17 Feb 2018
6:14 pm

Residents of Tambon Khao Roopchang in Muang Songkhla lastnight (Friday) protested in front of an animal feed factory after suspected it of defying Songkhla industrial office’s order to temporary close the plant.

The residents blocked the entrance of the factory, BVP Marine Products  Co Ltd at about 10 pm after they saw trucks loaded with poultry entering and leaving the factory, indicating that it was still in operation.

A Khao Roopchang municipality officer said the Songkhla industrial office on Feb 5 ordered the factory temporary closed for nearly two months, from Feb 5 to March 31, to improve wastewater treatment system following complaint from local residents over wastewater from the factory.

The protest prompted the municipal officials and police to contact factory owner Waraporn Niyomchinda to ask for permission to check out the factory.  But the authorities’ request was rejected.

Mrs Waraporn claimed that the sound machines inside the factory was in fact came from the wastewater treatment plant.

The police and city officials then advised local residents to take pictures or record video to support their claims that the factory defies the closure order.

The residents later ended their blockade after they were assured that the factory remains shut.

17 Feb 2018
5:40 pm

(Above) A relative of overseas worker Adelina Sau, a domestic helper who died in Malaysia, helps airport officials unload her coffin during its arrival at Kupang airport in East Nusa Tenggara on Feb 17. Two people were arrested in Indonesia on human trafficking charges in connection with the death of the maid allegedly abused by her employer in Malaysia.

Indonesia is mulling to impose a moratorium on sending domestic workers to Malaysia following the recent death of an Indonesian maid from alleged abuses by her employer in Penang, The Jakarta Post Online reported on Saturday (Feb 17).

The death of 21-year old Adelina Lisao in Penang last week renewed a national debate on the need to strengthen protection of migrant workers and raised question about the need to send Indonesians to Malaysia whose porous borders are part of a region-wide human trafficking route.

Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia Rusdi Kirana said recently he had proposed halting to send of domestic workers to Malaysia and restructuring of the employment administration process with an aim to mend diplomatic ties between the two countries which has been strained by repeated cases of abuses of Indonesia migrant workers in Malaysia.

He stressed the importance of a moratorium in order to allow the restructuring of employment process to prevent a repetition of such cases as Ms Adelina’s.

Rusdi disclosed that he had talked with President Jokowi about a possible moratorium last year, adding that the president had also conveyed this to Malaysian prime minister in the November meeting.

17 Feb 2018
1:27 pm

Professor Rapee Sagarik, Thailand’s leading horticulturalist and Thai orchids expert, passes away at his home in Bangkok on Saturday morning (Feb 17). He was 95.

The well-respect scholar, who has been recognized as the father of Thai orchids, died  at 6.30am after suffering from blood infection for over six months.

Professor Rapee was born in Bangkok on December 4, 1922.

He was a former rector of Kasetsart University, former deputy minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, and also president of the Arsom Silp Institute of Arts.

Prof Rapee also worked in the development of rice cultivation and agricultural research.

He was a pioneer in the breeding and conservation of Thai orchids, making the Thai plant to be known worldwide.

Prof Rapee wrote several books and articles, mostly about agriculture and orchids.

The professor, who was the founder of the famous KU Band, also played various musical instruments with violin was one of his favorite instruments.

In his latest interview with ThaiPBS last October, Prof Rapee encouraged the people to do good even if no one sees it.

“His Majesty the late King Bhumibol graciously advised me that ones should do their best in whatever they do and love to do and it will turn out to be good,” he said.

His funeral schedule will be announced by the family later today.

16 Feb 2018
9:54 pm

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) will not be able to wrap up its probe into Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon’s “borrowed” wristwatches case within this month as earlier anticipated.

NACC secretary-general Worawit Sukboon said Friday (Feb 16) that the NACC had ordered the deputy prime minister to submit the third clarification about the origin of more than 20 pricey wristwatches by Feb 8.

However, Gen Prawit recently asked the NACC for the postponement of the submission of written clarifications about his “borrowed” wristwatches to March 2, claiming he was engaged in other business and that there were several related documents to be submitted.

Mr Worawit, however, said that Gen Prawit could not ask for another postponement after March 2.

Commenting on the 80,000 signatures collected by former National Reform Council member Mrs Thicha Nanakorn in her signature collection campaign to call for the resignation of Gen Prawit, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said her move would not affect the government and the government would accept the list of signatures only for acknowledgement.

However, he said Mrs Thicha must hand over the list of signatures to the National Legislative Assembly if she and her supporters really wanted Gen Prawit to be impeached.

16 Feb 2018
7:50 pm

Activists of the People Go Network arrived in their destination in Khon Kaen today (Feb 16) ending their 28-day marathon march which began on Jan 20 at Rangsit campus of Thammasat University in Pathum Thani province.

The long marchers were joined by Khon Kaen residents on their last day of 450-kilometre walkathon, numbering altogether over 200.  The marchers split up in four groups as they marched from four different directions toward the final destination at the Democracy Monument in the Khon Kaen township.

They arrived at the Democracy Monument shortly before noon and planted their flags to declare the success of the network’s We Walk for Friendship activity.

Ms Sangsiri Trimakka, a coordinator of a group working on health security issue which is affiliated with the People Go Network, said that the long march was intended to convey a message to the people so that they feel the urge to participate in solving four national problems.

The four issues include environment and natural resources, agriculture, health security, and freedom and liberties.

She clarified that the People Go Network group chose the northeastern route to send its message to the people because the Northeast is the largest region with most of the people making their living being farmers and have been affected by the four aforementioned problems.

The People GO Network will hold the final forum at Khon Kaen University tomorrow (Feb 17) to wrap-up their 28-day activity.

Meanwhile, Surachai Trongngam, the lawyer representing the network, has sent the Supreme Administrative Court’s order granting an injunction for the network’s Walk for Friendship activity to police and relevant authorities.

The court on Thursday (Feb 15) upheld the Central Administrative Court’s decision to grant an injunction for the network’s long march campaign, ordering the police to refrain from doing anything that will obstruct the group’s rights to peaceful assembly.

Police must also provide safety for the long march participants until the end of the activity set for Feb 17.

16 Feb 2018
3:27 pm

Air quality in Bangkok dropped further on Friday morning (Feb 16) with PM2.5 fine particulate matter measured at between 52-62 microgrames per cubic metre, exceeding the limit of 50 microgrammes/ cu m.

Burning of joss paper and incense sticks during the Chinese New Year today partly caused the PM2.5 level in the capital to rise, according to the Pullution Control Department (PCD).

PCD director-general Sunee Piyapanpong said PM2.5 level measured at 8 am at six air quality monitoring stations on Rama IV road, Intharapithak road, Lat Phrao road, Phaya Thai road, Bang Na and Wang Thong Lang districts exceeded the standard 50 microgramme per cu m.

Ms Sunee said the level of the health-threatening fine particulate matter in the capital was expected to drop today due to rising temperature, but it turned out that the level rose possible due to the burning of joss paper and incense stick during the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration deputy permanent-secretary Suwanna Jungrungrueng also warned that burning of joss paper could also emit toxic substances from gold and silver colours coated on the paper.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s permanent secretary Wijarn Simachaya asked worshipers in Bangkok and surrounding provinces to burn joss paper only in small amount to help reduce air pollution.

The burning should also conduct in confined space to prevent the dust from spreading further.

 

16 Feb 2018
12:51 pm

A bus carrying Chinese tourists from Krabi to Phang-nga province crashed into a roadside power pole and fell into a ditch in Takua Thung district, killing the Thai bus driver and injuring at least 19 tourists.

Police said the tour bus of CNR Travel Co with 35 Chinese tourists on board was travelling from a hotel in Krabi province to a pier in Takau Thung district.

The bus left Krabi early in the morning and on the Phetkasem highway.

However as it was arriving near Takua Thung police station at 8 am,  the bus lost balance and rammed into a power pole and fell into the ditch.

Police said rescue teams rushed to the scene and pulled out all passengers. All of them were sent to nearby hospital. The bus driver, later identified as Arkhom Daengnam, died at the wheel.

Of the 19 injured tourists, four sustained serious injuries, according to initial reports.

It was not immediately known the cause of the incident but police suspected the diver might be in drowsy driving.

15 Feb 2018
10:36 pm

The black panther allegedly killed by Premchai Karnasuta’s hunting party early this month might be the same big cat captured by camera traps on Dec 29, 2016 in the Thung Yai Naresuan world heritage site, said Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn, head of the Phya Sua task force of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation, on Thursday (Feb 15).

The camera traps were placed about 100 metres from the site where the black panther was butchered and skinned, he added.

Citing the information of the Khao Nang Ram wildlife research station, Mr Chaiwat said that a male black panther’s hunting ground covers about 40 square kilometres and normally lives with 2-3 female panthers with the area off-limits to other black panthers.

Wildlife authorities have been trying to determine the gender of the killed black panther found near Mr Premchai’s campsite.

Mr Chaiwat also said that the Italian-Thai Development Plc boss’s group pitched their camp in the ill-fated black panther’s hunting ground because they allegedly intended to kill the beast which appeared to be quite tame and was familiar with human beings that it did not run away from men.

The re-examinations of the crime scene over the past two days led the authorities to an assumption that the black panther was sitting about 14 metres from its shooter when it was shot dead.

Mr Chaiwat said the black panther was estimated to weigh between 45-50 kilogrammes, calculating from the weight of animal innards, which were recovered from the stream near the camp and believed to belong to the slaughtered black panther.

The innards weighed about 17 kgs, he said, adding that it would take at least two men to bring this panther’s carcass from the spot it was killed to the site where it was butchered and skinned.

The skin was salted and the meat was taken back to the camp with the innards thrown into the stream, he added.

15 Feb 2018
8:24 pm

The Kuala Lumpur-facilitated peace talk between the Thai government and MARA Patani has resulted in an agreement to designate a district in the Deep South as a pilot “safety zone”.

Gen Aksara Kerdphol, chief of the government’s negotiating team and an advisor to the prime minister, on Thursday (Feb 15) briefed the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) the progress of the peace talk in Kuala Lumpur facilitated by Malaysia.

While declining to disclose the name of the district designated as the pilot “safety zone”, Gen Aksara said the next step is to set up a coordinating centre where all stakeholders concerned with realizing the safety zone to come together to work on various aspects besides safety such as development of quality of life and drug abuse problem.

The general went on saying that the peace talk negotiation teams would take about six months to implement the “safety zone” and to make assessment whether safety can actually be attained – and that is possible – whether the “safety zone” should be expanded to more districts.

MARA Patani is an umbrella organization represented by southern rebel groups and factions.

15 Feb 2018
6:26 pm

The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Thursday (Feb 15) set up two tri-partite scrutiny committees to review the election bill for Members of the Parliament and the bill for the Senate.

Each scrutiny committee is made up of 11 members – five each from the NLA and the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) and one from the Election Commission (EC).  One will scrutinize the election bill for MPs and the other the bill for the selection of senators.

The two committees will meet for the first time on Feb 19.  They were given 15 days to complete the work within March 1 after which the two bills will be returned to the NLA for final reading deliberation.

The CDC has made reservations on the MP election bill on four issues:  the holding of entertainment activities during electioneering; extension of voting time from  7am to 5 pm; disabled voters can be represented in voting; and voters who do not exercise their voting right are to be banned from holding political posts.

In the meantime, the EC has made reservations on the same bill on five aspects, among them are:  the holding of entertainment activities during electioneering; equal amount of electioneering expenses for all contesting parties; the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction to issue yellow cards is beyond the limits set by the Constitution and the power of the Supreme Court to revoke the right to contest an election of candidates.

Regarding the Senate bill, the CDC had made three reservations on the change of the number of the groups of candidates to contest the selection from 20 to 10; elimination of the cross-selection of candidates; and the separation of independent candidates and candidates from professional groups.

The EC has reservation about the Supreme Court’s power to withdraw the right to contest an election of candidates.

NLA president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai said the election would be held in February 2019 the latest because of the 90-day waiting period before the enforcement of the election laws.

He assured that it will be very difficult for the two bills to be voted down by the NLA. 

NLA president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai

15 Feb 2018
5:23 pm

A 74-year old British tourist who was reported by his friend to have gone missing for two days after he went out to sea off Chumphon coast in a canoe has been found safe and sound on an uninhabited island in the Gulf.

Watcharin Suwapit, an official of Saphli tambon administration organization in Pathiu district, said Wednesday (Feb 14) that he received a request for help from Pol Lt-Col Sathien Chaisawat, an inspector of Chumphon marine police station, to locate a British tourist, 74-year old Mikel Smith.

Mr Smith’s friend, 63-year old Colin, lodged a complaint with the police, to look former who rented a canoe to explore the islands in the Gulf off Thung Wua Laen Bay two days ago and has not been seen ever since.

Mr Watcharin, who is the chief of maritime rescue unit, then organized a team of divers and volunteers to get on board of a speed boat to make a search in the sea off Pathiu district.

About an hour later, the search team found a man camping out on Chorakae island, a small uninhabited island about 7 miles from the coast.

The man turned out to be Mr Smith, the missing tourist, and the rescue team asked him to return to the mainland because his friend was worried with him.  However, the Briton asked to spend another night on the island and promised to return the next morning.

The rescue team promised to return the next morning to accompany him to return to the coast.

Mr Watcharin said later that he had asked fishermen fishing near Chorakae island to help look after the Briton. 

15 Feb 2018
3:01 pm

Thai citizens of Chinese descent in the kingdom celebrated the coming Chinese New Year today by worshipping their ancestors and praying for blessings for their families at their homes, Chinese temples and shrines.

The custom of worshiping ancestors started since Wednesday night, or New Year’s Eve, and followed by a reunion dinner at homes today.

On New Year’s Day, some families worship in memorial temples, where they place tributes to ancestors and set off firecrackers.

Highlight of this year celebration will be in Phuket and Bangkok.

In Bangkok, the entire length of Yaowaraj street cutting into the heart of Bangkok Chinatown will come to life with crowds of worshippers, exploding firecrackers, dragon dancers in a 2-day celebration beginning Friday.

Her royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will preside over the opening of the celebration at Bangkok Chinatown tomorrow.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has cooperated with the Chinese Embassy to bring one of the most exhilarating celebrations to Yaowaraj, which is officially the Chinatown of Bangkok

It includes a special Thailand-China culinary exchange between Chinese and Thai chefs to promote tourism and strengthen the good bilateral relations of the two countries.

The event is jointly organised by the TAT and the World Federation of the Chinese Catering Industry to mark the Chinese New Year and to celebrate the 43rd anniversary of Thai Chinese diplomatic ties.

China has sent 18 top chefs from the World Federation of the Chinese Catering Industry to cook Chinese food for Thais to taste during the Chinese New Year celebration in Thailand.

The celebrations were celebrated elsewhere across the country where Chinese ancestors had arrived and settled down and led their new lives at several towns over a century ago.

Worshipping on ancestors were held in Kampaengphet, Krabi, Phang Nga, Hat Yai, Phuket, Nakhon Ratchasima, Trang, Suphanburi, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Phitsanuloke, Nakhon Sawan, Chiang Mai, Udon Thani, Ayutthaya, and Chonburi.

Meanwhile survey of markets in various provinces with large Chinese communities showed vegetable and fruit prices going up 5-10 baht

15 Feb 2018
1:58 pm

The Department of Pollution Control says air quality measurements at all five stations in Bangkok today showed the air quality was dropping while advising risk groups for sickness to stay indoors and wear hygiene mask while staying outdoors.

