4 villagers shot dead in insurgency-plagued south
Hat Yai (AP) — Four villagers were shot dead in Thailand's south in
another case of violence in the insurgency-wracked region, police said.
Police Maj. Gen. Manas Siksamat, police
chief of Narathiwat province, said the killings happened Thursday while the
victims were gold panning at a river running through a rubber plantation.
He said the victims, all male, were
discovered Thursday night and their bodies were riddled with bullet wounds.
Thailand's three southernmost provinces
of Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani have been plagued by a Muslim separatist
insurgency that has claimed the lives of more than 6,500 people since the
violence escalated in 2004.
The victims had Muslim names and one
was 16 years old.
Police said they are investigating
whether the violence stemmed from personal conflict or was connected to the
PM confirms no rice planting ban in place
Bangkok - The Prime Minister has
confirmed that no farmer has been forbidden from growing rice, while the
government aims to align supply with market demands to curb oversupply and
Three hundred farmers from across the
country met with Prime Minister Gen Prayut-Chan-o-cha on the occasion of
Rice and Farmer's Day on June 5. Chatchawan Taomali represented farmers'
organizations to pledge their allegiance to the nation and monarchy, and to
abide by the country's laws, strengthen cooperation among Thai farmers, and
work with the government and private sector to achieve the Thailand 4.0
Gen Prayut replied that farmers are the
backbone of the country and are the overseers of an important occupation.
However, rice farming must plan crop cycles according to weather conditions,
water supply, and market demands to prevent an oversupply of rice. Should
farmers wish to increase bargaining power with middlemen, they must be able
to control the production of rice. He confirmed that the government has no
policy to ban rice planting. Instead, the government aims to develop the
agricultural sector which requires cooperation with the state.
Off season planting in 2018 is
projected to decline from last year due to farmers converting their off
season land to the production of other crops, resulting in a 2-3 million rai
decrease in rice production which is in line with the government's policy.
Phuket incinerates fake IP goods
Phuket - Customs officers in
Phuket have incinerated over 3,000 items violating intellectual property
with a combined value of close to 2 million baht.
Customs Officer Kanchana Suwanicho led
members of her office and the media in witnessing the burn-off in Phuket
City Municipal Authority’s new incinerator. Over 3,000 products were seized
due to their avoidance of customs duties and violations of intellectual
property and trademarks. Their total face value was 1.8 million baht.
Goods included clothing, hats, hand
bags, watches, belts, shoes and contraband including electric cigarettes and
hookahs. All the items were destroyed by hand before being run over by a
steamroller to ensure their easy incineration and complete destruction.
Bumrungrad Hospital showcases its robot spinal surgery
Bangkok - Bumrungrad Hospital
has held a demonstration of its spinal surgery assistance robot, showcasing
the machines ability to aid surgeons in targeting areas for operation and
for directing screws implanted to reconnect spinal sections. The robot arm
has complete freedom of movement and can be controlled via a three
dimensional display, providing surgeons with greater precision and reducing
operation times. Less blood loss due to the faster procedure and smaller
incisions also mean that patients recover faster.
The robot has been used on over 600
patients at Bumrungrad Hospital so far and is being developed for
application in other surgeries such as on the abdomen or urinary tract. Its
application is in line with a government policy to elevate and support the
medical care industry, which is one of the nation’s 10 target industries.
Phrae sees most dengue fever infections in the north
Phrae - Phrae province has seen
the northern region's most cases of dengue fever and has suffered one
casualty, prompting relevant agencies to step up their campaigns to combat
All seven districts of the province
have reported cases of dengue fever infection except Nong Muang Kai, with a
total of 119 people suffering from the illness, the most in three years
after it saw only limited infections over the past two years. The first
fatality from the ailment was a 32 year old woman from Tung Kwaw
sub-district in Muang district. She died at Phrae Hospital after receiving
treatment at a private hospital for three days.
Public Health Physician for Phrae, Dr.
Kajorn Winaipanich has ordered his office’s authorities to coordinate with
municipal agents of Tung Kwaw and its medical facilities to take action
against mosquitoes, which carry dengue fever. Authorities are to clean and
disinfect objects in a 100 meter radius of the area where the deceased woman
initially contracted the illness. They are also to step up promotion of ways
to prevent dengue fever infection and urge cooperation from the public.
