PM makes merit on the occasion of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother’s birthday
Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha together with his wife, Naraporn offer alms
to Buddhist monks.
Bangkok, 12 August 2019 (NNT) - The Prime Minister and Defense
Minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, has led members of the public and civil
servants to offer alms to Buddhist monks on the occasion of Her Majesty
Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother’s 87th birthday on August 12, 2019.
At 7:15 a.m. today (Aug 12) at Sanam Luang, Bangkok,
the Prime Minister, together with his wife, Naraporn Chan-o-cha, presided
over a merit-making ceremony. The religious ceremony was attended by senior
monks, privy councilors, the President of the Independent Organizations
Under the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand, members of the Royal
Office, cabinet ministers and their spouses, the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, the President of the Senate, judicial officials, the
Governor of Bangkok, commanders of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, the
Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police, government heads, civil
servants, representatives of the private sector, and members of the general
A total of 488 monks from temples in Bangkok received
alms, such as dried food and necessities, from the public during the
ceremony. The alms will be given to foster homes and temples. The Prime
Minister and his wife lit candles and incense sticks to pay homage to the
Triple Gems. They presented candles, incense sticks and flowers covered with
cone-shaped leaves before the image of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit the Queen
Mother. A group of 10 senior monks then chanted prayers.
The acting President of the Privy Council, privy
councilors, and the Prime Minister, together with their spouses, presented
robes to 10 monks. The ceremony was attended by privy councilors, the House
Speaker, the President of the Supreme Court and members of the Royal Office.
The Prime Minister sprinkled holy water and paid his respects to the Triple
Gems and the image of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother.
At 8 a.m., Gen. Prayut and Mrs. Naraporn proceeded to
the Red Room of the Royal Household Bureau inside the Grand Palace to sign
their names and write their best wishes for Her Majesty Queen Sirikit the
Queen Mother on the occasion of Her Majesty’s 87th birthday. They presented
funds to His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn’s Scholarship
Foundation and a gold royal emblem at Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall of the
At 5 p.m., His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra
Vajiraklaochaoyuhua and Her Majesty Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalaksha
granted an audience to the Prime Minister and his wife on this auspicious
occasion at Amarin Winitchai Throne Hall in the Grand Palace.
Meanwhile, a candle-lighting ceremony celebrating Her
Majesty Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother’s birthday was held at Sanam Luang.
Volunteering spirit activities held throughout the nation
help a farmer plant rice seedlings in Nan province.
Bangkok, 12th August 2019 (NNT)
- Many provinces have conducted volunteer activities in honor of Her Majesty
Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother, on the occasion of Her Majesty’s birthday on
At a farmers school in Pua district of Nan province,
120 members of Volunteering Spirit 904 Vor Por Ror, Mobile Development Unit
31 and local villagers helped a farmer by planting rice seedlings in his
five rai of land under the We Do Good Deeds With the Heart project, in honor
of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother on the occasion of Her
Majesty’s birthday anniversary today.
In Phichit province, Provincial Governor Woraphan
Suwannussa visited elderly villagers and gave them consumer goods in Vajira
Baramee district under the Elderly Care Chalerm Phra Kiat project on the
occasion of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother’s birthday.
In Chumphorn province, Provincial Governor Vibul
Ratanaphornwong alongside provincial Red Cross officials hosted a lunch and
provided counsel for 264 woman inmates at Chumphorn Provincial Prison under
the National Council on Social Welfare of Thailand’s Chalerm Phra Kiat in 76
Provinces project, in honor of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother
and on the occasion of Her Majesty’s birthday on August 12.
Meanwhile, Government Spokesperson Naruemon Pinyosinwat
said Prime Minister/Defense Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has called on
volunteers, government personnel and the private sector in all provinces to
conduct volunteering spirit activity by excavating waterways and getting rid
of obstacles in waterways during the rainy season. Those who may have a
workforce, machinery and food may join the activity, as a budget for the
procurement of new machinery for excavation of waterways might not be
provided in time.
The government has encouraged the people to join in the
volunteering spirit activity as a tribute to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit the
Queen Mother and His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra
Stranded fishing crew return home from Somalia
fishing crew arrive back to Thailand.
Bangkok, 12 August 2019 (NNT) -
Eighteen out of 42 Thai fishing crew members have returned to Thailand after
their employer abandoned them on a vessel in the sea off Somalia. They will
be taken for interrogation by Thai authorities before returning to their
The 18 fishermen arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport in
Samut Prakan province at 6:30 a.m. Aug 12. The crew boarded Thai
International Airways (THAI) flight TG 518 in Dubai, the United Arab
Emirates (UAE). They were welcomed by officials of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, the Ministry of Labor, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division,
the Royal Thai Police, the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security
and the Royal Thai Navy. The officials had provided them with assistance
when they were stranded in Somalia.
13 out of the 42 fishermen are members of the Overseas
Workers Welfare Fund of the Department of Employment. Five of the 18 crew
members who returned this morning are members of this fund. They will
receive compensation for their expenses related to traveling abroad,
accommodation, meals, medical check-ups and other necessities. The
compensations shall not exceed 30,000 baht.
The 18 workers will be taken to the Department of
Employment for questioning about their working conditions. They will meet
the Labor Minister, MR Chatumongol Sonakul, to express their gratitude for
helping them return home safely.
The Department of Employment and the Department of
Social Development and Welfare, under the administration of the Ministry of
Social Development and Human Security, have cooperated to transport the 18
workers to their home provinces. Eight of them are from Buri Ram, six are
from Surin, two are from Phetchabun, one is from Samut Sakon and another is
PM calls for cooperation from the public to remove waterway obstructions
help cleanup the waterways.
Bangkok, 11 August 2019 (NNT) -
People in areas waiting for rain have to be prepared for flash floods
following any rainfall. Those who live in communities where there are
shallow ditches and canals or waterway obstructions are being asked to
dredge the ditches and canals in the community themselves if they can,
because in some areas, there are not enough government officers to be
dispatched to the problem areas. The Prime Minister is therefore asking
everyone and every community to join forces as volunteers as a tribute to
the Queen Mother and His Majesty the King.
Government Spokesman Narumon Pinyosinwat disclosed
today that Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha had
called on volunteers, government officials and the private sector in every
province to conduct volunteer missions by using machinery to help clear the
waterways, dredge ditches and canals and remove waterway obstructions to
accommodate rainfall when it comes. They are being asked to use their own
machines and bring food for the volunteers because the procurement of new
machines has to go through a lengthy budgetary process.
The government is therefore inviting everyone to join
forces as volunteers to solve the problems as a tribute to the Queen Mother
and His Majesty the King.
HRH Princess Chulabhorn signed a cooperation agreement, on research and development of biological products
HRH Princess Chulabhorn signs
a cooperation agreement between the Chulabhorn Research Institute, PTT Plc.
and the Government Pharmaceutical Organization 10 August 2019.
Bangkok, 10 August 2019 (NNT)
- Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn Krom Phra Srisavangavadhana
yesterday signed a cooperation agreement, on research and development of
biological products, between the Chulabhorn Research Institute, PTT Plc. and
the Government Pharmaceutical Organization at Chakri Bongkot Mansion in the
capital district of Pathum Thani province.
The agreement is designed to meet
Her Royal Highness’s wishes to apply science and technology in improving the
people’s quality of life and to provide access to Thai medicine which meets
international quality and safety standards at affordable prices. Besides, it
will help reduce the volume of and dependence on imported biological
products and promote Thailand’s biological product industry and innovation.
The Chulabhorn Research Institute is
Thailand’s first and only agency to succeed in developing the biological
product called Trastuzumab for treatment of breast cancer. It was the first
innovation produced by a Thai researcher without purchases or technology
transfers from abroad. The biological product has been registered for
clinical use in humans. It can be manufactured at the industrial level,
given integrated cooperation under the agreement and financial support from
HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha presides over Mahidol-Mother Day 2019
Princess Bajrakitiyabha cuts the ribbon to open the Mahidol-Mother Day
Bangkok, 10 August 2019 (NNT)
- Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati presided
over the opening ceremony for Mahidol-Mother Day 2019.