Warning of unhealthy level of air by the department came after latest measurements at 8.00am today at five stations, Rama IV, Intharapitak, Lard Prao, Phyathai, Bang Na and Wang Thong Larng showed average concentrations of PM2.5 at 51-84 micron per cubic metre, or over the safety levels at 50 micron per cubic metre.

The measurement also indicated rising unhealthy levels throughout the day, said Mrs Sunee Piyapanpong, director-general of the department.

She then advised people in sensitive groups, particularly those who have respiratory problems, heart problem, skin and eye diseases, to avoid staying outdoor or wear masks if going outdoor.

Commenting on a recent post by Greenpeace Thailand director Tara Buakamsri on Facebook criticising the Thai air quality index was unreliable as compared with the US standards, particularly the average concentration of PM2.5 at Bang Na at 61.87 micron.

He said if such concentration level was measured under the US air quality index standard, this would be in danger or in critical level and unsafe to health.

He then suggested that if the state agency was inefficient in air quality measurement, the private sector would do the job.

However the Thai pollution head said each country which used colours in telling how bad it’s air quality in air quality index would fix its own standard value to correspond with its basic information on economical and social conditions.

She said standard value of both Thailand and the United States was different as Thailand fix average safety level of PM2.5 concentration throughout 24 hours at not over 50 microns, while the US fixed at 35 micron.

Therefore this could not be used to compare and judge the unhealthy level of air, she said.

Earlier a Greenpeace Thailand researcher has called on the Pollution Control to measure and assess fine particulates which can enter the respiratory system, causing – or making worse – stroke, lung and heart disease.

In 2015, such pollution killed 37,500 people in Thailand, according to Greenpeace.

The department currently only measures larger particulates. Its measurements resulted in a Wednesday afternoon statement that air quality was not in the danger zone that would “affect people’s health.”

15 Feb 2018
12:24 pm

Southern militants detonated a home made bomb while a group of village defence volunteers were on a routine motorcycle patrol, injuring six persons, including three school students.

The violent attack happened on Thursday morning near Ban Bannang Sareng in Muang district of Yala province.

As the defence volunteers in four motorcycles were passing the village on a routine patrol to provide safety to teachers, a homemade bomb placed at a roadside tree was detonated.

The explosion injured three volunteers, two seriously, and three students who were passing by.

The explosion alerted police who arrived with a EOD team. The road was later sealed off to all traffic as the EOD combed the area for more possible hidden bombs.

All the injured were admitted to Yala hospital centre.

15 Feb 2018
12:14 pm

PTT and Bangchak will cut their retail petrol and diesel prices starting at 5am on Friday.

The reduction of all oil prices from 30-50 satang is the second reduction in a week.

All Gasohol and diesel oil prices will be cut by 50 satang per litre, while E85 petrol by 30 satang.

Following the reduction, premium 95 benzene will be at 34.16 baht, Gasohol 95 at 27.10 baht, Gasohol 91 at 26.83 baht, E20 at 24.59 baht and E85 at 20.19 baht.

Diesel oil price will be 26.24 baht per litre.

15 Feb 2018
11:53 am

Chiang Mai citizens yesterday called for the suspension of the Highway 11 expansion project after accusing contractor of felling century old trees, and unprofessional removal of the trees.

The call was made during a meeting among the local people’s network and academics in Chiang Mai after Peepal trees were cut and removed unprofessionally by contractor to pave the way for the 800-metre expansion of the current Highway 11 from Chiang Mai to Lampang.

At the meeting, they agreed to call on the Transport Minister to suspend the expansion and hold new public hearing of the expansion, via the so-called Citizen Council of Chiang Mai.

The expansion work starts from Yaek Rinkham to Jed Yod covering a stretch of 800 metres in Muang district of Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai Highway 2 Office director Rangsan Sukchairangsan admitted that contractor had fallen a number of trees and used wrong method to encircle the trees before removal.

He said authorities have already advised the contractor to change the method.

But he insisted that the expansion design which is a parallel road followed earlier agreement reached during public hearing.

They greed that all trees within the construction areas must be removed, he said, and added now they wanted change of the route.

The expansion project starts from October 7 last year to March 5 this year at the cost of 29 million baht.

The stretch is part of the the expansion of 545-kilometre long Highway 11 which is a major highway linking the central provinces with the northern province from Nakhon Sawan to Chiang Mai.

 

 

 

 

15 Feb 2018
10:39 am

Myanmar migrant workers yesterday (Wednesday) blocked traffic in front of a jewellery factory to protest their employer for what they claimed was unfair deduction of their daily meal allowance.

They demanded that they be paid 310 baht minimum wage from the current 305 baht they received daily.

About 300 migrant workers in Mae Sot district of Tak province blocked traffic on the road in front of their jewellery factory to press for their demands, promoting labour authorities and police to intervene and negotiate.

The migrant workers said they were paid 305 baht a day but were deducted 75 baht a day by their employer for daily meal allowance provided.

They said the deduction put them in financial troubles as they could not make end meet after the daily deduction for meals.

They demanded that they be paid 310 baht same as their Thai colleagues.

However labour authorities explained that the new minimum wage of 310 baht will become effective in April therefore they could not push for early enforcement.

But for their meal allowance deduction, labour authorities pledged to negotiate with their Thai employer.

The migrant workers agreed with the promise and later called off their road blockade and returned to work.

14 Feb 2018
11:16 pm

Loei provincial governor has set up a committee to investigate the illegal occupation of over 6,000 rai of forested land in Phu Rua and Dan Sai districts allegedly by a Karnasuta family-owned company, CPK International.

The probe team was given 15 days to come up with a report.
In the meantime, the Forest Department is mulling a K 620 million baht civil lawsuit against CPK International for the illegal occupation of the land in Phu Rua and Dan Sai districts.

According to Mr Atthapol Charoenchansa, deputy director-general of the Forest Department, a total of 147 land plots covering over 6,000 rai of land are located in national forest reserves namely Phu Mee, Phu Khee Nark and Phu Puei which were occupied by CPK International.

With the help of some corrupt land officials in Loei, CPK International were issued with Nor Sor 3 Kor land rights certificates for the 147 land plots – many of which were bought from local villagers who had encroached on the land. However, all the land rights certificates for the land were revoked in 2003 after it was discovered that the Sor Kor 1 land certificates which were used as basis for the issuance of Nor Sor 3 Kor certificates were for other land plots.

In 2009, CPK International applied for a concession to use the 6,000 plus rai of land for agriculture. But the company withdrew the application after it was learned that land officials would survey the land in order to issue land right certificates.

Two years afterward in 2011, the company applied for land title deeds for the same 147 plots of land with the Loei land office. Land title deeds were granted for 38 land plots covering 679 rai of land.

Mr Atthapol said that the 6,000 rai of land – some of which illegally occupied by CPK International despite the fact that all its land rights certificates were revoked in 2003 – are watershed areas which are ecological sensitive and need to be protected.

14 Feb 2018
11:01 pm

Starting March 1, applicants for a driving license will be required to produce a new form of medical certificate from qualified doctor certifying that he/she is free from five diseases namely elephantiasis, tuberculosis, alcoholism, leprosy and drugs addiction.

On top of that, Land Transport Department director-general Sanit Promwong said applicants for a driving license must fill in his/her medical record, record of accidents and surgeries and treatment in hospitals.

Also, he said the doctors who issued the certificates to the applicants must certify that the applicants are not disabled to the extent that they cannot perform their duties; do not suffer from mental illness or being mentally disabled or showing symptoms of drug abuse or chronic alcoholism and do not have symptoms of leprosy which are communicable and symptoms of tuberculosis in dangerous stage.

Mr Sanit added that any motorists who have already had driving licenses but who might suffer from seizure disorder or symptoms from high blood pressure which might cause accidents, might have their licenses revoked the registrars for public safety.

Meanwhile, Medical Council deputy secretary-general Dr Itthiporn Khanacharoen said that the Medical Council had endorsed the new form of medical certificates which has two parts.

One of the two parts is to be filled in by the applicants specifying his diseases that are not detected by doctors. The second part is to be filled in by doctors certifying the diseases examined.

 

14 Feb 2018
10:00 pm

About 100 students, academics and members of the public rallied in front of Chiang Mai University today (Wednesday) calling for an early election.

The demonstrators also issued a statement, calling for the restoration of free expressions and freedom which they said have been suppressed by the junta.

They also demanded the government to earnestly tackle corruption, particularly among its people.

Uniformed and plainclothes policemen were deployed at the scene of the demonstration to maintain order and checkpoints were set up on the main road leading to the university.

However, the police did not make any move to arrest or interfere with the demonstrators who dispersed after about 45 minutes of gathering.

 

 

14 Feb 2018
9:22 pm

Forest rangers have found the leg bones of the ill-fated black panther in the stream next to the camp of Premchai Karnasuta’s hunting party in the western zone of Thung Yai Naresuan world heritage site.

Mr Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn, head of the Phya Sua (Tiger) task force, said Wednesday (Feb 14) that forest rangers went back to the camp site in search of more evidence against the hunting party.

Divers dived into Pa Chi stream near the campsite and managed to retrieve parts of the innard and two bones believed to be the leg bones of the panther which went missing in initial searches.

Parts of the innard and two bones believed to be the leg bones of the black panther

 

Two bones believed to be the leg bones of the black panther

Mr Chaiwat said that knife marks were also found on the leg bones indicating that the hunting team had removed the animal’s flesh for its meat before dumping some of the innards and the bones into the stream.

Moreover, he said rangers found two gunshot marks on a tree and one on a rock near the stream. He speculated that the panther tried to run away after being shot, but succumbed to its death about five metres from where it was slaughtered.

Meanwhile, carcass of the panther which included the skin, skull and its cooked meat and carcass of a barking deer and a rare wild fowl were taken to Thong Pha Phum  district hospital for X-ray examination to search for bullets which might be embedded in the carcass.

Carcass of the panther which included the skin, skull and its cooked meat and carcass of a barking deer and a rare wild fowl were taken to Thong Pha Phum district hospital for X-ray examination

Two slugs were found in a leg of the wild fowl, but it was yet to be determined its caliber and from which gun.

Veterinarians from the wildlife conservation office in Ban Pong have been assigned to remove the slugs to be compared with the bullets of the weapons seized from Mr Premchai’s party.

14 Feb 2018
9:07 pm

A young mother was arrested by police in Kabin Buri district of Prachuab Khiri Khan on charges of assault causing death to her baby boy, domestic violence and drug abuse after she beat her own child to death.

The 19-year old accused admitted to the Kabin Buri district police that she hit the head of her two-year old boy with her bare hand after he cried endlessly. However, the baby grabbed her hair, driving her into rage and she hit her twice on the head until he stopped crying.

She then went out to work and left the baby with her boyfriend. Hours afterward, she received a call from her boyfriend who said the baby was dead of suffocation because something get stuck in his throat.

But an autopsy report from the hospital showed that the baby died of blood clot in the brain, apparently, resulting from his head being strongly struck.

Police detained the young mother as well as her boyfriend who was also charged with drug abuse after urine test showed positive result of drug use.

 

14 Feb 2018
8:13 pm

The Public Section Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) has eyed 37 centres for the protection of the destitute as priority targets for investigation of suspected corruption regarding funding for the destitute.

PACC deputy secretary-general Lt-Col Kornthip Darote said Wednesday that PACC had sent officials to 70 centres throughout the country to probe whether there is corruption in the management of funding for the destitute or not following the recent exposure of corruption at the centre in Khon Kaen province by student trainees at the centre.

Of the 70 centres checked by the officials, he said that there were 37 of them under suspicion and which would be subjected to further investigation as a matter of priority.

The PACC deputy secretary-general said it would take about three months to wrap up the investigation of the 37 centres, including the one in Chiang Mai, and to mete out measures to prevent misuse of funding at the centres.

An informed source said that investigating officials were expected to wrap up the case in Chiang Mai to the PACC board for consideration.

PACC assistant secretary-general Pol Lt-Col Wannop Somjintanakul said 15 teams of officials had been dispatched to investigate the 37 targeted centres, including the one in Chiang Mai, across the country.

Regarding the four whistleblowers, student trainees from Maha Sarakham University, who exposed the alleged corruption at the Khon Kaen centre, Wannop said that military personnel from the Internal Security Operations Command had been deployed to give them protection for their safety.

The student trainees reportedly said they were told to forge the signatures of the destitute eligible for the fund handouts in their receipts issued by the centre in Khon Kaen.

It was discovered that many of the destitute people did not receive the funding while others received less than the amounts specified in the receipts.

The Khon Kaen centre’s director and a staff member plus three employees are now under investigation for alleged corruption.

 

14 Feb 2018
6:09 pm

Eighteen kindergarten students were injured, five of them in serious condition, after a modified pickup truck in which they were travelling crashed into a roadside tree in Tha Sala district of Nakhon Si Thammarat today (Wednesday).

The accident took place on the Tha Sala-U tapao road in Tambon Pothong, Tha Sala district as the school bus which was modified from a pickup truck was on its way to Ubon Witthaya kindergarten school.

Rescue workers who arrived at the scene quickly sent the injured students to Tha Sala district hospital and other nearby hospitals.

Meanwhile, Tha Sala district police detained the driver, 29-year old Mr Kanudit Chueychu, for questioning. He claimed that he lost control of the vehicle when eventually rammed into a roadside tree.

Pol Cpt Pittaya Tevadet, the inquiry police officer of Tha Sala district police, said that if it was found out that the driver was careless in driving, he would face charge of reckless driving, causing injuries to the other people.

 

14 Feb 2018
5:44 pm

The body of a Thai migrant worker who killed himself in South Korea will be returned to Thailand on Thursday (Feb 15).

According to labour officials, the body of Wansin Boonklang, a resident of Krasang district in Buri Ram, will be returned and arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport at 2am on Thursday.

They said Thai workers in South Korea have raised money to arrange the air transportation of his body back after his family had no money to afford the transport expense.

Labour officials said they have questioned his wife Ms Orm Wongchan and were told that both went to South Korea on Dec 11 last year on a package tour of 20,000 baht each.

But after they arrived in Korea, they jumped the tour group to work illegally.

However instead of being properly paid, their employer didn’t pay them and even oppressed them after learning that they were illegal migrant workers, according to Ms Orm.

After a week of working, she said her husband felt sympathetic with her hardship and decided to spend his last saving to buy her air ticket to return home, while he stayed on to work.

She said it was until Feb 8 when she was notified by the Thai Embassy in Seoul that her husband had hanged himself.

Meanwhile, Pratueng Piyarum, of Buri Ram labour office, explained that the worker was not qualified to get assistance as he went to work illegally.

However, the labour office has coordinated with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to finance funeral expenditure for her husband.

He reiterated that Thai workers must apply for work abroad via official channel so as to prevent fraud.

14 Feb 2018
4:46 pm

As the Chinese New Year is just two days ahead flights coming into Thailand are increasing with more tourists flying in to celebrate the events.

Suvarnabhumi International Airport reported 3.7% increase of inbound passengers during the period from February 10 to 23, while advising outbound passengers to arrive for check-in at least two hours before normal time as passsenger traffic during the period will be heavy.

Airport director Siroj Duangrat said he expected over 2.6 million passengers would be arriving at the airport during the Chinese festival during February 10-23, or 191,000 a day, a 3.7% increase from normal period.

