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Art by inmates

Posted by hasekamp on 30 June 2008 at 21:25 PM
An art gallery dedicated to displaying paintings by inmates opened at Klong Prem Prison in suburban Nonthaburi province on the outskirts of Bangkok as part of a project to use art to improve inmates' social behavior skills and reduce stress among prisoners. Chuan Chom arcade at Klong Prem Prison was temporarily transformed into a gallery to exhibit paintings that were the creations of inmates nationwide. The project was the initiative of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn who told the Department of Corrections that applications of the arts could help develop the behaviour of the inmates. There are now 92 prisons and detention centres that offer art classes for inmates and there were 2,147 inmates completed the courses. After attending the art courses, the inmates were more politely behaved, had improved concentration and could reduce the stress and help adjust to life in the prison. Paintings created by the inmates were also available for purchase by art collectors. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Tamarine one round further

Posted by hasekamp on 30 June 2008 at 21:22 PM
Tamarine Tanasugarn figuratively destroyed No 2 seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia in straight sets on Monday to enter the quarter finals of the Wimbledon tennis tournament. It is the best performance by the Thai star, who always has had good matches on the London grass but never has been playing at the second mid-week level. Tammy appeared near tears with excitement. After shaking hands with her opponent and the umpire, she gave a wai in each direction in the stadium, and then rushed to her chair and covered her face with a towel. Tammy defeated Jankovic 6-3 in a quick game, then put the Serb away with an even more satisfying 6-2. Tamarine has won more notice than usual this year, because at 31 she is the oldest woman playing into the second week of the singles event. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Tamarine oldest in Wimbledon

Posted by hasekamp on 29 June 2008 at 20:49 PM
Tamarine Tanasugarn is the only Thai in the final 16 at Wimbledon. At 31, Tammy is also the oldest woman still standing in the tournament. When Japan's 32-year-old Ai Sugiyama lost her third round match to Alisa Kleybanova, it was up to fellow Asian Tammy to show the rest of the world that 30-somethings still can play tennis. And she did that. Tamarine's next match is on Monday, on Court 18 at Wimbledon, at 6pm (Thailand time): Tamarine Tanasugarn vs No 2 women's seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Bikes in Bangkok

Posted by hasekamp on 28 June 2008 at 18:04 PM
We have never seen them, but will they come?
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), the Thai capital's 'city hall', is planning dedicated bicycle lanes in congested business areas and plans to launch bicycle operating licenses to promote safe bike riding and to save energy. Bangkok governor Apirak Kosayodhin said that 1.2-metre bike lanes are being included in new landscaping plans for business areas, especially connecting Sathorn and Rama IV. The BMA says it plans to encourage Bangkokians to use bicycles and will work with the national government's Land Transport Department to issue bicycle licenses to encourage drivers to ride their bikes safely. Mr. Apirak said he would launch a bicycle campaign at Lumpini Park on Wednesday. He added that city hall will coordinate with the national government's Fine Arts Department to conduct a survey around Rattanakosin Island, the old city area for conservation of historic sites. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Activists can no longer be understood

Posted by hasekamp on 28 June 2008 at 12:45 PM
The anti-government activist People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) on Saturday demanded that Thai Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama quit his post, only hours after Thailand's Administrative Court issued an injunction calling for a temporary halt in carrying out any further activities related to the cabinet's endorsement of the Cambodian map of Preah Vihear temple. Pipop Thongchai, a core leader of the PAD, whose members and supporters have been demonstrating at Government House demanding the ouster of the government of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, said the PAD would like to thank the Administrative Court for imposing the injunction. "This is a victory of the people," Mr. Pipop said, adding that the PAD had no plan to use violent means to pressure the government to resign, but it may set up more demonstrations in the provinces.
We can no longer understand this movement "for democracy". First they wanted the government gone and now they grab random issues to claim "victory" for their movement. The relation if the movement with democracy is fully obscure to us. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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National Parks want to limit visitors

