PM adheres to peaceful solutions for far South
BANGKOK, Jan 28 - Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut
Chan-o-cha said he has adhered to peaceful solutions for the far South
and has not set any timeframe limitation for its peace restoration
After chairing a meeting of the National Security Council at Government
House today, Gen Prayut said the council resolved that southern
solutions would adhere to peace-promoting strategies and refrain from
suppressive military operations.
He said three committees were handling southern solutions at three
levels. He referred to his policy-making committee, an implementation
committee headed by army adviser and southern peace negotiation leader
Gen Aksara Kerdpol, and a local committee headed by the 4th Army Area
Problems in the far South would be solved in three stages, Gen Prayut
The first stage concerns the creation of understanding. Malaysia
facilitates it by inviting concerned groups for discussions.
The second stage deals with creating trust. At this stage, there will be
discussions with groups with different political stances and the
ratification of a peace agreement. The third stage will be the
implementation of an agreed peace restoration roadmap
Gen Prayut said that the international community would be informed that
situations in the far South were internal issues and sensitive matters
of the followers of two religions.
"There cannot be a timeframe for the negotiation. It depends on when
Malaysia can gather groups and make them ready for discussions. However,
overall signs show improvement... Groups with different stances should
come to the negotiating table rather than argue in the media. The issue
will also be raised for discussion with the Malaysian defence minister
who will visit Thailand tomorrow," Gen Prayut said. (MCOT online news)
International buyers respond positively to Made in Thailand Fair
BANGKOK, Jan 28 - The Ministry of Commerce is
sponsoring a Made in Thailand in Focus Fair to bring international
buyers to seal business deals with Thai manufacturers.
It hopes the fair will help promote Thai products and that sales at the
event should amount to at least Bt300 million.
After opening the fair at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition
Centre (BITEC) today, Deputy Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said
international participants expected to discuss deals at the event.
Coming from Southeast Asia -- including Indonesia, the Philippines,
Vietnam, Cambodia -- and further afield including China, Hong Kong,
Taiwan, the United States, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The positive responses showed the success of the Department of
International Trade Promotion in actively promoting Thai products in
Southeast Asia which will form a single market and production base after
the establishment of the ASEAN Community this year, Ms Apiradi said.
The Thai exports exceeded US$200 billion last year, with one-quarter of
that representing export to ASEAN nations.
She hopes the Made in Thailand in Focus fair can significantly help the
country raise the value of its export by 4 per cent this year as the
Ministry of Commerce has forecast.
The fair should attract at least 20,000 visitors, she said. and sales
should reach at least Bt300 million. (MCOT online news)
ASEAN to continue discussion for ASEAN common time zone
KOTA KINABALU, Jan 28 - ASEAN will continue to
consider a common time zone for ASEAN capitals, says Foreign Minister
Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.
Speaking to reporters after chairing the ASEAN Foreign Ministers'
Retreat here Wednesday, he said the matter was discussed during today's
meeting as "there were many strong reasons to have a common time zone".
"This is not a new idea. This was brought up by our leaders, as early as
1995, and they discussed it again around 2004.
"With ASEAN forming an intergrated and cohesive community by the end of
this year, we believe a common time zone for ASEAN capitals is an idea
worth considering," he said.
Among the benefits of a common time zone for the region involve
strengthening business links and inter-governmental cooperation among
ASEAN and Asian countries.
Besides that, a common time zone will allow more time for communication
purposes, tally the stock market activities, enhance airlines
operational system and upgrade the business and banking linkages around
the Asian region.
Malaysia has taken over the ASEAN chairmanship for 2015, from Myamnar.
The two-day retreat which ended today, is the curtain-raiser for a
series of ministerial and related meetings under Malaysia's ASEAN
chairmanship this year.
Malaysia has mentioned the idea of a common time zone for ASEAN during a
panel session at the World Economic Forum Summit in Davos on Jan 24.
In that session, Malaysia said a common time zone was important towards
realising the ASEAN Economic Community. (MCOT BERNAMA)
S. Korea to review all rules for better safety aboard ships
SEJONG, Jan 29 - South Korea will review some 300
rules governing maritime safety from scratch this year to make it safer
for people to travel on ships, the government said Thursday.
The policy goal set by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries comes after
295 people, mostly high school students, died in the Sewol ferry sinking
in April last year. Nine are still missing. The sinking of the 6,825-ton
ferry is one of the deadliest maritime disasters in the country's
history, and it triggered widespread calls for an overhaul of the
country's maritime safety regulations.
Those implicated in the tragedy have been arrested and are on trial,
with state prosecutors claiming a combination of ship cargo overloading,
poor steering and remodeling of the vessel as the cause of the disaster.
Criticism of the government's poor initial response and confusion led to
the dismantlement of the Coast Guard.
The ministry said that 800 million won (US$742,000) will be used next
month to conduct detailed evaluations on the main sea routes around the
country, with another 4 billion won to be spent on establishing new safe
operational guidelines around the major ports of Ulsan, Gwangyang and
Incheon that are used frequently by oil tankers and other large ships.
The Sewol ferry had left from Incheon on its ill-fated voyage, with port
authorities being blamed for failing to check whether the ship was
In addition, the maritime ministry said it will follow through on reform
measures announced in September that call for the government to directly
regulate safety, increase the amount of fines for rule violations from
30 million won to 1 billion won, and reduce the age of vessels that can
be used as car ferries from 30 to 25 years.
All crew members will be obliged to wear uniforms, and barriers
restricting companies from entering the shipping line business will be
lifted in June.
To ensure that companies make a profit, which is critical for upgrading
safety rules and crew training, the government will allow fuel
surcharges and flexible fare rates for weekend operations.
In addition, the ministry said it will take steps to reduce the number
of accidents involving fishing boats, which made up 76.7 percent of all
maritime accidents in the past five years.
These steps include automatic location tracking systems, compelling crew
members to wear life jackets and implementing mandatory safety
instruction for people on fishing boats.
On the peaceful use of waters surrounding the Korean Peninsula,
systematic measures will be taken to better manage the country's
exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and its continental shelf regions, the
ministry said. (MCOT Yonhap)
Ministries to promote school football
BEIJING, Jan 28 - China's Ministry of Education
(MOE), together with five other government departments, established a
"school football leading group" to ensure football thrives in the
country's schools, according to an MOE circular released late Tuesday.
The leading group is tasked with implementing laws and policies on
campus football development, outlining annual plans as well as reviewing
rules and budgets for promoting the sport among the nation's students
The other five departments participating in the leading groups are the
National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of
Finance, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and
Television, the General Administration of Sports (GAS) and the Communist
Youth League Central Committee.
The MOE on Jan. 16 announced that it plans to select 20,000 primary or
middle schools in which to promote football by 2017. It will also choose
30 counties to serve as trial areas for the development of school
football in order to increase the popularity of the sport in Chinese
schools and lay a foundation for more talented players.
