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Thai police seek 2 new suspects in Bangkok bombing probe

This image released Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, shows Wanna Suansun who police said is renting the second apartment which was raided by authorities in Min Buri, in Bangkok's outskirts. (National Council for Peace and Order via AP)

Nattasuda Anusondisai, Jocelyn Decker (Associated Press)

BANGKOK (AP) — Thai police said Monday they were seeking two new suspects — a Thai woman and a foreign man of unknown nationality — in the widening investigation into Bangkok's deadly bombing two weeks ago.

In a televised statement, police released a photograph of the woman's Thai identification card — showing a young woman in a black headscarf — and a sketch of the man whose nationality was unknown.

This image shows a sketch of an unidentified man who police say was living in the second apartment which was raided by authorities in Min Buri.(National Council for Peace and Order via AP)

The development came after police arrested a man from an apartment in Bangkok's outskirts on Saturday and seized bomb-making equipment that included detonators, ball bearings and a metal pipe believed to be a bomb casing. More bomb-making materials were found in a second apartment during a raid Sunday in a nearby apartment.

 

A detailed sketch of the main suspect. (Royal Thai Police via AP)

National police spokesman Prawuth Thavornsiri said Monday the second apartment that was raided, in a neighborhood known as Min Buri, was rented by the Thai woman, who is being sought. They identified the woman as Wanna Suansun and said she was 26 years old.

He said the man is believed to have lived in the apartment, where police found fertilizer, gun powder, digital clocks and remote-controlled cars whose parts can be used for detonation, among other items, Prawuth said.

"These are bomb-making materials," Prawuth said. "Nobody would keep urea fertilizer and gunpowder unless they wanted to make a bomb."

Evidence that was collected by government officials.(National Council for Peace and Order via AP)

Saturday's arrest was the first possible breakthrough in the investigation into the Aug. 17 blast at the Erawan Shrine, which killed 20 people, more than half of whom were foreigners, and injured more than 120 others.

Much remains unknown about the suspect, including his nationality, his motive, his relationship to the alleged bombing network or if he was plotting an attack, Prawuth said, adding that another attack was "possible" because police found 10 detonators.

Evidence that was collected by government officials.(National Council for Peace and Order via AP)

"We still have to work out the details," he said. "But we are very certain he's part of the network" that carried out the bombing.

On Sunday, Prawuth said police were working with "a number of embassies" and interpreters to try to establish the man's nationality, adding that he did not speak Thai but spoke some English.

Evidence that was collected by government officials.(National Council for Peace and Order via AP)

Authorities have dodged questions about whether the suspect is believed to be Turkish, saying that he was traveling on a fake passport. Images circulated online after his arrest of a fake Turkish passport with the apparent suspect's picture.

The Turkish Embassy in Bangkok could not immediately be reached for comment. A Turkish government spokesman contacted over the weekend in Istanbul said he had no information on the suspect or any possible Turkish link to the attack.

Evidence that was collected by government officials.(National Council for Peace and Order via AP)

The blast at the Erawan Shrine was unprecedented in the Thai capital, where smaller bombs have been employed in domestic political violence over the past decade, but not in an effort to cause large-scale casualties.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Tens of thousands attend merit making ceremony to commemorate 100th day of Luang Phor Koon’s death

KHON KAEN, 31 August 2015 (NNT) - Disciples of the late revered monk, Luang Phor Koon, organized a merit making ceremony in Khon Kaen marking the 100th day of the abbot's death, with more than 30,000 people taking part.

The event, which was on the second and final day, was held at Mitraphab Auditorium of the Faculty of Medicine in Khon Kaen University. A large number of disciples, members of the general public, and monks from all over the northeastern region attended the event.

The Faculty of Medicine also granted the permission to monks and lay disciples to pay respect to the body of the late abbot, which was donated to the Faculty for anatomical study by medical students, according to his will.


Mobile passport unit to serve public in provinces this September

BANGKOK, (NNT) – The Department of Consular Affairs (DCA)’s Mobile Passport Unit will be providing passport issuance services for the public in four provinces this September.

The DCA is now preparing officials to operate passport issuing services as requested from the public, through the Mobile Passport Unit throughout September in Tak, Sa Kaeo, Nakhon Si Thammarat, and Narathiwat provinces.

The Mobile Passport Unit will provide services to the public at Mae Sod District Auditorium, Tak Province, on 31 August - 4 September 2015; at the Indochina Trade Center in Aranyaprathet District, Sa Kaeo Province, on 7-11 September 2015; at the Narathiwat Provincial Hall Auditorium, Narathiwat Province, on 14-18 September 2015; and at the Nakhon Si Thammarat Provincial Administrative Organization’s Theater, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, on 21-25 September 2015.

The public in the aforementioned areas can request to obtain their passports at the Mobile Passport Unit from 8am to 4:30pm, at each province's designated location and date.


Prime Minister assures no corruption in government

BANGKOK, 31 August 2015 (NNT) - The Prime Minister has assured that his government will be free of corruption.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha said that the latest Cabinet reshuffle was intended to help adjust the work of the government to be more in line with the current domestic and global situations.

The PM’s reason behind the shake-up of the Cabinet line-up was heard again during the weekly TV program “Returning Happiness to the People”.

According to Gen Prayut, the change has come at the time when the government is entering its second phase that needs a more concrete realization of all initiatives in order to boost confidence of the public, the private sector and local and foreign investors.

He stressed that all projects must be implemented under clear and transparent plans and that there must not be any corruption.


Yala officials visit locals affected by storm

YALA, 31 August 2015, (NNT) - Yala Provincial Administrative Office officials have visited locals affected by storm.

Muang Yala District Chief Preecha Chanakitkamjorn yesterday led a team of military, administrative officials, and village chiefs to visit Ta Sae Sub-district of Muang Yala District, which had been hard hit by a tropical storm earlier; where they distributed survival kits and offered various kinds of assistance to the affected locals. The storm wrecked 74 homes, several schools, hospitals and farmlands.

Yala Special Task Force 16 , meanwhile, dispatched officers to help residents repair the damaged homes, particularly roofs, given the storm had knocked electric poles down on several residences. Military, police officials and volunteers will also join hands assisting the locals over the next couple of days.


Rail cars for new electric train route will arrive to Thailand early 2016

BANGKOK, 30 August 2015 (NNT) - The Ministry of Transport has reported that a Japanese rail car manufacturer will be able to deliver all rail cars for the Bang Sue-Bang Yai purple electric train route in January next year.

Permanent Secretary for Transport Soithip Traisut has traveled to Japan to monitor the progress of the rail car manufacturing by the Japan Transport Engineering Company (J-TREC) in Yokohama. The official said she was happy with the overall assembling and decoration of the rail cars. They were the latest models with the highest speed of 80 kilometers/hour, said Mrs. Soithip.

J-TREC is expected to deliver all 21 electric rail cars to Thailand in January 2016. After that, they will be tested for three months before the purple route provides free service for the public around May 2016. It is expected to be officially open in August.


Bangkok governor opens road accident reduction campaign

BANGKOK, 30 August 2015 (NNT) - Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra presided over a road accident reduction campaign held on Sunday at Taling Chan Floating Market.

The campaign aims to raise the awareness of road users in Bangkok about road safety and rules, under the slogan “Slow Driving, No Crosscut, No Red Light Violation”. The campaign is also to realize the 1990 cabinet resolution to build the capital city “The Metropolis of Safety”.

