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Parents reminded to watch over children during Loy Krathong

Hundreds of sky lanterns are lit to celebrate Loy Kratong

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of Public Health has suggested parents to keep a close watch on their children while partaking in Loy Krathong festivities to protect them from accidents.

Despite the festive atmosphere on Loy Krathong Day, Permanent Secretary for Public Health Sophon Mekthon indicated that the rate of accidents on the day has been increasing every year. He cited statistics from recent years as showing that an average of 51 people were killed in road accidents on the day while 13 others drowned. The number of children who drowned on Loy Krathong was also found to be twice as high as the average figure on a normal day.

Meanwhile, over the past five years, more than 200 Loy Krathong revelers were wounded by fireworks and firecrackers. Of the victims, two reportedly succumbed to their injuries.

Mr Sophon, therefore, affirmed that authorities this year will place more focus on reducing the number of Loy Krathong-related accidents. He said all health units nationwide have been instructed to ask local residents to contribute to building a safe environment on the special occasion while parents have been advised to pay close attention to their kids.

Chiang Mai Airport to deploy clean-up crews for floating lanterns

CHIANG MAI,(NNT) - Chiang Mai Airport has instructed its ground staff to be on the lookout for floating lanterns and remove any that have found their way to the tarmac.

Chiang Mai International Airport has warned its staff to watch for floating lanterns that fall in and around the airport during the Loy Krathong Festival. Clean-up crews will be deployed around the clock from November 20.

Grounds inspections will be stepped up from four times per day to 10 times per day, to ensure that the airport's apron and runways remain clear of obstructions.

During last year's Loy Krathong Festival, the airport recorded 142 floating lanterns on its premises, and expects similar numbers during this year's celebrations.

PM agrees to Russian visit, encourages stronger bilateral ties

Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev & Thailand Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha

MANILA,(NNT) - The Prime Minister has accepted an invitation from Russia to visit the country and strengthen bilateral ties, marking 120 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Deputy Government Spokesperson Major General Weerachon Sukhontapatipak revealed that Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha met with his Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Manila, Philippines.

Gen Prayut accepted an invitation to visit Russia in May 2016, marking 120 years of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Russia. The two prime ministers also agreed that at the beginning of next year, there would be a meeting in Russia of deputy prime ministers and ministers related to economic and national security affairs. The meetings would draft trade and investment agreements to be finalized and signed during Gen Prayut's visit in May.

The Thai Prime Minister took this opportunity to affirm with Mr. Medvedev that Thailand and Russia would establish closer ties in all areas, from the economy, energy security, and agricultural trade, to national defense and security intelligence.

Labor minister follows up on human trafficking problem in Chonburi

CHONBURI,(NNT) - Minister of Labor Sirichai Distakul has inspected a Port In - Port Out Control Center in Sattahip district and found no illegal activities there. He also visited a wire harness company operating at the Laem Chabang Industrial Estate.

Gen. Sirichai on Thursday visited the Thai Summit Harness Public Company Limited, a producer of wire harness and cable wire for automobiles, at Laem Chabang. The minister inspected the company’s working environment and listened to problems of the employees. The information he received from his visit to the company will be used for the ministry’s prevention of and solutions to human trafficking and drug trafficking in the area.

The minister then traveled to the Port In - Port Out Control Center in Sattahip to meet the employers and workers who worked there and listened to their problems. Illegal activities or acts considered as human trafficking were not found.

Leap for Thailand-Japan economic cooperation at APEC meeting

MANILA,(NNT) – Thailand and Japan agreed to enhance mutual economic cooperation at the APEC ministerial meeting, in preparation for the Thailand-Japan High Level Joint Commission's meeting due to commence later this month.

The Minister of Commerce Apiradi Tantraporn hosted a bilateral discussion with the newly appointed Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan Motoo Hayashi at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Manila, the Philippines.

On this occasion, both Thai and Japanese officials discussed matters within the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA), agreeing to further expand mutual trade and to open additional trading channels for new opportunities.

Both sides agreed to provide more information to the private sector to encourage more investments, while Thailand is now working to develop the business environment to attract more investment.

Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak is set to visit Japan to attend the High Level Joint Commission meeting during 25-28 November 2015, where he will inform his Japanese counterparts on the Kingdom's important economic strategies, as well as the new Super Cluster policy to encourage more investment in Thailand.

Ministry of Education to launch training to improve English teachers

Deputy Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of Education has planned to launch a training course for English teachers to sharpen their skills, who will in turn inspire students to improve their English language proficiency.

Deputy Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin said the ministry is developing a training program for English teachers in cooperation with the British Council. Around 500 teachers with high levels of English proficiency across the country will be selected to participate in the six-week course, which will last from March until April 2016. The 50 best-performing teachers will train the next group of participants.

Meanwhile, Adviser to the Deputy Education Minister Michael David Selby stressed the need for educators to motivate students to learn English. Mr. Selby commented that many Thai people still lack interest in English.

The ministry will assess the program by the performance of students taught by educators who took part in the program. If the training proves successful, the ministry will declare it a policy for the second semester next year. If the project needs improvement, it will be revised until the course achieves its objectives.

Bank forecasts better economic growth in Thailand next year

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Bank of Ayudhya has predicted that the Thai economy next year will likely expand by 3.2% - 3.5% and the baht currency will move in a range of 36.50 - 37.50 baht against the USD.

Head of Global Markets Group at Bank of Ayudhya Tak Bunnag said the Thai economy would likely grow by 2.9% in 2015 with investment by the public sector as a main drive. Other factors positively impacted the Thai economy this year included the growing tourism sector as well as low oil price and interest rates, said the banker.

The fragile global economic recovery, agricultural product price drop, high household debt and volatile financial markets are among the Thai economy’s negative factors in 2015.

