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Provinces affected by Vamco now recovering

BANGKOK, 29 September 2015 (NNT)- The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has revealed that situations in 24 provinces previously affected by tropical storm Vamco have returned to normal.

According to the DDPM Director-General, Chatchai Promlert, officials have been deployed to survey damage in those provinces and report back to the DDPM so that help can be sought to assist those affected by the storm.

A low monsoon trough, which is moving across the lower region of the Central Plains, the east coast and the upper part of the South has triggered flash floods in Satun and Pang Nga provinces.

The DDPM has dispatched rescuers to help people affected by the deluge. It is also prepared to respond to emergency situations, which are expected to last until tomorrow. People who need help are urged to call Hotline number 1784 round the clock.


Thailand ready for rice and sugar trade negotiations with Tajikistan

NEW YORK, 29 September 2015 (NNT) - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha had a meeting with Tajikistan President Emomalii Rahmon, during which they agreed to enter rice and sugar trade deals.

On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, both leaders discussed several developments in their countries, particulary the Tajikistan’s interest to purchase Thai rice and sugar. Gen Prayut thanked President Rahmon for his interest and confirmed Thailand’s readiness for the negotiations which could be made on either a government-to-government basis or between the private sectors of both sides.

Gen Prayut added that in order to promote bilateral trade and investment, both countries could try to optimize the conditions provided by bilateral trading mechanisms they have already signed such as the Elimination of Double Taxation Treaty, an agreement on trade and investment promotion, the Agreement on economic and academic cooperation, as well as the agreement on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic or official passports.

He said Thailand would also seek to expand bilateral cooperation in fields that both countries have mutual interest such as education, science, agriculture, water management, narcotic suppression and also to promote the application of the philosophy of sufficiency economy initiated by HM the King.

The meeting was the first between Gen Prayut and President Rahmon since the Thai prime minister has been in office. It was also aimed at tightening the 23-year-long diplomatic relations between Thailand and Tajikistan.


Situation in Bangkok resolved to normal

BANGKOK, 29 September 2015 (NNT) – The situation in Bangkok in wake of the bombing incident has returned to normal conditions, while authorities will continue to provide security protection to ensure orderliness, the NCPO Spokesman says.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Spokesman Col Winthai Suwaree has revealed the progress of the bombing incident in Bangkok on a nationally televised broadcast, that the police have gathered all relevant evidence and witnesses, which led to the prosecution of the culprits. The situation in the capital has returned to normal conditions.
He said that the NCPO has established the situation monitoring and command center immediately after the incident to facilitate operations of related officials, in providing the assistance to the victims, proceeding the investigation, and reassuring confidence among the general public and tourists.

The NCPO has also provided training to the general public on the observing methods to detect potential acts of terror, as well as provided the updates via the Television Pool of Thailand.

The NCPO Spokesman added that the security authorities will continue to provide security protection to the public, in order to maintain the nation's continuous social order.


Rayong fears flooding could happen again

RAYONG, 29 September 2015 (NNT) - Some roads in Rayong province have been submerged after the rain fell continuously. The province warned people to prepare for a monsoon which may cause strong winds, flooding and mudslides.

The submerged roads are in Mueang district and an irrigation area. The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation suggested relevant units urgently repair drainage pipes so as to prevent flooding, dredge shallow water courses and install water pumps.

In Surat Thani province, some parts of a road in Phanom district has been flooded. They are expected to dry on Tuesday evening. Around 300 households have been affected by the flooding and mudslides.


Exploration of petroleum reserve expected to finish in October

BANGKOK, 29 September 2015 (NNT) - Director-General of the Mineral Fuels Department Puangthip Silpasart has revealed that an exploration of petroleum reserves in Thailand by IHS Consulting-Energy&Natural Resources is expected to finish in October.

She said the Ministry of Energy has hired the consulting company to estimate prospective volume of the petroleum reserves to be used as supplementary data for making decision which kinds of concessions would give optimal benefits to Thailand in the 21st Bidding Round for Thai Petroleum Concessions.

Mrs.Puangthip said that the Ministry would be able to announce its invitation for petroleum exploration and production only after the Petroleum Act and Petroleum Income Tax Act are approved by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and enacted.

She believed investors would be interested in the petroleum concession in Thailand despite the falling oil prices in global market as there are many other factors they would take into account when making investment decision.

Mrs.Puangthip who is about to retire this October, added that she wished the petroleum exploration could begin by the end of 2015 as she thought such an effort to ensure national energy security would be very difficult to achieve during the governments that follow.


Ram Nueng Pier in Ramkhamhaeng to provide connectivity

BANGKOK, 29 September 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Transport is pushing ahead with its drive to create linkage between the various public transport systems in Bangkok, with the 'Ram Nueng' pier in the Ramkhamhaeng area designated as a trial site.

Minister of Transport Arkhom Termpittayapaisith launched the demonstration site for the connectivity project on Monday. Ram Nueng Pier (รามหนึ่ง) is a private project being constructed on land leased from the State Railway of Thailand. Situated 150 meters from Ramkhamhaeng Airport Link station and 300 meter from the nearest bus stop, the pier is expected to service more than 1,000 people per day once service commences.

Mr. Arkhom disclosed that Sathon Pier will also see a similar development next year. Meanwhile, the transport ministry was expecting a shared ticketing system for all 19 piers managed by the Marine Department to be put to use in August 2016.


Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports certified for business continuity management

BANGKOK, 29 September 2015 (NNT) – Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang Airport have received the business continuity management certification under the ISO 22301:2012 standard as well as the TISI 22301-2556 standard.