The move came in response to the poor performance by China's national
football team in recent years. The Chinese team has failed to qualify
for the World Cup for the past 12 years. (MCOT Xinhua)
National Science Museum to spend 1.8 billion on a new water and soil museum
BANGKOK, 29 January 2015 (NNT) The National Science
Museum (NSM) will spend 1.8 billion baht on creating ASEAN’s largest
soil and water development exhibition.
NSM Acting Director Sakorn Chanapaitoon said 3 projects will be
implemented on the occasion of the NSM’s 20th anniversary tomorrow,
A new museum, to be named Rama 9 museum, will be built in Pathumthani
province in honor of His Majesty the King. It is also billed as ASEAN’s
largest exhibition on soil and water development.
Two other projects, which include the constructions of science and toy
exhibitions, are expected to encourage Thai children to make more trips
to the museum.
Mr. Sakorn said it is NSM’s goal to attract more kids to the museum, as
they are presently ranked 40th in the world in terms of museum
attendance, according to a global survey.
Intelligence tip-off prompts security alert in Yala
YALA, 29 January 2015 (NNT) Yala police have
tightened security in the province following a series of recent attacks
on civilians and law enforcement officers in the Deep South.
Police have been checking and examining individuals and vehicles
entering Yala at various points to prevent attacks in the populated area
of Muang district.
Vehicles are being searched for any hidden explosives. Those wearing a
mask or a helmet are asked to reveal their faces before they are allowed
to pass through the checkpoint.
Security alert levels have been raised following an intelligence tip-off
suggesting more attacks are possible this month and next.
Prachuabkirikhan officials raid construction site, nab illegal alien workers
PRACHUABKIRIKHAN, 29 Jan 2015, (NNT) Prachuabkirikhan
officials yesterday searched a construction site in the province’s
Pranburi District and took into custody foreign labors found working
The construction site, ‘Bella Costa', is a residential project in
Pranburi District, consisting of 2 seven-storey buildings, and 4
four-storey buildings. According to officials, a number of workers, both
Thai and foreign, were working at the site at the time of the search.
Upon inspection, officials found 14 alien workers working with no work
permits or had permits for a different line of work.
The officials said the company would be fined and instructed to strictly
abide by labor law.
NSC chief admits to slow progress in peace dialogue with insurgents
BANGKOK, Jan 27 - Thailand's National Security
Council (NSC) Secretary General Anusit Kunakrn admitted that not much
progress has been made regarding the next round of peace talks aimed at
bringing peace to the restive southern Thai provinces.
He said Malaysia is working to arrange which group of insurgents should
join in the next round of peace dialogue with Thai security authorities.
Malaysia has been facilitator of peace talks between Thai security
authorities and insurgents since February 2013, when the NSC signed a
historic dialogue with the Barisan Revolusi Nasional insurgent movement
Mr Anusit said the Thai side led by Gen Aksara Kerdphol, chief
negotiator for the talks, is working with Malaysia.
The Thai side is open for talks with any group so it now depends on the
facilitator Malaysia as to whether to bring other group to join the
More than 5,000 people have been killed since insurgency reignited in
the region in 2004.
Three rounds of Malaysia-brokered peace talks have taken place since
2013 but talks were stalled in July. (MCOT online news)
Facebook, Instagram down one hour worldwide
BANGKOK, Jan 27 - Facebook and the Instagram social networks
broke down in many countries for about one hour from 1.10pm to
2.10pm Thai time.
hacker group Lizard Sqad announced via Twitter @LizardMafia,
implying it was responsible for the incident.
Users in many areas around the world could not access Facebook
and Instagram through computers and handheld devices at that
The problem did not happen to those using WhatsApp application
under the Facebook umbrella.
Facebook and Instagram users in many countries including
Thailand posted access problem messages on other online channels
The incident coincided with warnings of a big snowstorm hitting
New York and many areas in the northeastern part of the United
No one confirmed if the incidents were related, but at that time
people facing the snowstorm could not communicate.
Lizard Squad hacked into the Malaysia Airlines website yesterday
announcing on Twitter @LizardMafia to imply that it caused the
outage of popular social networks.
More than 1.35 billion people use Facebook and more than 300
million use Instagram, including 32 million Thais and 2 million
Thai users respectively. (MCOT online news)
Chronic disease could be cause of British tourist death: Forensics Test
BANGKOK, Jan 27 -- The commander of the Institute of
Forensic Medicine (IFM) said its autopsy found no narcotic substance in
the body of the British tourist found dead on Surat Thani's Ko Tao
She might have died because of her chronic disease and a medicine she
IFM commander Pol Maj Gen Pornchai Suteerakune said officials who
conducted the autopsy did not find any narcotics in the body of
Christina Annesley and her cause of death might have been chronic
disease and her medication.
The 23-year-old tourist was found dead in her hotel room on Ko Tao on
Officials will take some time to check medicines in her body. The
examination would be complicated and time-consuming, Maj Gen Pornchai
said. (MCOT online news)
Car ownership tops 154 million in China in 2014
BEIJING, Jan. 27 - China added a record 17 million
new cars on the road in 2014 as car ownership reaches 154 million, said
the Ministry of Public Security on Tuesday.
Strong demand for cars has helped the automobile replace the motorcycle
as the main method of transportation. Cars made up 58.6 percent of total
motor vehicles, a sharp rise from 43.9 percent five years ago.
The number of people obtaining driving licenses also ballooned from 219
million in 2013 to 247 million as of the end of 2014, said the ministry,
adding 29.7 million drivers have fewer than one year's driving
Of the 35 cities which have more than one million cars each, ten have
more than two million cars, including Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzhen,
Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing.
The ministry said the number of passenger cars has reached 117 million,
90 percent of which are private cars. Beijing has the highest private
car penetration, with 63 private cars for every 100 households, while
the average is 25 private cars for every 100 households.
Carmakers have enjoyed strong sales over the years, with more
middle-class customers placing orders for their first cars. But with
frequent traffic jams, it is yet to be seen whether cars can still ride
the booming tide in the years to come. More local governments have begun
to limit car use, among them eight cities have quotas for new car
Property sector to rebound 10% this year
BANGKOK, Jan 26 MCOT Thailand’s property sector which
experienced a bleak performance last year due to domestic political
turbulence is expected to rebound and grow approximately 10 per cent
this year, according toThongma Vijitpongpun, CEO of Pruksa Real Estate.
The property business in Bangkok and surrounding areas is projected to
recover this year with a total value of Bt322.8 billion, up some 10 per
cent from last year.
Positive factors projected to help boost property sector this year are
the increasing confidence of the public in the current caretaker
government, especially on extension of electric mass transit rail
service throughout the metropolitan Bangkok, a plan to construct a
dual-track rail line with China with another agreement to be made soon
with Japan, a development plan to establish special economic border
areas and implementing the ASEAN Community, scheduled at year-end, which
could help boost the homebuyers market.
