Thunderstorms, strong winds forecast from May 19-23
BANGKOK, (NNT) – The Thai
Meteorological Department has warned of strong winds and heavy rains in 21
provinces today, while the next five days will see a rise in thunderstorms
in parts of the North, Central Plains, East and South of Thailand.
Meteorologists reported rain today in the Central Plains, East and lower
Northeast due to winds blowing in from the south and southeast, amid the hot
summer temperatures in parts of Thailand. These atmospheric conditions are
expected to produce thunderstorms, heavy rain and strong winds.
The department has put out a weather alert for the following provinces:
Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang, Uttaradit, Phitsanulok, Tak, Phetchabun, Loei,
Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Surin, Buriram, Sisaket, Amnat Charoen, Ubon
Ratchathani, Prachinburi, Sa Kaeo, Chonburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi, and Trat.
Experts warn of the dangers of strong winds knocking over trees, billboards,
and buildings in the middle of construction.
From May 19 - 22, a strong low pressure system in the Bay of Bengal could
develop into a cyclone heading into the eastern coast along the India Ocean.
These developments are not expected to have any direct effect on Thailand,
but could indirectly cause thunderstorms and strong winds in the country's
North, Central Plains, East, and South from May 19 – 23. The effects could
extend to volatile wave conditions in the upper Gulf of Thailand as well as
the Andaman Sea.
Students help move hundreds of fish from a drying pond to a larger pond
All the fish in a drying pond at Wat U
Mong in Chiang Mai have been moved to safety to a larger pond in Sanpatong
district thanks to the help of a large group of fisheries faculty students
of Mae Jo University.
The fish at Wat U Mong was at risk of dying because water in the pond has
steadily receded due to the hot weather and has become polluted.
The students waded through the muddy pond and caught the fish with hands and
simple tools and put them into containers before trucking them to Nong Sra
Riam pond in Sanpatong district.
All oil prices go up today
PTT Plc and Bangchak Petroleum have announced the retail price increase
of all kinds of gasohol except E85 by 20 satang and benzine by 40 satang
per litre effective as of May 19.
The new prices at pump stations in Bangkok are as follows: benzine 95,
32.56 baht/litre; gasohol 95, 25.60 baht/litre; gasohol 91, 25.18
baht/litre; E20, 23.04 baht/litre; E85, 18.89 baht/litre.
Diesel increase 60 satang to 24.69 baht/litre.
Corrections dept insists Erawan shrine bombing suspect was not beaten up
The Corrections Department has dismissed a claim by Erawan shrine bombing
suspect Ardem Karadag that he was beaten up while in prison and said that
his act in front of the Criminal Court on Tuesday was intended to grab the
attention of the media and human rights groups.
Acting chief of the Corrections Department and deputy justice permanent
secretary Kobkiat Kasiwiwat told the Press on Wednesday that the director of
the prison’s hospital had thoroughly examined Karadag’s body and didn’t find
any traces that would prove that he was tortured or beaten up while in
custody at Bangkok special prison.
Karadag complained about food in prison claiming that he was denied halal
Muslim food. He also wanted to be transferred from Bangkok special prison to
However, Mr Kobkiat said that Muslim food was cooked in prison for Karadag
and his Uighur accomplice, Mieraili Yusufu.
Grab Bike and Uber MOTO motorcycle taxi services ordered to stop operations
Grab Bike and Uber MOTO motorcycle taxi service providers have been told to
stop their operations otherwise they will face legal actions.
Representatives of the two companies were invited to the Land Transport
Department today (Tuesday) for a meeting with Mr Nanthapong Cherdcho, deputy
director-general of the department and representatives from the first army
division, Metropolitan Police Bureau and Pathumwan municipal police to be
informed of the regulations governing motorcycle taxi services.
Mr Nanthapong said that the two companies were warned before to stop their
operations but it was discovered that the warning was ignored and the
illegal services continue unabated with the two companies announcing
openings for new motorbike riders and publicizing their services in the
He said Grab Bike and Uber MOTO services are unfair to the traditional
motorcycle taxi services which are governed by rules laid down by the
National Council for Peace and Order. The two providers may be considered as
criminal influential figures for illegally operating public transport
services, he added.
He explained that motorcycle taxi drivers must have a special license, a
vest, an ID card and their vehicles must be registered for use in public
He disclosed that a crackdown would be launched against the illegal
motorcycle taxi drivers who, when caught, will be fined 2,000 baht for
illegall providing services to others, 1,000 baht for not dressing properly
and another 1,000 baht for not having a special license.
Mr Nanthapong then urged members of the public not to use the services of
the illegal motorcycle taxi drivers.
Government restricts local and foreign air travel for officials
Local and foreign travel on planes by government officials will be
restricted from now after the cabinet yesterday endorsed an amendment to a
legislation regarding expenditures of officials on official travels.
Economy class is now mandated for all levels of government officials in
local travels, while foreign travel for high-ranking officials will be
restricted to economy class in case of air travel time is less than nine
Government spokesman Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the restriction on
local and foreign travels was approved by the cabinet under the government’s
policy to curb expenditures for government officials on air travels.
He said under this new restriction, all levels of government officials must
travel on economy class on local travel by planes, a change from the earlier
In case of foreign official trip, first class travel will be permitted only
for travel time exceeding nine hours for top government officials at the
level of director general or inspector general, or provincial governor,
ambassador, deputy permanent secretary, he said.
Lower executive level officials will be allowed on business class travel for
travel distance exceeding nine hours.
Foreign official trips with travel time less than nine hours, all top
government officials are required to travel on economy class, the spokesman
He said the new legislation also mandated local administration organisation
and state enterprises to apply the same restrictions as the central
government on local and foreign travels for their executives.
Fees for temporary driving licenses up 100 percent beginning May 23
Beginning May 23, the Land Transport
Department will double the fees for temporary driving licenses for private
cars, samlors and motorcycles and, at the same time, double the expiry
period of the licenses from one to two years.
