Make Chiangmai Mail | Bookmark

Chiangmai 's First English Language Newspaper

Pattaya Blatt | Pattaya Mail | Pattaya Mail TV

 

Update May 2018


Home
Thailand News
World News
World Sports
Arts - Entertainment - Lifestyles
Book Review
Health & Wellbeing
Odds & Ends
Science & Nature
Technology
Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Thailand News
 

Update May 21, 2018

Facebook to boost its investment in Thailand

NNT

Bangkok - Facebook has pledged to increase its investment in Thailand, citing its support for the country’s digital transformation with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large businesses, and the community.

Facebook Thailand managing director John Wagner said it is the social media company’s mission to lead the transformation of Thailand into a digital economy and society and to support the country’s businesses and communities to realize their digital aspirations.

Facebook will launch new programs, partnerships, and initiatives to support the three drivers it has identified for Thailand’s transformation.

SMEs play crucial roles in the Thai economy, carrying out 98 percent of business, employing 70 percent of the workforce and accounting for 40 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), he said.

Facebook has committed to offering the support programs, including workshops, live training, online training, and chat support for SMEs.


Security agencies to be on high alert during May 22 demonstration

NNT

Bangkok - A planned demonstration in the capital this Tuesday, May 22, will be staged amid tight security to ensure public safety.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan noted that security measures will be put in place ahead of and during the march by a pro-election activist group. Gen Prawit expects the demonstration to be short and peaceful.

In the meantime, Secretary General of the National Security Council (NSC) Gen Wallop Raksanoh said today that people have the right to express themselves, but they must do it within the confines of the law while respecting the rights of others. He also called on the activist group to be respectful and not to cause public disturbances.

The NSC chief also warned security units and demonstrators about a third party looking to instigate violence, asserting that the country should build and maintain a peaceful atmosphere ahead of next year’s election.


Land Transport Dept gets tough with law-breaking public vehicles

NNT

Bangkok - The Department of Land Transport (DLT) has launched a transport safety campaign to prompt operators of public vehicles countrywide to improve the safety of passengers.

The DLT in April inspected more than 17,000 public vehicles and took action against a law-breaking 521 drivers for improper adjustments and adaptations, refusing passengers, failing to show licenses, as well as other offences.

The wrongdoers have been sent to the department's responsibility enhancement camp. Repeat offenders will have their driver's licenses suspended or revoked. Deputy Director-General of the DLT, Jongrak Kitsamrankhun, advised the public to choose only transport operators certified by the DLT.

Passengers experiencing unsafe services are urged to call the DLT's hotline, 1584 or contact the department via its website http://ins.dlt.go.th/cmpweb.


Army announces ban on fireworks sale throughout Ramadan

 

NNT

Yala - The Fourth Army Region has announced a ban on the sale of fireworks and firecrackers in southern border provinces throughout the Ramadan holy period.

The ban, issued by the Fourth Army Region's commander Lt Gen Piyawat Nakwanich, came into effect on 15th May and continues until 15th June. The Sheikhul Islam Office declared 17th May the start of Ramadan 2018.

The ban aims to facilitate religious services being held by Muslims in the southern border area during the fasting month, and was requested by the Islamic committees of the southern border provinces. Agencies in charge have been instructed to ensure legal compliance by firework shops.

In Yala province, local retailers have withdrawn firecrackers and fireworks from their shelves to observe the ban. Only party poppers are available for sale during this period. Violators face a fine of up to 40,000 baht or a jail term of up to two years or both.


Update May 19-20, 2018

Oral care company to face legal action for false advertisement

NNT

Bangkok - Thailand's Dental Council and the Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB) say they plan to take legal action against an oral care company for making exaggerated claims about its products. They did not disclose the name of the company in question during a press conference on Friday.

President of the Dental Council, Dr. Paisan Kangwonkit, disclosed the company's online advertisements, which claims its toothpaste and mouthwash could whiten teeth within a week and fix tooth problems in less than a month, were misleading. Dr. Paisan confirmed there have been no medical journals to substantiate that the oral care products could treat tooth decay or remove dental plaque, adding that oral problems must be treated by dentists only.

Channel 3 host Patcharasri "Kalamare" Benjamas, who the advertisements claim to be among the brand's advocates, was at the press conference to deny her involvement. She said she had tried to ask the company in question to stop using her pictures in its publicity, but it had refused. She warned consumers to be skeptical of the company's commercials.

Pol Col Prateep Charoengulpa, Director of the OCPB's Direct Sales and Direct Marketing Division, cautioned the public to beware of online marketing that makes use of celebrities or net idols. The OCPB and the Dental Council are moving to file for the suspension of the company's advertisements. Those at the company, if found guilty of deceiving consumers, face a fine of up to 50,000 baht and jail terms of up to six months.


