BANGKOK, 23 January 2015 - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha joins people around the world in mourning the passing of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.
"I have the honour to extend my deepest condolences and sympathy to Your Majesty, Members of the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia, as well as to the Government and the people of Saudi Arabia in this moment of bereavement,” Gen. Prayut’s condolence letter reads. It is written on behalf of Thai government and Thai people.
Gen Prayut also admired the Saudi king's leadership and contributions to global peace and international understanding as well as great services to Islam and all Muslims throughout the world.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Gen. Tanasak Patimapragorn also sent a condolence message to the new Saudi monarch.
BANGKOK, 24 Jan 2015, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has urged taxi operators not to take advantages of passengers, referring to the infamous case involving a cab driver at Suvarnabhumi Airport and a Japanese tourist that has gone viral on the social media.
During his weekly broadcast program ‘Return the Happiness to the People,’ the General talked about the government’s attempt to reorganize Suvarnabhumi Airport's taxi services. According to him, an advance queue management system is used at the airport in order to eliminate the problems of taxi drivers choosing passengers.
The number of complaints on driver's failure to turn on the meter or turning down passengers has increased, said the Prime Minister, adding that the airport has set up taxi checkpoints at Gate 1-8 since January 19th. Staff at checkpoints are to make sure that all cab drivers turn on their meters, and to inspect passenger’s queue tickets. Passengers are also advised to keep their tickets during the entire trip and not to give it them to the drivers.
General Prayut also asked all cab drivers not to take advantage of passengers, and to turn on the fare meter every time the cab is in service; most importantly, they must not turn down any passengers, be they Thais or foreigners.
BANGKOK, 24 January 2015 -The Thai government is looking to increase more tourism channels, while the floating market set up beside the government house is intended to increase the people’s income.
On the national televised program, Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha stated that the government is considering more water tourism channels, which includes constructions of more piers to accommodate more tourists and trade.
He has said that the promotion of water tourism is directly in correlation to the integration of the ASEAN Community, which the Thai government and Vietnam had agreed to established more tourism along water routes in 2015.
The Prime Minister spoke on the success of the Discover Thainess event and Thailand Tourism festival during 14-18 January 2015 that drew 613,325 people to the event. The turn out was much higher than the previous year, and both events generated a circulation of 229 million baht.
The Prime Minister has also mentioned that the government will be looking to set up the floating market at the Phasing Krung Kasem Canal next to the government house due to the convenient location and the tourism attraction potential of the area.
He said that the floating market will be another way to increase public income and will support those who have been previously affected from the traffic arrangements that has forced many street retailers to stop their activities.
The floating market next to the government house is expected to commence on 2 February 2015, said the Prime Minister.
BANGKOK, 22 January 2015 Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha officially opened the 14th Meeting of the ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Ministers (TELMIN) at Shangri La Hotel this morning.
Prior to the conference, the Prime Minister received ASEAN IT ministers at the reception room of the hotel where they greeted each other. General Prayut was also scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the TELMIN opening ceremony.
The 14th TELMIN conference sees ASEAN governments and private sectors working together to improve regional information technology and communication as one community.
KHON KEAN, 22 Jan 2015, The locals of Khon Kean’s Nongrua District have been suffering from severe drought conditions, forcing them to purchase water for consumption
The 70-rai Nongsala reservoir in Yangkham Sub-district has dried up and the little water remaining is murky and unsuitable for drinking. According to the local residents, it has not rained since the beginning of 2015, resulting in the rapid decline in the water level.
One of the locals said his family has resorted to buying water for daily use and consumption, as they can no longer rely on the dried-up reservoir.
The locals urged the Government to help dredging the reservoir, enabling it to hold enough water for the consumption of 500 households that in the area.
BANGKOK, 22 Jan 2015 - The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (MSDHS) will lead a campaign to address the ongoing beggar issue on a sustainable basis, with a major clean-up operation to be organized from January 26th -30th.
Minister of Social Development and Human Security Police General Adul Sangsingkeaw said that the beggar issue has been deep-rooted in the Thai society and fallen prey to the human trafficking ring. He said one particular method favored by the traffickers is to use children to reel in crowds, living off of human kindness.
