King urges people to show compassion and help each other
BANGKOK, 1 January 2013 (NNT) – His Majesty the King’s utmost
wish on the New Year’s Day is to see Thai people have compassion
towards each other, help and encourage each other and keep
strong bonds of friendship. In his televised New Year address
this morning, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej urged people
in every sector to cooperate for the happiness, stability and
prosperity of all individuals and the nation as a whole. He also
expressed grateful appreciation to the people who had turned up
in full force on his birthday with good intentions which he
would never forget. His Majesty then wished the people
happiness, success and good health in the new year.
Road accidents kill 254 during New Year holidays
BANGKOK, Jan 1— Thailand's death toll from road accidents
nationwide during the first five days of the New Year's holiday
has climbed to 254, while the number of injured has reached
2,454, the national Road Safety Centre reported Tuesday, New
Yesterday alone, New Year's Eve, 52 deaths and 556 casualties
were reported in 524 road accidents.
The central province of Nakhon Pathom had the highest death toll
of 12 persons, followed by Chiang Mai with 11 and Nakhon
Ratchasima and Bangkok with 10 deaths each.
So far, the eastern province of Trat has not recorded any road
accident in the past days.
The major causes of road accidents were attributed to drunken
driving and speeding.
The government's Road Safety Centre was set up to prevent and
reduce the number of the road accidents, deaths and injuries as
well as serve as headquarters to link all commands at all level,
to solve immediate problems occurring from road accidents and to
adjust traffic plan to response the needs arising during from
the 2013 New Year period from December 27, 2012 through January
In related developments, holidaymakers on Tuesday began
gradually returned to their homes as well as to Bangkok.
In Lamphun, traffic is congested on Highway No 11 while Chiang
Mai Arcade Bus Terminal 2 is crowded with travellers.
Meanwhile, Mo Chit Bus Terminal in the capital began to be
packed in the afternoon through evening. The number of
travellers who returned to the capital was expected to be
approximately 200,000-300,000. (MCOT online news)
PM pledges to work at her fullest capacity without discouragement
BANGKOK, Dec 30 - Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on
Sunday pledged that she will work to her fullest capacity
without discouragement and insisted time would prove her
performance, while urging all parties to end conflicts to help
the country move forward.
The premier gave an interview with media at Government House
today saying her government has only eight months to drive and
solidify the government's policies as the first six months of
her work after taking office was dealing with the country's
worst flooding in history while another six months were spent in
Ms Yingluck conceded that the government's work at the early
stages had some obstacles and concerns from the public. But she
was willing to adjust and improve the government's performance
in the second year.
"I can't say that I am perfect but I can say that I am very
willing to serve the public," said the premier. "Some people may
love (me), while others may not, and I can accept that."
Ms Yingluck said she will improve her work capacity in two ways.
The first is through leadership, she said she needs time to
prove her leadership to the public as she is also new to
politics but she will work to her fullest capacity.
The second, the premier said, is working effectively with her
cabinet and the government which is a massive organization. The
first year is therefore a period of adjustment, but she pledged
to take criticisms and concerns and fix them for general
advancement of the country.
"I am ready and I am not discouraged," stated Ms Yingluck. "Time
will be the ultimate judge and the people will be the ones who
For the government's policies to be highlighted in 2013, the
prime minister said the government will continue and follow up
with urgent policies implemented from the first year and will
focus on the country's development with long term stability,
including water management, agricultural zoning to increase
productivity, the promotion of alternative energy and the
development of human resources and quality of life.
Ms Yingluck said the year 2013 will also be the year of
children, women and disabled people are well taken care of and
receive equal treatment, with One Stop Service.
She added the government will also adjust its workflow by using
technology to facilitate the work in order to reduce risk and
Regarding the political issue, the premier thanked the
Opposition for working with the government, including scrutiny
of the government's work and their role in legislative body.
Ms Yingluck however called on all parties and all colour
factions to help end conflict in society, while remaining active
participants in the democratic system. (MCOT online news)
Two Phatthalung districts still critically flooded
PHATTHALUNG, Jan 1 -- Two districts in the southern province of
Phatthalung remain critically impacted by flooding as they are
the lower areas still under floodwater.
More than 2,000 households in six subdistricts of the provincial
seat and Khuan Khanun district were affected by the flood, which
was 70-80 centemetres deep.
The two districts were lower areas and received water from
Bantat Mountain before the water would flow into Songkhla Lake.
Many village roads were impassable, particularly at Ban Plai
Thong and Ban Khao Jingjo in the provincial seat.
Meanwhile, areas near Bantat Mountain such as Chumpol and Banna
sub-districts in Srinagarindra district; abd Kong Ra's Charad
sub-district where floods on Monday have returned to normal
after rain stopped last night.
The Southern Meteorological Centre (East Coast) in Songkhla
today said that a strong northeast monsoon prevails over the
Gulf of Thailand and the southern portion of the country making
more rain with heavy rain in Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat,
Phatthalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.
Due to the strong winds, 2-3 metre high waves will occur across
the lower Gulf of Thailand. People along the coast should beware
of high waves inshore.
All ships should proceed with caution, and small boats in the
lower Gulf from Surat Thani downward keep ashore during today
and tomorrow. (MCOT online news)
Thai celebrants out in full force for New Year
BANGKOK, Dec 29 – Leading tourist attractions nationwide are
mostly booked, filled with New Year's celebrants, while many
people are leaving the capital or their home towns for the
National parks, especially in the wintry North, are crowded with
tourists gathering for countdowns into the Year 2013.
In Phitsanulok province, 370 km north of Bangkok, accommodations
in all national parks and botanical gardens are fully occupied,
some until mid-month in January. Tents have been set up in
reserved areas in the parks.
Some provincial administrations organised special activities as
part of the New Year’s celebrations.
In Uthai Thani, 500 km north of Bangkok, the Second Buffalo
Festival is being held in the provincial seat to promote tourism
and create awareness among farmers on buffalo breeding. Farmers
and tourists alike enthusiastically joined the festival.
In the central province of Suphan Buri, about 100 km from
Bangkok, the Thai Orchid Festival is held until January 5. More
than 3,000 orchids of nine different species are on display.
Highlighting the festival is a 300-metre-long orchid tunnel.
Samila Beach in the southern province of Songkhla has been
beautifully decorated to welcome Thai and foreign visitors who
are pouring to the seaside resort for the New Year. Tourists are
streaming to take pictures with the mermaid statue, a
signification attraction at Samila Beach.
New Year’s celebrations in Bangkok are organised at several
leading venues including Ratchaprasong intersection which is the
main countdown arena on New Year's Eve, December 31. The
countdown event in the eastern beach resort of Pattaya, with
colourful fireworks, is no less extravagant than in Bangkok.
At Sanam Luang, people traditionally wake up early on the
morning of January 1st to offer alms to Buddhist monks – a
merit-making ceremony for the start of a new year. (MCOT online
Bangkok governor to contest second term
BANGKOK, Dec 28 – Incumbent Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand
Paribatra, nominated by the Democrat Party to stand for a second
term in the coming gubernatorial election, vowed today to create
a “sustainable pleasant metropolis” for city residents.
The Democrat Party, which announced the decision to field Mr
Sukhumbhand on Thursday, appointed former Bangkok governor
Apirak Kosayodhin to lead the election campaign, while names of
the governor’s administrative team have yet to be disclosed.
Mr Sukhumbhand's term in the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration
governorship is due to expire January 10 while the Bangkok
election is scheduled for February 17.
Mr Sukhumbhand said he was not concerned with a possible
complaint against him on the recent BMA’s signing of an
agreement to extend the construction of elevated train line
despite the fact that the concession is due to expire in the
next 13 years.
He assured that the deal was made in a transparent manner and he
had not breached the law.
Bangkok is facing lots of challenges that need to be tackled
including traffic congestion, security in the people’s lives and
properties and environmental issues, he said.
Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said the decision to field Mr
Sukhumbhand for a second term was reached among party
executives, selection committee members, Bangkok MPs and Bangkok
council and district members.
He commended Mr Sukhumbhand for his deep-rooted experience and
understanding of the city problems, and his ability to
coordinate with all parties concerned including the government
without regarding to political conflicts.
Mr Sukhumbhand has made progress in several aspects including
mass transportation, education, public health and landscape
development, Mr Abhisit said, assuring that the Democrat Party
is ready to contest in the election.
The Pheu Thai Party, which controls the current national
government, will tentatively field Deputy National Police chief
Pongsapat Pongcharoen in the Bangkok election. The party has yet
to make an official announcement. (MCOT online news)
Azarenka gives alms to monks in Hua Hin
HUA HIN, Dec 28 - Belarusian professional tennis player Victoria
Azarenka, ranked the World No.1 player, and her beau gave alms
to Thai Buddhist monks in Thailand's seaside resort town of Hua
ahead of her exhibition match tomorrow.
The World's No.1 along with US rapper Redfoo joined merit-making
activities on a beach near the InterContinental Hua Hin Resort
Hotel this morning.
Ms Azarenka told reporters that she was really impressed by the
Thai-style alms giving. She also enjoyed Hua Hin which she had
visited twice and hopes to visit again.
She rode a jet ski with rapper Redfoo and relaxed on the beach
Ms Azarenka arrived in Thailand Wednesday and is scheduled to
meet China's Li Na, the world number 7, in the Saturday match of
Hua Hin World Tennis Invitation to be held at Centennial Park.
She won the 2012 Australian Open singles title, becoming the
first Belarusian player to win a Grand Slam in singles. (MCOT
Train services nationwide under improvement: SRT
BANGKOK, Dec 28 -- Train services nationwide will be upgraded in
a 2 and 1/2 year improvement programme beginning early next year
with a planned completion date of August 2015, for track and
facilities improvement, according to the State Railway of
SRT public relations chief Nual-anong Wongchan said the agency
has received Bt17.6 billion to improve its infrastructure,
including track bed, tracks and signals improvement. Railway
bridges will be standardised to reach international standards.
