Thai Consulate-General in New York closely monitoring storm Sandy
BANGKOK, Oct 30 – Thailand’s Consulate-General in New
York City is closely monitoring the progress and is coordinating with
Thai citizens in the metropolitan area as massive storm Sandy crashed
ashore in the New Jersey and Delaware coast on Monday.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department of Information Deputy
Director-General Damrong Kraikruan said the consulate-general staff in
New York is in touch with Thais living in the metropolitan area as well
as with Thai associations and Buddhist temples.
He said the consulate-general has prepared measures and procedures in
case of emergency to assist Thai citizens.
Mr Damrong, acting foreign ministry spokesman, said there are some
30,000-40,000 Thais living in New York City and 10,000 in nearby areas
which could be affected by the hurricane.
He said that Thai nationals can directly contact the consulate-general
and that there are also some networks of Thais in the US which always
provide information to each other.
On that basis, he said he believed that all Thais in storm-affected
areas would receive information and are well prepared for the storm.
Security tightened at northern border to Chiang Mai
CHIANG MAI, Oct 29 - Local security units have
deployed more personnel for stringent security measures along the route
from Thailand’s northwestern border to Chiang Mai’s city centre
following an official warning of a possible influx of 500 million
methamphetamine pills into the country.
Phahong checkpoint in Chaiprakan district, police and military manning
the checkpoint searched buses and vehicles arriving from Mae Ai district
bordering Myanmar. Passengers' belongings and identity cards are being
thoroughly examined to prevent illegal migrants and drugs from slipping
into the city.
The measures were implemented after intelligence reports indicated that
500 million meth pills are likely to be smuggled across the border into
Thailand. Drug smugglers are reported to have transported drugs to a
number of border villages preparing to carry them to Thailand by every
Security personnel are also on alert for fugitives with outstanding
arrest warrants in drug cases who may mingle with other passengers.
HM the King endorses cabinet reshuffle
BANGKOK, Oct 28 – His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
on Sunday endorsed the cabinet reshuffle proposed by Prime Minister
The major cabinet shake-up involved 23 cabinet seats with key changes as
Jarupong Ruangsuwan was shifted from the Transport Ministry to take the
post of Interior Minister. Chadchart Sittipunt was promoted from Deputy
Transport Minister to the new head of that ministry.
Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi was appointed to
become Deputy Prime Minister, while his ministerial post was taken up by
Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office Woravat Auapinyakul.
Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul took a deputy prime
ministerial post concurrently.
Red Shirt leader Nattawut Saikua was changed from Deputy Agriculture and
Cooperatives Minister to Deputy Commerce Minister.
As for members of the so-called House No. 111 or former executives of
the disbanded Thai Rak Thai party, Pongthep Thepkanchana took the posts
of Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister concurrently. Pongsak
Raktapongpaisarn became the Energy Minister.
Government spokeswoman Sansanee Nakpong was appointed as Minister
Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Yukol Limlaemthong, former Permanent Secretary for Agriculture and
Cooperatives, replaced Agriculture and Cooperatives minister Theera
Wongsamut who earlier announced his resignation from the post citing
health problem. (MCOT online news)
PC Air operation licence suspended
Oct 26 -- The Department of Civil Aviation has suspended the operation
licence of PC Air until the private-owned airline clarified how its only
plane was grounded leaving passengers stranded at South Korean airport.
The Department Director General Voradej Harnprasert said that PC Air
submitted a request for charter flight operation licence for November
but the Department would not approve the licence until all problems have
Under Thai aviation law, the licence for charter airline must be renewed
He said the Department wanted a report from PC Air on the incident last
week and information from the PC Air agent which was responsible for its
financial transactions and also information from the oil company.
The Department wanted to make sure that there would be no repeat of such
an incident in the future, he said.
A PC Air charter flight was grounded in Seoul last week over delayed
payment of airport refueling expenses, which left hundreds of passengers
stranded at South Korea's biggest airport of Incheon.
Mr Voradej earlier told reporters that an investigation found that the
private-owned Thai airline owed money for aircraft fuel so no oil
company was available to refuel the aircraft for taking off and
returning to Thailand. The fuel bill was around Bt10 million.
The director general said that on Monday, the Ministry of Transport
would appoint a working group to investigate the issue and he expected
that PC Air executives would come to discuss the issue with the
department. (MCOT online news)
PM orders state agencies to work with private sector for AEC readiness
BANGKOK, Oct 27 - Thai Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra has instructed all concerned agencies to work with the
private sector to prepare the country for the ASEAN Economic Community
(AEC) in 2015, while the Thai government has outlined eight key
strategies for Thailand's readiness.
PM, on a prerecorded episode of her weekly TV programme ""Yingluck
Government Meets the People," said she chaired a second workshop for
state agencies and the private and civil sectors on Wednesday to follow
up on various issues decided during the first meeting, which assigned
all ministries to assess Thailand's readiness and competencies in
relations to various ASEAN directives and regulations.
