Make Chiangmai Mail | Bookmark

Chiangmai 's First English Language Newspaper

Pattaya Blatt | Pattaya Mail | Pattaya Mail TV

 

Update May 2018


Home
Thailand News
World News
World Sports
Arts - Entertainment - Lifestyles
Book Review
Health & Wellbeing
Odds & Ends
Science & Nature
Technology
Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Thailand News
 

Update May 31, 2018

PTT denies monopolizing oil sector

NNT

Bangkok - PTT Plc Co Ltd is set to take legal action against those accusing the company of causing higher fuel prices.

PTT Senior Executive Vice President-General Counsel Peangpanor Boonklum said PTT will file a lawsuit against individuals who have accused the company on social media of secretly raising gas prices and monopolizing the oil industry.

Peangpanor said such unfounded claims had tarnished the reputation of the company and its executives. The legal team is currently looking into the matter and will file both civil and criminal lawsuits against those responsible for false accusations.

The Senior Executive Vice President-General Counsel cited the need to resort to legal action as a certain group of individuals has continued to defame the company.


USA donates rabies vaccine to Thailand

NNT

Bangkok - Glyn T. Davies, the U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, has supported the donation of 50,000 units of rabies vaccine to the Department of Livestock Development, aiming to help Thailand become rabies free by 2020.

This year rabies outbreaks in many parts of the country have threatened communities and caused deep concern in many sectors. The U.S. government has been paying attention to the situation and in order to help eliminate the problem, a large quantity of vaccine has been provided to support the Thai government’s fight against the disease.

"I'm here today to handover to the kingdom of Thailand 50,000 courses of vaccine that will be used to vaccinate dogs in the kingdom to help prevent the transmission of rabies from animals to humans, because we know this is the major source of public health problems around the world,” said Davies during a handover ceremony on Wednesday.


EEC needs additional 30,000 workers

NNT

Bangkok - The Ministry of Labor will present to cabinet members a strategy to produce more skilled workers for the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) within two months.

A recent survey found that about 30,000 technical and vocational workers are still required in the EEC, which covers the three eastern provinces of Chachoengsao, Chonburi, and Rayong.

The Labor Minister, Pol. Gen. Adul Sangsingkeo, said his ministry is drafting a plan to produce more skilled workers in the short run, after a number of investors expressed their concern about the inadequacy of a sufficiently skilled workforce.

Pol. Gen. Adul said one solution would be for the EEC to develop its own skilled workers by upgrading the level of vocational education in the three provinces. He said another solution would involve setting up training courses to upgrade the skill levels of existing workers.

The plan is now being developed by the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Education.

After the plan has been drafted, the Ministry of Labor will set up public hearings with local communities before making a presentation to the cabinet.


Citizens observe National Arbor Day alongside Visakha Bucha Day

NNT

Loei - Citizens across the Thailand planted trees in observance of National Arbor Day on Tuesday.

In Loei province, Governor Chaiwat Chuenkosum took part in a tree planting activity at Wat Srisuthawas, planting Yellow Star, Pride of India, Thai crape myrtle and Yellow Elder trees totaling 966 saplings. He also oversaw the hand out of 1,034 saplings to civil servants and members of the public so that they may plant them at their homes. Altogether 2,000 saplings were planted on the occasion.

Residents of Pong Nam Ron district in Chantaburi province joined together for the “Pracharat Planting for the Nation” campaign, planting over 2,000 trees of various species, including mahogany and Thai rosewood, across a 1.6 hectare plot.

In the North, more than 1,000 volunteers observed Arbor Day at the Doi Inthanon Wildlife Sanctuary. They planted .48 hectares of trees to reinvigorate the area’s ecosystem.

On January 31, 1989 the Cabinet mandated that National Arbor Day be observed alongside Visakha Bucha Day each year to increase the country’s green spaces.


Update May 30, 2018

PM Prayut to decide on calls for removal of national police chief

 

Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha.

NNT

Bangkok - The Prime Minister has responded to calls for the removal of the national police chief for what many consider to have been excessive use of force in the arrest of a former activist Buddhist monk.

The premier said on Monday that he, as the leader of the government, he would like to offer the public an apology for the police’s recent raid and arrest of 62-year-old Suwit Thongprasert, who was best known as Phra Buddha Issara — an activist monk defrocked last Thursday.

PM Prayut said that he realized the police’s action has had an impact on many, who viewed the arrest as an excessive use of force.

He stated that the police have planned an investigation into the arrest process and penalties will be laid upon those who are found guilty.

When asked if this investigation might even lead to the removal of the national police chief, the PM said that such a decision would be made by himself, although it would not be done because of pressure from any particular group.


Pollution Control Dept warns of stormwater waste

NNT

Bangkok - The Pollution Control Department (PCD) has issued a statement warning the public to be careful of stormwater polluting water sources during the rainy season.