The budget covers construction of dual tracks between Nakhon
Pathom-Hua Hin; Lop Buri-Nakhon Sawan and Bua Yai junction-Khon
SRT also plans to purchase new diesel locomotives to replace old
ones, she said.
Ms Nual-anong said that the improvement work will begin early
next year and will be completed by August 2015. Construction may
affect railway services during the construction period.
She said that if the work completed as planned, the rail tracks
would be stronger and the train would be safer in the future.
The train could use higher speed and build confidence among the
passengers in terms of punctuality and could shorten the travel
time. (MCOT online news)
Thai-Cambodian Acmecs visa to start tomorrow
Tourists from 35 countries will be able to enter Thailand and
Cambodia by applying for just one entry visa at Thai or
Cambodian embassies or consulates, starting from tomorrow
The agreement was reached as Thai foreign minister Surapong
Tovichakchaikul and his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong met
today at the 8th Thai-Cambodian Joint Commission for Bilateral
Cooperation meeting in Bangkok.
The single visa, under the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya Mekong Economic
Cooperation Strategy (Acmecs), is similar to the European
Union’s Schengen agreement. There are five Asean members in
Acmecs comprising Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.
It is expected that other Acmecs members will follow Thailand
and Cambodia later on after the operation has been proven
Thailand and Cambodia will also improve road and rail
transportation between the two nations for better connectivity
and transfer of goods and services. Trade between the two
countries this year rose by more than 2 billion US dollars, and
the two sides agreed to maintain the growth.
In addition to related economic matters, Thailand and Cambodia
agreed to enhance cooperation in labour management and the
transfer of inmates.
By RADIO THAILAND & INSIGHT INFO
No expressway toll for 8 days
Motorists will enjoy travelling free of charge on the Burapha
Withi Expressway and other expressways that connect with it from
tomorrow until January 3 as a gift from the government to the
public for the New Year.
The Cabinet yesterday resolved to exempt tolls for motorists
from 12.01am on Thursday until midnight on January 3. The
proposal for the waiver came from the Ministry of Transport.
The Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT) earlier announced a
similar decision for toll ways under its authority. The roads
where the free access were allowed by the state are the Burapha
Withi Expressway from Bang Na to Chon Buri, the southern
elevated road linking Suvarnabhumi Airport with the Burapha
Withi expressway and the Kanchaphisek toll route from Bang Phli
By RADIO THAILAND & INSIGHT INFO
Road Safety Centre starts operation to reduce casualty during New Year festival
BANGKOK, Dec 27 -- The Thai government's Road Safety Centre --
the centre which every year in this season swings into action to
prevent and reduce the number of the road accidents, deaths and
injuries during the 2013 New Year holiday period opened today.
Pol Lt-Gen Chat Kuldilok, Deputy Minister of Interior, presided
over the the opening ceremony of the centre set up at the
Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.
The centre will also serve as headquarters to link all commands
at all level, to solve immediate problems occurring from road
accidents and to adjust traffic plan to response the needs
Gen Chat said the centre will promote road safety and monitor
the number of traffic accidents during the so-called “Seven
Dangerous Days” from December 27, 2012 until January 2, 2013.
The government has a target to reduce the number of road
casualties during this period by at least five per cent from the
same period of last year, he said.
During last New Year, a total of 335 people were killed and
3,375 injured in 3,093 road accidents .
As usual, emphasis will be given to controlling speed, cracking
down on driving while intoxicated, wearing helmets for
motorcyclists and controlling pickup trucks carrying passengers.
The deputy minister said that checkpoints will be in place,
especially at minor roads, to monitor risky behaviour.
Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Director
General Chatchai Promlert said that daily press briefings on the
death toll and casualty counts will take place between December
28th to January 3rd at 10am to inform motorists to be more
careful when travelling and to strictly observe traffic rules.
(MCOT online news)
Police to step up security for New Year holidays
The Royal Thai Police will step up security measures throughout
Bangkok and its vicinities and road safety operations throughout
the country during the New Year celebratory period.
Royal Thai Police Spokesperson Police Major General Piya Uthayo
said the agency has prepared to increase its patrol in
residential areas while people are away on their trips in an
effort to provide safety for residents.
Police officers will also be stationed to help alleviate traffic
congestion during the festivities for holidaymakers while mobile
units will also be on standby to provide assistance for road
Police Major General Piya also advised club owners and business
operators against igniting any firecrackers to prevent accidents
during their countdown events.
Securities for New Year countdown events have been tightened
after a fire occurred on 1 January 2009 in a nightclub in
Bangkok, killing 66 people and injuring 222 others.
In addition, authorities in major southern cities have also been
instructed to closely monitor all New Year activities and to
prepare for any unexpected violence from insurgents.
By RADIO THAILAND & INSIGHT INFO
No holiday for Thai police on New Year’s holiday
BANGKOK, Dec 28 – Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrung has
banned police throughout Thailand from taking leave during the
New Year’s celebration.
In a video conference with provincial and southern border police
on Thursday, he clearly announced that police nationwide must be
on special alert and provide security to the public during the
New Year’s festival.
He admitted having safety concerns with the huge gathering
scheduled at the New Year countdown at Central World, one of
Bangkok’s busiest shopping zones, fro, New Year's Eve December
31 into January 1 and the fragile situation in three southern
“We must adopt precautionary measures though there has been no
sign of violence so far,” Mr Chalerm said. (MCOT online news)
Court rejects libel charge against Red Shirt leader Jatuporn
BANGKOK, Dec 28 – Thailand's Criminal Court on Thursday ruled
out a libel lawsuit against Red Shirt activist Jatuporn Prompan
who publicly charged former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva with
ordering the murder of anti-government demonstrators.
Mr Abhisit said in his lawsuit that he was slandered by Mr
Jatuporn during his public speech to a gathering of more than
10,000 people in Don Muang area on May 10, 2009.
Calling Mr Abhisit a murderer whose hands were soaked with
blood, Mr Jatuporn said during the speech that the former
premier ordered soldiers to open fire at civilians – an action
which deserved execution.
Mr Abhisit said the Red Shirt core leader made false statements
against him and violated Section 326, 328 and 332 of the
In turning down Mr Abhisit’s lawsuit, the court said the
defendant and plaintiff were political opponents and
retaliations between both parties during an election campaign
were normal under the democratic system.
Mr Abhisit’s attorney said he would appeal the court’s verdict.
Mr Abhisit has filed four libel cases against Mr Jatuporn, two
of which the defendant was already found guilty.
The Criminal Court earlier sentenced Mr Jatuporn to six months’
imprisonment and a Bt50,000 fine for each case. He was put on a
two-year probation instead of receiving a jail term. (MCOT
Six Yellow Shirt leaders indicted for Government House, parliament intrusion in 2008
BANGKOK, Dec 27 - Thai prosecutors today indicted six co-leaders
of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), known as Yellow
Shirts, for leading their protesters in an intrusion of the
Government House compound during anti-government demonstrations
The PAD leaders, who appeared at Criminal Court today and were
indicted, are media mogul Sondhi Limthongkul, Maleerat Kaewka,
retired-General Chamlong Srimuang, Pipob Thongchai, Somkiat
Pongpaiboon and Prapan Koonmee.
Prosecutors indicted the six yellow shirt activists in three
All were indicted for leading PAD protesters to seize the
Government House compound in their month-long campaign to topple
the Samak Sundaravej and Somchai Wongsawat administration in
Another case involved the accusation that 20 PAD Yellow Shirt
activists led the blockade of the Parliament by the movement in
Mr Sondhi alone was indicted for defamation of ex-premier
PAD lawyer Suwat Apaiyapakdi said only six protest leaders
turned up at the court today, while the rest will report to hear
the prosecutors' decision on January 22.
He said each PAD leader submitted Bt90,000 bail bond for
Government House invasion case, and an additional Bt100,000 for
the Parliament blockade case.
Mr Sondhi also posted another Bt100,000 as collateral to seek
his temporary release.
Prosecutors said they have thoroughly considered the three cases
based on evidence submitted by investigators, as well as video
clips from the media which documented wrongdoings by the
They said the cases have been delayed for more than a year as
they also considered the complaints of the defendants with
caution. (MCOT online news)
Democrat Party to field Sukhumbhand for re-election as Bangkok governor
BANGKOK, Dec 27 -- Thailand’s opposition Democrat Party on
Thursday resolved to field incumbent Bangkok Governor
Sukhumbhand Paribatra as its candidate for to again head the
Democrat Party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said the
party executive committee voted by majority to select Governor
Sukhumbhand as the party candidate to contest the gubernatorial
election early next year.
Mr Sukhumbhand's four year term ends in January.
Four party members expressed willingness to run for the top job
in the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).
They are Mr Sukhumbhand, current Bangkok governor; Prakorb
Jirakitti, former deputy Bangkok governor; Korbsak Sabhavasu,
formerly the PM’s secretary general and Apichai Techaubon,
former vice minister.
The party believes that Mom Rajawongse Sukhumbhand would be the
perfect party candidate and would win the confidence and the
hearts of Bangkokians to govern the municipality for another
four year term, he said.
Mr Chavanond said Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva will
invite Governor Sukhumbhand; deputy party leader Apirak
Kosayodhin, who directed the party’s most recent Bangkok
gubernatorial election and deputy party leader Korn Chatikavanij
to discuss and draft the strategy for the election.