In the second meeting, Ms Yingluck said the government has been briefed
on the readiness of each industry-assessed state agency. The premier
said she has ordered the ministries to jointly work with the private
sector to re-evaluate readiness in all aspects and present information
to the cabinet in two weeks.
Ms Yingluck added the government has outlined eight strategies to
prepare the country for entering the AEC in the next three years.
The strategies include the promotion of competitiveness on products,
services, trade, and investment; the improvement of quality of life and
social protection; the development of basic infrastructure and logistics
system to enhance connectivity; human resources development to meet
ASEAN education standard; the improvement of law and regulations to
facilitate trade and investment; the promotion of public awareness on
the AEC; the strengthening of security issues; and the enhancement of
urban competitiveness to take advantage of ASEAN opportunities.
Ms Yingluck said the cabinet is committed to pushing for Thailand's
readiness for the AEC at a national level, while four sub-committees
will also be set up.
They are the sub-committees which will implement the eight strategies at
the regional and provincial levels, the joint committee with private
sectors, the sub-committee on basic infrastructure, and the
sub-committee on law amendment. (MCOT online news)
BMA launches 'bikes for rent' project to reduce traffic congestion
BANGKOK, Oct 28 - The Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration (BMA) on Sunday launched a 'Bikes for Rent' project in
the hopes of helping ease the city's traffic woes.
Bangkok Deputy Governor Teerachon Manomaipiboon presided over the
opening ceremony in downtown Bangkok.
The project is for commuters to use bikes in transit to reach BTS
skytrain and MRT underground stations.
Two pilot points of services are near Siam Square BTS station (on the
cornor of Henri Dunant Rd) and Sam Yan MRT station (around the corner
from Chamchuri Square Building).
Eight bikes are currently provided at each pilot station. The total
number of rented bikes will be increased to 100 soon, before 500 bikes
will be made available at 50 skytrain and underground stations in inner
Bangkok by February next year.
Mr Teerachon said the BMA wanted to promote to the public the use of BTS
and MRT to ease the traffic problem. However, as electric train routes
do not cover the entirety of Bangkok, the 'bikes for rent' project is an
alternative means of travel in those areas such as in Silom, Sathorn and
Wireless Road areas.
Commuters can choose to rent a bike from one station and return it to
any station nearest to their destination.
Payment will be completed through an electronic system with a smart
card, of which the value can be topped up via internet or at the
stations providing bikes.
Rental fees is free of charge for 15-minute use. After the first 15
minutes of use to one hour, it costs Bt10, Bt20 for 1-3 hours, Bt40 for
3-5 hours, Bt60 for 5-6 hours, Bt80 for 6-8 hours, and Bt100 from 8
hours onwards. A GPS tracking system will be applied if the bike is
missing for more than 24 hours. (MCOT online news)
38 Cambodians arrested at Sa Kaeo border province
SA KAEO, Oct 28 - Thirty-eight undocumented Cambodian
workers were arrested on Sunday for illegal entry at this eastern
The suspects were walking in a forest grove near Ban Klong Luek in
Aranyaprathet district in order to cross the border back to Cambodia's
They confessed they had illegally entered Thailand several months ago to
work in the eastern provinces of Rayong and Chonburi.
They were on their way back to Cambodia in order to make ID cards in
preparation for their national election next year.
Thai local authorities sent the 38 Cambodians to Sa Kaeo's immigration
police for futher legal action. (MCOT online news)
Anti-government 'Pitak Siam' group is to decide when to stage another protest
BANGKOK, Oct 28 - The anti-government 'Pitak Siam'
group is to decide again next week when and where they will stage
Siam, or Protecting Siam, chairman retired Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit and
activist Tul Sittisomwong, leader of multicoloured shirt group, on
Sunday announced their next move at a press conference.
About 8,700 people gathered in the capital at the rally site of the
Pitak Siam group at the Royal Turf Club in the Nang Loeng area on Sunday
Retired Gen Boonlert said the mass gathering is aimed at unveiling the
truth about the Yingluck Shinawatra administration’s alleged corruption
After the rally, he said the group asked protesters to invite their
families and friends, about 100 people each, to come back for the next
However, he said if the government decided to change how to work on
important projects, which are now questionable, the group then would
consider changing their stance.
The venue for the next Pitak Siam gathering is also still to be decided.
The group will submit a letter and signatures at Government House asking
the Yingluck administration to stop its questionable projects.
Otherwise, they will continue with protests to pressure the government.
(MCOT online news)
Muslim Thais in Narathiwat celebrate Eid al-Adha festival
NARATHIWAT, Oct 26 -- Thailand's Muslim communities
in the southern border province of Narathiwat on Friday celebrate the
Eid Al-Adha festival or the festival of sacrifice.
Muslims in the province have begun the celebration early morning and
then joining mass prayers at nearby mosques.
The “Eid Al-Adha” or the Sacrifice Celebration Day is celebrated about
two months after Aidilfitri, marking the end of the sacrificial period.