PCD Director-General Sunee Piyapanpong explained that rainfall at the beginning of the season will wash out wastewater and other substances that accumulate in sewers or farmlands during the dry season. The runoff, also known as stormwater, can reduce oxygen levels in water, increase sedimentation, and lead to rapid changes in temperature that are dangerous to marine wildlife and the ecosystem.

Past surveys of water sources from April to June each year indicate that water quality is suitable for industrial purposes, but not for human consumption. The decrease in oxygen and increase in sediment can also lead to mass fish deaths. The public can help mitigate the impact of stormwater by deploying water aerators to increase dissolved oxygen and refrain from feeding fish on rainy days to reduce accumulated waste.

Director-General Sunee also asked that all sectors help maintain good water quality during the rainy season by disposing of chemicals and hazardous materials safely. Signs of chemical leakage or water contamination can be reported to the department's hotline, 1650.


Bangkok aims to remove tangled overhead cables by 2021

NNT

Bangkok - Bangkok Governor, Pol. Gen. Aswin Kwanmuang has disclosed a plan to make the capital free of tangled overhead cables by 2021.

Pol. Gen. Aswin said the plan has been approved in principle by the National Digital Economy and Society Board, headed by the Deputy Prime Minister, ACM Prajin Juntong.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) would construct a network of tunnels with facilities to house wire cables. Telecom service providers, including fibre optic internet providers, would be required to lease the tunnels from the administration.

He added that the BMA is now seeking a license to operate the planned facilities from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), before submitting the final plan to the infrastructure committee, under the Ministry Digital Economy and Society's administration, for approval.


FDA issues new quality standards for cosmetics products

 

NNT

Bangkok - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced new measures designed to ensure quality in cosmetics production.

Deputy Secretary-General of the FDA, Somchai Preechathaveekid disclosed that the 2015 Cosmetics Act does not require an inspection of the location of the cosmetics production site or an inspection of imported products. Many cosmetics brands have therefore displayed false information concerning production origins and other registered information. To improve upon the measures to protect consumers, the Ministry of Public Health issued an announcement on May 24 regarding guidelines and regulations involved in producing or importing cosmetics.

Under the new regulations, producers of cosmetic products must adhere to sanitation and production standards and implement systems to prevent contamination and ensure quality. Meanwhile, importers must only source ingredients from certified producers. Furthermore, producers, importers, or contractors must register with the ministry starting from May 24 and adhere to the conditions immediately. Those who have already registered will receive a company inspection within three months starting June 1.

Those who refuse to adhere to the new measures will be prosecuted and have their license revoked immediately.


Update May 29, 2018

Magic Skin executives to be hit with more warrants and charges

Pol Gen Weerachai Songmetta.

NNT

Bangkok - The Deputy Commander of the Royal Thai Police says charges against illegal cosmetics and supplement producer Magic Skin are being pursued and investigations are continuing.

Pol Gen Weerachai Songmetta said Monday that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is looking into three charges against Magic Skin involving its products Chlorophy ll Detox fiber, Apple slim, Slim milk and Treechada. The products have been deemed fake after it was found their ingredient lists were inconsistent with their composition.

Police are also to file further charges against the company's owner Wannapha Puangson, her husband Korn Puangson, Slim Milk brand owner Maturos Daengsamrit, Hanewkorea brand owner Pajree Wongsomboon, Treechada brand owner Treechada Jaisabai and Chlorophy II Detox Fiber and Apple Slim brand owner Tananpat Boonyosit. They are to be charged with conspiring to produce and distribute products in violation of the Cosmetics Act and Food Act. Wannapha and Korn have already been called in for questioning with warrants for the others being sought.

Pol Gen Weerachai added that police are in the process of seizing the assets of the accused and have so far taken possession of three of the 30 luxury cars owned by the individuals. He stated that any person attempting to help them transfer their assets will be charged with money laundering.


Thailand can expect 1-2 storms this rainy season

NNT

Bangkok - Director-General of the Meteorological Department, Wanchai Sakudomchai, announced Monday that Thailand has officially entered the rainy season as the Kingdom has experienced continuous rainfall due to moisture from southwesterly winds in the Andaman Sea, as well as winds from the east.

This year, Thailand expects 1-2 tropical storms to move through the country, with a high chance of affecting the northern and northeastern regions from mid-August to September. In addition to rain, storms in the upper region can result in flash floods and overflowing rivers.

Rainfall from mid-June to mid-July is forecast to be scattered and irregular. This could lead to insufficient water for farms in many areas, especially those outside of irrigation zones. Farmers are therefore advised to conserve water supplies. The rainy season for upper Thailand is expected to last until mid-October, while the southern region will experience continuous rainfall until December.

