Update October 14 - 15 , 2017
Nation marks 1 year since king's death with prayers, ceremony
respects in front of a portrait of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol
Adulyadej outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Friday, Oct. 13. (AP
A woman pays
respects in front of a portrait of the late King in Bangkok, Friday, Oct.
13. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
one year since the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol with formal ceremonies
and acts of personal devotion before an elaborate five-day funeral later
this month. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
doused in powder to appear an auspicious white, stand to attention and
trumpet at a ceremony to mark one year since His Majesty the late King
Bhumibol Adulyadej's death Friday, Oct. 13, in the ancient royal capital
Ayuttahya. (AP Photo)
Bangkok (AP) — Thailand marked
one year since the death of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej
with solemn ceremonies and acts of personal devotion Friday before an
elaborate five-day funeral later this month.
Official commemorations of King
Bhumibol were organized at Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital, where he died, and at
Government House and the ornate royal palace. But many ordinary people
showed their respects on the streets, at neighborhood markets and temples,
kneeling before orange-robed monks to perform a Buddhist merit-making
"You see his achievements on TV
sometimes, but now that he has passed we are learning about so many other
things he has done for the country," said Panicha Nuapho, 66, who travelled
from a province 330 kilometers north of Bangkok to pay respects at Siriraj
Hospital. "This is my final send-off," she said, weeping.
Outside the hospital, mourners clad in
black offered alms to a long procession of Buddhist monks and several
thousand packed its grounds, joining nurses and doctors in prayers as monks
chanted over loudspeakers.
More than 12 million people, or nearly
a fifth of Thailand's population, have visited the palace throne hall where
the King's body has been kept for the past year.
The government asked members of the
public to observe 89 seconds of silence Friday at 3.52 p.m., marking the
official time of King Bhumibol's death in what was his 89th year.
At the same time, nine elephants
powdered an auspicious white knelt with their handlers in the ancient royal
capital Ayutthaya outside of Bangkok.
The reigning monarch, King Maha
Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarankun knelt before a portrait of the late
King and Queen Sirikit at Dusit Palace and will preside over merit-making
ceremonies on Friday and Saturday. Many people flocked to the palace area
and left flowers beneath a giant portrait of King Bhumibol.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha,
accompanied by his wife Naraporn Chan-o-cha and members of the cabinet,
attended a chanting ceremony and offered food to 89 monks in front of the
Santi Maitree Building at Government House. Representatives from various
government agencies and press members also took part in the religious
Bhutanese King, Queen to attend royal cremation
Bangkok - The Bhutanese royal
family will attend the royal cremation ceremony of His Majesty the late King
The Bhutanese Royal Household Bureau
has announced that His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Her
Majesty Queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck will attend the royal cremation ceremony
on October 26.
His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel
Wangchuck has fostered a close relationship with the Thai royal family, and
once said that the late King was a role model for national development.
His Majesty King Jigme was one of the
royal guests during the celebrations of the diamond jubilee of the late King
in 2006. Since then, the Bhutanese King has made a positive impression on
many Thai people, because of his elegance and demeanor.
His Majesty King Jigme has also led his
royal family and the people of Bhutan in holding prayers and candle vigils
to mourn for the late King of Thailand.
Exhibition after the Royal Cremation Ceremony to be held 2-30 Nov.
Bangkok – A meeting chaired by Deputy Prime
Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn was held Friday to discuss the
organization of an exhibition in remembrance of His Majesty the late King
Minister of Culture Vira Rojpojchanarat
announced that the exhibition will be held from 2nd to 30th November at the
Royal Crematorium and supplementary structures at Sanam Luang ceremonial
grounds in Bangkok.
The exhibition will be open to the
general public between 7.00 am to 10.00 pm, which allows entry for 5000
persons in each round for 1 hour. It is expected that each day more than
100,000 people will visit the exhibition; leading to a total of 3 million
visitors overall. The government is to provide free shuttle buses on six
routes from Victory Monument, Hua Lamphong, around Rattanakosin Island,
Ekkamai, Southern Bus terminal and Morchit to facilitate access for
The exhibition, at the Royal
Merit-Making Pavilion, or Phra Thinang Song Tham, will feature His Majesty
King Bhumibol’s biography and royally initiated projects. At the Government
Officials’ Pavilions, or Sala Luk Khun, the exhibition will illustrate the
construction of the Royal Crematorium, the renovation of royal chariots and
palanquins, as well as the inclusion of architectural works and artistic
creations. During the exhibition period, cultural shows will be performed
between 6.00 pm – 10.00 pm.
Flooding still rampant in north and central regions
Chiang Mai – Areas of the north
and central region have continued to face flood conditions with runoff
hitting 2 districts of Chiang Mai province, damaging a school and severing
Up to 15 buildings of Panya Den
International School in Chiang Mai province have been inundated by flood
waters with damages to equipment and supplies estimated at no less than 40
million baht in value.
Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasas
is leading relief efforts and ordered urgent aid for all those impacted with
In Phayao province, the Ping River has
burst through a flood barricade in Muang district and flooded local crops.
The 34th Military Circle has responded to the deluge and dispatched soldiers
to aid in repairs.
Local reservoirs have been reported as
holding 76 million cubic meters of water despite a maximum capacity of 33.8
million. Nonetheless, it is expected that if rains taper off the situation
will return to normal soon. Phayao Governor Prajon Prachayasakul has led the
passing out of necessity items to those affected by flooding.
In Pakkret municipality of Nonthaburi
province, authorities are setting up flood barriers following reports that
waters have begun to make their way into schools of the area.
Air Force to set up anti-drone stations during royal funeral
Bangkok - The Air Force has
established an anti-drone center to control aerial activity above Sanam
Luang during the royal funeral.
Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai
Air Force, ACM Johm Rungswang, said that the air force will collaborate with
other authorities to establish the anti-drone center, deploying its officers
and equipment around Sanam Luang.
Earlier, the Civil Aviation Authority
of Thailand announced a ban on drones within a 19-kilometer radius of the
Grand Palace and Sanam Luang from October 25 to 29. Only drones used by the
center for security purposes will be allowed within the area. Violators are
subject to a maximum fine of 40,000 baht, a maximum prison sentence of one
year, or both.
On October 11, the National
Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission announced that all drone
owners must register their drones within 60 days or face a maximum fine of
100,000 baht, a maximum prison sentence of five years, or both.
Home of former Buddhism Office director searched after suspected of graft
Bangkok – Police and Anti-Money
Laundering Office (AMLO) agents have jointly conducted a search of a mansion
owned by a former director of the National Office Buddhism after receiving a
tip off that the home may contain assets acquired with money corruptly
Agents on Thursday searched the home of
Pattarawan Benjawattananan, the wife of Nopparat Benjawattanan, a former
director of the National Office of Buddhism and a suspect in the temple
funds corruption case.
