Update October 27 - 31 , 2017
Thailand grieves in elaborate final goodbye to revered HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej
MajestyKing Maha Vajiralongkorn takes part in the funeral of his father, the
late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok, Thursday, Oct. 26. (AP
Tassanee Vejpongsa and Stephen
Bangkok (AP) — With solemn
faces and outright tears, Thais said farewell to their king and father
figure with elaborate funeral ceremonies that cap a year of mourning and are
steeped in centuries of tradition.
rises from the royal crematorium of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol
Adulyadej in Bangkok, early Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Wason
Smoke rose just before midnight
Thursday from the spectacularly ornate crematorium built in the year since
HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej died. On Friday morning, his son,
current King Maha Vajiralongkorn, participated in a religious ceremony to
move his father's ashes to special locations for further Buddhist rites.
The five-day funeral rites began
Wednesday with HM King Vajiralongkorn performing Buddhist merit-making rites
and on Thursday, a ceremonial urn representing King Bhumibol's remains were
transferred from the Dusit Maha Prasad Throne Hall to the crematorium in
somber processions involving thousands of troops, a golden palanquin, a
gilded chariot and a royal gun carriage.
The urn, placed under a nine-tiered
white umbrella and accompanied by a palace official, was hoisted into the
main chamber of the golden-spired crematorium as monks chanted, traditional
instruments wailed and artillery fired in the distance. The King then
climbed the red-carpeted steps to light candles and incense in honor of his
On a day designated a public holiday
in the kingdom, tens of thousands of mourners dressed all in black watched
the processions from streets in Bangkok's royal quarter and millions more
watched broadcasts aired live on most TV stations and shown at designated
viewing areas across the country.
Before dawn, 63-year-old Somnuk
Yonsam-Ar sat on a paper mat in a crowd opposite the Grand Palace. Her
granddaughter slept in her lap and her husband rested his head against a
metal barrier. The family came from the coastal province of Rayong, where
they run a food stall.
Somnak waved a fan to cool herself
but said she was not tired.
"I feel blessed to be able to sit
here, and be part of this," she said. "It's an important day for us."
The ceremonial urn was at the center
of Thursday's processions, including one led by His Majesty the current king
when the golden container was placed upon the Great Victory Chariot. Built
in 1795 and made of gilded and lacquered carved wood, the chariot has been
used to carry the urns of royal family members dating to the start of the
As the chariot, pulled by hundreds
of men in traditional red uniforms, passed the mourners lining the parade
route, they prostrated themselves, pressing their folded hands and head on
the ground in a show of reverence.
In the evening, a symbolic cremation
was witnessed by royalty and high-ranking officials from 42 countries.
Orange-robed monks chanted Buddhist prayers to bless King Bhumibol's spirit
as the official guests waited to walk into the crematorium to make offerings
of flowers made from sandalwood.
TV stations broadcast classical
masked dances and traditional puppet shows as the country awaited word that
the cremation had taken place inside the edifice built to represent mystical
Mount Meru, where Buddhist and Hindu gods are believed to dwell.
Further rites then began Friday
morning and involved transferring King Bhumibol's ashes and relics to the
Grand Palace and the Temple of The Emerald Buddha for further Buddhist
rites. They are set to be enshrined in spiritually significant locations on
the last day of the funeral.
The funeral is by design an
intensely somber event, but also rich in history and cultural and spiritual
Boonjerd Buasawat, a 61-year-old
fruit vendor from the resort island of Phuket, waited near the cremation
site since midday Wednesday and slept there overnight.
"I want to be here together with a
group of people who dearly love their king," he said. "Our love won't die
until we too pass and follow him."
Thais braved tropical heat and
torrential monsoon rains to secure street-side vantage points to witness the
Thousands of police and volunteers
were on hand to ensure order and entry into the historic royal quarter was
symbolic urn of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is transported to the
spectacular golden crematorium during the funeral procession in Bangkok,
Thursday, Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Kittinun Rodsupan)
pay their respects at the funeral procession and royal cremation ceremony of
His Majesty late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in Bangkok, Thursday, Oct.
26. (AP Photo/Kittinun Rodsupan)
ceremonial urn on HM the late King arrives at the crematorium during the
funeral procession on Thursday. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
prays in a sea of black umbrellas at the funeral procession and royal
cremation ceremony in Bangkok. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
Thai mourners, carrying
a portrait of HM late King Bhumibol Adulyadej gather in front of a replica
of the royal crematorium in Bangkok, Thursday, Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Gemunu
Thai officials hug as
smoke rises from the royal crematorium in Bangkok, early Friday, Oct. 27.
(AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)
Thais abroad bid farewell to late King at embassies
Bangkok - Thai nationals in
foreign countries participated in the royal cremation ceremony for His
Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Thai embassies or Thai temples
where the sandalwood flower offering ceremony was organized.
The ceremony was broadcast live from
Bangkok on Thursday, allowing the Thais expats to bid farewell and pay
homage to the late monarch.
The ceremony in foreign countries was
presided over by respective Thai ambassadors or military attaches, with
volunteers providing assistance to attendees.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier
collected special sandalwood flower bouquets from Thai communities abroad as
tokens of their loyalty to the late King. The bouquets were places in one of
the pavilions in the royal crematorium.
