PM sets integrated water management as long-term agenda
BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Gen Prayut
Chan-o-cha has confirmed the government is laying down a long-term plan
on integrated water management in an attempt to avert drought problems
in the future.
Following the Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Prayut revealed that the
attendants discussed and placed importance on the prevention of drought
and management of water resources in an integrated manner, agreeing to
include the matter into the long-term national agenda to be implemented
through the year 2026.
In the initial stage, the premier said related officials are dredging
waterways and expanding reservoirs in order to increase water storage
capacity and enable the irrigation system to support the agricultural
sector more effectively.
As for the assistance of drought-affected farmers, the Ministry of
Interior is organizing a supplementary job program for them while there
is also a plan to give out compensation for the damage on crops and
produce. In the meantime, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives
has been assigned to disseminate knowledge about the cultivation of
alternative crops so as to alleviate the impact from water shortage.
Gen Prayut admitted he is concerned about the creation of understanding
among the people regarding the government’s reduction of water discharge
from reservoirs during the drought crisis, saying it is part of the
measure to ensure sustainable water supply for the country. He also
asked agriculturists to have trust in the government’s ability to take
care of them.
Metro Police kicks off Crime Zero emergency button campaign
BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) The Metropolitan Police
Bureau has launched the Crime Zero campaign with the installation of the
emergency call button at oil stations, in an attempt to reduce criminal
The Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau Pol Maj Gen
Chantawit Ramasut, along with PPT Plc Senior Executive Vice President of
Oil Business Unit Chavalit Punthong, has officiated over the launch of
'Crime Zero' emergency button campaign at the PTT oil station on Pheu
Sawasdikarn Vibhavadi Rangsit Road in Bangkok.
The Crime Zero campaign will see the installation of emergency call
buttons at 9 PTT oil stations during the initial pilot phase. Once the
emergency button is pressed, siren alarms will go off, while visual
records from closed circuit cameras and notifications via mobile phones
will be sent to the police force.
This campaign aims to reduce criminal activity to zero percent, through
suppression efforts, while the PTT will be shouldering all expenses for
the installation of the emergency buttons.
The Metropolitan Police Bureau is set to expand this service's coverage
onto other PTT oil stations in the future.
More fishing boats sail out with Port-in, Port-out reports
BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) More fishing vessels
weighing over 30 gross tonnes will be resuming operations in consistent
with the Port-in and Port-out reports, the MOAC Minister says.
The Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Petipong Pungbun Na Ayudhya
reveals that the overall fishing situation in 22 seaside provinces has
begun returning to normal conditions. More vessels are sailing out to
fish, with the exception of some rough sea areas, where small boats'
operations have been prohibited during this time.
He has said that the number of operating vessels that are larger than 30
gross tonnes has increased. The Port-in and Port-out reports the current
number at 2,558 vessels.
Fish markets and ice factories have resumed business as usual, with more
catches entering the market. Overall prices remain at normal rates, with
the exception of some areas where vessels are still prohibited from
operating due to harsh sea conditions.
The MOAC Minister has added that vessels owners who have not registered
their vessels to obtain fishing licenses, log books, employees
registers, work permits, certificates, and install the Vessel Monitoring
Systems (VMS) should contact the Provincial Fisheries Offices to
complete the process within 31 July 2015.
Cabinet approves transfer list of high-ranking Interior officials
BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-O-cha has approved the annual reshuffle of high-ranking Interior
Ministry officials at the cabinet meeting today.
Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda had proposed to the meeting a list of
high-ranking officials to be transferred. Among those having been
promoted is director-general of the Department of Provincial
Administration Kritsada Boonraj, who is now appointed Permanent
Secretary for Interior, whereas a deputy permanent secretary for
Interior, Mr. Arthit Boounyasophat, will replace Mr. Kritsada in his old
Three other deputy Permanent Secretaries for Interior, namely Mr. Charin
Chakkapak, Mr. Maitri Inthusut and Apinan Suethanuwong are appointed the
Director-General of the Department of Local Administration, the
Director-General of the Community Development Department , and the
Director-General of the Land Department, respectively.
Four provincial governors from Narathiwat, Chainat, Ubon Ratchathani and
Nakhon Sawan are appointed new deputy permanent secretaries for
Mr Kritsada Boonraj will be the first top official of the Interior
Ministry who was graduated from Ramkhamhaeng University’s Political
Science faculty. His predecessors were graduates from either
Chulalonkorn or Thammasat universities.
Pre-paid mobile registration must be made within 31 July
BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) The National Broadcasting
and Telecommunications Commission has stressed that the registration of
pre-paid mobile numbers must commence before the deadline on 31 July
2015, users are urged to check their status by dial *151#.
The NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith has revealed that all
pre-paid mobile number users are required to register their numbers
within 31 July 2015. Users can check whether their number has been
registered or not, by dialling *151# on their mobile phone to receive
the response text message indicating the status.
The registration of pre-paid numbers can be made at all registration
points with the NBTC logo, via ‘2 takes’ application, at 7-11 stores, at
carrier service centres, and at local administrative organization
offices that provide civil registration services.
The NBTC Secretary-General has said that the registration is free of
charge, and will be carried out with information security protection.
The registration will provide an upgraded secure mobile service as the
number cannot be used in criminal activities, and provide users with the
right to maintain their numbers. This number registration will not
convert the service into the monthly post-paid packages.
He has also mentioned the result of mobile services fees in ASEAN, that
Thailand’s call rate is the third cheapest only behind Brunei and
Singapore, while the mobile internet fees in Thailand is ranked at the
forth among ASEAN countries.
