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Yala Hospital ready to prevent MERS outbreak when Muslim pilgrims return from Saudi Arabia

BANGKOK, 24 June 2015 (NNT) - Yala Hospital has reportedly been equipped with facilities to prevent any potential outbreak of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) when Hajj pilgrims return from Saudi Arabia.

Yala Hospital Director Peerapong Paowanasutipaisit said thousands of Thai Muslims are expected to travel to Middle Eastern nations, where MERS originated, to attend the annual Hajj in August.

He added that they have been educated about the disease and how to protect themselves. Muslim pilgrims have also been registered with the hospital and have had health check ups prior to the pilgrimage.

They are encouraged to bring those displaying flu-like symptoms after returning from the religious journey in Saudi Arabia to the doctor immediately.

Thailand ready to host Thai-Indian JC meeting this Friday

BANGKOK, 24 June 2015 (NNT) - Thailand is gearing up to host the seventh Thai-Indian Joint Commission meeting this Friday to promote bilateral relations.

Deputy Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs Vitavas Srivihok said the first meeting on Friday will be held between high-ranking officials from both nations.

Foreign Minister General Thanasak Patimaprakorn and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj will join the second meeting next Monday.

Both parties will discuss bilateral cooperation regarding politics, national security and social issues. They are also expected to forge new bilateral agreements and address any pending issues.

DLPW to get tough with operators still involved in illegal fishery

BANGKOK, 24 June 2015 (NNT) - The Department of Labor Protection and Welfare (DLPW) has expressed readiness to impose maximum penalties on operators still involved in illegal fishing, following a tough crackdown which began earlier this year.

DLPW chief Peerapat Pornsirilertkit says the DLPW has given an ultimatum to all operators in the fishing industry to cease Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing by June 30. Those found in violation of IUU fishing will face harsh legal action, starting from July 1.

Earlier this year, the DLPW and related agencies actively mobilized units to inspect fishing operators’ use of labor and crew working conditions in the Gulf of Thailand. The crackdown is part of government policy to resolve the IUU fishing within six months.

The DLPW reported that the most frequent issues included incomplete employment contracts, refusal to register foreign workers, and Thai workers refusing to carry their ID cards. Inspections have yet to discover child labor.

Operators found in violation of fishing and labor regulations were first given warnings. Tougher penalties will be imposed on repeat offenders and those refusing to comply after the aforementioned deadline. Harsh enforcement of the fisheries industry is intended to salvage the country’s image with the European Union and other importers of Thai seafood.

BOI's new policy attracts more foreign investors this year

BANGKOK, 24 June 2015 (NNT) - The Board of Investment Thailand (BOI) said its new investment policy has attracted more investors to industries that employ advanced technology.

BOI Acting Secretary General Hiranya Sujinai said more investors have submitted applications for investment promotion in 300 projects during the first five months of this year.

Mrs. Hiranya said these applications were mostly related to industries that either promote digital economy, scientific innovation or agricultural products. They are worth as much as 48 billion baht in total.

The majority of investors are from Japan, followed by those from Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The BOI will organize a seminar entitled ‘Thailand a Regional Trading and Modern Industry Hub’ at CentralWorld at the end of this month.

The event is aimed at raising awareness of BOI incentives for foreign investors. At least 700 domestic and foreign investors have expressed interest in joining the seminar next week.

A meeting on tourism and sports during AEC held in Bangkok

BANGKOK, 24 June 2015, (NNT) - A meeting on developing tourism and sports in the era of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) has been held in Bangkok.

The event was held at Mandarin Hotel by the Foundation for International Human Resource Development (FIHRD) and Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University. Deputy Permanent Secretary of Tourism and Sports Kajorn Weerajai and FIHRD Secretary-General Jira Hongladarom presided over the forum.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the public, private, and education sectors related to tourism and sports affairs.

The program was expected to demonstrate to participants the direction the nation is taking regarding tourism and sports development for the approaching AEC. Meeting results will be used as guidelines to improve the sector in the long run.

Lamphun Province establishes a new drug rehab center

LAMPHUN, 24 June 2015 (NNT) - The northern province of Lamphun has established a new drug rehabilitation center, in compliance with the government’s drug eradication policy.

Lamphun Governor Narong Onsa-ard reported that from May - June this year, officials had arrested 46 people in drug-related offences, 17 of whom were apprehended for drug possession, and 12 for taking drugs. He said the majority of the offenders are in the districts of Muang Lamphun, Mae Tha, Li and Pa Sang.

According to the provincial administration’s record, out of the 98 drug addicts undertaking a recent rehabilitation program, 72 successfully quit their addiction, 7 experienced relapse, 4 unaccounted for, and one arrested for the drug related crime.

The province plans to recruit 100 drug addicts into a new rehabilitation program next month, hoping to purify their body and mind and eventually reintegrate them back into the society.

JSCCIB to adjust GDP growth forecast next month

BANGKOK, 24 June 2015, (NNT) - The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry, and Banking (JSCCIB) is set to adjust its projection for this year’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate next month. Meanwhile, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) believes the local economy would not be affected by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s benchmark rate hike or Greece’s extended debt payment deadline.

FTI Chairman Suphan Mongkulsuthee said the Thai baht is still strong, adding that Thailand currently has a public debt of only 40 percent of GDP. He is confident that the Kingdom’s economy will significantly improve from the third quarter onwards, as government investment projects take shape.

Mr. Suphan also voices his support for using the provincial economic situation to determine minimum wage, adding that the rate adjustment should be done on a province-by-province basis. The matter will be discussed at length in the next JSCCIB meeting, before submitting a proposal to the government for consideration.

