All schools in Thailand’s southernmost provinces reopen normally
YALA, Dec 17 -- All schools in Thailand’s three
southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala as well as four
districts of Songkhla reopen normally amid tight security and worry on
the part of teachers who have a heightened sense of having become prime
targets for attack.
The Malaysian border provinces have been the scene or a renewed
low-level insurgency since 1994.
In Yala, schools that closed December 13-14 by resolution of the
Federation of Teachers in Three Southern Provinces have reopened, while
joint military and police operations are providing security around the
The security measures now cover school premises as well as outside, at
the demand of the teachers federation to foster confidence among
educators who work in the violence plagued southern border provinces.
Meanwhile, 125 schools in four border districts of Songkhla -- Chana,
Thepha, Na Thawi and Saba Yoi -- are also reopened as students and
teachers came to school in the early morning.
The schools were closed Thursday and Friday to permit security agencies
to assess their operations in providing teacher protection, after two
teachers were killed when insurgents invaded a school lunchroom at Baan
Bango School in Mayo district on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra made an inspection trip to Pattani on
Thursday and listened to concerns of educators from several southern
provinces. Teachers demanded better security measures following the
murder of several of their colleagues and local residents in the past
Ms Yingluck promised to provide them full welfare, risk and
rehabilitation payments. (MCOT online news)
Poll: Economy, violence, politics and drugs top Thai people’s woes
BANGKOK, Dec 17 – Economic constraints, violence in
Thailand’s South, political conflicts, constitutional amendment and drug
trafficking are the five topmost concerns among Thai people, according
to an independent survey.
The poll, conducted by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, reveals that
40.26% of the respondents complained about economic hardship, rocketing
commodity prices and inability to make ends meet, saying they have to
think twice before spending, buy only necessities and find extra jobs to
earn additional income.
The decade-long crisis in Thailand’s far South bothers 18.57% of the
people most, who proposed military and police reinforcement and harsher
punishment against insurgents in the region.
Of three other concerns raised in the survey, 17.53% said they wished
for an end to the years of ongoing political conflicts and looked
forward to national reconciliation, 12.30% feel uneasy with the public
uproars over constitution amendment and 11.34% wanted efficient action
on drug problem.
Asked about their sympathy for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, half
of the respondents pitied her for widespread corruption in various
government projects, 20% cited her political inexperience and inept
public speeches, almost one-fifth feel sorry for her inability to act
independently due to ex-premier Thaksin’s (her brother’s) shadow over
her, and 12.38% say pressure on her is extreme, especially from the
opposition and academics.
Former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is sympathised by almost half of
the respondents for the murder charge against him by the Department of
Special Investigation, which accused him of conspiring in the murder of
civilians during the 2010 political upheaval. One-third of them say it’s
an uphill task for Mr Abhisit, as leader of the opposition bloc, to
check the performance of the government which enjoys a majority in the
Lower House. Some respondents say it is unfair that Mr Abhisit’s
personal issues, including military conscription, were brought up and
attacked again, and his Democrat Party is isolated in the opposition
What will dampen people’s merriment most during the New Year holiday?
Their replies are accident and traffic congestion (35.79%), exorbitant
commodity prices, insufficient money to spend and give as gifts to
parents (25.74%), domestic unrest, political conflicts and rallies
(19.31%), crisis in three southernmost provinces of Thailand (13.87%)
and natural disaster and the predicted doomsday (5.29%). (MCOT online
Land Transport Department prepares road safety to welcome New Year holiday
BANGKOK, Dec 16 - Land Transport Department is
preparing road safety measures for commuters to welcome the coming
Christmas and New Year holidays.
The department's director-general Somchai Siriwattanachok said many
people are expected to travel during the festivities despite only a few
days off as public holidays.
He said his department is cooperating with the Vocational Education
Commission Office, private sector, and other automobile companies,
opening up over 2,000 checkpoints for vehicle capacity check-ups for the
general public before their travel.
According to Somchai, passengers opt for more van services as a choice
of travel, therefore public vans are restricted to carry no more than 15
passengers each at speeds of no more than 90km/hour for safety reasons.
Meanwhile, Transport Company President Wuttichart Kalayanamitr said at
least one million passengers are forecast to use services of the
company's buses, or about 250,000 passengers/day, over the four-day New
Year holiday period from Dec 29-Jan 1.
