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Update August, 2019


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Thailand News
 

DPM Wissanu: PM ready to engage in parliamentary debate

Deputy Prime Minister, Prof. Dr. Wissanu Krea-ngam.

NNT

Bangkok - The Secretariat of the House of Representatives has informed the cabinet of a motion to hold a non-binding debate over an alleged incomplete oath of allegiance of Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, with the Deputy Prime Minister, Prof. Dr. Wissanu Krea-ngam, assuring that the PM will personally handle the discussion and that a request for the Constitutional Court to review the issue will not impede state work.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu said the administration is ready to answer any questions posed by the Constitutional Court concerning its incomplete oath-taking and added that the process will not impede its work. He declined to speculate on whether a royal inscription of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua would clear up the matter, saying only it had boosted the morale of the cabinet members.

On the parliamentary debate, the Deputy Prime Minister said Gen. Prayut will be present to address queries personally and assured he was not evading questions.

The Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, Tewan Lipatapanlop, as coordinator of the government whip and the parliament, said a meeting will take place on September 2, 2019, to discuss the debate, and greater clarity will follow.

The Secretary-General of the House of Representatives, Sorasak Pienvej, made known a memorandum has been dispatched to inform the cabinet of the motion for the debate, and the administration can now indicate its most convenient date. Sorasak said it is within the cabinet’s rights to delay the debate until after the parliament concludes in November. He acknowledged the House Speaker’s wish to have the debate scheduled during this session.


Customs Department accepts tariff payments via banks

NNT

Bangkok - The Customs Department has offered to accept tariff payments via two more banks and one more authorized agent. The agency provides convenience and helps save costs for businesspersons paying import/export tariffs. They can print receipts for themselves under the government’s electronic payment policy.

The Customs Department has reached an agreement with the Government Savings Bank, Bank of Ayudhya and Big C Supercenter to provide an electronic system for tariff payments. It’s called the Bill Payment System for Importers and Exporters. They may produce waybills with a QR code or bar code or a reference number to pay for tariffs via Internet Banking, Mobile Banking, or at banks or ATMs. They can pay through an authorized agent and print receipts of tariff payments for themselves via the department’s e-Tracking system. Using the electronic system could save up to 134 baht per waybill or 286 million baht in a year.

Customs Department Director, General Krisana Chinawicharana said the agreement was meant to provide convenience for businesspersons who may make such payments via the authorized agent, or at the Krung Thai Bank, Kasikornbank, Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank or 7-elevens. A total of 1.37 million receipts have been printed by businesspersons themselves during the last six months, accounting for 99.91% of all electronically-issued receipts.

The department has collected over 98.13 billion baht in tariff payments in the first 10 months of fiscal 2019 and expects to reach a 108 billion baht target in the current fiscal year. Tariff revenue has mostly come from increased imports of motor vehicles.


Thailand Space Week 2019

NNT

Bangkok - This year’s international aerospace exhibition, Thailand Space Week 2019, is currently showcasing aerospace and geo-information technology and a zero-gravity simulation using human gyroscopes.

Thailand Space Week 2019 is Thailand’s first aerospace exhibition, featuring academic forums on aerospace and geo-information technologies, a forum on high-precision satellite location tracking services in Asia, showcasing innovative concepts and real-life adaptations in the industrial sector. It is also an opportunity for business matching sessions between international firms.

The event also houses aerospace innovations including human gyroscope devices simulating zero-gravity conditions. The device is used to familiarize astronauts with spinning spacecrafts. Event goers can participate in space orbit simulations using 3D virtual reality headsets. There are some 60 information booths.

Thailand Space Week 2019 is taking place at the IMPACT Forum, IMPACT Muang Thong Thani exhibition center, Nonthaburi, from now until Friday 29 August.


Health Ministry: Urine drinking can’t prevent diseases

NNT

Bangkok - The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has advised that drinking urine does not prevent diseases but could lead to infections. Meanwhile, the director of Ban Jot Nong Kae - Nong Sim School in Khon Kaen is working to establish an understanding of the fact among parents, after a teacher posted on Facebook that water mixed with urine could be used as a medicine, insisting that it was a homemade herbal juice.

The school director wants the parents and seven students who reportedly drank the liquid supplied by the teacher, to be informed of the true nature of the ’juice’. It was also observed by Niyom Pho-Ngam, Deputy Director of Khon Kaen Phichit Primary Educational Service Area Office 3, who says that the teacher claimed the herbal juice was mixed with pandan leaves, such as Tiliacora triandra leaves and Chinese violet leaves which have a cooling effect, suggesting, students who have a high fever would feel better after drinking the potion.

Dr. Sukhum Kanchanaphimai, MOPH Permanent Secretary, has warned the public against following this example of drinking urine and using it to clean their eyes to prevent diseases. He has confirmed that urine cannot prevent or cure illnesses and no modern medical study has ever endorsed the use of urine as a cure for disease. Drinking urine could lead to infection and it is harmful to the body because it is waste that is discharged. If drunk repeatedly, there is a risk of it leaving residue in the body and it would be dangerous, especially to patients with kidney problems or heart disease.


Ombudsman calls Thai PM's incomplete oath unconstitutional

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, center, surrounded by bodyguards, walks to attend a cabinet meeting at the Government House of Thailand in Bangkok, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Grant Peck and Preeyapa T. Khunsong

Bangkok (AP) — Thailand's ombudsman ruled Tuesday that the prime minister's failure to recite a key sentence in his oath of office was unconstitutional, and will refer the matter to the Constitutional Court to decide whether the government was legally installed.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha omitted a sentence about upholding the constitution when he led his Cabinet in the oath in front of HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn on July 16.

If the Constitutional Court accepts the case and rules that the government lacks legitimacy, it might invalidate measures it has undertaken since taking office.

There has been much speculation about why the PM failed to include the phrase "I will also uphold and comply with the constitution of the kingdom in every aspect," and whether it was intentional or accidental.

Opposition lawmakers pointed it out the omission last month. Prayuth has said the matter is not a problem and the ombudsman's office said he told them he had completed the oath-taking.

He has made similar assertions on previous occasions but never explained how that could be the case.

The ombudsman's office ruled after three complaints were submitted to it by members of the public. While it can refer cases to the courts for prosecution, its rulings by themselves have no power of enforcement.

Prayuth's Cabinet at a ceremony Tuesday ahead of the ombudsman's ruling was given copies of a message from the King encouraging them to perform their duties according to the oath they swore.