Dengue fever is most commonly found in
young people aged 5-14 years old. Department of Disease Control Office 9 has
coordinated with Ministry of Public Health officials to perform health
checks on Phrae locals with an emphasis on educational institutes. They will
also rid such areas of mosquito breeding grounds.
DLT introduces electronic driving test
Bangkok - The Department of Land
Transport (DLT) is aiming to raise the overall standard of driving tests by
introducing an e-driving system developed by vocational students to ensure
standardized assessment. In addition to improving the quality of driving for
road safety, the new technology also aligns with the government's policy of
developing the potential of human resources.
The e-driving system uses computer
software to detect vehicle movements as opposed to an instructor overseeing
the test. The test consists of driving a vehicle backwards and forwards
without hitting marker poles, parking by a pavement within a designated
area, and reversing into a parking spot. An alarm will sound if the driver
hits any obstacles.
The DLT is piloting the e-driving
system at 10 out of its 196 test centers across the country. The remaining
systems will be installed by the end of the year, thereby boosting
credibility in the issuance of driver's licenses according to international
Sibutramine found in another food supplement brand
Nakhon Ratcahsima - Police have seized food
supplement products worth 2 million baht in Nakhon Ratchasiman province
after they were found to contain the appetite suppressant ‘sibutramine’.
The manufacturer of products under the ‘Asia Slim’
brand has allegedly violated Medicine Act B.E 2510. According to the Food
and Drug Administration, the packages did not contain dietary supplements as
claimed. The products will be sent to the Department of Medical Sciences to
be further investigated.
Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public
Health, Dr. Tares Krassanairawiwong has reminded food supplement
manufacturers to abide by the law or face the legal consequences. They could
be subject to a maximum 20 year jail term and a maximum fine of 2 million
baht as sibutramine is an illegal substance.
Dr. Tares also said food supplements do not aid weight
loss adding that those claiming so usually contain sibutramine which has
harmful side effects.
Chachoengsao waste separation plant found to be operating without a license
Chachoengsao - Military
personnel, local administrators and industrial officials are carrying out
inspections of waste separation facilities in Chachoengsao and have found
one factory that has operated for over five years without a license.
Royal Thai Army Infantry 11 personnel
have provided support to Khlong Udomcholjorn Sub-District administrators and
Chachoengsao industrial officials in the inspection of the recycling plants.
A check of one such facility utilizing a two rai plot found that it had been
operating for over five years without proper authorization. The plant,
operated by Komdech Dhammathongsiri, also included structures built without
The factory has also piled up
electronic waste and recyclables in public space outside its structures.
Administrators have ordered that entry to the plot and its buildings be
barred and has begun legal proceedings against Komdech, bringing charges of
illegal structural additions and pollution of a public space.
Industrial officials are looking into
the legal ramifications of the plant so that they may also take action. The
officials have also urged residents of the area seen transporting waste to
the facility to stop the practice.
Thailand seeks deportation of monk taking refuge in Germany
Minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan.
Bangkok - Thai officials are
working around the clock with their German counterparts to extradite a monk
taking refuge there. He is allegedly connected to the ongoing embezzlement
case of Thailand's temple maintenance fund.
The fugitive monk, a Thai national who
was formerly known as Phra Prom Methee and is a former Deputy Abbot of Wat
Samphanthawong, is reportedly asking for asylum in Germany.
Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Prawit
Wongsuwan said the asylum seeker had refused to meet with the Royal Thai
Police Commissioner General. It is suspected that the former deputy abbot
might have had assistance in traveling to Germany.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister General
Prayut Chan-o-cha has reiterated that officials are processing the case in
accordance with the justice system and reassured the public that the
government has no intention of tarnishing Buddhism nor using the case to
make a political statement. He said that it is the duty of officials to
bring escaped wrongdoers back to the Kingdom.
THB20 billion to be generated in Thailand by World Cup 2018
Bangkok - The University of the
Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) estimates that the upcoming FIFA World Cup
2018 will generate almost 20 billion baht in Thailand through activities
related to the soccer competition.
The UTCC’s Center for Economic and
Business Forecasting on Tuesday announced the findings of a survey on Thai
people’s planned spending behavior during the World Cup this year. Most of
the respondents said they intend to watch the live broadcast which will lead
to higher spending through electricity consumption, purchase of TV and radio
sets and computers, satellite dishes Internet installations, parties, and
dining as well as purchase of souvenirs.