Pol Maj Gen Romsit Wiriyasan told
reporters that the home was purchased in 2016 for 49 million baht during
Nopparat’s time in office and was originally under his name. He indicated it
is very likely that the home was purchased using ill-gotten gains from 12
The search turned up 2 large safes that
have been taken in for further investigation alongside special decorations
bestowed upon Nopparat and important documents. Police noted reports that a
truck had earlier removed some amount of assets from the home.
Lopburi flood gate bursts as deluge continues across country
Lopburi – Incessant rainfall
caused the Chai Nat-Pa Sak flood gate to succumb to high water pressure on
Thursday and sent a deluge into nearby villages. Authorities had to set up
big bag barriers to protect some 9,000 rai of rice farms from inundation,
with concerns also growing over water levels downstream from the Chao Phraya
Water from the north passing through
Nakhon Sawan province has begun to threaten areas of Chai Nat, Singburi, Ang
Thong and Ayuthaya where waterways have risen 40-50 centimeters, threatening
Authorities placed concrete blocks
outside Wat Chaiyoworawiharn to allow citizens to board and disembark from
boats as the water line has risen 15-20 centimeters. Beams have also been
planted in the area to fend off erosion by the river.
Governor of Nonthaburi, Panu Yamsri, on
Thursday led an inspection of 15 communities hit by flood waters, ordering
close care for citizens and saying that more water pumps must be installed.
Royal Thai Army Commander, Gen
Chalermchai Sittisat said that the Prime Minister had ordered the army to
provide assistance to flood victims and that his own inspection of Ayutthaya
had found the situation likely to worsen. Nevertheless, he is confident the
waters will subside in two weeks.
In Bangkok, Deputy City Clerk Sompong
Wiengkaew said that despite continual rains, the Chao Phraya River has not
yet become a cause for concern except for communities outside flood
barriers. The capital meanwhile, has prepared 300,000 sandbags to shore up
Interpol requests information to draft Blue Notice for ex-premier
Bangkok – Interpol has
requested additional information as it considers issuing a Blue Notice
for former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
The ex-premier is wanted after the
Supreme Court handed down a guilty verdict in a dereliction of duty
charge stemming from her administration’s rice pledging scheme. The
former Prime Minister absented herself on the day of the verdict and has
not been in contact since.
Most recently, Interpol has
responded to a request for assistance from the Royal Thai Police, asking
for additional information to be used in issuing a Blue Notice for
Yingluck, which would pave the way towards a Red Notice.
The force has already indicated
that once the definite location of the former premier is identified it
will inform Thailand’s Attorney General so that the office may seek her
Interpol agents operating in
Thailand have assured authorities they are making every effort to locate
and return Yingluck to the Kingdom and are following all protocols used
in such cases with no special treatment or consideration.
Custom officers seize rhino horns, arrests suspected smugglers
A collection of seized rhino horns are shown on
display in Bangkok, Wednesday, Oct. 11. (Royal Thai Customs via AP)
Bangkok — Thai authorities have
arrested two Chinese citizens suspected of smuggling rhinoceros horns worth
about US$300,000 through Bangkok's main airport.
The eight rhino horns weighing a total
of 6.2 kilograms were discovered Tuesday when airport security X-rayed the
The Customs Department said Wednesday
that the two men were headed to Cambodia after a flight from Zambia that
stopped in Addis Ababa and Bangkok.
Horns, blood, skin and urine from
endangered rhinoceroses are in high demand across Asia for their use in
traditional Chinese medicine.
Thai authorities say they have seized
38 rhinoceros horns worth over $6 million in three cases over the past four
The suspects face charges of violating
customs and wildlife protection laws.
Customs Department Director-General
Kulit Sombatsiri said the seized rhino horns could fetch $300,000 in
Thailand and even more abroad.
Uthai Thani launches aerial surveillance over encroached wildlife sanctuary
Uthai Thani – Uthai Thani
province has conducted aerial surveillance over Huai Kha Khaeng wildlife
sanctuary in the face of reported encroachment and lumberjacking.
Provincial Governor of Uthai Thani,
Manrat Ratsukon, ordered for the aerial inspection aboard a helicopter of
the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) in search for any
forest encroachment in the wildlife sanctuary, following reports of tens of
thousands of rai of land being trespassed by lumberjacks.
The aerial surveillance found 75 logs
of Aquilaria trees, weighing about two tons each. The evidence allegedly
involved a group of Vietnamese lumberjacks illegally felling trees in the
sanctuary in July and August. Aquilaria wood sells for as much as 10,000
baht per kilogram.
Thai private sector starts using biometric authentication system
Bangkok - A member of the Thai
private sector has integrated a biometric authentication system into its
transactions, as part of the Thailand 4.0 approach.
The move was made by Krungthai Card
Public Company Limited (KTC) which has revamped its mobile application and
implemented a login system that supports iris scanners and fingerprint
The new banking application “TapKTC”
makes Thailand the first nation in Southeast Asia and the third country in
the world to adopt such technology.
KTC’s Vice President of the Credit Card
Business Division, Tosapong Rangkawara explained that the revamp of the
company’s banking mobile application supports the use of credit cards in an
environment where technology is moving at a fast pace. The CEO said that the
new application makes it easy to withdraw cash or check the balance,
remaining credit, and accumulated credit card spending points.
In addition, he said that the company
is awaiting approval from the Bank of Thailand before it can implement a
method that processes payments by using scanners that read the QR Code on a
credit card. The service is expected to come online at the end of this year.
Villagers protest mining concession over health concerns
Phrae - Villagers in Phrae
northern Thailand are protesting the issuance of a concession to a private
mining company, over concerns for their health and the environment.
Residents of Saiyoi sub-district in
Phrae province submitted a letter to provincial governor Pongrat Piromrat
stating their protest against Sakdaporn Industry Co Ltd and S Power Oil
Group who have received permission to mine for basalt in the area of their
The villagers state in the letter that
the area to be mined is a forest preserve and water source, and that mining
there would taint the environment and likely have an impact on the health of
The governor assured the villagers that
the concession is still only at the request stage and that evaluations will
have to be carried out before any agreements are made. He noted a public
forum will also be held among communities living in a 3-kilometer radius of
the mine site, to ensure their opinions are heard and that the Minister of
Industry himself is overseeing the process. He assured the villagers
concerned that they would be kept up to date on progress in the matter.
PM promises elections in late 2018
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. (AP Photo/Heng
Bangkok — The Prime Minister on
Tuesday promised that a general election will be held in November next year.
PM Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters
that his government will give the exact election date in mid-2018.
"Around June 2018, we will announce an
election date," he said. "And around November, we will hold the elections."
Prayuth said the government will
consider lifting a ban on political activities but not until after October
this year, while the nation is still in a period of mourning and conducting
the funeral rites for His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died
nearly a year ago.
The PM warned political parties against
campaigning and said any breaches could result in the ban on political
activities being prolonged.