According to Airports of Thailand Plc. (AOT) President Nitinai Sirismatthakarn, the AOT has been making effort to ensure that its operations comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) standard on airport business operation. As a result, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports have now been certified for business continuity management that complied with the ISO 22301:2012 standard and the equivalent standard set by Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI). The certification was made by United Registrar of Systems Ltd.

Mr. Nitinai revealed that the AOT was also working to enable four other airports under its management to be certified under the same standard. The four airports include Phuket Airport, Chiang Mai Airport, Chiang Rai's Mae Fah Luang Airport, and Hat Yai Airport in Songkhla. The AOT was aiming to have its head office and the four airports certified under the standard within 2016.


Prime Minister thanks Thais worldwide for strengthening the country

BANGKOK, 28 September 2015 (NNT)-The Prime Minister’s Office Deputy Spokesman, Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd has declared that Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha's presence at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York has resulted in greater acceptance of Thailand in the international community.

Major General Sansern said the prime minister was able to make the international community understand Thailand better, thereby increasing confidence in the Thai government’s ability to pull the country through a critical time.

He said the prime minister’s presence at various important events at the UNGA, further demonstrated the wide acceptance of Thailand and said it was the result of the cooperation of the public and private sectors, as well as the people.

Prime Minister General Prayut is thankful to Thais worldwide for working together to strengthen the country and said the government would do its best to move the country forward towards complete democracy.


Bangkok blasts commissioned by group of manipulators

BANGKOK, 28 September 2015 (NNT) – National Police Chief Pol Gen Somyot Poompanmoung has announced the conclusion of the probe into the Ratchaprasong and Sathorn bombings in Bangkok, saying more than one group of perpetrators were involved in the incidents.

Pol Gen Somyot hosted a press conference, together with other top-ranking police officers, to declare closure of the Bangkok bombing investigation. He expressed satisfaction with the quick operations of the investigators, believing the success of the probe will help restore the international community’s confidence in the Thai police’s ability to protect citizens and bring criminals to justice. On this occasion, reward money was granted to the investigative team of the Metropolitan Police Division 6.

Pol Maj Gen Chayapol Chatchaidej, Commander of the Metropolitan Police Division 6, then informed the press that police have interrogated over 200 witnesses on the incident at Ratchaprasong intersection and another 30 on the one at Sathorn Pier. The information obtained led to police raids at two apartments in Nong Chok and Min Buri districts, during which the officers found a large amount of bomb-making materials that matched evidence collected from the two sites of explosion. The discovery provided a linkage between the two bombings.

Pol Maj Gen Chayapol added that the military court has so far issued arrest warrants for 17 suspects as requested by police. Two of them have been apprehended, namely Mr Yusufu Mieraili and Mr Bilal Mohammed, aka Adem Karadag. Two were also found to be Thai nationals, one of them is Mr Yongyuth Pobkaew or Odd Payungwong, who is wanted for other explosions in Bangkok in 2010 and 2014 which were politically related.

During an inquiry session, Pol Gen Somyot told press members that there were at least two groups of people responsible for the latest bombings, with one being the mastermind. As of now, the Police Chief said the evidence suggested that the case has connections to Thailand’s eradication of human trafficking and that police cannot yet rule out political motives. He also affirmed that police will continue, with the best of their ability, to pursue the remaining 15 suspects still on the run.


Knife-wielding man kills 5 children in Chiang Mai

BANGKOK (AP) — A man in northern Thailand stormed into a neighbor's home, hacked five children to death and inflicted multiple stab wounds on a pregnant woman who was watching them, police said Monday.

Police said the 24-year-old man, who had a history of mental illness and received regular treatment for depression, became agitated by the noise coming from his neighbor's home in a village outside the city of Chiang Mai.

The man, identified as Azapa Sriwua, grabbed a 47-centimeter (19-inch) kitchen knife and went after the children first, said Lt. Col. Sombat Kalasuk of the Chiang Mai police station.

Police found four bodies of children, all believed to be under 8 years of age, in pools of blood on the floor of the house, including one boy by the front door, indicating he died while trying to escape, said Sombat.

A 5-month-old baby who was also stabbed died later at a hospital, where a 7-month old pregnant woman who was watching the children was being treated for knife wounds to her face and body.

Sombat said the attacker had no history of prior mental breakdowns and was living with his family while being treated for depression at a local hospital.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Crown Prince opens majestic Rajabhakti Park in Hua Hin

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN, 27 September 2015 (NNT) - His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn yesterday represented His Majesty the King at the opening ceremony of Rajabhakti Park, in Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province.

The Crown Prince, accompanied by Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha, unveiled Rajabhakti Park’s name placard, and officiated at a brief ritual of sprinkling lustral water and anointing the ceremonial name plate of the park.The royalty also attended a light-and-sound and multimedia show organized by the Royal Thai Army to celebrate the opening of the public park.

Rajabhakti Park is built by the Royal Thai Army on a piece of 222 rai of its land, with funds donated by public and private sectors as well as the general public. The Army was granted His Majesty the King’s approval to build the park on April 21, this year. His Majesty has also named the park as Rajabhakti, which means the park that has been built with people’s loyalty to the monarchs. His Royal Highness the Crown Prince has kindly accepted to be chief advisor to the organizing committee of the park project. Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha also led an event entitled 'Rajabhakti Bike and Concert' on September 12 to raise fund for the construction of the grand park.

Rajabhakti Park is a historic park to honor seven great ancestral kings from the Sukhothai period to the current Chakri Dynasty. It features giant bronze statues of the seven kings, each with an average height of 13.9 meters. Among the statues are those of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great, King Naresuan the Great and King Rama I who established Bangkok and was the founder of the Chakri Dynasty.


PM Prayut pledges to press forward all latest national economic and social development plans

BANGKOK, 27 September 2015 (NNT) - The Prime Minister has pledged to push forward all plans to develop the country’s economy and social affairs while adhering to the principles of national reform.

Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha said during his weekly TV program “Returning Happiness to the People” that the government’s plan to move forward the country has been added with all the 11 reform ideas from the National Council for Peace and Order and 36 propositions from the National Reform Council.

PM Prayut said that the government has also been introducing new policies and included them in the 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan (2017-2021) and the 20-year national strategy to be a compass to take the country forward.

He added that the government will always adopt His Majesty the King’s Sufficiency Economy philosophy and the notion that the people will have to be at the center and take part in the development process.

The PM went on to say that the 12th NESD Plan will be disclosed in October 2016.


Erawan Shrine crime-enactment boosts public confidence

Police officers escort a key suspect in last month's Bangkok bombing, yellow shirt, identified as Adem Karadag .
(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

BANGKOK, 27 September 2015 (NNT) – The crime-enactment by the prime suspect involved in the Bangkok bombing attack at Erawan Shrine in Ratchaprasong area has boosted the public confidence as seen from the livelier atmosphere at the popular tourist spot.

Visitors at Erawan Shrine said they felt more relieved to see the presence of security officials around frequently-visited areas, and to know that some of the key suspects were arrested. Retailers at Ratchaprasong said their sales had picked up by 20 percent as tourists began to come back.

Suspect Adem Karadag was escorted to the Hindu shrine on 26 September to perform the crime enactment amid tight security. Police are preparing to hold a press conference on the case on 28 September.

Tourists said the media coverage of the progress in the case did have a positive psychological effect on them. Visitors and local people also admitted that the 17 August blast taught them to be more vigilant.


Arrest warrants approved for 2 more human trade suspects

SONGKHLA, 27 September 2015 (NNT) - The Na Thawi Provincial Court in Songkhla province has approved arrest warrants for two more suspects with connection to human trafficking.

Deputy Commissioner of the Provincial Police Region 8, Pol Maj Gen Paween Pongsirin disclosed that the suspects were identified as Cholticha Chaimanee, former-territorial defense volunteer and driver of the Sadao District chief and Soniang Anu, a Burmese national.

Police earlier issued arrest warrants to four military officials and a Songkhla-based businessman Supat Santipiyakul, locally known as Ko Tok. Mr. Sapat reportedly fled to Malaysia. Police have requested Malaysian authorities to deport him.

Police have so far issued arrest warrants to 155 people, 90 of whom were captured. The case is expected to be concluded within September and will be submitted the attorney general later on.


Thailand urgently looks into obstacles to cross-border trade with Malaysia

BANGKOK, 25 September 2015 (NNT) - Thai-Malaysian border trade was raised to a meeting of the committee in charge of border trade and investment promotion with neighbouring countires today after exports of Thai rubber and electronic products have dropped, Minister of Commerce Apiradi Tantraporn revealed.

Trade barriers between Thailand and Malaysia was the main issue discussed at the meeting as the Thai-Malaysian border trade accounted for fifty percent of the total border trade revenue that Thailand made in a year. In 2015, border trade is set to bring in to the country a total of 1.5 trillion baht.

The minister said that the committee is set to make a field trip to Songkhla to look into and solve the problems collaboratively with other units. She pointed out that some problems could be solved in a short period such as the establishment of Duty Free Zone, the setting up of new tax refund points at Sadao border crossing and extension of the border closing time, etc.

The minister emphasized that all of the problems would not be solved without integreted cooperation of all units. She hoped the meeting would be a good chance for Thailand to develop its efficiency in response to the arrival of ASEAN Community that is to start with ful effect on 1 January 2016.


Government Housing Bank launches Government Housing Bank to mark 62nd anniversary

BANGKOK, 25 September 2015 (NNT) – The Government Housing Bank (GHB) has launched a special loan offer to thank its customers on the occasion of its 62nd founding anniversary, GHB President Angkana Pilun-Owad Chaimanat says.

The 3,000-million-baht home loan package offers home buyers a 0.62% interest rate per year for the first 8 months. The interest rate will increase to 4.62% per year during 9th -24th months of installment.

Interested people are able to make loan requests during 1 September until 30 October 2015. Loan contracts will be concluded by 30 November 2015.

Apart from the loan offer, the GHB has also initiated a 162-day saving deposit project which offers higher interest rate of 2.26% per year, counting from the date of opening of the bank account until 1 March 2016.

The deposit starts from 500 baht up to one million baht, and is applied to one customer per one account. They can open the account from 21 September until 21 October this year. Withdrawals are not applicable for such an account.

The GHB president added that throughout the 62 years of operations, the bank has been moving forward to achieve its 2015 goal - offerring home loans, worth THB149,800 million. The bank has also designated 2015 as "Year of Moving toward Innovations" in an effort to strenghten the bank’s performance.

People who need more information can contact GHB branches nationwide, or dial Call Center 0-2645-9000, or visit www.ghbank.co.th.


WHO growth charts to be used for Thai children

NONTHABURI, 25 September 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) is preparing to use the growth standards of the World Health Organization to monitor the growth and development of Thai children.

According to Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, the WHO growth standards will apply to newborns and children aged below five, starting from October. They will be evaluated by three indexes: weight for age, height for age and weight for height. The WHO growth standards have been adopted after a MOPH survey indicated that 15 percent of Thai children aged under 42 months lagged behind those of other nations in terms of development.

The move is expected to raise parent awareness of the importance of nutrition. The WHO and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) pointed out that proper nourishment not only supports the economy but plays a key role in children’s physical and intellectual advancement.


Chinese Ambassador to Thailand pays a courtesy call on Deputy PM

BANGKOK, 25 September 2015 (NNT) - Ambassador of the People’s Republic China to Thailand Ning Fukui paid a courtesy call on Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Juntong at the Government House this morning to discuss various topics including Thai-Chinese railway cooperation.