Posted by hasekamp on 27 June 2008 at 13:48 PM
The director general of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, told a press conference yesterday that a limit to the number of visitors to national parks would reduce the amount of visitors during holidays by half and by 2030 per cent during the normal days and thus affect the parks' income which used to collect a total of some Bt400 million per year. However, it would allow the parks' ecosystem to recover and help screen "good quality" visitors. Other national parks would start limiting visitors later on. (Source: The Nation)


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Huge quantity of drugs burned

Posted by hasekamp on 26 June 2008 at 10:35 AM
Thai authorities burned 16 tonnes of confiscated narcotics and other drugs, with an estimated street value of Bt 10 billion to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking June 26. Public Health Minister Chaiya Sasomsab presided over the ceremony to burn the seized drugs at the Bang Pa-in Industrial Estate in Ayutthaya. Officials from the Royal Thai Police, the Royal Thai Army, the Office of the Narcotics Control Bureau, international agencies, and the diplomatic corps witnessed the ceremony. Thailand's 36th drug burning included the destruction of 32 million tablets of methamphetamines, 1,000 kilogrammes of heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, and opium. According to the authorities, the confiscated narcotics were burned at very high temperatures by the pyrolytic incineration, a method said not to be harmful to the environment. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Thaksin lawyers jailed

Posted by hasekamp on 26 June 2008 at 10:25 AM
The Supreme Court sentenced three key members of the legal team of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to six months in prison each yesterday over the two-million-baht snack box incident. Lead lawyer Pichit Chuenban, legal assistant Supasri Srisawat and the coordinator of the legal team Thana Tansiri were found guilty by a panel of three judges of contempt of court in the precincts of the court. Each was given a six-month jail term. The trio also face criminal charges under Article 144 of the Criminal Code. The panel chaired by Supreme Court vice-president Mongkol Thapthiang suspects they were trying to give a bribe and has assigned the court secretary to lodge a police complaint.
In most western countries it is highly uncommon, if possible at all, to send a lawyer to jail under similar circumstances. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Mock Monk in Phuket

Posted by hasekamp on 25 June 2008 at 12:57 PM
Phuket City Police are on the lookout for a man who wears a monk\92s robe but is wanted for the theft of about 100 amulets with a total claimed value of more than 100,000 baht. Phuket City Police Inspector Lt Col Wijak Tarom told the Gazette that police on Sunday evening responded to a call from a man claiming to have been robbed by a man dressed as a monk. Col Wijak declined to name the victim, and the victim did not give the name of the supposed monk in his complaint to the police. The victim told police that on Sunday evening the \93monk\94, who was walking past his house on Prompan Rd in Rassada, asked to stay the night. The next morning, the visitor was to continue on his way to Phuket City, Col Wijak said. The man went to work in the morning, leaving his guest to sleep peacefully in his house. But when he returned in the afternoon, he found that about 100 amulets and three large Buddha images were missing \96 and so was his guest, Col Wijak added. \93The "monk" has a tattoo on each arm. He is a little overweight and has light skin. That is all we know; we don\92t even know which temple he is apparently from,\94 Col Wijak said. \93In fact, we cannot even confirm whether he is a real monk. I have ordered police officers to be on the lookout for him,\94 he added. \93I cannot confirm the owner\92s claim that the stolen amulets\92 total worth is more than 100,000 baht, as the prices of amulets are always fluctuating,\94 Col Wijak said. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Controversial Temple closed

Posted by hasekamp on 25 June 2008 at 12:45 PM
Cambodia yesterday shut down the controversial Hindu temple of Preah Vihear to visitors as residents of northeastern Si Sa Ket province staged a protest. Some 500 people have held a protest since June 22 accusing the Cabinet of endorsing Cambodian sovereignty over the temple after the government supported Cambodia's proposal to apply for it to become a world heritage site. They also demanded that the Cambodian community be removed from the area. The gate of the temple on Cambodia's side was supposed to be opened by 9am as usual but it remained closed the whole day, according to Colonel Thanya Kiartisarn, commander of the 23rd Task Force, which oversees the area. "Cambodian officials informally informed us that they are worried over the safety of the Cambodian community near the temple," he said. "The temple will remain closed until the Thai authorities are able to guarantee safety." (Source: The Nation)


