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SBPAC launches Thai-language courses for Deep South children.

PATTANI, 26 Feb 2015 (NNT) The Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) has launched a special Thai language program for local children in the Deep South.

According to the SBPAC Secretary-General, the four-month program focuses on the improvement in speaking, reading and writing of the Thai language for first to sixth grade pupils. The teaching is conducted by volunteer graduates. Each of them will be responsible for five children. To ensure effective tuition, the volunteer tutors are to hold a brainstorming discussion on the teaching plans and the post-tuition evaluation.

Next month, the SBPAC will be carrying out the selection of volunteer teachers and ice-breaking activities between teachers and pupils before launching a new round of the Thai language program on March 19 simultaneously in five southern border provinces.

To enable related agencies to map out suitable curricula for their children, parents will be urged to help with the evaluation of their children’s learning development and inform the district office and SBPAC of their little ones’ progress.

Any village which still has not had its own volunteer tutors will be assisted by the district level volunteer teacher teams.


Temperatures in Thailand will increase at the end of February

 BANGKOK, 26 February 2015 (NNT) The Meteorological Department has forecast that Thailand will receive lower precipitation and become warmer during the day.

The high pressure system moving toward the Northeast of Thailand from China is expected to bring thunderstorms to the region from February 28th- March 2nd.

The North will remain cold during the same period in the morning. The temperature will vary between 13-22 degrees Celsius and rise to 34 degrees Celsius at midday.

The temperature will rise slightly higher in the Central Plains. The lowest and the highest forecast will be from 22 to 38 degrees Celsius with thundershowers predicted in 10% of the area.

The weather conditions in the South of Thailand will be similar to the central region. The lowest temperature will be 23 degrees Celsius and it will reach 33 degree Celsius during the day. Maximum wave heights have been forecast to reach 1-2 meters in the Gulf of Thailand.


PM kicks off good deeds resolution project

BANGKOK, 26 February 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha has presided over the opening ceremony of a special project aimed at encouraging the public to uphold good deeds as tribute to the monarchy.

The launch of the good deeds resolution project was witnessed by high-ranking officials, military commanders and representatives from several public and private agencies amid tight security.

The state program has set a four-year time frame between 2015-2018 to perform acts of goodwill and host related activities, in honor of His Majesty the King.

The public can be part of the campaign by simply resolving to commit good deeds for themselves and for their society. Public activities will advertised and broadcast through different channels.


International Balloon Festival to kick off in Songkhla in March

SONGKHLA, 26 February 2015 (NNT) The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is inviting tourists to visit Songkhla province for the International Balloon Festival held in March.

Hatyai Municipality Office and the TAT will be hosting the event at Jiranakorn Stadium in Hatyai district of Songkhla province. The International Balloon Festival will take place from March 6th-7th, 2015.

Visitors can expect to see colorful hot-air balloons in different shapes from around the globe. They will also be given hot-air balloon rides to see Hatyai with a bird’s eye view. Organizers have planned music concerts, parades, games, and food and beverage vendors at the festival.

Tourists are also invited to the nighttime event called ‘Balloon Night Glow’ that will come with spectacular light and sound shows.


January export shrinks by 3.46% due to low agricultural and fuel prices

BANGKOK, 26 February 2015, (NNT) The Ministry of Commerce has revealed that the Kingdom’s exports and imports in January shrank by 3.46% and 13.33% respectively, due to low agricultural and fuel prices.

The Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) revealed that exports and imports last month came to 17.25 billion USD and 17.7 billion USD respectively, causing a trade deficit of 457 million dollars.

However, the DITP added that the overall number of export goods increased by 21.8%. The department said that these goods included products that have direct ties to crude oil prices, such as chemicals and plastics.

The DITP said the dominant factors affecting exports during the first quarter of the year are prices of agricultural goods and fuel, as well as the currencies of trading partners and rival nations.

The department revealed that despite under-performing exports last month, the government's export growth target remains at 4%. Officials continue monitoring both fuel prices and related currencies.


Rice pledging scheme costs 700 billion baht in damages

BANGKOK, 26 February 2015, (NNT) A preliminary report has disclosed that the subsidy program cost the Kingdom 700 billion baht since its inception nine years ago. The report by the sub-committee on closing the account of the rice pledging scheme also suggested that a majority of the losses, or 536 billion baht, were incurred under the Yingluck Shinawatra administration.

Permanent-Secretary of Finance and President of the Subcommittee Rangsan Sriworasat indicated that the remaining 163 billion baht was lost through 11 other rice pledging projects under the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration.

Mr. Rangsan commented that losses at the end of fiscal 2014 in September were rather small- an increase of 18 billion baht- compared to the one calculated at the end of May 2014. He explained that the higher price of grains at the end of September helped cushion the expense.

However, the Permanent-Secretary said there are significant differences between the reports of rice sales produced by the Department of Foreign Trade, the Department of Internal Trade, the Public Warehouse Organization, and Marketing Organization for Farmers.

He said these reports will be reviewed within the week. Mr. Rangsan added that once the figures are confirmed, a comprehensive report on the matter will be produced and forwarded to the Ministry of Commerce and the Prime Minister.


Prachinburi sends mobile unit to assist locals in remote areas.

PRACHINBURI, 26 February 2015, (NNT) The Prachinburi Administration Office has collaborated with the private sector, the Thai Red Cross Society, and other related agencies in a campaign to dispatch mobile units to offer assistance to residents in remote areas.

The campaign kicked off in Kabinburi District. Officials yesterday handed out 100 survival kits to the destitute, the disabled and the elderly. Extra supplies and donations were given to six handicapped individuals, while scholarships were bestowed upon 50 outstanding students.

Officials also gave several talks, including lectures on agricultural techniques and fire safety. The campaign also offered vaccination services for pets.

According to the organizers, the event is a part of the National Council for Peace and Order’s roadmap to promote unity among the people. It is an active approach for government units to learn about the needs of the people and respond appropriately.


Military units told to help mitigate drought-related impacts on public

BANGKOK, 25 February 2015 (NNT) Military units nationwide have been told to act in accordance with the Ministry of Defense's disaster mitigation plan for people afflicted by the current dry spell.

General Prawit Wongsuwon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, reiterated during Tuesday's meeting of the Defense Council that all military units are to support the affairs of the National Council for Peace and Order and the government, according to Defense Ministry spokesman, Colonel Kongcheep Tantrawanich. Emphasis was made on having military units lend assistance to people afflicted by drought.

The spokesperson indicated that military units were also told to support the government's initiative to allocate land for the underprivileged, by undertaking surveys of unused land.


National Savings Fund project wins Cabinet approval

BANGKOK, 26 February 2015 (NNT) The Cabinet has approved the borrowing of 40 billion baht for the Ministry of Transport to use in making improvements to highways, and also approved the setting up of a National Savings Fund.

