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Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar hold talks on trade issues

BANGKOK, 21 May 2015 (NNT) Officials from Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar have held a discussion addressing trading issues, prior to the integration of the ASEAN Community at the end of this year.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai chaired the meeting reviewing the development of the East-West Economic Corridor, at the St. Regis Hotel in Bangkok, along with the Lao Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith, the Myanmar Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Thant Kyaw, and the Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ho Xuan Son.

The meeting discussed facilitation and troubleshooting on behalf of multinational transportation utilizing the East-West Economic Corridor for trade, investment, tourism, and personal transport at a sub-regional level, prior to the integration of the ASEAN Community at the end of this year.

The meeting regarded the infrastructure improvement projects along the East-West Economic Corridor such as roads, bridges, and border posts as successful. The meeting also agreed to expedite the introduction of regulations and practices that will facilitate the cross border transport of goods and passengers.


World Milk Day set for June 1st

BANGKOK, 21 May 2015 (NNT) The Department of Livestock Development, Dairy Farming Promotion Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are gearing up World Milk Day on June 1.

Director-General of Department of Livestock Development Ayuth Harintharanon said World Milk Day would be held on the ground floor of Future Park Rangsit shopping mall. This year’s activities are based on the theme "Milk: Nutritious Food since Ancient Times."

In the event, visitors will be able to watch an edutainment exhibition on milk production, dairy products, music shows by popular artists, as well as shop for healthy products selected by local dairy producers.

Aside from launching World Milk Day, the Thai government spends a budget of over 13 billion baht a year on the distribution of fresh milk to more than seven million school children. The project also benefits over 17,000 households of dairy producers.

The FAO designates June 1 as World Milk Day to highlight the importance of milk and publicize activities connected with the dairy industry. Over 40 countries will also launch similar activities to mark this special day.


The Ornamental Plants and Fishes Festival to be held on 5-28 Jun near Govt House

BANGKOK, 21 May 2015 (NNT) The government is to organize "the Ornamental Plants and Fishes Frstival" from 5-28 June 2015 at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem Market next to the Government House.

Deputy Director-General of the Fisheries Department Juadee Pongmaneerat said that the festival will be held under the theme "Creative Aquarium Worth Your Time".

"The festival will offer a wide range of ornamental fish aquarium arrangements that are easy and convenient for urban lifestyle. Fish lovers will find all kinds of equipment for salted and freshwater aquarium arrangement directly from suppliers," said Ms.Juadee.

Highlights of the event are the display and sale of expensive and rare ornamental fishes including Albino Pearl Ray, Black Diamond, and Jumbo fishes such as Platinum which was developed by Thai breeder. Prices range from a hundred thousand to 7-digit sums.

Also exhibited at the festival will be "Ornamental Plants for Urban Lifestyle". Director-General of the Department of Agriculture Extension Olan Pituck said that it provides urban residents with a variety of quality plants such as plants for absorbing toxins in building as well as blooming cold-climate plants.

Moreover, the Department also provides demonstrations and training in flower arrangement and gardening in house and condominium by experienced professionals. The trainings are open to all who are just interested.


Government Lottery Office to impose harsher penalities for retail violations

BANGKOK, 21 May 2015 (NNT) – The Government Lottery Office (GLO) has announced that it will spare no effort to bring to justice sellers who have overpriced their lottery tickets, adding that it will dispatch special teams to search for rogue operators.

GLO Chairman Major General Apirat Kongsompong confirmed that lottery tickets for the June 16 drawing, which will be available on June 2, must be sold at 80 baht per pair. Those caught in violation of the price regulation will face a jail term of one month and/or a fine of 10,000 baht.

The GLO has appointed ten fact-finding teams consisting of personnel from the army, police, Revenue Department and Department of Special Investigation (DSI).

The ad hoc teams, are deployed across ten major cities. They have been assigned to track down lottery retailers that violate the price regulation.

General Apirat disclosed that the GLO has received incriminating information on major lottery agencies and is prepared to impose harsher punishments, such as seizing assets.


Singkhon border upgrade yields opportunities, says Chamber of Commerce

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN, 21 May 2015 (NNT) Singkhon border post's upgrade into a special border crossing will provide opportunities for Thai entrepreneurs to invest in Myanmar and reduce their transportation costs, says the Prachuap Khiri Khan Chamber of Commerce.

According to the Honorable Chairman of the Prachuap Khiri Khan Chamber of Commerce Nipon Suwannava, the Singkhon special border crossing upgrade is considered a successful cooperation effort between the government and the private sector, as it will help increase the border trade value.

He has said that this upgrade will provide more opportunities for Thai entrepreneurs to invest in Myanmar, especially in the businesses regarding electricity, hotels and accommodations, construction material, and infrastructure improvements, which are still lacking in Myeik, Myanmar.

The Prachuap Khiri Khan Chamber of Commerce's Honorable Chairman added that road improvements, on roads 200 meters, along the Singkhon border post to Myeik in Myanmar will help facilitate trade and investment as it will help reduce the time and cost of transportation.


NLA approves of plan to make Thailand the aircraft hub of ASEAN

 BANGKOK, 21 May 2015 (NNT) The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has approved compliance with the 8th ASEAN air transport agreement, in a move to make Thailand the region’s aircraft service and maintenance hub.

The Protocol to Implement the Eighth Package of Commitments on Air Transport Services under the ASEAN Framework was signed by ASEAN Transport Ministers, including Thailand's ACM Prajin Junthong.

Compliance with the protocol is part of ministry efforts to expand the quality and scope of transportation infrastructure and servicing in Thailand.

NLA members commented that the protocol requires a revamping of the country’s servicing and customs standards, as well as establishing a clear action plan towards making Thailand the region’s aircraft servicing and maintenance hub.

ACM Prajin responded that his ministry has unveiled phase two of expansions to Don Mueang International Airport, which will commence in 2016. The Ministry of Finance has been tasked with updating its customs policies, while airlines undergo strict inspections to meet international standards.

As for an action plan to make Thailand the region’s air transport hub, the Ministry of Transport has established a committee to determine the most suitable airport for international servicing and maintenance. It has allocated funding for aircraft service and maintenance training.

After deliberations, the NLA approved of the protocol that complies with the 8th air transport service agreement under ASEAN guidelines with 191 votes with none in opposition and 6 abstentions.


Phuket to hold major event later this month to boost halal-based tourism

PHUKET, 21 May 2015 (NNT) The "Phuket Andaman Halal Tourism 2015" festival is to be held during 28-30 May to promote the Year of Thainess and assure worldwide Muslim tourists that Phuket is “Muslim Friendly Destination”.

Director of Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (PPAO) Soratham Jinda said at a press conference that the festival is to be held for the seventh year under the cooperation of three local organizations - PPAO, the Central Islamic Council of Thailand and the Office of the Sheikhul Islam or “Chularatchamontri” in Thai.

“The campaign is aimed at promoting halal-based tourism industry in the province in line with the government policy designating 2015 as the year of Discover Thainess,” added Mr.Soratham.