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Free WiFi in Bangkok

Posted by hasekamp on 25 June 2008 at 12:34 PM
In a move to stop people from travelling around too much or wasting electricity at home, the BMA and True Corp are offering free Wi-Fi access in 10 major areas of Bangkok. As part of its agenda to make Bangkok a green city, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and True Corporation are offering free Internet access at 15,000 Wi-Fi hotspots for a year. However, the access speed will only be 64 kilobits per second - enough to check e-mail and instant messaging. Yesterday, after the official launch at CentralWorld, some 500,000 Wi-Fi cards were given away for free at tourist centers and leading department stores, including Siam Paragon, Emporium, Central Plaza and Siam Centre. Bangkok Governor Apirak Kosayodhin says the campaign is part of the Bangkok Green Agenda, initiated by BMA to create a knowledge-based society and offer residents a convenient and safe environment by introducing wireless Internet access as a substitute to travel whenever possible. It is through this that BMA hopes to save energy, reduce expenses and meet the demands of the more environmentally friendly young generation. The new Wi-Fi hotspots are located in 10 major areas, namely Silom; Rama IV; Rachaprarob Road; Rama I; Sukhumvit; New Phetcha-buri; Asoke; Charoenkrung and Rachadamnern Nok; as well as the Lumpini and Benjasiri Parks. Those interested can register for access privileges at www.truewifi.net, while those with the free Wi-Fi card can register at the website and renew their account every three months. (Source: The Nation)


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Card fraud in Phuket

Posted by hasekamp on 22 June 2008 at 11:59 AM
Phuket Gazette TV warns us today against credit card fraud and ATM card fraud.
Criminals in Phuket seem to be able to exchange your credit card for a copy, without you noticing it. This means that you will not report the loss of your real card until it is far too late and many fraudulent transactions have been made already, that will (probably) not be refunded by your credit card company. So keep your card in sight during every credit card transaction!
Furthermore criminals in Phuket are placing "skimming" devices in ATM machines, that copy for them your card data including your pin code. So, if using ATM machines, always put a hat or something over the pad when you give your pin code. (Source: Phuket Gazette TV)


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Protests are becoming grim

Posted by hasekamp on 22 June 2008 at 11:45 AM
Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej Sunday vows to keep on working at the besieged Government House and downplays political impact of street protests by the People's Alliance for Democracy. Speaking during his Talk Samak Style live programme on NBT Channel, Samak said he would like to see what would happen to the country if he organised street protests against the new government like what the PAD is doing. "I also have my supporters," Samak said, suggesting that Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva wouldn't be able to work as prime minister in such circumstances. The prime minister said he would try his best to be patient toward the anti-government protests until the public's patience runs out and signals him to take actions. He said he would go to work at Government House as usual and would try his best to be patient. "Once it's time and the people give me a nod to act, I'll do my duty," Samak said. "For now, I'll be patient for the country. I have good intention to do good for the country." Samak added that it is unfair for the media to recognise the five PAD leaders and treat them with equal status with that of his Cabinet. Samak said his government was legally and constitutionally elected but the five PAD leaders came from nowhere and had no such status. (Source: The Nation)


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Press freedom index low for Thailand

Posted by hasekamp on 21 June 2008 at 11:30 AM
In his speech before the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand on Wednesday, Asean Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan delivered what might best be described as a severe reality check for Thai citizens. Citing statistics from Freedom House, the New York-based monitor of media freedoms around the world, he noted that less than a decade ago Thailand ranked 29th out of 194 countries surveyed, putting it among the top 15% in the world. In its data released last month, however, the agency''s ''Freedom Index'' saw Thailand in 127th place. The Thai press reached its peak in terms of freedom under the government led by the Democrat Party (1997-2000). At that time, relations between the media and the government were based on mutual respect and professionalism, unlike the rueful conditions prevailing under the successive Thaksin governments and the regime of its cronies in power today. (Source: The Phuket Gazette / The Nation)


