Hat Yai airport steps up measures to prevent MERS
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015 (NNT) The Hat Yai airport has
imposed measures to prevent the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)
now spreading in South Korea. Passengers from the affected countries
will be checked for flu-like symptoms.
The airport’s immigration checkpoint and an international communicable
disease control checkpoint in Hat Yai check body temperature of every
Hajj pilgrims who has returned from Saudi Arabia, one of the affected
countries. The airport provides hand sanitizers, leaflets on the disease
and advice for those who have traveled back from Mecca.
The Bureau of Epidemiology has confirmed there has been no MERS patient
in Thailand since 2012.
Chulabhorn Dam might stop water supply to agricultural land if no rain comes by the end of June
CHAIYAPHUM, 12 June 2015 (NNT) Agriculturists in
Chaiyaphum and Khon Kaen are facing a bleak future as Chulabhorn Dam
which used to supply water for their plantations is now in danger of
running out of water if no rain comes by the end of June, according to
the Director of Electricity Plant Division at Chulabhorn Dam in Khon San
The director said that the current water volume in the dam and also in
its neighboring smaller "Huai Kum Dam” has hit the lowest level in ten
years. According to him, water reserves in both dams dried up at the end
of April this year, but some rainfalls in May led around ten million
cubic meters of water to flow in. The new amount of water reserve will,
however, be used up by the end of June.
The same official said if no rain comes in by the end of June,
Chulabhorn and Huai Kum Dams would need to stop water release to farmers
in order to reserve water for use during the no-rain interval period.
Chulabhorn Dam, which has the capacity of storing a total of 188 million
cubic meters, has only 71.9 million cubic meters of water left in its
reservoir. Of this amount, only 34.7 million cubic meters are being
supplied to farmland.
Similarly, around 5.4 million cubic meters of water remain in Huai Kum
Dam and 3.8 million of that amount is being released to farmers. Local
farmers in the Districts of Kaset Sombun, Phu Khieo and Ban Thaen in
Chaiyaphum as well as those in Chum Phae District, Khon Kaen, usually
use irrigation water supplied from both dams to nurture their fields.
However, the current water supply was quite low and insufficient,
prompting them to request more water from Chulabhorn Dam authorities.
Thailand tourism affected from MERS-CoV epidemic
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015 (NNT) Thailand’s tourism sector
remains unaffected from the spread of MERS-CoV virus in South Korea,
while agencies are seeking to a issue notice to their members as a form
of prevention measure, says the MOTS Minister.
The Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul has revealed
that the MOTS has been closely monitoring the spread of the Middle East
Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and is confident in the
Ministry of Public Health’s prevention methods.
She has said that the epidemic has not caused any negative effects to
the tourism sector in Thailand, as the Ministry has been working with
all agencies on disease prevention.
Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA)’s Vice President Krichanat
Meesamran has said that he will discuss with the TTAA President on
notifying agency members on effective prevention methods of the
MERS-CoV, including safety precautions, taking care of travelers’
sanitation, and advices on routes that should be avoided when travelling
to South Korea.
About 166,000 travelers from Thailand had visited South Korea this year
from January to April, which is a 6 percent growth from last year.
374,000 travellers from South Korea have visited Thailand from January
to March this year, which is a 18.7 percent growth. South Korean
travelers to Thailand is ranked at the 6th position after Chinese,
Japanese, North American, Taiwanese, and Hong Kong tourists.
NLA agrees to consider amendments to administrative & family courts
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015 (NNT) The National Legislative
Assembly (NLA) has agreed to consider proposed amendments for judicial
procedures of administrative courts, as well as juvenile and family
The proposals were accepted by the NLA with 167 votes in favor, none
opposed, and four abstentions. Their details will be studied for 30 days
with another seven days for revisions.
In the past, cases going to administrative courts required the
authorization level of Attorney General before proceeding. However, the
rapid increase in criminal cases at the administrative level and has
resulted in numerous delays case hearings.
The proposed amendments would grant officials below the clearance level
of Attorney General but no lower than Director General the authority to
approve of case openings at the subdistrict level.
If passed, the NLA will introduce the amendments to the Act on the
Establishment of Administrative Courts and Administrative Court
PWA to scrap water minimum usage tariff
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015 (NNT) The Provincial Waterworks
Authority (PWA) has decided to scrap its minimum water tariff, starting
The PWA said the move was meant to relieve the financial burden on
households in the face of economic slowdown. The revocation applies to
all provinces across the country.
Currently, residents are required to pay a minimum 50 baht per month.
Government agencies and small businesses must pay a minimum 150 baht per
month, and state enterprises and large businesses 300 baht per month.
Beginning July 1, residents will be charged only for the amount of water
they use. Tariff payments will no longer be required.
PWA Governor Ratana Kitchawan said revoking the tariff reflected the
agency's determination to fair public service. The PWA Governor also
affirmed that all utility revenue was used to expand waterworks to cope
OBEC to punish late school book distributors
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015 (NNT) The Office of Basic
Education Commission (OBEC) has resolved to crack down on its schools,
following parent complaints regarding incomplete or delayed textbook
The OBEC outlined new guidelines and allocated a clear budget for
Schools under its supervision must submit purchasing orders in
accordance with their OBEC funding by a required deadline to the Office
of the Welfare Promotion Commission for Teachers and Educational
Personnel (OTEP) and its distributors.
Any delay in textbook distribution caused by the school or distributor
will be investigated and the person(s) responsible punished accordingly.