Activities in the three-day festival are divided into two sections. The first one features academic seminars on “Thai Muslim Way of Life 2015” to be held during 28-29 May. Surin Pitsuwan, a former Secretary-General of ASEAN, will be one of the guest speakers to explore the Andaman Sea as attractive tourism zone for Muslims. The second section is “Phuket Andaman Halal Expo 2015” which will take place on the last two days of this month, 29-30 May.


Prime Minister: Thailand handles Rohingya issue with UN standard

BANGKOK, 21 May 2015 (NNT) The Prime Minister has affirmed that Thailand is complying with the United Nations’ principles regarding its actions to the Rohingya refugees.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has said during a speech about the 2016 budget allocation, regarding the solution for the Rohingya refugees, that the nation's management on the matter is in line with the principles drawn by the United Nations’.

He has insisted that Thailand will not set up any more refugee camps. Refugee camps have already been established in border areas while the government has been providing care and educational services. He affirmed that all decisions have not breached international procedures.

The PM has requested the media to help present factual information regarding the government’s solution to the matter, and asked the Thai public to refrain from actions that would escalate the border area disputes.

He also addressed that Thailand is willing to cooperate with the international community in all aspects, to facilitate a cooperative environment in the border areas, while the ASEAN Community will not interfere with individual political matters in member countries


Operation center ordered to keep watching daily social problems

BANGKOK, 21 May 2015 (NNT) The Minister of Social Development and Human Security has reiterated to all of its units to keep monitoring social problems and provide acute assistance to affected people as well as less fortunate members of the society.

Minister Adul Saengsingkeaw told a workshop of the MSDHS operations center today that the center must monitor social problems in Thai society and record them daily for use in future analysis and working out short- and long-term solutions to the problems. These problems include human trafficking, domestic violence, unprepared pregnancy, aging society as well as poverty.

Officers of the MSDHS center hold a meeting every morning to discuss emerging problems and formulate solutions and prevention for each of the problems on a timely basis.

Not only the operation center, the ministry has also established "One Stop Crisis Center” or OSCC which people can inform social problems through hotline 1300 around the clock.


Ranong keeps close eye on 2,000 Rohingya migrants trying to enter Thai sea

BANGKOK, 21 May 2015 (NNT) The national security department in Ranong province has instructed local authorities to monitor the illegal migration situation after it was informed that more than 2,000 Rohingya people would enter the Thai territorial sea from 29 May to 3 June 2015.

Deputy Director of the Ranong Internal Security Operations Command Col. Suthiphong Chingphakdi said he had asked all relevant units in the province to adhere to the government’s policy on Rohingya migrants and human rights. Rohigya boat people must be prevented from entering the country and denied entry immediately, the official added.

The Thai authorities would discourage them from trying to come ashore and provide them with food, drinking water, medicines and fuel so that they would be able to travel to the third country, the deputy director said.

On 29 May 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand will host the special meeting on irregular migration in the Indian Ocean. The meeting will be attended by 18 countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, the U.S. amd Switzerland and relevant international organizations such as the UNHCR, IOM and UNODC.


BMA proposes raising risk allowances for firefighters

BANGKOK, 21 May 2015 (NNT) Deputy Bangkok Governor Police General Asawin Kwanmuang says he has planned to seek approval from the Bangkok Metropolitan Council for its proposal to boost risk allowances of firefighters working under the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).

General Asawin said BMA legal officials would be assigned to study laws and regulations regarding wage increase and to look for new budget sources to cover future expenses. He explained the idea of giving BMA firemen a pay rise was brought up as result of the higher cost of living and the dangers of their jobs.

If the idea is approved, risk allowances for firefighters will be adjusted from 5,000 baht to 8,000 baht per month. Risk allowances for BMA firefighters have remained unchanged since 2003. Those who work over 12 hours per day are unable to receive overtime payments.

The BMA currently spends 7.5 million baht on risk allowances for its 1,500 firefighters per month. If the proposed 8,000-baht allowance is approved, the expense will rise to 12 million baht per month.


Thailand joins six other FPGH countries in drug resistance discussion in Geneva

GENEVA, 21 May 2015 (NNT) Thai Public Health Minister Ratchata Ratchatanawin attended on Thursday a meeting with his counterparts from six other members in the ‘Foreign Policy and Global Health’ initiative, at the 68th World Health Assembly (WHA) 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Foreign Policy and Global Health (FPGH) initiative comprises seven countries, namely Brazil, Indonesia, France, Norway, Senegal, South Africa and Thailand. They formed the group in 2006, hoping to improve world health through the multilateral cooperation in foreign affairs policies.

According to Mr.Ratchata, four issues discussed in the meeting were related to the building resilient health system, the international health crisis management, as well as health in the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr.Ratchata also attended the Parallel Meeting on Antibiotics Smart Use to boost serious effort to reduce opportunity of drug resistance in the future after latest World Health Organization (WHO) report in 2013 indicated several antimicrobial drug resistance including urinary tract infectious bacteria, pneumonia and Tuberculosis.

Around 20% of old patients with Tuberculosis and 3.5% of new patients become drug resistant. 480,000 new patients who are infected with Tuberculosis are residing in 100 countries. This has urged all countries to put more efforts on the control of the drug resistance in order to prevent loss of medical expense and deaths of patients.

Mr.Ratchata confirmed that Thailand has continuously provided support to the FPGH initiative. The Thai government aims to promote the cross-ministerial integration in improve sustainable public health throughout 2015.


Energy Minister launches LED Expo to promote energy saving

BANGKOK, 21 May 2015 (NNT) The Minister of Energy has kicked off the LED Expo Thailand 2015, with an aim to encourage people to help conserve power by opting for LED lamps.

While presiding over the opening ceremony for the LED Expo Thailand 2015 at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani, Energy Minister Narongchai Akrasanee gave an address to participants, saying his ministry has prepared a comprehensive policy on energy resources management and conservation. He stated that the policy was designed in accordance with the 20-year Energy Efficiency Action Plan, which targets to reduce power consumption by 25 percent.

The minister said an important aspect of the policy is the promotion of the use of energy-efficient devices, including LED lamps. Therefore, the LED Expo Thailand 2015, the largest of its kind in ASEAN, is being organized by the Energy Ministry in cooperation with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to introduce LED products and other power-saving innovations to the public.

The event will be open from now until May 24 between 11 am and 6 pm daily. According to EGAT Governor Soonchai Kumnoonsate, the first three days are reserved for business negotiations while the general public will be welcome on the last day. With huge discounts being offered by over 350 exhibitors, he believes more than 18,000 people, both Thai and foreign, will be visiting the fair.


MRT has helped ease traffic in Bangkok during 11 years in service

BANGKOK, 20 May 2015 (NNT) Transport Minister Prajin Juntong today opened the “11th Anniversary of MRT” celebration held at the Thailand Cultural Center Station under the concept “Welcome Back to School with Happiness”.

