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Book for the Queen

Posted by hasekamp on 28 July 2006 at 13:44 PM
A book celebrating Her Majesty the Queen's sixth cycle (72th year) birthday gives readers an insight into her life. The Office of Her Majesty's Private Secretary has published a book offering an intimate insight into Queen Sirikit's life and times to commemorate Her Majesty's sixth cycle birthday next month. The book, titled "Power of Love" in English and "Duay Palang Haeng Rak" in Thai, gives readers an insider's view of Her Majesty's life - her youth, her marriage to His Majesty the King, her role as the mother of four children and being Queen of Thailand - accompanied by rare photographs. Queen Sirikit has always been by His Majesty's side during his travels across the country to introduce royal projects to improve the living conditions of rural Thais, and this is seen in many of the photographs in the book. One of the most touching images of the Queen and her people is of Her Majesty touching the hand of a leprosy patient in an advanced stage of the disease who travelled to the spot on a motorcycle and requested to see the Queen and touch her hand. "Power of Love" brings into one volume the Queen's life, from her childhood to her marriage to the King and her subsequent work for deserving students from underprivileged families, needy patients, the environment, and Thai arts and crafts through the Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques (Support Foundation) under her patronage. The book offers rare, black-and-white pictures of the Queen when she was young, alone and with her family.
Altogether 13,000 copies of the book will be printed - 8,000 of the Thai edition and 5,000 of the English edition. The book will not be put on sale but will be distributed through public libraries and the media. (Source: The Nation)


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New airpoirt has high risk areas

Posted by hasekamp on 28 July 2006 at 13:41 PM
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has questioned the readiness of Suvarnabhumi airport for its official opening on September 28. The ICAO report, based on its information collected and observations made between last month and early this month, identifies 29 high-risk areas - or about one-third of the 93 items on its checklist. Forty-three are rated as medium-risk and the rest low-risk. It defines a high-risk item as one which "will most probably not be possible to resolve" before the opening date and could delay the opening plan.
However, Suvarnabhumi airport general manager Somchai Sawasdeepon and caretaker Deputy Transport Minister Chainant Charoensiri yesterday confirmed the readiness of tomorrow's tests when Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia, One-Two-Go Airlines, Nok Air, and PB Air will service 20 local flights in and out of the new international airport in Samut Prakan's Bang Phli district. "Everything is ready [for the test flights]," Mr Somchai said. Mr Somchai and Aviation Department chief Chaisak Angkasuwan said the ICAO report was an internal document used by airport officials to check on the progress of the project. Both were confident that all problems identified by the United Nations-affiliated agency responsible for airport safety and security would be fixed in time for the official opening. Suvarnabhumi is being run under a temporary certificate issued by the Aviation Department. It needs a permanent one approved by the ICAO for the Sept 28 opening. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Be careful with your creditcards

Posted by hasekamp on 28 July 2006 at 13:36 PM
A senior banker (whatever that may be) has warned that there has been a dramatic rise in the number of counterfeit credit cards and ATM cards in Phuket and other tourism centers, such as Chiang Mai and Haad Yai. The banker said that gangs of con artists are using "skimmer" devices to harvest information from magnetic strips on the back of cards used by unsuspecting victims. The skimmers are used in two ways. Either they are inserted into the slot of an ATM machine, or they are used by accomplices working in jobs that involve handling credit cards, such as hotel cashiers and supermarket check-out staff. The information skimmed from a card is then used to make a fake credit card or ATM card.
Note from Hasekamp Net: You can protect your card data in ATM machines by holding sometivng like a hat above the keyboard while entyering your secret number (pin code). The skimmer will still have your account number, but not your code then.
The rise in counterfeiting may be the result of Thailandís neighbors switching from cards with magnetic memory strips to "smart" cards with computer chips embedded in them. As "smart" cards cannot be read by the skimmers, card users in Thailand should switch to smart cards as soon as they find a bank that can issue them. Counterfeiting gangs have been using "cloned" credit cards to buy goods from retail outlets, especially hypermarkets such as Tesco-Lotus and Big C. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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American arrested for drugs

