Cigarette age limit increased to 20
BANGKOK, 24 May 2014 (NNT) - The Cabinet on Wednesday
approved the tobacco draft act which prohibits sale of cigarettes to
those under 20 years old and raise punishment for offenders.
Deputy Prime Minister YongyutnYuthawong said the draft act increased the
minimum legal age for cigarette purchase from 18 to 20 years and
prohibited sale of individual cigarettes. The draft act also prohibits
cigarette sale in some public places such as temples, public health
facilities, schools and public parks, the deputy PM added.
The draft act bans cigarette companies from
advertising their products as sponsors of contests and competitions.
Cigarette advertising is banned in print and online media, TV and
The penalty of imprisonment for those who sell cigarettes to people
under 20 years old is increased from one month to one year and fine for
smokers in non-smoking areas is raised from 2,000 to 5,000 baht.
PM: Elections likely next year
BANGKOK, 27 May 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha said the next general election would likely take place in
September 2016, if the draft charter is approved via referendum.
At Government House, Gen. Prayut greeted 12 diplomats from the United
Nations and told the envoys about his intention to restore democracy in
Thailand, following the coup in May last year.
Gen. Prayut said the UN officials were invited to the country as part of
a campaign organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get support
for the government from foreign countries.
Transport Minister signs bullet-train deal with Japan
BANGKOK, 27 May 2015 (NNT) Transport Minister Prajin
Juntong and his Japanese counterpart Akihiro Ota on Wednesday signed a
memorandum of understanding to cooperate on potential introduction of
Japan's shinkansen bullet-train technology in Thailand.
ACM Prajin said a feasibility study would be conducted by both
countries. They will also evaluate the profitability of a 660-kilometer
high-speed railway project connecting Bangkok and the northern province
of Chiang Mai.
The two countries will look into the construction of stations and
Road to Thi Lo Su Waterfall to be closed for 4 months
TAK, 27 May 2015 (NNT) Road access to the Thi Lo Su
Waterfall will be temporary closed from June to September due to the
season's weather risks, while providing a restoration period for animals
and the forest, according to Tak's TAT Office.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tak Office (TAT Tak) and the Umphang
Wildlife Sanctuary today announced the temporary closure of the 25
kilometres road access, from the Huai Nong Luang Forest Protection Unit
to Thi Lo Su Waterfall, from 1 June - 30 September 2015 due to driving
difficulties in the rainy season.
The road closure will also provide a restoration
period for the forest, allowing wild animals to live and breed in their
natural habitats without any outside interference.
The Thi Lo Su Waterfall will only be accessible by an inflatable boat
cruise, starting from the Umphang District flowed by trekking, or the 25
kilometre trekking route.
Visitor's entrance to the Thi Lo Su Waterfall during the road closure
period must receive authorization from Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary
officials. For more information, please contact TAT Tak tel
0-5551-4341-3, e-mail [email protected]
Phuket to hold disaster drill on 25-26 June
PHUKET, 27 May 2015 (NNT) Provincial authorities in
Phuket convened today for a meeting to prepare an emergency response
drill in case of earthquake, evacuation of residents and management of
The meeting was chaired by Deputy Governor of Phuket Punlop Singhaseni
and attended by director of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation
Center of Phuket Acting Sub Lt.Trakul Totham, mayors of various
municipalities and relevant government officials.
Acting Sub Lt Trakul said that the exercise was conducted annually in
order to improve information management and the directing and
coordinating system in disaster situation. It is aimed at overcoming
limits and preparing readiness of relevant staff so that they can handle
the disaster situation efficiently.
This year the exercise will take place during 25-26 June with the first
day dedicated to briefing and the second day to drilling practice in Si
Sunthorn Subdistrict, Talang District.
Finance Ministry: No plan to sell AOT’s shares
BANGKOK, 28 May 2015, (NNT) Prasong Phunthanet, the
Airport of Thailand chairman of the board, has said the Finance Ministry
has no plan to sell its 70 percent holding in the company, assuring the
state agency will remain under the government’s supervision.
Prasong brushed aside rumors that the Ministry of Finance is planning to
sell its shares in the company to pay for the government’s debts,
following its consultation with the State Enterprise Policy Office.
According to the AOT Board Chairman, the company’s shares continue to
outperform expectations, generating significant amount of income for the
He said the AOT’s committee and the management board have been working
hard to bring the nation’s airports to their full potential in order to
be able to better handle the nation's ever-growing tourism sector,
thanks to the arrival of the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of this
Thai officials to jointly inspect Rohingya bodies found on Malaysian side of border
BANGKOK, 28 May 2015 (NNT) Thailand is sending its personnel to
conduct joint inspections of bodies of Rohingya migrants
discovered in Malaysia close to the two countries' shared
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Prawit Wongsuwon
indicated on Wednesday that Malaysian police had asked for
permission to operate in Thai territory, in response to the
discovery of mass graves of Rohingya migrants on the Malaysian
side of the border. He said Thai officials would also join their
Malaysian counterparts in inspecting the bodies.
Meanwhile, Police Major General Phutthichat Ekkachan, deputy
commissioner of Provincial Police Region 9, said Malaysian
police wanted to transport the bodies through Thai territory due
to the difficulty in traversing the areas near the mass graves
on the Malaysian side.
The command center for patrols and humanitarian assistance for
irregular migrants in the Indian Ocean has started operations,
with emphasis being placed on the needs of the Rohingya
migrants, General Prawit said.
Rapid vaccination taking place in Buriram after province declared rabies outbreak area
BURIRAM, 28 May 2015 (NNT) – Livestock Department
officials in Buriram are rapidly vaccinating dogs and cats in areas
deemed at risk of rabies, after the entire province was declared an
outbreak area for the disease last week.
The local Livestock Department office is deploying vaccination teams in
collaboration with local administrative organizations, in order to curb
the spread of rabies. In Ban Phae sub-district of Khu Mueang district,
officials indicated monitoring against the disease was needed as there
were some 4,000 dogs and cats in the locale – many of them strays. In
addition to the vaccination service, Livestock Department officials were
also providing sterilization service for dogs and cats. Emphasis was
being placed on strays, in an attempt to curb the number of stray
Thapanaphong Monthathip, the chief Livestock Department official for Khu
Mueang district, said his personnel were experiencing a shortage of
budget for procuring vaccines. He urged the local administrative
organizations, municipalities and businesses to help procure the
required rabies shots for dogs and cats.