Khon Kaen rabies outbreak under control

NNT

Khon Kaen - Authorities have reported they have successfully suppressed an outbreak of rabies stemming from a stray dog that claimed the lives of four cows.

Livestock Department authorities and other relevant agencies inspected cow pens and grazing areas while also vaccinating animals against rabies, in Baan Wang Pue in Puay Noi district of Khon Kaen, after reports of the deaths of four cows due to the virus. More than 10 residents of the village were also vaccinated after they came into contact with the affected animals. Another two cows were also bitten by the stray dog, suspected to be the source of the infection, but have yet to show any symptoms of rabies.

Khon Kaen Governor, Somsak Jungtrakul, assured the overall situation is under control with more than 100,000 dogs and cats, or 85 percent of all at-risk animals in the province vaccinated. Vaccinations are expected to be completed by the end of this month.


DDPM poised for flood emergencies

 

Deputy Director-General of the DDPM, Kobchai Bun-orana.

Bangkok - The Ministry of the Interior has instructed the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) to ready its disaster response plan in the face of the approaching rainy season.

Deputy Director-General of the DDPM, Kobchai Bun-orana disclosed Friday the DDPM's preparedness measures were divided into two parts, focusing on flood prevention and response.

Relevant agencies in all provinces have been told to clean up canals and waterways and expand water retention areas to smooth the way for improved drainage and increase water supplies for agriculture.

Disaster prevention and mitigation centers in 18 regions have been instructed to prepare flood relief and water rescue equipment in the event of flooding. All provinces can set up flood command centers to carry out disaster management operations.

The Meteorological Department has forecast that the rainy season will start in the third week of May. The public is advised to follow weather reports and strictly act on safety and risk prevention advice from relevant agencies.


Civil servant retirement age yet to be changed

NNT

Bangkok - The Secretary-General of Thailand's Office of the Civil Service Commission has assured that the extension of retirement age from the present 60 to 63 is only in the suggestion phase and will not be put into practice until thoroughly studied.

Secretary-General Methinee Thepmanee explained that a suggestion to increase the retirement age was just one of several made under the national reform plan and does not yet have any practical baring.

She affirmed her office is studying the possibility thoroughly and would make any needed legal adjustments while saying that the Civil Service Regulations Act already calls for certain groups in the public sector to have their retirement age changed. It was decided, for the purposes of the act, that posts and offices which require specific knowledge and ability should allow for later retirement.

Implementation of the regulation can be executed in several ways to avoid affecting newer generations of civil servants. Dealing with such issues is being dealt with urgently, as Thailand is among many of the world’s countries anticipating an aged society in the near future.


Update May 18, 2018

Monkeys to be relocated to stop them harassing humans

NNT

Bangkok - An academic seminar is being held to find ways to prevent wild monkeys from harassing people in many provinces.

Wallop Tangkunarak, in his capacity as chairman of a committee on wildlife protection, opened the seminar on the matter and described a master plan to deal with the animals.

According to Wallop, the plan aims at relocating wild monkeys to a more secure location away from communities and lowering interaction between them and humans.

Signs will be put up in Krabi, Trang, Phuket and Amnat Charoen provinces where wild monkeys can be seen all year around to tell people not to feed them or enter their natural habitats.

As for Bangkok, Chonburi, Prachuab Khiri Khan and Satun provinces, where the animals live close to communities, they will be neutered and located to a new place in an effort to keep their population under control.

Special areas for monkeys will be constructed to deal with the same problem in Petchaburi and Mukdahan provinces where human residential areas have been built in their natural habitats. The animals are expected to be relocated to their new homes.


Court rules on removal of markets after woman attacked a truck

 

NNT

Bangkok - The Central Administrative Court has ruled in favor of Boonsri Saengyoktrakarn, who made headlines when she attacked a pickup truck out of frustration over the intrusion of an unauthorized market operating near her home.

The Central Administrative Court has ordered that all five markets surrounding Boonsri’s home in Bangkok be removed within 60 days and that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) pay compensation for seven years of disturbance, from 2010 to February 2018, at a rate of 368,400 baht to each member of the Saengyoktrakan family.

Boonsri had filed her case against Bangkok Governor Pol Gen Assawin Kwanmuang, the director of Prawet district, the Prawet district office and the BMA, accusing them all of allowing the five markets to be established and to operate illegally.