Former BKK Police Chief summoned for questioning related to firearm possession through airport security
BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) The Royal Thai Police has
revealed that a former Bangkok Police Chief will be summoned for
questioning after receiving his testimony from Japanese prosecutors.
Royal Thai Police Chief Pol Gen Somyos Poompanmuang said that former
Bangkok Police Chief Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit Thoopkrachang will be
interrogated after his testimony arrives from Japan, where the offense
Both testimonies conducted in Japan and Thailand will be compared as
part of the police investigation. Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit will visit police
headquarters on July 27.
He will be asked a series of questions regarding the incident where a
sidearm was found on his person while boarding the plane. Depending on
the results of the investigation, the former police chief could face
several charges. Testimonies have been collected from 14 eyewitnesses.
CDC will accept 30 day work timeframe extension
BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) The Constitution Drafting
Committee (CDC) says it would definitely accept a new 30 day extension
to its work time frame, as much still remains to be done.
Spokesperson Gen Lertrat Ratanawanich said there remain numerous
sections and procedures that need to be considered, such as the
rearrangement of sections, ensuring continuity of various provisions as
well as matters of reform and reconciliation which have yet to be
completed. The CDC must then also publicize its reasoning behind its
various amendments all within its work time frame.
Gen Lertrat said the CDC would have no reason to deny a 30 day
extension. He noted however that the 30 days included numerous public
holidays and that the CDC would realistically be left with around 20
additional working days.
DWR urges Thais to reduce daily water consumption by 1L
BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) The Department of Water
Resources (DWR) said Thailand could save as much as 60 million liters of
water per day if everyone reduced daily water usage by one liter.
DWR Director General Jatuporn Burutpat said it is important that
everyone is using water wisely, as climate change intensifies.
Water consumption in Bangkok is among the highest in the country, at
around 4-5 million cubic meters per day. Government organizations and
businesses are said to consume the largest amount of water. Meanwhile,
household consumption reportedly averages 200 liters per day.
Rainfall to decline as monsoon leaves Thailand
BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) Meteorologists say the
amount of rainfall in Thailand will now start to decline.
Nevertheless, the Meteorological Department, advises that flood warnings
remain in place for residents of the Northeast, as a monsoon trough
moves across the upper part of the country.
The department has advised fishermen in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of
Thailand to take precautions when leaving port. The southwesterly wind
remains strong on both sides of the southern peninsula, and waves could
reach a height of 2-3 meters.
However, Thailand will begin to see a decline in the amount of rain from
Wednesday, when the southwesterly wind is expected to weaken. The
monsoon trough will also move toward parts of Myanmar and Laos.
Campaign to set up drinking water donation centers for drought victims to be proposed to the Cabinet
BANGKOK, 21 July 2015, (NNT) M.L. Panadda Diskul,
Permanent Secretary to the Prime Ministers' Office, is expected to
propose to the Cabinet a campaign to establish drinking water donation
centers for drought victims in 53 provinces. Similarly, several
provinces have launched drinking water distribution centers.
According to M.L. Panadda, if the campaign is approved, then it would
accept donations in forms of cash, drinking water, and water
Meanwhile, the provinces of Nakhon Phanom, Singburi, Phitsanulok, and
Lopburi have erected royally bestowed drinking water distribution
centers to relieve drought-affected areas. Those interested can contact
their provincial administration offices for more information.
The program was initiated out of His Majesty the King’s concern for the
Major dams remain structurally sound, despite drought
BANGKOK, 21 July 2015, (NNT) According to the
Engineering Institute of Thailand Under His Majesty the King's Patronage
(EIT), the country's four major dams remain structurally sound despite
experiencing an extreme change in water level due to drought.
The four dams are Bhumipol, Sirikit, Kwai Noi Bumrung Dan, and Pa Sak
Representatives from EIT, the Irrigation Department and the Electricity
Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) made the joint announcement.
They said that before discharging water from a dam containing only a
minimum level of water, they would have to make sure that its structural
integrity would remain intact.
In addition, the officials would only discharge water from an
electricity generating dam that had a minimum level of water in it, in
emergency cases. Such situations involve preservation of the ecosystem,
agricultural & household sector emergencies, and electricity generation.
Thailand-Bhutan Parliamentarians Friendship Group completes election of new chairman
BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) Members of the parliaments of
Thailand and Bhutan have completed the election of the new
chairman of their friendship group.
The Thailand-Bhutan Parliamentarians Friendship Group has
resolved to elected Admiral Polwat Sirodom, a member of the
National Legislative Assembly, as their new chairman.
The group also elected Air Chief Marshal Chalee Chanruang as the
vice chairman, along with a number of NLA members as advisors,
secretary-general and members of the administrative team.
The Thailand-Bhutan Parliamentarians Friendship Group has been
formed to enable exchange of information and promote cordial
relations between members of Thai and Bhutanese
parliamentarians, which have grown stronger since 2008 when
Bhutan adopted the parliamentary form of government.
Earlier in April, former group chairperson Pilaipan Sombatsiri
led the Thai delegation to a bilateral meeting in Bhutan and the
meeting has assured all that the ongoing political changes in
Thailand will not affect good relations between the two
Water level in several dams starts to recover
BANGKOK, 21 July 2015, (NNT) Recent rains have
brought a rise in the water level of various dams, while rejuvenating
the agricultural sector in the northern region.
The water level of the Kwai Noi Bumrung Dan Dam yesterday had increased
by 1.9 million cubic meters, and now exceeds the 100 million cubic
meters mark. About 57 million cubic meters of water can be distributed
to the local population; the amount is equivalent to 10.71 percent of
its total 939 million cubic meters capacity.