Ministry of Industry & FTI to implement factory ratings for environmental impact
BANGKOK, 27 May 2014 (NNT) – A joint environmental
committee of the Ministry of Industry and the Federation of Thai
Industries has planned to develop an environmental rating system for
factories as a way to urge business operators to be environmentally
The campaign intends to reward factories that employ efficient
environmental management with business incentives, such as faster
license renewal. Factories classified as low risk currently number
Regulators will map out guidelines for factories that are considered
high risk for environmental impact. They will also organize training for
environmental personnel to improve their knowledge. The measure will
first be carried out in provinces with a high degree of vegetation,
including Rayong, Prachin Buri and Chachoengsao.
Industries regarded as posing pollution problems are those discharging
waste water of over 500 cubic meters or releasing heavy metals during
production, as well as those required to submit annual environmental
impact and waste disposal reports.
A committee tasked with assessing factories will be established within a
Ministry of Labor looks to increase skilled workers in Thailand
BANGKOK, 27 May 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Labor has
recently held an executive forum to find ways to improve skilled labor
in Thailand before the arrival of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
According to Labor Minister General Surasak Kanjanarat, academics and
experts from both private and public sectors were invited to share their
insight and advice on how to improve skill development and increase
The forum was focused on the tourism and auto industries. Thailand needs
more tour guides with greater foreign language fluency, as the number of
tourists increases each year.
General Surasak claimed that the cost of labor was not the reason
foreign investors moved their production bases away from Thailand. Many
have chosen Thailand due to its skilled labor.
General Udomdej states the army is complying with government policies
BANGKOK, 27 May 2015, (NNT) Army Chief General
Udomdej Sitabutr has affirmed that the army obeys government policies,
citing its recent achievements.
Gen. Udomdej assured the public that the army is being administered in
accordance with state policy, adding that evaluations are conducted
after every operation. These evaluations inform the military’s policy to
assign responsibilities to the appropriate officers.
He declined to give a rating on the army’s performance. However, he said
that military officials have been performing their duties to the best of
their ability, to maintain peace in the Kingdom.
Gen. Udomdej highlighted the army’s recent achievements, tackling
drug-related crime, as well as forest & nature reserve encroachment.
Navy launches offshore base of operations to help Royingya migrants
PHUKET, 27 May 2015 (NNT) The Royal Thai Navy has
launched offshore operations to help Rohingya migrants and victims of
human trafficking stranded at sea.
The Naval Civil Affairs Department said the Royal Thai Navy used HTMS
Ang Thong as the base of operations to deal with illegal fishing and
human trafficking. Another seven ships and two aircraft have been
deployed to the southern seas to support the mission, which began on May
26. Medical staff will be sent to the base on May 29.
The operation base was launched in the wake of a report that a new batch
of Rohingya migrants from Bangladesh this month have disembarked ahead
of the monsoon season.
The navy said those spotted in Thai waters would be told to leave,
claiming that migrants never consider Thailand as a final destination.
However, officials will provide them with humanitarian assistance as
needed. Those found ashore will be dealt with by international law.
Mahasarakham University discovers world's 1st herbal formula used to relieve psoriasis
MAHA SARAKHAM, 27 May 2015 (NNT) Researchers from
Mahasarakham University have discovered the world's first herbal tea
formula used to control and relieve symptoms of psoriasis.
A press conference was held with University Rector Supachai Samuppito,
Dean of the Faculty of Technology Anuchita Mungngarm, and Prof. Siriporn
Lawan with the health nutrition research unit. Patients from the Sakon
Nakhon province were also invited to attend the news hearing.
Prof. Siriporn headed the herbal formula’s research & development. He
explained that psoriasis is a chronic skin disease, whose symptoms
include thick skin with red blotches, spots, and flaking. No definitive
cause has ever been discovered, but studies have shown it may be related
to genetic disorders, metabolic abnormalities, or the skin’s immune
While, psoriasis cannot be fully cured, and there are many forms of
treatment. Patients can choose a combination of oral medication,
injections and light therapy.
The response to psoriasis therapy can vary from patient to patient. They
often require lifelong treatment, which can prove costly over time.
The use of herbal tea is an ideal long-term treatment for patients,
because of its low toxicity. The tea is a combination of Thai and
Chinese herbal medicine, with oleanolic acid that moisturizes the skin
and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is also an antioxidant and was
developed as a safe anesthetic. This fights psoriasis symptoms, such as
itching, inflammation and peeling of the skin.
Mrs. Thanika Kotabin, the mother of a patient from Sakon Nakhon, said
her son had been undergoing psoriasis treatments for the past three
years at various medical institutes. Doctors confirmed that the disease
However, Dr.Siriporn heard of her son's case and contacted her regarding
the experimental herbal tea. After two months of treatment, the
patient’s symptoms were eliminated and he could go back to school.
Ministers hope all countries will share responsibility on Rohingya crisis without causing conflicts
BANGKOK, 26 May 2015 (NNT) Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of Foreign Affairs Tanasak Patimaprakorn hoped that the Special
Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean on 29 May 2015 in
Bangkok would be able to draw up urgent assistance plan for migrants
still adrift in the sea without causing any conflicts between
participating countries in the region.
According to the minister, twenty countries have accepted to attend the
meeting, and senior and operational officials from seventeen countries
directly involved in the problem. The United States, Switzerland and
Japan will also send their observers. Representatives from international
organizations namely UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the
International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Office on
Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will also attend the meeting.
The meeting’s agenda has included so far three topics. The first one is
the humanitarian assistance to be extended to irregular migrants in the
open sea. The second is tackling the problem at its roots including
shutting down human trafficking network in the region. The last one is
finding a consensus from all relevant countries to share the
responsibility without causing any conflicts.
“Thailand expects these countries to contribute to concrete and
sustainable solutions to the issue,” said Gen Tanasak.
