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Update July 2016

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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
Thailand News

Officials crack down on illegal street racing in Surin

Thai PBS

Over 50 illegal motorcycle street racers were rounded up by officials in Surin’s Muang district Saturday night as the provincial administration began a crackdown on illegal street racing which has caused nuisance to many residents.

A large force of police and military police, in plainclothes and uniforms, went on patrol along the detour road, IQ, Sikhorapoom and Surin hospital intersections which illegal motorcycle street racers often gather in groups on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights before the races.

Throughout Saturday night and early Sunday morning, the officials managed to round up over 50 suspected racers and their pillion riders – most of them under 18 years old. Thirty motorbikes which were illegally souped up were impounded.

The officials later summoned their parents to the district police station to acknowledge the charges against their children before releasing all of them after giving them a lecture.

Surin provincial governor Atthaporn Singhavichai said that the crackdown was necessary because officials had received many complaints against the illegal racing. He added that the crackdown would continue until the problem is under control.

NBC to rule on GMM 25 and Voice TV cases today

Thai PBS

The National Broadcasting Commission will decide at its meeting on Monday what punitive action to be taken against a TV programme of GMM 25 channel for allegedly featuring rape and violent scenes.

Ms Supinya Klangnarong, a member of the commission, said that complaints had been lodged by members of the public against some scenes of the soap opera, Club Friday to be Continued – on air on Monday-Tuesday between 8 pm-9.15 pm and, later on, rerun – which they alleged to be physically and mentally violent and deemed to be immoral, particularly the rape scenes.

She pointed out that the soap opera n question was categorized as a programe for the general public but the programming and content subcommittee found the programme may violate Section 37 of the broadcasting act, particularly a scene in which a woman suffered facial burns after she was forced to put her face to the exhaust pipe of a motorcycle.

She suggested that the GMM Channel Company should have readjusted its TV programmes to fit with different age groups.

Ms Supinya went on saying that the commission the Tonight Thailand programme of Voice TV dated May 25 which allegedly carried content defying the NCPO orders 97/25557 and 103/57.

Regarding the case of Peace TV which was earlier ordered suspended for a month, she said, personally, she wanted the case to be treated like a normal case instead of being treated as a special case which could be viewed as biased.

Thailand spared GSP cutback for some farm products to the US

Thai PBS

Thai exporters of orchids, coconut juice and other non-alcoholic beverages are relieved after the United States has decided not to scrap the GSP for farm products from Thailand as requested by the Commerce Ministry in its 2015 review of the GSP, said Commerce Minister Apiradee Tantraphorn over the weekend.

Farm products from Thailand to the US market which still enjoy the GSP are grouped into two categories – firstly, products which are over 50 percent of US market share and whose value is less than US$23 million which include cut orchids and 10 other items and, secondly, non-alcoholic beverages mostly coconut juice whose ceiling value is set at US$170 million.

Mr Apiradee said that the GSP for Thailand will be retained for, at least, five more years.

She recommended Thai exporters of the products entitled to GSP to make the most use of the privilege.

Thai Flying Service receives its plane’s door from temple

Thai PBS

Chartered flight operator Thai Flying Service Company has reclaimed a plane’s door after it fell off the plane shortly after it took off from Mae Sot airport in Tak province on Thursday evening.

The door of the B350 aircraft fell off as the chartered plane piloted by Captain Prasart Inyim was airborne shortly after takeoff from Mae Sot airport, forcing the captain to bring the plane back to the airport.

It was found out later that the door fell on the ground of Wat Phra That Doi Hua Fai and it was retrieved and kept at the temple.

A group of officials from the airline led by Mr Prasart went to the temple on Sunday to see the abbot, Phra Amnuay Apipunno to reclaim the door.

Mr Prasart admitted he didn’t know who the door loosened and fell off, saying that he had to wait for experts to find out. He, however, insisted that the plane was not old and has been regularly checked and maintained.

Chiang Mai voted best city in Asia by readers of Travel + Leisure

Wat Phra That Soi Suthep, Chiang Mai

Bangkok’s night scene

Thai PBS
Bangkok, 8 July, 2016 – Chiang Mai has just been named the Top City in Asia as well as ranked second for the World’s Best Cities in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2016 readers’ survey. The northern Thai city was nominated by the readers of the influential magazine, who also ranked Bangkok at No. 5 in Asia and at No. 14 for the World in the same poll.

The online publication’s readers were asked to judge Asian destinations on various factors including the local culture, food, shopping and landmarks as well as the friendliness of the people and overall value for money. The cities were then rated out of 100 with Chiang Mai scoring 91.25. The city was praised by the Travel + Leisure readers for its “peace and quiet” and “funky fusion restaurants, historic temples and massive markets” as well as for boasting all the conveniences of a major city. Bangkok had a score of 88.96 and was praised for its arts scene and trendy hangouts.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “Chiang Mai has always been popular with local and international tourists, and so it’s good to see that the city is receiving more international acclaim. The lovely weather and charming culture of the ancient Lanna capital make Chiang Mai a wonderful retreat the whole year round, and as it’s a culinary and arts centre, there’s always something to enjoy in the city as well as adventures in the surrounding hills.”

Chiang Mai has also been ranked highly on a recent list of best cities for Digital Nomads – people who work online and do not need to be tied to an office. The Nomad List ranks the best cities for digital nomads based on living costs, Internet speed, weather, safety and more than 50,000 other data points. Chiang Mai was recently ranked as the world’s top city for Digital Nomads with Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, taking second place in the global list.

Repayment of student loan fund jumps 39 percent this year

Thai PBS
The student loan fund has received repayments from student debtors amounting to 16,124 million baht for the whole year ending July 5, representing an increase of 39 percent from the figures a year ago.

Another student loan fund for university and higher vocational students also received repayments amounting 388 million baht during the same period – an increase of 27 percent from the figures last year.

The fund manager, Dr Thitima Vicharat, attributed the increase in the loan repayments reflected greater responsibility of the debtors which will help improve the image of the country.

She offered her thanks to the student debtors for paying back their loans which can be used to lend out to new students.

For those who missed the repayment deadline, Dr Thitima said they could do so anytime from now on but they will have to pay some fines too for the delay in payments. Fines will be waived if repayments are made within September 30.

Concern voiced about possible monopoly of Thai fruit market by Chinese traders

Thai PBS
An academic has sounded an alarm about the ‘invasion” of fruit traders from China who have, so far, have now controlled a substantial market share and, in the near future, may be able to dictate domestic prices of Thai fruits.

Mr Ith Pisarnvanich, director of international trade study centre of Thai Chamber of Commerce University, pointed out that, in the past 2-3 years, the number of Chinese “long” or fruit traders in Thailand has quickly multiplied either in the form of joint venture with Thai partners or using Thais as their nominees.

