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Update February 2016


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
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Nong Khai to pump Mekong River water for drought irrigation

NONG KHAI,(NNT) – Water pumps are being installed to allocate water from Mekong River to provide more water for consumption to the drought affected public, starting from March.

Irrigation officials are now installing water pumps and pipes to supply water from the Mekong River to service the drought affected public in Nong Khai and Udon Thani provinces, using one pumping station and one temporary pumping station.

The first pumping station is being constructed at a section of Mekong River before the Huai Luang Anusorn Bridge in Phon Phisai District, Nong Khai, while the second station has already been constructed at a river section beyond Huai Luang water gate.

It is expected that the system will be operational by March 2016. The pumping system will be capable of drawing 47 million cubic meters of water to supply up to 12,000 rais of irrigation areas during the dry season, and can even retain some water for tap water production.

Farmers will be allowed to continue their rice farming by pumping water from the supply pipes into their farmland using electric water pumps.


Government cooperates with Thai Airways to sell OTOP products

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Community Development Department (CDD) Director General Aphichart Todilokwet disclosed that during the past 15 years, the CDD has been promoting OTOP projects by focusing on strengthening communities and raising manufacturers' and entrepreneurs' managing capability.

The CDD's strategy has been initiated in accordance to community development principles and the sufficiency economy philosophy.

The CDD has recently established a partnership with Thai Airways to sell at least 30 OTOP products on Thai Airways’ flights to elevate the OTOP brand. Tourists and the general public can choose products from Thai Airway's catalogs during their flight. Moreover, the OTOP products can be bought online through the website THailandmall.com. Delivery services are also available.


Lampang organizes orchid tree festival to stimulate tourism

LAMPANG, 28 February 2016 (NNT) - Lampang province has organized the 15th Ban Pameang Orchid Tree Festival in the Chae Son national park, Mueang district. Deputy Governor Somchai Kamonthepthewin and executives of provincial government units attended the opening ceremony of the event on Sunday.

The festival is the province’s major annual tourism event held by four provincial organizations, including the Mueang pan district office, Lampang provincial administrative organization, Chae Son local administrative organization and Chae Son National Park. Apart from promoting tourism of the district, the festival seeks to raise awareness on environmental protection.

The festival is considered as an activity to encourage the locals, including hill tribe people, to join hands in sustainably managing natural resources in their communities. The festival is also part of Lampang’s provincial development plan aimed at developing the province as a livable city of happiness.


Largest wind turbine to stand on Khao Kho

PHETCHABUN,(NNT) – Relevant agencies in Phetchabun have witnessed the arrival of the country’s largest wind turbine which will be used to produce clean energy and become a new tourist spot of the province.

Phetchabun governor Bandit Teweetiwarak, Charoen Energy and Water Asia Co., Ltd. Chairman Chatchaval Jiaravanon and representatives from different bodies have signed their names on the giant wind turbine which is to be installed at the wind power station in Khao Kho District.

Located 1,050 meters above sea level, the wind power station consists of 24 windmills and can supply 140 million units of power, or about 20 percent of the total demand, to the province. The station is expected to become a new tourist attraction. A road leading up to the wind turbine site has been constructed to facilitate visitors and agriculturists in the vicinity.

Relevant agencies are also planning to develop the station into an alternative power learning center for the general public. Part of the project’s profits will be given to the government’s energy fund, different bodies in Phetchabun and the compensation fund for agriculturists affected by the construction of the wind .


Transport Ministry conducts test run for Thailand’s first electric bus

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Thailand’s first electric bus has begun its trial run in Bangkok. The test run will last until May 25th of this year.

Omsin Chiwaphruek, Deputy Minister for Transport, officiated at the ceremony to launch the test run for the country’s first electric bus which runs between Don Mueang Airport and Mo Chit Bus Terminal. The fare is 30 baht per person per ride.

The procurement of the bus was collaboration between the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) and Loxley Public Company Limited.

The bus is 12 meters long and has 35 seats. It is also wheelchair accessible while its design is in line with international standards.

The BMTA is scheduled to procure 20 more electric buses in May, according to the deputy minister.