On the part of Thailand, the government has just set up an offshore
operation base in order to give humanitarian assistance to Rohingya
people especially those remaining adrift in the sea. Aerial and marine
patrol units will be sent out to monitor Thai waters. An official ship,
likely to be Thai Navy’s HTMS Angthong 791, will perform as "Floating
platform” to give them basic helps.
The assistance covers foods and medicine while human-trafficking
investigative team will screen the migrants and send them to Malaysia
and Indonesia which have agreed to to take care of them for a certain
period. All of these operations by the Thai government have already
begun and will run until monsoon season comes.
Cabinet appoints new deputy government spokesman
BANGKOK, 26 May 2015 (NNT) The Cabinet has resolved
to appoint many officials to their new positions, including Maj Gen
Weerachon Sukondhapatipak who was named a deputy government
According to Deputy Government Spokesperson Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd,
Maj Gen Weerachon, who was a member of the Prime Minister’s working team
overseeing foreign affairs, was chosen during the weekly Cabinet meeting
as another deputy spokesperson for the government. Following the
meeting, the premier reportedly cited the new deputy spokesman’s
proficiency as an interpreter as a reason for his nomination for the
Maj Gen Sansern added that the Cabinet also endorsed Mr Sermsakool
Klaikaew as Governor of the Provincial Electricity Authority and Mr
Kasemsan Jinnawaso as Permanent Secretary for Natural Resources and
Meanwhile, Mr Anan Lila was appointed the Inspector-General of the
Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives while Mr Somchai Channarongkul
became Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry.
Ranong hosts Thailand-Myanmar anti human trafficking meeting
RANONG, 26 May 2015 (NNT) Delegates from Thailand and
Myanmar convened in a meeting today regarding the suppression of human
trafficking activities along the border of both nations.
This morning, representatives of Thailand's Ranong Province and
Myanmar's Kawthaung Town convened in the meeting of the Border Area Anti
Human Trafficking Cooperation Center at the Heritage Grand Convention in
Ranong Province of Thailand. The meeting was attended by the Police
Chief of Kawthaung, Lt Col Tin Oo, the Rayong Provincial Social
Development and Human Security Official, Supaporn Nanakhon, and
officials from related agencies.
The meeting of the Border Area Anti Human Trafficking Cooperation Center
aims increase information exchange on border area operations and
experiences between both nations' officials to strengthen the human
trafficking suppression and prevention efforts in the border areas.
The Thailand-Myanmar Border Area Anti Human Trafficking Cooperation
Center was established in August 2012, after an increased awareness that
human trafficking activities are a violation of basic human rights, and
are considered international crime with severe punishments.
The human trafficking activities have a strong correlation with illegal
migration along the national border, which is an issue that will require
multinational efforts to successfully eradicate.
PM orders water management preparations in different parts of Thailand
BANGKOK, 26 May 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Gen Prayut
Chan-o-cha was concerned over the ongoing drought disaster nationwide
and has ordered relevant authorities to give appropriate advice to
farmers operating in and out of irrigation zones, deputy government
spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd revealed after the cabinet meeting.
He cited the prime minister as suggesting to all relevant units to use
the drought-hit areas designated by by the Department of Disaster
Prevention and Mitigation and the Meteorological Department as
information base to design water management, rainmaking process and
prepare rain-storing space that is most suitable to each zone.
In term of economic issues, Gen Prayut told the cabinet meeting that he
had met with chambers of commerce and all of them gave confidence in the
government’s capacity to move the economy forward. In return, he called
for their cooperation in taking care of farmers and supply chains
regardless their size of business to help the government achieve the
In terms of tourism, Gen Prayut expressed his concern over lack of
tourist guides and foreign language interpreters amidst the rapidly
growing tourism in Thailand. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports have
been ordered to produce such experts with deep knowledge in foreign
languages, Thai culture and tourist attractions, in particular, ancient
and historic sites which are receiving more popularity among tourists.
The Prime Minister also pleaded Thai people not to criticize foreign
tourists on social media. Thai people, as host, should adjust themselves
to foreign tourists who know little about Thai culture. Tourist manuals
might be a good way to solve cultural-shocks. He stressed that Thais
must try not to disappoint tourists which may lead to a decreasing
number of tourists.
“For cleanliness of toilets, the Prime Minister had earlier ordered the
setting up of ad-hoc teams to randomly inspect toilets at tourist
attractions, oil stations and restaurants. The teams could comprise
either officials or volunteers. Income from local tourism should be
allocated to solve these problems systematically,” said Maj-Gen Sansern.
Gen Prayut also ordered the Minister of Culture to discuss with Deputy
Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam the drafting of a bill to provide
support to artists especially national artists who have done great
contribution to the country. The support might include financial
Cabinet sets deadline for Nepal quake donations at end of May
BANGKOK, 26 May 2015 (NNT) The Cabinet has decided to continue accepting
monetary donations for Nepal until the end of this month as the
quake-ravaged country is putting focus on the rehabilitation of victims
and restoration of historical structures.
During this week’s Cabinet meeting, acknowledgement was given to a
report by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding humanitarian
assistance being provided for Nepal. Approval was granted to the
ministry’s proposal to cease the collection of donated items on May 28
and donated money on May 31.
The Cabinet also agreed to the Interior Ministry’s request to authorize
provincial administrations and the Department of Disaster Prevention and
Mitigation to use their discretion in selling donated items in order to
convert them into cash to be handed to Nepal. Any leftover products from
the sales will be kept in stock for use in times of natural disasters in
In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs used the opportunity to
inform the Cabinet that the rescue mission in Nepal is now over and the
heavily-damaged country is paying attention on rehabilitation and
All monetary donations presented to the Nepalese government will, from
now on, be pooled into the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund.
However, certain types of necessities are still in high demand,
including food, clothing, medicine, vaccines against infectious diseases
and construction materials.
Measures to deter youths from smoking
BANGKOK, 26 May 2015 (NNT) The Cabinet on Tuesday
endorsed a proposal to increase the minimum age of cigarette buyers in
Thailand to 20 years of age, deputy government spokesman Sansern
Maj.Gen. Sansern said the tobacco-control bill would also prohibit
people to buy and sell individual cigarettes. Thus, people can buy
cigarettes by the pack.