The new fees for a temporary driving license for private cars, samlors and
motorcycles will be 200 baht, 100 baht and 100 baht respectively. The expiry
period of the licenses is two years instead of one.
Land Transport Department deputy director-general Mr Nanthapong Cherdchoo
maintained that, in a way, the department did not increase the fees for
temporary driving licenses because expiry period was extended to two years
instead of one.
Holders of temporary driving licenses can upgrade the licenses to five-year
licenses after one year of obtaining the temporary licenses, he said.
As for cars which are brought into the country by visiting tourists for
tourism purpose, the tourists must seek permission from Land Transport
Department in order to obtain a plate for the use of the cars in Thailand.
The fee is 500 baht for a car and 200 baht for a motorcycle.
Cars which are brought into the country for tests before production are
charged 2,000 baht in fees each while motorcycles are charged 1,000 baht
each. Cars for test runs are charged 5,000 baht each.
Ministry of Education cracks down on truancy in Chiang Mai
CHIANG MAI,(NNT) - The Ministry of Education has led the crackdown on
truancy in Chiang Mai province, culminating in the arrest of an internet
cafe owner on charges of inciting inappropriate behavior among youths.
Inspector-General of the Ministry of Education Prasert Boonruang led a team
of student inspectors, teachers, and officials from the Ministry of Culture
to examine several venues known to be popular among students. These venues
mostly consist of public parks and internet cafes.
They discovered a large number of truants at internet cafes near the college
and filed them under a disciplinary action report, before informing their
parents about the misconduct.
The inspection team indicated that these students also exhibited aggressive
behavior and later arrested one of the cafe owners for inciting
inappropriate behavior among youths. The owner reportedly attempted to
sidestep a previous cease and desist order by renaming the internet cafe.
Over 41,000 households in 56 provinces damaged by summer thunderstorms
BANGKOK,(NNT) – Department of Disaster
Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) director general Chatchai Phromlert
revealed that tens of thousands of households in many provinces nationwide
have been damaged by summer thunderstorms between April 1 and May 15, 2016.
A total of 41,831 households in 56 provinces in the North, Northeast, East,
South and Central regions have been damaged so far by summer thunderstorms
and hail storms. Of the 56 provinces ravaged by the thunderstorms, 20 are in
Local department officials have prepared equipment to help the affected
villagers and monitored the situation around the clock. Fast-moving units
have been on standby so that the officials will be able to provide immediate
assistance to the victims.
Requests for assistance can be made by calling Hotline 1784 around the
Mars will be closest to Earth from 22-31 May
BANGKOK, (NNT) - The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand
(NARIT) invites the public to see Mars close approach to Earth from 22 - 31
May 2016. Observation points will be set up in four provinces.
NARIT Deputy Director Saran Posayachinda said Mars would be opposite to the
sun at a distance of 75 - 28 million kilometers on 22 May 2016. Mars would
come nearest to Earth on 31 May 2016 at a distance of 75 - 28 million
kilometers, closest to Earth in 11 years, said the deputy director.
During such period, Mars can be seen with the naked eye above the
southeastern horizon. NARIT will provide observation points on 22 May from 6
AM - 10 PM at Siam Paragon in Bangkok, Sirindhorn Observatory Chiang Mai
University in Chiang Mai, a national observatory in Nakhon Ratchasima and a
national observatory in Chachoengsao. Another observation point will be open
to the public on 31 May at Meya shopping center in Chiang Mai.
Police says not enough evidence to support premediated murder charges against youths
Chokechai police did not slap premediated murder charges against a group of
teenagers allegedly involved in the killing of a disabled man in Lat Phrao
area because of insufficient evidence to prove that the crime was
pre-mediated, said Pol Lt-Gen Sanit Mahathavorn, acting metropolitan police
commissioner, on Monday.
However, he said the enquiry officers of Chokechai police station have filed
murder charges against the suspects which carry maximum penalty of death
similar to pre-mediated murder charges.
He explained that police could not overcharge the suspects otherwise they
would be accused by the public of being biased or unprofessional. Some of
the suspects told the police that they merely responded to a friend’s call
for help and not call to kill the disabled man, he said.
The family of the victim, Mr Somkiat Srichan, has lodged a petition to the
national police chief questioning why the police did not slap the suspects
with pre-mediated murder charges.
Pol Lt-Gen Sanit asserted that the case could not be distorted in favour of
the suspects simply because two of them were children of policemen in
Chokechai and Bang Chan police stations.
Q1 economic growth rate makes record high
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The government's
economic stimulus measures and the continuously expanding tourism sector
result in the first quarter's highest economic growth rate in three years,
according to the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB).
NESDB Secretary-General Poramethi Wimonsiri said the Thai economy in the
first quarter this year expanded by 3.2%, increasing from 2.8% in the fourth
quarter last year. This three-year record growth was the result of spending
and investment by the government, household spending as well as growing
Despite a 1.4% decrease in export growth, the country's current account was
still in surplus by more than 580 billion baht or 16.6% of the GDP, said Mr.
The NESDB has forecast that the 2016 Thai economy will expand by 3.3%,
mainly due to the government's spending and investment, past stimulus
measures, low oil price and the improving agriculture sector in the latter
half of 2016.
The secretary-general also warned against the global economy, decreasing
global produce price, currency volatility and financial institutions' strict
MRTA offers free tickets for test-run rides on new Purple Line in June and July
BANGKOK,(NNT) - Thousands of tickets for elevated train rides will be
offered for free to commuters during a test run on a new 23-kilometer-long
Purple Line between Bang Yai and Tao Poon areas on Bangkok's northwestern
outskirts in June and July.
The commuters can collect the free tickets at three stations, namely Klong
Bang Pai, Yaek Nonthaburi and Tao Poon, the Mass Rapid Transport Authority
of Thailand (MRTA) announced on Tuesday.
Each week, 5,000 free tickets will be distributed on three specific days of
the following week. The tickets will be distributed on Sundays from 7.00
a.m. until 9.00 a.m. on June 5, 12 and 19, 2016. On June 26, the tickets can
be collected from 4.00 p.m. until 6.00 p.m. The last round of free tickets
will be issued on July 10.
