BANGKOK, 15 March 2015 - The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has honored the Crown Property Bureau for its successful restoration work.

UBON RATCHATHANI, 15 March 2015 - The Ministry of Transport is preparing to approve a budget for the revamp of Ubon Ratchathani International Airport which was damaged by fire in October last year.

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN, 16 Mar 2015 - A cultural exchange and training course has been held at Daansingkhon border checkpoint in Muang District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province.

The event draws participation from 150 people, both Thai and Myanmar.

The event aims at creating understanding about cultures of the two nations which would benefit residents of both sides who often cross the border for trade and sight-seeing. The training will help ensure that they have better understanding in terms of traditions, culture, languages, and lifestyles.

The training also prepares people on both sides of the border for the opening of a permanent trading point when the ASEAN Economic Community is introduced at the end of the year.

It provides knowledge on laws and regulations such as import bans on such illegal items as animal skins and orchids.

NAKHON SI THAMMARAT, 15 March 2015 - The Fourth Army Area Commander Lt Gen Prakarn Cholayut has claimed that growing braveness among the public is resisting determined efforts by others to cause unrest in the far south of Thailand.

He said that increasing numbers of local residents have taken part in a variety of government projects such as the anti-drug campaign, road construction, and the Thung Yang Daeng Model as well as the Kampong Taqwa project, which aim to build a community with a balance between Islamic practices, local culture and laws.

“Over twenty thousand people from villages in thirty seven districts (of the South) protect teachers on their way to the schools.” he added.

The commander further mentioned the ongoing peace talks that the military is promoting, leading to discussions with many groups of people in the south including local residents, while maintaining cooperation with the Malaysian military to bring about successful overall talks.

Another peace initiative called the “Bring People Home” scheme is also successful to some extent. After two years of the project, around a thousand people have reported to authorities and had seen their warrants and summonses revoked. The government is seeking more success with the idea, by appointing village and district headmen and local police as members of the committee in order to boost the confidence of people subject to arrest warrants to show up themselves.

BANGKOK, 15 March 2015 - Special operations centers have urgently assisted eight drought-affected districts in Chiang Mai province. Water trucks from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation have been sent to help them.

Around 1,000 Rai of farmland have received water from the water trucks. As for fire risks, the Ministry of Interior has instructed all relevant units to conduct fire drills in the areas at risk of fire during the dry season. The ministry has increasingly warned the public of fire and discouraged them from burning grass or waste.

Local administrative organizations have prepared equipment, vehicles and staff so that they are ready to help local people 24 hours.

BANGKOK, 16 March 2015- The charter drafting committee has organised another seminar to hear opinions from politicians and academics.

The CDC-organized seminar on Sunday saw the participation of representatives from various political parties, including Mr. Jurin Laksanawisit and Mr. Boonyod Sukthinthai from the Democrat Party, Mr. Somsak Kosaisook from the New Democracy Party, and Mr. Sumit Sundaravej from the Thai Citizens’ Party.

CDC’s Vice President Direk Tungfung informed the seminar that the new charter consists of 315 articles although some of which have been disagreed with by the political reform committee.

He said that the same seminar will be held in all four regions of Thailand again in April.

During the seminar, Mr. Jurin said that while the new charter has to be effective in sustaining the development of Thailand’s parliamentary system and democracy, not every detail of the draft has to be totally new.

Mr. Somsak added that he agrees with the energy and labor reform but disapproves of the government’s plan to introduce a new property tax policy, while calling on more effort to resolve the issue of social inequality.

BANGKOK, 16 March 2015 - A group of representatives from the Constitution Drafting Committee has left for Germany on an official government invitation to learn about the country’s election system.

The visiting trip has seen the participation of CDC members, who were joined by representatives from the National Legislative Assembly and the National Reform Council as well as nine election commissioners and academics.

The trip, scheduled for March 15 to 20 and led by CDC Chairman Borwornsak Uwanno, is in response to an official invitation of the government of Germany in order for the group to get first-hand information about the German-style election system, which Thailand could adopt in its upcoming poll.

According to CDC spokesman Gen. Lertrat Ratanavanich, the trip would not only focus on the study of Germany’s election system but also other related elements that Thailand can make use for its charter drafting process.

UTHAITHANI, 16 Mar 2015, A number of Uthaithani rubber planters have reportedly started selling off their farmlands to raise quick cash, as latex price continues to plummet, fetching only 40 baht a kilogram.

The unprecedented low latex price has put planters in a very difficult situation. Many had held on to their rubber sheets for months, waiting for the price to go up but were recently forced to sell them at low prices to raise cash for their family expenses.

The severe drought conditions have also affected rubber tapping, making the situation even harder for the rubber farmers.

Several planters have resorted to selling off their farmland in order to make ends meet. These include those who have just started in this profession. Rubber planters are now looking for other opportunities that may yield profit.

BANGKOK, 13 March 2015 - The Moral Promotion Center, which is a public organization, today held a press conference stressing that society needs stronger morality as an organization spokesperson said there has been a growing number of cases of questionable behavior among Thai people. 

BANGKOK, 13 March 2015 - Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda has ordered the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) and offices concerned to step up assistance for drought-hit people as the situation in various areas is getting worse.

The DDPM has integrated its operations with local administrative organizations in 105 districts in twenty three provinces which have been declared ‘drought disaster zones’.

Those units work to prioritize water allocation aimed to satisfy public consuming purposes rather than agricultural use.

Local officials have also been assigned to keep people informed about the situation and explain them the government’s water allocation plan in order to avoid conflicts possibly occurring from unequal water allocation.

DDPM Director-General Chatchai Phromlert has ordered local DDPM offices to support related authorities with water pumps, machinery and staff to hustle the operations especially in northern provinces.