M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula, Deputy Prime Minister, said after Tuesday's meeting of economic ministers that the meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, has approved, in principle, the setting up of the National Savings Fund. The draft of the associated bill will be considered by the Cabinet of Ministers on March 4. The National Savings Fund will benefit workers who are currently not covered by provident funds or pension schemes. Around one million persons who are registered with the Social Security Fund will become associated with the National Savings Fund, according to M.R. Pridiyathorn.

Approval was also given for the Ministry of Finance to borrow 40 billion baht to fund highways improvement projects by the Ministry of Transport. The money will be borrowed from abroad, and currency swap will be employed to reduce risks associated with currency values, according to the Deputy Prime Minister.


21st round of petroleum concession grants expected to arrive by October

BANGKOK, 26 February 2015 (NNT) The 21st round of petroleum concession bidding is now expected to take place between September and October this year, according to Energy Minister Narongchai Akrasanee.

The minister indicated on Tuesday his ministry was canceling the current round of applications for petroleum exploration and production, which originally would have lasted until March 16. The annulment would make way for amendment to the B.E. 2514 law on petroleum, slated to be completed within three months. The amendment will bring changes to the existing conditions for production sharing contracts (PSC), according to the Energy Minister. The 21st round of petroleum concession grants is now expected to take place between September and October, said Mr. Narongchai.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam revealed that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was satisfied with the findings from the forum on the 21st round of petroleum concession grants. He said the forum proceeded constructively and the the arguments presented during the discussions were of enough weight. Therefore, the Ministry of Energy has been assigned the responsibility of analyzing the conclusions that will be yielded from the joint committee addressing the concession grants issue.

Mr. Wissanu said the government has not imposed a time frame, but it will inform the National Legislative Assembly of the urgent requirement of the new bill that will facilitate the granting of the petroleum concessions.


PanaHome to launch ASEAN regional headquarters in Singapore

SINGAPORE, Feb 23 - PanaHome Corporation today announced it will establish PanaHome Asia Pacific, a new regional headquarters in Singapore, effective April 1, 2015 to expand on its housing business in ASEAN.

In a statement, it said PanaHome, through its housing business, would contribute two trillion yen to the overall growth of Panasonic Corporation which has set a target of 10 trillion yen in consolidated sales for the financial year ending March 2019.

PanaHome aimed to account for a quarter of the targeted housing sales or 500 billion yen, of which 50 billion yen will be generated overseas.

To attain these goals, PanaHome, which currently has two bases outside Japan, one in Taiwan and the other in Malaysia, would accelerate its overseas housing business by expanding to cover the entire ASEAN region.

Starting with the smart town development projects, currently under negotiation in Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia, the regional headquarters would step up the development of its housing business in the Asia Pacific region.

The statement also said PanaHome Malaysia would concentrate in the Malaysian market and transfer projects it has been conducting in the ASEAN region to PanaHome Asia Pacific. (BERNAMA)


China tops patent applications list in 2014

BEIJING, Feb. 23 MCOT China had more invention patent applications than any other country in 2014 for the fourth year running, official data showed on Monday.

The number of invention patent applications filed to the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) in 2014 stood at 928,000, up 12.5 percent from 2013, the SIPO said.

The office authorized a total of 233,000 invention patents in the year, 163,000 of which were from Chinese applicants.

By the end of 2014, China had 663,000 invention patents with high quality and market value, and the number of invention patents per 10,000 Chinese people reached 4.9, the SIPO said.

China has seen rising numbers of patent applications as part of a drive to upgrade the economy. However, the country's invention patents still lack a competitive edge, experts said.

One of the government's priorities has been to boost innovation by improving intellectual property rights protection. (Xinhua)


Tourism minister extends condolences on death of Chilean cyclist

BANGKOK, Feb 23 -- Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul expressed her concern after a 48-year-old Chilean was killed in a collision by a pickup truck in Thailand.

She will call for investigation of the traffic accident and improved road safety measures.

Her response was in relation to the death of Juan Francisco Guillermo who was trying to set a world record by cycling 250,000 kilometres across five continents in five years.

His bicycle and the carriage on which his 40-year-old Singaporean wife Ng-Poh Leng and their two-year-old son Lucas were riding was hit by a pickup truck on the Mitrapharp Highway in Nakhon Ratchasima Saturday.

Mr Guillermo was killed and his wife and son were injured.

Ms Kobkarn sent local officials of the ministry to visit the victims at Bua Yai Hospital and to gather information from them.

The minister will send official condolences to Chile and the families of the victims.

She also asked tourist police and concerned officials serve the relatives of the victims well.

Ms Kobkarn said that the ministry would pay Bt300,000 compensation for the death and up to Bt100,000 for the medical treatment of his injured wife and child.

Concerned authorities had to review road safety measures and accident causes because that was not the first incident in which a foreign cyclist was killed in Thailand, Ms Kobkarn said.

She said the ministry would work out solutions to prevent such an incident from recurring as the government was promoting cycling nationwide. (MCOT online news)


Interior Ministry hands down policies to Tak, SEZ province, preparing for AEC

TRAT, 24 Feb 2015, (NNT) Inspector General of the Interior Ministry Wichit Chartpisit has paid a visit to Trat Province, one of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ).

His visit was aimed at inspecting the progress of the preparation of the area for the establishment of the SEZ ahead of the coming of the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of the year.

According to Mr. Wichit, the province is progressing smoothly with many of the key milestones met as targeted even though several projects, such as the construction of the Klongyai pier and the renovation plan for the highway number 3 linking Trat and Hadlek ( หาดเล็ก), have had minor hiccups; for example, the lack of clear demarcation line in some areas has sometimes made it difficult for the joint development project to progress as earlier planned, the Inspector General said.

Furthermore, the checkpoint at Baan-had-lek has become congested, given there are no separate screening points for traders and for tourists, making the inspection process lengthy.


Charter drafting committee's meeting to be held in Chonburi this week

BANGKOK, 23 February 2015 (NNT) The Charter Drafting Committee has relocated its meeting to Chonburi province this week, citing the need to complete the first revision promptly.

The meeting is being held at the Holiday Inn, Pattaya City. The committee is expected to review several sections governing the Parliament, the cabinet and the mixed proportional electoral system.

The committee has so far completed the revision of more than 150 sections and will not go beyond section 299. No media observation is allowed at the meeting.

The CDC claimed the change of venue would help them pull concentration and finish the first draft sooner. The meeting will be held from 9.00 – 21.00 hrs every day until February 28th.


Officials inspect vegetable vendors, prevent unfair trading

BANGKOK, 23 February 2015, (NNT) The Department of Internal Trade (DIT) has revealed that the prices of vegetables are expected to climb in the coming months.

The DIT said that its officials will be dispatched to inspect marketplaces due to reports of unfair pricing. The department has also planned to collaborate with vendors to regulate the sales of produce across different venues, in order to stabilize prices.

