Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:15

NLA members wish His Majesty a speedy recovery

BANGKOK, 8 October 2014 Members of the National Legislative Assembly have visited Siriraj Hospital to sign their names to express their wishes for His Majesty the King's speedy recovery.

Professor Phonphet Wichitchonlachai ( พรเพชร วิชิตชลชัย), Speaker of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) led the lawmakers on a visit to Siriraj Hospital to sign their names in the well-wishing book inside the 100 years Siriraj pavilion, which had been provided for the public by the Bureau of the Royal Household.

His Majesty the King was admitted to Siriraj Hospital on Friday, October 3, due to high fever, sepsis, blood pressure fluctuation and increased heart rate. On October 6, the Siriraj medical team determined that His Majesty's gallbladder was inflamed, and promptly conducted an endoscopic surgery to remove the organ.

According to announcements from the Bureau of the Royal Household, the surgery went well and His Majesty's post-surgery condition was satisfactory. Improvements were observed in His Majesty's heart rate. His blood pressure has also returned to normal and the fever has lessened.

The Siriraj medical team continues to administer antibiotics intravenously.

BANGKOK, 8 October 2014  The Irrigation Department has announced it will cease releasing water for the purpose of irrigating off-season rice paddies in the Chao Phraya basin, due to the very low amount of water reserve at present.

According to the department, rainfall in the 2014 rainy season has so far been lower than average. The situation is most apparent in the North and the Central regions, where the Chao Phraya basin is situated. Because there was less rain that usual, more than the usual amount of water had to be discharged from the reservoirs in the basin area to irrigate the in-season rice paddies. The combined amount of usable water at all four major dams in the Chao Phraya basin is expected to stand at only 6.5 billion cubic meters by November 1, said the Department.

Due to the need to reserve this amount of water for consumption, maintaining the ecosystem, averting acute water shortage and for other purposes, the Irrigation Department will from now on until April 30, 2015 stop discharging water to irrigate off-season rice paddies in the Chao Phraya basin

BANGKOK, 8 October 2014  The cabinet has resolved to ban political office holders from taking the positions of board members at state agencies, in order to prevent corruption.

The Cabinet and the National Council for Peace and Order engaged in their first official meeting on Tuesday, which was chaired by the prime minister and the chief of the NCPO, General Prayut Chan-o-cha. After the 5-hour meeting, Gen. Prayut told reporters the meeting sought to foster clarity and progress in collaborative affairs between the government and the NCPO. He also asked all sectors to give the government the time it needs to move the country forward. The prime minister also asserted martial law will remain in place for now.

Also on Tuesday, the cabinet ministers endorsed, in principle, a ban on political office holders holding advisory positions or member of the board position at state agencies, state enterprises, or public organizations. An exception was made for the director posts at various organizations that needed to be taken by representatives of the state.

CHANTHABURI, 8 October 2014  The eastern seaboard province of Chanthaburi has kicked off its annual eco tourism festival on Tuesday.

The festival dubbed "11th Green Tidal Crab and Habitat Festival" has been kicked off in Khlung district to attract marine life enthusiasts to visit communities located in the Wayru river's mangrove area.

At this time of the year, millions of Green Tidal crabs come out and swim along the waterways to find their food and also to mate. The province has also held a trade fair to introduce local food and other products to tourists. The festival will last until October 13.

Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:10

Lamphun holds midnight alms-offering

LAMPHUN, 8 October 2014 A large number of Buddhists in the northern province of Lamphun have joined a midnight alms offering ceremony to pay respect to one of the sacred monks in the Buddhist legend.

At the midnight of Oct 7, Deputy governor Supachai Iamsuwan led local officials and residents to offer food and monastic necessities to over 100 Buddhist monks at Wat Phra Mathat Hariphunchai in the heart of the city to celebrate Peng Pud occasion.

‘Peng Pud’ or the full moon Wednesday is a traditional Lanna belief. The day Phra Uppakut, one of the key holy monks in the past, comes up from his under-the-sea abode at pre-dawn to receive alms and bless people on earth. It’s believed that when ones give alms on the day, they will not only become blessed, but also become rich.

BANGKOK, 8 October 2014  A proposal covering drug eradication strategy for 2015 is set to be endorsed at a meeting between Justice Ministry officials and 27 related organizations today. Once approved, the plan will be assigned to responsible units for immediate implementation.

