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Scores of people get their Bike For Dad shirts at National Stadium

BANGKOK,(NNT) - A large number of people traveled to receive shirts of the BIKE FOR DAD cycle event on the second day, commending the handing out of the shirts for its systematic management and speediness. Those who fail to receive a BIKE FOR DAD shirt during these two days can get one on 6 December 2015.

BIKE FOR DAD shirts were handed out for the second day on Sunday at the National Stadium for the event’s bikers, disabled people as well as other people who had registered for the shirts and gifts. An ID card and hard copy or SMS of the registration document were required to be presented in order to receive the shirt, cyclist’s ID, bicycle’s ID and wristband.

Apart from the shirts, BIKE FOR DAD also gives gifts sponsored by the Royal Family.

Supreme Commander Gen. Sommai Kaotira said the handing out of BIKE FOR DAD shirts today ran smoothly. As for those who did not get the shirts and gifts on 28 - 29 November, they could still get them at the Armed Forces Development Command in Don Mueang on 6 December from 8 AM - 5 PM, said the supreme commander.


Governments Effort to Boost Tourism

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed all relevant agencies to proceed with their plans to promote tourism. The ways to promote tourism should also be adjusted in response to the demand of the new generation.

Government Spokesman Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd quoted the Prime Minister as saying that the number of international tourists visiting Thailand has been on the rise. The Cabinet has approved several measures and projects for tourism promotion. The Prime Minister wanted to see the progress of the implementation of these measures and projects. Among them is the organizing of the festival "Thailand: Marina Hub of ASEAN” from January to February 2016 in Phuket.

He pointed out that the project must link with various countries, especially Singapore. The issues concerning marine tourism and coastal tourism have already been raised for discussion with Vietnam.

The Prime Minister also heard a report from Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul that international tourist arrivals in Thailand now stand at 29.5 million, exceeding the target of 28.8 million set at the beginning of 2015. About 24.7 million international tourists visited Thailand in 2014.

Meanwhile, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), in cooperation with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, announced the launch of the 36th Thailand Tourism Festival, to be held from 13 to 17 January 2016 at Lumphini Park in Bangkok. The five-day Thai tourism showcase is aimed at attracting local residents and tourists from all corners of the world.

According to TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn, the festival will provide a platform to raise awareness of Thai culture, traditions, heritage, and simple ways of life. It will also stimulate travel driven by the unique identities of multicultural communities across Thailand.

Following the success of the Thailand Tourism Festival 2015, the Thailand Tourism Festival 2016 will not only highlight colorful festivals and vibrant local fairs from all parts of the country all year round, but will also underline the beautiful Thai way of life, along with world-famous Thai hospitality.

Mr. Yuthasak said that TAT plans to elevate this festival to an international level and to develop a further understanding of environmental mindfulness among Thai tourists. Campaigns will be launched for no littering, no drinking alcohol, and no smoking at tourist sites. Thai people will also be encouraged to be good hosts and join in the country’s sustainable tourism development, so that Thailand retains its position as the leading destination in ASEAN.

It is expected that thousands of local residents and international visitors will come along and take part in discovering the latest in Thailand’s tourism offerings during the five-day event.


Provincial Waterworks Authority launches ad hoc drought response centers

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA) has launched ad hoc drought response centers across the country to cope with the drought crisis next year.

PWA Govenor Rattana Kitchawan disclosed that the PWA had prepared a budget of over four billion baht to implement three phases of drought-relief plans. The first phase entails canal-digging and dredging and pipe-laying tasks. The second phase consists of 17 projects aimed at seeking additional water sources. The long-term measure involves nationwide water management for 2017 to 2018.

PWA has also sought a loan of 1.7 billion baht to enhance its service and crisis-relief tasks such as expansion of service areas, establishment of ad hoc drought response centers, and disaster monitoring and assessment.

PWA has in addition cooperated with different agencies, including the PTT, the Royal Thai Army, the Provincial Electricity Authority and the Department of Groundwater Resources in water supply missions for drought-hit areas. The PWA governor added those needing help can call PWA hotline 1662.


Pichit warns public to prepare for chilly weather

PICHIT,(NNT) – The general public in Pichit Province are warned to prepare for the cold weather, the winter season approaches.

The governor of Pichit Chatporn Rajdussadee has notified farmers and the general public in the province's affected areas to brace for a drop in temperature by 6-8 degree Celsius by 29 November 2015, as forecasted by the Meteorological Department.

The public are also advised to be cautious of common diseases and complications that occur frequently during the cold and windy period, as well as damages to property and agricultural crops. Individuals wishing to set up bonfires for warmth must be extra cautious for fire accidents.

Road users are also encouraged to be more cautious while driving, as dense fog may affect visibility in some areas of the province during the next 4-5 days.

The province's change in during this period is caused by a strong high pressure from China which covers the upper part of Thailand, causing the temperature in the Northern and Northeastern regions to be chilly, with cold weather expected on mountaintops.


Government to observe World Soil Day

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Land Development Department and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will jointly organize World Soil Day celebrations in the US and Italy.

The events which focus on the theme ”Soils, a Solid Ground for Life” will be held on 5th December at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome.

HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha will participate in the activities on behalf of HM the King and will lecture on HM the King’s royal speech related to the UN’s motto ‘Healthy Soils for a Healthy Life’. HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha will also present soil monoliths to the UN headquarters and the FAO. The monoliths will be installed at both venues.

In 2002, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) resolved to propose the 5th of December as World Soil Day to raise awareness of the importance of soil. The UN General Assembly later in 2013 declared 5th of December as the World Soil Day.

The Land Development Department will also organize an event between 3th and 6th December to educate the public on the significance of soil in the eco-system and highlight HM the King’s roles in soil conservation.

A walk-and-run activity will be held on 5th December in celebration of HM the King’s birthday at Wachira Benjatat Park (or Railway Park). Interested persons can download an application form via www.ldd.go.th/ldd/ or call 1122 for more information.


Bangkok Metropolitan Administration gearing up for BIKE FOR DAD

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Office of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) says road repairs and the installation of street lights and CCTV cameras will be completed this month before the BIKE FOR DAD event in December.

BMA Deputy Permanent Secretary Jakkapan Phewngarm said Bangkok officials have made significant progress in the maintenance of public facilities and expects to finish by November 28.

As for city decorations, Mr. Jakkapan said they will be completed on December 9, two days ahead of the cycling event. There will also be ten district officials and five soldiers stationed at regular intervals along the bike route to provide water and snacks to any bystanders, many of whom will wait to catch a glimpse of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.


Kalasin to spend 37 million baht on anti-drought measures

KALASIN,(NNT) - The northeastern province of Kalasin will spend about 37 million baht on anti-drought measures, while the water level in the Yom River in Phichit province is reaching a critical point.

A video conference was held between the Kalasin administration and the Ministry of Interior and the Department of Agricultural Extension (DOAE), about drought handling measures and assistance projects to support farmers during 2015-2016. The meeting agreed to seek a budget of 37 million baht from the government’s central fund to help agriculturalists who have turned to cultivation of drought-tolerant crops in December 2015.

The DOAE asked the province carefully review each and every project, stressing that the disbursement must be done in accordance with the regulations and the need of the locals.

Meanwhile, Phichit Province has recently reported that the water level of Yom River has reached the lowest point in 20 years, forcing residents in Sam Ngam district to float their krathong during the Loy Krathong celebration in a pond of the local temple instead.


Playgrounds built from recycled shampoo bottles given to children with special needs

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Six playgrounds have been built from recycled shampoo bottles for children with special needs as tribute to His Majesty the King on the occasion of his 88th Birthday on 5 December 2015.

The six projects were a result of cooperation among the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC), P&G Foundation for the Society and the Resources Management for Sustainability Foundation. The three organizations have plans to build a total of 88 children playgrounds from recycled plastic bottles for children with special needs. They officially handed over the sixth playground to the Bangkok governor in a ceremony yesterday.

The latest playground is located in the compound of the Children’s Museum in Chatuchak district. Around 10,000 colorful shampoo bottles were used for the construction.

Eighty-two more playgrounds to be built with recycled plastic bottles will continue under the campaign aimed at improving the mobility, visibility and mental development of children with physical disabilities.


Prime Minister's Office holds monthly almsgiving ceremony

BANGKOK, 27 November 2015 (NNT) - The Office of the Prime Minister held its monthly almsgiving ceremony as part of its effort to preserve Thai culture while promoting OTOP products from various provinces.

PM's Office Permanent Secretary Pol Gen Aek Angsananont offered rice to 99 Buddhist monks as part of the office’s tradition of holding an almsgiving ceremony every last Friday of the Month.

OTOP products featured at the ceremony included traditional Thai garments from Huai Rat District in Buri Ram Province, sink stone mortars from Chonburi Province, traditional and modern desserts from Ratchaburi Province and gourami fish chilly paste from Samut Prakan Province.


Thailand-China hold joint air show, celebrate 40th anniversary

BANGKOK, (NNT) - Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan and Royal Thai Air Force Commander-in-Chief ACM Treetod Sonjance along with the heads of Thailand’s military branches witnessed an air show held to celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations between Thailand and China.

The event taking place in Nakorn Ratchasima Province marked the first full air show held jointly by the two countries both to enhance cooperation between the countries’ air forces and to celebrate successful diplomatic ties.

Thailand showcased its F-16 fighter jet and a JAS 39C Gripen fighter jet along with China's twelve stunt flyers of the August 1st Aerobatic Team


Prime Minister gives first policy statement for 2016 fiscal year

BANGKOK, 27 November 2015 (NNT) - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha delivered his policy statement to high ranking state officials and called for a swift policy implementation.

The Prime Minister remarked that the meeting serves as a venue for agencies to exchange views and to expedite the implementation of various policies. The government wishes to ensure that its national agenda is carried out according to the country's roadmap, the effort of which requires coordination between ministries and provincial administrative offices.

Gen Prayut said the Ministry of Interior has been tasked with preventing all ill-intended groups from disrupting the country’s progress.

The event also marked the first policy statement for 2016 fiscal year by the prime minister, with the Budget Bureau issuing a summary of its achievements and offering suggestions on budget allocations and amendments.