He said that these Chinese traders do not only buy Thai fruits from major middlemen but also deal directly with the orchard owners by buying fruits of the whole plantations.

If this trend goes on unchecked, Mr Ith warned that Chinese fruit traders may monopolise fruit trading in Thailand and, as such, will be able to dictate fruit prices.

He pointed out that Thai fruit growers are happy to deal directly with Chinese buyers instead of with Thai middlemen because they may get cash in advance and don’t have to be worried with the problem of unsold fruits.

But once the Chinese traders have full control of the market, then they will have more bargaining power and may suppress the prices on the growers, said Mr Ith, adding that fruit processing factories may be hard hit too because most of the fruits have been bought up the Chinese traders.

One reason that Thai fruit exporters find it hard to penetrate the Chinese market because the Chinese law requires that fruits can be imported into China through Chinese companies.

According to statistics, there are now 1,090 Chinese fruit traders in Thailand. Of these, 473 deal in buying of lamyai, 556 in durian and 65 inmangosteen.

Thailand-Myanmar inspect repair of Sai River bridge damaged from strong current

CHIANG RAI,(NNT) – Thailand and Myanmar have discussed the relations as neighbouring countries, jointly inspected the maintenance of the Sai River bridge that was damaged from strong water currents.

Chiang Rai Governor Boonsong Techamanisatit has led a team of Thai officials to meet with Myanmar’s Tachileik District Governor Tin Win Chuay, discussing on bilateral relations regarding regional tourism between Chiang Rai Province of Thailand, Tachileik District of Myanmar, and Bokeo Province of Laos. The promotion scheme will require further talks with local tourist agencies, which the task of Chiang Rai's provincial authorities.

Officials from both sides then observed the reparation progress of the Thailand-Myanmar Friendship Bridge that crosses the Sai River, which was in use for 40 years before being severely damaged from floods in 2013. The newly repaired bridge, which is under construction, was slightly moved from its original location by 10 centimetres.

Repairing the bridge was proposed by Thailand through the Thai-Myanmar Border Consortium, performed by the Department of Highways under a budget of 7 million baht within a duration of 2 months.

The Chiang Rai governor has urged related agencies to hasten the reparations to be finished within the 60-day time frame, while the repairmen have been permitted to work from the Myanmar side, and can collaborate with border consortiums should any obstacle arise.

EU wants Thai fishing vessels to be trimmed

Thai PBS
The number of commercial fishing vessels in Thailand will be trimmed down within the next two years as recommended by the European Union, Agriculture Minister Chatchai Sarikalya disclosed on Friday.

He said that an EU team of observers recently met with Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan to follow up Thailand’s performance pertaining to illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing problem.

The EU team expressed appreciation with the government’s sincerity to resolve the IUU fishing problem and confidence with the Thai authorities charged with solving the problem, said Gen Chatchai, adding, however, that the EU team raised concern about the high number of commercial fishing vessels which, said the EU team, do not reflect the reality of marine resources.

For the sake of sustainable fishing, the EU team suggested that the number of fishing vessels should be slashed. About 40,000 fishing vessels have been registered with the Fisheries Department.

One of the options to reduce the number of fishing vessels is to buy the legally-registered vessels from their owners to be used as artificial coral reefs, said the agriculture minister, adding that a fund might be set up to retrain the fishermen so that they can do other jobs once they are laid off.

He went on saying that the EU team had suggested that refrigerator ships should be equipped with vessel monitoring system so that they can be tracked at all time.

Chinese tourist hurt by speedboat propeller still in critical condition

Thai PBS

The 18-year-old Chinese tourist who was hit by a speedboat propeller on Thursday while swimming at Pileh Bay in Phi Phi Leh Island of Krabi province is still in critical condition after an operation which lasted several hours.

The Chinese victim, Le Yuheng, 18, is now at the intensive care unit of the Krabi hospital after the medical operation to save his life from serious cuts on the legs and right arm ended at 9 pm last night.

He is still in coma and his survival would be a miracle, according to information given by hospital director Suphot Phukaoluan to Thai Rath Online.

His brain didn’t respond, and blood pressure didn’t rise which indicated he is in critical condition.

He had bled so much from the serious cuts by the propeller.

Doctors are closely monitoring any improvement but there was little chance, the online news media reported.

Meanwhile Krabi police escorted the speedboat driver Narudol Tongdee, 20, to Krabi provincial for permission today to detain him for reckless driving.

Police said the driver switched on the engine to move backward as other tourists shouting the victim was swimming to the boat from the rear.

The driver claimed the boat anchor broke loose and was drifting to hit a nearby boat, so he started the engine to move it back to position.

A Chinese guide who brought this tour group to Phi Phi Leh Island to swim, Mr Yinchieng Sae Liew, said the victim is among the tour group of 34 Chineses, including children, from Phuket to Phi Phi Island.

He said as many tourists jumped into the sea, a shout was heard that a tourist was stuck underneath the boat

The shout caused the driver to start the engine, thus hurting him.

Customs may propose using Section 44 power to clear over 1,000 abandoned luxury cars at ports

Mr Kulis Sirisombat, Director-general of the Customs Department

Thai PBS

The Customs Department may consider proposing the use of Section 44 of the interim charter to clear over a thousand of imported luxury cars abandoned by importers at ports and free zones.
Director-general of the department Mr Kulis Sirisombat admitted of the abandoned luxury at ports and free zones, particularly at Laem Chabang port.

He said the matter is now under consideration and officials are looking through all laws and regulations and will propose to the Finance Ministry.

He said not only these luxury cars would be the burden of importers who have to pay rents for spaces to keep them, it was also burden of customs officials who have to inspect and check as these vehicles carry a high import tax of up to 328%.

If there regular inspection, they might be smuggled out like what had happened in the past, he said.

He said Section 44 might be proposed to speed up the procedure.

It will empower customs officials to restrict the timeframe of abandoned cars, and to tackle importers and warehouse operators giving spaces for these cars to park.

He said the likely lenient measure might be to lower import tax to attract importers to clear their cars out of the port’s, or a tough measure that will set deadline for importers to clear their cars within 3 or six months, or else they be seized and auctioned off.

A car importer Mr Thanin Prasarnkaew admitted that economic hardship was one reason that forced importers to fail to clear import tax for their cars.

He suggested the best option was to auction off all these cars.

Justice Ministry to amend sex crime laws

BANGKOK, (NNT) – Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha has instructed the Justice Ministry to review laws on violence against women.

General Prayut disclosed that the existing laws would be adjusted in line with international laws. The legal amendments will entail improvements in the terms and conditions of granting bail to a rape suspect, as well as in the enforcement of the law against a rapist.

