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Update September 2017


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Thailand News
 

Foreigners invited to join “Thailand in your mind” photo contest

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Government Public Relations Department (PRD) Region 3 in Chiang Mai has launched the online photo contest “Thailand in your mind”, inviting foreigners who are currently residing in Thailand to join the contest.

PRD Director-General Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the contest is a part of the PRD Region 3’s 2017 international public relations projects. The theme of the contest this year is “Thailand: Stability, Prosperity, and Sustainability” which is designed to boost Thailand’s image and “Thainess” across the globe.

Foreigners who are studying, working or residing in Thailand can enter the online competition to win big prizes. Visit www.thailandinyourmind.com for more details. The registration and photo submission are available online, from now until May 31, 2017. The photos passing the qualifying round will be posted on the website for a public vote, begining at 12:01 a.m. of June 15 and ending at 11:59 p.m. of July 15.

The winner will receive an award of 20,000 baht, a trophy and a certificate. The first, second and third runner-ups will receive the awards of 15,000 baht, 10,000 baht and 5,000 baht respectively, together with a trophy and a certificate. The PRD Region 3 will also give a certificate to sixteen honorable mentions.


Dental Council denounces cosmetic retainers

BANGKOK 27 April 2017 (NNT) - The Dental Council of Thailand has warned the general public against wearing retainers for purely cosmetic purposes, and to consider the potential health problems that may follow.

Dr. Sirichai Kiattavorncharoen of the Dental Council of Thailand addressed the case of folk singer Nongpanee Mahadthai, known by her stage name Jah Rsiam, posting a picture on Facebook of her wearing a cosmetic retainer as an endorsement of a dental lab.

Dr. Sirichai said that while the retainer may have come from a dental lab that was licensed to produce dental equipment, it did not employ staff members with the necessary credentials. Therefore, the production of Nongpanee’s retainer constitutes a violation of the 1994 Practice of Dentistry Act.

He also warned the public that retainers are intended for medical purposes and they should be prescribed after careful consideration of the health implications.


Affordable school supplies now available at various stores across BKK

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Major retail stores across Bangkok are now offering school supplies and student uniforms at discounted prices under the Ministry of Commerce’s campaign to help families shoulder household expenses.

Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce Wiboonrak Ruamrak said parents and children are able to shop for school supplies and clothes at discounted prices of up to 80% off at various stores including Suksaphan, Nomjit, Robinson and Big C to name few.

The campaign, which will last until May 14, a few days before the new school term begins, will help parents save as much as six billion baht in total.

The Permanent Secretary added that around 20 billion baht would be spent throughout the 18-day campaign.


Money Expo 2017 to be held under the theme "Financial Innovation 4.0"

BANGKOK, (NNT) - This year's Money Expo 2017 will be held on May 11th - 14th under the theme "Financial Innovation 4.0," presenting a range of financial solutions for the digital age.

President of Money Expo Santi Viriyarungsarit revealed that this year, Money & Banking Magazine has partnered with over 260 financial institutions and government agencies to showcase a range of financial solutions that meet the government's Thailand 4.0 agenda, as well as the new FinTech & Startups zone. The zone gives new businesses an opportunity to exhibit their financial solutions to banks and financial institutions in attendance. The Health and Wealth zone will feature innovations in medical technology that also contribute to financial stability.

Notable products include a zero-percent mortgage program and a savings account with an annual yield of 3.3 percent, which is tax free if the customer purchases life insurance. The expo will be held at IMPACT, Muang Thong Thani, and is expected to generate up to 85 billion baht in financial transactions.


Lots of counterfeit goods seized in March

NNT

BANGKOK, (NNT) - Relevant units are proceeding with the crackdown on intellectual property infringements, with over 30,000 illegal items seized across the country last month.

 

According to Director-General of the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) Thosapone Dansuputra, the department in March coordinated with other related agencies, including the Royal Thai Police, the Department of Special Investigation, the Customs Department and businesses with ownership of IP rights, to arrest producers and vendors of counterfeit products.

Raids were conducted on major production facilities, most of which were located in Udon Thani, Songkhla and Sa Kaeo provinces, resulting in the apprehension of several suspects. A total of 37,953 items of IP-infringing products, worth altogether over 30 million baht, were seized, ranging from clothing and bags to electrical appliances and cosmetics.


