NARIT says mysterious object is meteoroid
director-general Dr Sarun Posayajinda
The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) says a
mysterious object that fell and pierced through the roof tiles of a house in
Phitsanulok province on Monday night might be a meteoroid.
NARIT deputy director-general Dr Sarun Posayajinda said from what he had
seen on online media there is high possibility that the mysterious object
might be a meteoroid.
He said as far as he learned from the
news media, there was a loud bang as if it was a gunshot and then the object
fell and pierced through the roof tiles of a house in Tambon Plaichumpol of
Muang district, Phitsanulok province.
Although he has not yet seen with his eyes but just through what the media
had shown and explained, there was high possibility that it was a meteoroid.
Meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic body travelling through outer space.
It was similar to the meteoroids that fell in Phitsanulok and in
Kanchanaburi last year, he said.
However to exactly determine whether it is meteoroid, it needs to be sent
for laboratory test, he said.
It could be a chondrite or rocky meteoroid or metal meteoroid or mixed body.
But from the observation of the object,
there was traces of burns and melting on the surface of the object from its
He said meteorite fall on earth is a normal phenomenon as each year there
are over one million kilo weight of meteorites falling on earth, whether
into the sea or on earth.
Meteoroid is chemically harmless and is
favourite among collectors.
There is no medium price for meteorites but if it comes from Mars, the value
is high as a collector used to offer up to 10 million baht for it, he said.
Meanwhile latest report from NARIT said the owner of the house hit by
meteorite has offered to give the object to the centre for scientific test.
Former MP faces first 12-day detention period for murder conspiracy charge
Heavily armed police from the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) today
escorted former deputy commerce minister Pol Lt Col Bunyin Tangphakorn to
Phra Khanong Court for permission to detain him 12 days for questioning for
As the CSD police sought his first detention, the court was also asked not
to grant him bail.
While at the court, the former minister and former Nakhon Sawan MP
questioned why his arrest came just after the Chuwong family held a
religious ceremony to mark the first anniversary of the death of the
construction tycoon Chuwong Sae Tang.
He suspected this was meant to discredit him as investigation was delayed
for over a year and evidence to link him to the murder conspiracy was just
disclosed and charges filed against him.
He even challenged Chuwong’s wife to swear in front of the Temple of the
Emerald Buddha that her husband did not cheat her.
The former minister was arrested at a resort hotel at Khao Yai national park
Also was with him at the resort was a former stock broker Ms Uracha
Wachirakulton, a suspect in a related case.
Ms Uracha, who is free on bail, was not charged.
Earlier last year she claimed she didn’t know the minister personally, but
just a business contact because he was also one of her clients.
She is the person who claimed to have obtained 300 million baht of stocks
transferred to him by the construction tycoon out of personal favour a few
months before his mysterious death in a car accident. The former minister
was the driver of the van that the tycoon travelled along with on the night
of the car crash.
The former minister claimed it was an accident that killed the tycoon, but
the impact from the collision with the tree raised suspicion that it could
hardly cause death.
The Central Institute of Forensic Science was asked by the tycoon’s sister
and wife to re-examine the result of the autopsy carried out earlier by the
It came out that the tycoon died from broken bones on the neck from hardened
The CSD police later simulated the van crash at the site of the crash with
same type of van and at speed given by the former minister during the
He claimed to have drive at over 80 kilometres, and swerved to avoid hitting
another vehicle coming on its way, and crashing on a tree over 100 metres
off the main road.
But the simulation showed it was hardly possible to make a swerve into the
Soi at such speed and run for a hundred metres to ram at the tree and kill
the tycoon sitting on the side with safety belt fastened.
Besides the CSD also found that the van just ran at 30 kilometres am hour,
not at 80 kilometres as claimed.
The police believed there might be more suspects in the murder conspiracy.
Death of Korean girl on Patong beach may be a suicide attempt
Kratoo district police in Phuket said late today that the death of a
Korean girl on Patong beach this morning might be a suicide attempt.
The suicide theory came after the police could locate the hotel where the
girl, Hong Garam, 28, checked in with her boyfriend Park Siwoo, 28.
From the questioning of a security guard at the Charm Hotel on Thawiwong
road where the couple checked in, he said he saw the woman left their room
at 1.20am with the man following behind.
The couple paused at the beach for talk.
But a moment later, he said he saw the woman walked up to the sea amid the
rains and high waves.
The man followed her and shortly later both disappeared from sights.
Later at 5 am today the body of the woman was washed ashore on Patong beach,
opposite the hotel where they checked in.
Police tried to locate the body of the man late today but still could not
Initially the police said the couple might be engaged in a quarrel that
promoted the woman to walk into the turbulent sea in an attempt to commit
The man then followed her and then both disappeared, or drowned.
iLAW to campaign for the police to stop arresting people expressing views on referendum
iLaw, a non-governmental organization
dedicated to promotion of free expressions will launch a campaign to urge
the Election Commission to scrap an announcement regarding expressions on
referendum and the police to stop arresting people who express their views
on the referendum.
iLAW director Jon Ungphakorn said Wednesday that his organization would
press on with the campaign in spite of the Constitutional Court’s unanimous
ruling today that Second Paragraph of Section 61 of the Referendum Act does
not contravene with the interim constitution.
He noted that the EC announcement specifying what can or cannot be done
during the leadup to the referendum has deprived the people of their right
to free expressions, citing the recent arrest of a group of student
activists while campaigning to encourage people not to vote in the
Such an announcement has rendered the referendum illegitimate and unjust as
it forces people to vote.
Three ill-fated chopper’s crew members posthumously promoted
The Royal Thai Air Force has given eight-step posthumous promotions to
three crew members of a helicopter who died after the craft crashed into
the dense mountainous forest in Chanthaburi province while on a resupply
mission on June 25.
Squadron Leader Pasit Techasen, the chopper’s pilot, was promoted an air
marshal; Flight Lieutenant Alongkorn Chankrachang was promoted an air
vice marshal; and Flight Sergeant (1st class) Visut Puttharaksa was
promoted a group captain.