According to the governor, Bangkok has been one of the world’s top places with high rate of road accidents. He said most of the accidents were caused by high speed driving and instant crosscuts. However, the situation is improving due to stronger traffic law enforcement, making people safer on road.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and relevant authorities are therefore running the campaign at communities, schools, and markets where road traffic are congested. The locations spread over six zones across Bangkok.


Prime Minister backs cutting back classroom hours

BANGKOK, 30 August 2015 (NNT) - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has advocated a reduction in classroom hours in public schools nationwide but stressed teachers must be able to integrate all compulsory curriculum within shorter learning hours, revealed Government spokesperson Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd.

Rather than sitting at desks until ending a school day at 4 p.m., students will in the reformed proposal, leave their classroom two hours earlier at 2 p.m. Col Sansern said the students still need to stay at school and spend the two hours to learn creative and analytical skills that are believed to empower their life performance and discover personal interest.

Col Sansern cited the prime minister as saying that he considered the policy as one of concrete educational reform. The schools would maintain its role as educator and would not push the burden of being educator to parents. He explained the schools would not focus only on academic knowledge but also life skills and promotion of self awareness among students.

He added that post-classroom activities are not necessary to be taken part by students in the same level. Mixed class activities would allow students to practice interaction with people from different groups and ages. Such an environment is simulated from real-world atmosphere.


Police say Bangkok bombing suspect is not cooperating

In this Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, image taken from video broadcast by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) the NCPO spokesman Col. Winthai Suvaree, left, discusses the arrest of a man, right, in Bangkok, 12 days after a bombing at Erawan Shrine. The words in Thai, above read "The Center for Following the Situation, NCPO". (National Council for Peace and Order via AP)

Nattasuda Anusondisai, Associated Press
BANGKOK (AP)
Thai police said Sunday the man arrested in connection with Bangkok's deadly bombing was being uncooperative, possibly not telling the truth to interrogators and would remain in military custody for at least seven days.
The unnamed foreigner was arrested Saturday at an apartment on the outskirts of Bangkok where police seized bomb-making equipment and fake passports. It was the first possible breakthrough in the investigation into the Aug. 17 blast at the Erawan Shrine, which killed 20 people, more than half of whom were foreigners, and injured more than 120 others.

Thai policemen take evidence at an apartment on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015.
(AP Photo/Sakchi Lalit)

National police spokesman Prawuth Thavornsiri told The Associated Press that police found "more than 200 passports" in the man's apartment, including many that were empty, and police were exploring the theory that he was part of a network that provided fake passports to migrants. He said the passports were from one country, but wouldn't say which one.

On Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, Thai authorities raided an apartment in suburban Bangkok and arrested a foreigner with a fake Turkish passport and bomb-making materials Saturday, the first possible breakthrough in the deadly bombing at a Bangkok shrine nearly two weeks ago.(AP Photo/Sakchi Lalit)

He did not explain why a passport gang might target a religious shrine.
Much remains unknown about the suspect, including his nationality, his motive, his relationship to the alleged bombing network or if he was plotting an attack, Prawuth said, adding that another attack was "possible" because police found 10 detonators.
He said police were working with "a number of embassies" and interpreters to try to establish the man's nationality, adding that he did not speak Thai but spoke some English €” and the interrogation was going slowly.

A Thai soldier takes a suspect with a bag on his head out from an apartment on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Sakchi Lalit)

"He is not cooperating much. From our preliminary investigation, we think he isn't telling us the truth," Prawuth said, declining to elaborate. "He told us how he entered Thailand but we don't believe everything he says."
Authorities have dodged questions about whether the suspect is believed to be Turkish, saying that he was traveling on a fake passport. Images circulated online after his arrest of a fake Turkish passport with the apparent suspect's picture.
"We don't know if he is Turkish or not," Prawuth said Saturday. "The passport you have seen is fake."

This image released Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) shows evidence government officials say was collected in conjunction with the arrest of a man they say was involved with the Aug. 17 bombing at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok. (National Council for Peace and Order via AP)

The Turkish Embassy in Bangkok could not immediately be reached for comment on Sunday. A Turkish government spokesman contacted a day earlier in Istanbul said he had no information on the suspect or any possible Turkish link to the attack.

The blast at the Erawan Shrine was unprecedented in the Thai capital, where smaller bombs have been employed in domestic political violence over the past decade, but not in an effort to cause large-scale casualties.

This image released Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) shows evidence government officials say was collected in conjunction with the arrest of a man they say was involved with the Aug. 17 bombing at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok. (National Council for Peace and Order via AP)

The shrine is a popular tourist destination, particularly with Chinese visitors, who are an important segment of the lucrative tourist market. At least six of the dead were from China and Hong Kong.
No one has claimed responsibility for the blast, sparking several theories into who might be behind it.
Possible suspects include parties seeking to avenge Thailand's forced repatriation of ethnic Uighurs to China. Uighurs are related to Turks, and Turkey is home to a large Uighur community.
Other theories included separatists from southern Thailand, opponents of Thailand's military government and feuding factions within the security services.

This image released Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) shows evidence government officials say was collected in conjunction with the arrest of a man they say was involved with the Aug. 17 bombing at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok.. (National Council for Peace and Order via AP)

On Sunday, Prawuth put forth another theory, that the suspect belonged to a fake passport ring "an illegal network that sends people who don't have passports to third countries" and was angry at officials for a crackdown on fake passport operations.
"The police chief thinks it's personal revenge, anger from a group that is not happy with the work of officials, that we have arrested some of his people," Prawuth said. "We have been very strict about getting rid of fake passports."
Prawuth said that the suspect, who faces charges of possessing unauthorized explosives, was in military custody and could be held for renewable periods of seven days.

This image released Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) shows evidence government officials say was collected in conjunction with the arrest of a man they say was involved with the Aug. 17 bombing at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok. Thai authorities arrested a foreign man they said had been holed up in a suburban apartment with bomb-making equipment and stacks of passports, the first possible breakthrough in the deadly bombing at a Bangkok shrine nearly two weeks ago.(National Council for Peace and Order via AP)

Until Saturday's arrest, police had focused on a prime suspect who was seen in a security camera video leaving a backpack at a bench near the open-air shrine and then walking away. A separate camera showed the man, wearing a yellow T-shirt, on the back of a motorcycle taxi leaving the site.
Prawuth said it was too soon to say if the suspect arrested Saturday was the man seen in the video.
"We still have to work out the details," Prawuth said. "But we are very certain he's part of the network. Definitely."

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Police arrest foreigner, find bomb-making equipment and stacks of passports in Bangkok bomb case