The court acknowledged that the markets violated Seri Villa’s land usage permission, which is exclusively residential, as they constituted commercial establishments. It ordered that all construction permits for the markets be revoked and compensation be paid to the four members of Boonsri’s family. The payments have an annual interest rate of 7.5 percent per year starting from September 30 2013. Moreover, authorities are to evict any vendors setting up or engaging in business in the area within 30 days.

The Bangkok Governor voiced his agreement that the five markets be removed within 60 days but said he will appeal against the compensation payment ruling.

On probes into the actions of officials involved in the case, seven have been accused of minor disciplinary infractions and face punitive measures that include salary cuts. The seven include a former Prawet district office director and the area’s head of the environment.

Boonsri thanked the court for its mercy and justice and bid BMA officials see her case as an example for other areas. She said she will not yet remove various signs posted in front of her house lamenting the markets to allow other citizens to learn about the case.


Concerns raised on quality of drinking water dispensers in Bangkok

NNT

Bangkok - The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has advised the general public to consume drinking water from dispensers with a quality assurance sticker that ensures contamination-free water.

The Deputy Governor of Bangkok, Taweesak Lertprapan, said data from the inspection of drinking water dispensers in the capital showed that only 143 out of 6,329 vending machines had proper sales permit. Initial tests from simple contamination detection kits revealed that 4,731 out of 6,302 machines were not contaminated, with results pending for other samples.

He has said 90 percent of the samples are expected to pass the contamination test, while the general public should consume water from quality assured dispensers that have a BMA issued sticker on it along with a QR code that can be scanned to show a guide on how to look out for a good water vending machine.

Owners of unauthorized machines are requested to contact local district offices to properly obtain the permit. Failure to do so will result in up to six months imprisonment, or up to 50,000 baht fine, or both.


National Police keep an eye on loan sharks nationwide

NNT

Bangkok - The Royal Thai Police are monitoring 762 loan sharks across the country after some of them have reportedly resorted to violence in their dealings.

Deputy Commissioner General of the Royal Thai Police, Pol Gen Chalermkiat Sriworakhan, convened a meeting on Thursday with representatives of the Ministry of Finance and those from relevant police units to discuss issues related to informal loan providers.

The meeting focused on eliminating loan sharks, reaching out to those in trouble, formalizing their debts, mediating debt-related conflicts and promoting career opportunities among debtors.

Meanwhile, Assistant Police Chief Pol Lt Gen Chaiwat Kateworachai said a police investigation has been launched in response to allegations that individuals on the list of 762 loan sharks have used force against their borrowers.

Pol Lt Gen Chaiwat asserted that none of those on the list is an officer. People who have been threatened or assaulted by a loan shark can seek help by dialing 1135.


Update May 17, 2018

Pueai Noi district declared rabies-red zone

NNT

Khon Kaen - Thailand's Livestock Department has declared Pueai Noi district of Khon Kaen province a rabies-red zone after another cow was killed by the virus.

Khon Kaen livestock official Chanprasert Polsa and his team examined the dead cow on Tuesday. The owner said the cow had been bitten by a dog before it began exhibiting erratic behavior and died two days later. Previously, 3 other cows were killed by the virus in the same area.

The officials also visited other homes in the district to vaccinate a total of 72 domesticated animals, including dogs and cats, to prevent more infections.

Due to the rising number of rabies cases, Pueai Noi district has been declared a temporary rabies red zone.


Heavy storms and hail wreak havoc across the northeast

NNT

Nakhon Panom - Heavy rains have continued to impact areas of the northeast of Thailand with authorities in Mahasarakam province requesting assistance to repair over 200 homes damaged by hail in two districts and Nakhon Panom province.

Many homes and shops reported damage after a 20 minute hail storm Tuesday that also toppled trees and utility poles. Cars and motorcycles were damaged by the storm and two high voltage power lines were severed, cutting off electricity to 7 areas. Power across much of the province had to be cut to allow for repairs that lasted into the night.

In Mahasarakam province, storms damaged a total 226 homes across three sub-districts of two districts with Srisuk sub-district alone reporting 157 homes severely affected. Authorities have moved in to provide urgent repairs to 15 of the houses, which had their roofs torn off. Disaster Prevention and Mitigation officials are working with local administrators and soldiers to respond to the situation.

Governor of Nakhon Ratchasima, Wichien Chantaranothai, has led officials and volunteers to pass out bags of necessities to residents of Baan Nong Or in Pratai district who are recovering from the effects of the bad weather. A tropical storm lashed the village on May 13, bringing strong winds and hail that damaged over 400 homes.


Maya Bay to be closed off for rehabilitation

NNT

Krabi - Thailand's Department of National Parks Wildlife and Plants (DNP) is preparing to close off Maya Bay in Koh Phi Phi National Park to allow its ecosystem to revitalize during the monsoon season.

