Rainmaking operation continues despite the rainy season
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 (NNT) – The Department of Royal
Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation continues its rainmaking operations
although Thailand nearly enters the rainy season to ensure enough water
for agricultural purposes, confirmed Deputy Director-General Surasri
Mr.Surasri said that this year Thailand is predicted to be drier than
previous years and many parts of the country are still under effect of
the drought. In some areas, shortfall of rain is possible. Therefore,
the rainmakers must be always alert and ready for the rainmaking
People who want more water can request rainmaking operations through
local authorities such as Provincial Agricultural Extension Offices,
Regional Royal Rainmaking Centers, and Subdistrict Administration.
Either they can drop request on Facebook and the website of the
Sobriety checkpoint time extended beyond 3 a.m. to intercept more drunk drivers
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 (NNT) – The Royal Thai Police has
ordered longer hours of sobriety checkpoints to beyond 3 a.m. in order
to intercept more drunk drivers after three bikers were killed by a
drunk driver in Chiang Mai, Police spokesman Pol Lt Gen Prawut
Thawornsiri revealed on Tuesday.
He said the recent car crash, leading to the deaths of cyclists, has
prompted the National Police Chief to adjust the operation of sobriety
checkpoints nationwide. Normally, the checkpoints operate no later than
3 a.m., allowing some drunk drivers to get unchecked with alcohol test.
The period of sobriety checkpoint’s operation was then extended.
Pol Lt Gen Prawut confirmed the police have implemented stringently all
measures which the Prime Minister has ordered. It will step up more
measures including suspension of driving license on reckless drivers.
Besides, cooperation will be made with other units related to safety of
bikers, both in group trips and individual cyclists in every day life.
Pol Lt Gen Prawut however warned both car drivers and bikers to be more
careful when sharing roads.
NRC to start writing proposed changes to draft charter
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 (NNT) - The National Reform
Council will start listing proposed changes to the draft Constitution,
NRC whip Secretary-General Alongkorn Ponlaboot says that the reform
council will this week consider all proposed changes, before they are
digested and put into a formal proposition for the Constitution Drafting
Mr. Alongkorn conceded that those parts of the draft charter which are
related to political affairs have received the most attention because
they indicate the progressive development of Thailand’s democracy.
He also noted that the new Constitution offers many new and interesting
developments for Thailand, particularly citizenship rights which have
been improved much more than in previous charters.
The NRC whip also criticized political groups that have attacked the new
charter without recognizing the many good elements intended to benefit
World's top aluminium company will expand production in Thailand
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 (NNT) - Industry Minister
Chakkamon Phasukwanit has said after meeting with the president of Diaki
Aluminium Industry (Thailand) Co., Ltd. that the company promised to
maintain and expand its production site in Thailand to accommodate
future growth of the Thai automotive industry.
Diaki Aluminium Industry (Thailand) Co., Ltd. is one of the world’s top
five biggest aluminium manufacturers. Its factory at the Amata Nakhon
Industrial Estate has received permission from the Department of
Industrial Works to recycle aluminium dross as raw material for the
green steel industry.
The Office of Industrial Economics has forecast that the Thai industrial
GDP in 2015 would expand by 2-3% and the manufacturing production index
3-4%. The automotive industry’s production was expected to grow by 10%
or 2.15 million cars due to an economic recovery in Thailand and its
major export markets.
Pawnshop rates remained low to help cash-strapped parents
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 (NNT) - The government has
instructed all 34 pawnshops under the Ministry of Social Development and
Human Security to maintain interest rates as part of the efforts to help
parents before school opens.
Government Spokesman Yongyuth Mayalarp said the interest rates, lower
than those set by the Pawnshop Act, would be effective from now until
June 2015. The interest rates range from 50 Satang/month to 1.25
baht/month depending on the principal.
Director of the Office of the Government Pawnshop Mana Kliangthong said
the office had asked the pawnshops to preserve 500 million baht more in
liquidity to keep up with the demands of customers during this period.
NRC dissatisfied with new Senate composition, more open to non-MP premier
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 (NNT) - The National Reform
Council (NRC) has agreed that the composition of the Senate as
stipulated in the new constitution should be changed, but it is now more
accepting of the provision allowing for the appointment of a non-MP
NRC Whip Alongkorn Polabutr said provisional discussions with NRC
members revealed a unanimous desire to revise the new composition of the
Senate. Members have agreed that Senators should be drawn from a wider
range of professions. In addition those who would be derived from the
provincial level should be directly elected by their constituents, doing
away with the committee that would select provincial Senators.
Furthermore, they agreed that provincial Senators need not be members of
a political party.
Mr Alongkorn revealed that after the Constitution Drafting Committee
agreed to tighten restrictions on the circumstances allowing for a
non-MP Prime Minister, NRC members have become more open to such a
provision. They said such a scenario should however be kept for times of
political crisis when a person outside the Parliamentary sphere could
help diffuse a political deadlock.
