Dam in Chiang Mai unaffected by earthquake
Irrigation Office 1 has inspected
Mae Kuang Udom Thara Dam following a 4.1-magnitude earthquake in Doi Saket
district of Chiang Mai. It was found that the dam is still safe and not
affected by the earthquake.
Mr Suphamit Kritsanamit, Head of the
Dam Safety Management Division, Irrigation Office 1, and officials of Mae
Kuang Udom Thara Dam, Doi Saket district, Chiang Mai province, jointly
inspected the dam after the 4.1 magnitude earthquake on the night of October
18, 2019, in Doi Saket district which is close to Mae Kuang Udom Thara Dam.
It was found that the dam remained unaffected by the earthquake.
The Dam Safety Management Division,
Irrigation Office 1, has examined the integrity of the dam each day in order
to establish confidence among the public. The dam was designed to
accommodate up to a 7 magnitude earthquake. Tourists have continued to visit
the Mae Kuang Dam especially to see and cross the only pair of suspension
bridges in Chiang Mai, which remain strong.
Trespassing restaurants in Nakhon Si Thammarat being dismantled
On the second day of
the removal of restaurants at Ban Khiri Wong, found to be trespassing on a
natural stream, the business owners today continued to dismantle the illegal
structures according to the Marine Department and Nakhon Si Thammarat
province’s directions. The demolitions must be completed in five days.
Meanwhile, many tourists say they will continue to visit Ban Khiri Wong for
its fine location.
The Governor of Nakhon Si Thammarat
and the Marine Department had previously issued an instruction for the
operators of restaurants at Tha Ha waterfall in Ban Khiri Wong, Nakhon Si
Thammarat, to remove any structure which invaded the waterfall’s stream,
considered a violation of the Act on Public Canal Invasion. The mandate
requires all illegal structures to be removed this month.
On 17th October, restaurant owners
brought in a backhoe and drills to remove concrete buildings to comply with
the deadline, with workers continuing to work on the removal of structures.
The process is now 80 percent complete, while at the same time the
restaurants remain open for customers.
Tha Ha waterfall, which is
considered to be in an area with the best air quality in the country, still
welcomes many tourists, though numbers were affected slightly by the recent
rainy season. Many of the tourists interviewed said they are aware of the
dismantling, but will continue to visit the area to enjoy beautiful natural
scenery, which should be preserved for the future.
Thais in Hong Kong urged to avoid protest sites
The Royal Thai Consulate-General in Hong Kong has
issued a travel advisory, warning Thai citizens to avoid visiting areas
where mass protests are being staged, for their own safety.
The Royal Thai Consulate-General posted the travel
advisory on its Facebook page, saying there are reports that protesters will
stage their rallies in Central and Mass Transit Railway (MTR) stations on
Friday (Oct 18). According to the reports, the protesters will gather at
Causeway Bay on Saturday, move to Tsim Sha Tsui and Sha Tin areas on Sunday
and continue their protests in the New Territory on Monday. Thai nationals
should avoid these areas for their own safety.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s parliament descended into a
second day of chaos, with legislators constantly interrupting one another
and some being dragged out of parliament by security personnel.
The mass anti-government protest in Hong Kong started
mid-June this year with still no end in sight.
Court to deliver Thanathorn ruling on Nov 20
The Constitutional Court
will read the ruling in the media shareholding case of the Future Forward
Party leader, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, on November 20, 2019.
On Friday (Oct 18),
Constitutional Court judges spent six hours questioning 10 defense
witnesses, after the Election Commission (EC) asked the court to deliberate
whether Mr. Thanathorn’s status as a member of parliament (MP) since he was
holding shares in V-Luck Media Company when he applied to become an MP, a
prohibition under the charter. After the hearing, the court will deliver its
ruling at 2 p.m. on November 20. If both sides do not submit their closing
statements within 15 days, the court will consider that it already has
sufficient information to make a ruling.