Total rainfall this year is expected to be 5-10% below average, similar to levels experienced in 1985. June and July will be the driest months of the season, at 60-140 millimeters of rain. Dry spells lasting 1-2 weeks could damage smaller plantations. Farmers outside irrigation zones are advised to store water at this time. The wettest month will be September, at 300-600 millimeters of rain. The southwestern region will experience 5-10% above average rainfall.

Director-General Wanchai assured the public that rainfall this year won't be as intense as in 2011, which resulted in severe flooding nationwide. Officials have released up to 80% of water stored from the previous rainy season to prepare for this year's rainfall.


PM explains apology following arrest of Phra Buddha Issara

 

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha.

NNT

Bangkok - Prime Minister’s Office Spokesman Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd has relayed a response from Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha, concerning political groups speculating as to his relationship with senior monk Phra Buddha Issara after he apologized for what he deemed excessive force used in the monk’s arrest.

Lt Gen Sansern made known the PM’s affirmation that he was not showing any favoritism and that he did not have a personal relationship with the monk, originally named Suwit Thongprasert, but was apologizing due to the inappropriate action taken by authorities, a view he said he would hold regardless of their target. The PM noted that as the arrest took place in the area of a temple, more sensitivity towards the feelings of Buddhists should have been exercised. He has asked that commentators not distort the impact of his words for political gain.

Gen Prayut assured the public that he has never let his personal relationships influence his political work and that his government’s only intention is to maintain the letter of the law.


Govt plans to evenly distribute benefits from economic growth

NNT

Bangkok - The government is putting several development plans into motion to benefit all Thais, capitalizing on the country's 4.8% economic growth in the first quarter of 2018.

The latest figure, the highest in 20 quarters, was partly due to 5% growth in government spending and exports, as well as a 3.1% increase in private investment. The majority of private investment originated in the 10 new S-Curve industries.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said his administration will channel the economic growth into benefiting Thais from the bottom up. To achieve this goal, the government has laid out national reforms to encompass all aspects of society. It has also been driving the implementation of its 20-year national strategy and various development campaigns, such as the Thai Niyom Yang Yuen or Sustainable Thai Idealism project.

The premier indicated that such measures are being put in place to distribute income to all members of society and generate employment. Gen Prayut said the move represents the apex of collaboration among several ministries, such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, the Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Interior. He claimed that these government agencies are working tirelessly to create connectivity, add value to Thai products, and foster public engagement, in order to ensure that everyone benefits from economic growth.

The premier also touched on the importance of national security, saying all must contribute to the safety of the nation. He said security is crucial to the Kingdom’s economic growth, affecting key drivers such as tourism.


Update May 28, 2018

PM offers apologies over arrest of Phra Buddha Isara

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.

NNT

Bangkok - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and his deputy, Gen Prawit Wonsuwan, have publicly apologized for Thai authorities’ handling of the arrest of Phra Buddha Isara.

Offering his apologies to the public, Gen Prayut said he has personally reprimanded the officers responsible for the arrest of the abbot of Onoi Temple in Nakhon Pathom province.

His apologies came after public complaints that excessive force was used during the arrest and that the treatment of Phra Buddha Isara was ‘rough’ and ‘inappropriate.’

The prime minister also offered his apologies to Phra Buddha Isara himself.

He added that police officers have been instructed to be more careful and to take into consideration public emotions in future arrests.

Meantime, Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has already summoned responsible officers to discuss what happened, confirming that such inappropriate conduct will not happen again.

Gen Prawit also gave his word that Phra Buddha Isara will be treated fairly in the court of law and throughout legal proceedings.


Energy Min to cap diesel price at 30 baht

Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan.

NNT

Bangkok - Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan says the government will keep the diesel price at no higher than 30 baht per liter in a bid to keep transportation costs low.

The Minister said measures are being put in place to mitigate the impact of rising fuel prices. He added there is no need for trucks and public bus operators to raise their fares if they switch to B20 biodiesel.

Meanwhile, the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has begun to decline after rising from 353 to 393 baht per 15 kg-tank as LPG demand in Europe is decreasing.

To help people cope with the higher LPG prices for the time being, the Energy Policy and Planning Office will subsidize cooking gas by 10 baht, which will bring the price down to 363 baht per tank.

Regarding public concerns over the possibility of rising electricity prices, the Energy Minister said that electricity bills won't change this year as Thailand relies mostly on natural gas for the production of electricity.

He added that the Ministry of Energy will do its best to lessen the impact of rising fuel prices on electricity bills to keep the cost of living affordable.


BMW unveils investment plan for Thailand

NNT

Bangkok - BMW has unveiled a plan to produce plug-in Hybrid cars in Thailand as the booming market boosts the manufacturing of environmentally friendly automobiles.

