Search Keywords:
Searched the site for keyword(s):
Search again ordering: alphabetical newest-to-oldest oldest-to-newest
Results - of matches
Search took seconds

Phuket Air banned from Amsterdam

Posted by hasekamp on 30 April 2005 at 22:16 PM
The landing licence of Phuket Air in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) has been withdrawn with immediate effect today by the Dutch authorities. According to the authorities there have been too many shortcomings by the airline. The immediate reason for the measure was that a Phuket Air pilot, ready to fly, was not able to show his medical declaration, when asked for it by the proper Dutch authorities. This was considered to be a very grave shortcoming and worth a withdrawal of the airline's licence.
Due to the measure 175 (mainly Dutch) tourists - due to fly to Amsterdam tonight - have stranded on Bangkok Airport. For the passengers that had booked the Phuket Air flight from Amsterdam to Bangkok tomorrow no alternative has been found yet.
The Dutch authorities control airlines that sell tickets (far) below the market price (like Phuket Air) intensively. It does not look as if Phuket Air will get its licence back. There have been several incidents before on Phuket Air flights between Bangkok and Europe. (Source: Dutch News Agency)


Category: Default

Royal cremation today

Posted by hasekamp on 30 April 2005 at 11:49 AM
The body of the late Khun Poom Jensen, Princess Ubolratana's only son and grandson to His Majesty the King, who was killed by tsunami waves in Phangnga on Dec 26 last year, will be cremated today. In Thailand cremations of high placed persons take place around 100 days after they die. The favorite horse of Khun Poom wiil join a funeral procession prior to the royal cremation. The brown horse named Nike, frequently ridden by Khun Poom, will be part of the police cavalry division's guards of honour leading the funeral procession. The procession will leave the Grand Palace at 1.30pm, and then travel to Wat Thep Sirintharawat where the royal cremation will be held for Khun Poom at 5.30pm. Khun Poom was attached to the Metropolitan Police Bureau and made city police, especially cavalry police, happy by donning a cavalry police uniform and joining the cavalry police division's procession on His Majesty the King's birthday last year, he said.
The cremation will be presided over by Their Majesties the King and Queen and attended by members of the Royal Family. At least 100,000 people are expected to join the ceremony. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Son for Crown Prince

Posted by hasekamp on 30 April 2005 at 11:41 AM
Mom Srirasmi Mahidol na Ayudhya, consort of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, gave birth to a healthy baby boy at 6.35 yesterday evening. She had been taken to Siriraj Hospital after doctors had sought royal permission to deliver the baby through a Caesarean section. The Royal Household Bureau announced that the Crown Prince's new son, who weighed 2,680g and was 47cm in height, was fit and healthy, had big eyes and a beautiful nose. Her Majesty the Queen, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha arrived at the hospital at 8pm to visit Mom Srirasmi and her baby. The Crown Prince accompanied the Royal Consort to the hospital.
The couple registered their marriage on February 10, 2001. On Valentine’s Day this year, the bureau announced that Mom Srirasmi was pregnant and was scheduled to reach term around the middle of May. Her Majesty the Queen, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, HRH Princess Chulabhorn Valayalaksana and Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya arrived separately at the hospital later in the evening. Representatives from Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and Apirak took flowers to hospital to congratulate the royal couple on the auspicious occasion.(Sources: The Bangkok Post, The Nation)


Category: Default

Disaster drill in Phuket

Posted by hasekamp on 29 April 2005 at 13:05 PM
More than 3,000 Phuket residents, volunteers and government officials are expected to take part today in the first trial of the government’s new disaster evacuation master plan. At 10am, the National Disaster Warning Centre will sound the alarm from new wireless warning towers and from community broadcasting towers. Additionally, mobile vans will announce a warning around areas involved in the drill. "The drill will suppose that a severe earthquake has occurred in Indonesia, resulting in a tsunami threat to risk areas on Patong Beach," an official said. "The agencies in charge will have 20 minutes to prepare and evacuate residents to the meeting points." The drill will take place in two of Patong’s seven evacuation zones, chosen due to their convenience. In one zone after another, residents and tourists will have to run along designated routes to safety. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Heavy rain: Up to 6 hours delay in Bangkok

Posted by hasekamp on 29 April 2005 at 13:00 PM
A thunderstorm brought heavy rain that slowed traffic in Bangkok to a crawl in many parts of the city for more than six hours yesterday morning. The downpour hit the city between 6am and 8am, causing heavy flooding on Asoke-Din Daeng road, particularly in front of Wiboon Prachasan School and Khwan Pattana market. The road flooded quickly because the electricity went off, making main water pumps in the area inoperable. The pumps began working about 10 hours after the power supply returned. As construction work is going on in that area, contractors used sandbags to block the drains. Police closed the Din Daeng tunnel to traffic from 7am. Traffic remained chaotic until 1pm, well after the rain stopped. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

