No swimming at Hua Hin beaches following bull shark discovery
A school of silhouetted bull
sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) circle for food near the ocean's surface. (AP
Photo | Keith A. Ellenbogen)
Prachuap Khiri Khan -
Authorities in Prachuap Khiri Khan province have asked tourists to refrain
from getting into the water off the beaches in Hua Hin district at this
time, following the recent discovery of bull sharks in the area.
Many Thai and foreign visitors have
come to Tham Khao Tao Temple in Hua Hin to witness the bull sharks, which
are commonly seen when seawater temperature decreases.
Signs in Thai, English, and Chinese
languages have been placed along the Sai Noi Beach, warning visitors from
entering the water during the installation of shark prevention nets which
will take about 20 to 30 days to complete.
Officials are also on-site with
necessary equipment and boats to provide immediate assistance to visitors in
case of emergency.
Cardiac deaths rise significantly in Thailand
Bangkok - A doctor at Bangkok
Hospital has advised people to keep fit as the number of cardiac deaths in
the nation has risen significantly.
Deputy Director of the Cardiothoracic
Surgery Department of Bangkok Hospital, Dr. Witoon Pitikueakoon, has urged
Thai people to exercise regularly, get a good night’s sleep and quit smoking
as more people become victims of cardiac diseases.
He claimed the number of heart-related
deaths is currently as high as those who die from cancer, which is the 2nd
biggest cause of death in Thailand. Dr. Witoon said unhealthy eating, stress
and smoking can put people at risk of a heart disease, adding that the
symptoms could worsen in the summer when the weather is hot.
According to the Ministry of Public
Health, more than 58,000 people died from heart diseases in 2014 or an
average of 7 people per hour. Cardiac deaths were found more in men aged 40
years old and above compared to women.
Thai court acquits northeastern gold mine protesters
The seven environmental activists are shown
outside Loei Provincial Court in this September 25, 2017 photo. (Photo
courtesy The Nation)
Bangkok (AP) — A court hearing
found seven environmental activists not guilty Thursday of violating a law
on public gatherings that imposes severe penalties for actions that disrupt
The activists, all women, in November
2016 blocked access to a meeting at a local government office in Loei
province in Thailand's northeast to protest a request by a gold mining
company to expand operations near their homes. They were charged by
prosecutors on behalf of 16 people who said they were unable to attend the
scheduled meeting due to the 20-hour protest.
The Loei Provincial Court dropped all
charges against them, stating they had "innocently expressed their opinions,
which is within their basic rights under the system of democracy." They had
also been charged with compelling a person, by threat or violence, to act
against his will. Had they been convicted they could have faced more than
five years in prison.
The court also stated that the
defendants lived in the area of the Tungkum Ltd. gold mine and thus their
livelihoods were directly affected by the mining operations, which they said
contaminated public water sources with dust, heavy metals, rat poison and
high levels of manganese.
Villagers had been protesting since
2006 against the mine's alleged pollution and had blocked the company's
trucks from the road leading to the mine's entrance at least three times
since 2013. On one of those occasions in 2014 they were attacked and beaten
at night by about 200 armed men. Two military men were convicted and jailed
for orchestrating the assault.
Tungkum has brought at least 19
criminal and civil complaints against 33 Loei residents since 2007.
The company's license to operate in
forest areas expired about five years ago, curtailing most of its operation.
Pornthip Hongchai, one of the acquitted
defendants, said she was "satisfied and happy" with the court's ruling. She
was worried, however, that a new mining law might allow operations to
resume, and that nothing had been done to deal with the residual pollution.
"There is still contamination within
our six villages surrounding the mine. No officials or any department have
come to seriously fix or address the problem yet. Villagers know that the
water is contaminated and we have to be careful and look after ourselves. We
still have to buy water to drink and cook with. We've been buying water
since 2009 when there was a public health announcement."
In December 2016, Prime Minister
Prayuth Chan-ocha issued an executive order halting all gold mining in
However, the order also mandated
creation of a committee to manage and oversee the country's mineral
resources, with power to allow gold mining to resume at a later date.
