29 Mar 2018
2:43 pm

Former chief of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) Tarit Phengdit was acquitted of defamation charge brought against him by former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban in 2013.

Suthep sued Tarit over a press interview suggesting he abused his authority in ordering the change of the multiple contracts to construct 396 police stations nationwide into a single contract for own benefit.

Suthep said Tarit’s press interview published in five local dailies had defamed his reputation.

At the ruling today at the presence of Tarit and four publishers and editors of two dailies as defendants, the Criminal Court said Tarit had performed his duty as a state official in voicing his opinion on the project which had become a public attention, therefore he was not guilty of defamation.

The court said the two dailies, namely Matichon, and Khaosod, which published Tarit’s interview also were not guilty as they presented news which were facts with honesty.

29 Mar 2018
2:00 pm

The governor of Chiang Rai province has rejected the 32-million baht project of the Chiang Rai Municipality to develop a 18-rai of island in Kok river as a tourist spot after suspecting of irregularities of the project.

The spot for the “Lanna” cultural tourism will feature the construction of two 7-metre high elephant statues alongside the statute of “Phraya Mengrai”, the ancient founder of Chiang Rai.

However the governor, Mr Narongsak Osottanakorn, didn’t sign approval of the project when the Chiang Rai mayor submitted it for approval of construction.

The governor suspected irregularities might involve in the construction project.

Meanwhile the Marine Office Chiang Rai Branch director Suranart Sirichoti said he has filed charge against the municipality and all relevant officials for encroaching on the island after they filled up soil to connect the island with the shore which is a violation of the law.

A 18-rai of island in Kok river

 

He explained that the island has been declared the property of the Treasury Department since 1989. But the Municipality later sought permission to utilize the island for cultural tourism, and to build the statutes.

But it was rejected with reason of unsuitable location.

The Municipality then chose a new site at the old town hall and planned to call a public hearing on the project but was again rejected.

The minister of interior has been informed of the project candidate has set up a fact finding committee to investigate.

29 Mar 2018
12:55 pm

Government Lottery Office (GLO) board has agreed to sell lottery tickets in sets to resolve overpricing of lottery tickets by dealers and retailers.

GLO board spokesman Thanawat Pholvichai said yesterday that the decision of the board for GLO to sell lottery in sets was based on overpricing and demand by customers who wanted to buy in sets.

He said it could be in sets of 2, 3, 5 and 10 tickets.

However he said that the GLO will hold a public forum to sound out opinions from the people over the period of 3 months, beginning next month.

A conclusion could be reached in June and the selling of lottery tickets in sets could be ready by the end of the year, he said.

He made clear that the selling of tickets in sets was not to promote people to addict to gambling, but to resolve the overpricing problem as selling tickets in sets has long been practised by lottery vendors and agents.

But if the public hearing shows people disagree with the idea, then the board will be ready to revise it, he said.

According to the GLO, demand for lottery tickets sold in sets is growing following the winning of first prize in sets that earn winner up to 180 million baht (30 tickets), 30 million baht (5 tickets) and 60 million baht (10 tickets).

Recent survey in the lottery market showed 30% of lottery tickets sold by vendors are single ticket, 60-70% are sets of 2-5 tickets, and 10% are set of 10 tickets.

Selling is usually high during the Songkran festival with advance booking of tickets amounted to 60 million baht last year, but rose to 80 million baht this year.
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This indicated increased demand to buy tickets from the GLO to resell, the survey said.

29 Mar 2018
12:18 pm

The famous Maya Bay on Phi Phi Island in Krabi province will be closed four months from June to September for nature to recover.

The closure of the world’s famous bay was agreed upon at the meeting of the marine national park consultation committee yesterday.

According to Dr Thon Thamrongnawasawat, deputy Dean of Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Fisheries, the meeting agreed to close the bay from June to September.

As the bay reopens after the four month closure, visitors to the bay will also be limited to 2,000 per day from the previous 4,000-5,000.

Moreover, all boats are not allowed to access to the beach passing the coral reefs, he said.

Earlier the chief of the Hat Nopparat Thara– Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park Mr Worapoj Lomlim has said Maya Bay at Phi Phi Island will be closed to all boats from June to September this year in order to provide much-needed relief to the coral reefs and marine eco-system.

The increasing number of visitors has threatened the nature with coral reefs being destroyed by boat anchors, sea walkers and divers.

Survey along the coral reef and water samples were collected for laboratory test all showed the bay was severely affected, thus prompting the park to propose the committee to close the bay, he said.

Maya Bay has become the main tourist attraction of Phi Phi since the scene appeared in the Hollywood film The Beach in 1999.

28 Mar 2018
11:24 pm

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is due to decide on the controversy concerning Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon’s expensive wristwatches and a diamond ring Thursday afternoon (March 29).

The anti-graft watchdog will base its resolution on the findings of a panel which has spent four months investigating the case.

An informed source close to the NACC said that the investigation by the panel focused on two issues:  firstly, whether Gen Prawit, also Defence Minister, deliberately refused to declare the pricey wristwatches and the diamond ring to the NACC and, secondly, whether the wristwatches and diamond were ill-gotten gains.

The source further noted that the NACC had either of the two options:  it could vote to clear Gen Prawit of allegations or suspicion of wrongdoings or it could rule that it still has doubt over the pricey assets and then set up another panel to dig deeper into the case.

If panel may be headed by Ms Supa Piyachiti who once led the probe into Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration’s controversial rice pledging scheme.

NACC chairman, Pol Gen Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit, will not attend the NACC meeting on March 29 to spare himself from criticism because he used to serve as an aide to Gen Prawit. 

28 Mar 2018
11:13 pm

A Thai company which imported Alpha 6 hand-held bomb detectors for sale to the Royal Thai Armed Forces acquitted by the Don Meuang District Court of fraud charges.

The charges were brought against Jackson Electronics (Thailand), the importer of Alpha 6 bomb detectors from Britain-based Compact Company, by the public prosecutor in October last year.

The prosecutor alleged that the defendant duped the Armed Forces Security Centre into buying eight units of the hand-held bomb detectors at a total cost of 10.4 million baht or about 1.3 million baht apiece by exaggerating the efficiency of the devices that they could detect hidden bombs under all conditions.

The company also claimed that device could be recharged by using the static electricity from the handlers of the detectors.

The defendant denied all the charges.

Having considered the evidence of the two parties, the court said that the prosecutor did not have sufficient evidence to prove that the defendant or Jackson Electronics (Thailand) was involved in the production of the catalog showing the specifications and efficiency of the Alpha 6 bomb detectors.

The court said the defendant was merely an importer of the devices and the catalog came from a British company, Compact Co.  The defendant, the court added, was not in a position to know whether the statements in the catalog were true or false.

In 2014, Sam Tree and Joan Tree, the manufacturers of Alpha 6 detector were sentenced to jail by a UK court for selling fake devices.

28 Mar 2018
10:31 pm

At least five directors of the centres for the protection of the destitute have, so far, been found to be implicated in the alleged embezzlement of the fund for the poor and the destitute, said Minister of Social Development and Human Security Gen Anantaporn Kanjanarat, on Wednesday  (March 28).

He, however, said he would have to wait for the return of Mrs Napa Setthakorn, director-general of Social Development and Welfare Department, from an official inspection trip before it could be determined what legal or disciplinary actions to be meted out against the five directors who are C7- and C8-level officials.

Asked whether the ongoing probe would implicate the permanent secretary Mr Puttipat Lertchaowasit, and his deputy, Mr Narong Kongkham, the minister said that given the big amount of the budgetary allocation for the fund, it was suspected that high-level officials might be involved intentionally or unwittingly.

However, he added that he had to look into the details of the case first, but he warned that a disciplinary probe would be launched if the senior officials were implicated.

Officials of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) have, so far, uncovered corruption in the management of the fund for the destitute in 53 centres across the country.  About 87 percent of the fund was believed to have been stolen from the poor and the destitute.

The 53 centres where corruption was uncovered include:

20 provinces in the Northeast–Khon Kaen, Bung Karn, Nong Khai, Udon Thani, Roi-et, Surin, Chaiyaphum, Buri Ram, Maha Sarakham, Nakhon Ratchasima, Amnat Charoen, Yasothon, Ubon Ratchathani, Nakhon Phanom, Kalasin, Mukdahan, Nong Bua Lamphu, Si Sa Ket, Sakhon Nakhon and Loei

12  provinces in the South–Surat Thani, Krabi, Trang, Yala, Phatthalung, Chumphon, Songkhla, Narathiwat, Satun, Phang-nga, Phuket and Pattani;

9 provinces in the North–Chiang Mai, Nan, Phitsanulok, Phichit, Lamphun, Lampang, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son and Kamphaeng Phet

6 provinces in the Central–Saraburi, Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, Uthai Thani, Lop Buri and Nakhon Pathom

4 provinces in the East–Trat, Chanthaburi, Chon Buri and Sakaeo

2 provinces in the West–Ratchaburi and Tak.

28 Mar 2018
8:42 pm

In an about-turn, a group of 25 legislators signed up a motion asking the Constitutional Court to determine the constitutionality of two issues of the bill for the election of members of the Parliament which is now with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Mr Kittisak Rattanavaraha, one of the signatories of the motion, said Wednesday (March 28) that the group wanted the charter court to make clear about the two issues about their constitutionality rather than letting the bill become law and then someone raise the two issues with the charter court later on which will be messy.

One issue regards the casting of election ballot by a disabled voter with the help of a helper which is permissible by the MP election bill.  The big question is whether this practice is constitutional or not if vote casting is regarded as secret voting.

The second issue concerns an eligible voter who does not vote and will be barred from being appointed as a political official as specified in the MP election bill.  The nagging question whether this amounts to depriving the voter of his/her right or his/her freedom.

Constitution Drafting Committee Meechai Ruchupan was the first to point out that the two issues were problematic and need to be cleared up by the Constitutional Court otherwise there would be more trouble afterward if an election was held and someone raised the two issues with the charter court for interpretation.

Mr Kittisak said the motion, signed by 25 legislators, would be submitted to Mr Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, president of National Legislative Assembly who would pass on the motion to the charter court.

Earlier, the Senate selection bill was submitted to the Constitutional Court for interpretation by the NLA.

The prime minister on Tuesday (March 27) chaired a meeting of the National Council for Peace and Order to discuss the MP election bill, with the prime minister later instructed the government’s legal affairs to consider whether the bill should be sent to the charter court for interpretation or not.  

Interestingly, Mr Pornpetch who is not a member of the NCPO, was invited to the meeting as well.

Mr Pornpetch later said that during the meeting, he had clarified the prime minister the reason why the NLA didn’t submit organic law on election of MPs to the court for interpretation, but only the draft law on the senators selection.

Mr Pornphet said further that under the legal process, the prime minister and the NLA have the right to seek interpretation from the Constitutional Court.

Under the law, the Prime Minister has 25 days, or by April 12, to decide whether to seek the Constitutional Court’s vetting of the bill before presenting the bill to the King for endorsement.

During this time, the NLA members could also initiate a motion to seek the Constitutional Court’s interpretation of the bill.

Political analysts viewed that the move by the 25 legislators to take the bill to the charter court will spare the government of the trouble if it took the initiative itself instead of the lawmakers which would certainly draw flaks from political parties for allegedly dragging its feet on the election.

28 Mar 2018
5:28 pm

The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) has urged President Rodrigo Duterte to file administrative charges against prosecutors of the Department of Justice for withdrawing charges against alleged drug traders, according to The Manila Times Online on Wednesday. 

The commission, led by Greco Belgica, called on President Duterte on Tuesday (March 27) during which they recommended the charges should be brought against Assistant State Prosecutor Michael John Humarang, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Rassendell Rex Gingoyon and Chief Prosecutor Jorge Catalan.

The three prosecutors allegedly violated the Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act regarding “manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence”.

PACC also recommended preventive suspension of the trio, pending further investigation of the case.

It further called for the issuance of a show-cause order against the incompetent officers of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group for failing to include the testimony of Espinosa in the Senate where he admitted he was really a drug trader.

PACC commissioner Belgica likened the sudden dismissal of charges against the alleged drug traders, including Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Lim, Peter Co and several others, to a duck who joined a violent cockfight.

“The dismissal of the Department of Justice is not different from the duck who participated in a cockfight, it died but it still won. This is one big farce intended to discredit the anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte,” said Belgica.  

28 Mar 2018
4:06 pm

A man in Phatthalung province died of suspected rabies at the provincial hospital on Sunday two days after he was admitted for medical treatment.

Dr Thanit Sermkaeo, the Phatthalung provincial health official, said Tuesday that the 39-year old victim, a resident of Bang Kaeo district, was admitted to the provincial hospital on March 23 with symptoms identical to those of rabies.

Also, he said the man was reported to have been scratched by his pet dog about a month ago and he was not vaccinated until he was admitted to the hospital after developing rabies-like symptoms and was inoculated with anti-rabies vaccine.

However, the victim succumbed to his death on Sunday, making him the seventh fatality from rabies this year for Thailand, according to the public relations office of the Livestock Department citing the report of the Department of Diseases Control.

Samples from the victim’s brain tissue were collected and sent to the Medical Science Department for examination to determine whether rabies was the cause of the death, said Dr Thanit, adding that the last rabies fatality in Phatthalung was recorded in 2011, after which there was no fatality until March 25.

He went on saying that health officials were trying to locate about 20 relatives and friends of the victim who had close contact with him for vaccination. Also, about 20 health personnel who were in close contact with the victim were vaccinated as a precautionary measure.

The seven rabies fatalities were reported in Trang, Songkhla, Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachuab Khiri Khan, Buri Ram and Phatthalung.

The seven deaths did not include the case of a Myanmar boy who was bitten by a dog in Myanmar and received treatment at Phob Phra district hospital in Tak province. The boy eventually died at the hospital.

According to the Livestock Department, over 3 million out of a total of 8.2 million dogs and cats have been vaccinated against rabies since last October. The department expects to vaccinate 80 percent of the population of dogs and cats at the end of May.

 

28 Mar 2018
2:27 pm

The Ministry of Transport is now working closely with the Ministry of Finance to help operators of double decker buses to convert to the safer single decker bus after they were considered unsafe following several fatal bus crashes involving double decker buses.

The move by the two ministries came after the prime minister voiced concern of the safety standards of double decker buses and instructed relevant government agencies to resolve the problem.

Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said yesterday that the prime minister voiced concern at the cabinet meeting over the safety of double-decker buses after these vehicles were involved in a number of accidents.

Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith

The prime minister then ordered the Ministry of Transport to coordinate with the Ministry of Finance to allocate financing to facilitate operators in converting their current vehicles into single-decker or regular buses.

He said the prime minister was especially concerned over the safety of passengers who travel on what is classified as Type 30 buses which are privately owned chartered double-decker buses which do not ply specific routes.

He suggested if financing support could be provided to bus operators to convert their buses for more stable single-decker types to reduce the number of double-decked buses on the roads as quickly as possible, similar to what the government has done in lunching a financial support program for van operators to convert to minibuses as a template to help expedite the transition.

According to the Land Transport Department, there are over 5,000 Type 30 double-decker buses currently operating in the country. Most were locally assembled

These type of buses were not allowed to be registered or extended registration since 2016 because they could not pass safety test.

This followed after the department in March last year reduced its maximum height requirement for double-decker buses from 4 meter 30 cm to 4 meter, and has taken action to continually reduce the number of these unsafe buses.