During the festival, Muslim families would give meat to the poor so that
they too can join in the festivities.
In Songkhla's Hat Yai, a special police force from the Provincial Police
Region 9 was deployed to reinforce the joint operation of military,
police and administrative staff to ensure the safety of the business
district during the Muslim festival.
More tourists are expected to visit Hat Yai, particularly from Malaysia
and Singapore, to celebrate Eid Al-Adha over the weekend. (MCOT online
Major cabinet reshuffle likely
BANGKOK, Oct 25 -- A major cabinet shake-up by Prime
Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is looming with 20 portfolios expected to
be changed amid speculation from various media outlets.
The Secretariat of the Cabinet has reportedly submitted the list to HM
the King for royal endorsement on Wednesday evening and several media
report the list of new cabinet members as follows:
Jarupong Ruangsuwan is tipped to become Pheu Thai Party leader and shift
from the Transport Ministry to take the helm at the Interior Ministry,
while Bhokin Bhalakula name has appeared in some press reports as
Chadchart Sittipunt is likely to be promoted from Deputy Transport
Minister to the new head of the ministry after demonstrating outstanding
performance during last years' flood crisis.
Science and Technology Plodprasop Suraswadi is likely to be appointed
Deputy Prime Minister, while his ministerial post would be taken up by
Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office Woravat Auapinyakul.
Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul could take a deputy prime
ministerial post concurrently, according to media reports.
Red Shirt leader Nattawut Saikua would be changed from Deputy
Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister to Deputy Commerce Minister.
As for members of the so-called House No. 111 or former executives of
the disbanded Thai Rak Thai party, Pongthep Thepkanchana is tipped to
become Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister concurrently.
Pongsak Raktapongpaisarn would likely be Energy Minister.
Government spokeswoman Sansanee Nakpong is likely to be appointed as
Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Yukol Limlaemthong, former Permanent Secretary for Agriculture and
Cooperatives, is expected to replace Theera Wongsamut who earlier
announced his resignation from the post citing health problem.
The latest cabinet shake-up could see seven ministers out of jobs, while
red shirt key leader Jatuporn Prompan would not be on the list.
Pheu Thai party spokesperson Prompong Nopparit said the reshuffle was
aimed at driving government policy in the second year of administration
to effectively achieve their targets. (MCOT online news)
Censure debate expected second week of November
BANGKOK, Oct 25 - House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont
said a censure debate lodged against the Yingluck Shinawatra
administration is expected on the second week of November if the
Opposition files a motion by the end of this month.
House Speaker made his remarks after the opposition Democrat Party plans
to submit the censure motion against the Pheu Thai-led government on
Mr Somsak said it takes 3-5 days to verify the details of the motion and
it will be put on the House agenda on the second week of next month at
the earliest or can be delayed until the third week at the latest.
Meanwhile, the Democrat party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said the latest
cabinet reshuffle in which Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom is
expected to be removed from the list will not affect the opposition's
censure debate on the transparency of the government's rice pledging
scheme and alleged excessive stocks of rice from the scheme.
Mr Abhisit reasoned that the heavily-criticised rice pledging scheme is
the government's policy and under the responsibility of the prime
minister and her entire cabinet.
Prime Minister Yingluck today reaffirmed that the reshuffled cabinet
list was submitted to HM the King for royal endorsement. She denied the
cabinet shake-up is to avoid censure debate.
The Democrat party leader said the Opposition hopes the government will
utilise useful information which will be discussed during the upcoming
censure debate, while the public will be informed of the truth.
Following concern that the premier may not attend the censure debate, Mr
Abhisit said he has been informed by the government whip that Ms
Yingluck will be able to manage her schedule to join the debate. (MCOT
Three suspected insurgents surrender to police
Oct 25 - Three members of the Runda Kumpalan Kecil (RKK) insurgent group
have surrendered to the police.
As suspects in insurgent cases from 2011, the trio pledged to change
their views and cooperate with officials in tackling the southern
violence. They also pledged that they would not get back involved with
the insurgent network again.
Apinun Suethanuwong, Narathiwat governor said that the authority is
ready to provide security for their families and will offer them
Pol Maj Gen Phisit Sitthisarn, commander of the special unit, said the
trio turned themselves in to the police because they are confident in
the prospects of fairness, after 93 suspects turned up earlier this
month and were helped to have jobs and able to lead normal lives. (MCOT
Police collect evidence of M79 shooting at security checkpoint
Oct 25 - Narathiwat police today collected evidence from a crime scene
following last night's M79 grenades attack at a security checkpoint in
this restive southern border province, while security has been tightened
on the eighth anniversary of the Tak Bai incident to prevent any
Police inspections came after assailants fired two M79 grenades at a
security checkpoint in Tak Bai district late last night. No one was
injured in the attack as the grenades fell under a tree and at the
entrance gate of a village's water supply system building.