With the influx of passengers, he advised outbound travellers to arrive at least three hours before normal time, while domestic flight passengers wound need at least two hours or else they could miss flights.

He said that during the 14-day Chinese New Year period, there will be a total of 14,700 flights, or 1,055 flights a day, up 3.5%.

Besides, he said regular airlines also sought 420 additional chartered and special flights during the period.

Top three airlines seeking increased chartered and special flights are Bangkok Airways (78 flights), China Southern Airlines (66 flights), and Xiamen Air (60 flights).

14 Feb 2018
2:06 pm

Two Mother Nature activists were released from prison in Koh Kong on Tuesday (Feb 14) after having completed their five-month jailterm which they alleged as injustice, The Phnom Penh Post Online reported.

Hun Vannak, 35, and Dem Kundy, 21, were found guilty late last month of incitement to commit a felony and making unauthorized recordings of a person in a private place despite only filming ships, not people, from their own boat on the open sea in their effort to expose illegal sand dredging operations.

They were found guilty on one-day trial on January 25 and sentenced to one year in prison with seven months suspended.  The court also fined them one million riel (about $250) each.

The two activists were released on Feb 13 because they have already served nearly four and a half months in prison during the pre-trial and trial period.

The pair said they were still upset with the injustice of their conviction, insisting they did nothing wrong and they planned to appeal their guilty verdict to the Appeals Court before the February 26 deadline.

“Me and Kundy have not done anything wrong, but they still put us in jail,” said Vannak after his release from jail.  “We do not accept the results of the Koh Kong court.”

Kunndy admitted that he broke down a few times in prison for having to live alongside hardened criminals with no privacy in overcrowded cells.

“I cried sometimes. I was not strong enough to stay there, but I had no other choice,” he said.

The pair, however, said they would continue their work to expose other environmental problems in Cambodia.

14 Feb 2018
12:58 pm

Explosive ordnance disposal police on Wednesday morning (Feb 14) detonated a homemade bomb attached to the water bottle holder of a mountain bike left unattended in front of a  mosque in Yarang district of Pattani.

According to Yarang police superintendent Pol Col Anusak Sakdavajaranon, the police were alerted of a suspicious mountain bike parked in front of Talako mosque on Highway 410 from Pattani to Yala this morning.

A team of EOD police rushed to the scene to inspect and found it to be a bomb on the bottle holder.

Yarang police then sealed off traffic in the area to facilitate the EOD team which successfully detonated it with high power water gun.

Investigation later revealed that the mountain bike was among five bicycles that southern militants used in a series of bomb attacks in Pattani on Feb 11 which were captured by CCTV cameras.

It was first parked by an irrigation canal about 500 metres from the mosque.

A passersby noticed the suspicious object as he brought it to park in front of the mosque after it was left unattended for several hours.

13 Feb 2018
7:41 pm

Two men were arrested on charges of illegal logging after they cut a huge Takian, or Chengal tree thought to be about 400 years old in the mountainous forest in Si Sakhon district of Narathiwat on Tuesday (Feb 13).

The arrest was made by a joint force of military personnel, police and local administration officials after they received a tip-off that illegal logging was taking place in the mountain in Tambon Sri Banphot, Si Sakhon district.

The raiding party found the two alleged loggers,  Abdul Pata Madsae and Abdul Rosor Daranibong, in the act of processing the cut logs.

They found four huge logs of a Takian tree (Neobalanocarpus heimii), about 200 Takian wooden planks, a chain saw, one gallon of fuel, two guns and some methamphetamine pills. A makeshift shelter was also found at the site.

Each of the four huge logs was measured at seven metres for its circumference, said officials, adding that they estimated the Takian tree to be about 400 years old.

The two suspects told the officials that they poached trees in the forest and processed the logs into wooden planks and had them sold to any buyers to make a living.  They also said that they had already made two deliveries of the processed wood to buyers in town.

The suspects were charged with illegal logging, illegal possession of narcotic drugs and chain saw.

13 Feb 2018
6:17 pm

Education Minister Teerakiat Jaroensettasin has offered an apology to Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon over his criticism of the latter’s “borrowed” wristwatch controversy that he made to Thai students and businessmen at the Thai embassy in London last Friday.

In his interview with the BBC Thai-language service in London, Dr Teerakiat was quoted to have said that if he was exposed in the media of just one wristwatch, he would have already resigned.  He also said that Thai politicians and top administrators would never resign like Michael Bates who resigned as a member of the House of Lords because he felt ashamed for being late at a parliamentary meeting.

The education minister who returned from England this morning (Feb 13) met Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at the Government House in the afternoon.  He did not attend the cabinet meeting.

After the private meeting with the prime minister and Gen Prawit, he told a press conference at the Government House that he had apologized Gen Prawit about the wristwatch remark he made in London, admitting that he broke the etiquette.

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.

Dr Teerakiat admitted that the voice in the BBC Thai’s clip of his interview in which he talked about the wristwatch controversy was his.

He said that he had faith in the prime minister and would stay on to work in the government until he is relieved because he is not suitable for the job.

The education minister went on saying that he did not have any problem working with Gen Prawit before and, therefore, could carrying on working with the deputy prime minister.

Gen Prawit declined to talk with the press, claiming that he had sore throat while the prime minister said that the case was over after Dr Teerakiat had apologized the deputy prime minister. 

13 Feb 2018
3:40 pm

Officials of the Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary yesterday (Feb 12) filed additional charge of animal cruelty against Italian Thai Development chief executive Premchai Karnasuta at Thong Pha Phum police station.

The new charge added the number of charges on him to 10.

After the charge, Thong Pha Phum police said they will be summoning Premchai to hear the charges against him within 7 days.

They will also be revisiting the campsite and other locations within the park today to find additional evidence.

Meanwhile the deputy commissioner of the Royal Thai Police Pol Gen Sriwara Rangsibhramanakul confirmed that Mr Premchai was not the owner of the resort in Phu Rue in Loei province as earlier reported in social media.

He said Premchai was not the owner of the property but it is actually owned by CPK International on whose board Premchai is a member.

Checks are being made to determine the legitimacy of the property or whether it was encroaching on national park lands, he said

He refused to confirm rumors that Premchai was hiding out in Dawei in Myanmar because Immigration Police records do not indicate that he has left the country.

But he said if he fails to appear before the court on the specified date, his bail will be seized and official action will be taken to locate him and bring him to face charges.

In response to rumors that the tycoon had fled the country, Wittoon Prai-Yaem who is his lawyer told reporters that his client was still in-country and was conducting his duties as CEO of Italian-Thai Development Plc.

 

13 Feb 2018
2:44 pm

The state and the private sectors in Phang Nga province have signed a memorandum of understanding to push forward with smoking ban at Khao Lak beach from the current two kilometre stretch to the entire 15 kilometre beach.

The agreement was reached and signed in their effort to make the entire beach free of smoking.

However they also made clear that smoking won’t be banned definitely but will be allowed only in arranged areas where smokes won’t disturb others.

The MOU was signed by director-general of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources Mr Jatuporn Buruspat, Takua Pa district officer, Tambon administration official, tourism industry association, tour guide association, volunteer association and local police.

Under the agreement, they agreed to work together to protect marine and coastal resources along the 15-kilometre Khao Lak beach through PR campaign encouraging tourists to cooperate.

Posters and signs banning smoking will be erected on the beach, and leaflets will be distributed.

But Jatuporn said authorities do not prohibit tourists to smoke.

They still could smoke but in arranged areas so that smokes would not disturb other tourists sharing the same beach, he said.

This also would help lower the huge number of cigarette butts discarded on the beach.

Currently authorities only enforce smoking ban on the 2-kilometre stretch of the entire 15-kilometre long beach.

After the agreement, they would push forward the ban to cover the entire beach, he added.

13 Feb 2018
2:04 pm

Former forestry official who facilitated Italian Thai Development chief executive and president Premchai Karnasuta to Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary reported to the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division (NRECD) police yesterday for questioning.

Noppadol Pruek-Sawan, a former forestry official and now an environmental advisor to Italian Thai company, was earlier summoned to report the police on February 15, but he quietly went to see the police to avoid media attention yesterday.

NRECD commander Pol Maj Gen Panya Pinsook said police questioned him six hours and he admitted to facilitate Mr Premchai to the wildlife sanctuary for research of jungle routes via contact with Ms Kanchana Nittaya’s, director of Wildlife Conservation Office.

But the police commander said the police questioned him as a witness and so far he was not found to commit any wrongdoing.

Therefore no charge was filed against him yet, he said.

Asked on an audio clip indicating that Mr Premchai has asked Mr Noppadol to bring jungle survival kits to park officials in exchange of dropping the poaching case, Pol Maj Gen Panya said Royal Thai Police deputy commissioner Pol Gen Sriwara Rangsibhramanakul has already raised the matter with the Corruption Suppression Division police.

He said Mr Noppadol claimed he would offer torches to park officials in his capacity as a retired forestry official.

13 Feb 2018
12:58 pm

Political activist Mr Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of the Association of Thai Constitution Protection Organizations, today asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to delist Italian Thai Development from the stock market, citing the inappropriate governance and personal behaviour of its chief executive and president Premchai Karnasuta.

Srisuwan said since Italian Thai Development holds contracts of several state mega projects and is a listed company on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, his behaviour and his acts relevant to poaching in wildlife sanctuaries was considered a violation of good governance principle and of the laws, including the Securities and Exchange Act which states clearly that the executive of listed company must perform duty with responsibility and honesty.

His violation of several laws therefore deserved delisting from the stock market.

Premchai holds 14.88% stake in the listed company.

 

13 Feb 2018
12:32 pm

Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin opted out of the cabinet meeting today (Feb 13) following his return from a visit to England this morning.

Instead, he went straight to the Education Ministry and refused to talk to the media anxious to ask him about the controversial remarks about Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon’s “borrowed” expensive wristwatches he made to Thai students and Thai businessmen at a party held the Thai embassy in London last Friday night (Feb 9) and his subsequent interview with the BBC Thai.

Talking about the conscience of Thai politicians and administrators, Dr Teerakiat reportedly told the Thai students that Thai politicians and administrators would never follow in the footstep of British Conservative MP Michael Bates who resigned from the House of Lords in January because he felt ashamed of being late at a parliamentary meeting.

“In Thailand, having 25 wristwatches is still OK,” BBC Thai quoted the minister as saying.

In an interview with the BBC Thai, the education minister reportedly said that if he was exposed for just a single wristwatch, he would have already resigned.

He said he was not afraid to speak out. “Why afraid? Will I be fired?,” he was quoted to have said, adding that even his own children think differently from him.

It was reported that Dr Teerakiat had asked for a business leave today. He spent about an hour at the Education Ministry and left at about 10 am.

However, it was reported that he would meet with the press after a private meeting with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha this afternoon at the Government House.

13 Feb 2018
11:36 am

PTT and Bangchak will cut their retail petrol and diesel prices starting at 5am on Wednesday.

All Gasohol and diesel oil prices will drop by 50 satang per litre, while E85 petrol by 30 satang.

Following the reduction, premium 95 benzene will be at 34.66 baht, Gasohol 95 at 27.55 baht, Gasohol 91 at 27.28 baht, E20 at 25.04 baht and E85 at 20.44 baht.

Diesel oil price will be 26.69 baht per litre.

13 Feb 2018
10:31 am

The Khon Kaen provincial governor has ordered security to be provided to students of Mahasarakham University who exposed corruption in the Khon Kaen Protection Center for the Destitute.

The director of the Khon Kaen Protection Center for the Destitute has been ordered transferred out of Khon Kaen by the director-general of Social Development and Welfare Department following a complaint to the National Council for Peace and Order of alleged corruption in the centre by a group of students of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science of the Mahasarakham University.

The students worked as trainees at the centre and they were told to falsify the signatures of about 2,000 villagers in their receipts to acknowledge their acceptance of welfare allowance from the centre.

The alleged corruption case is now being investigated by the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission’s Zone 4 Office.

Khon Kaen governor Somsak Jungtrakul said he had instructed officials concerned to give full cooperation to the probe team in its investigation of the alleged corruption in the center.

Also, he said he had ordered security to be provided to the student whistle blowers.

13 Feb 2018
12:22 am

Construction of the Blue Line train project from Hua Lamphong to Bang Khae and from Taopoon to Tha Phra is 97.69 percent completed and the Blue Line extensions will be open to the public in September next year for the Hua Lamphong-Tha Phra-Lak Song section and in February 2020 for the Taopoon-Tha Phra section.

Deputy Transport Minister Pairin Chuchotethavorn on Monday conducted an inspection of the construction at Wat Mangkorn station in China Town area.

The Wat Mangkorn station of the Blue Line will be decorated with Sino-Portuguese architecture in compliance with the China Town environment. Dragon pattern will be the main theme of decorations and designs for the path leading to the station, the ceiling of the station and ticket booths with lotus pattern being painted on both sides of the walkway wall.

The Blue Line extensions cover a total distance of 27 kms, with 15 elevated stations and four underground stations which are linked in the shape of a circle with the Hua Lamphong-Bang Sue subway route, with the Purple Line at Taopoon and the Green Line at Bang Wa station.

Minister Pairin said three new train carriages will be put in service in next September which will help ease congestion during rush hours for the Blue Line. Currently, an estimated 300,000 people use the Blue Line each day.

He disclosed that the underground tunnel under the Chao Phraya river has been completed while the design of Sanam Chai station will resemble the hall of Rattanakosin era.

 

 

 

12 Feb 2018
10:22 pm

A member of the National Legislative Assembly said Monday that he would like the wildlife law to be amended to increase the penalty of illegal hunting or protected or endangered species of wildlife up to 10-20 years imprisonment.

Mr Sanit Aksornkaew, who is also a member of the natural resources and environment committee of the NLA, admitted that the penalty under the existing wildlife law was too lenient to deter wildlife poaching.

While the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is mulling amending the wildlife law, he said he personally wanted tougher law with higher jailterm of up to 10-20 years for poachers.

He added that regulations should be issued for government agencies to prevent abuse of power by senior officials to allow influential figures to enter wildlife reserves for hunting.

The committee led by Lt-Gen Chaiyuth Promsuk praised forest rangers for a job well done in their arrest of Italian-Thai Development boss Premchai Karnasuta and three other individuals for illegal hunting at Thung Yai Naresuan world heritage site.

The committee has agreed to invite Thung Yai game reserve chief, Mr Wichien Chinnawong, and director of Wildlife Conservation Office Ms Kanchana Nittaya to give a briefing about the hunting scandal and the situation in the game reserve to the committee on Thursday.

12 Feb 2018
8:28 pm

The Kanchanaburi provincial court on Monday (Feb 12) held a pre-trial hearing of the 30-million baht First Prize lottery controversy in which a retired police officer and a school teacher have been claiming the ownership of the five winning tickets.

Before the pre-trial hearing, the court tried to convince the two rival parties, Pol Lt Charoon Wimon, 62, and Mr Preecha Kraikruan, 50, to settle their conflict without going through the lengthy court proceedings, but to no avail as both sides wanted to fight the case in the court.

Pol Lt Charoon Wimon

 

Mr Preecha Kraikruan

The court instructed the two parties to present their witnesses and, at the same time, set four issues for examination in the court.

