Update December 9 - 10, 2017
Bank of Ayudhya: Thai baht may reach 4-yr high in 2018
Bangkok - Bank of Ayudhya has
forecast that the Thai currency in 2018 will reach a four-year high of 31.75
baht per US dollar, if the US Federal Reserve fails to raise interest rates
as expected. It also believes the Bank of Thailand (BOT) will raise rates in
the second half of 2018, should the Thai economy make a decisive recovery.
Tak Bunnang, Head of the Global Markets
Group at Bank of Ayudhya, said the Thai currency in the first half of 2018
will appreciate to between 32.3 and 33.5 baht per US dollar, the strongest
in four years. The likelihood of appreciation will increase if the Federal
Reserve fails to raise interest rates in the second half of 2018. Investor
money would flow to emerging markets, including Thailand.
Investors expect that the BOT's
Monetary Policy Committee will raise interest rates in the second half of
2018 from 1.5%, should the Thai economy make a decisive recovery and the
inflation rate grow to 1.7%.
Towards the end of the year, the Thai
baht is expected to range between 32.5 and 33 baht per US dollar. Bank of
Ayudhya will continue to follow the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve,
which will decide whether to raise rates this month. The bank will also stay
informed of the economic policies of US President Donald Trump, which could
affect the economies of Europe, Asia, and Thailand.
2nd phase of social welfare program aims to promote career opportunities
Bangkok - The Fiscal Policy
Office (FPO) has revealed that the second phase of the social welfare
program will encourage registered low-income earners to receive skills
training in order to increase their employment opportunities.
Financial adviser to the FPO, Pornchai
Thiraveja, said the government will survey the needs of registered
low-income earners in order to provide them with the right support and help
them develop professional skills that match available positions.
Low-income earners can ask the Ministry
of Labor to find them a job or choose to start their own business.
If they wish to open a retail store,
they can seek assistance from the Ministry of Commerce.
The adviser added that those with
disabilities are also entitled to assistance under the social welfare
Chachoengsao mobilizing EEC development project
Chachoengsao - A joint public-private committee
in Chachoengsao held a meeting this week to mobilize the Eastern Economic
Corridor (EEC) development project in the province.
Chachoengsao Governor Suwit Khamdee said the meeting
followed up on the construction of a water retention area and undertakings
related to the EEC development project.
Those attending the joint meeting included local
government officials and members of the Tourism Council of Thailand, the
National Farmers Council and the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
Suwit cited the need to raise awareness about the EEC
development project among local residents and gain their support.
Chachoengsao is known as a destination for industrial,
organic farming and eco-tourism activities, he said, noting that workers
needed to improve their skills for future growth.
Lastly, he stressed that all activities will be carried
out based on His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s sustainability concept.
THAI awarded eighth Best Long-haul Airline by Telegraph travel website
Bangkok - Thai Airways
International has won a Best Long-haul Airlines award from the website-based
Telegraph poll conducted with readers.
Acting THAI President Usanee
Sangsingkeo revealed the Thai flag carrier was named the eighth Best
Long-haul Airline in the Telegraph Travel Awards 2017 following a survey
conducted with some 90,000 website viewers during August - October 2017.
She said the award would generate pride
to the airline as it indicated excellent services for its passengers, adding
that THAI will continue to improve them to maximize passengers' comfort and
Telegraph is a UK-based travel website
with 27 million viewers worldwide, and is the 10th most visited website in
the world. The Telegraph Travel Awards 2017 was conferred on basis of
surveys with UK viewers in search of the best travel experiences from
hotels, airlines, tourist destinations, cruises, ferry boats, trains, and
Court postpones decision on academic's charges
Sulak Sivaraksa, center, receives flowers from a
well-wisher outside a military court Thursday, Dec. 7, in Bangkok. (AP
Bangkok (AP) — A military court
on Thursday delayed a decision on whether to prosecute a prominent historian
and social critic who suggested that a famed duel on elephant-back won by a
Thai king against a Burmese prince 500 years ago may not actually have
The 84-year-old Sulak Sivaraksa was
charged by police last October under the country's lese majeste law that
protects the monarchy from libel and defamation.
The military court on Thursday agreed
with Sulak's request to hear views from experts and historians and set a new
hearing for Jan. 17.
Sulak told reporters outside the court
that "to live in this country you must have a sense of humor because my case
is nonsensical." He said it would be impossible for Thais to learn history
if commenting on King Naraesuan, who led the famous 1593 battle that is
celebrated as a national holiday, is considered illegal.
