Thailand needs stricter law to keep illegal fishing under control
BANGKOK, 7 July 2015 (NNT) The Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) has suggested that the Thai government undergo a
legal reform in order to raise the standards of the fishing industry.
FAO Senior Fishery Officer Simon Funge-Smith said in a seminar on the
future of the fishing industry in Thailand that similar issues occurring
around the world are due to the lack of legal punishments and attention
to illegal unreported and unregulated fishing.
Mr. Smith cited the need to legislate a law to specifically deal with
fisheries-related issues. He added, however, that the drafting process
of the law can’t be rushed in order to ensure there is no room for
The government should also pay attention to improving human resources in
the fisheries industry and be determined to solve the ongoing problems.
It also needs to have a good policy in order to mirror the positive
image of the Thai fishing industry to the global community.
PM mourns loss of 5 military officers in Surat Thani
BANGKOK, 7 July 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-Ocha expressed condolences to the families of five on-duty military
officers, who were killed in a traffic accident on Monday.
The five officers lost their lives when their van collided with a pickup
truck in Surat Thani’s Khiri Ratthanikhom district. They were escorting
another officer’s vehicle after their visit to the joint Mobile
Development Unit 46 of the Armed Forces Development Command in the
The driver of the pickup truck lost control of his vehicle while making
a turn on the Surat Thani-Takhua Pa Road and struck the military van in
a head-on collision.
The premier expressed sadness that the military officers were killed
while on duty and their service to the country will be remembered.
NSM holds ASEAN high school science fair
PATHUM THANI, 7 July 2015, (NNT) The National Science
Museum (NSM) and Ministry of Science and Technology are co-organizing
the first ASEAN high school science fair, promoting Thailand as an
international stage for academic science.
The contest pits high school students from seven ASEAN member countries
against each other for the best science fair project. The event, which
is being held at the NSM building in Pathum Thani province, kicked off
yesterday and will go on until Friday.
NSM Vice President Aphiya Hathayatham said the contest would strengthen
and spark interest in science among high school students in Thailand,
Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, and Laos.
During the five-day event, 110 students and teachers from the seven
nations will spend time together, participating in scientific activities
and competing against one another.
The contest will determine the best projects in the categories of
Physical Science, Biological Science, and Innovation. Winners will be
given cash prizes and certificates from the organizers.
BAAC to give 60 billion baht loan to farmers
BANGKOK, 7 July 2015 (NNT) The Bank for Agriculture
and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC)has prepared 60 billion baht to give
out as loans to farmers to boost farm productivity.
According to Finance Minister Sommai Phasi,the 60 billion baht loan
program is meant to help farmers affected by water shortages. The first
30 billion baht will be given to the farmers as a one-year loan.
The interest rate of 4% will be applied for the first 9 months. However,
no interest will be incurred on for the remaining 3 months.
The Finance Minister added later that the second portion would be given
out on a three-year basis with an interest rate of 7%. The BAAC is
expected to seek approval for the program from its board of executives
on July 13th.
NBTC warns of bogus NBTC staff trying collect personal documents
BANGKOK, 7 July 2015 (NNT) TV viewers are being
warned against a bogus distribution of digital TV coupons, as the next
round has yet to be approved by the National Broadcasting
Telecommunication Commission (NBTC).
The NBTC has received reports of a third party claiming to represent the
organization. They have allegedly been telling people they would bring a
digital TV set top box to the latters' homes in exchange for a copy of
homeowners' ID cards and house registrations.
According to the NBTC, no coupon has so far been given out to anyone, as
the agency is still trying to collect public opinions through regional
surveys at present.
People are encouraged to report to the NBTC immediately by calling 1200,
its hotline number, if they come across anyone posing as its staff and
asking for their personal documents.
Military court agrees to free 14 student activists
BANGKOK, 7 July 2015 (NNT) Bangkok’s military court
has agreed to free all 14 student activists, who have been detained
since their arrest on June 26.
The students were court-martialed and will remain in detainment at
Bangkok Remand Prison until the court specifies the time of their
release on Tuesday.
The university students were arrested on the charges of sedition and
violating the government's ban on political gatherings for holding a
rally in Bangkok.
International organizations including the UN and EU, as well as local
activist groups, had previously called the government to release the
students and drop the charges filed against them for holding a peaceful
Police arrest 17 more suspects connected to human trafficking
BANGKOK, 7 July 2015, (NNT) Deputy Chief of Royal
Thai Police Police General Aek Angsananont has reported that another 17
suspects were arrested in connection with Rohingya human trafficking.
Pol. Gen. Aek said currently, 72 human trafficking suspects are being
prosecuted, with another 46 still at large. Police collected a testimony
from one of the ten eyewitnesses in the Rohingya human trafficking
cases. The Deputy Police Chief added that officers recently seized 72
million baht in assets belonging to human traffickers.
Meanwhile, Minister of Justice General Paiboon Koomchaya has assigned
the Department of Special Investigation and the Ministry of Social
Development and Human Security as the main agencies handling human
trafficking-related cases. Several related units will assist with the
investigations, and the court is expected to establish a new division
dedicated to human trafficking trials.