The NRC Whip further disclosed that NRC members hold differing opinions
regarding the system of electing Members of the House of
Representatives. He said many have expressed doubt that the new system
would achieve its goal of preventing vote buying.
Moreover, members are also divided on whether the new Reform
Mobilization Committee should consist of members of the NRC and the
National Legislative Assembly (NLA), as many fear the committee would be
criticized as being a vehicle designed to extend the power of the NRC
and the NLA into the new government.
NLA says new Senate composition overly complicated
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 (NNT) - The National Legislative
Assembly (NLA) has disagreed with the new system of appointing members
of the Senate as it is overly complicated and confusing.
NLA Second Vice President Peerasak Porchit has revealed that most
members are concerned with the proposed composition of the Senate as
stipulated in the draft constitution. They’ve proposed that the ratio
between provincial and appointed Senators be equal and that the
provincial Senators be directly elected by their constituents instead of
going through a selection process at the provincial level.
In regard to the provision allowing for the appointment of a non-MP
Prime Minister, NLA members said they would agree to such an arrangement
if the constitution clearly stated that this scenario be used only in
times of political crisis.
Mr Peerasak added that NLA members currently hold differing opinions on
the mixed member proportional system of electing Members of the House of
Representatives. He said he personally feels the system is overly
complicated and that the reduced number of constitutional MP’s from 400
to 250 would further distance the relationship between the House and the
people. He said MP’s serve as a link between the people’s needs and the
legislature, and therefore insisted that their numbers be increased in
Furthermore, the vice president said the NLA unanimously agreed that a
public referendum on the new constitution is necessary. However, the
country should not resort to past charters in the event that the new
constitution is voted down, as the previous charters have their flaws.
In addition, he revealed that many NLA members have suggested the
possibility of holding a referendum only on the more contentious
provisions of the new constitution such as the system of electing
representatives in Parliament.
GLO Labor Union proposes lottery ticket sales at 100 baht apiece
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015, (NNT) -The Chairman of the
Government Lottery Office (GLO) Labor Union, Amnuayporn Kerdpoom has
proposed a lottery ticket price increase from 80 baht apiece to 100
Mr. Amnuayporn claimed that the request was reasonable, as the ticket
price has remained at 80 baht apiece for over 30 years. He suggested
that the GLO add the income from the hike to the existing prizes or to
The GLO Labor Union Chairman said that since the tickets are being sold
at 120-130 baht apiece anyway, the general public should accept the
suggested new price with ease.
Mr. Amnuayporn also mentioned the weekly wholesale lottery market at
Wang Saphung district in Loei Province, saying that the atmosphere there
is less than lively. He explained that vendors complain that it is
impossible to sell tickets at 80 baht apiece when the cost to them was
already 85 baht.
He concluded that the implementation of Section 44 of the interim
constitution to enforce the regulation does not address the problem at
In reply, the new GLO board said it would take the matter to this week’s
meeting and would announce its decision on ticket prices next week.
Walking rally held to celebrate HM the King's 69th accession anniverary
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 (NNT)-A walking rally was held
earlier today to celebrated the 69th anniversary of His Majesty the
King’s accession to the throne.
Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan
presided over the opening ceremony of the walking rally at Rajpruek
People from all walks of life and government officials participated in
the 5 kilometer walk. The first 5 individuals who crossed the finish
line have received a commemorative trophy from the club. The event
celebrated the anniversary of His Majesty's accession to the throne 69
Ministry of Culture encouraging traditional attire
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 (NNT)-The Ministry of Culture is
to launch a campaign to encourage Thais to wear traditional Thai clothes
Culture Minister Weera Rojpojanarat said the Department of Cultural
Promotion will ask universities in Bangkok and other provinces to
promote locally made textiles by encouraging their staff to wear them.
The Ministry of Education will be asked for its cooperation to do the
same with school students.
The Ministry of Culture will also be making awards to individuals who
wear traditional Thai clothes during the campaign.
The campaign is expected to be launched in August, as soon as the
cabinet gives it a green light. A survey will also be conducted to
collect historic information on Thai traditional textiles.
People from various social groups will be invited to join a network set
up specifically to promote the wearing of traditional Thai clothes.
3 more Thais in Nepal to return to Thailand
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 (NNT) - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)
revealed that three more Thai nationals in Nepal have requested
evacuation back to Thailand.
According to the MFA, a parent of three children has sought assistance
from the ministry for their return to Thailand on C-130 aircraft.
The aircraft arrived in Nepal yesterday to deliver emergency supplies
from Thailand and other items given by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha
With the three children expected to return soon, there will only be
three more Thai citizens remaining at the Thai embassy in Kathmandu.
