Update November 25-26, 2017
Hill tribe people visit royal crematorium of HM the late King
Bangkok - Members of hill tribes from
various parts of Thailand have visited the royal funeral exhibition of
His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok.
Around 290 ethnic hill tribe people, including
Karen, Mhong and Akha, arrived at Sanam Luang Friday on buses provided
by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and the
Ministry of Culture.
They had the opportunity to express their gratitude
to His Majesty the late King for his efforts to improve the lives of
hill tribe people and learn about the royal funeral ceremony. They said
they were proud to be Thai and would apply His Majesty the late King’s
teachings to their lives.
Volunteers and staff were on hand throughout the
exhibition to provide background information and to answer visitors'
questions about the royal cremation ceremony. The exhibition is open
daily from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. until the end of this month.
Govt poised to clear national parks of illegal rubber plantations
Bangkok - The Ministry of
Natural Resources and the Environment and the Rubber Authority of Thailand
(RAOT) are preparing to scale down rubber plantation operations across the
country to solve problems of deforestation and the oversupply of latex.
Surveys have found that rubber
plantations across the country cover around 12 million acres, half of which
are located in national forests and other protected areas.
The Ministry now plans to reduce rubber
plantations in forest areas within 10 years. More than 64,000 acres of
illegal plantations have already been reclaimed. The seized land will be
allotted to landless farmers who will be urged to grow other economic
ROAT aims to curb rubber production
within seven years, by reducing plantations by 160,000 acres per year. The
process has been underway for two years. The number of agriculturists having
title deeds to their farming plots stands at 1.4 million. Those who have yet
to get title deeds number around 2.9 million
The reduction in the number of rubber
plantations is expected to end problems of forest invasion, rubber
oversupply, and the present price slump while encouraging agriculturists to
improve the quality of their products.
Culture Ministry unveils Buddha image encyclopedia
Bangkok - Thailand's Ministry of
Culture has unveiled an encyclopedia of the nation’s most revered Buddha
The encyclopedia, "108 Holy Buddha
Images of Thailand," contains the history and details of Buddhist
masterpieces from different eras and kingdoms. The preface was written by
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha.
The book was commissioned by the
ministry to conserve Buddhist culture and to provide an educational resource
for people to learn about Thai art and culture. Buddhist devotees who plan
to visit historically significant temples can use the encyclopedia as a
Culture Minister Vira Rojpojchanarat
presided over the book launch on Friday. The Department of Religious
Affairs, a unit of the Ministry of Culture, has begun distributing the first
3,000 copies to government offices and schools across the country.
The encyclopedia can also be downloaded
from the websites of the Ministry of Culture and the Department of Religious
Affairs at www.m-culture.go.th and www.dra.go.th, respectively.
Thailand e-Commerce Week 2017 underway in Bangkok
Bangkok - The Electronic
Transactions Development Agency (Public Organization) is holding an event
called Thailand e-Commerce Week 2017, offering services and consultations to
The event, held under the theme "Online
Shall We Go", brings together experts in digital marketing and E-commerce
service providers who are showcasing products and services that meet the
needs of business operators and those interested in online business.
Event-goers will also be able to join a seminar on brand management and
In his opening speech via video
conference, Digital Economy and Society Minister Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj
spoke about the government’s plan to equip all communities across the
country with internet access by the end of next year. He urged community
enterprises to maximize the commercial applications of the latest
Dr. Pichet recommended the event to
business operators and startups looking to expand domestically and overseas.
Thailand e-Commerce Week 2017 is taking place at Queen Sirikit National
Convention Center until November 26.
Thailand hosts 1st ASEAN conference to reduce Marine Debris
Phuket - ASEAN member states
have held their first conference to discuss possible solutions to the marine
debris problem in the region.
General Surasak Karnjanarat, Minister
of Natural Resources and the Environment of Thailand, presided over the
ASEAN Conference on reducing Marine Debris, held in Phuket province this
Gen Surasak said the problem has become
a serious global issue. Marine debris not only affects the ocean environment
but also impacts the ecosystem and quality of life. The main source of
marine litter is plastic coming from land-based activities, which account
for no less than 80% of the flotsam.
In Thailand, several remedial policies
have been issued, and various campaigns held, along with public relations
events organized by several sections to try and solve waste problems
generally, including solid waste and marine debris.
H.E. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, Deputy
Secretary-General of ASEAN, for the ASEAN SOCIO-CULTURAL Community said this
was the first time that ASEAN member country had taken the initiative on the
issue. This year has seen a greater awareness of the ocean's condition
worldwide, with interest spurred by the United Nations' Year of the Ocean.
This conference is seen as a great
opportunity to create a platform to fight marine pollution together in the
ASEAN region, since six ASEAN countries rank among those guilty of excessive
littering of the sea. The participants will share their ideas and discuss
plans to solve this problem.
PM orders transparent investigation into cadet’s death
Bangkok - The Prime Minister,
Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, has expressed condolences to the family of a cadet
who died at the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School (AFAPS), asking
relevant parties to clearly examine the cause of death.
Phakhapong Tanyakan, a first-year
student at the AFAPS, died under what his family members consider suspicious
circumstances. They also have questions about the autopsy procedure.
Gen. Prayut said he was sad to hear
about Phakhapong's death, as he is an AFAPS alumni. If the family have
concerns about what they claim were irregularities in the student's death,
the doctor can reveal the results of the autopsy.
The Prime Minister said that if any
investigation shows Phakhapong did not die of natural causes, those
responsible for his death will face severe penalties.