Besides the posthumous promotions, families of the three deceased
officers will receive compensation from the Welfare Fund – three million
baht for Pasit, 2.7 million baht for Alongkorn and 2.5 million baht for
After the chopper went missing on June 25 as it was delivering supplies
to an Air Force’s radar station on Khao Chamao, search and rescue
operations were launched by the air force with assistance from the
army’s special force and marines. UAV was also deployed to help in the
It took the search parties four days before they finally located the
crash site and the bodies of the three crew members who were flown by a
helicopter to Sattahip naval base.
The victims’ bodies were flown to Bangkok Tuesday morning and later
taken to Bhumibol hospital for an autopsy.
All pump prices reduced
PTT and Bangchak announced the decrease of all pump prices by 40
satang/litre effective at 5 am this morning.
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 24.69 baht
Academics call for the release of seven student activists
A group of pro-democracy academics has demanded the National Council for
Peace and Order to release seven student activists recently arrested by
authorities for campaigning against the August 7 national referendum on the
A written statement which was signed by 292 academics who called themselves
network of academics for people’s rights said, in essence, that, for the
sake of legitimacy, the referendum must be conducted under free atmosphere.
Among the lecturers who signed up the statement were Dr Anusorn Unnano, dean
of the faculty of sociology and humanities of Thammasat University,
Puangthong Pawakarapan of Chulalongkorn University’s political science
faculty, Kasien Techapira of Thammasat University’s faculty of political
science, former senator Jon Ungphakorn and Charnvit Kasetsiri.
Udon Thani’s Red-shirt chieftain Kwanchai given two years jailterm without suspension
Former Red-Shirt chieftain of Udon Thani Kwanchai Sarakham (Praipana) has
been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment in absentia by the Supreme Court
after he was found guilty of attempted murder and assault charges.
He was also fined 350,000 baht while his guarantor was fined 500,000 baht.
The Supreme Court’s verdict which was lighter than that imposed by the
Appeals Court was read today (Tuesday) by Udon Thani provincial court.
Present at the verdict-reading session were Kwanchai’s wife, Mrs Arporn and
his lawyer, Mr Pin Thaksin, among others.
The case was instituted to the court by Mr Charoen Mookachornpan, a member
of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, who accused Kwanchai of badly
beating him up. The incident took place at Nongprachaksilpakhom park in Udon
Thani municipality on July 24, 2008.
In deliberating the case, the Supreme Court decided to shorten the
imprisonment for Kwanchai from two years and eight months to two years as it
felt that the jailterm imposed by the Appeals Court was too heavy, said
lawyer Pin. The jailterm was however not suspended.
Mrs Arporn told the media that she felt grateful to the court’s mercy for
reducing the jailterm for her husband. She said she would try to contact him
but didn’t know where he is.
However, she added that Kwanchai was heard speaking to a radio station on
June 13 which coincided with his birthday. He reportedly said that he was
fine but would not return to Thailand because of the absence of democracy in
An NGO proposes closure of Khao Yai national park during dry season
A non-governmental organization dedicated to Khao Yai wildlife conservation
has recommended the temporary close of Khao Yai national park during the dry
season from March to May in order to allow nature to heal itself.
Mr Kritachai Sukmangsa, president of the Association of Khao Yai Dong
Phayayen Forest Conservation Network, said that the recommendation was based
on the following reasons:
Illegal logging of Payoong trees. He suspected that some unscrupulous Khao
yai park officials might have involved because the illegal activities took
place in the national park and sometimes, seized Payoong logs stored in the
park had been stolen.
During the dry season, wild animals usually venture out of the park area in
search of food and water, hence causing damages to villagers’ crops
resulting in conflicts between humans and animals. He suggested that more
food and water should be supplied to the animals and more fences should be
built to prevent the animals from encroaching on villagers’ property.
Several animals such as deer and monkeys are killed each year by motorists
as they snatch food from tourists. Temporary closure of the park will enable
these animals to forage for food in the wood.
Alleged misuse of public donations for Khao Yai shrine. The money should be
used to support patrol missions by park officials, education and welfare of
park officials and their children and should not have been used to buy an
The public is not represented in Khao Yai national park committee. The
association used to propose a people’s representative in the committee but
this was rejected by the National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation.
Mr Kritachai said the park has never been closed once for the past 54 years
since its opening.
Philanthropic cabbie give a new taxi from a Bhirompakdi heir
A taxi driver who has been providing free service to disabled people by
taking them to hospitals was recently given a new taxi to replace his ageing
car by a heir of Bhirompakdi family, Mr Piti Bhirompakdi.
The philanthropic cabbie, Mr Suwannachat Phromchart, on Monday posted a
message in his Facebook page offering his heart-felt thanks to Mr Piti for
the latter’s kindness in donating him a car which, he said, is being
modified as a taxi which will be used to transport disabled people to
Earlier, the cabbie said through his Facebook page that a kind-hearted man
had donated him an electric chair to be installed in his taxi which will
facilitate the moving of disabled passengers in and out of his vehicle.
Mr Suwannachat’s good deeds in helping the disabled has earned him
widespread appreciation from netizens in the social media.
Teaching students of how to swim
Even if there is no swimming pool in Tambon Pongpoei, Muang district of Bung
Karn province, it does not discourage a physical education teacher of Ban
Huey Samyod Thevakul school from teaching his students on how to swim just
for the sake of sparing them from drowning.
There have been several cases of drowning among youngsters in Muang district
and one of the reasons is that all those who drowned didn’t know how to
The management of Ban Huey Samyod Thevakul has recently come up with an idea
to turn an unused pond, called Sra Ban Thung, into a swimming pool.
Moreover, both the teachers and students joined hands in making life vests
by using abandoned plastic bottles and having them sewn together with
The school also received goggles donated by swimming coaches from Chiang
Swimming class is held every Friday afternoon and it is regarded as an
extra-curricular activity in accordance with the government’s new policy to
reduce the hours spent by students in classrooms so they will have more time
for activities outside classrooms.
Mr Kaweerat Pornnikom, the swimming coach of the school, said that what he
taught the students is teach them of how to survive in the water. He said he
did not strictly attach to theory but merely wanted the students to be able
to float in the water so that they will not drown.
Ms Naowarat Wongpradoong, a Pathom 6 student, said it was a great fun to
learn how to swim even though the water in the pond is a bit murky.
