NBTC confirms it will not block Facebook
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The
National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) says Facebook
will not be blocked in Thailand as understood.
NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith revealed that he has recently met
with Managing Director of the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) Jeff Paine, who
conveyed his concerns over the possible closure of Facebook, the most
popular social networking website in Thailand.
In reply, Takorn denied that the country was planning to close the site,
saying that the government was merely seeking cooperation from Facebook to
close down illegal pages and delete inappropriate comments, as opposed to
blocking the site from all Thai users.
The AIC Managing Director told Takorn that he would have to discuss the
matter with other AIC members before making any decisions.
Thai cooking class provided to Laotian cooks in Loei
LOEI,(NNT) - A Thai cooking class has been held in Loei
province for Laotian chefs to cater to Thai nationals working in the
Loei provincial authorities have coordinated with the Department of Skill
Development, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and the Thai-Laotian Chamber of
Commerce in developing a Thai cooking course for 30 Laotians working in
restaurants in Luang Prabang, Vientiane and Sainyabuli provinces of Laos.
The five-day course, which will come to an end on Friday, has received
financial support from the Loei Provincial Office, which sought to provide a
skill development program for those working in the Laotian restaurant
The course also fosters commercial growth in the Mekong Subregion and the
ASEAN Economic Community, while strengthening ties between Thailand and
Secretary-general of EEC panel confident Section 44 will help spur investment
Secretary-General of the Eastern Economic Corridor Policy Committee Khanit
Saengsuphan has expressed confidence that the enforcement of Section 44 to
expedite projects in the EEC will help attract the private sector to invest
in the EEC more.
Mr. Khanit said if the government can make the investment process of the EEC
easier, there will be around 30 businesses investing in the EEC within one
year. Six businesses have expressed interest to invest--most of them in 10
target industries such as aviation, e-commerce, electric car production,
medical equipment, robotics and parts, said Mr. Khanit.
The committee's meeting on 26 May will consider guidelines for the
development of Laem Chabang, Sattahip and Map Ta Phut ports.
Meanwhile, Meechai Ruchuphan has confirmed that the enforcement of Section
44 to stimulate investment in the EEC is not against the constitution.
More details of Thai-China rail cooperation ready for vetting by Cabinet
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of Transport is set to propose more
matters on Thailand-China rail cooperation for Cabinet vetting in June.
Transport Minister Akhom Termpittayapaisit has disclosed that following the
18th Thailand-China Rail Cooperation committee meeting, his office has
prepared project information on the Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima rail link for
Cabinet consideration. It is expected the contract will be put up for
auction by August for this year.
Funds for the project still have to be discussed with the Bureau of the
Budget and the Ministry of Finance as it has to be decided whether funding
will come from loans or established budgets. It has already been concluded
that loans will be needed to import train bogeys and signal jammers.
The committee meeting also heard an Environmental Impact Assessment report
which was completed for the Bangkok-Baan Pa Chi stretch of the rail line.
The 19th meeting of the body will take place July 5-7 in Beijing of China.
PM calls for study on plan to increase pension for elderly
BANGKOK, 23 May 2017 (NNT) – Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has
ordered for a feasibility study on a plan to raise the pension for elderly
He said the Ministry of Finance's proposal to increase the pension for the
elderly from 1,000 baht to 1,500 baht per month needs to be considered given
the fact that the number of senior citizens will increase significantly over
the next several years.
He said the government needs to consider the ratio of people in the
workforce and create more working people to fill new vacancies and address
the decreasing birth rate in Thailand, all of which need to be taken into
He called on the authorities to check the number of elderly persons who have
registered for the pension to see whether they have done so as low-income
earners in order to provide appropriate assistance and benefits according to
He said the previous form of pension will not be altered, but the related
agencies are to consider the Ministry of Finance's plan to allow some
elderly persons with stable financial status to withdraw themselves from the
government's pension scheme in order to reallocate the money to help senior
Religious function held in tribute to King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit
BANGKOK,(NNT) – Privy Council
President Gen Prem Tinsulanonda has presided over a royal merit-making
ceremony in honor of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Her
Majesty Queen Sirikit at the Dusit Palace.
Deputizing for His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun,
Gen Prem this afternoon laid floral offerings and lit candles and joss
sticks before the Equestrian Statue of King Chulalongkorn or King Rama V
upon his arrival at the Royal Plaza. He then proceeded to the ceremonial
pavilion, where he was greeted by the Prime Minister, Cabinet members and
To initiate the merit-making ceremony, the Privy Councilor lit candles and
joss sticks before Phra Phuttha Norasi Buddha image, which had been
relocated from the Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall in the Dusit Palace in
the same afternoon especially for this occasion. This was followed by his
paying of respects to the royal portraits of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit
before Supreme Patriarch His Holiness Somdet Phra Ariyavongsagatayan led 175
other Buddhist monks in chanting holy stanzas. Afterwards, Gen Prem and
high-ranking civil servants together presented saffron robes to the monks.
Another praying session was then conducted, with an aim of paying respects
to all ancestral kings and Phra Siam Devadhiraj image as well as offering
blessings to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. The ceremony was concluded with the
presentation of monastic necessities to all participating monks.
