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First relief team to leave for Nepal on Tuesday

BANGKOK, 27 April 2015 (NNT) - The first relief team of the Thai government comprising medical personnel and army engineers, is scheduled to leave for Nepal on Tuesday by a Royal Thai Air Force aircraft, according to Deputy Army Spokesperson Sirichan Ngathong.

The plan was worked out today in a meeting of high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the military and many other units.

The deputy spokesperson said the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army has ordered the Army Disaster Relief Center to adjust its troops to be deployed in Nepal in line with the government’s policy. The first batch of the Army relief team will comprise medical personnel from the Medical Department and mdicines and Army engineers with equipment to produce clean drinking water.

The Army Engineer Department has also been assigned by the Army Chief to prepare an ad hoc team together with heavy mechanic equipment in case of a Nepalese call for more assistance and once the Thai government agrees to the request.

This evening from 8.20 – 10.20 p.m., the Thai government is to run a live TV program “From Thai Hearts to Nepal” on Channel 5 in order to mobilize helps and money for quake victims.


Ministry of Public Health has tightened regulations on quality of drugstores

NONTHABURI, 27 April 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Public Health has enforced a new ministerial regulation since June 2014 to make all drugstores in Thailand meet Good Pharmacy Practice (GPP) standard, enhancing the sector’s competitiveness in the AEC, Public Health Minister Ratchata Ratchatanawin said in conjunction with the annual assembly of the Drugstores Club of Thailand.

The new regulation requires all drugstores in the country to employ at least one professional pharmacist. The pharmacist must always be on standby while the drugstore is open so that he or she can give accurate guidance on each medicine to customers especially those who need pain relief and steroids which are widely sold on cable TV.

Extension of permits will also be subject to pre-evaluation to check the stores’ readiness in terms of places of sale, equipment and GPP compliance. The regulation gives existing drugstores eight years to improve service but new drugstores must comply with the regulation from the beginning.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) has also launched an “Anti-Drug Abuse Suppression Plan” in cooperation with the drugstore network and educational institutions, in order to reduce drug abuse among Thai people, especially students.

There are currently 19,245 drugstores for humans and animals. 73% of them are located in the provinces, but only 972 drugstores have won certificates of quality approval from the Pharmacy Council.


Nepalese Embassy opens accounts to accept donations from Thais

BANGKOK, 27 April 2015 (NNT) – The Embassy of Nepal in Bangkok is welcoming monetary donations from Thai people through two bank accounts while affirming the search for the injured and the missing is ongoing in the quake-ravaged country.

HE Mr Khaga Nath Adhikari, Nepalese Ambassador to Thailand, has given an interview in regard to the massive tremor that shook Nepal on April 25. The disaster has left over 2,000 people dead and 7,000 others wounded and the numbers are still rising.

The Ambassador stated that the Nepalese government is continuously searching for more quake victims who are still unaccounted for. The search and rescue teams have been divided into the government’s team and the international team, with a focus on the capital Kathmandu which sustained the worst damage. In the meantime, humanitarian aid is coming in steadily from overseas as food, medicine and everyday necessities are in high demand.

On this occasion, the Ambassador invited Thai people who wish to donate funds to help the quake victims in Nepal to do so through Bangkok Bank account number 9313500234 and Siam Commercial Bank account number 0713017184. Any inquiries can also be made to the Embassy of Nepal in Bangkok at telephone number 0 2390 2280.


PM backs AIPA in building rules-based ASEAN Community

KUALA LUMPUR, 27 April 2015 (NNT) – Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has voiced support for the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) in the process of establishing a rules-based ASEAN Community.

Prime Minister Prayut today gave an address during the meeting between ASEAN leaders and AIPA representatives at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center in Malaysia. Among the AIPA representatives was Mr Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, President of the National Legislative Assembly, who participated in the event on Thailand’s behalf.

According to Government Spokesperson Yongyuth Mayalarp, Gen Prayut cited AIPA as a major contributor to the development of rules-based systems for the realization of the ASEAN Community. He noted that the Assembly is playing two significant roles, the first of which being to bridge the ASEAN Community and its people, especially the poor and the underprivileged, through the promotion of understanding regarding the regional integration.

With better understanding, the people will be aware of the benefits they will receive and be more inclined to partake in building the ASEAN Community, thus creating a truly people-centered system.

The other main role of AIPA, the premier said, is to support the parliament of each ASEAN member country in drafting new laws or amending existing ones in a bid to bring about prompt enactment of various agreements under the ASEAN Framework and foster harmony in the laws of member states for more effectiveness.

The Thai premier concluded his speech by emphasizing the country’s willingness to cooperate with AIPA in the building of the ASEAN Community as well as full readiness to serve as the chair of AIPA between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2019.


Three tonnes of African elephant tusks seized at Laem Chabang Port, CITES Thailand reveals

BANGKOK, 27 April 2015 (NNT) – Customs officials at Laem Chabang Port in Chonburi have seized three more tonnes of African elephant tusks worth over THB200 million.

Gen Dapong Rattanasuwan, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment acting as Chairman of CITES Standing Committee of Thailand, announced the seizure at a press conference also attended by Somchai Sujjapongse, Director-General of the Customs Department today.

The elephant tusks, numbering 511, were declared at the Customs Office as eleven tonnes of tea leaves originating from Kenya and were bound for Laos.