Each ticket can be used for one or two passengers traveling together on
Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the following week. The MRTA is expected to
accommodate 15,000 to 30,000 passengers during the test run each week.
The MRTA will inform passengers weekly of the specific stations to get on
and off the train as the stations may change on weekly basis.
The first day of pay service for the Purple Line route between 16 stations
is set for Aug 6 with fares ranging from 16 to 40 baht a trip, depending on
Nong Chik District in Pattani Being Developed as a District of Peace
BANGKOK,(NNT) - Nong Chik district in
the southern border province of Pattani is being developed as a district of
peace. It is also preparing to celebrate its 208th anniversary, with many
activities that reflect the cultural heritage of this old district.
Nong Chik District Chief Officer Ek Yangaphai told a press conference that
the celebration will be held for three days, from May 24 to 26, 2016. There
will be a spectacular boat procession, cultural shows from 12 subdistricts,
a bazaar of local products under the “One Tambon, One Product
(OTOP)”program, sports competitions, and a light and sound presentation
featuring the history of Nong Chik.
In 1808, during the reign of King Rama I, Nong Chik was designated one of
the seven towns in the city of Pattani. In 1901, the then Nong Chik ruler
moved the Nong Chik administrative center from Khlong Mai subdistrict to the
present site in Tuyong subdistrict.
Later, in 1906, Nong Chik was established as a district of Pattani province.
It is suitable for agricultural production, especially rice farming, coconut
planting, and coastal fisheries. The population in this district is about
75,000. Around 89 percent of local residents are Muslims and 11 percent are
Buddhists. There are 80 mosques and six Buddhist temples.
The vision of Nong Chik is that the district will develop its education,
community products, and agricultural output to be of higher quality, with
community empowerment toward peaceful society. Major places of interest
include Wat Muchalinthawapiwihan, Ratchadaphisek beach, and the residence of
former rulers of Nong Chik.
Nong Chik district has been selected among pilot districts in the southern
border provinces to carry out three major projects: Bringing People Back
Home, Building Districts of Peace, and People-Public-Private Partnerships.
One of the reasons is that Nong Chik is regarded as the gateway to other
southern border provinces. Violent acts were erupted in this district in the
The Nong Chik District Chief Officer said that the task to develop Nong Chik
as a district of peace requires efforts to create better understanding among
the public. All relevant agencies and local organizations need to work in an
integrated manner, under the concept of “People-Public-Private
Partnerships.”With unified operations, he said, local residents would become
more confident in the Government’s efforts to step up safety and security
and improve their living conditions.
On May 9, 2016, Nong Chik residents joined a ceremony for the official
launching of the “Smart Farm” project along Highway 43 in Nong Chik
district. The ceremony was presided over by Secretary-General of the
Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center Panu Uthairat. About 150
local people have participated in this pilot crop farming project, which is
intended to develop local people’s quality of life. Under the Smart Farm
project, local people will grow useful crops to earn a supplementary income.
Pattani Governor Suriya Amornrojworawut said that the project focuses on
community participation to create unity among the people. It also aims to
develop unattended land into an area for integrated farming. With concerted
cooperation between local people and officials, Nong Chik is believed to
become a more livable district, where people live peacefully and happily.
Phra Dabos Southern Border Province School
BAGNKOK,(NNT) - A number of young people in the southern border provinces
have received occupational training from Phra Dabos Southern Border Province
School. With this training, they have greater employment opportunities and
are also able to run their own businesses.
Many people might have heard about this school before, but not many know
about its important role in promoting occupational development in the deep
South. Phra Dabos Southern Border Province School is operated by the Phra
Dabos Foundation, at the initiative of His Majesty the King.
His Majesty started the Phra Dabos School project in 1975 to accept poor
students who could not afford to attend other occupational training schools.
The name Phra Dabos comes from the legendary hermits who taught people
skills to earn a living. His Majesty offered his personal funds to support
the project, while private companies have also given donations in cash and
Many young people in the southern border provinces have been deprived of
educational and employment opportunities. Their Majesties the King and Queen
and Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn have been concerned
for them and offered the idea of education management in the form of Phra
Dabos School for the deep South.
Later, in 2009, the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center has
cooperated with various agencies, such as the Office of the Vocational
Education Commission, the Community Development Department, and the Phra
Dabos Foundation, in launching the Phra Dabos Project for the Southern
Border Provinces, based on the concept of Phra Dabos School.
In 2010, the Phra Dabos Foundation established Phra Dabos Southern Border
Province School at the initiative of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri
Sirindhorn. The school is located in Mueang district, Yala province. It now
offers occupational training in three fields: car maintenance, motorcycle
repair, and agricultural machinery repair. One-year training is arranged
free of charge for young people, aged between 18 and 25 years, in the
southern border provinces each year.
Phra Dabos Southern Border Province School on 5 May 2016 officially opened a
motorcycle service center to check and repair motorcycles at reasonable
prices. The center will also serve as a job-training workplace for students
at this school.
Director of Phra Dabos Southern Border Province School Banyat Jansena on 8
May 2016 presided over the presentation of royal bags, containing necessary
items, to 81 current Phra Dabos students, Batch 7. At the same ceremony, 78
former Phra Dabos students, Batch 6, were also given bank accounts, with
savings of 1,000 baht each, offered by the Southern Border Provinces
For Muslim former students, the savings will be used as the initial fund to
help their parents to go on the Hajj pilgrimage. As for Buddhist former
students, the savings will be used to enable their parents to perform
religious practices according their beliefs.
PRD organizes ‘Young Animator Contest’
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Public Relations Department is organizing a competition
called the ‘Young Animator’ Contest, which aims to open the opportunity for
young creative undergraduate students interested in animation production to
showcase their potential.
The contest will be open to undergraduate students currently studying at
Thai universities. A maximum of three students is allowed per team, with one
teacher serving as an advisor.
Accepted entries include all forms of completed animated video with an
English soundtrack no longer than three minutes, under the theme ‘Trust in
Thailand,’ which reflects the Thai identity and promotes a favorable image
of Thailand to the world.