Nattasuda Anusondisai, Associated press
BANGKOK (AP)
Thai authorities arrested a foreign man they said had been holed up in a suburban apartment with bomb-making equipment and stacks of passports, the first possible breakthrough in the deadly bombing at a Bangkok shrine nearly two weeks ago.
Police and soldiers on Saturday raided the apartment in a non-descript concrete building on the outskirts of eastern Bangkok and found bomb-making materials that matched those used in the Aug. 17 blast at the Erawan Shrine in central Bangkok, police said.
The blast, which killed 20 people and injured more than 120, was followed a day later by another explosion at a public ferry pier, which caused no injuries but exacerbated concerns about safety in the Thai capital, which draws millions of tourists.
"Our preliminary investigation shows that he is related to both bombings," national police spokesman Prawuth Thavornsiri said in the televised statement. He showed photographs of the suspect €” a young man with short brown hair and a light beard and mustache. Police identified him only as a 28-year-old foreigner, without releasing a name.
Police also showed photographs of detonators, ball bearings and a metal pipe that they believe was intended to hold a bomb.
"The bomb materials are the same, similar or the same type" as those used in both bombings, police chief Somyot Poompanmoung told reporters. He added that the suspect had traveled in and out of Thailand since January 2014.
Police also found "a number of passports from one country," Prawuth said. He did not name the country, but photographs showed stacks of passports that were similar to those from Turkey.
Earlier, Prawuth said that authorities had not yet determined his nationality and dismissed Thai news reports saying he is Turkish. Images of a Turkish passport with the apparent suspect's picture were posted on social media.
"The passport you see is fake," said Prawuth, referring to the online photos. "We don't know if he is Turkish or not."
A Turkish government spokesman said he had no information on the suspect held or any possible Turkish link to the attack. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with Turkish government rules that bar officials from speaking to journalists without prior authorization.
Asked what could be the motive for the bombing, the police chief told reporters, "it's a personal grudge... not international terrorism." He did not elaborate or give a clear explanation.
The man faced charges of possessing unauthorized explosives, Prawuth said, and was taken to a military base for further interrogation.
The blast at the Erawan Shrine was unprecedented in the Thai capital, where smaller bombs have been employed in domestic political violence over the past decade, but not in an effort to cause large-scale casualties.
The shrine is a popular tourist destination, particularly with Chinese visitors, who are an important segment of the lucrative tourist market. At least six of the dead were from China and Hong Kong. It sits on the corner of a busy traffic intersection with a nearby overhead walkway in a neighborhood full of upscale shopping malls and five-star hotels.
No one has claimed responsibility for the blast, sparking a variety of theories into who might be behind it.
Possible suspects include parties seeking to avenge Thailand's forced repatriation of ethnic Uighurs to China. Uighurs are related to Turks, and Turkey is home to a large Uighur community.
Other theories included separatists from southern Thailand, opponents of Thailand's military government and feuding factions within the security services.
Soon after the bombing, police released an artist's sketch of a man seen in a security camera video leaving a backpack at a bench then walking away from the open-air shrine. A separate camera showed the man, wearing a yellow T-shirt, on the back of a motorcycle taxi leaving the site.
The man seen in the video was believed to have carried out the bombing, which police said was likely planned by a group of people. They indicated in Saturday's news conference that the man arrested was not the bomber seen in the video.
"We believe he is a culprit in the same network. More details will be given later," Prawuth said.
Police have been criticized for releasing conflicting statements and rapidly hosing down the crime scene at the shrine before all forensic evidence was recovered. Many accused authorities of rushing to clean up the bomb scene to reassure the public €” especially foreign tourists €” that security in the city was back to normal.
Police say they have been handicapped by low-quality and broken surveillance cameras and a lack of sophisticated image-processing equipment to clarify the fuzzy images in security videos, which were the only firm evidence they had.
Associated Press journalists Papitchaya Boonngok in Bangkok and Suzan Fraser in Istanbul contributed to this report.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Education Min eyes cutting school hours to allow students to relax

BANGKOK (NNT) – The Ministry of Education is planning to reduce class time for students in the basic education system in a bid to allow them more time to be with family or to take up extracurricular activities.

In compliance with the policy given by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Education Minister Gen Dapong Ratanasuwan stated that he has instructed the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) to consider lessening the hours spent in some classes. Through such a measure, he said students would be able to loosen up after school and spend more time with their families. More importantly, the extra free time could be invested in extracurricular activities, encouraging the students to learn by doing rather than by rote.

Initially, OBEC might allow schools to finish earlier at 2 pm. The measure could be piloted in the next school term, which will begin in November, and would apply to 10 percent of the 38,000 schools under the supervision of OBEC.

Should the change be made, Gen Dapong suggested OBEC to adjust its curricula and make necessary preparations ahead of time while also creating an understanding of the measure with the affected schools, teachers, students and parents.


Keep Bangkok Clean activity to commence on September 12th

BANGKOK (NNT) – Bangkok City Hall, in collaboration with Three Hearts Foundation, will commence with the "Keep Bangkok Clean" activity on Saturday, September 12, to raise environmental awareness among the public.

According to Chumphon Samphaophon, deputy governor of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, City Hall has established several policies to address the capital city's environmental problems. He explained that population density averages 3,600 persons per square kilometer in Bangkok, and this denseness results in a problem with waste as Bangkok residents generate an average of 1.53 kilograms of refuse per person per day. Increasing the amount of green space per person from 3 square meters to 9 square meters, as well as systematic and environmentally friendly management of waste, are among City Hall's current policies to address the environment.

Ms. Hisae Arai ( ไฮ-ซา-เอะ / อา-ราย ), president of Three Hearts Foundation and former Miss Japan, revealed that the 'Keep Bangkok Clean' activity will commence at the Army Club on Vibhavadi Rd. on Saturday, September 12. Participants will collect trash on both sides of the route as they move toward either Victory Monument or the Din Daeng flats. A fashion show featuring recycled garments from the Three Hearts Foundation will also be held on the same day


Chiang Mai handicraft pottery is GI registered

CHIANG MAI (NNT) -The Department of Intellectual Property has described Chiang Mai Celadon as a local-pride handicraft product and a model for other products in Thailand.

Director General of the Department of Intellectual Property, Malee Choklumlerd and reporters were recently invited to see the production of this world class handicraft pottery at “Chiang Mai Celadon” Baan Duangdee, Tambon Papong, Doisaket District, Chiang Mai province. Celadon is registered as a geographical indication or GI and has become a product that signifies Chiang Mai. Its quality and beauty are well-known throughout the world. Over time entrepreneurs took the business from the regional to the international market. Chiang Mai Celadon is classified as Stoneware that has been glazed with wood ash. The term “Celadon” is taken from the French language and indicates a unique Jade - Green colored group of ceramics. It is valuable 17th Buddhist era pottery, originating in the Lanna Kingdom.


FAR holds conference for anti-discrimination against HIV patients

CHIANG MAI, 28 August 2015 (NNT) – The Foundation for AIDS Rights has organized a conference to lessen discrimination of HIV-positive patients on the provincial level.

The Foundation for AIDS Rights (FAR) held a conference today at Tarin Hotel, Chiang Mai Province to develop rights protection, reduce labeling and discrimination among HIV-positive patients.

The FAR’s Deputy Director Jarunee Siripan said on this occasion that this conference was held to review operations, obstacles, and challenges to rights protection mechanism for HIV-Positive patients. The conference also was open to suggestions on this matter to materialize the guidelines for joint operation to further develop the rights protection mechanism at different levels.

She said that labeling and discrimination from the society’s attitude, laws, and policies towards patients are the main obstacles to achieving equality in human rights and respect.

Thailand has received the financial support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to carry out a campaign to prevent new transmissions of HIV in groups with high potential, namely men who are sexually active with other men or those who are transgender; male and female sex workers; persons who take inject narcotics; immigrant workers from Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia; and prison inmates.


PM thanks Thais for showing unity, urges help in rebuilding confidence

BANGKOK, 28 August 2015 (NNT) – Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has expressed appreciation to the Thai people for demonstrating their unity after the recent bomb blast while asking all to help restore confidence among foreign travelers.

In his televised address to the public this week, Prime Minister Prayut said he was deeply saddened by the August 17th explosion and insisted that constant surveillance of the situation will be necessary. Nonetheless, he expressed thanks to all Thais who have come together to show national unity to the world, adding that it is everyone’s responsibility to pull the nation through this difficult time.

The premier also encouraged the people to act as good hosts to foreign visitors and help project the positive image of Thailand to the international community in a bid to restore confidence.