Mr Abhisit will hold a press conference for the party candidate
tomorrow, he said. (MCOT online news)
Deputy interior minister visits flood-stricken Thai South
BANGKOK, Dec 27 - Deputy Interior Minister Pol Lt-Gen Chat
Kuldilok, accompanied by senior officials of the disaster
prevention and mitigation department, is visiting the southern
region today and tomorrow to direct assistance and follow up
operations to help flood victims.
The deputy interior minister said that the prime minister is
concerned about the flooding in the South and ordered the
interior ministry to assist local residents.
Regarding the southern province of Narathiwat, a number of
low-lying areas in all 13 districts have been under 30-60
centimetres of floodwater.
Flooding in some communities in the Sungai Kolok municipality on
the Sungai Kolok River remains high at around 80-120
centimetres. Local residents lack drinking water.
The local unit of the Armed Forces Development Command has
distributed relief supplies to villagers by boat.
Meanwhile, in Ruso district, the Saiburi River is swollen and
flows swiftly, sweeping the river bank at Saithong Temple,
damaging a home and a deserted monk’s cell.
In Phatthalung, about 350 households living by the lake in four
sub-districts have been under 50 centimetres of water for
several days due to rainfall and high tide. Strong wind has
forced fishermen to stay ashore. (MCOT online news)
Pheu Thai to finalize the charter amendment in mid Jan
The ruling Pheu Thai party has expected that the conclusion of
the charter amendment will be drawn in the middle of next month.
According to Pheu Thai Party Spokesperson Prompong Nopparit, the
government is waiting for a resolution from the Commission of
Referendum Studies, which has been appointed by the cabinet last
The final resolution will be reviewed during the party seminar
which will be held in the northeastern province of Nakhon
Ratchasima on January 6-7.
Party members of parliament have been assigned to visit people
and make them understand about the disadvantages of the 2007
constitution and what they will get from the charter amendment
in order to ensure that the new constitution will be widely
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Police Captain Chalerm Ubumrung
said he will not feel disheartened if his proposal to amend the
charter by section is rejected by the party. He said he will
always follow the party resolution regardless of the final
Police Captain Chalerm also reaffirmed that no amendment will be
made in Article 309 of the constitution which deals with the
actions of the 2006 coup-makers who overthrew former Prime
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as well as any sections related to
By RADIO THAILAND & INSIGHT INFO
BMA to issue last batch of flood payout by next month
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will complete
distributing flood relief budgets to almost 200-thousand
residents in Bangkok and its vicinities within the end of next
Deputy Permanent Secretary for BMA Krisda Klantanan said the
BMA, with the assistance of the Comptroller General Department,
has so far distributed over 1.1 billion baht to affected Bangkok
The second round of compensation will be for approximately
130-thousand people who previously failed to register themselves
for financial assistance from the government.
Mr. Krisda stated that residents without a bank account can
expect to receive a cashier’s check in the post by tomorrow,
while those with a Krung Thai bank account will receive their
compensation by January 31st.
The BMA has also requested the Department of Disaster Prevention
and Mitigation to take over the distribution of the assistance
funds after the designated period. The matter is currently being
considered by related officials.
By RADIO THAILAND & INSIGHT INFO
Princess leaves hospital for home
BANGKOK, Dec 27 – Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri
Sirindhorn, discharged from Chulalongkorn Hospital, arrived at
Sa Pathum Palace this morning amid cheers from well-wishers on
her way home.
She underwent surgery to remove calcium deposits from her chest
– successfully conducted on Sunday.
A team of physicians said the princess is in good health with no
complications. The princess was advised to refrain from her
royal duties and engagements for a period.
Until this evening members of the public can sign their names in
the book to wish the princess a speedy recovery and good health.
The book is available at the Ananda Mahidol Building,
Chulalongkorn Hospital. (MCOT online news)
Photos of 4 insurgents distributed to preclude Hat Yai attack
SONGKHLA, Dec 26 – Thai security agencies have distributed
photos of four leading insurgents believed to be planning to
carry out an attack in the commercial district of Hat Yai in
this southern border province.
Pictured in the photos were Wan Koyree Sarai Araseh, Abdulhalem
Jehku, Paming Jehkae and Muhamad Mutorlasae, all born in
The security agencies received a tip that the four men might
enter Hat Yai to attack the southern region's commercial centre
and main tourist attraction.
All agencies concerned were instructed to be on high alert and
closely monitor the situation as well as keep a close watch on
the movement of the four suspects.
A combined force of police, military and administrative staff
remains vigilant. Security measures have been put in place
including setting up checkpoints along routes into the Hat Yai
Security measures have been tightened in line with the
provincial policy to be on high alert during New Year festival.
(MCOT online news)
Thailand, Cambodia hail successful meeting
BANGKOK, Dec 26 – Thailand and Cambodia today agreed to
facilitate communication, travel, trade and cooperation between
their countries, Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul
Mr Surapong and his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong co-chaired
the 8th Thai-Cambodian Joint Commission for Bilateral
Cooperation which both parties described as a mechanism in
enhancing relationship between the two countries and cooperating
in various aspects.
They agreed to speed up a management plan to open permanent
border crossings at Ban Nong Eiang in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo
province and Stung Bot in Cambodia’s Banteay Meanchey province
to make it more convenient to expand investment and transport
goods across the border.
There will be a joint survey for new checkpoints at Ban None
Mark Moon in Sa Kaeo and Ban Prai Chan in Banteay Meanchey, he
said, adding that the issue of illegally cutting Siamese
rosewood was also discussed, with agreement to set up a
committee to provide a durable solution of the problem.
The meeting agreed to implement a single visa, effective
tomorrow, under the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic
Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS).
ACMECS is a cooperation framework among Thailand, Cambodia, Lao
PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam to use member countries’ diverse
strengths and to promote balanced development in the sub-region.
Mr Surapong said the bilateral agreement for a single visa will
be a precedent for other ACMECS countries.
He said Thailand will assist Cambodia conduct feasibility
studies on building roads and the Klong Luek-Poipet railway to
facilitate goods transport and travel across the border.
Managing migrant workers in Thailand and deporting convicts from
the two countries was also discussed, he added.
Mr Hor Namhong hailed the results of the meeting and said that
the improved Thai-Cambodian relationship has boosted the trade
volume to US$2 billion this year.
He said both countries look forward to a 30 per cent increased
trade each year.
The Cambodian foreign minister expressed deep gratitude to HRH
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for extending assistance to
Kampong Chetien College and appreciation to the Thai government
for granting employment licences to more than 200,000 Cambodian
workers. (MCOT online news)
Lamphun declares two districts cold-wave disaster zones
LAMPHUN, Dec 27 - Thailand’s northern province of Lamphun
has declared two districts disaster zones affected by the
current cold spell on Thursday as the temperature kept dropping
for three consecutive days.
Lamphun Governor Pinit Harnvanich said 38,992 persons in 134
villages in Thung Hua Chang and Li districts were affected as
temperatures dropped below 15 degrees Celsius for the third day.
The governor said he has coordinated with concerned agencies to
provide warm clothing and blankets to affected residents to
prevent illness, particularly among children and the elderly.
Local residents have also been warned of possible fire hazard
caused by dry weather as well as road accidents due to thick
fog. (MCOT online news)
Thailand’s southern provinces mark tsunami’s 8th anniversary
PHANGNGA, Dec 26 – Thailand’s Andaman coastal provinces
commemorated the eight year anniversary of the 2004 tsunami.
Both tourists and local residents attended the event at the
Police Boat memorial in Takua Pa district. The boat was swept
onshore by the tidal wave on the Boxing Day eight years ago. A
merit-making ceremony was held at Bangmuang temple where ashes
of both Thai and foreign victims have been stored.
An interfaith service was held at the Baan Nam Khem tsunami
memorial, the fishing village where the large number of people
was killed. About 500 lanterns will be launched in the evening.
In Phuket, local residents and relatives of the dead attended a
religious ceremony at the international cemetery on Maikhao
Beach in Thalang district. They laid flowers at the cemetery and
observed a moment of silence.
In Krabi, interfaith services were held on Phi Phi Island and
observed the one-minute moment of silence. A metallic wreath was
laid at the underwater tsunami memorial.
On the morning of December 26, 2004, a magnitude 9.15 earthquake
off Indonesia triggered the deadly Indian Ocean tsunami which
left somearound 226,000 dead or missing in Thailand, Indonesia,
Sri Lanka, India and nine other countries.
In Thailand, six provinces -- Phangnga, Krabi, Phuket, Ranong,
Trang and Satun -- were hit by the unprecedented tsunami, with
5,395 local residents as well as Thai and foreign holidaymakers
losing their lives in the tidal waves. (MCOT online news)
Heavy rain warning for South during New Year
BANGKOK, Dec 26 – Residents of Thailand’s southern provinces
have been warned of the possible impact of depression Wukong
which is moving towards the Gulf of Thailand.
Royol Chitradon, director of the Hydro and Agro Informatics
Institute, said today that residents of the provinces of Nakhon
Si Thammarat, Phatthalung and Surat Thani should be specially
prepared for the storm on Saturday through Monday, New Years
The southern region will have less rainfall in the next few
days, possibly misleading people that the situation has improved
but the storm Wukong is still developing, he warned.
He said the storm will definitely move into southern Thailand
before the New Year and produce torrential rains at some 100mm
People in risk-prone areas are instructed to move their
belongings to higher ground, take special care of their children
and the elderly and practice relocation drills in preparation
for landslides and water runoff.
He said the coming storm will be less severe than last year’s
phenomenon which caused widespread rains in the South, peaking
at 400 mm. (MCOT online news)
PM mulls alternative if referendum for charter change fails
BANGKOK, Dec 26 – The government will seek other means to change
certain sections of the constitution if a referendum on charter
amendment fails to acquire sufficient votes from the people,
according to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
She said the government will not take it as a failure if
supporting votes in the referendum are less than the legally
required half of all votes.