The DIT revealed that several vegetable items were sold in Bangkok for higher prices during the Chinese New Year celebrations last week. The regulatory agency claimed that prices would return to normal this week, save for drought-affected produce such as lime.

The DIT also expected palm oil prices to hold at current levels, despite the Kingdom beginning to import raw palm oil from abroad. The department said the current price of raw palm oil hovers between 5.9 - 6 baht per kilogram.

Meanwhile, the department has assured food security nationwide, due to the introduction of new farmlands in Nakhon Ratchasima, Suphanburi and Angthong provinces.


Public Health Ministry initiates road safety campaign

BANGKOK, 23 February 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Public Health will take a leading role in promoting road safety, as Thailand ranks third in terms of most road fatalities.

Public Health Minister Ratchata Ratchatanawin said that it is important to assure traffic regulations are followed all year round, and not just during statistically hazardous periods.

The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that road accidents in the country kill roughly 26-thousand people per year. That number has put the Kingdom in third place for the world’s highest road deaths.

Public Health officials are expected to act as positive role models for other organizations by not going over the speed limit or drunk driving, and always wearing safety gear.

In addition, the Department of Disease Control has been instructed to draft a road safety protocol, which will be adopted by all public organizations across the country.


Special Report: PM stresses importance of transparency

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has stressed transparency in the administration of the public sector, which would lead to reform in Thailand and the development of sustainable democracy.

In his keynote address at a recent annual seminar on the implementation of the Official Information Act B.E. 2540 (1997), the Prime Minister urged government officials to be aware of the importance of the disclosure of official information to ensure transparency and good governance.

The Official Information Act has been in use for 17 years now. According to the Act, a state agency should at least publish certain official information in the Royal Gazette, such as the structure and organization of its operations and a summary of important powers, duties, and operational methods. It should make the official information available for public inspection in accordance with the rules and procedures prescribed by the Official Information Board.

If a person makes a request for any official information other than the official information already published in the Royal Gazette, or already made available for public inspection or public study, and if the request is reasonably specific, the responsible state agency should provide it within a reasonable period of time.

Almost all official information should be revealed to the public, while only some categories of information that the State may keep confidential are exempted from disclosure.

Prime Minister Prayut said that information and communication technology had been adopted to disclose official information. He pointed out that the Official Information Act would create more trust between officials and the general public. This would prevent conflicts and enable Thailand to move forward. He referred to the Government’s policy of fighting corruption in the reform agenda. The policy involves the promotion of good governance in public sector reform and the amendments of laws to prevent and suppress corruption and conflicts of interest.

He stated that the Government considers anti-corruption efforts to be an urgent issue in the reform process of all areas. There was good news that in 2014, Thailand's global corruption ranking had improved to 85 out of a total of 175 countries and territories, compared with a ranking of 102 in the previous year. Thailand received a score of 38 out of 100. In the Asia-Pacific region, the index rated Thailand 12th among 28 countries. 

Apart from the keynote address by the Prime Minister, representatives from both the public and private sectors also joined discussions on the topic “Information and Thailand Reform.” At the seminar, 105 government agencies were presented with awards for their transparency standards by Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana. On this occasion, the Government Public Relations Department (PRD) received an award as a model agency in establishing an official information center. (NNT)


Special Report: Irrigation and water resource management reform

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has stressed the need to reform the country’s irrigation and water resource management throughout the entire system.

During his televised national address in the program “Return Happiness to the People,” the Prime Minister said that the problem of water management has been accumulating for a long time and previous governments had spent a great amount of money to deal with this problem.

He pointed out that all water management-related projects must be integrated, so that flood and drought problems would be tackled more effectively. There are currently more than 30 million farmers in Thailand. Out of this number, about 20 million are in the irrigation system, covering an area of 29 million rai (11 million acres). The area is considered quite low.

The Prime Minister said that the Government intended to expand the area to cover 50 or 60 million rai (20-24 million acres) by 2018-2019. As for the period from 2015 to 2016, the Government aims to increase the irrigation area to cover 30 million rai (12 million acres). Apart from expanding the irrigation area, the Government will dig more ponds and build more reservoirs to provide additional water supplies that farmers can use to grow crops.

Other tasks include flood prevention and water storage improvement to prevent water shortages. As for efforts to ease water shortages for consumption, the Government is accelerating waterworks expansion, and it expects that by 2019, all villages in Thailand will have their own waterworks systems.

Prime Minister Prayut cited water resource management as an important issue, as Thailand is an agricultural country. He said that a committee of the National Council for Peace and Order had submitted a water resource management plan to the Cabinet for approval. The plan would be implemented continuously, depending on budget availability. The Prime Minister outlined major projects to be implemented in the next 10 years to deal with this issue.

For instance, in order to ease water shortages for agriculture, the Government will enhance the efficiency of the existing irrigation scheme, develop new water sources, and rehabilitate natural waterways to increase water volume. As for the industrial sector, water networks in eastern Thailand will be developed.

In 2015, the Government will support water source development in special economic zones in Mae Sot district, Tak province, Aranyaprathet district in Sa Kaeo province, and Sadao district in Songkhla province. It will also develop water sources to support the service and tourism sector on Ko Chang in Trat and Ko Pha-ngan in Surat Thani in 2016.

Other projects include the development of waterworks in 7,490 villages, flood prevention in urban areas, improvement of water quality in 22 river basins, rehabilitation of watershed areas and prevention of soil erosion and water management in a systematic manner. (NNT)


German gov't invites nine officials to observe election

BANGKOK, Feb 23 - As the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has decided to hold Thailand’s next general election on a mixed-member proportional system (MMP), the German government has invited nine high-ranking officials to observe an election in Germany March 15-20, Thai parliamentary sources said.

After learning that Thailand is interested in applying the MMP systems being used in Germany as a model for its general election, expected to be held in 2016, the German government is inviting those involved in the election to inspect the election there, the sources said.

The Germany government would pay for all the expenses, they said.

The nine senior officers include CDC Chairman Borwornsak Uwanno, CDC Spokesman Gen Lertrat Ratanavanich, Election Commission (EC) Chairman Supachai Somcharoen and the EC commissioner responsible for investigation Boonsong Noisophon.

Two persons have been invited from the National Reform Council (NRC).

They are deputy chairwoman Tassana Boontong and Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, political reform committee chairman. (MCOT online news)


Officials reclaim encroached forest land in Petchaboon

PETCHABOON, 23 Feb 2015, (NNT) The combined forces of the Department of Forestry and military officials in Petchaboon Province yesterday reclaimed a total of 1.6 square kilometers of forest land encroached upon by resort and rubber plantation owners.

More than 50 officials raided the encroached land located in the districts of Namnao and Lomkao linking Dansai and Wangsapung Districts of Loei Province.

