DSI's attempt to amend Interest Rate Act not to affect financial sector
BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The Bank of Thailand
(BoT) is confident that the move by the Department of Special
Investigation (DSI) to amend the Interest Rate Act 1932 will not have
any impact on the financial sector.
BoT Senior Director of Prudential Policy, Somboon Jitpenthom, has said
the BoT has not seen the amendment details yet; however, it is confident
that the new Interest Rate Act will not affect personal loans and credit
According to him, there is a law that has already limited an interest
rate ceiling at the maximum rate of 28% and that of nano-finance at no
higher than 35%. Mr. Somboon said the attempt to amend the Act is likely
to keep non-formal interest rates under control.
Community leaders & volunteers join forest protection training in Bueng Kan
BUENG KAN, 18 June 2015 (NNT) Over 100 community
leaders and volunteers have participated in forest protection training
held by Bueng Kan Natural Resources and Environment Office.
The objective of the program is to enhance the abilities of local forest
conservation groups. Participants were educated on several aspects of
forest conservation, including forestry laws, wildfire prevention and
community forest management.
Over the past decades, the northeastern province of Bueng Kan has
experienced heavy forest encroachment as a result of the growing rubber
industry. The remaining forests, which represent no more than 14 percent
of the province’s entire area, can only be found in Phu Langa National
The organizers expected participants to apply the knowledge acquired
through the training to the protection of natural resources and
environment in their neighborhoods.
Amendment to interim charter passes 1st reading in NLA
BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The National Legislative
Assembly (NLA) has approved in principle the amendment proposals to the
2014 interim constitution submitted by the Cabinet.
The Cabinet proposed a total of 9 sections, which included the
stipulation of a public referendum on the new constitution, extending
the Constitution Drafting Committee’s time frame of revising the new
constitution as well as the disbandment of the National Reform Council
after it voted on the new constitution.
The assembly requires at least 110 out of its 220 members to vote to
reject the amendment proposals. If the assembly passes the amendments,
the Prime Minister will submit them to His Majesty the King for Royal
The NLA voted to pass the first phase of the deliberation process,
accepting the amendments in principle by 204 to nothing, with 3
The NLA will then proceed to the next phase, which is the deliberation
of the proposals in detail.
Schools told to keep an eye on students to prevent gang fights
BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The Office of the Higher
Education Commission (OHEC) has instructed educational institutions
across Thailand to keep an eye on their students to prevent student gang
OHEC Secretary General Chaiyapruek Serirak has revealed the Office of
Vocational Education Commission and the Office Private Education
Commission have devised a strategy to deal with the issue.
They have come up with new measures, under which students would be
divided into groups according to their behaviors and history of
Teachers would be assigned to monitor their students' behaviors and
encourage them to cooperate with police while the latter are searching
for weapons. School principals would also be asked to come to the scene
of the brawl to meet students caught involving in a fight.
According to the Secretary General, fights between rival students have
significantly declined compared to the same period's last year, now that
the new school term has begun
Schools have also been told to monitor their students as most fights
occur around this time of year, when they are commemorating their
schools' foundation days.
Teachers have been urged to keep themselves updated on their students’
activities.The public is also encouraged to report to the schools if
they come across students engaging in a fight
Deputy PM blames former govt for economic woes
BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) Deputy Prime Minister for
economic affairs M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula has told the business sector
and the general public to brace themselves for the ongoing sluggish
economy, which may take a year to recover.
M.R. Pridiyathorn blamed the ongoing economic slowdown on the previous
administration, which enacted controversial programs including the
first-car project and the rice pledging scheme.
M.R. Pridiyathorn said the economy in the second half of the year would
continue its downward trend and that the economy may take about a year
to pick up.
The Deputy PM predicted that the domestic economy would start to
recuperate in September. The 2014-2015 Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
would reach 3-4 percent, due mainly to government spending and
However, the Deputy PM revealed that the country’s economy could not
rely on the export sector, since operators have been struggling with
stiff competition. He believed that product research & development
should push GDP up to 5 percent.
Government to hold Bike for Mom 2015 activity
BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The government is set to
hold the Bike for Mom 2015 activity as a celebration in honour of Her
Majesty the Queen, and has invited the general public to attend this
The Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over the meeting on
organizing the Bike for Mom 2015 activity, as a celebration in honour of
Her Majesty Queen Sirikit at the government house.
The Bike for Mom 2015 activity will be held in celebration on the
auspicious occasion of Her Majesty’s 83rd birthday 12 August 2015. This
activity has been initiated from the royal wish of His Royal Highness
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, as a way to express his gratefulness
to Her Majesty the Queen. The event will allow the public to express
their loyalty to the monarchy as well as their love for their mother and
for the mother of the land.
The activity would also enhance the Thai public's unity in coming
together to express their well wishes to the Queen, along with the
event's exercise activity which will be beneficial to the public's
health and encourage sportsmanship.
The Bike for Mom 2015 activity will be held on 16 August 2015 at 3pm
nationwide on designated biking routes. In Bangkok, the 43 kilometers
biking route will start from the Dusit Palace Plaza to the 11th Infantry
Regiment, and back to the Dusit Palace. Routes in other provinces will
start from their city halls.
The public participating at this event are asked to wear blue shirts.
More information on this event can be found at www.bikeformom.com, the
official website of the event. The event's registrations will begin 1-24
Infrastructure construction at Mae Sot Special Economic Zone is progressing steadily
BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) Construction of transport
infrastructure at the Special Economic Zone in the border town of Mae
Sot, Tak Province, has progressed by 50% and should be completed by 2018
The progress was reported to the Infrastructure and Customs House
Sub-committee for the Special Economic Zone chaired by Transport
Minister Prajin Juntong yesterday.
Permanent Secretary for Transport Soythip Traisuthi said the first and
second sections of the Trat-Mae Sot highway have been completed. The
third section is under construction while the last section is pending
budget allocation of 1,100 million baht.
