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Vocational schools urged to revise ban on students wearing plug earrings

BANGKOK (NNT) The Ministry of Education has told the Association of Private Technological and Vocational Education Colleges of Thailand to revise its plan to ban applicants wearing earrings, saying the ban risks being denounced as double standards.

According to Education Permanent Secretary Dr. Kamjorn Tatiyakavee, the Private Education Commission has been assigned to discuss the issue with the chairman of the association, following the latter's resolution prohibiting applicants wearing big plug earrings or having large tattoos, in a new bid to prevent trouble makers from entering vocational schools.

Dr. Kamjorn said he personally thought that ear piercings and tattoos were not always indications of unruliness or aggression. He suggested that institutes give all applicants an equal opportunity, adding that checking their background would be a better option.

The Education Permanent Secretary explained further that private schools in fact had the right to map out their own criteria for applicants. However, the Private Education Commission could issue a warning to those institutes if they imposed their resolution on others. Dr. Kamjorn said schools ignoring the Private Education Commission’s warning might risk facing financial aid cuts.

Meanwhile, the Vocational Education Commission confirmed it had no policy to ban students wearing big plug earrings, but would rather remind this group of students to pay attention to their attires.

BMT sets up lottery stalls for disabled vendors in 2 Metro Malls

BANGKOK (NNT) Bangkok Metro PCL, operator of the capital's Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT) subway, has waived leasing fees for disabled lottery vendors at two of its 'Metro Malls' in Rama IX and Phahon Yothin stations.

The move is expected to greatly reduce operating costs for disabled vendors, while complementing the government's policy to cap lottery prices at 80 baht apiece.

The company will expand the project to other Metro Malls, depending on the success of the pilot program.

Meanwhile, the Disabled Lottery Vendors Association (Thailand) strongly suggested that the government expand the ticket quota for disabled vendors. Each vendor can only receive five books of tickets per cycle, which is greatly limiting their income.

Thailand and Laos ink MOU on drug suppression

NAKHON RATCHASIMA, 7 August 2015 (NNT) Thailand and Laos signed an agreement on the joint crackdown of transnational drug-trafficking, during a bilateral meeting.

Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya represented Thailand at the 15th bilateral meeting in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, during which the two countries discussed drug control measures, which is a key issue of concern.

The meeting, which involved ministers and senior officials from both nations, focused on the exchange of information on illicit activities across the border and additional cooperation on the matter.

Thailand agreed to provide financial aid and equipment to assist Laos in preventing and suppressing drug-trafficking, following the signing of a bilateral MOU.

Since October last year, over 200,000 drug-smuggling cases have been reported near the Golden Triangle. Around 240,000 suspects have been charged, with more than 77 million tablets of methamphetamine confiscated.

Their Majesties donate 5 million baht to Myanmar flood victims

BANGKOK (NNT) Their Majesties the King and Queen have donated 5 million baht to Myanmar flood victims as the death tolls from landslides rose to 74.

The Royal Rajaprajanugroh Foundation has been instructed to provide the fund to the Thai government in a bid to extend further assistance to the neighbouring country.

The government has earlier donated five million baht in aid to flood stricken Myanmar.

The death toll in Myanmar from the floods and landslides caused by heavy monsoon rain has risen to 74 and affected more than 330,000 people. Myanmar authorities have called on the citizens to leave low-lying areas as the Irrawaddy River threatens to breach embankments.

Northeastern provinces brace for more floods

BANGKOK (NNT) Northeastern provinces are bracing for more floods as the Mekong River threatens to breach embankments.

In Nong Khai, the water level of the Mekong River has been rising steadily to 11 meters and 38 centimeters and is expected to increase even further. Parts of agricultural land in the province have been inundated, causing grief to farmers, who were earlier hit by drought. Sluice gates have been closed and additional water pumps have been installed.

The river’s water level in Buengkarn is the highest in three years. Ferry operators have been warned to exercise extra caution and to prepare sufficient amount of life vests for passengers. Residents living near the river banks have been told to brace for floods during this weekend.

Overnight heavy rains in Sakon Nakhon have caused water from Bhupan mountain range to overflow into the Mekong River, flooding plantations in many districts. Around 6,000 rai of agricultural land have so far been damaged by the deluge.

New savings fund starts accepting members on August 20th

BANGKOK,(NNT) The Ministry of Finance reminds the public that the newly established National Saving Fund (NSF) will start accepting members at three government banks from August 20th onward.

The reminder was made by Deputy Finance Minister Wisut Srisuphan, saying that the application will be available at the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, the Government Savings Bank, and the Krung Thai Bank. The fund is designed to help members of the public, especially informal workers, who hold independent careers and are not covered by any pension schemes.

Initially, the Finance Ministry expects at least 600,000 people would apply for the new ‘voluntary retirement savings program’ this year. An eligible applicant must be a Thai national aged between 15 and 60. He or she must deposit at least 50 baht but not exceeding 13,200 baht annually to the NSF account. The government will then contribute a counterpart fund to members at an amount depending on the age of members. The NSF will award a monthly pension payment when members reach the age of 60 until the end of their life. Social Security members can transfer their membership to the NSF, in accordance with Section 40 of the Interim Constitution.