Banquet held to thank organizers of royal cremation ceremony
Bangkok - Thailand's Prime
Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha hosted a banquet to thank civil servants and
those who helped to organize the royal funeral ceremony of His Majesty the
late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Courtesy of His Majesty King Maha
Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, the banquet was held on Wednesday at
the Bank of Thailand to thank high-ranking officials, military officers,
police officers and civil servants who worked tirelessly to organize the
royal cremation ceremony.
A video presentation, showing images of
His Majesty the late King, people paying respects to him and government
officials facilitating funeral services, was shown at the banquet.
The premier, in his capacity as a
member of the committee overseeing the royal cremation, expressed his
gratitude towards His Majesty the late King for his contributions to the
country during his 7-decade reign and His Majesty the King for providing the
Gen Prayut also thanked everyone at the
banquet for ensuring that the funeral was in line with ancient tradition.
RID speeds up drainage of floodwater from overflowing Petchaburi River
Petchaburi - The Royal
Irrigation Department (RID) has installed water pumps and accelerators in
Petchaburi River to speed up the drainage of floodwater into the sea.
Acting RID Director-General Thongplew
Kongjun revealed the agency has installed a total of 18 water pumps in
Petchaburi province, 12 in the city and six in Ban Laem district, along with
34 water flow accelerators along Petchaburi River, plus six others in canals
in Ban Laem district.
In addition, the Navy has used 22 water
thruster boats along the river, while other agencies have placed sandbags
and made a makeshift flood wall to deter the overflowing river.
The water level is expected to recede
over the next three or four days, provided that there will be no heavy
rainfall for the time being.
Torrential rain caused the water in
Petchaburi River to rise and overflow into villages, affecting some roads
which are submerged under 2-25 centimeter deep flooding.
The RID announced that the flooding was
caused by excessive precipitation, and not by the water released from Mae
Prachan reservoir at only 4.5 million cubic meters per day.
The RID is now using Petch dam to help
with the water flow by retaining some water above it and keep the water
flowing into the river in order to minimize the effect in areas below the
dam, while at the same time making efforts to drain a maximum volume of the
water to the sea.
Prayer ceremony to be held to commemorate past monarchs
Bangkok - Citizens have been
invited to a ceremony of prayer in memory of Their Majesties King Vajiravudh
and King Bhumibol Adulyadej, taking place this Saturday at Dusit Palace in
The Supreme Patriarch, Somdej Phra
Ariyawong Somdej Phra Sangkharaj, will preside over the ceremony, along with
241 other Buddhist monks.
The ceremony will also honor His
Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun and Her Majesty
Queen Sirikit, the queen consort of HM the Late King Bhumibol.
His Majesty the King has assigned Privy
Councilor Gen Surayud Chulanont to represent him at the ceremony and ACM
Kasem Yusook, who is the chief of the Office of Secretary of His Majesty the
King, to transfer a portrait of Phra Chai Nawarat to the ceremonial venue.
Buddhist prayer books, courtesy of His
Majesty the King, will be given to those attending the ceremony. Prayers can
also be downloaded from www.prd.go.th.
The ceremony will be broadcast live on
Radio Thailand, NBT, Thai TV Global Network and NBT World.
Campaign launched to prevent sexual harassment on public transport
Bangkok - Action Aid Thailand
has launched a campaign to prevent sexual harassment on public
transportation, after a recent survey revealed that over a third of women
have experienced some form of sexual harassment.
Investigation of 1,634 respondents
revealed that up to 45 percent of the women surveyed felt they had
experienced some form of sexual harassment, although the most common
complaints were eye contact, physical proximity and whistling.
The highest rate of reported harassment
came on buses, motorcycles, and taxis. The campaign is aimed at raising
awareness and spurring discussion on how to prevent such occurrences.
Action Aid Thailand proposes that
related agencies install security cameras in vehicles and at transport hubs,
provide an accessible means of reporting incidents and conduct training for
officials to enable them to identify and intervene in cases of harassment.
108 million baht to be seized from former deputy minister
Bangkok - Thailand's National
Anti-Counter Corruption Commission (NACC) has found information supporting
an unusual wealth claim against Sombat Uthaisang during his time as Deputy
Minister of Interior and Adviser to the Ministry of Information and
Communication Technology. The NACC has forwarded the case to the Office of
the Attorney General (OAG) so that it may seek to seize 108 million baht
from the politician.
Deputy Secretary-General Worawit
Sukboon explained that, while Sombat submitted 9 accounts of his and his
spouse’s assets and wealth to the NACC for review during his tenure in
public office and as President of TOT Public Co Ltd, he failed to submit
those of his progeny and their spouses and it is believed by the NACC that
he deliberately did so to conceal his true wealth.
Of 106.291 million baht found in a
Government Housing Bank account belonging to his three children, Sombat was
only able to explain the origin of 15 million baht. All in all, 108.574
million baht of unexplained funds have been tied to the former deputy
The Office of the Attorney General will
take the matter to the Supreme Court in order that the unexplained assets
can be seized by the state.
Thai university uses ultrasonic waves to kill mosquito larvae
Nakhon Ratchasima - Suranaree
University of Technology has introduced an invention that uses ultrasonic
waves to kill mosquito larvae.
The waves are released from a specially
designed remote-controlled boat and have been proven to be 90% effective at
killing mosquito larvae and pupae within a 3 meter-radius. The university
spent six months developing the invention.