“The seizure was a follow-up of a major crackdown on illegal ivory in Bangkok last week. With the help of the container tracking system, Thai officials could follow the suspicious containers from Kenya until they stopped at the Laem Chabang Port,” Gen Dapong said.

According to him, the tusks were shipped on a freighter belonging to Green Siam Co. Most of them were the tusks earlier seized and sent back to their origins in Africa whereas some were those having been kept as evidence in some countries.

Gen Dapong has asked the National Police Office to urgently find the culprits and prosecute them for smuggling involvement and to seize their assets under the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

In conjunction with the crackdown on ivory smuggling, police has warned ivory carvers in Phayuhakiri District, Nakhon Sawan, Thailand’s large ivory carving base, to stop using African ivory which is prohibited by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

This year, Thai authorities have already seized more than 1,300 tusks, weighing around two tonnes and worth THB205 million.


Department of Industrial Works signs agreement to promote ozone damage-free refrigerant

BANGKOK, 27 April 2015 (NNT) – Many might not know that whenever we turn on the air conditioner we are contributing to damage of the ozone layer, allowing more Ultraviolet light to cause skin cancer, while also contributing to global warming.

In a process to reduce global warming and stop refrigerant from destroying the ozone layer, the Department of Industrial Works (DIW) urges the producers of air conditioners in Thailand to shift to the use of the refrigerant HFC-32 or R-32 instead of the current hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC or R-22).

Dr. Pasu Loharjun, DIW Director said that the new refrigerant available for use by all air conditioning companies in the near future, will help to reduce the impact of air conditioning units on the environment by 2.68 times. The traditional R-22 refrigerant has an Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) rate of 0.05 while having a Global-Warming Potential (GWP) rate of 1,810. The new R-32 refrigerant however does not damage the ozone layer (ODP = 0) while having a lower GWP rate of 675.

Despite the higher cost of new equipment, the higher cost of buying the new liquid, and having to redesign the unit to work well with the new refrigerant, the department will be helping air conditioner producers through funding and technology sharing, involving support by both Japanese companies and the Japanese government.

Dr. Pasu emphasized that the new refrigerant, despite having a 10% higher purchasing cost, is more efficient, meaning less refrigerant liquid is required to generate cold air from the unit, resulting in an air conditioner smaller by 30-40% while having about the same capacity as before to cool down a domestic living room.


Department of Industrial Promotion aims for higher industrial production quality ahead of the AEC

BANGKOK, 27 April 2015 (NNT) – The Department of Industrial Promotion (DIP), Ministry of Industry along with the Association of Quality Control Headquarters of Thailand is holding its 29th National QC event. The 5-day occasion at the Ministry of Industry is intended to enhance the quality development of the industrial and service sectors in both public and private organizations.

At the Ministry of Industry today the Minister, Chakramon Phasukavanich said at a press conference that by year's end, Thailand will be part of the ASEAN Community integration, resulting in free trade with greater competition. In order to compete, the industrial sector must further develop the quality and productivity of its output to be even more competitive in a much bigger market.

Besides a requirement that every sector must work to improve its quality and productivity, human resources development should also not be neglected, as a quality work force will ensure the organization maintains high standards.

The event is designed to showcase various organization’s quality activities and output, along with their systematic procedures to deal with problems and their plans for continuous development of more efficient quality services.

Now, 29 years since the start of this annual activity there are over 10,000 organizations, public and private which are able to continuously progress in their production of quality goods and services, which have been found to be beneficial in the development of Thailand’s economy and society.

Besides showcasing quality products for businesses hoping to learn more from the success of other organizations, the event also welcomes the public to shop at the event, as there are quality products brought in by 80 companies, selling various goods such as food, jewelry, bags, shoes, clothes and Thai herbal products. The event runs from today until 1st May 2015, 8.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. at the Department of Industrial Promotion’s headquarters on Rama 6 Road, Bangkok.


TUF to expand shrimp exports as industry recovers from disease outbreak

BANGKOK, 27 April 2015 (NNT) - Thailand’s shrimp industry has begun to recover from last year's outbreak of Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS). However, farmers have struggled to meet the supply demands of Thai Union Frozen Products PCL (TUF), which has been looking to expand exports to India.

TUF Managing Director Rittirong Boonmechote revealed that the company expected shrimp exports to grow to 30 billion baht this year. Of that value, frozen perishables would constitute 28 billion baht.

TUF has been optimistic about the industry, despite a recent EMS outbreak that killed 650,000 tons of shrimp. The bacterial epidemic slashed last year’s production to 210,000 tons.

The Department of Fisheries worked quickly to resolve the issue. The industry has shown promising signs of recovery in the first quarter of fiscal 2015. The department forecast this year’s shrimp production to grow by 20-25 percent to 250,000-270,000 tons.


Marine Department details plan to tackle IUU fishing activities

BANGKOK, 27 April 2015 (NNT) - The Marine Department has expressed readiness to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities in the country within six months.

The Deputy Director of the Marine Department’s Security Division Nat Chubchai revealed after a meeting on IUU fishing that the department will tackle the problem on three fronts.

He said the department will require roughly 2,070 boats weighing over 60 tons to install vessel monitoring system devices within three months.

Furthermore, the department will require boats weighing over 30 tons to register their inbound and outbound trips, in order to prevent unauthorized fishing.