Constitution Drafting Committee to gather opinions in Songkhla

SONGKHLA, 27 November 2015 (NNT) – The Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) is set to visit Songkhla Province on 29 November 2015 to gather public opinion regarding the constitution drafting process.

The CDC and King Prajadhipok's Institute (KPI) will be holding a public hearing forum at Lee Garden Plaza Hotel, Hat Yai District, Songkhla Province on 29 November 2015 to inquire the public’s opinion that will be taken as consideration of the constitution drafting process.

The forum will be chaired by the CDC vice chairman Apichart Sukhagganond, with topics including citizens’ rights, decentralization, government duties, and national reform.

The forum will also include a seminar on the regulations of online comments, participation, and brainstorms, officiated by the KPI's Civil Politics Promotion Office Director Supanat Permpoonwiwat.


Thailand-Japan strike deals in economy, science and technology

TOKYO,(NNT) – Thailand and Japan have established additional cooperations in economy, science, and technology during the Thai delegate's visit to Japan.

A team of Thai economic officials, led by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, along with the Ministers of Transport, Commerce, Industry, ICT, Science and Technology, and Tourism and Sports, is now in Japan during an official visit to discuss economic matters with their Japanese counterparts.

On this occasion, Minister of Science and Technology Pichet Durongkaveroj met with Japan’s Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy Aiko Shimajiri. Both sides agreed to establish the Climate Change Technology Transfer Center, and a research center for science, technology, and innovation policies with the assistance from Japan’s National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies. Both countries will also establish the National Space Program with cooperation from the Overseas Space Working Group.

The Minister of Science then called to Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Hiroshi Hase, and signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint research center for energy and the environment within the Japan-ASEAN Science, Technology and Innovation Platform (JASTIP) during early 2016. Both sides also agreed to setup a manufacturing/engineering training center for engineers and technicians, which will serve to support Japanese companies in Thailand and the Mekong region.

The Thai Minister of Science and the Minister of Industry Atchaka Sibunruang also co-hosted the Food Innopolis exhibition to attract Japanese foods companies to invest and develop in projects, with incentives such as tax reduction for researchers, and tax reduction for research and development.

The Minister of Science also participated in the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) meeting, which is a network of the government agencies and 26 private companies to generate funding in management technology for new entrepreneurs through open innovation mechanism.


Oil slick examined west of Pai Island

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Public Organization) (GISTDA) has examined an oil slick west of Pai Island off Tambon Naklua, Banglamung district, Chonburi province. The information was provided by the COSMO-SkyMed on November 23, 2015 at 6.02 p.m. The oil slick covers an area of about 2.99 square kilometers floating on the sea surface, located about 16 kilometers off the coast of Pai Island.

According to an analysis on the movement of the oil slick with the stream information from the coastal radar system from November 23, 2015 (6 p.m.) - November 24, 2015 (8 a.m.), the oil slick moved four kilometers towards the South and back four kilometers towards the North which was the same location with a speed of 0.36 kilometer per hour (8.64 kilometers per day). GISTDA examined the movement of the oil slick in the past two days (November 21 to November 23, 2015) to detect the area from where the oil slick should have originated. The oil slick may have come from the northeast, about 11 kilometers away.

GISTDA has forecast the oil slick will move in the southwest direction with an average speed of no more than 0.36 kilometer per hour until November 28.


Liver cancer most commonly found in Thai people among all cancers

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Medical Services Department has announced that liver cancer is the most commonly found cancer in Thai people. There are approximately 20,000 patients of liver cancer each year which is most commonly found in men. The death rate is approximately 15,000 per year.

Two types of liver cancer most commonly found in Thailand include liver cell cancer caused by the hepatitis B virus and bile duct cancer caused by liver fluke from nitrate and nitrite found in such food as sour pickled fish and bacon.

The general symptoms of liver cancer start from unexplained decrease in one's appetite. As the tumor grows, it may cause symptoms of pain in the right side of the abdomen or a feeling of fullness when eating. Some patients may have worsen symptoms of chronic liver disease or cirrhosis, which often precedes the development of cancer of the liver. For example, patients may have some unexplained weight loss, cachexia, increased swelling of the feet and abdomen and the yellowing of the eyes and skin. People found with these symptoms should immediately consult a doctor for diagnosis.


Consumer confidence picks up first time in 10 months

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Thai consumer confidence index in October 2015 increased for the first time in 10 months after the government imposed short-term economic stimulus measures.

Director of the Fiscal Policy Office Kritsada Chinawicharana on Thursday said the October consumer confidence index was 62.2, rising for the first time since the beginning of the year. Apart from the government's economic stimulus measures, other factors contributing to the improved consumer confidence included decreasing oil price as well as the government's policy to boost consumption and domestic investment, said the director.

This year's oil price is expected to be stable at 53 USD/barrel.

The Thai economy in the fourth quarter will likely continue to expand until 2016 with a growth estimate of 3.8%, mainly due to infrastructure mega projects.

As for the export sector in October 2015, it continued to drop by 8.1%, especially exports in the category of agricultural products, following slowdown of the global economy as well as economies of Thailand's trade partners. The exports of agricultural products contracted by 4.8%


Thai poultry producers accused of labor abuses

BANGKOK (AP) — Poultry exported to Europe from factories in Thailand is sometimes prepared in conditions that violate labor rights, two Scandinavian groups promoting corporate responsibility charged Thursday. The claim comes as Thailand's seafood industry is reeling from allegations that its products are tainted by major labor abuses, including slavery on fishing boats.

