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Update September, 2019


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Thailand News
 

Police uncover potential infant trade on Facebook

 

Pol Lt Gen Piya Uthayo, RTP Assistant Commissioner General.

NNT

Bangkok - The Royal Thai Police (RTP) has instructed the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) to look into a Facebook page which apparently trades infants from unwanted pregnancies.

Pol Lt Gen Piya Uthayo, RTP Assistant Commissioner General, disclosed that information on the adoption of newborn babies with a price, gender and pictures appears on the Facebook page in question. He confirmed that forwarding or commenting on the post may be punishable under the law and the RTP has instructed the TCSD to investigate the case.

Initially, it was found that many people had commented on the post expressing their disapproval of the alleged infant trade, saying male infants may be raised to become slaves and female infants may be raised for prostitution.

TCSD Deputy Chief, Pol Col Siriwat Dephau, said that from the initial investigation it isn’t clear if it is a crime under the Computer Act or not. This and other matters will be examined, while authorities say they believe that there may be many other pages also trading infants. The Facebook page has been publishing pictures of infants since August. It is also necessary to determine whether a person who adopts such an infant is considered guilty of any crime.

Currently, the Social Assistance Center is trying to contact a person who adopted an infant in Prachuap Khiri Khan. It is believed that a police officer adopted the child.


Moon, Chi rivers expected to overflow in Northeast

NNT

Bangkok - The Director-General of the Royal Irrigation Department (RID), Thongplew Kongchan, says that from September 13 the forecast is for more rain in the Moon and Chi river areas of Ubon Ratchathani province, with the department expecting water levels to rise and cause inundation of the Warin Chamrap district.

The Northeast is currently contending with floods across 1.47 million rai of land spread across 80 districts of eight provinces, including Kalasin, Yasothon, Roi Et, Sri Sa Ket, Amnat Charoen, Mukdahan, Ubon Ratchathani and Maha Sarakham. The RID has dispatched 60 water pumps and 106 water jets to alleviate the situation.

There are about 1.6 billion cubic meters of water standing in fields across the North and the Northeast, but the situation is expected to return to normal by the end of September when local residents will be able to return to their homes. Thongplew said he will travel to Ubon Ratchathani on September 14 to open a forward command center, which will be handling flood problems emanating from the Moon and Chi rivers.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has ordered the Agricultural Extension Department to assess damage to farms as soon as possible.

Meanwhile in the central region, the water discharge rate has been progressively scaled back to 900 - 920 cubic meters per second at the Chao Phraya Dam, dropping water levels by about 10 centimeters. The measure has provided some relief to Ang Thong province and Ayutthaya’s Sena and Pak Hai districts.


Songkhla still affected by Indonesian fire haze

Songkhla - Haze generated by smoke from Indonesian forest fires has continued to affect the southern provinces of Thailand. Although the air pollution index has not reached unhealthy levels in Yala and Songkhla provinces, people in risk groups, such as the elderly, children, and people with medical conditions, have been warned to take precautions against respiratory illnesses.

A total of 161 hotspots have been identified throughout Sumatra Island, as the wind keeps bringing smoke from Indonesia to the southern Thai province of Songkhla. However, the smoke has become less dense due to heavy rain over the past few days. Nu Island can still be seen from Songkhla, but smoke has reduced visibility on Maew Island. According to the Air4Thai mobile application, levels of particles of a diameter that is 2.5 micrometers and smaller were measured at 44 micrograms per cubic meter in Songkhla, while the Air Quality Index (AQI) was measured at 76 micrograms per cubic meter. As such, they have not yet reached unhealthy levels.

The air pollution index in Yala hasn’t reached unhealthy levels either, but people in risk groups are being advised to wear protective masks and avoid outdoor activities.


New campaign seeks to reduce single-use plastic

NNT

Bangkok - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its partners Plan B Media and Dentsu Thailand have unveiled a campaign titled ‘”No Plastic! Yes, We Can,” to encourage Thai consumers to reduce their reliance on single-use plastics at grocery stores, eateries and cafes across the country.

Renaud Meyer, Resident Representative of UNDP Thailand said, “Thailand is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world, but marine eco-systems are suffering and species are dying because of the plastic waste that ends up in our oceans.”

An advocacy video, urging consumers to adopt alternatives to plastic bags and disposable cups and straws, went live on more than 300 digital billboards across the country on August 23, including at landmarks, airports, BTS sky-train stations and major shopping malls in Bangkok. The campaign will run till November 2019 and will feature awareness events and calls-to-action by celebrity advocates in Thailand.

The advert depicts a local grocery store that offers free food and drinks from their shelves, but challenges shoppers to find innovative ways to carry the food, without using single-use plastic boxes or bags.


Court declines to hear case of PM's incomplete oath

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Nannapat Purod and Grant Peck

Bangkok (AP) — Thailand's Constitutional Court announced Wednesday it has declined to hear a case accusing the prime minister of violating the constitution by omitting a sentence from the oath of office he and his government took before HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

The issue raised questions about the legitimacy of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha's government, which took office in July.

Prayuth failed to include the phrase "I will also uphold and comply with the constitution of the kingdom in every aspect." It was unclear if the omission was accidental or intentional.

A statement from the court Wednesday said it lacked jurisdiction because the oath was a matter between the executive branch and HM the King.

It also mentioned that the monarch had issued a royal message, delivered late last month but dated the day of the oath-taking, encouraging the Cabinet members to perform their duties according to the oath they swore.

The court's decision appeared to preclude further legal challenges of Prayuth's omission. The lower house of Parliament is supposed to debate the matter on Sept. 18 at the request of the opposition, but the court's position gives Prayuth's government ammunition to stave off any political attacks.

The case went to the Constitutional Court after the state ombudsman forwarded complaints from two citizens who charged that Prayuth's failure to pledge allegiance to the constitution was a breach of the charter.

Opposition lawmakers pointed out the omission, and Prayuth responded that the matter was not a problem. The ombudsman's office said he told them he had completed the oath-taking, without elaborating.

The oath is written into the constitution that was adopted in 2017 when Prayuth headed the previous military government.


Interior minister says seven provinces remain flooded

Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda.

NNT

Bangkok - Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda says seven provinces are still inundated with water, prompting authorities to provide full assistance to flood victims and remain on alert over the next few days.