Air Chief Marshal Prajin expressed his satisfaction over the Thailand-China joint meeting on the railway construction which was conducted smoothly with considerable progress.

He said the Thai government considered the joint project very important as it would benefit economic and social development in both countries.

Mr. Ning Fukui said on his part that despite some unagreeable points, he believed the two sides would be able to overcome the hurdles with their sincerity and determination to fulfil the project.

The two sides also discussed educational cooperation in which both expressed interest to raise the level of cooperation in the field. ACM Prajin thanked the Chinese government for sending volunteers to teach Chinese language in Thailand.

The Chinese ambassador realized that the Thai government has had a policy to promote researches in renewable and alternative energy. He thus committed to encourage high-standard Chinese-based companies and state enterprises to invest in Thailand's energy sector.


Thailand appointed G77 Chair for 2016

NEW YORK, 25 September 2015 (NNT) – Thailand has been endorsed as the G77 Chairmanship for 2016, reflecting the international community’s confidence with Thailand on the global stage.

The special representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Apichart Chinwanno has joined the 39th Group of 77 (G77) ministerial meeting held in New York City, the United States, during the UN Assembly.

In this occasion, the Minister of Foreign Affairs representative expressed the gratitude towards the G77 member states' endorsement of Thailand to become the G77 Chair in the 2016 term, which reflects the trust and confidence from the international community to Thailand. The chairmanship will provide the opportunity for Thailand to enhance cooperations between the developing countries.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs representative has said during the G77 meeting that Thailand upheld encouragement of the participation and the democratic principles of the global economy, as well as pushing for the benefits and issues that the group advocates.

He said that Thailand will act as a bridge builder between member countries, and between the group and other international organizations.


Commerce Ministry restructures provincial offices

NONTHABURI, 25 September 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Commerce has provincial commercial affairs offices under the One Roof Policy, established 18 province groups to enhance the capability.

The Minister of Commerce Apiradi Tantraporn revealed that the Ministry has integrated the operations in various of the ministry’s provincial offices such as the office of commercial affairs, business development, and foreign trade, under a single organization in each province under the ‘One Roof’ policy which will be supervised by the provincial office of commercial affairs.

She said that the ministry will push forward the grouping of provinces into 18 groups, segmented into the upper northeastern provinces group and the upper northern provinces group, to connect businesses and entrepreneurs into a network, and to encourage joint business practices as the key business development force of the region.

The office of commercial affairs in provinces which share borders with neighbouring countries will select people of potential to help expand Thai businesses to the neighbouring countries, in accordance to the government’s strategy.

The Ministry of Commerce will further proceed the community commercial strategy, showcasing the different identities and capabilities from each area led by the provincial office of commercial affairs, comparabel to the farm outlet strategy.

The Minister of Commerce has also said that this restructure will pave the way for new generation of businessmen to become professional traders and investment experts, to accommodate for the establishment of the Special Economic Zones, and to support the community enterprise strategy and SMEs business owners.


Single gateway proposed for economical benefits and safety

BANGKOK, 25 September 2015 (NNT) – The government proposed to gear the Single Gateway project towards economical benefits and national security, the ICT Minister says.

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Uttama Savanayana has said regarding the government's National Single Internet Gateway project, that it is intend to facilitate economic expansion as providers will be able to cut their costs from common uses of the facility.

He addressed that that the project will not violate any privacy or rights of individuals, claiming that this arrangement would further enhance data security as the authorities will have better access to information regarding online offenses.

The ICT Minister has stressed that the government does not intend to utilize the new gateway arrangement for the political stability reasons, adding that the project is now currently being studied. The ministry will invite representatives from the business sector and the general public to further inform the details of this project.


Government ministry meets Rohingya refugees for Hari Raya

PATHUM THANI, 25 September 2015 (NNT) – The Minister of Social Development and Human Security has visited the Rohingya refugees on the occasion of the Hari Raya holiday, and congratulated refugees who have been accepted for migration to the US.

The Minister of Social Development and Human Security Pol Gen Adul Sangsingkeo yesterday visited the refugee shelter in Pathum Thani Province to meet with Rohingya refugees on the religious holiday of Eid al-Adha.

He said that the MSDHS has accepted 328 Rohingya refugees who have qualified the screening for victims of human trafficking to receive asylum. During his visit, he observed the livelihood of the refugees in the asylum shelter and also provided words of encouragement to them as well.

The MSDHS Minister revealed that all refugees have been accepted to migrate to the United States as a third-party country, and will embark on their journey to the United States during late September 2015.


Government to formulate drought aid plans for 2016

BANGKOK, 25 September 2015 (NNT) - The Ministry of Finance has planned to discuss aid measures for the agro-sector with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, in preparation for the dry season next year.

After a meeting with three government banks, Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong revealed that the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) and the Government Savings Bank (GSB) would offer debt suspension and further credit to farmers in drought-hit areas.

SME Bank will help boost farmers’ incomes via a variety of channels, such as community enterprise and One Tambon One Product outlets: it will also cooperate with the Ministry of Commerce in launching trade fairs. The Ministry of Finance may approve a fund to help farmers in areas where the crisis is too severe to handle.

Mr. Apisak added that he would discuss the aid measures with the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives in order to map out integrated solutions together. The talk is expected to take no more than a week. The result will be submitted to the cabinet during the meeting in early October.


Water levels in Mekong River steadily decline

NAKHON PHANOM, 25 September 2015 (NNT) - The declining water levels in the Mekong River have prompted officials in Nakhon Phanom province to retain more water in its reservoirs.

