Floods reported across northeast due to low pressure front
Nakhon Panom - Floods have hit
seven provinces of the northeastern region of Thailand due to the influence
of a low pressure front sweeping over the country from the South China Sea.
In Nakhon Panom, water is being pumped
into the Mekong River and tree branches are being cut so that they do not
impact power lines. Locals have been urged to follow reports closely so that
they are prepared for any emergency situations.
Royal Irrigation Department (RID)
Director-General, Thongplew Kongchan, has ordered all of his department’s
offices in the northeast to step up drainage into the Mekong. He has also
set urgent plans to slow waters from the Chi River entering into Roi Et
province and to increase drainage into the Mul River using pumps. The work
is in response to more rains expected in Roi Et, Nakhon Panom, Mahasarakam,
Kalasin and Yasothon.
Most flooding so far has been in low
lying areas and is expected to subside in two to three days if rains let up.
Religious and spiritual ceremonies held at Tham Luang Cave
Chiang Rai - A religious and
spiritual ceremony has been held at Tham Luang Cave to appease its spirits
after authorities were able to successfully rescue 13 members of Moo Pa
Academy youth football team from its inner caverns.
A Brahmin Lanna ceremony took place at
8:09 a.m. Monday before Buddhist monks performed a blessing at 9:09 a.m. and
prayers began at 10:09 a.m. One of the prayers was in dedication to former
Thai Navy Seal Saman Kunan, who lost his life during the rescue operation.
Former head of the Tham Luang Cave
rescue mission and now Governor of Phayao province Narongsak Osot-thanakorn,
alongside current Governor of Chiang Rai Prajon Prachsakul, chaired the
proceedings with many Chiang Rai locals and the faithful from nearby
provinces in attendance.
In the afternoon, a Lanna cleansing
ritual was held ahead of a Lanna cave closing ceremony. Both are believed to
remove any ill-intentioned spirits from the area and protect others from
losing their way in the cave.
FDA inspects pesticides in vegetables for consumers’ safety
Bangkok - According to a warning
from the Pesticide Alert Network (Thai-Pan) on excessive levels of pesticide
in vegetables sold in markets, Secretary General of FDA, Dr. Wanchai
Sattayawuthipong said Tuesday that the FDA has continuously inspected and
monitored markets on this issue. The FDA has also strengthened preventative
measures by launching two regulations to control the level of pesticides and
the process of preserving fruit and vegetables.
The FDA is working with provincial
public health offices around Thailand to ensure the safety of consumers in
the consumption of fruit and vegetables by sending samples to be examined
for the pesticides. The test results from June 2018 show that 86.5 percent
of samples passed the standard while 13.5 percent of the samples failed.
Having detected the sale of some
contaminated fruit and vegetables, the FDA will proceed with legal action
and report the surveillance results to the related department such as the
Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.
DPM Wissanu insists Cabinet retreat bears no hidden political agenda
Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.
Bangkok - A deputy prime
minister in charge of legal affairs continues denying claims that the
upcoming mobile Cabinet meetings in Thailand’s northeastern region carry
some hidden political agenda.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam
said on Monday that mobile Cabinet meetings have long been a common aspect
of all governments to allow ministries to get first hand information about
the concerns of people in all provinces, particularly during the past 20
DPM Wissanu said that the current
government too has plans to visit every province in the country while in
He added that Prime Minister Gen.
Prayut Chan-o-cha has already instructed the Office of the National Economic
and Social Development Board to compile data from all mobile meetings to
help with the decision-making process for approval of each proposed project.
As for the upcoming meeting in Ubon
Ratchathani province, Wissanu said that the retreat has long been scheduled
and is not a plan that was just made lately.
Regarding invitations to local
politicians to join the mobile meeting, the DPM said that such a program is
intended to collect information about local problems, which the government
is determined to hear from all related groups during its provincial trips.
PM commends recovery effort after Phuket boat accident
Bangkok - Prime Minister Gen
Prayut Chan-o-cha has thanked all related parties for the recovery of the
final body in the Phuket boat accident, confirming that all victims or their
families are being fully compensated.
The PM thanked Thai and Chinese
officials for their joint effort to recover the final body that was trapped
under the capsized boat. He confirmed that the government provided support
to all aspects of the operation, such as sending personnel and equipment to
assist recovery of the victims, conducting religious rites for the deceased,
and returning their bodies to their home country.
