King of Bhutan orders special prayers for His Majesty's recovery
THIMPHU,(NNT) - His Majesty King
Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhuthan ordered special prayers for His
Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The King of Bhutan posted on his personal Facebook page that special prayers
are being conducted in all the sacred temples throughout Bhutan for the
well-being of His Majesty King Bhumibol of Thailand.
His Majesty King Bhumibol has been unwell and is currently undergoing
The post also said the royal families and the people of Bhutan and Thailand
share a close relationship of warm friendship and goodwill.
Gross National Happiness Center established in Thailand
BANGKOK,(NNT) - Thailand cooperates with
Bhutan in establishing the world’s first-ever Gross National Happiness
Center which highlights the Sufficiency Economy philosophy of His
Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Her Royal Highness Princess Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck, the
Chairperson of the Gross National Happiness Center, on Wednesday signed
a MoU on the establishment of the center in Thailand with B.Grimm
Chairperson Harald Link. The center is the first center of its kind
outside of Bhutan. It promotes the concepts similar to the Sufficiency
Economy philosophy with a focus on sufficiency and moderation.
HRH Princess Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck said it was very important to
promote the idea of the Gross National Happiness outside Bhutan.
Established since 2013, the Gross National Happiness Center in Bhutan
promotes equal development, sustainable social and economic development,
environmental conservation, cultural promotion and good governance.
Indian wedding planners explore Thailand as a dream wedding destination
Dr. Walailak Noypayak, TAT Executive Director
for ASEAN, South Asia and South Pacific addresses the wedding planners in
TAT arranged a familiarisation trip for 20
wedding planners from India, exploring the attractions and facilities in
Kanchanaburi and Hua Hin, as well as Phuket and Khao Lak.
The 20 Indian wedding planners joining the Fam
Trip came from New Delhi, Chandhigar, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and Bangalore.
Bangkok,The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently staged a
familiarisation trip for wedding planners from India, offering them the
chance to explore Thailand’s plethora of attractions, facilities and
services that make the kingdom a dream wedding destination.
Taking place from 25 to 30 September, 2016, the familiarisation trip was
staged for 20 wedding planners from New Delhi, Chandhigar, Mumbai,
Hyderabad, Pune and Bangalore. They were divided into two groups to explore
Thailand’s capabilities as a wedding destination. The first group had the
chance to experience first-hand the attractions and wedding facilities on
the Kanchanaburi-Hua Hin route while the second went on a tour of
Phuket-Khao Lak. Both groups converged in Bangkok on the last day for more
hotel inspections, followed by a B2B Session and Networking Cocktail.
Dr. Walailak Noypayak, TAT Executive Director for ASEAN, South Asia and
South Pacific said, “We’ve carefully put together an itinerary on these two
routes to update the Indian wedding planners on how these five destinations
including Kanchanaburi, Hua Hin, Phuket, and Khao Lak, as well as Bangkok
can accommodate all sizes of wedding events from India, ranging from
large-scale ceremonies to small, exclusive-sized nuptials. In addition, the
B2B session has been arranged with an aim of promoting Thailand as a
preferred wedding destination among Indian high profile families all over
India through the influence of wedding planners.”
The B2B Session and Networking Cocktail took place on 29 September, 2016,
offering an opportunity for the Indian wedding planners to meet and connect
with 60 Thai service providers in the wedding business including hotels,
Indian restaurants, entertainment organisers, florist shops, wedding
studios, souvenir shops, wine dealers, photographers, and private jet and
luxury car providers, as well as the Chao Phraya Cruise company.
Thailand is the most popular wedding destination outside India. From 2011 to
2014, Thailand has consecutively been voted as the Best Wedding Destination
by readers of the Travel and Leisure magazine (India and South Asia).
Each year, Thailand recorded more than 200 Indian weddings with the group
sizes ranging from 100 to 600 guests. Each Indian wedding is estimated to
spend around 5-10 million Baht. Currently, the popular wedding destinations
for Indians can be divided into two categories, which are beach destination,
including Pattaya, Phuket, Hua Hin, Ko Samui, Krabi and Khao Lak, and city
destination, such as, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Kanchanaburi.
Japanese entrepreneurs express readiness to invest in premium grade steel in Thailand
BANGKOK,(NNT) – Japanese steelmakers have expressed their intention
to expand investments in premium grade steel to demand from ten target
industries, in accordance with the government of Thailand.
Industry Minister Atchaka Siboonrueng has met with Japan External Trade
Organization's (JETRO) President Hiroki Mitsumata and representatives from
Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corporation Limited, which is a leading
steel manufacturer and distributor in Thailand.
The JETRO President said that there are now about 400-500 Japanese steel
manufacturing companies currently operating in Thailand. About 50 percent of
the companies, both large and small, are still aiming to expand investments
in premium grade steel in the Kingdom in response to the Chinese steel
market, and to answer the demands of ten target industries in accordance
with the Thai government’s policy.
JETRO is ready to support all Japanese companies and will still use Thailand
as a production base strengthening Thailand's status as a hub for premium
grade steel production in the future, he said.
Prime Minister calls on Thais to pray for the King and to wish him well
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha on Tuesday urged Thai people throughout the
country to pray for the good health of His Majesty the King and to express
their well wishes for his quick recovery from illness.
After the cabinet meeting, the prime minister accompanied by his wife, led
cabinet ministers, commanders of the three armed forces and the police as
well as their wives to the Royal Palace to express their well wishes to HM
the King who is being treated at Siriraj hospital.
Throughout Tuesday, members of the public from all walks of life, private
and government sectors, many of them wearing pink and yellow shirts, flocked
to the Royal Palace to sign books to wish HM the King well and to recover
from his illness.
Chiang Mai governor insists officials did not discriminate against Mr Tan’s hotel
Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart assured on Tuesday that authorities
did not discriminate against green tea tycoon Tan Passakornnatee’s Eastin
Tan Hotel in Chiang Mai when they raided the hotel to check its operating
licence for the second time today.
He pointed out that the hotel does not have a license and, therefore, it
cannot open for business.
However, the hotel is still carrying on in defiance of the order to suspend
operations until a license is secured, said the governor, adding that
authorities may slap more charges against the hotel and its manager.