Mekong River water levels are declining at the rate of 20-30 centimeters per day and beginning to affect many rice fields.

Water is now being diverted into the reservoir under the Nam Kam Basin Development Project to make sure there will be at least 60% capacity to sustain the growth of rice and household consumption.

Farmers living outside of the irrigation system have been advised not to grow crops, as there may not be enough water.


Anti-human trafficking police track Songklha businessman

SONGKHLA, 25 September 2015 (NNT) – Police are tracking down a businessman, one of the suspects who allegedly involve in human smuggling and money laundering in the South.

According to Deputy Commissioner of the Provincial Police Region 8 Police Major General Pawin Pongsirin, the suspect is identified as Supat Santipiyakul, locally known as Ko Tok. Supat is a Sonkhla-based businessman who owns multi-million baht businesses. A close scrutiny of his financial transaction found that his bank accounts contained billions of baht in circulation.

The suspect has reportedly fled to Malaysia. Police have informed Malaysian authorities on his escape and asked for his deportation. They are also preparing to seek arrest warrants for more suspects, including some civil servants. Police Major General Pawin denied claims that the implication of state officials in the crime was a foul play, affirming that the investigation had been carried out in a transparent manner.

Police expect to finalize the probe and submit the results to the Attorney General within September after spending nearly five months tracking down the wrongdoers.


Ministry of Transport to propose electric bus procurement

BANGKOK, 25 September 2015 (NNT) – The Ministry of Transport is preparing its procurement proposal for electric buses in the Bangkok area.

Transport Minister Omsin Chiwaphruek revealed that he will ask the Cabinet to revise its decision to import more than 3,000 natural gas buses and instead purchase 200 electric buses, in order to meet the urgent demand for public transport in the capital.

According to Mr. Omsin, electric buses, despite their higher initial price, will be more cost effective than natural gas ones in the long run.

Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) earlier completed bidding for the procurement of 489 natural gas buses. However, the vehicles have yet to enter service, pending a probe into complaints of malfeasance.

The minister said he would inquire about the progress of the probe at a meeting with BMTA’s board of directors on September 28.


No Thai pilgrims killed or injured in Hajj stampede

In this image released by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), hundreds of thousands of Muslim pilgrims make their way to cast stones at a pillar symbolizing the stoning of Satan in a ritual called "Jamarat," the last rite of the annual hajj, on the first day of Eid al-Adha, in Mina on the outskirts of the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015. (Saudi Press Agency via AP)

BANGKOK, 24 September 2015 (NNT) - The Thai Hajj Affairs Office has confirmed no Thai Hajj pilgrim was killed or injured by a stampede near the Islamic holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

According to the Thai Hajj Affairs Office, 453 people were killed and 719 injured in the incident taking place on Street 204—one of the streets leading to stone throwing at Mina. The area was a resting area and route used by pilgrims from other country. Thai pilgrims and those from other Southeast Asian countries stayed on the side of Mina.

The Thai Hajj Affairs office stressed that the stampede did not happen in the area and the route Thai pilgrims used to travel to the pillars. They were not among the deaths and injured, said the office.


Ministry of Energy urges energy conservation

BANGKOK, 24 September 2015 (NNT) – The Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO) has called on the public to conserve energy in the face of increasing fuel imports.

EPPO Director Thawarat Sutabutra disclosed that energy consumption rose 2.4% from January to August. Natural gas was the most consumed fuel, followed by petrol and alternative fuels. Electricity usage rose 3.4% to 116 million units, due to the prolonged dry season.

Further exacerbating the issue, domestic production has dropped 1.1%, while imports rose 8.6%. The EPPO Director blamed the drop in production on delays in the petroleum exploration concession auction. He said if the delays continue, then the country will be forced to import more fuel.

Despite a steady decline in global oil prices, the Mr. Thawarat cautioned that prices are likely to rebound within 18 months. The agency urged the public to conserve energy in order to ensure sufficient fuel supplies, but also plans to lower fuel prices in accordance with global markets.


Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives gears up for upcoming drought disaster

BANGKOK, 24 September 2015 (NNT) - Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Gen Chatchai Sarikulya said that the cabinet meeting yesterday approved eight assistance measures for rice farmers in the basins of the Chaophraya and Mae Klong Rivers who could be affected by the coming water crisis due to droughts.

The measures, proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC), will begin on Oct 1, 2015 with a view to getting all sectors - agriculture, industry, services and others - ready for the coming water crisis which could drag into next year. The measures will ensure no conflicts will rise over the water shortage problem among different sectors.

The eight measures comprise twenty five activities, bringing together various ministries to work collaboratively under an integrated plan to be proposed to the cabinet for consideration next week.

Main focus of the measures are distribution of production factors to reduce costs of production, suspending or extending debt-installment period, creating alternative job opportunities for farmers, running water-saving campaigns, dredging new water sources, offering loans for local communities, and conducting rainmaking operations, etc.

Eighteen rainmaking operation aircraft will be mobilized from areas with normal situation to areas suffering from water shortages - mostly in the northern and the northeastern provinces. The operation has started from today.

Responding to the cabinet’s approval, Gen Chatchai revealed the MOAC would hold an action plan drafting meeting on Sep 25. Initially, it will hold onsite visits, until Oct 7, to raise public understanding about the measures. On Oct 8, MOAC administrators will have a VDO Conference session with governors of all provinces for updated water situation. The measures will be officially implemented during Oct 9-23.

The ministry will also set up provincial and national water managing centers responsible for reporting water situation and progress of the measures to the ministry at 6 p.m. on a daily basis. The center will be kicked off on Nov 1.