Transport Company has ordered another 50 buses to serve during this
period, thus increasing the number of rounds of bus services during the
New Year holiday to 7,000/day from the usual 5,000. (MCOT online news)
Police arrest three with Bt250 million drug haul
BANGKOK, Dec 14 -- Three suspected members of drug
syndicate were arrested in Pathum Thani with 500,000 methamphetamine
pills and 50 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine or 'ice' with an
estimated street value of Bt250 million.
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrong, in charge of national drug
suppression, told a news briefing of the arrest of three suspects
identified as Chartchai Chanphukhew, Kongsak Woomae, both Chiang Rai
natives, and Chen Xiangye, a woman with Chinese nationality.
Personnel from the Narcotics Control Board searched two housing estates
in Pathum Thani's Lam Luk Ka district and seized a half-million meth
pills and 50 kilos of ice.
The investigators said the three were members of a Chinese drug ring but
its leading members are still at large and hiding along the border.
Arrest warrants will be issued for them.
Mr Chalerm said that he would visit Chiang Rai next week to seek
cooperation from local leaders including village heads to inform the
authorities on drug smuggling.
Narcotics Board Sec-Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen said that the drug gangs
buy or rent houses in suburban Bangkok housing estates to store drugs
before delivering to customers.
Pol Gen Pongsawat said the anti-narcotics agency will searching the
housing estates where drug gangs are suspected to be sheltering. (MCOT
Deputy PM Chalerm woos village headmen to fight southern insurgency
BANGKOK, Dec 14 – Village and community leaders in
insurgent violence-affected provinces in Thailand’s far South will be
asked to lend their hands to the government’s counter-insurgency
response, Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrung said today.
He said he instructed governors of the four southernmost provinces –
Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla – to meet with subdistrict and
village leaders to relay his message with a promise of extra rewards if
they are successful.
Mr Chalerm has quite publicly only reluctantly assumed directorship of
the Operations Centre on Strategic Policy and Solutions to Problems in
Southern Provinces, a position assigned to him by Prime Minister
Since taking his cabinet post in the present government, he has avoided
travelling to the insurgency-plagued southern region. He said Thursday
that he would have turned down the new assignment if the premier had
informed him in advance.
The deputy premier said he will meet with Asis Pitakkumpol, a Muslim
spiritual leader, on January 7 to discuss the southern quagmire. He also
plans to appear on television to address the public on the southern
“The Foreign Ministry will be asked to inform the Muslim world about the
brutal shootings of teachers in the South so that financial support to
the southern insurgents are suspended,” Mr Chalerm said.
He said he will travel to Malaysia and Indonesia to “solve the southern
problem externally since tackling it internally alone is not
successful.” (MCOT online news)
Thailand's coalition parties back referendum ahead of charter change
BANGKOK, Dec 14 – Thailand’s government coalition
bloc today advocated a referendum to decide whether the constitution
amendment should go ahead on the parliamentary third reading.
Jarupong Ruangsuwan, Interior Minister and leader of the ruling Pheu
Thai Party, said all political parties in the coalition deem that the
referendum is necessary to avoid conflicts among different quarters in
“The government should sound out Thai people’s opinions on whether the
2009 constitution needs changes for more legitimacy and democratic
equality,” he said. “There should be an election of members of the
constitution drafting assembly to write a new charter in which the
sections on the constitutional monarchy and the royal institution will
Mr Jarupong said the government should support and cooperate with all
political parties, academic institutions, democratic organisations and
the people in creating understanding on the reasons behind the
Once the result is announced, everyone should respect the result, he
Justice Minister Pracha Promnok said he will submit the multi-party
resolution on referendum to the cabinet next Tuesday for consideration.
The resolution was reached today in a meeting of political parties in
the government bloc including the Pheu Thai, Chat Thai Pattana, Chat
Pattana and Palang Chon parties. (MCOT online news)
Over 60 teachers in Narathiwat seek
transfers from insurgent active areas
NARATHIWAT, Dec 14 - Sixty-two teachers requested transfers from schools
in active insurgency areas in this southern border province after a
mounting campaign of assassination directed at teachers by the
Charnwit Rangsau, a lawyer in the Primary Education Zone One in
Narathiwat, said that teachers fear for their safety after successive
recent attacks on teachers.
157 teachers have been killed since the insurgency reemerge in the
troubled region in early 2004.