Health minister attends World Health Assembly in Switzerland
GENEVA,(NNT) – Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn
attended the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Switzerland and delivered a
speech on "Building Better Systems for Health in the Age of Sustainable
He attended the discussion on Gearing up Towards Sustainable Health
Development by 2030 co-hosted by Thailand and Iran, Bangladesh, and
Member countries voted to choose a new WHA director while Thailand will join
a multilateral discussion with health ministers from Singapore, Iran, Qatar,
Bahrain, and Fiji, on cooperation in health care, participate in the
Partnership Matters - Achieving Stronger Systems for Health in Practice
activity, and join the event to endorse the International Health Partnership
for Universal Health Coverage 2030 hosted by Germany, the World Health
Organization and the World Bank.
Hospital bombing not affecting tourist sector
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The bombing
incident at a hospital in Bangkok has not affected tourist sector as no
foreign nationals were harmed, said Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn
She said the bombing incident at Phramongkutklao Hospital has not affected
the tourism sector as there were no fatalities and no foreign visitors were
She said that the Ministry of Tourism and Sports was not at ease with the
incident and was monitoring the situation closely with instructions prepared
to communicate with tourists if necessary.
No countries have issued any warning against traveling to Thailand while no
special protocol has been sought as yet, the minister said.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports will continue to promote tourism in
Thailand by highlighting foods, fruits, local culture, and sports to attract
more tourists, she said.
Thailand hosts romantic Chiang Mai honeymoon trips for Chinese celebrity couples
Ms. Runjuan Thongrut (centre), TAT Director of
East Asian Region, and Mrs. Zhu Lijuan and Mr. Li Junbao
Chiang Mai, 22 May, 2017 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is
hosting honeymoon trips for six celebrity couples from China under the 4th
Romance in Thailand project. Taking place from 17 to 23 May, the hosted
couples have been enjoying a range of Northern Thai experiences packaged to
promote romantic activities and attractions in Chiang Mai and boost the
province’s standing as a preferred honeymoon destination.
Under the theme, “Amazing Romance in Thailand 5.20 @ Chiang Mai”, the six
loving couples have been experiencing a range of local activities in
different areas of Chiang Mai. These include spa treatments, afternoon tea,
merit-making in local temples, elephant bathing, and Thai cooking lessons.
Members of the Chinese media were also invited along, meaning that all
activities undertaken by the celebrity couples would be reported via online
and offline publications as well as shared via social media channels,
showcasing some of the many activities Chiang Mai offers to couples.
Ms. Runjuan Thongrut, TAT Director of East Asian Region, said “The Romance
in Thailand project has been running successfully for four years. And, as
Chiang Mai was awarded the Best Honeymoon Destination in 2016 from
Ctrip.com, the largest online travel agent in China, we are promoting the
charms of the North to newlyweds and couples. Chiang Mai is one of
Thailand’s most romantic destinations so we’d like the guests on this trip
to inspire other Chinese couples to choose the North for their honeymoons.”
The “Amazing Romance in Thailand 5.20 @ Chiang Mai”, is so called, to mark
20 May, which is celebrated as the day of love in China. This tradition
comes from the fact that the pronunciation for the date 5.20 (the fifth
month and 20th day) sounds like the Chinese pronunciation of “I love you.”
So on 20 May the couples came together for a romantic Lanna Dinner at the
137 Pillars House Hotel Chiang Mai, where they dressed in Northern Thai
costume and sample authentic local dishes.
Ms. Runjuan added, “We want the “Amazing Romance in Thailand 5.20 @ Chiang
Mai” to help spread awareness of the romantic side of Chiang Mai to over
five million potential Chinese travellers, and to encourage quality Chinese
tourists to make Thailand their honeymoon destination and help increase
sales of honeymoon packages among Chinese travellers.”
The activity is jointly arranged by the TAT offices in Beijing, Shanghai,
Guangzhou, Kunming and Chengdu.
In 2017, TAT expects Thailand to welcome at least nine million visitors from
China and generate some 570 billion Baht for the Thai tourism industry. Of
these, TAT anticipates about 2,000 honeymoon couples with an average trip
expenditure of around 80,000 Baht or approximately 200 million Baht in
Export figures strong with growth rate highest in 6 years
BANGKOK, (NNT) – Thai exports have continued to show strong signs
with the sector growing 5.69 percent between January and April, the highest
rate of growth in 6 years.
Director of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) Pimchanok Wonkorporn
reported Thai exports valued 16.864 billion USD in April, 8.49 percent
greater than the same period last year. Total value over the first 4 months
was 73.321 billion USD, 5.69 percent up on-year and the highest rate of
increase in 6 years.
The strong figures were mostly due to a global economic recovery and
Thailand’s policy of diversifying risk. By spreading out trade, the nation
was both able to benefit from growth in China and ASEAN and to avoid
downturns in other markets.
Imports in April were worth 16.808 billion USD, 13.4 percent up
year-on-year. Trade balance in the month saw Thailand 56 million USD in
For the year, analysts see exports on an uptrend with clear indicators of
recovery as fuel and farm goods prices rise. It is believed a growth rate of
5 percent will be met with the only major causes for concern political
uncertainty and trade obstructions put up by the US.