Phetchaburi joins in ‘SME Provincial Champions’ campaign

PHETCHABURI, 25 June 2015 (NNT) - Phetchaburi Province in the central region has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) and the Ministry of Interior to jointly promote a campaign called ‘SME Provincial Champions’.

The government is promoting the campaign nationwide to create a network of industrial SME operators and empower the SME sector in each province. Interested industrial SME owners can apply for the program at the provincial Damrongtham Center. Under the ‘SME Provincial Champions’ program, each province will select three applicants qualified for comprehensive trainings for three groups of businesses namely a startup group, a rising star group and a group of turnaround operators.

The list of selected applicants will be announced on June 30. SME operators partaking in the program will learn more about business development and in-depth analysis of their businesses. They will be given training to achieve the results of the analysis they have made, and also training in marketing and public relations in both domestic and international markets.

Ranong officials meet on Burmese worker dwellings

RANONG, 24 June 2015, (NNT) - Ranong provincial administration yesterday held a meeting on reorganizing Burmese workers' dwellings in the area in line with the government’s policy to address illegal migrant labor issue.

According to a recent report, Ranong has 69,247 migrant workers living in the province as of March, 5,2015, the majority of whom, 50210, are from Myanmar. Of the number, 18,843 have been here illegally. The remaining are workers from other countries. These workers are scattered among 74 communities in Muang Ranong District.

The provincial administration office has planned to relocate all Burmese workers to two other areas in Muang District, which together can accommodate up to 32,000 workers. One of the zones is located in Bang Rin Sub-district and the other in Paknamtarua Sub-district.

Aside from providing living areas for the Burmese workers on both short-and long-term basis, Ranong is planning to develop the areas into the province’s new tourist attractions in future.

Chiang Rai hosts meeting on emergency medicine during disasters

CHIANG RAI24 June 2015 (NNT) – Chiang Rai province has played host to an international academic meeting on emergency medicine in aftermaths of disasters, as well as the first ASEAN-level charity competition for emergency patients.

According to Dr. Anuchar Sethasathien, secretary-general of the National Institute for Emergency Medicine (NIEM), the meeting in Chiang Rai has been held to bolster emergency medicine preparedness in the event of disasters on the international scale. Those at the meeting agreed to pursue a single-standard treatment of patients in times of disasters. The meeting reviewed each participant country's experiences in handling domestic disaster areas. Representatives at the meeting also agreed to foster a single-standard operational guideline in all countries.

Emergency response teams from Thailand and 10 other countries in the region will today compete against one another as part of emergency medicine training. Several skills for the aiding of patients will be tested under scenarios that include building collapse, chemical leakage and floods.

NRC approves report on national strategies and related draft law

BANGKOK, 24 June 2015 (NNT) - The National Reform Council has approved a report related to the formulation of national strategies and a proposal on a related draft law.

During its main meeting on Tuesday, the NRC considered a report from the public administration committee which involves the formulation of national strategies a draft National Strategies Act.

The NRC voted 201 to three, with five abstentions, to approve the report and voted 190 to eight, with 11 abstentions, to approve the draft law.

Chairman of the committee in charge of the formulation of national strategies Thirayuth Lorlertratna told the meeting that the strategies which will be planned are intended to help move Thailand towards the status of a developed country, through more concrete implementation of strategies and clear cut goals.

Concerning the draft National Strategies Act, Mr. Thirayuth said that it will be a mechanism that helps integrate the efforts of all parties to drive forward the country’s vision of progress over the next 20 years, with the national interest at the center of all endeavors.

First NLA deliberation of impeachment motion against 248 former MPs on June 26

BANGKOK, 24 June 2015 (NNT) - The National Legislative Assembly is scheduled to hold its first deliberation on the impeachment motion against hundreds of former members of parliament, on Friday.

Spokesman, the NLA whip Jate Sirataranont said that the reform council has set an agenda for June 26 to start the deliberation of the impeachment motion of 248 former MPs who were allegedly involved in the illegal amendment of the previous Constitution.

Mr. Jate said that the session on Friday will be the first in this case and will allow all the accused to submit more documents and a list of additional witnesses.

He added that, after the first session, the NLA will schedule a date for the opening statement which will likely be during July 15 and 17.

The NLA whip said that the legislature has not yet been informed who among the 248 former MPs will be delivering the opening statement or if there will be any requisition for additional evidence or witnesses.

NRC’s public health reform committee accepts proposals on Thailand’s herbal medicine development

BANGKOK, 24 June 2015 (NNT) - A committee under the National Reform Council, which is in charge of the reform of public health has accepted a set of proposals on strategies for the development of the country’s herbal medicine therapies.

On Tuesday, the Chairwoman of the NRC’s public health reform committee Pornpan Punyaratabandhu, met with the President of the Pharmacy Council of Thailand Kitti Pitaknitinan who also represents the Abhaiphubet Chaopraya Hospital Foundation.

The two discussed the role of pharmacists in the development of Thai herbal medicines and the significant position of these specialists in helping produce high quality, effective and safe medicines while linking the practice of modern medicine with that of traditional medicine.

Mr. Kitti stated that he has come up with five strategies to help ensure the success of Thai herbal medicine, which involve the national herbal medicine policy, the pharmaceutical industry and its manufacturing of herbal products, the development of related knowledge, the safe use of herbal medicine and the development of well qualified personnel.

Ms. Pornpan noted that all information presented to her is important and will be utilized in the reform of the country’s public health system.

Women’s network calls on NLA to help troubled debtors

BANGKOK, 24 June 2015 (NNT) - A group of women activists has called on the National Legislative Assembly to help many troubled debtors across the country.