The Land Transport held a meeting Monday to strictly regulate routes that double-decker buses will be allowed to run to limit the possibility of further accidents while the number of these vehicles is gradually reduced before finally being banned.

28 Mar 2018
1:33 pm

The Krabi Provincial Court on Wednesday sentenced “Bang Fut” and five other convicts to death for the execution-style murders of eight members of a family that shocked the nation last year.

The ruling by the court was witnessed by the Royal Thai Police commissioner Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda at the court room packed with families of the victims and the defendants, and amid tight police guards outside the courtroom where over a hundred people gathered to hear the court’s judgement.

Sentenced to death was Bang Fut or Surifath Bannopwongsakul, 42, the mastermind behind the murders of Krabi village head Worayuth Sunglung and seven of his family members on July 10 last year.

The five others sentenced to death were Komsan Wiangnon, 41, Prajak Boontoy, 36, Abdulloh Doloh, 30, Arun Thongkham, 29, and Thanachai Jamnong, 41.

Two other defendants, Tawatchai Boonkong, 37, was sentenced to one year and nine months, and Chalita Sangchote, 41, the only female defendant, was given one year in prison.

The court sentenced the six convicts to death after finding their murders were brutal and said there was no reason to commute the sentence, although they have confessed to the murders.

According to the over 2,000-page case file, Bang Fut had a serious dispute with Worayuth after he failed to return land-title deeds to the latter. These deeds were initially submitted as collateral. But even after Worayuth repaid the debts, Bang Fut did not return the deeds.

The two men made threats against each other over this dispute. Due to the threats made by Worayuth, Bang Fad had to move away from his hometown and faced trouble collecting repayments from his other local debtors.

Bang Fut then planned to kill Worayuth. Two previous attempts failed, while a third attempt on Worayuth’s life was planned with Komsan Wiangnon

28 Mar 2018
12:52 pm

The Ministry of Finance announced on Wednesday that the first coins featuring the portrait of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun will be put in circulation on April 6.

The new coins will comprise nine denominations: 10 baht, 5 baht, 2 baht, 1 baht, 50 satang, 25 satang, 10 satang, 5 satang and 1 satang.

The new coins featuring the portrait of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn in nine denominations: 10 baht, 5 baht, 2 baht, 1 baht, 50 satang, 25 satang, 10 satang, 5 satang and 1 satang.

 

The ministry said the three nominations, 10 satang, 5 satang and 1 will be used only by state agencies for bank account settlements.

The ministry said that the Treasury Department started minting the first coins of King Rama X for circulation in the country since July 21 last year.

The new coins will enter circulation on April 6, the 236th anniversary of the founding of the Chakri dynasty.

The front of the new the coin features a portrait of King Vajiralongkorn in the uniform of the Royal guards at the reign of King Chulalongkorn.

Director-general of the Treasury Department, Mr Patchara Anuntasilpa said the 10 baht, 5 baht, 2 baht, 1 baht, 50 satang and 25 satang coins will enter circulation at 08.30-15.30hrs on April 6.

The coins will be available for exchange at the Treasury Department’s offices on Soi Areesamphan in Bangkok, and in Klong Luang district of Pathumthani, and at offices in six provinces namely Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Sawan, Songkhla and Surat Thani.

Meanwhile the new banknotes that bear the portraits of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn in three dominations, 20, 50, and 100 baht will also be put into circulation on April 6.

28 Mar 2018
11:06 am

The government has endorsed new measures to counter corruption in state offices with order to office heads that if irregularities and corruption have been lodged, they must act in seven days, and finish investigation in 30 days.

The new measures were agreed upon as new guidelines during the meeting between the National Council for Peace and Order and the Government chaired by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday and that will apply at all state offices.

Government spokesman Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the meeting agreed that in case of complaints of irregularities and corruption are lodged, heads of state offices must appoint a fact-finding committee within a week to investigate.

The investigation must be finished in 30 days, he said.

If there are grounds of irregularities, accused officials must be removed from current positions to other positions at other offices in the same ministry on a temporary basis if the offences are not serious, he said.

In case of serious offences, but offenders are still not liable for being sacked or dismissed, their heads must transfer them to the Prime Minister’s Office. The offenders are not allowed to be reinstated in the same positions or higher at their original offices in three years, he said.

This was to prevent vengeance by the accused officials on those who have testified as witnesses, he said.

Besides, the spokesman said this would also serve as a reminder for state officials that promotions in state jobs must come from good performance, honesty and transparency, he said.

The spokesman made clear that this new guideline in tackling corruption is not issued under Article 44 of the Constitution, but merely the exercising of power under normal laws.

He also warned that heads of state offices must also act promptly in tackling corruption problem, as well as supervising officials who stay put or under perform.

Underperformed officials must be removed from positions immediately without having to await the annual reshuffle, he said.

27 Mar 2018
11:15 pm

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the Ministry of Commerce to take a close look at Big C mobile grocery stores whether the practice is legal or not.

The prime minister said today (Tuesday) that the government had a policy to support small retail business and protect the mobile grocery stores of small retailers.

He admitted that the government had a lot of things to do every day and might have overlooked the issue regarding the Big C mobile grocery stores.

The recent emergence of yellow-painted pickup trucks serving as mobile grocery stores of Big C Super Store has provoked widespread mix reactions, with many criticized that that the Big C mobile grocery stores would wipe out the mobile stores run by small entrepreneurs. Critics also said that there was no need for a giant corporation to compete with small retailers which is unfair.

Others, however, said that Thailand is a free market economy and Big C is giving another option for the consumers.

 

27 Mar 2018
10:30 pm

The health office of the City Administration clarified today (Tuesday) that there has not been a single case of rabies attack on humans in Bangkok this year, but six dogs were found to be infected with rabies during the same period.

In his letter of clarification sent to Thai PBS today, Mr Sunthorn Sunthornchart, deputy director of the health office said that the report in Thai PBS website saying that during January 1 and March 6 this year, there had been six human rabies cases two each in Bangkhen and Bangsue and one each in Chatuchak and Don Meuang was inaccurate and might cause public misunderstand.

The truth is that, during the period, six dogs were found to be infected with rabies –two each in Bangkhen and Bangsue and one each in Don Meuang and Chatuchak.

The latest human death toll from rabies was in Bang Na district when one man died of the disease in September, 2016, he added.

27 Mar 2018
10:20 pm

For the first time in Thailand, the Department of Medical Science has found Desoxy-D2PM, a stimulant psychoactive substance, in a brand of slimming or diet food supplement.

The department head, Dr Sukhum Kanchanapimai, said Tuesday that, back in September last year, the medical science centre in Ubon Ratchathani received a parcel of food supplement product sent from Samut Songkram in the form of capsules containing white powder. Wordings printed on the packet read “Cho 12, production date 10.06.16, expiry date 09.06.18.

Laboratorial analysis found chemical structure similar to D2PM and 2DPMP which has appetite suppressing and stimulant effects, but will cause hallucination and violent behavior and high blood pressure if overdose, said Dr Sukhum, said the substance which is also known as green powder or A3A Methano has been placed under controlled drug categories.

He pointed out that the finding of D2PM substance in the food supplement is indicative of the high risk trend that psychoactive substance which is not controlled in Thailand will be used in the production of slimming or weight loss food supplements.

However, he said information from the lab tests will be disseminated to agencies concerned so they will keep close watch on slimming food supplements or medication and to warn the public against the use of such products.

 

27 Mar 2018
9:45 pm

Songkran revelers will be allowed to ride on the back of a pickup truck, but will not be allowed to splash water from the truck on main roads as part of the Royal Thai Police’s safety measure guideline to be applied nationwide during Songkran festival.

RTP spokesman Pol Gen Veerachai Songmetta said Tuesday that said the guideline had been distributed to all police units nationwide for implementation, with main focus on safe travelling, convenience in travelling and the opening up of road space to facilitate travelling.

Although riding on the back of a pickup truck is permissible, he said police on the spot could exercise their discretion to give a warning or to take legal action if they find the conduct of the revelers or the driver may pose a threat to their own safety or the safety of the other people.

He added that police would conduct random urine tests on drivers of public transport to ensure safety for travelers and, if the tests are positive for drug use, the drivers and the bus operators will face legal action.

Pol Gen Veerachai further said that police would especially get tough on the sale of alcohol to youths under 18 and in alcohol-free areas as well as drink driving.

He called on revelers to abide by Thai tradition and to hold Songkran-related activities in a creative fashion while warning young revelers to refrain from sexually abusing female celebrants or face tough penalties.

 

27 Mar 2018
9:25 pm

The cabinet on Tuesday gave a green light to the 200 billion baht high-speed train project connecting three international airports of Suvarnabhumi and Don Meuang in Bangkok and U-taphao in Rayong.

Mr Natthaporn Jatusripitak, an advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office minister, told the media after the cabinet meeting that investment of the project would be in the form of public-private-partnership (PPP), with the private sector investing in the engineering work, railway system, train carriages, land development to support train services, management of train service and maintenance as well as revenue collection from development of land under the project.

He said that the private sector will be responsible for managing the train system for up to 50 years.

As far as the government is concerned, Mr Natthaporn said the government’s investment would total 119,425 million baht to be paid in instalments within ten years.

The cabinet also decided to incorporate land on both sides of the train routes from Don Meuang to Suvarnabhumi airports as part of the Eastern Economic Corridor project.

Mr Natthaporn said that the train project would generate economic returns estimated at about 700 billion baht from added value of U-Taphao airport, reduction of fuel costs and pollution, increased employment and tax collection and development of areas around train stations.

Terms of reference of the bid of the project will be worked out after which a public auction will be staged to select the builder of the project, he added.

 

27 Mar 2018
8:43 pm

Migrant workers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia who are legally working in Thailand and hold “pink cards” will be able to return to their home countries to celebrate the Songkran festival during April 5-30 without being charged exit fees on the condition that they must return to Thailand within April 30.

Colonel Athisit Chainuwat, assistant spokesman of the Prime Minister’s Office, said that the reprieve which was endorsed by the cabinet on Tuesday was intended to allow the legal migrant workers as well as their dependents who are not over 18 years of age to celebrate Songkran festival in their home countries and will be exempted from paying departure fees which are normally charged when travelling out of the country.

The cabinet also agreed to extend the registration period for foreign migrant workers from the three neighbouring countries to June 30 instead of March 31 as there are still about 880,000 workers who are yet to be registered.

According to the statistics of the Labour Ministry, there are about 1.6 million foreign migrant workers from Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia in Thailand and, of these, only 820,000 have already registered.

Colonel Athisit said that officials concerned would not be able to meet the March 31 deadline to register all the remaining 880,000 migrant workers as the registration process such as medical examinations and the issuance of medical certificates would take between 3-5 days.

However, the workers must apply for registration with OSS centres within March 31 after which they will be issued with a document from the officials concerned so that they carry on with the remaining process later on until June 30 which will be the final deadline, said the colonel.

 

27 Mar 2018
7:58 pm

Two car owners lodged complaints with Pan Thong district police in Chon Buri that their cars had been set on fire allegedly by the same suspect held in police custody for allegedly setting fire to seven cars in the district on Sunday night.

Chon Buri police chief Pol Maj-Gen Nanthachart Suphamongkol

Pol Maj-Gen Nanthachart Suphamongkol, commander of Chon Buri police, told the media on Tuesday that a total of nine cars were set on fire allegedly by Mr Vasit Nanthiwachvibha, 29, who was originally suspected to be mentally deranged.

Acting on information gleaned from footages from CCTV showing a long-haired man pouring gasoline onto cars before setting them on fire, police tracked down the suspect to his house in Pan Thong district and made the arrest on Monday.

A Honda motorcycle which the suspect used to roam around to look for cars to be torched and a jerry can were seized from the house.

The suspect claimed that he was verbally abused by the car owners and decided to get back at them by burning their cars. He was however charged with arson.

Regarding compensation for damages, Pol Maj-Gen Nanthachart said the victims would have to take their cases to the court to demand the compensation.

 

27 Mar 2018
6:47 pm

Police, in cooperation with naval officers from the Mekhong River Patrol Unit, intercepted a small motor boat on the bank of Mekhong River in Muang district of Nakhon Phanom and seized 200 kilogrammes of compressed marijuana worth about 1.6 million baht on Monday night.

Two Laotians, identified as Duangjai Xainakhon, 27, and Somporn Somsanuk, 24, were arrested by the Thai officials. The third Laotian managed to escape in the darkness.

Pol Col Paladet Petwa-ngo the deputy commander of Nakhon Phanom police, told the media on Tuesday that the seizure of the illicit drug and the arrest of the two Laotians was the result of an intelligence information.

Acting on the information, a police team was dispatched to the old building of the former provincial hall to lay in wait for a gang of drug traffickers about to smuggle a substantial amount of marijuana from Laos for delivery to their Thai buyers.

On Sunday night, a small motor boat was spotted heading toward the Thai side of the river and as it was approaching the old provincial hall, the boat skipper cut off the engine and the men on board rowed the boat toward the shore.

Once the vessel landed, the men helped unloaded five sacks of what were found to be compressed marijuana on the river bank. It was then that the waiting police and naval personnel rushed toward the boat and made the seizure.

 

 

 

27 Mar 2018
4:52 pm

Non-governmental human rights groups have unwittingly been used as a tool by drug lords to destabilize the Duterte administration, The Manila Times Online reported on Tuesday quoting Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr.

“The illegal drug trade is a multi-billion peso industry and billions have been lost with the voluntary surrender of more than a million drug users, arrest of tens of thousands of drug personalities and seizure of billion-peso clandestine drug laboratories and factories,” said Roque.

To continue to thrive in the drug industry, Roque said the drug lords could easily use their drug money to fund destabilization efforts against the government.

The statements from Roque and Cayetano were met with dissatisfaction from the international NGO Human Rights Watch, a vocal critic of President Duterte’s war on drugs.
“Are they trying to have death squads target human rights activists?” asked Brad Adams who questioned the credibility of the statements of both Cayetano and Roque. He called on both of them to take back what they said.

Presidential chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo downplayed the statements of Human Rights Watch, saying that they were misplaced.

“Well, human rights groups need funding right? They (drug lords) can always fund them (NGO) without them knowing,” said Panelo.

 

27 Mar 2018
3:48 pm

The Court of Justices (COJ) today (March 27) reiterated it’s legitimate right to construct the housing project for judiciary officials at the foot of Doi Suthep in Mae Rim district of Chiang Mai and said it would be finished on schedule in June.

Affirmation of the right by the COJ was made at a press conference in Bangkok following report that the commander-in-chief of the Army has ordered the suspension of construction pending investigation that the project has encroached on forest area at the foot of the Doi Suthep national park.

The controversial housing project for judiciary officials belongs to the Court of Appeal Region 5. The project will house 200 judiciary officials from seven judiciary offices in Chiang Mai province.

At the conference held in Bangkok, the Office of the Judiciary secretary-general Sarawut Benjakul reiterated the legitimate right of the COJ to construct and go ahead with the housing project after having reached understanding with relevant government agenices, including the Army.

He said the construction site belongs to the Treasury Department and the project did not encroach on forest area as reported.

The COJ is also a state agency which enforces law, therefore it will abide by the law strictly, he said.

The COJ was also aware of environmental impact and therefore has a reforestation plan to bring green areas to the vicinities, he said.

Mr Sarawut cited the COJ’s compound in Bangkok on Ratchadapisek road where it had solar panels to generate power supply for use as an effort to ease global warming.