New lottery bill to introduce online lottery and sales licenses for vendors
The Finance Ministry is expected to be able to submit to the cabinet in
September a government lottery bill which will empower the Government
Lottery Office to introduce, for the first time, online lottery and also
will require lottery vendors to have licenses.
An informed source in the Finance Ministry said that the ministry and the
Council of the State had already completed fine-tuning the draft bill which
should be ready for submission to the cabinet for consideration in
The source said that the main reason for amending the government lottery law
was to empower the GLO to introduce new product in addition to the
traditional lottery tickets such as online lottery whereby lottery tickets
will be available for sale through vending machines or through convenience
In case of online lottery, a condition will be set under which the GLO will
be required to send to the state coffers 23 percent of its revenue, to
allocate 60 percent of the revenue as prize monies and the rest as
management fees for the GLO.
However, the source said that the new government would decide whether online
lottery should be introduced and a thorough study will have to be conducted
to determine the pros and cons of online lottery.
The bill, said the source, will ban the sale of lottery tickets in school
and to people less than 20 years of age. Vendors who overprice the tickets
will be liable to one month’s imprisonment and/or a fine of 10,000 baht.
Also, the bill will require vendors to have licenses without which they will
be liable to a fine of 10,000 baht and/or a three-month jailterm.
The source explained that this bill was regarded as an important piece of
legislation that this government must enact otherwise no elected government
would be willing to issue it for fear of public backlash.’
Chiang Mai monks lead reforestation activity
CHIANG MAI,(NNT) – A group of Buddhist monks in Chiang Mai is leading a
campaign urging locals to replant trees in degraded forests.
Monks, novices and villagers in Chaiprakarn District have teamed up to grow
trees in formerly exploited forests. Chiang Mai's ecclesiastical provincial
governor, Phra Thep Pariyat said villagers agreed to give back forest areas
of more than 200 rai, which they had encroached on, to engage in the forest
Participants said they were impressed and inspired by Their Majesties the
King and Queen’s dedication to nature conservation. The collaborative effort
has already paid off as all communities in the district now have plentiful
water for consumption and agriculture.
Two injured in a car bomb blast in Su-ngai Kolok municipality
Two civilians were slightly injured and a temporary base of a special action
force was damaged in a car bomb explosion in Su-ngai Kolok municipality in
Narathiwat province Sunday morning.
None of the security officers at the temporary base which is next to the Ban
Su-ngai Kolok school were injured. But the two injured civilians – Mr
Chaiwit Areekulchai who sustained minor injury from a bomb shrapnel and Mr
Zakirin Musor who suffered chest pain from the force of the explosion – were
rushed to the district hospital for medical treatment.
Several fire trucks were rushed to the scene to extinguish a burning
Mitsubishi pickup which was suspected to be used as a car bomb. About ten
trader’s stalls were damaged.
Police later said that a man was seen driving the pickup truck which stopped
near the temporary base, disembarked the vehicle and was picked up by a
motorcyclist. At the time, four police patrolmen, riding in two motorcycles
cam across the two men and asked why they stopped the vehicle at the spot.
The two men who were suspected to be militants then sped away quickly
prompting the four patrolmen to give chase but failed to catch up with them.
About three minutes afterward, the parked pickup truck exploded.
Two boys mistaken as illegal street racers shot by an unknown gunman
Two boys sustained gunshot wounds believed fired from a gunman with an
intention to scare away illegal racing motorcyclists in Banglamung district
of Chon Buri early Sunday morning.
One ten-year old boy was shot in the left leg and the other, a 14-year old,
suffered bruise in the buttock.
The incident took place at about 2 am on Pattanakarn road in Tambon Nong
Prue, Banglamung district.
The 14-year old victim whose identity was not disclosed told the police that
while he was riding his bike with a group of friends past a block of
shophouses near Wat Khao Saothong Thong, he heard several gunshots and
yelled to his friends whether any of them realized where the shots came
from. Then more shots followed and one among them shouted he was shot.
The boy added that they immediately rushed the injured to the district
A police team was later rushed to the new shophouse block to investigate but
they found nothing suspicious.
However, they were told by their superior to watch out for someone who might
act suspiciously and could be the gunman.
Stormy weather affects Chumphon & Nong Khai industries
CHUMPHON,(NNT) – Stormy weather has
affected fishing and poultry industries in the southern province of Chumphon
and in the northeastern province of Nong Khai.
In Chumphon, storms have washed sand into Khlong Rew, the canal connecting
the fishing community to the sea. The village headman said storms had for
several years brought a huge a mount of sand up onto the shore. Villagers,
most of whom are fishermen, have been affected as their sea route has often
been too shallow for their boats to access their moorings.
The Department of Highways has sent
officials and two backhoes to clear away the sand along a 700-meter stretch
of the canal, as an initial solution. Governor Somdee Kachayangyuen said an
Environmental Impact Assessment, must first be carried out, in seeking a
In the Northeast, the Agriculture
Office in Nong Khai has advised chicken raisers to keep their birds healthy
and protect them from rainstorms to prevent losses. Meanwhile, residents of
Bueng Kan have joined forces with officials to build check dams in upstream
forests to relieve the impact of drought and revive nature as a tribute to
His Majesty the King.
More rains anticipated as a depression is hovering in South China Sea
The Meteorological Department has warned people in the Northeast, the
eastern and central regions to brace for more rains next week as a result of
a depression in the South China Sea.
The department said that the low pressure area in the central part of the
South China Sea had developed into a depression at 10 am on Friday and its
epic centre is about 700 kilometres eastward of Danang in Vietnam.
The depression has a wind speed of 55 km/hour at its epic centre and it is
moving westward a bit to the north at a speed of 20 km/hour while picking up
It is expected to cover coastal provinces of central Vietnam during June
26-29 and this will bring about more rains in the northeastern, eastern and
The department advised people to keep themselves abreast with weather
Standard Chartered Bank predicts 4 percent growth rate for the whole year
Standard Chartered Bank (Thailand) has predicted Thailand’s overall
economy will grow by 4 percent as a result of government’s escalated
investments in mega-infrastructure projects which will encourage the private
sector to increase their investments.