In the effort to ensure added security in the future, Gen Prayut suggested business establishments and retail stores to contribute by installing extra CCTVs around their premises. The premier also voiced moral support for security units in their investigation of the bombing incident, saying progress is gradually being made.


Royal endorsement granted to new top brass

BANGKOK, 28 August 2015 (NNT) – His Majesty the King has approved the appointment of new military chiefs.

As of August 28, 2015, a royal command by His Majesty the King was published in the Royal Gazette, granting approval to the appointment of 831 military officials to new positions. According to the royal command, Gen Sommai Kaotira was named the Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces while Gen Theerachai Nakvanich was made the new Army Commander-in-Chief.

Lt Gen Theppong Tippayachan was appointed as the Commander of the First Army Region, Maj Gen Somsak Nilbanjerdkul as the Commander of the Third Army Region and Maj Gen Wiwat Pathompak as the Commander of the Fourth Army Region.

At the same time, the title of the Royal Thai Navy Commander-in-Chief was given to Adm Na Areenij. Meanwhile, Gen Preecha Chan-o-cha, younger brother of Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, became the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense.


Haze still has no impact on health in Krabi

KRABI, 28 August 2015 (NNT) – The public health department in Krabi has confirmed the haze caused by forest fires in Indonesia is still harmless to the health of people in the province.

The provincial office of natural resources and environment earlier measured particulate matter in the air and found that an average level of fine particles in Krabi was too low to cause any respiratory tract disorders and health problems in general. However, the province will keep monitoring the situation until the amount of particulate matter is down to normal levels.

The provincial public health department strongly advises people with chronic respiratory tract disorders, lung disease or asthma to avoid staying in highly polluted areas and wear face masks. They should also avoid long-hour outdoor activities and immediately see a doctor if they have symptoms of particle exposure.


Hua Hin regulates attractions for tourists’ safety

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN, 28 August 2015 (NNT) – Hua Hin District is now stepping up its regulations at tourism attractions to enhance security protection for visiting tourists and safeguard confidence, the District Chief says.

Hua Hin Chief District Officer Sutthipong Klai-Udom has revealed that the district has coordinated with the police and military officers in the area, as well as the related agencies, to enhance security protection to visiting tourists. Security protection will be especially strict at popular attractions such as the night market, Sam Phan Nam floating market, and Wat Huay Mongkol Temple.

He has said that the related agencies have been appointed to repair and perform maintenance to all CCTV cameras, to ensure full functionality, as they are important tools to provide safety protection to tourists.

He has also added that the public are encouraged to help survey any suspicious activities or items, and to report any clues to authorities by calling the 191 emergency hotline, or the Damrongtham Center hotline 1567.


Preliminary design of eastern seaboard aircraft maintenance cluster developed further

BANGKOK, 28 August 2015 (NNT) – An industrial estate dedicated to aircraft maintenance will be set up within 10 years under a 15 billion baht budget, with U-Tapao International Airport in Chonburi at its heart, according to the consensus at a seminar on the preliminary design of the industrial estate, held by the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, Ministry of Transport.

Representatives from relevant sectors who attended the seminar agreed with using U-Tapao Airport to service up to 45 aircraft at a time, and with the setting up of an aircraft parts manufacturing cluster spread around existing eastern seaboard industrial estates. The aircraft maintenance center at U-Tapao is set to be piloted during this year and next, whereas the parts manufacturing cluster will be developed later.

According to Minister of Transport Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, the government has designated the development of the aviation industry as an urgent policy, and has been in support of enhancing aircraft maintenance capability and the improvement of air transportation services. He said the expected purchasing of some 12,000 commercial aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region over the next 20 years is believed to provide Thailand with the opportunity to rise as a center of aviation, aircraft maintenance and aircraft parts manufacturing.


Chonburi locals gear up for Chinese Spirit Festival 2015

CHONBURI, 28 August 2015, (NNT) - A large number of Chinese Thais in Chonburi Province yesterday were shopping for this year's Chinese Spirit Festival taking place today.

Perishable items in Ang Sila Old Market or Srimuang Market are priced within the normal range; whole chickens are being sold at 60 - 65 baht, while a kilogram of pork is priced around 140-145 baht. However prices of vegetables are slightly increased with Chinese kale at 15-20 baht a kilogram, while Chinese cabbages and regular cabbages are around 15-16 baht per kilogram.

According to vendors at the market, sales of flowers and flower garlands are affected by the economic slowdown this year. Meanwhile, local consumers told reporters that the prices of essential items for the festival had increased, which affected their purchasing decisions.


14 Orangutans found abandoned in Phuket to be sent back to Indonesia next month.

RATCHABURI, 28 August 2015, (NNT) - Fourteen orangutans found abandoned on roadside in Phuket province are to be sent back to Indonesia next month.

after conducting physical examination of the primates with a team of Indonesian vets, officials from Khao Prathab Chang Wildlife Husbandry Station in Ratchaburi said the 14 primates would be returned to Indonesia next month.

The husbandry station's residential veterinarian Sirinthip Khemthong told the media that the test samples of the 14 orangutans are being processed by laboratories of Mahidol University's Veterinary Faculty, National Institute of Health and the Department of Livestock Development. The test results are expected to be disclosed in a couple of weeks.

According to an initial investigation, the primates were smuggled into the country and destined for a private zoo in Phuket. They were later abandoned before being discovered and transferred to the husbandry station in Ratchaburi Province. The 14 apes will be sent back to Indonesia in compliance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).


Royal Thai Armed Forces help flood victims in Myanmar

BANGKOK, 27 August 2015 (NNT)-The Royal Thai Armed Forces have sent a team of doctors and medical supplies to Myanmar this morning to help flood victims.

Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Worapong Sa-nganetra presided over the delivery ceremony at the Royal Thai Air Force airfield.

According to General Worapong, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha instructed the Ministry of Defense to reach out to flood victims in Myanmar as part of the Thai government’s humanitarian efforts.

The Thai medical team consists of 51 people, also equipped with tap water producing tools. They are expected to stay and assist Burmese people until September 4th.


PRD promotes positive image of Thailand through a mobile exhibition

BANGKOK, 27 August 2015 (NNT)-The Public Relations Department (PRD) of the Prime Minister’s Office is holding a mobile exhibition by the title of ‘Royal Wisdom and Thai Culture’, to publicize His Majesty the King’s sufficiency economy philosophy to the global community.

According to PRD Deputy Director-General Prawin Pattanapong, the exhibition is a collaborative effort between the PRD and Asian Institute of Technology.

The exhibition displays His Majesty the King’s sufficiency economy concept in English language. It underlines the benefits of practicing the philosophy which could bring happiness to one’s life at the time of rapid social and economic changes.

The 'Royal Wisdom and Thai Culture' exhibition is also aimed at promoting a positive image of Thailand to the world. The mobile exhibition will also be displayed in four other provinces, namely Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani and Surat Thani.


Fishermen report large catches off Krabi after local gulf reopens to commercial fishing

KRABI, 27 August 2015 (NNT) Fishermen in Krabi were able to catch about 10 tons of fishes thanks to the officials' program to partially seal off the provincial sea, which has allowed the local maritime environmental resources to recover.

Chief of the Andaman Sea Fishery Management Center in Krabi, Charoenchai Srisuwan, visited a fish market in Muang District and inquired fishing crew in the area about the recent fishery situation. The fishermen unanimously told him that they spotted a large volume of fishes in the southern waters off the Samed Island. They spent 3 hours trawling and was able to catch about 10 tons of fishes worth about one million baht. The fishermen credited their successful catches to local authorities’ campaign that seals off waters every year for the increased amount of maritime resources.

