1 Mar 2018
10:10 pm

The eight-member delegation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has agreed with the Thai government’s peace talk with the Mara Patani, an umbrella organization of several separatist groups in southern border provinces.

The delegation which is currently visiting Thailand has conducted an inspection trip to the southernmost border provinces to observe the situation, to talk with local community, religious leaders and government officials and visit local people.

The delegation comprises of Ambassadors and Representatives from Bahrain, Gambia, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Turkey and the General Secretariat.

The delegation visited Sai Buri district in Pattani  on Feb 27 where Fourth Army chief Lt Gen Piyawat Nakwanich briefed the delegates on the “Bring People Home Project” implemented by the government for Muslim communities.

The OIC delegation also visited Yala where they had a meeting with officials from the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) regarding the educational and social programs being organized in the South.

On Thursday (March 1), the delegation met with a special delegation of the Thai government at the conference room of the Pattani Tambon Administration Organization before proceeding to meet with residents of Sai Khao community in Khok Pho district.

Turkey’s permanent representative to the OIC Salih Mutlu Sen said that this was the first visit to the Deep South for several members of the OIC delegation and, after having observed the situation on the ground, they felt that the real situation was quite different from that painted in the report, especially the sincerity of the Thai government regarding economic, social and educational development in the region as well as the attempt to promote cultural pluralism in the region.

Mr Salih said the OIC had been monitoring the peace talk between the Thai government and Mara Patani via Malaysia, a member of the OIC and the facilitator of the peace talk.

He expected that the peace talk would be successful in parallel with development efforts and urged Muslim people in the Deep South to take part in the development efforts and to resolve their conflict through peaceful means.

Meanwhile, the OIC released a statement on the orginzation’s official website about the OIC Delegation’s visit to southern Thailand to assess situation of Muslim communities.

“The OIC delegation welcomed these developments as a positive step forward and expressed the willingness of the OIC to contribute to the process of confidence building, dialogue and economic development in the region through the support of OIC organs and agencies.”

“The delegation called upon authorities to continue to take measures that would improve the lives and livelihood of communities living under emergency law in the South and that security measures are not disproportionately affecting Muslims in the region,” the statement reads.

The OIC delegation welcomed the steps of the Thai government, in cooperation with Malaysia, for the constructive dialogue with Muslim groups in the South in order to develop a road map to resolve the existing problems through dialogue.

“The delegation reiterated the stance of the OIC that such dialogue should expand and be more inclusive so that other organizations and groups representing Muslims in Southern Thailand can participate,” the OIC said.

1 Mar 2018
9:40 pm

New Palangdharma Party (NPP) was officially launched on Thursday (March 1), but without Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang, former leader of Palang Dharma Party.

The launch of the NPP was announced on Thursday by Dr Ravee Maschamadol and other founders of the party which will apply for registration with the Election Commission on Friday.

Dr Ravee said that Maj-Gen Chamlong has turned down the offer to join the party either as an advisor or as a member, saying he has announced his intention to quit politics for good.

He said that the party would follow the policy platforms of its predecessor, the Palangdharma, regarding the “social dharmacracy system”, but with some modifications to catch up with present circumstances.

Party members will come from all walks of life with a common goal for real national reforms modelling after that of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) of former Malaysian prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said Dr Ravee, adding that reforms in the past four years remain largely unrealized.

Regarding the three candidates for the premiership, he said the party has the three names in mind but he would not elaborate them now, adding that one of them would be the contender for being the next prime minister.

1 Mar 2018
6:42 pm

A police captain at Thong Pha Phum police station in Kanchanaburi province has been given a probation for receiving animal cruelty complaint against Italian-Thai Development Plc boss Premchai Karnasuta.

Narongchai Sangworawongsa, chief of Kanchanaburi animal quarantine station, filed the complaint against Mr Premchai with Pol Capt Sumit Bunyanij, an investigation inspector at Thong Pha Phum police station on Feb 7–two days after the ITD boss was arrested in Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary with wild animal carcasses.

However, Mr Narongchai returned to the police station on Feb 21 to withdraw the animal cruelty complaint against Mr Premchai after he found out that wild animals are not defined as “animals” in the context of the  Cruelty Against Animals Act.

Although the complaint was officially withdrawn, the Thong Pha Phum superintendent viewed that Pol Capt Sumit was at fault because he should have checked the law and not receiving the complaint in the first place, according to the source.

The officer could contest the probation order at the Administrative Court within 30 days, the source said.

Pol Capt Sumi could not be reached for comment.

1 Mar 2018
4:00 pm

A clinical psychologist told lawmakers on Tuesday that Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is suffering from a significant mental disturbance, making her unfit for her post, The Manila Times Online reported on Thursday (Mar 1).

Geraldine Tria , the psychologist, gave the testimony after a four-hour closed-door session conducted by the House justice panel which is hearing the impeachment complaint filed by Lorenzo Gadon, a lawyer, against Sereno.

Tria said Sereno exhibited five out of nine strong manifestations of mental disturbance, citing the accounts of psychiatrists Dulce Sahagun and Genuina Ranoy and psychologists Maria Suerte Caguingin and Bernaden de Leon-Jamon who conducted the psychological test on Sereno when she applied for the job of chief justice.

The five strong manifestations include grandiosity, thirst for unlimited power, sense of entitlement, exploiting other people to her advantage and lack of empathy.

The psychiatric report described Sereno as dramatic and emotional and that “she appears energetic and all smiles and agreeable, but with religious preoccupation in almost all significant aspects of her life. She projects a happy mood but has depressive markers too.”

Based on the psychological findings, Tria said Sereno is not recommendable for the post of chief justice.

But lawyer Maria Milagros Cayosa of the Judicial and Bar Council told lawmakers in the same hearing that Sereno’s psychological evaluation score is not a ground to disqualify her as an applicant for the chief justice post.

Sereno’s spokesman, lawyer Jojo Lacanilao said the results of the chief justice’s psychological evaluation was not a basis for impeachment.

 

1 Mar 2018
1:24 pm

Thailand repatriated 16 Myanmar migrant workers back to Myanmar on Wednesday (Feb 28) for illegal entry.

All the workers were victims of human trafficking.

The Myanmar workers, 14 men and two women, were from Rakhine State and were smuggled into Mae Sod district of Tak province by human trafficking gang to work in fishing boats in Southern Thailand.

They worked illegally for one year were unpaid until all were rescued by Thai authorities.

Officials of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security said the workers were handed to Myanmar human security officials yesterday at the border.

Myanmar authorities said all the workers would be sent to Mawlamyine where they would be awaiting for their families and relatives to pick them up homes.

Meanwhile Myanmar workers said this group of migrant workers entered the country illegally to work, therefore making them in no position to negotiate with their employers in case they were paid lowly or were not paid.

1 Mar 2018
12:23 pm

Despite of over six hours of questionings, school teacher Preecha Kraikruan remained firm on his earlier testimony given to the police that he was the real owner of the five winning first-prize lottery tickets..

The school teacher and the lottery vendor Mrs Rattanaporn Suphathiop, alias Jeh Babin, were separately questioned at the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) after both were escorted from their homes in Kanchanaburi to face charges.

 

They face charges of filing a false complaint with police, giving false information to officials and framing another person in a criminal case.

After the questioning which began immediately after they arrived at the CSD headquarters at about 4 pm and ended at about 10 pm, both were escorted to the CSD detention cells for rest.

CSD will resume questioning them late Thursday morning.

Preecha still insisted he was the owner of the winning tickets while Jeh Babin also is confident on her earlier testimony that she sold the winning tickets to the teacher.

Her lawyer Kriangkrai Nakwalee has prepared 75,000 baht as bail in the court procedure while the teacher said he would use his official position as bail.

The CSD police have made clear they would not allow bail for both during the interrogation procedure which the law allows the police to detain the suspects 48 hours.

Afterwards, the police can seek extension for another 12 days to detain them for further questioning. During the extended period, bail request will be considered by the court.

Both suspects said they would seek bail in the court procedure.

The CSD will escort both to the Criminal Court tomorrow for extended detention.

1 Mar 2018
10:21 am

Five Thai tourists who climbed on the ruins at Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya were on Wednesday fined 5,000 baht each by Ayutthaya District Court.

The tourists who included two women and three men were charged with violating the law on archaeological sites and museums.  They pleaded guilty, claiming that they had no intention whatsoever to show disrespect to the historical site.

They were identified as Ms Lalinthip sae Ngow, Ms Viyanee Artharn, Bovorn Yupitak, Pornthep Wongchuen and Yutiwich Panthongprasert.

Earlier in the morning before the court session, the five went to see the director of Ayutthaya historical park asking for his permission to pray to ask for forgiveness in Wat Mahathat.

The five took their selfie as they climbed on the ruins at the temple and post the image in their Facebook page which prompted widespread criticism from netizens and a complaint was lodged with the police in Ayutthaya by fine arts department officials.

Tags: fined 5,000 baht each, Thai tourists, Wat Mahathat, climbing on ruins

1 Mar 2018
9:53 am

The board of the Government Lottery Office (GLO) will be asked to approve a proposal at a meeting on March 21 that the GLO should start introducing lottery tickets in sets for sale to solve the problem of overpricing of the sale of lottery in sets of two up to over 10 tickets.

GLO spokesman Thanawat Pholvichai said Wednesday that, in the initial stage, the GLO might put together 20 percent of lottery tickets of similar numbers in sets of 2 or more tickets for distribution to retailers for sale at 80 baht apiece retail price instead of at least 100 baht each as it is.

He said if the board gives an approval at its meeting on March 21, the set lottery tickets will be available for distribution in the second half of the year, adding however that the number of lottery tickets to be printed for each 15-day draw will remain at 80 million.

Thanawat said that overpricing of tickets on sale in sets can still be seen, but the number of tickets for each set has reduced to 2-5 tickets per set insread of 5-20 with prices ranging from 120-150 baht apiece.

He admitted that the problem of fake lottery tickets and stolen tickets which are cashed for prize money remains a matter of concern for GLO.  He recommended shops that provide service of cashing lottery tickets to install a machine to check the authenticity of the tickets to spare them the trouble of unknowingly receiving fake tickets.

 

 

28 Feb 2018
11:25 pm

Fourth Army Commander Lt-Gen Piyawat Nakwanich said Wednesday (Feb 28) that he would like to stay on in his current post in the southern region until his retirement rather than being promoted as a general and moved out of the region.

“If you ask me whether I would like to stay on here or not, I would say I love to because I want to finish what I have been doing.  Everyone wants to become a full general.  But given a choice between (being promoted a full general) and looking after ‘the handle of the axe’ (the southern region which looks like an axe handle), I prefer to look after the lower south, to finish my mission there at my retirement age,” Post Today online quoted Lt-Gen Piyawat as saying.

What he would like to see most in the Deep South, the commander said he would like to see the people down there have jobs, have income and have peace like it used to be.

He said he was assigned to the southern region when he was a young officer “and now the situation is developing toward reality” with the programme of allowing misguided militants and sympathisers to return home being warmly greeted; business gradually picking up and youths are opposing violence.

However, the fourth army commander said it would depend on his boss to decide whether to keep him in the South or to move him back to Bangkok with the promotion to become a full general.

He is due to retire at the end of this September.

28 Feb 2018
11:06 pm

Several new parties, including the so-called PDRC (People’s Democratic Reform Committee) party and the New Palang Dharma party, are expected to apply for registration at the office of the Election Commission on Friday (March 2) when the office starts accepting applications.

New Palang Dharma party founder Dr Ravee Maschamadol said a press conference would be held at party’s head office on Thursday (March 1) to announce the launch of the new party.

He said he would tell the media about the role of Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang, former leader of the Palang Dharma party, in the new party which he expected to be another option for the electorate.

Chamlong Srimuang

The party will be an ally with Suthep Thaugsuban, former leader of the PDRC, and will support the “most suitable person” to become the next prime minister.

“If Gen Prayut is the most suitable person to become the prime minister, then our party will support Gen Prayut,” Dr Ravee said.

Mr Suthep’s younger brother, Thani, said former members of the PDRC should show up at the EC office on Friday to apply for the registration of the PDRC party.

He said most of the party’s candidates for the next election would be members of the Democrat party and local politicians, but not former MPs of the party.  He admitted that the party’s supporting political base might duplicate with that of the Democrat party.

Regarding the party’s candidate for the premiership, Mr Thani said he would like to keep it confidential for the time being.

28 Feb 2018
10:32 pm

An employer who deliberately crushed his employee to death with his pickup truck has been arrested by police in Narathiwat’s Su-ngai Kolok district on murder charge.

The suspect, Mr Sarote Lee, owner of the Muslim Karn Yang tyre shop, allegedly drove his pick-up truck to ram into his employee, Mada-oh Maba, as he was riding a motorcycle on Anusorn Looksua road in Su-ngai Kolok district, on Tuesday (Feb 27).

After the victim fell on the road with his motorbike, the suspect drove the truck to run over the former and sped away, police said.

Police managed to identify the perpetrator shortly after they examined the CCTV system at and near the site where the victim lying dead in a pool of blood.

Mr Sarote’s relatives told police that the suspect had mental problem, was paranoid and suspected that the victim might have an affair with his wife.

28 Feb 2018
10:02 pm

A young woman who pushed her own two-year-old son into a klong in order to drown him has confessed to her police interrogators that she was stressed of having to take care of the boy.

The woman, 21-year old Ms Onwanichaya Dankaew, said she broke up with her husband, but still had her grandmother to help take care of her son while she went to work at a finance company in Nonthaburi’s Bang Bua Thong district.  

However, she added that, her grandmother frequently took the boy to her office to let her take care of the boy.

On Feb 26, her grandmother dropped the boy off at her workplace again, making her stressed out and decided to kill the boy.

The boy’s body was found in Klong Ton Noon in Bang Bua Thong district on Tuesday.

Police examined CCTV system at the crime scene at the canal and found a woman holding the hand of a boy crossing a bridge toward the klong.  On the way back, she was seen walking alone without the boy.

Police managed to identify the woman, Ms Onwanichaya, and make the arrest in front of Piyawarom housing estate on Tuesday.

The suspect was on Wednesday (Feb 28) taken to the Nonthaburi court for a court’s order to have her detained at the provincial prison pending further investigation.

The suspect’s grandmother, Mrs Rak Buatui, said she was concerned that Ms Onwanichaya might attempt suicide because she used to harm herself and occasionally beat her son.

28 Feb 2018
7:26 pm

Two people died of rabies and a total of 251 animals were found to be infected with rabies in the past two months, according to Dr Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of Diseases Control Department.

He said rabies situation in Thailand remains a matter of concern, citing a report of the Livestocks Development Department, showing 252 animals – 90 percent of them dogs – were infected with the disease in the past two months of year, representing 1.5 times higher than the statistics of the same period last year.

Roi Et, Surin, Yasothon, Kalasin and Amnat Charoen have the highest incidence of rabies infection in animals.

Dr Suwanchai attributed rabies infection among pet animals and men to lack of rabies vaccination of pet dogs and cats; release of the pet animals out of the houses of their owners and public unawareness of prevention against infection.

As a preventive measure, he said anyone scratched or bitten by a cat or a dog should quickly clean the wounds with soap and clean water and then applied medication on the wounds before seeing the doctor. Then the dog or cat must be caged for at least ten days to see whether it is infected or not.

The Diseases Control Department has instructed its offices in 12 zones to educate the people about how to protect themselves against rabies and to locate those infected with the disease to get vaccinated.

28 Feb 2018
6:22 pm

Retired police officer Charoon Wimoon said he was satisfied with the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police investigating report on the 30-million baht lottery case although it stopped short of making clear who is the real owner of the five First Prize lottery tickets between him and school teacher Preecha Kraikruan.

