Surin NRC hosts public forum to hear opinions on charter drafting and reform
BANGKOK, 7 May 2015 (NNT) – The National Reform
Council has held another public forum in northeastern Surin to hear more
opinions related to the charter drafting and the reform process.
The latest public forum by the NRC took place on Tuesday in Tha Tum
district of Surin province. The event was also joined by residents from
Sanom and Champion Buri district.
Under the plan of the NRC’s committee on public participation, a
sub-committee for Surin has been set up to organize one provincial-level
public forum and 10 similar sessions at the district level to collect as
much opinions from the people as possible.
As the session proceeded, participants were divided into three groups to
voice out their opinion while the whole event was broadcast live on the
NBT’s Surin radio network.
The next session will be held to hear the voices of residents of Khwao
Sinarin and Chom Phra on May 20.
Ministry of Transport vows to create maritime logistics hub in a decade
BANGKOK, 7 May 2015, (NNT) - The Ministry of
Transport is poised to make Thailand a maritime logistics hub in a
decade, developing a railway line connecting Laem Chabang Port to the
According to Transport Minister ACM Prajin Janthong, the maritime
logistics hub plan would need a budget of 2.5 billion baht and would be
completed within two years. He said the Laem Chabang plan must be
finished before the ministry greenlights the Chiang Saen, Chiang Kong
and Ranong pier projects.
Meanwhile, the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) will accelerate the
third phase of construction at Laem Chabang Port, which would increase
its capacity by 8-10 million cargo containers. Currently, the port can
handle about 11 million containers. This construction project has a
budget of 35 billion baht.
The PAT also indicated that it has another 50 billion baht project to
overhaul port management. The scheme will be proposed to state
enterprise policy board next month for approval.
Ministry of Commerce urges police to expedite rice fraud investigation
BANGKOK, 7 May 2015, (NNT) - The Ministry of Commerce has urged
the Royal Thai Police to expedite its investigation into the
rice deal fraud case, saying a prolonged trial would affect its
plan to sell stockpiled rice in July.
President of the Board of the Public Warehouse Organization
(PWO) Jintana Chaiyawannakan said the case involves poor quality
rice being stored in the PWO warehouses.
The inferior rice accounts for 20 percent of all its stockpiled
rice, or 1.75 million tons.
Ms. Jintana said that once the police investigation is
concluded, the PWO would file a lawsuit against the suspects of
38 police officers accused of Rohingya trafficking transferred to idle posts
BANGKOK, 7 May 2015 (NNT) - 38 police officers
believed to have been involved in the trafficking of Rohingyas have been
transferred to the Royal Thai Police Operations Center, while the
investigation is still underway.
According to Royal Thai Police Chief Police General Somyos Pumpanmuang,
new police officers will be appointed to fill those vacancies, while the
38 officers in question will remain at the Police Operations Center for
the duration of the investigation.
Some of those suspected of accommodating human trafficking included
high-ranking police officers, such as superintendents and
Other officers held positions in immigration, anti-human trafficking and
marine police divisions.
Japan relaxes regulation on labels of health-related products
BANGKOK, 7 May 2015, (NNT) - The Ministry of Commerce
revealed that Japan has imposed a new regulation on labeling
health-related products, which might benefit local exporters.
Department of International Trade Promotion Director-General Nantawan
Sakuntanaga stated that the code is more lenient than before, enabling
Thai exporters to advertise their products’ quality more easily.
She also expressed her optimism that the new code would help health food
exports to grow 17 percent in 2017 from 2013.
According to the department’s Japanese counterpart in Osaka, the new
regulation has been in effect since April.
PM introduces subsidy on agricultural equipment
BANGKOK, 7 May 2015, (NNT) - Prime Minister General
Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed officials to expedite assistance to
drought-affected farmers, while introducing a subsidy on agricultural
According to government spokesperson Yongyuth Mayalarp, the campaign
would issue coupons for farmers to buy discounted seeds, fertilizer and
equipment. The program is expected to be implemented soon, he said,
adding it would significantly lower expenses for farmers.
Dr. Yongyuth also revealed that the Prime Minister has instructed the
Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to educate agricultural
operators on various anti-drought measures, reducing overhead expenses
and planting alternative crops.
The ministry was also tasked with preventing the low market price of
rice in during the next harvest season.
Meanwhile, the government has approved the budget of the One Tambon One
Million Baht scheme for 3,051 sub-districts suffering from recurring
Digital TV urging NBTC to postpone license fee payment
BANGKOK, 7 May 2015 (NNT)- Digital TV operators have
agreed with The National Broadcasting Telecommunication and Commission
(NBTC) that the payment for digital TV broadcasting fee should be put
off until next year.
According to the NBTC, the recent forum held among 24 digital TV
channels indicated that they all concurred with the NBTC’s decision to
postpone the second license fee payment for another year.
They claimed that the slow economy had delayed the implementation of the
digital TV system. While the system was not fully functional and their
viewership remained so low, they were already required to make the
second fee payment.
They would be obligated to pay a charge of 7.5% interest per year to the
NBTC if they failed to make payment before the deadline. They also urged
the broadcasting authority to extend future due dates for other payments
by another year.
Tak governor calls to Myawaddy on Sister Cities activities
MYAWADDY, 7 May 2015 (NNT) – The governor of Tak
yesterday met with his counterpart from Myawaddy to discuss on possible
activities that would tighten the Sister Cities' relations.