Police collected the evidence at the crime scene for further
Meanwhile, police, soldiers and defence volunteers sets up checkpoint on
main and minor roads leading to Tak Bai district to thoroughly search
The popular restaurant “Khok Khang” in the Tak Bai municipality was
The Tak Bai incident occurred on Oct 25, 2004 when hundreds of people
were arrested while protesting against the arrest of six local men. The
arrested protesters were handcuffed and piled into trucks heading for an
army camp in nearby Pattani province. Arriving at the camp, at least 85
of them were found to have died from suffocation. (MCOT online news)
State agencies urged to prevent recurrence of far South violence
PATTANI, Oct 25 - Deputy Prime Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapa on Wednesday urged
security agencies in the southern border region to work to the best of their
abilities to boost confidence among the local residents that authorities could
Gen Yuthasak and the Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha chaired a meeting with
security agencies in the five southern border provinces at Ingayuthaboriharn
milirary camp in Pattani. They were briefed about the latest situation,
including the recent series of eight insurgent attacks in Narathiwat's Tak Bai
district as well as preventive measures on the eve of the eighth anniversary of
the Tak Bai incident.
The deputy premier, who supervises national security, urged all relevant
agencies to make all efforts to ward off any recurrences of violence and assure
the public that the state could take care of them.
He said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra instructed all agencies to exercise
restraints and tolerance in enforcing security measures ahead of the Tak Bai
incident anniversary on Thursday and during the Eid Al-Adha festival on Friday.
The premier's instruction was meant to prevent insurgents from creating public
misunderstanding about the military operations for their own gains.
The government is ready to provide advanced equipment for security personnel, in
particular those manning checkpoints to prevent violence, Gen Yuthasak pledged.
Meanwhile, the army chief said he assigned concerned agencies to urgently stamp
out oil and drug smuggling, saying these problems make the troubles worse. He
threatened to take immediate legal action against any officials found involved
in the illegal businesses. (MCOT online news)
Religious ceremony held for Tak Bai victims
NARATHIWAT, Oct 24 - The Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC)
on Wednesday held a religious ceremony to commemorate the eighth anniversary of
the Tak Bai incident in Narathiwat on 2004 in which at least 85 people were
SBPAC Secretary General Pol Col Tawee Sodsong chaired the ceremony which was
held at the office of the Narathiwat Provincial Islamic committee.
The event was also attended by the Narathiwat provincial Islamic Committee
chairman Safi-e Jeloh.
The SBPAC handed out scholarships to 53 students who had become orphans as a
result of the incident.
Col Tawee said that the government provided compensation to three groups of
people who were affected by the case.
The first group was 84 victims who died and whose families received an initial
Bt3.5 million each.
The second group was those who were prosecuted and the Court later dismissed the
cases involving almost 1,300 people, he said, adding that the government has
followed up to extend the assistance.
The last group was those who were left disabled from the incident and this
compensation process is under way.
The Tak Bai violence occurred on Oct 25, 2004 when hundreds of people were
arrested while protesting against the arrest of six local men. The arrested
protesters were handcuffed and piled into trucks heading for an army camp in
nearby Pattani province. At least 78 of them were found to have suffocated upon
the vehicles’ arrival to the camp. (MCOT online news)
Three thai workers wounded from fighting in Israel
Oct 24 -- Three Thai workers in Israel were injured, two in critical condition,
as a result of fighting near the Gaza Strip in Israel, according to Thai Labour
Minister Phadermchai Sasomsub.
Mr Phadermchai said that he was informed by the Thai Embassy in Israel that the
latest fighting between Israeli forces and the Palestinian militant group Hamas
at 7am Israeli time injured three Thai workers.
The Thais were working at Tel Aviv when the fighting erupted. They were sent to
hospital for treatment as two of them were seriously injured.
According to the minister, they could be initially identified only by their
first names: Suchan, Somsak and Sawat.
Mr Phadermchai said he asked the Thai embassador to Israel to take care of the
He said the location where the three Thai workers were working was considered a
risk area and the ministry earlier warned them to avoid working at the 6th farm
area or Moshaf.
However, some Thai workers were willing to risk their life to work in that area
as they would receive higher payment. (MCOT online news)
Pitak Siam group to stage anti-government mass rally on Sunday
Oct 24 -- Pitak Siam or Protecting Siam, led by retired Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit,
will organise an anti-government mass rally at the Royal Turf Club in Bangkok’s
Nang Lerng on Sunday.
Gen Boonlert, chairman of Pitak Siam group, said that the rally would welcome
all parties, be they yellow or red shirts. The rally would be a gathering of
patriots and people loyal to the monarchy without backing from any political
The retired army general said the government has failed in governing the country
with corruption rampant in various projects. He would unveil evidence supporting
If the government is allowed to continue, it could inflict further damage on the
country, he said.
Gen Boonlert, a classmate of former prime minister Gen Surayud Chulanont at the
Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School (AFAPS), admitted that a coup was
discussed among his group as many sections could not tolerate how the government
is running the country.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung said that he would meet Gen
Boonlert today for a private talk but would not discuss politics.
Pol Capt Chalerm said that he believed the upcoming rally would be peaceful and
he has ordered police to facilitate the gathering.