The rescue teams from the Royal Thai Armed Forces, combat medics and
those from the Ministry of Public Health have been providing relief
efforts to the quake survivors, as well as those affected by it.
Aid teams have found that quake victims are suffering from respiratory
illnesses. The World Health Organization has praised the Thai government
and their medical teams for helping people in the aftermath of the
Second Thai medical team to join relief efforts in Nepal
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 (NNT) - The Ministry of Public
Health will send a second medical team to help people affected by the
devastating quake in Nepal on Thursday.
Acting Permanent Secretary of Public Health Surachet Sathitniramai said
the second team will consist of 40 medical personnel. They will be
divided into two groups in order to cover more ground.
The first team is scheduled to return to Thailand this Friday. The two
groups will travel to Sipaghat and Pascal to ensure the survivors’
hygiene, their physical health and mental well-being.
They are also expected to help restore the health care system in Nepal
with other teams from foreign nations.
Tak and Sa Kaeo to become first fully-equipped SEZ provinces
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 (NNT) - Deputy Prime Minister and
Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsunwan said he believes the special
economic zones (SEZs) will begin to attract investments in September.
The Defense Minister revealed after attending the SEZ meeting that
investors would pay more attention to SEZs, once investment incentives
and land allotment have been announced.
Relevant agencies have been instructed to determine the terms and
conditions regarding the incentives and lands by the end of September.
Tak and Sa Kaeo will be the first two SEZ provinces in Thailand to be
fully equipped and ready for investment.
The government will continue to improve basic infrastructure and promote
local products to make the two provinces more attractive to future
Food-deprived wild elephants trash mango plantation in Buriram
BURIRAM, 5 May 2015 (NNT) – A mango plantation in
Buriram province has been ravaged by wild elephants that have wandered
away from the local forest reserve foraging for food during the dry
According to the owner of the mango plantation in Non Din Daeng
district, Buriram, wild elephants came into his plantation three nights
in a row foraging for food. In the process, the elephants tore down
about 30 mango trees. The owner said he had the same problem in 2014
when wild elephants damaged some 100 mango trees in all.
Local authorities said the wild elephants had left
the forest because of the reduced amount of food in their usual feeding
grounds, as this was the dry season. Forest rangers are now patrolling
the perimeters of the local forest reserve to keep the elephants inside
the forest. The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant
Conservation will be notified of the damage to the mango plantation in
order for assistance to be given out.
Six police officers transferred pending investigation into hidden Rohingya graves
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 (NNT) – Royal Thai Police
Commissioner Somyot Pumpanmuang would reportedly transfer the commander
of Satun Provincial Police and five other policemen at Padang Besa
sub-district in Sadao district of Songkhla in connection with the
discovery of 26 graves of Rohingya migrants.
Police General Somyot met with authorities in Songkhla on Monday over
the hidden shelters and graves of Rohingya migrants discovered in the
woods in Padang Besa sub-district. After his meeting, the police chief
told reporters that warrants had been issued for eight people, four of
whom had been arrested. The arrested men were Myanmar nationals between
40-48 years of age. Police believe state officials have been involved in
running the hidden shelters.
Pol. Gen. Somyot said he was transferring the head of Satun Provincial
Police, Police Majpr General Soontorn Chalermkiat, because of the
latter's close ties to the masterminds of the Rohingya trafficking ring,
who were residing in Satun.
The police chief said more time was needed to collect evidence relating
to the causes of death of the 26 Rohingyas.
Bangkok keeps on improving its cycling lane around Rattanakosin Island
BANGKOK, 4 May 2015 (NNT) - The Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration (BMA) has regularly undertaken development of the
eight-kilometer bicycle lane around Rattanakosin Island – the old
quarter of the capital, Government spokesman Yongyuth Mayalarp revealed.
Since the opening of the lane on 28 December 2014, Yongyuth said the BMA
has kept improving the lane to make it truly practical for users.
Improvements include upgrading road surface and leveling the lids of
drainage pipes to road surface, clearer marking the lane and setting up
warning symbols and plastic bollards to protect cyclists from traffic
and accidents. Sidewalk ramps have been improved to better facilitate
cyclists and disabled persons while bike parking zones have been
arranged at popular tourist spots.
However, cycle lanes still have problems. The bollards are worn-out
whereas cars are often found parking on the bike lane. BMA officials
were sent out to inspect the problems and at the same time inform people
about the proper use of the lane.
By the end of May, Bangkok officials will conduct more inspections of
the cycle lane in order to improve the existing routes and plan an
extension of the project to other parts of Bangkok, Yongyuth said.
The cycle lane is part of the government’s policy to improve traffic
flow, public safety and convenience on roads around the old quarter of
the city of Bangkok. The 8-kilometer cycle lane goes along twelve
following routes: Mahachai, Kalayana Maitri, Thai Wang, Maha Rat, Na
Phra Lan, Na Phra That,Rachini, Phra Sumane, Bowon Niwet, Sanam Chai,
Tanao and Phra Athit.