Christian Wiedmann, President of BMW Group Thailand, said the company currently has no plans for investing in electric vehicles or EVs as it is necessary to study Thai consumers’ buying habits first.

The company is however investing in plug-in hybrids after a remarkable success, with vehicle sales rising by 44 percent during the first four months of this year, he said.

BMW Thailand has cooperated with Central Group, AP (Thailand) PCL and GLT Green, to operate the Charge Now project, a commercial charging network for all plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and electric vehicles of any brand and model. In the first phase, up to 50 charging locations at Central and AP properties will be set up for motorists.


BMA unclogs canals in preparation for rainy season

NNT

Bangkok - The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is improving the drainage capacity of Bangkok canals and sewers ahead of the upcoming monsoon season.

BMA officials on Saturday unclogged 1,600 meters of sewers and drainage pipes along Sukhumvit 50 Road in Khlongtoei district. The operation was led by Deputy Bangkok Governor Chakkaphan Phewngam.

According to Chakkaphan, sewer drains were clogged with rubble and brickbats because large trucks and transportation vehicles pass through the area on a daily basis, thus the need to clean and unclog the sewer line every three months.

The operation is part of the BMA’s plan to improve the capital’s drainage capacity ahead of the rainy season.

City Hall is also planning to replace the existing drainage pipes with larger ones to streamline its flood drainage system.


Update May 26-27, 2018

Police probe suspected illegal e-waste recycling

In this photo taken Thursday, May 24, a factory processing electronic waste is visited by police in Lat Krabang, outside Bangkok. (Royal Thai Police via AP)

Tassanee Vejpongsa

Bangkok (AP) —Police have raided several factories near Bangkok that were allegedly processing illegally imported electronic waste in a sign that China's crackdown on waste recycling is pushing such operations offshore.

Police and industry ministry officials said Friday that they were still investigating the case, which involves at least four factories in an industrial park in the outskirts of the capital and nearly 100 tons of electronic waste such as discarded computers, computer display screens and other items.

"These factories have not received permission to operate and will be closed pending further investigation into the cases," said Weerakit Runthakithanarat, a ministry official in Chachoengsao province.

He said police were examining the companies' import permits and bringing in experts to determine what sorts of materials were being processed at the sites.

The police said in a statement that the factories that were raided this week were ordered to get all the waste stored outside indoors within a week. No charges had been filed yet.

Television and newspaper reports showed vast industrial sites filled with big bags of waste and big factories where workers in cloth gloves and simple face masks were taking apart the electronics equipment.

Police were questioning managers of a Taiwan company about how the factories, which were authorized only to handle domestic recycling, obtained such large quantities of foreign e-waste. The suspicion was that they used a legal loophole allowing imports of second-hand appliances.

"Thailand does have this loophole where it allows imports of electronic goods — for reuse purposes — when in fact they are mining materials from these old machines without any regard for the environmental and health impacts," Somnuck Jongmeewasin, a professor at Silapakorn University who has done research on hazardous waste disposal, told The Associated Press.

He said Thailand had eased restrictions on such waste processing and recycling plants last year to help cope with the domestic garbage and waste problem. Instead, some factories are using the opportunity to illegally process waste from overseas.

Somnuck said the government lacks the capacity to adequately regulate such facilities. The police raids followed complaints from residents living near the factories over bad smells, overflowing waste and burning sensations on their skin.

For years, Chinese waste processors, often working in extremely hazardous conditions, have handled a huge share of the world's waste. Under a law that took effect Jan. 1, China banned the import of 24 types of waste, leaving many exporters hamstrung over how to cope with the accumulating trash.

The waste processing facilities were employing mostly migrant workers from Myanmar, officials said.


DPM Wissanu says embezzlement case doesn't tarnish Buddhism

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.

NNT

Bangkok - Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said the arrests of senior monks, who were allegedly involved in the embezzlement of state fund for the destitute, would be good for Buddhism in the long term.

Wissanu downplayed speculation that the arrests would hamper public confidence in Buddhism, saying that the impact would be minimal. He added the alleged monks have the right to defend themselves in the court of law but they will be prosecuted if found guilty.

As it is considered inappropriate to jail or ask a monk to stand trial, the Deputy Prime Minister said they would be asked to leave the monkhood first.

Asked if people can continue to trust monks, the Deputy Prime Minister said no one should be discouraged by the incident, adding that it is merely a measure taken to purify the religion.


Govt unveils reconciliation mascot Nong Kiao Koi

NNT

Bangkok - The government has unveiled a mascot, Nong Kiao Koi, as a new ambassador of reconciliation.

The debut of Nong Kiao Koi took place at Hua Lamphong Railway Station in Bangkok on Friday, with the assistant to the Ministry of Defense' spokesperson, Col Wanchana Sawatdee leading the PR activity.

