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

Government: Election this year

Posted by hasekamp on 28 February 2007 at 12:54 PM
A general election in Thailand will take place no later than the end of this year, Thai Foreign Minister Nitya Pibulsonggram said on Tuesday. The foreign minister, currently on a four-day visit to Japan, told a group of foreign correspondents based in that country that the Constitution of Thailand is being rewritten so that the general election would follow and democratic rule would return to the people by the latter part of this year. Mr. Nitya said that although the military had intervened in Thailand's politics late last year, it had by no means taken control of the current government led by Prime Minister Gen. Surayud Chulanont. The people's freedom of expression and participation in state affairs had been maintained, including those in Thailand's restive South of Thailand, which the authorities had chosen to handle in a peaceful, non-violent fashion, Mr. Nitya said. Martial law, which already had been lifted in many parts of the country, had not seriously affected the people's ways of life, Mr. Nitya told the foreign correspondents in Japan. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Finance minister resigns

Posted by hasekamp on 28 February 2007 at 12:50 PM
Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula announced his resignation on Wednesday, suggesting he did not want to work with certain ministers who he said worked in favor of certain media. "I already submitted my resignation to the prime minister. My decision is also based on the fact that they (certain ministers in this government) are working for the benefits of certain media," Pridiyathorn said. "This government has shown several indications that it is working under influence of that media. Such favors could lead of violation of laws", he added. He did not identify the media. He also referred to the government's recent appointment of Somkid Chatusripitak, a former deputy premier in Thaksin government, to chief of economic panel responsible for explaining sufficiency economy to the international community. Pridiyathorn and Somkid were known to be at odds due to different economic policies. Somkid later resigned from the post about a week ago. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Will iTV go on black?

Posted by hasekamp on 28 February 2007 at 12:45 PM
The cabinet yesterday decided to revoke iTV's broadcasting concession if it fails to pay an overdue concession fee of 2.2 billion baht to the Prime Minister's Office by Tuesday. Prime Minister's Office Minister Dhipawadee Meksawan, overseeing the Permanent Secretary's Office, which is iTV's contract partner, said the cabinet had considered all options proposed by the troubled television station, including issuing new shares to inject fresh cash into the firm, before making the decision. "If the company doesn't pay the concession fee to the office on the due date, the cabinet will allow the Permanent Secretary's Office to revoke the broadcasting concession immediately," said Khunying Dhipawadee. Deputy Prime Minister M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula, who is supervising a solution to the iTV row, said the cabinet would set up a committee chaired by Khunying Dhipawadee Meksawan to administer iTV after the concession termination. M.R. Pridiyathorn said iTV would continue its daily programming regardless of what happens. He said that was in the public interest at this stage. He also said that restructuring, if the station comes under state control, would not affect jobs at iTV. He denied reports the government was prepared to allow either the Public Relations Department (PRD) or Mcot Plc to administer iTV if the station's concession was terminated. M.R. Pridiyathorn said the cabinet instructed the Prime Minister's Office to continue seeking legal ways to make iTV pay a fine of 98 million baht, besides the concession fee and interest. But Chullayuth Hiranyawisit, permanent secretary of the Prime Minister's Office, said it was possible the government might choose either the PRD or Mcot to run the station. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Peace march for the deep South

Posted by hasekamp on 27 February 2007 at 18:32 PM
Business operators joined around 2,000 people from all walks of life in a march for peace as violence continued in the deep South, and intelligence reports warned of a new flare-up in the region and possibly in Bangkok in the coming weeks. The demonstrators called on the state to provide more arms and communications devices, and funds so communities can strengthen and defend themselves. Made up of people in the hotel and production industries, community and labor representatives, the demonstrators marched from the Yala municipality to the provincial center to submit their proposals to Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont through provincial governor Thira Mintrasakdi.
The demonstrators, mainly wearing yellow T-shirts to show their loyalty to the King, also called for the tenure of village and tambon chiefs in the troubled provinces to be extended from five to 10 years.
Three bombs went off in Yala and Narathiwat yesterday morning, wounding six soldiers while a Muslim villager was killed in a drive-by shooting in Narathiwat on Sunday night. In the province's Than Tho district, another bomb went off around 11 am yesterday, wounding a soldier. On the same day, a bomb went off in Narathiwat's Sri Sakhon district, wounding four soldiers. In Narathiwat's Sungai Padi district, Soree Hami, 39, a Muslim resident, was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle while returning home from a market on Sunday night. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