Incidents of the gruesome rape and murder of women in the past few years have sparked a public outcry and calls for harsher punishments for convicted rapists. In 2014, a 13-year-old girl was raped, strangled and thrown from a train by a member of the train's staff. In early July this year, a female teacher in Saraburi was killed in her apartment, by a former inmate who attempted to rape her.

Gen Prayut said he was saddened by the plight of these victims, adding that the newly-adjusted laws should restore public confidence in the country’s criminal justice system. He commented that campaigns aimed at building conscience among offenders were also essential to prevent a recurrence of a crime, in addition to legal enforcement.

Transport Company introduces Drive-Thru bus ticket sale

BANGKOK, (NNT) – The Transport Company has unveiled the Drive-Thru bus ticket sales assistance campaign, operating its pilot phase at the Rangsit Bus Station available from today onwards.

Transport Company Limited's Acting President Pol Gen Amnat Unardngam has prided over the launch ceremony of Drive-Thru bus ticket sale at Rangsit Bus Station ticket office.

He said Rangsit Bus Station is a bus station in Bangkok serving the Northern and Northeastern bus lines, with many passengers starting or end their journey here. The Drive-Thru ticket sale service is expected to help facilitate customers who also use their cars or motorcycles, who will now be able to buy tickets without having to leave their vehicles.

The Drive-Thru ticket sale service is currently available only at Rangsit Bus Station from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. everyday. The service is expected to increase revenues of the Rangsit Bus Station by 5 percent. Additionally, passengers can choose to purchase bus tickets online.

Rangsit Bus Station is also handling a one-day, one-night freight transport service for various goods, also available everyday from 4:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. For more information, please call Rangsit Bus Station 0-2901-4557, or the Transport Company 24-hour call center 1490.

Bus crash on Highway 304 injuring over 20

An interprovincial bus from Rayong to Surin skidded and flipped onto its side in Wang Nam Khiao district of Nakhon Ratchasima early Friday, injuring over 20 passengers, four seriously.

The accident happened on Highway 304 at Kilometre marker 243 between Kabinburi and Nakhon Ratchasima’s Wang Nam Khiao district at 1.00am.

Udomsap station police in Wang Nam Khieu said the bus belonged to Nakhonchai Air Co Ltd.

Bus driver Chan Kodphan told police that it was raining when the VIP bus with 30 passengers was running downhill on a slippery section of the highway.

He said the bus skidded when it was entering a curve, crashing on the hillside and flipping on its side.

Fortunately nobody was killed as passengers had fastened to the seat belts, he said.

However police said 20 passengers were admitted to Wang Nam Khiao hospital, suffering from bruises and broken fingers and hands, four seriously.

The driver was booked for questioning and initially charged with reckless driving.

Encroached land of ‘Tiger Temple’ to be reclaimed

Thai PBS

Encroached land covering more than 900 rai at the famous "Tiger Temple" will be reclaimed for land reform in an operation to be conducted by authorities tomorrow.

Land occupied by the temple is among 429 plots of encroached land in 25 provinces targeted as priorities for reclamation as each plot cover over 500 rai.

Under Section 44 of the interim constitution, the prime minister ordered that reclamation will first target large plot of encroached land so they could be used to reform for farming purpose.

Kanchanaburi land reform officer Mr Vajarim Wakamanont said Tiger Temple would be the first target among 14 in Kanchanaburi which have to be accomplished in 129 days.

However he said that before the launch of the operation at the Tiger Temple, a press briefing will be held first tomorrow to name all the 14 encroached plots covering over 15,000 rai and where they are located.

Serious layoffs predicted in the second half of the year

Thai PBS

A labour expert of a private think tank has warned that the problem of layoffs is likely to get worse in the second half of the year as local industries will start to feel the effects of global economic slowdown while the government’s labour expert has assured that the layoffs problem is normal.

Mr Yongyuth Chalaemwong, director of labour development of Thailand Development Research Institute, said that layoffs problem for the second half of the year is a matter of serious concern as local industries will start to feel the impacts from global economic slowdown which hurts consumption forcing the industries to cut back production.

He pointed out that labour intensive industries such as garment, electronic parts, automobile, leatherware and plastic will be most vulnerable.

He predicted that the problem of layoffs will become more serious and urged the government to take precautions to accommodate workers who are to be laid off such as to provide them with skill training so that they can work on jobs which require higher skills where there is a shortage of skilled labour.

However, Mr Thirapol Khunmuang, spokesman of the Labour Ministry, disclosed that unemployment rates for April-June period were 1 percent, 1.2 percent and 1 percent respectively.

This shows that the problem of layoffs is still normal and there are no signs that businesses are in trouble to the extent that they will resort to mass layoffs to save costs, he said.

Citing talks with Japanese investors last month, Mr Thirapol said he was assured by the investors that they would not move their production plants out of Thailand as Thai labourers are skilled and are acquainted with technology.

Abhisit supports call for lifting the ban on political activities

Thai PBS

Democrat party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva voiced his support for the proposal of the National Reform Steering Assembly that the NCPO should lift the ban on political activities, saying that the move will not undermine national stability.

He also expressed concern over the restriction of free expressions regarding the draft charter and the referendum which, he said, may make the draft constitution illegitimate.

Abhisit on Wednesday visited Mr Suthep Thuagsuban, chairman of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee Foundation, to express his well wishes on the occasion of the latter’s 67th birthday anniversary.

He insisted that he still enjoys good relationship with Suthep although the relationship between the Democrat party and the PDRC foundation remains an ocean apart.

The Democrat party and PDRC share different opinions regarding the draft charter.

Heavy rains expected across the Kingdom

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Meteorological Department has announced heavy rain is to be seen across the nation with particular caution voiced for 13 provinces in the north, east and south.

In a report from the Meteorological Department, officials revealed that a low pressure front covering the Kingdom’s north and parts of Myanmar combined with a monsoon from the southwest will result in inclement weather in all parts of Thailand.

The monsoon system will kick up waves in the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand and bring heavy rain to many areas. Provinces that should brace for storms include Chiang Mai, Chiang rai, Phayao, Prae, Nan, Pitsanulok, Petcabun, Chantaburi, Trad, Ranong, Phuket, Krabi and Trang. The mentioned locations may be at risk of flash flooding and forest run off.

Rains will also continue in Bangkok during this period. Small boats in the south are urged to stay at shore.

Buildings in 46 illegal land plots at Phu Tap Berk will face demolition

Thai PBS
Buildings and construction works on 46 land plots in Phu Tap Berk which have been found to be illegally built on encroached land will be the first to be demolished under the government’s tough policy to reclaim the Sor Por Kor land from illegal owners.

Owners of the buildings who are mostly tourism operators who either built resorts or shops on the land in question will receive letters of notification from the court on Friday. They are given 30 days to remove their buildings or other construction works otherwise the authorities concerned will do it themselves.