Collaboration pact signed over crucial information sharing for "What2grow" project

BANGKOK (NNT) The Land Development Department has signed a collaboration agreement with the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) in order for it to provide information crucial to the success of the "What2grow" project for farmers.

Apichart Jongskul, director-general of the Land Development Department, revealed on Wednesday that under the collaboration, his department will provide the NSTDA with land-use maps, soil series maps, agricultural zoning maps, and digital orthophotographs.

Meanwhile, Thaweesak Koanantakool, director of the NSTDA, explained that his agency will utilize the data in the maps to carry out the "What2grow" project, which will provide farmers with data that would allow for improved efficiency in farmland utilization. He said that the project is similar to agricultural zoning in principle. However, the depth of data available will be much greater; detailed soil layer and soil quality data will also be available.

According to Mr. Thaweesak, the What2grow project will be implemented for five years.

Minister of the Interior: safeguards according to each area's risks

BANGKOK, (NNT) The Minister of the Interior has directed all provincial governors to prepare for natural disasters in all areas and to adjust their operations according to each location's risk factor.

The Minister of the Interior Gen Anupong Paojinda said that the northern and northeastern region are now experiencing continuous rainfall due to the influence of the seasonal monsoon, creating a likely scenario for flash floods and landslides in risk areas.

He advised the public that the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has been ordered to be on guard by providing officials to monitor the situation closely. Fast-response units will be put on standby in risk areas, to provide immediate help to the affected public when needed.

Despite continued rains, the Interior Minister also noted that the volume of water flowing into reservoirs during this time remains insufficient, therefore specific water saving measures will still be pursued; all sectors are asked to proceed with their water conservation measures and continue to conserve water for maximum efficiency.

Meanwhile the DDPM Director-General Chatchai Promlert, noted that disaster preparations in all provinces are being coordinated to prepare measures to guard against inundations, flash floods, and landslides.

He added that measures to aid those members of the public affected by the earlier lack of rainfall will continue, stating that each area's emergency preparations will be determined accordingly to the area's risk factor.

SBPAC to repair local roads in southernmost provinces

NARATHIWAT,(NNT) Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) has launched road maintenance projects in southernmost provinces of Thailand - Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla. Nearly 20,000 road users will benefit from the projects once the projects are completed.

Deputy Secretary-General of the SBPAC Kwanchat Wongsuparanan said at the opening ceremony of the project that the Royal Thai Army had ordered the fourth Army Area, to repair 11 roads, with 52 km. in distance, located in 11 districts of Narathiwat, to facilitate transportation of locals and distribution of agricultural produce to markets.

All of the roads under repair will have asphaltic concrete surface mixed with rubber. Each project will take different time to complete, with the longest one to be repaired in 120 days .

To ensure successful completion of those projects, Army engineers in the province had went out to raise understanding with locals in related communities 47 times and held six public forums with people and officials in the province. The military have received good response from the public in all stages of the project.

MOPH warns public against consuming poisonous mushrooms

BANGKOK, (NNT) The Ministry of Public Health has issued an official warning to the public about consuming poisonous mushrooms.

Mushrooms, including the poisonous varieties, are easily found during the rainy season.

Since the beginning of this year to July 17th, there were 337 instances of people suffering from the consumption of poisonous mushrooms, in 38 provinces. The majority of the patients were in the Northeast especially Ubon Ratchathani Province, which had 88 patients followed by Chiang Rai which had 29.

Poisonous mushrooms usually start taking effect 2-3 hours after consumption. Patients usually experience symptoms similar to having food poisoning, such as feeling nauseous, vomiting, having an extreme stomach ache, and diarrhea. Kidney failure may be contracted in extreme cases.

Meanwhile, the Disease Control Department Director-General Dr. Sopon Mekthon advised the public to refrain from consuming mushrooms when drinking alcohol. He said alcohol can accelerate and intensify poisonous effects.

Patients suspected of having eaten poisonous mushrooms should attempt to induce vomiting and be rushed to the nearest hospital.

Rayong Officials expect more fishing vessels to register this month

RAYONG, 01 August 2015, (NNT) Marine officials in Rayong expect more fishing operators to register their vessels this month, as the government takes further serious steps to eradicate illegal fishing operations in the Kingdom.

According to the province's Port In-Port Out (PIPO) Control Center, 148 fishing vessels have been registered, since the center's inception on May 6th to the end of July. The center expects the remaining 300 vessels in the area to register during this month.

The center indicated the majority of fishing operators are willing to obey the strict new regulations issued by the Command Center for Combating Illegal Fishing.

It stresses that a fishing vessel must be operated by at least two Thai nationals; a captain and a mechanic. Both positions can only operate legally with a license issued by the Department of Marine.

A Shaolin show to celebrate 40 years of Thai-Chinese relations

BANGKOK, 3 Aug 2015, (NNT) A Chinese martial arts show featuring Shaolin monks is to be organized in Thailand, celebrating the 40 years of diplomatic ties between the two nations.

