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Thailand develops first-ever Global Health Strategies

BANGKOK, 11 October 2015 (NNT) - The Ministry of Public Health has cooperated with relevant sectors in developing the 2016 – 2019 Global Health Strategies for the first time in Thailand with the objective to ensure health security for Thais. The strategies will be submitted to the Cabinet for consideration soon.

Deputy Permanent Secretary for Public health M.D.Suriya Wongkhongkhathep said the 2016 – 2019 Global Health Strategies were the first in Thailand and the first of its kind in the developing countries. They are aimed at giving Thais good health and protecting them from health threats. The strategies also seek to promote Thailand to play a leading role in the global health arena and ensure conformity between Thai and international health policies.

The strategies were expected to help boost Thailand’s image in the international community, the deputy permanent secretary added. They will be submitted to the Cabinet in November 2015.

Meteorological Department preparing for heavy rain this October

BANGKOK, 11 October 2015 (NNT) – Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra urges to the public to monitor the weather situation as heavy rains are expected, especially on Monday and Tuesday.

The Thai Meteorological Department has recently predicted incoming heavy rainfalls, with an average precipitation of 60-70 mm. Since the beginning of October, accumulated rainfall has reached 220 millimeters, above the mean recorded in October 2014.

It is expected that throughout October accumulated rainfall could reach 280-300 mm.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has been preparing to cope with flooding issues by dredging canals, opening waterways and clearing the drainage system. Currently operational completion has reached 98 percent. As an additional precaution, the BMA has also decreased the water level of Saen Saeb Canal by 20 cm.

Crowds flocked to SME fair during weekend

BANGKOK, 11 October 2015 (NNT) – The SME fair at Phadung Krung Kasem canal near Government House has continued to attract crowds of shoppers.

The public has continued to attend and buy the products available at Thailand’s SMEs fair near Phadung Krung Kasem canal, especially during the day.

On the weekend, the most popular section of the fair was where food from the four regions was being sold.

On Sunday, fortune-telling services and other interesting activities and performances were available at the fair.

Those interested can still visit Thailand SMEs fair until October 25, between 10 am to 7 pm at Phadung Krung Kasem Canal Market near Government House.

PM Prayut concerned over dengue outbreak

BANGKOK, 11 October 2015 (NNT) - The Prime Minister has expressed concerns over the outbreak of dengue fever in the country.

Maj. Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd, spokesman of the Prime Minister’s Office, has quoted a Public Health Ministry report as saying more than 80,000 people across the country, mostly in central and northeastern Thailand, have been infected with the dengue virus as of October 2015.

Maj. Gen. Sansern said that with heavy rain and floods in the country in recent weeks, many areas in the two regions have become breeding grounds for mosquitoes within the genus Aedes.

Because many areas are still expected to experience more downpours even though the rainy season is nearing its end, mosquito-breeding sources are likely to expand, the spokesman said.

Therefore, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Prime Minister and chief of the National Council for Peace and Order, has instructed local health and government officials to be alert for other outbreaks in the population and give the prevention system top priority.

Thai beauty queen to dress like a tuk-tuk at Miss Universe

This illustration released Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, by Miss Universe Thailand Organizer shows Miss Universe Thailand 2015 Aniporn Chalermburanawong wearing a dress that looks like a “tuk-tuk. (Miss Universe Thailand Organizer via AP)

Jocelyn Gecker, Associated Press

BANGKOK (AP) — The smoke-belching, ear-splitting, undisciplined rickshaws known as tuk-tuks are part of the chaos on Bangkok's clogged streets.

Soon however, the tuk-tuk will stroll down a more refined runway, when Miss Thailand pays homage to her country at the Miss Universe 2015 pageant dressed as the iconic motorized rickshaw. Her outfit comes complete with headlights and handlebars.

The "Tuk Tuk Thailand" dress will be worn by Aniporn Chalermburanawong in the "national costume" round at the pageant in December in the United States. It was the winning design from 356 entries in a contest held by Miss Universe Thailand.

The Miss Universe Thailand organization announced the selection on its Facebook page, saying the outfit "has a metallic feel and look" that utilizes 3-D technology.

"The tuk-tuk dress will flash lights like a real tuk-tuk," said Kaveerat Kunapat, a spokeswoman for Miss Universe Thailand. "It will be one of a kind."

The outfit features an electric blue bustier and mini-skirt with thigh-high black tights — and a central headlight with handlebars just below the bosom. Attached to the costume is a backdrop of a tuk-tuk in Thailand's national colors — red, white and blue — with six national flags, a dozen more headlights and an overhead banner that says: "Thailand."

Reviews of the dress were mixed. Some hailed it as unique and creative. Others cracked jokes, like one online commentator who said it looked more like an outfit from the "Transformers."

Associated Press writer Nattasuda Anusondisai contributed to this report.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Royal message of condolence on the demise of former Hungarian President

BANGKOK, 10 October 2015 (NNT) - Their Majesties the King and Queen have sent a letter of condolence to the President of the Republic of Hungary, on the demise of former Hungarian President Arpad Goncz, who passed away on Tuesday, the 6th of October.

In the royal message, Their Majesties conveyed their profound sadness for the death of the former Hungarian President. They extended to the President and members of the bereaved family as well as the people of the Republic of Hungary their sincere sympathy and heartfelt condolences for the irreparable loss.

Mr. Arpad Goncz, who was Hungary’s first democratically elected President, died at the age of 93.

Haze no impact on tourism

BANGKOK, 9 October 2015 (NNT) - Tourism in southern provinces has not been affected by haze from Indonesia, judging from the increasing number of tourist arrivals during this period, Deputy Prime Minister Gen.Tanasak Patimapragorn has said.

Deputy Prime Minister Gen.Tanasak said after a meeting of the National Tourism Council on Friday that the meeting considered the haze situation in the South. It acknowledged that the haze, caused by forest fires in Indonesia, had improved in many areas and it had not affected tourism in the southern region, said the deputy premier.