The case stems from remarks Sulak made
in 2014 when he urged a university seminar to think critically about Thai
British writer and historian Chris
Baker said there are at least 10 different accounts of the elephant battle
told in Thai, Burmese and French.
"There is no definitive account. There
are various different accounts and historians accept that perhaps we don't
actually know what happened," Baker said. "There are just many different
stories told about an event that seems to have been very exciting."
Interior Ministry to enforce 7 road safety measures to curb road fatalities
Bangkok - The Ministry of
Interior is planning to invest more to ensure the safety of motorists in
Speaking at the 13th Thailand Road
Safety Seminar this week, Deputy Interior Minister Suthee Makboon said 7 new
measures will be enforced to lower the number of road fatalities in the
country. These measures include a 50 km/hr speed limit in urban areas, a
minimum age requirement for people to ride a big bike, and the installation
of an anti-lock braking system for all motorcycles, to name a few.
Suthee added that every province must
have safety zones for pedestrians and cyclists.
The seminar was organized by the Road
Safety Group Thailand and Road Safety Center with the objective to promote
road safety and awareness.
According to the organizer, 20,000
people on average are killed in road accidents every year. It is equivalent
to a 500 billion baht GDP loss per annum.
Toon Bodyslam’s charity run close to 700-million-baht goal
Bangkok - Rock star,
Athiwara Khongmalai, known among his fans as Toon Bodyslam, is close to
achieving his 700-million baht fundraising goal as he heads towards the
central province of Suphan Buri.
Toon and his like-minded friends were
greeted by Vice Governor of Nonthaburi province, Cholatee Yangtrong, and
many local people on Wednesday. The rocker also made a brief stop at Siriraj
Hospital to pay homage to the statue of Somdet Phra Mahitalathibet
Adunyadetwikrom Phra Borommaratchachanok, the Prince Father, and received a
donation of around 818,000 baht from the hospital.
Toon aims to raise 700 million baht to
help 11 hospitals by running 2,191 kilometers from the South to the North
within 55 days. His charity run has reached the 37th day and has collected
more than 600 million baht in donations. Despite the activity nearing its
goal, the much-loved rock star insists on finishing his journey in the
northernmost district of Mae Sai of Chiang Rai province as planned.
Flooding still wreaking havoc in south
Nakhon Si Thammarat - Many areas
of the southern region are still coping with floods with Nakhon Si Thammarat
reporting critical levels of water in several districts and its airport
threatened with inundation.
Waters in Nakhon Si Thammarat have been
rising rapidly and local officials have had to erect a sandbag barrier
around the airport’s runway to ensure services can continue. Military
personnel are now facilitating travel to and from the airport.
In the province’s Ta Sala district,
waters have reached a depth of close to 1 meter and have rushed into Ta Sala
Hospital’s first floor, prompting staff to move equipment and medicine to
the building’s second floor. The facility is nonetheless still operating
In Surat Thani, waters have severed
roads and washed away the Wang Takian Bridge.
The situation has continued to worsen
in Phattalung province with mountain runoff reported in almost every area of
its Muang district. Waters have broken through a dyke and inundated three
Asia Road 41 in Chumporn province,
which is the main roadway leading into the southern region, has been
submerged in 20-30 centimeters of water in some stretches. Vehicles have had
to slow down significantly to make their way through the province.
The Meteorological Department has
forecast more rain in the southern region, affecting Chumporn, Surat Thani,
Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phattalung and Songkhla. The situation overall is still
a reason for extreme caution for both citizens on land and boats traveling
out to sea.
Chiang Mai makes preparations for 2018's haze hazards
Chiang Mai - Chiang Mai province
is making preparations to prevent and mitigate possible haze hazards during
next year's dry season.
Provincial Governor of Chiang Mai,
Pawin Chamniprasart, attended a meeting Wednesday on the natural disaster
prevention and mitigation with officials of related government agencies, the
military, and 22 other provinces.
According to the Ministry of Interior,
69 provinces have been declared as forest fire hazardous areas for which
authorities are yet to prepare necessary measures, including carrying out
necessary drills and preparations, and studying previous operations in order
to improve the performances.
Provincial authorities have been
instructed to adhere to the integrated protocols in different areas such as
forest reserves, farmland, residential and urban areas, and roadside areas.