Col Wanchana said the activity was to help the public to understand their rights and duties in the current constitution to foster unity, such as legal compliance, mutual respect for each other's rights, concerted efforts for social harmony and opposing all forms of corruption.

The assistant to the Ministry of Defense' spokesperson also mentioned the government's plan to continue with its campaign to promote national solidarity, saying the campaign will penetrate all areas to foster public understanding of the government's intention.


Gen Prawit explains hike in fuel prices

Gen Prawit Wongsuwan.

NNT

Bangkok - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has confirmed the price of diesel rocketing to 30 baht per liter and petroleum gas also rising is due to global market mechanisms, pointing out its steady rate over the past four years was due to government efforts.

He reiterated the state will continue to keep diesel at no more than 30 baht per liter but admitted that prices must be allowed to rise in accordance with actual circumstances.

On criticism of the government’s economic work online, Gen Prawit acknowledged that it was normal but that action must and has been taken place against those distorting facts.


Update May 25, 2018

Court extends detention of pro-democracy activists

Pro-democracy supporters stage a sit-in protest in front of a police line during a gathering to mark the fourth anniversary of the military take-over of government in Bangkok, Tuesday, May 22. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Bangkok (AP) — A court in Bangkok has extended the detention of 15 pro-democracy activists arrested earlier this week for protesting against the military government.

A lawyer for the activists said Thursday that the court agreed to a police request for a further 12 days detention.

They were arrested on Tuesday at a protest marking the fourth anniversary of the 2014 military coup and calling for elections this year.

Police have charged each activist with several offenses including violating a ban on political assembly and obstructing officials.

Documents that police submitted to the court said they needed more time to complete their investigations. They also argued that bail should be denied because of the seriousness of the alleged offenses.


Police and NBTC join in committee to combat illegal use of VoIP

NNT

Bangkok - The Royal Thai Police Office is working with the National Broadcast and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to take aggressive action against companies offering illegal Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, which are utilized by telephone scammers.

Tourist Police have coordinated with the NBTC’s telecommunications administration office to create a joint committee for inspection of VoIP providers that utilize signals managed by TOT, CAT Telecom, True, AIS and DTAC after finding the service is being used for confidence trick schemes.

The committee will look into regular cases, national security cases and special crimes, such as illegal call centers, and will maintain 24 hour coordination with the five mobile service providers. It is hoped the cooperation will improve tracking and apprehension of violators. The committee is to begin work next week.

VoIP providers that allow other entities to rent their technology are violating the telecommunications act of 2001 and face a fine of up to 100,000 baht.


Govt invites private investment in Bangkok - U-Tapao railway

NNT

Bangkok - Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana this week unveiled the draft Terms of Reference (ToR) on private investment in the high-speed railway linking Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao airports, connecting the Eastern Economic Corridor.

Both domestic and foreign investors will be invited to the auction round scheduled for May 30. The ToR sale will be conducted from June 18 to July 9. Selected investors will be announced in December this year. Construction is scheduled to commence at the beginning of next year and take five years to complete. The railway is expected to be operational in 2024.

The 220-kilometer project divides investment into three parts of the rail line, consisting of Don Mueang - Phaya Thai for 21 kilometers, Phaya Thai - Suvarnabhumi for 29 kilometers, and Suvarnabhumi - U-Tapao for 170 kilometers. Once completed, travel from Bangkok to U-Tapao will take 45 minutes.


MOPH to release mushroom ID app to save people from poisoning

Dr Sukhum Karnchanapimai.

NNT

Bangkok - Thailand's Ministry of Public Health is preparing to release a mushroom identification application to reduce the number of people suffering from poisoning.

Director-General of the Department of Medical Science, Dr Sukhum Karnchanapimai, disclosed Thursday that the department had developed laboratory analysis techniques for mushroom identification which categorize commonly-found toxins in mushrooms into alpha Amanitin, beta-Amanitin and Muscarine.

The department also plans to devise mushroom classification methods using DNA barcodes to ensure analytical precision and to identify newly-discovered species. The department has so far completed more than 200 data sets on toxic mushrooms with the barcoding system. The project is intended to prevent or reduce deaths from toxic mushroom consumption.

The department also refutes mistaken beliefs that heat can eliminate mushroom toxins, insect-bitten wild mushrooms are edible and boiling rice with unknown mushrooms enable people to see whether they are fit to eat.


Update May 24, 2018

Thailand ups restrictions on paraquat, other farm chemicals

Tassanee Vejpongsa

Bangkok (AP) — The government said Wednesday it will allow continued use of the toxic weed killer paraquat and two other farm chemicals despite mounting concerns over health risks, but plans to tighten controls on how they are utilized.

The expert Committee on Hazardous Substances Control asked the Department of Agriculture to come up with new guidelines within two months, Somboon Yindeeyoungyuen, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Industry, told reporters.