Posted by hasekamp on 28 July 2006 at 13:23 PM
Kathu Police (Phulket province) on Saturday arrested American Michael Feldstein, 64, for possession of illegal drugs, after a search of the manís apartment uncovered a variety of "recreational" drugs Ė including ya bah (methamphetamine). Kathu Police said that Feldstein, an engineer, had been under suspicion for about a month before his arrest. At around 7 am on July 22, police obtained a court warrant to search the manís condominium, located at S-1401 Patong Tower on Soi Patong Resort. There they found five ya bah pills, 31 tablets of ya E (ecstacy) and two grams of ya Ice (crystal methamphetamine). Also arrested was 24-year-old bar boy Trakul Seesaeng, who admitted to taking drugs but denied having sold the narcotics to Feldstein. Under police questioning, Feldstein flatly denied all charges against him and said he would speak further only in front of the court. He is currently being held in a cell at the Kathu Police Station in Patong, where his request to police for bail was turned down. Charges against Feldstein will soon be filed with the Phuket Provincial Court, where he will again be able to apply for release on bail. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Another bird flu death in Thailand

Posted by hasekamp on 26 July 2006 at 11:31 AM
A teenager, from the northern province of Pichit, is the 15th person to die of the virus in the country and the first fatality this year. Officials in Pichit recently confirmed Thailand's first outbreak of the virus among poultry for eight months. The latest bird flu victim is believed to have caught the virus while helping his father bury dead chickens last week. "The final lab test confirmed that he died of bird flu," Kamnuan Ungchusak, the head of the Health Ministry's epidemiology bureau, said. The World Health Organization has yet to confirm the death. Health officials are closely monitoring three other suspected cases in Phichit, Public Health Minister Pinij Jarusombat said. The last human fatality in Thailand occurred in December 2005, but in recent weeks there have been warnings that bird flu could be making a resurgence. (Source: BBC News)


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King woried about floods

Posted by hasekamp on 26 July 2006 at 11:10 AM
Although still recuperating from surgery, His Majesty the King has expressed concern over the plight of his people in flood-prone areas of Prachuap Khiri Khan and Phetchaburi provinces. The Royal Household Bureau has passed on the King's concern and asked for daily updates on the flood situation in the two central provinces, the deputy director-general of the Royal Irrigation Department, Veera Vongsaengnak, said. Mr Veera said preparations were under way to prevent flooding caused by early, heavy rainfall. The Kaeng Krachan dam in Phetchaburi and the Pran Buri dam in Prachuap Khiri Khan, and other reservoirs, have been filling up as the rainy season has started earlier than usual. Water is being released so they will have sufficient capacity for more rainwater in October. The Royal Household Bureau said the King is now on a regular diet. Surgeons were satisfied with his recovery after giving him a physical examination and testing the strength of his leg and foot muscles.They have asked the King to continue changing positions between lying down, sitting, standing and walking with a walker. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Thaksin wants to stay

Posted by hasekamp on 25 July 2006 at 13:25 PM
Thailand's Caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Tuesday denied reports that he plans to mark his 57th birthday Wednesday by announcing a break from politics at a meeting of his Thai Rak Thai Party (TRT) members. Mr. Thaksin spoke to reporters before Tuesday's cabinet meeting at Government House, dismissing all speculation that he planned to quit politics and the TRT Party leadership after the general election on October 15. Earlier, Mr. Thaksin told reporters that he would perform his duty until the country has a new government. But he had not made it clear if he would seek the third term as the premier if his TRT Party wins again. Asked if he wished for a special gift, the Thai prime minister said that just like any other Thai, he wishes for good health for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulayadej. He said his government had responded to the king's concern regarding many serious floods this year by preparing more preventive measures (Source: Thai News Agency)


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EC Commissioners go to jail

Posted by hasekamp on 25 July 2006 at 13:22 PM
The Corrections Department has prepared registration documents and cells for three Election Commissioners who were sentenced to four years in prison following rejection from the Criminal Court to grant them bail. The three convicted EC members are EC chairman Vasana Puemlarp and EC members Prinya Nakchadtree and Virachai Naewboonnien. The three were found guilty of mishandling the April 2 election and a subsequent election. Their bail requests were rejected on Tuesday afternoon on ground that their release would create chaos in the society. The three convicted EC members vowed to fight on. Their status as EC members has yet to be officially invalidated. (Source: The Nation)


