PTT denies monopolizing oil sector
Bangkok - PTT Plc Co Ltd is set
to take legal action against those accusing the company of causing higher
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
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
EEC needs additional 30,000 workers
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
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
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.
PM Prayut to decide on calls for removal of national police chief
Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha.
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
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
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,
Bangkok aims to remove tangled overhead cables by 2021
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
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.
Magic Skin executives to be hit with more warrants and charges
Pol Gen Weerachai Songmetta.
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
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
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
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
PM explains apology following arrest of Phra Buddha Issara
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha.
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
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
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
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.
PM offers apologies over arrest of Phra Buddha Isara
Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.
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
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
Energy Min to cap diesel price at 30 baht
Minister Siri Jirapongphan.
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
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
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
BMA unclogs canals in preparation for rainy season
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
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
Police probe suspected illegal e-waste recycling
photo taken Thursday, May 24, a factory processing electronic waste is
visited by police in Lat Krabang, outside Bangkok. (Royal Thai Police via
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
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
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
"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
Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Police and NBTC join in committee to combat illegal use of VoIP
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
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
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
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.
Thailand ups restrictions on paraquat, other farm chemicals
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
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
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
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
Phayao to hold world's only candle procession on water
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.
Authorities block Bangkok march on coup anniversary
pro-democracy protester shouts at police officers during a political
gathering in Bangkok, Tuesday, May 22. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
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
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
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
5 Thais 1 Vietnamese arrested for wildlife smuggling
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Authorities seek whale shark filmed as being captured
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
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
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.