Each province and district was instructed to set up a command center to
manage response and inform the public about ways and means to reduce haze
They have also been instructed to
promote the reduction in burning activities during dry season, work with
villages on fire prevention measures and set up funding to support
NBTC outlines procedures for cellphone registration
Bangkok –The National
Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) now requires all
cellphone operators to have their users register on personal identity basis,
which may call for the verification of the user's face or the scanning of
the user's fingerprints, starting from 15 December 2017.
Such measures are designed to prevent
false claims or the forging of sim cards. The measures will only apply to
those who buy new sim cards, either on monthly post-pay or pre-pay basis,
and include non-Thai individuals. All existing sim card systems are to be
terminated as the country is moving toward a digital era.
In the initial stage, the NBTC has
introduced the new procedures in the three southern border provinces plus
four adjacent districts of Songkhla province. About 2,000 cellphone users
have been legally obliged to register their sim cards at 25 service points
throughout the southernmost region under an Emergency Decree. The measure
was designed to prevent the use of cellphone sim cards in the possible
provocation of unrest. Additionally, such registration has been provided to
some 1,000 sim card numbers at five locations in Bangkok.
The main cellphone operators, namely
AIS, DTAC, True, TOT and CAT, will provide the registration of sim cards
with the pre-pay system at over 60,000 venues throughout the country from 15
December, while those using the monthly post-pay system will be provided for
at a later date at various spots nationwide.
Thakorn Tanthasit, secretary general of
the NBTC, insisted that individual users’ personal identity data will be
safely stored and maintained, and will guarantee safe usage of sim cards.
Framework announced for Eastern Economic Corridor project
Bangkok - Thailand's Prime
Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha chaired a meeting of the Policy Committee on the
Eastern Economic Corridor project this week and announced that the national
defense industry should be included as the 11th industrial group under the
The country's Ministry of Defense,
Ministry of Industry, Board of Investment and the Industrial Estate
Authority of Thailand were assigned to take this into account and have
approved the development of major infrastructure for the project as follows:
-The high-speed rail project to link
three airports. The private sector will be encouraged to co-invest in the
project. The private firms to implement the project will be selected in
February 2018, followed by negotiations in July 2018, and the service will
be operational from 2023.
-The Eastern Aviation City project. The
private sector will be encouraged to co-invest in May 2018 and the firms to
implement the project will be selected and negotiations will be held in
October 2018 and the service will be operational from 2023.
-The Aircraft Repair and Maintenance
Center at U-Tapao to be jointly implemented by the Navy, the Thai Airways
International and AirBus Co. Details of the planned joint venture will be
compiled in March 2018 and an initial operation will commence in 2021.
-U-tapao Airport Development project to
be implemented in line with the Eastern Aviation City project.
-The Dual-Track Rail project to link
three ports. A feasibility study on the project will be finished in 2019
whereas the firms to implement it will be selected in 2020 and an initial
operation will begin in 2023.
-Laem Chabang Deep-Sea Port project for
which an environmental study is being conducted. The private sector will be
encouraged to co-invest in June 2018 whereas the firms to implement the
project will be selected and negotiations will be held in October 2018 and
the service will be operational from 2025.
-Mab Taput Industrial Port project for
which an approval on environmental aspects is currently underway. The
private sector will be encouraged to co-invest in the project in June 2018
whereas the firms chosen to implement it will be selected and negotiations
will be held in September 2018 and the service will be operational from
-Sattahip Commercial Port project for
which the construction of a ferry-boat passenger terminal is underway. The
service is expected to be operational in February 2019.
The PM suggested that the ferry-boat
port in Pranburi district of Prachuap Khiri Khan province be developed to
accommodate marine tourism in the Gulf of Thailand and that it be part of
the EEC project. Additionally, he instructed the authorities to promote the
use of rubber in every infrastructural construction plan in an effort to
raise the demand and price of domestic rubber.
Khanit Saengsupan, secretary general of
the Policy Committee on the Eastern Economic Corridor project, said the EEC
Development Act, which is to be come into force in 2018, will raise the
confidence of investors, including those who are awaiting the detailed
clauses of the law.
Court finds man guilty in military hospital bombing
Pumret, 61, is escorted by officials as he arrives at police headquarters
for a press conference in Bangkok, in this Tuesday, June 20, 2017 file
photo. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Bangkok (AP) - A Bangkok court
has sentenced a man to 27 years in prison for bombing a military hospital in
what he said was an act of resistance to the country's government.