“We merely follow the court’s instruction on two options –
holding a referendum to seek public consent or amending some
sections of the constitution,” she said.
She ruled out a report of conflicts among Pheu Thai Party
members about the referendum, saying their opinions are
different but they don’t have any conflicts.
“The ad hoc committee on referendum must clarify [to the public]
and gather feedback from every sector. We need constructive
views to find the best solution for the country,” said the
In conducting a referendum, the government needs at least 24
million votes to advocate amending the constitution.
Ms Yingluck said it does not matter if the government gets
sufficient votes in favour of the move since the government’s
major task is to earn public support in the process of public
Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said the party’s meeting
on Thursday, which was chaired by the prime minister, did not
reach a conclusion on the next move concerning the charter
The ad hoc committee on referendum was assigned by the meeting
to review the issue and submit it to the Pheu Thai conference on
Jan 6-7, he said, adding that a tangible direction must be
clearly outlined by the middle of next month.
Jurin Laksanavisit, an executive of the opposition Democrat
Party, said the government should call off amending the
constitution as it will lead to conflicts in Thai society.
If the government insists on carrying on the move, the
opposition will oppose within and outside the parliamentary
system, he said. (MCOT online news)
Men in uniform to teach southern students
NARATHIWAT, Dec 26 – Thai army soldiers and border patrol police
will be assigned to teach in state-run schools in
violence-plagued provinces in Thailand’s far South, according to
the Thai defence minister.
Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol Suwanatat, who stayed overnight in
Narathiwat Tuesday during his two-day inspection trip to the
South, said instruction by military and police personnel will be
a temporary measure given a shortage of Thai Buddhist teachers.
A series of attacks, many fatal, against Thai Buddhist teachers
in the three southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Yala and
Pattani in the past few months has lowered the morale of
educators, many of whom have sought Education Ministry
permission to transfer from the troubled region.
He said the assignment of teaching job to soldiers, rangers and
border patrol police was agreed to by the Federation of Teachers
in Three Southern Border Provinces.
Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha has consulted the prime minister
and given assurances of the military’s readiness to assume
teaching responsibilities if the measure is approved by the
government and the Education Ministry, the defence minister
Military personnel whose education background is applicable to
education will be selected, he said. (MCOT online news)
Thai-Cambodian meet touches on crucial issues
BANGKOK, Dec 26 – Economic cooperation between Thailand and
Cambodia along their common borders will be upgraded to
emphasise road and railway construction, and opening more
checkpoints, according to the Thai foreign ministry.
The resolution was made during the 8th Thai-Cambodian Joint
Commission, held in Bangkok on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul and his Cambodian
counterpart Hor Namhong attended the meeting.
Sihasak Puangketkaew, permanent secretary for foreign affairs,
said among the essential issues discussed were the opening of
permanent checkpoints at Ban Nong Eiang in Sa Kaeo province
linking Stung Bot in Cambodia’s Banteay Meanchey province,
development of Route 48 from Thailand’s Trat province to
Cambodia’s Sihanoukville, and a railway extension from the
Aranyaprathet checkpoint on Thailand’s eastern border into
The Thai and Cambodian representatives agreed to a land survey
for border demarcation, joint suppression of human trafficking
and illegal logging of Siamese rosewood on the border, he said.
An MoU will be signed agreeing a single visa under the
Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy
ACMECS is a cooperation framework among Thailand, Cambodia, Lao
PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam to join member countries’ diverse
strengths and to promote balanced development in the sub-region.
Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Surapong hosted a dinner
function in honour of Mr Hor Namhong on Tuesday night.
The Thai-Cambodian Joint Commission which reconvenes after a
two-year recess is a signal of an improved relationship between
the two countries, the Thai foreign minister said. (MCOT online
New Year spending expected to reach several billion baht, highest in 7 years
BANGKOK, Dec 24 - Thailand's spending during the New Year period
is expected to reach several billions of baht, which will be the
highest amount in seven years, according to the Thai Chamber of
Commerce University's Economic and Business Forecasting Center.
Center director Thanawat Polvichai said a survey on Thais'
consumption behaviour during the festive season recently
conducted demonstrated that spending would reach some Bt105
billion, a 15.6 per cent increase year-on-year.
Factors driving such result include the public's less concern on
the US and EU economies, the government's support on the rice
pledging scheme, the Bt300 minimum wage, and the 'first-time
carbuyer' tax refund policy.
However, Dr Thanawat said the public are still careful in
spending due to some worries on the country's economic
situation. They would buy the same amount of goods but with
Those surveyed said they are planning their expenses on parties
(29 per cent), followed by merit-making, buying consumer goods,
luxury merchandise, durable products, and tourism.
Some 89 per cent of those voting for tourism said they plan to
travel in Thailand with a forecast expense of about Bt49
billion. The rest, some 11 per cent, will travel abroad with
expected spending of Bt27 billion.
Some 71 per cent said the Thai economy next year will improve
slightly at 4-5 per cent with internal politics, particularly
the referendum issue, regarded as one of the risk factors.
What the public worries most about during the New Year
celebration is road accidents, traffic, insufficient pubic
transport, and higher consumer goods prices.
When asked which politician they most wished to give a New
Year’s present, some 53 per cent said Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra, followed by opposition Democrat leader Abhisit
Vejjajiva, and the outspoken Chuwit Kamolvisit. (MCOT online
Thailand’s southeastern coast on alert for storm
BANGKOK, Dec 26 – Several provinces on the southeastern coast
near the Gulf of Thailand are warned of heavy rainfall, flash
floods, landslides and strong offshore wind until next week, the
Meteorological Department announced.
Meteorological department deputy director general Somchai
Baimuang said tropical storm Wukong forecast to strike the
Philippines from Friday through Monday will cause downpours from
Surat Thani to Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkhla, Pattani,
Narathiwat and Yala.
Residents are instructed to be on alert for flash floods and
landslides, and winds over the Gulf of Thailand will be
extremely strong, he said.
Group Captain Somsak Kaosuwan, director of the National Disaster
Warning Centre, called on residents to check weather reports
before travelling during the New Year’s holidays.
The Interior Ministry was instructed by Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra to closely monitor flood-prone provinces and
immediately dispatch rescue workers to assist the public if
needed. (MCOT online news)
42 pangolins seized in Nong Khai
NONG KHAI, Dec 25 -- Thai police on Tuesday rescued 42
endangered pangolins – commonly known as ant eaters – and
arrested one endangered species wildlife smuggler in Thailand’s
northeastern province of Nong Khai.
Pol Lt Thawan Suthawarat, an inspector specialist at Nong Khai
provincial police station, said the detainee was identified as
Sira Suwannakoon, 54, a native of Udon Thani. He was arrested
while driving a van carrying the endangered species to Nong Song
Hong checkpoint on Mitrapap Road, heading to Nong Khai.
The police search his van and found 42 of the scaly ant-eaters,
contained in 12 plastic net bags.
Mr Sira told police that he was hired to drive van from Bangkok
to deliver the pangolins to a customer in Nong Khai's
The Lao national was to be waiting at Mekong riverside to
transport the animals to that country, he said, adding that this
was his second delivery of the endangered animal species.
Pangolin scales and pangolin flesh are in high demand in Vietnam
and China as medicine although their international trade is
The smuggling and sale of pangolins is prohibited under the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Fauna and Flora, or CITES. (MCOT online news)
Floods wreak havoc in South; schools close, district declared disaster zone
NARATHIWAT, Dec 25 – Thirteen districts of this southern border
province have been flooded, forcing the closure of schools,
while one district in Surat Thani province was declared disaster
zone on Tuesday.
In Narathiwat, 13 districts have been inundated by floodwaters
up to 50 centimetres deep. Three schools were temporarily closed
as classrooms were flooded, while 20 roads were impassable.
The Su-ngai Kolok and Bang Nara rivers overflowed, forcing the
evacuation of residents of eight communities in Su-ngai Kolok
district to higher ground.
In the southern province of Surat Thani, Kanchanadit district
has been declared flood disaster zone following forest runoff
affecting 1,200 households.
Residents were also warned of further forest runoff, landslides
and strong wind-wave.
Meanwhile, Trang disaster response chief Amnuay Chantharat said
12 waterfalls in four districts remain closed for the second
week for the safety of tourists due to continuous rain,
particularly Kachong and Sairung waterfalls where water levels
Visiting Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha said he has instructed
military personnel in the South to provide assistance to flood
victims. The army chief said he believes the situation will
return to normal in the next few days. (MCOT online news)
Army chief orders tightened security in far South for New Year
BANGKOK, Dec 25 - Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha has ordered
government security agencies operating in the southern border
provinces to tighten their security measures with more
checkpoints to ensure safety during the New Year celebrations.
Gen Prayuth is visiting Sirindhorn Camp in Pattani’s Yarang
district today to review the latest developments in the southern
border provinces and follow up the measures implemented to
address the problems.
He is also offering moral support to the agencies on the
occasion of the New Year and to thank them for working
tirelessly in the violence-torn southern provinces.
He told reporters before departing to Pattani that Prime
Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Defence Minister Sukumpol
Suwanatat have instructed all agencies provide special care for
the military working in the areas.
Gen Prayuth said that during the long New Year weekend, he has
ordered the military to be more vigilant, more checkpoints
should be set up to provide more safety to the public.
He urged the public to be patient and to cooperate fully with
the authorities, always have ID cards with them and to be more
careful when travelling.
The army chief said he believed that the situation in the
southern provinces would be improved if all sectors cooperate to
solve the problems.