The show is a joint effort by the Thai-China Industrial Promotion Association, the association of Thais of Chinese descent, governments & private sectors of both countries and the Shaolin Temple in China.

The show celebrates Her Majesty Queen Sirikit's 83rd birthday anniversary on August 12th, 2015 and Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's 60th birthday anniversary on April 2nd, 2015.

The event also celebrates 40 years of Thai-Chinese diplomatic ties. More than 90 Shaolin monks from the Zhengzhou provincial capital of Henan, will be taking part in the show. In addition to the Chinese Shaolin show, Thailand's Ministry of Culture will also present signature martial arts demonstrations, such as Muay Thai and Thai swordplay.

Severe weather warnings extended to East Coast

BANGKOK, 7 August 2015 (NNT) The low pressure trough currently moving across Laos to the North of Thailand is bringing heavy rains to the upper part of the country until the end of this week.

Weather warnings have now been extended to the East Coast as the low pressure system is approaching Thailand. A south westerly win remains strong in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.

Those living in Nong Khai, Bung Kan, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Trat, Ranong, Pang Nga and Phuket provinces have been advised to brace for unpleasant weather and flash floods. Small fishing vessels should be kept ashore as sea conditions are not ideal at present.

Meanwhile, rain has been predicted for approximately 40% of Bangkok and its vicinity today and tomorrow.

Army distributes royally bestowed Bike for Mom gifts to government units nationwide

BANGKOK, 7 August 2015 (NNT) Army Chief General Udomdej Sitabutr yesterday chaired a ceremony of presenting the royally bestowed commemorative ‘Bike for Mom’ gifts to 107 governmental units. The items, which are signature blue shirts and pins, will be distributed to government officials who work to support the Bike for Mom event in all provinces held to celebrate the national Mother's Day on August 12th.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment also held a ceremony of presenting the royally bestowed gifts to its officials and later held a meeting to ensure their efficiency in handling the biking event on August 16th.

Meanwhile, a parade welcoming the gifts was held in Chiang Rai Province from Rong Khun Temple to the provincial city hall. Roi Et Provincial Administrative Office also stored the shirts and pins at its city hall, before distributing them to the registered cyclists next week.

In Chachoengsao Province, 200 military officers have been assigned to help facilitate the traffic and cyclists on the biking day. The province has also opened the biking track for residents to practice prior to the event. It hoped the participation of Chachoengsao people will help put the country’s name in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The Bike for Mom 2015 event, which commemorates the auspicious occasion of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit's 83rd birthday anniversary, will be held on August 16th.

New land management law to benefit agricultural water management

BANGKOK (NNT) The Director of the Bureau of Public Land Management has affirmed that the new law on establishing land for agriculture will increase the effectiveness of water utilization and the management of water for farmers.

According to Director Siriwat Klinpakdee, the new law, to be in effect on August 29 this year, will benefit farms that are connected to irrigation canals, through the establishment of a committee for public land management reform. The public will be able to participation in the decision making process of the committee and will able to voice their complaints and concerns. Furthermore, the committee will be tasked with surveying land and improving its conditions for irrigation.

He has also noted that once a plot of land has been allocated for the purpose of farming, the plot cannot be used for other purposes other than for agriculture.

BMA to use old pipes as artificial reefs

BANGKOK(NNT) The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has planned to use old concrete pipes as artificial reefs in a latest move to conserve marine resources.

Bangkok Governor M.R. Sukhumbhand Paripatra, director general of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources Chonlatid Suraswadi and special expert of the Royal Thai Navy Vice Admiral Pongsathorn Chukhae jointly participated in a press conference for the artificial reef project today.

According to the Bangkok Governor, the conversion of used pipes into artificial reefs is intended to promote the propagation of coral and marine lives. The project is also part of the activities aimed at celebrating the birthday anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen. The Department of Fisheries, the Royal Thai Navy and the Marine Department will also facilitate the mission.

The pipes were dug up during the enlargement of the Monkey Cheek water retention area in Prawet District. They will be delivered to Mae Ramphung Beach in Rayong Province.

Hill people in Chiang Mai ready for Bike for Mom

CHIANG MAI (NNT) Thai hill tribe and people in Chiang Mai province are getting ready for the Bike for Mom bike ride in honor of Her Majesty the Queen.

All sectors in Chiang Mai, including hill tribe and ethnic minority people, are enthusiastic to join in the nationwide bike ride. A hill tribe radio announcer in the province has invited his fellow hill people to take part in the event to celebrate the 83rd birthday anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen.

Many people in Chiang Mai have brought their bicycles to practice on the roads and in public parks such as Royal Park Rajapruek and Huay Tueng Thao. There are people who have bought new bicycles and tuned up their old ones in preparation for the bike ride.

Government approves 768 village funds

BANGKOK (NNT) – The committee in charge of National Village and Urban Community Fund has approved financial support for more than 700 villages.

PM's Office Minister Suwapan Tanyuwattana revealed that the approval of funding for 768 villages came in response to Tuesday’s cabinet meeting during which ministers voiced their concern for problems faced by upcountry residents.