Lersak Chuladesa, Pruksa vice chairman and executive director, said that
the property sector business should grow well this year with the
improvement of the country's general economy.
Ongoing low-interest rates would help persuade people to buy homes
although their prices are expected to rise 2-5 per cent, said Mr Lersak.
(MCOT online news)
ASEAN promoting collaborative, sustainable tourism
BANGKOK, Jan 26 - ASEAN has announced joint tourism
promotional campaigns to also emphasise sustainability. Nearly 100
million tourists visited the region last year.
Following the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2015, Thailand's Tourism & Sports
Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said that as the ASEAN Community would
take effect late this year, ASEAN worked out a 10-year tourism plan to
be implemented from 2016 to 2025.
The plan will promote inclusive tourism, with all parties receiving good
Incomes will be distributed and sustainable tourism will be guaranteed,
according to the ASEAN plan
Myanmar, forum host, has recently opened to tourists and wants knowhow
on environmental conservation and ecotourism, Ms Kobkarn said.
The minister also said that ASEAN member states welcomed 97 million
tourists last year.
The number grows by 3 per cent annually, and 53 per cent of tourists are
She said that Thailand is attracting quality intra-ASEAN tourists and
would use online media to reach young travelers.
Suwat Sidthilaw, permanent secretary for tourism and sports, said a
secretariat will be established in Indonesia to coordinate ASEAN tourism
promotion and its establishment should be sealed in the next meeting
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) reported that ASEAN teenagers
liked to visit communities and share local activities rather than going
to luxury destinations. (MCOT online news)
Women-only carriages advised in Beijing subway
BEIJING, Jan 27 Political advisors have proposed
setting up women-only carriages on the Beijing subway during rush hour,
though transport authorities say there is no specific plan.
The proposal was put forth by two members of the Beijing Municipal
Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
(CPPCC) at the annual session of the political advisory body, which
concluded on Monday.
"By setting up special carriages, women will be better respected and
protected," said Xiao Mingzheng, a member with the CPPCC Beijing
He said the move will also help reduce sexual harassment to women in
Zhou Zhengyu, director with the Beijing Municipal Commission of
Transport, said there has not been further information about setting up
the women-only carriages, but he said such move will be a "trend" for
public transport development.
"Urban transport should provide diversified services and meet the
differentiated demands of passengers," Zhou said.
Figures show the annual number of subway passengers rocketed by six
times to 3.2 billion from 2003 to 2013 in Beijing. (MCOT Xinhua)
NRC addressing social gaps today
BANGKOK, 27 January 2015 (NNT) Another National
Reform Council (NRC) meeting will be held today to discuss the
restoration of social equality and justice.
The NRC will at the beginning acknowledge the progress made by the draft
charter committee before the members discuss the issues of unfair
treatments in the society and economy as well as long-term solutions to
The draft charter committee will also review sections of the
constitution regarding the power of the government, the impeachment of
political figures, and whether certain organizations should retain its
enormous power to probe the government.
Phu Phabhat Historical Park to be proposed as next world's cultural heritage site.
BANGKOK, 27 January 2015 (NNT) The National Committee
on the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural
Heritage of Thailand is proposing that Phu Phabhat Historical Park be
listed as one of the world’s cultural heritage sites.
According to Culture Minister Veera Rojpotjanarat, the committee has
unanimously agreed that Phu Phabhat Historical Park, located in
Udonthani, should be recognized as a world cultural site.
The committee will submit its proposal to United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on February 20th. The
result will be revealed in June next year.
Another potential site, located in Chiang Mai, will also be submitted to
the World Heritage Center for consideration. However, while the country
is proposing a new site to be registered by the UNESCO, one of its
registered sites--Dong Phayayen-- is at risks of losing its world
heritage title thanks to the ongoing illegal logging of Rosewood trees
and massive constructions of a dam and Highway 304 in the forest
According to National Resource and Environment Minister General Daopong
Rattanasuwan, measures have been taken to prevent forest encroachment.
Thailand is required to report to the UNESCO its progress following
reports of illegal logging and a dam construction in the mountainous
region of Dong Phayayen, said the Minister. He, however, said that he
did not believe it would lose its title.
822 children caught hand-foot-and-mouth disease in just 19 days since start of year
BANGKOK, 27 Jan 2015, (NNT) 822 children have fallen
ill with hand-foot-and-mouth disease in just 19 days since the beginning
of the year, says the Ministry of Public Health.
According to health officials, the figure was not out of the norm for
the cold season, when the disease is easily spread, although it was
significant enough to prompt the Public Health Ministry to warn the
public to exercise caution.
People are urged to wash their hands often and to keep children's toys
and bedrooms clean. Infected children must take leave from school to
avoid spreading the disease. Schools are being asked to send children
with symptoms home.
Health officials said that although easily transmitted,
hand-foot-and-mouth disease generally does not cause severe symptoms in
those infected; patients usually have a hard time eating and swallowing.
Chinese economy not to suffer hard landing: premier
DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 22 - Chinese Premier Li
Keqiang said here Wednesday that the world's second largest economy is
not heading for a hard landing.
As the Chinese economy has entered a state of new normal, the shift of
growth gear from high speed to medium-to-high speed reflects the
profound adjustment of the world economy, and is consistent with the law
of economics, Li said in a keynote speech at the World Economic Forum
(WEF) annual meeting.
In 2015, China plans to withstand downward pressure and continue with
its strategic focus, added the premier.
"We will continue to pursue a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent
monetary policy," Li said. "We will step up anticipatory adjustment and
fine-tuning as well as targeted macro-regulation, in order to stabilize
economic growth, upgrade its structure and achieve better quality and
For the Chinese economy to maintain medium-to-high speed of growth and
achieve medium-to-high level of development, Li said, China must
properly use the hand of the government and the hand of the market, and
give full scope to both the traditional and new engines of growth.
"To foster a new engine of growth," Li said, "we need to encourage mass
entrepreneurship and innovation, and mobilize the wisdom and power of
"To transform the traditional engine of growth, we need to focus on
increasing the supply of public goods and services, and strengthening
the weak link of the economy," the premier said.
China, he added, will continue to promote trade and investment
liberalization and facilitation, and open up its service sector, central
and western regions as well as the capital market wider to the outside
"China will encourage its companies to explore the international market,
and work for common development with other countries through greater
openness towards each other," Li said.
Li arrived here Tuesday for the WEF gathering in this ski resort and a
working visit to Switzerland.
This year's WEF winter meeting, which opened Wednesday, will run till
Saturday under the overarching theme "The New Global Context."
Over 2,500 participants from across the world are expected to attend the
event and exchange views on a wide range of issues, including global
economy, environmental protection and non-conventional security.
