Prayers in tribute to Royal Household taking place this Friday
Bangkok - A prayer service is to
be staged this Friday August 17 at Dusit Palace in Bangkok in tribute to His
Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of the
Ninth Reign on the occasion of her birthday anniversary, and His Majesty
King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
His Majesty the King has graciously
entrusted the Supreme Patriarch with leading 195 monks in performing the
prayer while calling for the important Buddhist relic Phra Buddha Norasih to
be the central Buddhist image. The prayer ceremony is a continuation of the
“Dhamma Rachinee” practice initiated by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.
Participants in the ceremony will
receive royally bestowed prayer offerings that they will be able to take
home to commemorate the occasion.
The prayer book for the event can be
downloaded at www.prd.go.th and the event will be broadcast via Radio
Thailand, NBT, Thai TV Global Network (TGN) and NBT World.
Parking will be provided at Suan Dusit
Zoo and the Royal Turf Club from 4PM on Friday with a shuttle service to
‘Bebinca’ wreaks havoc in North and Northeast
Thailand - Tropical storm
‘Bebinca’ is already wreaking havoc in the northern and northeastern regions
of the country, triggering heavy rain in several areas.
The storm was 200 kilometers northeast
of the China's Hainan island at the time of the report. It is expected to
reach the North of Vietnam on August 16 - 17, resulting in heavy rain in
Thailand’s northern provinces. Residents are urged to be on the lookout for
the effects of accumulated rain, flash floods, run-offs and mudslides.
The southwest monsoon meanwhile is
still hovering over the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, triggering
waves of 2-4 meters in some areas. All ships are advised proceed with
caution and small vessels should remain in port.
Elsewhere, the ad-hoc center handling
Thailand's ongoing flood crisis has reported that the water levels of the
Petchaburi and Mekong rivers have increased.
The center further indicated that the
water level of the Kaeng Krachan Dam, Nam Oon Dam and Vajiralongkorn Dam
have reached worrying levels.
Govt launches digital park project in EEC
Economy and Society Minister Dr Pichet Durongkaveroj.
Chonburi - The government has
launched a joint investment program with the private sector to develop a
digital park in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) to promote investment in
high-tech, innovative industries.
Digital Economy and Society Minister Dr
Pichet Durongkaveroj said the initiative aims to create a section of the EEC
focused on digital industries called EECd to serve as a center for the
development of digital businesses in the country. It begins with the
establishment of an Internet of Things institution for industries of the
future. Up to 1.67 billion baht has been allocated for the construction of
the facility on a 30-rai plot of land.
State-owned CAT Telecom Public Company
Limited and the government’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency are tasked
with promoting the EECd to foreign investors. Furthermore, the initiative
has set up a committee to select investors. The two agencies will be able to
accommodate investment projects before construction of the EECd is
The EECd is also situated close to the
Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency and Kasetsart
University Si Racha, making it a suitable environment for joint efforts such
as testing 5G technology.
NBTC prepares for e-bidding for govt internet concessions
Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith.
Bangkok - The National
Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is organizing an
auction for concessions in the government's Net Pracharat program.
NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith
has revealed that the commission will use electronic bidding to select
companies for the eight concessions in Zone C of the Net Pracharat program.
The concessions are worth a combined 19.6 billion baht.
He said that eligible bidders must
either hold a third-tier networking telecommunications license or a
first-tier license for the operators who do not have their own network. The
bidders must also provide evidence that they have earnt a profit from their
telecommunications business over the past year, as a way of ensuring the
viability of their operations. Bidders that have operated in the sector for
over three years must provide income statements indicating they have earnt
an average revenue of over 10 percent of the value of their desired
Those awarded the concessions will be
tasked with fulfilling a five-year maintenance contract. They are not
permitted to charge more than 349 baht per month for home internet services.
Secretary-General Takorn said today that currently, there are 60 eligible
bidders registered for the auction.
The NBTC will upload the bidding
documents to the website of the Comptroller General’s Department within the
week. The auction will kick off on August 20th and will conclude on
September 14th. The list of winners will be announced from October 8th -
It is expected that the companies
awarded with the concessions will ink the deal at the beginning of November.