The committee still has to deal with more than 18,000 projects which are in need of further fund injections. The fund recipients are divided into six groups, based on their needs and potential. Approval of the remaining requests is expected to conclude in September. The rehabilitation plan is expected to begin on August 15. Results should be noticeable in November.

Mr. Suwapan reiterated that the fund committee would do its best to take care of villages having difficulty in managing the budgets, adding that special measures may be applied to solve their problems.

Health Ministry hails Priest Hospital as model of palliative care

BANGKOK (NNT) The Ministry of Public Health has raised the Priest Hospital as a regional example for palliative care during a meeting with ASEAN delegates.

Director-General of the Department of Medical Services Dr Suphan Srithamma presided over an international academic seminar on the provision of palliative treatment to patients. Among the attendants were medical experts from Thailand and other ASEAN countries who exchanged knowledge and experiences concerning the matter.

On this occasion, the Thai officials declared the Priest Hospital in Bangkok as a model of palliative care, citing that the facility has been equipped with a palliative ward since 2007 to specifically provide such a service to Buddhist monks and novices who are chronically or terminally ill.

In treatment, the hospital has been adhering to a multidisciplinary approach involving physical, mental, psychosocial and spiritual rehabilitation. In 2012, the hospital was granted the Thailand Public Services Award by the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission.

According to the Bureau of Policy and Strategy, Ministry of Public Health, the number of patients suffering from non-communicable diseases in Thailand, especially cancer, is on the rise and so is the number of associated deaths. Under the circumstance, the demand for palliative care is also increasing.

EIT continues to carry inspection on collapsed escalator

BANGKOK (NNT) The Engineering Institution of Thailand (EIT) has urged business operators to strictly adhere to safety regulations following a recent malfunction of an escalator in Bangkok.

The EIT has warned that thorough inspections of escalators and other building equipment must be carried out frequently to prevent accidents. Members of the public who use these equipment are also advised to follow instructions listed on the items, which include holding the railing while taking an elevator and refraining from carrying heavy objects.

The institution has so far been unable to identify the cause of the malfunction. Initially, it is speculated that a foreign object may be trapped between the steps, creating a gap that leads to the collapse of the escalator.

The escalator broke down at a Big C store in Wong Sawang area of Bangkok's Bang Sue district on Monday. Photos from the scene show collapsed stairs and torn metal parts at the base of its handrails. There were no reports of injuries.

Mother's Day to generate around 12 billion baht in spending

BANGKOK (NNT) The University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) has forecast that the Mother’s Day celebration on August 12 will generate spending of up to 12 billion baht.

The UTCC’s Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting has reported that around 12 billion baht cash would be in circulation during Mother’s Day, an increase of 1.6 percent comparing to the increase of 3.2 percent last year. The figure is the lowest in 7 years as consumers tend to exercise more caution over their spending, in the face of domestic economic uncertainty.

The center said that, the global economy is expected to recover during the last quarter of this year. The Thai economy will also expand by 3.5 to 4 percent.

The government has been urged to boost the economy by injecting a sum of 100 billion baht into the system. Measures to bolster tourism and exports are also recommended to bring the economy back on track.

Free Airport Rail Link services for mothers on 12 August, Mother’s Day

BANGKOK, (NNT) The SRTET has announced that all mothers are eligible to travel on the Airport Rail Link train service in Bangkok, without charge on 12th August 2015, to celebrate Mother’s Day.

SRT Electrified Train Co, Ltd (SRTET), the operator of Bangkok’s Airport Rail Link (ARL) train service, will be providing a fare exemption on the City Line’s train service for all mothers from 6am to midnight on 12th August 2015.

The special offer is to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s 83rd birthday, and to tighten the relationship in all families.

Mothers, along with their children, can present their identification cards to receive free tickets at ticket offices in ARL stations. Children with a height of less than 90 centimeters can also access the City Line train free of charge.

DMS to introduce health check-up packages as a social benefitit

BANGKOK,(NNT) The Department of Medical Services (DMS) is set to conclude the study on the proper and essential health check-up for the public to install as a health check-up package in the health security benefits.

The DMS’ Director-General Suphan Srithamma has said that the DMS’ health check-up development committee has been researching and developing health check-up packages for the public, as appointed at the 6th Health Assembly meeting in 2013.

Researches have been conducted in three patient categories, namely the newborn to 18 years old, 18-59 years old, and elders older than 60 years old. The department has standardized the health check-up packages, which will include proper area of inspections according to each age group, and the price range.

The study is expected to be completed in September, before being presented to the Minister of Public Health for pilot implementation at the MOPH’s hospitals. The packages will then be presented for approval at the 8th meeting of the Health Assembly this December, and be forwarded for the Cabinet’s approval for implementation in all hospitals nationwide.

The DMS has also planned to discuss with the National Health Security Office (NHSO) and the Social Security Office that the new health check-up packages should become social benefits.