The governor of Tak Somchai Hatayatanti, along with provincial officials
yesterday made a call to the governor of Myawaddy of Myanmar, Lui Go U,
to discuss the guidelines for activities that would be held to tighten
the relations of both ‘Sister Cities’.
On this occasion, the governor of Tak thanked the Myawaddy governor who
helped dispatch troops tasked with solving the ‘No Man Land’ island
issue, which is located in the middle of the Moei River. He also asked
for Myanmar's cooperation on the suppression of human trafficking and
narcotics smuggling along the border area.
Both governors discussed the progress of the Ban Valley Mai - Nong Luang
- Umphang road renovations at the Ban Valley border crossing, while the
Ban Valley Mai Distirct Chief has requested assistance in providing
electricity to the governor of Tak, who has already forwarded this
matter to the Mae Sod Provincial Electrical Authority.
The Tak governor also invited the Myawaddy governor and other officials
to attend the seminar on investment promotion in the Special Economic
Zones in Tak province on 8 May 2015. The seminar will feature an
exhibition and a lecture co-organized by the Myawaddy counterpart. The
Myawaddy governor accepted this invitation and has forwarded the
invitation to all interested entrepreneurs in Myawaddy.
Regarding the Mae Sod - Myawaddy cycling event set to take place on 30
May 2015, the Tak governor asked for cooperation from the Myawaddy
authorities to provide staff to help facilitate the event as well.
The Myawaddy governor also invited the Tak governor to visit and pay
respect to the construction of a new Buddhist pagoda, replicating the
globally renowned one in Yangon, Myanmar. The pagoda has been under
construction for 4 years, and the opening date for the Myawaddy public
will be during 16-30 May 2015.
NRC members keen on revising political section of new charter
BANGKOK, 7 May 2015 (NNT) - The National Reform
Council (NRC) has been compiling amendment proposals on the draft
constitution, focusing on provisions for political bodies.
According to the Chairman of the NRC’s law and justice system reform
committee Seree Suwanpanont, most NRC members have strong opinions
towards revising the electoral system and the composition of Parliament.
He believed that members of the House of Representatives should be fully
elected, tying the Lower House to the will of the people.
In the event that the constitution retains parallel electoral systems,
Mr. Seree said the ratio of directly-elected MP’s should be
significantly higher than party-listed MP’s.
The NRC member also disagreed on the composition of the new reform
committee, which would include 60 NRC members. He reasoned that the
NRC’s influence would spill into post-election politics.
Amendment proposals from the NRC’s justice committee take into
consideration the opinions of law academics across the country.
NRC’s amendment proposals to be divided into eight major topics
BANGKOK, 7 May 2015 (NNT) - The National Reform
Council (NRC) has divided its members into eight groups to compose
amendment proposals in each area while the Constitution Drafting
Committee (CDC) has expressed readiness to consider all amendment
proposals in a constructive matter.
According to NRC member Bhairote Brohmsarn, the proposals have been
divided into eight main topics with NRC members assigned to each topic
based on their expertise. Main topics include the political system,
state administration and local administration. He was confident that the
members would be able to compile the proposals within the specified time
On the other hand, CDC Spokesperson Assoc Prof Woothisarn Tanchai said
the CDC is not troubled by the potentially large amount of amendment
proposals by the NRC, as the two bodies have been in close contact
throughout the entire drafting process. He said the CDC is well aware
that most of the proposals will be in relation to the composition of
political bodies, adding that the CDC welcomes any constructive
discussion on the matter.
Once the proposals have been received, the CDC will hold discussions to
consider the proposals accordingly, Prof Woothisarn said.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Discovery of Rohingya corpses will not affect Thailand on U.S. human trafficking watch list
BANGKOK, 7 May 2015 (NNT)-The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (MFA) does not believe the discovery of Rohingya corpses in
Songklha will affect Thailand’s ranking on the U.S. human trafficking
MFA Spokesperson Sek Wannamethee has stated that the incident is
unlikely to further demote Thailand in the Trafficking In Persons Report
(TIP) as many have anticipated.
According to the spokesperson, the U.S. has already reviewed its report
on the Thai efforts in eradicating human trafficking on March 31st. The
U.S. is not expected to consider revising the ranking anytime soon.
Ex-Commerce Minister’s impeachment to be decided today
BANGKOK (NNT) - The National Legislative Assembly
(NLA) will vote today whether to impeach the former Commerce Minister
and his associates on grounds of corruption in the previous
government-to-government (G2G) rice program.
Former Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom, former Deputy Commerce
Minister Poom Sarapol, and former Department of Foreign Trade
Director-General Manas Soiploy are facing impeachment on grounds of
malfeasance and corruption, which led to the failure of the previous
government's G2G rice program.
The NLA gave the floor to the plaintiff-- the National Anti-Corruption
Commission-- to deliver its closing statement affirming its conviction
that the defendants are indeed guilty as accused.
Mr Boonsong and Mr Poom delivered their closing defense statements in
person while Mr Manas submitted his in writing.
After the closing statements, NLA President Pornpetch Wichitcholchai
scheduled May 8 as the day for the NLA to decide whether to impeach the
three defendants. Members will vote in a closed ballot.
All the three officials previously declined to attend the hearing
session on Apr 30, claiming their statements might jeopardize their
case, which is also being deliberated by the Supreme court's division
for political office holders.