The groups Finnwatch and Swedwatch said in a report released in Thailand that they found abuses at six factories that process broiler meat, including exorbitant recruitment fees, illegal confiscation of personal documentation and forced labor.

Earlier this week, the food conglomerate Nestle SA announced it has found that impoverished migrant workers in Thailand are sold or lured by false promises and forced to catch and process fish that ends up in its supply chain. Most migrant workers are from Myanmar and Cambodia.

Nestle's announcement followed reports from news outlets and nongovernmental organizations that tied brutal and largely unregulated working conditions to the company's shrimp, prawns and Purina brand pet foods. Nestle's findings echo those of The Associated Press in reports this year on slavery in the seafood industry that have resulted in the rescue of more than 2,000 fishermen.

The report by Finnwatch and Swedwatch explores the employment conditions of migrant workers in Thailand's poultry industry.

"Migrant workers hired by companies exporting to the EU and other markets are often exposed to repeated violations of human and labor rights by employers and subcontractors as well as corrupt officials," the report said. "Many of them become victims of debt bondage" due to excessive recruitment fees they were often forced to pay, it said.

Other abuses include a lack of health insurance despite having fees for it deducted from their salaries, the confiscation of passports and work permits to tie workers to their workplace, and the use of child labor.

CP Foods Public Co. Ltd., two of whose factories received a mostly favorable evaluation in the report, issued a pre-emptive response earlier this month.

Senior Vice President Suchart Sitthichai, manager of the company's chicken processing plant in the northeast province of Nakhon Ratchasima, said in a statement that the company respects its migrant workers and "condemns all exploitation, forms of child labor, forced labor and human trafficking."

He said the company has been found to meet Thailand's highest labor standards, reflecting "our spirit to treat all workers under our roof on a fair, nondiscriminatory standard that meets international labor practices."

CP Foods is part of the CP Group, which is one of Asia's biggest agribusiness-based conglomerates. The other companies that were researched — Laemthong Poultry Co.; the Saha Farms Group, operating as Golden Line Business Co. Ltd.; and the Centaco Group, operating as Sky Food Co. Ltd. — asserted in published replies to questions from the researchers that they operated responsibly.

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


National Reform Steering Assembly delivers 1-month progress report

BANGKOK, (NNT) - The National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) has expressed satisfaction with its one-month progress.

NRSA Speaker Capt Thinapan Nakata, along with Deputy Speakers Alongkorn Ponlaboot and Valairat Sriaroon and the NRSA spokesperson team, delivered its one-month progress report and its plan of action for the future.

According to the report, the NRSA’s 11 committees and special committee will, by December 10, submit suggestions to the main assembly on ways various reform agendas should be implemented.

The NRSA’s work is a continuation of the previous National Reform Council that identified 37 reform agendas and 8 fields of development. These agendas will be taken up by the NRSA, which will turn them into actionable legislation. During this process, the NRSA has met with heads of various ministries to ask for swift approval of various draft laws.

Ms Valairat added that the public has submitted over 2,000 suggestions on the new constitution to the NRSA. The NRSA will forward these suggestions to the Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC) and will continue to collect input.

NRSA Spokesperson Kamnoon Sidhisamarn revealed that members of the reform body will travel across the country along with the CDC and the National Legislative Assembly to gather input from the locals. Representatives from the three bodies will visit Chonburi province on December 8, Nakhon Ratchasima on December 9 and Chiang Mai on December 15.


Ministry of Energy awards 83 power-saving agencies

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Energy Minister General Anantaporn Kanchanarat has conferred accolades on 83 best-performing agencies at the Thailand Energy Awards 2015.

The award-winning agencies were selected for their noteworthy achievements in reducing over 360,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year and saving as much as 2.5 billion baht in energy costs.

Gen Anantaporn said the launch of the Thailand Energy Award was aimed at raising awareness of the need for energy conservation by encouraging public and private organizations to come up with their own cost-cutting and power-saving projects.

Participating agencies must excel in at least one of the five categories, namely alternative energy, power conservation, human resource, environmentally-constructive campaigns and roles in energy conservation and alternative energy promotion.

Gen Anantaporn disclosed that the ministry attaches great importance to energy sustainability, economic stability and environmental sustainability. Five strategies were issued to boost electricity production, conserve energy, promote alternative energy, and improve the management of natural gas and petrol.

Exceptional agencies were also nominated as the country’s representatives for the ASEAN Energy Awards 2015. They have won 18 out of 46 awards.


White Ribbon Day held at UN Conference Centre in Bangkok

The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and the organization, UN Women, together took part in an organized an event today for International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the annual campaign to end violence against women and children and domestic violence in general. The event took place at the United Nations Conference Centre.

The White Ribbon symbol, which symbolizes a pledge to not condone, ignore or commit violence against women, has been taken up as a universal symbol that promotes an end to such violence every year.