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Stock market plunges

Posted by hasekamp on 20 June 2008 at 19:22 PM
Investors have seen one trillion baht wiped off share values on the stock market over the past three weeks as a result of domestic political tensions and global inflation concerns. The month-long sell-off continued yesterday as the Stock Exchange of Thailand index plummeted more than 23 points, or 3%, to close at 742.46 points, its lowest since late January. Analysts said investors were selling Thai stocks due to weak regional sentiment and concerns that protests led by the People's Alliance for Democracy could turn violent. PAD leaders plan to march on Government House today to press their call for the resignation of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej. Since the PAD issued an ultimatum to the government on May 25, the SET index has dropped more than 13% in value, with market capitalisation now down to 5.8 trillion baht from 6.8 trillion in only three weeks. Inflation rose to a 10-year high in May to 7.6%. Kavee Chukitkasem, an assistant managing director at Kasikorn Securities, said politics was not actually a major concern so long as some form of democracy prevails. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Government House confrontation

Posted by hasekamp on 20 June 2008 at 19:20 PM
Thousands of protesters poured through leaky police cordons on Friday afternoon and began to close their own siege of Government House. The demonstrators of the People's Alliance for Democracy outwitted almost all police blockades to force their way to Government House. At Misakawan intersection, the last police blockade, police trucks in the middle of Phitsanulok Road were unable to block protesters. Minor skirmishes were reported at some of the police cordons, and seven policemen were injured as protesters poured past them. Within an hour of the beginning of the protest march, (PAD) core leaders Sondhi Limthongkul and Somkiat Pongpaiboon joined colleague Chamlong Srimuang at the Nang Lerng intersection near the Royal Turf Club on Phitsanuloke Road on their way to Government House. Police won a Phyrric victory: PAD loudspeaker trucks were not able to pass police blockades with the protesters. A PAD leader said he expected 400,000 demonstrators by Friday afternoon. An estimated 10,000 showed up. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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PAD goes to Government House

Posted by hasekamp on 19 June 2008 at 22:19 PM
Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej yesterday told police to refrain from using force against anti-government protesters, but the number of crowd-control officers will likely be tripled with a view to dispersing the planned rally in front of Government House today. The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) vowed to surround the nation's highest office today as planned, while state-enterprise labour unions said thousands of members would join the protest. Army commander-in-chief General Anupong Paochinda said the premier had reiterated that police should be patient and avoid using force. The Stock Exchange of Thailand Index yesterday dropped 3.04 per cent to close at 742.46 points on worries about today's siege of Government House. Meanwhile, Samak ordered his meetings scheduled at Government House today to be shifted to the Foreign Affairs Ministry. (Source: The Nation)


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Burning illegal drugs

Posted by hasekamp on 19 June 2008 at 12:56 PM
To mark the United Nations Anti-Drugs Day falling on 26 June every year, Thailand is set to burn more than 16 tonnes of narcotics worth over Bt10 billion. Thailand's Ministry of Public Health announced it planned to set ablaze illegal drugs over 16 tonnes of drugs whose street values are up to Bt10 billion. The plan is in compliance with the United Nations' mandate to eradicate drug use and trafficking, which sees its culmination on June 26 annually - the international anti-drug day. Public Health Minister Chaiya Sasomsab revealed the government is stepping up its drugs eradication campaign, adding that the task had grown more difficult given strategies of trafficking having developed further than that for which Thailand's police had been prepared for. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Fear for smuggled arms