The Federation of Teachers in Three Southern Provinces this week close
all schools yesterday and today to permit security agencies ‘sufficient
time’ to assess their operations in providing teacher protection after
two teachers were killed when apparent insurgents invaded a school
lunchroom at Baan Bango School in Mayo district on Tuesday. (MCOT online
DSI boss undiscouraged in Democrat leaders 'murder' case
BANGKOK, Dec 14 – Thailand’s embattled chief investigator Tarit Pengdith
vowed today to continue his probe into the fatal shootings of 91
civilians in 2010 which implicated two Democrat Party heavyweights and
drew public criticism.
Giving assurances that transparency would be maintained in the
investigation, the director general of the Department of Special
Investigation (DSI) told a press conference that he will not resign as
chief of the investigative team.
“I don’t want to simply walk away and leave the pressure to my
subordinates,” he said.
He said the charges against former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva and his
then-deputy Suthep Thaugsuban was co-signed by Panupong Chotisin,
executive director of the Attorney General Office who agreed with the
The DSI charged the two Democrat MPs with conspiring in the fatal
shootings of 91 protesters in the 2010 political demonstrations in
Bangkok in their capacities as heads of the then government and the
Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES), specially
set up to keep public order.
Mr Tarit said the defendants signed to acknowledge the charges against
them but gave only verbal acknowledgement to the DSI’s four-point
condition which, among other points, bars them from leaving the country
and appearing at the podium or on public stages in political gatherings.
Mr Abhisit said after appearing before the DSI Thursday yesterday that
he rejected all the charges against him and Mr Suthep and refused to
acknowledge the DSI’s four-point condition.
At the four-hour hearing, the Democrat MPs were fingerprinted – a
procedure made behind closed doors but a photo of them was shown on a
social media network last night.
Mr Tarit said he has set up a committee to investigate the leak of the
photo to the public. He argued that some Democrats who accompanied the
pair made photographs with their mobile phones. (MCOT online news)
Abhisit, Suthep reject DSI charges, refuse future appearances
BANGKOK, Dec 14 – Former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva and his then-deputy Suthep
Thaugsuban flatly rejected all charges laid against them by the Department of
Special Investigation (DSI) yesterday and declared they would never appear
before the DSI in the future.
In a four-hour appearance before the DSI on Thursday, they denied the DSI
allegations of their involvement in the shootings of protesters in the 2010
political upheaval in Bangkok which resulted in the deaths of 91 people.
They refused to sign the DSI’s four-point statement of conditions which, among
others things, bans them from travelling overseas.
Mr Abhisit said he would not appear before the DSI again, but that he would
provide documents if additional information is required.
He said he will continue to appear on political stages and travel abroad without
seeking DSI permission since he has never intended to flee.
The DSI also charged him with giving financial contributions to the Democrat
Party by deducting funds from his parliamentary salary, but he has never signed
a cheque for the purpose. Mr Abhisit is leader of the Democrat Party.
DSI Director General Tarit Pengdit is hosting a press conference on the subject
today. (MCOT online news)
Schools in four Songkhla districts remain closed
SONGKHLA, Dec 14 -- Schools in four districts of Songkhla remained closed as
teachers in so-called "red zones"--deemed by the authorities as high rsk --
urged the government to step up security measures for teacher protection similar
to the measures provided for teachers in the neighbouring three southernmost
provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala.
Schools in the four districts under the Office of the Songkhla Educational
Service Area Zone 3 are closed for the second day in accordance with the
resolution of the Federation of Teachers in Three Southern Provinces.
The Federation on Wednesday agreed to close all schools yesterday and today to
permit security agencies sufficient time to assess their operations in providing
teacher protection after two teachers were killed when apparent insurgents
invaded a school lunchroom at Baan Bango School in Mayor district on Tuesday.
Teachers working in the “red zones”, villages with high rates of insurgent
activity, are worried that they could be targets of insurgent attack as well.
The Songkhla teachers called for government protection including the same
security measures as teachers in the three southernmost provinces.
The schools will reopen Monday or not would depend on the Federation's decision.
(MCOT online news)
Hesitating deputy premier decides to make southern trip
BANGKOK, Dec 13 – Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrung today admitted anxiety
over his latest assignment to fight against the southern insurgency, saying he
would have turned down the job if Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had
informed him before the appointment.
“I will make an inspection trip to the South now that my fear (of the southern
violence) has subsided. I was initially concerned but I feel less anxious since
the prime minister officially instructed me to do the job. I won’t tell you why
I was afraid,” he said.