As for the direction of the Thai currency, it has a tendency to weaken in the next three months. The bank also predicted that the U.S. would increase policy interest rate for the first time mid December 2015, resulting in gradual strengthening of the baht. It added that Thailand’s benchmark rate would be stable at 1.5% with a tendency to rise at the end of 2016 when the economy recovered more.

Films in honor of HM King to be screened for free this November

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The government invites the public to watch movies in honor of His Majesty the King on 24 November 2015 at Aksara Theatre in Bangkok.

Prime Minister's Office Minister M.L. Panadda Diskul and Permant Secretary for the PM's Office Pol.Gen. Ek Angsananont on Wednesday presided over the press conference on the film screening. Two movies--"Kham Athitthan" and "Yai Boonma"--are based on true stories of the two people whose lives have been touched by HM the King.

The two movies are in Thai with English subtitle. Both of them have a run time of around 30 minutes. People who want to watch these free movies can reserve sests at the PM's Office Minister by dialing 02-2834728.

Bangkok's botched half-marathon offers T-shirt apology

Jocelyn Gecker, Associated Press
— They ran an extra 4 miles on their half-marathon. And for their extra pain, they're getting a T-shirt.

Organizers offered runners commemorative T-shirts Tuesday as part of an apology for inadvertently extending the weekend Standard Chartered Bangkok Half-Marathon by almost 7 kilometers (4 miles).

The error by race officials along the route meant participants in Sunday's race ran 27.6 kilometers (17 miles), rather than the usual 21 kilometers (13 miles). Many runners had clocked the race on GPS watches and posted their bewilderment and anger afterward on social media.

Some 6,000 runners took part in the race and everyone — even those who didn't finish — will get a special jersey to wear like a badge of pride, said Songkram Kraison, vice president of the Jogging Association of Thailand, one of the event's two organizers.

"The T-shirt will say, 'Finisher of 27.6 km,'" Songkram told The Associated Press. "The shirts are meant to apologize and also to honor runners who ran in the longer version of the half-marathon."

The Jogging Association of Thailand's website posted a statement Tuesday saying it will mail the shirts within 45 days.

The race looped through Bangkok's historic district, past the Grand Palace, monuments and Buddhist temples, with half-marathon participants sharing the route with full-marathon runners until a specified turn-off. That's where the error occurred, according to organizers, who said officials stationed along the route accidentally directed half-marathon runners to make a U-turn at the wrong spot, which added the extra distance.

"We deeply regret this unfortunate mistake," the Jogging Association of Thailand said in its apology posted in Thai and English on websites and Facebook pages connected with the event. "We admit our mistake and would like to apologize."

The T-shirt is meant to "express our admiration for your spirit in bravely overcoming the obstacles," the letter said.

Associated Press writer Busaba Sivasomboon contributed to this report.

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

Foreign & Commerce Ministers attend APEC Summit in Manila

MANILA,(NNT) - The Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn have traveled to the Philippines' capital of Manila to attend the annual APEC Summit.

The Foreign Minister on Monday participated in the first plenary session held under the theme "Inclusive Growth through Sustainable and Resilient Communities." The meeting reported that more than half the world's population live in urban areas, which are rapidly expanding. This situation has created a need for sustainable and balanced development.

Mr. Don said that Thailand has emphasized the use of education to develop human resources, as well as building capacity through technology and innovation. He reasoned that this approach will help all sectors in society to benefit equally from economic growth, without abandoning the underprivileged.

The Foreign Minister also affirmed that the Kingdom will move forward with its reforms to accomodate its aging society and become the bridge for international cooperation. Thailand, in its G77 Chairmanship for 2016, affirmed that its principles are in line with the goals and agenda of the UN developing countries.

Mr. Don also met with his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop on the sidelines of the APEC Summit to discuss a range of bilateral issues from anti-human trafficking operations to food innovation. He invited Australian entrepreneurs to invest in Thailand, particularly its six special economic zones.

Cabinet agrees to promote Thailand as center for auto research & testing

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Cabinet has given the green light to the plan to develop Thailand into the regional hub for automotive research and testing.

Government Spokesperson Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd announced the results of the weekly Cabinet meeting, saying the Cabinet approved in principle the Finance Ministry’s measure to support Thailand in becoming the region’s center of research, development and performance testing for prototype vehicles.

The Finance Ministry eyes granting special privileges to qualified researchers through the exemption of import tariff, excise tax and value-added tax. The Excise Department has been tasked with overseeing the matter and assessing the eligibility of each operator for the tax waivers.

It is believed that the measure will cost the government a small portion of its revenue. However, it will in turn lend a great boost to investment, generate a number of job opportunities and raise the competitiveness of the Thai automotive sector.

Schools called on to educate students on dengue fever avoidance

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Public Health has coordinated with the Ministry of the Interior in establishing dengue fever resistance centers across the country, urging provincial health agencies to provide preventative measures in schools.

Public Health Minister Dr Sophon Mekthon said the new centers will be responsible for keeping track of the dengue fever situation in their respective provinces and issuing appropriate assistance measures.

The provinces of Phetchaburi, Rayong, Ratchaburi and Uthai Thani have reported large numbers of dengue-related cases. However, the rate of infection has dropped as the cold season approaches, from 7,000 cases per week in September to the current rate of 3,000.

In addition, the Ministry has asked public health agencies across the country to coordinate with schools in educating students on the dangers of dengue fever as well as preventative measures.

Chiang Mai Airport adjusts flight schedules to avoid floating lanterns

CHIANG MAI,(NNT) - A total of 135 flights both to and from Chiang Mai province have either been cancelled or rescheduled from November 24 - 26, in order to avoid floating lanterns which will be released during the Loy Krathong Festival.

The Chiang Mai provincial administrative organization had earlier announced a ban on floating lanterns in Mueang, Hang Dong, San Sai, Mae Rim and Sarapee districts. The ban has been temporarily lifted to boost tourism on November 25, Loy Krathong Day, and December 31, New Year’s Eve.