The number of tourist arrivals this year has expanded by 30% so far compared to the same period last year.

Gen.Tanasak confirmed Thailand and Indonesia had been working together in tackling the problem of haze in the bilateral and ASEAN levels. They had agreed that farmers needed to be taught about how to properly get rid of agricultural waste in order to avoid polluting the air.

Egg consumption promotion on World Egg Day

BANGKOK, (NNT) – The Department of Livestock Development (DLD) will be holding the World Egg Day event to promote the consumption of hen eggs.

The DLD and private companies have joined hands to host the World Egg Day event on 29 October - 1 November 2015 at Central Plaza Westgate shopping center in Bangkok. The event will seek to promote the consumption of eggs amongst the general public, segmented into target age groups.

The goal is to increase egg consumption from the average of 200 eggs per person per year to 300 within the year 2018, under the concept ‘Eating eggs makes Thai healthy’.

The event will feature the taste and sale of various types of eggs, cooking workshop for egg centered dishes, the promotion of proper egg consumption rate in each age and gender group, and other activities to encourage the consumption of eggs from artists and performers.

Police preparing to prosecute BKK bombing suspects

BANGKOK, 9 October 2015 (NNT) – A meeting will be held on Monday by the Royal Thai Police to prepare for the prosecution of two suspects behind the August bombings in Bangkok.

Speaking of the probe into the explosions at Ratchaprasong intersection and Sathorn Pier, National Police Chief Pol Gen Jakthip Chaijinda affirmed that investigators have managed to establish a link between responsible groups even though information related to their financial transactions has not been received from the Anti-Money Laundering Office. He said the authorities are constantly pursuing additional evidence in a bid to bring more clarity to the case.

On October 12th, the National Police Chief is set to meet with the investigative team at the Metropolitan Police Headquarters. He revealed that the officials will together examine and compile all findings to be used in the indictment against the two arrested suspects, namely Adem Karadag and Mieraili Yusufu.

Pol Gen Jakthip admitted several other suspects in the case still remain at large and there has not been sufficient information that could lead to their capture. As for the bomb mastermind, Abudusataer Abudureheman, alias Izan, he said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently in the process of asking Turkey for confirmation whether or not the suspect is hiding in the country as reported.

Air Force dispatches haze mitigation air operation

BANGKOK, 9 October 2015 (NNT) – The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has begun aerial spraying operations over Songkhla province to mitigate the haze, advising the public to avoid any activities that may cause harm to their health.

The Royal Thai Air Force Commander-in-Chief Treetod Sonjance has ordered the RTAF’s Disaster Relief Center to carry out the aerial spraying operations, from today onwards to reduce concentration of airborne particles and reduce the severity of the persisting haze covering the southern region of Thailand.

The operation will be carried out by a BT-67 aircraft stationed at the Wing 46 Air Force Base in Songkhla Province. The operation is expected to be conducted in an ongoing manner until the situation resolves.

Communities with dense population will be the operation's major target, while a singular operation can provide up to 3,000 liters of clean water over an area of 1 rai. This mitigation effort will cause no harm to humans or animals.

The RTAF is also carrying out aerial announcements using an AU-23 aircraft, advising the general public on proper health practices to reduce health risks from the ongoing haze.

The air quality in southern provinces under the effect of the haze has been recorded at moderate levels with the particulate matter (PM10) value at 52-100 micrograms per cubic meter. The PM10 value in Songkhla Province alone has receded to 76 micrograms per cubic meter today.

Policeman claims responsibility for inadvertently wounding girl at drug-busting scene

BANGKOK, 9 October 2015 (NNT) -- The non-commissioned police officer, who recently inadvertently shot his gunfire at a 14-year-old girl in a Bangkok suburb, has claimed responsibility for his blunder.

Deputy police chief Pol. Gen. Pongsapat Phongchareon said Pol. Lnc. Cpl. Panathorn Chaiyatham, attached to a narcotics suppression unit, had admitted to have inadvertently fired at the girl, identified as Anatta Songrat, who was riding in a sedan at a scene where a group of policemen were trying to arrest suspected drug traffickers.

Pol. Lnc. Cpl. Panathorn, who showed up at Bang Chan police station, was quoting as saying he only shot out in self-defense because one of the drug suspects was apparently armed with a handgun.

However, police investigators are yet to determine whether the bullet which hit the innocent victim came from the gun used by the police officer, said the deputy police chief.

Acting Metropolitan Police commissioner Pol. Lt. Gen. Sanit Mahathaworn assured that justice will be paid to all parties while the case will be strictly handled under the rules of law and that his agency will take responsibility for the incident.

Meanwhile, Pol. Lnc. Cpl. Panathorn and four other police officers found at the scene have been transferred to inactive duty at the Metropolitan Police Headquarters, pending the investigation.

Pol. Lnc. Cpl. Panathorn expressed his regrets over the incident and paid his apologies to the victim’s family and confirmed that he will take responsibility for his mistake.

Phuket Airport positions as gateway to Andaman

BANGKOK, 9 October 2015 (NNT) – Phuket International Airport celebrates 27th anniversary this year, pushing forward all developments to become the gateway to the Andaman, Airport Director says.

The Director of Phuket International Airport Monruedee Ketpan has said that the airport is now being renovated to increase annual passenger capacity from 6.5 million to 12.5.

She revealed that most of the renovation progress has been completed, while the new international terminal’s construction is 70 percent complete, which is ahead of schedule. The construction is expected to be completed in 14 February 2016.

The operator of Phuket Airport, Airports of Thailand (AOT), has established the Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer (ORAT) to prepare the related staff and agencies for a smooth and efficient operational transition to the new terminal.

The Phuket Airport Director added that airport staff have been working relentlessly during the past year to ready the airport as a gateway to the Andaman, in order to support the nation’s aviation businesses which plays an important role in the development of Phuket economy and the role in pushing forward national development.