The Criminal Court on Wednesday found
Wattana Pumret guilty of attempted premeditated murder, detonating a bomb
and other charges linked to the blast that wounded 21 people at the Bangkok
hospital. The attack took place on May 22, the third anniversary of the
military coup that ousted the country's elected government.
Wattana pleaded guilty to the charges.
Wattana said at a police news
conference in June that he bombed the hospital to defy military rule but
didn't intend to harm anyone.
"I was inspired by my hatred for
governments that come from military coups. Each coup has caused an economic
disaster and restricted people's rights," he told reporters at the time.
Wattana has previously denied belonging
to any specific political faction and insisting he acted alone.
New Cabinet assigned responsibilities and tasks at first meeting
Bangkok - The fifth iteration of
the Cabinet in the administration of Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha met
for the first time on Monday with the premier assigning responsibilities and
tasks to his new deputies and office ministers.
Assistant Spokesperson to the Prime
Minister’s Office, Col Athisit Chainuwat later reported on the outcome of
the first meeting, saying that Gen Prayut started by congratulating new
members of the panel and calling on them to heed the royal wishes of His
Majesty the King, while devoting themselves to honest and just work for the
betterment of Thailand’s people. He emphasized that they must continue the
work of their predecessors.
The PM asked all Cabinet members to
look into ways of boosting public morale, noting that they should consider
the promotion of farm products grown in Thailand while also stating that
ministers should travel to meet with citizens face to face to ensure
The premier signed an order to assign
tasks to his deputies and ministers of the Prime Minister’s Office. Gen
Prawit Wongsuwan will continue to oversee the Ministry of Defense and will
now also head the Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Labor and the Royal
Thai Police. ACM Prajin Junthong has been tasked with the Ministry of
Digital Economy and Society, the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the
Thailand Research Fund. Gen Chatchai Sariklaya will head the Ministry of
Social Development and Human Security, the Ministry of Public Health and the
National Office of Buddhism. Suwaphan Tanyuwattana will watch over the
Public Relations Department and the Consumer Protection Board while Kobsak
Putrakul will handle the Office of the National Economic and Social
Development Board and the Board of Investment.
Flooding in some submerged areas of South subsides
Bangkok - Flood water has
subsided in many areas of the South after a break in the inclement weather.
However, some of the submerged areas have continued to be affected due to
In Trang province, the flood levels in
many areas have slightly increased after a high tide hit the province and
flood barriers along the Trang River collapsed. The disaster prevention and
mitigation center, region 18th in Phuket and the Trang provincial
administration installed water pumps to remove water out of submerged
temples and schools.
In Hat Yai district in Songkhla, the
flood level decreased and the situation resumed its normal state. Mobile
medical teams had traveled to the affected areas in the province to provide
treatment and medical advice to people.
More than 20,000 rai of farmland in
Yala has been affected by the flooding so far. The affected farmers are
urged to contact local government units for financial assistance. The flood
in Mueang district in Pattani has started to subside but some areas in the
province are still submerged.
Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai
Army Gen.Chalermchai Sitthisart said that the army had instructed the 4th
Army Area Command to work with the Department of Disaster Prevention and
Mitigation and relevant units to facilitate and provide assistance to people
in nine southern provinces hit by the floods. Shelters for the
flood-affected have been set up in 14 areas.
KBank to open Chinese headquarters in Shenzhen
KBank CEO Banthoon Lamsamsaid.
Bangkok - Kasikornbank (KBank)
has been approved to set up a Chinese headquarters in Shenzhen, opening
trade opportunities for Thai businesses.
The bank branch was approved by the
China Banking Regulatory Commission. KBank has also signed a memorandum of
understanding with the Department of Commerce of Guangdong Province to
facilitate Chinese businesses who wish to invest in Thailand and vice versa.
KBank CEO Banthoon Lamsamsaid said the
Chinese branch will focus on promoting trade and facilitating business
between the two countries. The branch will support the government's policy
of promoting investment and will use digital technology to expand coverage
to its Chinese customers, instead of opening additional brick-and-mortar
Govt. holds event to educate public on mental illness
Bangkok - The Department of
Mental Health has held an event to educate the general public on mental
illnesses, as well as to hand out awards to exemplary fathers who dedicated
themselves to caring for family members with the disease.
The event was organized by the Thai
Family Link Association and the Caregivers Alliance of Thailand. The awards
were handed out by Deputy Director-General of the Department of Mental
Health Dr Pongkasem Khaimoo.