Transport Ministry pushing for construction of two motorways

BANGKOK, 27 February 2016 (NNT) – The Ministry of Transport is pushing for the construction of two motorways, M 6 to link Bang Pa-In to Nakhon Ratchasima and M 81 to connect Bang Yai to Kanchanaburi.

Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said one of forty construction contracts for the Bang Pa-In - Nakhon Ratchasima Motorway project has already been concluded while negotiations for the rest are now underway. As for the Bang Yai - Kanchanaburi Motorway project, he said an environmental impact assessment (EIA) was being conducted and the results would be presented to responsible committees by the middle of this year.

In the first phase of the two projects, the minister said the government would shoulder the expenses of the construction whereas expenses to be incurred in other phases would be covered by the Thailand Future Fund which is expected to be launched this year.

He said the two construction projects would be finished by 2020 as scheduled.


Department of Foreign Trade to organize “Open House” for SEZs

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Department of Foreign Trade will on February 29th host an “Open House” event to introduce Thailand’s special economic zones.

The event will be held at Siam Paragon, according to Duangporn Rodphaya, Director-General of the Department of Foreign Trade. She said the event would showcase Thailand’s readiness in establishing special economic zones, hoping to build investors’ confidence.

She said the department would take this opportunity to make public that Thailand is ready to become trade and investment hub of the ASEAN region and the world.

Ms Duangporn said ambassadors of 9 different countries had already accepted the invitation while expecting the event to welcome more than 1,000 Thai and foreign investors.

Meanwhile on March 1st-2nd, Foreign Trade Department officials will pay a visit to a special economic zone in Sa Kaeo to witness business negotiations between Thai and Cambodian businesspersons.


Thai officials visit migrant workers in Nonthaburi

NONTHABURI,(NNT) – Deputy Governor of Nonthaburi Suthee Thongyam, along with related authorities, visited a migrant workers’ camp in order to check up on the workers’ well-being.

In an attempt to establish order among migrant workers in the province, Mr Suthee led a group of responsible personnel to Sai Noi District, a location of a camp housing 177 migrant workers from Myanmar and Cambodia.

Authorities checked their work permits and the accommodation provided to them by their employers. The deputy governor also asked the employers to adhere to hygiene and safety standards at all times.

The inspection was also carried out to prevent human trafficking as well as other illegal activities.


Narathiwat rubber farmers now producing gloves

NARATHIWAT,(NNT) – Rubber farmers in Narathiwat Province are now making gloves from the latex they produce, bringing in extra income for themselves.

Members of a local cooperative in Ra-ngae District, Narathiwat Province, formed a group to brainstorm ideas how to create added-value to the latex they produce and decided to make rubber gloves.

Each member is now producing 12 pairs of rubber on a daily basis and is making 35 baht for each pair of latex gloves.

Latex gloves have a high level of touch sensitivity. They are elastic, strong, biodegradable, and good for wearing for an extended amount of time.

According to the president of the cooperative, currently it is still in the period of market testing and so far, latex gloves have drawn a great deal of attention from buyers. He also hopes that glove making will become the main occupation for local producers.


Government urgently campaigns against wildfires

CHIANG MAI,(NNT) - The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has organized a forest fire drill with the objective to enhance the efficiency in dealing with forest fires.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Gen.Surasak Kanchanarat on Thursday presided over the wildfire drill held in Mae Rim district, Chiang Mai province. 800 officers from relevant units participated in the drill near the Mae Yen reservoir.

In Mae Hong Son, the provincial forest preservation office arranged activities to raise awareness on effects of haze caused by wildfires and demonstrate how to build fire barriers.

In Lampang, 13 villages adjacent to forest areas were told to avoid all types of burning for 60 days from 1 February - 31 March 2016.

Ubon Ratchathani organized a campaign against toxic haze from forest fires at the Chong Chom permanent border crossing point in Kap Choeng district. The province urged the local people not to burn forests in order to reduce air pollution.


Court summons more witnesses in rice corruption case

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Additional witnesses have been summoned by the Court in the latest hearing of the rice fraud case against former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

During the deliberation of the rice corruption case, the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions called in three more witnesses on the plaintiff’s side. The three consisted of Mr Vichai Sriprasert, Honorary President of the Thai Rice Exporters Association; Mr Rawee Rungruang, leader of the Thai Farmers Network; and Pol Lt Gen Yutthana Thaipakdee, former chairman of the Senate subcommittee overseeing the examination of rice trade.