As for the idea to deploy more soldiers, paramilitary rangers
and border patrol police to the south to help educators in
teaching in schools, Gen Prayuth said that it would depend on
discussions and decisions taken among the government, the
Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) and Ministry of
Education. (MCOT online news)
Government mulls assigning army to far South teaching posts
BANGKOK, Dec 24 -- Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat is
considering enlisting active military and border patrol police
to teach students in Thailand’s southern border provinces after
many schools face a shortage of educators due to the recently
Defence Ministry spokesman Col Thanathip Sawangsaeng said the
minister floated the idea of deploying more soldiers,
paramilitary rangers and border patrol police to the south to
help educators in teaching in schools in Yala, Narathiwat and
Pattani following the shortage of Buddhist teachers in the
He said the idea was also the result of the meeting between the
Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC)'s 4th Region Forward
Command and the Confederation of Teachers in Three Southern
Border Provinces on security measures for teachers.
The Confederation earlier urged the government and military to
strengthen security for teachers who have lately become targets
of insurgents’ attacks, as the Thai Buddhist teachers are highly
prone to being attacked.
The defence ministry spokesman said that additional security
forces would be deployed for this purpose and that now the
agencies concerned are checking how many military personnel
graduated from faculties of education or have experience
Col Thanathip explained that the move did not reflect a military
failure to provide adequate security to educators, but was a
part of the government’s short-term measures to ensure teacher
Long-term measures would later follow suit, he added. (MCOT
600,000 meth pills seized in Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai
CHIANG MAI, Dec 25 - Almost 600,000 meth pills and 50kg of meth
ingredients were seized in this northern province and the nearby
province of Chiang Rai.
The methamphetamine components were estimated as sufficient to
make as many as 50 million pills, according to police.
National police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew said 1,600
police were searching 107 targeted locations in the two
provinces in accord with the government's policy to fight
He said the drug smuggling ring was transferring the narcotics
across the Thai border to Myanmar.
Police are searching others suspected of involvement who are
still at large. (MCOT online news)
Thais told to ‘kick’ 5 bad habits
BANGKOK, Dec 25 – Stress, smoking, drinking alcohol, a lack of
exercise and inappropriate eating are five unwanted behaviours
that kill Thai people.
Dr Prakit Vathesatogkit, secretary general of the Action on
Smoking and Health Foundation Thailand, said 11 million Thai
people are suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes,
mainly the consequences of the five behaviours.
Smoking is reported in 40 per cent of Thai men and 60 per cent
drink alcohol while half fail to exercise and 70 per cent do not
eat enough fruit and vegetables, he said.
Dr Prakit said smoking is practiced by 31 per cent of male
diabetes patients and 31 per cent of men with high blood
He voiced strong support of a campaign by Public Health Minister
Cholnan Srikaew to change the behaviors of high blood pressure
and diabetes patients by encouraging them to reduce smoking and
drinking alcohol, to exercise more and to eat appropriately.
According to the Public Health Ministry, the deaths of Thai
people in 2009 were mainly due to high blood pressure (86,882
people), smoking (50,710 people), drinking alcohol (22,672
people), lack of exercise and inappropriate eating (31,743
The total figure represented 44.5 per cent of the total deaths.
(MCOT online news)
Thailand’s South hit by severe rainfall, flooding, water runoff
SURAT THANI, Dec 25 – More than 200 homes in Kanchanadit
district in this southern province are cut off from the outside
world after a 60-metre bridge was destroyed by logs carried down
with water runoff from two highland national parks.
Two consecutive days of downpours have caused a substantial
waterflow from Tai Rom Yen and Namtok Sikeed national parks into
Klong Kram, a major canal in Kanchanadit district.
Rescue workers were immediately sent to the scene but their
relief mission was called off as dusk fell. They are scheduled
to resume work today.
There were no reports of death or injury as of yesterday.
Provincial authorities said the bridge was reconstructed after
it was destroyed by similar rainfall runoff two years ago.
Construction was finished only four days ago.
In nearby Nakhon Si Thammarat province, runoff from Khao Luang
mountain in Sichon district damaged three makeshift bridges
linking three villages, cutting communication with hundreds of
It has rained for the last three days and several canals
overflowed in Surat Thani town and Ronpiboon district.
The provincial disaster service has warned residents in risk
prone areas to be on alert for possible landslides or soil
slippage due to excessive water in hillsides and sloping areas.
(MCOT online news)
Migrant deal stalls as talks break down
BANGKOK,The signing of a labour employment agreement between
Thailand and Myanmar has been postponed indefinitely after the
two countries failed to agree on extending the nationality
verification process for migrant workers.
Labour Minister Padermchai Sasomsapand his Myanmar counterpart
Myint Thein were scheduled to sign an agreement on alien labour
employment yesterday, with the verification process for foreign
workers in Thailand having ended on December 14th.
But, according to an anonymous source, the signing of the
agreement was postponed as working panels from the two countries
could not reach a conclusion on the extension of the
Myanmar wants Thailand to extend the scheme beyond the expiry
Myanmar labour authorities claimed Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra promised an extension for another three months when
she met Myanmar President Thein Sein recently.
But Somkiat Chayasriwong, permanent secretary for labour, said
that claim was based on a misunderstanding. Instead, the Thai
government will allow foreign workers who failed to complete the
process to continue to work with their employers for three more
months, but the employers must report the workers to labour
authorities within one month. Cabinet approval for this relief
measure will be sought in early January.
By RADIO THAILAND & INSIGHT INFO
Defence minister to visit deep South tomorrow
BANGKOK, Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat is
scheduled to visit Thailand's insurgency-torn deep South on
Tuesday to follow up the situation and boost moral support for
Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol said his visit is set near the New
Year festive season to boost the spirit of security personnel
deployed in the restive southern border region.
The minister said he believes the situation there will improve
as all concerned agencies understand well the government's
policy to tackle violence in far South.
He said the operations plan will be adjusted in accordance with
the situation as the violence in the deep South is quite
complex, while the assailants' operations are quite dynamic.
"The New Year gift that (we) want to give the public on behalf
of supervisor of security agencies is that (we) will monitor the
situation in the restive region at best and there will be some
changes in the areas soon.", pledged the defence minister.
Marshal Sukumpol urged the media to use caution in reporting the
southern unrest as it is a sensitive issue.
More than 5,000 people, including local residents, security
officials, monks and insurgents, have been killed since violence
erupted in the restive southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and
Narathiwat in 2004. (MCOT online news)
Fire at Chachoengsao Toyota factory causes millions in damage
CHACHENGSAO, Dec 24 -- Fire broke out Sunday night at a Toyota
assembly plant oil storage tank in this province, about 100 km
east of the capital, causing millions of baht damage.
Explosions about 7pm at Toyota’s Ban Pho district factory at
storage tank far from the main facility.
During the blaze, sporadic explosions occured. A dozen fire
trucks were sent to the assembly plant.
The fire was brought under control about 10pm. but a warehouse
for oil storage tanks, hydraulic fluid and lubricants was
There are no reports of casualties, as most workers were off for
Police suspected that a worker left the battery of an electric
forklift truck charging too long, that it overheated and caused
Investigators have yet to determine the exact cause of the fire
and the company has not yet estimated the damage, but some
reports have put the loss at Bt100 million.
The factory was Toyota Motor Asia Pacific Engineering &
Manufacturing's spare parts production centre for the Asia
Pacific region. (MCOT online news)
Thailand, Bangladesh agree to expand various forms of cooperation
DHAKA, Dec 22 -- Thailand and Bangladeshi Prime Ministers held
bilateral talks and have agreed to expand various forms of
cooperation to mark 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra arrived in Dhaka on
Friday for a two-day visit to boost bilateral trade, investment
and cooperation in prospective areas of mutual interests between
Thailand and Bangladesh.
Accompanying her is a delegation of some 100 people, at least a
third of them members of the business community.
Ms Yingluck on Saturday held "Four-Eye' talks with Bangladeshi
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed before both sides had full
plenary session at the Bangladeshi's Prime Minister Office.
Both leaders exchanged congratulations that the two countries
have marked the 40th anniversary of the diplomatic ties.
Bilateral trade between Thailand and Bangladesh was worth US$1.2
billion in 2011, a 38 per cent increase from the year earlier.
Ms Yingluck said Thailand wanted to double its two-way trade --
export and import -- with Bangladesh by 2015 in an effort to
boost commerce and investment.
She said there was great potential for further expansion of
economic partnership between the two countries. The two nations
needed closer cooperation between governments and more
importantly between the private sectors.
Ms Yingluck and Sheikh Hasina have agreed to reactivate the
existing Thai-Bangladesh Joint Trade Committee (JTC) to foster
trade and investment, while the Thai premier has proposed
Bangladesh consider Thailand as a gateway to ASEAN while
Bangladesh would be a gateway for Thailand to South Asia.
During the talks, Dhaka has expressed interest to buy more rice
from Thailand as proposed by Bangkok. The two countries have
earlier signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in which
Bangladesh would buy one million tons of rice from Thailand
annually between 2011-2013 and today they agreed to extend the
MoU for another three years.
As for connectivity, Ms Yingluck has proposed Thailand and
Bangladesh promote both land and sea routes, especially sea
linkage through Myanmar-Chittagong, Dawei and Ranong.
She said this route will help boost both economies, reducing
transportation costs and saving time.
During Ms Yingluck's visit, Thailand and Bangladesh signed two
MoUs to strengthen their bilateral relationship, which were
witnessed by Ms Yingluck and Sheikh Hasina.
The first MoU was to foster regular meetings at the level of
foreign secretaries, and the other one to increase cooperation
in the field of agriculture between the two countries.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni signed the agreement with Thailand's
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong
The MoU on agricultural cooperation was signed by Secretary of
the Ministry of Agriculture Monzur Hossain and Thailand's
Permanent Secretary on Agriculture Chavalit Chookajorn.
The second agreement would encourage institutional cooperation
among private companies for the development and expansion of
agriculture in the two nations.