Thailand's Or Tor Kor Market in CNN's top 10 best fresh markets in the world

NNT

BANGKOK, (NNT) - CNN has praised Thailand's Marketing Organization for Farmers' Markets as one of the top 10 best fresh markets in the world.

 

Known locally as the "Or Tor Kor Market", the US news network described the market as a vibrant place with fruit and vegetables that can only be found in Thailand and a hub for various other products imported from across Asia. The market has been praised for its cleanliness, and its convenience due to its abundance of pre-made foods and snacks.

CNN's top 10 list includes:

La Boqueria Market in Barcelona, Spain,

Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan,

Union Square Farmers' Market in New York City, USA,

Or Tor Kor Market in Bangkok, Thailand,

St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, Canada,

Borough Market in London, England,

Kreta Ayer Wet Market in Singapore,

Lancaster Central Market in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA,

Marche Provencal in Antibes, France,

and Kowloon City Wet Market in Hong Kong.


BoT says Thai baht fluctuates more frequently

NNT

BANGKOK, (NNT) - The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has revealed that the Thai baht has fluctuated due to uncertainty surrounding the economic policies of major world powers.

BoT Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob however noted that the Thai baht is not as volatile as other Asian currencies. The government has moved to stabilize the baht by maintaining its interest rate policy and striking deals with other ASEAN nations.

Nevertheless, the BoT governor suggested that currency traders take precautions and open a foreign currency deposit account (FCD) to hedge any losses. He also advised that they make an advanced foreign currency purchase agreement with the bank.


Songkran 2017 spurred over 45 billion Baht in spending in Thailand

NNT

Bangkok, (NNT) – Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports says the total economic impact of spending during the Songkran 2017 holiday was 45.428 billion Baht (US$1.3 billion*), representing a 14.40 per cent increase over the same period last year. In addition, several destinations nationwide were reportedly recording noticeable tourism growth during the Thai New Year period.

 

During the Songkran 2017 holiday period from 11-17 April, Thailand attracted 695,894 international tourists and generated about 36.941 billion Baht (US$1 billion), up 10.9 per cent and 16.40 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, domestic tourism resulted in 3.03 million trips and 8.487 billion Baht (US$242 million) revenue up 3.36 per cent and 6.45 per cent, respectively.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports in collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) organised and supported celebrations of Songkran 2017 in 14 destinations nationwide. They are: Bangkok, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Ayutthaya, Songkhla (Hat Yai), Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phuket, Nong Khai, Samut Prakarn, Suphanburi, Nakhon Phanom, Lampang, and Sukhothai.

H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports personally joined the Songkran 2017 celebrations in Khon Kaen, Ayutthaya, and Chon Buri. In Khon Kaen, she also took part in setting a new record for the “human wave” activity, covering a one-kilometre-long strip on Khao Neao Road. The activity, which started in 2009 to symbolise unity, attracted 100,000 revellers on the first day (13 April), increased to over 120,000 revellers on the second day and concluded with 135,271 participants on the last day. It involved three rounds of human waves created with the participants jumping from the ground with hands raised high and sitting down immediately.

In Ayutthaya, Mrs. Kobkarn said the Songkran 2017 activities at the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Ayutthaya Historical Park were joined by many Thai and foreign tourists. On the last day of the one-week long holiday (17 April), the Minister joined the traditional Sand Pagoda Ceremony on Lai Day in Bangsaen, Chon Buri, with the highlight being the building of sand pagodas– one of the traditional aspects of Songkran.

In addition, Mrs. Kobkarn said, “With 41 per cent of domestic trips going into 14 destinations where Songkran 2017 celebrations were organised by the Ministry in collaboration with the TAT, that means Thais spent on accommodation, food and transport, thus supported local businesses. This makes us proud for being able to entice Thais to travel domestically.”