All Wi-Fi services in the participating villages should be operational by
Net Pracharat aims to provide free,
high-speed internet services to remote areas of the Kingdom, as part of the
administration’s Thailand 4.0 agenda that underlines the use of digital
technology to drive economic and social development. Zone C refers to remote
areas of the Kingdom.
One injured as tourist speedboat erupts in flames off Phang Nga
Phang Nga - A boatman was
injured in a blaze that engulfed a speedboat in Phang Nga province on
Head of the Phang Nga Department of
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office, Sayan Kijmano received a call at
10:30am on August 13 reporting a tourist speedboat completely engulfed in
flames in the area of Ao Mhan Beach in Takua Tung district of Phang Nga. The
office head rushed to the scene with Khlong Kian Sub-District Chief Uthit
Majchaves and Assistant Head of Phang Nga Bay National Park Pramote Kaeonam.
The officials found a dual engine fiber speedboat named BBC Lion 9 ablaze
off the shoreline. The fire resulted in one person on board being injured
while all the passengers were already off the boat.
The boat’s captain Wanchat Un-kaow
explained that the vessel had been traveling from Laem Sai Dock in Phuket
with 20 tourists from the Middle East. The boat had parked off Ao Mhan Beach
to allow its passengers to swim in the ocean. The captain left his engineer
to watch the boat so he could have breakfast on shore. However an explosion
took place causing a fire on the boat, and injuring the engineer. Other boat
operators nearby were able to rescue the engineer and arrange his transfer
to Takua Tung Hospital while a new speedboat was dispatched so that the
tourists were able to continue their trip.
Authorities are investigating the
incident and have said they will take action if any foul play is suspected.
Thai consular officers to streamline their services
Permanent Secretary Thani Thongphakdi.
Bangkok - The Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MFA) has held a seminar for Thai consular officials
worldwide to streamline consular services for Thai and foreign nationals.
MFA Deputy Permanent Secretary Thani
Thongphakdi presented a policy to the consular officers during the seminar
where he cited the need to adopt a person-based approach to make their
services more efficient for both Thai and foreign nationals.
More than 37 million foreigners visit
Thailand each year, while 7 million Thais travel overseas each year. The
Deputy Permanent Secretary wants the consular officers to be more proactive
in their role and adaptable to change now that the country is moving towards
a digital era.
The Department of Consular Affairs has
also made consular services more convenient for the public. People are now
required to use only their identification cards when using any consular
service. Those planning to travel overseas can also apply for an e-Visa
online and seek assistance from a Thai embassy in case of an emergency via
the Oun Jai mobile application.
Illegal dumping found on island in Chon Buri
Chonburi - Local authorities on
Ko Kham Yai island in Chonburi province have offered a cash reward, worth
20,000 baht, for information on illegal dumping. The island's waste problem
has started to adversely affect its tourism.
On Tuesday, public health officials in
the municipality of Tambon Ko Sichang inspected the Sapparot Bay on Ko Kham
Yai after they were told that more than 30 bags of waste had been dumped at
the bay on 12 August. The waste bags were later found burnt. A list of
products with the name of a shipping company were found near the burnt
Mayor of the Tambon Ko Sichang
municipality, Damrong Phetra, said it was the second time this month that
waste was dumped illegally at the bay. The first time was when more than 100
waste bags with overseas labels were found. The waste dumped at the same
place this time also included products from foreign countries, said the
Those who give information on illegal
dumping can send evidence to the municipality to receive the reward of
Mudslide forces temporary road closure in Ranong
Ranong - Flash floods have been
reported in several areas of Ranong province, prompting local authorities to
be on standby to provide assistance to those in need.
A mudslide near the Pun Ya Ban
waterfall has temporarily closed Phet Kasem Road. Local authorities are
removing debris and large rocks that are blocking the road. More rain could
potentially worsen the situation.
Several communities and roads in Ranong
Municipality remain inundated as heavy rains make it difficult to drain
flood waters away. Survival items have already been distributed among those
Ranong Governor Jatupoj Piyamputara has
instructed local authorities to closely monitor the situation and advised
people to stay updated on the weather forecast.
