PRAJUAB KHIRI KHAN, 27 March 2015 - Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has visited the province of Prajuab Khiri Khan and spoken with the people on government policy this morning before attending the Cabinet meeting. 

AYUTTHAYA, 27 March 2015 - More than 40 people were injured when two trains collided in Ayutthaya province last night.

The accident occurred at 10.30 p.m. when a Nongkhai-Bangkok train was rear-ended by a Denchai-Bangkok train. The collision caused three carriages of the Nongkhai-Bangkok train to derail, and left more than 40 people injured.

According to police, the Nongkhai-Bangkok train was preparing to stop at Phra Kaew Train Station before it was hit by the Denchai-Bangkok train. They assumed the traffic control official might have allowed the Denchai-Bangkok train to enter the train station as he thought the Nongkhai-Bangkok train had already entered the platform.

The injured passengers were transported to local hospitals by the military and disaster prevention and mitigation officials. All of them have been discharged except the Denchai-Bangkok train driver and the technician who are still in critical condition.

The military and local administrative officials have now transferred all passengers to Pachi Train Station so they can go on with their trip. The State Railway of Thailand has recorded their data for compensation claims. Train services continue as normal.

BANGKOK, 26 March 2015 - Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office ML Panadda Diskul has encouraged all Thai people to visit a traveling exhibition in commemoration of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s fifth cycle birthday anniversary.

According to ML Panadda, the Office of Identity Promotion under the Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office is ready to organize a special exhibition under the title “Phra Phu Sang Roi Yim” or literally “The Princess Who Brings Smiles to the People” in honor of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn as she turns 60 on April 2 this year.

In cooperation with the Provincial Administration Organization Council of Thailand and Siam Paragon Development Company Limited, the event will take place during April 1-8 at Siam Paragon Shopping Center in Bangkok. ML Panadda said all Thais are invited to observe the exhibition as a show of loyalty to the beloved Princess.

The exhibition will be divided into three different zones. The first will showcase Her Royal Highness’s artistic works and talents while offering visitors a chance to sign well-wishing books for the Princess and purchase quality products at the Phu Fah Shop. The second zone will feature a photographic display, demonstrating Her Royal Highness’s gentle and friendly nature, and the third zone will revolve around royal activities and benevolence for the Thai subjects.

After Bangkok, the exhibition will continue in other regions of the country. It will be held in Chiang Mai province in the North during April 23-26, Sakon Nakhon province in the Northeast during May 7-10, Samut Songkhram province in the Central Plains during May 21-24 and Krabi province in the South during June 4-7.

Friday, 27 March 2015 11:48

PM backs the production of electric cars

BANGKOK, 27 Mar 2015 - Energy Minister Narongchai Akrasanee revealed that he has assigned related agencies to study possible approaches to promote the production of electric cars in Thailand within the next 3-5 years.

Mr. Narongchai said his ministry would look into the establishment of charging stations and battery replacement service, or specifically speaking, the strategic location of these stations. He stated that initially PTT Public Co. Ltd has expressed interest in providing the service. However, the process is possible only after laws are amended to allow oil service stations to legally offer battery charging service.

According to the minister, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha showed support for the production of the electric vehicles, following the global trend. The Prime Minister said Thailand must look into the future and provide necessary means that would enable electric cars to run in both city and in the remote areas.

General Prayut sets to lay down the required infrastructure within the next 3-5 years. He said the government would help pave ways for gas stations to offer the charging service by amending related laws.

BANGKOK, 27 Mar 2015,  Thailand Chamber of Commerce (TCC) has re-elected Issara Wongkusonkit as its president for another term.

The decision was made yesterday during the Chamber's 49th annual meeting, during which the new committee was selected to replace the present one, of which the term has expired. The new committee elected Mr. Issara to remain in the position for another term, while assigning Managing Director of Bangkok Business Equipment Automation Co., Ltd., Dej Cherdsuwannarak, as the TCC’s Secretary-General, and promoting Kalin Sarasin to the position of Vice President.

According to Mr. Issara, the new TCC committee will continue the works of the previous committee with an emphases on 3 particular areas as follows: Increasing competitiveness of the private sector and enhancing the knowledge of entrepreneurs, connecting members in Thailand with those overseas, and maintaining good governance as well as reducing social gaps.

He said the new committee would also focus on minimizing trade obstacles, and facilitating the overall business operations.

BANGKOK, 27 Mar 2015,  Thailand is prepared to discuss a joint railway project with Japan on March 31st, said Transport Minister Air Chief Marshal Prajin Janthong.

According to the minister, the details of the project will be concluded in May, which include the designation of the route that Japan will undertake and other investment specifics, before the two sides establish a joint committee to study further details.