Government advises parents of newborn babies to register for financial aid by Aptil 2016

BANGKOK, 24 September 2015 (NNT) – The Government has urged parents of newborn babies to take their children for health checks at a nearby public health center so that they could get health check verifications for use in the registration for a new 400-baht financial aid scheme.

A Prime Minister’s Office release said the assistance follows Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha’s policy which places emphasis on the quality of Thai children, especially in the first year of their lives.

The new financial aid will be provided for 12 months to low-income mothers of babies born between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016. Eligible families must earn less than 3,000 baht a month and have no rights to get other sources of benefits from the government.

The parents, as well as pregnant women who are due to give birth during the period, can register for the financial support from now on until 31 March 2016 at local administrative offices in their localities.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs details developments since the Ratchaprasong explosion

BANGKOK 23rd Sept. 2015 (NNT) - Lieutenant General Prawut Thavornsiri, Deputy Police Commissioner-General and Spokesperson of the Royal Thai Police, and Mr. Sek Wannamethee, Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today conducted a briefing session on developments following the Ratchaprasong intersection explosion in August, for members of the diplomatic corps from 56 countries, and 7 international organizations, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to explain the actions of the government after a month of investigations into the crime, and to boost the confidence of foreign visitors.

Lieutenant General Prawut Thavornsiri informed the diplomatic corps about the progress of investigations and the arrests made. Mr. Sek Wannamethee revealed that the diplomatic corps is satisfied with the security measures which the government has implemented for the safety of nationals and tourists.

The spokesman of the Royal Thai Police added that the Ratchaprasong explosion cannot be defined as an act of terrorism and the publicized arrest of alleged suspects in Malaysia is not true.

Meanwhile, police are in the process of verifying the nationality of Mr. Adem Karadag who was earlier arrested in possession of 200 counterfeit passports. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already coordinated with Chinese officials and the Turkish Embassy in Thailand.


Rain-making missions stepped up amid drought fears

BANGKOK, 23 September 2015 (NNT) – The Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation has stepped up its rain-enhancement operations as the low rainfalls in this rainy season have sparked fears of severe drought.

The Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation has mobilized 18 aircraft to carry out cloud-seeding missions, as a monsoon trough which is forecast to reach the country in the next few weeks will bring on enough humidity for the rain-making operations.

A latest aerial survey showed that water reserves in the four main dams, namely Bhumibol Dam, Sirikit Dam, Pasak Jolasid Dam and Kwae Noi Bamrung Dan Dam were still low compared to previous years'. With only four weeks before the end of the rainy season, there is speculation that the country will experience a lengthy drought next year.

Farmers have been urged to forego off-season rice farming or other water-guzzling crops and store as much rain water as possible to ease the effect of the upcoming dry season. People are advised to conserve water as well.

The Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation is prepared to increase the number of rain-making operation centers from nine to 13 across the country, starting next year.


Government will campaign for foreign film shooting in Thailand

BANGKOK, 23 September 2015 (NNT) - The National Board of Film and Video has approved a draft of strategies to promote the Thai movie industry and motivate foreigners to use Thailand as a film location.

Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Tanasak Patimapagorn on Wednesday said the National Board of Film and Video had given the green light to the movie industry promotion strategy, 3rd phase (2017-2021). The board also agreed to ask the Cabinet to approve the use of the strategies as guideline for relevant units in generating revenue for the country.

As part of the strategies, the Ministries of Culture, Education and ICT will join hands in developing personnel in the movie industry. The strategies also seek to protect intellectual properties, promote cooperation on joint-investment in film production, as well as provide tax incentives for foreign film producers.

From January to August 2015, 420 foreign films were shot in Thailand, bringing more than two billion baht to the country. After the Cabinet approves the strategies, a road map will be organized abroad to campaign for film shooting in Thailand.


Arrest warrant issued for another Bangkok bombing suspect

BANGKOK, 23 September 2015 (NNT) - Minburi Provincial Court has approved an arrest warrant for another suspect involved in the August bomb attacks at Ratchaprasong and in the Sathorn area of Bangkok.

Metropolitan Police Bureau Commissioner Lt-General Srivara Rangsi-prammanaku has disclosed that the suspect is an as yet unidentified man whose nationality has yet to be confirmed. He is about 30 years-old, has short hair and is able to speak Thai. The suspect is accused of illegal possession of explosives.

Images from a closed-circuit camera at a shop in the Klongton area show that the man went to the shop to buy metal pipes allegedly used in the making of explosives. The bomb-making materials were found at Pool-anan Apartment in Nong Chok District which was frequented by other suspects.

Lt-General Srivara said police were preparing to seek arrest warrants for more suspects, adding that authorities had solid evidence to implicate them. Police have so far issued arrest warrants to 16 people, in connection with the bombings.


Thai police say main Bangkok bomb suspect not arrested in Malaysia

This Aug. 17, 2015, image, released by Royal Thai Police spokesman Lt. Gen. Prawut Thavornsiri shows a man wearing a yellow T-shirt near the Erawan Shrine before the explosion occurred in Bangkok.(Royal Thai Police via AP)

BANGKOK, 23 September 2015 (NNT)-The Royal Thai Police said it can’t be confirmed whether Malaysian authorities have arrested the yellow shirted man who was seen placing the bomb at Ratchaprasong Intersection.

Royal Thai Police Spokesperson, Police Lieutenant General Prawut Thawornsiri has advised Thais to rely only on information provided by Thai police, for accurate news of any developments in the Ratchaprasong blast investigation.

He added that criminals are arrested in Malaysia everyday just as they are in Thailand, and they are not all connected to the bomb blast.

Meanwhile, Metro Police Chief Police, Major General Sriwara Rangsipramkul said the interrogations conducted on a college student, the wife of another bomb suspect Mr. Adul Tawab, and a taxi driver believed to have taken the main suspect to Hua Lam Pong Train Station, have led to the police issuing more arrest warrants.