Meanwhile, Mr. Charoenchai reaffirmed that Krabi's waters do not allow illegal fishing vessels. All of the trawlers possess legal documents. He attributed the large catches made by the fishermen to direct results of the annual campaign to seal off the gulfs of Krabi and Phang Nga for 3 months from April to June. He said strict rules against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing have also contributed to the increased population of maritime


“Top Thai Brands” kicks off with revenue target of THB200mn

CHIANG MAI, 26 August 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Commerce has officially launched the Top Thai Brands Trade Fair in Chiang Mai province while hoping the event will generate at least 200 million baht in cash flow.

At the Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Center, Commerce Minister Apiradee Tantraporn joined other organizers, including the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Thai Industries, in opening the Top Thai Brands Trade Fair. The minister was also accompanied by the Deputy Commerce Minister of Myanmar, the Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce of Laos and the Vice Chairman of the Yunnan Provincial People’s Congress of China.

Ms Apiradee stated that more than 450 products of Thai brands, including export items, OTOP goods, intellectual property products and agricultural products, are available to shoppers at the event. There is also an exhibition in honor of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit for her contributions to the development of Thai rice and silk. Moreover, a business matching service is provided for Thai entrepreneurs and their counterparts from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, China and Malaysia.

Besides creating jobs and income, the fair helps showcase the potential and competitiveness of Thai products to ASEAN countries and others around the world. During the event, which will continue through August 30th, the Commerce Minister expects to see the number of visitors exceed 50,000, with cash flow of over 200 million baht.


Thailand could save 8.5 trillion baht on energy in 20 years

BANGKOK, 26 August 2015 (NNT)-The Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO) said Thailand could save as much as 8.5 trillion baht in energy spending in 20 years if every sector committed to saving energy.

According to EPPO Director Dr. Thawarat Sutabutr, the energy saving plan developed this year will serve as a guideline for the Ministry of Energy on how to reduce energy spending within 2036.

The Ministry of Energy is aiming to cut energy consumption index by 30% via 3 strategies. They include compulsory legal enforcement, public cooperation and government support.

Dr. Thawarat said he hoped this would lead to better control on machinery and financial support to those that seek more energy efficiency in their organization.

The increase in public transports and promoting energy conservation in schools are among many goals to be realized during the next 20 years.

The EPPO Director added that, if successful, the plan would generate higher investments as manufacturers are likely to save more on energy consumption.


Hindu shrine at Ratchaprasong intersection protected round the clock

BANGKOK, 26 August 2015 (NNT)- People continue to flock to the Hindu shrine at the Ratchaprasong intersection amid tight security.

The number of the Hindu shrine visitors has only slightly declined since the bomb blast last Monday. Those visiting the shrine include Thais and foreigners, especially Chinese tourists.

A Thai visitor said he was not scared, believing the incident could not happen at the same venue twice. He is urging everyone to have confidence in the ability of the security-related officials.

Vendors selling religious shrine offerings have not been affected by the explosion and have gone back to the intersection to make a living as usual.

The shrine has since the tragic event been protected round the clock by police from Khlongton, Lumpini and Thonglor Police Stations.


Suvarnabhumi Airport provides special facilitation to persons affected from Bangkok blast

BANGKOK(NNT) – The Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport will be providing special services to facilitate those affected from the bombing incident in Bangkok, while this service's coverage will also include their relatives.

Suvarnabhumi International Airport is now providing extra facilitation services to individuals affected by the bombing incident at Ratchaprasong Intersection in Bangkok. This special facilitation service will also be extended to the relatives of the victims.

A service office has been established near Exit B at the passenger terminal’s baggage claim hall, prior to customs clearance points, to welcome and serve arriving passengers who wish to visit their injured relatives in Thailand, or those inbound to receive the bodies of the deceased. The airport’s customer service agents and Chinese interpreters will be stationed at this office to provide assistance to passengers.

An area on the departure hall at the fourth floor of the passenger terminal near entrance number 5 has also been designated as the location where all passengers can write their feelings and words of encouragement for this incident under the concept ‘Stronger Together’.

The Immigration Police is also providing overstay penalty exemption for the affected persons, while the Customs Department will provide facilitation in the transport of human remains back to their hometowns. Many airlines are now providing fare waivers on the change flights to and from Bangkok in wake of the incident.

The airport has also coordinated with the Tourist Police, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thailand-China association, and the Association of Thai Travel Agents to provide facilitation and information to tourists who have been affected from this incident. Thai authorities have been tasked with the objective of regaining confidence, ensuring a good national impression and making sure that the tourists will visit Thailand again.


Thais encouraged to reduce carbon emission

BANGKOK, 26 August 2015 (NNT)-Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO) has launched a campaign called ‘LESS’ urging Thais to reduce carbon emission in the atmosphere.

TGO is encouraging people to lower the amount of greenhouse gas via LESS either by doing it themselves or inspiring others to do the same.

According to TGO Director Prasertsook Jamornman, nearly 500 billion tons of carbon dioxide will be released into the air by 2049 as the emission in the country increases every year.

The campaign has been introduced to business and public communities. They are able to determine how they want to achieve carbon reduction on their own terms under the campaign.

Those interested in the activity can visit www.tgo.or.th for more information.


Thai police say Bangkok bomb substance smells like TNT

Thai police spokesman Prawut Thawornsiri speaks at a news conference in Bangkok, Thailand.(AP Photo/Penny Yi Wang)

Nattasuda Anusonadisai
BANGKOK (AP)
— Thai explosives experts say substance from the bomb that blew up in downtown Bangkok last week smells like TNT, although police still have not received chemical test results, the national police spokesman said Wednesday.

Prawuth Thavornsiri told journalists that it was still not clear if the bomb that killed 20 people Aug. 17 was made of TNT or C4, a plastic explosive. But based on the experience of the bomb disposal experts, he said in English, "they say the smell looks like TNT."

Phra Phrom, the Thai interpretation of the Hindu god Brahma, which was damaged after last week's bombing at the Erawan Shrine at Rajprasong intersection, is covered as repairs take place in Bangkok, Thailand.(AP Photo/Penny Yi Wang)

Prawuth says investigators are trying to find other pieces of the bomb to analyze.

More than a week after the bombing at the Erawan Shrine, which also left 120 people injured, police appear to be no closer to tracking down suspects or determining a motive for the attack.

A worshipper, right, places garlands of marigolds as a worker clears earlier offerings at the Erawan Shrine.(AP Photo/Penny Yi Wang)

Police have released an artist's sketch of the suspect who was seen in a security camera video from the open-air shrine leaving a backpack at a bench and walking away. A separate camera showed the suspect, wearing a yellow T-shirt, on the back of a motorcycle taxi leaving the site.

Worshippers light sticks of incense at the Erawan Shrine.
(AP Photo/Penny Yi Wang)

But authorities say they don't know if the suspect has left the country, what his nationality is or if the attack was linked to internal affairs or international terrorism.

This image shows a detailed sketch of the main suspect.
(Royal Thai Police via AP)

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
 


PM to visit Philippines during Aug 27-28

BANGKOK, 25 August 2015 (NNT) – The Thai Prime Minister is scheduled to make an official visit to the Philippines on August 27 and 28 as part of his ongoing effort to strengthen ties and cooperation with other ASEAN countries.