Government hosts a festival of quality fruit and vegetables
BANGKOK, 4 May 2015 (NNT) - The government plans to
host a festival to showcase the quality fruit and vegetables of Thailand
Government spokesman Yongyuth Mayalarp said that Prime Minister Gen.
Prayut Chan-o-cha, on 6th May, will chair the official opening of the
festival, which will take place at the Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem market
According to Mr. Yongyuth, the festival is intended to allow farmers and
retailers to present their products at fair prices.
He added that all who participate in the project will be able to sell
their fresh produce directly to consumers as they will not have to work
through middlemen, while taking the opportunity to build their own
business network and promoting local culture and the nature of Thainess.
Mr. Yongyuth went on to say that the Agriculture Ministry’s Department
of Agricultural Extension will be the key agency in organizing this
event, which is scheduled to run from May 6th to 31st and will be joined
by the operators of 70 booths.
Tropical storms and intense heat cause problems in several provinces
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 (NNT) – The current bout of
intense heat is causing problems for chicken farm owners in Uthai Thani
and vegetable growers in Nakhon Sawan; meanwhile, tropical storms
triggered landslides in Yala and damaged homes in Nakhon Ratchasima and
In Yala province, two hours of incessant rainfall triggered landslides
in Betong sub-district, rendering some roads impassable to traffic. One
part of a road in the sub-district that was under construction
In Nakhon Ratchasima, a tropical storm damaged as many as 100 homes in
Phimai district in addition to numerous temples, grain silos and crop
In Sisaket, the provincial governor handed out relief packages to
flood-stricken locals in Wang Hin district, in the aftermath of Sunday's
tropical storm, which damaged 47 homes and a school.
In Uthai Thani, chickens have been put under stress by the intense heat.
Farm owners are hard-pressed to keep the temperature in the farm between
28-32 degrees Celsius, and this has resulted in rising electricity
Steel entrepreneur ensures no production relocation out of Thailand, says Ministry of Industry
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 (NNT) – The Minister of Industry
is optimistic that Thailand's steel industry will be prosperous after
Japanese entrepreneurs have ensured that there will be no relocation of
their steel production from Thailand and will even gear up further
The Minister of Industry Chakramon Phasukavanich has revealed after
holding a discussion with the committee chairman of the Daiki Aluminium
Industry (Thailand) Takaaki Yamamoto, which is one of the biggest
aluminum manufacturers of the world, that the company has assured to
retain their production base in Thailand, adding that they will even be
expanding the production capacity.
The Daiki Aluminium Industry has two factories in Thailand. The first is
located in the Amata Nakorn Industrial Park in Chonburi, and the second
factory in Amata City Industrial Park in Rayong. Both factories are
responsible for aluminum recycling and melting.
The company is now increasing the production capacity at Rayong province
to reach 200 tons per month from the existing 48 tons per month capacity
within 2016, to support the growth of the automobile industry in
The Daiki Aluminium Industry’s factory in Rayong has also been permitted
by the Department of Industrial Works to perform the pilot projects on
the use of leftover dregs from the aluminum melting process as an
ingredient for the iron smelting process. This would help reduce the
iron smelting factories' energy consumption by 8 percent while
increasing productions by 1.5 percent.
This new method is also expected to reduce harmful waste and increase
competitiveness, as well as proceeding in keep with the government’s
industrial waste management strategy.
Thai researchers successful in producing aromatic popped rice
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 (NNT) - Success of Thai
researchers in improving popped rice as container of essential oil could
add high value to the normal rice karnels, Asst.Prof.Sanong Ekgasit, a
researcher from Chulalongkorn University revealed.
Asst.Prof.Sanong said the internal porous structure of the rice kernels
provides higher capacity to keep essential oils inside and gradually
release their aromas for three months. When the oils run out, the popped
rice can naturally biodegradable with no harms to the environment.
The aromatic popped rice is now sold in ready-to-use packets which can
be placed at different places such as wardrobes and cars. Researchers
have plans to add a wider range of essential oils into the popped rice,
hoping to meet different tastes of customers.
The innovation and development of the aromatic popped rice are supported
by the Office of the National Research Council of Thailand. It is
selected to be one of Thai innovations to be displayed at the 26th
International Invention and innovation Exhibition 2015 in Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia during 21-23 May.
HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn donates relief supplies for quake survivors in Nepal
BANGKOK, 4 May 2015 (NNT) - The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (MFA) has disclosed that the new round of relief supplies given
by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will be delivered
to Nepal today.
According to the MFA, the Royal Thai Air Force will send another
shipment of necessities by two ‘C-130 Hercules’ military air transports
to help people affected by the earthquake in Nepal.