Mr Pawin disclosed that officials concerned had earlier taken legal actions
against nine hotels for operating without a license.
The governor, in his capacity as chairman of the hotel registration
committee, will lead some officials to report to the Local Administration
Department in Bangkok on November 4 about the Eastin Tan hotel’s case after
Mr Tan filed a complaint with the department head.
Compensation for rice crops from flood increased to 3,000 baht per household
The cabinet on Tuesday agreed to increase the compensation for damage to
rice crops by flood from 1,000 baht to 3,000 baht per each household.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha also said that the government was
considering how to help owners of farmland which was used as water retention
area to absorb excess water discharged from dams by the Royal Irrigation
He asked members of the public to understand the government that it cannot
afford to help every flood victim even if the government wants to help. He
also noted that most of the flooded farmland are located outside the
protection of flood walls and, hence, flooded every now and then during the
The prime minister went on saying that, in the near future, the government
would regulate the farming sector to ensure there is enough water for
farmers for cultivation.
Farmers, for instance, should not start cultivation at the same time
throughout the country because, in such a case, there may not be enough
water for all of them.
Prime Minister pleads with media to report bomb plot in capital with caution
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha on Tuesday pleaded with the media to
exercise caution in their reporting of an intelligence report about a plot
by alleged southern militants to carry out bomb attacks in Bangkok and
peripherals during October 25-30 in order not to cause public panic.
He suggested the media to report just enough for the public to acknowledge
about the security threat and not to sensationalize the report which, he
said, may cause extensive negative consequences.
Pol Gen Srivara Rangsipromnakul, the deputy national police, broke the
intelligence report about the plot by alleged southern militants on Monday,
saying police have been put on the alert to look out for the suspects.
The prime minister said he had no idea whether the militants as claimed by
the intelligence report were the same with the group which staged a string
of bomb and arson attacks in seven southern provinces during August 11-12.
He said police investigators had been doing their job and the media should
not jump the gun in their reporting.
DNA tests implicate a Burmese suspect in the murder of two scavengers
DNA from blood stain found on the shirt of a Myanmar suspect has matched
with the DNA of two of the three dead scavengers whose bodies were found
under the Don Muang tollway bridge on in-bound Paholyothin road.
Pol Lt-Gen Charnthep Saesavech, acting commissioner of Provincial Police
Bureau 1, told the press on Monday that he had received a report of DNA
tests from blood specimens taken from Jimmy, a homeless Burmese suspect, and
the three victims.
The blood tests show that the DNA of the blood found on Jimmy’s shirt has
matched with the DNA of the bloods of Suporn Kokkram and Somyos Meeborsap.
Suporn’s body was found on October 4 and two days later, the body of Somyos
was found not far from each other.
To ensure accuracy, Pol Lt-Gen Charnthep said that a second DNA test might
be done. As for the third victim, Ms Supapan Kongyudee, additional
examination might be required, he added.
Artificial rain making launched to save Koh Samui from drought
While several central provinces are bracing for flooding from rising rivers
and plentiful rains, popular tourist destination Koh Samui is experiencing
acute water shortage, prompting authorities to launch artificial
Two planes from Surat Thani Royal rain-making operation centre were flown
over Koh Samui to seed clouds on Monday.
Meanwhile, water trucks were sent out by the district’s waterworks authority
to distribute water to the residents where water from tap water has become
The waterworks authority in Koh Samui normally produces tap water enough to
meet about 40 percent of the demand of residents of the island while the
rest of the demand is met by sea water desalination plants.
Four went missing after boat capsized in Moei river
Our boat passengers, most of them ethnic Karen, went missing after a
long-tailed boat in which they were travelling capsized in the Moei river in
Tha Song Yang district of Tak on Monday.
There were seven passengers on the boat, said officials, adding that the
vessel capsized because of the strong current in the river which marks the
natural border line between Thailand and Myanmar.
Rescue workers from the Petkasen-Tha Song Yang unit were quickly rushed to
the scene to search for the missing who were believed to be drowned.
The four missing were identified as Ms Meeplor Satikongsakul, 8-year old Nor
Day Day, Ms Taeja Krongkot who was nine months pregnant and 8-year old
City Hall reclaims 127 street pavements from vendors
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has managed to wrestle back 127 trading
spots on street pavements in 35 districts from more than 18,000 pavement
vendors, Mr Wallop Suwandee, advisory chairman of Bangkok governor, said on
However, he maintained that the City Hall did not just evict the vendors
from street pavements, but arranged for new locations for the evicted
vendors – although not all of them – so that they could carry on with their
For instance, the space below Pong Phraram expressway which can accommodate
up to 800 stalls have been allocated for evicted vendors from Siam Square
He noted that the city administration had given reprieve on several
occasions to the vendors, but the reprieve came to an end on October 3 as
all street pavements in Bangkok were declared off-limits to vendors around
the clock. These include Petkasem road in Bang Khae district, Paholyothin
road in Phya Thai district, Siam Square shopping district, Ratchaprasong
intersection, Pratunam, Bang Rai, Silom and Sukhumvit road.
Street pavements should be used by pedestrians and not to be occupied by
vendors who usually put up stalls or desks to showcase their products or to
sell food, said Mr Wallop.
He added that the city administration aimed to take over street pavements in
48 districts out of a total of 50 districts within next August.
His Majesty the King advised by doctors to suspend all Royal functions
His Majesty the King was advised by his doctors on Sunday to suspend all
Royal functions because his health condition remains unstable, said the
Bureau of the Royal Household in an announcement released Sunday night.
According to the announcement, HM the King’s doctors at Siriraj hospital
administered hemodialysis on the King from 2 pm until 4.40 pm on Saturday
and changed the tube to drain spinal fluid from the brain through the waist.
However, it was discovered afterward that the King’s blood pressure dropped
occasionally, prompting the doctors to administer medication and ventilator
to stabilize blood pressure, said the announcement.
However, at about 3 pm on Sunday, the King’s pulse quickened and blood
pressure dropped. Blood tests showed an increase of acid in the blood.