The Interior Minister agreed that the seven provinces include five in the northeast and authorities there are evacuating local villagers from flooded areas and using boats at spots that are out of reach to rescue vehicles. Lately the volume of rain has slightly increased and authorities are closely monitoring the Meteorological Department’s weather reports.

The Royal Irrigation Department has been draining off 900-1,200 cubic meters per second of the Chao Phraya River’s water flow but this potentially poses a flood threat to some riverside areas in Ayutthaya. However, such flooding should not seriously affect local villagers and it occurs on a yearly basis.


Thailand pledges to support Indo-Pacific regional security enhancement

NNT

Bangkok - The Thai government has pledged its support for regional cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, with external parties working to solve conflicts and preparing to handle security threats, particularly cyber-security issues.

At the 11th Indo-Pacific Army Chiefs Conference held on 9th-11th September to promote sustainable security and a new vision for armies in the Indo-Pacific region, the Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said the Indo-Pacific armies have shown their capacity to prevent and solve issues, as well as creating strategic friendships between Indo-Pacific countries and with external parties, helping enhance trust between one another and resolve conflicts.

At the event, the Royal Thai Army Commander in Chief, Gen Apirat Kongsompong said the Thai army is aware of the importance of cooperating with ASEAN and other individual countries, as Thailand is strategically located in the Indo-Pacific region, and the army is ready to tackle newer security threats, particularly cyber-security threats, which requires the cooperation of other partner countries.

U.S. Army Chief of Staff, James McConville said the conference, originally convened with only nine participating countries, has grown to include 27 participating countries because of the mutual awareness of the need to solve issues and maintain peace in the region to everyone’s benefit.


Cabinet agrees to keep VAT rate at 7%

 

NNT

Bangkok (AP) - Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said the weekly cabinet meeting has decided to keep value-added tax (VAT) at 7% for another year, as the current tax measure is set to expire on September 30 this year. Uttama said it is not appropriate to increase the tax rate to 10% at this time due to the current economic situation. The government will assess the situation on a yearly basis before moving to adjust the VAT rate.

According to the Revenue Department, VAT collection has improved because of the increase in domestic consumption. The cabinet meeting on Wednesday approved the Board of Investment’s (BOI) stimulus proposal, which was endorsed by the economic ministers last week.

The cabinet ministers also agreed with the Ministry of Labor’s proposal to raise the compensation rate to an average of 400 days of salary per 20 years of employment as an award entitlement for state enterprise employees who have worked for many years. The measure will benefit more than 7,000 employees who are due to retire on September 30 this year.


No storm to hit Thailand in next 3-5 days

 NNT

Bangkok - The Meteorological Department has denied a rumor circulating over the weekend that yet another storm would be hitting Thailand, affecting the central and southern regions. The department has confirmed that no storm is likely to affect the country over the next 3-5 days, urging the general public to follow only accurate weather information from official sources.

Citizens are advised to follow weather information from the TMD and official sources to prevent confusion. Official weather advisories always contain details and clear dates and times of expected weather effects. The general public is strongly advised not to panic over circulating rumors, which are clearly not from official sources, and may verify such information by calling the 1182 hotline or 0 2399 4012-3 24 hours daily.

Meanwhile, the Royal Thai Embassy in Tokyo has issued a warning to Thai residents and tourists in Japan to be cautious of possible harms from Typhoon Number 15 which made landfall on the east coast of Japan on Sunday night, bringing heavy rains and strong winds. Thai residents and tourists in Kanto (Tokyo), Tokai (Shizuoka), and nearby regions are advised to refrain from going outside during the rainy and windy period and check train and flight schedules, as train services on many lines in Tokyo have been reduced or suspended.


PM encourages use of metal food carriers to help environment

NNT

Bangkok - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha is encouraging everyone to help reduce plastic garbage and solve environmental problems.

The premier met with executive officials of the Office of the Consumer Protection Board on Tuesday and proposed an end to the use of plastic bags and promoted the use of metal food containers and cloth bags, in an effort to reduce plastic waste which often affects the environment.

The prime minister also said Thai people should not be interested so much in social media, particularly concerning trivial matters, and urged all government agencies to make the people understand their performance.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul meanwhile presented a campaign Tuesday on “good safety, good health, good jobs and happiness in workplaces”. The campaign calls for working people to take care of their own health and create a good quality of life.


BMA has no authority to allow motorcyclists to use overpasses

Bangkok Governor Gen Assawin Khwanmuang.

NNT

Bangkok - The Governor of Bangkok has explained that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has no authority to allow motorcyclists to use overpasses and underpasses.

Bangkok Governor Gen Assawin Khwanmuang said recently that a group of motorcyclists had requested permission to use all roadways in the city. He pointed out that the BMA has no authority to grant permission in this matter, as it is under the authority of the traffic police. The BMA is only responsible for preparing traffic signs and installing traffic lights for the control of vehicles and information of motorists who must comply with the Road Traffic Act B.E. 2522, he said. However, the BMA will discuss the request with the traffic police to seek a joint discussion of the issue.

The governor added that the overpass at Asoke intersection that has just been renovated has no motorcycle lane because the original design structure of the bridge didn’t include one. It was only possible to strengthen the structure of the overpass.


Beverage manufacturers prepare for sugar tax

NNT

Bangkok - Effective from 1st October, the Excise Department will be imposing a new rate of sugar tax first announced in 2017 to encourage the general public to consume less of the sweetener. Manufacturers have over the past two years reduced sugar content in beverages, and put a healthy beverage logo on 200 percent more products.

Excise Department deputy spokesperson Nutthakorn Utensute revealed the new measure has led changes in consumer behavior. However, the general public’s awareness of the danger of excessive sugar consumption is still below 50 percent judging from a recent survey, showing the lack of communication reaching target groups.

On the increase in the pricing of carbonated beverages containing sugar, of 2-3 baht per bottle, Nutthakorn said the change is not entirely caused by the tax, but overall higher costs. He insisted this taxation measure is for health, and is not designed for the government to earn more revenue. He said the general public currently consumes sugar on average two to three times higher than the recommended permissible amount by the World Health Organization, causing chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart diseases.