The increased volume of water is attributed to recent rainfalls in
several districts in Phitsanulok Province. The Kwai Noi Bumrung Dan Dam
discharges about 1.7 million cubic meters of water daily.
Meanwhile, farmers in the provinces of Phrae and Nan have resumed rice
farming operations after the recent rain. Phrae has already declared its
eight districts drought-free.
According to the Irrigation Department, it has discharged water for both
consumption and agricultural purposes, since rainfall replenished the
water level in Bhumipol and Chao Phraya dams. The department said
farmlands that had already planted seed longer than six weeks ago, would
receive water first. It assured the public that the agency would
continue to monitor the situation closely.
EGAT’s labor union asks NRC to oppose planned restructuring of its system
BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) Members of the labor
union of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand have urged the
National Reform Council to oppose the planned overhaul of the power
Chairman of the NRC’ s committee on electricity reform leader Wiboon
Koohirun on Monday accepted a letter from representatives of the Labor
Union of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand as regards
issues they wished the reform council would be able to help.
According to the Vice President of the EGAT’s Union, Somyos Jiewkok,
they are opposing the planned separation of the power producer’s
distribution and system control sections from the EGAT.
The Union feels that the liberalization of the power business still
lacks supporting studies and understanding related to the country’s
power production, he said.
They are urging the NRC to be careful while pursuing the implementation
of such policies in order for Thailand not to fail like some countries
MOPH meets on the IVF baby protection law
BANGKOK, 21 July 2015, (NNT) The Ministry of Public
Health yesterday met on the implementation of a new In Vitro
Fertilization (IVF) baby protection law.
The Deputy Director-General of the Department of Health Service Support
Dr. Thares Karasnairaviwong chaired the meeting which discussed the
details of the new law that will go into effect on July 31st, 2015.
The law will provide legal guidelines for medical institutes and
personnel to follow in conception of IVF babies. It covers the
definition of an IVF baby's legal parental status, while preventing
research about the IVF technology for unintended purposes.
PRD executives hone biking skills for Bike for Mom event
BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) Personnel of the Public
Relations Department (PRD) on Monday brushed up on their cycling skills
in preparation for the Bike for Mom nationwide cycling activity.
PRD director-general Apinan Juntarungsri, deputy directors-general
Chamlong Singtongam and Charoon Chaisorn and former PRD senior officials
yesterday led department personnel in cycling around the compound of the
PRD's headquarters in Soi Ari, Bangkok. Aside from the PRD personnel,
members of the Public Relations Society of Thailand also participated in
the session. Cycling two laps around the PRD compound, the group covered
a distance of 3.6 kilometers.
Bike for Mom cycling activities, to be hosted in commemoration of Her
Majesty the Queen's 83rd birthday anniversary on August 12, will be
taking place at various sites nationwide on August 16.
Dusit Zoo welcomes new douc langur and ruffed lemur
BANGKOK, 21 July 2015 (NNT) With open arms, Bangkok's
Dusit Zoo welcomes its newest members, a newborn douc langur and a
The female ruffed lemur, named Khapu, was born on May 2. It was the
first ruffed lemur to be born at Dusit Zoo. Weighing between 3.3-3.8
kilograms when fully grown, the ruffed lemur is a species of primates
which inhabits the tropical rain forests of Africa.
The female douc langur, born on May 9, has been named Fon (ฝน). The douc
langur is a rare species that is close to extinction. Hailed by some
conservationists as the most beautiful species of primate, the douc
langur's fur is of five colors. In the wild, the animal lives high up on
trees in tropical rain forests as well as mixed deciduous forests in
Indochina. Dusit Zoo is the most successful breeder of douc langur in
The World Conservation Congress (IUCN) has listed both species in its
Red List of Threatened Species, meaning both animals are critically
endangered. The animals are also listed in Appendix 1 of the Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
(CITES), an appendix reserved for species that are the most endangered
among CITES-listed animals and plants.
Both species are being displayed at Dusit Zoo.
Gen Prayuth visits Rayong Province
BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister Gen
Prayuth Chan-ocha has visited Rayong Province to meet with fruit farmers
and to discuss policies that would add value to agricultural products.
The Prime Minister, along with members of the Cabinet, met with local
fruit farmers in the area and attended the release of a report on the
local fruit economy. They were greeted by the Governor of Rayong
Province as well as over one thousand local residents.
Gen Prayuth announced that the government will work to increase the
value of agricultural products by making the province the center of
exports in the eastern region and to make Rayong a hub for various
markets including fruit, vegetables, seafood and souvenirs for tourists.
The Tapong District Administration asked for a budget of 32 million Baht
to develop its markets into functioning trading hubs as envisioned by
the Prime Minister. Gen Prayuth agreed to consider the proposal.
Tap water crisis in Bangkok is now over, MWA Governor says
BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) The Governor of the
Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA) has affirmed that the tap water
crisis in Bangkok has subsided, while the public should still conserve
The MWA Governor Thanasak Watanathana has said that the current tap
water status in Bangkok has passed the crisis level, with tap water
production and supply sufficient for the entire rainy season. The amount
of fresh water availability is now high enough to push seawater away
from the pump stations.
He assured Bangkok residents that the city's tap water will no longer be
salty, while the highest saltiness level in tap water during previous
days have reached 0.5 grams per liter, which is slightly above average
value and is considered safe.