Ms Ussara Wilaipit, a senior economist at Standard Chartered Bank
(Thailand), said that Thailand’s growth rate for the first half of the year
was predicted at 3.6 percent but, in the later half of the year, the growth
rate would register 4.4 percent, making the overall growth rate for the
whole year to register at 4 percent.
She attributed the anticipated growth rate increase to the government’s
efforts to speed up implementation of seven infrastructure projects this
year which, she said, will convince the private sector to increase their
investments in the later half of the year.
As for the inflation rate, Ms Ussara said inflation rate for the second half
of the year would surpass one percent but the policy rate is likely to
remain at 1.5 percent until the end of the year.
Transport Ministry moves to facilitate commuters during rainy season
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of Transport has ordered all units to provide
convenience for commuters this rainy season and prevent flooding from
Citing the rainy season as the period with the highest tendency of road
accidents and traffic congestion, Transport Minister Arkhom
Termpittayapaisith has assigned responsible units, namely the Department of
Land Transport, the Department of Highways and the Department of Rural
Roads, to give a helping hand to people in their daily commute and ensure
their safety and convenience.
Officials are to regularly inspect the road drainage system and remove
blockages while dredging waterways to help speed up the release of
floodwater. They will also be looking out for flooding on roads in
vulnerable areas and will be ready around the clock to deploy pumping
machines and other flood relief equipment where necessary.
Due to slippery road surface during the rain, warning signs will be erected
in accident-prone spots. Authorities have also been entrusted with promptly
responding to road accidents as well as repairing flood-damaged roads while
motorists are encouraged to exercise caution and check the condition of
their vehicle before each journey.
Exports drop for two consecutive months in May
BANGKOK,(NNT) – Thai exports in the month of May were recorded at a negative
4.4 percent, the second consecutive month of decline.
Somkiat Triratpan, Director of the Commerce Ministry's Office of Trade
Policy and Strategy, disclosed that the combined value of Thai exports in
May fell to 17.6 billion US dollars, representing a 4.4 % decrease month on
month. The figure was down for the second month running, he said, adding
that the main factor contributing to the lower than expected figure was the
global economic fluctuation following the World Bank’s decision to revise
the gross world product down to 2.4 %.
The decline in May resulted in a 1.9 % decrease in Thai exports in the first
five months of 2016, with a total export value of 86.99 billion dollars.
Despite the negative numbers, the director remains optimistic, saying he
strongly believes Thai exports will rebound in the second half of 2016 while
the Ministry of Commerce will maintain this year’s export growth prediction
at 5 %.
The country’s trade surplus was 10.4 billion dollars in the first five
months while the surplus in May was 1.5 billion dollars.
Aung San Suu kyi: Thailand and Myanmar must co-exist in peace and unity
Thailand and Myanmar have enjoyed unique relationship and are neighbours
which cannot go anywhere but have to co-exist in peace, unity and with
friendship, Aung San Suu Kyi told a large group of Thai university students
The state counselor and foreign minister of Myanmar said she was very glad
to visit Thailand because there are many Myanmar people here and that she
was given very warm welcome.
She said that one important qualification of human beings is “karuna”
(kindness) – a term used by both Thais and Myanmar people which carries the
“We must have faith that human beings are equal, have hope as well as fear.
But with karuna, she said the world will have peace and for development to
proceed, there must be peace first.
Suu Kyi admitted that there had been conflicts in Myanmar for a long time
“but we are now working together to turn conflicts into peace”. She also
noted that youths have an important role in the promotion of peace and
making the world a better place.
The foreign minister was due to meet with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha
Friday evening on several issues of common interest such as labour
development, trade and joint investment.
Three memorandums of understanding were due to be signed between the two
countries on labour cooperation, labour employment and border crossings.
During a luncheon held by the Thai Foreign Ministry for Ms Suu Kyi, Foreign
Minister Don Paramatvinai surprised the visitor by presenting her with a
belated 71st birthday chocolate black forest cake.
Army expresses condolences for the death of a corporal from heat stroke
The army commander-in-chief has expressed condolence for the death
of a corporal who collapsed from heat stroke while undergoing drill at an
army camp in Kanchanaburi in mid-June, army spokesman Colonel Winthai
Suvaree said Friday.
Corporal Panya Ngernrian was ordered by his drill master to run five laps
around the camp as part of the daily exercise. But after having run three
laps, he collapsed apparent from heat stroke and later sent to the camp’s
hospital for treatment. However, his condition did not improve and was
transferred to Phra Mongkut hospital where he was hospitalized for 12 days
before he died on Wednesday.
Colonel Winthai insisted that the victim had not been abused by his drill
master. He said that the drill master did not expect the victim would
collapse because he was still young.
He said the army commander-in-chief, General Thirachai Narkvanich had
ordered all army units, especially the medics, to step up medical checkups
for conscripts and personnel undergoing training to prevent a repeat of such
PM heaps praises on a blind and a flag-picking school boy
Two individuals were praised by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha on Friday.
In his weekly nationwide address, the prime minister praised 11-year old
Prateep Chuangchu, a Mathayom 1 student of Ang Thong Patthamarote
Witthayakhom School, for braving rains to pick up Thai flags which were
blown away by strong winds and fell on the road in Ang Thong province.
He said Prateep was a role model of a new generation of Thai youths who has
the courage to do the right thing, particularly in showing patriotism.
The prime minister also thanked Mr Suriya Charoen for posting the video clip
featuring the boy recovering the fallen flags in the social media. Although
the incident may be regarded as insignificant, he said it demonstrated the
true trait of the Thai society.
Monthien Boontan, president of the Association of the Blind, was the second
one commended by the prime minister in his weekly address. He was recently
re-elected as a member of the UN committee of the disabled people for the
second four-year term.
The prime minister said that Mr Monthien was a role model of a man who never
gives up despite the fact that he was born into a poor farmer’s family and
was blind from birth and has strived to work hard to win recognition.
He wished Mr Monthien to perform his duty for the good of blind people in
Thailand and the rest of the world.
Foreign reserves up $800 million this week to $179.7 billion
Thailand’s foreign reserves as of June 17 increased US$800 million or 28
billion baht to US$179.7 billion or 6.34 trillion baht based on the exchange
rate of 35.15 baht/US dollar, according to the Bank of Thailand.