The event made known that mental
illnesses can be dealt with if addressed at an early stage and treated with
medication on a consistent basis. People with mental illnesses can integrate
into society, but must be careful of the side effects of reducing or ceasing
their medication, in addition to drug and alcohol abuse. At the same time,
communities and families should consult a mental health physician if they
notice a family member with abnormal behavior, such as insomnia, edginess,
aggression, or fear.
Those wishing to consult a psychiatrist
can call the 24-hour hotline 1323.
Govt invites all to celebrate National Day and Father's Day
Bangkok - His Majesty King Rama
X has decreed His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej's birthday
anniversary on Tuesday to be the National Day and Father’s Day. To mark the
occasion, the government is inviting people nationwide to give alms and make
Almsgiving and merit-making ceremonies
have been taking place earlier this morning at the Royal Plaza and various
temples across the Kingdom. A total of 901 monks participated in the
Bangkok ceremony, and the items presented to the monks will be distributed
to flood victims in the South.
December 5 is also World Soil Day and
the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has resolved to
recognize His Majesty the late King's significant contributions to soil
development and environmental protection by naming the day on his birthday
Super Full Moon draws spectators across the country
Bangkok - Citizens across the country reported
witnessing the Super Full Moon on Sunday night as the moon was at its
nearest point to the earth and appeared 6.3 percent larger than usual.
Media in Bangkok filmed the phenomena from Sanam Luang,
the site of the ongoing Royal Crematorium Exhibition, as well as from
Victory Monument. The moon was estimated at 357,973 kilometers from the
earth and was visible in some places as early as 5:30PM. The phenomena is to
repeat at an even greater extent on January 2 of next year.
Outside of Bangkok, citizens in Uthai Thani province
setup telescopes to view the Super Full Moon with some of the apparatus
provided by the municipal authority.
In Bueng Kan, residents gathered along the Mekong River
to view the occurrence where they reported high visibility.
Internet users warned against falling victim to online traders
Bangkok - The Ministry of
Digital Economy and Society has advised people to check the credibility of
online traders, following a diamond-ring bidding scam on social media.
The Deputy Permanent Secretary for
Digital Economy and Society, Somsak Khaosuwan, said a Facebook user was
tricked into transferring 120,000 baht to a scammer's bank account, after
winning a bid on a diamond ring on Facebook.
After an initial inspection, the
ministry found out that the case was not an online transaction and
authorities had yet to figure out whether the scam was committed by a group
or an individual.
Somsak said this type of scam could be
in violation of the Computer Act 2007. The victims may file a case against
the offenders by submitting all relevant evidence and the bank account
numbers to the police for further proceedings.
NBTC urges people to use 3Steps app to check SIM card registration
Bangkok - The National
Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is inviting the public
to download the application “3Steps” to prevent SIM card registration fraud.
Deputy Secretary-General of the NBTC
Korkit Danchaiwijit on Monday participated in an event organized by True
Move H Universal Communication to promote the 3Steps app developed to check
the registration of mobile phone SIM cards. If users find that their names
have been used by other people to register a SIM card, they can immediately
alert their mobile network operator. The application users can also lock
their SIM card registration to prevent other people from registering a SIM
card with their citizen ID number.
Korkit expressed his confidence that
the app will increase security for mobile phone users now and increasing
online transactions in the future. This free app can be downloaded on both
iOS and Android but users have to contact a mobile network service center
first before starting to use the app.
Authorities make more arrests of violators of copyrights
Bangkok - Thai authorities have
arrested more violators of copyrights and confiscated a variety of pirated
products in a recent raid.
The Customs Department took the lead in
the operation to search a warehouse suspected of involvement, in Bang Bua
Thong District of Nonthaburi Province.
The operation was joined by officers of
the Nonthaburi Police and the military following an earlier investigation,
which identified the suspect location as the place where pirated products
and items that violate copyrights were stored.
In the search, officers found around 15
types of pirated products, which range from brandname clothes, handbags and
shoes, to cigarettes and Viagra pills.
While the authorities are yet to summon
the person who allegedly rents the space, they have confiscated all items
and made a detailed record to support the subsequent investigation.
Relief aid and assistance rushed to flood victims in Nakhon Si Thammarat
Bangkok - Relief aid and urgent
assistance have been rushed to flood victims in southern Nakhon Si
Governor Chamroen Thippayapongtada led
a team of local officials on Saturday to deliver 150 sets of essential items
and offer moral support to 58 households of Lang Bueng Community in Mueang
District, who were among those hit hard by recent flooding.