The emergency supplies include drinking water, tents, large plastic
sheets and more items donated by Her Royal Highness.
The MFA added that no further assistance has been requested from Thai
nationals in Nepal at this time.
There are currently 19 Thai citizens taking refuge at the Thai embassy
in Kathmandu, 11 of which are families of embassy officials.
The aid team organized by the Royal Thai Armed Forces will continue to
help people in Nepal, alongside a local team and others from Japan and
Medical personnel from the Ministry of Public Health and those working
under the Royal Thai Army have also been providing medical attention in
the aftermath of the devastating quake.
Ministry of Public Health to send another medical team to Nepal
NONTHABURI, 4 May 3015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Public
Health (MOPH) is set to send the second medical team to aid in helping
rescue and relief operations for the public of Nepal affected by the
earthquake disaster, says the DMS Deputy Director General.
The Deputy Director-General of the Department of Medical Services (DMS)
Narong Aphikulvanich has revealed that the MOPH is preparing to send in
the second medical team from Thailand to Nepal, to replace the first
Thai medical team currently working in Nepal. The first team is
scheduled to return to Thailand on 8 May 2015.
The main objective for the second medical team will be to provide
medical services, diagnosis, disease control, psychotherapy, health and
sanitation control, and to help restore the public health system in
The Thai government has dispatched the first medical team to
Sindhupalchowk district in Nepal in coordination with the Ministry of
Health and Population of Nepal and the World Health Organization.
The team has established a field hospital to serve the people in the
area, a the Mobile Unit to provide medical services to the people in
communities, and the team has provided sanitary and environmental care
to prevent an outbreak of potential diseases. Throughout the operations,
the main obstacles are road connectivity, language barrier, and the lack
of basic infrastructure of Nepal.
Police run inspection on fishing boats in Samut Sakhon
SAMUT SAKHON, 4 May 2015 (NNT) – A random inspection
by police has been carried out on fishing vessels in Samut Sakhon
province in an attempt to prevent human trafficking and ensure
operators’ compliance with the law.
Assistant National Police Chief Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri traveled
to Marine Police Station 4 located in Mueang district of Samut Sakhon in
order to convene with representatives from agencies involved in
anti-human trafficking efforts, such as the Marine Police Division,
Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division, Immigration Bureau, Department of
Employment and Marine Department.
During the meeting, Pol Lt Gen Prawut said he was assigned by the
National Police Commissioner-General to follow up on the enforcement of
various measures against human trafficking in Samut Sakhon, which is one
of Thailand’s major port provinces. Such measures include the
registration of fishing boats and crew members, setting up of marine
checkpoints to screen all incoming and outgoing vessels and installation
of vessel monitoring systems on boats of 30 gross tonnage or over.
The progress of these measures is set to be presented to EU officials
who will be visiting Thailand next week to observe Thai fishery
operations following the recent issuance of a yellow card.
On this occasion, Pol Lt Gen Prawut also led his entourage on a random
inspection of local fishing boats. Most of them were found to be
employing workers from Myanmar, with Thai supervisors. All the workers
were able to present proper work permits. Nonetheless, some of the boats
were missing certain documents, a problem that will need to be
NRC, Cabinet, NCPO expected to formally propose changes in draft charter May 25
BANGKOK, 4 May 2015 (NNT) - The National Reform
Council, the Cabinet and the National Council for Peace and Order are
expected to formally propose their suggested changes in the draft
charter later this month.
Spokesman of the Constitution Drafting Committee Kamnoon Sidhisamarn
said that the NRC, the NCPO and the Cabinet have not submitted their
proposed changes to the charter drafters but they are expected to do so
on May 25.
Mr. Kamnoon said that the expected date of submission is the last day of
the 30-day period for all bodies to propose their charter change
suggestions, which the CDC will review and invite those who make the
proposals to clarify and provide additional information.
He added that political parties will also be invited to the meeting with
the CDC to discuss all propose changes although they are not among those
allowed to suggest any.
Concerning the debate over a public referendum on the new charter, Mr.
Kamnoon said that the CDC has not discussed the issue while affirming
that the interim Constitution does not stipulate anything about such a
Therefore, if a public referendum is to be held, the NCPO and the
Cabinet will have to amend the provisional charter first, the CDC
CDC to send second draft of constitution to NRC by Jul 23
BANGKOK, 4 April 2015 (NNT) - The Constitution
Drafting Committee (CDC) will continue to receive input on the new
charter and will submit the second draft of the charter to the National
Reform Council (NRC) on or before July 23.
A CDC member, Pakorn Priyakorn, said the charter drafters have already
held public input forums in thirteen provinces, with an additional seven
destinations to be held soon.
In addition, the cabinet and the National Council for Peace and Order
will submit its input by May 16, whereas the NRC will submit additional
proposals by May 25.
