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Transport Minister asserts rail development going as planned

BANGKOK, 9 June 2015 (NNT) Thailand’s cooperation with China and Japan on railroad development projects are moving forward as planned, according to the Transport Minister.

The Minister of Transport ACM Prajin Juntong has explained to the Cabinet that the cooperation projects between Thailand - China, and Thailand - Japan under the ministry’s rail transport development project 2015-2022 are proceeding according to plan, adding that he is confident that the projects will be completed within the designated timeframe.

The rail transport development cooperation between Thailand and China includes the construction of northeastern Bangkok - Nong Khai, and Kaeng Khoi - Maptaphut, a 973 kilometer railway line utilizing the standard gauge 1.435 meter track, allowing trains to operate at speeds of 180 kilometers per hour.

The Chinese rail project is aimed to serve passengers and accomodate light and high value cargo. The construction will be divided into four phases, with Bangkok - Kaeng Khoi and Kaeng Khoi - Maptaphut designated for the first two phases.

The construction of the first two phases is scheduled to commence October 2015 with a 30 month timeframe. The later phases, Kaeng Khoi - Nakhon Ratchasima - Nong Khai, will begin construction February 2016 with a 36 months timeframe.

The northern Bangkok - Chiang Mai High Speed Train line's construction will be carried out in cooperation with Japan, using the Japanese Shinkansen train system on the standard gauge 1.435 meter track. The 672 kilometer high speed line will be capable of train services at over 200 kilometer per hour speed.

The Japanese train project will mainly serve passengers. The construction for the high speed line is set to commence in mid 2016.

Thailand and Japan is now studying the feasibility of the eastern line Bangkok - Aranyaprathet and Bangkok - Laem Chabang railway projects, to either use the standard 1.435 meter gauge system or the 1 meter gauge system that is currently used in Thailand. The eastern line project will be mainly designated for cargo transportation.


Cabinet-NCPO meeting approves amendment of interim constitution

BANGKOK, 9 June 2015 (NNT) Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-Ngam revealed in a press briefing today that the joint meeting between the cabinet and the NCPO approved the amendment of the interim constitution and will submit the revised charter to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) for approval within 15 days.

He said the NLA could only accept or deny the charter, by giving supporting votes amounting to half of the quorum or at least 111 voices. Once approved, the constitution will be submitted to His Majesty within 15 days for royal endorsement. The NLA has no power to change the draft by itself, except only the Cabinet or the NCPO permits NLA to do so.

There are seven points in the draft constitution which the joint meeting agreed to change such as qualifications and prohibited characteristics of NLA members, and extension of working period of Parliament commission from 60 days to 90 days to give longer time for suggestions and explanation. Regarding the referendum of the Charter draft, the NLA entrusted the Election Commission to hold it in mid-Sep.

Wissanu said that copies of the draft will be sent to at least 19 million households or 80 per cent of the total number of 23-24 million households nationwide. The referendum is expected to take place 30-45 days after the distribution, which possibly fall in late Jan to Feb 2016.

Asked whether or not additional questions would be put in the referendum, Wissanu explained that any additional query must be proposed to the cabinet by the NRC and the NLA. If the question is approved, the cabinet will forward it to Election Commission which will arrange for its inclusion in the referendum.


Cabinet agrees to seek Japanese funds for Red Line project

BANGKOK, 9 June 2015 (NNT) The Cabinet has approved a plan to borrow 10 billion baht from Japan to fund the second phase of the Red Line electric train project on the Bang Sue-Rangsit section.

According to Deputy Government Spokesperson Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the Cabinet this week gave the green light to a draft loan agreement proposed by the Ministry of Finance which is to be signed between the Thai government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Under the deal, the Finance Ministry will be responsible for obtaining a loan worth 10 billion baht from JICA and disbursing it to the State Railway of Thailand for use in the construction of the Red Line electric train system, stretching between Bang Sue and Rangsit.

Maj Gen Sansern affirmed that the loan is necessary as it will enable the government to keep up with the goal of enhancing the country’s public transport system and laying down infrastructure in support of urban community development.

Another amount of 22.78 billion baht has also been borrowed from JICA in 2009 for the first phase of the project and the loan period is due to end this month. For the second phase, the 10-billion-baht loan will have a period of 20 years, with an interest rate of 0.4 percent and an interest-free period of six years.