According to the university, the boat
can be used in ponds and canals to control mosquito infestations. The
ultrasonic waves don't harm fish or crustaceans in the water.
The boat, which is 100 centimeters long
and weighs about 50 kilograms, is made of fiberglass. It can be controlled
remotely via a GPS system and travels at the speed of 7 kilometers per hour.
The university has already obtained a
patent for this clever invention.
Thai police search for 20 suspected Uighurs on the run
Bangkok (AP) — Police said
Tuesday they were stepping up security along the country's borders as they
searched for around 20 suspected ethnic Uighurs who escaped an immigration
Local media published surveillance
camera footage of the Monday escape in which the group climbed out of the
detention center using two holes they seemingly made in a wall. They
apparently used blankets to lower themselves down before running toward the
detention center's exit.
Cherngron Rimpadee, an immigration
police deputy spokesman, said police were patrolling the border between
Thailand and Malaysia. Security in Malaysia was also tightened as the
detention center was close to the border.
Cherngron said that the group had been
detained since 2014 for illegally entering Thailand, but that police have
not been able to identify their nationality.
"Our officials found them, so we have
held them in custody to prepare to send them back," Cherngron said. "But
there are still problems about proving their nationality."
In 2015, Thailand deported 109 ethnic
Uighur refugees back to China, where they fled from, sparking criticism from
the U.N. refugee agency, the United States and others.
Cherngron said he did not know whether
Chinese officials had asked for this group of suspected Uighurs to be sent
back to China. "It is an international relations concern that I don't know
about," he said.
The Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking
Muslim minority in far western China's Xinjiang region. The group has
complained of harsh cultural and religious suppression as well as economic
marginalization under Chinese rule.
China's position is that the Uighurs
who were sent back by Thailand had left the country illegally. Beijing has
accused Uighur separatists of terrorism in Xinjiang, where ethnic violence
has left hundreds of people dead over the past two years.
In 2015, a bomb blast near a popular
Hindu shrine in Bangkok killed about 20 people and Thai police blamed the
attack on Chinese Uighurs.
Meteorological Office warns of more rain in many parts of the country
Bangkok - Four provinces in the
central and northeastern regions of Thailand have continued to battle
against flooding with areas of the south, central and east told to be wary
of flash floods and landslides due to a low pressure system currently
prevailing over the Gulf of Thailand.
The Meteorological Department issued a
statement Tuesday indicating the low pressure system will result in
continued rains across the south, lower central and eastern regions.
Citizens in these areas have been asked to stay on the alert as they are at
risk of flash floods and runoff. Provinces likely to be the most severely
affected include Ratchaburi, Samut Songkram, Samut Sakhon, Bangkok,
Petchburi, Prachuapkirikan, Chumporn, Surat Thani, Ranong, Phangnga and
A high pressure front that has moved
from south China to Thailand’s north will also result in thundershowers and
strong winds, which are expected to give way to lower temperatures over the
next few days.
The Ministry of Interior has tasked its
Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, along with other relevant
agencies, to monitor and prepare against crisis situations and to prepare
mobile units that can rapidly respond if floods hit.
The provinces of Phichit, Ayuthaya,
Khon Kaen and Mahasarakam remain inundated with floodwater, but the Office
of the Secretary-General of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)
has tapped relevant offices to aid in drainage and rehabilitation.
Culture Ministry calls for return of ancient Thai artifacts
Bangkok - The Ministry of
Culture is speeding up the process for the return of ancient Thai artifacts
The ministry's ad hoc committee has
called for the repatriation of artifacts that originated from Thailand and
recently acknowledged the verification of 14 ancient items currently in the
possession of the Honolulu Museum of Art in the United States. These items
include a pre-historic bell made of bronze, and a Buddha statue from
In addition, the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security has called for cooperation with Thailand to verify 69
further artifacts, all from pre-historic age and believed to originate from
Thailand that are currently stored in museums in the United States. They
include bronze bracelets and painted pottery items.
Tourists generate 2.1 trillion baht during first 10 months
Permanent Secretary for Tourism and Sports,
Bangkok - The Permanent
Secretary for Tourism and Sports, Pongpanu Svetarundra, said arrivals to
Thailand generated tourism revenue of more than 2.1 trillion baht during the
first 10 months of 2017.
Pongpanu said international tourist
arrivals stood at over two million in October, up 20.92 percent from a year
Last month, most foreign arrivals were
from East Asia, followed by visitors from Europe, South Asia, and North and
South Americas respectively.
The Chinese remained the largest group,
followed by the Malaysians and the Laotians, while the largest spenders were
the Chinese, Russians and Malaysians, respectively.
From January to September this year,
local tourists generated revenue of 695.2 billion baht, up 7.34 percent from
the same period of 2016.
PM presides over 2017 International Fleet Review
Pattaya - Prime Minister Gen
Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over the 2017 International Fleet Review
commemorating the 50th anniversary of ASEAN in Pattaya on Monday.
Gen Prayut boarded HTMS Thalang and
received a 19-gun salute by HTMS Pinklao. Afterwards, the premier led the
ceremony to inspect the international fleet while aboard HTMS Thalang. In
the evening, Gen Prayut hosted a reception and dinner at the Dusit Thani
The 2017 International Fleet Review
included a total of 40 warships from Thailand, Australia, the United States,
Russia, South Korea, China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh,
and ASEAN member nations. It was the first-ever international fleet review
ceremony to be held in Thailand.