After receiving the input the CDC will hold amendment discussions from
June 8 to Jul 16, and submit the second draft of the constitution back
to the NRC on or before July 23.
Public referendum only possible via constitutional amendment, not Section 44
BANGKOK, 4 April 2015 (NNT) - The Constitution
Drafting Committee (CDC) has revealed that in order for a public
referendum to be held in relation to the new constitution, an amendment
must be made to the current interim constitution.
According to one of the CDC members, Pakorn Preeyakorn, if all reform
bodies agree to a referendum, the cabinet and the National Council for
Peace and Order (NCPO) must submit an amendment proposal to the National
Legislative Assembly, which must be vetted and voted on like any other
He also noted that Section 44 of the interim constitution, which grants
the head of the NCPO overriding power over national security issues,
cannot be used to initiate a public referendum. The interim constitution
does not give the government and the NCPO the authority to make changes
to the charter; therefore, a referendum cannot be initiated solely by
the Prime Minister.
Army Chief checks investigation of Rohingya death case
SONGKHLA, 4 May 2015 (NNT) – The Commander in Chief
of the Royal Thai Army today went to investigate the death case of about
30 Rohingya people on location, while urging a solution to eradicate
human trafficking in Thailand.
The Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army Gen Udomdej Sitabutr said
that he had visited Songkhla province today to continue the
investigation on searching for more Rohingya bodies buried at the border
area. He has urged all agencies to carry out their operations and
intelligence work to eradicate the human trafficking issue from
About 30 graves of Rohingya people were discovered by the police on 1
May 2015 on the Look Chang mountain in the Padang Besar subdistrict in
Songkhla province. The site is believed to be the temporary camp for
Rohingya people before being transported out of Thailand.
The Army Chief further said that this matter has been
expedited by the Prime Minister in finding the perpetrators and to bring
them to face legal punishment, as the Prime Minister is concerned that
some government officials might involved.
He said that the matter has to be coordinated between Thailand and
Malaysia, as it is believed that this particular human trafficking gang
has connections in both countries. This case must be urgently solved as
Thailand is now being watched by many countries regarding the issue of
human trafficking. However, the name of the suspects cannot be disclosed
currently, as the case is still under police investigation.
The Army Chief also mentioned that he had visited Ranong province today,
as it is the location that is used to transport Rohingya people by boat
to the western seashore of Thailand, in an attempt to eradicate the
human trafficking activities through the cooperation between the
military, police, and the civilian.
Labour ministry to make labour protection more inclusive
BANGKOK, 4 May 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Labour is
set to extend labour protection coverage to all groups of informal
workers, according to a ministry official.
The Deputy Permanent-Secretary of the Labour Ministry Arrug Phrommanee
has said regarding the management of the informal workers, that
authorities must consider providing labour protection to diverse groups
of informal workers that current work in the country.
He has said that the previously established ministerial regulations on
labour protection to agricultural labourers, housewives, workers working
at home, and fisheries workers are still insufficient in covering all
categories of informal workers. Therefore the ministry needs to consider
issuing additional laws to cover all the groups, such as contract
The ministry also needs to consider providing access to capital for
informal workers as well, as currently the only foundation that provides
capital to informal workers is only for workers working at home.
The Labour Ministry Deputy Permanent-Secretary has further said that
coordination centers for informal workers in each province will have to
provide service to the informal workers while coordinating with the
provincial labour networks, as well as collecting the information of
informal workers in each area such as the type of occupation, quantity,
and contact information, in order to provide a wider coverage of
services for the management of informal workers in the future.
NIDA polls shows majority support for PM as an elected official
BANGKOK, 4 April 2015 (NNT) A poll has revealed that 59.4 percent of
respondents favor a Prime Minister who is an elected member of
Parliament as he or she would be a representative of the people.
The National Institute of Development Administration, a body that
conducts various high-profile polls also known as “NIDA Polls,” deduced
from its latest sampling of 1,261 respondents that 59.4 percent place
their confidence in an elected representative to assume the premiership,
as the member chosen would have been elected by the populace.
However, 36.64 percent were of the opinion that the public should
directly elect the Prime Minister as political parties can influence
votes within Parliament.
When asked if respondents agree to a non-MP as Prime Minister, provided
that he or she obtains the approval of two-thirds of the parliament,
47.98 percent disapproved of this scenario, saying an outsider Prime
Minister would lack the experience necessary in managing the affairs of
the country. On the other hand, 45.76 percent have expressed agreement,
saying it is a viable option in finding a suitable leader of the
NLA members say new electoral system won’t solve vote buying
BANGKOK, 4 April 2015 (NNT) - The National
Legislative Assembly (NLA) says it does not think the new electoral
system under the draft constitution would solve the problem of vote
buying, saying the charter drafters should instead focus on the
strengthening of electoral monitoring bodies.
