Possible extension of royal crematorium exhibition to be discussed on Wednesday
Deputy Prime Minister Gen
Tanasak Patimapragorn talks to the media.
Bangkok - Related agencies
will decide on November 15 whether to extend the period allowing members
of the public to visit the royal crematorium at Sanam Luang.
Deputy Prime Minister Gen Tanasak
Patimapragorn says responsible committees will meet this Wednesday to
evaluate the overall situation at Sanam Luang where an exhibition on the
royal cremation ceremony is taking place. He said the meeting will
discuss whether there is a need to extend the duration of the
exhibition. For now, the final day is November 30.
Gen Tanasak added that an extension
would have to be endorsed by His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn
Thais and foreigners have been
visiting Sanam Luang on a daily basis. Open every day from 7am to 10 pm,
the exhibition can accommodate 6,000 people at a time. Each group has
around 45-60 minutes inside the ceremonial grounds.
The Deputy Prime Minister thanked
security officers and volunteers for ensuring the safety of all
MOPH appoints officials to enforce new tobacco law
Bangkok - The Ministry of Public
Health (MOPH) has appointed officials to enforce the new Tobacco Product
Control Act and prepared a long-term measure to prevent new smokers.
Public Health Minister Piyasakol
Sakolsattayathorn chaired the National Tobacco Control Board’s meeting last
week which approved the draft regulations under the Tobacco Products Control
Act 2017 and officials will be appointed to enforce the new law.
MOPH Permanent Secretary Jessada
Chokdamrongsuk said that the officials’ cards under the Tobacco Products
Control Act 2017 are of great important to them while working to enforce the
The MOPH will discuss with the Ministry
of Education ways and means to raise the awareness among Thai children of
the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes to discourage new smokers.
PM Prayut asks for public confidence in government
Bangkok - The Prime Minister has
asked the public to have more faith in the government and all it is doing
for the country.
The spokesman of the Prime Minister’s
Office, Lt. Gen. Sunsern Kaewkumnerd, said that the government has been
informed of a continued improvement in the economic situation, revealed in
research by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce showing the Thai
consumer confidence index has risen for the sixth consecutive month in
October to 65.1.
The UTCC report also shows that the
future Thai consumer confidence index, which gauges sentiment over the next
three months, also rose to 80.8 in October, he said.
Lt. Gen. Sunsern stated that improving
indices have indicated that recovery is underway in consumer spending, job
opportunities, tourism spending and investment, partly due to ongoing export
growth, the government’s public welfare card project, and falling retail
He added that Prime Minister Gen.
Prayut Chan-o-cha has passed along his message to the people of Thailand, in
which he promised that the government will do everything possible to improve
the economy of Thailand and to tackle economic problems of Thais in general.
According to the PM’s message, the
local economy has been improving constantly, from a growth rate of 0.8% in
2014 to 3.2% in 2016 and 3.7% in the second quarter of 2017 while the
government hopes this year’s growth rate will end at 3.8%.
Gen. Prayut has also confirmed that the
government’s economic policies won't change despite the Cabinet reshuffle,
while asking the public to have confidence in the current administration,
said Lt. Gen. Sunsern.
Tourism & Sports Minister visits vehicle museum in Nakhon Pathom
Nakhon Pathom - Tourism and
Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul visited Jesada Technik Museum on
Sunday as part of a trip to observe tourism attractions in Nakhon Pathom
Located in Nakhon Chai Si district, the
museum belonging to Jesada Dejsakulrit, boasts a vast array of vintage
vehicles from around the world. Jesada developed a passion for cars during
his childhood and decided to open the museum in 2006 to allow the public to
view his wheeled antiques free of charge and to draw tourists to Nakhon
Pathom province. He plans to enlarge the museum to keep pace with the
growing number of visitors.
Mrs. Kobkarn reiterated the Ministry of
Tourism and Sports’ policy towards sustainable tourism and acknowledged the
growing popularity of Nakhon Pathom. She said more than four million
tourists visited the region last year thanks to the province’ numerous
intriguing tourist spots.
She suggested that the Jesada Technik
Museum adjust to the Thailand 4.0 era by making an application to enable the
general public to easily learn more about the museum.
Update November 11 - 12, 2017
PM to attend APEC meeting this weekend
Bangkok - The Prime Minister is
attending an APEC meeting in Vietnam this weekend, where he will affirm
Thailand’s vision for a Green Economy and Sustainable Innovation in
accordance with APEC agreements.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
(APEC) summit, being held today and tomorrow in Danang, is set to focus on
four shared development aspirations; namely; inclusiveness, creativity and
sustainable economic support, competitive enhancement and innovations for
small and medium sized enterprises, food stability and readiness for climate
The PM intends to outline Thailand’s
vision on the issues, especially concerning the Free Trade Area of the
Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), which he will highlight as an avenue towards a Green
The gathering will also see four
agreements signed by APEC leaders to create new economic, financial, social
and human resource opportunities.
Gen Prayut will also take the
opportunity to meet with the economic leaders of countries such as
Australia, and Papua New Guinea, the latter being a country that has adopted
His Majesty the late King’s Sufficiency Economy Philosophy. He will discuss
cooperation with the nations' representatives and exchanges of experience in
Flooding situation normalizes in the North
Bangkok - As flooding in the
northern part of Thailand begins to abate, meteorologists are forecasting
scattered rain showers and forest runoff in the South.