The flood affected families were forced
to evacuate and stay near the airport belonging to Army Area Region 1 after
their homes were swamped by water ranging between 50 centimeters and one
An accompanying medical team has
provided health checkups for all flood victims — most of whom have suffered
from the cold conditions, with stomach pains and athlete’s foot infections.
After that, the governor and his team
traveled to Wat Tho Eak in Phra Phrom District to deliver 175 sets of
essential items and relief aid to flood victims, who have been hit by excess
water overflowing from Phrom Lok Waterfall.
Chamroen said that the overall flood
situation in the province has now eased and officials have installed 100
water pumps to push flood waters out into the sea.
Nakhon Pathom greets Toon Bodyslam’s charity marathon
Bangkok - The people of Nakhon
Pathom welcomed Toon Bodyslam with more donations to the charity marathon
project, which is raising funds to assist hospitals across the country.
Rock star Artiwara Kongmalai or "Toon
Bodyslam” arrived in Nakhon Pathom on Sunday morning after setting off
earlier in Photharam District of Ratchaburi Province.
On arrival he was greeted by the deputy
governor Pinyo Prakobphon, health officials, civil servants and staff of the
City Hall as well as a big crowd of local people.
During the stopover, donors poured
their financial contributions into the good cause that Toon has initiated,
which is to raise hundreds of millions of baht to finance the work and
facilities of 11 hospitals nationwide.
After a brief break, Toon and his team
set off on the second leg of the day’s run along a route that has seen many
more local residents offer their enthusiastic support and make personal
donations, before the runners arrived at the pitstop in Nakhon Chai Si
District, where representatives of Chaokoh coconut milk company greeted
their arrival with a donation of more than 10 million baht to the
2,191-kilometer charity marathon.
New Labor Minister makes migrant worker reform a priority
Minister, Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew.
Bangkok - The new Labor
Minister, Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew, has asked his ministry officials to
make the issue of migrant workers their first priority.
Giving a set of work guidelines to
Labor Minister officers, Pol Gen Adul stressed the importance of alien
worker management reform, saying all migrant workers must have legal
documents and work permits by March 31 next year.
Other issues he brought to his
subordinates’ attention were illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU)
fishing, child labor, the protection of the rights of Thai workers overseas,
employment scams, people’s accessibility to social welfare, and the
empowerment of people with disabilities.
Pol Gen Adul was among the ministers
who swore an oath before HM the King last Thursday.
Update December 2 - 3, 2017
HM the King chairs installation of Buddha image representing HM Queen Sirikit
King Maha Vajiralongkorn lights candles at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha
in Bangkok, Thursday, Nov. 30.
image in honor of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit is 99.99% pure gold and weighs
Bangkok - His Majesty King Maha
Vajiralongkorn has presided over a religious ceremony at the Temple of the
Emerald Buddha to install a Buddha image especially made in honor of Her
Majesty Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign.
His Majesty officiated at the
consecration ceremony held on Thursday, lit candles and incense sticks to
pay respects to Buddha images as well as images of ancestral kings before
attending a praying session to bless Her Majesty the Queen, conducted by a
chapter of Buddhist monks. Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and other
government officials also participated in the ceremony.
The Buddha image in honor of Her
Majesty Queen Sirikit was produced in the walking posture from 99.99 percent
pure gold. The image is 38 centimeters tall and weighs 20 kilograms,
standing on an octagonal base made of platinum. It is similar in appearance
to the one made for His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on his
seventh cycle birthday, except that the Queen’s image holds up the right
Government yet to decide on future of Tepha Coal Power Plant
Songkhla - The National
Environment Board (NEB) says it is still working on the Environmental and
Health Impact Assessment (EHIA) for the proposed Tepha Coal Power Plant,
assuring no firm decision has been made by the government as to whether to
proceed with the project or not and asking for members of the public to
voice their opinions through the set channels.
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha, in
a Facebook post, has stated that his administration has yet to make any firm
decision concerning the facility, which would produce 2,200 megawatts of
power for the southern region. He said the project is being thoroughly
considered by the Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO) and assured that
it is based on the best intentions for the nation. The PM said the
government is open to hear all concerns from the public and asked them to
relay any uncertainty through the proper channels, which include provincial
Damrongtham Centers and state offices.
Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit
Wongsuwan, who is chairman of the NEB, indicated the fourth meeting of the
board this year discussed a range of issues with Permanent Secretary for
Natural Resources and Environment Vijarn Simachaiya elaborating that on top
of discussing waste and water management, the board also talked about the
Tepha Coal Power Plant and acknowledged that its EHIA has yet to be
Secretary-General of the Environment
Resource Planning and Policy Center Rawiwan Phuridech said an effort has
been kicked off to make sure members of the public understand the facts
concerning the power plant and to address concerns about its location and
operation. All opinions collected are to be used in formulating the final
plan for the project.
"777" road safety measure introduced for New Year
Sanit Phromwong, Director-General of the
Department of Land Transport.
Bangkok - The Department of Land
Transport has come up with a new road safety measure to be implemented
during the New Year holidays.
The Director-General of the Department
of Land Transport, Sanit Phromwong, said the Ministry of Transport has
launched the "777" campaign to reduce road accidents and accommodate
commuters during the upcoming New Year festivities. The term "777" is
referred to seven days before the holidays (between December 21st and 27th),
another seven days during the festival (between December 28th and January
3rd), and seven more days later (between January 4th and 10th).
Sanit said the measure is aimed at
reducing road accidents, casualties and fatalities, while facilitating
commuters so that they will arrive home safely.
The department has ordered all
provincial offices of land transport to prepare enough buses in response to
the needs of passengers and ensure that there will be no stranded passengers
at bus terminals.
Ong Ang canal to become Bangkok tourist attraction
Ong Ang canal in Bangkok.
Bangkok - The Governor of
Bangkok, Pol. Gen. Aswin Kwanmuang, said Friday that the Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is in the process of developing Ong Ang
canal to become the center of a walking street and turn the site into a new
tourist attraction. The project is expected to be completed in 2018.
The 700-meter walking street will run
along both sides of the canal. The site has long been an important public
space, and its history starts with the beginnings of Bangkok. The canal has
also been registered as an ancient site in the Thai capital.
The Governor added that the BMA is
emphasizing tourism promotion measures, such as regulating restaurants and
food vendors along the canal banks to ensure quality, sanitary conditions,
and reasonable pricing.
Former ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan dead at age 68
Thailand’s Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, a former
Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is
shown in this Thursday, May 26, 2011, file photo. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara,
Associated Press & NNT
Bangkok — Former Association of
Southeast Asian Nations Secretary-General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan has died at age
68. The Democrat Party said Surin died Thursday in Bangkok of a sudden
Dr. Surin is a former lawmaker from the
party who also served as Thailand's foreign minister in the late 1990s under
a Democrat-led government. He is best known for his time at the head of the
10-member ASEAN from 2008 until 2012. His name was also mentioned as a
possible candidate for United Nations secretary-general.
Surin remained active in regional
diplomatic circles until his death.
Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
said Dr. Surin "contributed greatly to the advancement and interest of
ASEAN, as well as the promotion of ASEAN on the international stage. His
outstanding personality, knowledge and wisdom were truly recognized by
Surin appeared to be in good health
before he died. Posts on his official Facebook page show him visiting a
Bangkok co-working space on Wednesday.
Two weeks ago, Surin spoke at a
conference marking the 50th anniversary of ASEAN. His remarks, punctuated
with emphasis in his trademark deep voice, lauded cooperative organizations
like ASEAN as a means of "creating a space for the region to talk to
itself." He asked, "How can we unleash the energy, the creativity, the power
of 640 million people onto the platform of ASEAN?"
He also suggested that a new era —
possibly one of less cooperation — may be emerging.
"It has been an age of multilateralism,
talking to each other in a big group," Surin said. But, he lamented, "the
era of multilateralism is disappearing."
"Be ourselves," he said of ASEAN
nations. "Be self-sufficient. Be helpful to each other before we wait for
contributions from the outside."
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha
released a statement of condolence and lamentation over the passing of the
noted political figure and diplomat. He wrote that Dr. Surin was a capable
and principled member of the political community and long served his nation
to the acknowledgement of both his countrymen and the international
community. He called his passing a major loss to the Kingdom and urged
citizens to follow in his good examples.
United States Ambassador to Thailand
H.E. Glyn T. Davies said Surin was “a statesman, a scholar and a visionary
who was integral in the prosperity and development of both his home country
and the ASEAN region.”
