Wednesday, 16 July 2014 14:20

Rains help clear Yala's smog-hit skies

BANGKOK, 16 July 2014 - Yala’s air quality has improved after yesterday’s bout of heavy rains has helped clear up the smog-filled skies.

Thick haze and smog drifted over from Indonesia to cover parts of Yala yesterday, causing skin and eye irritation among residents.

Smoke from forest fires on Sumatra is an annual dry season hazard that often affects neighbouring Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand every year in June and July. The southern region is usually worst affected by the smog.

Over the past weeks, Yala had been sporadically covered in haze but the situation did not reach a critical point. Local disaster units have prepared measures to protect residents, particularly those at risk of respiratory problems, from the smog.

BANGKOK, 16 July 2014 -The Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow, also serving as acting foreign minister, has called on Israel and the Palestinian representatives to resume peace talks.

Mr Sihasak said Thailand did not want to see the situation worsen as it would affect the lives of innocent people, particularly children. He said there are a number of Thais currently working in Israel.

In the ongoing conflict, every representative group, especially the Quartet should play a role in peace talks being resumed in the controversial situation. The Quartet on the Middle East or Middle East Quartet, sometimes called the Diplomatic Quartet or Madrid Quartet or simply the Quartet, is a foursome of nations and international and supranational entities, involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Quartet are the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia.

The acting Thai Foreign Minister reaffirmed that the situation does not require the evacuation of Thais from Israel at the moment, however, authorities at the Royal Thai embassy, Tel Aviv are in close contact with the Thai citizens and have an evacuation plan prepared.

Reconciliation has been cited as vital to reform efforts in order to bring Thailand out of conflict. It is about creating an environment conducive to reform in which tensions are reduced and talks between conflicting parties can take place. 

BANGKOK, 16 July 2014  - Documentaries and feature films will be produced to honor Her Majesty the Queen on the occasion of her 82nd birthday anniversary this year. 

BANGKOK, 16 July 2014,  -Acting Police chief Gen. Watcharapol Prasanratchakit has said the Royal Thai is ready to comply with the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)’s policy on reforming the police structure, agreeing with the concept of allowing the outgoing police chief to nominate his successor.

Pol. , Similarly, Deputy Commissioner General Police General Ake Angsananont also voiced his agreement with the idea of giving the power to the outgoing Commissioner General to nominate the next police chief from either deputy national police chiefs or inspector generals.

According to him, the Commissioner General should be well informed which officers possess the qualities and integrity for the top job. The revamp will also prevent the Royal Thai Police from political meddling.

The NCPO’s 87th-89th announcements have empowered the current Commissioner General to nominate his successor, while appointing the Defense Minister to the Royal Thai Police board in place of the Interior and Justice Ministers.

BANGKOK, 15 July 2014 – Six Thai students have won silver and bronze medals after competing in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). 

BANGKOK, 15 July 2014  – Registration of migrant workers went smoothly at the “One Stop Service” center which opens in Din Daeng area today, with a lot of alien workers coming to register. 

Head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) General Prayuth Chan-ocha has stressed the need for relevant agencies to launch marketing activities to boost tourism.

Gen Prayuth said that measures rolled out in the next few months to stimulate tourism for the coming high season will be vital, as this is the period when tourists plan their end-of-year trips.

In this regard, promotional activities should be emphasized for all major markets, such as Japan, India, Hong Kong, ASEAN, the European Union, and China. General Prayuth urged the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Tourism Council of Thailand to join hands with various foreign airlines and chartered airlines that are friends of Thailand in devising campaigns to promote Thailand as a tourist destination during the period between October 2014 and March 2015.

According to an assessment by relevant agencies, there is a good news that Thailand’s tourism income is showing an increasing trend. Moreover, he said, insurance measures for tourists may need to be devised during this situation.

Meanwhile, the TAT, Thai Airways International, and the Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association, are joining hands in organizing a festival of happiness, joy, fun, and Thai smiles over the 25-26 July weekend as part of an effort to show to the world that Thai tourism is more than back to normal.

In an extravaganza never before held in Thailand, the entire Ratchaprasong area in Bangkok will come alive with colorful parades, great shopping, fashion shows, concerts, and culinary delights from 3:00 p.m. to midnight on both days. The theme “Thailand Happiness” will be lived up to the hilt.

TAT Governor Thawatchai Arunyik said that the organizers would make this event the biggest and best back-to-normal party Thailand has ever seen. Although its primary objective is to convey a powerful message that the Thai tourism industry is back to normal, the event has an equally potent purpose: to help bring the smiles back to the faces of the Thai people after several months of uncertainty.

On both days, there will be a Happiness Concert featuring performances by contemporary musicians and traditional Thai folk singers, accompanied by sound-and-light theatricals at CentralWorld Square. At the Happy Gift Market, visitors will find everything from antique products to trendy, brand-name clothes and fashion items. One section, called “Stars on the Street” will have booths manned by Thai celebrities and television superstars selling footwear, T-shirts, green gourmet items, boutique apparel, and even Thai desserts.

Another section, called Happiness Surprise, will allow visitors to take Instagram pictures of smiling faces and place them in giant gift boxes. After getting 5,000 smiling pictures, the boxes will be opened and the best smiles will get surprise rewards.

In the last week of July, a familiarization trip, “Thailand’s Best Friends Forever,” will be arranged for about 800 members of the media, bloggers, and travel agents from all over the world, who will convene in Bangkok at a welcome reception on 25 July at the Bangkok Convention Center, Centara Grand Hotel at CentralWorld. They will also join the “Thailand Happiness” street festival before travelling to various parts of the kingdom to experience for themselves the many tourist attractions and services the country offers. In addition, this event encourages the people to pass along the message that Thailand waits to welcome all visitors with an abundance of destinations, and it cordially invites all tourists to enjoy their vacation time here, as always.

BANGKOK, 15 July 2014  - The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) has predicted that the economy will grow 4.2 percent during the second half of this year.

The committee believes that the Thai economy has passed its lowest point, thanks to the resolved political conflict and certain policies of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) that are intended to stimulate the economy, which would help boost consumer and investor confidence.

Following these reasons, the JSCCIB remains confident that the Thai economy will grow 4.2 percent and expand by 2 percent for the remainder of this year. In 2015, the committee forecasts that the Thai economy will grow 3.5 to 4.5 percent. Exports for this year on the other hand, can reach up to 3 to 5 percent.

The JSCCIB consists of members from the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC), and the Thai Bankers Association (TBA).

Tuesday, 15 July 2014 13:36

TOT to focus on online services

BANGKOK, 15 July 2014  - TOT Public Company Limited has committed to continue delivering high quality service to customers despite a revenue drop and will shift its focus to online services to customers during the remaining period of 2014.

Ms. Somjit Theerachutikul, TOT Executive Vice President for Marketing and Product Development stated that TOT customers are currently more familiar to the always-connected-to-the-internet lifestyle, either via personal computers or smart phones.

She also stated that online transactions nowadays have become more convenient and secured. The TOT will, therefore, turn more to online services and e-billing such as in top-up service, and telephone and internet bill payment.

The Executive Vice President however stressed that all of the company’s 400 service centers would still be operational for customers who prefer the conventional methods, adding that the online services are simply another convenient communication channel between the firm and its valuable customers.

She said that the workforce of the TOT would continue to devote its energy to customer service although the company has been facing several setbacks including a decrease in revenue from its operations while all incomes from its concession contracts have to be sent to the state coffer.

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