Contestants will have chances to win prizes worth up to 80,000 baht, have
their work broadcast on Government-owned English language television ‘NBT
World’, and take part in workshops taught by Thailand’s notable animators
and animation studios.
Interested teams can submit their applications and videos for the ‘Young
Animator’ Contest from now until June 30th.
More information can be found on the website
http://thainews.prd.go.th/nnt_en/younganimation/ or by calling 0-2248-8638,
0-2248-8617, 09-2246-8702, or 06-2605-6561.
Ta Chai island coastline and coral reefs off-limit to visitors as of May 16
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation has
declared the shorelines and coral reefs around Ta Chai island off Phang-nga
off-limits to all visitors for a temporary period as of Monday May 16.
Mr Tunya Netithamkul, the department chief, said over the weekend that the
temporary closure of the seashore and the coral reefs was necessary to
protect the natural resources from being damaged by humans because there
have been many activities on the island from tourists.
However, he said that two deep dive sites near the island which is part of
the Similan Islands still remain open to divers and tourists.
An advisor to the department, Dr Thorn Thamrongnavasawat, voiced his
agreement to the department’s move pointing out that marine resources in and
around Ta Chai island have been disturbed by human activities such as
snorkelling which could harm some rare resources such as blue corals, whale
sharks and sea turtles.
He said the temporary closure would help preserve coral reefs and other
marine lives from being damaged or threatened by human activities.
Government cooperates with Thai Airways to sell OTOP products
BAGNKOK,(NNT) - The government will be seeking to raise the quality of OTOP
products, unveiling new products through the THAI airway's catalogs and
Thailand Mall Online to promote the Kindgom's uniqueness to the world.
Prime Minister's Office spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd disclosed that Thai
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha has assigned the Interior Ministry oversee
the enhancement of OTOP products, aiming for the local and international
markets, promoted through Thai Airways.
The Ministry of the Interior, along with THAI Airways have selected and
photographed OTOP products that have shown potential, to be promoted to the
128 products will be showcased in the national carrier's catalogs, as an
example of premium grade items. Selected items include ancient Sukothai
jewelry, machinery from Liepa cities, and items which personifies the
uniqueness of Thai culture.
During the first phase, which has been designated as the month of May,
products will go on show in the national carrier's catalogs and through
online channels such as the website thailandmall.net.
During the second phase, starting from July 2016, ten products will be
available for sale during THAI airways' flights. A store dedicated for
selling OTOP products will also begin operating at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
The spokesman of the Prime Minister's Office added that the Prime Minister
intends to expand the sales channels of OTOP entrepreneurs, because the
products are in high demand from international customers, along with the
fact that numerous THAI airways passengers are also potential buyers.
The Prime Minister has urged the producers of OTOP products to enrich their
items with the Thai cultural identity and ensure that the products are in
line with international standards.
Rubber Authority vows to enhance Thai rubber industry
BANGKOK, (NNT) – The Rubber Authority of Thailand is keen to bring
development and innovations to the Thai rubber industry.
The Rubber Authority of Thailand has struck a deal with three organizations
namely the Federation of Thai Industries (FDI), the Prince of Songkla
University, and the National Science and Technology Development Agency.
Under the agreement, the signatory agencies will work in unison to build
networking among different sectors including agriculture, industry,
education and the government. The network to be developed will in the future
play a key role in raising competitiveness of Thai rubber.
The agreement mandates that researches be applied as much as possible to
improve the quality and diversify the use of Thai rubber. In this regard,
the four signatories will for the next three years concert their efforts in
supporting innovations, studies, and researches on rubber production.
Furthermore, the Rubber Authority of Thailand will play a vital role in
expanding the use of rubber in such industries as construction, medical
equipment, and cosmetics, not to mention the fact that rubber has already
been widely used in the manufacture of motor vehicle tyres.
Heath Ministry successfully introduces new method of polio vaccination
NONTHABURI, (NNT) – The Ministry of
Public Health (MOPH) has announced the success in the adoption of a polio
vaccine according to the WHO’s strategy, while vaccination services will be
expanded with the goal of complete polio eradication worldwide within 2018.
The MOPH’s Permanent-Secretary Sopon Mekthon has announced Thailand’s
success in changing the polio vaccine, from injection of three serotypes of
polio virus to the injection of inactive virus in addition to giving oral
polio vaccines containing the live virus.
The new method cuts down polio virus serotypes introduced into human’s body
to two types by eliminating the second type of virus, which no longer exists
outside labs, reducing risk of mutation.
The MOPH’s permanent-secretary has said the vaccination method adjustment
goes in keeping with the World Health Organization's (WHO) policy. Thailand
will be able to achieve the goal within half a year earlier than previously
The result from this change has been signed by the National Committee, and
submitted to the WHO for acknowledgement.
Although Thailand has not discovered cases of polio during the past 19
years, Thailand currently only has 50 percent of polio vaccination coverage.
This figure is expected to be increased to 100 percent to prevent the
disease from resurfacing in the country, due to known infections in
neighbouring countries. The global eradication of the polio disease is
expected to be achieved in the year 2018.
On this matter, The Department of Disease Control Director-General Amnuay
Gajeena is calling upon parents to take their children to receive the
vaccination of polio other diseases as recommended, to prevent them from
being contracted with communicable diseases.
Thailand’s first Pracharat Marine Protection Institute opened in Phuket
PHUKET,(NNT) – The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has
launched the country’s first Pracharat Marine Protection Institute in Phuket
province, aiming to produce more quality personnel for marine conservation.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Gen Surasak Kanchanarat chaired
the opening ceremony of the Pracharat Marine Protection Institute in Sirinat
National Park, Phuket. The institute is the first of its kind in Thailand
and is housed in the building of the tourist service center and youth camp
of the national park. Among the attendees were the Director-General of the
Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and a Deputy
Governor of Phuket.