The Future Forward Party
leader and all the defense witnesses insisted on their innocence and said
they do not have any agenda. They expressed their confidence that there will
be no further problems after this witness testimony.
The 10 witnesses included
Mr. Thanathorn, his mother, his wife, his mother’s grandson, his lawyer, his
driver and V-Luck Media employees.
DPM Wissanu: Royal Barge Procession rescheduled
Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Wissanu Krea-ngam has
announced a rescheduling of the Royal Barge Procession from next week to
Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Wissanu Krea-ngam has announced a rescheduling of
the Royal Barge Procession from next week to December 12th.
According to Dr. Wissanu, His Majesty the King has graciously instructed
officials to reschedule the procession, which is the final component of His
Majesty’s coronation. The procession is now to start at 3.30 PM on December
The announcement, which came after the Royal Thai Navy had performed 10
rehearsals and a full-attire rehearsal, was made due to concerns over
possible weather obstacles. In order to maintain the safety of Their
Majesties the King and Queen, and the safety of people attending the
auspicious event, the organizers informed His Majesty of the weather
forecast and recommended the rescheduling.
The rescheduled procession will maintain the same formation and timeframe.
PM Prayut joins volunteer activity to clean up temple
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday
joined a group of volunteers to clean up Somanas Rajavaravihara temple in
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday joined a group of volunteers to
clean up Somanas Rajavaravihara temple in Bangkok. The volunteer activity
was held to honor His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra
Vajiraklaochaoyuhua’s 67th birthday on July 28, 2019.
Gen. Prayut was accompanied by his wife, cabinet ministers, Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration (BMA) officials, members of the media, military
officers, civil servants and the general public.
The Prime Minister led all present in expressing their gratitude towards His
Majesty the King for initiating the Altruistic Heart 904 volunteer program,
and said his government has heeded His Majesty’s guidance. Volunteers
gathered for the event then set about beautifying the temple grounds.
After paying their respects to the main Buddha statue of the temple, the
Prime Minister presented its abbot with tributes. The Prime Minister then
helped the volunteers repaint the temple’s fence and plant shrubs. Gen.
Prayut spent the rest of the morning giving moral support to the volunteers
and visiting a royal kitchen set up to provide those participating with food
and beverages. (NNT)
Thailand-Hungary join forces on water management
attached to the Prime Minister’s Office Tewan Liptapallop and Hungarian
Minister of the Interior Sandor Pinter shake hands after an MOU was signed
between the two countries.
Minister Tewan Liptapallop and officials of the Office of Natural Water
Resources (ONWR) have attended the Budapest Water Summit 2019, to present
crisis response plans and to sign a Thailand-Hungary MOU to establish a
joint committee on water management cooperation.
A Minister attached to the Prime
Minister’s Office, Tewan Liptapallop announced that Deputy Prime Minister
Gen Prawit Wongsuwan had assigned him to lead a team of officials from
Thailand on an official visit to Hungary to attend the opening ceremony of
the Budapest Water Summit 2019 in Budapest, Hungary, along with the ONWR
Secretary General Somkiat Prachamwong. The water summit was held on
13th-16th October 2019, during which a Memorandum of Understanding between
Thailand and Hungary was signed to promote cooperation on water resource
The Budapest Water Summit 2019 was held
on the theme of Preventing a Water Crisis, and was aimed at promoting the
cooperation of the global community, and uniting political sectors,
decision-making key persons in business and finance, as well as academics,
to highlight the crisis in water shortages, excessive water supply, and
water contamination. The summit hosted seminars and exhibitions showcasing
advancement in water technology by some 30 Hungarian firms.
At the event, Thailand took the
opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with experts from both the
government and private sectors on the implementation of technologies with
water management, improving water quality, and regional water management.
