Make Chiangmai Mail | Bookmark

Chiangmai 's First English Language Newspaper

Pattaya Blatt | Pattaya Mail | Pattaya Mail TV

 

Update October, 2019


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

PM urges public to use more reusable bags

The Prime Minister has invited the general public to opt for reusable fabric bags instead of single-use plastic bags, to help reduce waste and pollution.

NNT

The Prime Minister has invited the general public to opt for reusable fabric bags instead of single-use plastic bags, to help reduce waste and pollution.

Prior to the Cabinet’s meeting today, the Minister of Culture, Itthiphol Kunplome led executives and officials to meet with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to promote the OCAC’s Altruistic Hearts campaign that encourages the use of reusable fabric bags instead of single-use plastic bags to help reduce waste and the effects of global warming.
On this occasion, the Prime Minister joined children to color a dolphin on a fabric bag which will be used instead of plastic bags, and expressed his admiration for the activity and participating children helping to promote the cause.

Afterwards, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health was accompanied by ministerial executives to promote the Clean Hands For All campaign celebrating the Global Handwashing Day, where the Prime Minister saw a demonstration of seven essential hand-washing steps, and encouraged all people to wash their hands properly before daily activities such as eating.

The Prime Minister then inspected research papers and innovations on single command air quality information systems by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, during which he mentioned that the general public was concerned about changing weather conditions affecting health, and said that the government will continue to address the issue, but will require cooperation from all sides, as well as communications to raise awareness among people in sensitive groups such as children, pregnant women, elders, and patients.

The Prime Minister then joined the promotion of a Khon performance by the Khon Committee from the SUPPORT Foundation for the Ramaya Epic on Sueb Makkra, which will be performed from 6th November to 5th December 2019 at the Thailand Cultural Center. The Prime Minister also asked all in attendance to help conserve and pass on national cultural heritage, which is an indicator of a quality tourism culture.


Comptroller General’s Department transfers allowances to senior citizens, and persons with disabilities

The Director-General of the Comptroller General’s Department, Poomsak Aranyakasemsuk

NNT

The Comptroller General’s Department and the Department of Local Administration have developed a database to speed up the transfer of monthly allowances to senior citizens and persons with disabilities nationwide, and help prevent fraud and corruption.

The Director-General of the Comptroller General’s Department, Poomsak Aranyakasemsuk, said today his agency has integrated the social welfare database with the government’s e-Payment project, which is part of the National e-Payment Master Plan. With this integration, people who are eligible can directly receive their allowances from the government. The Department of Local Administration has set up the database and verified the personal information. People in Sing Buri province have been receiving their allowances directly since August this year.

Meanwhile, the information system and the subsistence allowance database are being upgraded and verified at 7,774 local administrative organizations across the country. The information will be linked through the database to help senior citizens and persons with disabilities receive their allowances directly, starting in January next year. The allowances will be transferred on the 10th day of each month. If it happens to be a weekend or a public holiday, the due date will be a day earlier.


TAT confirms system stability for special tourism discount campaign

(TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

NNT

The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn has spoken in regard to the tourism promotion campaigns at the end of this year, saying that the TAT will be introducing two domestic tourism promotional measures, namely a 100-baht nationwide tourism campaign, and shocking-price weekday discounts.

The 100-baht campaign will offer some 40,000 tourism products and services at only 100 baht each. Registration is required and will be available on 11-12 November and 11-12 December this year, for only 10,000 persons each day, on TAT’s website starting at 00:01 a.m.

The weekday discount campaign valid on Mondays to Thursdays will run from 1st November until 3rd December this year, offering up to 70 percent discounts on tourism products. TAT will open its online store offering the same discount to help promote manufacturers. Eligible purchases made with the government’s wallet app, will also receive a 15 percent VAT rebate.

On the readiness of these measures, the TAT is now ensuring the preparedness of the system to accommodate registrations, after issues found during the Chim Shop Chai campaign, already being addressed to improve performance, flexibility, and to prevent other issues.

The TAT governor said he is confident these measures will provide an ongoing economic boost following the success of the Chim Shop Chai campaign, spiking revenue 10-20 percent, with tourist numbers reaching the 180 million persons goal.


Government’s stimulus measures boost economic growth by 3%

Director of the Center for Economic and Business Forecasting, Asst. Prof. Dr. Thanavath Phonvichai.

NNT
The government’s Chim Shop Chai (Taste, Shop, Use) campaign has helped boost domestic spending. The Center for Economic and Business Forecasting of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) has forecast that the second phase of this campaign will help the Thai economy expand by 3% this year.

The Director of the Center for Economic and Business Forecasting, Asst. Prof. Dr. Thanavath Phonvichai, said today that business representatives surveyed by the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) remained concerned about the trade war between China and the US, as it had slowed global economic growth, while Thai exports in August contracted 4%. The business representatives were also concerned with a series of mass protests in Hong Kong. In addition, prices of agricultural products remain low due to the flooding in northeastern Thailand, and farmers had less spending power. The TCC confidence index fell to 46.2 points in September, the ninth consecutive month of contraction. The future confidence index also fell to 48.1 points last month.

However, the Thai economy is being supported by several positive factors. One of them is the government’s Chim Shop Chai economic stimulus measure, which has won overwhelming public interest. If the second phase is implemented as expected, the Thai economy will continue to improve. When the national budget is passed by the House of Representatives, budget disbursement should be undertaken immediately to help drive the country’s economic growth. Speaking of the monetary policy, a measure to stabilize the baht’s value should be implemented to support Thai exports and tourism in the fourth quarter. With these contributing factors, the Thai economy should grow by 2.8 to 3.0% this year.



PM Prayut leads activities to commemorate the passing of King Rama IX

 In Bangkok, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, cabinet ministers and the people conducted alms-giving and merit-making ceremonies on the occasion of the anniversary of the passing of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, at Sanam Luang.

NNT

Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, cabinet ministers and the people conducted alms-giving and merit-making ceremonies on the occasion of the anniversary of the passing of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, at Sanam Luang.

The Prime Minister and his spouse presided over the ceremonies in commemoration of the late King Rama IX. Privy councilors, the Supreme Court president, the parliament president, Palace officials, cabinet ministers and presidents of independent organizations, the Bangkok governor and military commanders attended the ceremonies. The alms-giving activity was conducted by 489 monks from various temples in Bangkok. Items provided for the alms-giving ceremony will be donated to various welfare agencies and needy temples.
The Prime Minister laid a wreath before a portrait of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, as did other attendees. In the provinces nationwide, similar ceremonies were held with many people attending in commemoration of the late King Rama IX.

This evening at Sanam Luang, the prime minister led the people in the lighting of candles in commemoration of the kindness of the late King Rama IX for 89 seconds. Musical and video shows will be conducted in commemoration of the late king’s many kindnesses.
Many people, dressed in yellow, attended the ceremonies and activities nationwide.


Faithful Buddhists join End of Buddhist Lent alms-giving ceremonies

Faithful Buddhists across the country have attended alms giving ceremonies for monks in all regions, to observe the End of Buddhist Lent.

NNT

Faithful Buddhists across the country have attended alms giving ceremonies for monks in all regions, to observe the End of Buddhist Lent.

Starting off in the northern region. In Chiang Mai, the city municipality held the end of Buddhist Lent alms giving ceremony to 99 Buddhist monks, on the plaza in front of Kham Luang Tower in Royal Park Rajapruek, which many faithful Buddhists attended.

In Phrae, Wat Phra That Chor Hae Temple held an end of Buddhist Lent alms-giving ceremony where monks walked down the 94-step stairway. The procession imitates a scene from Buddhist legend where Lord Buddha delivered a sermon to his mother in heaven, before travelling down 449-step stairs. On this occasion, the path was surrounded by members of the general public offering alms, and included parades bearing items of worship; dances, and ghosts begging for blessings.

Moving to the northeastern region. Some 5,000 villagers in Khon Kaen province joined the End of Buddhist Lent alms giving ceremony held on Rajapruek Withi walkway in the middle of Kaen Nakhon Lake, along which 309 monks and novices accepted food and offerings from faithful Buddhists who were positioned around the lake.

In Nakhon Phanom, locals and visitors attending an Illuminated Boat Procession, joined the End of Buddhist Lent alms-giving ceremony held at the Paya Sri Satta Nakarat Monument plaza by the Mekong River, where a procession of Buddha statues and leading monks accepted alms and offerings, symbolizing the journey of Lord Buddha from Heaven to Earth to bless faithful Buddhists.

In Nakhon Si Thammarat, a Buddhist Lent alms-giving ceremony was held at Wat Phra Maha That Temple, where the abbot Phra Thep Winyaporn gave blessings and led monks and novices in accepting alms and offerings. Late morning Oct. 14, a Chak Phra ceremony from each province to Wat Phra Maha That took place, preserving a local tradition held on the day after the End of Buddhist Lent every year.


People remember 46 years after October 14 massacre

A representative of the Prime Minister delivered a speech praising the heroism of those who lost their lives.

NNT

At the October 14 Memorial Day ceremony observing the 46th year since the tragedy in 1973, the general public and relatives of the victims attended religious ceremonies to commemorate all the lives lost in the tragedy. Delegates from many organizations also laid wreaths in memory of those lost.

Held at the October 14 Memorial in Bangkok, a multi-faith religious service representing Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam took place to commemorate the political tragedy of October 14 1973, when students and the people came out to demand democracy during the dictatorship of Gen Thanom Kittikachorn, leading to violent suppression resulting in many injuries and deaths.