Mr. Lertpanya Buranabandit, Director-General of the Department of Women’s Affairs and Family Development said today that violence against women and children is an international issue. The government expects cooperation to end such violence in Thailand and build positive attitudes between genders and gender roles from childhood. The government is calling for a combined response, to end all forms of violence in Thailand.

This year, the theme of the campaign is “Stop Violence… ASEAN together” as the 10 ASEAN member countries are joining together in the fields of politics, security, economics and socio-culture this year. UN Women aims to raise public awareness about the violence, which will lead to the collaboration of all sectors in Thailand and all ASEAN countries towards the elimination of all forms of violence against women and children.


Curtain falls on OTOP TO AEC Fair, revenue tops THB70mn

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The OTOP TO AEC Fair at the Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem Market has come to a close, generating more than 70 million baht for participating vendors over the 23-day period.

Gen Wilas Aroonsri, Secretary-General to the Prime Minister, today presided over the closing ceremony of the OTOP TO AEC Fair. In his speech, he cited the event as a great success and revealed survey results that indicated visitors’ satisfaction with the types of products being offered, the overall picture of the fair and its duration.

After having been launched by the Ministry of Interior on November 3rd, the fair welcomed more than 220,000 visitors and brought in over 70 million baht during its course of 23 days. Gen Wilas stated that the event successfully established direct contact between sellers and buyers in compliance with the Prime Minister’s initiative while providing the public with access to a wide array of quality and affordable OTOP products.

During the closing ceremony, the Prime Minister’s Secretary-General presented the Ministry of Commerce with the name plaque of the Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem Market, designating the Ministry as the host of the next event which will feature Father’s Day and New Year gifts. It is scheduled to take place from December 1st to 24th, between 10 am and 7 pm daily.


Royal Thai Army proud to host 16th ACAMM this year

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Royal Thai Army is hosting the 16th ASEAN Chiefs of Army Multilateral Meeting (ACAMM), entitled ‘The Readiness of ASEAN Armies in Response to the Challenges in the Next 5 Years’.

Army Chief General Theerachai Nakawanich said army commanders from 10 ASEAN nations have been attending the annual event since 2000, when it was first initiated by the Royal Thai Army.

General Theerachai said it is an honor for the Royal Thai Army to play host to ACAMM again this year. He revealed that this year’s meeting is focused on promoting military cooperation and the army’s roles in ensuring regional security.

The 16th ACAMM, which is being held at Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok, began on November 22 and will come to an end on November 26.


PM to attend 2015 UN Climate Change Conference

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that the Prime Minister will attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, while a government spokesperson has stated that the European Parliament's invitation to ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra is a personal matter, unrelated to state affairs.

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai reported that several world leaders, including Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, will be attending the UN Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP 11. Gen Prayut will take this opportunity to voice Thailand's support for counter-terrorism efforts, in light of the recent attacks in Paris.

Thai embassies across the world have been ordered to follow local developments in their host countries and stand ready to assist Thais abroad in the event of violence. The order came after the US State Department issued a worldwide travel alert "due to increased terrorist threats."

Meanwhile, Deputy Government Spokesperson Maj Gen Weerachon Sukhontapatipak addressed the European Parliament's invitation last month to ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra to share her insight on the political situation in Thailand.

He said the details of the invitation have not been unconfirmed and the government is only aware of information disseminated via mass media. The government views the invitation as a "personal matter" that does not concern the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

If Ms. Yingluck chooses to accept the invitation and submits a request to the NCPO to travel outside of Thailand, Maj Gen Weerachon said the government will verify the authenticity of the letter, as well as the purpose of the meeting.


Phuket meets with ambassadors from 5 countries on tourism

PHUKET,(NNT) - Phuket province has held a meeting with ambassadors from five countries on security measures for tourists and their cooperation to promote tourism together.

Provincial Governor of Phuket Chamroen Thipyaphongthada on Monday attended the meeting with the five ambassadors including British Ambassador to Thailand Mark Kent, German Ambassador to Thailand Peter Prugel, Netherland’s Ambassador to Thailand Karel Hartogh, Canadian Ambassador to Thailand Philip Calvert and Irish Ambassador to Thailand Brendan Rogers. The ambassadors officially visited Phuket to thank all sectors in the province for their assistance for tourists and expatriates from the five countries.

The governor said Phuket intended to solve the problems proposed by the ambassadors in the tourists’ best interest.


Shops inspected for licenses of fireworks sales during Loy Kratong Festival

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB) has inspected shophouses in urban areas where fireworks may be sold during Loy Kratong Festival and checked licenses, labeling, quality, standards and storage of fireworks.

The main targets for the OCPB inspection were shops for monk supplies in urban areas and fresh food markets reported to secretly sell fireworks and firecrackers. Only one shop with fireworks and firecrackers for sales was found without a license.

The shop owners in question denied the charge of doing business without license and argued that the authorities could not confiscate their goods or prosecute them.

Nevertheless, the officials will inspect further and strictly follow security measures to prevent children and youths from dangers of firecrackers or fireworks.