Charge d'affaires ad interim at U.S. Mission Thailand W. Patrick Murphy
yesterday met Industry Minister Chakkamon Phasukwanit to discuss the
current human trafficking situation in Thailand. Minister Chakkamon
reassured the American diplomat that the government has put in place a
strict policy to deal with the issue, especially in regards to both
Rohingya human trafficking and illegal fishing labor.
Authorities to maintain current measures for contagious diseases
BANGKOK, 7 July 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Public Health is
maintaining current measures put in place to limit any spread of
communicable diseases, despite Thailand no longer having any
Minister of Public Health Rajata Rajatanavin visited Bumrungrad
Hospital in Bangkok on Monday to inspect the anti-MERS and
anti-Ebola measures in place at the hospital, which recently
cared for Thailand's only MERS patient until his recovery. The
minister found that measures to prevent communicable diseases
had been systematically implemented, and hospital personnel were
following precautions against communicable diseases.
According to Dr. Rajata, the Ministry of Public Health is
expanding its cooperation with private hospitals nationwide to
increase the efficiency in preventing communicable diseases at
tourism hot spots. Every hospital will need to prepare an
isolation room to prevent the spread of contagious diseases. He
said the measures in place will be continuously maintained, and
awareness of diseases will continue to be raised among the
public. Screening of persons traveling from countries of
outbreak will also be carried out.
Army chief admits current round of drought difficult to keep at bay
BANGKOK, 7 July 2015 (NNT) The government has been
relentlessly working to curb the effects of the drought and provide
assistance to afflicted people, but the current round of drought is too
difficult to keep at bay, according to Deputy Minister of Public Health
According to General Udomdej, who is also commander-in-chief of the
Royal Thai Army, Army personnel have been constantly sent to areas
afflicted by drought, mainly to dig artesian wells, dredge waterways and
to make improvement to various water sources. Ang Thong province is a
focal point where the military is primarily occupied with digging
Gen. Udomdej said the army was also liaising with the government's
Damrong Tham centers over the drought mitigation measures. He admitted,
however, that it was difficult to curb the current round of drought.
Two of nine authorized nano-finance lenders have started issuing loans
BANGKOK, 7 July 2015 (NNT) Government Spokesperson
Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd has said two of the nine entities
authorized by the government to provide nano-finance loans have already
started issuing the loans to members of the public,
According Maj. Gen. Sansern, the two lenders comprise a daughter company
of Srisawad Power 1979 Plc. and non-bank lender ThaiAce Capital Co. Ltd.
The former has so far issued nano-finance loans worth 250,000 baht to 32
borrowers whereas the latter has issued 370,000 baht of loans to 18
borrowers. The amount of loans is expected to grow as soon as the rest
of the authorized lenders finish setting up their systems and more
businesses become licensed to provide the nano-finance loans. There are
around nine more businesses waiting to be issued their license.
The nano-finance loans is a government initiative to improve low-income
individuals' access to funds. Under the scheme, non-bank companies
authorized by the Ministry of Finance may provide loans up to 100,000
baht each to individuals who could not borrow from banks due to their
lack of collateral. The interest charged by these firms, inclusive of
fees, must not exceed 36% per year.
Increase in taxi fares postponed
BANGKOK, 6 July 2015 (NNT) A plan to raise taxi fares
has been postponed.
The Transport Ministry will delay the planned second phase adjustment of
Transport Minister, Air Chief Marshal Prajin Jantong announced that in
an effort not to burden the general public, previous plans to raise taxi
fare rates by 5% in the second phase in July, are being postponed for
On July 13th, ACM Prajin will present to cabinet, a plan to extend the
period of free bus services and a similar train program due to end on
July 31st, to continue them instead for another 3-6 months, to help
lighten people's living expenses burden.
Monsoon influence expected to cause heavy rain from late July
CHIANG MAI, 6 July 2015 (NNT) The Northern
Meteorological Center is expecting a dry spell during early July, while
monsoon winds could cause heavy rains from late July until December,
with the potential of floods.
The Northern Meteorological Center has issued a weather forecast for the
rainy season, saying due to the weak southwestern monsoon wind across
the Andaman Sea that may pass into southern China. This has caused the
Meteorological Center to predict continued low precipitation in
Thailand, which is already suffering from the lack of water for
The monsoon is expected to grow stronger during late July to September.
As the monsoon travels through the northern part of Thailand, heavy
rains will be expected in most parts of the country and may even lead to
flash floods and landslides in some areas.
The high pressure winds from China will expand periodically to
eventually cover the upper part of the north and the northeastern region
of Thailand. The monsoon will move down to the upper southern region and
change to the northwest monsoon wind covering the Gulf of Thailand and
the southern region. These conditions will cause lower precipitation and
lower temperature in the upper part of Thailand, while the southern
region will still be seeing heavy rains, especially on the eastern side.
It is expected that the rainy season will end by mid October for the
upper region of Thailand, while the south will continue to experience
rainfalls until late January, and especially during November to
The public should closely monitor weather conditions and authorities'
forecasts, especially from August to September when it is flood prone.
Tropical cyclones could form and move near or through Thailand, with
accompanying effects such as strong winds, downpours, and heavy rains in
Greek referendum result has no impact on Thai economy, Finance Minister confirms
BANGKOK, 6 July 2015 (NNT) Finance Minister Sommai
Phasi confirmed the outcome of the Greek referendum to reject the terms
of an international bailout had no impacts on Thai economy.
