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King views the Chao Phraya

BANGKOK, 25 April 2015 (NNT) - His Majesty the King yesterday (April 24) left Siriraj Hospital on a private visit to the Royal Thai Navy Convention Center located by the Chao Phraya River.

His Majesty the King in a brightly lit face left Chalerm Prakiat Building, Siriraj Hospital, at 2.10 p.m. and travelled in a royal motorcade to the Royal Thai Navy auditorium in Bangkok Yai District. Arriving at the center, His Majesty went up to Chonlathi Room on the third floor to view the Chao Phraya and observe life of people travelling in the river.

The Royal Thai Navy Convention Center was built in 2002 and has been officially named Chumphon Khet Udomsak Building. It is situated on the Chao Phraya's bank opposite the Grand Palace. With its outstanding architectural style and location, the building was used as the site of reception ceremony for world leaders during the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) in 2003. Later in 2006, it was here that Their Majesties the King and Queen led royal visitors from around the world to watch the royal barge procession in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King’s Accession to the Throne.

His Majesty spent about 70 minutes at the center before returning to Siriraj Hospital at 3.25 p.m.


Hua Hin celebrates royal wedding anniversary

BANGKOK, 24 April 2015 (NNT) - Prachuap Khiri Khan province organizes a grand event to promote tourism in Hua Hin district and celebrate the royal wedding anniversary of Their Majesties the King and Queen on 28 April 2015.

Former deputy prime minister Suwat Lippataphanlop presided over the opening ceremony of the 6th “Hua Hin Ram Luek” event at Suan Luang Rachini Park in Hua Hin. He said the event had the objective to celebrate the royal wedding anniversary and promote cultural tourism in the resort town. There were a model of Hua Hin district in the past and traditional games for tourists to participate in, said Mr. Suwat.

The 10-day Hua Hin Ram Luek is scheduled for 24 April - 3 May 2015. Other highlights include a fashion show of contemporary Thai clothing, cultural activities on the beach, local food sales, a beauty pageant and a parade in honor of Their Majesties the King and Queen on 28 April. Marchers in the parade will wear traditional Thai dresses.


Thailand & China agree to boost defense cooperation

BANGKOK, 25 April 2015 (NNT) – The Thai Ministry of Defense and China’s Central Military Commission have agreed on the plan to strengthen defense cooperation.

On an official visit to Thailand, vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission ACM Xu Qiliang has stressed China’s readiness to support the Thai government’s peace process and attempts to solve internal problems.

During the talks, the vice-chairman of China’s Central Military Commission and Deputy PM for defense and Defense Minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan concurred with the idea of forging defense ties on four issues: the upgrading of military cooperation, the expansion of joint training covering three branches of military, the development for defense industry and the establishment of ASEAN military medical center in Thailand.

Gen. Prawit showed his approval of the idea by setting up a special committee to study each other’s proposals. The Deputy PM and Defense Minister added that he wished to see more collaborations on research and development in the area of defense industry between Thailand and China. The Gen. also took this opportunity to express his appreciation of the 40-year-old friendship between the two countries.

Vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission ACM Xu Qiliang is scheduled to visit the Kingdom between April 23 and 27 upon the invitation of the Ministry of Defense.


PM has established Education Super Board

BANGKOK, 25 April 2015 (NNT) - Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has established an education policy and development committee, aimed at driving national education projects and promoting lifelong learning.

General Prayut revealed in yesterday’s TV broadcast of ‘Returning Happiness to the People’ that along with the committee, dubbed ‘Super Board’, other education boosting measures are being implemented such as the long distance learning through satellite. He also sets a goal of having universities in each region produce graduates who will take jobs that will contribute to economic growth in respective regions.

The Prime Minister said production of skilled labor must be carried out on a continuous basis. Vocational institutions must collaborate with local factories in putting their students for training to ensure that the country will produce sufficient manpower for industrial needs. Such a goal will be achieved through integrated efforts of the ministries of Education and Labor, the Prime Minister added.


Young delinquents in Observation Center given knowledge on reform and elections

TRANG, 25 April 2015 (NNT) – The provincial Election Commission (EC) of Trang held the 2nd workshop to instill knowledge on roles of good citizens, election and democracy, to young delinquents at the provincial Juvenile Observation and Protection Center.

EC President Suraphon Wichaidit said at the opening ceremony of the workshop that as the nation is entering the reform phase, it is now the time for all sides to reevaluate their roles in creating a new society by focusing on fostering new generation of good citizens who respect and comply with the democratic regulations.

He told the teens that a good citizen respects rights of others, obeys the rules of society, and is responsible for oneself and the community.

The EC president said that in order to instill such values to the younger generation, they must understand about the context of being a good citizen, while being prepared for the reformation, the new constitution and the upcoming election.


Govt reclaims 35 million rai of illegally-used forest areas

BANGKOK, 25 April 2015 (NNT) – Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha says the government has reclaimed more than 35 million rai of illegally-owned forest areas.

During his weekly TV talk show, PM Prayut said the forest areas which were fetched back from encroachers would be revived. Parts of the land have been set aside for landless villagers.

PM Prayut, however, confirmed that those allowed to use the allocated land were unable to sell them. They are required to pledge their assets or agricultural yields to obtain the right to land use.

The government has so far handed more than 100,000 rai of confiscated land to villagers in 12 provinces and has planned to allot another 50,000 rai to those in 17 provinces this year.


NRC deliberates on court and independent agencies in charter draft on Day 5

BANGKOK, 25 April 2015 (NNT) - On the fifth day of the deliberation of the first constitution draft, the National Reform Council discussed a total of 59 sections covering the rule of law and the court’s roles.

A member of Constitutional Drafting Committee (CDC), Banjerd Singhkaneti, told the meeting that the new draft highlights transparency and would provide unity to the court.

