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Update November 2017


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Update November 30, 2017

Govt to organize alms-giving ceremony to honor HM the late King

Patcharaporn Intreyonk, Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office.

NNT

Bangkok - The government has announced it will hold alms-giving ceremonies to mark Father’s Day and National Day on December 5, which was the birthday of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office, Patcharaporn Intreyonk, said that 901 monks will attend an alms-giving ceremony on the morning of Dec. 5, which will be chaired by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.

A statue of Phra Buddha Borom Maha Chakri Si Bhumibol Maharaj will also be transferred to the venue as part of the ceremony. Similar religious gatherings are expected to be held nationwide and at Thai temples overseas.

Participants are encouraged to wear polite yellow clothing. They can also wear commemorative pins of His Majesty the late King.


Bare-bottomed Americans arrested over temple photo

Bangkok (AP) — Two Americans who maintained a social media account called "Traveling Butts" have been arrested in Thailand after posting a photo of themselves at a famous Buddhist temple with their rear ends exposed, police said Wednesday.

Deputy police spokesman Krisana Pattanacharoen said the men were arrested Tuesday night at a Bangkok airport and face public indecency charges.

The men caused an uproar in Thailand last week after their photo taken at Bangkok's Wat Arun was widely shared, prompting a police investigation.

The men, whom police identified only by their first names, maintained a since-deleted Instagram account where they posed for photos at tourist destinations around the world with their buttocks exposed. The account had more than 14,000 followers.

Police said the men each paid a fine of 5,000 baht at a police station near the temple and have been handed over to immigration authorities.

Police are also considering charging the men under Thailand's computer crimes act as the image was posted online, said Wisit Suwan, the deputy chief of the Bangkok Yai district police station.


Rayong taps media as part of EEC development plan

Deputy Rayong Governor Theerawat Sudsuk.

NNT

Rayong –A public meeting was held in Rayong this week on the subject of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and attended by public relations entities and the media.  Deputy Rayong Governor Theerawat Sudsuk, who chaired the meeting, explained to all present that the Cabinet has approved an EEC development plan encompassing Rayong, Chonburi and Chachoengsao to continue the enhancement of Thailand’s eastern seaboard. He said that the intention is to have the EEC become a leading special economic zone in the ASEAN region, featuring efficient infrastructure, effective city and environmental planning and a readiness to accommodate high technology industries and tourism.

To drive the development plan, Rayong is looking to media and public relations mechanisms, which are to play a role in promoting all aspects of the EEC to the wider public and the business world, so as to attract investment and confidence.


Relief bags given to flood victims in the South of Thailand

NNT

Pattani - Residents of many parts of the South of Thailand have been urged to monitor the flood situation closely as it continues to rain heavily in the region.

In Pattani province, the 152nd Infantry Regimenet and local government officials provided 50 relief bags, courtesy of His Majesty King Maha Vajilalongkorn, to local residents of Ban Padae Sae Community in Yarang district as they have been unable to leave their homes due to severe flooding.

In Yala province, a water pump truck was used in Ban Tri Mitr municipality to drain the inundation, as the community is located in a low-lying area. Twenty-two families thanked local authorities for taking action to help them cope with the flood crisis.

According to the Yala Provincial Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, at least 42 sub-districts have been flooded since November 25. More than 17,000 homes and 7,000 rai of farmland have been inundated.

Water levels in the Pattani and Sai Bubri Rivers are rising continuously as rain continues across the province. Local district offices have already been told to watch the water levels closely and be ready to assist local residents promptly.


Update November 29, 2017

Traffic police aim to lower Bangkok road accidents by 50% by 2020

NNT

Bangkok - The Traffic Police Division is in consultation with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to seek ways to lower the number of road accidents in Bangkok.

The discussion will focus on speed limit management to prevent and reduce traffic risk factors. Participants will also look into successful campaigns addressing road safety in different countries and exchange experience and studies on road crash statistics.

Commander of the traffic police Pol Maj Gen Theerasak Suriwong said some 76 percent of all traffic fatalities in the country resulted from drink-driving, excessive speed and traffic rule violations, with about 23 percent resulting from vehicle and road conditions and the remaining one percent from environment-related factors.