The Chairwoman of the NLA’s subcommittee on women’s affairs Suwannee Sirivejchapun, on Tuesday accepted a letter from the Network of Poo-Ying Plod-Nee Mee-Suk, which translates as “happy, debt-free women”, and the Supa Wongsaena Foundation for Debtors Rights Reform.

In the letter, both groups asked the NLA to push for more action by state agencies that are able to intervene in correcting any injustice faced by debtors, while protecting their rights.

The groups said that there remain a number of people who borrowed funds but became deeply indebted after various setbacks, such as problems caused by the 1997 Economic Crisis, unfair interest rates charged by private lenders and the demands of the informal loans system.

They said that these circumstances have forced many borrowers to pay more interest than the law allows.

Ms. Suwannee agreed to accept the petition and to pass it on to the relevant committees, while noting that both groups may be called on to provide more information about these problems.

Activists seek new independent organization to protect consumers under new charter

BANGKOK, 24 June 2015 (NNT) - A group of consumer activists have called on the Constitution Drafting Committee to include in the new charter an independent body to protect Thai consumers.

On Tuesday, CDC Chairman Borwornsak Uwanno met with representatives from a group of consumers who have had adverse experiences when using goods and services.

The group has submitted a letter to Mr. Borwornsak asking for a provision in the draft Constitution that authorizes the setting up of a new independent organization tasked with the protection of consumers and related matters of reform.

The petition followed a suggestion from the Cabinet to remove such a stipulation from the draft charter.

Mr. Borwornsak said that consideration of the group’s petition will have to wait for the CDC’s deliberation of all proposed changes submitted by various groups, to be completed first.

The CDC Chairman added that he had not previously heard of the Cabinet’s suggested removal of the clause related to the setting up of a new consumer group.

Tropical storm to bring rain in Northeast

BANGKOK, 23 June 2015 (NNT) - The Meteorological Department of Thailand announced that tropical storm Kujira is forecasted to move across China's Hainan Island and enter southern China by Tuesday.

This would result in more rain in the eastern part of Thailand's northeastern region this week.

The department warned people planning to travel to southern China the check weather forecasts first.

Ships in the Andaman Sea and the upper Gulf of Thailand should proceed with caution as waves remain strong there at this time.

Minister- Water conservation measures needed

BANGKOK, 23 June 2015 (NNT) - Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Pitipong Phuengboon Na Ayudhaya warned that the country's water supply continues to drop, and said measures to control the use of water are important.

Mr Pitipong on Tuesday said people have to be instructed to help save more water and irrigation must be made more efficient.

He said water shortage was severe in the Chao Phraya river basin, an area containing about four million rai of farmland. Any further rice planting must be postponed in the area.

The minister added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is holding talks with neighbouring countries for permission to source water from the Salween and Mekong rivers to supply reservoirs in the West and Northeast. The levels of two border rivers remained high enough, he said.

Interior Minister rushes state assistances to drought affected people

BANGKOK, 23 June 2015 (NNT) - Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda has expedited assistance measures for people in the drought affected areas to ensure enough water for public demand. Drilling new groundwater wells is one prospective measure for areas facing critical water shortage.

The Minister has assigned all local authorities to provide nationwide data of current water situation and prediction of future needs of water. They should draw up additional response plan in case of water crisis. All assistance measures will be finalized at the economic cabinet meeting on Wednesday 24 June.

Meanwhile, provincial governors have been ordered to clarify actual situation of water in particular areas after water controversies occurred in some areas.

PM attends 6th ACMECS summit, pushes for more connectivity ahead of AEC

BANGKOK, 23 June 2015 (NNT) - The Prime Minister attended the 6th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) summit in Naypyidaw, Myanmar to meet with other heads of state and discuss cooperation within the ACMECS framework and in the future.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said that Thailand has made great strides to adjust its rules and regulations to work seamlessly with ACMECS member nations. He added that the success of ACMECS sets the pace for the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community.

The Prime Minister pushed for greater cooperation in developing the region as an ASEAN stronghold and increasing connectivity within the region and to the rest of the world. The Thai government has invested in transport infrastructure to link member nations and brokered agreements for cross-border cooperation and regulatory integration between various countries.

General Prayut announced that Thailand will move forward with ACMECS member nations to join the ASEAN Economic Community and unite as a regional production base. Thailand is a signatory of the “Nay Pyi Taw Declaration on Realisation of the ASEAN Community by 2015,” and the ACMECS Plan of Action 2016-2018. The ACMECS action plan commits member countries to enhancing production as a regional unit.

The Premier said he saw the summit as an opportunity for each leader to brief one another on their country’s progress and work together to achieve tangible results within a clear timeframe.

1st ASEAN Disaster Medical Rally held in Chiang Rai during 22-25 Jun

CHIANG RAI, 23 June 2015 (NNT) - The1st “ASEAN Disaster Medical Rally: Together We Will Survive” is being held during 22-25 June in Thailand’s northernmost province of Chiang Rai. It is jointly organized by Chiang Rai Provincial Public Health Office, Ministry of Public Health, and the National Institute for Emergency Medicine.

The rally was officially opened on Tuesday by Mr. Bhichit Rattakul, Emergency Medical Committee member and Chairman of the Sub-committee on Emergency Medical System in Disaster Situation.

Bhichit said that main objectives are to enhance cooperation, build partnerships and collaborative network among national and international public health organizations in particular the ASEAN member states.

“At the rally, all participants can develop knowledge of disaster preparedness and emergency response and learn mutual experiences from local and international teams,” he continued.