He also defended the CDC’s decision to include the clause that requires at least one outsider in every 3 members of the Judicial Commission, saying it does not mean that the CDC is leaving gaps for politicians to interfere with the court’s work, but would rather keep the judge’s perspective fresh.

Most of the NRC members however disagreed with the idea, saying outsiders always invite interference from the political sector. The meeting also proposed the idea of having both the Appeal and Supreme courts be able to handle political related cases. Another NRC member suggested establishment of a district level court to help low-income earners to settle their legal matters.


BMA prepares to cater to elderly society

BANGKOK, 25 April 2015 (NNT) – The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (MBA) is set to map out new development plans to make Bangkok a quality society for the elderly.

In the wake of a growing number of senior citizens, BMA deputy governor Pusadee Tamthai said it was high time the capital city launched schemes to serve the needs of this group of population.

According to Dr. Pusadee, the BMA will classify elderly people into two main groups so as to cater to them effectively. The first group consists of senior citizens who can look after themselves. The latter is made up of those who need to be in the care of others.

For the aged who can take care of themselves, the BMA will provide them with support in line with their request, such as vocational training or job opportunities. As for those who cannot depend on themselves, the BMA will launch campaign to urge family and community members to pay attention to old people in their neighborhood.

In the meantime, the BMA will introduce programs aimed at educating family and community members on physical and psychological changes the elderly are likely to experience, so that younger members can treat the aged ones with understanding and proper care.


King views the Chao Phraya

BANGKOK, 25 April 2015 (NNT) - His Majesty the King yesterday (April 24) left Siriraj Hospital on a private visit to the Royal Thai Navy Convention Center located by the Chao Phraya River.

His Majesty the King in a brightly lit face left Chalerm Prakiat Building, Siriraj Hospital, at 2.10 p.m. and travelled in a royal motorcade to the Royal Thai Navy auditorium in Bangkok Yai District. Arriving at the center, His Majesty went up to Chonlathi Room on the third floor to view the Chao Phraya and observe life of people travelling in the river.

The Royal Thai Navy Convention Center was built in 2002 and has been officially named Chumphon Khet Udomsak Building. It is situated on the Chao Phraya's bank opposite the Grand Palace. With its outstanding architectural style and location, the building was used as the site of reception ceremony for world leaders during the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) in 2003. Later in 2006, it was here that Their Majesties the King and Queen led royal visitors from around the world to watch the royal barge procession in commemoration of the 60 anniversary of His Majesty the King’s Accession to the Throne.

His Majesty spent about 70 minutes at the center before returning to Siriraj Hospital at 3.25 p.m.


Prayut to attend 26th Asean Summit on Tuesday

BANGKOK, 24 April 2015 (NNT) - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha is scheduled to attend the 26th Asean Summit 2015 on Tuesday in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi, Malaysia.

Gen Prayut plans to use the opportunity to propel the completion of Asean Community Integration toward the people-centered region.

He will show Thailand’s support for connectivity in all respects especially the development of cross-border trade and special economic zones, in parallel with an improvement in the agricultural sector. Meanwhile, ASEAN must also prepare for some negative impact caused by comprehensive connectivity and new forms of threat.

The Summit will take place on 26th-28th April on the theme "Our People, Our Community, Our Vision”. It is the first meeting in 2015, mainly focusing on internal affairs of ASEAN. This year the Summit is hosted by Malaysia, the Chair of ASEAN. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will chair the meeting.

On April 28 at Langkawi, he is also scheduled to attend a sideline meeting of the 9th IMT-GT in order to revise trilateral plans for the development of economic zones between Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.


Yasothon to celebrates 20th anniversary of Thai-Japanses Rocket Festival

YASOTHON, 24 April 2015 (NNT) - Yasothon Province is to hold "Bun Bang Fai 2015” which is the annual Rocket Festival of the province. This year the festival will be even more grand than usual, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Thai-Japanese Joint Rocket Festival.

Thailand's Yasothon and Japan's Chichibu are Sister Cities which have similar rocket festival. The festival usually takes place on the second Saturday of May in each year. This year the three-day event runs from 8th to 10th May.

On the opening day, visitors will enjoy the grand parade and rocket procession, a cheer leader contest and a Miss Bang Fai Contest. On the second day, Japanese and International rocket floats will join the local procession. The last day is reserved for a variety of rocket competitions such as the Fancy Rocket and the Powerful Rocket in crowd pleasing action.


Krabi launches a new campaign to promote the province as all-year-round destination

KRABI, 24 April 2015 (NNT) - Krabi Province will hold a “KRABI 365 days” fair during 8-10 May 2015 to promote the province as an all-year-round tourist destination.

The event will take place on Wattanatham Road in Krabi Municipality to showcase the province has more than sea and sand to offer to visitors. On the opening day of the fair on April 8, there will be a spectacular parade of cultures, traditions and tourism activities which are supported by local residents and business people. A stage has also been raised to accommodate a grand concert to be taken part by famous artists and frontline actors and actresses.

Visitors will have chances to watch famous foreign films which were shot in Krabi. Package tours will be offered to visitors who wish to see the locations appeared in their favorite films.


Southern cultural program broadens the horizons of nearly 500 children

AYUTTHAYA, 24 April 2015 (NNT) - The youth cultural exchange program for Muslim children in southern border provinces continues to enjoy a positive response from both local children and participating agencies. The program has so far broadened the horizons of nearly 500 youngsters.

The project is aimed at strengthening the morale of children in the southern provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, Songkhla and Satun. Applicants must be orphans aged between 15 and 18 and have a good GPA. They will be selected by their teachers and a special committee.

Participants will be sent to other provinces where they will be introduced to surrogate families with whom they will spend time partaking of various activities. Their surrogate families must be middle class and have school-age children.