The DMS’ research on health check-up packages was initiated from the fact that those entitled to the Social Security are not receiving their annual health check-ups, while most of the people eligible to receive this benefit from the National Health Security are unaware of their rights. This has resulted in many people having to pay for their health check-up services on their own.

The 2011 information from the National Statistical Office shows that about 550,000 persons pay to receive health check-up service by themselves, costing up to an estimated total of 2.26 billion baht.

Glyn Davies officially confirmed as US Ambassador to Thailand

BANGKOK, 6 August 2015 (NNT) The US Senate has confirmed the appointment of Glyn Davies as the country's new ambassador to Thailand.

US charge d'affaires, W Patrick Murphy made the announcement via Twitter and congratulated Mr Davies on his new role. However, Mr Murphy did not specify when Mr Davies will travel to Thailand to take up the post.

Mr Davies also posted a tweet saying he is honored to have been confirmed by the US Senate and that he is looking forward to joining the US embassy team in Thailand as Ambassador.

Mr Davies, who is a former US envoy for North Korean policy, was nominated as the next US Ambassador by President Barack Obama in mid-April.

Min of Interior to hold handicraft exhibition as tribute to Queen

BANGKOK, 6 August 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Interior has held a press conference unveiling its plan to hold a handicraft exhibition as a tribute to Her Majesty the Queen.

According to Deputy Interior Minister Suthee Makboon, the exhibition is aimed at honoring Her Majesty the Queen, who spent decades promoting the conservation and development of local wisdom and handicraft.

Her Majesty the Queen’s unwavering dedication led to the establishment of the Foundation of the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand (SUPPORT).

Mr. Suthee said the ministry will also use the event to showcase and advertize One Tambon One Product (OTOP) goods and innovations. The government has set target revenue from OTOP exports at 100 billion baht.

The event will be held between August 8 and 16 at IMPACT Challenger Hall 1-3, Muang Thong Thani. Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha will preside over the opening ceremony on August 10.

Tak donates to flood victims in Myanmar

BANGKOK, 6 August 2015 (NNT) People and state officials in Tak province have together delivered donations to Myanmar in an effort to assist victims of the flood disaster.

Tak Governor Somchai Hatayatanti led relevant authorities and local residents in a ceremony to present Myanmar with donated items, including consumer goods, drinking water and canned foods. The items were loaded onto three trucks and handed over to Mr Lui Go U, Governor of Myawaddy, in order to be distributed to flood-affected people in the western part of Myanmar.

The presentation came after Tak province set up a donation center for flood relief between the sister cities of Tak and Myawaddy. Since then, donations have been received constantly from local residents.

Thus far, 12 provinces and regions of Myanmar have been submerged under floodwater after being hammered by torrential rains.

MOPH insures medical staff well-being via GPO fund

BANGKOK, 6 August 2015 (NNT) Medical personnel will be entitled to financial aid, should their well-being be compromised while providing medical care for patients.

Doctors and nurses are not currently covered under the National Health Security Act 2002. A recent meeting was held at the Ministry of Public Health to resolve the issue.

Public Health Minister Ratchata Ratchatanawin has revealed that medical staff have never received workers' compensation for injury or illness as a result of providing medical services.

He said it is important that they be treated the same way as patients under Section 41 of the Act. The ministry has decided to provide interim insurance for medical staff via the Government Pharmaceutical Organization’s fund, until other financial sources can be determined.

Officials deliver Bike for Mom gifts, PRD meets on broadcasting coverage

BANGKOK, 6 August 2015, (NNT) Minister of Interior General Anupong Paochinda yesterday at the Dusit Palace Plaza sent off a caravan of trucks carrying royally bestowed Bike For Mom gifts to remote provinces.

A total of 76,000 commemorative shirts, 228,000 bottles of drinking water and 178,863 commemorative pins will be distributed to 76 remote provinces for registered cyclists. Staff members in each province will be allocated 300 shirts for the event.

Each provincial office will hold a ceremony to hand out the pins and shirts to registered cyclists on August 12, the national Mother's Day. The bottles of drinking water will be distributed to the participants at the event on August 16.

Meanwhile, PRD Director General Apinan Juntarungsri yesterday chaired a meeting on media coverage for the Bike For Mom event with Thai TV Pool, after attending a ceremony to receive the commemorative pins from the Royal Household. Each provincial public relations office will receive 500 pins.

The meeting also drew up measures to facilitate the crew of the Guinness World Record.

Brazilian Ambassador to Thailand says Brazil is ready to host 2016 Summer Olympics

BANGKOK, 6 August 2015 (NNT) Brazilian Ambassador to Thailand H.E. Gilberto Fonseca Guimaraes de Moura has said that Brazil is ready to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The Brazilian ambassador said security and transportation for visitors is important to Brazil. He added that the country will adopt measures for the Summer Olympics 2016 that were previously enforced during its stint as host of the 2015 World Cup.

The ambassador has also assured that Guanabara Bay is not extremely polluted, following the International Olympic Committee’s inspection. The bay has been chosen as the venue for water sports during the Olympics.