Most of their spending, or around 15.4
billion baht, will be on the purchase of commodities and parties. Around
2.46 billion baht is expected to be spent on electrical appliances and
The respondents also expressed concern
over work and study efficiency, an increase in robbery and a higher rate of
gambling. They suggested that parents should keep a close watch on their
children and the government impose strict measures to prevent gambling.
Bangkok aims to put fireboats from corruption case to use
Bangkok - The Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is sending fireboats related to a fireboat
and fire-truck corruption case of 2003 in for repairs before putting them
The court of arbitration ruled on
November 12, 2014 that the boats, valued at over 6.6 billion baht, belong to
the BMA. The BMA has since negotiated with a docking company to waive rental
fees and will now put the vessels to use.
BMA Governor Pol Gen Asawin Kwanmuang
inspected 12 fireboats, which were transported from the docking company in
Chonburi to Samsen Fire Station on Tuesday. All 30 vessels involved in the
case will gradually be transported along with equipment for repair. He said
that repair costs for each vessel should not exceed 800,000 baht.
The BMA is also surveying fireboat
docks along the Chao Phraya River between Nonthaburi and Samutprakarn. It is
estimated that 10 ships will be repaired by September this year. Due to the
size of the vessels, they will not be able to travel along narrow canals.
Therefore, the BMA has decided to retain no more than 12 vessels, while the
Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation will decide where the
remaining 18 are to be deployed for the best use of taxpayer money.
Tourist Police urge for an end to prank calls
Bangkok - The Tourist Police Bureau (TPB) has
urged citizens to refrain from making prank calls to the 1155 tourist police
Hotline, as the line is meant to provide assistance to local and foreign
According to TPB Deputy Commissioner Pol. Maj. Gen.
Surachet Hakpan, the bureau’s call center has received over 200,000 calls
since its inception a year ago. He pointed out that during the high season
from July to December the average number of calls was in the range of 30,000
- 50,000 calls monthly. The Deputy Commissioner indicated that the number
peaked in October at 53,756 calls, adding however that out of that figure,
15,537 were prank calls.
The TPB Deputy Chief said that so far this year the
number of calls had already reached 140,000, with 1,400 being prank calls.
He implored people to refrain from prank calling and preventing those who
need help from receiving immediate assistance.
He further stated that prank callers are usually either
juveniles or mentally disturbed individuals.
Govt ponders plan to transform U-Tapao into Eastern Aviation City
Bangkok - The Eastern Economic
Corridor (EEC) Committee has convened for the first time after the Eastern
Economic Corridor Act was passed to acknowledge a 10-year plan on the
development of the "Eastern Aviation City".
Secretary-General of the EEC Committee
Khanit Saengsuphan clarified the plan at the meeting, saying that the
project includes the development of the 6,500-Rai U-Tapao airport with the
construction of a passenger terminal, cargo facilities and an aircraft
maintenance center. The construction is expected to begin in January next
year and be completed approximately at the same time as a high-speed train
project in 2023.
The Royal Thai Navy will be responsible
for finding consultants to conduct studies on the airport's development.
Minister of Industry Uttama Savanayana
said the ministry will conduct roadshows abroad to attract foreign
investors, particularly those in South Korea and Japan, to invest in the EEC
after a plan to construct infrastructure in the EEC solidifies.
Two million tons of plastic waste pile up in Thailand every year: MNRE
Bangkok - Thailand is suffering
a massive volume of over two million tons of plastic waste every year, most
of which comes in the form of contaminated plastic bags.
Natural Resources and Environment
Ministry (MNRE) Permanent-Secretary Wijarn Simachaya delivered a speech
Tuesday at Beat Plastic Pollution seminar, held as part of the World
Environment Day, to point out a plastic waste crisis which Thailand is
He said this country has to reduce the
volume of plastic waste in urban and rural areas, specifically plastic bags
which are easily distributed from shops.
Over the past 10 years, plastic waste
accounted for 12 percent of all waste in the country, or weighing about two
million tons. Only 0.5 million tons was recycled, leaving the other 1.5
million tons, mostly contaminated plastic bags, untreated.
The permanent secretary said the
government is working to raise the awareness among the general public on
their participation to help reduce plastic waste, and to help conserve the
nature and the environment.