Government ensures security for upcoming events

U.S. Ambassador to Thailand H.E. Glyn Davies

U.S. Ambassador to Thailand H.E. Glyn Davies & Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan

BBANGKOK,(NNT) – The U.S. ambassador to Thailand expressed confidence over the kingdom’s security measures, ahead of the various year end celebrations.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) is joining hands with the police and the Ministry of Interior to tighten security ahead of the year end celebrations. U.S. Ambassador to Thailand H.E. Glyn Davies met with Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan today, during which the two countries discussed cooperating in the fight against terrorism, the South China Sea territorial dispute, human trafficking, as well as Thailand’s repatriation of two Chinese activists back to China. The U.S. ambassador reiterated that the U.S. places emphasis on the territorial dispute in the South China Sea and wants all sides to resolve the issue peacefully.

The American ambassador said he hopes that military relations between Thailand and the United States, which have existed for over 60 years, will continue to move forward. In addition, he expressed confidence over Thailand’s security situation and wishes happiness for Thais during the Loy Krathong festival.

Meanwhile, officials from the French Embassy met with Immigration Bureau Commissioner Police Major General Nathathorn Prausoontorn to express gratitude over the bureau’s tightening of security measures following attacks in Paris. The bureau had earlier contacted the French ambassador to Thailand to request the names of the suspects, following which officials at airports and border check points were ordered to strictly monitor those entering and leaving the country.


Department of Highways finalizes 20-year freeway development proposal

Director-General Anon Luangboriboon

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Department of Highways has announced that it will finish its freeway development proposal next month.

Department Deputy Director-General Anon Luangboriboon presided over a seminar to gather input on the proposal. The project would develop a total of 21 major freeways over 20 years, from 2017-2036. They would have a combined length of 6,612 km, connecting all regions in the Kingdom.

The proposal will be finalized in December, after which the department will seek Cabinet approval.

Mr. Anon admitted that road infrastructure developments have been met with delays in the past. He blamed these delays on budget restrictions and difficulties related to land expropriation.

However, he claims this project will be carried out swiftly, due to government efforts to streamline bureaucracy.

The project would begin with three highways, from Bang Pa-in, Ayutthaya to Nakhon Ratchasima; Bang Yai, Nonthaburi to Kanchanaburi; and Patthaya, Chonburi to Map Ta Phut, Rayong.


Door-to-door campaign launched in Bangkok to tackle dengue fever outbreak

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Department of Disease Control has launched a door-to-door campaign to curb the dengue fever outbreak in Bangkok.

Department Director-General Amnuay Gajeena, along with Kannayao District Director Udomporn Pattanakowit and several Thai celebrities have visited homes on Ramintra 69 to raise awareness regarding disease prevention.

Kannayao district reportedly has the lowest dengue fever infection rate in Bangkok. It was reported that for every 100,000 people in the capital city, 130 people have the disease. However, only 22 people in Kannayao have been infected in the past four months.

Dr. Amnuay has advised people to destroy mosquito breeding grounds around their house. All containers must be sealed off to prevent the insects from laying eggs, which prefer standing water.

Individuals that are exhibiting dengue symptoms, such as high fever, muscle pain and loss of appetite, should be taken to the hospital immediately. People can also contact the Department of Disease Control for advice on the disease.


Harbor Department launches measures to ensure safety during Loy Kratong Festival

CHONBURI, (NNT) – Chonburi Regional Harbor Office director Pisut Amornyuth said a large number of people will ride on sailboats on Loy Kratong’s day while many tourists will attend the festival.

The Harbor Department has launched security measures during Loy Kratong Festival to prevent and reduce accidents in the waters by calling on boat operators and pontoon owners to repair any damaged signs. The signs should clearly state the maximum number and weight of people which the pontoons can accommodate at a time. Every pontoon must be equipped with life jackets. Boat owners are suggested to inspect the conditions of their boats to ensure safety.

The maximum number of passengers should be stated on a label attached to the boat's side while the life-saving equipment must be in good condition. Passengers should be careful in boarding and getting out of a boat. Once on board, all passengers should wear life jackets.

People who may notice water accidents can notify the Chonburi Regional Harbor Office by calling 038-278346 any day or hotline 1199 available around the clock.


Thailand uses less styrofoam “Krathong” every year

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Pollution Control Department has pointed out that Thailand tends to use less floating baskets, or “Krathong,” made of styrofoam every year during the Loy Krathong festival.
Director-General of the Pollution Control Department Wichan Simachaya said the number of styrofoam floating baskets decreased every year from 2008 - 2015. In 2011, there were around 57,800 styrofoam floating baskets or 18% of the total floating baskets used during the festival. The number dropped to 14% in 2012, 12% in 2013 and 10% in 2014.

The department urges the public to help conserve the environment by using a smaller floating basket and using only one floating basket per family. The floating baskets should be made of materials such as plants in order to avoid polluting water sources.


Government has no plan to end free bus & train journeys

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Government says it has no plan to bring an end to the long-running program of providing free buses and trains to the public.

Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd, government spokesperson, said Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has a clear policy and commitment to reduce the living expenses of the people, especially low-income earners. Therefore, it is not true that the government will terminate the free bus and train policy, he said. However, he acknowledged that there will be some adjustments to the policy. The spokesman confirmed that the new policy which is now being studied would only allow certain groups of people, low-income earners for instance, to have access to free bus and train travel.