Governor of Uthai Thani province,
Manrat Ratanasukhon, has visited flood-hit residents in his district to
offer moral support. The Chao Phraya River overflowed into six villages,
damaging over three million hectares of farmland. The governor led public
officials in distributing 583 survival bags and medicines to flood victims.
Floodwaters are currently receding from
Had Thanong subdistrict, with only pockets of low-lying areas still
inundated. Authorities rushed to deploy water pumps to drain the area, so
that commercial activities may resume.
The Department of Disaster Prevention
and Mitigation reported that 12 provinces were hit by flooding, including
Phichit, Nakhon Sawan, Singburi, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani,
Suphanburi, Nong Bua Lamphu, Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Kalasin, Roi Et and
Prachuap Khiri Khan. The department has coordinated disaster relief efforts
with local officials and meteorologists, especially in the South, where rain
The Meteorological Department reported
that the South will see continuous rainfall as well as heavy rain in some
areas. It advised southern residents to beware of flash flooding and waves
of up to two meters in the Gulf of Thailand.
Welfare payments to families with newborns now expanded
Bangkok - Families with newborn babies will now
be able to receive financial support from the government via the social
security welfare program.
The welfare program for families with newborns was
introduced in 2015 by the Ministry of Social Security and Human Development
to help parents outside the social security system who had a combined
monthly income of 3,000 baht or less. More than 154,000 people registered
with the program, which disbursed a 400-baht monthly stipend to each family
until October 2016.
The Cabinet has now approved a two-year extension and
has increased the monthly stipend to 600 baht. More than 376,600 people
registered for the second round of the program, exceeding the government’s
target of 200,000.
To promote social equality, the Cabinet decided last
week to expand the welfare program to all those accessing social security.
All Thai families with newborn babies now have an entitlement to the help
they need for sustainable early development of their children.
Public Health Min: Alcohol doesn't keep body warm
Bangkok - Thailand's Ministry of Public Health
has warned the public that drinking alcohol to keep warm could be
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health,
Dr. Jetsada Chokedamrongsuk, has asked people in northern parts of the
country to exercise regularly and consume food rich in vitamin C to stay fit
and healthy during the cold season.
The elderly and young children must stay warm because
they are more vulnerable to respiratory diseases.
He also told people not to drink alcohol as a means to
keep themselves warm, because alcohol causes heat to exit the body,
resulting in a sudden drop in body temperature. A worst case scenario could
be cardiac arrest.
Thai Viet Jet becomes 12th airline to regain license certification
Bangkok – Thailand's Ministry of
Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has approved an operational
license for Thai Viet Jet, making it the twelfth airline to receive approval
since the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) removed the red
flag it placed on Thailand.
Minister of Transport, Akom
Termpittayapaisit, presided over the handing over of the license to Thai
Viet Jet accompanied by CAA Director Chula Sukmanop and Thai Viet Jet CEO
Nguyen Thi Thuy Binh accepting the approval.
Chula pointed out that 8 more airlines
are waiting for approval and they will likely receive it by January 8, 2018.
The Thai Viet Jet CEO said the airline
will first launch a route from Bangkok to Da Lat, Vietnam as it is a popular
tourist destination. The flights will commence on December 18, operate 4
times a week and start at 99 Baht per flight.
Chiang Rai prepares to retake defunct mine
Chiang Rai - Thailand's Department of National Parks,
Wildlife and Plant Conservation and relevant agencies have banded together
to seize a defunct scheelite mine in Chiang Rai province.
Director of Protected Area Regional Office 15,
Kamolchai Kotcha, army officers and administrative officials have jointly
inspected four plots of land covering 151.68 hectares in Wiang Pa Pao
district where the mine is located.
The operation also discovered that another 4.48
hectares of land had been used to keep vehicles and machinery. The task
force seized the land plots, 63 vehicles and equipment and 18 on-site
buildings and has prepared a report detailing the list of impounded items.
In 1973, more than 300 people were killed by a
landslide at the site while searching for the ore. The Thai-Swedish Mining
Company Limited, which later won the concession, undertook the mining and
the evacuation of the remaining villagers. The concession expired in 2008.
Authorities are requesting Wiang Pa Pao Police Station
to press charges against the company for occupying forest areas without
permission, disobeying legal orders and causing environmental damage.
Sansalee Subdistrict Administrative Organization plans to turn the mine into
a historical site.
Prachuap Khiri Khan hard hit as rains continue over south
Prachuap Khiri Khan - Continued
heavy rains have caused flooding in several areas of the southern region
with Prachuap Khiri Khan the hardest hit so far.
A strong low pressure system moving
over the area of Prachuap Khiri Khan province has dumped rain on its Tap
Sakae and Bang Saphan districts and resulted in sporadic flooding. The
command center addressing the flood has ordered full assistance for those
affected and volunteers have begun facilitating traffic flow on roads
connecting the province to the rest of the south. Residents have been told
to move their belongings to higher ground to protect against damage as flood
waters are forecast to rise and spread.
The Royal Irrigation Office 14 is using
water thrusters in Bang Saphan to speed up drainage and Bang Saphan Hospital
has had to move seven of its patients for safety.