New way of tourism promoted with preservation of bio-diversity
BANGKOK,(NNT) – Thailand is promoting a new way of tourism
which looks to preserve bio-diversity and encourage the preservation of
natural resources and sustainable uses of diverse resources.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Surasak Karnjanarat has said the
Ministry's agencies have held activities to promote the new way of tourism
which preserve the biodiversity on the occasion of the International Day for
This year's event is promoting practices related to conservation and
restoration of natural resources, including exhibition on herbs, proper
practices for tourists, the promotion of sustainable tourism, the sale of
products created from biological diversity, along with the raising of
awareness among the general public to help conserve and benefit from diverse
natural resources properly.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has selected Khao Yai
National Park as model for Thailand's biological diversity as it is a major
tourism attraction for the northeastern region with rich and diverse natural
resources and can be developed into a world famous tourism attraction.
He added Thailand is considered a country rich with natural resources that
contributed to the livelihood such as the diversity of cuisine and the use
of herbs in foods, making Thailand an interesting place for tourists to
visit and witness the diversity of nature.
Figures from 2012-2016 shows more and more tourists are interested to
participate in special tourism activities such as the community based
tourism, health tourism, adventurous tourism, religious tourism, sports
tourism, and tourism for meetings and exhibitions.
Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai media members meet to discuss multilateral cooperation
PERLIS,(NNT) – A Perlis media association held a meeting for IMT-GT
media members on occasion of the King of Perlis' 74th birthday during 15-19
Members of the media from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand (IMT-GT
countries) attended the meeting arranged by Perlis media association and
included seminars on media as the driver of culture, and discussions on
cooperations under the IMT-GT program which covers the southern region of
Thailand, the northern region of Malaysia, and areas on Sumatra Island of
The Crown Prince of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail on this
occasion joined a cycling activity with members of the media, and
distributed items to needed persons from 10 households. Members of the media
were also honoured to attend the honorary medal granting ceremony on the
birthday of King of Perlis.
The next meeting for IMT-GT media will take place in Medan, Indonesia.
MOE adopts His late Majesty’s teachings to improve education in southern border provinces
SONGKHLA, 21 May 2017 (NNT) – The Deputy Minister of Education
has followed up on the campaign aimed at improving the quality of education
in the southern border provinces’ Special Economic Zones, urging educational
institutes to uphold His late Majesty’s principle of understanding,
reaching, and developing.
PHOTO:Thailand News - 22-05-17 4 NNT MOE adopts His late Majesty’s teachings
to improve education in southern border provinces 1JPG
Deputy Minister of Education Gen. Surachet Chaiwong presided over the
meeting to drive the quality of education in the 21st century in Songkhla.
He asked all participants to uphold His late Majesty’s principle of
understanding, reach, and development as guidelines to uphold the
sufficiency economy philosophy and to improve the quality of education in
He has instructed educational officials to adhere to the main working
principles, namely developing educational quality, enhancing opportunities,
and supporting and developing sports in the education system. Other will
seek to improve employment, stability, security and welfare for the teachers
and related staff.
The Deputy Minister of Education has also invited the general public to do
good deeds as tribute to His late Majesty the King and asked officials to
work diligently towards development and peace.
Better awareness on electricity situation in southern region
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The
general public are aware of the electricity situation in the southern
region, while the Ministry of Energy has been tasked with communicating the
facts to the public nationwide, says government spokesman.
The Government Spokesman Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd revealed the Prime
Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has acknowledged the report from the
communication committee on the electricity situation in the southern region,
which organized three public forums to inform the general public on the
region's challenges in energy.
The forums proposed power plants constriction options and their potential
environmental effect, and gathered input from the general public regarding
this issue. The forums were broadcasted on local TV and radio networks.
From the results of the forums, the general public believes it is necessary
to construct power plants in the region, while some does not view it as a
necessity and that energy demand can be managed.
The general public have expressed their concerns regarding the coal power
plant on the transport of coals,pollution control procedures, and impacts to
the environment, health, and tourism.
The Prime Minister had urged the Ministry of Energy and related agencies to
communicate with the general public to create understanding among them that
electricity demand will grow accordingly to the region's economic
development. To gain better electricity capacity and regional stability, a
power plant would have to built, while alternative energy options would only
help support the region's sustainability.
"The Prime Minister has also asked the authorities to further communicate
with people from other regions to make sure all people in Thailand are aware
of this issue and can play a part in safeguarding the country's electricity
security," said the government spokesman.
12 million tourists visit Thailand in first 4 months
BANGKOK,(NNT) – Thailand has been visited by 12 million
foreign tourists in the first four months of this year, generating more than
800 billion baht.
According to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 2.827 million foreigners
visited Thailand in April, 1.877 million of whom were from East Asia,
followed by Europe and South Asia. Thailand gained 139.9 billion baht from
tourism last month, which represents an increase of 7.64% year on year.
Between January and April 2017, the Land of Smiles welcomed 12.02 million
people from overseas, creating a 2.91% rise in visitor numbers. The industry
generated more than 800 billion baht for the country, an increase of 4.71%
compared to the same period last year.
The ministry has instructed tourism and security related agencies to keep
all tourists safe and keep hospitality standards high, in the hope of
increasing the country’s tourism revenue.
Government steps up nationwide eradication of child prostitution
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The government is stepping up its nationwide
eradication of child prostitution, retaining strict law enforcement against
mafia networks, encouraging the general public to inform officials of any
Ministry of Defense Spokesman Maj Gen Kongcheep Tantrawanich revealed that
the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Gen Prawit Wongsuwan had
ordered the Royal Thai Police to eradicate child prostitution in all areas
of the country according to the Prime Minister's policy, and to work with
the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to provide protection
to victims and prosecute all human trafficking activity.