OBEC Secretary-General Kamol Rodklai has reiterated these orders to
schools across the country. The office has dispatched inspectors to
ensure schools are fully-stocked before the term begins.
NLA inquires in to government’s education assessment policy
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015 (NNT) The National Legislative Assembly
(NLA) has inquired into the quality of the government's
assessment of teachers and schools.
NLA member Wallop Tangkananurak inquired into the effectiveness
of the government’s education assessment agency, the Office of
Nation Education Standards and Quality Assessment (ONESQA). Mr
Wallop expressed concern that the standardized system could
impede lesson plans, due to the sheer amount of paperwork
required. He also questioned whether the centralized assessment
standards would be applicable to the diverse conditions of
schools across the country.
Mr Wallop has asked what the current administration had in mind
for the ONESQA. Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Yuthavong
revealed that the government cannot abolish the ONESQA, a key
component of the Education Act (1999), nor is there currently a
suitable and unbiased agency to replace it. Regarding the
paperwork burden on schools, Mr Yongyuth said the government has
made the transition to online assessment methods. However, many
schools are still having trouble acquiring the necessary
Minister of Education Admiral Narong Pipatanasai admitted that
the ONESQA assessment standards do not accommodate the diversity
of schools across the country. Its implementation has
underperformed, resulting in minimal feedback for improvement.
The ministry has stepped in to expedite the adoption of online
assessment methods across the country and will work closely with
ONESQA in data collection and analysis. It will also continue to
send officials to remote areas that are beyond internet
Meanwhile, additional changes to education policy include a
mandate to curb school activities to no more than ten percent of
total school days and to rate teachers based on the academic
performance of their pupils. Adm Narong assured the NLA that the
ministry will report its progress at next year’s inquiry.
Dpt of Disease Control advises those going to S.Korea to follow medical advice
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015 (NNT) The Department of Disease
Control Director-General, Dr. Sophon Mekthanon, is encouraging Thais
traveling to South Korean to strictly follow medical advice.
According to Dr. Sophon, those traveling to countries with reports of
Mers infection, particularly South Korean, should be extra cautious
about their well-being. The number of patients with Corona virus and
those killed by it has increased.
He is urging Thai travelers to avoid at all costs coming into contact
with people displaying respiratory problems, and going to crowded
places. They should also wash their hands with soap or alcohol gel
They must seek medical assistant if they start developing a fever,
having a runny nose and a sore throat after returning from South Korea.
They should wear a mask and get medical attention immediately.
Nong Khai applies MERSE-CoV surveillance to train stations & check points
NONG KHAI, 12 June 2015 (NNT) – In a bid to prevent
the spread of Middle East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV),
disease control and immigration officials in Nong Khai province are
joining hands applying surveillance measures to incoming passengers from
Particular attention has been given to visitors from South Korea and the
Middle East. Surveillance measures include health screening, and
recording of passengers’ information. The fatal virus has reportedly
sickened more than 120 people and killed 10 in South Korea. There have
been no confirmed cases in Thailand so far.
The Disease Control Department has suggested that Thai people traveling
to risk-prone countries should prepare themselves before the trip. Thai
people in infection-prone countries have been advised to protect
themselves against the virus by avoiding visiting busy areas and washing
their hands often. Those exhibiting flu-like symptoms within 14 days
after their return to the country must wear face masks and see a doctor
According to the World Health Organization, so far there have been no
specific treatments for MERS-CoV patients. What doctors can do is to
provide patients with supportive care to relieve their symptoms and
prevent the virus from spreading.
Defense Minister: Thai students arrested in Pakistan not linked with southern unrest
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015 (NNT) Defense Minister General
Prawit Wongsuwan has said Thai students arrested in Pakistan have no
involvement in the Southern unrest or the Islamic State (IS).
Deputy Prime Minister for Security General Prawit said neither of them
has any association with the IS nor the situation in the Deep South,
after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had investigated.
Five Thai students were arrested at the airport in Pakistan on Monday
after one of them was allegedly trying to conceal a firearm in his
carry-on bag. Their families also have no connection to any violence in
the restive south.
Defense Minister General Prawit said he held no grudges against
reporters when asked questions, and was willing to answer every
According to the General, the National Council for Peace and Order
(NCPO) is only concerned about the media sensationalizing the issue, as
it could mislead the public. He also insisted that the NCPO would not
interfere with the draft charter.
Dept. of Disease Control monitors S. Koreans attending convention in Thailand
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015 (NNT) The Department of Disease
Control has deployed a team of medical personnel to monitor South Korean
participants attending the Asia Pacific Herbalife Extravaganza 2015, as
a precautionary measure against the outbreak of MERS in Thailand.
Department Director-General Sophon Mekthanon, the organizer of this
event, has previously consulted with his agency on how to prevent the
outbreak of the deadly respiratory disease in Thailand.
The event is taking place today at Impact Muang Thong Thani Challenger
Hall 1-2 until June 14. Around 20,000 people are expected to attend this
event. 4,000 of them are said to come from South Korea.
As the precautionary measure, the department has installed thermo-scans
inside the venue. Participants are encouraged to report to the health
staff, if anyone is showing signs of flu-like symptoms.
The Director-General downplayed the risk of infection at the event and
told the public that his department is only following routine safety
He pointed out that despite the increasing number of MERS patients, they
have exclusively contracted in hospitals. So far, no Thais have
reportedly been infected with MERS in Thailand.
