputy Prime Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapa
said on Tuesday that the government will step up integrated work of all
concerned agencies to tackle violence in Thailand's restive southern border
region, while threatened to withdraw budget allocated to agencies in case of
The deputy premier made the remark ahead of the first meeting
of the newly-established strategic committee responsible for the strife-torn
southern border provinces this afternoon to prepare for a workshop with all
concerned agencies scheduled for Thursday.
He said, from now on, a politically-driven approach and development will lead
the military operations.
"We will instruct concerned ministries, as it has been eight years now, but
there is not much progress in tackling problems in the far South due to
discontinuous policies towards the region and lack of integration of related
bodies," the deputy premier stated.
Gen Yuthasak said there will be performance assessments every three months, and
if any ministry cannot achieve the goal set in the strategic framework, the
budget which has been allocated to it will be returned to the government.
The deputy premier added that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will be
informed of the failed performance of the assigned ministry and this can also be
considered as the personal failure of the minister.
Regarding the recent grenade attack at a Red Cross Fair in Narathiwat
municipality which injured one soldier and five local residents, Gen Yuthasak
said an investigation is underway but he believed the assailants were the same
persons who had launched previous attacks to create daily disturbance in the
More than 5,000 people, including civilians, soldiers, government officials and
insurgents were killed since violence erupted in the restive southern provinces
of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat in 2004. (MCOT online news)
PM satisfied with discussions with Bahraini leaders
MANAMA, May 15 -- Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on
Monday hailed her Bahrain visit as successful and voiced satisfaction with her
discussions with Bahraini leaders as the two countries were ready to push ahead
for food and agricultural products cooperation.
Ms Yingluck who was on an official visit to Bahrain told Thai
media that she was received very warmly by the Bahraini side and that her
official visit was highly successful. She said Bahrain needed food security and
Thailand could send food products to Bahrain and use the country as a centre for
goods distribution, particularly of agricultural products such as rice, fruit,
and frozen chicken.
Moreover, she said, Thailand’s halal food industry will benefit from this
The Thai premier said that Bahrain is interested in renewable energy and there
were opportunities for Thailand to cooperate in this field in the future.
Earlier in the day, Ms Yingluck presided over the opening of a conference for
Thai and Bahraini businessmen to promote trade and investment between the two
countries’ private sectors.
She said she is confident that the Thai and Bahraini
governments will support businesses to expand trade and investment in potential
Ms Yingluck added that Thailand and Bahrain have had a cordial relationship for
35 years, mainly in economic and trade cooperation since diplomatic relations
were established. The prime minister expressed her appreciation to the Bahraini
government in assisting Thailand during the major flood in 2011.
The prime minister assured the private sectors of both countries on business
opportunities in Thailand and Bahrain. The business focus included halal
industry, agriculture, and food security.
Thailand was pleased to join in various infrastructure projects in Bahrain such
as the airport development project, as well as an mobile phone and internet
development project, she said, adding that Thailand welcomed Bahraini
Another area of focus would be the connectivity between people, tourism
promotion, service industries, as well as the meetings and incentives
Ms Yingluck earlier visited Alfateh Grand Mosque and met with religious leaders.
She reiterated that every Thai Muslim is legally equal and has the same
political rights and freedom as all Thai people. (MCOT online news)
DDPM: 4 provinces no longer drought zones while more rain is forecasted
BANGKOK, 15 May 2012 (NNT) Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation
(DDPM) has removed 4 provinces from the list of 51 drought-hit provinces. The
department also revealed that more rain is forecasted during May 16-19.
DDPM’s General Director Viboon Sanguanwong said 4 provinces are no longer
considered drought disaster zones, reducing the number of affected provinces to
47. At present, two provinces in the list plagued by severe drought are Mukdahan
and Loei provinces.
Regarding the nation’s water supplies, Mr Viboon said major dams across the
country are currently holding 38.011 billion cu/m of water, 54% more than the
water volume of the previous year.
He added that according to the weather bureau, scattered thundershowers can be
expected in all regions of the kingdom, resulting in higher volume of rain
during May 16-19.
Following the forecast, the DDPM has instructed relevant agencies to prepare to
tackle possible floods, storms, mudslides and high tidal waves. DDPM offices
nationwide have been ordered to closely monitor the situation and to provide
assistance to residents affected by the expected heavy rain.