Floating lanterns are allowed in other districts under the condition that residents inform the Chiang Mai Air Traffic Control Centre and the Chiang Mai Airport at least seven days in advance.

So far, there have been 84 flights canceled between November 24 - 26, of which 72 were domestic flights.

Another 51 flights have rescheduled their arriving time. Travellers are strongly advised to consult their airlines to confirm the exact timetable.

Cold weather challenges communities in northeastern Thailand

NORTHEAST, (NNT) - Temperatures in Thailand’s northeastern region continue to drop, compromising the visibility of commercial routes and challenging the resilience of communities to cold weather.

Fog along the Mekong River has restricted visibility to no more than 10 meters, especially in Sangkhom district of Nong Khai province, where the fog has endangered ferry and fishing routes in areas filled with rocks.

Meanwhile, several temples in Kalasin province are experiencing a shortage of winter clothing. The Mayor of Kalasin’s Mueang district joined local residents in conducting the annual merit-making ceremony to donate new robes and other necessities to temples in need. The temperature along the province’s hilltops have been recorded between 14-18 degrees Celsius.

Phichit province continues to be affected by severe drought as farmers in Tha Lo subdistrict resort to planting parsley, a water-efficient crop with a short harvesting cycle, in order to generate income in a time of water shortages.

Thai and Japanese foreign ministers meet to assure tourist safety

BANGKOK, (NNT) - The Thai and Japanese governments have affirmed their readiness to ensure tourism safety, amid global security threats.

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai met with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida ahead of this year's APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Manila, Philippines, scheduled to begin today. The two countries affirmed their bilateral ties in terms of both strategic and economic cooperation.

Thailand has pledged to safeguard Japanese tourists and entrepreneurs traveling in the country, following the Ratchaprasong bombing in August and the Paris attacks on Friday.

Mr. Kishida expressed his condolences regarding the two terrorists attacks, and pledged Japan's cooperation with global anti-terror efforts. The Japanese Foreign Minister also expressed support for Thailand's ongoing reform process to establish a democracy with transparency, accountability, and legitimacy.

The meeting occurred ahead of the APEC Summit, which is an annual conference of 20 member-economies in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. This year, the summit is being held from November 18-19 under the theme "Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World." Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha will be attending the summit, which this year aims to foster sustainable economic growth that benefits all parties.

Thailand tightens security after Paris attacks

BANGKOK, (NNT)-Thailand has reinforced security across the nation after Paris attacks last Saturday.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed security units to assure safety for the Thai public, saying every nation is now equally at risk. He has also offered condolences to families of those who died in the attacks.

Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan has urged Thai people to report to the police by dialing 199 if they see anything unusual.

Royal Thai Police Deputy Spokesperson Police Major General Songpol Wattanachai said an increase in police patrols in various places is meant to assure public safety against all types of threats even though none has so far been detected.

Immigration police have also been told to be vigilant in their effort to prevent ill-intentioned individuals from entering the country.

Authorities clamp down on illegal fireworks in Lamphun province

BANGKOK, 16 November 2015 (NNT) – Police, soldiers, provincial officials and related security officials are clamping down on illegal fireworks in Lamphun province.

Authorities inspected the Nong Dok market in Lamphun province to ensure that vendors were not illegally selling fireworks before the allocated period. Authorities found 2 vendors had begun to stock up on fireworks ahead of the legal selling date, prompting them to take legal action and seize the fireworks. The vendors were also fined 1,000 baht each.

The province has prepared measures against accidents from fireworks
during the Loy Krathong Festival, scheduled for November 21st until the
25th. Vendors must have a permit to sell fireworks, which can be sold only between 4:00PM and 6:00PM. In addition, fireworks must only be used in designated areas.

The province is also asking the public not to release floating lanterns into the sky. Those found to have violated the law will be prosecuted.
Meanwhile, police will be deployed to various areas to ensure safety.

Thai tourism unaffected by Paris attacks

Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul has confirmed attacks in Paris have not affected the Thai tourism while the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) have planned to increase tourism revenue in 2016.

The minister on Sunday predicted that the deadly attacks in Paris would not affect the Thai tourism in the short run, saying European tourists had not cancelled their hotel room reservation. The number of Thai tourists in November was higher than expected but their spending was lower. The ministry was therefore urgently stimulating domestic travel by both Thai and foreign tourists, said the minister.

More than seven million tourists from China and ASEAN countries have visited Thailand after bombings at the Ratchaprasong junction in August this year, higher than last year by one million people.

The TAT’s tourism promotion plan for 2016 focuses on quality tourist sites with unique Thai characteristics with the objectives to persuade tourists to stay in Thailand longer. There will also be new activities to promote tourism targeting sport lovers and working women.

Security heightened along borders in Mae Sai after Paris attacks

CHIANG RAI, (NNT) - Security units in the Thai-Myanmar border zones in Chiang Rai have stepped up security in inspecting individuals and vehicles entering and leaving the country along the borders following attacks in Paris on 14 November 2015.

Superintendent of the Mae Sai Immigration Police Col. Sit Sirikangwankul on Sunday said border checkpoints usually had strict measures to screen individuals and prevent smuggling of all types of illegal objects. The measures were intensified after the deadly attacks in Paris in a bid to prevent groups of people from creating violent incidents in the country, especially those who were involved in international crime, said the official.

Col. Sit added that the authorities had not found suspicious groups of people, illegal objects or irregularities in the border zones. Continuous surveillance will be maintained in the areas.

Preventative measures to mitigate road accidents during festive season

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Measures to mitigate road accidents during the New Year holidays are being planned by related agencies, says deputy minister.

Deputy Interior Minister Suthee Makboon has said that all the agencies involved in road safety are currently preparing a road safety plan, particularly in speed detection.

