Tropical storms hit 24 provinces; aid measures taken promptly
Bangkok - Besides forest fires and the haze
situation in the North, tropical storms have hit 24 provinces, prompting the
Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation to coordinate with
provincial authorities to take measures immediately to help victims.
The thunderstorms and strong winds have hit the
northern provinces from April 5 until Wednesday this week, causing injury to
nine villagers and damage to 3,463 houses.
Provincial authorities, the military, local
administrative organizations and other related agencies are providing basic
assistance to the victims and assessing and evaluating the affected and
damaged areas so that further aid measures can be provided in accordance
with the regulations of the Ministry of Finance.
Members of the public are advised to follow weather
forecasts and follow warnings strictly. Those in need of emergency aid may
call Hotline 1784 at any time around the clock.
Royally-bestowed ‘Yellow Star’ tree planted at Government House
Bangkok - Prime Minister, Gen. Prayut
Chan-o-cha, led his cabinet ministers in planting a royally-bestowed "Yellow
Star" tree at the Government House compound in Bangkok on Wednesday. The
tree inaugurates the "One Province, One Road in Honor of His Majesty the
On Monday (Apr 15), His Majesty King Maha
Vajiralongkorn granted an audience in which Gen. Prayut and the governors of
76 provinces plus the Bangkok Governor received "Yellow Star" trees, which
will be planted to mark the occasion of His Majesty the King’s coronation
next month. The "Yellow Star" tree is the symbolic tree of His Majesty the
King, and it is also a symbol of abundance.
The trees will be planted along one of the selected
main roads in each province of Thailand to promote its identity.
5,000 vehicles seized from Songkran drivers
Bangkok - Measures to seize vehicles from
persons found driving while under the influence of alcohol during the five
days of the Songkran holidays resulted in some 5,000 cars and motorcycles
being impounded by officials.
From 11th-15th April, officials seized 5,318 vehicles
from drunk drivers, including 3,907 motorcycles and 1,411 cars, and have
filed cases against the violators.
The general public started travelling back to Bangkok
from their hometowns yesterday, with key Bangkok-bound roads from all
regions being crowded with traffic.
Forest fire in Chiang Rai almost extinguished
Bangkok - Authorities have extinguished most of
a forest fire along the border of Muang Chiang Rai and Mae Chan districts in
the northern province of Chiang Rai. The firefighters are scrambling to put
out the blaze in just one location as it is difficult for them to reach.
The District Chief of Mae Chan, Wandee Ratchomphu, said
the fire situation has improved over the past few days, thanks to the
cooperation of officials from all sides.
Wandee said the blaze at some spots, including Wat Pa
Tung and Wat San Mongkol, has been almost extinguished, and there is only
one area where the firefighters are having some difficulties to reach. She
said this forest fire incident will be assessed for future improvements.
Meanwhile, at the haze and forest fire command center
in Wat Pa Tung, the Govenor of Chiang Rai held a meeting with the
Director-General of the Royal Forest Department, the Commander of the 3rd
Army Region, and personnel from relevant agencies to follow up on the forest
fire situation. Following the meeting, all sides have been instructed to set
up volunteer groups in all 139 villages to monitor their forest areas with
the support from the military and relevant agencies.
The District Chief of Mae Chan has thanked the people
and the private sector for donating rice and other necessities to the
firefighters. She said the haze and forest fire command center has continued
to receive drinking water and other necessities from donors.
Thai minister says envoys breached diplomatic etiquette
Saturday, April 6, 2019, photo, Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn
Juangroongruangkit shakes hands with his supporters as he stands alongside
the First Secretary of the French Embassy in Thailand Christophe Carlucci,
left, and Counsellor of the German Embassy in Thailand Alexander Nowak,
right, at a police station in Bangkok. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Bangkok (AP) — Thailand's
foreign minister said he will summon representatives from the embassies of
the European Union and the United States to discuss why he believes they
breached diplomatic etiquette by observing a Thai politician being charged
with sedition by police.
Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said
that foreign countries are barred from closely observing internal procedures
"not only by etiquette but also by rules and regulations that the whole
world abides by."
His remarks come after several
countries sent envoys to observe a police proceeding at a Bangkok police
station last Saturday where Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the
popular Future Forward Party that ran a strong third in the elections, was
formally charged with sedition and other crimes following a complaint filed
by a member of the country's ruling military government.
Don said that the foreign ministry is
considering whether to verbally summon the embassy representatives or submit
an invitation in writing.