Posted by hasekamp on 18 June 2008 at 11:22 AM
Interior Minister Chalerm Yubamrung said arms are being smuggled into the city, which are expected to be used to stir unrest in Bangkok around the end of the week. Mr Chalerm said he received this information from a reliable source who graduated from Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy. His statement came after People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) set Friday as D-Day to hold a major rally at the Government House. The minister also accused the PAD of using people who have been trained to use special arms to use as the guards stationing at Makkhawan Rangsit bridge where the group supporters gather. He added that the group might try all it can to stir unrest and to pressure or hurt government officials, but said he is certain that authorities will be able to control the situation. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Dykes needed for Bangkok

Posted by hasekamp on 18 June 2008 at 11:20 AM
Thailand needs to construct long dykes in coastal areas to protect Bangkok and neighboring provinces against rising sea levels, which could lead to severe flooding in the capital, said Smith Dharmasarojana, chairman of the national disaster warning committee. The dykes would be erected between Phetchaburi's Cha-am district and Chachoengsao's Bang Pakong district, which face the Gulf of Thailand. They would cost around 30 billion baht and take around five years to complete, according to Mr Smith. "This will be worth the investment, because it will prevent damages and loss," he told a seminar on global warming, organized by the navy. Global warming is blamed for causing climate change around the world and many experts believe it will worsen coastal erosion and increase the sea level. Bangkok and neighboring provinces are situated on soft ground with an average land subsidence of five centimeters a year, Mr Smith said. Worse, he added, these provinces are subjected to violent storms between August and November, when the effects of water run-off from the North are combined with high tides. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Protests go on

Posted by hasekamp on 18 June 2008 at 11:18 AM
Several thousand protesters from the People's Alliance for Democracy gathered at the foreign ministry on Wednesday to accuse minister Noppadon Pattama and his old boss Thaksin Shinawatra with yielding land around the Preah Vihear temple to Cambodia. An estimated 5,000 PAD protesters gathered in front of the ministry. They accused Mr Noppadon of trading the temple land for business concessions, and carried signs blaming Mr Thaksin. The Preah Vihear temple, dating back to the 11th century, has been the subject of a boundary dispute since the 1950s. The International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the cliffside temple was within Cambodian territory. Accusing the government of corruption and abuse of power, demonstrators have been holding sometimes violent protests since May 25 to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and his coalition government. The protesters say Mr Samak is merely acting as a proxy for Mr Thaksin. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Rising inflation

Posted by hasekamp on 15 June 2008 at 0:04 AM
Bank of Thailand Governor Tarisa Watanagase on Friday voiced concerns regarding declining returns on savings and faster spending - rather than saving - by consumers who in anticipation of higher inflation are buying now, stating that such action can push inflation to the double-digit level this year. "Psychologically, if people think that the inflation rate will increase sharply, they will accelerate their spending. So, it is likely the inflation will surge to a double-digit level this year," she said. Regarding a proposed reduction of the policy interest rate to stimulate the economy, she said such an action is impossible because the interest cut would boost the spending and so fuel the inflation rise. "Reducing interest will encourage spending, which leads to a higher inflation rate. So, we can see almost all countries instead opting to raise interest rates," she said. Mrs. Tarisa said the central bank is a sole agency responsible to oversee inflation. Accordingly, the bank must do its best to control inflation to boost consumer confidence. Otherwise, the inflation will surge incessantly. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Mass protests expected

Posted by hasekamp on 12 June 2008 at 22:52 PM
The government has been warned to expect protests across the country by groups ranging from farmers to truckers who are struggling to survive due to the soaring cost of living. The government is facing not only the prolonged anti-government demonstration by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) at Makkhawan Rangsan bridge and its mini-rallies around Bangkok, but also protests by other interest groups that are spreading to other parts of the country. In Mae Hong Son, garlic farmers blocked traffic between Mae Hong Son's Mae Sariang district and Chiang Mai's Hot district while another group of garlic farmers have picketed outside the Mae Hong Son city hall since Monday. They demanded the government buy their garlic at guaranteed prices. The farmers threatened to shut down Mae Hong Son airport if the government continued to ignore their plight. More garlic farmers gathered at the Wiang Haeng district office in Chiang Mai. At the same time, hundreds of truckers in Rayong, Chon Buri, Samut Prakan and Nakhon Ratchasima stopped work, threatening a strike and to blockade the nation's highways next week if the government failed to respond quickly to their plight. The truckers insisted that without an immediate fuel subsidy from the government, they would go under. Meanwhile, leaders of state enterprise unions will decide next Tuesday if they will lead 200,000 union members to join the PAD rally. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Higher boat fares