The Defense Minister had stressed security officials to retain strict law
enforcement against mafia networks and persons involved in the sabotage of
national stability, including the sales of narcotics, illegal weapons,
assassin rings, violent informal debt groups, the human trafficking groups,
The Defense Ministry spokesman said security officials have since October
2016 seized some 20,000 guns and busted some 10 million pills of drugs from
major narcotics network, and that authorities are tracing the trail of money
to the money-laundering and international criminal networks.
He said the government is working to ensure public safety based on the
principles of freedom, fairness, and equality under the law, and encourages
public participation in the government's operations to solve social issues.
The government is now asking the general public to help watching out for
each other's safety by informing suspicious clues to authorities.
Merit-making ceremony for late king scheduled for next Tuesday
Tanakorn Sangiam (NNT)
The Bureau of the Royal Household will hold a
merit-making ceremony for His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on 23
May at Dusit Palace, with a live broadcast on NBT and Radio Thailand
His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn
Bodindradebayavarangkun has ordered the Bureau of the Royal Household to
arrange the merit-making ceremony for the late king and other previous Thai
monarchs as well as a religious ceremony for celebrating Her Majesty Queen
Sirikit on Tuesday from 4:30 p.m. at Dusit Palace Plaza behind the King Rama
V statue in Bangkok.
The ceremony will be led by His
Holiness the Supreme Patriarch and 175 Buddhist monks chanting prayers on
this auspicious occasion. The general public are invited to attend the
ceremony or watch the live television broadcast on NBT2HD, Thai TV Global
Network, and NBT World starting from 5:10 p.m.
The live broadcast will also be
available on liveNBT2HD Facebook page, and on Radio Thailand's stations
nationwide. The mantra to be used in this ceremony is available for download
Iranian self-immolates outside embassy in election protest
An unidentified man sits on the ground after he
set himself on fire outside the Iranian Embassy Friday, May 19, in Bangkok.
(Photo via AP)
Police said an Iranian man set himself
on fire Friday in front of the Iranian Embassy in Bangkok to protest his
country's presidential election.
The unidentified man doused himself
with gasoline before lighting himself on fire outside the gate of the
embassy around noon, police said. The man suffered burns all over his body
and was taken to a hospital.
Pol Lt Col Noppadol Samart said the man
was protesting Friday's presidential vote in Iran, though he did not know
exactly what about the election the man was opposed to.
Iranians are voting in the first
presidential election since the country's nuclear deal with world powers.
The election is largely viewed as a referendum on the current president's
more moderate policies as well as economic issues.
Twister strikes Nakhon Sawan, flood hits Lampang
Vipaporn Pooritanasarn (NNT)
A twister struck Nakhon Sawan province
on Thursday, damaging dozens of houses and utility poles in Takhli district.
Nakhon Sawan Governor Thanakom
Chongchira and representatives of related agencies visited residents in
Takhli district Friday and assessed the damage. The storm that hit the
central province damaged 27 houses and brought down 89 utility poles,
causing power outages in the districts of Takhli and Tak Fa and a nearby
district in Chai Nat province.
Takhli Provincial Electricity Authority
estimated the damage to its infrastructure at six million baht and said it
would take around three days to restore power supplies in all affected
In the North, heavy rains triggered a
mudslide and flash floods in several areas in Chae Son sub-district of
Lampang province. Civil workers and villagers combined forces to remove a
fallen tree and mud that blocked a mountainside road.
In the Northeast, days of
thundershowers have raised the water levels of the Mekong River. Fishermen
in Bueng Kan province have taken the opportunity to catch fish which sell
for 200-300 baht per kilogram. Many of them are able to make 1,000- 2,000
baht a day.
Thailand's chunky monkey on diet after gorging on junk food
A wild obese macaque named "Uncle Fat" sits with
bananas in a rehabilitation center in Bangkok, Friday, May 19. (AP
Kaweewit Kaewjinda (AP)
A morbidly obese wild monkey who gorged
himself on junk food and soda left behind by tourists has been rescued and
placed on a strict diet of lean protein, fruits and vegetables.
Wildlife officials caught the chunky
monkey — nicknamed "Uncle Fat" by locals — after photos of the animal
started circulating on social media last month.
Wild monkeys roam free in many parts of
Thailand, attracting tourists who feed and play with the animals. Most of
the monkeys are macaques like Uncle Fat, and they typically weigh around 9
kilograms (20 pounds).
Uncle Fat weighs three times that,
tipping the scales at around 26 kilograms (60 pounds).
"It was not easy to catch him," said
Kacha Phukem, the wildlife official who conducted the capture and rescue on
April 27. "He was the leader of his pack, and when I tried to go in, I had
to fight off a flock of them with sticks."
The subordinate monkeys fed into Uncle
Fat's bad habits.
"He had minions and other monkeys
bringing food for him but he would also re-distribute it to younger
monkeys," said Supakarn Kaewchot, a veterinarian in charge of the monkey's
"After he ate food given by humans for
a while, he developed a fat mass, which became a type of benign tumor,"
Supakarn said. "He is now in critical condition where there is a high risk
of heart disease and diabetes."