Tewan disclosed that the MOU was signed
by the ONWR and Hungary’s Ministry of the Interior, at which the Hungarian
Minister of the Interior Sandor Pinter was present as he was at the
bilateral discussion between the two sides, saying that Thailand has
proposed a joint committee to be established soon to materialize plans and
projects agreed on by both sides, especially integrated water management on
flooding and drought, waste water management, and ground water usage
specialized in by Hungary. This cooperation will help establish a bilateral
framework and enhance the ties between the countries, while Hungary has
offered Master’s and PhD scholarships for Thai students to join leading
universities in Hungary. (NNT)
Foreign Affairs Ministry: Thailand ready to host 35th ASEAN Summit
Director-General of the Department of ASEAN Affairs, Dr. Suriya Chindawongse,
said Thailand will host the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits on
November 2 and 4 this year in Bangkok and Nonthaburi.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed Thailand’s readiness to host
the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits next month.
The Director-General of the Department
of ASEAN Affairs, Dr. Suriya Chindawongse, said yesterday Thailand will host
the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits on November 2 and 4 this year in
Bangkok and Nonthaburi.
The ASEAN Summit aims to enhance
regional cooperation and establish connections between ASEAN member states
and non-ASEAN countries. The event will focus on strategies to drive
economic growth and the Asean Indo-Pacific Outlook, which promotes
cooperation among countries in mainland and maritime areas of the
Indo-Pacific region. ASEAN is ready to set the stage for world’s economic
superpowers to hold constructive talks and together resolve economic and
Dr. Suriya said the 35th ASEAN Summit
will be attended by leaders and representatives of over 20 nations, and
there will be related summits between ASEAN and non-ASEAN members and the
The Handover Ceremony of the ASEAN
Chairmanship will take place on November 4, with Thailand to pass the
ceremonial gavel to Vietnam. (NNT)
Their Majesties attend anointment ceremony for HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej
King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua and Her Majesty Queen
Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana attended an anointment ceremony for HTMS
Bhumibol Adulyadej, a stealth frigate of the Royal Thai Navy, in Chonburi
His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua and Her
Majesty Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana attended an anointment
ceremony for HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej, a stealth frigate of the Royal Thai
Navy, in Chonburi province.
At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Their Majesties
the King and Queen proceeded to Chuk Samet Pier at Sattahip Naval Base in
Sattahip district, Chonburi province, to attend the ceremony to anoint HTMS
Bhumibol Adulyadej. The frigate was procured to replace two decommissioned
frigates, namely HTMS Phuttha Yodfa Chulalok and HTMS Phuttha Lertla
His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn
named the new stealth frigate HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej in honor of his
father, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great. The new frigate is
124.1 meters long, 14.4 meters wide and a draught of eight meters. The
frigate deploys 141 sailors on board.
HTMS Pinklao fired a 21-gun salute
during the ceremony.
HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej is a multi-role
stealth frigate. Its operations can be conducted to Sea State 8. The frigate
can engage in anti-submarine warfare, sea surface defense as well as air
defense. It is capable of operating with heavy-duty helicopters. The frigate
is equipped with modern combat and surveillance systems.
In addition to military operations,
HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej can perform deep sea search and rescue operations or
enforce maritime law. The frigate has two rigid-hulled inflatable buoyancies
that can operate with a speed of 40 knots. The frigate is equipped with
defense systems against nuclear, biological and chemical attacks. The
frigate can also conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster response
Natural Resources and Environment Ministry campaigns to eliminate plastic bags
Natural Resources and Environment Minister
Varawut Silpa-archa and a group of officials joined the volunteer activity
to reduce the use of plastic bags.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, together with major
shopping malls and convenience stores across Thailand, has launched a
volunteer activity to encourage people to help protect the environment by
using reusable bags instead of plastic bags.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa and a group
of officials joined the volunteer activity to reduce the use of plastic
bags. Forty-three shopping malls and convenience stores nationwide will stop
providing plastic bags to shoppers, starting in January next year.
Almost a year ago, many shopping malls stopped providing plastic bags to
shoppers on the fourth day of each month to raise public awareness. The
campaign has resulted in a reduction of 1.8 billion plastic bags being used.