Ubon makes preparations for next year’s worse drought

UBON RATCHATHANI, 8 October 2015 (NNT) - Ubon Ratchathani province has prepared to tackle next year’s worse drought. Its governor said the province’s main dam might be closed to preserve water.

Governor of Ubon Ratchathani province Somsak Changtrakul on Thursday attended a video conference chaired by Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Gen.Chatchai Sarikalya. The minister said next year’s drought was expected to be worse than this year and the Cabinet had already approved assistance measures for farmers. The Cabinet also gave the green light to drought prevention strategies. The strategies would be implemented from November this year onward, the minister said.

The governor said after the meeting that relevant units were assessing water supply for agriculture, industry, commerce and tap water production with the objective to manage the water for maximum benefits of all water users.

Ubon Ratchathani might consider closing the Pak Mun dam so that there would be sufficient water for use throughout 2016, Mr.Somsak said.

Vegetarian Fest expected to add 41 billion in money circulation

BANGKOK, 8 October 2015 (NNT) – The 2015 Vegetarian Festival in Thailand is expected to generate a money circulation of up to 41 billion baht, which is lower than anticipated, according to the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).

The UTCC Center for Economic and Business Forecasting (CEBF) Director Thanawat Polwichai announced the center’s economic activity forecast for this year’s vegetarian festival. It is expected that this year's expenditures will be close to last year's figures.

He expects money circulation during this festival to reach 41.012 billion baht, which is 2.9 percent more than last year, as the general public will spending less on their merit making ceremonies, due to their reluctance on spending. This was partly brought on as foods price is expected to increase during the vegetarian festival.

The reflects the sluggish economic expansion of Thailand this year, and its dependence on the disbursement from government projects.

The CEBF Director has added that the public are urging the government to help regulate the price of groceries during the festival to remain at the proper price range, while promoting vegetarian practices and the observation of precepts. Furthermore, there needs to be food quality inspections and free vegetarian food for persons in need.

Social development minister concerned over haze-affected southerners

BANGKOK, 8 October 2015 (NNT) – Social Development and Human Security Minister Adul Sangsingkaew said the health of many people in southern Thailand has been adversely affected by haze from brushfires on Sumatra Island, Indonesia.

That referred to risk groups of people including children, women, the elderly and the disabled for whom the ministry's officials were instructed to prepare to provide assistance on urgent basis

Governor issues health advisory for haze in Satun

SATUN, 7 October 2015 (NNT) – The governor of Satun has advised the public to protect themselves from the dangers of the persisting haze issue, caused from the wildfire in neighbouring Indonesia.

The air quality in Satun province has reached the moderate to unhealthy level, with particulate matter (PM10) value varying between 59-210 micrograms per cubic meter. This weather quality can be considered harmful to the health of the general public.

The governor of Satun Jen Rattanapichetchai has made the health advisory announcement to the people in the area, in wake of the persisting haze, calling vehicle users to exercise extra precautions and to always turn on headlamps while driving due to the poor visibility. The general public have been advised to cover their nose and face with sanitary masks or damp cloth while outside.

Persons with certain medical conditions such as asthma, lung disease, along with young children and elders are encouraged to stay indoors, shut all windows, and to seek immediate medical attention should any suspicious symptoms exhibit. The public should also refrain from collecting rainwater for consumption, and from burning grass or garbage which will intensify the pollution.

The current haze situation in Satun Province has begun to resolve due to rainfall Tuesday night, reducing airborne particles down to 80 micrograms per cubic meter, a moderate PM10 level.

However, the public are encouraged to monitor updates on weather conditions, due to the Indonesian wildfire intensification.

Leading universities to become English test centers

BANGKOK, 7 October 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Education is planning to develop leading universities in the country into English test centers for job seekers.

Secretary-General of the Higher Education Commission, Ms. Aporn Kaenvong disclosed that the policy-makers were of the opinion that several well-known universities, such as Chulalongkorn and Thammasat, could become English evaluation centers for general students and teachers.

Miss Aporn said Deputy Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin was thinking of discussing the idea with the University of Cambridge and leading Thai universities to develop internationally approved English assessment tests. Exam takers can have their English points score recorded in their transcripts or keep the results to themselves.

Miss Aporn explained the policy was expected to encourage students to improve their English through study, and schools to improve their curricula. Meanwhile, employers will also be able to choose suitable persons for their job vacancies.

Buriram water reservoir hit by drought despite rainy season

BURIRAM, 7 October 2015, (NNT) - A water reservoir in the northeastern province of Buriram is currently being hit by a severe drought in spite of current rainy season which has featured downpours in nearby areas.

The reservoir, namely Huay Jorakhe Mak (literally translating as ''swamp of many crocodiles'') in Tambon Samet of Buriram's provincial district, which would be otherwise considered a watershed, has encountered the critical drought despite the influences of tropical storm Mujigae.

However, Buriram's Provincial Waterworks Authority will finance the planned pumping of about seven million cubic meters of water from a canal in Lam Plai Mat District to fill the reservoir and prevent a shortage of water supply in dry season.

Kitikul Serasiraporn, director of Buriram Irrigation Project, said water levels at 16 reservoirs throughout the northeastern province were somewhat worrisome due to scanty rainfalls so far this year.

If Huay Jorakhe Mak reservoir was not given supplementary water, the reservoir would only be able to supply water until next March. For that reason, local villagers and farmers are asked to use water sparingly and avoid planting crops which might need a lot of water so that water could be saved for possible emergency uses.

Fine-collection checkpoints to be removed from Bangkok

BANGKOK, 7 October 2015 (NNT) – The Metropolitan Police Bureau has pledged to improve the image of police following motorists’ complaints about unscrupulous police.

Acting Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pol Maj Gen Sanit Mahathavorn, announced today that superintendents across the capital city had been told to bar their subordinates from setting up improvised checkpoints to impose fines on drivers.