S. Korea says no decision yet on Park's visit to Russia in May
SEOUL, Jan. 22 - South Korea's presidential office
said Thursday no decision has been made yet about whether President Park
Geun-hye will visit Moscow in May for a key Russian anniversary.
Park's schedules for May have not been fixed and she has competing
schedules, presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook told reporters.
His comments came a day after Russia's state-run Itar-Tass news agency
reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has accepted an invitation
to visit Moscow to attend a May 9 ceremony marking the 70th anniversary
of the former Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II,
citing Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
"A positive signal has been given," Itar-Tass quoted Lavrov as saying in
a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday. "We have sent several dozen
invitations. About 20 guests have already confirmed their presence, and
we continue to receive responses from other countries."
Russian President Vladimir Putin has also invited Park for the annual
celebration, a move that could set the stage for her possible meeting
with Kim in case the North Korean leader visits Moscow.
Kim has not visited a foreign country since he inherited power upon the
death of his father and long-time leader Kim Jong-il in 2011. (MCOT
Najib arrives in Zurich to attend 45th World Economic Forum
ZURICH (Switzerland) Jan 22 MCOT Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd
Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, arrived here
late Wednesday to attend the 45th World Economic Forum (WEF) which
begins today until Jan 24.
Najib, who arrived at 10.10 pm (local time) was received at the Zurich
ExecuJet Terminal of the Zurich International Airport by Malaysian
Ambassador to Switzerland Datuk Mohd Zulkephli Mohd Noor and his wife
Datin Anna Amalina Imam Baweh.
Making his second appearance at the WEF as Prime Minister, Najib is
leading the Malaysian delegation to this year's forum, themed "The New
Najib, is expected to deliver a strong message, as well as, lay the
right foundation towards the realisation of the Asean Economic Community
in line with Malaysia's chairmanship of the regional grouping this year.
Encompassing 10 diverse countries, Asean today is home to more than 600
million people with a combined Gross Domestic Product of US$2.4
trillion, making it the seventh largest grouping in the world.
Besides Najib, other head of states or government that have confirmed
their participation include King Abdullah II of Jordan and Italian Prime
Minister Matteo Renzi.
The annual forum will be held in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubunden,
the eastern Alps region of Switzerland, located about two hours drive
It will see the congregation of more than 40 world leaders, as well as,
more than 2,500 participants comprising chief executive officers,
academic scholars, regional experts, policy makers and business leaders
from 140 countries.
Najib is also scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with his Kazakhstan
counterpart Karim Massimov, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and
Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
He will also hold talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry.
The WEF, which is a Swiss non-profit foundation based in Cologny,
Geneva, is an independent international organisation committed in
bringing business, political, academic and other leaders to improve the
state of the world. (BERNAMA)
NBTC: All prepaid number users must register their SIM cards before August
BANGKOK, 22 Jan 2015, (NNT) The National Broadcasting
and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) yesterday announced that all
prepaid Subscriber Identity Module or SIM cards must be registered by
July 31st. Failure to do so will result in the termination of services.
The announcement was made after a meeting held yesterday between the
NBTC and the country's 5 mobile phone service providers: Advanced Info
Service, DTAC, True Move, TOT and CAT Telecom.
According to the NBTC, a public hearing will be organized to gauge the
people’s reaction; however, the agency expects the regulation to take
effect within 6 months.
According to NBTC Secretary-General, Thakorn Tantasit, the objective is
to protect the public from various scams given swindlers using
unregistered SIM cards are virtually impossible to be tracked down.
Another major reason is national security, referring to the cases of
perpetrators of violence using unregistered SIM cards for illegal
To register their SIM cards, the owners must bring their identification
cards to their respective service providers, the Secretary-General said,
adding that the NBTC would later add Krung Thai Bank and the outlets of
giant convenient store chain 7-Eleven to the list of registration
Unregistered SIM cards will no longer function after July 31st.
Currently, there are 90 million active SIM cards in use, with only a
fraction of them-- 1.6 million-- registered.
Water management plan to be proposed to Cabinet next month
BANGKOK, 22 January 2015 (NNT) The water management
policy committee is planning to propose to the cabinet its comprehensive
water management blueprint in February.
Commerce Minister General Chatchai Sarikalya, who chairs the committee,
said his team is still reviewing the strategy to assure its efficiency.
The 10 year management plan is expected to cost the government 1
trillion baht. It will be implemented in 3 different stages.
Under the first urgent phase, from 2015-2016, measures will be taken to
maintain water supplies throughout the country and prevent repetitions
of flooding disasters.
Around 240 billion baht would be needed to achieve these goals. Laws
regarding water resources will also be legislated during the same
In the second and third phases, the committee will proceed with the
construction of medium and large-scale reservoirs. The projects will be
preceded by public hearings and studies on environment impacts.
Govt. set to move beggars from streets on sustainable basis
BANGKOK, 22 Jan 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Social
Development and Human Security (MSDHS) will lead a campaign to address
the ongoing beggar issue on a sustainable basis, with a major clean-up
operation to be organized from January 26th -30th.
Minister of Social Development and Human Security Police General Adul
Sangsingkeaw said that the beggar issue has been deep-rooted in the Thai
society and fallen prey to the human trafficking ring. He said one
particular method favored by the traffickers is to use children to reel
in crowds, living off of human kindness.
He said 3 major policies will be implemented nationwide -- law
enforcement, protection to victims of human trafficking, and to develop
a network against human trafficking.
The Police General clarified that the law enforcement involves amending
the beggar related laws, handing out punishments to human traffickers
and professional beggars and drawing up an official record of beggars.
He said the truly destitute would receive assistance in the form of
general welfare, rehabilitation and occupational training.
Severe drought in Khon Kean forces locals to buy water for consumption
KHON KEAN, 22 Jan 2015, (NNT) The locals of Khon
Kean’s Nongrua District have been suffering from severe drought
conditions, forcing them to purchase water for consumption
The 70-rai Nongsala reservoir in Yangkham Sub-district has dried up and
the little water remaining is murky and unsuitable for drinking.
According to the local residents, it has not rained since the beginning
of 2015, resulting in the rapid decline in the water level.
One of the locals said his family has resorted to buying water for daily
use and consumption, as they can no longer rely on the dried-up
The locals urged the Government to help dredging the reservoir, enabling
it to hold enough water for the consumption of 500 households that in
PM opens 14th TELMIN conference this morning
BANGKOK, 22 January 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha officially opened the 14th Meeting of the ASEAN
Telecommunications and IT Ministers (TELMIN) at Shangri La Hotel this
Prior to the conference, the Prime Minister received ASEAN IT ministers
at the reception room of the hotel where they greeted each other.
General Prayut was also scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the
TELMIN opening ceremony.
The 14th TELMIN conference sees ASEAN governments and private sectors
working together to improve regional information technology and
communication as one community.
