Hua Hin undergoes beach facelift
PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN, 19 March 2015 (NNT) Prachuap
Khiri Khan province has cleared up its Hua Hin beach as part of its city
In response to the resolution of the city committee, Hua Hin
Municipality has carried out removal of 22 stalls extending from the
area in front of Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin to Khao
Takiab which was previously an area allowed for small business
Hua Hin’s assistant district officer said all the stall owners were
aware of the objective of the city cleanup campaign and agreed to
cooperate with authorities. They will move to a newly arranged area
which spans more than seven kilometers. The assistant district officer
added that the beach revamp is the biggest-ever task.
The beach facelift is also part of the preparation for the upcoming
mobile cabinet meeting set for March 27-28 at Suan Son Pradipat Beach.
Thailand and New Zealand to double bilateral trade value in 5 years
BANGKOK, 19 March 2015 (NNT)-Thailand and New
Zealand have agreed to double their bilateral trade volume in 5 years.
The cooperation was highlighted at the meeting between Deputy Prime
Minister and Foreign Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn and
newly-appointed New Zealand ambassador to Thailand Reuben Levermore. The
envoy paid a courtesy call on Gen. Tanasak on the occasion of his
assumption of the post.
At the discussion, both sides agreed to push for greater cooperation
under the existing framework of ‘Thailand-New Zealand Closer Economic
Partnership’ agreement which was inked in 2005. The two countries on
this occasion set an aim to double bilateral trade value by 2020.
General Tanasak also told the New Zealand ambassador Thailand’s
readiness to support the latter in holding activities to celebrate the
40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries next
In other cooperation areas, Thailand will co host a ‘Senior Officials’
Talk’ with New Zealand in June while General Tanasak will be attending
the ‘Thailand-New Zealand joint Commission Meeting’ in New Zealand.
DWR poised to hold World Water Day event, focusing on solutions to drought
BANGKOK, 19 March 2015 (NNT) The Department of Water
Resources (DWR) is ready to open an exhibition on the National Water
Conservation Week and World Water Day this weekend, with an emphasis to
be placed on the tackling of drought problems.
Ahead of the annual observance of World Water Day, which falls on March
22 of every year, Director-General of the DWR Jatuporn Burutpat stated
that the water strategic committee chaired by Commerce Minister Gen
Chatchai Sarikalya has assigned all water-related agencies to integrate
their efforts to draw up a strategy that can tackle problems in
upstream, midstream and downstream areas while sending out teams to
collect data from each locality.
Given the severe drought situation this year, which has forced up to 27
provinces to be declared disaster zones, Mr Jatuporn said the goals
which the government is trying to achieve first and foremost are to
ensure sustainable supply of water for consumption and to reduce the
number of drought-affected zones in the country, with public involvement
to be highlighted. Rehabilitation of forest areas, meanwhile, has been
included in a ten-year plan.
Details on the government’s projects concerning water will be featured
in the National Water Conservation Week and World Water Day exhibition,
which is scheduled to take place at the Royal Paragon Hall at Siam
Paragon Shopping Center on March 22 and 23. International organizations,
specialists and foreign diplomats are also invited to the event.
Traffic police gearing up for Red Cross Fair 2015
BANGKOK, 19 March 2015 (NNT) The Traffic Police is
gearing up for the Red Cross Fair 2015 which will begin at the end of
Traffic Police Deputy Commander Police Colonel Phusit Visetkamin has
disclosed that Ratchadamnoen Nok and Si Ayutthaya roads will be closed
to traffic from March 30th – April 7th due to the fair.
The road closures will begin from 14.00 – 23.00 hrs during weekdays and
from 10.00-23.00 hrs on the weekend. The venue of the fair covers the
areas and roads around the equestrian statue of King Chulalongkorn,
Miksakawan intersection and Benjamabopit Temple.
100 traffic police officers will be deployed to relieve traffic
congestion each day. The venue will be off limit to street hawkers and
illegal parking. Visitors are advised to travel by public
Foreign Affairs Minister to join JCBC meeting in Vietnam.
BANGKOK, 19 March 2015 (NNT) Deputy Prime Minister
and Foreign Affairs Minister General Thanasak Patimaprakorn is scheduled
to visit Vietnam between March 19 and 20 to participate in the
Thailand-Vietnam Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC)
meeting in Hanoi.
General Thanasak will co-chair the Thailand-Vietnam Joint Commission on
Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting with Vietnam’s Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh, during which
the two sides will discuss the progress of cooperation in several areas
and the possibility of enhancing collaboration in the fields of
politics, security, society and economy.
Thailand and Vietnam officially established diplomatic ties in 1976 and
have since continued to strengthen and expand their relations, as
witnessed by regular bilateral meetings and mutual visits between Thai
and Vietnamese high-ranking officials.
In terms of economy, Thailand is Vietnam’s biggest trading partner in
ASEAN. Trade between the two countries last year was worth 1.1 billion
US dollars. As for tourism, the number of Vietnamese tourists arriving
in Thailand reportedly surpassed 550,000 last year
NRC having members remove family members, relatives from paid positions
BANGKOK, 19 March 2015 (NNT) The National Reform
Council (NRC) has reached a resolution to have all members remove family
members and relatives from adviser or secretary positions.
Wanchai Sonsiri, spokesperson for the NRC whip, said on Wednesday that
the resolution calls for all NRC members to remove family members and
relatives from the positions of private assistants and specialists. Mr.
Wanchai revealed that the resolution came about after the whip agreed to
set a good example for the political sphere, by using the same practice
guideline employed by the National Legislative Assembly.
The spokesman also revealed that press members in Bangkok are being
invited to attend a seminar for discussing the draft of the new
permanent constitution on March 28. The seminar will take place in
Building Two of the Parliament.
According to Mr. Wanchai, the NRC has finished reviewing 174 sections
from 315 sections in the draft charter.
Nong Khai-Bangkok, Nong Khai-Map Ta Phut railways construction expected in October
BANGKOK, 19 March 2015 (NNT) Deputy Minister of
Transport Arkhom Termpittayapaisith indicated on Wednesday all survey
work for the Nong Khai-Bangkok and Nong Khai-Map Ta Phut standard gauge
railways will be completed within August.
