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Update November 2016


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Thailand News
 

PM calls for cooperation from pavement vendors

Thai PBS
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha stressed the need to strictly regulate illegal parking, road and pavement vending to ensure fairness in the use of public space for all stakeholders in the society.

Addressing the nation in his weekly TV programme on Friday, the prime minister said that selling goods and food on pavements or streets are not a Thai traditional way of life or Thai culture as wrongly perceived.

Instead the practice stems from ignorance of the problem from officials concerned until it has become a habit for traders to occupy sidewalks or roads to do their business, resulting in bribe-taking by unscrupulous officials and causing inconvenience to pedestrians, he added.

The prime minister said that he didn’t want the vendors to claim that they are poor and so they should be allowed to trade on pavements or roads.

The government has sympathy for the vendors and promises to find new locations for them to carry on with their business while, at the same time, has to observe the law to ensure order and to protect the interests of the public at large, he added.

Vendors will have to adapt to their new trading venues which may not attract customer, but eventually the situation will improve steadily, the prime minister explained.


SRT launches service of new Chinese-made trains onState Railway of Thailand

 Thai PBS

State Railway of Thailand on Friday launched the first new train service from Bangkok to Chiang Mai at Hua Lampong terminal.

The inauguration of the service was presided over by SRT governor Wutthichart Kalayanamitr.

Altogether 115 train carriages were bought by the SRT from China’s Railway Rolling Stock Corporation with the first lot of 39 having arrived in Thailand. The air-conditioned carriages are put in service in first and second classes.

Each first-class car has 12 sleeping rooms with two seats each. Each seat is equipped with an LCD monitor with a USB port so that passengers can enjoy entertainment programmes, to receive information or order food or drinks from their seats.


Navy takes delivery of five helicopters

Thai PBS

The Royal Thai Navy took delivery of a fleet of five Airbus EC645 T2 mid-sized helicopters to be based at the second air wing in Sattahip naval base.

RTN commander-in-chief Admiral Na Areenit

Presiding over the ceremony to take delivery of the choppers was RTN commander-in-chief Admiral Na Areenit and senior naval officers at Sattahip naval base in Chon Buri province.

The EC645 T2 helicopters were upgraded with the installation of Fenestron rotor which will increase safety while airborne or landing and reduce noise as well as vibration. They were also fitted with upgraded gear system and laser targetting.

The cockpit’s control panel is digitally operational and linked with night-vision goggle to allow the aircraft to operate at night and all weather conditions.

The fleet will be used to support the operations of the naval fleet and marine corps, medical and rescue missions.

The EC645 T2 is classified as a mid-sized helicopter and can be used for medical and military operations. It can transport up to 9 passengers. It can fly as far as 358 nautical miles on a tank of fuel. Its maximum altitude ceiling is 9843 feet which is 1,243 feet higher than average. Top speeds come at 134 knots.


Whisky tycoon Charoen ranks the 95th on Forbes list of the world’s 500 richest people

Thai PBS

Thai whisky tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi is the world’s 95th richest man on Forbes list of The 500 Richest People in the World 2016 with a net worth of $10.7 billion while Dhanin Chearavanont of the CP Group ranks 171th with a net worth of $6.8 billion.

They are the only two Thais on the list of The 500 Richest People in the World for 2016.

The Number One of the list this year is still Microsoft founder Bill Gates with a net worth of $75 billion followed by Amancio Ortega with a net worth of $67 billion, Warren Buffet with a net worth of $60.8 billion, Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helu with a net worth of $50 billion, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos with a net worth of $45.2 billion and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with a net worth of $44.6 billion.

The Chearavanont family is ranked the second on Forbes list of Asia’s 50 Richest Families 2016 with a net worth of $27.7 billion while the No 1 on the list is South Korea’s Lee family which controls Samsung with a net worth of $29.6 billion.

The Chirathivat family ranks the 14th on the list with a net worth of $13.8 billion.


PM tells Thai envoys to adapt to global changes

Thai PBS

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha told about 100 Thai envoys to adapt themselves to global changes and to adopt pro-active approaches in order to present Thailand in a positive light in the international community.

The prime minister on Thursday presided over a roundtable meeting with Thai ambassadors and consul-generals from abroad on the subject of “Thai diplomacy: Farsighted, keeping pace with global changes”. Also presented at the event were Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak and senior officials of the Foreign Ministry.

The prime minister told the meeting that Thai envoys must have farsightedness and must keep pace with global changes and be part of the vehicle to drive the country forward in a sustainable fashion in line with the government’s 20-year strategy and Thailand Policy 4.0.

He said that the world was changing all the time and Thailand be adaptive with the changes, especially changes under Donald Trump’s presidency.

He urged the envoys to make use of their diplomacy to create a good image for the country and to help attract foreign investments in the country.


Credit card NPLs for the third quarter the highest in 11 years

Thai PBS

Credits expanded only 2.4 percent in the third quarter of the year which was the lowest in six years while non-performing loans of the same period increased 2.89 percent, representing the highest in five years since the second quarter of 2011, said Mr Don Nakhontap, senior director of the Bank of Thailand on Thursday.

He pointed out that the 2.4 percent credit expansion was lower than growth rate and out of the total of 11.78 trillion of credits, 2.89 percent of them were NPLs and out of the total NPLs, 5.10 percent were NPLs incurred by credit card spendings – an increase from 4.25 percent – which was the highest in 11 years since 2005.