In Phetchaburi province, 20 navy boats
have been deployed to push floodwaters into the sea to prevent inundation of
Northern and northeastern regions warned of more rain
Bangkok - Residents in the North
and the Northeast are being warned of more rainfall, flash floods,
mudslides, overflows and run-offs over the next seven days.
The Meteorological Department says the
incoming rain is triggered by a depression in the upper part of South China
Sea, which will likely move to north Vietnam on August 15-16. This will
result in more precipitation in the Northern and Northeastern regions of
Thailand. The department has urged the locals in these areas to brace for
The southwestern monsoon hovering over
the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand is reportedly gaining strength and
sea waves could be 2-4 meters high. All boats should proceed with caution
and small vessels should remain ashore. Residents are warned of strong
Meanwhile, the water mass in Kaeng
Krajan Dam in Phetchaburi province was last measured at 726 million cubic
meters. The Royal Irrigation Department has installed 15 water pumps to
reduce the volume. Officials are reportedly keeping an eye on the dam.
Officials overseeing the Nam Oon Dam
said the amount of water in the reservoir is recorded at 534 million cubic
meters, which has yet to reach the dam's spillway, an indication that nearby
areas are still safe.
The Vajiralongkorn Dam is currently
holding 7.5 billion cubic meters of water. Officials said the rate of inflow
has reduced and that there have been no reports on damage caused by water
Foreign divers rescued after pickup swept into canal
Nakhon Si Thammarat - Two
foreign divers took an unplanned plunge when a flash flood swept their
vehicle off a road and into a canal in Thung Yai district, Nakhon Si
Thammarat province, on Sunday.
Both men are diving instructors. They
were trapped in their vehicle when fast-flowing forest runoff washed it off
the road and into Sinpun canal near Nong Wa village in Kulae subdistrict.
They scrambled out of the cab and onto the flat-bed as the water rose up
level with the windows.
It was some hours before their plight
was noticed and police were alerted. About 100 rescue workers, military
officers and local residents rushed to help and worked for about two hours
to pull them and their vehicle, a 4-door pickup truck with Bangkok license
plates, from the canal.
They were named in media reports as
Seetoh Yiyu, a Singaporean national, 37, and a Danish national identified as
Claus, 45. Diving gear was found in their vehicle.
Police said the two men were returning
from instructing at a cave diving course in Krungyan subdistrict of Thung
Yai district and were on their way to Phuket. They were using a GPS to guide
them. It directed them to a secondary road, by-passing another flooded road,
when they were hit by forest runoff.
The two men thanked everyone for
helping them, explaining they did not know the way to Phuket and had to rely
on the vehicle's Global Positioning System (GPS). They were not aware that
there was also forest runoff flooding the road.
Their vehicle was washed into the canal
near an oil palm plantation. They managed to get out of the cab and stood on
the back with their gear, barely above the floodwater, for several hours
before local residents saw them and called police for help.
Strong demand sends Thai rice export projections soaring
Bangkok - Growing demand for
Thai rice abroad has prompted an export estimate of 11 million tons this
year with the Ministry of Commerce reporting 6.7 million tons already
exported as of August 8.
Department of Foreign Trade (DFT)
Director-General Adul Chotinisakorn reported that Thai rice sales are up in
almost all foreign markets this year, especially in Indonesia where sales
have increased 679 percent, Malaysia where sales are up 53 percent and the
Philippines, where sales are up 25 percent. From the start of the year to
August 8, Thailand has exported rice worth 3.425 billion USD, 9.85 percent
up year-on-year. The upward trajectory of demand is predicted to continue
through the latter half of 2018.
A delegation from China formed under a
farm goods trade deal with Thailand is scheduled to travel to the Kingdom at
the end of this month to negotiate the purchase of a second batch of 1
million tons of rice. A sixth stock of 100,000 tons of rice to be sent to
China as part of the first batch of 1 million tons is currently pending
while pricing is concluded.
The government is also preparing to
enter an auction to sell the Philippines 500,000 tons of rice. The auction
has been signaled to start early and the administration is aiming to sell
about 250,000 tons via a Government to Government deal and the other 250,000
tons via general auctions joined by the private sector.
