Make Chiangmai Mail | Bookmark

Chiangmai 's First English Language Newspaper

Pattaya Blatt | Pattaya Mail | Pattaya Mail TV

 

Update August 2018


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

Update August 16, 2018

Prayers in tribute to Royal Household taking place this Friday

NNT

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 Dusit Palace.


‘Bebinca’ wreaks havoc in North and Northeast

NNT

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

 

Digital Economy and Society Minister Dr Pichet Durongkaveroj.

NNT

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 completed.

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

NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith.

NNT

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 concession.

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 - 12th.

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 November 2019.

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.


Update August 15, 2018

One injured as tourist speedboat erupts in flames off Phang Nga

NNT

Phang Nga - A boatman was injured in a blaze that engulfed a speedboat in Phang Nga province on Monday.

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

MFA Deputy Permanent Secretary Thani Thongphakdi.

NNT

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

NNT

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 waste.

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 mayor.

Those who give information on illegal dumping can send evidence to the municipality to receive the reward of 20,000 baht.


Mudslide forces temporary road closure in Ranong

NNT

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 affected.

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 residential areas.


Update August 14, 2018

Northern and northeastern regions warned of more rain

NNT

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 impact.

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 gusts.

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 discharges.


Foreign divers rescued after pickup swept into canal

NNT

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

NNT

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

NNT

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.


Update August 13, 2018

PM Prayut chairs special ceremony to mark National Mother’s Day

NNT

Bangkok - The Prime Minister led Thais from all walks of life in a special ceremony to mark Mother’s Day in Thailand.

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 anniversary.

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 ceremony.

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 Amarasinghe)

NNT

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 death.

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

NNT

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 Sattahip.

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

NNT

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.

NNT

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 month.


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 said Friday.

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 Wednesday.

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 marriage laws.

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 law.

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 other spouses.

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

NNT

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 are protected.

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

Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana.

NNT

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 employment positions.

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 Chachoengsao.

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.


Update August 10, 2018

Thai monk who flew in high style gets prison for fraud

In this 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)

Kaweewit Kaewjinda

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 followers.

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 girl.

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 Wirapol.

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

NNT

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

NNT

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 banks.

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 operations.

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 waterways dropping.


Reforestation event held in Surin

NNT

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.


Update August 9, 2018

Boys rescued from cave, once stateless, get Thai citizenship

 

Mongkol 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)

Kaweewit Kaewjinda

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 Myanmar.

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 citizenship.

"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 better life.


Flashfloods hit Ranong while rivers rise in Kanchanaburi

NNT

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

NNT

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 province.

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 against flooding.

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 2011.


Over 300 Bangkok markets given certificates of cleanliness

NNT

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 certificates.

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.
 


DAILY UPDATE

|

Back to Main Page

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Prayers in tribute to Royal Household taking place this Friday

‘Bebinca’ wreaks havoc in North and Northeast

Govt launches digital park project in EEC

NBTC prepares for e-bidding for govt internet concessions


One injured as tourist speedboat erupts in flames off Phang Nga

Thai consular officers to streamline their services

Illegal dumping found on island in Chon Buri

Mudslide forces temporary road closure in Ranong


Northern and northeastern regions warned of more rain

Foreign divers rescued after pickup swept into canal

Strong demand sends Thai rice export projections soaring

Thai students win medals in robot competition in China


PM Prayut chairs special ceremony to mark National Mother’s Day

Phu Luang elephant stamps officer to death

Former Swiss driving instructor arrested in Sattahip

GH bank robber arrested in Phuket


Police hold follow up meeting on Phuket boat accident

Thai official says child bride has returned from Malaysia

Entrance fees to be waived at all national parks on Mother’s Day

Talks held to discuss benefits of EEC to Thai citizens


Thai monk who flew in high style gets prison for fraud

Thai Navy transports tourists from Koh Racha Yai in heavy seas

DDPM says 55 provinces still wary of flooding

Reforestation event held in Surin


Boys rescued from cave, once stateless, get Thai citizenship

Flashfloods hit Ranong while rivers rise in Kanchanaburi

Industrial estates confident repeat of 2011 flooding won't occur this year

Over 300 Bangkok markets given certificates of cleanliness

Advertisement

 



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

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