An informed source said that as many as 1,000 home stays and resorts in Ban Tap Berk, Ban Tap Berk Mai, Ban Na Sa-oong and Ban Nam Piang Din in Lom Kao district of Phetchabun province will face demolition.

It was reported that about 100 tourism-related operators would petition the Damrongtham centre in Phetchabun for justice and fair treatment. They said they would like the authorities to find a compromise solution to the problem.

The operators claimed that the government’s attempt to reclaim the Sor Por Kor land from illegal owners would cause serious impacts on them, on tourism-related businesses.

Meanwhile, an advisor to the natural resources management and environment of Phetchabun province said he agreed with the use of Sectioin 44 of the interim charter to solve the Sor Por Kor land abuses but he disagreed all the buildings built on the encroached land should be demolished.

Fisheries department deploys onboard observers on fishing vessels

SAMUT SAKHON,(NNT) – The Department of Fisheries has dispatched its first two onboard observers to monitor transfer and fishing vessels during 5 July - 30 September 2016, says MOAC official.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) Permanent-Secretary Teerapat Prayurasiddhi spoke about the ministry's decision to deploy two onboard observers on fishing vessels, saying that this action is in accordance with the requirements to all vessels permitted to fish outside of Thai waters, which states that there must be an observer onboard to upgrade the nation's fishery practices to meet international standards.

He said onboard observers have been trained with the Fisheries Observer Onboard Program, and are required to possess relevant knowledge on science, fisheries, ships, marine navigation, and law. Onboard observers will be responsible in observation and recording key information such as the volume of catches and the fishing tools used, to determine the catch per unit's effort value. Assessing the values would eventually lead to better management in fisheries to enhance the industry's sustainability.

Fishing boat owners can make requests to the Department of Fisheries for the allocation of onboard observers. Seven requests have already been made by fishing boat owners to station onboard observers on their vessels.

Skill training is to be provided to redundant staff from Toyota

Thai PBS

The Labour Welfare and Protection Department will help redundant workers from Toyota Motors (Thailand) Corp who resigned from the company under the company’s voluntary resignation programme by providing them with skill training and trying to find them jobs.

Mr Suwitthaya Chanthawong, deputy director-general of the department, however, said that he didn’t there was much problem from these workers who are mainly temporary employees of the giant automobile company.

Toyota Motors (Thailoand) Corp introduced the so-called “Farewell from Hearts” programme by offering the temporary workers compensation and severance pay if they choose to quit voluntarily. The company is expected to shed between 800-900 jobs and promised to accept them back as first priority when business is back to normal.

Mr Suwitthaya said that labour officials working in areas where there are big industries such as automobile assembly and electronics to watch out for labour problem in light of economic slowdown and shrinking exports.

Court allows Peace TV to continue its operations

Thai PBS

The Administrative Court has decided to allow Peace TV to go on air after the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission resolved on June 4 to suspend the operating license of the TV station for 30 days starting on July 10.

The court on Wednesday heard testimonies from Dr Weng Tochirakarn, a moderator and news anchor of Peace TV, and from NBTC deputy secretary-general Sombat Leelapata over a petition from Peace TV protesting the NBTC’s suspension order.

During the hearing, judge Suchart Sriworakorn read to the two opposing parties the Supreme Administrative Court’s ruling on dated May 26 upholding the Central Administrative Court’s injunction allowing Peace TV to carry on with its broadcasts.

The Administrative Court noted that the Central Administrative Court’s injuction remains valid and, if the NBTC felt that Peace TV did anything wrong not in line with the terms set by the court, the commission should have take the case to the court about whether the injunction should be withdrawn or not.

NBTC deputy secretary-general Sombat told the court the commission had not issued an order to suspend Peace TV’s operations although it resolved to suspend the broadcast for a month.

As a result of the court’s ruling, Dr Weng said Peace TV would resume its broadcasts. He also thanked the court for its fair ruling.

Toyota to shed 800-900 jobs among temporary staff

Thai PBS
Economic downturn resulting in domestic and export drop in car sales has hit hard on Toyota Motors (Thailand) Corporation, forcing the management to start laying off its temporary staff through voluntary resignation programme.

Informed industry source said that between 800-900 jobs for the wage earners who represent about 40 percent of Toyota’s work force will be shed under the “Farewell with Hearts” programme.

The programme opened on Monday and will last about a week for the temporary employees who are paid wages on monthly basis not with monthly salaries to volunteer to leave the company.

In return, the company will pay them severance pay, compensation in accordance with the years of employment and a special bonus with a sweet-deal condition that they will be the first group to be rehired once the economy picks up and the company is back in good shape.

The employees who are offered the voluntary resignation programme are mostly those working at Samrong, Gateway and Bangchan assembly plants.

Despite their temporary status, several of them have served in the company for more than ten years, said the source.

Those who signed up to join the programme will effectively leave the company as the management is afraid that some of them may not be happy with the programme and may protest.

Phetchabun governor empowered to deal harshly with encroachers at Phu Tap Berk

Thai PBS

General Prayut Chan-ocha, in his capacity as head of the National Council for Peace and Order, invoked Section 44 of the interim constitution, empowering Phetchabun provincial governor to deal harshly with land encroachers at Phu Tap Berk in Lom Kao district of Phetchabun province.

The scenic mountain-top is located in 1A, 1B and second class water catchment area which is the origin of the Pasak river. However, because of the cool mountain weather and captivating landscape, Phu Tap Berk has attracted business entrepreneurs who colluded with locals, many of them hilltribesmen, to encroach on once forested land and transform it into resorts, hotels, shops and tourism-related structures.

According to the NCPO’s order, Phu Tap Berk covers Ban Tap Berk, Ban Tap Berk Mai and Ban Na Sa-oong in Tambon Ban Nern, Lom Kao district.

Under the order, the governor is empowered to force the encroachers to dismantle, destroy or to do whatever construction work at Phu Tap Berk and to restore the land as it used to be; to seize, destroy or remove construction work; to order the encroachers to bear all the expenditure caused by the officials in their performance of duty and to demand compensation from the encroachers.

Pre registration of free-of-charge Prompt-Pay service exceeds expectations

Thai PBS
Pre-registration of the ‘Prompt-Pay’ service jointly provided by all commercial banks exceeded expectations with a large number of people showing interest to pre-register when it open for registration ahead of its official registration on July 15.

Although commercial banks will assure security of the ‘Prompt-Pay’ service, many people are either still unaware or have concerns over the security of the system.

Commercial banks all over the country yesterday began to receive preregistration for the ‘Prompt-Pay’ service at all its branches and through its ATM machines or internet-banking services.

At the main branch of Bangkok Bank many people took the opportunity to preregister for the service which will tie their bank accounts to personal identification card numbers and/or to mobile telephone numbers.

Registration entails bringing along personal identification cards and bank-books or via mobile-banking services or ATM machines.