A representative of the Prime Minister delivered a speech praising the heroism of those who lost their lives, which even after 46 years is still one of the most important political incidents in Thai history, reflecting the power of students and the people who regard democratic values as essential to advancing Thai society, in keeping with international communities. The incident gave birth to public participation in politics, which remains the important foundation on which Democracy is built.

At the ceremony, relatives of October 14 victims asked all sides in society to help promote democracy in Thailand.


Thailand wants RCEP talks to conclude this month

Deputy Prime Minister/Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit yesterday chaired the ninth Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) meeting at The Athenee Hotel in Bangkok with 10 ASEAN member states and six trade partner countries attending.

NNT

Deputy Prime Minister/Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit yesterday chaired the ninth Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) meeting at The Athenee Hotel in Bangkok with 10 ASEAN member states and six trade partner countries attending.

Jurin said the RCEP meeting was an important event in which talks were held in the most straightforward manner possible, to reach conclusions as planned last year by the leaders of the participating countries wishing talks to be finished this year. The leaders plan to declare success in the RCEP talks in a Summit scheduled for next month.

Jurin said 14 of a total of 20 topics of the discussions have been concluded, leaving the six others to be completed in a senior officials meeting scheduled from October 24 to October 29. The next ministerial meeting is scheduled for November 1 during which conclusions will be wrapped up ahead of the Summit.

All the participating countries have supported the plan to reach conclusions in the talks within the year so that RCEP will become the world’s largest Free Trade area, consisting of 16 countries including the 10 ASEAN states and six trading partner countries, namely China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand with a combined population of over 3.56 billion or nearly half the world’s population and a combined trade value of over 11.4 trillion dollars, accounting for 30% of the total world trade value. Thailand is expected to earn some 27 billion dollars in trade and investment.



Chonburi stages Buffalo Racing Festival

Chonburi’s 148th Buffalo Racing Festival was held on October 12 in front of the district office.

NNT

The 148th Buffalo Running Festival in Chonburi was attended by a large number of people this year as usual. The event is held annually to preserve the province’s cultural heritage. Chonburi’s 148th Buffalo Racing Festival was held on October 12, 2019, in front of the Muang Chonburi District Office in Chonburi province. The opening ceremony was presided over by Culture Minister Itthiphol Kunplome. In the morning, there was a buffalo cart parade of over one kilometer in length which was observed by a large number of people and both Thai and foreign tourists.

Apart from the must-see buffalo racing, the festival offered a wide range of fun-filled activities that have been created to also mark the importance of the buffalo in Thai history, such as the Most Healthy Buffalo Contest, Buffalo Fashion Contest and a retro parade of beautifully-decorated buffalo carts. Other highlights included a Miss Farmer Beauty Contest, Thai local sports contest, a fair selling OTOP products and presenting performances.

Buffalo racing has been held each year for on the 14th day of the waxing moon of the 11th lunar month which marks the end of the rainy season and the arrival of winter when the harvest has been completed. The event was initiated as a way to express gratitude to the buffaloes after working for farmers in the previous months by beautifully decorating them and feeding them generously.


Tourist police ready to help Japanese tourists stranded in Thailand

Thai Tourist Police have accelerated assistance for Japanese tourists who are stranded in Thailand after being affected by the tropical cyclone Hagibis.

NNT

Thai Tourist Police have accelerated assistance for Japanese tourists who are stranded in Thailand after being affected by tropical cyclone Hagibis. The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affair (MFA) has called on Thai people to closely follow the situation and announcements by the Japanese government.

Ms Bussadi Santiphitaks, Director-General of the MFA Department of Information, said she had received a report from the Royal Thai Embassy in Tokyo regarding the situation of tropical cyclone Hagibis. The most severely affected areas are Tokyo and Tokai. Thai people in Kansai, Kanto and Tokai are asked to closely follow announcements of the local authorities, check temporary shelters nearby and stay indoors. They are strongly advised against taking pictures of storms and piers or going sightseeing.

There are currently no reports of Thais being affected by the storm. Thai people in Japan can contact the Consular Affairs Division of the Royal Thai Embassy in Tokyo by calling (+81) 03-5789-2449 or the Department of Consular Affairs’ Hotline 02-572-8442.

Police Lieutenant General Damrongsak Kittipraphas, Assistant Commissioner General of the Royal Thai Police (RTP), disclosed measures to help those affected by tropical cyclone Hagibis in Japan saying that the tourist police will be responsible for helping Japanese people stranded in Thailand after the airlines canceled flights to Japan and can’t return home. Initially, the airlines and airports can still take care of the tourists but if the RTP are asked for assistance, the tourist police have already had measures to help the stranded tourists by coordinating with relevant agencies to provide them with accommodation and food. For affected tourists whose visas will expire soon, the RTP has also already coordinated with the immigration police to help them.


Tourists reserve space to witness Naga fireballs

The Naga fireball phenomenon occurs every year on the 15th day of the waxing moon of the 11th lunar month. This year, it fell on October 13, 2019.

NNT

Nong Khai is bustling with visitors to tourist attractions and important temples in the province. Many of them reserved space along the Mekong riverbank which is the main viewing point for the "Naga fireball" phenomenon.

Popular Naga fireball viewing points are in Phon Phisai and Rattanawapee districts especially in front of the Thai temple in the municipality of Phon Phisai subdistrict where ceremonies for the worship of the Lord Buddha and Phaya Phisai Satta Nakaraj have been held.

Throughout the day, there has been a flow of tourists who are visiting tourist attractions, taking pictures and making merit. Many of them stayed at hotels, homestays, schools and temples in Phon Phisai district and Rattawapee district last night in order to be ready to observe the "Naga fireball" phenomenon.

In Muang Nong Khai district, the End of Buddhist Lent Festival and the Naga Fireball Festival have been celebrated. The events feature a variety of cultural performances in the evening of every day from October 10-16, 2019, along the Mekong River.

The Naga fireball phenomenon occurs every year on the 15th day of the waxing moon of the 11th lunar month. This year, it fell on October 13, 2019.


Thai driver Alexander Albon turning heads in Formula 1

 

Red Bull driver Alexander Albon of Thailand steers his car during the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai)

By Jim Armstrong

Suzuka, Japan (AP) — Formula One has always had a solid following in Southeast Asia. Having Red Bull driver Alexander Albon performing as well as he is will only add to the sport's popularity in the region.

Born in London to a British father and a Thai mother, Albon races under the flag of Thailand. He is just the second Thai racer in F1 following Prince Bira, a member of the Thai Royal Family who raced in the early '50s.

Albon recorded a fourth-place finish in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix for his best result of the season, an indication that a podium finish is not too far off for the Thai driver.

"Fourth is my F1 career best finish and this weekend has definitely felt like my best with the team," Albon said. "Immediately from (the first practice) I felt comfortable with the car and the balance, which is important for a track like Suzuka where you need a lot of confidence, especially on your first visit."

After making his 2019 Formula One debut with Toro Rosso at the Australian Grand Prix, Red Bull announced in August that Albon would replace Pierre Gasly in the senior team with the swap effective from the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix where Albon rose from 17th on the grid to finish fifth, a result he matched in Russia.

"Obviously it's a big step, first year in Formula One and then being with the big team," Albon said. "You're with a team that has had a lot of previous success, world championships as well. So it was a bit nerve-racking but the team has been good to me. The first four races have been pretty good but you always want a little more."

While in Japan, the 23-year-old spoke of his Thai heritage and the enormous support he felt on a recent trip to Thailand.

"Obviously, Thailand doesn't have a big motorsport background," Albon said. "But it's certainly getting bigger and to race under the Thai flag I feel like I'm representing the country but also Asia in some respects. I've gone to Thailand three times this year already and every time I go there I realize how big it's getting."

After Sunday's impressive showing in Suzuka, Albon is on 64 points and ranked eighth in the drivers' standings.

Albon started racing karts at a young age. He enjoyed success in karting between 2006 and 2010 including titles at the 2006 Super 1 Honda National Championship, 2009 Super 1 Honda National Championship and the 2010 European Championship.

And he hopes for a chance to one day wave the Thai flag on the winner's podium.

"To show that Thailand can compete in the top level, would always be a dream of mine," Albon said. "So we'll see but I'm not putting pressure on myself to say I need to finish in the top three, I think that's kind of the wrong way to approach it but hopefully I keep improving every race, and getting more comfortable with the car and by the end of the year, who knows?"



Activities in Remembrance of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great

The Thai government invites the people to join ceremonies and activities on memorial day for His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great on October 13th.

NNT

The Thai government invites the people to join ceremonies and activities on memorial day for His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great on October 13th.

The merit-making rituals and activities to be held on the memorial day include:

At 07.00 a.m., alms-giving to 489 monks and novices.
At 08.30 a.m., the laying of wreaths before a portrait of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great.

At 10.00 a.m., a voluntary activity for improvements to the landscape in commemoration of the kindness of the late King Rama IX.

At 07.30 p.m., the lighting of candles in commemoration of the late King Rama IX. Participants stand in silence for 89 seconds in commemoration of the kindnesses of the late King Rama IX.
At 07.45 p.m., music performances titled “Streams of care all over Thailand”.

In every province, the ceremonies and activities will be held at provincial halls or other suitable venues simultaneously. Abroad, they are to be held at Thai embassies and consular offices.

The people joining the ceremonies and activities nationwide on Sunday are advised to wear yellow. (NNT)



Police say log file regulation is not new, ask public not to worry

TCSD Deputy Commander Pol. Col. Siriwat Deepor said a regulation requiring coffee shop owners to store the data of customers using their Wi-Fi connections is in line with the law and does not violate users’ privacy.

