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Update May 2016

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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
Thailand News

Parents relocate 22 kids to new school amid safety concern after tragic fire

Thai PBS

Nightmares continue to haunt the girl students of a remote hill tribe village school in Chiang Rai province after a tragic fire killed 17 of their classmates on May 22.

Now parents have relocated 22 children from the school to other schools.

This was revealed as the svhool, Pitak Kiat Withaya school, reopened first day of resumption of classes for students yesterday.

But the first, no lessons were taught as teachers wanted their students to enjoy a lighter and fun filled first day.

To alleviate some of these concerns, the teachers instead chose to allow the students to play musical instruments and play games to relieve the tension.

Many parents however have not recovered from the recent disaster that occurred.

They have removed 22 children from the school fearing for the safety of their children.

These were made up of parents of female students who were at the school at the time of the fire.

Chiang Rai Region Office of the Private Education Commission will be handling the responsibility for finding new schools for these students as well as returning their school fees.

But parents of more than 50 students were seen arriving to drop their children off for classes which is a much smaller than regular 142 students that the school receives.

Many did not immediately leave as they normally did and chose to stay on a while longer to keep an eye on the safety of their children.

So far donations received for victims of the fire now amounted in total to more than 14 million baht.

Meanwhile chief investigation police officer Pol Maj-Gen Songtham Alapart said so far the police have investigated 50 witnesses to find the actual cause of the tragic fire at the girl dormitory.

He said that the investigation team was expected to wrap up the full investigation by next week.

The police have ruled out accident as cause of the fire and are now concentrating on carelessness and fire precaution measures at the school before considering who will be held responsible for this incident.

Bangkok police chief vows to punish five station heads if graft stickers surface in their responsible areas

Thai PBS

The acting commissioner of Metropolitan Police Bureau yesterday vowed to remove five top police officers of any police station in Bangkok if the so-called "stickers" surface again in their areas of responsibilities.

The strong warning by Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahathavorn came as migrant workers were found to show the stickers when they were arrested by police for illegally selling merchandises on sidewalks and streets.

Latest inspection on several sidewalks in Bangkok’s China Town by the labour officials yesterday also found several migrant workers, mostly Myanmar, vending on streets and sidewalks.

Upon arrested by labour inspectors, the migrant workers showed them “stickers” saying they were told that the stickers could help to clear police away from them.

They also said their employers have paid to obtain these stickers so they could continue vending free of police interventions.

The stickers found in three forms such as Doraemon – a popular Japanese cartoon character; dices, and automobiles.

But so far no official action has been taken.

The migrant workers said these stickers allow them to sell stuff on the street without fear of official intervention as bribes have been paid but so far the identity of the person or persons who issued them is unknown.

The acting commissioner stated that although the case actually falls under the jurisdiction of the Immigration department, the police station in charge of the vicinity must take action on the matter.

He said that he will be calling a meeting with all police stations in Bangkok this afternoon to order action to be taken on the matter of these stickers.

He vowed that if any of these stickers surface again within the following weeks, immediate disciplinary action will be taken on all 5 heads of the police station that is in charge of the area.

Yesterday officials from the Department of Employment made an inspection of shops and businesses located in China Town.

They discovered at least three Myanmar workers were selling packaged soya bean milk.

Upon seeing the arrival of officials, these foreign nationals quickly showed their dice pictured stickers which they say they were told to do by their employers.

One man revealed that he has been in the country for more than 3 years.

He said that he was previously employed as a painter but the earnings were small and he quit and began selling soya bean milk which he says allows him to make 500 baht a day.

As he had no legal working permits, his Thai employer gave him the dice pictured sticker to carry with him so that he would not be arrested.

Similarly, two other Myanmar workers were also seen vending in the area.

Both also had similar stickers but when they were questioned they stated that they did not know the identity of the person that employed them.

Papers that contain the address of the company that actually did the hiring were the only documents that they carried.

Employment officer Chaithat na Nakorn said whenever officials make an inspection, these stickers were regularly shown to officials.

He said so far they have no information on these stickers but an investigation has been ordered to look into the matter.

Central bank prints 70-baht banknotes to celebrate King’s 70th anniversary of accession to the throne

Thai PBS
The Bank of Thailand has printed 20 million banknotes of 70-baht denomination to celebrate His Majesty the King’s 70th anniversary of accession to the throne.

Central Bank governor Veerathai Santipraphob said that the new banknotes would be allocated to commercial banks for distribution to members of the public who are interested to exchange them for keeping.

He believes that 20 million notes are sufficient to meet demand and there will be no additional printing.

The banknotes will be available to the public as of June 9 at all commercial banks and state-owned banks such as Government Savings Bank, Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, Islamic Bank and Government Housing Bank.

Each banknote, to be contained in an envelope, can be exchanged at 100 baht each.

The governor said that the price difference, altogether 600 million baht for the 20 million banknotes, will be donated to HM the King.

Diesel price goes up 40 satang per litre

Thai PBS
PTT Plc and Bangchak Petroleum announced the increase of oil price of diesel by 40 satang per litre effective as of 5 am Tuesday.

The price of diesel will be 25.09 baht/litre.

Other oil price remain unchanged. The price are as follow; benzene 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.

An elderly man arrested for killing a dog for its meat

Thai PBS
A 60-year old man who was seen in the social media of dragging the carcass of a dog with a rope tied to its neck through a road in Ubon Ratchathani’s Phibul Mangsaharn district has been apprehended by police.

The man, identified as Mr Wichien Nonkaew, was taken into police custody from the house of a neighbor in Tambon Phibul, Phibul Mangsaharn district, where he had been hiding since his image with the dead dog was posted in the social media and drew a lot of criticism and condemnation.