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Tsunami detection buoys

Posted by hasekamp on 25 July 2006 at 13:18 PM
The first two tsunami-detection buoys will be positioned in the Indian Ocean by this year's end following a technical cooperation agreement between Bangkok and Washington yesterday. The buoys will be installed in international waters about 300km off Phuket province, said Smith Dharmasaroja, chairman of the National Disaster Warning Administration Committee and adviser to the National Disaster Warning Centre (NDWC), yesterday after the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Under the MoU, Washington will assist Thailand and other Indian Ocean countries in disaster mitigation by providing two deep-sea buoys, developed by the NOAA, to the region. The US government also agreed to give financial support for the transport and installation of the buoys. It is not clear to us what the relation between these new buoys and the existing tsunami warning towers in Patong and other places along Phiuket's coast is. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Bird flu is back

Posted by hasekamp on 24 July 2006 at 18:53 PM
The deadly birdflu virus has struck for the first time this year. Officials admitted on Monday the disease had killed birds in Phichit. Agriculture Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan said the outbreak had been contained. After weeks of reports of susฌpected birdflu deaths in poultry in several areas, livestock authorities announced yesterday tests had come back positive for the virus. Laboratory results found at least 20 samples taken from dead fightฌing birds in Phichit were positive for bird flu, Sudarat said in a stateฌment. The bird's owners were free of the virus, she said. Quarantine had been imposed within a radius of one kilometer from where the birds died. The transport of all birds had been proฌhibited.
The ministry admitted the virus had been detected in samples of imported chicken. Thailand immediately banned the import of all forms of poultry. (Source: The Nation)


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Dengue fever in northern provinces

Posted by hasekamp on 24 July 2006 at 18:50 PM
Four northern provinces have been declared dengue fever alert zones after almost 1,200 residents were infected with the contagious disease in the past six months, the Public Health Ministry announced yesterday. Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit, and Uthai Thani were hardest-hit by dengue fever outbreaks, which usually hit the country in the wet season, said public health inspector-general Siriporn Kanjana. Since January, a total of 1,187 cases have been reported in the four provinces, and two were fatal, she said. The rate of infection in the "red zone" was 44 per 100,000 people, while the national infection rate stood at only 29 per 100,000, said Dr Siriporn. "The unusually high number of dengue fever patients in the four northern provinces has worried us. Stringent surveillance measures must be employed to stop the rising number of patients and casualties," she said. Dengue fever has killed 20 people since January, according to the ministry. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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King recovers well

Posted by hasekamp on 22 July 2006 at 17:23 PM
His Majesty the King is making a satisfactory recovery after surgery at Siriraj Hospital on Thursday to relieve lumbar spinal stenosis, the Royal Household Bureau said yesterday. The bureau announced that His Majesty's heart, respiratory and intestinal systems were functioning normally. "His Majesty has undergone physiotherapy and has been given intravenous saline as well as medicine," said the bureau. Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, who left the hospital in the early evening, said the King could talk and eat soft food. "His Majesty is so delighted to see many well-wishers," the Princess said after greeting and talking to some of the well-wishers. As she was giving an interview to reporters, HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, the Royal Consort HRH Princess Srirasmi and HRH Prince Teepangkorn Rasmichoti arrived at the hospital. All were dressed in yellow. Princess Ubolratana kissed the Crown Prince on the cheek before leaving.
In the afternoon, the King instructed bureau officials to send vases of flowers he had received to other patients at the hospital to wish all of them a quick recovery. He also had vases of flowers sent to the hospital staff to offer them moral support in carrying out their duties. (Source: The Nation)


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King agrees poll date

Posted by hasekamp on 21 July 2006 at 21:53 PM
The Thai King has approved a decision to hold a re-run of the general election on 15 October, a government spokesman said.
The previous poll was annulled due to concerns about its legitimacy. The Democrat Party boycotted the poll, claiming that Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was abusing his power.
Analysts were unsure whether the king would approve the new poll date because the courts are still considering legal cases relating to the April election.
Mr Thaksin wanted a new poll in October, but he needed royal approval before the date was officially set.
He has now got his wish. The King reportedly signed the election decree on Thursday before going into hospital for back surgery. While the election date is now certain, little else is. Thailand's political system has been in limbo since the Constitutional Court annulled the poll in April because of the Democrat boycott.
Since then, claims and counter-claims have been filed in every direction, with both sides accusing the other of electoral malpractice. (Source: BBC News)