Mr. Arkhom said after the day's meeting of economy-related ministers
that the Ministry of Transport had reported the progress made on the
railway projects as a result of three official discussions with China.
In summary, China will take responsibility for the railways design, the
technologies to be used, as well as the type of rail, but construction
will be carried out by Thai companies. The train service itself will be
jointly operated, possibly through a joint venture company. Funding will
come from several sources, including state budget, loans from domestic
banks and loans from China.
The survey and design works will be completed within August, after which
a construction go-ahead for the projects is expected in September.
Construction itself is expected to commence in October, according to Mr.
Singapore sends two Chinook helicopters to help Thailand fight haze
CHIANG MAI, 19 March 2015 (NNT) The Singaporean air
force has dispatched two Chinook helicopters to help Thailand combat the
haze blanketing the country's northern region.
The two CH-47 aircraft were dispatched along with 40 personnel and will
be working with Thai authorities for two weeks to support anti-forest
fire operations in Chiang Mai and other northern provinces. One of the
Chinooks will be flying aerial firefighting missions that will involve
dropping 5,000 liters of water per trip. The other helicopter will be
shuttling firefighters to and from the sites of fire outbreaks. The
first mission will be conducted as a response to wildfires that recently
erupted to the north of Doi Suthep mountain range in Chiang Mai.
Air Chief Marshal Monthon Sutchukorn, spokesperson of the Royal Thai Air
Force, indicated that Singapore's assistance was in accord with ASEAN's
framework of humanitarian and disaster mitigation assistance.
Tak holds 7th meeting on SEZ establishment process
TAK, 19 Mar 2015, (NNT) The border province of Tak
yesterday held the 7th meeting on the progress of the Special Economic
Zone establishment, discussing the zone’s location and entrepreneur
The assembly also discussed the obstacles, shared suggestions, and laid
out a budget plan for the project.
The province is set to establish an industrial zone in the 23.84 square
km of the local forest area. They also plan to build a government
complex near the Province’s Ratchapat University.
The province would use the local Mae Sod Hospital as the health center
for foreign labors for the time being, saying it may build a center
Tak Provincial Administration Office and the Board of Investment have
agreed to provide at least 13 types of benefit for vendors and
entrepreneurs operating in the province’s Special Economic Zone. These
benefits include tax refund, measures to facilitate monetary
transactions and cross-border transportation services.
The Ministry of Transport has initially approved a budget of 500 million
baht for the construction of the second Mei River Bridge. A working
committee overseeing the project would soon be established, the meeting
The provincial chamber of commerce also reminded the meeting of the
necessity of conducting an environmental impact assessment on the
industrial project planned.
Fruits, seafood and ready-made meals are more expensive in Bangkok
BANGKOK, 19 Mar 2015 (NNT) The Cabinet has acknowledged the
issue of high commodity prices despite the fallen fuel prices.
Meanwhile, findings revealed fruits, seafood and ready-made
meals being offered in the capital are more expensive than in
Government Spokesperson Capt. Dr. Yongyuth Maiyalarp quoted a
report from the Ministry of Science and Technology as saying
that 52% of Thai households earn just the exact amount to pay
their daily bills, only 12.3% are able to make a regular saving,
and 35.7% earn less than what they are paying out. He said
people in the last group solve their problem by resorting to
loans from various financial sources.
The report indicated that 41.3% of people in the Northeast were
earning less than their expenditure, the rate higher than other
The Spokesperson said 59.8% of the residents still find that the
commodity prices in February remain the same despite the drop in
fuel price. The Captain stated that the majority of the people
set to become more frugal in dealing with the problem. He also
indicated that generally 49.1% of items being offered in Bangkok
are more expensive than in other provinces.
Captain Yongyuth said items that people want the government to
keep its eyes on are pork, rice, cooking oil, ready-made meals,
fertilizer, eggs, and seafood.
Cabinet endorses application for membership of International Renewable Energy Agency
BANGKOK, 18 March 2015 (NNT) The Cabinet has endorsed
Thailand's application for membership of the International Renewable
Energy Agency (IRENA), proposed by the Ministry of Energy.
According to the Ministry of Energy, being a member of the IRENA would
increase Thailand's access to information, knowledge, technology and
renewable energy networks. The country will also be afforded assistance
in research and development relating to renewable energy, in the forms
of funds, specialists and aids such as eligibility to low-interest loans
from the IRENA/ADFD funds.
Entry into IRENA would also allow Thailand to voice its opinion in
various undertakings sanctioned by the IRENA Assembly and at IRENA
conferences. Thailand would also be able to play a role in the
administration of IRENA by sending personnel to take up prominent
positions at the agency. Lastly, membership at IRENA would allow
Thailand to propose projects that would benefit the country's efforts to
develop renewable energy.
Cabinet endorses observer status application for Pacific Alliance
BANGKOK, 18 March 2015 (NNT) The Cabinet on Tuesday
endorsed Thailand's application as an observer country within the
Pacific Alliance trade bloc, and also endorsed the hosting of the 48th
Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation Council Conference.
Captain Yongyuth Mayalarp, the government spokesperson, disclosed on
Tuesday that the Cabinet had assigned the minister of foreign affairs or
a substitute to lead Thailand's delegation to the Pacific Alliance.
Thailand's application for the observer status would allow the country
to carry out pro-active foreign policies, tighten multilateral
relations, and provide Thailand with the opportunity to express its
voice at the Latin American stage.
Capt. Yongyuth said the Cabinet had also endorsed the hosting of the
Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) education
ministers' conference in Pattaya, Chonburi from May 6-9. The annual
meeting will be participated by the education ministers of 11 member
countries and 8 additional countries who will come together to lay down
joint policies and designate various joint activities and projects.
Security agencies inspect cameras, lighting at risk spots in Bangkok
BANGKOK, 18 March 2015 (NNT) Security-related
agencies in Bangkok, City Hall officials and personnel from the
Metropolitan Electricity Authority have been inspecting closed-circuit
cameras installed throughout Bangkok to ensure safety for the public.
