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PATTANI, 16 November 2014 - Fourth Army Area Commander Lt Gen Prakan Cholayuth said he believed the chronic violence in the South of Thailand would be addressed to a certain extent in one year’s time. He cited the government’s policy of placing greater emphasis on political strategy over the military approach as yielding a good result.

He indicated that the policy had led to a decrease in local people’s support to perpetrators but better cooperation with the military, leading to the government’s successful control in some areas.

The Thung Yang Daeng model initiated recently in the Deep South has also contributed to peace restoration and will be expanded to 36 other districts, said Lt Gen Prakan.

According to him, the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) Region 4 is also having a talk with families of persons with different political stance so that they can reflect their demands. ISOC is also facilitating persons with arrest warrants in their petitions for justice in a hope to rebuild trust in government officials.

BANGKOK, 17 Nov 2014,  Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has called on all sides to eliminate conflicts and create unity. Meanwhile Deputy Defense Minister General Udomdej Sitabutr brushed aside concerns over political movements in the Northeastern Region.

According to General Udomdej, the overall the situation in the Northeastern region remains peaceful despite the presence of those who disagree with the administration's view. He said officials are currently monitoring the group.

The Deputy Defense Minister declined to comment on the National Council for Peace and Order’s recent decision to make an exception to the political gathering ban for political parties holding discussions regarding the charter drafting process, only saying that the Council must have taken security and unity matters into its consideration prior to making that decision.

General Udomdej also reaffirmed the Royal Thai Army's support for the government in the latter's efforts, citing as an example the army’s lending its personnel to aid operations of the Damrongtham Centers nationwide.

The Army is currently working with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in dealing with the illegal logging problems, the General added.

BANGKOK, 17 Nov 2014, The Engineering Institute of Thailand under HM the King’s Patronage (EIT) has urged the Government to reform the security in the transportation sector, proposing 6 policies for its consideration.

Referring to the record compiled over the past 5 years, the EIT pointed out that there were 2,768 accidents at rail track junctions, 2,109 injuries, 659 deaths, while indicating that 2013’s road accidents caused 578,490 injuries and 6,834 deaths. The EIT said the figures signified a serious flaw in the safety measures in Thailand’s transportation sector.

To remedy the situation, the institute thus proposed that the Government consider implementing 6 measures as follows: All agencies offering public transportation services must plan and implement safety measures in accordance with international standards; barricades at various intersections must be erected; sufficient budget should be provided for related unit to inspect and ensure road safety; the Government should emphasize and promote transportation safety measures, and lend its support to researches and review road safety measures regularly, the EIT added.

Finally, the institute recommended that the Government erect visible accident warning signs, and increase penalties for those who cause accidents.

BANGKOK, 17 Nov 2014 - General Prayuth Chan-o-cha will pay a familiarization trip to Malaysia on December 1st and is expected to sign of a cooperation agreement to promote a peace dialogue aimed at resolving the violence problem in southern Thailand.

According to Major General Weerachon Sukhonthapatipak, a member of the Government Spokesman’s team, General Prayut would visit Malaysia as part of his official tour of ASEAN countries in his capacity as the new Prime Minister of Thailand, and would take this opportunity to reinforce bilateral cooperation.

He said that the Thai Prime Minister will discuss with Malaysian counterpart Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on peace dialogues between the Thai government and separatist groups, which had been put on hold since last year due to the political strife. Malaysia played the role of facilitator in the previous dialogues.

The Government Spokesperson also clarified that December 1st has been chosen for the trip as it is the earliest convenience date for both the Prime Ministers. He added that details of the visit are being worked out between the two governments.

Saturday, 15 November 2014 13:42

Surat Thani braces for rough weather

SURAT THANI, 14 November 2014 -The Surat Thani province is preparing to brace the rough weather conditions due to the monsoon winds.

The Surat Thani governor Chatpong Chatputi has revealed that the province has received weather advisory from the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) regarding the weather condition caused by monsoon winds.

According to the TMD, the north-easterly wind that has covered the Gulf of Thailand and the southern region will continue to grow stronger, resulting in more rains in the area with a high tide in the Gulf of Thailand during 13-16 November 2014.