"This month of October is a period of
mourning for us so please let everything be well-ordered and peaceful for
now," Prayuth said.
Government spokesman says water management effective
Bangkok (NNT) –Spokesman, Lt Gen
Sansern Kaewkamnerd says that the government has been effective in its
management of water in the recent period of harsh weather, with floods not
impacting any economic zones and monkey cheek retention areas used to handle
Speaking on an episode of "Thailand
Moves Forward", the acting director-general of the Public Relations
Department said that the Prime Minister has insisted that the public be kept
informed of the situation and the government's approaches, acknowledging
that awareness is the most important tool in coping with floods. He urged
cooperation from all parties to carry out government action in response to
flooding and erratic weather. He also noted that the public should now be
thinking of storing water for use during the dry season, as there are no
more reservoirs planned.
The spokesman added that, while
approaches to handling flooding from excessive rain may differ from region
to region, the government is providing assistance equally to all, with no
particular emphasis on protecting Bangkok or any other individual city.
On the same program, Director-General
of the Meteorological Department Wanchai Sakudomchai explained that a
monsoon is currently passing over the central region and bringing heavy rain
to much of the country. He said, with other weather systems also creating
rain clouds, the country can expect downpours into the third week of
Meanwhile, Director-General of the
Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Chaiyaphol Thitisak,
confirmed that his office stands ready to respond as the situation demands
and has been keeping the public aware. He called on citizens to follow state
announcements and be prepared to act if necessary
Land transport dept plans to give all bus terminals major facelift
Bangkok - The Department of Land
Transport will soon start to update bus terminals nationwide to bring them
up to modern standards for passengers. The renovation will be piloted in
five bus terminals next year.
The department on Tuesday organized a
public hearing on its master plan to develop bus terminals nationwide for a
period of 20 years. The plan entails building renovation, traffic management
in connection with other transportation systems and an increase in
facilities. The piloted five bus terminals include Mo Chit, Rayong, Nakhon
Ratchasima, Chiang Mai and Songkhla. Their completion deadline is March
The department will gradually survey a
further 118 bus terminals for development in the next phase.
Regarding the relocation of the Mo Chit
bus terminal to a parking lot next to the Mo Chit electric train station,
Deputy Director-General of the department Cherdchai Sanansrisakhon said the
department is reviewing details of the construction which will likely take
place next year. Short-distance buses will start from the Bang Sue central
station and pick up passengers at the new bus terminal using an elevated
road. This route will not affect traffic in the area as the elevated road is
directly connected with the Don Mueang tollway, said Cherdchai.
Thailand lauded for being Asia's best in non-communicable disease control
Nakhon Pathom - Thailand has
been praised by the World Health Organization for being the best country in
Asia in non-communicable chronic disease management.
Public Health Minister Piyasakol
Sakolsatayadorn is currently presiding over a WHO-SEAR Regional Forum from 9
to 11 October at Sampran Garden in Nakhon Pathom. Some 130 delegates from
11 countries are participating in the forum which aims to enhance the
prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by reducing certain key risk
The minister said NCDs are considered
an urgent crisis which needs to be addressed on both the national and
international level as they cause up to 16 million premature deaths each
year globally from heart and lung diseases, strokes, cancers, and diabetes,
while up to 80 percent of casualties come from low to medium-income
countries, particularly in the South and Southeast Asian regions.
The United Nations Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) include an objective to cut down deaths from NCDs
by one-third by 2030, which will require cooperation from all sides,
especially local organizations which are the closest to the general public.
The WHO gave Thailand 12 out of 19
points on the NCDs management, which is 8 points higher than 2015. This
makes Thailand the best country in Asia for NCDs management, and on a par
with Finland and Norway.
PM satisfied with elimination of zero-dollar tours
Bangkok – The Prime Minister
says he is satisfied with operations to eradicate zero-dollar tours in
Thailand and has urged government officials to adhere to regulations without
discrimination and improve tourist services.
The premier acknowledged a report on
the operations against the zero-dollar tours and expressed his satisfaction
to government agencies, particularly those responsible for the prosecution
of 29 companies who allegedly violated the Tourism Business and Guide Act
B.E. 2551, and the Trade Competition Act B.E. 2542.
He urged officials to proceed with the
cases according to evidence and uphold the country's interests in order to
contain any damage to its tourism economy, restore its image and refrain
from discriminating any specific group of people.
The operations will be extended in a
bid to prosecute all others who may be allegedly involved in such
The government has taken into account
complaints from tourists, including the Chinese, in order to address
problems such as false promises for services, the refunding claims, and
forced purchases of certain products or services.
The China National Tourist Office in
Thailand (CNTO) has taken Thailand's approach against illegal tour operators
as a model for other countries, and given cooperation with Thai authorities
in the checking of the quality of Chinese tour companies.
According to the World Tourism
Organization (UNWTO), Thailand has welcomed 2.7 million more tourists during
2016-2017, and gained five billion US dollars more in tourism-related
revenue, which is the third highest globally after only the United States
85-year old man faces prison for doubting ancient king story
Social critic Sulak Sivaraksa talks to reporters
at a police station before going to a military court in Bangkok, Monday,
Oct. 9. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Bangkok — An 85-year-old social
critic faces up to 15 years in prison after questioning whether a duel on
elephant-back, fought more than 400 years ago by a Thai king against a
Burmese adversary, ever took place.
Police escorted Sulak Sivaraksa to a
Bangkok military court on Monday where he was officially charged with
insulting the monarchy.
The case stems from remarks Sulak made
in 2014 when he told a public forum to think critically about Thai history
and questioned whether renowned monarch King Naraesuan had really won the
Battle of Nong Sarai in 1593 by defeating a Burmese prince in solo combat,
mounted on a war elephant.
Sulak, who walks with the aid of a
cane, said he had no idea why the case was going ahead now, so long after
"Perhaps they don't like me because I
never close my mouth," he said. "I speak the truth. I believe in the
Quakers: speaking truth to power. I think it is my duty."
The lese majeste doesn't appear to
mention dead monarchs, but in practice the rules are often more widely
Sulak's lawyer, Puangtip Boonsanong,
said it was "up to each individual's interpretation" over whether dead kings
were protected by the lese majeste law.
Puangtip said Sulak would fight the
charges against him. He is scheduled for another meeting with prosecutors
NLA hears complaints from sea gypsies of Phuket
Bangkok - The National
Legislative Assembly has received a complaint related to land ownership from
sea gypsies in Phuket.
First Vice President of the NLA,
Surachai Liengboonlertchai on Monday met with representatives of the Rawai
sea gypsy community, who presented him with a petition concerning their
problems related to land ownership in the area.
The sea gypsies say that they have
filed similar complaints many times but they have apparently fallen on deaf
They subsequently traveled to Bangkok
to submit another petition directly with the NLA to ask for an investigation
into the Director-General of the Department of Land for his inaction about
the land rights documents that cover the area where the Rawai sea gypsies
have been living.