Uncle Fat is believed to be between 10
and 15 years old. To help him lose weight, his new diet is limited to 400
grams worth of lean protein, fruits and vegetables twice a day. Supakarn
said she hopes that within a few months they can consider releasing him to
She said Uncle Fat is an example of why
people shouldn't feed wild monkeys unhealthy food.
"I understand that people feel sorry
for the monkeys and want to feed them when they see them," Supakarn said.
"But please don't feed them food that people like to eat like snacks and
soda. It is very bad for their health and the problem is entirely man-made."
Heavy rains bring damage and blessings to provinces
Vipaporn Pooritanasarn (NNT)
Several provinces have experienced both
damage and blessings following days of heavy rain.
In the northern province of Nan,
municipal workers are speeding up the dredging of canals in response to
thundershowers that triggered flooding in the city center this week. Water
pumps have been installed at inundated areas to quicken the floodwater
In the central region, downpours from
the upper provinces of Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Sawan and Uthai Thani have
raised the water level of the Chao Phraya Dam in Chai Nat province. The
upstream water level has lifted by 30 centimeters from last week to 16.7
meters, or 27 centimeters below the embankment.
In the Northeast, rainstorms have
caused the main canal in Ban Phai district of Khon Kaen province to
overflow, making it easier for villagers to catch fish. However, flooding
has also swept more than 100,000 small fish away from the municipal fish
breeding center, and damaged some corn farms.
In Bueng Kan, rainfall over the past
week has brought favorable conditions for farmers in the capital district to
start growing rice. More rainy days are also on the way.
National Theater incident confirmed as bombing
Itiporn Lakarnchua (NNT)
The Deputy Commander of the Royal Thai
Police said investigations have concluded into the incident that took place
in front of the National Theater in Bangkok earlier this week and concluded
that it was in fact an explosion, with similarities to the attack on the
Government Lottery Office in April.
Deputy Police Chief Pol Gen Sriwara
Rangsiphramnakul said investigations into the explosion turned up traces of
Potassium Chlorate, a component of explosive devices. He noted the substance
was also found after the bombing on Rajadamnoen Avenue on April 5. Local
police have been tapped to continue to probe the latest incident.
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha
later elaborated that while police probes have progressed well, no firm
conclusions can yet be drawn and all possibilities must be considered. He
acknowledged that malicious groups still exist but assured they would not
impact the government’s work, asking the public to help authorities in
Metropolitan Police Commander Pol Lt
Gen Sanit Mahataworn added that initial theories from authorities that the
explosion was actually falling PVC pipes were put out merely to put the
bombing’s culprits off-guard as officers intensified their investigation.
Seminar held to improve quality of Taxis
Nuppol Suvansombut (NNT)
King Mongkut's Institute of Technology
Ladkrabang (KMITL) and the Department of Land Transport (DLT) recently held
a seminar on improving the quality of taxis.
At the seminar, the KMITL unveiled its
GPS tracking system and a mobile application "TAXI OK", in a bid to improve
the value of local taxis. GPS tracking devices will relay the positions of
taxis to a monitoring center, and TAXI OK, which will be operated by the
DLT, provides other information about the taxi driver.
The department is expecting to issue a
regulation that requires all taxis to install a GPS tracking device and
linked to the DLT's taxi management center. The move is part of the
department's initiative to improve the quality of taxis and address various
issues, including drivers refusing to take passengers, not using the fare
meter and other inappropriate practices.
Meanwhile the Thailand Development
Research Institute has pointed out that in order to effectively achieve
these goals, transport officials must work with taxi rental service
providers to implement innovations and enforce regulations to maintain the
quality of taxi services.
New cases of HIV in Thailand declining to less than ten thousand per year
Jettana Pantana (NNT)
The Bureau of AIDS, TB and STIs has
revealed that new cases of HIV in Thailand are declining to less than 10,000
per year, due to higher use of condoms and advancements in preventive
Dr Saman Fuutrakul, director of the
bureau, said during a press conference that the rate of new HIV cases per
year has dropped from its peak of 150,000 to between 6,000 and 10,000. The
Ministry of Public Health plans on reducing the rate of new cases to less
than 1,000 per year by 2030.
Dr Pannee Pitisutham, head of the
Vaccine Center of the Faculty of Tropical Medicine at Mahidol University,
revealed that the progress of developing an AIDS vaccine in Thailand has
entered its third phase. The most recent testing on HIV-positive volunteers
saw an increase in immune cells. The results are promising, as HIV infection
can lead to a progressive failure of the immune system.
The center is conducting tests under
the AD26 program, which involves administering the vaccine to male
Thai tourism rakes in over THB800bn in first 4 months
Western tourists soak up the sun on Kata Beach,
Phuket. (AP Photo)
Surapan Laotharanarit (NNT)
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has
revealed that over 800 billion baht worth of revenue was generated by the
tourism sector during the first four months of this year.
Commenting on the tourism sector’s
performance between January and April 2017, Permanent Secretary for Tourism
and Sports Pongpanu Svetarunda reported that there were more than 2.8
million foreign arrivals during the period. The visitors brought in
approximately 840 billion baht of income to the country, an increase of 4.68
percent compared to the same period of last year.