Statistics over several years past indicate that 54-56 people are killed in road accidents a day in Thailand on average. The figures correspond with the World Health Organization’s report which estimates the number of traffic casualties in the country at 20,000 per year, the second highest in the world after Libya.

Traffic police recommend that motorists limit their driving speed to a maximum 80 kilometers per hour when in public places as allowed by the law. They expect to address many risk factors in a determined bid to lower the number of road accidents in the capital city by 50 percent by 2020.


Aviation to expand from growing economy: Aerothai

NNT

Bangkok - Thailand's aviation sector is expected to expand in 2018 thanks to a growing economy, Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (Aerothai) President Sarinee Saangprasit said.

She said flight arrivals and departures to and from Thailand next year are projected to grow by seven percent, with the number of flights exceeding one million due to the growing economy.

She said many airlines are changing their types of aircraft to bigger models to increase the number of seats while Aerothai is ensuring Thailand's air traffic will be able to accommodate the increased flights over the next 20 years during which the number of flights is expected to reach 2-3 million each year.

The air traffic expansion plan will be concluded in mid-2018, and will be further proposed to the Ministry of Transport and the Cabinet.

The overall number of flights arriving in and departing from airports in Thailand in 2017 is expected to amount to about 990,000 flights, marking a five percent increase from last year but was earlier forecast to reach nine percent. The decline was primarily due to a sluggish global economy, zero-dollar tour scams and restricted flight schedules.

Meanwhile, Suvarnabhumi international airport is suffering from flight delays exceeding the international standard which only allows for 20 percent of all flights to be delayed due to weather conditions and runway improvement work.

The flight delays at Chaing Mai and Phuket airports have not exceeded the global standard.

Aerothai is now working with 130 airlines and ground operators at airports to have an advanced plan to cope with the situation in which an airliner is required to hover before landing and to take care of passengers.


Campers urged to take precautions against bug bites

NNT

Uthai Thani - As camping is becoming a popular activity in winter, health officials are warning lovers of the outdoors to beware of insect bites, which can bring about serious illnesses.

As winter has officially begun in Thailand, Dr Manoon Sukonsakul, head of the Uthai Thani Provincial Office of Public Health, has advised anyone planning to go camping to protect themselves from being bitten by dangerous insects, especially anopheles mosquitoes which are known as the carrier of malaria, and chiggers which can cause scrub typhus.

As precautionary measures, the official recommended campers set up their tents in open areas, avoid lounging on grass and wear body covering outfits. Within two weeks after each trip, any camper with insect bites should look out for symptoms such as fever, headaches and shivering and should not hesitate to seek medical attention.


Good Samaritans helping farmers harvest rice

NNT

Surin - Volunteers and civic minded individuals in Thailand's northeastern provinces are helping farmers harvest their rice and are also cleaning up public areas.

In Surin province, Governor Attaporn Singhawichai and Commander of the Peace and Order Maintaining Command of Surin, Maj Gen Pichet Artritthirong, led local officials to a rice farm to help its owner, Pho Meephol, harvest her crop.

In Amnat Charoen province, local residents and soldiers joined a rice harvesting activity in Ban Huay Sawan Community in Non Nham Tang sub-district. They said they wanted to help farmers there cut expenses. The activity was part of an effort to preserve the ancient rice harvesting tradition.

In Maha Sarakham province, Governor Sa-nhae Nontachote met a group of good Samaritans, soldiers, police officers and local government officials who gathered to clean Wang Nam Yen Temple and to remove water hyacinth from a nearby canal.


Update November 28, 2017

Thais in Bali told to follow Indonesian government's advice over volcano risk

NNT

Jakarta - The Royal Thai Embassy in Jakarta has advised Thai people on the resort island of Bali to closely follow information and advice given by the government of Indonesia, after local authorities raised the alert level for Bali's Mount Agung volcano to the highest stage four.

Since the evening of November 25, Mount Agung in northern Bali has erupted several times, spewing out volcanic ash as high as 4,000 meters into the atmosphere. On Monday, the Indonesian government warned people from entering the volcano's danger zone, which has expanded to at least 10 kilometers from the crater.

Ngurah Rai International Airport, the main airport in Bali, has closed due to the impact of the spread of volcanic ash.