The order was announced shortly after a group of activists submitted a letter containing 35,000 signatures to the National Police Office, calling for an end to makeshift checkpoints and random fines. The group said motorcycle drivers, most of whom are low wage earners, were the main victims of rogue police.

To improve the image of the police, Pol Maj Gen Sanit disclosed that patrol police would be given the additional task of offering assistance to people. Meanwhile, traffic police have been instructed to give a warning to motorists over minor faults in the first instance instead of imposing fines right away, so as not to worsen conflicts between the public and authorities.

Nevertheless, the acting Metropolitan Police Commissioner confirmed those flouting traffic rules would still face appropriate punitive measures.

Cabinet okays new driver’s license fee rate

BANGKOK, 7 October 2015 (NNT) – The cabinet has approved of a new driver’s license fee rate and an amendment to ministerial regulations to better monitor foreign cars in the country.

Under the new regulations, fees of temporary private motorcycle driver’s license and private three-wheeled cars will be adjusted from 50 baht to 100 baht. Holders of private car driver’s licenses will have to pay 200 baht instead 100 for their license renewal. Meanwhile, license usage period will be extended from one year to two years.

According to Deputy Transport Minister Ormsin Chivapruck, the new system of driver’s license renewal is meant to facilitate drivers as they would not need to extend their license every year. He further explained that the fees actually remained the same considering the doubled renewal period. The new ministerial regulations will come into effect thirty days after they have been published in the government gazette.

Mr. Ormsin also disclosed that the cabinet gave the green light to an amendment in the ministerial regulations regarding the use of vehicles registered overseas in Thailand. In addition to document processing fees of 200-500 baht, owners of such vehicles will be required to pay permission fees between 500 and 2,000 baht each time depending on purposes and vehicle types. The new ministerial regulation is intended to prevent an influx of illegally-imported vehicles and boost the country’s revenue.

Rice farmers told suspend rice cultivation in low lying areas of Chao Praya River

BANGKOK, 6 October 2015 (NNT) - The Royal Irrigation Department (RID) says the four major dams cannot provide enough water for seasonal rice cultivation.

RID Deputy Director General Suthep Noipiroj said his officials need to increase the amount of water in Bhumipol, Sirikit, Kwae Noi Bamrung Dan and Pasakcholasit Dams to 3.5 billion cubic meters. Combined water levels have fallen below the suggested levels of 3.18 billion cubic meters.

Water restrictions now apply to rice farmers in the low-lying areas of the Chao Praya River, except for those in eastern provinces and Ubon Ratchathani province, due to recent rainfall.

RID officials are expected to raise awareness about the current water situation among farmers, in the hopes that they will understand and cooperate with authorities.

The RID and other relevant agencies are also considering building more regional retention basins, as a way of boosting Thailand's water storage capacity.

Higher local tax on oil and gas approved

BANGKOK, 6 October 2015 (NNT) – Mr. Witoon Kulcharoenwirat, the Director-General of the Department of Energy Business, said that a local maintenance tax on oil and gas in Bangkok will be increased by five Satang per liter starting from October 15.

The Provincial Administrative Organizations and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) are allowed to collect taxes from oil and tobacco retailers at a rate of 10 satang per liter., double the rate of five satang per liter. Tax on oil and gas has already been collected in the provinces except for the three southernmost provinces.

Bangkok oil users are willing to cooperate in paying the taxes but they want to see a clear Bangkok development plan as they do not want to waste their money. Meanwhile, oil business entrepreneurs admitted that the imposed taxes will result in an increase in oil prices and could affect sales.

Collecting local taxes on benzene, diesel and petroleum gas from gas stations will earn Bangkok an additional 500 million baht per year. On October 6, BMA will invite entrepreneurs to discuss the matter and ask them to bear the burden for the public.

Labor minister concerned over Thai workers’ health in haze-affected areas

BANGKOK, 6 October 2015 (NNT) – Labor Minister Sirichai Ditthakul has expressed concerns over the health of Thai workers in Malaysia, Singapore and southern Thai provinces currently affected by haze from Indonesia.

He instructed the ministry's officials to monitor the situation surrounding the haze caused by brushfires which could possibly have an impact on the workers' health as well as to provide them with care, advice and assistance, should emergency arise.

The haze from Indonesia might possibly affect the neighboring Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei where more than 150,000 Thai workers are currently employed, according to the labor minister.

Meanwhile, three southern Thai provinces, namely Songkhla, Yala and Pattani, were found to have particulate matter (PM10) amounting in excess of the maximum permissible level of 120 micrograms per cubic meter.

Nevertheless, the haze was not reported to have affected people in other southern provinces such as Phuket and Pattalung as yet.

Thai Red Cross holds annual conference on vaccine

BANGKOK, 6 October 2015 (NNT) – The Thai Red Cross Society is now hosting the annual academic conference of vaccine manufacturers in developing countries, aiming to increase Thailand's vaccine manufacturing capability in 10 years.

The Deputy Director of Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute for Administrative Affairs Sumana Khomvilai has revealed that the Thai Red Cross Society and Bionet - Asia Co., Ltd has organized the 16th annual academic conference of vaccine manufacturers in developing countries. The event will run from 5-7 October 2015, with the theme ‘Quality vaccine for everyone’ at Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre at Central World, Bangkok.

The conference serves as a platform of information exchange for the procurement of manufacturing technology, quality guarantee protocols, and vaccine reserve for emergency situations between the developing countries. International cooperation has also been encouraged to help raise the manufacturing capacity of the BCG vaccine, used to treat tuberculosis, at Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute.

The Deputy Director has said that the demand for the BCG vaccine is now at 150 million doses per year, while the institute is aiming to expand its vaccine manufacturing capability in the next 10 years, to meet the domestic and international demand.

The conference also features lectures on vaccine reserve, deficient vaccine allocation, and new technology for vaccine manufacturing.

Labour Ministry to issue anti-human trafficking operations report

BANGKOK, 5 October 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Labour is set to issue a report on its human trafficking eradication operations; it is certain that this years’ operations have shown significant improvement from the previous year's.