NRC & NLA committees discuss strategic national development
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015 (NNT) The state affairs
committees of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and the National
Reform Council (NRC) have convened to discuss introducing legislation
that would facilitate national development.
The two committees agreed that the new constitution should stipulate a
clear strategic roadmap for national development. They noted that
Sections 179 and 284 of the first draft of the new charter touched upon
strategic national development, but believed they needed to be expanded.
The two committees have discussed proposing a national development act,
in order to lay the strategic framework for the direction of the
country’s long-term development.
The law would establish a strategic development committee that would
propose measures to Parliament that would facilitate development,
according to the country’s strategic development plan. These measures
would serve as guiding principles to policymaking in Parliament,
executive agencies and various organizations.
The act would also stipulate that the national strategic plan must take
public input into consideration, as well as the NRC’s reform agendas.
Pathum Thani initiates roadside landscaping project
PATHUM THANI, 12 June 2015 (NNT) Klongsam district,
Pathum Thani province has initiated a roadside landscaping project, in
honor of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
Dr. Veerasak Hadda, chief of Klongsam district office, explained that
the local administration grew 20 breeds of lotus along 16-kilometers of
road parallel the Klongsam canal.
While dedicated to Her Royal Highness's fifth cycle and 60th birthday
anniversary, the project also aims to promote downtown Pathum Thani as
'the City of Lotuses,' as well as preserve local and exotic lotus
Aside from lotus flowers, the office has also planned to grow golden
shower trees on both sides of Klongsam canal.
Distance learning system to be introduced to more schools in Thailand
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Education
is planning to introduce the distance learning information technology
(DLIT) to medium and large schools in an effort to close social gaps and
raise the standards of Thai education.
Secretary General of the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC)
Kamol Rodklai said the plan follows a success in establishing the DLIT
to 15,000 small schools in various parts of the country.
The DLIT system to be installed for larger schools will include
remote-sensing classrooms, teaching materials, a digital library and
other educational resources for both students and teachers via
The OBEC Secretary General added that the Education Super board, which
is a committee set up to oversee the education reform, is aiming to
improve the literacy rate among young children, promote vocational
education and English language skills ahead of the AEC.
Mr. Kamol further said that the DLIT would be expanded for accessibility
by everyone in the near future in order to achieve fast-track
educational transformation of the country.
Transport Minister visits Pattaya - Huahin ferry pier construction site
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015, (NNT) Transport Minister Air
Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong yesterday visited the construction site of
the Pattaya - Huahin ferry pier.
He disclosed that the Marine Department has been given two months to
conduct a feasibility study of the project to construct ferry piers in
Chonburi province’s Pattaya municipality and Si Racha district, as well
as a ferry garage in Samut Prakarn province.
The Ministry of Transport is planning to construct a railway connecting
Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chumphon. The railway
would connect with the new ferry piers, integrating different modes of
ACM Prajin said the auction for the 180 km Bangkok - Hua Hin high-speed
railway project would be held at the end of this year. Initially, the
auction would be available for Thai investors only. He speculated the
project would begin construction in the second quarter of next year and
be completed within 2-3 years.
The Transport Minister also unveiled a plan to develop Petchaburi
province as a gateway city to the South, saying the Office of Transport
and Traffic Policy and Planning and the Department of Highways have been
assigned to construct more roads and motorways linking the area to other
Board of Investment states that 06 projects have been approved over the past 5 months
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015, (NNT) The Board of Investment
(BOI) told news media that it has approved 306 projects over the past
five months, netting 48.25 billion baht in investments.
BOI Senior Executive Investment Advisor Hirunya Suchinai revealed that
the figure is a decrease of 35 percent from the same period last year,
which had 471 projects worth 297.9 billion baht.
However, 54 percent of this year’s projects are related to industries
recommended by the board and the government. Ms. Hirunya explained that
these industries use advanced technology and have potential to increase
the Kingdom’s competitiveness in the manufacturing sector.
These industries include latex production, medical equipment production,
Enterprise Software & Digital Content, and energy manufacturing
Numerous investors show interest in Songkhla SEZ
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015, (NNT) Commerce Minister
General Chatchai Sarikalya yesterday stated numerous investors have
shown interest in Songkhla province’s Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
The minister said the area has various attractive businesses, such as
para rubber processing, logistics, and commercial storage.
The province has one of the highest trade values among border provinces.
Songkhla last year saw an estimated 507.67 billion baht in border trade,
a 1.25 percent increase from the previous year. During the first four
months of this year, Thai-Malaysian border trade was valued at 154
However, General Chatchai believed that Thai-Malaysian border trade has
been on the decline over the last couple years, due to a decrease in the
price of latex.
Nonetheless, Thai-Malaysian border represents a key component in
developing the Kingdom’s economy. General Chatchai said the area acts as
a gateway to the North-South Economic Corridor, a trade route linking
Malaysia and Singapore.
16th Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians begins in Bangkok
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015 (NNT) Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri
Sirindhorn on Thursday (June 11) graciously opened the 16th Conference
of the Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians, or CONSAL XVI, at the
Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center in Bang Na area.
CONSAL XVI is jointly organized by the National Library of Thailand, the
Thai Library Association and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration
from June 11-13, 2015, under the theme of “Asian Aspirations: Libraries
for Sustainable Advancement”. It is aimed at strengthening cooperation
among the 10 Southeast Asian countries in improving their libraries in
terms of management, services and library-using techniques. Such
improvements will in turn increase intellectual development of their
people and bring good results to the development of the whole society.