Single approach to southern unrest being streamlined by ISC and SPBAC
BANGKOK, 15 May 2012 (NNT)-The National Security Council (NSC) will host a
strategic meeting aimed at restoring peace in the South.
Deputy Prime Minister General Yuthasak Sasriprapa said the NSC will convene a
meeting on May 17th to give directions to each unit that is part of the southern
mission to follow.
General Yuthasak said this would help those involved in restoring peace in the
South know exactly what their responsibilities are and determine the size of
The Strategic meeting is a joint effort between the Internal Security Council
(ISC) and the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre (SBPAC), which the
General said would create a single approach to the solving of the southern
According to the General, it has been difficult to achieve peace restoration in
the past given the two agencies have been working independently and often in
different directions, depending on which political party was in power the at the
The General said, however, now that the two units are on the same page, their
progress will be assessed every 3 months. He added their allocated budget would
be withdrawn if they made no progress. Their failures would also be reported to
the Prime Minister.
Royal rainmaking operation launched to alleviate drought
NAKHON SAWAN, 15 May 2012 (NNT) – With the collaboration of
the Bureau of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation and the Royal Thai Air
Force, a royal rainmaking operation was officially launched in Nakhon Sawan
province on Monday to relieve the drought crisis, which has struck many areas of
Presiding over the launch of the royal rainmaking operation, Advisor to the
Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Banharn Silpa-archa said that Thailand
will be seeing little rainfall this year. With the objective of assisting
residents outside irrigation zones, royal rainmaking operation centers have been
established to receive petition for rain and assist the public nationwide.
Currently, there are five royal rainmaking operation centers located in the
North, the Central Plain, the Northeast, the East and the South.
As of February 20, a total of 11 royal rainmaking operation units have been
established while over 1,500 royal rainmaking operations have been carried out
so far, producing rain to circulate in all 56 drought-hit provinces across the
All 11 royal rainmaking operation units will continue to provide assistance to
the people until the end of the rainy season in October. The operation's main
goal is to alleviate the lack of rainfall as well as to raise the water in
reservoirs to a sufficient level to prepare for the next drought season.
Science Minister: Floods caused by inefficient water management
BANGKOK, 15 May 2012 (NNT) – The Science and Technology
Minister has admitted that inefficient water resources management is the root to
the country’s inundation problem while insisting that the construction of Mae
Wong Dam will not cause environmental impact.
Speaking at a seminar concerning the flood crisis and budget allocation for
appropriate water management in the future, Science and Technology Minister
Plodprasop Suraswadi conceded that apart from natural disasters, the flood
situation in the country has been exacerbated by the lack of an efficient water
Additionally, the construction of Mae Wong Dam will be carried on in order to
hold water from the North. The Minister has expressed confidence that the dam
will not produce any impact on the environment.
Meanwhile, Dr. Thanawat Charupongsakul, an expert at the disaster and geographic
information study unit, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, views the
problem of inundation as a result of the lack of coordination between urban
expansion and canal dredging. At the same time, he commented that the Strategic
Committee for Water Resources Management (SCWRM)'s flood solution, which mainly
focuses on flood prevention constructions, has failed to take into account
certain social dimensions and public cooperation. Dr. Thanawat also expressed
his disapproval of the floodwall construction along rivers and around industrial
estates, given its impact on the residents within its vicinities.
On the other hand, Vice President of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI)
Jane Namchaisiri sees the construction of the floodwalls around industrial
estates as a confidence-building measure. However, if a flood occurs, production
and transportation will still be impacted. Mr. Jane has, on this occasion,
suggested that the water management plan must stress on the participation of all
Chemical explosion victims ask for compensations
RAYONG, 15 May 2012
(NNT) – Victims of the recent chemical plant explosion in Map Ta Phut Industrial
Estate in Rayong province have asked for their compensations after the accident
incurred a large number of injuries and deaths.
Over 100 residents from Soi Ruam Pattana Community in Map Ta Phut Municipality
gathered in their communal area on Monday to demand compensations from BST
Elastomers Company Limited, of which chemical factory exploded and had gas
leakage on May 5. Eleven people were killed in the accident and over 140 others
Representatives from the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, Rayong’s
Mueang District Office, Map Ta Phut Municipality and BST Elastomers were also
present to listen to the protesters, who requested compensation plans from the
company within three days.
The BST Elastomers representative expressed his apology for the accident,
assuring the protesters that the company will compensate them for their
suffering. He also vowed that the dead will not be overlooked as their families
will be fully compensated as well as taken care of.