NNT

The Royal Thai Police’s Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) has assured that a regulation requiring coffee shop owners to store the data of customers using their Wi-Fi connections is in line with the law and does not violate users’ privacy.

TCSD Deputy Commander Pol. Col. Siriwat Deepor said this regulation is not new because it has been enforced since 2007. The law does not require internet users to keep the traffic data, known as a log file, and they can still use the service as usual. Coffee shop owners, however, have to retain a log file of their customers’ browsing data. Authorities can use this information to help their investigations and track down offenders. The regulation does not violate users’ privacy, adding that other countries have implemented similar security measures.

Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta said the Anti-Fake News Center will be launched on November 1 this year. The center will deal with misleading news and information on social media. People can file reports to the center and the information will be forwarded to relevant agencies. The center employs an artificial intelligence (AI) system that can detect fake news and a warning system to alert social media users promptly.

"It’s about developing a platform or a channel for us to communicate with the people, such as Facebook, Line or other applications. We have to be quick to explain to the public why the information is considered fake news. These three procedures are almost complete. As I said, it will begin on November 1. We will monitor the news and information. It’s mostly about how the news is being presented to the people. It’s not about tracking down people and conducting an investigation. They’re different issues."

The news monitoring criteria will cover four groups. The first group is disasters, such as fake news about floods, earthquakes, collapsing dams and tsunamis. The other groups include finance and banking, health, counterfeit and hazardous products and political issues that are considered a threat to national security. Representatives from all government agencies are ready to provide information and support to the Anti-Fake News Center around the clock.


Thailand to host World Ganja Festival 2020

The Association of Researchers of Thailand has now joined members of the public and the private sector to organize the World Ganja Festival 2020.

NNT

Following the liberalization of cannabis for medical use, marijuana is being seen as a potential cash crop which can benefit Thailand’s economy. The Association of Researchers of Thailand has now joined members of the public and the private sector to organize the World Ganja Festival 2020.

The Association of Researchers of Thailand has signed an agreement with the Thai Nationalism Foundation, the Journalist and Media Association of Thailand and provincial administrative organizations of Nakhon Phanom, Sakon Nakhon and Mukdahan to hold the World Ganja Festival 2020 between January 29 and February 2 next year. The venue is on 40 acres of land near Nong Yat Reservoir in Nakhon Phanom province.

Gen. Charan Kullawanit, an honorary adviser to the World Ganja Festival project, said today that the festival is being held for the first time in Thailand, and will serve as a platform for people to exchange their knowledge of cannabis for medical use. The event will also help promote Thailand as a developer of top quality marijuana strains, which will contribute to the country’s economic growth.

"We’re the main host. Thailand’s the main host. We’re deciding who we will invite. The association chairperson said there’ll be Chinese, Japanese and American guests. They once opposed the idea. We’ll invite them so we can listen to their academic ideas, presentations and statements. We’ll see how the event will benefit the global community."
The World Ganja Festival 2020 is divided into three zones, covering academic seminars, technological innovations and business negotiations, as well as local wisdom from each province. The event will also feature a product design competition and music festival.

The event organizers say the World Ganja Festival 2020 will create new opportunities and provide a better understanding of cannabis and its legal aspects.


Badminton champion Ratchanok cleared of doping

Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon gestures after winning against Taiwan's Tai Tzu Ying during women's semi-final match at the Korea Open Badminton in Incheon, South Korea, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (AP) — Former world badminton champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand has been cleared of a doping violation because she proved she ate contaminated meat.

Ratchanok, ranked No. 5, tested positive for clenbuterol in an out-of-competition test in April, the Badminton World Federation said in a statement on Thursday.

She faced a four-year ban, but the federation said an ethics hearing panel ruled "she was found to bear no fault or negligence for the violation, and thus no period of ineligibility has been imposed on her."

In her defense, she collected eight samples of beef and pork in July from a buffet restaurant she regularly eats at in Thailand, and testing discovered traces of clenbuterol, despite it being banned in Thailand since 2003. Because of that national ban, the panel agreed with her that she had no reason to know or suspect that she might eat contaminated meat.

Farmers add clenbuterol to cattle feed to reduce fat.

The panel also noted the clenbuterol in her system was also well below minimum levels of concern, and an anti-doping test of her two weeks beforehand was clean.

Ratchanok became the youngest world champion in 2013 at 18, and she became the first Thai to reach No. 1 in the world in 2016.


Road tripping Thailand: Weekend getaways to beat the crowds

 

Ban Krut beach in the Prachuap Khiri Khan boasts one of the cleanest and quietest stretches of white sand within driving distance of the capital. (AP Photo/Nicole Evatt)

The royal pavilion drenched in sunlight inside the Phraya Nakhon Cave located in Thailand's Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. Its lush hiking trails, wetlands and mangrove forests make Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park a weekend adventure worthy of topping your Thailand to-do list. (AP Photo/Nicole Evatt)

Local monkeys gather in the center of Lopburi town, known as Monkey City, in central Thailand. (AP Photo/Nicole Evatt)

Wat Tang Sai, a Buddhist temple perched atop Thong Chai Mountain in Ban Krut in Prachuap Khiri Khan. (AP Photo/Nicole Evatt)

Local monkeys gather at Phra Prang Sam Yot temple in the center of Lopburi, one of Thailand’s oldest cities, which boasts Khmer-era temples and the uncrowded ruins of King Narai’s Palace. (AP Photo/Nicole Evatt)

By Nicole Evatt

Bangkok (AP) — Thailand's southern beaches lure travelers with their turquoise water and dramatic limestone cliffs, but there's more to explore in the Southeast Asian country that's one of the world's most popular destinations.

For a Thai road less traveled, try one of these getaways outside Bangkok, far from the overly Instagrammed backpacker hotspots or the party scene of Phuket or Pattaya.

Ban Krut for the beach bum

In laid-back Ban Krut, travelers will find one of the cleanest and quietest stretches of white sand within driving distance of the capital, Bangkok.

This sleepy seaside community, known mostly by locals, is a five-hour drive or six-hour train trip down the Gulf of Thailand.

Don't miss the magnificent Wat Tang Sai, a massive, fairytale castle-like Buddhist temple perched atop Thong Chai Mountain.

River Kwai for the nature lover

Most visitors come for the beaches, but the rivers and parks in Thailand's Kanchanaburi province have much to offer the off-the-beaten-track road tripper.

Scenic trails and waterfalls abound in Sai Yok and Erawan national parks.

Just two hours from Bangkok is the famed bridge over River Kwai featured in the French novel-turned-1957 Academy Award-winning film.

Stay on the river at one of Kanchanaburi's many floating hotels, or floatels, where you can kayak to your front door.

Phraya Nakhon Cave for the holiday hiker

Lush hiking trails, wetlands and mangrove forests make Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park a weekend adventure worthy of topping your Thailand to-do list.

The park's crown jewel is the extraordinary Phraya Nakhon Cave. Come early to catch the picturesque chamber flooded with morning sunshine spotlighting the royal pavilion that sits inside.

Outdoorsy travelers can camp in a park bungalow or opt for more luxe accommodations in the nearby touristy town of Hua Hin, three hours by car or four by train from Bangkok.

 Lopburi for the history buff

Bypass the tour groups at the ancient city of Ayutthaya and head two hours north of Bangkok for a more serene stroll through Thai history.

Lopburi, one of Thailand's oldest cities, boasts Khmer-era temples and the uncrowded ruins of King Narai's Palace, built in the 1600s.

It's also known for the mischievous monkeys that gather at Phra Prang Sam Yot temple in the center of town. Pro tip: Keep a safe distance from the monkeys and hide anything you don't want them to steal.



EJF praises Thailand as first country in region to defeat IUU Fishing

Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan welcomes Environmental Justice Foundation Executive Director Steve Trent to the Ministry of Defence in Bangkok.

NNT

The Environmental Justice Foundation’s Executive Director has met with the Deputy Prime Minister, praising Thailand as the first country in the region to have successfully overcome illegal, unregulated, unreported (IUU) fishing.

Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan yesterday welcomed the Environmental Justice Foundation’s (EJF) Executive Director Steve Trent to the Ministry of Defence in Bangkok.

The Deputy Prime Minister’s Assistant Spokesman, Maj Gen Patchasak Patirupanon, said that Prawit thanked Trent for the organization’s offer to help Thailand solve the problem of IUU fishing, which helped the country achieve the lifting of the yellow-flag warning over a 4-5 year period. The DPM assured the foundation’s executive director that the government will continue to suppress IUU fishing, keeping the country IUU free, and has asked the EJF to help assist the Thai government in addressing issues in the fisheries’ labor sector.

The UK-based nonprofit’s director thanked the DPM for the welcome from Thai authorities, and praised Thailand’s successful efforts in combating IUU fishing, being the first country in the region to achieve this goal and becoming a model for other countries around the world. He asked the Thai government to maintain its focus on solving issues in the fishing industry and promoting sustainability, adding that the EJF is willing to provide support and guidance. (NNT)


Thai court sentences Taiwanese to life for smuggling heroin

Taiwan national Chen Kuan Lin exits a prison bus after arriving at the criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. The Bangkok Criminal Court delivered Chen the death penalty but commuted his sentence to life imprisonment after trying to smuggle 5.6 kilograms (12.3 lbs.) of heroin out of Thailand. (AP Photo)

By Busaba Sivasomboon

Bangkok (AP) — A court in Thailand on Wednesday commuted a Taiwanese man's sentence for smuggling heroin to life imprisonment after sentencing him to death.

