MOPH warns of leptospirosis amid raining season
BANGKOK, 30 July 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Public
Health has warned the general public to be wary of leptospirosis, an
infectious disease that often occurs during the rainy season.
Leptospirosis, also known as field fever, has infected more than 600
people and claimed 10 lives across 55 provinces since January. Provinces
with a high incidence of leptospirosis include Ranong, Sisaket and Phang
Nga. Sixty percent of patients were farmers between the ages of 44 and
The fatal disease is caused by the Leptospira bacteria, which can be
found in fresh water bodies tainted by animal urine. Its symptoms
include dry cough, fever, headache, muscle pain, nausea and diarrhea.
Those who have developed these symptoms after having come into contact
with contaminated water must seek immediate medical attention.
People can prevent leptospirosis by avoiding stagnant water or wading
through mud without rubber boots. Those who have come into contact with
unsanitary water sources must wash their skin and any open wounds
Bueng Kan facing floods after incessant rains
BUENG KAN, 30 July 2015 (NNT) Continuous downpours
have resulted in flooding in some areas of the northeastern province of
Bueng Kan, prompting authorities to provide urgent help for local
In the wake of torrential rains which have continued in Bueng Kan for
three weeks, Ban Na Kham Village in So Phisai district has been flooded
with 1.2 meters of water while Moo 1 and Moo 2 Villages in Mueang
district are also affected by overflows from canals.
So far, 25 homes and three fish farms have been damaged by the
floodwater. The road linking Ban Pong Pueai Village and Ban Na Waeng
Village is now submerged under one-meter-deep water. Residents are
unable to travel in small vehicles and have to rely on military trucks
in their daily commute.
However, the overall damage is still considered minimal as Mueang
District Chief Adithep Kamolvej previously instructed officials to help
villagers move their belongings to safe places in anticipation of a
flood disaster. A special task force set up by the local administrative
organization is also providing assistance for flood victims in the area.
Workers from Myanmar, Laos & Cambodia allowed to be ship technicians
BANGKOK, 30 July 2015 (NNT) The Department of
Employment (DOE) will allow foreign ship workers to apply as
technicians, in a move to deal labor shortages in the fishing industry.
According to DOE Director-General Sumet Mahosot, the new policy applies
to workers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia who have already obtained
Employees who have acquired ship technician certificates issued by the
government can apply for the position change via the Department
Employment. The processing fee is 1,100 baht.
The processing fee is 3,100 baht for foreign workers who have completed
their nationality verification or those contracted under a memorandum of
However, ship workers holding pink one-year work permits are still
unable to upgrade their jobs, pending an executive order from the PM
Deputy PRD Director-General among 162 Thai Idol awardees
BANGKOK, 30 July 2015 (NNT) The Deputy
Director-General of the Public Relations Department (PRD) has been has
won a Thai Idol award.
The Broadcaster and Journalist's Assembly of Thailand and other related
agencies have conferred a Thai Idol Award on PRD Deputy Director-General
Charoon Chaiyasorn. He is among 162 individuals across the country that
were handpicked by the assembly’s committee. MR Somlabh Kitiyakara,
Secretary to HRH Princess Soamsawali, presided over the award ceremony.
The Thai Idol Award, otherwise known as the Golden Swan, is an accolade
aimed at recognizing individuals from different occupations whose
achievements are both remarkable and inspirational. The award is part of
the Goodness Idol Project meant to laud those who are determined to
create a better society.
More Thai antiques to be sent back from the U.S.
BANGKOK, 30 July 2015 (NNT) Culture Minister Weera
Rojpotchanarat has disclosed, following a courtesy call from the US
charge d' affaires Patrick Murphy, that the U.S. is to return more Thai
antiques located in the US.
Last year, the U.S. returned 554 Thai antique pieces to their homeland.
Most of the ancient items were originally discovered at Ban Chiang
Archaeological Site located in the northeastern province of Udon Thani.
The courtesy call was arranged for Thailand and the U.S. to discuss
further cooperation in cultural exchanges. The Culture Ministry’s Weera
also sought U.S. support for the creative industry, in particular films
and animation production, as the Western country excels in the field and
has advanced entertainment technology.
The Thai government wishes to enhance the friendship between the people
of the two countries, said Mr.Weera. It plans to use Thai societies in
the U.S. as a center for cultural promotion and exchange with Americans,
and hopes the U.S. will support their activities.
Mr.Weera also expressed his thanks to the U.S., on behalf of the Thai
government, for financial support for the reconstruction of
Chaiwatthanaram Temple, an important ancient heritage site of Thailand,
threatened by flooding in 2011.
Residents along Mekong River warned of bank erosion
MUKDAHAN, 30 July 2015 (NNT) The Governor of Mukdahan
province has issued a warning to residents along the Mekong River to
beware of bank erosion as a result of the rising water.
Run-off caused by continued cloudbursts has brought muddy water from
local streams and wood scraps into the Mekong River. Passengers
traveling between Thailand and Laos by boat are advised to exercise
caution and wear life jackets at all times.
Meanwhile, residents and fishermen along the Mekong River were warned to
be on the alert for soil collapse. The provincial Disaster Prevention
and Mitigation office is prepared to deal with any emergency situation.
The Meteorological Department says the Northeastern region will continue
to experience isolated thundershowers until next week.
Police to impose Article 44 on motorcycle gangs
BANGKOK, 30 July 2015 (NNT) Police are preparing to
apply Article 44 to the campaign aimed at suppressing motorcycle gang
activities and social vices.
Royal Thai Police Spokesperson, Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri has
disclosed that the ban on alcohol sales within a 300-meter radius of
schools will come into effect within six months. Meanwhile, authorities
will also keep a close watch on motorcycle outlets to curtail sales of
certain bike accessories.