The officers used both aerial and land patrol to examine the areas, confirming that there was concrete evidence proving that resorts and rubber plantation owners encroached on the province’s national parks.

According to officers, six entrepreneurs have violated the law, claiming over 1,000 rai, --about 1.6 square kilometers-- of land all together for their own use. Although they did not find the owners of the resorts or plantation, officials discovered that the law breakers came from Bangkok, Chantaburi and Chumphon


Pattani holds its 9th Annual Chinese New Year event

PATTANI, 23 Feb 2015, (NNT) The Southern Province of Pattani yesterday kicked off its 9th annual Chinese New Year, highlighting the long traditions of the locals and Thais of Chinese descend.

The event is being held at Pattani’s Art and Cultural Court in front of the City Hall, drawing the attention of the locals, visitors and Thais of Chinese descent alike.

The celebration is a joint effort of Pattani Provincial Administration office and the province’s various Chinese Thai foundations, with the main objectives of preserving the cultures of the local Thais of Chinese descent, as well as promoting unity and tourism scene in the province.

The event which started at 4.30 pm featured several activities, including parade, lion & dragon dances, arm wrestling, beauty pageant for boys and girls, and Miss China Pattani beauty pageant as well as live performances.


Chiang Mai holds 2 sports events

CHIANG MAI, 23 Feb 2015, (NNT) The Municipality of Choengdoi Subdistrict in Doisaked District of Chiang Mai Province yesterday held two sports events, promoting exercise and unity as well as maintaining good health among the locals.

The first event was the 17th annual Choengdoi Games, and the latter was the newly introduced games for the elderly, dubbed ‘Charaban Games’. The two games were held at Baan-mae-dok-dang High School in Doisaked District.

The event also featured a beautiful parade conveying sense of humor and creative activities to promote sports.

Competitions in the games included universal and local sports, said the organizers.

According to the municipality, the events were aimed at forging unity, not at winning, promoting exercise, and instilling the values of sportsmanship in the locals, as well as preventing them from turning to drugs.


Tourists celebrate Chinese New Year in Thailand

SONGKHLA, Feb 20 -- Hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists, especially from China, Malaysia and Singapore, are now visiting Thailand to celebrate Chinese New Year.

In Songkhla's Hat Yai district, near the Thai-Malaysian border, known as a shopping paradise among tourists in the deep South, more than 25,000 hotel rooms are fully booked mostly by Malaysian and Singaporean travellers.

Many Malaysian tourists are still visiting the district by buses while security has been tightened for their safety.

Chinese tourists are now packed the northern capital of Chiang Mai.

They are enjoying themselves by visiting popular tourist destinations in the province including rafting and visiting orchards, boosting revenue of traders by as much as three times.

In the northernmost province of Chiang Rai which is especially convenient for tourists from China, many being seen admiring the beauty of Wat Rong Khun, ther White Temple designed by distinguished national artist Chalermchai Kositpipat.

Prapon Pattamakijsakul, director of Suvarnabhumi Airport, said he projected that about 2.15 million passengers would use the airport between February 14-26 to celebrate the Year of the Goat in Thailand. (MCOT online news)


33 Chinese tourists abandoned by guide at Jomtien

CHON BURI, Feb 20 - Police are looking for a Chinese tour guide who swindled and abandoned 33 Chinese tourists in this province's famous resort of Jomtien Beach, police said Friday.

The 33 tourists, all from Zhejiang province, told police that they had bought a package tour and paid 2,399 yuan each, equivalent to about Bt12,000, arriving in Thailand on Monday.

They said they arrived in Pattaya on Wednesday and stayed at a hotel in Jomtien.

Their 20-year-old Chinese guide, a woman, then demanded they pay an extra Bt6,900 each. While about 20 of them agreed, the rest refused, police said.

All the tourists were then abandoned by the guide, police said, adding that the tour company would have to take the responsibility while the guide would face a lawsuit. The authorities have also considered that she had tarnished Thailand’s image

By Friday, the tourist company representative informed police that the firm would take no responsibility for the guide’s illegal actions. The company had tried to contact the guide but failed.

The tourism firm told police that it would, however, take care of the tourists, police said. (MCOT online news)


'Cobra Gold 2015' joint military exercise ends

LOP BURI, Feb 20 - Thai Defence Forces Chief Gen Worapong Sanganetra today said he was satisfied with the ‘Cobra Gold 2015’ joint military exercise as it met the programme's planned expectations, and that every other participating country was also satisfied and would join the war games again next year.

Discussions took place and participating countries agreed that next year's exercise should be a ‘Heavy Year’ exercise type, said Gen Worapong at the end of the current exercise.

The 'Cobra Gold' concluding ceremony was held at an army base in Lop Buri’s Chai Badan district.

About 10,600 soldiers from seven countries including the United States, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Thailand took part in the exercise, which has run for 34 years.

Six countries including Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei and Pakistan sent observers to this year's joint military exercise.

Personnel from China and India also joined the drills involving providing humanitarian and disaster assistance.

Gen Worapong told journalists that the participation by American soldiers in the just concluded ‘Cobra Gold 2015’ showed that relations between the US and the Thai military remain warm.(MCOT online news)


Indonesia must be firm in facing Australia’s threats: Law expert

Jakarta, Feb 20 MCOT Indonesia must be firm and strong in facing the threats of the Australian government and people regarding the planned execution of two Australian drug convicts in death row, a law expert of Padjadjaran State University (Unpad) said.

"Print and electronic media in Indonesia must also give full support to the Indonesian Government because the same thing has massively been done by mass media in Australia," Dr.Atip Latipulhayat, Unpads law expert, said here Friday.

Indonesia’s consistent stance on executing convicted criminals in death row, including those found guilty of drug offenses, is legally legitimate because it is explicitly stipulated in the country’s legal system, he said.

Therefore, foreign governments, including Australia, must respect Indonesia’s sovereignty, he said adding that it is, however, the right of Canberra to defend the lives of Myuran Sukumaran (33) and Andrew Chan (31) by requesting for pardon.

"When Indonesia refuses Australia’s request, it is not acceptable if Australia keeps disrespecting Indonesia’s sovereignty," said Atip Latipulhayat, head of Unpads Department of International Law.

He further argued that those advocating the dismissal of death penalty just look at the rights of the convicts but fail to understand the position of victims who are actually those who suffer the biggest losses from the drug convicts acts of crime.

In response to Indonesia’s firm decision to go ahead with the Bali Nines execution, Canberra has threatened Jakarta, as indicated in Prime Minister Tony Abbotts statement.

Abbott was quoted as saying by ABC that his government "will find ways to make its displeasure known if the executions are carried out." The Australian prime minister also wanted Indonesia to remember Australia’s generosity when a deadly tsunami hit Aceh in 2004.