To address the problem of illegal workers, the department will require all alien laborers to be documented and signed to an employment contract registered with the Marine Department. The department will also compile a new database of fishing boat crew members.

Mr Nat said the timely execution of these measures would help demonstrate to the European Union Thailand’s commitment to addressing IUU fishing activities.

Thailand recently received a yellow card from the EU for inadequate measures against IUU fishing within the Kingdom’s jurisdiction.


NRC to compile reform proposals to be included in new charter

BANGKOK, 27 April 2015 (NNT) - The Spokesperson of the National Reform Council (NRC) has expressed satisfaction with the first seven days of debate on the draft constitution and said the new charter will lead to sustainable development and beneficial reforms.

NRC Spokesperson Wanchai Sonsiri revealed that the next step for the reform body will be to compile all proposals during the debate period and submit them to the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) within 30 days.

Mr Wanchai said that judging from the commitment level on both sides, he believed the CDC will revise the draft charter based on the NRC’s suggestions.

NRC will now compile the proposals into 36 areas of reform and 7 main agendas for national development. The proposals will be swiftly compiled, in order to be included in the new constitution’s reform mandates.


Special report: Thai Government Provides Hajj Pilgrims with Special Care

Bangkok, 27 April 2015 (NNT)- The Thai government has been supporting the Hajj pilgrimage among Muslim Thais, who leave for the Hajj observance each year. For the year 2015, around 10,400 Thai Hajj pilgrims are expected to travel to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage.

In order to ensure their good health and welfare, the Ministry of Public Health has offered special medical check-ups, as well as influenza and meningococcal vaccines, for Muslim Thais who will leave for the pilgrimage this year. These health services are now offered free of charge until August 10, 2015 in both Bangkok and the provinces. Muslim Thais usually begin to leave for the pilgrimage in August.

Public Health Minister Dr. Rajata Rajatanavin said that the Government attaches great importance to taking care of the health of Hajj pilgrims with international standards to facilitate their religious practice. The Thai Hajj pilgrims will be provided with a “health passport,” with records of their health status and a health certification. Three medical teams, comprising 42 health officials, will also be sent to provide medical services for the Thai Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia during their pilgrimage.

Health care training will be arranged for them, as well, before their departure. They will be provided with knowledge about first aid and the prevention of various diseases. The objective is to reduce the number of illnesses among Muslim Thais participating in the annual religious practice.

Around 70 percent of the Thai Hajj pilgrims are from the five southern border provinces, namely Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, Songkhla, and Satun. There are about 3.8 million people in the deep South. Among the five provinces, four of them – Narathiwat, Pattani, Satun, and Yala – are predominantly Muslim.

The Government is ready to facilitate religious activities conducted by the Hajj pilgrims, so that they will carry out their obligation smoothly and without any problems. Culture Minister Vira Rojpojchanarat said that the Religious Affairs Department had formed seven subcommittees to coordinate and facilitate the travel of Muslim Thais to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage.

He said that the Hajj quota given by Saudi Arabia to Thailand this year is 10,400 seats. Out of this number, 8,189 will be Hajj pilgrims and 2,011 Hajj operators. Another 200 will be allocated specially to the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center for those affected by southern unrest. The special allocation was in line with the resolution of the Hajj Promotion Committee of Thailand.

Moreover, Thai International Airways will arrange special flights for Muslim Thais in the deep South to travel to Saudi Arabia from Narathiwat and Hat Yai airports, in addition to normal flights from Suvarnabhumi and Phuket airports.


Krabi sets up committee to tackle overpriced products and services

KRABI, 27 April 2015 (NNT) - Krabi Governor Songpol Sawasditham has set up a price control committee after local residents and tourists had complained about unfair prices of products and services in the province.

He said provincial authorities received a great number of complaints about overpriced foods from Dhamrongdham Center and online media. He said such criticisms threatened the image of Krabi and could hurt tourism industry both in the province and the whole country.

The newly launched committee will inspect, oversee and control prices of products and services to ensure they are in compliance with Prices of Goods and Services Act B.E. 2542 and the government’s policy to return happiness to the people.

Traders and service operators failing to indicate prices for consumers will be fined for 10,000 baht each. Those who set unfair prices will be jailed seven years at maximum and fined not exceeding 140,000 baht


Pattani administrative officials given training in English and laws ahead of ASEAN Community

PATTANI, 27 April 2015 (NNT) – The Department of Provincial Administration, Interior Ministry, held training sessions on English language and laws for 120 administrative officials in Pattani Province ahead of the arrival of ASEAN Community.

Deputy provincial governor Somkiat Sisanetr said that provincial officials are facing many challenges in maintaining internal security and services in various fields as Thailand is stepping into ASEAN Community. Among those challenges are English proficiency and legal knowledge related to administrative registration.

The workshops form one of the three projects that the Provincial Administration Department has drawn up to overcome all challenges. Two other projects are the establishment of an Information and Coordination Center for ASEAN Community at the Pattani Provincial Hall and the creation of a website providing information for administrative officials in each area.


King’s photo exhibition to be held on 9 May

BANGKOK, 27 April 2015 (NNT) - A seminar-cum photo exhibition under the theme “Follow the King’s steps” is to be held next month to honor H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej on the occasion of his 88th Birthday Anniversary, according to Chamlong Singtongam, Deputy Director-General of the Government Public Relations Department (PRD).