Pol Lt Gen Prawut explained the move was to prevent teenagers from
consuming alcohol, which often leads to a drunken brawl and to stop
motorcycle gangs from causing a public nuisance. The campaign came about
after a recent meeting during which the Ministry of Justice asked
related agencies to apply Article 44 to their efforts to curb trouble
Article 44 empowers the National Council for Peace and Order's (NCPO)
leader, to issue any order to deal with any act deemed harmful to social
order or security.
The Royal Thai Police Spokesperson, however, told concerned business
operators not to overly panic. He explained that the zoning of liquor
shops has yet to begin. Meanwhile, the use of Article 44 will cover only
bike shops that sell accessories intended for illegal street racing.
Government thanks retail stores for maintaining prices of goods
BANGKOK, 30 July 2015 (NNT) The Thai government has
expressed its gratitude toward store owners for keeping prices of every
item at an affordable level until November this year.
Deputy Spokesperson to the Prime Minister’s Office, Major General
Sansern Keawkamnerd has revealed that the Ministry of Commerce has
received cooperation from 205 retail stores across Thailand in not
raising the prices of household goods and fresh food before November.
Many food vendors have also been asked to sell at least one ready to eat
meal at a maximum price of 25 baht until September this year.
The Deputy Spokesperson said this is to help shoulder the cost of living
for Thai people. He also added that stable fuel prices at present would
continue to help keep commodity prices at a reasonable level.
Pathum Thani and Yasothon hold activities welcoming Buddhist Lentt
PATHUM THANI, 30 July 2015 (NNT) Pathum Thani and
Yasothon are both holding their activities welcoming the Buddhist Lent
and at the same time promoting the anti-drinking and gambling campaigns
during the 3-month Lent period.
A parade promoting the anti-drinking campaign was held in Pathum Thani
yesterday at the provincial hospital. Later in the day residents
gathered to pledge an oath of not drinking alcohol and strictly
maintaining the five precepts of Buddhism during the Buddhist Lent
The event also offered a free counseling service for those who wish to
quit drinking, and many other entertainment activities.
Meanwhile, residents, government officials and private sector units in
Yasothon yesterday held a mock ceremony incinerating a giant cigarette
and a deck of playing cards, symbolically showing their determination to
stop drinking and gambling during the period.
The event was a part of the province's anti-alcohol and gambling drive
this year which also promotes the religious teaching and the sufficiency
economy philosophy of His Majesty the King.
ASEAN, UK bolster cooperative relations
UK Prime Minister David Cameron visited the ASEAN Secretariat in
Jakarta, Indonesia on July 27, becoming the first acting British
PM to visit the bloc’s headquarters to cement the economic
relationship between the UK and the dynamic region.
Secretary General Le Luong Minh praised the visit as reflecting
the UK’s commitment and political will to deepening its
relationship with ASEAN.
He said the European country’s interest in strengthening
economic relations with ASEAN is in line with the bloc’s growth
trend of stronger economic integration.
He also highlighted achievements in forming the ASEAN Community
in late 2015 while pointing to arising challenges.
Minh added with combined gross domestic product (GDP) reaching
nearly 2.6 trillion USD in 2014, ASEAN is now the world’s
seventh biggest economy and aims to become the fourth largest in
For his part, the British PM said the UK will intensify its
collaboration with ASEAN in infrastructure development and
electronic commerce. He will also appoint a special commerce
envoy to boost trade relations and investment between ASEAN and
The two sides exchanged regional and international issues
affecting world peace and stability such as nuclear weapons and
the East Sea dispute.
On the occasion, the ASEAN Secretariat held an ASEAN-UK business
forum to increase investment in ASEAN
US Ambassador hails Party leader US visit
The recent visit of Vietnam’s Party leader Nguyen Phu
Trong to the United States marks a significant milestone in the growing
relationship between the two nations, said US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted
At a press briefing on July 28 in Hanoi, the US Ambassador said during
talks in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama and the Vietnamese
Party chief reached agreement on a number of crucial matters.
He highlighted the Vietnam – US comprehensive partnership reached in the
2013 joint statement between the US President and Vietnamese State
President Truong Tan Sang as a sign of the two sides’ respect for one
another’s political systems.
It was also reiterated in the US – Vietnam Joint Vision Statement issued
during the Party chief’s US visit, he said.
Ambassador Osius noted that US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet
his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh and attend a number of
activities in Vietnam in August on the occasion of the 20th anniversary
of establishing bilateral diplomatic ties between the two nations.
He also mentioned the upcoming first visit of a Chief Justice of the
United States Supreme Court to the country.
Osius hailed the importance of people-to-people diplomacy, adding that
the overseas Vietnamese community in the US holds great potential to
contribute to the relationship between Vietnam and the US. He said the
two sides share a wish to promote people-to-people connections between
the two countries.
The ambassador described the agreements signed by the US Trade and
Development Agency and the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam as
an important move.
Direct flight routes between the two nations are important to facilitate
trade, investment and travel exchange, he underscored
Vietnam celebrates 20-year membership with ASEAN
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh
Minh chaired a ceremony to celebrate the 20 th anniversary of Vietnam’s
entry into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on July
28, 1995, and the bloc’s formation 48 years ago on August 8, 1967.
The Deputy PM said the formation of the ASEAN Community at the end of
2015 will have a significant impact on all member states and the region.
He said that based on the pillars of politics, security, economy and
culture, the ASEAN Community would improve the solidarity of the people,
help reduce tension and disputes and build peace, cooperation and
development in the region.
He continued to say that ASEAN, with a population of more than 600
million and the seventh largest GDP in the world, would continue to play
an important part in maintaining peace, stability and prosperity in the
To achieve that goal, every ASEAN member state must strive to overcome
obstacles, seize opportunities and unite.
In addition, ASEAN must take a proactive approach in safeguarding the
region’s peace and security by leading efforts to build trust, share
common standards and code of conduct to prevent conflicts and settle
disputes through peaceful means and in accordance with international
law, he suggested.
