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Tambon based education

Posted by hasekamp on 31 August 2011 at 16:48 PM
The so-called "Sor Phole model" - a tambon-based participatory educational development model - will be spread to schools throughout the country. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on Monday that she would spread the model to other schools, following its implementation in the northeastern province of Udon Thani. She was speaking during a visit to the province to study both its floodwater management and the Sor Phole model, which had its beginnings in Tambon Sor Phole, in Udon Thani's Kumphawapi district. Earlier, the Office of the Basic Education Commission and Office of the Education Council contributed Bt500,000 to extend the model to other tambons in Udon Thani. The director of the province's Primary Educational Service Area Office 2, Chalam Attatham, who founded the model, said a first phase would involved 10 tambons. Under the model, local agencies and residents participated in educational development in six schools in Tambon Sor Phole. They took part in every procedure - thinking, planning, implementing, evaluation and coagulation, Chalam said. (Source: The Nation)


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THAI buys new planes

Posted by hasekamp on 31 August 2011 at 16:45 PM
Boeing and Thai Airways International (THAI) have finalised a firm order for six 777-300 Extended Range (ER) airplanes, worth about Bt118.6 billion (US$1.7 billion.) "These additional Boeings will support our commitment to expanding market presence while delivering profitable growth," said Piyasvasti Amranand, president of THAI. "They set the standard for twinaisle reliability because Boeing continuously incorporates new technology and innovations into the aeroplane to improve operating cost and plane performance. And, with a wider and more spacious cabin, the Boeing is preferred by passengers in every class." THAI currently operates nearly every 777 model produced and THAI Cargo became the first carrier in Southeast Asia to utilise the 777 Freighter. "We look forward to working with THAI in introducing the 787, as well as these additional 777s, into its operations." (Source: The Nation)


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Phuket tuk-tuk drivers begiin to see the light

Posted by hasekamp on 30 August 2011 at 12:18 PM
Tuk-tuk drivers in Kata-Karon may soon be charging standard fares. Karon Municipality is compiling a list of fares charged by tuk-tuk drivers operating in the Kata-Karon area in order to establish an agreed schedule of standard fares to be shown – and charged – in the popular tourist beach areas. The draft schedule is the first step in a new public relations campaign to build tourist confidence in local tuk-tuk drivers. The goal is to have tuk-tuks carrying stickers featuring the set prices and the motto, “This tuk-tuk is safe to ride in”. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Red-shirts get a chance

Posted by hasekamp on 30 August 2011 at 12:13 PM
The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a list of political office holders, including some 20 vice ministers and a number of ministerial secretaries and advisers. Several core members and guards of the red-shirt movement received key appointments. Aree Krainara, head guard of the red shirts, is now secretary general to Interior Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit. Red leader Yoswaris "Jeng Dokjik" Chuklom is a deputy secretary general in the Interior Ministry. Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung's son Wan is a deputy secretary general in the Transport Ministry. Among the vice ministers are red-shirt leader Visa Kanthap, ex-bureaucrat Prapat Chongsanguan and Pheu Thai party-list candidate Surachai Baochanya. (Source: The Nation)


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Their Majesties donate

Posted by hasekamp on 28 August 2011 at 14:26 PM
Rajaprajanigroh Foundation secretary-general Prasong Witoonkitja, on behalf of Their Majesties the King and Queen, delivered 2,000 flood-relief bags to Phitsanulok's Phrom Piram district and Phichit's Bang Munnak district yesterday, while Ranong put 84 villages on alert for flash floods and landslides. Prasong presented 1,000 flood-relief bags to people of seven tambon at the Phrom Piram District Office hall yesterday. The 4th Infantry Division sent 230 relief bags to assist flood victims in Ban Mae Rahan of Muang district, where 250 homes and 10,000 rai of farmland have been submerged for nearly two months now, and also sent another 300 bags to Tambon Wang Ithok in Bang Rakham district. Water levels at the Sirikit Dam and Kwaenoi Bumrungdaen dams were at 90 per cent of capacity, while Phitsanulok's Muang district reported that the Nan River rose to 10.38 metres, the month's highest. (Source: The Nation)