Earlier in the day, Ms Yingluck paid tributes to the martyrs of
the nation's 1971 War of Independence at the National Memorial
The Thai premier was given a red-carpet reception on Friday
evening as she reached Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina received her at
the VVIP terminal of the airport. An impressive contingent of
the Bangladesh Army presented her the Guard of Honour. (MCOT
North, Northeastern regions feel the freeze as temperatures drop sharply
LAMPHUN, Many provinces in the north and northeastern
provinces are affected by cold spells as the active high
pressure area from China is covering upper Thailand causing
temperatures to drop sharply by 4-7 degrees Celsius.
The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office in the northern
province of Lumphun has coordinated with the district and local
authorities to survey those affected by the cold weather in
order to promptly provide assistance amid the chilling weather.
Heavy fog covered the province early this morning leaving
visibility at only 20 metres.
In the northeastern province of Maha Sarakham, the temperature
morning stayed at 16 degrees Celsius, dropping by five degrees
Celsius as strong winds have lowered the temperature.
Students must in the sunshine to stay warm, while students were
allowed to wear trousers to protect themselves from cold.
The provincial disaster response service estimated that some
160,000 people would be impacted from the cold weather this
In Nakhon Phanom, people in many districts have to light fires
to stay warm as the provincial meteorogical office reported that
the temperature this morning was recorded at 12 degrees Celsius.
The Northeastern Meteorological Centre in Ubon Ratchathani said
the high pressure ridge from China has covered upper Thailand.
Temperature would drop by 4-7 degree Celsius in upper Thailand
today through Wednesday. The temperature will be below 16
degrees Celsius in many areas with very cold weather at the high
mountain in the North and the upper Northeast, including frost
in some areas on the mountaintops. (MCOT online news)
Heavy rain causes floods in several areas of Thailand's South
NARATHIWAT, Continuous rain in this far southern
province has caused floods in six districts with water levels as
much as 30cm, but the roads are still passable.
The six districts are Su-ngai Kolok, Tak Bai, Si Sakhon, Su-ngai
Padi, Waeng, and Chanae. Floods cover over 30km of the Waeng-Tak
Local residents have started to move their belongings to higher
In Songkhla province, rain has continued for almost two weeks,
while the water situation there is closely monitored,
particularly on main canals and in the provincial seat. The
water level there is so far still not worrying.
The Songkhla local meteorological office has issued warnings for
those living in the South from Surat Thani further South be
careful of heavy rain today and tomorrow, while small boats
should avoid going off shore.
In Phatthalung, rain has continued for three days, causing water
levels of about 30cm in four districts -- the provincial seat,
Khao Chaison, Srinaharinda, and Khuan Khanun. Over 2,000
households and 5,000 rai of rice and rubber fields are affected.
Local authorities have been draining out water into Songkhla
Meanwhile, rainfalls and flashfloods have continued in Nakhon Si
Thammarat. Lan Saka district is the latest area where flooding
In Prachuap Khiri Khan province, four-metre waves occurred
today, overflowing 1,500 metres of a beach road, in a main
tourist destination, with water about 50cm deep. Over 100
fishing boats could not leave shore this morning. (MCOT online
PM frets over vote turnout; Govt may become lenient on migrants
BANGKOK, (NNT) - Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has voiced
concern that the voter turnout for a referendum on charter amendment
risks failing to reach the required total.
Nevertheless, she said a conclusion must be reached on the charter
rewrite regardless of the turnout. Concerning comments made by Deputy
Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, who voiced opposition to a referendum,
Ms. Yingluck said the deputy premier is entitled to express his
The prime minister also said the cabinet has assigned a working panel to
determine how best to proceed with charter amendment. The panel will
look into both the benefits of holding public hearings and staging a
She said the government's task is to encourage the public to participate
in the charter amendment process in order to find a peaceful solution to
political conflict, while it was the duty of parliament to amend the
constitution. The proposed referendum question is to ask the public
whether or not it “likes” the proposal to rewrite the constitution in
Former charter writer Seri Suwanpanont has said the phrasing of the
question is confusing, adding that the term "approve" should be used
The Ministry of Labour will be asking the Cabinet to give employers
another three months before making migrant workers part of the legal
Permanent secretary of Labour, Somkiat Chayasriwong, disclosed the
measure yesterday after emerging from a meeting with representatives of
the Federation of Thai Industries and the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
These representatives expressed concerns about labour shortage if the
government went ahead with deporting more than 300-thousand foreign
workers who failed to get their nationality verified by the 14th of this
Somkiat said the ministry now planned to ask the Cabinet to be lenient
and give employers three more months to complete the process of
registration and nationality verification for their migrant workers.
By RADIO THAILAND & INSIGHT INFO
Preah Vihear area to be de-mined
According to the Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Army,
General Tanasak Patimapakorn, The Thai-Cambodian Joint Working
Group (JWG) has agreed to survey the provisional demilitarised
zone (PDZ) around Preah Vihear temple and clear all landmines in
the area by April of next year.
This was agreed upon at the Thai-Cambodian JWG meeting on the
18th to 19th of this month, which was co-chaired by Cambodian
Deputy Defence Minister General Neang Phat and head of
Thailand's joint chiefs of staff, General Padetkarn Chansewok.
The supreme commander said that at the meeting, the two
countries agreed to send teams to determine the exact locations
of demarcating posts A, B, C and D of the PDZ, and to speed up
the clearing of landmines in the area.
He said the work would be completed by April of next year and
would also serve to complement the launch of the Asean Economic
Community, as it would ensure the safety of those who want to
visit the area.
General Tanasak also said the JWG had not yet discussed bringing
Indonesian observers into the area, adding that the Indonesians
would only be allowed to see whether the PDZ, as fixed by the
International Court of Justice, was suitable or if it required
By RADIO THAILAND & INSIGHT INFO
Thailand investing Bt2 trillion to close ASEAN-India trade gap
NEW DELHI, Dec 21 – Thailand has set an ambitious
investment target of Bt2 trillion to pave the way for the
ASEAN-India Free Trade Area, a regional partnership which Thai
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra described as a key element in
fostering the country’s competitive edge.
Ms Yingluck, who attended the two-day ASEAN-India Commemorative
Summit, said a bill on the Bt2 trillion investment will be
issued to ensure Thailand’s uninterrupted economic cooperation
with Southeast Asian countries and India despite domestic
political changes in the future.
Meeting with Thai businessmen after the Summit, the premier
asked the private sector to set up an ad hoc committee to follow
up on the FTA while the National Economic and Social Development
Board will act as facilitator.
She said the combined population of ASEAN and India will
contribute to a gigantic market for trade and investment, and
She added that Thailand and India will need to discuss details
of the FTA while the Thai private sector should regularly
communicate with the government to be prepared for its
Ms Yingluck said Thailand’s shortage of skilled workers has
become an urgent problem and the Education Ministry has been
instructed to revamp the country’s educational system to
realistically serve the labour market.
“2013 will be the year of private sector development. The
government and private sector will need to talk more,” she said.
The prime minister left New Delhi for Bangladesh today. She is
scheduled to return to Bangkok tomorrow. (MCOT online news)
30 aliens to be granted Thai nationality
BANGKOK, Dec 22 – The first batch of 30 aliens of Thai
origin whose parents migrated from Cambodia’s Koh Kong to
Thailand will be given Thai citizenship next month, according to
a senior Interior Ministry official.
Prapas Bunyindee, deputy permanent secretary for interior, said
the 30 people who were born in Thailand had applied for Thai
nationality with officials at Klong Luek district in Thailand’s
eastern province of Trat, opposite Koh Kong.
The approval was given by the National Screening Committee,
chaired by Mr Prapas.
Viroj Srisawat, director of the Civil Registration Division,
said their nationality will be changed to Thai and their housing
registration will state Thailand as their country of birth.
The cabinet resolved in 2010 to ease restrictions on the right
to Thai nationality for aliens who were either born in Thailand
or have lived in the country for many years. (MCOT online news)
PM Yingluck backs upgrade of ASEAN-India ties to strategic partnership
BANGKOK, Dec 14 – Thailand faces an imminent acute labour
shortage with more than one million migrant workers expected to
be repatriated this weekend for failing to have completed
nationality verification as required by the government, a senior
member of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) said toda
TCC Deputy Chairman Pumin Harinsut said the mass repatriation
will greatly affect the manufacturing industry, as well as the
tourism and hospitality sectors, contributing to reduced
possible exports next year by as much as 5 per cent.
Thailand requires migrant workers to pass a complex nationality
verification procedure by the end of the day today, and those
who fail to leave the country will be prosecuted.
Mr Pumin said the TCC is awaiting the government’s immediate
response to deal with the problem now that Prime Minister
Yingluck Shinawatra has acknowledged the issue.
The cabinet earlier announced that repatriated workers could be
re-employed in accord with agreements made with the migrant
workers home countries.
Pote Aramwatananont, a TCC officer, said the government has not
consulted the private sector on the re-employment of migrant
workers regarding agreements reflected in various memoranda of
understanding and that the new procedure will merely facilitate
the Labour Ministry procedures, not the private sector where the
workers are to be employed.
He said the repatriation of migrant workers without privision of
new workers will have a severe negative impact on Thailand’s
industrial manufacturing. agricultural production, food
processing, fisheries, and the construction sector – all of
which rely heavily on migrant labour.
Damage to the construction industry alone may reach 20 per cent
of the sector’s total value, he said.
The Labour Ministry reported that 356.351 migrant workers are
awaiting nationality verification while others working illegally
in Thailand could number 500,000-800,000 persons. They are
mainly from Myanmar, the Lao PDR and Cambodia. (MCOT online
Embattled Pheu Thai MP gets temporary freedom to join House session
BBANGKOK, Dec 21 – Pheu Thai MP Korkaew Pikulthong was released
from Bangkok's Laksi Temporary Prison this morning under his
parliamentary immunity to attend House meeting until the present
He was sent to jail on Nov 30 after the Criminal Court revoked
his bail on terrorism charge.