The Deputy PM emphasised that over the past two decades, ASEAN has
always been a priority in Vietnam’s foreign policy and international
As an active member, Vietnam has contributed to building an ASEAN of
close connections, solidarity and unity, and making the group play a
central role in the forming regional structure, he added.
He affirmed that the Vietnamese Government and people will continue
their important contributions to the development of the association, for
practical interests of ASEAN people at present and in the future.
Minh stated that he was grateful for the support and friendship of ASEAN
member states and partners in the last 20 years.
At the event, Indonesian Ambassador Mayerfas congratulated Vietnam on
its 20-year ASEAN membership.
Speaking of Vietnam’s friendship and cooperation spirit in ASEAN, the
diplomat confirmed that Indonesia, together with other member states,
will continually collaborate closely and stand side by side with Vietnam
in the time to come.
On this occasion, a set of stamps welcoming the ASEAN Community was
exhibited. This is the first time ASEAN countries issue joint stamps and
postmark. The stamps will be issued on August 8 in Indonesia.
Chiang Mai Zoo congratulates Lin Ping on new born twin baby pandas
CHIANG MAI, 30 July 2015 (NNT) Chiang Mai Zoo is
letting children write congratulatory messages for famous giant panda
‘Lin Ping’ for giving birth to twin baby pandas in China.
Lin Ping is the first panda in Thailand that was born in captivity. Zoo
visitors, including children and tourists, are joining the celebration
held at Chiang Mai Zoo to congratulate Lin Ping on her newborn cubs.
Baskets of food and fruits have been brought for another giant panda
‘Lin Hui’, who is ‘Lin Ping’s mother.
Lin Ping has given birth to twin baby pandas at Ya’an Panda Conservation
Center in China on July 27th. People are able to sign a well-wishing
book, which will be later given to Lin Ping through the Chinese
Consulate in Chiang Mai.
PM instructs officials to employ farmers affected from drought
BANGKOK, 30 July 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister General
Prayut Chan-o-cha has reaffirmed that the program to hire drought
affected farmers to temporarily work with the government will soon kick
off. He said low-interest loans will also be offered to agriculturalists
who are interested in farming perennial vegetables or other
He said that the hiring program would financially help farmers who are
forced to become indebted as their rice farms were hit by the drought.
He added the employment campaign was being accelerated and expected to
start next week.
General Prayut also stressed that several government's relief programs
need inputs from all sides, while asking the public to believe in the
administration's intention to build a strong future for Thailand.
Bike for Mom rehearsal in Bangkok on August 2 to start at 6 AM
BANGKOK, 30 July 2015 (NNT) The major rehearsal for
the Bike for Mom 2015 event in Bangkok on August 2 will start at 6 AM
instead of midday as earlier scheduled. The rehearsal will familiarize
participants with the route before the actual event scheduled for August
The rehearsal is expected to be 6-hour long and will finish at noon. At
7 O'clock, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha will conduct an
inspection of the preparations at the Royal Plaza, before leading an
approximately 1,000 cyclists from the Dusit Palace to the First Infantry
Regiment of the Royal Guards on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road. The Prime
Minister will then switch from the bicycle to an automobile before
continuing his journey on the rest of the route.
Traffic closure around the Royal Plaza will last from 6 AM to 9 AM,
while the Si Ayutthaya Road and the outbound lanes of Vibhavadi Rangsit
Road will be closed from 8 AM to 12 noon. Tollway fee will be waived
during the periods.
Meanwhile, those who plan to collect the royally bestowed commemorative
pins for the Bike for Mom event in Bangkok can register their names at
the 50 district offices in the capital from 8 AM to 4 PM from Monday to
Friday or 9 AM to 12 noon during weekends and official holidays. The
registration can also be done at the event's website, bikeformom2015.com
from now until August 5th.
The Assisted Reproduction Act goes into effect today
BANGKOK, 30 July 2015 (NNT) The Assisted Reproduction
Act, which protects children born from the In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
program, goes into effect today.
Minister of Public Health Dr. Ratchata Ratchatanawin said that the act
has been designed to help legally married couple, who are medically
proven to have reproductive challenges, to undergo IVF program. The law
provides clauses to fend off efforts by human trafficking ring or those
intending to use the IVF technique for commercial purpose.
The regulation now clearly states that a conceived IVF baby is
considered a legitimate child of the parents undergoing IVF operation.
The Act also prevents parents who received the reproduction assistance
from denying parental responsibilities of the conceived IVF baby, while
imposing commercial ban on assisted reproductive operation.
Under the new law, sperm and egg donors must strictly follow the
regulation. Violators will face a jail term of 1-10 years or a fine of
no more than 200,000 baht or both.
Deputy PM urges Thais to use correct Thai language
BANGKOK, 29 July 2015 (NNT) Deputy Prime Minister
Wissanu Kreangam has suggested that Thai people should be aware of the
correct and proper use of the Thai language during the 2015 National
Thai Language Day event.
The deputy PM on Wednesday presided over a ceremony to grant awards to
people who had used the Thai language exceptionally well at the National
Cultural Center in Bangkok. He said many Thai people today unnecessarily
used foreign words when speaking and writing Thai and made new words,
especially in social media. He then suggested everyone speak and write
grammatically correct Thai and help set an example for the proper use of
Apart from the award presentation ceremony, the national Thai language
day event this year featured traditional musical and performance
competitions in honor of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri
Vocational Market ends with overwhelming support
BANGKOK, 29 July 2015 (NNT) The Vocational Market
along Phadung Krung Kasem Canal has concluded, with over 10,000 visitors
and 2 million baht in sales throughout the three-day event.
