BANGKOK, 16 April 2014  - Secretary General of the National Security Council Paradon Patttanathabutr stated that the planned meeting of the Center for the Administration of Peace and Order, or CAPO, tomorrow is set to streamline roles of government units to suit the current situation. 

BANGKOK, 15 April 2014 – The Election Commission (EC) says it is difficult to predict the outcome of the meeting scheduled for April 22, when it will meet representatives from 70 political parties.

EC chairman Supachai Somcharoen said it was impossible to predict what conclusions would be drawn, as the agency would have to take heed of the opinions of the political party representatives as well as the private sector.

As for the request by the Democrats Party to have the meeting televised live, the chairman said the EC had no authority to do so. He, however, said he was willing to discuss the issue.

Mr. Supachai also asserted that the EC would listen to all sides carefully in order to decide which would be the best and most appropriate date for the general election, claiming that having a caretaker government for an extended period of time would not be beneficial to the country.

The Election Commission last week met with military top brass and other security-related agencies to discuss the election issue. The meeting agreed that it was very unlikely that a general election could be held within 60 days, given the current political turmoil in the country, but admitted that an election was the only solution to the ongoing conflict.

SAMUT PRAKAN, 15 April 2014 – Twenty-two kilograms of elephant tusks have been confiscated at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

Suvarnabhumi’s Customs Office authorities have arrested a Cambodian man who was trying to smuggle 7 elephant tusks and other ivory-made accessories, worth around 2 million baht altogether, through the airport.

After the arrest, the man confessed that he was delivering the tusks to a man in Hanoi City, Vietnam.

According to authorities, all of the confiscated items will be forwarded to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP). Thai authorities will also contact responsible agencies in Vietnam to find out who is the mastermind behind this operation.

Elephant tusks are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). It is a multilateral treaty that protects endangered plants and animals, including elephants.

CHAINAT 15 April 2014 — Chainat province is holding a special Thai - Laos Songkran festival to honor the long traditions of the two intertwining countries.

Chainat Governor Kumtorn Thavornsatit presided over the opening ceremony of Chainat’s Thai - Laos Songkran festival, which has been divided into 3 different festivals according to each local community’s unique culture.

The three different categories comprise Sonkran flowing the Lao Viang, Lao Krung, and traditional Buddhist Songkran; each category is differentiated by its traditions and special clothing of the groups.

Apart of the traditional ceremonies held to commemorate the Thai New Year, OTOP products are being sold at the venues. Visitors are also given a real treat by celebrity singers from the famous TV show, The Voice.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 11:02

Mukdahan holds Indochina Songkran festival

MUKDAHAN 15 April 2014 — Mukdahan province is holding a special Indochina themed Songkran festival in order to attract more investments to the area and showcase the region’s geographical importance in Indochina.

Mukdahan Governor Sakolsarit Boonpradit stated that the province, along with the Tourism and Sports Authority of Mukdahan, have organized an Indochina themed Songkran to celebrate the annual Thai New Year festival.

The province itself has been considered an important geographical location and has been dubbed as the gateway to the Indochina region, also known as the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC).

The Mukdahan Indochina Songkran features many cultural performances, both local and international, which include shows from Laos, China, Vietnam, and Thailand. Other light and sound shows include a spectacular water fountain display as well as colorful fireworks.

BURIRAM 15 April 2014  — Buriram has held its second day of Songkran celebrations. The atmosphere of the event has been more energetic than ever.

Tourists and locals numbering in the thousands yesterday flocked to join in on the much-anticipated “Music Festival” Songkran celebration at the iMoibile Stadium in Buriram province.

The second day of the event did not disappoint visitors, and performances from well-known celebrities caused heavy traffic gridlock more than 2 kilometer-long. Security in the area remains tight and officials are keeping a close watch on the venue.

However, in regard to the case where 5 teenagers were brought up on the boxing arena to fight with professional boxers, Mr. Tavorn Chansom, an ex-constituent assembly member, expressed his disapproval and stated that staging such a fight is not part of the Songkran tradition.

The fight was intended to have the teenagers settle their differences and vent their anger in the boxing match with professional boxers in order to prevent them from causing further disturbances at the celebration venue. However, Mr. Tavorn disapproved of the act, saying that it should have been left to police to deal with the mater.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 10:59

Huge crowd celebrates Songkran in Khon Kaen

Khon Kaen 15 April 2014 — Tourists and local residents have joined in spectacular Songkran festivities at Khao Niew Raod, Khon Kaen province, for a second day.

Remarkably, the second day of the Songkran celebration at Khon Kaen saw even more visitors than on the first day, when locals and tourists were joined by celebrities performing on stage providing non stop entertainment.

Khon Kaen’s Mayor, Theerasak Theethaphan, officially launched proceedings on the second day of the festival at 7 pm. Participants gathered at the well-known Khao Niew Road to celebrate the water splashing festival. Officials estimated the number to be around 100,000 people.

The Guiness Book of World Records recorded the biggest ‘human wave’ in 2011 at the very same Khao Niew Road, with a total of 50,206 people in the crowd. This year, however, officials are not specifically recording numbers at the event as they will do so next year when His Majesty the King celebrates his 88th birthday anniversary.

BANGKOK, 15 April 2014, - The Democrat Party has urged the Pheu Thai Party to send one of its executives to attend a meeting with the Election Commission on April 22nd to discuss a date of a fresh election.

The announcement was made yesterday by the Democrat Party Spokesperson Chawanont Intrakomulsut, who accused the ruling Pheu Thai Party of causing rifts among Thais by taking no action against those committing lese majeste offenses, ignoring the judicial system and corruption cases, and manipulating the United front for Democracy against Dictatorship ( the Redshirt) to intimidate anyone who opposes the government.

The spokesperson urged the EC meeting to find a solution to preventing the Pheu Thai party from repeating the alleged offenses should it return to power after the election.

According to the Spokesperson, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva will attend the meeting. He also suggested that the April 22nd meeting be broadcast live for public viewing.

CHAI NAT, 14 April 2014  Chainat Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office is adjusting the number of roadside service centers to meet the demands of traffic during Songkran holidays when many Thais travel to and from their hometowns.

The Chief of the Chai Nat Office, Mr. Sompob Samitasiri said that the office is responsible for four provinces : Chai Nat, Singburi, Lopburi and Ang Thong. He followed up the campaign to prevent road accidents and concluded that from 11th-13th April there were 40 accidents with 43 injuries and 1 death.

The traffic on the main roads is now not so heavy since most people are at their destination. The Office however will adjust the roadside service to be ready for citizens returning to Bangkok after the long holiday.

BANGKOK, 14 April 2014 – The Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) is cooperating with the Royal Thai Police to impose stricter measures to prevent drug smuggling activities during the Songkran holiday.

The Royal Thai Police indicated that the situation is under control.

The ONCB Secretary-General Pol Pongsapat Pongcharoen pointed out that as Songkran is the period of the year when many people travel back to their hometowns, and visitors come from other countries, it presents an opportunity for drug traffickers to attempt to smuggle narcotics into Thailand. The ONCB, has therefore prepared special measures to prevent drug trafficking along the borders. Operation teams are stationed along the Northern and Northeastern borders to prevent drug smuggling activities. Additionally, provincial authorities have been asked to set up checkpoints in their areas.

The ONCB Secretary-General says that there have been no reports of any smuggling incidents from the 50 community-on-alert outposts so far.

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