Travelers affected by the airport closure have been advised to contact their airlines to receive the latest advice on their individual itineraries and travel insurance policies.

Meanwhile, Thai nationals in Bali have been advised to register with the Royal Thai Embassy in Jakarta.


Mareeya misses top 3 but still wows at Miss Universe

NNT

Bangkok – The Thai entrant for the Miss Universe 2017 title, Mareeya Poonlertlarp, finished her run at the pageant in the top 5 but was unable to make it into the final 3, with Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, taking the crown.

Mareeya was cheered on by Thais across the world in the lead up to the latest Miss Universe contest as she performed stunningly in each round. The Kingdom was especially excited to learn Mareeya had made it into the top 5 semi-finalists at the event, broadcast live globally early Monday morning.

Asked “What is a key driver for your generation’s society, and why?” during the contest, Mareeya responded, “the transition to an aging society, investment in human resources and youth are what we should be focusing on, especially as youths are the future of our world”.

She was nonetheless unable to move on into the top 3 finalists, edged out by Jamaica, Colombia and South Africa.

She is still being lauded by her countrymen for showing the best performance in 29 years; the last Thai person to win Miss Universe was in 1988.


Four Uighur refugees arrested after escaping from detention center

NNT

Bangkok - The Royal Thai Police has revealed that 4 of the 20 Uighur refugees, who escaped recently from the Immigration Detention Center, have already been arrested.

Police spokesman, Pol Col Kritsana Pattanajaroen disclosed said the search for the remaining 16 Uighur refugees, who were able to escape the detention center in Songkhla last Monday, is still ongoing.

Deputy National Police Chief, Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul is expected to visit Immigration Division 6 on Tuesday, to follow up on the search personally.  He has also ordered an investigation to be carried out to find out why Phuket police released 1,730 illegal migrants instead of sending them to the Immigration Bureau according to the standard procedures.

There are around 4,300 other illegal aliens nationwide who still remain unaccounted for by the Immigration Bureau. Pol Gen Srivara said any officers found to have released them illegally will be prosecuted.


Welfare card use hitting targets

NNT

Bangkok - The Ministry of Commerce is looking into allowing welfare cards to be used to purchase cooking gas, after recording over 5 billion baht spent via the cards since they were introduced on October 1.

Commerce Minister Sonthirat Sonthijirawong announced Monday that all 18,000 Electronic Data Capture (EDC) machines will be installed as planned to accommodate welfare card users across the country. He said that from the beginning of October to mid-November, more than 5 billion baht was spent via the cards, meaning that over 90 percent of the country’s 11 million card holders are using them regularly. It is believed that once all the EDC machines are installed, total spending will quickly exceed 6 billion baht, the target of the program.

Both the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Energy are currently discussing how to add cooking gas to the list of goods that can be purchased with the cards but have noted some technical obstacles.

The Commerce Ministry is surveying the nation’s Blue Flag shops to make sure they are all easily accessible. If it is found that some of the shops are not located as intended by the program, the Ministry of Finance will be tasked with allotting budget to remedy the issue.


Update November 27, 2017

DPM Wissanu: Resurrection of Thaksin cases not violation of human rights

 

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.

NNT

Bangkok - Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam has asserted that the resurrection of cases against ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is not in violation of human rights.

Speaking to members of the media, the deputy prime minister for legal affairs said the Office of the Attorney General’s decision to request the Supreme Court to revive two high-profile cases against the former premier, is neither in violation of human rights nor the criminal justice system.

He added that the move is in compliance with Article 28 of the Criminal Procedures for Political Office Holders Act, one of the 10 organic laws drafted by the Constitution Drafting Commission.

Article 28 allows court procedures to be carried out in absentia or without the presence of the defendant.

The two cases against Thaksin involve the Krungthai Bank loan scandal and the conversion of satellite and mobile phone concession fees into excise tax.


Southeastern coast to see more heavy rain

NNT

Songkhla - The Southern Metrological Center has issued another warning of heavy rain and possible flash floods in the east coast from November 27 to 30.

The Director of the Southern Metrological Center, Phayao Muangngam, said the center had issued the 15th weather advisory regarding strong winds and heavy rains over the east coast of the southern region.