The Excise Department currently collects sugar tax at an average of 1 baht per liter. From 1st October 2019 to 30th September 2021, the amount will increase to 3 baht per liter, and eventually to 5 baht per liter. It is expected the measure will generate 4.5 billion baht revenue annually from the 2020 fiscal year onward, which is considerably more than the current figure of 2-3 billion baht a year.


Nine districts of Ubon Ratchathani declared disaster zones

 

NNT

Ubon Ratchathani - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha visited Ubon Ratchathani province on Monday after nine districts of the province were declared disaster zones due to flooding.

A large volume of water has filtered down from Yasothorn and Roi Et provinces and the water level is expected to rise over the next two weeks even though much has been drained off into the Mekong River.

Gen Prayut rode a route along the Chee River to assess the situation in Yasothorn before proceeding to an anti-flood center at the Baan Kok municipality of Ubon Ratchathani and visiting flood victims there. The prime minister has instructed authorities to provide relief for citizens with damaged houses and lost occupations.


Prime minister opens IPACC IPAMS SELF 2019

NNT

Bangkok - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha called on Indo-Pacific army chiefs to help upgrade the cooperation and confidence in mutual friendships to promote regional peace.

Gen Prayut presided over the opening ceremony for the 11th IPACC (Indo-Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference), being held from September 9 to September 11, and co-hosted by the Thai and United States armies. He said the IPACC IPAMS SELF 2019 is a wide forum for networked military leaders to help promote regional and world stability and support regional and worldwide sustainable prosperity. The armies can be major instruments of support for governments.

The prime minister called on participants at the meeting to help turn policy into practice in order to create a joint working atmosphere to promote regional peace and mutual trust at strategic levels in the Indo-Pacific region.

The IPACC coincides with the 43th IPAMS (Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar) and the 5th SELF (Senior Enlisted Leaders Forum) in which high-ranking officers from over 40 countries in the Indo-Pacific region are exchanging views and reaching consensus on mutual cooperation.


Tourism revenue grows in Thailand’s emerging destinations

Saeng Chan Waterfall is located in Pha Taem National Park Ubon Ratchathani. (Photo/TAT)

TAT

Bangkok - Thailand’s provincial regions are reporting steady increases in tourism revenue as a result of the domestic and international marketing push by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to promote the 55 emerging destinations.

Figures released by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports show that although the popular destinations are still getting the bulk of the revenue in terms of volume, a definitive growth pattern is emerging for others; such as, Phang Nga, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Rayong.

According to the Ministry, tourism revenue from primary cities totalled 1.28 trillion baht and from emerging cities 142.8 billion baht in January-June 2019.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has also outlined development strategies to improve the quality of tourist destinations, tourism products and services in line with the principles of balance and sustainability. It will also invest in further development of infrastructure and facilities, personnel development and public participation.

TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said, “These are very encouraging figures because they cover a period when Thailand has its April-May school holiday period. Certainly, domestic tourism is playing a major role in helping us achieve our tourism revenue targets and compensate for the impact of external factors. We expect this will remain the case in the second half of the year.”

He said that TAT remains on track with vigorous domestic and international marketing campaigns to promote the 55 emerging destinations. Arrivals will rise as the destinations expand accommodation and other tourism infrastructure to cater to the visitors.

The Governor said, “We are determined to position Thailand as a preferred tourist destination with high quality products, sustainable growth, focus on niche markets, preservation of the local Thai way of life, integrating management structures, and building stronger international cooperative partnerships.”


Bhumjaithai party hosts last cannabis forum

 

NNT

Bangkok - The Bhumjaithai Party has held its last public forum to gather public input on amendments to the draft Narcotics Act, to push for a free cannabis policy for economic and medical benefits.

Soraat Klinprathum, chairman of the Bhumjaithai party advisers, says that to allow people to freely access and use medical marijuana, it is necessary to amend two sections of the law. The two draft acts will be submitted to the cabinet for consideration before the session is closed.

Dr. Somnuk Siriphanthong said Thailand has four strains of marijuana that can be used to produce drugs. To encourage people to grow marijuana at home or on a farm, it requires quality control and further innovation development so that it will be accepted internationally.

Banthoon Niyamapha, a Thai traditional medicine practitioner who produces medical marijuana oil, said he personally disagreed with the separation of THC extracts because the strength of Thai marijuana is of a high volume that affects the nervous system and helps relieve stress.

Former senator Rossana Tositrakul expressed concern over the use of marijuana for medical purposes as there is no law that facilitates knowledge development to fight against foreign drug patents and it may not be accepted internationally.


Wildfire haze from Indonesia covers lower South

NNT

Songkhla - Wildfire haze from Indonesia is covering the lower South of Thailand and motorists and seafarers have been advised to exercise extra caution because of the reduced visibility.

Songkhla city was covered by a dense haze Sunday and motorists had to turn on their vehicles’ headlights to navigate the streets. Major tourist attractions like Samila Beach are also badly affected by dense haze and the Noo and Maew islands are hidden from sight.

Suradech Nilubon, President of Songkhla Fisheries Association, has advised seafarers to exercise caution when at sea. Those who go fishing in the evening and return to the shore in the morning should check their boat’s lighting and signal lights and always keep the boat signal lights on when fishing, as well as send signals to let other boats in the area know the boat’s location to prevent collisions.

The southern haze situation has become a seasonal hazard due to forest fires that occur at this time of year in Indonesia.


Officials provide assistance to flood victims

NNT

Bangkok - Many provinces are still hit by flood water as local authorities continue to respond and assist communities in affected areas.

Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong accompanied a group of executive members of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) and PTT to the northeastern province of Roi Et recently and distributed 2,250 survival kits to villagers who have been affected by floods caused by tropical storm Podul since the beginning of September. Sontirat said the visit will enable officials to listen to the people’s problems and needs. The information will be forwarded to all related units, so that they can alleviate the plight of those affected as soon as possible.

As for the current flood situation in Selaphum district, water from local rivers has overflowed into riverside communities. Although the water level has now receded, some areas remain impassable to small vehicles. The Royal Irrigation Department has dispatched trucks to help transport villagers, medical personnel and volunteers marooned in flood-hit areas.

In Ubon Ratchathani’s Det Udom district, floods have inundated some 175 houses and schools. The province has set up royally-bestowed mobile kitchens and temporary shelters for flood victims.