Thailand launches Smart Job Centre
BANGKOK, Jan 19 - Thailand has officially launched
its first "Smart Job Centre", aiming at providing better access to jobs
for Thais at home and abroad via up-to-date technology, while targeting
to provide no less than 50,000 jobs to Thai nationals within a year.
The opening ceremony of the Smart Job Centre took place at the Labour
Ministry this morning, and was presided over by Deputy Prime
Minister/Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwon.
The objective of the centre is to mainly provide occupations for
unemployed Thais who are physically disabled or for those looking for a
The centre is specially designed to search for both domestic and
international jobs for Thai citizens using modern technology. The
Ministry of Labour has targeted the establishments of more smart job
centres nationwide. It also believes that such centres would help to
lower the number of unemployed persons within the country.
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary of Labour Nakorn Silpa-archa said the
ministry has targeted that within a year, the centre must be able to
find at least 50,000 jobs for Thais, and that such centres would be
constructed in other large provinces needing large scale labours, such
as Phuket, Khon Kaen, Chaing Mai and Nakhon Ratchasima.
He advised workers to constantly develop their skills, noting that if
anyone is in need of a new job, the centre would be able to provide
assistance. (MCOT online news)
UNHCR urged to help Rohingyas in South of Thailand
NAKHON SI THAMMARAT, 20 January 2015 (NNT) The
Muslims for Peace Foundation is planning to ask the UN Refugee Agency to
help Rohingyas falling prey to human traffickers.
Nakhon Si Thammarat residents in Hua Sai district have donated their
money to help Rohingyas. The proceeds collected at a Muslim mosque will
be given to a human rights center.
95 Rohingya refugees were intercepted on January 11th in Hua Sai
district. They were reportedly crammed in trucks when they were found.
Two drivers were charged with human trafficking.
The Foundation will be submitting a letter to the Office of the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees asking for international assistance.
Hua Sai Police Chief Police Colonel Prawit Chantabut said the
investigation would be concluded quickly before they are sent to the
care of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.
No American apples with deadly bacteria found in Bangkok
BANGKOK, 20 January 2015 (NNT) The National Bureau of
Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards (ACFS) says no imported apples
distributed by American companies are found contaminated in Thailand.
The ACFS has taken samples of American apples, especially the suspected
Gala and Granny Smith varieties from stores in Bangkok and its vicinity.
Results show no Bidart Bros apples have been imported into Thailand. The
ACFS affirms that imported apples are usually tested for Listeria to
assure safety for consumers before they are delivered to supermarkets.
Moreover, the ACFS has instructed Modern Trade Supermarket to examine
its apple stock and immediately return them if any of them belong to
The action followed reports of bacteria outbreak in caramel apples
distributed by Bidart Bros in the U.S. two weeks ago. The bacteria,
known as Listeria, can cause life threatening illness.
The U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention claimed at least 7
people killed by Listeria. The bacteria were reportedly found at the
company’s facility in California. America is recalling Granny Smith and
Gala apples following the discovery.
Lamphun sets up learning center discouraging the ‘slash and burn’ practice
LAMPHUN, 20 Jan 2015, (NNT) The Department of
Environmental Quality Promotion (DEQP) has established a learning center
in Baanpuang Sub-district of Tunghuachang District in Lamphun Province,
aimed at discouraging the ‘slash and burn’ agricultural technique.
Deputy Director General of the Department, Sakol Thinakul, presided over
the opening ceremony of the center, handing out an education fund of
20,000 baht on behalf of the center to the locals.
According to DEQP officials, the slash and burn practice triggers smog
and bush fires, which are persistent issues every season in the North.
The practice produces dust smaller than 10 micron, which is harmful to
those inhaling it, adding that the issue has greatly affected the local
The department and related agencies thus decided to establish learning
centers in 5 different locations in the North, with an aim to inform the
residents of the adverse effect of the slash and burn technique, and to
teach them a better method to prepare their farmland for the next
planting season. These centers are located in Lamphun, Lampang, Phayao
Malaysia set to offer more opportunities at 45th World Economic Forum
DAVOS (Switzerland), Jan 20 "More Opportunities".
That is what Malaysia is set to offer at the upcoming World Economic
Forum (WEF), which starts tomorrow until Jan 24.
Whether it is business opportunities or ease of doing business in
Malaysia, there are plenty to offer on the table amid concerns by
economists around the world of a very challenging first half, this year.
All preparations to hold the 45th annual forum at the world's famous ski
resort of Davos-Klosters in Switzerland are in place despite the
shivering cold weather.
With this year's forum themed, "The New Global Context", more than 40
head of states and government, together with 2,500 business leaders,
will convene for five days here to discuss current global economic
landscapes and strategies, moving forward.
Eye-catching banners reading "Malaysia Doing Business. Building
Friendships" and "More Opportunities", placed at strategic locations
around the Panorama Hotel, can be spotted from afar together with
banners of other delegations, welcoming participants to the WEF who have
started to swarm the "little town" of Davos for several days now.
Among world leaders who are expected to attend the forum include Chinese
Premier Li Keqiang, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkish Prime
Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, French
President Francois Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and
South African President Jacob Zuma.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will lead the Malaysian
delegation accompanied by the Minister of International Trade and
Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Minister in the Prime Minister's
Department Datuk Seri Wahid Omar.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, is expected to arrive here on
Wednesday (Jan 21).
The annual WEF, which also serves as a platform in promoting
public-private cooperation, will, this year, look at ten specific global
challenges that is affecting the economy across the globe and ways to
overcome the adverse impact and risks to the local economy, as a whole.
Bangkok Express Service open for busy people in need of civil registration
BANGKOK, 19 January 2015 (NNT) - The Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has opened a Bangkok Express Service
office as an alternative for busy people who need civil registration
According to the BMA, the new service has recently been opened at Seacon
Bang Khae in an effort to provide easier access to various registration
The BMA also plans to open 5 more places to cater to the city
lifestyles. Many Bangkok residents are either often caught up at work or
live too far from the district office to bother.
Bangkok Governor M.R. Sukhumband Paribatra said the service expansion is
among many goals that the BMA wants to achieve for Bangkok residents.
Five other places will be located at Fashion Island, Tang Hua Seng
department store, The Mall Bangkhae and Udonsuk BTS station. The Bangkok
Express Service offices are open every day from 10.00 hrs – 19.00 hrs.
Colder weather forecast in upper Thailand
BANGKOK, 19 January 2015 (NNT)-The Meteorological
Department has said the temperature will drop 1-2 degree Celsius further
in upper Thailand as the high pressure system from China is spreading
across the region.
People in the North and North East are told to brace for strong winds
during this time. The temperature could plunge to 5-7 degree Celsius on
the mountain tops in these regions.