The construction of a bridge across Moei River worth 3,900 million baht
which is a joint project between Thailand and Myanmar, has been
allocated with the necessary budget. The project is expected to be
completed in 2018. Meanwhile, the budget for the construction of Mae Sot
Airport and passenger terminals has also been approved.
The meeting also confirmed its plan to build truck resting zone and
service centers nationwide in anticipation of the growing logistics
sector under the AEC. The Sub-committee plans to impose two such zones
by 2016. One in Noan Sung District, Nakhon Ratchasima and the other
might be somewhere in Nong Sarai District in the same province.
Mrs.Soythip said the progress report will be submitted to the meeting of
the Policy Committee on Special Economic Zone Development next week.
Artificial rainmaking mission expedited to raise water levels in dams
BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of
Agriculture and Cooperatives is encouraging the public to conserve
water, as it tries to keep consumption under control.
Permanent Secretary of Agriculture and Cooperatives Chavalit Chookajorn
said the Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation has
been instructed to perform cloud seeding operations to increase water
levels in dams across the country.
The rainmaking operations are intended to maintain a steady supply for
agricultural use during the summer and for the next rice growing season.
The department will launch operations from its 11 regional units, which
cover most parts of the country. More than 2,000 flights have been made
in 58 provinces since March this year to create artificial rain.
Bangkok to experience wet weather conditions over the next two days
BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The Meteorological
Department indicated that Bangkok and southern provinces will experience
precipitation over the next two days.
Meteorologists said the southwesterly wind is gaining strength in the
Andaman Sea and the southeasterly wind has covered the North and
Northeast. The two fronts will bring heavy rain, particularly to the
western areas of the South.
People are warned to be prepared when leaving home. Bangkok residents
can also expect wet weather conditions over the next few days.
Fishermen planning to disembark in the Andaman Sea should proceed with
caution, as waves are forecast to reach heights of 2-3 meters.
Yasothon sees huge turnout for World Blood Donor Day
YASOTHON, 18 June 2015 (NNT) A large number of donors
in Yasothon province participated in the blood drive held to commemorate
World Blood Donor Day.
Yasothon Governor Prawat Thitakaew presided over the opening ceremony of
the event, which saw participation from many donors.
The governor explained that June 14 commemorates the birth of Dr. Karl
Landsteiner, creator of the ABO blood group system. The International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the World Health
Organization (WHO) has marked June 14 of as the annual "World Blood
This year, China was assigned to host a remembrance of Dr. Karl
Landsteiner. Meanwhile, Thailand has organized the commemorative blood
drive for 12 years. This year, the slogan was "Give freely, give often.
Blood donation matters." Thailand has encouraged blood donations every
three months, claiming blood donations are good for one's health.
This year's blood drive saw almost 500 donors participating.
New driver license is valid in ASEAN member countries
BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The Department of Land
Transport (DLT) said a new driving license is being produced that can be
used in the ten ASEAN nations.
Drivers with the new license will be able to drive their cars in ASEAN
member states, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore,
Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.
An image of a Thai flag is displayed on the front of the card with a
seven-color watermark of the DLT emblem in the background. Next to the
flag is a symbol that represents the province in which the card was
issued. The card also comes complete with a holographic sticker. The
department disclosed that there is a unique characteristic of the
licenses that prevents forgery.
The driver’s information will be displayed on the card in both Thai and
English with a photo of the driver, the issue and expiry date, and the
province of origin.
There will be a magnetic strip at the back that contains information on
certain driving restrictions, a picture of a car that has been
registered with the department, the driver's home address, and the
authorization signature of a DLT official.
CDC still thinks non-MP can be considered as PM
BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The Constitution Drafting
Committee (CDC) says it still backs the provision allowing for a non-MP
Prime Minister, if he or she receives two-thirds of the vote in
CDC Chairman Borwonsak Uwanno says the CDC will begin the process of
reviewing suggestions from the National Reform Council and the Cabinet
in revising the new constitution starting June 24.
He said the majority of the CDC are still of the opinion that a non-MP
can be nominated to the office of Prime Minister. However, he or she
must obtain two-thirds of the vote from Parliament.
Regarding the powers of the Prime Minister, the CDC will review Sections
181 and 182 and will most likely omit provisions that would lead to
The two sections give the Prime Minister the power to call for a
confidence vote from Parliament to reaffirm his or her legitimacy, as
well the power to issue executive orders on matters of national
Chiang Rai to promote Phaya Phi Phak Forest Park as major historical attraction
CHIANG RAI, 18 June 2015 (NNT) Various government
agencies in Chiang Rai province have convened a meeting to discuss plans
to promote the little-known Phaya Phi Phak Forest Park as an important
Army Region 3 and related agencies have planned to develop the national
park into a must-see tourist attraction in Chiang Rai, highlighting its
forest landscape and historical importance.
In the past, Phaya Phi Phak Forest Park was a battlefield between
communist rebels and Thai soldiers during the decade-long Cold War.
Their Majesties the King and Queen visited the strife-torn area to boost
morale for the soldiers and villagers. During his visit, HM the King
also bestowed his footprints, which are now kept in Mengrai Fort.
The project is intended to celebrate the 88th birthday anniversary of HM
Government campaigns for environment-friendly policies
BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) The government has urged the public
to practice environmentally-friendly behaviour through a series
of green campaigns.
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has placed great
significance on environmental conservation and encourages people
to make use of cloth bags and baskets instead of plastic bags.
Department stores and grocery stores are to stop dispensing
plastic bags on the 15th of every month.
The government has also launched a green card program as a
nationwide pilot project. The privilege card allows people to
receive benefits from purchasing products that are eco-friendly
in department stores. The move aims to reduce the garbage
production, as well as carbon dioxide emissions.
The Prime Minister has asked related agencies to continue
organizing activities that instill environmental awareness in
younger generations. One such youth-oriented activity is the
"Magic Eyes" program by the Thai Environmental and Community
Development Association, which aims at creating garbage free
communities and school.