Prayut gives assurance Thai-China railway progressing

BANGKOK, 22 September 2015 (NNT) - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has pleaded with the Thai people not to put pressure on the government over the Thai-China dual-track railway construction as the government needs to run the project prudently to prevent corruption being an issue. He confirmed the government is constantly following up on the project’s progress.

The project is part of the “One Belt, One Road” policy to restore the Silk Road linking trade and encompassing development between Asia and Europe. Its construction is scheduled to start in October this year.

The railway consists of two sections. The first section links China’s Kunming City with Nong Khai, a northeastern province of Thailand. The second part is to link Nong Khai with Bangkok, with a branch out to the eastern province of Rayong.

Gen Prayut said that an obstacle to the project is public encroachment on the State Railway of Thailand's land. The government is, therefore, trying to build an understanding with those encroaching to gain their cooperation.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Gen Tanasak Patimapragorn confirmed to the Chinese news agency, Xinhua, that the Thai-China railway would not only boost tourism but also strengthen logistic infrastructure, promoting efficient distribution of goods in the region.


Authorities on track for Bangkok Blast investigation

BANGKOK, 22 September 2015 (NNT) – Officials are continuing their investigation, gathering all evidence and witnesses related to the bombing incident in Bangkok, according to the NCPO Spokesman.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Spokesman Col Winthai Suwaree has said regarding the latest investigation progress for the bombing incident in Bangkok on the national television broadcast, that the court has issued additional arrest warrants for 13 suspects, two of which have already been captured and are being held in custody at the central prison.

He said that the officials are now working at full capacity to proceed with the investigation, to assist affected persons and to take care of the tourists. Foreign nations have been asked to provide all available information related to the suspects to the Thai authorities.

The general public are encouraged to report all information that would be beneficial to the investigation to the police or military officials by calling the 24-hour 1515 hotline.


Ministry of Transport to support Thailand as Logistic Hub of ASEAN

BANGKOK, 21st September 2015 (NNT) -The Ministry of Transport is supporting Thailand becoming the logistic hub of ASEAN and the GMS, to co-ordinate with neighboring countries and to develop the domestic infrastructures.

Mr. Arkom Termpittayapaisith, the Minister of Transport said today that since Thailand is the center of ASEAN and the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), all southern ASEAN countries have to pass through Thailand in order to get to the big market in China as well as to neighboring countries, so connectivity is the key impetus for all infrastructure to be linked to all member states.

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) has now followed up on projects, firstly, to develop transportation infrastructure in Thailand such as roads, rails, and bridges for ease of crossing any borders. Secondly, the government has allocated a budget especially for the development of highways and rural roads in the country. Thirdly, to build economic zones at border crossing points which are also a key to engaging with neighboring countries.
He added that there are five areas of the infrastructure development policy which have now been endorsed by the cabinet; firstly: Intercity Rail Network projects; to upgrade the railway system in Thailand and to increase the speed of the trains as well. Secondly: the Mass Transit in Bangkok project; the government is now focusing on the four lines being prepared by the MOT they are the Pink line, Yellow line, the extension of the Purple line, and the Orange line. Meanwhile the private sector could join the projects as well, as the projects welcome the private sector in the form of Public – Private Partnerships (PPP) in both the Intercity Rail Network Project and the Mass Transit project. Besides, the rail projects between Bangkok – Rayong, and Bangkok - Hua Hin which will be high speed train services will be initiated by the private sector and hopefully receive approval from the PPP committee, by the first quarter of next year. These joint ventures demonstrate that the private sector can be involved in all the infrastructure projects.


Launch of 24hr hotline for people to report crimes

BANGKOK, 21 September 2015 (NNT) - The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has established a 24-hour crime hotline and insisted it will continue to safeguard the public against any possible threats.

NCPO Spokesperson Colonel Winthai Suvaree said that security units have been doing their best to provide public safety since the Ratchaprasong blast, while also trying to be transparent about the investigation.

The spokesperson urged everyone to contact the authorities regarding any unusual activities or people. People can call a 24-hour hotline at 1515, as a way to help investigators solve and prevent criminal activity.


80 monkeys relocated from Bangkok's Bang Khun Thian

BANGKOK, 22 September 2015, (NNT) - The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) has relocated some 80 monkeys from the Bang Kradi community in Bangkok's Bang Khun Thian district to Phanthai Norasing Animal Shelter in Samut Sakhon province.

Locals of Bang Kradi had filed complaints to officials about public disturbances caused by monkeys in the area. In response, the DNP officers captured roughly 80 of the 400 monkeys in the area for medical examination at the animal shelter. The animals will later be released into the wild in Ratchaburi province.

The DNP assured locals in Bang Kradi that monkey population control measures will soon be deployed to ensure both humans and primates can co-exist peacefully.

Residents with issues of invading wildlife can reach the DNP at its hotline 1362 for assistance.


Government Lottery Office expresses confidence in the new reservation system

BANGKOK, 22 September 2015, (NNT) - The Government Lottery Office (GLO) Chief is confident that the new lottery reserve system will operate smoothly.

GLO Chief Major General Apirat Kongsompong said the IT system used by Krung Thai Bank (KTB) is stable and is unlikely to experience system failure. He ensured the public that there will not be any issue booking tickets for the next cycle. There are 62,586 users registered as of September 15, of which 10,000 are new ticket vendors.

He pointed out that 20% of all users have registered online, while the remaining 80% registered at KTB branches. Chief Apirat expects at most 13 million books of tickets will be reserved in the next lottery cycle. About 83 million books will be available in the next cycle, a significant increase from the previous 74 million books.