Weather building launches on southeastern coast of Songkhla
SONGKHLA,7 May 2015 (NNT) - The chief of the
Meteorological Department has launched a weather center on the
southeastern coast of Songkhla province.
Meteorological Department Chief Wanchai Sakudomchai, presided over the
opening of the new meteorological center launched in the southeastern
region of Songkhla.
The director of the new center revealed that meteorological officials
had been operating out of a small two-storey facility that was almost 40
years old. The old building suffered from limited capacity and poor
structural integrity, coupled with outdated equipment and technology. It
could no longer meet modern-day needs for precise, accurate weather
forecasting and disaster prevention.
A 44.8-million-baht budget was requested for a new building in 2014 and
construction was completed in January 22, 2015. The new building
received assistance and support from Hat Yai municipality in terms of
the building's design.
The new weather center is located on Saiburi road, Bho Yang
sub-district, Muang district, Songkhla province. Weather forecasts from
the center are available everyday at Tel. 074-311-760.
Northeast economy shows slight recovery in Q1 of FY2015
BANGKOK, 7 May 2015 (NNT) - The Northeast economy has been showing
positive trends in first quarter of fiscal 2015, thanks to increased
disbursement of government funds.
According to the Bank of Thailand's Director for its Northeast office
Thanedchai Angwarawong, the overall economic situation in the region
from January - March 2015 has increased slightly from the fourth quarter
of last year, due to greater public spending that could continue until
the second quarter.
However, the high rate of household debt has dampened consumer
confidence, and private construction showed contraction, due to
investors holding out for clearer signs of economic recovery.
Less contraction was seen in the agriculture sector, thanks to
stabilizing prices of agricultural products. Meanwhile, commercial banks
recorded a growth in saving deposits from the previous quarter,
mirroring government statistics.
In addition to public spending, the government has also approved four
businesses for nano-financing solutions, as part of its policy to expand
sources of capital for the general public.
Nano-financing licenses fall under a loan bracket of no more than
100,000 baht per person, charging 3 percent per month. This service is
provided under the supervision of the central bank, in a move aimed at
encouraging general spending.
Security-human rights balance needed in ending Rohingya illegal migration, NSC chief says
BANGKOK, 7 May 2015 (NNT) -The Secretary-General of
the National Security Council Anusit Khunakorn said ending illegal
migration of Rohingya to Thailand must be done with a balance of
national security and human rights as illegal migrants fleeing to the
country were not only the Rohingya people. Meanwhile, the investigation
of a Rohingya graveyard in Padang Besar of Sadao district, Songkhla has
been pursued in earnest as ordered by the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister expedited the investigation as he wants to make
everything clear, transparent and stringent, Mr. Anusit continued.
"The investigation process is in progress and is focusing on the
culprits involved. Thailand has called for support from its neighboring
countries; meanwhile all sectors must join hands to make an effort to
end the human trafficking network, with clear and transparent results.”
Mr. Anusit emphasized.
He said that security authorities also benefited from stricter measures
following the Rohingya case, as they assist in suppression of weapon
smuggling and other violations of law.
“I believe the Army is giving close consideration to whether there
should be a further reshuffle in local army posts and it is now under
the supervision of Gen Udomdej Sitabutr, Deputy Minister of Defence and
Army Chief.” Mr.Anusit said.
According to Mr.Anusit, national reforms in future must make transparent
and accountable administration a priority. People should be part of
reform efforts, rather than just concentrating on reform or the
Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Sek Wannamethee was positive that the
Rohingya graveyard case would not have negative impact on the
Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report of Thailand, as the report was
submitted to the US Foreign Ministry on 31st March, a month before the
case was exposed.
Government pawnshops cut rates to help parents before new school semester
BANGKOK, 7 May 2015 (NNT) - According to the
government's "Returning Happiness to Thai People" policy, 34 government
pawnshops nationwide under the Ministry of Social Development and Human
Security, are charging a lower interest rate until June to lighten the
financial load on parents as a new school semester approaches.
The rates are reduced by 25 satang per month on a sum not exceeding
5,000 baht, 75 satang per month for principal amounts between
5,000-10,000 baht, 1 baht per month on 10,001-20,000 baht principal and
1.25 baht per month for higher than 20,000 baht principal.
The rates outlined are lower than the rates indicated in the Pawnshop
Act B.E. 2505
Nakhon Phanom ISOC steps up measures against illegal migration of North Koreans
NAKHON PHANOM, 7 May 2015 (NNT) – The Internal
Security Operation Command (ISOC) of Nakhon Phanom province is now
pushing forward new measures against the illegal migration of refugees,
which uses Thailand as transit before fleeing to other countries.
The vice governor of Nakhon Phanom Somchai Witdamrong chaired the
subcommittee meeting today, at the Nakhon Phanom Anti Human Trafficking
Center in the Nakhon Phanom Provincial Hall.
The Nakhon Phanom ISOC Deputy Director Col Adul Wachiraphetpranee
reported in this meeting that current, the number of illegal migrant
refugees from North Korea are at about 1,000. They remain in wait at the
Thailand-Laos border crossing, before crossing into Nakhon Phanom
The group of refugees are reported to be assisted by a middleman. The
group is believed to take Thailand as the transit country before moving
to other countries. The group of North Koreas are reported to have
escaped North Korea to China, Vietnam, and Laos, before attempting to
enter Thailand at the Ban Klang subdistrict in Nakhon Phanom province.