The celebration was held to mark 11 years of service of the Metropolitan Rapid Transit Chaloem Ratchamongkhon Line in 2015. Prajin said that greater numbers of passengers have been using the MRT, resulting in less traffic congestion. He thus invited Bangkok residents, especially parents, children and students, to use the MRT during school semester in order to avoid traffic congestion.

He also revealed the progress of the Purple Line construction. He said that Metropolitan Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand has expedited the construction, hoping to operate the first trial run during Jan - Mar 2016 and expecting to provide official service some time during Apr - May 2016, four months earlier than the schedule.


Pattani authorities meet to tackle IUU fishing

PATTANI, 20 May 2015 (NNT) The Sea Fishery Worker Management Center in Pattani Province called a meeting of all provincial authorities today at the Provincial Labour Protection and Welfare Office to mobilize their force to eliminate IUU fishing following the government’s order.

The Pattani’s center comprises police, military, representatives from the Second Naval Area Command, the Special Investigation Operation Center for Southern Border Provinces, as well as units affiliated to the Labour Ministry.

Pattani is one of the 22 coastal provinces of Thailand claimed to be sites of IUU fishing. Pattani deputy governor Luechai Charoensap who presided over today’s meeting revealed that the meeting clarified scope of responsibility for each unit and approaches for the joint inspection of working conditions as well as human trafficking in the entire fishery sector.

“Responsibilities of the Sea Fishery Worker Management Center cover the registration of fishing vessels and inspection of those vessels while operating off the coast. Information sharing system among state agencies and the establishment of Port in - Port out Checkpoint are also parts of its mission,” said Mr.Luechai.

He expected that Pattani Province would be able to deal with the problem of illegal workers in the fishery sector and control other problems such as child labour and forced labour. He was confident the province would be able to shut down human trafficking in parallel with improvement of working conditions in order to ensure safety for all workers in the sector.


Landscape adjustment campaign held to boost tourism in Krabi

KRABI, 20 May 2015 (NNT) “Krabi: The City of Beauty and Clean Water” campaign has been officially launched in which electricity and phone cables and transport routes in the province will be rearranged to improve its landscape.

Krabi Governor Songpol Sawastham who launched the campaign on Wednesday said that it would be implemented with the help of Krabi’s Provincial Electricity Authority and related government units.

“It is to boost tourist perception of Krabi as a year-round tourist destination that can be revisited any time of the year. The province has more than the sea to surprise tourists,” said Mr.Songpol.

The campaign is one of the twelve agendas for 2015-2016 the province has set up to push forward its new positioning. Among other agendas is the "One Distirct One Route for Bigger Smiles” project.

All those projects will not only benefit local tourism, he added, but also development of local communities. All sectors in the province have been encouraged to contribute to the improvement of the city’s cleanliness and the control of disease carriers. At the same time, they were told to study self-preparations for natural disasters. These activities will help promote good relationships among officials, local administrators, and the business and civil sectors.

According to the Governor of Krabi, the campaign demonstrated the effort of provincial authorities to take care of public well-beings in line with the government policy to return happiness to the people.


MFA affirms Thailand has long been helping Rohingyas

BANGKOK, 20 May 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has responded to international calls for Thailand to assist Rohingya migrants, saying the Kingdom has already been doing so.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai echoed the Prime Minister’s statement that Thailand is not being indifferent to the plight of the Rohingyas as humanitarian aid has continuously been extended to them. Similar to neighboring countries, he said Thailand has been reaching out to the migrants as necessary while those entering the country illegally have been treated appropriately in compliance with the law.

Mr Don indicated that the international community’s request for Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia to jointly take care of the Rohingyas was understandable and was not a surprise. Nonetheless, he affirmed Thailand has already been doing its part, especially after the imposition of Section 44 which has led to more serious suppression of human trafficking.

In regard to the Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean to be hosted by Thailand on May 29, a total of 17 countries and 3 international organizations have confirmed their attendance. Mr Don said there will be discussions on all issues related to Rohingya migrants, from the assistance of those stranded at sea to the provision of shelters for those arriving on the shore as a short-term solution and the search for long-term solutions to stop their migration.


Krabi to regulate placement of billboards for better landscape

KRABI, 20 May 2015 (NNT) Krabi Province is to regulate placement of expired and worn-out billboards while city trees will be given pruning to improve the landscape of Krabi as a famous tourism city.

Krabi Governor Songpol Sawastham revealed that the move was part of “Krabi: The City of Beauty and Clean Water” campaign, one of the twelve provincial agendas for 2015-2016.

“Provincial authorities in Krabi are called to help in the removal of worn-out billboards. They are from Krabi’s Highways District Office, the Department of Rural Roads, local administrative organizations, community volunteers, police and military personnel,” Mr.Songpol said.

The operation will take place on six specified days in different locations across the province. Billboards located from the Krabi Technical College Intersection to Krabi-Khao Thong Road were already cleared on Wednesday 20 May 2105. The rest of the operations are scheduled for 21st, 25th, 26th, 27th, and 29th May.

The Governor has also called on the public to render cooperation in carrying out the new regulation to success.


Transport Ministry reviews Suvarnnabhumi’s 2nd Phase development plan

BANGKOK, 21 May 2015, (NNT) The Ministry of Transport is reviewing the development plan of Suvarnnabhumi International Airport, says Airport of Thailand (AOF).

According to AOT Chief Executive Officer, Nitinai Sirismatthakarn, the plan earlier drafted by the AOT and submitted to the ministry last month, needs to be revised, as the ministry deemed the multi-terminal project did not belong to the development plan; besides, an Environmental Impact Assessment is needed before it can be further forwarded to the Cabinet.

The ministry stated that both underground-related and building construction projects should be integrated into one single scheme, adding that the former should start in March 2016, and the latter in March 2017. An entire plan should be completed in 2019.

Mr. Nitinai said the construction of a second passenger building and a walkway connecting the existing passenger building to the monorail station will be included in the new project, of which the draft is expected to be completed in 3-6 months' time before being submitted to the Cabinet for approval next year. Once approved the construction is expected to be finished in 2020.


Foreign investors interested in government's infrastructure projects

BANGKOK, 21 May 2015, (NNT) Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) President Kesara Manchusri has said foreign investors are interested in the Thai government’s infrastructure projects.

According to her, both foreign and local investors have been following these projects closely, as 29 percent of registered companies in the SET would benefit from them. Most of the firms are those in the construction, information & communication, energy, public utility, transportation and logistics industries.

She also said the survey of registered companies' chief executive officers, conducted by the SET last month, indicated that government policies and projects would play a crucial role in spurring the growth of the local economy and the industrial sector in the latter half of this year. The CEOs also viewed that solid transportation infrastructure linking Thailand to its neighboring countries would in the long run make Thailand an investment hub in the region.


Plans for the construction of 2 high speed railways should be completed in the next 2 months

BANGKOK, 21 May 2015, (NNT) The Ministry of Transport has said the plan for the construction of 2 high speed railways linking Bangkok to Pattaya and Bangkok to Hua Hin should be finalized in the next couple of months.