Officials to handle temple fund corruption case with sensitivity
Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikalya.
Bangkok - Deputy Prime Minister
Gen Chatchai Sarikalya, who oversees the National Office of Buddhism (NOB),
has said he will act with sensitivity in the temple fund corruption case as
per the wishes of Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha, remarking that
clarity in the matter will help Thai Buddhists return to confidence in the
The NOB recently filed a third round of
complaints, naming five senior members of the Buddhist clergy.
Prime Minister’s Office Minister
Suwaphan Tanyuwattana, who also oversees the NOB, stated that investigations
in the matter must be based on evidence and the judicial process. He let on
investigations are ongoing to clearly separate justice matters from matters
concerning the clergy.
Abbot of Wat Sam Phraya Phraphromdilok,
as head of the Bangkok clergy and a member of the Sangha Supreme Council,
took part in a meeting of other high ranking Buddhist leaders on Thursday to
collect opinions and suggestions on how to proceed. He declined to comment
on the fact his own name is among the five filed by the NOB, stating he has
yet to be briefed on the matter.
At the same time, Commander of the
Counter Corruption Police Division Pol Maj Gen Kamol Rhienarcha made known
that NOB Director Pol Lt Col Pongporn Phramsaneh has pushed out a scheduled
meeting with investigators and has yet to schedule a new date.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba sets plans for Thailand
Founder and chairman of Alibaba Jack Ma delivers
a speech before signing four memorandums of understanding linked to the
investment in Thailand during a press conference Bangkok, Thursday, April
19. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Bangkok (AP) — Chinese
e-commerce giant Alibaba has agreed to step up investments in Thailand as
competition between online retailers heats up in the Southeast Asian region.
The founder of the online shopping
giant, Jack Ma, met with prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Thursday and
later signed several agreements, including one to help set up a "smart
digital hub" in the showcase Eastern Economic Corridor project, to
facilitate trade between Thailand, China, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and
Both Ma and Prayuth sought to allay
concerns that Alibaba's growing involvement might increase Chinese influence
without benefiting Thailand. Across the region, such concerns have deepened
as Beijing expands investments in a slew of projects that help expand
transportation and supply chain networks linked to China.
"Are we going to occupy Thailand, are
we going to take away the jobs?" Ma said at a news conference. "We are not
interested in that. We are interested in and focusing on enabling
entrepreneurs and partners in Thailand."
Prayuth told reporters that the amount
of investment involved would be determined later. Earlier, Thai media
reported that Alibaba plans to invest 11 billion Thai baht in the Eastern
Reports said the hub, due to be
completed next year, would also serve as a research and development center
Prayuth said he asked Ma to help
Thailand boost its exports of rice, palm oil and rubber and to help the
country's low-income and farm workers.
Ma told the Thai premier that Alibaba
could help develop logistics systems to speed up delivery of farm products,
"Therefore, this is beneficial to
Thailand. Don't think of this as being disadvantageous for Thailand,"
The government said Alibaba also plans
to help train Thai entrepreneurs and small businesses in e-commerce and to
set up an online tourism platform.
Alibaba and Amazon have both been
expanding in Southeast Asia, an increasingly affluent region of more than
600 million people. E-commerce still accounts for less than 3 percent of
retail sales in the region but is growing quickly.
Last month, Alibaba announced it was
investing another $2 billion in regional online retailer Lazada Group,
doubling its stake in the company that it gained control of in 2016.
Russian sex guru, follower blame US for continued detention
Anastasia Vashukevich sits inside a prison
transport vehicle outside a courthouse in Pattaya, Tuesday, April 17. (AP
Pattaya — A Russian sex guru and
his followers, one of whom claims to have evidence of Moscow's interference
in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, were acquitted Tuesday of violating
labor laws in Thailand but still face other charges that could land them in
prison for more than 10 years.