In addition, cigarette manufacturers and importers will not be allowed
to sponsor or endorse social activities, These measures will help deter
youths from smoking, he said.
Diving spots in Trang to be closed temporarily
BANGKOK, 26 May 2015 5 (NNT) Tourist destinations for
diving and snorkelling in the southern coastal province of Trang will be
closed to tourists for four months, between June 1 and Sept 30, 2015,
Hat Chao Mai National Park chief Manote Wongsureerat said.
Mr Manote said on Tuesday that the closure of Mook, Waen, Chuak and
Kradan islands as well as Morakot cave was for the safety of visitors.
The monsoon season is approaching and provincial authorities would like
the natural environment and surroundings to recover.
The four-month break in Trang was first implemented in 2013. Local
business and tourist operators had already been informed about the
closure last month, the park chief said.
Thailand Automotive Institute tones down car production target for 2015
BANGKOK, 27 May 2015 (NNT) Reduced purchasing power
has prompted Thailand Automotive Institute (TAI) to lower its car
production target for 2015 to 2 million units, albeit expressing
confidence that the country will become the 8th largest automobile
manufacturer in the world within 5 years.
Vichai Jirathiyut, president of the TAI, said on Tuesday that the
production target had been lowered to 2 million units from the previous
target of 2.15 million units. Of the new target figure, 1.2 million
units are expected to be produced for export and the rest-- 800,000
units -- for sale locally.
According to Mr. Vichai, the Thai economy's slowdown and the low prices
of agricultural products have diminished people's purchasing power.
Nonetheless, the institute still maintains its expectation for Thailand
to produce 3 million cars a year by the year 2019. Mr. Vichai indicated
that the expected growth in the number of units manufactured would be
driven by the production of energy-efficient eco-cars.
The TAI president also commented on the progress of the automobile
testing complex planned by the government, saying that the Ministry of
Industry had negotiated to use 4,000 rai of land under the jurisdiction
of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment as the site for the
complex. A more detailed plan for the site is expected to be drawn up
within three months.
Thai competitiveness in ASEAN will increase by 25% if language skills improve
BANGKOK, 26 May 2015 (NNT) Former ASEAN
secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan was confident that Thai competitiveness
in ASEAN will definitely increase by 25 per cent if language skills of
Thai population have improved.
Dr.Surin said in his capacity as President of the Future Innovative
Thailand Institute (FIT) that lack of foreign language skill is one of
the most significant problems among Thai people to compete in the AEC to
be launched at the end of this year. People in other ASEAN nations were
curious to study Thai language but Thais have oppositely no incentive to
learn ASEAN languages. This is a serious drawback which needs an urgent
solution, Surin said.
Previously, Thailand allocated one fifth of its annual budget to
educational development, the highest figure among ASEAN nations.
However, such a biggest investment did not bring the country higher
quality of education as expected, he said.
“As far as I am concerned, Thailand needs to have effective response to
the mobility of eight types of skilled labour in the upcoming changing
environment in ASEAN. More effective education is a crucial part of the
response as it could prepare readiness of Thai skilled labour to compete
in the ASEAN labour market,” Mr.Surin said.
He also stressed that the government should invest more in education in
the areas of science and technology as they put too little emphasis on
the areas. Meanwhile, improvement of education quality should be done at
all levels ranging from primary, secondary to higher education.
Buddhists invited to join nationwide celebration of Visakha Puja Day 2015
BANGKOK, 25 May 2015 (NNT) The Department of
Religious Affairs has invited Buddhists in Thailand to perform good
deeds and wear white clothes on their visit to nearby temples on the
occasion of Visakha Puja Day and Atthamee Puja Day 2015.
Minister of Culture Weera Rotephotchanarat said that the invitation is
part of the Buddhism Promotion Week Festival which aims to make young
Buddhists understand the five precepts of Lord Buddha and cherish them
in their everyday life.
The Buddhism Promotion Week is to be held nationwide
under the cooperation of the Religious Affairs Department and Buddhist
networks during 29 May to 9 June 2015. A great amount of leaflets
written in Thai, English and Chinese languages have been published to
invite Buddhists both Thai and other nationals to the event.
In Bangkok, the event will take place at Sanam Luang
in front of the Grand Palace. It encompasses various activities such as
moral education for youths, mass chanting competition, exhibition on
ethical communities, meditation, food offering to monks, Buddhist
sermons, and candlelight procession.
The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) has also joined the Buddhism
Promotion Week by holding a “9 Temples 9 Kings Bus Tour” activity
whereas the Bangkok National Museum is to open for the public to pay
homage to important Buddha statues.
In other provinces, the Department of Religious
Affairs has cooperated with its provincial branches and Provincial
Ecclesiastical Officials especially provinces sharing border with
neighboring countries to jointly hold such an event during the week-long
celebration. Household leaders have been encouraged to decorate their
home with national flag alongside the Buddhist flag of “Dharmachakra”.
National Reform Council urges revision of free rooftop solar installation policy
BANGKOK, 25 May 2015 (NNT) The National Reform
Council (NRC) has submitted additional proposals to the Cabinet
regarding the free rooftop solar system installation project after it
has discovered that the project violates energy reform policies.
The NRC heard the report from the committee on energy reform regarding
the solar photovoltaic rooftops for residential and general buildings
According to Chairman of the energy reform committee Tongchat
Hongladarom, the Ministry of Energy has initiated the solar roof’s
Free-in Tariff project while implementing a buying quota, which is in
contradiction to the NRC’s free market proposal. This policy has created
an obstacle for buyers and has increased prices.
In addition, committee member Alongkorn Ponlaboot indicated that the
free rooftop solar system installation project had been conceived for
the purpose of giving all sectors access to alternative energy at
suitable prices. The project was meant to coincide with the new
constitution’s efforts of reforming the nation's energy policies.
The committee has, therefore, urged to Cabinet to revise the project to
truly reflect its original intention.