His confirmation came after he presided over the launching of the
THB500m SMEs Private Equity Trust Fund on Monday.
He explained that 76 per cent of Greece's debts were held by Eurozone,
the European Central Bank and the IMF. Another 24 per cent were held by
The first portion of Greece’s debts, worth US$1,700m., was equal to 1
per cent of Thailand's foreign exchange reserves, he added.
He said the estimated 7 per cent economic growth of China was more
important for Thailand as the country's economy has more influence on
Thai economy than the Greek one.
He advised Thai people consume news and information from social media in
a mindful manner.
According to him, despite less export revenue, Thai economy is not in
recession as its imports have also lowered and helped the country keep
its positive balance of trade.
The government, he reiterated, has provided assistance measures for
sectors affected by the drought disaster.
He also revealed that the Finance Ministry has already nominated a new
governor of the Bank of Thailand and the name is possibly proposed to
the cabinet meeting tomorrow or later in the next meeting.
PM satisfied with operations to regulate ent. venues
BANGKOK, 6 July 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha has commended administrative and national security officers
for taking actions against illegal entertainment venues. Gen. Prayut
called on all sides to help reduce vices in the society.
Deputy Government Spokesman Sansern Kaeokamnerd on Monday said the
premier was satisfied with the national police bureau’s policy to
regulate the entertainment venues operating beyond legal operating
hours. Gen. Prayut however expressed concerns over entertainment venues
near academic institutions since they might be the locations where young
people used drugs, Maj.Gen. Sansern said.
The PM also praised the Sara Buri provincial governor who worked with
administrative and national security officers in tackling the
entertainment venues which allowed young people under 20 years of age to
enter. He urged other provincial administrations to apply the governor’s
guidelines in protecting the nation’s adolescents.
LPG price pegged at 23.96 baht/kg in July
BANGKOK, 6 July 2015 (NNT) The Committee on Energy
Policy Administration (CEPA) has decided to keep the retail price of
liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) unchanged for this month at 23.96 baht per
Following the latest meeting of CEPA, Minister of Energy Narongchai
Akrasanee revealed that the meeting acknowledged a decline in the LPG
price in the world market from 419 US dollars per ton in June to 407
dollars this month. Nonetheless, he said a resolution was passed to not
reduce the domestic retail price in line with the global rate but to
maintain it at 23.96 baht per kilogram. The move was aimed to allow for
the payment of the price difference to the State Oil Fund.
As a result, the contribution to the Oil Fund from LPG sales will
increase 12 satang to 1.07 baht per kilogram, equivalent to about 314
million baht each month. The fund is currently running a surplus of 7.39
Mr Narongchai added that the LPG price restructuring policy, which has
been effective since February this year, has helped the country cut LPG
imports to only 93,300 tons a month in May, almost half the amount
imported in December last year. He also affirmed that the price
restructuring will be completed within this year.
Turbulent seas keep fishermen ashore in Krabi
KRABI, 6 July 2015 (NNT) Fishery operators in the
southern province of Krabi have been forced to dock their boats by
strong waves as the weather bureau has warned the South and the East of
stormy conditions until next week.
Authorities from Nopparat Thara Beach-Phi Phi Islands National Park in
Krabi have put up red flags along the famous Ao Nang Beach and Nopparat
Thara Beach in an attempt to caution locals and tourists against playing
in the water during this period due to potential dangers from gusty
winds and strong currents.
According to reports, a number of fishing boats in the area have been
brought back to the shore after being faced with the unfavorable weather
The Meteorological Department indicated that the southwest monsoon
prevailing over the Andaman Sea, the South and the Gulf of Thailand will
continue to gain strength from now until July 13. Such a condition is
expected to cause an increase in rainfall or even thundershowers in many
provinces in the South and the East, especially Chanthaburi, Trat,
Ranong and Phang Nga.
With waves as high as 2-4 meters in both the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of
Thailand, the department encouraged public members to take extra
precautions on the beach. Operators of small boats are also suggested to
remain ashore for safety reasons.
Udomdej visits troops in Si Sa Ket and Surin to boost morale
BANGKOK, 6 July 2015 (NNT) Deputy Defence Minister
Udomdej Sitabutr has paid a visit to troops operating along the Thai -
It was the first visit by Gen Udomdej as the army chief to the border
area under the jurisdiction of the Suranaree Force of the 2nd Army.
According to him, the visit is aimed providing moral support to soldiers
stationed in Si Sa Ket and Surin, adding the Thai-Cambodian relations
are well-maintained. Both countries have been cooperating to tackle the
issues of illegal logging and drug-smuggling along the border.
Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong is also
slated to pay an official visit to Thailand from July 10 to 12 in order
to further deepen the relations between the two neighbouring countries.
He is expected to attend the signing of the Amendment of Agreement on
Border Crossing and the announcement on the opening of bilateral
checkpoint An She as an international checkpoint.
PM congratulates winners of 2015 UNSPA award
BANGKOK, 6 July 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha has
offered his congratulations to the Thai agencies that received this
year’s United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA).
The laureates included the Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child
Health for its excellence in state project development through data
dissemination, and Khonkaen Hospital for its support for gender
The UN Public Service Awards has been held annually since 2008 to
commemorate state agencies that have delivered quality service to the
public throughout the year.