DNP Director-General, Tanya Netidhammakul, explained that regular tourism, averaging 3-4,000 people per day, has severely affected coral reefs in the bay. It will be officially closed to visitors from June 1 to September 30 of this year to allow for rejuvenation. During the period, all tourism activity will be banned and any passing vessels will have to drift through the area without using their engines.

A dock bridge is also to be installed in the Lohsama Bay area to the rear of Maya Bay, which will not allow ships to pass through. Once the bay is reopened, tourist traffic will be made to pass through Lohsama.

Maya Bay is to be a pilot area for the use of E-Tickets to restrict tourist numbers. Only 2,000 people will be allowed into the area each day. Water management and facilities for park rangers will also be improved with the entire area to serve as a model for other tourist islands in the future.


Thailand & Myanmar to strengthen govt PR ties

NNT

Bangkok - Thailand and Myanmar have agreed to strengthen ties between their government public relations agencies, marking 70 years of bilateral ties.

Deputy Director-General of Thailand's Public Relations Department, Dr Charoon Chaisorn, welcomed a delegation from Myanmar Radio and Television attending the fifth Thai-Myanmar technical committee meeting this week. The meeting, which was organized on the occasion of 70 years of bilateral ties, agreed to expand joint efforts. This includes exchanging radio and television programs, news and telecommunications personnel.

After the meeting, the Myanmar delegation also visited the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand to exchange views on management policies, which will also guide cross-agency cooperation.


Update May 16, 2018

Migrant workers barred from golf caddy jobs

NNT

Bangkok - Migrant workers have been barred from legally working as caddies at golf courses in Thailand.

Department of Employment's (DOE) Director-General Anurak Tossarat said he was concerned about rumors that some golf clubs have stopped employing Thai nationals as caddies and turned instead to migrant workers. He said the DOE has never issued any employment permit for migrant workers to work as caddies, which is one of the occupations currently reserved for the Thai people.

The DOE will have officials inspect golf clubs and inform employers of the protocols and guidelines for migrant worker employment. Both employers and employees found violating the regulation, be it employers of migrant workers without valid work permits, or those of migrant workers for unpermitted occupations, will be subject to 10,000 - 200,000 baht in fines for each employee involved, or a maximum of a one-year imprisonment for repeated offenses, or a three-year ban on migrant workers employment.

Migrant workers found without work permits or being employed in unpermitted occupations will be subject to 5,000 - 50,000 baht in fines followed by a deportation.


Police chief outlines case against Santhana

Deputy National Police Chief Pol Gen Rungroj Saengkhram.

NNT

Bangkok - Deputy National Police Chief Pol Gen Rungroj Saengkhram says the arrest of Pol Lt Col Santhana Prayoonrat, an adviser to Don Muang New Market, was carried out according to evidence, not because the police had been pressured to do so.

Santhana has the right to file a lawsuit in his defense against those accusing him of extortion, although he is currently barred from leaving the country and threatening vendors as he could risk having his bail revoked.

The defendant claims the eight people who brought complaints against him are not in fact vendors at Don Muang New Market while Pol Gen Rungroj insists they are.

Meanwhile, police have arrested Kanes Preamkrut, who works for Pol Lt Col Santhana, in Nakhon Nayok province. He was accused of extortion of beauty product vendors at the market. Police are still looking for other alleged perpetrators.

Santhana’s father, Pol Col Somchai Prayoonrat, will be summoned by the police on May 18 after having allegedly violated Section 189 of the Criminal Act by offering refuge to the perpetrator.


Cabinet earmarks budget for 3 biomass power plants in Deep South

NNT

Bangkok – The Cabinet has set aside a budget of over one billion baht for biomass power plant projects in the three southern border provinces, hoping to foster energy security and create jobs for locals.

Nattaporn Jatusripitak, Advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office Minister, revealed that the projects are to be undertaken by PEA ENCOM International Company Limited, a subsidiary of the Provincial Electricity Authority, in collaboration with the private sector or community enterprises, with a shareholding ratio of 40:60.

The three biomass power plants consist of one in Narathiwat, with a value of 755 million baht and a capacity of 9.9 megawatts; one in Pattani, worth 410 million baht and capable of producing 3 megawatts; and one in Yala, built with a budget of 390 million baht and with a capacity of 3 megawatts.

The three projects, which will last 20 years, are aimed to create energy security in the southernmost region, produce clean energy from local rubber woods and generate jobs and income for local residents. Construction is set to begin this July and finish within November 2020.