In the brief letter, dated the day of the oath-taking, His Majesty gave his blessings to conduct their duties with courage, confidence and determination for the country's benefit, happiness and stability.

Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, a lawmaker who is secretary general of the opposition Future Forward Party, said the ceremony involving the King's letter did not amount to taking the oath of office again, and the matter therefore remains unresolved.

The parliamentary opposition is seeking to hold a debate on the oath controversy next month, and Prayuth said Tuesday he would attend its session to defend himself rather than assigning a colleague to represent him.


Norwegian man gets bail in Thai resort tourist killing

 

Roger Bullman, right, is shown arriving at the Karon police station to answer questions. ( Credit: Viral Press)

Associated Press

Bangkok (AP) — Police in the southern resort island of Phuket said Monday that a Norwegian man charged with manslaughter in the death of a British tourist has been released on 400,000 baht bail but is barred from leaving the country, with his passport confiscated.

Police Maj. Techin Deethongon said 54-year-old Roger Bullman was also charged with violent trespass in connection with the death early last Wednesday morning of 34-year-old Amitpal Singh Bajaj, who was on vacation with his Singaporean wife and his 2-year-old son. The parties involved had adjacent rooms.

Manslaughter is punishable by 3 to 15 years imprisonment in Thailand and the trespass charge carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.

Techin said the victim's widow and son had returned with his corpse to Singapore, where they reside.


RTP prepares for new Land Traffic Act

NNT

Bangkok - The new Land Traffic Act (No. 12) B.E. 2562, which cancels certain provisions and adds new provisions, will take effect on September 20, 2019. Police General Chakthip Chaichinda, RTP Commissioner General, has instructed traffic police to perform their duties correctly and not to cause confusion among road users.

One important matter is the issuance of tickets. The officer will not in future collect the driver’s license of the traffic violator. If the motorist is not located, the officers won’t be required to attach the ticket to the vehicle. The ticket will be sent along with evidence by registered mail with a return payment requested, to the address of the vehicle owner, who must pay the fine within the time limit specified on the ticket.

Motorists must carry a driver’s license. It can be either a traditional one or a digital one. Motorists must present their driver’s license to a traffic police officer when requested. An electronic driving license must only be opened via an application of the Department of Land Transport. It can’t be copied from a screen and can’t be replaced with a photo.

As for a concern that if a driver’s license is not confiscated, the traffic law violator may not pay the fine according to the ticket, the RTP has devised a measure in accordance with the new Land Traffic Act, linking the ticket issuance by police in each area with the database of the Department of Land Transport (DLT). If motorists have refused to pay a fine, when they pay their annual vehicle tax, the DLT will only issue a temporary tax payment receipt which can be used for just 30 days. The violator will only receive a full legitimate tax payment receipt when the fine is paid. Should the temporary tax payment receipt expire before the fine is paid, the motorist will be guilty of not presenting evidence of the annual tax payment, which makes him or her liable to a fine not exceeding 2,000 baht.


RID addresses drought in Chao Phraya River basin

NNT

Bangkok - The Royal Irrigation Department (RID) Director General, Thongpleo Kongchan, said his agency will be introducing water management measures for areas of the Chao Phraya River basin which are at risk of critical shortages.

Local administrative organizations will be told to submit plans for their proposed uses of water to the department, so that an appropriate volume of water can be provided from the river. Local water pumping stations should not pump up water for farming, while the Department of Local Administration won’t subsidize expenditure on electricity used for water pumping. Farmers shouldn’t block waterways or pump up water for farming.

Water for the Chao Phraya River basin from November 2019 to April 2020 will be provided under controls as planned. That is 18 million cubic meters daily, including seven million cubic meters for consumption, eight million cubic meters for ecological reasons and three million cubic meters for fruit plantations. There will not be enough water for second-crop rice farming.


Family of Thai Muslim who died in army custody seeks justice

 

In this Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, photo, Muslim villagers load the body of Abdulloh Esomuso on the truck to a cemetery in Pattani southern of Thailand. (AP Photo)

Associated Press

Bangkok (AP) — Relatives of a Muslim man who died after interrogation in Thai army custody said Monday they'll pursue justice to see if his death was caused by torture.

Abdulloh Esomuso was arrested July 20 on suspicion of being a Muslim separatist insurgent and was found unconscious the next day in his cell at the Ingkhayut army base in the southern province of Pattani. He died on Sunday.

A statement from Songklanagarind Hospital, where Abdulloh died, said the cause of death was pneumonia, and Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan said Monday that the 34-year-old man's death wasn't caused by the government. The army has been accused repeatedly of using torture to combat a long-running insurgency in Thailand's three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala thatinsurgency that has left about 7,000 people dead since 2004.

Abdulloh's cousin, Mohammad Rahmap Mame, said his family won't give up on finding out what happened.

He said the family saw no point in having an autopsy, because it had no confidence in the hospital or officials, so "the autopsy would not give us anything, other than adding more pain and sorrow."

"But we will not let go of this case. Right now, we are in a mourning period, but after this, the family will decide on how to pursue justice for Abdulloh," he said by phone.

Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, responding to a question in Parliament on July 25, dismissed allegations of torture.

"You said he was tortured. He was examined by doctors and they did not find anything. He just fainted. He fainted after he was arrested. Do you watch movies too much?" Prayuth said.

The New York-based group Human Rights Watch said Thai authorities "should immediately conduct an independent and credible investigation into the death of a suspected insurgent after being interrogated in military custody."

It characterized Abdulloh's death as "an important test case for the Thai government on whether it is willing to address rights violations in military detention."

"Thai leaders need to demonstrate that they are serious about conducting an independent investigation and prosecute any wrongdoing or risk complicity for yet another unlawful conduct of soldiers," the group's Asia director, Brad Adams, said in a statement. Human Rights Watch noted that a military investigation established on July 22 had made little progress.

Thailand's National Human Rights Commission on Monday issued a statement saying that it had received Abdulloh's case from the family but was delayed in working on it while waiting for the appointment of new members.

The commission said it had made three recommendations to the government based on 100 complaints of alleged torture.

It urged a legal framework be established for Thailand to support the international Convention Against Torture, and other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; that the military body responsible for security in the south provide timely information about national security detainees; and that the commission's officials be allowed to inspect detention centers and meet in a timely fashion with detainees.


BAAC provides loans for purchase or repair of income-related motorcycles

NNT

Bangkok - The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) is providing credit for low-income earners to buy a motorcycle for a maximum of 80,000 baht for use as a motorcycle taxi, or to pay a maximum of 30,000 baht for bike repairs.

