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PATTANI, 14 December 2014 - The Fourth Army Area Commander has attended a peace dialogue for issues in the southern-border provinces, and emphasized that the solution for peace must uphold ethics, human rights, and the law.

The Fourth Army Area Commander and the Chief of the 4th Region Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) Forward Command, Lt. Gen. Prakarn Cholayut, today headed the joint discussion for a solution for issues in the southern-border provinces of Thailand with participants from the army, police, and public sector.

He said that the mission of the 4th Region ISOC Forward Command is to return peace in the southern-border provinces. He said that many sectors are now contributing to the mission for peace as can be seen from clear and practical government policies that give precedence to the wellbeing of the people.

He said that the Prime Minister of Thailand has discussed with Malaysia on the southern-border provinces issue and expected to see a positive effect from the talk.

The Fourth Army Area Commander said that the authorities in the area will reduce the use of armed force, weapons, and special laws, while encouraging the enforcement of ordinary law. The police will give priority to dealing with the situation, and encourage public participation in taking care of the society.

He mentioned that the 4th Region ISOC Forward Command has clear and transparent policies regarding human rights. He also pointed out that the true solution for peace must happen based on the people’s trust through upholding ethics, human rights, and law enforcement.

NAKHON SI THAMMARAT, 14 December 2014 - Heavy rain in the southern regions of Thailand has affected 9 districts and one person has been reported missing. Meanwhile the army is prepared to perform rescue operations.

The Commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Army, Gen Udomdej Sitabutr, has commanded the Army’s disaster mitigation center to order all units in the area to monitor flood situations and to perform rescue operations in cooperation with other sectors immediately when needed.

Many rescue operations have already been carried out in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, such as at the Tha Sala and Sichon districts, to provide assistance and evacuate people to the safe areas.

Meanwhile, the governor of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Peerasak Hin-muangkao, has ordered all government agencies to warn the public of potential risks that stem from heavy rain such as flash floods and landslides.

Status reports as of this afternoon have reported 9 districts, 33 sub-districts, and 50 villages affected by the rain with one person reportedly drowned and missing in Huai Nam Dang, Phrom Khiri district. The missing person is Mr. Meechai, 37, from Bangkok. Searching operations are currently on the way.

PHATTHALUNG, 14 December 2014 - The flooding situation in the southern province of Phatthalung has been deteriorated with more than 500 households inundated so far.

Army Chief Gen. Udomdej Sitabutr has ordered military units in Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phatthalung to help evacuate local residents and their belonging to higher ground.

In Phatthalung, heavy rain on Friday's night has caused flash floods in four districts and more than 500 households were submerged under 1.30 meter high water. Some villages were cut out from the rest of the province when a road linking Phatthalung cities were inundated with 80 centimeter-high water.

As raining continues in the area, residents in more areas have been warned to prepare for possible flood, especially those who live near waterways or large reservoirs.

BANGKOK, 14 Dec 2014 - The Department of Land Transport (DLT) is continuously inspecting the condition of metered taxis registered in Bangkok and vicinity before allowing them to use a new fare rate which will be effective on 22 December 2014.

During his visit to the DLT headquarters in Bangkok to monitor the progress of the taxi check-ups, DLT deputy director - general Mr.Chirute Visalachitra revealed that the Ministry of Transport has approved the first phase of fare adjustment which stipulates an increase of 8 per cent. Another 5 per cent will be added in the second phase of fare adjustment in the next six months.

The vehicle inspection mainly requires the standard of air-conditioning system, tire condition, seat belts, headlights, indicators, font seats and back seats.

Over 36,000 out of total 100,000 metered taxis have passed the inspection so far and have already received a blue certificate label of meter adjustment permit. The meter tuning is expected to start on 22 December onwards.

Under the new rate, passengers will be charged 35 baht for the first kilometer, then 5.50 baht more for every kilometer during 1st -10th kilometers, 6.50 baht for every kilometer during 10th-20th kilometers. In the case of traffic jam which allows taxis to move with a speed of less than six kilometer per hour, passengers will be charged 2 baht per minute, 0.50 baht higher than the previous rate.

Mr.Chirute added only taxis with a blue label attached on the left side of the windshield can use the new fare rate. Passengers who see any taxis charge a new rate without the blue label issued by the DLT can notify the office through hotline 1584.

BANGKOK, 15 December 2014 - The spokesman of the National Reform Council expects deliberation during Dec 15-17 will spend considerable amount of time on the election of the prime minister.

NRC spokesman Wanchai Sornsiri said that the upcoming sittings will start with the presentation of opinions and views of all 18 NRC committees.