Official commencement of actual service is scheduled to begin in October of this year.

‘Prompt-Pay’ will allow money transfer under the national e-payment system and will undercut the current fees charged by banks by offering free service for transactions not exceeding 5,000 Baht, according to BangkokPost.

Unlike current systems, ‘Prompt-Pay’ will not impose any charges when transferring money to other banks or to the same bank in a cross-clearing zone.

On the other hand, many other people have cited that they did not understand what the service is all about.

One bank customer voiced concerns over the security of the service.

She mainly feared that her accounts would now be open to hacking and stated that she would not be registering for the program unless banks are accountable for damage or losses.

Responding to the public fears, the chairman of the Thai Bankers’ Association Mr Pridi Daochai stated that he believes that the ‘Prompt-Pay’ system would pose no problems for banks’ clients.

He said that the Thai Bankers’ Association and the Bank of Thailand have designed a question-answer questionnaire to provide information to the public to alleviate these fears.

But one customer said what will not help however is the policy of many banks that state that they will not be taking responsibility for damages or loss from hacked accounts or otherwise.

Such an attitude will not help allay public’s fears and will no doubt greatly undermine the integrity of the service.

Tags: assured, commercial banks, concern, fear, money transfer, no fee, Prompt Pay, security.

Banker forecasts 3% economic growth rate this year

BANGKOK,(NNT) - The private sector has forecast the tendency of the Thai economy in the second half of year, saying internal factors are conducive to private investment. External factors will keep interest rates to stay low for a long time.

Head of Global Markets at Bank of Ayudhya Tak Bunnag said public investment and the government’s stimulus measures for SMEs and the real estate sector would still play an important role in the Thai economy in the last two quarters. Low oil price and interest rates would benefit the private investment and the tourism sector would keep on expanding, said the executive.

Mr. Tak however warned about the sluggish export sector and high household debt.

The baht would likely appreciate and stand around 35.50 baht to the U.S. dollar following the possibility that the Fed may not increase the benchmark rate this year.

The banker also forecast that the Thai economy this year would expand at 3%.

Ao Maya locals request harbor closure to conserve marine resources

KRABI,(NNT) – The local people and tourism entrepreneurs of Ao Maya Harbor in the Phi Phi Islands have requested the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) to temporarily close off the Maya bay until marine resources recover from activities related to tourism. The closure is expected to begin by early 2017.

Kasetsat University’s Faculty of Fisheries Deputy Dean and the assistant to the DNP Thon Thamrongnawasawat has said locals of Ao Maya Harbour have requested to the DNP to declare the harbor to be closed.

Ao Maya Harbor is the key tourism attraction of Phi Phi Islands, which generates a daily revenue of about 1.7 million baht. But as of recently, the tourist hot spot has suffered heavily from over-usage, vastly affecting marine and coastal resources.

The closure of harbor will allow marine resources to recover from man-made activities, and from boasts stirring up dregs on seafloor which has affected the coral reefs.

The DNP is now studying the effects of the harbor’s closure and will be designating alternative tourism attractions to accommodate tourists' demands. The DNP is planning to announce the temporary closure of the area in rotation with three other beaches in a 3-4 month period. The closure, along with new tourist boat regulations is expected to be implemented by early 2017.

Officials start tightening up taxi service at Don Meuang

Thai PBS

The Land Transportation Department and relevant agencies have started regulating taxi service at Don Meuang international airport to make sure that the cabbies will not take advantage on passengers especially during the rush hours when the number of taxies available is insufficient to meet demand.

Land Transport Department deputy director-general Nanthapong Cherdchu said Monday that the problem with not enough taxies to serve passengers usually occurs during the rush hours when many flights stop at Don Meuang airport within a short period of time.

He said many passengers find taxies, forcing several of them to hail taxies on Vibhavadi Rangsit highway or flock to the second floor of the airport terminal to call taxies most of which have not registered with the airport.

He pointed out that the problem stemmed from these unregistered cabbies who take advantage of the passengers by refusing to use meters, overcharging passengers and being selective of their choice of passengers.

Starting on Monday, officials of the Land Transport Department and relevant agencies will check every taxi and taxi driver who arrive at the airport to pick up passengers during the rush hours from 7 am to 9 am and from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Four cabbies were caught and fined 1,000 baht each for defying the regulation on the first day of this new move which will be introduced at Suvarnabhumi international airport a month from now.

Prawit says Chinese submarine is okay

Thai PBS

Defense minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan says the Navy's plan to purchase a Chinese submarine is okay and appropriate.

Comment by Gen Prawit, also deputy prime minister in charge of security came after critics questioned the efficiency of the 12 billion baht Chinese submarine and whether the Navy was pressured to buy the Chinese weapon.

Gen Prawit said the Navy’s submarine procurement project has been considered and screened carefully by its scrutiny committee.

He said the project was enlisted in the 2017 national expenditure budget but it still needed to get approval from the cabinet.

He said the Navy had planned to procure a submarine for use for a long time, and had been approved by the majority of all committees scrutinising the project.

He added the Chinese submarine is appropriate both in terms of price and efficiency under the limited budget allocated for Navy which might not afford to buy higher price submarine from other country.

Police chief supports idea of conscripting brawling students into military service

Thai PBS

The national police chief has voiced his support for the idea that street brawling students should be conscripted into the military service and sent to the restive Deep South.
Pol Gen Chakthip Chaichinda said Monday that he found the idea interesting.

“If they want to fight, send them to the three southernmost provinces and give each of them a gun and a knapsack so that they learn some real experience which will hopefully turn them into good citizens,”said the police chief, adding that serving the country as a soldier is not a bad idea and it is much better than wielding knives or axes to fight one another on the streets causing panic among the people.

He pointed out that there are about 2,000 flash points in the city where rival students are likely to clash one another and, hence, a timeframe should not be set on how long it will take to solve the problem of street brawling.

Government told to ease restrictions on political expressions

Thai PBS

Politicians, academics and members of the civil society agreed at a panel discussion on Monday that the government should ease restrictions on political activities and free political expressions during the leadup to the August 7 referendum.

The panel discussion was jointly organized by Thai PBS, the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies of Mahidol University, iLAW and Women for Reform Movement and attended by academics and politicians.

Associate Professor Yutthaporn Issarachai of Sukhothai Thammathirat University said that political conflicts would stage a comeback if the draft charter and accompanied questions passed the referendum because people who are stakeholders are denied the right of participation through restriction on free expressions.

He suggested that restrictions should be eased to allow public participation through free political expressions.

Mrs Thida Thavornseth, a core member of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship the draft constitution should be put to use temporarily if it fails to survive the referendum and a charter drafting assembly be formed to write a new charter.