Over 350 doctors, nurses, paramedics and EMT from Thailand and ASEAN countries as well as Japan are scheduled to attend a field training session on 24 June at two sites, one at Chiang Rai Rajabhat University and the other at the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Regional Center Region 15.

The field session will feature training on Emergency Medical Systems (EMS), line of command in emergency situation, field hospital management, water rescues, building collapse, and chemical spills.

Gasohol prices reduced by 40 satang from tomorrow onward

BANGKOK, 23 June 2015 (NNT) - PTT Pcl and Bangchak Petroluem Pcl will lower the prices of all types of gasohol, by 40 satang per liter tomorrow from 05.00 hrs onward.

All gasohol sold by both companies will be sold for 40 satang cheaper, except for gasohol E85 which will only be reduced by 20 satang.

The prices of Benzene 95 will be 35.66 baht per liter, gasohol-95 29.50 baht per liter, and gasohol-91 28.68 baht per liter. Meanwhile, E20 will be 27.28 baht per liter, E85 23.38 baht per liter and diesel 25.59 baht per liter.

World Day Against Illicit Drugs: what about Thailand? (SCOOP)

Today is the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1987 to encourage the whole world to place more importance on controlling the illicit drugs problem. Drugs in Thailand are still a major concern, even though large-scale illegal shipments are often seized by authorities. INTERVIEW VOICE OVER According to the Office of the Narcotics Control Board, Thailand is the frequent destination of shipments from neighboring countries. Illicit drugs are mostly seized at border crossings, especially in the the North where smuggling accounts for around 61% of all cases, with the North east at 25.5% and 13 % in the Central part of Thailand Most cases occur in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, two provinces located close to manufacturing bases in Myanmar, including the Sangkhlaburi district of Kanchanaburi where drug smuggling cases are prevalent. Meanwhile drug precursors and related chemicals used in drugs are also sent to Thailand before being forwarded to production sites in other countries Ethnic minorities and individual women play a role in drug smuggling, often working as agents who negotiate with ringleaders of the trade in neighboring countries While recently, the involvement of some state officials has also been uncovered INTERVIEW Amphetamines are the most popular drug used by addicts receiving treatment; according to the statistics, Amphetamines account for 76.2%, Marijuana 6.2%, Heroin 4.4% and 4.1 % for Methamphetamines, of the drugs in widespread use. While the strict control of drugs may be the ultimate solution, the role of social institutions here is equally important, especially family institutions to address the causes of this debilitating social issue.

FPO says Mers situation in Thailand is under control

BANGKOK, 23 June 2015 (NNT)-The Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) has expressed the view that Thailand will be able to prevent an outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) in this country.

The FPO claims that the ability to control the deadly disease is higher now compared to the Sars epidemic in 2002, as essential information is shared faster worldwide.

Prevention measures are implemented more quickly and more effectively at present. All international airports in Thailand have checkpoints where arriving passengers from Middle Eastern nations and South Korea can be checked for any signs of sickness.

The Ministry of Public Health has also established quarantine and special care systems for those infected with Mers, following the World Health Organization (WHO)’s advice.

The WHO has also praised Thailand for its excellent measures to deal with the infection risk. No country has issued a travel advisory against coming to Thailand, like Hong Kong has in relation to South Korea.

Foreign Minister attending ACMECS to promote regional cooperation

BANGKOK, 23 June 2015 (NNT)-Foreign Minister General Thanasak Patimapakorn has attended the 6th Ayeyawady – Chao Phraya – Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) in Myanmar to promote regional bilateral relations.

Representatives of Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar also participated in the event, during which the Thai Foreign Minister told the ACMECS members that Thailand was determined to promote cooperation in 4 major areas.

The cooperation included developing transportation link among member nations, accommodating foreign investments, boosting regional tourism, and promoting sustainable development in terms of disease control, public health, food security and human resource.

The ACMECS should aim to draw at least 50 million tourists to the region within this year, said the Thai foreign minister, adding that members' participation in the meeting will bring about prosperity to the region.

ONCB concludes 6th drug rehabilitation program

PHETCHABURI, 23 June 2015, (NNT) - The sixth drug rehabilitation program, organized at Wat Tham Kaeo in Mueang district of Phetchaburi province, came to a close yesterday. The campaign was held by the provincial administration office and the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB).

According to the latest study, the number of methamphetamine addicts in the Kingdom is the highest among ASEAN nations. The Phetchaburi administration urged its residents to seriously address the issue, saying the rehabilitation program is a small but right step towards a drug-free Thailand.

The ONCB had been working with various related units to adjust and improve rehabilitation programs by retaining successful techniques from previous campaigns. The new and improved rehabilitation program has been organized six times, with about 80 drug addicts admitted to each program. The sixth treatment program admitted 101 addicts.

Satun holds event commemorating World Drug Campaign 2015

SATUN, 23 June 2015, (NNT) - The southern province of Satun is holding an event today and tomorrow to commemorate International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The Satun provincial administration office said the United Nations in 1988 declared June 26 the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

However, Satun chose to hold the event earlier due to conflicts with a number of other activities in the province and issues associated with the month of Ramadan. The event is being held on June 23 - 24 at the province’s city hall.

Thailand had been observing the campaign annually since 1990.

The event aims to discourage youths from trying drugs and honors Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on the occasion of her 5th cycle.

Northern Peasant Federation submits open letter to PM, petitions govt assistance

CHIANG MAI, 23 June 2015, (NNT) - The Northern Peasant Federation (NPF) yesterday submitted an open letter to Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha asking for government assistance in forest conservation.

The NPF urged officials to quickly address forest area encroachment, pushing for public participation in related draft legislation.