Echocardiographic examination showed the amount of blood entering the lower
part of the left side of the heart dropped sharply as a direct result of
high blood pressure in the lung.
Doctors then applied medication to expand blood vessel in the lung at about
3 pm and, eventually, the King’s pulse has slowed down and blood pressure
has improved, said the announcement.
With his health remains unstable, HM the King is now placed under close
watch by doctors who advised that the King suspends all Royal King’s health
condition, suspend, Royal functions
Three narrowly escape death after their pick-up truck was rammed by a train
A 65-year old man, his wife and 14-year old son narrowly escaped death when
their pick-up truck in which they were travelling broke through a train
barricade was rammed by a train in Na Bon district of Nakhon Si Thammarat
The vehicle was almost completely wrecked but the driver, Suthin Buathip,
and his son suffered only some bruises, but his wife, Mrs Kasemsuk, was
seriously injured. All three of them were later rushed to Na Bon district
hospital for medical treatment.
Police said that the family of three was heading for Nakhon Si Thammarat
from Sikao district of Trang province to visit relatives. However, while the
pick-up truck was approached a railway crossing in Na Bon tambon municipal,
the train barricade automatically dropped signaling the arrival of the
Instead of stopping the car, Suthin allegedly tried to navigate through the
train barricade in order to cross the railway track but failed. The train
rammed into the vehicle and dragged it away before stopping about 10 metres
from the railway crossing.
The impact from the collision flung Mrs Kasemsuk out of the vehicle while
the two others were stuck in the wreckage.
The train driver later told police that he managed to apply the brake when
he saw the pick-up truck trying to cross the track otherwise all the three
occupants in the vehicle could have been killed.
Tiger temple abbot says he is ready to face legal consequences
Breaking his long silence since the raid in June of the Tiger Temple or
Luangta Bua Yannasampanno monastery in Kanchanaburi, Phra Visuthisarathera,
the temple abbot, told the media on Friday that he was caught totally
unprepared about the raid and its consequences.
However, the abbot who was commonly known as Luangta Chan said he was trying
to accept the consequences and would let the law to run its course regarding
the pending legal actions against him and his monastery.
About 140 tigers in the monastery which was a popular tourist destination
before the raid by police and forestry officials in June have been removed
from the temple ground, leaving behind hundreds of other animals such as
deer, barking deer, wild boar and cattle under the care of the temple
officials and some foreign volunteers.
Luangta Chan said that he had to take care of the remaining animals and this
requires a lot of food each day which is partially funded with public
He insisted on the intention to apply for a license to open an open zoo on
the ground of his monastery. Also, he said that he would ask for the return
of five crippled tigers from authorities so they could be raised in the
Without the tigers who have earned the monastery its namesake, the Tiger
Temple, the venue has become quiet and rarely visited by tourists although
some officials and volunteers remain to take care of the remaining animals.
Prime Minister inaugurates ACD Connect Business Forum
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha inaugurated the ACD Connect Business Forum
2016 at the Plaza Athenee Hotel on Sunday by highlighting the importance of
the private sector in strengthening the ACD by means of close cooperation
with both the government and private sectors.
In his opening speech, the prime minister underlined the connectivity within
Asia by creatively using the diversity within the region for the benefit of
all member states.
He also showcased Thailand’s 20-year strategy focusing on increasing the
country’s competitiveness through the development of science and technology
and innovation to increase the productivity and service capacity.
Referring to the implementation of financial technology or fintech, the
prime minister said Thailand aimed to become a cashless society in the near
future, claiming that the initiative would substantially reduce the cost of
ACD Connect Business Forum runs parallel to the ACD Dialogue Summit which is
due to start on Monday at the Foreign Ministry under the theme of “One Asia,
New land tax law may not be ready early next year
The land and building tax law may not come into force early next year as
earlier scheduled but this will not impact on the state coffers because the
tax collected will go to local administrative bodies, said Deputy Finance
Minister Visut Srisuphan on Friday.
The bill, he added, is now pending the consideration of the Council of State
and is expected to be tabled to the cabinet this month before it is
forwarded to the National Legislative Assembly for debates which will take
between 4-5 months for the bill to become law.
The deputy finance minister said that even if the promulgation of the law is
delayed, it will not impact on the state coffers because the land and
building taxes to be collected under this proposed law will go to the
coffers of local administrative bodies for local development.
Currently, land and building taxes collected amount to 30 billion baht a
year and the amount is estimated to double after the promulgation of the new
law which is aimed to discourage land speculation and to encourage the
utilization of empty land.
Under the proposed land, land is classified into four types in accordance
with their usages and taxes are levied accordingly.
Land for agriculture is to be taxed at 0.2 percent for land plots worth more
than 50 million baht/plot. As for land for residential purpose, the first
house which is worth less than 50 million baht will exempted from taxation,
but for the second home, tax will be collected on progressive rate.
The ceiling tax rate for land for commercial use is 2 percent for land worth
no more than 20 million baht, but the actual rate to be charged is 0.3
percent, 0.5 percent for land worth 20-50 million baht, 0.7 percent for land
worth 50-100 million baht, 0.9 percent for land worth 100-1,000 million
baht, 1.2 percent for land worth 1,000-3,000 million baht; and 1.5 percent
for land worth more than 3,000 million baht.
Unutilized land is taxed a maximum of 5 percent, but tax rates vary in
accordance with the duration of the land being unused: 1 percent for land
left unused for 1-3 years; 2 percent for land left unused 4-6 years and 3
percent for land left unused for seven years and more.
BMA details policy to mitigate the risk of crime and drugs around schools
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has
detailed its policy to mitigate the risk of crime and drugs around schools
by enhancing the safety of nearby businesses.
Deputy Permanent Secretary to the BMA Wantanee Wattana said on Friday that
the BMA will organize activities to raise awareness of drugs, inform
pharmacies of risky ingredients, ensure security standards of dormitories,
enforce laws related to the operating of entertainment venues and internet
cafes, and prevent alcohol sales to minors.
She revealed that amphetamine remains the most commonly used narcotic, while
children most often get persuaded to try drugs, by their own peers.