Community forest bill criticized by local communities
BANGKOK, 6 July 2015 (NNT) Representatives from Phang
Nga province have delivered a letter to the National Reform Council
(NRC) committee on natural resources and environmental reform, conveying
their disapproval of the community forest bill.
The group argued that the current version of the bill hinders the
management of community forests by local communities. They cited a
stipulation in the bill that prohibits the establishment of community
forests in protected zones, effectively negating the rights of
communities that have long resided in the area for generations.
The group therefore called for the bill to be revised to truly reflect
the country’s reform principles of facilitating citizen participation.
They also asked that community forests laws remain separate from laws
regarding protected forests and endangered species in order to prevent
difficulties in legal interpretation.
The petition by the group is the most recent addition to the movement
against the act. The bill has received criticism by community networks
for stripping local communities the right to participate in the
management of community forests.
Road collapses reported in many drought-hit provinces
BANGKOK, 6 July 2015 (NNT) The drought crisis has
been blamed for major road collapses in Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani and
other provinces. No one was killed or injured by the incidents.
Sections of up to 88 roads in Pathum Thani collapsed after canals in
many areas dried up. Roads in Nong Suer and Klong Luang districts
sustained the most damage, as canals run alongside most roads. Motorists
are urged to avoid these roads and exercise caution while driving. The
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation unit has carried out repair work on
27 roads, and additional funds are being approved to re-open more roads
In Ayutthaya, the drought caused water levels in canals around the
province to hit record lows, resulting in road collapses. Late on Monday
night, the road built along Praya Bunlue Canal collapsed further. The
subsidence is over two meters deep and 100 meters long, rendering the
road inaccessible for motor vehicles. The collapse followed another
major road subsidence nearby, where the crack is almost three meters
deep. The cracks are expected to grow without immediate repair.
The sharp drop of the water level in Rapeepat canal in Saraburi’s Nong
Sua district has also caused heavy subsidence of a section of road
beside the canal, resulting in the closure of the road to traffic.
Army Chief says arrest of 14 college students could prevent political violence
BANGKOK, 6 July 2015 (NNT) The Deputy Defense
Minister has insisted that the government is nobody's enemy and everyone
can express their political views as long as they do not break the law.
Army Chief and Deputy Defense Minister General Udomdej Sitabutr said the
government had been gentle with 14 college students who have been
detained after breaking the National Council for Peace and Order
According to Gen. Udomdej, the government is not against anybody, and
that the students are like children to them. He further added that it
was important for the authorities to resort to using the law as these
students had been told many times not to stage any protest.
He expounded that they had to be detained because their gathering would
attract more protesters, which could lead to a massive demonstration and
Dept of Highways to make sure roads don't collapse
BANGKOK, 6 July 2015 (NNT) The Department of Highways
is trying to restore within a week the road along Raphephat Canal that
collapsed four meters deep on Saturday.
Transport Minister Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntonghas has instructed
the Department of Highways to inspect the damage and have the road
repaired and open to traffic in one week.
Regional units of the Department of Highways have also been told to
survey the roads in their jurisdiction and make sure they are not prone
to erosion, which is said to have caused the recent road collapse.
The Ministry of Transport will finance their mission to assure road
security. Deputy Director of the Department of Rural Roads Manop Susing
has revealed that roads in Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani and Saraburi that had
collapsed have already been fixed and open to traffic.
RID holds interdepartmental meeting to assess water situation
BANGKOK, 6 July 2015 (NNT) The Royal Irrigation
Department (RID) will convene a meeting today with ten agencies to
assess the water shortage situation in the country.
According to RID Deputy Director General Suthep Noipiroj, the levels of
rainfall as well as the amount of water expected to go to the reservoirs
are two indicators these agencies will rely on to keep the water
consumption under control.
If there is not enough precipitation to replenish water levels in the
reservoirs, water released into the streams will be lowered to 28
million cubic meters until August.
Mr. Suthep added that, given the current situation, an estimated 850,000
rai of farmland would eventually be damaged due to the lack of water.
He expressed optimism that the extent of the damage would be limited, as
more water supplies are expected to be transported to rice paddies that
have already begun cultivation.
Seafood supplies in Yala not affected by fishing protest
YALA, 6 July 2015 (NNT) The amount of seafood for
sale in Yala province has not been affected by an organized work
stoppage of local fishing operators.
Shoppers continue to buy fresh seafood at markets in Mueang Yala
district, while the prices have increased slightly. Seafood vendors said
the work stoppage by fishermen had minimal impact to the supply of
seafood in the province.
They said small boats did not join bigger fishing vessels, which were
protesting against the government for not granting them a grace period,
and have been leaving the shore to catch fish and crustaceans as usual.
However, seafood vendors reported that fish and crustaceans available in
the market have been smaller since the protest. Only a few large ones
were available in the market.
Songkhla lottery vendors continue to sell tickets at 80 baht apiece
SONGKHLA, 6 July 2015, (NNT) Government Lottery
Office Chief Thanawat Polwichai and Songkhla administration officials
yesterday held a random inspection on lottery vendors in the province.
The inspection did not discover any lottery vendor selling tickets
exceeding the mandated price of 80 baht apiece.