In response, the Nakhon Phanom ISOC Deputy Director said that the ISOC
has coordinated with all their security agencies and volunteers will be
stepping up their measures to prevent the illegal migration issues.
The Nakhon Phanom vice governor reaffirmed that no immigrant will be
allowed to take refuge Thailand or to use Thailand as a middle ground
before traveling to their target destination to the third country.
He then said that he has urged all security agencies in all districts
connected to the Mekong River, namely the Mueang Nakhon Phanom, Tha
Uthen, That Phanom, and Ban Paeng district, to be more rigorous at all
border crossings and to prevent any potential issues.
PM: Decision on charter referendum rests with Five Rivers
BANGKOK, 7 May 2015 (NNT) – Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha has indicated that the decision whether or not a public
referendum will be conducted on the draft charter will be made in a Five
Prime Minister Prayut revealed that the topics of democracy and
constitution drafting were brought up for discussion during this week’s
Cabinet meeting. The premier said he proposed that the charter drafting
be allowed to proceed in accordance with the mechanism, noting that the
government and the National Council for Peace and Order can only make
suggestions as they do not have the power under Section 44 to meddle
with the process.
The Prime Minister pointed out that should the Five Rivers agree to
organize a public referendum, it would require another three months and
a budget of 3 billion baht before the next general election could come
Personally, Gen Prayut viewed past constitutions of Thailand as
containing too much content which often prompted the need for amendment.
He thus opined that the new charter should contain specific details in
the form of organic laws in order to avoid problems in the enforcement
Second batch of Thai medical team and more necessities scheduled to leave for Nepal
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) – The Royal Thai Air Force
is to send two tonnes of necessities for survivors of the earthquake in
Nepal while the Ministry of Public Health will send another medical team
to replace the first batch on Thursday 7 May, according to the
Department of Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The new medical team will be sent to the Field
Hospital set up in Sipaghat Subdistrict. The Ministry of Public Health
said the team would work to encourage local residents to take part in
the promotion of environmental health and sanitation, disease control,
mental health cares and the restoration of fundamental infrastructure of
health service in that country.
The Department of Information also said the medical team and necessities
will be flown in two C-130 RTAF aircraft. It added that no additional
request for assistance has been made by Thai tourists and expats at the
Thai Embassy in Kathmandu so far.
PM assigns local administrators to screen for illicit activities in 10 days
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) – Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha has tasked local administrative organizations across the
country with conducting an urgent inspection of local communities for
any illegal practices.
Prime Minister Prayut issued an order for all local administrative
organizations to examine areas under their jurisdiction with a
fine-tooth comb, looking out for such activities as human trafficking,
abuse of Rohingya migrants, illegal fishing, forest encroachment and
drug trafficking. The local authorities were given a ten-day deadline to
finish their inspection and report their initial findings.
At the same time, the premier instructed each province to create an
understanding with local state officials regarding work ethics. He
stressed that should any state officials get involved in wrongful
conducts, provincial authorities are authorized to take action against
However, if such wrongdoers are influential figures who are difficult to
handle, Gen Prayut said the province could report the matter to the
Department of Public Administration under the Ministry of Interior or
directly to the National Council for Peace and Order in order to ensure
they will be brought to justice.
Govt soothes quake fears among public
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) – The government has calmed
public worries about a possible powerful earthquake in Thailand, saying
that existing fault lines in the country are not large enough to cause a
In the wake of a medium earthquake on Ko Yao in Phang Nga province
earlier in the morning, the PM's Office Spokesperson Capt. Dr. Yongyuth
Mayalarp said the chance that a tremor measuring over 7 on the Richter
scale would occur in the country was rare, since all 14 active fault
lines are relatively small.
According to Capt. Dr. Yongyuth, the Department of Mineral Resources has
published a map of quake-prone areas and has educated residents in the
areas on how to protect themselves. The Tsunami warning equipment which
was installed in provinces along the Andaman Sea, can send out a warning
an hour before the arrival of a Tsunami, so that people can escape to a
safe place in time.
The Department of Mineral Resources pointed out that the 4.6 magnitude
in Phang Nga was triggered by the Khlong Marui Fault, which extends from
Surath Thani, Phang Nga and Phuket. The fault line has caused three
small quakes since January. However, local people could hardly feel
The Meteorological Department meanwhile detected a 3.2 magnitude
aftershock at an epicenter depth of one kilometer on Ko Yao in Phangnga
in the afternoon. There has been no report of damage.
Economic cabinet expedites plans to address illegal fishing
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) - The government is
urgently solving the problem of IUU fishing to beat the 180-day
timeframe set by the EU. It is also preparing for the EU observation
teams to visit Thailand during 10-22 May, Government Spokesman Yongyuth
Mayalarp revealed after a weekly economic cabinet meeting.
The meeting chaired by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, heard
reports on the progress of IUU fishing suppression by all related
authorities. Gen Prayut assigned them to submit the report on a monthly
basis and finish all the measures within the EU’s timeframe.
Among the measures already done were the registration of fishing
vessels, the installation of Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) on all
fishing trawlers with over 60 Gross Tonnage, the amendment of the
Fisheries Act which is to be in effect in the next two months as well as
the traceability of fishery products. In parallel, the Thai Navy has
expedited the drafting of action and budgetary plans which are to be
proposed to the cabinet.