They also asked the NLA to inform the
government that their problems have not been solved after an earlier TV
report claimed the land dispute had been settled and requested an amendment
of the Act Promulgating the Land Code B.E. 2497 to make sure the
Director-General of the Department of Land will never abuse his or her power
in revoking any land rights documents without legitimate reason.
Surachai assured the delegation that
the NLA has been following up the issues all along and will send the
committee in charge of these matters to look into them again.
Employers warned not to hire migrant workers as shop attendants
Bangkok - The Ministry of Labor
has warned vegetable and fruit vendors not to hire migrant workers to work
as shop attendants, as it is one of the occupations reserved for Thais only
according to the law.
Employment Department Director General
Waranon Pitiwan made the comment after reports emerged that a number of Lao,
Cambodian and Myanmar migrant workers are selling fruit and vegetables at Si
Mum Muang market, Thailand's largest fresh fruit and vegetable wholesale
market in Pathum Thani province.
Waranon said employing migrant workers
to sell at the market is considered a violation of the country's Foreign
Workers Employment Act, but the penalties have been waived, following the
order of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) until December 31.
The labor official called on employers and migrant workers to enter the
legal employment system before the end of this year.
Waranon said the Ministry of Labor is
considering drafting a new law on the occupations and professions prohibited
to migrant workers.
Inmates moved to new Chonburi Central Prison
Chonburi - Inmates of Chonburi
Central Prison have been transported to the province’s new central
penitentiary located in Baan Bueng district.
Chonburi Governor Pakkaratorn Thianchai
oversaw the transfer ceremony following the Department of Corrections
approval of the establishment of a new central prison for Chonburi province.
The former central prison is to be converted into a women’s prison and the
facility will serve as the site for a new Chonburi city shrine.
The Baan Bueng location, which is the
new Central Prison of Chonburi, was recently announced in the Royal Gazette,
officially declaring it as a correctional facility.
Chonburi Central Prison houses a total
5,735 inmates. Previously 5,338 had been relocated to the new facility. The
latest ceremony was to conclude the move and transport the final group of
397 inmates. The process was aided by the 14th Military Circle, the 21st
Infantry Royal Guard, Chonburi Reserves Command, Provincial Police Region 2,
Highway Police, the Dhamma Rasamee Maneerat Rescue Foundation and officials
from the Department of Corrections.
Ayutthaya braces itself for more floods amid torrential rain
Ayutthaya - Residents in
low-lying areas of Ayutthaya province have been told to brace themselves for
a new round of floods as the Royal Irrigation Department is preparing to
release water downstream.
Consecutive days of torrential rain
have prompted the Royal Irrigation Department to adjust the water discharge
rate to 1,783 cubic meters per second. As a result, the water levels
downstream have surged, inundating large areas of Ayutthaya especially
communities flanking the Chao Phraya and the Noi River.
Relevant agencies have issued disaster
warnings to the districts of Phak Hai, Sena and Bang Bal where a number of
community constructions such as temples and schools have already been
flooded. Villagers now have to travel by boat.
Waterfront residents have been advised
to move their belongings to higher ground and keep their boats at hand in
the event of a heavy flood. Municipal officials are on patrol at different
risk-prone neighborhoods to help the people and ensure their safety.
CDC believes lawmakers won't delay election
Bangkok - The Constitution
Drafting Commission (CDC) believes the National Legislative Assembly (NLA)
will not delay the next general election.
CDC chairman Meechai Ruchuphan said
Sunday the charter drafting committee is currently working on the two
organic bills pertaining to Members of Parliament and members of the Senate.
The chairman expects the drafting process to be completed no later than
November after which the bills will be presented to the legislature for
Meechai expressed his belief that the
lawmakers won't turn down the two draft acts which would have the effect of
postponing the general election, adding that whether or not drastic changes
to the bills are proposed, is up to the legislative assembly.
Meechai also denied allegations that
the government is attempting to cause a delay in the election or attempting
to stay in power, noting that everyone including Prime Minister Gen Prayut
Chan-o-cha is tired of answering such questions.
Red flag for Thailand's aviation industry removed from ICAO website?
Bangkok - The red flag icon
which indicates aviation security concerns has been reportedly removed from
Thailand on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) website,
while the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand is seeking to verify the
positive readjustment of the country's status.
The red flag icon has been removed
along with Thailand's name on the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme
(USOAP) list on the ICAO website www.icao.int. It was considered a positive
move for Thailand which had been previously given the red-flag due to
significant security concerns from the ICAO.
CAAT Director-General Chula Sukmanop
said the CAAT is in the process of verifying the reports with the ICAO
before making comments.
Should Thailand have the status of
security concerns lifted, the country will regain recognition in the
aviation global community, allowing Thai-registered airlines to open new
routes to more destinations, and help with the travel industry, he said.
Gem and Jewelry Institute to push Thailand as trade hub by 2021
Bangkok - The Gem and Jewelry
Institute of Thailand has unveiled its strategy for 2018, which aims to
boost international consumer confidence by adhering to global standards and
by turning Thailand into a global hub of gems and jewelry trade by 2021.
Director of the Institute, Duangkamol
Jiambutr, said his organization will make use of its internationally
certified laboratory to guarantee the purity of precious metals.
The institute will also support local
industries in 15 provinces to enhance product quality and variety. In
addition, it will help to expand sales channels by introducing online
platforms and coordinating with the Department of International Trade
Promotion to penetrate new markets.
The Gem and Jewelry Institute plans to
host the congress of the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO Congress) in
November to strengthen Thailand's role as a global hub of the gemstone and
Update October 7- 8, 2017
New warrant issued for ex-PM Yingluck
Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Bangkok – A new warrant for the
arrest of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has been issued. The
warrant charges Yingluck with “entering and exiting the Kingdom via
unofficial means”. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has refused to
comment regarding Yingluck's widely reported request for asylum in another
country. The MOFA simply stated that it was within the discretion of the
country receiving the asylum request.
Director General of the Department of
Information and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Bussadee
Santipitak, indicated that her office has received a request from police to
revoke the passports of fugitive ex-premier Yingluck and has started the
On whether or not Yingluck has received
documentation to seek asylum in the United Kingdom, Bussadee said her
ministry is still unable to confirm such a development but acknowledges it
is within the discretion of that country.
Regarding the new warrant, Deputy
Commander of the Royal Thai Police, Pol Gen Sriwara Rangsiphramnakul, stated
that on October 4 the South Bangkok Criminal Court approved an additional
arrest warrant for Yingluck that charges her with “entering and exiting the
Kingdom via unofficial means”. The warrant follows her flight from Thailand
ahead of the formal reading of the verdict in her government rice pledging
scheme case. All police stations and border crossings will be briefed on the
DPM confident laws needed for general election to be drafted by year's end
Bangkok – Thailand's Deputy
Prime Minister for Legal Affairs has confirmed that all 4 organic laws
needed for the general election to take place will be completed by the end
of this year, in line with the national development roadmap. The head of the
Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC) confirmed his body will complete its
drafts by December 1.