Each vendors bought tickets from the Songkhla administration office at
70.40 baht apiece. The office has prepared 3,220 stacks of tickets for
its contract vendors, another 100 stacks for disabled vendors and 460
stacks for the provincial association of the blind.
Mr. Thanawat Polwichai stresses that vendors who sell tickets exceeding
the regulated price would face punishment, which includes a fine of up
to 10,000 baht.
The majority of the vendors are satisfied with the new policy, saying
they still make income, but have asked for larger ticket quotas from the
officials. Currently, each vendor only receives 5 - 10 stacks of
tickets. Those who need more resort to purchasing stacks from other
Sisaket releases water to the drought affected farmlands
SISAKET, 6 July 2015, (NNT) The northeastern province
of Sisaket released water for agricultural purposes to 3,000 rai of
drought-affected farmland, after several water pumps were restored.
Sisaket Governor Yutthana Wiriyakitti, along with his entourage,
yesterday visited the water distributing station in Rasi Salai district.
The water pumps in the station were reportedly in a state of disrepair.
According to the officials, aside from the restoration, the province
also install five new water pumps in the station to prevent rice that
had already been planted in the drought-affected farmlands from
The governor said the station uses an electric water pump that is now
fully operational after his office dispatched a team of technicians to
take care of the issue. He assured the public that the province would do
all it can to help agriculturalists in their operation.
Prime minister urges fishing vessel operators to heed relevant laws
BANGKOK, 6 July 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha has urged fishing vessel operators to observe all relevant
laws, in order to avoid negative consequences to consumers and exports
of fishery products.
General Prayut indicated that any halting of fishing activity would have
drastic effects on workers in the fishery sector, and thus he would like
vessel operators to collaborate with all sectors to avoid impacting
domestic consumption and exports. He also suggested that fishery
associations merge into larger groups to make it easier for assistance
measures to be provided and in order to allow workers of docked vessels
to remain employed.
At the Bang Nak Market in Narathiwat City, seafood sellers said catch
has dwindled after some fishermen in Pattani stopped going to sea and
local fishermen were bringing in less fish than before.
At Khok Matum Market in Phitsanulok City, prices of seafood have gone up
slightly correlating with the lowered amount of available catch, while
marine fish has disappeared completely from the market. Consumers have
also expressed their intention to forgo seafood consumption if prices
continue to increase.
NRC’s Direk declined to comment on draft charter
BANGKOK, 5 July 2015 (NNT) A vice chairman of the
National Reform Council’s committee in charge of the reform of politics
has declined to comment on the details of the draft charter.
According to the NRC’s political reform committee vice chairman, Direk
Teungfung, the adjustment of the draft Constitution has been going on
smoothly, after he has been following up on the process carried out by
the Constitution Drafting Committee.
Mr. Direk said that many issues have been adjusted although he still has
some concerns because he has not seen all the details of the draft
He added that the CDC has not made any statement about all the changes
and that his knowledge on the changes was derived from news reports
Accordingly, he is unable to make any further comment on the charter
’Nevertheless, Mr. Direck noted that the CDC should soon explain to the
NRC all the changes it has made so that both will share common
understandings about the progress.
Yala residents ready for the Feast of Breaking the Fast
BANGKOK, 5 July 2015 (NNT) Residents of southern Yala
province are getting ready to celebrate Hari Raya, the Feast of Breaking
Thai Muslim have been seen flocking to the trade district in the center
of Yala province where families have been busy shopping for new clothes
and accessories for the upcoming of the Hari Raya festival or Eid
The festival, which celebrates the end of fasting, is scheduled to take
place in fewer than 10 days.
Local merchants said that shopping has become lively since last Friday,
when residents of several districts in the province traveled to select
new personal belongings.
The Sheikhul Islam Office of Thailand has informed all Muslim to observe
the moon on Thursday, July 16 after the sunset.
If the moon can be observed, the following day, which is July 17 will be
the Eid al-Fitr day. But if the moon cannot be observed, the Eid al-Fitr
day will instead be on July 18.
Provincial labour offices ordered to monitor fishing operators’ strike to prevent impacts on workers
BANGKOK, 5 July 2015 (NNT) The Department of Labour
Protection and Welfare has instructed its branches in twenty-two coastal
provinces to closely observe impacts on fish workers as a result of the
strike by fishing operators.
Director-General Peeraphat Pornsirilertkit said the department has so
far found no negative impacts on fishery workers. Trawler owners who are
unable to take their boats out to the sea still pay their workers and
provide other benefits on a usual basis.
Mr.Peeraphat said surveys on the welfare of affected workers will be
conducted constantly to ensure that government assistance will reach all
of them thoroughly.
For unregistered boats, Mr.Peeraphat stressed, fishing operators should
register their vessels and equipment within the extended deadline of
July 15 to meet the government’s new requirements being enforced. Only
after the registration that their boats would be able to set sail again,
the director-general said.
Lively crowd at last day Thai Teaw Thai event
BANGKOK, 5 July 2015 (NNT) The final day of the Thai
Teaw Thai tourism event featured discounts on many tourism packages and
services, attracting a large attendance the entire day.
