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Thai Embassy warns Thais in Myanmar to avoid indicating nationality in public

YANGON,(NNT) - The Royal Thai Embassy in Yangon has issued a warning to Thais in Myanmar, fearing retaliation for the sentencing to death of two Burmese suspects by a Thai court.

The embassy made the announcement after the Samui Provincial Court handed the death penalty to Wai Phyo and Zaw Lin, both age 22. They were convicted of the murder of 24-year-old David Miller and the rape and murder of 23-year-old Hannah Witheridge, who were discovered dead on Ko Tao island last year, September 15.

The verdict has been met with backlash online and plans to protest in front of the embassy in Yangon, today. In the interest of safety, the embassy has warned Thai citizens in Myanmar to be on alert and to avoid unnecessary indications of their nationality in public.

A brief protest was held yesterday with roughly 20 demonstrators in front of the embassy, before being dispersed by police for instigating an unlawful gathering.


Logistic operators to reduce service charge by 5-10% next month

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Logistic operators have agreed to reduce their service charge by 5-10% starting next month.

The agreement came after talks between the Department of Internal Trade and local logistic operators regarding the recent reduction of diesel price. Director-General of the department Wiboonlak Ruamraksa said that 30% of the operators had already decreased their operation charges, adding that, after the meeting, the remaining 70% of the operators will follow suit in January 2016.

According to President of the Land Transportation Association of Thailand Yu Jiayuenyongpong, transportation fare has a tendency to fall further in the foreseeable future, due to the facts that the number of logistic operators exceeds the market's demand and most of the clients are agriculturalists facing diminishing produce because of drought.

Meanwhile, Thai Federation on Logistics Secretary General Thongyu Kongkan admitted that transportation expense is one of the flexible expenses, but argued that logistic operators may be discouraged to follow safety regulations if they are forced to reduce their service charge excessively. He reminded the public that operators still have expenses other than fuel in running their business.


Suvarnabhumi organizes event 'Time to Celebrate 2016'

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Suvarnabhumi International Airport is presenting the event 'Time to Celebrate 2016' from now until January 12th, while welcoming 170,000 passengers expected during the Christmas and New Year holiday periods.

General Manager of Suvarnabhumi International Airport Sirot Duangrat, said the airport has set up a 12-meter tall Christmas tree at the 5th gate on the 4th floor of Suvarnabhumi departure terminal, as part of its Christmas and New Year celebrations, adding that various activity booths are also operating in the area. The General Manager said the airport will also hold a countdown event on the night of December 31st.

Meanwhile, the Chief of the Immigration Bureau, Police Lieutenant General Natthorn Prosunthorn said the bureau is holding a "Love at First Sight" activity, to welcome the establishment of the ASEAN Community, by giving musical performances to greet arriving passengers. He said the performers are all immigration officers at the airport.


Electricity Authority to restore forest area in Phetchaburi

PHETCHABURI, 25 December 2015 (NNT) - The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has signed an agreement with the Sirindhorn International Environmental Park (SIEP) Foundation to restore 33 rai of forest.

According to EGAT Governor Soonchai Kumnoonsate, the forest restoration is dedicated to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

Meanwhile, an EGAT subsidiary, Electricity Generating PCL, and Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding PCL will join hands under the agreement to renovate an energy learning center located inside the SIEP in Phetchaburi.

At the learning center, the public will be able to share their thoughts and provide suggestions as to how the park should be improved for educational purposes.

Mr. Soonchai added that the EGAT will convene a meeting next year to discuss its plan to host an academic seminar and an exhibition on the environment. The two events will have a budget of 20 million baht and are scheduled to take place before 2021.


Training course on improving coastal security measures

SAMUT SONGKHRAM,(NNT) - Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) in Samut Songkhram province is holding a training course for security volunteers along the coastal villages.

Deputy Governor Udomkhet Ratnui officiated the event, which started on December 22 and will conclude on December 30, with the key objective of strengthening village security volunteers. Approximately 90 volunteers attend the training course.

Mr. Udomkhet said the course is in line with the Ministry of Interior's policy to establish a volunteer security force in each village.

The training aims at instilling the sense of patriotism, encouraging people to love the monarchy, promoting unity, and working for the common good. Trainees are expected to be more aware of their surroundings and be able to alert the authorities in cases of emergency.


Giant Christmas tree erected in Nakhon Ratchasima

NAKHON RATCHASIMA, (NNT)-A 19 meter tall Christmas tree has been erected in Muang district, Nakhon Ratchasima province to celebrate Christmas.

The tree, which is located in front of the Sima Thani Hotel, is decorated with 10,000 light bulbs with a reindeer sculpture placed above it. Many people have visited the hotel to take photographs of themselves with the giant tree.

A similar Christmas tree has also been placed on Mittrapab Road to welcome commuters en route to Nakhon Ratchasima on Christmas Day and during the New Year holidays.

Many homes and shops in the province have also decorated their places with Christmas trees which beautifully illuminate the streets at night.


Army helps provide safety for public on New Year holiday

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army Gen.Theerachai Nakvanich has instructed army officers to step up measures to ensure public safety during the New Year holiday.

The army chief said units under the army was cooperating with the Ministry of Public Health and other relevant units in ensuring security and facilitating New Year revelers. He stressed that they should not cause trouble to other people and those who drank should not drive.

Gen.Theerachai also called on the public to sympathize with the officers who were working non-stop during the holiday season.

Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the National Institute for Emergency Medicine M.D.Anucha Setsathian said the institute and the Ministry of Public Health had identified road accident-prone areas in each province. More road signs and lights had been installed in the areas in an effort to reduce road accidents.

The secretary-general urged people not to make prank calls to emergency services. Offenders are subject to legal action.