Alexander Kirillov and follower
Anastasia Vashukevich, a model and escort, told reporters they placed the
blame for their continued detention on U.S. officials, to whom they
previously appealed for help and political asylum.
Vashukevich's earlier revelation of an
alleged affair with Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch close to President
Vladimir Putin, fueled opposition allegations in Russia of official
corruption and enraged the Kremlin.
Vashukevich claims to have audio
recordings of Deripaska that provide evidence of Russian meddling in the
Deripaska has been linked to Paul
Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign manager who has been indicted on
money laundering charges in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation
into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
The group was arrested Feb. 25 in a
hotel meeting room in Pattaya. The sex lessons they hosted were attended by
about 40 Russian tourists.
Kirillov and Vashukevich, with half a
dozen other people, were taken Tuesday to a Pattaya court from the
immigration detention center in Bangkok where they are being held.
Unashamed sexual activity is business
as usual for Pattaya, which is notorious for its sordid nightlife, but the
allegations by Vashukevich, who uses the name Nastya Rybka on her racy
social media postings, have drawn worldwide attention.
Charges of working without proper
permits were dropped Tuesday due to technicalities involving implementation
of new regulations for work permits for foreigners, said a lawyer who
represented the defendants and was present at their hearing. He spoke to
reporters on condition that he not be named.
Foreigners found working without a work
permit can face fines of up to 100,000 baht and imprisonment for up to five
Police last week added additional
charges against them of soliciting to provide sexual services, which carries
a maximum prison term of 10 years, and conspiracy to solicit, which is
punishable by up to seven years.
It was unclear when they will be tried
on the new charges.
Kirillov, also known as Alex Lesley,
and Vashukevich managed to smuggle out a letter soon after they were
arrested which was delivered by a friend to the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok,
asking for asylum and saying they had important information about the U.S.
They also said they feared for their
personal safety, especially if deported to Russia. Vashukevich repeated her
claims in comments to reporters before Thai authorities cut off media access
Speaking to the media Tuesday after
they were acquitted, they took a more conciliatory tone toward Russia, and a
more suspicious one toward U.S. authorities.
On arrival at the court, when reporters
asked Kirillov what he wished to tell the U.S., he responded in English:
"Help us. Help us any way because we don't know what is happening."
But after his acquittal, he told them
he thought that U.S. officials, including the FBI, may have been trying to
engineer the legal proceedings to keep them in Thai detention for three or
four months. In broken English, he appeared to suggest the Americans wanted
to find the alleged evidence themselves rather than get it by dealing with
"This information is much more
interesting for the American side. I think Russia is not involved so much as
we thought about this," he said.
He added that Vashukevich wrote a
message for Deripaska to tell him hello and that she was waiting for him to
"'come and do something' because this is everything about his case and she
don't want to participate in some political situation. This is love story."
Vashukevich, speaking in Russian,
voiced similar sentiments.
"I want to say this to Oleg Deripaska
and say that we were wrong, it's not the Russian government who are trying
to put us in jail, it's the Americans."
At the same time, she insisted that the
recordings she claims to have are still safe. "They took my phone and laptop
away from me, because I have all of it on my phone and laptop. But don't
worry, many people have it stored safely. And if I want for it to be
revealed it will be."
Vashukevich, who carries a passport
from Belarus, became the center of a public scandal in early February when
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny published an investigation drawing
on her social media posts suggesting corrupt links between Deripaska and a
top Kremlin official, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko.
The report featured photos from
Deripaska's yacht in 2016, when Vashukevich claims she was having an affair
with him and allegedly recorded him.
BMA considers reviving Giant Swing religious ritual after 86 years
Bangkok - The Governor of the
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has revealed that his office is
considering reviving an old Brahmin ceremony at the capital’s landmark
‘Giant Swing’. The ritual was discontinued 86 years ago for safety reasons.
The Giant Swing is a religious
structure in Phra Nakhon district. It is located in front of Wat Suthat
Thepphawararam and the BMA headquarters.