Mr Chalerm, who was appointed director of the Operations Centre on Strategic
Policy and Solutions to Problems in Southern Provinces, said the government is
determined to solve the southern problems and it has so far fared better than
the previous government under the Democrat Party.
“We have not failed as claimed by some people,” he insisted.
Citing insufficient manpower to cope with the southern crisis, the deputy
premier said he has instructed the governors of five southern provinces to
assign more peacekeeping personnel to subdistrict and village leaders since they
know their neighbourhoods best.
In his new capacity as director of the operations centre, Mr Chalerm said he
will evaluate the authorities’ performance every six months, and the situation
every 24 hours in order to improve regular operations without having to
restructure the centre.
He said he will also invite Democrat MP Tavorn Senniam to seek advice and
exchange information on resolutions to southern problems as well as hold talks
with high-level people in the field.
The southern violence has worsened and hundreds of state-run schools are closed
again following a spate of attacks, many fatal, against teachers, civilians and
government personnel in the past few weeks. (MCOT online news)
Thailand, Malaysia to discuss border issues in Phuket
BANGKOK, Dec 13 – Thailand and Malaysia will hold two meetings on Thailand’s
resort island of Phuket this week to strengthen bilateral cooperation.
Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul was interviewed today in his
capacity as foreign minister about the third Ministerial Meeting of Joint
Development Strategy for Border Areas (JDS) between Thailand and Malaysia and
the twelfth Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JC), scheduled here
tomorrow and Saturday.
The meeting will deal with bilateral cooperation in all matters, the Thai
minister said, adding that Malaysia is ready to coordinate in resolving
problems, particularly the issue of dual nationality.
Malaysia has a civil registration database ready but Thailand has not yet linked
its data base.
Mr Surapong also said killings in Thailand’s southern border provinces this week
will be raised at the meeting as Thailand needs to explain the situation to its
Asked if the insurgency in Thailand's far South will be on the agenda, the Thai
foreign minister said it is Thailand’s domestic problem. Malaysia expressed its
concern over the issue and is ready to help if Thailand asks for cooperation to
tackle the problem as it used to help the Philippines.
Mr Surapong also said that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
countries should be peaceful before the formation of the ASEAN Economic
Community (AEC) as foreign investors need confidence to do business in the
According to a press release on the Foreign Ministry's website, the Third JDS
Meeting is aimed at promoting physical, institutional and people to people
connectivity along the border areas between Thailand and Malaysia.
On infrastructure, expediting construction of two proposed bridges across the
Golok River linking Narathiwat province with Kelantan state at Sungai
Golok-Rantau Panjang and Tak Bai-Pengkalan Kubor, and integration of a
development plan and special economic zones of CIQ Sadao-Bukit Kayu Hitam will
The meeting will also request agencies concerned to speed up agreeing on new
Framework on Inter-State and Transit Transport of Goods and Passengers between
Thailand and Malaysia.
The 12th JC Meeting will emphasise cooperation on dual citizenship, trade and
investment promotion, convening a Second Joint Trade Committee Meeting (JTC) in
March in Chiang Mai, and cooperation on rubber matters. (MCOT online news)
Southern teachers welcome PM Yingluck's gesture of assistance
PATTANI, Dec 14 – Teachers in three insurgency troubled provinces in Thailand’s
far South were satisfied to a certain extent after Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra promised to fully provide them with welfare, risk and rehabilitation
In a meeting with educators from the Federation of Teachers in Three Southern
Provinces here on Thursday, the premier agreed to set up an ad hoc committee on
security for teachers.
Federation Chairman Bunsom Thongsriprai said the teachers submitted a proposal
on security measures for teachers which the prime minister accepted.
Pattani Governor Pramook Lamun said the prime minister vowed to lend her full
support to achieve the people’s better quality of life and public order.
The prime minister also promised to improve the economic situation, particularly
among female occupational groups, he said.
It was agreed that measures to tackle southern violence must be worked out on a
province-by-province basis, he said, adding that military reinforcements will be
needed in risk-prone areas while personnel from the Southern Border Provinces
Administrative Centre and civic groups will monitor less-sensitive areas.
Defence volunteers will join in security protection for civilians and more
closed-circuit television cameras will be installed to monitor teachers’
movements, the governor said.