Japan is currently deciding which route to take, said the Minister, speculating that the nation would probably be most interested in the Kanjanaburi-Bangkok-Aranyaprathet-Laem Chabang (กาญจนบุรี-กรุงเทพ -อรัญประเทศ -แหลมฉบัง), as it connects the railway directly to the soon-to-be-established Dawei and the Leam Chabang seaports.

Unless Japan decides to undertake the route,the Minister said he would discuss with Germany and South Korea instead. The decision will be known in two months' time.

As for the Tak - Phitsanulok - Petchaboon - Khon Kean - Roi Et - Mukdahan route and the route linking Bangkok with Phitsanulok and Chiang Mai, he said he would have to study the details before making any decision.

The Air Chief Marshal said the government is ready to kick off the project by the end of this year, saying a further delay would make it difficult for these projects to be realized, as it will have to be handled by the next government.

BANGKOK, 27 Mar 2015,  President of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), Supan Mongkonthee, hopes that more than 40,00 cars will be sold during this tear's Bangkok International Motor Show 2015 now underway.

According to him, 123,669 cars have been sold during the first 2 months of 2015, an 11.8% on-year decrease. He attributed the drop to the nation's economic slowdown, low agricultural product prices, and the government's as well as the private sector's investments .

He also pointed out that the government budget disbursement has seen little or no progress, while the financial institutions continue to impose strict loan regulations.

Thailand exported 200,613 cars in the past 2 months, an increase of 12.58% on-year. The export was worth 88.7 billion baht, a rise of 6.25% from that of the same period last year, Mr. Supan said

Despite the expiration of the EU’s GSP privilege, auto exports to EU continues to grow, thanks to the higher demand for eco-cars in the EU block and the manufacturers' outstanding marketing strategies.

Auto exports to EU in January jumped 135% in January and 517% in February year-on-year. Exports to North America also grew by 203% and 42% in January and February, respectively.

BANGKOK, 26 March 2015 - The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will be keeping illegal street vendors off Silom road during Songkran Festival this year.

Accompanied by police officers, city rangers, Bangrak district officials and officers from the 3rd cavalry squadron, Dr. Wallop Suwandee, an advisor to Bangkok Governor, yesterday traveled to Silom road to promote the legal use of public space.

According to Dr. Wallop, street hawkers have in the past breached the law by selling alcoholic drinks and festival items on the footpath of Silom Road during the Songkran festival without permission. The widespread sales of alcohol on the road last year also led to brawls and other forms of violence.

Some public spaces were also illegally rented out to small vendors during the festival without them knowing who the area really belonged to. The road was so littered with so much trash after the festival ended that the BMA had to employ a large number of people to clean up the road, the advisor said.

Police officers will be deployed to maintain law and order during this year's festival, held between April 12 to 14. Vendors who wish to use the space for commercial purposes are required to register, at no charge whatsoever, at Bangrak District Office.

Under the regulations, the sales of alcoholic beverages and powder will be banned during the festival period. Vendors will only be allowed to sell their goods from 1 pm to 9 pm.

BANGKOK, 26 March 2015 - The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) will be considering several key draft laws in today’s meeting.

The Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) will report to the legislative panel on the draft charter when the session begins at 10.00 hrs.

Later, the NLA will be briefed on other various draft laws and reports that were reviewed and approved by the Cabinet.

The bills include legislation on disaster insurance, communicable diseases, warehouses, universities and reports on violence against women and children compiled over the past two years.

NLA members will also examine a list of qualified candidates for the position of Ombudsman.

BANGKOK, 26 March 2015 - Bangkok Governor Mom Rajawongse Sukhumbhand Paripatra remains popular among Bangkok residents during the past two years, according to a recent survey by Bangkok University Research Center.

Based on the 10-point evaluation system, the performance of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration with M.R. Sukhumband at the helm has risen to 6.22 points, up from 5.65 points last year.

The most impressive job is the ambition to make the capital city an economic and learning metropolis. The least impressive one is the plan to develop Bangkok into a democratic metropolis.

In terms of his performance, the governor this time has gained 0.62 point to 6.08 points due primarily to his dedication and hard-working personality. The respondents, however, are least happy with his response to problems.

When asked about the governor’s most outstanding job over the past two years, roughly 73 percent of the respondents are of the opinion that he has yet to come up with exceptional performance so far.

Nevertheless, as high as 63 percent admire the BMA for the city cleanup, particularly the removal of roadside stalls from Silom and Khlong Thom areas. Around 43 percent said they would still elect M.R. Sukhumband as the Bangkok governor again if an election were held today.

The results of the survey were compiled from the answers of 1,215 Bangkok residents aged above 18 during March 20-23.

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