BANGKOK, 4 August 2014 –The deputy chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has confirmed that the Thai Embassy in Libya has not been attacked as reported elsewhere.

The Supreme Commander General Thanasak Patimaprakorn denied the rumors that all Thai embassies in Tripoli and Djerba in Libya and Tunis in Tunisia had been attacked. Meanwhile there are 410 workers for whom employers are responsible for travelling expenses while the Thai government will help repatriate 562 workers whose employers have not paid expenses for them. On August 6, 81 Thai workers are scheduled to arrive back in Thailand.

He also said that the current situation in Libya is unpredictable. So, there is an emergency plan to lease a vessel to evacuate Thais from the area.

BANGKOK, 5 August 2014 – Public and private sector organizations involved with the livestock industry on Monday celebrated Thai livestock exports exceeding 100 billion baht per year.

The Livestock Development Department and its private sector allies held an event to celebrate livestock exports breaking the 100 billion baht mark for the second consecutive year. According to officials at the event, livestock exports totaled 107 billion baht in 2012 and 128 billion baht in 2013. In the first six months of 2014, livestock exports totaled 605 billion baht, leading officials to forecast that the whole-year total would be no less than 130 billion baht.

Livestock Development Department director-general Tritsadi Chaosuancharoen revealed that his department is currently pushing for exportation of bird nests to China, the world's largest market for the product. China halted imports of bird nests in 2011 after detecting nitrite contamination in the products, and called on each source country to make adjustments. According to Dr. Tritsadi, Thailand had already progressed ahead with the adjustments and it should be able to commence exportation to China within this year.

BANGKOK, 5 August 2014  – Several agencies voiced support on Monday for the raising of civil servants' salary, even if doing so would cause inflation to mildly accelerate.

Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary Rangsan Siworasat met with officials from the Comptroller General's Department on Monday to discuss raising the salary of civil servants. Those at the meeting agreed to prioritize on increasing the income of lower-level civil servants and state employees who earned less than 9,000 baht per month.

State Enterprise Policy Office director Kulit Sombatsiri said on Friday his agency was also looking to make adjustments to the salaries of state enterprise employees, in line with the planned raising of civil servants' salaries; emphasis would similarly be on lower-level employees who earned low income.

The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking also voiced support for the pay raises, saying Thai public sector workers had relatively low pay compared to their knowledge and capability. It noted, however, that doing so would slightly affect the prices of products and the inflation rate.

Internal Trade Department director-general Chintana Chaiwannakan, meanwhile, admitted raising the salaries of state employees could make the inflation rate slightly higher, but this would not be the primary concern.

The Ministry of Finance is looking at four options for raising the total income of public sector workers – raising salaries by 8%, raising the 'cost of living pay' of civil servants, adjusting the pay scale, and providing other kinds of remuneration. The aim is for the total income to be at least 9,000 baht.

Tuesday, 05 August 2014 14:33

Purple line electric train has 90% progress

BANGKOK, 4 August 2014 - The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) has reported that the construction of the northern purple line electric train, Bang Yai-Tao Pun, progressed by 90% with some parts of it completed ahead of schedule.

MRTA Governor Yongsit Rojsrikul on Monday spoke of the northern purple line electric train, saying the Marubeni-Toshiba company was responsible for the procurement and installation of the trains. The company was now in the process of train purchase, said the governor.

As for train assembly, the Japan Transport Engineering company was selected to produce 63 trains for the northern purple line. Test runs for the electric train are scheduled to take place at the end of 2015 before it opens for public in the third quarter of 2016.

Head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) General Prayuth Chan-ocha has said that members of the newly established National Legislative Assembly consist of knowledgeable and capable persons who would push for the success of national reform in a short period. 

UDON THANI, 12 August 2014 -The National Council on Social Welfare of Thailand (NCSWT) with Udon Thani province as well as The Udon Thani Red Cross, are organizing social service activities in honor of HM Queen Sirikit’s birthday anniversary.