Mhong villagers walk over 30 kilometers to pay homage to HM the late King
Chiang Mai - Over 400 Mhong hill
tribe people residing on Doi Pui mountain in Chiang Mai province, traveled
on foot Thursday to take part in a sandalwood flower laying ceremony for His
Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej as a sign of remembrance of His
The hill tribe people from Doi Pui
Village and Baan Kun Chang Kian traveled on foot over 30 kilometers to the
royal crematorium replica at Chiang Mai International Exhibition and
Village headman for Doi Pui, Metaphan
Fuangfukijakarn, remarked that the walk was organized as a way to bid
farewell to His Majesty the late King and is symbolic of his travels to
enrich the hill tribe people of Thailand.
The villagers sang songs exalting His
Majesty the late King during their walk and stopped in front of Bhubing
Palace to honor an image of the late King before arriving at the sandalwood
flower laying venue.
Sweden honors HM the late King Bhumibol in traditional royal ceremony
Stockholm - Sweden honored HM
the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand in a traditional ceremony at
the Royal Palace on Thursday.
Sweden’s Guards of Honor brought HM the
late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Coat of Arms as the Knight of the Royal Order
of the Seraphim — the Swedish foremost order from the Royal Palace in
Stockholm - to a Transfer Ceremony parade in which a bell was rung in honor
for one hour.
The Guards of Honor then placed HM the
late King’s Coat of Arms at Riddarholm Church in the Swedish capital city —
the burial church of the Swedish monarchs.
HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej was
presented with Sweden’s Royal Seraphim Coat-of-Arms on April 5, 1950.
Update October 25 - 26 , 2017
Rehearsals for royal cremation ceremony of HM the late King held nationwide
Bangkok - Rehearsals for the
upcoming royal cremation ceremony of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol
Adulyadej have beentaking place nationwide ahead of the actual ceremony this
In Bangkok, the Royal Thai Army carried
out a rehearsal Tuesday for the sandalwood flower laying ceremony at the
main funeral site, Sanam Luang.
In Phichit, local government officials
and volunteers attended the flower ceremony rehearsal and observed Likay
performances at the funeral site to ensure the province's readiness.
In Chiang Rai, provincial governor
Narongsak Osottanakorn led a group of government officials in a rehearsal at
Airport Squadron 416. Around 100,000 people are expected to turn up for the
funeral ceremony here on Thursday.
Mourners attending the royal funeral
ceremonies must wear modest, black clothing. Women are not allowed to wear
short skirts, short-sleeve shirts or singlets. Men should not roll up their
sleeves or wear jeans to the ceremony.
Chao Phraya River communities receive warning as flooding continues
Loei - Thailand's Royal
Irrigation Department (RID) has advised citizens living along the Chao
Phraya River to prepare for more flooding due to increased discharges from
the Chao Phraya Dam, while Loei province has reported inundation from forest
run off following heavy rains.
Run off from the Phu Luang Animal
Preserve has put villages in Wang Sapung district of Loei province under 3-4
meters of water, submerging many vehicles in the area. The waters are now
flowing into other communities and have prompted calls for residents to move
their belongings to higher ground.
Highway authorities in Khon Kaen
province, meanwhile, have lined the sides of roads with sandbags to prevent
water flowing onto highways in the area of Baan Nong Hin. Previously, water
flowing across roads was obstructing traffic. The situation remains
worrisome for residents in the area, who say a rise of another 20-30
centimeters will result in their homes being flooded.
Around Ubol Ratana reservoir, a steady
influx of water has resulted in overflow into Non Sang and Sri Boon Ruang
districts. A 2 kilometer stretch of road between the 2 areas has been made
impassable by up to 80 centimeters of water.
In Uthai Thani, the Chao Phraya River
has begun to rise, resulting in an increased water level in the Sakrakrang
River, which is 62 centimeters over its critical height. The province has
issued a warning to communities along the banks of both rivers.
Officer who transported ex-PM to border suspended from duty
Bangkok - Thailand's Acting
Commander of the Metropolitan Police has signed an order removing Pol Col
Chairit Anurit from duty, due to the alleged assistance he provided in the
sudden departure from Thailand of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Pol Lt Gen Chanthep Sesavej, said he
has signed the order after a fact finding committee found Anurit guilty of
violating subsection 1 of the police code section 78, which stipulates that
an officer must “act with honesty, truth and morality in accordance with the
police code, Cabinet resolutions and the ethical policies of the police
force and government”.
Anurit was also found to be in
violation of section 79 (6), “bringing harm to the civil service
institution”, after allegedly assisting ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra to
leave the country via Sa Kaeo province ahead of the reading of the verdict
in a case relating to her government’s rice pledging scheme. A body to
decide on his punishment has now been formed and it will report to the Royal
Thai Police office.
Meanwhile, a test of DNA samples found
in the Toyota Camry, alleged to have transported Yingluck to the border, has
yet to confirm that she was in the vehicle.
Cabinet approves bill in aid of people involved in anti-corruption work
spokesperson Lt. Gen. Sansern Kaewkumnerd.
Bangkok - The Cabinet has
endorsed a draft law on the support and protection of people who are engaged
in the fight against corruption.
After the weekly Cabinet meeting,
government spokesperson Lt. Gen. Sansern Kaewkumnerd disclosed that the
Cabinet gave the green light to the draft law which was proposed by the
Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission to ensure support and safety for
those contributing to anti-corruption efforts in the country.