Varawut said today the ministry’s waste management roadmap aims at banning
four types of single-use plastics in the country by 2021. They include
plastic bags, plastic cups, plastic straws and Styrofoam containers. The
ministry initially asked major shopping malls and convenience stores for
their cooperation. Next year, the ministry will seek cooperation from the
food and beverage industry, fresh markets, community markets and small
retail stores. The ministry will then introduce legislation to ban
single-use plastic products by 2021.
MOPH supports Paraquat ban
ML Somchai Chakrabhand, an adviser to the
Minister of Public Health, chairs a meeting with the campaign committee
formed to address harmful chemical usage in agriculture.
The Ministry of Public Health is to campaign to stop the use of harmful
chemicals in agriculture, pointing out the harmful health effects. The MOPH
is now set to inform its officials of its stance on the matter before they
attend the Hazardous Substance Committee’s meeting at which a decision on
the proposed ban will be made on 22nd October.
ML Somchai Chakrabhand, an adviser to the Minister of Public Health has
chaired a meeting with the campaign committee formed to address harmful
chemical usage in agriculture; the committee will continue its campaign
against such harmful chemicals by pointing out the dangerous health effects
they have. The campaign will take place on a variety of media channels until
21st October, the day before the meeting of the Hazardous Substances
A lecturer at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, Teerawat
Hemachuta, also an adviser to the Minister of Public Health, said today that
studies show clear indications of the negative effects of harmful chemicals
used in agriculture, with similar patterns occurring worldwide.
He said studies and research show that contamination from the chemicals in
the food chain can cause diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s, cerebral
atrophy, slow child development, abnormal organ functions, and respiratory
failure. Paraquat is ranked the most dangerous, followed by Glyphosate, of
which only 200 milliliters intake into the body can cause acute Alzheimer’s,
while Chlorpyrifos, can cause breathing difficulties and abnormal organ
Some studies also examined children in whom traces of these chemicals were
revealed, as a result of contamination of the placenta, the amniotic fluid,
and meconium after birth, noting that they usually suffer from slow
development, and exhibit an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Banning these three chemicals is intended to protect farmers and their
families from harm caused by these chemicals. According to the MOPH’s data
from October 2018 to July 2019, 406 fatalities have been attributed to the
use of chemicals in Thailand, covering some 280 varieties, along with 15,000
cases of hospital admissions related to the use of chemicals. Deleterious
health effects greatly intensify when all three chemicals are involved. (NNT)
Thai Red Shirt chiefs ordered to pay for 2010 arson damage
Bangkok (AP) — Thailand's Supreme Court on
Wednesday ordered three leaders of the Red Shirt political movement to pay
21 million baht ($691,000) compensation to business owners whose commercial
buildings were set on fire at the climax of two months of aggressive street
protests in 2010.
The verdict on a civil suit was the latest in a series
of rulings covering political unrest from 2006 to 2014, when an army coup
put an end to disorder.
An earlier coup in 2006 set off a sometimes violent
struggle for power between Red Shirt supporters of ousted Prime Minister
Thaksin Shinawatra and his opponents, the royalist Yellow Shirts.
The 2010 protests saw the Red Shirts occupy a large
swath of central Bangkok before the army ousted them by force. More than 90
people were killed and thousands injured during the protests, and arson
presumably carried out by Red Shirts as they were dispersed caused extensive
The leaders of the Red Shirts — more formally known as
the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship — who were ordered to
jointly pay compensation, plus another 1.2 million baht ($40,000 ) for the
loss of earning benefits to the plaintiffs, were Jatuporn Prompan, Nattawut
Saikua and Weng Tojirakarn.
Also originally named in the lawsuit were Abhisit
Vejjajiva, the prime minister in 2010, and senior members of his Cabinet,
but the case against them was dismissed earlier by the Appeals Court.