Police to set up technology crime suppression center
Bangkok - The Royal Thai Police
will set up a technology crime suppression center to deal with call center
The Special Adviser to the Royal Thai
Police, Pol. Gen. Tanitsak Teerasawat, and the Deputy Commander of the
Tourist Police Bureau, Pol. Maj. Gen. Surachet Hakphan, held a press
conference on Monday (June 4) to discuss the role of the technology crime
suppression center. The center will be established to deal with call center
and online romance scams.
Meanwhile, police have returned more
than one million baht, seized from call center gangs, to their victims.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Surachet said that the
officers have regularly been following the money trails, after the victims
transferred money to the scammers. He said the seized money would then be
returned to the victims.
The Deputy Spokesman of the Anti-Money
Laundering Office (AMLO), Pirapat Ingpongpan, said the police will remain
vigilant, following the arrests of many call center gangs. Pirapat also
warned people about scammers luring them into opening a new bank account.
With the personal information exposed, scammers can withdraw their money
through internet banking.
Since December 2017, the phone and
electronic media fraud prevention and suppression center has received 446
cases, with damages of over 235 million baht in total. Over 20 million baht
was seized and returned to 110 victims.
SET acknowledges foreign selloff but sees no cause for concern
Exchange of Thailand (SET) President Pakorn Pitatawachchai.
Bangkok - Stock Exchange of Thailand
(SET) President Pakorn Pitatawachchai has acknowledged a recent selloff of
stocks by foreign investors is taking place across all of Thailand’s
neighbors but assured investors that overall, the Thai stock market is still
doing well on the back of institutional and small time investors as well as
from the accounts of stock firms. He pointed out the SET also has a diverse
range of investors and is not solely dependent on foreign investment,
reiterating its strong fundamentals.
Nevertheless, the president said
investors should track external risks affecting capital movements such as
changes to the United States’ policy interest rate, international politics
and their impact on fuel prices and cases stemming from the developing trade
war. On the last matter, Pakorn predicts little effect on Thailand due to
its wide range of trading partners and strong economic fundamentals.
Police close down online soccer gambling sites
Bangkok - The Metropolitan
Police Bureau (MPB) has conducted a raid on a gambling den operating an
illegal online soccer gambling site in Bangkok.
Deputy chief of the MPB Pol. Maj. Gen.
Panurat Lakboon, led the raiding team and arrested suspects running the site
FIFAGOAL.com, which is an affiliated site of FIFA55.com.
The arrest was made at a townhome in
the Gusto Grand Ramkhamhaeng village in Saphan Sung district of the capital.
Police were able to apprehend eight people and confiscated three personal
computers, ten computer monitors, three laptops, 16 mobile phones and a
board containing plans to promote the illegal website. The apprehended are
now awaiting further legal proceedings.
The site has attracted more than 900
regular gamblers monthly, with an average of 50 new subscribers. Police
speculated that the numbers would continue to rise as the World Cup
approaches, while pointing out that the establishment had a combined cash
circulation of about 500,000 baht daily or 15 million baht monthly.
Investigation also revealed that the
site, which has been operating through a Thai server for over eight months,
was part of an international crime syndicate and has already profited by
approximately 120 million baht.
Harsh weather anticipated across the nation this week
Khon Kaen - All parts of
Thailand will see heavy rain this week with the Royal Irrigation Department
(RID) ordering its offices to prepare accordingly, especially in light of a
typhoon warning from the Meteorological Department in effect for both the
Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.
Khon Kaen contended with flooding of
its roads over the weekend, with water reaching a depth 40 centimeters. It
took up to an hour for authorities to adequately drain the roads and bring
them back into use. At Bang Saen 2 beach near Ubolratana Dam, vendors had to
assist tourists to escape a sudden bout of heavy rain and high winds.
In the south, Nang Thong beach in Phang
Nga was emptied of vacationers over the weekend after days of stormy
conditions and strong waves.
The Meteorological Department has
warned of monsoon conditions moving over the Andaman and Gulf of Thailand,
fed by a low pressure system in the South China Sea. The conditions will
spur rain in all parts of the country and see wave action pick up off the
coast in both the east and west.
The RID is preparing to handle the
onslaught of showers and is monitoring Meteorological Department reports.
Action Coalition for Thailand Party launched
Bangkok - Founders of the Action
Coalition for Thailand Party organized the party’s first meeting over the
weekend, announcing its ideologies and determination to reform the country.