The letter specifically calls for the current administration to reexamine the controversial Cabinet resolution made on June 30, 1998. The resolution states that villagers living in forest areas before they were declared public property have the right to use the land. The 1998 resolution resulted in various ownership disputes. Many have contacted the authorities to take advantage of the resolution, since it came into force.

The letter also asks the Prime Minister to revoke the draft bill on Community Forest, saying it violates community rights under the constitution.

The final point the letter makes is a push for the implementation of the Community Land and Natural Resources Management Rights bill and the draft bill on land banks.

CRR holds third session of individual meetings with political figures to seek input

BANGKOK, 23 June 2015 (NNT) – The National Council for Peace and Order's Center for Reconciliation and Reform (CRR) carried out its third session of individual meetings with political figures on Monday, with the center's deputy director expressing satisfaction over the results of the talks.

According to the center's deputy director Lieutenant General Buntham Orit, a wide variety of opinions was expressed by the politicians and the leaders of political groups who attended the meetings, held at the Army Club in Bangkok. Objects of discussion included the draft permanent constitution, energy affairs and national reform. On the topic of energy, some of the political figures who met with CRR officials proposed establishing a national information center on energy.

Lt. Gen. Buntham indicated that those invited to Monday's session had provided the CRR with a well-rounded set of information and suggestions for the reform of the country. He asserted the meetings did not involve any threat or pressure on the political figures. Individuals knowledgeable in relevant affairs will continue to be invited to provide information to the CRR, in order to create correct understanding.

NCPO supporting government's water conservation effort

BANGKOK, 23 June 2015 (NNT) – The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) is supporting the water conservation effort of the government by helping raise awareness on the limited amount of available water and by encouraging farmers to make the switch from water intensive crops.

Colonel Sirichan Ngathong, deputy spokesperson of the NCPO, indicated after Monday's meeting of the NCPO secretariat that order-keeping forces acting under the NCPO continued to provide support to law enforcers in their work. Those at Monday's meeting discussed the immediate implementation of orders from the NCPO chief, General Prayut Chan-o-cha. Col. Sirichan said progress was being made on about 90% of the orders, which were based on the resolutions of recent Cabinet meetings.

According to the spokeswoman, the meeting of the secretariat also resolved to have NCPO units raise awareness of water conservation and the limited nature of water available. NCPO units will also help authorities encourage farmers to switch to crops that needed less water than rice.

Col. Sirichan said NCPO units will continue to support other urgent efforts being made by the government, such as collecting data on paddy farmers.

Three of Five Rivers agree on promoting National Savings Fund

BANGKOK, 23 June 2015 (NNT) – Three of the Five Rivers set up after the coup last May have agreed on the promotion of the National Savings Fund to tackle the issue of social inequality.

The Chairman of the National Reform Council’s committee on the reform of society, the community, children, youth, women, the elderly, the handicapped and the underprivileged, Amphon Jindawatthana on Monday addressed a press conference saying that the National Legislative Assembly has already accepted the council’s study on the implementation of all initiatives introduced under the National Savings Fund Act.

Mr. Amphon said that the NLA has resolved to green-light the suggested implementation after the re-activation of the National Savings Fund, which has been suspended for four years.

He stated that the approval was intended to help install a savings system among some 25 million members of Thailand’s labor force who still lack economic security.

In addition, the Cabinet has approved in principle related draft laws to support the re-activation of the National Savings Fund which it is hoped will offer economic security for the elderly while addressing the problem of social inequality and injustice as well as elevating the quality of life of the people, Mr. Amphon added.

Govt hopes its support to islamic affairs during Ramadan will be a step to sustainable peace in the South

BANGKOK, 22 June 2015 (NNT) - Deputy Defence Minister Gen Udomdej Sitabutr, also Commander-in-chief of the Thai Army, reiterated in the "Thailand Moves Forward" TV program that the government intends to support all islamic activities during Ramadan, expecting to make the holy month the begining of sustainable peace in the southern border provinces of Thailand.

In his televised speech, he said the government has set up a committee to work on the peace building under the king's strategy of "Understand, Reach out and Develop". The main objective is to reduce violence rate, to improve quality of life in the environment of multicultural society.

Series of successes in the government policies, he believed, would enable peace to happen in the region but more extensive local cooperations ramains needed.

Speaking consistently with the Army chief, Secretary-General of the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) Panu Uthairat claimed the deep-rooted violence has reduced considerably during the administration of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

During Ramadan, the SBPAC has not only facilitated religious activities of Thai Muslims but also launched numerous projects aimed at raising their safety and relieving them of hardship. Moreover, the SBPAC also takes part in facilitating Hajj pilgrims going to Saudi Arabia every year.

Fisheries associations voice concerns on illegal fishing eradication practicess

SAMUT SONGKHRAM, 22 June 2015 (NNT) – Ten fisheries association have participated in an urgent meeting to adapt the current illegal fishing eradication practices into a more practical approach.

The Department of Fisheries Director-General Joompol Sanguansin and the delegation from related agencies had joined in the meeting of 10 fisheries associations today, regarding the eradication of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Thailand.

At this meeting, the fisheries associations reported obstacles and impracticality in previous policies that were geared to solve the IUU fishing to authorities, and requested to adjust some policies to enhance practicality.

The associations had reported, that the policy demanding ships weighing over 30 tonnes to report their port-in and port-out information, has recently caused vessels with inaccurate licenses to be classified as illegal, preventing them from sailing and has affected the industry. The Command Center for Combating Illegal Fishing’s directive on compiling a population survey of vessel crews within 24 June 2015 has also proven to be impractical.