Her Royal Highness Princess
Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati conducted the activities on behalf of
Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali Krom Muen Suddhanarinatha by
visiting Mahidol University in Phutthamonthon district of Nakhon Pathom
Her Royal Highness Princess
Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati opened Mahidol-Mother Day 2019,
organized by Mahidol University in honor of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit
the Queen Mother and on occasion of National Mothers’ Day on August 12,
2019. Outstanding mothers have been selected in varied categories. Her
Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati conferred
certificates of honor on a total of 14 mothers, including the winners
and runners-up in singing contests for four regions. Royal awards were
also conferred on eight winners as Four Regions’ Fighting Mother, six
winners as 100-Year Mother, four winners as Environment Conserving
Mother and six winners as Good, Outstanding Mother.
The event featured an academic
exhibition, medical checkups for pregnant women, information on the
dangers of unnecessary operations, a dental service, a physical therapy
service, an applied Thai massage service, physical exercise and
Police interrogate Bangkok bombing suspects in South
Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda
interrogates a suspect in the Bangkok bombings last week.
Yala, 11 August 2019 (NNT)
- After the latest update from national police claiming connections between
recent bombing incidents in Bangkok and incidents in southern border
provinces, the national police chief visited Yala province to further
question suspects and the accused, stressing fairness to all sides based on
The Royal Thai Police Commissioner
General Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, accompanied by Assistant Commissioner
General Pol Lt Gen Suwat Chaengyodsuk, visited the Royal Thai Police Forward
Command Operation Center in Yala province to continue the interrogation of
The police chief spent an hour with
related investigators discussing investigation progress, before questioning
suspect Mr. Wildun Maha, who was captured in Chumphon, to find a connection
between the two bombing locations in Bangkok.
The police chief said they are
working carefully and with fairness to all sides, and will pursue all those
involved based on available evidence.
Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit
Wongsuwan asked the general public to give police some time to investigate.
He said it is still unknown if the incident is politically motivated, but no
possibilities have been ruled out yet.
Thanachart Bank - Thai Military Bank merger without layoffs
A press conference was held to announce the merger of
Thanachart and Thai Military Banks.
August 2019 (NNT) - The merger of Thanachart
Bank and Thai Military Bank will make it the country’s sixth largest without
layoffs of bank employees.
In a joint press conference,
executives of Thanachart and Thai Military Banks announced that ING Group
will hold a 21% share in the merged bank, followed by TCAP’s 20%,
Scotiabank’s 5% and the Ministry of Finance’s 18% share. The balance of 34%
will be for individual investors. The merger is expected to be completede in
Deputy Finance Ministry Permanent
Secretary Chumphol Rimsakhon said the merger will bring over 10 million
customers of the new bank while the Ministry of Finance plans to invest no
less than 11 billion baht in it.
The banks’ personnel from, executive
to lower levels, will not be laid off but will have their duties adjusted.
However, if any official feels uncomfortable, they may resign and receive
the standard compensation.
Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana
confirmed the merged bank will be the country’s sixth largest with some two
trillion baht in assets and the Ministry of Finance as a shareholder. The
merged bank will still be named the Thai Military Bank.
Thai prime minister not quitting for botching oath
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha gestures
after a group photo with his Cabinet members at the government house in
Bangkok July 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)
— Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said Friday he is not quitting
despite facing mounting criticism for failing to properly take his oath of
Prayuth led the inauguration of his
Cabinet in a ceremony presided over by HM the king on July 16.
However, he omitted a phrase in the
oath of office in which he was supposed to pledge to uphold every aspect of
the constitution. The omission has raised questions over whether the
inauguration was legally valid.
Prayuth told reporters Friday that
he was continuing to conduct his duties "to the best of my abilities because
I am the prime minister."
The oath of office is required under
Article 161 of Thailand's Constitution, which includes the complete oath and
states it must be said to the king before Cabinet ministers take office.
Prayuth's failure to recite the oath
in full, which also led to other ministers making the same error because
they repeated what he said, was pointed out by opposition politician
Piyabutr Saengkanokkul during a Parliament session on July 25.
Legal activist Srisuwan Janya filed
a complaint over the issue to the Office of the Ombudsman on Monday which
has been accepted for consideration.
Prayuth led a military junta that
seized power in 2014 and was dissolved with the inauguration of the new
Cabinet. The junta had ruled with a heavy fist and regularly cracked down on
its critics. It also introduced new election laws to favor Prayuth's return
as prime minister.
Mongkolkit Suksintaranont, a leader
of a political party that was part of Prayuth's coalition, said on Thursday
that he and four other parties which hold single seats in the House of
Representatives were leaving the coalition.
"I did not think that being part of
the government coalition would mean that we would have such little freedom,"
Mongkolkit said, adding that he had been told to refrain from criticizing
the government in Parliament sessions.
When asked how he would handle the
issue of the Cabinet's incomplete oath of office, Mongkolkit said, "If I was
prime minister, I would have resigned already."
Thailand mum on Serbia making fugitive ex-PM a citizen
In this Aug. 1, 2017, file photo, Thailand's former Prime
Minister Yingluck Shinawatra arrives at the Supreme Court to make her final
statements in a trial on a charge of criminal negligence in Bangkok,
Thailand. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)
Dangprasith Associated Press
(AP) — Thailand's foreign ministry had no immediate reaction Friday to
reports that the country's former prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, has
been granted Serbian citizenship, joining her brother as a fugitive
globe-trotting Thai with foreign nationality.
Serbia's state news agency Tanjug
reported Thursday that she was granted citizenship "because it could be in
the interest of Serbia." A government decree confirming she was granted
citizenship was published in June in Serbia's official gazette. Serbian
officials did not comment on the reason behind the decision.
Thai foreign ministry spokeswoman
Busadee Santipitaks said Friday she was unable to comment on the report from
Serbia, and that the Serbian foreign ministry had not contacted its Thai
counterpart. She also declined to comment on any efforts to extradite
Yingluck fled Thailand in 2017 just
days before she was convicted of negligence for implementing a
revenue-draining rice subsidy scheme while she was prime minister. She was
sentenced to five years' imprisonment for in the case, which she and her
supporters say was politically motivated.
Yingluck had been forced from office
by a controversial 2014 court decision, and the government she had formed
was toppled by a military coup shortly afterward.
Yingluck's conviction was a chapter
in a long-running power struggle between Thailand's traditional ruling class
and the powerful political machine founded by her brother Thaksin Shinawatra,
a telecommunications tycoon.
Thaksin was prime minister in
2001-2006. He was ousted in a military coup amid accusations of corruption
and likewise was sentenced to prison by a Thai court, on a conflict of
interest charge he insists was politically motivated.
He fled abroad, maintaining
residences in England and Dubai, and carries a passport from Montenegro,
another Balkan nation, obtained in exchange for investing there. He is also
reported to hold a passport from Nicaragua.
About a month after Yingluck fled,
Thailand canceled her personal and official passports. She was believed to
have fled through Cambodia, and since then has apparently been traveling
There were reports in January this
year that she holds a Cambodian passport, but Cambodian officials denied
them. Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen enjoys good relations with her
brother Thaksin, whom he at one point appointed as an economic adviser.
Thai police once said they were
seeking an Interpol arrest warrant for Yingluck, but none is known to have
been issued by the international police organization. Issuing such a warrant
would be controversial because of the perception that the case against
Yingluck is political in nature, which would not be allowed under Interpol's
Thai officials have from time to
time announced efforts to extradite Yingluck and her brother from various
countries, but it is not clear if they ever proceeded formally.