Meanwhile, in the Hat Yai district of
Songkhla province, a new Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office has been
opened, fully equipped to deal with flooding. The center is passing out
drinking water to flood victims and is also managing the use of equipment to
push water out of problem areas towards the sea.
Elephant fest underway in Surin
Surin - The northeastern province of Surin has
declared open the 57th Elephant Festival in Sikhoraphum district.
Governor Adthaporn Singhawichai presided over the
opening ceremony at Sri Narong Stadium on Thursday. The world’s first twin
male elephants, Thong Kham and Thong Thaeng were at the venue to greet
Event-goers will be able to shop for selected products
of different provinces and enjoy a fruit parade, the annual elephant banquet
and shows featuring hundreds of smart and adorable jumbos.
The elephant banquet will take place on 17th November
at Phraya Surin Phakdi Si Narong Chang Wang Monument. The shows will be held
at Sikhoraphum temple and Elephant Round-Up Field from 17th to 19th
The popular festival continues until 19th November.
Military to assist southern residents during storms
Surat Thani - The 2nd Naval Area Command has set
up a disaster relief center in the south to help local residents affected by
The 2nd Naval Area Command is ready to provide
assistance to residents of southern provinces through its relief center
which will work closely with provincial authorities, the public and private
The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation
has sought cooperation from 14 southern provinces to cope with heavy rains
and possible flash floods at this time.
Rescue units will be set up in each province in
response to emergency situations. Local residents are urged to call 1784 for
Fishermen in Songkhla have been asked to remain ashore
until next week.
According to meteorologists, the low air pressure which
is currently moving across Chumphon province is causing heavy rains and
gusty winds in the southern region.
9 Africans arrested in Bangkok for overstaying their visas
Bangkok - Nine African citizens
were found to have stayed on in Thailand illegally after tourist police
launched an operation to arrest foreign criminals in Bangkok.
Acting Deputy Tourist Police Bureau Pol
Maj Gen Surachet Hakphan said Wednesday that tourist police and immigration
officials searched 33 places where they found nine Africans, three of whom
had overstayed their visas while the rest had entered Thailand illegally.
The arrested individuals were from
Guinea, Gambia, Tanzania, Somalia, Cameroon and Nigeria. They have already
been sent to the Immigration Bureau for further investigation.
Pol Maj Gen Surachet said anyone
allowing foreign nationals living in Thailand illegally to stay in their
homes will receive a maximum fine of 2,000 baht under the Immigration Act.
If found hiding in a hotel, the hotel manager will receive a maximum fine of
Former National Parks director charged with encroachment
Tak - The Natural Parks and Wildlife Protection
Unit has confirmed it will be taking legal action against a former director
of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation for
encroaching on land in Tak province.
The Department has indicated it is in the process of
reclaiming land encroached upon by its own former director, Samak Donnapee
on Mee Skok Mountain in Tak province. The official illegally built a holiday
home on the land.
Chaiwat Limlikitaksorn, the head of a Natural Parks and
Wildlife Protection Unit, explained that investigations have confirmed the
home belongs to Samak despite being transferred into the ownership of a
Saowanee Piyavee. Charges have been filed based on violation of Articles 54
and 72 of the Forest Act, and authorities are looking into further
encroachment beyond the building.
It is expected to take a month for all charges to be
filed against Samak, who has been called in to meet with the authorities.
Two new plans to protect against human trafficking to be proposed
Secretary for Labor, Jarin Jakkapak.
Bangkok - The Ministry of Labor
has prepared two plans to strengthen protection against human trafficking
with a focus on protecting employees and matching international practices.
Permanent Secretary for Labor, Jarin
Jakkapak said the committee formed for remedying human trafficking and
illegal labor has given its stamp of approval to the two plans. The two are
a legal reform and prosecution plan that includes protection and reparations
for human trafficking victims, and one derived from conferences with the
European Union’s labor body. Both are to be put to the National Reform
Steering Assembly on November 13.
The permanent secretary also indicated
that a program to scan and document the retinas of some 90,000 foreign
laborers operating in 22 coastal provinces has so far succeeded in
processing 28,347 individuals and is likely to be completed on schedule by
March 21, 2018.
SIM card users required to register with fingerprints, face from 15 Dec
Bangkok - SIM card users in
Thailand will be required to register with a new digital identity platform
from 15th December this year in the government’s effort to increase mobile
Secretary-General of the National
Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission, Thakorn Tanthasit, said this
week that the NBTC has asked all mobile phone operators to collect the
information of phone users on the new digital identity platform for both
post-paid and pre-paid users effective from 15th December nationwide. Some
55,000 locations have been prepared for the registration process.
SIM card buyers are required to show
their citizen ID card at a service point. The system will verify their
fingerprints and facial features so that they can buy a SIM card. If the two
biometrics match, they can then use the SIM card. This is a government
measure to prevent SIM card registration fraud.
The NBTC secretary-general assured SIM
card users that their personal information will be stored confidentially.
There are over four million new mobile
phone numbers in use through Thailand's various operators each month. People
already using SIM cards will be able to register with the new system for
their own safety.
Citizens across nation coping with cooling temperatures
Bueng Kan – Residents in several
provinces of Thailand have taken to lighting camp fires and purchasing
winter clothing as temperatures have dropped significantly.