Last week’s foreign reserves stood at US$178.9 billion or 6.307 trillion
Thailand’s forward stood at US$15.1 billion, representing a slight increase
of US$100 million compared to last week’s forward US$ 15.0 billion,
resulting in net foreign reserves amounting to US$194.8 billion compared to
last week’s net foreign reserves of US$193.9 billion.
A currency trader at the Siam Commercial Bank said that it was possible that
the central bank might have bought more foreign currencies to be kept as
reserves to prevent bank from strengthening too fast which will pose an
obstruction to domestic economic recovery.
Revolving cash of the private sector and financial institutes’ cash deposits
with the central bank stood at 1.5 trillion baht compared to last week’s
1.572 trillion baht.
This year to experience more rainfall than last year
BANGKOK, (NNT) - The Meteorological Department has revealed that
Thailand this year will experience more rainfall than last year, especially
after the second week of July.
Department Director-General Wanchai Sakudomchai revealed that during June
25-26, the low pressure system in the South China Sea will intensify and
move ashore in Vietnam, causing rain in the southern, central, eastern and
After the second week of July, scattered rainfall is expected to spread
throughout the country and persist until October. The rainy forecast is
welcome news to many farmers that have suffered from prolonged drought
earlier in the year.
Monetary Committee maintains interest rate policy at 1.5% per year
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to maintain
the benchmark interest rate at 1.5% per year, as the Thai economy continues
to recover slowly.
According to Assistant Governor of the Bank of Thailand (BoT) and MPC
Secretary Jaturong Jantarangs, the committee's decision to keep the interest
rate at 1.5% had anticipated a return to target inflation in the second half
Mr. Jaturong asserted that the current monetary policy has been supporting
economic recovery and no changes would be necessary at this point. The MPC
has forecast 3.1% economic growth for 2016. However, the export sector will
likely contract further this year by 2.5%, due to the global economic
Regarding the UK's referendum today on whether to leave the European Union,
the MPC Secretary said it will only have a short-term impact on currency
markets and the global economy. Investors have reportedly said the impact on
Thailand will either be in the medium or long term, as global trading is
expected to undergo structural changes.
Interior Ministry calls for drafting of provincial regulations for floating lanterns and rockets
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of
Interior has ordered all provincial authorities strictly control the use of
floating lanterns and homemade rockets following an order from the National
Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).
Permanent Secretary for Interior Krisada Boonrach revealed that his ministry
has instructed al provinces issue a provincial level declaration setting
criteria for the use of floating lanterns and homemade rockets. Each
province’s declaration is to be decided by its Provincial Council and
Provincial Cultural Assembly in the interest of respecting local traditions.
Nonetheless, the regulations must satisfy NCPO guidelines drafted for the
safety of citizens from flammable items such as fireworks and floating
The regulations should determine what time such items can be used, their
type and size and the amount that can be used at any one time. Location and
occasion of the items will also be regulated and security measures will be
set as a condition for their usage.
All of the criteria are to be compiled and announced in the Royal Gazette so
that they can be supported by law. All district chiefs and offices must be
briefed on the regulations and enforce their rules while also publicizing
them to locals.
Cabbie fined 5,000 baht for touching a female passenger’s legs
A taxi driver was fined 5,000 baht and had his driving license
suspended for six months by the Land Transport Department after he admitted
he molested a female passenger, claiming that they knew each other.
The taxi operator was also fined 1,000 baht for the failure to submit a
report about the backgrounds of the cabbie to the department.
The incident which occurred during the early hours of June 22 was captured
by a smartphone and its photos was later posted in the social media
prompting many comments critical of the behavior of the cabbie.
The incident also prompted the Land Transport Department and the police to
investigate which eventually led to the police arrest of the taxi driver,
identified as Somchai Simlee, 43.
Somchai told police that he was the cabbie shown in the photos. He said that
he took the victim and her friend from Sukhukvit Soi 11 first to Soi
Pattanakarn 25 and then to Soi Onnuj 46.
After dropping the victim’s friend, Somchai said he drove the victim to Soi
Onnuj. While driving, he said they both chatted and he touched the woman’s
legs twice because they had known each other before.
The cabbie also admitted that he was high on drug that night.
Bangkok will have new boat service from Hua Lampong to Thewes market pier
Bangkok people will soon have another travel choice to visit and shop at
Klong Phadung Krungkasem floating market after the city administration is
seeking approval from the government to support its plan to open a boat
service from Hua Lampong railway station to Thewes market pier.
The canal route is about 5.5 kilometres along the Phadung Krungkasem canal
from the railway station pier to the Thewes market pier.
The route passes the Klong Phadung Krungkasem floating market which is
located near the Government House.
Deputy governor of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Mr Amorn
Kijchawenkul said the city administration was seeking approval of its 345
million baht boat service project from the Ministry of Interior which
supervises the city administration.
The boat will pass by three Bangkok’s districts, namely Phra Nakhon,
Promprab Sattruphai, and Dusit with 10 piers.
He said the new boat service will link the express boat service on the Chao
Phraya river at Thewes express pier, the ferry service, and the subway train
service at Hua Lampong railway station.
Under the plan, the city administration will also improve the Phadung
Krungkasem canal to be an ideal tourist spot with the construction of bike
lane along the canal, and renovation of the canal landscape to be relaxing
site for the handicapped.
He said if the project gets a green light from the ministry, the city
administration will take 7-9 months to hire a private company to operate the
boat service for seven years.
Thailand to add four rare wild sea animals to list of reserved wild animal species
The government yesterday endorsed the listing of four rare sea animals on
the country's list of reserved wild animal species in the bid to save them
The listing of the four rare marine animals was proposed by the Ministry of
Natural Resources and Environment.
Government spokesman Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the ministry proposed
to add four rare sea animals to the existing list of 15 reserved wild animal
species defined under the Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act of BE
The new wild animal species are 1. Rhincodon typus or whale shark. 2.
Balaenoptera edeni or Bryde’s whale. 3. Balaenoptera omurai or the dwarf fin
whale, 4. Dermochelys coriacea or leatherback sea turtle.