He was greeted by Red Shirt activist Thida Thavornseth, leader
of the pro-government United Front for Democracy against
Dictatorship (UDD), his family and some supporters.
Talking to reporters after his release, Mr Korkaew stood firm
that he will continue to join the lineup on the Red Shirt’s
political stage but will be more careful in his words to avoid
He called on Red Shirt supporters to refrain from anger and to
cooperate in lifting Thailand from the six-year pitch so that it
“The opposition should overlook [fugitive ex-prime minister]
Thaksin shinawatra and Red Shirters should also overlook
[opposition Democrat leader] Abhisit Vejjajiva,” he said, adding
that he would fight on steadfastly as a UDD core leader.
He will return to jail when the present parliamentary session
The Criminal Court announced on Thursday that the detention of
the Pheu Thai MP remained unchanged but he would be temporarily
released to attend the parliamentary session as requested by
Parliament. (MCOT online news)
Thai-Cambodian Joint Commission meet opens Tuesday
BANGKOK, Dec 21 – Thai and Cambodian foreign ministers will meet
in Bangkok on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss, among other
topics, development of overland links between the two countries.
Damrong Kraikruan, director general of the Thai Foreign
Ministry's East Asia Department, said the 8th Thai-Cambodian
Joint Commission will be co-chaired by Thai Foreign Minister
Surapong Tovichakchaikul and his Cambodian counterpart Hor
Namhong, both of whom agreed that the meeting is necessary after
a two-year recess.
High on the agenda is discussion on opening more land
connections between Thailand and Cambodia, including development
of Route 48 from Thailand’s Trat province to Cambodia’s
Sihanoukville, a land bridge from Sa Kaeo province, and a
railway extension from Aranyaprathet checkpoint on Thailand’s
Mr Surapong also planned to discuss with Mr Hor Namhong the
problem of illegal logging of Siamese rosewood on the border and
the possibility of signing a memorandum of understanding on
single visa under the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic
Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS).
ACMECS is a cooperation framework among Thailand, Cambodia, Lao
PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam to use member countries’ diverse
strengths and to promote balanced development in the subregion.
Mr Hor Namhong is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on Prime
Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Tuesday afternoon. (MCOT online
Bangkok building first park for dog lovers
BANGKOK, Dec 21 - The Thai capital is to build its first dog
park for dog lovers to cosy up to their canine pals, according
to Deputy Bangkok Governor Vallop Suwandee.
The City Hall official said dogs are currently not allowed in
most Bangkok parks.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has discussed pros
and cons of the project, having details discussed by dog experts
The park for man's best friend is designated to be built on a
4.6 rai plot of farmland in the Vacharaphol area.
Dog facilities will be provided such as an park centre building
for vets to give advice to dog owners and their pets, dog
exercise fields, and service points for water.
Deputy Governor Vallop said park users must strictly follow the
rules at the dog park such as having all canines trained and
listening to orders, not bringing sick dogs to the park.
He noted the process is now at the stage of finding a contractor
for the project, expected to start its construction early next
year for a 240-day period.
It is expected that the park would be ready for service sometime
next year. (MCOT online news)
More artificial reefs to promote marine life off Phuket
PHUKET, Dec 21 – Nearly 2,000 concrete blocks have been
constructed on the sea floor off Kata Beach in this southern
resort province as habitats for marine life, a senior provincial
Paiboon Upatsaring, chief of the Phuket Provincial
Administration, said the artificial reefs extend eight
kilometres from North to South, covering 24 sq km of Karon Bay.
An undersea survey in 2009 discovered that natural reefs in the
area had rapidly deteriorated due to a lack of management which
impacted marine and seaboard natural resources.
Artificial reefs built at Sirinart Marine Park, (Naiyang Beach),
in Talang district, in the last two years have been successful
in attracting and accumulating fish, corals and natural reefs,
he said. (MCOT online news)
Petition to block whale import gathers steam
BANGKOK, (NNT) - More than 10,000 people have signed an online
petition against the planned import of six beluga whales from
Russia for display at a Bangkok zoo. The campaign is demanding
the Fisheries Department ban the import order.
Coordinator of the Love Wildlife Foundation, Jirayu Ekkul, which
initiated the signature campaign, said he had heard that a
private zoo in Bangkok had sought permission from the department
to import Beluga whales.
The department has been slated to decide whether to grant import
permission to the zoo operator last Wednesday.
Jirayu said his group would submit the petition to fisheries
chief Wimol Jantrarotai ) ahead of the meeting, asking him to
reject the request. The group will also submit scientific
reports about the impact of keeping the marine mammals in
The beluga is a protected species under the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and
Flora's appendix II, which allows international trade of the
species under close supervision.
It is estimated there are about 150,000 belugas living in the
wild and 200 in zoos worldwide.
By RADIO THAILAND & INSIGHT INFO
Traffic in bangkok set to worsen in 2014, official warns
The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP)
has projected that traffic congestion will climb to a new peak
in 2014, due to increased motor vehicles and several
The number of vehicles registered daily in Bangkok has increased
by 39.6 percent from last year and OTP Director General Chula
Sukmanop claimed the first-car buyer scheme will exacerbate the
situation, despite 80 percent of vehicles purchased under the
scheme being registered in other provinces.
He added that traffic in the capital will suffer from the
construction of tunnels in Bangkok, as well as the Purple, Red
and Blue Line railways.
The OTP is gearing up to launch a campaign to reduce the number
of personal vehicles on the streets and improve public transport
services with special bus lanes.
By RADIO THAILAND & INSIGHT INFO
BMA to install 20 CCTV in violence-prone-communities
BANGKOK, The Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration (BMA) next year will install an additional
20-thousand closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) in the capital
city, especially communities plagued with crimes and drug
trafficking in an effort to provide security for Bangkok
Speaking at a press conference after a BMA executives meeting
today, BMA Spokesperson Wason Meewong said the BMA’s Department
of Traffic and Transportation reported that it will install the
CCTVs in all 50 districts across the capital.
At the end of the project in 2013, the BMA will have
approximately 40-thousand CCTVs to help ensure safety in
Bangkok. More security cameras will be installed in drug and
Mr.Wason added that the first batch of 1,600 CCTVs will be
installed in 300 communities by a private contractor. Document
signing will be completed within this week, and more security
cameras will be installed in parks and residential zones.
By RADIO THAILAND & INSIGHT INFO
Ministry of Transport to build Thai-Laos Bridge in Buengkarn province
BANGKOK, The Ministry of Transport has announced a plan to
construct a bridge between Beungkan province and Laos, in an
effort to boost trade and logistics between Thailand and its
Following a meeting between representatives from the government
and private sector, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Transport,
Sornsak Sansombat, said a plan to increase bilateral trade,
investment and transportation between the two nations was
hatched, involving a project to build a bridge across the Meh
Kong River connecting Thailand and Laos via Beungkan.
Mr.Sornsak stated that the construction project is currently in
its initial stages with a blueprint being penned by relevant
officials. Construction of the bridge is expected to begin at
the end of 2013.
He added that the bridge, once completed, will also serve as a
major transport route between Thailand and several major ASEAN
cities, including Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
B y RADIO THAILAND & INSIGHT INFO
PM attends ASEAN-India Summit in New Delhi today
BANGKOK, Dec 20 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra leaves for
New Delhi today to join the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit
focusing on enhanced economic cooperation and partnership in
developing land, sea and air infrastructure among member
She said the two-day summit is to mark the 20th anniversary of
relations between ASEAN and India. The theme of the summit is
ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace and Shared Prosperity.
Trade, investment, economy and connection of land transport
routes as well as cooperation on culture, education, medical
science, military training exchanges are the major issues to be
discussed, she said.
High on the agenda for bilateral talks is the Thai-Indian Free
Trade Agreement to boost the two countries’ trade and
investment, the premier added.
Ms Yingluck is scheduled to visit Bangladesh after the
ASEAN-India Summit for bilateral talks on cooperation and
partnership in trade and investment, and cooperation on
security, intelligence, and suppressing human and drug
A Thai business delegation from various industrial sectors will
accompany the premier to Bangladesh to explore the possibility
of trade cooperation. (MCOT online news)
Deputy PM Plodprasop indicted for illegal tiger exports
BANGKOK, Dec 19 – Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi was
indicted in the Criminal Court today for illegally exporting 100
Bengal tigers to China in 2002 when he was director general of
the Royal Forestry Department.
He was brought to court to be arraigned for approving the tiger
exports by the Sriracha Tiger Zoo between September 9 and
December 24, 2002 – a violation of Thai law and a breach of the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
The Attorney General, in filing the case with the court, charged
Mr Plodprasop and senior forestry official Manop Laoprasert with
being implicated in the corruption case. The Department of
Special Investigation initially submitted the allegations
against them to the National Anti-Corruption Commission which
found sufficient evidence to file suit against them.
Mr Plodprasop was released on bail after his lawyer put a
Bt120,000 bond. He said he has been waiting for a decade to
prove his innocence in court.
“I insist that I’ve done nothing wrong for I have performed my
duty. Exporting tigers to China is not wrong. Anyone who charged
me with malfeasance should produce evidence to substantiate
their allegations and prove whether the export has caused any
damage [to the country],” he said. (MCOT online news)
Land, air services set for New Year’s holiday travellers
BANGKOK, Dec 20 – Thailand’s rail and air travel services will
be augmented to cope with a massive increase of holidaymakers
during the New Year’s celebrations, the State Railway of
Thailand (SRT) announced.