Ms Yingluck made an inspection trip to Pattani yesterday and listened to
concerns of educators from several southern provinces. The teachers demanded
better security measures following the murder of several of their colleagues and
local residents in the past few weeks.
The premier stayed overnight in the South after meeting the teachers and senior
state officials. (MCOT online news)
Abhisit, Suthep hear charges at DSI
BANGKOK, Dec 13 – Thailand’s former prime minister Abhisit
Vejjajiva and his then-deputy Suthep Thaugsuban appeared before the country’s
Department of Special Investigation today, affirming that they will contest all
charges against them without compromising or fleeing the country.
Greeted by supporters at the Democrat Party head office before leaving for the
DSI headquarters, Mr Abhisit thanked them for not gathering at the DSI to avoid
possible confrontation with Red Shirt activists.
The Democrat leader and his deputy are to acknowledge charges of conspiring in
the fatal shootings of Red Shirt demonstrators during the 2010 political
demonstrations in Bangkok in which 91 people were filled.
He speculated that the DSI will apply an additional charge involving donations
to the Democrat Party, calling the DSI to add the new allegation so that they
will acknowledge all the changes together at one time.
Mr Abhisit said he and Mr Suthep had never intended to assault the public but
they had the responsibility to return order for the public when violence
occurred and when weapons were used.
“I’m neither a coward nor a crook, though I may be a little stingy,” he said.
“I’m confident in my innocence and I’ll fight straightforwardly without making
“I will accept it [even] if the court’s verdict on me is the death sentence. I
abide by Thai law and if convicted I must be jailed in Thailand. May the Thai
people be assured that the truth will eventually prevail.” (MCOT online news)
Educators in Thai South close schools after two teachers killed in Pattani
PATTANI, Dec 12 – Thailand’s teachers in the besieged southernmost provinces,
represented by their Teachers Federation, on Wednesday endorsed a collective
decision to close all schools in the provinces one day after presumed insurgents
entered a school in Pattani and killed a teacher and the school principal.
The two teachers were shot dead while they were having lunch in the Baan Bango
school in Mayor district on Tuesday.
The federation meeting action effectively closes all school tomorrow and Friday
(December 13-14), to permit security agencies time to assess their operation in
providing teachers’ protection, find and apprehend those who are guilty of
attacking and killing the teachers.
The teachers are asking the security agencies to propose improved security plans
to protect teachers on Monday.
Federation representatives conceded that both Buddhist and Muslim teachers fear
for their safety and dare not to go to school.
Schools will reopen if the teachers can be confident in their safety and in the
security that is provided. However, if their demands are not met, the educators
will again reassess the situation and announce their next decision. (MCOT online
UNICEF calls for end to violence against children in Thailand’s deep South
BANGKOK, Dec 12 – United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) urged an immediate
halt to violence against children in Thailand’s restive southern provinces,
where an 11-month-old girl was among five people killed in an attack at a
Narathiwat tea house on Tuesday.
In a statement published on the UNICEF website, Bijaya Rajbhandari, UNICEF
Representative in Thailand, termed the slayings “a tragic, senseless and
unacceptable act” and called upon all parties involved “to use every means at
their disposal to end the violence and ensure that all children are protected
The infant girl, Infani Samo, was killed early Tuesday morning when gunmen armed
with automatic weapons sprayed gunfire into a tea house in Narathiwat’s Rangae
More than 50 children have been killed and some 340 wounded in Thailand’s
southern border provinces since the resurgence of violence in January 2004. In
total, more than 5,000 people have lost their lives as a result of the violence.
In late October this year, an 11-year-old boy was slain along with his father
when gunmen fired on their pickup truck in Yala’s Raman district.
“Every time a child is killed or injured, every time a child loses a parent or
relative, and every time their schools and teachers are attacked, the more all
children in the deep south suffer,” Mr Rajbhandari said. “Bringing an end to the
violence is the only way to ensure that the rights of all children in the south
are fully protected and respected.” (MCOT online news)
Army chief says money alone cannot end southern insurgency
BANGKOK, Dec 13 – Without civic cooperation, the decade-long violence in
Thailand’s far South will not be resolved despite the government’s allocation of
a huge anti-insurgency budget, according to Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha.
He was apparently referring to the government’s approval of a new Bt7 billion
budget to combat the southern insurgency which has recently escalated with a
series of fatal shootings of civilians and teachers.
The army chief today accompanies Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to inspect
the southern region and join a meeting of state officials in charge of security.