New tsunami memorial in Krabi

Posted by hasekamp on 26 February 2007 at 16:16 PM
A sculpture remembering victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami was opened on Monday as a memorial to more than 5,000 victims of the 2004 tidal waves. The opening ceremony was presided over by Thailand's Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Veera Rojanapojanarat. Created and donated by 96-year-old French sculptor Louis Bourgeois, "Hold Me Close" is now on display at the Nopparat Thara National Park in Krabi province, some 800 km South of Bangkok. One part of the sculpture depicts a child's hand, in bronze, beneath a granite wave, while the second shows the hands of a man and a woman in gold leaf, also in bronze, under a wooden dome. The new memorial overlooks picturesque Phi Phi Island, where the tsunami on 2004 Boxing Day claimed the lives of several hundred holidaymakers. It serves as a testimonial of the tragic loss of more than 5,300 lives, half of them foreign tourists, when the tidal waves hit Thailand's six west coast provinces bordering the Andaman Sea, including Krabi. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Rare turtles born in Karon

Posted by hasekamp on 26 February 2007 at 16:14 PM
Seventy-six leatherback turtles have hatched so far out of the 103 eggs laid on Karon beach in December. Before December, leatherbacks had not laid eggs on Karon Beach for more than 10 years. If the turtles are lucky at least 1% of the hatchlings will survive to adulthood and return to lay eggs. Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) Veterinarian Sontaya Manawattana told the Gazette that 36 eggs starting hatching on Friday, 37 on Saturday and yesterday three more hatched. "About 80% of the eggs from the nest will hatch and we release the turtles at Karon Beach, where the eggs were laid, the same day that they hatch. The turtles will remember where they were released and will come back to lay eggs at Karon Beach again, if they survive," K. Sontaya said. The turtles must be released in the evening at sunset so they will follow the setting sun into the sea, he added. "The chance that these turtles will survive and come back to lay eggs here is small because after they go into sea they might be eaten by another animal, but that is the cycle of life for leatherback turtles." "We try to care for them after they hatch but we haven't had success with this type of turtle. They will die if we don?t release them into the sea," K. Sontaya said. He added that leatherback turtle eggs take about 60 days to hatch and that a leatherback has to be about 15 to 20 years old before it is able to reproduce. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


Category: Default

No elections in October?

Posted by hasekamp on 25 February 2007 at 13:18 PM
Thailand's army-installed prime minister has cast doubt over whether elections will go ahead in October as promised by the military junta, Malaysian state media said Sunday. Surayud Chulanot said Thailand's interim government was proceeding with its timetable but could not confirm an October election. "I cannot say at the moment," Surayud said in an interview with the official Bernama news agency, when asked about the deadline. "It still depends a lot on the drafting committee, like when it is able to provide the first draft for a referendum, on when we can set a timeframe for the referendum. After the referendum, we will proceed with the general elections," he said. Work has begun on drafting a new constitution, which must be approved by a referendum, while the junta has also said it will hold elections by October to restore democracy by year's end. "As a government, if we can proceed with the planned time-table, I think that's a success," Surayud said, adding he was "confident" elections would be held. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

TRT wants to start TV station

Posted by hasekamp on 25 February 2007 at 13:15 PM
A group of Thai Rak Thai party members yesterday unveiled their satellite-based People's Television (PTV) station, setting the tone for what could be a media showdown with the government. Even though PTV's founders have resigned from TRT executive posts, the station is seen as a mouthpiece to counter the interim government. The government has threatened to shut down the station as soon as it begins broadcasting on March 1. It says permission is required for operating a cable television station. The PTV launch venue, which was switched from the Oct 14 Memorial at Kok Wua intersection to a Bangkok hotel, was packed with TRT personalities and supporters. Several PTV news programmes that were unveiled yesterday would be hosted by TRT people and associates including Thana Benjathikul, lawyer of deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. PTV founder Veera Musikapong said the station was established to serve the public and positioned as an alternative media outlet. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Pangolins saved

Posted by hasekamp on 24 February 2007 at 18:21 PM
Border patrol policemen in the southern province of Songkhla have rescued and conserved 280 rare pangolins, they suspect were bound for cooking pots in China. The pangolins, worth no less than Bt5 million, were rescued from a truck in Rattaphum district. The unidentified driver fled the scene. Police believed that wildlife smugglers had taken the pangolins from Indonesia and carried them into Thailand via Sadao district bordering Malaysia. The pangolins would eventually be transported to China which could fetch a handsome price as the Chinese are fond of eating the rare animals, which they believe have aphrodisiac qualities and can increase human longevity. Police are contacting Forest Department officials in a bid to release the rescued pangolins to their natural habitat. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Bangkok on alert