Thailand urges Mexico to lift import embargo on shrimps
BANGKOK, (NNT) - Thailand has
called on Mexico to lift an import embargo on shrimps from this country and
expand bilateral trade.
Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn, who met with Mexican Ambassador to
Thailand Jaime Nualart Sanchez and discussed bilateral trade and investment
on long-term basis, suggested Mexico to waive the embargo on Thai shrimps
with an early mortality syndrome which has been enforced since 2013.
Besides, the Mexican envoy was suggested to provide detailed information
about his government's plan to terminate a reduction in the import tariff on
Hom Mali rice from Thailand.
Mexico is currently Thailand's 18th largest world trading partner and third
trading partner in the North American region after the United States and
Thailand exported 3.2 billion dollars in combined goods value to Mexico
which exported 549 million dollars in goods to this country throughout last
Thai delegates woo investors in Paris
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak
PARIS,(NNT) - Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak has led a
group of delegates to Paris to attract potential investors, as part of the
government’s policy to boost this year’s foreign investment in Thailand.
The Thai delegates met with the Business Federation of France, MEDEF, to
present Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor Development plan in
Chachoengsao, Chonburi, and Rayong. French businesses had expressed interest
in investing in Thailand, particularly in the biotechnology and healthcare
industries. Meanwhile, French civil aircraft manufacturer Airbus has
expressed interest in a joint investment program in an aircraft maintenance
Mr Somkid has tasked the Board of Investment with compiling a list of needs
expressed by various sectors to be presented to the Thai cabinet before the
scheduled visit of French investors to Thailand on October 11-13.
British envoy vows to help publicize Thai custom and culture
BANGKOK, (NNT) - British Ambassador to Thailand Brian Davidson
pledged to have Briton visitors understand better about Thai custom and
culture and paid apologies for unbecoming acts on the part of any of his
PHOTO:Thailand News - 08-10-16 5 NNT British envoy vows to help publicize
Thai custom and culture 1JPG
The British envoy met with Pol. Maj. Gen. Pulsap Prasertsak, the
commissioner of the Fifth Provincial Police Division, to discuss security
and safety measures for Briton travelers to Chiang Mai province and
elsewhere in Thailand.
Mr. Davidson express his apologies for any inappropriate behaviors of his
fellow Britons during their visits to this country and called on the police
and authorities to provide safety measures for them as well.
The British embassy in Bangkok has publicized guidelines for the Britons to
observe while in Thailand with respect to the country's custom and culture
as well as rules and regulations.
His remarks apparently followed the event in which a Briton tourist had
mistakenly accused a local boy of stealing his property in Doi Suthep area
of Chiang Mai.
Besides, the British embassy has produced and publicized graphics about
Songkran festival and traffic rules, among other useful pieces of
information. More than one million Britons have visited Thailand in a year.
Vendors try unsuccessfully to return to Siam Square as City Hall remains firm on its eviction plan
Over 200 municipal police were deployed at and around Siam Square shopping
district on Thursday as a group of pavement vendors tried to negotiate with
city officials to return to the pavements to carry on with their trading
The city administration has demanded all the vendors to move out by October
3 failing that they will be arrested and fined.
Since October, the pavements at the famous shopping district have been
cleared of vendors. But several of them showed up today with placards asking
for sympathy and demanding talks with officials concerned to give them a
reprieve so that they can dispose their remaining stocks of goods.
One of the vendors told Thai PBS that they didn’t intend to stay on for
good, but just for a short period of time to clear their remaining stocks.
Others said that the alternative site arranged by the city administration
for them to carry on with their business does not work because there are no
Before the crackdown, there were about 600 vendors occupying pavements in
Siam Square to sell a great variety of products from 7 pm until 11 pm.
Fake instant coffee seized in Pathum Thani
Police seized about two million baht worth of fake instant coffee in raid of
a warehouse in Pathum Thani province on Thursday.
Armed with a search warrant issued by the court, a police force led by Pol
Maj-Gen Chavalit Sawaengpuet, deputy commissioner of Central Investigation
Bureau, and representatives of Nestle raided a rented warehouse in Tambon
Klong Phra-udom following a tip-off that fake instant coffee was
mass-produced in the premise.
Police found nine foreign migrant workers working in the godown, over 89,000
packs of fake instant coffee, over 280,000 empty packs, 19 sacks of mixed
instant coffee awaiting to be packed, four mixing machines and four
vegetables and fruit on sale in fresh and modern trade markets maybe laced with pesticide residues
About 56 percent of fresh vegetables and fruits on sale in fresh markets,
super markets and modern trade stores, including the so-called high-end
gourmet markets are laced with chemical residues beyond acceptable
standards, according to survey conducted by Thai-PAN, a pesticide alert
Thai-PAN coordinator Ms Prokchon Usap told the media on Thursday that the
network collected 10 types of vegetables and six kinds of fruits which are
popular among the consumers for tests to find out pesticide residues during
The ten types of vegetables include red chilli, kale, morning glory,
lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, pea eggplant, tomato and basil. The six kinds of
fruits are Sainampoeng orange, papaya, water melon, cantaloupe, guava and
Altogether 158 samples of the six fruits and 10 vegetables were collected
from three modern trade chain stores namely Big C, Macro and Tesco Lotus,
three wholesale markets namely Talad Thai, Pathom Mongkol market in Nakhon
Pathom and Srimuang market in Ratchaburi and several super markets where the
fruits and vegetables are tagged with safety or organic labels such as Tops,
Home Fresh Mart, Max Value, Villa Market, Lemon Farm, Golden Place and
All the 158 samples were subjected to multi residue pesticide screen (MRPS)
and it was disclosed that 56 percent of the 158 samples were tested positive
with beyond-standard level of pesticide residues.
Ms Prokchon said 70.2 percent of the samples taken from modern trade stores
were found to contain high level of pesticide residues: 12 out of 16 samples
from Tesco Lotus; 11 out of 16 samples from Macro and 10 out of 15 samples
from Big C.
54.2 percent of samples taken from wholesale markets were found to contain
pesticide residues beyond limits.