A Bangkok Criminal Court official confirmed Thai media reports that 38-year-old Chen Kuan Lin had been arrested while trying to smuggle 5.6 kilograms (12.3 pounds) of heroin from Thailand to Taiwan. Authorities found 18 tin boxes labeled as cooling powder in his luggage as he was about to fly from Bangkok's Don Muang airport.

He was found guilty of possession of heroin and trafficking with intent to sell.

The court official, who asked not to be named because he wasn't authorized to discuss the case, said Chen's sentence was commuted because he confessed, a standard practice in Thai courts.

The maximum length of any prison term in Thailand is 50 years.


NACC hosts 2019 SEA-PAC meeting

As part of the effort to prevent corruption in the ASEAN region, the National Anti-Corruption Commission is hosting this year’s South East Asia Parties Against Corruption (SEA-PAC) meeting, an annual meeting of anti-corruption bodies in ASEAN countries.

 NNT

As part of the effort to prevent corruption in the ASEAN region, the National Anti-Corruption Commission is hosting this year’s South East Asia Parties Against Corruption (SEA-PAC) meeting, an annual meeting of anti-corruption bodies in ASEAN countries.

National Anti-Corruption Commission President Pol Gen Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit presided over the opening ceremony of the 15th South East Asia Parties Against Corruption (SEA-PAC) meeting, held on the theme "Denying Accommodation of Government Officials Involved in Corruption and Articles Obtained from Corruption," in which participating agencies from ASEAN countries share their experiences and operational guidelines.

The NACC chief has restated Thailand’s wish to suppress corruption at both national and international levels through proactive action against international corruption, materializing policies and innovations enabling anti-corruption cooperation in ASEAN, in keeping with this year’s Advancing Partnership for Sustainability theme for the ASEAN Community.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD), Southeast Asia will become the 4th biggest economy in the world by 2030, benefitting from the freedom of movement of people and capital, but bringing new challenges in cross-border corruption and bribery where prevention measures are required.

Under ASEAN’s cooperation, SEA-PAC will help in certifying joint action plans for the prevention and suppression of corruption over a 3-year period from 2020 to 2022.

At this meeting, an agreement was signed between Laos’ and Indonesia’s anti-corruption agencies on an information exchange and joint training. Cooperation between agencies in the region will help individual anti-corruption bodies easily find relevant and accurate information to support their investigation cases. (NNT)



Heavy rain, flooding expected in lower regions from 15th October

The Office of National Water Resources Secretary General Somkiat Prajamwong.

NNT

The Office of National Water Resources is expecting heavy rain in 14 provinces with a heightened flood risk in southern provinces from 15th October. Local authorities have been ordered to be on alert, install necessary mitigation equipment, and notify villagers.

The Office of National Water Resources Secretary General Somkiat Prajamwong has disclosed the outcome of a joint meeting with the National Water Command Center and related agencies to assess the water situation, advising that high precipitation is expected from 15th October onwards in Chonburi, Chantaburi, and Trat in the eastern region; Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan in the western region; Surat Thani, Chumphon, Ranong, and Trang in the southern region; and in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, and Songkhla on the mid south west coast of the country, where the situation is expected to be more severe.

The office has already coordinated with the Royal Irrigation Department (RID) and the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) to install equipment such as water pumps, flow accelerators, and excavators in the flood risk areas, and notify villagers to prepare for a potential disaster.

"What we need to watch out for, is from 15th October in the southern region, particularly in the mid-section of the west coast. 14 provinces will be affected. The main issue is, in October from the 15th, so we have already assigned the Royal Irrigation Department and DDPM to relocate their machinery and equipment into flood risk areas to prevent difficulties, especially in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, and Songkhla which could be most affected."

On the drought disaster meanwhile, latest information shows there is now no more than 1 billion cubic meters of reserved water for the second rice farming season and other continuous cropping in the Central region. The ONWR has notified related agencies to make plans accordingly to avoid water shortages. In the northeastern region, current low water availability at dams in Khon Kaen and Chaiyaphum has prompted related agencies to work on a back-up plan in the likelihood of water shortages in next year’s dry season.


PM asks all to quit drinking for this End of Buddhist Lent

The Prime Minister listened to letters from students who have successfully convinced their fathers to quit drinking.

NNT

The Prime Minister has participated in a promotional activity for an alcohol-free End of Buddhist Lent and Kathin festival, urging all to refrain from temptations for the good of their health and family life.

Prior to the Cabinet’s meeting, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha participated in a promotional activity for the Ministry of Culture’s End of Buddhist Lent festivities, in which he observed a demonstration of Rup Bua lotus throwing, the tak baht thevo alms giving ceremony, the chak phra ceremony, tod pha pa ceremony, long boat race, candle boat sailing, and cultural performances.

He then observed an exhibition promoting the true traditions of the Kathin festival free of alcohol, held by the Ministry of Public Health and its partners, to promote the subsequent Kathin festival after Buddhist Lent as an alcohol-free occasion, by raising awareness among the general public that alcohol consumption should not be included in the noble traditions of Buddhism, as alcohol harms the health, life, and property.

The Prime Minister listened to letters from students who have successfully convinced their fathers to quit drinking. He then asked all people to refrain from drinking and other vices as a homage to His Majesty the King and for their health, especially on every religious and other important days. He also delivered merit making money for the Kathin festival.

The Prime Minister also joined in the promotional activity for the Digital Thailand Big Bang 2019 event held in keeping with the ASEAN Connectivity theme, presenting robots as friends in the future. The event will take place on 28th-31st October 2019 at BITEC Bang Na exhibition center in Bangkok. (NNT)


Barrier repairs ordered at Haew Narok Waterfall to prevent wildlife losses

 

NNT

After an incident where 6 wild elephants fell into Haew Narok Waterfall in Nakhon Nayok, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment has ordered urgent repairs to barriers around the waterfall to prevent similar losses in the future.

The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Warawut Silpa-archa revealed he has ordered the chief of Khao Yai National Park to reinforce barriers around the cliff of Haew Narok Waterfall, which have not undergone proper maintenance for 30 years.

Warawut said after this truly unexpected accident, officials from the Royal Forest Department found the baby elephant and his mother, who survived the accident, and are taking care of them until they are strong enough to be released back into the wild.

After the accident, officials have asked for cooperation from villagers to help set up barriers and to watch out for elephants to prevent similar accidents. Soldiers will be asked to help construct the barriers. Small food sources may be arranged to prevent accidents caused when elephants have to travel and find sources for water and food.

"The two elephants we rescued are in recovery. We know initially they were dehydrated and malnourished, but they have gradually regained their strength. I have ordered Director General Thanya to construct fall-prevention barriers at Haew Narok Waterfall as the existing barriers have not been properly maintained for decades, since a similar accident about 30 years ago if I remember correctly. We don’t want similar accidents to happen again, but some accidents are caused by extraordinary circumstances that we don’t want to happen. We have to work our best on the prevention of repeated accidents.

On elephant Chaba Kaew at Phu Wua Wildlife Sanctuary in Bueng Kan, Warawut said she is now being taken care of well by the staff, and is in good health as shown in her latest blood test. He has reassured that he will take good care of the safety of Chaba Kaew and other elephants. (NNT)


Cabinet endorses draft for fiscal 2020 budget

NNT
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha says that a meeting of the cabinet ministers yesterday approved the draft budget for fiscal 2020, and insisted that the amount can be increased or decreased.

Prayut said documents detailing the fiscal 2020 budget are being given to Members of Parliament (MPs) for consideration.

Speaking of comments on social media about the budget allocation for each ministry, the prime minister said the issue is still in the initial stages, and has to be proposed to the House of Representatives for consideration.

He added that the ad hoc committee in charge of scrutinizing the budget bill will decide whether the amount of the budget can be raised or lowered. (NNT)



6 elephants drown, 2 rescued in Thai national park

In this Oct. 5, 2019, photo released by the Department of National Parks, two elephants are seen stuck on the edge of the Haew Narok Waterfall in Khao Yai National Park, Nakhon Nayok, central Thailand. A herd of wild elephants was swept away by raging waters in Thailand's national park, drowning six, while rangers helped steer two animals out of a deep ravine. (Department of National Parks via AP)

Bangkok (AP) — A herd of wild elephants was swept away by raging waters in a national park in Thailand, drowning six, while rangers helped steer two of the animals out of a deep ravine.

Staff at Khao Yai National Park discovered the two struggling elephants and the carcasses after dawn Saturday near the Haew Narok waterfall, also known as the Ravine of Hell.

The two elephants were trying to reach a dead calf, park officials said.

Park rangers helped lead the two elephants from the ravine and said they will monitor their condition throughout the week. The waterfall was closed off to visitors while officials remove the carcasses.

"The two elephants right now are taking a rest. They are exhausted from trying to cross the stream," said Chanaya Kanchanasaka, a veterinarian at the park, located 120 kilometers (74 miles) northeast of Bangkok.

The ravines usually fill up with gushing water during the rainy season. In 1992, eight elephants died after falling into the water.

The park is home to about 300 wild elephants and is part of Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Scenic sea of fog seen from Khao Takian Ngo

NNT

Phetchabun - A sea of fog is a phenomenon which can be observed at the end of the rainy season and the beginning of winter. Scenic sunrises over the sea of fog can now be viewed from observation points on Khao Takian Ngo in Phetchabun and Khao Pok Loan in Phitsanulok, reported to be the best example of natural beauty this year.