After being launched on July 27 by the Office of the Vocational
Education Commission (OVEC), the Vocational Market drew to a close
today. Nonetheless, a steady flow of visitors was still seen at the
event, lending moral support to the vocational students who were selling
Mr Chaiyapruek Serirak, Secretary-General of OVEC, expressed
satisfaction with the event, indicating that more than 10,000 people
turned up at the market throughout the three-day period while the total
income exceeded 2 million baht.
Products attracting much attention from the public included hammocks
made from pieces of cloth and baskets for growing mushroom. There were
also beauty services and spa treatments available for the fair-goers.
Another highlight was a special booth jointly set up by various
vocational education institutes to sell products related to the Buddhist
Lent, such as flower garlands, religious offerings and Lent candles. All
of the products were made by students and sold at discounted prices.
Army Chief orders tighter security in Deep South during Buddhist Lent
PATTANI, 29 July 2015 (NNT) Deputy Defense Minister
and Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Udomdej Sitabutr has paid a visit to the
Deep South to observe security operations and has urged all units to be
particularly vigilant during the Buddhist Lent period.
Spokesperson of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) Col
Banpot Poonpian stated that Gen Udomdej, in his capacity as Deputy
Director of ISOC, traveled to Nong Chik district of Pattani province to
have a meeting with all security units on duty in the three southernmost
provinces and to follow up on their progress.
As the Buddhist Lent period is about to begin, the Army Chief instructed
the ISOC Region 4 Forward Command to ensure safety for all local
residents and monks who will be taking part in religious activities
across the region. Security measures are to be imposed more stringently
around important venues and areas prone to insurgent attacks.
Gen Udomdej also suggested authorities to closely oversee upcoming
religious functions in order to make sure they do not incite conflicts
among local people with different faiths and cultures. Moreover, he
stressed that all security volunteers must be selected by trusted
agencies through rigorous deliberation.
Meanwhile, the Southern Border Provinces Police Operation Center was
urged to quickly proceed with all security cases in order to bring
culprits to justice. As for the Southern Border Provinces Administrative
Center, Gen Udomdej asked the officials to help solve various problems
of residents and ensure their well-being.
NRC hears report on consumer protection reform
BANGKOK, 29 July 2015 (NNT) The National Reform
Council (NRC) committee on consumer protection reform has delivered its
report on raising the standards of Thailand’s consumer protection
The committee’s main topics included reforming consumer protection
agencies, policies dealing with products deemed unsafe for consumers,
policies dealing with accountability for faulty products, reforming
consumer protection in the media and information consumption, and
policies dealing with those who have been affected by public services.
To reform consumer protection agencies, the committee proposed
legislation on independent organizations to ensure adequate consumer
To reform the country’s consumer protection information system, the
committee has proposed legislation that would warn the public of unsafe
products or product handling.
To reform the country’s compensation system, the committee proposed
legislation on responsibility and compensation for products damaged
during a transaction.
To compensate those who have been negatively affected by public
services, the committee proposed legislation on compensation for those
affected, legislation on the national health insurance scheme and social
81% of water well-drilling projects nationwide completedd
BANGKOK, 29 July 2015 (NNT) The government has completed 81% of its
urgent projects to drill and restore 891 groundwater wells nationwide.
721 wells are already in use, with 247,763 cubic meters of water being
pumped up everyday for agricultural purposes, according to Deputy
Director-General of the Groundwater Resources Department, Aranya
Of the wells already in use, 511 are located in fifteen drought-hit
provinces in the Chao Phraya River Basin covering the central region and
the lower North of Thailand. The wells have helped revive rice
plantations threatened by the dry spell, with 214,013 cubic meters of
water being pumped up everyday. Ten more wells are still under
construction and expected to be finished by the end of the month.
Apart from the new wells, 380 existing groundwater wells are being
equipped with turbine pumping machines to improve their storage
capacity. Out of that number, 225 already have the pumps installed and
have been pumping up 33,750 cubic meters of water per day.
Aranya said the whole maintenance and drilling process is scheduled for
completion at the end of July. By then, the water supply for agriculture
will have increased to 350,000 cubic meters per day, helping restore
150,000 rai of farmland owned by 4,000 farmer families.
Saraburi locals snap up budget meals offered by cavalry mobile restaurant
SARABURI, 29 July 2015 (NNT) The budget mobile
restaurant of the Fifth Cavalry Regiment, Kings Guard has become a
must-visit destination for all groups of wage earners shortly after its
Hundreds of people flock to the lunch truck to snap up economy dishes
freshly cooked daily by the group of housewives and staff of the Fifth
Cavalry Regiment. Various items are offered each day for under 20 baht
per dish from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The budget meal project was introduced last week in response to the
government and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)’s policy
to lower consumers’ cost of living amidst the ongoing economic downturn.
The project is expected to help reduce consumers’ food expenses by at
least 50 percent.
Most customers have commented that the budget food program should
continue as long as possible and should expand to other areas as well.
Uthai Thani shows sluggish consumer spending during Buddhist lent
UTHAI THANI, 29 July 2015 (NNT) Buddhists in Uthai
Thani province have shown a preference for smaller candles during
Buddhist lent, as well as neon lights due to lower prices.
The atmosphere has been quiet at various Buddhist shops around the
province, showing a drop-off in the number of customers buying monk
A shop owner said as much, revealing that sales during this period have
been quite low compared to previous years. People tended to buy only
small-sized candles and neon lights, leading to a drop in retail
Therefore, shop owners have in turn decided not to procure additional
stock and only order products in accordance with public demand. They
also affirmed that there will be no price hike for candles and monk
supplies. Consumers have said that they will buy only necessities for
the Buddhist lent.
General Udomdej visits the South, voices opinion on the U.S. TIP report
BANGKOK, 29 July 2015, (NNT) Army Chief General
Udomdej Sitabutr spoke to the media before visiting the troops in the
South of Thailand this morning, saying that the Army and security
related units would continue to follow the government's strict
anti-human trafficking regulations. The commitment was made even as the
U.S. decided to maintain Thailand on Tier 3 in its human trafficking
General Udomdej is confident that Thailand will improve its eradication
of human trafficking rating in the next round of evaluations, as the
responsible agencies are doing their best to address the issue.