Based on the Ministry’s preliminary data, of the 3.03 million domestic trips during 11-17 April, 2017, a total of 1.25 million trips took place in the 14 destinations, a growth of 5.61 per cent when compared to the same period in 2016. The total economic impact totalled 5.15 billion Baht (+7.86 per cent), or 61 per cent of total domestic tourism revenue generated during the Thai New Year 2017.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “I was delighted to see many international tourists joining the Thai people in celebrating Songkran 2017 in the unique Thai ways. The Thai New Year is a time when family comes first, respect is paid to seniors, and people visit the temples to take part in traditional ceremonies. It’s all these beautiful aspects that make Thai culture unique and charming, and make Thailand one of the world’s most unique tourist destinations.”


Tourism Minister joins in Wan Lai Festival in Bang Saen

NNT

CHON BURI, (NNT) – The Wan Lai Festival continues for the last day today at Bang Saen Beach in Chon Buri province, with participation from a number of people, including the Minister of Tourism and Sports.

 

At the famous Bang Saen Beach, Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul took part in an almsgiving ceremony as part of the Wan Lai Festival, held annually by Saen Suk Municipality in conjunction with the Songkran Festival.

The minister was accompanied by many people, including former Culture Minister Sonthaya Khunpluem, Chon Buri Governor Pakarathon Tienchai, Chief of the Chon Buri Provincial Administrative Organization Wittaya Khunpluem and Mayor of Saen Suk Municipality Narongchai Khunpluem as well as local administrators and residents.

With the objective of preserving Thai New Year traditions, the event features a variety of activities, such as demonstrations on the cooking of Thai sweets, traditional sports competitions, sand sculpture contests and light and sound shows. The Wan Lai Festival at Bang Saen Beach this year is expected to generate over 10 million baht for Saen Suk Municipality.


MOAC checks out boat size measurements in Samut Songkhram

NNT

SAMUT SONGKHRAM, (NNT) – The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation (MOAC) inspected the management of fishing boats earlier given mistaken measurements.

 

MOAC Permanent-Secretary Teerapat Prayoonsit led officials in a visit to a pier of Saha Ice Factory in Samut Songkhram where the provincial governor and the province's fishery officials gave briefings on the situation.

A fishery official, namely Uthai Singtothong, said some 2,000 boat owners have made complaints to the Fishery Association of Thailand requesting for reassessment of the boat sizes as many now have mismatched licenses, preventing them from sailing out as they failed to comply with the requirements from Port-in, Port-out (PIPO) center.

The MOAC permanent-secretary who inspected 28 boats docking at the pier said the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative had ordered for the carryning out of size assessments to all fishing boats by 20 May 2017 to ensure the correctness in fishery management and to prevent illegal fishing.


Cambodian workers arrested for illegal reentry

NNT

SA KAEO, (NNT) – Authorities in Sa Kaeo have apprehended a group of Cambodian workers who reentered Thailand illegally after having returned home to celebrate the Songkran Festival.

Twenty-five Cambodian nationals have reportedly been taken into custody in the eastern province of Sa Kaeo after trespassing into Thailand without official permission. Following an interrogation, authorities revealed that the group had indeed been working legally in Thailand before their return to Cambodia for the Songkran holiday. All were found with the temporary work permit, or the pink card, and the certification document from the Provincial Office of Employment.

However, they were apprehended for crossing the border through an illegal channel. One of the suspects said he departed Thailand through the Ban Laem border checkpoint in Chanthaburi province but was denied reentry by immigration officials at the Ban Khlong Luek border checkpoint in Sa Kaeo. He then decided to pay an illegal network 800 baht for help in sneaking into Thailand through the forest.

According to reports, a number of Cambodians have been unable to return to Thailand as the law only permits foreign workers to reenter at the point of departure.


Police identify another suspect in 50 mil baht travel scam

NNT

BANGKOK, (NNT) - The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) has identified another lead suspect in the travel scam that caused 50 million baht in damages, while authorities meet to discuss victim compensation.

CIB Police Commissioner Pol Lt Gen Thitirat Nongharnpitak said today, six agencies held a meeting on the case, including the Anti-Money Laundering Office and the Legal Execution Department. The meeting was held to discuss restitution to victims of the scam.

Pasit Arinchalapit alias Sinsae Shogun, is suspected of defrauding more than 1,000 people of at least 50 million baht. She and others had sold fake tickets to Osaka, Japan through the nutrition supplement company WealthEver.