People in Bueng Kan province in
Thailand’s far north-east have been seen buying up second hand cold weather
clothing in response to a drop in temperature, with most choosing Rong Kluea
Market where vendors are recommending that they clean the clothing
thoroughly before use.
Similarly, in Nong Khai province,
locals have chosen to shop along the Thai-Lao border, where Laotian people
have also been picking up clothing to stave off the cold. Many in the area
say they fear prices will soon rise and that they are looking to stock up
while prices remain normal.
In Ang Thong, the rapidly falling
temperature and continued rains have forced many locals to light camp fires,
especially to keep cattle warm after they were evacuated from flooded barns.
The cows are under threat of foot and mouth disease, which spreads easily
during the cool season.
Buriram province has also seen an
increase in the number of camp fires. The local public health office is
reminding people that alcohol consumption does not help in coping with cold
temperatures and can be harmful, especially for the elderly who could
experience rapid health deterioration. It has recommended that residents
keep warm by exercising and consuming nutritious foods instead.
The Northeast Meteorological Center
says a low pressure cell moving across the upper northeast is dissipating
and will allow temperatures to increase 1-2 degrees Celsius over the coming
days, but the temperatures will fall again after November 19 to between 12
and 18 degrees. Citizens are being urged to take care of their health.
Yala residents warned of possible dengue fever outbreak
Yala - Yala Provincial Public
Health Office has warned local people of the risk of contracting dengue
fever amid recent rainfall.
Dr. Songkran Maichum said the rain may
have contributed to creating more breeding grounds for Aedes mosquitoes. He
said people will become infected if they do not take precautions.
He has advised residents in the
province to make sure that their homes are dry and that no water containers
are left open. Mosquito nets are highly recommended for homes to protect
against the insects at night.
Aedes mosquitos can transmit the
viruses that cause dengue, chikungunya and zika fevers. Anyone experiencing
muscle pains and a high fever should seek medical attention immediately. At
least 242 people in Yala have come down with dengue fever since the
beginning of this year. Three patients have died from the disease.
Mae Hong Son celebrates Bua Tong Blossom Festival this November
Mae Hong Son - One of Thailand’s
most amazing natural sights, the Dok Bua Tong – or wild sunflower –
in bloom, has returned to the hills and valleys of Mae Hong Son in Northern
Thailand. This annual event is celebrated in a lovely Bua Tong Blossom
Festival, which this year takes place from 1 November to 10 December.
The Bua Tong flowers are yellow
to orange in colour and have smaller size than the typical sunflower.
Originating in Central America and the Caribbean, Dok Bua Tong is
said to have been brought into Thailand by Christian missionaries and was
previously called Bung Tong or Mexican Sunflower.
The Bua Tong flower only blooms
from November to December. During this period, the hills and valleys of Mae
Hong Son turn to bright gold when these wild sunflowers come into full
The Doi Mae U-Kor mountain peak
in Khun Yuam district is considered the largest and the most beautiful
location to enjoy the spectacular bright yellow Bua Tong hills and valleys.
During the festival, there is also a
local fair selling arts and crafts as well as farm fresh products along the
route of the Bua Tong fields.
PM orders urgent survey of damage to help flood-stricken people
Bangkok - Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha has instructed all provinces to ensure that flood-affected people
receive assistance from the government and also provide aid after the floods
Government Spokesman Lt.Gen.Sansern
Kaewkamnerd said the PM has acknowledged the latest water situation report
which said that the Royal Irrigation Department lowered a water discharge
rate of Chao Phraya Dam. As a result, the water levels in Chai Nat, Sing
Buri, Ang Thong and Ayutthaya provinces started to decrease. The department
installed water jets at the Tha Chin and Chao Phraya estuaries and pumped
water out of the fields into irrigation areas, he said.
The spokesman stated further that the
PM expressed his concerns for people affected by the current widespread
flooding. He instructed the Ministry of Interior to ask each of the affected
provinces to thoroughly survey the damage and reassure people that the
government will not abandon them.
Don Muang Airport ramp closed to traffic
Bangkok - The Department of Highways has begun
its closure of an outbound traffic lane on Vipavadee Road in the area of Don
Muang Airport’s entry bridge, to facilitate its expansion to three lanes in
anticipation of increased traffic in the near future.
The closure officially begin at 10 p.m. Monday, after
which commuters will be required to divert left into another two lanes or go
right, where only one lane will be available. More police have been sent to
the area and have been stationed at intervals to facilitate the flow of
traffic. The Department of Highways, Traffic Police, Don Muang Airport and
local police will all work together to make sure the closure does not cause
An alternate entry way to Don Muang Airport has been
established at its cargo building and from Don Muang Tollway. Citizens can
also drive past the closed ramp and make a U-turn at Don Muang Air Force
Base to enter the airport through its Gate 3.
People headed to the area can call 1586 or 02-552-0409
for more information and guidance.
10,000 people flock to skywalk in Nong Khai
Nong Khai – Crowds of sightseers
flocked to the famous sky walk at Pha Tak Sua Temple in Nong Khai province
over the weekend.
More than 10,000 Thais and foreigners
visited the temple to enjoy the spectacular views of surrounding mountains
and forests of Thailand and Laos as the weather starts to become milder.