Posted by hasekamp on 24 February 2007 at 18:17 PM
Bangkok Governor Apirak Kosayodhin yesterday inspected security at busy inner-city shopping areas ahead of the approaching Makha Bucha holiday, encouraging the city's 50 districts to do more. The governor checked out Mah Boonkrong, Siam Paragon, Siam Discovery and Siam Centre shopping centres in the afternoon. Apirak learned that additional security measures had been taken, including removing refuse containers except at security posts, using bomb-detection dogs and installing closed-circuit-camera surveillance inside and out. Security guards patrol round the clock. The operators of the centers in the busy part of town are meeting monthly to evaluate security threats and ensure precautions are up to scratch. Siam Paragon has installed bomb-detectors for bags. Meanwhile, city police remain on high alert after Australia, Canada, Britain and Japan warned of possible terror attacks in Bangkok and urged their citizens to stay away from crowded places such as shopping malls and transport centers. Since the New Year's Eve bombs killed three and injured dozens, including foreign tourists, police have beefed up security at department stores, train stations and Bangkok's new international airport. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Minister does not fear attacks

Posted by hasekamp on 23 February 2007 at 13:16 PM
Thailand's Interior Minister Aree Wong-araya said Friday he believed insurgents currently operating in the South will not extend their attacks to the capital. However, he said, as a precaution, it is appropriate to put Bangkok on alert for the possibility of insurgency-related incidents. Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and the Metropolitan Police Division have stepped up security measures in the capital in response to widespread concerns that southern insurgency-linked attacks may take place here in upcoming days. The Interior Minister told reporters before leaving for the southern province of Satun Friday morning that his ministry had not been formally notified of the security preparations. Nonetheless, he said, varied intelligence sources had given the same warnings of possible untoward incidents, so the security authorities, not only in Bangkok but also in other provinces, should take extra precautions and be on high alert. But the interior minister said he didn't believe that such attacks would actually take place in Bangkok, or that incidents in the capital are linked to the insurgency. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

More than 10,000 threaten from deep South

Posted by hasekamp on 23 February 2007 at 13:13 PM
Insurgents in the deep South can draw on the support of an estimated 10,000 young people they have molded into a "united front", and could threaten the security of Bangkok, defense Minister Boonrawd Somtas said yesterday. Gen Boonrawd said insurgents previously could count on less than 100 people and he attributed the dramatic increase to long-term neglect of the region. The defence minister was fielding questions at the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) about the bombings in the deep South on Feb 18. He affirmed that students from the South were free to move to Bangkok, and that intelligence units were watching suspected militants believed to have entered the capital. He admitted the authorities in the South still could not bridge the gap between locals and the state, despite considerable resources, including 10,000 soldiers, 10,000 policemen, and another 17,000 people the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre (SBPAC) could call on. "We do not know them. We do not know who is working against us. As long as they mingle with ordinary people, it's difficult to tell them apart," he said. For more than 10 years, the insurgents had been selecting young people for training. The new recruits were taken when they were about 12 years old, he added. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Don Muang to reopen next month

Posted by hasekamp on 21 February 2007 at 14:16 PM
Don Muang will reopen for the regular domestic services of four airlines on March 25 and its long-term future will be considered after six months of operations. The cabinet approved the reopening date at its meeting yesterday. Don Muang will serve three budget airlines, Nok Air, PB Air and One-To-Go Airlines, along with the domestic services of Thai Airways International (THAI). Don Muang will serve 77 flights a day: 25 Nok Air flights, eight of PB Air, 12 of One-To-Go, and 32 of THAI. In the initial stages of its reopening, Don Muang will not operate around the clock because all the daily flights will take off and land before midnight. The moving of necessary equipment to Don Muang will take a day and cost AoT about 15 million baht. Transport Minister Theera Haocharoen said he had told officials to prevent mafia-type organizations taking hold and to ensure safety at Don Muang. Six months after the reopening, AoT would evaluate Don Muang and plan for its best future use. International flights and low-cost airlines might return from Suvarnabhumi airport to Don Muang then, he said. The plan would also include Don Muang's aircraft maintenance services. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Illegal wildlife trade very much alive

Posted by hasekamp on 21 February 2007 at 14:12 PM
The illegal trade in wildlife in Thailand is third only to narcotics and gun running, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said Wednesday. Surayud opened the WildAid campaign against illegal animal trafficking at Bangkok's Chatuchak Weekend Market. The prime minister declared trade in wildlife a crisis destroying the Kingdom's biodiversity. Criminal trading of animals and plant life in Asia receives international attention. Government policy aims to create a balance between conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It prohibits the movement of animals outside their natural habitat, Surayud said.
United States Ambassador Ralph Boyce told the campaign launch illegal wildlife trading was a worldwide criminal activity. The threat cannot be ignored and is regarded as a transnational crime which both Thailand and the US governments were working to halt, Boyce said. Washington supports the Southeast Asian illegal wildlife trade crackdown Thailand spearheads. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Bombers on video