Wichien admitted that he killed the dog for its meat to prepare food. He said that he killed the dog by the roadside because it refused to follow him to his lodging which is about one kilometer away.

He said he slit the dog’s throat, then sliced off the meat before he dragged its carcass through the road to be dumped.

Earlier, a neighbor, Mrs Kalya Boonchong, said she gave the 8-month old dog to Wichien after he asked for it claiming that he would like to raise it at his house. She added that this was the second dog that she gave it to him.

The suspect was this morning (Monday) taken to the crime scene to re-enact the office. He was later charged with cruelty against animal which is liable to two years imprisonment and/or 40,000 baht fine.

Science Museum to hold biotechnology exhibition

PATHUM THANI, (NNT) – The National Science Museum will be holding a world-class event on biotechnology, presenting the benefits of biotechnology in daily life in a comprehensive presentation.

The Minister of Science and Technology Pichet Durongkaveroj has revealed the member organizations of the science museum and learning center network have joined hands with Biogen Foundation from the United States to select Thailand as one of the 12 countries to host the world-class biotechnology event, with the National Science Museum has been designated as the main agency responsible.

An exhibition “The World of Biotechnology” will be held in Thailand featuring displays and activities allowing youth and the general public to participate, along with discussions and other biotechnology related activities which allow scientists to present their works in biotechnology, showcasing Thailand’s advancements in biotechnology and promoting public understanding to further the development of existing technology and innovations.

The National Science Museum Acting Director Sakorn Chanapaithoon has revealed that the museum is prepared to host a variety of activities, including the “Wonders of Biotechnology” exhibition, a networking activity between scientist from leading research agencies, experimentation activities with lab box from the United States, and activities which encourage family participation.

The biotechnology exhibition will take place on 16-18 June 2016 at National Science Museum, Pathum Thani.

Public warned to take precaution against pink eye disease during rainy season

Thai PBS

The Ministry of Public Health has warned members of the public to take precautions against pink eye disease or conjunctivitis which is usually widespread during the rainy season.

Public Health Minister Piyasakon Sakonsatayathorn said that several diseases, especially pink eye, can easily spread out and the rainy season is ideal for the spread of the disease.

According to the Diseases Control Department, over 47,000 people were inflected with pink eye during the first five months of this year with the highest incidence being reported in Amnart Charoen, Ubon Ratchathani, Mae Hong Son, Saraburi and Si Sa Ket. More cases are expected during the rainy season.

The minister said that all health offices had been instructed to advise people in their areas of jurisdiction to protect themselves against the pink eye disease especially in schools, child centres, shopping malls or offices.

Children should be warned not to frolic or swim in ponds or water catchment areas because the water is dirty or contaminated and they may be infected with pick eye virus or bacteria.

People who are infected should not wear contact lens and should not share towels, glasses or eye drops with the other people to prevent the disease from spreading. They should quickly wash their eyes with clean water when their eyes are exposed to dirty water.

Last missing passenger of a speed boat accident in Koh Samui found dead

Thai PBS
Searches for the last victim of a speed boat accident in Koh Samui were called off today (Sunday) after the victim’s body was found stuck in boulders and partially covered with a wooden planks.

The latest victim, identified as Mr Jason Robert Parnell, 46, a Briton, went missing and believed drowned after a speed boat carrying about 150 passengers, mostly foreign tourists, capsized near Koh Samui as it was returning to the island from Ang Thong islands on May 26.

Several passengers went missing and searches were mounted by marine police, tourist police, the navy, divers and members of Koh Samui’s jetski club. Most were found during the earlier days of the searches except Mr Parnell whose body was found today and later sent to Samui hospital for an autopsy.

Authorities concerned have been working on measures to help the injured and to compensate families of the dead victims.

Zika virus alert in Udon Thani’s Sangkhom district

Thai PBS

Udon Thani’s Sangkhom district has been declared off-limits especially to pregnant women after a resident of the district was quarantined in Taiwan after he was tested to be infected with Zika virus.

Health volunteers in all villages in Tambon Sang Nang Khao of Nong Khai’s Pone Pisai district were instructed by the director of health promotion hospital of Tambon Sang Nang Khao to mount a campaign to get rid of breeding grounds for striped mosquitoes and to inform villagers to protect themselves from mosquito bites by sleeping in sleeping nets and to avoid travelling to Sangkhom district.

It was reported that health officials had visited five relatives of the person inflected with Zika virus to keep them under watch to find out whether they are infected with the virus or not.

T-POP Festival 2016 delights Udon Thani

UDON THANI,(NNT) - In a move to stimulate tourism, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has staged a music festival featuring various artists in Udon Thani.

The festival took place at Thung Sri Muang Garden. Target groups were the region's many music lovers, and Thai and foreign visitors to the city. The event brought together famous singers and bands from both within and outside the country. The festival attracted around 40,000 visitors, raking in over 40 million baht.

TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn disclosed today that the TAT plans to hold a major activity each month to offer tourists new options. T-POP Festival, which was in its second year, was held on the theme “Thailand Music Festival”. The first T-POP Festival was held last year in Phetchaburi. More than 32,000 people joined the event on that inaugural occasion



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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Parents relocate 22 kids to new school amid safety concern after tragic fire

Bangkok police chief vows to punish five station heads if graft stickers surface in their responsible areas

Central bank prints 70-baht banknotes to celebrate King’s 70th anniversary of accession to the throne

Diesel price goes up 40 satang per litre

An elderly man arrested for killing a dog for its meat

Science Museum to hold biotechnology exhibition

Public warned to take precaution against pink eye disease during rainy season

Last missing passenger of a speed boat accident in Koh Samui found dead

Zika virus alert in Udon Thani’s Sangkhom district

T-POP Festival 2016 delights Udon Thani



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