Mr Don predicted that NPLs this year had not peaked and was likely to peak in the first or second quarter of next year as commercial banks would have come up with better NPL management with debt restructuring or debt harcuts in the fourth quarter.

However, he assured that the increase of NPLs was not much of a matter of concern as commercial banks had set aside about 513.2 billion baht as reserves. The entire net profits of the banking industry amounted to 49.8 billion baht.


THAI adjusts and reschedules flights between Bangkok-Chiang Mai during Loy Krathong festival

Thai PBS

Thai Airways International has decided to cancel some flights and to adjust many other flight schedules to northern provinces during Loy Krathong festival between November 14-16 for fear of safety risk posed by sky lanterns or small hot-air balloons.

THAI’s president for safety affairs and aviation standard, Cpt Pratthana Pattanasiri, said Thursday that sky lanterns released by Loy Krathong celebrants might pose safety risk to flights and, hence, it was necessary to adjust flights and to cancel some flights during the period in order to maintain high safety standard.

Flights to be cancelled include TG120 from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and TG 121 from Chiang Mai to Bangkok during November 14-15.

Flight schedules to be adjusted include TG 116 on November 13 will leave Bangkok at 3.20 am instead of 5.20 pm; flight TG 117 on November 13 will leave Chiang Mai at 5.20 pm instead of 7.20 pm; TG 120 on November 13 will leave Bangkok at 3.50 pm instead of 6.40 pm; TG 121 on November 13 will leave Chiang Mai at 5.50 pm instead of 8.50 pm; TG103 on November 14 will leave Chiang Mai at 9.55 am instead of 10.05am; TG 105 on November 14 will leave Chiang Mai at 12.05 pm instead of 10.40 am; TG 116 on November 14-15 will leave Bangkok at 3.50 pm instead of 5.20 pm; TG 117 on November 14-15 will leave Chiang Mai at 5.50 pm instead of 7.20 pm.

THAI also decided to increase flights for travelling between Bangkok and Chiang Mai and vice versa.


PM says Thailand needs to adapt itself to cope with changes in the US policy

Thai PBS

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday Thailand has to adapt itself with changes expected after Donald Trump won the US presidential election.

He congratulated Mr Trump for his victory and affirmed that the outcome will not affect the country’s foreign policies in any way.

He said Thailand and the United States enjoyed a long 180 years of good relations.

He said no matter what administration comes into power in the US, Thailand will move ahead in accordance with its policies.

“Our foreign policy is well balanced even though geographically we are not located in the center of ASEAN. This fact dictates that our foreign policy must place the greatest emphasis in maintaining strong relationships. No matter who becomes the President we will still stick to this policy.”

He went on saying that “With an almost 200 years relationship, obviously there will be fallout from the US elections and we will have to adapt. We cannot change what happens in the US but we can make adjustments here. This is what is called a ‘Strategic Foreign Policy Outlook’ which every country in the world adopts.”


Ministry of Labor initiates program to improve workers for 10 SME sectors

BANGKOK, (NNT) – The Ministry of Labor has put together a program to prepare workers for the nation’s 10 targeted SME industries as part of the government’s drive towards Thailand 4.0.

Permanent Secretary for Labor ML Boontrik Smiti has opened the "STEM Workforce towards Thailand 4.0" program, a project aimed at producing laborers with a foundation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines to supply small and medium enterprises targeted for development by the government.

The aim of the improved workers is to reduce work time, capital costs and enhance management in 10 sectors. In 2017, 180 businesses have signed on to help develop at least 10,000 laborers who are to reduce production costs by a combined 300 million baht.

The Ministry of Labor is also partnering with the Federation of Thai Industries to enact civil-state approaches to improving labor training. Twelve institutes have been pinpointed to be turned into specialized high level training centers.


Meteorological Department tells public to prepare for cooler weather

BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Meteorological Department has warned citizens to care for their health as cooler weather sets in.

A relatively strong high pressure front from China has now moved over northern Thailand, setting off inclement weather with thundershowers and harsh winds. Once the front dissipates, temperatures are expected to fall 3-5 degrees Celsius starting in the north to be followed by the northeast, central and eastern regions. Citizens are urged to prepare for the cooler climate.

A monsoon system in the northeast moving over to the Gulf of Thailand is expected to intensify and result in sporadic rains.

Wind and waves in the gulf will also intensify with waves to reach 2-3 meters. Coastal communities should be wary and small boats should stay docked.


Somkid believes Donald Trump’s presidency will not much affect Thai economy

Thai PBS

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak is confident that the Thai economy may not be affected much with Donal Trump as the new president of the United States.

Reacting to Donald Trump’s stunning victory in the US presidential election on Wednesday, Dr Somkid said he expected major changes in the US policy on trade and economy which, he noted, is not much different from the case of Thailand under the military regime which has introduced many changes in economic and other aspects as never seen in Thailand’s recent history.

Thailand has its own way of economic development and the government will follow the economic blueprint which, he believes will not be affected much from the change of guards at the White House, said the deputy prime minister.

He predicted that economic performance in the coming year tended to improve, especially investments in mega projects which have received good cooperation from the private sector.

Several of the projects are due to be completed next year and this will further drive economic growth as global economy tends to recover, said Dr Somkid, adding that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has ordered budget to be quickly disbursed to the rural areas to stimulate rural economy.


Thailand is ready to carry on good relations with US under a new president: PM

Thai PBS

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha on Wednesday extended his congratulation to Donald Trump for his stunning presidential election victory, saying that Thailand will carry on maintaining friendly relations with the United States which has lasted more than 180 years.