According to the Transport Minister, Air Chief Marshal Prajin Janthong, the details for both railway projects will soon be outlined, finalized and ready to be proposed to the Cabinet in July.

Initially, the construction cost for the Bangkok - Hua Hin route is estimated at 90 billion baht, whereas the Bangkok - Pattaya route will cost approximately 100 billion baht.

Both project would take 2-3 years to complete, said ACM Prajn, adding that both deals would be offered to local contractors first. A few local construction companies have already expressed interest in the deals so far. Foreign companies from Germany, China and Japan have also shown interest in the second projects.


Prayut explains strategies to boost Thai competitiveness in global rice market

NONTHABURI, 20 May 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha emphasized serious cooperation among the government, private sector and farmers to push forward the country’s strategic plans and policy in rice trading. The Prime Minister made the speech while presiding over the opening ceremony of Thailand Rice Convention 2015 held on Wednesday at IMPACT, Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi.

Gen Prayut said that the government policy seeks to increase the competitiveness of Thai rice in the global market as well as in ASEAN. He mentioned the need to study the trends of demand and supply of Thai rice in order to develop a proper plan of rice-based products.

He explained that seven action plans have been formulated to push the Thai rice strategy, including a plan for sustainable rice development, improvement of fairness in rice trading system, standardization of rice production, promotion of rice-based innovations as well as the use of strict control and inspection at all stages of the rice production and supply chain.

The Thailand Rice Convention 2015 was opened on 19 May and is to end on Thursday 21 May 2015. It is part of the government’s efforts to convey outstanding royal contributions to rice development of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on occasion of her 5th cycle birthday on 2 April 2015.


Chiang Mai volunteers trained in anti-drug operations

CHIANG MAI, 20 May 2015 (NNT) Security authorities and health officials in Fang district of Chiang Mai province have joined hands in a special training exercise aimed at enhancing the skills of anti-drug campaign volunteers.

The opening ceremony was chaired by chief of the district’s Drug Prevention and Suppression Operation Center. More than 200 volunteers across the district have participated in the program.

The volunteers will be educated by security authorities and health experts on essential skills and best practice when it comes to performing duties in risk-prone areas. These include search and seizure of illegal items, entering a suspect’s home, club operations and emergency rescue.

Participating agencies included Fang district police, Volunteer Defense Corps, border patrol police and Fang Hospital. The training exercise was prompted by a report that over 100 villages in Fang district are susceptible to drug-related crimes.

Drug problems have been a major concern for the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). The NCPO last year declared drug prevention and suppression part of the national agenda.


Justice Minister joins drugs suppression meeting in Vietnam

BANGKOK, 20 May 2015 (NNT) The Minister of Justice departed to Vietnam today, to join a meeting on drugs suppression.

The Minister of Justice Gen Paiboon Koomchaya traveled to Vietnam today to participate on a meeting to discuss narcotics suppression efforts. He said that so far, drug suppression operations have shown much progress.

The Justice Minister said that the solution to the narcotics issue will require cooperation with neighbouring countries in the Golden Triangle Group including China, Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand. Wider cooperation will see the inclusion of the Greater Mekong Subregion countries, and the ASEAN member countries. He said global scale operations with the global community will also be necessary.

He said that funding will be required to support the farmers in Laos and Myanmar to stop them from cultivating plants used in drug production.

A long term plan with adequate timing will be required to solve this issue. The demand for narcotics must be reduced in order for the suppression plan to succeed, and a draft for this plan will be required.


Samut Songkhram launches anti human trafficking campaign for immigrants

SAMUT SONGKHRAM, 29 May 2015 (NNT) Samut Songkhram's Provincial Employment Office held a training course for immigrant workers today, to prevent them from becoming human trafficking victims.

The Vice Governor of Samut Songkhram Praphass Malakarn today presided over the opening ceremony of the anti trafficking training course for immigrant workers in Samut Songkhram province. The training course was organized by the Samut Songkhram Provincial Employment Office.

An official from the Provincial Employment Office Ataya Umnongpho delivered a report to the Vice Governor that the project aims to create an understanding of the rights, duties, regulations, customs, and even the local traditions the immigrants in the province should follow, in order to prevent them from becoming human trafficking victims.

She said that the province has faced a shortage of basic labor, especially in the fisheries business. Immigrants from Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia have been traveling to work at Samut Songkhram province. Some of these laborers are unaware of the law, regulations, and their own basic rights. This often leads to illegal employment, deception, and forced labor.

Participants in this training course includes 60 immigrant workers. The number of immigrants working in Samut Songkhram province is at 14,319 persons, 13,272 from Myanmar, 498 from Laos, and 545 from Cambodia.


Cabinet agrees to use Section 44 to solve aviation problem

BANGKOK, 19 May 2015 (NNT) The Cabinet has decided to resort to Section 44 of the interim constitution to rectify safety deficiencies in Thai aviation in the wake of concerns expressed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

According to Deputy Government Spokesperson Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the Cabinet members agreed to the proposal to amend aviation-related laws through the enforcement of Section 44 to be in accord with the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices.

The law will also be used to restructure the Department of Civil Aviation, which will likely be divided into two separate organizations, namely the National Civil Aviation Institute and the Department of Airports. In the meantime, the number of personnel within the Department of Civil Aviation will be increased by 48.

During the meeting, all ministries were urged to present any pending draft laws at hand to the Cabinet for consideration as soon as possible. For any time-consuming matter, Section 44 might have to be applied in order to grant initial approval before official enactment is pursued later on.


National Reform Council House of Representatives present donations for Nepal quake victims

BANGKOK, 20 May 2015 (NNT) The National Reform Council and the Secretariat of the House of Representatives have presented their donations to help victims of the Nepal quake.

NRC’s 2nd Vice President Tassana Boontong together with her fellow council members presented 1.5 million baht in donations for the Nepal quake victims to Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office M.L.Panadda Diskul, who accepted the sum on behalf of the government.

The Thai government has created the “Hua Jai Thai - Song Pai Nepal “ or “Thai Hearts for Nepal” project to collect donations for the quake-ravaged country.

According to Mrs. Tassana, the NRC has recognised the plights of the people of Nepal and collected donations from all members as well as holding an auction of a painting by Emeritus Prof. Preecha Thaothong, who is also a member of the committee on the reforms of social values, arts, culture, ethics and religion.

Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the House of Representatives Charae Panpruang also presented donations collected from officers, employees and workers of the Secretariat of the House of Representatives, totaling 94,200 baht, to M.L. Panadda.

M.L. Panadda thanked all who had made donations and said that all donated money would be sent to Nepal through the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and UNICEF.


NLA vice president: 60 days enough to campaign for draft charter awareness ahead of referendum

BANGKOK, 20 May 2015 (NNT) – Sixty days should be enough time for awareness of the draft charter to be raised in preparing the public for a referendum on the draft, according to National Legislative Assembly (NLA) vice president Surachai Liengboonlertchai.