The plaintiff, school teacher Preecha, presented a list of 15 witnesses while the defendant, Pol Lt Charoon, presented a list of 12 witnesses. The court scheduled May 1-4 as the dates for Preecha to present his witnesses to testify while Pol Lt Charoon is to present his witnesses to testify on May 9-11.

Charoon’s lawyer, Mr Natthapol Termsaithong, said he would present a list of additional witnesses within the next 20 days. He declined to name the additional witnesses.

He said that he did not feel heavy-hearted at all because his client, Charoon, was fully aware from the beginning that he was the real owner of the five winning lottery tickets of November 1 draw.

The school teacher is required to prove to the court the following four issues: firstly, that the plaintiff’s lawsuit has covered the four issues; secondly, that the plaintiff is the owner of the lottery tickets in question; thirdly, that the defendant has committed wrongful act against the plaintiff; and fourthly, that the defendant will be held accountable for the plaintiff or not.

Charoon told the media on Monday he was still 100 percent confident that he was the rightful owner of the lottery tickets and he believes that the court would be fair to him.
Preecha, meanwhile, said his only concern was that the media did not report accurately, adding that he was ready to meet the media any time if they had any questions.

12 Feb 2018
1:30 pm

Relevant government agencies need to have effective and sustainable prevention and relief measures to cope with the poor air quality in Bangkok as several mega infrastructure projects are now kicked off the ground in the capital, an academic says.

Rector of the King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) Mr Suchatvee Suwansawat said construction of several mega projects which included electric trains, road extensions, and large condominium projects have contributed to an increase of fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns, or PM2.5, in Bangkok.

Small dust particle from these construction sites has worsened air quality in the capital in addition to pollution from auto vehicles and burnings.

Mr Suchatvee’s advice came as Bangkok’s air quality dropped below standard with PM2.5 reached dangerously high levels in many areas during the past weeks.

Latest measurement of PM2.5 released on Monday (Feb 12) at 8am by the Department of Pollution Control (PCD) showed that the health-threatening fine particulate matter levels were still high, measuring at between 46-59 micrograms/cubic meter against the limit of 50 micrograms/ cubic meter. Areas where the PM2.5 level exceed the limit were Intharapitak and Lat Phrao roads.

The PCD projected that PM2.5 levels in all areas will be increasing this week due to cloudy and foggy weather condition in Bangkok.

It then warned patients and risk groups such as those having respiratory and heart problems to wear face masks to protect themselves when going out-door.

The KMITL rector urged relevant agencies to closely monitor the levels of small dust partiacle at the construction sites of mega projects in Bangkok.

“These mega projects are significant factors that affect Bangkok air quality and inevitably pose potential health hazards. Therefore, state agencies, notably the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration must close monitor the dust levels at these construction sites.

“In case of dust particles in any area reach critical levels, authorities should immediately issue warning to those held responsible to resolve and minimize the dust levels to safety level,” he said.

12 Feb 2018
12:42 pm

Former commander of the Fourth Army Region Gen Harn Leenanon died at Phramongkutklao hospital on Sunday evening (Feb 11). He was 93.

Gen Harn, also former agriculture minister, was well-known for his Tai Rom Yen (Peaceful South) policy which had successfully convinced communist rebels active in the south to defect to government authorities when he was in charge from 1981-1987 under the government of Gun Prem Tinsulanonda.

12 Feb 2018
12:08 pm

Former governor of the Bank of Thailand Vijit Supinit passed away on Sunday evening (Feb 11). He was 77.

He died from liver failure after suffering from blood clot.

Funeral ceremony is held at Wat Phra Srimahathat in Bangkok’s Bang Khen district for seven days before cremation.

Vijit served as the governor at the Bank of Thailand from 1990 to 1996.

He has been Dean of College of Business Administration at Siam University since 2007.

Vijit has been chairman of SGF Capital Pcl since February 14, 2017, and chairman of Apple Wealth Holdings Pcl since 2014.

11 Feb 2018
8:48 pm

Local administration officials in Phuket and Krabi provinces have been trying to tackle pollution problem in the sea at Ao Nang beach of Krabi and the sea at Traitrang beach in Pa Tong of Phuket.

Broken waste water treatment facilities have been blamed for the flow of untreated effluent from households and tourism-related establishments into the sea of both provinces which are popular destinations for both Thai and foreign tourists.

Mr Tossaporn Chotechuang, director of the environment unit of the Krabi’s Office of Natural Resources and Environment, said over the weekend that the office had sought permission from the Marine Department to build a new waste water treatment facility with 6.9 million baht budget approved by the Krabi provincial administration, but a permission has yet to be issued by the Marine Department.

Ao Nang beach in Krabi

He disclosed that two treatment tanks of the waste water treatment facility at Klong Chak which was operated by the Ao Nang Tambon Administration Organisation had broken down, causing untreated waste water to flow into the klong and eventually into the sea at Ao Nang beach.

Meanwhile, Ms Chalermlak Kepsap, mayor of Pa Tong municipal, said that a new waste water treatment facility was under construction on the same location of the old one because the municipal could not find a new location for the facility.

Since part of the new facility was being built on the plot used as treatment ponds, it was inevitable that waste water which was already treated was released into the klong and eventually into the sea at Traitrang beach in Tambon Pa Tong, Krathu district.

Traitrang beach in Pruket

She however said that officials had been sent to check whether the pollution was caused by effluent discharged from the treatment facility of from somewhere else.

A long stretch of the Traitrang beach has been blackened with the effluent which also emitted foul smell, driving away many tourists.

 

11 Feb 2018
6:17 pm

Government spokesman Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said Sunday that it was the responsibility of security officers concerned to pursue former prime ministers Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra.

An image of the two fugitive ex-prime ministers was shown in the social media on Saturday reportedly while they were visiting Beijing to extend well wishes to the Thai people during Chinese New year the coming week.

It was not known when the picture was taken. However, Thaksin’s youngest daughter, Ms Paethongtarn, posted in her instagram account on Saturday the image of her father whose dress looked like the one shown in the other image together with Ms Yingluck, with a caption which read that Thaksin extended his well wishes to Thai people during the Chinese New Year.

 

Lt-Gen Sansern said that no special instruction had been given to security officials concerned regarding the images of the two Shinawatra sibings in the social media.

 

Government spokesman Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd

He said the government had already had many things to attend to, but did not ignore the pursuit of the two fugitives.

This was the first public appearance of the two former prime ministers since Ms Yingluck skipped out of the country last August 23 – two days before the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders was due to deliver a verdict on her concerning the rice pledging scheme.

 

11 Feb 2018
4:49 pm

The management of a resort on Koh Samui island has decided to remove the head of a Buddha statue from the beach in front of the resort following widespread criticism in the social media about is inappropriateness.

Cultural experts, accompanied by military personnel and local administration officials visited the resort in Tambon Bo Phud on Friday to investigate following the criticism in the social media.

They found the head of a Buddha statue being used as a decorative item positioned on the beach in front of the resort and informed the resort’s management that the positioning of the statue was inappropriate and could be deemed an affront to Buddhism.

The uproar stemmed from a post in the Facebook page of Saipan Saipan (สายป่าน สายป่าน) criticizing the resort for putting the head of a Buddha’s statue on the beach where many tourists usually sunbath and swim in the sea.

 

11 Feb 2018
4:26 pm

The Ministry of Transport has denied as untrue foreign press and social media reports that Japan has decided not to invest in the Bangkok-Phitsanuloke section of Bangkok-Chiang Mai high-speed train project.

The ministry clarified in a statement that it was still in the process of talks with the Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on the feasibility study of joint cooperation between the two countries in the development of the Bangkok-Chiang Mai high-speed train project.

The talks have not yet touched on the investment aspect and Japan has not opted out of the project nor decided not to invest in the project, said the ministry in the statement, adding that the Japanese side is exploring a new form of investment which is appropriate and will cause less financial burden on the Thai government.

Regarding the speed of the high-speed train project in Thailand, the ministry said that although the standard speed of the Japanese train, Shinkansen, is 300 kph, both sides concurred that the lowering of the speed of the train project in Thailand would not make any difference about the investment cost nor the number of stations.

The feasibility study will attach importance to cost saving, particularly life cycle cost, said the ministry in the statement.
The ministry is determined to develop high-speed train project in a way which ensure the optimum benefits toward social and economic development and the distribution of prosperity to the rural areas so that people in the countryside will have access to safe, comfortable and quick mode of travelling.

 

11 Feb 2018
3:43 pm

At least two people were injured in four bomb explosions in Pattani province this morning (Sunday).

Two bomb explosions were reported in Yaring district and one each in Yarang and Sai Buri district.

Police reported that, of the two bomb blasts in Yaring district, one occurred at the sign board of Yaring school in Tambon Yamu and the second one at a road beside the school. Two civilians were hurt.

Initial report from the explosives ordnance disposal (EOD) unit said both were pipe bombs.

Details of the four bomb blasts are expected later.

 

10 Feb 2018
10:06 pm

Princess Ubolratana posted her second message in her instagram account regarding the illegal hunting scandal in Thung Yai Naresuan world heritage.

In answering to an instagram post by one of her followers asking about how ordinary people could do about the hunting scandal, Princess Ubolratana replied in her instagram account, @nichax, saying that they could simply give moral support to every forest ranger to prevent him from being bullied.

“We should help build awareness that no one has the privilege over the others.  Do not forget that this country belong to every Thai – not to any individual.” 

On Feb 7, the Princess posted a comment on Thairat news’s instagram, giving moral support to Thung yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary chief Wichien Chinnawong, who led the operation to arrest Italian-Thai Development Plc president Premchai Karnasuta on Feb 4.

“Fight on Khun Wichien Chinnawong,” she wrote.

10 Feb 2018
9:30 pm

Defiant pro-election activists of the Democracy Restoration Group (DRG) demonstrated at the Democracy Monument on Saturday afternoon (Feb 10) to call for an early election as their leaders urged politicians to come out in public to demand the restoration of the people’s sovereign power.

Three companies of police from Chanasongkram, Samranrat and Nang Loeng police stations were deployed around the Democracy Monument to maintain order as barricades and huge tree pots were placed around the monument to prevent the demonstrators from getting into the monument.

Despite arrest warrants issued by Bangkok South Criminal Court against them, three defiant DRG leaders namely Rangsiman Rome, Anon Nampa and Sirawith Serithiwat joined the demonstration and took to the stage to address the demonstrators, calling for an election to be held in November.

They said the demonstrators had three demands: restoration of democracy to the people, end of the junta’s rule and election this year.

Police did not make any attempt to stop or to arrest the trio as they addressed the crowd.

However, the three surrendered to the police after the rally ended at about 7.45pm. The trio were escorted to Pathumwan police station to acknowledge charges for defying Public Assembly Act and NCPO head order 3/2558 and incitement of unrest in accordance with Section 116 of the Criminal Code.

The charges were pressed against them following the Jan 27 demonstration at Pathumwan sky walk to call for early election.

Ekachai Hongkangwan, another demonstration leader, was arrested at his home in Bangkok’s Lat Phrao area earlier this morning.

Human Rights Watch Thailand representative Sunai Phasuk and wellknown political activists who were earlier charged with illegal public gathering also attended the rally as observers.  Among them were Sombat Boonngamanong, Netiwit Chotepatpaisarn and Ms Nuttaa Mahattana.

Sirawith Serithiwat

Rangsiman Rome

10 Feb 2018
8:43 pm

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha praised Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary chief Wichien Chinnawong and his men for doing their job straightforwardly in making the arrest of business tycoon Premchai Karnasuta’s party for alleged hunting.

He also urged all government officials to do their jobs properly with full awareness of their duties so that they could be relied on by the people.

The prime minister said today (Feb 10) that the government had attached importance to the protection and rehabilitation of natural resources and wildlife and also the suppression of all forms of corruption.

The offenders, he added, must be dealt with in accordance with the law without exception as he asked the people to have faith and confidence in government officials.

Meanwhile, the Latya task force of the Kanchanaburi-based Surasee Task force was ordered to deploy an eight-man team to help forest rangers of Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary in patrolling the western part of the sanctuary to prevent wildlife poaching.

Col Pichet Hassadeephol, deputy commander of the 29th infantry regiment and deputy head of Latya task force, said the mission of the 8-man team was to support the forest rangers so that they feel safe from intimidation from influential figures.

Meanwhile, a group of environmental science students of Phayao University announced today that they will wear black panther’s masks on Tuesday (Feb 13) in Bangkok as a symbolic campaign for people to be aware of and to protect their natural resources.

Mr Kittipong Wongsam, a fourth-year student of the faculty of energy and environment of Phayao University and president of the university’s environment conservation group, said that their symbolic campaign was also intended to give moral support to the forest rangers of Thung Yai Naresuan.

“We will announce through the media for all universities which have environment groups to hold symbolic activities on their respective campuses to call on everyone to have awareness of the importance of natural resources, wildlife so this biological diversity will be sustainable for our next generations,” said Mr Kittipong. 

10 Feb 2018
7:51 pm

Forestry officials arrested six Cambodian poachers in the Thap Lan national park in Prachin Buri province Saturday morning (Feb 10) for allegedly cutting down Siamese rosewood.

Thap Lan national park chief Prawatsart Chanteap said park rangers from Huay Kambhu wildlife protection unit were alerted of the illegal entry of the park from its Network Centric Anti Poaching System (NCAPS) alarm system at 3.40am near Klong Namsai canal in Na Di district.

A team of rangers was then dispatched to the area to hunt down the intruders.

Six Cambodian men were found with two motor chain saws and a large quantity of food supply.

Questioning of the six Cambodians revealed that there were among 37 Cambodians crossing the border to cut Siamese rosewood or phayung trees. They were led by two Thai villagers into the park.

The park chief said Thap Lan is the first national park to introduce the laser guided NCAPS system to detect intruders.

The system comprises video cameras which were deployed at difficult terrain where eye observation is hardly possible.

The laser-guided camera will catch the movement of intruders and wild animals and will send images of objects caught to park officials on duty.

Mr Prawatsart said the system has great advantage for wildlife protection operation and reduces loss of life as it allows authorities to carefully assess the situation before launching the operation.

10 Feb 2018
4:15 pm

President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday (Feb 9) that he wanted overseas Filipino workers out of Kuwait in 72 hours, adding that he was ready to ask PAL and Cebu Pacific to fly them home, according to The Manila Times Online .

He said at a press conference held at Matina Enclaves, Davao City, that he could no longer stomach the persistent abuses against Filipino migrant workers in Kuwait.

“I want them out of the country, those who want to go out in 72 hours.  We will count our lives by the hours because apparently, every hour, there is a suffering and agony, brutality committed against Filipinos,” said the president.

He reiterated his appeal to the Kuwaiti government to stop the inhumane treatment of overseas Filipino workers as he insisted that the ban on the deployment would continue.

“We do not seek special treatment or privileges for our workers, but we do expect respect for their dignity and basic human rights. Keep them free from harm. I implore you.  I ask all Arab people, the Filipino is no slave to anyone, anywhere and everywhere,” said Duterte.

Kuwait is a top destination of migrant workers from the Philippines. The latest data from the Philippine Employment Administration said there are some 86,019 Filipinos in Kuwait as of 2015.

Unofficial estimate put the figure at 250,000 with most of them working as domestic helpers.

10 Feb 2018
11:27 am

A four-storey spare parts shop in Khlong Luang district in Pathum Thani province was gutted in a predawn fire with initial damage estimated at about 15 million baht.