Of the 46 bodies that have been
identified, Thailand conducted religious rites for 39 and has returned seven
to China. Two insurance companies will provide 1.1 million baht each to the
families of the deceased. Thailand’s disaster relief fund for foreign
tourists will contribute an additional one million baht. Those who were
injured will receive up to 515,000 baht from the insurance companies and up
to 500,000 baht from the disaster fund.
Gen Prayut has also instructed related
parties to make adjustments, such as improving inspection measures and
safety standards, to prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future
and to boost confidence among tourists.
Police conclude online World Cup gambling operation
Bangkok – Thai police have
concluded their World Cup gambling suppression, after the world's most
popular sporting event came to an end on July 15.
Deputy Tourist Police Chief, Pol
Maj-Gen Surachet Hakpal, said at a press briefing that the Technology Crime
Suppression Division (TCSD) of the Royal Thai Police, the Tourist Police,
Provincial Police Regions 7, 8 and 9 jointly conducted an anti-online
gambling operation during the World Cup tournament.
He said a special task force was able
to arrest the operators of 26 gambling websites and pressed charges against
65 individuals for organizing online gambling activities or persuading
others to engage in online gambling.
The Thai police have also successfully
blocked more than 400 gambling sites registered abroad and confiscated more
than 73.2 million baht worth of assets linked to the crime, including the
contents of 34 bank accounts.
In Chiang Rai alone, police said 50
million baht of gambling cash was reported, adding that 184 satellite dishes
and 32 broadcast antennas used for illegal activities have been seized.
Chiang Rai artists create Tham Luang rescue mission artwork
Chiang Rai - Some 200 local
artists are working to complete a painting telling the story of the
operation to rescue 12 boys and their football coach trapped in Tham Luang
cave in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province. The painting will be
exhibited at Tham Luang Cave Museum.
The painting, which is now 90 percent
complete, will show all people involved in the operation, from key officials
to volunteers who helped with transportation and cleaning. The artwork will
first be displayed at Art Bridge Chiang Rai, and will later be showcased at
Tham Luang Cave.
The President of Art Bridge Chiang Rai,
Suwit Jaipom, said the artists will also be building a monument for
lieutenant commander Saman Gunan, the former Navy Seal officer who died
during the rescue operation. The three-meter heigh monument, made with brass
by a fine arts company in Ayutthaya province, will also be placed in front
of the museum building, which will be constructed using timber designed by
local artist Somluck Pantiboon.
The construction of the museum building
is expected to take about four months. The Department of National Parks,
Wildlife and Plant Conservation has already given its approval for the
Thai students take gold at 59th Mathematical Olympiad
Bangkok - The Institute for the
Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST) warmly welcomed back
students who represented the kingdom at the 59th International Mathematical
Olympiad (IMO) in Romania after they landed at Suvarnabhumi Airport on
The Ministry of Education assembled and
sponsored the Thai team that competed in the international event, which this
year brought together 107 nations. The Thai team was able to win three gold
medals and three silver medals, ranking fifth in the world by the end of the
The team comprised Papon Lapet of
Mahidol Wittayanusorn School, Yolrada Yongpisanpop of Triam Udom Suksa
School and Siwakorn Fuangkawinsombut of Triam Udom Suksa School, who all won
gold, Jirayus Jinapong of Kamnoetvidya Science Academy, Chatchanun
Suriya-amaranont of Triam Udom Suksa School and Thana Somsiriwattana of
Suankularb Wittayalai School, who all won silver.
Yolrada was also top ranked out of the
competition’s 60 female mathematics Olympians.
PM calls for higher safety standards on tourist boats
Bangkok - Prime Minister Gen
Prayut Chan-o-cha has directed tourism related agencies to raise the level
of safety of tour boat services, following the boat tragedy that took the
lives of 47 people in Phuket this month.
While offering thanks to the rescue and
search party, the Thai premier asked law enforcement agencies to lay charges
against the company that owns “Phoenix,” a boat that was overturned in rough
seas on July 5. There were a total of 89 tourists on board Phoenix, 42 of
them were rescued but 47 died in the disaster.
Gen Prayut then asked responsible
agencies to speed up compensation payments to the injured and inspect tour
boats, their safety measures and equipment on a consistent basis to prevent
Phayao Governor delivers funeral eulogy for military diver Saman Kunan
Governor of Phayao, Narongsak Osotthanakorn.