Mr. Surachai on Tuesday expressed his belief that 60 days of campaigning to create public awareness of the draft would prove sufficient, if a referendum on the charter draft is to be called. He noted, however, that a longer time frame may also be allocated, if the Constitution Drafting Committee deemed it as appropriate for covering the vast amount of details in the draft.

Mr. Surachai also spoke of the deliberation session for the fiscal year 2016 budget bill, which will take place on Thursday (May 21), during which Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will report the details of the budget bill to the National Legislative Assembly. The session will be televised live through the Parliament TV channel and NBT Channel.


Tesco Lotus helping shore up prices of fruit by purchasing directly from cooperatives

BANGKOK, 20 May 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Commerce is collaborating with grocery and merchandise retailer giant Tesco Lotus in preventing low fruit prices, by having the latter buy fruit directly from farmers' cooperatives for its stores.

Ministry of Commerce deputy permanent secretary Vuthichai Duangratana presided over the opening of the event 'Tesco Lotus returns fresh, sweet happiness via delicious Thai fruit', which was a project under the ministry's scheme to promote the consumption of Thai fruit and OTOP products. The project facilitates linkages between seasonal fruit producers and the market, by having Tesco Lotus buy rambutan, mangosteen, longan, salak and langsat from select cooperatives. Some 10 million kilograms of the fruit will be purchased from the cooperatives to be sold at roughly 1,800 stores operated by Tesco Lotus in Thailand.

Mr. Wutthichai said that this year, the ministries of commerce and agriculture have been implementing a system-wide management of produce since the beginning of the fruiting season, in order for the produce to be released in provinces that do not grow the fruit as well as in neighboring countries.


Collaboration to improve healthcare for migrants in Thailand

BANGKOK, 20 May 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Public Health has entered into a collaboration with the International Organization for Migration in improving the healthcare system for migrants.

Dr. Surachet Satitramai, acting permanent secretary of the public health ministry, and Jeffrey Labovitz, Chief of Mission of the International Office of Migration (IOM) in Thailand have signed a collaboration agreement on the improvement of healthcare for aliens in provinces close to the border. The collaboration will see to the development of a healthcare system for aliens in 31 provinces with large numbers of migrants, such as Tak, Chiang Rai, Ubon Ratchathani, Sa Kaeo and Ranong.

Provincial public health offices and public hospitals have been tasked with providing basic healthcare service for migrants. The service is to cover minor illnesses as well as serious cases, as well as to promote the prevention of contagious diseases. The IOM will, throughout all three years of the collaboration, provide funding to participating hospitals and health offices.


General Chatchai instructs officials to watch out for agro-products oversupply problems

BANGKOK, 20 May 2015, (NNT) The Ministry of Commerce has instructed provincial commerce offices nationwide to be on the lookout for agricultural products oversupply problems.

During yesterday's meeting of regional commerce officers, Commerce Minister General Chatchai Sarikalya ordered them to closely monitor the prices and supplies of agricultural products as well as other market movements. The General also instruct the officials to make sure that growers do not harvest their crops prematurely, in order to maintain the quality of the products.

According to the Commerce Minister, the measures are necessary to prevent agricultural product prices from falling too low affecting farmers’ income, while urging officials to quickly lend a hand to farmers facing difficulties.

He also instructed the regional officials to implement the ‘One-Roof’ policy in their respective offices. The scheme integrates public services from provincial government agencies related to internal trading, business development, foreign trading and intellectual property into the provincial commerce office.

General Chatchai said the campaign would simplify, speed up, and improve the services.


National Legislative Assembly ready to streamline referendum amendment

BANGKOK, 19 May 2015 (NNT) The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has expressed its readiness to consider a constitutional amendment to stipulate a public referendum on the new constitution, if proposed by the current administration.

NLA First Vice President Surachai Liengboonlertchai said that if the Cabinet and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) agree that the country should hold a referendum, it must submit an amendment proposal to the NLA in accordance with Section 46 of the 2014 interim constitution.

The NLA must vote on the proposal within 15 days of receiving it, and cannot make revisions to the amendment without the government and the NCPO’s approval.

Mr Surachai revealed that the 15-day timeframe would require a streamlined process involving the establishment of a committee to review all three phases of deliberation along with full attendance from the assembly. NLA members must be given ample time to thoroughly study the amendment.

Mr Surachai also revealed that a public referendum would require various public forums to hear public opinion and inform people of the new constitution. These hearings may require the NCPO to consider relaxing its restrictions on political gatherings.


303 Rohingyas treated in Protection Center

BANGKOK, 19 May 2015 (NNT) 303 Rohingya refugees caught by Thai Police in the Southern part of Thailand are now being held in the Protection Center for Human Trafficking Victims , the Protection and Career Development Center in the South of Thailand and the Child and Family Shelter Center .
According to Wichian Chaowalit, Permanent Secretary for Social Development and Human Security, the Rohingya migrants are normally separated into two groups, namely Human Trafficking victims and illegal immigrants.
There are 190 Human Trafficking victims and 113 illegal migrants who were identified recently
The Ministry and its local units are in charge of treating the Human Trafficking victims, while illegal immigrants are the Immigration's Department's responsibility.
However, some of the undocumented immigrants can be placed under the care of the Centers before being sent to Immigration, he adds.


Environmental group calls for revision of community forest bill

BANGKOK, 19 May 2015 (NNT) An environmental group has urged the National Reform Council (NRC) to revise the community forest draft.

The Assembly of NGO’s for the Protection and Conservation of Environment and Natural Resources has delivered its petition to NRC member Prasarn Marukpitak, calling for the community forest draft act to be revised. The group argued that the current bill lacks key elements that would make it an impacting law, and that the bill’s provisions do not allow for public participation in the implementation of the law.

The group has, therefore, requested that a committee be established comprising experts from various backgrounds in order to redraft the community forest bill. The bill must be approved of by all sides, allowing communities to participate in the management of natural resources at the community level.


Phitsanulok farmlands to be irrigated one month early this year

BANGKOK, 19 May 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is opting to address the problem of flooded paddies in Phitsanulok by discharging water from reservoirs one month ahead of the regular discharge time.

According to Petipong Pungbun Na Ayudhya, the minister of agriculture and cooperatives, farmers on the plains of the Yom and Nan rivers frequently have to endure the problem of flooded paddies toward the end of the harvesting period. In order to address this problem, water discharge will be made one month sooner so that farmers can work on their paddies one month in advance. Consequently, harvest will likely take place in September.

The Royal Irrigation Department has been discharging water to farmers in Phitsanulok since April. 1.94 million cubic meters of water is expected to be discharged from Naresuan Dam during the rainy season. It is expected to benefit approximately 95,750 rai of farmlands.

Irrigation Department officials indicated that, with the earlier discharge of water, farmers should be able to harvest their crops before the flood season arrives in September.


Prime Minister’s Minister visits Tak special econ zone to observe progress

TAK, 18 May 2015 (NNT) Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Suwapan Tanyuwattana has paid a visit to Tak province to follow up on the progress of the special economic zone’s development.