Bangkok Governor Asawin Kwanmuang
explained that the suggestion came at a recent meeting of BMA officials. The
ancient ceremony was discontinued in 1932 during the reign of King Rama the
Seventh. The BMA is concerned that the old ritual could be forgotten and
thus seeks to introduce it to the younger generation.
The governor said that the campaign
needs approval from related agencies including the Prime Minister’s Office,
the Bureau of the Royal Household, and the Fine Arts Department, amongst
others. He estimated that his office would take at least a week to prepare
the details of the campaign before proposing it to the Prime Minister’s
Pol. Gen. Asawin also indicated that
the Giant Swing itself is being renovated, adding that the process would be
completed this month. The Bangkok Governor said if the campaign receives a
green light, the BMA will construct a replica of the Giant Swing for the
ceremony, in order to preserve the integrity of the original one.
Government prepared to declare safety zones in southern border region
Bangkok - The government is
preparing to declare safety zones in Thailand’s southern border region.
Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha
said he is hoping the government will be able to declare safety zones in the
three southern border provinces before the end of this month.
Gen. Prayut said that the first such
zone is set to be in Cho-airong District of Narathiwat Province.
In addition, he said that the peace
talks plan between the government and groups with different views is
expected to progress, which will help build trust among all while showing
the government’s sincerity to opposing groups.
The Prime Minister went on to say that,
if the government’s sincere attention to promote peace is well-received,
there should be a decline in acts to instigate violence in the conflict-torn
area, while more cooperation should be achieved from all sides to bring the
situation there back to normal.
Airports ready to handle end of Songkran travel
Bangkok - Immigration officers
at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport are expecting to handle 150,000 people a
day now that Songkran has ended and Thai tourists are returning home and
foreign tourists are departing.
During the festivities, Suvarnabhumi
Airport logged approximately 140,000 people passing through per day, 20,000
more than the average. While numbers eased on April 13 and 14, now that
Songkran has concluded, it is expecting between 140 and 150,000 travelers
per day until April 20. The Immigration Bureau has prepared a full
complement of officers to handle the crowds until the end of the travel
Immigration Police are working closely
with airlines and Airports of Thailand (AOT) to handle arrivals. Police are
to be notified of all flight details and airlines are to hand out
Immigration Cards in-flight to arriving foreigners, providing them with any
information needed before landing. Volunteers have also been stationed to
help arriving passengers prepare their documentation before reaching the
Thai travelers are reminded that they
can use the Automatic Channel at the airport to speed up their immigration
process as the system takes only 20 seconds to complete. Authorities will be
manning lines to reduce congestion. Those departing from Suvarnabhumi, Don
Muang or Phuket airports are asked to allow no less than three hours for
check-in and to pass through security.
Chonburi governor inspects ferry operations
Chonburi - The governor of
Chonburi Province, Phakkharathon Thianchai, inspected two piers in the
province on Sunday to ensure safety for boat passengers during the Songkran
The governor, his deputy and chiefs of
relevant government agencies in the province met with officers who are
manning boat safety centers at the two piers from 11-17 April. The two piers
are Charin Pier, a temporary pier for boats operating between Si Racha and
Si Chang Island, and the southern Pattaya Pier at Bali Hai.
The governor instructed the officers to
enforce regulations with all ferries to make sure that the boats and their
skippers are in good condition. Overloading is strictly prohibited and all
passenger boats must operate on their designated routes.
Summer storms wreak havoc across northeast
Nakhon Panom - Summer storms
have wreaked havoc in many areas of Thailand's northeast, affecting Songkran
Nakhon Panom’s 2018 Songkran Festival
space, setup at the Panomnaka atrium of the province’s municipal office, was
heavily damaged by summer storms through Sunday night. Downpours and high
winds toppled tents and damaged goods setup for the activity. Nearby
residences were also damaged by the weather.