Out of the prime concern of security and safety in the lives and assets
of the public, 283 closed circuit cameras and improvement of lighting
have been installed at spots deemed at risk of crimes. After the spots
had been fitted with cameras and lights, Deputy Prime Minister and
Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwon ordered assigned security-related
units to ensure that the cameras are properly maintained to be in
Since last week, officials have been inspecting the function of the
cameras and the lighting at the 'risk spots', which include various
ports, Victory Monument and Chatuchak Park, to name a few.
The inspections drew much interest from passersby, who inquired about
the functions of the cameras and who were relieved to know that security
agencies placed importance on the lighting and electricity feed at the
risk spots. Some members of the public also said they wanted the
government to continue imposing martial law, as they felt that its use
has improved safety in their daily lives.
Thailand-Turkey relations upgraded to strategic partnership
BANGKOK, 18 March 2015 (NNT) Thailand and Turkey have
upgraded their bilateral ties to the level of strategic partnership.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Gen. Tanasak Patimapagorn on
Tuesday extended an official welcome to Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu , the Minister
of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, who is on his first formal visit Thailand.
Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu , who is a guest of Thailand’s Foreign Ministry, and
Gen. Tanasak, held talks on various bilateral issues ranging from
economics to security, academic cooperation, and international
The two also agreed to upgrade both nations’ relations to a strategic
Thailand and Turkey established diplomatic ties in 1958 and both
countries’ relations have been close and cordial.
Turkey — a moderate Islamic nation with over 75 million populations — is
also viewed as a gateway to Central Asia, the Balkan Peninsula, the
Middle East and Africa.
After the meeting, the Thai Foreign Ministry hosted a dinner reception
for Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu .
CDC completed review of 161 articles, to visit Chiang Mai during Apr 3-4
BANGKOK, 18 March 2015 (NNT) The Constitution
Drafting Committee has completed the review of more than half of the
articles included in the draft charter and is planning to travel to
Chiang Mai at the beginning of April.
The CDC meeting on Tuesday continued reviewing individual article of the
draft Constitution to check on their accuracy and completeness.
So far, 161 articles have been reviewed, excluding article 76 which
calls for a minimum of one in three of party-list lawmakers being women,
as it is yet to be picked up for deliberation.
At the meeting, the charter drafters also discussed the preparation for
the upcoming trip to the northern region, where the CDC will bring the
draft Constitution to show to locals in order to hear the opinions of
residents from four northern provinces.
The trip is scheduled to take off in Chiang Mai during April 3 and 4.
International Kite Festival in Cha-am at the end of March
PHETCHABURI, 18 March 2015 (NNT) The Tourism
Authority of Thailand (TAT) is inviting public members to visit the
International Kite Festival in Phetchaburi province held at the end of
TAT Phetchaburi Office Director Duangjai Khumsa-ard said the festival
has been organized annually for the past decade on the popular beach of
Mrs. Duangjai added that the sky usually becomes windy toward the end of
March, which is the beginning of summer, and is ideal for kite flying.
The beach also sees a large number of tourists during this time.
More than 100 large spectacular kites, said to be as big as 4
story-building, will be displayed. Many of them will come in different
shapes and sizes. Some resemble animals while the others will appear in
Families will also enjoy a wide range of activities and witness the
world renowned kite flyers maneuvering difficult kite flying tricks. The
event will be held from March 28-29, 2015 on Cha-am beach.
PM instructs related agencies to get tough with forest burners in the North
BANGKOK, 18 March 2015 (NNT) Prime Minister General
Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed related agencies to get tougher with
burners of forest or farming areas in another move to contain haze
levels in the northern region.
Prayut has told the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the
air force, the army and the Department of Local Administration to join
hands in stemming the crisis. Among the solutions include imposition of
a ban on slash-and-burn farming in risk-prone areas and registration of
collectors of wild food, as some of them are believed to be responsible
for forest fires. Since February, 10 people have reportedly been
arrested for having burnt forests or farming areas.
As a short-term measure, the Ministry of Natural Resources and
Environment meanwhile has imposed a ban on entry into forest reserves,
starting from now until April. Wild food collectors’ request for an
entry to forest reserves will be approved on a case by case basis. The
drafting of long-term plans will be incorporated in a national agenda.
Gen Prayut said he wished the country would in the future have a special
unit tasked with dealing with wildfires like foreign countries.
Provinces with critical levels of particulate matter (PM10) include
Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Phrae, Phayao and Tak.
Doctors estimated the number of people affected by the ongoing haze this
year at 30,000 in Chiang Mai alone. In Mae Hong Son, the number of
patients with respiratory problems has exceeded 5,000 since January.
Private industries are helping design vocational curriculums for Ar-chiva students
BANGKOK, 18 March 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of
Education is getting the industrial sector to help improve vocational
education ahead of the AEC.
The Minister of Education reported the progress to a meeting chaired by
Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha this morning. He said an agreement
between the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) and vocational
institutions has been signed to develop an internship program.
The agreement gives vocational or 'Ar-chiva' students an opportunity to
use the skills they have learnt at school in a real-life work
environment. The cooperation involves more than 8,000 companies
registered as FTI members.
They will help design curriculums for vocational school students. This
is to assure that the students will graduate with the skills demanded by
manufacturers. Those companies are also expected to lend to vocational
institutions tools and teaching materials that are not available in
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also stressed the importance of using
English as a medium of instruction especially in the field of mechanic
study as it would be useful for them when working with foreign companies
investing in Thailand.
Environment minister calls for better deterrents to burning in North
CHIANG MAI, 17 March 2015 (NNT) Minister of Natural
Resources and Environment Dapong Ratanasuwan has called for more
stringent enforcement of the law to deter slash-and-burn practices,
which contribute to the haze pollution in the North.