“We don’t only talk but act”, he said, adding that on April 21 which is the founding anniversary of the COJ, judicial staff will go out together to plant trees under its reforestation plan to protect environment, he said.

He insisted the COJ would take delivery of the housing project from the contractor in June on schedule.

27 Mar 2018
1:26 pm

Although there are still five days left for migrant workers to register before the deadline ends on March 31, hundreds of thousands of workers, mostly Myanmar who have been temporarily allowed to work in the country, are at risk of becoming illegal as the registration process still going  slowly.

According to the cabinet resolution on Jan 16, about 2 million migrant workers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia were temporarily allowed to work in the Kingdom until March 31 this year.

All were required to register by March 31, or else they will lose their jobs and sent back to their home countries while the Thai employers face legal punishment.

The delay in the registration was blamed on the nationality verification, particularly migrant workers in the fishing industry.

The deadline for compiling information required for the registration was March 31 and that the nationality verification process for all migrant workers will be completed by June 30.

As labour authorities struggled to meet the deadline to register more than 1.6 million workers, the critical situation has forced Labour Minister Adul Sangsingkeo to order authorities to shorten the migrant worker registration process at its one-stop service (OSS) centres since Feb 5.

But although the OSS centres are in place, migrant workers are still seen waiting in long queue, some have been waiting for five straight days for their turns with patience.

For example, at the Chiang Mai OSS centre, migrant workers, most of them are Myanmar, queued up at the centre for almost five days and were still waiting with hope that they could be registered in time.

They stayed overnight on streets near the OSS centre amid extremely hot weather during the day and some rainfalls.

One female Myanmar worker in a farming sector in Fang district of Chiang Mai said she arrived and waited for her turn for three days and nights at the centre amid heat in the day and rains at night.

Meanwhile, Thai employers also asked the government to open more centres and extend the deadline as not only they would suffer but also workers who have to flock to register.

Although the OSS centre in Chiang Mai will allow online registration, the problem remained unsolved as the fill-in forms are in Thai language, and workers still could not access to the Internet.

The Chiang Mai OSS center open 24 hours but could register only 2,100-22,00 workers a day, according to an authority at the centre.

Workers who fail to register by the deadline will be arrested for working without permits .They will face a fine of 5,000-50,000 baht and sent back homes.

For Thai employers who employ migrant worker who have no work permits, they will face 10,000-100,000 baht for an illegal worker employed. For repeated offence, employee could face one year imprisonment, and ban from employing foreign workers for three years.

27 Mar 2018
11:03 am

A father of a 10-year-old boy drowned after he saved his son from drowning and tried to rescue another boy at Sanam Chai beach in Songkhla’s Sathing Phra district on Monday (March 26) 

According to witnesses, the two boys, Phoom Chantarak and Rattanaphol Wunklinhom, both 10-year-old, and three friends went swimming in the sea amid strong wind and waves.

Both were sucked by strong waves into the sea while other boys managed to swim back on the beach and cried for help.

Suraphol Wunklinhom, 54, father of Rattanaphol, then rushed to the sea and managed to save his son to safety.

As Suraphol tried a second time to save another boy, Phoom, he was exhausted and later drowned. Nearby villagers helped pull the father back on shore but he was dead.

Phum was still missing as rescuers resumed the search this morning (March 27).

26 Mar 2018
9:59 pm

Representatives of 15 civic groups in Chiang Mai will meet with commander of the 33rd army circle Maj-Gen Sathit Srisuwan tomorrow (Tuesday) asking him to extend the suspension of construction of the housing project for judges at the foot of Doi Suthep mountain.

The groups on Monday petitioned Chiang Mai governor and the provincial office of the Treasury Department to demand details of the housing project for judges of the 5th Region Appeals Court and terms of condition for the housing project in Mae Rim district.

Maj-Gen Sathit clarified that there was only a request for cooperation to suspend the construction and to not expand the construction site any further.

As for the continuing construction work, he said he suspected there might be a binding obligation to carry on the construction between the judges and the contractor.

An official of the provincial treasury office told representatives of the groups that the land plot where the housing project is located used to be occupied by the military before it was turned over for use by the 5th Region Appeals Court under and an agreement which was consented by the Treasury Department.

The civic groups have been protesting against the housing project, claiming that it would threaten the environment and ecological system of Doi Suthep mountain.

The groups plan to petition the National Environment Board this week and, at the same time, to take the matter to the Administrative Court against those responsible for approving the project.

Earlier, Army Commander-in-Chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart ordered the project to be put on hold pending discussions among parties concerned regarding the project.

However, construction work still continues as usual with cement mixer trucks and trucks carrying construction materials getting in and exiting the construction site.

A court official said last week there was no order from the army chief to suspend the construction and, hence, construction work carries on as usual.

 

26 Mar 2018
8:05 pm

Mrs Rojana Sinthee, a C8-level official of the Education Ministry, who was found to have cheated more than 88 million baht from the Sema Pattana Chewit Fund for poor students for the past ten years, was sacked today (Monday).

The permanent secretary of Education Ministry Mr Karun Sakulpradit

The civil service subcommittee of the Office of the Permanent Secretary for Education chaired by Mr Karun Sakulpradit, the permanent secretary, spent more than three hours considering the embezzlement case against Mrs Rojana.

The subcommittee ruled her guilty of gross disciplinary violations by a unanimous vote of 7 against nil for not performing her duties as required by law, regulations and cabinet resolutions and for filing false reports to her superiors in connection with the disbursement of the students’ fund supposed for poor students.

The subcommittee also decided to dismiss her from civil service with immediate effect starting today.

Investigation by officials from the Public Section Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) shows that many poor students who were eligible to receive financial support from the Fund were partially paid or were not paid at all with the money being diverted into Mrs Rojana’s bank account, her relatives and other accomplices.

Earlier in the morning before the meeting of the civil service subcommittee
In the afternoon, Education Minister Thirakiart Charoensetthasilp told the media that he had to act decisively regarding the alleged embezzlement concerning the students’ fund because getting rid of corruption is part and parcel of educational reform.

He said he didn’t believe Mrs Rojaja was the only person involved in the alleged cheating of the students’ fund and, hence, the Anti-Money Laundering Office was brought in to help in the investigation to track the money trail to find out how many more individuals were involved in the alleged cheats.

Due to the exposure of corruption in the students’ fund, the minister said he had instructed all units under the supervision of the Education Ministry to examine their respective accounting systems to make sure they are transparent and accountable.

Since the Education Ministry is regarded as a legally injured party, Mr Thirakiart said the ministry would try to claim back the embezzled money from the embezzlers so that the money can be sent to the needy students.

In case the ministry manages to reclaim only some of the embezzled money, he said the ministry would go after active and former executives of the ministry who were responsible for approving the disbursement of the fund supposed for needy students but were cheated by the corrupt officials.

Although the officials were not involved in the cheats, but because they were responsible for looking after the fund, they would be held accountable for dereliction of duty, he explained.

 

26 Mar 2018
7:21 pm

The Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) on Monday announced the closure of some sections of the Ram Indra road from April 2 to make way for the construction of the Pink Line from Nonthaburi’s Khae Rai district to Bangkok’s Min Buri district.

It said the section of the road which will be closed to traffic is Yaek Nuanchan to Esso petrol station.

It said the closure will facilitate Sino-Thai Engineering to remove public infrastructure along the section.

Details of the traffic closure are as follow:

– 24-hour closure of the furthest right traffic lane to Min Buri.
– Closure of another right lane on the outbound traffic lane to Min Buri from 10.00pm-4.00am to allow the construction company to move in heavy machinery to the construction site.

The MRTA said the closure is expected to cause traffic congestion and noise annoyance is also expected during the construction.

However it said traffic signs will be erected and lights installed to ensure safety for motorists passing the road.

Motorists should avoid that section by using Panya Indra, Serithai or Art Narong-Ram Indra Expressway instead.

The 34.5 kilometre-long line will start from the Nonthaburi government complex, then pass through Tiwanon Road to Pak Kret intersection, and move onto Chaeng Watthana Road through Muangthong Thani. It will then continue to Ram Indra Road to reach its terminal station in Min Buri, where there will also be a parking lot. There are altogether 30 stations along the line.

26 Mar 2018
5:31 pm

The Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has revised up the compensation to be demanded from construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta for damage to the environment and ecological system of Thungyai Naraesuan Wildlife Sanctuary to 12.7 million baht from 3 million baht.

A well-informed source in the department said the initial damage of three million baht was based on the loss of the protected species killed by Premchai and his hunting party and did not take into account of ecological and environmental damages.

The panel considering the civil lawsuit which was led by the deputy director-general of the department met last Friday to discuss the compensation issue and decided to adjust the figure to 12.7 million baht, after having taken into account the environmental and ecological damages.

Meanwhile, Mr Somjate Amnuaysawat, a special prosecutor of Region 7 who heads a panel of prosecutors handing the illegal hunting case, held a meeting of the panel to check the additional case file submitted by the police.

He said that the panel would need to peruse the file first before it could judge whether additional evidence or information would be required from the police inquiry officers handling the case.

Commenting the department’s increased compensation to be demanded from Premchai in the civil lawsuit, Mr Somjate said that, as a matter of principle, the
Compensation figure must reflect the real damage and be reasonable and, in this case, should not cover the entire black panthers existing in the wildlife sanctuary.

 

26 Mar 2018
4:01 pm

Region 3 Provincial Police Bureau commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapat has ordered the setting up of a police panel to interview witnesses and injured victims of the fatal road accident involving a double-decker bus to find out more details about the incident which may bring about additional charges against the bus driver.

The bus driver, Mr Krisana Chuthachuen, has, so far, been charged with reckless driving causing deaths and injuries to the other people, speeding beyond permissible limit, using drug while driving and not offering help to the injured. He was taken to the Nakhon Ratchasima provincial court last Friday by the police to seek court’s order to detain him for another 12 days pending further questioning of witnesses.

Eighteen passengers of a tour group from Kalasin were killed and 30 others injured when the double-decker bus lost control as it was descending downhill on a road in Wang Nam Khiao district in Nakhon Ratchasima due to brake failure as it was taking the passengers back home in Kalasin. The speeding bus jumped over concrete road barrier and slammed into a huge roadside tree.

One of the injured passengers who survived the fatal accident told relatives from her hospital bed that the driver jumped out of the bus through an emergency door at the back of the bus before it crashed into the tree.

Pol Lt-Gen Damrongsak said that police had coordinated with land transport office in Kalasin to extensively examine the ill-fated double-decker bus to find out whether the vehilcle has more defects besides malfunctioned brake in order that more charges could be brought against the bus operator.

Kalasin governor Kraisorn Kongchalard attended the cremation ceremony of five bus victims held at Wat Dongkrayom-udomkhun in Tambon Thai Po, Muang district on Sunday.

The governor said he had instructed the insurance promotion and regulation office to speed up disbursing insurance money amounting to 650,000 to the families of each of the 18 dead victims.

At the same time, he said health officials had been told to provide counselling to the families of dead victims.
Six injured passengers are still hospitalized at two hospitals in Nakhon Ratchasima.

 

26 Mar 2018
2:50 pm

Sacked commissioner of the Election Commission Somchai Srisutthiyakorn yesterday warned that the new election could be nullified if the election date remains unclear.

He raised concern of the risk that the election could be invalidated by the Constitutional Court if it was asked to interpret by someone who argue the EC opinion.

Somchai was speaking at a political debate on ” Artcle 44 is meant for the Nation or who”.

The debate was jointly organised by the Thai Journalists Association and the Committee for Relatives of the May 1992 Heroes.

He raised the seventh issue that was relevant to the election which the Constitution has stated that the election must be finished within 150 days after four organic laws were issued and become effective.

He said that since there is no interpretation of the time when the election is finished referring to either the polling date or after the poll result is announced, therefore it could risk to be invalidated if the issue is sent to the Court for interpretation.

Finally it was possible the election could be invalidated, he said.

Dean of the National Institute of Development Administration’s social development and environment faculty Pichai Ratanadilok na Phuket also viewed the use of Article 44 to sack Somchai might destroy the check and balance system of independent organisation.

Anti Corruption Network secretary general Veera Somkwamkid also said it was illegitimate if the law was used to protect the prime minister and his own people.

26 Mar 2018
1:38 pm

Italian-Thai Development CEO Premchai Karnasuta and three other colleagues appeared in the Thong Phaphum Provincial Court on Monday to answer to charges for poaching of wild animals in Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary.

It was their first appearance at the court after the fourth extension of their detention expired today.

Premchai was accompanied by his lawyer.

They immediately went into the courtroom to report themselves under the court’s fourth summons.

The process lasted only in 15 minutes with all emerging out of the courtroom refusing to talk to media representatives waiting to interview him.

The lawyer Vitoon Praiyaem just told reporters that the court has issued the fifth summons ordering him to report to the court on April 5.

Meanwhile the police said they have submitted more forensic report to the prosecutor Monday morning.

He now faces eight charges from 10 for poaching in the wildlife sanctuary.

The prosecutor had not inducted Premchai and three others pending more police investigation on the ecological damage they caused to the sanctuary.

26 Mar 2018
10:31 am

The lifting of the emergency decree in the southernmost Betong district of Yala province has brought tourists back with hotel operators reporting full occupancy during long weekends and festive season.

The emergency decree was lifted by the Fourth Army Region after the situation in this southern town bordering Malaysia has improved gradually.

Fourth Army Region commander Lt-Gen Piyawat Nakwanich

Fourth Army Region commander Lt-Gen Piyawat Nakwanich visited Betong on Sunday where he was briefed on the general situation of the town by local authorities.

Local authorities and business operators said the situation has improved gradually after the decree was lifted.

Hotel operators also said hotel bookings were fully booked during long weekend and festive season, he said.

Lt Gen Piyawat said the improvement of the situation has reflected the Deep South was not dangerous area and authorities could control the situation.

The southern army commander expressed confidence that the situation this year in the deep South will steadily and satisfactorily improve, he said.

Lt Gen Piyawat however said that although the situation would improve, local authorities remain on alert to take care of government offices, and Betong airport, and checkpoints would still be setup to check passing vehicles to ensure full security.

25 Mar 2018
9:58 pm

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has expressed concern that as the government has been trying to restore normalcy, strengthening the economy and making preparations for the next election, there are some elements attempting to incite unrest in the country, said government spokesman Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkumnerd on Sunday (March 25).

Nevertheless, he said the prime minister believed the majority of the people understood what the government had been doing and had been moving toward the election mode.

The prime minister, he added, would like to stress that the primary task for the National Council for Peace and Order and to ensure smooth transition to full democratic rule.

The prime minister also questioned how could the election be smooth if there are still people who bend on inciting unrest non-stop. He said that people in the society started to become worried that the old bitter memory of political polarization and political violence might again re-emerge, said Lt-Gen Sansern.

Nevertheless, the spokesman stressed that the prime minister was determined not to allow the country to plunge into the vicious cycle of political divide and conflict.

25 Mar 2018
9:12 pm

A 63-year old taxi driver was found murdered next to his taxi left on a road in Muang district of Samut Sakhon on Sunday morning.

Residents living in Village Two, Tambon Kalong, found an abandoned yellow-green colored taxi on the old Ekachai road and then the body of a man, believed to be a taxi driver, lying with his face down in the roadside bushes. A large pool of blood was found on the driver’s seat.