Department of Fine Arts to display China’s terracotta warriors

 

NNT

Bangkok - The Department of Fine Arts is to put China’s Terracotta Warriors on display at the Sivamok Phiman Throne Hall in the Bangkok National Museum. An exhibition titled "Qin Shi Huang: The First Emperor of China and the Terracotta Warriors" will be held at the museum, starting September 15.

The exhibition will also feature a collection of 133 relics that are over 2,200 years old. Visitors will see four life-sized terracotta warriors, one chariot and 86 relics found in a mausoleum in China. The exhibition will be divided into zones, such as the period before the unification of China in 221 BC; the Qin dynasty and the Han dynasty. Furthermore, visitors will learn more about China’s ancient engineering skills and technology.

The exhibition will be open for three months, from September 15 to December 15.


Justice Minister to discuss transnational drug trafficking in Vietnam

Justice Minister, Somsak Thepsuthin.

NNT

Bangkok - The Justice Minister, Somsak Thepsuthin, is to attend a meeting in Vietnam to strengthen cooperation on transnational issues, including the disruption of drug smuggling.

The meeting will take place in Vietnam on September 9 and 10 and will be attended by delegates from the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) member states, including Thailand, Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Officials from the Philippines as well as representatives of the Australian Federal Police, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) will also join this international meeting. They will discuss ways to bolster joint efforts against transnational drug trafficking.

Somsak said Thai authorities have stepped up measures to prevent transnational drug traffickers from using Thailand as a transit route. As a result, many traffickers have turned to Vietnam. Thailand will provide cooperation and assistance to help address transnational drug-related crimes at the meeting.


Rights group concerned over missing Lao activist in Thailand

Associated Press

Bangkok (AP) — A Paris-based human rights group called Friday for Thai authorities to investigate the disappearance in Bangkok of a Laotian pro-democracy activist who was seeking political asylum.

The International Federation for Human Rights said Od Sayavong did not attend a meeting with friends on Aug. 26 and has not been heard from since.

It said Od, 34, has been a member of the Bangkok-based "Free Lao" group of Lao migrant workers and activists promoting human rights in their home country.

The group mostly organized human rights workshops and meetings, and staged occasional small peaceful protests outside the Lao Embassy and the United Nations regional headquarters in Bangkok, said the federation, generally known by its French initials, FIDH.

It said in a statement that the U.N. refugee agency in December 2017 registered Od as a person of concern seeking resettlement in a third country.

Laos is a single-party Communist state that cracks down strongly on dissenters.

According to the latest U.S. State Department annual report on human rights worldwide, issues of concern in Laos include "arbitrary detention; political prisoners; censorship; substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association; restrictions on political participation; corruption; and trafficking in persons."

Rights groups fear that Thailand and Laos have an informal agreement to secretly seize their own dissidents from each other's country.

"Od may be the latest casualty of increased cooperation between the government of Thailand and its regional counterparts to crack down on their respective dissidents in exile," the FIDH statement quoted Vanida Thephsouvanh, president of the Lao Movement for Human Rights, as saying. "The international community should strongly condemn this seemingly coordinated form of repression that leads to further shrinking space for civil society in the region." Her group is a member of FIDH.

FIDH cited the case of Vietnamese blogger Truong Duy Nhat as another possible example of regional cooperation. He disappeared in Bangkok in January this year after fleeing to Thailand to seek refuge, but was revealed in March to be held in a jail in Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, a suspected victim of a political abduction.

Suspicion that Thailand and Laos have cut a deal over their dissidents is high because Lao authorities seem to have turned a blind eye in the past few years to the disappearance of Thai political dissidents seeking shelter in Laos, several of whom turned up dead in the Mekong River, which marks part of the two countries' border.

Thai authorities have denied any such deal.

Thai police spokesman Col. Krissana Patanacharoen said his agency was aware of Od's case from media reports, but had not launched an investigation because no missing person complaint had been filed.


New Zealand officials find half ton of meth hidden in Thai motors

This Aug. 26, 2019 photo provided by New Zealand Customs, shows electric motors found in a container from Thailand with 469 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed in the motors. (New Zealand Customs via AP)

Nick Perry

Wellington, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand authorities said Friday they found more than a half ton of methamphetamine hidden inside a shipment of 60 electric motors from Thailand.

Customs Investigations Manager Bruce Berry told The Associated Press they believe a sophisticated Canadian drug cartel is behind the shipment. He said they had tracked two Canadians for several months who they believe were sent separately to New Zealand to collect and sell the drugs.

Two Canadian men in their mid-20s and one New Zealand man have been arrested and charged with importing and possessing methamphetamine. They each face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment if convicted.

Berry said international criminal organizations currently have a glut of drugs and are looking for new markets. He said New Zealand has proved attractive to them because meth sells on the streets here for a higher price than just about anywhere else in the world.

Part of the reason for that is the country's isolated location.

Berry said the latest case seemed to follow a playbook used by the cartels, in which a front company is set up in New Zealand and then a shore party arrives, uses Airbnb accommodation, rents storage units and tries to collect and sell the drugs before sending the money back overseas.

"Whatever we do, these syndicates are going to try to push their poison onto our communities," Berry said.

In the latest case, customs officials say they seized 469 kilograms of meth with a street value of 235 million New Zealand dollars at the Ports of Auckland from the motors that arrived inside a shipping container in mid-August.

Berry said that was equivalent to the total amount of meth consumed in New Zealand over six months, and that the seizure had put a significant dent into supplies of the drug.

The bust represents the largest-ever border seizure of meth in New Zealand. It was slightly smaller than a 2016 haul that police found in a van and buried in sand dunes after a group used a boat to bring the drugs ashore.


Chao Phraya River level rises two meters

NNT

Bangkok - Preparations have been made for the Central Plains to retain excessive water flowing from northern areas. In Ayutthaya province, farmers are scrambling to harvest their rice before the excess water is released into empty land. Ayutthaya’s industrial estates have been prepared to cope with drought as well as flooding. Given the experience of 2011’s flood crisis, barriers have been built after the Chao Phraya dam released 750 cubic meters of water per second this week.