The aim of establishing the Pracharat Marine Protection Institute is to
enhance the capabilities of officials responsible for marine conservation
work at all levels. The facility will equip the personnel with necessary
knowledge and skills, enabling them to effectively carry out the
government’s proactive policy on the protection of marine resources.
The institute will also serve as coordinator for the public, private and
civil sectors in forming a concrete conservation network as well as provider
of knowledge and consultancy on the management and development of related
At the ceremony, Gen Surasak stated that his ministry has been working hard
to preserve the country’s natural resources in line with the government’s
policy, putting its focus on human resource development. He said after
setting up the Pracharat Forest Protection Institute in Phrae province, the
ministry decided to open another one specifically for marine protection in
Department of Land Transport expedites installment of GPS on public buses
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Department of Land Transport is expediting the
installment of GPS navigation systems on large trucks and public transport
vehicles in order to ensure that drivers adhere to safety regulations.
Director-General of the Department of Land Transport, Sanit Promwong said
that in order to ensure road safety, reduce accidents and losses caused by
public buses, the department has called for continuous monitoring,
maintenance and management of the public bus system.
He revealed that on May 4-10, the department had inspected over 56,000 buses
and found malfunctions in 50 vehicles. Of more than 60,000 drivers, 17 had
violated traffic regulations. However, the offenses did not involve the use
of drugs or alcohol and punishments were issued accordingly.
In addition, the installment of GPS navigation systems on all buses will
connect vehicles to the traffic management center in order for officials to
monitor the behavior of drivers in order to ensure that drivers adhere to
Police examine alleged exam cheat evidence at Rangsit Uni
Pakklong Rangsit police went to Rangsit University to examine evidence
pertaining to the recent entrance examination cheats and to question three
Deputy director of the university, Mr Natthapol Promsit, thanked the police
for arriving at the campus to examine the evidence, saying that there is a
huge pile of documents and it will be inconvenient for him to bring them to
the police station.
Meanwhile, the Police Ordnance Department sent a police squad to the campus
to examine the examination rooms to look for suspicious items such as
receivers which can be used in exam cheats.
The university administration has also asked for scanners to be deployed on
the examination days on May 31-June 1.
Three students applying for seats in medical science and dentistry faculties
were caught cheating. University officials seized a pair of glasses equipped
with miniature camera and two wristwatch receivers from the alleged
Lone robber beaten up following a bungled gold shop holdup
A lone robber was badly beaten up and caught after his attempt to rob a gold
shop at a shopping mall in Bang Yai area failed forcing him to seize a
nine-year old girl as a hostage.
According to Bang Yai police, the lone robber whose identity was not known,
walked into the gold shop with a knife at about 2.30 pm Friday but his
robbery attempt was foiled by security guards.
So the robber grabbed a nine-year old who was strolling at the mall as a
hostage as he tried to negotiate a safe exit. However, some of the shoppers
then rushed upon him to rescue the girl and then beat him up.
The girl escaped unharmed but the robber was later taken to a hospital in
Nonthaburi for medical treatment before he was taken to Bang Bua Thong
police station for detention.
Japanese police commend Thai officials on apprehending Japanese yakuza figure
BANGKOK, (NNT) - Officials from the
Embassy of Japan in Thailand have expressed their gratitude to Thai
authorities for the recent arrest of a major Japanese mafia figure who had
fled to Bangkok.
Pol Col Keisuke Hosaka, Secretary and Police Ambassador of the Embassy of
Japan in Thailand, met with Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn Prousoontorn, Commissioner
of the Thai Immigration Bureau to express his gratitude for the assistance
from Thai officials. Pol Col Keisuke presented a certificate to Pol Lt Gen
Nathathorn and related officials for their successful detention of Shuhei
Yoshizawa, a prominent member of a Japanese Yakuza gang in Japan.
Japanese officials had issued an arrest warrant in the Japanese city of
Kobe, over Mr Yoshizawa's involvement in extortion, fraud and computer
Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn said that Mr Yoshizawa will be sent back to Japan to
face criminal charges.
Wildfire rages through peat swamp forest in Narathiwat
NARATHIWAT, (NNT) – The ongoing wildfire is ravaging a peat swamp forest in
the southern province of Narathiwat.
According to the latest report, firefighters are still unable to bring the
situation under control as the fire has spread into the province’s peat
swamp forest. Firefighters said the ignition took place at two separate
villages in Yi-ngo district.
Initial inspection said more than 1,550 rai of land has been damaged since
the start of the blaze on May 3rd.
Meanwhile, public health authorities in Su-ngai Kolok district have been
handing out masks to locals while urging them to avoid inhaling smoke for
their own safety.
Myanmar navy chief visits deputy premier Prawit
BANGKOK,(NNT) - Myanmar navy
commander-in-chief Tin Aung San paid a courtesy call on Deputy Prime
Minister Prawit Wongsuwan.
The Myanmar navy chief said his visit to Thailand and talk with his Thai
counterpart Adm Na Areenit went smoothly and the two navies will jointly
develop and strengthen naval cooperation.
The Thai deputy premier thanked him for the naval cooperation between both
countries which will play an important role in strengthening the
Thai-Myanmar military relationships.
South Korea honors Korean War veterans in Thailand
SUKHOTHAI,(NNT) – Thai soldiers who fought in the Korean War have been
honored by the Republic of Korea with the Ambassador for Peace Medal.
At Pailyn Hotel in the capital district of Sukhothai province, Col Sung
Wooyoung, Defense Attache of the Republic of Korea to the Kingdom of
Thailand, presided over the ceremony to present the Ambassador for Peace
Medal to Thai veterans from Sukhothai and nearby provinces who took part in
the Korean War during 1950-1953.
Out of 17 recipients, nine were still alive and were present at the
ceremony. For the other eight who had passed away, the medal was granted to
their descendants instead. Moreover, a total of 13 descendants were given
educational scholarships, which came from donation by civil servants, people
and various organizations in South Korea.
In his speech, Col Sung praised the Thai veterans for their heroic deeds in
protecting the Korean people and thanked them for their sacrifice, which has
enabled the once war-torn country to prosper again. He said the Ambassador
for Peace Medal is considered a token of appreciation for the Thai soldiers
and the proof of friendship between the two nations.