Currently Thailand has 15 designated reserved wild animal species.
Under this law, it is prohibited by law to hunt, breed, possess or trade any
of such species, except when done for scientific research with permission
from the Permanent Secretary of National Park, Wildlife and Plant
Conservation, and breeding and possession by authorised public zoos.
Three new Zika cases reported in Phetchabun province
Three Zika cases have been reported in Phetchabun province after the two
cases in Chiang Mai’s Sansai district have been discharged from the hospital
when they were cleared of any Zika virus.
No details were available about the three new cases reported in Tambon Ban
Tiew, Tambon Ban Soke and Tambon Ban Wai of Lomsak district but the
provincial health officials have declared the three tambons disease control
In Chiang Mai, Dr Paisal Tunyavinichakul, the provincial health official,
said that the two Zika cases – two siblings aged 9 and 11 – have been
cleared of the virus and are now normal. However, he added that health
officials are on the watchout for the virus in Chiang Mai.
In Sansai district, several pregnant women have been tested at tambon health
centres for Zika virus, but no new cases have been found.
General Paiboon: No legalization of narcotic drugs
The government will not legalise narcotics drugs but will put more
emphasis on rehabilitating drug addicts with the Ministry of Public Health
as the lead organization in dealing with the addicts, Justice Minister
Paiboon Kumchaya said on Wednesday.
He disclosed that several governments in the world had changed their
perception towards narcotics drugs by legalizing some narcotic drugs and
scrapping death penalty for narcotics trafficking while treating addicts as
patients instead of criminals deserving penalties.
At the United Nations General Assembly last year, the minister said Thailand
told the assembly that he was not ready to legalize narcotic drugs but had
made drug addiction social and health issues.
He said that most governments had realized that waging war against drug
abuses in the past 20 plus years was a failure as the problem has not eased
but tends to escalate – hence the change of perception towards the drugs.
Thailand, said the minister, has amended narcotic law to the effect that
penalties to be meted out against the culprits should be in proportion to
their crime. He added that the government disagreed with death penalty for
serious drug offenders.
Two Zika cases reported in Chiang Mai
A house in Chiang Mai’s Sansai district and its surrounding area within
100-metre radius have been declared off-limits to unauthorized outsiders by
Tambon Sansai Luang municipality after a boy and a girl were tested positive
with Zika virus.
Mr Nathee Damrong, the mayor of the municipality, said that the declaration
of disease control area around a house in Ban Jo, village five of Tambon
Sansai Noi for 28 days was necessary to keep the virus from spreading as a
precaution after the two Zika cases were confirmed.
It was however reported that the two kids, both about 10-11 years old, had
already been treated at a hospital and their conditions have returned to
normal and they have now been discharged.
PM invokes Section 44 to resolve student violence
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, in his capacity as head of the
National Council for Peace and Order, decided to invoke Section 44 of the
interim constitution to resolve the long and ongoing student violence
problem that has taken toll on the lives of many innocent people in the past
several decades, and at present.
The invocation of the sweeping power under the section was announced in the
Royal Gazette released Tuesday night.
Under the order, law enforcement officers are empowered to temporarily
detain students engaged in violent clashes for six hours before sending them
to police or to their headmasters or parents for action.
For those who incite student violence, or give support to students to
violate law, they will face three months in prison and a fine of 30,000
baht, or both.
Murder charge lodged against 7 suspects for the death of a disabled victim
Police have decided to file three criminal charges, including murder,
against seven men allegedly involved in the beating up and killing of a
disabled man in Lat Phrao area over a month ago.
A video clip of the violent incident went viral in the social media and
generated many comments condemning the group some of whom are policemen’s
children. Several netizens also expressed concern that the police at
Chokechai police station who have jurisdiction over the case might not file
murder charge against the suspects. Wellknown businessman Vikrom Krommadit
also posted his comment in his Facebook page calling for the execution of
the suspects for the murder of the helpless victim, Mr Somkiat Srichan.
Pol Lt-Col Alongkorn Srisongkram, the chief enquiry officer of Chokechai
police, said that the seven suspects would be charged with murder and
illegal possession of knives in public without proper reasons. Four of them
face an additional charge of intrusion into a house.
He said the police had dismissed the prosecution lawyer’s demand for
pre-meditated murder charge against the suspects, claiming that there was no
evidence suggesting that the murder was plotted in advance.
The lawyer, Mr Anantachai Chaidet, has lodged a petition with the
attorney-general’s office demanding that the seven suspects be charged with
Thai photographer wins The World’s At Night award
Eclipse from Svalbard.
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The National
Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT), the Ministry of Science
and Technology, announced that a Thai photographer was among 10 winners of
the seventh Earth & Sky Photo Contest organized by The World's At Night
The contest aimed to make the public aware of an environmental issue of
light pollution: the wasteful, wrongly directed portion of light which
scatters in the night sky. It was open to both professional and amateur
In the “Beauty of the Night Sky” category, “Total Solar Eclipse from
Svalbard” taken in Norway by astronomy communicator and photographer
Thanakrit Santikunaporn from Thailand stood out for technical excellence,
showing the entire sequence of the March 20, 2015, eclipse from the Arctic
on 78-degree north latitude. He was among the 10 winners of the seventh
Earth & Sky Photo Contest this year.
The contest received more than 1,000 entries from 57 countries and
territories. The 10 winning photos were taken in Canada, China, Iceland,
Iran, Italy, Norway, Russia and the United States.
DSI to demand answer from NOB about the conduct of Wat Dhammakaya over the June 16 incident
The Department of Special Investigation will seek an answer from the
National Office of Buddhism whether Wat Dhammakaya should be held
accountable for the actions of its followers in obstructing DSI officials
from carrying out search of the temple on June 16 to locate the abbot, Phra
DSI director-general Pol Col Paisit Wongmuang said Monday that
representatives of the NOB were involved with DSI officials and the chief
monk of Pathum Thani in the failed search and, for that matter, the NOB in
its capacity as the enforcer of the monastic law, should be able to judge
whether the temple should be faulted for the actions of its followers.