PM orders NCPO and Army to deal with traffic crisis in Bangkok during raining

BANGKOK, 9 June 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and the armed forces to help relieve chronic traffic congestions resulting from heavy raining in Bangkok and to come up with advance assistance plans for urban areas in risk of natural disasters, said Spokesman for the NCPO Winthai Suvaree.

Colonel Winthai said the Prime Minister also urged the people to use water economically to prevent future shortage. He said the NCPO would employ all available mechanisms to raise public awareness of water saving.

Gen Prayut chaired a joint meeting of the cabinet and NCPO members this morning during which he expressed thanks for their hard-working and continuous efforts to maintain peace and order in the country. The Prime Minister also instructed officials concerned to sell rice at low price to low-income earners. The rice may be sold through local networks and military camps nationwide to ensure thorough access by the public.

Col Winthai revealed that the NCPO was still concerned over law-violating movement of student activists who lack understanding of the current situation of the country. He reaffirmed that officials have tried to win their cooperation and have sometimes given them warnings. However, stronger measures would be used if necessary. The spokesman asked parents to explain their descendants of the necessity of the NCPO in the current circumstance.


Royal Thai Police to crack down on nighttime street racing in 30 days

BANGKOK, 9 June 2015 (NNT) - The Royal Thai Police Chief is planning to take legal action against Facebook pages revealing police nighttime patrol schedules, in an effort to prevent street racing and other crimes.

Police Chief Somyot Pumpanmuang is attending a meeting with 63 units to discuss how to crack down on nighttime street racing. He said Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha expected the problem to be resolved in 30 days.

He said police have recently made the decision to extend their night shift patrols from 24.00 - 04.30 hrs. to 24.00 - 06.00, as motorcycle racers often gather during this time.

General Somyot added that the Royal Thai Police is now considering legal action against those using social media to tip off racers on police checkpoints.


Phra Buddha Issara submits petition to extend reform timeframe

BANGKOK, 9 June 2015 (NNT) Activist monk Phra Buddha Issara has gathered 50,000 signatures to petition the extension of the reform roadmap timeframe and for the Prime Minister to remain in office for another two years.
The abbot handed the petition to First Vice President of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) Surachai Liengboonlertchai.
The petition calls for an amendment to the 2014 interim constitution which would extend the reform timeframe for another two years, in order to further introduce reforms to various to the country before holding general elections. Mr Surachai ensured the abbot he would forward the petition to the general NLA assembly for consideration.


PM instructs Cabinet to adhere to roadmap

BANGKOK, 9 June 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has encouraged all units at the Cabinet meeting to continue to follow the existing roadmap in order to propel the country forward.

At the Cabinet’s joint meeting with the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) today, Prime Minister Prayut emphasized to all participating officials the importance of adhering to the national reform roadmap put in place earlier. He affirmed that, after the drafting of the new constitution is completed, there will be a general election as planned. The premier insisted he has no intention to extend his time in office and will keep the people’s interest at heart in all procedures.

On this occasion, there were also discussions on the progress being made by each ministry as well as the NCPO. All of the attendants were told to wrap up their works within April 2016 in a bid to pass on their responsibilities to the incoming government.

Moreover, Prime Minister Prayut touched on the issue of land allocation to the impoverished as well as the promotion of alternative careers among agriculturists, who are often affected by drought and price declines.


Vocational students in Buriram repair and build new playgrounds

BURIRAM, 9 June 2015 (NNT) Students from the welding club of Buriram Polytechnic College have been tasked under the "Vocational Volunteers Recreate Old Playgrounds" program with repairing old playgrounds and building new ones for brain-based learning (BBL).

Over ten volunteer students have been building a brain-based learning playground, while also performing maintenance on other school playgrounds in the province.

Buriram schools wish to provide children with a BBL playground, so they can exercise every morning for 15-20 minutes before classes. BBL advocates children moving their bodies to improve learning skills. However, BBL playground equipment must be made-to-order, which is prohibitive to the Buriram education budget.

According to the Deputy Director of Buriram Polytechnic College, the "Vocational Volunteers Recreate Old Playgrounds" program aims to see students make good use of their free time and encourage them to become generous, make sacrifices and do good deeds for society.

Apart from giving hands-on vocational experience, the college seeks to instill morality and a sense of social responsibility, in order to foster a good image of vocational students.