He said 3 major policies will be implemented nationwide -- law enforcement, protection to victims of human trafficking, and to develop a network against human trafficking.
The Police General clarified that the law enforcement involves amending the beggar related laws, handing out punishments to human traffickers and professional beggars and drawing up an official record of beggars.
He said the truly destitute would receive assistance in the form of general welfare, rehabilitation and occupational training.
BANGKOK, 22 January 2015 - The water management policy committee is planning to propose to the cabinet its comprehensive water management blueprint in February.
Commerce Minister General Chatchai Sarikalya, who chairs the committee, said his team is still reviewing the strategy to assure its efficiency.
The 10 year management plan is expected to cost the government 1 trillion baht. It will be implemented in 3 different stages.
Under the first urgent phase, from 2015-2016, measures will be taken to maintain water supplies throughout the country and prevent repetitions of flooding disasters.
Around 240 billion baht would be needed to achieve these goals. Laws regarding water resources will also be legislated during the same period.
In the second and third phases, the committee will proceed with the construction of medium and large-scale reservoirs. The projects will be preceded by public hearings and studies on environment impacts.
BANGKOK, 22 Jan 2015, The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) yesterday announced that all prepaid Subscriber Identity Module or SIM cards must be registered by July 31st. Failure to do so will result in the termination of services.
The announcement was made after a meeting held yesterday between the NBTC and the country's 5 mobile phone service providers: Advanced Info Service, DTAC, True Move, TOT and CAT Telecom.
According to the NBTC, a public hearing will be organized to gauge the people’s reaction; however, the agency expects the regulation to take effect within 6 months.
According to NBTC Secretary-General, Thakorn Tantasit, the objective is to protect the public from various scams given swindlers using unregistered SIM cards are virtually impossible to be tracked down. Another major reason is national security, referring to the cases of perpetrators of violence using unregistered SIM cards for illegal purposes.
To register their SIM cards, the owners must bring their identification cards to their respective service providers, the Secretary-General said, adding that the NBTC would later add Krung Thai Bank and the outlets of giant convenient store chain 7-Eleven to the list of registration venues.
Unregistered SIM cards will no longer function after July 31st.
Currently, there are 90 million active SIM cards in use, with only a fraction of them-- 1.6 million-- registered.
BANGKOK, 20 January 2015 - Prices of three categories of goods, of which manufacturers have benefited from the drop in oil price, have already been lowered, according to the Department of Internal Trade.
Department director-general Boonyarit Kalayanamit said on Monday the three categories included lubricants, plastic beads and construction materials. PTT has lowered its prices of lubricants by 2-5%, and prices of the remaining manufacturers are expected to be reduced by early February. Plastic beads have become 3.85-7.70% cheaper, according to Mr. Boonyarit. Cement prices have dropped by 2-4%, roof tile prices by 5-7%, steel bars by 1,500-2,000 baht per ton, metal sheets by 1,000-1,500 baht per ton, and structural steel by 1,000-1,200 baht per ton.
Mr. Boonyarit disclosed further that chemical fertilizer manufacturers have promised to lower prices of 50-kilogram bags of fertilizer by 10-30 baht. He also assured that there will be no shortage of palm oil, and each liter will retail for no more than 42 baht.
LAMPHUN, 20 Jan 2015, The Department of Environmental Quality Promotion (DEQP) has established a learning center in Baanpuang Sub-district of Tunghuachang District in Lamphun Province, aimed at discouraging the ‘slash and burn’ agricultural technique.
Deputy Director General of the Department, Sakol Thinakul, presided over the opening ceremony of the center, handing out an education fund of 20,000 baht on behalf of the center to the locals.
According to DEQP officials, the slash and burn practice triggers smog and bush fires, which are persistent issues every season in the North. The practice produces dust smaller than 10 micron, which is harmful to those inhaling it, adding that the issue has greatly affected the local tourism industry.
The department and related agencies thus decided to establish learning centers in 5 different locations in the North, with an aim to inform the residents of the adverse effect of the slash and burn technique, and to teach them a better method to prepare their farmland for the next planting season. These centers are located in Lamphun, Lampang, Phayao and Maehongson.