Cambodia and Thailand discus potential seaport cooperation
AKP Phnom Penh, August 08, 2019 - Cambodia and Thailand have
discussed potentials and cooperation in investment and connection between
Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (PAS) and Laem Chabang Seaport in Chonburi
province, said a news release of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
The discussion meeting between H.E. Tauch Chan Kosal,
Secretary of State for Public Works and Transport, and Ms. Nongnuth
Phetchratana, Special Advisor for Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in
charge of Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Office took place yesterday in
The discussion primarily aims to facilitate maritime
transport, and increase bilateral investment and trade volume of the two
H.E. Tauch Chan Kosal requested the Thai side to
further discuss with all stakeholders for detailed legal procedures for the
The secretary of state also underlined the important
cooperation to improve infrastructure access connecting the two countries,
such as National Roads 5 and 48.
Palm oil price guaranteed at four baht per kilogram
Bangkok, 8th August 2019 (NNT) -
One of the government’s urgent policies is to help farmers by adopting a
minimum income guarantee. The Commerce Minister, Jurin Laksanawisit, on
Wednesday (Aug 7) delivered his work policy to his ministry’s executives.
The policy focuses on improving the prices of five main crops, including
rice, cassava, para rubber, palm oil and maize, starting with guaranteeing
the palm oil price at four baht per kilogram.
A meeting between the government, the private sector
and farmers was held to seek solutions to the palm oil price issue. The
meeting resolved to guarantee the price of palm oil with 18% of oil content
at four baht a kilogram. Small farmers who are eligible for the farm price
guarantee have to register with the government, under a quota of 1025 rai
per household. They will receive their payments every three months, or four
times a year, via the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC).
A subcommittee will calculate the difference between the guarantee price and
the market value every 15 days. This resolution will be proposed to the
National Oil Palm Policy Committee, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister,
Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak. The committee will then forward the proposal to the
cabinet meeting for consideration.
Commerce Minister Jurin said the price guarantee
measure is one of the measures to deal with low palm oil prices. Other
measures, such as using biodiesel B10 to produce electricity and tackling
palm oil smuggling, have to be implemented to ensure its effectiveness.
Fugitive ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra gets Serbian citizenship
Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra waves
to supporters as she arrives at the Supreme Court in Bangkok, Thailand
Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, file)
Belgrade, Serbia (AP) — Fugitive former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra, who was sentenced in Thailand to five years in prison on
graft-related charges, has received Serbian citizenship.
State news agency Tanjug reported Thursday that the
Serbian government granted her the citizenship "because it could be in the
interest of Serbia." Serbian officials did not comment on the reason behind
A government decree confirming she was granted
citizenship was published in June in Serbia's official gazette.
With the Serbian passport, Shinawatra can travel
without a visa to over 100 countries, including most of members of the
She fled Thailand in 2017 days before she was convicted
of running a rice subsidy scheme that cost Thailand billions of dollars. She
and her supporters say the case was politically motivated.
She skipped bail and reportedly went to London via
Dubai, where her billionaire brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra, resides in self-imposed exile after fleeing Thailand also facing
Her current whereabouts are unknown.
They were both elected premier, but were toppled in
military coups — Thaksin in 2006 and Yingluck in 2014. Although they live in
exile, the two retain significant support in rural and poorer parts of
Thaksin has citizenship of another Balkan country,
Montenegro, which he received in 2009.
52 barges and vessels join Royal Barge Procession rehearsal
Bangkok, 8th August 2019 (NNT) - The Royal Thai Navy has performed a
rehearsal of the Royal Barge Procession, as part of nationwide celebrations
of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua’s
coronation earlier this year. All 52 royal barges and vessels along with
2,200 personnel, including 41 trumpeters, have taken part in the rehearsal,
with the audio system setting up at 17 locations.
The Deputy Chief of Staff of the Royal Thai Navy, VADM
Jongkol Meesawad, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Preparation
Committee for the Royal Barge Procession, inspected the rehearsal and gave a
lecture to the 2,200 personnel near the Rama VIII Bridge on the Thonburi
The rehearsal consisted of five procession lines and
three rows. All 52 royal barges and vessels together with their naval
officers and oarsmen were involved in this session. The rehearsals allowed
the personnel to have a better control of the barges. The audition system
was set up at 17 locations and 41 trumpeters also participated in the
session, which is now 80% complete.
Of the 52 royal barges, there are barges with decorated
mastheads, such as Pali Rang Thawip, Sukrip Khrong Mueang and Krabi Ran Ron
Rap. Four royal barges did not take part in the rehearsal, and the Royal
Thai Navy replaced them with other vessels on this occasion. The rehearsal
was conducted between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The procession started from the
Bangkok of Thailand to the Grand Palace, before arriving at the mouth of
Bangkok Noi Canal. The travel time was about 40 minutes.
After the rehearsal, the barges with animal figureheads
and other royal barges returned to their dock near Ratchathiwat
Ratchaworawihan temple. There will be 12 rehearsals, including full dress
rehearsals, starting August 22. The Royal Barge Procession will take place
on October 24 as part of nationwide celebrations of His Majesty the King’s
Bank of Thailand slashes interest rate to 1.5%
Bangkok, 8th August 2019 (NNT) -
The Bank of Thailand has made a surprise announcement of an interest rate
decrease to 1.5%, the first in 4 years.
The Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)
announced on Wednesday it is decreasing its benchmark interest rate from
1.75% to 1.50% amid concerns about the Thai baht’s strength.
The announcement is a surprise as it is the first rate
cut since 2015 due to the less-than-expected economic expansion, exports and
tourism slowing down.
For domestic demand, according to the Committee,
private consumption is likely to drop according to household income and
lower the employment rate, especially in export industries. However,
production bases shifting to Thailand and public private investment in
infrastructure will likely bolster the next phase of investment, however,
the Committee will monitor an external risk from the escalating trade war.
Dep. PM Prawit Wongsuwan links Bangkok bombings to troubled south
Minister Prawit Wongsuwan
Bangkok (AP) — An official in Thailand has linked groups from the
country's troubled south to small bombings last week in Bangkok as it hosted
a meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers.
Only a handful of people suffered minor injuries, and
there was little damage.
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said the
suspects were groups from the south and police had made arrests. He said it
was still being investigated whether politics were involved.
Prawit did not elaborate, but the government has for
more than a decade been fighting Muslim separatist insurgents in the deep
south. More than 7,000 people have died in the violence.
Police say 10 small devices exploded at various points
in Bangkok last Friday as the foreign ministers of the 10-member Association
of Southeast Asian Nations were meeting. Also attending the meeting were
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his counterpart from China. The
proceedings were not affected by the bombs.
Asked how long the investigation would take, Prawit
told reporters: "It involves many people. We have to check for details such
as how did they travel here? Where did they get the bombs from? That type of
thing. Please wait. But there is progress."
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha also said little other
than the investigation was progressing.
"Today, we've been able to interrogate more suspects,
up to nine people now," he told reporters. "That's all you need to know for
now. It will continue to be investigated so that they can be punished in
accordance with the law by the justice system. The government needs to
carefully process physical evidence and witnesses."
Soon after the blasts, army commander Gen. Apirat
Kongsompong blamed "the same old groups" for causing the unrest, a reference
to supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by
a military coup in 2006 but whose supporters have continued to fight for
power, sometimes using violent means. Thaksin's supporters, known as the Red
Shirts, disrupted a major meeting in Thailand of the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations in 2009.
Southern separatists have employed car bombs and
roadside explosive devices in their struggle, but generally confined their
activities to Thailand's three southernmost provinces, the only ones with
Muslim majorities in predominantly Buddhist Thailand. However, they are
suspected of carrying out a series of bombings in 2016 at several popular
resort areas outside their home turf, killing four people.
Bombings in Thailand are sometimes met with speculation
that they have been carried out by a faction in the security services to
embarrass opponents in a power struggle.
Her Majesty the Queen Mother’s birthday celebrations planned
The Ministry of Culture will hold celebrations for Her Majesty the Queen
Mother during Mother’s Week and encourage the people to wear blue attire to
express their allegiance.
A fashion show of royal Thai
dresses, local Thai dresses and contemporary Thai dresses created by famous
designers will be held along with a news conference on the celebrations for
Her Majesty the Queen Mother on the occasion of Her Majesty’s 87th birthday
anniversary on August 12.
