9 Dec 2017
1:07 pm

Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport remained closed on Saturday (Dec 9) as authorities continued to drain flood water out of its runway and erect sandbag embankment to prevent overflowing of water into the runway again.

The closure of the airport for safety reason after the transport minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith and Airports Department’s director general Darun Sangchai inspected the flooded site yesterday to assess the situation with focus on the runway and safety equipment.

This was to ensure the highest safety standard before the airport is to reopen, the minister said.

The Department of Airports has set aside 353 million baht for Nakhon Si Thammarat airport to build a 9.7 kilometre road with four flood gates and two draining stations that will serve as a flood embankment to prevent flooding in the airport compound.

Construction started from August this year and will finish in December next year.

Meanwhile the Department of Airports has sought cooperation from domestic airlines to increase flights at adjacent Surat Thani airport to Don Mueang airport today to cope with increasing passengers from Nakhon Si Thammarat.

There are normally about 20 flights daily between Bangkok and Nakhon Si Thammarat. The airport closure has affected thousands of people.

 

9 Dec 2017
12:29 pm

Former actor Weerachaisriwanik Wanukkul and two colleagues turned themselves into Saimai police yesterday (Dec 8) after they are wanted for posing as narcotic suppression officers in a raid on a garage and detaining its owner over drug allegations.

Weerachaisriwanik, 38, and his two colleagues Siwat Lamsri, 36, and Narongrit Thongpan, 30, turned themselves in to Saimai police at yesterday afternoon after the Minburi Provincial Court’s issued arrest warrants for them over charges of night-time intrusion involving firearms, posing as police officers, carrying guns in public without permission and illegal detention.

But the former actor claimed he was in detective business and was investigating a drug case.

The three suspects entered the garage of Nuttapong Jitsaguan, 26, allegedly handcuffed him and accused that he was involved in drug trafficking.

They searched his garage and office for drugs but couldn’t find it. After Nuttapong called his father who is an Air Force officer, the three armed men fled the scene.

Saimai police said another victim also came to lodge complaint with the police yesterday saying two of the three suspects were among four men who extorted him of 200,000 baht on November 3 showing arrest warrant in a case.

The victim said he had filed complaint of the extortion to Kannayao police in Bangkok.

Saimai police they are investigating if the two cases were linked to this gang of the former model.

Weerachai was said to be a model in 2000 before playing supporting roles in several television series and later aged from the entertainment limelight.

9 Dec 2017
8:20 am

People are advised to delay getting a dengue vaccination during this time, pending a decision by a subcommittee on building of the immune system on Dec 14, according to Dr Tawee Chotepittayasunon, president of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of Thailland (PIDST).

Dr Tawee said doctors and experts held a meeting on Dec 7 to analyse information about dengue vaccination.

The information says the dengue vaccine works well with people who used to contracted the disease.  But, those who have never had the disease before and received the dengue vaccine are found to have a chance of contracting the disease at the rate of 1.4 times more than those who have never contracted the disease and never received the vaccine. However, no case of death as a result of this has been reported.

The subcommittee on the building of the immune system will consider this information on Dec 14 and is expected to come out with some recommendations.  During this time, the people are advised to delay getting the dengue vaccine.

The dengue vaccine has been registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of Thailand since 2016.  The vaccine has been available at private hospitals.

According to a company supplying the vaccine, Thailand has ordered 30,000 doses of the vaccine and about 10,000 have been used.

Dr Tawee said before giving the vaccine, doctors should carefully check health records of people who want it.  The suitable ages for taking the vaccine are between 9 to 45 years.

Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said the people should not worry about the order by the Philippine Department of Health to suspend giving the dengue vaccine to people after detecting side effects.

Although the vaccine being used in Thailand is of the same kind as that in the Philippines, the Thai Public Health Ministry has not suspended the use of it.

Dr Piyasakol said Thailand places more emphasis on prevention and destruction of the breeding sources of mosquitoes.

He said the dengue vaccine has not yet been included in the standard list of vaccines in Thailand and it is available only at private hospitals.  Moreover, this vaccine is only 60% effective, which means those who used to contract the disease can have it again, but in a lesser degree of seriousness.

8 Dec 2017
5:39 pm

The Thai embassy in Tel Aviv has advised Thais in Israel to avoid crowded areas in Jerusalem and closely monitor the situation in a wake of violent demonstrations against US President Donald Trump’s statement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The embassy’s warning was posted on its Facebook page on Dec 7. It said that beginning from the night of Dec 6, there were violent demonstrations at various Palestine communities in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ramallah cities in the West Bank and Gaza.

