ABAC Poll: Yingluck outshines Abhisit
BANGKOK, 22 May 2011 (NNT) – A survey conducted by the ABAC poll
suggests that there are strong similarities between Abhisit
Vejjajiva and Yingluck Shinawatra in terms leadership image.
However, despite the growing interest of politics among
adolescences, The Democrat leader is trailing behind the Phue
Thai number 1 candidate in terms of popularity.
According to the poll, Ms. Yingluck had advanced in factors such
as tolerance, emotional control, acceptance by the public. Moral
stature also rose from 9.8% to 15.9 % as well as leadership,
from 12.9 % to 20.4%. Ability and performance in the role also
increased from 10.9% to 16.7 % and visionary attributes rose
from 15.2 % to a 21.7 % preference.
In addition, 59.4% of those surveyed preferred a debate by the
two politicians in order to seek greater assurance for their
vote in the upcoming public election. Moreover, a dual debate of
intellect and capabilities should guarantee their potential to
fulfill the role as Prime Minister.
Society urged to pay more attention to Thai youth
BANGKOK, 21 May 2011 (NNT)-An academic from Chulalongkorn
University says Thai politics could be in the right direction if
needs and demands of the younger generation are heard while a
first time politician expressed his wish for the Thai public to
accept the election result.
Mr. Pitch Pongsawad, Chulalongkorn University academic, said in
a seminar concerning politics and the young generation that the
topic has been widely discussed in the society. Younger people
have been encouraged to express their opinions; he said,
however, their voices have not often been heard, adding that
this is the problem that has hampered the efficiency of the Thai
He urged that the society should pay more attention to what the
younger generation has to say as an alternative to solving
social divides. Meanwhile, a member of the young generation, Mr.
Setthawut Yuttawarakul, said the Thai society has high hope that
the upcoming election will help solve the political crisis. He
urges that everyone in the society should accept its outcome.
Abhisit: Previous policy will be continued
BANGKOK, 21 May 2011 (NNT)-Democrat Leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has
said during his campaign in Thonburi that if his party is
elected, he will continue with the same policy he has laid down
in his previous government.
Mr. Abhisit visited Wat Arunrachawararam Rachaworawiharn (Temple
of the Dawn) earlier today where he introduced 5 Democrat
candidates for the five constituencies in Thonburi area. He
reiterated the reason for his dissolving the House was to pave
the way for national reconciliation which has been hindered by
conflicts for the past 5 years.
He added later that the Thai people will be given an opportunity
to choose and deliberate on whom they want to become the next
Prime Minister. He claimed that if the Democrat Party is chosen,
his team will be able to fit right in and start where they have
left off without a hassle that a new party will have to go
through. Mr. Abhisit stated that Pheu Thai’s main focus was to
grant amnesty to former politicians suspected of wrongdoings.
Defense Min: GBC Meeting to take place within May
BANGKOK, 21 May 2011 (NNT) – Thailand and Cambodia have agreed
to organize the General Border Committee (GBC) Meeting within
this month although the venue has not been finalized, according
to the Thai Ministry of Defense.
Defense Ministry Spokesperson Colonel Thanathip Sawangsaeng
disclosed that Thai Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan
had a chance to meet with his Cambodian counterpart General Tea
Banh during the recent ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting in
Jakarta, Indonesia. The discussion was mainly focused on the two
countries’ agreement to hold the annual GBC Meeting with no
conditions in order to restore normalcy along the border and
ensure peaceful coexistence of their peoples.
The Ministers reportedly came to a conclusion that the meeting
would be arranged within this month, brought closer from the
initial schedule in June. However, no decision was made as to
which country would be hosting the event.
Chuwit declared the failure of Airport Link
BANGKOK, 22 May 2011 (NNT)- Rak Prathet Thai party leader,
Chuwit Kamolvisit made a statement at a press conference held at
Airport Link Terminal at Makkasan station about the failure of
airport link construction campaign which required 2.6 billion
baht of budget, and that the period of payback would take over
634 years to break even.
Moreover airport link is isolated with less numbers of passenger
using Airport link services. According to Mr Chuwit, the
management system is inefficient with no security administrator,
which does not meet International standards.