Thai students win medals in robot competition in China
Beijing - Thai students have
honored the Kingdom by collecting several medals at the ‘Robot Challenge
2018’ event in Beijing China.
The Office of the Basic Education
Commission (OBAC) invited students from eight schools to participate in the
event, which began on August 9 and concluded Monday.
The annual international competition
draws young robotics enthusiasts from all over the world to compete in the
creative and inventive contest. The participants have to use their knowledge
of science and technology to solve a set of tough puzzles.
Entering 10 categories, the Thai
students were able to secure first place in four categories, along with
first runner up in one category, second runner up in three categories and
third runner up in another category.
This competition requires participants
to program and customize their robots or drones to complete a specific set
of tasks such as collecting a puck, following a line, overcoming obstacles
in the terrain, or racing.
PM Prayut chairs special ceremony to mark National Mother’s Day
Bangkok - The Prime Minister led
Thais from all walks of life in a special ceremony to mark Mother’s Day in
Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha
and Mrs. Naraporn Chan-o-cha, chaired a special alms-offering ceremony at
Sanam Luang on Sunday to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s 86th birthday
A total of 243 Buddhist monks were
invited to receive alms in the ceremony on the day that is known as Mother’s
Day in Thailand.
Key guests at the ceremony included the
highly-respected abbot of Wat Yannawawan, Phra Prom Vajirayan, Privy
Councilors, the President of the Supreme Court, the President of the
National Legislative Assembly, members of the Cabinet and their spouses,
chiefs of various independent organizations, the Governor of Bangkok,
leaders of the armed forces and the national police chief, while executives
from government offices, officials and representatives of the private sector
and members of the public were also present.
More than 3,000 people attended the
Prior to the ceremony, a special prayer
was said for Her Majesty the Queen, before the Prime Minister paid homage to
a photograph of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and paid his
respects to the image of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.
Later, Gen. Prayut along with his wife
and members of the Cabinet traveled to the Royal Palace to sign the
well-wishers’ book for Her Majesty the Queen before armed forces leaders and
members of the legislative branch, independent organizations and senior
government officials followed to sign their messages.
Phu Luang elephant stamps officer to death
A herd of
wild elephants cross a dirt road in Pana, southeastern province of
Chanthaburi in this Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016 file photo. (AP Photo/Gemunu
Loei - A wild elephant in Loei
Province invading a farming area to eat the crop spotted a Phu Luang Widlife
Sanctuary officer and attacked him on Saturday, resulting in the man's
The elephant had been coming to eat the
people’s crops for several days. During that time, Phaisarn Patthum aged 53,
an officer of the sanctuary came to take his turn after another officer had
been looking after the elephant for four days.
While Phaisarn and other officers were
tracking it, the elephant saw him and ran to attack him. The man ran to get
away from it, but tripped and fell, so the elephant was able to catch up and
stamp on him, resulting in serious injuries; it then walked away. The
officers at the scene promptly took their injured colleague to Wang Saphung
Hospital, but tragically he died soon after.
Former Swiss driving instructor arrested in Sattahip
Bangkok - Thai police have
arrested a Swiss national on fraud charges allegedly committed in his native
country before he escaped to Thailand several years ago.
The Crime Suppression Division police
captured the 68-year-old Zumbach Chistoph, who is wanted by the Swiss
authorities for fraudulent charges after claiming to be a driving instructor
who, along with his students, had road accidents only to claim for
compensation from insurance companies.
He was alleged to have having committed
such fraud for about 10 years, claiming some 600,000 Swiss francs in damages
from insurance firms.
The suspect, who had fled to Thailand
in 2014, was captured at an apartment in AD Bang Saray Lake and Resort in
Police have initially verified the
suspect's fingerprint and DNA samples and will send him back to his native
country in due course.
GH bank robber arrested in Phuket
Phuket - Police have arrested
the man who recently robbed a Government Housing Bank in Phuket.
Pol. Col. Sakchai Limcharoen, Phuket
Police Deputy Commander, together with the arresting team and Chayanit
Thongkhao, an officer of the Government Housing Bank, Thalang branch made an
announcement on the arrest of Mr Sombat, a 37-year-old man from Pathum Thani
Province who had robbed the bank.