Pheu Thai list-MP and red-shirt co-leader Korkaew Pikulthong claimed that red
shirt supporters in the North and Northeast were lured by groups of people to
join the rally in exchange for Bt300-500 in cash.
He urged supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship
(UDD), or red shirts, to refrain from joining the rally. (MCOT online news)
Deputy PM, army chief to visit far South Wednesday
Oct 23 - Thai Deputy Prime Minister Gen Yuthasak Sasiprapa will visit the
restive southern region on Wednesday to follow up on security operations and
boost officials' morale.
The deputy premier who overseas national security will visit the deep South with
army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha and will meet with governors of five southern
Gen Yuthasak said he was assigned by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to visit
the violence-plagued provinces to give moral support to officials and follow up
on the setup of security checkpoints, as well as inspect the army armaments.
Following the proposal of the army chief to assess the performance of all
agencies concerned in tackling the southern violence for every three month, Gen
Yuthasak said he has informed the premier of the army chief's request.
He said the prime minister agreed to chair the performance assessment committee
in order to boost the work's efficiency.
4th Army Region Commander Lt-Gen Udomchai Thamsarorach said that Gen Yuthasak
and Gen Prayuth will visit Ingkayut Borihan military camp in Pattani's Nong Chik
district and will be briefed of the situation in the three Muslim-majority
Both the deputy premier and army chief will then meet with dozens of Thai
Muslims who graduated from Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and
Pakistan to exchange views over possible solutions to solve the violence in the
Meanwhile, a railway worker was gunned down in Pattani's Khok Pho district
Tuesday morning as he was on his way to work at Napradoo Train Station.
The victim was identified as Likhit Insing, 41. He was shot four times in the
back and legs.
Investigation is now underway to verify if the attack is insurgency-motivated or
stems from a personal conflict. (MCOT online news)
Foreigner nabbed with marijuana in possession
PRAKAN, Oct 23 – The police arrest one Zambian national with 11 grammes of
marijuana along with three other foreigners for violating immigration law.
Somsak Puaphan, Muang Samut Prakan chief district and Pol Col Sithatkhet
Kruwattanaset, superintendent of the Samrong Nua police station told a news
conference about the arrest of Mr Mwanza Bauleni Kanyambilo, 35, from Zambia
after the police found marijuana and drug paraphernalia at his room in an
apartment in Soi Bearing.
The arrest occurred when the police randomly searched six apartments in the
Samrong Nua area.
Three others including two Nigerian nationals and one South African were
detained for having no passports or carrying expired passports.
All of them have been detained for further questioning. (MCOT online news)
Railway Hall of Fame to reopen to mark King Chulalongkorn Day
BANGKOK, Oct 22 – The State Railway’s Hall of Fame is
scheduled to reopen for the last time on Tuesday to commemorate the death of
King Chulalongkorn the Great (King Rama V), the Father of Thai Railway.
Wirayasiri, director of the state railway hall of fame on Monday visited the
hall of fame in the compound of the Chatuchak Park in Bangkok in preparation for
the one-day public opening on Wednesday Oct 23, the public holiday to mark the
death of King Chulalongkorn, who passed away on October 23, 1910.
As the father of Thai railway, the first railway was constructed and the Royal
State Railways of Siam was founded during his reign.
After the five-month closure for the state railway to build a permanent railway
museum, the railway hall of fame's one-day reopening will allow the public to
see steam and diesel-powered locomotives, as well as the world’s last two
hospital carriages made of golden teak.
The railway hall of fame opened for the first time 23 years ago on October 23,
1989. (MCOT online news)
Pak Moon dam’s sluice gates closed to store water for dry season
Oct 23 – The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has closed
sluice gates of the Pak Moon dam in the northeastern province of Ubon
Ratchathani in order to store water for the dry season.
The sluice gates had been opened for three months since July before they were
closed on Monday to help local residents living along the Mun River and its
branch rivers to avoid drought, said Pongdit Potejana, EGAT spokesman.
The decision came after the meeting of the dam’s water management committee, he
Meanwhile, in the northeastern province of Nakhon Phanom, Jureerat Thep-art,
head of the province’s disaster prevention and mitigation office said that this
year, rainfalls has stopped sooner than in previous years and some areas started
to face drought, particularly paddy fields in Na Wa district.
About 4,000 acres of rice paddies producing grains are withering as the area is
outside the irrigation zone. Another 2,000 acres of paddy fields are at risk of
water shortage. The survey on damages is being conducted to seek assistance from
Although the local authority is offering trucks carrying water to alleviate the
drought, it is not sufficient to save all the rice paddies.
Farmers are spending about 2,000 -3,000 baht per day to pump water from a creek
and ground water, as far as one kilometre away, to keep rice paddies alive until
the harvest period. (MCOT online news)
Police chief confident situation under control on Tak Bai anniversary
Oct 22 - The national police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew said he is not
worried about possible violence on the eve of the 5th anniversary of the Tak Bai
incident this Thursday, saying officials can handle the situation.