In Bang Ban district of Ayutthaya, the situation has prompted villagers to be on alert, though the excess water released from the Chao Phraya dam has not had any serious effects as yet. The water in the Chao Phraya River in Bang Ban district has risen by more than two meters in four days and about 40 centimeters on a daily basis. Riverside villages are expected to be flooded in the next four to five days, as more water is released through the dam.

Meanwhile, farmers are scrambling to harvest their rice before September 15, because excess water will then be released into empty farmland. Most farmers were found to have harvested their rice with only about 20% of the total crop yet to be reaped.

Deputy Ayutthaya Provincial Governor Niwat Phatanand said relevant government agencies are closely monitoring the situation and have prepared measures to cope with it. In particular, two industrial estates and one group of factories, namely Bang Pa-in industrial estate, Baan Wa Hi-Tech industrial estate and Fast Fact industrial group, have been prepared to cope with either drought or flooding. Barriers, which are higher than those set up in 2011, have been prepared to keep out the rising water. Water pumps have also been installed to prevent flooding in the industrial areas.


PM says military attaches can publicize country’s good image

NNT

Bangkok - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has delivered policy to military attaches to help create proper understanding about Thailand and make more friends.

Gen Prayut presided over the sending-off ceremony at the Ministry of Defense headquarters for the military attaches who will be posted to the United Nations headquarters in New York and Thai embassies worldwide from October 1.

The prime minister said the military attaches are carrying out important missions for the country and are expected to cooperate with the Thai ambassadors in those countries. They were advised to publicize good things about Thailand and create proper understanding about this country. They were also advised to apply good things from their host countries in order to keep the Thai government and Ministry of Defense on a par with foreign countries.

The prime minister also attended a briefing by students of the 61st class of the National Defense College, Joint Staff College, Army War College, Navy War College and Air Force War College on national strategies to steer the country toward stability, prosperity and sustainability at the National Defense Studies Institute.

The prime minister expressed his admiration for the students’ comprehensive, straightforward suggestions in line with government plans and national strategies, some of which have already been implemented while others are in the process.


Riverside shops, restaurants prepare for Royal Barge Procession

NNT

Bangkok - Restaurants along the banks of the Chao Phraya River have prepared areas for their customers to witness the Royal Barge Procession on October 24. The event is part of nationwide celebrations of His Majesty King’s coronation, which took place earlier this year.

Some renowned restaurants are selling tickets, which cost hundreds of baht, to tourists and members of the public who wish to capture an exquisite view of the event, while small restaurants continue to sell food and beverages as usual.

The remaining rehearsals will be conducted on September 10, 17, 23 and 27 and on October 3, 7 and 10. Dress rehearsals will take place on October 17 and 22. Members of the public can watch the rehearsals from Wa Sukri Pier to Ratcha Woradit Pier.


ASEAN targets higher renewable energy utilization

NNT

Bangkok - Energy Ministers of ASEAN are in Bangkok this week for meetings to better utilise the region’s energy as well as make ways to greater promote renewable and clean energy production.

Thai Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over the opening ceremony of the 37th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting and Associated Meetings on Thursday, stressing the need for all countries in the region to greater investment in clean and renewable energy as energy demands have been sky rocketing in parallel with the economic development of the region.

The agenda of the meetings include topics in regard to enhancing electricity networks connectivity; infrastructural development for natural gas transport; the promotion of clean coal technology; nuclear power; and alternative energy.

Prior to the meeting, ASEAN countries have expressed their ambition to increase the region’s clean and renewable energy production from 17% to least 23% by 2025.

Fossil fuels, led by oil and natural gas, currently account for more than half of the region’s energy supply.


DE Ministry launches "Power of Kindness" caravan to help flood victims

NNT

Bangkok - The Digital Economy and Society Minister, Buddhipongse Punnakanta, has attended a launch ceremony for the "Power of Kindness" caravan to help flood victims, with TOT also preparing consumer goods worth more than one million baht. They will be handed to flood-affected residents in the northeastern provinces of Roi Et and Khon Kaen. Relevant agencies have been instructed to ensure that people can use telecommunication services as usual and to repair damaged telecommunications equipment in flooded areas immediately.

The TOT President, Monchai Noosong, said his organization has prepared measures to help its customers. The TOT Mobile payment deadline has been extended to September 30 this year, while prepaid customers will receive seven days of free services without having to register with the telecom operator.

For landline and broadband internet users who have registered with the telecom operator, their payment deadline for this month has been extended for 30 more days from the date of payment indicated on their bills.


FPO to be more proactive with "Taste, Shop, Use" program

FPO Director-General, Lawaron Saengsanit.

NNT

Bangkok - The Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) has decided to adopt a more proactive strategy to drive domestic tourism and will be approaching operators to join its “Taste, Shop, Use” program.

FPO Director-General, Lawaron Saengsanit, said that about 3,300 businesses have so far applied to join the program, with registration still open until September 20, 2019. The Ministry of Commerce is targeting a total 40,000 participating businesses divided into 14,000 commercially licensed restaurants, 10,000 small sized

The office is to evaluate whether it needs to extend the registration period of the program, due to conclude in two weeks, and is also considering expanding the list of eligible products and services to better meet tourist demands.

Lawaron insisted that the program was not designed to acquire information on the businesses for the Revenue Department’s database, stating it is aimed at stimulating the economy and promoting e-payments.


'Yellow Shirt' founder jailed for fraud released early

In this March 27, 2006, file photo, Sondhi Limthongkul addresses demonstrators in Bangkok. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)

Nannapat Purod and Grant Peck

Bangkok (AP) — The flamboyant media mogul who led an ultimately successful campaign to oust Thailand's prime minister in 2006 has been freed early from a 20-year prison sentence for financial fraud, the country's Corrections Department announced Wednesday.

The department said Sondhi Limthongkul was released under the terms of a pardon marking HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn's April coronation but that a misunderstanding of his case had delayed his freedom.

It said in a statement that the pardon was granted to Sondhi, 72, strictly for reasons of law after his situation was clarified, and had nothing to do with politics. Sondhi, along with three of his business associates, was sentenced in 2012 to 20 years in prison for filing a fraudulent financial report with forged documents, but went to prison only in 2016 after the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment.