Only groups of 25 people are allowed on
the sky walk at any one time. The walkway officials accept visitors from
9:30am - 4:30pm. At least 800,000 people have visited the feature since it
opened in April last year.
Meanwhile, in Chiang Rai province,
Governor Narongsak Osotthanakon urged people to donate their winter clothing
to help people in need. Jackets can be donated at Inn Come Hotel.
A cycling activity has also been
launched in Chiang Rai to help local residents stay warm. People interested
in joining the bike ride must donate winter jackets to the hotel, where they
will be delivered to children living in impoverished communities.
Welfare card scheme brings estimated 2 billion baht into circulation
Bangkok - The Ministry of
Commerce estimates that the government welfare card scheme has brought an
extra 2 billion baht into circulation over the past two months but has
ordered the ejection of several participating shops due to violation of
Deputy Minister for Commerce, Sonthirat
Sonthijirawong has responded to reports of Pracharat stores packaging goods
in packs of 200-300 baht for welfare card holders and not clearly displaying
prices, by saying that agents have been dispatched to remind them of the
conditions of their participation in the welfare scheme and that such
practices undermine the project’s intention to allow low-income earners to
freely choose their purchases. He asserted that some violators of the
scheme’s conditions have had their participation revoked but noted that
there have only been a handful of instances.
The deputy minister indicated that he
expects the amount of money added to circulation will exceed 5 billion baht
as soon as another 18,000 Electronic Data Capture (EDC) machines are
Visitors flock to royal crematorium in Bangkok
Bangkok - Throngs of Thais and foreigners are
making their way to Sanam Luang to take pictures of the royal crematorium of
HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
People from all walks of life are visiting the
ceremonial grounds that now host an exhibition of the late King's many
projects undertaken to benefit the Thai nation.
Around 3,000 people at a time are allowed inside Sanam
Luang and each batch has approximately 45 minutes viewing time. Visitors can
take pictures of the crematorium, statues, and other components of the
recent cremation ceremony. Selfies however are prohibited.
All visitors have been asked to conduct themselves in
the most respectful manner and to follow instructions at all times during
The crematorium is open from 7 am to 10 pm every day
until November 30. The government is currently mulling the possibility of
extending the visiting periods in order to allow as many people as possible
a chance to learn about HM the late King’s numerous royal projects and
initiatives, Thailand’s traditions and culture and also appreciate the
historical value of the structure.
Govt has no plans to allow political movements
Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Gen
Bangkok - The government says it has no plans to
lift the present ban on political movements.
Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Gen Prawit
Wongsuwan said the government and the National Council for Peace and Order
(NCPO) haven’t yet discussed the possibility of revoking the NCPO’s order
that outlaws political gatherings and movements in Thailand, adding that
there will be enough time for political parties to prepare for the next
general election which can be expected in late 2018.
He noted that there remain ill-intentioned people who
are trying to distort facts by criticizing the government and the NCPO based
on false information.
He then reiterated that the ban on political movements
will be lifted once the atmosphere is more calm and peaceful.
Heavy rain continues to hit South
Songkhla - The Southern
Meteorological Center (East Coast) has issued a new warning for people in
the east coast of the southern region to brace for heavy rain and high waves
in the Gulf of Thailand due to a low pressure area and a strong northeast
monsoon wind, which have covered the area.
The weather conditions are expected to
bring about heavy rains in Nakhon Si Thammrat, Phatthalung, Songkhla,
Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani and
Nakhon Si Thammarat on November 6 to 8.
Persons in affected areas are advised
to be cautious regarding the potential harm from heavy rain and flash
floods. Rough sea is also expected in the Gulf of Thailand with the wave
height at two to three meters.
Residents along the shoreline are
advised to be mindful of potential danger from strong waves, while small
boats should stay ashore.
People are also encouraged to closely
follow official information from the Southern Meteorological Center (East
Coast) during this period.
Meanwhile, temperatures in the
northeastern region have dropped to an average 20 degrees Celsius. The cold
front was brought to the area by a high air pressure system. Bueng Kan
province is said to be the area feeling the biggest impact. Local people are
sometimes seen gathering at various places for group exercise to keep warm.
1.5 million Thais suffering from depression
Bangkok - The Department of Mental Health has
disclosed that up to 1.5 million people in Thailand are suffering from the
major depressive disorder (MDD).
Director-General of the Department of Mental Health Dr.
Boonruang Triruangworawat chaired the opening of the “National Mental Health
Week” event which is taking place at Central Plaza Chaengwattana until
November 7. Held on the theme “Depressed?… Let’s Talk,” the event aims to
raise public awareness of depressive disorders, signs of depression, and
According to the director-general, 1.5 million people
in the country are suffering from such mental illness, but only half of them
seek help. He cited a lack of awareness and knowledge as one of the main
reasons depressed persons are not getting treatment.
He added that depression is a serious but treatable
illness. Depending on the severity of symptoms, patients may receive
treatment with an antidepressant medication or in communicative therapy with
Those concerned about depression and mental illnesses
are advised to call Hotline 1323.
Update November 4 - 5, 2017
PM, Deputy PM chair Royal Kathin ceremonies
Bangkok - The Prime Minister and
his deputy presided Friday over separate merit-making ceremonies to offer
royal Kathin robes to two royal monasteries in Bangkok.