55th Anniversary of Royal Wedding

Posted by hasekamp on 28 April 2005 at 10:06 AM
Thais all across the nation today celebrate a most auspicious event: the 55th Anniversary of the Royal Wedding of Their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit. In Bangkok, senior officials of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), led by Bangkok's Governor, Apirak Kosayothin, organized a merit making ceremony at Sanam Luang ceremonial ground this morning in which a number of people from all walks of life took part in giving alms to 555 Buddhist monks to mark the auspicious occasion and to pay tribute to Their Majesties the King and Queen. Officials and people in provincial areas, including those in the troubled southern border region also organized similar events to commemorate the 55th Coronation Anniversary of Their Majesties the King and Queen. Thais will also join a nationwide candle-lighting and bell ringing ceremony in their respective provinces this evening to pay their homage to the beloved Thai King and Queen. In Bangkok, the ceremony will be held at Sanam Luang. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Expected economic growth downgraded

Posted by hasekamp on 27 April 2005 at 11:08 AM
Worried by the expected global oil price hike for at least another 4 years, the World Bank has decreased its estimate of the economic growth of Asia this year to 6% from 7.2% and that of Thailand to 5.2% from 5.8% as earlier projected. An economist of the World Bank’s representative office in Thailand disclosed that the bank had revised its projection of Thailand’s economic growth this year down to 5.2% due to the rising fuel prices and the global economic slowdown, particularly that of China. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Short fire at Baiyoke One Tower

Posted by hasekamp on 27 April 2005 at 11:02 AM
A fire broke out on the second floor of the 43-storey Baiyoke One Tower, once Bangkok's tallest building, which houses a hotel and a wholesale garment market, around noon yesterday. At least eight people suffered from smoke inhalation but no one died. The city administration immediately declared the tower a danger zone. City engineers will check the building for structural safety before deciding whether it can be allowed to re-open. The cause of the fire is believed to be a short circuit in the electrical power control room on the second floor of the building located in the Pratunam area, Ratchathewi district. The blaze raged for about 20 minutes before it was brought under control. Thick black smoke was seen rising as high as the 18th floor. The smoke choked some people trapped inside before rescue workers could help them out. Firefighters had to shatter glass windows to let out thick smoke trapped inside the building.
Baiyoke One was once Bangkok's tallest building until its place was taken over by its sister tower Baiyoke Two, which is roughly twice as tall. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Best employers in Asia

Posted by hasekamp on 26 April 2005 at 10:54 AM
Yum Restaurants International (Thailand) and Spansion (Thailand) have been named two of the 10 Best Employers in Asia by a regional study by the human resources consultancy Hewitt Associates. Hi-Way Co, a unit of the Tisco Group, and Philips Semiconductors (Thailand), were also named "Highly Commended Best Employers in Asia" in the Hewitt study. The survey results were announced yesterday in Shanghai.
A total of 244 organisations and nearly 70,000 employees participated in the Best Employers in Asia 2005 study, featuring companies in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The study is claimed as the largest of its kind in Asia, and is based on responses gained from employee questionnaires and interviews with chief executives. Companies are assessed based on their ability to engage and motivate employees as well as aligning staff with strategic corporate objectives. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Corruption investigation related to new airport

Posted by hasekamp on 26 April 2005 at 10:44 AM
The President of the Board of the extraordinary committee on corruption is preparing to ask the related persons to explain a case of corruption in the Suvarnabhumi Airport Project (Bangkok's new airport). A committee controlling property and the stock exchange of America has found that corruption in the Suvarnabhumi Airport Project has taken place, involving improvements to part of the luggage conveyor system, at a cost of over 1,000 million Baht, whereby government officers and some politicians have been accused of taking bribes. Gen. Prathin Santiprasop, the President of the Board of the extraordinary committee on corruption, has stated that the Board will consider this issue on Thursday 28th, April.
If it is found that corruption had taken place, all suspected parties will be invited to explain their actions. (Source: Public Relations Department)


Category: Default

More lookout towers planned

Posted by hasekamp on 26 April 2005 at 10:39 AM
Three beach guard stations – out of 50 being built along the coasts of Phuket and the other Andaman provinces – will be in place in Patong before the end of July. A further 16 will be built in Phuket later. The stations will enable beach guards to monitor the sea for signs of tsunamis, as well as watch out for other problems such as drownings or boat sinkings. The government is due to approve the budget at its meeting tomorrow. Each 13-meter-high tower will cost between 80,000 and 100,000 baht, and will be equipped with a 20,000-baht alarm system capable of issuing alerts at 105 decibels, as well as lights with a range of 500 meters. The guards who staff the towers will be trained by the Royal Thai Navy.
The newly planned towers will operate independently of the National Disaster Warning Center alarm system and the beach guard stations being established by Phuket. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