The meeting also discussed assistance to farmers for the next planting
season. Gen Prayut has ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and
Cooperatives to explain farmers about urgent and long-term measures to
promote agricultural zoning, reduce production cost and prevent the
repetition of the falling prices of agricultural products.
As for the accumulated drought in 3,051 subdistricts, the government has
approved a one-million-baht financial support for each subdistrict to
help farmers reduce production costs in the next planting season. They
will receive cash cards for buying seeds and fertilizers with lower
Thailand assures U.S. of serious efforts in combating human trafficking
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) –The Thai Justice Minister
Gen. Phaitun Khumchaya and a U.S. charge d'affaires have met to discuss
many issues including Thailand’s crack-down on human trafficking.
The Deputy Permanent Secretary for Justice Chanchai Chaiyanukit said the
U.S. Charge d'Affaires Patrick Murphy and his entourage met on Wednesday
with the Thai Justice Minister Gen. Phaitun Khumchaya and the ministry’s
executives to discuss cooperation in various fields. The Minister asked
the charge d’affaires to support Thailand’s operations to combat the
narcotic drugs trade in the Golden Triangle. He also reported the
measures the country is taking against human trafficking to the U.S.
envoy, saying the Thai government was taking the problem very seriously,
the deputy permanent secretary said.
The minister told the U.S. envoy that Thailand was
amending many laws to come into line with international standards in
respect to human rights, Mr. Chanchai added.
The U.S. envoy accepted that Thailand was in a transition period and on
the way to a general election, the deputy permanent secretary said.
Biggest Industrial Subcontracting Exhibition in ASEAN to be held in May
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) – Thailand Board of
Investment (BOI) is set to hold the Subcon Thailand 2015 exhibition on
13-16 May, featuring thousands of companies worldwide that specialize on
BOI’s Acting Secretary-General Hiranya Sujinai has reveled that the BOI
is set to hold the Subcon Thailand 2015 exhibition, the biggest
Industrial Subcontracting Exhibition of its kind in the ASEAN region.
The exhibition is set to take place during 13-16 May 2015.
She has said that up to 1,200 companies from 40 countries around the
world will be participating at this exhibition on industrial machinery.
The event will also showcase manufacturing potential of 300 different
industrial parts manufacturers from 15 countries in the automobile,
electric appliances, electronics, and the heavy machines sector.
The event will also joined by leading global manufacturers in the
automobile, electric appliances, and electronics devices, whom possess
purchasing demands of industrial parts. More than 100 topics of seminars
will also be held throughout the event.
The BOI expects the Subcon Thailand 2015 exhibition to also be the stage
for business matching. This year, the BOI hopes to reach 4,000 business
matching pairs at the exhibition. This figure is the highest among the
previous 8 events, which recorded the highest business match pairing at
Cabinet to consider Chao Phraya riverbank development project next week
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) –The committee of the
project to develop Chao Phraya riverbanks, chaired by Deputy Prime
Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, on Wednesday approved details of the
14-billion-baht project. The project’s procurement contract will be
signed in December 2015 and the construction will likely take place from
January 2016 – July 2017.
The committee will submit the project to the Cabinet meeting next week
for approval, said the committee’s secretary-general, who is also
permanent secretary for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
The committee is surveying the places and people who will be affected by
the project, including eight Buddhist temples, 36 piers, six schools and
restaurants, 19 important places and 268 households. Public hearings and
Environmental Impact Assessment will be arranged.
Government to hold Nepal aid meeting this Friday, PM urges more probe of Rohingya camp
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) – The government will hold
a meeting regarding Nepal earthquake aid and relief operations this
Friday, while the Prime Minister has urged further inspections to locate
any undiscovered Rohingya camps, according a spokesman.
The Deputy Spokesman of the Prime Minister’s Office Maj Gen Sansern
Kaewkamnerd has announced the outcome of the teleconference meeting from
the Prime Minister’s Operation Center to Nepal regarding aid and relief
He has said that the Thailand’s team of military and medical personnel
will continue their services in Nepal until 10 May 2015, while the
government has requested officials in Nepal to detail the items and
methods of aid in need, ranked in necessity.
He also mentioned that the Thai government is ready to support the
establishment of the country's center for restoration efforts through
funding and other forms of support, based on the Thai team's report from
Nepal. The government will hold a meeting regarding this matter this
Friday (8 May 2015).
On the issue of Rohingya refugees, the Deputy Spokesman has reported
that the Prime Minister has already urged all local level officials to
check for any signs of Rohingya detention camps in their areas, and to
be vigilant to respond should another camp be discovered.
The Prime Minister has also assigned local administrative bodies to
inspect for any unlawful items in the area within 10 days, while the
Department of Provincial Administration will be the spearhead
responsible for this operation. A conference with all related agencies
will be held to notify the government’s policy regarding this issue.
The Prime Minister has also mentioned that he could be enforcing his
authority under Article 44 to solve this issue, should any interference
from government officials surface.
Bangkok hosts Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Meeting in Asia-Pacific
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) – The Thai government is
hosting the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Meeting on "Steps
towards Regional Strategic Collaboration in Asia-Pacific on Workforce
Development, National Laboratory System Strengthening & Antimicrobial
Resistance Prevention to Respond Global Challenges” during 6-8 May 2015
The meeting was opened today by Public Health Minister Rajata
Rajatanavin with over 200 participants from 24 Asia-Pacific member
countries and various international organizations including WHO, US CDC,
USAID, FAO and OIE.