The police chief made his remarks as he visited Narathiwat's Tak Bai district on
Monday following a series of attacks which occurred in five spots of Tak Bai
district over the weekend.
Gen Adul said the incidents were believed to be linked to the Runda Kumpalan
Kecil (RKK) insurgent group.
He said authorities have a long-term plan to tackle the issue and that he is
confident that officials will be able to handle the situation on October 25,
which marks the 5th anniversary of the Tak Bai incident.
The Tak Bai incident occurred as hundreds of people were arrested in 2004 while
protesting the arrest of six local men, and at least 85 of them were found to
have suffocated to death when they were handcuffed and piled into trucks heading
for an army camp in nearby Pattani province.
The Tak Bai anniversary this year also coincides with the Hari Raya celebration
that marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Meanwhile, government spokesperson Sansanee Nakpong said Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra has assigned Deputy Prime Minister Gen Yuthasak Sasiprapa to visit
the three southern border provinces on Tuesday.
Ms Sansanee said the deputy premier has been tasked with following up the
situation of southern unrest and to give moral support for officials who work
there protecting the people's lives and properties. (MCOT online news)
Key red shirt leader testifies to DSI
Oct 22 - Jatuporn Prompan, one of the key red shirt leaders, urge investigators
at the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to seek cooperation from the
army in an attempt to locate the black-clad men alleged to have involved in the
2010 political violence.
In his testimony to the DSI today concerning the deadly clashes between security
forces and red-shirt protesters in April and May 2010, Mr Jatuporn said the red
shirt protests were peaceful gatherings of unarmed demonstrators.
Mr Jatuporn urged the DSI to secure close-circuit camera's footage at the Army's
11th Infantry Regiment, adding that he learned from army sources that the men in
black actually came from the army's unit which was used as a command centre of
the now-dissolved Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES).
The red shirt leader said he came to the DSI to testify as a witness in the
Mr Jatuporn said he did not harbour any ill intention against the military but
wanted justice done with the then-prime minister and deputy prime minister who
ordered (military operations).
When asked whether he could confirm the existence of black-clad men, the red
shirt leader said the matter was cooked-up, saying the only media agency
capturing images of alleged men in black released the picture three days after
recording it on April 10 which he described as unusual.
The mysterious "men in black" have been linked to the red-shirt United Front for
Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) and were believed by some to have attacked
security forces and killed people during the political violence.
The UDD has offered an additional 1 million baht reward for information about
the men in black on top of the 1 million baht bounty already announced by the
DSI last week for information leading to arrests of the suspects.
Mr Jatuporn said there were some people who expressed interest in contributing
additional cash rewards for this purpose. (MCOT online news)
Green Politics petitions anti-corruption agency to probe 3G auction
BANGKOK, Oct 22 -- Political activist Suriyasai Katasila on Monday asked the
National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to investigate the 11 members of the
National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), accusing them of
mishandling the third generation (3G) spectrum licence auction.
Suriyasai, a coordinator of Green Politics, submitted the petition to NACC to
probe whether NACC members, in their handling of the auction for 3G mobile phone
service licences, might have violated Price Collusion Act of 1999 and can be
indicted for dereliction of duty under the Criminal Code Section 157.
He said the auction regulations drafted by NBTC for 3G auction may lead to
unfair bidding or avoidance of fair bidding. He said that although the NACC has
no authority to stop the auction, it could give recommendations to NBTC for
transparency operation as the damage from 3G auction could prolong for 15 years
of licence period.
The broadcasting and telecom regulator has come under pressure after three
operators- Advanced Info Service (AIS), DTAC and TrueMove- were awarded licences
to provide 3G services at prices many academics and activists deemed as too low.
The NBTC, on October 16, auctioned off nine of the 15-year licences for Bt41.6
billion, which was only Bt1.125 billion or 2.78% above the reserve price.
The NBTC set the reserve price at 2.1-gigahertz spectrum at Bt4.5 billion.
Mr Suriyasai said that the Administrative Court rejected his petition seeking
the auction's suspension, reasoning that he was not a person who was directly
affected by the auction, nor involved as a stakeholder in the auction.
He said he would later submit a petition to the Office of the Ombudsman as
recommended by the Court. (MCOT online news)
Security tightened at Monday cabinet meeting venue
SURAT THANI, Oct 21 – Security has been tightened at Suratthani Rajabhat
University, the venue for Monday’s cabinet meeting in this southern province.
1,500 police officers will provide security at the cabinet meeting on Monday,
with about 750 officers on stand by.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Sunday chaired a meeting with a joint
state and private sector committee from four provinces – Chumpon, Surat Thani,
Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phatthalung ahead of the cabinet meeting.
Earlier Sunday, Ms Yingluck visited to Nakhon Si Thammarat to preside over a
ceremony to support Wat Phrathat's proposed listing as a UNESCO World Heritage
Ms Yingluck said the government is due to hold the cabinet meeting in the
southern province for an opportunity to see development projects both in the
short term and long term to improve lives of local people.