Satun drafts 5-year tourism development plan
SATUN, 18 June 2015, (NNT) Satun Governor Detrat
Simsiri has met with the provincial Tourism and Sports office on
drafting a five-year tourism development plan from 2016 - 2020 for the
The Permanent Secretary of Tourism and Sports has assigned five tourism
development zones, which also include Satun’s Andaman waters. They
require a development plan for the province and the tourism zone itself.
Two new committees were established during the meeting. These committees
would be responsible for facilitating tourism promotion and policies in
accordance with the five-year tourism development plan for Andaman Sea.
The meeting yesterday focused on the importance of various aspects of
tourism, strategies, and vision & mission in tourism development, which
must pave the way for for the ASEAN Economic Community.
Thap Salao Dam hits critical lows, Uthai Thani farmers face grim future
UTHAI THANI, 18 June 2015, (NNT) Officials at the
Thap Salao Dam in Uthai Thani Province reported the reservoir only has
48.65 million cubic meters of water, of which 31.65 million cubic meter
The usable water must be allocated to Petch Namphueng Village of
migrants for consumption and agricultural purposes.
Limited water resources would directly affect the farmers in districts
of Lan Sak, Nong Chang, Thap Than, Nong Khayang, and Mueang, where
pre-season farming is common.
Agricultural officials have warned farmers in these five districts that
planting rice at this time risks water shortages. The dam had been
unable to distribute water to the districts for over six months. Uthai
Thani is now facing the most severe drought in a decade.
One of the farmers in Thap Than district has been forced to leave his
land unplowed for over two years, due to lack of water. The farmer said
the canal, which directly connect to Thap Salao Dam, has been dry most
of the time. He faces the prospect of losing his farmland to pay off his
debts, if he is unable to plant crops again this year.
Narathiwat welcomes home SEA Games Pencak Silat gold medalist
NARATHIWAT, 18 June 2015, (NNT) The southern province
of Narathiwat yesterday welcomed home the 28th SEA Games Pencak Silat
gold medalist, Adilan Chemaeng, with government officials and locals
gathering to give a warm homecoming atmosphere.
Narathiwat Governor, Nuttapong Sirichana, said the province's residents
were overjoyed that their favorite son had put the province on the map,
a shining example for the younger generation to follow. He said Mr.
Adilan's victory also coincided with the Province's centennial
The governor also awarded the gold medalist with a check for 50,000
According to the gold medalist,Adilan Chemaeng, he considered the gold
medal as a present for Thailand and himself, crediting his victory to
his vigorous training and determination. He also encouraged youths
wishing to follow his path to take sport very seriously, adding that
whatever kind of sport they took up would strengthen their body and
their mind as well as keeping them away from drugs.
Army ready to facilitate Islamic practices during Ramadan
YALA, 18 June 2015 (NNT) Army Region 4 Commander Lt.
Gen. Prakan Chonlayuth has reassured the southern Muslim people of the
Army’s readiness to facilitate their activities during the holy month of
He told newsmen that, after a recent meeting with local Muslim leaders
and government officials on the matter, the Army has adjusted its
security patrolling protocols especially after late night praying
session. Officials would also relax checkpoint inspection, to facilitate
Muslims returning home from mosques. The commander said the security
plans have been adjusted to better conform to the Islamic religious
Lt. Gen. Prakan also mentioned about the program to draw villagers’
participation in ensuring security on public roads, saying the
government has raised understanding with locals resulting in several
hundreds of them supporting the joint patrol scheme. The regional army
chief was of the opinion that the joint patrols should further cement
the sense of security among the residents during Ramadan.
Restrooms at train stations to be renovated within 150 days
BANGKOK, 18 June 2015 (NNT) Restrooms at 77 train
stations throughout the country are slated to be improved, as only 57%
of toilets at train stations meet current standards.
Minister of Public Health Rajata Rajatanavin, Minister of Transport
Prajin Juntong and Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn
Wattanavrangkul on Wednesday jointly launched a project for the
improvement of restrooms at train stations. The aim of the project is
for the restrooms to meet the HAS standard that was developed by the
Ministry of Public Health in 2005. The project will also promote correct
and hygienic use of toilets.
70% of public restrooms currently meet the HAS standard, but only 57% of
restrooms at train stations are up to standard. The project will be
piloted at 77 train stations that are determined to be of significance
to tourism. Some of the stations are Hua Lamphong station, Lampang
station, Chumphon station, Trang station and Buriram station. The
restrooms at the target stations are to be renovated within 150 days.
Khao Kheow Zoo invites visitors to watch migratory Pelicans
CHONBURI, 17 June 2015 (NNT) Khao Kheow Open Zoo is
inviting the general public to enjoy the pelicans, which have migrated
to the zoo during the rainy season.
A large group of Spot-billed Pelicans were seen flocking to the
reservoir of Khao Kheow Open Zoo’s Botanical Garden to catch small fish
alongside the resident painted storks, forming a spectacular sight. The
coexistence between the two groups of bird occurs yearly from June -
August and can be found only at Khao Kheow Open Zoo.
Spot-billed Pelican or grey pelican is a type of large water bird. It
can grow to a length of 140 centimeters. A Spot-billed Pelican has a
large, expandable throat pouch which can scoop up fish from the surface
of the water. The birds can be found in India, Eastern China, and
Southeast Asian countries. Spot-billed Pelican is listed as an
endangered species under Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act, BE
The bird-watching activity is available two times a day at 10 a.m. and 2
p.m. Those interested can call 038-318444 or visit the zoo's website at
www.kkopenzoo.com for more information.
20 provinces likely to face severe rain and storm this week
BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) The Minister of Interior
has warned provinces in the central, eastern, and southern region to
brace for potential flood, storm, and landslide disasters due to the
expected strong winds and heavy rain during 17-21 June 2015.