Vegetables found to have the highest amount of pesticide residues beyond MRL
are kale with 10 out of 11 samples, red chilli, nine out of 12 samples;
basil and long beans, 8 out of 12 samples; morning glory, 7 out of 12
samples, pea eggplant, 6 out of 11 samples.
Sainampoeng orange was found to contain the highest amount of pesticide
residues of all the six kinds of fruits tested. Even fruits and vegetables
certified by the Agriculture Ministry as safe are laced with pesticide
residues, said Ms Prokchon.
She disclosed that even some chemicals which were globally phased out were
found in fruits and vegetables such as dicrotophos, endosulfan,
methamidophos, carbofuran and methomyl.
Consumer’s confidence index grows three months in a row
Consumer’s confidence index for the month of September increased to 74.2,
representing an increase for the third month in a row and the highest in six
months, according to the survey result of the economic and business forecast
centre of the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce.
Thanawat Pholvichai, director of the centre, said Thursday that consumers
started to become more confident as evident in the increasingly economic
recovery and improvement of social and political atmosphere coupled with the
expectation that the government will spend more in investments and in
stimulus packages during the last quarter of the year.
Consumer’s confidence in the economy for the month of September was
registered at 63.4 points compared to last month’s 62.2 points, representing
an increase for the third month in a row while confidence in job
opportunities was registered at 68.6 points and confidence index in future
income was registered at 90.7 points.
Thanawat pointed out that consumer’s confidence in political situation
increased for the fourth month in a row, representing the highest in 11
years and five months. This shows that the people believe that political
situation will be more stable and, as a result, local and foreign investors
will stage a comeback to invest.
Happiness index was measured at 89.2 points, representing the highest in
As for the current flood situation, Thanawat said the general perception was
that the situation was not serious and the damage would be manageable as it
was confined in non-economic area.
Damage from flood this year will not exceed one billion baht and will have
very little impact on the economic growth – as little as 0.05 percent.
1,000 baht/day minimum overhead charge set for Chinese tourists
Effective as of yesterday the lowest overhead charge for a Chinese tourist
to be levied by package tour operators is 1,000 baht/day, said Deputy Prime
Minister Thanasak Patimaprakorn on Wednesday.
The minimum overhead charge for arrivals from China in the form of package
tour was made possible by virtue of Section 31 of the Tourism Business and
Tour Guide Act B.E. 2551 which stipulates that package tour operators are
prohibited from charging their clients below costs, hence, the
1,000-baht/day minimum charge was set.
The minimum charge was intended to weed out the zero-dollar package tours
from China which has resulted to several problems such as tourists were
taken by Thai tour operators against their will to jewelry shops which
overcharge the tourists. The operators, in return, will receive commissions
from the sale to recoup their costs.
General Thanasak said that all parties involved in the tourism industry
agreed with the invocation of the Act to impose minimum overhead charge for
Chinese tourists to weed out zero-dollar package tour business and to
improve the quality of tourists from China.
Also, it was agreed at a meeting on Wednesday that, besides the minimum
overhead charge of 1,000 baht/day, tour programmes arranged by the operators
for the tourists could not be charged more than 600 yuan or about 3,000 baht
This was intended to prevent the tourists from being cheated or taken
advantage of by tour operators, said the deputy prime minister.
All the decisions made on Wednesday will be conveyed to Chinese tour
operators in Shanghai on October 14 by a Thai delegation led by General
Thanasak in order to convince Chinese tour operators of fair treatment and
improved services for Chinese tourists.
Private city bus operators want government to waive their 400 million baht debt
Seventy-five private bus operators providing bus service in Bangkok under
the supervision of the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority have asked the
government to waive their 400 million baht debt owed to the state.
Mrs Pattharavadi Klomcharoon, chair of the city bus operators association,
blamed the debt incurred by bus operators on confusion of the government’s
policy regarding the private bus operators.
Operations of the private bus operators are to be overhauled and their
operating licenses to be suspended after the cabinet decided to transfer the
responsibility to supervise their operations from BMTA to the Land Transport
The 75 bus operators were given a briefing about the changes which are to
take place from the switch of supervisory responsibility from BMTA to Land
Mr Cherdchai Sanansrisakorn, director of bus service, assured that private
bus operators could carry on with their services even though their licenses
are to be revoked. He said that he would propose the government to invoke
Section 44 of the interim charter to temporarily renew the licenses of the
bus operators after which new bidding will be called for those interested to
operate city bus service on different routes.
Mr Cherdchai said he expected the restructuring process would take about two
years after which the Land Transport Department would move on to reform the
passenger van service.
Mrs Pattharavadi, meanwhile, expressed concern that up to 90 percent of the
private bus operators would be forced to terminate their service if they are
made to repay their debt within 2018.
More heavy to heaviest rains forecast for Bangkok, Central Plain until mid this month
The Meteorological Department today forecast heavy to heaviest rainfalls in
most parts of the country until mid this month as flood situation remains
critical in several provinces.
Director-general of the department Wanchai Sakudomchai said that almost
every regions of the country, except the Northeast, would face heavy to
heaviest downpour until the middle of October.
For Bangkok, he said during the 2-3 days ahead, there would be rain between
afternoon and evening for 60-70 millimetres.
Therefore, he said, there was a high chance of flood in certain areas in
Bangkok where floods haven’t receded yet.
Meanwhile in Nakhon Sawan, heavy rain caused several rivers to burst banks.
The water from the upper north provinces has add the volume of water in Nan
river, causing the water to overflow the bank to flood the paddy fields in
four sub-districts of Chumsaeng district, damaging more than 10,000 rai.
In Nakhon Ratchasima, there was flood at Khok Sung sub district in the
provincial seat after the water from Lam Chiang Krai river has overflowed to
flood some 200 homes and inundate more than 3,000 rai of paddy fields. The
water cut the route between villages of Chan-ad sub-district in Non Sung
In Sisaket, flood has inundated the Sisaket-Ubon Ratchathai road at Nikorn
Motor intersection of about 30-40 centimetres, causing inconvenience
THAI president made clarification over controversial Hawaii flight
Thai Airways International president Charamporn Jotikasthira clarified on
Wednesday that the price quoted by the airline to the office of the prime
minister’s secretary-general for chartered flight service for General Prawit
Wongsuwan’s delegation to Hawaii was just an estimated price between
government agencies and the actual price would be quoted by the airline once
the trip was completed.