General Dapong was in Chiang Mai on Monday to inspect the haze situation
in the districts of Chom Thong, Mae Cham and Samoeng where the air
particulate matter readings have exceeded the acceptable level. After
his aerial inspection, the minister had a meeting with representatives
of relevant agencies from 10 Northern provinces to seek measures to
alleviate the haze blanketing the North. Gen. Dapong told meeting
participants who gathered at Chiang Mai City Hall that more stringent
law enforcement was needed to deter burning.
On Monday, the haze blanketing the runway at Chiang Mai airport caused
four flights to be diverted. Two aircraft diverted to Chiang Rai's Mae
Fah Luang Airport whereas the other two returned to their departure
airports – Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi. It was reportedly the first time
this year that pilots landing aircraft at Chiang Mai Airport decided not
to land because of the hampered runway visibility caused by the haze.
Commercial attaches told to be more business-minded in driving exports
BANGKOK, 17 March 2015 (NNT) International Trade
Promotion offices abroad have been tasked with implementing the Ministry
of Commerce's export-driving strategy that calls for pro-active
approaches in four aspects.
General Chatchai Sarikulya, the minister of commerce, handed down his
policy to the commercial attaches stationed at the more than 60
International Trade Promotion offices abroad on Monday. The minister
stressed adherence to the strategy that involves pro-active management
of rice and farm products, cost of living, the driving of exports and
the integration into the ASEAN Economic Community.
Gen. Chatchai emphasized that in order for exports to be stimulated, new
markets must be penetrated and trade opportunities must be expanded
He noted that the International Monetary Fund has reduced its projection
for global economic growth in year 2015 to 3.5%, and the economies of
Thailand's main trading partners were growing at reduced rates. These
factors have been weighting on Thai exports, according to the minister.
In addition to working harder to promote Thai businesses' endeavors
abroad, Gen. Chatchai also called for commercial attaches to be more
business-minded and to forge closer ties with businessmen in their
Financial subsidy for rice and rubber farmers proves most popular among govt projects
BANGKOK, 16 March 2015 (NNT) Poll respondents gave the government led by
Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha a rating of 7.91out of 10 for its first six-month
performance, conducted by Rajabhat Suan Dusit University.
According to the poll, the distribution of the 1,000-baht financial
subsidy to each rice farmer who sold their rice to the government under
the rice pledging scheme received highest satisfaction from the public
among all other projects.
In terms of individual performance of each ministry, the Ministry of
Agriculture and Cooperatives was ranked second with 72.18% in public
support, following the Defence Ministry coming in the first place with
74.51% of support.
The Poll was conducted among 1,632 respondents across Thailand from Feb
MNRE speeds up wild elephant zoning to avoid CITES ban
BANGKOK, 16 March 2015 (NNT) Minister of Natural
Resources and Environment, General Dapong Rattanasuwan has assigned the
Forest Industry Organization (FIO) and the Department of National Parks,
Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) to speed up a survey of wild
elephant population nationwide in order to bring the data for use in the
zoning of elephant habitats, said Deputy Permanent Secretary of the
Ministry Suphot Tovichakchaikul.
“In some areas of the forest, wild elephant population exceeds foods and
water supply, especially in the dry season when they need to come out of
the forest to forage for more food in community zones,” Mr. Supot
revealed, adding that the survey will help authorities evaluate whether
each of the existing habitats has enough foods and water for all
He insisted that a transfer of wild elephants from highly populated
areas to new habitats will be the last measure for reducing
concentration of elephant population as it is difficult to do and needs
information in great detail.
The elephant population zoning is part of the National Master Plan on
Solutions to elephant-related problems. It is scheduled to be completed
by March before being reported to CITES, hoping to save Thailand from an
economic sanction by CITES.
Although the elephant population in Thailand has increased, the mammals
are still facing a high risk of extinction due to the continuous forest
invasion for foods and lands and elephant hunting for ivories.
Public Health Ministry distributes face masks in North, warns against heat stroke
BANGKOK, 17 March 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Public
Health is distributing 250,000 face masks to members of the public in
the nine Northern provinces afflicted by the haze. Ministry officials
are also urging people to avoid heat strokes during bouts of hot
Deputy Minister of Public Health Somsak Chunharas disclosed on Monday
that public hospitals in the nine haze-afflicted northern provinces have
readied medical supplies for patients around the clock. 250,000 face
masks are being given out, and 150,000 more have been ordered.
Department of Disease Control Director-General Opart Karnkawinpong,
meanwhile, said that diarrhea, food poisoning and heat stroke are the
ailments that could be expected during the present period, when summer
is just starting. Dr. Opart suggested that people who work in hot
environments take hourly rests and drink plenty of water. If fatigue
sets in, the person should take cover in shaded or cooler areas and
drink electrolyte beverage.
Transport Ministry to approve budget for Ubon Ratchathani airport revamp
UBON RATCHATHANI, 15 March 2015 - The Ministry of
Transport is preparing to approve a budget for the revamp of Ubon
Ratchathani International Airport which was damaged by fire in October
According to Deputy Transport Minister Akom Termpitayapaisit, the
Department of Civil Aviation has already named the contractor who will
undertake the renovation. The task is expected to take 150 days and
require a budget of 69 million baht.
The face lift will focus on an upgrade of airport facilities, including
the improvement of car rental service booths, souvenir shops, the food
court, the runway and the jet bridges.
Ubon Ratchathani International Airport was partly damaged by fire in
October last year. No one was injured. The airport’s operation remained
Crown Property Bureau recognised with UNESCO award
BANGKOK, 15 March 2015 (NNT) The United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has honored
the Crown Property Bureau for its successful restoration work.
The Crown Property Bureau organised an award ceremony after UNESCO
announced it was one of the recipients of the 2014 Asia-Pacific Awards
for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
The award was made for the Bureau’s restoration work at the Phraya Sri
The annual awards presentation, recognizes important persons and
organizations, and cooperation between government and the private
sector. Forty-six projects were submitted to the contest, and fourteen
projects from ten countries were selected in the past year.
At the ceremony, Chirayu Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, Director of the CPB,
was the representative who received the award from UNESCO Director
Chanthaburi seeks food donations for wild elephants
CHANTHABURI, 15 March 2015 (NNT) Buddhist monks, the
municipal organization and territorial defense officials have jointly
set up a food donation campaign aimed at helping wild elephants affected
by the prolonged drought.