Gen Prayuth said 70 per cent of the Bt7 billion budget (about US$225 million)
will go to salaries and allowances for military forces on duty in the
“Everyone has asked for total safety, which is impossible in the present
situation. Not only teachers but state officials are prone to attacks,” he said.
“In the past, some teachers did not want soldiers to be near them or provide
security to their schools for fear of becoming targets of attack.”
He said the military is willing to withdraw its forces from the South if local
security authorities including defence volunteers and police are ready to take
care of the situation. (MCOT online news)
400-strong police contingent to guard DSI at tomorrow’s ‘legal showdown’
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BANGKOK, Dec 12 – Some 400 police officers will provide security at the
Department of Special Investigation (DSI) tomorrow when former Thai premier
Abhisit Vejjajiva and his ex-deputy Suthep Thaugsuban appear to acknowledge
charges of conspiring in the murder of civilians during the 2010 political
protest in Bangkok.
DSI Director General Tarit Pengdith today made a thorough inspection in and
around the agency’s headquarters to ensure public order given reports that two
opposing civic groups will gather there tomorrow.
The DSI will charge Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep with conspiring in the fatal
shootings of demonstrators during the anti-government protest in the capital in
2010 which resulted in the deaths of 91 people.
According to the DSI, Mr Abhisit was held responsible for the murder in his
capacity as prime minister and consequently the commander of the
specially-established Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situation (CRES).
Mr Suthep was appointed director of the CRES which deployed military forces to
maintain order at the demonstration grounds.
Mr Tarit urged the two conflicting groups who may rally at the agency tomorrow
to keep their distance from one another.and avoid clashes, but gave assurances
that preparations of tear gas and batons are unnecessary.
He said the acknowledgement procedure, which should take about three hours,
involves the pair’s testimonies to the investigative committee.
Mr Abhisit asked his supporters to give him moral support at the Democrat Party
headquarters, but told them to not go to DSI headquarters to avoid any possible
clash with its rival group.
A group of Red Shirt activists gathered at the DSI this morning, presented
flowers to Mr Tarit and complimented him for carrying out the investigation
against the two Democrats. They said they represented 12 community radio
Mr Tarit accepted the bouquet after which the Red Shirt activists shouted in
unison:“Tarit, fight on! Tarit, fight on!.” (MCOT online news)
PM will meet southern teachers in Pattani tomorrow
BANGKOK, Dec 12 -- Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will travel to Thailand’s
southern provinces tomorrow to meet teachers to discuss security measures as
teachers have become primary targets for being killed by insurgents.
Ms Yingluck said she will visit Pattani to hear first hand information from
teachers working in the area, to listen to their concerns and recommendations,
and to discuss security measures for their protection.
She said the government is ready to help revive the shattered morale of the
teachers as they are now under attack as four teachers were slain and one wound
in the past three weeks.
The premier said the government is not only paying attention to the needs of
teacher but it must be concerned for the safety and well being of all the
The Ministry of Education was instructed to work closely with teachers in the
southern border provinces, to listen to their problems and to seek solutions
As for the recommendation to establish a special force to provide special
protection to teachers, Ms Yingluck said there is a possibility to set up of
such a security force but no details have not yet been discussed.
The premier also called for unity among the various agencies to integrate their
dealings with the southern problems as many ministries are involved.
More security personnel are needed, she said, as there are many teachers and
schools in the area while they did not have such items as bulletproof vests and
Ms Yingluck said the government has approved an increase in the number of police
in the southern region, but she explained that new recruits are still undergoing
She said that the insurgents have taken the opportunity while the police were
preparing reinforcements to launch new attacks.
Ms Yingluck today presided at the first meeting of a committee to implement
policies and strategies to solve problems in the deep South at Government House.
The meeting resolved to set up a centre for implementing policies and strategies
for solving problems in the deep South and appoint Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm
Yubumrung as its director. (MCOT online news)
Number of LINE users in Thailand passes 10 million
BANGKOK, Dec 12 - Tech-frenzy Thailand has up to 10.2 million LINE users, an
increase of 1,150 per cent in just one year. This intriguing number, a large
chunk of the total 85 million users worldwide, has grown rapidly.
Lee Jin-woo, LINE Business Office senior manager of NHN Corp. and overseeing
business in Thailand, stated that most Thai users enjoy sending stickers to
other users as a way to express emotions and communicate through smart-phone
Users in Thailand are active purchasers of Line stickers, while at the same time
also enjoying the free selections of stickers available on the hit-application.