There is also a road safety campaign to allow the public to travel safely and happily during New Year Festival 2016.

He expected that a meeting with relevant agencies would be held next month to accelerate the plan in reducing the road accident statistics during the festive season when people travel most.

Meanwhile, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation was also instructed to take care of the people during the approaching Loy Kratong Festival in November 2015.

The Deputy Interior Minister has also said that every security agency has assigned their staff to closely monitor key areas in Bangkok and be vigilant in the wake of the violent attacks in Paris. He assured that the public should not to be concerned about the Kingdom's security issue.

Vistors flock to Nong Khai to watch the beautiful sea of fog

NONG KHAI,(NNT) – More than 200 people flocked to Nong Khai’s Phu Hua Isan to watch a beautiful thick sea of fog.

Watching a sea of fog has become a favorite pastime for many people during this time of the year, as the weather has begun to drop in many provinces. Tourists from all over Thailand visited the sea of fog above the Mekong River in Sangkhom District over the weekend, with many flocking to Phu Hua Isan. Many of the visitors came with their families or in large groups and did not leave dissapointed as the sea of fog is the thickest around this time of the year.

Tourists can also enjoy a similar sight at Phu Pha Dak or Phu Hor in Nong Khai province.

100 wild peacocks sighted in Phayao

PHAYAO,(NNT) - A birdwatching spot will be built in Phayao province to accommodate tourists arriving to see wild peacocks leaving the mountain to feed in nearby cornfields.

Around 50 peacocks can be seen leaving their habitat in the mountain to feed on corn seeds on the ground every evening. Many peacocks are usually observed in winter in Wiang Lor Wildlife Sanctuary located in Dok Kam Tai district.

As many as 100 birds have been seen foraging for corn. The birds are drawn to the corn seeds, which are left on the ground by farmers during the harvest period.

According to Phayao Provincial Administrative Organization, Wiang Lor Wildlife Sanctuary is among Thailand’s largest peacock habitats. The birdwatching spot will be created far enough from the birds so that they remain undisturbed.

Binoculars will be provided for birdwatchers, who can also visit the nearby sunflower field, touted as the biggest sunflower field in the North of Thailand.

Bank Of Thailand says economy continues to grow

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Bank of Thailand (BoT) believes the Thai economy will continue to recover, but voiced concern over the persisting drought crisis.

BoT Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob said the drought crisis will remain a key factor of economic growth, as rural household income has declined due to the lack of water for farming activities. He also blamed household debt as another major factor of the economic slowdown.

The BoT Governor further stated that the Thai economy continues to be susceptible to foreign monetary policies especially in the U.S., Europe and Japan. These foreign policies will likely cause further currency volatility, as foreign leaders try to restore their nations' economies.

However, Dr. Veerachai added that government investment plans and its economic stimulus measures should cause noticeable growth in the third quarter fiscal 2016, despite a slump in the tourism sector.

Big Cleaning Day held in Ayutthaya to maintain historical sites

AYUTTHAYA,(NNT) - Renovation and landscaping efforts are now underway in Ayutthaya province to improve areas around historical sites.

Ayutthaya Deputy Governor Kajornsak Charoensopa has visited Bung Praram Park to inspect the site after it was found to have been littered with garbage.

Bung Praram is a public park, where the remains of centuries-old temples are also located. According to the Deputy Governor, landscaping work will take place under a ‘Big Cleaning Day’ campaign held from November 24 – 25.

It is also aimed at restoring Ayutthaya as one of the world’s top cultural heritage destinations and bringing visitors back to the province.

Nakhon Ratchasima to incorporate alcohol-control policy in zoning

NAKHON RATCHASIMA, (NNT) – The deputy governor of Nakhon Ratchasima Province has called a meeting with different agencies today to discuss the plan to separate liquor shops from schools and student dorms.

The discussion was joined by officials from local administrative and security organizations as well as the Regional Excise Office. The zoning is one of the National Council for Peace and Order’s efforts to lessen alcohol consumption in youngsters, especially students.

The government stipulated that all provinces must finish their zoning before 30th November. Nakhon Ratchasima has more than 500 educational institutions. More than 30,000 operators have applied for alcohol sales licenses.

Deputy Governor Surapan Dissaman said directors of all educational institutions had been instructed to look for alcohol outlets in their localities to map out a proper zoning plan. Mr. Surapan confirmed that the zoning task would comply with the government’s policy without affecting existing licensed operators.

Seminar on environmental impact of coal powered plant in Krabi

KRABI,(NNT) - The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has joined universities in the South in a seminar on the environmental effects of the coal powered plant in Krabi.

Speaking at the seminar was Thanongsak Chanmethakul, a researcher on coral reefs, who revealed that in the past 10 years, fuel oil tankers that have traveled to and from Ban Klong Rua harbor have not had any direct impact on coral reefs in the area.

In addition, Chaimongkol Yaemarunpattana, a researcher on seagrass, also acknowledged that the movement of the vessels did not affect seagrass, maintaining that Mu Ko Siboya and its vicinity is still home to a variety of marine plants.

Meanwhile, the Director of EGAT’s environmental division Capt Anuchart Palakawongse Na Ayudhya reported the formation of a committee to study the environmental impact of the Krabi coal power plant. A list of candidates for membership of the committee has been submitted to the Office of the Prime Minister for approval, while the committee is expected to hold its first meeting in November.

Chiang Mai prepares for winter weather

CHIANG MAI,(NNT) - Chiang Mai province is establishing a command center to deal with the cold snap this winter.

Head of the provincial public relations department in Chiang Mai Ubonrat Khongkraphan said the northern region’s meteorological center had predicted that winter would begin mid October 2015 and end around mid February 2016. The weather would be similar to last year and the temperature would be lowest from the latter part of December to January. The public and private sectors as well as a civil society network were working together to prepare assistance for cold spell-affected people in the province, said Ms Ubonrat.