This year, 20 students have been picked to take part in the home-stay program, which is taking place in Ayutthaya province. According to organizers, Ayutthaya is deemed suitable thanks to its cultural and religious diversity.

The project, now in its 23rd year, has provided valuable experience to 460 students so far.


ICT Minister satisfies six-month performance after bunch of new digital laws

BANGKOK, 24 April 2015 (NNT) - ICT Minister Pornchai Rujiprapa expressed his satisfaction with the six-month performance of the ministry under Gen Prayut’s administration in order to support the development of the digital economy in Thailand.

The ministry has launched a set of new laws both those that directly drive the digital economy and others that support it. These laws include an electronic transactions law, Data Protection Law and Cyber Security Law. They are now waiting for enactment.

Various committees were also established for this particular purposes, for example, the National Broadband Committee, and the Committee of e-Trade Promotion. They had input in formulating plans for the digital economy for the whole country.

Various forms of cyber crime were cracked down on by a committee for Prevention and Suppression of Security System and Cyber Security malfeasance. The measures covered lese majesty websites, obscenity websites and online scams.

The ICT Ministry is preparing to be transferred to the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) along with the newly launched structure of management to be instigated in August.

Another two divisions were set up namely the Office of Digital Economy and Society as well as the Office of Digital Economy Promotion.


Alongkorn: Polls cannot be delayed

BANGKOK, 24 April 2015 (NNT) - Secretary-General of the National Reform Council (NRC) Whip Alongkorn Ponlabutr on Friday said the NRC’s debate on the draft constitution would take place as scheduled. The debate will likely end on 26 April at 9 PM.

After that, the NRC had one month to review the draft constitution, said Mr. Alongkorn. The NRC Whip secretary-general added that he personally viewed that a general election could not be postponed since Thailand needed to return to democracy quickly in line with the roadmap of the National Council for peace and Order. An election would take place early or mid 2016 if a referendum was arranged, he said.

Mr. Alongkorn added that the temporary charter must be amended if all sides agreed on a referendum. If a referendum should be organized, there would be no need for the NRC to vote on the draft charter, he said.


Do not trust online information about bad weather, Meteorological Department warns

BANGKOK, 24 April 2015 (NNT) - The Meteorological Department warns people of rumors about bad weather and natural disaster which are now widely spreading on different media including social network. It advises them to only trust weather forecast from only reliable sources especially the website of the Meteorological Department.

Director-General Wanchai Sakudomchai said that the department would do more online postings on social media in order to add more channels for the public to access accurate weather information.

According to him, the hot weather is predicted to reach its peak in early-May with the temperature climbing up to even higher than the previous year. Summer thunderstorm may come periodically until Thailand enters the rainy season. The first raining is expected in the third week of May.

The Meteorological Department has allocated a 212-million-baht budget for improving the efficiency of computer system used in weather forecast. The improvement is now in the middle of its process.


Environment Min declares 6-month achievements

BANGKOK, 24 April 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has presented its accomplishments over the past six months to the public, concentrating on solving various environmental problems in society.

General Dapong Rattanasuwan, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, presided at the session to deliver the ministry’s six-month progress report. He said one of the major tasks was the resolution of the smoke haze situation in the northern region early this year which posed serious dangers to residents’ health and disrupted air traffic due to poor visibility. The problem prompted the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry to integrate efforts with other related ministries and agencies to impose strict control on burning activities among the locals and extinguish forest fires.

Other duties included the formulation of a strategy on the management of garbage and hazardous waste, land allocation to the poor and the landless, prevention and suppression of forest encroachment, issuance of permits for proper use of forestland, eradication of the illegal logging of Siamese rosewood and other rare wood species, and introduction of 13 mobile applications publicizing information on natural resources and environment.

Another important agenda was the clampdown on illegal ivory trade in compliance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Laws and regulations were issued for more effective control of ivory trade while people who had ivory in their possession were legally obligated to register the items.


Deputy PM eyes asking CDC to narrow down charter contents

BANGKOK, 24 April 2015 (NNT) – Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-Ngam is planning to seek the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC)’s consideration whether trivial sections of the draft charter should be omitted.

Mr Wissanu revealed the progress of the Cabinet’s and the National Council for Peace and Order’s review of the draft constitution, saying they have initially gone over the main contents. Nonetheless, the two bodies have resolved to hold another joint session in order to come up with solid conclusions to be presented to the CDC in due course.

The deputy premier also opined that about 20-30 of the 315 sections contained in the charter should be left out, given that they are less significant compared to others. Alternatively, he suggested that such contents, if necessary, could be included in organic laws instead. The idea is expected to be proposed to the CDC very soon.

As for the holding of referendum on the draft charter, Mr Wissanu said the matter is considered a sensitive issue and no decision has been made by the government. Since such a referendum would inevitably cause the next election to be postponed, it is feared that the delay could be used by political groups to accuse the government of holding on to its power.


9th Lamai Fishing Games 2015 to be held 8-10 May in Surat Thani

SURAT THANI, 24 April 2015 (NNT) - Koh Samui Municipality is to hold “the 9th Lamai Fishing Games 2015” during 8-10 May 2015 at the Fisheries Hall of Ban Lamai Community.

The Mayor of Koh Samui Municipality said that the event aims to draw interest from Thai and foreign tourists who love fishing, adding a new attraction to the island. It is also hoped that Koh Samui will be developed into an international Fishing Park.

The 9th Lamai Fishing Games 2015 will take place in the sea surrounding Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan, Koh Tao and Angthong Islands in Surat Thani. The list of winner and runners-up will be announced on May 10, the same day with the award presentation ceremony, according to the mayor.


PM thanks China for understanding Thailand

BANGKOK, 24 April (NNT) - Government Spokesman Yongyut Maiyalarp on Friday held a news conference on the meeting between Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission of China Xu Qiliang and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. The Thai PM welcomed the deputy chairman to Thailand and thanked China for understanding the Thai political situation.