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Thailand prays for the King

Posted by hasekamp on 20 July 2006 at 13:30 PM
People across the nation are praying for the quick recovery of His Majesty the King, who is scheduled to undergo micro-surgical decompression at Siriraj Hospital today to alleviate the effects of lumbar spinal stenosis. Many people went to the hospital yesterday to wish His Majesty good health.
In Nakhon Ratchasima, residents clad in yellow shirts went to the revered statue of Thao Suranaree with offerings such as pig's heads, coconuts, pineapples and colourful rayon cloth to pray for the good health of His Majesty.
From the southern province of Pattani to Chiang Mai in the North, local officials and people signed get-well messages for His Majesty. In the northeastern province of Buri Ram, residents in a government-sponsored home for the elderly quietly prayed for the King's quick recovery. Similar activities were taking place across the country.
At 5pm today, temples in every province were scheduled to simultaneously hold prayer rituals to bless His Majesty with good health. Christian and Muslim priests are also conducting religious rites for His Majesty's health. (Source: The Nation)


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Mobile numbers will change

Posted by hasekamp on 20 July 2006 at 13:27 PM
Mobile phone users will be giving their thumbs a serious workout between September 1 and November 30 as the country switches from nine-digit mobile numbers to 10-digit ones. The change, which will not apply to land lines, will be brought about by adding the number 8 after the initial zero. For example, a mobile number beginning with 01 will be altered to begin with 081, rendering obsolete all mobile numbers stored in mobile phones or other databases. An engineer with the National Telecommunications Office explained that the change is necessary in order to add numbers to meet rising demand. The current system, he said, allows for 90 million numbers, but the change to 10 digits will allow up to 300 million numbers, enough to cater for expected demand for the next 30 years. Between September 1 and November 30, callers may dial either the old nine-digit number or the new 10-digit one. But after November 30, only the 10-digit numbers will work, he said. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Floods in Surat Thani

Posted by hasekamp on 18 July 2006 at 15:34 PM
Flooding is taking place in three districts of this southern province as the waters of the Tapi River are rising and runoff is too slow. Homes in Chai Buri, Wieng Sa, and Phrasaeng districts have been affected by water, 80 centimetres deep, and the meteorological department has warned villagers near the river of the danger of water spilling over its banks. The Armed Forces have deployed 50 soldiers and mobile medical units to distribute drinking water to flood victims and help villagers in flood affected areas in Phrasaeng district where floodwaters are two metres deep. Banbangyod village has been isolated and patients there are suffering from diarrhea and fever, it was reported. Meanwhile, weather forecasts indicate thunderstorms countrywide due to an intense southwest monsoon covering much of the Andaman Sea and the upper Gulf of Thailand. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Suign a book for His Majesty

Posted by hasekamp on 18 July 2006 at 15:31 PM
The public is welcome to sign messages for His Majesty the King at Siriraj Hospital, where he will undergo surgery tomorrow to alleviate the effects of spinal stenosis. Six message books have been arranged at the Centennial Pavillion in the hospital compound. A separate book for VIP guests has been set up at a special desk. Wellwishers are advised not to gather on the ground floor of the Chalerm Phra Kiart building where HM the King will stay briefly to recover after the surgery as the area is used to transport patients and medical supplies. Outside Bangkok, messages can be signed at all provincial halls and district offices across the country. Bangkok residents can do the same at all 50 district offices in the capital. During the King's stay, police security will be provided at the hospital and adjacent areas, including the section of the Chao Phya River that borders the hospital. Special operations officers will man the Chalerm Phra Kiart building, while personnel from the Royal Thai AidedeCamp Department will watch the unspecified floor where the King will stay. (Source: The Nation)


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Khao Lak is ready again

Posted by hasekamp on 17 July 2006 at 15:25 PM
Local hoteliers and resort owners in Khao Lak, an area heavily devastated by the Asian tsunami on December 26 2004, have renovated some 1,400 rooms to welcome back tourists during the next few months, while some 1,700 more rooms now under construction are expected to be ready late this year. The President of Phang-nga Provincial Tourism Business Association said that by year-end, Khao Lak will have more than 3,000 hotel rooms ready to accommodate tourists. Local hoteliers have already begun to get positive responses to their tourism campaign from tour agents in the Scandinavian countries, Switzerland and Russia. Hoteliers will be pleased if the renovated or rebuilt hotels and resorts are even half full during the first year returning to business. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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King has to undergo surgery