300 billion baht for EEC development projects
Chonburi – The Ministry of
Transport has said it will push ahead with its 300 billion baht
infrastructure development investment projects in the Eastern Economic
Corridor (EEC) in 2018.
Transport Minister Arkhom
Termpittayapaisith said his ministry has allocated a total investment budget
of 309.6 billion baht for projects to improve the region’s infrastructure,
including roads, rail, water, and air transport links.
A total of 103 development projects to
support the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) with a total investment cost of
745.71 billion baht are also in place for the period from 2017-2021. These
include the renovation of U-Tapao airport to better serve as an
international airport and the establishment of an aircraft maintenance
center, which will help enhance Thailand as a regional aviation hub.
With regards to the proposed common
ticket system which will allow passengers to pay for different modes of
transportation using one single card, the state authorities are in the
process of negotiations with related agencies and business partners. It is
expected that the common ticket system will be online and take effect in
Thailand to host ASEAN Conference on Reducing Marine Debris
Bangkok - Marine experts from 10
ASEAN member countries will be attending the ASEAN Conference on Reducing
Marine Debris in ASEAN Region, which will be hosted by Thailand from
November 22nd and 23rd at the JW Marriot Resort and Spa in Mai Khao beach,
Participants will include
representatives from ASEAN countries' environmental ministries, an official
representative from China, academic experts in marine studies and
international conservation groups.
According to the United Nations
Environment Program (UNEP), Thailand's 23 coastal provinces produce 10.7
million tons of waste every year, up to 10 percent of which is expected to
be released into the sea.
Thailand needs to develop and improve
the onshore management systems to reduce the amount of debris flowing into
the rivers and the sea, UNEP said.
Thai economy to grow by 4% in Q3 :DPM Somkid
Bangkok - Deputy PM Somkid
Jatusriphitak said at the 35th Chamber of Commerce seminar that the private
sector has been playing an important role in driving forward Thailand's
economy and has expressed his confidence that the economy can grow by four
percent in the third quarter due to the government’s support for various
infrastructure development mega-projects, which will help boost confidence
among both Thai and foreign investors.
Somkid said investors in foreign
countries are now showing an increasing interest in ASEAN markets and
Thailand is ready to accommodate the inflow of foreign investment.
It is expected that the Thai economy
next year will continue to expand and is likely to grow by over four percent
due to increasing public and private investment projects.
Thai Navy holds rehearsal for this Monday’s international parade
Bangkok - The Royal Thai Navy
has preparing for the international military parade on Monday.
Adm Naris Pratoomsuwan,
Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy, traveled on Saturday to Pattaya
to observe the final rehearsal for Monday’s parade which will feature 25
ships from 18 foreign navies and 13 ships from the Royal Thai Navy.
The parade is part of the historic
International Fleet Review 2017 which is taking place to commemorate the
50th anniversary of ASEAN's establishment.
On Monday, Prime Minister Gen Prayut
Chan-o-cha will preside over the opening ceremony and review of the
International Fleet. The ceremony will be witnessed by Adm Naris as well as
navy chiefs and high-ranking officers from 40 countries around the world.
The fleet review is considered a
significant event for the navy, usually conducted to showcase solidity of
maritime forces. An idea that originated in England, a fleet review is
generally divided into two types – Naval Vessel Parade and Naval Review or
Central and southern regions can expect thundershowers
Bangkok - Thundershowers can be
expected in all parts of Thailand until Tuesday except for the north and the
northeast according to the Meteorological Department.
The Met office has reported that a
tropical depression in the South China Sea has strengthened into a storm
which is expected to move across central Vietnam and Cambodia between
November 19 and 21, bringing with it heavy rainfall to Thailand’s eastern,
southern, and central regions.
The department also warned people in
affected regions of possible flashfloods and forest runoffs.
As for the northern and northeastern
regions, the department said temperatures in many areas will drop 2-4
degrees Celsius as a result of a high air pressure in China.
Meanwhile in the southern Pattani
province, local officers convened a meeting to review plans and measures to
tackle natural disasters such as flooding, fire, and mudslides. Related
agencies and rescue units have been asked to regularly check their vehicles
Vice NLA President backs NCPO’s plan to ease ban on political movements
president Peerasak Porjit.
Bangkok - A vice president of
the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has voiced his support for the
National Council for Peace and Order's (NCPO) plan to relax restrictions on
political activities in order to pave the way for municipal elections.
Second NLA vice president Peerasak
Porjit said Saturday that he supported the NCPO's and the government’s plan
to lift the ban on political activities related to local elections, adding
that he personally agrees with the idea of holding municipal elections
before a general election while urging the NCPO to wrap up investigations
into the activities of local politicians so as to ensure a smooth and
Peerasak is of the opinion that the
plan to hold local elections prior to a national election is not to test the
popularity of the NCPO or the government, but is meant to encourage the new
generation to represent their communities.
However, if local elections are
allowed, politicians and candidates will be asked to refrain from
criticizing the NCPO and the administration.
Korat airport operates first chartered flights
Korat - Nakhon Ratchasima
airport has operated its first chartered flights to accommodate a meeting of
chambers of commerce and plans to operate new regular flights to Chiang Mai
and Phuket next month.
Department of Airports Director-General
Darun Saengchai revealed the agency had approved the operation of a
chartered flight No. E3 7511 by New Gen Airways to fly from Nakhon
Ratchasima to Surat Thani on 17 November 2017 in order to transport
attendees of the 35th National Chambers of Commerce conference in the
The flight, operated by a Boeing
737-800 aircraft, is considered the inaugural service of a charter flight
from Nakhon Ratchasima airport.