Posted by hasekamp on 20 February 2007 at 17:36 PM
Police are trying to identify four men believed involved in Sunday's spate of bombings and arson in the deep South, where more explosions occurred yesterday. The four suspects were filmed by security cameras in Yala's Muang and Betong districts, a police source said. The coordinated bombing and arson in Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla and Yala killed seven people and injured 53. Yala was the hardest hit. Bombings and ambushes continued to terrify villagers in Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat yesterday, with five blasts killing one ranger and injuring scores of officers and villagers. The sources said footage from the security cameras at a karaoke bar in Muang district showed the faces of two men aged between 28 and 30, who entered the bar about 5pm and stayed until around 6.30pm. They left the bar about an hour before a bomb exploded, the sources said. Another two men were seen in footage from the security camera at a karaoke bar in Betong district, although their faces could not be seen clearly. The attacks came after a warning by authorities that insurgents could launch attacks over the Chinese New Year. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Dusit Zoo may have to move

Posted by hasekamp on 19 February 2007 at 14:31 PM
The government is toying with an idea to relocate Dusit Zoo in Bangkok's Dusit district to the suburbs. This is not a new idea. Some years ago the Bangkok Governor had the same unwise idea. See our archives. "We've have some discussions on this issue because we believe the current location is too limited in size for the zoo," Natural Resources and Environment Minister Kasem Sanidwong na Ayudhaya said yesterday. PM's Office Minister Khunying Dhipavadee Meksawan has suggested the lush compound of the zoo could be used as a public park. However, the idea has caught Sophon Damnui, who heads Zoological Park Organization under Royal Patronage, off guard. "I am nonplussed. I have never heard about this idea before," he said. He said his organization had developed the Dusit Zoo's landscape considerably during the past four years in a bid to make the zoo a true learning center for children and adults alike. "We have recently obtained a Bt12million budget to build a zoo museum in the compound and create a fountain so that children can play," Sophon said, while conceding he would not be able to oppose government policy. "If the government insists on the relocation, I can do nothing except encourage children to visit the Dusit Zoo now before this legend is gone," Sophon said. He said he personally believed the zoo had the potential to be of service for a long time at its current location. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Killings and arson in the deep South

Posted by hasekamp on 19 February 2007 at 14:27 PM
A series of bombs and arson attacks rocked four deep southern provinces last night, killing three people and wounding 49, four of them seriously. The hardest hit was Yala province, where 14 bombs went off. There were five explosions in Narathiwat and two each in Pattani and Songkhla. Most of the bombs were detonated around 7.15pm. Army spokesman Akkara Thiproj, who flew to Yala, said it was clear the attacks were coordinated. "This shows the rebel groups are an enemy of the government and villagers," said Col Akkara. "We must jointly form a shield against their plotting." The bombs came less than a week after Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont and Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi held talks on solving the violence. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Year of the Pig

Posted by hasekamp on 19 February 2007 at 14:24 PM
Yesterday was Chinese New Year. The normally bustling Chinese New Year celebrations at Yaowarat in Bangkok yesterday were noticeably tamer than in recent years, when the event would normally receive high-profile appearances from a number of Chinese-Thai politicians in the ousted government. Yaowarat's Lunar New Year celebration is normally full of politicians and government leaders, making it one of the most high-profile events of the year. However, Tourism and Sports Minister Suvit Yodmani was the only cabinet minister to attend yesterday's celebrations.
The festivities began as early as 3am yesterday, when people queued up to touch sacred parts of the Chalerm Phrakiat Gate for good luck. The number of visitors peaked at around 5pm when HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn arrived to preside over the official opening of the celebrations. The princess, wearing a red Chinese-style outfit, greeted the crowd, all of whom were decked out in red, and made a short tour of an exhibition on the King's 80th birthday organised by members of the Thai-Chinese community. The festivities are set to wind up today. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Gruesome attack in the deep South

Posted by hasekamp on 18 February 2007 at 17:51 PM
Suspected militants shot dead a teenage boy before hacking at his body with an axe and setting it alight in the latest in a number of gruesome attacks across the Muslim-majority South, police said. The charred corpse of Wisanu sae Lim, 19, and carcasses of his dog and pangolins were found near a road in Si Sakhon district yesterday by a rubber farmer. The teenager reportedly left home with two pistols and a dog on Friday night to seek wild mountain plants to sell, but went missing, his relatives told police. Police said suspected insurgents shot Wisanu in the head and body and then hacked at his body with an axe before setting it on fire. His dog was also beaten to death. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Elephant friends being intimidated