The 12th August is celebrated as the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit and the nation immerses itself in celebrations. As the Queen is regarded as mother of the nation by all Thai people, the day is also celebrated as 'Mother's Day.' Since 1976 celebrations for Her Majesty the Queen and for mothers everywhere, have been held every year without fail. Thai people unanimously commemorate this day because of the queen's benevolence towards the needy and the poor in the nation. The Queen has captured the hearts of Thai people through her devotion towards ensuring the well- being of her people.

The project will help female prisoners at the Udon Thani Women’s Prison enjoy Mother’s Day as best they can, by providing the inmates with a free holiday lunch.The activities also include distribution of food and other necessities for those in need. Lunch is provided as well to local unemployed and poor people.

The project is part of a week of meals for the poor planned by the Red Cross to commemorate HM the Queen’s Aug.12th birthday anniversary.

BANGKOK, 4 August 2014 - The Governor of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has laid down a deadline for railway reform, when assessing the pilot program of Women Only Train Carriages following the recent rape and murder tragedy aboard an overnight train.

After the introduction of a carriage for women and children on selected overnight services, the State Railway of Thailand will require three months to assess the progress of the initiative and will consider applying the program on more routes. Meanwhile the authorities are now speeding up installation of CCTV on every overnight service.

Members of the public are enthusiastic about women-only carriages after the State Railways of Thailand dedicated one bogie on some lines - on routes to Chiang Mai in the north, Sungai Kolok in the south, and Ubon Ratchathani and Nong Khai in the northeast which permit women and girls, as well as boys 10 years old or younger and no taller than 150 cm, to travel in safety. The carriages are staffed exclusively by women employees and police, said Mr. Tanongsak Pongprasert, director of the SRT’s service.

According to the survey most women passengers are satisfied with the campaign which has led to near capacity bookings for Thailand’s Mother day.

The SRT will assess the pros and cons of the campaign within three months before implementing the system on any other routes. To ensure safety and boost confidence in the SRT, CCTV cameras are being installed. The CCTV project will be piloted in the ‘women only carriages’ before being further installed throughout trains.

BANGKOK, 3 August 2014  –The Director General of the ASEAN Affairs Department has advised that the Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs will join the 47th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and attend other meetings during the period 5th to 10th August at Naypyidaw, Myanmar.

The meeting will discuss with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), the holding of a meeting of dialogue partners, and the ASEAN+3 meeting.

John Kerry, Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, will attend the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). In regard to this, the Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs will inform the foreign delegations about Thailand's political developments and the establishment of a National Legislative Assemble.

Moreover, Thailand has discussed with dialogue partners the taking of measures supporting ASEAN Connectivity, against threats such as transactional crimes, epidemics, and human trafficking.

CHIANG MAI, 3 August 2014 - The Botanical Garden Organization (BGO) has prepared an academic seminar in celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday, on 15 August 2014 at the Botanic Hotel Conference Room, Chiang Mai.

The Botanical Garden Organization hosts the 7th International Symposium on the Family Zingiberaceae under the topic of ‘Gingers for Life’ in celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday as well as on the auspicious occasion of the 60th birthday anniversary of HRH Maha Chakri Sinrindhorn.

The symposium is being held to exchange opinions from all ginger lovers, with representatives of universities, colleges and research institutions throughout Thailand and other parts of the world and also to sign an MOU on a study project towards zingiber conservation.

BANGKOK, 3 August 2014  - The Department of Mental Health has expressed concerns over sexual assault and premature sex in adolescents caused by sexual content in online media. Parents and the society are urged to help create immunity against addiction to sexual content online.

Psychiatrist from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Rajanagarindra Institute MD Thiphawan Buranasin said teenagers who were addicted to sexual content online had higher risks to be sexually assaulted or engage in premature sex. They might also risk being infected with sexual diseases, getting pregnant and having an abortion, the psychiatrist warned.

One of the most concerned health issues among Thai teens was unintended pregnancy with adolescents younger than 15-16 years old having sexual intercourse for the first time, MD Thiphawan added.

The psychiatrist therefore suggested that parents should observe their children to see if they were addicted to online sexual media and learn more about technology so that they could help prevent the addiction.