The Rak Prathet Thai Leader supported his statement with
pictures from different zones in Airport Link, in addition with
analysis from Siemens Company, which stated that the possibility
in expanding the airport link could only be 25-30 kilometers,
therefore, politicians who included the airport link plan to
their campaigns in expanding to pattaya, were unlikely to be
successful. For the solution to the matter, the private business
company’s management is essential rather than management system
of State Railway of Thailand. Additionally, they will also have
to provide ticket with promotions, between the hotel airlines or
selling tickets in advance at special prices.
Police ready to ensure peace before/during election
BANGKOK, 21 May 2011 (NNT) – The National Police Office is
taking proactive measures in the mission to ensure safety for
all election candidates as well as peace and order of the
society both before and during the general election.
Police Advisor for Security Affairs Police General Pongsapat
Pongjaroen elaborated that the police has set up the Centre for
the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO) for this election
to serve as the centre to receive notification from the public
on any unrest regarding the election.
Police General Pongsapat stated that police officers will be
deployed to ensure peace at polling stations on both the advance
and actual election dates while traffic will be facilitated for
voters and transportation of ballot boxes.
The national police advisor noted that security measures of
election campaigns of political parties will be provided while
key elected political figures will be safeguarded after the
election. He added that police officers will work on
intelligence operation to find news on electoral fraud.
Police General Pongsapat said the police will be ready to send
in security forces if any election candidates are facing with
dangerous situation. He added that they can also seek help from
any police stations across the country.
Two Czechs arrested for 2mln Euro heist
BANGKOK, May 20 -- Thailand's Immigration Police Bureau arrested
two Czechs with outstanding arrest warrants from the Czech
Republic and Interpol for a 2 million Euro bank cash delivery
robbery in 2008.
Blazek, 32, and Rudolf Tesarek, 35, were arrested at a Robinson
Department Store in the eastern province of Chon Buri's Sriracha
The two men are being held under arrest warrants from the Hradec
Kralove Court and Interpol.
They robbed a cash-delivery vehicle of the Czech central bank on
Jan 17, 2008 taking 3 million euros (Bt126 million) before they
were arrested and sentenced to 12 years in jail. However, they
jumped bail while appealing the court's verdict.
The Thai Immigration Police Bureau coordinated with Interpol and
found that the two men had entered Thailand from Laos in August
2010 and successfully tracked down them through clues from
contact between Mr Tesarek and his Czech wife who is three
His wife arrived in Thailand last Friday and made an appointment
to meet him at a department store to show him an ultrasound film
image of their baby.
Police initially charged the two men with overstaying in the
kingdom and would extradite them to stand trial on robbery
charges in the Czech Republic. (MCOT online news)
Thailand prepared to talk with Cambodia over land issue in Paris
BANGKOK, 20 May 2011 (NNT)-Natural Resources and Environment
Minister Suwit Khunkitti expressed his readiness in attending a
bilateral talk with Cambodia in Paris, adding that the problem
began when the Preah Vihear was listed as one of the world’s
According to Mr. Suwit, the talk will be held from 25-26 May,
2011 with Thailand standing firm on addressing the issue by
determining the boundary on the Thai-Cambodian border first
before a management plan around the temple is proposed.
Mr. Suwit said he would refer to how Cambodia had gone and
listed the temple the heritage site without settling the
demarcation issue with Thailand first. He said this had entailed
a series of gunfights in the past couple of years over the
frontier. In addition, he is expected to give a summary on the
preparation on 23 May, 2011 after seeing Prime Minister Abhisit
The Natural Resources and Environment Minister further explained
that the Cambodian move to list Preah Vihear was unlawful and it
failed to recognize the United Nations protocol on world
heritage site since the country did not include the management
plan around the temple as part of it was still located on the
Sea turtle conservation at Kram Island
There is an island in the eastern province of Chonburi's
Sattahip distict where sea turtles feel safe to lay their eggs.
In order to keep the ecosystem in balance, the Royal Thai Navy's
Sattahip Naval Base set up Sea Turtle Conservation Center and
has arranged its personnel to care for the animals.