The Army Chief is scheduled to inspect the troops' performance in
today's visit to the southern region, providing them with moral support.
He would then hand back schools damaged in violent incidents,
subsequently repaired under the supervision of the military on behalf of
According to General Udomdej, the number of incidents in July has
decreased when compared to the same period last year.
Samut Sakhon fisheries defend industry after Thailand receives Tier 3
SAMUT SAKHON, 29 July 2015 (NNT) Fishing operators in
the gulf province of Samut Sakhon have affirmed full cooperation with
government regulations to tackle the industry's problems.
The statement was made by the Samut Sakhon Fishery Association,
following the US decision to maintain Thailand's Tier 3 ranking on its
human trafficking list. The Association claimed the sector would
cooperate with government efforts to combat illegal fishing, as well as
illegal labor and human trafficking endemic to the industry.
However, some operators continued fishing activities, despite a fishing
ban in the upper Gulf of Thailand from June to July. The ban was put in
place due to dwindling marine life from overfishing. The Gulf will be
reopened to commercial fishing next month.
Thailand & Myanmar lift visa requirements for each other's visitors
BANGKOK, 29 July 2015 (NNT) In another step towards
stronger ties, Thailand and Myanmar have agreed to exempt visitors to
each other’s country from visa requirements.
According to the Royal Thai Embassy in Yangon, the governments of
Thailand and Myanmar have recently signed an agreement aimed at
facilitating visits by the nationals of the two countries in preparation
for the emergence of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
Beginning from August 11, Thai and Burmese holders of ordinary passports
will be allowed to enter and stay in each other’s country for up to 14
days without a visa. At this stage the deal applies only to those
entering either country through an international airport.
Prior to the 11th August visa exemption, Thai people still need to apply
for a visa at the Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
Application fees vary, depending on the urgency of applicants' travel
BMA proposes restoration plan for inner Bangkok
BANGKOK, 29 July 2015 (NNT) The Office of Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is proposing a restoration project for
inner areas of Bangkok ahead of the 250th anniversary celebration of
Bangkok as the capital city in 2032.
The Department of City Planning, and the Urban Design and Development
Center (UddC) are currently hosting an exhibition that reveals details
of the plan to the public.
People are invited to visit Kbank Siam Pic-Ganesha Theater until August
2nd to see the exhibition.
The project is aimed at improving the landscape of 17 districts and
restoring riverside areas along the Chao Praya River from Kadeejeen and
The UDDC Director, Dr. Niramon Kulasrisombut, says that visitors will
learn more about the project and what will have been achieved after the
project is completed.
Heavy rain brings down trees in North East of Thailand
BANGKOK, 29 July 2015 (NNT) Heavy rain in the
Northeast has brought down trees and damaged a dyke.
In Yasothon province, vehicles have been damaged by large trees and
billboards brought down by heavy rain and strong winds. Meanwhile, the
large amount of water has caused a 10-meter long crack in the dyke in
Nakhon Phanom following weeks of rainfall.
Repairs are now underway to restore the dyke. Ferry operators in Bungkan
have been told to be extra cautious when traveling across the Mekhong
River as the currents are still strong. Several embankment areas have
reportedly been eroded by the river.
The higher amount of precipitation has, however, brought good news to
Kalasin residents. Water in Lam Pao dam and 18 others in Kalasin have
now been replenished, enabling the PROVINCIAL Irrigation Office to
release 4 million cubic meters of water a day into the streams to help
farmers, who have already begun to grow rice in more than 296,000 rais
of rice fields.
High-speed train project made significant progress
BANGKOK, 29 July 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Transport
has revealed that the construction project for a high-speed train
between Bangkok and Chiang Mai province has made significant progress.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said the 672-km high-speed
railway is a collaborative effort between Thailand and Japan.
The island country has hired a construction company to provide
additional design advice to the existing blueprint made by the Office of
Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning.
Mr. Arkhom said Japan is placing great emphasis on safety, as it will be
the first time a railway system outside of the country is being modeled
after the Shinkansen.
Japan is suggesting that it be built as an extension to the regular
railway. The Transport Minister admitted that it would change plans for
Another meeting over the speed railway development will be held in Japan
late next month. The complete construction plan is expected to be
completed and ready for Cabinet approval in June next year. Construction
will begin approximately in two years.
Sheikhul Islam Office holds seminar on minority Islamic groups in ASEAN
BANGKOK, 29 July 2015, (NNT) The Sheikhul Islam
Office, Ramkhamhaeng University, and Islamic-related networks yesterday
held a seminar on teaching His Majesty the King's Philosophy of
Sufficiency Economy among minority Islamic groups in Thailand and other
ASEAN member nations.
According to Sheikhul Islam of Thailand Aziz Phitakkumpon, the revered
philosophy would reduce the number of violent incidents in the Deep
South. He said that Islamic lifestyles may be foreign to the larger
community, as Islam is a minority religion in Thailand. Mr. Aziz said
that people must be well informed of Islamic beliefs, in order create a
peaceful atmosphere for all.
Meanwhile, Ramkhamhaeng University Rector Wuttisak Lapcharoensap echoed
the spiritual leader's opinion, saying the seminar paves the way for all
to co-exist in the multifaith ASEAN community.
Thailand-Myanmar 8th JC meeting came to a close
CHIANG MAI, 29 July 2015 (NNT) The 8th Meeting of
Thailand-Myanmar Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JC) in
Chiang Mai has concluded satisfactorily.
Foreign Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn and his Burmese
counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin co-chaired the meeting that was aimed at
strengthening bilateral relations in various areas.