New Gen Airways will open regular daily
flights between Nakhon Ratchasima - Chiang Mai, and Nakhon Ratchasima -
Phuket starting on 3 December 2017.
Nakhon Ratchasima airport can process
300 passengers at its terminal and can accommodate three Boeing 737 aircraft
at a time.
Update November 18-19, 2017
Public continues to visit Royal Crematorium
Bangkok - More than 900,000
people have visited the royal crematorium of His Majesty the late King
Bhumibol Adulyadej at Sanam Luang since the beginning of the month.
Large crowds could be seen waiting to
enter the royal funeral venue at Sanam Luang on Thursday. Many people
revealed that they have visited the crematorium several times, while for
some it was their first visit. All said they felt pride and gratitude
towards His Majesty the late King for his commitment to the Thai people.
Police, soldiers and volunteers were
stationed at the venue throughout the day to provide visitors with
information about the royal crematorium, accommodate their needs, and ensure
their safety. Many people expressed interest in the rice demonstration field
located next to the royal crematorium. Volunteers have been working
tirelessly to keep insects and birds away from the blooming rice plants.
Visitors are urged to enter the royal
funeral venue at the entrance near Lukhun Pavilion. They will get to learn
more about the ceremony and His Majesty the late King’s achievements during
his lifetime at an exhibition held inside the Phra Thinang Songtham
120-ton stockpile of fireworks to be removed from Bangkok
Bangkok – Officials in Bangkok have ordered that
a 120-ton stockpile of fireworks and firecrackers discovered in the Pom Prap
Satru Pai district be removed within 3 days.
Bangkok Governor Pol Gen Assawin Kwanmuang led relevant
authorities and Explosives Ordnance Division police to the warehouse where
the contraband was found. The entire stockpile of firecrackers and fireworks
was found to not have proper allowances and is thus in violation of the
Public Health Act.
The up to 120,000 kilograms of fireworks are stored
across three buildings of the warehouse, which is in a residential area and
poses a danger to life and property.
The storage facility has been ordered cordoned off and
its contents are to be moved out within 3 days. Transport of the goods is to
take place at night to better ensure public safety. The haul is to go to a
facility in Saraburi province.
The owner of the warehouse is being called in for
questioning and to be charged.
Defense Minister wants nationwide CCTV cameras connected
Bangkok - Deputy Prime Minister
Gen Prawit Wongsuwan wants a strategic plan on developing a network of
nationwide surveillance cameras devised, in an effort to promote safety in
Spokesperson of the Ministry of
Defense, Lt Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich disclosed Friday that a committee
overseeing development of a public CCTV camera system has been instructed to
collect information on the efficiency of surveillance cameras nationwide
from public and state enterprise agencies.
This information will be used to
develop the strategic plan to link all existing CCTV camera networks and
create an effective surveillance camera management plan. The Defense
Minister also told the Royal Thai Police Bureau and the Ministry of the
Interior to install more CCTV cameras in crime-prone areas of the country
for public safety.
The private sector will also be asked
to cooperate with the government to allow their surveillance cameras to be
connected to the public system.
Thunderstorms forecast for upper parts of Thailand this weekend
Bangkok - The Meteorological
Department has forecast that the temperatures in upper parts of the country
will drop, as a high pressure trough from China is moving further south
towards the country.
Northern and Northeastern regions of
Thailand will experience thunderstorms until Tuesday. Temperatures are also
expected to decrease by 2 degrees Celsius.
Local residents are urged to keep warm
and remain cautious when leaving their homes given strong winds during this
time. The northeasterly wind in the Gulf of Thailand will become more
powerful and bring heavy rains to certain parts of the South of Thailand.
Weather conditions in the Andaman Sea
and the Gulf of Thailand will not be suited to swimming and fishing
activities. Waves could reach a maximum height of 2 meters. Residents of
towns and cities in the south have been warned of possible flash floods.
Thailand kicks off Amazing Tourism Year 2018
Bangkok – The government held
its “Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018” event this week to kick-off next
year’s tourism campaign, aiming to disperse tourist spending across the
Deputy Prime Minister Gen Thanasak
Patimaprakorn chaired the opening of the event, alongside Minister for
Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, heads of other relevant agencies
and consulates. The launch took place at Siam Discovery department store and
was organized to announce the government’s intention to develop Thai tourism
which, next year, will focus on economic stability, integration, promotion
of quality tourism and support for Thai ways of life towards sustainability.
The event saw the dispatch of 6 Thai
Tourism parades featuring the year’s emblem, a display of traditions from 5
different regions, Thai flavors, the colors of local festivals, sports
tourism and a parade encouraging Thais to be good hosts. All 6 will travel
to Suan Lumphini and remain open for viewing in the area of the King Rama V
Gen Thanasak urged all Thais to serve
as good hosts to convince visitors to return to Thailand, noting that 60-70
percent of tourists eventually come back to the country and that Thai
tourism has grown significantly over the past 3 years. He said authorities
are confident tourism expansion will meet a target of 7 percent this year
and that the Kingdom will maintain its position as third in the world for
Ranong seizes illegally-acquired farming plots
Ranong - A task force has reclaimed 480 acres of
illegally-acquired land in Ranong province.
Officials, led by Governor Jatuphol
Piyamputra, discovered that an area consisting of 19 plots of public grazing
land in La-un district had been converted into oil palm and rubber
plantations by capitalists from other provinces. The land plots are in fact
reserved for local landless farmers.