From the initial investigation, Sombat
confessed that he actually committed the crime because he had been
unemployed for two years and had not been able to pay installments to the
bank for his house loan for six months. He also confessed to being the one
who snatched a gold necklace in front of a village in Sri Suntorn
Subdistrict, Thalang District last Wednesday.
Thanks to the cooperation of all
parties involved, the robber was tracked down within a short time. As for
the bank’s security measures, a meeting may have to be called to set further
guidelines in addition to the measures in use at present.
Update August 11-12, 2018
Police hold follow up meeting on Phuket boat accident
Pol Gen Rungroj Saengkram.
Phuket - Authorities have held a
meeting to follow up on the recent investigation into a fatal boat accident
in Phuket province.
Deputy Commissioner-General of the
Royal Thai Police, Pol Gen Rungroj Saengkram, who led the investigation,
said the meeting followed up on the cause of the boat capsizing and whether
the tour company had illegal foreign shareholders.
The meeting revealed that the ship has
yet to be recovered, as it is the legal obligation of its owner to do so.
However, officials have not been able to locate the owner of the ship.
Should no action be taken, the Marine Department will instead take action to
recover the boat itself and bill the ship owners afterwards.
Pol Gen Rungroj said the meeting didn't
discuss the issue of canceled bookings throughout Phuket by Chinese
tourists. Several Chinese tourists were killed in the boat disaster last
Thai official says child bride has returned from Malaysia
Bangkok - An 11-year-old Thai girl who married a 41-year-old Malaysian man
has been sent back to Thailand from Malaysia, a senior Thai welfare official
The official at the Social Development
and Human Security Ministry said the girl, whose situation was made public
in June, has been put under the care of the ministry.
Witat Techaboon, director-general of
the ministry's Department of Children and Youth, said he could not provide
any other details because the topic is sensitive. The Malaysian newspaper
The Star, citing a Thai social activist that it did not name, said
officials of Malaysia's Kelantan state sent the girl to Thailand on
The case produced calls in both
Malaysia and Thailand for strengthening laws against child marriage.
Rubber scrap dealer Che Abdul Karim Che
Abdul Hamid is believed to have secretly married the girl — a Thai citizen
who lives with her parents in Malaysia — as his third wife in Thailand.
Holding a Muslim wedding ceremony in Thailand skirted Thai and Malaysian
Muslim girls under the minimum legal
marriage age of 16 can wed with the consent of the Islamic Shariah court and
their parents in Malaysia. Muslim men in Malaysia can marry four wives.
Thai law sets the minimum legal age for
marriage at 17, though courts may allow marriage of younger individuals if
there is an appropriate reason. The reasons, however, are not defined in the
Che Abdul Karim in July was fined
RM1,800 ($440) by a Malaysian Shariah court for marrying a minor without its
prior consent and taking an additional wife without permission from his
He earlier told Malaysia's Bernama news
agency that his marriage was lawful and had been approved by the girl's
parents, who are Thai citizens who live and work in Kelantan as rubber
tappers. He said he would only formalize the marriage in Malaysia when the
girl turned 16 and that she would stay with her parents until then. The girl
was quoted by local media as saying she loves Che Abdul Karim because he is
a kind man.
Entrance fees to be waived at all national parks on Mother’s Day
Bangkok - The Department of
National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) will waive entrance
fees at all national parks and wildlife sanctuaries on August 12, honoring
Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign.
DNP Director-General Thanya
Netithammakun recently made the announcement, saying his department’s
initiative encourages people to visit natural parks and sanctuaries to study
nature while forging bonds among family members, fulfilling Her Majesty’s
wishes for all Thais to support the conservation of natural resources such
as forests, wildlife, plants and herbs in all parts of the Kingdom. Her
Majesty also cares deeply for natural resources and wants to make sure they
Director-General Thanya, also announced
that his department will launch a campaign to reduce the use of plastic
bags, styrofoam containers and plastic cutlery. All of its units will
participate in the program by refraining from using plastic items which are
harmful to the environment.