Trat has a new attraction :The Must-Visit Market

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Deputy Commerce Minister Winichai Chaemchaeng has officiated a Must-Visit Market in Khao Saming district of Trat province.

The market, an improved variation on the community market, is a cooperation between the Department of Internal Trade and the local administrative office of Tungnonsee subdistrict.

The unveiling ceremony attended by high-ranking provincial officials, local administrative officials, related authorities and local residents.

Mr. Winichai said that remodeling community markets into must-visit markets is one of the government's policies to strengthen local economy. He said the program would help residents, especially agriculturalists, generate income and create jobs. The Deputy Commerce Minister said the market introduces an additional channel to sell products at a fair price directly to consumers, stressing that fair trading is one of the major draws of the market. Mr. Winichai added that must-visit markets will also serve as outlets for OTOP items.

He said the government aims to establish at least one must-visit market in all 77 provinces across the Kingdom.


Office of Women’s Affairs and Family Development holds seminar on human trafficking watch

BANGKOK, (NNT) –The Office of Women’s Affairs and Family Development (OWF) held a seminar on human trafficking watch, urging the media to help fight the problems with inclusive and creative reporting.

The seminar held at Princeton Park Suite Hotel, Bangkok, and attended by representatives from varied agencies which have contributed to solving Thailand’s human trafficking problems in the face of the current ranking of the country at Tier 3 on the United States' Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report since 2014.

OWF deputy director general Wanpen Suwanvisit revealed that the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security has coordinated with the police and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to improve the system for identifying and classifying human-trafficking victims.

The deputy director general urged the media to make news reports on such developments as the authorities’ attempts to suppress human trafficking as well as the rehabilitation subsequently provided for the victims.

Meanwhile, Pol Lt Col Komsan Gunha, chief of the Anti-Human Trafficking Division, said the police have seriously launched missions against human trafficking, resulting in the arrests and prosecutions of some government officials allegedly involved in the crime.

He also called on the media to make inclusive news reports for the sake of fairness to those who have devoted themselves to fixing the chronic problems.


Army medical staff prepared for dry-season epidemics

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Thai Army Medical Department has organized a training course for army medical staff to get well-prepared for epidemic control during dry season.

The department’s director general, Lt Gen Triroj Krutvecho, observed the training course for the army medical staff in preparation for contagious diseases which have been frequently found in winter such as a cold and an influenza as well as the diseases transmitted by insects, including dengue fever, malaria and scrub typhus.

More than 200 army medical staffers from army hospitals and other army medical units throughout the country have attended the training course held at Phramongkutklao Hospital, Bangkok.

The training covered the methods of diagnosis, treatments as well as guidelines on how to coordinate with other hospitals to keep a possible outbreak under control.


Road safety campaign for New Year holidays

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Department of Land Transport (DLT) has kicked off the road safety campaign for this year’s holiday season, aiming to minimize casualties from road accidents during the seven dangerous days.

DLT Director-General Sanit Phromwong presided over the inauguration of the accident prevention campaign for the New Year 2016 under the theme “Drive Safe Be Safe”. Its main objectives are to raise motorists’ awareness of dangers from speeding, to intensify the regulation of public vehicles and drivers to ensure passengers’ safety and to reduce the number of injuries and deaths on the road to the lowest level possible.

During the seven dangerous days from December 29 to January 4, when the risk of accident tends to triple, the DLT will station its staff on major and minor roads, at bus terminals and rest areas in order to inspect the readiness of public vehicles and drivers. Should a defect be found on any vehicle, the operator would be obligated to provide passengers with a new vehicle. Any driver found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while on duty would face a jail term of up to three months and/or a fine of up to 10,000 baht while the operator would also be fined 50,000 baht at maximum.

Motorists are invited to have their cars checked up and take a rest at the service centers to be operated by vocational institutes at 189 spots on main roads nationwide. The DLT will also set up tents to provide the public with similar services.


New 8 lane road opens to ease traffic congestions in Northern Bangkok

BANGKOK,(NNT)-The construction of an eight lane road aimed at easing traffic congestion in the North of Bangkok is now officially open to traffic.

Bangkok Governor M.R. Sukhumband Boripatra said the new road is among many construction projects meant to lessen traffic density in many areas of Bangkok such as Phra Nakhon and Thonburi districts.

The new eight lane road will help reduce traffic congestion especially after completion of the BTS Sky Train extension currently underway on Pahonyothin Road.

Those wishing to go to Saimai district from Pahonyothin are urged to travel via this new road which leads commuters directly to Rattanakosin Sompot Road as well as other places in the district.

The construction of the new highway was undertaken by Saha Visavaphan Construction Co Ltd and cost the Office of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration approximately 800 million baht.


Reception celebrating the establishment of the ASEAN Community

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai on Tuesday presided over the reception ceremony to celebrate the establishment of the ASEAN Community which is due to take effect on 31 December 2015.

The reception, which took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was attended by approximately 300 guests, comprising of diplomatic corps, representatives of the public and private sectors, as well as members of the media.

The reception ceremony not only marked the celebration of a historical milestone for the region, but was also an opportunity to enhance the relations and networks among various agencies related to driving the ASEAN Community forward.

The ASEAN Community will be officially established on 31 December 2015 with the three main pillars, namely the ASEAN Political-Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community, and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. The common vision of ASEAN leaders is to create a community which has competitive advantage, clear rules and regulations, inclusive participation, and people-centered development. The ASEAN Community strives to work to integrate all aspects, including political, security, economic, social and cultural dimensions as well as connectivity within and outside the region.