Posted by hasekamp on 11 June 2008 at 12:16 PM
Passenger boat operators have been permitted to increase their fares after their business has been negatively affected by rising diesel prices. Marine Department director-general Prasong Tanmaneewattana spoke in his capacity as chairman of the committee which regulates passenger boat services, saying the committee approved the request of commuter boat operators to increase their fares. Chao Phraya express boats and boat services in San Saeb Canal will increase their fares by two baht and one baht for normal boats and by 0.50 baht for cross-river ferry service. The approval will be proposed to the Ministry of Transport for consideration when it will be put into effect. After the fare rise, the Marine Department will negotiate with boat operators to peg the fare to alleviate burden on commuters. The fare shouldn't be raised again until diesel will reach 45 baht per liter. The department will confer with the Ministry of Transport to consider subsidizing diesel fuel prices for boat operators at three baht per liter. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Higher bus fares

Posted by hasekamp on 11 June 2008 at 12:12 PM
This is good news for private bus operators in Bangkok, but bad news for passengers. The Supreme Administrative Court on Wednesday cancelled the injunction issued by the Central Administrative Court against the increase of bus fares in Bangkok. The today's ruling will allow the private bus operators in Bangkok to increase their fares, which is expected to start Thursday or Friday. The injunction by the Central Administrative Court had put on hold the increase of the bus since May. Following the injunction, the private bus operators went on strike for a day, causing chaos in Bangkok particularly for students and commuters. (Source: The Nation)


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One-step trademark

Posted by hasekamp on 9 June 2008 at 10:17 AM
The Intellectual Property Department is working on a plan for Thailand to adopt the Madrid Protocol - the statement allowing trademark-owners to have their trademarks protected in several countries by filing one application directly in their national or regional trademark office. Seventy-five countries have joined the protocol so far, according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation website. "This will facilitate trademark protection and is in line with Asean's plan to have all members adopt the protocol by 2015," said Puangrat Asavapisit, the department's director-general. According to Pajchima Thanasanti, director of the Trademark Office, this will sharply increase the department's fee income as trademark registration currently accounts for more than half the department's total income. Pajchima said that Thailand joining the Madrid Protocol would encourage foreigners to come to the Thai office instead of going to Singapore. (Source: The Nation)


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Buy an old Bangkok bus

Posted by hasekamp on 9 June 2008 at 10:10 AM
The Transport Ministry will seek cabinet approval tomorrow to sell 3,535 old city buses under a plan by the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) to solve its debt problem and improve its service. The diesel-powered buses to go up for auction include ordinary and air-conditioned vehicles, Transport Minister Santi Promphat said. Mr Santi said provincial and tambon administration organizations and local hospitals have shown interest in buying the buses and using them to transport their staff. Private bus firms will be barred from taking part in the auction for fear they will use them for their services, he added. The buses to be auctioned are too old to run on regular routes and could pose safety risks for passengers, according to Mr Santi. The BMTA received between 300,000 and 500,000 baht for each bus sold in previous auctions. Air-conditioned buses were auctioned at one million baht each. The new auction is part of the agency's plan to get out of the red financially and improve the service by bringing in 6,000 new air-conditioned buses powered by natural gas. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Not only win medals, also give fruit