Sondhi founded the People's Alliance for Democracy, popularly known as the Yellow Shirts, whose demonstrations in 2006 accusing Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of corruption and abuse of power and calling for him to leave office drew popular support and led to a military coup in September that year.

The coup led to more than a decade of sometimes violent contention for power between Thaksin's opponents and his supporters, known as the Red Shirts. The Yellow Shirts staged more aggressive protests in 2008 to seek the ouster of two successive Thaksin-backed prime ministers, occupying their offices for three months and Bangkok's main airport for a week. Both Thaksin-backed leaders were forced from office by contentious legal rulings.

A successor group to the Yellow Shirts staged aggressive street protests in late 2013 and early 2014 to drive Thaksin's sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, from her position as prime minister. She too was unseated by a court ruling, and her government toppled by a coup, installing a military regime that ruled until this year.

It was not immediately clear if there are any legal actions pending against Sondhi.

Sondhi and other protest leaders have faced many legal charges, mostly related to their political activities. The courts have generally been lenient with Sondhi and other opponents of Thaksin, with whom they share royalist leanings. Thaksin's supporters, who also staged major demonstrations, have also been tied up in the courts.

Sondhi had been a crony of Thaksin when the two were prominent members of Bangkok's business community, but turned against him after he took power in 2001. Critics alleged that Sondhi was disappointed that Thaksin as prime minister did not grant him favors.

In 2005, Sondhi began his campaign against Thaksin, drawing modest crowds at first. However, he proved to be a dynamic speaker and by leveraging his media properties was able to attract bigger crowds.

Sondhi's activities also drew enemies. In 2009 his car was ambushed by unknown attackers with military-style assault rifles, and he was badly wounded. The incident remains surrounded by mystery.


New storm set to hit upper Thailand

NNT

Bangkok - Villagers in the northeast who are still affected by flooding due to Tropical Storm Podul must now prepare for another storm about to affect Thailand, believed however to be less severe than Podul.

The Meteorological Department’s (TMD) Director General Phuwieng Prakhammintara, has advised that a new unnamed storm which is now prevailing over Hainan province of China, is moving towards Vietnam’s coast. The storm is currently a category 2 tempest, and will be named Kajiki once it strengthens into a category 3 storm or a tropical storm.

He said villagers in the northeastern region who are just recovering from Storm Podul may well be affected by the new storm which is expected to bring 80-110 millimeters of rainfall into the area, while creating conditions not as severe as those of Tropical Storm Podul. According to the TMD’s analysis, the new storm is unlikely to cross Thailand, but rather will shift north into China’s Guangdong province north of Hainan. The general public is nevertheless advised to be cautious of possible dangers from this storm.

Rainfall from Storm Podul has added some 744 million cubic meters of water to medium-sized dams nationwide. The marked increase of water in storage will serve as water sources for consumption in the next dry season.


August inflation up by 0.52%

Phimchanok Wornkhorphorn, Director of the Office of Trade Policy and Strategy, Ministry of Commerce.

NNT

Bangkok - August Inflation increased by 0.52 percent due to the higher prices of fresh food products, especially rice and fruit and vegetables.

Phimchanok Wornkhorphorn, Director of the Office of Trade Policy and Strategy, Ministry of Commerce, has reported on the overall state of the prices of 422 goods and services in August 2019, which were used to calculate the general consumer price index or the inflation rate. It was found that the price of sticky rice rose by 27.3 percent, limes by 70 percent, pork rose by 10.2 percent and fresh chili by 22 percent. Public transport fares also rose. Elsewhere, 112 products saw lower prices, such as vegetable oil, palm oil and fuel. There were also 89 products where prices remained stable.

Overall, the inflation rate in August was the lowest seen so far this year. The ministry has forecast a 2019 inflation rate of between 0.8 and 0.9 percent, compared to the Bank of Thailand’s (BOT) and the Ministry of Finance’s estimates of one percent.


Patients to receive prescribed medicine at drugstores from October 1

NNT

Bangkok - From October 1st, the National Health Security Committee will have four groups of chronic patients receive their prescribed medicine at drugstores near their homes in order to alleviate congestion at hospitals. At the initial stage, 50 hospitals will cooperate with 500 drugstores for the convenient collection of medicine.

The four groups of patients are those with diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma or mental illnesses. Drugstores will ask the patient whether or not they are willing to receive medicine there. About 30% of these patients are expected to take up the offer. The medicine at the drugstores will be the same as that at the hospitals and will incur no fee.


Thai officials discover remains of missing Karen activist

This undated photo provided by Phinnapha Phrueksaphan, wife of activist Porlajee Rakchongcharoen shows Porlajee, sitting on the road in Phetchaburi province. (Phinnapha Phrueksaphan via AP)

Associated Press

Bangkok (AP) — Thai law enforcement officials say they have found the remains of an ethnic Karen community activist who disappeared five years ago in suspicious circumstances.

Porlajee Rakchongcharoen, known as Billy, was last seen in the custody of Kaeng Krachan National Park officials in western Thailand on April 17, 2014.

Thailand's Department of Special Investigation announced Tuesday it had discovered an oil drum sunk in a reservoir at the park with a bone fragment near it that matched the DNA of Porlajee's mother. Both the drum and the bone had been burnt.

Porlajee had been leading the Karen community in a lawsuit against park chief Chaiwat Limlikitaksorn over his efforts to evict them. Chaiwat acknowledged that Porlajee was arrested for illegally collecting wild honey, but said he had been released before disappearing.


Tip-offs on speeding motorcyclists accepted with 3,000 baht reward

Assistant Police Commissioner General, Pol Lt Gen Damrongsak Kittipraphat.

NNT

Bangkok – Tuesday, Sept. 3, was the first day for members of the public to give tip-offs on speeding motorcyclists in exchange for a 3,000 baht cash reward. Police are addressing the issue of young motorcyclists illegally speeding or racing on the roads or in public areas. The information provided to the police will be treated confidentially.

Assistant Police Commissioner General, Pol Lt Gen Damrongsak Kittipraphat, said the Royal Thai Police are encouraging members of the public to participate in measures to combat the persistent problem by sending video clips, pictures or giving tip-offs to authorities on speeding motorcyclists.