CDC Chairman Meechai Ruchuphan has
stated that the panel will finish drafting all the organic laws needed for
the general election by the start of December and that, if the National
Legislative Assembly (NLA) rejects them, the CDC will remain in place to
redraft them. He added that, if the laws are shot down after taking effect
due to a Constitution Court ruling, the CDC will reassemble to rewrite them
without indicating a specific time frame.
A recently submitted law on the
National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) mandates that government
officials at all levels must file a report on their assets to ensure
transparency in their work.
NLA President, Pornpetch
Wichitcholchai, stated that the assembly’s duty is to vet thoroughly all
legislation and that it has no intention of needlessly delaying the general
election. He asserted the NLA must ensure that all pieces of legislation
conform to the constitution and are for the benefit of the public.
On the formation of a new Election
Commission, Pornpetch said a selection committee is beginning the process
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu
Kreau-ngam meanwhile, pointed out that the Constitution defines a time frame
for the drafting of organic laws and necessitates that the 4 laws needed for
the general election to happen be drafted within 2017. Even with the NLA’s
ability to call for re-drafting of the laws, the deputy prime minister said
general elections should still be able to take place by late 2018 or early
Largest dinosaur fossil yet found in Chaiyaphum
Chaiyaphum - The Department of
Mineral Resources (DMR) has revealed the largest fossil of a herbivore
dinosaur to be found in Chaiyaphum province.
According to DMR Director-General Niwat
Maneekut, the long front leg and hind leg bones of a sauropod were found in
Nong Bua Rawe district. Upon initial examination, the bones appear to belong
to a Phuwiangosaurus Sirindhornae, one of many long-necked sauropods. The
species was named in tribute to Her Royal Highness Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
Twenty more fossilized bones, believed
to be from the same dinosaur, have been also found. The DMR is currently
trying to turn the area in Nong Bua Rawe district into a legal research site
for archaeologists. The area could potentially become a tourist site and a
learning center in the future.
Floods persist in central provinces
Uthai Thani - Several days of
rainfall have led to floods in several provinces in the central plain,
prompting relevant agencies to issue disaster warnings to risk-prone areas.
In Uthai Thani, thunder storms and
heavy rain have caused a large volume of water to overflow the spillway of
Huai Khunkaew Reservoir, flooding more than 400 rai of farmland and homes in
Khao Bang Kraek subdistrict. The residents have been advised to remain on
alert for a new round of flooding.
In Ang Thong, the rising waters of the
Noi River have overflowed into a waterfront village in Bangjak subdistrict,
affecting 117 homes. Wiset Chaichan district has advised the flood-prone
households to move their belongings to higher ground.
In Lop Buri, rainfall over the past
three days has overwhelmed the spillway of Huai Yai Wang Khaem Reservoir,
inundating homes, roads and thousands of rai of arable land in Sa Bot
In Nakhon Sawan, the Nakhon Sawan
Provincial Irrigation Office and related agencies have sent their inspection
teams to Khlong Pho Reservoir in Mae Poen district to lower the reservoir's
level and to remove weeds. The operation has impaired the dam’s function,
causing the water to overflow the spillway and flow into Khlong Pho.
Canal-side communities are being slightly affected while maintenance is
Mourners pay last-minute respects to HM the late King
holds a portrait of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej as she lines up to pay
respects to the Royal Urn outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thursday,
Oct. 5. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Bangkok (AP) — Tens of thousands
of mourners have been rushing to Bangkok's Grand Palace to pay their
respects to His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, as a period of
nearly a year for his body to lie in state ends ahead of his cremation on
Since the revered monarch’s death last
Oct. 13 at age 88, more than 12 million people have visited the golden Dusit
Maha Prasat Throne Hall, where his coffin is kept behind a symbolic royal
urn. The hall was closed to visitors at midnight Thursday.
The throne hall has been kept open 24
hours a day since last Saturday to accommodate the high number of
last-minute mourners. Officials said the palace received over 96,000
visitors Wednesday, a record number for one day.
One group of visitors said they had
waited outside the palace walls from 9 p.m. Wednesday until Thursday
morning. But the wait did not faze most mourners, who still feel distraught
over the loss of their beloved king nearly a year after his death.
"I still can't accept it. Every time I
think about this, I feel so sad," Watchiraporn Daengsomboon said as she
lined up outside the palace Thursday. "Today, I've come to pay my respects
for the last time. We won't have this chance again."
King Bhumibol was succeeded by his son,
current King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarankun, who will preside
over commemoration ceremonies on the anniversary of his father's death. That
will be followed by an elaborate royal cremation ceremony from Oct. 25 to
The crematorium, situated on a public
field near the palace, is a representation of mystical Mount Meru, where
gods reside according to Buddhist and Hindu legends.
PM receives US Senate Resolution honoring the late King
Bangkok – The Prime Minister has
received a copy of the US Senate’s resolution honoring His Majesty the late
King Bhumibol Adulyadej as part of his trip to enhance ties between Thailand
and the United States.
On the final day of his official visit
to America, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha met with President Pro
Tempore of the U.S. Senate, Orrin Hatch, at Capitol Hill to receive a copy
of the house’s resolution honoring the late King for his support of Thai-US
relations throughout his 70 year reign.
The PM later met with Speaker of the US
House of Representatives Paul Ryan and took a tour of the Rotunda dome
within the building.
Leaving from the Senate, the premier
chaired a discussion involving Thai investors in the US where
representatives from both sides voiced readiness to cooperate in trade and
to enhance US trade with Thailand and ASEAN.
Gen Prayut told the gathering that he
would continue to push for stronger ties between the private sectors of
Thailand and the United States on the basis of mutual benefit, calling on
Thai business people to draft a new data set that better represents the
country in its current state.
On the final evening of his visit, the
PM attended a dinner organized by the US-ASEAN Business Council and the US
Chamber of commerce in his honor. At the function, Gen Prayut voiced his
appreciation of US President Donald Trump and his country for honoring
Thailand in spite of its many limitations, saying that the continued good
ties underline the US’ genuine friendship with Thailand. He also recommended
that Thailand and the US adhere to a treaty that ensures US businesspeople
have equal rights with local operators in Thailand and that its practical
application would help achieve a trade goal worth 8.5 billion USD.
The PM’s final mission while in the US
is to meet Thai communities before departing for Thailand.
Welfare cardholders warned not to redeem their cards for cash
Bangkok - The Comptroller
General’s Department (CGD) has warned retail stores not to allow welfare
cardholders to redeem their new cards for cash.
CGD Director-General Suthirat
Rattanachot said there are more than six million welfare cardholders in the
country. At least 400,000 of them have already spent 100 million baht on
household goods at Blue Flag stores.