Culture Minister Itthiphol Khunpluem
will preside over the ceremony organized by the Ministry of Culture and the
private sector on the theme of Siam Property from August 8 to August 12 at
Icon Siam shopping center. An exhibition will be held in honor of Her
Majesty the Queen Mother, along with a fashion show of famous designers’
Thai dresses, a demonstration of traditional storage of Thai silk cloth and
innovations in Thai rice production. The people are asked to wear blue
clothing to express their appreciation.
The Ministry of Culture along with
relevant agencies is organizing activities such as Khon Chalerm Prakiat
performances, music and singing performances and volunteer activities at
canals and waterways throughout August. Those interested in supporting the
activities can call Hotline Culture 1765.
The National Council on Social
Welfare of Thailand under Royal Patronage will organize Mother’s Day 2019
and host a royal luncheon for over 500 needy and underprivileged persons,
and children with disabilities. Khunying Assanee Saovaphak, chairperson of
the National Council on Social Welfare of Thailand’s advisory board, said
this week that the Royal Kindness project run by the National Council on
Social Welfare of Thailand in all 76 provinces will host the royal
activities until August 31.
Two more Bangkok bombing suspects arrested
Bangkok, 7th August 2019 (NNT)
- Police have arrested two more bombing suspects and believe a group of 15
suspects were involved in last Friday’s bombing incidents in Bangkok.
The arrest of the latest suspects
followed the earlier arrest of two men, who allegedly placed a dud bomb in
front of the Royal Thai Police Headquarters.
The latest suspects were arrested in
Su-ngai Kolok district of Narathiwat province and were identified as
Muhammad Ilham and Muhammad Sai. Both were trying to escape across the
border into Malaysia. They allegedly provided the bomb to the first suspects
arrested, identified as Lusai Sae-ngae and Wildon Maha. So far, four out of
the 15 suspects have been arrested. The suspects arrested most recently were
questioned at the Royal Thai Police Headquarters’ Operations Center.
Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit
Wongsuwon said the police were conducting investigations into various pieces
of evidence and initially believe the bombing suspects to have been
connected with southern perpetrators and were well prepared.
Prime Minister/Defense Minister Gen
Prayut Chan-o-cha said the police investigation has made much progress,
given the evidence and witnesses, so that suspected perpetrators will be
brought to justice.
Bangkok Governor Pol Gen Assawin
Khwanmuang visited the injured road sweepers of Suan Luang district at
Sirinthorn Hospital. The road sweepers injured in one of last Friday’s
bombing incidents were identified as Sunthorn Rodsianglam and Ms. Disana
Phongsisai and have been treated at Sirinthorn and Vibharam Phatthanakarn
Hospitals. They are recovering well. The Bangkok governor granted each of
the injured a sum of money in moral support.
Royal benevolence improves livelihood of southern seaside eco-tourism village
Bangkok, 29 July 2019 (NNT)
- In Phang Nga province, Bang Phat village community, Bang Toey subdistrict,
villagers of the seaside eco-tourism village say the quality of life of
people in the community has improved markedly because of the benevolence of
His Majesty the King, and the Queen Mother who visited the village in 2001.
It is an impressive image that
remains in the memory of the villagers of Bang Phat village, Moo 8, Bang
Toei subdistrict, Mueang Phang Nga district. His Majesty the King while
holding the royal title of Crown Prince and Her Majesty the Queen visited
the village on April 12, 2001. This brought joy to the local villagers. At
that time, it was very difficult to visit Bang Phat village. There was no
electricity and the villagers were plagued by poverty as they live on an
island near Phang Nga Bay.
Mr. Sutthiphong Langlang, the
current village headman, and Mr. Sawasdee Waharak, the former village
headman, said today the royal visit had brought prosperity to the village,
as it has now become a seaside eco-tourism village. Each day, tourists come
to eat fresh seafood, stay overnight and buy local products. This has
created jobs and prosperity for the people of the village.
Marine Dept to supervise vessels during rehearsals of Royal Barge Procession
Bangkok, 5th August 2019 (NNT) - The Marine
Department has announced that vessel traffic along the Chao Phraya River is
being supervised from Monday (Aug 5) to Friday (Aug 9) to facilitate
rehearsals of the Royal Barge Procession, as part of nationwide celebrations
of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua’s
coronation earlier this year.
The Marine Department has reported
that the river traffic control area will run from Thon Buri Bridge in Bang
Phlat district to Mon Canal in Bangkok Yai district, as the Committee for
the Royal Barge Procession Royal Thai Navy, under the administration of the
Royal Thai Navy, will conduct rehearsals until Friday, between 6:30 a.m. and
3 p.m. The rehearsal time could be extended, if necessary.
The Marine Department has called on
all vessels in this area to be vigilant and move slowly during this period,
as waves could affect the rehearsals. All vessels are to make way for the
procession and are prohibited from interfering with the Royal Barges. As for
passenger ferries, they are to halt their services until the barges have
passed or wait for a signal from officials of the Marine Department to
PM quashes rumors about Bangkok bombings
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Bangkok - A number of unofficial reports have
claimed that the recent Bangkok bombings are thought to have been
perpetrated by the government, prompting Prime Minister Gen Prayut
Chan-o-cha to categorically deny such allegations. The premier admitted the
motives have not been discovered as yet, but said that the incidents might
have been connected with previous incidents in the provinces.
The PM said the police were rapidly investigating the
incidents, which possibly involved several people, and called on the public
to give the police more time to work. No specific groups have been
identified as suspects yet.
The premier commented that it was understandable for
the mother of a male suspect, who has been arrested, to be very concerned
while the police are checking the evidence, especially from CCTV cameras and
the suspect might have been connected with others. Members of the public
were advised to watch out for suspicious-looking objects or persons and tell
Police Immigration Commissioner Pol Lt Gen Sompong
Chingduang said a CCTV camera at an immigration unit in Narathiwat province
had caught the faces of two suspects, identified as Lu-ai Sae-ngae and
Wildon Maha, natives of Narathiwat. Their entry or departure via the
southern immigration unit has already been reported to Police Commissioner
General Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda.
Elephant farm operators defend accusations from foreign media
Bangkok - Elephant farm operators across the
country have held a conference to defend themselves against recent
accusations made by foreign media. They are set to file legal charges to
protect themselves and the elephants.
An article, recently published by the New Zealand
Herald, alleged cruel treatment of elephants in the Thai elephant
tourism sector, showing pictures of scars from physical abuse on an
The operators said the published article has resulted
in widespread criticism and at the press it was stressed that the business
should not be distorted by foreign media who lack understanding of elephant
farms and mahout practices in Thailand.
Nakhon Si Thammarat forest fires reduced to three spots
Nakhon si Thammarat - Forest fires in Pa Pru
Kruan Kreng Forest in Nakhon Si Thammarat are under control and limited to
three spots. Authorities have been providing assistance to affected
Firefighting operations continue to control the fires
which are now limited to areas in Kreng, Mae Chao Yu Hua and Khao Phra Bat
The province has requested 10 water pumps from the
Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation to assist with supplying
firefighting water to the forest, while district chiefs have been instructed
to implement strict measures to prevent forest fires and forest trespass, as
the cause of this forest fire is suspected to be man-made.
The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Warawut Silpa-archa said related agencies are now providing assistance to
affected villagers, while telecom operators have already fixed the outage of
mobile and internet networks caused by the fire.
Road lanes expanded under Orange Line project
Bangkok - The Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration (BMA) has ordered the expansion of road lanes and the
arrangement of a detour to alleviate traffic congestion due to the
construction of the MRT Orange Line project.
BMA executive officials inspected a subway station
beneath Lam Sali intersection in Hua Mark area of Bang Kapi district this
week. The project is currently under construction, prompting many people to
file complaints with the BMA.
Beneath the two-lane road, outside Bang Kapi market,
another subway station is currently under construction. Four kilometers of
road is temporarily closed due to the construction of several subway
stations, causing heavy congestion.