He said the relations between Thailand and the US would base on mutual benefit and Thailand’s foreign policy would be pro-active.

With the new president of the US, the prime minister, however, said that Thailand must be prepared to make adjustments to cope with changes which may happen with the new presiden


Chinese gunshop robbers sentenced to 34-35 years in prison

Thai PBS

The Criminal Court has sentenced four Chinese robbers who robbed a gunshop at Wang Burapha with BB guns to 34-35 years in prison after finding them guilty of five charges.

Gang leader Sun Junwei gets 35 years and four months in jail, and a 3,000 baht fine, and three other accomplices Li Kunpeng, Ma Geng, and Jeng Yang receive 34 years and eight months in prison, and a fine of 3,000 baht each.

The four were charged for the attempt robbery of guns from Interarm gunshop with knives and BB guns on March 3 this year.

Five Chinese were involved in the attempted robbery, but one was shot dead by police.

In the hearing at the Criminal Court, they were charged with the robbery of 3.8 million baht worth of shotgun, pistols, revolvers and a Toyota Fortuner van belonging to the gunshop owner Pakorn Daenglamai and escaped.

But they were intercepted on escape by patrol policemen and one was shot dead aiming his BB gun towards the police during the chase.

They faced charges of attempted murder, using forged official document, body assault, using radio transmitter without permits, and resisting arrest.

All were later sen back to Bangkok Remand Prison to serve their jail terms.


M Pass and Easy Pass linkup boosts users of the tollway

 Thai PBS

The linkup between M Pass and Easy Pass toll cards since October 31 has pushed up the number of cars and trips using the two systems, said Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisit on Tuesday.

During the November 1-6 period, the number of trips using the expressway increased 10.7 percent to an average of 631,406/day from 570,590/day in October from 60,816 vehicles. During the same period, the number of cars using the motorway system increased 92.9 percent to an average of 59,272/day from 37,023/day in October.

The linkup of the two systems also saw the amount of cash toll fees collected each day for the motorway service dropped 7.9 percent with the number of cars using the tollway and pay toll fees in cash dropping to 370,161/day from 402,035.

Mr Arkhom said the linkup of the two systems has eased the problem of congestion at the toll gates, prompting the Transport Ministry to install more electronic toll collection systems to cope with an anticipated increase of the number of users of the expressway and motorway.

For the future plan, the minister disclosed that the ministry might introduce the “touch and go” toll cards so that motorists need not have to stop for the barricade to be lifted.


Thailand Post assures public of its computer security system

Thai PBS

Thailand Post Company has asked members of the public to have trust and confidence in its security system that their ID numbers they gave to the company during the registration to receive commemorative postcards of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The company issued the above statement Monday evening in response to a message posted in the social media by an unidentified individual warning the people not to give away their ID cards or mobile phone numbers, claiming that the ID card or phone numbers can be used by con men to steal their confidential information or money from their bank accounts.

The message which went viral in the social media also alleged that Thailand Post Company was, in fact, CP, the agro business conglomerate.

Thailand Post Company said, in its statement, that in order to give away the post cards featuring a stamp bearing the portrait of the late King, the ID card numbers are needed to make sure that the persons who made the registration really wanted the post cards.

As for the numbers of mobile phones, the company said they were meant for it to send more information to them.


No sky lanterns around Mae Fah Luang airport during Nov 13-15

Thai PBS

Mae Fah Luang airport in Chiang Rai has issued an announcement asking members of the public not to release sky lanterns during the Loy Krathong or Yeepeng festival between November 13-15 from 9 pm to 1 am of the following day.

However, releasing sky lanterns or small hot-air balloons from 10 am to noon time on the Loy Krathong Day on November 14 is permissible, according to the announcement.

The areas where this traditional practice of the northern people is not allowed include Muang, Mae Lao, Parn, Wiang Chai, Chiang Rung and Pa Dad districts which are within the flight paths.

The airport director, Mr Visoot Kamyod, said the control tower used to detect some big sky lanterns with steel structure instead of wooden structure and paper and equipped with a small camping gas tank as fuel.

Such lanterns, he noted poise a real danger to pilots, forcing them to change their flight routes in order to avoid possible collision with the lanterns.

During last year Loy Krathong festival, about 20 sky lanterns which were released from somewhere else fell on the airport compound, said Mr Visoot.

He warned that violators may face a fine of 60,000 baht and/or three-year jailterm for releasing sky lanterns in a way which pose danger to aircraft.

As a precaution, he disclosed that the airport has doubled daily patrol of the runway from 8 to 16 times a day.


2.5 million people registered to receive King’s postcards

 Thai PBS

A total of 2.5 million people have registered to receive from Thailand Post Company postcards featuring a stamp bearing the portrait of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on the first day of registration.

Thailand Post managing director Mrs Samorn Therdthampibul said Monday that registration started today at 7 am through the company’s website, www.stamprama9.thailandpost.com., by filling names, addresses and ID card numbers in the blank forms so that the postcards can be mailed to them free of charge.

Each individual can make one registration and will receive one card only, she said, adding that the response was so overwhelming that by noon today, 2.5 people have registered to receive the post cards.

Registration will continue until November 30 and if the number of registration exceeds 9,999,999, Mrs Samorn said that the company would make sure that everyone who made registration will receive the cards.

Anyone who wants more information about the post cards can call Thailand Post’s contact centre 1545.