He also mentioned that even though the situation has returned to normal,
but the general public should continue to use water sparingly. He also
addressed that the weak flow of tap water in some areas has been caused
by maintenance. He assured that maintenance will be done only in crucial
cases, while all routine maintenance efforts will be postponed.
The MWA Governor has added that the MWA will be hosting a campaign to
encourage the public to save water and give souvenirs to users who have
reduced their water consumption by 10 percent and no less than 5 cubic
meters. There will also be special souvenirs for the top five water
savers in each categories.
Ayutthaya launches consumption water distribution center
AYUTTHAYA, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Ayutthaya Province has
established the royally bestowed distribution center of water for
consumption to relieve the drought affected public's concerns.
The Governor of Ayutthaya Apichat Todilokvech today officiated the
opening of the royally bestowed consumption water distribution center by
the Rajaprajanugroh Foundation under the Royal Patronage, to help ease
the effects of the drought among the general public.
He said that this campaign was initiated from His Majesty the King’s
care for the drought affected public. The water distribution center,
located at the Special Education Center in Nakhon Luang District, has
been established from the cooperation between the Ayutthaya Special
Education Center, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of
He also expressed his gratitude towards His Majesty the King’s kindness
in the name of the people of Ayutthaya Province.
The center is also supported by two mobile clean water treatment
vehicles from the Ayutthaya Provincial Administrative Organization, with
an accumulated clean water production capacity of up to 8,000 liters per
Ayutthaya is among the 12 provinces in the central region currently
affected by the drought disaster.
Ministry of Commerce:Thai rice export to meet 2015 target
BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Commerce
expressed confidence that Thai rice will meet its annual export target,
despite the ongoing drought crisis.
The ministry forecast that the price of Thai rice in the second half of
the year is expected to rise, due to low supplies stifled by the dry
season. The drought has hit many rice producers in the region, and a
number of countries began to import rice for fear of further drought.
Despite high overseas demand, the ministry has insisted that the
government needs to take a conservative approach and and maintain
reserves of at least five million tons to ensure food security.
Many countries in the region are expected to vie for Thai rice imports
under government-to-government and private contracts. The Philippines,
for example, is expected to open rice bidding soon, in order to ensure
adequate supply amid region-wide drought. The ministry is confident that
Thailand will be on target this year and export 10 million tons of rice.
Thailand hosts JTC meeting with Vietnam until Wednesday
BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Thailand is hosting the
second meeting of the Joint Trade Committee (JTC) from Monday to
Wednesday, which is aimed at promoting bilateral trade and investment.
Thailand and Vietnam’s Ministries of Commerce will attend the meeting,
which will discuss cooperation on rice and rubber trade, information
exchange, and logistics services. The Kingdom will also persuade Vietnam
to join the International Rubber Consortium Ltd (IRCo) during the
Both countries hope to expand bilateral trade to $20 billion over the
next five years. Current trade volume as of last year is worth $10
Vietnam is Thailand's fourth-largest trade partner in ASEAN and the
11th-largest globally. Key exports include finished oil, plastic
pellets, cars and car parts, rubber products, and fresh and processed
Japan to invest in industrial estate in Ratchaburi
BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Japan is prepared to invest in the
establishment of an industrial estate in Ratchaburi, which is to be
modeled after Kitakyushu city in Japan.
Ratchaburi provincial authorities paid a visit to the Japanese city and
were welcomed by Kitakyushu mayor Kenji Kitahachi. The Thai
representatives were shown the city’s environmentally friendly designs
and industrial waste management.
The city of Kitakyushu has drawn attention nationwide for an
environmental protection campaign it began in the 1990's. Japan
harnessed the joint efforts of government, private enterprises and local
residents to overcome pollution and other environmental problems: it has
since dramatically improved the city’s environment.
Japanese investors from Kitakyushu city are hoping to use the city’s
environmental prototype to create the industrial estate in Ratchaburi.
Japan has been the top foreign investor in Thailand at more than 100
billion baht each year, out of the total foreign investment of around
AOT beefs up baggage screening at Don Muang
BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Airports of Thailand Plc
(AoT) has stepped up baggage screening at Don Mueang airport in a bid to
comply with measures from the Department of Civi Aviation (DCA).
The AOT has apologized for the inconvenience caused by the heightened
security measures. All bags, both luggage and hand-carry bags, are now
required to be scanned through X-ray machines before entering airline
After a recent security audit of the airport, the DCA has determined
that the existing measures may not have been stringent enough. The new
screening system has been put in place since July 17.
The newly implemented procedure has added 1 hour and a half to the
amount of time spent at security checks. Passengers are urged to arrive
earlier for their flights at the airport due to the beefed up measure.
Highway Department states that all canal-side roads at risk of collapsing during drought
BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) The Provincial highway
authorities have warned that all canal-side roads are in danger of
collapsing as the drought crisis has dried up canals across the country.
Motorists are advised to drive slowly and with caution alongside canals.
Truck drivers are urged to avoid certain routes due to strong
possibility of subsidence.
Many canals in Pathum Thani have dried up, leaving barely any traces of
water. A number of cracks have been reported on canal-side roads, but
vehicles have not yet been prohibited to pass through.
Local highway units have prepared mobile teams to survey warning signs
in risky areas. Residents living near canals are also urged to look out
for signs of a road collapse and report them to the Rural Road
department hotline number 1146.
NRC’s Wanchai Sonsiri pleased with CDC work overall
BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) National Reform Council
(NRC) member Wanchai Sonsiri has praised the Constitution Drafting
Committee (CDC), as the panel endeavors to incorporate NRC proposals
into the constitution.