Channels available for tip-offs include the Police Social Media Center, Hotline 1599 and Hotline 191. Tip-offs could lead to the arrest of such motorcyclists on charges of racing without official permission, riding vehicles in an unusual manner, riding without regard to the safety of other people or riding to cause trouble to other people and encouraging other motorcyclists to engage in illegal racing.

The police will forward motorcycle speeding cases to public prosecutors who will file them in court after suspects have been arrested and interrogated, and the police investigation has finished. Then, the person who has given the tip-off will be awarded 3,000 baht in cash within 10 working days.

All information provided will be treated confidentially while any informants who don’t wish to accept the reward may notify the police accordingly. The cash rewards are not coming from the Royal Thai Police’s budget, but from an initial sum of 500,000 baht which has been contributed by the private sector.


15 provinces still submerged after Storm Podul

NNT

Bangkok - The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has released its latest report on Tropical Storm Podul’s impact on Thailand, reporting flash floods and landslides in 64 districts of 24 provinces, affecting 3,663 households, with one fatality and one person injured. Fifteen provinces are still affected by the disaster, while the DDPM is now working with related agencies to assist affected villagers and drain away flood waters, as well as conduct surveys of damage, so as to provide compensation.

The Department of Rural Roads has reported that while 49 roads in the northeastern region were badly affected by flooding, traffic is now permitted to access 32 of the roads, with 17 remaining closed.

Elsewhere, most of another 22 highways affected by flooding in 11 provinces are now open for traffic, except three which remain closed - they are Highway No.2034 at 59th kilometer mark in Mukdahan where the bridge’s supports have subsided; Highway No.113 Wang Chompho - Phichit road at the 60th-62nd kilometer marks in Phichit where the road is submerged under 20-45 centimeters of flood water, and Highway No.202 at 288th-289th kilometer section in Yasothon where the road is flooded with water 40 centimeters deep.

Related agencies have placed warning signs and bypass information for road users, and proceeded with the removal of debris obstructing road traffic in some places. Responsible departments are on standby to repair roads damaged by flooding as soon as the water recedes. Road users can report flooding incidents by calling the Department of Rural Roads Hotline 1146, available 24 hours a day.

During this period, a new depression has formed and is moving close to China’s Hainan province and northern Vietnam, which will cause heavy rain in the northern and northeastern regions of Thailand until 6th September. Members of the general public are advised to follow weather advisories and instructions in case of disaster closely. Affected villagers can request assistance by calling the disaster hotline 1784, 24 hours a day.


Thailand, Myanmar to address border issues

Myanmar’s Supreme Commander, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, left, is greeted by Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut in Bangkok, Tuesday, Sept. 3.

NNT

Bangkok - Myanmar’s Supreme Commander, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Gen. Prayut in Bangkok on Tuesday as part of his visit to Thailand to attend the 7th Thailand-Myanmar High Level Committee (HLC) Meeting.

During talks, both sides agreed to jointly address border issues such as terrorism, narcotics and illegal fishing, with the support of neighboring countries. They also agreed to enhance cooperation in education and military training as well as expand the scope of training.

The Supreme Commander expressed his condolences over the loss of Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda. He then thanked the government of Thailand for its understanding of different events in Myanmar and its support for democracy and peace. He said Myanmar will remain a good neighbor and will closely cooperate with the Thai military in all respects.


US promotes free and open Indo-Pacific at naval exercise

Officers of the U.S. Navy and maritime forces of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) participate in the inauguration ceremony of ASEAN-U.S. Maritime Exercise in Sattahip, Thailand, Monday, Sep. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Associated Press

Sattahip (AP) — A senior U.S. naval officer has underlined Washington's commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific as the United States launched its first joint naval exercise with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Rear Adm. Kenneth Whitesell spoke Monday at the opening ceremony of the ASEAN-U.S. Maritime Exercise at the Sattahip naval base in eastern Thailand.

He said the exercise demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, which Washington has been promoting to counter China's increasing influence in Asia, including Beijing's territorial claims in the South China Sea. Several Southeast Asian countries contest the Chinese claims.

The United States has been shoring up relations with allies and taking a higher military profile in the Pacific as part of its rivalry with China.


South Korean President visits Thailand for first time

NNT

Bangkok - South Korean President Moon Jae-In is paying an official visit to Thailand from September 1-3 and has held talks with Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha. Together, they signed six agreements at Government House on Monday.

This is the first visit to Thailand by a South Korean leader in seven years. The president and his spouse, Kim Jong-Suk, arrived Sunday at Air Wing 6 airport and were greeted by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, Digital Minister Puttipong and an air force guard of honor.

Thailand and South Korea maintain a joint strategic partnership in line with South Korea’s New Southern Policy and Thailand 4.0 policy.


29th anniversary of the death of Sueb Nakhasathien

NNT

Bangkok - Warawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, attended an event on September 1 to commemorate the death of Seub Nakhasathien at Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in Uthai Thani. The memorial service commemorates the death of Seub Nakhasathien, a Thai conservationist who was well known for his efforts to conserve and protect nature within the sanctuary. Sueb Nakhasathien, committed suicide on the morning of September 1, 1990, inside a house at the sanctuary. His death was seen as an urgent message to society and all sectors to seriously pay attention to the destruction of natural resources.

The event this year saw 58 children of park rangers receive scholarships from the Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment. He also released wildlife back into nature from animal shelters, and the stables that are used for the wildlife to adjust to freedom, before being released into the real forest which covers an area of 100 rai (soft release).


Second Sadao customs checkpoint underway

NNT

Songkhla - Sadao, Thailand’s largest cross-border trading location, is building a second checkpoint.

Deputy Prime Minister/Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, Deputy Interior Minister Niphon Boonyamanee, Deputy Transport Minister Thaworn Senniam, Songkhla’s provincial governors and officials of the southern border administrative center visited the construction site in Songkhla. Construction of the checkpoint is 95% complete and is expected to open by the end of this year.

The value of cross-border trade between Thailand and Malaysia amounted to about 803 billion baht last year and 387.41 billion baht in the first half of this year. Of the total, up to 70% passed through the Sadao customs checkpoint.

Thailand currently has nine customs checkpoints along the southern border with Malaysia, with Sadao check-point handling the highest value of imported and exported goods. Sadao customs check-point is viewed by authorities as a strategic economic gateway which is efficiently providing import and export services and continues to expand.