The exhibition is jointly organized by the PRD, the Committee Organizing the Celebrations of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 88th Birthday Anniversary and 70th anniversary of his accession to the throne, and a group of 99 professional photographers.

The group comprises senior photographers and royal photographers who used to follow HM the King to cover his activities. They will share their great affection when they worked closely to the King and their impressions behind the shutter.

Photos to be shown in the exhibition also include those of H.M.the Queen and other members of the Royal Family which are rarely shown in public.

The exhibition will be held at Esplanade Cineplex at Ngamwongwan-Khae Rai Intersection in Nonthaburi on 9 May 2015 from 1.30 p.m. - 5 p.m.


Doctors in Thailand to help quake-hit Nepal

BANGKOK, 27 April 2015 (NNT) - A total of 350 doctors across Thailand have volunteered to aid people in earthquake-hit Nepal, according to the Medical Council of Thailand

The council said the 350 doctors had registered on its website since Monday afternoon. The volunteers would be divided into groups according to their fields of expertise to facilitate Nepal's medical needs.

The earthquake struck near Kathmandu on Saturday and claimed almost 4,000 lives and injured more than 6,500.


More Thai-HK flights likely

BANGKOK, 27 April 2015 (NNT) - More direct flight services between Thailand and Hong Kong are expected, after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Leung Chun-ying, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, discussed the issue at the Asean Summit in Malaysia.

Government spokesman Yongyuth Mayalarp said the Hong Kong leader agreed with the proposal made by Gen Prayut. Mr Leung said Hong Kong would implement it.

The Thai prime minister also urged Hong Kong to invest in Thailand's infrastructure projects and import more Thai rice. Mr Leung told Gen Prayut that Thai fruits have become more popular among many people in Hong Kong.


Court dismisses Yingluck defamation case

BANGKOK, 27 April 2015 (NNT) - The Criminal Court dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra against Democrat Party deputy spokesperson Mallika Boonmeetrakul.
Mrs Mallika criticized Ms Yingluck for having a private meeting business when she should be attending a House meeting on 8 February 2012.

According to the court's ruling on Monday, Mrs Mallika had the right to criticize her because the ousted premier had not called the businessmen to testify and that she had yet to clarify this issue. The court also ruled that the Democrat member's comment was not defamatory.


Mineral Resources Dept keeps eye on Thai fault lines after Nepal quake

BANGKOK, 27 April 2015 (NNT) – The Department of Mineral Resources has confirmed that Thailand saw no impact from the recent earthquake in Nepal, though admitting that fault lines in the country are being monitored constantly.

Speaking of the 7.8-magnitude tremor that struck Nepal on Saturday, Director-General of the Department of Mineral Resources Supoj Jermsawatdipong pointed out that the quake originated from a thrust fault as the Indian Plate slid under the Eurasian Plate, with the epicenter located 80 kilometers to the northwest of Kathmandu. He said earthquakes of this scale are not common in this region.

Mr Supoj elaborated that the April 25 tremor in Nepal was approximately 1,700 kilometers away from Chiang Rai province and 2,300 kilometers away from Bangkok. According to a report from the United States Geological Survey, the seismic waves arriving in Thailand were very weak and the impact could not be felt.

Nonetheless, the Director-General revealed that the massive quake did trigger a 3.2-magnitude tremor on the Sagaing Fault in Myanmar which is connected to three fault lines in northern and western parts of Thailand. Therefore, the department is closely monitoring seismic activities on these fault lines while residents are advised to always be prepared for an emergency.


Industrial sector confidence declines to lowest in five months

BANGKOK, 28 April 2015 (NNT) – The industrial sector confidence index has declined to the lowest level in five months, but confidence is expected to improve within the next three months, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

FTI chairman Suphan Mongkolsuthee revealed that the industrial sector confidence index declined from 88.9 in February to 87.7 in March, the lowest level in five months. He attributed the reduction to the fragile economic conditions in Thailand and abroad, tarnished competitiveness, lowered spending power due to falling agricultural produce prices, and the strengthening of the baht having weighed on exports. Mr. Suphan said the private sector wanted the state sector to accelerate its budget disbursement to stimulate consumption and investment, as well as to enable cost-saving by promoting linkages between clusters of manufacturers. He added that the value of the baht should be maintained at a competitive level.

For the next three months, the FTI chairman views that industrial sector confidence will increase due to greater state investments in various projects and speedy progress in the resolving of existing problems.


Royal message of condolence sent to Nepal over quake disaster

BANGKOK, 28 April 2015 (NNT) - Their Majesties the King and Queen have sent a message of condolence to the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal in Kathmandu, expressing their sadness to learn of the powerful earthquake that hit the country on 25 April.

According to the Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary, Their Majesties the King and Queen said in the letter they were deeply distressed by reports of the devastating earthquake which caused immense loss of human lives, casualties and destruction of cultural heritage and infrastructure in Nepal.

Their Majesties extended their sincerest sympathy and condolences to the President and to all those who have suffered loss and bereavement in this natural disaster.


Thailand’s financial sector ready for AEC integration

BANGKOK, 28 April 2015 (NNT) - The Finance Ministry has hosted a seminar to prepare the country’s financial sector for the launch of ASEAN Economic Community.

Deputy Finance Minister Wisudhi Srisuphan said that the ministry has prepared four strategies to prepare for the regional integration, which has been set to take off later this year.