The Minister of Interior Gen Anupong Paojinda has revealed that the
strong southwest monsoon wind will pass over Thailand and the Andaman
Sea, causing heavy rain in the central, eastern, and the western part of
the southern part of Thailand. This monsoon rain is also expected to
increase the potential of flood, storm, and landslide disasters in the
Rough seas are also expected in the Andaman and the upper part of the
Gulf of Thailand with waves expected to be at 2-3 meters high during the
Governors of the affected provinces, namely Bangkok, Kanchanaburi,
Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Pathum Thani,
Phetchaburi, Ratchaburi, Sa Kaeo, Chonburi, Chanthaburi, Rayong, Trat,
Prachinburi, Ranong, Phang Nga, Krabi, Phuket, and Trang, are to take
precaution measures and to prepare for the potential disasters. Disaster
prevention and mitigation plans should be prepared on the provincial
level to cope with all disaster situations that may occur.
On this matter, the Director-General of the Department of Disaster
Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) Chatchai Promlert has warned the public
living in the potential risk areas to closely monitor the weather
forecast and obey authorities' disaster warnings.
The public in the risk areas should be vigilant for any uncommon
environmental signs, while small vessels should refrain from sailing out
to sea, and all captains and crews should be extra cautious while
navigating at sea during this time.
The DDPM Director-General has also mentioned that the affected public
can request for help by calling the 24-hour 1784 security hotline.
National Police chief backs legal casinos
BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) The National Police chief
has voiced his personal support for legalizing casinos, as suggested by
a group of National Reform Council (NRC) members.
Shrugging off a possible outcry from activists, National Police Chief
Pol Gen Somyot Pumpanmuang said that gambling is a favorite pastime for
many people, including Thais. He revealed that he would hold a press
conference to make his position official one month before his
According to Pol Gen Somyot, the launch of legal casinos will enable
other industries such as hotels and restaurants, tourism and service to
enjoy higher revenue, thanks to the country’s geographical advantage
compared to other destinations with legalized gambling. The National
Police chief affirmed he would make his own website to seek the public’s
opinions and suggestions on this issue.
As for the crime-prevention measures, Pol Gen Somyot suggested that all
visitors be photographed and recorded in a database prior to entering a
gambling establishment. To enhance income distribution, all casinos will
be off limits to nearby residents. The National Police chief said part
of income from legal casinos would be spent on development projects in
various areas, such as education reform and social restructuring.
Citizen’s group objects to legislation approved without public participation
BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) A citizen’s network for
Thai energy reform has expressed opposition to both the Petroleum Act
and the Income Tax Act approved by the Prime Minister.
The group submitted their objection in writing to the Prime Minister's
Office, arguing that both pieces of legislation were approved by the
Cabinet without first publicizing their details to the public or seeking
the public’s input.
The group therefore asked the Prime Minister to withdraw the two acts
from the Council of State’s consideration in order to restart the
deliberation process with public participation.
Entrance fee to national parks to be halved until end of year
BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) The Department of
National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation is expected to slash
entrance fees to national parks in half from July 1- December 31.
The department it was part of government policy to promote domestic
tourism. The entrance fee to national parks across the country will be
halved, except for on weekends and national holidays, until the end of
The department said the goal is to encourage local tourists to visit
destinations in the Kingdom, particularly business owners, pensioners
and students who can travel during weekdays.
The department added that 147 national parks in Thailand are ecosystems
with unique wildlife and are considered national treasures. Local and
international visitors need to abide by park rules for their own safety
and to protect their natural surroundings. For more information, those
interested can visit www.dnp.go.th.
Alcohol-related mental disorders on the rise in Thailand
BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) According to the Department of Mental
Health’s latest survey, the number of alcohol-related mental disorders
is on the rise in Thailand.
The department conducted the national mental health survey every five
years to study the link between psychiatric disorders and substance
abuse. This year’s survey was conducted on nearly 5,000 subjects aged
over 18 across Thailand during July and September of 2013.
The survey found that the prevalence of Thais with mental problems is at
1.9 percent or 1 million people. In this group, 1.8 percent or 900,000
people suffer from depression while 1.6 million people suffer from
anxiety. Around 500,000 adults have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
The alarming discovery in the survey is the fact that the prevalence of
alcohol drinkers with mental issues is 19.6 percent or 10.1 million
people. Compared to other countries around the world, Thailand tops the
list, followed by Ukraine, the US, South Africa and Japan.
Alcohol can contribute to the development of mental health problems, as
well as exacerbating pre-existing mental health difficulties. It can
also reduce inhibitions for an individual to act on suicidal thoughts,
which they may not have done if not under the influence of alcohol.
Advocate group calls for Universal Design to be included in new constitution
BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) An advocate group for the
interests of the disabled has petitioned the Constitution Drafting
Committee (CDC) to push for the new constitution’s guarantee of
CDC Chairman Prof Borwonsak Uwanna yesterday received the petition from
the network of volunteers for the disabled and the elderly as well as
university design ambassadors. The group called for the inclusion of the
word “universal design” in section 295 of the new constitution in order
to ensure the rights of the disabled, arguing that the inclusion would
coincide with the new constitution’s agenda of reducing social
inequality by providing physically-challenged persons with equal access
to facilities and resources.
Prof Borwonsak welcomed the petition, saying that words such as
“universal design” and “citizen empowerment” serve as a paradigm shift
towards a humanist constitution that emphasizes the importance of
individual rights and equality.
Universal design refers to the international standards of designing
information, products, facilities and services in a way that is
accessible for all participants, including the elderly and the disabled.
PM urges related agencies to work out water management plans amidst drought crisis
BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister General
Prayut Chan-ocha has instructed all agencies in charge agriculture and
natural resources to develop measures to help farmers during the drought
According to PM Office Spokesperson Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd, Gen Prayut
suggested that related agencies prepare measures to help farmers, such
as employment assistance, water-saving agriculture and increased use
However, Col Sansern said the premier cautioned those in charge of
artesian water to map out the utilization plan carefully. Ground water
must not exceed 50 percent of resources; otherwise topsoil would be
badly affected. The agencies responsible for the artesian water
resources are to submit their management plans in the next meeting of
committee members of economic ministers.
Meanwhile, the Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute revealed that rice
farming in 22 provinces must be delayed for another month due to the
severe dry season. The institute added that water in major dams,
including Bhumibol Dam, Sirikit Dam and Pasak Chollasit Dam had dropped
to critical levels. In the central region, the remaining water for
consumption and farming may last only 30 days.