On Khao Pok Loan, tourists are impressed by the 360 degree view of the dense morning fog, cloaking a valley over Nakhon Chum village at sunrise. The valley shape makes it appear that the fog is flowing. The temperature at this time in the morning has dropped to 15 degrees Celsius. The sea of fog at Khao Pok Loan can be seen until the end of winter.

At Rong Khao Haeng Nakhon Chum valley, tourists have started to arrive to see the fog and enjoy the cool breeze. In Nakhon Chum subdistrict, a wooden bridge is being built as a new tourism landmark. This eucalyptus bridge is being built on the farmland of Somporn Wirampan, with support from the sub-district administration organization and villagers.

This shot was taken from Khao Takian Ngo peak in Phetchabun. The area was crowded with tourists erecting tents to stay overnight to witness the sunrise, while some chose to drive up early to see the spectacle. This mountain peak provides a 360 degree view over Khao Pu and Khao Ya mountains protruding through the sea of fog, and Khao Kho in the direction of Thung Salaeng Lang field. The morning temperature here is now 18 degrees Celsius.

The observation point on Khao Takian Ngo is considered one of the best for viewing the most beautiful sea of fog in Thailand. It is located on Highway No. 2258, Ban Son Suay village, Nong Mae Na subdistrict, Khao Kho district, Phetchabun. It is accessible by private cars. (NNT)


Central Lab Thai offers free product tests for community enterprises

Central Lab Thai has launched a campaign allowing community enterprises to send their products for laboratory tests free of charge.

NNT

Central Lab Thai has launched a campaign allowing community enterprises to send their products for laboratory tests free of charge. This attempt to improve product quality from community enterprises will both help small businesses and protect customers.

With this campaign, community enterprises can send their product samples through any Thailand Post office using EMS express shipping. The packages will be delivered to Central Lab Thai on the same day or within 2 days, depending on the distance, with a tracking service via the track.thailandpost.co.th website or Track & Trace Thailand Post app.

After receiving the product samples, the laboratory will perform tests and send the results and analysis to product owners via registered mail, free of charge.

This campaign is intended to help improve community enterprise product quality and add value to their products. For more information, call Central Lab Thai 02 940 6881-3 ext. 183.


Energy Business Department continues promoting B10 diesel, available at all service stations by March 2020

The Department of Energy Business (DOEB) Director General Nantika Thangsuphanich revealed that B10 diesel will be available at all service stations by March 2020.

NNT

The overall consumption of benzine, diesel and LPG in the first 8 months of this year has increased year on year, but with a decrease in NGV consumption as more and more large vehicles change to B20 diesel. The Department of Energy Business is working to ensure B10 diesel availability at all service stations by March 2020.

The Department of Energy Business (DOEB) Director General Nantika Thangsuphanich revealed that, in the first 8 months of this year, national consumption of benzine products averaged 32 million liters daily, higher than the same period last year by 3.9 percent. Almost all fuel products in the benzine category have grown in consumption, except Benzine 91 and Gasohol 91.

The average consumption of automotive diesel products is at 64 million liters daily, which is 1.7 percent higher year-on-year. The consumption of B7 diesel has dropped by 2.6 percent to 62.13 liters daily. The B10 diesel, first sold in late March this year, saw consumption of 390,000 liters in August.

The Ministry of Energy has selected B10 diesel as the standard diesel fuel for automobiles. To promote the use of this new fuel product, the DOEB will be expediting the rollout, making B10 available in all service stations by March 2020.

The daily consumption of LPG was 17 million kilograms, higher by 1.2 percent year-on-year due to higher consumption in the petrochemical industry. The consumption of NGV has dropped 11.1 percent to 5 million kilograms daily, as a result of the policy to replace NGV use with B10 diesel in lorries and large vehicles. (NNT)



HM the King puts key army units under palace authority

Bangkok (AP) — HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn has ordered some key army units to be put under his direct command.

HM the King’s decree, effective Tuesday, puts two army units closely associated with royal security under the palace's Royal Security Command.

The emergency decree, dated Sept. 30, says the move aims "for efficiency, order, timeliness and the best security" for the royal circle. It was issued under an article of the constitution that says, "For the purpose of maintaining national or public safety or national economic security, or averting public calamity, the King may issue an Emergency Decree which shall have force as an Act".

The 1st Infantry Regiment and the 11th Infantry Regiment are both deemed royal bodyguard units, and are part of the 1st Division of the First Army region.


Second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge to boost Thai exports

The Vice Chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Niyom Wairatpanij, said the second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge will lift the value of border trade exports to 100 billion baht from the current 80 billion baht.

NNT

Tak - The second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge to open on October 30 this year, is expected to stimulate border trade between the two countries. Access via the new bridge will help raise the value of border trade exports from the present 80 billion baht to 100 billion baht.

Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister, Jurin Laksanawisit, traveled to Tak province to chair a meeting with the public and private sectors to discuss border trade promotion and discuss the opening of the second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge.

The meeting also discussed a proposal to extend the operating hours of the Mae Sot checkpoint from 8 p.m. to midnight. The Commerce Minister said he will discuss the proposal with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before it is submitted to a cabinet meeting for consideration. He said the issue should be resolved before the end of this month.

In the first eight months of this year, the value of Thai-Myanmar trade stood at 135 billion baht. Exports to Myanmar were estimated at 70 billion baht, while imports from Myanmar totaled 65 billion baht.

The Vice Chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Niyom Wairatpanij, said the second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge will lift the value of border trade exports to 100 billion baht from the current 80 billion baht.


PM stressed gov’t efforts helping farmers

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has reassured farmers of the government’s efforts to help the farming community.

NNT

The Prime Minister has reassured farmers of the government’s efforts to help the farming community, particularly with irrigation issues and sustainability, in a speech delivered to the National Farmers Council at its annual meeting.

Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha praised the National Farmers Council for its role in liaising between the operations of the government and individual farmers nationwide, stressing that the government is working to help farmers recover from obstacles beyond their control such as water shortages in places and flooding in some areas, through various measures aimed at helping farmers return to their normal routine and occupation, happily.

He addressed structural issues related to resources such as water, land, seedlings, funding, informal loans, logistics, and marketing, saying that modern technologies and innovations are being implemented to increase the value of farm products, which will require long-term and continual planning covering all parts of manufacturing and marketing cycles.

"We have to solve problems to prevent flooding and prevent drought. But even if the drought comes, we must find other ways. Water supply for consumption, farming, industry, and environmental protection is important, and those are the main water demands. Many people complained that even though we have tens of thousands of cubic meters of precipitation, we couldn’t reserve it. Let’s see, how we can reserve it using dams, in retention areas, in reservoirs; can we build more of them? If we could, then there will be no problem. I would have built them all, but I can’t, because it will affect people. It’s not entirely up to the government. Sometimes we face problems. We can’t construct in forest areas or national parks. We simply can’t, even if I wanted to. The issue remains how can we manage it? This is the problem we must all be aware of."


Innovation Thailand Expo showcases innovations for society, environment

World-class innovations to enhance the quality of life, improve communities and the environment are now being displayed at Innovation Thailand Expo 2019, presenting solutions to social issues.

NNT

World-class innovations to enhance the quality of life, improve communities and the environment are now being displayed at Innovation Thailand Expo 2019, presenting solutions to social issues.

Innovation Thailand Expo 2019 is taking place at Samyan Mitrtown shopping center in Bangkok, on the theme Social Innovation in the City. The event features an exposition and offers the sale of innovative products that complement the lifestyles of people of all ages. Visitors can also attend a forum on sharing knowledge and expert guidance.

The Innovation Awards ceremony will take place as part of the event on Saturday, to recognize the work of excellent innovators in various categories, such as economics, social design, and innovative corporate media, as well as the presentation of the National Innovation Award and the Thai Rice Innovation Award.

Weerapong Paesuwan, the chief adviser to the Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation and the National Innovation Agency’s board chairman, said the Ministry is promoting the implementation of innovations to raise the country’s level of competitiveness, along with the adaptation of social innovations to help eliminate inequality, and improve the people’s quality of life in terms of incomes and health, to achieve sustainable happiness.



Director promises dank thrills in Thai cave boys rescue saga

In this Sept. 16, 2019, photo, "The Cave" movie director Tom Waller talks to The Associated Press during an interview in Bangkok. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

In this Nov. 14, 2018, photo provided by De Warrenne Pictures, director Tom Waller, right, talks to actors for a scene of his film "The Cave" in Thailand. (De Warrenne Pictures via AP)

This Nov. 23, 2018, photo provided by De Warrenne Pictures, shows director Tom Waller's film "The Cave" on location in Thailand. (De Warrenne Pictures via AP)

By Tassanee Vejpongsa & Jerry Harmer

Bangkok (AP) — Their story gripped the world: determined divers racing against time and water to rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped for more than two weeks in a flooded cave deep inside a northern Thai mountain.

The ordeal in late June and early July 2018 had barely ended when filmmakers began their own race to get the nail-biting drama onto cinema screens. The first of those projects will premiere this weekend, when director Tom Waller's "The Cave" shows at the Busan Film Festival in South Korea.

The film was shot over three months earlier this year and has been in post-production since then. The 45-year-old Thai-born, British-raised filmmaker said the epic tale of the Wild Boars football team was a story he simply had to tell.

The boys and their coach entered the Tham Luang cave complex after soccer practice and were quickly trapped inside by rising floodwater. Despite a massive search, the boys spent nine nights lost in the cave before they were spotted by an expert diver. It would take another eight days before they were all safe.

Waller was visiting his father in Ireland when he saw television news accounts of the drama.

"I thought this would be an amazing story to tell on screen," he said.

