BANGKOK, 17 July 2014  – The acting police chief indicated on Wednesday that five candidates have been short-listed for the position of Royal Thai Police Commissioner, and that the appointment of the selected individual is expected within August.

According to Police General Watcharaphon Prasanratchakit, the acting chief of the police, the National Council for Peace and Order has called for the structure of the police force to be adjusted, having the Royal Thai Police deputy commissioners and the police inspector-general chair each of the police force's executive subcommittees.

Pol. Gen. Watcharaphon said the short-listed candidates included Pol. Gen. Ek Angsananon, Pol. Gen. Phongsaphat Phongcharoen, Pol. Gen. Somyot Phumphanmuang, Pol. Gen. Woraphong Chieupricha and Pol. Gen. Chaloemkiat Siworachan. The selection of the new police chief will be based on seniority, achievements, experiences and capability. He noted that all the five deputy police chiefs had at least 35 years of well-rounded experience in the police force.

Regarding the construction of new police station buildings nationwide, Pol. Gen. Watcharaphon said the median prices have been set for 140 buildings, leaving 41 remaining.

BANGKOK, 16 July 2014  -The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources says the reason for dead whales, and dolphins beaching themselves on the shore recently, is due to the current monsoon and Thailand's lack of professional veterinarian care for marine life.

It is believed that 99 percent of whales and dolphins whose bodies are beached on the shore have suffered from illnesses such as pneumonia, lung infections, and renal failure.

However, marine life rescue after injury or illness causes problems at the moment since the necessary medical aid and equipment are still lacking in number and expertise.

Thursday, 17 July 2014 15:36

More firearms seized in the capital

BANGKOK, 17 July 2014,  - A combined task force of military and police officers has raided a condominium in Pathumwan District of Bangkok, confiscating several war-grade firearms and a large batch of ammunition. 

BANGKOK, 16 July 2014 – The subcommittee of Thailand charged with preparation for an ASEAN community center has held its first meeting to move forward the country's preparedness for the ASEAN community.

Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Gen. Surasak Karnjanarat, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, have issued a joint communique as the chair persons of the first subcommittee of Thailand meeting in preparation for the ASEAN community center, in order to ensure Thailand;s readiness to promote the ASEAN community.

Thailand's readiness is segmented into three issues covering in-house preparation, the promotion of the political community and ASEAN stability, and world connections.

The project movement is also set to develop in three stages comprised of an urgent phase from July to September, to build up the in-house readiness to enter the political community and ensure ASEAN stability; the second phase from October 2014 to December 2015: to move on the five main integrated issues such as southern border administration and trust, or proactive diplomacy; and the third phase from January 2016 onwards, which is the long-term plan: to integrate every involved government sector for ASEAN community readiness, leading to the establishment of the ASEAN community and ASEAN stability.

BANGKOK, 16 July 2914 - Six one-stop service centers set up to issue temporary work permits for immigrant workers are up and running in Bangkok as part of the National Council for Peace and Order's (NCPO) bid to tackle human trafficking and labor abuse. On the first day of operation, the Department of Employment Director-General Sumet Mahosod said that there were 1,007 workers who applied at the Rama-Indra Sports Center in Bangkhen and 727 workers who registered at the Bangkok Youth Center (Thai-Japan) in Dindaeng. Meanwhile 701 workers came to register at Minthinthong City Hall in Minburi, 528 migrants at Lumpini Youth Center in Pathumwan, with another 616 at Taweewattana’s Youth Center, and 557 workers who applied for their work permit at Bangbon’s Sports Center. A total of 4,136 foreign workers have now registered for work permits at the six newly opened one-stop service centers in Bangkok on the first day.

BANGKOK, 15 July 2014 -The Ministry of Commerce has continued to support rice farmers by asking rice mill owners to buy paddy at a price per ton 100 – 200 baht higher than the market price in the production year 2014/15, in exchange for being offered a 3% deposit on loans. The Acting Director General of the Internal Trade Department Jintana Chaiyawannakarn said that the authority will not continue the rice pledging program nor intervene in the market to help farmers as previously done.

Instead, it will try to reduce cost factors in production such as chemical fertilizer, pesticides, harvesting machines and farm rental costs. In addition, during the rice harvesting season in the following one or two months, the ministry will proceed to appoint private sector and rice mill operators to buy paddy from farmers at a price about 100 – 200 baht per ton higher than the market price in November. These buyers will be offered loans with only a 3% deposit to be able to purchase the rice. Moreover, they will also be asked to stock the rice for 3 – 6 months, that is from November 2014 to July 2015 to maintain the price in the market.

BANGKOK, 16 July 2014,  - The Thai Chamber of Commerce has developed a five-point strategy aimed at improving the quality of Thai rice and rice growers, to be proposed to the joint committee addressing economic issues today.

According to TCC President Issara Wongkusonkit, the strategy has been devised in a brainstorming session with all related parties, with a goal to reduce social gaps between rice farmers and other professions, while enabling them to be sustainably self-sufficient.

The five-point strategy included developing the quality of local rice and rice growers through the implementation of His Majesty the King’s sufficiency economy philosophy, applying modern agricultural methods to maximize output while minimizing costs, implementing agricultural zoning, developing quality rice seeds, and improving on marketing by focusing more on promoting the free market mechanisms.

The strategy will be proposed tomorrow to the Joint Government and Private Committee for Addressing Economic Issues, headed by National Council for Peace and Order Chief General Prayuth Chan-Ocha.

BANGKOK, 16 July 2014 – The Department of Business Development (DBD) is planning to tighten rules in the management of condominiums and housing projects, to promote transparency and provide greater protection for tenants and buyers from false advertising and unfair management of common fee collections.

Director General Phongpan Jiarawiriyapan stated that her department has joined hands with the Property Management Association of Thailand in tightening the regulations for condominiums and housing estates, requiring operators of those projects to be more responsible to their clients and communities by sticking to transparency and good governance. The move is to make the property market more reliable and attractive to buyers in preparation for the opening of the ASEAN Economic Community next year.

Miss Phongpan said the Department is set to implement a 3-step development scheme for the housing sector. The steps involve building management skill and knowledge, then raising the sector’s business standard, and finally creating an operator’s network to expand market opportunities.

The DBD has initially set an aim to lift the quality of 200 property businesses out of the 1,091 companies registered with the DBD nationwide.

BANGKOK, 16 July 2014- The Commerce Ministry has come up with measures to ensure that the price of rice in 2014-2015 will not fall below 8,500 baht per ton.

According to Ms. Jintana Chaiyawannakan, the Acting Director-General of the Department of Internal Trade, the policy is in line with that of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), which indicates that the price of rice should not fall below 8,500 baht per ton.

Ms. Jintana said the measures involved having rice mills buy rice at 100-200 baht per ton higher than the market price when the price usually drops during the months of November to January. The rice mills will then stockpile the grain for 3-6 months waiting for the right time to release it back to the market.

She said rice mills joining this scheme would be entitled to compensation of 3% interest based on the amount paid for the rice. The compensation would be made through the financial institutions the rice mills are currently doing business with.

The Acting Director General believes the measures will maintain the price of rice at an level.

Ms. Jintana also said the government would no longer buy rice directly from farmers, as it was not capable of maintaining the quality of the huge amount of rice in stocks; as evidenced by what had happened in the past.

BANGKOK, 15 July 2014 – The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has revealed that the Thai baht gained 1.3 percent during the first half of this year, while the outflow by foreign investors was valued at about US 3 billion dollars. 

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