The Ministry of Labour has been in the process of publishing its 2015 report on its human trafficking eradication operations, to be distributed to related agencies beginning in October.

In order to strengthen the working process, the ministry will also revise its committee on the management of human trafficking prevention and eradication operations, which include labor protection, labor inspection, law amendment, and the overall operation system.

According to the Ministry of Labor Permanent-Secretary, Puntrik Smiti, this year's trafficking eradication operations have shown great improvement given Thailand has forged ahead with the required operations, including the announcement of ministerial orders in relation to workers in the fisheries and the agro industries, as well as strictly enforcing related laws.

In addition, the government, led by the Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has prioritized on the eradication of human trafficking as a national priority, seeking the collaboration of all sectors to solve the issue.

Most parts of Thailand still experiencing heavy rain

BANGKOK, 6 October 2015 (NNT) - Heavy rain warnings remain place for those living in the Central Plains, East Coast and Northeast today.

According to the Meteorological Department, a low monsoon trough and southwesterly wind in the Andaman Sea continue to bring heavy rain to central, eastern, and northeast regions of Thailand.

While it is expected to rain heavily in most parts of the country, the South of Thailand will only experience scattered thundershower. However, it will be extra windy in the East Coast, with wind speeds of up 15kmph.

Waves in both the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea could reach the maximum height of 2m. As for Bangkok and its vicinity, residents can expect both thundershowers and heavy rain in most areas.

Nong Khai taxi drivers to help prevent human trafficking

NONG KHAI, 06 October 2015, (NNT) - The Nong Khai Immigration Office has urged taxi drivers in the province to look out for human trafficking suspects and prevent crimes.

A meeting between officials and taxi operators was held on Monday at the province's immigration office. Authorities urged taxi drivers to strictly follow immigration regulations, as the government steps up measures against human trafficking nationwide.

Taxi drivers are now held liable for passengers to present their passport to immigration officials, before entering or leaving the Kingdom. Failing to comply with this regulation can result in taxi drivers losing their license.

They also have been urged to inform authorities of suspicious activity along the border, which may involve their passengers. If low-level officials are proving uncooperative, taxi drivers are encouraged to reach out to supervisors at the immigration office.

Domestic energy consumption to rise as economy expands

BANGKOK, 5 October 2015 (NNT) -- Domestic energy consumption will rise as the Thai economy has expanded, said Energy Minister Narongchai Akraseranee.

Given speculation that domestic power uses will increase by 4.3 per cent, dependence on oil and natural gas to produce electricity will have to be reduced while consumption of other types of fuel will be proportionately increased, he said.

The Ministry of Energy aims at continually providing energy for the production of electricity for all sectors throughout the country and for that reason such natural resources as coal might be an alternative energy, he said.

Southern haze hits this year's worst

SONGKHLA, 4 October 2015 (NNT) – The Regional Environmental Office are advising people in the southern provinces to take extra precautions with their health, as the Indonesian wildfire haze has caused air quality to deteriorate to the worst level recorded this year.

The Regional Environmental Office 16 (REO 16) in Songkhla has announced the air quality index of Sunday afternoon, with hourly particulate matter (PM10) values recorded in the southern provinces exceeding the standard value.

Hat Yai District's PM10 value was recorded at 215, with a 24-hour average mean of 119 micrograms per cubic meter, while PM10 values in Yala today reached 246 microgram per cubic meter. Healthy standards suggest this value should not exceed 120.

The REO 16 Director Halem J.Marigan said that the current air pollution levels was the result of the wind direction and low pressure area, preventing the haze to float away to the atmosphere. Related agencies have been appointed to notify the public on the air quality, which is reaching dangerous levels.

The current haze situation still has not affected aviation, but reports from hospitals have shown an increase in child patients with respiratory system related symptoms. The general public in the affected areas are advised to start to wear sanitary masks, as concentrated haze will begin to affect respiration and may cause irritation.

25 Thai films named national heritage

BANGKOK, 4 October 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Culture has named 25 Thai films as national film heritage for 2015, citing historic and artistic contributions.

The Minister of Culture Vira Rojpojchanarat today signed the endorsement of films named as national film heritage, on the occasion of the Thai Film Conservation Day 4 October 2015.

This year saw 25 films added to the heritage registry, including historical film records that are influential to society, such as the footage of His Majesty the King’s ordination, the mission of Siamese soldiers in World War I, and the ‘Yutthana-Siriporn’ movie that captured the livelihood of Thai people in the city along with important locations in 1963.

In addition, films withstanding the test of time were added to the registry. These films are artwork that have been scrutinized by the panel under various valuations, namely historic value, film artistic value, completeness and uniqueness, influence to the society, and rarity.

Now in its fifth year, the film heritage panel already registered a total of 125 films, deemed worthy of the title national heritage.

Police to restore organizational image from bribing accusations

BANGKOK, 4 October 2015 (NNT) – The Royal Thai Police will be revamping its organizational image to clear accusations of bribes and fines, the police chief says.

The Commissioner General of the Royal Thai Police Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda has revealed that the Royal Thai Police will re-establish its organizational image restoration committee, in the wake of being accused of demanding for bribes and fines. This organizational reform will enhance the surpession operations as well and result in a positive image of the organization.

He said that the police have to urgently manage the traffic issue and maintain the safety of the public, while the assistance from the military in suppressing casinos and illegal entertainment venues has been proven to be effective.

He has also expressed his confidences that the police commanders nationwide would know the best way to manage the operations, and requested time for the police force to work on these issues.

The Commissioner General has said that he will carry on the work of the former Commissioner General Pol Gen Somyot Phumphanmuang, to impose more meticulous immigration screening measures, and added that the rotation of executive policemen is expected to be completed within this month.