As for the on-board catering for the delegation, he disclosed that THAI
proposed menus to the delegation to choose before the trip to Hawaii in line
with the airline’s premium-grade service standard.
Food was arranged with flying times taken into consideration – 12.30 hours
for the Bangkok-Hawaii flight and 12.45 hours for the return flight. There
were altogether four main meals plus snacks throughout the journey and food
reserves in case the flights did not go in accordance with plan, explained
THAI chose wide-bodied Boeing 747-400 aircraft because the plane could fly
across continents to destinations without the need of refueling mid-way, he
said, adding that THAI has several of this type of planes and the deployment
of one of them to serve the delegation did not affect the airline’s
He went on saying there were 38 passengers on the flight to Hawaii and 41 on
the return flight.
Charamporn said THAI was ready to cooperate with the Office of the
Auditor-General in the investigation. As a state enterprise and a listed
company in the stock market, he insisted that THAI has strictly observed
transparency and is open to scrutiny.
Princess Chulabhorn is sick
Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn has fallen sick with high fever,
coughing and pains in her legs and arms, the Bureau of the Royal Household
announced on Tuesday evening.
Doctors have administered medication to relieve coughing, pains and fever so
that the Princess will be able to return to perform her duties, according to
Four factors blamed for flooding problem in Bangkok
Four factors are blamed for the
seemingly insoluble flooding in Bangkok every time the capital city is
lashed with widespread torrential rains.
The heavy rains on Monday afternoon, for an example, resulted in flooding in
many parts of the city as the drainage system could not cope with excessive
amount of rain water – about 100 mm of rain water in Bang Sue district for
instance. Not to mention the resulting traffic nightmare which paralyzed the
city for several hours.
Thai PBS reporters talked with several experts who gave different opinions
about the flooding problem in Bangkok which could be summed up into four
Not enough monkey cheeks to absorb excess water. Bangkok deputy governor
Amorn Kitchawengkul earlier said that Bangkok needs another 10 monkey cheeks
in addition to the existing 25 to hold excess water of up to 25 million
Existing monkey cheeks such as Makkasan swamp, Bung Gum and Bung Ekamai are
not adequate, said the deputy governor.
Rapid city expansion has reduced the uninhabited space earlier used to store
rain water. For instance, Lat Phrao which was used to be an open ground to
hold rain water has now been taken over by housing estates and communities.
Former Bangkok governor noted in a report last year that water retention
area in suburban Bangkok had been reduced by 40 percent as a result of
urbanization, leaving the city with fewer water retention area.
Professor Thanawat Charupongsakul of Thailand Environment Institute once
pointed out that the city’s drainage system could cope with only 60mm/ hour
of rain water because of the limited capacity of the drainage system.
The other factor is the garbage problem blocking the drainage system. As
many as 10-20 tonnes of garbage are retrieved every day from the city’s
klongs which are main conduit for the draining of water into the Chao Phraya
Pratunam area cleared of vendors
Wattanakachorn, Ratchathevi district officer
Bangkok’s pedestrians have won back
the pavements on Ratchaprarop and Petchaburi roads in Pratunam area on
Tuesday after vendors reluctantly vacated the pavements in wake of the City
Administration’s no-nonsense crackdown on violators.
The pavements, which, for decades, were almost fully occupied by vendors,
are virtually cleared of vendors since Tuesday morning. City police were in
full force since the morning to make sure that no vendors showed up in
defiance of the eviction order which came into effect on Monday.
Ratchathevi district officer Chatri Wattanakachorn said that the city
administration had given a reprieve to the vendors for quite a long time
and, how, it is about time that they move out to return the pavements to
He said that the district office had arranged for spaces in Soi Ratchaprarop
2 and 4 for vendors to carry on with their trading business. More spaces are
being sought to accommodate the evicted vendors, he added.
The eviction of vendors from pavements in the Pratunam area is the latest of
the City Administration’s efforts to set a new order for the use of
pavements and to beautify the city’s landscape.
Military orders all boat trailers at Bali Hai pier in Pattaya moved out today
Boat operators parking their boat
trailers at Bali Hai pier in South Pattaya have been given to today to
remove their watercrafts out of the public places, or else they will face
forced eviction, or seizure of their vehicles.
The ultimatum was given after a combined force of soldiers, police, Bang
Lamung district officials, marine officials, city officials on Monday
inspected Bali Hai pier to follow up progress of the parking system at
public places along both sides of the beach road around Phra Tamnak hill
where boat trailers have taken up vehicle spaces, prompting complaints of a
lack of parking places for other vehicles.
Authorities met and discussed the ultimatum with the boat operators with
warning of strict enforcement of law if their boat trailers are still seen
at the places tomorrow.
Parking at Bali Hai pier has attracted the attention of the military in
September following numerous complaints of trailer boats taking up all
parking spaces at the Bali Hai bay.
The military surveyed the place and found the poor parking system there,
particularly the occupation of parking spaces by boat operators.
The military found that a large number of vehicle-parking spaces were filled
with laid-up boats – many of which never see the water – which causes
parking shortages and congestion as tour buses try to navigate streets
narrowed by the parked trailers.
Boat operators had been summoned to a meeting to find a resolution to the
problem of private citizens taking up public property and depriving Pattaya
of parking fees.
Owners of unused boats were asked to remove their watercraft and would be
charged and the boats seized if the military’s requests aren’t heeded.
30,000 baht reward offered for information for the arrest of stone thrower
Ayutthaya’s Bang Pahan district police on Monday offered a 30,000 baht
reward for information which will lead to the arrest of the man who threw
stones at a bus and a passenger car on Sunday night.
Bang Pahan police superintendent Pol Col Anek Pongsawat summoned a meeting
of detectives on Monday to discuss the stone-throwing incidents and the
manhunt for the perpetrator.
He said that the perpetrator might be someone living in area not far away
from the crime scene and was not a motorcycle street racer.