In his testimony, Mr Vichai stated that the Yingluck administration’s claim to have made a government-to-government (G2G) agreement on rice trade with China was entirely fabricated. He said no representatives from the Chinese government had ever signed such a deal, suggesting it had been signed by an imposter. It also appeared that China had never purchased 2 million tons of rice from Thailand’s old stocks as reported.

Mr Vichai also disclosed that even though the Director-General of the Department of Foreign Trade conducted the signing on behalf of the Thai government, the move had been directly ordered by the then-Prime Minister.


Government closely monitoring drought and its effects on agriculture

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said the government had been keeping a close watch on the drought situation as well as its effects on agriculture.

In his national televised address, the prime minister said the combined amount of water stored in large and medium sized reservoirs throughout Thailand was reportedly as low as 39 million cubic meters, which is 5.3 million cubic meters lower than what Thailand had in the previous year.

In order to prevent water scarcity in the future, he said everyone must use water more efficiently whereas the government would strictly exercise the national water management plan, so that there would be enough supply for consumption, agriculture, and the industrial sector.

In terms of alleviating the effects of the ongoing dry season, he said the government had approved a number of assistance measures which would serve as an emergency response. He added the government would make sure that farmers do not have to struggle in times of disaster.


Thai Red Cross Youth Bureau celebrates 84th birthday anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Thai Red Cross Youth Bureau in cooperation with Lord Buddha Museum at Wat Debsirin (Debsirin Darawas temple) has arranged activities to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s 84th birthday anniversary.

Professor Pinit Kullavanijaya presided over the opening ceremony held in honor of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s devotions to the country and people as President of Thai Red Cross Society.

More than 800 Red Cross youths from varied schools and Red Cross Youth clubs throughout the country participated in the activities. All youth participants were cultivated good understandings about Buddhism and how to be good Buddhists so that they could lead their lives in peace and be mindful of morality as well as become good role models for members of society.

In addition, the activities included a walk rally and study of Lord Buddha’s biography and teachings in a 4D multi-media exhibition at the museum.


Consulate General of Japan presents new earthquake-resistant school building in Chiang Rai

CHIANG RAI,(NNT) - Consulate General of Japan in Chiang Rai province Shinya Aoiki ceremoniously handed over an earthquake-resistant school building, able to withstand earthquakes up to 7.0 on the Richter Scale.

Chiang Rai Governor Prachon Pradsakul attended the ceremony to receive the building from the Japanese Consulate General in Mae Lao district. The building, valued at 7.428 million baht, is a joint effort in infrastructure and human security that was funded by Japan.

On May 5, 2014, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in the junction of Mae Lao and Phan districts resulted in several schools in the area, suffering severe damage. The Consulate General of Japan conducted a survey of the damaged areas and consulted with the Office of Vocational Education Primary Region 2 to support the construction of an earthquake-resistant school building to replace Ban Dong Mada School, one of the most damaged of all school buildings.

Ban Dong Mada School consists of 145 students from kindergarten to grade six, most of whom are orphans, are from impoverished families, or are stateless children. More than half of all students are from indigenous tribes, such as the Akha or Hmong.


TAT to penetrate Myanmar to promote border economy

TAK,(NNT) - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and related agencies have organized a seminar to prepare business operators in Tak and nearby provinces in the northwestern region for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

Ms. Sujitra Jongchansitto, TAT Executive Director for the Northern Region, said that the seminar is joinly organized by the TAT, the Thai Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade of Thailand and the Tak Chamber of Commerce.

She explained that the seminar discussed the overall situation about the AEC and opportunities that come with it. It also talked about possible directions to penetrate tourism market in Myanmar after Thailand holds the general election sometime next year.

Ms. Sujitra later talked about a road trip exploring the business, investment and tourism related opportunities in Myanmar. She said the trip, scheduled for February 25 - 28, will take the participants to Myanmar's Mawlamyine, Kyaikhteeyoe, and Yangon.