Entertainment activities resume as of November 14

Thai PBS

Authorities in all provinces have been ordered to ensure peace and order and to make sure that all entertainment, recreational and festive activities, including Loy Krathong, are done in an appropriate manner starting November 14 – the first after an end of the month-long mourning period.

Interior permanent secretary Krisda Boonrach said Monday that all provincial governors were instructed to inform all parties concerned to exercise discretion in organizing entertainment, recreational and festive activities and to take into consideration of the sentiments of the people in the aftermath of the passing of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Especially on the Loy Krathong day which falls on November 14, he said officials concerned must make sure that all piers and venues for the celebration of the traditional event are safe.

He added that the officials must take precautions to prevent dangers which may stem for fireworks, firecrackers or hot-air balloons.

Army Commander-in-Chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart, meanwhile, maintained that the military’s role was to maintain security and to help farmers.


More rains in south, cold weather in North and NE

Thai PBS

Northeastern monsoon which is covering the southern region and the Gulf is strengthening and this will bring more rains and heavy rains in certain parts of the region this week, according to the forecast of the Meteorological Department.

Heavy rains lashed Surat Thani on Monday, resulting in flooding in the Muang district township and Surat Thani-Poonpin highway which was temporarily closed to traffic as the water level, measured more than 50 cm, made the road impassable to small cars.

Cold spell from has covered the northeastern region today and is spreading to cover the North and the central region soon and this will cause changeable weather in upper Thailand, initially with rains and gusty winds and eventually the weather will turn cool with temperature dropping 3-5 degrees Celsius.

People are warned to brace for the changeable weather while farmers are told to take precautions to protect their crops from damages caused by weather change.

Fishermen are urged to stay ashore because of strong waves and winds.


National police chief finds the TV host’s conduct unacceptable

Thai PBS

The national police chief has seen the video clip showing a TV programme host punching a motorcyclist and forcing the latter to “krab rot ku” (kneel down and wei my car) and found the conduct of the former unacceptable, said Pol Maj-Gen Songphol Wattanachai, commander of the 6th division of Metropolitan Police Bureau, on Monday.

He added that the national police chief, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaichinda found the incident which resulted in the punching incident just a minor accident which blew out of proportion because of emotional outburst on the part of the TV host, Akanat Ariyaritvikul.

The police chief, he continued, instructed the police to take actions in accordance with the law because the issue was of public interest.

Pol Maj-Gen Songphol said he shared the police chief’s opinion that the TV programme host’s behavior was unacceptable. “I saw three shots in the clip showing the TV personality assaulting the motorcyclist who didn’t retaliate.

The police deputy spokesman noted that road accidents happen all the time as they are quite natural and it is the responsibility of the police to settle the cases.

As far as the case is concerned, he said the case is divided into two parts – the first is about the road accident in which the motorcyclist has admitted that his bike had scratched Akanat’s Mini Cooper Country and he escaped from the scene after the accident.

The second part is about the punching and it is clear that the motorcyclist was hurt, said Pol Maj-Gen Songphol, adding that if the victim’s wounds are serious, then the attacker would face more severe charges as stipulated in Section 297 of the Criminal Code.


No Loy Krathong on five Chao Phraya river piers

Thai PBS

The Marine Department has sought cooperation from members of the public not to float their krathongs on the night of Loy Krathong day on next Monday November 14 at five piers along the Chao Phraya river for safety reason.

The five piers are Tha Tien, Tha Sathorn, Tha Wat Muang, Tha Chang and Tha Wang Lang.

Marine Department deputy director-general Mrs Jiraporn Chantharasiri said Sunday that Thai Tien which is used by Chao Phraya express boat service would undergo repairs as of Monday onward. Express boats will instead stop at Wat Pho-Wat Arun pier instead the pier at Tha Tien can resume functional after repairs.

As for the four other piers, she said that they are quite busy and allowing revelers to float krathong on Loy Krathong night would compromise safety and put revelers at risk.

Express and ordinary boat services, however, are operational as normal.


Thailand is likely to miss 10 million Chinese tourist arrival projection this year

Thai PBS

Thailand’s earlier projection of ten million Chinese tourist arrivals this year is likely to fall short of target due to a sharp drop of tourists from China as a result of the government’s crackdown on zero-dollar package tours from China, said Mr Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn, president of Pattaya Tourism Association, on Sunday.

He pointed out that air ticket bookings to Thailand in China saw 70-80 percent cancellations just as advance bookings of hotels in Bangkok and Pattaya substantially dropped since the crackdown.

Although high season has already arrived in Pattaya since October which will last until next April, the number of Chinese tourists visiting the resort city of Pattaya which is most popular among the Chinese has visibly dropped with two- and three-star hotels most affected, said Mr Sinchai.

European tourists have increased but their numbers are still small, he added.

Zero-dollar package tours are tourism services provided by unscrupulous Chinese tour companies in collusion with their Thai partners. They usually sell package tours to Chinese tourists below costs. But upon arrival in Thailand, the tourists will be taken to souvenir or jewelry shops which overcharge them heavily to recoup the below-cost packages.


More than 1,200 participants join in remembrance of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej at WIF2

CHIANG MAI, (NNT) - Approximately 1,200 participants from more than 45 countries around the world have gathered in remembrance of King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the 2nd World Irrigation Forum and the 67th International Executive Council Meeting, being held in Chiang Mai.