Roi Et - The Governor of Phayao
delivered a funeral eulogy Saturday for the military diver who lost his life
during the weeks-long operation to rescue 13 young footballers and their
coach from Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai province.
Narongsak Osotthanakorn, the head of
the cave rescue operation and now governor of Phayao, represented all the
rescued footballers and their coach in reading a eulogy written for former
navy SEAL diver Saman Gunan, at his funeral held at Wat Ban Nong Khu temple
in Roi Et province.
“It is like we are reborn and we are
getting healthier by the day as a miracle has made it possible for us to
return to our families again. In fact, this might never have happened
without the dedication and sacrifices that countless people have made for
us,” read Narongsak.
“One of the most important persons in
this mission was ‘Pii-Ja Sam’ — an important force in the diving team, who
helped us all they could. ‘Pii-Ja Sam’ has left us and will never return.
But, what he has done for us and our families will remain in our hearts for
eternity,” continued Narongsak on behalf of the rescued boys, adding “We are
immensely grateful for your dedication, sacrifice and determination to help
us. And, may we wish that you rest forever in peace up there in heaven.”
The funeral of Saman Gunan was overseen
by Privy Counsellor and former Prime Minister Gen. Surayud Chulanont and
attended by senior officials and the people of Roi Et and other provinces,
amidst a large crowd of members of the media.
Operation to retrieve Phuket boat accident victim continues
Phuket - The operation to
retrieve the body of the last victim in a fatal boat accident in Phuket
continued throughout the weekend.
The rescue team were not been able to
succeed in their effort to bring to the surface the body of the last victim
of the boat accident, despite a well-planned operation that involved
separate teams tasked with various responsibilities to make it possible.
Royal Thai Navy divers tried to install
a sand removal mechanism on the floor of the sea, where the victim’s body
was spotted, but they encountered a series of technical difficulties, until
foreign divers came to help with additional equipment.
During the operation, China’s Guangzhou
Salvage rescue team brought in a surface tool, to help dig the body out of
the sea bed but all collaborative efforts still failed to achieve the goal.
The body retrieval operation was then
called off temporarily when it was too dark for the teams to continue their
Govt agencies run DNA tests on undocumented Thais in Malaysia
Yala - The Southern Border
Provinces Administration Centre (SBPAC) and different agencies have come
together to carry out DNA testing on undocumented Thai people in Malaysia.
Deputy Secretary-General of the SBPAC,
Rear Admiral Somkiat Pholprayoon said DNA testing of Thais living in the
northern border areas of Malaysia was part of a program aimed at ensuring
Rear Admiral Somkiat disclosed HRH
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn had voiced her concern about the
difficulties of these people, such as their inability to obtain
government-issued documents and malnourishment in children, while on a visit
to Yala province in 2016.
Relevant agencies, including the
Department of Provincial Administration and Prince of Songkhla University’s
Faculty of Medicine co-organized the DNA testing at the Royal Thai Consulate
General in Kota Baru, the capital of Kelantan State.
Deputy PM orders suppression of mosquitos after 37 people die of dengue fever
Nonthaburi – Deputy Prime
Minister Chatchai Sarikulya says the number of people infected with dengue
fever in 2018 is on the rise, with 28,732 patients reportedly suffering from
the disease since the start of the year and 37 patients having already died.
Minister Chatchai added that the
Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) cannot control every area in Thailand,
hence the need for every department to undertake measure to combat the
disease during the rainy season in target areas, including schools, hotels,
companies, hospitals, and houses.
The Department of Disease Control (DDC)
has reported that most of the dengue fever patients are children aged around
5- 14 years, but the deceased patients were mostly adults aged over 35 years
old, having a 2-5 times higher mortality rate than children. The result of
the mosquito larvae search also shows that there is a larger quantity of
mosquito larvae in the communities and places where people usually gather.
Therefore, there is a risk that dengue fever will continue spreading into a
The Deputy PM and MOPH also suggest
people prevent this disease by relying on three steps including keeping
their houses clean, keeping water containers covered, and regular clearing
away of trash in bins or rubbish containers.
People should immediately see the
doctor if they are feeling the symptoms for more than 2-3 days including
high fever, muscle pain, red eyes, and skin rash. Further information is
available via the DDC hotline 1422.
British diver returns home after football team rescue
diver John Volanthen smiles for the camera at Suvarnabhumi Airport in
Bangkok - The British diver,
John Volanthen, who first located the 12 boys and their coach missing inside
a Thai cave complex, has arrived home in England to a warm welcome at
Heathrow International Airport.
