18 Oct 2017
10:43 am

Park rangers and veterinarians are on Wednesday morning (Oct 18) trying to rescue a 10-year-old wild elephant after it was swept away and trapped in strong current of a canal at Thung Salaeng Luang national park in Noen Maplang district of Phitsanulok province.

The elephant was stranded in the Klong Chompoo canal since yesterday and until today it is still in the water.

Yesterday park officials used a heavy machinery to level the slope of the bank so it could walk out. However it was too exhausted and was unable to make it to the bank.

Veterinarian Dusita Chincharoendee of the Phitsanulok-based Management and Conservation Office said another effort will be launched again to rescue the elephant this morning.

She said that normally wild elephant has great sense of smell. It will raise its trunk to smell the air and detect the smell.

If it smells human beings around, it will be frightened and excited.

She asked villagers to stay a distance so as to make it calm as rescue effort is to begin throughout the day today.

She said when there is no human being around, she would use sound to stimulate it to climb out of the water. But if this fails, a large net may be used to pull it out of the water.

She also advised people to stay away from wild animal and never bother it as it is dangerous and may cause injury or death.

18 Oct 2017
10:42 am

The Marine and Coastal Resources Department plans to launch a new survey on the dugong population between December 2016 and February 2017 as the number of dugongs has reduced to around 200-250 since they have been decimated by hunting and fishing equipment, apart from the loss of their habitats.

Thanya Nethithammakul, chief of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, said dugongs are now under serious threats because their seagrass habitats have lost fertility.  Moreover, they have been decimated by fishing equipment and hunting.


It is now believed there are no more than 200 dugongs in the Thai waters.  Most of them, 130-150, are found in Hat Chao Mai National Marine Park and Mu Ko Libong Non Hunting Area in Trang province where seagrass is still fertile.  Moreover, about 15 are found around Ko Samet islands of Rayong and some areas in Chon Buri, Chanthaburi and Trat provinces, and about 10 others in the Chaiya Bay of Surat Thani.


Mr Thanya said there are still groups of hunters with a false belief that dugong bones can be made medicine for energy and cancer, their teeths can be made amulets and their meat, which costs about 150 baht per kilogramme, can be food.  Therefore, dugongs are still in demand in the black market.


Government agencies are required to educate the people that this belief is groundless.


Kongkiat Kittiwattanawong, director of the marine and coastal resources research and development centre of the Marine and Coastal Resources Department, said satellite signal tags were attached three dugongs in Hat Chao Mai National Marine Mark in Trang in April to monitor their movements to know their habitats for serious conservation.


Officials will be sent to conduct a survey for the exact number of dugongs between December 2017 and February 2018, he said.


The average lifespan of dugongs is 70 years. Their period of pregnancy is 13-18 months.  A female dugong gives birth to one offspring at a time and once in three years.


If without any disturbance, a female dogong gives births to about 10 babies throughout the 70 years of its life.  Therefore, the dogong population is minimal.


17 Oct 2017
8:58 pm

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday (Oct 17) urged members of the public to watch out for inappropriate conduct by opportunists, politicians in particular who exploit the Royal cremation ceremony for their vested interests.

He said the government didn’t want to resort to legal actions to deal with these inappropriate acts, but would like the public to put pressure on the opportunists.

The prime minister also pleaded with the public to be the “eyes and ears” of the authorities in watching out for suspected security threats rather than putting the burden entirely on security officers.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told the media on Tuesday that he doubted the claim by Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, a core member of Pheu Thai party, that she was not aware of the sticker of her name attached on the front of a pickup truck in which she was travelling, giving a false impression that she was on a campaign trail.

“Do you understand?  She (Sudarat) said she didn’t mean it.  She claimed it was a mistake.  How could it be a mistake?  The words (her name) were huge.  Nevertheless, we have warned her. I don’t mind whether she cried or not,” said Gen Prawit when asked by reporters to comment on her defence.