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Flooding in Patong hospitals

Posted by hasekamp on 27 August 2011 at 11:15 AM
Flooding of the basement at Patong Hospital forced doctors there to evacuate about 40 patients as a precaution, transferring them to facilities elsewhere in Phuket. “Some of them were transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital [in Phuket Town], while others were discharged early so they could go home,” said Hospital Director Dr Phumin Silaphan. Heavy rain on Thursday saw flood waters spill over from the hospital’s car park into the basement of the main building. “The generator room was flooded with water more than a meter high. It has now receded to about half a meter. We are pumping the water out, but it is expected to take a while,” Dr Phumin said late yesterday. The hospital has temporarily stopped accepting inpatients. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Tobacco firms now aim at women and children

Posted by hasekamp on 27 August 2011 at 11:12 AM
Tobacco manufacturers are now targeting women and children by creating innovative products like sweetened or lipstick cigarettes, a conference was told yesterday. Some companies have even called on well-known fashion designers to create new packaging, Srirach Lapyai of Rangsit University said yesterday. "Some tobacco companies have even launched limited edition products to encourage consumers to start collecting the items," she said. She was speaking at the 10th Annual National Conference on Health and Tobacco organised by Tobacco Control Research and Knowledge Management Centre. Srirach added that different flavours, such as green tea, are being added to cigarettes to match changing lifestyles, while some are selling their products online. (Source: The Nation)


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Plea to stop press intimidation

Posted by hasekamp on 27 August 2011 at 11:09 AM
Three groups representing the media profession yesterday issued a statement calling for an end to intimidation designed to gag the press and suppress dissenting views. The statement, co-sponsored by the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association, the News Broadcasting Council of Thailand and the Thai Journalists Association, was issued in reaction to an intimidating e-mail that has been circulated against a Channel 7 reporter who posed tough questions to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Parties concerned should understand that media professionals are obliged to do their job by uncovering and reporting facts to the public, the statement said, urging all sides not to see the press as a party to conflict. The Constitution's Article 28 sanctions freedom of speech; therefore, a group subscribing to a political belief should not silence those with differing views through intimidation, the statement said. On the other hand, it also urged those with different political views to exercise restraint and tolerance in advancing their political causes, because excessive and undisciplined activities could trigger violence. (Source: The Nation)


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Yingluck defends

Posted by hasekamp on 26 August 2011 at 11:12 AM
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra voiced confidence that she would pass all the tests thrown at her as she rose to defend her government's policies on the last day of the debate yesterday. In delivering her closing statement, Ms Yingluck defended the government's policies, much criticised by the opposition, saying they were not just words designed to entice voters. "There is no reason an elected government will be dishonest to the people. We will honour our pledges," she said. She conceded the Pheu Thai-led government would face obstacles including budget limitations and legal constraints.
Over the past three days, opposition MPs led by those in the Democrat Party have lined up to attack government policies, being especially heavily critical of the promised wage hikes and tablet computers for students. In its election campaign, the Pheu Thai Party pledged to raise the minimum daily wage to 300 baht and boost the entry-level salary of new college graduates with bachelor's degrees to 15,000 baht a month. Ms Yingluck stressed that the government's policies were no different to Pheu Thai's campaign pledges. She said the wage hike is a bold policy to alleviate the economic hardship of labourers and assured that the government would provide advice and cooperation to help the private sector. She insisted the government would implement its tablet computer hand-out policy and pursue and support national reconciliation efforts. The prime minister thanked the opposition and the Senate for their comments and advice and asked for a chance to work to fulfil the pledges. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Thaksin does not plan to return

Posted by hasekamp on 23 August 2011 at 18:58 PM
Thailand's fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Tuesday he had no immediate plan to return to his country. "I don't think I would go back (to Thailand) if I were to be part of the problem," Thaksin, who arrived Monday for a week-long stay, told a news conference in Tokyo. Thaksin, who was premier from 2001 until he was toppled in a 2006 coup, has lived abroad since 2008 to avoid a two-year prison sentence for abuse of power in Thailand. He is the de facto leader of the Pheu Thai Party, which won the general election in early July. His sister Yingluck Shinawatra was chosen to become Thailand's first female prime minister. (Source: The Nation)