Category: Default

Finn suspected of manyfold child abuse

Posted by hasekamp on 26 April 2005 at 10:31 AM
A Finnish man suspected of sexually abusing at least 445 (four hundred and forty five!) Thai boys over the last 15 years has been detained, Finnish police said in Monday, calling the case the country's biggest ever of its kind. The man, born in 1962, was caught in January after returning from his 26th trip to Thailand since 1989, police said. The tip-off for the case, now being examined by a prosecutor, first came from a Belgian investigation last autumn. "In a home search we found his diary notes, which also contained statistics on how many boys he had abused per trip. He has kept a cumulative figure and it ends at about 445," said Detective Superintendent Lars Henriksson from Finland's National Bureau of Investigation. "We also found extensive child pornography material which he had made for his own use," Henriksson said.
All of the boys involved were between 10 and 13 years old. The man has already confessed and could face (just) a 10-year jail sentence. (Source: Reuters)


Category: Default

Tsunami warning center ready

Posted by hasekamp on 25 April 2005 at 10:41 AM
Thailand is the very first to have its National Disaster Warning Centre in place. More than that, the early warning towers in Patong are now working. Three new early warning towers are now activated on Phuket's Patong Beach. They are located at Sunset Beach Resort on the North end, then an 8 meter tower near tourist police office right on the beach with 24 speakers and another one at Sea View Patong Hotel.
The Director of the National Disaster Warning Centre, who is also a Vice Minister to The Prime Minister's Office, has expressed satisfaction with the siren warning system experimentation last week. Following his visit to Patong Beach to assess the readiness of the system, Mr. Smith proposed that the warnings be conveyed in many languages. The early warning towers, with siren signal, will officially begin operations by the end of this month, which will also coincide with an evacuation drill scheduled for this Friday 29th April.
The early warning stations at Patong Beach are operating 24 hours a day, divided into 3 shifts with 10 officials working in each shift. The three towers have a capacity of 121 decibels alarm signal covering 3 kilometre on the long beach.
The newly installed system is delightedly welcomed by both residents and tourists, but also the tourist industry. The system is planned to link soon with the National Disaster Warning Centre in Bangkok so that when any natural disasters are analysed to occur, the signal will be sent right away providing enough time, to warn the general public for evacuation if necessary. After this more warning systems will be set up later in the six provinces situated along the Andaman coast. (Source: Public Relations Department)


Category: Default

Government force condemned

Posted by hasekamp on 25 April 2005 at 10:29 AM
The two independent reports into the Krue Se and Tak Bai clashes fault the use of overwhelming force and want officials to be held accountable for the tragedies. The reports were released almost in full by the National Reconciliation Commission yesterday.
The report into the Krue Se mosque massacre where 32 militants were killed on April 28 last year said the remote location of the mosque meant the military could have surrounded the area and attempted negotiations. Instead, security forces resorted to disproportionate use of force.
The probe report into the Oct 25, 2004 Tak Bai clash said superior officers were wrong to let junior officers handle the transport of demonstrators in army trucks from Tak Bai to Pattani. Their ignorance and negligence led to the deaths of 78 detainees, who died of suffocation on board the trucks.
The report holds responsible five army generals, while the Krue Se report says deputy prime minister Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, Internal Security Operations Command deputy director Gen Pallop Pinmanee, and then Fourth Army chief Lt-Gen Pisarn Wattanawongkeeree were all involved in that incident. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Thaksin will follow advice by Queen

Posted by hasekamp on 24 April 2005 at 18:21 PM
Thailand’s Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has promised to take the Queen’s words on resolving the conflict in the country’s southern border provinces to heart (see an earlier posting here). The use of force is not the way to deal with the problem, even though many officers have been attacked and killed, he said. Mr Thaksin went on to say that he would tell government officials working in the troubled areas to be more proactive in responding to local people’s grievances. In particular, he said the payment of compensation to the families of those killed or injured in recent attacks needed to be speeded up. "All Thai people should take the Queen’s words to heart, and co-operate with the Thai authorities by passing on useful information," Mr. Thaksin told journalists. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Queen condemns attackers in the South

Posted by hasekamp on 24 April 2005 at 18:14 PM
Her Majesty the Queen last night called on people not to sit still any longer but to unite and loudly condemn the "brutes" who have been killing innocents daily in the deep South. However, she stressed that this was not a call to arms. Speaking to 1,200 village scouts and national defence volunteers from all over the country, Her Majesty told them during a televised speech: "We all have to condemn such actions as being totally devoid of humanity. We have to let these brutes know, without taking arms, what we feel."
In a sternly worded and emotional speech, Her Majesty said she was especially shocked by the bombing at the Hat Yai airport, the Carrefour superstore and the Green World hotel in Hat Yai in Songkhla on April 3. Two people were killed at the airport, and scores were wounded in the three attacks. "This showed that these brutes do not care about hurting the old, the women or children. Such people are without religion and have no humanity. They are not at all like ordinary people." She said that if such violence continued it could ruin the country because no one would visit Thailand if they thought they would be in danger. This would ruin the country's future, since with no tourists to see its temples and beaches, Thailand would become poor. "We have to put our heads together and consult each other about what we can do. Don't sit still and think it is not your business or that it was just the responsibility of the government," the Queen said. Earlier this year, the Queen also condemned the perpetrators of violence in the South. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Phuket and Phang Nga impress Sri Lanka