The organizers are encouraging tourists to stay in Mae Sot District, Tak, before crossing the border to Myanmar. They boasted Tak's numerous tourist attractions and the new road linking Mae Sot to Myanmar's Myawaddy, Kokarek and Yangon, which has complemented tourism, trade and investment.


Promoting Local Culture and Way of Life in the Deep South

BANGKOK,(NNT) – As a multicultural society, the southernmost region of Thailand has unique cultural identities. The Government has a policy to adopt a cultural dimension to promote better understanding among the people of different faiths and contribute to peace-building in the deep South.

Minister of Culture Vira Rojpojchanarat explained that the Ministry of Culture has used culture to create good citizens, bring about national reconciliation, generate income for communities, and enhance international relations. Moreover, the cultural dimension has also been adopted to bring happiness and stability to the people in the southern border provinces.

In this regard, he said, the local distinctive culture will be preserved and promoted in these provinces, which serve as a gateway to other ASEAN countries. This will help encourage the people of Thailand, with different cultural and religious backgrounds, to be united and live together happily and peacefully.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Tourism Festival and the Limkoneaw Goddess Celebration in Pattani province, Permanent Secretary for Culture Apinan Poshyananda cited cultural diversity as the prominent feature of this southern border province. The festival is a way to show the pride of Pattani residents to all visitors.

He believes that the promotion of cultural tourism will encourage more people to visit Pattani and other southern border provinces, such as Yala and Narathiwat. These provinces are regarded as the gateway to the ASEAN region.

The Limkoneaw Goddess Celebration is organized in February each year after the Chinese New Year celebration. It reflects a harmonious mixture of Thai, Chinese, and Muslim cultures. A legend has it that Limkoneaw was born in the 15th century in China. An aristocrat made a false charge against her brother, who was a government official. Her brother decided to flee from China and boarded a ship to southern Thailand. He arrived in Pattani and became a trader, and later, he was assigned by the Pattani governors to cast three massive cannons. One of them is Nang Phraya Tani, the biggest cannon ever cast in Thailand. Because of his excellent work, the Pattani governor allowed Limkoneaw’s brother to marry his daughter.

Limkoneaw looked after her mother alone, while her brother lived far away. Feeling deep sympathy for her mother, she offered to travel to Thailand to persuade him to return home. Limkoneaw encouraged her brother to go back many times, but he refused, since at that time he was assigned to handle the important task of constructing the Krue Se (Kersih) Mosque. Construction began in 1578 but the building was never finished, yet the main structure remains.

In order to show her sense of obligation to her mother, despite her failure to persuade her brother to return home, Limkoneaw decided to commit suicide under a cashew nut tree. She was then called a goddess, so a wooden sculpture in her image was built where people could pay homage to her. Krue Se Mosque has become one of the main places of interest in Pattani and it is located near the Limkoneaw Shrine.

Pattani province, which is predominantly Muslim, holds this celebration as its major cultural event each year, with many tourism activities, as well. The distinctive cultural variety has been used as one of its strengths to promote local tourism and bring about social harmonization in the deep South of Thailand, where visitors may experience a cherished local way of life.


Thai public and private organizations come together to combat drought

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Thai PBS TV channel, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and various other public as well as private organizations are joining forces in a project to combat drought in Thailand.

On the 24th of February 2016, the Thai Chamber of Commerce and Thai PBS held a press conference to unveil a drought-combating project aimed at reducing urban water usage by 30 percent, by raising awareness of the drought issue among the Thai public. The goal is to allow more water to be diverted to the agricultural sector.

At the same time a conference made up of experts from various academic and governmental bodies is also discussing the likely extent of the growing drought. Thailand’s 2016 drought is already being described as the most severe in 20 years. Many experts mention that water conservation in urban areas is unlikely to be effective without cooperation from the agricultural sector, the main users.

Mr.Pisit Hongvanishkul, Assistant Governor (Plan Strategy) of the Provincial Waterworks Authority points out that 27 out of 51 of the Authority’s branches being monitored have experienced saltwater intrusion. These branches have already been put into reduced production, to combat the effects of the drought, which is much more severe than last year.