While in the western border district of Mae Sot, Tak province, Mr Suwapan chaired a meeting with concerned officials on the endeavor to establish the Tak special economic zone. The attending officials included the governor of Tak, the mayor of Mae Sot Municipality, the Mae Sot district chief and heads of local state agencies.

The Prime Minister’s Office Minister stated that his visit was aimed at making sure the Tak special economic zone would be fully functional in time for the official opening of the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of this year.

On this occasion, Mr Suwapan observed preparations for the construction of the second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge in Mae Sot district. According to him, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is scheduled to preside over the foundation stone laying ceremony for the new structure this July.

The minister also witnessed the improvement of state-owned lands, basic infrastructure and public utilities in preparation for the expansion of investment in the area.


Sommai: Thailand needs to develop its bourse

BANGKOK, 19 May 2015, (NNT) Thailand needs to better develop her stock market after joining the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), said the Minister of Finance, Sommai Phasee, yesterday.

The comment was made after a seminar on the “SSE Regional Dialogue Southeast Asia,” during which he told the participants that he was satisfied with the current state of the stock market development. However, further development must be ensured once Thailand joins the SSE initiative, in order for the nation to gain recognition from local and foreign investors, according to Mr. Sommai.

He said the effort is possible but it requires cooperation from all sides.

The Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative is a peer-to-peer learning platform for exploring how exchanges, in collaboration with investors, regulators, and companies, can promote responsible investment for sustainable development.


Government to sell 2 million tons of rice in two months

BANGKOK, 19 May 2015 (NNT) The government is preparing to release another 2 million tons of rice within the next two months, in order to minimize effects on the new rice crop due this month.

Chutima Bunyapraphasara, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, disclosed after Monday's meeting of the rice management and policy committee that the meeting had discussed the release of 16 million tons of rice in the government's stockpile. Of the figure, 5 million tons are high-quality rice. Two million tons have already been sold, and another two million will be sold within two months.

Meanwhile, more than 10 million tons of rice in the stockpile are of low quality. The Ministry of Commerce will have surveyor companies inspect this portion of rice to determine whether the rice can be used as human or animal food. If not, this portion of rice will be sold to ethanol or alcohol factories.

The Ministry of Commerce expects to fetch about 200 billion baht from the sale of all 16 million tons of rice in stock, which was acquired at a cost of about 600 billion baht during the past government.

The government has been able to sell 3.4 million tons of rice since the start of the year. The commerce ministry expects to sell the rice at between 8,200-8,500 baht per ton


Government asserts there is long-term plan to allocate land to the needy

BANGKOK, 19 May 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha asserted on Monday there is a long-term plan to allocate land to underprivileged people who needed land to make a living out of.

General Prayut explained that although the government intends to allocate land for some 300,000 poverty-stricken people, he could not yet say which method of allocation will be employed. He added that the allocation will be a long-term process, and succeeding governments will need to adhere to this process.

The prime minister also noted that the government does not have the resources to allocate as much land as demanded by those in need.

General Dapong Ratanasuwan, the minister of natural resources and environment, revealed after Monday's meeting of the national land allocation committee that the meeting resolved to reduce the fee for exploitation of land under the committee-sponsored projects to 25 baht, from 50 baht. The committee also agreed to allocate land at another site, following the success of its first round of allocations. The second round of allocations will involve 9,164 rai of land and 1,862 eligible farmers.


Health activists call for retention of “clear, fair medical & medicine charges” clause in new Constitution

BANGKOK, 19 May 2015 (NNT) A group of health activists has asked the National Reform Council to retain a clause in the draft charter that will protect patients across the country.

NRC President Thienchay Kiranant on Monday met with Police Sub-Lieutenant Treesusan Pichai, who represents a network of the public health reform monitoring, who visited the Parliament to submit a letter asking for the retention of a stipulation in the draft Constitution.

The part of the new charter that the petition would like the NRC to make sure it will not be removed is Article 295(4), which the council’s public health reform committee is reportedly planning to propose it be taken out.

The clause that has become an issue of concerns reads “The prices of medicines, the medical service fees and related charges must be controlled to ensure that they are suitable and fair for people who receive such services.”

Mr. Treesusan said that this clause, written by the Constitution Drafting Committee, is already good and any plan to remove it should be reconsidered.

Mr. Thienchay has promised to bring the issue to the attention of the committee on public health reform and the CDC to consider.


NRC President unveils new website to facilitate direct communication with public

BANGKOK, 19 May 2015 (NNT) The President of the National Reform Council has unveiled a new website that has been designed to help facilitate direct communication between the reform council and the public.

NRC President Thienchay Kiranandt along with his vice president Tassana Boontong and chairwoman of the reform public relations committee On-usa Lamliengpol, chairwoman of the subcommittee on internal communications and image promotion Pattareeya Sumano, and some of the council members yesterday joined in a news conference on the introduction of a new website called “Siang Pa-ti-roop”or Voice of Reform.

The new website is hoped to help promote among the public the works and the achievements of the NRC.

According to Mr. Thienchay, the newly-introduced website is a new PR engine of the reform council, which has been created by the subcommittee on internal communications and image promotion.

This new tool was introduced after it had been found that the people were hardly aware of what the NRC had been doing, he added.


CDC Chairman : No plan to abolish village-Tambon chief positions under new charter

BANGKOK, 19 May 2015 (NNT) – The Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee has assured that there is no part in the new charter that calls for the abolition of the positions of local administrative leaders.

CDC Chairman Borwornsak Uwanno on Monday accepted a petition from a network of local and community administration associations, who wished to show their support for the charter drafting process, particularly regarding the decentralization of power and the setting up of a large local administrative body with full authorization to manage their respective areas.

Mr. Borwornsak thanked the representatives of the network for their support and said that he believed a strong local community would play an important role in driving Thailand forward.

He also took the opportunity to calm upset village and Tambon chiefs who had earlier come out to protest the draft Charter as they believed their positions would be abolished when the new Constitution took effect.

The CDC Chairman assured them that there was no such a stipulation in the upcoming charter at all.


Transport Min unveils progress in tackling aviation safety issue

BANGKOK, 18 May 2015 (NNT) Minister of Transport ACM Prajin Juntong has revealed that his ministry has submitted to the Prime Minister a progress report on its work related to the improvement of aviation safety in Thailand.

Following the expression of concerns by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) over Thailand’s aviation safety standards, ACM Prajin affirmed that the restructuring of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) is underway and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has already been informed of related developments.

The Transport Minister added that the premier has been requested to consider using Section 44 of the interim constitution to adjust the roles of the DCA and increase the number of personnel within the agency. If approved, all details pertaining to the DCA’s new structure could be publicized within this month.

As for the safety evaluation of Thai airlines, ACM Prajin disclosed that the manual used as reference in the process has been updated in accordance with ICAO’s guideline and it will be put to use on June 1.