Authorities are preparing to conduct a
probe to identify the wrongdoers, against whom the assistant district
officer in charge of security will file a police lawsuit. The confiscated
land will later be distributed among impoverished villagers.
Uthai Thani ancient forest now open to tourists
Uthai Thani - Thailand's Uthai
Thani province has kicked off the post-monsoon high season, inviting nature
lovers to visit Tham Prathun Wildlife Non Hunting Area in Lan San district.
The winter months are an ideal time for
visitors to explore the Hup Pa Tard ancient forest, which is also the
breeding ground of the shocking pink dragon millipede. The spiny and toxic
creature was placed third in the world’s top 10 new species unveiled in 2008
by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State
University. The shocking pink dragon millipede can be seen between May and
Other must-sees include a 50-meter-long
cave occupied by bats, rare Jurassic-period plants, stalagmites and
stalactites. Officials and local children are on hand to offer information
Phayathai communities rail against high rises
Bangkok - Residents of eight
communities in Bangkok’s Phayathai area have called on their district office
to address the issue of high rise buildings being constructed without
consultations in a public forum.
Representative of the Phayathai
Conservation Association, Norarit Komarachun, accompanied by 10 other
individuals made a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman. They are asking
that the body inspect the work of Phayathai District Office for negligence,
after several high rise buildings were erected in the area, impacting the
quality of life of residents and likely violating the law.
Norarit remarked that Bangkok’s
permission for commercial buildings in Phayathai area was made without
consideration to the actual conditions and that the high rises have resulted
in a slew of problems impacting residents. He accused local authorities of
not seeking public opinion before moving forward with some projects.
One resident explained that her home
had to be completely rebuilt after the construction of a nearby condominium
resulted in structural damage to her house estimated at 30 million baht.
The community members are asking that
all commercial building projects at present underway in the district be
HM the King confers royal gifts on ‘Toon Bodyslam’
Bangkok - Rocker “Toon
Bodyslam”, who is leading a fundraising campaign for 11 hospitals, has been
granted special gifts from His Majesty the King.
At Bunjongburi Hotel in the capital
district of Surat Thani province, Air Marshal Pakdee Saeng-xuto, His
Majesty’s Deputy Principal Private Secretary, chaired the presentation of
royal gifts to Athiwara Khongmalai, aka Toon Bodyslam, and his companions
involved in their charity marathon campaign “Step by Step for 11 Hospitals
across the Country”.
Before a royal portrait of His Majesty
the King, Athiwara accepted the royally-granted items, which included a
bouquet of flowers, food supplements and Thai desserts prepared by the royal
kitchen. His Majesty’s representative relayed a royal message to the singer
and his group, saying the King would like to offer them moral support and
wished for their physical and mental strength to accomplish their goal.
Athiwara was on a one-day break after
already running 572 kilometers from the southernmost province of Yala to
Surat Thani while over 230 million baht has been raised in the campaign so
far. With the destination set for Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province,
there remains another 1,619 kilometers to be completed.
Bangkok firefighters on front line of city's snake scourge
Fireman Phinyo Pukphinyo holds a python on
garage roof in Bangkok. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Bangkok (AP) — When the latest distress call came into Phinyo
Pukphinyo's fire station in Bangkok, it was not about a burning home or
office building. Instead, the caller needed urgent help with a far more
common problem facing Thailand's capital: snakes.
A 2-meter (10-foot) -long python was
dangling from the caller's garage roof, and after rushing to the scene, it
took Phinyo less than a minute to remove the slithering reptile.
The number of snakes ending up in urban
homes is on the rise in Bangkok, apparently in part because of development
pains in thisvast metropolis of about 10 million people. Thailand's has 300
species of snakes and 10 percent are venomous — including king cobras,
kraits and pit vipers — making many city dwellers fearful of dealing with
the creatures themselves.
Tara Buakamsri, Thailand country
director for Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said the city is seeing more snakes
because it sits on a "flood plain with a wetland ecosystem, which is a
habitat for amphibians, including snakes," and housing expansions in recent
years have curtailed their land.
Firemen Uten Kana left, and
Phinyo Pukphinyo put a golden tree snake into a water bottle after catching
it at a house in Bangkok. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Bangkok's low-lying landscape makes it
prone to floods during the rainy season, which also invites snakes and other
reptiles such as monitor lizards.
The huge python Phinyo's team caught
was not the first of the day, or the last. Hours later, the station was
called to remove a green snake found in the bathroom of another Bangkok
resident, who apologized to the firefighters for calling them for the third
time this year.
"I've been living in this house for 20
years and we would very rarely see any snakes," said the caller and
homeowner, Chanun Chisa. "But this year, it seems like we see one every few
Phinyo said his fire station gets more
calls to catch snakes than to put out fires.
"In a day, we can get several calls to
catch snakes," he said. "I think people have just started to become aware
that they can call officials up to deal with it. Beforehand, people used to
handle the snakes themselves, using sticks to hit them and that kind of
He said he can now identify most types
of snakes and has become an in-house instructor who teaches other
firefighters how to safely capture the wriggly reptiles.
"We have no choice but to learn how to
handle them," Phinyo said.
Piya Saereerak, a veterinarian who
works for the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, said Bangkok's
snake invasion is sustained by the city's growing piles of trash, which
subsequently leads to more rats and birds — favored prey for serpents.