The 3-day conference will include numerous paper presentations and
lectures by leading academicians. The congress also dedicates part of
its space to an exhibition in honor of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha
Chakri Sirindhorn on the occasion of her fifth cycle birthday on April
2, this year. The Princess has been recognized for her outstanding
support to development of libraries both in and out of the country and
to the promotion of reading habit of Thai people. More than 600
representatives from local and foreign libraries are attending the
Cross-Border Trade Fair in Songkhla to boost Thai-Malaysian tradee
SONGKHLA, 11 June 2015 (NNT) A cross-border trade
fair is now held at the International Convention Center, Prince of
Songkla University, from 10-14 June 2015, to boost Thai-Malaysian trade
and publicize the development of Songkhla Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
According to Advisor to the Minister of Commerce Ditthaporn Sasasmit,
the trade fair is jointly organized by the Provincial Chamber of
Commerce and the Malaysian counterpart to stimulate import-export
revenues. It provides a stage for the government and private sectors of
both sides to discuss further cooperation scheduled for 12th June.
Moreover, business matching among 150 entrepreneurs from Thailand and
Malaysia would contribute to the growing trade revenue, the adviser
believed. The business matching involves nine categories of highly
competitive products and services such as retails and wholesales,
restaurants, food and processed foods, home decorative products,
construction, hospitality and tourism.
Hundreds of booths have been set up to sell OTOP SME products, export
products, franchise and service businesses, intellectual property-based
products, innovative handicrafts, Blue Flag products and agricultural
Thailand and Malaysia have run a joint border trade fairs for several
years. In 2014, the event generated over THB507.6 billion, accounting
for 51 per cent of the total cross-border trade revenue of Thailand with
In the first four months of 2015, bilateral trade totalled THB154
billion, divided into THB81 billion worth of Thai exports, and
Thai exports to Malaysia include, among others, rubber and processed
products, computers, processed woods, and automobile and parts.
Meanwhile, Thailand imports industrial machinery, computer parts,
computer’s magnetic tape and magnetic disk from Malaysia.
MERS to soon be declared dangerous communicable disease
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Public
Health will declare MERS as a dangerous communicable disease within 1-2
According to Dr. Surachet Satitramai, acting permanent secretary of the
ministry of public health, automatic body temperature sensors have been
installed at all international airports to screen inbound passengers.
Airlines are also providing MERS-related suggestions to passengers. Dr.
Surachet said the measures currently employed to prevent an outbreak of
MERS in Thailand were the same measures previously used to prevent Ebola
outbreaks. People traveling into Thailand from 25 countries with MERS
cases who find themselves coughing or with a fever while on the airplane
should report their condition to the crew and request a face mask.
Dr. Surachet indicated that although no MERS cases have been found in
Thailand, hospitals are setting up quarantine quarters for patients with
fever and flu-like symptoms, as preparation toward limiting any
outbreaks. 69 hospitals under the health ministry's jurisdiction have
already prepared such quarantine quarters.
Muslims busy shopping for dates in Yala ahead of Ramadan
YALA, 12 June 2015 (NNT) Muslims in Yala province
were seen busily shopping for dates ahead of the holy Ramadan month.
Merchants at the railway market in downtown Yala have prepared large
quantities of dates to sell ahead of the Ramadan fasting period. The
vendors said they were selling at last year's prices although the
wholesale prices they paid had gone up slightly.
Dates are often the first thing Muslims reach for when breaking fast at
sundown, before taking water or other food.
Aside from dates, coconut jelly and sweetened jujubes were also favored
by locals in Yala Municipality who were stocking up for Ramadan.
This year, fasting will commence either on June 18 or 19 depending on
when the moon is spotted.
Talks planned for additional alcohol control measures in areas near educational institutes
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Public
Health will soon discuss additional alcohol control measures for areas
in the vicinity of educational institutes with relevant authorities,
after finding that alcohol continued to be sold to students despite
Dr. Rajata Rajatanavin, the minister of public health, indicated on
Thursday that although the alcohol control law bans the sale of liquor
within a 500 meters radius of an educational institute, sellers
continued to violate the law and sell alcohol to students.
Dr. Rajata noted that currently, mini-marts are allowed to sell liquor
during certain hours. However, the question of whether mini-marts with
liquor has to be located outside the 500 meters radius must to be
discussed with the Office of the Alcohol Control Committee. A conclusion
is expected to be reached within two weeks.
Poll shows peace is the most important thing in people’s minds
BANGKOK, 12 June 2015 (NNT) The latest poll conducted
by a committee under the National Reform Council has found that the
public would like to see peace in the country the most and that they
want the next prime minister to enter office via a general election.
Chairman of the NRC’s special committee on public participation Pracha
Taerat on Thursday chaired a news conference on the result of a survey
on public opinions which has been completed through cooperation with 40
Based on 26,708 respondents from around the country, most of them agreed
that the new charter’s focus on restoring peace is the most important
aspect of all while 55% of them said that an election should be declared
as the people’s rights and over 44% said it should be made a duty.
In addition, more than 77% stated that a prime minister must be an
elected member of parliament but some 22% see otherwise.
Over 82% of the respondents believe Thailand should have a new council
tasked with driving forward the national reform process and a new
committee in charge of national strategies in order to help continue the
Government offers monthly allowance for children of the poor
BANGKOK, 11 June 2015 (NNT) The government is
introducing a program to assist poor families with young children by
providing them with a monthly allowance of 400 baht as a way to support
child development in the long run.