Four Thai carriers, namely Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia and Nok Scoot, will begin to be evaluated on June 20 for approximately 20 days. The security checks on all other airlines will soon follow and are expected to be completed within early August.


Trang airport to receive major upgrade improving passenger capacity

TRANG, 18 May 2015 (NNT) Trang airport is now undergoing upgrades on improving passenger capacity to accommodate for more flights, says the Trang airport director.

The Trang airport director Thaworn Saengamphai has revealed that many facilities of the airport are now being upgraded to accommodate the expected increase of passengers with the new terminal building, set to be constructed in the future.

He has said that the ongoing upgrades for aircraft aprons and the taxiway are now 90 percent complete. The completed projects will increase parking capacity from 2 aircrafts to 4 aircrafts, while the province's airport is expected to begin the pre-construction process of a new passenger terminal in 2016, with a 12.5 million baht budget from the Department of Civil Aviation.

The airport has also received the approval for a 12 million baht runway expansion project that will extend the runway length an width to 3,000 meters and 60 meters respectively.

Trang's airport director has said that the number of passengers this year is expected to reach 600,000. Therefore, all flights must be scheduled within a 1 hour gap between one another for the convenience of passengers.

New flight schedules between Bangkok and Trang by Thai Lion Air carrier are set to commence in June, with the frequency of 3 flights per day. This will add up to at least 9 flights, to and from Bangkok from a total of 3 airlines, daily.


Dusit reports Thai hotels succeed abroad, suffer domestically

Dusit International has announced that 62 Thai hotels around the world have been well-received by foreigners, and the situation has improved for the domestic hospitality sector. However, the industry as a whole has not hiked prices for the past eight years, despite neighboring countries increasing rates by 100-300 percent.

Mr. Chanin Tonawanik, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Dusit Thani Public Company Limited, claimed there are four standout Thai hoteliers abroad. These include Dusit Thani Group, Minor International, Centara Group, and Onyx Hospitality Group.

These major players both invest and manage hotels abroad that have gained recognition for their brand of Thai hospitality. This hospitality has distinguished Thai hotels from those managed by Japanese and Chinese companies, which have been met with limited success. On the other hand, Singapore and Hong Kong hoteliers have continued to prosper abroad.

Domestically, the industry has failed to show growth, which Mr. Chanin attributed to political instability last year. Despite normalizing this year, the hospitality sector has been unable to raise room rates since 2007.

This is in sharp contrast to the situation in neighboring countries. During the same eight-year period, Singapore hotels have increased prices by 200-300 percent, while Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Vietnam have all increased by 100 percent.

Factors that will affect future growth include the Department of Civil Aviation’s recent downgrade by the International Civil Aviation Organization. If the department is unable to rectify the issue, the loss in air traffic will affect tourism in the Kingdom. Indonesia suffered similar repercussions from a civil aviation downgrade five years ago.


Thai National Shippers’ Council :Government handling of Rohingya may affect international trade

BANGKOK, 18 May 2015, (NNT) The Thai National Shippers’ Council (TNSC) has said that the government’s handling of Rohingya people could affect the nation's international trade and ties.

President of TNSC, Nopporn Thepsittha, yesterday voiced his opinions on the administration’s measures dealing with the Rohingya people. He said although the government is sincere in solving the problem, it needs international cooperation in order to solve the problem.

He also said the United Nations should be the organization responsible for the stateless Rohingyas, referring to the U.S.’s comment that Thailand should set up a permanent shelter for them.

Although the issue has yet to affect the economic sector, the council urged the administration to tread carefully when dealing with the problem, as it may affect the international trade and ties.


NLA’s 1st vice president confident ‘Five Rivers’ can solve conflicts in Thailand

BANGKOK, 18 May 2015 (NNT) A vice president of the National Legislative Assembly is confident that all bodies set up after the coup last May will be able to help pull Thailand through all conflicts.

NLA’s 1st Vice President Surachai Liengboonlertchai said that he believes that the Five Rivers, which include the NLA, the National Reform Council, the Constitution Drafting Committee, the Cabinet, the National Council for Peace and Order will be able to help Thailand overcome all problems and go through a perfect development process.

Mr. Surachai’s comment was heard during his participation in the ceremony to mark the 23rd year of the May 1992 political uprising.

He stated that such missions are for the interest of the people and never for the benefits of any political groups or parties.

Mr. Surachai also called on all Thais to work together to bring Thailand towards real democracy.


CDC: Many articles of draft charter likely to be changed

BANGKOK, 17 May 2015 (NNT) - The Constitution Drafting Committee expects quite a number of articles of the draft charter to be changed.

Member of the National Reform Council Niran Pantharakit, who is also the secretary-general of the subcommittee in charge of preparation of suggested changes of the draft charter, said that he personally believes there will be a lot of changes to the first draft of the Constitution.

Mr. Niran said that the expected changes can be the removal of the entire article or parts of the some.

He added that, for instance, there should be a study on the suggested electoral system which the references of both the British system and the American system have been included and seem to be impractical in reality.


Poll: 42% would vote for charter draftt

BANGKOK, 17 May 2015 (NNT) A public survey shows that about 42% of the respondents would vote for the constitution draft if a public referendum is held now.

The poll on the proposed referendum of the charter draft, conducted by the National Institute for Development Administration, involved 1,250 people over 18 years of age. The respondents have diverse levels of education and occupations nationwide.

Most, or 42.96% of the polled, said they would vote for the charter draft because they wanted the country to progress. 31.76% said they would against it because they believed lawmakers still need to amend certain sections. The rest said they were undecided, or would waive the right to vote, or did not answer.


Thailand to meet with 17 countries on Rohingya problem

BANGKOK, 17 May 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has invited 17 countries in the region to a meeting on the problem of Rohingya illegal immigrants on 29 May 2015.

Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sek Wannamethi said Minister of Foreign Affairs Thanasak Patimapagorn had confirmed to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that Thailand had taken care of Rohingya refugees in line with humanitarian principles. Thailand would not force them out of the country, the spokesman said.

Thailand provided food, water and petrol oil for a group of Rohingya people straying in the sea on 15 May 2015 off Satun province, said the spokesman. The immigrants told Thai authorities that they wanted to travel to another country.

Mr. Sek aded that Thailand was ready to take care of Rohingya immigrants and allow them to stay at temporary refugee camps. Thailand needed to abide by its laws otherwise other immigrants might try to enter the country illegally.

The spokesman expressed his belief that all 17 countries would send their representatives to attend the meeting where they were expected to learn about concrete guidelines to tackle the problems of Rihingya illegal immigrants and human trafficking.


One month interest-free loans offered at the new government pawnshop

BANGKOK, 17 May 2015 (NNT) The new government pawnshop (25th branch) opens at 73 Phet Kasem Alley, on Phet Kasem Road, in Nong Khaem District, Bangkok with one-month interest-free loans offered to celebrate its opening as well as to relieve financial burdens of parents with low income during a new school semester.