The Thai capital is producing more
trash every year, and struggles to get rid of it. It has produced around
10,454 tons of trash per day this year, up from 8,943 tons daily in 2011,
according to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
"In the wild, you'd have eagles and big
birds that eat snakes, and their eggs are food for other reptiles," Piya
said. "But in a big city like Bangkok, there is nothing hunting them."
Piya heads a wildlife clinic that takes
in around 300 to 400 snakes a month from rescuers such as firefighters in
Bangkok. Every week, the staff from his clinic releases truckloads of snakes
caught in the city into the jungle.
City authorities say the number of
snakes caught in Bangkok homes has risen exponentially in recent years, from
16,000 reported cases in 2013 to about 29,000 in 2016. Figures for the first
half of 2017 are over 30 percent higher than last year.
Penchom Saetang, director of the
environmental foundation Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand, said
Bangkok is producing more trash each year because the city is quickly
expanding under an insufficient waste management system.
A July 2017 Greenpeace report notes
there are 2,490 waste management centers around the country, but only 466 of
them working properly.
Piya's advice to Bangkok's residents is
to keep the city clean in order to keep the snakes away. He said most snakes
found in Bangkok homes and apartments are harmless, "but if you spot a
venomous one, firemen will be there to help."
Rayong to construct breakwaters to reduce economic losses
Rayong - Relevant agencies in
Rayong province plan to construct breakwater structures to protect the
shoreline against erosion, which has resulted in economic losses and
The Deputy Governor of Rayong,
Theerawat Sudsuk, said the Joint Public and Private Sector Consultative
Committee (JPPSCC) and the Governor of Rayong, Surasak Charoensirichote,
previously held a meeting in September 2017 to talk about the long-term
effects of coastal erosion, which has become more severe. After the meeting,
the provincial governor decided to set up a committee to determine the
feasibility of building breakwaters that will span 105 kilometers along the
shoreline in Muang, Klaeng and Ban Chang districts.
Theerawat said different sectors in the
province had a meeting November 14 to discuss integrating project management
and budget allocation concerning the breakwater construction plan. The
findings will then be forwarded to the provincial governor and the JPPSCC
for further consideration.
Ministry of Labour: Zero illegal migrant workers by March 2018
Secretary for Labor, Jarin Chakkaphark, left, greets Peter Haymond, Deputy
Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Bangkok, Wednesday, Nov.
Bangkok - The Thai government
plans to achieve the target of zero illegal migrant workers by March 31,
The Permanent Secretary for Labor,
Jarin Chakkaphark, said he had a meeting with the Deputy Chief of Mission at
the United States Embassy in Bangkok, Peter Haymond, and his entourage at
the Ministry of Labor to exchange ideas on tackling child labor, forced
labor, and human trafficking.
Jarin said the US Council will send its
staff to Thailand next week to monitor the country's efforts to combat
forced labor and oversee migrant workers in different sectors, including the
The Permanent Secretary said the Thai
government is determined to address all labor issues and has set a target of
zero illegal migrant workers in the country after March 31 next year. Once
all migrant workers have registered with the state, they will be protected
by both Thai and international laws.
Jarin said the Ministry of Labor has
also been working with many relevant agencies including the Department of
Fisheries, the Marine Department, the Ministry of Social Development and
Human Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a bid to remove
restrictions on Thai seafood exports.
Thailand observes Father of Royal Rainmaking Day
Bangkok - Thailand commemorated
"Father of Royal Rainmaking Day" on Tuesday, taking the opportunity to honor
His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Up and down the country, government
officials chaired ceremonies and laid flowers in front of images of His
Majesty King Rama IX.
His Majesty initiated the royal
rainmaking program on November 14, 1955 and subsequently committed his
efforts to supporting research on and the development of rainmaking
technology, which has provided vital relief for farmers during times of
The project serves as a model for many
Asian countries, which have asked for assistance from Thailand in
rainmaking. Officials from such countries as Indonesia, Bangladesh, China,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Sri Lanka have traveled to
Thailand to train in the science of rainmaking.
His Majesty’s technique was registered
with the World Meteorological Organization in 1982. On the occasion of the
50th anniversary of His Majesty’s accession to the throne, WMO presented an
award to His Majesty in recognition of his strong support for meteorological
and operational hydrology. The award presentation took place in 1997 and
came in the form of a certificate and a barometer.
Later, the cabinet in August 2002
endorsed the proposal by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives for
the title of the Father of Royal Rainmaking to honor His Majesty the late
King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It also agreed to designate 14 November each year
Father of Royal Rainmaking Day.
Authorities issue warnings of potent new sleeping pill
Bangkok - Authorities are
warning citizens of a new sedative they have tracked spreading throughout
the southern region, reporting that the drug “Etizolam” is 10 times more
potent than average sleeping pills and can be deadly.
Director of the Department of Medical
Sciences, Dr Sukum Kanjanapimai indicated that many citizens in the three
border provinces have been using Etizolam without proper medical guidance.
The pill is orange and circular in shape and often has a number 5 printed on
it. It comes in blue aluminum packs of 10 and is purported to be from Japan.
Tests however have shown that most Etizolam being sold and used is fake and
contains Nimetazepam, a type 2 narcotic.
The drug is 10 times more potent than
other commercial brands and is prescribed in other countries to treat cases
of psychosis, depression and insomnia but comes with side effects such as
muscle fatigue, slurred speech, inability to walk and drowsiness. Use over a
one month period can result in damage to the respiratory system and lead to
Thailand has not registered Etizolam
for public use and the Department of Medical Sciences has asked all relevant
agencies to ensure that citizens do not use the drug.