Deputy Prime Minister Yongyut Yuttawong indicated that the first five
years of life are the most crucial period for a child’s development, and
it has been witnessed in many countries that the provision of proper
care for the young ones from the very beginning can help them grow up to
be quality citizens.
Therefore, he said the government has been studying measures adopted by
other countries that are investing in child welfare and has come up with
a program that targets low-income families in particular. Under the new
program, every child in a poor family who is aged five or below will be
entitled to an allowance of 400 baht per month.
According to Minister of Social Development and Human Security Pol Gen
Adul Saengsingkaew, Thailand sees a total of 800,000 newborn babies
every year. Out of the number, about 135,000 are born to impoverished
families and they will be included in the financial aid program.
The program is expected to be piloted within this year and will be
evaluated periodically. Teams of public health volunteers are being sent
out across the country to identify the target group in each locality and
they will also facilitate the registration process, which will take
place at the local administrative office.
Defense Min says no violence to be used against political groups
BANGKOK, 11 June 2015 (NNT) Army Chief General
Udomdej Sitabutr said the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)
will not use violence against those with different political views.
Army Chief General Udomdej, in his capacity as Defense Minister, said he
has not received reports of any political movements. He added that Thai
people have a good understanding of the NCPO and its functions in
However, he admitted that there are several groups that disagree with
the current government, particularly college students. General Udomdej
said they have not been expressing their viewpoints creatively.
He has called on parents and teachers to remind them that their actions
can damage the country's reputation. The Defense Minister insisted that
the authorities do not wish to use violence to maintain law and order.
They would rather make them understand the current situation.
Interior Minister, police & BMA governor discuss traffic & flood solutions
BANGKOK, 11 June 2015 (NNT) The Minister of Interior,
the Royal Thai Police assistant commander and the Bangkok governor
convened a special meeting yesterday to discuss traffic alleviation and
flood prevention plans.
During the meeting, Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda suggested
that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) urgently eradicate
trash problems, dispatch traffic police and military personnel to 300
junctions in the event of rain to facilitate traffic, and arrange mobile
teams of technical students to deal with mechanical breakdowns.
Gen Anupong commented that special attention should be given to
flood-prone areas. In the event that rain falls during the nighttime,
Metropolitan police should be on standby at these areas to facilitate
the drainage so as to prevent traffic congestion in the morning.
The discussion was held after the rainfall which caused heavy flooding
earlier this week. Traffic in the capital city was brought to a
standstill. Garbage problems were blamed for the inundation. The
incident prompted the BMA to consider installing more CCTVs across
Bangkok to enforce cleanliness laws more efficiently.
Gen Anupong however voiced his confidence that the flood and traffic
problems would be under control when the BMA’s drainage system was
completed. Bangkok governor MR Sukhumbhand Paripatra, meanwhile,
confirmed that the BMA’s ongoing flood tunnel project was on the right
track, adding that the BMA would seek a budget of 20 billion baht for
its flood solution project for Bangkok and nearby provinces.
The Office of Policy and Security Strategy gears up for ASEAN
BANGKOK, 10 June 2015 (NNT) The Office of Policy and
Security Strategy of the ISOC has arranged a seminar on the ISOC’s
preparations for ASEAN. The seminar is expected to pave the way for the
ISOC’s solutions to national security problems in the contexts of ASEAN
and the ASEAN Political-Security Community.
Scheduled for 10-12 June 2015 in Chon Buri province, the seminar is
attended by 110 executives and staff of the central and provincial ISOC
as well as ISOC regions 1 - 4. Deputy Spokesperson of the ISOC Col.
Raphatsakun Rodthip said the seminar would help educate ISOC officers
about ASEAN and brainstorm a plan to address national security issues in
the country within a framework of ASEAN policy.
The ISOC’s missions conform to the 7th strategy developed by the
National Economic and Social Development Board to prepare Thailand for
NRC to summarize reform agenda for government
BANGKOK, 11 June 2015 (NNT) NRC Chairman Thienchay
Kirananda has revealed that the NRC will on June 15 listen to its last
report from the NRC committee on political reform, and will start
summarizing the NRC’s reform agendas on June 16 before submitting it to
The NRC will then convene on June 25 to hear proposals from its members
on how to proceed in the event that the 2014 interim constitution is
amended to allow for a public referendum on the new constitution.
If there indeed will be a referendum, the NRC will do its part in
properly educating the public about the charter they will be voting
whether to approve, Mr Thienchay affirmed.
However, if an amendment is passed to extend the reform roadmap by 2
years, effectively postponing general elections, he said a committee on
the implementation of reform must be formed.
He added that the Constitution Drafting Committee is currently scheduled
to submit the revised constitution to the NRC for consideration and
approval on August 21.
Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar join hands combating human trafficking in fishery industry
CHONBURI, 11 June 2015 (NNT) The Department of
Special Investigation (DSI) has recently held a meeting with
representatives from Indonesia and Myanmar in an attempt to solve human
trafficking crisis in the fishery industry.
The meeting was held at Dusit Thani Hotel in Chonbur. More than 30
participants and high ranking police officers from Indonesia and Myanmar
attended this event.
Many Thai and migrant workers have fallen victim to human traffickers in
their pursuit of jobs in the fishery industry on Ambon and Benjina
islands in Indonesia.
The Thai government has reportedly had difficulties in taking legal
action against the perpetrators as the crime took place overseas.
