SONGKHLA, 19 September 2014  - The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has announced that train services to the three southernmost provinces have been suspended after a local train went off the line.

Local train No. 452 running between Su-ngai Kolok and Nakhon Si Thammarat was derailed in Songkhla province on Thursday afternoon, causing injuries to seven passengers. Most of them have returned home after receiving treatment.

Railway workers have started restoring the damaged train and repairing the tracks. The entire process is expected to take three days or longer. Authorities have also found out that several push pins that were used to hold the railway tracks in place have been removed, causing the train to derail. However, they are unsure at this point to conclude that it was a possible attempt by a third-party to instigate unrest within the area.

Meanwhile in Yala province, a number of special express train services have been cancelled including trains No. 38, 169,170, 171 and 172, running between Bangkok and Su-ngai Kolok in Narathiwat and between Bangkok and Yala Province.

Passengers who have reserved their tickets will receive a full refund upon their return of the tickets. For more information, they are encouraged to call Hotline 1690.

BANGKOK, 19 September 2014  – The Meteorological Department's daily weather forecast, expects scattered rain in the kingdom today.

The Meteorological Department says with the weakening southwest monsoon passing over the Andaman Sea, Thailand and the Gulf of Thailand, widely scattered to scattered downpours will occur in many parts of the country.

The department also advises anyone traveling to the Philippines and Taiwan today or tomorrow (19-20 September) to keep updated with the weather conditions as the Tropical storm “FUNG-WONG” is now passing over the Pacific ocean and will move on to the Philippines and Taiwan. However, the storm has no effect on Thailand.

In the Northern region of the kingdom very cloudy skies are to be expected today with a 60% chance of scattered thundershowers especially in the provinces of Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Lamphun, Lampang and Tak. Temperatures will range between 23-25 C minimum and 31-33 C maximum. In the Northeast (Isan) region, cloudy skies are expected with a 30% chance of scattered thundershowers especially in the provinces of Loei, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Chaiyaphum and Nakhon Ratchasima. The temperature in this region ranges between 24-25 C minimum and 32-34 C maximum.

People in the Central region can expect a cloudy sky with a 30% chance of widely scattered thundershowers especially in Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Kanchanaburi and Ratchaburi provinces. Temperature range between 24-25 C minimum and 33-34 C maximum. People in the Eastern region can expect very cloudy skies with a 40% chance of scattered thundershowers especially in Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat provinces. The temperature ranges between 24-25 C minimum and 30-33 C maximum and a wave height of 1-2 meters can be expected at sea today.

The East Coast of the Southern region can expect a cloudy sky with a 30% chance of widely scattered thundershowers in the provinces of Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon and Surat Thani, and a wave height of 1-2 meters can be expected at sea today. The temperature ranges between 24-25 C minimum and 32-34 C maximum.

Meanwhile, on the west coast of the southern region, can expect a very cloudy sky with a 30% chance of scattered thundershowers especially in the provinces of Ranong, Phang-nga and Satun. At sea, wave heights of between 1 and 2 meters are expected. Temperature ranges between 23-24 C minimum and 30-33 C maximum.

In the Bangkok metropolitan area, residents can expect cloudy skies with a 60% chance of scattered thundershowers with temperature ranges between 25-26 C minimum and 33-34 C maximum.

BANGKOK, 18 September 2014 – The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has given the green light to seven draft laws in the first reading while special committees will be established to look over the drafts before their resubmission to Parliament. After being proposed by the chief of the National Council for Peace and Order, a total of seven draft bills were accepted in principle by the NLA today. Over the next seven days, amendment committees will be formed with the responsibility of reviewing the drafts and making alterations as appropriate.

BANGKOK, 18 September 2014  – Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has apologized for his criticism of foreigners’ beach attire made during his recent address on the murder of British tourists on the island of Koh Tao, insisting no insult was meant. 

Saturday, 20 September 2014 10:56

PM Prayuth may soon go on nationwide tour

BANGKOK, 17 September 2014 - Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha is planning to go on a nationwide tour when the situation allows. 

CHAI NAT, 18 September 2014 - Vegetable prices in Chai Nat province have declined contrary to the trend for their climbing prices during the Vegetarian Festival, which is scheduled to take place from September 24 to October 2 this year.

At the Phasi Sung Fresh Food Market near the Chai Nat Municipality area, prices of several vegetables have dropped unexpectedly despite higher demand during the upcoming Vegetarian Festival.

Chinese broccoli prices have dropped from 35 baht to 25 baht per kilogram, whereas prices of cabbage and yard-long beans have decreased from 30 baht to 20 baht per kilogram as well. Prices of coriander and red chili have also been lowered from 60 baht to 50 baht per kilogram.

According to a vegetable vendor, the prices have dropped since many locals have been growing their own vegetables and selling them at prices below their competitors. However, the prices of these vegetables are expected to rise next week as the Vegetarian Festival draws near.

NARATHIWAT, 17 September 2014-- Mr. Niwat Jirawit, the President of the Tourism Business Association of Narathiwat, has advised residents and visitors that the 99 Years Narathiwat Fair is taking place from September the 18th to 27th, 2014, at Chaaloem Phrakiat Park in the Narathiwat Government Complex. The fair features a ninety-nine year historical timeline of the province, a showcase of local products, and cultural shows and activities to promote local history. The fair is expected to create a positive image of the province, and draw tourists into the area. At present most accommodation is booked out during the period of September 18th to 27th. Some tourists have chosen to book rooms in Sungai Kolok District.

It is expected that during the period of the fair, more than 80,000 tourists will be in the area, and the average outlay per person is likely to be about 5,000 baht. Security personnel and responsible offices are to be on safety alert and facilitate the access of tourists to the fair. They will arrange shuttle buses and give out special promotions as well.

BANGKOK, 18 September 2014 – The Ministry of Commerce has agreed to meet with rice growers' representatives every two weeks to ensure stability of rice price is achieved and to address the demands of rice growers. 

Thursday, 18 September 2014 15:28

Industrial confidence index drops slightly

BANGKOK, 18 September 2014 – The industrial sector confidence index has declined for the first time in four months due to slowing consumption and floods.

Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) chairman Suphan Mongkhonsuthi said that the index dropped to 88.7 in August, down from 89.7 the month before. The decline was attributed to a slowdown in consumption of electrical appliances, farm machinery and automobiles. According to Mr. Suphan, the slowdowns were triggered by the ending of the first car buyers' scheme, the tumbling agricultural goods prices and state budget disbursements falling short of target. The floods in many localities also disrupted economic activities and presented a hurdle to transportation of goods.

Mr. Suphan indicated, however, that business operators believe the government will be able to drive the economy more concretely by pushing through its economic policies. He also said the FTI would like to see speed-ups in government investment in various projects, adjustment of loan guarantee requirements aimed at helping SMEs secure funding sources, issuance of measures against importation of low-quality products and the development of workers' capability.

PANG-NGA, 18 September 2014 – US ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney on Wednesday visited the southern province of Pang Nga, which was severely destroyed by the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami in the morning of December 26, 2004.

During her trip to the province yesterday, the Ambassador visited the mangrove forest at Pang Nga Bay and villages on Panyee Island. She later traveled to the Tsunami Museum at Khao Lak, the area worst hit by the tsunami. She also paid a visit to the Sea Turtle Preservation Project located at the Tablamu Naval Base, where she released sea turtles back into the nature. The Ambassador finally visited children orphaned by the tsunami and handed them sports equipment, and played a game of basketball with those children.