Public health ministry warns of dengue fever spread

BANGKOK, 4 October 2015 (NNT) - Permanent Secretary for Public Health M.D.Sophon Mekthon has warned those who have a high fever in the rainy season to be cautious since they might have been infected with dengue fever.

The official said dengue fever cases were usually found from the end of the rainy season to winter and it could infect all groups of people. Statistics from the Bureau of Epidemiology showed that there were more than 80,000 dengue fever patients nationwide and 82 of them had died. Most of the patients were 15-24 years old. At-risk people included overweight people, diabetic patients and people with high blood pressure or asthma, said M.D.Sophon.

The permanent secretary suggested those who had a high fever, headache, nausea suspect that they were infected with dengue fever. He advised them to seek medical care and not to buy medicines themselves, especially strong antipyretic and painkillers.

Thailand needs to focus on quantity of tourism

BANGKOK, 05 October 2015, (NNT) - Thailand must adjust its tourism policy, focusing on attracting tourists to remain in the Kingdom longer and spend more, said the Tourism Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul.

The comment was made during the 'Thailand Moves Forward program', after the Cabinet had approved the 2015-2017 national tourism plan and a long term tourism strategy.

The strategy involves cooperation from both the government and the private sector to promote secondary tourism destinations aimed at increasing the number of tourists and the time they stay as well as the money they spend in Thailand. The Minister said the move would help generate income for locals through the sales of native products.

She also pointed out that part of the strategy would involve urging those in the tourism sector to conserve water as well as asking tourists to do, so given that Thailand has been facing water shortage crises.

Heavy downpours cause flooding on many Bangkok roads

BANGKOK, 3 October 2015 (NNT) – As a consequence of Tropical Storm Mujigae, Bangkok has been hammered by torrential rains, which have left many main roads inundated.

Bangkok’s Department of Drainage and Sewerage this morning reported that the rainstorm over the northern and eastern parts of the capital was slowly moving towards the inner city area. With the rainfall having continued intermittently since Friday afternoon, flooding has occurred in many areas, including Vibhavadi Rangsit Road near Don Mueang Airport, Ratchadapisek Road and Chaeng Wattana Road. The inundation has also led to heavy traffic congestion.

Meanwhile, the Traffic Police Division has urged motorists to exercise caution behind the wheel due to wet and slippery road surfaces. People are also welcome to contact the Traffic Police hotline number 1197, which is available 24 hours a day, to obtain information on traffic conditions or report accidents.

The currently wet weather in Bangkok and other areas throughout the country is a result of Tropical Storm Mujigae and is expected to linger through October 6th.

Ministry of Commerce to regulate dual-use goods exports

BANGKOK, 3 October 2015 (NNT) - The Ministry of Commerce has issued a list of dual-use goods for which distributors or exporters will need to acquire registration and export permits.

The move came after a resolution of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) calling on member nations to formulate their own measures to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and weapon-making materials.

Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn disclosed that the Department of Foreign Trade has been directed to work out regulations for dual-use export. The Ministry of Commerce has announced a list of 1,230 products that are normally used for civil purposes but also have military applications. Such items include electronic equipment, plastic, and machinery.

Mrs. Apiradi said the control system for dual-use items would prevent Thailand encountering non-tariff trade barriers in other countries. The measure is expected to come into effect in 2018.

Energy ministry to spend THB690 bn in energy projects next year

BANGKOK, 3 October 2015 (NNT) - The Ministry of Energy has expressed readiness to invest in important energy projects worth 690 billion baht in the fiscal year 2016.

Minister of Energy Gen.Anantaporn Kanchanarat said the projects included the 10-billion-baht construction of 500-kilovolt power grids in many areas across the country and the construction of natural gas pipelines. The ministry also planned to construct LPG and LNG warehouses with the objective to enhance Thailand’s energy security. As for the Petroleum and Petroleum Income Tax Acts, Gen.Anantaporn said the ministry would finish revising the two legislations before submitting them to the Cabinet for consideration in October this year.

The ministry would push for five major energy plans, already approved by the Cabinet, in 2016, such as natural gas and oil plans, Gen.Anantaporn added.

Prime Minister unveils results of participation in UNGA

BANGKOK, 3 October 2015 (NNT) – Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha affirmed that his attendance to the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York has successfully raised international confidence and understanding of Thailand’s roadmap.

On his TV program “Returning Happiness to the People” this week, which was taped while he was in New York, Prime Minister Prayut said the 70th UNGA session provided a good opportunity for Thailand to clarify its stance and progress in implementing the reform roadmap. The Thai premier also had a chance to hold bilateral meetings with leaders of several countries and international organizations, during which he made a presentation on the sufficiency economy philosophy of His Majesty the King.

Furthermore, the Prime Minister gave assurances to members of the US-ASEAN Business Council that his administration would strive to ensure mutual benefits between Thailand and the US by laying down a proper foundation of reform, building an effective mechanism to facilitate investment and clamping down on transnational crimes and corruption.

Gen Prayut added that Thailand was appointed the head of the Group of 77 for the year 2016, thanks to its remarkable success in reducing poverty. The country was, on this occasion, honored with an International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Award as well.

Lastly, the premier expressed appreciation to all involved units for making his visit to the US and participation in the UNGA a great success.

32 provinces on alert for Storm Mujigae

BANGKOK, 3 October 2015 (NNT) – The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has instructed its local units in 32 risk-prone provinces to be prepared for relief operations as Storm Mujigae is likely to bring stormy weather to the upper part of the country.

Director-General Chatchai Promlert disclosed that Tropical Storm Mujigae would grip the upper North, Northeast and East between 4 and 6 October. Provincial relief offices are closely monitoring disaster-prone areas in 32 provinces and get ready for relief operations, as the storm might trigger flashfloods and mudslide.

Mr. Chatchai warned that residents in seafront and mountainous areas, as well as flood plains should look out for irregularities in their neighborhoods, pay heed to relief officials’ suggestions and ready themselves for possible evacuations. Small fishing boats should remain onshore during this period. Those needing help can call 1784 around the clock.