Update May 15, 2018

Royal Ploughing Ceremony predicts good yields in lowlands

His Majesty the King of Thailand takes part in the Royal Ploughing Ceremony at Sanam Luang in Bangkok, Monday, May 14.

NNT

Bangkok - This year’s Royal Ploughing Ceremony has predicted good yields for lowland farms, but less than abundant yields in the highlands.

This year, His Majesty the King of Thailand graciously appointed Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Lertviroj Kowattana to serve as Lord of the Ploughing Ceremony. He departed from in front of Wat Phra Sri Rattana Sasadaram at 7:19 a.m. on Monday for Sanam Luang with the year’s ceremony officially beginning at the auspicious time of 8:29a.m. upon the arrival of His Majesty the King.

This year the sacred oxen chose a piece of cloth measuring six palms, predicting low water, strong yields in lowland areas and low yields with some damage to crops in highland areas.

Upon being offered seven types of food, the sacred oxen chose water and grass, forecasting adequate water as well as food and vegetation, and liquor, predicting improved transportation, foreign trade and a prosperous economy.


New law to allow cannabis research, medical use

NNT

Bangkok - A new draft narcotics law to be proposed to the Cabinet this month will allow the manufacturing, import, distribution, and possession of cannabis for research purpose and medical use, says official.

The Narcotics Control Board (NCB) Secretary-General, Sirinya Sitdhichai, said the development of the move to allow cannabis research and usage for medical purposes in Thailand was a result from years of joint working between the NCB and the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH). This had led to the drafting of a new narcotic code.

The new narcotic code will also give authority to the NCB to announce areas for cannabis farming for research and for medical use.

Sirinya said, however, that this new narcotic law will not allow any manufacturing or use of cannabis for recreational purposes, and the manufacturing of cannabis by unauthorized persons remains illegal and punishable. All procedures of cannabis research and medical use will be performed under strict control of the NCB and the MOPH.


Don Muang market adviser arrested for extortion, released on bail

NNT

Bangkok - A court has allowed Talad Mai Don Muang market adviser Pol Lt Col Santana Prayunrat to be released on bail after he was arrested on charges of extortion of vendors at the market but barred him from leaving the country and has scheduled another hearing for July 2.

Investigators recently acted on eight warrants accusing Prayunrat of extortion and presented him to a court for detainment. The court has since allowed him to be temporarily released on a 300,000 baht bond.

The market adviser has promised to take legal action against three or more police officials he believes are responsible for his arrest and has accused them of intimidating the public and acting immorally. He voiced confidence in the judicial process and has denied all eight accusations of extortion against him, noting he does not know his accusers.

Deputy Commander of the Royal Thai Police, Pol Gen Weerachai Songmettha explained the eight warrants were from nine charges lodged against Prayunrat. Others have also been named in the charges and evidence is being collected against them. Several being monitored by police have apparently attempted to evade arrest and are expected to be apprehended when they attempt to cross the border. He assured the public the operation is justified and not an act of intimidation by police.


Thai Asian Physics Olympiad team returns to big welcome

NNT

Bangkok - Thai students who gained one bronze medal and seven certificates of honor at the 19th Asian Physics Olympiad in Hanoi, Vietnam have returned to a big welcome in the Kingdom. The students were among 188 participants from 25 countries competing in the 19th Asia Physics Olympiad.

Triam Udom Suksa Bangkok School student Yanwarut Parathipcharoenchai won a bronze medal in the competition while his schoolmates Pacharapol Leenukriat, Akkarawis Nakprasert, Thanawat Sornwanee and Kantapong Kotchum received certificates of honor.

Itipatpol Chaipattanakarn and Theeramet Kanpittaya of Mahidol Wittayanusorn School of Nakhon Pathom and Lapas Premcharoen of Kamnerdwit School Rayong also received certificates.

Yanwarut remarked that the questions posed during the Olympiad were difficult and complicated but called the experience rewarding. He promised to continue to develop his skills and to help his younger classmates.


Update May 14, 2018

NSC expects May 22 demonstration to be peaceful

Gen. Wanlop Rugsanaoh.

NNT

Bangkok - The National Security Council of Thailand (NSC) believes the planned demonstration by a pro-election group on May 22 will not be prolonged nor lead to violence.

Gen. Wanlop Rugsanaoh, Secretary-General of the National Security Council says the May demonstration, which will mark four years since Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and his military government came to power, will be peaceful and won't drag on, expressing his belief that no one in the nation wishes to resolve differences in a violent fashion, especially when the country is moving towards a general election.

He added that the government will work with the demonstrators to make sure that they express themselves within the confines of the law.