According to Wichian Chaowalit, Permanent Secretary for Social Development and Human Security, there are 29 government pawnshops throughout Bangkok, nine more branches in Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan Provinces and 1 pawnshop in Rayong Province.

The Ministry has plans to open more branches, as well as move some existing branches to new locations. This newly opened 25th branch is one of those under removal plans due to their limited space making them unable to improve service for customers. All new branches will be equipped with modern systems to provide faster services.

The Ministry’s pawnshop expansion policy is being imposed to create easier access to the government financial service for Thais and to prevent them from turning to unconventional creditors or other financial institutions which impose high interest rates.

Low-interest loans are now offered at government pawshops nationwide with the lowest interest rate of 0.25 percent per month for loans not exceeding 5,000 baht.


Government stresses Thailand’s standpoint in irregular migration issue

BANGKOK, 17 May 2015 (NNT) – The Thai government will comply with humanitarian principle and national security regarding the issue of irregular migration of Rohingya refugees, while a multinational meeting scheduled for next week will seek to solve this issue, says a spokesman.

Prime Minister’s Office Deputy Spokesman Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd has said that Thailand is willing to cooperate with other nations to solve the issue of the irregular migration of the Rohingya refugees. A portion of the refugees are believed to be victims of human trafficking.

He said that all nations must cooperate to solve this issue, which Thailand will be providing humanitarian aid that does not conflict with Thai laws and internal security directives, while upholding the national agenda of taking care of the Thai nationals.

The spokesman said that these refugees are considered illegal immigrants who violated Thai laws and must be prosecuted and face deportation to the country of origin or the third country based on the person’s preference. The Thai government will not permit residency to the refugees.

Regarding a suggestion proposed by a third party organization that Thailand should provide shelter and employment for the refugees, the deputy spokesman stated that the idea is not a proper solution and might might violate Thai laws and compromise internal security.

He has said that the proper solution for this problem is for international organization to help regulate refugees from their country of origin.

Thailand is set to host a special meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean on 29 May 2015 in Bangkok with participants from the 15 affected nations such as Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. International observers such as the United States and other international organizations will also participate in exchanging useful information at the meeting as well.


Malaysia confident Thailand will eventually conquer corruption

BANGKOK, 17 May 2015 (NNT) Malaysia has expressed confidence that Thailand will, one day, be successful in conquering the problem of corruption.

The National Reform Council has recently joined the National Anti-Corruption Commission in hosting a seminar on the fight against graft and the promotion of ethics.

In addition to members of the NRC and representatives from various private organizations, the organizer has invited Datuk Paul Low, Malaysia’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department to attend as an honorary speaker.

Mr. Low has shared with participants of the seminar that he does not consider the problem of corruption in Thailand as critical and unsolvable.

He also noted that the prevention or the clampdown on graft in each country requires different approaches due to differing settings although all solutions must always take into consideration the aspects of economics, society, politics and the promotion of moral and ethics among the people.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department also showed his confidence that Thailand will soon find an appropriate solution to such a problem in an efficient and timely manner.


Co-signing of MOU to boost potential of rubber industry

SONGKHLA, 17 May 2015 (NNT) The Prince of Songkla University, the Department of Agriculture and the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) have co-signed an MOU on rubber development in a latest bid to strengthen the country’s rubber industry.

Under the MOU, the three agencies will undertake different tasks to boost the potential of Thai rubber industry. The Prince of Songkla University will act as the provider of academic knowledge for personnel or agencies through the launch of short courses and general ones in line with the needs of the FTI.

The Department of Agriculture will meanwhile be responsible for research and development which will be integrated into the curricula offered by the Prince of Songkla University. The FTI will then apply the knowledge and technologies to rubber production.

The MOU is expected to improve the production and processing of rubber, thus enabling the country to expand its processed rubber market and rubber prices to go up.


 

DAILY UPDATE

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Back to Main Page

Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar hold talks on trade issues

World Milk Day set for June 1st

The Ornamental Plants and Fishes Festival to be held on 5-28 Jun near Govt House

Government Lottery Office to impose harsher penalities for retail violations

Singkhon border upgrade yields opportunities, says Chamber of Commerce

NLA approves of plan to make Thailand the aircraft hub of ASEAN

Phuket to hold major event later this month to boost halal-based tourism

Prime Minister: Thailand handles Rohingya issue with UN standard

Operation center ordered to keep watching daily social problems

Ranong keeps close eye on 2,000 Rohingya migrants trying to enter Thai sea

BMA proposes raising risk allowances for firefighters

Thailand joins six other FPGH countries in drug resistance discussion in Geneva

Energy Minister launches LED Expo to promote energy saving

MRT has helped ease traffic in Bangkok during 11 years in service

Pattani authorities meet to tackle IUU fishing

Landscape adjustment campaign held to boost tourism in Krabi

MFA affirms Thailand has long been helping Rohingyas

Krabi to regulate placement of billboards for better landscape

Transport Ministry reviews Suvarnnabhumi’s 2nd Phase development plan

Foreign investors interested in government's infrastructure projects

Plans for the construction of 2 high speed railways should be completed in the next 2 months

Prayut explains strategies to boost Thai competitiveness in global rice market

Chiang Mai volunteers trained in anti-drug operations

Justice Minister joins drugs suppression meeting in Vietnam

Samut Songkhram launches anti human trafficking campaign for immigrants

Cabinet agrees to use Section 44 to solve aviation problem

National Reform Council House of Representatives present donations for Nepal quake victims

NLA vice president: 60 days enough to campaign for draft charter awareness ahead of referendum

Tesco Lotus helping shore up prices of fruit by purchasing directly from cooperatives

Collaboration to improve healthcare for migrants in Thailand

General Chatchai instructs officials to watch out for agro-products oversupply problems

National Legislative Assembly ready to streamline referendum amendment

303 Rohingyas treated in Protection Center

Environmental group calls for revision of community forest bill

Phitsanulok farmlands to be irrigated one month early this year

Prime Minister’s Minister visits Tak special econ zone to observe progress

Sommai: Thailand needs to develop its bourse

Government to sell 2 million tons of rice in two months

Government asserts there is long-term plan to allocate land to the needy

Health activists call for retention of “clear, fair medical & medicine charges” clause in new Constitution

NRC President unveils new website to facilitate direct communication with public

CDC Chairman : No plan to abolish village-Tambon chief positions under new charter

Transport Min unveils progress in tackling aviation safety issue

Trang airport to receive major upgrade improving passenger capacity

Dusit reports Thai hotels succeed abroad, suffer domestically

Thai National Shippers’ Council :Government handling of Rohingya may affect international trade

NLA’s 1st vice president confident ‘Five Rivers’ can solve conflicts in Thailand

CDC: Many articles of draft charter likely to be changed

Poll: 42% would vote for charter draft

Thailand to meet with 17 countries on Rohingya problem

One month interest-free loans offered at the new government pawnshop

Government stresses Thailand’s standpoint in irregular migration issue

Malaysia confident Thailand will eventually conquer corruption

Co-signing of MOU to boost potential of rubber industry

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