Gen. Prayut also emphasized the relations between Thailand and China in all dimensions and said Thailand welcomed Chinese tourists. The Thai government ensured maximum security for all Chinese tourists, the premier said.

The deputy chairman expressed his confidence that Thailand would be able to adhere to its roadmap and reduce national conflicts for long-term stability.

The spokesman stated further that the two parties agreed to strengthen military cooperation in all areas and Thailand thanked China for assisting Thailand in terms of research.


Police assess performance over 6 months

BANGKOK, 24 April 2015 (NNT) – The Royal Thai Police has reported that officers dealt with more than 200 cases of human trafficking since last year, during a self-assessment of its performance over the past six months.

According to the Royal Thai Police, authorities last year pressed charges against alleged wrongdoers involved in 280 cases of human trafficking. The accused in 108 cases have been brought to trial. Since the beginning of 2015, police have so far dealt with 68 cases of human trafficking.

This year, the major missions are a crackdown on drugs, improvement of the criminal database in preparation for the emergence of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a clampdown on corruption, suppression of human trafficking and enhancement of police welfare.

The tasks which the Royal Thai Police wish to accomplish first are an eradication forced prostitution, illegal labor and problems related beggars.


Thai FM backs new strategic partnership between Asia and Africa

JAKARTA, 24 April 2015 (NNT) – The ministerial meeting of the Asian -African Conference 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia has officially ended with a wide range of views shared towards reinvigorating strategic partnership between Asia and Africa.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tanasak Patimapragorn said after the meeting that Thailand backed the conference theme on “South-South Cooperation for Peace and Global Prosperity” and also shared its experience on sustainable development in line with the King’s philosophy on Sufficiency Economy.

He also attended the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Bandung Conference and had a sideline meeting with his Nepalese counterpart Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, during which a number of cooperation projects were discussed.

The Nepalese minister expected Thailand to become a development partner by applying her knowledge and good practices to his country. Gen Tanasak said he had affirmed Thailand’s willingness to provide technical cooperation especially in the field of human resource development as well as capacity building in other fields to Nepal.


Off-season rice farming areas hit 20-year low

CHAINAT, 24 April 2015 (NNT) – Off-season rice farming areas in four provinces along the Chao Phraya River has fallen to a 20-year low, according to the Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE).

Rice paddies in the provinces of Lopburi, Singburi, Chainat and Angthong have shrunken to a total area of 410,000 rai, due to a ban on off-season farming by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to mitigate the drought crisis.

The ban is in effect from November 2014 to April 30, in order to ensure sufficient water supplies for consumption, environmental conservation and agricultural purposes during the dry season.

The OAE revealed a drop in rice yields in the four provinces corresponding to a 72 percent decrease in agricultural land use from last year. Other factors that affected the yield were cold temperatures and pest problems.

However, the OAE disclosed that the ban on off-season farming has saved enough water for cultivation in May, adding that some farmers in the four provinces can resume cultivation activities.


Politicians fear new electoral system would stall the country’s development

BANGKOK, 24 April 2015 (NNT) - The former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives has expressed his concern that the proposed mixed member proportional (MMP) electoral system of the House of Representatives would weaken political parties and stall the country’s development.

Former Deputy House Speaker Samat Kaewmeechai of the Pheu Thai Party said that successful policymaking requires political parties to be strong enough to successfully push legislation. According to Mr. Samat, a Parliament filled with multiple small parties would create an inefficient legislative process. He feared that a weaker Parliament would lead to political impasse.

His concerns were echoed by Deputy Democrat Party leader Jurin Laksanavisit, who said that weaker political parties would mean difficulty in achieving national progress. Mr. Jurin added that the proposed open-list system on the party list ballot would spark partisan infighting.

However, Mr. Jurin agreed with the provision to allow a non-Member of Parliament to assume the premiership in times of crisis, provided that the charter drafters carefully consider the implications of Sections 181 and 182.

Section 181 would grants the government the right to obtain a confidence motion from Parliament. Section 182 would grant the government the right to propose emergency legislation that would pass automatically if not vetoed by Parliament within 48 hours.


Royal Thai Navy offers job training to officers

CHONBURI, 24 April 2015 (NNT) – The Royal Thai Navy, the Department of Skill Development and other related agencies have collaborated on a job training program for navy officers nearing the end of their service term.

The program is aimed at providing navy officers with vocational skills to prepare them for the job market after completing their tour in the military. This session is the third such training of fiscal year 2015.

The program offers five vocational courses, including motorcycle repair, air-conditioner repair and forklift operation. A total of 110 navy personnel have registered for vocational training.

Organizers hoped the project will enable navy personnel to get a job and pave the way for their civilian careers.


CDC to send draft charter to political parties for consideration

BANGKOK, 24 April 2015 (NNT) - The Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) will send the draft constitution to political parties for their scrutiny and input.

CDC Chairman Prof Borwornsak Uwanno revealed that , the CDC will after Apr 26 send the draft constitution to political parties and political movements to ask for their input. He said emphasis would be given to provisions the political groups think could lead to future conflict and how they could be amended.

According to Prof. Borwornsak, the National Reform Council have mostly directed their criticisms towards the draft constitution’s chapter regarding political leaders. He asked that all groups pay as much attention to the chapter regarding citizen rights as there are many provisions that are designed to empower the people.


NRC’s Sombat concerned that Section 182 of draft charter could cause conflict

BANGKOK, 24 April 2015 (NNT) - Prof Sombat Thamrongthanyawong of theNational Reform Council (NRC) spoke of the progress of the NRC’s deliberation of the draft constitution, saying the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has agreed to some of the NRC’s proposals, but is still concerned that certain provisions would lead to future conflict.

According to him, the CDC has agreed to review Section 173 of the draft charter regarding the qualifications of who can assume the premiership, given many NRC members have expressed disagreement with allowing for a non-MP to be appointed Prime Minister.

