BANGKOK, 14 November 2014 - The Traffic Police are coming up with ways to reduce street traffic across 10 main roads in Bangkok and ensure that most motorcycle taxi drivers in Bangkok are properly registered.
Commander of the 1st Division (King’s Guard) Major General Pongsawat Panchit, together with the Deputy Metropolitan Police Chief Pol. Maj. Gen. Jitti Rodbangyang, attended a meeting to monitor the progress of the Army’s campaign to regulate motorcycle taxis.
Motorcycle taxis are required to undergo a series of procedures to reorganize their services. They must display a signboard listing their fares, improve their waiting stands, and undergo registration to prevent them from being controlled by mafia groups. Lastly, the police would issue a total of 104,000 new vests with a sticker on each of them to all registered motorcycle taxis by the end of November.
In related news, the Traffic Police have hosted a meeting to brainstorm ideas to reduce traffic congestion on 10 main roads throughout Bangkok. As part of the program, they will be setting up air patrols and installing more CCTV cameras to monitor congested road areas.
The traffic police would be working closely with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) as well as other organizations both in the public and private sectors. Traffic volunteers are also welcome to join the program.
NAY PYI TAW, 14 November 2014 - Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has met with the Chinese premier as part of the ASEAN-China Summit in Myanmar and expressed support for the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Gen Prayut joined other ASEAN leaders and the ASEAN Secretary-General in the discussion with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang at the 17th ASEAN-China Summit in Nay Pyi Taw on Thursday. The Thai premier encouraged both sides to quickly proceed with the negotiation plan for enhancing the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) while asking China to expand its agricultural trade with ASEAN countries in a bid to uplift farmers’ quality of life and strengthen the regional agricultural sector.
Gen Prayut highlighted the benefit of establishing transport connectivity between ASEAN and China, saying it would greatly reinforce their joint economic power. He, therefore, affirmed that Thailand was supportive of China’s planned development of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
Coupled with the founding of the AIIB and advancement of the FTA, the Thai premier noted that China’s proposal of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative also reflected the country’s commitment to strengthening its partnership with ASEAN.
Regarding the South China Sea dispute, both ASEAN and China affirmed their determination to prevent the problem from escalating. Gen Prayut voiced satisfaction with the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) as well as the progress of negotiations on the formal code of conduct (COC). He then vowed that Thailand would continue to do its best in playing the role of coordinator between the two sides.
BANGKOK, 14 Nov 2014 - The Education Ministry has come up with an idea of getting the 12 national core values adopted more seriously by putting them in school textbooks.
The Education Ministry will launch a series of campaigns to enhance public awareness of the 12 national core values. The campaigns will comprise TV advertisement spots, composition of new soul-stirring songs, short films, and adjustment of teacher development courses.
The 12 values will later be integrated into students’ curricula, which will be adjusted so as to enhance a sense of national identity and patriotic feeling among the youth.
A special committee chaired by the Education Ministry will be set up to map out the operation strategies and oversee the campaign implementation.
The 12 national core values include upholding the nation, religion and monarchy, respect for parents, guardians and teachers, preservation of Thai traditions and culture.
CHIANG RAI, 14 November 2014 - Locals in Thoeng District of Chiang Rai province are coming up with plans to accommodate tourists who want to travel to the Phu Chi Fah mountain this upcoming December.
Workers from an engineering department of the Tab Tao Subdistrict Administration Organization in Toeng District are quickly cutting the grass and removing the weeds covering the roadside of Highway 1155 in a bid to clean up the landscape.
Highway 1155 traverses across the Pracha Pakdi Village and eventually merges with Road 1093, the 10-kilometer route leading to Phu Chi Fah, a major tourist attraction in the province.
Temperatures atop Phu Chi Fah have dropped to as low as 10 degrees Celsius, drawing thousands of tourists to the area to witness the ‘sea of fog’, wild flowers, and ethnic tribes living atop the mountain. Around 300,000 tourists, both Thai and Foreigners, are expected to visit the province in December, prompting authorities to provide tents and camp sites as well as clearing up the parking lot areas before they arrive.
CHONBURI, 13 November 2014 - Pattaya City is boosting safety for tourists, to address shortcomings the local tourism scene has been experiencing since the imposition of martial law and the murder of British tourists on Koh Tao.