H.E. Gilberto Fonseca Guimaraes de Moura is hoping that sports fans and media agencies across the world will visit Brazil and watch the games next year.

Spouses of members of Cabinet hold their first official meeting

BANGKOK, 6 August 2015, (NNT) Spouses of members of the Cabinet met yesterday to discuss the establishment of a center for the development of the quality of life of the elderly, before visiting the "Creative Industry: Gifts for Mom” Fair at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem market near Government House.

The first meeting of cabinet spouses chaired by Naraporn Chan-o-cha, the wife of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, was held at the Santimitree building in the Government House complex.

Initially the meeting proposed a project to establish a model center for the development of an improved quality of life of the elderly, as the Kingdom prepares to cater for its aging population. The meeting noted that although such centers already exist in each district nationwide, these centers face difficulty in properly managing their operations and activities. The new model center would demonstrate how to organize creative activities that would be truly beneficial to the elderly.

After the meeting, the Cabinet members with their spouses visited the "Creative Industry: Gifts for Mom” Fair. They browsed stalls, conversed with vendors and made several purchases.

Many areas are flooded while others remain parched

BANGKOK, 6 August 2015 (NNT) Several areas in the North, North East and South of Thailand have reportedly been flooded by overflowing rivers after several days of rainfall.

In Chiang Rai, the embankment of the Mekong River in Chiangsan district is being continually eroded by strong currents in the river. The water has frequently overflowed into farmlands despite a decline in water levels in some places.

Vendors and riverside restaurant owners in Mae Sai district have begun cleaning up after the flood waters began to recede. The authorities will continue to monitor the Sai River even though water levels have now dropped after earlier reaching a critical point.

In Nakhon Phanom, more than 3,000 homes and 30,000 rai of rice paddies have been inundated in Sri Songkram district after the Songkram River overflowed the embankment and flooded surrounding areas. Residents were forced out of their homes, and had to take refuge on the street.

Meanwhile, Sisaket residents are still coping with the drought crisis as the amount of water in the Rasi Salai Dam is at a critical level. Only one of the sluice gates is opened to release water into the streams, in order to conserve the remaining water.

In Satul, homes in Muang district were damaged by a waterspout. The 5th Infantry Regiment has deployed soldiers to help fix these houses before it starts to rain.

Monkey cheek project introduced to store more rain water

BANGKOK, 6 August 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the construction of monkey cheek water retention areas across Thailand to increase the amount of water that can be stored in preparation for another drought crisis.

Prime Minister Prayut said after inspecting Khun Dan Prakarnchol and Pasak Cholasit Dams that both had only 4% of water left.

The Prime Minister observed that since the Monkey Cheeks or water retention areas have been built around the dams, 46 million more cubic meters of water have been stored after continued rainfalls. The PM also advised local residents to conserve water and preserve forest areas.

General Prayut has in the meantime instructed the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment to grow more trees as they help retain underground water. In addition, farmers in the areas affected by water shortages will receive financial aid of 1,000 baht per rai under the existing drought relief scheme.

MOAC expects this year's harsh weather will diminish agricultural production

BANGKOK, 6 August 2015, (NNT) The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has indicated that, despite the recovering situation in various parts of the nation badly hit by drought, a large number of agriculturalists won't be able to generate the same level of production as last year.

According to the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Pitipong Phuengboon Na Ayudhaya, recent rainfall in several provinces enabled agricultural operations to resume in regions outside the irrigation zones, saying however that water shortages remain common in many areas.

Regarding the government's policies on distributing water to rice farms, the minister stressed officials would prioritize farmlands with rice already planted for eight months or longer. He said the water distribution policies will be reviewed after the planting season is over.

Minister Pitipong also disclosed the ministry would maintain its schedule for water releases from major dams and continue to conduct cloud seeding operations until the year's end. The royal rain making operation would shift its focus from providing water for agricultural purposes to replenishing reservoirs.

Consecration ceremony for seven Buddha images to be installed in China

BANGKOK, 6 August 2015 (NNT) Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali on Wednesday (Aug 5) presided over the ceremony of consecrating seven Buddha images which will be installed as the principal Buddha statues at the Northern Shaolin Monastery in the People’s Republic of China.

The consecration ceremony was held at Trimitr Vityaram Monastery in Samphathawong, Bangkok. The seven Buddha statues are built under the cooperative efforts of Thai and Chinese Buddhist monks. The construction is aimed at paying tributes to Their Majesties the King and Queen and also to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on the occasion of her fifth cycle birthday anniversary in April 2015.

The cooperation is the first of its kind in the Thai-Sino relations and helps strengthen Buddhist relationship between the two countries. The seven sacred Buddha images were built with the mixture of nine metals called in Thai as Nawa Loha.

Of the seven images, three are seven meters high and have a width of 3.5 meters at their lap. Four others are 4.5 meters high.

Agriculture ministry exhibiting farm and fishery innovations with practical uses

BANGKOK, 6 August 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is holding an exhibition of distinguished researches and innovations produced by agencies under its jurisdiction.