However, Prof Sombat said he is still concerned over the CDC’s firm stance on Section 182, which he fears could spark a political crisis.

Section 182 gives the Prime Minister the authority to propose emergency legislation that would be considered automatically passed if there is no majority opposition in Parliament within 48 hours. The CDC argued that the provision is designed to provide the government a channel to swiftly pass important legislation in the event of gridlocked Parliament.

Prof Sombat warned that the Prime Minister could use the power granted by Section 182 to pass partisan legislation that may be controversial, such as an amnesty bill.


A crackdown on human trafficking, top priority for Social Development & Human Security Ministry

BANGKOK, 23 April 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security has vowed to intensify its crackdown on human trafficking and promote social equality as part of its mission over the next six months.

To increase the effectiveness of its anti-human trafficking campaign, Minister of Social Development and Human Security Adul Saengsingkaew said related agencies would continue with their efforts to secure the return of Thai fishermen trapped in Indonesia.

The ministry will in addition circulate information on its anti-human trafficking campaign to different sectors to enhance awareness of the problem. At the same time, its multi-disciplinary teams and interpreters will be educated on how to classify different types of victims. The ministry will soon sign an anti-human trafficking MOU with the United Arab Emirates and review those previously signed with Laos and Myanmar.

On the domestic-level, the ministry will focus on finding solutions to problems regarding street beggars. Attention will also be given to improving the well-being of the underprivileged, the elderly, low income earners and ethnic groups.


MSDHS declares Anti-Human Trafficking a Top Priority

BANGKOK, 23 APRIL 2015 (NNT) - The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (MSDHS) has declared anti-human trafficking its top priority.

During the Press Conference on the Six Month Progress Report of the Ministry, Police General Adul Sangsingkeo, the Social Development and Human Security Minister, stated that the Ministry has placed the human trafficking issue at the top of the list of its various reform policies.

He says that the Ministry has been following the human-trafficking cases, as well as illegal migration which could be related to the trafficking issue. It has also been providing assistance and other remedies to the plight of victims.

After the Ministry had helped the crew of Thai fishing vessels stranded on Ambon Island of the Republic of Indonesia come back to Thailand, it still continues to help the remaining victims, as well as support the multi-disciplinary team that was set up to operate from March 27 onward to identify the victims.

The Minister also chairs the Sub-Committee on Women’s Issues, under a Policy Consultation Committee on Human Trafficking chaired by the Prime Minister, to tackle the issue of trafficking in women.

A Center for the Resolution of Trafficking in Women and Children was founded by the Ministry to gather data, and to follow and monitor the issue in central and regional areas.

Moreover, an MoU on anti-human trafficking between Thailand and the United Arab Emirates is soon to be signed, while MoUs with both Myanmar and Lao PDR on the same issue are in the review process.


Registered pre-paid SIM card no. exceeds 30 million

BANGKOK, 23 April 2015 (NNT) - The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has reported that the number of registered pre-paid SIM cards has so far exceeded 30 million, confirming its belief that registration of pre-paid SIM card users should be completed with the July 31 deadline.

To speed up the task, the Department of Provincial Administration has allowed 2,436 district registration offices to provide SIM card registration services to local residents. The NBTC has restated the need for cell phone users to register their SIM cards within July 31 to keep them active. Those failing to register their SIM cards in time will be unable to surf the Internet or send SMS but are still able to receive calls.

Identification of pre-paid SIM card users is aimed at stemming illegal activities by criminals. Those wishing to register their SIM cards are required to bring their ID cards, passports or alien workers’ cards to all 50,000 network service centers and district registration offices.


Various political groups invited to share opinions

ABANGKOK, 23 April 2015 (NNT) - Various politicians, academics and leaders of political movements have accepted an invitation from the Center for Reconciliation and Reform to share views and opinions while the Deputy Prime Minister has given an assurance that will be no detention of individuals.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan revealed that the meeting is aimed at gathering groups from all sides to foster a dialogue of reconciliation. He confirmed that no arrests will be made of any of the attendees.

The meeting was held at the Royal Thai Army Club. Notable attendees included leaders from the Democrat Party, and Pheu Thai Party as well as the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship. The People's Democratic Reform Committee did not send any representatives to attend the meeting.

Furthermore the Center for Reconciliation has invited certain members of the National Reform Council to express their opinions as well. The Deputy PM said the meeting is the first of many reconciliation meetings planned.


New Animal Welfare Act encourages public reaction against cruelty to animals, TSPCA believes

BANGKOK, 23 April 2015 (NNT) - The Cruelty Prevention and Welfare of Animal Act, which has been enacted for four months, will help incite the Thai society on animal treatment and encourage the public to act more against animal abuse, secretary-general of the Thai Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TSPCA) says.

TSPCA secretary-general Chaichan Laohasiripanya said during a televised program “Thailand Moves Forward” that after the new law came into force, the number of public complaints sent to the TSPCA has increased. The rise does not mean a failure of the legislation, but reflects greater public expectation from the law that it would protect animals from outright cruelty, and culprits would be held accountable, Chaichan stated.

The law imposes a maximum jailterm of two years or a fine of THB 40,000 or both. It allows the TSPCA to intervene when informed of an act of cruelty or neglect. The secretary-general urged the public who see maltreatment to animals to report to his agency or the police although they are not owners of those animals.

The legislation protects not only pets but also animals raised for food, working animals, animals kept for entertainment purposes, wild animals in captivity and animals kept for any other purposes.


Over 30 law-breaking cab drivers nabbed overnight

BANGKOK, 23 April 2015 (NNT) - Tourist police last night arrested more than 30 cab drivers who turned down passengers, during their patrols in tourist spots around the capital city.