The bill will in the near future be
forwarded to the National Legislative Assembly for final consideration. Once
approved and enacted, it would lay down directions, methods and mechanisms
in support of public members in raising awareness against corruption and
reporting irregularities or corrupt practices to responsible organizations.
A committee would be established to
specifically provide protection for any informants. Should such individuals
be harassed or threatened by influential figures or state officials, the
latter would be subjected to severe punishment.
HM the King advises opening of more public viewing spaces for royal funeral
Bangkok - His Majesty the King
has instructed the government to allocate more areas for people to observe
the royal cremation ceremony at Sanam Luang while the government is
satisfied with the recent full-dress rehearsals of royal funeral
Government spokesperson Lt Gen Sansern
Kaewkumnerd confirmed the government’s full readiness to organize the royal
cremation ceremony for His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej this
October 26. He pointed out that the grand rehearsals of all six royal
funeral processions were conducted smoothly over the weekend, with only some
minute details still to be improved on the actual day. He gave assurances
that the ceremony will be free of glitches, given all officials involved are
strongly committed to serving the late King for one last time.
According to the government spokesman,
His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn has offered royal advice to Prime
Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, saying additional viewing areas should be
designated for spectators during the royal funeral. His Majesty urged the
government not to be overly stringent with rules and regulations so as to
allow mourners to visit the ceremonial ground with ease.
Nonetheless, Lt Gen Sansern insisted
that more public relations work and guidelines need to be put in place for
certain codes of conduct, such as the dress code and photography code. In
addition, since people mostly entered the Sanam Luang area through the
checkpoint near Royal Rattanakosin Hotel during the rehearsals, they will
now be made aware of all other available entrances in a bid to reduce
Thailand marks King Chulalongkorn Day
Bangkok - People across the
country paid respects and demonstrated their gratitude on Monday to His
Majesty King Rama V on the occasion of King Chulalongkorn Day.
In Bangkok, the Prime Minister
accompanied members of his Cabinet in laying a garland at Dusit Palace to
mark the 107th anniversary of the passing of the illustrious King. They
were joined by civil servants, private organizations and students and
teachers from various schools.
King Chulalongkorn Day, or Piyamaharaj
Day, is celebrated on October 23 each year to commemorate the demise of King
Rama V, who was revered both by Thais and foreigners for his great works,
which included ending slavery in the country, reforming the education system
and bringing the Kingdom up to date with the modern world of his time.
Flooding still severe in many parts of the country
Khon Kaen - Citizens in the
lower north, central and northeastern regions continue to suffer from flood
conditions with water levels not showing any sign of receding.
Royal Irrigation Department staff have
been joined by soldiers and local administrative officials in Khon Kaen
province’s Baan Lad Na Piang community to setup a Big Bag barrier to hold
off the Lam Huay Yai waterway, which is taking on 1.5 million cubic meters
of water per day and storing the excess in the area’s rice farms.
Authorities believe it will take up to 1,000 Big Bags to adequately
High water has remained in the
province’s Nam Pong, Muang and Ubol Ratana districts and still shows signs
of expansion. Earthen barriers have been increased by 50 centimeters in
height and are now stretching 10 kilometers to keep water out of rice
fields. Ubol Ratana Dam has nonetheless begun to drop in level and it is
expected that if rains continue to hold off, officials will be able to
decrease its discharge rate and allow flooding to subside.
In Ayuthaya province, heavy rains have
again raised water levels with Bang Ban, Bang Sai, Pak Hai, Sena, Bang Ba
Han, Maharaj, Bang Pa In and Phra Nakorn Si Ayuthaya districts all flooded,
impacting some 30,000 households. Deputy Governor Rewat Prasong has ordered
relief efforts to focus on providing dry roadways so that transportation and
travel can resume.
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha has
ordered governors under the Ministry of the Interior and soldiers under the
Ministry of Defense to establish temporary shelters and evacuation centers
as well as close assistance. He has urged citizens to heed official
instructions and not to remove sandbags from barriers.
Live royal cremation ceremony screening at Suvarnabhumi airport
Bangkok - Suvarnabhumi Airport
will display the live broadcast of the royal cremation ceremony on screens
in both its departure and arrivals halls, to allow passengers to follow the
momentous occasion, seeing it also as an opportunity to promote traditional
Thai customs to international visitors.
Screens running the broadcast will be
located in the departures hall at entrance 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8 as well as in
every gate holding area. The jumbo screen behind Row D of the check-in
counters will also be displaying the ceremony.
Additionally, screens will be placed in
the arrival hall at Exit A, and the passenger waiting hall at entrance 10.
A shuttle bus transporting passengers
from Suvarnabhumi Airport to the ceremony grounds will be provided,
departing from entrance 8 on the ground floor, where the live broadcast will
also be run.
Government produces special Royal Cremation pins
Bangkok - As the royal cremation
of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej approaches, the government has
prepared special commemorative pins for the public to keep, in addition to
banknotes, coins and photos with images or photographs of the dearly-beloved
monarch and the royal family.
The pins are intended as memorabilia
that anyone can wear to remember the passing of the beloved king that has
continued to sadden millions of people.