Interior Minister signs residency permit for foreigners
BANGKOK, 25 May 2015 (NNT) The Minister of Interior
has approved the pending residency requests from foreigners, creating
confidence towards foreigners who are seeking legal employments and
investments in Thailand.
The Minister of Interior Gen Anupong Paojinda revealed yesterday that
the current government's policy will be supporting businesses and
investments from foreigners in Thailand, as the Thai economy still
requires international investment and expertise to increase the nation’s
capabilities in its economic, social, and innovative development.
He has said that from these reasons, he has signed the approval of
residency permits for foreigners in Thailand, who have passed the
Immigration Commission's consideration. This policy aims to generate
confidence and attract foreigners who are interested to work or invest
legally in Thailand.
The approved permit consists of 565 pending requests and 115 new
requests from the consideration of the Immigration Commission’s 1/2015
meeting on 16 March 2015. Most of the requests being made are for
employment and humanitarian purposes, such as to stay with families, and
special cases such as those who have contributed for the benefits of
Thailand, and for purposes of investment.
Consideration quota will include the subject's income, knowledge,
professional skills, national security conditions, economic conditions,
social conditions, and their country of origin's government policies.
The Minister of Interior further stated that the residency permit for
foreigners has been thoroughly considered, which will demonstrate the
government’s intention in welcoming foreigners who qualify regulations
in order to legally reside in Thailand with ease and security, and for
the benefits of the nation.
10,400 Thai Muslims granted quota to the Hajj this year
BANGKOK, 25 May 2015 (NNT) The Department of
Religious Affairs has announced a total of 10,400 Thai muslims have been
granted quota by Saudi Arabia to attend Hajj Pilgrimage 2015 in Mecca,
according to Director-General of the Department of Religious Affairs
Mr.Kritsayaphong, also secretary-general of the Hajj Affairs Committee
of Thailand, said that the announcement of the quota will facilitate the
selected people to prepare themselves for the trip including learning of
rules and conditions set by Saudi Arabia.
"Renting accommodations in Mecca for the participating Thai Muslims has
been done by 80 per cent. The government has also discussed with the
Transport Ministry and relevant authorities to add four extra charter
flights. These flights will depart from Narathiwat Airport and Hat Yai
Airport twice a day during 16-17 August 2015,” explained
Those who are on the name list can contact the Hajj Affairs office in
their localities or check their name online at www.hajthailand.net. For
more information, please call either 02-4227795 or 094-952-0668 or
094-915-8257 around the clock.
Constitution Drafting Committee confident new charter will be approved by NRC
BANGKOK, 25 May 2015 (NNT) The Constitution Drafting
Committee (CDC) is confident that the new charter will not be rejected
and affirmed that the new constitution will bring sweeping reforms to
CDC Chairman Borwonsak Uwanno has expressed his confidence that the
National Reform Council will vote to approve of the new constitution. In
response to criticism that the new charter adopts too much from foreign
constitutions, he pointed out that the content in chapter 4 regarding
reform and reconciliation cannot be found in any previous Thai charter.
He further explained that the new constitution will be titled the
“reform constitution” as it is designed to empower citizens and support
the private sector in its participation in politics and economics.
Furthermore, the new constitution will overhaul the country’s budget
with the establishment of a fiscal expense act, which will make all
public accounts transparent and control the use of state funds.
Unmarked grave in Malaysia might relate to trafficker in Thailand, police says
BANGKOK, 25 May 2015 (NNT) The unmarked Rohingya
graves discovered in Malaysia could be related to the human trafficking
movement in Thailand, says the Police Chief.
The Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Police Pol Gen Somyot
Pumpunmuang has speculated that unmarked Rohingya graves discovered in
Perlis, Malaysia could be from the same human trafficking movement in
Thailand. The location of the unmarked graves were near the border of
Thailand and Malaysia
He has said that the Royal Thai Police is starting their coordination
with the Malaysian Police to track the entire human trafficking network
in the region, simultaneously with the interrogation of captured human
trafficker suspects to determine their involvement with the discovered
graves in Malaysia.
The Thai Police Chief has also commented that the unmarked graves
discovered in both countries could be considered as international crime.
Therefore, all involved nations should cooperate to solve this problem.
50 NGV buses to be handed over to BMTA by July including those for disabled persons
BANGKOK, 25 May 2015 (NNT) Transport Minister Prajin
Juntong revealed that 50 NGV buses are expected to be handed over to the
Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) by July this year as the
purchasing contract with a selected supplier is expected soon.
The buses form part of the BMTA project to buy a total of 3,183 buses
with a budget of 13.1 billion baht. The BMTA has already conducted
negotitiations on prices and maintenance with the agreed supplier. The
50 buses are part of the first 489 NGV buses which must be handed over
to BMTA within September 2015.
For the 2,000 remaining buses, the Transport Ministry has set up a
committee to conduct a feasibility study on using electric buses instead
of the NGV ones. The study is expected to be finished within next two
In the meantime, the ministry will explore the routing of low-floor
buses for special passengers namely persons with disability, elders and
Meanwhile, Minister of Social Development and Human Security Adul
Saengsingkaew revealed that the ministry is cooperating with the Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration in conducting a survey on bus routes for
those vulnerable people.
According to a preliminary plan, the low-floor buses for disabled
persons will run in twenty routes passing more than 1,000 bus stops
covering 300 km in distance.
Energy Ministry to push forward 21st Petroleum Concession
BANGKOK, 25 May 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Energy
will be opening the registration for the 21st Petroleum Concession,
while the electricity prices in 2022 might increase by an additional
0.85 baht per unit, says the Acting Permanent-Secretary.
The Acting Permanent-Secretary of Energy Ministry Kurujit Nakornthap has
revealed the ministry has already submitted the amended draft Petroleum
Act and Petroleum Income Tax Act to the Cabinet’s meeting, which has
agreed to add alternatives to the exploration concessions in different
The amended laws are now in the process of consideration by the Council
of State, before being submitted for the consideration of the National
Legislative Assembly and the National Reform Council.
The Ministry of Energy has been assigned from the National Energy Policy
Council on 14 May 2015 to consider the procedures for the 21st Petroleum
Concession bidding within a time frame of one year.