BTS rail fault causes day-long service problems

BANGKOK,(NNT) – A fault involving rail switches along the Chitlom-Siam section of the BTS skytrain this morning has resulted in delayed service throughout the day.

The fault occurred in the early hours of the day and forced the service to reduce the amount of trains running on its rails. The impeded service left many commuters stranded at BTS stations across Bangkok until the late morning and necessitated that station officials block new travelers from entering platforms. Despite regular updates on the situation, many commuters were observed switching to alternate travel options.

Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc., which operates the BTS skytrain, has explained that the fault would have to be repaired during the afterhours stoppage of the train system, meaning scaled back service of the BTS needed to persist throughout the day.


Prime Minister orders tighter screenings of tourists after US terrorism warning

BANGKOK,(NNT) - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed a security unit to screen tourist arrivals rigorously, following U.S. warnings of possible terrorism in Asia.

The Prime Minister has told members of the security unit to exercise additional screening measures at airports, bus stations, and other venues frequented by tourists. Gen Prayut said it is important for Thailand to be prepared for any eventuality.

In addition, the government has reached out to other countries in the region for cooperation to establish a counter-terrorism security network. The Premier has encouraged the public to report any unusual activities or suspicious individuals to the authorities.

Gen Thaweep Netrniyom, Secretary-General of the National Security Council (NSC), said the U.S. warnings were meant to encourage Asia to be prepared, rather than alarmed.

According to the NSC Secretary-General, there has been no indication that members of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group have arrived in Thailand.


FIFA to help young children stay healthy via football in Thailand

 BANGKOK,(NNT)- Three ministries have signed an agreement with the Federation International Football Association (FIFA) to jointly organize a campaign to encourage Thai youths to play football.

The three ministries consist of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports inked the agreement with FIFA to promote a healthy lifestyle among children aged 11 years old through football.

Deputy Education Minister General Surachet Chaiwong revealed at a press conference that the joint campaign will help reduce child obesity and substance abuse among teenagers. The Football Association of Thailand under the Patronage of His Majesty the King also joined the event.

The campaign will be ten years long with FIFA responsible for the first 3 years. Two physical education teachers from 16 schools each will undergo a training program.

They will learn from FIFA how to teach students to stay healthy through football activities. They are also expected to pass on their knowledge to the others at their school as well as parents to promote a society of healthy people.


Foreign Media report Thailand's GDP expanded 2.8% last year after government stimulus measures

BANGKOK,- (NNT) Bloomberg and NHK report that the Thai economy expanded more than analysts expected in Q4 last year, because of economic stimulus measures by the government.

The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) reported that the GDP of Thailand in 2015 expanded by 2.8% due to an acceleration of budget disbursements by Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-o-cha in agricultural and export sectors.

In addition, the Bank of Thailand (BoT) explained that the BoT will moderate its financial policy, but still stick to its interest policy.


Thailand, Myanmar coordinate to suppress haze

TACHILEK,(NNT) – Thailand and Myanmar have forged an agreement to dissuade residents from slash and burn farming to avoid annual issues with haze.

2nd Cavalry Regiment Commander Col Praphat Phobsuwan, as Thai chairman of the Thai-Myanmar Border Consortium, led the 85th meeting of the group in Tachilek of Myanmar alongside his Myanmar counterpart.

The meeting discussed the issue of haze and burning in the border region and concluded with Myanmar resolving to hold a public relations campaign to stop residents of the border town from burning their crops.

The 2nd Cavalry Regiment has assembled 20 forest fire and haze control units to respond to any reports of forest fires in the region to further suppress causes of haze, which greatly impact Thailand’s north every year. The units have coordinated with border units in both Thailand and Myanmar to be able to respond to incidents of fire on both sides of the border.


Labor Ministry concluding labor trafficking data for US

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of Labor has begun concluding information on the nation’s human trafficking and forced labor situation for the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to compile into a report for submission to the US State Department in March.

Permanent Secretary of Labor ML Boondarik Smithi has disclosed that the ministry has begun collecting all data relevant to the nation’s labor trafficking situation and will hand the information to the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, which will conclude the data into a Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.