Of all the foreigners, 1.8 million came
from East Asian countries, mostly China. Although the number of Chinese
tourists was found to decline slightly following the clampdown on
zero-dollar tours, it was offset by the rising number of European visitors,
who contributed to revenue of over 600 billion baht.
According to Svetarunda, it is expected
that arrivals from China will rebound from June onwards after the ministry
continues to promote tourist confidence by ridding the Thai tourism industry
of illegal practices and scams.
Four people arrested in connection with Pattani bombing
Nuppol Suvansombut (NNT)
Four more suspects in last week's
explosion in Pattani have been apprehended and taken to an army base for
Authorities found the four suspects
inside a deserted house where they allegedly planned the attack and attached
an explosive device to a pickup truck. All four of them are now being
questioned at the Ingkhayuttha Borihan Military Base.
Following the explosion, the Pattani
Provincial Court issued arrest warrants for nine suspects, most of whom are
from Songkhla and Yala provinces and have previously committed crimes.
A Sheikhul Islam Office representative,
Wisut Billateh, visited people who were injured in the explosion and
conveyed the Muslim chief’s concern for their well-being.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha, commenting on the call for the United Nations to list the
Barisan Revolusi Nasional as a terrorist group, said that the international
organization may not fully understand the problem with such complexity.
Chief of the Defense Forces Gen
Surapong Suwana-adth said the army will do its best to promote peace in the
Deep South, adding that the situation has improved over the past ten years.
Govt to accept 2,200 nurses as civil servants this year
Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-Ngam talks to the press, Wednesday, May 17 in
Tanakorn Sangiam (NNT)
The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH)
will grant civil servant job status to 2,200 nurses before the end of the
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-Ngam
announced Wednesday that the cabinet had instructed the MOPH to draft up
rules for the acceptance of the 2000+ nurses, which when combined with 800
vacancies, will allow for a total of some 3,000 nurses to be accepted as
civil servants this year.
He said that the quota for next year
will be limited at 2,900 positions, plus some others left vacant by retired
personnel as the MOPH needs to reserve some positions for other medical
professionals and scholarship students.
The cabinet also proposed the
establishment of a commission to determine the number of personnel required
in the MOPH to prevent such staff shortages from arising again. The
committee will look after medical professionals in the civil servants system
as the current public sector development committee does not have the scope
of work to cover doctors and nurses.
The MOPH is to study plans for training
new medical professionals to meet the increasing demand following the
realization of ASEAN Economic Community and also to compensate for staff who
opt to work at private hospitals and clinics.
Krea-Ngam suggested a study be taken on
the feasibility of allowing special employment of medical professionals
outside the civil service but provide them with similar benefits. He said
many people are currently waiting to be officially hired as civil servants
under the MOPH and the Ministry of Education.
Govt to allow foreign institutions to open universities in Thailand
Sansern Keawnkamnerd announces proposed new legislation to allow foreign run
universities in Thailand, Wednesday, May 17.
Nuppol Suvansombut (NNT)
The government is planning to invoke
Article 44 of the interim constitution to allow foreigners to open
universities in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in an effort to address
Spokesman of the Prime Minister’s
Office, Lt. Gen. Sansern Keawnkamnerd, revealed that the cabinet and the
National Council for Peace and Order had agreed to enforce Article 44 to
improve higher education in Thailand, especially in science and technology.
Foreign educational institutions will
be allowed to offer courses which are not available in Thailand to Thai
students primarily in special economic zones. They must also comply with
Thai regulations and meet the standard criteria for all university-level
The Cabinet also wanted foreign
institutions to provide vocational programs in Thailand. Stricter
requirements will, however, have to be met in order to prevent them from
competing with Thai vocational colleges.
Thailand backs off threat to block Facebook over content
Thailand's National Broadcasting and
Telecommunication Commission Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith talks to
reporters in Bangkok, Tuesday, May 16. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Kaweewit Kaewjinda (AP)
Thailand backed off a threat to block
Facebook on Tuesday, instead providing the social media site with court
orders to remove content that the government deems illegal.
Thailand made the threat last week as
it wanted Facebook to block more than 130 posts it considers a threat to
national security or in violation of the country's lese majeste law.
Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of
Thailand's broadcast regulator, said Facebook had requested the court orders
before it would take action but he expected the social media giant would
comply with the government's demands.
"Facebook has already responded that it
will comply when we have court orders," Takorn told reporters.
Emails and calls seeking confirmation
from Facebook were not immediately returned.
Last week, the regulator demanded that
Facebook remove more than 130 posts by Tuesday or face legal action that
could shut down the site. In a change of tactic, Takorn said that Thailand
had forwarded 34 court orders to Facebook so far.
"The websites that need to be taken
down are not only those that are a threat to stability but they also include
other illegal websites such as porn and websites that support
human-trafficking which take time to legally determine," Takorn said.
Facebook, which is blocked in a number
of authoritarian countries such as North Korea, has said it relies on local
governments to notify the site of information it deems illegal.
"If, after careful legal review, we
find that the content is illegal under local law we restrict it as
appropriate and report the restriction in our Government Request Report,"
Facebook has said in past statements outlining its policy.
Soccer game broadcasting pirates arrested
Tanakorn Sangiam (NNT)
The Department of Special Investigation
(DSI) has arrested three suspects for alleged unauthorized broadcasting of
English Premier League soccer games.