Hosting the event are five Thai ministries namely Public Health,
Interior, Foreign Affairs, Defense and Agriculture and Cooperatives.
Mr.Rajata said that health problems are threats to social and economic
development in every country. Ebola is the best example of such a
threat. This has prompted WHO and all of its member countries to jointly
push forward a safe world and global health security.
He told the meeting that Thailand would work alongside all members to
extend cooperation in Asia and the Pacific as well as push forward a
better regional plan. According to him, the Asia-Pacific countries have
shaped the Agreement on Initial Roadmap of Regional Collaboration
focusing on three aspects, namely the development of national laboratory
system, workforce development, and antimicrobial resistance. Thailand
will actively coordinate for the success of those action packages.
Sopon Mekthon, Director-General of the Disease Control Department, added
that Thailand has set up the World Health Security Committee with
cooperation from the five mentioned ministries and two other units
namely the Ministry of Sceince and Technology and the Ministry of
Natural Resources and Environment. In that endeavour, the committee has
outlined assistance framework including provision of scholarships and
training, and laboratory diagnosis support for its neighbouring
countries such as Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
Bangkok to provide living skills training for students
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) – The Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration (BMA) is gearing up its integration of living skills
training and teaching in schools, under the supervision of the BMA to
increase student's skills.
The BMA Deputy Permanent-Secretary Attaporn Suwattanadeja presided over
the opening ceremony of the second Education Institutes Development
Project. The project will provide guidelines on to how to train and come
up with activities that improves the living skills of students to staff.
The Deputy Permanent-Secretary has said that Thai society is now facing
rapid changes in the technological advancement through the abundance of
information, which might harm some youths who are not well prepared to
adapt to the changes. The BMA is now encouraging the training of living
skills to students in BMA-run schools, through idea suggested from the
participants in this event.
He has also said that the outcome of this project will be used by
schools to carry out proper and effective living skills training
activities for their students, based on the conditions of each school.
The Education Institutes Development Project on the guidelines to hold
living skills training activities for students commences from today
until 8 May 2015. Education institutes executives, teachers, and
educational staff will be participating in this seminar. The event
features workshops and lectures that serves to brainstorm the practical
guidelines of training activities that will be implemented in the future
at BMA schools.
April vacationers push revenue up to over 100 billion baht
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) – The Prime Minister's
Office has shown the government’s success in bringing more money into
circulation in the country through special holidays, citing the Ministry
of Tourism and Sports’ report on a noticeable jump in tourist numbers
and revenue in April.
PM Office Spokesperson Capt. Dr. Yongyuth Mayalarp announced that the
number of holidaymakers during April rose 18 percent to 2.2 million
compared with the same period last year. Tourism revenue was also up by
nearly 22 percent to 104 billion baht. Chinese and Malaysian people made
up the largest percentage of foreign tourists.
With a view to boosting people’s spending, the government approved
special long holidays in April for the Chakri Dynasty Day and the
Songkran festival. Critics expressed concern that extended holidays may
encourage Thai people to go abroad instead of spending their holidays
within the country.
As for the May 1-5 Labor and Coronation Day holiday, Capt. Dr. Yongyuth
disclosed that the number of Thai holidaymakers taking overseas trips
during May 1-4 jumped by three percent to 94,000 year-on-year. This
group of people was found to have spent 2.3 billion baht on their
holiday activities. Meanwhile, numbers of foreign tourists increased by
12 percent to 308,000, generating revenue of 14 billion baht.
At the same time, hotel bookings in popular tourist destinations went up
by seven percent. Bookings in cities highly publicized by the Tourism
Authority of Thailand were also popular, surging 11 percent.
Prospects of public referendum will be clear after meeting of 5 reform bodies
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) - The Constitution Drafting
Committee (CDC) says it believes the prospects of holding a public
referendum on the new constitution will be clear after the meeting
between the country’s five reform bodies. However, in order to do so,
the current interim constitution must be amended.
CDC member Buntoon Srethasirote has disclosed that a meeting will be
held between the country’s five reform bodies, which are the CDC, the
NCPO, the government, the National Legislative Assembly, and the
National Reform Council. It will be clear after this meeting whether
they will support a public referendum.
According to Mr Buntoon, the current interim charter must be amended to
stipulate that a public referendum must be held to approve of the new
constitution, adding that the amendment must be proposed under the
normal legislative process in Parliament.
In addition, if the public referendum is agreed upon, further
discussions will be held on what the public referendum will be about,
whether it is the approval of the new charter as a whole or only of
certain contentious provisions. The public must then be given a certain
amount of time to study the charter, which Mr Buntoon speculates to be
90 days. An organization must also be tasked with educating the public
about the new charter.
Nevertheless, Mr Buntoon noted that the new charter must also be
approved by the National Reform Council.
Phuket opens Port In - Port Out Controlling Center to fight illegal fishing
PHUKET, 6 May 2015 (NNT) – Phuket province has opened
the Port In - Port Out Controlling Center as part of the measures
against the Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU Fishing),
according to the navy and provincial officers.
Royal Thai Navy’s Third Naval Area Command Chief of Staff Rear Admiral
Somchai Na Bangchang, along with the governor of Phuket Nisit
Chansomwong have presided over the opening ceremony of the port in and
out report control center for fishing vessels at the Phuket Fisheries
Seashore Radio Station.