Disaster mitigation agencies to be on high alert for monsoon on Jun 17-21
BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) The Prime Minister has
instructed disaster mitigation agencies to be on high alert in
preparation for the southwestern monsoon expected to make landfall
between June 17-21.
According to Deputy Government Spokesperson Maj Gen Sensern Kaewkamnerd,
Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha has instructed the Department of
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and local agencies to come up with
measures for personnel on site to carry out relief efforts immediately
in the event of flooding, hurricane and landslides. Areas at risk of
such disasters include the central, eastern and southwestern regions of
The Meteorological department has forecast a southwestern monsoon to
make landfall in Thailand between June 17-21, causing heavy rainfall in
Relaying the Prime Minster’s message, the deputy spokesperson said the
premiere is truly concerned with residents in risk-prone areas, and has
given orders to local agencies and the military to aid those affected as
swiftly as possible.
The local disaster prevention and mitigation agencies put on high alert
are in the provinces of Pathum Thani, Suphan Buri, Prachinburi, Prachuap
Khiri Khan, Chanthaburi, Nonthaburi, Phuket, Nakhon Pathom,
Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Sa Kaeo, Samut Prakan, Chonburi, Rayong, Trat,
Phetchaburi, Ranong, Phang Nga, Krabi, Trang and Bangkok.
FPO:Low tax collection drags down state revenue
BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) The Fiscal Policy Office
(FPO) has reported that the government missed its revenue target for the
first eight months of the fiscal year due to disappointing tax
According to FPO Director Kritsada Jinavijarana, the amount of state
revenue collected between October 2014 and May 2015 was recorded at 1.37
trillion baht, lower than the target by 56.5 billion baht or 4 percent.
The figure, however, represented an increase from the same period of
last year by 1.1 percent.
The Director attributed the missed revenue target to several tax-related
factors, elaborating that the amount of corporate income tax collected
was affected by the economic slowdown while value-added tax and income
tax on petroleum were unsatisfactory due to the downtrend of crude oil
prices. Moreover, car excise tax collection remained sluggish as the
demand for vehicles had not recovered. Import tariff was also down as a
result of the tariff reduction measure aimed at boosting the
During the eight-month period, the Revenue Department could collect 1.02
trillion baht and the Customs Department 76.9 billion baht, missing
their targets by 10.1 percent and 5.9 percent respectively. The Excise
Department, on the other hand, managed to bring in 295 billion baht, 4
percent higher than targeted.
Mr Kritsada affirmed that the total revenue, though disappointing, was
still within the Finance Ministry’s expectation. He said the ministry is
now striving to find measures to manage state revenue collection more
effectively in a bid to meet the annual target while ensuring that no
extra burden is put on the general public and the business sector at the
Government to support agricultural cooperatives
BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) Agriculture and
Cooperatives Minister Pitipong Puengboon Na Ayutthaya has insisted that
the government continues to back agricultural cooperatives.
The Cooperative Promotion Department has launched a new program that is
aimed at strengthening the cooperative system in the country.
A new learning center has also been established to educate and inform
cooperative members about how to successfully manage the 210
cooperatives in the country.
Mr. Pitipong added that under the policy, the government will focus on
promoting fair treatment among members, solving agricultural debt,
enhancing their competitiveness and establishing a farmer’s market in
every province that is connected to a cooperative market.
The minister stated that agricultural cooperatives have remained stable,
citing non-performing loans at present are holding below 4 percent.
Private sector supports govt in tackling IUU fishing and human trafficking
BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) Private companies in the
fishing industry have expressed their support for government efforts to
eradicate illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing and human
Deputy Chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce Poj Aramwattananont as
well as six representatives from fishing associations and Charoen
Pokphand Foods have announced their determination to support government
policy to tackle IUU fishing and human trafficking under law.
Under the agreement, they will not purchase seafood and will terminate
buying contracts with suppliers found to have violated human rights or
the Fisheries Act 2015.
Dr. Poj assured that the issues surrounding IUU fishing and human
trafficking have not affected the export of seafood from Thailand.
However, these issues have shed a negative light on the nation.
However, he added that there remained some private companies that did
not support the government’s efforts. The Deputy Chairman said that he
believed the European Union and the United States will develop a more
positive outlook towards Thailand and its ranking on the Human
Trafficking Watch List will improve.
Flood prevention plan reinforced in Bang Kapi business district
BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) The Office of Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is quickly trying to reinforce the
flood prevention system the Bang Kapi business district.
Bangkok Governor M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra has recently inspected the
drainage system at Khlong Lam Phang Phuai. The system is responsible for
alleviating flooding on roads in Wang Thong Lang, Lat Phrao, Bueng Kum,
and Bang Kapi districts.
Meanwhile, BMA Deputy Permanent Secretary Attaporn Suwattanadeja has
traveled to Dusit district and its surrounding areas to observe the
flood prevention operation, as the area is considered high risk for
BMA officials have been instructed to respond to any flooding situation
within 24 hours. Deputy Army Spokesperson Colonel Sirichan Ngathong said
the army will be ready to dispatch troops alongside BMA officers to
assist people affected by inundation in the capital and its vicinity.
Prachinburi holds disaster prevention drill
PRACHINBURI, 17 June 2015, (NNT) Prachinburi province
yesterday held a disaster drill, preparing officials and local residents
for any possible emergency in the future.
The event was presided over by the provincial Public Health Office chief
and the Vice Governor. The exercise simulated building collapse, fire,
and chemical spills. It was held at the SSDC (Tigertex) Co. Ltd.
building in Sahaphat Industrial Estate of Kabinburi District, with the
participation of the company's management and staff.
The drill yesterday aimed at preparing related officials for worst case
scenarios, familiarizing them with related equipment, and responding
appropriately to each disaster case. The practice also helped prepare
factory workers for evacuation in cases of emergency.