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha
traveled to Wat Nuan Noradit Worawihan in Phasi Charoen district to chair
the annual Royal Kathin ceremony organized by the Office of the Prime
Minister. The ceremony was attended by Cabinet members, the Governor of
Bangkok, civil servants of the Prime Minister’s Office, administrators,
teachers and students from Wat Nuan Noradit School, and members of the
general public. Donations made by charitable people totaled over 5 million
On this occasion, the Prime Minister
planted a yellow star tree, the symbolic tree of the Tenth Reign, and an
ironwood tree, which is the symbol of Wat Nuan Noradit Worawihan.
Meanwhile, at Wat Awut Wikasitaram in
Bang Phlat district, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen Prawit
Wongsuwon hosted the Defense Ministry’s Royal Kathin ceremony of the year
Wat Awut Wikasitaram is an ancient
temple, established about 247 years ago under the name Wat Pak Khlong Bang
Phlat. It was later classified as a third-class royal monastery. In 1989,
the Royal Thai Army received permission to set up a crematorium in the
temple to serve deceased officials of the military as well as public
Teen pregnancies on the rise
Bangkok - The 1663 Hotline has
disclosed that teen pregnancies are now on the rise, while also urging the
Ministry of Education to change its approach to dealing with the issue.
According to the 1663 Hotline
operation, out of 10,870 people calling the center regarding unwanted
pregnancies so far this year, 17.4% of them were females under 20 years of
A hotline analyst, Thitiporn
Dontreepong, said the number is likely to increase further due to the lack
of safe-sex education and access to proper protection.
The 1663 Hotline Chief Somwong
Uraiwattana said Friday that schools are sometimes a problem. Some places
have failed to keep the pregnancy under wraps while some simply expelled the
He wanted the Ministry of Education to
develop a specific course of action to deal with teen pregnancies more
effectively. Somwong added that it should be mandated that pregnant students
can’t be expelled from school and that assistance be given to help them cope
with the situation.
Suggestions and opinions on the matter
will be collected and compiled into a report for the Ministry of Education
Mobike debuts at Kasetsart Univ
Bangkok - Mobike, a station-less
bike sharing system from China has made its debut in Thailand at Kasetsart
The inauguration, called Mobike First
Ride in KU, is a collaborative project between Advanced Info Service (AIS)
and Kasetsart University in Bangkok. The Mobike system allows users to rent
bicycles through the Mobike application. Each bike is equipped with GPS to
prevent theft and to enable users to access the nearest available one.
Acting Kasetsart University president,
Chongrak Wachrinrat said the introduction of Mobike bicycles to the campus
was to raise awareness of the need to conserve energy and lessen traffic
congestion and urge the public to improve their wellbeing.
The first batch of 360 Mobike bicycles
are now in service. During a three-month trial period, users are required to
pay a deposit of 99 baht. After that, they will be charged 10 baht for a 30
minute ride. Service fees are payable via the Mobike application’s QR code.
NLA approves anti-corruption bill
Bangkok - The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has
approved in principle the draft organic law on corruption prevention and
In a meeting with members of the NLA, Chairman of the
Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC) Meechai Ruchupan explained that the
bill aims to enhance the credibility and efficiency of the National
Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
The draft law allows the NACC and its regional bodies
to investigate graft allegations independently. The investigation process
should take no more than two years, but may be extended on a case-by-case
The NACC’s provincial bodies will also be in charge of
public relations campaigns for graft prevention and suppression. The CDC
also proposed allowing the Auditor General to examine the NACC’s activities.
The NLA voted unanimously to approve the draft law in principle.
HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn opens royal crematorium exhibition
Bangkok - Her Royal Highness
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn officially opened the exhibition of the
Royal Crematorium Thursday, the ornate site used in the Royal Funeral of His
Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The exhibition encompasses all
structures surrounding the Royal Crematorium, which were purposely decorated
and designed to accord with the glory of His Majesty the late King. It also
hosts a replica crematorium that can be appreciated by the blind via audio
CDs and volunteers will aid the hearing-impaired alongside volunteer sign
Groups of 5,500 people at a time will
be able to enter the complex during the exhibition, which opens at 7:22AM
each day from now until November 30. The groups will be given 45 minutes to
an hour to view the exhibition and can enter the grounds through five
checkpoints. Three million pamphlets have been printed for distribution to
Performances will continue twice a day
in the northern area of Sanam Luang throughout the display period, they will
include traditional plays as well as the story of Mahajanaka, which was
favored by His Majesty. Musical performances will also continue from 8a.m.
to 5p.m. daily at the government officials’ pavilion.
The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority has
arranged free shuttle buses to the event from Victory Monument, Hua Lumphong
Train Station, the outer ringroad of Rattanakosin Island, Ekkamai Bus
Terminal, the New Southern Bus Terminal and Mo Chit Bus Terminal. The Royal
Thai Navy is also operating ferry boats from Nivesworadit and the Royal Thai
Navy Institute piers.
Oct inflation at 0.86% due to high demand for vegetables
Bangkok - The recent price hike in vegetables
during the Vegan Festival, as well as rising oil prices, contributed to
higher inflation in October of 0.86 percent. The figure falls within the
expected range of 0.4 - 1.0 percent.
