BANGKOK, 21 November 2014 - Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is preparing to open the first walking street on Silom road, Bang Rak District, to compensate for the effects of the reorganization of commercial zones around Bangkok suffered by street vendors. 

Saturday, 22 November 2014 12:50

PM wants revision of the Joint Investment Bill

BANGKOK, 21 November 2014 - Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha asserted that he had no intentions to amend the Joint Investment Bill, but would make improvements to it.

General Prayut stated that sections of the bill regarding the investment process would be revised to make it shorter and more investor-friendly. As for the digital economy policy, the working committee is now devising a framework, which would be implemented to promote the use of technology in the current economy.

The framework will be then proposed to the cabinet for consideration in the beginning of December. The Thai government is also planning to encourage giant overseas companies to invest and open their regional offices in Thailand.

He reiterated that the government is doing its best in moving the country forward, despite a few problems with the Thai economy. The premier cited the financial aid scheme for farmers as an example, which has been slow due to certain issues in the registration process. General Prayut said the government would take actions in case any irregularities are found.

Saturday, 22 November 2014 12:49

NLA passes bill regarding air traffic offenses

BANGKOK, 21 November 2014 - The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) passed bill regarding air traffic offenses, which establishes jurisdiction over crimes committed during flights.

After the special committee delivered its report of the bill along with its proposed amendment, the NLA voted 174 in favor of the bill with 5 abstentions.

Meanwhile, the NLA members have also concurred to propose an amendment to Article 43 of the bill in order to provide a clearer definition of various air traffic offenses. Crimes committed both within and beyond Thai airspace are subjected to punishment according to the Thai law.

The law in essence sets out to define various criminal offenses punishable during flights and is an update from preceding laws to coincide with modern treaties and severity of punishments.

TAK, 21 November 2014 - Army officers have stepped up security measures at the Thai-Burmese Friendship Bridge border checkpoint area to prevent drug and labor trafficking between the two countries. 

Saturday, 22 November 2014 12:43

Former PM lawyer delivers new case documents

BANGKOK, 21 November 2014 The lawyer of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra delivered new case documents to the President of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), saying the new documents would demonstrate the former premier’s efforts in fully preventing corruption during the rice-pledging scheme.

Norawit Lalaeng, the personal attorney of Ms. Yingluck, delivered the documents in person to the NLA president for the assembly’s scrutiny.

Mr. Norawit said the documents include the consensus of the former cabinet, a report from the National Rice Policy Committee, and the directions given by Ms. Yingluck while she participated in the scheme.

The defense attorney believes that upon studying the documents, the NLA would see that Ms. Yingluck had enacted various measures in efforts to prevent corruption in the rice-pledging program. Mr. Norawit said that the documents were already forwarded to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NCPO), but they never have been reviewed.

BANGKOK, 21 November 2014 - National police chief Pol.Gen. Somyot Phumphanmuang has confirmed the police adheres to the prime minister’s policy on anti-coup movements and said officers might take legal actions against those who protest against the government.

Pol.Gen. Somyot on Friday said Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha had instructed police and military officers to work together in dealing with anti-government protests. The officers should avoid confrontations and resorting to force. The PM always stressed that the government did not resent anti-government protesters and it was ready to clear the air, the police chief added.

Pol.Gen. Somyot stated further that before the authorities lodged legal actions against the protesters, they would first talk to them.

BANGKOK, 21 November 2014 - The Energy Ministry said it would go ahead with the plan to build clean coal power plants in the southern provinces of Krabi and Songkhla, to ensure the country’s energy security.

Energy Minister Narongchai Akaraserani revealed that the plan was in line with the government's policy to establish power plants in all parts of the country.

He expected that Krabi’s coal power plant would be able to provide electricity into the national grid on a commercial basis by 2019. The project has already passed public hearings, and bidding for its construction will be opened in 2015.

The Ministry has also appointed a new committee led MR Pridiyathorn Devakula, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs to draw up energy conservation plans including an orderly reduction of energy use in the country. The Ministry has continuously implemented energy conservation plans by, for example, introducing LED-lamp use in government offices.

BANGKOK, 21 November 2014 - Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) Bowornsak Uwanno has accepted suggestions from women’s rights networks regarding the new constitution, affirming their voices will be heeded.

Representatives of women’s networks and related organizations from across the country have come together for a special seminar hosted by the Office of Women’s Affairs and Family Development under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. The event was aimed to allow women to have their say on the drafting of the new charter, with a focus on gender equality and women’s roles in politics.

The suggestions compiled from the seminar have been presented to Mr Bowornsak. According to the CDC Chairman, the law concerning equality between men and women was first included in the Constitution back in 1974 while the law against sexual discrimination came along in 1997. He thus assured that the upcoming charter will also uphold the rights of women.

Mr Bowornsak noted that the women’s input this time is interesting as it suggests that women’s quota in Parliament or any political bodies be increased to 30 percent at minimum. Such a change would bring the rights of Thai women up to par with their international counterparts and could be introduced at the local level first.

Nonetheless, the CDC Chairman stressed the need for Thai men to change their attitude towards women and develop more respect for them. He pointed out that the promotion of women’s rights should not be undertaken by women alone as men should also be able to come out and speak up for them.

BANGKOK, 20 November 2014 - Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has welcomed the British Ambassador, who paid him a visit at Government House to discuss bilateral cooperation. 

UBON RATCHATHANI, 20 November 2014  - Colonel Wen Champasa, deputy chief of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) in Ubon Ratchathani Province led Nguyen Van Hung, Chairman of the Kon Tum Provincial Committee of Vietnam and his delegation to observe alternative energy production and development at Ubon Bio Ethanol Plant in Na Di Sub-district, Na Yia District.

The observation today was held ahead of the signing of the Friendship City Agreement between Ubon Ratchathani and Kon Tum, to promote trade, investment and tourism, which will be beneficial for the people of both countries.

The Vietnamese delegation reportedly paid great attention to electricity production at the plant which utilizes waste from processed cassava as raw materials to produce seven-megawatt electricity a month, which is half of the capacity of Sirindhorn dam. Water and ashes left in the electricity production procedure were also changed into fertilizers.

The Ubon Bio Ethanol Company is buying cassava and other crops from both local farmers and Lao villagers. Its 2,061-rai plantations contain mostly cassava which can produce 400,000 litres of bio ethanol per day.