Deputy Government Spokesperson Maj Gen Weerachon Sukhontapatipak stated that Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, along with his wife and entourage, will be visiting the Republic of the Philippines this Thursday and Friday. The main objective of the trip is to tighten the two countries’ relations and cooperation in various areas, particularly trade and investment, education and aviation.

After taking office, Prime Minister Prayut has been making visits to other ASEAN member nations in a bid to officially introduce himself. The Philippines is his eighth destination in the region.


CCTV failed to cover explosion area

BANGKOK, 25 August 2015 (NNT) - Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police Pol.Gen. Somyot Poompanmoung has admitted that the police’s investigation into the Ratchaprasong bomb blast still has obstacles since CCTV cameras do not cover the area around the explosion.

The national police chief on Tuesday said the investigation had much progressed but many CCTV cameras at the scene of the attack were out of order and the working ones were not sufficient. Asked if the bombing at Ratchaprasong intersection had connections to an explosion at Sathorn pier, Pol.Gen. Somyot said the explosives used were similar but it was still unidentifiable whether the two incidents were related.

Regarding the arrest of a foreign press member for carrying a bullet-proof vest and helmet while boarding a plane to Hong Kong, the police chief said the two items were weapons which were not allowed in an aircraft. During the political demonstrations in 2014, the police did not temporarily allow the use of bullet-proof vests and helmets. They were illegal if they were considered as armament, Pol.Gen. Somyot said.


Tourist numbers remains normal after Bangkok blast

BANGKOK, 25 August 2015 (NNT) – NCPO Spokesperson has disclosed that the number of tourists visiting Thailand has remained at the normal rate, despite the bombing incident in Bangkok, while agencies are urgently checking the conditions of their CCTV cameras.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Spokesman Col Winthai Suwaree stated in a televised broadcast regarding the progress of investigation for the bombing incident at Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, citing the number of international tourists to Thailand has remained at normal levels.

While the NCPO Spokesman revealed that the security team has deployed more officials to provide a continuous and inclusive security protection to all areas, as well as coordinating with security officers from private companies and motorcycle taxi drivers, to help in surveillance measures and to collect all clues related to the incident.

The Royal Thai Police Headquarters has asked for cooperation from government agencies, companies, and building owners to help check the functions and capabilities of their CCTV cameras to be set at an angle and possess sufficient resolution to identify suspects. He added that information received from the international operatives and intelligence units have allowed the investigation to proceed towards its proper phase.

The NCPO Spokesman has also thanked the public who have reported in useful information to the 1515 hotline, while those who have given false information and disturbed authorities' operations have been recorded for further legal prosecution.


Thailand’s ASEAN Director-General: citizens must be allowed to participate in regional policymaking

BANGKOK, 25 August 2015 (NNT) - The Director-General of the Department of ASEAN Affairs says Thailand must be ready for various changes and challenges following the ASEAN integration.

The Director-General delivered a speech on the challenges that face Thailand after the ASEAN integration, saying in 10 years' time ASEAN policy will greatly dictate the well-being of the citizens of member nations and, therefore, citizens must be given the opportunity to participate in regional policymaking.

Pakorn Nilprapunt, Permanent Law Councillor of the Office of the Council of State said member nations must place more importance on regional benefits and should reduce its military budgets in order for it to be reallocated towards programs that aid the poor. Regional security would instead be developed through cooperation of regional security policies, particularly on counter-terrorism.


DWR works with 13 provinces under water management plan

AYUTTHAYA, 25 August 2015 (NNT) - The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will be implementing its water management plan over 13 provinces to prevent floods and water shortages, while maintaining water quality.

The plan was unveiled to 500 people attending a conference held earlier today in Ayutthaya province. DWR Deputy Director General Niwatchai Khampee said Thailand faces three common water-related concerns, namely flooding, drought and water quality.

He said these issues have caused significant loss of life and property in Thailand, and are likely to intensify. The National Council for Peace and Order appointed five committees to develop an effective response to these growing concerns.

All stakeholders are expected to get involved in water management, which will be executed within each river basin. The policy has been developed to encourage relevant agencies to identify the problems, determine the solutions and implement short-, medium- and long-term plans.


CMU introduces polymer development for medical purposes

CHIANG MAI (NNT) – Chiang Mai University (CMU) has begun the operation of its bio-plastic polymer laboratory for medical purposes and faster treatment, alleviating the demand of bio-plastic polymer imports.

CMU’s Associate Professor Sermkiat Jomjunyong, along with his team of researchers, announced the research findings of the high absorbance polymer for medical utilization under the cooperation with the National Research Council of Thailand, the National Innovation Agency, the PTT Public Company Limited, and Chiang Mai University.

He said that the production of the high absorbance polymer will commence at the bio-plastic laboratory of the CMU’s Faculty of Science, which is a high standard laboratory suitable for the production of materials for medical purposes.

Polymer production will commence in batches of one kilogram in each lot, to ensure the material's best quality, while domestic production capability is expected to help reduce the polymer imports.

The high absorbance polymer produced in CMU’s laboratory can be utilized in many medical applications, such as the artificial nerve tube, bone binding screw, absorb-able sutures, and as other medical devices. The newly developed polymer is capable of being absorbed by the body, thus require no re-opening of operation wounds, and will help reduce the cost and time in medical procedures.


Survey shows lower illiteracy among children

BANGKOK, 24 August 2015 (NNT) – A survey has shown a decrease in number of illiteracy among children, signifying the effectiveness of the nation's illiteracy reduction measures, the OBEC Secretary-General says.

The Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) Secretary-General Kamol Rodklai has revealed the progress of the Thai language teaching development, in keep with the Ministry of Education’s 2015 illiteracy-less policy, that the OBEC has put into practice new teaching methods at about 30,000 schools nationwide. He also revealed that 2,020 OBEC regulated schools have been selected as samples in the literacy survey among primary school students.

The latest survey in July shows 5.6 percent of Prathom 1 students are unable to read, while 5 percent are unable to write. These figures are continuing to decline since the first survey, conducted in June, shows the number of students who cannot read was at 11.5 percent, and while students who cannot write are recorded at 8.7 percent.

The OBEC Secretary-General has said that this survey demonstrates the success of the OBEC’s teaching methods, which include extra tutoring for students who require individual attention on reading and writing.


Plans on raising the quality of emergency medical services in Thailand

SONGKHLA, 25 August 2015, (NNT) - The government is aiming to raise the nation's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to that of international standard.

Deputy Prime Minister Wisanu Krue-Ngam presided over the 2nd national local administrative meeting on EMS at Lee Garden Plaza Hat Yai Hotel in Songkhla Province, which is being held from August 24 - 26, 2015.

About 1,800 EMS medical and local administrative officials attended the meeting, which focuses on the contribution of local wisdom to sustainable EMS reform development.

Participants are expected to exchange their experiences and develop measures to decrease the fatality rate of EMS patients, which currently stands at 4 million per year. Organizers are also set to extend Emergency Medical Services to all provinces before the end of 2016.


Thai Health encourages women to help fight against gambling in sports

BANGKOK (NNT) - The Thai Health Promotion Foundation (Thai Health) has encouraged women to campaign against gambling in sports, targeting Thai youth who gamble.

Thai Health has joined hands with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and anti-gambling networks in launching the campaign with participation of players from the national women’s football team. Advisor to Thai Health MD Udomsilp Srisaengnam said gambling was a new threat to people’s health and family relations. Thai Health had continuously supported campaigns and activities to create gambling awareness among the public especially adolescents, said the advisor.