In August, the Supreme Court ordered Jatuporn and two
other Red Shirt leaders, Nattawut Saikua and Arisman Pongruangrong, to pay
more than 19 million baht ($626,000) compensation to several owners of other
shops and commercial buildings, ruling their speeches had incited
protesters' anger, with predictable consequences.
Two other recent court rulings had mixed results for
the Red Shirts.
Last month, the Supreme Court affirmed the prison
sentences of 12 Red Shirt members convicted in connection with rioting that
disrupted an important regional conference in 2009.
The 12 had received four-year prison sentences for
their actions on April 11, 2009, when supporters of former Prime Minister
Thaksin seeking to force out a government of their opponents stormed a hotel
in the resort city of Pattaya hosting the summit meeting of the Association
of Southeast Asian Nations.
The ASEAN leaders were forced to flee, some by
helicopter, and the summit was postponed. The defendants were convicted on
charges of sedition, illegal assembly, damaging property and trespassing.
However, in an August ruling covering the 2010
protests, the Bangkok Criminal Court dismissed terrorism and other charges
against 24 Red Shirt leaders, ruling that their action was "a political
fight, not terrorism." The group had been charged with terrorism, criminal
association, using force to damage government property, inciting unrest,
possession of arms, obstruction of officials through intimidation and
gathering more than 10 people to cause chaos.
Thai courts have had a reputation for tilting against
the Red Shirts and others associated with Thaksin. In July, the Criminal
Court dismissed charges of insurrection against four key members of an anti-Thaksin
group, the People's Democratic Reform Committee. The group organized large,
aggressive street protests in late 2013 that a government led by Thaksin's
sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, could not control, causing chaos that served as
the reason for the military to stage a 2014 takeover. An election in March
this year brought a pro-military party to power.
House committee discusses banning three farm chemicals
The government’s ad hoc committee on toxic farm chemical controls
chairman, Chavalit Vichayasuthi, said his committee is firmly against the
continued use of paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos.
The banning of paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos was discussed at the
meeting of the government’s ad hoc committee on toxic farm chemical controls
yesterday. Relevant agencies were invited to the meeting to seek measures to
restrict the use of these chemicals while promoting organic farming.
The chairman of the committee, Chavalit Vichayasuthi, said that, after
listening to input from all concerned parties, his committee is firmly
against the continued use of the chemicals and it will not propose any
alternative chemicals. Chavalit said, however, his committee and other
agencies will have to seek sustainable solutions for farmers. He added that
organic farming should be put on the national agenda and funds should be
clearly allocated to help farmers effectively.
The Director-General of the Department of Agriculture, Dr. Surmsuk
Salakpetch, said she agreed with the House committee’s resolution, which
supports the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives’ move to promote
organic farming and safe agricultural practices. It is in line with the 12th
National Economic and Social Development Plan (2017-2021) and the 20-Year
National Strategy. By 2022, the government aims to increase organic farming
in Thailand to at least 513,000 acres.
However, various agricultural associations overseeing cash crops and the
Thai Agricultural Innovation Trade Association (TAITA) said the banning of
paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos, which will take effect from December
1 this year, will directly impact farmers, particularly those who produce
cassava, sugarcane, oil palm and corn, because other farm chemicals cannot
replace them in terms of their characteristics and price. Farmers will have
to spend more because an alternative farm chemical is six times more
expensive than paraquat.
Once the ban is in effect, the government will have to manage its inventory
of over 40,000 tons, while the farmers have 10,000 tons. The government will
also have to spend billions of baht to transport, store or destroy the
banned chemicals and to compensate farmers by 500,000 baht per ton. The ban
may lead to the smuggling of illegals and counterfeit agricultural products.
Cabinet approves Nov 4, 5 as holidays to reduce traffic during ASEAN Summit
Deputy Government Spokeswoman Traisuree
Taisaranakul said the cabinet meeting approved the national holiday
declaration as proposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in an effort to
reduce traffic congestion in Bangkok and Nonthaburi.