At the meeting, Thailand and Myanmar reaffirmed their commitment to
tighten bilateral cooperation in all aspects, particularly in driving
the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by placing the peoples of ASEAN at
U Wunna Maung Lwin also conveyed Myanmar people's wishes for good health
and happiness for Their Majesties the King and Queen of Thailand.
The Minister indicated that Myanmar people were ready to welcome Her
Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn who is scheduled to visit
Myanmar this October.
RID Director-General observes canal dredg operations in Chai Nat
CHAI NAT, 29 July 2015 (NNT) Royal Irrigation
Department Director-General Lertwiroj Gowattana visited Chai Nat, to
inspect canal dredging operations aimed at opening more space for water
storage in the province.
The dredging operations are being conducted at two swamps in Han Kha
District. Officials are also digging small canals around the swamps to
facilitate distribution of water to farmlands. Mr. Lertwiroj said the
operation is part of the government's anti-drought policy providing
urgent assistance to farmers affected by severe drought conditions. His
visit to the province is expected to speed up the dredging process, and
ensure a thorough access to water for drought victims.
The operations will increase the water-storing capacity of the two
swamps in Han Kha District, in preparation for the rainy season which is
expected to arrive next month.
NBTC: digital TV broadcasters will not need to close down
BANGKOK, 29 July 2015 (NNT) The National Broadcasting
and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has expressed its belief that
there is no need for digital TV broadcasters to close down, as their
viewership continues to grow.
NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasit revealed on Tuesday that the
number of viewers of digital TV channels has risen to 1.6 million per
minute. Total income from advertisements on all 21 channels is expected
to average 197 million baht per month this year, which would be a
three-fold increase from last year's monthly average of 63 million baht.
Mr. Takorn noted that the income of each broadcaster depended on whether
the content they provided was interesting and whether they were able to
tailor their programming to target viewer groups. According to him, it
would be easier for a channel to gain consumer recognition if these
conditions were met.
Meanwhile, broadcasters have noted a change in consumer behavior, with
the majority of viewers only listening to the TV program and no longer
paying attention to the images on the TV screen. The broadcasters also
noted that new players in the field would need time to build up their
viewership and income base.
27 Chao Phraya water basins dredged to ease droughtt
BANGKOK, 28 July 2015 (NNT) Twenty-seven water
detention basins are to be excavated in nine provinces along the Chao
Phraya River to solve the prevailing drought problem. The project is
expected to help reserve over 350 million cubic metres of water to be
fetched from rainfalls expected in August.
According to the Royal Irrigation Department, the artificial swamps are
located in nine provinces, namely Nakhon Sawan, Chainat, Sing Buri, Ang
Thong, Uthai Thani, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Ayutthaya and Nonthaburi, in
compliance with the Prime Minister's urgent policy to solve droughts. By
far, 21% of the construction has already been completed.
Other ponds being dredged at eight tributaries are Nhong Ta Mek Swamp
(หนองตาเมฆ), Nhong Bon Swamp (หนองบอน), Nhong Sarai Swamp (หนองสาหร่าย),
Bueng Krajab Yai Pond (บึงกระจับใหญ่), Bueng Lahan Pond (บึงละหาน), Sra
Khao Ka Basin (สระเขากา) , Sra Nhong Jok Basin (สระหนองจอก) and Kao Khwa
Public Pond for Irrigation Purpose (สระสาธารณะคลองส่งน้ำเก้าขวา),
expected to reserve 193,400 cubic metres of water when completed.
Lertviroj Kowattana, Director-General of the Royal Irrigation
Department, says during his field trip to Bueng Lahan (บึงละหาน) Lake in
Chainat Province that an extension is being held on the lake as the
drought has made the lake shallow, causing difficulty to farmers to pump
up the water.
When the excavation is finished, the pond will generate 60,000 cubic
metres of water to 3,000 rai of paddy fields to help local farmers, he
Sa Khao Ka Basin (สระเขากา) in Nakhon Sawan Province is expected to be
finished by August 12 to honor Her Majesty the Queen on her birthday.
NRC approves report on public healthcare reform
BANGKOK, 28 July 2015 (NNT) The National Reform
Council (NRC) has approved its responsible committee's healthcare reform
The report, presented by the NRC committee on public health reform,
touches on the topics of public health service, disease prevention and
wellness promotion as well as healthcare fund management.
The core principle of the report emphasize empowering local communities
to be self sufficient in providing comprehensive healthcare for
residents. This also includes the use of traditional Thai medicine,
alternative care and the strengthening of local communities in tackling
local health problems.
The report proposes the setting up of a data center to better inform the
public of healthcare costs and a committee for strengthening self
sufficiency at the local level in providing healthcare services for its
residents. These two proposals would reduce social inequality by making
healthcare more accessible.
Cabinet extends free bus, train scheme for 3 more months
BANGKOK, 28 July 2015 (NNT) The Cabinet has resolved
to maintain its free bus and train scheme for another three months as a
way to help low-income commuters amid economic doldrums.
According to Transport Minister ACM Prajin Juntong, the fare exemption
on public buses and third-class trains which was due to expire at the
end of July has been given another three-month extension by the Cabinet.
As a result, the long-standing measure will continue to be in effect
from August 1 to October 31, 2015 as proposed by the Ministry of
Meanwhile, Deputy Government Spokesperson Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd
stated that the further continuation of free train services will cover a
total of 172 trains per day and require a state budget of 252 million
baht. At the same time, there will be 800 free buses operating on 73
routes each day under a budget of 871 million baht.
Maj Gen Sansern cited the Prime Minister as saying that the fare
exemption measure is intended to serve certain groups of people who are
truly in need of the government’s support, such as students and
low-income earners. The unfavorable economic condition was raised as the
main reason behind the Cabinet’s decision to keep the measure in place.