But putting the parts together after their dramatic rescue proved to be a challenge. Thailand's government, at the time led by a military junta, became very protective of the story, barring unauthorized access to the Wild Boars or their parents. Waller often feared his production might be shut down.

His good fortune was that the events at the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai province had multiple angles and interesting characters. Especially compelling were the stories of the rescuers, particularly the expert divers who rallied from around the world. He decided to make a film "about the volunteer spirit of the rescue."

Other people proposed telling the story from the point of view of the boys, and Netflix nailed down those rights in a deal brokered by the Thai government.

"I took the view that this was going to be a story about the people we didn't know about, about the cave divers who came all the way from across the planet," Waller said. "They literally dropped everything to go and help, and I just felt that that was more of an exciting story to tell, to find out how these boys were brought out and what they did to get them out."

Waller even had more than a dozen key rescue personnel play themselves.

Waller said they were natural actors, blending in almost seamlessly with the professionals around them, and helped by the accuracy of the settings and the production's close attention to detail.

"What you are really doing is asking them to remember what they did and to show us what they were doing and what they were feeling like at the time," he said. "That was really very emotional for some of them because it was absolutely real."

Waller said his film is likely to have a visceral effect on some viewers, evoking a measure of claustrophobia.

"It's a sort of immersive experience with the sound of the environment, you know, the fact that is very dark and murky, that the water is not clear," he said.

"In Hollywood films, when they do underwater scenes, everything is crystal clear. But in this film it's murky and I think that's the big difference. This film lends itself to being more of a realistic portrayal of what happened."

Some scenes were filmed on location at the entrance to the actual Tham Luang cave, but most of the action was shot elsewhere, Waller said.

"We filmed in real water caves that were flooded, all year-round," he said. "It is very authentic in terms of real caves, real flooded tunnels, real divers and real creepy-crawlies in there. So it was no mean feat trying to get a crew to go and film in these caves."

"The Cave" goes on general release in Thailand on Nov. 28.


Thai marine biologist pleads for dugong conservation plan

A baby dugong named Marium swims near the hull of a boat off Libong Island Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Trang province, southern Thailand. A top marine biologist is urging Thailand’s government to speed up conservation plans for the dugong, an endangered sea mammal, after their death toll for the year has already climbed to a record 21. (Sirachai Arunrugstichai via AP, File)

By Busaba Sivasomboon

Bangkok (AP) — A top marine biologist has urged Thailand’s government to speed up conservation plans for the dugong, an imperiled sea mammal, after their death toll for the year in Thai waters has already climbed to a record 21.

Thon Thamrongnawasawat said on his Facebook page that the carcass of a dugong was found Tuesday off the southern province of Krabi. The young female apparently drowned after being caught in a fishing net, a common threat to the animals.

Experts believe only 250 dugongs are left in Thai waters.

Thon, who has served on a government environment and development committee, says a three-year master plan for dugong conservation is awaiting Cabinet approval.

"We have lost too much this year, I have hope we can get what we ask for and will be able to start the program soon," Thon wrote.

The plan is called the "Marium Project" after the name given a rescued ailing baby dugong who became celebrated in Thailand after images of veterinarians embracing and feeding her with milk and seagrass spread across social media.

She died two months ago despite the intensive care, and her demise was believed due to shock _ she was thought to have been chased and attacked by a larger male dugong during mating season _ and ingesting plastic waste. A large amount of plastic waste was found in her intestine, which led to gastritis and blood infection.

Dugongs are a species of marine mammal similar to a manatee and can grow to about 3.4 meters (11 feet) in length. They are listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and are protected under Thai law.

The aquatic mammals do have their fans among Thai fishermen.

Suthep Khanchai is the founder of the Dugong Conservation group based on Libong Island in the southern province of Trang.

He said by phone that he and his fellow villagers were saddened by the dugong deaths, and when they heard about the latest one, he called a community meeting to ask people to refrain from using fishing nets harmful to the animals, even if they are legal.

Members of his group already monitor areas where there is a lot of seagrass, the dugongs’ main diet, he said.

“I am a fisherman but I love dugongs. They are beautiful,” Suthep said. “I hope that my great-grandchildren can see dugongs in their habitats just like we do, and we have to start helping them now.”


Dangerous pesticides ban ‘in progress’: Agriculture Minister

Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chalermchai Sri-orn said that the MOAC intends ultimately to ban pesticides Paraquat, Glyphosate, and Chlorpyrifos, but the banning process is pending consideration by the Hazardous Substance Committee.

NNT

Bangkok - Uncertainty remains in Thailand whether or not to ban Paraquat, Glyphosate, and Chlorpyrifos which are used as pesticides, leading an ad-hoc committee on the regulation of chemical substances in the industrial sector to request clarification from related ministers. The Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives has responded by reaffirming his intention to ban these chemicals.

Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chalermchai Sri-orn has stressed in an interview the policy on the discontinuation the chemicals, saying that the MOAC intends ultimately to ban these chemicals, but the banning process is pending consideration by the Hazardous Substance Committee.

He said the matter is now under the supervision of Deputy Minister Mananya Thaiset, adding that the MOAC is ready to proceed with a ban on these chemicals once the Hazardous Substance Committee has made its decision.

"It is absolutely impossible. I have made it obvious that once it is clearly written in the law, I will immediately discontinue these chemicals. There was none. The rumors that companies have talked to me. I can confirm I have never talked or engaged in any way with pharmaceutical companies, and I still intend not to."

The President of the House of Representatives’ ad-hoc committee on the regulation of chemical substances in the industrial sector, Chavalit Vichayasuthi has raised his concerns with the Minister of Agriculture’s order to follow the Hazardous Substance Committee’s decision to restrict the usage of Paraquat, Glyphosate, and Chlorpyrifos, while not banning those chemicals; adding that the Minister of Agriculture must be able to clarify his reasons for having a different opinion from other Ministers on this subject.

The order restricting these chemicals was made after a request had been filed with the Ministry of Industry’s Permanent Secretary on 17th September 2019 by officials of the Department Of Agriculture to categorize these chemicals as Class 4 hazardous substances, prohibiting their manufacture, importation, export, and sale. (NNT)


Nuclear weapons, interfaith ties top pope’s agenda in Asia

 Pope Francis is hugged by Chinese faithful coming from the Tuscany city of Prato, at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Vatican City (AP) — Pope Francis will voice his opposition to nuclear weapons and honor victims of Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster during a visit to the country that is expected to be a highlight of his upcoming trip to Asia.

The Vatican on Wednesday released the details of Francis’ Nov. 19-26 visit to Thailand and Japan, which includes stops in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, which were destroyed by U.S. atomic bombs at the end of World War II.

In Thailand, Francis will meet with the supreme Buddhist leader and hold a meeting with other faith leaders, focusing on interfaith dialogue on the first leg of his trip. In Bangkok, he is likely to speak out about poverty and human trafficking, both problems in Thailand and issues of concern for the pope.

In Japan, Francis will travel to Nagasaki where he will issue a message about atomic weapons, the Vatican said. There he will also honor 26 martyrs killed in 1597.

Nagasaki, in southwestern Japan, is rich in the legacy of Christian missionaries dating back to the samurai era, and the visit there is likely to be particularly poignant for Francis: He longed to be a missionary in Japan but was prevented from going because of poor health when he was a young priest in Argentina.

Francis will also visit Hiroshima and preside over a peace meeting at the city’s peace memorial.

Back in Tokyo, Francis will meet with victims of Japan’s more recent “triple disaster,” the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, northern Japan.

Three of the plant's reactors had meltdowns after the magnitude 9.0-earthquake and tsunami, spreading radiation into surrounding communities and into the sea. The fallout from the disaster has prevented thousands of residents from returning home.

Francis has gone beyond his predecessors in demanding a world without nuclear weapons, saying the Cold War-era policy of nuclear deterrence had provided a false sense of security.



PM Prayut joins volunteer project, inspects Royal Barge Procession route

Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha paints a post while volunteering to improve the landscape along the banks of the Chao Phraya River, where the Royal Barge Procession will take place on October 24 this year.

NNT

Bangkok - The government has organized a volunteer project to improve the landscape along the banks of the Chao Phraya River, as the Royal Barge Procession will take place there on October 24 this year. The project is also being held so that people can express their loyalty and gratitude to His Majesty King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great (Rama IX).

Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, together with his wife, Naraporn Chan-o-cha, presided over the launch of the volunteer project to improve the landscape along stretches of the Chao Phraya River in preparation for the Royal Barge Procession this month. The project was organized to commemorate the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great on October 13 and the passing of His Majesty King Chulalongkorn on October 23.

The event took place at Santichaiprakarn Park and was attended by the President of the Supreme Court, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, the President of Independent Organizations Under the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand, cabinet ministers and their spouses, commanders of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, civil servants, community leaders and volunteers.

The Prime Minister said the activity is a response to His Majesty the King’s wish to see people working together to ensure the orderliness of the country. It was also held for people from all walks of life to show their love and unity and to express their loyalty and gratitude to the royal institution.

The government is inviting people to wear yellow shirts and attend an audience with Their Majesties the King and Queen, who will travel down the Chao Phraya River, which runs through Bangkok and Thonburi, in the Royal Barge Procession on October 24, 2019.

The Prime Minister and officials participated in the volunteer project by beautifying the landscape and planting grass at Santichai Prakan Park, where Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will observe the procession.