Posted by hasekamp on 18 February 2007 at 17:49 PM
The Alliance of Elephant-Lovers in Sweden has asked the government to take action over alleged intimidation of members of the Friends of Elephants Foundation by the Forestry Industry Organization (FIO). The alliance informed Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont and Natural Resources and Environment Minister Kasem Sanidwong na Ayudhaya of the alleged threats. It said the northern chapter of the FIO had deliberately set fire to a Lampang forest. It got out of control and spread to the foundation's nearby elephant sanctuary. The elephants panicked. The organization refuses to take responsibility. It said it was a controlled fire. In correspondence with the government the Swedish group is calling for justice. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

More pollution in Chiang Mai

Posted by hasekamp on 18 February 2007 at 17:46 PM
Chiang Mai Public Health Office is warning residents, especially the elderly and those with respiratory diseases, to avoid prolonged outdoor activities as the air pollution in the city is reaching critical levels. The Department of Pollution Control showed dust particles, smaller than 10 microns, are rising to a harmful level. Medics report that the number of people suffering from respiratory diseases in Chiang Mai is rising dramatically, with an increase of 20 per cent expected this year. The poor air is blamed on the city's location in a basin, which traps pollution, and the common practice of burning rubbish outdoors. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

What is sufficiency economy?

Posted by hasekamp on 16 February 2007 at 12:49 PM
Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont has appointed former deputy prime minister Somkid Jatusripitak to explain the sufficiency economy. Mr Somkid was yesterday named chairman of a committee tasked with explaining the sufficiency economy principle to foreign communities and correcting any misconceptions about it. These misconceptions came into being in recent times, and were used by ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra. Now the government wants to use an expert in the field, although the speeches by HM the King give enough clarity about this subject, in our mind. Some foreign businesses were displeased with what they thought were the government's attempts to reverse the free trade policies of the Thaksin administration, Gen Surayud said. It would be easier for someone from the previous government to convince the world that the sufficiency principle did not contradict the free market, the PM added. Gen Surayud admitted that the government was no match for Mr Thaksin in terms of waging a publicity battle using the foreign media. Mr Thaksin had hired a lobbyist and had leading foreign media muscle behind him. Gen Surayud was confident Mr Somkid, with his positive image, would create a better understanding of the sufficiency economy philosophy among the foreign community, given his close relationship with businesses in many countries, especially Japan and China. Mr Somkid will work as part of a team. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

PM puts himself in charge for airport

Posted by hasekamp on 16 February 2007 at 12:42 PM
Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont announced yesterday he will take over the handling of problems related to Suvarnabhumi airport, as airlines threatened to halt flights to Thailand if they were forced to move back to Don Muang airport. Gen Surayud, in an interview with the Bangkok Post, said fixing Suvarnabhumi's problems was now among the top priorities of the interim government, and he would take charge personally to streamline the decision making process.
Why will this go wrong? Because Gen Surayud is no expert in this field. We have recently seen more decisions from the current Thai government in complicated cases, including the airport question, that were changed in a few day's time.
While addressing the new airport's problems, his government would keep in mind that it must protect national interests and ensure passenger safety, he said. Gen Surayud is expected to make a decision today on the future of the two airports after a briefing on conditions at Suvarnabhumi by teams that have examined the problem-plagued airport.
Representatives from airlines and airline organizations threatened to withdraw from Thailand over the reopening of Don Muang as they met with representatives of the Transport Ministry in Bangkok. However, Transport Minister Theera Haocharoen said the government would stick with its announced policy on Don Muang: that is to reopen it as an international airport next month, even though most airlines would prefer Don Muang be used for domestic flights only. After a meeting with representatives of airlines, the Airport Operation Committee and the Board of Airlines Representatives, Adm Theera said he would report the airlines' preference to the committee chaired by Gen Surayud today. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Thailand will ignore 14 patents

Posted by hasekamp on 14 February 2007 at 19:21 PM
Thailand is planning to break the foreign patents of 14 HIV/Aids, cancer and heart drugs, a move that may prompt companies to withhold new drugs from the Thai market, the Reuters news agency reported in a dispatch from Bangkok on Wednesday evening.
Ministry officials were not immediately available to comment. "This action is completely unprecedented anywhere in the world," said Teera Chakajnarodom, president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers' Association of Thailand, which has 43 member drug firms. The 14 drugs targeted by the Health Ministry also included antibiotics, Teera said in a statement obtained by Reuters. The ministry has announced compulsory licences for three of the 14 drugs, allowing it to buy or make generic versions of the two HIV/Aids drugs and a heart disease medicine.
On Monday, Health Minister Mongkol na Songkhla told Reuters a ministry panel was studying drugs Thailand needed and could make or buy copies while haggling for best prices of patented versions.
Foreign drug makers say Thailand's military-appointed government gave no notice to the affected companies before issuing the compulsory licences. "When governments resolve to take away the property of the private sector, they need to begin with consultation and end with the consent of the property owner," Teera said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Child prostitution on the rise