The committee is responsible for advising people on how to care for their health and assisting those affected by the cold weather. The committee works with the provincial public health department in arranging mobile medical units and implementing instructions of the government to deal with the cold snap.

Prime Minister asks authorities and tourists to keep places clean

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked members of the public to keep tourist attractions clean during the high season.

As the high season approaches, the prime minister said he had instructed all related ministries and agencies to ensure safety at various tourist sites as well as risk-prone areas such as airports, bus stations and piers.

The PM also asked members of the public to help ensure safety for tourists as well as keep their areas clean.

As for various tourist attractions, Gen Prayut said authorities must efficiently manage the volume of tourists at one time while caring for the environment and preventing littering at places such as national parks.

Restroom is another important matter, he said, adding that there must be enough clean restrooms to accommodate tourists. It will be unacceptable for a large crowd of tourists to be met with either dirty or expensive restrooms. The standards of services must be kept in line in order for the tourism industry to progress.

Government details implications of new gender equality bill

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The government has detailed the major implications of the new gender equality bill that is now in effect.

According to the Government Spokesman's Bureau, the government aims to ensure gender equality in society and to provide assistance and compensation to those who have been affected by gender discrimination, as well as to create a society that respects individuals of both genders.

The government therefore proposed a gender equality bill which has been passed by the National Legislative Assembly.

The new law establishes a committee on gender equality to draft related polices, and a committee tasked with examining complaints regarding gender discrimination.

A gender equality fund will be established to provide financial compensation to those who have been affected by gender discrimination.

50th meeting of ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information

Surabaya,(NNT) - The 50th meeting of the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (ASEAN - COCI) has taken place at the heart of Surabaya, the second largest city of Indonesia, on 9-11 November 2015. A group of delegates from 10 ASEAN member states and the ASEAN secretariat attended the annual meeting to discuss plans and the implementation of projects under the ASEAN cooperation framework.

Dr. Charoon Chaisorn, Deputy Director-General of the Thai Public Relations Department (PRD), in his capacity as head of the Sub-Committee on Information (SCI) Thailand, led PRD officials participating in the meeting. The main agenda involved the reporting of the results and updating on the status of activities and projects, aiming to promote the ASEAN awareness and cooperation in the media and information fields.

The PRD's efforts in ASEAN awareness promotion has been implemented through mainstream media, such as television, radio, new media (website in both Thai and English), and social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). Dr. Charoon pointed out that the new media have played an important role in creating the ASEAN awareness and insights into a better understanding of ASEAN.

Another special project, Visit of ASEAN - China Broadcasting Personnel to Thailand, proposed and hosted by Thailand, was significantly successful. The participants from AMS and China were impressed by the very high standards of Thailand's broadcasting technology, especially immersive graphics used in digital television. The participants have taken the opportunity to exchange experiences and gain insights into media production and broadcasting management.

ASEAN Television News (ATN) is one of the repeated projects implemented by NBT World which has progressed well so far. NBT World broadcasts scoops and news related to Thailand and ASEAN in order to exchange with other ASEAN countries. The topics cover various issues, such as politics, economics, activities, culture, lifestyle, tourism and international affairs.

Furthermore, Radio Thailand also has a new strategy for implementing a project called "VOABB" by changing the format of the radio program. The new plan is to integrate traditional media and increase audience engagement with new media, drawing the attention of people aged 18-30 years. Content consists of infotainment, knowledge about the ASEAN Economic Community, and people-to-people connectivity.

The meeting also followed up on the implementation of Thailand's ASEAN National Communication Plan, which is in line with the ASEAN Communication Master Plan, aiming to promote a sense of awareness and readiness toward the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community. The plan also focuses on creating a shared community with opportunities and benefits amongst the citizens of ASEAN, as well as working closely as a strong partner of ASEAN in regional cooperation.

U.S. Ambassador met with Thai Deputy PM

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The U.S. Ambassador to Thailand has expressed support for the Kingdom in several areas during his visit with Deputy Prime Minister for social affairs Admiral Narong Pipatanasai.

The ambassador, His Excellency Glyn T. Davies, had a meeting with Admiral Narong, where he revealed that the United States wants to see democracy restored in Thailand.

Admiral Narong has also taken this opportunity to explain and clarify certain issues to the American ambassador regarding the current political situation in the country.

Both parties have discussed possible cooperation in the areas of health care, education, investment and human trafficking prevention.

Kanchanaburi organizes River Kwai Bridge and Red Cross Fair 2015

KANCHANABURI,(NNT) -- Kanchanaburi Governor Sak Somboonto has announced that Kanchanaburi will present the River Kwai Bridge and Red Cross Fair 2015 from November 28 - December 7, 2015, at the River Kwai Bridge, Tha Makham subdistrict, Muang Kanchanaburi district, Kanchanaburi province.

The event will honor His Majesty the King whose birthday anniversary occurs in early December. It also aims to promote tourism in Kanchanaburi, commemorate the importance of major events during the Pacific War when the Death Railway and Bridge over the River Kwai were constructed, later becoming sites of historical significance.

In addition, the event will celebrate the 70th Thai Peace Day reflecting the identity of Kanchanaburi, the city of peace. There will be a sound and light performance portraying the atmosphere which existed during the Second World War.

The event also features the Kanchanaburi Red Cross Fair and the Foundation of Arts and Crafts’ products by Surasi Camp’s Housewives' Association, government agencies’ products, folk performances, local products, a mini motor show, a Thai boxing tournament, an amusement park zone and various forms of entertainment.

PM orders related ministries to improve water storage in Ubon Ratchathani

UBON RATCHATHANI,(NNT) – The Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives have been assigned by the Prime Minister to come up with ways to raise the water storage capacity of Ubon Ratchathani province.