A 40 minute storm in Nong Khai province
hit the Pae Pan Rai tourist destination, severely damaging 20 of the area’s
24 pontoons along with local shops and its parking space. Locals noted that
temperatures before the storm reached as high as 40 degrees Celsius for
several days but the change in weather brought hail and heavy rain. Some 50
tourists had to be evacuated from the area but no injuries were reported.
Sikornphumi district of Surin province
experienced similar weather conditions with winds damaging homes as well as
felling an over 100-year old Bodhi tree, which toppled onto six parked cars.
Assistance is being provided to affected residents. Trees, including rubber
trees, were similarly felled in the province’s Buachet district, where one
resident’s home was completely demolished. A large tree, uprooted by winds,
blocked the district’s main road, causing traffic to backup for about one
kilometer. It has since been removed by locals.
Over 90 groups submit documents to register new political parties
Bangkok - Meechai Ruchupan, the
Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), said it is a positive
sign that many groups have already submitted documents to register new
Meechai expressed his belief that the
next election will yield new politicians who will bring changes to Thailand.
He said more than 90 groups have submitted documents seeking to register new
political parties, and the number is beyond his expectation.
The creation of so many new parties
will give people a wider choice political discourse, said Meechai and he
believes the next election will lead to a positive change for the country.
He hopes voters will choose new candidates in order not to bring politics
back into conflict.
Songkran celebrations all week
With assistance from its
mahout, an elephant blows water from its trunk to locals and tourists in
Ayutthaya province, central Thailand. The annual Songkran festival, which
heralds the traditional beginning of the Thai New Year, is celebrated
throughout the country. Once again, officials down here on the coast are
calling for a more cultural approach to what has turned into 10 days of
water splashing fun for some and madness for others. Locally, the wet and
wild celebrations are supposed to take place a week later, on April 18 in
Naklua and April 19 in Pattaya. But we all know this doesn’t happen, no
matter who’s in charge. Note: Next week on April 19, Beach Road Pattaya will
be closed from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Different provinces conclude Songkran with religious activities
TRAT, 15th April 2018 (NNT) –
Many provinces have now performed religious activities to conclude the
In the eastern province of Trat, large numbers of Thai and Cambodian
Buddhists today gathered at Wat Khlong Phet in the capital district to offer
alms to monks and take part in the making of sand pagodas, which are
considered items of worship for Buddha.
In the Central province of Ang Thong, many families spent their Songkran
holiday visiting Wat Muang in Wiset Chai Chan district to pay homage to the
world’s biggest Buddha statue. Meanwhile in Pho Thong district, Wat Khun
Inthapramun was filled with visitors who came to see the country’s second
largest reclining Buddha statue.
The Songkran festival will come to an end today, but the government has
extended the Thai New Year holiday to include Monday.
Govt supporting GI products, community development
BANGKOK, 15th April 2018 (NNT)
– Thailand's Prime Minister has expressed his support for local communities
to make their products unique and attractive.
Commenting on the country’s economy in recent months, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha
said today prices of agricultural goods – rice, rubber, and cassava – have
significantly improved partly thanks to cooperation between different
The harvest season has arrived, he stressed, as many types of fruit are
entering the market and are still in high demand.
Realizing that demand goes up and down, Gen Prayut called on producers to
enhance the specific characteristics of their products, making sure that
their crops possess qualities that are due to their origins. Linking the
products to their origins helps create demand in a sustainable fashion.
Once specific characteristics are created, crops can be certified as
geographical indication (GI) products.
At present, Thailand possesses 87 GI products which can be found in 59
provinces. This past year, 20 products were certified.
Lastly, Gen Prayut asked responsible agencies to link GI products to
cultural tourism in 55 secondary provinces.
PM instructs agencies to facilitate revelers’ return
BANGKOK, 15th April 2018 (NNT) –
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered traffic and security
officers to facilitate holidaymakers’ return with a focus on safety.
Relaying the prime minister’s concerns over the safety of road users,
Government Spokesperson Lt. Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd said today security
agencies including the military and the Thai Police are working hand in hand
to make sure people return safely from their holiday and continue to educate
road users about the traffic law.