Mr Vivet Chanthawong, the driver of a bus travelling between Bangkok and
Phayao, told Bang Pahan police that he was driving at between 80-90
kilometres per hour and while he was approaching a bridge across the Lop
Buri river, a stone was thrown at the windshield of his bus.
He claimed the stone thrower was a tall thin man with curly hair, standing
on the roadside near a motorcycle.
Vivet said he did not stop the bus immediately but parked it by the roadside
at a safe distance from the scene of the stone attack and asked passers-by
to notify the police of the incident.
It was reported that a Honda sedan was also struck by a stone at the same
Inflation rate increases six months in a row
Consumer’s price index for the month of September was registered at 106.68,
representing an increase of 0.38 percent from the same period last year or
an increase of 0.04 percent from August, said Ms Pimchanok Workkhorporn,
deputy director of Office of Trade Policy and Strategy of the Commerce
She added that the September index showed that inflation rate had increased
steadily for six consecutive months averaging 0.02 percent increase per
month for the past nine months.
The increase in inflation rate was attributable to spending increase in food
and non-alcoholic drinks by 1.47 percent and 0.24 percent decreased spending
on other consumer goods such as pork meat, vegetables, eggs and household
However, the Commerce Ministry maintained its inflation rate increase
forecast for the whole year at 0.0-1.0 percent under the backdrop of
Thailand’s growth rate of 3.3 percent with the price of Dubai crude ranging
between 35-45 US dollars per barrel at an exchange rate of 35-37 baht for a
Five guidelines for social security reforms
The Social Security Office has set five guidelines to pave the way
for the reform of pension system for the elderly, said Dr Suradet
Waleeithikul, secretary-general of the office, on Monday.
The five guidelines are: step-by-step extension of retire age from 55 to 60
to begin after 2022; adjustment of the salary base used in the calculation
of fund for the elderly from the minimum rate set at 1,650 baht and maximum
rate at 15,000 baht to 3,600 baht and 30,000 baht respectively; change of
the calculation of pension fund payment from salaries for the last five
years used as the basis for calculation to salaries of the last 15 or 20
years; increase of officials’ contribution to the elderly’s fund from 3 to 5
percent of their salaries.
The last guideline calls for development of investment to generate more
revenue for the fund through the employment of professionals to manage the
Dr Suradet said he was confident that, if all the five guidelines, can be
fully implemented, the social security fund will last for the next 30 years.
He disclosed that amendments to the Social Security Act had been submitted
to the legal affairs committee of the Labour Ministry last month after which
public forum would be held to allow all stakeholders, including employers,
employees and academics to air their views.
Bar B Q Plaza closed 26 branches for improvement after blackened soup complaint
Bar B Q Plaza, the country's largest barbeque chain, has ordered the
shut down of 26 branches in Bangkok and the provinces for two days,
beginning yesterday, for the replacement of its "black pans".
The temporary shutdown of the branches came after a customer posted on
Facebook showing the soup on its black pan was blackened.
The poster said on the page that she asked for the barbeque restaurant at
Central Plaza Grand Rama 9 shopping plaza for change of the black pan twice
but the soup remained to be blackened although there was no grilling yet.
The next day after the post, Bar B Q Plaza issued a statement on October 1
clarifying that it was the error of the cleaning process and has ordered the
branch to resolve the problem immediately, and also launch emergent measures
that required stricter inspection and training of job performance as well as
making direct contact with the customer to apologise for the incident.
But at the latest statement yesterday on its Facebook, the company ordered
two-day shutdown of 26 branches that used the black pans for inspection and
improvement of cleaning process to meet the company standards, and
retraining of all staff at all levels seriously and strictly.
It clarified further of the blackened soup and rusty pans saying the blacked
soup was caused by inappropriate use of substance during the cleaning
process, thus resulted in soy based oil which coated the pan to prevent
sticking to dissolve.
This later caused the soup to turn black, it said, dismissing that the
blackened soup was either caused by the scratches of the nonstick coat
surface of the pan, and not by the chemical substance used.
It added that it is replacing all the equipments used in the cleaning
Security step-up for flood-affected villagers taking refuge on roadsides in Ayutthaya
The Ayutthaya provincial police chief has ordered a step-up of security for
rural villagers who have escaped flooding to take refuge on the roadsides
and irrigation canal banks.
Pol Maj-Gen Sutthi Puangpikul, commander of Ayutthaya provincial police,
ordered police in seven districts of Bang Barn, Bang Sai, Bang Pa-in, Sena,
Pak Hai, Phra Nakhon Sriayudhya and Bang Pahan to step up their patrols of
the public areas used by flood-affected people as their temporary shelter.
Many of them have set up tents on the roadsides of the main highway or on
high ground beside irrigation canals and brought with them their farming
gears, cars and other valuables.
The policemen were ordered to make sure that these flood escapees are safe
from opportunistic thieves or robbers while they are taking temporary refuge
Northern runoffs compounded with torrential rains have flooded a large
swathe of low-lying areas in Ayutthaya for the past several days, forcing
many inhabitants to seek temporary shelter on the roadsides and other high
Thai puppeteer troupe won two top prizes at World Puppet Carnival in Poland
A group of young puppeteers from Thailand has earned the country a
great pride and honour when they won the Best Carnival Performance prize at
the World Puppet Carnival held in Poland during September 24-30.
The Thai team of 25 puppeteers aged from 7-25 from the Nattayaburapha club
under the coach of Mr Den Halert also won the Young Puppeteers Award. The
team outperformed 54 final teams from many countries which were selected
from about 900 entries.
The team’s performance, entitled “the First Human in the World”, is about
the world’s first ape and giant who set out to look for four ultimate
weapons namely Gratitude, Sacrifice, Discipline and Tolerance.
Initially, the Nattayaburapha club could not afford the trip to Poland to
participate in the annual event because they didn’t have enough funding. So
the young puppeteers tried to raise fund by selling soft drinks at Don Muang
Their fund-raising struggling was eventually posted in the social media and
widely shared among netizens and, later on, attracted the attention of
government and private sectors who stepped in for help, making the club’s
dream to participate in the carnival come true.
After winning the two top prizes, the Thai troupe was feted at a luncheon
hosted by Thai ambassador to Poland Manasvee Srisodaphol.