The Energy Ministry Acting Permanent-Secretary has said that
registration might not take place in June as the amendment of the
related laws and regulations will require some time. He said failure in
natural gas source management will cause a disruption to production.
Current production licenses will expire in 2022.
These disruptions might force entrepreneurs to refuse to continue their
investments. This might cause Thailand to rely solely on importing LNG
gas from foreign countries for electricity production, causing the
electricity price to increase by 0.85 baht per unit. Imported LNG costs
more than natural gas.
The Acting Permanent-Secretary has also mentioned the installation of
the solar cells on rooftops, dubbed the solar rooftop project, saying
that the National Reform Council has suggested that the installation of
solar cells for domestic consumption in households will not require
permits from the Ministry of Industry. The government sector might also
consider buying the excess electricity at lucrative rate.
PM Prayut asks reporters to avoid showing Thailand in a bad light
BANGKOK, 26 May 2015 (NNT) The Prime Minister is
asking reporters to avoid present any story that will show Thailand in a
Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha said that the solutions to the
Rohingya problem do need collaboration from the origin of the issue to
the transit countries and the final destinations as well as related
Gen. Prayut also asked members of the press not to report any story that
will tarnish the reputation of Thailand and make the international
community misunderstand about how the country has been treating the boat
He insisted that Thailand has been treating everyone equally and
offering all humanitarian assistances the boat people should need before
they were handed over to such destination countries as Indonesia and
The PM added that both the Royal Thai Navy and the Royal Thai Air Force
will be patrolling over Thai waters while standing ready with a large
and fully-equipped vessel as a preliminary migrant relief effort.
Four state agencies to collaboratively process earthquake-related information
BANGKOK, 26 May 2015 (NNT) Four state agencies have
signed a memorandum of understanding on the sharing of
earthquake-related information, in a bid to reduce confusion and panic
among the public after earthquakes.
The MOU has been signed by the Electricity Generating Authority of
Thailand, the Meteorological Department, the Department of Mineral
Resources and the Royal Irrigation Department. The four agencies will,
from now on, handle data and information relating to earthquakes in a
unified manner. Data from each agency's earthquake-measuring stations
and devices will be recorded to the same database. The aim is to make
information presentation to the public more concurrent, so that panic
and confusion would not ensue.
Based on the accord, the Department of Mineral Resources will report the
name of the fault line causing each earthquake. The Royal Irrigation
Department and the Electricity Generating Authority will report the
ground acceleration figures recorded at dams. The Meteorological
Department will handle most of the earthquake-related calculation of
Chamber of commerce: Following road map will lead to more foreign investor confidence
BANGKOK, 24 May 2014 (NNT) Chairman of the Thai
Chamber of Commerce Itsara Wongkusonkit on Sunday pointed out that the
peaceful political situation and the government’s work in line with its
road map would help boost foreign investor confidence.
The chairman however admitted that Thai exports were affected by the
global economy, especially economic slowdowns in the EU and China,
prompting Thai businesses to adjust themselves and do business with the
neighboring countries more.
The private sector was still concerned over the Thai government’s
solutions to IUU fishing despite cooperation between the government and
international organizations in tackling the problem at its causes, said
The chamber of commerce chairman added that law enforcement was an
important issue which could prove that Thailand was determined to
resolve the problem of IUU fishing in the Kingdom.
Cabinet approves 3 measures to end Thai civil aviation problems
BANGKOK, 24 May 2015 (NNT) The cabinet has approved
three core measures to keep Thai aviation on track to meet The
International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standard, hoping to
relieve the crisis within ICAO deadline, revealed deputy government
spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd.
The first measure is to add 48 positions of civil servants holding
special and technical expertise to the structure of the Department of
Civil Aviation (DCA). The second measure, as suggested by the ICAO, is
to improve the structure of civil aviation authorities by clearly
separating those in the operational role from others in the regulator’s
According to the cabinet resolution, the country’s cilvil aviation
service will be divided into four branches. The Transport Ministry
remains responsible for aviation policy whereas the Office of National
Civil Aviation of Thailand will be established to take the role of
regulator. ‘Department of Airports’ will be set up to be responsible for
operational affairs, replacing the current DCA. Lastly, the Aircraft
Accident Investigative Unit must be independent from the regulator and
will report directly to the Office of the Prime Minister.
The third measure is to standardize aviation laws. The cabinet agreed to
use Section 44 of the interim constitution in order to speed up the law
amendment and ensure the legal changes will be done by deadline of ICAO.
Maj-Gen Sansern said that the government effort to solve the Thai civil
aviation problems has considerably progressed. He affirmed that pending
the outcome of ICAO considerations, the government will do its best to
address the issue.
Improvements to Energency Room services
BANGKOK, 24 May 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Public
Health (MOPH) has urgently developed the quality of Emergency Room (ER)
in state-run medical centers and hospitals nationwide in preparation for
the brandnew Universal Coverage Health project entitled “Emergency All
Free" scheme, acting MOPH Permanent Secretary Surachet Satitniramai
revealed on Sunday.
The government effort to improve ER services came after patients and
their families had complained about a long queue to ER admission, both
for critically emergency and emergency conditions, urging the government
to re-manage the ER services.
“The Public Health Ministry wants to ensure that all patients in
critical condition will receive medical treatment quickly and
effectively, which we believe will lead to lower rate of death and
disability. In parallel, medical staff should have higher level of
safety while working,” said the official.
The ministry would put more emphasis on sending medical staff to save
patient’s life on spot when people call Emergency Line 1669. At
hospitals, the ER will be supervised by emergency physicians who make
decision, according to clear Emergency Severity Index, to admit only
patients with high severity to the ER. The rest emergency patients
should be treated during overtime emergency center.
For big hospitals, specialists must be on standby around the clock to
give consultancy and screen severity of patients immediately. Fast track
should be available for patients with Ischemic heart disease, Ischemic
stroke, bloodstream infection, pregnant women, newborn infants and
severe injury at blood vessel.
For Health Promoting Hospitals, Chief Medical Officer of each province
will be in charge of opening overtime clinic but needs to take into
consideration the safety and existing burden of medical staff.