Cambodian migrant workers vital to Trat province

TRAT, 9 July 2015 (NNT) Cambodian migrant workers have become a vital part of Trat's workforce.

Since the province borders Cambodia, many from the neighboring country have made their way into the province's labor market.

Trat governor Narong Teerachuntarangkul said it was especially true of sectors such as fisheries, tourism, and agriculture, all of which rely heavily on the Cambodian migrant workforce.

However, some labor problems still occur. Labor issues in Trat have been dealt with systematically to the benefit of business operators and workers alike.

Trat businesses have high demand for foreign labor, despite facing legal hurdles. The province has demonstrated willingness to go through the necessary immigration procedures to make sure foreigners work legal jobs and reside in the country under lawful conditions.


OBEC launches online course to improve quality of teachers

BANGKOK, 9 June 2015 (NNT) The office of Basic Education Commission (OBEC) is introducing an online course called ‘Teachers and Educational Personnel Enhancement (TEPE)’ with the aim of improving the quality of classroom instructions in schools nationwide.

According to the OBEC Secretary General, Kamol Rodklai, the online course, also known as 'TEPE Online', is among several urgent strategies OBEC is trying to achieve. The course has been developed by the Faculty of Education of Chulalongkorn University.

The TEPE Online provides online training for teachers, educational supervisors and school principals in various academic fields. Those completing the course will be able to apply for a teacher certificate or entitled to promotion. An exam will be held after the course is finished at the Primary Education Service Area Office in each province.

The TEPE Online will be tried for the first time beginning this month and is expected it to be fully functional in August. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will be invited to chair the opening ceremony and present a teacher smart card to each of the course applicants.


Thai embassy in South Korean issued 2nd warning against MERS virus for Thai citizens

BANGKOK, 9 June 2015 (NNT) The Thai Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, has warned Thai citizens to protect themselves against MERS-CoV virus that has already killed 6 Koreans.

This is the second warning after the number of South Koreans contracting the deadly virus has increased to 87 people. Six people have died and more than 2,000 people have been quarantined in their own homes or hospitals.

Thai nationals living in Seoul, Gyeonggi and Chungcheongnam-do have been told to wear a face mask when leaving home or when they are in a crowded place.

They have also been advised to seek medical attention and notify the Thai embassy if they ever visited the three aforementioned areas in South Korea between May 15th – 30th.


Nakhon Sawan hard hit by drought

BANGKOK, 8 June 2015 (NNT) Drought has been continuously affecting farmers in Nakhon Sawan province due to a shortage of rain. Natural water sources have dried up, prompting the farmers to pump up groundwater to water their crops.

Many areas in the province have been hit by severe drought, including Chum Saeng district. A local farmer said this year’s drought was longer than normal since the rain usually fell this month, giving sufficient water for farming. This year’s long absence of rain made it necessary for the local farmers to use groundwater in their farms, the farmer said.

The water volumes of natural water sources in the province have been significantly decreasing. The Nakhon Sawan provincial administration and relevant units are urgently assisting the local farmers.


Chiang Mai officials join declaration against corruption

CHIANG MAI, 8 June 2015 (NNT) The governor of Chiang Mai Suriya Prasartbandit led a delegation of governmental agency heads and delegates of the civilian sector organizations today, to declare a unified statement against corrupt activities.

The declaration was carried out by the government offices in all provinces, as part of the national campaign to maximize authorities' transparency.

On this occasion, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha led the declaration speech for all the officials, to stand against the corruption on the national level, to raise anti-corruption awareness and to improve the nation's transparency. Cooperation among all sectors will also be a directive in the eradication of corruption.

The governor of Chiang Mai and participating officials then signed in the anti-corruption agreement that prohibits bribing and fraudulent activities.


Election Commission vows to strengthen Thai democracy and politics

BANGKOK, 8 June 2015 (NNT) The Election Commission (EC) has announced its achievements over the past year while confirming to continue strengthening the democratic system and the political sector of Thailand.

EC Chairman Supachai Somcharoen was accompanied by other EC members during his delivery of the agency’s one-year performance report on the occasion of its 17th founding anniversary on June 9 this year. The Chairman stated that, for the past year, the EC has been pushing on with its duty of developing the Thai democracy as well as raising the strength of political parties in an attempt to foster a fair and transparent electoral system.