Patrols were dispatched last night to popular tourist spots around Bangkok in the wake of complaints about some tax drivers' turning down passengers. The operation led to 34 cab drivers being nabbed and fined.

According to the tourist police, areas with frequent reports of cab drivers' turning down passengers are Nana, Sukhumvit Soi 3, and Sukhumvit Soi 5. Most incidents occur late at night when tourists usually finish their nightlife activities.

Cab drivers who decline to give services to passengers without appropriate reasons are considered having violated Land Traffic Act, B.E. 2522 (1979). Drivers who deem their prospective customers too dangerous can decline the request by turning on their not-in-service signs.


DLT steps up measures against taxi misconduct, abuse

BANGKOK, 23 April 2015, (NNT) - The Department of Land Transport (DLT) has stepped up measures against taxi drivers who tamper with or refuse to use their taximeters, as well as drivers who abandon their passengers.

DLT Director-General Theerapong Rodprasert explained that the department’s decision to impose heavier penalties was prompted by a need to safeguard passengers and their property. He added that taxi misconduct has been damaging the reputation of the country.

Mr. Theerapong said that serious taximeter violations or failure to ensure the safety of a taxi’s passengers and their property would result in the suspension or withdrawal of the driver’s license, even on the first offense.

As for minor violations, Director-General Theerapong said the department employs three-strike penalties. A first offense will result in a fine of 1,000 baht and the driver must attend an attitude adjustment course. A second offense will result in the same fine, as well as a one-month suspension of the driver’s license. The third offense results in the same fine, as well as a one-year suspension.

However, if all three strikes are committed within a 30-day period, the taxi driver will have his or her license revoked immediately.

The Director-General said recently there were three taxi drivers punished on second offenses. Authorities received reports that they abandoned their passengers after picking them up from Suvarnabhumi International Airport and demanding a flat rate instead of using the taximeter.

Since imposing harsher punishments, the DLT has suspended 120 taxi licenses, while two drivers had their licenses revoked.


Moody's Investors Service meets with DPM for economy

BANGKOK, 23 April 2015 (NNT)-The Deputy Prime Minister in charge of economic affairs has informed Moody’s Investors Service, the world's most famous financial services company, what the Thai government has been doing to improve the economy.

The Deputy Prime Minister overseeing economic affairs, M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula, said to the company that the Thai government is aiming to achieve long-term economic results.

One of several measures adopted by the government is the introduction of technology to the industrial sector in hopes of making products from Thailand more competitive given that other nations are offering them at somewhat lower prices.

Thai workers will be able to adapt well to the use of technology as they are highly skilled workers, according to him. He added it would take around 3 years for Thai manufacturers to be fully equipped with new technologies.

In terms of foreign investments, Thailand has so far attracted 15 foreign and Thai companies that wish to set up their international headquarters in the country.

He also told Moody’s Investor Service that the Thai government has made significant progress on the establishment of a national broadband network, which should be functional in 6 months' time.


Education Ministry championed educational reform and morality during past 6-months

BANGKOK, 23 April 2015 (NNT) - Minister of Education Narong Pipatanasai has announced that the ministry’s work over the past six-months, mainly focused on enhancing critical and systematic thinking skills among Thai students, along with the promotion of morality and national loyalty.

He disclosed that the educational development plan is divided into six areas. The first area focuses on the quality of education and learning processes. For example, it is attempting to lower the illiteracy rate in Thailand, with a goal of bringing learning opportunities to any illiterate members of the population during the course of 2015.

The second area was to reduce the gap in access to education by promoting distance-learning education via satellite nationwide, followed by the enhancement of teacher and educational staff efficiency. The ministry also aims to meet the need for teachers in demanding areas of expertise.

The fourth area involves improving the general education of the nation's manpower, with bilateral education cooperation in line with the national development plan. In parallel, a bi-scheme curriculum was launched so that students could study both general and vocational education in one course.

Reform of the entire educational system was also one of the top priorities. The ministry has put great effort into coordinating the National Legislative Assembly and the Government to ensure that reform was moving on the same track.

Thai students were also better equipped with skills needed for pre and post-ASEAN Integration. Apart from that, the ministry introduced anti-corruption measures to ensure the work related transparency of all officials' activities.


BMA warns of bushfires, urges attention on risky spots

BANGKOK, 23 April 2015 (NNT) – The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has cautioned the public of the prevalence of bushfires during summer and urged all to help keep an eye on risk-prone areas.

Pol Col Pichai Kriangwattanasiri, Director of the Bangkok Fire and Rescue Department, indicated that the hot and dry conditions during this period can easily cause fires to spark up on densely vegetated land, posing dangers to people’s homes and other premises located nearby. According to the statistics, there were 485 bushfires reported within Bangkok during March 2-April 10 this year, with the most cases occurring in Lat Krabang district, followed by Sai Mai, Min Buri, Bang Khun Thian and Bang Khen districts.

The director revealed that his department has thus put firefighters and civil defense volunteers on standby in at-risk locations with necessary equipment at hand. Each district office has also been assigned to raise public awareness of preventive measures against fire accidents.

Moreover, firebreaks are being installed around unattended plots of land around the city in case bushfires break out. People living in proximity to the sites are also encouraged to constantly monitor the situation and to immediately contact the nearest fire station or call the Fire and Rescue Department’s 199 hotline if a fire is detected.


Over 700 arrests made for alcohol-related crimes during Songkran

BANGKOK, 23 April 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Public Health concludes that more than 700 people have been apprehended for alcohol law violations during the past 21 days since the lead-up to the Songkran holiday.

Public Health Minister Dr Rajata Rajatanavin has announced the results of the government’s enforcement of the Alcohol Control Act 2008 seven days before, seven days during and seven days after the Songkran Festival. During the period, the Office of the Alcohol Control Committee dispatched its staff to 52 provinces to conduct 2,464 inspections at retail shops and celebration venues.