Posted by hasekamp on 17 July 2006 at 15:11 PM
Surgeons at Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital will perform delicate spinal surgery on His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej Thursday to treat his long-suffering degenerative spinal column, the Royal Household Bureau said in a statement Monday, which has the Thai public praying for his well-being. The much-loved Thai monarch is experiencing a lumbar spinal stenosis, a degenerative narrowing of his spinal canal, which is a naturally occurring condition normally associated with age, which places added pressure on the spinal cord. The 78 year-old King, who is the world's longest reigning monarch, is still recovering from an injury after he stumbled and fell while exercising. The problem was detected three years ago in His Majesty the King's spinal canal which has been deteriorating due to advanced age, and that has caused difficulties for him to walk with his right leg, the statement said. A team of doctors concluded on May 3 that surgery was necessary but a decision was made to delay scheduling the operation until after the celebrations of the King's 60th anniversary on the throne in June which took place last month. According to the Royal Household Bureau, the recovery period following the surgery is likely to be drawn out.
The King has suffered from spinal problems since 1995. A team of orthopedics and other medical experts delivered a diagnosis which indicated that His Majesty's spine near the waist had changed due to advanced age. His Majesty has been receiving physical therapy since last year, according to the statement issued by the Royal Household Bureau. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Making batik popular

Posted by hasekamp on 16 July 2006 at 12:51 PM
A decade ago, the word 'batik' rarely rang any bells with tourists in the resort town of Hua Hin. Just mention of the word batik -a fabric dyeing technique - would probably have met with blank looks. But today, hand-made batik goods are another attraction at the popular seaside town of Hua Hin. Unique and colourful designs, particularly those made by the Hua Hin Batik shop, have a wide appeal and attract a lot of tourists. Located near Hua Hin municipality school, the Hua Hin Batik shop is recognised as one of the town's must-see attractions for art-loving tourists. Set up in 1994, the shop is co-owned and run by Sukumal Pathan, Porntipa Dechapanya and Natsupa Sunthornvej. It started as a small retailing shop. However, when the business started to thrive, the supplier just stopped dealing with them. So they decided to take a batik course offered by a specialist from the Industry Ministry. The shop has now branched out and built a fully-integrated factory for manufacturing hand-made batik-based products including T-shirts, pillows, handkerchiefs, purses, shoes, trousers, bedsheets, quilts and curtains. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Australia advises not to go

Posted by hasekamp on 14 July 2006 at 19:14 PM
The Australian government has issued the following advise: We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Thailand because of the high threat of terrorist attack. We continue to receive reports that terrorists may be planning attacks against a range of targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
You should avoid demonstrations and political rallies as they have the potential to turn violent. This includes during the lead-up to and immediately following the national elections, likely to be held later this year. You should monitor the media, follow any local instructions and exercise a high degree of caution.
We strongly advise you to reconsider your need to travel at this time to the southern provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla or overland to and from the Malaysian border through these provinces, due to high levels of ongoing violence in these regions, including terrorist attacks.


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PAD sends letter to foreign governments

Posted by hasekamp on 14 July 2006 at 18:05 PM
The People's Alliance for Democracy on Friday has submitted an open letter to foreign embassies in its attempt to explain political situation in the country. The partial contents of this letter, sent to the governments of China, France, Japan, Russia and Britain, reads as follows:
"(T)he People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) wishes to apologize for sending this open letter to you, after the Kingdom of Thailand's caretaker prime minister, Police Lieutenant Colonel Thaksin Shinawatra, traveled to several countries to explain the political situation in Thailand and there is evidence that he sent letters to some countries making misleading and derogatory allegations against the People's Alliance for Democracy. PAD is an alliance of people's organizations from all walks of life that has been calling for Pol Lt-Col Thaksin Shinawatra's resignation as prime minister since last February. (...) Above all, we must apologize for Thailand's caretaker prime minister making false statements for many times, as this is a most serious breach of manners between friendly countries. Furthermore, his statement also reflected his complete lack of understanding in the democratic process. We wish to point out to you that the basic reason for our demonstrations demanding Pol Lt-Col Thaksin Shinawatra's resignation as prime minister is that we are determined to uphold the democratic system of our country with His Majesty the King as Head of State". (...)
We doubt thast this is a wise move by the PAD, but we publish the letter (partly) to show how deep Thailand is sinking into political mud. (Source: The Nation)