Participating officials are expected to develop a deeper understanding
about search and rescue operations in the event of a fire or chemical
Low rice prices may force millers to shutdown operations
BANGKOK, 17 June 2015, (NNT) Thai Rice Mill
Association President Manus Kitprasert has expressed concern that the
prolonged low rice price in Thailand could force many rice mill
operators to exit the market.
Mr. Manus also predicted that the 3rd round of government rice auctions,
which would be held soon, is unlikely to attract the attention of
entrepreneurs. He attributed the low demand for rice as the main reason
behind the low price, despite a 30-50 percent reduced harvest caused by
Of more than 100 rice mill operators affected by the low rice price
issue, several have been forced to shut down operations.
Currently, the price of 15 percent water content rice is in the range of
7,500 - 7,700 baht per ton, down from the previous 8,000 - 8,500 baht
per ton. Farmers' average selling price is around 6,700 - 7,000 baht per
Min of Agriculture and Cooperatives only allows rice to be grown on 3.4 million rai for now
BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of
Agriculture and Cooperatives has advised farmers that the irrigated
water supply to over 3.4 million rai of rice paddies won't be affected
by the decision to reduce the amount of water released from four major
The Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Pitipong Puengboon Na
Ayutthaya said many farmers who have not yet begun to grow rice have
been asked to postpone their rice planting until the end of July.
The Royal Irrigation Department had decided to lower the amount of water
released into the irrigation system by half two days earlier. There is a
total of 7.4 million rai of farmland in 22 provinces which receive an
irrigated water supply from the Chao Praya River.
Around four million rai will have to wait until there is enough rain at
the end of next month to grow rice. The Minister said the remaining
farmers need to be aware of the current situation and follow the advice
The Department of Royal Artificial Rain-making and Agricultural Aviation
has been advised to monitor the weather conditions. It will then be
ready to launch a rain making operation to increase the water levels in
the dams whenever needed.
NRC endorses draft bill on town and country planning and use of space
BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) The National Reform
Council (NRC) has endorsed the draft bill on town and country planning
and use of space, with the intention of benefiting economic development
in the long-run.
The NRC convened on Tuesday and endorsed the draft law on urban
planning, and a draft bill detailing adjustments to ministries and
departments for the purpose of ensuring that town and country planning
and utilization of space proceeds in the same direction. The latter bill
calls for the establishment of a town and country planning policy
committee, to be chaired by the prime minister. The committee will also
issue urban planning policies aimed at sustainable and optimal
development of available land, with the ultimate purpose of benefiting
the economy in the long-term.
Most members of the NRC approved of the draft bills. Some members also
recommended a revision to stipulations that call for members of the town
and country planning policy committee to become officials of the Prime
Minister's Office. They also asked for the agendas of border area
development and border area special economic zones to be included in the
Credit card spending continues to expand despite sluggish economy
BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) Credit card spending
continues to expand despite the slugging economic recovery, according to
Krungthai Card Public Company Limited (KTC).
According to Natchanan Kengluecha, KTC's executive vice president for
distribution business, since the beginning of the year, monthly spending
through KTC cards has increased from an average of close to 6,000 baht
per month per customer to some 8,000 baht per month per customer. The
11% expansion was higher than the 8% average increase within the credit
cards industry. This was despite the fact that less leniency is now
involved in the approval process for new credit cards, due to the high
level of household debt and heightened overall debt shouldered by
Ms. Natchanan indicated that non-performing loans at KTC stood at 2.4%,
1.6% of which could be attributed to credit cards and the rest was
attributable to personal loans. The figures were lower than industry
For the latter half of 2015, KTC will emphasize the expansion of its
customer bases in major cities up-country as well as in areas of
economic significance along the border. The target is to acquire another
Novel sales methods employed by lottery ticket sellers amid crackdown on overpricing
BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 (NNT) Amid the government's
crackdown on overpriced lottery tickets, several novel sales promoting
methods were employed by lottery ticket sellers on the day of the
lottery draw on Tuesday.
In Chiang Mai, each lottery ticket stall had a clear sign indicating an
80 baht price for each ticket. Some sellers were giving out to buyers
one egg per each ticket purchased, while other sellers promised to buy
back tickets after the draw for two baht each.
In Sukhothai's downtown area, many people were buying tickets ahead of
the afternoon draw. A huge throng of people gathered around the stall of
a seller who was selling at just 75 baht a ticket, under the condition
that buyers pick their tickets randomly from a bowl.
In Uthai Thani and Yala, most sellers were found to be in compliance of
the 80 baht per ticket policy. However, many reportedly were unable to
sell tickets with undesirable numbers. Some resorted to offering
discount on such tickets, to avoid incurring leftover tickets before the
Cabinet nods to draft Nay Pyi Taw Declaration
BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The Cabinet has given the
green light to the draft Nay Pyi Taw Declaration of the Ayeyawady-Chao
Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS).
Following the Cabinet meeting, Deputy Government Spokesperson Maj Gen
Weerachon Sukontapatipak revealed that approval has been granted to the
draft Nay Pyi Taw Declaration and the draft ACMECS Action Plan for
2016-2018. The two documents are scheduled to be signed by member states
at the 6th ACMECS Summit in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar this June 22 and 23.
The signing will result in the enhancement of members’ cooperation in
eight areas, namely trade and investment, agriculture, industry and
energy, transport connectivity, tourism, human resources development,
public health and environment.
ACMECS is a regional political, economic and cultural organization
comprised of five member states located along the Ayeyawady, Chao Phraya
and Mekong Rivers, which are Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and
NLA to visit Loey & Udon Thani on Jun 20-21
BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The National Legislative
Assembly (NLA) will visit Loei and Udon Thani provinces on June 20-21 to
study their plans to expand its airport as a regional customs and
The event was planned by the Secretariat of the Senate, which also
intends on developing a customs and bypass route in Loei, as well as
addressing traffic problems in Udon Thani.
The Secretariat has invited the residents of both provinces to a public
hearing, in order for the NLA to take stakeholder opinions into
Dept of Disease Control issues travel guidelines in response to MERS
BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The Department of Disease
Control has invited agencies in the tourism sector to discuss the
prevention of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus
(MERS-CoV) and has issued travel guidelines for citizens traveling
The Secretary-General of the Disease Control Department Sophon Mekthon
noted the large number of Thai Muslims making the Hajj pilgrimage to
Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Mr Sophon urged those traveling abroad to adhere
to the department’s guidelines of disease prevention.