A meeting of the Cabinet Ministers on October 15 approved November 4 and 5,
2019, as additional public holidays in Bangkok and Nonthaburi, as Thailand
will be hosting the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits on those days next
At Government House, Deputy Government Spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul
said the cabinet meeting approved the national holiday declaration as
proposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in an effort to reduce traffic
congestion in Bangkok and Nonthaburi. The 35th ASEAN Summit and Related
Summits will take place between November 2 and 6, 2019, at Impact Muang
Thong Thani, Nonthaburi province. A cabinet meeting has also been
rescheduled from November 5 to November 6.
Concerning state enterprises, financial institutions and private firms, the
cabinet has instructed the Bank of Thailand (BOT), the Ministry of Labor and
each state enterprise to consider observing the holidays in accordance with
If certain agencies are obliged to serve the public on November 4 and 5 and
their services cannot be postponed, heads of these agencies are responsible
for taking action that is deemed appropriate and which does not result in
damage to the government or the public.
The cabinet meeting also acknowledged that a mobile cabinet meeting will be
held on November 11 and 12 in Kanchanaburi and Ratchaburi provinces.
Cabinet approves five projects to help disaster-hit farmers
The cabinet meeting has approved five projects,
worth 3.12 billion baht in total, to help farmers affected by drought and
The cabinet meeting has approved five projects, worth 3.12 billion baht in
total, to help farmers affected by drought and floods. Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha and his ministers will hold a mobile cabinet meeting in
Kanchanaburi province next month.
The cabinet meeting yesterday approved the five disaster-relief projects as
proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. The projects will
assist farmers who suffered losses due to the impact of tropical storms
Podul and Kajiki. They are to be instigated this month and continue until
September next year.
The first project is to encourage farmers to grow crops that require less
water, such as field corn. The cabinet allocated 374 million baht for this
project. The second project is to ensure the quantity and quality of rice
production. Each flood-hit farmer is required to produce 10 kilograms of
rice per rai, with a limit of 10 rai per farm. The project is worth 1.7
billion baht. Other projects include helping tilapia farmers to generate
more income and increase poultry farming activities to 48,000 households.
The cabinet also allocated 500 million baht to a project to create careers,
such as the farming of giant freshwater prawns, in 129 districts nationwide.
The cabinet meeting also confirmed that a mobile cabinet meeting will be
held on November 12 in Kanchanaburi. The Prime Minister and his cabinet
ministers will first visit Ratchaburi province on November 11 before
traveling to Kanchanaburi the following day. (NNT)
Government, opposition whips discuss time frame for budget debate
Chief Government Whip Wirat Ratanaset said each
side will be given 15 hours to debate the national budget bill.
The national budget bill is set to start being debated in the House of
Representatives today. The government and opposition whips met yesterday to
determine the time frame for the debate, with the government insisting that
it should be allotted more time if the opposition is given 20 additional
Before the meeting between the government and opposition whips, the Chief
Government Whip, Wirat Ratanaset, said each side will be given 15 hours for
the debate. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Finance Minister Uttama
Savanayana will each have two hours to present the budget bill, while the
legislators will be given 35 hours in total.
On the possibility that the House debate will be extended, Wirat said it
must be within the three-day period, from today to Saturday. If the
opposition wants 20 more hours for the debate, the Chief Government Whip
said the government will also demand 20 additional hours.
The government and its coalition parties have already divided the hours
between them, while each small party may have less than 10 minutes to speak
during the debate. The government whip will conduct a rehearsal tomorrow
morning before the meeting convenes.
Wirat said the House of Representatives will debate the budget bill starting
at noon today, as the military budget and transfers will be considered in
On Thursday, the House debate is expected to adjourn at 11 p.m. On Friday,
the meeting will be from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. After the 23-hour session, the
legislators will be given seven to eight additional hours for further
debate, if necessary. (NNT) .