"The committee gave many recommendations and ideas to the DOA to consider, for example, allowing only registered sprayers to use herbicides, training farmers on safety measures, restrictions on imports, and rules for buyers and sellers, so that the DOA can come up with measures that would ensure safety for all," Somboon said.

Environmental advocates have been urging the government to follow the example of more than 30 other countries and ban paraquat. The issue has drawn much attention after a spate of cases of flesh-eating bacterial diseases in parts of northern Thailand that some researchers believe may be linked to exposure to paraquat.

Critics also question the safety of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the widely used weedkiller Roundup, though its manufacturer Monsanto insists the chemical is safe.

Somboon said 18 of the 24-people on the committee supported continued use of the chemicals.

"The committee considered all the information, including impacts on health and the environment, from both sides, those who support the ban and those are against, and we decided that we don't have enough data to ban the usage of these chemicals," he said.

Paraquat is the main ingredient in Swiss-based Syngenta AG's Gramoxone — one of the world's three most widely used weedkillers — but it also is sold under other brand names. Most paraquat is made in China, where authorities plan to ban use of the chemical as of September 2020.

Use of paraquat has risen sharply in Thailand, partly due to growing resistance to glyphosate.

The government experts found that more than half the farmers they surveyed had used paraquat incorrectly, such as in higher concentrations than recommended.


Diesel cost to be limited to no more than 30 baht per liter

NNT

Bangkok - The Ministry of Energy has decided to limit the price of diesel fuel to no more than 30 baht per liter while revealing Biodiesel B20 will be introduced at 3 baht less than normal diesel in July.

Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said a meeting of the Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO) commission this week would discuss measures in response to the growing cost of fuel on the world market with an emphasis on maintaining diesel fuel at 30 baht per liter. The fuel is currently 29.79 baht per liter and any rise beyond 30 could impact the cost of living.

Among coming measures is an increase in the proportion of palm oil in biodiesel, from seven to 20 percent, which will help transport trucks by lowering the retail price of the fuel to 27 baht per liter. The adjusted fuel will hit the market in either late June or early July. In the interim, the National Fuel Fund, which is currently worth 30 billion baht, will be used to maintain diesel at the current price level. Use of the fund may continue if the fuel’s global cost continues to rise.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) has also risen in cost but is not expected to have any lasting impact. The onset of summer is projected to cut demand for LPG in the northern hemisphere.


Cabinet gives nod to hiring consultants for eastern railway development

NNT

Bangkok - The Cabinet has set aside a budget for hiring a consulting firm for two railway projects in the eastern region, with an aim of pushing forward infrastructure development in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

During its meeting on Tuesday, the Cabinet agreed to allocate over 145 million baht to be spent on consulting service for projects to raise the capacity of the Hua Mak-Chachoengsao-Si Racha railway system and to construct the Si Racha-Map Ta Phut double-track rail line, both of which will be undertaken by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT).

In addition to the three existing train lines on the Hua Mak-Chachoengsao-Si Racha route, one new line is set to be built, linking with the Laem Chabang-Kaeng Khoi and the Chachoengsao-Nong Khai double-track systems. This will require the SRT to first conclude all technical details of the project and carry out a feasibility study and an environmental impact assessment.

For the Si Racha-Map Ta Phut double-track railway, the SRT is currently in the planning and design stage. The system is expected to help raise the efficiency of rail transport to and from the three major ports of the EEC, namely Laem Chabang, Sattahip and Map Ta Phut.


Phayao to hold world's only candle procession on water

NNT

Phayao - Phayao province is preparing to mark Vesak Day on May 29 with the world's only candlelight procession on water.

The ceremony, which is being held in the province for the 33rd time, will take place around a floating platform that sits directly above the submerged Wat Tilok Aram in Phayao Lake.

At 6:30 am, an almsgiving ceremony for 99 monks will take place at Wat Tilok Aram Pier. At 5:30 pm, over 50 boats are expected to take part in the candlelight procession around the submerged temple. The centerpiece floating platform will also be illuminated.

Other activities will take place at the Phayao Municipality building. Local authorities will be stationed to maintain orderliness and security for the candlelight procession.

The province is inviting both Thai and foreign tourists to take part in the unique cultural experience.


Update May 23, 2018

Authorities block Bangkok march on coup anniversary

A pro-democracy protester shouts at police officers during a political gathering in Bangkok, Tuesday, May 22. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Kaweewit Kaewjinda

Bangkok (AP) — Police in Bangkok blocked a march Tuesday by pro-democracy activists protesting four years of military rule and calling for elections this year.

About 3,200 officers were deployed to prevent about 200 protesters from marching from a Bangkok university campus to Government House.

Faced with barricades, a tropical downpour and lines of police, the protesters dueled with authorities by loudspeaker, trying to outshout police warnings that the demonstration would tarnish Thailand's image, scare tourists and cause congestion. Activist Seriwith Seritiwat said the protesters would "never back down."