A police team from Bang Torat police station was rushed to the scene after being alerted of the murder by some of the residents.

 

Police said that the victim, identified as Saneh Pinthamnak, had his throat slit and he appeared to have died from this serious wound to the throat. Some small changes and a ring which looks like gold and a steering wheel lock were found near the victim’s body.

Police further suspected robbery of being the motive of the murder and there might be more than one perpetrator.
Police said they would examine footages from surveillance cameras at the crime scene and from surrounding areas to try to identify the perpetrators.

 

25 Mar 2018
5:02 pm

Travellers to Ko Mark off Trat province have been warned to watch out for box jellyfish and, if they want to swim in the sea, must swim within the zones cordoned off with fishing nets to prevent the jellyfish from getting in.

The warning was issued by Marine and Coastal Resources Department after some holidaymakers were stung by box jellyfish while they were swimming in the sea of Ko Mark.

Mr Chatuporn Burutpat, director-general of the department, said over the weekend that marine officials conducted an extensive survey of the sea around Ko Mark during March 22-23 and found large numbers of box jellyfish of the Chironex family floating in the sea near the beaches of the island.

However, he said that no box jellyfish was found in the safe zones in front of Ko Mark resort and Prompakdi resort which were surrounded with fishing nets.

Mr Chatuporn said that the presence of box jellyfish in the sea at this time of the year was normal and he recommended tourists to wear proper swimming suits which protect most parts of the body and to avoid swimming outside the netted areas.

In case of getting stung by a box jellyfish, the victim must quickly get out of the sea and wash the area that was stung with vinegar, and not with water, for about 30 seconds and do not rub the area with hand or anything.

He asked tourism operators to warn their tourists of where they should swim or not to swim and provide them with basic information about what to do when stung by box jellyfish.

According to the Epidemiology Office of the Department of Disease Control, eight people died from box jellyfish stings during 1999-2015. In 2015 alone, 194 people were stung by box jellyfish in six provinces and, of these, two died. The province recorded the highest incidence of box jellyfish sting was Petchaburi, with 143 cases, followed by 27 cases in Surat Thani with two deaths, eight cases each in Trat and Satun, six in Pattani and two in Krabi.

 

 

 

25 Mar 2018
3:47 pm

A taxi driver was arrested by police on Sunday after he was accused by a young woman of taking her to a motel as she fell asleep in the car from alcoholic drinks, sexually assaulting her and robbing her of 2,000 baht in cash.

The victim whose name was withheld told Phaholyothin police that she hailed the taxi in front of a night entertainment venue in Ratchapruek are, Nonthaburi, after having a party with friends.

 

Admitting that she felt tipsy as she ordered the cabbie to send her to her apartment in Huey Kwang district, she said she fell asleep in the car and only woke out to find out she was in a room with someone who immediately escaped. She found out later on that her money in the wallet, about 2,000 baht, were gone, and reported the incident to an assistant in the love hotel who, fortunately, jotted down the license plate of the taxi.

The victim later went to Phahonyothin police station to file a complaint.

With the license plate number, police managed to track down the cabbie, identified as Adirek Lertlop, who was arrested and charged with sexual assault and robbery.

Adirek, however, denied he sexually assaulted the woman and claimed that he took her to the love hotel because she was drunk.

24 Mar 2018
10:46 pm

Fourth Army Region commander Lt-Gen Piyatwat Nakwanich has brushed aside MARA Patani’s comment that the Bring People Home project and the declaration of 14 districts in the Deep South as safety zones are not related to the peace dialogue process.

He said today (March 24) that he was not worried with MARA Patani’s statement, claiming that the Bring People Home project was the right course of action undertaken by the Fourth Army Region, but the project might cause dissatisfaction among some separatist groups because they are losing their support base.

Lt-Gen Piyawat insisted that the unilateral declaration of safety zones in 14 districts was not stage-managed, but was part of the military’s effort to try to resolve the unrest problem.  He also assured that there is no conflict between the fourth army region and the peace dialogue delegation as peace talk with the separatist groups is the government’s key policy.

“The more they (MARA Patani) talk, the more I like because this shows that our policy has achieved its target.  That is why they woke up and started talking and they will talk more because those who are liable for unrest in the past decade will steadily emerge,” said Lt-Gen Piyawat.

Regarding the joint project of safety house between the government and Mara Patani,  the 4th army region commander said he welcomed their representatives and would look after them on condition that they did not break the law which would be dealt with accordingly.

MARA Patani held a press conference on Friday (March 23) in Malaysia, to express their stances on the ongoing peace dialogue between the Thai government and the group.

The group said they were concerned over certain statements and actions by the 4th Army Commander that contradict the peace dialogue process and emphasized that the “Bring People Home” project and the alleged 14 safety zones districts as declared by the 4th Army Commander are not at all related to MARA Patani-Thai government peace dialogue process.

Srisompob Jitpiromsri, director of the Center for Conflict Studies and Cultural Diversity at Pattani-based Prince of Songkhla University, said he didn’t think the 4th army region’s policy such as the Bring People Home and 14 safety zones would not post an obstacle to the peace dialogue process.

However, he noted that there might be some officers at operational level who did not follow the policy.

Mr Srisompob welcomed the emergence of representative of the Barison Revolusi Nasional (BRN), Uztas Shukri Hari, as head of MARA Patani Peace Dialogue Panel, saying that this indicates that BRN wants to take the lead in the dialogue and may want to take this opportunity to communicate with their members in the field and other separatist groups which are not involved in the peace dialogue.

Regarding the postponement of the safe house project, Mr Srisompob said that it was not unusual as peace process should not be rushed.

24 Mar 2018
9:22 pm

Ayutthaya police are investigating whether a man who had his two legs crushed by a train in Muang district of Ayutthaya on Saturday (March 24) was an accident or an intentional act by the victim.

The man, identified by police as Mr Atthapol Maiwan, 34, was a native of Surin province.  He was said to be still in serious condition at the provincial hospital and unable to talk with the police.

However, witnesses who are living near the scene of the incident, told police that they saw him wandering at the scene, about three kilometres from Ayutthaya railway station, before the arrival of the Bangkok-bound diesel train.

The driver of the train, No 304 shuttling between Lop Buri and Bangkok, told the police that he was accelerating the train after it left the Ayutthaya railway station for Bangkok.  He said when he saw a man sitting with his two legs stretching across the rail track, he sounded the warning horn, but the man appeared unperturbed and he applied the brake, but the train did not stop in time and ran over the man’s legs.

24 Mar 2018
3:26 pm

Suradech “Joey” Kornngulueamchot, the oldest member of Thai pop band “Bazoo”, has been sent to Klong Prem Central Prison to undergo drug rehabilitation after he was arrested by narcotics suppression police for alleged drug abuse.

Mr Suradech, alias “Joey Bazoo”, was apprehended at an apartment room in Lat Phrao area on Thursday night (March 22).

Police found “Ice” or crystal methamphetamine and smoking tool in his room.

The 49-year-old singer was later taken to Chokchai police station for detention.

Joey admitted to smoking crystal meth saying it was his first time use of drug.

Chokchai police on Saturday morning (March 24) escorted him to the Bangkok North Municipal Court with request to the court that he be remanded to Klong Prem Central Prison’s Zone 13 for drug rehabilitation process.

The court approved the police’s request.

Joey was born to an American father and a Thai mother. He lived with his grandmother in Udon Thani when he was young.

At sixteen he started singing in hotels and restaurants and later entered the entertainment business. He is a co-founder of Bazoo band.

24 Mar 2018
11:30 am

Two people were killed and six others were injured when a tour bus crashed into a pickup truck at an intersection in Ao Luek district of Krabi province on Friday night (March 23).

The double-deckor tour bus, belonging to Chanasit Tour Co in Phuket, was on the way to pick up tourists at Krabi international airport.

The driver, Udomsak Thongorapglgasri, 40, drove the bus to the airport from Phuket, taking his family who included his wife, 3-year-old son and 3-month-old daughter, and a busboy.

The pickup truck was driven by Viroj Kijakarn, 48. He was travelling in the truck with two friends.

Witnesses told the police that when the bus arrived at the intersection, the pickup truck  emerged from the opposite way and collided with the tour bus.

It was not immediately known if it was the pickup truck or the bus which ran a red light at the intersection.

The impact of the collision sent the two vehicles to veer off the road and hit roadside and power poles shophouses. A brief fire also sparked in the engine room of the badly damaged bus.

Thammanoon Phutthama, the 3-year-old son of the bus driver and Viroj, the pickup truck driver were killed at scene.

All six persons in the bus and truck were also injured. They were pulled out of the wrecks of the vehicles and were rushed to Ao Luek hospital.

Actual cause of the fatal accident was under investigation, police said.

23 Mar 2018
11:11 pm

The head of the Thai peace dialogue team Gen Aksara Kerdphol on Friday (March 23) allayed concern with the latest statement from MARA Patani, assuring that there is no conflict over the ongoing peace process between the two sides.

However, he said that MARA Patani, an umbrella organization of southern separatist groups in the Deep South, was concerned with certain statements and actions of the Forward Command of the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 regarding the “Bring People Home” project and the declaration of 14 districts as safety zones by the commander of the Fourth Army Region, Lt-Gen Piyawat Nakwanich.

Gen Aksara was responding to the statement issued by Uztas Shukri Hari, head of MARA Patani Peace Dialogue Panel, earlier this morning.

He noted that the MARA Patani’s statement might be intended to communicate with the media to clarify some points which were raised by the media.  He declined to comment whether the statement had anything to do with the term in office of Lt-Gen Piyawat who is due to retire at the end of September.

Gen Aksara reiterated that the two parties in the dialogue understood the peace dialogue process and both have been working cautiously.

In the statement issued today in Malaysia, MARA Patani contains four points:

1.The ongoing discussion between MARA Patani and the Thai government is still at the technical level. It has not been endorsed by the joint working group Peace Dialogue process (JWG-PDP), hence, all the agreements reached are not yet final.
2.MARA Patani is open to all views and recommendations from the people toward right to self-determination.
3.MARA Patani has confidence in the Thai peace dialogue team mandated by the Thai Prime Minister and we are convinced that has been adopted as the national agenda. However, the group is concerned over certain statements and actions by the 4th Army Commander that contradict the peace dialogue process.
4.MARA Patani is committed to solving the conflict through the current peace dialogue and would like to emphasize that the “Bring People Home” project and the alleged 14 safety zones districts as declared by the 4th Army Commander are not at all related to MARA Patani-Thai government peace dialogue process.

23 Mar 2018
10:55 pm

Thai police on Thursday night (March 22) rounded up 123 foreigners in its fifth operation launched simultaneously at 108 locations nationwide to crackdown on foreigners illegally stay in the country.

The operation codenamed “X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner” was spearheaded by Tourist Police Bureau deputy commander Pol Maj-Gen Surachet Hakpal, and joined by 191 police, immigration police, narcotics suppression police, and local police.

In Bangkok, the operation centred in Bang Rak and Phyathai areas where there are various international and bilingual schools which hired foreigners as teachers.

Pol Maj Gen Surachet said after the night raids at the 108 targets which comprises 49 schools and 59 houses, a total of 123 foreigners were rounded up.

They included 17 for overstaying, 91 for illegal entry, and 15 others for other offences.

Of the 91 foreigners,  62 are Myanmars, 14 Laotians and four Cambodians.

He said this operation focussed on foreigners applying for Non-Immigrant Type ED visa or non-Ed visas as this has become a channel for criminals to enter the country to commit crimes.

According to police, this type of visa is issued to applicants who wish to study, attend seminar, training session, or internship in Thailand.

He said the immigration police will work closely with schools to make random check on the class attendance of the applicants.

He said immigration police allowed applicant to be absent from class for not over 3 days.

Any absence for over 3 days without good reason, or notification to the schools, their non-Ed visas would be revoked, he said.

The police officer said that this month, the immigration police have revoked non-Ed visas of four foreigners and withdrawn their student status.

He also warned that any school administrators ignored the police request to conduct constant check of their foreign teachers or students could face charge of providing shelter for illegal immigrants.

He added that altogether 490 foreigners were rounded in raidscat 2,346 locations nationwide in five operations.

23 Mar 2018
9:15 pm

Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, the national police chief, announced Friday (March 23) that he would not replace the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police team handling the investigation of the 30-million baht lottery controversy, saying that the probe was already 100 percent completed.

His announcement was in response to school teacher Preecha Kraikruan who demanded that the police investigating team be replaced.  Mr Preecha also petitioned the Department of Special Investigation to probe the case to ensure fairness to all parties involved.

The national police chief insisted that the police handling the case did not bully or persecute Mr Preecha and challenged the school teacher to file lawsuits against the police inquiry officers if he felt that he was not treated fairly.

Pol Gen Chakthip also maintained that he had never said who is the real owner of the 30-million baht worth of five First Prize lottery tickets between Mr Preecha and retired police officer, PoL Lt Charoon Wimoon.

However, the CSD police team decided to file charges against Mr Preecha and his accomplices who included a lottery vendor, for giving false statements to the police about the lottery tickets.

23 Mar 2018
1:51 pm

The bus that crashed in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Wang Nam Khiao district on Wednesday night (March 21) was old and not in good condition, according to experts from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and the Department of Land Transport.

AIT experts joined forensic police and transport officials of the Department of Land Transport to investigate the cause of the fatal bus crash to find out if it was the bus or human error.

The bus’s height was above the safety 4-metre high limit, they said.

After the inspection of the wrecks of the bus, AIT expert Ms Aue-aree Jensupakarn  said she was investigating if road conditions are safe enough and whether the driver is travelling at proper speed and familiar with the route.

Land transport officials from the Bureau of Automotive Engineering said clarification was needed if the crash was really caused by brake failure as claimed by the driver.

They said they were looking into the braking system if it really malfunctions or it is normal.

They said if the brake was overheating, it would not be working, and it would be impossible to stop the vehicle.

Besides, they said driving on this road requires familiarity and skills on using transmission to help slow down the vehicle.

Since 2016, the Department of Land Transport has issued regulations limiting the height of each newly registered double-decker bus at no more than 4 meters.

The move is aimed at maximizing road safety.

The crashed bus, however, is old and fails to meet the department’s safety standards.

On Wednesday evening, the double-decker bus carrying passengers home from a trip to a beach in Chanthaburi ran off the Ratchasima-Kabin Buri road in Tambon Udomsap of Nakhon Ratchasima, killing 18 people and injuring more than 30 people.

23 Mar 2018
12:52 pm

A 27-year-old Thai man who was caught filming up women’s skirts in Topshop’s flagship store on Oxford Street has been banned from the City of Westminster for four months and ordered to pay compensation to his victim, the Daily Mail reported.

The Mail Online reported on March 21 that Pratyayoud Tupchareon, 27, who is the son of Youtdana Tupcharoen, a member of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and former governor of the State Railway of Thailand, was spotted by security guards in the ladies fashion store in London following women around with a long lens protruding from his rucksack.

Mr Pratyayoud, who studied at Regent’s University, a private college in London and is about to start a postgraduate course at Westminster University, claimed that he had been inspired by YouTube videos of people ‘up-skirting’ –when someone secretly films underneath a skirt, the Mail reported.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court on March 21 opened hearing into the case and handed down a sentence on Mr Pratyayoud, banning him from the City of Westminster for four months and made to wear a tag.