Skill Development Dept produces personnel for international logistics sector
BANGKOK,(NNT) - Labor Minister Sirichai Ditthakul granted certificates to 51
trainees under a logistics personnel development project.
He said that the Department of Skill Development in cooperation with the
Association of International Freight Forwarders has produced 700 logistics
operators to solve a shortage in competent personnel in international
All the trainees have graduated a bachelor's degree and been newly employed
with a monthly salary ranging from 14,000 to 25,000 baht.
Transport Co launches major revamp plan to vie with low-cost airlines
BANGKOK,(NNT) - Transport Company is launching a major business revamp plan
after losing 30 per cent of its passengers to budget airlines.
Transport Company chairman Anusorn Saengnimnual admitted the significant
drop in the number of the bus passengers resulted from a fierce competition
with budget airlines.
He said bus passengers have shifted to low-cost airlines for long distance
routes because of a relatively short period of traveling. That prompted a
need for Transport Company to revamp its business for the sake of its
survival, he said.
The revamp plan might call for the downsizing of its bus fleet to lower
operation costs with improved efficiency and to cut unnecessary
expenditures, he said.
Education Ministry told to officially assure of 15-year, free education
BANGKOK,(NNT) - Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the Ministry
of Education to clearly and officially assure that the government continues
to provide 15 years of free basic education from pre-school to high school
The Ministry of Education is yet to make legislation to that effect,
according to the premier.
Though the 15-year, free education was not provided by the 2007
constitution, it was a policy of a major political party at that time, he
said. That compared to the interim, current constitution which only provides
12 years of mandatory education, he said.
Cabinet orders reconsideration of cash-back offer for foreign movie production in Thailand
BANGKOK, 11 May 2016 (NNT) – The
Cabinet has accepted the principles of a cash-back offer for foreign movie
production in Thailand that has been proposed by the Ministry of Tourism and
Sports, but has ordered the Ministry of Finance to reconsider the cash-back
ratio for appropriateness, according to the spokesman.
The government spokesman Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd revealed that the
Cabinet has appointed the Ministry of Finance to find the appropriate ratio
of cash-back offer to foreign movie productions in Thailand as proposed by
the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
The initial offer as proposed involves a 15 percent cash-back offer to
foreign movie production with more than 30 million baht spending in
Thailand, and the additional 5-20 percent cash-back for such production
which uses post-production services in Thailand.
The Deputy Prime Minister responsible for the Ministry of Tourism and Sports
Gen Tanasak Patimapragon has said he will be attending the Cannes Film
Festival in France, at which he will promote Thailand’s offer to attract
movie production companies to film in Thailand in order to generate more
revenue to the country.
A similar cash-back offer currently being offered by Malaysia is at the rate
of up to 30 percent.
However, Minister of Industry Atchaka Sibunruang has revealed that the Board
of Investment (BOI) is now offering tax benefits for foreign film
productions in Thailand, which comes with a requirement for the company to
be registered as a Thai company, which causes inconvenience, while the
Revenue Department cannot offer tax exemption schemes to any specific
New record set for power consumption on May 11
Electricity consumption broke the
record for the 7th time this year with usage peaked at 2.12 pm on Wednesday
at 29,600.8 megawatts, said Mr Soonchai Kamnoonseth, governor of the
Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.
The last record was registered on April 28 with power consumption soared to
The governor said that power consumption in the industrial sector, service
sector and households on Wednesday increased sharply because it was a
working day after long holidays and coupled with the hot weather.
However, he assured that EGAT had enough power reserves to meet with power
demand of up to 32,000 megawatts. He further said that EGAT made
preparations to cope with anticipated increase in power consumption during
the months of April and May by suspending major repairs, storing more bunker
oil and natural gas in reserves and securing power supplies from Laos.
Car imports in Laos continue to grow
The number of cars imported into Laos
continues to grow at about 10 percent annually although the rate has slowed
down somewhat during the first quarter of this year, said the Department of
Public Works and Transport.
According to Vientiane Times on Tuesday, the import slowdown during the
first three months was due mainly to car dealers’ plan to sell off some of
their existing stock before they start ordering new cars again.
Automobiles as well as other import items have steadily increased since Laos
cut import tariffs since 2008. Import tariffs on many products, including
automobiles, have been slashed to zero percentage point.
Officials have predicted that car imports this year will continue to
increase although consumer tax has increased as purchasing power of the Lao
people is high.
Lao people now have more choices of vehicles to buy as dealers have come up
with more promotions including zero percent interest rate.
Authorities seek to charge culprits behind Doi Suthep forest fire
CHIANG MAI,(NNT) – Doi Suthep-Pui National Park authorities have filed
charges against people responsible for a fire that started in the area of
Doi Kun Chang Kian on May 9 while dispatching helicopters to help resolve
Authorities from throughout Chiang Mai have joined in an effort to end a
fire in the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park area with Department of Natural
Resources and Environment contributing 3 helicopters, which will carry out
over 20 water dumps to quell flames in remote areas.
The fire in many areas has shown signs of subsiding and smoke has begun to
retreat in many locations.
Meanwhile, forest preservation agents have submitted satellite information
to police in the hopes of apprehending those responsible for the fire,
saying the culprits likely lit blazes to herd animals they were hunting.
They have asked the public to come forward with any pertinent information.
Similarly, peat swamp fires in Narathiwat province are ongoing and have
consumed over 350 Rai. Authorities in the area have said their efforts to
fight the blaze have been impeded by strong winds and dry conditions, which
have allowed the flames to jump fire barriers. More than 100 people have
been affected by haze generated by the fire.
MRT gives lawmakers test ride on Purple Line today
The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRT) today conducted a
test service of its "Purple Line" linking Bangkok and Nonthaburi with
members of the Transport Commission of the National Legislative Assembly as
The commission members were given the test run of the service from its
maintenance centre at Klong Bang Phai in Nonthaburi to Tao Poon station in
Bangkok after the commission visited the MRT to follow up progress of the
Purple Line service.