The construction of this stretch of the Orange Line
project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. Road traffic at Lam
Sali intersection will return to normal in April 2020 and other parts of the
road will return to normal by the end of 2021. In the meantime, a detour
will be found shortly to alleviate traffic congestion. The contractor will
remove some road barriers, where the construction is complete, and expand
the road lanes. So far, the Orange Line project is 39% complete.
Additionally, the BMA plans to provide a boat service
as an alternative for commuters. The boat ride will be provided free of
charge for the first three years. Up to 800 commuters are expected to use it
Their Majesties the King and Queen express concern for Bangkok bomb victims
the King’s representative, Air Marshal Pakdee Saeng-xuto, presents flowers
to one of the victims of the Bangkok bomb attack, Monday, August 5.
Bangkok - Their Majesties the King and Queen
have expressed their concern for the citizens who sustained injuries in the
bomb attacks in the Thai capital last week. Air Marshal Pakdee, on behalf of
Their Majesties, presented vases of flowers and gift baskets to the five
injured people at various hospitals. The casualties are as follows:
Ekkarin Yongsantia, injured in a blast under a bridge
near the Chong Nonsi BTS station. He is being treated at Saint Louis
Chanajai Lohmud, a King Power employee, sustained a
right foot injury in the blast near the Chong Nonsi BTS station.
Sasinipha Phethonglang, injured in an explosion that
went off on Rama IX Road. She is now being treated for ear injuries at
Disna Phongsaidee, a Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration (BMA) employee, suffered burns as well as eye and ear
injuries following the blast on Rama IX Road. She is being treated at
Sunthorn Rodsianglam, a BMA employee, also suffered eye
and ear injuries in the explosion.
After receiving the royally bestowed gifts, the injured
expressed their gratitude to Their Majesties the King and Queen for giving
them moral support at this difficult time.
Thai consulate issues travel advisory for visitors to Hong Kong
Hong Kong - The Royal Thai Consulate General in
Hong Kong has posted updated information about the recent protests on its
Facebook page, advising Thai people visiting the island to consider avoiding
travelling to or through likely protest sites as well as allowing extra
travel time for all modes of transportation, including travel to the
airport, due to widespread road blockages and public transit disruptions.
Hong Kong International Airport has declared special
operational circumstances as airline staff staged strikes on Monday,
resulting in flight cancellations. Passengers who are scheduled to travel to
and from Hong Kong International Airport should verify their flight status
with the airline before travelling to the airport.
Authorities providing help for marooned Thai workers
Bangkok – Government agencies are now
coordinating assistance through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 17 Thai
workers who have been cast adrift at sea off Somalia since March, and are
still unauthorized to reach the land. The workers are suspected of having
traveled there for work without any supervision by the Department of
Officials have made video calls to the stranded
workers, who claimed they have been scammed by an employer referred to as
Chang to work onboard a ship bound for Iran, which departed in March. The
employer made a single 10,000 baht payment to each worker, but has since
been out of contact. The workers are unable to dock at piers due to their
lack of permits, which should have been facilitated by the employer.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of
Consular Affairs is focusing on bringing the workers back to Thailand and
trying to contact the said employer to collect the wages promised. However,
these workers will not be eligible for compensation from the fund for
persons working abroad as their employment is not considered legal.
PM Prayut clarifies oath-taking issue
Minister Gen. Prayut.
Bangkok - Following the opposition’s move to ask
the Constitutional Court to rule on the legitimacy of the cabinet following
the alleged incomplete oath-taking, Prime Minister Gen. Prayut clarified the
issue, saying his oath-taking statement before His Majesty the King was
constitutional. He said the statement covered all points, especially the
intention to work for the Thai people. He asked different sides to refrain
from commenting on the matter and using politics to disrupt the country.
“It’s in line with the constitution. The charter
already explains the process. On the issue of working for the people, I
think all issues have been stated. Everything is covered under the
constitution, including the issue of working for all Thais. I think that
this issue should be settled. It should not escalate. As brothers, I ask you
not to use politics to create instability in the country. Good or bad, they
can wait for the next general election,” commented the PM.
Police investigating Bangkok bombings
Bangkok - Police Commissioner General Pol Gen
Chakthip Chaijinda says the bombings in Bankgok on Friday were connected
with individuals in seven southern provinces and assured the public that the
police will keep the situation under control.
Starting early in the morning, the bombings took place
at five spots in the Thai capital. A bomb went off in Soi Rama IX 57/1 in
Suan Luang district. Two blasts occurred in a small garden in front of
Building B in the compound of the Government Center in the Chaeng Wattana
area. Two bombs exploded in front of the entry to the Thai Armed Forces
headquarters and another blast occurred at the Airport Rail Link’s Hua Mark
station. Five or six bombs were found elsewhere and fires separately broke
out at shops in the Pratunam area.
Pol Gen Chakthip said the Bangkok bombings were
believed to be correlated, except for the one in the Rama IX area. Motives
for the bombings are yet to be found but the police suspect the incidents
were perpetrated by the same group of persons as those active in the seven
upper southern provinces in 2016. The perpetrators could also be new
activists without criminal records.
The suspects are believed to have laid out plans and
checked out the areas before they planted the bombs. The police chief said
he was not unduly worried as more violent incidents had occurred previously
and the suspects had soon been arrested. He gave assurances to the public
that the police could keep the situation under control, though
ill-intentioned persons might say the authorities had failed to do so.
Erawan Emergency Medical Service Center reported that
two persons were injured in the bombing in Soi Rama IX 57/1 and are being
treated at Sirindhorn Hospital. They are Suan Luang district road cleaners,
identified as Ms Kritsana Phongsaisee, 46, and Mrs Sunthorn Rodsianglam, 55,
who was injured in the eye and eardrum. A man was injured by the blast at
BTS Chong Nonsi station and is being treated at Vibharam Hospital.
BMA doubles fine for motorbikes on pavements
Bangkok - Motorcyclists riding and parking on
footpaths in Bangkok can now be fined 2,000 baht on-the-spot; the new
regulation applies from August 1, 2019. Those who report information as to a
motorcyclist riding on the footpath will be rewarded with 1,000 baht.
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) doubled the
fine and offered the reward after the previous 1,000 baht fine appeared not
to act as a deterrent and there were still injuries caused by violators’
Bangkok Deputy Governor Sakolthee Phatthiyakul oversaw
the imposition of the new higher fine on Lat Phrao Road in Wang Thong Lang
district at the start of this month. For the effective enforcement of the
new fine, the BMA has used the database on registered motorcycle owners so
immediate legal action can be taken against motorcyclists who ride or park
their motorcycles on pavements, Sakolthee said.
MOPH to allow folk doctors to prescribe cannabis products
Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul.
Bangkok - The Ministry of Public Health
continues to support medical cannabis usage, and is now set to allow some
3,000 folk doctors to prescribe cannabis products beginning this month, and
authorize production of 1 million more bottles of cannabis extract for the
treatment of patients.
Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul said the
government is supporting medical cannabis and traditional Thai medical
practices to help improve the living quality of patients. The first batch of
cannabis extract, produced by the Government Pharmaceutical Organization and
totalling 4,500 bottles, will be administered to patients starting from
August 7, with 5,500 more bottles to be produced. The two lots of production
will cover some 4,000-5,000 patients.
In the coming week, the Minister of Public Health will
be signing a ministerial announcement endorsing some 3,000 folk doctors to
use the new cannabis products.
Navy trains royal barge oarsmen
Bangkok - After the Royal Thai Navy (RTN)
transported the royal barges to the Thonburi Naval Dockyard last month,
there has since been a rehearsal of the oarsmen in preparation for the
coming royal barge procession on October 24.
The rehearsal was held on the Chao Phraya River at the
Thonburi Naval Dockyard while rehearsals for other barge crews in the
procession are held at Rajathiwas Viharn Temple every day. The RTN has
selected 2,200 naval officers from its agencies to participate in the
There will be 10 limited rehearsals on the river from
August 22 to October 10 and two dress rehearsals on October 17, and 21.