Suthirat said she was told by local
commerce and finance officials that some of the retail stores let the
cardholders redeem the cards for cash. The CGD Director-General stressed
that it was not how the government intended to help people shoulder the cost
The cards cannot be exchanged for cash
under any circumstances. Any retail store in violation of this regulation
will be removed from the list of Blue Flag stores. They must also return
their electronic data capture machine immediately.
Cardholders found in violation of this
rule will also have their rights to the cards revoked. They will be required
to return the money they have redeemed as cash to the government.
VAT remains at 7% for one more year
Bangkok –Value-Added Tax (VAT)
will remain at 7 percent at least until 30 September 2018 to help with the
national economy and help keep down the cost of living for the general
Deputy Revenue Department
Director-General Patricia Mongkhonvanit said the promulgation of a tax cut
law allows for the actual collection of the 7-percent VAT rate as a normal
practice to last for another year.
According to the deputy department
chief, the Revenue Department is obliged to collect the VAT at 10 percent,
the rate which has been reduced by the law.
More information regarding VAT can be
found on www.rd.go.th. Tax-related enquiries can be made at all RD offices,
or by calling Hotline 1161.
Police target 29 suspected ‘zero dollar tour’ companies
Bangkok –The police have been
assembling evidence to seek charges against 29 companies involved in the
business of so-called ‘zero dollar tours’.
Deputy Commander of the Royal Thai
Police, Pol Gen Sriwara Rangsiphramnakul has provided evidence to the Crime
Suppression Division to enable it to launch cases against the 29 businesses;
operating as tour vehicle providers, retailers, tour companies, companies
within the OA Transport group and Siam Gems Company. The businesses are
facing charges ranging from illegal operation of a tour service to violation
of competition laws.
Pol Gen Sriwara acknowledged that all
the companies named are new to the zero dollar tour operation and have
recently been identified by the office of the Attorney General. He gave an
assurance that the move was not in retaliation against OA Transport and Siam
Gems’ earlier countersuits against the state.
Sriwara also assured the operators that
if those charged feel unfairly treated, they can file a complaint with the
National Anti-Corruption Commission while adding that speedy progress in the
case is in line with an order from the commander of the police due to the
detrimental nature of the matter.
If the 29 businesses are found to have
evaded taxes they will be reported to the Anti-Money Laundering Office.
Police seek Interpol red notice for arrest of Yingluck
Deputy Police Commissioner Gen. Srivara
Rangsibrahmanakul talks to the media in Bangkok.
Bangkok - Deputy Police
Commissioner Gen. Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul is seeking an Interpol red
notice to have Yingluck Shinawatra arrested.
According to Gen. Srivara, the Royal
Thai Police Bureau has sought cooperation with Interpol to issue a red
notice, also known as an international arrest warrant, to 192 nations
worldwide for the arrest of the former prime minister.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has
confirmed that Yingluck has already left Dubai for England. The Royal Thai
Police Bureau has also informed the Office of the Attorney General of its
attempt to obtain the red notice.
Once the international police
organization issues the arrest warrant, police in member nations will be
authorized to apprehend Yingluck.
"If Interpol can issue the red notice
then authorities can proceed (with the arrest)," Srivara said, but added
that he could not speak for British authorities about whether they would
Srivara refused to comment on whether
Interpol would comply with the request and issue a red notice, as there
could be objections that the case against Yingluck is political in nature
and she could potentially qualify for political asylum.
Police are also investigating their own
officers who are suspected of having helped Yingluck flee. At least three
police officers have been questioned so far in connection with the
Thailand ready for influx of Chinese tourists during Golden Week
Bangkok - The Ministry of
Tourism and Sports is ready to welcome and accommodate an increased influx
of Chinese tourists during the eight-day Golden Week holiday in China, from
Oct 1-8. Permanent Secretary for Tourism and Sports, Pongpanu Svetarundra,
said the ministry has forecast that about 260,000 Chinese tourists will
visit Thailand during the Golden Week, up 35 percent from the same period
Pongpanu said China's leading travel
website reveals that Thailand is set to be the top attraction for Chinese
tourists during this holiday period.
According to the Ministry of Tourism
and Sports, the visitors from China will likely spend their vacations in
Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Samui Island. The tourists are
expected to generate revenue of over 11 billion baht for the nation’s
Panthongtae’s attourney submits letter to DSI: Seeks end to money laundering case
Sriyapai (right), attorney for Panthongtae Shinawatra, hands in a letter of
petition to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) in Bangkok.
Bangkok - The attorney to
self-exiled ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s son, Panthongtae Shinawatra, has
requested that the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) freeze its
action against his client who is charged with money laundering, while giving
an assurance that if a summons is issued he will appear before authorities.
The attorney, Chumsai Sriyapai, handed
a written request to the DSI this week asking it to cease its pursuit of
charges against Panthongae after the Assets Scrutiny Committee concluded he
had received stolen goods.
The case stems from an earlier case of
corruption involving Krung Thai Bank and its loan to the Krisada Mahanakorn
Group. That case resulted in Panthongtae being called in for questioning.
His attorney asserted however that there was no connection between the son
of former Prime Minister Thaksin and the other parties in the matter. As
for a cheque he received from Mooban Krisada Mahanakorn project owner Wichai
Krisadathanon for 10 million baht, his lawyer contended that he could not
have known the funds were ill-gotten and that he himself had no intention of
concealing the assets.
On DSI investigators calling
Panthongtae in for questioning however, Chumsai assured the authorities that
his client would appear to protest his innocence but that no summons had yet
Deputy Spokesman for the DSI, Pol Maj
Woranant Srilam accepted Chumsai’s arguments for further consideration but
said it will be up to investigators whether or not they freeze activity.
Responding to a request for the case to be transferred from the DSI to the
Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO), Pol Maj Woranant explained that the
office is only empowered to take civil action and is thus under-qualified
for this matter.
Documented Cambodian workers return to Thailand
traders cross the Thai-Cambodia border at Aranyaprathet.
Sa Kaeo - Hundreds of Cambodian
workers have returned to Thailand via Sa Kaeo province to resume working in
Thailand after obtaining the correct type of passports and official papers.
The immigration checkpoint in
Aranyaprathet district has seen more than 300 Cambodian nationals waiting
for transportation back to their employers. Those with the required
documents have been photographed before being allowed to enter the country.
One of the workers said most Cambodians
were now knowledgeable about the Thai labor and employment laws and they had
returned to their home country to obtain the necessary documents to secure
employee benefits and safeguard themselves from unfair treatment.
Cambodian employees are much sought
after in the construction industry, with prime destinations being the
provinces of Prachinburi, Bangkok and Samut Prakan.
DNA samples to reveal if Yingluck fled country in a car
Pol Maj Gen.
Bangkok - The Central Police
Forensic Science Division says it will reveal in a few days if the DNA of a
woman found in a Toyota Camry, is that of former premier Yingluck Shinawatra
who fled the country in August.