Tourists complying with smoking ban on Phuket beaches
Phuket - Thailand's Department
of Marine and Coastal Resources Director-General Jatuporn Buruspat says that
no tourists have been found smoking on Patong Beach following the issuance
of the new smoking ban.
Jatuporn visited Patong Beach, one of
the 24 beaches in Phuket where the ban has been enforced, and found that
tourists are complying with the new rule and are smoking only in designated
26 locations have been designated for
smoking to keep the beach clean. It has also been found that the number of
smokers in the vicinity of the beach has declined.
Jatuporn added that the Ministry of
Public Health is currently drafting a law to prohibit smoking in public
Road safety measures to be rolled out ahead of New Year holidays
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.
Bangkok - Thailand's Ministry of
Transport has sought road safety advice from the Ministry of Land,
Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan to help prevent road
accidents during the New Year holidays.
Transport Minister Arkhom
Termpittayapaisith met with MLIT representatives to discuss road safety
measures under a memorandum of understanding on road safety between the two
Roads and highways are expected to be
crowded across the country during the holiday period. Safety measures, such
as erecting speed limit signs and painting the road in red to remind drivers
to slow down, will be implemented in 4 provinces including Suphanburi, Khon
Kaen, Uttaradit and Phetchabun.
The Ministry of Transport and the MLIT
will jointly conduct a study on road safety and use existing technology to
reduce road fatalities in Thailand.
Meteor shower visible over all parts of Thailand Friday night
A meteor is shown during the
peak of the 2009 Leonid Meteor Shower. (Photo/Wikipedia/Navicore Meteor
Bangkok - A Leonid meteor shower will be visible
in a clear night sky over all Thailand on Friday, November 17.
National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand
(NARIT) Director Saran Poshyachinda said the Leonid meteor shower will be
visible over the sky in all parts of the country starting from midnight on
Friday until dawn.
The meteor shower will be most visible from 2.00 a.m.
until early Saturday morning over the northeastern sky near the Leo
constellation which is the center of the shower.
Such natural phenomena are visible on moonless nights
with 10-15 meteors per hour. The Leonid meteor shower is considered the
brightest as the objects move through the earth's atmosphere at the rate of
71 kilometers per second.
Saran suggested that observers should lay down face up
to the sky to observe the meteor shower in a completely dark, open place as
the center of the shower will be right overhead.
The NARIT chief added that Leonids were formed when
meteoroids from the 55P/Tempel-Tuttle comet were ejected by the comet as its
frozen gases evaporated under the heat of the Sun. They then fell into the
path of Earth’s orbit and ignite due to friction with the atmosphere.
Laem Chabang port expansion scheme talked over with investors
Chonburi - Deputy Transport
Minister Pichit Akrathit has discussed co-investment plans for the third
phase expansion of Laem Chabang sea port with a selection of private
Akrathit said the private firms,
including Nathalin Group, Ngowhock, and Global Inter, have expressed
opinions about the investment scheme which may start as late as 2025.
The development will first require the
Environmental Health Impact Assessment (EHIA) which will take approximately
2 years from 2017, followed by the construction of basic infrastructure, the
excavation of navigating canals, and land reclamation which will take
approximately 4 years, and the selection of private companies responsible
for the operation of port, construction, and the procurement of machinery in
a three-year time frame prior to opening.
The entire process of the third-phase
development will take about eight years, said the deputy minister, with some
overlapping schedules along the way.
The participating companies involved in
the talks called for the Ministry of Transport to expedite the process as
Thailand is in need of more port capacity due to the increasing amount of
containers being shipped in the market, and that private companies are ready
to invest in the project.
The Port Authority of Thailand
initially expressed the potential to streamline the company selection
process, which will allow the development of the project to commence before
Defense Minister calls for crackdown on transnational criminals
Bangkok - The Deputy Prime
Minister for Security Affairs has ordered security mechanisms to eradicate
foreign criminals currently in the nation, especially those operating in
important areas such as Bangkok, along the border and in other major cities.
Ministry of Defense Spokesman Lt Gen
Kongcheep Tantrawanich announced Monday that operations are ongoing to do
away with foreign influential elements operating in the country and denting
its image with the number of overstay foreigners in the nation now around
100,000. Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan
has ordered soldiers, police and administrators to step up work to rid the
Kingdom of transnational criminals.
He said foreign criminals are present
in the guise of tourists in Bangkok and major cities such as Chiang Mai,
Pattaya, Songkla, Phuket and Samui with most engaged in narcotics and
weapons dealing, human trafficking, document forgery, jewelry forgery,
gambling and telemarketing fraud.
Lt Gen Kongcheep said that the actions
of such criminals hurt the nation in terms of both image and economics.
Authorities have apprehended over 300 foreign criminals in recent times and
seized large amounts of contraband.
Child allowance to increase to 600 baht in 2018
Bangkok - The Social
Security Office (SSO), under the Ministry of Labour, said the monthly
allowance for each child of workers joining the government's social
security scheme will be increased from 400 baht to 600 baht as a New
Year gift for Thai people.
The office’s secretary general,
Suradej Waleeitthikul, said the SSO’s advisory committee meeting on
Sunday (November 12) approved an increase of the monthly allowance rate
for each child not over six years of age. He said the committee had
also directed the SSO to accelerate the amendment process in order that
the new regulation can take effect from January 1, 2018.
Suradej said the increase in the
child allowance is in line with the higher prices of infant food and
products and will lead to the sustainable improvement of the quality of
life of the people in the country as a whole.