Kram Island, free of tourists and local residents, is some four
kilometres off shore, covers over 8,000 rai of farmland and is
under the responsibility of the Royal Thai Navy.
Marine turtles lay several thousand eggs annually at Kram
Island. The considerable number of eggs is regarded the most
abundant of all the islands in the Gulf of Thailand.
As natural security is also national security, the deployment of
naval officers around Kram Island is strictly to protect the
safety and well-being of the turtles.
natural resources are important to all Thais, for they are
sources of food. If something bad happens to the sea turtles, it
will affect the whole food chain," said Rear Adm Tharathorn
Khajitsuwan, commanding officer of Thailand's Air and Coastal
Green sea turtles and Hawksbill sea turtles usually lay eggs
along the six beaches of this island in Sattahip district.
Although some of the eggs hatch naturally, about one-third of
them are collected so as to be kept and buried in a protected
environment hatchery areas to allow a greater survival rate than
would otherwise occur. Here dozens of eggs are collected and
reburied to protect them from other animals -- and human
predators as well -- and that the baby turtles will not escape
Forty-five days after the day the turtles laid their eggs,
officials from Sea Turtle Conservation Center will visit the
protected hatchery areas to see if any eggs have hatched from
their shells. As they emerge, the baby turtles are moved to a
pond for nursing care for three months. They will be set free to
the ocean once they become strong enough.
Despite the care fully provided by the centre to the turtles, a
related official said that the number of the reptiles has
remained about the same over the years.
fact the number of sea turtles hasn't increased greatly. The old
ones die while the young ones take their places. There are
around 20-30 new sea turtles annually, according to the
microchips implanted in the animals' bodies," said Lt Somchai
Timlamom, commanding officer of the Sea Turtle Conservation
There are currently about 500 marine turtles in the Gulf of
Thailand, which sadly already includes the number of sea turtles
in Kram Island. The figure is relatively small and has dropped
significantly due to human beings' lack of concern for the
the number, marine turtles by all means have amazing instincts.
Although they are set free to the ocean when they are only three
months old, they will go back to their home in Sattahip district
to lay their eggs even after four or five years of their long
journey, which could be as far as to the Philippines. The egg
laying season is between May to July. (MCOT online news)
Khon Kaen hospital uses piano therapy for psychotic patients
Khon Kean Rajanakarindra Psychiatric Hospital in Thailand's
northeastern province of Khon Kean offers psychotic patients
piano lessons along with the usual range of treatments in order
to help them build relationships with others for other types of
treatment in the future.
Patients at the hospital usually gather and practice the
instrument carefully. Despite the absence of musical backgrounds
for most, they can play music by applying the “One-to-Five”
technique, which converts the musical notes into the numbers 1
to 5. The technique, which is applicable for use on inexpensive
keyboards, helps patients play the piano more easily in a short
time and without pressure.
According to the hospital's expert nurse, Mallita Poonswad,
playing the instrument gives positive results to patients
suffering from various kinds of mental illness.
"The nature of these patients is that they're inert, don't
really care about themselves and are usually lost in isolation,"
Mallita said. "But piano helps them concentrate better, as the
sound of music helps their minds stay fixed on the notes or the
numbers assigned to them."
Psychotic patients receiving musical treatment must volunteer to
join this practice in groups of 6-12 persons. They must be able
to communicate with others and their minds must be calm enough
even though their general symptoms are chronic.
Treatment takes place three times a week, lasting an hour for
each session. Sufferers are taught to use both hands to play the
music, while applause and compliments are given to the patients
to boost their morale, even if they are not expert performers.
Each practice is recorded during the treatment in order to be
evaluated musically for the patients' progress.
According to social worker Nuanlak Laohapan at Khon Kean
Rajanakarindra Psychiatric Hospital, psychotic patients suffer
from a disorder of their brain chemicals and of
"What we do helps the patients' brain with exercise together
with medication. After four months of practicing the musical
skills, patients will be stimulated more easily and their
symptoms will improve when they're asked later to join other
hospital activities," Nuanlak said.