Posted by hasekamp on 23 April 2005 at 10:54 AM
Government officers from Sri Lanka, on a three-day fact-finding visit to Phuket and Phang Nga, declared themselves impressed by the speed with which the region is recovering from the tsunami. The 17 officers from tsunami-affected areas of Sri Lanka are in Thailand to see if the experiences of Phuket and Phang Nga could be used to help their own regions rebuild after the tsunami.
At the Royal Phuket City Hotel yesterday, the group’s leader said the group had learned that Phuket was recovering so quickly because of the government’s policy of attracting businesses back to tsunami-affected areas, although good cooperation between local authorities and communities had also been a factor. He continued, "We know the priority is to boost tourism, and to be fast and proactive in doing this. The team members are especially impressed by the Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (ODPM) and the way officers have worked so closely with local people." (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


Category: Default

Plans for new Giant Swing

Posted by hasekamp on 21 April 2005 at 12:13 PM
The state lumber enterprise yesterday vowed to scour forests for 25-meter logs to construct a new Giant Swing. "Local forests are still bountiful with tall perennial trees that can support the rebuilding of the national monument," said Prasert Tririya, deputy managing director of the Forest Industry Organisation. Prasert ruled out speculation that logs of the necessary length may have to be imported from neighbouring countries. However, the Forest Industry Organisation would need time to find the right logs because the industry standard was 10 meters.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is considering replacing the 45-year-old landmark in Phra Nakhon district (near Wat Saket) rather than trying to restore the rotting pillars. A key requirement is four golden teak or ironwood logs of 25-meter length, and doubt has been expressed that such stands can still be found because of deforestation. We fear that - whatever the cost for the Thai forests - the logs will be found, legally or illegally. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Aircrafts touch wings on Bangkok Airport

Posted by hasekamp on 21 April 2005 at 12:06 PM
An investigation has begun into an accident at Don Muang airport, where two loaded passenger jets "scratched" each other during taxiing on Tuesday night. Thai Airways International flight TG 602, bound for Hong Kong, lost the tip of its right wing in the accident. Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit ordered the inquiry yesterday. It will be undertaken by staff of the Aviation Department and Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Co, an agency in charge of air traffic control. A statement issued by THAI yesterday said that at 7.50 pm on Tuesday, flight TG 602, an Airbus A330-300, was preparing to take off with 183 passengers aboard when the pilot felt an abnormality with the right wing. A subsequent check found the right wing tip was missing. The missing part was left on the wing of Singapore Airlines flight SQ068. The plane was parked. An inspection found its left aileron was torn. The minister said he expected the findings in the next few days. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

US think Thaksin can solve problems

Posted by hasekamp on 20 April 2005 at 12:22 PM
The US Ambassador to Thailand, Mr. Ralph S. Boyce, has expressed concern over the continuing unrest in the country's southern border region, but he also has denied that Washington has any plans to intervene, and has voiced confidence in the Thai government’s ability to bring the violence to an end. Mr. Boyce made the comments this morning in advance of this year’s joint Cobra Gold military training exercises. According to a Thai government spokesperson Mr. Boyce said that the US recognised that this was an internal domestic situation of Thailand, and believed that the Thai government could address the issue. The US ambassador had also passed on Washington’s continuing concern over the situation in Myanmar, but had stressed that he understood Thailand’s position as Myanmar’s neighbour, despite opposing public opinion in the US. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Tsunami aid thieves

Posted by hasekamp on 19 April 2005 at 15:38 PM
Five government employees working for provincial authorities in Phuket are facing criminal prosecution after police uncovered evidence of their alleged involvement in the embezzlement of Bt2-million from a tsunami relief fund. Local police said that interviews with the unnamed officials and independent investigations pointed the finger at the alleged culprits. Earlier, officials at a Muang Phuket police station said arrest warrants were likely to be obtained within a week on the merits of police charges laid before the provincial court. Police declined to reveal the identities of the five suspects, saying publication of details would hamper further investigations. A total of Bt2.05 million went missing from a safety deposit box containing aid at a provincial hall a few days after the December 26 tsunami. The lock was sawn off. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Corruption at top of agenda of UN Congress