The four strategies include the turning of Thailand into a joint production base, the promotion of competitiveness, the equal economic development, and the integration of the local economy with the global economy.

According to Mr. Wisudhi, all the strategies will help Thailand ready for the integration, saying that the ministry has been preparing the country in many aspects during these past years.

He stated that Thailand is now around 87% ready — a comparatively higher percentage than the 77% average of other regional countries.


Thailand-Vietnam to expand cooperation to more areas

BANGKOK, 28 April 2015 (NNT) - Thailand and Vietnam have agreed to expand bilateral cooperation to cover more areas.

Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday held a bilateral meeting with Vietnam PM Nguyen Tan Dung on the sidelines of the 26th ASEAN Summit in Malaysia.

Both leaders touched on the success of the second Thailand-Vietnam Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation. Gen. Prayut invited his Vietnamese counterpart to visit Thailand for the third meeting when all cooperation are expected to be further materialized.

The two prime ministers also agreed to expand bilateral trade to hit the 15-billion-dollar level by 2020, while speeding up on the preparation of a memorandum of understanding on labor cooperation.

In addition, the meeting discussed agricultural cooperation particularly in the production and the distribution of rubber, while Thailand proposed another collaboration on fishery to help elevate the quality of life of fishermen and tackle the problem of illegal fishing.


Thailand will donate rice to help quake victims in Nepal, PM says

BANGKOK, 26 April 2015 (NNT) - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha says the government is closely monitoring the earthquake situation in Nepal while full-scale assistance has been provided to Thai nationals.

The Prime Minister mentioned the assistance before leaving the military airfield in Don Muang, Bangkok, to attend the 26th ASEAN Summit 2015 in Kuala Lumpur.

Gen Prayut said the government has prepared teams of medical volunteers including members of the Central Institute of Forensic Science to help survivors of the quake. Moreover, the Thai government will donate money and about 300-500 tonnes of rice to the earthquake victims.

He cited a preliminary report by the Foreign Ministry as saying that around 30 Thai students and workers had been helped by the Thai Embassy in Kathmandu and all of them were safe.

While in Malaysia, Gen Prayut will attend the 26th ASEAN Summit 2015 in Kuala Lumpur and the 9th Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle Leaders’ Summit in Langkawi. He will return to Thailand on Tuesday, 28 April.


Govt urges Thais to donate to Nepal

BANGKOK, 26 April 2015 (NNT) – The government has launched a donation campaign to mobilize assistance for Nepal; meanwhile, the military and the Ministry of Public Health are prepared to send doctors and disaster response teams to the quake-hit country.

According to deputy spokesperson of the PM Office Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the Thai humanitarian teams will be flying to the country closest to Nepal before proceeding into affected areas, as Nepal’s international airport has been temporarily closed as a result of the tremor. The Thai Embassy in Nepal will facilitate the trip.

Col. Sansern said Thai people could help alleviate the hardships of the Nepalese by donating necessary items for survival or money via all the Damrongdhama centers, under the Ministry of Interior, across the country. The government will also hold a charity program for Nepal, which will be broadcast live on Channel 5 next week.

Thai people living in Nepal and nearby countries affected by the massive quake can contact the Thai Embassy in Nepal for help.


Thai embassy in Kathmandu actively assists Thai people in Nepal

BANGKOK, 26 April 2015 (NNT) – The Royal Thai Embassy in Kathmandu operates a center as a point of contact for Thai people in the quake-hit Nepal and their relatives. All Thais in the country were reported safe.

Deputy Government Spokesman Maj.Gen. Sansern Kaeokamnerd on Sunday reported progress of the Thai government’s assistance for Thai people in Nepal. He said the Thai government had set up a center at the Royal Thai Embassy in Kathmandu to help and facilitate Thai people there. Their relatives in Thailand can contact the center via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at 0940037190, 0940037191, 0940037192 and 0859114076. They can also contact the embassy directly at (977) 14414372.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier reported that all Thais in Nepal were safe after the Nepalese quake on Saturday. Some of them were slightly injured.


All Thai nationals confirmed safe in the powerful quake in Nepal

KATHMANDU, 26 April 2015 (NNT) – The Thai Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal, has provided full-scale assistance to Thai nationals living or staying in Nepal after the country experienced the hardest earthquake in 80 years on Saturday.

Currently, there are 20 Thais seeking shelters at the ambassadorial residence in Kathmandu. They comprise government officials and their family and expatriates who live in tall buildings which are no longer safe. The embassy are keeping in touch with 30 other Thais in the city who have been confirmed safe. However, none of these people request to return to Thailand.

A group of 34 Thai delegates attending a conference in Nagarkot, 30 km. away from Kathmandu, are also reported safe.They have registered for plane tickets and are waiting to return to Thailand.

The embassy says anyone wishing to take shelter at the ambassadorial residence can contact the Embassy via Hotline +977 980 106 9233 and +977 984 124 2094.

However, it says making a phone call may be difficult as communication system in Kathmandu and adjacent areas have been destroyed in the earthquake. The Embassy is trying in as many ways as possible to keep in touch with other Thais.

In Bangkok, the Department of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has also launched four hotlines as follows: 0859114076 and 0940037190-2. Operators are reachable from 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Thai time.

Passengers of Thai Airways International who wish to leave Kathmandu can contact THAI office in Nepal by calling at +977 1411 3140 or +977 1411 3047.