She added that music positively affects brain relaxation and the
playing therapy technique helps entertain the patients, make
them happy and acquire their better self-esteem.
One patient in the hospital programme said, "If we play well and
let our brains exercise, then we keep on playing and playing,
and that makes us happy."
The “One-to-Five” technique is not difficult. Persons at any age
can begin the practice. Music therapy can also be used to help
cure other types of patient behaviours such as children with
autism and ADHC (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), and
with the elderly as well as persons with depressive disorders.
(MCOT online news)
Two Nigerians arrested with ‘ice’ worth Bt1 million in Bangkok
BANGKOK, May 19 – Two Nigerian men, suspected of being part of a
drug smuggling ring, were arrested Thursday with 500 grammes of
crystal methamphetamine, also known as 'ice,' valued at an
estimated Bt1 million (US$33,300) in eastern Bangkok’s
Ramkhamhaeng area, according to narcotics suppression police.
as Ahamefule Cosmos and Iriegbe Chinonso, the two Nigerian
nationals were detained at a convenience store near Ramkhamhaeng
Soi 24. Police took them to their apartment for further
investigation and found 28 packages of crystal meth, weighing in
total 500 grammes valued at $33,300.
The arrest followed the arrest of Thai national Polsingha
Putthasri, who held 100 grammes of ‘ice,’ saying he bought the
illegal drug from a Nigerian drug syndicate.
According to the initial investigation, the detainees claimed
that their friend smuggled the drug for them to sell it to
partygoers and tourists in Bangkok's Ratchada and Nana areas.
Initially, the two Nigerians were charged with possessing
illicit drugs for sale. (MCOT online news)
NDWC: Heavy rain to hit north, northeast
BANGKOK, 20 May 2011 (NNT) – The National Disaster Warning
Center (NDWC) under the Ministry of Information and
Communication Technology has issued a warning against possible
heavy rainfall in the northern and northeastern parts of the
kingdom within the next few days.
the recent announcement of the NDWC, the northern region,
especially Nan, Lampang, Phayao, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai
provinces, and the northeastern provinces of Mukdahan and Sakon
Nakhon are likely to experience torrential rain from 20 to 22
Related units in those risky areas should brace themselves for
possible flash flood while villagers should follow the
officials’ advice as well as monitor the news closely.
Yingluck to start election campaign this weekend
BANGKOK, 19 May 2011 (NNT) – Pheu Thai Party’s prime minister candidate
Yingluck Shinawatra will start the election campaign for her party very
soon after she has registered herself with the Election Commission as a
party-listed MP candidate.
leading candidate stated that she will start her political campaigns by
visiting local people after the official registration with the EC this
morning. She announced that she will visit the northern provinces of
Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai first this weekend.
Regarding the challenge from the Democrat Party for a debate between her
and Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, Ms Yingluck responded that she
will consider the issue later on after elaborating policies of the party
Many Pheu Thai core members recently have turned down the proposed
debate, reasoning that verbal combats will do no benefits as political
parties should instead compete by doing rather than saying.
Upon a criticism by the Democrat Party against her personal issues and
characteristics, the Pheu Thai key leader responded that she will endure
with the verbal attack as people will make the decision. She said
political parties should compete in terms of policies as people want to
see creative politics.
Suan Dusit Poll reveals opinions of teens on election
BANGKOK, 19 May 2011 (NNT) – A number of teenagers have voiced their
belief that the situation in the country after the upcoming election
will remain the same, according to Suan Dusit Poll of Suan Dusit
survey was conducted with 1,219 teenagers and youth across the nation
from 14 to 17 May 2011. The young respondents were questioned about the
37.18% of the respondents said they liked the Democrat Party while
32.03% went for the Pheu Thai Party. 24.92% had no preferred political
parties while the rest like other parties. The respondents indicated
that they received information about the election from television the
most at 62.60%, followed by the Internet at 12.32%.
Asked for qualifications of their preferred MPs, 35.47% wanted honest
persons while 28.13% wanted diligent people who kept their promises.
18.28% said MPs should think of common benefits and national
development. 10.68% indicated that MPs should be the mouthpiece of
people, listening to their problems.