The design of the special pins is a
hexagon, with one side displaying the initial of HM the late King Bhumibol
Adulyadej and the other side showing an engraved Thai phrase that can be
literally translated as the royal cremation ceremony along with the Thai
numerals “2560” which is the Buddhist year equivalent to this year.
Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Prime
Minister’s Office Sompas Nilapund said the first batch of 40,000 special
pins was released Sunday at a unit price of 300 baht and with the condition
that one person is allowed to buy up to two pieces only.
Three more zones to be set up to accommodate mourners on Oct 26
Bangkok - A committee
responsible for facilitating the cremation ceremony of HM the Late King
Bhumibol Adulyadej has decided to designate three additional accommodation
areas for spectators and mourners who will be observing the royal funeral
procession this coming Thursday, October 26.
Surrounding the Grand Palace, the three
areas are located on Maha Rat Road, Thai Wang Road, and Sanam Chai Road.
In the meantime, the Ministry of
Transport has been giving out 300,000 pamphlets containing travel
instructions for commuters, motorists, and those planning to attend the
cremation ceremony. Information related to the funeral can also be obtained
from Hotline 1441 or by visiting www.kingrama9.net.
Airports & hospitals prepared for floods
Bangkok - The Department of
Airports (DOA) has beefed up its flood prevention and response measures as
the protracted monsoon season continues to put several provinces under
DOA Director-General Darun Sangchai,
said that all 28 airports under the care of the DOA remain unaffected by
floods. Still, they have been instructed to install high-powered water pumps
and Big Bag flood barriers around their facilities as a precaution. Special
attention is being given to airports in the southern and eastern provinces
where aspects of the monsoon season will continue into November.
Meanwhile, MOPH Permanent-Secretary Dr.
Jessada Chokdamrongsuk, has disclosed that the ongoing floods have affected
75 hospitals in 17 provinces in the Northeast, East and central region.
However, all of them can attend to patients as usual. Eleven health
promoting hospitals in Ayutthaya and Singburi are providing patient services
elsewhere as their facilities are undergoing repairs.
Dignitaries from 30 countries to attend royal cremation ceremony
Bangkok - Foreign Minister Don
Pramudwinai says at least 30 countries have notified the ministry that they
will be taking part in the cremation ritual of HM the late King Bhumibol
Adulyadej on Thursday, October 26, adding that the number of high-profile
participants could change as the ministry is still awaiting other
When asked if every country is invited,
Don said the ministry does not send out invitations but these countries have
informed the Thai government on their own that they would be attending the
funeral. He noted that Thailand welcomes every guest and visitor from
In terms of readiness, Don said Thai
embassies and consulates around the world have been preparing and are now
ready for the upcoming funeral flower ceremony, but the exact time and date
is yet to be confirmed.
Update October 21-22 , 2017
Police caution sellers of merchandise with HM the late King’s image
Bangkok - The Royal Thai Police
says printing images of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej or the
Royal Crematorium on articles of clothing for sale is considered extremely
inappropriate and should not be done.
Police have already discovered
instances of such activity and reminded sellers that use of the royal image
Royal Thai Police Spokesman, Pol Gen
Wirchai Songmettha says that while there are no specific laws against such
activity, the unpermitted use of any organization’s imagery can be
considered illegal, and urged society to join in shunning sellers and
producers of the inappropriate merchandise.
The announcement came as Metropolitan
Police dispatched a contingent of over 300 volunteers who will be offering
assistance to people taking part in the royal funeral proceedings. Deputy
Commander of the Metropolitan Police Pol Maj Gen Sompong Chingduang chaired
the event to dispatch the volunteers, who will join 267 police, 24 soldiers
and 17 municipal workers operating 15 cars and 58 motorcycles during the
event to aid citizens.
Pol Maj Gen Sompong indicated that
Metropolitan Police 1 and 6 would take the lead in the operations, which
will include managing traffic to and from the ceremonial proceedings.
Thailand launches world's first reference book in Thai herbs
Bangkok - The Department of
Medical Sciences has launched the world’s first reference book on Thai
medicinal herbs, in an attempt to lower imports of foreign medicines.
Public Health Minister Dr. Piyasakol
Sakolsatayadorn revealed that the book is intended to provide information on
alternatives to modern overseas drugs. The book was also published by in
honor of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The reference volume describes the
medicinal properties of 70 types of Thai herbs. The department spent two
years studying and compiling information on these plants.
The most popular herbs used by Thais
are turmeric, green chiretta, and centella. Manufacturers can also use this
book as a reference to produce herbal products.
The use of herbal medicines has become
so popular that the herb industry generates 14 billion baht per year. To
promote the use of Thai herbs, the government has developed the first
national herb development plan for 2017-2021.
Vegetarian food festival begins nationwide
Bangkok - Chinese shrines and
food operators in different provinces started distributing and selling vegan
meals on Friday as the annual Vegan Festival got underway.
In the southernmost province of Yala,
the local shrine of Yala City Municipality is offering free meals three
times a day. Members of the public are welcome to donate money and food
staples for the charity food project.
In Songkhla, Viva Hotel has put up a
street kitchen offering zero-meat dishes for 40-60 baht per item. The
campaign has been warmly received by residents and visitors.
In the central province of Nakhon
Sawan, Governor Thanakhom Jongjira presided over the opening ceremony of the
Vegan Festival at the local Chinese shrine of Nakhon Sawan Municipality.