Assistant BAAC manager Somphop Rodklang said the income-raising motorcycle credit plan provides the opportunity for welfare card holders, farmers and others to have access to a source of finance and keep themselves well away from loan sharks. Those who may not have any collateral can still be provided with a loan to buy a bike with which they can earn a living. The Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation provides a 100% guarantee for BAAC borrowers in exchange for a maximum 2% annual fee.

BAAC borrowers are required to obtain a license to operate a motorcycle taxi in Bangkok, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakarn, Chonburi, or in any other province where they are registered with the Department of Land Transport or its provincial branch offices, as taxi motorcyclists.

Monthly repayments of loans are accepted over a period of no less than three years and no more than five years. The bank has prepared a total of one billion baht for the credit program which is available from now until June 30, 2020.


Dept of Fisheries, Germany organize course to educate Thai fishermen

NNT

Nakhon Si Thammarat - Even though Thailand has successfully addressed illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), the government has been moving forward to bring sustainability to the country’s fishing sector. Recently, the Department of Fisheries prepared an educational course for Thai fishermen and invited experts from Germany to collect information about local fishing methods in Nakhon Si Thammarat province.

An Advisor to the Department of Fisheries, Thanaporn Sriyakul, accompanied the director of the Fisheries School in Germany and a group of officials from European embassies to visit Tha Sala district, Nahkon Si Thammarat province, to collect information about local fishing methods. The information will be used to further improve Thailand’s fishing sector in a sustainable way.

Previously, the Department of Fisheries cooperated with the Department of European Affairs, under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to take a group of Thai fishermen to visit a seafood processing plant in Germany. The group learned about sustainable fishing without trade barriers. Following this visit, the department wanted to prepare a course to educate Thai fishermen.

The course is aimed at improving the Thai fishermen’s quality of life, helping them generate more income and encouraging them to conduct fishing activities without harming the natural environment.


12th Conference on ASEAN Traditional Chinese Medicine held in Bangkok

 

NNT

Bangkok - The Minister of Public Health is promoting traditional Chinese medicine as an alternative treatment in Thailand, with the opening of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies’ Center in Thailand, to strengthen the field of traditional Chinese medicine in Thailand.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, Anutin Charnvirakul, presided over the opening of the 12th Conference on ASEAN Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Millennium Hilton Bangkok hotel.

The Minister said the Ministry of Public Health has been supporting and promoting traditional Chinese medicine along with modern Western medicine, as alternatives available to the general public, according to the Ministry’s announcement of a formal medical practice permit for Chinese medicine, making Thailand the first country outside China to legally recognize traditional Chinese medicine practitioners.

He said many organizations have been providing traditional Chinese medicine training, and there are now some 1,200 holders of traditional Chinese medicine practitioner’s permits. The Ministry of Public Health will be working to advance research and development to strengthen the role of Chinese medicine in Thailand.

The Ministry of Public Health has also facilitated the opening of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies’ International Cooperation Center in Thailand, the first of its kind in ASEAN.


Transport Minister eyes AI to solve traffic jams on highways

NNT

Bangkok - Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob has instructed the Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT) to address traffic congestion in front of toll booths to alleviate people’s travel problems. In the long run, the information will be linked with the Department of Land Transport and related agencies.

At the Traffic Control Center, the Transport Minister delivered his policy and assigned high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Transport to seek a solution to the problem. The Transport Minister instructed the EXAT and the Inter - City Motorway Division to conduct tests and collect statistical data related to the operations of cash-based toll booths and Easy Pass booths. This will ensure that there are adequate personnel to cover all shifts.

The long term plan is for an artificial intelligence (AI) system to be used to link the database with the Department of Land Transport, the Royal Thai Police and related agencies. Surveillance cameras will also be used to capture vehicles’ license plates, and bills will then be delivered to motorists at the end of each month. The plan will improve traffic flow, while the AI system will be operational within a year.

Currently, there are seven expressways, covering a distance of 200 kilometers. There are 1.9 million trips per day. The EXAT Deputy Governor for Operation, Dumkerng Pankam, said the seven traffic control centers have already been working closely with the Traffic Police Division to deal with traffic congestion in front of toll booths, with an average traffic flow of 350 to 420 vehicles per hour. Traffic is usually congested near the tollway exit, where it often connects with public roads.

The Permanent Secretary for Transport, Chaiwat Thongkamkoon, proposed that the speed limit should be monitored on tollways, while fines should be raised for those refusing to pay their toll fees. Motorists committing traffic offences will also have their driver’s license points deducted. More severe penalties will include attending workshops or having their driver’s licenses revoked.


PM pleased with solution to ivory trade problem

Government Spokesperson Prof. Naruemol Phinyosinwat.

NNT

Bangkok - Government Spokesperson Prof. Naruemol Phinyosinwat has disclosed that Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha is satisfied with the effort being made in Thailand, to eliminate the problem of ivory poaching and sales, after Thailand was removed from the blacklist of CITES’s ivory smuggling countries last year.

The 18th CITES meeting is being held from August 17 – 28, 2019, in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting considered a report on an analysis of data from the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS Report) using data from 2015 – 2016. Thailand is not among a group of countries affected by the illegal ivory trade, resulting in Thailand being removed from a list of countries being called on to develop and implement an ivory action plan.

The Prime Minister reiterated that Thailand has had no major ivory trafficking case and there is intensive law enforcement in the matter. While there are still some ivory black markets, control measures have been tightened. The government has also improved the latest edition of the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act which will become effective in November 2019. The new law will allow Thailand to comply more effectively with the CITES convention because protected species are defined and there are harsher penalties. The country’s removal from the blacklist helps reduce the risk of trafficking in over 35,000 species of plants and animals such as orchids and certain precious woods.

The Secretary General of CITES has expressed his admiration for Thailand for its successful compliance with the CITES convention and its apparent role as a regional leader and being a good example to other countries. The Prime Minister has insisted that the Thai government will continue to support CITES’s operations to preserve natural resources.


Thai-American US senator meets PM Prayut

NNT

Bangkok - Tammy Duckworth, the first Thai-born Senator of the United States, has visited Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. She expressed admiration for the political and economic development of Thailand and noted her confidence that both countries will continue to promote comprehensive bilateral cooperation.

Gen Prayut said he was honored to meet the first Thai-born female member of the US Senate and said that she was an example of a strong military officer who had inspired many people.

Ms Duckworth said she saw important developments in Thailand and was impressed with its political and economic development. She was confident that the two countries that have a longstanding friendship, will maintain their close ties in all regards.