According to Taweesak Sutkwatin, an NLA member, the NLA members have
concluded that vote buying will go on regardless of how good the new
electoral system is. Efforts should be redirected to increasing the
monitoring power of organizations, such as the Election Commission to
better conduct investigations.
Mr Taweesak further revealed that most NLA members agreed that a public
referendum should be held and that all proposals were being gathered and
would be submitted to the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC). The NLA
would hold a final brainstorming seminar between May to Jun in order to
compile all input on the new constitution to be submitted to the charter
drafters, he said.
Most NLA members are of the opinion that the power of the new Senate
under the new constitution is excessive, adding that the members feel
that a body that is not entirely elected by the public should have its
powers limited, added Mr.Taweesak.
NRC rescheduled meeting to Wednesday
BANGKOK, 4 May 2015 (NNT) - The National Reform
Council (NRC) has rescheduled its meeting to Wednesday, where it is
expected to deliberate on the powers of the local administrations and
other important issues.
According to NRC President Thienchay Keeranan, the reform panel will
also consider dismantling certain government units to make public
services more accessible, less complicated, and reduce government
There are over 10,000 government units nationwide and at least 100
others belonging to state enterprises and public organizations. The NRC
claimed the high level of bureaucracy would allow for corruption and
In addition, the panel will decide whether a committee should be set up
specifically to recruit qualified individuals to the permanent secretary
positions, instead of allowing anyone to be easily appointed to the
The NRC will later deliberate on another proposal recommending several
changes to the draft constitution.
They include setting up impartial committees to appoint high-profile
officials, adding a clause to prevent political power from influencing
the government programs, and clearly outlining the powers of soldiers,
policemen and government employees.
American tobacco company moves to block new tobacco law in Thailand
BANGKOK, 4 May 2015 (NNT)-The Action on Smoking
and Health Foundation Thailand (ASH Thailand)
has claimed that a giant American tobacco
company is trying to prevent Thailand from
passing a law on tobacco control.
According to ASH Thailand Secretary General
Professor Dr. Prakit Watheesathokkij, Philip
Morris International submitted a letter to the
Ministry of Public Health discouraging the new
The company indicated that Thailand only needed
to educate its citizens more about the harmful
effects of smoking and use the existing laws to
prevent new smokers.
Philip Morris International earns as much as
three billion baht a year from selling tobacco
products in Thailand.
Prof Dr. Prakit added that the company also
tried to prevent the US Food and Drug
Administration from enforcing the Family Smoking
Prevention and Tobacco Control Act 2009.
He said it is important for Thailand to pass the
law to prevent younger people from becoming
addicted to smoking and the overall well-being
of Thai people.
The Thai National Shippers’ Council to propose expansion of service businesses abroad
BANGKOK, 4 May 2015, (NNT) - The Thai National
Shippers’ Council (TNSC) has been planning to petition the government to
boost the service industry by expanding the sector overseas.
TNSC Executive Director Kongrit Chantrik said the move would reduce the
emphasis on exporting physical products, adding that the service
industry has more market value and would ultimately contribute more to
the export sector.
He voiced his opinions on the matter to the press, saying the nation
should not focus only on conventional export items. Mr. Kongrit reasoned
that these products are often being challenged by rival exporting
The Executive Director said the export sector is being negatively
affected by Thailand’s inferior competitiveness, as well as higher labor
and production costs than that of rival countries.
He advised the administration to develop a concrete overseas strategy
for service businesses. Mr. Kongrit revealed that recent data indicates
that the service industry accounted for 34.8 percent of the gross
domestic product, while physical products only constituted 29.6 percent.
Thai government promises to bring justice to Rohingya mass grave
BANGKOK, 4 May 2015 (NNT) - The Royal Thai Police has
not ruled out whether the deaths of 26 Rohingyas found in Songkhla
province were the result of a violent assault.
Royal Thai Police Spokesperson Police Lieutenant Colonel Prawut
Thavornsiri said the recently discovered bodies of 26 Rohingyas have
been identified as 25 males and one female. Three of them are believed
to be younger than 20 years old.
The preliminary autopsy has not ruled out murder. However, it has been
indicated that not all of them died at the same time. The time of death
could have been one week or up to one year ago. Some may have died from
starvation or the result of a fatal assault.
The spokesperson said that Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha and
the Thai government will take impartial legal action against those
involved in their deaths.
Low pressure system likely to increase temperature in Thailand
BANGKOK, 5 May 2015 (NNT)- The Department of Disaster
Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has warned people in the upper part of
the country of possible dangers from tropical storms during this time of
According to the DDPM Deputy Director-General, Anusorn Keawkangwan,
temperatures will increase in the North and Northeast due to the low
It will also be extremely hot in some areas. The southeasterly wind will
bring thundershowers from the Gulf of Thailand to the eastern, central
and lower northeastern provinces
People have been warned against the possibility of strong gales and hail
storms during this time of year. In case they need assistance, they are
advised to call the DDPM’s hotline 1784 or contact the provincial
authority in their respective provinces.