The Prime Minister also took a boat ride to inspect the procession route, starting from Phra Arthit Pier. He then thanked all volunteers and everyone who took part in this activity.
Meanwhile, a total of 2,290 Altruistic Heart 904 volunteers and public volunteers helped clean up riverside areas along the procession route. The volunteers trimmed trees and shrubs, collected garbage and repainted benches from Santichaiprakarn Park to Somdet Phra Pinklao Bridge, covering a distance of 600 meters.

One of the volunteers, Jettana Kijkerdsaeng, said she joined the activity because she wanted to play a small part in an activity that contributes to Thai society. Ms. Jettana said she was proud to be part of the event.

Another volunteer, Tanad Manaphanniyom, said he was glad to have the opportunity to help clean up areas along the procession route. He added that the volunteer project gave people an opportunity to contribute to Thai society.


Gov’t unveils 100-baht domestic tour packages

NNT

Bangkok (NNT)
- Tourism promotion campaigns such as "Chim Shop Chai - Eat, Shop, Spend" have received good feedback from the general public, despite complaints on the complexity of registration. The government yesterday approved another campaign to promote domestic tourism at year’s end, with 100-baht tourism packages.

Deputy Government Spokesperson Traisulee Traisoranakul announced that the Cabinet had in a meeting yesterday approved a 116 million baht budget for a new domestic tourism promotion campaign called, "It’s Time to Tour Thailand."

The campaign will offer 40,000 100-baht tourism packages from airlines, hotels, and shops. Eligible customers are required to register via the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s official LINE account. The packages will be released 10,000 at a time, targeting the Generation X and Generation Y population and those with medium purchasing power.

In addition, special discounts and promotions will be offered on weekdays by airlines, shops, restaurants, spas, and museums, to promote more tourism activities outside the weekends. These offers will be valid until the end of 2019.

On issues related to the Chim Shop Chai campaign’s registration, many applicants have complained regarding the difficulties encountered when authenticating themselves using facial recognition on the "Pao Tang - Wallet" mobile app, requiring them to verify themselves in person using their ID card with officials, who may ask for other information in the verification process to ensure consistency with the answers they have previously submitted, such as the applicants’ mobile phone number and selected provinces. After answering correctly, applicants are eligible for their 1,000 baht allowance immediately.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked the general public to understand the complexity of the registration process as the government must be careful with budget disbursement, thus applicants should respect and obey the regulations.

"The campaign is carefully controlled with the registration process. Reports are generated daily to see clear figures allowing the Ministry of Finance to make clarification. On inconveniences when spending the allowance, please understand there are some restrictions to government’s money, as the government would be responsible for misuses. Therefore these measures have been put in place and should be respected. We should not spend carelessly, only for things we need."


MOPH launches project to allow patients to get prescription medicines at pharmacies

After seeing a doctor, patients can now choose to collect their prescription medicine from pharmacies, instead of waiting in long hospital queues.

NNT
Bangkok - The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has officially launched a project to reduce patient waiting time and ease hospital congestion by allowing patients to obtain prescription medicine from pharmacies close to their homes. The project aims to cover 50 hospitals and 500 pharmacies by next year.

On Tuesday, the Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, together with the Deputy Minister of Public Health, Sathit Pitutecha, attended the launch of the project. After seeing a doctor, patients can now choose to collect their prescription medicine from pharmacies, instead of waiting in long hospital queues.

The first phase of this project covers patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, mental illnesses and common chronic diseases. This group of patients can obtain prescription medicine from pharmacies near their homes. Currently, 35 hospitals and 300 pharmacies in Bangkok and other provinces have registered with the ministry to participate in this project.

At Buddhachinaraj Hospital in Phitsanulok province, registered diabetes and high blood pressure patients can obtain prescription medicine from 17 pharmacies in the province. To help pharmacists dispense the right amount of medicine, patients are to provide them with information about their existing prescription. If patients fail to obtain their prescription medicine from pharmacies within the given time frame, they have to contact the hospital’s outpatient department. Patients with a universal healthcare card or a 30-baht gold card are not required to pay for the medicine.

At Roi Et Hospital in Roi Et province, patients can receive their prescription medicine from nine pharmacies in the province. The hospital’s medication management processes includes dispensing and delivering prescription medicines for individual patients to pharmacies, assigning pharmacies to act as a reserve units and assigning pharmacies to prepare prescription medicine and hand them to patients.

At Hat Yai Hospital in Songkhla province, the project has been joined by 13 pharmacies. Patients who are eligible must hold a universal healthcare card or a 30-baht gold card. The new service currently covers patients with diabetes, high blood pressure and hyperlipidemia. (NNT)


Low income earners welfare campaign gets one year extension

Government Spokesperson Narumon Pinyosinwat (center) announced the approval of the extension to the government’s welfare campaign for low-income earners by one year.

Bangkok - The Cabinet this week extended the welfare campaign for low income earners until September 2020, which is expected to cost 1.8 billion baht offering utility subsidies and a 5% VAT rebate.

Government Spokesperson Narumon Pinyosinwat announced the approval of the extension to the government’s welfare campaign for low-income earners by one year.

Eligible persons in this program will receive a monthly subsidy of 230 baht per household for electricity bills, and 100 baht for water bills until 30 September 2020.

A VAT rebate program will be offered from 1 November 2019 to 30 September 2019 for purchases made with a welfare card. From 7% VAT normally collected, the government will rebate 5% every 15th of the month to cardholders’ e-wallets, from which they can make cash withdrawals. 1% will be sent to cardholders’ National Savings Fund accounts or other savings accounts. Under this scheme, welfare cardholders will only pay 1% VAT for each eligible purchase.

The campaign will cover 14.6 million people, and will cost 1.839 billion baht, out of which 1.74 billion will be for the electricity bill subsidy, 30 billion for the water bill subsidy and 69 billion for the VAT rebate. (NNT)


Thailand reduces marine debris

Bangkok (NNT) - The amount of marine debris generated in Thailand has dropped to 21,700-32,600 tons annually, after the initial success of a project to increase the reuse and recycling of materials by 25 percent. Plastic bags remain the largest proportion of marine debris found in the environment.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment’s (MNRE) Permanent Secretary Jatuporn Buruspat has revealed a downward trend in the quantity of marine debris generated in Thailand, with the volume of marine debris washed ashore in 2018 at between 21,700-32,600 tons annually, which is an obvious decrease from the amount in 2016 of between 33,900-51,000 tons.

He said the decrease in marine debris is due to greater reuse and recycling of materials, from 15% to 25%.

In 2018, the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) conducted a study of microplastic contamination in the environment caused by the degradation of plastic debris, and its potential long-tern effect on the food chain and human health. The study, conducted in 18 seaside provinces, found 53-2,102 pieces of microplastic per square meter of beach in the dry season, with the level of concentration dropping to 0-974 pieces per square meter in the rainy season.

Every year the department holds activities to celebrate the International Coastal Cleanup, on the 3rd September each year. This year, the department also held events on 21st September in 24 seaside provinces which helped remove 230,000 pieces of debris, weighing 10 tons in total, from the marine ecology. Most of this debris was assorted plastics, with plastic bags at 22 percent, plastic bottles at 16 percent, foam food containers at 9 percent, along with glass bottles at 5 percent, and drinking straws at 5 percent.

The MNRE permanent secretary has stressed 350,081 pieces of debris have so far been collected this year from beaches in 23 seaside provinces, weighing in total 32.83 tons. The largest proportion of this debris is plastic bags amounting to 11.71 percent, followed by foam food containers and food bags.


D.E. ministry confirms Personal Information Protection Act

Digital Economy Minister Puttipong Punnakanta confirmed the Personal Information Protection Act of 2019 will come into effect on May 28, 2020.

Bangkok (NNT) - The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society confirmed the Personal Information Protection Act will become officially effective in the middle of next year. The ministry will organize a major seminar to disseminate knowledge and understanding about the new law, which is intended to prevent unauthorized access to personal information.

Digital Economy Minister Puttipong Punnakanta confirmed the Personal Information Protection Act of 2019 will come into effect on May 28, 2020. The new law calls for the setting up of a committee to be in charge of protecting personal information and the Office of the Personal Information Protection Board. Wannaphorn Thephassadin na Ayutthaya, a deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, will act as interim secretary general of the committee.

Puttipong said there have been many cases of misuse of personal information due to technological progress, such as basic information in ID cards, personal incomes and financial data. The law was largely designed to prevent the privacy of personal information from being violated. Measures and regulations are provided under international protocols.

The protective measures for personal information might be unfamiliar to several agencies, thus prompting the ministry to disseminate knowledge about the law. A major seminar for all relevant agencies is scheduled for October 10 at Centra by Centara Government Complex Hotel on Chaeng Wattana Road. All views exchanged and suggestions made during the seminar will be collated as basis for the writing of an organic law before the Personal Information Protection Act becomes fully effective. Those interested in the seminar can register on www.zipeventapp.com from today.


PM 2.5 levels rise in 15 areas in Bangkok region

Bangkok (NNT) - Last week, southern people were affected by PM 2.5 that exceeded the standard level. This week, the dust problems have occurred in Bangkok and its vicinity. Yesterday, the PM 2.5 levels rose in 15 areas because the cold wind had abated causing still weather. The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has warned risk groups against doing outdoor activities and advised them to wear a face mask if they have to go outside for any length of time.

The Pollution Control Department (PCD), in their report on the air quality in Bangkok and vicinity, said the warning mark of PM2.5 was measured between 37 - 67 micrograms per cubic meter which exceeds the standard level in 15 areas. So, beware if you plan to travel to, and spend any time outside in Pathumwan, Sathorn, Bang Kho Laem, Yannawa, Khlong San, Pasicharoen, Bang Sue, Lak Si, Bang Khen, Bang Plat and Bang Khun Thian in Bangkok.