Dr Rajata said a total of 747 arrests were made. The largest number or 269 of the culprits were charged with advertisement of alcoholic beverages which carries a jail term of up to one year and/or a fine of up to 500,000 baht. Other violations included sale and consumption of alcohol in prohibited places, sale in prohibited hours, sale without a license and sale to minors.

The Public Health Minister affirmed that, although Songkran has ended, the anti-alcohol campaign will carry on, especially on major public holidays, and inspection will be intensified in a bid to minimize accidents and casualties from drunk driving.


CDC accepts petition for law banning news media mergers

BANGKOK, 24 April 2015 (NNT) – Professional journalists and consumer protection activists are urging the passing of more laws to ensure media independence and the protection of consumer rights.

The Constitution Drafting Committee’s deputy chairmen Manij Suksomchit and Chuchai Supawong on Thursday accepted a petition from Thepchai Yong, Group Editor-in-Chief of the Nation Multimedia Group who led a group of company employees and representatives of consumer protection networks to meet with the charter drafters.

The petition showed their support for the drafting of Section 48 of the new Constitution, which forbids the merger of news media organizations and provides additional details on the protection of news consumers' rights.

The petitioners also stressed their support for the Nation Multimedia Group’s fight against a share-holding by Solution Corner (1998) Public Company Limited or SLC which they believe is illegal and against the principles of media reform.

Mr. Manij told all visitors that the CDC and concerned committees under the National Reform Council will look into the matter while noting that the issue between NMG and SLC has shed light on the rights of consumers in accessing news and information.


Adviser on new Parliament building gives safety assurance on structural foundation

BANGKOK, 24 April 2015 (NNT) – The foundation of the new Parliament building is strong and suffers from no case of soil erosion, according to the project’s adviser.

Chotjutha Ajsorn, adviser to the new Parliament building project, said that there has been some progress in the construction.

Mr. Chotjutha said that contractors are now removing earth and drilling foundation piles as well as working on the soil protection system.

He stated that the depth of the foundation work of the new Parliament building is more than 10 meters in order to ensure the structure’s security and strength.

When asked about concerns over the softening of the earth under the planned building due to its location on the bank of Chao Phraya River, Mr. Chotjutha said that an erosion-prevention system called the pine wall has been built to protect the area.

He added that the pine wall, which is rows of steel-reinforced concrete pillars each measuring one meter in diameter, is very strong and fortified a 50-centimeter-thick wall around the perimeter and a one-meter-thick floor.


Reconciliation meeting is not attitude-adjusting session, PM confirms

BANGKOK, 23 April 2015 (NNT) - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha confirmed the reconciliation meeting held for political party leaders and activists at the Army Club today had nothing to do with attitude adjustment but another attempt of the government and the NCPO to clarify all political questions.

Gen Prayut stated that if unjustified criticisms continue to be made after the meeting, he would leave judgement to the society.

The Prime Minister also asked all Thais to open their hearts to reconciliation. He said, however, the process must comply with the justice system, and that he hoped Thai people would understand what problems and difficulties their nation was facing.

Touching on corruption probes being conducted on a number of officials, the Prime Minister emphasized that he never used Section 44 to transfer or punish anybody. The Section only enables authorities concerned to investigate power abuse in the public sector in order to bring culprits to justice.


Brainstorm meeting in Satun to formulate new City Plan of Lipe Island

SATUN, 23 April 2015 (NNT) - A brainstorm meeting was held in Satun Province on Thursday with the participation of provincial authorities and the public, to jointly formulate a new city plan of Lipe Island.

The meeting, organized by the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning, Ministry of Interior, provided a stage for Satun residents and provincial officials to widely share their opinions on the preferable development of the island. The new city plan also incorporates development of the nearby Sarai Island and part of Tanyongpo Subdistrict, paving ways for future tourism cooperation with neighboring Malaysia.

The Interior Ministry will soon hold a public hearing in the province in order to improve the current plan and ensure its practicality before Thailand enters into the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of this year.


38,000 owners of ivory items have registered in time, Police report

BANGKOK, 23 April 2015 (NNT) - Over 38,000 owners of ivory and related items have registered their possessions, weighing a total of 200 tonnes, Pol. Gen. Chalermkiat Srivorakan, Deputy Police Commissioner General says.

Pol. Gen. Chalermkiat said anyone who fails to register their ivory by the deadline on April 21 would be prosecuted. Punishment term is a fine of three million baht for an individual owner. Suppliers will get stronger punishment of a 6-million-baht fine and 3 years in prison. However, the number of registered ivory unveiled still excludes those to be reported through the Post.

Police also vowed to continue investigations into illegal possession of ivory to bring big boss behind the trade to punishment. They believed these measures would mitigate the ivory smuggling in the country.

Pol. Gen. Chalermkiat also revealed the progress of Thailand’s action to suppress international illegal ivory trade as pressured by CITES. He said that Thai authorities have submitted latest report on Thailand’s action to CITES since March and are now waiting for the latter’s decision. However, he confirmed Thai authorities have done their best to take Thailand out of the CITES black list.


ISOC claims lower rate of violence in southernmost provinces

PATTANI, 23 April 2015 (NNT) - Thailand's Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) the 4th Region, has joined other Thai authorities to report to the public its six-month performance under the Prayut administration.

ISOC spokesman Col. Pramote Prom-in said that the violence rate during the six months decreased by 60% from last year.

Accordingly, there was a 61.63% fall in the incident rate with 305 incidents occurring. Injuries and deaths also declined by 47.44%.

During the two weeks from 9th -22nd April 2015 alone, there were 6 security cases, 8 criminal cases, 19 deaths, and 15 injuries. Nine perpetrators of violence were arrested, and three guns seized, along with 7,753 amphetamine pills, cash of 36,020 baht and various narcotic drugs.