According to the agenda, seven committees will get to present their opinions on Monday with seven others to take the floor on Tuesday. During these days, all NRC members will be invited to share their ideas on any proposals as well, said Mr. Wanchai.

On the last day of the sittings, four committees will be invited to make their presentations, of which contents have already attracted an exceptional requests from a lot of NRC members to debate their proposals.

Mr. Wanchai added that the topic that will draw the most attention is the proposed direct election of the prime minister and the Cabinet because it is a very new idea that has raised a question as to how much power this approach will grant to the elected lawmakers and how to maintain the system of checks and balances.

BANGKOK, 14 Dec 2014,  The Government’s New Year campaigns to offer food and commodity goods at discounted prices, ‘Blue Flag Fair’ and ‘Thailand Best Buy 2014’, have attracted huge crowds.

The 1st Blue Flag Festival, held at Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani in Nontaburi Province, offering residents commodity goods such as eggs, pork, cooking oil, sugar, kitchen utensils, and other items at discounted prices from more than 500 vendors has been quite popular with Thai consumers.

People looking for bargain have been seen lining up waiting to purchase their items of choice, offered three times each day: 11 am, 2 pm and 6 pm; during which each customer is allowed to by a limited amount of certain goods which are in in great demand to ensure that supplies are sufficient.

Meanwhile, Thailand Best Buy 2014, which is being held at Queen Sirikit Convention Hall in the heart of the capital, offering various New Year gifts, souvenirs, and home decoration items, has also been drawing huge crowds of people from the opening time, 10 am, all the way to the closing time, 8 pm.

About 850 vendors have gathered for this massive event, offering brand names’ gifts, jewelry, garments, and leather wears at discounted prices. The event will be held until December 21st.

NAKHON SRITHAMMARAT, 15 Dec 2014 The Royal Thai Army has dispatched trops to assist floods victims in the Southern region of Thailand, after the area has been belted by incessant heavy rains, run-offs and inundation.

According to Deputy Army Spokesperson, Colonel Sirichan Nga-thong, Army Commander-in-Chief General Udomdej Sritabutr has instructed the Army’s disaster relief officers to inform all units in the flood-stricken South to be on standby for rescue operation deployment, while urging them to monitor the latest floods situations.

The Deputy Spokesperson said that, the Region 4 Army has initially sent troops to help affected locals in Nakhon Srithammarat, relocating them and their belongings to a safer location. The province’s Noppitum ( นพพิตำ ) and Promkiri Districts have been hard hit by floods this year.

Meanwhile, the 5th Field Artillery Regiment has dispatched its officials to provide assistance to the flood victims in Tha Sala District in Nakhon Srithammarat, where deluge has damaged roads and residences.

The 4th Special Force Training Battalion has, meanwhile, deployed several units to help floods victims in Senior Citizen Care Center in Sichon District evacuate after run-offs struck the area.

BANGKOK, 12 December 2014  The Department of Skill Development (DSD) is now providing English training services on radio for taxi drivers to learn English to assist tourists and in preparation for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). 

BANGKOK, 12 December 2014 - The Ministry of Commerce is inviting the private sector to be its partnership in three projects to move Thailand forward after ASEAN Economic Community is formed next year.

Deputy Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said that the private sector’s partnership is encouraged in three aspects, namely development of special economic zones and border trade, improving the competitiveness of Thai entrepreneurs and pushing Thailand’s trade towards in the global stage. The Ministry will, however, use the economic and border trade zones in spearheading other developments. These economic zones will be developed as centers to stimulate economic growth or an economic hub.

The government has also invested in the construction of dual track railways to connect land links between Thailand and other nations like China and India. With a budget of three trillion baht, the twin-track railway will reduce logistic cost by about 15% within 7 years.

According to statistics, Thailand’s border trade value with four neighboring countries amounts to 720 billion baht annually. The value has expanded by about 10% annually for five consecutive years. The Ministry of Commerce is planning to increase the border trade value to 1.5 trillion baht next year.

Saturday, 13 December 2014 10:19

Deep South fair kicks off in Phetchaburi

PHETCHABURI, 12 Dec 2014 - The Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) and related agencies have jointly organized a fair to display top products of the southernmost provinces in Phetchaburi province.

The fair is intended to boost the Deep South’s economy, which is being hit by the ongoing unrest, by exposing people from other provinces to the best-known local products and the unique culture of the southernmost region.

The fair is divided into different zones featuring souvenirs, local halal food, an exhibition on southern reconciliation, and a demonstration of the making of OTOP products. In addition, the event provides a booth where suppliers and buyers can meet and discuss future business cooperation.

The event is taking place from December 10 to 16 at the space in front of Wat Phranon Monastery, Phetchaburi.

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