He must be home between 7pm and 6am for 12 weeks. In addition he must pay a victim surcharge of £85 and costs of £85.

Mr Pratyayoud has had to defer starting a postgraduate course at Westminster University while the proceedings have taken place, according to the Mail.

23 Mar 2018
11:32 am

Driver of the double-decker bus that crashed in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Wang Nam Khiao district, killing 18 passengers and wounding 32 others, admitted that he used methamphetamine to keep him awake and alert while driving.

Krissana Juthachuen, 44, was arrested by police yesterday (March 22) at roadside bushes where he was  hiding, about seven kilometres away, after running away from the crash scene.

He suffered bruises on his face and body when he was apprehended by police hunting for the fugitive driver.

He confessed to police investigators that he took meth before driving off on a return trip from Chanthaburi province to Kalasin on March 21 using the Kabinburi- Nakhon Ratchasima road or known as Highway 304.

He said the drug could keep him awake and alert while driving.

Initial report blamed brake failure was the probable cause of the fatal accident as the bus was running down a slope section of the highway.

He told police that the bus was uncontrollable at the time because of brake failure. He was shocked and decided to flee the scene following the incident.

Mr Krissana was then sent to Pak Thong Chai Hospital to receive medical treatment for his injuries.

Police are considering three charges against him, drug abuse, driving under the influence of drug, and reckless driving that resulted in deaths and injuries.

Meanwhile Kalasin governor Kraisorn Kongchalard said all the bodies of the 18 victims have been transported back home for funerals.

The governor said the family of each dead victim will be given 650,000 baht each as primary compensation as the bus operator had insurance coverage for passengers.

Of the 18 dead, 12 were from same village in Tambon Huay Pho, and among them was a family of four of a ricemill tycoon who arranged this trip.

Officials said of the 32 injured, 13 had been discharged from hospitals after they were given primary treatment, while 19 others remained in hospitals with two of them are in critical conditions.

22 Mar 2018
11:12 pm

Thailand national football team beat Gabon 4-2 in penalty kicks after goalless draw at the end of the game for the 46th King’s Cup soccer tournament at the Rajamangala stadium on Thursday night (March 22).

The Thai team will next meet the Slovakia team in the final on Sunday (March 25) after the latter triumphed over UAE 2-1.

Serbian coach Milovan Rajevac sent all the four best players who played in foreign leagues namely Kawin Thamsatchanan, Chanathip Songkrasin, Teerasil Dangda and Theerathon Bunmathan into the pitch.

Four teams participated in the King’s cup tournament this year.

22 Mar 2018
10:36 pm

Despite widespread corruption which is now under investigation, the fund for destitute people will not be dissolved, but the recipients of the fund will receive their handouts which will be wired directly into their bank accounts via PromptPay system.

Napa Setthakorn, director-general of Social Development and Welfare Department met secretary-general of Public Section Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Lt-Col Korntip Daroj on Thursday (March 22) for discussion on the fund for the destitute and on preventive measures against future corruption.

The two agreed that the fund should be kept because it is useful to the destitute people, but the payment system should be made through PromptPay system although they admitted that the system has a drawback for people in remote areas.

As for the ongoing investigation into fund disbursement in 49 centres for the destitute people, Ms Napa said that if the centre directors were to be transferred for being implicated in the corruption, their deputies or assistants would take over their jobs in acting capacity which would not impact on the work of the department.

Regarding help for the poor or destitute who have not been paid, she said help would be given on case-by-case basis.  But non-financial help in the form of occupational training or medical treatment can be carried on, she added.

22 Mar 2018
8:41 pm

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Thursday (March 22) defended his use of special power vested by Section 44 of the interim Constitution to fire election commissioner Somchai Srisuttiyakorn, saying that the abrupt move was necessary to put an end to confusion.

Speaking to reporters during his field trip to Nong Bua Lam Phu, the prime minister insisted that he did not bully the election commissioner, adding that the latter’s removal from the Election Commission was “asked for by a concerned agency”.

“I didn’t want to invoke (Section 44) against anybody.  The media, please, do not expand it as it was over and he (Somchai) was aware of it,” said the prime minister as he pleaded with the media to stop reporting about the issue “otherwise he (Somchai) will keep talking more and more and what measure do I have to deal with it.”

He said that he had been listening to Somchai for the past four years and, lately, the latter suggested that the election could be held in October.

“I wonder whether it is him (Somchai) who set the election date or is it the NCPO or the government that sets the election date?” asked the prime minister.

Earlier, Mr Somchai said, according to his estimate, the earliest election could be held in October or, the latest, next February.

Although the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) submitted the Senate selection bill for the Constitutional Court’s interpretation, the election roadmap could remain the same, meaning that the election be held by the end of this year, Mr Somchai said. 

In his Facebook post on Thursday, the former election commissioner claimed that his election predictions had been proven right.  He also defended that his political assessments did not cause confusion “but someone was confused”.

He plans to give a press conference on Friday (March 23) to talk about his dismissal from the EC.

22 Mar 2018
3:57 pm

Construction of the housing project for judges at the foot of Doi Suthep in Mae Rim district of Chiang Mai is going on as usual despite an order from Army Commander-in-Chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart to put the project on hold pending further examination of the project.

Ms Nittaya Watanachivakul, secretary of Region 5 Appeals Court, has maintained that there was not any order to stop or suspend the construction of housing project for judges of Region 5 Appeals Court.

She told the media on Wednesday that Maj-Gen Sathit Srisuwan, commander of the Chiang Mai-based 33rd Army Circle, in his capacity as the chief of the peace-keeping force in Chiang Mai visited the construction site at the foot of Doi Suthep mountain in Tambon Don Kaew on Wednesday.

She claimed that Maj-Gen Sathit made inquiries about the rehabilitation of the area at the construction site to restore green area, adding that the army officer expressed concern with a talking forum planned this Saturday by civic groups and academics about the housing project and their demand to reclaim the project land.

Ms Nittaya claimed that there was no order for the housing project to be suspended or scrappede and Maj-Gen Sathit did not request for a meeting with the president of Region 5 Appeals Court.

Region 5 Appeals Court president Mr Sawat Surawattananant expressed his optimism that protest against the project by civic and environment groups would not be blown out of proportion and that there was no need to ask for police protection.

He, however, said that he had a discussion this morning (Thursday) with officials of Chiang Mai’s forest office, watershed management unit and lecturers from Mae Jo University about landscaping and restoration of forest cover on a 89-rai land plot.

22 Mar 2018
2:40 pm

School teacher Preecha Kraikruan and a lottery vendor on Thursday (March 22) petitioned the Ministry of Justice for what they claimed was “unfair treatment and power abuse” in the handling of the 30-million baht lottery scandal by the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police.

Mr Preecha and Mrs Rattanaporn Suthathip, alias Jeh Babin, were accompanied by their lawyer when they submitted the petition to Justice Minister ACM Prajin Juntong calling for the Department of Special Investigatiin (DSI) to take over the case for investigation from the police as a special case.

Both claimed in the petition that it was unfair when the CSD police arrested them and charged them even though they were innocent.

Mr Preecha remained adamant that he was the real owner of the five first-prize winning lottery tickets, while Mrs Rattanaporn insisted she sold the winning tickets to Mr Preecha.

Mr Preecha accused a retired police officer Pol Lt Charoon Wimoon of taking the five first-prize winning lottery tickets that he bought and lost them probably at a market in Kanchanaburi.

Lottery vendor Rattanaporn came out to support Mr Preecha’s claim over lottery ownership.

However, Mr Preecha and Mrs Rattanaporn ended up being arrested by CSD police on Feb 28. They face charges of filing a false complaint with police, giving false information to officials and framing another person in a criminal case.

22 Mar 2018
2:15 pm

As death toll from the bus crash on Highway 304 in Wang Nam Khiao district of Nakhon Ratchasima last night climbed to 18, deputy prime minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan said brake failure was the cause of the fatal accident.

Gen Prawit said the accident of this double deck bus was caused by brake failure.

He said double deck buses have been used for public transport for a long time and the transport officials have the safety standards to govern the operation of these buses.

He said it was unnecessary to have more safety measures to prevent fatal bus accidents during the Songkran festival as the existing strict measures, and laws remained in force, particularly drink driving, drowsy driving, and speeding.

Meanwhile Wang Nam Khiao hospital director Dr Jiranid Pungsamrong said latest update of the death toll at 8.00am today stood at 18 deaths and 32 injuries.

She said 16 passengers died at the scene, one at Wang Nam Khiao hospital, and another at Saint Mary hospital.

She said 32 injured are now receiving treatment at Wang Nam Khiao, Maharat, Krungthep, Pak Thongchai hospitals.

 

 

22 Mar 2018
11:42 am

A double-deck tour bus with 50 students and teachers crashed into a roadside rest pavillion in Nakhon Luang district of Ayutthaya before dawn Thursday injuring 39 people, one seriously.

The bus was taking 50 students and teachers of Ban Nonyai school in Kamphaengphet province to Chonburi province in a school excursion.

The bus left Kamphaengpet at 11.00pm.

But as the bus arrived near Kilometre 26 on the Asian Highway in Nakhon Luang district where it was raining, it skidded.

The bus then fell off the highway, flipped over and ploughed into the roadside rest pavillion.

Of the 39 people injured, 16 are boys, 22 girl students, and teachers They were slightly injured.

Only the bus driver Chavalit Yooyuen, 45, was seriously injured.

They were all admitted to Somdej Phrase Sangkharaj hospital.

A student said there was rain along the way from Kamphaengphet.

He said all were asleep when the double-deck bus arrived at the scene and lost balance and fell off the road.

Initial investigation by police suggested slippery surface of the road during the rain might be a cause of the accident.

 

 

 

22 Mar 2018
10:50 am

Ayutthaya Historical Park yesterday asked tourists visiting the Chai Wattanaram temple not to sit, stand or lean on the balcony around the main stupa of the temple after several bricks were broken and spalled.

The request came after a large number of tourists, mostly students and local residents from the provinces came to visit the Chai Wattanaram temple.

The surge in tourist arrivals from 1,000 people a day to over 10,000 followed the increasing popularity of the prime-time Thai comedy series, Buppae Sanniwas, aired on Channel 3 which has attracted Thai people to trace their past-life destinies.

According to the director of the historical park Ms Supinya Bownerd, she has ordered park officials to be strict with visitors to ancient temples, in particular the Chai Wattanaram temple where officials found damages to the balcony around the main stupa.

There were several cracks and bricks were found to have broken or spalled.

She said visitors would be asked not to sit, stand or lean on the balcony which is part of the base of the Buddha statute to prevent further damages to the historic ruins.

According to the park, at present over 10,000 people visit the park daily from just 1,000 previously.

The park sells 4,000-18,000 entrance tickets a day to visitors, excluding aged people and students who are allowed free of charge visit.

 

 

 

 

21 Mar 2018
11:07 pm

At least 16 people were killed and more than 30 others were injured in a tour bus accident on Nakhon Ratchasima-Kabin Buri road in Wang Nam Khiao district of Nakhon Ratchasima on Wednesday night (March 21).

Initial report from rescue workers said that the double-decker was carrying about 50 passengers for sight-seeing trip in Chanthaburi and it was heading back home in Kalasin, but as the driver was negotiating with a downhill curve, he lost control of the bus causing it to jump over the lane into the opposite lane and hit with a roadside shop.

Rescue workers said there were about 50 passengers in the bus and many of them were trapped inside the wreckage.

Both the dead and the injured were taken to Wang Nam Khiao, Pak Thongchai, Suranaree Technology University, Krungthep Ratchasima and Nakhon Ratchasima Maharaj hospitals for treatment.

Initial death toll was put at 16, including ten women and six men, with more than 30 injured, many of them seriously.

21 Mar 2018
4:18 pm

A man who allegedly shot dead a 16-year old Thai boxer told the police after his arrest that he mistook the victim as a rival whom he engaged in fist fight at a recent temple fair in Nong Harn district of Udon Thani.

The victim, Nanthapong Rakfa who was known in the Thai boxing circle as Meesap Tor Itthiporn, was shot dead on the night of March 19 beside the wall of Wat Po Sri in Tambon Ban Chiang, Nong Harn district.

Police rounded up nine suspects aged from 17-21 the following day, but one of them, a 21-year old man, admitted to the police that he was the shooter because he thought the victim was a rival against whom he had a fight with at a recent temple fair.

The suspected shooter said that as he was leaving the temple fair on Monday night he saw the victim riding on a motorcycle and ordered the latter to stop. Then he beat him up before shooting him.

Police searched the suspect’s house and found two home-made guns and three motorcycles.

The victim’s grandmother, Mrs Ladda Klommit, told the media at the funeral rite that Nanthapong started boxing at the age of nine and was admitted into a boxing camp in Udon Thani. He received a boxing bronze from the National Youth Sports Competition last year before turning pro as a Thai boxer.

 

 

A 16-year old Thai boxer Nanthapong Rakfa

21 Mar 2018
3:55 pm

City officials led by Governor Aswin Kwanmuang met with livestock officials of six neighbouring provinces to discuss rabies situation in each respective province and to map out measures to contain the disease, especially in Bangkok.

During the meeting in this morning, it was pointed out that the adjoining areas of the provinces of Samut Prakan, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Samut Sakhon, Chachoengsao, Nakhon Pathom and Bangkok should be given special attention because, in the past, rabies cases were reported to start at these areas.

Bangkok Governor Aswin told the meeting that since 2016, there had not been a single case of human death from rabies – thanks to the continuous efforts of health officials in vaccinating pet dogs and cats in various communities.

Only six dogs were found to be infected with rabies during January-February period, with two each in Bangkhen and Bangsue and one each in Don Mueang and Chatuchak districts. Lately, Bangkok has been declared a red zone for rabies watch.

The standard rabies-watch measure calls for the capturing of dogs suspected of being injected with rabies for observation in dog shelters.

City officials have complained that several owners of pet dogs and cats were not responsible enough and did not bring their animals for vaccination or allow the pets to roam on the streets or in public.

Regarding rabies prevention, the City Administrattion, this year, has procured up to 300,000 doses of anti-rabies vaccine which should be enough for about 30,000 dogs and cats.

 

21 Mar 2018
2:24 pm

The Royal Thai Army yesterday ordered encroachers on its lands in Pak Chong district of Nakhon Ratchasima province to leave within 30 days or else they will face legal prosecution.

The action to ward off encroachers from its lands came after a team of Army officials led by Maj Gen Ong-art Kulee, a chief of the army’s land management, inspected three areas where encroachers have built resorts, shophouses and even monastery for commercial purposes instead of the original farming purposes.

The encroached lands are on slopes with over 35-degree inclination which are declared restrictive areas under the royal decree in force since 1936.

Maj Gen Ong-art said the restructive lands had been encroached and resorts built.

He said the army would first notify these encroachers to leave the lands within 30 days.

If they ignored the notice, their buildings would be dismantled and owners prosecuted, he said.

He went on saying that in some areas, encroachers destroyed barbed wire fence and build shophouses for rent, and also a monastery against earlier permit for doing farming.

Another location was encroached by the Pak Chong Municipality for garbage dumping. The army had earlier told the municipality to move out, but was not only ignored but also was expanded wider for dumping, he said.

 

 

21 Mar 2018
1:26 pm

Former popular film actor in the eighties Anochow Yodbutr who was left in coma after a car accident during a film shooting in 1983 died peacefully on Wednesday at home in Bangkok.