Dr. Surin’s family will be performing
funeral rites for him in accordance with the Islamic faith later today with
top level officials traveling to his home in Nonthaburi province to express
His sister, Huwaideeya Pitsuwan Useng,
said her brother’s body will be buried at the Tha It Mosque.
Royal Crematorium exhibition still crowded after extension order
Bangkok –Devotees of His
Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej are continuing to converge on
Bangkok after the Royal Crematorium exhibition was extended for another
Citizens from every corner of Thailand
have been arriving at Sanam Luang to see the exhibition dedicated to the
late King, among them many students and civil servants who mostly come in
The director of Attawit School in the
Bang Na area of Bangkok said she had brought her students to learn about the
beautiful history and traditions of Thailand. She also expressed gratitude
to His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn for kindly allowing the people to
visit the exhibition for one more month.
As permitted by His Majesty, the Royal
Crematorium exhibition will continue to be open to members of the public
until December 31, from 7 am-8 pm daily.
Between November 2 and 29, the
exhibition reportedly welcomed more than 2.5 million people.
'Distorted news' deemed health issue in Thailand
Bangkok (AP) — The government
says it is fighting a new threat to public health: distorted news reports.
The country's health ministry announced
earlier this week it is launching a new smartphone application that will
allow users to flag media content they find "inappropriate" so it can be
forwarded to government authorities.
"I believe that we can all help guard,
observe, investigate and support the process of having safe and positive
media to benefit our youth, families and society in general," Panpimol
Wipulakorn, deputy director-general of the health ministry, said at a news
conference. The "Media Watch" app is an important tool to protect society
from "unsafe" media, said Panpimol.
Wasant Paileeklee, manager of a
government program that helped develop the app, said content flagged by
users would be forwarded to media councils to consider or to government
departments such as the broadcast regulator or ministry of culture for
possible legal prosecution.
"In the past, when people reported
something it would take a very long time and the issue might even fade
away," Wasant said.
The application includes a function for
users to track whether their report has been dealt with.
Thanicha Limpanich, manager of the
Family Network Foundation under the Ministry of Public Health, said the
application will go through a three-month trial period before launching to
The app's logo features a cartoon
character with big blue eyes and long eyelashes staring out and pointing two
fingers at viewers.
Free vehicle checkups for road users during New Year holidays
Bangkok – Motorists will be able
to take advantage of free vehicle checkups in a plan to reduce road
fatalities across Thailand during the New Year holidays.
The Director General of the Department
of Skill Development, Suthi Sukosol, said many New Year revelers are
expected to travel out of town from December 1, and the government and the
Ministry of Labor are concerned about the safety of commuters during this
time. The department will hold free vehicle checkups and maintenance from
December 1-28 at the skill development offices or institutes nationwide.
At each checkpoint, road users can
receive various kinds of services including car inspection, massage and food
and beverage free of charge.
Road users are being encouraged to
participate in the scheme. For more information, call 0 2245 3560 or 0 2245
Floods continue in southern region
Nakhon Si Thammarat - The
South of Thailand has continued to experience heavy rain, which has
triggered flash floods and rain water runoff in several areas. A number
of provinces have declared disaster zones in various districts.
In Nakhon Si Thammarat, officials
of Khao Luang National Park in Phrom Khiri district have temporarily
closed access to Phrom Lok Waterfall, Ai Khiao Waterfall and three other
waterfalls under their jurisdiction, following heavy runoff in the park.
The officials urged nearby residents to beware of flash floods.
The province has declared disaster
zones in seven districts: Cha-uat, Bang Khan, Chian Yai, Chulabhorn,
Phipun, Thung Song and Pak Phanang. Officials have been dispatched to
distribute animal feed to agriculturalists who are struggling to provide
for their livestock.
The Nakhon Si Thammarat provincial
administration has also set up an emergency flood response center to
coordinate relief from various sectors. Local residents are urged to
closely follow the latest information from the center.
Similarly in Songkhla, the province
has established an emergency flood response center in Thepa district,
after the Thepa Canal overflowed into the surrounding community.
Officials have handed out food to residents of the hardest hit areas.
Governor Doldej Pattanarat recently visited the district to give
survival kits to flood victims, while instructing relevant authorities
to monitor the situation around the clock.
The Meteorological Department has
forecast that more rain is likely in the South. Low pressure cells from
the Malaysian coast are moving into lower southern region and are
expected to reach the Andaman Sea on December 1. Several areas in the
South may experience more flooding, with rough seas and two- to
three-meter waves expected in the Andaman Sea..