These conditions will affect most areas of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat. Heavy rain is also expected in some areas of Chumphon and Surat Thani.

Villagers in these areas are advised to be cautious of potential danger during this period, including flash floods and river overflow.

Rough sea is also expected in the Gulf of Thailand with wave height reaching two to three meters. Residents along the shoreline are advised to be cautions of potential danger from strong winds and waves. Small boats are advised to stay ashore. The local people are advised to closely monitor the weather development.


Thailand posts increased visitor numbers for January-October 2017

TAT

Bangkok – Thailand welcomed over 28.8 million international visitors from January to October 2017 and earned 1.47 trillion baht in tourism revenue, Pongpanu Svetarundra, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, recently told a press conference on the kingdom’s tourism performance. Both figures represented increases over 2016.

The precise number of overseas tourists for the 10 months of January to October was 28,824,753, an increase of 6.69 percent over the same period of 2016. Tourism revenue generated was 1,472,698.81 baht, up 9.31 percent over the 2016 period.

For the month of October 2017, the number of foreign tourists jumped 20.92 percent over October 2016 to 2,723,971. Tourism revenue for October 2017 also rose significantly, up 24.38 percent to a little over 142.63 billion baht.

Among source markets, Southeast Asia stood out with 29.38 percent growth in tourists sent to Thailand during October. The top 10 individual markets were China, Malaysia, Lao PDR., South Korea, India, Japan, Russia, Cambodia, the US and UK.

Yuthasak Supasorn, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor, commented: “With the launch in November of the TAT’s new ‘Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018’ marketing concept, which focuses on segments like sports, gastronomy, weddings and honeymoons, luxury and community-based tourism, we’re confident of even higher visitor growth.”

Thailand’s domestic tourism sector also showed positive growth. January to September 2017 saw Thais make 109.15 million trips in their own country (up 6.32 percent over the same 2016 period) generating more than 695.23 billion baht in revenue (up 7.34 percent over the same 2016 period).

Combining the overseas and domestic markets, total tourism revenue for January to October 2017 amounted to 2,167,932.74 baht, an 8.67 percent rise over the same 2016 period.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports highlighted the main reasons behind the growth in tourist numbers and revenue, including the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s lifting in October of the red flag imposed on Thailand since 2015 over significant safety concerns in its aviation sector. This, Pongpanu said, had since resulted in a lot of requests for more flights into Don Mueang International Airport, the second of Bangkok’s two main airports.

Also, Thai Airways International launched a new four times weekly direct Bangkok-Vienna route in November and NewGen Airways introduced new flights from Nakhon Ratchasima to Chiang Mai and Phuket, among several new routes and increased flight frequencies by both Thai and international carriers.


Kanchanaburi to hold food & travel festival in December

NNT

Kanchanaburi - Various agencies of Kanchanaburi province held a press conference over the weekend to announce an upcoming food festival.

Chiefs and representatives of different agencies gathered at Kanchanaburi’s old city gate to publicize the fifth Food & Travel Festival. The event will take place from 8th to 10th December at the plaza near the 6th Cycle Hall in the capital district.

The festival will treat visitors to a variety of dishes offered by food outlets awarded Clean Food Good Taste and Q certifications by the Ministry of Public Health, and the National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards.

The event is aimed at encouraging food industry operators to keep improving the quality of their products and services and promoting tourism of Kanchanaburi.
 


DAILY UPDATE

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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Govt to organize alms-giving ceremony to honor HM the late King

Bare-bottomed Americans arrested over temple photo

Rayong taps media as part of EEC development plan

Relief bags given to flood victims in the South of Thailand


Traffic police aim to lower Bangkok road accidents by 50% by 2020

Aviation to expand from growing economy: Aerothai

Campers urged to take precautions against bug bites

Good Samaritans helping farmers harvest rice


Thais in Bali told to follow Indonesian government's advice over volcano risk

Mareeya misses top 3 but still wows at Miss Universe

Four Uighur refugees arrested after escaping from detention center

Welfare card use hitting targets


DPM Wissanu: Resurrection of Thaksin cases not violation of human rights

Southeastern coast to see more heavy rain

Thailand posts increased visitor numbers for January-October 2017

Kanchanaburi to hold food & travel festival in December

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