She then visited Surat Thani to see the Bung Khun Thale, a 500-acre freshwater
lake which will be developed into recreation and eco-tourism site under the
tourism development project.
The lake is also a water retention area and supplies water for irrigation. A
budget of 180 million baht will be sought at the cabinet on Monday to go towards
road and bridge construction. (MCOT online news)
Cabinet meeting to kick off in Koh Samui
THANI, Oct 20 – The cabinet meeting will begin on the resort island of Koh Samui
in the southern province of Surat Thani on Oct 22 amid tight security.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra arrived at Samui International Airport
Saturday afternoon ahead of the cabinet meeting on Monday at Surat Thani
Rajabhat University’s International School of Tourism.
Then, Ms Yingluck and her team travelled by helicopter to Koh Tao island in Koh
Pha-ngan district in order to visit a site where Koh Tao subdistrict health
promotion hospital was planned to be built.
arrival, Public Health Minister Witthaya Buranasiri reported to the premier of a
need for the hospital construction. He said that a small-scale hospital with 10
beds was needed in order to provide medical services and meet the demands of
increasing numbers of local and foreign patients.
The hospital construction project, valued at some Bt50 million, will be proposed
by the ministry to the cabinet on Monday in order to seek approval.
Tao Island is one of the world’s most well-known tourism and scuba diving
destinations and attracts some 500,000 tourists and scuba divers each year.
Ms Yingluck then travelled to Koh Pha-ngan Island and Than Sadet National Park
before visiting Than Prapas water resource and inspecting the location where a
reservoir was planned to be constructed.
the visit, the prime minister was greeted by the residents and pledged to
develop and improve Koh Pha-ngan Island before travelling back to Koh Samui
Island by ferry boat.
Regarding concerns over security and a mass gathering of Democrat Party
supporters during the cabinet meeting, Democrat Party and Opposition leader
Abhisit Vejjajiva assured that party supporters will not obstruct and will not
hold rallies against the approaching meeting, adding that he was affirmed by
ex-Democrat party leader Suthep Thaugsuban, as Surat Thani is his political
stronghold. (MCOT online news)
Deputy PM orders security to remain tight in business areas of deep South
SURAT THANI, Oct 21 - Deputy Prime Minister Yutthasak
Sasiprapa ordered security to remain heightened in the three southern border
provinces following a series of insurgent attacks in Narathiwat’s Tak Bai
district Saturday night.
of the 5th anniversary of the Tak Bai incident on October 25, coinciding with
the Hari Raya celebration, the deputy prime minister said a warning about
possible violence was issued for heightened security since October 19, as
possible symbolic attacks could be launched during this period from Oct 25-28.
However, he said the situation is under control and he will visit the three
southern border provinces next week.
Regarding the series of attacks on Saturday night, he said he received a report
of a nine-year-old child wounded at the bombing at the karaoke bar. One official
was wounded and one suspected insurgent was killed.
Hotels and restaurants in business areas have not been affected, as security
officials work strictly to protect those areas. However, in outer areas,
security will remain tightened at entertainment venues and hotels until the end
of this month, he said.
The Tak Bai violence occurred on Oct 25, 2004 when hundreds of people were
arrested while protesting the arrest of six local men. The arrested protesters
were handcuffed and thrown into trucks heading for an army camp in nearby
At least 85 of them were found to have suffocated to death upon the vehicles’
arrival at the camp. (MCOT online news)
Former head of defunct BBC dies of cancer
BANGKOK, Oct 20 -- A former president of defunct Bangkok Bank
of Commerce (BBC) Krirkkiat Jalichandra passed away on Saturday from cancer at
the age of 63, ending his role in the saga of the failed BBC.
Mr Krirkkiat had reportedly suffered from lung cancer for many years and had
appeared in court to fight a series of embezzlement charges in fragile physical
condition since 2010.
Krirkkiat was prosecuted in a number of embezzlement charges, brought against
him after the collapse of BBC.
He was facing total of 17 fraud and embezzlement cases worth more than Bt50
billion. He had been sentenced to a total of 70 years in jail in at least seven
different cases related to the collapse of the BBC in the 1990s.
He was fighting the cases while hearing in Court of Appeals was postponed
because of his worsening health problems.
In the last Appeals Court ruling last December, it upheld a sentence of 20 years
in jail for embezzling Bt1.22 billion from the BBC.
The BBC collapsed in 1996 due to enormous leverage and improper lending with
insolvency sparking a financial sector crisis and the collapse contributed to
the Asian financial crisis and the 1997 devaluation of the Thai baht.
Mr Krirkkiat had run the BBC under the guidance of Krirkkiat advisor Rakesh
Saxena who is now facing his own fraud and embezzlement cases in Thailand.