The Purple Line will be open to public on a trial service from Bang Yai to
Tao Poon next month before official service to commence on August 6.
Before riding the free service during the two month test, the MRT requires
pre registration of people to receive tickets at three stations, Klong Phai,
Siyaek Nonthaburi and Tao Poon.
Each passenger will be given three tickets for three day rides the following
week. Each ticket is for two passengers travelling together.
The MRT will give away 5,000 free tickets a week for 15,000 passengers.
The MRT said the test run schedules are subject to changes every week, but
passengers will be notified in advance weekly.
It added that official service will be on August 6 with train fare ranging
from 16-40 baht on the 23-kilometre long route covering 16 stations.
Here are the schedules for registration for free tickets.
Prime Minister Prayut wants no more reporting on Phra Viharn Temple replica
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Prime Minister is
not concerned about the impact of the Phra Viharn Temple replica on
international relations with Cambodia, but is nevertheless calling for no
more reporting on the issue.
Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday that, although the
construction of the Phra Viharn Temple replica is completed, it is still not
open to visitors.
Gen. Prayut said that the decision to keep the model of the ancient Hindu
temple closed is because of the legal dispute between Thailand and Cambodia,
which remains under the World Court’s consideration.
He stated that the issue should not be raised and there should be no
attempts to do in-depth reporting on the matter in order not to affect the
relationship of the two neighbors.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwon said that the
construction of the replica was intended to create a new tourist attraction,
but because of some misunderstandings, the project is on hold.
Gen. Prawit is also confident that the project won't have any impact on
Thailand’s relations with Cambodia.
Thailand-Myanmar discuss labour management
NAYPYIDAW,(NNT) – The Ministers of
Thailand and Myanmar have held talks on mutual efforts of labour management,
with Myanmar praising Thailand for good regulation of Myanmar workers in
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai have held talk with
Myanmar’s Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Security Aung San Suu Kyi
during his official visit to Myanmar to represent the Prime Minister Gen
In the discussion, the Thai Foreign Minister has said in a press conference
that Thailand currently has 1.59 million registered Myanmar workers in the
country with several more in the process of registering.
He said he believes Myanmar workers in Thailand are happy with their
wellbeing as Thailand provides the rights to education and healthcare for
Myanmar workers and their dependents at the equal level as Thai citizens.
Thailand is also equally happy with the work of Myanmar workers, which
signals good developmental benefits to both countries.
The Myanmar Minister of Labour has said Myanmar is willing to take
responsibility for Myanmar workers in Thailand and not leave them as a
burden to Thai authorities. She has also praised Thailand’s law developments
that provide continued support to workers from neighbouring countries.
She has said Myanmar and Thailand are now willing to work together to solve
persisting or potential issues together without conflict or hostile feelings
towards one another. She also emphasized Myanmar’s focus on ASEAN, and the
hope that the ASEAN Community will bring happiness to its member states.
Survey reveals rise in consumer spending at start of new school semester
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Center for Economic
and Business Forecasting of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce
expects domestic spending at the start of the new school semester to reach
almost 50 billion Baht.
The university conducted a poll on the spending habits of consumers at the
start of the new school semester, with results forecasting up to 49 billion
Baht in spending, a 2.3 percent increase on the same period last year. The
figure is the largest forecast in three years, with costs mostly associated
with tuition, school fees, supplies, books and uniforms, all of which have
risen in price.
Meanwhile the survey revealed that most parents have household debts
averaging over 200,000 Baht, an increase of 24 percent compared to last
year. Most families have indicated costs associated with the new semester
are beyond their income capacity and many have had to resort to pawning
personal items instead of taking out loans.
The survey said that most families want the government to place greater
importance on education, standardize the quality of available education in
rural and urban schools, raise the standards of educational personnel,
revise course material to suit the country’s development and increase the
salaries of educational personnel to incentivize quality work.
Promoting Human Rights Education in the Southern Border Provinces
BANGKOK, (NNT) - The Southern Border
Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) has organized training to provide
knowledge about human rights for officials operating in the southern border
The training took place recently in Songkhla province. Attending the
training were more than 100 army personnel, police officers, and civilians.
These officials have worked jointly to handle the southern situation.
SBPAC Secretary-General Panu Uthairat said that SBPAC is responsible for
promoting human rights and that the Government attaches great importance to
human rights in conducting operations in the deep South. The training in
human rights education and awareness-raising provided officials with
knowledge and information about Thailand’s international human rights
obligations, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Mr. Panu explained that currently Thailand has become a state party to seven
out of nine key international treaties on human rights. The seven treaties
include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the
International Covenant on Economics, Social and Cultural Rights, the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention on the Elimination
of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention against Torture and
Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment Punishment, and the Convention
on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Thailand is also in the process of joining the remaining two treaties, which
include the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced
Disappearance and the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrants
Workers and Member of their Families.
The country is now implementing the Third National Human Rights Plan,
2014-2018. Concerning the issue of individuals affected by violent
situations, the plan consists of a number of operational measures. For
instance, these measures seek to constantly promote public participation in
the tackling problems in the southern border provinces, ensure access to
justice for all parties, and place an emphasis on bringing about
reconciliation and improving the southern situation.
Mr. Panu said that SBPAC has launched proactive campaigns in the country and
abroad to create better understanding about unrest in the deep South. He
pointed out that efforts to protect human rights are considered a
significant step toward ensuring justice and building lasting peace in the
southern border provinces.
Over the past years, the Thai government has developed administrative
systems for the promotion and protection of people’s rights and liberties.
All security practices, ranging from arrest and interrogation to treatment
of suspected persons, have been very much improved in line with human rights
Regarding the southern situation, alternative dispute resolution has been
promoted, while members of local communities have also been encouraged to
take part in easing conflicts and solving problems in their respective
300-kg croc found in Surat Thani's abandoned shrimp farm
SURAT THANI,(NNT) - A shrimp farm owner in the southern province of Surat
Thani has found a 300-kg crocodile that is suspected of having escaped
captivity six years ago.