Prime Minister orders hunt for bomb scare perpetrators
Ordnance Disposal unit rushed to the scene to inspect the suspicious-looking
Bangkok, 2nd August 2019 (NNT)
- Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered a hunt for the individual
who placed a suspicious-looking object in front of the Royal Thai Police
The location is not only in the heart of Bangkok, but in the
vicinity of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting at Centara Grand hotel. The
premier called on members of the public not to panic and have confidence in
the authorities who will bring the situation under control.
The suspicious-looking object was placed just outside the
Royal Thai Police headquarters and found to be a pack of fruit juice with
twinkling green lights. Special Branch police sealed off the area, blocked
cellphone signals and temporarily closed the road to traffic. An Explosive
Ordnance Disposal unit came to deal with the object.
The premier was briefed about the situation, ordered the hunt
for the perpetrators and called on people to not panic. He called on the
police, military and people to remain vigilant and watch out for any
The suspicious-looking object was found in the bushes next to
the signboard of the Royal Thai Police headquarters in Pathumwan district of
Bangkok. According to footage from a CCTV camera and passers-by, a thin man
wearing a yellow shirt, black pants, black sneakers, a hat and a face mask
and carrying a backpack loitered there for a short while and dropped the
object. Then, the man walked toward Chalerm Phao intersection.
Deputy Police Spokesman Pol Gen KrissanaPattanacharoen said
the police confirmed it was not a bomb but a couple of packets containing
ball bearings and an object which looks like an integrated circuit which
could not explode.
The situation was perpetrated only to scare members of the
public. The police are yet to bring the perpetrator to justice, but the
suspect is shown in the CCTV footage.
Police Commissioner General Pol Gen ChakthipChaijinda has
ordered strict security measures around the Royal Thai Police headquarters,
which is close to the venue of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting. Gen
Prayut is also scheduled today to chair a meeting at the Royal Thai Police
Tropical storm Vibha brings heavy rain and high winds
Bangkok - Tropical storm Vibha is expected to
make landfall soon in northern Vietnam and although the storm itself won’t
prevail directly over Thailand, it has brought heavy rains to some parts,
especially in northeastern and northern regions.
Nan City Municipality has installed more water pumps at
Satri Si Nan School to cope with rain which is expected to continue over the
next two days. The authorities earlier excavated canals to ensure drainage
capacity, and examined the condition of drainage gates in the municipality
area for their operational preparedness.
Water allocation officials for hydroelectric dams in
the upper Nan River Basin area have raised five water gates at Thong Noi
dam, maximizing drainage capacity into Sirikit Dam and preventing the
overflow of rivers into surrounding communities.
In Bueng Kan, rain has fallen continuously in all eight
districts of the province, raising water levels in the Mekong river which is
now measured at 3.5 meters at Ban Pan Lam village, Muang Bueng Kan district.
The higher water level benefits operators of cargo ships and passenger
ferries between Thailand and Laos, enabling accurate and safer navigation.
In Chanthaburi, strong winds have been reported
following the passage of tropical storm Vibha. Some trees and billboards
have been brought down, and have caused damage to houses, blocked some
roads, and caused power outages in several areas. The wind has also caused
many durian trees in local farms to topple.
In Trat, personnel from local authorities have cleaned
up debris and fallen trees at Wat Khiri Wihan Temple in Muang Trat district.
Among the fallen trees are some large ones up to 100 years old. The heavy
weather also caused damage to buildings inside the temple compound. Some
utility poles were also felled, requiring the electricity supply to be cut
off temporarily for the safety of recovery operations. Many houses nearby
and in other districts were damaged, and are now to be formally examined by
Celebrations planned for Her Majesty Queen Mother
Bangkok - The Ministry of Culture will hold
celebrations for Her Majesty the Queen Mother during Mother’s Week and
encourage people to wear blue attire to express their allegiance.
A fashion show of royal and contemporary Thai dresses
created by famous designers will be held along with a news conference on the
occasion of Her Majesty’s 87th birthday anniversary on August 12.
Culture Minister Itthiphol Khunpluem will preside over
the opening ceremony of the celebrations at the Icon Siam shopping center on
August 8. An exhibition of Khon Chalerm Prakiat performances, music and
singing will be held as well as the fashion show,
Meanwhile, the National Council on Social Welfare of
Thailand under Royal Patronage will organize Mother’s Day 2019 and host a
royal luncheon for over 500 needy and underprivileged persons, and children
with disabilities. Activities to celebrate the royal occasion will take
place in all 76 provinces of Thailand until August 31.
Thailand and Australia hold military Exercise Chapel Gold 2019
Bangkok - The Royal Thai Army and the Australian
Army have joined forces to hold this year’s Exercise Chapel Gold, an annual
bilateral military exercise aimed at enhancing the two countries
relationship and military capabilities. The exercise this year is taking
place at Vibhavadi Rangsit Military Camp in Surat Thani.
About 100 military personnel from the Australian Army
have joined troops from the 25th Thai Infantry Regiment for the exercise
which takes place from 31st July until 6th August 2019.
The exercise consists of cross training exercises at
four training stations inside Vibhavadi Rangsit camp, with armed weapons
training, and field training exercises. The training scenario includes anti
and counter-insurgency operations which will be taking place in Nakhon Si
Thammarat, where troops from both countries will have the opportunity to
exchange knowledge and experience, enhancing the armies’ capabilities.
Thai PM orders investigation of Bangkok blasts; 4 hurt
Thai investigators walk in an area that an
explosion injured people in Bangkok, Thailand. Thai Prime Minister Prayuth
Chan-o-cha on Friday ordered an investigation into several small bombings in
Bangkok that took place as Thailand was hosting a high-level meeting
attended by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his counterparts from
China and several Asia-Pacific countries.(AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
BANGKOK (AP) — Thai
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha on Friday ordered an investigation into
several small bombings in Bangkok that took place as Thailand was hosting a
high-level meeting attended by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his
counterparts from China and several Asia-Pacific countries.
One explosion took place near a Skytrain station of the Thai
capital's elevated rail system. Two other blasts were reported at a
government complex on the outskirts of the city, and near the offices of a
company associated with supporters of Prayuth's new government.
A police spokesman said that one of the two injured persons
was being treated at a hospital and the other was sent home.
"A group of ill-intended people have recently incited
violence while the government is propelling the country forward," Prayuth's
office said in a statement, urging the public not to panic and cooperate
with authorities in investigating the blasts.
"We must demonstrate our collective effort to fight against
those who intend to harm the country," it said.
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters that
police arrested two suspects connected to the explosions at five different
locations in Bangkok.
Prawit said the perpetrators were trying to create a
"situation." When asked whether it was connected to the junta's recent
relinquishing of power, he said "I don't know either, let authorities
investigate first." Thailand recently ended five years of military rule
following a 2014 coup.
Police on Thursday said they had found two fake bombs outside
their headquarters in central Bangkok, near the venue of the meeting of
foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The meeting
was not disrupted, and Thai media cited police as saying that two men had
been arrested in connection with the incident. In was not clear if it was
the same two that Prawit mentioned.
China offers to help manage Mekong River to alleviate drought
Bangkok - Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says
China is ready to help Thailand overcome its current drought problems and
has already released more water into the upper Mekong River to alleviate the
Yi said a problem for Thailand was also a problem of
the Chinese people and authorities in Beijing have authorized the release of
more water into the Lan Chang River, which becomes the Mekong River further
downstream. Chinese farmers and communities along the river have also been
affected by the lack of rainfall this year.
Australia launches $55M anti-trafficking effort for ASEAN
Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, left, stands next to Australia's Foreign
Minister Marise Payne during a group photo for ministers of the Association
of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia in Bangkok, Thursday, Aug.
1. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Bangkok (AP) — Australia on Thursday launched a
new 80 million Australian dollars program to help Southeast Asian nations
combat human trafficking.