Government to strictly implement laws during New Year festivities

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The government and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) will strictly enforce the law during the New Year festivities. Authorities will take legal action against those who violate the law in a bid to reduce accidents.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said measures are needed in order to ensure that the law is strictly being enforced and that transport operators and drivers who violate the law will be prosecuted. The prime minister said the strict enforcement is aimed at instilling a greater sense of responsibility among the public. The Ministry of Culture has launched a campaign "Saying Love to Safe Driving by Thais" to raise awareness on the need to reduce the number of road accidents during the New Year celebrations.

The prime minister expressed his condolences over the death of 14 Chinese tourists that were killed in a road accident in Chiang Mai and said the government will facilitate the return of the victims’ bodies to the country of origin.

Spokesman Col Winthai Suwaree said that during the New Year holiday the Peace and Order Maintaining Command will join hands with the Royal Thai Police, related authorities and the public sector to provide security measures. Inspection and facilitation centers will be set up along the country’s important transportation routes since December 25th until the end of the New Year holiday.


Employers can have Vietnamese migrant workers registered until year-end

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Employment Department director general Arak Prommanee disclosed the number of Vietnamese migrant workers registered with the authorities has totaled 109. Of that number 60 are males and 49 females.

A total of 58 employers have had their Vietnamese migrant workers register since February 10, 2015. The employers can have their Vietnamese migrant workers with valid passports register for a work permit at the employment offices across the country until December 31, 2015. The Vietnamese are only allowed to work as a fisherman, laborer, housemaid and restaurant waiter or waitress.

Migrant workers who have been employed without work permits are liable to a maximum of five years in prison or a maximum of 2,000 to 100,000 baht in fine or both while employers who hire any migrant workers without work permits will be fined 100,000 baht per one migrant worker.

Employers who hire any migrant workers who may have been earlier registered with another employer will be fined 10,000 baht per one migrant worker. Any migrant workers who have obtained work permits but failed to work under the terms and conditions specified in the work permit are legally punishable by a maximum of 20,000 baht in fine.


Roads department in full force during holidays

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Department of Rural Roads (DRR) will be facilitating motorists nationwide during the New Year holidays, with planned inspection and maintenance services of roads and related facilities.

The DRR Director-General Pisak Jitviriyavasin revealed the department has established a working plan for facilitating road users during the New Year holidays to ensure road safety. The department will be working with local agencies to prevent road accidents through the maintenance of roads and bridges.

The DRR has also established 18 coordination centers, Provincial rural road safety direction centers, public service centers, and fast response mobile units in 76 provinces, as well as placing road signs such as warnings and bypass suggestions nationwide.

The DRR director-general added that all road construction that can be halted will be temporarily put on hold from 29 December 2015 to 4 January 2016, in order to accommodate travelers and ease traffic congestion.


Ratchaburi and Chachoengsao farmers adapt to the drought

CHACHOENGSAO,(NNT) – Chachoengsao and Ratchaburi Provinces are using various methods to help farmers affected by the drought.

Four water storage tanks are able to contain 4,000 liters of water which can be distributed to farmers through a pipeline in the main district of Ratchaburi Province. The Ratchaburi Agriculture and Cooperative Office set up to the system to aid farmers during the dry season, however the system is available all year round. The water is pumped from underground sources and stored in the tanks and then distributed through the pipes to various areas, helping farmers grow crops and generate income.

Meanwhile, Chachoengsao is provided breeding hens and feed to farmers in Bang Nam Priao District, in a campaign that urges locals to turn to chicken farming and the sale of eggs to earn extra income. This move too aims to help farmers who have been affected by the drought.


Bueng Kan holds PR workshop to boost image of province to welcome AEC

BUENG KAN,(NNT) –Bueng Kan province is moving forward with efforts to create a good image for the province, in a bid to achieve sustainable development as the it gears up to welcome the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

Bueng Kan Governor Pongsak Preechawit presided over a workshop on how to create and publicize a positive image of the province as the AEC becomes a reality on the last day of 2015. 160 people including related government officials, government public relations officials as well as those from the private sector joined the workshop at the The One Hotel in the province’s main district.

The Public Relations Office's Jirada Poonsawat said the office had received a budget from the province to organize the workshop in a bid to provide knowledge to local government heads, officials in charge of public relations as well as related individuals from the private sector. The workshop aims wants those involved to understand how to effectively promote a positive image of the province and its works to the public and target groups. The training prepares officials for the province’s expansion as it gears up for the start of the AEC.

Former Public Relations Department Director-General Teerapong Sodasri gave a speech on how to create a good image and how to write positively for good public relations. In addition, Ms. Jirada gave a lecture on how to draw cartoons for use in public relations campaigns and how to use social media for general public contact. The workshop also included training from professional photographers on how to take photos that can be used for good public relations.


Ministry of Tourism and Sports to launch Tourism Gateway Project

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of Tourism and Sports plans to implement a Tourism Gateway Project.

Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanawarangkun commented that the value of electronic commerce in tourism industry accounted for 23 percent of total values in 2014 while the Electronic Transactions Commission estimated that 81 percent of tourism operators has used online marketing.

A survey on attitudes and preferences of foreign tourists to Thailand in 2015 found out that 81 percent of foreign visitors obtained tourism information from websites and social media before traveling to this country.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has planned to keep tourism industry abreast with digital economy by using modern technology under the Tourism Gateway Project. Digital media include applications for smart trip planners which can be adjusted to meet the needs of individual travelers.


Phang Nga to enforce road safety measures for holidays

PHANG NGA,(NNT) – Phang Nga Province is set to initiate measures geared to prevent accidents for the ‘7 Days of Danger’ period during the New Year holidays, vice governor says.