Held at Rangsit University on Sunday,
the meeting was attended by the party’s key figures including Suthep
Thaugsuban, Anek Laothammathat and Satit Segal.
Anek, as the party’s co-founder, said
every member is important and has a role to play. He confirmed that the
party was not founded for personal benefit, but for the children of the
future. The founders all agreed that Thai people need “Dhammacracy”, not a
democracy that seeks power, he said.
The party’s ideologies include respect
and protection for the monarchy, being a party of the people and for the
people, successful national reform, the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy and a
Tourism Ministry looks to promote foreign film making in Thailand
Bangkok - The Ministry of
Tourism and Sports has launched a tax incentive measure to promote foreign
film making in Thailand. A tax rebate equal to 15 percent of every 50
million baht spent on filming locally will be offered.
Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak
Khowsurat disclosed that the incentive will help boost the country’s revenue
from being used as a location for film making and the production of
documentaries and reality shows.
The Ministry has also assigned the
Department of Tourism to attract more foreign film producers to Thailand to
generate revenue and reputation for the country.
Government to focus on second chance for convicts
Bangkok - The government
continues to focus on its plan to offer a second chance to convicted
Deputy Prime Minister and Justice
Minister ACM Prajin Juntong recently attended a seminar on the matter after
the Department of Corrections reported on the problem of over-crowding at
its controlled facilities, which currently house altogether 350,366
inmates. The facilities were originally designed to accommodate up to
122,047 inmates only.
One of the suggested measures to remedy
the problem is the electronic monitoring (EM) system to allow convicts to be
temporarily released without needing to post bail.
While the device prevents convicts from
running away, it can also help address the issue of social inequality due to
poverty while enabling them to turn their lives around and learn new
professional skills for a future working life after completing their terms.
ACM Prajin stated that the Ministry of
Justice and the Department of Corrections will never allow conflicts with
flight risks to opt for the EM system, while continuing to find new policies
to control the population of inmates.
Officials, engineers inspect Bangkok Noi Dam
Bangkok - The Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has inspected Bangkok Noi Dam following a
complaint filed by a nearby community concerning leakage.
The inspection was led by Deputy
Bangkok Governor Chakkaphan Phewngam.
Chakkaphan and his team checked water
barriers along Bangkok Noi Canal and instructed responsible personnel to
identify and seal any leaks.
To prevent future flooding in the
capital city, he said a 72-kilometer flood barrier and a
680-square-kilometer water retention area have been built on the east side
of Bangkok. In western Bangkok, a 77-kilometer flood wall has been erected
along Bangkok Noi Canal, Mahasawat Canal, Chak Pha Canal, and Phra Khanong
The deputy governor also ordered his
subordinates to inspect a 43-kilometer flood barrier in Thon Buri district.
These barriers were built 23 years ago, in 1995.
The City Hall is also planning to
install steel sheet piles stretching 3.4 kilometers in Bangkok Noi district
to protect 674 houses from inundation. The installation will take about 200
Rojana Laem Chabang Industrial Park to be established in Chonburi
Bangkok - A new industrial park
will be established in Chonburi province as part of the Eastern Economic
Corridor (EEC) project.
The Industrial Estate Authority of
Thailand (IEAT) and Rojana Industrial Park Public Co., Ltd. have signed an
agreement to build the 843-rai “Rojana Laem Chabang Industrial Park” in
preparation for the development of the S-Curve 10 targeted industries, which
are next-generation automotive, intelligent electronics, tourism for
high-income tourists and medical tourism, advanced agriculture and
biotechnology, food processing, advanced robotics industry, logistics and
aviation, biofuels and biochemical, digital, and holistic medical and health
Deputy IEAT Governor Suwatana
Kmolwatananisa said the new park is part of the EEC development project
straddling three eastern provinces – Chonburi, Rayong, and Chachoengsao –
along the coastline of the Gulf of Thailand and encompassing more than
Expected to be complete by 2021, the
EEC project will turn these provinces into a hub for technological
manufacturing and services with strong connectivity to ASEAN neighbors by
land, sea and air.
Khon Kaen steps up dengue virus surveillance in rainy season
Khon Kaen - The northeastern province of Khon
Kaen has tightened its dengue virus surveillance program as the rainy season
has raised the risk of infection.