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the
10-year program was an extension of Canberra's assistance to the region to
tackle the menace in the last 15 years. She said Australia has helped train
more than 13,000 judicial officials who bolstered their legal systems to
fight human trafficking and ensure better protection for victims in the
10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Payne said at the launch of the program with her ASEAN
counterparts in Bangkok that the bloc has made progress with the 2015 launch
of its own action plan to combat trafficking, especially in women and
children, but deeper cooperation was required as the scale of the challenge
"There are many deep-rooted factors that enable
transnational crime from corruption through to the unequal status of women
and children and other vulnerable groups," she said. "Our partnership with
ASEAN on human trafficking continues to grow, promoting a fairer and more
Millions of Filipinos and Indonesians work abroad,
while the crackdown on minority Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has led to
hundreds of thousands fleeing to Bangladesh and other neighboring countries,
making them prey to traffickers.
The International Organization for Migration said that
out of some 7,000 victims of trafficking that it assisted globally in 2015,
a quarter came from ASEAN countries.
The U.S. State Department annual report on human
trafficking showed that the problem is massive, with Myanmar in the worst
tier for failing to protect Rohingya from violence in Rakhine state. The
U.S. report said Rohingya were subject to exploitation, with some children
abducted in transit and girls sold into forced marriages in India, Indonesia
The U.N. has described the violence that drove Myanmar
security forces to commit mass rapes, killings and arson as "ethnic
cleasning." Myanmar's government says it has been routing out Rohingya
Some 700,000 Rohingya have fled violence into
Payne, in a speech at her annual meeting with ASEAN
foreign ministers, expressed Australia's concern over the situation in
Rakhine state. She said Australia is committed to work with Myanmar,
Bangladesh and the region to seek a durable solution to the Rohingya crisis.
ASEAN ministers, in a joint communique Wednesday,
voiced hope that an investigative body set up by Myanmar's government will
seek accountability through an impartial investigation into the alleged
human rights violations. They also stressed the need to address the root
causes of the conflict and for the proper factors to be in place for the
Rohingya to return home. Myamnmar has launched new efforts to persuade
Rohingya refugees to return but efforts have failed so far as Yangon refuses
to grant them citizenship.
Mitsubishi plans to manufacture electric cars in Thailand
Bangkok – Japanese car giant Mitsubishi has
plans to manufacture electric automobiles in Thailand with a targeted 13
billion yen (US$120 million) in total sales by 2021 and with venture capital
of an additional 12 billion yen ($110 million) by 2024.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak welcomed
Mitsubishi Motor Corp Chief Executive Officer Osamu Masuko to Bangkok this
week, the latter giving a briefing on the firm’s expanded investment plans
If the Japanese firm follows through on its investment
plans for electric vehicle manufacturing in Thailand, the kingdom would
become the leader of this kind of vehicle production within the ASEAN
Border trade grows 1.16% in 2019’s first half
Bangkok - Despite an overall reduction in
exports, the value of trade at and through border areas has continued to
grow, especially shipments through neighboring countries into China.
The Department of Foreign Trade Director General Adul
Chotinisakorn revealed the overall figure from border and through border
trade in the first 6 months of 2019 is recorded at 686.437 billion baht,
which represents 1.16 percent growth and a 76.973 billion baht trade
Malaysia remains the number one trade partner with 270
billion baht trade value, followed by Myanmar at 100 billion baht, Laos at
99 billion baht and Cambodia at 8 billion baht, while southern China
continues to be the top partner for through-border trade with 59.54 billion
baht trade value, a 39.45 percent increase, followed by Vietnam at 38.565
billion baht, and Singapore at 34.908 billion baht.
The most popular products for export to neighboring
countries include steel, industrial goods, processed oil, automobile and
Factors affecting border and through border trade
include a strong Thai baht currency, unstable regional currencies and trade
war affecting consumers and global investors.
Border and through border trade in the latter half of
this year is expected to continue growing and reach a 1.6 trillion baht goal
set by the Ministry of Commerce.
Thailand seeks deeper cooperation as ASEAN ministers meet
ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) shake hands
during the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' meeting in
Bangkok, Wednesday, July 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
Bangkok (AP) — Southeast Asian foreign ministers
opened their annual meeting Wednesday with a call from host Thailand for
deeper integration to expand trade and bolster prosperity in the region amid
rising global challenges.
Thailand Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai told
colleagues in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations they must
be "more agile" amid increasing nationalism globally.
"We must recognize that looking inward and being myopic
is not our option and never will be," he said in his opening speech. "Amidst
a great turmoil, we must be more outward and forward looking than ever
before." He warned the road ahead "could be treacherous" but said greater
cooperation among ASEAN members and outside partners could help sustain
"It is a difficult balancing act, but overcoming fear
and distrust among ourselves, and between us and other powers will make
ASEAN an integral part of sustainable global peace and prosperity that could
lift all boats," he said.
"Maritime cooperation" is one of the areas on which
this year's meeting agreed to focus, but where that involves China, it is
marking progress by touting completion of an early draft maritime Code of
Conduct including all the group's concerns, but subject to revisions that
are likely to drag on. Analysts suggest that even if the document is finally
accepted by China, it will have no effective enforcement mechanism, and
Beijing will act without any real restraints. Beijing can also count on its
allies in ASEAN, such as Cambodia and Laos, blocking any consensus to
confront China more boldly.
Defusing tension on the Korean Peninsula was expected
to be a big concern at the 27-member regional security forum ASEAN is also
hosting this week. South Korea said the North fired fired two short-range
ballistic missiles off its east coast early Wednesday in its second weapons
test in less than a week, seemingly raising the stakes for the security
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, due to arrive late
Wednesday, will be Washington's point man at the ASEAN meetings. But he will
have no significant North Korean interlocutor to deal with on the issue of
denuclearization. Thai officials say Pyongyang's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho
is not coming, and North Korea will instead be represented by its ambassador
Pompeo remained optimistic. He said Wednesday he's very
hopeful for a quick resumption in nuclear talks with North Korea despite the
North's recent weapons tests that have clouded already uncertain prospects
for a return to the table.
Pompeo told reporters accompanying him to Thailand that
some preliminary work on a new round of talks has been done but no dates
have been set. The State Department says the lead U.S. negotiator, Stephen
Biegun, will be in Bangkok for North Korea-related discussions but has not
released his schedule.
"We think they'll be started before too long," Pompeo
said. "I'm very hopeful."
Meteorological Dept warns of heavy rain until August 6
Bangkok – Heavy rain is expected in many areas
of Thailand from now until the end of next week due to the influence of a
tropical storm in the South China Sea. The Meteorological Department has
advised people to be on alert for flash floods and landslides near steep
The tropical storm will increase the volume of rainfall
in Bangkok, the South and the Gulf of Thailand and will also help replenish
the water in reservoirs in some areas, especially in the northern and
northeastern regions, which have suffered from a lack of rainfall for a long
Phuwiang Prakhamin, Director-General of the
Meteorological Department, said Thailand will be most affected from August
2-3, before the storm begins to dissipate on August 4.
There will be strong waves in the Andaman Sea and the
Gulf of Thailand and seafarers are asked to proceed with caution and to
avoid the areas where there are thunderstorms. Small boats should remain
ashore until August 6, while people in risky areas, especially the areas
which are adjacent to the mountains, are asked to be on alert for possible
Leonardo DiCaprio thanks Thai authorities for rise in tiger numbers
Bangkok - Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo has posted a message on Instagram applauding Thai authorities for
overseeing an increase in the number of tigers at the Huai Kha Khaeng
In his Instagram post, on Global Tiger Day (July 29),
DiCaprio thanked officials at the sanctuary for the more than 60-percent
increase in the number of tigers in its care.
"In Thailand’s Huai Kha Khaeng (HKK) Wildlife
Sanctuary, tigers are roaring back thanks to a major long-term effort by the
government of Thailand ... As a result, tiger numbers in the sanctuary have
risen dramatically, from 41 in 2010 -11 to 66 today - a more than 60 per
cent increase. In addition, tigers moving beyond the boundaries of the
sanctuary are providing a foundation for a recovering population across the
entire Western Forest Complex of Thailand, with the benefits even spilling
across the border into the Taninthayi region of Myanmar. #GlobalTigerDay,"
National Resources and Environment Minister Warawut
Silpa-archa, said he is happy and proud that all parties have been placing
importance on the nation’s tigers. Warawut said "In the past 8-9 years, the
tiger population has grown. I believe that if everyone shares the same
spirit, the number of rare animals and green areas will grow and Thailand
will be a country with abundant natural resources."