Posted by hasekamp on 17 April 2005 at 11:05 AM
One of the top agenda points at the up-coming Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice will be "Corruption: threats and treads in the twenty-first century". The Thai government is serious about eliminating corruption from the country. It has declared war on three fronts: the war on narcotic drugs, the war on poverty, and the war on corruption. These three elements are considered the biggest threats to the development of Thailand and the well-being of the Thai people. In 1997 the Constitution of Thailand was decreed. It has provided new mechanisms for dealing with corruption. The independent National Counter Corruption Commission is an organization set up in accordance with the Constitution to fight corruption. The team is composed of a President and eight qualified members appointed by His Majesty the King. A special division of the Supreme Court has also been established to specifically handle corruption cases of politicians.
The Eleventh United Nations Congress will open on April 18th, 2005 at 10:00a.m. The meeting will adjourn at 12:00 noon. The afternoon meeting of the congress will commence with His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn addressing the Plenary on behalf of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Accompanying him will be his daughter Princess Bajrakitiyabha. (Source: Public Relations Department)


Category: Default

Tolls on last Songkran holiday

Posted by hasekamp on 17 April 2005 at 10:56 AM
The official Songkran celebration is coming to its last day. Up until now, there have been 481 fatalities during the festivity. Officials say a hundred more fatalities were seen last year and this is a big improvement. Officially 44 people lost their lives overnight. This is a 12% improvement on targets set by road safety officials. After nine days of the holiday period 14,339 people have been injured in accidents. This time in 2004 more than 34,000 were hurt in car crashes. That's a 58 per cent improvement for this year.
Traffic police say that tough policing measures are working. It also appears significant that state efforts to rid the country of drinking drivers are working. Reckless motorcycle riding has caused most deaths this year, including the failure to wear safety helmets. For cars not using seat belts was the major cause of fatalities.
Officials are keeping their fingers crossed that the figure will not jump on the last day. Traffic is expected to be over-congested and hence more accidents and fatalities are expected. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Double prices for Songkran

Posted by hasekamp on 15 April 2005 at 18:17 PM
Visitors to the eastern province of Rayong have submitted a complaint to the local Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) office complaining of hoteliers and restaurateurs doubling their prices over the Songkran vacation. Officials from the TAT’s regional office said that they had received a huge number of complaints accusing hotels, guesthouses and resorts of not only putting their prices up by 100 percent, but also providing sub-standard service and raising restaurant bills. Visitors to one resort complained of having their hotel rooms broken into, while hotel staff looked on and refused to take responsibility. The TAT warned that hoteliers engaging in such practices were severely damaging the province’s tourism reputation, while noting that they had issued warnings to hoteliers in the past, but their pleas had been ignored.
We know that Thailand desparately wants the tourists back that stay away since the tsunami. But this is definitely not the way to achieve this! (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Acid spray during Songkran

Posted by hasekamp on 14 April 2005 at 11:26 AM
Six teenage Thais have suffered major facial and body burns after being sprayed with diluted hydrochloric acid at a public park during the Songkran water festival in southern Thailand. Police have arrested two teenage suspects after they were identified by witnesses as having fired toy guns containing diluted acid on festival celebrants in the park. The two denied committing the act in the town of Pattani near the Malaysian border, which has left a boy hospitalised with serious eye burns.
Police said the suspects would face a charge of physical assault with intent to harm. (Source: Reuters)


Category: Default

Songkran death toll

Posted by hasekamp on 14 April 2005 at 10:57 AM
Officials blamed slippery road conditions - resulting from extensive water-throwing - for the rise in death toll for this year’s Songkran day (13 April). Despite heavy campaigns on road safety for the three-day national holiday officially starting yesterday, there were 2,200 road accidents reported nationwide on 13 April only, in which 79 people killed, compared to 75 during the same day last year, the Interior Ministry announced today. The Deputy Interior Minister said 2,817 people were injured, down from 4,834 of the same date last year. Motorcycles were responsible for most of these incidents, followed by pick-up trucks. Risky behaviours such as not wearing safety helmets, drink driving and speed respectively caused these accidents.
Road accidents have killed 311 people, injured 8,963 during the past six days. The highest number of death toll is reported to be Bangkok, followed by Nakhon Ratchasima, the gateway to Thailand’s northeast where most migrant workers usually return home to celebrate the traditional new year. The Deputy Interior Minister noted with concerns that most of the people killed or injured are youngsters and migrant workers who constitute human resources in Thailand’s economic development.(Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Extra security in Bangkok hotels