Many people attended the last day of the 35th Thai Teaw Thai and the
2015 Thai Teaw Nok tourism expo at BITEC Bang Na exhibition center in
Bangkok, to book and purchase tourism packages at exclusive discounted
The event features more than 600 booths selling tourism packages and
services from both Thai and international companies on hotel and resort
reservations, tour packages, air tickets, traveling gear. Tourism
services are on a special Green Season Sales discount period.
Most of the visitors were enthusiastic about booking packages for their
holidays, and were attracted by the special packages that combined
accommodation and tour activities in an attractive price range. Premium
gift sets were provided to those purchasing the packages at a certain
price as well.
Entrepreneurs at this event mentioned that the crowd in this year's
event were spending more on weekend and national holiday bookings, when
compared to previous years.
Tourism Police and officials have also set up their booths in this event
to provide license verification to all tourism companies participating
in this event, as well as answering all questions from the visitors.
MWA confirms raw water condition suitable for tap water production
BANGKOK, 5 July 2015 (NNT) The Metropolitan
Waterworks Authority (MWA) Governor has confirmed the overall water
condition still falls within the standard suitable for the production of
tap water. The state enterprise is considering reducing water rates to
help farmers who have been affected by sea water intrusion.
MWA Governor Thanasak Watanathana noted that currently the saltwater has
moved deeper inland, and have at some point intruded into the Chao
Phraya River to the Sum Lae pumping station in Pathum Thani province
where raw water is distributed to the MWA for tap water production.
He said that despite the higher sea water level, the overall water
quality is still acceptable for use in tap water production. Moreover,
the Chao Phraya River is now receiving fresh water from the Bhumibol,
Sirikit, and Pasak dams at the combined amount of more than 700 million
cubic meters per day.
He stated that there were no prospects for the water to turn brackish
for the next 30 days. And after that period, more rain is expected from
the royal rainmaking operations.
For farmers in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, and Samut Prakan who have been
affected by sea water intrusion which prevents them from using the water
from Chao Phraya River for cultivation due to the unusual level of
salinity, the MWA Governor said that the MWA would offer them a discount
in water fee at 8.50 baht per liter for the first 50 liters, and 10.50
baht for every liter exceeding that volume. So far 570 farmers have
registered for the discount.
The MWA Governor also thanked the government and related sectors which
have campaigned for the reduction of rice farming this year, and the
farmers who have cooperated in water conservation.
Prachinburi holds 9th annual fruit fair
PRACHINBURI, 5 July 2015, (NNT) The central province
of Prachinburi is currently holding its 9th annual fruit fair at the
OTOP center in Muang District, featuring santol, rambutan, durian, and
ornamental plants as well other OTOP items.
The event is being organized by the provincial administration office and
the local administration office of Ban Phra Sub-district. Deputy
Prachinburi Governor Somrirk Buayai, presided over the opening ceremony
of the event, which attracted a large number of the locals.
The event is aimed at introducing an additional distribution channel for
local fruit growers, OTOP manufacturers, while promoting the province’s
famous santol to the public at the same time. The fair, which kicked off
on Friday, will run until July 12.
Drought crisis abates in 27 provinces
BANGKOK, 5 July 2015 (NNT) The Department of Disaster
Prevention and Mitigation says drought problems in 27 out of 40 affected
provinces have abated thanks to the efforts of different agencies.
According to Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation
Director-General Chatchai Promlert, 13 provinces across the country
remain heavily affected by the prolonged dry season.
The situation in many provinces has eased as provincial interior
offices, the military and related agencies mobilized their resources to
come up with emergency measures, including the dispatch of water trucks
to severely-affected communities, the survey of new water sources, the
rain enhancement operations and the launch of discount product fairs,
said Mr. Chatchai.
A low pressure trough which has reached The Gulf of Tonkin will cause
rainfalls in the upper North and upper Northeast, while a southwestern
monsoon will bring thundershowers to the western part of the North, the
South and the central region during this period, the Department Chief
It is expected that the forthcoming cloudbursts will help alleviate the
impact of the dry season.
Mobile Blue Flag Campaign organized in Trat Province
TRAT, 5 July 2015, (NNT) A mobile blue flag fair was
held in Muang District of Trat Province yesterday, in which locals can
purchase a number of essential items at discounted prices.
The campaign in Trat was jointly launched by the provincial
administration office, the internal trade office, and the Trat Royal
Thai Marine Corps.
Eggs, cooking oil, sugar and 5-kg bagged rice were on offer at 50
percent discount, whereas detergent, soap, toothpaste, shampoo, fish
sauce, canned fish and instant noodle were available at 30 percent off
the market price. A large number of the locals availed themselves of the
According to officials, the campaign is part of the government’s efforts
in assisting drought affected locals, adding that the mobile blue flag
unit will also be held in 21 other sub-districts of Trat before July 23.
Thailand to host Workability Asia Conference 2015
BANGKOK, 5 July 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Social Development and Human
Resources (MSDHS) and related agencies will be hosting the Workability
Asia Conference 2015, focusing on the employment promotion for persons
Workability Thailand's Director Suporntum Mongkolsawadi has said that
the Workability Asia Conference 2015 will be held in Pattaya, Chonburi
on 8-10 July 2015 at Hilton Pattaya hotel. The conference will be
organized by the MSDHS, the Ministry of Labour, the Public Relations
Department (PRD), leading business groups, and other related agencies.