Government claims single internet gateway is for security purposes

BANGKOK, 2 October 2015 (NNT) - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has insisted the government is conducting studies on adopting a single internet gateway on grounds of online security, despite a public outcry against the proposal.

He claimed that the studies are aimed at finding out how the system will create online security for investors while supposedly being mindful of personal rights and freedoms.

Gen Prayut said the that decision whether to adopt a single internet gateway for the country will depend on the results of the government studies as well as input from the public.

Storm Mujigae to bring rains to upper Thailand

PHAYAO, 2 October 2015 (NNT) – A tropical depression which formed over the Pacific Ocean has strengthened into Tropical Storm Mujigae after having moved past the Philippines down to the upper part of South China Sea.

According to the Meteorological Department, tropical storm Mujigae is gaining power and is on its way to Hainan Island after which it is expected to head towards upper Vietnam between 4 and 5 October.

The storm is expected to bring rainfall to the upper part of the country from 4th to 6th October. Isolated thundershowers have been forecast in the upper North, Northeast and East. Residents in disaster-prone areas should exercise caution.

Those planning to travel in affected areas during this period should check the weather conditions via the Meteorological Department’s website

Motorists call for end to ad hoc checkpoints

BANGKOK, 2 October 2015 (NNT) – Motorist safety campaigners have submitted a petition containing 35,000 signatures to the National Police Headquarters asking it to amend the current system of traffic fine collection.

The campaigners asked National Police Chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaichinda to revoke the policy of sharing 60% of a traffic fine with the police officer who issues the ticket. They argued that this practice leads to police setting up makeshift checkpoints to earn extra money, victimizing motorcyclists and low-wage earners.

The activists suggested that the police instead approve pay rises for its officers, to reduce the need to fine low-income motorists. They expect the National Police Chief to study their proposal within a month.

Spokesman of the Royal Thai Police Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri, who received the petition on behalf of Pol Gen Chakthip, said he would submit their proposal to the National Police Chief and discuss solutions to the problem.

Authorities step up child labour suppression along borders

BANGKOK, 2 October 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Labour is enhancing the surveillance of child labour employment along border areas, urging security agencies to be vigilant for abuses in their areas.

The Deputy Permanent-Secretary of Labour Ministry has revealed that the ministry is set to cooperate with the Ministry of Interior to monitor child labour abuses along border areas, in an attempt to suppress illegal child labour employment. Measures will be enacted to stop child labour networks, that regularly use Thailand's border as a transit.

He said that the Ministry of Labour will work with companies alleged of employing child labour, especially in the sugar cane, textiles, shrimp, and fisheries industries to eliminate child labour. Sugar cane is expected to be lifted from the United States’ black listed products next year.

The statement from the Ministry of Labour comes in wake of the United States Department of Labor's recent report on child labour, upgrading Thailand with ‘significant advancement’ in tackling child labor during the year 2014.

The Labour Ministry Deputy Permanent-Secretary has added that the Ministry will expand cooperation with Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to improve operation's efficiency, and make requests to related agencies on improving labour inspection duties and on taking action against labour abuses.

Police give assurance single gateway won’t breach freedoms

BANGKOK, 1 October 2015 (NNT) – Assistant National Police Chief Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri has insisted that the single gateway initiative is still in its conceptual stage and is not intended to deprive people of their freedoms while warning dissenters against causing trouble.

Amidst widespread criticism of the single gateway concept, Pol Lt Gen Prawut confirmed that the matter is currently under study by all related agencies and nothing has been decided yet. He explained that the single gateway system would definitely not prevent internet users gaining access to useful websites or general online content.

Instead, the system would aim to filter out any information that could threaten national security, tarnish the image of the Thai monarchy, or contaminate the minds of children.

After a large number of dissenters intentionally flocked to the websites of many state agencies in a bid to cause their servers to crash, Pol Lt Gen Prawut called on those individuals to stop their action, warning that police could identify who they were and they could be subjected to punishments under the Computer Crime Act.

Government Housing Bank creates new criteria to assist people who want to buy houses

BANGKOK, 1 October 2015 (NNT) – Finance Minister Apisak Tantivoravong said on Thursday the Government Housing Bank (GHB) will provide loans for low-income earners to buy houses.

The lending facility of the state-run bank with which the impoverished people may buy houses will offer a longer repayment term and a lowered interest rate than those provided by commercial banks, he said.

Those who might be denied a house-buying loan at commercial banks and are yet looking for it will be welcomed to borrow from the GHB, Mr. Apisak said.

The government is currently considering reducing the fee for real estate mortgages and ownership transfers, he added.

Automotive industry begins to recoverrr

BANGKOK, 1 October 2015 (NNT) - Deputy Director of the Office of Industrial Economics Natthaphon Rangsitphon has reported that the automotive industry has recovered well and car exports to main markets have continued to expand, despite the industry’s overall decrease in August 2015.

The August manufacturing product index dropped by 8.3% mainly due to production drops in electronics and aquatic animal products, said the director. However, the automotive industry’s production expanded by as much as 13.3% or 159,000 units compared to the same period last year. Car exports also increased to over 100,000 units.

Exports of industrial goods to the U.S., European Union and the CLMV group (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) also expanded well in August.

The director added that the office would revise the manufacturing product index in order to make it better reflect the industrial sector at present. Some industries, such as television and slipper production, will be removed from the index since there are only a few producers left. They will be replaced with the industries of more economic significance such as auto parts, rice and synthetic fiber.

53 information kiosks installed at Suvarnabhumi Airport for better services

SAMUT PRAKAN, 30 September 2015 (NNT) – The Airports of Thailand, Ministry of Transport, has installed fifty-three information kiosks in passenger terminals and concourses of Suvarnabhumi Airport in order to deliver better services to all passengers.