Posted by hasekamp on 14 April 2005 at 10:51 AM
Hotels in Bangkok have introduced further security measures following the bomb attacks in Hat Yai and Songkhla last week, with many installing additional closed-circuit TV cameras and employing more security guards.
The Oriental Hotel plans to install four new CCTV cameras this month, bringing the total number to 200 compared to just 100 last year. The hotel has also increased its number of security guards to 61.
The Shangri-La, another expensive riverside hotel, has brought its total of closed-circuit cameras up to more than 200, ensuring that all parts of the property are under close watch. The hotel is one of Bangkok’s largest, consisting of 799 rooms plus conference rooms and restaurants.
The five-star Dusit Thani Hotel also tightened its security ahead of the Songkran Festival. The hotel’s security personnel individually check all cars arriving at the parking lot and the rest of the property will be under close observation via CCTVs.
Sofitel Central Plaza Hotel in Chatuchak and the nearby Central Department Store have also alerted their staff to be extra vigilant in terms of security. A suspicious box recently caused a security alert in the area but it was found to be a false alarm.
The Landmark Hotel Bangkok has also employed a series of safety measures to ensure their customers’ safety, focusing on potential terrorist attacks and bomb threats.
The six international airports of Thailand set up increased security operations. The airport security operations that are on alert around the clock include those at Bangkok International Airport. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Inspection of Phuket Air planes

Posted by hasekamp on 12 April 2005 at 10:48 AM
The Department of Aviation was yesterday ordered to inspect all Phuket Air planes after the airline suffered more malfunctions at the weekend. Earlier there also have been malfunctions, about which we did not report. The Deputy Transport Minister said yesterday that he had told the department to check the planes, following the airline’s latest malfunctions.
More than 400 passengers on flight 9R619 from Bangkok to Amsterdam were hit with a 24-hour delay after hydraulic problems forced their flight to be cancelled on Saturday night. The flight eventually left Bangkok on Sunday night, after passengers were forced to wait on the tarmac for hours while more repairs were carried out. Another flight was delayed overnight last Wednesday due to hydraulic problems. The following day a flight from London’s Gatwick Airport to Bangkok was forced to return to the British capital after an engine had to be shut down mid-flight.
Earlier, the airline twice aborted take-offs from the United Arab Emirates to Britain when passengers saw fuel gushing from a wing and screamed for the plane to stop. Angry passengers called reporters after being stranded on the plane for hours. Many passengers took the opportunity to cancel their tickets.
We have reported earlier about a new service by Phuket Air between Amsterdam and Bangkok. We do not recommend our readers to use this service until further notice, after having seen the above report. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Songkran is coming up. Death toll now 125

Posted by hasekamp on 11 April 2005 at 17:55 PM
Last weekend the Songkran holidays have strated. 125 people died in road accidents already during the first three days of the 10-day long Songkran-related celebrations, considered by the police as the most dangerous time to travel in Thailand.
As usual, in most cases alcohol was involved. The Director-General of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department says the death toll gathered from April 8th to 10th shows a decrease of 18 people when compared to the figure of the same period last year. According to him, most of the accidents that occurred throughout the nation during the past three days involved motorcyclists. About 101,200 police officers have been deployed to watch out for the safety of Songkran commuters. The number is 10,282 persons higher than the original plan, while 4,135 checkpoints have been set up on roads nationwide, or 1,105 more than the plan. More than 600,000 people were reportedly travelling to their home provinces during the past three days. (Source: Public Relations Department)


Category: Default

Trees as tsunami protection

Posted by hasekamp on 11 April 2005 at 14:48 PM
Trees may be planted along the Andaman Coast to give some protection to the land from future tsunamis, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Yongyuth Tiyapairat said this weekend. The Minister, on a visit to Phuket, said that buildings that had been sheltered from the sea by trees, particularly casuarinas, appeared to have suffered much less damage during the tsunami than those that had not. Officials from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources are now surveying the Andaman coastline and procuring trees that could be planted as natural tsunami breaks. However, the decision as to which trees should be planted should take into account their appropriateness for the surroundings.
Earlier we reported that Phuket had plans to plant mangrove trees, which could bring back some of these (now) rare trees. We hope they are still being considered. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


Category: Default

Thaksin starts new War on Drugs

Posted by hasekamp on 11 April 2005 at 11:09 AM
Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, not hindered by strong criticism after more than 2,500 people were killed in his first war on drugs in 2003, launched a third one on Monday, vowing to wipe out the trade. "As long as I am still the prime minister, I will not allow narcotic drugs to return," Thaksin told 1,000 drug busting officers and volunteers at police headquarters in Bangkok as he launched the three-month campaign.
The 10-month war on drug in 2003, which Thai and foreign say involved police assassinating suspects, was voted the most successful policy of Thaksin's first term and helped him win another landslide victory in February's general election. (Source: Reuters)


Category: Default

US concerned about Thailand

Posted by hasekamp on 11 April 2005 at 11:03 AM
The US government has expressed serious concern over the situation in southern Thailand, warning that foreign terrorists could inflame the conflict and turn it into “jihadist” war. "We worry a great deal about the possibilities that external elements are coming to southern Thailand which could further ferment communal resentments there," said a senior administration source, who asked not to be identified.
“They can kill and harm foreigners, including Americans,” said the source. “We don’t want to see the jihadist war coming to Thailand.”
The term “jihadist war” refers to the religious war waged by military Islamic groups linked to Osama bin Laden and other regional groups.
This is the first time that the Bush administration has spoken - unofficially - succinctly about the possibility that the conflict in Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat could be linked to external terrorist groups. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