On Wednesday, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Petipong Pungbun Na Ayudhya presided over the opening of the exhibition, which showcases researches on crops, livestock and fishery. New farm machinery and production technologies that can be practically utilized are also on display, which include a collapsible weir for irrigation use and a wet-and-dry water conservation technology for rice paddies.

The exhibition is being held for a total of 9 months at the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, from August, 2015 to March, 2016.

PM pleased with increasing water volume in damss

NAKHON NAYOK, 5 August 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has expressed satisfaction with the rising water levels in major dams following his visit to Nakhon Nayok province.

As part of his official visit to Nakhon Nayok, Prime Minister Prayut led relevant officials in an aerial survey of waterways and reservoirs within the province and its vicinity. He first observed the level of water at Khun Dan Prakan Chon Dam in Mueang district of Nakhon Nayok before proceeding to Pa Sak Jolasid Dam located on the border of Lop Buri and Saraburi provinces as well as the Ayutthaya-Pathum Thani section of the Chao Phraya River.

The premier revealed that his stopover in Lop Buri and Saraburi was unplanned and was made spontaneously out of his concerns over the well-being of drought-affected residents. He said he needed to witness the water situation as it truly was, adding that he was most worried about the people in the Pa Sak and Chao Phraya River Basins.

However, Prime Minister Prayut said he was glad and relieved to hear from the provincial governors that the amount of water flowing into the dams has increased significantly due to continuous downpours. He, nonetheless, insisted that more water will need to be supplied constantly to the Central Plains to help the farmers.

Mae Sai city begins clean up after flood water recedes

CHIANG RAI, 5 August 2015 (NNT) People living in Mae Sai District are now beginning to clean the city, after flooding in the area has receded.

Business operators in Mae Sai District are now beginning to clean their stores, after flood water in the area has receded. Mud and dirt will have to be taken care of before businesses can resume on both the Thai and Myanmar sides.

The Governor of Chiang Rai Pongsak Wangsamer has assigned the district and local administration to continue to monitor the situation for flash floods in Mae Sai and 18 other districts, such as Mae Fah Luang, Mae Chan, Mae Suai, Wiang Pa Pao, and Chiang Khong.

The public residing along the river areas have been urged to relocate their belongings at high places as a precautionary measure for the time being, as the continuous rains are expected during this time.

The water level in Mae Sai River has already receded down to 2 meters, which is fairly below the critical level of 5 meters.

Thai investments safe from Myanmar floods

BANGKOK, 5 August 2015 (NNT) The Thailand–Myanmar Business Council has confirmed that Thai businesses in Myanmar are unaffected by the flood disaster.

President of the Thailand –Myanmar Business Council Panitan Pawarolarnwitthaya disclosed that Thai investments in the neighboring country remained intact. Many were in the commercial city of Yangon, away from flood-hit areas.

Flash floods and landslides in Myanmar have killed at least 46 and affected more than 210,000. According to President Thein Sein, the flood disaster grips the states of Chin and Rakhine, as well as the Sagaing and Magway regions in the western and central parts of Myanmar.

Nevertheless, Mr. Panitan said Thai business operators still needed to monitor the situation closely. He explained that Thai investments in Myanmar would be in trouble if floods engulfed the transport route linking Mae Sot in Tak Province with Yangon.

In spite of the disaster situation, the President of the Thailand–Myanmar Business Council claimed that Myanmar was still an attractive place for investors. He believes that the Myanmar government will continue to improve infrastructure to mitigate natural disasters.

MIST holds National Science Week in honor of King Rama IV

BANGKOK, 5 August 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Science and Technology has been preparing to host National Science Week in honor of King Rama IV, who has been dubbed the Father of Science of Thailand.

National Science Week is being organized in collaboration with 33 educational institutes for the purpose of enhancing science education and celebrating science and technology. Events will be held simultaneously at science centers across the country from August 16-20.

The National Science Museum in Pathum Thani will also stage activities to commemorate the event from August 11-23. Meanwhile, an event featuring interactive scientific displays will be held from November 14-25 at Impact Arena.

King Rama IV devoted his spare time to the study of astronomy and was able to predict the occurrence of the total solar eclipse in Prachuap Khiri Khan on August 18, 1868. In 1982, the government granted him the title “Father of Science of Thailand” and declared August 18 of every year to be “Thai National Science Day”.

Flood recedes in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai

CHIANG RAI, 5 August 2015 (NNT) Floods in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province and Myanmar's Tachileik province have receded, but Mae Sai municipality remains on high alert.

Businesses on both sides of the Thailand-Myanmar border carried out clean-up operations in marketplaces today, after a flash flood muddied more than 200 outlets yesterday. Affected businesses were forced to close their shops temporarily. Trade activities are expected to resume in the afternoon.

Despite floodwaters receding, the Mae Sai district municipality has yet to remove flood walls, warning the locals to stay vigilant. Continued rainfall and high water levels in the Sai River have prompted fears of more flash floods.

In the northeastern province of Nong Khai, water levels in the Mekong River have risen by 84 cm, an annual high of nine meters. Consistent rainfall is likely to raise water levels further.