The DSI has also cooperated with those working in the Australia-Asia
Program to Combat Trafficking In Persons (AAPTIP) in organizing this
event, during which participants vowed to provide financial support and
cooperation in order to crack down on human trafficking once and for
Ministry of Industry:Minimum wage hike will not occur in near-term
BANGKOK, 11 June 2015, (NNT) Industry Minister
Jakkamon Phasukkhawanitch said that currently, a minimum wage hike from
300 baht per day is unlikely.
The minister added that the rate should be determined by each sector’s
performance, rather than using the same minimum wage nationwide.
Mr. Jakkamon said using the same rate ignores the actual business
climate in each sector, especially those that are underperforming.
Uniform hikes can hurt small- and medium-sized enterprises and cause
them to fold operations.
On the other hand, he said he believed the rate should not fall below
the national 300 baht per day. Business operators can choose to pay
more, but should proceed carefully before making the wage adjustment.
Japan interested in investing in airplane part manufacturing
BANGKOK, 11 June 2015 (NNT) Industry Minister
Jakkamon Phasukkhawanitch revealed Japanese investors are interested in
the aeroplane parts manufacturing industry, and their government is
eyeing to establish a consulate in Thailand’s eastern industrial estate.
The comment was made after his meeting with Japanese Ambassador to
Thailand Shiro Sadoshima. Minister Jakkamon said Japan considered
Thailand as holding high potentials in airplane parts manufacturing
which has similar aspects to the automotive parts industry that Thailand
has the expertise.
Besides, Japan shows interest to invest in the production of medical
equipment and the setting up of a consular office in an industrial
estate in Chonburi Province. Mr. Jakkamon said as the estate has already
been accommodating a lot of Japanese entrepreneurs, a consular office
would facilitate its people.
He also told the media that the Office of Industrial Economics (OIE) has
recently discussed with the Japanese commercial attache the iron import
quota in line with the Japan–Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement
The minister said the OIE would later determine whether Thailand would
make an adjustment to the iron import quota, adding that there were
certain terms of the JTEPA agreement that Japan needs to fulfill. He
said Thailand had long completed her part of the deal.
Stock trading in May contracts by 0.1 percent
BANGKOK, 11 June 2015, (NNT) The Stock Exchange of
Thailand (SET) Research Institute has stated that stock trading last
month stood at 1.496.05 points, decreasing by 0.1 percent from the same
period last year.
Director of the SET Research Institute Kiattipong Ariyapratya told news
media that the figure also represents a 0.2 percent contraction from
April. He attributed the drop to the lower-than-expected gross domestic
product during the first three months, which was 3.4 percent lower than
Mr. Kiattipong said although listed companies performed close to the SET
Research Institute’s prediction, there are still many significant
external factors, like the US Federal Reserve adjusting its benchmark
rate and the Greece financial crisis.
The director pointed out that local stocks reflected trends in other
stock markets in the region.
Prachuap Khiri Khan villagers urge ban on comb pen shell fishery
PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN, 10 June 2015 (NNT) Local
fishermen and environmentalists gathered at the City Hall of Prachuap
Khiri Khan Province to urge their governor to disallow the fishing of
comb pen shells.
The villagers, armed with banners denouncing the fishing of comb pen
shells, demanded that related agencies help solve their hardships by
imposing a ban on comb pen shell hunt which is posing a threat to the
environment and their livelihood.
They said hundreds of fishermen from nearby provinces did cause
extensive damage to the marine conservation zone by digging up comb pen
shells which live in sand. Hunters normally cut off the shells’ muscles
which will be sold to markets. Their remaining parts will be dumped and
left to decompose in the sea, leading to pollution. Their shell scraps
are also said to have damaged locally-made fishing tools.
The villagers have called on authorities to announce provincial
regulations to outlaw the fishing of comb pen shells in Prachuap Khiri
Khan as the sustainable solution. The residents also appointed
representatives from each village to discuss the matter with provincial
body later on
Water shortage in Chaiyuphum’s 145 villages remains in crisis
CHAIYAPHUM, 10 June 2015 (NNT) About 145 villages in
Chaiyaphum Province remain affected by droughts and need water support
from provincial authorities despite periodical rains. Chaiyaphum has
less accumulated rainfall by 40 per cent when compared to the same
period of the previous year.
The Governor of Chaiyaphum Wichian Chanthanothai called a meeting of
provincial authorities today to follow up on the water situation. He
ordered them to give immedicate response to requests for water trucks to
ensure local residents have enough water for consuming purposes.
Water-containing trucks had recently been sent to distribute water to
two rural units of the Provincial Waterworks Authority including one in
Nong Bua Daeng District where six groundwater wells were dug but raw
water was still insufficient for producing potable water.
The provincial authorities were assigned to raise public awareness about
economic use of water and to manage proper use of water reserved in
various dams. The governor advised the release of some water from
reservoirs in order to leave more space for new rainfalls in the next
few months. The governor also stressed that budget allocations in the
2016 fiscal year would give priority to development of water sources,
particularly in the 145 drought-hig villages
Thailand selects national representative to join 7th Japan Paper-folded Airplane Competition
BANGKOK, 10 June 2015 (NNT) The 12th Thailand
Paper-folded Airplane Competition has started to select a winner to
participate in the 7th Japan Paper-folded Airplane Competition organized
in Hiroshima by Japan Origami Airplane Association (JOAA). The selection
begins in various parts of Thailand to expand opportunities for all
youths to take part.
