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Update December 2018


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Thailand News
 

Forum held on development of land around U-Tapao Airport

Deputy Governor of Rayong province Yuthapol Ongarjittichai.

NNT

Rayong - Deputy Governor of Rayong province Yuthapol Ongarjittichai has chaired the second forum on development plans for the area around U-Tapao Airport. It was attended by Rayong Public Works and Town and Country Planning Official Capt Theerapong Krutdilokanon and other relevant officials.

Expert Architect Pakorn Warapasakul reviewed the development plan, which was explained by City Planning Expert Prof Dr Jaturong Pokaratsiri . The meeting discussed ideas collected from the previous forum on a draft land usage plan, a development masterplan and transport and basic facilities systems before hearing further views from local figures.

Baan Chang district, which surrounds U-Tapao Airport, is to be made more modern in support of both residents and tourists as well as investors traveling to and from the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). The plan is to be carried out in three phases: the short term, mid-term and long term. Initially work will focus on transport and basic facilities and target the creation of a Smart City that serves as an international hub for tourism and marine sports, as well as being a logistics hub. In the mid and long terms, roads will be constructed for better access to the area.


Cabinet endorses PTTEP’s two petroleum concessions in Gulf of Thailand

NNT

Nong Khai - The Thai Cabinet has endorsed the two petroleum concessions held by PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited in the Gulf of Thailand.

Government Spokesperson Puttipong Punnakanta made the announcement after the mobile Cabinet meeting concluded on Thursday. He said that PTTEP had won the bidding for both the Erawan (G1/61) and Bongkot (G2/61) petroleum gas concessions.

PTTEP also will be the sole operator of the Bongkot gas field, while the Erawan gas field will be operated by PTTEP and its partner, the UAE's Mubadala Petroleum.

According to Thai Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan , the deals for both gas field concessions will be signed by February 2019.


Thai Islamic leaders tighten rules on child marriage

Bangkok (AP) — Islam's guiding council in Thailand has introduced new regulations requiring that marriages of children under age 17 be approved by a religious committee.

The action follows an uproar earlier this year over an 11-year-old Thai girl who married a 41-year-old Malaysian man, triggering calls in both countries for stronger laws against child marriage. The girl was reportedly sent back to Thailand from Malaysia and put under the care of Thai social welfare workers.

A senior member of the Central Islamic Council of Thailand, Wisut Binlateh, said Friday that Muslim children of any age in Thailand previously could get married with permission from their parents, but now children under age 17 must also seek approval from an Islamic committee which would consider whether the marriage is appropriate.

Wisut said the measure took effect Dec. 4, when the Sheikhul Islam, the senior Thai Muslim leader, signed his approval.

Human rights activist Angkhana Neelaphaijit said the regulation does not carry the weight of law, and holds no punishment for those who fail to abide by it.

Islamic law is observed for Muslims in Thailand's four southernmost provinces for family matters and inheritance, but does not set a minimum age for marriage.

According to Thai law, which applies to the rest of the country, the minimum legal age for marriage is 17, though courts may allow the marriage of younger individuals if there is an appropriate reason. The reasons, however, are not defined in the law.

Angkhana said the new measure by Thailand's Islamic leaders is a step in the right direction, but requires further work to protect people's rights.

"It is a good thing that the Sheikhul Islam Office has introduced this measure, but we have to also try to reach an understanding with the religious leaders that if there are violators, what can we do to punish them," she said.

Angkhana also said because Thailand's four southern provinces use Islamic law for family matters, a legal loophole has allowed a surge in Malaysian men coming to southern Thailand for second or third marriages, because there is little oversight compared to what they face at home.

"The problem is in Malaysia, if a man wants to have a second or third wife, he needs to ask permission from a court. But in Thailand, there is no such law regulating this or also anyone checking whether a man is wealthy enough to care for a family," she said.


Mountains in Loei ready to welcome tourists this winter

NNT

Loei - Loei is promoting three mountains this winter high season to draw tourists to lesser-known areas in the province.

The first mountain is Phu E Lert, an "unseen" tourist site in Loei. Located in Tambon Pak Man, Phu E Lert boasts a new view point overlooking a sea of fog. This view point is dubbed "Grand Canyon" due to its rock formations. From there, tourists can see the vast Thai-Lao border area.

The second mountain is Phu Tao Pong, an award-winning ecotourism site in Loei. The most famous highlight of Phu Tao Pong is a midnight sea of fog which lasts until 10 in the morning.

The last mountain is Phu Lom Lo in Tambon Kok Sa Thon. Adjacent to the Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park and the famous Phu Thap Berk, Phu Lom Lo features beautiful wild Himalayan cherry trees in an area of more than 1,000 rai. Their flowers are in full bloom around mid December until early February.


