BANGKOK, 22 May 2015 - Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai had a meeting in Bangkok with Luo Haocai, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the 9th and 10th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and President of China Society for Human Rights Studies (CSHRS) during the latter’s visit to Thailand in order to strengthen cooperation on human rights with academic institutions and relevant organizations in Thailand.

Both sides discussed and exchanged views on several issues of common interest including human rights projects and activities of both governments and civil society organizations in both countries.

In addition, they shared their views on efforts to increase public awareness on human rights, which should start from young children and adolescents, as well as cooperation in researches and studies to promote human rights in the era of information technology and social media.

KUALA LUMPUR, 22 May 2015 - Thai students have made name abroad by winning a total of twelve medals - one gold, four silvers, three bronzes as well as another four special prizes - from Asian Young Inventors Exhibition 2015 (AYIE), according to Secretary-General of the Basic Education Commission Kamol Rodklai.

AYIE is part of the International Invention, Innovation & Technology Exhibition (ITEX), a platform for the world’s most prolific inventors from 21 countries in Asia and Europe to showcase their inventions. It is held during 21-23 May in Kuala Lumpur convention Centre, Malaysia.

Mr.Kamol said that eight inventions by Thai students were selected by the Office of the Basic Education Commission to be displayed and joined competitions at the AYIE.

Energy-saving Steamer invented by students of Muang Narathiwat School won a gold medal in the category of houseware.

In the category of machineries and equipment, two silvers go to the Bottle Automatic Buyer Machine developed by students of Chum Chon Ban Mae Hang School in Chiang Mai and the Machine for Shrimp Peeling and Riving by students of Thungyaiwittayakom School in Nakhon Si Thammarat. These three inventions were also granted special awards from Hong Kong.

Sticky Rice Cooker of Nakhon Phanom’s Piyamaharachalai School was also presented a silver medal from "MOVE WORLD TOGETHER” project.

Mr.Kamol said that the awards proved innovative skills of Thai students which could meet demands of global market. Therefore, the Thai students’ inventions hold high potentials to be developed at the commercial level, drawing attentions of international entrepreneurs, academics and visitors during three days of the exhibition.

PHNAG NGA, 22 May 2015 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) office in Phang Nga is encouraging all sectors to improve their facilities and services to accommodate tourists while conserving their natural resources, says TAT Phang Nga official.

Phang Nga TAT official Ladda Chuaichart has said in a seminar on the province's preparation for the upcoming ASEAN Community, that the provincial tourism strategy must improve on a number of issues. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to compete more, staff provided in services must be professionals, while the tourism attractions themselves must retain their value through natural conservation.

She has said that natural resources of tourism attractions will require proper conservation to prevent deterioration through tourist activities, and the province should promote the eco-tourism, cultural tourism, community based tourism, and health and well-being tourism. Meanwhile, the safety of the lives and properties of tourists should not be overlooked.

She then pointed that tourism activities and services will require an upgrade to keep up with international standards. Service standards that the TAT will upgrade include accommodation, food, tourism agencies, tour guides, spas. The TAT will also follow up on standards in activities such as canoeing, trekking, diving, and cliff climbing. She has also mentioned that the cultural identity of the region should be conserved, as it will distinguish the province apart from other tourism destinations.

On natural disaster and safety, the TAT Phang Nga official said that the province should have proper risk management strategies and be ready to respond immediately. The improvement in the connectivity throughout the province will help facilitate tourists and the safety of their travels.

She has added that knowledge on sustainable management is fundamental in all sectors and the general public, in order to improve on the mentioned areas, which will help boost the province's tourism scene greatly.

BANGKOK, 22 May 2015 - The Thai Fruits and Vegetables Festival at Phadung Krung Kasem Canal was today bustling as ever with a great number of visitors coming to buy seasonal fruits and garden plants. The market drew customers as soon as it opened at 10 a.m. and became even more crowded towards 4 p.m. when the office hour was over.

Most visitors at the market agreed that holding such a market helped buyers in terms of decision making as they could ask for product details and negotiate with farm owners directly. They wanted the government to continue holding similar markets at the site.

Thai Fruits and Vegetables Festival opens until 31 May 2015 from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem Market next to the Government House.

BANGKOK, 22 May 2015 - Political experts from Germany and France have been invited to join a special lectures project hosted by the Foreign Ministry and share their views on the role of the Constitution in national efforts to resolve conflicts.

On Friday, the Foreign Ministry organized a series of special lectures on Thailand’s political conflicts, the reform process and lessons to be learnt from constitutions adopted in other countries.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-Ngam said that the lectures have been initiated to promote an understanding of the charter drafting process which is ongoing amidst both praise and criticism. He added that the target audiences include the Constitution Drafting Committee, the National Reform Council, the National Legislative Assembly, members of the public and the media.

In discussing the event’s objectives, Mr. Wissanu said that experts from Germany and France have been invited to share their experiences in their respective countries, that have successfully overcome crises and drafted new charters which succeeded in bringing about reconciliation and stable governments.