The competition, organized by Thailand’s National Museum, aims at
boosting invention skill and creativity in youth. The participants are
divided into two groups which are those under 12 years old and a
no-age-limit group. The first group requires 9 seconds of flying to win
the title while the other group requires a flying time of at least 11
This year, regional contests are also being organized to encourage all
youths nationwide to participate in the qualification rounds, launched
together with the NSM’s Science Parade throughout the country with
on-site workshop on paper plane basic folding techniques for first-time
The final round will take place in November this year at the National
Science and Technology Fair held at Impact Arena Hall, Muang THong Thani
to select the winner to join the Competition in Japan.
Government adjusts tourism strategy, gears up MERS prevention
BANGKOK, 10 June 2015 (NNT) The tourism strategy has been adjusted by
the government to achieve a 2 trillion baht revenue in tourism, while a
medical team is set to be deployed in South Korea to take care of Thai
nationals at the risk from the MERS-CoV epidemic.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Gen Tanasak
Patimapragorn has revealed that the National Tourism Policy Committee is
satisfied with the short term 3-year sustainable tourism strategy that
is currently being adjusted for the compatibility with all related
The adjusted tourism strategy will then be presented to the Cabinet to
approve the necessary budget for operations, while the income from
tourism products is expected to be above 2 trillion baht per year.
Regarding the MERS-CoV epidemic in South Korea, that the situation does
not affect Thai tourism, the DPM has said that authorities are working
to prevent an outbreak in Thailand throught the same equipments utilized
during the Ebola outbreak, which is more severe than MERS-CoV.
He has said that the Thai Embassy in South Korea is now taking care of
the Thai nationals in Korea, while a voluntary medical team has been
deployed to South Korea to monitor the health conditions of Thai
nationals as a preventative method.
The DPM asserts that there are no Thai nationals suspected of
contracting the MERS-CoV infection.
EC to distribute 19 million copies of new charter
BANGKOK, 10 June 2015 (NNT) The Election Commission
of Thailand (EC) has expressed its readiness to distribute copies of the
new constitution for the public within the necessary timeframe.
The EC chairman revealed that in the event the National Reform Council
(NRC) approves of the constitution at the beginning of September, the EC
will be in charge of publishing 19 million copies to be distributed to
the public by November 30. A public referendum will then be held on
January 10, 2016.
The EC chairman stressed that the government must allocate the resources
necessary for the commission to complete the referendum process. The
cost of publishing and distributing the documents is approximately three
CDC concludes input gathering from NRC and Cabinet
BANGKOK, 10 June 2-15 (NNT) The Constitution Drafting
Committee (CDC) has concluded the process of gathering amendment
proposals from the National Reform Council and the Cabinet.
CDC member Kamnoon Sithisamarn revealed that the Cabinet has proposed
that Chapter 4 regarding reform and reconciliation be omitted and that
the committees on reconciliation and reform be merged. They argued that
matters of reform and reconciliation can be introduced later in the form
of organic laws.
Mr Kamnoon agreed that the two matters would still hold the same weight,
even if they were introduced as organic laws, while the new constitution
would still hold true to its core agendas with its provisions calling
for committees on reform and reconciliation.
Lowest rainfall in 30 years prompts RID to tighten reins on rice cultivation
BANGKOK, 10 June 2015 (NNT) The Royal Department
of Irrigation (RID) has revealed that the
off-season farming has left only 3.8 billion
cubic meters of water for agricultural purposes
during the May - October period, while rainfall
hits a 30-year low.
A meeting of the RID’s committee to monitor and
analyze the nation’s water management revealed
that despite government warnings, more than six
million rai of land was farmed in the Chao
Phraya and Mae Glong river basins. RID
Director-General Lertwirot Kowattana said that
agriculture activities during the drought crisis
has consumed 1.2 billion cubic meters of water.
The four national reservoirs include the
Bhumibol Dam, Sirikit Dam, Pa Sak Jolasid Dam,
and the Khaew Noi Bamrung Dan Operation and
Maintenance Project. They have a combined 3.8
billion cubic meters left for agricultural use,
falling short of the department’s target of five
billion cubic meters.
Reservoirs continue to sustain the off-season
farmland. However, rainfall has been unable to
replenish water levels. The RID recorded the
lowest rainfall in 30 years.
The department has urged farmers of 4.2 million
rai that have yet to begin planting rice to
cease water consumption for agricultural use for
40 days, and wait for greater rainfall in
The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has
been instructed to inform farmers across 22
provinces in the Chao Phraya river basin of the
government’s water policy.
US charge d'affaires pays courtesy visit to Surat Thani governor to reestablish bilateral ties
SURAT THANI, 10 June 2015 (NNT) The US charge
d'affaires paid a courtesy visit to the Surat Thani Governor to
reestablish economic, trade and tourism ties.
Surat Thani Governor Chatpong Chatphut, along with his deputy and
related officials, welcomed Honorable Mr. W. Patrick Murphy, US charge
d'affaires, during his visit to the Surat Thani city hall.
Discussions included the general outlook of the economy, trade
investment, and tourism. The talks centered on high security for
foreigners visiting island destinations such as Koh Samui, Koh Pangan,
and Koh Tao, as well as various national parks.
The visit aimed to restore tourist confidence and a sense of security
for their lives and property.
5 state agencies sign MOU to combat corruption
BANGKOK, 10 June 2015 (NNT) The Deputy Permanent
Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office said the memorandum of
understanding (MOU) between the five government agencies will
effectively combat corruption.