The road accident prevention and reduction committee chaired by the Vice Governor of Phang Nga Sakol Chantarak has come up with integrated measures for strict law and regulations enforcement aimed at preventing road accidents for the 7 Days of Danger during the New Year holidays.

The campaign, running from 29 December 2015 to 4 January 2016, will involve strict regulations as well as road facilitation for motorists at risk areas, as well as the placement of community checkpoints to detect risky behaviours which may lead to accidents in the local areas.

Most road accidents in Thailand are a result of driving under the influence of alchohol, causing numerous fatalities each year. The effort to reduce the number of accidents is a way to bring happiness to the people as a New Year gift, the vice governor has said.


Winter increases sweater demand and prompts government concern

BUENG KAN,(NNT) – The wintry weather has upped the demand for sweaters in several parts of the country and prompted the government to focus its concern on risk groups.

In the northeastern province of Bueng Kan, the windy and cold weather has made second-hand winter clothes hot items for local people. The temperature there has been recorded at 14 degrees Celsius in the morning. Doctors warned users of second-hand winter gears to prevent skin infection risks by washing and boiling their winter gears first.

Up North, Directo- General of the Port Authority of Thailand Lt. Suttinan Hattawong has visited 24 schools in Chiang Rai Province with Deputy Governor Arkom Sukapan and the chief officer of Wiang Kan District to hand winter clothes to 7,800 underprivileged students. The temperature in Chiang Rai has fallen by two to four degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, Spokesperson of the Prime Minister’s Office Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd disclosed that Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha advised residents in winter-stricken areas, especially children and elderly people as well as those in seafront provinces to protect themselves from weather-related health risks.


Government to respond to foreign media reports use of slave labor

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Government Spokesman Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd affirmed the government’s serious stance in cracking down on illegal labor and slave labor, especially related to the fishing industry, as seen by the declining number of cases.

On November 9th, a foreign news agency reported that a factory in Samut Sakhon province was using slave labor and that authorities in the area had not taken any legal action against the factory, resulting in a misunderstanding. Following the report, people have been circulating information about banning Thai fishery products, zeroing in on frozen shrimp, after it was reported that they were peeled by slave labor. The government spokesman claimed the information provided is one sided and has not been shared responsibly, which has hurt the country’s image.

The government spokesman believes that Thailand neither condones nor supports slave labor and that the government is proceeding with the case legally, in a bid to bring justice to all laborers who come to Thailand to work. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has ordered officials to take the utmost legal action against all those involved.

On December 21st, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan is set to provide the government view of the issue at Government House press center at 10:00 am.


Thailand declares health security importance, its partnership to Global Fund

TOKYO, (NNT) – Thailand's Public Health Minister has elaborated on the importance on Thailand’s heath security system, the nation’s preparation to operate after the Global Fund sponsorship at a meeting in Japan.

The Minister of Public Health Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn gave a remark at the Preparatory Meeting for the Global Fund’s Fifth Voluntary Replenishment 2017-2019 in Tokyo, Japan on the subject of financial sustainability for the health security system.

On this occasion, the Minister answered questions on the importance of creating a health security system in Thailand, the preparation of Thailand to operate the scheme after no longer receive the financial support from the Global Fund, and the nation’s work as a partner of the Global Fund.

He said access to healthcare services is a constitutional rights to citizens of Thailand, as healthy citizens will help strengthen the nation’s economy, and will help ease poverty, a major obstacle that prevents people from receiving medical care. Thailand's health security system will also facilitate the nation towards accesibility in healthcare services.

Thailand has included the treatment and prevention for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria into the nation’s health security scheme, marking a major achievement, and has eveb prepared to transformation plan at the end of the financial support scheme, from the Global Fund by appointing a national committee, to allocate additional financial support for healthcare services related to all three diseases.

Thailand is also willing to work with the Global Fund, especially at the regional level, to end issue of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria at border areas, and is willing to provide contributions in cash and in kind contributions. Thailand's cooperation with the Global Fund will be revised during the transitioning process of Thailand, and for the establishment of the Networks of Countries in Transition in the region, says Public Health Minister.

The Ministry of Public Health is now encouraging participations from the government, private, and social sectors to push forward the health security system, and to provide services to the risk groups of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria such as persons with issues in their status and rights, immigrant labourers, narcotics taker through injection, and the members of the LGBT group.


Tourist police shows preparedness for ASEAN

BANGKOK, 20 December 2015 (NNT) – Tourist police officers and volunteers have paraded through Bangkok, showing the unit's preparedness for the upcoming integration of the ASEAN Community at year end.

The Royal Thai Police Commissioner-General Pol Gen Chaktip Chaichinda has led police executives, tourist police officers, and tourist assistance volunteers on a campaigned parade, demonstrating the preparedness of the police for the upcoming integration of ASEAN Community under the slogan “WE SAFE THAILAND SAFE”

The parade moved along the Rama I Road, through Pathumwan Intersection to Ratchaprasong Intersection in Bangkok, has been held in cooperation between the Royal Thai Police, private companies, and volunteers. This event intended to show the willingness to provide assistance to tourists and the Thai public at various major tourism destinations.

The parade involved 2,015 volunteers comprising of the general public and civil servants. The parade's route was significant as well, passing through Bangkok's major economic roads.


Ministry of Social Development announces New Year program

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security has prepared a New Year program aimed at benefiting the Thai people, especially children and persons with disabilities.

Social Development and Human Security Minister Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew revealed that the ministry's program has seven New Year 'gifts,' which include housing projects available from January 2016 for 2,200 people, increasing the disability loan ceiling to 60,000 baht, a total of 500,000 winter blankets for 62 provinces struggling with the cold season, and the ministry's goodwill event held from January 6 -22, 2016 at Khlong Padung Krung Kasem floating market.