Investigators have identified another suspect with a similar level of culpability of Pasit. Authorities have also finished gathering statements from eight other suspects in Pasit’s cheating ring and are confident they have sufficient evidence to take legal action. The eight suspects are being detained by the 11th Military Circle.


PM and FM prepare for ASEAN Summit

NNT

BANGKOK, (NNT) - Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha, and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai are scheduled to meet with their ASEAN counterparts at the 30th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings in Manila, the Philippines, on April 28th and 29th to foster cooperation among ASEAN member countries.

 

Marking the 50th year since the establishment of the ASEAN Community back in 1967 in Bangkok, the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made known that ASEAN leaders will use this opportunity to reflect upon the milestone.

The meetings will cover both internal and external matters that the region is facing. On internal issues, the members are looking into strategies to boost ASEAN Regional Resilience with an emphasis on people-centered development, as well as empowerment of the regional economy. The leaders will also discuss strategies to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The Community has a close connection with North Korea as the isolated country also participates in the ASEAN Regional Forum annually.

ASEAN leaders are also scheduled to convene a meeting with representatives of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly and representatives of ASEAN Youth, to ensure that the views of all are included, for the benefit of the entire community.

General Prayut will also make a speech at the Prosperity for All Summit, a meeting to discuss strategies to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in ASEAN.

The premier will also attend the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) Summit, to foster the economic relationship among the three countries.


Dawn fire damages 20 buildings in Sa Kaeo market

NNT

SA KAEO, (NNT) - A fire yesterday engulfed a number of buildings in Det Thai Market opposite Rong Kluea Market in Aranyaprathet district of Sa Kaeo province.

 

Firefighters spent around an hour containing the fire that broke out at dawn in Sa Kaeo’s best known second hand shoe market. Twenty shop buildings and their goods as well as eight motorcycles were destroyed.

The shops belong to Cambodian people who had already left for their home country for the Songkran holiday. Officials commented that a short circuit might have caused the fire as the buildings are more than 30 years old. The damage is estimated at two million baht.


Motorists encouraged to take rests driving long haul

NNT

BANGKOK, (NNT) – The Highway Police is encouraging motorists to take rests if they feel tired when driving long distances, as fatigue is one of the main factors of road accident.

 

Highway Police Division Chief Pol Maj Gen Somchai Kaosamran has revealed the average number of fatalities during Songkran holidays was recorded at 40-50 persons each day. Most of the accidents were caused from fatigue.

Fatigue and tiredness contribute up to 20 percent of all accidents, as high as 26 percent during the past New Year holidays. The condition is however difficult to detect unlike alcohol consumption.

Tired drivers are urged to take rests at service centers provided by the Highway Police along major roads where restrooms, hot drinks, and sleeping rooms are available.

The Highway Police chief has added the Bangkok-bound traffic volume has started to increase from midday yesterday with some slowdown expected on the northeastern highways. Meanwhile, 30-40 percent of motorists have already arrived back in Bangkok.

The traveling public are encouraged to report any traffic incidents to the highway police hotline 1193, the highway department hotline 1586, or send the accident's location to the highway police chat group through the LINE application.


Surat Thani stresses strict law enforcement measures to reduce and prevent accidents during Songkran

NNT

SURAT THANI, (NNT) - Surat Thani province stresses strict law enforcement measures at the meeting of the committee of the Center for the Prevention and Reduction of Road, Water and Air Traffic Accidents on Songkran festival 2017.

 

Surat Thani Governor Uaychai Innak has assigned Surat Thani Deputy Governor Witchawut Jinto to chair the meeting which has stressed strict law enforcement measures against driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding, not fastening their seat-belts and not wearing a helmet.

Agencies under the Ministry of Transport and local administrative organizations have been assigned to inspect roads in their areas of responsibility especially areas with repeated occurrences of accidents.

From 11-15 April 2017, there were a total of 62 accidents, 65 injuries and 5 deaths. On 15 April 2017 alone, there were 12 accidents, 17 injuries and no deaths.


Transport Co expects surge in bus passengers

NNT

BANGKOK, (NNT) -  The Transport Company expects as many as 600,000 passengers up until the 18th April with extra services to be provided to relieve anticipated traffic congestion.