As for the demonstrators’ demand to terminate the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), he said such a demand cannot be met because the NCPO serves as a mechanism to help the government administer the nation and to support security operations.


PM asks parents not to resort to informal loans

NNT

Bangkok - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has implored parents not to borrow money from loan sharks to acquire school supplies for their children.

Advising parents not to seek informal loans, the Thai premier said the government has several loan programs to help people improve household liquidity and cash flow. For instance, the Government Savings Bank and the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives are offering a very low-interest personal loan of up to 50,000 baht per person. Also, a similar loan program is offered by pico-finance operators nationwide.

In addition, pawn shops under the supervision of the Local Administrative Organization have adjusted their interest rates down to 0.25% a month on principal of 5,000 baht or less and 1% a month for a loan over 5,000 baht.

The principal of a loan is the full amount borrowed.

Gen Prayut also asked every household to be more financially disciplined and develop money-saving habits.


Chumphon farmers repelling black chin tilapia

NNT

Chumphon - The Department of Fisheries has launched a campaign to repel the aquatic invader known as black-chin tilapia in Chumphon province.

Deputy Director General of the Fisheries Department, Arunchai Puthcharoen, chaired the opening of an activity to eradicate the alien aquatic species by releasing predatory fish like black and white snapper and long-whiskered catfish into rivers, canals, and waterways.

The arrival of this alien fish species in natural water sources has become a major problem for the department and local farmers, because black-chin tilapia feed on smaller fish and shrimp which are the main source of income for Chumphon farmers.

The alien species can adapt well to a new environment and its population is growing quickly in Chumphon and neighboring provinces.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives earlier this year issued a regulation banning the import of three types of tilapia, one of which was black-chin tilapia, believing that they destroy aquatic ecosystems in Thailand.


BMA inspects flood-prone areas

NNT

Bangkok - The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) paid an inspection visit to Suan Luang district on Saturday, one of 17 flood-prone areas in the capital city.

Deputy Bangkok Governor Chakkaphan Phewngam, went with BMA officials to a community near the Trakun Liao Association in Suan Luang district to inspect progress in the construction of a drainage system.

Once completed, the 250-meter-long tunnel will drain flood waters into two canals – Klong Saen Saeb and Klong Ka Ja.

Financed by the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA), the construction will be finished in the next 60 days, according to the deputy governor.

A number of past flooding incidents in Suan Luang district were reportedly triggered by the release of water from an MEA-operated power plant.


Update May 12-13, 2018

Tropical storm hammers several provinces

NNT

Chiang Rai - A tropical storm swept across several Thai provinces on Thursday and Friday, destroying homes, roads and electrical systems in its path.

In Chiang Rai, the storm felled trees and power poles, causing a blackout in the Chiang Rai municipality and its vicinity. More than 10 fallen poles blocked Phaholyothin Road linking Wiang and Mae Korn sub-districts, triggering a long traffic jam. Officials have already begun clearing the area.

In Surin, harsh winds knocked down a 60-meter-high signal tower in the Surin Provincial Court which fell over a storage room in a nearby building. Fortunately, no one was injured.

In Nakhon Ratchasima, thunderstorms, strong gusts of wind and hail wrecked 81 houses, schools, agricultural zones and livestock farms.

The storm also brought down a large tree, along with power polls in the Khon Kaen municipality. Local Disaster Prevention and Mitigation officials have already been dispatched to remove the tree. About 10 utility poles have also fallen on several households in a village in the municipality. Authorities were able to recover the electricity in the area quickly.

In Nong Khai, continuous rains have damaged the main road linking the province’s Nong Kong and Udon Thani’s Ban Na Kha, ruining the restoration efforts undertaken on the route by the military, administrative officials and locals in Nong Khai.


Alleged wildlife smuggling kingpin jailed in Thailand

In this Saturday, Jan. 20 file photo, wildlife trafficker Boonchai Bach in processed at a police station in Bangkok. (AP Photo/Tassanee Vejpongsa)

Bangkok (AP) — A court has sentenced a Thai man believed to be a kingpin in the illicit wildlife trade to 2 years in prison for smuggling rhinoceros horns, an organization that works with police to combat trafficking said Friday.

The group Freeland said the court in Samut Prakarn province convicted Boonchai Bach this week in the shipment of 11 kilograms of rhino horns from Africa worth $700,000. The rhino horns were seized in December when a Chinese smuggler was arrested at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport. A wildlife quarantine officer at the airport accused of assisting the smugglers was also arrested.

The group said a relative of Boonchai's was caught when he sought to pick up the shipment, implicating Boonchai as the financier and leading to his arrest in January.