BMTA to finalize the 489 NGV purchasing deal this week
BANGKOK, 4 May 2015, (NNT) - The Bangkok Mass
Transit Authority (BMTA) stated that it would
finalize the purchase of 489 Natural Gas Vehicle
BMTA Acting Director Pranee Sukasorn said the
state enterprise this week is negotiating the
price for each vehicle and the maintenance fee
for an entire year. She assured the public that
the agency would secure an optimum contract.
The BMTA has held three auctions for the new NGV
buses with about ten firms. The auctions have
narrowed tenders to only a couple companies.
Ms. Pranee speculated that the firms which
withdrew from the auctions could not justify the
contract’s cost-benefit ratio and chose to step
CIMB's concerns on the new interest rate
BANGKOK, 4 May 2015, (NNT) - CIMB Bank’s
research office has expressed concern that the
reduced interest rate may create more household
debt and a financial bubble.
Mr. Amonthep Jawala, the office chief, had been
referring to the Monetary Policy Committee’s
move decreasing the benchmark rate by 0.25
percent to 1.5 percent last week.
He explained the event would likely force some
investors to move their savings to more
lucrative investments, such as Long Term Equity
Funds in the real estate sector. Mr. Amonthep is
concerned that doing so would create a financial
bubble later on.
Furthermore, commercial banks are likely to be
more careful when approving loans to prevent
Non-Performing Loans, given the high rate of
Mr. Amonthep stated that reducing the benchmark
interest rate to stimulate economy may work in a
short term, but in a long run he suggests using
various financial policies, ramping up
infrastructure investment, and improving private
He also advised exporters to spread the risk by
expanding their markets to neighboring
Warning of thunderstorm and hails in various parts of Thailand, DDPM says
BANGKOK, 4 May 2015 (NNT) - The Meteorological
Department has warned of a new round of summer
thunderstorm with hails in the East, the lower
Northeast and the central region soon, Anusorn
Kaewkangwan, deputy director-general of the
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department
(DDPM) said on Monday.
The weather bureau predicted that a low pressure
system would cover the upper part of Thailand
causing the temperature to rise during the day
and even higher at night in some areas. The
southeasterly winds would bring humidity from
the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand to
the lower Northeast, the East and the central
region, causing isolated thundershowers in those
People who are affected by the extreme weather
and other natural disasters should contact local
DDPM offices which will forward their request
for assistance to governors or provincial
authorities in their respective areas. Also,
they may call hotline 1784 around the clock.
Thailand signs joint declaration with GMS countries in fighting human trafficking
BANGKOK, 4 May 2015 (NNT) – Thailand has joined five other
Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries in signing a joint
declaration reiterating their commitment to ending all forms of
human trafficking in the region.
Signing the declaration on behalf of the Thai government on
April 30 was Mr. Wichian Chavalit, Permanent Secretary for the
Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, who
represented the Thai Minister of Social Development and Human
Security at the 4th Inter-Ministerial Meeting of the Coordinated
Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Trafficking (COMMIT), in
Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Mr. Wichian said that apart from the joint declaration, COMMIT
also endorsed the 4th Sub-Regional Plan of Action for the period
2015 to 2018 that charts the course of cooperation among the six
GMS countries on counter-trafficking over the next four years.
The GMS countries are Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand
Government thanks Thais for extending help to Nepal
BANGKOK, 4 May 2015 (NNT) – The government has praised the Thai
people for their generosity towards earthquake victims in Nepal
as donations, both in cash and kind, have continuously been sent
According to Deputy Government Spokesperson Maj Gen Sansern
Kaewkamnerd, seven days have passed since the government
launched the “Send Thai Hearts to Nepal” account at Krungthai
Bank, Government House branch, on April 28 as an official
channel for the public to donate their money for people affected
by the powerful earthquake in Nepal. Over the period, the
account has attracted more than 111 million baht.
Meanwhile, a large number of necessary items have been donated
through the First Infantry Regiment, King’s Guard on Vibhavadi
Rangsit Road and the Eleventh Infantry Regiment, King’s Guard in
Bang Khen district. The donations received range from clothing,
food, drinking water and medicine to appliances like power
generators, rice cookers and tents.
Maj Gen Sansern said, on behalf of Nepal, the government would
like to thank the Thai people for all the contributions made so
far and that their kindness is deeply appreciated.
The Deputy Government Spokesperson also admitted that the
transport of donated items to the troubled areas in Nepal is a
difficult task. He, however, affirmed that the Royal Thai Armed
Forces are doing all they can to ensure that the donations reach
the hands of the quake survivors as soon as possible.