Anochow was rushed to hospital in Chiang Mai after he fell from a moving jeep during the filming of a movie “Rak Gan Wan La Nid” on October 30, 1983.

He was left in coma for 35 years after the accident.

He was 59 today.

Relatives said a funeral rites will be held at Wat Phra Sri Mahathat in Bang Khen today until March 27 when cremation will be held.

Anochow was left under care by his elder sister since 2012 after his mother died that year after caring for his sleeping son for 30 years.

His mother Amphai Yadbutr had been honoured by Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali as “outstanding mother” in 2002 after winning award of mother with diligence and patience in taking good care of her sick son for over 28 years.

21 Mar 2018
12:53 pm

A passenger van with seven Swedish tourists on board crashed into the back of a 10-wheel truck on Phetkasem highway in Takua Thung district of Phang -nga province on Wednesday morning, injuring three persons, including a tourist.

The rear-end truck crash was the second accident of its kind within 24 hours on the same highway when a passenger van with Chinese tourists rammed at the rear-end of a 18-wheel trailer truck, killing a Chinese and the Thai driver, and seriously injured 7 others yesterday morning in Kok Loi district of Phang-nga province.

The latest rear-end truck crash happened while the passenger van was taking the tourists from Phang-nga to Phuket International airport to catch a flight back home.

But with unknown cause, the van crashed into the back of the truck, injuring the Thai driver, a Thai guide and a Swedish tourist.

Highway rescue team was alerted and rescuers have to use tools to pry open the twisted front part of the vehicle to pull out the driver and the guide out.

The injured were later rushed to Takua Thung hospital.

The six uninjured tourists were later picked up by another passenger arranged by their tour company to the airport for a scheduled flight home.

The truck driver told police that as he was driving in the left traffic lane, he heard a loud bang at the rear.

When he left the wheel to check, it was the van that crashed into the rear-end of his truck.

He then alerted the police.

21 Mar 2018
11:27 am

As vaccination campaign continued across the country to fight the deadly rabies disease, the Department of Livestock Development says it will have all 8 million dogs and cats vaccinated this year. He said over 80% of these animals have never been vaccinated before.

Director-general of the department Abhai Suthisang said so far 2 million dogs and cats were vaccinated since rabies outbreak was reported early this year.

The target number was 8 millions, he said.

He dismissed speculation that sub standard vaccines was a reason for the spread of rabies in24 provinces and the rise to six deaths this year, assuring all vaccines are in good quality and well stored in nine temperature controlled centres.

They are kept under 2-8 degree Celsius rooms, he said.

Instead, he said the spread of the disease was because more than 80% of  rabid dogs and cats have never been vaccinated.

Therefore he said he was confident that the vaccines were not the cause of the spread, but the negligence of pet owners.

He said now the department has over 1 million doses of vaccines in reserves for use on emergency basis, and the expiry dates of these vaccines will be in 2-3 years.

Each dose costs 15 baht, he said.

He then assured that before taking delivery of each new lot of vaccines, it’s expiry dates must be over 15 months.

For this year, he said the department is considering the possibility of producing it’s own rabies vaccines for use.

But factors like production cost, location of factory and quality would also be taken into account, he said.

The department is cooperating with a foreign manufacturer to make a research on this possibility, he said.

Commenting on the spread of rabies to monkeys, and cattle, he reiterated that it was not an infection between animal and animal.

In fact, the disease was passed through contacts with infected animals.

He then advised livestock farmers to keep their cattle in closed areas to prevent direct contacts with the disease.

21 Mar 2018
10:42 am

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation says summer storms that hit several parts of the country since March 13-20 have wreaked havoc to 340 villages in 22 provinces.

The department’s director-general Mr Chayapol Thitisak said summer storms have damaged 2,559 houses in 340 villages in 60 districts of 22 provinces.

He said the storms damaged houses in Phayao and Chiang Mai in the North, and 16 provinces in the northeast including Kalasin, Udon Thani, Nong Bualampoo, Buriram, Roi-et, Nong Khai, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdaharn, Maha Sarakham, Surin, Sakhon Nakhon, Khon Kaen, Yasothorn, Ubon Ratchathani, Sisaket, and Nakhon Ratchasima.

The storms also damaged houses in two central provinces, namely Suphanburi and Chainat, and Chonburi in the East and Yala in the south.

He said relief officials of the department were coordinating with local government agencies to provide primary assistance to the affected people, and were sending officials to assess damages to houses so that appropriate compensation would be given to them.

He added that on emergency cases, the people could call 1784 around the clock for immediate assistance.

 

21 Mar 2018
10:19 am

The Phu Suansai national park officials in Nahaew district of Loei province have warned villagers leaving their cattles grazing near the park of tiger attacks after three cattles were found dead in the park.

The cattles were reported missing weeks ago after their owners brought them to graze in grassland near the national park and went missing.

National park chief Sakhon Nachai said park officials found the carcasses of three cattles in the park and there were traces that showed they were attacked by at least three tigers.

He said park officials and army rangers went searching for the missing cattles and found their dead bodies near a stream.

He said it was believed that as the cattles were grazing grasses and bamboo shoots near a hill, they were attacked by at least three tigers and dragged to the stream.

There were several footprints of the tigers at the edge of the stream and of several wild animals preying the carcasses left over by the tigers.

He then asked for cooperation from village headmen in the areas around the park to advise villagers not to let their cattles grazing at or near the park as it was not only against the forestry law, but also risk of attacks by wild animals.

 

20 Mar 2018
10:53 pm

A group of residents and business operators in Phimai district on Tuesday (Mar 20) lodged a petition with Nakhon Ratchasima governor Wichien Chantharanothai seeking his help to talk with the Fine Arts Department over its declaration of Phimai ruins and its surrounding area covering 2,600 rai of land as historical park.

The petitioners claimed that the zoning of the historical park had seriously affected their livelihood because it encompassed their residential and commercial areas.

They also complained that the zoning had caused the price of their land to drop and discouraged new investment.

Having received the petition, Governor Wichien said he would write to the Fine Arts Department asking for officials to be sent to Phimai district to explain to the people there about the zoning and the historical park.

20 Mar 2018
10:04 pm

Hundreds of people showed up at Wat That Phanom in That Phanom district of Nakhon Phanom on Tuesday after it was widely rumoured that a resident of the district who reported to have won 60-million baht from ten first-prize lottery tickets for March 16 draw would hand out three million baht worth of his fortune to whoever at the temple.

The prize winner, Mr Thammawat Phraethong, is said to be a native of That Phanom district.

Monks at the temple were caught in surprise with the turnout of hundreds of people – many of them sat patiently waiting on the front yard in front of the temple for the arrival of the “philanthropic” donor.

Police who arrived at the scene and monks at the temple admitted that they were totally unaware that Mr Thammawat would come to the temple to give away 1,000 baht each to the people there as rumoured.

Obviously, they were duped by false news posted in the social media.

They finally dispersed after there was no show of the donor.

 

20 Mar 2018
9:45 pm

Army Commander-in-Chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart has ordered the housing project for justice officials of the 5th Region Appeals Court at the foot of Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai to be put on hold pending a detailed examination of the project.

Army Commander-in-Chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart

General Chalermchai said Tuesday that it was appropriate to suspend the project because there were people in Chiang Mai who opposed the project because it could threaten the Doi Suthep national park although the project had been approved long time ago.

However, the chief justice of 5th Region Appeals Court defended that the project did not encroach on park land and that the court had been granted the permission to use the Crown Property’s land covering 157 rai for the project.

 

20 Mar 2018
9:13 pm

Invoking his special power vested by Section 44 of the interim Constitution, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, in his capacity as head of the National Council for Peace and Order, ordered the sacking of election commissioner Somchai Srisuttiyakorn effective as of today (March 20).

The NCPO leader’s order 4/2561 which appears in the website of the Royal Gazette cited Mr Somchai’s improper conduct over his comments to the media about the election process and election timetable in an improper way resulting in confusion which may hinder the performance of duty of the Election Commission and the successful holding of the forthcoming election.

The order also cited the fact that Mr Somchai had applied for the post of the secretary-general of the Election Commission while still keeping his post as an election commissioner which is regarded as an act of conflict of interest. This, said the order, will put into question the legitimacy and fairness of the selection of the EC secretary-general.

On top of that, the order noted that, pending the selection of a new set of the Election Commission, it was necessary that the incumbent EC chairman and the other election commissioners had to stay on to perform their duties.

To ensure the smooth continuity of the performance of duty of the EC and to ensure that the next election will not be affected, the order stated that it was appropriate that Mr Somchai should be relieved of his duty with immediate effect.

Somchai said briefly after he was informed of his dismissal from the EC that he was told by an election commissioner to quit his post when he applied for the secretary-general’s candidacy, but he didn’t.

 

 

20 Mar 2018
8:51 pm

Two veterinarians attached to the livestock office in Nakhon Si Thammarat on Tuesday denied that livestock officials killed all stray dogs in areas with rabies cases, but admitted that the rabid dogs were exterminated to prevent the spread of the disease.

Rabies cases were confirmed in Thung Song, Cha-uad, Thung Yai and Chulabhorn districts of Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Regarding the rabies cases at Wat Khao Pridi in Thung Soong district, veterinarian Siripong Polsiri, explained the Livestock Department’s standard procedure in the handling of dogs: all the dogs whether they are stray or owned which are within one kilometer from where a rabid dog was found must be vaccinated and officials will be dispatched to the area to investigate.

Any dogs proven to be infected with rabies will be quarantined and destroyed because the livestock office and the local administration body do not have the budget to feed them, he explained.

He, however, assured that the dogs would be injected with anesthetic so that they die painlessly.

For stray dogs within five kilometres from the location where a rabid dog was found, all of them will be vaccinated by livestock officials while owners of pet dogs will have to get the vaccine from local administration body.

Beyond five kilometres, he said it was the responsibility of local administration officials to deal with the dogs.

Veterinarian Metsayon Chivaserichon, meanwhile, said officials decided to kill all the infected dogs after three people in Thung Song district were bitten by an infected dog brought by its owner from a temple in Thung Yai district to Thung Song district.

The three people are now being kept under close watch by provincial health officials and given anti-rabies shots.

The veterinarian disclosed that 14 dead dogs which were proven to be infected with rabies had contacted with dogs at a temple in Thung Yai district.

He defended the need to get rid of dogs infected with rabies rather than allowing them to roam free and spread the disease.

 

20 Mar 2018
8:30 pm

The Criminal Court on Tuesday granted bail to Italian-Thai Development Plc boss Premchai Karnasuta’s wife, Mrs Kanitta, and her close aide, Ms Wandee Somphum, after the court agreed with the police request to extend their detention for another 12 days.

Pol Cpt Thirapat Thammeechupong, an inquiry officer of the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division handing the case in which Mrs Kanitta and Ms Wandee were charged with illegal possession of 4 African tusks, sought the court’s order to detain the two accused for another 12 days, citing the need to question four more witnesses and need for more information related to the case which are yet to arrive.

 

The court agreed to the police request and, at the same time agreed to grant bail to the two accused which was set at 300,000 baht each. They were required to report to the court on May 7.

Mrs Kanitta and her close aide immediately left the court house after the court’s session.

Her lawyer, Mr Kitja Ali-Ishoh, said that Mrs Kanitta denied the charges, claiming she inherited them from an aunt without any knowledge of their origin – whether they were Asiatic or African tusks.

He added that she only knew recently that they were African tusks following DNA tests.

 

20 Mar 2018
6:04 pm

Phanat Nikhom district police are to summon a man who allegedly beat up two Hmong boys with a stingray tail whip and tied them up to a tree for questioning.

Pol Cpt Issara Arokha, the inquiry officer attached to Phanat Nikhom district police in Chon Buri province, said he believed the man, Mr Panchat Chawanthanakiart, would not run away because he has a permanent residence in Tambon Nong Hong, Pan Thong district of Chon Buri.

But he said that if the suspect was issued with two summonses and did not turn himself in, then a warrant would be issued for his arrest.

Mr Phanat and his wife allegedly beat up the two Hmong boys on the ground of Wat Thung Hiang, Tambon Mon Nang, with a stingray tail whip and, afterward, tied them up to a tree to set an example for the other children in the community that they must not steal from someone else.

The two boys who were accused of stealing 200 baht from the couple were later moved to a children’s shelter in Phanat Nikhom district for rehabilitation.

A group of villagers gathered at the temple on Monday (March 19) to protest against the couple’s treatment of the boys and demanded that the couple be chased out of the community.

The couple were initially charged with assault and illegal detention.

20 Mar 2018
5:12 pm

The director-general of the Public Prosecution Region 7 has asked the police to come up with more information after going through the 857-page case file of Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife hunting.

Public Prosecution Region 7 director-general Somsri Wattanaphaisarl told a press conference today (March 20) that said her prosecutor team has looked through words in the case file of Italian-Thai Development Plc CEO Premchai Karnasuta and his party and come up with recommendation to the police that they expand probe into three issues for more clarity as the accused have denied the charges.

She said the police should submit additional information in the three issues by next Monday (March 26) so that the public prosecutor could use them in a request for the detention of Mr Premchai.

Ms Somsri declined to elaborate the three issues that the public prosecutor wanted the police to look into saying it was confidential and could be used by defendant lawyer to contend in the court.

She said the public prosecutors viewed this case as an uncomplicated case with light penalties but it involved high-profile person and attracted a lot of public attention.

The public prosecutor was neither worried nor pressured to handle the case, Ms Somsri added.

Meanwhile the deputy spokesman of the Office of the Attorney-General Mr Prayut Phetkun said the prosecutor’s request for additional information from the police because they wanted to make sure that the case file was completed before proceeding with the prosecution.

20 Mar 2018
4:42 pm

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has ordered the Tonight Thailand programme of Voice TV to be off the air for 15 days effectively starting today (Tuesday) until April 3, citing the presentation of a programme of being provocative, incitement of conflict and division and causing public confusion.

The programme suspension order was signed by NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tanthasit on Monday.

According to a post on Voice TV website, the NBTC felt that the presentation of a programme in Tonight Thailand programme on March 1 contained content which was likely to cause confusion, incite conflict and division in the country which was deemed a breach of an agreement between NBTC and Voice TV dated June 4, 2017.

Also, the NBTC believed that the company did not screen the content of the programme in question before it was broadcasted.

It was reported that the content that the moderator mentioned was about the French revolution which the NBTC felt that was inappropriate and irrelevant with the Thai society and the situation in the country.

Earlier, the NBTC summoned the management of Voice TV for clarification about the contents of Wake Up Thailand and Tonight Thailand programmes. As for the Wake Up Thailand programme, the broadcasting regulator warned the management to exercise more caution in the airing of the programme.

The latest programme shutdown was not the first experienced by Voice TV. The controversial digital TV operator faced complete shutdowns and partial blackouts on several occasions as follows:
After the coup by the NCPO in 2014, the station was completely shut down for 26 consecutive days from May 20 to June 17. It was the only TV station shut down by the junta.

June 3, 2015, Wake Up Thailand programme was pulled off the car for two weeks;

February 15, 2016, Daily Dose programme was ordered off the air for three days;

August 15, 2016, moderator of Daily Dose programme was ordered off the air for 10 days;

August 29, 2016, Wake Up News programme was suspended for seven days;

February 7, 2017, Daily Dose programme was shut down for seven days;

March 4, 2017, moderator of Daily Dose programme was suspended from airing for ten days;

March 27, 2017, the station was shut down for seven days.