Deputy DSI Director General Pol Maj Gen
Suriya Singhakamol led a raid in cooperation with the Central Institute of
Forensic Science and Mahidol University on five locations in Bangkok,
Nonthaburi, and Samut Prakarn to arrest the suspected broadcasting pirates.
The three suspects were identified as a
39-year-old Daryl William Lloyd and a 35-year-old William John Robinson of
the United Kingdom, and a 33-year-old Thai national Supattra Raksasat,
alongside nine network servers, 49 set top boxes, nine computers and three
cell phones which the police seized during the raid.
The UK suspects were granted bail at
the request of the British embassy.
The raid followed a complaint from a
delegate of the Football Association Premier League Company Limited which
holds a broadcasting license for English Premier League matches which were
broadcast illegally on 365sport.tv and five other websites. Such piracy was
punishable by the Computer Crime Act BE 2550.
Damage was estimated at 100 million
baht while the website has been offline following the arrests.
Investor confidence remains high
Manchusree, President of the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
Nuppol Suvansombut (NNT)
According to the Federation of Thai
Capital Market Organization (FETCO), local investors are confident that the
Thai economy will improve despite the current volatility while pointing out
that foreign investments in Thai stocks remain stable.
FETCO quoted its survey on the Investor
Confidence Index over the next three months which stands at 100.89, an
increase of 11.69 percent from the June projection of 90.33. The
organization attributed the positive speculation to the improving local
economic situation and the performances of several listed companies, adding
that one major negative factor is the volatility in the international
The President of the Stock Exchange of
Thailand (SET), Kesara Manchusree, said foreign investors in April bought
1.82 billion baht worth of Thai stocks.
The combined net value of the SET and
the Market for Alternative Investment now stands at 15.8 trillion baht, an
increase of 1.87 percent from 2016. The average value of daily trades is 40
billion baht, representing a drop of 8.18 percent year-on-year.
Immigration Bureau arrests Taiwanese call center operator
Jettana Pantana (NNT)
Immigration police have raided a
Taiwanese call center operation, found to be using Thailand as a base to
scam victims in China and Taiwan.
Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau,
Pol Lt Gen Nattathorn Prousunthorn led the raid on the Bangkok based call
center operation of Zhou Zheng Cheng, and seven accomplices at a two story
home in Napalai Village in Bang Na District. Officials confiscated
computers, international telephones and a list of thousands of victims.
The callers claimed to be bank
employees and told the victims that their accounts had been hacked and used
to purchase narcotics. They would then transfer the call to an accomplice
who would impersonate government officials such as the police, Anti-Money
Laundering Officers, and those from the Office of Narcotics Control Board,
to gain the victim's trust. Those who fell victim were then asked to divulge
their financial information and transfer money. Most victims were located in
China and Taiwan with no Thai victims found so far.
The investigation found that the
accused group traveled from the Pacific island of Saipan, which is a
territory of the United States, arriving in Thailand in January. The
suspects revealed the identity of the head of the operation in Taiwan, for
whom an arrest warrant has now been issued. The Immigration Bureau has now
revoked the passports of the suspects and will send them back to their
country of origin.
Ordnance Division begins marching rehearsal of chariot bearing royal urn
Jettana Pantana (NNT)
The Royal Thai Army Ordnance Division has begun its
rehearsal of the march with the royal chariot, which will carry the royal
urn of King Rama IX.
The Ordnance Division has selected 441
officers to undergo a lengthy training course, which consists of an
orientation to the funeral procession, dress code, and marching rehearsals.
Director-General of the Royal Thai Army
Ordnance Division Lt Gen Awut Aemwong delivered a speech to the selected
officers on Monday, saying that bearing the royal chariot is a task of the
highest honor and urged them to fully dedicate themselves to the ceremony as
a way of honoring the late King.
The group will undergo training at the
ordnance academy in Saraburi province before integrating with the First Army
at the 11th Army Division in Bangkok. The rehearsal will involve the use of
two military vehicles of similar weight as the royal chariots.
Training will take place on Mondays,
Wednesdays, and Fridays until the end of September, before integrating with
the First Army at the actual location in October. The royal funeral will
take place on October 26.
Public vans told to carry no more than 13 passengers
Nuppol Suvansombut (NNT)
The Department of Land Transport has
told public van operators to carry a maximum of 13 passengers at a time and
install an emergency exit door at the back of the vehicle.
According to the Department of Land
Transport, all passenger vans are required to service no more than 13 people
at a time and leave a space of at least 20 centimeters in the last row so
that passengers can exit through the back door in case of emergency.
Each vehicle should be equipped with a
hammer as an escape tool and a sign indicating an emergency exit. Van
operators who fail to abide by the new regulations will be fined.
The new regulations are enforced to
ensure the safety of the passengers. Any violations can be reported to
Thailand’s south, east to experience thundershowers
Thammarat Thadaphrom (NNT)
The southern and eastern regions of
Thailand can expect heavy thundershowers from now until May 18 according to
a Meteorological Department forecast. Seafarers in the Andaman Sea have
also been advised to proceed with caution.
Meanwhile, students and teachers in Ang
Thong province are cleaning up after heavy rain over the weekend damaged
parts of Wat Yang school and brought down a tree. The school is now
appealing for donations to effect repairs. Wat Yang school has 67 students
and 7 teachers. The new semester started on Monday.