Information kiosk is a high-tech interactive system designed for delivery necessary information to passengers such as flight schedules, plans of terminals and concourses etc. The current version of the kiosk displays information in four languages - Thai, English, Chinese and Russian; Japanese will be added to the system in the future.

Passenger can access to their travel details by scanning Boarding Pass; then the kiosk will display distance and time for walking to their Gate including lists of restaurants and facilities along the way to their Gate.

Passengers can print out such information or make an easy call to AOT Contact Center 1722 via the machine if they have inquiries. Persons with disability or on wheelchair can also use the kiosk as it has a special navigator to bring them to their Gate or necessary facility.

Thailand-Japan to launch cancer detection center

NONTHABURI, 30 September 2015 (NNT) – Thailand and Japan have agreed to develop an academic cooperation on cancer researches, aiming to launch the first Early Cancer Detection Center of ASEAN.

The Minister of Public Health Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn and the Japanese Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare Yasuhisa Shiozaki, today witnessed the signing ceremony of an agreement between the National Cancer Institute and Nagoya University on the cooperation in early cancer detection service enhancements.

The Minister of Public Health revealed that the scope of cooperation included the establishment of the Endoscopy Center at the National Cancer Institute in Thailand, which will be further developed into an Early Cancer Detection Training Center. The Center will be the first of its kind in the ASEAN region.

He said that the cooperation will also include academic exchanges between cancer experts for diagnosis and research in finding the causes of gastrointestinal cancer, including esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, small intestine cancer, colon cancer, liver and pancreas cancer. The early diagnosis of cancer will result in a more effective treatment which can prolong the patient’s life, and lead to the better quality of life among the people of ASEAN.

On this occasion, the National Cancer Institute Director Weerawut Imsamran revealed that cancer is the number one cause of deaths in Thailand for 15 consecutive years, at the amount of 61,000 deaths annually. Among these deaths, the number of gastrointestinal cancer patients in Thailand for the year 2014 was recorded at 111,864.

He said that actions should be taken to control the occurance of cancer. The earlier the disease is identified through diagnosis, the better it can be controlled, which means better treatment results and less medical expenses for patients.

Illegal fishing nets removed from Samut Sakhon's waters

SAMUT SAKHON, 01 October 2015, (NNT) - Fisheries officials from the provincial administrative office of Samut Sakhon have removed illegal fishing tools in a bid to eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the area.

More than 100 locals observed the authority's removal of 80 stow nets from the fishing waters in 4 sub-districts in Mueng district.

The operation went by smoothly. The officials had previously informed local fishermen of the necessity of upholding the EU's regulations on eliminating IUU fishing and had peacefully asked them to remove the illegal fishing tools.

According to the local fishermen, they are willing to comply with the regulations but asked for compensation for the loss of income.

Chaipattana Foundation to organize Tea Oil Camellia festival

BANGKOK, 01 October 2015, (NNT) -The Chaipattana Foundation's Secretary-General Sumet Tantivejkul, has announced an upcoming fair promoting tea oil, one of the initiatives of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

A launch ceremony was held at the foundation's headquarters in Bang Phlat district of Bangkok. Dr. Sumet said the oil is extracted from tea oil seeds from China and can be used as cooking oil and as an ingredient in various beauty products. According to the Secretary-General, the princess has instructed the foundation to conduct a pilot project to promote the plant which would help farmers generate income.

He said farmers in the northern region will be encouraged to farm the plant, which would also help maintain the green agricultural area and protect the ecosystem.

The Tea Oil Camellia fair, will be open from October 31st to November 2nd at Siam Paragon Department Store in Bangkok.




Back to Main Page

Thailand develops first-ever Global Health Strategies

Meteorological Department preparing for heavy rain this October

Crowds flocked to SME fair during weekend

PM Prayut concerned over dengue outbreak

Thai beauty queen to dress like a tuk-tuk at Miss Universe

Royal message of condolence on the demise of former Hungarian President

Haze no impact on tourism

Egg consumption promotion on World Egg Day

Police preparing to prosecute BKK bombing suspects

Air Force dispatches haze mitigation air operation

Policeman claims responsibility for inadvertently wounding girl at drug-busting scene

Phuket Airport positions as gateway to Andaman

Ubon makes preparations for next year’s worse drought

Vegetarian Fest expected to add 41 billion in money circulation

Social development minister concerned over haze-affected southerners

Governor issues health advisory for haze in Satun

Leading universities to become English test centers

Buriram water reservoir hit by drought despite rainy season

Fine-collection checkpoints to be removed from Bangkok

Cabinet okays new driver’s license fee rate

Rice farmers told suspend rice cultivation in low lying areas of Chao Praya River

Higher local tax on oil and gas approved

Labor minister concerned over Thai workers’ health in haze-affected areas

Thai Red Cross holds annual conference on vaccine

Labour Ministry to issue anti-human trafficking operations report

Most parts of Thailand still experiencing heavy rain

Nong Khai taxi drivers to help prevent human trafficking

Domestic energy consumption to rise as economy expands

Southern haze hits this year's worst

25 Thai films named national heritage

Police to restore organizational image from bribing accusations

Public health ministry warns of dengue fever spread

Thailand needs to focus on quantity of tourism

Heavy downpours cause flooding on many Bangkok roads

Ministry of Commerce to regulate dual-use goods exports

Energy ministry to spend THB690 bn in energy projects next year

Prime Minister unveils results of participation in UNGA

32 provinces on alert for Storm Mujigae

Government claims single internet gateway is for security purposes

Storm Mujigae to bring rains to upper Thailand

Motorists call for end to ad hoc checkpoints

Authorities step up child labour suppression along borders

Police give assurance single gateway won’t breach freedoms

Government Housing Bank creates new criteria to assist people who want to buy houses

Automotive industry begins to recover

53 information kiosks installed at Suvarnabhumi Airport for better services

Thailand-Japan to launch cancer detection center

Illegal fishing nets removed from Samut Sakhon's waters

Chaipattana Foundation to organize Tea Oil Camellia festival



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