Agricultural and Cooperatives Minister General Chatchai Sarikulya presided over the inauguration of the 2nd World Irrigation Forum (WIF2) and the 67th International Executive Council Meeting (67th IEC Meeting) at Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Center, commemorating His Majesty’s 7th Cycle Birthday Anniversary. The forum and meeting take place from 6th-12th November 2016.

Gen. Chatchai said that apart from having the WIF6 and 67th IEC Meeting observe the main theme “Water Management in a Changing World: Role of Irrigation for Sustainable Food Production”, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has organized this meeting in remembrance of His Majesty King Bhumibol, and his royal grace and wisdom seen in the water management exhibition of his work and many royal projects.

At the event, the work of His Majesty was lauded, as during his reign he had developed over 4,000 projects to better the lives of the Thai people, including 2,081 initiatives which were specifically about water and water management. This has contributed to the country’s ability to generate tremendous amounts of food, which has alleviated hunger and greatly improved nutrition.

Meanwhile, the President of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage ( ICID) Dr. Saeed Nairizi. also expressed his gratitude regarding His Majesty’s work, as it has contributed to the rapid development of widespread irrigation and the betterment of the lives of the Thai people. His Majesty’s work will also play a big part in this week’s proceedings. After the speech the ICID president requested 89 seconds of silence to pay tribute to His Majesty.


Paruskavan Palace hosts special exhibition to honor King Bhumibol

BANGKOK,(NNT) - A special photographic exhibition has been organized to honor HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Numerous photos showing the late monarch at work with the police have been placed on display at Paruskavan Palace in Bangkok.

There are also 40 photographs of HM King Bhumibol and the late Princess Mother Sri Bajrindra during a time when both were actively engaged with the work of the police.

All photos selected for inclusion in the exhibition show the late King’s kindness to the Thai police force in many respects, which helped improve the lives of officers and the efficiency of the police’s work for the people across the country.

In one corner of the exhibition area, visitors have been invited to sign their condolence messages and their oath of allegiance to the highly-revered monarch.

The exhibition is open with free entry from 10 am to 4 pm daily until November 13.


PM tells politicians not to exploit farmers’ hardship to upstage themselves

Thai PBS

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha asked politicians not to upstage themselves by buying rice from farmers in front of the media, but should be sincere in helping them.

The prime minister did not name any politicians in particular, but it was well understood that he meant former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra who visited farmers in Ubon Ratchathani on Thursday and bought some rice from them to be given to members of her entourage.

The prime minister apologized to the president of the Thai Rice Millers Association for resigning from the post after rice millers came under criticism, including from the prime minister himself, for allegedly colluding with local politicians to suppress Hom Mali paddy price.

He said he had no ill intention to undermine or destroy any party involved in the rice trade and pleaded with the president of the Thai Rice Millers Association and the association’s board not to quit, but to tell the truth about alleged rice price suppression.

He urged farmers not rely on rice cultivation as their only means to make a living, but to practice sustainable agriculture – meaning they should plant more than one crop and do other things as well such as raising cattle or poultry.

The prime minister assured farmers that the government was doing its best to help them, but it had limitations too due to financial constraints. He thanked all the governmental agencies and private entities that are offering a help hand for the farmers.


EHIA studies bog down Thai-Chinese high-speed train project

Thai PBS

The Thai-Chinese high-speed train project has bogged down because the project has failed the environmental and health impacts assessment studies, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha on Friday.

The project is just a part of the 20-year massive infrastructure development programe which encompasses 20 projects which cost an estimated 1.4 trillion baht in investments.

The programme is separated into four phases each take five years of implementation.

Of the 20 projects, the prime minister said that 16 of them have commenced. He added that he wanted all the projects of all the four phases to start simultaneously so that they can connect with one another more effectively rather than waiting for the four phases to start one after the other.

The prime minister has asked the Transport Ministry to explain to the public the Thai-Chines high-speed train project is divided into four sections and not just one section in Klang Dong area.


Petchaburi municipal area to return to normal next week

Thai PBS

Water level in the Petchaburi river is expected to drop below its banks on Saturday and flood situation in Petchaburi township will become normal in the next three days after four days of flooding, according to the forecast of the provincial irrigation unit.

Vice mayor Mr Polayuth Angkinant said that the flooding in the municipal area was totally unexpected. He noted that the municipal area was spared from flooding even though huge amount of water, up to 600 cubic metres/second, was discharged from the Pet dam.

The flood this time stemmed from the completion of the construction of floodwall in Cha-am, Ban Lat and Tha Yang districts, preventing water runoffs from flowing into the districts but, instead, gushing into the municipality, he said, adding that municipal officials will meet with irrigation officials to discuss how to prevent the township from being inundated in the future.

Mr Polayuth expressed concern that the flood situation in the township would get worse if there are more rains next week.


Thai Health Promotion Foundation invites volunteers to share their stories to honor HM the King

BANGKOK, (NNT) – The Thai Health Promotion Foundation has invited volunteers to send in their stories to a new website collecting accounts of good deeds performed in the name of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Foundation manager Supreeda Adulyanont and Co-Director of Jitarsa Bank Soryauth Rattanapojanart jointly unveiled the “Jitarsa Palang Pandin” or Volunteer Power of the Land project established in honor of His Majesty the King.

The program seeks to assemble stories from volunteers on the www.palangpandin.com website to honor those who took part in volunteer efforts as well as to inspire more good deeds. The site will also feature projects in need of volunteers and seek to connect those looking to contribute with efforts searching for workers.