Deputy Minister of Tourism and Sports Chawanee Thongrote said the government had tried to develop many types of sports towards excellence. A survey by the Center for Gambling, Chulalongkorn Universities had found that around 15% of Thai children and adolescents intended to gamble due to the belief that gambling would make it more fun to watch sports games. The survey findings had made the ministry more determined to get rid of gambling in sports, said the deputy minister.


Health Ministry gears up for the 12th National Herb Expo 2015

BANGKOK (NNT) - The Ministry of Public Health is gearing up for the 12th National Herb Expo 2015, a gathering of state and private agencies specializing in herbs which will present a variety of researches for interested people to further develop on a commercial scale.

Director-General of the Department for Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine M.D. Tawatchai Kamoldharm told the media that the theme for this year's event is "Thai Traditional Medicine, Security in the Health System". The exposition is to be held next month to honor Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on her 5th cycle birthday on 2 April this year.

Among the herbal products to be showcased at the event are Indian gooseberry, chili, Mucuna and repair grass, which can all be farmed for commercial purposes.

Other highlights include breast milk stimulation massage demonstration, and self massaging for headache, back pain and office syndrome treatments. Event-goers can also visit a rare herbal garden where 300 medicinal plants and 200 books on anti-aging herbs will be given away for free daily.

The 12th National Herb Expo 2015 is scheduled for September 2 - 6 at Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani.


Bangkok blast probe hindered by broken security cameras

Nattasuda Anusonadisai
Jocelyn Gecker


BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's police chief said Monday the investigation into last week's bomb blast has been hampered by broken security cameras in central Bangkok along the main suspect's getaway route.

National police chief Somyot Poompanmoung said that police were trying to "put pieces of the puzzle together" but had to use their imagination to fill holes where street side security cameras were broken and unable to record his movements.

One week after last Monday's bombing at the capital's revered Erawan Shrine, which left 20 people dead and scores injured, police appeared no closer to tracking down suspects or determining a motive for the attack.

Police have released an artist sketch of the prime suspect who is seen in security camera footage from the open-air shrine leaving a backpack at a bench and walking away. The explosion takes place 15 minutes later.

But the images are blurry and after the suspect leaves the scene, the security cameras were broken at key spots along his suspected path, Somyot said.

In this Aug. 18, 2015 file photo, police investigate the scene around the Erawan Shrine the morning after an explosion in Bangkok,Thailand.(AP Photo/Mark Baker, File)

"Sometimes there are 20 cameras on the street but only five work," Somyot said, openly frustrated as he spoke to reporters. "We have to waste time putting the dots together."

"The footage jumps around from one camera to another, and for the missing parts police have to use their imagination," he said, adding that the Thai police lack the sophisticated equipment seen in popular TV crime shows, like CSI.

(Royal Thai Police via AP, File)

"Have you seen CSI?" Somyot asked reporters. "We don't have that," he said, referring to high-tech equipment that can render blurry footage clear.

He said that Thailand has "asked for cooperation from countries with better equipment and technology."

On Friday, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said that he had received offers of assistance from the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and had assigned his deputy "to cooperate on borrowing equipment that includes facial-recognition technology.

(Royal Thai Police via AP)

However, Prayuth ruled out working with U.S. investigators, insisting Thais can do the job.

On Sunday, Somyot said that investigators will "need some luck" to catch the perpetrators whom are suspected to have already left the country.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Security levels raised at shopping malls and bus terminal in Chatuchak

BANGKOK, 24 August 2015 (NNT) - Security levels have been heightened in Bangkok’s bus terminal and shopping malls in Chatuchak district, following the bomb attack last Monday.

Chatuchak District Office have been coordinating with security agencies to ensure public safety in one of Bangkok’s most crowded areas.

Security officers have been patrolling the bus terminal, shopping malls, government buildings, communities and homes of high-ranking officials.

CCTV cameras have undergone maintenance to make sure they are functional, especially in underlit alleyways. People are urged to report to the authorities anything unusual within their communities.


Thailand continues to experience rainfall

BANGKOK, 24 August 2015 (NNT) - The Meteorological Department has issued severe weather warnings for southern residents, due to a southwesterly wind in the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea.

According to the weather forecast, a monsoon trough in Myanmar will continue to bring rain to Thailand during this time.

Fishermen have been urged to exercise caution when leaving the shore. Waves could reach a maximum height of three meters.

Those planning to visit Japan should consult the weather forecast before departure, as Typhoon Goni is leaving Taiwan and expected to make landfall in Japan tomorrow.


Khon Kaen Zoo debuts its 5th white wallaby

KHON KAEN, 24 August 2015, (NNT) - Khon Kaen Zoo has officially introduced its newest member, a fifth white wallaby, and has invited the public to name the little mammal and win a cash prize.

Acting Khon Kaen Zoo Director, Thanachon Kensingh remarked that the animal's debut came in the auspicious period of Her Majesty the Queen's 83rd birthday anniversary. He said the white male wallaby is now 7-8 months old, saying that the little animal was earlier concealed in its mother's pouch. Recently it became more independent and is now ready for public exposure.

In celebration of the arrival of the new member of the zoo community, Khon Kaen Zoo is inviting the public to enter a naming contest for the baby wallaby, known as a joey. The winner of the contest will receive a prize of 10,000 baht, he announced, adding that the winner will be named on December 5, 2015, which is national Father's Day.

A wallaby is a small- or mid-sized macropod found in Australia and New Guinea. It belongs to the same taxonomic family as kangaroos and sometimes the same genus, but kangaroos are specifically categorized into the six largest species of the family. The term wallaby is an informal designation generally used for any macropod that is smaller than a kangaroo or wallaroo, that has not been designated otherwise.


1,800 rai of encroached land in Sukhothai reclaimed

SUKHOTHAI, 24 August 2015, (NNT) - The Sukhothai Administrative Office has reclaimed about 1,800 rai of encroached land.

About 200 administrative and military officials, led by Deputy Sukhothai Governor Thanupong Charoensurapirom and Deputy Commander of the province's Peacekeeping Forces Colonel Kong-ake Kayankij, inspected Mae Sin National Park, Mae San forest, and Mae Soong forest in Si Satchanalai District, which covered a combined area of 1,745 rai.

The governor said rubber trees aged between 4 - 10 years had been found in the area. The group also discovered rubber tapping tools, indicating recent activities. Mr. Thanupong said those who masterminded the encroachment were entrepreneurs from other provinces.

He said the provincial administrative office would become more vigilant in enforcing the law related to forest protection against those who encroach on national forests, and drives to promote forest preservation among the locals would be held regularly.

Officials will talk to the locals who have encroached on the land to make them understand that what they are doing is illegal. Unlike what they plan to do with the entrepreneurs, the authorities said they would not resort to legal means to address the issue.


Suggestions against contracting MERS given to Hajj pilgrims

SONGKHLA, 24 August 2015 (NNT) – Those traveling to the Hajj in Saudi Arabia are being cautioned against the lingering prevalence of the MERS virus and to take steps to prevent contracting it abroad.

Muslim Thais are making their Hajj pilgrimage during August 16-October 13 this year, according to Dr. Suwit Thammapalo, director of the Department of Disease Control office in Songkhla province, who is suggesting that the travelers maintain their health and make preparations before embarking on their journey. He suggests the travelers eat nutritious food, exercise, and carry face masks with them on their journey. While in Saudi Arabia, they should avoid close contact with coughing persons and camels, wash their hands regularly and refrain from drinking raw camel milk. If the journey-makers find themselves with fever, cough, mucus or sore throat within 14 days after returning to Thailand, they should immediately go the doctor.