Thailand as the Chairman of ASEAN is ready to play a major part in building a creative relationship with the United States, and helping solve regional problems such as the situations in Rakhine State; on the Korean Peninsula, and in the South China Sea, to maintain stability.

The Prime Minister also invited the United States to establish concrete cooperation with ASEAN and create connectivity with sub-regional cooperation pacts, such as ACMECS.

Ms Duckworth was first elected an MP in 2012. She served as an MP twice before running for a Senate position in 2016. She is the first disabled person to be elected a US senator and the first US senator born in Thailand, to a father who was an American veteran, and a Thai mother.


ISOC adds more SIM card registration methods in southern border provinces

ISOC spokesperson Maj Gen Thanathip Sawangsaeng.

NNT

Bangkok - Perpetrators of violence in southern border provinces are known to use mobile phone SIM cards from outside the provinces and from neighbouring countries to trigger explosive devices. Some of these SIM cards have been found to have been purchased with only a registered personal email address. The Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) now requires all SIM cards in the area to be registered with the owner’s facial image and identity by 31st October, and has launched a registration service via mobile application.

ISOC spokesperson Maj Gen Thanathip Sawangsaeng said that ISOC Region 4 and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has agreed to develop an application allowing mobile users outside the three southern border provinces to register their SIM card themselves before travelling into the area.

The ISOC and NBTC are now developing the application, and will be informing mobile users regarding the new requirement and the new registration application for the convenience of villagers and travelers.


Education ministry pushes for Environmental Education

BANGKOK, 23 August 2019 (NNT) - The Ministry of Education is calling for the opening of more eco-schools to raise awareness of the need for world protection among schoolchildren.

A conference on environmental education reforms was organized by Chulalongkorn University and the United Nations Environment Program as a brainstorming session among representatives of all relevant sectors, such as the UNESCO and embassies. The Ministry of Education plans to promote environmental studies while curricula on environmental education will be revised accordingly.

Natural Resources and Environment Ministry Permanent Secretary Wicharn Simachaya, said today that environmental education is at present only in the classroom without a field study aspect, and is a non-compulsory subject. He said that environmental studies should be included in the curricula as soon as possible.

All proposals from the conference will be submitted to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment. Schools may exchange experiences in environmental education with one another while the number of eco-schools might increase over time. There are now 233 eco-schools, a number considered very small, and accounting for less than 1% of all schools nationwide, according to the Department of Environmental Quality.


ASEAN countries discuss cybersecurity protection

Telecommunications and IT regulators from ASEAN countries have come together at the second TELSOM-ATRC Leaders’ Retreat hosted by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), where cybersecurity threats comprise the main topic.

The NBTC’s Deputy Secretary General Korkij Danchaivichit chaired the second TELSOM-ATRC Leaders’ Retreat attended by delegates from telecommunications regulating agencies in ASEAN countries, who place high priority on cybersecurity protection of telecommunications networks.

Participants have presented reports on the effects of cybersecurity threats as case studies in each country, in order to mutually find preventive solutions. The meeting has agreed that cybersecurity threats will in the future, continue to increase and come in more varied and complex formats, as telecommunications have increasingly become a vital tool in economic development.

Each country has been assigned to find and develop cybersecurity protection, and later share their knowledge with other member countries.

The NBTC deputy secretary general said today the NBTC, as a national telecommunications regulating body, has been ensuring telecommunication services are protected by law complied with by telecommunication operators. The NBTC will be discussing with operators an improvement in services and the updating of related laws, as well as working with agencies such as the Technology Crime Suppression Division and the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, to ensure preparedness in dealing with cybersecurity threats.


BOI to offer packages attracting manufacturers to Thailand

BANGKOK, 23 August 2019 (NNT) - A Deputy Prime Minister has assigned the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) to offer packages suggesting foreign investors affected by the trade war, consider relocating their manufacturing base to Thailand.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak has delivered economic policies to heads of 16 economic and investment offices in foreign countries, in meetings attended by the BOI Secretary General Duangjai Asawachintachit, and the secretary of the economic ministers committee, Kobsak Pootrakool.

The DPM says the BOI needs to proactively attract investors seeking to relocate their manufacturing base to Thailand, as global investors are now particularly interested in the CLMV countries, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam, to which Thailand serves as a gateway.

He has assigned the BOI to survey the needs of investors in each country, in order to design investment packages to attract suitable investors.

This November, investors from China’s mobile devices giant Huawei will be traveling to Thailand to discuss 5G mobile network infrastructure investment in Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) area, which would help create jobs for more IT workers and directly benefit Thailand.

Mr Kobsak said Thailand is one of the key investment destinations for international investors, especially for South Korean firms such as Samsung and LG, as well as startup businesses, which will be sending representatives to Thailand to discuss manufacturing base relocation, at meetings on 2nd September.

He said the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand has been directed to find suitable areas to house new manufacturing bases, as international investors wish to operate in the same area.

The BOI secretary general said the investment packages will offer investors privileges beyond tax benefits, and will not be limited to investments in the ECC. A specialized team has been set up to handle these offers, which will include marketing campaigns. The details of the offers will be discussed within the BOI, before being submitted to the Cabinet for consideration, expected to take place on 30th August.


MOPH campaigns to reduce dengue fever

BANGKOK, 23 August 2019 (NNT) - Due to the rising number of dengue fever patients, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has accelerated the campaign against dengue fever and arrranged for its personnel to participate in a volunteer activity to inspect the environment and eliminate mosquito breeding sites.

Dr. Sukhum Kanjanaphimai, MOPH Permanent Secretary, participated in a meeting with the chiefs of provincial offices of public health and hospitals across the country via the VDO Conference system, to monitor the prevention and control of dengue fever. Since the beginning of this year, it was found that there were more than 70,000 dengue patients and 70 people had died of dengue fever. It is expected that there will be more than 100,000 dengue patients this year due to the arrival of the rainy season which leads to an increased number of Aedes breeding grounds. Therefore, all parties are being called on to help destroy Aedes breeding sites.

The MOPH Permanent Secretary also asked MOPH personnel to support the Altruistic Heart 904 campaign to protect the environment, eliminate mosquito breeding sites and reduce the occurance of dengue fever in many areas. The MOPH itself, has conducted regular campaigns against dengue fever, with volunteers from all sectors striving to eliminate the breeding sites of Aedes. The Altruistic Heart 904 Volunteer Administration agreed to ask volunteers to improve the environment by eliminating Aedes mosquito breeding places under the Altruistic Heart 904 campaign. They are working to eliminate the larvae breeding sites that are found around homes, in temple grounds, at schools and in many other places every week.