Participants were treated to a 20-course buffet.
Those observing the vegan festival said
they planned to strictly forgo meat for 10 days as a tribute to HM the late
King and for their own health’s sake. The festival continues until 28th
NBTC agrees with lowering fees for digital tv operators
NBTC Commissioner, Takorn Tantasith.
Bangkok – The National Broadcasting and
Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has decided to lower digital television
fees to aid business operators.
NBTC Commissioner, Takorn Tantasith,
announced that a recent meeting of the panel gave its approval to a
reconsideration of the licensing fee for digital television to help
operators of TV services.
The adjustments will mandate that TV
companies with revenue less than 100 million baht will continue to pay a fee
of 0.125 percent of their income, those earning 100-500 million baht will
pay 0.25 percent, 500 million to 1 billion baht will result in a charge of
0.5 percent, revenue between 1 and 5 billion baht will be subject to 0.75
percent and those generating over 5 billion baht in annual revenue will pay
a fee of 1.5 percent.
Current fees are based on intervals
starting from 5 million baht, 5 to 50 million baht, 50 to 500 million baht,
500 million to 1 billion baht and above 1 billion with rates going from 0.5
percent to 2 percent.
The adjustment is to be included in the
third announcement on frequency licenses, which is expected to be issued for
public discussion before taking effect late this year or early next.
HM the King grants flames for use in royal cremation in Thailand, overseas
Bangkok - His Majesty the King
has presented the Prime Minister with royal flames, which will be
distributed to officials in all provinces of Thailand and in foreign
countries to use in the upcoming royal cremation ceremony.
On Wednesday, His Majesty King Maha
Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun granted an audience to Prime Minister
Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha as well as the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs
and all provincial governors at Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall, Dusit
His Majesty conferred on the Prime
Minister royal flames, which are to be lit at the 85 royal crematorium
replicas in all 77 provinces and at ceremonial sites in 94 other countries
worldwide during the royal cremation of His Majesty the late King Rama IX
this October 26.
Following the royal audience, Gen
Prayut proceeded to Santi Maitree Building, Government House, where he
hosted a ceremony to pass on the royal flames to the responsible officials.
All provincial governors received the flames from the royal lantern while
the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs was given a fire chest, which
will be used to deliver the flames to foreign countries.
Facebook knocks back PM's Zuckerberg meeting
Bangkok — Facebook says its top
executives aren't coming to Thailand, two days after Prime Minister Prayuth
Chan-ocha announced CEO Mark Zuckerberg would meet him this month.
Facebook said in a one-sentence
statement Thursday, "There are no plans currently for any of our senior
leaders to visit Thailand."
Thailand and the social media giant
have had a strained relationship this year. Facebook has irked the
government by being a platform for critics and in May a regulator threatened
to block the popular site.
The PM told reporters Tuesday he was
scheduled to meet with Zuckerberg on Oct. 30.
"Please don't link our meeting to any
other issues," Prayuth said. "To talk and exchange opinions would be better
than for us to not meet at all."
A deputy government spokesman,
Weerachon Sukhondhapatipak, said Thursday that the Prime Minister announced
the meeting with Zuckerberg to reporters after he was briefed by Thailand's
Board of Investment.
Last December, authorities declared it
illegal to exchange information on the internet with three prominent
government critics. An official statement advised all citizens not to
follow, contact, share or engage in any other activity that would result in
sharing information from the three, who all live outside Thailand.
Facebook, which is blocked in a number
of authoritarian countries including China, has said it relies on local
governments to notify it of information they deem illegal.
"If, after careful legal review, we
find that the content is illegal under local law we restrict it as
appropriate and report the restriction in our Government Request Report,"
Facebook has said in past statements outlining its policy.
MOPH warns residents of flood related diseases
Bangkok - Thailand's Ministry of Public Health
has urged people in flooded areas to take protective measures against flood
related diseases, particularly leptospirosis and conjunctivitis.
Permanent Secretary of the Public Health Ministry, Dr.
Jessada Chokdamrongsuk, has instructed officials at health centers in
flooded areas to prepare measures to counter the possibility of infectious
Leptospirosis can be transmitted to humans through cuts
and abrasions of the skin, or through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose
Quoting the latest figures, Dr. Jessada said
leptospirosis has infected a total of 2,425 people and killed 47 so far this
year, whereas about 89 thousand flood affected residents have contracted
As a result, he strongly advises those in flood zones
to keep themselves clean and seek medical attention immediately should they
develop high fever, eye redness or muscle pains.
Dr. Jessada stressed that these diseases are not
life-threatening if treated promptly.
Cabinet approves laws to allow stock conversion
Prime Minister’s Office Advisor, Nutthaporn
Bangkok - The Cabinet has given
its approval to four draft laws to open up stock conversion to entice
investment and business development.
Prime Minister’s Office Advisor
Nutthaporn Jatusripitak made it known that this week’s Cabinet meeting gave
its approval to a set of four draft laws that together allow limited
companies to convert stocks, and stagger shares, to create an Employee Stock
Ownership Plan and to create preferred stocks.