DGR groundwater drilling nears completion

BANGKOK, 5 August 2015 (NNT) The Department of Groundwater Resources (DGR) has completed 99% of its groundwater wells, providing more than 350,000 cubic meters of water per day to drought-hit areas.

DGR Deputy Director-General Aranya Fuangswasdi has revealed that the department has successfully drilled 506 out of 511 planned groundwater wells, or 99.02%. The DGR is now in the process of drilling 10 more.

A total of 221 new wells have been outfitted with water pumps capable of drawing 217,913 cubic meters of groundwater daily. Meanwhile, 225 old wells that fell into disrepair have received maintenance and the installation of water pumps, providing 33,750 cubic meters of groundwater per day.

This brings the number of renovated wells to 731 out of 891 in total, which supply a combined 251,663 cubic meters of water per day.

This operation is aimed at helping farmers in drought-hit areas across 15 provinces in the lower North and Chao Phraya River Basin. An estimated 4,000 households tending to 150,000 rai of farmland would receive 350,000 cubic meters of water daily.

Chonsawat jailed for fradulent acts during 1999 election

BANGKOK, 5 August 2015 (NNT) The Supreme Court has sentenced former chairman of Samut Prakan Provincial Administration Organisation Chonsawat Asavahame to a year and 6 months in prison.

He has been sentenced for his involvement in fraudulent acts committed during the 1999 municipal elections in Samut Prakan. The ruling was read out by the Samut Prakan provincial court.

Mr Chonsawat was immediately taken to the Samut Prakan central prison to begin serving his term.

The court has also upheld a three-year jail term against Deputy Samut Prakan PAO Chairman Pitichart Traisurat for document forgery in the same case.

Government rolls out measures to help Myanmar and Thai flood victims

BANGKOK, 5 August 2015 (NNT) The government has been implementing measures to assist flood victims in both Thailand and Myanmar.

The Ministry of Interior has made known that state agencies are prepared to tackle flash floods and landslides in all areas and have been equipped with the necessary tools to assist disaster victims.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha also stated that all provinces should maintain a balance between releasing water to communities and storing water for use during the dry season.

The government earlier announced it is pledging five million baht to flood-stricken Myanmar, where at least 27 people have been killed. Myanmar is in urgent need of water filters, medicine and preserved food.

The Chiang Rai Chamber of Commerce and other private agencies are also collecting donations to send to Thai-Myanmar border authorities to fund disaster mitigation.

16 provinces told to brace for flash floods

BANGKOK, 5 August 2015 (NNT) 16 provinces across Thailand have been warned to brace for more heavy rains as monsoons gain strength in the North and South.

A monsoon trough in the North and a southwestern monsoon covering the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea are set to generate rainstorms in 16 provinces including Chiang Mai, Tak, Nong Khai and Phuket. Flash floods and forest runoffs have been predicted for these provinces and residents advised to exercise extra precaution.

Strong winds in the Andaman Sea will generate up to 3-meter high waves and small boats should be kept ashore.

Typhoon Soudelor is expected to make landfall in China’s western coast during August 7-8. Thai travelers planning to visit the area have been urged to closely follow weather updates.

Most parts, up to 70 percent, of Bangkok and its vicinity are set to be lashed with heavy rains and scattered thunder storms. The average temperature is to hover between 25-31 degree.




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Vocational schools urged to revise ban on students wearing plug earrings

BMT sets up lottery stalls for disabled vendors in 2 Metro Malls

Thailand and Laos ink MOU on drug suppression

Their Majesties donate 5 million baht to Myanmar flood victims

Northeastern provinces brace for more floods

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New land management law to benefit agricultural water management

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Government approves 768 village funds

Health Ministry hails Priest Hospital as model of palliative care

EIT continues to carry inspection on collapsed escalator

Mother's Day to generate around 12 billion baht in spending

Free Airport Rail Link services for mothers on 12 August, Mother’s Day

DMS to introduce health check-up packages as a social benefit

Glyn Davies officially confirmed as US Ambassador to Thailand

Min of Interior to hold handicraft exhibition as tribute to Queen

Tak donates to flood victims in Myanmar

MOPH insures medical staff well-being via GPO fund

Officials deliver Bike for Mom gifts, PRD meets on broadcasting coverage

Brazilian Ambassador to Thailand says Brazil is ready to host 2016 Summer Olympics

Spouses of members of Cabinet hold their first official meeting

Many areas are flooded while others remain parched

Monkey cheek project introduced to store more rain water

MOAC expects this year's harsh weather will diminish agricultural production

Consecration ceremony for seven Buddha images to be installed in China

Agriculture ministry exhibiting farm and fishery innovations with practical uses

PM pleased with increasing water volume in dams

Mae Sai city begins clean up after flood water recedes

Thai investments safe from Myanmar floods

MIST holds National Science Week in honor of King Rama IV

Flood recedes in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai

DGR groundwater drilling nears completion

Chonsawat jailed for fradulent acts during 1999 election

Government rolls out measures to help Myanmar and Thai flood victims

16 provinces told to brace for flash floods



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