Mr Saxena was extradited to Thailand after living in exile in Canada for 13
years. (MCOT online news)
One killed in bombings, clashes in Narathiwat
NARATHIWAT, Oct 21 – One suspected insurgent was killed and
one official wounded in bombings and clashes between suspected insurgents and
security officials in this southern border province on Saturday night.
The violence occurred at five spots in Tak Bai district.
The first incident occurred at a marine police station when an unknown number of
suspected insurgents commenced shooting and bombing attacks, leading to a clash
with the police. One police officer was wounded. After the clash ended, the
police found more than 50 cartridges and two grenades at the site.
Subsequently, another clash occurred at a checkpoint near a Muslim cemetery. One
suspected insurgent was killed.
Meanwhile, three bombs exploded at a convenience store, a karaoke cafe and the
parking of the Taba Plaza Hotel. The bomb at the convenience store was placed on
a shelf, causing a fire which partly damaged the shop. The bomb at the karaoke
cafe was attached to a motorcycle while the car bomb at the hotel damaged the
building and the assets.
According to an initial investigation, more than ten suspected insurgents
launched the series of attacks simultaneously, then threw tripod spikes on roads
to thwart officials following them. Several cars were damaged by the strewn
tripod spikes. (MCOT online news)
Thailand, Vietnam to hold joint cabinet meeting next week
BANGKOK, Oct 20 -- Thailand and Vietnam will hold their second joint Cabinet
meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam on Oct 27, where both sides will discuss economic
cooperation, particularly the rice trade, and measures to increase total value
of two-way trade by 20 per cent by 2015.
Spokesperson Sansanee Nakpong told reporters that the Joint Cabinet Retreat
(JCR) meeting will be divided into two tiers: the leaders meeting and
At the leaders meeting, Ms Yingluck and her Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan
Dung will have a "four eyes" meeting before a panel discussion with all the
delegates from both sides.
While the subgroup meetings are being held in three groups on security, economy
and education, social issues and culture which would be attended by ministers in
their respective portfolios.
The deputy prime ministers will discuss transnational crime, illicit drugs,
human trafficking and military cooperation.
Ms Sansanee said that the focus of the meeting would be on rice cooperation, as
Thailand and Vietnam are the top rice producers in the world market.
The joint meeting will explore possibilities for technical cooperation to set up
a joint ASEAN Federation for Rice Millers and Rice Traders in a bid to increase
bargaining power for ASEAN countries and stabilise rice prices.
In addition, Thailand will ask for Vietnam's assistance in creating transport
linkage under East-West Economic Corridor project which would link northeastern
Thailand, central Laos and Vietnam in order to enhance trade between these
This will be the second joint Cabinet session between the two countries. The
first was in 2004 under the government of Thaksin Shinawatra. An agreement to
resume the joint meetings was reached when Yingluck visited Vietnam last
Ms Yingluck's entourage will include Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister
Kittirat Na-Ranong, Deputy Prime Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapha, Foreign Minister
Surapong Tovichakchaikul and Defence Minister Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol
Suwanatat. (MCOT online news)
Two bombs kill one soldier, injure 7 others in Narathiwat
Oct 21 - Two bombs kill one soldier, injure seven others in Narathiwat’s Bacho
The bomb exploded around 8.30 am on a road when an armored Humvee, carrying four
soldiers, was passing.
The explosion caused the vehicle to lose balance and it was hurled off the road.
PO1 Issarawut Ponlasak, the driver, died at the scene, while three others who
were wounded were rushed to the hospital.
Pieces of a remote controlled bomb, placed in cooking gas cylinder and buried
underground, were found.
These officials were a response team to help four patrol marines, who were
injured earlier in a separate bombing. (MCOT online news)
Tablet computers distributed in remote Thai schools
Thai students in remote areas have received tablet computers
in accord with the government's education policy, but there are still some
limitations on communication and language barriers in some schools where
children do not speak Thai as their first language.
In the northern province of Chiang Rai, children at local schools along the
Thai-Myanmar border at Mae Chan, Mae Sai, and Mae Fah Luang districts have been
given tablet computers to assist in their studies.
The children in such remote areas are usually of ethnic minority ‘hill tribe’
descent who lack opportunities for education and whose parents do not speak
For instance, at Baan Ja-ti school in Mae Fah Luang district, most pupils are of
the Lahu and Akha hilltribes. Therefore, the important problem is language
foundation adjustment. Teachers here must teach both Thai and Lahu.
Meanwhile, the content in the tablets that these children receive is also in
Thai. They need their teachers to help them translate and upgrade their ability
in their Thai language which can take up one whole semester.
"I use their language to communicate with my pupils because most of them don't
know Thai. Basically, I translate what's in the tablet into their language,"
said Prasit Jaker, a teacher at Baan Ja-ti School.
Computers are used by teachers in parallel with the use of tablets by pupils
during the translation process.
"We have a limited number of tablets here compared to the number of students. A
projector is necessary to explain to the children the content of lessons and of
how a tablet functions," Prasit added.
Apart from tablet computer distribution, sufficient teachers are also needed for
children in remote areas for further benefit of the students. (MCOT online news)