While in Ubon Ratchathani for a meeting with the joint public-private committee in charge of tackling economic problems in the Lower Northeast, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expressed his concerns over the water situation in the province. He tasked the Interior Ministry and the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry with finding measures to increase local water reserves and ensure efficient water management.

The Prime Minister asked local agriculturists for their cooperation in heeding the official report in regard to the amount of water available in each area before deciding to begin their cultivation. He suggested the farmers to plant only crops that are suitable for their locality while insisting that agricultural products should be produced in line with market demands.

On this occasion, Gen Prayut also showed appreciation to farmers who have voluntarily changed the types of their crops so as to help save water during the dry season.

Engineers inspect riverbank erosion in Chainat

CHAINAT,(NNT) – Experts from the Department of Public Works and Town and Country Planning have visited an area in Chainat Province where severe riverbank erosion has occurred.

The investigation team, led by head engineer Kiattisak Chantra, attributed the riverbank collapse at the Noy River to heavy rains that fell on 9-10 November, which caused landslides in several spots. Experts said the causes of the riverbank erosion were due to an abrupt recession of water levels, construction of new riverside roads, marshy soil, and the bank’s frequent exposure to running water.

The collapse heavily damaged a riverside road and a number of nearby houses. Chainat Provincial Administrative Office and Chainat Municipality have now installed warning signs throughout affected areas. Related agencies have also been instructed to regulate the loads of passing trucks for safety reasons. Meanwhile, the governor has ordered the installation of a temporary bridge to facilitate traffic.

The Department of Public Works and Town and Country Planning is preparing to review its embankment construction plan for 2016 to focus its priority on other disaster-prone zones.

Department of Employment to help job seekers from drought-affected areas

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Employment Department Director General Arak Prommanee said his agency will help job seekers from drought-affected areas in the provinces by providing them with information and employment services.

The department has coordinated with employers and entrepreneurs to recruit employees among a large number of job seekers in drought- affected areas. That is viewed as a measure to prevent them from being victimized by illegal job brokers who might falsely promise high pays.

Some department officials will advise job seekers of job opportunities including those which can be done at home while others are available for job consultations at Bangkok's Mo Chit Bus Terminal and Hua Lampong Railway Station where job seekers may arrive from the provinces around the clock.

Mr. Arak suggested that the job seekers who prefer to leave the drought-hit areas to get employed elsewhere check out job opportunities by contacting the department's Smart Job Center or its provincial employment offices or calling the department’s hotline 1694.

Information seminar for foreign ambassadors

Alongkorn Ponlabutr

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) has held an information seminar for various ambassadors and international organizations in Thailand, regarding the national reform process.

NRSA Deputy Speaker Alongkorn Ponlabutr said that he had informed the foreign diplomats of the NRSA’s duties, which include implementing 11 reform agendas and creating a 20-year national reform strategy. He said the meeting served as an opportunity for all in attendance to familiarize themselves with the country’s reform agendas.

Mr Alongkorn added that another meeting will be held on November 14 to inform Thai ambassadors stationed in foreign countries of current efforts to foster reconciliation, reduce inequality and eliminate corruption.

The number of people diagnosed with Dengue Fever rises in many provinces

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Public Health has rejected rumors that a new strain of Dengue Fever was found in the country. However, authorities are expressing concern over an increasing risk of an outbreak of the disease.

Department of Disease Control Deputy Director-General Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong quoted the Bureau of Epidemiology as saying that since January 1st until November 2nd, over 100,000 people have contracted Dengue Fever. Among them, 102 died.

Phetchaburi province had the highest number of Dengue Fever patients, followed by Rayong, Ratchaburi, Uthai Thani and Prachinburi. Authorities are also concerned about the situation in Nakhon Ratchasima, Chiang Mai and Bangkok, as more people could be infected with the disease. However, no new strain of Dengue Fever has been found in the country.

Meanwhile, 11,584 people have been diagnosed with Dengue Fever in four lower northeastern provinces. 13 people have died from the disease. Nakhon Ratchasima saw the highest number, with 5,621 infected people and 9 deaths. Statistics show the number of people infected with Dengue Fever has increased five-fold this year.

In Ang Thong province, authorities are spraying risky areas in a bid to get rid of mosquitoes. 20 more people have been infected with the disease, brining the the total to 957 in the province. No deaths have been reported in Ang Thong.

Ministry of Culture to organize Loy Kratong Festival

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of Culture and several other agencies will jointly organize Loy Kratong festival on November 25.

Culture Minister Weera Rojpotchanarat said those agencies which will organize the yearly floats festival include the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, the Ministry of the Interior, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, the Royal Thai Police and Public Relations Department and the Ministry of Culture.

The festival will focus on the preserving of the Thai culture, rivers, canals and Thainess while people will be suggested to use biodegradable objects used as materials for the making of Kratong floats, preserve the Thai culture, dress decently and refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages, playing with fireworks or releasing lanterns in risk areas.

There will be more buses, trains and flights provided for the festival-goers. Such plans for the organizing of Loy Kratong are yet to be submitted to the cabinet for approval on November 17.

Meanwhile, the Public Relations Department will also organize Loy Kratong Festival which members of the public are invited to join from November 23 until November 25 with a focus on creating Thai values.

A Music in the Garden Concert and traditional and cultural shows including a Loy Kratong parade with over 500 people will be performed on November 25.

Newly established Airsport Federation of Asia elects its first president

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Airsport Federation of Asia has been established, with its headquarters based in Thailand and Group Captain Veerayuth Didyasarin elected as its first President.

The organization was established during its inaugural meeting, hosted by the Royal Aeronautic Sports Association of Thailand. The meeting also elected its first president, where Group Captain Veerayuth received the majority of votes from member nations of the federation, namely Lao PDR, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan.