Posted by hasekamp on 8 June 2008 at 11:01 AM
Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Minister Somsak Prissananantakul announced on Saturday he will request 100 million baht from the cabinet on Tuesday to promote Thai fruit during the Beijing Olympics. Mr Somsak said the Chinese government would allow Thailand to treat athletes and officials with complimentary Thai fruit during the Games, and this would give the country an opportunity to promote Thai fruit during the event. He said his ministry will make its bid during Tuesday's cabinet meeting, asking for 100 million baht to spend buying rambutan, mangosteen, pomelo, durian and longan to carry to Beijing. If only five per cent of the total Chinese population - about 70 million people - buy Thai fruit, prices would rise, he said. Fruit from the northern and southern regions would enter the market later this month, and Mr Somsak said he wanted another 130 million baht to help growers. The aim is to prevent oversupply and falling prices of fruits in the market, he said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Asian electric vehicles

Posted by hasekamp on 8 June 2008 at 10:57 AM
Global Electric Motorcars Asia, sole distributor of GEM brand electric vehicles, enjoys an increase in sales revenue of 30 per cent a year thanks to a rising oil prices and concern over global warming. The company is in talks with several operators of conventions and exhibitions centres to provide GEM scooters for rent at the centers when having events or fairs, said Ekasit Kunanantakul, managing director of the company. He said the GEM scooters was set to rent children and old persons who visit any fairs at the centers as main customer target. "GEM scooter is alternative for tradefair attendance especially younger and older persons. They can ride scooter during the fairs because it is convenience and we considered that it is our opportunity to serve the market," he said. GEM scooter is becoming a new trend of people, he said. Its price is range at Bt39,500 to Bt72,000 which lower than electric car with price start at Bt425,000. (Source: The Nation)


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Mobile phone stolen by airport staff

Posted by hasekamp on 6 June 2008 at 17:22 PM
Following the arrest of two baggage handlers for stealing a mobile phone from luggage at Phuket International Airport, police are urging airline passengers not to pack valuables in checked-in luggage. At a press conference last night, Tah Chat Chai Police Superintendent Col Sakchai Limchareon said that Sarawuth Saowarun, 21, of Nakhon Sri Thammarat, and Chiang Rai native Surakrai Sirisor, 22, had both been charged with the theft of the phone. Both suspects were recently employed by Standard Services Co Ltd, which provides baggage-handling services to THAI Airways under a service contract. The phone was stolen from a passenger\92s bag bound for Bangkok from Phuket on THAI Airways flight TG224 on May 5 while the flight was delayed, police said. Surakrai\92s girlfriend, a minor who sold the device in Nakhon Sri Thammarat for 2,000 baht, has been charged with receiving stolen property, the press were told. Police tracked down the thieves because Sarawuth had transferred call credits from the stolen phone to his own phone before giving it to his girlfriend. The owner of the stolen phone, a Motorola, was not named by police. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Army warns protesters

Posted by hasekamp on 6 June 2008 at 11:53 AM
First Army Area Commander Lt Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha Friday warned anti-government protesters against encroaching upon the compound of government offices. He said such encroachments would be illegal and protesters should rally peacefully. But he said it would be the responsibility of police, not soldiers, to control protesters. (Source: The Nation)


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Shrimp farmers angry

Posted by hasekamp on 6 June 2008 at 11:49 AM
Shrimp farmers in six southern provinces are threatening a protest including blocking a major roadway unless the government is able to provide measures to address the shrimp price slump. Speaking on Modernnine TV's Morning News Program, Kardbandit Rammak, core member of the shrimp farmers' group, said should the government fail to conclude relief measures on Friday, the farmers would gather to block Tinsulanond Bridge in Songkhla province. In the past, he said, previous governments had come up with short term measures, but none had ever provided a long-term plan.
We, at Hasekamp net, have not the slightest sympathy for shrimp farmers. In order to set up their businesses they have destroyed the rain forest and the magrove forests. Mangrove forests even have disappeared completely due to the shrimp business. We hope the farmers will give up their businesses, and their land will be returned to nature. (Source for the first part: Thai News Agency)


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Divorces women are Miss again