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PM delivers policy statement

Posted by hasekamp on 23 August 2011 at 18:55 PM
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Tuesday morning delivered her coalition government's policy statement to parliament. The joint sitting of senators and members of House of Representatives, chaired by Parliament President and House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont, started about 9.15am. Ms Yingluck announced her Pheu Thai-led government would implement eight points of policy:
1) Urgent policies to be introduced in the first year in office
2) National security
3) Economic policy
4) Social issues and quality of life
5) Natural resources and environment
6) Science and technology, research and innovation
7) Foreign affairs and international economics
8) A policy of good governance.
In reply, acting Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva told the parliament that constitutional amendment is not an urgent matter that the government needs to rush through. Mr Abhisit said a recent survey by the private sector showed that even though 20 per cent of the poll respondents backed the plan to alter the charter, another 20 per cent of the respondents opposed it. He warned that the move could lead to critical social division and to possible political conflict, which would affect national security. He said Prime Minister Yingluck had received strong support from the people and is the first woman to ever lead the government. She therefore had a high responsibility to work for all Thai people. Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung said later in parliament that the government's policy to amend the constitution was not intended to help whitewash former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Mr Chalerm said it was necessary for the Pheu Thai Party to declare constitutional amendment an urgent policy because the 2007 charter was the outcome of the Sept 19, 2006 coup. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Sorry for an intermission

Posted by hasekamp on 23 August 2011 at 18:51 PM
Sorry for an intermission in this service. It will be resumed today.


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Yingluck is PM!

Posted by hasekamp on 5 August 2011 at 10:31 AM
The House on Friday cast a roll-call vote to install Yingluck Shinawatra as prime minister. Of 496 MPs present, Yingluck received 296 votes. The opposition abstained with 197 votes. Three votes were cast against the nomination. Of the 300 coalition votes, four abstained including Yingluck, the House speaker and his two deputies.
Three Democrat MPs cast their disapproval were Watchara Phetthong, Boonyod Sukthinthai and Attaporn Ponlabutr. Yingluck is 44 years and one month old, breaking a world record as the youngest female ever elected the prime minister. (Source: The Nation)


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House speaker gest audience

Posted by hasekamp on 5 August 2011 at 10:29 AM
House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuront on Friday's afternoon departed Parliament for a royal audience with His Majesty the King at Siriraj Hospital. Somsak and his two deputies will submit the name of Yingluck Shinawatra for the royal command on the prime ministerial appointment.
After endorsement by the King, Somsak will countersign the royal command. In the morning, Yingluck won the uncontested race with 296 votes electing her as the prime minister. The Pheu Thai Party has prepared this evening to hold a ceremony to receive the royal command, following a 40-table Chinese dinner to cerebrate Prime Minister Yingluck's inauguration. (Source: The Nation)


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Sanam Luang to be reopened

Posted by hasekamp on 4 August 2011 at 15:36 PM
After undergoing a grand renovation, Sanam Luang will be officially opened on Tuesday, at the beginning of a five-day exhibition to mark Her Majesty the Queen's birthday. Previously, Sanam Luang was freely accessible around the clock to homeless people, prostitutes and others. Now the ground will be open for public use from 5 am to 10 pm, with only the main walkthrough road in the middle open to pedestrians for 24 hours. Political rallies or demonstrations are not allowed without permission of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, which is now authorised to slap a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and/or a Bt1-million fine on violators under the amended regulations. Loiterers are subject to a Bt1,000 fine during off hours, while the sale of food and drinks on the ground and surrounding sidewalks is prohibited. Sanam Luang will be guarded around the clock by 100 municipal police, working in three eight-hour shifts. There are another 42 surveillance cameras installed to keep watch on intruders and streetwalkers. A numbers of spotlights are now installed to the north of Sanam Luang to drive away prostitutes. In the opening ceremony on Tuesday, alms-giving to 1,985 monks is scheduled at 6am and a deity worship at the auspicious time of 08.09am. The exhibition venue is located on Sanam Luang and on sidewalks along a long section of Ramdamnoen Avenue. (Source: The Nation)