Volanthen, a member of the British Cave
Rescue Council (BCRC), was one of the two British divers who found the Thai
boys and their coach. He said during an interview with a group of reporters
at the airport that he was pleased to hear that all of them had been brought
out of the cave safely this week, after being trapped for 18 days.
He added that he and Jason Mallinson,
the other diver, were not heroes and that the rescue would not have been
possible without the contributions of all divers, soldiers, civilians and
the Royal Thai Navy. Volanthen also praised former Thai navy seal Saman
Kunan, who died during the mission, while expressing his condolences to his
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister
Malcolm Turnbull thanked cave diver and anesthetist Dr. Richard Harris for
his participation in the rescue adding that Australian people were proud of
him. Dr. Harris said earlier that it was one of the greatest opportunities
to represent the Australian Federal Police in the historic rescue.
Phuket expedites help for victims of tour boat tragedy
Governor Noraphat Plodthong.
Phuket - Phuket is urgently
assisting the victims of the tour boat sinking in the province last week,
while preparing to impose measures to restore foreign tourists' confidence.
Phuket Governor Noraphat Plodthong said
Permanent Secretary for Tourism and Sports, Phongphanu Sawetrun had traveled
to the province to extend his condolences on the loss of life in the boat
tragedy and expedite the rehabilitation for the casualties.
The governor said Thailand needs to
restore confidence quickly since Chinese tourists are an important market
for Thai tourism. Each year, 10 million Chinese tourists visit Thailand and
spend more than 500 billion baht. Around three million of them travel to
Phuket and spend around 150 billion baht.
Around 10% - 15% of Chinese tourists
have cancelled their advance bookings in Phuket after the boat catastrophe.
The governor however expressed his confidence that Thailand's immediate
tourism stimulating measures will help restore confidence rapidly.
Around 64 million baht will be spent on
care and compensation for the affected people. A total of 2.1 million baht
from both the government and private sector will be given to a family
representative of each of the dead passengers.
Bangkok takes legal action against vehicles traveling on walkways
Bangkok - The Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration (BMA) has set up 115 checkpoints to prevent illegal car
parking, and motorcyclists driving on walkways.
A checkpoint in front of Benjasiri Park is among 115
recently introduced in Bangkok, to keep vehicles from using the footpaths.
The first batch of checkpoints has been set up in busy areas of Bangkok
including Huai Kwang, Jatuchak and Klong Toey districts.
Offenders will pay a maximum fine of 5,000 baht. More
checkpoints will later be set up in other districts of Bangkok.
Heroic welcome for Thai Navy SEAL team after Tham Luang success
Chonburi - Many people welcomed
a group of Thai Navy SEAL members as they returned to their base in Chonburi
province, following their successful operation to rescue the 12 young
football players and their coach who were trapped in Tham Luang cave in the
northern province of Chiang Rai.
The Royal Thai Fleet commander, Adm.
Rangsarit Sattayanukul, along with many public members, greeted the Navy
SEALs at U-Tapao International Airport on Thursday.
A total of 159 navy officials,
including the Thai Navy SEAL commander, RAdm. Arpakorn Yookongkaew,
Commander of the Royal Thai Navy SE, joined the search and rescue operation
that captured the imagination of the world.
Many people waiting for their return
shouted "Hooyah" as a token of their appreciation to their remarkable
service and sacrifice.
A mother of one of the SEAL members who
participated in this operation, Sumalee Maksri, said she was delighted that
her son successfully completed his mission, adding that she previously felt
worried because he did not give any details of his assignment.
The Thai Navy SEAL commander said the
Royal Thai Navy is always prepared to respond to disasters in the country,
stressing his belief in the capabilities of all officials, and thanked for
the dedication from all personnel and support from the general public.
Feathered forecast, Thai parrot predicts 2018 World Cup winners
JR, a macaw parrot at Khao Kheaw Open
Zoo has again stunned visitors and tourists with his ability to pick
football championship winners, this time making a prediction for the World
Cup 2018 final match between Croatia and France.
JR picked the French flag with his beak
after waddling around both nations’ banners for some time. JR has been part
of fun and excitement in many football tournaments, both World Cup and Euro
Championships, and has correctly guessed the outcome of final matches at
least 5 times in the past.