To improve road safety, checkpoints and rest areas have been set up at more
than 2,000 locations across Thailand.
Apart from ensuring that public transport operators comply with the law,
these checkpoints offer free vehicle inspections and refreshments.
The prime minister also urged drivers to avoid speeding, driving while
intoxicated or drunk, and riding motorbikes without safety helmets.
Gen Prayut also asked security officers at bus terminals, airports, train
stations, and seaports to be on a 24-hour lookout for scams and criminal
activity and to make sure that no passengers are left stranded.
Highway police rigorously enforce traffic laws to prevent road accidents
BANGKOK, 15th April 2018 (NNT) - The Highway Police have been
rigorously enforcing traffic laws during the Songkran holiday in order to
minimize road accidents.
Pol. Lt. Col. Jatupol Rengthanomsap, superintendent of Highway Police
Section 6, has visited the service units in Nakhon Ratchasima, where he
reconfirmed the policy to strictly enforce traffic laws to ensure road
safety throughout this year’s Songkran holiday.
Pol. Lt. Col. Jatupol also stressed the importance of the PR campaign and
the rigorous enforcement of speeding fines as such driving behavior has long
been one the main causes of road accidents.
In addition, he instructed all officers to ensure no drunk driving among
motorists while ordering all units to stand by to facilitate the travels of
holiday-makers, who are now making their way back to Bangkok via Highway 24
and Highway 304 as the holiday comes to an end.
Pol. Lt. Col. Jatupol also urged motorists to keep their car headlights on
and for drivers and pasengers to fasten seatbelts at all times while
traveling, as well as to avoid reckless speeding.
Police provide free trips in Bkk on April 15-17
BANGKOK, 15th April 2018 (NNT) – The Royal Thai Police force is
offering free trips to holidaymakers returning home between April 15th and
Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police
said today that the Metropolitan Police Bureau will be offering free van
services from Mo Chit Bus Terminal to Mo Chit BTS Station and Victory
Monument in the city, from 4am to 9am and from 4pm to 8pm.
He noted that there are not enough taxis for travelers returning to Bangkok
from other cities during those times.
In addition, traffic police and volunteers will be helping passengers with
their bags and offering other forms of assistance upon request.
In the meantime, the Department of Land Transport has prepared 140 taxis at
Mo Chit Bus Terminal to facilitate holidaymakers’ return. These taxis can be
accessed at the back and in front of the terminal building.
Transport Minister makes inspection trip to road service unit in Uttaradit
BANGKOK, 15th April 2018 (NNT) -
The Transport Minister has undertaken a journey to an official road service
unit in Uttaradit, at a location formerly known to be at high risk of road
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith has taken a team of ministry
officials to inspect the road service unit on Khao Plung in Mueang Uttaradit
District, where many accidents have taken place in the past.
Since being noted as a high-risk location, around 30 kilometers of Khao
Plung have been made into an exemplary example of success in stopping road
accidents occuring at such a risky spot.
Several measures have been introduced in the area, including more no
speeding signs on both sides of the road, more warning lights on the barrier
and an anti-skid road surface.
It was also announced that the Transport Ministry has set up service units
on 61 routes, which were chosen after a review of accident records in 2017
and the previous three years.
These roadways were picked because of high volume traffic conditions.
PM stresses importance of family and love
BANGKOK, 15th April 2018 (NNT) –
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has called on every family to be loving
and spend quality time together this Songkran holiday.
Gen Prayut’s message was conveyed on the weekend by Government Spokesperson
Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd.
He said family is one of the most
important institutions of Thai society and serves as the foundation of a
strong and stable nation. Family provides for the rearing of children,
provides a sense of identity among its members, and transfers culture
Because a peaceful society is made up of warm and loving families, Gen
Prayut has asked family members to spend time during this year’s Songkran
Festival, just being with one another.
To make sure that Thai families can support themselves, the government has
introduced many campaigns and assistance measures such as the state fund for
infants, career development programs, the National Savings Fund, monthly
allowances for senior citizens, and the employment of elderly persons.