But former Pheu Thai party leader Chaturon Chaisaeng believes the draft charter will sail through the referendum and the NCPO is likely to cling on to power probably for the next 20 years.

Representatives of the civil society the ban on political gathering of more than five people has deprived the public’s right of participation in the charter writing and referendum processes.

Election commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn called on all sectors of the Thai society to join in the discussions of the draft charter so that they can make informed voting in the referendum.

Doctors to give summary report on HM the King on monthly basis if his health conditions improve steadily

Thai PBS
His Majesty the King’s health condition has improved and his heart muscle has worked satisfactorily after doctors at Siriraj hospital gave the King oxygen and increase the draining of spinal fluid out of the body through the stomach by means of a draining tube, according to the 30th announcement of the Bureau of the Royal Household.

Doctors at Siriraj hospital who have been treating HM the King gave a summary report of the health condition of the King during June 1-July 2 as follows:

In June, HM the King had low fever occasionally but his condition was improving. However, the King was oxygen and treated for excessive phlegm and saliva.

Follow-up examination showed abnormal amount of spinal fluid in the King’s brain but after the adjustment of the draining tube through the stomach the amount of fluid has dropped.

However, doctors felt that the amount of spinal fluid being drained out was less than normal and recommended for adjustment of the draining tube to increase the fluid draining on July 2 and the result was satisfactory.

Doctors have suggested that, if the King does not experience abnormal conditions, they would provide a summary report of the King’s conditions on monthly basis.

Peace-keeping centres set up to ensure peaceful and transparent referendum

Thai PBS

The government has set up peace-keeping centres across the country starting July 1 to ensure that the August 7 referendum is held in a free, fair and transparent manner.

Government spokesman Maj-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said that the setting up of the peace-keeping centres at provincial and district levels was in response to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha’s intention for the referendum to be held on schedule without cheatings and without any attempt to obstruct the referendum so that the people can make their own judgement on how to vote.

Provincial and district officials assigned to work at the peace-keeping centres have been told to strictly enforce the law and to carry out their three main assignments which include mapping out plans to cope with untoward incidents during the leadup to the referendum, during and after the referendum, gathering intelligence about distortions of the draft charter and disruptions of the referendum and measures to cope with an unrest situation.

Provincial governors will head the centres at their respective provinces while district officers will lead the district-level centres.

The centres will sum up reports to the government in three periods: pre-referendum from July 1-August 6; during the referendum on August 7 and post-referendum from August 8-10 or until the situation has returned to normal.

GHB to extend 30- billion baht low rate loans for civil servants to buy homes

Thai PBS

The Government Housing Bank is now ready to introduce low interest home loans for civil servants in the country.

Accordingly to Mr Wisut Sri-Suphan, the deputy fnance minister, the GHB will be introducing new low interest home loans for civil servants under the ‘Homes for Civil Servants’ campaign.

A budget of 30 billion baht has been set aside for the purpose of helping low earning civil servants and state enterprise employees to buy homes.

The most vital criteria that has been specified for approval of loan applicants is that they must have, at minimum, sufficient means to make the monthly installment payments which means that they must have at least 11,000 baht of their income left after deducting all expenses.

Under this campaign, the interest rates that will be charged will be lower than market rates.

Interest rates for the first 1 – 4 years will be at minus 3.5% MRR (minimum retail rate) or 3.25% per year for a maximum of 30 years.

Applications can be made now until December 30 of this year.

Loans will be provided for the purpose of buying, building, expansion, repairs, mortgage repayment or purchasing land or non-performing assets (NPA) seized by the Government Housing Bank.

These loans will also cover refinancing and the purchase of equipment or tools to be used for home construction or repairs.

A driver and two monks escape unhurt after their vehicle was rammed by a train

Thai PBS

A pickup truck driver and two monks miraculously escaped death or injury when the vehicle in which they were travelling was rammed by a train at a railway crossing in Saiyoke district of Kanchanaburi Saturday afternoon.

However, the pickup truck was badly damaged and thrown into a ditch beside the railroad by the force of the impact.

The accident happened at a railway crossing in Ban Wang Yai, Tambon Thasao of Saiyoke district at about 1.30 pm.

The driver later told police that he was not familiar with the route and didn’t notice that a train was approaching as he tried to cross the rail. He said that there was no barricade nor was there any official at the railway crossing to warn motorists of incoming trains.

He added that he and his two occupants, two monks, were lucky to escape unhurt as their vehicle was thrown into the ditch and was not dragged by the train.

Mahidol labor institute suggests more development of laborers

BANGKOK,(NNT) – Transnational labor analysts have recommended the government expedite the development of Thailand laborers and align the nation’s education standards with its development plans.

Mahidol University’s Institute for Population and Social Research has held its 12th National Population and Social Research Symposium with its experts pointing out that Thailand has up to 4 million foreign laborers, requiring readiness both socially and economically to accommodate.

Institute academic Sakkarin Niyomsilp stated foreign laborers in Thailand will only grow in the future, especially in the service and IT industries as Thailand is unable to produce enough workers to satisfy the demand of the two sectors.

Conversely, a relatively low amount of Thai laborers travel abroad at only about 100,000 per year due to the nation’s high domestic demand for workers. The institute suggested the government support the development of laborers both Thai and foreign so that they can satisfy demand for higher skill jobs. They also called for education in the Kingdom to be adjusted to better respond to the needs of its industries.

Experts urge calm after meteorite fell in Phitsanulok

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) has indicated that the recent falling of a meteorite in Phitsanulok province was nothing out of the ordinary while officials are thoroughly examining the object.

Following the discovery of a small, mysterious object that fell from the sky into a home in Phitsanulok on June 27, officials from NARIT and the National Metal and Materials Technology Center have already collected the object for inspection. Local residents in many areas of the province claimed they heard a loud blast, accompanied with a tremor, on the day.

Initially, Deputy Director of NARIT Sarun Posayachinda has confirmed that the object is a meteorite, weighing 120 grams. It is mainly composed of iron, nickel and sulfur and does not contain any dangerous chemicals. Detailed examinations are being conducted in order to pinpoint the exact origin of the rock.

Mr Sarun called on public members not to be alarmed by the incident as it is a common, explainable occurrence. He pointed out that countless meteorites have fallen on the Earth’s surface, with many seen in the form of shooting stars.

Ministry of Commerce green lights rice farmer aid plan

BANGKOK, (NNT) – The Rice Policy and Management Committee has approved measures proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to assist rice growers and elevate the rice industry.

Permanent Secretary for Commerce Chutima Bunyapraphasara said the committee, chaired by Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha, agreed with the ministry's initiatives to help farmers that are trying to scale down their rice paddies and those that are taking part in the area-based farming project.

The committee has also approved the proposed budget of 750 million baht. The funds will be spent on the establishment of a foundation for developing commercial agricultural technologies and innovations, as part of the government's economic policy, Thailand 4.0.

