BANGKOK, 18 March 2015 - The Ministry of Education is getting the industrial sector to help improve vocational education ahead of the AEC.

The Minister of Education reported the progress to a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha this morning. He said an agreement between the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) and vocational institutions has been signed to develop an internship program.

The agreement gives vocational or 'Ar-chiva' students an opportunity to use the skills they have learnt at school in a real-life work environment. The cooperation involves more than 8,000 companies registered as FTI members.

They will help design curriculums for vocational school students. This is to assure that the students will graduate with the skills demanded by manufacturers. Those companies are also expected to lend to vocational institutions tools and teaching materials that are not available in classroom.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also stressed the importance of using English as a medium of instruction especially in the field of mechanic study as it would be useful for them when working with foreign companies investing in Thailand.

BANGKOK, 18 March 2015 - Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed related agencies to get tougher with burners of forest or farming areas in another move to contain haze levels in the northern region. 

PHETCHABURI, 18 March 2015 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is inviting public members to visit the International Kite Festival in Phetchaburi province held at the end of this month.

TAT Phetchaburi Office Director Duangjai Khumsa-ard said the festival has been organized annually for the past decade on the popular beach of Cha-am.

Mrs. Duangjai added that the sky usually becomes windy toward the end of March, which is the beginning of summer, and is ideal for kite flying. The beach also sees a large number of tourists during this time.

More than 100 large spectacular kites, said to be as big as 4 story-building, will be displayed. Many of them will come in different shapes and sizes. Some resemble animals while the others will appear in geometric shapes.

Families will also enjoy a wide range of activities and witness the world renowned kite flyers maneuvering difficult kite flying tricks. The event will be held from March 28-29, 2015 on Cha-am beach.

BANGKOK, 18 March 2015 - The Constitution Drafting Committee has completed the review of more than half of the articles included in the draft charter and is planning to travel to Chiang Mai at the beginning of April.

The CDC meeting on Tuesday continued reviewing individual article of the draft Constitution to check on their accuracy and completeness.

So far, 161 articles have been reviewed, excluding article 76 which calls for a minimum of one in three of party-list lawmakers being women, as it is yet to be picked up for deliberation.

At the meeting, the charter drafters also discussed the preparation for the upcoming trip to the northern region, where the CDC will bring the draft Constitution to show to locals in order to hear the opinions of residents from four northern provinces.

The trip is scheduled to take off in Chiang Mai during April 3 and 4.

BANGKOK, 18 March 2015 -Thailand and Turkey have upgraded their bilateral ties to the level of strategic partnership.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Gen. Tanasak Patimapagorn on Tuesday extended an official welcome to Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu , the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, who is on his first formal visit Thailand.

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu , who is a guest of Thailand’s Foreign Ministry, and Gen. Tanasak, held talks on various bilateral issues ranging from economics to security, academic cooperation, and international collaboration.

The two also agreed to upgrade both nations’ relations to a strategic partnership.

Thailand and Turkey established diplomatic ties in 1958 and both countries’ relations have been close and cordial.

Turkey — a moderate Islamic nation with over 75 million populations — is also viewed as a gateway to Central Asia, the Balkan Peninsula, the Middle East and Africa.

After the meeting, the Thai Foreign Ministry hosted a dinner reception for Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu .

BANGKOK, 18 March 2015 - Security-related agencies in Bangkok, City Hall officials and personnel from the Metropolitan Electricity Authority have been inspecting closed-circuit cameras installed throughout Bangkok to ensure safety for the public.

Out of the prime concern of security and safety in the lives and assets of the public, 283 closed circuit cameras and improvement of lighting have been installed at spots deemed at risk of crimes. After the spots had been fitted with cameras and lights, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwon ordered assigned security-related units to ensure that the cameras are properly maintained to be in working order.

Since last week, officials have been inspecting the function of the cameras and the lighting at the 'risk spots', which include various ports, Victory Monument and Chatuchak Park, to name a few.

The inspections drew much interest from passersby, who inquired about the functions of the cameras and who were relieved to know that security agencies placed importance on the lighting and electricity feed at the risk spots. Some members of the public also said they wanted the government to continue imposing martial law, as they felt that its use has improved safety in their daily lives.

BANGKOK, 18 March 2015 - The Cabinet on Tuesday endorsed Thailand's application as an observer country within the Pacific Alliance trade bloc, and also endorsed the hosting of the 48th Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation Council Conference. 

BANGKOK, 18 March 2015 - The Cabinet has endorsed Thailand's application for membership of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), proposed by the Ministry of Energy. 

BANGKOK, 18 Mar 2015 - The Department of Tourism has indicated that the Kingdom’s tourism sector has enjoyed a boost in the first quarter, thanks to a large influx of Chinese tourists.

According to the Department, tourists from mainland China have replaced the declining number of Russian visitors. The latter’s figure registered a negative growth of 45.97% in January given Russia’s current economic and political turmoil.

Department of Tourism Director-General Second Lieutenant Anuphab Kesornsuwan said that the number of tourists visiting Thailand in January was 2.65 million, a solid increase of 16.30% from the same period last year. The rise continued in February at 29.60% while in the first 13 days of this month the number of foreign visitors has already showed an increase of 27.6% year-on-year.

According to him, Thailand has become the number one destination for Chinese travellers in the first 2 months of this year. The Director-General pointed out the number would likely continue to grow as more and more Chinese individuals start to make their way to Thailand even though the figure of those coming with tour operators is on a decline.

Director-General Anuphab stated Bangkok is the most popular destination for these tourists, closely followed by Chiang Mai and Phuket.

The Director-General also said Thailand ranks 5th in terms of popularity for Japanese tourists, saying these visitors currently favor secondary tourism towns more than Bangkok.

BANGKOK, 17 March 2015 - The president of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) says an outsider prime minister will be necessary when the country reaches the point where it cannot move forward due to political unrest.

In reference to the overview of the draft charter, NLA president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai said the lawmakers have already received a report on the progress of the draft from the charter rewrite committee, adding that one of the issues that will have to be thoroughly studied is the Germany’s electoral system, which Thailand plans to adopt. According to him, all suggestions and thoughts regarding the matter will be gathered, and concerns will be raised as to how the system will work in Thailand.

Speaking about one of the provisions in the new charter which allows an outsider to administer the country, the president said the move will be crucial in circumstances where political unrest poses serious threats to national security and hinders growth. However, there must be an organization that can make such a call, deciding when the country reaches a dead end, which calls for an outsider premier to step in.

Lastly, he said he has been in close contact with chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) Borwornsak Uwanno to ensure that ancillary laws are being written in accordance with the permanent charter.

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