The meeting, to be chaired by Justice Minister General Paiboon Koomchaya, will also acknowledge the progress of drug prevention and suppression made during the past 4 months. According to the Justice Minister, the plan has both short and long term steps, and the urgent one will be executed during the last quarter of this year.

The drug eradication strategy for 2015 consists of 6 goals which are reducing the number of illegal drugs imported across the border, preventing drug sales, discouraging new users, curing drug addicts, monitoring any illegal activities along the northern border and integrating the prevention and suppression efforts with relevant agencies at all levels.

CHONBURI, 7 October 2014  Tourists have recorded a video footage on a group of dolphins swimming in the waters of Pattaya Bay.

According to this video footage, a group of tourists were boarding a boat leaving Samae Beach in Koh Lan and were heading back to Chonburi province. Amazingly, they have captured the moment where these dolphins were jumping out of the water and swimming up close to their boat.

Needless to say, many tourists were fascinated by these playful sea mammals and were able to record a memorable moment on their trip in Pattaya.

BANGKOK, 6 October 2014  Prime Minister and Head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) General Prayut Cha-o-cha says his government will use a holistic approach to solve farmers’ problems by tackling urgent problems in parallel with implementing sustainable solutions.

Speaking after his meeting with the Rice Policy and Management Committee, Gen. Prayut affirmed the approach is by no means a populist policy. He went on to say that although rice exports had increased in volume, export prices remained relatively low. Thus the government needs to create measures to boost prices and upgrade the quality of rice.

The government approach focuses on four groups of farmers: those who own less than 15 rai of agricultural land, those who own more than 40 rai, those who use technology and machinery in their cultivating process, and those who lease their land to others. As a sustainable solution, the government will provide scholarships to farmers’ children to support their higher education in a hope to make them a new generation of Thai farmers.

He also said that the government is still working on helping farmers in few provinces who are still waiting for payments under the rice pledging scheme and confirmed that all farmers who really sold their rice to the scheme will definitely get their money.

The Prime Minister also assigned Dhamrongdham Center (of the Ministry of Interior) and the Farmer Assistance Center (of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives) to do the zoning of agricultural land which will match agricultural production with the actual market demand.

The zoning committee will be chaired by General Anupong Paochinda, the Minister of Interior, while the committee to help low-income farmers who owned no land will be led by the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

Gen. Prayut also stated that from now on, the country’s agricultural information will be based on real situation, such as the actual number of land inside and outside the royal irrigation zones, not just estimated data as in the past. This is to ensure that government measures will be drawn up to address actual problems.

Tuesday, 07 October 2014 13:38

DITP to open new markets in 2015

BANGKOK, 7 October 2014  The Department of International Trade Promotion is planning to open up more new markets for Thai products in 2015.

DITP Director General Nuntawan Sakuntanaga said that representatives from 62 Thailand’s Regional Trade Promotion Centers worldwide are scheduled to join a meeting in Bangkok during October 18 and 20 to assess the country’s trade situation, plan strategies and set the export goal for 2015.

Mrs. Nuntawan conceded that Thailand’s exports, with the year-to-date value of 230 billion baht, will not likely grow more than 1.0% on-year in 2014.

She stressed that the opening of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 will be an important element to boost Thai exports.

The DITP chief went on to say that Thai business operators and exporters are to focus on the quality of their products, which will help build trust in Thailand among ASEAN clients.

In doing so, the DITP has recently introduced the “Thailand Trust Mark” or TTM certification to ensure that products carrying this endorsement are really of good quality and meet international standards.

And while the global economic recovery, particularly in Thailand’s major trading partners such as the U.S., Japan and EU, may remain slow during the next several months, Mrs. Nuntawan said that the DITP will push to open new markets for Thai products in 2015.

BANGKOK, 7 October 2014  The Royal Thai Police is launching its 1599 hotline for the prevention of suicides by stressed-out policemen today.

In a bid to solve the problem of the high number of suicides by police officers, National police commissioner Somyot Phumphanmuang is launching a hotline for stressed policemen to call. The hotline's call center will be staffed by psychologists from the Police General Hospital, who will also consult with other staff drawn from the police force to advise the callers about specific woes frequently faced by policemen.

According to Pol. Gen. Somyot, studies have found several factors that contribute to suicides by policemen, which include financial issues, stress from work, family problems and illness. He has also told officials in supervisory roles to closely look into the well-being of their subordinates and provide them with moral support.

Pol. Gen. Somyot added that the setting up of the hotline is in response to the increased number of suicides by police officers over the past one year.

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