Among the 420 products surveyed, 137 items were marked
up, including fruits and vegetables, milk, food, and residential rental
rates. The price of 200 items remained stable, while 85 items fell,
including pork, chicken, and chicken eggs, due to less demand during school
holidays. The inflation rate during the first 10 months of the year expanded
The Ministry of Commerce expects inflation to rise to 1
percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 but still fall within the expected
percentage range for the entire year. Meanwhile, economic expansion is
forecast at between 3 and 4 percent while the Thai baht is valued at around
34 baht per US dollar.
Min of Tourism to focus on unique Thai identity in 2018 campaign
Bangkok - The Ministry of
Tourism and Sports will focus on promoting the Thai identity in its 2018
tourism campaign and has launched the "Amazing Thailand Tourism 2018
Take-Off" campaign through VietJet Air's fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft.
Tourism and Sports Minister, Kobkarn
Wattanavrangkul disclosed that from now until the end of 2018, the ministry
will focus on enhancing Thailand's existing attractions, given that up to 70
percent of tourists to the country are recurring visitors. It will also
focus on income distribution to minor cities and communities by promoting
the uniqueness of local attractions.
Meanwhile, VietJet Air is preparing to
accommodate tourists during the high season by launching two new flights in
December from Ho Chi Minh City to Phuket and Ho Chi Minh City to Chiang Mai.
AirAsia looks to boost Phuket tourism with new Khon Kaen connection
Phuket - AirAsia held a press conference
Thursday to announce its latest regional connection, Phuket-Khon Kaen. The
event was overseen by Phuket Airport Director, Petch Chancharoen and AirAsia
Manager for Phuket Airport, Arun Lilapantisiti, who explained that Phuket is
one of AirAsia’s main flight hubs and has seen robust growth across the
first three quarters of this year with all routes maintaining a load factor
average of 86 percent. The airline previously increased to 18 flights daily
its Bangkok-Phuket connection, adding an early morning flight to the
To make the most of the tourism season AirAsia is
launching two new routes, the first is Phuket-Macau, which will begin
flights on January 8, 2018 and Phuket-Khon Kaen, which the airline expects
will benefit northeasterners looking to travel from the resort hub back home
for the holidays.
The Phuket-Khon Kaen connection will operate four times
weekly and is already available for bookings.
Lilapantisiti said AirAsia’s plan for Phuket Airport
will continue to focus on offering self-service systems with additional
check-in kiosks and baggage loading machines to be installed in both its
domestic and international terminals.
People pay homage to late King's ashes at Wat Bowonniwet Vihara temple
Bangkok - Members of the public
have been traveling to Wat Bowonniwet Vihara temple in Bangkok to pay homage
to the ashes of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, enshrined
inside a Buddha statue in the temple's ordination hall.
Deputy abbot Phra Soponkanaporn
revealed many people have been arriving at the temple since the ashes of the
late King were enshrined last weekend during a ceremony performed by His
Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.
The late King's ashes were put inside
the principle Buddha statue located in the temple's main ordination hall.
Wat Bowonniwet Vihara temple will open
its doors to the general public throughout November. Visitors can attend
from 7.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m., except at times when religious ceremonies are
Each visitor will be given a copy of a
portrait of the late Supreme Patriarch drawn by the late King as a token of
PM encourages appropriateness as nation prepares for Loy Krathong
Bangkok - Prime Minister Gen
Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked that Loy Krathong this year, which is taking
place on November 3, be observed with appropriate behavior and care, urging
citizens to make make sure no damage or danger takes place and for all
participants to uphold the traditions of the celebration. He reminded the
public that floating lanterns require permission before being sent aloft.
Provinces across the country are ready
for the holiday, such as in Chachoengsao, which has dispatched security
personnel to conduct a crime sweep and to watch over all centers of
merriment. They are on the lookout for weapons, drugs and wanted
individuals. The province is celebrating the holiday until November 10.
Deputy Commander of the Royal Thai
Police, Pol Gen Chalermkiat Sriworakan and Acting Commander of the
Metropolitan Police, Pol Lt Gen Chanthep Sesavej have set up a joint force
of police and soldiers as well as police canines to suppress any criminal
activities during the festival in Bangkok. They reiterated that fireworks
are not permitted and that any use will incur punishment.
DSI makes largest counterfeit goods bust ever
Bangkok - The Department of
Special Investigation (DSI) has seized over 40 million baht's worth of
smuggled or counterfeit goods in Bangkok’s Khlong Tom and Khlong San areas.
The haul included counterfeit glasses
falsely branded with names such as Ray Ban, Gucci and Oakley as well as
clothing and accessories branded Chanel, Hermes, Levis and Lacoste. The more
than 210,000 items have been valued in excess of 40 million baht and were
found in three storage warehouse facilities in Khlong Tom and Khlong San.
Chinese national Ling Ju Zhu was apprehended along with the products.
DSI Director Pol Col Paisit Wongmuang
and Director of the DSI’s Bureau of Intellectual Property Crime, Col Pinij
Tangsakul said Wednesday that the seizures were the largest yet and followed
an investigation into smuggled eye glasses and IP violations.