Mrs. Chutima added that the committee also reported of a jump in rice price in the global market, due to a fall in output. The demand for rice has gone up in many countries, which will benefit Thailand’s rice industry.

Police raid Alaina Massage Spa hunting owner for alleged human trafficking

Thai PBS

Metropolitan police have raided Alaina Massage Spa in the heart of the busy night entertainment venue on Ratchadapisek road and issued warrant for the arrest of the owner for alleged human trafficking.

The massage spa will be shut down, police said.

The raid followed investigation that the owner and manager of the massage spa, Mr Narin Jaibamrung, 48, has connection with Nataree massage parlour earlier raided and shut down by police for human trafficking.

The owner and manager of Nataree are still on the run.

The raid at Alaina on Ratchadapisek Soi 7 was led by Pol Maj Gen Charuwat Waisaya, deputy commissioner of Metropolitan Police Bureau.

More than 50 police from 191 Patrol and Special Operation Police, Huay Kwang police station, and soldiers joined in the raid.

He said the raid came after police’s investigation found that the entertainment venue has financial linkage with the nearby Nataree massage parlour on Ratchadapisek Road.

Nataree was earlier searched and closed for prostitution and human trafficking charges.

During the search at Alaina, police found some 40 girls but all were above 18 years old.

He said Mr Narin is also owner of PPTS Construction Co Ltd which is the legal entity name of Aliana.

He would be charged for alleged human trafficking.

He said the police could not find Mr Narin as he might be tipped off the raid and fled the premise.

Police would propose to the agencies concerned to shut down the venue definitely and authorities would not renew its license, he said prostitution, Ratchadapisek Soi 7

New rail cars arrive at Laem Chabang seaport

Thai PBS

The first batch of 39 rail cars imported by the State Railways of Thailand (SRT) have arrived at Laem Chabang seaport.

The rail cars are among a total of 115 cars ordered by the SRT under the policy of the Ministry of Transportation to improve the country’s railway service and replace old cars.

The rail cars are now at the port’s Terminal C awaiting for assembly to three passenger trains, comprising 13 cars each.

Official delivery of the cars by the manufacturer to the SRT will be made soon after they all come under test run on rails.

Shipment of the total 115 cars is scheduled to finish in September this year.

The new trains will be put into services on four routes, Bangkok-Chiang Mai, Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani, Bangkok-Nong Khai and Bangkok-Hat Yai.

Ministry places all provinces hit by rains on flood and landslide alert

Thai PBS

The Ministry of Interior today placed all the country's provincial offices on flood and landslide alerts after floodings and mudslides were reported in many areas affected by the seasonal monsoon rains.

All governors in areas affected by rains are ordered to coordinate and cooperate with local government organizations to prepare for the natural disasters and to work out prevention in areas where landslides occurring repeatedly, and get ready to assist affected people around the clock.

Several provinces in the North, Northeast and the South were affected by floodings and landslides this week.

In Chiang Mai, a Myanmar worker was washed away by flash flood and several houses were damaged by landslides in Mae Rim district after several hours of downpour.

The mudslide also blocked a road to a village.

In Wiengsa district of Nan Province, heavy rain caused water in several creeks to overflow its banks and flooded a school in Ban Nam Pua community.

The water level is over 60 centimetres high and it damaged teaching materials and equipment.

The damage cost is estimated at more than 500,000 baht.

Over 50 houses have been inundated, forcing local residents to travel by boat to ask for assistance.

In Phitsanulok, heavy downpour for many hours also inundated the municipal area with up to 50 centimetres deep floodwater.

In Nakhon Ratchasima, more than 1,500 rais of paddy fields are inundated by floods

In Krabi to the South, rainstorm blown down a big teak tree on Phetkasem Road, paralyzing traffic.

About five kilometre long line of vehicles was obstructed by the tree.

Officials spent several hours to saw off the tree and open the highway to traffic again late yesterday.

The Meteorological Department forecasts heavy rains today in some provinces namely Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Tak, Lamphun, Loei, Nong Khai, Bung Kan, Nong Bua Lampoo, Udon Thani, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Trat, Ranong and Phang Nga.

Commerce to auction off 400,000 tonnes of degraded rice

Thai PBS

The Foreign Trade Department will announce the terms of reference (TOR) for the auction of 400,000 tonnes of degraded rice on July 6 after which those who are interested to join the bidding can inspect the rice on July 11-15, said Mrs Duangporn Rodpayat, the department head, on Friday.

The degraded rice are part of remaining rice stockpiles bought by the previous Yingluck government under the rice pledging scheme. They are inedible and good for being processed into animal feeds.

Mrs Duangporn said the auction would be held in parallel with the release of good quality grains from the stockpiles because there is demand in the market coupled with low yield.

She anticipated that over six million tonnes of rice would be exported this year and, by the middle of next year, all the remaining rice stockpiles bought under the controversial rice pledging scheme would be sold out.

Regarding the orders for the purchase of 2.8 million tonnes of rice placed by foreign buyers with the private sector, Mrs Duangporn explained that the exporters must meet the required qualifications such as having registered as exporters with the Foreign Trade Department for over a year, having purchase orders from buyers and that they must purchase the whole lot of rice from each warehouse.

Mrs Duangporn maintained that the government would sell rice at the right timing and would not sell too much rice at a time to make sure that the transactions would not impact on farm prices.

Police smash an online soccer gambling den

Thai PBS

Police busted an online soccer gambling den, rounding up 11 suspects and confiscating 11 items of equipment used in operating the gambling in a house raid in Bangkok.

The alleged bookmakers who are also the co-owners of the house in Bangkhen district were identified as Pasu Suthanon and Saravuth Preechaborisutkun .

The items seized include 17 computers, a list of about 2,500 suspected gamblers, 35 cellphones, 23 bank account books, one automatic pistol and others.

Acting metropolitan police commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Sanit Mahathavorn said that the website for online gambling has the server abroad and the operators here are just the brokers who get a 5 percent cut from the gambling revenues.

This gambling den has been in operational for about four months with two groups of customers totaling 3,200 people. The bets range from 50 to 10,000 baht. The den operates in two shifts – from 9 am to 9 pm and 9 pm to 9 am – and each shift is manned by 10 staff members.

Thailand upgraded to ‘Tier 2 watch list’

Thai PBS

Thailand has been upgraded from Tier 3 to Tier 2 watch list in the 2016 report of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons of the US State Department.

The report said that Thailand is a source, destination and transit country for men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Thai victims of trafficking and some of the estimated 3-4 million migrant workers in Thailand are forced, coerced or defrauded into labour or sex trafficking. Some labour trafficking victims are exploited in commercial fishing and related industries, factories, agriculture and domestic work or forced into street begging. Migrant workers who are trafficking victims may be deported without effective screening for indicators of trafficking. Sex trafficking remains a significant problem in Thailand’s extensive commercial sex industry.