Posted by hasekamp on 5 June 2008 at 10:37 AM
The Women's Title Act, which became effective yesterday, has been described as a declaration of independence for women. Divorced women may call themselves "Miss" again. What's in a title? The Women's Title Act came into effect yesterday. The Act has widely been known as the declaration of independence for women. Backers of the legislation believe it will reduce the social pressure on women. Divorced women will no longer have to state their marital status. (Source: Daily Xpress)


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BOT expects inflation

Posted by hasekamp on 4 June 2008 at 13:30 PM
Thailand's inflation rate this year is unlikely to reach the double-digit category, although oil and agriculural product prices continue rising, according to the Bank of Thailand. BoT Deputy Governor Atchana Waiquamdee said the inflation surge to 7.6 per cent in May is close to 7.3 per cent predicted earlier by the central bank at the latest Monetary Policy Committee meeting. She attributed the sharp inflation rise to a further increase in oil and food prices. At the same time, the core inflation rate increased by 0.8 per cent as projected previously. So, the bank sees a need to monitor fuel prices even more closely because it is difficult to predict how far the prices will continue to rise. However, the bank did not expect the inflation rate would push until it reaches two digit threshold within this year. (Source: Thai News Agency)


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Academics are concerned

Posted by hasekamp on 4 June 2008 at 13:27 PM
Academics from leading universities have urged the five coalition parties to withdraw from the People Power-led government to prevent the political confrontation from spiralling out of control. Sampan Techa-athik, a lecturer at Khon Kaen University's Social Science Faculty voiced concern the political confrontation would result in another coup. To prevent this scenario, the five coalition parties should switch their support from the People Power Party to the Democrats. (Source: The Nation)


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State of emergency?

Posted by hasekamp on 3 June 2008 at 15:41 PM
Supreme Commander General Boonsrang Niumpradit on Tuesday allayed concern that the government might declare an emergency situation to crack down on the street protests. "The citing of the emergency law may do more harms than good to the country," Boonsrang said, arguing there are many options to deal with the opposition movement led by the People's Alliance for Democracy. He urged the government and the PAD to reconcile their differences by peaceful talks. (Source: The Nation)


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Demonstrators want PM to go

Posted by hasekamp on 2 June 2008 at 10:38 AM
The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) is urging four coalition parties to withdraw from the government and has stepped up its call for Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to resign if he wants the group to end its protest. The group's demand came after the leaders of Chart Thai, Puea Pandin, Matchimathipataya and Pracharaj parties met over dinner on Saturday after Mr Samak unilaterally announced he wanted police to disperse the PAD rally to keep order. Their dinner gathering to review the five-point list of conditions which they agreed on before joining the coalition upset some members of the People Power party (PPP). The list obliged the PPP to support the monarchy, avoid seeking political reprisals and not to offend statesman Gen Prem Tinsulanonda. The PPP-group now wants to bring the three-month-old coalition to an end.
Thousands of demonstrators yesterday chanted "Samak, Get Out", which recalled chants used in a similar campaign to expel Mr Thaksin in 2006. (Source The Bangkok Post)


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Stockmarket falls

Posted by hasekamp on 2 June 2008 at 10:33 AM
We do not post often about the Thai stock market, but here is one of our irregular updates, because it is not in line with the general trends worldwide.
Share prices at the Stock Exchange of Thailand fell for the fifth day in a row on Monday as foreign investors fled the market. Finance Minister Surapong Suebwonglee and financial experts blamed the PAD street protests and rumors of a military coup. "I admit that the problem of protesters during the past week has affected the economy and investor confidence," Dr Surapong told reporters. "I am explaining to them (investors) that the protests will not lead to violence or a military coup." The finance minister said army commander Gen Anupong Paojinda told him that, "No soldier wants to stage a military coup." In addition, he said, there was no justification for dissolving Parliament or for the government to resign. The SET index edged down by 5-6 points at the opening bell and lost momentum to close at 816.77 points, down 16.88 or 2.02 per cent, with a heavy trading value of 10.54 billion baht. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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