Red flags fly on Hua Hin beach warning against swimming in the sea

Thai PBS

Red flags were flown on Thursday on Hua Hin beach by hotels and resorts warning tourists against swimming in the sea due to high waves, strong winds and high tide.

Winds were stronger than yesterday and will remain so for the next couple of days as cyclone is forming south of Tonkin Bay off Vietnam, according to the Weatherman, its epic centre is slowly moving toward the Gulf of Thailand.

Deck chairs which used to dot the beach have mostly disappeared as operators moved them deeper inland as most beaches were inundated with sea water.


US ambassador vows to enhance US-Thai ties

Thai PBS
US ambassador Glyn T. Davies has vowed to try to enhance relations between the United States and Thailand as a tribute to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej who, he said, established bilateral relations with 12 American past and present presidents.

The ambassador paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister’s Office Minister Panadda Diskul at the Government House on Thursday to express his condolence and on behalf of the US administration for the passing of His Majesty the King.

He said he would like to share his personal sorrow with the Thai people for the loss of their beloved monarch and he understood the grief now experienced by the Thai people.

Ambassador Davies reportedly told Panadda that the US had a special bondage with the late King.


Yingluck urged to buy rice from farmers in general, not just those in Ubon

Thai PBS

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra told a group of rice farmers in Ubon Ratchathani that, if her Pheu Thai party ever has another chance to be in the government, it would push up the price of paddy to help farmers.

Ms Yingluck who was on an inspection trip to the northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani visited a group of farmers from various districts who were milling Hom Mali paddy for sale in front of a municipal school in Muang district.

She talked with the farmers and asked them about the price of paddy. They said they decided to mill the paddy themselves rather than selling the grains to the millers who often took advantage on them by suppressing the price claiming the grains have high humidity.

Upset by the millers gave them at most seven baht per kilogramme of paddy depending on the humidity of the grains, they said they decided to group together to mill their crops and sell them in the market directly to the consumers of up to 20 baht per kg of milled rice which has earned an extra 5 baht profit per kg.

Ms Yingluck then bought a small amount of rice from the farmers and gave them to members of her entourage 5 kgs each.

Reacting to the ex-prime minister’s publicity stunt, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said he didn’t know whether she had any ulterior motive for showing off by buying rice from farmers.

He urged to help farmers in general and not just a small amount of rice from farmers in Ubon Ratchathani.


Rapist-murderer condemned to death

Thai PBS

The Phitsanuloke provincial court dismissed the confession of a rapist-murderer as unuseful and condemned him to death for raping and killing a 14-year old girl.

A neighbor of the victim, 46-year old Son Hoompiang went to the house of the victim’s parents to borrow a charger. Upon seeing the victim wearing shorts, he admitted he was sexually aroused and verbally molested the girl who rejected his rude approach.

The two engaged in a quarrel and, in a fit of anger, Son grabbed a rope and strangled the girl to death and then raped her. After the crime, he hid in a maize plantation about three kilometres from the crime scene but was arrested the following day.

The court said the defendant confessed because the evidence against him was so overwhelming that his confession was not useful to the trial. The court added that there was no reason to commute the sentence and condemned to death.


Water condition improves from last year

Thai PBS

There are 8,800 million cubic metres more water in the country’s 34 big reservoirs than the previous year with 11 reservoirs reporting substantial amount of water and 11 reservoirs with just enough water, said Mr Sanchai Katevorachai, director-general of Royal Irrigation Department, on Wednesday.

Only the Pran Buri and Bang Lang reservoirs have less water but the water level in the two reservoirs is expected to rise due to more rains in the upper southern region as the region is entering rainy season which will last 1-2 months, he added.

Water in Lam Takong, Lam Phra Ploeng, Moon Bon and Lam Sae reservoirs is less than it was last year, but cloud seeding effort by the Royal Rain-making and Agricultural Aviation Department coupled with low pressure have resulted in more rains, hence adding more water into the reservoirs.

The country’s four main dams namely Bhumibol, Sirikit, Pasak Cholasit and Kwae Noi Bamrungdan now boast 5,000 million cubic metres more water than it was last year. Altogether the four dams have 9,700 million cubic metres of water which is more than enough for consumption, said Mr Sanchai.

The Royal Rain-making and Agricultural Aviation Department carried out 146 cloud-seeding flights for 26 days during October 1-November 1, resulting to rains on the 26 days in the lower Northeast, said Dr Surasee Kittimonthon, deputy director-general of the department.

Although the water level in Moon Bon and Lam Sae reservoirs has increased, the water level in Lam Takong and Lam Phra Ploeng remains lower than it was last year.

Agriculture Minister Chatchai Sarikalya has ordered the Royal Irrigation Department to adjust the amount of water being released from Rama VI dam in order to ease flooding in the Chao Phraya river basin.


Government blocked and closed 700 improper URLs in October

Thai PBS

Cyber detectives have managed to block 200 URLs which are deemed insulting to the monarchy with the orders of the military junta and closed down 700 URLs with court orders throughout October, Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Juntong disclosed Wednesday.

He said that YouTube had the biggest number of URLs deemed insulting to the monarchy and, at the same time, had the highest number of URLs closed down.

ACM Prajin insisted that the government had tried all possible means to prevent and reduce online messages or images deemed insulting or critical to the revered institution and, in so doing, it had received cooperation from several parties.

He asked netizens to exercise caution before pressing share or like of texts or images which are improper. He said that the best thing for them to do is to avoid or delete those improper texts or images.