Among the international speakers are Professor Dominique Rousseau and Professor Michel Troper from the University of Paris, who became known for a recommendation to use the Constitutional Court to solve conflicts, and the theory of Realism, respectively.

Also attending is Professor Ulrich Karpen from the University of Hamburg who will be speaking about Germany’s experiences with Nazism and Hitler.

Mr. Wissanu stated that the lectures won't entail the experts’ criticisms of Thailand as they will be discussing only the experiences of their own countries.

KHON KAEN, 22 May 2015 -  Khon Kaen Governor Gumtorn Thavornstit gave a warm welcome to thirty Chinese entrepreneurs from Fujian Province led by Song Ke Ning , Director General of the Fujian Foreign Affairs Office during their visit to Khon Kaen to boost Thailand- Fujian Economic Cooperation and Investment.

The visit coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Thai - Chinese diplomatic relations. Fujian officials and business people took the year to enhance trade and investment between their province and four Thai provinces of Roi Et, Maha Sarakham, Kalasin and Khon Kaen in the central part of the northeastern region.

These provinces form a potential cluster in agricultural production. They possess land known to be the best source of Thai Jasmine rice, one of the most favourite staples among Chinese.

In 2011, Khon Kaen took the lead in representing other provinces in the cluster to sign an MOU promoting all of them as Sister Cities with China's Fujian Province. Bilateral relationship has since developed smoothly under the coordination of the Chinese Consulate - General in Khon Kaen.

TRANG, 22 May 2015 - The Department of Consular Affairs (DCA) will be providing passport issuance services in Trang province during 8-12 June 2015 to facilitate the public, according to the Trang City Municipality Mayor.

The Mayor of Trang's City Municipality, Apichit Winothai, has revealed that the DCA mobile passport issuing unit will be operating passport issuance services to the pubic in Trang and surrounding provinces during 8-12 June 2015 from 8am to 4:30pm at the Trang City Municipality office.

This service will be convenient for the public, as they will not be required to travel to Bangkok or other provinces where the passport issuance service are provided at those Consular Affairs offices.

The DCA will require certain documents to issue passports, namely the identification card or civil worker card with the 13 digit identification number, and the census registration document. Passport issuance will cost 1,000 baht and an additional 40 baht for delivery services.

BANGKOK, 22 May 2015 - Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has explained that if the National Reform Council (NRC) accepts the draft constitution, the planned election will have to be slightly delayed due to the referendum process while insisting he is not intent on extending his time in office.

Commenting on his past statement to foreign press that Thailand would hold the general election at some point in August this year, Gen Prayut clarified that the given estimate was in accord with the initial timeframe of constitution drafting. Should a public referendum on the draft charter be organized, he admitted that the election would inevitably have to be pushed off.

Nonetheless, the premier urged all sides to wait for the NRC’s resolution whether or not to approve the draft constitution. If the draft is turned down, he said it would be unfortunate as all the efforts put in would have gone to waste and the charter drafting process would need to start over. Despite the obligation to carry on his duty as Prime Minister under such a circumstance, he vowed that he has never intended to hold on to power.

Meanwhile, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the military takeover, Gen Prayut said he is content with the achievements of the National Council for Peace and Order so far, especially in the laying down of new structures and foundations for the country. Though deeming the coup unacceptable, he affirmed it was a necessary move in order to save the nation from impending dangers and enable it to move forward.

BANGKOK, 22 May 2015 - The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has extended the validity of the first-lot of Digital TV coupons for two more months, allowing the public to redeem for hybrid set top boxes within a longer timeframe.

The NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith has revealed that the NBTC has received permission from the National Council for Peace and Order to extend the validity of the first-lot Digital TV coupons, originally set to expire on 31 May 2015, to 31 July 2015.

This extension will provide holders the chance to redeem the voucher for the hybrid set top box that will allow viewing of both digital television and satellite television channels. The new set top boxes are expected to be available in the market in June 2015.

On the progress of digital TV channel license payments, the NBTC Secretary-General has said that 16 channels' transactions have already been completed. The licensing payment deadline cannot be further extended.

Saturday, 23 May 2015 09:24

PM Prayut to welcome Fijian leader

BANGKOK, 22 May 2015 - Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha is scheduled to welcome Fijian Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimara who will be visiting Thailand early next week.

PM Bainimara is scheduled to attend a meeting held by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) on May 28 and 29. He has accepted an invitation to visit the Kingdom from PM Prayut, extended by Deputy PM and Foreign Affairs Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn.

The Fijian leader is scheduled to meet PM Prayut at Government House to discuss the possibility of strengthening bilateral cooperation in such areas as politics, trade and investment as well as in other fields of expertise which the two countries either lack or excel in. The two leaders will then attend a luncheon hosted by the Thai government. A press conference will be held later on.

Thailand and Fiji have promoted their diplomatic ties since December 15, 1975. The nations have exchanged visits of high-ranking officials on many occasions. In addition, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn paid a visit to the island country in 1996. The Fijian President attended the 2013 Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Thailand.

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