According to Itthiphol Kunpluem mayor of Pattaya City, the number of tourists dropped early on when martial law was imposed, but has since been climbing back up. He also expects a continuous rise in tourist arrivals during the current high season, between November and March.
Mr. Itthiphol said Pattaya City has asked responsible agencies to be more stringent in providing security for tourists; this drive is receiving good cooperation from volunteers, policemen and local residents in Pattaya. He explained that the city does not want undesirable incidents to occur and hamper the confidence of tourists, the majority of whom were from China, Russia, India and Europe.
BANGKOK, 13 November 2014 - The Constitutional Drafting Committee has reached a conclusion on the charter drafting directives.
CDC spokesman Gen. Lertrat Ratanavanich said on Wednesday that the drafters’ meeting agreed that the drafting process would be chiefly focused on four areas, including the monarchy and the people, the political leadership and political institutions, the judicial system and the reform and the reconciliation.
Gen. Lertrat added that the meeting also approved the proposed setting up of 10 sub-committees to draft the charter in accordance with the four areas of focus.
He said that the CDC has already set schedules to meet with various political parties, including the former ruling Pheu Thai Party, which will attend the meeting on November 17.
The CDC’s meetings with other political parties and interest groups, including the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, which led months of rallies to overthrow the government of former PM Yingluck Shinawatra, are also set on later dates, Gen. Lertrat said.
BANGKOK, 13 November 2014 - Prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to appoint the head of the Deep South peace dialogue delegation by the end of the month, according to the National Security Council (NSC).
NSC secretary-general Anusit Kunakorn said whether the chief of the peace dialogue delegation will be General Aksara Koetphon – widely tipped to be appointed as the delegation leader – depends on the prime minister. He expects General Prayut to make this appointment before he travels to Malaysia for an official visit at the end of November or in early December.
Mr. Anusit asserted the Malaysian government is not postponing the peace dialogue meeting, and will remain the primary facilitator of the peace talks between the Thai government and representatives of insurgent groups in Thailand's southern border provinces despite offers to help facilitate the talks from several countries with conflicts resolution experience.
PATHUMTHANI, 13 November 2014 - The Ministry of Industry has ordered a 60-day closure of the Pathumthani factory belonging to electronic parts maker SVI Plc. after an intense fire burned through the plant on Wednesday.
Minister of Industry Chakramon Phasukvanich on Wednesday ordered the Department of Industrial Works to shut down the factory for 60 days for inspection of the building's integrity and damage assessment. Mr. Chakramon revealed that the air quality reading in the vicinity of the plant had dropped below the acceptable level during the fire, but has since returned to normal.
Sakda Phankla, director-general of the Department of Industrial Works, said while inspecting the factory in Bang Kadi Industrial Park in Mueang district of Pathumthani that the fire started on the ceiling of the plant, likely from electricity short-circuiting. The fire then spread rapidly throughout the plant, which boasts an area of 20,000 square meters, as it was fueled by alcohol, electrical circuits and plastics inside the building. Total damage value is expected to be at least 1 billion baht.
Two factory employees were reportedly injured after having inhaled smoke, but their condition has improved and they are now deemed safe.
BANGKOK, 13 Nov 2014 - The cabinet has agreed to mark 2015 as the Thai traditional tourism year in a latest bid to make cultural tourism better known.
The cabinet has in principle agreed to set up a special committee to facilitate the campaign and four operation committees to implement the task. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has been assigned to map out the details of each committee as well as their areas of responsibilities.
The four operation committees will be in charge of products and services related to the Thai traditional tourism year, tourism promotion strategies in the country and foreign markets, as well as public relations.
According to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, major targets comprise tourists from 37 countries in Asia, Oceania, Europe, America, the Middle East and Africa. The Ministry also intends to attract specific groups of tourists, including wedding and honeymoon holiday makers, golf enthusiasts, eco-tourism travelers, and health and wellness tourists.
As for local tourists, the Ministry plans to create various activities to cater to different types of vacationers, be they youths, senior citizens, religious observers, or adventure lovers.
BANGKOK, 14 Nov 2014 - All automatic teller machines will temporarily stop servicing between midnight of November 14 to early next day due to the system testing.