Posted by hasekamp on 12 February 2007 at 17:30 PM
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration admits that the rate of child prostitution in the city area is increasing. The deputy governor of Bangkok, Mr. Puthipong Phunagan said that the city administration is conducting an urgent meeting with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to discuss the issue of child prostitution. Mr. Puthipong said that a recent survey revealed that children from the age of 12-15 are increasingly being lured into prostitution, especially in the Sanam Luang area. The deputy governor reported that in the past the average age of postitutes was 20 years, but this number is rapidly decreasing, due in part to the excessive spending and materialism of youths. The Bangkok deputy governor admits that solving the problem would be difficult as prostitutes are devising new methods of meeting with patrons. Mr. Puthipong blamed society for instilling the wrong values in children, and urged that parents adhere to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej's self-sufficiency principles. (Source: Public Relations Department)


Category: Default

To close or not to close?

Posted by hasekamp on 12 February 2007 at 17:26 PM
Yesterday we reported that the new airport would remain open. Today it is different again:
The fate of the Bt150-billion Suvarnabhumi Airport hangs in the balance as an investigation panel is due to reveal the cause of damage to the taxiways and runways at the landmark transport hub. The government appears to be divided about whether the airport should be closed for repairs, amid fears that such a move could shake international confidence in the Kingdom's infrastructure. Admiral Bannawit Keng-rien, chairman of the National Legislative Assem-bly's airport committee, yesterday stood by his suggestion that the airport should be closed if both runways were damaged. "The closure would be for the sake of safety," Bannawit said. Bannawit maintained his suggestion despite Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont's insistence that the airport should remain open so as not to damage international confidence.
A panel headed by Tortrakul Yomnark will today reveal the problems faced by the airport, how the repairs should be conducted and whether closure is necessary. A source said the Tortrakul panel had found serious cracks on the taxiways, with further damage on the northern part of the east runway and the southern end of the western landing strip. "Services can alternate between the two runways," the source said. So, what is it going to be? (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

More counterfeit bank notes

Posted by hasekamp on 11 February 2007 at 13:41 PM
Counterfeit banknotes seized by the Bank of Thailand doubled in 2006 from the previous year, according to a senior official of the central bank. Ms. Duangdao Sombatsiri, senior director of the Bank of Thailand's Banknote Management Department, said that 15,232 fake banknotes were seized last year, up by more than 7,600 forgeries confiscated in 2005. Nearly 10,000 of the fake banknotes were of Bt1,000 face value followed by Bt100 notes. However, fake banknotes found in Thailand were still low compared to overseas with an average of five counterfeit banknotes found compared to one million genuine notes circulating in the market. Counterfeit notes are usually given to customers at places such as markets and petrol stations where large amounts of money normally changes hands, Duangdao added. It is advisable to take precautions when receiving a banknote at such a venue, she said. (Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Airport to stay open after all

Posted by hasekamp on 11 February 2007 at 13:30 PM
Suvarnabhumi Airport will remain operational while repairs are carried out, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said yesterday. "We'll do our best to ensure there is no further damage to the new airport's reputation. We shouldn't shut Suvarnabhumi down and must find a way to fix its problems while keeping it open," he said. The prime minister's statement followed speculation by National Legislative Council member Admiral Bannawit Kengrien that the airport, opened last September, might have to be closed to all traffic to allow repairs to taxiway cracks. According to preliminary findings of an investigation, underground water, inferior asphalt and rushed construction caused the cracks. Site tests conducted on Friday and yesterday revealed serious damage to an unspecified length of taxiway. Runways are in good condition. "We found the runways were unaffected by seeping underground water because they are 1.75 meters higher than the underground water level, whereas taxiways are only 0.75 meters above it. The taxiways were built over some 2,000 fish ponds. We found underground water from elsewhere had entered the subsoil of these taxiways. The solution is to drain it off," said a committee member who requested anonymity. "Secondly, we found that asphalt used in paving the taxiways was sub-standard. Lastly, we considered the construction timetable had been too tight, resulting in sub-standard work," he said. We wonder if this is the final news about the problems of the new Bangkok airport. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Guilt Thaksin government difficult to prove