The area covers Phra Pradaeng district, Mueang Samut Prakan district, Krathum Baen district and Mueang Samut Sakhon district.

The problem is caused by a high pressure system from China and wind that has weakened making the air stagnant and causing an accumulation of dust. The lower air quality in the 15 districts has started to affect the health of residents.

The MOPH has advised risk groups including young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with underlying illnesses, in areas where the PM 2.5 content exceeds the standard level, to avoid undertaking activities or exercising outdoors. They are also advised to wear a face mask if they have to go out for a lengthy period of time, to prevent communicable diseases in the respiratory system in accordance with precautionary principles.

People are also asked to avoid burning-off in open spaces, maintain good condition of their vehicles in order to prevent the emission of black smoke, use the public transport service instead of personal cars and inspect and avoid using public transport that emits black smoke. Construction sites and industrial plants are also asked to reduce dust and air pollution.


Cabinet approves flood relief budget; air pollution action plan

 Government Spokeswoman, Prof. Dr. Narumon Pinyosinwat, announced that the cabinet meeting agreed on an action plan to tackle air pollution, which is on the national agenda.

Bangkok (NNT) - Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday that a meeting of cabinet ministers had approved a budget for the repair of damaged roads in flood-hit areas and the implementation of flood-relief measures, as the overall flood situation in the country has now eased.

Gen. Prayut said the cabinet meeting discussed existing and additional measures to assist flood victims in 32 provinces. The measures include 5,000-baht compensation for each household, relief packages to help affected farmers, and home repairs provided by soldiers, engineers and public volunteers. The Prime Minister also expressed his satisfaction that water levels have started to recede. Relevant agencies can now restore the situation back to normalcy and conduct damage assessments. He said all steps are in line with the law and the government’s budget.

The cabinet meeting also endorsed an action plan to address air pollution.

The Government Spokeswoman, Prof. Dr. Narumon Pinyosinwat, announced that the cabinet meeting agreed on an action plan to tackle air pollution, which is on the national agenda. The action plan was approved by the Office of the National Environment Board according to the Prime Minister’s instruction.

The government has called on members of the public to refrain from outdoor burning and make sure that their motor vehicles don’t emit black smoke. They are also encouraged to use public transportation. The government has asked the industrial sector and construction companies for cooperation in reducing emissions.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has instructed the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment to compile the proposals offered by various ministries and submit a report to the cabinet for consideration as soon as possible.


Campaign against garbage dumping in Chao Phraya River

 

BANGKOK (NNT) - The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is encouraging vendors at Pak Khlong Talard market to conserve Chao Phraya River by not dumping garbage into the it. That is in line with a plan to call for UNESCO to register the Chao Phraya River as a Cultural Heritage this year.

A campaign for the conservation of the Chao Phraya River was conducted by officials so that the river might be declared a sustainable Cultural Heritage. The campaign against garbage dumping in the river has been carried out for a second week at Talard Wang Lang market.

Vendors and members of the public at the market were encouraged to participate in the campaign by depositing garbage at designated places and not releasing waste water or trash into the river.

The World Monuments Fund declared the Chao Phraya River as one of 28 Cultural Heritage sites last year and called for an end to garbage in the river, especially from Saphan Phut Bridge to Phra Pin Klao Bridge covering a distance of nearly five kilometers.

Singhachai Thiansinghadej, the general manager of Yod Phimarn market in Pak Khlong Talard area, said the market area produces about 30 tons of garbage daily, mostly being rotten vegetables, fruits and flowers. The market collects the garbage twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s garbage trucks to pick up. The market vendors have cooperated well by keeping the market clean, properly handling the garbage and definitely not dumping it into the river.


Bangkok Chinatown vegetarian festival kicks off

BANGKOK (NNT) - This year’s Chinese vegetarian festival officially began on 29 September. The festivities in Bangkok’s Chinatown Yaowarat are all on the theme of honoring His Majesty the King in the auspicious year of the Coronation.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, Jurin Laksanawisit, officiated at the opening ceremony of Yaowarat’s Vegetarian Festival 2019 to conserve this long observed annual traditional, and to honor His Majesty the King in the auspicious year of his Coronation.

The vegetarian festival at Yaowarat is taking place for 10 days and 10 nights, until 7 October. Some 100 shops are selling ready-to-eat vegetarian food along the road from Odeon circle to Yaowarat road. It is expected this festival will generate no less than 500 million baht in revenue.

Many Thai-Chinese people have come out and shopped for vegetarian ingredients. Many raw ingredients, pre-cooked and ready to eat meals, condiments and desserts are being sold at regular prices. Many shoppers praised the opening of new MRT stations in the area, allowing them to travel faster and more conveniently.


Minister Tewan visits people in flood-hit areas of Ubon Ratchathani

UBON RATCHATHANI (NNT) - Somdet Phra Mahathera Jarn of the Supreme Council of Thailand, and the Minister attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, Tewan Liptapallop, have handed relief bags to people in flood-hit areas of Ubon Ratchathani province.

The officials met with the flood-affected residents in Warin Chamrap district and offered them moral support. The group visited Senawong temple, Tha Bong Mang village and Warin Chamrap Municipality Office, which is being used as a temporary shelter. The officials distributed 600 relief bags to the flood victims.

Mr. Tewan told the local people that officials will start conducting a flood damage inspection next week, so that additional relief measures can be implemented. He urged the people to be patient as the situation will soon be restored to normal, and that the government will do its best to help them.

Meanwhile, people donated 264 million baht to the Prime Minister’s Office for flood relief efforts. The government will use the money to help households affected by the recent floods.


Blue Line extensions opens to public

BANGKOK (NNT) - The MRT Blue Line extensions, from Hua Lamphong to Bang Khae and from Tao Poon to Tha Phra, have officially opened to improve the travel convenience of commuters and ease traffic woes in Bangkok.

Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over the opening ceremony of the MRT Blue Line extensions. The government had expedited efforts to complete the project so that the full service could be launched for the benefit of the public.

The Prime Minister said the extensions will help reduce traffic congestion on roads while improving the people’s quality of life in Bangkok. He said these efforts will also have to be implemented in other provinces, and relevant agencies are to create an understanding with the public about the impact of the construction on traffic and other factors.

The MRT Blue Line extensions, from Hua Lamphong to Bang Khae and from Tao Poon to Tha Phra, are part of the Rail Mass Transit Master Plan in Bangkok and its vicinity. The 27-kilometer project will help ease traffic woes and improve travel convenience for people commuting via the Chaloem Ratchamongkhon Line to Thon Buri.

The Prime Minister led a group of officials to travel by train on the new rail extension from Tha Phra station to Wat Mangkon station. The Prime Minister greeted people and vendors in the Yaowarat area before making merit at Mangkon Kamalawat temple, known in Chinese as Wat Leng Nui Yee.


DAILY UPDATE

|

Back to Main Page

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

PM urges public to use more reusable bags

Comptroller General’s Department transfers allowances to senior citizens, and persons with disabilities

TAT confirms system stability for special tourism discount campaign

Government’s stimulus measures boost economic growth by 3%


PM Prayut leads activities to commemorate the passing of King Rama IX

Faithful Buddhists join End of Buddhist Lent alms-giving ceremonies

People remember 46 years after October 14 massacre

Thailand wants RCEP talks to conclude this month


Chonburi stages Buffalo Racing Festival

Tourist police ready to help Japanese tourists stranded in Thailand

Tourists reserve space to witness Naga fireballs

Thai driver Alexander Albon turning heads in Formula 1


Activities in Remembrance of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great

Police say log file regulation is not new, ask public not to worry

Thailand to host World Ganja Festival 2020

Badminton champion Ratchanok cleared of doping

Road tripping Thailand: Weekend getaways to beat the crowds


EJF praises Thailand as first country in region to defeat IUU Fishing

Thai court sentences Taiwanese to life for smuggling heroin

NACC hosts 2019 SEA-PAC meeting


Heavy rain, flooding expected in lower regions from 15th October

PM asks all to quit drinking for this End of Buddhist Lent

Barrier repairs ordered at Haew Narok Waterfall to prevent wildlife losses

Cabinet endorses draft for fiscal 2020 budget


6 elephants drown, 2 rescued in Thai national park

Scenic sea of fog seen from Khao Takian Ngo

Central Lab Thai offers free product tests for community enterprises

Energy Business Department continues promoting B10 diesel, available at all service stations by March 2020


HM the King puts key army units under palace authority

Second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge to boost Thai exports

PM stressed gov’t efforts helping farmers

Innovation Thailand Expo showcases innovations for society, environment


Director promises dank thrills in Thai cave boys rescue saga

Thai marine biologist pleads for dugong conservation plan

Dangerous pesticides ban ‘in progress’: Agriculture Minister

Nuclear weapons, interfaith ties top pope’s agenda in Asia


PM Prayut joins volunteer project, inspects Royal Barge Procession route

Gov’t unveils 100-baht domestic tour packages

MOPH launches project to allow patients to get prescription medicines at pharmacies

Low income earners welfare campaign gets one year extension


Thailand reduces marine debris

D.E. ministry confirms Personal Information Protection Act

PM 2.5 levels rise in 15 areas in Bangkok region

Cabinet approves flood relief budget; air pollution action plan


Campaign against garbage dumping in Chao Phraya River

Bangkok Chinatown vegetarian festival kicks off

Minister Tewan visits people in flood-hit areas of Ubon Ratchathani

Blue Line extensions opens to public