BANGKOK, 3 October 2015 – As a consequence of Tropical Storm Mujigae, Bangkok has been hammered by torrential rains, which have left many main roads inundated.

Bangkok’s Department of Drainage and Sewerage this morning reported that the rainstorm over the northern and eastern parts of the capital was slowly moving towards the inner city area. With the rainfall having continued intermittently since Friday afternoon, flooding has occurred in many areas, including Vibhavadi Rangsit Road near Don Mueang Airport, Ratchadapisek Road and Chaeng Wattana Road. The inundation has also led to heavy traffic congestion.

Meanwhile, the Traffic Police Division has urged motorists to exercise caution behind the wheel due to wet and slippery road surfaces. People are also welcome to contact the Traffic Police hotline number 1197, which is available 24 hours a day, to obtain information on traffic conditions or report accidents.

The currently wet weather in Bangkok and other areas throughout the country is a result of Tropical Storm Mujigae and is expected to linger through October 6th.

BANGKOK, 3 October 2015 - The Ministry of Commerce has issued a list of dual-use goods for which distributors or exporters will need to acquire registration and export permits.

The move came after a resolution of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) calling on member nations to formulate their own measures to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and weapon-making materials.

Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn disclosed that the Department of Foreign Trade has been directed to work out regulations for dual-use export. The Ministry of Commerce has announced a list of 1,230 products that are normally used for civil purposes but also have military applications. Such items include electronic equipment, plastic, and machinery.

Mrs. Apiradi said the control system for dual-use items would prevent Thailand encountering non-tariff trade barriers in other countries. The measure is expected to come into effect in 2018.

BANGKOK, 3 October 2015 - The Ministry of Energy has expressed readiness to invest in important energy projects worth 690 billion baht in the fiscal year 2016.

Minister of Energy Gen.Anantaporn Kanchanarat said the projects included the 10-billion-baht construction of 500-kilovolt power grids in many areas across the country and the construction of natural gas pipelines. The ministry also planned to construct LPG and LNG warehouses with the objective to enhance Thailand’s energy security. As for the Petroleum and Petroleum Income Tax Acts, Gen.Anantaporn said the ministry would finish revising the two legislations before submitting them to the Cabinet for consideration in October this year.

The ministry would push for five major energy plans, already approved by the Cabinet, in 2016, such as natural gas and oil plans, Gen.Anantaporn added.

BANGKOK, 3 October 2015 – Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha affirmed that his attendance to the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York has successfully raised international confidence and understanding of Thailand’s roadmap.

On his TV program “Returning Happiness to the People” this week, which was taped while he was in New York, Prime Minister Prayut said the 70th UNGA session provided a good opportunity for Thailand to clarify its stance and progress in implementing the reform roadmap. The Thai premier also had a chance to hold bilateral meetings with leaders of several countries and international organizations, during which he made a presentation on the sufficiency economy philosophy of His Majesty the King.

Furthermore, the Prime Minister gave assurances to members of the US-ASEAN Business Council that his administration would strive to ensure mutual benefits between Thailand and the US by laying down a proper foundation of reform, building an effective mechanism to facilitate investment and clamping down on transnational crimes and corruption.

Gen Prayut added that Thailand was appointed the head of the Group of 77 for the year 2016, thanks to its remarkable success in reducing poverty. The country was, on this occasion, honored with an International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Award as well.

Lastly, the premier expressed appreciation to all involved units for making his visit to the US and participation in the UNGA a great success.

Saturday, 03 October 2015 12:34

32 provinces on alert for Storm Mujigae

BANGKOK, 3 October 2015 – The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has instructed its local units in 32 risk-prone provinces to be prepared for relief operations as Storm Mujigae is likely to bring stormy weather to the upper part of the country.

Director-General Chatchai Promlert disclosed that Tropical Storm Mujigae would grip the upper North, Northeast and East between 4 and 6 October. Provincial relief offices are closely monitoring disaster-prone areas in 32 provinces and get ready for relief operations, as the storm might trigger flashfloods and mudslide.

Mr. Chatchai warned that residents in seafront and mountainous areas, as well as flood plains should look out for irregularities in their neighborhoods, pay heed to relief officials’ suggestions and ready themselves for possible evacuations. Small fishing boats should remain onshore during this period. Those needing help can call 1784 around the clock.

BANGKOK, 2 October 2015 - Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has insisted the government is conducting studies on adopting a single internet gateway on grounds of online security, despite a public outcry against the proposal.

He claimed that the studies are aimed at finding out how the system will create online security for investors while supposedly being mindful of personal rights and freedoms.

Gen Prayut said the that decision whether to adopt a single internet gateway for the country will depend on the results of the government studies as well as input from the public.

Saturday, 03 October 2015 10:33

Storm Mujigae to bring rains to upper Thailand

PHAYAO, 2 October 2015  – A tropical depression which formed over the Pacific Ocean has strengthened into Tropical Storm Mujigae after having moved past the Philippines down to the upper part of South China Sea.

According to the Meteorological Department, tropical storm Mujigae is gaining power and is on its way to Hainan Island after which it is expected to head towards upper Vietnam between 4 and 5 October.

The storm is expected to bring rainfall to the upper part of the country from 4th to 6th October. Isolated thundershowers have been forecast in the upper North, Northeast and East. Residents in disaster-prone areas should exercise caution.

Those planning to travel in affected areas during this period should check the weather conditions via the Meteorological Department’s website http://www.tmd.go.th.

Saturday, 03 October 2015 10:32

Motorists call for end to ad hoc checkpoints

BANGKOK, 2 October 2015 – Motorist safety campaigners have submitted a petition containing 35,000 signatures to the National Police Headquarters asking it to amend the current system of traffic fine collection.

The campaigners asked National Police Chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaichinda to revoke the policy of sharing 60% of a traffic fine with the police officer who issues the ticket. They argued that this practice leads to police setting up makeshift checkpoints to earn extra money, victimizing motorcyclists and low-wage earners.

The activists suggested that the police instead approve pay rises for its officers, to reduce the need to fine low-income motorists. They expect the National Police Chief to study their proposal within a month.

Spokesman of the Royal Thai Police Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri, who received the petition on behalf of Pol Gen Chakthip, said he would submit their proposal to the National Police Chief and discuss solutions to the problem.

BANGKOK, 2 October 2015 – The Ministry of Labour is enhancing the surveillance of child labour employment along border areas, urging security agencies to be vigilant for abuses in their areas.

The Deputy Permanent-Secretary of Labour Ministry has revealed that the ministry is set to cooperate with the Ministry of Interior to monitor child labour abuses along border areas, in an attempt to suppress illegal child labour employment. Measures will be enacted to stop child labour networks, that regularly use Thailand's border as a transit.

He said that the Ministry of Labour will work with companies alleged of employing child labour, especially in the sugar cane, textiles, shrimp, and fisheries industries to eliminate child labour. Sugar cane is expected to be lifted from the United States’ black listed products next year.

The statement from the Ministry of Labour comes in wake of the United States Department of Labor's recent report on child labour, upgrading Thailand with ‘significant advancement’ in tackling child labor during the year 2014.

The Labour Ministry Deputy Permanent-Secretary has added that the Ministry will expand cooperation with Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to improve operation's efficiency, and make requests to related agencies on improving labour inspection duties and on taking action against labour abuses.

BANGKOK, 1 October 2015 – Assistant National Police Chief Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri has insisted that the single gateway initiative is still in its conceptual stage and is not intended to deprive people of their freedoms while warning dissenters against causing trouble. 

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