The deputy prime minister disclosed that Facebook had sent two letters to the government expressing readiness to cooperate and to exchange views regarding URLs which the government felt to be insulting to the monarchy.

However, he said he would like to talk face-to-face with Facebook executives in Thailand or in Singapore rather than communicating online, but they are not ready yet and would like to consult with their Southeast Asian representatives first.


17 people were rushed to hospital after eating food containing caustic soda

Thai PBS

Seventeen people were rushed to a hospital in Wang Nua district of Lampang on Wednesday after they ate food prepared by a cook who mistook caustic soda as salt and used it in preparing food to serve guests at a funeral rite.

Wang Nua district officer Kriangsak Saengyunont said the 17 guests who attended a funeral rite at a house in Tambon Wang Sai Kham suffered serious mouth burns after they ate food prepared by a cook.

He said it was later found out that the cook mistakenly used caustic soda to prepare the food instead of salt. Most of the victims were discharged after given first aid but three were hospitalized for further observation.


Airport Rail Link runs every 12 minutes during weekends

Thai PBS

Airport Rail Link has adjusted the timetables of the train service from the city to the Suvarnabhumi international airport and vice versa during the weekends to provide more convenience to passengers.

Mr Prasert Attanan, acting managing director of SRT Electric Train Company which operates the airport rail link, said on Wednesday that starting on this weekend, there will be train service every 12 minutes instead of every 15 minutes.


Over 4.6 million mourners signed in condolence books for the beloved King

Thai PBS

The Ministry of Interior released the latest figures of people signing condolence messages in tribute to the passing of the beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej to over 4.6 million since October 14 till October 30.

It said a total of 116,505 people signed condolence messages on October 30 alone.

From October 14-30, over 4.6 million people have signed condolence messages, it said.

It also said that from October 14-30, more than seven million people have taken part in chanting prayers in religious activities across the country for the beloved King, and over 2.4 million people taken part in merit-making activities.


TV and radio stations to resume normal entertainment programmes November 14

Thai PBS

TV and radio stations can resume their normal entertainment programmes after the 30-day mourning period expires November 14.

Government spokesman Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said as the 30-day mourning period that the government has requested TV and radio stations, and entertainment venues to cease all entertainment programmes and shows, is to expire November 14, all these programmes could be resumed as usual again.

But the contents of serial drama TV series were up to the consideration of producers if they would be appropriate and timely under the current atmosphere, he said.

He said further that in case of musical concerts, organisers are advised to consult local government authorities on how much the show could be held.

If they remain uncertain, they are required to consult the Situation Monitoring Centre first, he said.

The centre will submit a guideline for practice to the government for approval before making announcement soon.


All guest houses in parks in the North fully booked

Thai PBS

All the guest houses in national parks in the North have been fully booked until the New Year, Mr Tunya Netithammakul, director-general of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation, disclosed on Tuesday.

He said the department normally opens its guest houses in national parks for advance bookings through online system two months in advance, but this year, several governmental agencies and the private sector made advance bookings much earlier.

The bookings were so overwhelming that the department’s website collapsed two days, he said, however, noting that it was the discretion of the director-general to decide which bookings would be approved.

Guest Houses in Doi Inthanont, Huey Nam Dung, Doi Pahom Pok and Khao Yai have been fully booked until the New Year.

However, Mr Tunya said that tents are still available for advance bookings at the national parks whereas marine parks in the Andaman Sea such as Surin and Similan are now open to tourists’ visits but marine parks in the Gulf such as Ang Thong still remains closed until December due to choppy sea and strong winds.

But he warned tourists to keep track of the department’s announcements regarding the safety of some parks, especially on the days where there are heavy rains.

He said he had instructed park officials to take care of tourists visiting their parks and to put up signs or assign officials at dangerous spots to warn tourists.


PTT Plc to open petrol stations for farmers to sell rice directly to consumers

Thai PBS

PTT Public Company will open all its petrol stations throughout the country to allow rice farmers to sell their crops directly to the consumers free of charge, said CEO and president Mr Thewin Wongwanich on Tuesday.

He said that PTT Plc was ready to support the government’s effort to help rice farmers to tackle the problem of rice price slump.

Farmers, farmer groups, farmer’s cooperatives or community rice millers who are interested to sell rice at PTT’s petrol stations can contact petrol stations in their respective provinces.

Mr Thewin further said that PTT would coordinate with its business networks and farmer’s groups to bring rice to PTT’s head office to be sold to staff members, officials and members of the public.

Also, PTT will buy rice from farmers to be given as New Year’s gifts.


Thailand Post to give away free sets of commemorative stamps and postcards

Thai PBS

Thailand Post says it is making 9,999,999 commemorative stamps and postcards in memory of the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and distribute to the people free of charge.

The free postcards affixed with the one-baht stamp bearing the image of His Majesty the King in military uniform will come with a seal dated Oct 13, 2016, the day His Majesty passed away.

According to Thailand Post president Samorn Terdthampiboon, the commemorative postcards and stamps were also made in memory of His Majesty ‘s benevolence to the people and the postal activities.

The commemorative postcards and stamps will be given free to people for collection via online registration, and at all postal offices across the country from November 7-30.

Interested people can register for the commemorative postcards and stamps by filling their identification card numbers, names, addresses and telephone numbers in the application forms.

The postcards will be sent to them by mail.

She said only one postcard will be given out to one person.

More information can be inquired from THP Contact Center 1545.