The Surat Thani governor said that the province is prepared for the floods, storms, landslides, and high tides that will occur during this time. The province has ordered every district and related agencies to provide a task force to provide 24 hour situation reports in the designated areas.

The responsible agencies and the staff were asked to carry out the district-level disaster prevention and mitigation plan and to report the provincial officers immediately should a situation arise, said the Surat Thani governor.

RATCHABURI, 14 Nov 2014 - Cattle raisers have voiced concern about the government’s urge for off-season farming suspension in provinces along the Chao Phraya River and the Mae Klong River, saying that the cost of cattle feed could be higher due to the shortage of hay.

Cattle raisers explained hay was the major ingredient of cattle feed as it was cheaper than other ingredients, such as corn, pineapple, and fresh grass. They added that the suspension of rice farming until April, 2015 could lead to a critical shortage of hay, forcing the hay price and other costs to go up.

Cattle raisers are stockpiling haystacks and enlarging their storage facilities to cope with the lack of hay, which they predict might last for a year.

They called on the government for help, saying that cattle raisers had never received assistance or compensation from any public agency at all.

BUENG KAN, 14 November 2014 -  Tourism attractions in Bueng Kan province have been ranked on the top-ten list in the tourism calendar of the Thailand Tourism Authority (TAT), said the provincial governor. 

BANGKOK, 14 November 2014 - The Prayut-led Government is scheduled to announce its 3-month performance, together with the six-month performance of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and a New Year gift from the government to the Thai people around the middle of next month.

The schedule was announced after a meeting of the committee tasked with the duty to push forward the government policy chaired by Mr. Suwaphan Tanyuwatna, Minister of the Prime Minister's Office. The Minister said the committee has been compiling government achievements in the past three months in five categories of administrative work for submission to the Cabinet for consideration next week.

He said the Prime Minister had earlier entrusted each ministry to draw up a special project to be launched as a New Year gift to Thai people. Deputy Government Spokesperson Maj-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd, said these projects would be unveiled as presents to the Thai public during the announcement of the government performance in mid December.

Maj-Gen Sansern also denied as untrue a news report about additional appointments of twelve advisors to the Prime Minister. He explained that the PM was allowed to have only five advisors, four of which have already been filled. So far the Prime Minister had no plans about the fifth appointment.

Saturday, 15 November 2014 13:37

Groundwater bureau holds the groundwater survey

UDON THANI, 14 November 2014 -The Bureau of Groundwater Exploration and Potential Assessment (BGEPA) director Dr. Aranya Fuangswasdi said today in the press conference about the groundwater survey and mapping project in the north-eastern region of Thailand.

She said that since 2012, the ongoing project had surveyed locations in Nong Bua Lamphu, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon, Khon Kaen, Kalasin, Nong Khai, and Bueng Kan provinces.

The information from the survey has been compiled into a 1:50,000 scale map of groundwater locations. The project is now in its final phase with the distribution of research and survey data, and the effective utilization of the mapping data.

The map will be a vital tool for related agencies in their process of planning the usage of the area’s groundwater, giving an accurate and more update to date information on groundwater sources.

The BGEPA director has also asked the responsible agencies to carefully use the country’s groundwater to the benefit of the public, in compliance to the government’s sustainable water management policy.

BANGKOK, 14 November 2014 - The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has invited Bangkok residents to share their photos of happiness on facebook or instagram as a part of “BKK Clear Happy without Drugs” campaign.

Deputy Governor of Bangkok Pusadee Tamthai said the photo-sharing activity aimed to encourage people, especially children and youths, to take part in Bangkok’s Anti-Drugs policy and promote the value of non-drug involvement.

The activity was newly launched under the “BKK Clear Happy without Drugs” campaign which also features many other activities. Recently, a short film competition has just announced its winners. The winning films are to be shown in a Channel 5's TV program called “Show Pow” at 5p.m. – 5.30 p.m. every Tuesday. Copies of the films will be devoted for "To Be Number ONE Project" and delivered to all schools in Bangkok as well as youth-related organisations.

Those who are interested in joining the activity can upload their photos on website www.Facebook.com/BKKclear or www.instagram.com/BKKclear during December 1st, 2014 to January 15th, 2015. Photos which are most liked will be shown on the exterior wall of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre and souvenirs will be rewarded to their owners.

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