Rhino horns are used as medicine in some Asian cultures and viewed as aphrodisiacs. Demand has escalated in recent years, with the "belief that ownership conveys social and financial status," Freeland said in a statement.

"The horn was destined for northeast Thailand where it would be smuggled across the Mekong River to Laos for onward shipment to buyers, either in Vietnam or China," Freeland said.

Boonchai, 41, was accused of running a large trafficking network on the Thai-Lao border that spread into Vietnam. According to Freeland, he and his family played a key role in a criminal syndicate that smuggled items including ivory, rhino horn, pangolins, tigers, lions and other rare and endangered species.


Police report 30 percent drop in lane violations 2 days after installing cameras

NNT

Bangkok - Police report that after just two days of using lane-change cameras in 15 areas of Bangkok, they have seen a targeted 30 percent drop in traffic violations and an improvement in traffic flow.

Deputy Commander of the Traffic Police, Pol Col Kitti Ariyanon reported Friday that a total 27,514 violations were captured by the 15 lane change cameras installed by police, over the first 24 hours they were operating. The most common offenders were motorcycle riders with most violations taking place in the early morning and evening. The area around Siriraj Bridge saw the most illegal lane changes with 3,568 cars leaving lined lanes. The second worst area for multiple offenses was Din Daeng Triangle, where 3,524 violations were recorded while Huay Kwang intersection was the third worst with 3,139 violations.

However, by the second day of the more stringent enforcement following the installation of the cameras, police noted an average 30 percent drop in violations, or by about 800 vehicles. Traffic flow in the areas also improved with fewer accidents reported.

Tickets are gradually being issued for those caught driving inappropriately and all are to be dispatched within seven days of the violation.

The lane change cameras are also looking for other violations such as failure to wear a motorcycle helmet, motorcycle use of flyovers and vehicular crime.

The system is to be evaluated for efficacy at a later date so that implementation can be extended.


Money Expo 2018 in full swing

NNT

Bangkok - The latest Money Expo is offering financial and investment opportunities from a combined 260 financial and non-bank organizations spanning insurance, real estate, automobiles and stocks.

Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister ,Somkid Jatusripitak, chaired the launch of Money Expo 2018 on Friday, remarking that over its 18 years the expo has always reflected current social, political and economic circumstances, whether they be the Tom Yum Koong economic crisis or the World Financial Crisis of 2008. He pointed out, however, that the current economic situation is one of technological advancement.

Financial products being offered include the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives “Elder Millions” campaign, presenting new account openers from as low as 5,000 baht with 100 baht savings bonds that offer a chance of winning up to 10 million baht.

The Government Housing Bank meanwhile is offering special interest rates on home loans and NPA homes discounted by up to 50 percent.

Muang Thai Life Assurance is presenting an insurance package geared towards diabetics with premiums to fluctuate according to the clients’ blood sugar levels.

The National Savings Fund is inviting non-contract workers to open savings accounts with as little as 50 baht, promising to match pensions when they reach retirement age.

The expo is running until May 13 at Challenger Halls 2 and 3 of Impact Muang Thong Thani.


Update May 11, 2018

HD cameras installed across Bangkok to catch traffic violators

 

NNT

Bangkok - Police have begun the strict monitoring of vehicles that illegally leave lanes with solid lines after installing high definition cameras in 15 areas of Bangkok that will allow tickets to be issued within 7 days.

The 2 megapixel cameras will operate 24 hours a day and store information for up to one year. Driving behavior captured on the cameras will be reviewed thoroughly by police who have resolved to ticket any and all violators of traffic line regulations.

Drivers are reminded to not overtake from or otherwise leave any lanes marked by a solid line and are asked to be aware that they will be filmed using an ATS system that can record their car type and license plate clearly. A PTM system linked to Krungthai Bank allows police to issue a ticket for violators within seven days. Recipients will be able to check the footage for themselves at http://www.trafficpolice.go.th.

The system was tested between April 1 and 30 and found 226,257 violations, averaging 7,542 violations per day with each fined up to 500 baht under the Land Traffic Act, which allows fines up to 1,000 baht.

On the first day after the trial system began full implementation, up to 5,170 violators were recorded. Police hope the more intense measures will cut violations by over 30 percent.


Yala international airport to open in 2020

NNT

Yala - Thailand's southernmost province of Yala is close to having its own airport. The long-awaited Betong International Airport project is expected to complete by next year.

Betong District Chief, Damrong Deesakul, disclosed the construction of Betong International Airport would finish by July 2019 and the new airport should be operational in 2020. He said the government had approved the plan to enlarge the airport by another 12.8 hectares from 147.2 hectares in accordance with the Triangle of Stability, Prosperity and Sustainability program. Land purchases are in process.