It said the violent demonstrations were expected to drag on until Friday.

The embassy then warned Thai citizens in Israel, particularly in Jerusalem, and adjacent cities to monitor the protest situation closely and cooperate with authorities on security measures and follow the police advice.

They are warned to avoid travelling to densely populated public places for their safety.

8 Dec 2017
3:57 pm

Gold price tumbled on Friday morning (Dec 8) as domestic gold trade reacted to the strengthened dollars and news of investors pulling out of the safe haven on growing optimism over President Donald Trump’s corporate tax cuts.

The Gold Traders Association of Thailand reported gold price falling 150 baht in the morning trade opening at 9am.

Buying for gold bullion is 19,250 baht per baht weight, while selling price is 19,350  baht.

For gold ornaments, buying price is 18,904.52 baht, and selling price is 19,850 baht.

Yesterday gold bullion closed at 19,400 baht for buying, and 19,500 baht for selling.

Gold ornaments closed at 20,115 baht for buying, and 20,140 baht for selling.

8 Dec 2017
3:47 pm

The Revenue Department is now ready to amend the present Revenue Code to give more tax credit for second child.

Under its proposal, parents having the second child will get 120,000 baht tax credit for each child.

According to Prasong Poontaneat, director-general of the Revenue Department, the tax credit was aimed at encouraging parents to have more babies.

He said revenue officials are now ready to amend the existing law to give tax credits to parents who have second child.

He said tax credit for second baby will be capped at 120,000 baht, breaking down to 60,000 baht per year as expenditures for raising the baby, and 60,000 baht for maternity-related health care spending at hospital.

He expected that the amended law will become effective in the next 2018 tax year, and submission of tax forms for tax deductions will be from January-March 2019.

At present tax credit for legitimate child is set at 60,000 baht per child,  equally shared by father and mother and with no limit of how many child they have.

Mr Prasong added that tax credits alone won’t be enough to encourage parents to have more babies as now the country is expecting more aging population.

He said more tax incentives are being considered such as improvement of university curriculum to recruit more skill labour personnel to cope with the increasingly aging population.

7 Dec 2017
9:54 pm

The National Anti-Corruption Commission has asked Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon to explain his two items of accessory–a diamond ring and an expensive wristwatch–that he was seen wearing during a photo shoot of new cabinet lineup at the Government House on Dec 4.

NACC deputy secretary-general Worawit Sukboon said after a meeting of the NACC to discuss Gen Prawit’s asset declaration that the deputy prime minister could explain in person to the NACC or in writing within 30 days of receiving a notification from the graft-busting body today (Dec 7).

The two luxury items were not declared when he assumed the office three years ago.

After Gen Prawit’s clarification of how he acquired the two items with the backup of evidence, Mr Worawit said the matter would be referred to the NACC board for consideration.

He assured that it would not take much time for the NACC board to finalize the matter because the case “is not complicated.”

Gen Prawit’s wristwatch which was described by watch experts as a Richard Mille timepiece–a brandname wristwatch for the rich and fabulous with a starting price of one million baht up to more than 60 million baht.

The NACC’s action followed a call by Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of Thai Constitution Protection Association, for a probe of Gen Prawit’s acquisition of the diamond ring and the Richard Mille wristwatch which were not declared when he assumed the ministerial office in 2014.

Ruangkrai Leekijwattana, Pheu Thai Party’s legal team, also urged the NACC to investigate Gen Prawit’s wealth.

He said if Gen Prawit claims that he possessed the wristwatch and the diamond ring before taking the ministerial post in 2004, Gen Prawit must explain why he did not declare them to the NACC.

On the other hand, if he claims that he acquired them after taking office, he has to clarify their origins and evidence to the back up the claim, Mr Ruangkrai said.

Asked whether the NACC has checked Gen Prawit’s assets in the past four years which appear to be increasing every year, Mr Worawit said that NACC officials had been examining his assets as normal.

He asked the public to have trust in the NACC and assured that its probe into the deputy prime minister’s diamond ring and wristwatch would not be a whitewash.

7 Dec 2017
2:30 pm

Former election commissioner Assoc.Prof.Dr.Gothom Arya said he felt sorry for qualified candidates who represented the civil society were not among five finalists chosen out of a total of 15 applicants vying for the 7-member Election Commission.