Mr Supachai added that the EC has been gearing up for the upcoming general election as well as the public referendum on the new permanent constitution. Eight amendment proposals on the draft charter have also been submitted by the EC to the Constitution Drafting Committee.

Meanwhile, Election Commissioner Prawit Rattanapien, who accompanied Mr Supachai on this occasion, stated that the EC’s vision for the year 2020 is to be able to arrange high-quality elections for high-quality citizens.


MNRE:Vessels to be equipped with on board trash can

PHUKET, 8 June 2015 (NNT) Passenger boats and fishing vessels will be required to have trash can on board for the prevention of garbage disposal into the sea, says the MNRE Minister.

The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Gen Dapong Ratanasuwan today revealeda reduction in marine debris in Phuket, due to cooperation from the public, tourists and tourism entrepreneurs in the area.

He has said that public cooperation is considered crucial to conserving coastal and marine resources as well as natural tourism attractions, which are the one of the main sources of income for the province.

The MNRE Minister mentioned that the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) is now gearing up to impose regulations that will require all tourist boats and fishing vessels to have trash cans on board, before entering national park areas in an attempt to reduce marine debris dispersed into the sea.

Marine debris, such as trashes and seines, severely impacts the marine ecology as it damages the coral reef which is the breeding spot for many marine animals. Consumption of the trash and seines have also caused a number of fatalities in marine animals as well.


Minister of Natural Resources and Environment making progress in forestland reclamation

BANGKOK, 8 June 2015 (NNT) Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Gen Dapong Rattanasuwan has disclosed the progress of the campaign to reclaim forestland from encroachers, saying a vast area of rubber farms in Phetchabun province has been taken back.

Gen Dapong indicated that, from the total of 22 million rai of rubber plantations across Thailand, about 5.5 million rai was illegally set up in forest reserves and is currently being reclaimed by the ministry. He said the ministry’s land reclamation project has been ongoing and recently began in Nam Nao district of Phetchabun province, where up to 13,000 rai has been retrieved from rubber planters.

The minister noted that, if successful, the project will help restore the amount of forests in the country and also bring down the supply of rubber, leading to an increase in rubber prices.

In addition, Gen Dapong explained that the confiscation of land is intended as the government’s punishment specifically for forest encroachers who are capitalists. As for rubber growers who are low-income earners and affected by the measure, he assured the government will provide them with assistance or compensation.


NCPO to continue supporting enforcement of laws

BANGKOK, 09 June 2015 (NNT) The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has told its subordinate agencies to continue to maintain orderliness by supporting enforcement of laws and paying attention to the plights of members of the public.

Colonel Sirichan Ngathong, deputy spokesperson of the NCPO, revealed that the agency's weekly meeting went over a report of peace and order maintaining efforts over the past week. The report indicated that peace and order maintaining forces – teams of military personnel assigned the task of maintaining order – continued to support law enforcement work by police officers and other authorities. The peace and order maintaining forces also visited residents in various localities, in order to reinforce security at the village level.

As for efforts to foster reconciliation, the NCPO continued to hold activities to seek input from all sectors, especially that on country reform.

The deputy spokesperson also reiterated that all NCPO units were to work in accordance with the policy of the NCPO chief, namely the maintaining of internal security, the enforcement of law, the driving of various works, the implementation of country reform and the modification and update of certain laws


Prime minister leads ceremony to denounce corruption

BANGKOK, 09 June 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday led representatives of all sectors in a ceremony to denounce corruption and do away with the chronic graft problem in Thai society.

At the event, held at the Government House, General Prayut asked the public sector, the private sector and members of the public to joined hands in preventing and suppressing corruption. According to Gen. Prayut, the problem has to be addressed starting with the individual, by means of instilling ethics and virtues in the person's mind. He also expressed the belief that as much as 90 percent of the graft problem had been addressed so far.

Gen. Prayut also noted that although he welcomed the improvement in the indicator of Thailand's image for year 2014, he was looking forward to more improvement.

Similar events held to denounce corruption took place nationwide on Monday at various state offices. At the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters, Supreme Commander Worapong Sanganetra led military personnel in denouncing graft, in an effort to raise anti-graft awareness among military personnel and promote a conscience for the fostering of transparency and a positive image of the Thai armed forces.