People in Thailand, who develop a high fever over two consecutive days, or headaches and red rashes, should see a doctor immediately.


AOT launches AOT Digital Airports app

To help people who use the main airports in Thailand, Airports of Thailand (AOT) Public Company Limited has adopted technology to improve service, and link information at airports via an application.

The AOT Digital Airports system is an innovation that efficiently links all information technology systems at airports for the convenience of airport service users. The link includes the tourism industry outside airports, especially transport and tour services in and outside the country.

The application software will provide passengers with information about flights, check-in counters, luggage, maps of passenger terminals which lead passengers to their desired locations, information about public transport services and transport inside airports, information on facilities inside airports, shop information and flight alerts to allow passengers to prepare themselves before heading to their airports.

The application also provides translation services in five languages: Thai, Chinese, English, Russian and Japanese. The AOT also has a plan to cooperate with its partners to include useful and necessary information in order to upgrade services for the people. The application software can facilitate the requirements of airport management. For example, it can give real-time reports on the number of passengers at specific locations. Initially, this type of service will be piloted at Suvarnabhumi Airport and the AOT’s 6 airports, including Hat Yai, Chiang Mai and Don Mueang. In future, the AOT will link the system to 16 airports in partnership with AOT around the world. Passengers can download the application on both the iOS and Android systems.


RTAF opens space operations center

BANGKOK,17 August 2019 (NNT) - To prepare for the increasing threat from space in the future, the Royal Thai Armed Force (RTAF) has opened a space operations center for the purpose of threat prevention, and enhancing national security in outer space.

The RTAF’s new space unit will serve as the primary organization to prevent and preserve national security in space, in keeping with the RTAF’s strategy. The presence of the space center will help lay the foundations of Thailand’s space operations; patrols from outer space; satellite communications; help support other operations in national security, and engage with the international community in space observation. These new missions will help enhance the RTAF’s operational capacity beyond borders, and upgrade the country’s capacity in space missions.

Several units will be operating as part of the space center, namely the operations unit responsible for space mission planning, development, data collection and interpretation; the space monitoring unit is responsible for monitoring threats from outer space, creating a satellite and space object database; a space patrol unit responsible for outer space patrols, satellite system maintenance, an outer space detection system, and space database creation, and a unit providing support for other units’ operations, maintenance, space operations system development, and inventory management.


Exports up 4.28% last month

Thai exports in July 2019 rose 4.28% from a year earlier, on the back of rising gold prices and a less-volatile trade war between China and the United States.

The Director-General of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO), Pimchanok Vonkorpon, said today that Thai exports were valued at 21.20 billion US dollars last month, while the value of Thai imports was 21.09 billion dollars. The result was a trade surplus of 1.91%.

Exports in July contracted 0.95% from the previous month, but were 4.28% higher year-on-year. In addition, the 0.95% contraction was the lowest in five months, since February. This was due to the surging gold prices on global market and the China-US trade war, which has not worsened. Thai exports to China and the US were positive. Thailand was able to export more products, namely cosmetics, processed agricultural goods and fruit. If the monthly export value stays above 21.75 billion dollars in the remaining months of 2019, the country’s export sector will not experience negative growth this year.


MNRE accelerates push for sustainable environmental solutions

BANGKOK,18 August 2019 (NNT) - The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MNRE) has opened a forum to reflect the paradigms in fighting the environmental crisis in order to accelerate the push for solutions to environmental problems especially garbage and dust problems.

At the academic gathering on "Adjusting Paradigms to Fight the Environmental Crisis" a forumof senior government officials of the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, Mr. Wijarn Simachaya, MNRE Permanent Secretary, pointed out that the current environmental situations is considered at crisis point. They include problems of natural resource invasion, forest fires, climate change, air pollution and land and marine waste problems. They were caused by human habits and economic and social development of the country. Therefore, it is necessary to adjust paradigms, develop concepts and environmental management based on good governance as well as prepare both people and systems for the current critical situation.

He also emphasized observing the policy on sustainable management of natural resources and the environment, in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals and the 20-year national strategies with four important policies: placing importance on solving urgent drought problems in critical areas, accelerating solutions to the problems of land and marine waste, haze, forest fires and dust problems, preventing forest encroachment and increasing the number of forest areas and green areas, while accelerating the issuance of laws and regulations to strengthen the central and provincial agencies and enhancing the potential of a new generation of executives with a green heart so that they can be models for holistic management.


Thailand to set up center to combat 'fake news'

Demo default page of Thai government run anti-fake news center web portal is displayed on a screen in Bangkok, Thailand Wednesday, Aug. 21. 2019. (AP Photo/Pitcha Dangprasith)

By PITCHA DANGPRASITH Associated Press

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's government on Wednesday announced a plan to set up a center to combat unverified news on social media platforms, rejecting concerns that it might be used to suppress free speech.

The planned center's goal would be to fight all kinds of fake news, with a focus on misinformation about disasters and financial matters, Minister of Digital Economy and Society Buddhipongse Punnakanta said.

"Fake news is embedded within every aspect of our society, so it's very hard to specifically pinpoint anything right now besides the obvious problems, disasters and financial news, but as we progress — slowly but effectively — we'll try to cover every aspect possible," Buddhipongse said at a news conference.

He said the center would also teach media literacy and launch a website that would act as a digital verifier of news that people suspected of being fake.

"People can submit any news they're suspicious of being unauthenticated, or that could incite fear and confusion to the public, to the website and our officials would verify its authenticity within two hours," he said.

The center and the website are expected to be launched by October.

The plan has already drawn criticism. A spokeswoman for the opposition Future Forward Party said last month that it shared concerns about fake news, which it said has been used to attack the government's opponents, but was skeptical about setting up such a center.

"If the anti-fake news center is officially founded, we are afraid that it won't truly combat fake news or stop distorting information, but rather aid the destruction of the government's opponents. Because this is a global issue that every country is facing, we think that the most effective method would be encouraging people to have more media literacy, not suppressing content."

Buddhipongse said the center would not interfere with freedom of speech.

"We're not trying to act as a vigilante, and will not be used as a tool by some group of people to justify their action, or someone else's actions," he said.

The issue of fake news has become a major concern in several Southeast Asian nations. Critics have said misinformation circulated on social media, often with malicious intent, helped stir up communal violence in Myanmar, especially toward the Muslim minority. It also plagued recent elections in Indonesia and the Philippines.