Pol Lt Charoon and his lawyer, Mr Sittra Biabungkerd, held a press conference at Mr Sittra’s office after watching live broadcast of the press conference chaired by the national police chief, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, to announce the CSD police findings on the lottery case.

Even without a clear-cut announcement about the real owner of the lottery tickets in question, the retired police officer said the fact that arrest warrants were issued against Mr Preecha and Mrs Rattanaporn Supathip, alias Jeh Babin, a lottery vendor, were enough a proof that he is the owner of the lottery tickets although the Civil Court will be the final arbiter to decide on the real owner of the lotteries.

He thanked the police chief for ordering the CSD to take over the investigating of the case from the Provincial Police Region 7 and praised Pol Lt-Gen Thitirat Nongharnpitak, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau and CSD commander Pol Maj-Gen Maitri Chimcherd for handling the case in a fair and straightforward manner.

The retired police officer added that, after the end of this unfortunate affair, he would conduct a merit-making journey to forgive all those who caused him trouble and hardship.

Pol Lt Charoon’s lawyer, Mr Sittra said he would ask for a copy of the CSD case file to begin a process of getting the remaining 25 million prize money impounded by the bank at the instruction of Kanchanaburi police which is allegedly part of the lottery scam gang.

The lawer said his client also planned to sue all those responsible for challenging the lottery ownership by filing false complaint to the police.

28 Feb 2018
3:38 pm

Beginning Friday, the country’s criminal justice system will enforce electronic monitoring on offenders and defendants freed on bails.

The use of electronic monitoring (EM) devices will help ease congestion in prisons now almost overcrowded with prisoners, and keep those freed under monitoring around the clock.

Agreement of the 80 million baht project was signed yesterday between Mr Sarawut Benjakul, secretary-general of the Office of the Judiciary, and Mr Prasarn Mahaleetrakul, director-general of the Probation Department.

Under the agreement, both state agencies will exchange information pertaining to the use of electric monitoring devices with criminal offenders and defendants.

Mr Sarawut said the enforcement of the EM or monitoring bracelets will reduce social differences and the number of detainees who are not posing a serious threat but unable to obtain release dye to lacking of bail bonds.

He said offenders and defendants free on bail or probation are required to wear the electronic devices or known as ankle bracelets that can sound an alarm if they leave home without notices or enter prohibited areas

The device will alert control center once they break court’s conditions, including causing damage to the devices.

Initially 5,000 EM devices will be used with offenders and defendants in the first year, and increase next year.

28 Feb 2018
2:51 pm

The national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda told a press conference this afternoon (Feb 28) the police were not duty-bound to decide who is the real owner of the 30-million baht lottery tickets, but the Civil Court will make the judgement.

Against the expectation that the police chief will come up with the long-awaited answer about the real owner of the five First Prize tickets of November 1 draw, he read from the Supreme Court’s verdict No 2578/2530 which, in summation, ruled that lottery tickets are not registered property and anyone who possesses a lottery tickets is the owner and there is no need to sign in order to purchase a lottery ticket.

Anyone who claimed he or she has lost a winning lottery ticket and who has lodged a complaint of the loss after the announcement of the lottery result is held in suspicion that he/she is the real owner of the lost ticket and the person who actually has the ticket in possession should have the better right of ownership, according to the court’s verdict.

Asked whether retired police officer Charoon Wimoon is the rightful owner of the 30-million baht lottery tickets in accordance with the Supreme Court’s verdict, the police chief merely said he merely read the verdict and he was not involved with the case.

He made clear that he could not interfere with the court’s affairs.

Royal Thai Police (RTP) commissioner Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda

Pol Gen Chakthip reiterated that he ordered the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police to take over the case from Provincial Police Region 7 in Kanchanaburi because the case was complicated and Pol Lt Charoon had filed complaint with the CSD police that he was unfairly treated by the local police.

He explained that the CSD took over only criminal cases that both parties filed against each other. Mr Preecha accused Pol Lt Charoon of embezzlement and receiving stolen property, while Pol Lt Charoon accused Mr Preecha of making false claim to the police.

As for the question of who is the real owner of the five prize-winning lottery tickets, both parties need to ask the civil court to rule on this matter, Pol Gen Chakthip said.

He added there were five lottery-related cases similar to the 30-million-baht lottery scam under police investigation and he hoped the Preecha-Charoon case should be the last one.

The police chief warned Police chief warned those who plan to make a false ownership claim of lottery tickets to take lessons from this case.

Central Investigationo Bureau chief Thitirat Nongharnpitak said Pol Lt Charoon had little evidence to back up his lottery tickets ownership claim, but Mr Preecha’s testimony conflicts with forensic evidence.

School teacher Preecha Kraikruan was booked by CSD police at Thepmongkonrangsi school in Kanchanaburi and escorted to the CSD headquarter in Bangkok for detention.  He is facing three charges, including giving false statement to the authorities and intentionally causing others to receive punishment or receiving harsher punishment.

Lottery ticket vendor Rattanaporn Suphathip, alias “Jeh Babin”, who claimed she sold the five first-prize winning lottery tickets to Mr Preecha, was also arrested from her house in Kanchanaburi and brought to Bangkok.

Police could detain both suspects for 48 hours, or until Friday (March 2) when police have to seek court approval for further detention.

28 Feb 2018
12:28 pm

School teacher Preecha Kraikruan at a school in Kanchanaburi province and a lottery vendor were put under police custody after they were formally charged for filing false claim of five lost lottery tickets that won first prize with a combined 30 million baht rewards.

Crime Suppression Division (CSD) commander Pol Maj Gen Maitree Chimcherd said the court has granted arrest warrant for the two suspects on three charges today (Feb 28).

He said CSD police were traveling to Mr Preecha’s home in Kanchanaburi province with the Criminal Court’s arrest warrant before noon today to make arrest.

Mrs Rattanaporn Suphathip, alias “Jeh Babin”, the lottery vendor who claimed to sell the winning tickets to the teacher, was also under arrest.

Earlier in the morning, the CSD commander sought warrant from the court to arrest the two prime suspects for their conspiracy in making up the whole story of the missing lottery tickets.

The three charges involved the filing of false complaint with the police over the lost lottery tickets, and filing false claim of lost tickets that could land other person in jail.

At about 12.40pm, CSD police arrested Mr Preecha at the school in Kanchanaburi’s Muang district took him to CSD headquarters in Bangkok.

28 Feb 2018
12:14 pm

Thailand is now running shortage of jasmine rice as latest survey in 23 rice cultivation provinces in the North and Northeast showed rice production is over two million tons below target.

The survey was conducted by the Department of Rice and the Thai Rice Miller’s Association in 20 northeastern provinces and three northern provinces since November last year.

Rice millers association president Hasdin Suwatanapongches disclosed yesterday that the survey showed jasmine rice production fell to 7.1 million tons, or lower than what the Ministry of Agriculture has earlier projected at 9.9 million tons.

The production shortfall has raised fear of jasmine rice shortage this year, and of inevitable rising prices.

He estimated jasmine rice to go over 17,000 baht per ton this year from just 10,000 baht last year.

This shortfall will certainly affect domestic consumption and exports, he said.

From the official statistics, jasmine rice will rise to the highest in six years since 2012.

In the 2011/2012 production year, jasmine rice was 15,365 baht per ton, but now it rose to 16,500-17,500 baht per ton this year.

Bag Rice Association president Somkiat Makayathorn attributed the jasmine rice shortfall to massive floodings and weather conditions but said this would benefit farmers in term of gaining higher prices for their rice.

He said jasmine rice skyrocketed 30% from 21-22 baht a kilo to 33-34 baht forcing bag rice operators to adjust prices gradually now.

As bag rice does not come under government’s price control, jasmine rice rose from 150-170 baht for a 5-kg bag to 180-200 baht now.

However white rice prices did not change much and remained same prices as last year, or 12 baht per kilo, he said.

He expected the bag rice market this year to be around 25 billion baht.

White rice is consumed by 55% of Thai population, while 45% eat jasmine rice.

28 Feb 2018
10:50 am

Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) commissioner and Crime Suppression Division (CSD) on Thursday morning went to the Criminal Court in Bangkok to seek warrant for the arrest of two prime suspects in connection with the 30-million baht lottery ticket scandal.

CIB commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Thitirat Nongharnpitak did not disclose the names of the two suspects the CSD police wanted for filing false complaint about the lost lottery tickets but the CSD police were deployed in front of the house of the school teacher Preecha Kraikruan in Kanchanaburi province this morning.

An army of news journalists was gathering at the court as the CIB commissioner arrived for the warrant.

He said after the arrest warrant was issued by court, a press conference scheduled for 1.30pm at the Royal Thai Police will be held.

RTP commissioner Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda will chair the press conference to detail the arrest of the two suspects who will be escorted to Bangkok to appear at the press conference.

Meanwhile Mr Preecha told reporters who gathered in front of his home on Thursday morning that he had a nice dream last night.

He said he dreamed of God coming out to protect him, had his hair cut, and had a bath.

He said he was not worried as he was the real owner of the 5 lottery tickets that won 30 million baht in total.

27 Feb 2018
10:44 pm

Police are to seek court’s warrant on Wednesday for the arrest of a few individuals allegedly involved in the 30-million baht lottery scandal, Pol Lt-Gen Thitirat Nongharnpitak, commissioner of Central Investigation Bureau, disclosed on Tuesday.

He declined to give the names of those facing arrest or the charges against them, but he stressed that police had adequate evidence to ask the court to issue arrest warrant against them.

However, he said that it was the court’s discretion to issue arrest warrant or to issue summons for them to show up before the police, noting that they used to say that they would not run away.

Commenting on the latest sound clip presented by school teacher Preecha Kraikruan, claiming that the clip was the conversation between Pol Lt Charoon Wimoon and the teacher’s witness, Pol Lt-Gen Thitirat said police didn’t attach much importance to the audio clip as police have had enough evidence about the case.

The CIB commissioner said police had to make sure they had a water-tight case because it was likely that this sort of case might multiply in the future and, hence, the need to nib it in the bud.

Meanwhile, the national police chief, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, will call a press conference on Wednesday at the Royal Thai Police head office to announce the result of the investigating report of the case by the Crime Suppression Division which will ascertain who is the real owner of the 30-million baht lottery tickets between Preecha and Pol Lt Charoon.

27 Feb 2018
10:14 pm

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation Department is pondering pressing a new charge against Italian-Thai Development Plc boss Premchai Karnasuta for illegal possession of two pairs of African tusks.

An informed source from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said that forensic officials had examined the DNA of the ivory tusks and concluded that they were African tusks which cannot be legally possessed by any individual in accordance with the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act which was amended in 2014 to include African elephants as protected species under the Thai law in order to prevent trafficking in African tusks.

The source noted that punishments under the amended wildlife law were heavier than those specified in the cruelty against animals law.

The charge of cruelty against animals which was initiated by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation was withdrawn after it was discovered the law does not cover wildlife like a black panther.

The department head, Mr Thanya Netithammakul, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Surasak Kanchanarat would chair a meeting of the committee tasked with following the illegal hunting case to discuss the development of the case.

A press conference will be held after the meeting, he said.

27 Feb 2018
9:52 pm

Anti-graft officials investigating alleged plundering of fund for destitute people have unearthed evidence of corruption in 14 out of 37 centres for the protection of the destitute.

Pol Lt-Col Wannop Somchintanakul, assistant secretary-general of the Public Section Anti-Corruption Commission, said Tuesday that evidence of corruption was found at the centres in Sa Kaew and Roi-et in addition to centres in 12 other provinces, including Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai, Bung Karn, Surat Thani, Trat, Saraburi, Ayutthaya, Udon Thani, Nan, Krabi and Trang which were already implicated in corrupt practice.

He disclosed that, in some areas, PACC officials had to grill witnesses twice because it was reported that officials of the centres had visited them and gave them the full amount of handouts – 2,000 baht each – so they would change their testimonies.

He, however, noted that even if the destitute people were given the full amount of handouts afterward, the implicated officials would still face legal and disciplinary actions because they had already committed the offence of corruption.

Pol Lt-Con Wannop further said that the cheating trick was almost the same in all the centres where corrupt practice was uncovered: the corrupt officials would get hold of copies of ID cards from any people who are not destitute people and would give them cash handouts below the 2,000-baht full amount which was specified in the receipts signed by the imposters or signed by staff in the centres.

He cited the case of 15 territorial defence volunteers who used to assist work at the centre in Trat province and who were demanded to leave copies of their ID cards with officials of the centre. Their ID card copies were used to claim handouts from the centre despite the fact that they were not destitute people.

 

27 Feb 2018
6:13 pm

Anti-corruption police have admitted that the sound clip purportedly showing the Italian-Thai Development Plc boss Premchai Karnasuta trying to bribe Thung Yai Naresuan forest rangers might not be strong enough to press bribery charge against the alleged illegal hunter.

Pol Col Watcharin Pusit, deputy commander of Anti-Corruption Command, said Tuesday that said that the sound in the clip was not the sound of Premchai, but of Mr Yong Dodkrua, one of the illegal hunting party.

He said that the conversation in the audio clip which was recorded by Mr Piyapong Suebsen, one of the forest rangers who made the arrest of the hunting party, took place on February 5 after Premchai and the rest of his hunting party were arrested by forest rangers.

The sound clip was shown to the media and was eventually erased from the officer’s smartphone, said Pol Col Watcharin who, however, assured that the sound clip still exists.

He went on saying that, on March 8, he would invite Mr Wichien Chinnawong, head of Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary, and five other witnesses for further questioning before making a final judgement whether the bribery charge should stay or be dropped.

Even without the bribery charge, Premchai still faces several charges, including illegal hunting of protected species, illegal possession of carcass of protected wildlife and possession of illegal firearms which cannot be registered.

27 Feb 2018
5:40 pm

Songkran revelers will have a five-day holiday this year to celebrate the water-splashing fun-filled festival after the Cabinet declared April 12 a public holiday.

The cabinet on Tuesday (Feb 27) resolved to declare Thursday, April 12 an addition public holiday on top of the Songkran Day on Friday, April 13 which is already a public holiday.

Since April 14-15 fall on Saturday and Sunday and April 16 has already been declared Songkran holiday, the total number of holidays for Songkran festival this year will be five–from April 12-16.

Assistant government spokesperson Col Athisit Chainuwat said that the long holidays would help promote local tourism and urged state agencies to make preparations to facilitate the safe travelling of revelers.

27 Feb 2018
5:08 pm

The Appeals Court on Tuesday upheld the lower court’s acquittal of Suthep Thaugsuban, former secretary-general of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), charged with defamation by the prosecutor.

Accompanied by his lawyer and supporters, Mr Suthep arrived at the Appeals Court this morning (Feb 27) to hear the court’s reading of the verdict in which he was accused of defaming core members of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) Jatuporn Prompan, Nattawut Saikuar, and Weng Tojirakarn for urging voters to boycott the election.

The alleged defamation occurred on May 22, 2011.

The Appeals Court ruled that the prosecutor’s evidence was not sufficient to prove that the defendant defamed the three UDD core leaders and the alleged slandering statement made by the defendant who was then deputy prime minister was merely an honest expression of his political opinion.

27 Feb 2018
3:55 pm

The Ministry of Finance says revenue collection in the first four months of Fiscal 2018 (October- January) has soared to 730 billion baht.

This represented a 4% increase or 28.38 billion baht higher than it projected.

Significant factor contributing to increased revenue collection was attributed to higher contribution to government coffer by state enterprises, according to the ministry’s inspector general Ms Kulaya Tantitemit.