The program has drawn a huge response from local people who have so far
donated more than 20 tons of fruit and more than 180,000 baht. Over 200
wild elephants are reportedly in need of food as the ongoing dry season
has damaged their food and water sources, forcing them to move to human
residential and farming areas to search for food.
The Chanthaburi organizers hope that the project will prevent or lessen
the necessity for wild elephants to intrude on local people’s
properties, which sometimes leads to elephants damaging local food
gardens. The donation centers are located in two districts namely
Kanghangmaew and Khao Khitchakut which are home to the wild elephants.
The money that has been donated will be handed over to the elephant
caretakers of both districts who will spend the cash on buying food for
Many para rubber planters in Uthaithani forced to sell of farmlands
UTHAITHANI, 16 Mar 2015, (NNT) A number of Uthaithani
rubber planters have reportedly started selling off their farmlands to
raise quick cash, as latex price continues to plummet, fetching only 40
baht a kilogram.
The unprecedented low latex price has put planters in a very difficult
situation. Many had held on to their rubber sheets for months, waiting
for the price to go up but were recently forced to sell them at low
prices to raise cash for their family expenses.
The severe drought conditions have also affected rubber tapping, making
the situation even harder for the rubber farmers.
Several planters have resorted to selling off their farmland in order to
make ends meet. These include those who have just started in this
profession. Rubber planters are now looking for other opportunities that
may yield profit.
CDC and representatives on official field trip in Germany
BANGKOK, 16 March 2015 (NNT) A group of
representatives from the Constitution Drafting Committee has left for
Germany on an official government invitation to learn about the
country’s election system.
The visiting trip has seen the participation of CDC members, who were
joined by representatives from the National Legislative Assembly and the
National Reform Council as well as nine election commissioners and
The trip, scheduled for March 15 to 20 and led by CDC Chairman
Borwornsak Uwanno, is in response to an official invitation of the
government of Germany in order for the group to get first-hand
information about the German-style election system, which Thailand could
adopt in its upcoming poll.
According to CDC spokesman Gen. Lertrat Ratanavanich, the trip would not
only focus on the study of Germany’s election system but also other
related elements that Thailand can make use for its charter drafting
CDC organizes more seminar to hear opinions of politicians and academics
BANGKOK, 16 March 2015 (NNT) The charter drafting
committee has organised another seminar to hear opinions from
politicians and academics.
The CDC-organized seminar on Sunday saw the participation of
representatives from various political parties, including Mr. Jurin
Laksanawisit and Mr. Boonyod Sukthinthai from the Democrat Party, Mr.
Somsak Kosaisook from the New Democracy Party, and Mr. Sumit Sundaravej
from the Thai Citizens’ Party.
CDC’s Vice President Direk Tungfung informed the seminar that the new
charter consists of 315 articles although some of which have been
disagreed with by the political reform committee.
He said that the same seminar will be held in all four regions of
Thailand again in April.
During the seminar, Mr. Jurin said that while the new charter has to be
effective in sustaining the development of Thailand’s parliamentary
system and democracy, not every detail of the draft has to be totally
Mr. Somsak added that he agrees with the energy and labor reform but
disapproves of the government’s plan to introduce a new property tax
policy, while calling on more effort to resolve the issue of social
Interior ministry expedites aid to drought-hit Chiang Mai
BANGKOK, 15 March 2015 (NNT) Special operations
centers have urgently assisted eight drought-affected districts in
Chiang Mai province. Water trucks from the Department of Disaster
Prevention and Mitigation have been sent to help them.
Around 1,000 Rai of farmland have received water from the water trucks.
As for fire risks, the Ministry of Interior has instructed all relevant
units to conduct fire drills in the areas at risk of fire during the dry
season. The ministry has increasingly warned the public of fire and
discouraged them from burning grass or waste.
Local administrative organizations have prepared equipment, vehicles and
staff so that they are ready to help local people 24 hours.
More southern residents say no to violence, 4th Army Area Commander claims
NAKHON SI THAMMARAT, 15 March 2015 (NNT) The Fourth
Army Area Commander Lt Gen Prakarn Cholayut has claimed that growing
braveness among the public is resisting determined efforts by others to
cause unrest in the far south of Thailand.
He said that increasing numbers of local residents have taken part in a
variety of government projects such as the anti-drug campaign, road
construction, and the Thung Yang Daeng Model as well as the Kampong
Taqwa project, which aim to build a community with a balance between
Islamic practices, local culture and laws.
“Over twenty thousand people from villages in thirty seven districts (of
the South) protect teachers on their way to the schools.” he added.
The commander further mentioned the ongoing peace talks that the
military is promoting, leading to discussions with many groups of people
in the south including local residents, while maintaining cooperation
with the Malaysian military to bring about successful overall talks.
Another peace initiative called the “Bring People Home” scheme is also
successful to some extent. After two years of the project, around a
thousand people have reported to authorities and had seen their warrants
and summonses revoked. The government is seeking more success with the
idea, by appointing village and district headmen and local police as
members of the committee in order to boost the confidence of people
subject to arrest warrants to show up themselves.
Prachuap Khiri Khan holds Thai-Myanmar cultural training
PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN, 16 Mar 2015 (NNT) A cultural
exchange and training course has been held at Daansingkhon border
checkpoint in Muang District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province.
The event draws participation from 150 people, both Thai and Myanmar.
The event aims at creating understanding about cultures of the two
nations which would benefit residents of both sides who often cross the
border for trade and sight-seeing. The training will help ensure that
they have better understanding in terms of traditions, culture,
languages, and lifestyles.
The training also prepares people on both sides of the border for the
opening of a permanent trading point when the ASEAN Economic Community
is introduced at the end of the year.
It provides knowledge on laws and regulations such as import bans on
such illegal items as animal skins and orchids.
Anti-ivory smuggling campaigns promoted on Thai Elephants Day
SAMUT PRAKAN, 13 March 2015 (NNT) The Department of
National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation is holding an event to
mark the Thai Elephants Day, celebrated on March 13th every year.