Education Ministry eyes e-books to replace textbooks in class
Bangkok - Deputy Minister of Education Kalaya
Sophonpanich says her ministry is considering replacing traditional
textbooks students have to carry to school with e-books.
The move comes on the back of reports about a student
in Khon Kaen who allegedly has spinal deformities as a result of carrying a
heavy bag to school every day.
The Deputy Minister said the initiative will have to be
discussed with all related agencies, while admitting that the causes of
spinal deformities suffered by the Khon Kaen student remain unproven at this
Sophonpanich also admitted that the use of e-books
comes with its own concerns, as sitting in front of a screen for 7-10 hours
a day may affect students’ eyesight and even their necks from looking down
at the screen for extended periods.
Top diplomats gather in Bangkok for key Asia-Pacific talks
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left shakes hand with Thailand Foreign
Minister Don Pramudwinai at the Foreign Ministry in Bangkok, Thailand,
Tuesday, July 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Bangkok (AP) — Top diplomats from the
Asia-Pacific region started gathering in Bangkok on Tuesday to discuss
issues of concern to the area, including security on the Korean peninsula
and China's territorial claims in the South China Sea.
The meetings in the Thai capital are hosted by the
10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, chaired this year by
Thailand. Thai officials say there will be 27 meetings in all through
Saturday, and 31 countries and alliances will participate.
The core ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting brings
together the group's top diplomats, but they are likely to be overshadowed
by the big power players attending the adjunct meetings, such as the ASEAN
Regional Forum and the East Asia Foreign Ministers' Meeting.
The heavy-hitters in Bangkok this week include U.S.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Other ASEAN dialogue partners include Australia, India,
the European Union, Japan and South Korea.
Most attention will be on these side meetings, in which
ASEAN will play a supporting role, if any.
A representative of North Korea will be present in
Bangkok, a Thai foreign ministry spokesman said last week, though it is not
clear if Pyongyang is sending its foreign minister. Washington has
downplayed Pyongyang's recent launch of medium-range missiles and expressed
interest in reviving talks on North Korean denuclearization, so sideline
talks are a possibility.
Reports say that the United States is also willing to
hold a sidelines meeting with Japan and South Korea to discuss the bitter
trade dispute between the two East Asian nations that threatens to disrupt
Seoul's electronics industry by hindering its purchase of semiconductor
The dispute also draws on long-standing bitterness over
Japan's actions toward Korea during World War II and threatens to poison
relations at a time when Washington would prefer to see a united front in
dealing with North Korea.
ASEAN's own most pressing concern arguably involves
Beijing's expansive territorial claims in the South China Sea, which pits it
against the claims of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.
The dispute is long-running, but flared up again
earlier this month when Vietnam accused China of violating its sovereignty
by interfering with offshore oil and gas activities in disputed waters.
Vietnam can count on having some allies at this week's
meetings but may have to operate outside the conventional ASEAN framework by
forming a de facto maritime bloc with Indonesia, which has aggressively
dealt with Chinese poachers in its waters, and the Philippines, still
smarting over a June incident in which a Chinese fishing vessel hit a
Philippine fishing boat and fled the scene as 22 Filipinos escaped their
It's unlikely ASEAN will agree on any major statement
against China since it operates by consensus, which in practice means a
single member can exercise veto over the group's decisions and declarations.
Beijing can count on the support of allies such as Cambodia and Laos, and
reluctance by others to defy Asia's superpower.
Beijing also is disinclined to flout legal norms that
might restrain its actions, say critics, citing as an example the Permanent
Court of Arbitration's ruling on the South China Sea case brought by the
The struggle for influence between the U.S. and China
looms larger than ever over this year's meetings, with their trade disputes
fueling the rivalry.
Beijing's attempts to project its influence even
further afield through its Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious global
development program of major infrastructure projects, has sharpened the
sense of unease among some parties.
The U.S. has countered with its own vision strategy for
a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, which Beijing regards as directed against it.
ASEAN leaders at their summit meeting in June adopted a
five-page "ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific" statement that sought to find
a middle ground. But some analysts suggest it is less an assertion that the
regional grouping is a player in its own right than a weak effort to keep on
the good side of both Washington and Beijing.
"Its significance is in the monumental opportunity
squandered," said Benjamin Zawacki, author of "Thailand: Shifting Ground
between the U.S. and a Rising China."
"The increasing tension between Washington and Beijing
does afford ASEAN more, rather than less, influence and room to maneuver,
but it is influence and room that ASEAN would rather not have and will
choose not to use," he said. "ASEAN is most comfortable when it has the
least influence and room to maneuver, for such provides a ready
justification for its indecisiveness, inertia, and utter obsession with
Disease watch begins in drought-hit areas
Bangkok - The Ministry of Public Health is now
on alert for a possible outbreak of communicable diseases in drought-hit
areas, where a supply of clean water may be lacking. It has assigned
officials and volunteers to promote the practice of eating only cooked food,
using serving spoons and washing hands, as well as advising villagers to
seek medical assistance should they have diarrhea.
The Department of Disease Control (DDC) has instructed
12 disease prevention and control centers nationwide to be on alert and to
cooperate with local public health offices in order to respond quickly to
any outbreak of disease connected to the drought. According to the Bureau of
Epidemiology’s report, there have been, since early this year, 575,112 cases
of diarrhea, 59,360 cases of food poisoning, 432 cases of dysentery, 9 cases
of cholera, 560 cases of typhoid fever and 224 cases of hepatitis A.
Drought situation in Chaiyaphum reaches crisis point
Bangkok - Many provinces nationwide are
suffering from water shortages while regions of Chaiyaphum are facing a
severe drought disaster. The water volume in the Chulabhorn Dam in the
province has decreased to its lowest level in 30 years, only 25 percent of
its capacity or about 42 million cubic meters of water. Meanwhile, the Chi
River has dried up and rice on hundreds of thousands of rai of land is
gradually dying from a lack of water.
In the urban area, which is an important economic
quarter of Chaiyaphum, a small volume of water is being released from the
Lam Pa Thao Dam. If it doesn’t rain in the next two weeks, it may be
necessary to reduce the water pressure and distribute water according to a
planned schedule to ensure an adequate supply.
Further north in Udon Thani, farmers in irrigated areas
are also suffering from a water shortage after a lack of rainfall in the
region. Water is being allocated from Nong Samrong reservoir, which
currently contains 1.5 million cubic meters of water, to the rice fields of
farmers in order to revive the withered rice.
Medical use of marijuana in Thailand complies with international principles
Bangkok - Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin
has confirmed that the guidelines for the use of medical marijuana in
Thailand comply with the international Single Convention on Narcotics,
which requires that the medical and scientific uses of the drug must be
subject to government regulations.
In Thailand, the International Narcotics Control
Board has regulated compliance with the provisions of the Convention.
Member countries must report on their operations to prevent and suppress
drug availability and access to illegal psychotropic substances.
The Minister of Justice says that permission to
grow marijuana is granted to those with the qualifications required
under the law, including government agencies that are responsible for
researching, teaching or providing medical, pharmaceutical, scientific
or agricultural services; government agencies that are responsible for
preventing, suppressing and solving drug problems; the Thai Red Cross
Society; private universities with programs and research on medicinal or
pharmaceutical uses, and farmers who form a community enterprise, social
enterprise or agricultural cooperative.
They must apply for permission at the Food and Drug
Administration or provincial public health offices. When granted
permission, they have to organize a project and determine the farming
venue, the quantity of planting that is consistent with the production
and security measures to prevent the marijuana from entering the black
For patients who wish to use marijuana for
treatment, there are currently hospitals throughout the country with
sufficient quality marijuana on hand for medical use that meets the
safety standard, and a comprehensive and systematic drug distribution
plan for the most effective treatment..