Among changes in the law is an
allowance for share buyers to use debt as payment in cases where
shareholders make special provisions or when a company converts shares into
The proposed new laws also allow
preferred stocks to be converted into common stock and for companies to buy
back and hold their own shares if they meet certain criteria. Companies will
also be able to offer shares to employees or lenders without having to first
propose the shares to existing holders.
Obstacles to issuing debentures have
also been relaxed, mostly to assist Start Ups. At the same time, punitive
action against companies, associations and foundations in terms of
shareholdings have also been modified.
The draft laws are now being forwarded
to the Council of State, which must ask the Stock Exchange of Thailand and
Securities and Exchange Commission for their views before the National
Legislative Assembly can deliberate on the laws.
HM the King installs Nine-Tiered Great White Umbrella of State at the top of Royal Crematorium
Bangkok - His Majesty King Rama
X officiated at the installation of the Nine-Tiered Great White Umbrella of
State atop the royal crematorium at Sanam Luang cremonial ground on
Upon his arrival at the royal
crematorium, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun
was greeted by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, along with his spouse
and Cabinet members. During the ceremony to install the Nine-Tiered Great
White Umbrella of State, His Majesty was accompanied by Her Royal Highness
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Her Royal Highness Princess
To initiate the ceremony, the Prime
Minister presented His Majesty with a verbal report on the construction of
the royal crematorium and introduced him to members of the responsible
committee. His Majesty then sprinkled lustral water on the Nine-Tiered Great
White Umbrella of State and anointed it before proceeding to raise the
sacred object to the top of the principal pavilion of the royal crematorium.
The Nine-Tiered Great White Umbrella of
State is regarded as the most sacred and ancient of the royal regalia of
Thailand. It weighs 80 kilograms and measures 1.2 meters in diameter and 5.1
meters in height. The raising of the Nine-Tiered Great White Umbrella of
State is a tradition dating back to as far as the Ayutthaya period.
Dept of Disease Control moves to prevent bird flu outbreak
Bangkok - The Department of Disease Control
(DDC) is implementing measures to prevent the spread of avian flu during the
end of the rainy season, following outbreaks in many other countries.
DDC Deputy Director-General Dr Panumard Yarnwaidsaku
chaired a meeting earlier this week on health care readiness for avian flu.
The meeting covered policies such as monitoring and preventing the disease
in humans and animals, medical aid measures, laboratory tests, action plans,
risk assessments, and operational management.
As of September 20 this year, the total number of H7N9
cases worldwide has reached 1,589. Of this number, 616 were fatal, and all
deaths occurred in China. Other strains of the H5 and H7 influenza viruses
have been reported across the world.
Although Thailand has not reported a single confirmed
case of avian flu in humans since 2006 or in birds since 2008, a number of
bird deaths have been discovered.
NLA unveils "Doing Good" exhibition
Bangkok - The Secretary-General’s office of the
National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has organized an exhibition titled
“Doing Good” to further promote the teachings and guidance of His Majesty
the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Chai Pattana Foundation Secretary-General Sumet
Tantivejjakul chaired the opening of the “Doing Good” exhibition, which was
organized on the second floor Eden Zone of Central World department store by
the Secretary-General’s office of the NLA.
The event is a rotating display of His Majesty the late
King’s teachings and sayings depicted in the form of short films. The
displays were created by a variety of agencies in tribute to the late King
and as an affirmation of his guidance.
The aim of the exhibition is to encourage youths to
remain loyal to His Majesty the late King and to follow in his footsteps by
seeking to do good and to uphold the institutions of family and society. It
will run until October 31.
80,000 police to be deployed at main funeral site
Bangkok - Around 80,000 police officers will be
deployed at the cremation site in Bangkok and surrounding areas in the
build-up to the royal funeral next week.
Deputy Metro Police Chief Pol Maj Gen Montri Yimyam
revealed that 18 roads around Sanam Luang and Rattanakosin Island as well as
the Somdet Phra Pinklao Bridge will be closed on October 23 at 10 pm to pave
the way for the royal cremation ceremony.
Nine more roads, including Arunamarin Intersection,
Ratchadamnoen Klang and those within the vicinity, will be closed on October
25 from 5 am onward. On October 26, a total of 42 roads will be cordoned
Meanwhile, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and
other agencies are improving the landscape around the funeral site before
handing everything over to security units.
Bangkok residents told to prepare for more rain as flood threat persists
Bangkok - The Royal Irrigation
Department (RID) has warned of more heavy rain in Bangkok with the Chao
Phraya River overflowing in several areas.
A community of Nonthaburi province
along the Chao Phraya River has reported various impacts from its rising
waters with members of the Tha It Mosque community erecting a sand bag
barrier to fend off flood waters.
Fellow villagers in a nearby
neighborhood have indicated they have been contending with an inundation for
over a week now and despite assistance from state authorities have continued
to experience difficulties in their day to day life.
Meanwhile, Royal Irrigation Department
Office 11 has installed water pumps to help alleviate the situation
affecting over 600 household in Mahasarakam with local authorities telling
more villages to move their property to higher ground due to the rising Chi
RID Office 6 Water Watch and Monitoring
System Center, has reported that Ubol Ratana Dam has increased its discharge
to 50 million cubic meters per second and is to further increase the rate to
54 million, where it will be maintained for the time being.
In Ang Thong, mobile development
soldiers have assisted in setting up a sand bag barrier 30 meters back from
an existing flood wall in Posa subdistrict, to aid local residents.