Referendum may be held to extend incumbent PM's term of office

BANGKOK, 8 June 2015 (NNT) The Cabinet may submit an amendment proposal calling for a public referendum on whether to extend Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha’s rule.

Prof Sombat Thamrongthanyawong of the political reform committee under the National Reform Council (NRC) said that Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam is in charge of submitting amendments to the 2014 interim constitution.

While it has been widely publicized that an amendment will propose a public referendum, Prof Sombat said it remains uncertain what the referendum will vote on.

He said that a vote would likely be held to approve Thailand’s new constitution, but there has also been talks of a referendum to extend the current administration’s term.

An amendment may be called for a public referendum on whether to allow Gen Prayuth to extend his premiership for another two years, thereby postponing general elections.


Interior Minister states:Civil servants to be punished according to the law

BANGKOK, 8 June 2015 (NNT) - Interior Minister General Anupong Paojinda has said that civil servants have always been told to abide by the laws.

General Anupong said if any are found to be guilty of legal violations, then they would be prosecuted indiscriminately. Regarding the alleged purchase of pesticide by government officials, he said that the Office of the Auditor General has already completed its investigation.

He added that the Ministry of Interior will launch a disciplinary probe into the case once suspects have been identified.

A committee will be set up specifically to look into the matter. General Anupong added that he has not yet been briefed of the investigation's progress.

The National Anti- Corruption Commission will investigate whether two of the suspects are members of the National Reform Council.


Ministry of Public Health increases regional access to medical services

BANGKOK, 8 June 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Public Health has raised the standards of health service regionally and provided fast access to medical treatments for patients.

Deputy Permanent Secretary of Public Health Wachira Pengjan has declared recent expansions of regional health services a success.

He claimed that health services have been established to cater to the needs of people in different communities. Clinics have been set up to help patients suffering from heart, kidney, eye and artery diseases, as well as injuries.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary added that since the introduction of these services, the number of medical staff has increased in various provincial hospitals. Many have also begun to offering chemotherapy to cancer patients, while others have accomplished important surgeries and treated patients with disease complications.


Potential rice bidders to inspect quality of govt stock this week

BANGKOK, 8 June 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Commerce is allowing potential rice buyers to inspect the government's stock this week, before the bidding process begins. Government stock rice has been stored in warehouses across 35 provinces.

Those wishing to buy rice from the government stock in the third round of the rice auctions are able to inspect the grains at 153 barns this week.

Potential bidders will be able to submit an application form on June 15 and check whether they have met all the requirements on the following day. Their names will be submitted to the National Rice Policy Committee for further consideration.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has praised the ministry for attempting to dispense a large lump sum of government rice, which would affect global prices and Thai farmers.

Stock rice will only be released when the ministry is certain that it will not affect the prices of new grains, which are expected to be produced during the rainy season.

The ministry disclosed that there are currently 17 million tons of rice in the government stock. Only around two million tons possess standard quality, while 14 million tons are said to be below standard and 690,000 tons are spoilt.


Government announces its determination to combat corruption

BANGKOK, 8 June 2015 (NNT) The Thai government has made an official announcement on combating corruption, encouraging every sector to get involved in the effort.

According to General Anantaporn Kanjanarat, the chairman of the committee responsible for scrutinizing state spending and Secretary General to the national anti-corruption committee, the announcement made to the Thai people and the global community this morning is aimed at raising awareness about the government’s determination to eradicate chronic corruption problems in the country.

Every sector was invited to the Government House to witness this official announcement, during which Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha delivered a speech on the anti-corruption movement.

General Anantaporn believed that the government’s determination would be passed on to younger generations and encourage them not to be corrupt. The event was broadcast live to city halls across the country.


New first 3-digit lottery prize expected this September

BANGKOK, 8 June 2015, (NNT) Chairman of the Government Lottery Office (GLO) Major General Apirat Kongsompong expected the first-three-digit lottery prize to be available in September.

The comment was made after discussing the matter with GLO Director-General Major General Chalongrat Nakarthit. Initially, Maj. Gen. Apirat said preparations for the new prize could not be made in time for the August 1 lottery.

The GLO chief said he had instructed related officials to expedite all necessary operations using all available resources. He expects the new three-digit prize system to be in place in September.