Asked for their expectation after the election, 72.58% believed that the
nation will remain the same because the political rifts will persist.
22.18% were optimistic as they deem the election a democratic expression
while 5.24% were pessimistic saying the situation will become worse with
more protests by people who do not accept the election result.
Asked if social media and online society will impact their decision in
the election or not, 56.04% admitted the cyber world has some influence
on them since it offers a pool of information; however, 43.96% did not
think so, saying it depends on individual judgement.
MOPH further clarifies deaths of tourists in Chiang Mai
CHIANG MAI, 18 May 2011 (NNT) – The Ministry of Public Health has issued
more clarifications to foreign media in regard to the recent deaths of
foreign tourists at a hotel in Chiang Mai province as well as the
investigation process of the case.
Deputy Director of the Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office
Surasing Wisarutrat said the Ministry of Public Health had released its
third update to news agencies in foreign countries in order to brief
them on progress in the probe into the mysterious fatalities of six
tourists, comprising one New Zealander, one Canadian and four Britons,
as well as one Thai tour guide, which took place earlier this year in
Chiang Mai province.
According to a previous report by New Zealand media, traces of
chlorpyrifos, which is a hazardous chemical used in the form of spray to
kill bedbugs, were found at a hotel in Chiang Mai where the deceased
were lodging before falling ill and eventually dying. The chemical is
said to have been banned by many countries and is speculated to have
been the cause of the victims’ deaths.
However, MD Surasing claimed that initial findings had suggested
otherwise. He stated that samples of certain types of viruses had been
sent to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention as well as
Osaka University in Japan for examination and the result whether they
were responsible for the incident would be known within two months.
In addition, the Deputy Director confirmed that all related examination
processes of Thai authorities had been approved by the World Health
Organization (WHO) in terms of their conformity to the international
medical standard. Officials of the WHO are also set to join Thailand’s
probing team in a couple of days.
2 ancient junks discovered in Gulf of Thailand
BANGKOK, 18 May 2011 (NNT) – Underwater archaeologists have discovered
two sunken ships of around 400 years old in the Gulf of Thailand, one
close to Ko Tao in Surat Thani province and the other near the coast of
Mr Erbprem Vatcharangkul, head of the Underwater Archaeological Research
Group, Office of Archaeology, Department of Fine Arts, announced that
teams of archaeologists had come across two large ancient vessels,
believed to be up to 400 years old, at the bottom of the Gulf of
Thailand at the depth of 70 meters. One of them was found 6 nautical
miles to the north of Ko Tao in the southern province of Surat Thani
while the other was found 60 nautical miles off the coast of the eastern
province of Chanthaburi.
Both are reportedly loaded with ancient Sangkhalok ceramics, numbering
over 10,000 pieces, most of which are still in good condition. Based on
the initial hypothesis, the items could have been among the goods sold
to Portuguese traders, who regularly accessed Siam through the Gulf of
Thailand during the Ayutthaya Era.
TAT believes domestic tourism will flourish during election
BANGKOK, 19 May 2011 (NNT) – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has
forecast significant expansion of the domestic tourism during the
upcoming election, especially in the Meeting, Incentive, Convention and
Exhibition (MICE) industry.
TAT Deputy Governor for Domestic Marketing Thawatchai Aranyik hinted
that the overall tourism climate within the country would become upbeat
during the time of the general election from late June to early July. He
believed the MICE industry would be the liveliest as numerous public and
private agencies would be spending huge budgets on seminars and
exhibitions during the period.
Throughout this year, Mr Thawatchai assured that the recovery of local
tourism would be continuous. Most travel activities are expected to be
within short distances while such destinations as Hua Hin, Pattaya and
Cha-am will be highly popular among Bangkok residents due to their
proximity to the city.
From January to May this year, the number of domestic travelers has
touched 5 million, increasing from the same period last year by 10
percent. The tourism frenzy is attributable to the peaceful political
situation without violent incidents, frequent long holidays and
travelers’ diversion from disaster-stricken Japan.