Deputy Police Chief Srivara
Ransibrahmanakul said he was responsible for briefing the foreign envoys at
the police station who asked why the case had to be conducted by a military
court and why it had stalled. He said the envoys were not part of the formal
interrogation and reading of charges but were later informed of the legal
proceedings. He said the envoys' involvement did not interfere with police
Foreign minister Don appeared to be
more critical and said that the envoys had no business being inside the
"There's no principle to gather
information in meeting rooms, in discussion rooms, in interrogation rooms
and so on," Don said, adding that it would be up to the military court's
consideration over whether foreign representatives would be allowed to
observe the trial.
All provinces ready for Songkran
Bangkok - For the approaching
Songkran holidays, many provinces are eager to welcome a lively crowd of
tourists, amidst strict enforcement of safety regulations and widespread
tourist facilitation measures.
Authorities have set up blood/alcohol
test desks to check drivers prior to using their vehicles, while some people
have already started to travel back to their hometowns ahead of the
holidays. Travel is expected to reach its peak at the end of this week.
In addition to Thai people, many
migrant workers from neighboring counties have started travelling home for
the holidays. Hundreds of Cambodian workers have passed through Ban Laem
border crossing carrying items bought in Thailand as gifts for their
relatives. Some of the workers are reported to have arrived at the border
crossing at 3 a.m., while officials are opening immigration and customs
control points from 6 a.m. to enable them to thoroughly inspect travelers’
documents and belongings.
Legal migrant workers, carrying valid
passports, will be exempted from paying border related fees for their
Songkran travel home. They will have to exit Thailand between 13th and 16th
April, and return by 30th April to be eligible for the waiver. It is
expected that over 100,000 migrant workers from Cambodia will be travelling
through Ban Laem border crossing this Songkran holiday.
Police promote Songkran holiday house patrol program
Bangkok - During the Songkran holidays,
travellers can still register their house with the police as part of the
safety patrol campaign preventing thieves striking when owners are away. The
deputy commissioner-general of the police force has urged all officers
nationwide to give maximum facilitation to ensuring the confidence of the
A parade promoting the Royal Thai Police’s Pracharat
Songkran house safety program for 2019, or “Leave Houses with the Police”
campaign, was arranged in Bangkok this week and led by Deputy Commissioner
General Pol Gen Chaloemkiat Siworakhan, along with police officers from
Thong Lor Police Station, who visited the house of actress Mai Charoenpura
who herself registered her house in Soi Thonglor to ensure regular safety
patrols by the police in this program, while actor Champ Chanatip also
joined the rally promoting the campaign to the general public.
Pol Gen Chaloemkiat has urged officers at the
Metropolitan Police and Provincial Police 1-9 to provide maximum security
protection to enrolled house owners, and to work with neighbours to help
inform the authorities of any suspicious activities in the neighbourhood. It
is expected some 8,000 houses will be enrolled in this year’s campaign.
He said “There have been some 7-8,000 houses enrolled
in the previous year’s campaign. We have urged officials to encourage house
owners travelling to their hometowns or on a trip away, to join the
campaign. We expect to protect the same number of houses this year, no
The general public is encouraged to install the Police
I Lert U mobile application which allows users to report emergency cases and
request assistance immediately by sending personal information, photos,
incident time, and location directly to the police’s 24-hour response team
who will immediately dispatch responsible officers to the incident site.
House owners interested in the patrol program can enroll at any police
Bangkok bus fares to increase on April 22
Bangkok - After the
postponement of increases early this year in order to promote the use of
public transport and reduce pollution from traffic, the Bangkok Mass
Transit Authority (BMTA) will finally raise bus fares in Bangkok and
deploy new NGV powered buses to serve passengers.
Fares on all types of public bus in
Bangkok will increase effective from 22nd April, with the fares on
ordinary red and cream colored buses rising to 8 baht per trip from 6.50
baht, and fares on air-conditioned buses colored blue and cream to
increase to 12-20 baht based on distance, from the previous fares of
between 10-18 baht.
Fares on orange Euro II air
conditioned buses and the new NGV buses will be adjusted to 13-25 baht
depending on distance from 11-23 baht previously, while blue coloured
new generation buses will charge fares increased to 15-25 baht from
11-23 baht previously. Fares on bus lines operated by private companies
will rise by 1 baht per trip on ordinary buses, and 1 baht per travel
distance zone on air conditioned buses.
The Minister of Transport Arkhom
Termpittayapaisith has announced that 489 new NGV buses will be deployed
on city routes; they will be equipped with modern technology such as the
E-Ticket system, GPS tracking, and will have Wi-Fi on board, while
facilities such as bus stops will also be improved.