Thieves use torch to cut open an ATM and escape with 3 million baht

Thai PBS

Thieves walked away with three million baht in cash stolen from an ATM machine in Pluak Daeng district of Rayong province early Monday morning, using a steel-cutting torch to break open the machine.

Police believe that 3-4 thieves were involved in the daring theft which took place in front of a shop in CK Mini Mart market in Tambon Pluak Daeng.

Police who inspected the scene of the theft found the wire of an alarm system cut off and the surveillance camera switched to the wall, hence could not monitor while the thieves were in the act of cutting open the ATM with the torch.

However, police said that the other surveillance camera installed nearby managed to capture the image of one suspect.


Government to consider easing mourning restriction on entertainment venues

Thai PBS

The government is to consider within this week how to ease the restriction in order to allow entertainers and entertainment venues to resume operations.

Government spokesman Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said Monday that although the country is observing mourning for the passing of HM the King, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha is concerned with the impacts of the mourning on entertainers and entertainment venues.

He said that prime minister had assigned one of his deputies, General Thanasak Patimaprakorn, to discuss authorities concerned, entertainers, operators of entertainment places and members of the public about how to ease the impacts.

As for the operations of TV stations, Lt-Gen Sansern said he expected TV stations, including cable TV, would be able to resume airing their programmes as normal after the passing of the first 30 days of mourning.


Sealed bids for the Orange Line submitted

Thai PBS

Seven construction companies submitted on Monday sealed bids vying for the civil works construction of the eastern section of the Orange Line from Thailand Cultural Centre to Min Buri (Suvinthawong).

The civil works of the project are divided into six contracts as follows:

The E1 underground civil works contract from Thailand Cultural Centre to Ramkhamhaeng 12 which costs an estimated 20.7 billion baht; the E2 underground civil works contract from Ramkhamhaeng to Hua Mark which costs an estimated 21.6 billion baht; the E3 underground civil works from Hua Mark to Klong Ban Ma contract which costs an estimated 18.6 billion baht; the E4 elevated civil works contract from Klong Ban Ma to Suvinthawong which costs an estimated 10 billion baht; the E5 depot, park and ride contract between Thailand Cultural Centre and Suwinthawong which costs an estimated 4.9 billion baht; the E6 track works from Thailand Cultural Centre to Suwinthawong.

Chor Karn Chang and Sino Thai in one group and Italian Thai development submitted seal bids to vy for six contracts.

Sanyong Engineering and Unic Engineering in one group submitted sealed bids for E1, E2 and E3 contracts. Unic Engineering also vies for E4, E5 and E6 contracts.

China Railway Construction and Christiani and Construction submitted sealed bid for depot and park ride contract.

The Metropolitan Rapid Transit Authority will open the sealed bids for qualifications on November 4; sealed bids for technical aspect for those which passed the qualifications screening on December 1 and the sealed bids for price quotation for those which passed the technical screening on January 6.

Contract signing with the successful bidders is expected in next May.


DAILY UPDATE

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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

PM calls for cooperation from pavement vendors

SRT launches service of new Chinese-made trains onState Railway of Thailand

Navy takes delivery of five helicopters

Whisky tycoon Charoen ranks the 95th on Forbes list of the world’s 500 richest people


PM tells Thai envoys to adapt to global changes

Credit card NPLs for the third quarter the highest in 11 years

THAI adjusts and reschedules flights between Bangkok-Chiang Mai during Loy Krathong festival

PM says Thailand needs to adapt itself to cope with changes in the US policy


Ministry of Labor initiates program to improve workers for 10 SME sectors

Meteorological Department tells public to prepare for cooler weather

Somkid believes Donald Trump’s presidency will not much affect Thai economy

Thailand is ready to carry on good relations with US under a new president: PM


Chinese gunshop robbers sentenced to 34-35 years in prison

M Pass and Easy Pass linkup boosts users of the tollway

Thailand Post assures public of its computer security system

No sky lanterns around Mae Fah Luang airport during Nov 13-15


2.5 million people registered to receive King’s postcards

Entertainment activities resume as of November 14

More rains in south, cold weather in North and NE

National police chief finds the TV host’s conduct unacceptable


No Loy Krathong on five Chao Phraya river piers

Thailand is likely to miss 10 million Chinese tourist arrival projection this year

More than 1,200 participants join in remembrance of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej at WIF2

Paruskavan Palace hosts special exhibition to honor King Bhumibol


PM tells politicians not to exploit farmers’ hardship to upstage themselves

EHIA studies bog down Thai-Chinese high-speed train project

Petchaburi municipal area to return to normal next week

Thai Health Promotion Foundation invites volunteers to share their stories to honor HM the King


Red flags fly on Hua Hin beach warning against swimming in the sea

US ambassador vows to enhance US-Thai ties

Yingluck urged to buy rice from farmers in general, not just those in Ubon

Rapist-murderer condemned to death


Water condition improves from last year

Government blocked and closed 700 improper URLs in October

17 people were rushed to hospital after eating food containing caustic soda

Airport Rail Link runs every 12 minutes during weekends


Over 4.6 million mourners signed in condolence books for the beloved King

TV and radio stations to resume normal entertainment programmes November 14

All guest houses in parks in the North fully booked

PTT Plc to open petrol stations for farmers to sell rice directly to consumers


Thailand Post to give away free sets of commemorative stamps and postcards

Thieves use torch to cut open an ATM and escape with 3 million baht

Government to consider easing mourning restriction on entertainment venues

Sealed bids for the Orange Line submitted

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