Special Report: Democrat Party policies for upcoming election
As the election is coming up, political parties are now gearing up for
the election. The ruling Democrat party is of course one of them, let’s
have a look at their policies and see whether they will be attractive
enough to carry the party back into power.
The Democrat Party, or Phak Prachathipat in Thai, Thailand's oldest
political party has been the main coalition government party since
December 15, 2008; its current leader is Abhisit Vejjajiva.
The Democrat Party’s campaign platform includes: income guarantee scheme
for farmers, increasing the minimum wage by 25 percent; narcotic drugs
crackdown; issuing community title deeds for 250,000 households; and
granting education loans for a quarter million university students,
among other things.
The Democrat Party said they will maintain seven social welfare
programs, including free electricity for households with 90 units of
usage or less, and subsidies on diesel and cooking gas. The party will
also extend the 15-year free education program to the university level.
Moreover, the Democrats also intend to achieve seven new projects,
including the Chinese-Thai joint development of a high-speed rail route
that will link China with Thailand and Malaysia.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, the Democrat Party leader, has
expressed his belief that the competition between his party and the Pheu
Thai Party will be intense in this election. In other words, the
competition will likely be between two political giants, the Democrat
and the Pheu Thai Parties, and the result of the election should be neck
and neck, according to Mr Abhisit. He also added that the party’s
policies were an important instrument to win the people over.
However, both parties’ policies seem to have been a copycat of each
other. The Democrat party and Pheu Thai party have accused each other of
copying its policies; ranging from the high-speed train project to
government employees’ salary and minimum wage increases.
One major difference in their policy is the amnesty law proposed by the
Pheu Thai party for all politicians claimed to have been wrongfully
accused of committing offences; one among whom is former Prime Minister
Thaksin Shinawatra who has been in exile since the 2006’s coup. The
Democrats clearly oppose the move, reasoning that the amnesty would only
heighten political tensions, which could plunge the country into another
quagmire of violence.
Whether the Democrats’ policies will be able to win over the hearts of
the Thai voters, giving Abhisit Vejjajiva another chance to take the
helm of the country remains to be seen in a few months’ time.
Royal rainmaking operation reached out across Thailand
BANGKOK, 19 May 2011 (NNT)-The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives
said His Majesty the King’s artificial rainmaking operation had helped
drought stricken areas across the nation cope with the water shortage
since last month.
The Permanent Secretary for Agriculture and Cooperatives Chalermporn
Piroonsarn said the Bureau of the Royal Rain Making and Agricultural
Aviation had provided rain to many areas from the Northern region of
Chiang Mai, Phitsanulok, Nakhon Sawan provinces across to the West in
Kanchanaburi and in the Northeastern part of Thailand including Ubon
Ratchathani, Nakhon Ratchasima and Khon Kaen. The rainmaking operation
has also expanded to Rayong and Chanthaburi provinces which are on the
Three provinces consisting of Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ratchaburi and Sa
Kaeo provinces have been made the chemical refill station for the
rainmaking process to provide greater access to other areas that need
Veera, Ratree seeking royal pardon, not appeal
BANGKOK, 19 May 2011 (NNT) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has
confirmed that Thai Patriots Network (TPN) coordinator Veera Somkwamkid
and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon have chosen to seek royal
pardon instead of appealing their cases.
Information Department Director-General and Foreign Ministry
Spokesperson Thani Thongphakdi stated that the Thai embassy in Phnom
Penh has been in contact with the two inmates who have expressed their
intention in writing that they do not want to seek appeal for their
The TPN recently demanded that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should
follow up the procedure authorising the TPN to process the appeal on
behalf of Mr Veera and Ms Ratree. The group also alleged the Thai
embassy in Phnom Penh of impeding the appeal process.
The director-general hence dismissed the allegation and stressed that
the two Thais do not want to appeal but want to seek royal pardon
instead as they had already signed related documents for this purpose.
He said the ministry has never opposed their decision and is ready to
help their wish fulfilled.
Mr Thani however noted that the ministry is ready to facilitate the TPN
to send its representatives to meet Mr Veera and his secretary now
detained at Prey Sar prison in order to have a direct discussion and
confirm the matter by themselves.