At the same time there are concerns that government efforts against fake news may curb free speech and be used as a weapon against political opponents.

Thailand already has a Computer Crime Act that polices online media. It has often been used in cases involving politics and critics of the government.

Buddhipongse said that in order for the center to counter the fake news problem, it needs cooperation from widely used social media platforms in Thailand such as Facebook or the Line messaging app. He said his ministry was already in touch with these media platforms.


Royal Thai Navy, Central Juvenile and Family Court volunteers clean Toei Ngam Beach

CHON BURI,18 August 2019 (NNT) - The Royal Thai Navy and the Central Juvenile and Family Court have jointly organized volunteer activities, such as growing coral reefs, picking up garbage and cleaning Toei Ngam Beach. The event has been held as part of Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya’s royal project.

At Toei Ngam Beach in Sattahip district of Chon Buri province, the Commander of the Royal Thai Marine Corps, VADM Ronnarong Sittinan, launched the volunteer activities as part of the Corals and Marine Animals Conservation royal project. The event was attended by the Chief Justice of the Central Juvenile and Family Court, Sittisak Wanachagit, the Associate Judge of the Central Juvenile and Family Court, Dr. Nilubol Limpongpan, military officials, leaders of local administrative organizations, public members, school and university students and representatives of the public and private sectors. Some 2,000 people gathered to grow coral reefs, pick up garbage and clean the beach.

The Royal Thai Navy and the Central Juvenile and Family Court have recognized the damage caused to the marine environment and marine life and the issue of marine debris. Both agencies organized this campaign to encourage Thai people to help protect the marine environment and its ecosystem in response to Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari’s royal project.


Minister Tewan visits drought-hit Nakhon Ratchasima

BANGKOK,18 August 2019 (NNT) - The drought situation in Nakhon Ratchasima province has reached a critical stage due to the low volume of this year’s rainfall. Some reservoirs have completely dried up. The situation is expected to affect more than two million rai of farmland. Two districts have been declared disaster-stricken areas.

The Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, Tewan Liptapanlop, traveled to Klong Pai subdistrict, Sikhio district, Nakhon Ratchasima province, to inspect drought-hit areas along the Lam Takhong River. Mr. Tewan received a report that many villagers in Klong Pai have been living without tap water even though they live near the reservoir. The villagers have asked the government to build a water pump system to alleviate the situation. The Deputy Governor of Nakhon Ratchasima reported to Mr. Tewan that the drought situation has reached a critical stage as there has been no rainfall for a long time. At present, Lam Takhong Reservoir has 125.77 million cubic meters of water, or 40% of its storage capacity, and only 103.5 million cubic meters of water can be used.

There is no water left in six out of 23 medium and large dams. Phra Thong Kham and Khon Buri are two districts that have been declared disaster-stricken areas. Local authorities have had to deliver water to the public and have drilled artesian wells.

Nakhon Ratchasima receives about 1,000 milliliters of rain annually. Last year, the northeastern province received 873 milliliters or rain, causing damage to the agricultural sector outside the irrigation zones. From January to August 2019, the province saw only 363 milliliters of rain. More than two million rai of farmland, including 1.5 million rai of rice plantations, have been badly affected.


Bangkok launches ambulances certification campaign

BANGKOK, 17 August 2019 (NNT) - The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has launched a check-up campaign affecting ambulances and emergency medical vehicles, branding certified vehicles with six-pointed stars, ensuring preparedness for 24-hour emergency medical services.

Staff of the Erawan Emergency Medical Center Bangkok have inspected ambulances and emergency medical vehicles as part of the certification campaign this year. Vehicles passing the inspection will have a six-pointed star sticker placed on them, with the text Bangkok EMS and the year of inspection. The inspection covers checks for the readiness of onboard equipment and vouches that the vehicle’s condition is in keeping with approved standards, ensuring its capacity to serve the general public in cases of medical emergency.

The Governor of Bangkok Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang said today the Medical Service Department this year had checked and certified all high-level emergency medical vehicles in 9 zones since July, with 150 vehicles inspected. The department will be completing its inspection of some 1,000 standard ambulances and emergency vehicles by the end of September, raising the confidence of the general public.

The general public can make a request for emergency medical assistance at any time by calling the Erawan Center 1669.


Thai tycoon in poaching scandal convicted on firearms charge

In this Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, photo, Thai business tycoon president of Italian-Thai Development Premchai Karnasuta arrives at the Bangkok Criminal Court in Bangkok, Thailand. Premchai was sentenced by the court to six months in prison for illegal possession for illegal possession of a firearm, which follows convictions on other charges related to his arrest last year when he and several of his employees were found in a state wildlife sanctuary with guns and the carcasses of a black panther and other animals in an alleged case of poaching. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

By PITCHA DANGPRASITH Associated Press

BANGKOK (AP) — A court in Thailand on Tuesday sentenced a construction tycoon to six months in prison for illegal firearms possession in the latest case in a scandal that erupted when he was accused of poaching protected animals in a wildlife sanctuary.

The Bangkok Criminal Court halved the one-year sentence for Premchai Karnasuta because he pleaded guilty. It rejected his lawyer's request that it commute the sentence to probation.

Premchai and several employees of his Italian-Thai Development company were found with guns and the carcasses of a black panther and other animals when they were caught hunting in western Thailand in February last year.

Premchai was already sentenced in March this year to 16 months' imprisonment for possessing the carcass of an endangered Kajij pheasant and firearms in public areas. He also received a one-year sentence in June for attempting to bribe a park ranger. He remains free on bail on all the charges, paying bail of 200,000 baht ($6,490) in the latest case.

The arms that he was convicted of possessing illegally were found in a police raid on his Bangkok home after his arrest in the wildlife sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province.

Three other hunting companions were found guilty of possessing the panther carcass, but Premchai was acquitted of the charge.

The case fueled public skepticism that justice would be done in a country that has seen the privileged prevail in high-profile cases. Wildlife activists wore black panther masks as a symbol of protest on several occasions and environmentalists have pledged to keep up pressure.

Premchai has one case remaining in the courts, illegal possession of elephant tusks also found during the police raid on his Bangkok home. The verdict in that case is scheduled for Oct. 1.

Premchai's lawyer asked the court to commute his client's sentence, with Premchai pledging to enter the Buddhist monkhood for 15 days to earn merit for those he had wronged.

The lawyer also said Premchai would donate 3 million baht ($97,370) to be used for the public's benefit and would not involve himself with firearms again for the rest of his life.