Thai air force ready to extend assistance to Nepal

BANGKOK, 26 April 2015 (NNT) – The Royal Thai Air Force has prepared aircrafts and personnel to help the earthquake-hit Nepal. They are expected to depart for the country after the air force receives an official order from the government.

Spokesman of the air force ACM Monthon Satchukorn on Sunday said the air force had not yet been contacted by the government to provide assistance for Nepal where a magnitude 7.8 quake struck on 25 April 2015. Nevertheless, the air force was closely monitoring the situation and preparing for a Nepal departure, the spokesman said.

The air force was waiting for the government to decide which humanitarian missions, such as material and medical assistance, it would operate for Nepal. It could assist the country immediately if the government ordered, the spokesman added.


Wide role of drugstores in primary healthcare emphasized at their annual meeting

NONTHABURI, 26 April 2015 (NNT) - The wide role of drugstores in primary healthcare has been emphasized at the 2015 general assembly of the Drugstores' Club of Thailand held today at IMPACT, Public Health Minister Ratchata Ratchatanawin said after the meeting’s opening ceremony.

The general assembly now in its 41st year involves over 7,000 member drugstores all across Thailand. It is a venue for drugstore operators to share experiences, exchange pharmaceutical knowledge and discuss developments

According to Dr.Ratchata, drugstores play a robust role in basic healthcare for people in Thailand. It is the first place persons with a mild sickness visit conveniently before they go to the hospitals or state medical centers.

Dr.Ratchata revealed that the Public Health Ministry has put effort into upgrading the quality of service in drugstores nationwide. It has drafted a new ministerial regulation which requires all drugstores in the country to employ at least one professional pharmacist.

Pharmacists must always be on standby while the drugstore is open, so that they can give accurate guidance on each medicine to customers, especially those who need either antibiotic or birth control pills.

He also assigned the Food and Drug Administration to provide periodic training courses for owners of drugstores in order to enhance their knowledge and expertise in taking care of people’s health at the pharmacy level.


US Court clears Thai shrimp industry of market-dumping

BANGKOK, 26 April 2015 (NNT) – The Office of Commercial Affairs of the Royal Thai Embassy in the US has reported that the United States Court of International Trade has acquitted Thailand of market dumping.

According to the Office of Commercial Affairs, the United States Court of International Trade has dismissed the appeal filed by the Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries (COGSI), accusing Thailand and six other shrimp-exporting countries of violating the anti dumping rules and demanded that further counter-dumping duties be levied on the accused.

According to the judges, the investigation into the charge of damage to the US shrimp industry found no linkage to the seven shrimp exporting countries. Vietnam, China, Ecuador, India, Malaysia and Indonesia are among the countries facing the same allegation.

The court’s ruling has saved Thailand, China, Vietnam, India, and Brazil from having to pay more countervailing duties. It will also enable Thailand to increase its shrimp export to the US.


Bangkok sets out to be regional hub of education

BANGKOK, 26 April 2015 (NNT) – The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has announced its plan to develop Bangkok as a hub of education in the region by modernizing education from the basic education level.

Bangkok Governor M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra on Sunday presided over the opening ceremony of a seminar of the basic education committee of schools under the (BMA). The governor said the BMA was determined to develop education in Bangkok to be modern and keep up with global changes in line with its policy to promote education with morality.

The seminar provided a good opportunity for the BMA basic education committee to meet and exchange experience on the development of education to meet real needs and deal with problems occurring at present, the governor said. He added that Bangkok had to be a metropolis of learning.


Suvarnabhumi taxi drivers say YES to new service measures

SAMUT PRAKAN, 26 April 2015 (NNT) - Suvarnabhumi Airport authorities and drivers of taxi vans serving the airport, have reached an agreement to carry no more than four people per vehicle in order to avoid demanding an unfair flat rate fare, the deputy director of Suvarnabhumi airport Dalad Asaves has announced.

The meeting took place on Thursday between representatives of taxi drivers and officials concerned representing the airport, the Land Transport Department, the military and tourist police.

The meeting was held in order to solve the problem of excessive charges that taxi vans have often demanded for carrying luggage and other belongings. They were known to have generally taken more than four persons per trip and heavy luggage. This was used by drivers as a pretext to refuse to use the meter and to increase the cost of their taxi service. Officials reaffirmed that over-sized luggage could obstruct drivers’ vision in the rear-view mirror and so reduce the safety of passengers. Besides, taxi insurance covers only four passengers and one driver.

The meeting reached a consensus that each taxi serving the public at Suvarnabhumi, regardless of car's size, was not permitted to take more than four passengers a trip and must always use its meter; they must also never leave passengers before arriving at an agreed destination.

At the meeting, taxi drivers agreed to cancel a planned strike that was widely posted online, but said that they are still waiting for the approval of a fare rate which better reflects the actual cost of providing a taxi van service.

Meanwhile, airport officials asked all passengers to keep taxi slips as they provide service information and might help them in case of complaints of bad service or loss of items.

Any passenger who has experienced impolite taxi drivers, refusal to use the meter or rejection of passengers, is urged to call the AOT Contact Center 1722 around the clock or simply call the phone numbers written on the slip.


CDC denies reports on lobbying effort to adjust origin of senators in draft charter

BANGKOK, 26 April 2015 (NNT) - The Constitution Drafting Committee has brushed aside reports on a lobbying effort for an adjustment of some parts of the draft charter.