Tempers briefly flared as protesters and police pushed at each other for a few minutes but there appeared to be no arrests.

Tuesday was the fourth anniversary of the bloodless coup in 2014 that toppled the elected government.

The protesters, mainly middle-aged and elderly and led by a core of student activists, have been holding regular rallies for the last few months, calling for the standing government to stand down and hold elections.

Political gatherings of five or more people are banned by the government while the most recent promise of elections is for February next year.


Police confiscate another dietary supplement product

NNT

Bangkok - Police have raided Kalo Rice Inter Product Co Ltd after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found a forbidden appetite suppressant ‘sibutramine’ in the company’s supplementary products called ‘Kalo’.

Deputy National Police Chief Pol Gen Wirachai Songmettha said 700 boxes of Kalo worth 1.3 million baht were found during the Monday raid in Bang Plad district of Bangkok.

The company is registered as a corporation, with Janesan Techasuriyanant serving as a managing director. Kalo Rice later posted on its Facebook page claiming the products found during the inspection are not the products the company manufactures.

Another team of police and FDA officials raided the company’s Kalo packaging office in Phasi Charoen district where 268,200 empty Kalo boxes were found.

They also found evidence suggesting the company might have hired celebrities to endorse the products and sold them overseas.


5 Thais 1 Vietnamese arrested for wildlife smuggling

NNT

Nong Khai - Nong Khai wildlife officials have arrested Thai and Vietnamese citizens for trying to smuggle wild animals into Laos.

The officials found 14 African turtles, 10 dogs, 6 rabbits, plus 75 green and 4 grey iguanas inside a van. The vehicle was found parked inside Hai Sok Temple near a port where the smuggled items were being shipped to Laos over the Mekhong River.

Five Thais and one Vietnamese man, identified by the authorities as Nguyen Hui Than, were arrested for wildlife smuggling.

Manop Saetang, the van driver, said he had been hired to bring the animals from Mo Chit Bus Terminal in Bangkok to Nong Khai province. These animals were on their way to Vietnam. The perpetrators will face legal charges for violating CITES regulations and the Rabies Act, B.E. 2535.


Two boats involved in whale shark hunt locked down

NNT

Phuket - Authorities have locked down two boats tied to the illegal catch and release of a pregnant whale shark, barring them from movement until the case is finalized.

Authorities from the Marine Office of Phuket have locked down Saeng Samut 2 and Saeng Samut 3 at Arun-Nok fishing pontoon in Rassada sub-district of Phuket province. The boats have also been imprinted with symbols denoting their status as unusable until legal proceedings against them have concluded. The case against the boats stems from an incident on May 18 when one of them was filmed illegally catching and then releasing a whale shark.

Logistics specialist Sakhon Pudam indicated that investigators are collecting evidence in the matter, which revolves around violation of Article 66 of the Fisheries Act, which delineates the whale shark as a rare and endangered species that is not to be caught.

The operator of the two boats has also been hit with an additional charge of illegally hunting and capturing a protected animal in violation of Article 16 of the Protected Animals Act.


Update May 22, 2018

2 injured in multiple bombings in troubled south

Bangkok (AP) — Authorities say suspected Muslim insurgents set off small bombs at about two dozen locations in Thailand’s deep south, wounding two women.

A spokesman for the military and police's joint security command in the south said the bombings occurred Sunday evening across four provinces.

Peerawat Sangthong said Monday that the explosives were placed near ATMs, electricity poles and buildings.

More than 6,500 people have been killed since a Muslim separatist insurgency flared in Thailand's three southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat in 2004.

Sunday night's violence also affected Songkhla province.

Peerawat said the bombings were aimed at instilling fear and undermining an amnesty under which the government says ex-insurgents and supporters can surrender and return home.

Recent cease-fire talks between the government and some separatist factions have made little progress.


DDC urges vigilance against dengue fever

NNT

Bangkok - Up to 10,446 cases of dengue fever infection have been recorded in Thailand since January 1 of this year with 15 deaths so far.

Director-General of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, elaborated that most cases of dengue infection were among citizens aged between 15 and 24, followed by those aged 10-14 and then 25-34. Frequency of infection is expected to accelerate now that the country is entering the rainy season.

An estimated 74,000 to 75,000 people are expected to contract dengue this year and more deaths are likely now that infection has increased among younger individuals. Those with chronic diseases and those between 15 and 24 years of age are considered to be at particular risk.

The DDC is recommending citizens take proper precautions against mosquito bites as well as help to eradicate breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Three actions are suggested; cleaning of one’s home, proper disposal of waste and garbage and stowing away of water receptacles where mosquitoes can breed. The actions protect against dengue, the Zika virus and other mosquito borne infections. Information can be found by contacting the DDC on its hotline 1422.