The ministry's program is part of government policy to reduce social inequality and increase accessibility of public services.


Tens of thousands foreign workers in fisheries lawfully registered

BANGKOK, (NNT) – Number of registered migrant workers from neighbouring countries in fisheries and seafood processing industry is over 10,000, says the Department of Employment (DOE), stressing to punish any illegal employment.

The DOE Director-General Arrug Phrommanee has revealed that the number of registered labourers from neighbouring countries in the fisheries and seafood processing is recorded at 17,375 persons. The latest figure comes after the two ongoing registration openings, organized by the government.

Figures from the first fisheries labourer registration in the 22 seaside provinces, running from 2 November 2015 to 30 January 2016, have shown a total of 8,509 workers, 8,476 males and 33 females. The province with the most registered workers is Trat followed by Chumphon province.

The second labourer registration in the seafood processing industry, running from 25 November 2015 to 22 February 2016, recorded 8,866 workers, with many registering themselves. 8,731 workers are actual labourers while the remaining 135 are their dependants. Provinces with the most labourers registered under this category are Samut Sakhon, followed by Ranong.

The Ministry of Labour has made the announcement to impose maximum penalties to employers who violate the law, with a fine of 100,000 baht per head for hiring migrant workers without a working permit, and a 10,000 baht fine per head for hiring a migrant labourer that is registered under another employer.

Migrant workers working without authorization could face up to 5 years imprisonment, 2,000-100,000 baht fine, or both. Migrant workers engaged in labour work with a different employer than the one they are registered are subject to a 20,000 baht fine.


Ministry of Public Health is working urgently to curb diabetes

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of Public Health is determined to reduce the number of new diabetes patients in Thailand while looking to improve medical curricula for more effective treatment.

During the annual Siriraj Diabetes Collaborative and Research Meeting, Prof Dr Prasit Watanapa, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, stated that the Public Health Ministry has drawn up urgent plans to keep diabetes under control. He said a goal has been set to bring down the number of new cases of diabetes and promote early diagnosis and treatment, especially among risk groups.

Such an endeavor is in accordance with the United Nations’ target to reduce the overall fatality rate of non-communicable diseases by 25 percent within the year 2025. Responsible agencies are now obligated to ensure that no new patients with diabetes are found.

Moreover, the Public Health Ministry is reportedly seeking cooperation from medical schools in Thailand in increasing students’ awareness of lifestyle modification as a method of diabetes treatment used in parallel with medication.


Prime Minister sends good wishes to Thai Christians

BANGKOK,(NNT) – As Christmas is approaching, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has sent good wishes to all Christians living in Thailand.

His comment was heard during his televised speech on the “Return Happiness to the People” program. He said Thai people always have a sense of delight due to the fact that Thailand celebrates both Thai and international traditions.

On behalf of the Royal Thai Government, he said he wishes Thai and foreign Christians good health, happiness, and fulfillment.

Christmas is not an official public holiday in Thailand with rather a small number of people celebrating the occasion. However, it is often seen that at this time of year, hotel and restaurant staff dress up in red and green while shopping centers and malls get decked out with decorations.


Vietnamese fishing boats captured in Thai waters

SONGKHLA,(NNT) – Two vietnamese fishing boats have been captured after illegally breaching Thai waters, in an attempt to fish near a Thai island.

The Naval Region 2 has arrested two Vietnamese fishing vessels, with 11 crew aboard, engaged in illegal fishing activity in Thai waters near Ko Kra Island, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province.

The arrest was made through the coordination of fishing boats on the naval radio network, reporting fishing activity of unknown vessels in the area. The Naval Region 2's Commander Vice Admiral Pornchai Pinthong ordered the arrest. All apprehended individuals are now being kept at the Songkhla Naval Base.

Investigation showed that the vessels and all crews aboard had embarked from Ca Mau and Kien Giang cities in southern Vietnam. Each crew member will be prosecuted according to the Immigration Act and the Act Governing the Right to Fish in Thai Fishery Waters at Songkhla City Police Station, before being deported back. The Embassy of Vietnam in Thailand will be informed, and remain in close contact on the matter.

The Naval Region 2 has made almost 100 arrests of Vietnamese fishing boats trespassing Thai waters, most were fishing for sea cucumbers for medicinal use, according to their belief, which destroys the aquatic ecosystem.

The navy has expressed its intention to further capture anyone engaged in illegal fishing activities, both Thai or foreign vessels, in the Thai waters to protect the country.


Ministry of Culture to organize New Year's Eve chanting activity

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Culture Minister Weera Rojpotchanarat announced that his agency will organize a chanting activity on New Year’s Eve, entitled: ''Ending the Old Year the Thai Way and Welcome the New Year the Buddhist Way.''

The New Year's Eve chanting activity is aimed to deliver happiness to the Thai people, foreign tourists and others around the world.

Besides, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports will organize a light and water show at Arun Ratchawararam Woramaha Vihara temple or the Temple of Dawn.

The Ministry of Culture and all temples nationwide will provide appropriate venues for the New Year’s Eve chanting activity from six p.m. until 12.30 p.m. on December 31, 2015 and January 1, 2016.

The event will also feature Dharmma preachings, the offering of food to monks on New Year’s Day, meditations and cultural performances. A New Year’s Eve chanting book will be handed out to those attending the activity.


Rubber-paved running tracks unveiled at Bangkok school

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of Science and Technology has constructed running tracks paved with rubber for a school in Bangkok as part of the effort to address rubber oversupply and price slump.

Science and Technology Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj presided over a ceremony to present Bang Yikhan Witthayakhom School with running tracks and a multipurpose sport field, of which flooring was made of natural rubber in line with the government’s policy to make use of the rubber supply in stock and shore up rubber prices.