"I would say to the Indonesian people and the Indonesian government: We in Australia are always there to help you, and we hope that you might reciprocate," he was quoted by BBC as recently saying.

Certain elements in the Australian society also echoed calls for boycotting the Indonesian resort island of Bali’s tourism industry if Jakarta went ahead of its plan to execute Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, ringleaders of the Bali Nine.

The two were arrested along with seven other Australians when they were attempting to smuggle 8.3 kilograms of heroin from Bali to Sydney, Australia, in 2005. President Joko Widodo had recently rejected Sukumarans clemency petition.

In response to the Australian threats, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika urged his people to remain calm over Australias threat to boycott the resort islands tourism industry.

"Please remain calm. It (the execution) will not be a problem, and I believe that it will not badly affect Balis tourism industry. This case is related to our nations sovereignty and dignity," he said.

Indonesia had recently executed six drug convicts as part of its serious efforts to combat drug trafficking in the country.

The six convicts were Namaona Denis of Malawi, Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira of Brazil, Daniel Enemuo, alias Diarrassouba Mamadou, of Nigeria, Ang Kiem Soei, alias Kim Ho, alias Ance Tahir, of the Netherlands, Rani Andriani, alias Melisa Aprilia, of Indonesia, and Tran Thi Bich Hanh of Vietnam.

Vice-President Jusuf Kalla recently assured that the execution of foreign convicts for drug offenses will not affect Indonesias bilateral ties with their respective countries. (ANTARA)


Betong bustling with tourists from Malaysia and Singapore

YALA, 20 February 2015 (NNT) Tourists from Malaysia and Singapore are flocking to the Thai District of Betong in Yala to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Their visits are expected to generate several millions of baht to local communities.

President of the Betong Tourism Association Udom Laksana said that this year’s Chinese New Year celebration was bustling with people as the holiday falls on a weekend. Buses of tourists are seen dropping passengers one after another at their hotels. Mr. Udom said all of the 4,000 hotel rooms in the district have been fully booked for Feb 20-22.


Public debate on 21st petroleum bidding ends with some agreements

BANGKOK, 20 February 2015 (NNT) The public debate on the 21st round of petroleum concession bidding held on Friday at the Government House ended at 4 p.m.

The six-and-a-half-hour debate ran smoothly as participants from two camps presented their arguments and supporting information on the basis of best benefits for the public.

The Energy Ministry has set up a war room to jot down all details discussed in the debate as well as questions asked by the public for use in the government's consideration on energy projects in the future.

At the end of the public debate, key persons from both sides had an informal meeting to discuss more about the bidding and the energy reform. Among them were former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, Deputy Energy Permanent Secretary Kurujit Nakornthap and a member of the National Reform Council in charge of energy reform Rosana Tositrakul.

Prime Minister’s Office Minister ML Panadda Diskul revealed that representatives of the two camps had jointly agreed in three aspects. They all wanted an effective and fair energy management with lowest impact on the public living, and also comprehensive and clear-cut energy laws to control the petroleum exploration. Lastly, they wanted a committee be set up to finalize everything by Mar 16, before the last day of submission of the bidding applications.


Energy public hearing starts at Government House

BANGKOK Feb 20, A public hearing on Thailand's controversial oil and gas exploration concession bidding, hosted by the government, began at Government House early Friday attended by state and civil society representatives, and those involved in the intended bidding process.

Deputy Government Spokesman Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd told journalists that the public forum on the upcoming 21st round of bidding, now being telecast live, was to consider nine or ten issues in discussion.

After speaking with those opposing the bidding, government sponsors decided that only two questions would be discussed at the forum.

The two questions to be raised are whether there are still loopholes in the current law if the government moves forward in holding the 21st round of oil and gas exploration concession bids or whether there are supplementary laws related to the planned bidding which would not pose any negative effect on the national energy landscape, Gen Sansern said.

The second question focuses on how to manage negative effects, if they occurred, after the bidding process.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has expressed concern and wants the problem to be resolved. He assigned Minister attached to the Prime Minister’s Office Panadda Diskul to gather inflormation from the public forum.

Each party attending the forum would have four representatives.

On the government side, it has Energy Minister Narongchai Akrasanee, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Energy Kurujit Nakornthap, Manoon Siriwan, a member of the National Reform Council, and Banyong Pongpanich, a member of the State Enterprise Policy Commission.

Opposition to the bidding procedures were comprised of representatives of civil society groups including former finance minister Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala and former House speaker Arthit Urairat.

Former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva also attended. (MCOT online news)


China's diamond consumption continues to decline

SHANGHAI, Feb. 20 - The amount of polished diamonds imported into China declined for a fourth consecutive month in January, according to the Shanghai Diamond Exchange.

Last month, the country imported polished diamonds worth 157 million U.S. dollars, down 24 percent compared with the previous January.

The declining trend has resulted from sluggish global economic recovery and a weak domestic market, according the exchange.

In 2014, China's diamond consumption hit a record high thanks to robust growth in the first three quarters. In the year, polished diamonds worth about 2.24 billion U.S. dollars, up 31 percent year on year, were exported to the country through the exchange.

The exchange, founded in October 2000 in Shanghai's Pudong District, is the only venue in China authorized by the State Council to handle diamond imports and exports and to conduct trade.

As a member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, the exchange's membership stood at 370 at the end of January.

China is now the world's second-largest diamond consumer and fourth-largest rough diamond trader. (Xinhua)


Indonesia must be firm in facing Australia`s threats: Law expert

Jakarta, Feb 20 MCOT- Indonesia must be firm and strong in facing the threats of the Australian government and people regarding the planned execution of two Australian drug convicts in death row, a law expert of Padjadjaran State University (Unpad) said.

"Print and electronic media in Indonesia must also give full support to the Indonesian Government because the same thing has massively been done by mass media in Australia," Dr.Atip Latipulhayat, Unpads law expert, said here Friday.

Indonesias consistent stance on executing convicted criminals in death row, including those found guilty of drug offenses, is legally legitimate because it is explicitly stipulated in the countrys legal system, he said.

Therefore, foreign governments, including Australia, must respect Indonesias sovereignty, he said adding that it is, however, the right of Canberra to defend the lives of Myuran Sukumaran (33) and Andrew Chan (31) by requesting for pardon.

"When Indonesia refuses Australias request, it is not acceptable if Australia keeps disrespecting Indonesias sovereignty," said Atip Latipulhayat, head of Unpads Department of International Law.

He further argued that those advocating the dismissal of death penalty just look at the rights of the convicts but fail to understand the position of victims who are actually those who suffer the biggest losses from the drug convicts acts of crime.

In response to Indonesias firm decision to go ahead with the Bali Nines execution, Canberra has threatened Jakarta, as indicated in Prime Minister Tony Abbotts statement.