Evaluation of the operation will be reported every two months in order
to improve the emergency service efficiency.
CDC chairman urges people to study draft charter carefully before referendum
BANGKOK, 25 May 2015 (NNT) Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC)
chairman Borwornsak Uwanno has called on the public to carefully study
the contents of the draft charter before making their choice in the
Speaking at a seminar jointly held in Khon Kaen province by the CDC, the
National Reform Council, the King Prajadhipok's Institute and the
Community Organizations Development Institute to promote the public's
understanding of the draft charter and to gather public input on it,
Prof. Borwornsak said the CDC would continue taking in public input on
the charter until the end of June. He asserted that the gathering of
public input was not ceremonial, and that the charter would eventually
be subjected to a referendum.
Prof. Bowornsak noted that the draft permanent constitution was created
in response to the conflicts over the past eight years, which had caused
massive damage to the country. He said the intention of the drafters was
to empower citizens, promote clean and balanced politics, and support a
'just' society. He said whether or not the draft charter will be put in
use depended on the result of the referendum, and therefore asked that
all citizens study the draft charter in detail.
NLA to convene on Thursday to deliberate bankruptcy bill
BANGKOK, 25 May 2015 (NNT) National Legislative
Assembly President Pornpetch Wichitcholchai has scheduled an NLA session
on May 28-29 in order for the draft bill on bankruptcy to be deliberated
in its 2nd and 3rd readings.
The session will commence at 10 am on Thursday, May 28, at the
Parliament. In addition to the 2nd and 3rd readings of the bankruptcy
bill, the NLA will also consider extending the deliberation time for the
draft law on the establishment of a ministry of digital economy and
society, the draft law on suppression of terrorism funding, the draft
law on suppression and prevention of money laundering, the draft law on
the determination of urban planning and use of space, the draft law on
working capital, and the draft law on town and country planning.
Furthermore, the NLA will go over the annual report by the Political
Development Council, the operational report by the Election Commission,
and the operational report by the Office of the Auditor General.
Deputy Dean of Economics states that growth during NCPO’s administration is quite low
BANGKOK, 25 May 2015, (NNT) - Deputy Dean of the
Economics Faculty in Rangsit University, Anusorn Thamjai, told a weekend
seminar that Thailand’s economic growth during the National Council for
Peace and Order’s administration is rather low.
He pointed out that private investment has contracted, and the export
sector has seen negative growth during the first quarter of this year.
Meanwhile, government spending is being hindered due to issues within
the system of government and state enterprises.
Mr. Anusorn indicated public spending faces a slowdown and less than
optimal growth, despite the improved public confidence. He attributed
this phenomenon to the high household debt rate and the fact that the
Bank of Thailand has twice released a relaxed monetary policy but failed
to boost the local economy.
In his view the Thai economy has yet to make a substantial recovery,
saying it would expand 3-4 percent this year, thanks to the rapidly
growing tourism sector. Mr. Anusorn said however that the export sector
would only grow 1-2 percent, due to the economic slowdown in China and
other major trading partners of Thailand.
The Deputy Dean also said that Thailand’s economic strength depends on
lasting political stability, saying it would become stronger once a
general election was held.
PM Prayut to welcome Fijian leader
BANGKOK, 22 May 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-ocha is scheduled to welcome Fijian Prime
Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimara who will be
visiting Thailand early next week.
PM Bainimara is scheduled to attend a meeting
held by the United Nations Economic and Social
Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) on
May 28 and 29. He has accepted an invitation to
visit the Kingdom from PM Prayut, extended by
Deputy PM and Foreign Affairs Minister General
The Fijian leader is scheduled to meet PM Prayut
at Government House to discuss the possibility
of strengthening bilateral cooperation in such
areas as politics, trade and investment as well
as in other fields of expertise which the two
countries either lack or excel in. The two
leaders will then attend a luncheon hosted by
the Thai government. A press conference will be
held later on.
Thailand and Fiji have promoted their diplomatic
ties since December 15, 1975. The nations have
exchanged visits of high-ranking officials on
many occasions. In addition, Her Royal Highness
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn paid a visit to
the island country in 1996. The Fijian President
attended the 2013 Asia-Pacific Water Summit in
Broadcasting Commission extends first-lot Digital TV coupons validity
BANGKOK, 22 May 2015 (NNT) The National Broadcasting
and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has extended the validity of
the first-lot of Digital TV coupons for two more months, allowing the
public to redeem for hybrid set top boxes within a longer timeframe.
The NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith has revealed that the NBTC
has received permission from the National Council for Peace and Order to
extend the validity of the first-lot Digital TV coupons, originally set
to expire on 31 May 2015, to 31 July 2015.
This extension will provide holders the chance to redeem the voucher for
the hybrid set top box that will allow viewing of both digital
television and satellite television channels. The new set top boxes are
expected to be available in the market in June 2015.
On the progress of digital TV channel license payments, the NBTC
Secretary-General has said that 16 channels' transactions have already
been completed. The licensing payment deadline cannot be further
Election schedule pending NRC’s decision on draft charter
BANGKOK, 22 May 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha has explained that if the National Reform Council (NRC)
accepts the draft constitution, the planned election will have to be
slightly delayed due to the referendum process while insisting he is not
intent on extending his time in office.
Commenting on his past statement to foreign press that Thailand would
hold the general election at some point in August this year, Gen Prayut
clarified that the given estimate was in accord with the initial
timeframe of constitution drafting. Should a public referendum on the
draft charter be organized, he admitted that the election would
inevitably have to be pushed off.
Nonetheless, the premier urged all sides to wait for the NRC’s
resolution whether or not to approve the draft constitution. If the
draft is turned down, he said it would be unfortunate as all the efforts
put in would have gone to waste and the charter drafting process would
need to start over. Despite the obligation to carry on his duty as Prime
Minister under such a circumstance, he vowed that he has never intended
to hold on to power.
Meanwhile, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the military
takeover, Gen Prayut said he is content with the achievements of the
National Council for Peace and Order so far, especially in the laying
down of new structures and foundations for the country. Though deeming
the coup unacceptable, he affirmed it was a necessary move in order to
save the nation from impending dangers and enable it to move forward.