Major General Apirat warned vendors that selling overpriced state lottery tickets is a crime and is subject to investigation by the Revenue Department.


Police Chief reveals changes in various bureaus

BANGKOK, 21 September 2015 (NNT)-National Police Chief, Police General Somyot Pumpanmuang, has revealed that 52 police officials consisting of commanders and deputy commanders will change their posts 2015.

The statement comes following a meeting with the police commission, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan. The decision follows discussions with Deputy Police Chief, Police General Chaktip Chaijinda regarding the qualifications of each individual, in regards to their abilities, suitability, and seniority.

The police chief added that the meeting also discussed the transfer of Central Investigation Bureau officials, Provincial Police Regional 8 and 9 officials, as well as 32 immigration officials. These transfers have resulted from their involvement in human trafficking.

The meeting also agreed that the Deputy Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, Police Major General Nathathorn Prausoontorn, be appointed the next Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau.


Prime Minister to visit the United States this week

BANGKOK, 21 September 2015 (NNT) - Deputy Spokesperson to the Prime Minister’s Office Maj Gen Weerachon Sukhondhapatipak has announced the Prime Minister’s itinerary on his visit to the United States.

The Prime Minister will be in New York between September 24th and 30th to attend the United Nations General Assembly, where he will deliver his own address to the Assembly. He will also attend a reception and dinner hosted by the President of the United States, meet with various business groups and chair an exhibition on the sufficiency economy philosophy.

The Prime Minister will also receive an award from the International Telecommunication Union as part of Thailand’s participation in the 150 year old organization.


Thailand unaffected by Tier 3 ranking in Trafficking in Persons Report

BANGKOK, 21 September 2015 (NNT) - The Secretary-General of the Department of American and South Pacific Affairs says Thailand’s Tier 3 ranking in the Trafficking in Persons report will have no repercussions on Thailand’s economy.

Songsak Saicheua, Thailand’s Secretary-General of the Department of American and South Pacific Affairs, spoke at a seminar on the matter, saying the country was downgraded to the report’s lowest ranking due to inadequate enforcement by the authorities, lack of proper protection for victims and a failure to address human trafficking in the country’s fishing industry.

He said Thailand has disagreed with the assessment by the United States and has pointed out its various successes in the past year in empowering officials, enforcing the law and prosecuting violators. It has since submitted a progress report to the United States for reconsideration.

As for any repercussions from Thailand’s standing in the report, Mr Songsak says Thailand has continued to conduct trading activities with the United States and Europe as usual, although the United States has suspended cultural and educational assistance projects. He also said the President of the United States has until October 25 to consider exempting Thailand from various punishments associated with the Tier 3 ranking.


Minister of Agriculture to swiftly deal with landlessness

BANGKOK, 21 September 2015 (NNT) - The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives will expedite its registration of landless farmers in accordance with the Prime Minister’s policy.

Agriculture Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikalya said yesterday that he has instructed the Agricultural Land Reform Office to speed up the registration process.

He said his Ministry has received numerous complaints of unfair practice in the matter and confirmed that his Ministry will decisively address the matter of landlessness in accordance with the Prime Minister’s policy.

Gen Chatchai added that his Ministry will propose new assistance measures during the drought such as more innovative farming, livestock farming, water resource management and debt extensions.


 

DAILY UPDATE

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Back to Main Page

Provinces affected by Vamco now recovering

Thailand ready for rice and sugar trade negotiations with Tajikistan

Situation in Bangkok resolved to normal

Rayong fears flooding could happen again

Exploration of petroleum reserve expected to finish in October


Ram Nueng Pier in Ramkhamhaeng to provide connectivity

Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports certified for business continuity management

Prime Minister thanks Thais worldwide for strengthening the country

Bangkok blasts commissioned by group of manipulators


Knife-wielding man kills 5 children in Chiang Mai

Crown Prince opens majestic Rajabhakti Park in Hua Hin

PM Prayut pledges to press forward all latest national economic and social development plans

Erawan Shrine crime-enactment boosts public confidence

Arrest warrants approved for 2 more human trade suspects


Thailand urgently looks into obstacles to cross-border trade with Malaysia

Government Housing Bank launches Government Housing Bank to mark 62nd anniversary

WHO growth charts to be used for Thai children

Chinese Ambassador to Thailand pays a courtesy call on Deputy PM

Thailand appointed G77 Chair for 2016

Commerce Ministry restructures provincial offices


Single gateway proposed for economical benefits and safety

Government ministry meets Rohingya refugees for Hari Raya

Government to formulate drought aid plans for 2016

Water levels in Mekong River steadily decline

Anti-human trafficking police track Songklha businessman

Ministry of Transport to propose electric bus procurement


No Thai pilgrims killed or injured in Hajj stampede

Ministry of Energy urges energy conservation

Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives gears up for upcoming drought disaster

Government advises parents of newborn babies to register for financial aid by Aptil 2016


Ministry of Foreign Affairs details developments since the Ratchaprasong explosion

Rain-making missions stepped up amid drought fears

Government will campaign for foreign film shooting in Thailand

Arrest warrant issued for another Bangkok bombing suspect


Thai police say main Bangkok bomb suspect not arrested in Malaysia

Prayut gives assurance Thai-China railway progressing

Authorities on track for Bangkok Blast investigation


Ministry of Transport to support Thailand as Logistic Hub of ASEAN

Launch of 24hr hotline for people to report crimes

80 monkeys relocated from Bangkok's Bang Khun Thian

Government Lottery Office expresses confidence in the new reservation system

Police Chief reveals changes in various bureaus

Prime Minister to visit the United States this week

Thailand unaffected by Tier 3 ranking in Trafficking in Persons Report

Minister of Agriculture to swiftly deal with landlessness

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