This year, commemorative activities are arranged to demonstrate
Thailand's serious efforts in fighting illegal ivory trade and promoting
at the same time the elephant conservation as the endangered national
The activities are held at international airports in
three provinces namely Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi, Chiang Mai and Phuket.
They feature an exhibition on Thai elephants and their habitat, efforts
on elephant conservation and campaigns on anti-ivory smuggling. The
exhibition at each airport reportedly received great attention from
Thais and foreigners.
The Director-General of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and
Plant Conservation says his office has strongly been campaigning for
tourists to stop buying ivory-made products and taking them back to
their countries as it violates the Ivory Trading Act B.E.2558.
He advised people who possess any products made from
domesticated elephant’s ivories to register their possession by Apr
22nd. So far, 2,600 people have registered their possession involving
around 23 tonnes of ivory in combined weight. Information from the
registration will help authorities curb the killing of elephants for
ivory. The Director-General added that Thailand is to submit a
comprehensive report on the control of trade in elephant ivory as well
as the conservation of elephants to CITES by March 31st.
Interior Minister concerned about farmers’ burning practice
BANGKOK, 13 March 2015 (NNT) Interior Minister Gen
Anupong Paochinda has ordered all provincial governors to raise
understanding with farmers about the danger of wildfires and ask them to
stop burning farmland after harvesting.
The order came in his serious concern over rising problems caused by
wildfires and the burning of agricultural land and forests to make way
for new crops by farmers.
The Minister said burning of farmland was more frequent in the
harvesting season and causing haze and other environmental problems. He
said all governors must raise public awareness among farmers about
danger of careless burning and encourage them to take part in forest
protection and fire control in their own community.
The minister also urged the authorities concerned to work out a
sustainable approach to solve the burning practice by farmers.
Water Resources Department to review spatial data countrywide
BANGKOK, 13 March 2015 (NNT) The Department of Water
Resources is preparing to review the spatial data across the country
after statistics indicated a growing number of risk-prone areas.
According to Director General of the Department of Water Resources
Jatuporn Burutpat, statistics have shown that the number of villages
prone to flashfloods and landslides has soared by almost 2,000 in less
than four years.
The number of villages frequently hit by flashfloods and landslide in
2011 was recorded at 4,427 across the country. The number of risk-prone
areas has currently jumped to 6,300 due mainly to overuse of land,
deforestation and climate change.
The findings have prompted speculations that the disaster-prone zones
will be far more expansive within a couple of years, if there are no
preventive plans in place. Mr. Jatuporn said the compilation of data
will be conducted along with the preparation of contingency plans for
The Department of Water Resources will spend its budgets for 2015-2016
on the installation of 895 disaster warning systems for villages in 28
provinces in the central, northern, and western regions. The first batch
of disaster warning systems will be installed at 493 stations covering
1,584 villages this year. The other batch of equipment will be installed
in 402 stations to cover 1,509 villages next year.
Surat Thani pushes forward eradication of drug abuse in youth
SURAT THANI, 13 March 2015 (NNT) Surat Thani province
is proceeding with the move to prevent youth in risk groups from getting
involved with drugs and vices.
Deputy Governor of Surat Thani Wichawut Jinto held a meeting to discuss
the prevention and elimination of drug abuse found in the province.
Emphasis was placed on the effort to stop the spread of drug addiction
and involvement with vices among youth who are considered vulnerable, in
compliance with the first strategy of the drug prevention and protection
The strategy mainly focuses on building an immune system for young
children at child development centers and kindergartens through the
telling of moral stories and the discouragement against drug
The strategy also aims to improve the capabilities of educators and
school staff in order to allow them to help protect teenagers at schools
from drug involvement more effectively. Outside classrooms, there will
be a program that seeks to empower youth, especially vulnerable ones, to
be able to abstain from narcotic substances while anti-drug seminars and
volunteer activities will be open to them as well.
DWR speeds up early warning system development on 3G network
BANGKOK, 13 March 2015 (NNT) The Department of Water
Resources (DWR) is now working to develop a detection and warning system
to safeguard the public from flash floods and landslides through the
utilization of the 3G network for the risk areas, says the DWR
The DWR Director-General Jatuporn Buruspat has announced that the DWR is
now developing an early warning system that will be used to safeguard
the public from flash floods and landslides, in the villages situated in
risk areas nationwide.
The new early warning system is expected to have a higher performance
when compared to the previous version. This new system will be utilizing
the 3G network and smartphone applications that will provide reports
that monitor the situation and notifications.
The DWR Director-General has said that this early warning system will
relay notifications to the public, and reports to the central unit once
the system detects a rain precipitation that exceeds 100 millimeters.
The warning levels will be categorized into three levels, including
green, yellow and red. The green level signifies that the situation is
being monitored closely. The yellow level is a warning for the public to
be prepared. The highest level, the red level, means the public are
advised to evacuate the area.
This new early warning system has already been installed at 1,052
stations, covering 3,207 villages in 50 provinces.
Thai and Cambodian ministers discuss anti-human trafficking cooperation in New York
NEW YORK, 13 March 2015 (NNT) Minister of Social
Development and Human Security Pol. Gen. Adul Saengsingkaew met with
Cambodian Minister of Women’s Affairs Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi during the
59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women Meeting at the UN
headquarters in New York, the United State.
The discussion focused on Thai-Cambodian cooperation in the suppression
of human trafficking, following an MoU on Anti-Human Trafficking and
Victim Protection that the two countries signed last October.
The two ministers agreed to jointly set up a data system of people who
cross the common border in order to prevent illegal migrants from
Cambodia to cross into Thailand. So far illegal workers from Cambodia
have led to the problem of human trafficking and illegal employments in
DDPM steps up nationwide operations to tackle droughts
Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda has ordered the Department of
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) and offices concerned to step
up assistance for drought-hit people as the situation in various areas
is getting worse.
The DDPM has integrated its operations with local administrative
organizations in 105 districts in twenty three provinces which have been
declared ‘drought disaster zones’.