It will remain cold in the Central Plain and the East tomorrow as the
temperature has been forecast to drop to as low as 15 degree Celsius in
the morning. In Bangkok, the morning temperature range will be 18-21
The monsoon remains strong in the Gulf of Thailand and sea conditions
are not ideal for fishing. Scattered showers are expected in Nakhon Sri
Thammarat and provinces below.
The tropical storm Mekhala, which has already weakened into a tropical
depression, is posing no threat to Thailand. Those traveling to the
Philippines are advised to consult the weather forecast first.
CDC: charter drafting is going in right direction
SUPHANBURI, 19 Jan 2015, (NNT) - The ongoing
constitution-drafting process is going in the right direction, says
Constitution Drafting Committee’s Sub-committee on the Public Hearing
Chief, Tawilwadee Burikun.
The comment came after a public hearing on the constitution drafting,
held in Suphanburi Province at Songphanburi Hotel.
According to her, all suggestions made during the hearing have been
recorded and will be forwarded to the Constitution Drafting Committee
She also said this seminar has made her realize that the
charter-drafting process is going in the right direction, as it
coincides with the residents’ suggestions.
During the meeting, residents suggested that the new charter include the
vetting of MP candidate qualifications in order to prevent them from
lining their pockets through political means. They also suggested that
information pertaining to all and any procurement be opened for public
scrutiny. Other opinions included instilling the sense of moral values
into people, and actually punishing all wrongdoers.
Easier access to Watch Dog Organizations requested in new constitution
TRAT, 18 January 2015 (NNT) - "The new constitution
should make it easier for the public to access the five "Watch Dog
Organizations" in order to enhance their participation in Thailand's
system of checks and balances", several officials related to the
constitutional drafting process said.
The consensus was reached at an academic seminar on “The Roles of Watch
Dog Organizations in the New Constitution” which was participated by
previous and current members of the Office of Ombudsman Thailand, as
well as members of the National Legislative Assembly.
Surachai Liengboonlertchai, First Vice-President of the National
Legislative Assembly, said that the watch dog organizations should play
both active and passive roles. While they are waiting for any complaints
to come up, they should take progressive action by studying public
complaints made through the media. Working in such a parallel manner, he
said the control of malpractice in the government sector would be
The Office of the Ombudsman Thailand is one of the five watch dogs under
the constitution. Prof. Siracha Vongs-arayankura, as an ombudsman,
stressed that even though members of the watch dogs are selected with a
very high standard of ethics, they should be subjected to impeachment by
the new constitution.
Meanwhile, Pichet Sunthornpipit, a former Ombudsman, said that the
ombudsman should have more power to prosecute government agencies if
they fail to follow the ombudsman’s suggestions within designated
timeframe. The new constitution is expected to change the ombudsman from
being just a paper tiger to a powerful mechanism with a tight grip on
China launches tourist tax refund scheme
BEIJING, Jan 17 - Overseas visitors can now claim tax
refunds on purchases across China, the Ministry of Finance (MOF)
announced on Friday, to boost inbound trips and domestic consumption.
According to the plan, foreign tourist and those from China's Hong Kong,
Macao and Taiwan who have lived in the Chinese mainland for no more than
183 days -- can receive a rebate of 11 percent on consumer goods
purchased at designated department stores.
The minimum purchase for a tax refund is 500 yuan (about 82 U.S.
dollars) at any one store in one day.
The rebate covers everything apart from items prohibited from taking
overseas in accordance with law.
The refund will be paid in renminbi in cash or transferred to the
buyer's bank account.
The State Administration of Taxation and the General Administration of
Customs will release detailed measures to regulate the scheme.
China started a pilot tax refund program in south island province of
Hainan on Jan.1, 2011. The minimum purchase was 800 yuan and the program
covered only 324 items.
"The expansion of the program will spur inbound trips and boost the
export of China-made commodities," said Liu Shangxi, a senior researcher
with the MOF.
The increasingly well-off Chinese like to spend big on shopping when
traveling overseas. But foreign visitors appear to have less appetite
for Chinese products.
The National Tourism Administration predicted that some 128 million
trips will be made to China in 2015.
"The rebate scheme will encourage shopping, especially for expensive
items," said Yang Zhiyong, a finance researcher with the Chinese Academy
of Social Sciences.
Korean Air suffers drop in domestic passengers following nut rage incident
SEOUL, Jan 17 - The number of passengers using Korean
Air Line Co., South Korea's top flag carrier, dropped in December
apparently affected by the so-called "nut rage" that has tarnished its
image among travelers, industry data showed Saturday.
Cho Hyun-ah, the eldest daughter of Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho,
resigned as a vice president for cabin service four days after a
national uproar over her conduct aboard a Seoul-bound Korean Air flight
from New York on Dec. 5.
The plane had already been taxiing when she ordered the chief flight
attendant to deplane over the way she was served macadamia nuts -- in an
unopened pack instead of on a plate. She was indicted for jeopardizing
flight safety and the incident has tarnished the airline company's brand
image significantly, with some customers boycotting its service.
According to the data provided by Incheon International Airport Corp.
and Korea Airports Corp., Korean Air transported a total of 482,000
passengers through its domestic lines last month, down 6.6 percent from
a year earlier.
The decline contrasted with a 13.2 percent hike for its smaller rival
Asiana Airlines Inc., which flew 358,000 customers last month. The gap
between the two largest airlines in terms of passengers narrowed from
158,000 to 76,000 over the past one year.
This also comes despite an 11.5 percent on-year increase in the total
number of passengers using domestic flights provided by seven carriers.
Industry experts attribute the lackluster results of Korean Air to
customers' avoidance of its service in the wake of the incident.
"It seems that there are not a few passengers opting for other airline
services following the incident, given that there are many options
available when it comes to domestic flights," an industry expert said.
Korean Air also underperformed next to other airliners on international
The company transported a total of 1.38 million passengers through its
international flight services last month, up 2.5 percent from a year
earlier. This is lower than the industry-wide 9.2 percent hike in the
number of passengers traveling overseas, the data showed.
In particular, Asiana Airlines seems to be basking in its rival's
setback with the number of international passengers using its flights
growing 9 percent. Low-cost carriers also saw their international
passengers jump across the board.
Korean Air said that there is no marked change in its booking ratio and
that there is no relations between the number of passengers and the
incident since most of tickets were booked months earlier. It expects
that bookings for February and March are about 5 percent higher than
Number of flood victims in Perak rises, Kelantan remains unchanged
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 MCOT The number of flood victims
in Perak as at 8 am today showed a slight increase from last night while
in Kelantan it remained the same as reported last night.
The number of evacuees in Perak rose to 867 compared to 817 last night
while there are 520 in Kelantan.
Overall the number has increased to 1,387 flood victims from 1,337 last
In PERAK, state National Security Council (MKN) chairman said Perak
Tengah recorded 689 evacuees, Hilir Perak (144) and Hulu Perak (34).