The fire happened at 5 am Saturday (Feb 10) at the shop which is in the compound of Talad Thai wholesale market.

Several fire trucks were sent to fight the fire and firemen were able to put it out an hour later.

The shopowner Kawee Vejayantvivat, 54, said there were six persons, including him, inside the shop when the fire started at the store room while everyone was sleeping.

Mr Kawee said he and others tried to contain it but failed as the fire spread very quickly so, they decided to flee the building and called authorities for help, he said.

Forensic police were at the scene to look into the cause and sealed off the building for fear that it might collapse.

10 Feb 2018
9:32 am

Spending by the people to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day next week will rise over 60 billion baht, said the Economic and Business Forecasting Center of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

Centre director Thanawat Polwichai said a recent survey on spending during the upcoming Chinese New Year festival on Feb 14-16 indicates that more than 56.86 billion baht in cash flows will be generated which is a 3.5% increase over the previous year.

Most of the spending will be for religious offerings, Ang Pao (red envelope) cash gifts, clothing and travel.

This is indicative of the overall economic recovery and the corresponding rise in consumer goods prices, he said on Thursday (Feb 8).

With regards to Valentine’s Day celebrations which will fall on Feb 14, the survey found that more than 3.82 billion baht will be spent.

This represents a 3% increase, he said, adding that the greatest spending will be made on flowers followed by travelling and presents consecutively.

Up to 53.1% of those surveyed plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, spending an average 2,395 baht per person, he said.

Taken together, both holidays will generate in total more than 60 billion baht in revenues, signifying a 10-year peak.

9 Feb 2018
10:04 pm

The superintendent of Lam Luk Ka police station and four of his subordinates were today (Feb 9) ordered transferred to inactive posts at the Operations Centre of Provincial Police Region 1 following a casino raid in Lam Luk Ka district, Pathum Thani province late yesterday night.

The five officers are Pol Col Arthorn Chinthong, the superintendent; Pol Lt-Col Chumphol Pisonkulapant, the deputy superintendent for suppression; Pol Lt-Col Chomphob Rujiradamrongchai, the deputy superintendent for investigation; Pol Lt-Col Vicharn Chanthasri, the inquiry inspector; and Pol Maj Thanaphon Suksorn, the suppression inspector.

The abrupt transfer stemmed from a raid by military personnel of a snooker parlour, Phoenix Snooker, which was in fact a front of an illegal casino.  A total of 118 gamblers–60 men and 58 women–were rounded up together with almost 200,000 baht cash and gambling equipment. 

Fifty-seven gamblers were escorted by police to Thanyaburi provincial court today for trial on charges of illegal gambling.  The rest denied the charges and they are due to be brought before the same court on Monday (Feb 12) for trial.

 

9 Feb 2018
8:51 pm

Former director of Protected Area’s Regional Office 6 Noppadol Phrueksawan was the person who sought permission for Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD) boss Premchai Karnasuta and his three teammates to enter Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary, said Kanchana Nittaya, head of the Wildlife Conservation Office, on Friday (Feb 9).

In an exclusive interview with the Thai PBS, Ms Kanchana disclosed for the first time the name of the person who asked her to help facilitate Mr Premchai’s party who wanted to enter the world heritage site for a nature-study trip.

The Wildlife Conservation Office director said she received a call from Mr Noppadol on Jan 31 seeking permission for Mr Premchai’s party of four to enter the West Thung Yai Naresuan for nature study for two nights during Feb 2-4.

She said she promised to contact the wildlife sanctuary chief Mr Wichien Chinnawong and she called the latter, but could not locate him.  She then left a message for Wichien’s men at the office.

On Feb 2, Ms Kanchana said she received a call from Mr Wichien’s office who said the sanctuary chief had acknowledged the request to enter the sanctuary.  She added that then she phoned Mr Noppadol to directly contact the Thung Yai wildlife sanctuary’s office.

Wildlife Conservation Office director Kanchana Nittaya

On the same day, Mr Wichien notified in writing the head of Protected Area’s Regional Office 3 in Ratchaburi province which oversees Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary of Mr Premchai’s party’s visit.

In the same notification, Mr Wichien wrote that the party would enter the sanctuary through two routes: Thi Nuay-Thi Kong-Maharat and Sanaepong-Koh Sadoeng.  The party would arrive in a car with Bangkok license plate No 7ก 2192.

According to Ms Kanchana, Mr Premchai’s party entered the sanctuary on Feb 3 at about 3 pm and one day afterward they were arrested for illegal hunting.

Ms Kanchana admitted that she knew Mr Noppadol since he was senior official at the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) but never worked with him directly.

She said Mr Noppadol claimed Mr Premchai was a naturalist who loves nature, adding that she did not have any doubt, believing that every individual who ventures into the jungle is believed to be a nature lover.

“Who would know that he (Premchai) would do something like that (illegal hunting).  We do not have any problem with the other visitors before,” said Ms Kanchana, adding that the hunting party would be dealt with in accordance with the law.

Noppodol Phrueksawan

She insisted that it was not a matter of “krengjai” that the party was allowed into the sanctuary.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Gen Surasak Kanchanarat, meanwhile, said Mr Noppadol was not a “boss”, but just a retired official who could not force any official to do as he wished.

He added that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon had given a green light for authorities concerned to proceed with the illegal hunting case strictly in accordance with the law.

DNP sources said Mr Noppadol was a former chief of Protected Areas Office 6 (Songkhla province). After retirement, he has been working as environmental adviser for ITD in several projects, including the controversial Dawei deep sea port project in Myanmar.

9 Feb 2018
8:02 pm

The International Criminal Court (UCC) has recently informed the Philippine embassy in The Hague that it is opening a preliminary examination on alleged mass murder arising from President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs”, according to The Manila Times Online on Friday (Feb 9).

A complaint alleging that the anti-drug campaign has caused some 8,000 deaths was filed with the ICC by lawyer Jude Sabio about 10 months ago.  But the Philippine government was notified of the ICC’s initial probe through its embassy in the Hague only recently.

The preliminary examination will determine whether there is a basis to conduct a formal investigation against Duterte.

“It is not a complaint, it is a communication because there are no charges yet, so it emanated from the communication filed by individuals alleging crimes against humanity in the Philippines,” said Palace spokesman Harry Roque on Thursday.

He added that President Duterte welcomed the ICC’s move as it would give him the opportunity to defend his name and his anti-drug war.

He alleged that the ICC case was initiated by critics of Duterte administration.  

“Obviously, it is intended to embarrass the president but the president is a lawyer, he knows what the procedures are.  The president has said that if need be he will argue his case personally before the ICC,” he said.

The lawyer behind the case, Sabio said he was elated and vindicated by the prosecutor’s action, adding the court usually threw out many other complaints brought before it.

Roque however said the Philippine mission would tell the court it had no jurisdiction over the case because the tribunal was intended as a “court of last resort” and the Philippine courts are still functioning.

9 Feb 2018
2:05 pm

Chanthaburi governor Witurat Srinarm has submitted his resignation to be effective as of March 7 over typing errors in his written assignment order regarding preparations for the mobile cabinet meeting in the province earlier this week.

In his resignation letter dated Feb 7, the governor admitted that he was held accountable for the mistakes for not rechecking the assignment order before it was circulated to units concerned.

Mr Witurat wrote that he had already corrected the typing errors of some wordings and had already reported the mistakes to the Interior Ministry. But in order to protect his family’s honor and his position of responsibility, he wrote that he would like to quit his government service effective as of March 7.

The typographical error involved the mix-up of wordings between an assignment order regarding the welcome ceremony for HRH Princess Sirindhorn on Jan 29 and the preparation for the arrival of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Feb 5.

The resignation letter was addressed to the Interior permanent secretary Chatchai Promlert.

When asked to comment on the Chanthaburi governor’s resignation letter, Mr Chatchai said he had not seen the letter and promised to look into it.

9 Feb 2018
11:21 am

The chief of the Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary may face disciplinary action for not collecting entry fee from Italian-Thai Development Plc chief executive and president Premchai Karnasuta and his hunting team, Royal Thai Police deputy commissioner Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said on Friday (Feb 9).

Pol Gen Srivara, who questioned the wildlife sanctuary chief Wichien Chinnawong on Thursday, said Mr Wichien admitted that he did not collect entrance fees from Mr Premchai and his team for entering the wildlife sanctuary.

Under the regulation of the wildlife sanctuary, each person had to pay 20 baht as entrance fee, plus 30 baht for vehicle. In total Mr Premchai’s group had to pay 110 baht, but the team was exempted from the fee, Pol Gen Srivara said.

However, the wildlife sanctuary chief could exempt fee collection for visitors who seek permission to enter the area for research or nature study purposes, but the written permission needed to be obtained in advance.

Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary chief Wichien Chinnawong

Pol Gen Srivara said in Mr Premchai’s case, the group did not seek permission through normal procedure, but they were allowed to enter the wildlife sanctuary on Feb 3 upon discretion of Mr Wichien.

He said the police would forward the finding to the director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and plants Conservation for consideration.

It was up to the department to consider if they would take any disciplinary action against Mr Wichien, Pol Gen Srivara said.

Commenting on allegation that Mr Premchai’s group had attempted to bribe wildlife officials in exchange not not taking legal action against them, Pol Gen Srivara said the wildlife officials involved had lodged complaint with the police against the four suspects for bribery attempt.

8 Feb 2018
10:46 pm

An ad hoc committee has been set up to follow up the hunting scandal case to make sure that the case will be fought through all three courts up to the Supreme Court to set a precedent about wildlife conservation and protection, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Gen Surasak Kanchanarat said today (Feb 8).

Gen Surasak, in his capacity as chairman of the National Wildlife Conservation and Protection Committee invited the team of forest rangers who made the arrest of Italian-Thai Development boss Premchai Karnasuta and his hunting teammates, to give information about the incident to the committee.

Speaking after the meeting, Gen Surasak said he ordered the setting up of the ad hoc committee to closely monitor the progress of the case.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Surasak Kanchanarat

“The society at large is keeping a close watch on the case.  They are saddened by the incident.  There are groups of people who are now presenting their information.  The committee must make sure that this case is not left unattended to.  Measures must be meted out to ensure that it will not be repeated,” said the minister.

Besides the discussion on the hunting scandal and related legal action, the meeting also discussed about updating the list of wildlife hunters nationwide.

Meanwhile, Pol Col Wutthipong Yenchit, superintendent of Thong Pha Phum police, said the police inquiry officers would need about 48 days to collect all the needed evidence and to wrap up the case. 

He added that his men were awaiting for forensic reports the Provincial Police Region 7 about the fingerprints on the seized weapons and gunpowder traces on the bodies of the four suspects.

Police would also find out whether there were other persons involved with or facilitated Mr Premchai’s group to enter Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary.

Meanwhile, a reliable source told the Thai PBS that a former senior official of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives who is close to the Italian-Thai Development Plc helped arrange for Mr Premchai’s party to get into the world heritage site.

The ex-agriculture official contacted an executive of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation and a written request was made.  But because the group was in a rush, the ex-official then phoned the same executive who didn’t know Mr Premchai personally.  This executive then notified the wildlife sanctuary chief, Mr Wichien, that there would be a group of special guests visiting the area. 

8 Feb 2018
10:41 pm

Mahidol University is the only Thai university which is placed within the top 100 universities in Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings  2018 since 2013.

Mahidol University’s ranking this year is at 97th which is the same as last year.

However, most of Thailand’s 10 top universities have fallen down the table this year compared to last year’s rankings as the country grapples with an ageing population and oversupply of higher education.

The rankings of the other universities after Mahidol are as follows:

King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thon Buri is placed at 114th ranking compared to last year’s 101th-110th.  It was ranked 50th in 2014.

Chulalongkorn University at 164th compared to last year’s 151th – 160th .

Suranaree University of Technology at 168th – a rise from 191th -200th.

Chiang Mai University at 201th-250th .

King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Lat Krabang at 201-250th .

Kasetsart University at 251-300th .

Khon Kaen University at 251-300th from 201-250th .

Prince of Songkla University at 251-300th – a fall from 201-250th .

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings are the only global performance tables that judge research-intensive universities across their core missions:  teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.  The Asia University Rankings use the same 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons, trusted by students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments.  

However, the weightings are specially recalibrated to reflect the priorities of Asian institutions.

Performance indicators are grouped into five areas:  teaching (learning environment); research (volume, income and reputation); citations (research influence); international outlook (staff, students and research) and industry income (knowledge transfer).

 

8 Feb 2018
3:24 pm

Five bullet holes were found in the carcass of the black panter which was covered in the jungle camp of the hunting party of Italian-Thai Development Plc’s boss Premchai Karnasuta in Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary.

The finding was undertaken by Pol Col Sommai Chotekanawin, a scientist attached to the crime and scientific centre in Kanchanaburi.

It was reported that the police officer simulated the shooting incident by placing the carcass of the black panther on a log and put a skull on the carcass in the position of a standing animal to determine the bullet ballistics.

It showed that all the five bullet holes were on the right side of the panther indicating that the shooter shot from a position above the animal, with the shot coming from the front of the animal at 30 degrees.

There was one bullet hole on the right ear, one on the skull and three on its body.

 

8 Feb 2018
2:44 pm

PTT and Bangchak today (Thursday) announced the reduction of all retail oil prices 20-40 satang, effectively 5am Friday.

According to the two oil companies, diesel and gasohol will be lowered 40 satang, while E85 20 satang.

The new oil prices ifor tomorrow will be as follows in Bangkok:

Benzene 95 – 35.16 baht, Gasohol 95 – 28.05 baht, Gasohol 91 – 27.78 baht, E 20 – 25.54 baht, E85- 20.74 baht, and diesel 27.19 baht.

These oil prices do not include local municipality tax in each province.

 

8 Feb 2018
2:31 pm

A small fireworks home factory exploded and caught fire Thursday morning in the community in Samkhok district of Pathum Thani province.

One woman was slightly injured on her hand from the blast and fire which was put under control in an hour later.

Sam Khok police said they were alerted of the explosion at 9am shortly after the home factory on Soi 12 in Ban Ngiew village in Tambon Ban Ngiew was reduced to wreckage by the explosion.

Firemen arrived in 10 fire trucks and put out the fire which ensued after the explosion after half an hour of raging, About 3 houses in the vicinity were damaged from the explosion.

Neighbours told police that the home factory had been used to store fireworks that were used for funerals and other events.

The owners’s son told police that he heard the laud bang from the fireworks storage room while he was sleeping.

He then rushed to leave the house with his mom for safety.

 

The explosion was about 100 metres from a school in the same soi.

Police will investigate the cause of fire.

 

8 Feb 2018
1:47 pm

Bangkok’s air quality dropped again Thursday with the Department of Pollution Control measuring system particles smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) reaching 69-74 micrograms per cubic metre of air.

According to Thai safety standards, the safe level of PM2.5 is 50 micrograms.

The department said PM2.5 measurement at all five stations at 8.00am today in Bang Na, Wang Thong Larng, Intharapitak road, Rama IV road and Lard Prao showed they were between 69 and 94 micrograms, all exceeding the safety level of 50 micrograms per cubic metre.

It said air quality of Bangkok droppedsince the beginning of the week, and was worsened today after Bangkok was blanketed with heavy fog.

It said air quality with PM10 measurement at the level of 89-123 micrograms and considered hazardous to health were detected at Bang Sao Thong district of Samut Prakarn.