However, recognizing the inconvenient
aspect of the initiative, Thanya said officials will provide cloth bags to
visitors to use for discarded plastic, while inviting residents to join his
department’s campaign to promote recycling and waste management.
Talks held to discuss benefits of EEC to Thai citizens
Minister Uttama Savanayana.
Bangkok - The Eastern Economic
Corridor Policy Committee, the Chonburi Provincial Administrative
Organization and the private sector organized a seminar on the benefits to
Thai citizens of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) development plan.
During the event, Industry Minister
Uttama Savanayana gave a special lecture on the importance of the EEC plan
to the Kingdom’s economic development by promoting 10 target industries and
raising the industry sector to Thailand 4.0 standards. He estimated that the
EEC plan would attract more investment, resulting in more than 100,000 new
At the same time, various accompanying
infrastructure projects such as the construction of a high speed railway and
the expansion of U-Tapao International Airport will contribute to a
strengthening of the tourism industry in the eastern corridor. The committee
is of the opinion that this infrastructure will greatly support the
transportation of visitors to the provinces of Chonburi, Rayong and
The committee believes that the EEC
development plan will distribute income at the grassroots level. It said
officials responsible for these projects would consider the benefits to the
people first, while making sure that every effort is made to guard against
social and environmental impacts.
Thai monk who flew in high style gets prison for fraud
Thursday, July 20, 2017, file photo, ex-monk Wirapol Sukphol is escorted by
the Department of Special Investigation officials to the prosecutor's office
in Bangkok. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Bangkok (AP) — A former Buddhist
monk infamous for a jet-set lifestyle was sentenced Thursday to more than
100 years in prison in connection with funds he fraudulently raised from
Wirapol Sukphol caused a scandal when
he appeared in a 2013 YouTube video in his monk's robes aboard a private jet
wearing aviator sunglasses with a Louis Vuitton carry-on by his side. He was
defrocked amid accusations that he had sexual relations with several women —
a major violation of the precepts guiding monks' behavior — and had
impregnated one. There were also allegations he had sex with a 14-year-old
Because of the furor, he fled to the
United States, where he was arrested in 2016 and extradited last year.
The Ratchada Criminal Court in Bangkok
sentenced him Thursday to 114 years in prison, although legal technicalities
capped the actual time he must serve at 20 years. He was found guilty of
fraud, money laundering and violation of the computer crime act for spending
money he had solicited for Buddhist statuary and temple improvements instead
on cars and luxury goods.
The court also ordered that Wirapol pay
28.6 million baht in compensation to 29 people who filed lawsuits saying he
had cheated them.
The same court will deliver a verdict
on Oct. 17 on a child molestation and child abduction case against Wiraphol.
Critics say Wirapol is an extreme
example of a wider crisis in Thai Buddhism, which has become marginalized by
a shortage of monks and an increasingly secular society.
At the court Thursday, a smiling
Wirapol was joined by around 10 followers whom he told to relax.
"Prison is comfortable, there are
people always buying you food and there's plenty of space. Anyone want to
join me?" Wirapol said. "If I have to spend many years in prison but can
accept it, then it's comfortable. If you can't accept it, just one day in
prison can feel like a thousand years."
The court's decision noted an earlier
civil court ruling that ordered the confiscation of 43.5 million baht from
According to Thailand's Department of
Special Investigation, Wirapol at one point had accumulated assets estimated
at 1 billion baht. During a shopping spree from 2009 to 2011, he bought 22
Mercedes Benz cars worth 95 million baht, the department said.
Thai Navy transports tourists from Koh Racha Yai in heavy seas
Phuket - The Region 3 Royal Thai
Navy had to come to the aid of tourists who were unable to depart Koh Racha
Yai in Phuket province due to dangerous conditions at sea.
The Region 3 Navy received a call on
Wednesday from tourism businesses on Koh Racha Yai indicating that up to 200
tourists were unable to depart for the mainland due to high seas and winds.
Many of the visitors were due to return to their home countries.
Region 3 Navy Commander Vice Adm
Somnuek Prempramote ordered HTMS Narathiwat to pick up the tourists. The
vessel arrived at Koh Racha Yai at 5:30pm and docked at Phuket’s deep-sea
port at 8pm.