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Worries about politics

Posted by hasekamp on 14 July 2006 at 17:53 PM
Most Thai people have expressed their concern over the country's current political situation and called for all parties to resolve incurring woes peacefully, according to a recent poll. The poll, conducted by Assumption University from July 5-13, found that 65 per cent of respondents had followed the country's political development regularly over the past 30 days. The majority of those interviewed by the ABAC Poll (73.6 per cent), said they were worried about the current political situation, while 23.5 per cent revealed that they disagreed with their colleagues on politics. More than 85 per cent conceded that they were bored with politics, while 97.9 per cent urged all parties to help resolve the current political woes peacefully. The survey interviewed 2,418 people in Bangkok and 13 other provinces in all parts of the country on the random basis. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Too much alcohol

Posted by hasekamp on 11 July 2006 at 11:11 AM
Thailand ranks 40th in the world for overall alcohol consumption, with peer pressure being the most cited reason for drinking, caretaker Public Health Minister Pinij Charusombat revealed on Monday. He urged Thai drinkers to switch to fruit and herbal juices - which are cheaper than alcoholic drinks - during Buddhist Lent starting today. The ministry has also asked public health officials to set a good example to the public by reducing or refraining from alcohol consumption during the Lenten period, he said. According to figures from the AlcoholRelated Problems Research Centre released on June 5, Thailand's consumption of liquor, beer and wine has increased steadily in recent years. In 1998 the country was ranked 50th in the world for overall alcohol consumption. It was 44th in 1999, 43rd in 2000, and moved up to 40th place in 2001, said Pinij. Heavy drinkers were at risk of earlier death, and liver donations for transplant were rare, he added.
Medical Services Department directorgeneral, Dr Chatri Bancheun, warned that the affects on the body of prolonged and excessive intake of alcohol drinks - at an average of four drinks in men and three drinks in women per day - include brain damage or deterioration, partial memory loss, sexual impotency, coronary and artery disease, intestinal bleeding, liver cirrhosis and abnormal blood circulation. (Source: The Nation)


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New Zealand advises against Thailand

Posted by hasekamp on 10 July 2006 at 17:02 PM
Thai Foreign minister Kantathi Suphamongkhon, in New Zealand on the weekend to mark the 50th year of diplomatic relations, complained to Prime Minister Helen Clark about the risk of terrorist attacks on tourists. The Safetravel website of the New Zealand foreign affairs and trade ministry's Safetravel website warns New Zealanders against non-essential travel to Thailand's southern provinces, where more than 1,300 people have died in violence since 2004. It says Kiwis should be aware of possible terrorist attacks in Thailand generally, particularly in places frequented by foreigners, including public transport facilities, hotels, bars and shopping areas. New Zealand media report this morning that the Thai minister acknowledged there were problems in the southern provinces but said this was not an area where many tourists went. The travel advice should be amended, the Thai minister said. "Thailand is safe and stable apart from the three isolated provinces where we do have difficulties on and off." (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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King suffers fall (update)

Posted by hasekamp on 9 July 2006 at 13:22 PM
The Bureau of the Royal Household has issued a statement saying His Majesty the King has been suffering a cracked rib after a fall while taking a walking exercise on June 24th. The statement said that at 6.19 p.m.on June 24th, while His Majesty was walking in front of Chitralada Villa, His Majesty stumbled and fell. After managing to stand up by himself, His Majesty went into the Chitralada Villa and found scratches on three areas of his skin. His back also bruised on the right side while his shoulder has a pain while changing positions and while walking. The royal team of doctors gave His Majesty an x-ray, when they found a slight crack on the right side of His Majestyís fourth rib. The royal doctors then prescribed the medicine for His Majesty, and the royal condition is improving day by day. Following the mishap, the royal doctors advised His Majesty to rest and abstain from royal activities temporarily. (Source: Public Relations Department)


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Buddhist Lent

Posted by hasekamp on 9 July 2006 at 13:19 PM
At Sanam Luang today, a carved Lenten candle will be carried to Maha That Yuwaratrangsarit monastery in Bangkok in a spectacular procession held as part of the celebration on the lunar-based Asaha Puja Day, which falls on Monday this year. The traditional procession, jointly organised by the National Buddhism Office and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), will be joined by 35 processions of carved waxed figures. The main Lenten candle in the procession has a 23cm (9-inch) diameter and a height of 21 metres (69 feet). It will be presented to Maha That monastery for use during the three-month Buddhist Lent, which begins on Tuesday. Apart from the presentation of the Lent candle, a major exhibition is being held for six days at Sanam Luang, ending on Tuesday. The exhibition features the places where the Lord Buddha was born, attained enlightenment, made his first sermon and died. There are also special chanting on the Dhammachak Kappa Wattana Sutra Ė the first sermon given by the Lord Buddha to his first five disciples, throughout the week-long exhibition. A number of 960 monks are being rotated to chant the Buddhist script at the exhibition site. The number "9" represents the reign of His Majesty the King and 60 signifies the diamond jubilee of his accession to the throne. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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King makes fall