Those units work to prioritize water allocation aimed to satisfy public
consuming purposes rather than agricultural use.
Local officials have also been assigned to keep people informed about
the situation and explain them the government’s water allocation plan in
order to avoid conflicts possibly occurring from unequal water
DDPM Director-General Chatchai Phromlert has ordered local DDPM offices
to support related authorities with water pumps, machinery and staff to
hustle the operations especially in northern provinces.
Moral Promotion Center has hope and some concern for Thailand's future
BANGKOK, 13 March 2015 (NNT) The Moral Promotion
Center, which is a public organization, today held a press conference
stressing that society needs stronger morality as an organization
spokesperson said there has been a growing number of cases of
questionable behavior among Thai people.
Mr. Poldej Pinprateep, the Chairperson for the 7th National Moral
Assembly, stressed that the work of the present temporary military
government is cleaner, especially regarding corruption cases. He also
mentioned that since next year’s general election is assumed to take
place on either February or March 2016, the Thai public should consider
three criteria when considering candidates. These include the following:
1. Elected officials should have an honest livelihood in which their
source of income and occupation must be clearly identified. 2. Elected
officials must pay taxation to the government and must be honest and
transparent about the amount of their income and must pay taxation
according to the money they have received 3. Elected officials must have
clean history and no criminal records.
Mr. Poldej stated that if Thais choose a leader who possesses good
morality, and does not simply vote for people from according to a
certain party or due to their fame, Thai society will be better.
The Moral Promotion Center also proposed that Thai society should
improve its overall morality in other ways. The organization has
identified 49 agencies of all sorts that can help uplift the morality of
Thai society including spiritual leaders from all religions, major
ministries, public organizations such as the National Broadcasting and
Telecommunication Commission (NBTC), the Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration (BMA), Thai Health, The Ministry of Information and
Communication Technology (ICT), The electricity Generating Authority of
Thailand (EGA), The Thai Chamber of Commerce, The Royal Thai Police, and
top universities as well.
The Moral Promotion Center also has proposed a "Moral Village", a "Good
Moral Hospital", and other projects, and these and other related topics
will be further discussed in the 7th National Moral Assembly, a biannual
event that will take place this coming 25-26 March at The Government
Complex on Chaengwattana Road.
For those who would like to learn more about morality, they can contact
The Moral Promotion Center (Public Organization) office by calling
02-644-9900 or www.moralcenter.or.th
2 high-ranking officials involved in G to G rice deal get fired
BANGKOK, 13 March 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of Commerce
has fired two high-ranking officials for their involvement in the
graft-ridden government to government rice deal approved during the
The move came in response to the National Anti-Corruption Commission’s
decision to file charges against 21 politicians, civil servants and
business operators for facilitating the two G-to-G rice deals said to be
plagued by fraud. According to the Ministry of Commerce, the two
officials had allegedly allowed unauthorized Chinese private operators
to get the G to G rice deal, causing huge damage to the country.
The officials who have immediately been expelled from the civil service
are deputy director-general of the Department of Foreign Trade
Tikhumporn Natvaratat and former director of the Rice Trade
Administration Bureau Akarapong Dipavajra. The Ministry of Commerce has
also discontinued the pension of former director-general of the
Department of Foreign Trade Manas Soiploy who was also involved in the
The Ministry will later file legal lawsuits against the three. The
accused can lodge an appeal within 30 days.
Haze-causing hot spots detected in 42 provinces
BANGKOK, 13 March 2015 (NNT) The Ministry of
Natural Resources and Environment has detected
several small areas with a relatively high
temperature known as hot spots which might be
the cause of the ongoing haze crisis in the
Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of
Natural Resources and Environment Suphot
Tovichakchaikul disclosed that 209 hot spots
have been found in 42 provinces across the
country, adding that these spots may be the
source of wildfires and haze in Myanmar and
The Pollution Control Department meanwhile
reported levels of small particulate matter
smaller than 10 microns (PM10) have declined in
many parts of the North.
Areas where levels of PM10 remain above the
safety level of 120 micrograms per cubic meter
include Mae Sot district in Tak province, Muang
district and Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai
province, Muang district in Chiang Mai province
and Muang district in Mae Hong Son province.
Local people have been urged to refrain from
slash-and-burn farming in order to lessen the
intensity of the crisis.
Gulf of Thailand abundant in marine lives after restriction period was introduced
SAMUT PRAKAN, 13 March 2015 (NNT) The Upper Marine
Fisheries Research and Development Center has revealed that marine lives
the Gulf of Thailand have increased since the introduction of a new
restriction period last year.
Marine Fishery Research and Development Bureau Director Manoj Rungratri
said the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has mandated that
certain fishing tools must not be used in the upper part of the Gulf of
The prohibition is intended to protect juvenile marine lives off the
coasts of Phetchaburi, Samut Songkhram, Samut Sakhon, Bangkok, Samut
Prakan, Chachoengsao and Chonburi from June to July for a period of
three years beginning from the date of announcement.
The rule has been enforced since last year and will expire in 2016. The
move is aimed at allowing marine animals to breed and grow during this
period, especially mackerels which are commercially valuable fish to
According to a survey by the Upper Marine Fisheries Research and
Development Center, the number of marine lives as well as their size has
increased. More fishermen have been satisfied with the results and
complying with the regulations.
Yala tightens security following intelligence tip off
YALA, 13 March 2015 (NNT) Yala Police have raised
security levels in various places following intelligence tip-offs.
Yala Police Superintendent, Police General Jamlong Suwalak said security
has been tightened in Muang district of Yala.