Abbott was quoted as saying by ABC that his government "will find ways to make its displeasure known if the executions are carried out." The Australian prime minister also wanted Indonesia to remember Australias generosity when a deadly tsunami hit Aceh in 2004.

"I would say to the Indonesian people and the Indonesian government: We in Australia are always there to help you, and we hope that you might reciprocate," he was quoted by BBC as recently saying.

Certain elements in the Australian society also echoed calls for boycotting the Indonesian resort island of Balis tourism industry if Jakarta went ahead of its plan to execute Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, ringleaders of the Bali Nine.

The two were arrested along with seven other Australians when they were attempting to smuggle 8.3 kilograms of heroin from Bali to Sydney, Australia, in 2005. President Joko Widodo had recently rejected Sukumarans clemency petition.

In response to the Australian threats, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika urged his people to remain calm over Australias threat to boycott the resort islands tourism industry.

"Please remain calm. It (the execution) will not be a problem, and I believe that it will not badly affect Balis tourism industry. This case is related to our nations sovereignty and dignity," he said.

Indonesia had recently executed six drug convicts as part of its serious efforts to combat drug trafficking in the country.

The six convicts were Namaona Denis of Malawi, Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira of Brazil, Daniel Enemuo, alias Diarrassouba Mamadou, of Nigeria, Ang Kiem Soei, alias Kim Ho, alias Ance Tahir, of the Netherlands, Rani Andriani, alias Melisa Aprilia, of Indonesia, and Tran Thi Bich Hanh of Vietnam.

Vice-President Jusuf Kalla recently assured that the execution of foreign convicts for drug offenses will not affect Indonesias bilateral ties with their respective countries. (ANTARA)


Two Japanese patrol aircraft to call at Butterworth

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 - A Japanese commander who had helped with the search-and-rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, Flight MH370, will be in charge of two patrol aircraft from the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) calling at Butterworth later this week.

Cdr Hideki Jufuku and 37 crew will be on board the two P-3C aircraft that will be at the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base there on Feb 20 and 21 for airport call and replenishment of supplies, the Embassy of Japan in Malaysia said in a statement in Kuala Lumpur, Thursday.

"The P-3Cs have been actively taking part in anti-piracy operations (search operations) off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden since October 2014. The crew have carried out their mission under challenging temperatures of over 50 degrees Centigrade," the embassy said.

The statement said this would be the first time that the Japan Self-Defence Force (JSDF) was calling at an RMAF base except for the search-and-rescue (SAR) operation for the missing MH370 last year.

"It is our honour to inform that Cdr Jufuku was the commander for the SAR operation for MH370 in March and April 2014. He and the crew transited at the Subang airbase, and proceeded to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Pearce to continue the operation," the embassy said.

Jufuku's return to Malaysia this time was to mark a symbolic event for future relations between the JSDF and RMAF as well as between Japan and Malaysia, the statement added. (MCOT BERNAMA)


Assistance dispatched to 16 provinces affected by drought

BANGKOK, 20 February 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Interior and the Royal Thai Army have been cooperating in delivering water to residents in 16 provinces declared disaster zones.

Interior Minister General Anupong Paojinda said the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has been instructed to develop relief measures according to the level of drought crisis in each province.

An Interior Ministry survey showed that more than 3,000 villages across Thailand have had water shortage problems since late October last year. Many government units have been searching for new sources of ground water.

Residents are encouraged to prepare clean containers for storing water should the situation exacerbate. Farmers are advised to grow crops that do not require a lot of water.


Thunderstorms forecast in North and Northeast this weekend

BANGKOK, 20 February 2015 (NNT) Twenty-five provinces have been told to brace for thunder storms predicted this weekend.

According to Interior Minister General Anupong Paojinda, the thunder storms will be triggered by the cold front lingering over the upper part of Thailand and the western winds from Myanmar.

13 provinces in the North and 12 others in the Northeast will be affected by the weather conditions. Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation officials in Khon Kaen, Sakon Nakhon, Phitsanulok, Lampang, Udon Thani and Chiang Rai have been told to be prepared for an emergency situation.

Members of the public are advised to consult the weather forecast and follow safety advice. They can also reach an emergency hotline at 1784 for 24-hour assistance.


NLA gives green light to surrogacy laws

BANGKOK, 20 Feb 2015 (NNT) The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has approved three bills regarding legalization of surrogacy and protection of children conceived via this particular reproductive technology.

NLA members voted 160 to 2 in support of the surrogacy bills. Four other NLA members abstained. According to the NLA special committee’s chairman Wallop Tang-kananurak, the lawmakers amended the wording in 24 sections and added six sections to the bills to better clarify legal conditions of pregnancy by proxy.

Under the bill, people who are legally allowed to use surrogacy will be classified in two categories, namely Thai couples, and a foreigner married to a Thai. The latter category of couples, must have had a marriage registration document for at least three years. Women who undertake a surrogacy pregnancy must be Thai nationals. They must be over 25 years of age and must have had children before.

The bill is intended to secure the legal status of both parents and children born as a result of this method of reproduction. The legislators also expect that legal penalties specified in the bill will prevent the use of reproductive technology for immoral or illegal purposes.


PM: No pressure on Yingluck to leave country

BANGKOK, Feb 19 MCOT Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha does not think that the National Anti-Corruption Commission’s (NACC) request for the government to demand compensation for the loss-ridden and corruption-plagued rice-pledging scheme would pressure former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who implemented the scheme, to flee the country.

Gen Prayut said he assigned Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam to consider legal aspects relating to the request for his government to sue Ms Yingluck but the issue should not prompt Ms Yingluck to flee the country as the NACC initiated the movement before his administration was established.

On Tuesday, the NACC resolved to ask the Ministry of Finance to demand Bt682 billion in compensation for rice-pledging scheme losses from Ms Yingluck.

As the attorney general will arraign Ms Yingluck on the rice scheme at the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions today, Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Tritos Sonjaeng said there should be no problem and all parties should understand that the country needed peace and order to progress.

Meanwhile, Gen Prayut expressed his satisfaction with the work of his cabinet in the past six months. He said all cabinet ministers worked hard to save the country and he did not plan a cabinet reshuffle.

Regarding finance for the Thai-Chinese medium-speed railway project, the prime minister said the Chinese government planned to charge a 2.5 per cent interest rate but his government would try to have it cut to 2 per cent or lower.

If the rate is not cut, the government may look for another funding source, Gen Prayut said. (MCOT online news)


DBD to step up measures on registration of lottery vendors

BANGKOK, 19 Feb 2015, (NNT) The Department of Business Development has strengthened its measures on the registration of lottery vendors after Phitsanulok people reported cases where citizen ID numbers they thought were used for a registration had instead been used in company registrations without their knowledge.

Director-General of the DBD, Phongpan Jiarawiriyaphan, said that upon close investigation of the case her department has found that 101 out of 739 legal entity registered lottery vendors from Phitsanulok, had not submitted their financial statements.