He expressed confidence that the CDC is doing its best for the benefit
of the country and to solve its longstanding problems.
Mr Wanchai also said he would agree with the CDC, should it request to
extend its work timeframe by another 30 days for additional review of
He said he personally believes the country should take the opportunity
to work on solid reform measures and should not be too hasty to hold a
new election, as incomplete reforms may fail to prevent old problems
CDC has finalized most of the new constitution
BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Constitution Drafting
Committee (CDC) Second Vice Chairman Manich Suksomchitra said the panel
has finalized the main bulk of the new constitution and is fine-tuning
the specific details of some sections.
The next process will entail an examination of all sections to ensure no
contradictions and that they complement each other.
Mr Manich revealed that the drafting body will hold a meeting tomorrow
to determine whether it would like to request an extension on its
The CDC will also invite representatives from the National Reform
Council and the Cabinet who previously submitted amendment proposals to
hear how the charter drafters have incorporated their recommendations in
the final draft of the new constitution. The hearing is expected to take
place between August 17-19.
Police monitor efforts to combat illegal fishing in Rayong
BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) The Deputy Police
Commissioner General said he has been following efforts to prosecute
illegal fishing activities in Rayong province and has bolstered the
capacity to monitor inbound and outbound vessels in the area.
Pol Gen Aek Angsananont visited Rayong province’s center for monitoring
sea traffic in the area and was briefed on the local labor conditions.
A report revealed major issues in the area, including incorrect fishing
licenses and ships run by foreign workers. The law requires that only
Thai nationals captain the crew. However, the report did reveal
increased cooperation from fishermen in the area.
Pol Gen Aek ordered local law enforcement officers to organize special
operations and expedite prosecution and immigration procedures.
DDPM says water situation improving across 38 provinces
BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) The Department of the
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has revealed that nine
provinces continue to suffer from the drought crisis.
DDPM Director General Chatchai Promlert said that water shortages
previously reported in 38 provinces have now subsided. More than 145,000
homes in Nan and Nakhon Ratchasima are still coping with the crisis.
Meanwhile, seven other provinces, which include Phrae, Chonburi,
Sukhothai, Pathum Thani, Phichit, Phitsanulok and Phetchabun, reported
not enough rainfall.
The Ministry of Interior, the Royal Thai Army and provincial authorities
have been collaborating to provide emergency water relief to homes and
farmland. People are urged to use water wisely.
Nakhon Sawan farmers agree to stop pumping water from river
NAKHON SAWAN, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Farmers in three
subdistricts of Nakhon Sawan have vowed not to pump water from the Ping
River to help those coping with the drought crisis in the lower Central
The farmers in Tha Ngio, Hu Kwang and Ang Thong subdistricts have said
they will stop pumping the water from the Ping River into their rice
paddies for 15 days.
The leader of each district has resolved to temporarily suspend the
activity to allow water to flow to provinces downstream. Residents in
low-lying areas of the Chao Phraya River have been suffering from water
More than 15,000 rai of rice paddies will have to go without water for
half a month as a result of their decision. However, the farmers will
begin to pump water again if the situation does not improve.
Meteorologists forecast more rain in Thailand
BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) The Meteorological
Department has forecast that there will soon be more rain in Thailand.
With a monsoon trough moving across the North and the North East of the
country and another gaining power in the Andaman Sea, more precipitation
can be expected resulting in heavy rainfall in some areas.
Meanwhile sea conditions are not ideal at this time of year in the
Andaman Sea off Phuket province and other lower coastal provinces.
Fishermen are advised to take precautions when leaving the shore as
waves could reach a height of 3 meters.
NLA subcommittee suggests delaying petroleum grants until relevant laws are updated
BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Dr. Poldej Pinpratheep,
deputy chairman of the National Legislative Assembly's (NLA)
input-seeking subcommittee, has expressed the view that the upcoming
round of petroleum concession granting should be delayed until relevant
laws have been updated.
Speaking at a seminar on the draft petroleum bill and relevant laws, Dr.
Poldej said that the draft laws did not cover all aspects relevant to
petroleum concession, and that it would be of benefit to gather public
opinion before the draft bill is forwarded to the NLA for processing. He
said doing so would ensure the highest gains for the public and the
government and also ensure the legitimacy of the bill.
The NLA's study panel on law enforcement problems, after studying the
problems associated with the enforcement of the B.E. 2514 Petroleum Act
and the B.E. 2514 law on monetary gains from petroleum, expressed its
view that the laws should be improved before the new round of petroleum
concession granting takes place. It also suggested that information
relevant to petroleum affairs be divulged to the public
NLA to go over 4 urgent matters on Thursday and Friday
BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) National Legislative
Assembly (NLA) President Pornpetch Wichitcholchai has scheduled meetings
of NLA members on July 23 and 24 for the purpose of deliberating four
The year's 45th and 46th meetings of the NLA will commence at 10 am on
both days. NLA members will be deliberating the draft law on protection
of the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO), which was proposed
by the Cabinet; the draft bill on prevention and mitigation of teenage
pregnancy; the draft bill on working capital, which has already been
reviewed by the NLA's extraordinary committee; and the draft bill
terminating the B.E. 2552 bill on the exchange of agricultural goods
NLA member Wanlop Tangkhananurak will also post an inquiry over monetary
problems at the fund for the assistance of teachers and education
Nong Khai holds a workshop for drivers planning to work in Laos
NONG KHAI, 20 July 2015, (NNT) The Office of Land
Transport in the northeastern province of Nong Khai on Sunday held a
workshop for drivers who are looking to work in Laos.