Travelers are urged to check weather
reports during this time due to monsoonal conditions throughout the Andaman
Sea. Assistance from the Region 3 Navy can be sought 24 hours a day by
calling 076-391598 or its hotline 1696.
DDPM says 55 provinces still wary of flooding
Ranong – The Department of
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) indicates 55 provinces are still
on alert against flooding and round the clock monitoring continues.
While river levels have dropped in
Ranong province, continued rain has kept inundations from subsiding, while
in Ubon Ratchathani the Chi River has been rising despite a drop in the
Mekong River’s water level.
The Ubon Ratchathani Flood Situation
and Relief Command Center has announced that those living along the Chi
River must be cautious at this time as it is being fed by waters from Roi Et
and Yasothon. Levels measured at That Noi Dam Station were reported as 1.02
meters, higher than the river banks in That Noi, Koh Thong, Sahatat, Ta Hai
and Na Kam Yai sub-districts. Together with flooding caused by the Mekong
River, a total 1,627 households or 4,852 people have been impacted alongside
6,526 rai of land.
While the Mekong River is falling, the
Mul River has remained high and is only 1.95 meters from the top of its
The Mekong River in Nong Khai province
has dropped to 9.83 meters, 2.37 meters below its banks. Steady drainage has
alleviated previous concerns of flooding but the local Disaster Prevention
and Mitigation office has continued to rehearse rescue and relief
In Krapur district of Ranong province,
over 30 soldiers from the 25th Infantry Regiment were dispatched to conduct
post-flood cleanup operations and to return property to its rightful owners.
The soldiers are coordinating with other agencies to provide assistance as
needed. Rains in the province have kept flood levels steady despite
Reforestation event held in Surin
Surin - The Zoological Park
Organization under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King organized a
reforestation event with the aim of conserving elephants and the environment
in Surin Province.
The ceremony was held at Phu Din forest
by representatives of the Elephant Kingdom of Surin Province. Present at the
event were Deputy Director of the Zoological Park Organization Suriya
Saengpong, the Surin Vice Governor, the Deputy Governor Corporate Social
Affairs of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, community
leaders and local and foreign tourists. The ceremony featured a parade of 30
elephants starring a well-known elephant, Plai Thong Bai, and a religious
rite. The participants also took the opportunity to feed the elephants,
before planting trees.
The reforestation event was part of a
campaign to conserve elephants in line with the wishes of Her Majesty Queen
Sirikit of the Ninth Reign who instructed the Zoological Park Organization
to save and improve the quality of life of Thai elephants, the national
symbol of the Kingdom of Thailand.
Boys rescued from cave, once stateless, get Thai citizenship
Boonpiam, left, one of the young soccer players who had been trapped for
almost three weeks in a cave in northern Thailand, receives an identity card
denoting Thai citizenship from Somsak Kunkam Sheriff of Mae Sai during a
ceremony in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province, Wednesday, Aug. 8.
(Chiang Rai Public Relations Office via AP)
Bangkok (AP) — Three young
soccer players who were trapped with other team members for almost three
weeks in a cave in northern Thailand were granted Thai citizenship on
Wednesday along with their 25-year-old coach.
All four had been stateless, and their
lack of citizenship deprived them of some basic benefits and rights,
including the ability to travel outside of Chiang Rai province, where they
live. The area is home to ethnic minorities with roots in neighboring
The boys and coach were among 13 people
who were trapped in the cave until their dramatic rescue by scuba divers.
Nopparat Kanthawong, the head coach of
the Wild Boars team, said they received official Thai ID cards along with
another team member who had not been in the cave but also applied for
"I'm happy," he said. "I want to say
that football (soccer) can elevate the lives of kids whose families may not
be in the best position."
"If they have Thai citizenship, in the
future, if they don't want to play football they can take exams to become
public officials or find good work that is related to their field of
studies," he said.
Nopparat said he submitted
documentation on Wednesday to help apply for citizenship for seven other
Wild Boar players who are stateless.