The prime minister then asked Thai youngsters to reach out to their older
relatives more often and find topics to talk about such as the history of
Thailand and its regions or useful tips to live a happy life.
PM gives annual Songkran speech, urges gratitude towards elderly
Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Bangkok - The Prime Minister has
given a speech on the occasion of this year’s Songkran festival, urging all
to express gratitude towards the elderly.
Prime Minister General Prayut
Chan-o-cha gave his best wishes to the citizens of Thailand. He said
Songkran is a beautiful tradition that reflects several qualities of the
Thai people in terms of religion, society, and culture. He stressed that
during the celebration period, two characteristics of the culture are being
emphasized. The first is gratitude towards one’s elders and the other is
The premier further indicated that the
government has policies to promote Thai art, culture and history. He said
these cultural values must be incorporated with tourism to create a tourism
that preserves Thai ideals. Gen Prayut said he is confident that the
implementation of the Pracharat or public-private partnership approach will
lead to the long-term preservation of Thai values in traditions such as the
He called for everyone to partake in
Songkran festivities that respect safety regulations and the rights of
others, while being mindful of water resources.
Police chief checks Songkran operations in Pattaya
Chonburi - The national police
chief inspected traffic facilitation and road safety measures in Pattaya on
the first day of the Songkran holiday.
The Commissioner-General of the Royal
Thai Police, Pol. Gen. Chakthip Chaijinda, took a helicopter ride to observe
the traffic conditions in Pattaya on Thursday (April 12th).
Following the inspection, Pol. Gen.
Chakthip met police officers and volunteers who are working to take care of
the local people and tourists. He said the police are promoting road safety
without unnecessary prosecution by encouraging road users to comply with the
existing traffic regulations for everyone's safety.
He said the police have reviewed flaws
in their operations in the past years and they want to minimize the number
of road accidents and ensure public safety at tourism attractions during
this time of the year.
Public Health Min warns of heatstroke due to intoxication
Bangkok - The Ministry of Public
Health has warned citizens of the dangers heatstroke, urging them to refrain
from drinking alcohol during the day in the summer months.
The public service announcement was
made by Ministry Spokesperson and Deputy Permanent Secretary Dr. Opas
Karnkawinpong. He explained that high daytime temperatures during this time
of the year will raise body temperatures also. The condition is further
exacerbated by intoxication, causing some people to suffer heatstroke.
Heatstroke can lead to a coma or even death.
Dr. Opas also said that people with
high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease, as well as those suffering
from lack of sleep, are more susceptible to heatstroke. He urged people to
drink plenty of water, in order to help regulate body temperature.
Officials reclaim encroached land in Kaeng Krachan National Park
Phetchaburi - The Phaya Sua Task
Force has reclaimed encroached land in Kaeng Krachan National Park in
Phetchaburi province, following the discovery of an illegal durian farm.
The team, which included local
administrative authorities, police officers, and park rangers, apprehended
and interrogated six workers found at the three-rai plantation. The raid was
quickly organized, after satellite imagery indicated encroachment in the
Initial questioning revealed that the
mastermind behind the encroachment is a police officer working in Hua Hin
district of Prachuap Khiri Khan. The workers also indicated that the
encroachment began in 2016.
The suspects are now being detained at
the Kaeng Krachan Police Station for further legal proceedings and
investigation. Authorities confiscated all evidence from the site and will
soon summon the alleged mastermind for questioning.
HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn honored for her work against hunger
Bangkok - A summit of the Food
and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has honored Her
Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for her assistance to the
malnourished and impoverished people in Thailand and beyond.
Minister of Agriculture and
Cooperatives, Krisada Boonrach, attended the 34th FAO Asia and Pacific
Summit, which took place April 9-13 in Nadi in Fiji on the topic “Ending
Hunger” and was attended by 46 UN member nations.