Eight relief centres are opened in the three districts to house 238
In KELANTAN, a spokesman from the Kelantan MKN said as at 8 am, 490
victims involving 109 families were still placed at 12 relief centres in
In Machang, 30 individuals from eight families are still at the relief
centre in Sekolah Kebangsaan Temangan.
Although the flood waters have receded, the victims still remained in
the releif centre as they had lost their homes due floods last month.
The government is the midst of building temporary dwellings for them.
Meanwhile sunny weather in Kelantan is reported this morning.
Uthai Thani declares winter-stricken Ban Rai district disaster area
UTHAI THANI, 17 Jan 2015 (NNT) Uthai Thani province has declared
winter-stricken Ban Rai district a disaster zone after the temperature
there has dropped below 15 degrees Celsius for more than three
The chilly weather in Ban Rai district has reportedly affected more than
63,000 people in 136 villages. The province is paying special attention
to children, the handicapped, the elderly and the underprivileged.
According to Deputy Governor of Uthai Thani Wisit Kuratanavej, the
private sector earlier donated winter garments to affected people in Ban
Rai district. Despite the donations, there are still a large number of
people who are in need of help.
Ban Rai district is prone to chilly weather due to its mountainous
Thailand and Laos conduct Special Meeting on Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation in Bangkok
BANGKOK, 15 January 2015 (NNT) Delegations from the
Lao People's Democratic Republic and from the Ministry of Science and
Technology of Thailand today conducted a Special Meeting on Science,
Technology and Innovation Cooperation, at Pathumwan Princess Hotel,
The meeting was held to continue discussing the status and progress of
bilateral cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation in 14
fields, which are Biotechnology and Biodiversity, Renewable Energy,
Electronics and Computer Technology, Astronomy, Synchrotron Technology,
Space Technology, Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems,
Meteorology and Standardization, Raising Awareness about Science,
Innovation Promotion for SMEs, Science Parks, Water Resources
Management, Nuclear and Radiation Safety, Botanical Gardens Development
and Technology for the Community.
These are ongoing topics from the Meeting of Thai and Laos Seniors
Officers held on 27th September 2014.
Besides the discussion on the appointment of a Joint Committee, as
suggested by the Lao counterpart, to follow the progress of issues
continued from the 6th Ministerial Conference on Cooperation in Science
and Technology between Thailand and the LPDR, which was held in
Vientiane in Laos.
The two parties also discussed holding meetings of the Joint Committee
annually, while the Ministerial Conference might be conducted every two
years to acknowledge the progress of the scheme and to exchange policy
CDC: Press media have freedom of information distribution
BANGKOK, 15 January 2015 (NNT) The Constitutional
Drafting Committee has agreed that the media should have freedom to
share and distribute information under the new charter.
CDC spokesman Gen. Lertrat Ratanavanich said that the charter drafters
on Thursday discussed the part of the draft charter related to the
rights and liberty of the people.
He said that details discussed were the rights of the people to equally
have convenient access to the justice system and the rights of each
family to receive protection and assistance from the government.
Concerning freedom of the press, Gen. Lertrat said that the CDC agreed
to add a clause that enables members of the press to have more freedom
in order to allow the public to receive more correct information and
He added that the draft Constitution also forbids any attempt to shut
down or gag any media unless it is the matter of national security or a
required attempt to keep order or prevent hatred, which may lead to
conflict and hostility in the country.
Government plans merit agreements to tackle corruption in its procurement projects
BANGKOK, Jan 14- The government initiates
"honesty pledges" in an attempt to stop
corruption in government procurement projects
and will start implementing them in the large
scale bus and mass transit train projects.
Deputy Prime Minister Wisanu Krea-ngam said the
government committee monitoring corruption
suppression chaired by Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha resolved today that the so-called
honesty, merit or virtue agreements would be
attached to major government procurement
Under such agreements, government
representatives, operators and outsiders
certified by the committee will monitor project
implementation and stop it when seeing any
The committee resolved to initially apply this
to the procurement of natural gas-fueled buses
and the Blue Line electrified railway that are
major government projects. A number of persons
have been selected to monitor the
implementation. The result and the resolution
will be proposed to the cabinet next week, he
If the monitoring committee finds corruption, it
must report that to the Public Sector
Anti-Corruption Commission, the National
Anti-Corruption Commission, the Ministry of
Justice and the Royal Thai Police Office for
further investigation and prosecution. The
accused can defend themselves with information
during the process as the prime minister
stressed that investigation into corruption must
be done by law and with transparency and
fairness, Mr Wisanu said.
He added that the committee monitoring
corruption suppression would have the
Damrongtham centres open special channels to
receive corruption complaints in particular and
they were ready to receive complaints from any
foreigners who consider themselves as being
unfairly treated or extorted. (MCOT online news)
Korean alleged kidnapper arrested for preying on compatriots
BANGKOK, Jan 14 - Police arrested a suspected Korean
kidnapper who made compatriots his victims and sought a warrant for the
arrest of another suspect while the man being held denied charges.
Assistant police chief Pol Lt Gen Prawuth Thawornsiri said police
arrested Kim Seung-cheul, 44, allegedly for extortion, detention and
theft, together with Zhou Chung-chul and about 10 other men claiming to
be police officers.
They are suspected of abducting three Koreans for a ransom.
At first the group led by Zhou broke into a room of the victims on Pridi
Phanomyong 14 Road, claiming victims had done wrong and brought them to
a place that looked like a police office.
Then Kim told the victims to give Bt2 milloin in exchange for their
freedom and escape from prosecution. Afterwards the victims were kept in
a room. They transferred Bt210,000 to the kidnappers who also took
Bt500,000 from their room.
Mr Kim denied the charges. He said he knew Zhou and was only asked to
assist in a process to bail out Koreans at a police station.
He said he knew nothing about any abduction for a ransom.
Police sought a warrant for the arrest of Mr Zhou but found no evidence
that the suspect had left the country.
Pol Lt Gen Prawuth said some police inspectors of Metropolitan Police
Division 5 were involved by arresting three Koreans but Mr Kim later
showed up to extort money. (MCOT online news)
Modernine TV receives Forest Protection Award
BANGKOK, Jan 14 -Modernine TV, a major arm of MCOT
Public Company Limited (MCOT), an established Thai media firm running
Thai News Agency (TNA) and Modern Radio Networks as well, has received
the Forest Protection Award from the Thai Ministry of National Resources
and Environment for its continuing news presentations on the
conservation of forests and related issues.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Gen Dapong Ratanasuwan
presented the award to Modernine TV on January 14 to mark National
Forest Protection Day 2015.
Gen Dapong said at the presentation ceremony that a close watch is
needed for Thailand's forest situation, as illegal logging has been
reported from time to time.