CDC agrees on reform mobilization committee to succeed NRC
BANGKOK, 28 July 2015 (NNT) The Constitution Drafting
Committee (CDC) says it has stipulated the creation of a reform
mobilization committee to carry on reform work after the election.
CDC member Dr Jate Dhonavanik said the reform mobilization committee
will replace the National Reform Council (NRC) in ensuring the
implementation of the country’s reform agendas. He says the CDC is
currently in discussion with the government as to the exact duration of
its tenure. However, preliminary discussions have agreed that the
committee should continue to exist until a committee on reform and
reconciliation is established to carry on its work.
As for the progress of the new constitution, Dr Jate says the CDC has
now reduced the new charter’s provisions from 315 to 285 sections. It is
currently in the process of fine tuning the constitution’s main
principles, reform structure and reconciliation efforts.
Chonburi province strengthens measures on illegal entertainment venues and street racing
CHONBURI, 28 July 2015 (NNT) Chonburi province has
strengthened its measures on illegal entertainment venues and street
racing in accordance with the government's policies designated by the
National Council for Peace and Order's (NCPO) Chief.
Chonburi Governor Komsan Ekkachai, stated that the NCPO Chief's orders
are on measures to bring an end to the problem of street racing by cars
and motorcycles on city roads as well as measures to assert control over
entertainment-like venues. The move is aimed at preventing inappropriate
behavior by those under 20 years of age, in entering such venues, while
also keeping an eye on alcohol sales in venues located near educational
institutes or dorms.
Any venue found to have violated the regulations such as allowing those
under 20 into inappropriate venues or selling them alcohol, beer or
other means of intoxication, will face maximum punishment which is a
5-year closing of that particular venue. Further investigation will also
check whether the venue is within the educational institute's 300-meter
distance or not.
Moreover, the general public has complained about troubles caused by
motorcycle racing on the roads, therefore measures have been implemented
in order to prevent further societal problems and prevent possible group
gatherings that could later cause damage to others in society
Anti-tobacco network supports Tobacco Control draft act
BANGKOK, 28 July 2015 (NNT) The Tobacco Control Research and Knowledge
Management Center and partners show their support for the Tobacco
Control draft act in the hope to reduce effects on the Thai economy in
the long run.
Secretary-General of the Action on Smoking and Health Foundation M.D.
Prakit Wathisathokkit expressed his belief that the draft act would help
prevent cigarette addiction and new smokers. It would also save medical
costs for first-hand and second-hand smokers, said the doctor.
Smoking-related illnesses and deaths cost the economy 74 billion baht or
0.78% of the GDP in 2009 while the tobacco excise tax revenue stood at
40 billion baht.
Cabinet agrees to develop Phuket port for handling cruise ships
BANGKOK, 28 July 2015 (NNT) The Cabinet has given the
green light to the improvement of Phuket Deep Seaport in order to enable
the facility to accommodate cruise ships while also considering the
construction of a similar port either in Krabi or Samui.
Following the Cabinet meeting, Deputy Government Spokesperson Maj Gen
Sansern Kaewkamnerd disclosed that the ministers gave their approval to
the plan to build more yacht and cruise ports in Thailand, with an aim
of increasing connectivity with neighboring countries and promoting the
Kingdom as a regional hub for yachting.
According to the Marine Department, Thailand currently has 11 yacht
marinas, both in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, with a
combined capacity of 2,000 boats. Nonetheless, most of them can only
welcome small-sized yachts. The department also cited 33 additional
areas as potential locations of yacht marinas and a survey is being
conducted on the opinions of local residents in those areas.
As for cruise ships, Maj Gen Sansern noted that only the Bangkok Port,
Laem Chabang Port and Phuket Deep Seaport have the capacity to handle
such large vessels. However, all three have been mainly occupied by
Therefore, the Cabinet was supportive of the upgrade of Phuket Deep
Seaport so as to attract more cruise ships and tourists, given the fact
that Thailand is situated on the international cruise route.
In addition, the Deputy Government Spokesperson revealed that the
government is considering setting up a new cruise port in Krabi province
or Samui Island of Surat Thani province, depending on which location is
more suitable. The Prime Minister emphasized that the decision will have
to be made by the end of September.
RID is ready for the large scale water resource management project
BANGKOK, 28 July 2015, (NNT) The Royal Irrigation
Department (RID) is ready to proceed with large-scale water management
projects, once they obtain Cabinet approval.
RID Director-General Lertwiroj Kowattana made the announcement after a
department official suggested the Prime Minister invoke Section 44 to
expedite the RID's projects. Such projects include the construction of
Mae Wong Dam, reservoirs along the Mekong, Loei, Chi, and Mun rivers,
and a dam in Phitsanulok province.
The RID chief said the idea is merely a personal opinion and does not
reflect the position of the organization as a whole. He added the
department has clear and transparent steps when initiating such
large-scale projects, which include conducting related studies and
proposing the project to the Environment Council and the Cabinet for
Mr. Lertwiroj stated his department would be ready to proceed with the
aforementioned construction projects, once the Cabinet gives the green
Water shortages in Thailand less severe now due to rainfall
BANGKOK, 28 July 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of
Interior has said water shortages in Thailand
have become less severe thanks to the recent
Interior Minister General Anupong Paojinda said
water levels in various dams have gradually
increased following weeks of precipitation.
He said the situation will gradually improve as
more rain has been predicted for next month.
More water will also be released to revive
The minister added that the career program would
remain in place for farmers, in line with the
He also cited the need for Thailand to have an
additional dam, but more importantly, he
claimed, the public need to understand how
necessary it is now to build Mae Wong dam.
In the meantime, the Royal Irrigation Department
is urging the government to wield its power
through Article 44 of the interim constitution,
authorizing the construction of the dam through
Meanwhile, Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs Air Chief Marshal Boonrit Kerdsook paid
a visit to Bungkan province to observe the water
management project in Siwilai district and to
boost morale of the soldiers helping to repair
roads and improve waterways.