Thai Post Office company deputy
managing director, Manop Sornviboonsak said similar events have been
regularly held at the zoo to form a love of animals and also encourage
people to buy postcards and send in their one national team answer for a
chance to win many prizes contributed by national newspaper company
The World Cup final match is set to
kick off on Sunday, July 15 at 10pm (Thai time).
Deep floods in Bueng Kan following night of heavy rain
Bueng Kan - Heavy rains through
Wednesday night in Bueng Kan province resulted in intermittent flooding with
waters up to 80 centimeters in depth.
A monsoon front passing over Thailand's
north, Lao PDR and Vietnam that collided with a long pressure front in the
same area resulted in heavy rains across all eight districts of Bueng Kan,
especially in its municipal area where water gathered in ditches and along
Staff members at Bueng Kan Hospital and
Bueng Kan School were contending with water between 50 and 80 centimeters
deep and one hospital vehicle was damaged by flood waters.
Peace and Order Maintaining Command
soldiers in the province, volunteers and hospital staff were using flat
bottom boats and large vehicles to shuttle patients, staff and even family
members between the hospital, school and other areas.
Welfare card program opens new round of applications
Bangkok - The national welfare
card program will open another round of applications for people with
disabilities, the elderly, bedridden patients, and those who were unable to
register in last year’s round.
Eleven agencies within the Ministry of
Finance, Ministry of the Interior, the Bank of Thailand, Department for
Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Social Security Office, and the
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration have signed an agreement to facilitate
registrations and log information into an electronic database by the end of
Deputy Permanent Secretary of Finance
Narin Kalayanamit revealed Thursday that the program has so far registered
an additional 1.1 million people. Around 380,000 of the applications are
from people with disabilities, the elderly, and bedridden citizens. The
remaining 600,000 are those who had missed the previous round. The number of
registrations by the end of the month is expected to reach 1.5 million.
Afterwards, the information gathered will be sent to all relevant agencies
for vetting, and welfare cards will be handed out to approved applicants by
the end of the year.
Narin revealed that from October 2017
to June this year, cardholders have spent over 31 million baht. The program
will also continue its policy of occupational training by asking applicants
upon registration about the skills they wish to learn.
With V-for-Victory sign, rescued boys celebrate freedom
image made from video, three of the 12 boys are seen recovering in their
hospital beds after being rescued along with their coach from a flooded cave
in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, Wednesday, July 11. (Thailand Government
Spokesman Bureau via AP)
Stephen Wright and Kaweewit
Mae Sai (AP) — As ecstatic
relatives watched and waved from behind a glass barrier, the 12 boys and
their soccer coach rescued from deep within a flooded cave made the
V-for-Victory sign Wednesday from their beds in a hospital isolation ward
where they are recovering from the 18-day ordeal.
An American involved in the operation
described the perilous zero-visibility dives that brought the boys out
safely as a "once in a lifetime rescue."
Derek Anderson, a 32-year-old rescue
specialist with the U.S. Air Force based in Okinawa, Japan, said that at
times during the risky rescue, the boys had to be put into harnesses and
high-lined across the rocky caverns. At other times, they endured dives
lasting up to half an hour in the pitch-black waters.
"The world just needs to know that what
was accomplished was a once in a lifetime rescue," Anderson told The
Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday. "We were extremely fortunate
that the outcome was the way it was. It's important to realize how complex
and how many pieces of this puzzle had to come together."
He said the boys, ranging in age from
11 to 16, were "incredibly resilient."
"What was really important was the
coach and the boys all came together and discussed staying strong, having
the will to live, having the will to survive," Anderson said.
That gutsy determination was on display
Wednesday in a video taken from the hospital isolation ward. The boys, their
faces covered by green surgical masks, flashed the V-for-Victory sign as
they sat up in bed and chatted with their nurses, at times responding with
the customary Thai sign of respect — hands pressed together while bowing the
head. The youngest boy, 11, appeared to be asleep under a crisp white sheet.
"Don't need to worry about their
physical health and even more so for their mental health," said Chaiwetch
Thanapaisal, director of Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital.
"Everyone is strong in mind and heart,"
he said at a news conference of officials involved in the rescue.
The four boys and 25-year-old soccer
coach who were brought out Tuesday on the final day of the three-day rescue
effort have recovered more quickly than the boys rescued on Sunday and
Monday, Chaiwetch said.
Even so, all need to be monitored in
the hospital for a week and then rest at home for another 30 days, he said.
Three have slight lung infections.