Gothom, a human rights activist, said however the five finalists have met all qualifications required by the laws.

But he doubted if they could work well, pending assessment of their performances.

He said three qualified applicants who represented the civil society have passed the first round of test to enter the interview round but failed to be selected.

He questioned the intention of the selection committee.

But Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, chairman of the National Legislative Assembly and member of the selection committee, has earlier assured that the selection followed the constitutional procedure and views of members of the NLA.

Meanwhile Mr Kasem Kasempanya, a senior judge in the Appeals Court and a disqualified applicant, has petitioned the committee for the review of his qualification after he was disqualified by the selection committee.

Yesterday the assembly of judges in the Supreme Court has selected a Supreme Court judge, Pakorn Mahannop, as a finalist to the 7-member Election Commission, after it has selected Chatchai Chanpraisri as another finalist to the commission.

Under the Constittion, the Supreme Court is empowered to select two finalists to the Election Commission, while the NLA selects five finalists.

All the seven finalists will be screened again by the NLA’s qualification committee before passing on to the NLA for vote within 45 days.

The five finalists from selection committee are:

1.Mr Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission

2.Mr Issaree Hunsacharoonroj, former rector of Rajamangala University of Technology Rattanakosin

3.Mrs Chompan Pongcharoen-Suthirachart, legal advisor of Worawisith Company and legal chief of Suthirachart law firm

4.Mr Pracha Terat, former deputy permanent secretary of the interior and former governor of Narathiwat, Chon Buri and Surat Thani.

5. Ruangwit Katesuwan, former rector of Chaiyaphum Rajabhat University

The two finalists from the assembly of judges in the Supreme Court are:

1. Mr Pakorn Mahannop

2. Mr Chatchai Chanpraisri

7 Dec 2017
1:58 pm

Rocker Artivara Kongmalai or Toon Bodyslam has now raised over 600 million baht in his Day 37 charity run on Thursday(Dec 7).

Latest but unofficial count of donations raised during his total 2,191 kilometre run from southernmost Betong to northernmost Mae Sai surpassed 600 million baht or close to his target 700 million baht to finance necessary medical equipment for 11 state hospitals.

Toon and his team set off on his Day 37 run from Tambon Lat Bualuang in Ayutthaya province at 3.00am today towards Bang Plama district of Suphan Buri, his birth town, where local residents and officials are preparing to hand over him 20 million baht they have earlier raised.

Today he was joined in the run on Highway 340 by several celebrities which included the Chatborirak family.

Wanmai Chatborirak joined the run and she won praises from supporters along the road.

Toon will take two days in the run in Suphanburi.

7 Dec 2017
1:35 pm

Photographic negatives filming historic events dated back to over 160 years during the reigns of King Chulalongkorn and King Vajiravudh have now won place in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Registry 2017.

UNESCO recognised these photographic glass plate negatives for inclusion in it’s international Memory of the World project after Thailand submitted its documentary heritage for inclusion in the Memory of the World Registry 2017.

Photo: Culture Ministry

According to Culture Minister Veera Rojpojanaratna, UNESCO has included 35,427 glass plate negatives and 50,000 prints in the Memory of the World Registry 2017.

These royal collection of photographic glass plate negatives and prints are historical evidence which features social, cultural, political changes and foreign relations activities of Siam, and its relations with the world during a long continuous period from 1855-1935.

Photo: Culture Ministry

The Royal ollection depicts national and international important personalities, places, and events, from the age of western colonization in Asia which prompted Siam to examine its national identity and to reform its society, — through the years of the First World War when Siam sided with the Allies and shared the victory, and the aftermath of the war including the worldwide political, social and cultural changes — affecting Siam and leading to the dawn of its constitutional monarchy.

In 1977, they were given into the care of National Archive in Bangkok.

Photo: Culture Ministry

Currently, 24,800 plates have been scanned for digital use, and 4,149 plates have been included in the National database.

He said UNESCO has earlier included four documentary heritage for inclusion after Thailand submitted them for world’s recognition.

They are ;

– The King Ram Khamhaeng Inscription, Year of inscription: 2003

– Archival Documents of King Chulalongkorn’s Transformation of Siam (1868-1910), Year of inscription: 2009

– Epigraphic Archives of Wat Pho, Year of inscription: 2011

– “The Minute Books of the Council of the Siam Society”, 100 years of recording international cooperation in research and the dissemination of knowledge in the arts and sciences, Year of inscription: 2013