RID Deputy Director-General Thongplew
Kongchan meantime, has revealed that a recent meeting to assess the water
situation saw Meteorological Department academics stating a monsoon system
will be passing over the lower central region, causing heavy rain in Bangkok
that could match the intensity seen last weekend, when severe flooding
resulted across the capital after a 6 hour storm.
Areas affected during the sudden deluge
have been told to be on alert once again but authorities noted that the
city’s waterways and systems have been drained in anticipation of further
Officer faulted for involvement in Yingluck's escape
Bangkok – A fact finding
committee has found fault with the deputy commander of Metropolitan Police
Region 5 for assisting former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to leave
the Kingdom and the Metropolitan Police chief will now decide his
Pol Maj Gen Panurat Lakbun revealed
after attending a fact finding meeting on the escape of the ex-premier that
Pol Col Chairit Anurit, had been found at fault for having assisted the
secret departure of Yingluck and her ultimate evasion of arrest. He has been
charged with violation of the Police Act.
The matter has been forwarded to Acting
Metropolitan Police Chief Pol Lt Gen Chanthep Sesavej, so that he may decide
on the appropriate action to be taken. Pol Col Chairit is to be punished for
failing to perform his duties with honesty and for causing severe damage to
the civil service sector. He will be able to appeal against the decision
within 30 days, after it is sent to the Royal Thai Police Office.
Foreign Affairs and Interior Ministries ensure readiness for royal funeral
Bangkok - Thailand's Ministries
of Interior and Foreign Affairs have confirmed their readiness for the
upcoming royal cremation ceremony of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol
Interior Minister, General Anupong
Paojinda, has announced that the royal crematorium replicas and 878
sandalwood flower pavilions across 76 provinces have been completed. All
that remains is to landscape the surrounding areas, which is expected to be
completed in a couple of days.
Foreign Minister, Don Pramudwinai, said
his ministry is ready to welcome foreign dignitaries arriving to attend the
royal cremation ceremony. At least 30 countries have confirmed their
Rehearsals for the cremation are also
scheduled to take place across the country, ahead of the actual event.
Authorities in Bangkok are preparing to accommodate large crowds of
mourners, which are expected to arrive at Sanam Luang in time for the
DPM voices confidence in National Office of Buddhism
Minister Gen Thanasak Patimaprakorn.
Bangkok - The Deputy Prime
Minister has voiced his confidence in the National Office of Buddhism and
its operations, stating transfers within the office were not due to the
temple fund corruption case.
DPM Gen Thanasak Patimaprakorn, who has
been tasked with overseeing the National Office of Buddhism, said in an
interview that all relevant authorities are working to their utmost on the
temple fund corruption case and he believes the office itself is strictly
adhering to regulations. The office’s main duty in the matter is to provide
information to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and the
Counter Corruption Division (CCD) Police, with the two latter agencies to
take action where graft is found.
On the transfer of some Buddhism office
civil servants, Gen Thanasak said they were routine and undertaken to
improve the efficiency of the agency. He assured the public that those moved
around were not involved in the corruption case.
The DPM stated that the director of the
National Office of Buddhism must work in a transparent and upstanding manner
to strengthen the organization and should remedy any aspects of the office
impeding its efficiency. He said he had passed on his views to the director
and urged him to report any interference.
Tourism visitors and revenue notably up year-on-year
sports minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul.
Bangkok - The Ministry of
Tourism and Sports has reported the latest tourism earnings at over 1.3
trillion baht, 7.6 percent up on the same period last year, attributing the
growth to the focus on traditional Thai life as a tourist attraction.
Tourism and sports minister Kobkarn
Wattanavrangkul says the overall picture has been positive with revenue and
visitor numbers both up. From 1st January of this year to 11th October, 26.9
million travelers entered Thailand, generating a combined 1.37 trillion baht
in revenue, hikes of 5.6 and 7.6 percent respectively year-on-year.
Chinese visitors remained in the top
position with 7.63 million traveling to the Kingdom, especially during the
China National Day holiday, when 227,648 chose Thailand as their
destination, 69.04 percent more than last year. They spent 12.528 billion
baht, 75.66 percent more than in the year prior.
Kobkarn assured the public that
preparations have been made for the high season, during which the ministry
will continue to promote traditional Thai lifestyles as well as sports
tourism to disperse travelers across all the regions.
PM praises Bodyslam singer for charity run
Bangkok –Prime Minister Gen
Prayut Chan-o-cha has congratulated Athiwara Khongmalai, or Toon, the lead
singer of the "Bodyslam" band, for his campaign to raise funds to help 11
hospitals nationwide through his charity run during November - December
2017. He wished him success in achieving his goal and thanked him for his
good intentions towards the country.
Athiwara will start his 55-day route on
November 1 in Yala province and plans to finish in Mae Sai district of the
northernmost Chiang Rai province on December 25. The route will be total
The PM said the activity is
constructive, pointing out that people can do good voluntarily, and
expressed his belief that most Thai people support the cause, inviting them
to step up and do good for society.
The Prime Minister addressed criticism
on social media, which claims faulty budget management by the government is
forcing a civilian to raise money, by saying that this is a personal
opinion, but the government's duty is to govern and manage the country in
every way, be it security, the economy or society as a whole, making it
impossible for the government to allocate budget only to a specific area.