Following the oversupply of rubber, the Department of Science Service of the Science and Technology Ministry has conducted research on the paving of the running tracks and sport field with rubber. The project has undergone laboratory tests and has been certified by the industrial standards.

A total of 2.45 tons of rubber was used in the making of the rubber-paved tracks and field under a budget of 1.87 million baht.


Government Housing Bank presents New Year’s gift to disciplined customers

BANGKOK, (NNT) - The Government Housing Bank's board chairman Surachai Danaitangtrakul said the state-owned bank has organized New Year's Gift 2016 project to promote financial discipline for its customers.

GHB will grant 1,000 baht as a New Year's gift for low-income earners who currently owe some debts to the bank. Those entitled to the grant must owe no more than 500,000 baht per collateral and have a good repayment record for 36 consecutive months.

About 104,000 customers are found to meet such conditions and can receive the grant money from December 17, 2015 until February 29, 2016 at any GHB branch across the country or at the GHB headquarters during office hours.


Cold snap grips Northeast, monsoon reaches South

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Meteorological Department has forecast a temperature drop in the upper parts of the country and strong winds in the South.

The Meteorological Department has reported that a powerful high-pressure system from China has reached the northeastern, central and eastern regions and is moving towards the North.

Due to the influence of the high-pressure system, the upper parts of the country will experience strong winds and colder weather. From today until December 19, the temperatures in the Northeast will drop by 4-7 degrees Celsius, whereas temperatures in other regions will lower by 3-5 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, a powerful northeasterly monsoon, which is gripping the South and the Gulf of Thailand, has strengthened. Provinces in the lower South, from Surath Thani downwards, will experience two- to four-meter waves from now until December 20. Residents in coastal areas are advised to exercise caution. Small fishing boats should refrain from leaving the shore.


Ubon Ratchathani Police raid Karaoke bars, rescue 44 Lao sex workers

UBON RATCHATHANI,(NNT) - Ubon Ratchathani Police rescued 44 Laotian sex workers in Khong Chiam District during a recent crackdown on human trafficking activities in the province.

A special task force from the Ministry of the Interior’s Department of Provincial Administration later held a press conference on its recent crackdown on Karaoke bars along the road from the province’s Khong Chiam to Sirindhorn districts.

Undercover officials found 44 sex workers in seven bars. Many of them are below the age of 18. The women will now be placed under the care and protection of the Office of Social Development.


Whale shark visits Ao Phang Nga

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Tourists at Ao Phang Nga National Park have been able catch a rare glimpse of a whale shark that visited the area.

Officials at the national park were able to capture video footage of the whale shark as it swam into more shallow waters along Ko Hong at the Phi Phi Islands. The last sighting was in October of this year, a demonstration of the area’s attractiveness to marine wildlife.

Officials remarked that whale sharks generally reside in deeper water levels. However, their familiarity to humans have made them more willing to swim near boats. Therefore, tourists have been advised against feeding or making contact with the sharks as they could cause unintended injuries.


Thailand and China to cooperate in various areas

BANGKOK,(NNT)-Thailand and China have expressed their readiness to engage in economic cooperation in the areas of farming, tourism and transport as well as investments.

Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong has met with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha during his visit to Thailand to attend the fourth Joint Committee (JC) Meeting on Trade, Investment and Economic Cooperation.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said Thailand has agreed under the JC framework to ensure crop hygiene especially rice which China imports from Thailand.

The two countries are also planning to increase the number of tourist arrivals between both sides to 10 million per year. More farm goods from Thailand are also expected to be exported to China under the agreement.

In addition, trade value between both countries will be increased to 120 billion US dollars within 5 years. China will help Thailand expand its transport system while also helping develop economic zones for rubber, fruit and Halal food in the South of Thailand.

China and Thailand will also jointly develop a medium speed railway between Bangkok and Nong Khai. A ceremony is scheduled this Saturday to mark the inauguration of the cooperation. The Deputy Prime Minister further said that China has shown great interest to invest in 10 industries in Thailand.


Thais nationwide pay their last respects to late Supreme Patriarch

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Tens of thousands of people participated in the funeral procession of the late Supreme Patriarch, Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, along the route from Bovoranives temple to Debsirindravas temple.

People from all walks of life attended ceremonies at 48 temples in Bangkok and at temples in 877 districts across the country to symbolically offer cremation flowers to the funeral pyre of the late Supreme Patriarch.

The public will have the opportunity to pay their repects to his ashes from December 17 to December 19. Thereafter on December 20, the ashes will be enshrined at Tamnak Petch in Bovoranives temple.


Royal Thai Police cautions those sharing content regarding the royal institution & national security

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Royal Thai Police have urged citizens to exercise good judgement before sharing messages and images that are affecting the royal institution or national security, as there can be legal ramifications.

Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police Chakthip Chaijinda spoke regarding the recent prosecution of those found to be in violation of section 112 of the criminal code for defaming the royal institution. He affirmed that there was clear evidence that the suspects had committed leste majeste, regardless of whether their actions were intentional.

Pol Gen Chakthip therefore implored the public to use their judgement when disseminating content that can be seen as detrimental to the royal institution or national security.


Government confirms ID cards will not display income or occupation

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Interior has said that no information related to occupation or income will be included in the new identification card, as there are no laws to support their inclusion.

Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda said that Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed relevant agencies to set up a unit to collect demographic information.

The government will use this information, which will be divided into different categories, to promote national growth. A meeting will be held on December 28 to determine how the survey will be conducted.


Public seminar held for Thailand-China railroad project

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of Transport has opened the first seminar on the construction project of standard-gauge double track railroad, operated under the cooperation between Thailand and China.