The highest revenue contribution came from state enterprises, which contributed 12.994 billion baht higher than projected, followed by other government agencies (12.747 billion baht), and Excise Department (1.251 billion baht), she said.

The ministry also expected increased revenue collection in the remaining months of the year as the economy remains  upbeat.

27 Feb 2018
3:27 pm

A new Public Order and Safety Bill was introduced to the parliament in Singapore today (Feb 27) which, if passed, will empower the police to stop members of the public to take photos or videos and not forward messages about police operation in the event of a terror attack, The Straits Times Online reported.

The legislative move follows incidents such as the 2015 attack on Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris, where the lone terrorist holding hostages in the store was able to watch live television broadcasts of police officers outside preparing to storm the place, said the Ministry of Home Affairs.

During a series of coordinated attacks across Mumbai in 2008, live broadcast of security forces preparing to storm the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel also allowed gunmen inside to anticipate their next moves.

Besides allowing communications stop orders, the bill will give police the power to take down or disable unmanned aircraft and autonomous vehicles and vessels in an around an incident area regardless of their intent and activity.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said such devices can be used for surveillance by the terrorists or even as weapons.  

One reason the new law is required is that existing laws do not allow for expanded powers in situations where public safety is seriously threatened, but where there is no large-scale public disorders, said MHA.

The bill is the latest piece of legislation introduced to deal with the heightened terrorist threat.

27 Feb 2018
1:57 pm

Chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno appears to be in the hot seat as several Supreme Court justices are calling for her resignation over her alleged violations of court rules, including her failure to submit all of her statements of assets and liabilities and for making an illegal appointment, according to The Manila Times Online on Tuesday.

Court sources said that the justices wanted to challenge Sereno and ask her to explain her actions during today’s session.

“There will be fireworks on Tuesday (Feb 27).  Sereno will be confronted by the justices because the court is being dragged into the fray, said the sources, adding that some justices would demand her to resign to save the court from further humiliation.

Sereno is facing an impeachment complaint at the House of Representatives where her colleagues, including justices Teresita Leonardo de Castro and Francis  Jardeleza had taken turns to testify against her.

Even associate justice Marvic Leonen, a perceived ally of Sereno, appears to have turned his back on Sereno.

On February, he posted on his Twitter account which, in part, read as follows:  “A good leader not only has authority, but has the respect of his/her constituents .  They follow him/her not because he/she has authority, but because she inspires them to be the best in what they do.”

Court sources said Leonen wanted to revoke the appointment of Brenden Jay Angeles-Mendoza as chief of the Philippine Mediation Centre Office of the Philippine Judicial Academy.

Mendoza’s appointment by Sereno without the authority of the en banc is one of the grounds cited in the complaint for impeachment filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon.

27 Feb 2018
10:30 am

Seub Nakhasathien Foundation chairman Sasin Chalermlarp said he suspected authorities concerned were helping Italian-Thai Development Plc boss Premchai Karnasuta, warning that the government would be held accountable if the poaching suspect is allowed to escape unpunished.

In his Facebook post, Mr Sasin pointed out that there are more than enough evidence against Mr Premchai be it the black panther’s skin which was preserved with salt; the black panther tail soup in a pot found in the jungle camp; the guns seized from the camp and the sound of gunshots; and the sound clip of negotiations between Mr Premchai and forest rangers after the arrest.

“If these are not enough, drag the feet by examining the feces on and on. In my opinion, I believe the authorities handling the case are definitely helping Mr Premchai,” Mr Sasin wrote on Sunday (Feb 25).

He added that Mr Premchai should be bailed out, judging from his behaviour which could pose threat to the natural resources.

“With these evidence, if (he) is left off the hook, this government cannot deny its responsibility,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation and its alliance will hold a public forum on Monday (March 5) to update the progress of the Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary hunting case.

The foundation and environmental groups also vowed to hold activities throughout March to encourage the public to monitor the police’s handling of the case.

Mr Premchai is facing at least nine counts of charge for illegal hunting in Thung Yai Naresuan world heritage site early this month. The charges range from illegal hunting of protected species, illegal possession of firearms in wildlife sanctuary, possession of illegal firearms which cannot be registered to cover-up of offences and attempted bribery.

After receiving bail on Feb 4, Kanchanaburi police allowed Mr Premchai to postpone reporting to acknowledge charges for three times already. The next summons is scheduled for March 5.

26 Feb 2018
9:36 pm

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered military protection for two whistle-blowers who exposed the plundering of fund for the destitute at Khon Kaen centre for the protection of the destitute.

Colonel Pitakphol Chusri, information chief of Khon Kaen peace-keeping force, said Monday that troops from the Sripatcharin barracks had been ordered to be sent to provide protection to Ms Panita Yospanya, a student of the faculty of humanities and social science of Maha Sarakham University, and a former employee of the Khon Kaen centre for the protection of the destitute.

Ms Panita told the media today that she felt very relieved that she would be given protection by the military.

Meanwhile, it was reported that the university administration had set up a panel to investigate a lecturer who allegedly reprimanded Ms Panita for her role in exposing the alleged corruption in the Khon Kaen centre, saying that her exposure has ruined the reputation of the university.

Ms Panita who worked as a trainee at the Khon Kaen centre saw the irregularities in the centre and lodged a complaint with the National Council for Peace and Order, resulting to an investigation by the Office of the Auditor-General and the Public Section Anti-Corruption Commission. Eventually, all 37 centres were investigated.

Ms Natthakarn Muenphol, former employee of the Khon Kaen centre, was fired from the centre last year. She took the case to the Administrative Court against the centre for unfair dismissal and exposed the alleged corruption in the centre.

The two women were given citations and scholarships by the Khon Kaen provincial public relations office on Monday.

 

26 Feb 2018
9:23 pm

Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith on Monday defended the one-metre gauge dual track railway system and the elevated train projects as suitable for Thailand, claiming that the two mass transit systems had gone through strict screening procedures and feasibility studies.

His statements in support of the two train systems was in response to the opposition to the systems voiced by retired deputy national police chief, Pol Gen Salang Bunnag, in his apparent suicide note found in his body after his fatal plunge from the 7th floor of a shopping mall in Chaengwattana area on Sunday. The victim also voiced his support for auto bahn – the road system in Germany.

Minister Arkhom clarified that the one-metre gauge dual track system had been subjected to numerous discussions for the past ten years, adding that the system would enable trains to travel in opposition directions simultaneously and would speed up train travelling for humans and cargoes.

He said the one-metre gauge is standard gauge for trains in Asean region, with Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand having a combined length of 13,660 kms of one-metre gauge rail track.

The 1.435 metre gauge is the European standard, said the minister, adding that the Bangkok-Nong Khai and Bangkok-Rayong high-speed train projects being planned by the State Railway of Thailand would adopt the European standard gauge of 1.435 metres in width.

As for the auto banh road system, he said the German road system was a closed straight road system without any intersections or connected roads in between which would be difficult to be applicable in Thailand because there are communities and houses located along all the main roads.

The best that Thailand could do – and has done – was motorways which still have entrances and exits along the way, said the minister.

 

26 Feb 2018
2:50 pm

The government will close Highway 3259 which runs through Chachoengsao’s Khao Ang Rue Nai wildlife sanctuary in one year, Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan said on Monday.

He said the highway would be closed permanently after the new 45-kilometre road now under construction was expected to complete soon.

Gen Prawit, who is president of the Five Provinces Bordering Forest Preservation Foundation, acknowledged that it would add 40 kilometres to the distance currently travelled.

However he said he was committed to protecting wildlife from harm.

From the time being, he said authorities would clear undergrowth by the roadsides by five metres wide to enable clearer visibility for motorists, beginning the start of next month.

Wildlife sanctuary chief Decha Nilvichien said the clearing of undergrowth would take two days for a 30-kilometre distance.

Earlier the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation said that nearly 14,000 wild animals die each year on Highway 3259. Authorities in 2008 balked at closing the highway, citing the inconvenience it would cause motorists, and decided instead to close off the section through the forest between 9pm and 5am daily.

The construction of the new route will be finished on March 11 next year. The new route will bypass the wildlife sanctuary along a 10-kilometre distance from Ban Khao Talad to Ang Sua dam villages.

Meanwhile search for the injured elephants entered the fifth day on Monday focussing only to 1-2 kilometres from where it was hit by the pickup truck.

Sanctuary officials said they narrowed the distance to 1-2 kilometres as it was the distance which an injured elephant dragging its hind legs could take.

It was still hiding somewhere in the areas as it still might be in frightened condition, they said.

26 Feb 2018
2:24 pm

One bus hostess was killed and 16 others were injured after the bus skidded, crashing a traffic island and colliding head-on with a truck on the Friendship highway in Soong Nern district of Nakgon Ratchasima province on Sunday night.

Six other trucks were also damaged in the fatal traffic that happened at about 9.30pm on the highway.

Questioning of passengers and other truck drivers revealed that the bus of Nakhon Chai Tour company was taking passengers from Korat to Bangkok.

But as the bus with about 20 passengers arrived near Ban Buyai in Soong Nern district, there was rain.

The bus skidded and crashed on the traffic island before colliding head-on with a ten wheeler coming on the opposite lane of the highway.

The crash left the bus hostess identified as Maneerat Susai, 27, dead and the bus driver Phantom Sudlapha seriously injured. 16 others in the fatal bus and six other vehicles were also injured.

All were later admitted to Maharaj hospital for treatment.

The bus driver said his bus skidded because of the slippery road after raining.

26 Feb 2018
12:54 pm

Pattaya police rounded up 10 Russian men and women at a hotel room for opening and attending a sex course late Sunday night.

However only four were initially charged for illegal entry, and the rest freed.

The raid at a hotel in Pattaya came after the Transnational Crime Coordination Centre of the Royal Thai Police received tipoff that a group of Russian men and women have opened sex courses in Pattaya.

They charged 20,000 baht for the sex training couses for a trainee.

Investigation later found the sex training course was held at Pattaya hotel room.

The police raided the room where 10 Russian men and women were arrested.

However the Russian instructors claimed they didn’t open the course for Thai people but their own people who were all Russian couples and paid to receive training on voluntary basis to improve their sexual experiences.

They also denied buying sex from Thai women.

Police later detained one of them for overstaying, three for illegal entry and freed the remaining Russians.

Police said they would also charge the suspects who organised the training course for illegal employment.

26 Feb 2018
12:34 pm

Search for a Chinese female tourist who went missing in the sea off Phang Nga’s Thai Myang district resumed for the third day with divers from the Royal Thai Navy joining search teams from the marine police and the private charity foundation.

The search was agreed to expand eight nautical miles into the deep sea from the first scene after searches conducted by helicopters, police patrol boats and native fishing boats on Saturday and Sunday could not locate them.

Two Chinese tourists have drowned and another went missing after swimming at a beach in Phang Nga’s Thai Muang district Friday night.

Two other Chinese tourists were also injured in the incident in high surf in front of the Dusit Hotspring Beach and Spa Hotel around 6pm.

The two drowned tourists have been identified as Wang Qi, 29, and Jiang Yufu, 25.

Police said Yang Juan, 27, was still missing. She was said to be on a honey moon trip to Thailand with her boyfriend.

Jiang Duping and Jiang Yumong, both 28, were injured and rushed to Vachira Hospital on the Phuket.

A Thai guide told police that the five were among 29 Chinese tourists he took from Krabi International Airport to check-in at the hotel on Friday.

He said he had warned the tourists against swimming because it was dusk and the waves were very strong.

But the five didn’t heed the warning. The group was hit by a big wave and people nearby managed to pull two of them from the water in time.

Phang Nga governor Sitthichai Sakda said the search today would also focus on chain of underwater rocks which the body might be sticked.

But he said normally a drowned body would float to sea surface after three days.

26 Feb 2018
12:16 pm

Police have found pieces of what were believed to be parts of two tiny bombs which were used in the attack of a department store in Narathiwat on Saturday(Feb 25).

Officials from the explosive ordnance disposal and scientific crime detection units spent about four hours scouring the Super Department Store on Chamroonnara Road in search of remains of bombs.

The officials focused their searches on the area where spray cans were exhibited. They found burned pieces of a wallet, remains of a digital clock and electrical wires as well as bomb shrapnels.

They suspected the two small bombs were stuffed inside the wallet and placed among inflammable spray cans which – when hit by a bomb – would easily catch fire.

But government spokesman Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said he didn’t think the southern militants had used a new type of bomb in the attack of the department store.

He said the militants would do everything they could to make sure that their bombs would explode.

 

 

26 Feb 2018
12:04 pm

The family of the dead cadet Pakapong Tanyakan has now officially hired a law firm, Barista International, to look after the handling of the case by the military prosecution after it has indicted senior cadets in the military court.

A chief lawyer of the law firm Sathit Poonsawatpong said the case has proceeded slowly although it happened for many months.

He said there was no progress although the military prosecutor has indicted some senior cadets for body assault.

The military court has yet to summon the suspects for testimonials and they have rights to deny the charges or to accept, he said.

He said the police in Nakhon Nayok has notified the family that they had questioned 28 witnesses and were awaiting for forensic autopsy results conducted separately by the Mongkhutklao hospital and the Central Institute of Forensic Science which have suggested different opinions.

He said the police investigators were still in the process of requesting to the secretary-general of the Medical Council of Thailand to send forensic scientists to give their opinions on two different autopsy results.

Parents of the dead cadet have made merit at a temple in Chonburi as a contribution to their son.

Earlier Ms Suphicha Tanyakan, elder sister of Pakapong, the first year student of the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School, disclosed that the family received a formal notification dated January 24 from Ban Na police that they have agreed to pursue legal action in the case.

They said all information on the case had been sent to the military prosecutor at Military Area 12 for consideration, she said.

The police didn’t give any information on how many persons they have indicted.

25 Feb 2018
9:58 pm

About 400 residents from households in Tambon Pimai municipality have challenged a recent announcement by the Fine Arts Department declaring 2,400 rai of land in the municipal area an archaeological site.

The residents claimed that they have been living in the area which is placed within the archaeological site since their ancestors, with several of them showing their legal land ownership rights, said Mr Danai Tangjerdja, the mayor of Tambon Pimai municipality.

He added that the residents felt that the move of the Fine Arts Department was unfair and they would protest against the department in order to protect their ancestral land.

Initially, Mr Danai said the protesting residents would resort to negotiations with officials of the department and, later on, take the case to the Administrative Court if the department refuses to revoke the announcement and to exclude their land from the archaeological site.

 

25 Feb 2018
8:46 pm

American golfer Jessica Korda won the Honda LPGA Thailand in Pattaya on Sunday with total scores 25-under 263 while Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn tied second place with Alexie Thomson from the US with total scores of 21-under 267.

The winner walked away with a 7.68 million baht cheque while Moriya and Thomson each took 4.1 million baht.
The other Jutanugarn sister, Ariya, finished 5th place with Feng Shan-shan from China with scores 17-under 271.

Moriya told the media after the final match that she went out to play for fun as she wished and she felt the whole week was a great fun for her.

Jessica Korda, meanwhile, said it was unbelievable that she captured the championship title once again after two years of drought. She said that she did not have much expectation from this tournament after having a surgery.

She added that she felt very happy to return to this tournament.

 

25 Feb 2018
8:05 pm

Famous rocker Arthivara Kongmalai who is better known as Toon Bodyslam on Sunday presented 1.3 billion baht of public donations raised from the charity marathon run late last year to 11 hospitals to be used in the acquisition of necessary medical equipment.

The donations were received by Maj-Gem Nimit Samotharn, director of Phra Mongkutklao hospital on behalf of the 11 hospitals.