The guidelines urge travelers to refrain from drinking camel milk or
coming into contact with wild animals and humans with respiratory
illnesses, and to adhere to local health regulations and seek medical
attention immediately after returning from high-risk areas.
Mr Sophon said his department will take preventive measures by
vaccinating those who will undertake the pilgrimage.
Meanwhile, the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) has revealed
that a number of Thai travelers have canceled their planned trips to
South Korea. However, South Korean tourists will continue to travel to
Thailand as usual. The ATTA has therefore called on related tour
companies to strictly screen their incoming customers.
Korat to build 30m baht bike lane
NAKHON RATCHASIMA, 16 June 2015 (NNT) Nakhon
Ratchasima Province is planning to construct bicycle lanes to promote
eco-tourism, said governor in a conference.
The Governor of Nakhon Ratchasima Thongchai Lueadul today presided over
the conference detailing the construction project of bicycle lanes
unveiling the project’s background and design ideas, allowing related
agencies to send in feedback, comments and suggestions on the project.
The 30 million baht 10.1 kilometre bicycle lane project will connect
tourism attractions in Nakhon Ratchasima Province such as the Nakhon
Ratchasima Zoo and the Korat Fossil Museum, as well as connecting to the
tourism attractions in Wang Nam Khiao District.
The bicycle lane project is proposed to be located along the right side
of Highway No. 304 Don Khwang - Pho Klang on the section between the 286
833 milestone and the 296 940 milestone. It will promote exercise and
tourism on bicycles, provide safety for cyclist and prevent bicycle
accidents, reduce pollution, reduce oil consumption, and promote
Governor checks water drainage capability in eastern Bangkok
BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The Governor of Bangkok is checking the
drainage capacity of the water pumps and central canal in Bang Kapi
district in Bangkok today, while requesting each districts to perform
garbage cleanup every Sundays.
The Governor of Bangkok, Sukhumbhand Paribatra and executives of the
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) today checked the Khlong Lam
Phang Phuai Canal water pump station in Soi Ladprao 101, Bang Kapi
The Governor said that the area in Soi Ladprao 101 is considered
flood-prone as it is a low area, while the only water drainage canal
serving the area is equipped to sustain inundations during heavy
rainfalls. Therefore, the BMA has addressed this issue by constructing a
water pump station to facilitate the drainage of excess water.
The Khlong Lam Phang Phuai Canal water pump station is capable of
draining eight cubic meters of water per second, and is one of fifteen
water drainage development projects in Bangkok. The Khlong Lam Phang
Phuai Canal water pump station serves the 100 square meter area that
covers the Wangthonglang District, Ladprao District, Bueng Kum District,
and Bang Kapi District.
The governor also said that he has appointed all district chiefs to
oversee the collection of discarded garbage every Sunday, with a special
assistance request extended to the residents of communities residing
next to canals and rivers.
The 2.5 kilometer long Khlong Lam Phang Phuai Canal is connected to the
Bueng Lam Phang Phuai Lake that is a retention basin, capable of holding
200,000 to 403,970 cubic meters of water, before it is released into the
Chao Phraya River through canals and drainage tunnels.
Seismological Bureau visits Chiang Rai to provide local networks with earthquake information
CHIANG RAI, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The Seismological
Bureau of the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) has paid a visit to
Chiang Rai province to educate locals and build disaster response
networks, especially for earthquakes.
TMD Deputy Director Putchapong Nodthaisong presided over the opening
ceremony of a training session for earthquake preparedness.
The event was attended by operators of the Northern Meteorological
Center, meteorological stations in earthquake-prone areas, and the
provincial disaster prevention and mitigation office, as well as members
of the press.
The training session aimed to build a network of cooperation on
earthquake response and preparation. The public was urged to develop
skills pertaining to damage estimation and to follow news reports
closely during a crisis.
Mr. Putchapong said that despite Thailand being a low-risk country, it
is not completely safe from earthquake disasters. Quakes are considered
unpredictable compared to other kinds of natural disasters.
NRC to review its plan of action in its final two months
BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The National Reform
Council (NRC) has been discussing its plan of action, after an amendment
was introduced to disband the council once it votes on the new
The Cabinet recently submitted an amendment proposal to the 2014 interim
constitution stating the NRC must disband regardless of its verdict on
the new constitution. This leaves the NRC with two months to do its
Due to this change, NRC Chairman Thienchay Kirananda said NRC must
clearly define its goals and workflow leading up to its deadline.
He said the NRC still needs to deliberate approximately 30 reform laws,
but would realistically conclude only 15-20 bills. The remaining
proposals would need to be deliberated by the government, the National
Legislative Assembly and the new committee for the mobilization of
national reform agendas.
CDC Spokesman:denies influence of possible NRC veto on charter drafting
BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The Constitution
Drafting Committee (CDC) has said that rumors of
the National Reform Council (NRC) striking down
the draft constitution have not affected the
CDC spokesman Gen Lertrat Ratanavanich said it
is commonplace for differing viewpoints to be
expressed in a collaboration between several
people. Each individual is entitled to his or
her own opinion.
Gen Lertrat said it remains uncertain whether
the NRC will pass the revised draft charter,
adding that neither outcome would surprise him.
Regarding speculation that the reform body will
strike down the draft charter, the CDC spokesman
confirmed it would not bias the work of the
The CDC will soon convene a meeting to discuss a
possible revision of the 2014 interim
constitution, in order to extend the committee’s
term in office for another 30 days. The CDC
believes it would allow its members to complete
their mandate to draft a new constitution.