MOAC promoting multi-purpose farmland
BANGKOK, 28 July 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of
Agriculture and Cooperatives is promoting the development of
multi-purpose farmland to boost farm productivity.
Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives
Chawalit Chukajorn revealed during a meeting on the multi-purpose
farmland development that 263 plots of land have been chosen to undergo
The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative is planning to produce 28
types of farm goods under this project. Livestock and crop farming as
well as aquaculture are expected to be carried out within the same
A seminar will be held in mid-August by the Office of Agricultural
Economics to train 252 farmers, who will learn how to increase the
productivity of their farm and to manage their farmland.
Thailand and Israel sign medical cooperation agreement
BANGKOK, 28 July 2015 (NNT) -The Faculty of Medicine
Ramathibodi Hospital and Israel's Hadassah Medical Organization have
signed an agreement for academic cooperation on elderly diseases.
The signing ceremony was attended by Deputy Foreign Minister Don
Poramudwinai, Thai ambassador in Tel Aviv Angsana Sihapitak and Israeli
ambassador to Thailand Simon Roded.
Both nations have been exchanging medical knowledge since 2013. The Thai
embassy in Tel Aviv, who initiated the cooperation, has invited medical
personnel from the Hadassah Medical Organization to discuss and share
their views on the subject at Ramathibodi Hospital today and tomorrow.
They will also observe medical services for the elderly and meet with
hospital executives on the following day.
MOU signed with Singapore's SPI to develop specialists in qualifications reference
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CP All announces results from 12th 'Seven Book Awards' contest for works of literature
BANGKOK, 28 July 2015 (NNT) CP All Plc. has
announced the results of the 12th 'Seven Book
Awards' contest for works of literature.
According to CP All chairman, Korsak
Chairasmisak, the 'Seven Book Awards' provided a
stage for the development of quality writers for
the Thai literary circle. The contest also
spurred readers' creativity and imagination by
exposing them to new works of writing. This
year's winning works of writing were fresh in
ideas presented through intriguing viewpoints.
Consequently, their readers will be drawn in and
will want to finish the books.
For all seven the categories of awards, 348
works in total were submitted to the contest.
The winning works of writing will receive
plaques bestowed by Princess Maha Chakri
Those interested in reading the award-winning
books can purchase them at leading bookstores
and 7-11 convenience stores.
Talks holds seminar on development projects of Laem Chabang Fishing Pier
CHONBURI, 28 July 2015, (NNT) Laem Chabang
Fishing Pier in Si Racha District of Chonburi
Province yesterday held a seminar discussing the
its future development projects.
According to the Port Managing Director,
Lieutenant Sutthinan Hattawong, the volume of
goods exported from Laem Chabang Fishing Pier
has grown 7 percent in the first 9 month of this
fiscal year, but the value has dropped thanks to
the weaker baht.
He expected the port's growth to be in the range
of 6-7 percent this year, generating 8 billion
baht of revenue exclusive of ship docking fees.
The port is planning to expand the road leading
to the pier from 4 lanes to 14 lanes. The
project is expected to be completed at the end
of next year.
His agency also plans to increase its rail
logistics capacity from 500,000 to 1,000,000
containers a year. The project is estimated to
cost 30 billion baht. Laem Chabang Fishing Pier
also has a plan to significantly expand its auto
export capacity, which is currently at 2 million
units annually, the port Managing Director
Thai and Cambodian Buddhists offer alms to monks along Chanthaburi - Phratabong border
CHANTHABURI, 28 July 2015, (NNT) Thai and
Cambodian Buddhists yesterday offered alms to
105 monks along the Chanthaburi - Phratabong
border ahead of Asanha Bucha Day and Buddhist
Lent Day at the end of this month. The event
helps tightening the bonds between the people of
The 105 monks participating the event were from
both Thailand and Cambodia. The event was
organized at the permanent check point in Pong
Nam Ron District.
The Thai - Cambodian annual alms-offering event,
held right before the Buddhist Lent Day, gives
an opportunity for the locals from both
countries living along the border area to engage
in religious activities together.
More importantly, the event forges stronger ties
between the residents of the two nations,
welcoming the arrival of ASEAN Economic
Community at the end of this year.
PM Prayut reveales more about upcoming Cabinet reshuffle
BANGKOK, 28 July 2015 (NNT) The Prime Minister has affirmed that
no politician will be asked to join his government in the
upcoming Cabinet reshuffle.
According to Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the planned
shake-up of the Cabinet is not being driven by social pressure.
He said that such a change is needed because it will work.
The PM stated that he will personally make all the decisions in
the reshuffle, which will take into consideration such factors
as suitability, age and health condition.
He added that the actual reshuffle would likely take place when
the government’s term hit the one-year mark.
When asked about rumours that Advisor to the PM, Somkid
Jatusripitak, will joint the next Cabinet line-up, Gen Prayut
said that remains just what people think while assuring that no
politician will ever be joining his government.
He went on to say that all ministers have been working hard
although he feels that economic ministers have been criticised
only because economic problems still continue unresolved.
Government assures new copyright law aimed at protecting online media
BANGKOK, 28 July 2015 (NNT) The government has assured that the
new copyright law has been designed to protect all online media
beginning next week.
According to Deputy government spokesman Maj Gen Sunsern
Kaewkumnerd, the activation of the amended Copyright Act B.E.
2558, which will take place on August 4, is aimed at protecting
all who have created any work which is distributed online.
Maj Gen Sunsern said that such an intention is decided in order
to go in line with the public behaviour that has centered around
He added that the previous version of the law did not clearly
specify the punishment clauses for those found guilty of
violation of the code.
For instance, social network users who intentionally edit any
photograph or video clip of other people and claim those works
to be theirs for commercial purposes will be punished by the