On top of the public donations which amounted to 1,377 million baht as of 2 pm on Sunday, Toon and his running mates also presented four million baht raised from the sale of T-shirts to be given to Mai Kaen hospital in Pattani for the purchase of an X-ray machine.

The 1,300 million baht donations are split among 11 hospitals as follows: Phra Mongkutklao hospital, 221 million baht; Khon Kaen hospital, 143 million baht; Surat Thani hospital, 136.5 million baht; Ratchaburi hospital, 130 million baht; Chiang Rai Prachasongkroh hospital, 110.5 million baht; Saraburi hospital, 104 million baht; Yala hospital, 91 million baht; Nakhon Ping hospital in Chiang Mai, 91 million baht; Chao Phraya Yommaraj hospital, 91 million baht; Chao Phraya Abhaiphubet hospital in Prachin Buri, 91 million baht; and Chao Nan hospital, 91 million baht.

 

 

 

25 Feb 2018
7:13 pm

The Livestock Department is speeding up the inclusion of wildlife into so that wild animals will be protected under this law.

The law is intended to protect animals which are kept as pet, raised for work or for shows against cruelty or mistreatment by their owners or caretakers, but the law does not cover wild animals.

The need to update the law to include wild animals under its protection has arisen after forest rangers decided to lodge a charge of cruelty against animals against Premchai Karnasuta’s hunting party, but eventually dropped the charge because wildlife is not covered by this law.

An informed source said that the panel in charge of amending the law to include wildlife under the protection of the law has been trying to define the meaning of wildlife, but the whole process will be completed within March 9.

Although not included in the law to protect animals from cruelty, wildlife is already protected by wildlife conservation and protection law which prescribes harsher penalties against the hunters or the torturers of wild animals.

 

25 Feb 2018
6:39 pm

More than half of the respondents to the Suan Dusit Poll disagreed with the idea of setting up of a political party to support General Prayut Chan-o-cha as the next prime minister.

58.95 percent of 1,185 respondents opposed the idea, saying that political parties should be independent and have clear policies for the good of the people and should not support the current administration to stay on in power whereas 35.37 percent of the respondents agreed with the idea, saying having new parties will give more choices to the electorate.

Suan Dusit Poll of Suan Dusit University conducted an opinion survey by gauging the opinions of 1,185 respondents from across the country during February 21-24 on the theme: New Political Parties in the Eyes of the People.

This theme was chosen amidst a report that Suthep Thuagsuban, former leader of the now defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee, would form a political party to support General Prayut to stay on as prime minister.

The opinion survey showed 53.87 percent of the respondents admitted that they were unaware of the report because they did not keep abreast with political news against 46.13 percent who said they were aware of the report.

48.88 percent said having new parties would liven up political atmosphere; 41.38 percent said voters would have more choices while 32.23 percent believe more parties could lead to political changes.

 

25 Feb 2018
4:52 pm

Former deputy national police chief Pol Gen Salang Bunnag plunged to his death from the seventh floor of a shopping mall in Chaengwattana area on Sunday in what was believed to be a suicide.

Police said they found a hand-written note in the 81-year retired police officer’s body. The note which was addressed to his children and friends read as follows: “Dad will be alive not more than two years and better will leave in a useful way. All who are aware of this should protest against the dual-track project, the elevated train projects and push for autobahn. Distribute this note as many as possible. I have counted 1 to 1,000. This method will be beneficial . (I) apologize everyone I love. Signed Pol Gen Salang Bunnag.”

The footnote reads: “Don’t reprimand, be proud. If (I) do not do like this, no one will know about it because the media will help in the cover-up.”

Pol Cpt Thanawat Chevitsophon, deputy inspector of Pakkred police, said he was alerted from witnesses that a man who appeared to have fallen from a shopping mall was found lying on the ground floor in front of a bakery shop and he immediately rushed to the scene with some of his men.

The victim who was later identified as Pol Gen Salang Bunnag was rushed to Jalaprathan hospital but was declared dead upon arrival.

The victim who was later identified as Pol Gen Salang Bunnag was rushed to Jalaprathan hospital but was declared dead upon arrival.

The police team then checked all the CCTV cameras on the 7th floor of the mall where Salang was last seen and interviewed several shoppers who witnessed the incident.

According to witness accounts, Salang who was earlier seen walking on the 7th floor walked right to the glass barricade, climbed over it and plunged below.

Police said they would invite the victim’s relatives for questioning to find more details about the cause of the apparent suicide.

Pol Col Krisana Pattanacharoen, deputy spokesman of the Royal Thai Police, expressed condolence of the family of the former deputy police chief. He said that police would have to investigate the actual cause of the apparent sucide and an autopsy could be conducted.

 

25 Feb 2018
4:25 pm

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai retained his World Boxing Council super-flyweight title by beating his Mexican challenger Francisco Estrada by a majority decision at the Forum in Los Angeles on Sunday morning.

The judges gave scores of 115-113, 117-111 and 114-114 in favour of the Thai boxer after 12 rounds of the fight.
The victory improved the Thai boxer’s statistics to 50 win, 4 losses and 1 draw.

After the fight, Srisaket was full of praise for Estrada, saying he admired his Mexican challenger’s strength and resolve. He also thanked Thai fans who showed up at the Forum to cheer him.

Srisaket is due to return to Bangkok on Tuesday morning and he is expected to be welcome by his fans at Suvarnabhumi international airport.

 

 

25 Feb 2018
1:58 pm

The amount of non-performing loans (NPLs) from credit cards during the first quarter of 2018 fiscal year has jumped to 51 billion baht, according to the Credit Bureau.

The bureau reported that credit card NPL starting from one-month non-payment had the tendency to increase since late last year thanks to the government’s tax exemption for 15,000 baht spending on shopping by taxpayers, with many consumers resorting to making payments for this spending via their credit cards.

Out of a total of 19 million credit cards, the bureau said that one million cards were involved in the 51 billion baht worth of NPLs for the first quarter of the year.

In contrast to the rise of NPLs especially among the Generation Y young working people, income of the working people in general has not increased as many companies did not pay bonuses to the employees.

In the meantime, banks have tightened up their lending, especially personal loans and credit card spending after the Bank of Thailand introduced stringent measures to control credit cards.

Mr Amorn Suvachittanont, assistant president of Kasikorn Bank, said that NPLs from credit cards have little impacts on household debts because most of the NPLs involved young working people or the white-collar workers and banks have to keep a close watch on NPLs on real estate.

Credit Bureau reported NPLs on real estate amounted to 200 billion baht largely due to missed payments on instalments by Generation X consumers as their earnings are below their spending obligations.

 

25 Feb 2018
10:27 am

A total of 268,989 new cars and motorcycles were registered with the Land Transport Department in January this year.

The newly-registered vehicles for the month January included 167,039 motorcycles, 63,646 sedans, 24,117 pickup trucks, 1,129 7-seat-plus cars, 939 buses operating on fixed routes, 724 buses which do not operate on fixed routes and 5,731 trucks.

The total number of registered vehicles until January 31 amounted to 38,428,304 units.

Mr Kamon Burapong, deputy director-general of Land Transport Department, said the department had tightened up the use of red license plates for new cars to prevent the use of new cars to commit crimes because they can hardly be traced.

He said that each red plate is usable for a maximum of 30 days since the day a vehicle was registered and issued with a red plate after which – if the red plate is still being used – the motorist will be liable to a fine not exceeding 10,000 baht.

 

25 Feb 2018
9:40 am

Thailand’s tourism industry continues to shine this year with tourism revenue generated from foreign tourists visiting the country in the first month of 2018 surging to almost 200 billion baht.

Over 3.54 million international tourists visited the country in January this year, an increase of 10.8% over the same month last year.

According to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, out of the 3.54 million foreign visitors coming in the first month of this year, 2.14 million were from East Asia, over  900,000 from Europe, and 811,000 from the United States, South Asia, Oceania, Middle East, and Africa.

The tourist arrivals represented a 10.87%. increase year-on-year, while tourists from South Asia alone increased by 20.65%.

Thailand generated  188.89 billion baht from these international tourists in one month, or an increase of 11.59% year-on-year.

Meanwhile domestic tourism also generated 956.75 billion baht in cashflow, or  8.38% increase over the previous year.

For the entire year in 2017, tourism generated 2.78 trillion baht to the country, up 10.51%. from previous year.

24 Feb 2018
10:12 pm

Pro-election activists have vowed to hold a major rally on March 10 to protest against the military government and to demand the restoration of democracy.

A core leader of the group, Mr Rangsiman Rome, urged members of the public as well as politicians to join their protest on March 10 at a location somewhere between Thammasat University and Ratchadamnoen Avenue.

The group gathered at Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan campus on late Saturday afternoon (Feb 24) and staged a Hyde-park style rally, with core members among them Mr Rangsiman, Sirawith Serithiwat, Piyarat Chongthep and Anon Nampa taking turns to go up the stage to address the small audience.

Mr Rangsiman said that the group would use the three-finger salute as their symbol to represent their three objectives: to call for election this year; to throw out dictatorship and to restore democracy.

The rally, the third pro-election gathering after the Jan 27 and the Feb 10 gatherings, was joined by Watana Muangsook, a core member of the Pheu Thai party, who said that he merely wanted to give moral support to the young activists and to declare himself their ally.

The outspoken former Pheu Thai MP said he was not worried that his participation in the rally would be misinterpreted as being the sponsor behind the pro-election movement.  

Personally, he said, in his capacity as an eligible voter, he didn’t think it was strange for a man like him to demand the government to keep its promise about the election.

Commenting on the National Legislative Assembly’s rejection of the seven candidates for the Election Commission, Mr Watana said the NLA’s move was unusual, but he thought it was good because all the seven candidates were not legally selected.

Mr Sirawith called on members of the public to join their next major demonstration in a show of force to demand restoration of democracy.

24 Feb 2018
9:54 pm

Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh–Rebels of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) who have escaped the Myanmar forces into Bangladesh’s refugee camps in Cox’s Bazaar are trying to form an exiled ARSA force to pursue fight against the Myanmar military.

Thai PBS news team recently visited Cox’s Bazaar on the Bangladeshi-Myanmar border and talked with some ARSA rebels who said they were determined to protect the Muslim Rohingyas although they were in exile.

One rebel said that the ARSA rebels were still in close contact while in Bangladesh and they were discussing the possibility of forming an exiled ARSA force because the rebels inside Rakhine state are weak and short of weapons and ammunition.

He said he himself joined ARSA about two months before the bloody clash between the rebels and Myanmar forces in Maungdaw township on Aug 25 last year.

Another ARSA rebel told Thai PBS that the rebels in Rakhine state were grouped into a cell of five members each and members of a cell would undertake an operation instructed by a chief whom they had never seen before.

The rebel claimed that there were 100-200 ARSA members in each of the 40 villages in Maungdaw township, but most of them are now among the refugees in Bangladesh, especially in Cox’s Bazaar.

Another source said that there were several ARSA rebels mingling among Rohingya refugees in 12 refugee camps in Cox’s Bazaar.-Reporting by Hathairat Phaholtap

24 Feb 2018
6:34 pm

A combined force of military and police in Surat Thani province began regulating hostel operators on Koh Samui on Saturday (Feb 24).

The operation followed the Fourth Army chief Lt Gen Piyawat Nakwanich’s recent visit to Surat Thani province earlier this month and instructed authorities to crackdown on illegal business operators at the three tourists islands–Ko Samui, Ko Phangan, and Ko Tao.

Lodging business operators have complained that the cheap and unregistered hostels have gravely impacted their businesses.

Security officers also pointed out that cheap and illegal hostels had lax measures to keep records of their guests, posing security risks.

Authorities today raided US Hostel on Soi Sunday in Tambon Bophut which has 30 rooms with each room having double decker beds for 6-8 persons.

The hostel’s room rates are between 350-1,000 baht per day.

Checks by officials found that the hostel does not have a license to operate hotel business.

The hostel owner, Areerak Luangvicharoen, was charged of operating hotel business without permission.

The authorities said they would continue to raid other unlicensed hostels in the area.

24 Feb 2018
2:50 pm

Pattaya police are now looking for two Thai women after they allegedly entered a rented condominium room of an Italian man on Pattaya 2 road  and escaped with over 200,000 baht in cash and valuables.

The 64-yesr-old Italian man told Pattaya police in early hours of Saturday (Feb 24) that two women knocked on the door of his room last night asking to inspect his rented room.

The women claimed that they were permitted to see the room by the owner after they said they wanted to buy it.

He said he then invited both to the room and had coffee and drink together.

But he said he passed out shortly afterwards on the floor.

After he recovered, the two women had gone.

He said he woke up about 30 minutes later with his nose bleeding. He then checked his valuables and found that his money and valuables went missing.

The women had gone with 5,000 baht in cash, 5,000 Euros, and a gold necklace worth 2,000 Euros, he said.

The man then called his Italian friend in Pattaya to take him to see the police.

Pattaya police said they had gained evidence of the two burglars from the condo’s CCTV cameras and adjacent areas and said the burglars had committed similar crimes in the past.

Police said they expected to arrest the two women soon.

24 Feb 2018
11:37 am

Suspected insurgents staged another round of violence last night by burning stores, firing at houses, security bases and checkpoints in Narathiwat, Pattani and Songkhla provinces.

The spate of attacks place all government authorities in the four southern border provinces to increase security checks on all vehicles entering southern towns as forensic police and EOD officers began to inspect the crime scenes this morning (Feb 24).

Security authorities reported over 10 incidents, ranging from car tires burning, shooting attacks, and arsons. They believed the incidents intended to generate unrest and damage properties of civilians and of government as nobody was hurt in the incidents.

The attacks include:

  • Fires at a fancy fish shop and a supermarket in Muang district of Narathiwat. Chuchart Silamas, the fish shop owner, said he heard an explosion first and then saw a fire which raged very quickly and completely gutted his shop. Forensic police suspected the assailants used either fire or pipe bombs in both attacks.
  • Shooting attacks at a house of a police lieutenant officer in Thepha district of Songkhla. Police said suspected militants fired at the house with assault rifles. The shooting attack also took place at a house of a police sergeant. There was no injury in both attacks but caused damages to their properties.
  • In Pattani, several police and military outposts were attacked by gun men. The militants also burned car tyres on several roads to cause disturbances in the towns.

Royal Thai Police spokesman Pol Col Krissana Pattanacharoen said the police have cooperated with the military and local administration officials to check if the violent incidents would have link to any group, and bring all of them to justices.

They were collecting evidences to hunt them down, he added.

24 Feb 2018
9:42 am

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Friday (Feb 23) ordered the abrupt transfer of Social Development and Human Security permanent secretary Puttipat Lertchaowasit and his deputy, Narong Kongkham to perform duties at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The transfer of the two senior officials was intended to facilitate the ongoing investigation into alleged widespread corruption in the spending of the fund for the destitute by over 30 centres for the protection of the destitute across the country.

The probe is jointly undertaken by the Office of the Auditor-General and the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).

Investigation by the OAG found there was bases of corruption in the use of the fund for the destitute since Mr Puttipat was director-general of Welfare Development Department.

The PM’s transfer order mentioned that some senior officials of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security might be involved in the alleged corruption and a panel would be set up to further investigate the case to ensure fairness to those implicated.

The two officials’ new posts are senior advisors to the Prime Minister and will report to Deputy Prime Minister​ Gen Chatchai Sarikulya.

Social Development and Human Security permanent secretary Puttipat Lertchaowasit

Investigation first started at the Khon Kaen’s centre for the protection of the destitute after a group of student trainees blew the whistle about the alleged corruption when they were told to falsify receipts about fund disbursement to the poor.  The probe later expanded to cover similar centres in Chiang Mai, Surat Thani, Bueng Kan, Nong Khai, Nan and Trat provinces with similar results of fund abuses by the officials concerned.