The court rejected the request because of his prior convictions.


Prime minister visits Surin, Buri Ram, follows up on drought situation

PM Prayuth Chan-ocha follows up on the drought situation in Surin and Buriram provinces.

BANGKOK,19 August 2019 (NNT) - Thailand’s Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha visited Surin and Buri Ram to follow up on the drought situation.

Accompanied by Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda, Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chalermchai Sri-on and Natural Resources, Environment Minister Warawut Silpa-archa and Deputy Defense Minister Gen Chaicharn Changmongkol, Gen Prayut left Don Muang air force base for Buri Ram airport in Satuek district of Buri Ram. The prime minister was briefed on government agencies’ operations in Surin and Buri Ram and followed up on the drought situation and lack of water in the northeastern provinces. Water for consumption by local villagers has been managed in an integrated manner.

In Surin, the prime minister inspected the water level at Saneng reservoir, a Royal Irrigation Department project, and was briefed on water management and distribution of trucks of water for consumption at the Surin Irrigation Project site. He chaired a meeting on water shortages with 20 northeastern provincial governors at Surin Provincial Hall. He visited officials at royal rainmaking operations in Surin and supportive military units at Surin Phakdee airport in the capital district of Surin.

The prime minister visited Huay Chorakae Mark reservoir under, Royal Irrigation Department project in Buri Ram, and was briefed on the situation of potable water and water management in Buri Ram. He met with 118 villagers, who have been affected by drought and who have been assisted by government units with a water distribution system for Lam Pathian - Huay Talard reservoir.


Government confident Welfare Cards can bolster economy

Government Spokesperson Naruemon Pinyosinwat is confident that Welfare Cards are beneficial to the public.

BANGKOK,19th August 2019 (NNT) - Government Spokesperson Naruemon Pinyosinwat is confident that Welfare Cards can bolster and expand the national economy, raise public benefit and stimulate domestic consumption.

She said the Welfare Cards, worth over 109 billion baht, are contributing significantly to increases in domestic consumption in the third, fourth quarters of this year and first quarter next year by 5.2%, 5.4% and 4.6% respectively, compared to forecast GDP growth by 3.2%, 3.6% and 2.8% respectively. The increased domestic consumption has kept the economy from further slump, according to the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council.

The government has also secured in-depth individual data so that the Welfare Cards can be provided appropriately and effectively to meet the demands of registered low-income earners. The handouts via the Welfare Cards have incurred no leaks or corruption. If the Welfare Cards are not used, the money will not be unaccounted for, but remain untapped in the Chararath Fund for the Fundamental Economy.


ASEAN Ceramic Exhibition 2019 to be held this month

BANGKOK,18 August 2019 (NNT) - Ceramic industry operators worldwide will display technology innovations in ASEAN Ceramics 2019 to develop their potential and enhance competitiveness in the international market. Meanwhile the Thai ceramics industry has set a goal to grow by 10 percent in 2019.

The event will be staged by the ceramics industry group, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), the Thai Ceramics Association and the Asia Exhibition Services Company Limited. It will be supported by manufacturers in the ceramics industry from 36 countries worldwide. Thai educational institutions will also exhibit their research products, ready for further development.

Mr David Itkin, Managing Director of Asia Exhibition Services Co., Ltd. and an organizer of ASEAN Ceramics 2019, said Thailand is one of the major Asian producers.

ASEAN Ceramics 2019 will be held from August 28-30, 2019, at Impact Muang Thong Thani. It will be attended by ceramics entrepreneurs from over 200 companies worldwide. They will exhibit their technology and various innovations in the ceramics industry. It is expected that there will be more than 5,000 visitors.

The first Asia - Oceana Ceramic Federation meeting will also be held in Thailand. It will feature pavilions by many countries, such as Italy, the United Kingdom, India, Germany, China and Vietnam, Thailand, and Korea which will be attending the event for the first time.

Mr. Wichai Thienchote, a committee member of the ceramics industry group, FTI, disclosed today that the ceramics industry’s manufacturing, sales and exports in 2019 are expected to increase due to domestic demand that has started to grow since the expansion of the construction sector and the real estate sector. Overall, the growth will be at least 5 to 10 percent, worth more than 36 billion baht.


Six finalists vie for Luk Thung Singing Championship

The six Luk Thung singers are ready for their big night.

BANGKOK,19 August 2019 (NNT) - The Department of Public Relations (PRD) has organized a Luk Thung Singing Championship, which offers a royal trophy from His Majesty the King and one million baht in prize money. There are now only six contestants left to compete in the final rounds on August 25 and September 1.

At the PRD auditorium, 6 out of 12 finalists in the Luk Thung Singing Championship were selected. The six finalists include Mr. Kecha Kosa from Kamphaeng Phet, Mr. Phakin Pitiphoowadechakun from Nakhon Ratchasima, Mr. Natthaphon Kaewwichit from Nakhon Ratchasima, Mr. Suraphat Bunanan from Rayong, Mr. Ahtiwat Changnoi from Surat Thani and Ms. Suphissara Srisuchin from Sukhothai.

People are invited to cheer for the contestants in the final rounds on August 25 and September 1 at the PRD auditorium. The winner will be awarded with the royally bestowed trophy from His Majesty the King and one million baht in prize money. The first runner-up will be awarded a trophy of honor from the Prime Minister and 500,000 baht in prize money. The second runner-up will be awarded a trophy of honor from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission and 300,000 baht in prize money. The winners of three consolation prizes will each be awarded a plaque of honor from PTT and 100,000 baht in prize money. 


Dugong death raises awareness of pollution in Thai waters

 

BANGKOK,19 August 2019 (NNT) - The loss of orphaned dugong Mariam is an important lesson for marine resources management in Thailand, especially on plastic waste reduction. The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment is set to hold a global dugong conference in Trang where a likeness of Mariam will be exhibited to raise awareness on dugong community conservation. Sad news of the loss of another dugong was also reported yesterday in Krabi, making it the 18th dugong death over the past nine months.

Staff from Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park inspected the body of a beached dugong found on Ao Ton Sai harbor in Ao Nang, Krabi. The beached dugong was found dead, with a bruise on the left fin. The dugong’s body, weighing 240 kilograms, has been sent to the Marine Biological Research Center in Phuket for autopsy.

According to a Facebook post by Dr Thon Thamrongnawasawat, the dugon’s body is this year’s 18th dugong death, which is already higher than the average 10 deaths per year. The fatality rate of dugongs at 18 deaths in only nine months is considered almost 10% of the total 200 dugong population, which is a concerning figure for Thailand’s marine resources.