According to the organizers, the first-of-its-kind event was attended by
40 local truck, passenger vehicle and personal car drivers. The program
is in line with the government's project to improve the driving skills
of Thais when driving in foreign countries.
The workshop is aimed at providing basic knowledge about the Laotian
traffic laws and culture and immigration regulations for those
interested in driving or working in foreign countries. The organizers
hope to improve the quality of Thai drivers before they leave for Laos
to seek employment opportunity there.
PM urges all agencies to help conserve water
BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The Prime Minister has
urged all state agencies to help conserve water supply.
According to Deputy government spokesman Maj Gen Sunsern Kaewkumnerd,
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has issued an urgent order to all
state agencies to conserve water as much as possible given the supply is
Gen Prayut stated that activities that consume a lot of water should
also be put on hold until after the crisis has passed.
He also said that, although many feel they have money to pay for water
bills, the current crisis means no one should be selfish.
The PM also urged businesses that utilise a lot of water, such as golf
courses, swimming pools and hotels to first use the supply they have on
For farmers, Gen Prayut said that the government would maintains a
request for their cooperation in not diverting water from natural
sources into their farms yet.
CDC Chairman: Final draft of new Constitution is not my dream charter
BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The Chairman of the
Constitution Drafting Committee has spoken out about his impression of
the draft of the new Constitution.
According to the CDC Chairman, Borwornsak Uwanno, the latest mobile
meeting of the charter drafters in Pattaya has drawn a conclusion on all
key issues even though the discussion is not completely wrapped up as
the results of the CDC’s meetings with all 18 committees under the
National Reform Council have not been derived.
Concerning the extension of the CDC’s charter drafting deadline, Mr.
Borwornsak said that the issue should be decided on July 21.
Although the charter drafters have maintained all four core principles
of the draft Constitution, the new charter is not the version he has
dreamt of because there are many provisions that he wishes to see
included, the CDC Chairman said.
Nevertheless, Mr. Borwornsak assured that all charter drafters have done
their best to make the new charter the true Constitution of the people.
When asked what would happen if the NRC decided to reject the draft
charter, the CDC Chairman said that as he is now doing his best, he does
not want to think how the future will transpire although a rejection may
mean that he will not come back to take part in the drafting process
Thailand, China celebrate 40 years of diplomatic ties
BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) Thailand and China have
celebrated four decades of diplomatic ties between the two countries
with a plan to heighten all levels of cooperation.
President of the Privy Council Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, over the weekend,
chaired the official celebration of 40 years of Thai-Chinese diplomatic
ties, which have seen several amicable cooperation in such areas as
trade, investment and culture.
And during his special speech at the ceremony, Gen Prem said that, as a
former government leader, he has been invited to visit China many times
and he believes all the trips have helped keeping both countries’ ties
He added that, even with the fast changes in political and economic
conditions, communications between both countries’ private sectors have
Gen Prem went on to say that cultural exchange should also help promote
international relations and lead to the expansion of other areas of
Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Ning Fukui said that, after 40
years of diplomatic ties, the Thailand-China relations look ready to be
stronger and more secure, particularly in the areas of politics,
economics and education.
China is now the biggest export market and trading partner of Thailand
under the push from both governments.
Ratchaburi develops ties with Japan's Kitakyushu
BANGKOK, 20 July 2015 (NNT) Ratchaburi province
strengthens relations with Kitakyushu city in Japan in the hope to
develop the province as an environmental city.
Deputy Governor of Ratchaburi Ronnaphob Ruengphairote and entourage have
officially visited Kitakyushu. They were welcomed by Kitakyushu Mayor
Kenji Kitahashi who led them to see the city's environmental development
projects, industrial waste disposal as well as the local people's way of
Kitakyushu used to be polutted but now it is a pollution-free, green
city and an important economic town of Japan. Kitakyushu will be used as
a model for creating an industrial town in Ratchaburi with a majority of
investment from a group of investors from Kitakyushu.
CDC Chair satisfied with charter amendment in mobile meeting
CHONBURI, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The Chairman of the
Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) is satisfied with the adjustments
of the draft constitution's articles, while the CDC is set to decide
whether to extend its operating time frame or not on 21 July.
The mobile CDC meeting in Chonburi Province has concluded today's
revision of the draft constitution's articles. The meeting’s minutes
were compiled before members returned to Bangkok.
In this meeting, CDC members have decided to adjust several articles, as
well as cutting about 20 articles from the draft constitution. The
current draft constitution contains about 290 articles.
The provisions of 12 articles have also been adjusted in some parts,
prior to additional adjustments expected in Bangkok. 16 suspended
articles have also concluded matters regarding the qualifications of the
House of Representative members and the Senate, impeachment protocols,
and rights protection to members of the House of Representative and
members of the Senate.
CDC Chairman Bowornsak Uwanno expressed his satisfaction towards the
overall adjustments, adding that the changes retain the constitution's 4
main pillars, while the National Reform Council's (NRC) reception to the
changes will be considered by the CDC later.
He insists that this draft constitution revision is the final draft, and
that he will not join the next CDC should this draft be rejected by the
A CDC member Kanchanarat Leeviroj has said that this constitution has
been drafted from all sides' input, adding that she is hopeful that this
constitution will help solve national problems and lead to peace.
The CDC has scheduled a meeting on 21 July 2015 to determine whether the
CDC needs to extend their operating time-frame for an additional 30 days
Culture Minister set to enhance national treasure conservation exchange with Peru
BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The Minister of Culture
is satisfied with his visit to Peru and expects both countries to gear
up on developmental exchanges in national treasure conservation.