Motor Expo 2018 to unveil new models by 60 brands

 

NNT

Bangkok - Over 60 carmakers will unveil new vehicles at Motor Expo 2018 this year, with preorder sales expected to exceed 55 billion baht.

Motor Expo 2018 focuses on showcasing high-tech motor vehicles that provide convenience and safety features, while delivering a satisfying driving experience for car enthusiasts.

Highlights include concept cars of the future equipped with AI-driven safety features and accessories, such as the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA, Mazda Vision Concept, MG E-Motion Concept, and MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept.

The event expects 1.5 million people to attend, and as many as 45,000 cars and 8,000 motorcycles in preorders worth over 55 billion baht. The forecast would send car sales for 2019 to more than one million units.

The Motor Expo 2018 will be open to the public from November 29th to December 10th this year at IMPACT, Muang Thong Thani.


HM King bestows Bike Un Ai Rak t-shirts

NNT

Bangkok - His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn has graciously bestowed t-shirts and drinking water for the benefit of participants of the Bike Un Ai Rak event.

The ceremony was held Thursday at the 606 Building of the Royal Household Bureau in Sanam Suea Pa. Presiding over the dedication ceremony on behalf of His Majesty the King was ACM Satitpong Sukvimol, the Director-General of the Crown Property Bureau and Lord Chamberlain.

The Supreme Commander, Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office and Governors from all 76 provinces of the Kingdom received the t-shirts, which will be distributed to the participants in the nation-wide biking event which will take place on December 9.

Cyclists can collect their t-shirt at the time and place nominated by the registering official of their respective racing venue.

His Majesty personally designed the t-shirt. It has the text “BIKER” printed on the front with a backdrop of the hand-drawn logo of the ‘Love and Warmth at Winter’ End, the River of Rattanakosin’ festival, and the signature of His Majesty.

According to data from the Interior Ministry, Nakhon Ratchasima has the highest number of registrants at 25,517, followed by Udon Thani at 21,058 and Sakon Nakhon at 18,751.

For more information, visit www.bikeunairak2018.com.


BMA to increase fine for motorbikes riding on footpaths

NNT

Bangkok - The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will increase the fine for motorbikes riding on walkways from 500 baht to 1,000 baht, as the problem continues to persist. From December onwards, BMA officials will be authorized to enforce the new fine without having to give violators a warning.

Deputy Bangkok Governor Sakonthee Phatthiyakul reiterated the BMA’s determination to return public areas to the public. He explained the reason behind the ramping up of the regulation, saying the problem of motorbikes riding on footpaths persists despite the ban, which was issued in July last year. The problem became more apparent after a student was hit by a motorbike while she was walking on Soi Lad Prao 69.

The Governor admitted that the BMA is understaffed to monitor all walkways in 50 districts but has resolved to increase the number of checkpoints to 230 from the previous 115 to deal with the problem.

According to the BMA’s record, Wang Thong Lang District has the highest number of violators, followed by Suan Laung, Lad Krabang , and Wattana districts.

The violators cited heavy traffic and long distances to make a U-turn as the most common reasons for them breaking the law.

Pedestrians have submitted more than 10,000 pictures of violators to the BMA since July and the the BMA has collected a total of 4 million baht in fines.


Ayutthaya World Heritage celebration scheduled during 7-16 December

NNT

Ayutthaya - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) plans to celebrate Ayutthaya World Heritage from 7-16 December 2018 at the Ayutthaya historical park.

Deputy TAT Governor for Domestic Marketing Noppadon Pakprot said the agency has joined hands with Ayutthaya province, government agencies, and private companies to organize the event, which will be held for the 27th time. It is aimed to promote tourism in the central province, as well as conserve national heritages such as art, culture, and attire.

Visitors are encouraged to wear Thai costumes and view features including a lighting system to illuminate ancient temples and buildings. Shuttle vans will be available to guide visitors through the historical park. Admission is free and the festivities run from 4.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m.

The event will also feature parades, performances, markets, walking streets, and the sales of OTOP items at affordable prices.

Event organizers are expecting the number of visitors to rise by 10 percent from 300,000 visitors last year, and to generate some 400 million baht in cash.
 


DAILY UPDATE

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Forum held on development of land around U-Tapao Airport

Cabinet endorses PTTEP’s two petroleum concessions in Gulf of Thailand

Thai Islamic leaders tighten rules on child marriage

Mountains in Loei ready to welcome tourists this winter


Motor Expo 2018 to unveil new models by 60 brands

HM King bestows Bike Un Ai Rak t-shirts

BMA to increase fine for motorbikes riding on footpaths

Ayutthaya World Heritage celebration scheduled during 7-16 December