Central Police Forensic Science
Division Commander, Pol Maj Gen. Thawatchai Mekprasertkul said the
examination of 100 DNA samples collected at Yingluck’s home and in other
places she had visited would be sufficient, adding that there is no need to
collect DNA samples from her son or her relatives.
It will be revealed within two days
whether the DNA found in the car matches Yingluck’s. Authorities are trying
to establish if the former prime minister left the country in the alleged
Meanwhile, Deputy Spokesperson of the
Royal Thai Police Pol Col Kritsana Pattanacharoen said Thailand is seeking
cooperation from the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol)
in regard to Yingluck’s whereabouts.
The three police officers believed to
have been involved in transporting Yingluck to the border are being
investigated. The investigation will conclude in 60 days.
Drones to be prohibited during royal cremation ceremony
Bangkok - All drones will be
prohibited from flying within a 19-kilometer radius of the ceremonial
grounds of the royal cremation ceremony for His Majesty the late King
Bhumibol Adulyadej during the period 25-29 October.
The Civil Aviation Authority of
Thailand (CAAT) announced the prohibition of unmanned aerial vehicles or
drones from the Royal Palace and Sanam Luang ground, which is the location
of the royal cremation ceremony for the late monarch.
CAAT Director Chula Sukmanop said the
ban is designed to ensure orderliness and security during the royal
ceremony. However, camera drones which belong to the organizational
committee for the ceremony will be an exception.
Those who violate the restriction will
be faced with a maximum of one year in prison or a 40,000 baht fine, or
both. Military officers are authorized by law to destroy any flying drones.
Welfare card use remains vibrant despite card-reader hiccup
Khon Kaen - While use of welfare
cards, which are issued to low income earners by the government, was
widespread on the second day of their validity, some locations reported long
lines caused by a shortage of card scanners.
However, in Khon Kaen province,
officials from the Ministry of Finance inspected use of the cards in Baan
Fang district and found the system working smoothly. The province is home to
84 shops equipped to accept the cards.
In Chaiyaphum province, many users were
seen maxing out their cards and saying that the cards helped them to live
within their means. The province noted some issues with card readers which
resulted in some delays. Krung Thai Bank has urged vendors to pick up more
scanners to improve the situation.
At SR Super-Mart in Petchabun, there
was a large turnout of people using the entire 200 to 300 baht welfare card
budget as they bought up much of the department store's supplies. All buyers
said they were very happy with the system and urged the establishment of
more Blue Flag Shops.
Similarly, in Rayong province, shops
reported a shortage of card readers. Currently, only 34 out of a total 122
welfare support shops are equipped with the machines.
At Surat Thani’s Agricultural
Cooperative, which has only one card scanner, there was a long line of
shoppers queuing to buy goods like rice, vegetable oil and detergent.
Tourist Police stepping up efforts to crackdown on illegal tours
Bangkok - The Tourist Police is
stepping up its efforts to ensure safety for tourists and to crackdown on
illegal tours in a bid to enhance the country's tourism standards.
Acting Commissioner of the Tourist
Police Division, Pol Lt Gen Sakhon Thongmunee on Tuesday chaired a meeting
with government and private tourism and hospitality agencies to deliver his
policy address on ensuring safety and boosting credibility.
He called on related agencies to
crackdown on banned industries such as zero-value tours in order to ensure
sustainable revenue for the country. The campaign will kick off in Chiang
Mai and Phuket.
The Tourism Police Headquarters has
expanded its personnel from 1,000 to 4,000 officers and is divided into four
departments designed to crackdown on illegal activities in various regions.
All departments will report to the Tourist Police Commissioner and his two
Trump hails stronger Thailand ties as he meets PM Prayuth
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania
Trump greet Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, and his wife
Naraporn Chan-ocha, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, as they arrive at the White House
in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
By Matthew Pnnington, Associated
Washington (AP) — Making no
reference to Thailand's military rule, President Donald Trump on Monday
hailed strengthening relations with America's oldest ally in Asia as he
welcomed a junta leader who took power in a coup.
Prayuth and his wife, Naraporn
Chan-ocha, were greeted at the South Portico by Trump and first lady Melania
Trump as the Thai leader arrived for talks and a working lunch.
Donald Trump listens as Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha speaks during
a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in
Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
"We've had a long and very storied
history with Thailand," Trump said in the Oval Office alongside Prayuth,
referring to a nearly two-century diplomatic relationship, which the
president said has advanced since he took office in January.
"So we have a very strong relationship
right now, as of this moment, and it's getting stronger in the last nine
months," he said, stressing the importance of trade ties, which totaled $40
billion last year, with the U.S. running a $19 billion deficit. "I think
we're going to try and sell a little bit more to you now, make that a little
bit better if that's possible."
Donald Trump shakes hands with Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha as his
wife Naraporn Chan-ocha, left, and first lady Melania Trump watch during a
meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in
Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Prayuth said visiting Trump was a great
opportunity for his government and the Thai people. He expressed optimism
about strengthening cooperation, including in defense and security "to help
ensure that our citizens are safeguarded from terrorism and other threats."
He also said the two nations would work closely on "regional issues of
"I am confident that with the
president's leadership we will be able to tackle all those problems," he
After the coup, the United States under
President Barack Obama stopped military assistance and training programs — a
largely symbolic step but one that went down badly with Bangkok, a U.S.
treaty ally that has moved closer to China as relations with Washington have
strained. Under Trump, the U.S. has looked to resume high-level ties and
authorize more arms sales.
Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet Thai Prime Minister Prayuth
Chan-ocha on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in
Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
A U.S. National Security Council
spokesman, who was not authorized to speak publicly on planning for the
visit and requested anonymity, said the U.S. will continue to urge Thailand
to return to participatory democracy and restore civil liberties. He
declined to say whether those points would be raised by Trump, but said the
president could discuss how to strengthen U.S.-Thai relations.
Trump has barreled through criticism
about outreach to authoritarian foreign leaders as he looks to shore up
America's long-standing alliances.
Walter Lohman at the right-leaning
Heritage Foundation said if Trump did raise democracy with Prayuth it would
be behind the scenes, which he argued would be most effective with a country
sensitive to foreign criticism.
"We need to be concerned about human
rights and democracy, but it can't dictate our relationships with our
allies," Lohman said.
Welfare card program hindered by lack of EDC machines
Secretary for Finance, Somchai Sujjapongse.
Bangkok - The Ministry of
Finance has revealed that many welfare cardholders have been unable to use
their cards, as most qualifying vendors do not yet accept card payments.
Permanent Secretary for Finance,
Somchai Sujjapongse revealed that on the program's inaugural day, October 1,
cardholders purchased over 300,000 items valued at over 90 million baht.
However, major obstacles experienced by cardholders included not knowing
where local vendors were situated and many vendors not having electronic
data capture (EDC) machines to process the transactions.
Somchai said his ministry will discuss
with the Ministry of Commerce and related agencies ways to resolve the
issues and will propose to the National E-payment Committee a raffle for a
one million baht prize, to encourage card usage.