The boys given citizenship Wednesday in
their home district of Mae Sai had all applied for it before the cave
incident, and all were fully qualified for the change in status, said a
local official, district chief Somsak Kanakam.
"There are many people who are born in
Thailand but haven't received citizenship yet," he said, adding that
residents seeking Thai nationality should apply quickly, while he still
holds his job, because he has "no corrupt intentions." He said that most
people present at Wednesday's ceremony were aware of under-the-table
payments that some officials had asked for in the past.
There are 488,105 stateless people
registered in Thailand, according to government statistics. The actual
number could be as high as 3.5 million, according to the International
Observatory on Statelessness. The group says stateless people in Thailand
are unable to vote, buy land, seek legal employment, work in certain
occupations or travel freely.
Northern Thailand, whose porous borders
have long been a boon to migrants, refugees and smugglers, is a melting pot
of ethnic groups, including the Akha, Lahu, Lisu, Yao, Shan, Hmong and
Karen. In neighboring Myanmar, the frontier regions are dominated by ethnic
minority groups, but underdevelopment and conflict make opportunities
scarce. Some people flee for their lives to Thailand; others just seek a
Flashfloods hit Ranong while rivers rise in Kanchanaburi
Ranong - Flashfloods have
impacted farms and homes in Thailand's Ranong province after days of heavy
rain, while citizens along the Kwae Noi and Mae Klong rivers in Kanchanaburi
province have been told to move property to higher ground.
Rainfall since August 6 in Ranong
province has caused forest runoff to inundate areas of the province’s Kapur
district with over 100 households affected and more citizens impacted by
difficult travel. Police, volunteers and administrators have joined forces
with 40 soldiers from Rattanarangsan Army Camp to help members of the public
move their belongings and to rescue those trapped at home.
Releases from Vajiarlongkorn and
Srinakarin dams have raised the water levels of the Kwae Noi and Mae Klong
rivers. The releases were necessary to prepare the reservoirs to take on
more rainwater over the next two months but Kanchanaburi Governor Jirakriat
Phumsawad has ordered all 13 districts to follow the situation closely and
take appropriate precautions.
The rising river waters have yet to
impact any shoreline communities or businesses with fish farms reporting no
effects as of yet. The levels are still well under crisis levels.
Industrial estates confident repeat of 2011 flooding won't occur this year
Ayuthaya - The Joint Standing
Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) estimates that flooding
this year won't match the magnitude of 2011 but has nonetheless urged that
measures be taken to protect industrial estates such as those in Ayuthaya
The water situation in Ayuthaya has
remained in a manageable range with drainage progressing efficiently and
precautions in place for the urban, farming and industrial sectors.
Governor Sujin Chaichumsak met with
business representatives to assess the water situation and gave an assurance
that industrial estates will not be impacted by floodwaters. He mentioned
that the province is currently performing maintenance on the sluice gates
surrounding industrial zones and expects to complete repairs on all six
gates within 15 months, fortifying industrial estates in the province’s east
Thai Banking Association and JSCCIB
Chairman Pridi Daochai announced that while assessments have shown the water
level in Thai dams is higher than in 2011, a repeat of the major flood that
year is not expected, as the high levels are concentrated in western and
eastern dams rather than northern and central region dams. Evaluations have
also indicated that this year’s storm season will be less severe than in
Over 300 Bangkok markets given certificates of cleanliness
Bangkok - In an effort to
upgrade the quality of markets across the capital, the Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has awarded over 300 markets
throughout the city with Premium Market and Hygienic Market
The certificates were handed out as
part of the 2018 “Bangkok City of Safety” program and were presented by
Deputy Governor of Bangkok, Taweesak Lertpraphan.
Bangkok officials have been working
with market operators to upgrade standards. A total of four markets were
acknowledged as Premium Markets this year. They are Iam Sombut Market in
Suan Luang district, Sam Yan Market in Pathumwan district, Bang Kun Sri
market in Bangkok Noi district and Minburi Mall in Minburi district.
Another 336 markets were validated as Hygienic Markets where all
products are clean, safe and of high quality. Any complaints against the
markets can be made through district offices.
The development of the markets
emphasized three areas: legal setup, cleanliness of food and utilities
and proper training of those handling food items.