According to CDC spokesman Gen. Lertrat Ratanavanich, there has not been any attempt to lobby for a change in the charter drafters’s current provision related to the origin of senators.

The CDC has thoroughly discussed and included in the new Constitution that each province will elect one senator to join the other 123 members of the Upper House who will take office via different approaches, said Gen. Lertrat.

Meanwhile, the National Reform Council’s deliberation of the first draft of the Constitution on Sunday looked at the part of the draft related to the reform and the promotion of national reconciliation, which the council said is significant for the reform efforts and directly related to its responsibilities.


CDC’s Wanchai: Draft charter does not go against politicians

BANGKOK, 26 April 2015 (NNT) - The spokesman of the Constitution Drafting Committee has assured that the draft charter has not been written in such a way that it will go against politicians.

CDC spokesman Wanchai Sornsiri said that the charter drafters have not been working to serve any particular group of power as some politicians have claimed.

Mr. Wanchai stated that the draft charter has been written to serve the people and not to go against any politicians or political groups.

However, he said that corrupt politicians should feel threatened by the current draft of the Constitution, as it contains a provision that is aimed at wiping out corruption.

Concerning some skepticism about the draft charter, Mr. Wanchai said that the National Reform Council will work on it to clarify any doubts.

He went on to say that the new Constitution will be the best Thailand has ever seen as it has given focus to the interest of the people.


PM orders military to help tropical storm-affected people

BANGKOK, 26 April 2015 (NNT) – Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation to urgently help people affected by tropical storms across the country. The PM also ordered military units in each area to be on standby 24 hours to help provide assistance.

Deputy government spokesman Sansern Kaeokamnerd on Sunday said the premier had expressed concerns over people who lived in the flooded areas and those whose house was damaged by tropical storms during this period. Supplies and compensation were handed out to them in line with disaster assistance regulations of the government, the deputy spokesman said.

Gen. Prayut urged relevant government units to urgently survey the damages in every affected area and provide assistance for the people as soon as possible. The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation is operating a special center to monitor weather conditions around the clock until the situation is back to normal.


THAI flights to Kathmandu operate on normal schedule

BANGKOK, 26 April 2015 (NNT) – Thai Airways International (THAI) has confirmed the company operates the flight TG319 Bangkok-Kathmandu as normal despite a powerful earthquake in Nepal on Saturday.

Tribhuvan International Airport was partly damaged by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake centered not far from the capital. Passengers of the flight TG320 Kathmandu-Bangkok on 26 April 2015 can check information about the flight by phone at (977-1) 4113140 and (977-1) 4113047, from 8.30 AM local time.

The deadly earthquake struck 80 kilometers east of Pokhara on Saturday and killed more than 1,800 people. The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reported that Thai people in Nepal are all safe.


Nepal earthquake has no impact on Thailand, TMD confirms

BANGKOK, 26 April 2015 (NNT) - Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) confirmed the 7-8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal had no impact on Thailand, director-general Wanchai Sakudomchai said today.

He continued with weather forecast in Thailand for next week. From tomorrow onwards, the high pressure area over Thailand is weakening, resulting in less rain in the North and the Northeast, and later in the Central region.

Temperature is rising again all over the country and predicted to reach 40 degrees Celsius by the end of April.

People should beware of accidents due to road slippery although there is not much rainfall during the period.


International Arts Exhibition kicks off at Prince of Songkhla University

SONGKHLA, 26 April 2015 (NNT) – Prince of Songkhla University is holding an international arts exhibition featuring over 100 art works from local and foreign artists.

According to Prince of Songkhla University President Assoc., Prof. Chusak Limsakul ,the launch of the exhibition is part of the celebration of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’ s 60th birthday anniversary.

The exhibition brings together 106 masterpieces of artists from 17 countries, including Thailand, Canada, China, Indonesia, Norway and Myanmar. The event is expected to instill appreciation of art among the general public and inspire art lovers to develop their potential to the fullest extent.

The International Arts Exhibition 2015 will be held until June 30 at PSU Art Gallery, Arts and Cultural Center, Prince of Songkla University in Songkla province.


Government Lottery Office chairman resigns

BANGKOK, 26 April 2015 (NNT) – Somchai Sajjaponge has resigned as chairman of the board of the Government Lottery Office after nine months.

Mr. Somchai has submitted his resignation letter to Permanent-Secretary of Finance Ministry Rangsan Siworasat and has informed Deputy PM M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula, Finance Minister Sommai Pasee and Deputy Minister of Finance Wisudhi Srisuphan of his decision.

Mr. Somchai ascribed his decision to resign to his inability to solve the perennial problems of overpriced lottery tickets. Owing to this, he feels it’s best for him to resign, paving the way for others to replace him. He added that he also wanted to focus more on his career as the Customs Department's Director-General.

Finance Ministry Permanent-Secretary Rangsan said he would discuss the appointment of a new chairman of the GLO board with the Finance Minister. Mr. Somchai’s resignation will be effective on April 27.


CDC Chairman to listen to all reasonable suggestions related to draft charter

BANGKOK, 26 April 2015 (NNT) - The Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee has affirmed that he will take into consideration all reasonable suggestions related to the draft charter.