He has said that this conference will be attended by 350 academics and
delegates from groups that represent persons with disabilities from all
over Asia, to enhance business capabilities through the efficient
management of human resources, which includes persons with disabilities.
The cooperation would be extended to the ASEAN Community, where persons
with disabilities' would be included into the regional workforce.
He has stressed however that this matter should not be regarded as the
way to provide help to persons with disabilities, as they have equal
rights to work and to contribute in businesses from the beginning, but
the maximum utilization of human resources will in turn help improve the
An exhibition showing HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s many
contributions for persons with disabilities will also take place at this
event, allowing attendees to learn from the model on how to promote the
employment of persons with disabilities, providing them with more job
Uthai Thani to drill more artesian wells in 8 districts
UTHAI THANI, 05 July 2015, (NNT) The province of
Uthai Thani is planning to drill 17 artesian wells in all of the area’s
8 drought affected districts, according to Uthai Thani Governor, Somchai
The drilling, which is to kick off soon, is a joint operation between
the provincial administration office and the Department of Groundwater.
The groundwater will be used for both consumption and other general
purposes. Aside from the drilling, the governor said his office was
planning to dredge the existing wells around the province which have
been clogged up or damaged.
Two wells in Thap Than District will be dredged beginning in July, with
10 in more scheduled for Nong Sa Sub-district, said the governor, adding
that the operation will be carried out in the area hardest hit first. He
assured the residents that all of the 200 clogged wells will be up and
Traffic closure expected for Red Line train construction
BANGKOK, 3 July 2015 (NNT) – The State Railway of
Thailand (SRT) has announced the permanent closure of the Kamphaeng Phet
6 Road section in Bangkok, in order to accommodate the construction of
the SRT's Red Line railway.
The SRT declared the closure of a section of the Kamphaeng Phet 6 Road
from under the Srirut Expressway underpass to the 11th kilometre post,
to accommodate the construction of the foundation pile and the rail of
the Red Line Bang Sue - Rangsit commuter train project from 6 July 2015.
700 meters of the road will be closed permanently from 6am as of 6 July
2015. The SRT is constructing a two-lane bypass road to link together
the Kamphaeng Phet 2 and Kamphaeng Phet 6 road alleviate the congestion
of daily traffic during construction.
Thai Parliament Museum holds a ‘Journey on the road to Thai democracy’ tour
BANGKOK, 3 July 2015 (NNT) - Thailand’s
Parliament Museum is holding an educational tour
to the various landmarks in Bangkok that are
parts of the kingdom’s history on its journey
The program was conceived by the Office of the
Secretariat of the House of Representatives. It
is aimed at educating students and members of
the civil service sector on how the country’s
democracy formed shape through a visit to
The route takes visitors to the Ananta Samakhom
Throne Hall, Parliament House, King Prajadhipok
Museum, the Thai Parliament Museum, the Thai
Cabinet Museum, the Royal Thai Orders and
Decorations Museum, Thailand’s Victory Monument,
the October 14 Memorial Site, Thammasat
University and the Bangkok National Museum.
Min of Interior urges integrated solutions for drought
BANGKOK, 3 July 2015 (NNT) – The Minister of Interior
has urged all related agencies to join forces in solving the drought
disaster with a focus on finding more water sources for consumption.
The Minister of Interior Gen Anupong Paojinda has revealed latest
developments on the current drought situation in Thailand, stating that
many provinces are still suffering from the drought, especially the 22
provinces in the Chao Phraya River Basin. The Prime Minister is
especially concerned about the public affected by the drought.
He has said the Ministry of Interior and the Department of Disaster
Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) have been appointed to assemble all
related agencies' efforts to help farmers through the fair and inclusive
water management at irrigation canals.
More groundwater wells will be drilled in flood affected areas as an
initial response to provide more consumption water. Provincial governors
have been urged to utilize their local mechanisms to create an
understanding on the current water situation and the management plan
among farmers, as well as to encourage them to adjust their farming
plans in relation to the current water situation in their respective
The DDPM Director-General Chatchai Promlert has said that the drought
situation in 27 out of 40 provinces have improved. However, 5,366
villages in 13 provinces still suffer from the drought.
He ordered the related agencies to provide public relief through water
by distributing for consumption and cultivation, while raw water will be
supplied to the drought affected areas and machines will be mobilized to
support disaster relief efforts. The construction of ponds, waterways,
and the renovating the existing wells will also serve as a supporting
mechanism to relay water to the areas that suffer from repeated droughts
in 76 provinces.
NRC to conclude 37 aspects of reform by Aug 19
BANGKOK, 3 July 2015 (NNT) - The National Reform
Council (NRC) Whip has indicated that all the 37 aspects of national
reform will be completed by August 19 of this year, while the
Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has invited all 18 NRC committees
to participate in the drafting of organic laws.
According to NRC Whip Wanchai Sonsiri, the NRC has agreed to the
establishment of a committee to formulate a 20-year national development
plan, which incorporates reform agendas from both the National Council
for Peace and Order and the NRC.
He also revealed that the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) was
scheduled to present its progress on the second draft of the
constitution to the NRC between August 3-7,and forward the completed
version to the NRC on August 22. The NRC would then vote on September 7
whether to approve of the nation’s new constitution.