Damrong said the people of Betong had been waiting for the airport for more than 30 years. It is estimated that the facility will see over five million foreign tourists per year, particularly visitors from Malaysia, as the airport will enable those traveling from Betong district to Bangkok to reduce their travel costs significantly. Yala province is also expected to earn over 10 billion baht annually when the airport opens.

The Betong district chief also spoke about a number of new initiatives, such as the setting up of a passport service division in Betong District Office to enable people to save time, expansion of Road No 410 and the construction of a tunnel and a bypass linking Betong district of Yala province with Pattani province.

The southernmost district has seen a surge in tourists since the government lifted the emergency decree in March in a move to foster economic and social development.


Thailand to reinforce cyber security

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.

NNT

Bangkok - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha says draft laws on cyber security and data protection need to be passed soon to enable Thailand to trade with the rest of the world more effectively.

During a national cyber security committee meeting, the premier urged the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and the Electronic Transactions Development Agency to complete the draft laws on cyber security and data protection in a timely manner.

He said this is to increase Thailand’s competitive edge in trade and to align online security and personal data protection with global standards.

Gen Prayut also stressed the need to develop a contingency plan to deal with possible cyber threats and to protect online data concerning national security, transportation, public health, banking, the stock market and energy.

According to Digital Economy and Society Minister, Pichet Durongkaveroj, a temporary cyber protection unit will be set up to tackle cybercrime.

To reinforce cyber security in the short term, the ASEAN-Japan Cyber Security Capacity Building Center will be set up in Thailand to provide online security training to 1,000 selected individuals, which will cost Thailand about 350 million baht.


Authorities to push elephants back into forest in Buriram

NNT

Buriram - Authorities of Dong Yai Forest Wildlife Sanctuary in Buriram province are preparing to push elephants back into the forest after filming over 60 descending on fields around the Khao Kapod Rangers Unit.

The elephants were filmed during a patrol by Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary authorities. The filming coincides with a series of photos shot by locals of elephants eating their tapioca plants as well as signs that they trampled a chicken coop. One video clip shot by locals has audio of residents trying to chase away the animals despite the danger.

With the sightings taking place outside of the Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary zone, more patrols have been organized with the intent of driving the elephants back into the forest. Residents have been urged to alert authorities if they see any of the animals, and have been barred from entering the forest area at this time as a safety precaution. The matter has been reported to the district and provincial offices as well.
 


DAILY UPDATE

|

Back to Main Page

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Facebook to boost its investment in Thailand

Security agencies to be on high alert during May 22 demonstration

Land Transport Dept gets tough with law-breaking public vehicles

Army announces ban on fireworks sale throughout Ramadan


Oral care company to face legal action for false advertisement

Khon Kaen rabies outbreak under control

DDPM poised for flood emergencies

Civil servant retirement age yet to be changed


Monkeys to be relocated to stop them harassing humans

Court rules on removal of markets after woman attacked a truck

Concerns raised on quality of drinking water dispensers in Bangkok

National Police keep an eye on loan sharks nationwide


Pueai Noi district declared rabies-red zone

Heavy storms and hail wreak havoc across the northeast

Maya Bay to be closed off for rehabilitation

Thailand & Myanmar to strengthen govt PR ties


Migrant workers barred from golf caddy jobs

Police chief outlines case against Santhana

Cabinet earmarks budget for 3 biomass power plants in Deep South


Royal Ploughing Ceremony predicts good yields in lowlands

New law to allow cannabis research, medical use

Don Muang market adviser arrested for extortion, released on bail

Thai Asian Physics Olympiad team returns to big welcome


NSC expects May 22 demonstration to be peaceful

PM asks parents not to resort to informal loans

Chumphon farmers repelling black chin tilapia

BMA inspects flood-prone areas


Tropical storm hammers several provinces

Alleged wildlife smuggling kingpin jailed in Thailand

Police report 30 percent drop in lane violations 2 days after installing cameras

Money Expo 2018 in full swing


HD cameras installed across Bangkok to catch traffic violators

Yala international airport to open in 2020

Thailand to reinforce cyber security

Authorities to push elephants back into forest in Buriram

Advertisement

 



Chiangmai Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
189/22 Moo 5, T. Sansai Noi, A. Sansai, Chiang Mai 50210
THAILAND
Tel. 053 852 557, Fax. 053 014 195
Editor: 087 184 8508
E-mail: [email protected]
www.chiangmai-mail.com
Administration: [email protected]
Website & Newsletter Advertising: [email protected]

Copyright © 2004 Chiangmai Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.