The department then advised people with respiratory sickness, heart and blood pressure sickness to wear hygienic masks when going outdoors, and all sectors to supervise all activities that could generate dusts, particularly using vehicles, burning and construction so as to help lessening the level of dust particles in the air.

It warned that the size of the particulate matter was so small that it could pass through lungs into the blood. PM2.5 was proven to cause many diseases, such as heart disease, respiratory diseases, allergies, and eye and skin irritation.

 

 

8 Feb 2018
1:23 pm

The police investigating the Thung Yai Naresuan hunting scandal will consider bribery charge against a person who was heard in an audio clip trying to bribe park officials, Royal Thai Police deputy commissioner Pol Gen Sriwara Rangsibhramanakul said on Thursday.

He didn’t elaborate the person in the hunting team who was heard trying to negotiate with wildlife officials who made the arrest to drop the case against them in exchange for “whatever you want, we will arrange it for you.”

Pol Gen Sriwara said the investigators would look into the audio clip and find out who made the deal.

Bribery charge would then be brought against the person, he said.

He said the police would today invite park officials on duty during the raid at the camp of the hunting team for questioning.

Investigators would ask them about the audio clip, he said.

Commenting on the search of Mr Premchai Karnasuta‘s residence on Soi Soonvijai 3 in Bangkok yesterday where over 40 rifles and handguns were found and seized for examination if there were licensed or not, including two ivory tusks, Pol Gen Sriwara said.

He said although the owner would produce official certification of the tusks, the police still have to prove if the certification was for the two seized tusks or not.

If not, then additional charge would be brought against the owner, he said.

8 Feb 2018
1:09 pm

The Tarurao National Marine Park Office in Satun province is asking tourists who took the black stones at the Had Hin Ngam beach back homes as souvenirs from the park to return the stones back to the place if they don’t want to keep them.

The call for the return of the “stolen” black stones from the Had Hin Ngam beach came after the office received postal parcels containing the black stones with apology letters inside.

They were sent back on postal parcels and some using logistic firms as they didn’t want to identify themselves, he said.

Assistant chief to Tarutao National Marine Park Mr Chinda Srisuppatapong said each year 20-30 black stones were sent back to the park in postal parcels.

He said they were sent from Bangkok, other provinces and some from overseas.

He said in one parcel, it was filled with up to 6 stones.

But what were found common in most parcels were apology letters of the senders attached with the stones, he said.

The senders expressed apology for sacrileges in taking homes the black stones, he said.

He said he believed that the senders might meet with misfortunes after stealing homes the black stones which might be consecrated to God.

He said some have flown back to Tarutao with the stones to seek apology.

He then asked that if anybody who took the stones home as souvenirs, and didn’t want to keep them, they could send them back to Tarutao marine park at the address below.

Had Hin Ngam is a beautiful stone beach. It stands on protected land, with no nearby resorts. The area around is rich and diverse with amazing tropical nature, trekking and walking trail-ways.

Hin Ngam is a small island on the south of Adang Island. The island is full of black shiny rocks. In the center is the forest. Although other islands are famous for their white sand beach, Hin Ngam is still the most outstanding island with no sand in Satun province.

8 Feb 2018
12:09 pm

Wichien Chinnawong, the chief of the Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary, is the talk of the town this week, after he led a team of park rangers to arrest one of the country’s influential construction tycoon whose Italian Thai Development Plc is now undertaking governments’s mega infrastructure projects worth several hundred billion baht.

“I’m not a lone hero. I can’t work alone, but with my team. I can work because my subordinates devoted to work. My colleagues and brothers gave me support,” he said during an exclusive interview with Thai PBS.

He said he never anticipated that what his team did would become talk of the town.

Wichien said that his filing of complaint with the police against influential people for poaching in wildlife sanctuaries was not the first time.

He recalled a recent case when he filed complaint with the local police to take legal action against a local politician in a northeastern province for hunting in Phu Sithan wildlife sanctuary.

So, this latest complaint against the Italian-Thai chief executive Premchai Karnasuta didn’t concern him if what he did was right, he said.

He said wildlife population in the northeast forests keeps shrinking and there is neither tiger not outstanding animals as in the western forest like Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary which is the habitat of black panthers.

He said whether hunting in wildlife sanctuary would be rampant depended on how strict the authorities would enforce the laws.

“At the time when I was there, a local influential politician was caught poaching in the sanctuary, and we had to do our job without any deal,” he said.

The action against the Italian-Thai chief executive was the job of a team work, and not his alone, he said, referring to over 200 rangers working under his leadership at the sanctuary.

Wichien was put on the job at Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary just 11 months ago.

But with his devotion to work and a straightforward man, he gained respect from over 200 subordinates
working in the sanctuary.

He encouraged all his staff to protect the wilderness with their lives, particularly poaching for wildlife species.

All his staff told Thai PBS that since the complaint against the construction tycoon, he seemed to have a few hours a day for rest.

7 Feb 2018
11:19 pm

The image of the grim-faced construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta sitting on a chair in a jungle camp wearing shorts, rubber sandals and a shooting jumper does not provide even slightest clue of a man who controls a construction empire which, for this year alone, is expected to clinch deals worth about 300 billion baht or 30 percent of the entire infrastructure mega projects.

For the time being, his construction behemoth, the Italian-Thai Development Plc, has been implementing a host of infrastructure mega projects, among them are the 22-billion baht dual rail track train project; the Red, Green, Gold and Orange Lines train projects; the Bang Pa-in- Nakhon Ratchasima motorway project; the Suvarnabhumi’s second phase expansion project; the Laem Chabang’s third phase deep-sea port project; the 35-billion baht Mae Moh power plant project and 350- billion baht water management project; and the Dawai special economic zone project in Myanmar.

But the ITD is eyeing for more projects. It is preparing to compete in the bidding of the 600-billlion baht worth of the high-speed train project linking together three important international airports and the 120 billion baht Thai-Chinese high- speed train project.

ITD’s business achievements are outstanding. There is no doubt about that. And the credit deservedly goes to its CEO and president Premchai.

Unfortunately though, the wildlife hunting scandal has put him in public spotlight albeit in a negative light. He is facing nine charges filed against him by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation, including illegal hunting, illegal hunting of endangered species, possession of game meat and bringing firearms into game sanctuary without authorization.

Because of his immense wealth and connections in high places, the big question lingering in the minds of quite a few people now is: Will he ever be punished? Mr Premchai was not supposed take over the construction empire from his father, the late Dr Chaiyudh, who handpicked his elder brother, Aekkachai, as the heir to rein in the massive business.

Unfortunately, Aekkachai died in a car accident and Premchai, the youngest of all five children of Dr Chaiyudh, was summoned back from the United States to look after the family’s construction business. He was then 25 years old.

The years 1979-1983 were quite tough for the company due to fierce competition from the other constructers. ITD under Premchai’s leadership realized that it needed a business partner if it wanted to stay competitive and to prosper. A Japanese partner was chosen and ITD managed to turn back the tide and steadily made headway, with the clinching of several major construction deals, among
them the Suvarnabhumi international airport project, the Map Ta Pud gas separation plant to name just a few.

The turning point came when the company was listed in the stock market despite the objection of his father. Eventually, with the passing of his father and brother- in-law, Premchai became the Number One Man of the company.

Premchai graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering from Colorado School of Mines in Colorado in 1977 and a Master’s from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in 1979.

7 Feb 2018
9:16 pm

A senior park official has admitted that members of Italian-Thai Development Plc president Premchai Karnasuta’s hunting party tried to negotiate with wildlife officials who made the arrest to drop the case against them in exchange for “whatever you want, we will arrange it for you”.

In a phone interview with Thai PBS’s Tob Jote TV programme Tuesday night (Feb 6), Mr Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn, chief of the Phya Sua (tiger) task force was asked to comment on an audio clip about a conversation between wildlife officials and members of Mr Premchai’s hunting party about the possibility of the officials not pursuing the case against the hunting party.

Mr Chaiwat said the talk about having the case dropped start when the officials notified the group broke the rule and told to move out of the camp to the site originally designated for them.

Thai PBS obtained the audio clip from a credible source and the gist of the conversation was that if no legal action was not taken against the hunting party, whatever the wildlife officials wanted, it would be arranged for them.

Extracts of the conversation are as follows:

First Man: If the case is over, whatever Wichien (believed to be Mr Wichien Chinnawong, chief of Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary) want, he will give [you] because [you are] sincere. [we] will arrange for a truck to bring them. [we] used to give over 100 pairs of combat boots, army uniforms and 30 sets of communication radios to the Myanmar troops.

Second Man: You do the business with them.

First Man: Burmese troops knew I came for sightseeing.

Second Man: Shouldn’t blunder. Should’t bring in the weapons [into the wildlife sanctuary] – they were not meant for self-defence, but for shooting animals.

First Man: Will they seize [guns]? No, they won’t. Can be returned, they [the guns] were registered. Phuyai [senior authority] will come to talk.

7 Feb 2018
8:21 pm

Police found a large cache of arms and ammunition as well as two pairs of ivory tusks in the search of the house of Italian-Thai Development Plc boss Premchai Karnasuta on Wednesday (Feb 7).

Armed with a court’s search warrant, police from the Natural Resources and Environment Division and 7th Region Provincial Police Bureau as well as park officials searched Mr Premchai’s residence in Huay Kwang district of Bangkok.

Mr Premchai was not in the house at the time but his wife was there, but she didn’t say anything to the police.

The search party found 13 shotguns, 28 rifles of .22 and .30 calibers, two pistols and almost 2,000 rounds of ammunition of different calibers, according to Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, the deputy national police.

He said all the firearms would be impounded for checking whether they were legally registered.

The two pairs of ivory tusks are not attached with permit stickers, but Premchai’s wife claimed that they are legal, said Pol Gen Srivara, adding that officials of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation would check to determine whether the ivory tusks are the same tusks issued with permits.

Other teams of police and park officials also searched the houses of the three other members of the hunting party as well as the house of Mr Premchai’s son in Kanchanaburi, Nonthaburi, Ratchaburi and Nakhon Ratchasima to look for illegal wildlife trophies.

The deputy national police said wildlife officials who were on duty during the period the hunting party was in the game sanctuary would be invited for questioning tomorrow (Feb 8) at the Natural Resources and Environment Police Division.

 

7 Feb 2018
6:24 pm

The Department of Thai Traditional Medicine and Alternative Medicine has issued a certificate for Mr Saengchai Haelerttrakul who is better known as Mor Saeng formally making him a Mor Puen Baan or a local doctor.

The department’s deputy director-general Dr Pramote Sathienrat said Wednesday that the certificate which was issued by Dr Kiatpoom Wongrachit, the director-general, was meant to honor Mr Saengchai for his contributions to the people, but was not a guarantee that he has the expertise to treat any disease.

He said that Mor Saeng has no right to open a clinic or to treat people outside his premise, adding that the latter must practice within his community, is not allowed to produce medicines for commercial purpose.

Dr Pramote went on saying that if Mor Saeng wants to become a medical practitioner, he must go through expertise assessment by the Thai Traditional Medicine Council.

As for Mor Saeng’s concocted cancer herbal medicine, Dr Pramote noted that the herbal medicine must be registered and approved by the Food and Drug Administration – a process which will take considerable time.

Mor Saeng shot to fame because many cancer patients who have received his cancer herbal medicine claimed that the medicine ease their pains and make them feel better.

Several thousands of people, including cancer patients, gather in front of his house in Prachin Buri last week to receive his free cancer medicine.

 

7 Feb 2018
6:06 pm

The Revenue Department has clarified today (Feb 7) that it has no policy of enquiring information about personal income taxes from taxpayers on the phone.

Revenue Department deputy director-general and spokesperson of the department, Mrs Patricia Mongkolvanich, made the above statement in response to a report that several taxpayers lost substantial amount of money after they had been duped by imposters claiming to be revenue officials to give away their tax information and to claim tax refund via the ATM.

She said that the department has never had a policy assigning its officials to phone taxpayers to make enquiries about their tax payments or tax-related information.

If the department has any doubts or needs additional evidence from taxpayers, it will directly notify them in writing, she insisted.

As for taxpayers who were overtaxed by their employers, Mrs Patricia said that after revenue officials had checked their tax forms and, if it was discovered that the taxpayers were overtaxed, they would return the excess tax into their bank accounts via PromptPay system or send them a cheque via registered mail.

She warned taxpayers to be cautious and not to fall prey to imposters or members of call centre scam who usually approach them by phone.

Anyone who has doubts or who wants to make an enquiry about his/her tax refund can call hotline 1161 or contact any branch office of the department, said the spokesperson.

 

7 Feb 2018
3:42 pm

A combined force of police and forestry officials today (Feb 7) conducted searches on the residence of Italian Thai Development chief executive Premchai Karnasuta and houses of three others for evidence in its effort to indict them in court for hunting in Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary.

The searches were made simultaneously after the Criminal Court has granted the police’s request for search warrants.

The search was conducted jointly by police from the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division and officials from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation.

The authorities arrived at Mr Premchai’s residence at Soi Soonvijai 3 in Bangkok’s Bang Kapi district at about 11 am and took about three hours to negotiate with the house caretakers to get inside.

At about 1.30 pm, Mr Premchai’s lawyer arrived at the scene and asked for a search warrant before allowing the authorities to enter the compound.

Yesterday (Feb 6), deputy police commissioner Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul stated that police investigators would expand their investigation to include other parties involved in the illegal hunting.

He said he had ordered investigators to conduct their investigation in accordance with the law without fearing any repercussions.

 

6 Feb 2018
11:01 pm

A fire broke out at a row of shophouses on Ko Phi-Phi off Krabri province at about 9.30 pm, prompting evacuation of local residents and tourists to safe areas.

The fire started at a small hotel  at Soi Slinky and quickly spread out to about 20 adjoining shophouses and restaurants, according to eyewitnesses.

Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park officials, Navy officers and rescue workers were rushed to the scene to put off the fire and to evacuate panicky tourists and residents to safety.

Authorities managed to put the fire under control at about 11 pm.

Three people–2 Thais and one foreign tourist sustained minor injuries from smoke inhalation. At least 25 restaurants, guest houses, and hotels are damaged, according to initial reports.

Officials suspected that the fire was caused by a bursting cooking gas tank.

 

Ko Phi Phi fire

Local residents say the fire started at a small hotel at Soi Slinky and spreaded to 20 shophouses in the area. Tourists and local people are being evacuated to safe areas. #PhiPhi #fire #Thailand

Posted by Thai PBS English News on Tuesday, 6 February 2018

6 Feb 2018
3:38 pm

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation will file five charges against Italian-Thai Development CEO Premchai Karnasuta and three other individuals for their illegal hunting in the Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary.

The group was arrested by officials of the department on Sunday at their jungle camp in the western fringe of the game sanctuary. Two rifles, one double-barrel shotgun and several ammunition plus game meat and the carcass of a black panther were found in their camp.

The department’s spokesman Mr Sompote Maneerat told the media today (Feb 6) that the department would file five charges against the four individuals, illegal possession of game meat, bringing weapons into the restricted area without authorization and illegal hunting for forest products.

He said that Mr Premchai had denied he hunted in the game sanctuary despite the fact that officials had seized guns, game meat and the carcass of a black panther at their jungle camp.

Mr Sompote further said that he suspected the party’s hunting spree was not a sporting exercise, but likely to stem from superstitious belief in the dark power of the black panther.

