BANGKOK, 18 February 2015 - Royal Thai Police units have been providing public safety during Chinese New Year celebrations across the nation.

Deputy Police Chief Police Lieutenant General Prawut Thawornsiri has urged people to be mindful of fire hazards when lighting incense and candles in observance of the Chinese lunar new year.

He reiterated that people are forbidden from carrying weapons and using firecrackers in public places, which can endanger the people as well as cause public disturbances.

As several Chinese and Chinese descent travellers visit temples and travel to other provinces, police advise parents to keep their children close and have them carry contact information. Police will then be able to reach their parents if they are lost.

SINGBURI, 18 Feb 2015, The Governor of Singburi yesterday led a team of officials to visit local people in order to gather information about their needs for use in the drafting of a provincial Master Plan aimed at promoting self-reliance in communities.

Singburi Governor Chalothorn Phakod led his team to Wihan Khao Subdistrict in Thachang District to listen to villagers’ daily struggles, allowing the latter to express their vision about the province as well as their needs.

According to the Governor, the visit allowed villagers to exchange views with officials and voice their opinions. This would allow the province to initiate projects that directly respond to local needs.

BANGKOK, 18 February 2015 - The Cabinet is set to approve a debt relief program for farmers in the meeting today.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha will chair the meeting, which was postponed from yesterday. The Cabinet is expected to give a green light to the debt relief program, which is aimed at eliminating debt owed by farmers.

Under the program, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives will pay off their debts from its own reserve funds. Then farmers will instead owe the money to the ministry.

Meanwhile, the Rice Department is expected to reveal the results of this year’s first stockpiled rice auction held on January 29th. Nearly a million tons of rice were sold to 38 bidders out of 100 participants.

NAN, 18 February 2015 - Yesterday, at 6 p.m. Her Royal Highness attended a special event organized in the central district of Nan by the provincial people to show their gratitude to the Princess on the occasion of Her 60th birthday on 2 April this year. The event started with Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-O-cha representing the Thai people in offering their best wishes and felicitations to the Princess. 

Bangkok, 18 February 2015 - The Government is giving a major boost to sports education, as part of its educational strategies for educational management in the southern border provinces.

In response to this policy, the Ministry of Education has selected Srinagarindra the Princess Mother School, Yala, as the school for the science-sports program in the deep South of Thailand. The Office of the Basic Education Commission will supervise the program.

Deputy Education Minister General Surachet Chaiwong said that this special program is included in the science curriculum and is intended to promote both academic and sports development for excellence among children and youths in the deep South.

The program will be opened for schoolchildren living in Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, and four districts of Songkhla (Chana, Thepha, Na Thawi, and Saba Yoi), who wish to continue their studies at Matthayom 4 of upper secondary schooling. It will admit 80 students in the 2015 academic year. In the initial stage, five sports, namely football, volleyball, pencak silat, Muay Thai (Thai boxing), and sepak takraw, will be taught. Before the launching of the science-sports program, a summer sports competition will be held between March 28 and May 2, 2015, under the Sports Education Development Plan for the Southern Border Provinces.

General Surachet said that the Ministry of Education’s policy on education in the deep South involves many areas, such as the development of the quality of education, support for educational activities, the development of teachers and educational administrators, knowledge management toward ASEAN, and educational management in response to local needs.

Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the Office of the Non-Formal and Informal Education Karoon Sakulpradit on 10 February 2015 made an inspection of the deep South to follow up on the progress of the implementation of the science-sports program. He said, “The Office of the Non-Formal and Informal Education has selected ‘football’ as an elective subject for its students. We consider that sports education is one of the best choices and southern residents love sports, as well.”

Exercising and playing sports on a regular basis are considered effective ways to develop citizens by keeping them physically fit, along with instilling a sense of self-discipline. It is believed that sports will encourage young people to spend time fruitfully, promote unity among them, and prevent them from being misled by harmful influences.

Sports development for professional athletes would also be promoted in a long-term plan for educational management to provide greater opportunities for young people in the southern border provinces.

BANGKOK, 18 February 2015 - The government's revenue collection during the first four months of fiscal year 2015 exceed target by 1.1 billion baht, according to Deputy Finance Minister Wisudhi Srisuphan.

Mr. Wisudhi attributed the above-target collection of tax revenue to a greater-than-expected amount of VAT collection, hence signaling heightened consumer confidence. He also spoke of the planned merging of the tax laws into a single bill, saying that future taxation would be based on the suggested retail price instead of factory price or wholesale price.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Paisal Chuenjit, deputy director-general of the Customs Department, indicated that customs officials were being more stringent on international passengers who arrive with newly purchased items worth more than 10,000 baht. He said such goods need to be declared in order for them to be correctly taxed. The rate of duty would be around 30 percent for general goods, according to Mr. Paisal.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015 11:27

28th Music in the Garden set for tomorrow

BANGKOK, 18 Feb 2015, The 28th Music in the Garden, organized by the Public Relations Department (PRD) is set for tomorrow ( Thursday), featuring Jern Jern Boon Soong Neun, the country's first transgender diva. 

BANGKOK, 18 Feb 2015 - The Commerce Ministry yesterday explained its reason for disqualifying a company with connections to Siam Indica Company Limited from the last rice auction. It has also set up a tighter set of rules to prevent frauds and ensure fairness in the next round of rice auction scheduled for the end of this month.

According to the Ministry, there was clear evidence that exposed the connection between the disqualifying company ‘Empire Development Co.Ltd.’ and Siam Indica, leading officials involved to believe that the former is the latter’s nominee.

Since Siam Indica has already been charged with irregularities in 4 cases related to Government-to-Government rice deals by the National Anti-Corruption Commission, its nominees are not allowed to participate in the subsequent rice auctions.

Meanwhile, the Ministry reported that during the first round of rice auction on January 29th, it was able to sell rice in stockpiles at prices higher than the floor value. It sold more than 496-thousand tons of rice at 7.8 billion baht.

The officials have informed all of the 37 auction winners to sign the contract within the next 15 days to allow the rice delivery.

SAMUTSONGKHRAM, 18 Feb 2015 - Samut Songkhram Province is currently promoting a campaign to boost local economy via community markets, encouraging its locals to help each other by purchasing locally made products.

According to the Samut Songkhram Provincial Administration, the markets offer all fresh seasonal produce in the localities and finest OTOP goods.

Mr. Panya Ngamlert, the Provincial Governor, yesterday told the media during his visit to one of the markets in Muang District that the campaign also aims at providing another distribution channel to agricultural operators and OTOP producers where they can deliver their goods to the hands of their consumers directly.

He said that, in this way, the operators can forego the middlemen while offering customers goods at fairer prices.

The Governor announced that the next community market will be held in Bangkhontee District this Saturday, to be followed by another one in Amphawa District the following Saturday.

CHIANG MAI, 18 Feb 2015,  Minister Attached to the Prime Minister Office, M.L. Panadda Dissakul, has lectured on the importance of the 12 national core values and the learning of a 3rd language, in preparation for the advent of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). 

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