Lately, all the centres are under investigation by the OAG and the PACC.

Mr Puttipat recently told Thai PBS that there were complaints of the centres’ operation when he was the director-general of Welfare Development Department but documentation investigation did not implicate any officials of wrongdoings.

He admitted that he felt uncomfortable to be the target of the investigation, but, anyhow, would be cooperative with the probe team.

23 Feb 2018
9:43 pm

A 10-year-old girl rescued her father who tried to commit suicide by swallowing arsenic acid by calling 1644 hotline to get help.

The story of this wonderful girl was disclosed today (Feb 23) in the Facebook page of FM 91 Traffic Pro radio station.

According to the radio station, an official manning 1644 hotline at the station received a phone call from a young girl who wept as she asked for an ambulance to be sent to pick up her father at a house in Soi Pracha-uhit 66 in Bangkok’s Thung Khru district.

She managed to tell the staff clearly about the incident, her father’s condition, and the house’s location.

She told the official that her father, identified later as Mr Dum, swallowed a lot of arsenic acid and he was vomiting a lot and his body jerking all the time.

Police and an ambulance was later rushed to the house which has no address and took Mr Dum to the nearest hospital for emergency medical treatment.

The girl’s neighbours told Thai PBS reporter that Mr Dum works as cart pusher at Pakklong Talad flower market. He had a heated quarrel with his wife Friday morning and then his wife left the house with their youngest child.

Upon returning home in the afternoon, Mr Dum didn’t see his wife and their youngest child.  So he went out to borrow some money from a neighbor and it was suspected that he went to buy arsenic acid from a shop with the borrowed money.

23 Feb 2018
5:29 pm

About 200 houses in Bang Rakam and Phrom Phiram districts of Phitsanulok provinces were damaged during freak rain and hail storm Thursday night (Feb 22).

Bang Rakam district chief officer Akarachote Suwanthong and his officials on Friday conducted a field inspection of damaged houses in several villages in Tambon Chumsaeng Songkhram and Tambon Bang Rakam to assess the damages so that a special budget can be allocated to help the affected villagers.

A total of 44 houses in Tambon Chumsaeng Songkhram and Tambon Tha Nang Ngam were found to have sustained different levels of damage from the gust-strong freak storm.

In Village 4 of Tambon Chumsaeng Songkhram, a mango tree was broken and fell on the house of Mr Prathuan Bootpetch, but luckily no one was hurt.  Not far away, the roof of a pavilion at a temple caved in after a radio antennae tower collapsed by the force of the strong wind.

Rainfall in Tambon Bang Rakam Muang Mai was estimated at 100 mm, said the mayor of Bang Rakam municipal.

Phrom Phiram district chief officer Suriya Harnpaibul said Friday that hail storm struck the district, damaging more than 150 houses in several villages  in Tambon Prom Phra Ram.

23 Feb 2018
2:45 pm

Political veterans have cast doubt on the National Legislative Assembly (NLA)’s rejection of all seven Election Commissioner nominations, suspecting it was an attempt to delay the election.

The NLA on Thursday (Feb 22) voted down all the seven election commissioners nominated by the selection committee. None of the seven nominated election commissioners received half of the votes of the 248 assemblymen present or a minimum 124 votes required to be approved as members of the Election Commission.

As a result, the selection process of EC members will be back to square one.

Samart Kaewmechai, former Pheu Thai MP for Chiang Rai, said he wondered why the NLA viewed that all seven candidates nominated by the selection committee were not qualified for the posts.

The NLA needs to clarify their decision to vote down the seven nominations, otherwise it would face public skepticism, Mr Samart said.

He also questioned if the new selection process would end up with the NLA voting down all of the nominations again.

If this happened, it would be a clear indication of an attempt to delay the election, he said.

Another Pheu Thai party’s member Wattana Sengphairogh also voiced concern over possible delay in election resulting from the rejection of EC nominations. He called on the NLA president and the EC selection committee to speed up the selection process and assure that it would not affect the roadmap to election.

Democrat party’s executive member Wiruch Romyen said he saw NLA’s decision to vote down the seven EC nominations as a tactic to prolong the election.

Although the current election commissioners could carry on with the tasks, there would be questions over their legal status because they were the outgoing commissioners.

Democrat deputy party leader Nipit Intarasombut said the Feb 22 voting by the NLA was “very unusual” and asked the people to keep a close watch on the renewed selection process of new EC candidates.

Even if the new candidates have excellent qualifications, they could risk being rejected by the NLA, he said, adding that this could deter qualified persons to apply for the job because the NLA’s rejection could tarnish their reputations, Mr Wiruch said.

23 Feb 2018
11:40 am

Efforts to save the life of an injured elephant continued early Friday (Feb 23) with wildlife officials, team of veterinarians and volunteers tracking its  foot trails into Khao Ang Rue Nai wildlife sanctuary in Tha Takiap district of Chachoengsao province.

The elephant was injured when it was hit in the hind legs by a pickup truck while it was crossing an asphalt road about 3.5 kilometres from the wildlife sanctuary yesterday afternoon.

The truck driver Chamras Promchan, 46, said as he was driving on the asphalt road which cut through the wildlife sanctuary, three elephants came out of the bushes instantly to cross the road, making him unable to apply the brake in time.

The right side of the truck hit the elephant and the vehicle fell into the roadside, he said.

He was slightly hurt on the right shoulder while the injured elephant was seen moving into the roadside bushes dragging in its hind legs.

Alerted wildlife officials went to the scene immediately and started to track the  dragging foot trails of the injured elephant into deep jungle, but could not locate the elephant.

Wildlife officials then stopped the search yesterday evening before resuming again this morning.

Khao Ang Rue Nai wildlife sanctuary chief Dechanil Vichien said today (Feb 23) the search of the injured wild elephant in the woods had to be conducted with extreme caution as in nature, an injured elephant will normally see other elephants by the side to help and take care of it.

In this case there might be some elephants around it, thus prompting officials to stay alert, he said.

Veterinarian Patarapol Maneeorn, of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation Department, said the search operation and the assessment of the elephant’s injury could take a few days.

Upon first impact, the elephant might be in shock and hide away in the woods for days, making it difficult for authorities to find it, he said.

But after a few days, the elephant might be able to move slower and this would be the stage when officials could find it and asses its injury so that proper treatment could be made, he said.

But from the video clip recorded by a passing motorist, it clearly showed the elephant suffered broken ankle on the right hind leg, Mr Patarapol said.

Posted by ภัทรพล ล็อต มณีอ่อน on Thursday, 22 February 2018

23 Feb 2018
10:36 am

A lift of a three-star Bangkok hotel on Rama 9 fell off from the 24th floor early Friday morning (Feb 23) after a brief fire at an elevator control room.

Huay Kwang police said the accident happened at the 350-room Maxx Hotel at about 8am, but there was no injuries.

Initital report said there was eletrical short circuit at the control room of the lifts, sparking off a fire.

The fire quickly raged to one of the hotel’s five lifts, causing it to fall from the 24th floor and stuck at the 16th floor. Other four lifts also stranded as electricity was cut.

The hotel immediately alerted all its guests and evacuated them down to the lobby and the ground  floor before cutting all its power supply

Several fire trucks arrived and firefighters were led to the 16th floor by hotel guards where there was fire and the fallen lift stuck.

They forced open the gutted lift but found no passengers inside. Four other lifts were also empty.

Forensic police and city officials were inspecting the hotel to see whether the fire has caused any damage to the lifts to ensure safety. But initially the hotel has ceased functioning of the lifts pending thorough checks.

22 Feb 2018
10:58 pm

Officials of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Crime Suppression Division and local officials seized over 100 million baht worth of unlicensed food supplements and cosmetics in a raid of two warehouses in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Pharmacist Somchai Preechathaveekit, deputy secretary-general of the FDA, said Thursday (Feb 22) that the FDA Office had received numerous complaints from consumers who had bought cosmetics and food supplements online from Facebook page under the name of Wannapa Pongson and Magic Skin Company.

They complained that they used the products and found them ineffective as advertised with several complaining of shaking hands, breathing problem or sleep deprivation.

After receiving the complaints, concerned authorities launched an investigation and sought permission for a search warrant from the court.

On Tuesday (Feb 20), authorities raided the company’s warehouses in Nakhon Ratchasima and seized largea amount of drinks, vitamins, and food supplements.

The seized items include 3,258 boxes of Linda Drink; 52,000 packages of Linda Drink; 20,160 boxes of ChlorophyllDetox Fiber; 137,500 packages of Apple Slim; 45 boxes of Shi-No-Bi; 600,000 capsules of Fern Vitamin; 1,368 boxes of Treechada under-arm serum and 10 machines.

Mr Somchai said that the owner of the unlicensed or fake products would face charges of producing and selling fake products, overstating the quality of the products and selling products with improper labels.

He warned consumers not to be easily duped by overstated advertising and to exercise caution in buying food supplements and cosmetics online.

22 Feb 2018
7:39 pm

The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Thursday (Feb 22) voted down all the seven election commissioners nominated by the selection committee.

None of the seven nominated election commissioners received half of the votes of the 248 assemblymen present or a minimum 124 votes required to be approved as members of the Election Commission.

Incumbent election commissioner Somchai Srisuttiyakorn said the NLA must explain to the public why they rejected all the seven candidates selected by the selection committee.

Under the new Election Commission Act, there are seven election commissioners instead of five under the old law.  Five are selected by the selection committee, chaired by Supreme Court president Cheep Jullamon, and the remaining two are handpicked by the general assembly of the Supreme Court.

The NLA’s rejection of all the seven candidates means that the selection process will start all over again and must be completed within 90 days, said Mr Somchai who, however, assured that this would not affect the election as the existing EC will have to carry on its duty and responsibility.

But he noted that the new EC would not be place for the local administration elections to be held this year. He expected the new EC to be in place in the next 200 days or about September.

The “yes” and “no” votes received by the seven candidates in today’s voting are as follows:  

  1. Mr Takorn Tanthasit, former secretary-general of of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC); 27 yes votes, 156 no votes with 17 abstentions.
  2. Mr Ruangwit Katesuwan, former rector of Chaiyaphum Rajabhat University; 10 yes votes, 175 no votes with 14 abstentions.
  3. Mr Issaree Hunsacharoonroj, former rector of Rajamangala University of Technology Rattanakosin; 30 yes votes, 149 no votes with 21 abstentions.
  4. Mrs Chompan Pongcharoen-Suthirachart, legal advisor of Worawisith Company and legal chief of Suthirachart law firm; 16 yes votes, 168 no votes with 16 abstentions.
  5. Mr Pracha Terat, former deputy permanent secretary of the interior and former governor of Narathiwat, Chon Buri and Surat Thani; 57 yes votes, 125 no votes with 18 abstentions.
  6. Mr Chatchai Chanpraisri, a chief judge of the Supreme Court; 46 yes votes, 128 no votes with 26 abstentions.
  7. Mr Pakorn Mahannop, a Supreme Court judge; 41 yes votes, 130 no votes with 29 abstentions.

22 Feb 2018
6:11 pm

Italian-Thai Development Plc boss Premchai Karnasuta failed to show up at the Provincial Police Region 7 in Kanchanaburi for the second time today (Feb 22) to acknowledge an addition charge of cruelty against animals.

Instead, he assigned his lawyer to notify the police inquiry officers in charge of handling the illegal hunting case that he was busy with other business and asked for the postponement of the appointment to March 5, said Pol Maj-Gen Krisna Sapdet, deputy commissioner of Provincial Police Region 7.

He said that the police inquiry officers handling the case would inform the court about Mr Premchai’s failure to report to the police twice in a row, on Feb 15 and today, in order that the court would decide what measure to be meted out to deal with the ITD boss.

Pol Maj-Gen Krisna went on saying that police would inform Mr Premchai’s lawyer where his boss would report himself the police to acknowledge the new charge against him.

With the additional charge, Mr Premchai is facing 10 charges ranging from illegal hunting in Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary, carrying firearms in the game reserve without permission to illegal possession of firearms.

Mr Premchai’s whereabouts are not known, but police insisted that he has not left the country.

22 Feb 2018
3:49 pm

The government says all the electric train projects that it is implementing will be able to serve people in Bangkok after all are operational in 2022.

Assurance of mass transport services in the capital was voiced by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusriphitak as he addressed at the meeting of the Committee for the Management of Land Traffic and acknowledged the progress in the construction of 11 electric routes in the capital, which will be operational between 2018-2022.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusriphitak (Photo: thaigov.go.th)

Dr Somkid said these projects, including the Green Line to Samut Prakan, south of Bangkok, cover 460-kilometre distance in total.

Upon completion of all projects and becoming operational in 2022, all routes and the extension will be adequate to serve the large number of Bangkok commuters.

He also said parking spaces would be arranged at 51 locations to accommodate 40,000 cars for convenience of park and ride passengers.

People can park their cars and take electric trains to their destinations, he said.

Somkid also said apart from the capital, the government would also develop mass transit system at other major cities such as Phuket, Chiang Mai, Korat and Phitsanulok.

Meanwhile, Deputy Transport Minister Pailin Chuchottaworn said the Brown Line from Kaerai to Ramkhamhaeng covering a distance of 21.5 km will connect with other electric rail routes in the future network of Bangkok mass transit system.

It will be the 11th rail route of the capital.

He also affirmed that construction of a new expressway over Kaset-Nawamin road is necessary and will go ahead to tackle traffic woe despite opposition from a Kasetsart university.

He said all parties should listen to different opinions and go forward together.

22 Feb 2018
3:39 pm

The Federation of Thai Industries yesterday (Feb 22) reported the industrial confidence index for January rose to 91.0 points from 89.1 in December 2017.

The rise is a sustained 3 months rise and a 36 month peak, said FTI chairman Jane Numchaisiri.

But he said the industrial confidence index forecast for the next 3 months would offset the gain as it is expected to drop to 101.1 points from 102.8 in the previous period due to concern over the minimum wage hike.

Meanwhile the FTI also reported new car sales in January totaled 66,500 units, a 16% rise over the same period last year, but fell by 36% from that recorded in December of last year.

Special promotions and campaigns during the Bangkok International Motor Expo had helped sales figures for December.

Also contributing to car sales was the recovering economy which allowed manufacturers to introduce new models to the market.

Moreover the fact that owners of cars bought under the previous governments “First Car” campaign desire to upgrade to newer models has helped December 2017 sales to reach extraordinary high.

22 Feb 2018
3:18 pm

The Prawet district officer has ordered three of five markets surrounding the Seri Villa housing estate on Srinakharin road to shut down by February 28.
The order was made to five market owners who were called in to have a meeting with the Prawer district officer Thanasit Metphanmuang on Thursday (Feb 22) on order by the Bangkok governor Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang yesterday.

Five market owners who were called in to have a meeting with the Prawer district officer Thanasit Metphanmuang on Thursday (Feb 22)

The three markets to be shut down by the deadline are Talad Suan Luang, Talad Rungvanich and  Talad Rom Luang.
According to the officer, owners of Talad Suan Luang had no licence to operate a market, while Talad Rungvanich had no construction licence and market operating licence, and Talad Rom Luang had no market operating licence.
At the meeting all 300 vendors have agreed to evacuate and find new locations for doing business again by themselves, while district officials would also provided them assistance.
For the two other markets, Talad Ying Nara and Talad Ple market, they were required to improve within 7 days to get right to operate again.
He said Talad Ying Nara has no parking spaces for customers, while Talad Ple market breaches the market rules for selling commodities which are not allowed under it’s maket category.
He said Talad Ple market is allowed to sell only commercial items and not  fresh food such as pork, chicken, fishes, and is disallowed to disturb residents in the community.
He said if owners of the two markets could improve and meet the requirements stipulated under the cleaning act, they would be allowed to reopen.
He said now he has assigned city police to look after the house of the two women bashers so they could feel safer.
“I believe the auntie would  feel relieved after her problem was resolved by the city administration. I could assure that  no influence could pressure me while I’m in office. I do not take side but to ensure that all will be treated fairly,” he said.
Prior to the truck bashing incident on Feb 18 which became the talk of the town, sending shockwaves right to the office of Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang, the Saengyoktrakarn family has had a long history conflict with the City Administration and the Prawet district administration over the construction of markets in the housing estate which, according to the family, has ruined the peaceful atmosphere of her neighbourhood and caused air pollution and traffic in the housing estate.