The Minister of Culture Vira Rojpojchanarat has addressed that he is
satisfied with his official visit to the Republic of Peru, as it marks
the beginning of a cultural relations enhancement between the two
countries that will further lead both nations to more cooperation in
trade, investment, and tourism.
He has said that Thailand and Peru will initiate exchanges in museum
development, ancient site preservation, and in contemporary arts and
culture. Thailand is set adapt the management procedures that are
similar to Peru's conservation of its World Heritage Sites. Thai
academics and archeologists will be sent to study Peru's tribal
civilization to find similarities between the two nations.
The Thai Musical and Traditional Dance performances, celebrating 50
years of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Peru has received
much attention from the Peruvian public at all three shows. This
indicates that the Peruvian public are eager to learn about Thai culture
The performances' accomplishments will then be evaluated, while the
number of Thai arts and cultural performances in South American nations
are also expected to be increased.
‘Health City Community Lifestyle’ sees crowds of visitors
BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The Health City Community Lifestyle event
Sunday morning has welcomed more participants, while herbal products at
the event were of high demand.
Crowds of visitors were eagerly waiting to enter the Health City
Community Lifestyle event at Klong Phadung Krung Kasem Canal since the
event's opening hours at 10am. Most visitors were interested in
purchasing herbs and herbal products from the 100 shops featured at the
The event also features health and consultation services from folk
wisdom, while the center stage Sunday featured a lecture on the benefits
of Thai herbs from many agencies. The vaccination services for
Diphtheria and Tetanus are also available at the event everyday until 26
Sunday's event marks the last day of the ‘Thai Communities, afar from
Alzheimer’s’ theme, featuring activities that tend to Alzheimer’s
patients and activities that provide education on the prevention
measures for this disease. The event will conclude at 7pm.
Rainmaker unit to step up operations in Sa Kaeo
SA KAEO, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The Royal Rainmaking Unit
has increased the frequency of rainmaking operations to help relieve the
agricultural damage caused from low precipitation.
The government has ordered the Royal Rainmaking Unit at the 602
‘Wattananakhon’ Air Squadron to provide two daily rounds of rainmaking
operations, in the attempt to induce precipitation to ease the drought
Rainfall shortages has continued to harm farms and their crops in Sa
Kaeo Province which includes rice farms, tapioca farms, sugarcane crops,
corn crops, oil palm crops, and fruit farms due to cultivation water
However in some areas in Sa Kaeo Province, namely the Muaeng Sa Kaeo,
Khao Chakan, Wattananakhon, and Aranyaprathet Districts, the recent
rainfall has provided the areas with sufficient water for cultivation.
Farmers in Sa Kaeo Province are urged to follow weather forecasts, reach
out to the local administrative organizations should they need any help,
and to attend the activities held by the Ministry of Agriculture and
Cooperatives, initiated by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn aiming to
provide relief to drought affected farmers and to help them find
alternative sources of income.
Drought recedes in 38 provinces
BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) Drought disaster
conditions have been lifted at 38 provinces, with only two provinces
still categorized as drought disaster areas while seven provinces are
still considered rainfall-shortage areas, the DDPM Director-General
The Director-General of the Department of Disaster Prevention and
Mitigation (DDPM) Chatchai Promlert has revealed latest information on
the current drought disaster situation, saying that the drought
situation at up to 38 provinces has deescalated. Nan and Nakhon
Ratchasima are the only two remaining provinces suffering from drought
The country's seven provinces namely Phrae, Chonburi, Sukhothai, Pathum
Thani, Pichit, Phitsanulok, and Phetchabun were lifted from drought
disaster areas, but has continued to experience rainfall shortages since
4 June 2015 until now.
The DDPM Director-General has stated that the Ministry of Interior is
now working with the provincial, military, and other related agencies to
provide water tankers to deliver both water for consumption and
cultivation to the affected public, and asked for the public's
cooperation in water conservation practices.
He added that the general public can call the 1784 Security Call Center
for 24 hours should they need any assistance.
First provincial duty-free shop officially launched in Nong Khai
NONG KHAI, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The first
duty-free shop outside Bangkok has been
officially opened in the northeastern province
of Nongk Khai bordering Laos, to facilitate
anticipated rising visitors after the AEC.
The ‘Nongkhai Duty Free’ is run by Fortune
Logistics Co., Ltd., a license holder approved
by the Customs Department. With a
20-million-baht investment, the company has
developed a 3.5-rai plot of land, one kilometer
away from the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge near
Nong Khai-Udon Thani Highway, for its purpose.
The duty free shop comprises two storeys
covering 3,600 square meters of utility
space.The first floor features a wide range of
tobacco, alcohol and wines. The second floor is
for cloths, leather products, belts and bags.
The duty free shop sells goods only to customers
who are leaving Thailand. Passports are needed
for making payment, and customers cannot use
border pass for the purpose.
According to Customs procedures, after payment,
customers will only take goods they bought at
the Immigration Checkpoint on the Thai-Lao
Friendship Bridge. The customers cannot return
to Thailand after they take the goods out.
If proving a success, similar duty-free shops
will be expanded to other provinces, the
managing-director of Fortune Logistics Co said.
Ministry of Interior to survey drought-hit areas nationwide
BANGKOK, 19 July 2015, (NNT) Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha has instructed the Ministry of Interior to survey
drought-affected areas across the country and allocate budget from the
drought prevention fund to assist the local residents.