The Deputy Minister of Transport Omsin Cheewapreuk has officiated the seminar to inform and receive public feedback regarding the Kingdom's standard-gauge double track railroad construction project at Amari Watergate Hotel, Bangkok.

The seminar involves the presentation of news and information regarding the project to create an understanding among the general public, gather public opinion from the participants, as well as a dialogue session on the maximum benefits from the Thailand-China railroad project.

The seminar also covers content about the project's cooperative framework, rail route outline, investment scheme, including economic and social benefits expected from the railway construction.

The official commencement ceremony for the Thai-Chinese railroad construction project will be held on 19 December 2015 at Chiang Rak Noi Station, Ayutthaya Province.

The Ministry of Transport will further hold other seminars to inform the public along the area along the project’s route to hear public feedback and suggestions during January - April 2016 in five provinces, namely Sara Buri, Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, and Rayong.


Federal interest rate hike expected to push down gold prices

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Gold Traders Association (GTA) says the US Federal Reserve's interest rate hike this month will cause a drop in gold prices.

GTA President Jitti Tangsitpakdi cited gold prices on Tuesday morning, which plummeted by 50 baht to 18,250 baht per baht weight, slightly buoyed by currency inflation.

He pointed out other negative factors, like the supply glut of oil that has depressed global oil prices and the worldwide economic slowdown.

Mr. Jitti forecast that global gold prices will fall somewhere between 1,060 and 1,200 US dollars per ounce, while domestic prices will be between 17,500 and 20,500 baht per baht weight, provided that the Thai currency holds at 36 baht per dollar. Therefore, he also expects most gold buying to be short-term investments.


Thai rice policy to suit current economic climate

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has indicated the need for Thailand to secure the sustainability of rice supplies amid economic and climate changes.

Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister General Chatchai Sarikalya presided over the opening ceremony of the Thai Rice Convention 2015 at Kasetsart University.

In his speech, Gen Chatchai said Thailand’s rice policy needs to adapt to the changing world, especially to the arrival of ASEAN Economic Community and free trade agreements. He believed that the new rice policy should be developed with rice farmers in mind, while also taking into account the risks, strengths and weaknesses of Thai rice. The minister added that rice farmers should reach more consumers by increasing their product value through innovation.

Gen Chatchai claimed that it is easy to improve Thai rice to suit consumers’ needs, as there is a wide variety of grains grown locally.


Teenagers invited to volunteer for accident prevention

NONTHABURI,(NNT) – The Department of Disease Control (DDC) is calling upon teenagers to play an active role in the community accident prevention campaign, as the average number of teenager casualties have risen to an alarming rate of 5 deaths per day.

The DDC Director-General Amnuay Gajeena has said that the department is sponsoring a community campaign with the introduction of 200 checkpoints in 40 districts of 20 provinces. Teenagers aged between 15-19 years old are encouraged to participate in volunteering work at checkpoints, to help reduce accidents among people of their age group.

The director-general has cited statistics from the Ministry of Public Health’s Bureau of Policy and Strategy. During 2011-2014, casualties from road accidents were recorded at 57,926 persons. This figure averages on a yearly basis of 14,482 deaths, on a daily basis of 40 deaths, which is almost 2 deaths per hour.

Fatalities from road accident were also shown to be concentrated at the age group of 15-19 years, with an annual average of 1,687 persons or almost 5 deaths per day.

In order to prevent these accidents, the DDC chief will be focusing on persons aged between 15-19 years, as their vehicles of preference are motorcycles, with a usage rate of 83 percent. Furthermore, 87.2 percent of teenage motorcycle riders do not wear helmets and 23.9 percent are reported to be intoxicated with alchohol when accidents occurr.

Road accidents remain a major problem for Thailand. The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks the Kingdom as the 2nd country with the highest number of road accidents in the world, the highest country in Asia.


Help given to unpaid Thai fishermen in Indonesia

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Department of Labour Protection and Welfare (DLPW) had provided assistance to 159 Thai fishermen working in Indonesia left without pay and excluded other benefits from their employers, the DLPW chief reveals.

The DLPW's Director-General Pannee Sriyudhsak disclosed that during 1 October to 2 December 2015, DLPW officials were able to help Thai fishery workers on Ambon Island in Indonesia, successfully returning them to Thailand. After returning, the workers were informed of their workers' rights in accordance to the law.

The case comes after concerns on the conditions of Thai fishermen on the island were raised. The department has received requests from 210 employees who are in need of the DLPW's support in upholding their rights. The DLPW has collected all relevant information, inquired the employers, and demanded that proper wages and other benefits must be provided to the 159 employees, at a combined value worth 12,666,949 baht.

Out of all the 210 cases, 51 cases are being processed, 10 cases have been revoked, 2 cases are being prosecuted as criminal offences for the employment of children aged below 15 years old, and 6 cases as human trafficking offences, the DLPW director-general has said.

The DLPW has also proposed to prosecute the owner of Sor Thong-ma fishing vessel, who currently employs 9 crews but has violated the Labour Protection Act in offences regarding human trafficking in labour. The case is now being processed at the prosecutor’s level.


Bangkok Police to decisively crackdown on illegal parking

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Metropolitan Police division has announced a campaign to decisively crack down on illegal parking on Bangkok’s major roads.

Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Pol Maj Gen Niphon Cherinphon ordered law enforcement officers to place locks on illegally parked vehicles and issue traffic tickets to cars parked illegally in front of Nikhom Makkasan Market after reports of numerous vehicles parked illegally in non-parking zones, causing traffic congestion in the area.