The associations had requested to extend the population survey period for an additional one month, and has requested for the authority to issue guidelines in amending the fishing vessel's licenses, for a more accurate portrayal of each vessel's information. Government agencies have also been asked to expedite their task of issuing relevant licenses on time, as the entire process has been subject to significant delays.

The Deputy President of the National Fisheries Association of Thailand of the 10 fisheries associations Mongkol Sukcharoenkana has said that if the request by the associations were not met within 1 July 2015, the associations will suspend all fishing activities of all fishing vessels nationwide until the matter is resolved.

Thailand has been issued with the yellow card warning by the European Union, regarding its IUU fishing practices, which has affected the industry causing damage worth hundred-thousands of billions baht of fishery products export. Thailand is currently the world's third largest fisheries exporter.

Thailand to further push Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex as a Natural World Heritage Site

BANGKOK, 22 June 2015 (NNT) – The MNRE Minister has revealed that Thailand is set to propose the development roadmap of the Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex to the World Heritage Committee's session next week in Bonn, Germany.

The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Gen Dapong Ratanasuwan has revealed that Thailand will be presenting the development plan and a management roadmap for the Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex to the 39th Session of the World Heritage Committee. This upcoming World Heritage session will be held in Bonn, Germany during 28 June - 8 July 2015.

He said that the roadmap aims to push the Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex to be acknowledged as the third Natural World Heritage Site in Thailand. The roadmap will contain solutions to land allocation problems and improvements to the livelihoods of ethnic groups residing in the area.

The solution for the issues in the Dong Phayayen - Khao Yai Forest Complex will also be presented to the session in order to prevent the forest complex from being placed on the the list of Endangered World Heritage Sites.

The MNRE Minister has stressed that Thailand needs to present the data that confirms solutions to the problems occurring in the forest area, such as the suppression of illegal deforestation and the illegal trade of Siamese Rosewood during 2014-2015, as well as relevant information on the suppression of illegal hunting activities in the area.

The roadmap will be presented as a reference for the committee’s consideration on whether to announce the Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex as a Natural World Heritage Site. All roadmap suggestions gathered from this upcoming session will be taken to improve the site, before presenting the developments to the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2016.

NRC’s public administration committee to propose new national strategies for draft charter

BANGKOK, 23 June 2015 (NNT) – The National Reform Council’s public administration committee is planning to propose a set of national strategies to be included in the draft charter in the hope of helping the country achieve sustainable development.

The Chairman of the NRC’s public administration committee Thirayuth Lorlertratna said on Monday that the committee will submit to the main council meeting a proposal to make a national reform strategy a part of the reform process which should be included in the draft Constitution.

Mr. Thirayuth said that such a move would enable the preparation of a master plan to guide the direction of the country’s development in many respects, whereas none of Thailand’s 19 previous charters ever included these details.

He stated that the provision means an organic law could be enacted and put into effect for 20 years, starting from the day a public hearing was held.

Mr. Thirayuth added that, with an academic analysis, a series of individual five-year development plans addressing different areas, including military security, politics and economics, could be implemented with the participation of all related parties.

He concluded that drawing up a clear framework for the preparation of national strategies and the implementation of all steps would effectively allow for the long-term planning of Thailand’s future.

NRC spokesman: Setting up a new council to drive the reform process, an initiative that needs further debate

BANGKOK, 23 June 2015 (NNT) – The spokesman of the National Reform Council maintains that a proposal to set up a new body to carry on the reform process is a new idea that needs further debate before implementation.

NRC spokesman Kamnoon Sidhisamarn said on Monday that the government’s proposal to amend the Provisional Constitution to disband the reform council and set up a new body tasked to drive forward national reform measures, is a new idea that has never been discussed before.

Mr. Kamnoon stated that such an idea needs to be worked through in order to make sure that it wouldn't overlap with a body already being established under the new Constitution; one that is still in the drafting process.

This is because the names of both councils are similar but the number of the members would increase from 120 to 200 while the term in office would likely be different, he added.

The NRC spokesman went on to say that the new council recently suggested by the government would likely stay in effect for one year or until a new government is founded, while the one already included in the draft charter is to have a five-year term.

MOAC suggests ongoing suspension of rain-fed rice cultivation

BANGKOK, 22 June 2015 (NNT) - Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Pitipong Puengbun na Ayuddhya has once again called for cooperation from farmers to suspend rice planting on two million rai of agricultural land until normal rainfall comes in July.

However, he said , the government will provide full assistance including irrigated water supply to about four million rai of land in the Chao Phraya Basin already filled with rice seedlings.

Mr.Pitipong emphasized that if the drought disaster remains stern or getting worse, the ministry suggested that farmers grow alternative short-lived plants which consume less water such as vegetables and corns. He also suggested livestock raising like laying hen breeding as another alternative for farmers in the drought-affected areas.

The minister said he would propose a package of measures to assist and support farmers during the drought disaster to the economic cabinet meeting next week.

MSDHS Minister explains ministry’s beggars and homeless regulations

BANGKOK, 22 June 2015 (NNT) – The Minister of Social Development and Human Security has detailed the ministry's efforts in solving the social issue of beggars and homelessness through a promotional campaign named ‘The Proper Ways of Giving’, urging the public to help donate.

The Minister of Social Development and Human Security Pol Gen Adul Sangsingkeo has explained the work of the ministry regarding the upcoming regulations of beggars in the Bangkok area. This is the fourth time the ministry is trying to solve the issue.