He said the government has to spend its budget in the most efficient way possible while maintaining its support for needy people and low-income groups.

The Transport Ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of the Interior and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), is registering all low-income people in the system, a process which is expected to be finished in April 2016. People who earn less than 3,632 baht a month and children under the age of 12 will be eligible for bus and train fare exemptions.


Thais in France & Belgium told to heed security measures

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has cautioned Thai people living in or planning to go to France or Belgium to stay updated on emergency announcements and to strictly follow security measures there.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the warning in response to reports that the French government has decided to extend the state of emergency for another three months or until 13th February, 2016.

Spokesperson Sek Wannamethee said Thai people should also remain vigilant at all times while in public places. Those needing help can contact the Royal Thai Embassy in Paris via email [email protected] or call ( 33)6 0359 9705 , ( 33)6 4671 9694.

The Royal Thai Embassy in Belgium has also asked all Thais in Belgium to be more observant while in crowded areas or places frequently mentioned by the media. Belgium has now raised its terror alert to the highest level.

Thai people in Belgium who want to report on emergencies can contact the Royal Thai Embassy via [email protected] or call (32) 4 70 85 96 67.


Government to review help policy for the poor

Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The government is to carry out a countrywide survey to register all the needy as part of its plan to revamp its policy to help the poor.

PM’s Office Spokesperson Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd disclosed that the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of the Interior and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) have been tasked with registering people living below the poverty line across the country. The survey should be concluded by April next year.

According to Maj Gen Sansern, the government is preparing to launch a new aid package for low-income earners. Assistance includes free non-air conditioned bus and train services. Persons eligible for help are those earning less than 3,632 baht per month and children under 12 years old. Special 30-day travel passes which will be linked to the E-ticket system will be offered to people in these groups.

The revamp of the aid scheme is expected to answer the needs of people who truly lack basic necessities. Meanwhile, the general public, can still avail themselves of free transport services for the time being.


Chiangmai prepares for ‘Yi Peng’ Festival 2015

Cheng Mai will celebrate its annual “Yi-Peng” flying lantern festival Nov. 24-26, an event staged this year with no alcohol.
The festival, which focuses on traditional Lanna culture, also aims to promote conservation of local art and help boost tourism to the northern province.
Chiang Mai provincial chief Boonlert Buianipakorn said activities planned this year included a Little Yi-Peng Pageant for young girls, and parade and float contest outside the Night Bazaar, a krathong-judging contest and a Loy Krathong parade.
There also will be an adult pageant for men and women and an exhibition of “Heat San Hoy” culture
The opening ceremony is set for 6 p.m. Nov. 24 at the Kuang Tha Pae Gate.

This year the release of lanterns will only be allowed on Nov. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon and after 9 p.m. Large fireworks also are prohibited.
The lantern festival is popular among tourists, but a perennial problem for aviation. Again this year, Chiang Mai International Airport said in a statement released to The Associated Press it will cancel 84 flights, including 12 to international destinations, during the three-day festival period. It will also reschedule 51 flights.
The Chiang Mai airport urged revelers to respect a city regulation that residents from five districts surrounding the airport can only release lanterns on Nov. 25 after 9 p.m.
Officials will be assigned to monitor the runways to remove any lanterns, the statement said. During last year's festival period, 142 lanterns landed on the runway, down from 1,414 in 2013, thanks to awareness campaigns.


Department of Foreign Trade preparing to auction low-quality rice from gov stockpile

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Department of Foreign Trade is preparing to auction out its first lot of low-quality rice to the industrial sector, while winners of the auction must have in hands plans of how they will use the rice stock for. This will prevent the low-quality rice from being sold for consumption purposes.

The first lot to be auctioned involves a total of 37,000 tons of low-quality rice from 7 government storehouses located in the provinces of Chai Nat, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nakhon Sawan, Phitsanulok and Surin.

The department will hold a press conference to explain bidding details to interested buyers on November 23. It will accept applications for the bidding on November 30, and will announce the list of eligible buyers on December 1.

The move will serve as a test to the bidding process for low-quality rice after the government has issued a new policy of strictly monitoring rice being transferred from warehouses to non-food industries to ensure the rice is not used for consumption. Buyers will need to present proof of how they will utilize the rice.


Don Muang airport’s terminal 2 to open in December

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Renovation of Don Muang airport’s passenger terminal 2 is 91.55 percent completed and is scheduled to open within December 2015.

Currently, Don Muang airport accommodates an average of 90,000-93,000 passengers and 650 flights per day. The passenger terminal 2 will help reduce the density of passengers at the terminal 1. Given the new terminal, Don Muang airport will be able to accommodate about 30 million passengers per year.

The Terminal 2 building at the airport will serve up to 70 percent of domestic passengers. At initial stage, it will be used by several airlines, namely Thai AirAsia, Nok Air, Lion Air, Thai Airways and Thai Smile.

From November 27, 2015, Don Muang airport will launch Airport LimoBus Express service with 33 seats. Wireless Internet access will be provided on the bus. One bus route runs between the airport, Ploenchit area and Lumpini Park and the other route between the airport and Khao Sarn Road.


Authorities gears up accident prevention measures for Loy Krathong

DDPM director-general Chatchai Promlert

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has unveiled accident prevention measures for the Loy Krathong Festival, with extensive cooperation with the provincial administration and event organizers.