“The NOB should answer to the society whether the incident which occurred in
the Wat Dhammakaya was legal or not in accordance with the monastic law,”
said the DSI chief, adding that the DSI had fulfilled its legal obligations
and would like relevant agencies to fulfil their obligations too.
Pol Col Paisit disclosed that the DSI would wrap up within July 9 three more
case files concerning money laundering charges against Mr Sathaporn
Wattanasirinkul, S.W. Holding Company Group (Thailand) and Mr Samphan
Sermcheep, a lawyer representing Wat Dhammakaya in connection with Klongchan
Credit Union Cooperatives.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Money Laundering Office will hold a meeting on Tuesday
to consider possible civil lawsuits against those charged with money
Villagers worried they may be relocated if an airport is to be built in Phang-nga
Villagers of a Thai Muslim community in Ban Tha Dindaeng, Tambon Lam
Kaen of Phang-nga’s Thai Muang district have expressed serious concern with
the government’s plan to lease a huge tract of land in a forest reserves in
the district for the construction of a new airport.
governor Pakkapong Thaweesap
They are afraid that they may have to be relocated to somewhere else and
what will they do to make a living and what about their children.
There are about 400 people in Village Four in Ban Tha Dindaeng which is
located in the forest reserves. They have been living there for many years.
Phang-nga governor Pakkapong Thaweesap said that an airport in Phang-nga
would help relieve the congestion at Phuket airport which is only 40
kilometres away. He added that the airport would help facilitate the journey
to Phang-nga for tourists.
Bangkok Airways has proposed to lease about 2,000 rai of the forest reserves
in Ban Klong Thung Maprao in Tambon Lam Kaen to build an airport. The lease
contract is 30 years and can be extended for another 30 years. The initial
rental fee is 50 baht/rai per year but it can be adjusted up later on.
City bus agency to be reformed and its bus routes restructured
The Land Transport Department will propose to the Transport Ministry a
reform plan for the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority under which the
department will have greater say in overseeing the operations of the city
Chirut Visarnchit, deputy director-general of Land Transport Department
Mr Chirut Visarnchit, deputy director-general of Land Transport Department,
said on Monday that, under the reform plan, the bus routes would be
overhauled after it was discovered that there was duplication of services on
about half of the bus routes in Bangkok and peripherals.
For instance, he said that some bus routes are as long as 60 kilometres and
it will normally take 3-4 hours of each bus to complete the single route. He
added that the reform plan was expected to be completed within September
after which the plan will be submitted to the Transport Ministry.
He went on saying that the department would propose the ministry to revoke a
cabinet resolution back in 1983 authorising BMTA as the sole operator of bus
service in Bangkok and peripherals so that the department will have greater
say in overseeing the performance of the bus agency.
Bus companies which are affiliated with BMTA will, from now on, apply for
operating licenses directly with the Land Transport Department starting in
90 percent of tiger’s farms and private zoos are suspected to be involved in wildlife black marketing
About 90 percent of tiger farms and private zoos in Thailand are suspected
to be involved in illegal trade in wildlife, said Mr Edwin Wiek, founder of
Wildlife Friends Foundation-Thailand, during a seminar on “Tigers: From
Cages to Black Market” on Monday.
Referring to the recent raid of the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi and the
eventual relocation of 137 tigers from the temple to a breeding station in
Ratchaburi province, Wiek said that the number of tigers seized constituted
less than 10 percent of the endangered wildlife illegally traded in this
Nevertheless, he noted that the action of the Department of National Parks,
Wildlife and Plants Conservation in saving the tigers had earned high praise
from wildlife conservation organizations worldwide for the country’s efforts
to protect wildlife.
Citing Cites report, Wiek said that the number of tigers for the past nine
years had increased from 940 to over 1,400 raising suspicion that about 90
percent of the tiger farms and private zoos might be involved, in one way or
another, with trading in the black market of endangered wildlife.
He disclosed that whenever a tiger was dead in Thailand, illegal traders
would be notified within a short period of time to pick up the carcass which
would be cut up with its hide removed and saleable organs separated for sale
to neighbouring countries.
He further said a tiger which about 100 kilogrammes in weight could fetch
between 100,000-200,000 baht and the male tigers would fetch higher prices.
But once they are smuggled across the Thai border, the price will jump 3-4
times higher, he added.
Wiek suggested that legal actions should be taken against those found to be
involved in the illegal trade in wildlife at the Tiger’s Farm.
HM the King’s condition satisfactory after drainage of excess cerebrospinal fluid
Doctors have drained excess
cerebrospinal fluid from the brain of His Majesty the King on Saturday and
the treatment result is satisfactory, the Bureau of the Royal Household
announce on Sunday.
A statement from the bureau said that doctors at Siriraj hospital found an
abnormal increase of cerebrospinal fluid in HM the King and sought
permission to change the drainage tube to drain the fluid without the use of
anesthetic on Saturday evening.
Follow-up blood tests and electrocardiographic reading of the condition of
the heart of HM the King after the treatment to correct the narrowing of an
artery on June 7 shows the King’s heart muscles have strengthened, said the
Koh Samui is threatened with undisposed garbage totaling about 250,000 tonnes
A huge mountain of accumulated garbage is threatening the image and tourism
potential of Koh Samui and the problem is steadily worsening as the only
incinerator of the municipality has been inoperational for about eight
Mr Anond Wathayanont, a member of the development committee of Koh Samui
municipality, said that the undisposed garbage, estimated at about 250,000
tonnes had been left abandoned around the malfunctioned incinerator and had
piled up as high as a three-storey building.
Moreover, about 150 tonnes of garbage are generated each day from households
and tourism-related establishments, adding up to the garbage which are not
disposed of, he added and blamed the rapid expansion of tourism business for
contributing to increasing garbage problem.
The municipality has tried to address the problem by hiring a private sector
to dispose of the garbage but has to terminate the contract later on because
of poor performance, said Mr Anond, adding that the municipality has sought
financial help from the government to fix the incinerator but help is yet to
As an alternative while the incinerator remains out of order, the
municipality has launched publicity campaign urging households and business
operators to separate garbage into garbage which can be recycled and garbage
which needs to be disposed of.