The report will be translated to English and submitted to the United States’ State Department within the month of March.

The Ministry of Labor is gathering data under 13 categories to provide a better image of Thailand’s progress to the US. The categories include legislation on labor trafficking, management of employment agencies and punishments for traffickers. The report is also to include the results of labor inspections and observations of fishing boats.

ML Boondarik voiced confidence that Thailand has made good progress in dealing with the issue of labor trafficking after coordinating with relevant agencies and amending related laws.


Large water transmission tunnel to be constructed for Northeast

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Royal Irrigation Department is studying diversion of water from the Loei estuary to the Northeast as part of its sustainable solutions to the region’s water shortage.

The department has arranged a seminar to brainstorm the design of a very long water transmission tunnel in the Loei, Mun and Chi water management project. The water tunnel is expected to create water security during the dry season and prevent too much water from flowing into the Mekong river. Water will be diverted from the Loei estuary—a branch of the Mekong—through the tunnel to agricultural areas in the Northeast.

Once the tunnel’s construction is completed, two billion cubic meters of water will be diverted through the tunnel each year. The water diversion through the tunnel is expected to benefit more than 1.7 million households and increase irrigation areas during the dry season to 9.4 million Rai and more than 30 million Rai during the rainy season.


Security Stepped Up at Railway Stations in the Southern Border Provinces

BANGKOK, 22 February 2016 (NNT) – The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is installing x-ray scanning machines and bomb detectors at railway stations in the southern border provinces in order to step up security and ensure safety for all passengers.

Security officials and SRT staff are working together on the installation of these devices. At the initial stage, the devices will be used at four railway stations, namely the Hat Yai Junction Railway Station, the Wat Khuan Mit Railway Station, and the Chana Railway Station in Songkhla province, as well as the Sungai Kolok Railway Station in Narathiwat province. Later, they will be in use at all 27 railway stations in Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla.

The x-ray scanning machines to be installed in these areas are of the same standard as those installed at all airports across the country. Officials who have been well-trained will be assigned to handle the operations of these devices, which are able to detect explosives and weapons and prevent narcotics and other suspicious items from entering the stations. This will help protect the southern border provinces from violent acts and drug trafficking.

Chief of the Sungai Kolok Railway Station, Alawi Uma, said that the devices began operations on a trial basis at the entrance to the Sungai Kolok Railway Station on 18 February 2016. He said that passengers wishing to pass through all the target railway stations, equipped with these devices, are required to have their belongings checked, such as luggage, communication devices, cameras, and notebooks.

According to Mr. Alawi, the Sungai Kolok Railway Station provides services for about 1,000 passengers a day. At the initial stage of the use of the x-ray scanning machines, some passengers might experience slow services. However, all passengers have been urged to give cooperation, so that this security measure will operate with great efficiency.

As for the current southern situation, Deputy Spokesman of the Internal Security Operations Command, Region 4 Forward, Colonel Yuttanam Petchmoang, revealed recently that the situation is improving. During the past three months, there were only 75 violent incidents in the southern border provinces. The figure represents a drop of 38 percent, when compared with 113 violent incidents in the same period of the previous year. Casualties also fell by almost 70 percent, with 16 people killed and 61 injured. Moreover, he said, security officials were able to stop 24 bombing attempts on various roads during the three-month period.

The successful implementation of the Government’s major strategies has led to the improvement of the situation. Both security and development strategies have been implemented in response to the needs of local people and in line with the local way of living, culture, and traditions. This means that the tackling of southern problems must be in accord with the conditions in local environments, with the participation of local residents.

The Government still continues peaceful means and the strategies for public participation in dealing with the southern situation. Emphasis is also placed on concerted efforts by the military, the police, local administrations, and the civic sector in peace-building, along with development work.


National Vaccine Institute calls for consolidation of research for dengue vaccine

BANGKOK, 22 February 2016 (NNT) – The National Vaccine Institute (NVI) has urged the government to support Thai researchers in developing a dengue fever vaccine after one was created in Mexico.

NVI Director Dr. Jarung Muangchana, disclosed that a private company in Mexico has produced the world’s first vaccine for dengue fever, dubbed Dengvaxia. The solution has already been introduced to the market despite not completely preventing against the illness, only reducing its severity. Dr. Jarung noted that Thailand is also researching the disease and that finding a vaccine against it is a national policy.