 

The Transport Company's executive vice president for bus operations Noppharat Karunyavanich said today that the company expected some 120,000 passengers to start traveling back to Bangkok on 15th April and would increase to 170,000 per day from 16th to 18th April.

The company is expected to serve up to 600,000 passengers during 15th to 18th April and will provide extra buses according to demand on each route.

Inbound passengers traveling during 17th and 20th April may get off at the Department of Land Transport office between 05.00 a.m. and 07.00 a.m. while all buses will stop at Future Park Rangsit and proceed to Mo Chit bus terminal.

Local bus services will be provided at the bus terminal to relieve congestion and for the convenience of returning passengers.


Lower death toll in first four Songrkan days

NNT

BANGKOK, (NNT) -  The number of injuries and deaths in the first four safety-campaign days of the Songkran holiday has been reduced, while the authorities are now preparing to supervise return traffic, says an official.

 

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation's (DDPM) Deputy Director-General, Kobchai Boonyaorana said today the number of deaths in the first four days of the Songkran safety campaign, is lower year-on-year despite a higher number of accident cases.

He said the department has been working with the police, the Ministry of Transport, and the Ministry of Public Health to prevent loss of life in accidents.

The authorities are now working to ensure safety at festival venues, and are also focusing on the return journeys of thousands of city residents, as the festival comes to an end. Checkpoints are being relocated to main roads to ensure the safety of inbound travels.

Members of the general public are reminded to check the condition of their vehicle prior to the journey, plan the route in advance, and take rests while driving long distances. Advice on traffic routes can be received by calling the Highway Police hotline 1193.


Marine Dept ensures travelers’ safety in Phang Nga

NNT

PHANG NGA, (NNT) – The Marine Department has inspected the progress of a construction project in Phang Nga, making sure travelers are safe during the Songkran commute.

 

Somchai Sumanushajonkul, the deputy director-general of the Marine Department, and Marine Department officials inspected a wharf in Phang Nga where a 36-million-baht construction project is underway. Expected to be completed next year, the project is aimed at improving the function and services of the wharf.

While in Phang Nga, Marine Department officials handed out pamphlets containing safety instructions to water commuters and other travelers.

Port officers have been instructed to maintain a peaceful atmosphere and be on high alert at all times during the Songkran Festival, said Somchai, adding that officers should regularly inspect the quay and passenger and cargo vessels to make sure that the operators follow maritime regulations.


Transport Ministry ensures road safety for return journeys after Songkran

NNT

BANGKOK, (NNT) - 15 April 2017 (NNT) – The Minister of Transport has called on all agencies to prepare to serve the traveling public returning to Bangkok from today as Songkran comes to end.

 

The Minister of Transport Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said today in an interview with Radio Thailand regarding the preparations to assist the general public returning to Bangkok, that some people will start their journeys back on 15th April, while the peak travel days will be 16th-17th April.

Related agencies have been ordered to provide facilitation to the general public and to provide continuous public transport from arrival hubs, to quickly get people home.

More carriages will be added to each train to provide more capacity, while officials will be strictly enforcing accident prevention measures to ensure drivers comply with the traffic laws.


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Foreigners invited to join “Thailand in your mind” photo contest

Dental Council denounces cosmetic retainers

Affordable school supplies now available at various stores across BKK

Money Expo 2017 to be held under the theme "Financial Innovation 4.0"


Lots of counterfeit goods seized in March

Thailand's Or Tor Kor Market in CNN's top 10 best fresh markets in the world

BoT says Thai baht fluctuates more frequently

Songkran 2017 spurred over 45 billion Baht in spending in Thailand


Tourism Minister joins in Wan Lai Festival in Bang Saen

MOAC checks out boat size measurements in Samut Songkhram

Cambodian workers arrested for illegal reentry

Police identify another suspect in 50 mil baht travel scam


PM and FM prepare for ASEAN Summit

Dawn fire damages 20 buildings in Sa Kaeo market

Motorists encouraged to take rests driving long haul

Surat Thani stresses strict law enforcement measures to reduce and prevent accidents during Songkran


Transport Co expects surge in bus passengers

Lower death toll in first four Songrkan days

Marine Dept ensures travelers’ safety in Phang Nga

Transport Ministry ensures road safety for return journeys after Songkran



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