The DDPM director-general Chatchai Promlert has revealed that the DDPM will be implementing additional safety measures during the Loy Krathong festival, a period during which accidents, statistically, are prone to occur.

He has said that the DDPM will cooperate with provincial administration body to ensure safety protection for the general public participating in the festival through two key strategies, namely through legal implementations and campaigns.

Provincial governors have been allowed to exercise their highest authority, as stated in the disaster prevention and mitigation act, to control and manage accident risks during the festival. The province will also be tasked with promoting the awareness of accident, risks and anger among the general public, and to publicize the legal punishment for those who violate the regulations.

All locations for the events during the festival will be prohibited from the sale of alcohol, while the general public will are encouraged to practice Thai values during the Loy Krathong festival, the DDPM director-general has said.

On the accident prevention from floating lanterns, the related agencies have been appointed to promote the dangers and the legal punishment for violating this directive.

The release of floating lanterns, smoke lanterns, balloons, and the use of laser beam generating devices and drones, must be limited to specific areas situated far from airports to minimize the effects on aviation. Violations to these regulations are punishable law.


PM delivers policy to Thai agencies in Malaysia

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha delivered policy to officials of Thai agencies in Malaysia during his visit to attend the 27th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur.

He called on the Thai government units in Malaysia to work as a team and to gather knowledge and information on economic, social, political and security matters in order to work together. Touching on international cooperation, he said, Thailand aims to be a leader under the concept of Thailand one ASEAN and ASEAN World Community.

Thailand is yet to develop the country's mechanisms and potentials while gathering information about trading partner countries to create products which will meet their needs, he said.


Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative promotes bamboo cultivation during drought

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative (MOAC) is promoting bamboo as a new economic plant for cultivation during the drought season to create sustainability.

The MOAC Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikulya has revealed that the ministry is about to introduce the cultivation of bamboos in Thailand, along with the initiation of bamboo processing industry and markets, to develop bamboos as another economic plant suitable for cultivation during the drought season.

He has said that the climate in Thailand is suitable for cultivating a variety of bamboo strains, while the plant itself can be used in many ways, including industrial and energy production. Bamboos require a short amount of cultivation time of 3 years, and consume less amount of water.

The MOAC Minister has added that the MOAC will work with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) to promote and provide training for farmers on bamboo cultivation in local areas, and will cooperate with the related agencies to develop the processing, trading, and investments related to bamboo.


US ambassador meets Chiang Mai governor

CHIANG MAI,(NNT) – US Ambassador to Thailand Glyn Townsend Davies has paid a courtesy call on Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart.

During the meeting, the Governor updated the US Ambassador on economic development projects of Chiang Mai, including the enlargement of Chiang Mai International Airport, and a monorail development.

Mr. Pawin said Chiang Mai had seen a pronounced transition from an agriculture-based economy into a tourism-based one over the past decade, adding that software and organic food were promising industries of the province.

The US Ambassador voiced his concern about environmental risks during this period, particularly haze and wildfires, saying that the tourism might be affected. The Governor disclosed that related organizations were working out solutions to the problems.

As the US Ambassador expressed admiration for the beautiful nature and tradition and academic excellence of the province, the Chiang Mai Governor extended invitations to American expatriats in Thailand and visitors to come to the province.


PTT to open 48 community gas stations to stimulate local economies

BANGKOK,(NNT) - PTT will unveil 48 community gas stations across the country as part of the government’s policy to stimulate local economies.

CEO and President of the PTT Tewin Wongwanich said the gas stations will feature products from the community and serve as resource centers for tourism and health services in a bid to create wealth in local communities.

In addition, the PTT is revising its 5-year 300 billion Baht plan to expedite various investment projects after the government has unveiled various tax benefits for the year 2016 to incentivize the private sector.

The company also plans to utilize the latest technologies to produce high quality lubricating oil that is on par with international standards.


Coordination center to better assist public members during Loy Krathong

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Royal Thai Police has established a mobile coordination center to provide immediate assistance to the public during the Loy Krathong Festival.

Deputy Spokesperson of the Royal Thai Police Pol Maj Gen Songpol Wathanachai said the police will build on lessons learned in the previous year and arrange fast-moving task forces to better assist citizens and ensuring safety.

The Royal Thai Police has also urged the public to remain vigilant and report suspicious activities to the authorities.


 

DAILY UPDATE

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Harbor Department launches measures to ensure safety during Loy Kratong Festival


Thailand uses less styrofoam “Krathong” every year

Government has no plan to end free bus & train journeys

Thais in France & Belgium told to heed security measures

Government to review help policy for the poor


Chiangmai prepares for ‘Yi Peng’ Festival 2015

Department of Foreign Trade preparing to auction low-quality rice from gov stockpile

Don Muang airport’s terminal 2 to open in December

Authorities gears up accident prevention measures for Loy Krathong

PM delivers policy to Thai agencies in Malaysia

Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative promotes bamboo cultivation during drought

US ambassador meets Chiang Mai governor

PTT to open 48 community gas stations to stimulate local economies

Coordination center to better assist public members during Loy Krathong

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