Mr Tunya Netithammakul, the department’s director-general, said that the department had to allow local police in Kanchanaburi province to carry out the interrogation of the four suspects first.

While stressing that the department has to ensure fairness to the suspects, he said he was not worried about the fact that Mr Premchai is a well-known and wealthy businessman as the case will be dealt with in a straightforward manner.

He added that the officials who made the arrest of this hunting party deserved moral support.

6 Feb 2018
3:08 pm

The Tourism Authority of Thailand says this year’s Chinese New Year celebration will generate no less than 20 billion baht from local and foreign tourists visiting the country to celebrate the events held in 12 old Chinese communities in Bangkok and the provinces.

Meanwhile TAT deputy governor Santi Chutintara and Ms Lan Suhong from the Cultural Attache with the Chinese Consulate in Thailand chaired a press conference to announce the joint celebration to mark the 43rd anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Both Thailand and China have agreed to co-organize 2018 Chinese New Year celebrations in 12 old Chinese communities in Thailand.

Some of these include Yaowarat Chinese New Year in Bangkok, the Chiang Mai Chinatown Chinese New Year and the traditional Chao Por Chao Mae Pak Nam Pho riverside community Chinese New Year festival in Nakhon Sawan.

According to the deputy governor, the festivities in Bangkok’s China Town or commonly known as Yaowarat have been planned for February 16 -17 and will include traditional Chinese performing arts display, ancient Chinese martial arts demonstration from 9 provinces.

On top of this a renowned chef from the Federation of China Catering Industry from Zhejiang province has been invited to specially prepare dishes for Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

The princess will officially preside over the opening ceremony on February 16.

 

6 Feb 2018
2:28 pm

The controversy surrounding the 30-million baht lottery claimed by two owners, a retired police officer and a school teacher, saw new development yesterday when the Royal Thai Police commissioner ordered that the case file handled by the provincial police to be transferred to the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) instead as public criticism and suspicion grow over the final ruling by provincial police went against public expectation.

The order by commissioner Pol Gen Chaktip Chaijinda mandated the commissioner of the Provincial Police Bureau (PPB) 7 to transfer the investigation to the CSD.

RTP spokesman Pol Col Krissana Pattanacharoen said that the commissioner had ordered that the case file currently in the hands of the PPB 7 be handed over to the CSD so that a fair and transparent investigation can be made in the case of the disputed 30 million baht prize winning lottery tickets.

The spokesman however confirmed that the PPB 7 police investigation has been carried out with care while the CSD had also carried out an investigation into alleged collusion in the lottery fraud.

He refuted rumors that the PPB 7 investigators had handled the case unfairly saying that the case was still under active investigation.

Recent opinion poll conducted by several news website indicated that the majority of people interviewed believed the real owner of the disputed five lottery tickets that won a combined cash prize of 30 million baht (1 ticket for six million baht) was Pol Lt Charoon Wimon, not the teacher Mr Preecha Kraikruan.

School teacher Mr Preecha Kraikruan (Left), Retired police Pol Lt Charoon Wimon (Right)

But the latest police committee appointed by the PPB 7 commissioner concluded the school teacher was the real owner.

The result prompted the Kanchanaburi police to prepare several criminal charges against the retired police officer.

Today the retired officer would be going to the Crime Suppression Division headquarters at 10.30 tomorrow morning to meet with the superintendent to plead his case.

Earlier he made public swearing in front of the city shrine in Kanchanaburi that if he cheated the lottery tickets of others, he would meet misfortune throughout his life time.

He even dared the teacher to the swearing at the shrine, but was rejected.

6 Feb 2018
1:34 pm

Sattahip district police in Chonburi on Monday (Feb 5) charged the owner of a coffee shop for violating the Computer Crime Act, and two girls for indecent exposure of their bodies after photos and video of almost nude waitresses of the shop went viral on the Internet.

The shop owner Prasong Sukkorn turned himself up to Plutaluang police in Sattahip district to face the charge after a post on Facebook trigged a storm of criticism users of the site.

The post, by a Facebook user with the account name of Krua Sahapat-Laem Chabang on Saturday morning drew over 21,000 reactions and was shared over 8,800 times in the five-hour period.

The photos show two beautiful girls wearing underwear and no bras. One girl has covered her front with a barista apron, leaving little to the imagination.

Prasong told police that the two girls were not his waitresses but only customers.

They were in a modelling team who visited the shop just like other customers, he said.

But at the time they visited, there were no other customers, he said.

The team then offered to promote his shop with two models by shooting videos and photographs, he said.

Plutaluang police superintendent Pol Col Tanachai Utsahakit said although the shop owner said he had no intention to upload the photos on the Internet, but the photos were inappropriate and considered indecent exposure.

He was charged for violating the Computer Crime Act, the officer said.

He added the two girls would be charged for indecent exposure of their bodies in public place.

However both could face additional charge under the Computer Crime Act if they posted their pictures on the Internet.

6 Feb 2018
12:55 pm

A combined force of Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) police, railway police and district officials on Tuesday arrested three drug traffickers and seized 300 kilos of Ice drugs which were destined for Hat Yai in the South.

The three were identified as Visarut Trachai, 23, Poltawat Mala, 20, and Chakrapachara Pumpuang, 27.

Another suspect identified as Suriyon Buntiem, 31, managed to escape after authorities combed their rented room at Ban Pong mansion in Ban Pong district of Ratchaburi early today.

The arrest of the three suspects came after NSB and railway police searched a Bangkok-Sungai Kolok train for drugs while it was on the way from Ban Pong to Hua Hin railway station.

The four suspects jumped off the train while it was at Ban Pong station.

Their escape from the train forced the police to conduct thorough search of the 18 cars of the train when it arrived at Hua Hin.

The search found nine abandoned baggages with 300 kilos of Ice hidden inside.

The drug is worth 900 million baht on street price.

Investigation later found the four suspects went to stay at a rented room in Ban Pong mansion.

Authorities then encircled the area and found three of them, but another narrowly escaped.

The suspects said all the drugs were smuggled across the border by boat to Tha Utane in Nakhon Phanom, and then on bus to Bangkok.

They said from Bangkok, they took a south-bound train at Hua Lampong to Hat Yai where another team would smuggle them out to Malaysia.

“But as everything did not not go smoothly as planned when railway police came to check all baggages of the passengers while the train stopped at Ban Pong station, we decided to leave the train for fear of arrest. We then went for a rented room to hide.” one suspect said.

The suspects said they were hired to smuggle 500 kilos of Ice, splitting to two trips, 250 kilos each.

The first trip early last month was successful, they said, adding that if all drugs were success smuggled out, they would be paid 100,000 baht each.

All suspects were sent to the NSB for further interrogation while the fourth suspect is still being hunted.

6 Feb 2018
10:43 am

Italian-Thai Development Plc president Premchai Karnasuta has been arrested along with friends for allegedly hunting protected animals in Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary in Thong Pha Phum district of Kanchanaburi province.

The arrest of Mr Premchai on Sunday (Feb 4) at 2 pm was revealed yesterday after a Facebook user, Khon Anurak, posted photographs of the raid at a jungle camp by forest rangers of the Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary where they found carcasses of several slaughtered protected animals which included a black panther, Khalij pheasant, barking deer at the camp.

The area where Mr Premchai and his friends set up camp is near Huay Pasi stream at Maharaj forest protection unit in the western zone of Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary which is declared off limits and camping is prohibited by forestry law.

Khon Anurak Facebook page disclosed that Mr Premchai was “a guest” of the director of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation’s Wildlife Conservation Office for the visit to the wildlife sanctuary.

Forest rangers also searched the tents where they found a mounted .22 rifle, a mounted high-powered rifle, a double-barreled shotgun and a large number of cartridges of several calibres were hidden.

Near the place where forestry rangers found the guns and ammunition, the hide of a slaughtered black panther was found.

All were later taken to Thong Pha Phum police station where they were detained for questioning.

An informed source said that the director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation Mr Thunya Netithammakul has been informed of the arrest.

It was the second time in almost 50 years for the controversial hunting at Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary by well-known and influential people.

In the incident on 29 April 1973, a large group of about 60 hunters who included top government officials businessmen and a well-known movie star was found to go hunting in the area.

The hunting was revealed after the army helicopter used to transport the hunters back from Thung Yai Naresuan crashed, killing six of them in Bang Len district of Nakhon Pathom.

 

This morning, Italian-Thai president Premchai Kanasutra and 3 friends were taken to Thong Pha Phum Police Station for interrogation for allegedly hunting protected animals in Kanchanaburi province.

5 Feb 2018
11:35 pm

The Livestock Department deputy chief insisted on Monday (Feb 5) that killing cats and dogs suspected to be infected with rabies does not amount to cruelty against the animals.

Mr Jirasak Pipattanapongsophon defended the culling of 200 seized dogs and cats by means of poisoning them with insecticide against a complaint filed by Watchdog Thailand, an animals protection organization, to the Livestock Department.

Mr Jirasak Pipattanapongsophon

He said that of the 200 cats and dogs seized from Ban Mae Saleb and Ban Ja-lor, Mae Fah Luang district of Chiang Rai province for quarantine and inspection which showed that 60 of them were infected with rabies.

He noted that if all the seized animals were to be tested to determine whether they were infected with rabies or not, it would take from 20 days to three years, which would be quite costly.

Watchdog Thailand and Animals Welfare Organization have launched an online signature campaign to gauge opinions about the culling of animals throughchange.org webpage.

So far, over 6,000 signatures have been collected while Watchdog Thailand and AWO has aimed for 7,500 signatures.

Watchdog Thailand said that the online campaign was not intended to stop the culling of animals suspected of being infected with rabies.

5 Feb 2018
11:13 pm

A combined force of military personnel, police, local and forest officials launched an operation on Pha-ngan island on Monday to reclaim state land which were illegally occupied and developed into resorts by encroachers.

The operation launch followed investigation reports, showing that about 19 resorts on the island were illegally built on state land.

The combined force inspected the Big Chill resort located on Khao Hin Nok, village on in Tambon Koh Pha-ngan, and found out that there were nine bungalows on a four-rai plot of land, but the resort owner, Mr Thawil Danviriyakul, could not produce any official document to prove his ownership of the land.

Thawil was then charged with encroachment of state land.

Earlier, Mr Prasob Tuaycharoen, a kamnan of Tambon Ban Tai and owner of Rin Beach Resort, was charged with encroachment of state land for building 18 shelters on one-rai plot of land.

Pol Gen Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul, the deputy national police chief, said that the operation was intended to reclaim state land on Koh Pha-ngan and Koh Samui which were encroached and then built resorts on the encroached land.

Similar operation on Koh Samui is due to kick off on Wednesday.

Officials claimed that over 40 resorts on Koh Samui were illegally built on encroached state land.

 

5 Feb 2018
10:09 pm

Online votes in support of Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan to stay on which were cast through change.org website were suspected to be inflated.

Director of change.org Thailand, Ms Warisara Sornpetch, said in a phone interview via the Share Kan Sanan Muang programme of Radio 101 on Monday that several names of the voters came from the same computer and from the same IP and the filling of the names was so fast that was beyond the ability of an ordinary man.

She said that there was a possibility that the names were not legal, adding that her technical team then decided to reduce the names of the voters from about 10,000 to only 250.

Change.org Thailand organized a online signature campaign to demand the resignation of General Prawit under the title “Joint Support for DPM Prawit to Resign” for his controversial remark regarding the death of military cadet Pakapong Tanyakan. Lately, a second online signature campaign was launched under the title “Wishing DPM Prawit to Quit”.

Later on, Ms Warisara said the two campaigns which were initiated by Mrs Thicha na Nakorn were merged into one because both have similar objective – which is the resignation of General Prawit to avoid repetition of names in both campaigns.

A few days after, Ms Warisara said a campaign was launched under the title “Supporting DPM Gen Prawit to Stay On for National Security and World Soccer Tournament 2018” through change.org website.

She explained that anyone could launch a campaign via the website. However, she noted that, on Saturday, her technical support team found some unusual in the number of sharing which was suspected to be inflated.

5 Feb 2018
9:41 pm

The Department for Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine clarified today (Monday) that Mr Saeng Haelerttrakul, the man who concocted his own anti-cancer medicine for free distribution to the people, has not been recognized as a mor puen baan or local doctor although he was qualified to be one.

Dr Kiattipoom Wongrachit, director-general of DDTTAM, said today (Monday) that the department was in the process of considering the qualifications of Mr Saeng and the criteria needed for the registration of a mor puen baan.

Dr Kiattipoom Wongrachit

He said that Mr Saeng was resourceful and was capable of treating certain diseases. However, he added that some additional evidence would be needed such as letters of approval of Mr Saeng’s treatment of patients from people in the communities, local health units and local hospitals before the department could recognize him as a traditional doctor.

Regarding the herbal medicine concocted by Mr Saeng which claimed to have the qualities to treat cancer, Dr Kiattipoom said his department was awaiting an assessment report from the National Cancer Institute tentatively expected on March 31.

He disclosed that his department had collected input from 1,200 people who had received herbal medicine from Mr Saeng, adding that half of them admitted they felt better after having consumed Mr Saeng’s concoction of medicine.

The concoction does not contain any toxic substance and, hence, is not harmful to the patients.

It was disclosed that half of those who received herbal medicine from Mor Saeng also received modern medical treatment; 20 percent are awaiting modern medical treatment and 30 percent have abandoned modern medical treatment.

However, Dr Kiattipoom recommended cancer patients of the initial stage to get modern medical treatment otherwise they might lose their opportunity of getting treated.

But for patients in the final stage, he said they choose traditional or alternative medicines.

About 10,000 people have applied to be recognized as traditional doctors, 165 of them have been issued with licenses to practice Thai tradition medicine and 2,533 have been recognized as mor puen baan or local doctors.

Dr Kiattipoom made it clear that the certificate to be issued to recognize Mr Saeng as a mor puen baan was not intended to certify that he had the expertise to treat cancer.

He cannot open a clinic, cannot demand money for his treatment, but the certificate is meant to honour him for taking care of the people free of charge, said the doctor.

5 Feb 2018
8:59 pm

The government has accepted in principle seven projects proposed by the residents and business operators of Koh Chang during the visit today (Monday) to Trat province by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o- cha and his cabinet.

The prime minister will chair a mobile cabinet meeting in neighbouring Chanthaburi province on tomorrow and Wednesday.

Prime Minister Prayut said he hoped the seven proposed projects would transform Koh Chang, the country’s second largest island after Phuket, into a model of eco-tourism city, with quality and safe farm products, skilled labour, strong community and efficient natural resources management.

He told Trat people that he came to see them to listen to their problems and needs so that his government could address their wishes.

He said his government was ready to look after the people and wanted them and to turn to one another instead of fighting one another to bring about prosperity, peace and order in their society and communities.

The seven proposed projects include: development of a road around Koh Chang; Klong Prao reservoir project; garbage separation plant project; project for feasibility study and design of a waste water treatment facility; public pier project; health system development project to accommodate the need of tourism business and a manpower training centre to produce personnel in tourism and service sector.

One major project which was earlier demand by a large group of tourism operators and residents is a bridge linking the island with Trat mainland. It was however not raised with the prime minister today.

5 Feb 2018
8:17 pm

Consumer’s confidence Index (CCI) for the month of January increased to 80.0 from 79.2 a month earlier, representing the highest for the past 36 months.