Samut Sakhon prepared for June 23 visit by Aung San Suu Kyi
BANGKOK,(NNT) - Officials have been working on preparations in Samut Sakhon
to be ready for an up coming visit to the area's Myanmar workers by Aung San
Deputy Governor of Samut Sakhon, Niwat Rungsakhon said on Saturday that
Myanmar State Counselor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi is scheduled
to visit Thailand as an official guest of the Thai government, from June 23
to 25 to strengthen ties between the two countries.
The Nobel laureate will meet with Myanmar workers in Samut Sakhon on June 23
and the province has been preparing to welcome her, said Mr. Niwat.
He added that the visit will cover two locations in the province where
222,757 Myanmar workers are registered.
Mr. Niwat’s comments were made when he led officials from the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and related state offices to inspect the readiness of the
The deputy Governor of Samut Sakhon went on to say that all details ensuring
the orderliness of the planned visit to see the workers from Myanmar, as
well as measures to ensure the safety of Aung San Suu Kyi throughout the
occasion, have also been thoroughly prepared.
Transport Ministry unveils plan to expand Mae Sot Airport
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Transport Ministry has unveiled a plan to expand Mae Sot
Airport to better accommodate regional economic integration — the ASEAN
Economic Community and the introduction of a special economic zone.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, recently oversaw the official
announcement of the Mae Sot Airport improvement project in Tak Province,
aimed at promoting air transportation and supporting the planned Special
Economic Zone in the province.
The expansion of the northwestern airport has also been initiated in
response to the government’s policies to prepare the country for more
intra-region investment now that the AEC is in effect.
Statistics show there were 87,454 air travelers accessing Mae Sot Airport in
2013 before the number rose to 96,330 in 2014 and surged to 144,598 in 2015.
The rapid rise in the number of air travelers has resulted in crowding at
the airport terminal; the expansion project was tabled and approved with a
budget of 1.5 billion baht. The project is scheduled to be completed in
Fingerprint scanning may be required in buying smart phones by year’s end
To ensure better security in the use of the so-called PromptPay electronic
money transfer system through smart phones, the Bank of Thailand and the
National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission have agreed to
introduce fingerprint scanning for smart phone buyers probably by year's
Pre-paid and post-paid phone users who want to apply for “Prompt Pay
service” will be required to have their fingerprints scanned the next time
they buy a smart phone at yearend. The fingerprints will be kept in the
data-bank for reference.
So when an electronic transfer is made by a phone user, the databank can
check that the user is real and the transaction is approved electronically.
BoT governor Veerathai Santiprapob explained that the PromptPay is a closed
electronic money transfer system unlike the normal online money transfer
which is vulnerable to hacking. He asked members of the public to have faith
in the system’s security.
Cabbie seen jumping on a car’s bonnet faces withdrawal of driving license
The owner of a taxi faces a fine of 1,000 baht and his driver will have his
driving license withdrawn following an incident in which the driver was seen
in a widely-circulated video clip making a flying jump on the bonnet of a
The incident took place in Soi Onnuj 30. The taxi driver who was later
identified as Mr Komsant sae Jao, was reported to get into the soi and his
car encroached on the opposite lane while the private car driven by a
foreigner was exiting the soi.
The foreigner refused to give way to the cabbie because he was in the right
lane, prompting a heated argument between the two. Then the angry cabbie
kicked at the foreigner’s car and was seen in a video jumping on the car’s
The Land Transport Department said today that he managed to identify the
taxi driver and the car owner, Voluntary Taxi Cooperatives. An official of
the department said that the cabbie, Mr Komsant sae Jao, did not have
previous record of violence.
The official, however, said that the car owner had violated the law
regulating taxi drivers for not submitting Mr Komsant’s background to the
department as legally required.
17 suspected aliens-owned companies in Phuket and Phang-nga raided
Seventeen tourism-related companies in Phuket and Phang-nga which were
suspected of being owned by alien businessmen using Thais as their nominees
have been raided by officials from Business Development and Revenue
departments, army and tourist police.
Mr Saroj Suwatthikul, deputy director-general of Business Development
Department, told the media on Friday that, during the raids, two Chinese
businessmen were found to have obtained Thai ID cards under the names of Mr
Veerachai Kampaiprapankul and Mr Kritchakorn Rungmongkolnam who operated
tourism business in Phuket.
One of them, Mr Kritchakorn, has been arrested, said Mr Saroj.
In-depth investigation shows that the two Chinese were connected with the 17
tourism-related companies – 15 in Phuket and two in Phang-nga – under
suspicion of actually being owned and run by alien businessmen.
Mr Saroj said that charges had been lodged against the two Chinese and a
probe is under way about how they obtained their Thai ID cards in Chiang
He added that, initially, the department ordered a complete halt of all
registration works of the 17 companies, for instances the registration of
the change of board directors pending a probe whether the directors knew
they were used as nominees of the aliens.
He went on saying the withdrawal of the operating licenses of the companies
had to wait until the completion of the investigation into the setting up of
the companies and their registrations.
Thai nationals who willingly help the aliens in operating businesses
reserved for Thais by serving as their nominees face a jailterm of up to
three years and/or a fine from 100,000 baht to one million baht.
Phra Dhammachayo blacklisted and barred from leaving the country
Phra Dhammachayo has been blacklisted and barred from leaving the country by
the Immigration Bureau in the latest effort of law enforcement authorities
to put pressure on the embattled abbot of Wat Dhammakaya.
Pol Gen Sivara Rangsipromnakul, the national deputy police chief, said
Friday that the Department of Special Investigation had already lodged
complaints with Klong Luang police against followers of Dhammakaya who had
obstructed DSI officials in their attempt to search the temple to look for
its abbot on Thursday.
Police are now trying to identify the people shown in their video clips and
photos allegedly obstructing the DSI officials and will summon them to
acknowledge the charges against them, said the deputy police chief, adding
that police would try to find out if there are masterminds behind the
Regarding the failed raid on Thursday, Pol Gen Sivara admitted he was
satisfied with the overall performance of the officials involved in the raid
because there was no violence nor were there third hand elements present at
Meanwhile, Pol Col Krisana Pattanacharoen, deputy spokesman of the Royal
Thai Police Office, said that the DSI had not yet asked for police support
for their second search of the temple.