Another video released on Facebook by
the Thai Navy SEALs, who were central to the rescue, showed one of the boys
being carried through part of the muddy cave on a stretcher covered by an
emergency thermal blanket.
The SEALs commander, Rear Adm. Apakorn
Youkongkae, said the soccer coach, Ekkapol Chantawong, determined the order
the boys from the Wild Boars soccer team should be rescued in. "The coach
was the one to choose," he said.
Chiang Rai province acting Gov.
Narongsak Osatanakorn, who oversaw the rescue operation, said the boys
should not be blamed for their near tragedy. He lauded the cooperation
between Thai and international rescuers.
"The situation went beyond just being a
rescue mission and became a symbol of unity among mankind," he said.
"Everyone worked together without discrimination of race or religion as the
ultimate goal was to save the youth football team."
Officials plan an interactive museum at
the Tham Luang cave based on the historic rescue mission that will feature
items such as clothing that key rescuers wore during the operation,
Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong, a public
health inspector, said the boys lost an average of 2 kilograms while they
were trapped. Before their discovery, they survived by drinking water
dripping into their cramped refuge.
"To not receive food, we can still
survive for many months, but what's necessary is water, which the cave has,
and around this time there's a lot in the cave, and they chose clean water
to drink," he said.
PM thanks foreign rescuers for helping save trapped boys and their coach
Bangkok - The Thai government is
sending out communications to officially thank the leaders of the countries
which sent their divers to join in the rescue operation at the Tham Luang
cave complex in Chiang Rai. Certificates of gratitude will also be given to
all of the divers.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said
that the successful rescue at Tham Luang will set an example for other
rescue operations in the future.
Gen.Prayut also thanked Elon Musk, the
founder of SpaceX, for offering his help to the trapped boy footballers and
their coach. He said he talked to Musk during his trip to Chiang Rai and
thanked him for bringing his rescue equipment to Thailand for future use.
Meanwhile, a diver of the international
rescue team has revealed he was amazed at the strength of the young
footballers who were trapped in the cave.
Danish diving instructor Ivan Karadzic
said in an interview with the BBC that the boys were “being forced to do
something that no kid had ever done before”, adding that it was not in any
way normal for children as young as 11 years old to go cave diving.
Moreover, he noted the extremely dangerous conditions the boys had to dive
in, with zero visibility and regular equipment malfunctions.
Karadzic lauded the boys as incredibly
strong individuals, given the fact that they were trapped inside the cave
and could not be with their loved ones for over two weeks.
Cabinet OKs bill on taxation of property near infrastructure projects
Advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office, Natporn
Bangkok - Following this week’s Cabinet meeting, Advisor to the Prime
Minister’s Office, Natporn Jatusripitak, revealed that the Cabinet has
approved, in principle, a bill governing the collection of tax on land or
condominium units, where appraisal prices are pushed up due to their
proximity to transport infrastructure projects. The bill was proposed by the
Ministry of Finance, with an aim to create fairness in the tax system.
Individuals and juristic persons to be
subject to the additional tax are those who possess land or condominium
units with a commercial value of more than 50 million baht. The property is
considered taxable if located within a five-kilometer radius of transport
infrastructure projects, which include high-speed railway, double-track
railway, electric railway, highways, airports and seaports.
The tax will be collected only once by
the Department of Lands or the Local Administrative Organization at a
maximum rate of 5 percent and will be contributed to the state’s coffers for
national development. However, this tax bill targets only property used for
commercial purposes and will not apply to residences or farmland.
TAT launches tourism promotion film in 8K resolution
Bangkok - The Tourism Authority
of Thailand (TAT) has unveiled a tourism promotion film co-produced with
Sharp and featuring the beauties of Thailand in 8K resolution.
The video was produced using Sharp's
imaging and display equipment to promote Thailand's tourism and Sharp's
AQUOS 8K Series television capable of displaying videos in 8K resolution,
which has 16 time more pixels than traditional Full HD television format.
The producers have captured moments
from festivals and attractions in various locations in Thailand, including
the Songkran festival and historic destinations in Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Ang
Thong, and Nong Khai.
This video is considered the first 8K
video produced in ASEAN and is intended to inspire people to go out and
experience the beauties of Thailand.
TAT and Sharp will continue to work
together to produce the second 8K video in the concept series "Open to the
new Shades." These videos will be screened on TAT's channels and on Sharp's
displays, reaching a large audience in ASEAN and the wider Asian region.