Consular Affairs to provide mobile passport issuing service in Trang
TRANG, 22 May
2015 (NNT) The
(DCA) will be
during 8-12 June
according to the
The Mayor of
the DCA mobile
unit will be
services to the
pubic in Trang
8-12 June 2015
from 8am to
4:30pm at the
the public, as
they will not be
Bangkok or other
are provided at
The DCA will
card or civil
worker card with
the 13 digit
number, and the
cost 1,000 baht
Fujian's entrepreneurs visit Khon Kaen to boost trade and investment
KHON KAEN, 22 May 2015 (NNT) Khon Kaen Governor
Gumtorn Thavornstit gave a warm welcome to
thirty Chinese entrepreneurs from Fujian
Province led by Song Ke Ning , Director General
of the Fujian Foreign Affairs Office during
their visit to Khon Kaen to boost Thailand-
Fujian Economic Cooperation and Investment.
The visit coincides with the 40th anniversary of
the Thai - Chinese diplomatic relations. Fujian
officials and business people took the year to
enhance trade and investment between their
province and four Thai provinces of Roi Et, Maha
Sarakham, Kalasin and Khon Kaen in the central
part of the northeastern region.
These provinces form a potential cluster in
agricultural production. They possess land known
to be the best source of Thai Jasmine rice, one
of the most favourite staples among Chinese.
In 2011, Khon Kaen took the lead in representing
other provinces in the cluster to sign an MOU
promoting all of them as Sister Cities with
China's Fujian Province. Bilateral relationship
has since developed smoothly under the
coordination of the Chinese Consulate - General
in Khon Kaen.
International political experts share ideas related to Thailand’s reform to solve conflicts
BANGKOK, 22 May 2015 - Political experts from
Germany and France have been invited to join a
special lectures project hosted by the Foreign
Ministry and share their views on the role of
the Constitution in national efforts to resolve
On Friday, the Foreign Ministry organized a
series of special lectures on Thailand’s
political conflicts, the reform process and
lessons to be learnt from constitutions adopted
in other countries.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-Ngam said
that the lectures have been initiated to promote
an understanding of the charter drafting process
which is ongoing amidst both praise and
criticism. He added that the target audiences
include the Constitution Drafting Committee, the
National Reform Council, the National
Legislative Assembly, members of the public and
In discussing the event’s objectives, Mr.
Wissanu said that experts from Germany and
France have been invited to share their
experiences in their respective countries, that
have successfully overcome crises and drafted
new charters which succeeded in bringing about
reconciliation and stable governments.
Among the international speakers are Professor
Dominique Rousseau and Professor Michel Troper
from the University of Paris, who became known
for a recommendation to use the Constitutional
Court to solve conflicts, and the theory of
Also attending is Professor Ulrich Karpen from
the University of Hamburg who will be speaking
about Germany’s experiences with Nazism and
Mr. Wissanu stated that the lectures won't
entail the experts’ criticisms of Thailand as
they will be discussing only the experiences of
their own countries.
Genral Public call on government to create more market-like festivals.
BANGKOK, 22 May 2015 (NNT) The Thai Fruits and
Vegetables Festival at Phadung Krung Kasem Canal
was today bustling as ever with a great number
of visitors coming to buy seasonal fruits and
garden plants. The market drew customers as soon
as it opened at 10 a.m. and became even more
crowded towards 4 p.m. when the office hour was
Most visitors at the market agreed that holding
such a market helped buyers in terms of decision
making as they could ask for product details and
negotiate with farm owners directly. They wanted
the government to continue holding similar
markets at the site.
Thai Fruits and Vegetables Festival opens until
31 May 2015 from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. at Khlong
Phadung Krung Kasem Market next to the
Thai students win 12 awards from AYIE 2015 competition in Kuala Lumpur
KUALA LUMPUR, 22 May 2015 (NNT) Thai students have made name
abroad by winning a total of twelve medals - one gold, four
silvers, three bronzes as well as another four special prizes -
from Asian Young Inventors Exhibition 2015 (AYIE), according to
Secretary-General of the Basic Education Commission Kamol
AYIE is part of the International Invention, Innovation &
Technology Exhibition (ITEX), a platform for the world’s most
prolific inventors from 21 countries in Asia and Europe to
showcase their inventions. It is held during 21-23 May in Kuala
Lumpur convention Centre, Malaysia.
Mr.Kamol said that eight inventions by Thai students were
selected by the Office of the Basic Education Commission to be
displayed and joined competitions at the AYIE.
Energy-saving Steamer invented by students of Muang Narathiwat
School won a gold medal in the category of houseware.
In the category of machineries and equipment, two silvers go to
the Bottle Automatic Buyer Machine developed by students of Chum
Chon Ban Mae Hang School in Chiang Mai and the Machine for
Shrimp Peeling and Riving by students of Thungyaiwittayakom
School in Nakhon Si Thammarat. These three inventions were also
granted special awards from Hong Kong.
Sticky Rice Cooker of Nakhon Phanom’s Piyamaharachalai School
was also presented a silver medal from "MOVE WORLD TOGETHER”
Mr.Kamol said that the awards proved innovative skills of Thai
students which could meet demands of global market. Therefore,
the Thai students’ inventions hold high potentials to be
developed at the commercial level, drawing attentions of
international entrepreneurs, academics and visitors during three
days of the exhibition.
Thailand and China to strengthen cooperation on human rights
BANGKOK, 22 May 2015 (NNT) Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
Don Pramudwinai had a meeting in Bangkok with Luo Haocai, Vice
Chairman of the National Committee of the 9th and 10th Chinese
People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and President
of China Society for Human Rights Studies (CSHRS) during the
latter’s visit to Thailand in order to strengthen cooperation on
human rights with academic institutions and relevant
organizations in Thailand.
Both sides discussed and exchanged views on several issues of
common interest including human rights projects and activities
of both governments and civil society organizations in both
In addition, they shared their views on efforts to increase
public awareness on human rights, which should start from young
children and adolescents, as well as cooperation in researches
and studies to promote human rights in the era of information
technology and social media.