A different floating market

Posted by hasekamp on 10 April 2005 at 12:27 PM
Only an hour's drive from Bangkok, Amphawa Floating Market has become an increasingly popular attraction among locals and tourists alike. The fact that Klong Amphawa's water level is prone to falling drastically during low tide seems to cause little concern to visitors and customers, and the busy market has been running smoothly since August 2004. The market attracts about 3,000 tourists per week, which generates a significant amount of income for traders and the local community. The market opens during 5pm-8pm from Sunday until Friday. The water level of the canal falls from time to time since there are no floodgates to control the water level. There is a natural flow of water, hence te limited opening times.
Tourists may be a bit surprised by the low level of water, but they certainly appreciate the genuine floating market atmosphere. A visit also allows them to gain experience of the traders' livelihoods and the community, which has hardly changed over the past few decades. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Thaksin: Thailand unite!

Posted by hasekamp on 9 April 2005 at 20:59 PM
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra today addressed crowds gathering in Bangkok for an early Thai New Year (Songkran) festival with an appeal for national unity, describing the traditional Songkran festival as a good point for the country to make a new beginning. "This is a time when Thailand needs warmth and unity", he told the crowds of tens of thousands who had turned out for the Songkran Splendour parade. "The Songkran tradition is a good time. It is our New Year, a day for families and the elderly, a day on which Thai traditions are conserved", he said.
His words came only a week after attacks rocked Thailand's southern business district of Hat Yai in Songkhla Province, and only a day after the first meeting of the Independent Commission.
This afternoon's festival, which comes ahead of Songkran itself on 13 April, kicked off with Mr. Thaksin releasing water into an artificial lotus pond to represent the beginning of the New Year, with the water intended to symbolize happiness and peace. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Hat Yai bomb defused

Posted by hasekamp on 8 April 2005 at 13:26 PM
Police have defused a bomb in the commercial district of Hat Yai, where suspected Muslims planted a bomb last Sunday in an attack outside their usual target area, security officials said Friday. The remote-controlled 3 kg device, similar to last Sunday's bombs were made with gunpowder and fertiliser, was defused by bomb experts, a senior policeman said. "The bomb was connected to a mobile phone and meant to cause damages, rather than take lives, otherwise it would have contained a lot of nails," the officer said. Police did not say where the bomb was found, but local newspapers suspect it was in a rubbish bin next to a major department store, but failed to explode as it was not wired properly.
It looks more and more as if the Thai terror is moving to the North slowly. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Historic sites threatened

Posted by hasekamp on 8 April 2005 at 13:22 PM
Corrosive atmospheric pollution from fireworks displays and burning lanterns is threatening Thailand's historical sites with destruction, an expert says. Ladawal Chotimongkol, former chief of Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research, said yesterday that light and sound presentations, a common practice during popular festivals such as Loy Krathong, have created corrosive atmospheric pollutants, including acidic gases like sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide, which speed up decay of historical sites. She has studied the effects of the atmospheric pollutants at Sukhothai historical park for more than a decade. In 2002, the level of sulphur dioxide in the air soared to 48 microgrammes per cubic metre, up from seven microgrammes before the celebrations, she said. Apart from acidic gases, she said, the burning of candles and oil lanterns left oil residue and black tar on old structures. "The acidic gases and residue, combined with high humidity, make things worse, causing the decay of the structure," she said. "More importantly, I found old pagodas had been purposely holed to make space for hundreds of lanterns and candles." Ms Ladawal said she first raised the issue with authorities in 1994 but nothing has been done. Each celebration attracts huge crowds, most people arriving by car. That is also hard on historical sites, she said, adding such sites should be off-limits to cars. Authorities should seek alternative means of providing light shows, using electronics or lasers, to avoid atmospheric pollutants, she said. The government should begin by banning all fireworks at Sukhothai and Ayutthaya historical parks, Ms Ladawal said. Light and sound might draw visitors to the historical sites, but if the sites are destroyed, nobody will come, she said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Deputy PM to Pope's funeral

Posted by hasekamp on 7 April 2005 at 17:41 PM
King Bhumibol Adulyadej has designated Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai to attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II in the Vatican City. The funeral service, where world leaders and dignitaries are expected to show up, will be held at St. Peter's Basilica tomorrow. The Thai deputy prime minister will represent their Majesties the King and Queen and the Royal Thai Family in laying wreaths of condolence at the funeral. Pope John Paul II visited Thailand as a Royal guest of His Majesty the King in 1984. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Amsterdam-Bangkok instead of London-Bangkok