According to the CDC Chairman, Borwornsak Uwanno, the charter drafters are waiting to hear what the Cabinet and the National Council for Peace and Order have to say about the first draft of Constitution before considering if all 315 sections in the draft will remain or be cut.

Mr. Borwornsak made the comment after Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam had reportedly said there might be too much content in the draft charter.

The CDC Chairman reaffirmed that he would listen to all opinions and to adjust or cut down on the details of the draft if such calls made sense.

However, he declined to comment on political parties’ call for a delay in the next election, saying that the time frame of the charter drafting process is sufficient for the new Constitution to be perfectly written.


NRC to discuss reform of police affairs on April 28

BANGKOK, 26 April 2015 (NNT) - The National Reform Council will discuss the reform of the country’s police on Tuesday.

According to NRC spokesman Wanchai Sornsiri, the reform council will convene a session on Tuesday, April 28, to review the study on the police overhaul, which the committee on legal and justice reform has vetted.

Among key issues in the study is the restructuring of the national police bureau, which is aimed at preventing political interference, Mr. Wanchai said.

He added that, under the draft charter, future investigation will be handled by an independent agency which does not report to the national police bureau.

The NRC spokesman went on to say that the national police bureau should now start allocating personnel, equipment and budget to support the new team of investigators, so that they will be able to perform their duties independently.


NLA to discuss impeachment of former ministers and officials related to rice subsidy irregularities on April 30

BANGKOK, 26 April 2015 (NNT) - The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) will discuss the impeachment of former ministers and official implicated in rice subsidy irregularities at the end of the month.

NLA President Pornpetch Wichitcholchai has set a meeting for April 30 and May 1 to continue the impeachment process against former Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom, former Deputy Commerce Minister Poom Sarapol, and former Director-General of the Foreign Trade Department Manas Sroyploy.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission recommended the impeachment of all three men after the agency found them guilty of causing financial damage to the government and abuse of power in relation to the rice subsidy program.

In addition to the impeachment, the NLA will review a number of draft laws and an agreement, including the draft Maritime Labor Act, the draft organic law on anti-corruption, and the draft Public Assembly Act.


Public Health Ministry set to make 2024 malaria-zero

BANGKOK, 26 April 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Public Health is set on making Thailand a malaria-zero country, as malaria patients are on a decline.

To achieve the goal, the Ministry of Public Health will beef up its PR campaign and measures, including the malaria mosquito elimination, expansion of access to diagnosis and treatment for the general people, especially those in border areas where infection is most likely.

The Disease Control Department, meanwhile, disclosed that this year’s malaria cases among Thai people between January and April had dropped by 21 percent from the same period last year. Cases among foreign people also fell 26 percent. Provinces with the highest number of infections were Ubon Ratchathani, Tak, Kanchanaburi and Yala.

The Ministry of Public Health’s move is part of the activities organized globally to observe World’s Malaria Day which falls on April 25.


 

DAILY UPDATE

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Back to Main Page

First relief team to leave for Nepal on Tuesday

Ministry of Public Health has tightened regulations on quality of drugstores

Nepalese Embassy opens accounts to accept donations from Thais

PM backs AIPA in building rules-based ASEAN Community

Three tonnes of African elephant tusks seized at Laem Chabang Port, CITES Thailand reveals

Department of Industrial Works signs agreement to promote ozone damage-free refrigerant

Department of Industrial Promotion aims for higher industrial production quality ahead of the AEC

TUF to expand shrimp exports as industry recovers from disease outbreak

Marine Department details plan to tackle IUU fishing activities

NRC to compile reform proposals to be included in new charter

Special report: Thai Government Provides Hajj Pilgrims with Special Care

Krabi sets up committee to tackle overpriced products and services

Pattani administrative officials given training in English and laws ahead of ASEAN Community

King’s photo exhibition to be held on 9 May

Doctors in Thailand to help quake-hit Nepal

More Thai-HK flights likely

Court dismisses Yingluck defamation case

Mineral Resources Dept keeps eye on Thai fault lines after Nepal quake

Industrial sector confidence declines to lowest in five months

Royal message of condolence sent to Nepal over quake disaster

Thailand’s financial sector ready for AEC integration

Thailand-Vietnam to expand cooperation to more areas

Thailand will donate rice to help quake victims in Nepal, PM says

Govt urges Thais to donate to Nepal

Thai embassy in Kathmandu actively assists Thai people in Nepal

All Thai nationals confirmed safe in the powerful quake in Nepal

Thai air force ready to extend assistance to Nepal

Wide role of drugstores in primary healthcare emphasized at their annual meeting

US Court clears Thai shrimp industry of market-dumping

Bangkok sets out to be regional hub of education

Suvarnabhumi taxi drivers say YES to new service measures

CDC denies reports on lobbying effort to adjust origin of senators in draft charter

CDC’s Wanchai: Draft charter does not go against politicians

PM orders military to help tropical storm-affected people

THAI flights to Kathmandu operate on normal schedule

Nepal earthquake has no impact on Thailand, TMD confirms

International Arts Exhibition kicks off at Prince of Songkhla University

Government Lottery Office chairman resigns

CDC Chairman to listen to all reasonable suggestions related to draft charter

NRC to discuss reform of police affairs on April 28

NLA to discuss impeachment of former ministers and officials related to rice subsidy irregularities on April 30

Public Health Ministry set to make 2024 malaria-zero

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