BANGKOK, 25 August 2014 – The Comptroller General’s Department (CGD) has expressed readiness to adjust up the salary of civil servants as soon as an instruction is given by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.
Speaking of the wage increase policy for civil servants, CGD Director-General Manas Jamveha insisted that the department is fully prepared to carry out the procedure immediately. However, he said it remains to be concluded by Gen Prayuth, as the incoming Prime Minister, whether the rate of increment will be 8 percent and whether the adjustment will take effect on October 1 this year or April 1 next year.
As the National Legislative Assembly is currently deliberating the 2015 appropriation bill and the allocation for the salary hike has not been settled, Mr Manas pointed out that the budget could come from the state coffers or funds reserved for other purposes. With over 2.7 million civil servants in Thailand, an 8-percent rise in pay would require a budget of about 56 billion baht per year.
Mr Manas affirmed that the wage increase must be considered with utmost caution and must be fair to all, given there are many different types and ranks of civil servants.
BANGKOK, 25 August 2014 – The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) Index opened the week on a positive note, and ended at 1,563.13.
Thailand’s SET Index went up 6.16 points, or 0.40%, on turnover of 41.158 billion baht. Nearly all sectors closed positive with Commerce sector led the gains with 218.55 points, or 0.70% to 31,654.06.
The Bluechip SET 50 Index closed positive at 1,048.53, up 4.98 points or 0.48%, while accounting for 19.113 billion baht.
The MAI Index also closed positive at 627.33, up 6.29 points, or 1.01%, while accounting for 6.975 billion baht.
BANGKOK, 24 August 2014 - Thailand and Myanmar are set to jointly construct another Friendship Bridge to bring the citizens of the two neighbors even closer.
CHIANG RAI, 26 August 2014 – Three earthquakes of magnitudes between 2.5 and 4.8 took place early on Monday in Chiang Rai, causing further damage to at least one historical site that was already damaged from the magnitude 6.3 quake in May.
According to the abbot at Mae Suai Luang Temple in Mae Suai District, more cracks can now be seen at the temple's main building, which is still under repair following the May earthquakes and aftershocks.
Locals in Mae Suai were reportedly distressed over Monday's quakes, which deepened their worry about a collapse of the Mae Suai Dam. Officials from the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation office in the province have already started visiting locals afflicted by Monday's quakes.
The first in a series of three earthquakes occurred at 2.35 am on Monday; the intensity was 2.5 on the Richter Scale. The second tremor, measured 4.8 on the Richter Scale, took place at 5.32 am. The third tremor measuring 3.9 closely followed at 5.42 am. The epicenter was about five kilometers underneath Mae Suai District.
The quakes were felt in several other districts in Chiang Rai.
RAYONG, 26 August 2014 – Locals and tourists in Rayong were excitedly observing the huge swarms of colorful jellyfish near Samet Island, while worried industrial plant managers were reportedly also keeping watch of the seas around their plant.
The jelly fish swarms have been seen at the Siwika Pier within Khao Laem Ya-Koh Samet National Park. A large number of jellyfish has also been spotted along Mae Ramphueng Beach in Mueang district of Rayong. Although the jellyfish did not expose themselves above the water surface, their sheer numbers turned the local seascape into photo opportunities for visitors.
Meanwhile, industrial plants with cooling systems were busy laying down multiple layers of nets in front of the cooling systems' outlet pipes to prevent jellyfish from entering the pipes, an occurrence that has been known to cause damage.
BANGKOK, 26 August 2014 – Newly sworn-in prime minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha on Monday cut short his pleasantries with high-ranking state officials who attended his swear-in ceremony, telling them there was little time to spare as the nation's problems were waiting to be solved.
Speaking after Gen. Prayuth was royally endorsed as Thailand's 29th prime minister, National Council for Peace and Order deputy chief ACM Prajin Jantong explained that Gen. Prayuth had shortened his exchanges with officials at the ceremony and asked them to use the time available to address the country's various pressing issues.
National Security Council Secretary-General Thawin Pliensi echoed ACM Prajin's comment, saying Gen. Prayuth had told those at the ceremony that now was not the time for celebration.
Meanwhile, Bangkok police cautioned rally groups against staging demonstrations, especially around Government House, as martial law was still in effect. They warned that violators will be dealt with in the same manner as the 'Energy Reform' group that saw its members arrested after marching from Victory Monument to Chatuchak.
CHIANG MAI, 25 August 2014 - The Chiang Mai Zoo is awaiting a decision from its executives on the bringing back of Thailand-born giant panda “Lin Ping” following the Chinese government’s approval of its 15-year stay in the country, at a very high cost.
Assistant Director of the Zoological Park Organization, Boripat Siriaroonrat, in his capacity as the leader of the giant panda research project in Thailand, said that Lin Ping, a superstar female panda born in Thailand in 2009 who was sent back to China in 2013 to mate, is now a full grown giant panda.
Lin Ping was born to a couple of giant pandas, Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui, who have been lent to Thailand by the Chinese government since 2003.
Mr. Boripat said that the young and famous giant panda has also adapted herself well in China even though she has been more familiar with Thai language and environment.
Almost a year since the Chinese government had her back for the mating season, which usually runs between February and May, Lin Ping has not found her mate yet.
China has earlier agreed to allow Lin Ping to return with her mate to Thailand after the mission is completed. But so far, her return is still unconfirmed.
Mr. Boripat said that the final decision on the superstar giant panda’s fate is up to the executives of the Zoological Park Organization and the Natural Resources Ministry.
The Chinese government has set a condition that Lin Ping will be able to stay in Thailand for the second time for a duration of 15 years for an annual charge of $1 million or over 30 million baht per panda per year.
With two pandas to be sent in, Thailand will be paying a whopping $30 million or over 900 million baht for Lin Ping and her mate. Therefore, it remains to be seen how the Zoological Park Organization executives will decide, considering the large amount of fee the country will have to fork out.
BANGKOK, 25 August 2014 – Twenty-nine provinces are being warned of flash floods that may occur during August 26-30, according to the Meteorological Department.
SATUN, 25 August 2014 – A meeting of a sub-committee on human trafficking prevention and suppression was chaired by Satun deputy governor Weeranan Pengchan to discuss and follow up the progress of the efforts made to register migrant workers.
A training was held for staff and relevant authorities in Satun, Songkhla and Pattalung to provide them with knowledge about laws and working guidelines so they can help victims in time and correctly. Subsequently, the southern province had set up a One Stop Service Center to deal with the issue.
As of closing date on August 21st, there were 1,672 Burmese, Laotian and Cambodian registered migrant workers in the province. In addition, Mr. Weeranan has supervised the relevant authorities to speed up data compilation for conducting its 2015 working plan under the provincial strategy.
BANGKOK, 25 August 2014 – The newly-elected prime minister has corrected his earlier statement regarding the timing of the formation of his Cabinet.
Following the official appointment as Thailand’s 29th Prime Minister, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha made a brief statement in which he said the list of the new Cabinet ministers will be completed and submitted for the royal endorsement in October.
His first statement as a premier has raised questions among reporters who have noted Gen. Prayuth’s announced roadmap which stated that the new government will be revealed before the end of September.
Col. Winthai Suvaree, a deputy spokesperson of the National Council for Peace and Order, later told reporters that the new prime minister intended to tell the nation that he will complete the Cabinet list and seek the royal command to appoint all selected individuals next month, and not October.
The royal command appointing Gen. Prayuth as the Prime Minister was presented in a ceremony on Monday at the Royal Thai Army headquarters, following the National Legislative Assembly’s near unanimous vote to elect him to the position last Thursday.