The director has urged the government to consolidate efforts by Mahidol University, Chiang Mai University, Chulalongkorn University and various agencies to expedite the search for a vaccine. NVI has formed a working team to review all related aspects of the disease and its treatment, such as costs related to those affected, efficiency of preventative measures and the likelihood of administering vaccinations.

The preliminary vaccination created by Mexico has yet to enter the Thai market as it is being reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. NVI predicts that its review will take longer than usual due to the solution’s rudimentary status.


Owners urged to take pets for rabies vaccination in wake of recent death

NONTHABURI,(NNT) – Pet owners are urged to take their pets to undergo rabies vaccination, after a person has died due to a rabies infection, says DDS chief.

The Department of Disease Control’s (DDS) Director-General Amnuay Gajeena is warning the general public to be cautious for the spread of rabies. This warning follows a fatality case, where a person was infected and died due to rabies. The deceased rescued a puppy and was bitten.

Seven cases of rabies were reported last week, including two cases in humans and five cases in animals. Owners of cats and dogs are encouraged to take their pets to undergo vaccination on an annual basis, while the general public are advised to stay away from animals that exhibit suspicious appearances, and to report the cases to authorities.

The general public are also advised to immediately wash the wound with water and soap for at least 15 minutes if bitten by dogs or cats, avoid covering the wound, and immediately seek medical attention.

Rabies is a disease with a high fatality rate if contracted to persons without proper vaccination. The general public can inquire information regarding this disease by calling the DDS hotline 1422.


85 million baht approved for SME innovation projects

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Up to 85 million baht has been approved for 104 projects proposed for the second phase of the government’s Innovation Coupon Project created to spur small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to utilize innovations in their development.

Director of the National Innovation Agency, Phanart Chairat, has reported that in the second phase of the coupons for SME enhancement through innovation project, which seeks to elevate small and medium businesses in 5 industries to the ASEAN level, a total 104 projects have been allotted a combined 85 million baht.

By industry, 9 projects from the agro sector received 8 million baht, 20 projects from the Health Products and Creative industries received 14 million baht, 30 projects in the traditional industries excluding food segment received 25 million baht, 25 projects of future industries received 25 million baht and 20 projects in the service sector received 10 million baht.

Each SME was allowed to request approval for no more than 2 projects at a rate of no more than 1.5 million baht per project. The government effort is expected to spur over 1.5 billion baht in innovation investment.
 


DAILY UPDATE

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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Nong Khai to pump Mekong River water for drought irrigation

Government cooperates with Thai Airways to sell OTOP products

Lampang organizes orchid tree festival to stimulate tourism

Largest wind turbine to stand on Khao Kho


Transport Ministry conducts test run for Thailand’s first electric bus

Transport Ministry pushing for construction of two motorways

Department of Foreign Trade to organize “Open House” for SEZs

Thai officials visit migrant workers in Nonthaburi


Narathiwat rubber farmers now producing gloves

Government urgently campaigns against wildfires

Court summons more witnesses in rice corruption case

Government closely monitoring drought and its effects on agriculture


Thai Red Cross Youth Bureau celebrates 84th birthday anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit

Consulate General of Japan presents new earthquake-resistant school building in Chiang Rai

TAT to penetrate Myanmar to promote border economy

Promoting Local Culture and Way of Life in the Deep South


Thai public and private organizations come together to combat drought

BTS rail fault causes day-long service problems

Prime Minister orders tighter screenings of tourists after US terrorism warning

FIFA to help young children stay healthy via football in Thailand


Foreign Media report Thailand's GDP expanded 2.8% last year after government stimulus measures

Thailand, Myanmar coordinate to suppress haze

Labor Ministry concluding labor trafficking data for US

Large water transmission tunnel to be constructed for Northeast


Security Stepped Up at Railway Stations in the Southern Border Provinces

National Vaccine Institute calls for consolidation of research for dengue vaccine

Owners urged to take pets for rabies vaccination in wake of recent death

85 million baht approved for SME innovation projects

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