MAHASARAKHAM, – Relevant agencies in Mahasarakham Province have jointly carried out winter-relief missions in two districts.

The administrative sector, the military and the Mahasarakham Red Cross Chapter have dispatched a caravan to Nongthum Sub-district to hand out winter gear and relief kits to 110 underprivileged villagers as part of the quality of life development project of the Ministry of Interior.

The Rajaprajanugroh Foundation Under Royal Patronage also held a similar activity for the elderly in Wapi Pathum District. The program is aimed at easing the difficulties of disadvantaged residents during winter.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department has reported that the cold weather will continue in the Northeast with a 2-4 Degree Celsius temperature drop between 1st and 5th February. Occasional rains are forecast in some areas.

BANGKOK – The Prime Minister has asked members of the public to commemorate the sacrifices Thai soldiers made in times of conflict, as National Veterans’ Day approaches. 

Monday, 01 February 2016 09:53

Wildfires rage in Uthai Thani national park

UTHAI THANI– Forest fires have raged through different parts of Khao Luang National Park in Uthai Thani Province over the weekend.

The fires reportedly broke out on Saturday and spread quickly to at least three spots. It is assumed that plant collectors or hunters might have set bonfires in the course of their activities and left the park without putting them out. The ongoing dry season also provided favorable conditions for the wildfires.

PHUKET – A working committee has been set up to further advance a tourism development plan in five southern provinces.

Tourism related officials have been summoned to a meeting in Phuket to review the government’s strategic plan to boost tourism in the southern region of Thailand especially in five major provinces including Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, Ranong, and Satun.

BANGKOK – Singha Park Chiang Rai Balloon Fiesta 2016 will take place between February 10th and 14th at Singha Park Chiang Rai.

Mr. Rungsrid Luxsitanonda, Senior Vice President Singha Corporation is inviting tourists to visit Chiang Rai province for the event. The grand opening ceremony is on 10th February and Competition flights will start thereafter and continue until February 14th.

Visitors can expect to see more than 30 colorful hot-air balloons in different shapes from 14 countries around the globe. They will also be given hot-air balloon rides to see Singha Park from a bird’s eye perspective. The event is also organizing musical concerts, along with many food and beverage vendors at the festival.

Tourists are particularly invited to attend special events on 14th February, the day of “Balloon Love” when they'll enjoy fun-filled activities such as riding tandem bicycles, a colorful balloon playground and beautiful balloon shows, all coming with spectacular light and sound shows.

PHUKET - The Ministry of Interior has told the authorities in Phuket province to prevent future violence among those involved in land disputes.

According to Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda, an investigation will be launched to identify the legal owner of the land located near Rawai beach, where the conflict began. He said both sides must learn to coexist peacefully until the case is resolved. A security unit has also been instructed to maintain law and order.

The ministry has also allowed a group of people to make a living on a small designated forest area, as well as on lands issued under a scheme for agricultural zoning and several other public spaces. The government will refrain from issuing title deeds for these areas, as these lands are only being used in a relief capacity.

Meanwhile, Gen Anupong said that anyone found to have broken the law will be prosecuted indiscriminately. The statement was made following a report of corruption in the five million baht per subdistrict scheme.

BANGKOK – The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is preparing to organize an event for World Wetland Day.

According to Deputy Secretary-General of the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning Asdaporn Kraipanond, the event will take place from February 2 - 3 at the Suntara Wellness Resort in Chachoengsao province.

The event features a seminar with environmental experts and a trip to the wetlands of Bangpakong River. The activity aims to foster the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources and the environment among local communities.

World Wetland Day is celebrated every year on February 2 to mark the signing of the 1971 Ramsar Convention, formally known as the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat.

BANGKOK– The Ministry of Education moved to reassure parents regarding its policy to reduce class hours.

After meeting with relevant agencies, Education Minister Gen Dapong Ratanasuwan affirmed that the class hour reduction scheme would sufficiently equip students for academic success.

According to Gen Dapong, the National Institute of Educational Testing Service has been instructed to issue tests that suit the new curriculum. The Office of the Basic Education Commission has also been ordered to support schools that still need improvement.

Schools participating in the class hour reduction scheme are to report their evaluations of the results. The ministry plans to expand the program to another 15,000 schools in 2016.

Gen Dapong said he was awaiting the results of the Ordinary National Educational Test (O-NET) of students being taught under the new curricula. He asked parents not to be overly concerned, saying he was confident that the program would be beneficial.

Saturday, 30 January 2016 11:17

ASEAN community urged to move together forward

BANGKOK - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a seminar on the Future of the ASEAN Community: Beyond 2015 and Towards 2025 and launched a Pathfinding book on "Positioning the ASEAN Community in an Emerging Asia: Thai Perspective" as well as introduced the concept of "2025: Forging Ahead Together." 

BANGKOK - The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) has said that the SME competitiveness index in the last quarter of 2015 increased from the previous quarter to 49.4, due to government support. 

Page 6 of 1220