Deputy Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office Jamroen
Yutithamsakul said the MOU between the Office of the Permanent Secretary
to the Prime Minister’s Office, the National Anti-Corruption Commission,
the Office of the Auditor General, Office of Public Sector
Anti-Corruption Commission and the Department of Special Investigation
will help promote transparency in Thailand.
They are expected to share information, as well as commit to their
duties under the MOU to tackle corruption within their organizations.
The five organizations must also enforce the laws and assure
anti-corruption efforts are being carried out in other state agencies
More CCTVs to be installed across Bangkok to catch litterbugs red-handed
BANGKOK, 10 June
2015 (NNT) The
(BMA) says more
cameras will be
the capital city
to hunt for
According to the
of the City Law
more CCTVs will
adding that the
in the capital
city was caused
by tons of
in all 50
so as to deter
litter bugs from
in any public
area will face a
fine of 2,000
trash or waste
water on public
roads or in
face a stiff
fine of up to
The City Law
added that the
CCTVs would also
be used to track
be subject to a
fine of no more
than 5,000 baht
of 2535 BE.
Government approves Nakhon Phanom border trade transportation center
NAKHON PHANOM, 10 June 2015 (NNT) The government
has given the green light to establish a border
trade transportation center in Nakhon Phanom
The approved 1.11-million-baht budget will be
disbursed over four years. The center will be
situated in the southern area next to the
Thai-Lao border at the third bridge crossing
over the Mekong River in the province.
Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-o-cha has
planned to allow the private sector to invest
alongside the government as a way of lowering
The trade center will act as both a place of
congregation and a distribution center that can
handle distribution logistics between Thailand,
Laos, Vietnam and China. It will be a one stop
import-export center in preparation for future
rail logistics services, as well as the
development of the Nakhon Phanom Special
Economic Zone (SEZ).
RID recommends delay to in-season rice farming due to lack of rain
BANGKOK, 10 June 2015 (NNT) The Royal Irrigation
Department (RID) has advised farmers to put off
their cultivation of in-season rice, owing to
the persistence of drought and depleted water
Director-General of the RID Lertwiroj Kowattana
revealed that an announcement has been issued to
rice farmers in the Chao Phraya River Basin,
requesting them to use water on their fields as
economically as possible. He reasoned that
precipitation this year has been lower than
previously forecast, with the amount of rainfall
recorded in May in the North and the Central
Plains dropping further from the same period of
Mr Lertwiroj explained that the decrease in
water input at dams, coupled with the increase
in output to offset the impact of drought on
farmland, has caused the water reserves to run
out quickly. Therefore, the department is urging
rice farmers to postpone their planting of
in-season crops in order to avert a severe
shortage of water.
The Director-General cited late July as a more
appropriate time to start growing rice as rain
will be more abundant and water reserves will
likely be sufficient for farmers’ use.
Min of Interior establishes investment info center to promote SEZs
BANGKOK, 10 June 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of
Interior is trying to establish a one stop
service for investors at Dam Rong Tham Centers,
in an effort to promote Special Economic Zones
Interior Minister General Anupong Paojinda said
he wants Dam Rong Tham Centers nationwide to
serve as a gateway to investment information.
The General added that the move is also aimed at
promoting investments in the SEZs.
Relevant government units are expected to help
establish this section of the center, which was
originally opened to public complaints. The new
service will come with a tagline that says ‘Fast
service in 7 days’.
Private hospitals told to show medical fees on websites
BANGKOK, 10 June 2015 (NNT) In the latest bid to solve
complaints about private hospitals’ unusually high medical fees,
the Ministry of Public Health’s special committee has come up
with new regulations to enable patients to pick hospitals and
services they can afford.
According to Public Health Minister Ratchata Ratchatanawin, his
ministry will instruct all private hospitals to allow the
general public to enquire about treatment fees and drug prices
without having to be their customers first.
All hospitals must sell medicines for no more than prices
specified in their price tags. They must allow their patients to
use prescriptions to buy drugs at general drugstores, if the
patients find medicine offered by hospitals too expensive.
The Ministry of Public Health and the Pharmacy Council will
jointly regulate the standards of all pharmacies nationwide
while the Ministry of Commerce’s products and services committee
will be requested to issue regulations to make sure that drug
outlets adhere to fair pricing and services.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health Service Support has been
assigned to build a website containing fees of 77 types of
operations that require pre-admission appointments of private
hospitals across the country.
The Ministry in addition opens two hot lines: 02 193 7999 and
1330 for consumers wanting to complain about overpriced medical
services. They can also call the Consumers Protection hot line
Cabinet approves the bill cutting room fee for hoteliers to 40 baht per room per year
BANGKOK, 10 June 2015 (NNT) The Cabinet yesterday approved a
bill that will reduce accommodation fees which hotel business
owners have to pay to the Interior Ministry each year. Once
sailing into law, the legislation will cut the fee to 40 baht
per room per year, which is only half of the existing rate.
The announcement was made by Deputy Spokesperson of the Prime
Minister’s Office, Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd. At the
press conference, he said the Cabinet deemed that the reduction
would ease the financial burdens of all hotel operators.
The Cabinet this week also requested governmental units which
planned to hold annual study trips for their staff in foreign
countries to organize them locally, in order to promote domestic
tourism. Major General Sansern also stressed that the selection
of accommodations for such a trip must give priority to hotels
that operate legally.