Teams of veterinarians from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation, as well as volunteers, yesterday helped transport the body of the 9-month-old dugong Mariam for final cleaning, before placing the body into a plastic container, to be transported to Bangkok by a navy aircraft for taxidermy at the National Science Museum in Pathum Thani. Her lifelike mount will then be placed on display at Phuket Aquarium for the general public to learn more about rare marine animal conservation and the threat from plastic waste.

The Mariam project is to be launched to promote large scale conservation of the dugong community and other wildlife in Thailand, in keeping with the Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Warawut Silpa-archa’s policy. A global meeting on dugongs is planned to take place in Trang province in 2020 as well.

An update on the condition of dugong Yamil under the care of veterinarians at the Marine Biological Research Center in Phuket was also released. The baby male dugong now weighs 30 kilograms, and is reported to be in good health. Veterinarians are providing milk and nutritional supplements, as well as training him to feed off sea grass by himself. He can now swim and dive well.


Thai children at risk online, exposed to violence, and sexual harassment

BANGKOK,19 August 2019 (NNT) - The Department of Children and Youth, has disclosed the results of a survey of online risks faced by Thai children and youths who might be exploited or bullied online or sexually harassed during an online-arranged meeting with others. The survey called for every sector concerned to take prompt action to protect children and youths.

Srida Tantha-athipanit, managing director of the Internet Foundation for the Development of Thailand and a member of a subcommittee for the promotion of child and youth protection, cited the survey conducted online from February to April, 2019, among 15,318 respondents aged from six to 18 years nationwide.

The poll found almost all the respondents realize the usefulness of the internet and are aware of its associated risks and dangers. They used the internet via tablets or Smartphones to watch movies and play computer games for six to 10 hours daily.

Almost 4,000 respondents had met online friends at least once and admitted to have been exploited by them one way or another. That referred to being verbally ridiculed, deceived into paying money or losing property, sexually harassed, physically assaulted, being photographed with some clips posted online and harassed for money.

Meantime, some of the respondents were cyber-bullied. Those in the LGBT category were found to comprise most of the victims. Most didn’t tell anyone about such cyber-bullying. Some have suffered mentally, while others haven’t cared much. In addition, some children and youths admitted having bullied others online. Some said it was a kind of revenge after they themselves had been bullied. Besides, many admitted to having had access to pornographic content online, which they had downloaded and shared. The Department of Children and Youth has called on all sectors concerned to take urgent action to better protect children and youths from online perils.


Van control measures following crash in Sa Kaeo

Sa Kaeo,19 August 2019 (NNT) - A van carrying Lao migrant workers on their way to a Thailand-Cambodia border pass, yesterday rammed into an 18-wheel trailer truck, killing 11 people and seriously injuring four others on a four-lane Sa Kaeo - Chanthaburi road under construction.

Sa Kaeo Provincial Governor, Wichit Chartphisit visited the three injured Lao workers at Phra Yupharat Sa Kaeo Hospital and said the road accident was a shock. The hospital will treat the Lao patients to the best of its ability as iy does Thai patients. Authorities will maintain the bodies of all 11 deceased persons which are to be passed to their relatives. The other person injured, the Thai truck driver, is being treated at Wang Nam Yen Hospital.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, said today the accident was reportedly caused by the van driver falling asleep behind the wheel though he was not speeding beyond legal limits. However, the case is yet to be thoroughly investigated by the Department of Land Transport.

The accident occurred in the wee hours of Sunday on Highway 317 outside the Provincial Electricity Authority branch in Wang Somboon district of Sa Kaeo province. The spot was on the road being expanded from two lanes to four lanes.

In the accident, the van with license plate No. 34-0405 Bangkok, crashed into the trailer truck with license plate No. 70-1234 Uttaradit, instantly killed 11 people - five males and six females and injuring another four people. All the deceased persons were traveling in the van. The van was owned by a private firm which brought migrant workers to a border checkpoint for passport extensions at Baan Laem permanent border pass in Chanthaburi. The van which had come from Bangkok suddenly swerved as it reached the spot and rammed into the 18-wheel truck, killing and injuring the passengers.


Medical cannabis now administered in 12 health provinces

BANGKOK,19 August 2019 (NNT) - Authorized healthcare professionals at 12 hub hospitals across the country can administered cannabis products to patients as of today, after medical assessments to decide if requesting patients are suitable for this alternative treatment.

The Ministry of Public Health has officially commenced medical cannabis services in 12 hospitals nationwide, where doctors will be making health assessments of patients and making recommendations if the patients’ symptoms appear suitable for treatment using cannabis, which will not be recommended as a first treatment option.

Hospitals authorized to administer cannabis to patients now include Lampang Hospital, Buddhachinaraj Hospital in Phitsanulok, Sawanpracharak Hospital in Nakhon Sawan, Saraburi Hospital, Ratchaburi Hospital, Rayong Hospital, Khon Kaen Hospital, Udon Thani Hospital, Buriram Hospital, Sunpasithiprasong Hospital in Ubon Ratchathani, Surat Thani Hospital, and Hat Yai Hospital in Songkhla.

Elsewhere, even more hospitals providing traditional Thai medicine treatments are also authorized to administer medical cannabis products, namely the Chao Phraya Aphaiphubet Hospital in Prachin Buri, Nong Chang Hospital in Uthai Thani, Don Tum Hospital in Nakhon Pathom, Denchai Hospital in Phrae, Phra Achan Fan Acharo Hospital in Sakon Nakhon, Ku Muang Hospital in Buriram, and Tha Chang Hospital in Surat Thani.


DAILY UPDATE

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Exports up 4.28% last month

MNRE accelerates push for sustainable environmental solutions


Thailand to set up center to combat 'fake news'

Royal Thai Navy, Central Juvenile and Family Court volunteers clean Toei Ngam Beach

Minister Tewan visits drought-hit Nakhon Ratchasima

Bangkok launches ambulances certification campaign


Thai tycoon in poaching scandal convicted on firearms charge

Prime minister visits Surin, Buri Ram, follows up on drought situation

Government confident Welfare Cards can bolster economy

ASEAN Ceramic Exhibition 2019 to be held this month

Six finalists vie for Luk Thung Singing Championship


Dugong death raises awareness of pollution in Thai waters

Thai children at risk online, exposed to violence, and sexual harassment

Van control measures following crash in Sa Kaeo

Medical cannabis now administered in 12 health provinces

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