She explained that since the failure to do so is illegal, officials have issued fines to those who registered in those legal entities. That’s how residents discovered their identities had been stolen.

Initially, the DBD advised the affected residents to file official complaints at the police station, in order for officials to seek out the scammers. Miss Phongphan also advised the local people to refrain from signing over or giving away their identification information to any party that does not possess substantial accreditation.


Development of special economic zones progress significantly

BANGKOK, 19 February 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Interior has revealed that special economic zones (SEZ) in the border provinces have made significant progress.

According to Deputy Permanent Secretary of Interior Maitri Intusut, the government is determined to develop ten provinces into SEZs.

The process has been underway in five provinces, including Tak, Sa Kaeo, Mukdahan, Trat and Songkhla. Meanwhile, the SEZ developments have only just been initiated in the other five, which include Nong Khai, Chiang Rai, Kanchanaburi, Narathiwat and Nakhon Phanom.

The developments are focused on strengthening local government, creating a new city plan, constructing basic infrastructure, and establishing an industrial estate and one-stop service.

City plans have already been developed for Sa Kaeo and Mukdahan. The government has yet to decide which province will specialize in what industry. However, geographical factors will be taken into consideration when the decision is being made.


Farm price index improving in January

BANGKOK, 19 February 2015 (NNT) The Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE) has revealed that the farm product price index increased slightly in January from the figure in December last year.

OAE Secretary General Luesak Rewtrakulpaiboon said the government’s support to rubber price and a higher price of palm oil contributed to a 0.1% increase in the price index.

However, prices of cassava and pork have declined as they oversupplied the markets. The February index is expected to remain the same throughout the month.

Compared to January last year, the farm price index fell 11.12% as most products, except for cassava and palm oil, were cheaper.

Global demand and drought crisis prompted the prices of both items to skyrocket in January last year.


MOAC proposes that government write off 4.5 billion baht of farmers’ debts

BANGKOK, 19 Feb 2015, (NNT) The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) has proposed to the Cabinet that the government write off the debts of farmers in order to help alleviating their burden.

According to the ministry’s preliminary survey, over 26,000 farmers and more than 1,000 agricultural organizations will benefit from the plan, as 4.5 billion baht of debt will be cancelled. The proposed plan was approved of in principle at the economic cabinet meeting on February 16th. Under the plan, related units will be assigned to find ways to deal with the agricultural debt structure, and report their progress to the cabinet every quarter.

Initially, the MOAC has set basic criteria for the plan as follows: Debts must be incurred a result of the government’s failing agricultural projects; victims of natural disasters or violence in the south; debtors whose debts have expired, and those whose debts are more than 10 years old.

Furthermore, the campaign will also help debtors without any assets, debtors who have died, or have gone missing, and debtors who are senior citizens, or disabled, or suffering from mental illnesses or chronic diseases.

The ministry will also help debtors with low income who are unable to pay their debts, and those whose debts are under 10,000 baht.


Princess Maha Chakri attends celebration organized by Nan people to commemorate her 60th birthday

NAN, 18 February 2015 (NNT) Yesterday, at 6 p.m. Her Royal Highness attended a special event organized in the central district of Nan by the provincial people to show their gratitude to the Princess on the occasion of Her 60th birthday on 2 April this year. The event started with Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-O-cha representing the Thai people in offering their best wishes and felicitations to the Princess.

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has conceived a lot of projects to develop the quality of life of people in Nan and the educational development of their children. She also keeps monitoring the progress of each project and take relentless efforts to conserve and promote art and crafts of the province.
The event featured 14 cultural performances designed to honor the princess and a series of spectacular firework displays. The Princess also took part in one of the performances by playing traditional music with a xylophone.


Cabinet to approve debt relief program for farmers

BANGKOK, 18 February 2015 (NNT) The Cabinet is set to approve a debt relief program for farmers in the meeting today.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha will chair the meeting, which was postponed from yesterday. The Cabinet is expected to give a green light to the debt relief program, which is aimed at eliminating debt owed by farmers.

Under the program, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives will pay off their debts from its own reserve funds. Then farmers will instead owe the money to the ministry.

Meanwhile, the Rice Department is expected to reveal the results of this year’s first stockpiled rice auction held on January 29th. Nearly a million tons of rice were sold to 38 bidders out of 100 participants.


Singburi will draw up master plan to promote self-reliance in communities

SINGBURI, 18 Feb 2015, (NNT) The Governor of Singburi yesterday led a team of officials to visit local people in order to gather information about their needs for use in the drafting of a provincial Master Plan aimed at promoting self-reliance in communities.

Singburi Governor Chalothorn Phakod led his team to Wihan Khao Subdistrict in Thachang District to listen to villagers’ daily struggles, allowing the latter to express their vision about the province as well as their needs.

According to the Governor, the visit allowed villagers to exchange views with officials and voice their opinions. This would allow the province to initiate projects that directly respond to local needs.


Police provide safety for Chinese New Year revelers

BANGKOK, 18 February 2015 (NNT) Royal Thai Police units have been providing public safety during Chinese New Year celebrations across the nation.

Deputy Police Chief Police Lieutenant General Prawut Thawornsiri has urged people to be mindful of fire hazards when lighting incense and candles in observance of the Chinese lunar new year.

He reiterated that people are forbidden from carrying weapons and using firecrackers in public places, which can endanger the people as well as cause public disturbances.

As several Chinese and Chinese descent travellers visit temples and travel to other provinces, police advise parents to keep their children close and have them carry contact information. Police will then be able to reach their parents if they are lost.


Special report: Sports Education Given a Major Boost in the Southern Border Provinces

Bangkok, 18 February 2015 (NNT) The Government is giving a major boost to sports education, as part of its educational strategies for educational management in the southern border provinces.

In response to this policy, the Ministry of Education has selected Srinagarindra the Princess Mother School, Yala, as the school for the science-sports program in the deep South of Thailand. The Office of the Basic Education Commission will supervise the program.

Deputy Education Minister General Surachet Chaiwong said that this special program is included in the science curriculum and is intended to promote both academic and sports development for excellence among children and youths in the deep South.

The program will be opened for schoolchildren living in Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, and four districts of Songkhla (Chana, Thepha, Na Thawi, and Saba Yoi), who wish to continue their studies at Matthayom 4 of upper secondary schooling. It will admit 80 students in the 2015 academic year. In the initial stage, five sports, namely football, volleyball, pencak silat, Muay Thai (Thai boxing), and sepak takraw, will be taught. Before the launching of the science-sports program, a summer sports competition will be held between March 28 and May 2, 2015, under the Sports Education Development Plan for the Southern Border Provinces.

General Surachet said that the Ministry of Education’s policy on education in the deep South involves many areas, such as the development of the quality of education, support for educational activities, the development of teachers and educational administrators, knowledge management toward ASEAN, and educational management in response to local needs.

Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the Office of the Non-Formal and Informal Education Karoon Sakulpradit on 10 February 2015 made an inspection of the deep South to follow up on the progress of the implementation of the science-sports program. He said, “The Office of the Non-Formal and Informal Education has selected ‘football’ as an elective subject for its students. We consider that sports education is one of the best choices and southern residents love sports, as well.”

Exercising and playing sports on a regular basis are considered effective ways to develop citizens by keeping them physically fit, along with instilling a sense of self-discipline. It is believed that sports will encourage young people to spend time fruitfully, promote unity among them, and prevent them from being misled by harmful influences.

Sports development for professional athletes would also be promoted in a long-term plan for educational management to provide greater opportunities for young people in the southern border provinces.


M.L. Panadda gives lecture highlighting 12 national core values

CHIANG MAI, 18 Feb 2015, (NNT) Minister Attached to the Prime Minister Office, M.L. Panadda Dissakul, has lectured on the importance of the 12 national core values and the learning of a 3rd language, in preparation for the advent of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

The lecture was given to the students of Phangchanupatham High School in Chiang Mai yesterday, which was attended by more than 500 students and school staff.

According to the Minister, learning a 3rd language of choice aside from English would serve the students well when the AEC arrives at the end of this year. He also said that maintaining the 12 national core values, especially on being grateful to their parents, teachers and the nation, would definitely lead to success in their careers and lives.

The lecture was broadcast live via Radio Thailand’s FM 89.25 MHz and community radio 106 MHz to the rest of the province and nearby areas.


Samut Songkhram promotes community market to boost local economy

SAMUTSONGKHRAM, 18 Feb 2015 (NNT) Samut Songkhram Province is currently promoting a campaign to boost local economy via community markets, encouraging its locals to help each other by purchasing locally made products.

According to the Samut Songkhram Provincial Administration, the markets offer all fresh seasonal produce in the localities and finest OTOP goods.

Mr. Panya Ngamlert, the Provincial Governor, yesterday told the media during his visit to one of the markets in Muang District that the campaign also aims at providing another distribution channel to agricultural operators and OTOP producers where they can deliver their goods to the hands of their consumers directly.

He said that, in this way, the operators can forego the middlemen while offering customers goods at fairer prices.

The Governor announced that the next community market will be held in Bangkhontee District this Saturday, to be followed by another one in Amphawa District the following Saturday.


28th Music in the Garden set for tomorrow

BANGKOK, 18 Feb 2015, (NNT) The 28th Music in the Garden, organized by the Public Relations Department (PRD) is set for tomorrow ( Thursday), featuring Jern Jern Boon Soong Neun, the country's first transgender diva.

The prolific singer will be performing her iconic song ‘I’m a woman too’ along with her other timeless hits, fitting the event’s theme ‘I’m too a woman at the Tida Hillside. Several of the PRD’s all-star artists will be joining her.

This week's concert is to welcome the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration. Audience will certainly be treated to a spectacular show, in which artists will be strutting their stuff throughout the night.

The event will as usual be held at the PRD Conference Hall in Soi Areesampan, Rama 6 Road, Phayathai District, Bangkok; beginning from 4 pm. Admission to the concert is free.


Revenue collection exceeded target by 1.1 billion baht in Q1 of fiscal year 2015

BANGKOK, 18 February 2015 (NNT) The government's revenue collection during the first four months of fiscal year 2015 exceed target by 1.1 billion baht, according to Deputy Finance Minister Wisudhi Srisuphan.

Mr. Wisudhi attributed the above-target collection of tax revenue to a greater-than-expected amount of VAT collection, hence signaling heightened consumer confidence. He also spoke of the planned merging of the tax laws into a single bill, saying that future taxation would be based on the suggested retail price instead of factory price or wholesale price.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Paisal Chuenjit, deputy director-general of the Customs Department, indicated that customs officials were being more stringent on international passengers who arrive with newly purchased items worth more than 10,000 baht. He said such goods need to be declared in order for them to be correctly taxed. The rate of duty would be around 30 percent for general goods, according to Mr. Paisal.


 

DAILY UPDATE

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Back to Main Page

SBPAC launches Thai-language courses for Deep South children.

Temperatures in Thailand will increase at the end of February

PM kicks off good deeds resolution project

International Balloon Festival to kick off in Songkhla in March

January export shrinks by 3.46% due to low agricultural and fuel prices

Rice pledging scheme costs 700 billion baht in damages

Prachinburi sends mobile unit to assist locals in remote areas.

Military units told to help mitigate drought-related impacts on public

National Savings Fund project wins Cabinet approval

21st round of petroleum concession grants expected to arrive by October

PanaHome to launch ASEAN regional headquarters in Singapore

China tops patent applications list in 2014

Tourism minister extends condolences on death of Chilean cyclist

Interior Ministry hands down policies to Tak, SEZ province, preparing for AEC

Charter drafting committee's meeting to be held in Chonburi this week

Officials inspect vegetable vendors, prevent unfair trading

Public Health Ministry initiates road safety campaign

Special Report: PM stresses importance of transparency

Special Report: Irrigation and water resource management reform

German gov't invites nine officials to observe election

Officials reclaim encroached forest land in Petchaboon

Pattani holds its 9th Annual Chinese New Year event

Chiang Mai holds 2 sports events

Tourists celebrate Chinese New Year in Thailand

33 Chinese tourists abandoned by guide at Jomtien

'Cobra Gold 2015' joint military exercise ends

Indonesia must be firm in facing Australia’s threats: Law expert

Betong bustling with tourists from Malaysia and Singapore

Public debate on 21st petroleum bidding ends with some agreements

Energy public hearing starts at Government House

China's diamond consumption continues to decline

Indonesia must be firm in facing Australia`s threats: Law expert

Two Japanese patrol aircraft to call at Butterworth

Assistance dispatched to 16 provinces affected by drought

Thunderstorms forecast in North and Northeast this weekend

NLA gives green light to surrogacy laws

PM: No pressure on Yingluck to leave country

DBD to step up measures on registration of lottery vendors

Development of special economic zones progress significantly

Farm price index improving in January

MOAC proposes that government write off 4.5 billion baht of farmers’ debts

Princess Maha Chakri attends celebration organized by Nan people to commemorate her 60th birthday

Cabinet to approve debt relief program for farmers

Singburi will draw up master plan to promote self-reliance in communities

Police provide safety for Chinese New Year revelers

Special report: Sports Education Given a Major Boost in the Southern Border Provinces

M.L. Panadda gives lecture highlighting 12 national core values

Samut Songkhram promotes community market to boost local economy

28th Music in the Garden set for tomorrow

Revenue collection exceeded target by 1.1 billion baht in Q1 of fiscal year 2015

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