22 Feb 2018
1:23 pm

The continual appreciation of the Thai baht currency won’t hinder export growth this year and the growth target at 8% will be achieved, the minister of commerce assured yesterday.

The minister Mr Sonthirat Sontijirawong assured of the export growth as January’ s exports amounted to US$20.1 million, representing a spectacular 17.6% increase over the same period last year.

The January growth, he said, was significant because it was the highest growth recorded in 5 years and 2 months.

The growth covered almost all goods not least for agricultural sector which in itself grew by 16% excluding rubber and sugar.

With such high export growth, he was confident that the stronger Thai currency would not affect exports unduly.

He affirmed the 8% growth target set for this year would be achieved.

Meanwhile , the senior director of Macro Economics with the Bank of Thailand Mr Don Nakhonthap stated that the 17.6% rise in exports for January can be partly attributed to the slight delay for this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations.

Chinese New Year last year was celebrated at the end of January but this year it was delayed to the middle of February

This allowed cross border trade towards the end of January to be extraordinarily active, he said.

He said the rise in exports was applicable to all products and to all of Thailand’s major trading partners which will allow total exports for 2018 to overhaul the 4% projected by the Bank of Thailand.

22 Feb 2018
11:32 am

The military-installed government of Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has made progress in its fight against graft in the past one year, scoring two points higher in 2017 to 37 from 2016, and upgrading the country to be on the 96th place from a total of 180 countries in the list.

The latest ranking of the country was released by the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) as it presented its annual corruption perceptions index on Wednesday.

The two points gaining from 35 to 37 for the military government’s anti graft performance raised the country’s ranking from 101st place in 2016 to 96th in the latest 2017 ranking.

Thailand scored 38 points both in 2014 and 2015.

For the ASEAN region, Thailand and Indonesia tied for fourth at 37 points, while Singapore was on top with 84 points, and Cambodia came in last place at 21 points.

Brunei and Malaysia came in second and third places with 62 and 47 points respectively. Vietnam came 6th at 35 points, Philippines 7th at 34, Myanmar 8th at 30, and Laos 9th at 29.

National Anti-Corruption Commission chairman Pol Gen Watcharapol Prasarnratchakit will report the prime minister today on the improvement released by the international corruption watchdog.

New Zealand came top on the list with 89 points, followed by Denmark 88 on the second rank, while Finland, Norway, Switzerland, equal at 85, and Singapore, Sweden at 84.

Somalia was the worst performer with 9 points, ranking last among the 180 nations listed, below South Sudan 12, Syria 14, Afghanistan 15 and Yemen 16.

The Transparency International’s ranking is compiled by awarding countries a score of between one and 100, based on data from 12 international organisations including the World Bank, African Development Bank and the World Economic Forum.

The index reflects the relation between transparency and democracy.

According to TI chair Ferreira Rubio, countries where rule of law is respected, freedom of expression is respected, freedom of the press is respected” topped in the rankings.

Countries on the list are as follow:

TOP 12:

1. New Zealand 89 points

2. Denmark 88

3. Finland, Norway, Switzerland, equal at 85

6. Singapore, Sweden 84

8. Canada, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Britain 82

12. Germany 81

10 IN THE MIDDLE

16. United States, Belgium 75

20. Japan 73

23. France 70

42. Spain 57

54. Italy 50

71. South Africa 43

77. China 41

81. Turkey 40

135. Russia, Mexico 29

10 AT THE BOTTOM

169. Venezuela, Iraq 18

171. Libya , North Korea 17

175. Yemen, Sudan 16

177. Afghanistan 15

178. Syria 14

179. South Sudan 12

180. Somalia 9

22 Feb 2018
11:15 am

One Myanmar worker was killed and two other colleagues were injured in a landslide at a construction site near Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket on Wednesday (Feb 21).
Phuket police said they were alerted of the fatal incident at 10.30am at the construction site of a 3-storey building which is behind a 4-metre high hill near Gate 3 of the hospital.
They rushed to the scene along with rescue workers of the Kusoltham Phuket charity foundation and medical team from the hospital.
Three workers were buried with one of them covered with soil up to his neck. He was immediately excavated and another colleague  saved in time before both were rushed to hospital.
They were identified as Jo We Nai and Ne Sor Lin, both about 20 years old.
But a third worker who was buried underneath didn’t breathe after being excavated by rescuers. He was already dead and later identified as  37-year-old Miw Ta Taw.
 Site engineer Narongrit Poompaung said the workers were levelling the land at the site when the accident occurred.
Police said the area where the workers were buried by the landslide was beside a section of soil excavated, leaving a three-metre high earth wall that was not restrained by any structure.
 He said investigators were investigating other details.
But he said work  at the site was immediately ordered to halt until a safety plan has been presented to and approved by the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Phuket office and Phuket City Municipality.

21 Feb 2018
10:23 pm

The national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda said Wednesday (Feb 21) that he knew who is the real owner of the 30-million-baht first lottery tickets, but would not give any details, saying that he would disclose the final police report on Feb 28.

The case which is now being handled by Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police was 90 percent completed, he said, adding that he would not push the CSD police to accelerate the case which will be wrapped up and revealed on Feb 28.

Asked by a reporter about a press report that the five First Prize lottery tickets belong to Pol Lt Charoon Wimoon, Pol Gen Chakthip said that the retired police officer was the last person who held the lottery tickets and was the person who cashed the money.

He, however, added that Mr Preecha Kraikruan, a school teacher in Kanchanaburi who claimed he was the real owner of the tickets in question, could take the case to the court if he was not satisfied with the CSD police report.

“Whether the police report will be shocking or not depends on the society to judge, but the police have the duty to find out the truth,” said the police chief.

Meanwhile, the Royal Thai Police operation centre today (Feb 21) ordered the transfer of Pol Maj-Gen Sutthi Puangpikul, commander of Kanchanaburi provincial police, to the RTP operation centre in Bangkok to pave way for the CSD police’s investigation into the lottery tickets controversy.

Pol Maj-Gen Sutthi earlier conceded that he invited Pol Lt Charoon to his house in Kanchanaburi to talk about the case.

The Kanchanaburi police chief claimed that he talked to Pol Lt Charoon because he would like to help settle the dispute over the lottery tickets ownership.

21 Feb 2018
9:46 pm

Eighty-four former security guards known as the Srivichai warriors of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) were sentenced today (Feb 21) to imprisonment from three to eight months by the Supreme Court for their role in the siege of the state-run NBT TV station in Bangkok during the anti-government protest in 2008.

The Supreme Court’s verdict reconfirmed an earlier verdict of the Appeals Court which found the 84 former security guards guilty of illegal assembly, illegal association of more than ten people to commit offences, causing unrest.

The defendants were given jailterms ranging from six months to one year and fined 500 baht each.  The sentence was halved to 3-8 months jailterms due to their confession.

Among the 84 guards were three underaged youths whom the court gave them suspended jailterms.

Of all the guards, 79 of them showed up to hear the verdict from the Supreme Court.  They were later escorted by prison officials to Bangkok Special Prison and the Women’s Remand Home to serve their remaining jailterms.

The other five who did not show up and the court issued warrants for their arrests.

The PAD demonstrations in 2008 aimed to oust the People’s Power Party, which was the reincarnation of the Thai Rak Thai pary.

21 Feb 2018
6:09 pm

Italian-Thai Development Plc boss Premchai Karnasuta has been summoned to report himself to the police inquiry officers at the Provincial Police Region 7 in Kanchanaburi tomorrow (Feb 22) to face an addition charge of cruelty against animals.

Pol Maj-Gen Krisana Sapdet, deputy commissioner of Provincial Police Region 7, said that Mr Premchai had already missed an appointment with the police inquiry officers to acknowledge the charge on Feb 15, claiming that he was busy and could not meet the officers.

He warned that if the ITD boss missed the second appointment tomorrow (Thursday), the inquiry officers would report the Thong Pha Phum provincial court about Mr Premchai’s failure to report himself to the police so that the court could judge what measure to be taken in dealing with him.

Mr Premchai is scheduled to report himself to the Thong Pha Phum provincial court on March 26 when the fourth round of 12-day bail is due to expire and he has to apply for another bail or held in detention.

The charge of cruelty against animals was lodged against Mr Premchai by the chief of Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary following the arrest of the ITD boss and his three companions along with wild animal carcasses on Feb 4.

21 Feb 2018
3:22 pm

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) will give two weeks to clarify all the 25 pricey wristwatches Gen Prawit Wongsuwan wore on different occasions.

This was disclosed on Wednesday (Feb 21) by the NACC chairman  as he spoke of the latest update on the watches owned by Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, the deputy prime minister and defence minister.

He said as far as he knew, the NACC investigators have notified Gen Prawit to clarify all the 25 watches he wore on different occasions within two weeks.

In this photograph taken on December 4, 2017, Thailand’s junta number two Prawit Wongsuwan covers his eyes, displaying a watch he is wearing, during a photo call with other members of a new cabinet in Bangkok.
Thailand’s junta number two has been snapped with 25 different luxury watches worth 1.2 million USD since a 2014 coup, social media sleuths said on January 17, 2018, a day after the ex-general vowed to resign if a graft panel finds him guilty of wrongdoing. / AFP PHOTO / Krit PHROMSAKLA NA SAKOLNAKORN

According to the investigators, he was asked to give details of the watches such as brands, models and prices.

Asked on possible postponement of his two-week clarification, the chairman said Gen Prawit might be busy at work or needed more time to make clarification of each watch.

But he said it was normal for extension of clarification time as this was permitted by law.

Asked to comment on a former graft buster voicing concern on investigators handling the watch probe, Pol Gen Watcharapol said it was an interrogation process that allowed chances for the accused to clarify freely.

 

He said he was not worried over the case now under focus by the public and he would continue to perform his duty carefully.

21 Feb 2018
12:56 pm

The Bangkok governor says he will summon owners of five markets surrounding the Seri Villa housing estate off Srinakharin road for talk in applying for official permits within one week, with warning of facing closure if they ignored.

The notice to market owners came after Bangkok governor Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang and his team of officials from the Metropolitan Administration (BMA) inspected the market areas surrounding the housing estate following a video clip showing two residents of the housing estate bashing a pickup truck in front of their house went viral in the social media.

The residents, Ms Rattanachat Saengyoktrakarn and her sister, Maneerat, later defended their actions and held the Bangkok governor and the chief of Prawet district district responsible for allowing the markets to open in residential areas.

Pol Gen Aswin admitted after inspecting all the markets that these markets didn’t have official permits.

He said he would call a meeting with market owners and told them to apply for permits within a week or else they would face closure.

He said he would also set up a fact finding committee to find out the truth surrounding the opening of markets in residential areas.

He admitted that some business owners have permits only to build commercial centres but they might misuse the permits to convert commercial areas to markets which is a violation of the law.

He said he would tell all market owners for a meeting if they wanted to continue doing the marketbusiness, they have to comply with the laws with improvements of all environmental conditions.

If they couldn’t improve within one week, they would be shut down, he said.

He said he also was sympathised with market vendors if the markets were ordered closed but would try to find new locations for them to do business.

The governor also said that from this incident, he would order officials to inspect all marketplaces in Bangkok if they have met all city regulations or not.

He said he was unshaken if what he did would affect the business of influential people.

Pol Gen Aswin also visited the home of Mrs Ms Rattanachat Saengyoktrakarn who made news headlines after the video clip.

However she was not at home.

But the governor later talked to her in telephone and apologized the inconvenience she suffered from the market, and pledged to regulate the markets in her vicinities.

21 Feb 2018
12:43 pm

The Department of Children and Youth says the 13 surrogate children will be sent to a special lodgings and tutorial facilities in Muak Lek district of Saraburi province to gain familiarity with their nannies before they are handed over to their birth father Mitsutoki Shigeta and move to Japan.

The department’s director-general Withas Techabun said now Thai authorities were in coordination with Mr Shigeta’s Thai lawyer to arrange the move to the facilities in Muak Lek after winning the four year long legal battle.

According to him, all 13 children 8 boys and 5 girls are between 3 to 4 years old.

Twelve are currently under the care of the Pakret Babies Home and the last is at the Ban Wien Phing Babies Home.

Each are reported to be healthy and of normal development aided by Mr Shigeta who has paid for all expenditures for their care and hired teachers to teach them Japanese.

According to authorities at both homes, Shigeta’s mother made frequent visits to the children and nannies have been introduced to them to gain familiarity in preparation of the handover.

Mr Withas said he expected that all the paper work and details would be worked out within 1 week after which the children would be handed over to their birth father.

He disclosed as far as he knew, the Japanese father has hired at least six nannies that rotate their rounds to look after the children.

He said Mr Shigeta has hired professional nurses and prepared a special lodgings and tutorial facilities at an international school in Muak Lek for the children before they are finally moved to Japan.

He said he saw no problems for familiarity as children at these ages are quick to adapt themselves which would take about a week.

But he said Thai authorities would still follow up the children while they are in Japan by asking their staff at the Thai Embassy to look after regularly.

The case made headlines in 2014 after police raided a condominium complex in Ladprao district and found nine 1 year old children. DNA tests later revealed that all the children were fathered by then 24 year old Mitsutoki Shigeta whose travel records showed him entering and leaving the country on more than 65 separate occasions which aroused official suspicion.

Following the discovery of a further 4 children fathered by the Japanese, authorities suspected that he was involved in a human trafficking operation.

More evidence later surfaced after it was found that Shigeta had already taken 6 children out of the country, bringing the total to 19 children he fathered.

Shigeta told authorities during questioning that he wanted the children to succeed him in his enterprise.

In December 2016, he filed a lawsuit in the Central Juvenile and Family Court for parental rights of the 13 children still under the care of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.

In yesterday’s statement issued by the court, it said Shigeta had a genuine fatherly interest in the children and deemed that in light of his background and social standing, the children would be provided with a better future than under welfare.

 

21 Feb 2018
11:42 am

Samut Prakan provincial police arrested two youths last night after they knifed a rival student to death and escaped to Nakhon Ratchasima province.

Pol Col Phisut Chantarasuwan, Bang Kaew police station superintendent, said the two youths were responsible for killing a rival student and injuring two others in a knife attack in Samut Prakan last Friday on Nam Dang-Bang Phli road in Bang Phli district.

The victim, a Mathayom 3 student of Thepsirin Samut Prakan school, was struck by a long knife on his neck by one of the two rival students from Bang Kaew Prachasan school, riding on a motorcycle on February 17.

He said the alleged knifeman admitted of the knife attack claiming that it stemmed from a challenge by the rival students on Facebook.

He said one of the rival students paint-sprayed its rival’s school symbol on the supporting pillar of the Kanchana expressway bridge. Then, later on, the opposing group vandalized the school’s symbol with spray paint.

On the day of the incident which was the establishment aniversary of their rival students’ school, both admitted to drive in a motorcycle to hunt for their rivals.

