BANGKOK, 25 November 2014 - Anusit Kunakorn, Secretary-General of the National Security Council (NSC) said after the Cabinet meeting today that Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha requested all units dealing with issues in the Deep South to adjust their operations to correspond to the needs of people in the area. This includes the adjustment of budget for the best interest of the public. He also confirmed that the integration of cooperation of various units is running smoothly because of the clear framework set by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

Anusit further stated about southern peace talks that at this moment it is still unclear who will be assigned the responsibilities, but the Prime Minister will definitely officially appoint a team before his visit to Malaysia. At this initial stage, the team will comprise of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), NSC, experts, and advisors as seen suitable by the Prime Minister.

BANGKOK, 25 November 2014 - The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) Whip has resolved to begin deliberating the impeachment case against the former House and Senate Speakers on January 8 and the case against former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra the following day.

Spokesperson of the NLA Whip Jate Siratharanont revealed that a decision has been made to designate January 8, 2015 as the commencement date for the case against former House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont and former Senate Speaker Nikhom Wairatpanich. The case against former premier Yingluck, meanwhile, will kick off on January 9.

Mr Jate stated that the dates have been pushed off as the NLA will be occupied with reviewing a number of draft laws. Moreover, the defendants have proposed additional evidence and witnesses, prompting officials to need more time to consider the matter. Nonetheless, the NLA Whip’s decision on the dates will be put before NLA members for approval during their meeting later this week.

In the meantime, an inquiry committee comprising 21 members will be set up to handle the cases. Five of the committee members will come from the NLA Whip while the other 16 will represent the NLA standing committees. After the opening of the impeachment cases, it is expected that the verdicts will be issued within one month.

BANGKOK, 25 November 2014 - The Thai Chamber of Commerce warns that Thai exports to China might be affected by the neighboring countries in ASEAN after the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) comes into force. Rice, electrical appliances and textiles are expected to feel the impact the most.

An academic from the Center for International Trade Studies of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce said Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam would likely steal the market from Thailand in the next five years, decreasing Thailand's export value to China to 117 billion baht. The country would export less rice and seafood to China by 14.6 billion baht and three billion baht respectively, said the academic.

However, some exports from Thailand are expected to reap benefits from the AEC, including tapioca, rubber, fruits, processed food, wood and plastic.

The academic suggested that Thailand should improve the quality of its exports and increase their values rather than trying to compete with the neighboring countries in terms of price.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:27

Cabinet approves milk price hikes

BANGKOK, 25 November 2014 - The Cabinet has agreed to increase the buying price of cow’s milk from 18 baht to 19 baht and the median price of school milk by 0.21 baht/carton. The price increase of school milk will be effective in the second semester of 2014.

Deputy Government Spokesman Maj.Gen. Sansern Kaeokamnerd said the Cabinet on Tuesday approved the request for cow’s milk and school milk price increases made by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. The price hike for cow’s milk will be effective on the day the Ministry of Commerce allows commercial milk producers to increase dairy product prices in the market.

As for the price increase of school milk, pasteurized milk will be increased from 6.37 baht/carton to 6.58 baht/carton, UHT from 7.61 baht/carton to 7.82 baht/carton and powdered milk from 7.51 baht/bag to 7.72 baht/bag.

BANGKOK, 26 Nov 2014, The Commerce Ministry is holding a week-long commodity goods sales event as a New Year gift to the public.

According to the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Chutima Boonyaprapat, numerous department stores and retail vendors nationwide have said they will participate in the Ministry’s New Year’s scheme, which will be held from December 24th - 30th.

Miss Chutima claimed that the event would also boost public spending during the period, aside from being a New Year gift for the public

In addition, she also instructed the Department of Internal Trade to hold weekly markets offering the public everyday items at discounted prices, piloting the project in three popular areas in Bangkok.

The project is meant to help low income earners, she said, adding that officials are currently in the process of selecting venues for the scheme, which is expected to kick off at the beginning of next year.

UTHAI THANI, 26 Nov 2014,  The military and officials from Uthai Thani have agreed to allow 69 forest encroachers in Huy Cot ( ห้วยคต ) to stay in the area for another 3 years, under the condition that they participate in a reforestation campaign.

The agreement was made during yesterday’s meeting between the officials and the 69 locals and Karen tribe members who have encroached on the Huy Cot forest reserve area.

Attending the meeting were Colonel Pisan Nakpajol, the commander of the military in Uthai Thani, Colonel Anuson Thoopthong, the province’s Internal Security Operations Command Deputy Director, and Nakhonsawan provincial administration officials as well as the Department of National Parks Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

The meeting concluded that all the 69 individuals, who had illegally occupied the area of Huy Cot forest reserve for their personal use, would be allowed to stay in the area for the next 3 years under one condition: They must plant trees in the encroached areas during the time of their occupation.

Official said the encroachers would be asked to vacate the area immediately if they violated the agreement.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:22

PDRC made its suggestion on the new charter

BANGKOK, 26 Nov 2014  - The People’s Democratic Reform Council (PDRC) yesterday met with the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), giving its suggestions on what should be included in the new charter. 

BANGKOK, 26 November 2014  The Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) secretary-general announced that the assets hidden inside the home of the former Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) chief of the Royal Thai Police were derived from money laundering.

Police Colonel Sihanat Prayoonrat, the AMLO secretary-general, disclosed that the assets that were stashed inside the house of former CIB chief Pongpat Chaiyapan had violated the money laundering laws. More than 10,000 assets worth more than 2 billion baht have been found inside his home.

According to the Anti-Money Laundering Prevention and Suppression Act, Pongpat are found guilty of intentionally hiding his assets and amassing unusual amounts of wealth. These two charges have allowed AMLO to take legal action to seize his assets.

The AMLO is creating an account to correctly evaluate the value of the assets, which are now classified into two categories: the assets that were seized and would be used as evidence by the police and those to be placed under the possession of AMLO.

The AMLO would trace the source of wealth of the former CIB chief and his accomplices to determine where they got the money from.

PHRAE, 26 November 2014 - Agricultural experts have headed down to Phrae province to study a new kind of pomelo that has a coconut-like fragrance. The group is ready to name it the “Viroon Pomelo” after the orchard owner.

According to Mr. Pansak Kaenhom, a researcher at the Department of Agriculture, the pomelo is believed to be an indigenous fruit species that has evolved into a different kind of pomelo as a result of cross-breeding. The pomelo has been discovered inside the orchard of Mr. Viroon Fanfuen, who lives in Baan Nam Jom Village in Cho Hae subdistrict, Phrae province.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Agricultural Research and Development Center in Phrae, Mr. Sakol Meesuk, has made some suggestions to the orchard owner. He recommended good pruning of the tree branches to allow enough sunlight and the tree to fruit. He also urged the orchard owner to cooperate with the Department in developing the plant as one of the outstanding products of the province.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014 14:16

Gen. Anupong: Govt pushes for speedy polls

BANGKOK, 24 November 2014 - Minister of Interior Gen. Anupong Paochinda has confirmed the government is following its roadmap so as to arrange a general election soon, saying provokers will face legal actions.

The minister on Monday gave an interview on symbolic protests against the government, saying they negatively affected the country more than the government or the National Council for Peace and Order. The government was urgently reforming the country in order to pave the way for national polls, said the minister.

Regarding a three-fingered protest salute by college students, the minister said they had no hidden agenda but other forms of protests, such as instigation of violence, would be dealt with by the authorities.

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