Tropical storm Podul causes floods in North, Northeast

 

NNT

Bangkok - Tropical storm Podul has made landfall on northern and northeastern Thailand, and many houses, roads and farms and roads have been hit by flash floods and forest runoffs. Government units have now been deployed to assist people in flooded areas.

The tropical storm and continuous heavy rain had caused the water levels in Phon Thong district of Roi Et province and Kuchinarai and Khao Wong districts of Kalasin province to rise significantly. As a result, a water barrier in Selaphum district, Roi Et province, was breached, causing floods in many residential and agricultural areas. More than 10,000 rai of rice farms have been inundated.

The province of Phetchabun has also been affected by the influence of tropical storm. Heavy rain and forest runoffs have affected many communities, houses and farm areas. Rescue teams have distributed survival kits and basic necessities to flood-hit villagers.

Landslides triggered by heavy rain were reported in many areas of the northern province of Nan. In Na Noi district, landslides had caused damage to 14 houses, four of which were heavily damaged. A road in Santha subdistrict was impassable, and a group of villagers had to use basic tools to remove the debris. With 12 hours of accumulated rainfall, the water level had exceeded 100 millimeters. Water from various sources had overflowed to flood numerous houses and farmland.

Officials from the Royal Irrigation Department visited people living near reservoirs, notifying them to be prepared for potential floods and move their belongings to higher ground. The officials had prepared water pumps and other equipment to cope with the water situation around the clock.

A team of royal irrigation officials in Chiang Mai province closely monitored the water level of the Mae Chaem River, after the storm caused forest runoffs to flood many areas of Mae Chaem district.

Doi Suthep–Pui National Park in Chiang Mai announced that the Mae Sa and Tat Mok waterfalls are temporarily closed to visitors for safety reasons. Monthathan, Huay Kaew and Mork Fa waterfalls remain open to visitors, but they are prohibited from engaging in activities near the waterfalls as a precautionary measure.


Digital Ministry to introduce official LINE account tackling fake news

NNT

Bangkok - The Minister of Digital Economy and Society, Puttipong Punnakanta, has held talks with the CEO of LINE Thailand, Phichet Rerkpreecha, on the creation of a LINE Official Account for the Ministry of a Digital Economy and Society as a proactive measure to address the circulation of fake news.

Users can report any suspicious news item to this account, which will have a chatbox providing an interactive experience and initial communication with users. The administrative team overseeing the account will have access to a database to make verifications and identify fake news. The Ministry of a Digital Economy and Society’s LINE Official Account is expected to be ready for use in two months.


Government to compensate flood-hit farmers

NNT

Bangkok - Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha had instructed all related units to look after people affected by tropical storm Podul.

The Department of Agricultural Extension will assess the damage in farm areas after the flood water recedes. Officials in the flood-hit provinces will notify farmers of the damage, provide guidance on growing rice, fruit and field crops and distribute biological products for agricultural use to prevent plant diseases.

As for the government’s measures to aid flood-hit farmers, rice growers who registered with the Department of Agricultural Extension in advance will receive a compensation of 1,113 baht per rai up to 30 rai. The government will compensate field crop farmers with 1,148 baht per rai, while horticulture farmers will be given 1,690 baht per rai.


Culture Ministry includes 18 traditions in national cultural heritage list

NNT

Bangkok - The Ministry of Culture has announced the inclusion of 18 traditions in the national cultural heritage list to stimulate community participation in preserving, restoring and protecting local and national cultural heritage.

Kalasin’s Pong Lang performance is one part of northeastern cultural heritage which has been included in the list this year. Pong Lang is an instrument that is played at festivals to entertain people and people form a group to do activities. It not only fosters unity but also brings pride to the communities.

From 2009-2018, 336 cultural heritage practices were added to the inventory. This year’s additional 18 aspects of cultural heritage will increase that total to 354. Others on the list this year include folk literature, language and performing arts. There are also practical aspects regarding nature and the universe as well as martial arts which reflect the distinctive identity of the nation.


DAILY UPDATE

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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Police uncover potential infant trade on Facebook

Moon, Chi rivers expected to overflow in Northeast

Songkhla still affected by Indonesian fire haze

New campaign seeks to reduce single-use plastic


Court declines to hear case of PM's incomplete oath

Interior minister says seven provinces remain flooded

Thailand pledges to support Indo-Pacific regional security enhancement

Cabinet agrees to keep VAT rate at 7%


No storm to hit Thailand in next 3-5 days

PM encourages use of metal food carriers to help environment

BMA has no authority to allow motorcyclists to use overpasses

Beverage manufacturers prepare for sugar tax


Nine districts of Ubon Ratchathani declared disaster zones

Prime minister opens IPACC IPAMS SELF 2019

Tourism revenue grows in Thailand’s emerging destinations

Bhumjaithai party hosts last cannabis forum


Wildfire haze from Indonesia covers lower South

Officials provide assistance to flood victims

Department of Fine Arts to display China’s terracotta warriors

Justice Minister to discuss transnational drug trafficking in Vietnam


Rights group concerned over missing Lao activist in Thailand

New Zealand officials find half ton of meth hidden in Thai motors

Chao Phraya River level rises two meters

PM says military attaches can publicize country’s good image


Riverside shops, restaurants prepare for Royal Barge Procession

ASEAN targets higher renewable energy utilization

DE Ministry launches "Power of Kindness" caravan to help flood victims

FPO to be more proactive with "Taste, Shop, Use" program


'Yellow Shirt' founder jailed for fraud released early

New storm set to hit upper Thailand

August inflation up by 0.52%

Patients to receive prescribed medicine at drugstores from October 1


Thai officials discover remains of missing Karen activist

Tip-offs on speeding motorcyclists accepted with 3,000 baht reward

15 provinces still submerged after Storm Podul

Thailand, Myanmar to address border issues


US promotes free and open Indo-Pacific at naval exercise

South Korean President visits Thailand for first time

29th anniversary of the death of Sueb Nakhasathien

Second Sadao customs checkpoint underway


Tropical storm Podul causes floods in North, Northeast

Digital Ministry to introduce official LINE account tackling fake news

Government to compensate flood-hit farmers

Culture Ministry includes 18 traditions in national cultural heritage list