The Third Naval Area Command Chief of Staff has said that the Command
Center for Combating Illegal Fishing will be coordinating with all
sectors to solve the illegal fishing activities in all aspects, after
the country has been alarmed by the European Union to step up its
measures to eradicate IUU fishing.
He has said the Third Naval Area Command has been appointed by the Royal
Thai Navy on the law enforcement, and has established 26 Port In - Port
Out Controlling Centers nationwide for this operation.
The Port In - Port Out Controlling Center will be informing all agencies
to maximize inclusiveness, as well as publicizing the information and
raising awareness among the fisheries entrepreneurs. The private sector
will then cooperate by disclosing their information as well.
All fishery vessels weighing at 30 ton gross or over are required to
report their port-in and port-out activities to the controlling center
for 24 hours. The current service covers up to 148 fishery vessels in
MR Pridiyahorn: Thailand not in period of deflation
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) - Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn
Devakula has affirmed that the country has not entered a period of
The Deputy PM revealed that he has closely monitored the negative
inflation rate, along with officials from the Ministry of Finance, the
Bank of Thailand and the Office of the National Economic and Social
He blamed the negative figure on the fall in global oil prices, which
has also affected the value of precious metals. The Deputy PM also
attributed baht's appreciation to the global economic slowdown, coupled
with a drop in the prices of agricultural products.
However, MR Pridiyathorn did not conclude that the country has
officially entered a period of deflation. He claimed that the deflation
would have to continue for another 5-6 months in order to establish a
The Deputy PM was also unconcerned about the rise in household debt to
87 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, as the proportion of
non-performing loans has not risen.
IMF praises Thailand for economic preparedness
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) - The Deputy Managing
Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has admired Thailand
for its economic preparedness.
During a meeting with Deputy PM for economy M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula,
IMF Deputy Managing Director Mitsuhiro Furusawa voiced his satisfaction
with the government’s economic policy and schemes.
M.R. Pridiyathorn disclosed that the IMF Deputy Managing Director had
suggested that the country speed up reforms in five areas including oil,
tax, digital economy, modern industrial development and incentives for
The Deputy PM said that the government was working on new inheritance
taxation but had suspended property taxation pending a thorough study.
M.R. Pridiyathorn also denied that the economic slowdown was attributed
He further explained that the country’s economy was in fact affected by
the lackluster global economy caused by the dramatic oil price drop.
Hence, there is no need for the government to issue an economic stimulus
package to solve uncontrollable factors.
Worst cyclone in 60 years strikes two districts in Chiang Mai
CHIANGMAI, 6 May 2015 (NNT) – Chiang Mai Province has
experienced its worst tropical storm in 60 years, which last night
wrought extensive damage in two districts.
The storm last night caused large trees to fall on electricity poles,
leading to an overnight blackout in many areas in the districts of
Sansai and Doi Saket. Local authorities had to spend the whole night
removing the fallen trees which not only disrupted the power supply but
also blocked a road.
The cyclone also blew the roofs off more than 100 houses. Affected
locals said the storm was the heaviest in the past 60 years, adding that
their possessions were blown skywards and fell violently to the ground
as they watched unable to intervene. A number of shops and advertising
signs were also badly damaged.
The Chiang Mai provincial governor has instructed agencies in charge to
assess the damage and provide immediate help to the villagers.
Royal Thai Police warns computer users of ransomware virus
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) - The Royal Thai
Police has advised the public not to download
programs from unreliable sources, after a large
number of computers were reportedly infected by
Communication Police Chief Police Lieutenant
Wissanu Prasartthong-osot said that this type of
malware could infect a computer system when the
user is tricked into opening a suspicious file
contained in an email. Most of those affected by
the virus did not realize the email was sent by
a third party impersonating someone they know.
The virus prevents the users from accessing
their own computers. Victims of ransomware will
then be required to pay by means of digital
currency or ‘BitCoin’ to the third party if they
wish to use their machine again.
The Communication Police Chief has told computer
users to download a specific disinfection
program at the following website:
They have also been told to install an antivirus
program in their computer and to not download
anything from suspicious sites.
Newer and tighter regulations on lottery price are to be implemented next month
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015, (NNT) - The National Council for
Peace and Order and the government will start implementing new measures
against overpriced lottery tickets next month, right after the previous
lottery quota expires.
The Deputy Spokesperson of the Prime Minister’s Office, Major General
Sansern Keawkamnerd, has said the new measures are aimed at reorganizing
the entire lottery distribution system. According to him, those who have
in the past allocated tickets have been selling the tickets to third
parties, making the tickets more expensive as they move from one seller
to another. The move creates burden to the consumers while allowing
those involved in the scheme to make the so-called grey money.
The spokesperson said the new quota system would distribute lottery
tickets to seller both in and outside of the capital, he said, adding
that these tickets would be sold at lower price and that the government
would initiate a buy-back program to deal with unsold tickets.
Phang Nga quake causes no damage
PHANG NGA, 6 May 2015 (NNT) – Phang Nga Provincial
Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has allayed
public fears of heavy damage after a 4.6-magnitude earthquake early this
morning shook Ko Yao in Phang Nga province.