According to Khon Kaen Governor Somsak Jangtrakul,
continued rainfall in many areas has provided favorable conditions for
mosquitoes to propagate, thus increasing the spread of dengue virus.
It is feared that dengue virus infections will be
widespread this year since rainfall has continued in Khon Kaen for more than
a month. Governor Somsak says all districts have been instructed to beef up
their dengue fever prevention and control measures.
Disease control officials have been spraying larvicide
in risk-prone areas and urging different communities and workplaces to make
their environment unsuitable for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.
Cambodian man arrested for releasing fake news about Thai PM
Bangkok - A 21-year-old
Cambodian man has been arrested for trying to defame the Thai government by
releasing fake news online.
During a press conference at
Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Deputy Commissioner of the Tourist
Police Bureau, Pol Maj Gen. Surachet Hakpan, said that the Cambodian man,
identified by police as Ratanak Heng, would be handed over to the Technology
Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) to face criminal charges.
Ratanak had allegedly claimed in a fake
news article that Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha told Thai people to
fill up their cars with water instead of diesel, causing the general public
to grow concerned over rising gas prices.
Pol Maj Gen. Surachet said Ratanak’s
action was clearly intended to damage the reputation of the government. He
had posted 3 fake online news stories regarding the Thai government and the
premier prior to his arrest.
6 Thai nationals, who were found to
have been involved in the release of those fabricated articles, said they
were only sharing information on social media without any intention to
If found guilty, they will face a
maximum jail term of 5 years or a maximum fine of 100,000 baht for violating
the Computer Crime Act.
Iconic cinema Lido shutters after 50 years
Bangkok - Thailand’s longest
operating independent theater, Lido Multiplex, has finally closed after 50
years with the conclusion of its tenancy contract.
On Thursday, the iconic cinema held a
night of remembrance to mark its closure, looking back on over 50 years of
operation in the Siam Square area of Bangkok. The cinema’s plot is to be
returned to the Chulalongkorn University Property Office.
The final day of the multiplex saw a
steady stream of visitors, many of whom sat for a screening of “Kids on the
Slope” at 8:45PM, the last film to be projected in the theater.
The visitors also wrote down their
feelings and impressions in relation to the Lido, most lauding it for
maintaining ticket prices at a low 120-140 baht and for showcasing hard to
find and alternative films.
Apex Group President Nan Tansajja said,
while Lido is closing, the equally iconic Scala Theater has had its tenancy
contract extended by another two years to December 31 of 2021.
Govt to wait for court ruling on foreign minister
Minister, Wissanu Krea-ngam.
Bangkok - Thailand's Government
has called for an investigation into the Election Commission's (EC) ruling
that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is unfit for office.
The EC ruled 3-2 in favor of
disqualifying Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai from his post, on the grounds
that his spouse holds more than 5% equity in a company and failed to notify
the National Anti-Corruption Commission within the legally required time
Deputy Prime Minister, Wissanu
Krea-ngam, said the ruling is likely just a notification to Don and that an
investigation must be undertaken. If the ruling is substantiated, then the
Constitutional Court must also rule on the case. The deputy premier added
that it is too early to discuss a reshuffle of the Cabinet at this time.
Dr. Wissanu's statement echoed the
remarks previously made by fellow Deputy Prime Minister, ACM Prajin Jantong,
who said a ruling by the Constitutional Court must be made first. Regarding
a potential Cabinet reshuffle, ACM Prajin said that all officials have been
assigned tasks according to the national strategy and reform agenda.
Mahakan Fort park to be ready in mid-June
Bangkok - The Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is expediting the landscaping of the
defunct Mahakan Fort community to prepare for a temporary public park that
will open this month.
The transformation of Mahakan Fort,
jointly run by the Environment Department and the Department of Public
Works, involves building a garden, public restrooms and fences along the Ong
Ang Canal, and renovating old buildings. The grounds have been raised by 50
- 80 centimeters, in order to lay drainage and lighting systems and build
The Department of City Planning will
put up signs introducing visitors to Mahakan Fort in Thai, English and
Mandarin. The private sector has sponsored the construction of public
restrooms. The park is expected to be completed in mid-June.
The Fine Arts Department and the BMA
are considering whether the park should become a permanent public facility.
U-Tapao airport development to attract investors
Bangkok - The Ministry of
Industry has expressed its confidence that the U-Tapao International Airport
redevelopment project, part of an overall plan for an Eastern Airport City,
will attract many investors.