More important, alongside its conveniences in communication, LINE has also
joined with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in launching a special
sticker collection that promotes Thailand's tourism wonders.
Similar stickers will also showcase destinations such as Malaysia, Singapore and
By 2013, LINE will officially launch up to 10 more applications for all users to
enjoy. Without doubt, it has become an aspiring means for the public to
communicate and express thoughts, he said. (MCOT online news)
Southern teachers’ federation to meet following deaths of two more teachers in Pattani
PATTANI, Dec 12 -- The Confederation of Teachers of the Three Southern Border
Provinces will consider their next move after two more teachers including a
school principal were killed in Pattani on Tuesday.
Boonsom Thongsriprai, chairman of the Confederation of Teachers of the Three
Southern Border Provinces, expressed sorrow at the deaths of two more teachers
despite security measures being stepped up to give protection for teachers
working in the southern border provinces.
He said that the Confederation is convening a meeting of school administrators
and teachers from three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat
and from three districts of Songkhla today to assess the situation and review
security measures for teachers.
He said the attacks against teachers have severely affected the morale of
teachers particularly Buddhist teachers.
That the teachers have become the target recently was the intention of the
insurgents as the teachers were soft target, he said.
Mr Boonsom said until now there has been no decision whether Pattani schools
will be closed in response to the latest attack.
The meeting came after a male teacher and a female school principal at Ban Ba
Ngo School in Mayo district were shot to death inside their school in the
latest—and most intrusive--fatal attack on teachers to date.
Ban Ba Ngo School remained closed today after the incident panicked teachers and
students. (MCOT online news)
Thai rice to aid Philippine disaster victims
BANGKOK, Dec 12 – Thailand will donate 500 tonnes of rice to
the Philippines for distribution to people suffering from Typhoon Bopha which
hit the southern island of Mindanao last week.
The Commerce Ministry informed the cabinet Tuesday that rice from this year’s
second harvest will be shipped to the island country to help disaster-hit people
who are facing shortages of food and medical supplies.
The assistance is a display of friendship from Thailand to a member country of
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. In addition, the Philippines has
been a long-time importer of Thai rice, both on a governmental and private
sector basis, said deputy government spokesman Pakdiharn Himathongkam.
In the past five years, Thailand has donated rice to countries suffering from
natural disasters including 1,000 tonnes to China for flash floods and an
earthquake in 2007, 1,000 tonnes to Bangladesh after a cyclone in 2007, 660
tonnes to the Philippines after a typhoon in 2010 and 20,000 tonnes to Haiti
after its earthquake in 2010. (MCOT online news)
Lao, 2 Thais nabbed for forcing Lao girls into prostitution
BANGKOK, Dec 12 – Thailand’s Department of Special
Investigation (DSI) has arrested a Lao woman and two Thais for human trafficking
and forcing Lao girls under age 18 into prostitution in Thailand’s far southern
province of Narathiwat.
DSI Director General Tarit Pengdit said Ms Boulaphanh who carries a Lao passport
and two Thai men, identified as Pricha Mongkolprajak and Paiboon Sae-Lim, were
apprehended as a result of information given by a Thai man who was earlier
sentenced to 50 years’ imprisonment on similar charges.
The Thai inmate, Sathit Sarawan, was jailed after the court found him guilty of
human trafficking and supplying Lao girls to karaoke outlets in Narathiwat
through Ms Buolaphanh.
Authorities said the three suspects have supplied at least 1,200 Lao girls to
about 100 karaoke shops in Narathiwat’s Su-ngai Kolok district for more than
Ms Boulaphanh however said she has been involved in the network for less than a
year with Lao parents sending their daughters to her.
She claimed that she has been involved with only eight girls in the prostitution
network and received an average Bt10,000 for trafficking each girl.
Authorities also charged her with counterfeiting passports of the Lao girls and
put their age over 18 years. (MCOT online news)
Minister urges deployment of security personnel at schools
BANGKOK, Dec 11 - Following the killing of two teachers in a
Pattani school today, Deputy Prime Minister/Education Minister Pongthep
Thepkanchana conceded that the lack of security personnel in the school compound
was a security lapse which led to the latest violence against teachers.