About 10,400 Thais are making the Hajj pilgrimage this year, 8,000 of those are residents of the seven provinces in the lower South.


Ministry of Science gears up for 3-region innovation fairr

BANGKOK- The Ministry of Science and Technology will be holding a major innovation fair to showcase innovations and masterpieces of three regions in a move to promote technology transfer for commercial purposes.

Science and Technology Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj said the Science Park Promotion Agency and Regional Science Parks would co-organize the three-region exhibition. The event will take place in the North, Northeast and South during August-October.

In the North, the fair will be held at Chiangmai Hall, Central Airport Plaza, in Chiangmai between August 29 and 30. The highlights include model technologies for rice moisture reduction and pest control.

In the Northeast, the exhibition will be held at Suranaree University of Technology during September 17-18. Must-see innovations include a comprehensive waste management system and the new chicken breeds developed from the native species.

Down South, the event will take place at Hatyai Hall, Central Festival Hatyai in Songkhla Province between October 30 and 31. Rubber and halal food processing technologies and medical innovations will be the focal points.

The Ministry of Science and Technology hopes that the three-region fair will attract more than a thousand private operators, academics, students and general visitors in each region.


Chiang Mai to hold Top Thai Brands fair on 26-30 Aug

CHIANG MAI (NNT) – Chiang Mai Province and the Ministry of Commerce will be hosting the region's first Top Thai Brands fair on 26-30 August 2015 at CMECC.

The Vice Governor of Chiang Mai Supachai Iamsuwan and the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) Auramon Supthaweethum held a press conference on the organization of the Top Thai Brands fair on 26-30 August 2015 at Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre (CMECC).

The DIP Deputy Director-General has said that over 450 entrepreneurs have been selected to showcase their products at this event from a pool of export-capable entrepreneurs, SMEs business owners, and OTOP entrepreneurs.

Products featured in this fair range from home decor, attires, foods and drinks, consumable products, consumer goods, jewellery, cosmetics and beauty products to contemporary handicrafts, and services.

The event is expected to draw more than 50,000 visitors, and help circulate up to 200 million baht within the Chiang Mai Province. The event will also feature an exhibition in honour of Her Majesty the Queen for her encouragement of Thai textiles and rice production, seminars on topics related to branding and business management. The exhibition will also feature business matching sessions, connecting local entrepreneurs to 200 foreign businessmen.

The Vice Governor of Chiang Mai says the region's first Top Thai Brands fair will be a good opportunity for the big entrepreneurs, SMEs business owners, and OTOP entrepreneurs to learn about product development of successful entrepreneurship on the global stage.

He has said that hosting the Top Thai Brands fair will reflect Chiang Mai’s capability and readiness in becoming Thailand's economic center of the northern region, as well as branching out to neighbouring countries such as Laos, Myanmar, and China.


Government sends message assuring would-be visitors to Thailand of safety

BANGKOK, 24 August 2015 (NNT) – The government is sending a message assuring those who plan to travel to Thailand of Thai authorities' commitment to tourist safety.

Government spokesperson Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd revealed that the message from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha called on Thais and the international community to rest assured that authorities were in control of the situation after the bombing incident at Ratchaprasong Intersection in Bangkok. The number of uniformed and plainclothes security officials conducting patrols have been bolstered, to ensure safety for the public. Authorities have also been tending to the victims of the bombing attack and working to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice.

Maj. Gen. Sansern indicated the message called on those planning to travel to Thailand to rest assured they will be safe during the period of their stay and will be able to experience the unchanged goodwill and friendliness of the Thai people.


General public warned of a resurgence of dengue fever

BANGKOK, 24 August 2015, (NNT) - Secretary-General of the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Narong Sahamethaphat has warned the public of a resurgence of the deadly dengue fever, saying the disease has already killed 37 people.

According to Dr. Narong, the accumulated number of dengue patients from January to August is 51,500, the figure that is twice the number of last year. He said that most of the 37 who were killed by the disease were from the central region, followed by the northeast, the north and the south.

The secretary-general of public health disclosed that many of the patients were aged between 10-14, reminding the public that a mosquito bite is the common cause of the disease. He also underlined the fact that those who had contracted dengue fever can be infected with it again.

Dr. Narong instructed the provincial health office to organize a weekly drive to eradicate mosquito breeding grounds in the area. He also ordered hospitals nationwide to step up their measures against the disease and to treat the existing patients as soon as possible, in order to contain and eliminate dengue fever.

Dengue symptoms include severe joint and muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fever, exhaustion, and rashes. The presence of these health problems is characteristic of dengue fever. Patients who exhibit such symptoms must be rushed to the nearest hospital for proper treatment.


 

DAILY UPDATE

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Thai police seek 2 new suspects in Bangkok bombing probe

Tens of thousands attend merit making ceremony to commemorate 100th day of Luang Phor Koon’s death

Mobile passport unit to serve public in provinces this September

Prime Minister assures no corruption in government

Yala officials visit locals affected by storm

Rail cars for new electric train route will arrive to Thailand early 2016

Bangkok governor opens road accident reduction campaign

Prime Minister backs cutting back classroom hours

Police say Bangkok bombing suspect is not cooperating

Police arrest foreigner, find bomb-making equipment and stacks of passports in Bangkok bomb case


Education Min eyes cutting school hours to allow students to relax

Keep Bangkok Clean activity to commence on September 12th

Chiang Mai handicraft pottery is GI registered

FAR holds conference for anti-discrimination against HIV patients


PM thanks Thais for showing unity, urges help in rebuilding confidence

Royal endorsement granted to new top brass

Haze still has no impact on health in Krabi

Hua Hin regulates attractions for tourists’ safety


Preliminary design of eastern seaboard aircraft maintenance cluster developed further

Chonburi locals gear up for Chinese Spirit Festival 2015

14 Orangutans found abandoned in Phuket to be sent back to Indonesia next month.


Royal Thai Armed Forces help flood victims in Myanmar

PRD promotes positive image of Thailand through a mobile exhibition

Fishermen report large catches off Krabi after local gulf reopens to commercial fishing

“Top Thai Brands” kicks off with revenue target of THB200mn

Thailand could save 8.5 trillion baht on energy in 20 years

Hindu shrine at Ratchaprasong intersection protected round the clock

Suvarnabhumi Airport provides special facilitation to persons affected from Bangkok blast

Thais encouraged to reduce carbon emission

Thai police say Bangkok bomb substance smells like TNT


PM to visit Philippines during Aug 27-28

CCTV failed to cover explosion area

Tourist numbers remain normal after Bangkok blast

Thailand’s ASEAN Director-General: citizens must be allowed to participate in regional policymaking

DWR works with 13 provinces under water management plan


CMU introduces polymer development for medical purposes

Survey shows lower illiteracy among children

Plans on raising the quality of emergency medical services in Thailand

Thai Health encourages women to help fight against gambling in sports

Health Ministry gears up for the 12th National Herb Expo 2015

Bangkok blast probe hindered by broken security cameras


Security levels raised at shopping malls and bus terminal in Chatuchak

Thailand continues to experience rainfall

Khon Kaen Zoo debuts its 5th white wallaby

1,800 rai of encroached land in Sukhothai reclaimed

Suggestions against contracting MERS given to Hajj pilgrims

Ministry of Science gears up for 3-region innovation fair

Chiang Mai to hold Top Thai Brands fair on 26-30 Aug

Government sends message assuring would-be visitors to Thailand of safety

General public warned of a resurgence of dengue fever

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