Authorities to designate protected areas for dugongs in Thailand
Bangkok - The Department of
National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) is to conduct a
seagrass and sea-cow survey to designate protected areas, following a rapid
decline in the number of the marine animals.
DNP Director-General Thanya
Netithammakul has reported to relevant agencies that while not yet critical,
sea-cows in Thailand continue to be threatened by human activity. The mammal
is hunted by groups who believe its bones can be brewed as elixirs and its
teeth can be used as amulets.
The DNP is to conduct a three-month
survey on the remaining population of sea-cows between Dec 2017 and Feb 2018
and has instructed authorities of Hat Chao Mai National Park to suppress
Sea-cows are at the top of the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) list, which
prohibits the trading of wild sea-cows except for authorized research due to
their endangered status. It is currently estimated that there are only 200
sea-cows still in Thai waters.
Irrigation Dept. managing dam releases as volumes remain high
Nakhon Sawan - The water level
in the Chao Phraya River flowing into Nakhon Sawan has risen slightly but
both Bhumibol and Sirikit dams have kept their release gates shut.
Royal Irrigation Department (RID)
Director-General Somkiat Prajumwong explained that the flow of water through
C.2 station of Nakhon Sawan province is currently at 2,804 cubic meters per
second and the water level of the waterway is now 1.48 meters, up 8
centimeters from the last checks. The situation is being helped by Bhumibol
Dam and Sirikit Dam no longer releasing any water as they begin drought
The Chao Phraya Dam is releasing water
at a rate of 2,616 cubic meters a second which has lifted water levels in
Singburi and Ang Thong provinces by 3 centimeters. In Ayuthaya province,
water at Baan Pom has risen by 4 centimeters and by 6 centimeters at Baan
Bang Luang Dod. The province is dealing with the situation by slowing water
north of the Chao Phraya Dam and expediting drainage to its south. Lowlands
in the province are also being used to retain water with 12 fields now
holding a combined 1.156 billion cubic meters of water and ready to take on
340 million cubic meters more.
RID Deputy Director-General Thongplew
Kongchan meanwhile, addressed flooding in Chai Nat province by saying that
the affected area was outside the flood barrier and that local people were
given prior warning so as to adequately prepare.
US Embassy releases video footage of HM the late King
In this June
28, 1960, file photo, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, center, is seated
between His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, left, and Queen
Sirikit for a motorcade drive in Washington D.C. (AP Photo)
Bangkok – The US Embassy in
Bangkok has released a video in honor of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol
Adulayadej of Thailand.
To mark the 1-year anniversary of the
late King’s passing, the US Embassy released a video tribute entitled, “We
Will Always Remember His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Our Hearts.”
In the 3-minutes of footage, US
Ambassador to Thailand Glyn Davies reviews HM the late King’s relationship
and close connection with the United States. Davies said that Americans are
very proud that HM King Bhumibol was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where
his father was studying medicine at Harvard, making His Majesty the only
US-born monarch in history.
The video ends with Davies saying, “We,
at the United States Embassy in Thailand, remember and will always remember
the great King Bhumibol Adulyadej. We will remember him in our hearts, and
how fortunate we all were to have learned from this remarkable King.”
Irrigation Dept denies causing widespread floods in capital
General, Somkiat Prajamwong.
Bangkok - The Royal Irrigation
Department (RID) has denied a rumor that it discharged water from the
Bhumibol Dam and caused widespread flooding in Bangkok on Saturday.
A rumor circulating in social media
claims that the department is releasing 100 million cubic meters of water a
day from Bhumibol Dam into the Chao Phraya River, causing massive flooding
in the capital city.
In response, RID Director General,
Somkiat Prajamwong said Sunday that the rumor was groundless while asking
the public to stop sharing false and distorted information.
At present, he said the dam has 9.185
million cubic meters of water, which is equivalent to 66% of its total
capacity, thus there is no need to discharge any water. He added that the
dam hasn’t released any water since October 5 because the monsoon season is
about to end.
On Saturday, 55 major roads in Bangkok
were rendered inaccessible by widespread floods that were triggered by heavy
downpours in the early hours of the morning.
Yala beefs up security measures ahead of royal cremation ceremony
Yala - Thailand's Yala province has stepped up
security measures to maintain public peace and order ahead of the royal
The province's security units have joined forces to set
up checkpoints in the Yala City municipal area to detect people who might be
carrying weapons, to prevent any disturbances and to build confidence among
Security officials have detected signs on social media
of plans to provoke public disturbances during the week of His Majesty the
late King’s cremation ceremony and have issued warnings against the
Security officials will be on full alert and local
villagers were asked to help them monitor the situation to assist in
preventing possible disturbances.
People donate blood in honor of HM King Rama IX
Bangkok - People in Bangkok
are donating blood at the Thai Red Cross National Blood Centre in
dedication to His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The center on Henri Dunant Road saw
people lining up at 5:00am on Friday, one year since the King’s death,
to donate blood in honor of His Late Majesty. All donors will receive a
commemorative coin marking the 50th anniversary of the reign of King
The blood drive will take place
until October 26. Those who are interested in donating blood can do so
from 7:30am to 7:30pm on weekdays and from 8:30am to 3:30pm on weekends