Posted by hasekamp on 10 February 2007 at 18:29 PM
Reiterating that his government is not conducting a 'witch hunt' to destroy those who held office in the ousted former government as charged by the acting leader of the Thai Rak Thai Party, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said Saturday that he would not intervene in probes being conducted by two agencies established to punish those found guilty of corruption. Speaking to a seminar on a good governance in the Thai society, Gen. Surayud denied charges made earlier by Chaturon Chaisang, acting leader of the Thai Rai Thai Party founded by ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, that his government was only interested in destroying those who had held power before. He said his government would retain projects and programs set up by the toppled government if they are considered beneficial to the public.
Touching on remarks by Mr. Thaksin that the current government would do anything it could to punish those serving under the previous government, the prime minister said his interim government is not retaliating against former officials, and that it is up to the judicial process. Gen. Surayud said that it was quite difficult to find evidence, especially when the suspected malpractice was being done by state officials. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Gardens to honor the King

Posted by hasekamp on 9 February 2007 at 13:53 PM
A committee responsible for organizing a garden to celebrate His Majesty the King\92s 80th anniversary and relevant units in Pattani province had a discussion on the creation of the garden. The government has an agenda to commemorate His Majesty the King\92s 80th birthday on December 5th, 2007 by prompting each of the 75 provinces across Thailand, excluding Bangkok, to arrange a garden to celebrate this auspicious occasion. The gardens will also be a place for people throughout the country to relax, exercise, gather, and do many activities. Pattani deputy governor Winai Kruwanpat said his province has allocated four pieces of land for the creation of this garden. They are in Chang Hai Temple in Khok Pho district, tambon Mana and Chao Thalay Park in Muang district, and the provincial sports stadium. The responsible committee will consider the venues\92 appropriateness prior to the construction. (Source: Public Relations Department)


Category: Default

Thailand where are you going?

Posted by hasekamp on 9 February 2007 at 13:48 PM
Thailand, quo vadis? Several issues in Thailand, at least what the Thai newspapers publish about it, look very inconsistent to us. Some time ago the government took an economic measure that made the stock markets around the world tumble, and - shocked by this huge impact - t he measure was recalled within 24 hours.
These last weeks the new airport is in the picture. Several months ago serious damage was discovered on the runways there. First the newspapers wrote that Don Muang would have to be reopened, but only for domestic flights. Some time later we read that the airport has to be closed altogether, at least for some time. Meanwhile the best possible solution - as seen by the authorities - is sacking the director of the airport. And then is is being announced that not only domestic flights will return to Don Muang, but also part of the international flights. And just a few days later we read that the airport will not have to be closed at all. All these conflicting announcements are not good for the image of the country abroad.
Another example are the bombings on New Year's Eve. This was a serious attack upon the country. Several people died and many were (seriously) wounded, among them foreign tourists. The authorities concentrated on Mr. Thaksin and the Thai Rak Thai party as the culprits, because - we cite BBC News - it would be bad for tourism if the separatists from the deep South would appear to be the bombers. Now, two months later, the bombers still have not been found and therefore it looks very unlikely that the ousted premier is behind the bombings. This looked very unlikely from the start, by the way. The solution chosen by the authorities was to sack the responsible police official, which is of course no solution at all. The man carried out his orders, which were to look into the TRT party for the bombers. Why not forget about Thaksin being the bomber and widen the scope of the investigation from the start?
There are more things, but we prefer to leave it at this. Thailand, see that the country is being governed! (Editorial from this site)


Category: Default

New airport may be closed for repairs

Posted by hasekamp on 8 February 2007 at 13:36 PM
Suvarnabhumi airport should be temporarily closed in order to undergo the huge repairs necessary to fix runways and taxiways, said a high-ranking official Thursday. "If we want to fix cracks on the runways, we have no choice but to close down Suvarnabhumi because this is involved with passengers' safety. The closing period should be around six to ten months. Then, we can reopen the airport." This situation was not predicted earlier. Another option would be to have to airports open, bus this seems less likely at this moment. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Police chief gets the sack

Posted by hasekamp on 5 February 2007 at 14:36 PM
Thailand's Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont on Monday dismissed the country's national police chief, following a snail's-paced investigation into the deadly New Year's Eve bombings in Bangkok. The prime minister signed an order transferring Pol. Gen. Kowit Wattana to an inactive post at the Prime Minister's Office, effective immediately. Pressures on the police chief mounted as police investigators were seen as having made little progress in solving the nine bombings in Bangkok and nearby Nonthaburi on December 31, which killed three and wounded 42 others, including nine foreigners, a situation only made worse by last week's high-profile twin grenade incidents at a major Thai-language newspaper headquarters and a nearby hotel in the capital. Nineteen suspects were earlier detained for questioning in connection with the coordinated blasts, but all were released later because of lack of evidence, amid criticisms that those arrested were simply scapegoats. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