Mr Thanawat Pholvichai, director of the economic and business forecast centre of University of Chamber of Commerce, said Monday that CCI increased steadily for the last six months to 80.0 in January – the highest for the past 36 months.

He attributed the steady rise of CCI to anticipation that the GDP for this year would be 4.2 percent and exports to grow by about 5 percent, with tourist arrivals for this year estimated at 37 million.

However, Mr Thanawat warned about the negative factors from cost of living and baht appreciation which could hinder export growth.

5 Feb 2018
8:02 pm

Forty police officers have been ordered by the Royal Thai Police to immediately report themselves to Pol Lt-Gen Suraphol Phinitchob, commissioner attached to the RTP, for wearing wrong hair in violation of the police regulations.

The order was issued by Pol Col Amnart Utaramart, a deputy commander attached to the police operations centre, on Sunday – one day after the Royal Thai Police instructed the police inspector-general and a special task force to conduct a random survey of policemen who defy the police regulation by wearing long hair.

The random survey found 40 police officers with ranks from a lance corporal to lieutenant-colonel attached to the Metropolitan Bureau, Satun, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phang-nga provincial police officers have defied the regulation.

Their names and ranks have been jotted down and a list of them has been sent to the Royal Thai Police.

Police are required to wear their uniforms while on duty and keep their hair short.

It was reported that the 40 defiant officers would be temporarily transferred to the police operations centre to assist work.

 

5 Feb 2018
6:56 pm

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan is not going to step down, but will carry on with his responsibility and duty to ensure national security and public safety, said Defence Ministry’s spokesman Lt-Gen Kongcheep Tantrawanich on Monday.

Commenting on the criticism and calls for General Prawit to resign over the expensive wristwatch scandal, Lt-Gen Kongcheep said the criticism and calls for his resignation constituted expression of opinions in a democratic society that all parties concerned should respect and listen with impartiality and should consider constructively.

Reminding the people of the bitter experiences they have gone through and the common lesson they have learned, the spokesman said that tolerance and reasoning would be the two elements which would enable the people to overcome their difficulties.

He said that General Prawit remains physically and mentally strong, determined and dedicated to perform his duty to make sure that the public is safe and national security intact.

He also added that the three armed forces remain united as one to ensure national security and to stand alongside the people.

General Prawit will be in Singapore today (Monday) until Wednesday to attend the Asean Defence Ministers’ meeting. He is due back on Wednesday to meet with Joseph Dunford Jr., chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff.

 

5 Feb 2018
4:07 pm

The agriculture minister has ordered agriculture officials in the central provinces to survey the second rice cultivation for the 2017/2018 crop year as there is possible trend that farmers are planting more second rice crop.

The order by Agriculture Minister Krissada Bunraj came as there was report from village headmen and community leaders that farmers in some provinces in the central region are growing more second rice crops because rice is fetching good prices and there is sufficient water supply this year.

The ministry was concerned about oversupply and therefore it was trying to limit the second rice cultivation area to 8 million rai in the central region, and was urging farmers to turn to other crops instead such as maize, so that it would not affect the first crop.

5 Feb 2018
3:50 pm

Former House speaker Yongyut Tiyapairat on Monday (Feb 5) filed two libel suits against former massage parlour tycoon Chuvit Kamolvisit for accusing him of doing football business to hide illicit human trafficking business.

Acting on behalf of Mr Yongyut, also the former transport minister in the defunct Thai Rak Thai party, his lawyer Udom Prongfah named Chuvit as the first defendant in two libel cases, one on Channel 3: and another on Thai Rath TV.

On Channel 3’s “Chuvit Mee Ruang Lao” talk show, Chuvit was named first defendant along with two TV achors Pasit Apinyawat and Ms Pichayatan Chanphut.

In the second case, Chuvit was named along with the anchor Ms Aratchporn Chaladol on the “Chuvit Tee Saek Na” programme in Thai Rath TV.

In both cases, the lawyer said Chuvit and the TV anchors had misled the audience to believe that Mr Yongyut was the owner of the football team “Chiang Rai United” or known as “Sing Chiang Rai” and had involvement in human trafficking, money laundering, and stock manipulation.

All their allegations were false and had damaged the reputation of Mr Yongyut as in fact the football team was formed by his son Mitti Tiyapajrat and friends since 2009 and he had no connection whatsoever with the team, neither as an owner nor a shareholder, Mr Yongyut said in the lawsuit.

He also dismissed as groundless of money laundering and stock manipulation, and challenged Mr Chuvit to produce evidence in court, saying any remarks without truth would only defame other seriously.

The Criminal Court accepted the lawsuit and set June 11 for preliminary examination of the Chuvit Tee Saek Na programme on Thai Rath TV, and June 4 for Chuvit Mee Ruang Lao programme on Channel 3.

5 Feb 2018
3:04 pm

A taxi driver and supporter of the deputy prime minister and defence minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan turned himself in to Phra Ratchawang station police on Monday after he was wanted for illegal gathering.

Adul Thammajit, 45, told police after reporting himself for acknowledge of the charge that he joined the gathering not knowing it was a violation of the law, but just to show his support to the deputy prime minister to stay on the job.

Adul was identified by the police to be a person who raised a banner to support Gen Prawit Wongsuwan during a gathering in front of the Ministry of Defence on February 1.

He recalled that before he joined the gathering, he drove to the Lak Muang city shrine to make merit.

After coming out of the city shrine, he saw a group of people was gathering at the ministry to give moral support to Gen Prawit.

He said as he personally had respect to the general, he then joined the group after seeing the gathering was peaceful and in order.

But afterwards he heard that the gathering on that day was illegal, and saw him among others on the news media holding placards and posters, he then voluntarily turned himself in to the police.

Police said they would indict him for illegal gathering in the court this week.

If found guilty, he could face up to 10,000 baht in fine, and/or 6-months in jail.

5 Feb 2018
1:36 pm

Three persons were killed when the motorcycle they were riding rammed into the rear of a truck loaded with cement boards in Khu Khot district of Pathum Thani province on Monday morning (Feb 5).

Khu Khot police said the fatal crash happened at 4am on Lam Luk Ka road.

The three victims, two men and a woman, were riding on a Honda Wave motorcycle when it crashed at the back of the Isuzu truck which belonged to TUK Bang Out Transport Co Ltd.

Two died on the spot after the crash while another was critically injured.

Rescue team from Bangpakok hospital spent almost half an hour desperstely to save his life through CPR.

Police said two victims had been identified as Suvit Donhomta, 25, from Bueng Kan province, and Suwadee Meesri, 35, from Phitsanulok. Another male victim in his 20s was not identified as he did not carry ID card.

The truck driver Somkid Chuanlakorn told police that he heard a loud bang at the rear after he braked his vehicle instantly when a car cut in front of his truck.

Police said the truck driver would be initially charged for reckless driving causing deaths to others.

5 Feb 2018
1:16 pm

The Royal Thai Police (RTP) commissioner has been urged to transfer Kanchanaburi Provincial Police commander out of the province to ensure justice and transparency in the investigation of the 30-million-baht first prize lottery tickets dispute. 

Atchariya Ruangrattanapong, chairman of the Crime Victims Assistance Club, today (Feb 5) submitted a petition to Royal Thai Police commander Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, asking him to temporary move the Kanchanaburi police chief to work at the RTP headquarters in Bangkok.

Mr Atchariya said Kanchanaburi police officers in charge of the 30-million-baht first prize lottery tickets dispute case had been working under pressure with the presence of  the provincial police chief.

He said the provincial police chief could be put back to the job once the investigation was completed and the case was concluded.

The lottery tickets dispute in Kanchanaburi province has been dragged on for more than three months now with both claimants–school teacher Preecha Kraikruan and retired police officer Pol Lt Charoon Wimon–insisted that they were the owner of the five lottery tickets that won the first prize worth 30 million baht in the Nov 1 draw.

Mr Preecha lodged a complaint with the police that he lost the five lottery tickets and he believed Pol Lt Charoon took them and brought them to pick up the prize.

The two claimants of the first prize lottery tickets, schoolteacher Preecha Kraikruan (left) and retired police officer Charoon Wimon.

Provincial Police Region 7 police which handled the case announced last week that they have evidence to prove that the five First Prize lottery tickets belong to Mr Preecha, not Pol Lt Charoon.

But Mr Atchariya said yesterday (Feb 4) that an investigation by his group found that the local police’s handling of this case was “unusual” and he believed that Mr Preecha was not the owner of the five lottery tickets in dispute.

He said he would submit all the evidence he obtained to the Provincial Police Region 7 on Tuesday (Feb 6).

He warned the school teacher to speak the truth or else he could face perjury charge and could be dismissed from duty.

Mr Atchariya said the investigation by his group showed six persons, including two state officials who are familiar with the justice system, were involved in making false claim that Mr Preecha was the real owner of the lottery tickets.

The two state officials recently offered to be witnesses for Mr Preecha while claiming that they sighted the lottery vendor delivered the lottery tickets to the schoolteacher, he said.

Mr Atchariya warned Mr Preecha to speak the whole truth in three days otherwise he would expose all evidence that was substantial to bring those involved in making the false claim over lottery ownership to justice.

He added that his group’s investigation would not overlap with the working of the retired police officer’s lawyer, Sittra Biabungkerd, as his group would focus on proving that Mr Preecha was not the real owner of the lottery tickets.

4 Feb 2018
8:29 pm

Strong wind and unusually high waves have lashed the shoreline of Songkhla’s Singhanakhon district, forcing several families to evacuate from their coastal houses deeper inland for safety.

One of the villagers of the coastal community told the media that he had never seen such high and ferocious waves in his lifetime as he described the waves as high as four metres pounding the coast throughout today (Feb 4) amidst the howling wind.

Some of the villagers of Village 1, Tambon Hua Khao, tried to salvage the roof tiles from their precarious houses battered by the strong waves and about to collapse any time soon.

Some houses which were located close to the sea have already been flattened by the waves.

One villager predicted that the coastal road would be washed away in the near future unless a sea wall is erected to protect the coastline from waves.

The Thai Meteorological Department issued a weather warning at 5pm today, saying the strong northeast monsoon will cause isolated thundershowers with wind wave in the the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea with waves of 2-3 meters high. Residents in the coastal area should beware of inshore surges.

4 Feb 2018
7:10 pm

A series of earthquakes and aftershocks hit Myanmar on Saturday and Sunday with their vibrations being felt by people in several districts of Chiang Rai.

The Thai Meteorological Department’s Seismological Bureau reported that at 4.23 pm on Saturday (Feb 3), an earthquake measured at 2.1 on the Richter scale struck at the depth of one kilometer in Wiang Chai district followed by an aftershock which was felt in Wiang Chai, Muang, Mae Lao, Mae Chan, Mae Sai, Wiang Chiang Rung, Phan and Chiang Saen districts.  

Several resident said they felt dizziness, saw tables shaking and glass windows vibrating. There were no reports of damage.

At 10.29 pm, an earthquake measured at 5.1 on the Richter scale was detected in Myanmar at the depth of five kilometres, about 42 northeast of Mae Sai district.

Early Sunday morning at 1.14 am, an earthquake measured at 4.0 on the Richter scale with its epicenter in Myanmar about 42 km to the northwestern direction of Mae Sai district was detected at the depth of about five km.  This was followed by an aftershock measured at 2.2 on the Richter scale at 4.45 am. Their vibrations could be felt in Muang and Mae Chan districts.

At 3.42 pm, a 4.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern myanmar, about 258km west of Tak’s Mae Sot district.

4 Feb 2018
2:10 pm

The Thai Meteorological Department reported this morning (Feb 4) that the northern and northeastern regions will remain cold with temperatures for the next 24 hours expected to drop between 2-3 degrees Celsius whereas in Bangkok and peripherals, the mercury will drop 1-3 degrees Celsius.

The cold weather which is covering most parts of the country with the exception of the southern region is attributable to the cold front from China which has blanketed the upper part of Thailand.

In Bangkok and its peripherals, the temperatures were predicted to drop 1-3 degrees Celsius to 20-22 degrees Celsius in the next 24 hours and the sky is mostly cloudy with slight rains in some parts.

In the North, temperatures were forecast to drop to 10-15 degrees Celsius in the upper areas and 16-21 degrees Celsius in the lower areas.  Mountainous areas are extremely cold with low temperatures ranging between 1-8 degrees Celsius.

In the Northeast, it remains windy and cold with temperatures to drop 2-3 degrees Celsius to 14-16 degrees Celsius. Mountain-top is cold with temperatures between 6-10 degrees Celsius.

The eastern coast of the South is cloudy with rains expected to cover 60 percent of the region while in the western coast, rains are expected in 30 percent of the region although it remains cloudy.

The department also warned Southern residents to brace for more rains as the northeast monsoon over the Gulf of Thailand will get stronger.

Meanwhile, the Pollution Control Department reported reported that at noon today (Feb 4), the levels of particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) at all air quality measurement stations in Bangkok were between 49-63 microgrammes per cubic metre against the safety level

PM2.5 is above safety level of 50 microgrammes/ cu m in two areas–Intharapitak road in Thon Buri district and Wang Thong Lang district–with the particulate matter level were measured at 63 and 55 microgrammes/cubic metre respectively.

3 Feb 2018
9:23 pm

In keeping up with the tradition of the Thammasat-Chulalongkorn annual football match, the pre-match parade today (Saturday) was packed with political satires manifested in the parade floats and effigies as well as flash card display.

Earlier fear of a ban or restriction of the political mockery displays by the military did not materialize although military officers screened the effigies and floats before they were allowed into the National Stadium and the long-awaited satirical show went on smoothly.

There were altogether six huge satirical effigies on display. One effigy depicted Nontok giant before his reincarnation to become Tossakan. Nontok was blessed with a magic finger which had tremendous power, but he abused the power for his own interest – an apparent reference to Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan who allegedly enriched himself with ill-gotten wealth. The right wrist
of Nontok effigy was covered with a piece of cloth, when unveiled, exposed wordings which read “have returned to a friend” –a reference to his borrowed expensive wristwatches.

The second effigy was in the shape of an imbalanced scale that tilted in favour of tanks, submarines and planes over hospitals, medicines and health care. The third effigy was in the shape of land mass being rolled together to covey social disparity with the 20 percent of rich people owning 80 percent of the land in this country.

The fourth effigy depicted the Thai-Chinese highs-speed train project which was downgraded into medium-speed train project.

The fifth and sixth effigies mocked the Constitution which was amended to pave the way for the junta and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o- cha to stay on in power for a longer period of time.

The football match itself which was normally treated as a sideshow to the political parade which was the focus of public attention ended in a 1-1 draw.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Feb 2018
2:24 pm

Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) commissioner vowed to remove five senior policemen at Bang Mod police station after the Infinity Indy pub raid  where over a hundred visitors were tested positive for drugs.

The MPB commissioner Pol Lt Gen Charnthep Sesavej said Saturday that the removal process was underway and expected it could be issued late this afternoon.

Describing these police officers of negligence of duties, the commissioner said he has always instructed metropolitan police to tighten constant checks on entertainment venues and make sure of no violation of the laws, but it still repeated.

He said five officers would be removed from office.

The five are police superintendent, two deputy superintendents, investigation inspector, and suppression inspector.

The Infinity Indy pub is located within the jurisdiction area of Bang Mod police station.

It was raided by officials from the Interior Ministry, Excise Department, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board, and soldiers.