Beachgoers warned against eating raw sea urchins

NNT

Chonburi - A number of netizens have expressed health concerns after watching recent footage of foreign tourists dining on raw sea urchins, which were freshly caught in the sea off Koh Lan off Pattaya Bay. Questions have also been raised whether catching sea urchins is against the law.

Tanet Munnoy, Director of the Marine and Coastal Resources Administration Office (Chonburi), visited Koh Lan to find the truth behind the video clip and was told by locals and eyewitnesses that the incident did happen. He explained that since sea urchins are not a protected species, catching them for consumption would not be considered a crime. However, if they are caught in protected marine areas, the catcher could face a fine of 5,000-50,000 baht.

Director Tanet called upon the public to refrain from consuming sea urchins without cooking them first, warning that such behavior could put them at risk of food poisoning and parasitic diseases.


Authorities seek whale shark filmed as being captured

NNT

Phuket - Authorities have continued to search for a whale shark filmed on May 18 as being caught and then released by a fishing boat off the coast of Phuket but have yet to be able to confirm whether it is dead or alive.

Director-General of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), Jatuporn Buruspat, is leading agents from the Marine and Coastal Management Office 9 and Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Institute (MCRDI) along with other relevant authorities on a search for the whale shark that was seen caught in the trawling net of Saeng Samut 3. The boat was filmed with the whale shark amongst its catch between Koh Raja and Koh Hay of Phuket province.

Authorities are searching a 24 square kilometer area that extends to Koh Lohn and Koh Bon using boats as well as telescopes, drones and radar. The search is to continue another 3-4 days.

Jatuporn affirmed that if the shark is found injured it will be given care and released back into the ocean but if found dead its corpse will be retrieved for an autopsy as part of the case against the boat.

MCRDI Director Kongkiat Wattanawong pointed out that capturing a whale shark in the manner seen in the video clip, if only for 10 minutes, can cause severe harm due to the animal’s large size and structure. He explained that internal injuries could mean that the shark, despite being released back into the water, would not survive.

A survey in 2017 found 308 whale shark sightings with an estimated 95 of the animals divided between the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea.

Phuket fisheries authorities and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment have been called to action against all involved in the capture of the whale shark, who are accused of violation of Article 66 of the Fisheries Act. They face a fine of between 300,000 and 3 million baht. The Saeng Samut 3 will have its license revoked and all involved will be barred from fishing before facing criminal repercussions.
 


DAILY UPDATE

|

Back to Main Page

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

PTT denies monopolizing oil sector

USA donates rabies vaccine to Thailand

EEC needs additional 30,000 workers

Citizens observe National Arbor Day alongside Visakha Bucha Day


PM Prayut to decide on calls for removal of national police chief

Pollution Control Dept warns of stormwater waste

Bangkok aims to remove tangled overhead cables by 2021

FDA issues new quality standards for cosmetics products


Magic Skin executives to be hit with more warrants and charges

Thailand can expect 1-2 storms this rainy season

PM explains apology following arrest of Phra Buddha Issara

Govt plans to evenly distribute benefits from economic growth


PM offers apologies over arrest of Phra Buddha Isara

Energy Min to cap diesel price at 30 baht

BMW unveils investment plan for Thailand

BMA unclogs canals in preparation for rainy season


Police probe suspected illegal e-waste recycling

DPM Wissanu says embezzlement case doesn't tarnish Buddhism

Govt unveils reconciliation mascot Nong Kiao Koi

Gen Prawit explains hike in fuel prices


Court extends detention of pro-democracy activists

Police and NBTC join in committee to combat illegal use of VoIP

Govt invites private investment in Bangkok - U-Tapao railway

MOPH to release mushroom ID app to save people from poisoning


Thailand ups restrictions on paraquat, other farm chemicals

Diesel cost to be limited to no more than 30 baht per liter

Cabinet gives nod to hiring consultants for eastern railway development

Phayao to hold world's only candle procession on water


Authorities block Bangkok march on coup anniversary

Police confiscate another dietary supplement product

5 Thais 1 Vietnamese arrested for wildlife smuggling

Two boats involved in whale shark hunt locked down


2 injured in multiple bombings in troubled south

DDC urges vigilance against dengue fever

Beachgoers warned against eating raw sea urchins

Authorities seek whale shark filmed as being captured

Advertisement

 



Chiangmai Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
189/22 Moo 5, T. Sansai Noi, A. Sansai, Chiang Mai 50210
THAILAND
Tel. 053 852 557, Fax. 053 014 195
Editor: 087 184 8508
E-mail: [email protected]
www.chiangmai-mail.com
Administration: [email protected]
Website & Newsletter Advertising: [email protected]

Copyright © 2004 Chiangmai Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.