Thai government does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, however it is making significant efforts to do so, said the report. These include:

– The government amended the 2008 anti-trafficking laws and other laws related to forced labour in the fishing and seafood industry which increased criminal and civil penalties on traffickers, allowed for the closure of businesses involved in forced labour and provided legal protection for whistleblowers.

– The government increased the numbers of investigations, prosecutions, convictions and victims identified in 2015 compared with 2014.

– The government increased efforts to hold government officials complicit in trafficking crimes criminally accountable, however, officials complicit continued to impede progress in combating trafficking.

– The government established a specialized anti-trafficking prosecution division and an anti-trafficking court division and increased anti-trafficking training for police, prosecutors, judges, labour inspectors, social workers and navy personnel.

According to the report, the government increased anti-trafficking efforts. These include government’s initiating prosecutions of cases involving abused Rohingya asylum seekers and Bangladesh migrants. Of the 155 arrest warrants issued, 92 perpetrators were arrested during the reporting period. All were charged with human trafficking offenses as well as other related criminal charges.

The government investigated shipowners , captains and brokers for labour trafficking in the fishing industry in 41 cases and 31 vessels seized.

The government enacted legislation in December 2015 that criminalizes the possession and distribution of child pornography and leveraged the new legislation to build probable cause in cases involving internet-facilitated child trafficking and sexual exploitation.

The government established a Command Centre for Combatting Illegal Fishing to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

However, the report said the government did not make significant progress in ensuring that all adult trafficking victims were able to travel, work and reside outside shelters as provided by anti-trafficking law.

Diesel price up 40 satang per litre

Thai PBS
PTT and Bangchak Petroleum have announced the increase of the pump price of diesel by 40 satang to 25.09 baht per litre effective as of 5 am on Friday.
Other oil prices remain unchanged.

Therefore, pump prices per litre in Bangkok and adjacent provinces on Thursday will be as follows:

Benzene 95  -  31.56 baht
Gasohol 95   -  24.60 baht
Gasohol 91   -  24.18 baht
E 20             -  22.04 baht
E 85             -  17.99 baht
Diesel          -  25.09 baht

Koh Samui municipality to use canvas to cover garbage

Thai PBS

Faced with a mountain of accumulated garbage estimated at about 250,000 tonnes and a malfunctioned incinerator, Koh Samui municipality has come up with an idea to temporarily solve the problem – to buy rubber-coated canvas to cover the huge garbage.

A special budget has been sought for the purchase of the canvas and a number of backhoes are currently at work at the dump site next to the malfunctioned incinerator to prepare the land to accommodate the garbage and to cover it up with canvas.

Koh Samui mayor Ramnate Jaikwang said that the municipality had received many complaints from residents living around the landfill of the foul smell and putrid water seeping out of the dump site.

He added that the municipality would dig a pond to store the putrid water before it is delivered to a waste water treatment plant.

Happy ending of hostage-taking drama in Chanthaburi’s Tesco Lotus

Thai PBS

A hostage-taking drama took place at Tesco Lotus modern trade store in Chanthaburi Thursday morning when an apparently desperate woman pointed a knife at her own grandson after she could not buy him a tablet.

The 45-year old street sweeper, Mrs Pooky as she was known, took her 8-year old grandson to the store at the latter’s insistence on her to buy him a tablet. However, she could not afford the tablet as the boy kept persisting.

Out of a sudden, the woman took the boy to the kitchenware section where she grabbed a knife and pointed at the boy’s neck.

The incident caused a scare among many morning shoppers who started gathering to find out what was happening. Then someone alerted the police who arrived shortly afterward followed by the Tha Chang mayor Mr Chalermpol Sakkham.

The mayor spent about 15 minutes talking to her and succeeded in convincing her to free the boy. He then took her to the canteen in the store for more talks until she agreed to hand over the knife to officials.

After the drama was over, the mayor bought a tablet for the boy and took both the grandmother and the boy back to their home in Tambon Tha Chang, Muang district.



Back to Main Page

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Officials crack down on illegal street racing in Surin

NBC to rule on GMM 25 and Voice TV cases today

Thailand spared GSP cutback for some farm products to the US

Thai Flying Service receives its plane’s door from temple

Chiang Mai voted best city in Asia by readers of Travel + Leisure

Repayment of student loan fund jumps 39 percent this year

Concern voiced about possible monopoly of Thai fruit market by Chinese traders

Thailand-Myanmar inspect repair of Sai River bridge damaged from strong current

EU wants Thai fishing vessels to be trimmed

Chinese tourist hurt by speedboat propeller still in critical condition

Customs may propose using Section 44 power to clear over 1,000 abandoned luxury cars at ports

Justice Ministry to amend sex crime laws

Transport Company introduces Drive-Thru bus ticket sale

Bus crash on Highway 304 injuring over 20

Encroached land of ‘Tiger Temple’ to be reclaimed

Serious layoffs predicted in the second half of the year

Abhisit supports call for lifting the ban on political activities

Heavy rains expected across the Kingdom

Buildings in 46 illegal land plots at Phu Tap Berk will face demolition

Fisheries department deploys onboard observers on fishing vessels

Skill training is to be provided to redundant staff from Toyota

Court allows Peace TV to continue its operations

Toyota to shed 800-900 jobs among temporary staff

Phetchabun governor empowered to deal harshly with encroachers at Phu Tap Berk

Pre registration of free-of-charge Prompt-Pay service exceeds expectations

Banker forecasts 3% economic growth rate this year

Ao Maya locals request harbor closure to conserve marine resources

Officials start tightening up taxi service at Don Meuang

Prawit says Chinese submarine is okay

Police chief supports idea of conscripting brawling students into military service

Government told to ease restrictions on political expressions

Doctors to give summary report on HM the King on monthly basis if his health conditions improve steadily

Peace-keeping centres set up to ensure peaceful and transparent referendum

GHB to extend 30- billion baht low rate loans for civil servants to buy homes

A driver and two monks escape unhurt after their vehicle was rammed by a train

Mahidol labor institute suggests more development of laborers

Experts urge calm after meteorite fell in Phitsanulok

Ministry of Commerce green lights rice farmer aid plan

Police raid Alaina Massage Spa hunting owner for alleged human trafficking

New rail cars arrive at Laem Chabang seaport

Ministry places all provinces hit by rains on flood and landslide alert

Commerce to auction off 400,000 tonnes of degraded rice

Police smash an online soccer gambling den

Thailand upgraded to ‘Tier 2 watch list’

Diesel price up 40 satang per litre

Koh Samui municipality to use canvas to cover garbage

Happy ending of hostage-taking drama in Chanthaburi’s Tesco Lotus



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