In this most recent operation, six beggars prevention and solving operation teams will be providing verification services and screening for the beggars through an ongoing operation. Beggars and the homeless will receive legal protection and mental rehabilitation services. This bout of operations is set to commence during 22-26 June 2015.

These operations have been carried out continuously three times before. Approximately 1,600 beggars have been enrolled into the rehabilitation program.

The MSDHS Minister added that all related agencies have been urged to provide an ongoing service to solve the beggars issue, through the promotion campaign named: ‘The Proper Ways of Giving’. This program encourages participation from all sectors to resolve this social issue properly.

He has also asked the public to make donations to the beggars and homeless at donation boxes placed at convenience stores, shopping centers, hospitals, temples, and particularly the 11 homeless shelters nationwide to support the rehabilitation program. These donations will be used to establish a starting fund for beggars and the homeless, allowing them to start their own careers and improve their quality of life.

On the issue of beggars, the MSHDS has established an operational center which will serve as a coordinating agency to regulate beggars. This operation center will also continue to work with other agencies to solve this matter.

Narathiwat finds no MERS case as the province is listed as area under close surveillance

NARATHIWAT, 22 June 2015 (NNT) Narathiwat, one of Thailand's border provinces on the list of areas requiring close surveillance against MERS outbreak, has not found any person infected with the deadly virus so far, and the situation remains normal, reported on Monday the Chief Medical Officer of Narathiwat.

Narathiwat has been put on the surveillance list as it is a border transit often used by those travelling from Saudi Arabia and South Korea. The Chief Medical Officer continued, "For public safety, health officials and medical volunteers are assigned to visit those people to follow up on their health conditions".

He has signed an order requiring all hospitals to clearly post a notice urging cooperation from their patients to inform doctors if they came back from risk countries. He said information on travel history would help doctors in their diagnosis for better and faster results.

Thai Muslims going on a Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia can proceed with their schedule as planned but must follow self-protection instructions during their trip, the chief medical officer said. Medical staff will travel with them to the country and will be on standby to take care of their health. Therefore, Thai Muslims can stay assured of the best treatment in case of illnesses.

MOPH holds daily MERS surveillance meeting

NONTHABURI, 22 June 2015 (NNT) Daily meetings of the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) continues to monitor the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) situation, while the HSS has urged private hospitals and clinics to follow common practices in coping with the MERS case.

The MOPH’s MERS surveillance daily meeting continues to assess the risk factor of the disease today, based on the epidemic information within Thailand and abroad. The meeting has established a team of academics to suggest relevant options and new measures to deal with future cases.

In the meeting today, the Bureau of Public Health Emergency Response has reported that 47 special patient rooms are now available at hospitals in Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan Province. The burea has also ordered Nakhon Phatom, Nonthaburi, Samut Sakhon, and Chachoengsao provinces to provide additional patient rooms and to establish an isolation criteria for inspection procedures, plan escape preventing measures, and assess the risks of current communication and management performances.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health Service Support (HSS) has today invited delegates from private clinics and hospitals in the Greater Bangkok Area for a meeting to determine the guidelines and practices which should be enacted to cope with the MERS case.

The HSS stated that hospitals should enforce strict screenings of patients, especially for persons traveling from country where the MERS disease has been confirmed. Hospitals equipped with low pressure isolation rooms should assume the role to treat these suspected MERS patents.

Hospitals are not allowed to decline the admittance of patients. Hospitals without adequate facilities are required to contact the MOPH for patient referring to contain the spread of the virus. The decision to refer a patient should be a shared responsibility between the patient and the related authorities.

More rains forecast for Thailand's Northeast, East and South

BANGKOK, 22 June 2015 (NNT) More heavy rains are expected in the Northeast, East and South of Thailand as monsoons gain strength over the weekend.

Tropical storm Kujira, which is gaining momentum near China’s Hainan province, is moving closer towards the South of China, bringing steady rains to Thailand’s Northeast until June 25. Those heading to Hainan and Hong Kong are advised to closely follow weather updates.

The southwestern monsoon covering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand is strengthening, generating wind and rains. Small boats should be kept ashore as strong winds will generate high tidal waves during June 22-27.

Parts of Bangkok and its vicinity will become cloudy and face thunderstorms. The average temperature ranges from 33-36 degree Celsius.

Pathum Thani holds seminar titled "Challenging Opportunity and Preparation towards ASEAN"

PATHUM THANI, 22 June 2015 (NNT) Pathum Thani province held a seminar titled "Challenging Opportunity and Preparation towards ASEAN".

Police Captain Dr. Nitipoom Navaratna, Director of Asian and African Studies at Assumption University of Thailand, gave a lecture to civil servants and private sector employees open to the general public. There were a total of roughly 600 participants. The lecture was prompted by Thailand's anticipated entry into the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) this December 31, 2015.

Pathum Thani Deputy Governor Winchai Uyangkul said the seminar was to educate the public and private sectors in Pathum Thani on preparations for regional integration. The AEC will consist of Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.

Regional collaborations will occur in political, security, economical, social and cultural aspects. People in all ten countries will be able to travel, enjoy tourist attractions, amd do business, trade and investment more conveniently in ASEAN countries.

Thais can continue to find work in South Korea

BANGKOK, 22 June 2015 (NNT) The Department of Employment (DOE) has allayed concerns of job seekers wanting to work overseas and affirmed that the government has no plan to halt employment programs to South Korea, due to the MERS-CoV outbreak.

The DOE confirmed it will continue to send Thai workers for jobs in East Asia. Each month, about 1,000 Thai people travel to South Korea for employment in small-scale manufacturing, construction and agriculture. These hiring contracts are often negotiated government-to-government. Currently, at least 23,000 Thais workers are in South Korea.