Gen Dapong urged all parties, including concerned agencies and local
residents, to join together to address the problem and to protect the
remaining Thai forest areas of over 102 million rais (2.5 rais=1 acre),
accounting for about 32 per cent of the country's overall area, and to
even increase the national forest areas in the future. (MCOT online
750 websites shut down amid piracy crackdown
BEIJING, Jan 15
shut down 750
launched in June
of which 66 have
been sent to
U.S. dollars) in
the country's 20
AirAsia lauds Basarnas' performance for retrieving cockpit voice recorder
Surabaya, E Java, Jan 15- AirAsia Indonesia has
commended the performance of the National Search
and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) of the Republic of
Indonesia for successfully locating and
retrieving AirAsia flight QZ8501s cockpit voice
"The CVR was located at a distance of
approximately 20 meters from the point where the
flight data recorder (FDR) was discovered,"
President Director of AirAsia Indonesia Sunu
Widyatmoko stated here on Wednesday.
Sunu remarked that based on the results of
Basarnas operations, the FDR and CVR have been
successfully recovered. Both black boxes have
been sent to Jakarta for being analyzed by the
National Transportation Safety Commission
"In the meantime, yesterday (January 13),
Basarnas Chief Bambang Soelistyo visited the
crisis center at the East Java Police
Headquarters," he stated.
Sunu explained that the Basarnas chief had
discussed about these activities with the
families of QZ8501s passengers and employees.
The Basarnas chief assured that rescue
operations will be continued.
On the other hand, he added that Basarnas has
retrieved as many as 48 bodies of the
passengers. Around 36 bodies have been
identified by the Disaster Victim Identification
"In addition, 12 other bodies are in the process
of identification," he stated.
"Through this opportunity, we also advise people
to refer to the information provided officially
by the Basarnas and DVI police about the
progress of the search, evacuation, and
passenger identification," he noted.
Earlier, on Tuesday, the DVI team of the East
Java Police identified two more bodies of the
passengers of AirAsia flight QZ8501 that crashed
near Pangkalan Bun waters, Central Kalimantan
province, seventeen days ago.
The bodies have been identified as Oscar Desano
(27), a male resident of Jakarta, and Yuni
Astutik (40), a woman from Blitar District of
East Java province.
"The body labeled B024 has been identified as
that of Oscar Desano with the help of the
primary identification data that matched his DNA
with those of his parents," Head of the East
Java Police DVI Team Senior Commissioner
Budiyono noted here at the crisis center of the
Police Headquarters on Ahmad Yani Street, on
The identification team also used evidence such
as teeth to identify Oscar, who was one of the
crew members aboard the ill-fated aircraft.
The second body, labeled "B039", has been
identified as Yuni Astutik using primary data
such as matching her DNA with that of her
"Her identification has been confirmed with the
help of secondary data such as gender, age, and
height," Budiyono noted, adding that CCTV
footage and a description of her attire also
On the seventeenth day since the aircrafts
crash, 36 bodies have been identified, while 12
are being examined by the DVI team.
Teachers in Thailand’s South demand educational reform
BANGKOK, 15 January 2015 (NNT) Teachers in the
restive South are calling for an educational
reform, which is hoped to help restore peace and
prevent violence in the 3 southern border
Mr Boonsom Tongsriprai, Chairman of the Southern
Teachers Federation, yesterday handed a petition
to the second vice president of the National
Reform Council (NRC), Dr Tassana Boonton,
requesting that the NRC promptly push for
educational reform in southern provinces, given
that better education would help bring peace and
unity among the residents, and is believed to
help resolve and prevent violent acts taking
place in the area.
According to Mr Boonsom, a large number of
people have been affected by the unrest during
the past decade, with educators being the group
targeted the most, adding that many teachers
have lost their lives while those still alive
have to live in fear.
The federation has also called for educational
equality, saying every individual must have
equal access to education and that the
curriculum offered in the Deep South must meet
the same requirements as those offered in other
Furthermore, teachers in the South should also
be entitled to welfare, benefits, and other
privileges, all of which can encourage them to
carry on their daily routines educating and
fostering the youngsters, he said.
In reply, the second NRC vice president said the
reform body emphasizes the significance of
welfare and more importantly the safety of the
teachers working in the South, promising the
teachers that the petition will be forwarded to
the NRC meeting for consideration as soon as
Disease Control Department: It is safe to eat cooked chicken, after bacteria found in blood
BANGKOK, 15 January 2015 (NNT) The Department of
Disease Control has assured that people can
still eat Kao Man Kai, following reports of
bacteria found in chicken blood.
According to the Department, the bacteria, known
to scientists as Vibrio Parahaemolyticus, can be
killed at high temperatures.
The bacteria were found last week in chicken
blood used in making blood jelly. The jelly is
often served with rice and boiled chicken meat.
Known as 'Kao Man Kai' the dish is one of the
most popular dishes in Thailand.
The Department has reiterated that it is
perfectly safe to eat the dish as long as the
chicken is well cooked. The bacteria are only
found in the bird’s blood. However, consumers
are advised not to eat the blood jelly that has
not been cooked properly.
The blood should be cooked at 75 degrees Celsius
for 15 minutes. Butchers must also follow the
hygiene standards of practice when butchering
chickens. The meat should be prepared on a clean
surface where there is no blood.
The bacteria are usually found in half-cooked
seafood. It is the first time in the world that
they have been discovered in chicken.
Pattaya beach on the first day of the no bed beach program
PATTAYA, 14 January 2015 (NNT) The beach resort town of Pattaya
implemented its clean beach day program on January 14.
Previously, Chonburi Governor Komson Akachai had ordered a
reorganization of beach vendor operations on the the
umbrella-dotted Pattaya and Jomtien beaches, following the
initiative of the National Council for Peace and Order to clean
up famous beaches across the country to attract tourists.
Governor Komsan also launched a permanent policy that now bans
beach bed vendors on Pattaya beach every Wednesday. The program
started on January 14 and the deputy governor Chavalit
Saeng-uthai led the local media to observe the change.
A large number of local residents and foreign tourists expressed
their satisfaction with the policy because the beach again
looked clean and beautiful, just as it was before the beach bed
sections began to flourish decades ago.
Phuket steps up human trafficking eradication measures
PHUKET, 15 Jan 2015, (NNT) The Province of Phuket has vowed to
step up its human trafficking prevention measures in the local
The resolution came during the meeting of the provincial
administration, the labor office, and the marine office, as well
as other related units.
According to Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong, since the
province hosts a large number of foreign labors, it has to
regulate its labor hiring process in compliance with the law,
adding that human trafficking may stem from the high demand of
workers in the fishery industry.
The Governor has called for the setting up of a committee to be
tasked inspecting businesses that harbor illegal foreign labors
in order to eliminate the province's notorious human trafficking
and drugs activities. The committee is also to keep track of
foreign labors and monitor their population.
The committee will work closely with other related government
agencies; businesses in each districts that employ foreign
workers will be subjected to a monthly inspection, concluded the