The head of the Provincial Fisheries Office in Phunphin district led members
of the local media to the farm in the capital district, after receiving a
report of the finding.
The owner and three others said they discovered the croc when they were
dredging the deserted 5-rai shrimp farm for fishing. They captured the
animal, as it tried to climb out of the pond, before informing the
authorities, the four men claimed.
Initial inspection indicated that the crocodile weighs over 300 kilograms,
and is of 3.5 meters length. Officials estimated the croc's age to be around
7-9 years and speculated that it had escaped captivity during the flood in
2011. The reptile also appeared to be familiar with humans, observed the
Department of Foreign Trade:Thailand should reduce rice production
BURIRAM,(NNT) - The Department of Foreign Trade has raised concerns for over
production of Thai rice, despite confirmation that rice exports for this
year will be able to hit a previous forecast of 9.5 million tons worth 5.05
billion US Dollars.
Foreign Trade Director-General Duangporn Rodphaya said that for the first 4
months of the year, the government successfully exported over 3.6 million
tons of rice valued at 1.5 billion U.S. Dollars, and that it will definitely
be able to reach its target at the current rate.
Nevertheless, Duangporn said Thai rice production is currently well over
supply at roughly 30 million tons a year, while the domestic market only
consumes 10 million tons of rice annually and foreign markets only require
an additional 10 million tons from the kingdom.
With demand of just 20 million tons, the Director-General proposed that
Thailand should only produce 25 to 27 million tons of rice annually, with
the additional five million to ensure sufficient rice stocks if demand
Duangporn added that with oversupply comes falling product prices.
As Thailand becomes less able to maintain competitive prices due to rising
living costs, the director-general said farmers should begin shifting their
focus towards growing higher quality rice, while allocating areas for others
crops, fruit or livestock.
Farmers in Chao Phraya River basin advised to follow weather reports and water situation
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of
Agriculture and Cooperatives plans to support farmers during the upcoming
farming season with the help from the Meteorological Department.
Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry permanent secretary Theerapat
Prayoonsitthi said irrigation systems will be used to allocate water from
reservoirs and dams to the farmers during an early rainy season.
He advised farmers to follow weather reports and the situation of water at
the dams in Chao Phraya River basin reported to contain only about 1,600
million cubic meters.
Rangsit Uni scraps entrance exam of medical students after cheats were detected
TRangsit University has cancelled the
entrance examination of medical students after five applicants were caught
The university rector Dr Arthit Urairat said Monday that the university
would take both criminal and civil actions against the five alleged cheaters
and a tutorial institute which hired one of them to sit for the test.
He disclosed that the cheat would involve one person who was given a glasses
equipped with a miniature camera which was used to take images of exam
papers and then transmitted the data to a command centre outside the
examination venue. Then the command centre would transit the answers to the
other cheaters who were equipped with special wristwatches.
Dr Arthit said that officials were aware in advance of possible cheats in
the entrance exam and were alerted to look out for suspicious items or
activities. The officials found one applicant wearing a thick black glasses
and asked for a close examination and a miniature camera was found.
Of the five alleged cheaters caught, three wore special wristwatches who are
actually receivers and one wore spectacles. The fifth one was outside the
Dr Arthit said that the cheats had ruined the reputation of the university
and he decided to scrap the entrance examination in order to be fair to all
He assured that none of the university staff were involved in the cheating.
Price increase of iron rods is affecting construction industry
Building contractors are complaining about the steady rise in iron rods for
construction in the past two months and also scarcity of the product which
will impact on construction industry in the country.
Mr Angsurat Areekul, an advisor to the Association of Thai Construction
Industry, claimed that, in the past two months, the price of iron rod has
increased by about 23 percent to 16-17 baht per kilogramme from 13-14 baht.
Worse still, he said the price still keeps rising which will affect
construction costs prompting fear that some contractors may abandon their
work. He urged government authorities to step in to address the problem.
Meanwhile, Mr Sangworn Liptapallop, president of Thai Construction Industry
Association, disclosed that he had received many complaints from building
contractors about shortage of iron rods for construction in addition to
He claimed that the price of iron rods had increased, in the past few
months, by about 40 percent to about 20 baht per kilogramme.
He said the association had lodged a complaint with the Commerce Ministry to
address the problem which will affect on the government’s infrastructure
It was pointed out that the problem of iron rod shortage and rising price
stemmed from China’s cutback in iron rod production.
Sufficient water, abundant food predicted this year
Thailand will have sufficient water for use, have abundant food for
consumption and for trade, the Royal soothsayer predicted at the ancient
Royal ploughing ceremony held at Sanam Luang this morning.
The ceremony was presided over by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, government officials, diplomats and a
large crowd of people attended the ceremony.
The ceremony dated back to the Sukhothai period, some 700 years ago.
This year the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and
Cooperative Mr Thirapat Prayoonsit, was the lord of the ploughing ceremony
or Phraya Raekna.
He led two six-year old sacred oxen, Perm and Poon, in a circle walk to
plough a furrow in the ceremonial ground, while following alongside were
four consecrated ladies carrying gold and silver baskets filled with best
grade rice seeds obtained from the demonstration farm inside the Royal
Chitralada Palace to scatter over the ploughed furrows.
Official Brahmans from the Royal Court also walked alongside chanting and
blowing the conch shells.
At the ceremony, the two sacred oxen were offered seven bowls containing
grass, paddy, maize, sesame seeds, soy bean, water and liquor.
They ate paddy, maize, sesame seeds, water and liquor.
The Brahmin soothsayers then predicted an abundance of food, and sufficient
water to be expected this year.
Lord of the ploughing ceremony was also offered three pieces of folded
cloth, each of a different length to select.
His selection turned to be a five “kueb” long cloth, slightly over one
metre, which predicting sufficient water and paddy fields yielding good
At the end of the ceremony, rice grains were then strewn over the ceremonial
The crowd watching the ceremony then rushed to collect them as they are
considered an auspicious start to the rice planting season.