Although the recruitment service will proceed as normal, the department said it has tightened pre-departure requirements to ensure that all Thais going to South Korea are well-informed of ways to protect themselves against MERS-CoV and other infectious diseases.

Aside from required health check-ups, the workers must participate in an orientation that gives them guidance to prevent infection by the fatal virus.

The Thai embassy in Seoul and the Thailand Overseas Employment Administration will regularly check on Thai workers in South Korea to observe their health and living conditions. So far, no Thai nationals in South Korea were reported to have come down with MERS-CoV.

Talks on NRC’s role for youths organized in Suphan Buri

SUPHAN BURI, 22 June 2015, (NNT) ‘Our Parliament,’a new community radio program has been unveiled in Suphan Buri Province.

The new program is a joint effort of Suphan Buri Provincial Radio Thailand and the Office of the Secretariat of the House of Representatives. ‘Our Parliament’ will be broadcast live on FM 102.25 MHz, and relayed to 50 other radio stations under the Department of Public Relations nationwide.

The program is to target youths between 15 - 25 of age. It is aimed at educating the younger generation about the importance of constitution, democracy and national reconciliation.

Mr. Chuchart Insawang, the member of the National Reform Council (NRC) from Suphan Buri Province, presided over the opening ceremony, dering which he gave a special lecture on the role of the NRC and its national reconciliation approaches.

Military officials hand out fruit to Yala Muslims fasting during Ramadan

YALA, 22 June 2015, (NNT) Ranger Task Force 33 handed out dates to Muslims fasting during the holy month of Ramadan in the southern province of Yala.

Officials from the Yala Special Task Unit 16 yesterday gave away the fruit along with drinking water to Muslims travelling roadways connecting Mueang Yala and Betong districts.

The move was aimed at creating goodwill between the officials and Muslim locals, while boosting morale of the latter during this difficult month.

Muslims all over the world break their fast during Ramadan with dates, a tradition that has made the fruit high in demand. Dates are a great source of dietary fiber, a perfect energy boosting snack during the fasting month.

Uthai Thani officials eradicate potential mosquito breeding grounds, prevent dengue fever

UTHAI THANI, 22 June 2015, (NNT) The northern province of Uthai Thani yesterday deployed officials to eradicate mosquito breeding grounds, after a 20-year-old man recently admitted to hospital was diagnosed with dengue fever.

Health officials have been dispatched to inform the public of the disease. Dengue fever can cause high fevers, headaches, rashes, and pain throughout the body. Occasionally, the symptoms can develop into a lethal complication called severe dengue.

Officials searched and destroyed mosquito breeding grounds, such as coconut shells and old car tires. They handed out Abate Sand Granules to the locals. The chemical is an effective pest control for insects before they reach maturity.

The public health office also fumigated the patient’s residence out to a 100 meter radius.




Back to Main Page

Yala Hospital ready to prevent MERS outbreak when Muslim pilgrims return from Saudi Arabia

Thailand ready to host Thai-Indian JC meeting this Friday

DLPW to get tough with operators still involved in illegal fishery

BOI's new policy attracts more foreign investors this year

A meeting on tourism and sports during AEC held in Bangkok

Lamphun Province establishes a new drug rehab center

JSCCIB to adjust GDP growth forecast next month

Phetchaburi joins in ‘SME Provincial Champions’ campaign

Ranong officials meet on Burmese worker dwellings

Chiang Rai hosts meeting on emergency medicine during disasters

NRC approves report on national strategies and related draft law

First NLA deliberation of impeachment motion against 248 former MPs on June 26

NRC’s public health reform committee accepts proposals on Thailand’s herbal medicine development

Women’s network calls on NLA to help troubled debtors

Activists seek new independent organization to protect consumers under new charter

Tropical storm to bring rain in Northeast

Minister- Water conservation measures needed

Interior Minister rushes state assistances to drought affected people

PM attends 6th ACMECS summit, pushes for more connectivity ahead of AEC

1st ASEAN Disaster Medical Rally held in Chiang Rai during 22-25 Jun

Gasohol prices reduced by 40 satang from tomorrow onward

World Day Against Illicit Drugs: what about Thailand? (SCOOP)

FPO says Mers situation in Thailand is under control

Foreign Minister attending ACMECS to promote regional cooperation

ONCB concludes 6th drug rehabilitation program

Satun holds event commemorating World Drug Campaign 2015

Northern Peasant Federation submits open letter to PM, petitions govt assistance

CRR holds third session of individual meetings with political figures to seek input

NCPO supporting government's water conservation effort

Three of Five Rivers agree on promoting National Savings Fund

Govt hopes its support to islamic affairs during Ramadan will be a step to sustainable peace in the South

Fisheries associations voice concerns on illegal fishing eradication practices

Thailand to further push Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex as a Natural World Heritage Site

NRC’s public administration committee to propose new national strategies for draft charter

NRC spokesman: Setting up a new council to drive the reform process, an initiative that needs further debate

MOAC suggests ongoing suspension of rain-fed rice cultivation

MSDHS Minister explains ministry’s beggars and homeless regulations

Narathiwat finds no MERS case as the province is listed as area under close surveillance

MOPH holds daily MERS surveillance meeting

More rains forecast for Thailand's Northeast, East and South

Pathum Thani holds seminar titled "Challenging Opportunity and Preparation towards ASEAN"

Thais can continue to find work in South Korea

Talks on NRC’s role for youths organized in Suphan Buri

Military officials hand out fruit to Yala Muslims fasting during Ramadan

Uthai Thani officials eradicate potential mosquito breeding grounds, prevent dengue fever



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