 

20 Mar 2018
1:15 pm

A Chinese female tourist and a Thai driver died and seven others were  seriously injured when a chartered passenger van rammed into the back of a 18-wheel trailer truck in Takua Thung district of Phang-nga province on Tuesday morning (March 20).

The fatal incident happened at about 8.30am in front of Wat Thanun in tambon Khok Kloy.

According to police, the passenger van was taking eight Chinese tourists from Phuket to Tap Lamu pier in Phang-nga’s Thai Muang district to travel to Mu Ko Similan.

Witnesses told police that as the passenger van arrived near the scene on the Phetkasem highway, it rammed into the back of the trailer waiting to make a U-turn on the highway.

The collision killed the van driver and a female Chinese tourist, and seriously injured seven other tourists comprising three female and four males.

The truck driver Waranon Boonkerd, 28, said as he was about to make a U-turn on the road in front of Thanun temple, he heard a loud bang at the rear.

He climbed down the truck to check and found the badly damage van and the injured tourists. All the injured were rushed to Takua Thung hospital.

Police said they were questioning eyewitnesses and the injured tourists to find the exact cause of the accident.

20 Mar 2018
12:08 pm

Italian-Thai Development president Premchai Karnasuta and his driver turned themselves in to the police at the Central Investigation Bureau’s Counter Corruption Police Division (CCPD) on Tuesday morning (March 20) to acknowledge bribery charge.

Mr Premchai and his driver Yong Dodkrua were accompanied by their lawyer to hear the charge after both were accused by the Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary chief of offering bribes in exchange for releasing them over the alleged poaching.

Mr Premchai and Yong denied the charge while the lawyer said he would defend them in  the court.

CCPD commissioner Pol Maj-Gen Kamol Rienracha said the suspects were released after acknowledging the charge.

Pol Maj-Gen Kamol added that key evidence to back up the charge were sound clips of Mr Yong talking to Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary chief Wichien Chinnawong after the arrest on Feb 3 and witnesses’ testimonies.

Yong Dodkrua

Meanwhile, Mr Premchai’s wife Mrs Khanita Karnasuta and Ms Wandee Sombhum, an official who allegedly falsified documents to allow the tycoon to illegally register African tusks as Asian tusks, reported themselves to the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division this morning to acknowledge charge of illegal possession of wild elephant tusks.

Yesterday deputy commissioner of the Royal Thai Police Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said the investigation into illegal hunting was almost concluded.

He stated that investigators were waiting for forensic examiners to reveal test results on soil samples at the Premchai’s jungle camp to see whether they contained residual black panther blood.

If so, this will contradict the tycoon’s claims that he had not killed a black panther and will further substantiate the case file against him.

Evidence the police already have in hand was enough to incriminate Mr Premchai, Pol Gen Srivara said.

He added that forestry officials have managed to retrieve all parts of the slain black panther, including flesh, bones and skin and these would be sufficient to convict the suspects.

The deputy police chief said evidence obtained so far indicated that the black panther was shot dead and was then

The animal was shot as verified by the bullet wounds and the animal was then disemboweled, Pol Gen Srivara said.

Knives which include hunting knives, cooking knives and cleavers as well as chopping blocks that forestry officials have seized would back up illegal hunting charge against the suspects, he said.

20 Mar 2018
11:27 am

Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Ltd (BTS) has ordered overall inspection of it’s escalator systems at all stations after a step of an  escalator at Phayathai station collapsed while it was moving.

The incident happened at about 3 pm on Monday (March 19). Nobody was injured in the incident.

A BTS passenger who encountered the incident posted on her Facebook a picture of the escalator’s step subsiding as she was about to step on it.

BTS said in its announcement today (March 20) that the escalator stopped automatically when a step of the ecalator on the ground surface of the road collapsed.

Security guards immediately sealed off the escalator for safety reasons.

BTS said installation and maintenance of its escalator systems at all stations were handled by leading western and Japanese manufacturers, thus enabling the company to ensure maximum safety since it commenced sky train service with no escalator accident   throughout the past 18 years.

However it said that the incident has prompted the company to order immediate overall inspection of escalators at all stations to prevent any recurrence of the incident.

หล่นลงมาต่อหน้าต่อตาเลย ถ้าเราก้าวเร็วกว่านี้5วิ ตายแน่ๆ หัวใจจะวาย ฮืออออ#btsพญาไท*เล่าเหตุการณ์เพิ่มเติม…

Posted by Anunya Rittichai on Monday, 19 March 2018

19 Mar 2018
6:05 pm

Four self-help cooperatives and 49 provincial centres for the protection of the destitute people have been found by anti-graft investigators to have cheated fund that should have gone to the poor and destitute people.

Lt-Col Kornthip Darote, secretary-general of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission, disclosed today (Monday) that, so far, investors had found evidence of corruption at the centres for the destitute people in 49 provinces namely Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai, Bung Karn, Nong Khai, Surat Thani, Trat, Nan, Sra Keao, Udon Thani,, Saraburi, Ayutthaya, Krabi, Trang, Roi-et, Yala, Phatthalung, Chumporn, Surin, Ang Thong, Phitsanuloke, Chaiyaphum, Buri Ram, Songkhla, Narathiwat, Maha Sarakham, Lamphun, Nakhon Ratchasima, Amnart Charoen, Yasothorn, Ubon Ratchathani, Nakhon Phanom, Kalasin, Phichit, Ratchaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Muk Daharn, Lampang, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Tak, Uthai Thani, Satun, Lop Buri, Nong Bua Lamphu, Si Sa Ket, Kamphaeng Phet, Phang-nga, Sakhon Nakhon and Chanthaburi.

Huay Luang and Chiang Pin self-help cooperatives in Udon Thani, Ubonrat self-help cooperative in Khon Kaen and Southern Development cooperative were also found to be tainted with corruption.

Lt-Col Kornthip said he expected the masterminds of the plunder of fund meant for the destitute people to be exposed at the end of this month.

 

19 Mar 2018
4:15 pm

About 100 dummy bombs from the Second World War era were found at a construction site on Rajvithi road not far away from Krung Thon bridge on Monday.

Police were alerted about the finding of the bombs by a supervisor at the construction site and a team of explosive ordnance disposal officials was rushed to the scene for examination.

Pol Col Kamthorn Ouicharoen, superintendent of EOD of Metropolitan Police Bureau, said that there were altogether 98 dummy bombs of BDU-33 type each weighing 25 pounds and 1.5 feet long and five training rockets.

Initial checks of all the bombs show they are out of order, he added.

Pol Gen Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul, the deputy national police chief, made a field inspection at the scene in the morning. A press conference was scheduled in the afternoon.

Defence Ministry spokesman Maj-Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich said he had not received a report abouto the bomb yet, but had instructed the Air Force Ordnance Department to coordinate with police EOD to examine the area where the bombs were found and to make sure that they are safe.

He noted that the area and its surroundings were targets for air raids during the Second World War and it was possible that many bombs were dropped there and were not properly retrieved over the years since the end of the war.

He, however, said that the matter would be discussed at a meeting of the Defence Ministry this afternoon.

 

19 Mar 2018
3:57 pm

Public health permanent secretary Dr Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk clarified today (Monday) that the Public Health Ministry has no authority to oversee pet dogs and cats and that his talk about imposing tax on the raising of dogs and cats was just an idea.

He said that there are now several agencies which are now responsible for rabies infection among dogs and cats and, in his opinion, different measures must be undertaken simultaneously to deal effectively with rabies.

Imposing some forms of tax on owner of a dog, said Dr Jedsada, was just an example that was put into practice in some countries, which requires a dog owner to register his/her dog with authorities concerned and tax is imposed for the third dog that he/she owns.

But there is no such law in Thailand, he said as he suggested dog or cat owners to have their pets vaccinated.

According to the Public Health Ministry, six people have died this year from rabies.

Meanwhile, the spokesman of agricultural and cooperatives,   Mr Sorawit Thaneeto, said there must be a public hearing for all stakeholders to voice their opinions if tax is to be actually imposed on dog or cat owners.

He pointed out that problem regarding stray dogs and cats has been on the rise and, so far, and there is no law designating any authority to be in charge of the problem.

However, he said that the problem should be treated as a national agenda and it should be proposed to the National Legislative Assembly so that a bill could be initiated for consideration in the assembly.

An online public hearing is being conducted to gauge public opinions about a bill to control pet dogs and cats to be followed by a public hearing to be held at the National Legislative Assembly on March 28.

Essentially, the bill will require owner of a pet dog or cat to register the animals with authorities concerned, failing that the owner or owners will be fined, but there will not be a dog’s tax or cat’s tax, said Dr Sorawit.

 

19 Mar 2018
1:35 pm

Rabies has claimed another life in Buriram province on Sunday, bringing death toll to six this year.

According to the Ministry of Public Health, the latest victim to rabies was a patient in Buriram who died yesterday.

It said rabies outbreak now spreads in 24 provinces since January this year.

They include Bangkok, Surin, Chonburi, Samut Prakan, Chachoengsao, Nan, Buriram, Ubon Ratchathani, Chiang Rai, Roi Et, Songkhla, Rayong, Tak and Srisaket.

Rabies outbreak in 13 provinces claimed 14 lives last year, up from 11 in 2016.

19 Mar 2018
12:59 pm

The Ministry of Public Health yesterday blamed the spread of rabies in the country on irresponsible pet owners and called on the state to have a law to tax, penalise those who don’t take care but abandon unwanted cats and dogs.

Dr Jessada Chokdamrongsook, the ministry’s permanent sectetary, dismissed earlier reports suggesting substandard vaccines as a cause of the spread of the deadly disease.

He said all the substandard vaccines had been destroyed.

Instead he said the spread was caused by the negligence of the pet owners.

He said there are about 10 million cats and dogs and they were the cause of the spread because of the irresponsible owners.

He said these owners didn’t take care of their pets, didn’t vaccinate them, and abandoned the unwanted pets.

He said most rabies death cases were bitten by own cats and dogs.

Therefore he said he would like to propose the government to promulgate a law to tax and penalize irresponsible owners for the abandonment of unwanted pets.

Agricultural and cooperative minister Kritsada Boonrat said the substandard vaccines were produced three years ago and they had been destroyed, and replaced for use since 2017.

He said the ministry was cooperating with the Interior Ministry’s Local Administration Department to notify local administration organisation officials that they could now spend their own budget to procure rabies vaccines and help vaccine to over a million puppies and dogs to stop the spread.

19 Mar 2018
11:46 am

The Meteorological Department on Monday (Mar 19) reissued a warning of summer storms that is expected to hit the country’s upper region from tomorrow until Friday. Bangkok will also be affected by summer storms from Wednesday.

In the fourth announcement, it said thunderstorms will come with gusty winds, hails in some areas and lightning strikes.

It said the country’s northeastern region will be hit first by summer storms from tomorrow, and followed by the eastern region the next day.

Bangkok and its surrounding provinces, the central and northern regions are expected to be hit by the storms, starting Wednesday.

During the storms that come with rains, gusty winds and lightnings, it advised people to keep off outdoor activities, or taking shelters under big trees and billboards.

For farmers, they were warned to prepare for damages that could be caused by the storms to their crops.

The Meteorological Department said the expected summer storms are expected from another round of high pressure system that is moving down from China and is blanketing the country’s northeastern and eastern regions first.

Affected provinces are as follow:

March 20-21:

Northeast: Loei, Nongbua Lamphu, Nong Khai, Udon Thani, Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Maha Sarakham, Kalasin, Roi Et, Yasothon, Amnart Charoen and Ubon Ratchathani.

East: Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo, Chachoengsao and Chon Buri

Central: Nakhon Sawan, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong and Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya including Bangkok and its vicinity.

March 22-23:

Northeast: Loei, Nongbua Lamphu, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buriram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani.

North: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Phrae, Nan, Lamphun, Lampang, Tak, Sukhothai, Uttaradit, Phitsanulok, Kamphaengphet, Phichit and Phetchabun

Central: Nakhon Sawan, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Suphang Buri, Kanchanaburi and Ratchaburi including Bangkok and its vicinity.

East: Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat.

19 Mar 2018
10:24 am

A local hunter was arrested after he and his colleague were found poaching of wild animals in Kuiburi national park in Prachuab Khiri Khan province on Sunday(Mar 18).

Park officials said Somjit Bunkong, 52, was caught near a scene north of Ban Klong Bung reservoir in the national park with a slaughtered Asiatic black bear and Indian small civet.

 

A shotgun with six cartridges, two head flashights, and a hammock were seized from his campsite.

His colleague managed to escape as park officials arrived to arrest the poachers.

Somjit admitted to poaching of wildlife animal for own consumption.

However park officials suspected him of involvement with wildlife trade.

He was escorted to the local police station for detention.

18 Mar 2018
10:32 pm

Rabies situation this year is worse than that of last year, but the situation is under control, Livestock Department deputy director-general Chirasak Pipatthanapongsophon assured on Sunday.

Livestock Department deputy director-general Chirasak Pipatthanapongsophon

He disclosed that, since the beginning of this year, there have been five fatalities from rabies, but the situation is under control because the Livestock Department has launched a campaign to educate the people the disease, prompting many of them who own cats and dogs to bring their pet animals for vaccination against rabies.

As a result of massive campaign, he claimed that rabies cases in animals and humans had steadily dropped, citing the case of Roi-et province which he said could be declared rabies-free zone within two years.

Mr Chirasak said the department wanted to make Thailand free of rabies in the next two years, but he noted that this could be achieved only with full cooperation from members of the public to have their pet animals vaccinated against rabies.

Pointing out that the Livestock Department has limited budget and can afford to buy anti-rabies vaccine enough for just one million cats and dogs while there are about ten million for both.

He suggested owners of dogs and cats not to wait for free vaccine from the department, but to get their animals vaccinated at private clinics.

 

18 Mar 2018
9:46 pm

Khon Kaen deputy governor Suchai Bootsara has issued a public apology for “improper wordings” in an official letter inviting provincial officials and local administrators to attend a meeting in preparation for the visit to the province by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The letter, dated March 9 and issued by the Office of the Promotion of Rural Administratioin, carried some improper wordings which read: “How to do to help the people from stupidity”.

After the stupid slip in the letter was discovered, the wordings in question were changed to: “How to make the people keep abreast with the global changes.”

Deputy governor Suchai said he felt sorry for the mistake and for not double-checking the letter because he thought it was just an invitation letter for officials concerned to attend a meeting on March 9 and another meeting on March 13.

However, he said that someone spotted the wordings and protested that they were improper, so they were quickly corrected before the letter was posted online.

“ (I) apologize everyone if the wordings caused uneasiness. (I) accept the mistake. Personally, I don’t have no ill intention against the people. I am a native of Khon Kaen and an Isan resident, don’t have any bad feeling against the people of Khon Kaen and the rest of the people. (I) have no intention to insult any people,” said Mr Suchai.

He disclosed that the governor had already ordered a panel to investigate the matter to find out who was responsible for the mistake.

Second Army Region commander Lt-Gen Tharakorn Thamwinthorn said that the improper wordings might have caused hard felling among some people in the province and he suggested officials concerned to make clarification to the people.

 

18 Mar 2018
9:01 pm

A tour operator was fined by the Noppharat Thara-Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park in Krabi province for allowing its tourists to step on coral reefs in the Viking bay, Phi Phi islands.