As for the drafting of organic laws that will accompany the new charter,
the CDC has invited representatives from all 18 NRC committees to take
part in the process in order for the organic laws to be completed at the
same time as the new constitution.
Citizen’s group calls for revision of community forest bill
BANGKOK, 3 July
2015 (NNT) - A
has submitted a
petition to the
Council (NRC) to
bill to include
and ensure equal
group for social
that the bill
group asked that
act be revised
to promote local
the principle of
if the reform
body decides to
proceed with the
then the group
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Thailand officially Mers-free after only patient declared cured
BANGKOK, 3 July 2015 (NNT) - Thailand is
officially free of Mers as the country’s only
patient has made a full recovery and is cured of
the deadly virus.
Public Health Minister, Professor Dr. Rachata
Rachatanavin said the 75-year-old Omani man who
is the first confirmed case of Mers is fully
cured and 176 people who have been in contact
with him have also been cleared of the virus.
He elaborated that the patient has tested
negative for the virus during the last 5 medical
Dr Ratchata noted that Thailand and other
countries are still at risk of a Mers outbreak
due to a large number of tourist arrivals in the
country and due to the kingdom’s position as a
regional medical hub. Screening measures will
continue to be implemented to prevent a possible
In South Korea, the virus had killed 33 people
so far and a total of 184 cases had been
confirmed. Forty-two of those remain
hospitalised with 12 in critical condition.
Rajabhat University network reverses decision to cut ties with SCBB
BANGKOK, 3 July 2015 (NNT) - The Rajabhat
University network has reversed its decision to
terminate financial dealings with Siam
Commercial Bank following an urgent meeting with
the bank’s executives.
The network had earlier announced that it would
cut ties with the bank after a controversial
online job ad specified that the bank would only
recruit applicants from 14 leading universities
on a given name list. The job ad drew criticism
from the public and from universities whose
names were not on the online list.
SCB executives held a meeting with the
university network on Friday morning to clarify
errors made in the job ad for the position of a
financial advisor trainee and to apologize for
any ill-will the ad has caused. They insisted a
full-scale investigation into the incident had
Following the meeting, Rajabhat University has
resolved to continue financial transactions with
the bank and to establish future collaborations
with the bank in a bid to produce graduates who
meet the need of the job market.
SCB has insisted that all its branches are open
for new graduates from all universities, and
that the bank annually recruits around
2,000-3,000 new employees, several hundred of
whom were graduates from Rajabhat University of
Sukhumbhand: 'be glad for rain, water shortage much scarier'
BANGKOK, 3 July 2015 (NNT) – The Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration is prepared to deal
with the floods during this rainy season,
addressing that the possible shortage of water
is more concerning, says the Bangkok Governor.
M.R. Sukhumbhand stressed at a press conference
that Thailand is currently faces prolong drought
amidst lower than expected rainfall figures. The
water levels in Bangkok's canals are considered
very low, which might lead to the collapse of
the shores along the canal and even roads,
especially unofficial unpaved roads. M.R.
Sukhumbhand reassured that responsible sectors
had already been ordered to monitor the
situation since the beginning of the year.
However, what’s more is concerning is that the
low level of water also leads to the rise water
saltiness, along with the low volume of water
released from the dams' effects on farmers,
especially in the Western side of the city or
Krung Thon Buri. He said the BMA has prepared
filtered water to be allocated to farmers in
drought hit areas, so that they can water their
M.R. Sukhumbhand added that he truly understands
how the citizens of Bangkok feel during a heavy
downpour and promised to drain the water as fast
and as much as possible.
“We are facing drought situation, please be
happy for the rain, because water shortage is
much scarier” M.R. Sukhumbhand concluded.
MERS-CoV patient fully recovers, ready to go home
NONTHABURI, 3 July 2015 (NNT) – The Omani patient, the country’s
first confirmed case of MERS-CoV, has made a full recovery and
will be discharged from the hospital today.
Infectious Diseases Institute has allowed the patient and his
three relatives go home, after lab tests confirmed his full
recovery. Doctors also revealed the man’s heart problem had
improved. They declared the patient is self sufficient and can
now walk short distances.
Representatives from the Embassy of Oman will be visiting the
institute to accompany the man and his relatives for departure
back to their home country late this evening. So far, the number
of confirmed MERS-CoV cases in the country remains at one.
Meanwhile, Advisor to the Disease-Control Department Professor
Emeritus Dr. Prasert Thongcharoen said the country must maintain
strong MERS-CoV prevention and control measures, despite the
Meningococcal disease outbreak kills 1 in Satun
SATUN, 3 July 2015 (NNT) - An outbreak of meningococcal disease
has killed one patient in Satun province, prompting local health
officials to remain on high alert.
22 locals who recently developed a fever are being monitored by
provincial health units for a period of 20 days. Health
officials who came in contact with those under surveillance have
also been given medication to curb the spread.
A local school, where a student has been diagnosed with
meningococcal disease, announced that the school will remain
temporarily closed until further measures are implemented. The
school is undergoing a thorough cleaning to prevent the
contraction of the disease.
Meningococcal disease describes infections caused by the
bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. The bacteria spreads through
the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions. Symptoms can
include sudden high fever, severe headache, nausea and
drowsiness. The disease carries a high mortality rate if
untreated, but can be prevented via vaccination.