The GLO’s three-digit prizes now comprises of 2 first-three-digit prizes and 2 last-three-digit prizes.


BMTA expects to receive the first batch of NGV buses this July

BANGKOK, 8 June 2015, (NNT) The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) expects the first lot of 50 natural gas buses (NGV bus) to be delivered within next month.

According to acting BMTA Director Pranee Sugasorn, at present the 1.78 billion baht deal is being examined by the Office of the Attorney-General, after which it will be forwarded to the agency’s managing board for approval.

She expects to ink the deal with JVCC and Ch. Tawee Dollasian Public Co.Ltd., the bidding winners, within 2 weeks.

The first 50, out of 489 NGV, buses are expected to be delivered to the BMTA next month, she said, adding that the remaining 439 vehicles would be delivered in or before August.

The BMTA has also improved the condition of several roads and built natural gas filling stations for the fleet, said the Acting Director.


PRD app under development for modern users, with Cabinet being pilot target group

BANGKOK, 6 June 2015 (NNT) The Government Public Relations Department (PRD) has expedited the development of PRD application for smart phones in response to a changing trend in news consumption in the digital world.

PRD Deputy Director-General Charoon Chaisorn explained that the initiative was made by the department and the Prime Minister’s Office. The app will be a new channel for mobile users to read all types of news and information compiled from traditional media like radio and television, providing them with an easy access to information of the National News Bureau of Thailand by just a fingertip. The app will be soon put on trial with the Cabinet being the first target group. If it is workable, it will then be extended to other members of the public.

Mr.Charoon also mentioned resolutions adopted at RADIO ASIA Conference 2013 and the Asia Media Summit 2015 as saying that mainstream media like newspaper, radio and television were in their downturn due to a change toward modern lifestyle of audience. Adaptation to the new technology in all media outlets, no exception for the government media, thus is needed in order to maintain the essential role of the mainstream media among users of younger generation.


Surin moves to strengthen trade ties with 5 Cambodian provincesss

SURIN, 7 June 2015 (NNT) Mr. Niran Kullayanamit, Governor of Surin, said his province has been developing trade ties with Cambodia.

The province had concluded contract farming and business matching agreements with five Cambodian provinces for implementation during 2012-2014. Those Cambodian provinces include Oddar Meancheay, Preah Vihear, Kampong Thom, Stung-treng and Siem Riep.

Mr. Niran said a number of 80 government and business representatives from Nakhon Ratchasima, Chaiyaphum, Burirum, Surin, Ubon Ratchathani, Si Sa Ket will be meeting their Cambodian counterparts in Siem Reap during June 24-26 to review the cooperation in trade, investment, and tourism.

According to the governor, previous obstacles in bilateral trade lied in contract farming of agricultural products while business matching was still faced with language barrier, rare chances of meeting, and difficulties in making cross border visits.

The Governor said that at the up-coming meeting of representatives of the two sides, discussions will be concentrated on tapioca, soybean, pepper, as well as consumer goods, vehicle and spare parts, and tourism.


PM Prayut affirms Thailand is speedily solving human trafficking problem

BANGKOK, 7 June 2015 (NNT) The Prime Minister has affirmed that Thailand is speedily trying to solve the problem of human trafficking.

Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha said during his weekly “Returning Happiness to Thai People” TV program that the current government has always recognized the importance of finding solutions to the human trafficking problem and already made it a national agenda.

PM Prayut stated that law enforcement has been stepped up and related codes have been adjusted and strengthened while the culprits behind such a crime have been punished and victims have been given assistance.

Moreover, the Social Development Ministry has joined the Revenue Department in opening channels to receive donations from various foundations so that all the money will be distributed fairly to those in need, he said.


Sea turtle preservation campaign launched in Prachuap Khiri Khan to honour HM the King

BANGKOK, 7 June 2015 (NNT) Officials from the Secretariat of the House of Representatives have joined in a sea turtle preservation campaign in Prachuap Khiri Khan province to honor HM the King.

Mrs. Pannipa Sermsri, legal advisor at the Secretariat of the House of Representatives, has led a team of officials and staffers in the release of 40 sea turtles on Koh Talu in Prachuap Khiri Khan to mark the 88th birthday anniversary of HM the King on December 5, 2015.

The release was also intended to help preserve the species and maintain the balance of the marine ecological system.