When they encountered a group of rival students, they then attacked them with knife.

However the alleged knifeman said he didn’t intend on his life but merely to teach them by aiming on his back.

Unfortunately the victim turned around as he was attempting to chop his back, hitting his face and neck instead, the officer quoted the suspect as saying.

Police said both youths would be sent to the Central Juvenile and Family Court for detention on charges of premeditated murder and carrying of weapon to public places.

21 Feb 2018
10:37 am

A pickup truck carrying students back homes collided head-on with another pickup truck which veered off the road lane, injuring 20 people, eight seriously.

The incident happened in Muang Sam Sip district of Ubon Ratchathani province at about 4.30pm on the road from Muang Sam Sip to Phana.

Muang Samsip police said driver of the student truck Somsak Kaenmun was driving in his pickup truck which was converted to a student truck to deliver 18 students homes.

But as he was arriving near Km 15 marker on the road, another pickup truck driven by Suraphan Saiphat veered off the lane and crashed at the traffic island.

The impact sent it to fly over the island and crashed head-on with the student truck.

The collision left all the students and the two drivers injured, 8 seriously.

All were later admitted to Muang Sam Sip district hospital.

Police said rescue workers spent almost an hour before they could pull trapped Suraphan out of the badly damaged truck.

Police said Suraphan’s vehicle was arriving at a curve on the road when it lost balance, veering off the lane and jumping across the traffic island and hitting the student truck coming on the opposite direction.

Exact cause was being examined by police but both were booked for further questioning.

 

20 Feb 2018
10:57 pm

The cabinet on Tuesday (Feb 20) approved the Education Ministry’s proposal to set up a fund for equal right to education with the proposed starting budget set at one billion baht.

However, the cabinet had made some changes to the ministry’s proposal out of concern that the fund might not be used efficiently.

Government spokesman Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the cabinet resolved that the amount of budget should not be fixed at 5 percent of overall budget allocated for education as proposed by the ministry, but should be considered on yearly basis by the government.

Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin clarified to the cabinet that the fund for equal right to education did not target only poor students, poor teachers or poor people, but people in general who do not have access to education.

Money to be handed out to the needy could be in the form of a grant or a loan for education purpose.

The spokesman said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha wanted clearer and more details about the fund and reminded the education minister that the fund should not duplicate with the student loan fund.

He added that recipients of the student loan fund were entitled to apply for grant or loan from the fund for equal right to education.

20 Feb 2018
9:07 pm

Officials of the Energy Ministry based in Chumphon province and workers started removing huge oil pipes from the beach in Pathiu district on Tuesday (Feb 20).

The pipes, measuring more than 150 metres in length overall and weighing about 14 tonnes, were washed ashore on the beach in Ban Bang Bird on Feb 13.  Some of them were half-buried in sand, making it harder for them to be removed.

So far, no companies have shown up to claim ownership of the pipes, hence forcing the Energy Ministry to undertake the removal job itself although the Department of Mineral Fuel is still checking with all the oil and gas exploration concessionaires as well as all the 12 oil tanker ships to find out whether they have lost any of their rubber oil pipes.

With the help of a backhoe, workers managed to remove just 4-5 sections of the huge pipes. They also  wrapped the pipes with PVC plastic sheets to prevent crude oil leakages from the pipes.

A source in the petroleum industry, however, said that the mysterious pipes could come from one of the oil tankers engaged in loading and unloading of oil in the international waters.

He said the pipes might break from the vessel because of strong waves.

20 Feb 2018
6:02 pm

The woman who bashed a pickup truck in front of her house with an axe broke her silence today (Feb 20) saying that she merely defended her right and, at the same time, suggested that the Bangkok governor and the chief of Prawet district office should jointly pay compensation for the damaged vehicle to its owner.

The alleged truck basher as she was known for the clip which went viral in the social media showing she bashing a pickup truck in front of her house in Seri Villa housing estate off Srinakharin road on Feb 18, Ms Rattanachat Saengyoktrakarn and her sister, Maneerat, held a press conference today in the company of her neighbours in response to the clip.

She said that the pickup truck in question blocked the front gate of her house, making it impossible her to get her car out.  She said she tried to push the vehicle away but it didn’t move because the owner set the gear-shifter in park position or put on the brake, adding that she pressed her car horn for almost half an hour to alert the truck owner but to no avail.

Desperate to get the truck moved from her house, Ms Rattanachat said she called 191 police hotline and 1555 City Hall hotline, but no police or officials showed up.

“We can leave our house anytime we wish.  You cannot block our entry and exit which is our right.  We exercise our lawful right to move away the blockade.  For the damages and repairs, they have to demand from the City Hall,” said the houseowner.

 

She blamed the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and the Prawet district office for causing hardship to residents in the housing estate by granting permission to developers to build markets despite the fact that the housing estate is a residential zone.

She went on saying that residents in the housing estate have lost their peaceful environment and surroundings ever since markets were allowed to be established in the housing estate, with delivery trucks getting in and out of the estate, increased air pollution and noises.

Lawsuits have been brought against the BMA and the district office with the administrative court, resulting to injunctions being issued by the court to protect the residents and for city officials to mitigate the hardships caused to the residents.  But the injunctions have never been enforced and the abuses carry on, said Ms Rattanachat.

Another resident of Seri housing estate said she experienced the similar problem with Ms Rattanachat as shoppers frequently park their vehicle in front of her house.

“Once I got a leg injury but could not go to the hospital because there was a car blocking the entrance of my house,” she said.

In the meantime, Prawet district chief Mr Thanasith Methpanmuang defended that Seri Villa is not a housing estate under the care of a legal entity and it is located in a Yellow Zone where a market can be set up legally.

He also maintained that there is no law restricting the number of markets to be set up in the zone.

Mr Thanasit said the district office was not ignorant with the problems of the residents and had driven back all the vendors into the markets so that they would not block the roads in the housing estate or blocking the entrances of houses.

Ratchanikorn Lertwassana, the owner of the pickup truck parked in front of the Saengyoktrakarn family’s house said she thought it was a deserted house.

“I just parked there for a short period of time. Why couldn’t she wait? I admitted I was wrong for parking in front of her house, but she has no right to damage my car,” Ms Ratchanikorn said.

Ms Ratchanikorn filed charge against Ms Rattanachat and Ms Maneerat for damaging her properties, while the Saengyoktrakarn sisters accused the former of giving false statement and defamation.

20 Feb 2018
5:01 pm

The Nakhon Si Thammarat Provincial Court is due to deliver its verdict on rock star Seksan Sukphimai, alias Sek Loso, on March 15, over an incident in December when he fired gunshots into the air during his concert held at Wat Khun Phanom.

Accompanied by his lawyer, Sek reported himself to the court today (Feb 20) after the expiration of his third 12-day detention term for charges of carrying a gun in public without a reason and without a licence; firing a gun in public and illegal possession of firearms in connection with the shooting incident during a concert on Dec 29.

At the court, the rock star was indicted by the public prosecutor with the above-mentioned charges, with the court setting March 15 as the date for the delivery of the verdict.

He was temporarily detained by court police at the court house before his lawyer bailed him out with 150,000 baht in surety.  The court granted the bail after there was no objection by the public prosecutor.

Sek briefly told reporters at the court that he was not worried with the case against him and thanked people in Nakhon Si Thammarat who gave him moral support.

20 Feb 2018
4:10 pm

Four paramilitary rangers were injured in a roadside bomb explosion on a local road in Bannang Sata district, Yala province, on Tuesday (Feb 20).

The six-man ranger unit was assigned to provide protection to teachers at Had Sai school in Ban Had Sai, Tambon Talingchan. After having safely sent the teachers into the school, the six rangers went on patrol on foot along the local road in the village before they stopped to check the sewer under a bridge.

It was then that suspected militants who might have hidden somewhere not far away detonated a bomb which was hidden in the sewer.  The explosion injured four of the six rangers with one of them seriously injured with multiple shrapnel wounds.

All the injured were later sent to the nearest hospital by reinforcements which arrived at the scene shortly afterward.

Meanwhile in Cho Airong district of Narathiwat on Tuesday morning, three policemen were injured after their pickup truck in which they were travelling was hit by a roadside bomb planted by militants.

After the bomb blast, the militants who were hiding in the bushes nearby opened fire with their automatic rifles at the policemen.

20 Feb 2018
2:50 pm

The Central Juvenile and Family Court in Bangkok today (Feb 20) granted a Japanese businessman Mitsutoki Shigeta, parental rights to 13 children born to Thai surrogate mothers, ending almost four years of the scandal that broke out in 2014.

The decision to declare the Japanese man father of the 13 children born via surrogacy was based on reasons that not only the Japanese man‘s caring for the children he fathered but also on his well established background.

The statement released today by the court said “For the happiness and opportunities which the 13 children will receive from their birth father, who does not have a history of bad behaviour, all children born through surrogacy will be legal children of the plaintiff.”

Mr Shigeta, the son of a Japanese tycoon, left the country in the wake of the scandal in 2014 but later sued Thailand’s Ministry of Social Development and Human Security for custody of the children in the court for parental rights of the 13 children he fathered.

He didn’t appear in the court today to hear the ruling but has a Thai lawyer attending on his behalf.

The court said further that the plaintiff was the sole parent after the Thai surrogates had signed off their rights.

The court said as the plaintiff came from a wealthy family, has ample money and has prepared nurses and nannies to care of the children in Japan, and also in Thailand when they were in the custody of the Social Welfare Ministry, since the scandal broke out in 2014.

Besides the court reasoned that Shigeta hired the Thai surrogates before Thailand banned the surrogacy trade in 2015, following a string of scandals and custody tussles.

Shigeta caused a “baby factory” scandal in 2014 after Thai police said DNA samples linked him to nine infants found in a Bangkok apartment, plus at least four other babies born by surrogates.

The case push authorities to prohibit foreigners from paying for Thai surrogates in 2015 as the country was facing international pressure on human trafficking trade

20 Feb 2018
2:19 pm

Coal-fired power plant protesters from Songkhla and Krabi agreed to end their protest on Tuesday (Feb 20) in Bangkok after reaching agreement with the government representatives.

The protesters gathered in front of the UN Building on Ratchadamnoen road since Feb 12 to petition the prime minister and urge him to drop the project once and for all, and also asks for the withdrawal of charges against 17 protesting villagers who were arrested for allegedly instigating unrest in Songkhla during the mobile cabinet on Nov 17.

After an hour of meeting with Energy Minister Siri Jiraphongphan, they agreed to sign a four-point memorandum of understanding.

One agreement required the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) to withdraw it’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the 2,200-megawatt power plant within 3 days.

They also agreed that the Ministry of Energy would conduct Strategically Environment Assessment or SEA to see whether Songkhla and Krabi are suitable locations for the projects. The study will include participation of neutral academics acceptable by both sides.

It also required that the SEA study to be finished in nine months. In case that the SEA study shows the two locations remain suitable locations for the power projects, in the EIA process, the study must be conducted by neutral organisation acceptable by both sides.

It also agreed that Egat will drop it’s court cases against protesters.

Earlier Egat’s EIA report was approved by experts from the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (Onep).

20 Feb 2018
11:26 am

Three policemen were injured after southern militants detonated a roadside bomb and opened fire with assault rifles at a police patrol car in Cho-airong district of Narathiwat on Monday night.

According to Cho-airong police, the attack occurred at about 9pm near Ban Joko in Tambon Bukit on the road from Cho-airong to Bukit.

As a police patrol vehicle was passing Ban Joko, a roadside bomb exploded and militants hiding in roadside bushes opened fire.

 

In a brief exchange of fire, the militants escaped under cover of darkness.

Cho-airong police chief Pol Col Pakdi Jaengsakul later ordered reinforcement to the scene and quickly rushed the three injured police to Cho-airong hospital.

He later ordered the police reinforcement back to the base for fear of renewed attack as it was dark, before asking for EOD police and soldiers to return to the scene for inspection this morning.

20 Feb 2018
11:16 am

Thailand will enjoy over 4% gross domestic product (GDP) growth this year, mainly due to its strong growth in exports and tourism.

This was what the private and the public sectors voiced as they made adjustments on their estimated GDP growth for this year.

According to Dr Thanawat Polvichai, director of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting, this year could mark the first in more than six years that the economy achieves growth in GDP of more than 4%.

He forecast the economy to rise to 4.6% this year, attributing to recovery in the global economy as a result of the upward trend in US interest rates, plus growing Thai exports and tourism income.

Earlier he estimated the growth at 4.2%.

He forecast exports to grow by 6% this year while inflation will stand at 1.3% corresponding to the national policy rate which has been pegged at 1.5%.

He said the baht will be average out at 31 baht to the USD and tourist numbers to hit 38.6 million.

Dr Thanawat said his revised growth estimate also took into account stability in the country’s politics, as a general election has been promised under the government’s roadmap for to democracy.

Meanwhile the National Economic and Social Development Board said that 2017’s economy grew by 3.9% following a sustained rise in the GDP in the 4th quarter due primarily to a rise in consumption and private sector investment.

Agricultural sales which in 2016 were 2.5% in the red also grew by 6.2% which is a dramatic improvement. Exports similarly reached a 6 year peak growing by 9.7% allowing Thais to enjoy an average annual income of 228,371 baht/person.

For 2018, the economic think-tank projects that the GDP will grow by 4.1% or at least hover between 3.6 4.6%.

It readjusted its estimate to account for exchange rate fluctuations which is expected to result in an appreciation of the national currency to around 31.5 -32.5 baht to the USD.

20 Feb 2018
12:09 am

About 650,000 jobs in automotive, food processing and electronic industries are like to be taken over by robots and intelligence robots in the next 12 years, according to a forecast of the Business and Economic Research Centre of Siam Commercial Bank.

The research centre said that although investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) would steadily increase in the coming years, the number of unemployed would increasingly grow due to the introduction of automation system and intelligence robotics.

Mr Vitharn Charoenphol

Mr Vitharn Charoenphol, senior director of the service business cluster of SCB’s research centre, predicted that, in the production sector, more automation system and intelligence robots would be brought in to replace human beings, especially in automotive, food processing and electronic industries.

He said that as many as 650,000 jobs or 15 percent of the jobs currently held by human beings would be lost and replaced by robots and automation system in the next 12 years.

The research centre noted that, in the past five years, the number of intelligence robots or IRs has increased by more than 20 percent to about 13,500.

But Mr Khanit Saengsuphan, secretary-general of the EEC committee, thought otherwise, saying that industries in the EEC are short of 50,000 blue collar personnel.

But he pointed out that the use of automation system and robots would fill up the employment gap caused by labour shortage.

 

19 Feb 2018
11:54 pm

The Bank of Thailand will issue new regulations tentatively next month which will allow commercial banks to appoint their banking agents to perform certain types of transactions, BOI assistant governor Somboon Chitpenthom disclosed on Monday.

He said that legal entities, small retail shops or cooperatives could be appointed as banking agents of banks.

He, however, dismissed as untrue a report in the social media that the central bank had authorized 7 Eleven convenience chain store to become banking agents to perform some financial transactions, saying that the central bank does not have the policy to issue new banking licenses.

Mr Somboon noted that the central bank has imposed strict regulation to protect members of the public from being cheated or from being slapped with unfair service charges.

Hence, he said banking agencies must meet the requirements set by the central bank and they will be allowed to perform limited transactions not exceeding 5,000 baht per transaction and not more than 20,000 baht per day and per person with commercial banks being held accountable if there is a problem.

 

19 Feb 2018
8:46 pm

Prawet district police has issued a summons for the owner of a house, who was seen in a clip posted in the social media bashing pickup truck with an axe, to acknowledge charges against her.