He asked security agencies to deploy staff in school compounds to ensure safety
The latest killing brings the total death toll of teachers in the
insurgency-torn region to 157, according to the regional teachers association.
The violence took place as hundreds of government schools in the troubled region
reopened today amid tight security after being closed for several days in the
wake of recent attacks on teachers.
The victims in the latest and most intrusive fatal attack on teachers to date
were identified as deputy school director Somsak Kwanma and Tiyarat Chauykaew,
director of Ban Ba Ngo School in Mayo district.
Police investigators said a group of at least five men entered the school, shot
the teachers, and then fled in a slain teacher's pickup truck.
Two teachers were attacked in separate incidents last week in Narathiwat,
killing Chatsuda Nilsuwan, 32, of Ban Ta-ngoh School in Cho Airong district and
wounding Tirapol Chusongsaeng, 52, of Ban Bokoh School in Su-ngai Padi district.
In another development, the death toll in a tea shop shooting in Narathiwat rose
to four after the latest victim succumbed to her injuries. The victim was
identified as Nissaba Muso, 25. The four dead include an 11-month-old baby girl.
According to the initial investigation, a pickup truck stopped outside the shop
and three armed men fired into the shop before fleeing.
The police believed the attackers were insurgents intending to extend atmosphere
of fear and uncertainty in the general public. (MCOT online news)
Cabinet extends Thai-Malaysian border pass validity
BANGKOK, Dec 11 – The cabinet on Tuesday extended the validity and stay period
of Thai-Malaysian border passes to facilitate mutual trade and tourism.
Deputy Government Spokesperson Pakdiharn Himathongkham said border passes issued
for visiting, travel, short training courses, meetings or seminars for less than
six months, earlier valid for six months, will be extended to one year after the
Seven-day stay period visas are extended to 30 days, covering Thailand’s
southern border provinces of Songkhla, Satun, Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani and
Malaysia’s Kedah, Kelantan, Perak and Perlis instead of an area within a
25-kilometre radius as earlier stated.
The decision is aimed to facilitate border trade and boost social and cultural
cooperation, the deputy government spokesperson said. (MCOT online news)
DSI rules out detention of Abhisit, Suthep on murder charges
BANGKOK, Dec 11 – Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) will not
seek a Criminal Court order to detain former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva and his
ex-deputy Suthep Thaugsuban when they appear Thursday to acknowledge charges
related to the deaths of Red Shirt activists in the 2010 political violence in
DSI Director Tarit Pengdith said today both are high-ranking political officials
and members of parliament with no potential of fleeing.
The DSI will however impose four conditions--barring them from leaving the
country without prior approval from investigative authorities, interfering in
witnesses and evidence, creating violence and creating obstacles, or damaging
the investigative authorities.
Earlier today, Karom Ponthaklang, a lawyer of the pro-government United Front
for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), and some relatives of 91 activists who
died in the 2010 political rally submitted a letter to Mr Tarit, protesting
against the DSI’s temporary release of Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep.
Mr Tarit discussed the request with investigative authorities for nearly an hour
before informing them of the four-point condition to be delivered to the two
Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep were charged by the DSI with conspiring in the shooting
of demonstrators during the political protest and suppression by military force
under the now-defunct the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation
Mr Suthep was then CRES director while Mr Abhisit was implicated in the murder
allegations in his capacity as prime minister overseeing the CRES. (MCOT online
40kg ice, meth pills, seized after gun battle in Chiang Rai
CHIANG RAI, Dec 11 -- The Thai authorities seized 40kg of
crystal methamphetamine "ice" and 100,000 meth pills after a gunfight between
Thai soldiers and members of a drug syndicate along the Thai-Myanmar border in
the northern province of Chiang Rai Monday night.
Pha Mueang Task Force deputy chief Col Chainarong Kaewkla and Chiang Rai Govenor
Wangsamer jointly held a press briefing on drugs seized from smugglers after the
special unit of the Pha Mueang Task Force's 3rd Cavalry Regiment engaged in a
gunfight with the group at Baan Hmong Kao Lang in Terd Thai subdistrict of Mae
Fa Luang district.
Col Chainarong said that soldiers were deployed at the location where the
fighting occurred and an additional 10kg of ice was seized on top of 30kg seized
Some 100,000 meth pills were also confiscated after the fight.
Col Chainarong said the Thai military was on high alert monitoring the border as
it was expected that the dealers were trying to smuggle drugs into Thailand.
(MCOT online news)