Officials who participated in the campaign also joined in the presentation of a sea rehabilitation program under the cooperation of “the Plant Genetic Conservation Project under the Royal initiative of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn”, the Royal Thai Navy and state as well as private agencies.

In addition, the Secretariat has presented 300,000 baht to the Plant Genetic Conservation Project to help in the implementation of various initiatives.


Flowers and Ornamental Plants and Fish Festival well attendeddd

BANGKOK, 7 June 2015 (NNT) The Flowers and Ornamental Plants and Fish Festival at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem canal next to Government House received positive feedback from the public, said Deputy Government Spokesman Maj.Gen. Sansern Kaeokamnerd. Over the past two days, the fair generated accumulated sales of more than 720,000 baht and with 11,780 visitors.

On 6 June 2015, sales totaled 583,000 baht, most of them were from ornamental fish. Highlight of the event is the display of “Thian Thalay” bonsai worth 2.5 million baht.

The objective of the fair was to help flower and ornamental plant and fish farmers sell their products directly to consumers, said Maj.Gen. Sansern. The event was a good opportunity for them to exchange information, network and learn about consumers’ demands directly. The government hoped that the fair would help them add value to their products and serve as a market where the public could buy good quality flowers and ornamental plants and fish at reasonable prices, the deputy government spokesman said.


Thai officials observe Vietnamese culture in border provinces

NAKHON PHANOM, 7 June 2015 (NNT) The Office of Agricultural Extension and Development, Region 4 in Khon Kaen Province took more than 50 officials on a tour of the Thai-Vietnamese Friendship Village in Ban Na Jok, Mueang District, Nakhon Phanom last week.

The study trip was aimed at teaching Vietnamese culture to the Thai Agricultural Extension officials from five provinces namely Khon Kaen, Nong Khai, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan and Bueng Kan which are located on the Mekong River.

The program was part of the government effort to prepare Thai staff for the ASEAN Community Integration at the end of this year. The program also includes learning of the Vietnamese language with the help of lecturers from Nakhon Phanom University.

As these officials are working in border provinces, additional knowledge on neighboring languages is considered highly useful for interpersonal contacts with ASEAN counterparts as well as for keeping themselves updated on agricultural developments in the region.


SBPAC supports youth model for southern development

YALA, 7 June 2015 (NNT) 19 youth groups in the southern border provinces have visited Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) executives to receive the guidelines on children and youth development in the area.
They met with Secretary-General Panu Uthairat along with other executives at the SBPAC office to exchange experiences on the development of youth networks in the area and the working guidelines for children and youths in the southern border areas.

SBPAC Secretary-General has said that youths in the area will play a key role in solving the issues and further develop the southern border areas, and the SBPAC has always been providing educational support for youths in the area to ensure that they receive proper education and grow up as a good members of society.

The youth groups in the southern border provinces have participated in a campaign that will create role models for youths facing certain situations, such as youths affected by the local unrest, youths with health issue, orphans in the community, game addicted youths, and youths in the potential risk group of narcotics usage.

Activities will be held throughout the year where children will be allowed to happily play and develop their creativity, teamwork, and sharing skills through the participation of the children and the community.

The campaign is seeking to improve the quality of youths through ‘good space’, ‘good media’, and ‘good knowledge’ in villages which involves participation from youths, teachers, parents, community leaders, religious leaders, and the public.


Religious Affairs Dept puts MERS-CoV on top of health surveillance for Thai Muslims on Hajj pilgrimage

BANGKOK, 7 June 2015 (NNT) The Department of Religious Affairs calls a meeting next Monday, 8 June 2015, with Public Health officials and relevant authorities to ensure safety of Hajj pilgrims from MERS-CoV.

Director-General of the Religious Affairs Department Kritsayapong Siri said the department has sent the list of 10,400 Thai Muslims, to go to Mecca, Saudi Arabia in mid-August, to the Public Health Ministry to receive mandatory Meningococcal vaccine. The list will also be used by the ministry in conducting health surveillance on them both during and after their trip to Mecca.

As for the progress of preparations in terms of accommodations and flights for the pilgrims, Mr.Kritsayapong said around 90 per cent of the travelers have their accommodations booked whereas 6,000 Thai pilgrims have already got their flights to Mecca.