The Deputy Commissioner added that his division had issued a public statement asking motorists to respect traffic regulations in order to reduce unnecessary congestion along Bangkok’s major roads, particularly on the crowded Phetchaburi, Sukhumvit and Phaya Thai roads. He assured drivers that the authorities will be strictly enforcing all traffic regulations and will penalize violators.


Geminids Meteor Showers brought 240 stars per hour

BANGKOK, 15 December 2015 (NNT) –The Geminids Meteor Showers have gained nationwide interest, with the highest shower rate being counted at 240 stars per hour.

The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) [NARIT] last night set up three observatory sites for the public.

In Chiang Mai, 400 people from the province and beyond went up to Doi Inthanon National Park to observe the shooting stars in the midst of cool breezes accompanying a temperature of just 5 degrees Celsius at the top of the mountain (the highest point in Thailand). The sky was clear with no cloud cover, and the public could see countless stars skimming across the sky. The fall was observed from 9 p.m. onwards. Occasionally there were big fire balls burning bright, stirring more excitement among the public. The shower peaked between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. when observers could see as many as 240 stars per hour.

Meanwhile thousands also flocked to Royal Observatories located in Nakhon Ratchasima and Chachoengsao provinces to observe the enchanting display, these viewings also arranged by NARIT. The fall was also spotted from 9 p.m. onward, but only 50 stars could be counted. To enhance the experience, NARIT also prepared telescopes for the people, while the Full Dome Digital Planetarium System was opened for the visiting public. The locations were filled with the excitement of all who viewed the spectacle.


Number of patients with type A influenza in Thailand likely to rise

BANGKOK, 14 December 2015 (NNT) – Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsattayatorn said the World Health Organization (WHO)’s report in November 2015 indicated that the number of patients with influenza in most Asia countries is likely to decrease.

However, in some countries the number of patients with Type A influenza is likely to increase, including Qatar, Bahrain, India, Laos and Thailand, according to the WHO report.

Public Health Ministry undersecretary Sophon Mekthon said those with influenza symptoms including high fever and coughing and those in risk groups including pregnant women, small children, elderly people and those with chronic illnesses should immediately see a doctor.

General patients should stay at home and wear a hygienic mask in public places or while riding in a bus to prevent the disease from spreading. Besides, if the symptoms get more severe like having dyspnea, they are suggested to immediately see a doctor.

For more information, please call the Department of Communicable Disease Control’s hotline 1422.


Cambodian Prime Minister to Visit Thailand this Friday

AKP Phnom Penh, December 14, 2015 -- Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, will pay an official visit to Thailand on Dec. 18, on the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relation between the two nations, at the invitation of his Thai counterpart H.E. Gen. Prayut Chan-o-Cha.

According to a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation made public this evening, after the visit, Samdech Techo Hun Sen will co-chair on Dec. 19 the 2nd Cambodia-Thailand Joint Cabinet Retreat which will consider Political and Security, Economic, Social, Cultural and Education Issues.

Both premiers will preside over the signing ceremony of five documents, including the Joint Declaration of the 2nd Cambodia-Thailand Joint Cabinet Retreat; the Memorandum of Understanding on the Development of Stung Bot - Nog Ian International Point of Entry, the Memorandum of Understanding on Labor Cooperation, the Agreement on the Employment of Worker, and the Agreement on Cooperation between Cambodia-Thailand Business Council and Thailand-Cambodia Business Council, it pointed out.

A Joint Press Statement will be released after the signing ceremony, said the press release, adding that Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen will also meet with Thai Business Community.

The Cambodian premier will be accompanied by H.E. Hor Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; H.E. Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers; H.E. Tea Banh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense, and other members of the Royal Government of Cambodia.


 

DAILY UPDATE

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Road safety campaign for New Year holidays

New 8 lane road opens to ease traffic congestions in Northern Bangkok


Reception celebrating the establishment of the ASEAN Community

Government to strictly implement laws during New Year festivities

Employers can have Vietnamese migrant workers registered until year-end

Roads department in full force during holidays


Ratchaburi and Chachoengsao farmers adapt to the drought

Bueng Kan holds PR workshop to boost image of province to welcome AEC

Ministry of Tourism and Sports to launch Tourism Gateway Project

Phang Nga to enforce road safety measures for holidays


Winter increases sweater demand and prompts government concern

Government to respond to foreign media reports use of slave labor

Thailand declares health security importance, its partnership to Global Fund

Tourist police shows preparedness for ASEAN


Ministry of Social Development announces New Year program

Tens of thousands foreign workers in fisheries lawfully registered

Ministry of Public Health is working urgently to curb diabetes

Prime Minister sends good wishes to Thai Christians

Vietnamese fishing boats captured in Thai waters

Ministry of Culture to organize New Year's Eve chanting activity

Rubber-paved running tracks unveiled at Bangkok school

Government Housing Bank presents New Year’s gift to disciplined customers


Cold snap grips Northeast, monsoon reaches South

Ubon Ratchathani Police raid Karaoke bars, rescue 44 Lao sex workers

Whale shark visits Ao Phang Nga

Thailand and China to cooperate in various areas


Thais nationwide pay their last respects to late Supreme Patriarch

Royal Thai Police cautions those sharing content regarding the royal institution & national security

Government confirms ID cards will not display income or occupation

Public seminar held for Thailand-China railroad project


Federal interest rate hike expected to push down gold prices

Thai rice policy to suit current economic climate

Teenagers invited to volunteer for accident prevention

Help given to unpaid Thai fishermen in Indonesia


Bangkok Police to decisively crackdown on illegal parking

Geminids Meteor Showers brought 240 stars per hour

Number of patients with type A influenza in Thailand likely to rise

Cambodian Prime Minister to Visit Thailand this Friday

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