Super Poll shows 57.5 percent agree with Senate choosing premiership candidate
The majority of the people polled by Super Poll agree with the
proposal that the House and the Senate should jointly nominate an outsider
candidate for the premiership post if the House representatives cannot agree
themselves a candidate from the party’s lists of candidates, according to
the findings of the Super Poll Research Office released on Sunday.
The opinion poll shows that 57.5 percent of the 1,167 respondents agree with
the proposal against 42.5 percent who disagree, said Dr Noppadol Kannikar,
head of the research office.
The poll also shows 62.9 percent of the respondents support the use of
Section 44 of the interim constitution to dissolve the House if its members
cannot agree on the formation of a government in the future.
The poll which was conducted on September 30-October 2 also shows the
following results: 87.4 percent of the respondents agree that the National
Anti-Corruption Commission should deal with corrupt politicians responsible
for the Uah-arthorn housing project against 12.6 percent who disagree; 59.4
percent agree that the NCPO should remain in place to oversee peace and
security in parallel with the government; 79.3 percent of the respondents
agree with the appointment of Deputy Defence Minister Udomdej Sitabutr as
head of the “forward cabinet” overseeing the unrest problem in the Deep
Vessels warned to navigate slowly in rivers and klongs in six provinces
The Marine Department has issued a warning to all vessels travelling in
rivers and klongs in Bangkok and five central provinces to reduce their
speed and to stay in the middle of the waterways in order not to cause
damages to riverside houses.
The warning was issued after water levels in the Chao Phraya river, other
rivers and klongs in Bangkok, Ang Thong, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Ayutthaya
and Samut Prakan had steadily risen due to northern runoffs, monsoon rains
and high tide.
Violators will face a fine ranging from 500 to 5,000 baht and the skippers
may have their licenses suspended for up to six months.
Riverside residents who come across vessels which do not observe the speed
control or who navigate in their vessels in such a way that may endanger
houses by the rivers or klongs can notify the Marine Department by calling
1199 around the clock.
Loan contract signed for implementation of Red Line train project
Thailand and Japan signed a loan agreement on Friday under which the
Thai Finance Ministry will get 166,860 million yen or 53,479 million baht in
loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the
implementation of the State Railway of Thailand’s Red Line rail project from
Bangsue to Rangsit.
Signing the agreement on behalf of the Thai government was Finance Minister
Apisak Tantiworawong and Japanese ambassador Shiro Sadoshima on behalf of
The terms of condition of the loan agreement are considered as favourable.
The loan is payable in 15 years with grace period for the first five years
and it will be disbursed in six years with interest rate at 0.30 percent and
0.1 percent per annum for consultancy fee plus 0.20 percent fee for the loan
on the condition that half of the fee will be returned after the loan was
The suburban Red Line from Bangsue terminal to Rangsit is expected to become
operational in 2020. It is also expected to accommodate at least 300,000
passengers a day.
CDC issues Zika special travel considerations for 11 SE Asian countries
The US Communicable Diseases Control (CDC) Department on Thursday issued
Zika special considerations for 11 Southeast Asian countries, warning
American citizens, especially pregnant women, about travelling to these
countries because of the uncertain risk of Zika infection.
The 11 countries placed under Zika special considerations include Thailand,
Myanmar, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, the
Philippines, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.
CDC said Zika virus has been present in areas of Southeast Asia for many
years and several countries have reported occasional cases or small
outbreaks. It added that Zika virus is considered endemic in some of these
countries and many people who live there are like immune but US travelers to
the areas where Zika is endemic may not be immune to the virus and
infections have occurred in travelers to Southeast Asia.
The level of risk for Zika virus infection in these countries is unknown,
said CDC, adding, however, that pregnant women should consider postponing
nonessential travel to Southeast Asia.
If travel to these countries cannot be avoided for pregnant women, CDC
recommends that they consult their healthcare provider first and strictly
follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.
Also, CDC advises the use of condom every time they have sex during
Six Myanmar illegal migrants arrested with large number of grenades
Soldiers, police and local authorities yesterday arrested six Myanmar
migrants and seized a large number of grenades during a search at a house
near Mae Sod district border in Tak province.
The raid was the result of a tip-off that a home in Mae Ku sub-district
located along the Thai – Myanmar border in Tak province was a hideout of
illegal migrant workers and they were suspected to engage in illegal
As authorities moved in, all the people inside ran out and escaped in all
But they were all apprehended, one is a woman.
An initial inspection of the house showed nothing out of the ordinary but a
search bellow the house just alongside a cow pen revealed that a large pit
had been dug and covered with soil.
Removing the earth covering, authorities found a fertilizer bag that
contained a scoped rifle and a large suitcase.
When the case was opened they found 141 new M67 grenades and another 51 M79
In addition, a large cache of field gear, stores and provisions were also
All were detained for questioning.
Authorities believed that they might involve with either an illegal arms
trading outfit or a narcotics operation which were attempting to sell the
weapons to militant ethnic minority groups located across the border from
Thailand wins TTG Travel Awards Destination of the Year 2016
Bangkok, 30 September, 2016 – Thailand has won the TTG Travel Awards for the
“Outstanding Achievement Awards: Destination of the Year 2016”, making it
the sixth time the country has won this accolade, having received it
previously in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2012 and 2013.
Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Executive Director of the Advertising and
Public Relations Department of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)
received the award on behalf of Thailand at the 27th Annual TTG Travel
Awards 2016 Ceremony and Gala Dinner in Bangkok, Thailand on 29 September,
2016, at the Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre, CentralWorld.
Mr. Chattan said, “I would like to extend my gratitude to TTG’s editorial
team for honouring Thailand with this prestigious award. We are indeed
honoured and proud that the continuous efforts being made by the Thai
tourism industry to strive for higher standards are delivering results, and
being recognised. Thailand will certainly continue our tireless efforts in
taking steps and initiatives to strengthen the development and promotion or
our thriving tourism industry.”
Organised by TTG Asia Media’s Travel Trade Publishing Group, the TTG Travel
Awards have been recognising the best of the Asia-Pacific’s travel industry