Posted by hasekamp on 9 July 2006 at 10:12 AM
His Majesty the King suffered minor injuries on the back and shoulder while doing exercises at the Chitralada Palace on June 24, the Royal Household Bureau said yesterday. HM the King accidentally stumbled and fell. Later, doctors performed an x-ray and found a small fracture on his right fourth rib. Following treatment, HM the King's condition has gradually improved. Doctors have recommended that HM the King refrain from official duty and take full rest. (Source: The Nation)


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Free from bird flu in three years

Posted by hasekamp on 6 July 2006 at 17:34 PM
Thailand's Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan Thursday expressed confidence the Thai kingdom will be completely free of the avian influenza H5N1 virus -bird flu- in the next three years. "While outbreaks of bird flu have been reported in other countries worldwide, none has been reported in Thailand for 239 days now," according to Ms. Sudarat. "This is due to integrated preventive measures seriously and intensively applied across the nation. I think in the next three years there will be no more bird flu in Thailand," the minister told officials attending a Government House meeting of agencies responsible for bird flu control. Since Januanry 2004, Thailand has reported 22 bird flu cases, of which 14 were fatal. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Thai youngsters don't read much

Posted by hasekamp on 6 July 2006 at 17:30 PM
Youngsters in Thailand spend an hour each day reading, although chatting on the phone and surfing the Internet still take up the greater part of their leisure time, the president of the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand said on Thursday. Thanachai Santichaikul told a seminar on Thai youths' reading habits that an Abac Poll survey had found that city children spent on average 52 minutes a day reading books other than their school books. This is nevertheless a big jump from 2001, when a study found that Thai youths spent only three minutes a day reading. The survey - conducted between February and March on 4,920 youths aged between 12 and 23 in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Khon Kaen and Songkhla - also found that a great majority said they were readers, while only 18.5 per cent said they did not like reading because they were either lazy, bored or had no time for it, he said. (Source: The Nation)


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Kenya halts wildlife export

Posted by hasekamp on 5 July 2006 at 18:01 PM
A Nairobi court has indefinitely put on halt the government's intended plan to export animals to Thailand pending the hearing and determination of a case filed by the Nairobi CBO consortium. The NGO opposed the intended move terming it a waste of the country's few natural resources, according to a report from Kenya Broadcasting Corp. Justice Joseph Nyamu at the same time said that the case involves interpretation of several conventions and it would be in order if the parties exchanged arguments before settling for hearing on September 25th. In his official visit to Kenya in May last year, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra lobbied Kenyan government for a shipment of more than 100 animals in return for unspecified technical assistance. The Kenyan government later approved the proposal, infuriating wildlife activists who fiercely opposed the deal. Kenya has said it would export only "animals that we have in plenty, such as flamingos, wildebeest and the African buffalo". In return for the animals, which will be sent to the soon-to-be-opened Mae Hia Safari Park in Chiang Mai province, Kenya will get experts on elephant training and one million dollars to boost conservation in the country, Kenyan officials said. The deal reportedly included included animals from about 30 species, including elephants, hippos, lions and endangered rhinos, but was revised after conservationists objected. Kenyan officials have said the deal now includes mainly zebras, giraffes and gazelles. (Source: The Nation)


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Bird flu medicine in the making

Posted by hasekamp on 5 July 2006 at 17:59 PM
The Thai Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) is in the final stages of developing its own medicine to treat bird flu. The GPO has contacted Siriraj Hospital's Faculty of Medicine about conducting a bio-equivalence study on the GPO medicine and an imported birdflu drug, Deputy Public Health Minister Anutin Charnveerakul said on Wednesday. "The study will take one or two months," Anutin said, adding that the GPO would register the birdflu medicine with the Food and Drug Administration as soon as the study was completed. "Then, it will be given to patients," Anutin said. He urged people who regularly have close contact with fowls to take preventive measures, as birdflu outbreaks were more likely in the rainy season. (Source: The Nation)