Mr Worapot Lomsil, chief of the national park, said he decided to invoke Section 25 of the National Park Act B.E. 2504 to impose a fine on owner of the Phi Phi Seaborne tour boat for allowing about 20 tourists that he took them to the Viking Bay for snorkeling on March 17.

The tourists were seen stepping on the shallow-water coral reefs with some of them sitting on the reefs by a diver who videotaped the incident and who also approached the group not to step on the coral reefs.

However, someone in the group challenged him to inform the authorities. So he decided to take pictures of the tour boat and, eventually, posted the footage in his Facebook page.

 

18 Mar 2018
5:18 pm

Additional forensic evidence concerning with the illegal hunting case against Italian-Thai Development Plc boss Premchai Karnasuta will be submitted to Pol Gen Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul, the deputy national police chief, on Monday, said Dr Kanita Ouitavorn, chief of the wildlife forensic science unit of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conversation.

She told Thai PBS Online that she had to release her forensic findings in the social media in order to clarify to the public that the wildlife forensic science unit performed it duty up to the required standard and to find forensic evidence to back up criminal case against wildlife.

She said that latest forensic tests of the DNA, blood trace on the ground and on tree leaves taken from the crime scene in Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary belong to the same black panther killed allegedly by Premchai’s hunting party as well as the meat found at the scene whose forensic report was already submitted to the police.

She explained that a piece of meat alone could not prove for sure that it came from the same black panther as it could be argued that it came from other animal, but when the forensic finding about the meat was put together with other evidences such as the DNA on the hunting knife, the chopping knife and the cutting board, they would become a credible information that could be explained before the court during the trial.

Besides the evidence concerning the black panther, Dr Kanita said that her unit also conducted a re-examination of the remains a wild fowl which was proven to be a Lophura leucomelanos, a protected species, which was also killed allegedly by the same hunting party.

 

18 Mar 2018
4:29 pm

Livestock officials in Hua Hin are conducting a mass inoculation of anti-rabies vaccine on all mammals, especially crab-eating macaques at Khao Takiab and Khao Pitak, as a prevention against the spread of rabies from today until March 27.

The district livestock chief, Mr Pittaya Kanama, said Saturday that livestock officials in Hua Hin had been trying to contain rabies in Tambon Hin Lek Fai to spread to other tambon, particularly Tambon Hua Hin where there is a large number of macaques gathering at Khao Takiab and Khao Pitak which are frequently visited by tourists.

Several dogs and cats suspected of contracting rabies have been removed from Tambon Hin Lek Fai after a 61-year old man in Ban Nong Khorn, Tambon Hin Lek Fai, died of rabies after he was bitten by a cat.

Mr Pattaya said officials had brought a big cage to Ban Nong Khorn to keep seven dogs in a house for observation whether they have rabies or not, but the owner of the dogs declined.

 

18 Mar 2018
3:24 pm

The Ayutthaya municipal has sought cooperation from tourists visiting the Ayutthaya historical park to not bring their pet cats or dogs into the park as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of rabies.

Mr Preecha Kanthapraisri, the vice mayor, said over the weekend that municipal officials had been on daily patrol in the park and outside to look for cats and pets, especially the stray, to prevent them from biting visitors.

Since the airing of the popular drama series, Buppae Sannevas (Love Destiny), on TV Channel 3, the number of tourists visiting the Ayutthaya historical park has surged to an average of 7,000 each day.

But because of the rabies problem in several provinces, Mr Preecha said he found it necessary to keep cats and dogs out of the park as a precaution to prevent tourists from being bitten or scratched by the pet animals.

 

17 Mar 2018
10:04 pm

Governors of five southern border provinces have been ordered by the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre (SBPAC) to investigate if there are any irregularities in the disbursement of money for destitute people.

The order followed a recent discovery that unscrupulous officials at a centre for the protection of the destitutes in Yala’s Kabang district had used the names of 18 “bundit arsa” volunteer graduates to claim fund, amounting to 2,000 baht per head from the centre to hire them to work.

It turned out that the volunteer graduates were given between 500-1,000 baht each instead of 2,000 baht they were supposed to be given.

In Songkhla province, Mr Samran Buapeng, a kidney patient in Ranot district, who was placed under the care of Her Majesty the Queen of the Late King Bhumibol, told Thai PBS reporter that he had never received the 2,000 baht allowance from the centre in Songkhla although his name appeared in the list of the recipients.

Instead, he regularly received financial support from the Thai Red Cross, but never from the Songkhla centre for the distitutes, adding that he was totally unaware of the fact that his name was among a list of the recipients from the centre. 

17 Mar 2018
9:08 pm

The Royal Thai Air Force is closely tracking the movement of a defunct Chinese space staion, Tiangong 1, which was recently estimated to plunge to Earth between March and April.

Group Captain Thamrongdet Charoensuk, director of the RTAF’s public disaster mitigation division, however, said that there is a slim chance that the 8.5-tonne out-of-control space station would fall into Thailand.

Nevertheless, he said the RTAF continued to track the space craft and had been on standby as a precaution and would keep the public informed of the updates about its re-entry to Earth.

Tiangong-1

The satellite-tracking telescope at the Thai National Observatory in Doi Inthanon of Chiang Mai which was used to track space garbage and Thaicom communications satellites has been employed to track Tiangong 1.

Earlier in mid-January Dr Andrew Abraham, a senior member of the technical staff at the Aerospace Corporation based in California, said the risk of an individual would be hit by a piece of debris was estimated to be less than one in one trillion.

However, to figure out exactly where debris from Tiangong 1 could end up is no small task.

Tiangong 1 is currently travelling at a speed of 28,000 km per hour at about 253 km from Earth while the apogee or the farthest point is about 279 km.  It was estimated to fly past Thailand for the last time during March 25-26 before its re-entry plunge.

The satellite-tracking telescope at the Thai National Observatory in Doi Inthanon of Chiang Mai.

17 Mar 2018
6:56 pm

A wild elephant was hit by a pickup truck as it tried to cross a road in  Non Din Daeng district of Buri Ram on Saturday (March 17).

The truck driver told the police that he was driving on Samrong Mai- Non Dindaeng road on his way home after shopping in the fresh market, then, out of a sudden, an elephant emerged from the roadside bushes and tried to cross the road.

The driver admitted that he could not apply the brake in time and his truck hit the elephant which subsequently disappeared into the bushes.  He said he didn’t know how bad the elephant was hit, but his truck front wind shield was broken and the car bonnet was damaged.

Officials of Ta Phraya national park later rushed to the scene to try to track down the elephant to find out its condition after the road accident.

However, they found its footprints heading toward the forest behind Lam Nang Rong dam.

A park official said that the elephant might not suffer serious injury because they didn’t find footprints which would suggest that it was limping.

However, he said officials would try to look for the elephant to make sure that it is safe.

17 Mar 2018
6:42 pm

Three Myanmar migrant workers were killed and eight others were injured when a van in which they were travelling on their way to Chiang Rai from Bangkok smashed into an 18-wheel trailer truck in Phrom Buri district of Sing Buri on Saturday (March 17).

The van driver, Mr Buranakorn Tornrub, who narrowly escaped death from the fatal accident told Sing Buri police that he was taking 12 Myanmar migrant workers to Chiang Rai on their way back to their home country via border crossing in Mae Sai district.

Following the trailer until arriving at the scene of the accident, Mr Buranakorn claimed that the driver of the trailer truck suddenly made a turn to the right prompting him to swerve to avoid hitting the truck, but his attempt failed and his van smashed into the right side of the truck.

The strong impact sent the sliding door the van flying onto the road and several workers who were sleeping at the time were flung out of the vehicle onto the road.

The van stopped and quickly caught fire trapping three workers inside who were burned alive.  But Buranakorn managed to run out of the van before it caught fire.

All the eight injured workers were later helped by the two drivers and passers-by and rushed to Sing Buri and Phrom Buri hospitals for emergency treatment.

The truck driver, Mr Suranart Chansong, however told the police that the van which appeared to be driving a high speed smashed into the right side of his truck.  He claimed that he stopped the truck after the accident and helped bring the injured out of the road.

Police detained the two drivers for further interrogation.

17 Mar 2018
4:48 pm

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and the state-owned PTT Plc yesterday (March 17) jointly kicked off the six-month test run of trains using biodiesel between Ban Laem-Mae Klong stations in Samut Songkram.

The test run was in response to the government’s policy to stimulate the use of biodiesel that will benefit palm oil farmers now suffering from falling palm prices.

The test run aimed to test the feasibility of upgrading current use of B7 biodiesel to B10 biodiesel on diesel locomotives.

The move corresponds with the government’s plans to promote increased local consumption of palm oil to solve the problem of oversupply.

Department of Energy Business director-general Witoon Kulcharoen-Wirat said that he will be meeting will automotive manufacturers to promote greater usage of B10 petroleum in cars.

He expected that B10 fuels would be introduced into the market by the end of the year.

17 Mar 2018
10:36 am

Hospital staff and local residents in Pai district of Mae Hong Son have called on concerned authorities to regulate motorcycle rental service providers following an increase of road accidents involving tourists using rented motorbikes.

The problem was raised at a recent forum on sustainable tourism in Pai, which is one of the top tourist destinations in the North with about 500,000 visitors a year, including some 100,000 foreign tourists.

Most tourists were not familiar with driving on mountainous streets of Pai while many of them were inexperienced motorcycle riders, the forum was told.

The problem of motorcycles and foreign tourists has been blamed to be the cause of most road accidents in the district.

Mrs Arporn Saengchote, president of Pai cultural council, demanded authorities concerned to come forward to address the problem.

Mrs Banchongchit Channual, a nurse at the emergency unit of Pai hospital, said the number of foreign tourists visiting the hospital for treatment of injuries from road accidents had steadily increased.

According to the hospital records, there were almost 6,000 road accidents in Pai district over the past four years from 2014-2017, mostly involving foreign tourists using motorcycles.  During the same period, 4,750 foreign tourists and 1,818 Thais – both locals and tourists, were injured from road accidents.

Mrs Banchongchit said operators of motorcycle rental services must be involved in solving the accident problem.

A Thai PBS reporter approached one motorcycle rental shop to ask for a motorbike for rent and found that the shop only demanded an ID card and 1,000 baht deposit from a Thai client while, for a foreign tourist, a passport and 3,000 baht deposit was required without a question asked whether he or she has a driving license or the riders who have no previous experience in riding a bike.

One operator of the motorcycle rental service agreed that some sort of regulation should be applied to all rental service operators so that there would be one standard practice for foreign tourists in renting motorcycles.

Pai mayor Akkadej Taprab said that it was the responsibility of the Land Transport Department to regulate motorcycle rental service providers and, so far, the best that the department has done was to seek cooperation from the providers.

But as far as the local administration organizations are concerned, he said more warning signs and traffic lights would be installed at high risk spots to warn motorcyclists to exercise more caution.

16 Mar 2018
10:11 pm

The Ministry of Education is coordinating with Public Health Ministry to find out the disbursement of scholarships to nursing students from Sema Pattana Cheewit Fund after it was disclosed that 198 out of a total of 254 scholarship recipients were partially paid with about 11 million baht still left unpaid for the past six years.

Nursing students of the Boromarajonani College of Nursing is one of the three groups of educational institutes eligible to receive scholarships from the fund.

Each nursing student will receive 40,000 baht per scholarship annually for four-year period of study under an agreement between the two ministries to produce nurses to work in rural areas.

A recent check of information about the fund disbursement with the Public Health Ministry for the years 2012-2017 shows that only 56 nursing students have received the full amounts of scholarships while the rest have received only partial sums.

Of the students who were partially paid, several of them have already graduated while the rest are still studying.

Public health deputy permanent-secretary Dr Panpimol Wipulakorn

Public health deputy permanent-secretary Dr Panpimol Wipulakorn said to solve the problem regarding the students who were partially paid, the Public Health Ministry had to set aside a special fund to support these students until their graduation.

She said that the Public Health Ministry began to become suspicious after the partial disbursement of scholarships to nursing students was repeated for a couple of years.

She noted that transfer of fund to the nursing college or directly to the scholarship recipients was often delayed, resulting in many recipients receiving only partial sum of the amount they were supposed to receive.

This problem has been raised several times with the Fund management by the college, but the problem remains unresolved, said Dr Panpimol.

16 Mar 2018
8:16 pm

The National Legislative Assembly is expected to submit to the Constitutional Court on Monday (March 19) for interpretation of a provision in the Senate selection bill regarding the selection process of senators.

A group of 30 assemblymen signed up a motion initiated by Mr Kitti Wasinont, an assemblyman, demanding an interpretation of the provision by the Constitutional Court.

NLA president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai assured that the election roadmap with the election expected to be held in February next year would not be affected as the Constitutional Court would be able to come up with an answer to the question about the selection process of senators within one month after the acceptance of the motion from the NLA.

Mr Pornpetch pointed out that the one-month period that the charter court was expected to clear up the doubt about the senators’ selection process would be well within the 90-day waiting period for the House of Representatives Election Act to come into effect.

He stressed that the legal issue in question was significant and needed to be cleared up now before someone raise it up after the Senate selection bill becomes effective, which will be more messy if the bill is ruled invalid by the charter court.

The NLA president said that all the assemblymen agreed that MP election bill was constitutional despite doubt raised by the Constitution Drafting Committee regarding two issues – one about the eligible voters who do not vote will be deprived of the right to be appointed political appointees and about allowing disabled voters to be assisted while casting the ballots.

He warned that the election roadmap would definitely be affected with the election to be further postponed if the two issues of the MP election bill are to be clarified by the Constitutional Court.

16 Mar 2018
5:58 pm

The Thai Meteorological Department issued a summer storm warning which is expected to hit northeastern and eastern regions starting next Tuesday (March 20) and followed by the central and northern regions, including Bangkok, on the following day.

Attributable to cold weather front from China which is anticipated to blanket the upper part of Thailand and the South China Sea on March 20 coinciding with the hot weather in Thailand, the Weatherman said these would cause summer storm to be manifested in the forms of thunderstorm, strong wind, lightning strikes and possible hail storm.

Affected regions are as follow:

March 20: The Northeast and the East

March 21: The North and the Central, including Bangkok and its vicinity.

People living in the aforementioned regions are advised to not staying outdoor under huge trees or bill boards during thunder storm.  Farmers are also warned that their crops may be damaged by hail storm.

16 Mar 2018
4:13 pm

President Rodrigo Duterte is unhappy with the performance of his ministers and plans to revamp his cabinet, The Manila Times Online reported on Friday (March 16).

Palace spokesman Harry Rogue said President Duterte told several journalists in a recent interview in Malacanang that he would fire some cabinet officials. But he declined to name names.

The impending cabinet shakeup stemmed from Duterte’s statement that he would replace Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd if drug charges against alleged drug lords Peter Lim and Kerwin Espinosa would be dismissed as recommended by a panel of the Department of Justice.

Rogue said President Duterte “really got angry” over the panel’s recommendation to drop the charges against Lim and Espinosa, both of whom the president had tagged as drug lords.

On Tuesday, Duterte vented his ire against Aguirre after the reported dismissal of drug charges against Lim and Espinosa and several others tagged in illegal drug trade in the country.

“I will invoke my power of supervision and control and will review dismissal,” Rogue posted in his Facebook quoting Duterte.

On Monday, the DoJ recommended the withdrawal of drug charges against Lim, Espinosa and other alleged drug offenders because of lack of evidence.