Group Captain Veerayuth plans to elevate aeronautic sports to the Asian and global levels, aiming to include them into such competitions as the 2016 Asian Beach Games in Vietnam, 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia, 2018 SEA Games in Indonesia, and most importantly, the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. The Group Captain would persuade SEA Games and Olympic officials to include aeronautic sports in their respective constitutions.

He said local aeronautic athletes would have more opportunity to improve their skills, thanks to the establishment of the federation’s center in Thailand.

U.S. Ambassador Glyn T. Davies Hosts Introductory Reception

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Embassy of the United States in Bangkok organised a welcome reception for the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Thailand on the evening of the 10th of Novemeber.

H.E. Glyn T. Davies is the new U.S. Ambassador to Thailand after being nominated by President Obama to the position on April 14.

Important Thai government officials were in attendance such as Minister of the Prime Minister's Office, M.L. Panadda Diskul, and Bangkok Governor M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra as well as other ambassadors from various countries.

H.E. Mr. Davies gave a speech expressing his appreciation to Thailand for giving him such a warm welcome. He has been stationed in Thailand for seven weeks now and so far the Ambassador has visited six provinces including Chiang Mai, Trat, Prachin Buri, Rayong, Petchaburi and Ratchaburi. The ambassador said that he has learned a lot and has gotten to know Thailand much better since coming here and he can see that Thailand and the United States have many things in common and that Thai people have a deep affection for Americans.

The ambassador spoke of the high regard that the United States holds for Thailand and the deep relationship between the countries for nearly two centuries, collaborating on a wide range of issues. He specifically highlighted joint efforts to advance regional security, trade and investment, enhancing public health, while assisting refugees and displaced persons. He also mentioned the collaborations in fighting against the spread of illegal drugs, wildlife and human trafficking and transnational crimes and working to protect the environment. The ambassador said that he would like to see the United States and Thailand’s activities in these areas to continue.

The ambassador expressed that he would like to see Thailand become stronger, more prosperous, and to move forward on the path to achieving true democracy, and that Thailand will continue to play a leading regional role as it has since the middle of the last century.

Automobile policies to be revised to enhance credibility

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Department of Land Transport will revise its public and private automobile policies in a bid to increase the public’s confidence in the country’s land transportation policies and services.

Sanit Promwong, Director-General of the Department of Land Transport, spoke today of the department’s 2016 policy which will emphasize fast and efficient services.

He said the department aims to enhance its automotive engineering industry to match international standards to ensure the safety of public transportation vehicles. The department will also install GPS navigation systems on public vehicles and clearly display the identification cards of the drivers.

As for private vehicles, the department will enforce inspection policies of vehicles and enhance the credibility of driver licenses by revising the content tests and the standards of driving schools.

Myanmar nationals returning to Thailand after elections

CHIANG RAI,(NNT) - Myanmar nationals have begun returning to Thailand after traveling to participate in the country’s first free elections in 25 years.

At the Mae Sai border crossing in Chiang Rai province, which connects to the Myanmar town of Tachilek, Thai immigration authorities reported a daily average of 6,000 Myanmar nationals crossing the border to cast their votes, most of whom have already returned to Thailand.

The political situation in Myanmar remains stable so far, with no signs of resistance to the election's results. Myanmar’s opposition National League for Democracy Party is expected to win a landslide victory over the ruling military government.

Sky lanterns discouraged during Loy Krathong

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Airports of Thailand (AoT) has called on the public not to use sky lanterns during Loy Krathong festival this year. Those who need to use one must inform the AoT in written form seven days in advance.

President of the AoT Nitinai Sirisamatthakan said if necessary, a sky lantern could be used during the times which did not affect aviation at the AoT’s six airports, including Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Hat Yai. The AoT had asked airlines to arrange flights, especially in the northern region, during the festival by avoiding flying after 9 PM on 25 November 2016, said the president.

People can use sky lanterns after 9.30 PM in Chiang Rai from 24 - 25 November 2015 and smoke lanterns from 10 PM - 12 AM on 25 November 2015.

The sky lanterns allowed to use must be smaller than 90 centimeters in diameter and 140 centimeters high. They must not be made from sky-like colored paper.

Security systems inspected in risky areas ahead of national events

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of Defense and related agencies have conducted an inspection of security systems in downtown Bangkok in preparation for the upcoming BIKE FOR DAD activity and New Year celebrations.

The Defense Ministry’s Chief of Staff is working with officials from other security units to check on the condition of CCTV cameras and street lamps around Bangkok. The objective is to ensure that all devices are functioning properly in order to prop up people’s confidence in their own safety prior to the many national functions coming up later this year, including the BIKE FOR DAD cycling event and New Year festivities.

The inspection today was performed at Ratchaprasong intersection, from the Erawan Shrine to Big C Department Store on Ratchadamri Road. The operation had earlier taken place in 10 other locations of the capital which are considered prone to untoward incidents

Cabinet to consider declaring Dec 11 a public holiday

Deputy Prime Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn

The Deputy Prime Minister is preparing to submit a proposal to the Cabinet calling for December 11, the date of BIKE FOR DAD, to be a public holiday.

Deputy Prime Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn reiterated that the government has not yet announced December 11 to be a public holiday. On December 11, the Kingdom of Thailand, as well as Thais living abroad, will celebrate His Majesty the King's 88th birthday anniversary with the cycling event, BIKE FOR DAD.

Related agencies from the public and private sector have said that if December 11 is declared a public holiday, then it will ease the administration of the activity. However, all parties have reported readiness and have focused on the safety and convenience of participants.

Suvarnabhumi Airport expects 160,000 passengers per day during high season

BANGKOK,(NNT) – More than 100,000 passengers are expected to pass through Suvarnabhumi Airport on a daily basis during the high season.

The director of Suvarnabhumi Airport said the airport will be handling up to 160,000 passengers a day during winter which is a high season. The high season starts on October 25th, 2015 and will end on March 26th, 2016. During this period, the director said there will be a total of 969 flights a day, 96 of which will be passenger flights, 9 cargo flights, and the remaining 19 flights will be under a codeshare agreement.