Currently operating 242 trains a day , the SRT announced that it
will add 24 more trains between December 28 and January 3 while
carriages will be added to some trains to transport at least
115,000 passengers a day.
Special carriages will be connected with some trains, if
necessary, to service stranded passengers in Bangkok and
The SRT Airport Rail Link between downtown and Suvarnabhumi
International Airport announced that operating hours for the
City Line, normally between 6 am and midnight, will be extended
to 2am on January 1.
The Express Line which has two trains – Phyathai-Suvarnabhumi
and Makkasan-Suvarnabhumi – will operate normally between 6am
Baggage check service at Makkasan station is open from 7am to
9pm, and passengers can check baggage 3-12 hours before their
flight departure. Parking at Makkasan Station, accommodating 300
vehicles, is free of charge.
Airports of Thailand, which operates six airports in the
country, expects at least 255,000 passengers a day at the six
airports between December 25 and January 5 – a possible increase
by 24 per cent from the same period of last year.
The six airports will serve an average 1,476 flights a day
during the coming holiday season, an 11 per cent increase from
Somchai Sawasdipol, acting director of Suvarnabhumi Airport,
said a coordination centre will be specially set up at the
departure lounge of the airport to provide security and
conveniences to travellers.
Airport and tourist police, security officials and medical
personnel will be on duty at the 24-hour centre from December 25
to January 5. (MCOT online news)
Nearly 2 million persons likely involved with drugs next year: Health Ministry
BANGKOK, Dec 19 - Thailand's Ministry of Public Health said
nearly two million persons are projected to be using illicit
drugs next year, even as the ministry targeted the
rehabilitation of at least 300,000 drug addicts.
Deputy Health Minister Sophon Petchsawang said the drug
situation in the country is still worrisome and the number of
drug-involved persons tends to increase.
Department of Medical Services Deputy Director-General Dr Jirot
Sindhvananda said about 1,900,000 Thais are expected to be
entangled with drugs in 2013, with the government targeted
300,000 for rehabilitation and another 700,000 under ongoing
rehabilitation and close watch.
Dr Jirot said the government will increase the quality and
efficiency of its rehabilitation programme, noting that last
year about 460,000 persons received approximately 4-month
treatment per person.
The deputy director general added that methamphetamines are
listed as top illicit drug, followed by crystal methamphetamine
or 'ice', and marijuana, with the drug addiction rate among
youth having risen.
The record youngest drug addict is a nine-year old boy who has
been lured to take drugs and worked as a distributor to avoid
police observation, said Dr Jirot.
Among the patients at the ministry's five drug rehab centres, he
said, 80 per cent are outpatients as they are not heavily
addicted to drugs, 20 per cent must stay at the centres, while
another 10 per cent are in the group who have become readdicted
to drugs. Some have returned to receive treatment for the third
time after first rehab course. (MCOT online news)
Highway Police arrest ethnic Hmong with 1.3 million meth pills
CHUMPHON, Dec 19 -- Highway Police intercepted a shipment of 1.3
million methamphetamine pills hidden in a pickup truck carrying
vegetables to Phuket.
Chunmporn-based Highway Police inspector Charoenpong Khantilo
led police to set up checkpoints to prevent crime and illegal
smuggling before Christmas and New Year's Festival and found
suspicious pickup truck on Phetkasem Road at Hat Krai
Police searched the vehicle carrying 12 baskets of vegetables
and found each basket had a hidden bag inside, and bags
contained 1.3 million meth pills.
The driver was identified as Ong-art Sengya, 39, an ethnic Hmong
living in Chiang Mai's Mae Wang district.
Mr Ong-art said he was hired to carry the drug by vegetable
vendor named Jeh Phon in Ratchaburi’s Sri Mueang market to
deliver to a major drug agent in Phuket. (MCOT online news)
Integrated counter-insurgency measures launched to protect southern teachers
PATTANI, Dec 19 – Thai government security
authorities and provincial officials at all levels have been instructed
to remain alert without respite and work in full force to ensure safety
for school teachers in this southern province, the provincial governor
Pattani Governor Pramook Lamoon invited community, village, and
religious leaders, as well as teachers and local educators, to a meeting
with security officials to inform them of the new measures to provide
security to teachers who have been targets of insurgent attacks.
Teachers are to commute between their homes and schools in armoured
vehicles if requested, the governor said, adding that border patrol
police and rangers who have teaching background or credentials are
encouraged to apply for teaching jobs due to the shortage of educators.
He said insurgency-affected areas are divided into three
degrees--serious, mild and light--in order to facilitate deployment of
government forces accordingly.
The new measures called on the authorities to strictly abide by the law
in carrying out their duties without violating human rights or creating
hatred among the people.
Mr Pramook said a series of attacks on teachers in a number of districts
has shaken the public’s faith in the government’s security measures,
compelling provincial authorities to be more proactive in providing
safety, especially to teachers.
A number of teachers at government primary schools in this southern
province have been killed or wounded in shootings by insurgents, some in
The worsening situation prompted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to
go South last week to boost teachers morale with a promise to improve
their welfare. (MCOT online news)
Defence minister says government must go 'on offensive' for southern teachers’ safety
BANGKOK, Dec 18 – Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat admitted today
that providing 24-hour security for teachers in Thailand’s far South is
a defensive measure but the government is working on a proactive
strategy to cope with the escalating violence.
He refused to disclose details of the proactive plan, but said he would
make an inspection trip to the South next week.
There has been no violence in the area under the authorities’
surveillance, he said, but problems remain in the non-protected zones.
The minister said his trip to the South was meant to boost the
authorities’ morale, especially as the New Year’s holiday is
Many state primary schools in three southernmost provinces of Yala,
Pattani and Narathiwat reopened Monday after being closed for several
days of closure. Teachers have feared for their safety following a
series of shootings, many of them fatal, against their colleagues in the
past several weeks. (MCOT online news)
Holiday road accidents expected to decline 5%
BANGKOK, Dec 19 – The government has targeted reducing road accidents
during the New Year holiday by 5 per cent, according to government
deputy spokesman Pakdeehan Himathongkham.
He said the cabinet acknowledged the Interior Ministry’s campaign
against road accidents nationwide between December 27 and January 2.
Emphasis will be given to speed control, crackdown on drunk driving,
helmet wearing for motorcyclists and truck drivers’ behaviour behind the
wheel, he said.
Related government agencies in Bangkok and the provinces have been
instructed to follow the Interior Ministry’s guidelines on road accident
prevention, he said. (MCOT online news)
Court rules authorities killed taxi driver victim 2010 violence
BANGKOK, Dec 17 – The Bangkok South District Court ruled today
that a taxi driver from Surin who joined an anti-government
rally in the 2010 political riot in Bangkok was shot dead by the
Chatchai Chalao, 25, a native of Surin province, was the third
Red Shirt protester whom the court pinpointed as victim of
shooting by state authorities. The court did not give a specific
identity of the shooter.
Mr Chatchai, a member of the United Front for Democracy against
Dictatorship (UDD) which led the months-long demonstration in
2010, was shot dead on Rama IV Road, opposite Lumpini Park on
May 13, 2010.
It was the first ruling by the Bangkok South District Court in
relation to the 2010 political upheaval. The Criminal Court
earlier announced that two other victims, Pan Khamkong, a taxi
driver and Charnnarong Polsrila were shot dead by soldiers under
the command of the now-defunct Centre for the Resolution of the
Emergency Decree (CRES).
The CRES was specially set up by the then Abhisit Vejjajiva
government to deal with the political demonstrations and
accompanying violence which had spread widely in the capital
during the time the Emergency Decree was in force.
The Attorney General has submitted 19 similar cases relating to
the 2010 crisis to the Criminal Court and Bangkok South District
Court. The fourth case, involving the fatal shooting of a
14-year-old boy on Rachaprarob Road, is pending the Criminal
Court’s ruling on Thursday.
Ninety-one persons were killed during the Red Shirt (UDD)
organised demonstrations. (MCOT online news)
4th Army Region Commander asserts soldiers work 24/7 for teachers security
BANGKOK, Dec 17 -- Fourth Army Region Commander Lt-Gen Udomchai
Thamsarorach said today that the government’s security agencies
have mobilised forces to provide safety protection for educators
around the clock in the southernmost provinces.
He said the security forces work 24 hours a day, every day for
the safety of teachers and other "soft targets" including
However, he admitted that the military alone could not provide
security for all areas as there are many routes and a wide range
of areas in the southern border provinces.
Gen Udomchai urged the public to give a helping hand to protect
lives of teachers as they play a vital role in educating
He added that the military is hard at work every day, no matter
whether holidays or not, and he is confident that the situation
in the southern provinces would be better next year.
Meanwhile, all schools in Thailand’s three southernmost
provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala as well as four
districts of Songkhla reopened normally amid tight security.
However, not all students have come to school as there was heavy
rain in Narathiwat.
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
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 few weeks.
Ms Yingluck promised to provide them full welfare, risk and
rehabilitation payments. (MCOT online news)
40,000 CCTVs for Bangkok next year
BANGKOK, Dec 18 – Thailand’s capital of 6 million people will be
fully equipped with 40,000 closed-circuit cameras (CCTVs) by the
end of next year, according to a Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration (BMA) official.
BMA spokesman Wasan Meewong said the project of installing CCTVs
in Bangkok has hit a snag following an investigation of problems
with transparency in procuring the equipment.
Now that the BMA is found to purchase CCTVs at cheaper prices
than other government agencies, the procurement will continue
and CCTVs will be installed at 1,600 spots within January and
20,000 locations by the end of next year, he said.
CCTVs have already been installed at 20,000 locations and the
capital should have 40,000 units, particularly at danger-prone
areas, by the end of next year, Mr Wasan said.
He added that the BMA will also install the cameras in 317
communities with a high rate of drug-related offences. (MCOT