The Prime Minister on Friday said the drought situation in the Northeast
had improved due to additional rainfall.
However, provinces in the Chao Phraya river basin still lacked water and
local government units still need to explain to farmers the measures to
He said the number of drought-hit provinces had decreased from 40 to 3
provinces currently. General Prayut added budget will be disbursed to
compensate the affected people.
Bike for Mom rally rehearsal on Sunday morning goes smoothly
BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) A mini rehearsal on
traffic arrangement for the "Bike for Mom" rally was conducted on Sunday
morning between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. and went smoothly, said Deputy
Commander of the Traffic Police Division Pol Col Pusit Witsetkamin.
Pol Col Pusit said that the rehearsal took place along the route which
will be used for the rally in order to test readiness of the roads,
biking directions, police deployment at different points for traffic
A major rehearsal is to be held on Sunday 2 August 2015, two weeks ahead
of the rally which will take place on 16 August.
Main objective of the "Bike for Mom" rally is to celebrate the 83rd
birthday anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen on 12 August 2015. Leading
the ride will be HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.
NLA members meet locals in Ratchaburi for first-hand information
July 2015 (NNT)
A team of
has headed to
province to meet
The NLA members
were greeted by
each other on
the progress of
of refugees and
The NLA team is
to hold a
later today to
listen to their
problems and to
be conveyed to
use in their
PM to launch National Savings Fund on 18 Aug
BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister
Prayut Chan-o-cha is scheduled to launch the
government’s National Savings Fund on 18 August
2015. The fund is aimed at financially assisting
30 million Thais who are not in the pension
Deputy Government Spokesman Sansern Kaeokamnerd
said the National Savings Fund system was almost
ready for release. The PM would accept the first
application for fund membership by himself on 18
August 2015, said the deputy spokesman.
The National Savings Fund is the government’s
policy to help self-employed workers, those
outside of the government’s pension system or
members of private funds. The fund will help
them save for retirement with contributions from
the government. When they are 60 years old, the
fund will give them a monthly retirement payment
People who are interested to apply for the fund
may apply at Krungthai Bank, Government Savings
Bank, and Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural
Cooperatives nationwide using only their citizen
Agricultural and cooperatives minister follow up on drought solutions in central provinces
PATHUM THANI, 19 July 2015 (NNT) Minister of
Agriculture and Cooperatives Pitiphong Puengbun
Na Ayutthaya has traveled to Saraburi and Pathum
Thani provinces to monitor the drought
situation. The minister emphasized the
government’s measure to prohibit farmers from
pumping water in 22 provinces.
The minister, the director-general of the Royal
Irrigation Department and entourage on Sunday
went to the Rama IX 9 reservoir in Pathum Thani
to follow up on solutions to drought and water
shortage in the Chao Pharaya river basin
provinces. The minister said the reservoir had
sufficient water for people in the Khlong 5 and
Khlong 6 areas as well as some nearby areas in
The Rama XI reservoir has the total capacity of
33 million cubic meters. It has provided water
for more than 700 households and 20,000 Rai of
The minister also urged farmers in the 22
provinces to stop pumping water, saying there
would be more water soon since the rains had
started to fall.
Government succeeds in solving teacher shortages in small schools
BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The government has
boasted of its success in solving teacher
shortages in small schools with its satellite
According to the government, its satellite
teacher program has reached more than 15,000
schools across the country, giving children in
remote areas more education opportunities. The
latest survey indicates that assessment scores
of primary and secondary students in most
schools have markedly improved.
The government’s policy aimed at promoting
vocational education also shows signs of
success. The number of vocational school
applicants has jumped by 26 percent this year,
while those studying for high vocational
certificates has risen by 8.48 percent.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has instructed
related agencies to expedite their education
reform, so that the country can achieve a
quality and sustainable education system.
Drought eases off in Northeast, lingers in central region
BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) Continued rainfalls have eased
drought problems in the Northeast, whereas the central region is
still gripped by the prolonged dry season.
In the central province of Ang Thong, drought-hit farmers have
stopped diverting water during this period, following the
government’s announcement of sea water invasion expected between
July 18 and 20.
Rajaprajanugroh Foundation has, meanwhile, launched water
service centres in 53 provinces to help alleviate the situation
in drought-stricken areas upon the suggestion of His Majesty the
King. Villagers can acquire clean water at the centres for no
charge whatsoever until the crisis is over.
While the arrival of rainfalls has yet to solve drought problems
in the central region, it has revived farming in the Northeast.
In Khon Kaen, local farmers are taking advantage of recent
cloudbursts by speeding up their prolonged rice cultivation. In
Ubon Ratchathani, thunder showers have lifted the water level in
the Mekong River by two meters.
Despite the rainfalls, provincial governors in the Northeast
have asked residents to continue to conserve water.
More water in Sukhothai
BANGKOK, 19 July 2015 (NNT) The Sukhothai irrigation project has
indicated that the rainfall in Sukhothai province added water to
many reservoirs in the upper part of the country. Despite more
water, the irrigation project still warns people to use water
Director of the Sukhothai irrigation project Mongkhol Suphakai
said good falls of rain last week in the province increased the
water level in many reservoirs, especially Huay Tha Phae
reservoir in Si Satchanalai district. The average rainfall in
the areas north of the reservoir was measured at 37.5
The current water volume of the reservoir is 19.2 million cubic
meters or 33% of the total capacity. The reservoir discharges
0.16 million cubic meters of water per day.
However, the combined water volume from all reservoirs in the
district is not sufficient for 410,000 Rai of farmland in the
province and the water is still reserved for consumption only.