A codeshare agreement is an aviation business arrangement where two or more airlines share the same flight.

Suvarnabhumi Airport is the largest airport in Thailand and serves as an aviation hub in Southeast Asia that attracts airlines from across the globe and leads the way to countries in South and Southeast Asia.

Winter draws tourists to hot springs in Chiang Rai

CHINAG RAI,(NNT) - Hot springs in the northern province of Chiang Rai are popular among tourists during this period when the temperature decreases. The lowest temperature in the province is 20C in the morning and at night.

One of the most popular hot springs flocked by the local people and tourists is Pa Tueng hot spring on Mae Chan - Fang road in Chan district. Believed to relieve skin conditions and joint pains, the hot spring spurts water of 70 - 109C about 10 meters above the ground. There are pools and gardens surrounding it for people to relax and enjoy.

People who are traveling to Chiang Rai’s famous Doi Mae Salong usually stop by Pa Tueng hot spring conveniently located on the way to the mountain.

Bike For Dad participants surpass 450,000

SURAT THANI,(NNT) – Rehearsals for BIKE FOR DAD continue in different provinces as the eagerly-awaited event nears.

In the South, Surat Thani Governor Wongsiri Promchana, lead a group of bikers to cycle from the governor’s residential area to Tambon Makham Tia Health Promotion Hospital.

In Songkhla, Governor Songpol Swastham and leading members of the Songkhla Province Red Cross Chapter, today accompanied BIKE FOR DAD riders to survey the 29-kilometer route designated for the activity. The trip starts from the city hall and passes a number of landmarks of the province.

The number of BIKE FOR DAD participants in Bangkok has already reached the limit of 99,999. In other provinces, cyclists taking part in the project already number more than 360,000. Around 10,000 Thai people living overseas have also registered to join the activity.

Government asks factories not to dump untreated waste in water

Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The government is urging all factories to use proper methods to treat waste before disposal. In the meantime, the public has been asked to use water in the most efficient way due to possible water shortages in the future.

Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd, Government Spokesperson, said Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha had instructed responsible agencies – the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Industry, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives – to inspect waste water dumped into waterways across Thailand. The Premier also asked factories to treat harmful waste in the most environmentally-friendly way possible as well as preserve natural resources in the areas where they operate.

PHOTO: NNT-09-11-15 News 4 Government asks factories not to dump untreated waste in water 1JPG
CAPTION:Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd

Speaking about possible water shortages in the future, the spokesperson said members of the public should use water more efficiently while agriculturists should refrain from off-season cultivation, given that the amount of water the country has may not be enough for off-season farming.

A recent survey shows that there are 6.7 billion cubic meters of water in 4 major dams including Bhumibol Dam, Sirikit Dam, Kwae Noi Dam and Pa Sak Jolasid Dam. However, the amount of water that can be used for consumption is only 4.24 billion cubic meters. It is anticipated that demand for water in the year 2016 is approximately 3.5 billion cubic meters, which leaves 747 million cubic meters of water for the country to manage risks such as a severely unexpected drought.




Back to Main Page

Parents reminded to watch over children during Loy Krathong

Chiang Mai Airport to deploy clean-up crews for floating lanterns

PM agrees to Russian visit, encourages stronger bilateral ties

Labor minister follows up on human trafficking problem in Chonburi

Leap for Thailand-Japan economic cooperation at APEC meeting

Ministry of Education to launch training to improve English teachers

Bank forecasts better economic growth in Thailand next year

Films in honor of HM King to be screened for free this November

Bangkok's botched half-marathon offers T-shirt apology

Foreign & Commerce Ministers attend APEC Summit in Manila

Cabinet agrees to promote Thailand as center for auto research & testing

Schools called on to educate students on dengue fever avoidance

Chiang Mai Airport adjusts flight schedules to avoid floating lanterns

Cold weather challenges communities in northeastern Thailand

Thai and Japanese foreign ministers meet to assure tourist safety

Thailand tightens security after Paris attacks

Authorities clamp down on illegal fireworks in Lamphun province

Thai tourism unaffected by Paris attacks

Security heightened along borders in Mae Sai after Paris attacks

Preventative measures to mitigate road accidents during festive season

Vistors flock to Nong Khai to watch the beautiful sea of fog

100 wild peacocks sighted in Phayao

Bank Of Thailand says economy continues to grow

Big Cleaning Day held in Ayutthaya to maintain historical sites

Nakhon Ratchasima to incorporate alcohol-control policy in zoning

Seminar on environmental impact of coal powered plant in Krabi

Chiang Mai prepares for winter weather

Prime Minister asks authorities and tourists to keep places clean

Government details implications of new gender equality bill

50th meeting of ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information

U.S. Ambassador met with Thai Deputy PM

Kanchanaburi organizes River Kwai Bridge and Red Cross Fair 2015

PM orders related ministries to improve water storage in Ubon Ratchathani

Engineers inspect riverbank erosion in Chainat

Department of Employment to help job seekers from drought-affected areas

Information seminar for foreign ambassadors

The number of people diagnosed with Dengue Fever rises in many provinces

Ministry of Culture to organize Loy Kratong Festival

Newly established Airsport Federation of Asia elects its first president

U.S. Ambassador Glyn T. Davies Hosts Introductory Reception

Automobile policies to be revised to enhance credibility

Myanmar nationals returning to Thailand after elections

Sky lanterns discouraged during Loy Krathong

Security systems inspected in risky areas ahead of national events

Cabinet to consider declaring Dec 11 a public holiday

Suvarnabhumi Airport expects 160,000 passengers per day during high season

Winter draws tourists to hot springs in Chiang Rai

Bike For Dad participants surpass 450,000

Government asks factories not to dump untreated waste in water



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