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BANGKOK, 2 May 2014  – Air Force Commander-in-Chief Prajin Juntong urged the Democrat Party on Thursday to partake in the upcoming general election, and expressed support for Abhisit Vejjajiva's attempt to find a solution to the current political situation. 

Friday, 02 May 2014 14:28

Upper House reconvenes today

BANGKOK, 2 Friday 2014 -- The Upper House has reconvened its extraordinary session on Friday with several major issues on the agenda, including royal approvals to appointments of key members in independent public agencies. 

BANGKOK, 1 May 2014  - The AOT Director Mekin Petplai has confirmed the development of the second phase of Suvarnabhumi Airport is on schedule while acknowledging that the impact of political conflict in Bangkok has decreased the number of passengers.

Airports of Thailand PLC, (AOT) Director Mekin Petplai reveals the overall revenue in the first quarter of 2014 increased by only 5.1%, much lower than the expected 10%, mainly due to the political conflict. However, AOT has developed contingency plans to maintain the overall outcome of 2014 at a satisfactory level, by reducing the airport fee and promoting Thai tourism in cooperation with The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

The first phase of the Don Meung development plan will be completed by the end of 2014, It is designed to serve 30 million passengers currently, rising to 40 million passengers in 2015. With its completion, the two Bangkok airports will have a combined capacity of 100 million passengers a year by 2016, accessing both Don Meung and Suvarnabhumi International airports. Meantime, in 2014, AOT expects 80 million passengers.

The AOT is now urgently working on the development of the second phase of Suvarnabhumi airport. Mekin said that the construction layout is being concluded and it should be possible to open the auction in May. So far the plan is still on schedule and the development project is expected to be completed in 2017.

In its present phase, Suvarnabhumi Airport has the capacity to service 45 million passengers a year. The main international airport will later have the capacity to handle 60 million passengers a year.

BURIRAM, 1 May 2014 – The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC)’s Buriram Office has approved a new round of loans worth 49 million baht to rice farmers in the province who have not yet received money for their rice pledged with the government.

The loans have been extended to 786 unpaid rice farmers in Buriram for use in the purchase of equipment and other production factors to start the new rice season. These farmers are still waiting for government payment for their rice sold under the government’s rice pledging program that has unfortunately run out of fund. According to the BAAC, the government still owes 3 billion baht to 38,000 farmers.

According to the bank, it has paid 2.6 billion baht in loan to more than 26,000 affected farmers in Buriram, and another batch of 56 million baht is pending approval.

A provincial BAAC executive expressed his belief that the government would be able to find enough money to pay all the farmers.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 13:43

Yala to hold OTOP convention

YALA 30 April 2014  — Yala province is set to hold an OTOP exhibition in an effort to promote local products and provide opportunities to improve the community at large. 

Thursday, 01 May 2014 13:40

FT charge rises by 10 satang/unit

BANGKOK, 1 May 2014  – The country’s fuel tariff or FT charge is set to increase by 10 satang per unit, effective from May until the end of August. 

BANGKOK, 1 May 2014  – The prolonged political turmoil has been afflicting the Thai economy including wholesale and retail businesses. 

Thursday, 01 May 2014 13:28

US ambassador visits Chainat Province

CHAINAT, 1 May 2014  – US ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney has paid a visit the northeastern province of Chainat as Thailand and the United States celebrate their 180th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Ambassador Kenney and her entourage traveled to Chainat Province, where she was welcomed by the provincial deputy governor who led the ambassador to Chandrakasem Rajabhat University and a cultural village in Nong Mamong District. There, Ms Kenney observed cultural performances by the locals. She wrapped up her visit at Radio Thailand Chainat amid tight security. The visit was aimed at strengthening ties between Thailand and the US, as this year marks their 180th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Ms Kenney became US ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand on 8 January 2011, meaning her term has already ended, but due to the delay in the US government’s action to request for Senate approval for a new ambassador, Ms Kenney will remain in the position until further notice.

BANGKOK, 1 May 2014 -- The Ministry of Labour and the Labor Council of Thailand have organized an event to celebrate Thailand's labour day on Thursday.

The event started with an alms offering ceremony at the RamaV monument early in the morning. All of participants then walked to Sanam Luang where the ceremony to pay homage to His Majesty the King was held.

Representative from labour unions submitted their three-point demand to the government urging the latter to offer better protection on worker's rights by ratifying the international labor covenants and improving local labor law.

Meanwhile, at the parliament the association of Thai labour unions also held their own event to call for better treatment of workers by authorities and employers.

PHATTHALUNG 1 May 2014  — The Governor of Phatthalung has opened a new farming school in the province in order to promote sustainability among local residents.

The Governor of Phatthalung Seri Srihatri presided over the opening ceremony of the new farming school located in the Krongra municipality of the province. The institute aims to imbue the region’s youth with the importance of farming and sustainability, according to His Majesty the King’s teachings.

Somkit Songniam, Chairman of the Phatthalung Agriculturists group, stated that the province is considered to be one of the most lush and fertile regions among all southern provinces — stressing the vast opportunities to make full use of the land.

Currently Phatthalung only farms 150,000 rai of land, compared with 600,000 rai in the past— the reason being that vast tracts have been turned into residential areas; have been converted into para rubber plantations; or have simply been left uncultivated.

The new farming school therefore hopes to build awareness and pride in the local community, especially among the younger generation, that Phatthalung is indeed an area to be treasured for its richness and fertility.

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