Security officials have been told to be thorough when checking people,
particularly those trying to hide their faces, and vehicles entering the
They have also been told to be vigilant when patrolling the streets and
be ready to use a weapon to defend themselves if they are being
The Superintendent also said a fire extinguisher or a can might be used
to contain explosive materials which could be hidden inside some
PM presided over Wharton Global Forum and will travel to Japan today
March 2015 (NNT)
the 47th Wharton
Bangkok which is
held to explore
risks faced by
theme ‘Asia in a
event, which is
held from March
provides a venue
for high profile
travel to Japan
at noon from Don
They will be
in Sendai today
Thailand and Belarus agree on visa waiver for diplomats and state officials
BANGKOK, 12 March 2015 (NNT) As a way to
encourage future exchanges of visits with each
other, Thailand and Belarus have exempted visa
requirements for diplomatic and government
officials while setting eyes on expanding
cooperation in trade and investment. Thailand’s
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Don
Pramudwinai has met with Mr Valery Sadokho,
Ambassador of Belarus to Thailand, in order to
discuss the promotion of diplomatic relations as
well as economic cooperation between the two
On behalf of his country, the Belarusian
Ambassador expressed interest in seeking new
export channels in Thailand for Belarusian
products, such as potash fertilizers, car tires,
trucks and tractors. Thailand, on the other
hand, is intent on exporting rubber products and
processed agricultural goods to Belarus.
The delegates also signed an agreement on the
mutual exemption of visa for holders of
diplomatic and official passports.
The visa waiver is considered significant to the
tightening of friendship between the two sides
and is aimed at persuading their state officials
to visit each other’s country more frequently.
Thailand and Belarus officially established
their diplomatic ties on July 21, 1992. Last
year, bilateral trade was worth over 78 million
US dollars while nearly 14,000 visitors to
Thailand came from Belarus
First Common Ticketing System to be launched in Jan-Feb 2016
BANGKOK, 12 March 2015 (NNT) The first common
ticketing system is expected to be launched in
Bangkok on a trial basis in next Jan or Feb,
Transport Minister Prajin Juntong said on
Prajin said that the Office of Transport Policy
and Planning (OTP) has signed a 42-month long
contract worth 388 million baht hiring the BSV
Group comprising Bangkok Mass Transit System
Plc, which operates BTS trains, Smart Traffic Co
and Vix Mobility Co., to install the common
The system allows easier and faster transit and
interchange in the capital which possesses
multiple transit modes. Its first phase will
cover BTS trains, expressways, BRT and NGV
buses, MRT Purple Line (Bang Yai-Bang Sue) and
will later be expanded to the rest including the
Airport Rail Link, intercity motorways and
passenger boats on the Chao Phraya River in
2017-2018. Ticket prices in all transit modes
are also expected to be reduced due to the new
According to the minister, the Transport
Ministry will propose to the cabinet an
establishment of a committee to supervise the
common ticketing policy. Meanwhile, a private
company with 40% of its shares to be owned by
the government, will be set up to ensure the
efficiency of the clearing house management in
revenue collection. Out of the 600-million-baht
capital of the company, 244 million baht will be
spent on the development of interchange
NACC pushes on with impeachment of former MPs
BANGKOK, 12 March 2015 (NNT) The National
Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is proceeding
with the impeachment motion against 250 former
MPs who were involved in the illegal amendment
of the previous charter.
NACC Secretary-General Sansern Poljiak revealed
that the anti-graft agency has resolved to
indict the 250 former MPs from the previous
government for their approval of a charter
amendment bill that would alter the Senate’s
composition. He said the commissioners perceived
the ex-parliamentarians’ vote on the bill as an
abuse of their constitutional power and agreed
that they should be subject to impeachment. If
impeached, they would automatically receive a
five-year political ban.
The NACC has categorized the accused into
different groups based on the nature of their
wrongdoing. Case files and evidence are being
prepared and the agency is expected to begin
submitting them to the National Legislative
Assembly (NLA) for deliberation in the next 15
Despite the NLA’s decision not to impeach 38
former senators over their passing of the same
bill, NACC Commissioner Wichai Wiwitsewi
insisted that the impeachment case against the
250 former MPs is different in context.
Meanwhile, the NACC has also received a piece of
information suggesting that some of the then-MPs
were casting votes for each other, which would
be considered a criminal violation. The agency
is working to investigate the matter.
EC disagrees with CDC on setting up new election agency
BANGKOK, 13 Mar 2015, (NNT) The Election Commission said it
disagreed with the Constitution Drafting Committee’s decision to
establish a new agency to oversee and manage the election
The Constitution Drafting Committee yesterday invited the
Election Commission and the Office of the Ombudsman and the
Human Rights Council for their inputs, acknowledging their roles
in the new charter.
The constitution drafting committee has planned to establish a
new commission in place of the EC, and to merge the Office of
the Ombudsman and human rights council into the ‘Office of the
Ombudsman and Human Rights Protection’.
Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, an election commissioner, said he
disagreed with the establishment of the new unit, claiming it
would likely be a target of political influence. He backed his
claim by saying that the origin of the new agency, which calls
for a high ranking government official to select its members, is
susceptible to corruption.
Instead of having just one person selecting the members, Mr.
Somchai suggested that the charter drafting committee consider
allowing the election commission to handle the selection
process, with the right to dismiss unqualified members.
He stressed that his agency did not wish to hold on to the
power, and that it simply wanted to help effecting the fairest
possible election immune to the vote buying and political
Meanwhile, Dr. Niran Pitakwatchara, a human right committee
member, said he disagreed with the merging, as the 2 agencies
have different operating directions which will probably lead to
internal conflicts in the future.
Tawilwadee: CDC has yet to hold public hearing on the new charter
BANGKOK, 13 Mar 2015, (NNT) One of the Constitution Drafting
Committee members, Tawilwadee Bureekul, has stated that the
committee has yet to decide if it would hold a public hearing on
the new charter in the near future.
She said that her agency is upholding the rights of the people
in voicing their opinions on the charter. Ms. Tawilwadee
underlined that the existing draft can still be amended further.
According to her, this charter highlights the rights to vet the
administration and legislation by means of impeachment. It also
provides mechanism for public scrutiny, closes social gaps, and
creates fairness and unity.
The new charter has 4 parts, with a total of 315 acts. At the
moment the new constitution is being reviewed for possible
amendment, refinement and overall clarification.
She also indicated that the drafting committee has yet to decide
whether it would hold a public hearing in the near future,
adding however that the forum gauging the public approval on the
new charter would be organized.