CDC to review draft law on criminal procedure for political office holders
CDC Chairman Meechai Ruchuphan talks to
reporters in Bangkok, Monday, May 15.
Kitti Cheevasittiyanon (NNT)
The Constitution Drafting Commission is
set to review the details of the organic law on criminal procedures for
political office holders.
CDC Chairman Meechai Ruchuphan said
Monday that the charter drafters haven't made any changes to the draft
although they did meet with representatives of the Supreme Court on May 8
when both sides discussed their views on the new law.
Ruchuphan said that the Supreme Court
has proposed additional details concerning the trial process and an
adherence to facts, logic and rationale in the proceedings, which is how the
Constitutional Court performs its work.
He said that the Supreme Court believes
such additional details should be effective in preventing any attempt to use
a technicality to win a case.
Ruchuphan said that the CDC will work
on the draft and submit it to the National Legislative Assembly accordingly.
Land Transport Dept reports 569 public transport drivers violated law
BANGKOK, 14th May 2017 (NNT) -
The Land Transport Department has found hundreds of cases of law violations
by public transport owners and drivers.
Land Transport Department Director-General Sanit Promwong said this week
that officers from the department have recently been going out to inspect
how the public transport service is being provided across the country.
Mr. Sanit said that officers have focused on issuing fines and offering
advice on how to offer a quality service to members of the public.
In April alone, the department conducted inspections of 17,173 public buses,
vans, taxis and motorcycle taxis in Bangkok and 569 of them were found to be
in violation of law, he said
According to records, 280 taxi drivers turned down passengers while 178
passenger vans were found to be substandard vehicles, and 113 motorcycle
taxi drivers did not use approved vehicles or failed to produce proper
Mr. Sanit said that all of them will be ordered to attend a training session
to learn more about quality service and their responsibilities towards
Commerce Ministry takes action against unscrupulous rice traders
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Commerce
Ministry has launched an initiative to take action against unscrupulous rice
Director General of the Department of Internal Trade, Nuntawan Sakuntanagak
said today that the department has been receiving complaints from rice
farmers in Sing Buri Province about some irregularities surrounding the
purchase of rice by middlemen.
Ms. Nuntawan said that a team of inspectors from the department was
dispatched to inspect all scales at rice trade stations in Mueang District,
Bang Rachan District and Khai Bang Rachan District on May 8th and 10th.
She said that at least two cases of irregularities with the scales were
found and their operators were charged with violation of the law before each
was fined 20,000 baht and the scales were banned from use.
The Director General of the Department of Internal Trade said that rice
farmers should make sure all scales are in good condition and carry the
department-approved tag to make sure they are not taken advantage of and to
report any suspicious cases for investigation, to their provincial
commercial affairs office or on the department’s hotline number of 1569.
Privy councilor on inspection trip to flood-hit Surat Thani
BANGKOK - A privy councilor has traveled to Surat Thani Province to
follow up on the situation of those who were affected by severe flooding
earlier this year.
Privy Councilor Palakorn Suwanarat, visited Wat Khao Khong Kha Lom School in
Kanchanadit District of Surat Thani Province to meet local residents, who he
said HM King Maha Vajjiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun has been
particularly concerned about.
Mr. Pakakorn said that HM the King also graciously directed all involved to
inspect the flood-hit areas thoroughly and to offer morale support to
affected residents while making sure they have everything they might need.
Wat Khao Khong Kha Lom School was severely damaged by flash floods on
January 5 of this year and its restoration with the cooperation of all
related parties has been going on ever since to allow it to resume classes.
Mr. Palakorn also traveled to Ban Klong Sra to visit the family of Mrs.
La-ong Thaimuang, one of the flood victims, to make sure her home had been
rebuilt, while offering moral support to other residents.
In addition, he visited Ban Soi 2 School in Mueang District, which was hit
twice by floods but had been completely restored before classes resumed.
Gem & jewelry export growth expected to remain at 5%
BANGKOK - The Thai Gem & Jewelry Traders Association (TGJTA)
estimates this year’s jewelry export growth at five percent despite a
slowdown in the first quarter.
The TGJTA’s President, Suttipong Damrongsakul announced today that jewelry
and gold exports in the first three months generated 131 billion baht in
revenue, a 22.5 percent drop from 169 billion baht year-on-year. Exclusive
of gold exports which fell 38.8 percent, gem and jewelry exports by
manufacturers in the first quarter were valued at 70.9 billion baht, a 0.06
percent rise on the same period last year.
Regardless of the disheartening figures, the association remains hopeful
exports to major markets and its efforts to penetrate China could push up
earnings in coming quarters and maintain the growth of non-gold jewelry
exports at five percent. Main importers are Hong Kong, the United States,
Germany, Switzerland and Belgium which represent 66.18 percent of the
country’s gem and jewelry export.
The association is scheduled to stage the Thailand Gems & Jewelry Fair 2017
between 15th and 18th June which will coincide with the Thailand Grand Sale,
a shopping fair held by the Tourism Authority. Both events are expected to
draw visitors and shoppers to the country. The association believes the
Finance Ministry’s decision to exempt rough gemstones from import tariffs
will boost the competitiveness of the country’s gem and jewelry industry.
The association, commented however, that political and economic volatility
as well as security problems in the importing countries could affect buyers’