“All the preparations should be completed by 10 June as the department is scheduled to submit the name list to Saudi Arabian database by 17 June for information verification before the issuance of Visa,” said Mr.Kritsayapong.

The department also tried to prevent scammers from taking advantage of these Thai Muslims by sending its officials to communities in the South of Thailand to explain detailed information of the trips to Mecca.


MOPH to extend Family Doctor service to all households

NONTHABURI, 7 June 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) is set to extend local primary healthcare services of Family Doctors to serve all households nationwide within this year, said the Deputy Minister.

MOPH Deputy Minister, Somsak Chunharas, has revealed that the Family Doctor project is now comprised of 66,353 medical teams, 3,890 of which are the district level teams, 12,237 are subdistrict level teams, and 50,326 are the community level teams.

He has said that the current Family Doctor teams can now provide close care for only a quarter of the targeted 2 million patients nationwide, while the ministry is aiming to provide this service to all households in the country within this year.

Family Doctor teams have been established to provide medical care for patients with low or no mobility who rely on the help from others, such as elders, immovable patients, persons with disabilities, and patients in terminal stage.

Each team consists of about 10 medical personnel who provide medical service at patients’ homes regardless of their medical condition or disease stage. All households in this project will also have a 24-hour number to call their Family Doctor team in case of emergency.

Medical professionals participating in this project are doctors and staff from the local Subdistrict Health Promotion Hospitals, the local communities, District Public Health Offices, Community Hospitals, Central Hospitals, and general hospitals.


Cabinet explains proposed changes to draft charter

BANGKOK, 7 June 2015 (NNT) A representative of the Cabinet has appeared before the Constitution Drafting Committee to explain the proposed changes to the draft charter.

CDC Chairman Borwornsak Uwanno on Saturday chaired the meeting of the charter drafters with Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-Ngam who represented the Cabinet in discussing the proposal on changes to the draft Constitution.

The CDC has been meeting with various interest groups to discuss all the proposed changes to the draft charter.

According to the CDC Spokesman, Gen. Lertrat Ratanavanich, Mr. Wissanu has explained the Cabinet’s 117 points of proposed changes and the suggestions from the Prime Minister related to how the new Constitution should be completed.

Gen. Lertrat said that the PM particularly stressed that the new charter should emphasize the country’s interest while being drafted in such a way that goes in line with the context of Thailand’s current social settings without being too lengthy.


NLA scheduled to hold new sessions during June 11-122

BANGKOK, 7 June 2015 (NNT) The National Legislative Assembly is scheduled to hold new sessions to discuss various draft laws during June 11 and 12.

NLA President Pornpetch Wichitcholchai on Saturday issued an order calling for the 34th and the 35th sittingsof members of the legislature at the Parliament.

Included in the agenda of the upcoming sessions are the deliberation of the draft amendment to the Counter-Terrorism Financing Act and the draft amendment to the Communicable Disease Act, which related committees have completed the vetting process.

The NLA will also be updated on the report by a special committee tasked with the study on the enforcement of the Petroleum Act and the Petroleum Income Tax Act.

In addition, NLA member Wallop Tangkananurak will ask the Prime Minister about the proposal on the adjustment or the cancellation of the Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment.


NRC whip spokesman suggests conditions for extended term of PM Prayut

BANGKOK, 7 June 2015 (NNT) The spokesman of the National Reform Council whip has suggested a number of conditions that should be put in effect if the current term of Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha is to run longer than originally planned.

NRC whip spokesman Wanchai Sornsiri said that calls for PM Prayut to remain in office to complete the national reform process did not come from the NRC and the National Legislative Assembly, who last week held a meeting to listen to the government’s report on its first year in office.

However, Mr. Wanchai stated that the suggestion of an extended term for the PM was heard during earlier trips by NRC members to visit and hear opinions of people across the country.

According to him, most people told the NRC that Thailand should not be hasty to hold a new election but should first complete the reform process.

Under such calls, Mr. Wanchai said that some conditions have also been proposed, including the amendment of the interim charter to allow for a public referendum on the extension of PM Prayut’s term by two more years, the clear listing of the areas to be reformed, respective deadlines and how to gauge the success, and the punishment that the PM will receive if he fails to achieve all promised reform efforts by the deadline.


 

DAILY UPDATE

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NRC whip spokesman suggests conditions for extended term of PM Prayut

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