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Subway fare goes up

Posted by hasekamp on 4 July 2006 at 15:57 PM
The Cabinet has endorsed the raising of the subway fees to 15-39 baht, but this would only take effect after a declaration has been issued from the Ministry of Transport. The Cabinet, in its meeting today, endorsed the fare hike from the original scale of 14 to 36 baht to a new start of 15 baht and the new ceiling of 39 baht. The rise will have to be publicized to the public for a period of 30 days before fares can be collected at the new rate. As for the new fares that have recently been collected, the Mass Rapid Transit Authority will have to confer with BMCL to find solutions. (Source: Public Relations Department)


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Thief steals 100,000,000 Baht worth

Posted by hasekamp on 4 July 2006 at 15:54 PM
A thief spent two years disguised as a caretaker at the residence of a mom luang in Pattaya before making off with valuables worth more than Bt100 million. Yanadej Permpoon, 50, the representative of ML Bhuvadol Kanlayanawong, yesterday filed a police complaint about the robbery in Paradise Hill 2 village in Chon Buri's Bang Lamung district. He claimed that almost 300 articles of jewellery and antiques were stolen. The safe on the upper floor of the two storey mansion showed no signs of being forced open. Police took fingerprints on the safe for inspection. Police suspect one of two caretakers of the house as the thief. (Source: The Nation)


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More rain

Posted by hasekamp on 4 July 2006 at 15:52 PM
More downpours are forecast for most of the country in the next two days, and people in lowlands and hilly areas should stay alert for possible flash floods and landslides. The Meteorological Department yesterday said a low pressure trough lying across the North and the Northeast, combined with a strong southwesterly monsoon, would bring more heavy rain to the North, the Northeast, the East, and the middle South over the next two days. The risk of flash floods is high in low-lying areas in the provinces of Tak, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Ubon Ratchathani, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Ranong, the department said. Small boats should not venture out to sea in the next two days due to high waves in the Andaman Sea and the upper part of the Gulf of Thailand.
Meanwhile, the Mineral Resources Department warned of possible landslides in mountainous areas in Lampang, Tak, Phrae, Uttaradit, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Phetchabun, Kamphaeng Phet, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon and Ranong. In Prachuap Khiri Khan, heavy flooding yesterday forced five schools in Bang Saphan district to close down, and another school in Thap Sakae district also gave pupils and staff the day off. On Koh Chang, the assistant district chief, Sakprasert Charoenprasit, said tourists on the resort island had been warned against swimming in the sea due to high waves. Three waterfalls on the island were also made off-limits to tourists. In Phitsanulok, heavy rain and run-off flooded paddy fields in tambon Don Thong in Muang district. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Fighting the illegal wildlife trade

Posted by hasekamp on 3 July 2006 at 11:21 AM
Recenly quite a number of shots were heard in Saraburi province. This was for traini8ng purposes, however. The National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department makes it clear that its arms training in Saraburi has nothing to do with politics. Department chief Damrong Pidej said the arms training of 1,400 officials at Khao Sam Lan in Saraburi was a routine practice and did not have anything to do with the current political problems. Mr. Damrong said officials are trained to use weapons for prevention of illegal hunting of wildlife and illegal trade of wildlife meat in five provinces bordering Cambodia. (Source: Public Relations Department)


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Flash floods in several provinces

Posted by hasekamp on 3 July 2006 at 11:15 AM
Interior Minister Kongsak Wanthana said Monday that the predicted floods in the east have eased, saying he ordered an early warning in crisis areas be issued ahead of time to prevent great loss in the face of crisis. Air Chief Marshal Kongsak said floods in Chantaburi and Trat receded, but are still worrying in Bang Saphan district of Prachuap Khiri Khan southwest of Bangkok where an evacuation has been prepared for, but which has not taken place. Incessant rain has triggered floods in some provinces while flash flood and landslide warnings have been issued for some other provinces across the country. Flooding in Prachuap Khiri Khan prompted the Bang Sapan district's kindergarten schools to close Monday while widespread cloudiness and rainshowers caused traffic problems Monday morning. Floodwaters in the northern province of Phitsanulok is still high in the provincial capital district and surrounding areas due to the continuing rains.
The Meteorological Department has warned of heavy downpours and flash floods in the North, the central region and the upper South. High waves are expected in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. Small boats are advised to remain in port. Nine provinces - including Tak, Uthai Thani, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chantaburi,Trat, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Ranong - should remain alert for flash floods, according to the Meteorological Department. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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