The apprehended suspect has been
charged with violation of the Brands Act and the Customs Act and his case is
to be forwarded to the Anti-Money Laundering Office. It has yet to be
clarified whether or not the suspect entered the country legally.
Bodyslam singer kicks off charity run for 11 hospitals
Yala - Rock star Artiwara
''Toon'' Kongmalai of the band Bodyslam started his much publicized charity
run yesterday from Betong district of Yala province to raise funds for 11
hospitals across Thailand,
A large number of well-wishers and
supporters were present as the Bodyslam vocalist set off on the first 51km
leg of his ultra-marathon jog up the length of the nation, his ultimate
destination being Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province in the North.
Kongmalai hopes to raise 700 million
baht from his 55-day run to provide funds for 11 hospitals in the country.
So far, he has already raised about 40 million baht.
For those wishing to support his
venture, donations can be made to the Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) account No.
111-393-5263 or by sending an SMS, 10 baht each, with an initial T to
4545099 via AIS, DTAC and True Move H.
Government signs off on smoke-free beaches
Bangkok (AP) - As Pattaya readies
to introduce its own beach smoking ban, government officials signed
an MOU this week with other public and private sector members to solve the
problem of cigarette butts littering many of the country’s coastlines.
The minister of Natural Resources and
Environment, Surasak Kanjanarat, together with representatives from the
Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, came to
witness the signing of the agreement on Tuesday in Bangkok.
Surasak said that waste has become one
of the biggest problems in Thailand and that every sector must pay attention
to solving this problem together, by being conscious of the environment at
Reducing the number of cigarette butts
along the coast is a pilot ‘zero waste’ project on the beaches. Cigarette
filters contain various toxins, nicotine and other dangerous substances,
which are harmful to marine life, people and the environment.
There are 24 beaches in 15 provinces
engaged in this project, including Bangsaen in Chonburi and Pa-Tong on
Phuket Island. The authorities will work to increase tourist awareness of
this new regulation, but the Minister expressed confidence that the measure
will not negatively affect tourism.
While smoking is not totally banned on
beaches, tourists must now only smoke in designated areas. Officials at the
meeting said these new regulations will come into effect on February 1,
2018, whereas previous information indicated the smoking ban would be
implemented from November 1 this year.
Passports of former PM Yingluck cancelled
Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Bangkok - Police officials have
confirmed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has cancelled all four of
former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s passports and that attempts to
locate her are continuing.
Deputy Commander of the Royal Thai
Police, Pol Gen Sriwara Rangsiphramnakul, said authorities are continuing to
track ex-premier Yingluck, who was found guilty by the Supreme Court of
dereliction of duty relating to her government’s damaging rice pledging
scheme. He confirmed that police are coordinating with Interpol and receive
a weekly report, but so far no new leads have been uncovered as to the
whereabouts of the former PM and no countries have responded to queries
regarding her presence. To date there have been no indications she has
requested asylum anywhere.
Pol Gen Sriwara, nonetheless, confirmed
that, after coordinating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all four
passports used by Yingluck have been cancelled. They include her civilian
passports as well as any diplomatic documents.
Fireworks, sky lanterns banned on Loy Krathong Day
Bangkok - The Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration (BMA) is to open 30 parks where the public can celebrate this
year's Loy Krathong Day. However, fireworks and sky lanterns will be
strictly prohibited during the festival.
Bangkok Governor Pol.Gen.Atsawin Kwanmuang said this
week that the BMA's Loy Krathong event is scheduled for 3rd November 2017
from 5 PM - 12 AM at Rama VIII Bridge on the Thon Buri side of Bangkok,
while 30 public parks in Bangkok will be open for people to float their
Krathong baskets in the waterways there.
The governor called on people to organize polite
celebrations since the mourning period for His Majesty the late King
Bhumibol Adulyadej has just ended. People who use fireworks and release sky
lanterns are subject to imprisonment of up to three years and/or fine of up
to 60,000 baht.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Thanasak Patimapragorn
says every province can celebrate the Loy Krathong festival but encouraged
polite celebrations. Fireworks will be banned on Loy Krathong Day, he added.
Deputy Director-General of the Public Relations
Department, (PRD) Dr.Charoon Chaiyasorn said this year's Loy Krathong event
scheduled to take place for on 1st - 3rd November at the PRD head office
will feature many activities such as a Krathong procession, a Noppamat
beauty pageant, a singing contest and more than 150 booths selling
Welfare card misuse being probed and regulations may be tightened
FPO Director Suwich Rojanawanich.
Bangkok - Fiscal Policy
Office (FPO) Director Suwich Rojanawanich has addressed the online
posting of a photo of a welfare card holder wearing a designer watch and
holding a high end smartphone by saying that authorities are looking
into the facts behind the posting and giving an assurance that criminal
charges will be lodged if the poster is guilty of defrauding the state,
noting that the court has the authority to demand repayment of any money
used under false pretenses by a card holder. Welfare cards by
regulation are only to be issued to low-income earners who made less
than 100,000 baht in 2016.
The director pointed out that while
the investigation is ongoing, the office may tighten its regulations for
issuing cards. He explained that when registrations take place again in
2019, current card holders will have to re-register and be evaluated for
eligibility once again.
The FPO has received 258,067
appeals for re-evaluation of eligibility for the welfare cards and has
given approval to 9,300 individuals so far.