Director-General of the FAO, Jose
Graziano da Silva, spoke in honor of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, in
her role as the UN Special Ambassador for Zero Hunger and for her efforts to
end malnutrition and poverty in Thailand and its surrounding region.
Krisada also spoke at the summit on the
Thai government’s progress in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development
Goals through the application of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol
Adulyadej’s teachings and guidance on remediating soil, and water issues. He
elaborated that the systems presented by His Majesty the late King have been
transformative in managing Thailand’s natural resources and boosting its
farming output, leading to food security for the nation. He concluded by
confirming Thailand’s continued cooperation with the international community
Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi Airports operating smoothly despite holiday throng
Bangkok - Don Muang Airport has
reported smooth operations despite a high volume of passengers for the
Songkran holiday, pointing out proper preparations to handle the crowds.
Despite a large volume of people
arriving at the airport’s departure terminal, most have been met with prompt
assistance and service from beefed up airline staff who recommend that those
not in need of help checking their baggage use provided automatic check-in
Deputy Minister for Transport Pailin
Chuchotetaworn has affirmed a full deck of immigration officials has been
dispatched to the airport to facilitate outbound travelers.
To address complaints over overpriced
food, both Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi airports have provided passengers with
pamphlets indicating where they can find differently priced fare.
Police have been sent to oversee
traffic on Vipavadee Rangsit road heading into Don Muang Airport due to the
closure of its entry bridge resulting in added congestion. Travelers are
still recommended to travel to the airport 2-3 hours ahead of schedule to
avoid any issues.
At Suvarnabhumi Airport meanwhile,
impressions from travelers have been majority positive in spite of the large
amount of people making their way through the terminal to their various
destinations. Most noted their own pre-bookings as helping to facilitate
The airport has organized free parking
in Zone C of its parking building until April 17. Shuttle buses are
available from the area to the main terminal.
Up to 193,400 people are estimated to
make their way through Suvarnabhumi Airport daily between April 11 and 17,
10.4 percent more than last year. Flights have been increased to 1,040 per
day, up by 11.2 percent, to speed up the processing of travelers.
DSI and Thanachart Bank unveil video clips combating call center scams
Bangkok - The Department of
Special Investigation (DSI) has joined forces with the Thanachart Bank to
unveil 10 video clips warning against call center scams.
Director of the DSI, Pol Col Paisit
Wongmuang joined Thanachart Bank CEO and President Somjet Moosirilert in
announcing the “Keep Up with Scams, Keep Your Finances Safe” project, which
is seeking to promote awareness and caution against call center scams
through the use of 10 video clips to be available online.
Among the lessons the clips will be
teaching are that while some call centers may contact victims using a phone
number starting off with the appropriate 02, they are actually using an
internet based system. Most of the centers seek to have victims open an
account with the promise of a 500-1,000 baht pay off. Those accounts are
then used for nefarious purposes which incur legal penalties for the victim.
They will also note that billions of baht are lost annually to such scams
with much of the money never recovered.
The DSI is now coordinating with the
Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) to track and freeze the accounts used by
Members of the public can view the
videos on Thanachart Bank’s Youtube channel, on the bank’s Facebook page or
21 TCC expects cash flow of ฿130 billion during Songkran
Bangkok - The Thai Chamber
of Commerce (TCC) has estimated that 132 billion baht will be circulated
in the economy during this Songkran holiday, up 3.5 percent
The Director of the Economic and
Business Forecasting Centre at the University of the Thai Chamber of
Commerce (UTCC), Thanawat Polvichai, said a survey was conducted and
questioned 1,222 respondents ahead of the Songkran festival. The survey
found that about 80 percent of all respondents plan to travel within
Thailand this holiday period. The expected spending is set to see a
3.5-percent rise from a year ago.
Thanavat said that this forecast
amount is the highest recorded during the Songkran festival in 13 years,
partly due to this year’s long holiday of five to six days that allow
people to travel and spend more. However, he noted that economic growth
in Thailand is not yet broad-based as farm product prices remains low
and the government has not yet successfully addressed it.