Posted by hasekamp on 7 April 2005 at 11:14 AM
Phuket Air is to stop direct flights between Bangkok and London, citing the impending low season, and will replace the route with a new service between Bangkok and Amsterdam. The airline’s marketing and communications manager said the London flights had been “suspended temporarily”, and that the company intends to reintroduce the route, but with a better service, later.
Meanwhile Thai Airways International (THAI) is reducing its Bangkok-London flights. The cancellation of the Phuket Air service should make it easier for THAI to fill its planes during the low season. “This would be more beneficial to the Thai airline business as a whole,” she commented.
Phuket Air has suffered because of the tsunami, but it is too early to say how the company would react to the diesel price hike. Phuket Air is currently facing serious image difficulties following an incident during refueling stop at Sharjah, in the UAE, on Sunday. Passengers aboard a Phuket Air Boeing 747 en route to London forced the takeoff to be aborted after allegedly seeing fuel pouring from a wing tank. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


Category: Default

Extra security in tourist areas

Posted by hasekamp on 6 April 2005 at 11:41 AM
Security has been beefed up in Phuket and Surat Thani, including resort islands, to ensure tourist safety after the three bomb blasts in Songkhla on Sunday. Phuket governor Udomsak Assawarangkul said security has been stepped up in tourist areas, government offices and other locations deemed vulnerable to attacks. "Green zones" with no record of violence such as piers, government offices and department stores would now be classified as "yellow" with tighter security measures in place, he said. "If any untoward incident occurs in Phuket, the province will be badly affected as it has just recovered from the Dec 26 tsunami," said the governor. Mr Udomsak said money would be sought from the government to install 120 closed-circuit cameras at 70 locations.
Meanwhile, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will set up a sabotage control and prevention center to better prepare for possible attacks in the city. The centre will come under the jurisdiction of Governor Apirak Kosayodhin. The governor said the center will work with security agencies to identify and monitor risk areas. He said the BMA would step up security at tourist attractions, including Sanam Luang and Khao San road, during the Songkran festival next week. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Rain causes chaos

Posted by hasekamp on 5 April 2005 at 13:12 PM
Heavy rain that battered Bangkok for more than eight hours yesterday caused severe traffic congestion and flooding. Traffic lights were short-circuited throughout the city. The rain began in some areas at 8pm on Sunday. It spread to deluge the entire city by 4am yesterday and dwindled to a stop around midday. It caused traffic traps on heavily congested roads throughout the city and its outskirts. In about 40 places floodwater rose to cover footpaths. They included Sanpawut road, Kamphengpetch II road, Ratchadaphisek road, Lat Phrao 64, Sukhumvit road, Chokchai 4, Chan road and Prachasongkroh road. The Din Daeng tunnel had to be closed for 30 minutes because of flooding. It caused gridlock around Ratchaprasong junction, Silom road, Soi Asoke and Rajvithee road. The most severe areas of traffic congestion were on Sukhumvit road and in the Bang Na district, where traffic was backed up for 10 kilometres on Bang Na-Trat highway from 9am until the evening. According to the Weather Forecast Bureau, yesterday’s rain was the result of cold conditions coming down from China. The bureau says the rain will still be around today. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Security boost at airports and in Bangkok

Posted by hasekamp on 5 April 2005 at 13:08 PM
After terrorism in Southern Thailand has gone up from the "deep South" as far as Hat Yai, where a bomb exploded at the airport on Sunday, security at airports across the country has been boosted to the level maintained by airports worldwide, with international safety measures such as the use of bomb-sniffing dogs and elimination of abandoned baggage being put in place. Police said that no intelligence indicated Bangkok was a potential target. Nevertheless Metropolitan Police Bureau said that as a precaution security checks have been enhanced at 256 points in the capital, and another 181 points have been placed under close surveillance. Forty spots in Bangkok had been designated safety zones and the number should be increased to 88 by May, while safety cameras had been installed at popular tourist locations such as Khao San road, Patpong and Siam Square.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra condemned the bomb attacks at Hat Yai airport, Carrefour supermarket and a hotel in Songkhla's Muang district, which were carried out almost simultaneously on Sunday night. The incidents occurred when all parts of Thailand had been united in restoring peace in the far South, Mr Thaksin said. Mr Thaksin insisted, however, that the latest violence could in no way put peace efforts at risk, and made it clear that he would seek a balance between retaliation and reconciliation. Mr Thaksin said the Hat Yai violence would certainly affected tourism and the economy so confidence would have to be restored as soon as possible. This is the ussual government reaction to any unexpected event in Thailand. He also said the government could take care of violence itself and it did not need any help from other countries. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Results of the search for [which took seconds]

  • Total Matches: Documents
  • Total Pages:
  • Current Page #:
  • Matches on This Page: -