New problems at airport

Posted by hasekamp on 5 February 2007 at 14:33 PM
Suvarnabhumi airport has another flaw: 11 passenger boarding bridges are damaged, two of them seriously, according to a source at Airports of Thailand (AoT). Two boarding bridges were seriously damaged and the others would need minor repairs, the source said. The bridges at gates D5 and F1 must be closed due to the serious nature of the damage and their walls must be replaced. The bridges at gates G5, G3, F5, D6, C7 and B4 are slightly damaged but still usable. Suvarnabhumi has 51 gates and 105 passenger boarding bridges. The bridges were built by ITO Joint Venture, which is the airport contractor, and AoT contracts Tags to operate them. The AoT had informed ITO and the company promised to repair them in a week, the source said. An ITO source said operators compounded the damage as they continued to use the airbridges despite problems with the movable mechanisms. ITO proposed checking all passenger boarding bridges and to later check them every three to six months to ensure their smooth operation. Apart from problems with the passenger boarding bridges, the four-month-old Suvarnabhumi airport has cracked runways as well as cracked and uneven taxiways. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Will the pandas ever mate?

Posted by hasekamp on 3 February 2007 at 13:23 PM
One effort after another is being made to put Chiang Mai Zoo's most famous couple, pandas Xuang Xuang and Lin Hui, in the mood for romance. The Zoological Park Organisation (ZPO) is creating a special mating environment in the hope that the pandas, on loan from China, will mate within the next two months. ZPO governor Sopon Damnui said zoo staff are trying to induce the pandas into copulating by creating an atmosphere more conducive to mating. They have been put on a special diet. To further arouse the pair, the zoo is also seeking permission from the Chinese government to show the pandas video clips of other pandas mating. The pair came close to mating in January 2006, but the male, Xuang Xuang, showed little interest in Lin Hui's romantic advances. Mr Sopon said that if natural breeding does not occur by March this year, the organisation will ask Beijing to send panda experts to Thailand to help in the artificial insemination process of Lin Hui. Zoo staff have expressed concern that Lin Hui has shown no signs of being in heat so far this mating season, he added. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Who was responsible for the bombings?

Posted by hasekamp on 2 February 2007 at 17:26 PM
The latest suspects involved in the New Year's Eve bombings in Bangkok and nearby have not been as yet connected with continuing insurgency in the Deep South, pending further investigation by the Department of Special Investigation. DSI director general Sunai Manomai-udom said his agency has not yet identified the three or four suspects found in pictures taken by closed-circuit cameras at Seacon Square shopping center, which was one of nine bombing sites. The images of the bag-carrying suspects at the suburban mall were blurred and had been sent to a foreign agency for precision imaging which is expected to be done within a week, the DSI chief said. Though the bombing suspects may be related to persons currently living in the Deep South, the authorities have not yet established that they are linked with unrest in the turbulent region, Mr. Sunai said. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Budget for Royal pictures

Posted by hasekamp on 2 February 2007 at 17:23 PM
PM's Office Minister Khunying Dhipavadee Meksawan is planning to seek a Bt198.5million budget for a project to conserve His Majesty the King's photographs and video pictures. A source said Friday that Dhipavadee would ask the Cabinet to approve the budget at its meeting on Tuesday. Dhipavadee will head the conservation project. The project is designed to honour His Majesty on the auspicious occasion of his 80th birthday later this year. As part of the project, the government will ask for His Majesty's permission that the government maintain and conserve the photos and video pictures. They will be kept as the country's heritage and can be used for research and educational purposes. Under the project, a permanent five-storey building will be constructed in the compound of the National Film Archive in Nakhon Pathom, where the collection will be kept. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Airport president exit

Posted by hasekamp on 2 February 2007 at 17:21 PM
Mr. Chotisak Asapaviriya yesterday resigned as president of Airports of Thailand (AoT), while two executives of Suvarnabhumi airport were sacked from their positions over problems there. Mr Chotisak cited poor health as the reason for his resignation. Somchai Sawasdeepol and Sombat Khunprasert were dismissed from their posts as director of Suvarnabhumi airport and director of commercial operations respectively. AoT board member Chirmsak Pinthong said the board approved Mr Chotisak's resignation and appointed Kanlaya Phakakrong, vice-president in charge of planning and finance, as acting president. The resignation takes effect today. A new president will be selected in two months, he said.
Mr Chirmsak said the board asked the AoT to review a 10-year contract with the Loxley-ICTS consortium, which won a concession to manage security at the new international airport. He said the board questioned the company's expertise in providing security and considered the 10-year contract too long. Such a contract is normally reviewed every three years, he said.
Meanwhile, the Engineering Council of Thailand (ECT) said damage to the airport's taxiways had been expanding over the past three months. The ECT said the cracks covered 5.3% of the airport's taxiways, or about 97,000 square meters. In its attempt to identify the causes of the cracks and look for solutions, the ECT has agreed to study four areas. (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: -
  •