Khunying Sudrat came under heavy criticism from netizens and opponents of the Pheu Thai party when an image showing she and a few other people were riding on a pickup truck with the sticker of her name attached on the front of the vehicle as if she was on a campaign trail.  She was accused of exploiting the Royal cremation ceremony for political interest.

Khunying Sudarat claimed that the sticker had been posted on that truck for years and she boarded it without knowing that there was a sticker of her name on it.  She apologized for the mistake and claimed that she had no political motive whatsoever.

17 Oct 2017
4:51 pm

Two Nigerian men were arrested on Tuesday morning (Oct 17) at the immigration checkpoint in Nong Khai province after being found to be carrying fake passports of South Africa.

Pol Col Pallop Suriyakul na Ayutthaya, the Nong Khai immigration police chief, identified the two men as Wayne Junior Shimbambo, 35, and Katlego Ofentse Makbane, 35.

They were arrested at 6.30am at the immigration checkpoint at the Thai-Lao Friendship bridge while seeking permission to cross the border to Vientiane to get their passports extended at the South African embassy.  The immigration police checked their passports and found they were fake.

The two confessed to be Nigerian nationals who entered Thailand via Phuket airport and had stayed in Thailand with the fake South African passports.  After staying in Thailand for one month, their passports nearly expired.  They were travelling to Vientiane to get their passports extended and re-enter Thailand.

The Nigerians were handed over to Nong Khai police for further legal action.  They were initially charged with using fake passports.

17 Oct 2017
2:28 pm

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha today ( Oct 17) tested the use of the electronic ticket on a new city bus which the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) is introducing for use in its new buses this month.

BMTA plans to introduce the electronic ticketing system or E-ticket on all its 2,600 new buses which is still under procurement process. But in the initial stage, the ticketing system will be installed in 800 new buses first.

The new buses will also be installed with global positioning system or known as GPS, and CCTV cameras.

Gen Prayut said after testing the E-ticket card that the BMTA should educate the people how to use the tickets as lacking of understanding could cause a long waiting queue of users before they could get into the bus, thus causing unnecessary delay and traffic jams.

He suggested that in the beginning there should be two ticketing systems on the bus, cash payment and electronic payment.

He said the E-ticketing system will save time as it requires no bus conductors to give small changes for the ride, and in the near future could be used with other transport such as electric train service and boat service.

The new city bus also has GPS system and CCTV cameras in and outside the bus that could control the driving behaviour of bus drivers, and prevent theft or robberies.

The BMTA expects that holders of welfare smartcards could use their cards on its buses early next month.

17 Oct 2017
1:44 pm

The Foreign Ministry says 30 dignitaries have confirmed to attend the Royal Cremation Ceremony of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on October 26.

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said on Tuesday (Oct 17) that the list of dignitaries attending the Royal Cremation is not yet final but so far 30 have confirmed to attend the Royal Cremation Ceremony on October 26.

He said however that there might be more attendance by dignitaries.

He said the ministry’s coordination committee is now in the process of making arrangement to facilitate their arrivals, and to provide them convenience which will depend on the need of each country.

He said the ministry did not send them invitation cards but is ready to give them warm welcome.

17 Oct 2017
12:46 pm

Nine houses at a village in Mae Moh district of Lampang province were damaged after they were hit by a land subsidence of almost half a kilometre in length and a metre in depth.

The land subsidence was reported at Moo 6 in Tambon Mae Moh by local district officials after they were alerted by villagers in the area. Officials later notified officials of the Department of Mineral Resources.

Mineral Resources Office Region 11 director Denchok
Munchai said after inspecting the scene that the land subsidence covers an area of eight rai with cracks of several steps from 50 centimetres to one metre in depth and 500 metres in length.

He said there was a warning sign a week ago when villagers complained of broken water tubes from surface cracks in soil, before it subsided.

Initial reason for land subsidence is from rainwater and the flowing stream in the area.

However he said a thorough investigation will be conducted through drilling of the soil level in the area for laboratory test.