Industry Minister, Dr. Uttama
Savanayana, said the terms of reference (TOR) for the development would be
released soon, and the project will be opened to private companies to
compete for work on the aviation facilities, which will cover 225 acres.
"Even though the development of the
U-Tapao International Airport and the Eastern Airport City has been delayed
as a result of waiting for the implementation of the Eastern Economic
Corridor (EEC) Act, which became effective in the middle of this month, we
are quite confident that we will get the names of investors for different
projects for the development of airport this year,” Dr.Uttama said.
Under the original timeframe, the
invitation for private sector to invest in the U-Tapao project was to be
conducted between March and June this year. The Industry Minister said the
names of those who win the bids would be announced in September.
Thai appeals court dismisses case against British activist
labor rights activist Andy Hall is shown in this Nov. 3, 2016, file photo.
(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Bangkok (AP) — An appeals court
on Thursday vindicated a British labor rights activist entangled in a
years-long legal confrontation with a fruit-packing company after he
publicized alleged human rights violations at its factory.
The legal victory for Andy Hall was
welcomed by Amnesty International but is not necessarily the end of
protracted court battles that forced him to leave Thailand in 2016.
A criminal defamation and other cases
against Hall stemmed from a 2013 report he researched for Finnish consumer
organization Finnwatch that alleged labor abuses at Natural Fruit's
pineapple canning operation. It employed migrant workers from Myanmar who
said the company abused them and broke labor regulations.
Sunya Joongdee, a lawyer for Hall, said
Thursday's court ruling dismissed the criminal defamation case, which also
resulted in the collapse of a related computer crime case.
He said the court accepted that Hall's
interviews with migrant workers revealed allegations of rights violations
that should be made public. Hall was found guilty of criminal defamation in
2016, fined and given a suspended prison sentence.
Natural Fruit, owned by businessman
Wirat Piyapornpaiboon, can appeal to the Supreme Court. Other cases brought
by both sides as the legal battle escalated are still before the courts.
On Twitter, Hall said he had previously
lost hope of justice but now a "flame was reignited in my heart."
"There is still the possibility that
today's verdict could lead in some way to peace and reconciliation," he
Amnesty International's Thailand
campaigner, Katherine Gerson, said the ruling should be followed with law
changes that prevent companies using the courts to harass activists who
campaign against abusive corporate practices.
"This successful appeal is very
welcome, and it underlines how the original conviction against Andy Hall was
an abuse of justice that should never have been allowed," she said in a
Finnwatch also welcomed the ruling.
Phra Phrom Sitti denied bail after submitting to police on suspicions of corruption
Bangkok - Former Abbot of Wat Sa
Ket Raja Wora Mahawiharn, Phra Phrom Sitti, has submitted to police
investigators after they last week found he had 132 million baht in personal
savings and over 87 million baht in circulation through a raid on the temple
that tied him to suspicions of corruption.
Authorities questioned the former abbot
for close on three hours on Thursday before Crime Suppression Division
Commander Pol Maj Gen Maitree Chimcherd escorted him to the Central Criminal
Court for an initial 12 day detainment period, during which police are to
question another 20 witnesses as to the monk’s finances. The clergyman has
been denied release on bail for the time being as he is in possession of a
large quantity of pertinent financial information and is believed to be part
of a network of wrongdoers who face severe punishment. He has been detained
at Bangkok Remand Prison for the time being but his lawyers have prepared a
second bail request.
The National Buddhism Office has
indicated to the court that while Phra Phrom Sitti has maintained his
monkhood, according to the Monk Act of 1962, authorities have the right to
strip him of his ordainment.
Police are still in pursuit of another
high ranking monk linked to the temple fund corruption case, Phra Phrom
Thailand aims to increase milk consumption to 25 liters per head per year
Bangkok - The Ministry of
Agriculture and Cooperatives is cooperating with the Ministry of Public
Health, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the dairy industry
to try to increase the country's annual milk consumption to 25 liters
per head by 2026.
An awareness campaign will be
launched to promote benefits of milk, which plays an important role in
supplying essential nutrients to different stages of life.
Currently, Thai people drink about
18 liters of milk per head per year, which is relatively low compared to
people in Japan, Europe and the United States. Thailand is urging its
citizens to drink two glasses of milk a day.