The clip which was posted on Sunday went viral and prompted a flood of criticism against the truck basher.
The owner of the pickup truck, Ms Rotchanikorn Lertwassana, has already reported herself to Prawet police to tell her side of the story to the police.

Ms Rotchanikorn admitted she parked the pickup truck in front of the house near Suan Luang market to go shopping in the market because she believed the house was unoccupied.

Pol Col Alongkorn Srisongkram, the superintendent of Prawet police, said Ms Rotchanikorn could lodge charges of causing damage to her property and illegally carrying weapon in public against the house-owner whose identity was not known.

However, he added that the house-owner could also sue Ms Rotchanikorn for causing disturbance to the other people.

He disclosed that the house-owner used to sue a motorist who parked a car in front of her house, making it impossible for house-owner to get her car out to bring a critical patient to hospital resulting to his death. She won the case in the court.

 

19 Feb 2018
7:56 pm

People in the upper north of Thailand are warned of turbulent weather from Wednesday until Saturday, with rain storm and strong wind during the initial period to be followed by a drop in temperature from 2-4 degrees Celsius.

Mr Wanchai Sak-udomchai, director-general of Thai Meteorological Department, said Monday that the anticipated turbulent weather stemmed from the spread of cold spell from China blanketing the northeastern region and South China Sea.

He said that people in the northeastern region will first experience the turbulent weather before it moves to the northern, central and eastern regions as well as Bangkok.

He warned people to stay clear of open space, under big trees or huge billboards which are not strong during rain storm.

 

19 Feb 2018
7:11 pm

The National Security Council is not concerned with the activities of the pro-election movement unless there are “third hand” elements to stir up troubles, said NSC secretary-general General Wallop Raksanoh on Monday(Feb 19).

However, he said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha had ordered to NSC to keep a close watch on the movement and two other groups of people to make sure that the situation is under control and there is no interference from “third hand” elements.

As for the pro-election activists, the NSC chief said that their activities, so far, are peaceful and have attracted limited interest among the public.

The two other groups of people under the radar of security officials are fugitive former prime ministers Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra and former Pheu Thai MPs.

The pro-election group has vowed to carry on their activities to call for an election within this year in March and May in defiance of the junta’s order against illegal public gatherings.

 

19 Feb 2018
6:37 pm

Saint Gabriel’s College director Assistant Professor Vinai Viriyavidhayavongs has decided to suspend his role as the college’s director for a temporary period following a four-hour protest today (Monday) by students, lecturers and parents of students, demanding his resignation for alleged mismanagement.

The embattled director told students, alumni, lecturers and parents of students at the conference hall of the college in the afternoon that he was ready to suspend his role as the director “if Saint Gabriel’s College does not want me.”

He told the audience that there were about 5,000 people who wanted him to leave while there were about 80-90 percent others who were not at the college who might tell him to stay on.

After the meeting, the director wrote a letter to the bishop of Saint Garbiel Foundation notifying the bishop of his decision to end his role as director of the college for a temporary period.

Opponents of the director have cast doubt about his alleged mismanagement in three main issues: the poor quality of lunch meals for small students; alleged misuse of 70-millin baht fund raised from parents for improper activities; and the downgrading of the quality of education at the college.

 

Mr Payom Chinnawong, secretary-general of Private Education Promotion Commission, noted that Saint Grabiel’s College is a legal entity and it was within the authority of the board of the college to resolve the internal problem.

However, he said that his office was willing to give a helping hand if there was a request from the college.

Mr Kasem Jamnilkul, a representative of the parents, said parents welcome the director’s decision to end his role at the college, adding that they don’t have any objection if the management sends in a replacement.

 

19 Feb 2018
5:20 pm

The army commander-in-chief has admitted that it is beyond the capability of Thai authorities to arrest fugitive former prime ministers Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra and that they have to rely on the help from the Interpol.

The army chief, General Chalermchai Sitthisart, said that, in order to arrest the two fugitives, there were several protocols that the Thai police would have to follow and some of them were beyond the capability of the Thai police and, hence, the need for coordination with the Interpol.

General Chalermchai will fly to Singapore tomorrow, which coincide with the visit to the island state by the two former prime ministers. He said he didn’t want people to speculate that he will meet with the duo which is untrue.

Commenting on reports of former MPs of Pheu Thai Party paying visits to the two former prime ministers in Singapore, the army chief clarified that the government or the NCPO had never banned them from visiting the duo or either of them.

“It depends on the (former MPs’) conscience. I believe that the conscience of every one of us is for the country to be in peace. No one wants to see the country to plunge into crisis again,” said General Chalermchai.

 

19 Feb 2018
3:09 pm

Royal Thai Police deputy commissioner Pol Gen Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul has ordered the Special Branch Bureau commissioner to investigate a police officer under his command after he appeared in a video clip handing out “Ang Pao” to a queue of 60 police officers at a house on the Chinese New Year.

Royal Thai Police deputy commissioner Pol Gen Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul

In his order yesterday to Special Branch Bureau commissioner, he instructed that the investigators find out whether Pol Sub Lt Manas Termtanasak, a deputy inspector attached to subdivision 4 of the bureau, behaved inappropriately after he was seen in the clip handing out Ang Pao (red envelops containing cash) to 60 policemen at the house of an influential tycoon.

Pol Gen Srivara said the investigation must be finished in one week.

Moreover he ordered the Special Branch Bureau commissioner to recall the officer from his current duty providing escort to Pol Gen Phaisarl Chuarod back to his original office at the bureau after he was found to abandon his duty for a long time.

Pol Gen Phaisarl was senior advisor at the Royal Thai Police.

According to report to the deputy commissioner, the officer made 96 trips out of the country between February 26, 2016 and February 13 this year. All trips were made without seeking prior permission from his superior.

Following the order by Pol Gen Srivara, Pol Maj Gen Noppadol Sornsamran, commander of the special branch bureau’s subdivision 1 has ordered Pol Sub Lt Manas to report to him on Monday.

A fact finding committee was also appointed to investigate.

Earlier report said the officer handed out Ang Pao on behalf of an influential business tycoon well-known in Thonburi area of Bangkok.

19 Feb 2018
1:57 pm

Suan Dusit Poll has revealed its latest opinion poll of the government of Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha showing it received just 5.35 points out of 10 for its overall performance.

The poll which was conducted by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University from 1,016 people throughout the country during February 12-17 to sound out their opinions on its performance after three years in office, and still has another year to work under its roadmap to democracy.

In the survey, the government was given 5.35 out of 10 for its overall performance.

For social activities performance, it scored an average 5.39 points, for economic affairs 4.94 points, for national security 5.83 points, and forf political affairs 4.64 points.

Social activities include assistance to the people, crime supression, social reorganisation, narcotics suppression, corruption suppression, health caring, social disparities, science and technology development, human trafficking, natural and environmental protection.

National security activities include national stability and foreign relations, while economy affairs were livelihood of the people, farm prices, and price control.

The poll also revealed the most satisfactory performance of the government was its handling of peace and order, 47.57%; assistance for farmers and low income earners, 35.62%; narcotics suppression, 34.96%; basic infrastructure development, 23.45%; and holding of royal activities emphasising importance of the monarchy, 21.45%.

The least satisfied performances were poor management of economic problems, 53.05%; handling of corruption, 37.28%; failure to solve political problems, 29.93%; failure to solve poverty problems, debts 23.30% ; and procurement of military weapons and submarines, 18.64%.

Meanwhile the survey also listed five that most people wanted the government to do during its final year in office.

They were solving economic problems, 46.68%; expediting the legislation of election-related laws, 34.73%; investigating corruption on the part of holders of political positions, 32.30%; improvement of health care for the general population and welfare for the elderly, 26.77% ; and reforming bureaucracy, 24.12%.

19 Feb 2018
12:25 pm

Wat Ormnoi temple in Samut Sakhon yesterday warned other temples in the province to watch out for a burglar impersonated as monk after he failed to steal cash donations and other valuables.

Warning by the temple’s assistant abbot Phra Palad Somsak came after the temple’s CCTV cameras captured a burglar trying to steal donations from the donation box.

A 30-35 year-old man in skinned head was seen in the video footage at 1.46am on Feb 15 walking into the temple from behind and grabbing monk robes hanging on the wire for dry to wear.

The burglar covered his head with another monk’s robe and carried a monk’s bag as he walked towards the temple building where amulets and donation boxes were kept.

He then used several tools he stole from machanic room to break open the rolling steel doors.

The burglar broke four holes on two doors in order to grab the donation boxes. However as the boxes were out of reach of his hands, the burglar then gave up the attempt as he feared that someone might be awaken if he made larger holes to slip inside.

The burglar then stole the tool bag of the mechanic which has ID and ATM cards before escaping.

The monk said although the burglar didn’t get any cash donations and other valuables, but he had left damages to the rolling doors that needed over 7,000 baht to repair.

He said it was the 7th break-in of the temple by same and different burglars who had escaped with many valuables which included mobile phones, computer notebooks, and motorcycles.

The burglar would dress like monk and therefore dogs which are in the temple didn’t bark as they were accustomed to monks.

19 Feb 2018
11:33 am

A Nok Air plane on a flight from Sakhon Nakhon to Don Mueang airport yesterday (Feb 18) was forced to return to the airport after less than a minute of take-off after having engine trouble.

The incident was revealed on the Facebook page of the Thai Aviation Club after a passenger on Flight DD9407 posted a video footage showing the turbo-prop airplane Bombardier dash 8 Q400 has developed engine trouble.

The passenger said flame was seen coming out twice of one left engine. The plane shook slightly and the engine stopped, not knowing if the pilot switched off the troubled engine himself or the engine went out of work itself.

The poster said shortly later the pilot made a circle and returned to the airport and made a safe emergency landing.

The poster pressed a call button to inquire about the incident from the flight attendant while adding that the pilot was able to control the situation in crisis with no sign of panic while announcing calmly in Thai about the emergence landing.

All the passengers were later transferred in five buses to Nakhon Phanom airport to continue their travel on B737-800 plane at 9.25pm to Don Mueang.

 

18 Feb 2018
9:53 pm

Forest rangers have found the human feces suspected to discharged by Italian-Thai Development Plc boss Premchai Karnasuta near the site where the poor black panther was butchered after it was shot dead allegedly by Premchai’s hunting party early this month.

Mr Chaiwant Limlikhit-aksorn, chief of the Phya Sua (Tiger) task force of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation, told the media on Sunday that the feces was located in front of the spot where Premchai’s car was parked and was about three metres from where the spent shell of a shotgun cartridge was found.

He said he believed that the feces came from Premchai who suddenly felt the call of nature and just discharged it right in front of his car as two of his men, one of them believed to be a hunter, were butchering the dead panther and stripping it off its skin.

He explained that he didn’t think the two men and another woman, a cook for the hunting party, dared to discharge in front of their boss’s car, especially the woman.

The feces was collected by the rangers to be used as a piece of evidence to prove that Premchai was at the spot where the animal was killed.

 

18 Feb 2018
9:16 pm

Parents of the students who killed a rival student and injured two others in knife attack in Samut Prakan were urged to bring the alleged assailants to the police to face charges for their own sake.

Pol Gen Veerachai Songmetta, the deputy national police chief and spokesman of the Royal Thai Police, said Saturday night police knew the identities of the alleged assailants and the cause of the fatal attack.

He added that police had not sought an arrest for the alleged assailants because they have yet to question the injured.
He paid a visit to Bang Kaew police station in Samut Prakan on Saturday night to follow up the fatal knife attack case which occurred in broad daylight on Friday on Nam Dang-Bang Phli road in Bang Phli district.

The victim, a Mathayom 3 student of Thepsirin Samut Prakan school, was struck by a long knife on his neck by one of the two rival students from Bang Kaew Prachasan school, riding on a motorcycle. The victim died on the road and his two student friends were also injured in knife attacks by the same alleged assailants.

Pol Gen Veerachai said that the incident was brazen and was plotted in advance, noting that the two rival groups had challenged for an open fight.

He disclosed that the conflict between the two rival groups which led to the fatal attack stemmed from one of the groups paint-spraying its rival’s school symbol on the supporting pillar of the Kanchana expressway bridge. Then, later on, the opposing group vandalized the school’s symbol with spray paint.

 

18 Feb 2018
6:21 pm

Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development (GISTDA) has been asked by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources to keep track of floating garbage in the Gulf with its Sentinel-2 satellite so that officials of the department can deal with it immediately.

Satellite images taken on Friday showed that most of the garbage had been washed ashore on Thalu island and on the coasts of Ao Yai, Ao Thien and Ao Mook in Prachuab Khiri Khan.

However, the DMCR still needs help from GISTDA to keep track of floating garbage in the Gulf so that it can be dealt with before the garbage was washed ashore which could ruin tourism business and surface coral reefs.

 

The coasts of Prachuab Khiri Khan at Ao Yai, Ao Thien and Ao Mook as well as Thalu island which is a popular dive site have been littered with two tonnes of garbage washed ashore or still floating close to the shoreline during the past week. Most of the garbage are plastic bottles, glass bottles and foam.

Mr Wan Chatri, director of the marine and coastal resources office in Prachuab Khiri Khan, said that he expected the garbage littering on the shoreline and floating in the sea near Koh Thalu would be cleaned up in the next 1-2 days.

 

18 Feb 2018
5:08 pm

Four members of the army’s engineering corp were injured in a roadside bomb explosion in Janae district of Narathiwat province this afternoon (Sunday) as they were on their way to build a rural road.

The powerful explosion from the bomb sent the pickup truck in which they were travelling turning upside down and throwing all the soldiers out of the vehicle.

The four injured soldiers from the engineer corp were identified as Sgt Chalermkiat Wongkingsri, Cpl Chatuwit Thachine, Cpl Tatchaphol Chanthamart and Pvt Giflee Thongsong.

Police’s explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) unit which was rushed to the scene of explosion with police and local administration officials said the bomb was made from a 25-kg gas cylinder stuffed with explosives and nails and it was buried under the concrete road in Ban Tuekor in Tambon Janae.

The bomb was connected with a wire linked to the detonator about 400 metres away, said the EOD unit.

18 Feb 2018
4:58 pm

Most respondents to an opinion poll believe that Italian-Thai Development Plc boss Premchai Karnasuta will escape punishment.

Bangkok Poll gauged the opinions of 1,202 people from different walks of life about what they think of the justice system toward the offenders and 62.4 percent of them said they believe Premchai would finally not be punished for illegal hunting in Thung Yai Naresuan world heritage site early February.

The poll result shows that 53.3 percent of the respondents believe the Red Bull heir Vorayudh Yoovidhya who is now overseas would never be penalized for his reckless driving, causing the death of a traffic police officer in Bangkok’s Thonglor area several years ago.

Also, 50.4 percent of the respondents doubt that the former abbot of Wat Dhammakaya, Phra Dhammachayo, would ever be caught, tried and punished.

Regarding which groups of people who are likely to be untouched by the law, 69.2 percent of the respondents identified influential figures; followed by politicians, 63.6 percent; rich people or social elites, 61.5 percent; civil servants, police and military personnel, 45.2 percent; and monks, 21.1 percent.

Asked what the respondents think about the justice system, the poll result shows 37.6 percent believe there are legal loopholes allowing the offenders to escape punishment; 28.6 percent believe double standard in justice system and 23.6 percent believe punishment against the offenders are too lenient which make them unrepentant and not afraid of the law.

71.7 percent say they have little trust in the justice system compared to 28.3 percent who say they have faith in the system. 61.3 percent believe that social and mainstream media are helpful in examining cases which are not justly treated while 57.4 percent believe cases will be speeded up with the help of the media and 54.8 percent believe the media will force the police to work harder to solve the cases.