'Everyone is safe' after daring rescue of 13 trapped in cave
undated photo released on Tuesday, July 10, the last four Thai Navy SEALs
come out safely after completing the rescue mission inside a cave where 12
boys and their soccer coach had been trapped since June 23, in Mae Sai,
northern Thailand. (Royal Thai Navy via AP)
Kaweewit Kaewjinda and Stephen
Mae Sai — "Everyone is safe."
With those three words posted on Facebook the daring rescue mission to
extricate 12 boys and their soccer coach from the treacherous confines of a
flooded cave in north Thailand was complete — a grueling 18-day ordeal that
claimed the life of an experienced diver and riveted people worldwide.
Thailand's Navy SEALs, who were central
to the rescue effort, celebrated the feat with a post Tuesday evening that
read: "All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave," — a reference
to the boys' soccer team. "We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science,
Eight of the boys were rescued by a
team of Thai and international divers on Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday, the
final four boys and their coach were guided out of the cave. Their rescue
was followed a few hours later by the safe return of a medic and three SEAL
divers who had stayed for days with the boys in their cramped, dry refuge.
Cheers erupted from the dozens of
volunteers and journalists awaiting news of whether the intricate and
high-risk rescue mission had succeeded. Helicopters transporting the boys
roared overhead. People on the street cheered and clapped when ambulances
ferrying them on the last leg of their journey from the cave arrived at a
hospital in Chiang Rai city.
Their joy and relief was echoed around
the globe by the multitude of people who had followed the long ordeal.
Payap Maiming, who helped provide food
and necessities to rescue workers and journalists, noted that fact.
"I'm happy for Thais all over the
country," he said. "And actually just everyone in the world because every
news channel has presented this story and this is what we have been waiting
"It's really a miracle," Payap said.
"It's hope and faith that has brought us this success."
Amporn Sriwichai, an aunt of rescued
coach Ekkapol Chantawong, was ecstatic. "If I see him, I just want to hug
him and tell him that I missed him very much," she said.
The plight of the boys and their coach
captivated much of the world — from the heart-sinking news that they were
missing, to the first flickering video of the huddle of anxious yet smiling
boys when they were found by a pair of British divers 10 days later. The
group had entered the sprawling Tham Luang cave to go exploring after soccer
practice on June 23, but monsoon rains soon filled the tight passageways,
blocking their escape.
Each of the boys, ages 11 to 16 and
with no diving experience, was guided out by a pair of divers in the
three-day high-stakes operation. The route, in some places just a crawl
space, had oxygen canisters positioned at regular intervals to refresh each
team's air supply.
Highlighting the dangers, a former Thai
Navy SEAL died Friday while replenishing the canisters.
"We did something nobody thought
possible," Chiang Rai province acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn, leader of
the rescue effort, said at a celebratory news conference.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha,
speaking Tuesday before the final rescue was completed, said the boys were
given an anti-anxiety medication to help with their perilous removal from
Asked at a news conference in Bangkok
if the boys had been sedated, Prayuth said: "Who would chloroform them? If
they're chloroformed, how could they come out? It's called anxiolytic,
something to make them not excited, not stressed."
Prayuth said the Tham Luang cave would
be closed for some time to make it safe for visitors.
The first eight boys brought out were
doing well and were in good spirits at the hospital. They received a treat
on Tuesday: bread with chocolate spread that they had requested.
Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk, permanent
secretary at the Public Health Ministry, said the boys rescued Sunday were
able to eat normal food by Tuesday, though they couldn't yet take the spicy
dishes favored by many Thais.
Two of the boys possibly have a lung
infection but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling," he said.
"The kids are footballers, so they have
high immune systems," Jedsada told a news conference. "Everyone is in high
spirits and is happy to get out. But we will have a psychiatrist evaluate
It could be at least a week before they
can be released from the hospital, he said.
For now the boys were in isolation to
try to keep them safe from infections by outsiders. But family members have
seen at least some of the boys from behind a glass barrier.
It was clear doctors were taking a
cautious approach. Jedsada said they were uncertain what type of infections
the boys could face "because we have never experienced this kind of issue
from a deep cave."
John Tangkitcharoenthawon, a local
village chairman, was bursting with happiness over the successful rescue.
"If this place had a roof, the morale
has gone straight through it," he said.
President Donald Trump joined those
paying tribute to the rescuers.