Phang Nga DDPM reported that so far, there had been no confirmed reports
of damages to property or lives as a result of the tremor. However,
authorities have remained vigilant and continued to monitor tsunami
The quake shook the island of Ko Yao at 04:18 hrs today, with an
epicenter depth of four kilometers. The island is located 18 kilometers
southeast of Phuket’s Muang District. The quake was reportedly felt in
many areas of Phang Nga, Phuket and Krabi.
Phang Nga is one the provinces that lies on the Khlong Marui Fault, one
of the active fault lines in southern Thailand. The fault line also runs
through Surat Thani, Krabi and Phuket.
NRC to hold seminar with political parties and academics on new charter
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) - The National Reform
Council will invite 74 political parties as well
as academics and professors to a seminar on May
15 to discuss revisions to the draft
constitution as well as various opinions on
holding a public referendum.
Chairman of the NRC’s political reform committee
Prof. Sombat Thamrongthanyawong said the seminar
is aimed at receiving well-rounded input from a
variety of sources. It is also aimed at
demonstrating that the proposals the NRC will
submit to the charter drafters have been vetted
by the professionals attending the seminar.
Prof. Sombat also supports a public referendum
on the new charter as it would help legitimize
the new charter and help foster national unity.
Public Health Ministry to compile rescue lessons in Nepal as guideline for future disaster in Thailand
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) – The Public Health
Ministry has planned to compile lessons from its
sending of medical teams to Nepal, hoping to use
them in developing an emergency response
guidebook for similar efforts in Thailand,
Dr.Surachet Satitniramai, acting Permanent
Secretary for Public Health revealed.
Dr.Surachet said that the guidebook should
contain lessons and experiences the Thai medical
teams have gained while working with
international relief teams in Nepal. The lessons
will be useful to both medical staff and people
in Thailand if they need to face similar
After nearly two weeks since the quake, the
Nepalese government has decided to end its
rescue mission and concentrate on the country’s
restoration. The Thai rescue team also adjusted
its mission in line with the Nepalese plan.
The second Thai medical team is to be sent to
replace the MERT team which is working at the
Field Hospital in Sipaghat Subdistrict and about
to end their mission on 7 May. The new team will
focus on mobile service in which they will walk
into affected villages in mountainous terrain to
advice local residents on environmental health
and sanitation, disease control, mental health,
food and toilet hygiene.
The team will comprise twenty four members and
is scheduled to leave for Nepal on 7 May. They
will also take 120,000 packets of drinking water
powder donated by Her Royal Highness Princess
Soamsawali for distribution to villagers in
remote mountainous areas in order to prevent
them from digestive diseases.
Pattani launches fishing boat controling center
PATTANI, 6 May 2015 (NNT) - Pattani province has
launched a 24-hour port in-port out controlling
center in the hope to prevent illegal fishing
and human trafficking in the fishing industry.
Pattani Governor Wiraphong Kaeosuwan on
Wednesday presided over the opening ceremony of
the center. It is a collaboration between the
navy, the Department of Fisheries, the Marine
Department, the Department of Labor Protection
and Welfare, the police, the Department of Local
Administration and local fishery groups.
The center is part of the Thai government's
urgent work after the EU threatened to ban Thai
seafood exports if the problem of IUU fishing is
not tackled efficiently within six months.
The governor asked all relevant units in the
province to encourage entrepreneurs in the
fishing industry and fishing boats to register
with the authorities.
SBPAC issues 6-month performance report
YALA, 6 May 2015 (NNT) – The Southern Border Provinces
Administrative Center (SBPAC) has presented its achievements
over the past six months, saying improvements in local economy
and quality of life in the Deep South have led to a more
SBPAC Secretary-General Phanu Uthairat chaired a press
conference to announce results from the agency’s six-month
operations, with the participation of related officials and
media members. He said SBPAC has been working closely with the
Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 and the Southern
Border Provinces Police Operation Center to solve problems and
foster peace and development in the Deep South in line with
policy of the government and the National Council for Peace and
The Secretary-General reported that the overall situation in the
region has turned for the better, affirming the agency will
ensure more improvements will be continuously seen. He also
cited a recent survey as indicating that insurgent activities
have diminished by 60 percent, thanks to a stronger economy and
better living conditions of local residents.
According to Mr Phanu, the main accomplishments during the
six-month period include uplifting the people’s life quality,
increasing career opportunities in the region, stimulating the
local economy and fostering sustainability through educational
promotion and collaboration with other security agencies.
Herbal Products Association and allies propose ideas for reform of traditional Thai medicine
BANGKOK, 6 May 2015 (NNT) – Groups of traditional medicine
advocates have proposed to the National Reform Council their
ideas on the reform of the practice of alternative medicine in
Chairman of the NRC’s sub-committee on traditional Thai medicine
reform Admiral Chanchai Charoensuwan on Wednesday met with
representatives from the Herbal Products Association and the
Herbal Industry Club under the Federation of Thai Industries who
submitted a proposal on the reform process.
Chairman of the Herbal Products Association Metha Simavara told
Admiral Chanchai that the proposal includes calls for the
enactment of the Herbal Medicines Act in order to allow for the
independence of the traditional medicine practice as well as its
He added that the groups would also like the government to
consider authorizing the Department for Development of Thai
Traditional and Alternative Medicine to be in charge of the
registration of ancient drugs, which is currently the
responsibility of the Food and Drug Administration.
In his response, Admiral Chanchai said that he will look at both
and other suggestions included in the proposal and consider them
when the committee plans the reform process.