One resident said he felt the land subsidence since 3.00am yesterday and quickly alerted neighbours in the area to evacuate.

Now soldiers from Pratu Pha barrack are helping residents of nine homes to evacuate to safe places while Red Cross officials in the province also distribute aids to 22 residents affected by the land subsidence.


16 Oct 2017
10:35 pm

The Department of Special Investigation was asked by a group of customers of a brand of engine performance enhancement fluid to investigate the product importers for allegedly selling substandard product on Monday (Oct 16).

Led by Associate Professor Veerachai Putthawong, a chemistry lecturer at Kasetsart University, Mr Vinitchai Chalanukroh, a reporter of an automobile magazine, the group claimed that they were duped by the company because the imported engine performance enhancement fluid they bought did not work in enhancing engine performance as advertised.

Associate Professor Veerachai said tests of the product at a laboratory showed it contained a large amount of chlorine and paraffin which are banned in auto industry.

He claimed that the two substances were banned in Europe and America but, in Thailand, they are used in plastic, petrochemical industries and in welding work, but the chlorine substance must be diluted substantially.

The group noted that since the DSI has a consumers’ protection unit and, therefore, it should be able to test the engine performance enhacement fluid.

DSI deputy spokesman Pol Maj Voranan Srilum said that the matter would be raised for discussion at the department’s meeting next week. Initially however, he said the case was within the jurisdiction of the consumers’ protection unit of the DSI.


16 Oct 2017
10:01 pm

All 7-Eleven convenience stores throughout the country will be closed on October 26 from 3 pm until midnight to allow their employees to join the nation in the Royal cremation ceremony.

Mr Supachai Chearavanont, chief executive officer of Charoen Pokphand Group, said Monday (Oct 16) that the giant agro conglomerate would be an integral party of the Thai society in expressing its loyalty and condolence for the late His Majesty King Bhumibul Adulyadej by allowing its staff members participate in the Royal cremation ceremony on October 26.

All the CP Fresh Mart stores will also close from 3am on Oct 26 and resume operation as normal on October 27 starting at 6 am.

True Shop, meanwhile, will close all its outlets except the ones at airports on October 26 as of 3 pm.  They will resume operations on the following day at normal office hours.


16 Oct 2017
9:36 pm

A press centre has been opened at the main auditorium of Thammasat University for about 1,500 Thai and foreign reporters covering the royal cremation of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Prime Minister’s Office Minister Ormsin Chivapruck said on Monday (Oct 16).

Mr Ormsin said the press centre will serve as the base for about 1,500 reporters from all news outlets including television and radio stations and the social media to cover the news on the historical event for further dissemination worldwide.

Pol Maj Gen Jirasan Kaewsaeng-ek, the traffic police commander, said traffic police will place emphasis on safety and convenience.

However, he admitted the work may not be 100% effective because a large number of people are expected to converge in Bangkok.
There will be 29 spots for screening the people entering the ceremonial ground. Traffic will be closed on many roads, covering a wide area.

Those who travel in private vehicles can leave their cars at 16 parking areas which can take up to 40,000 vehicles before taking shuttle buses to Sanam Luang.

People living around Bangkok can travel by train.  The trains from Ayutthaya and Chachoengsao will stop at Yommarat, while the ones from Nakhon Pathom will stop at the Thonburi railway station.
They can also travel by boat along the Chao Phraya River from the North to disembark at Phra Pinklao bridge and from the South at Yod Phiman boat pier.

People can also travel by boat along Khlong Saen Saeb to disembark at Phan Fa Leelat, and along Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem canal to disembark at Makkhawan Bridge and Thewet.

Kriengkrai Chongcharoen, an assistant City Clerk, said the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will arrange waiting areas for people in 29 districts.

More information is available at website “prbangkok.”

There are also 119 spots for staying overnight, with food and toilets provided, at schools and temples.

About 13 million sandalwood flowers or dok mai chan will also be available at all replicas of the royal crematorium and temples nearby.