"On behalf of the United States,
congratulations to the Thai Navy SEALs and all on the successful rescue of
the 12 boys and their coach from the treacherous cave in Thailand," he
tweeted. "Such a beautiful moment — all freed, great job!"
One of soccer's most popular teams,
Manchester United, expressed its relief over the rescue and invited the boys
and their coach, as well as those who saved them, to come see the team play
on their home ground this season.
A message posted on the English Premier
League club's Twitter account said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with those
affected. We would love to welcome the team from Wild Boars Football Club
and their rescuers to Old Trafford this coming season."
The international soccer federation,
FIFA, had already invited the boys to attend the World Cup final in Russia
this Sunday. However, doctors treating the boys said it was too soon for
them to make the trip.
Police investigations into boat sinkings are advancing
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha consoles a relative of a victim of last
week's boat accident, Monday, July 9, on Phuket island. (AP Photo)
Bangkok (AP) — Investigations
into the sinking of two boats off Phuket last week are progressing, police
said Tuesday. The sinking of one boat left 45 Chinese tourists dead and two
The double-decker tour boat Phoenix
capsized and sank late Thursday afternoon after it was hit by 5-meter waves
in one of Thailand's worst tourism-related disasters in recent years.
Everyone from the smaller second boat,
the Serenata, was rescued.
Officials say both boats went to sea
despite warnings about the rough weather, and they have been pursuing legal
action against those involved.
Police said the captain of the Phoenix
had been charged with negligence causing death and the manager of the
company operating the Serenata may be charged with negligence causing
physical and mental damage to others. They said 50 people had been
questioned in connection with the cases.
Officials said salvage operations could
not be conducted Tuesday because of bad weather.
While the official death toll is 44,
the actual toll is 45 because the body of one of three people listed as
missing is trapped under the sunken Phoenix. The search and recovery
operation will continue until all are accounted for, said officials.
Dr. Chirapan Taypan of the Phuket
Provincial Public Health office said Tuesday morning that 37 of the 44
recovered bodies had been identified.
China's tourism ministry has warned
people to be careful during water-based activities abroad. The notice
carried in Chinese media Monday said travelers should closely monitor
weather and sea conditions and obey all warnings. Without mentioning
Thailand, the notice said some cruise companies exercised lax management and
maintained inadequate safety measures.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha
expressed his "profound sadness" in a letter to Chinese President Xi
Jinping. In the letter released by the foreign ministry Monday, Prayuth said
a full investigation is underway to find the cause of the tragedy and
assured Xi that his government is determined to ensure such incidents would
31 companies express interest in EEC airport rail link
Bangkok - A number of Thai and
foreign companies have expressed interest in the contract to build a
high-speed railway connecting Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi, and U Tapao
The sale of bidding documents for the
contract to connect the three airports concluded July 9 after a three-week
open period. The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) reported that 31 entities
purchased the bidding documents. The Thai companies include BTS Group,
Charoen Pokphand Group, Italian-Thai Development, Sino-Thai Engineering &
Construction, and CH Karnchang. Foreign firms include those from Japan,
China, Italy, France, and Malaysia.
On July 23, the SRT is scheduled to
meet with the bidders to discuss the details of the contract. The bidders
will also be taken to inspect the railway construction sites. From July 10
to October 9, they will have the opportunity to voice any opinions or
suggestions and pose questions regarding the bidding documents as well as
study the details of the contract.
Regarding other developments in the
Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), the Ministry of Labor has instructed the
Office of the Public Sector Development Commission to draft a plan for
skilled labor development in line with the needs of the EEC. The plan must
prepare the region’s workforce for the digital transition of target
industries. Previous surveys of the three EEC provinces, Chonburi, Rayong,
and Chachoengsao, have concluded that the region needs another 29,000
TAT: Tham Luang cave may be next tourist attraction
Bangkok - The Tourism
Authority of Thailand (TAT) plans to promote Tham Luang cave in Chiang
Rai province as a key attraction, now that all the 12 boys and their
football coach have been brought out of the cave to safety.
The Tourism and Sports Minister,
Weerasak Kowsurat, said the TAT will work with the private sector and
local authorities to promote the cave and other attractive venues
nearby, as the tourism sector anticipates that the area will attract
many more tourists in the future.
He said the rescue operation of the
13 survivors has become of interest for both local and foreign
He went on to say that people may
want more travel and activity information before visiting the site, and
the TAT is ready to work out a route to the cave and other destinations
in Chiang Rai.