More than half the planned 37 roads across 37 districts, covering 164.8 km. in total have been completed, under the "Building Roads into People's Heart" project. Similarly, 51.82% of schools which had been destroyed in fires have now been reconstructed.

Plans for the further stages of development of the southernmost provinces are to push forward the "Thung Yang Daeng Model", enhancing the public's power to protect its own communities.

s Political power will be the main fuel for comprehensive development in all respects, encouraging local residents to grow closer to the government.

A budget of 1,700 million baht is to be injected into 1,200 communities for various development projects, expected to respond precisely to the public's demands. These measures will be carried out in parallel with the peace-building process.


Ministry of Social Development and Human Security boosting its 6 month achievements

BANGKOK, 24 April 2015 (NNT)-The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security has claimed it has been able to effectively address a number of social issues in the past 6 months, particularly human trafficking problems.

Social Development and Human Security Minister Police General Adul Saengsingkeaw said his ministry has made great achievements under the direction of the government’s policy, which is aimed at reducing social inequality.

In terms of anti-human trafficking efforts, the Ministry has successfully rescued Thai fishermen falling victims to human traffickers in Indonesia and removing street beggars nationwide.

It has also raised the standards of living for the aging population and the disabled. The Police General added that several legislatures have been amended to response to the current social issues, particularly those concerning anti-human trafficking and children.

In addition, structural changes within public organizations and the improvement of human resources have been carried out ahead of ASEAN Economic Community.

The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security is determined to continue tackling human trafficking issues, increasing human resource skills, and eradicating street beggars in the next 6 months.


Tropical storms wreak havoc in North of Thailand

PAYAO, 24 April 2015 (NNT)-Tropical storms have wreaked havoc in many areas in the North of Thailand.

In Payao and Petchabun provinces, many homes and farmlands have been destroyed after the storms made landfall. Rescue efforts are now underway to help residents affected by the storms.

In Nan, many cars have been damaged by large trees brought down by the storms. A social event scheduled to be held in Ban Luang district has to be postponed indefinitely due to the adverse weather conditions.

Pitsanulok residents also faced similar ordeals. Homes, trees and even electricity poles have been knocked over by strong winds.

In the eastern province of Trat, local officials and soldiers have been helping Boh Rai residents, where as many as 30 homes and durian orchards as well as rubber farms have been damaged.

It is estimated that at least 3 tons of durian fruits in Boh Raihave been destroyed.


More suspects detained in Samui car bomb case

BANGKOK, 24 April 2015 (NNT)- 6 suspects believed to have been involved in the car bomb on Koh Samui are now in police custody.

Internal Security Operation Region 4 Spokesperson Colonel Pramote Prom-in has ruled out the possibility that the car used in the bomb attack at Central Festival Samui was from the Deep South.

Two of those in police custody have been arrested under the emergency decree whereas the rest of them have been detained under martial law. According to the ISOC Region 4 Spokesperson, it has yet to be concluded what the motive behind the bombing was.

Meanwhile, Central Investigation Bureau Commander Police Lieutenant General Thitirat Nongharnpitak said the evidence suggested that those involved in the Deep South violence could have had a role in the car bomb.

However, he refused to provide further information as to who else might have been behind the explosion as it would affect the ongoing investigation.


 

DAILY UPDATE

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Back to Main Page

King views the Chao Phraya

Hua Hin celebrates royal wedding anniversary

Thailand & China agree to boost defense cooperation

PM has established Education Super Board

Young delinquents in Observation Center given knowledge on reform and elections

Govt reclaims 35 million rai of illegally-used forest areas

NRC deliberates on court and independent agencies in charter draft on Day 5

BMA prepares to cater to elderly society

King views the Chao Phraya

Prayut to attend 26th Asean Summit on Tuesday

Yasothon to celebrates 20th anniversary of Thai-Japanses Rocket Festival

Krabi launches a new campaign to promote the province as all-year-round destination

Southern cultural program broadens the horizons of nearly 500 children

ICT Minister satisfies six-month performance after bunch of new digital laws

Alongkorn: Polls cannot be delayed

Do not trust online information about bad weather, Meteorological Department warns

Environment Min declares 6-month achievements

Deputy PM eyes asking CDC to narrow down charter contents

9th Lamai Fishing Games 2015 to be held 8-10 May in Surat Thani

PM thanks China for understanding Thailand

Police assess performance over 6 months

Thai FM backs new strategic partnership between Asia and Africa

Off-season rice farming areas hit 20-year low

Politicians fear new electoral system would stall the country’s development

Royal Thai Navy offers job training to officers

CDC to send draft charter to political parties for consideration

NRC’s Sombat concerned that Section 182 of draft charter could cause conflict

A crackdown on human trafficking, top priority for Social Development & Human Security Ministry

MSDHS declares Anti-Human Trafficking a Top Priority

Registered pre-paid SIM card no. exceeds 30 million

Various political groups invited to share opinions

New Animal Welfare Act encourages public reaction against cruelty to animals, TSPCA believes

Over 30 law-breaking cab drivers nabbed overnight

DLT steps up measures against taxi misconduct, abuse

Moody's Investors Service meets with DPM for economy

Education Ministry championed educational reform and morality during past 6-months

BMA warns of bushfires, urges attention on risky spots

Over 700 arrests made for alcohol-related crimes during Songkran

CDC accepts petition for law banning news media mergers

Adviser on new Parliament building gives safety assurance on structural foundation

Reconciliation meeting is not attitude-adjusting session, PM confirms

Brainstorm meeting in Satun to formulate new City Plan of Lipe Island

38,000 owners of ivory items have registered in time, Police report

ISOC claims lower rate of violence in southernmost provinces

Ministry of Social Development and Human Security boosting its 6 month achievements

Tropical storms wreak havoc in North of Thailand

More suspects detained in Samui car bomb case

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