In Uthai Thani province meanwhile, the
program was well received by local cardholders. However, many vendors were
unable to process card payments, as officials have yet to install EDC
In Bueng Kan province, 152 stores
across eight districts participated in the program, but only 14 of the
stores currently have EDC machines.
In Yala Province, residents are able to
use their cards to receive a 500 baht discount on third-class railway
tickets. Meanwhile, 14 stores across eight districts are able at present to
process card payments.
Police examine evidence in search for former PM Yingluck
Bangkok - Police are stepping up
efforts to verify data including DNA samples as part of an investigation
into the escape route of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Commander of the Central Police
Forensic Science Division Pol Maj Gen Tawatchai Mekprasertsuk indicated on
Monday that police are still collecting evidence, processing DNA and
analyzing fingerprints collected from the home of ex-premier Yingluck. The
DNA samples are to be compared with samples found in a Toyota Camry driven
by Pol Col Chairit Anurit, who has confessed to driving Yingluck to the Thai
border. Pol Maj Gen Tawatchai noted there is a large volume of information
to be processed and the effort will take several days.
Addressing questions as to why police
don't use existing DNA records of the former PM, Pol Maj Gen Tawatchai
explained that new samples are more accurate and make for a stronger case.
Deputy Commander of the Royal Thai
Police Pol Maj Gen Sriwara Rangsiphramnakul meanwhile says his office has
forwarded a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, calling for it to
confirm Yingluck’s current whereabouts, cancel her passports and coordinate
with international police for her arrest.
MOL working to stop visa violations in South Korea
Bangkok - The Ministry of Labor
has ordered stringent control of Thai workers attempting to illegally find
employment in South Korea, so far stopping over 700.
Minister of Labor, Gen Sirichai
Distakul, said he has instructed his office’s agents to closely vet people
traveling from Suvarnabhumi Airport to South Korea, specifically looking for
indications that they may attempt to find employment while on a tourist
visa. The Minister says the 700 people denied entry were mostly traveling as
members of supposed tour groups.
The Minister reiterated warnings from
the Department of Employment against falling for advertisements offering
work in South Korea as Thais wishing to travel to the country to work as
laborers must first seek employment via the Employment Permit System (EPS).
He warned that if arrested for
illegally working in South Korea, the Thai individual would be heavily fined
and black listed by the country, stressing that such a development would be
detrimental to the Kingdom’s image. Those who wish to work in the country
are urged to contact the ministry at 1694 to follow the approved procedure.
Volunteers combine forces to clean up Rattanakosin Island
Bangkok - The Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has dispatched volunteers to clean up
Rattanakosin Island in tribute to HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
More than 1,500 participants, including
palace officials, military and police officers as well as members of the
general public joined forces to give a facelift to the historic quarter of
Phra Nakhon district.
The volunteers have now planted trees
along both sides of Khlong Lod canals, painted the walls of Wat Mahathat,
trimmed the trees and tidied up the roads around the BMA City Hall.
The activity was aimed at encouraging a
sense of social service and selflessness in all groups of people as well as
allowing them to pay tribute to the late monarch.
Welfare cards now usable nationwide
Bangkok - Welfare cards have
become usable nationwide now that some five million eligible low-income
earners in 70 provinces have already picked up their welfare benefits.
Comptroller General's Department (CGD)
spokesperson Oranuch Wainusit said that 1 October was the first day that
welfare card holders under a state welfare program are able to use their
Welfare cards can initially be used to
buy products at over 4,200 Commerce Ministry’s Blue Flag stores nationwide.
Those who earn no more than 30,000 per year will receive a purchase limit of
300 baht per month and those whose annual income is from 30,001-100,000 baht
will have a balance of 200 baht per month. For public transport, including
both trains and buses, the welfare card holders will receive a monthly
balance of 500 baht.
Currently, around 50 percent or five
million of eligible low-income earners have already picked up their welfare
cards in the 70 pilot provinces.
PM Prayut to meet President Trump this week
Bangkok - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha
has traveled to the United States at the invitation of President Donald
President Trump issued the invitation
during a telephone talk with the Thai Premier on April 30 this year. Gen
Prayut left Thailand on Saturday and will be back on October 5.
During the meeting, the leaders will
discuss a wide range of topics including security, trade and investment.
They will also touch on important issues and events happening around the
In addition, Gen Prayut will meet with
representatives of the US-ASEAN Business Council and American investors.
Those accompanying the Thai prime
minister are DPM Somkid Jatusripitak, Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai,
Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda, Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn,
and Deputy Defense Minister Gen Udomdej Sitabutr.
The United States and Thailand
established relations in 1818 and signed a Treaty of Amity and Commerce in
1833, formalizing diplomatic relations. The United States' links with
Thailand go beyond a bilateral relationship to have an impact on the broader
region. The partnership spans the areas of public health, trade, science and
technology, wildlife trafficking, education, cultural exchange, law
enforcement, and security cooperation.
Phuket seeks to ensure beach safety
Western tourists soak up the sun on Kata Beach,
Phuket. (AP Photo)
Phuket - The Governor of Phuket
province has chaired a meeting of administrative and security agencies to
discuss beach safety measures.
The meeting was held to seek an interim
accident prevention plan for beach-goers, as the lifeguard service contract,
which was co-signed by the contractor and the Phuket Provincial
Administrative Organization, expired on 30 September.
Governor Norapat Plodthong disclosed to
attendees at the meeting that relevant agencies, including the Phuket
Internal Security Office, Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization,
Phuket Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office and hotels had agreed to
put their lifeguards on duty at different beaches in the districts of Mueang
Phuket, Kathu and Thalang.
Governor Norapat said the joint beach
safety teams would remain stationed at all beaches, and surveillance would
be particularly close at frequently-visited spots. The agencies in charge
are preparing to map out a long-term beach safety management plan.
In the meantime, a two-month contract
announcement has been made to recruit lifeguards. The number of applicants
has already reached 40 percent of the employment quota. Successful
candidates will be offered a monthly salary of 14,000 baht each. The Phuket
Provincial Administrative Organization will try to process the employment
contract as soon as possible.
DPM Prawit: Election date cannot be determined until organic laws are enforced
Bangkok - Deputy Prime
Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan says an election date will be announced
once all organic acts have been promulgated in the Royal Gazette.
In reply to the Pheu Thai Party’s
call for the government and the National Council for Peace and Order
(NCPO) to make their stance on the general election clear, DPM and
Minister for Defense Gen Prawit confirmed that the election will take
place according to the timeframe stipulated in the reform roadmap.
Gen Prawit said the exact date for
the next election cannot be determined until all 10 organic laws have
been enacted. Once the organic acts are published in the Royal Gazette,
the electoral body will be required to stage an election within 150
He then stated that the current
administration has no plan to stay in power as it’s committed to
returning democracy to the nation.