The spokesperson assured the public that the CDC
will be able to complete the drafting of organic
laws before the promulgation of the new
He declined to comment on the controversial
issue pertaining to the extension of the prime
minister’s term for another two years. However,
Gen Lertrat expressed his personal belief that
everyone has good intentions for this country
and that no one wants to stay in power for too
long, especially when peace and unity have been
MOU to promote quality farm produce on THAI Airways flights
BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Transport
has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of
Agriculture and Cooperatives on promoting local farm produce in the
meals offered on flights by THAI Airways.
Both Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Pitipong Puengboon Na
Ayutthaya and Transport Minister Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong
presided over the MOU signing ceremony.
The agreement was signed by the permanent secretaries of both
ministries. The MOU is aimed at promoting the quality of fresh food
produced and processed by Thai farmers, and featured in the meals served
to passengers on THAI Airways flights.
The airline will also serve as a marketing channel for farm products,
the quality of which has been verified by the Ministry of Agriculture
and Cooperatives. It is expected to generate interest among foreign
tourists and eventually encourage them to travel locally to visit fruit
and vegetable orchards.
The move is said to be in line with the government’s agricultural
tourism policy that is aimed at raising the living standard of the
Samut Songkhram municipality initiates garbage management campaigns
SAMUT SONGKHRAM, 16 June 2015, (NNT) Samut Songkhram
province unveiled garbage disposal plans for its Muang Municipality,
hoping to eliminate litter with cooperation from the public.
The municipality’s waste disposal campaigns include a program to trade
garbage for eggs, to exchange dangerous waste for discount credit, and
to hand out water treatment solutions.
These campaigns fall under the government's garbage disposal policy.
They address issues of increasing trash and inappropriate garbage
Muang Samut Songkhram has been promoting proper waste disposal practices
since 2008. The administration is currently handling 31 tons of garbage
daily. It pays a private company more than 10 million baht to deal with
the trash. Only 38.46 percent of its garbage can be recycled.
Udon Thani inspects its secondary employment program for farmers during dry season
UDON THANI, 16
June 2015, (NNT)
Udon Thani Vice
programs to help
local farmers in
a rice mill, and
million baht or
53 percent of
portion of which
is spent to hire
MFA to continue to assist Thai students detained in Pakistan
BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MFA) has said the Thai
government is doing its best to assist 5 Thai
students detained in Pakistan for allegedly
trying to bring a firearm onto the plane.
According to the MFA Permanent Secretary,
Norachit Singhaseni, the Thai embassy in the
Pakistani capital city of Islamabad has already
been in touch with the Thai students and the
Mr. Norachit said the MFA will continue to
follow the legal procedure in Pakistan and
provide whatever assistance they can for the
Thai students. He added that carrying a weapon
onto the airplane is illegal, with or without
ill intent, in Pakistan.
If they are to be tried in the court of law, the
MFA will retain a lawyer for them, too. The MFA
can only assure that they are well-treated as
stated by the law, while they remain under the
Tak Primary Educational Service Area Office 2 vow to help first graders to read and write
TAK, 16 June 2015, (NNT) Tak Primary Educational
Service Area Office 2 yesterday held a teacher
seminar, discussing the result of the Brain
Based Learning (BBL) techniques among the 1,000
teachers and school board members attending the
BBL refers to teaching methods, lesson designs,
and school programs that are based on the latest
scientific research on how the brain learns.
Recent discoveries in cognitive science have
revealed that the human brain physically changes
when it learns, and that after practicing
certain skills, it becomes increasingly easier
to continue learning.
Earlier the Office of Basic Education Commission
(OBEC) has set a goal to help all first graders
in the area learn to read and write within a
year through the use of Digital Learning and
Teaching Victoria (DLTV), Digital Learning and
Instructional Technology (DLIT), and the BBL
The attendees are expected to be able to
implement the technique on their first grade
students, helping them to read and write, in
accordance with the OBEC’s policy.
CDC’s spokesman calls for reform of electoral system
BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The spokesman of the
Constitution Drafting Committee has suggested
that the National Reform Council should
introduce the reform of the country’s electoral
Gen. Lertrat Ratanavanich, spokesman of the CDC
and member of the NRC, on Monday joined in a
debate over the report from the reform council’s
political reform committee.
Gen. Lertrat said that the reform of the
electoral system must start with the composition
of the Election Commission, which should
comprise 13 members who represent different
He added that there should be more efforts to
encourage more public participation, which is
essential for the future success of Thai
politics, given the people are always the heart
of the political reform.
Gen. Lertrat’s opinions were in line with that
of his fellow NRC member, Sungsidh
Piriyarangsan, who added that any organization
tasked with the investigation of political
agencies and office holders must be really
independent and free from intervention.
PTT to allow handicapped lottery ticket sellers to sell in petrol stations
BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The Government Lottery Office (GLO)
has signed an agreement with PTT Plc. for the latter to allow
lottery ticket vendors to sell tickets in PTT petrol stations
without having to pay rent.
According to the agreement, eligible sellers will be selected by
the governor of each province, with priority being given to the
handicapped and small sellers. The scheme will be implemented
for one year, after which an evaluation will be carried out.
Major General Aphirat Khongsomphong, chairman of the GLO's
board, expressed confidence that current measures to ensure the
sale of lottery tickets at 80 baht will be successful. He said
60-70% of lottery tickets sellers have been selling them at 80
baht per ticket. In addition to fining sellers that violate the
80 baht price policy, authorities are also tracing the
overpriced lottery tickets to lottery wholesalers who are mainly
responsible for the overpricing.
Provincial governors asked to encourage people to save water
BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 (NNT) The government is seeking public
cooperation in conserving water during the current period, as
rainfall is still scarce and the amount of water held in
reservoirs continues to dwindle.
Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the deputy government
spokesman, revealed on Monday that all provincial governors have
been asked to encourage the public to conserve water, for their
own benefit. He indicated that water conservation was currently
needed in order to prevent disruptions to daily activities and
to preserve the available water reserve in reservoirs.
Farmers have been asked to delay the planting of water-intensive
crops until normal levels of rainfall return. According to Maj.
Gen. Sansern, most farmers have cooperated and switched to crops
that demanded less water. However, farmers who failed to follow
the recommendation of officials have begun to see damage to
their crops as a result of the lack of water.