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Heavy flooding in the North

Posted by hasekamp on 2 August 2011 at 12:49 PM
About 10 provinces were struggling with flooding after heavy rain yesterday brought by Nock-Ten, even after it had weakened into a low-pressure ridge. Some of the worst hit were Phrae, Mae Hong Son, Nong Khai and Lamphun. Train services between Chiang Mai and Bangkok were suspended due to a submerged rail line in Phrae's Long district. "We have offered full refunds," Chiang Mai Train Station chief Silrat Deewajee said. More than 200 houses in Phrae town municipality were flooded. Water ranged from one to two metres deep at the worst-hit spots. In Mae Hong Son's Pai district, some local roads became impassable for vehicles in the wake of flooding. Many tourists had to be evacuated for safety reasons from guest houses that were flooded. In Lamphun, many locals in Mae Tha district had to move to higher ground due to the risk of flooding. In Nong Khai, the commercial zone was flooded to a point that power had to be cut. Two schools were closed. In Lampang, a powerful torrent of run-off water almost overwhelmed a pickup with three people inside. (Source: The Nation)


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And now the government pays at last ...

Posted by hasekamp on 2 August 2011 at 12:45 PM
Finally the government has understood the message,although an announcement by HRH the Crown Prince was necessary to open the brains of the Abhisit government.
The Thai government will now pay a 20-million-euro bond to secure the release of a jet that was impounded at a German airport last month, Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said Tuesday. Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn had announced plans on Monday to use his personal funds to pay the bond for his personal Boeing 737 that was impounded at Munich airport on July 11 as part of a compensation conflict between Thailand and a German construction company. The prince's secretariat said he had made the offer in order to foster good relations between Thailand and Germany and "see the current conflict resolved amicably and quickly." He also expressed concern that the conflict would "affect his royal activities as well as his royal honour," his secretariat said.
The prince's offer prompted the Thai government to change its previous refusal to pay the bond, which was set by Landshut court near Munich in a ruling on July 20 as a condition to release the jet. "The government will pay the 20-million-euro bond itself, to make clear that the crown prince has no involvement in the case which is between the government and a private company," Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said, in an attempt to save face, because he definitely should have realized this before. The Thai government previously argued that creditors had no right to seize the plane because it belonged to the prince, rather than to the government. (Source: The Nation; slightly edited)


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Crown Prince opens Parliament

Posted by hasekamp on 2 August 2011 at 12:28 PM
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn on Monday presided over the opening of parliament, allowing the House of Representatives to convene its first meeting tomorrow. The constitution requires the House of Representatives, to convene with at least 475 MPs, or 95 per cent. of the 500-seat lower house, within 30 days of the election. The Election Commission has endorsed 496 MPs. There will be nominations and voting on the appointment of the new House speaker and two deputy speakers after the House convenes tomorrow morning. The Pheu Thai Party, which won the highest number of MPs, has resolved to nominate Khon Kaen MP Somsak Kiatsuranont for the post of House speaker as proposed by prime minister-in-waiting Yingluck Shinawatra. The party also agreed to nominate Chaiyaphum MP Charoen Chankomol as first deputy speaker and Phayao MP Wisut Chainaroon as second deputy speaker. The House of Representatives will elect the new speaker and deputies tomorrow. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Prince is paying for plane release

Posted by hasekamp on 2 August 2011 at 12:24 PM
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has promised to pay from his own pocket to secure the release of his private jet impounded in Germany as a result of a commercial dispute between the Thai government and German contractor Walter Bau AG. A statement released by the Office of HRH the Crown Prince's private secretary said the Crown Prince wanted to ensure that the dispute does not affect bilateral relations between Thailand and Germany and that the dispute comes to an end quickly. The Crown Prince does not want any involvement in the dispute between Thailand and Walter Bau AG and does not want the issue to tarnish his reputation any further, the statement said. The statement said the Crown Prince had nothing to do with the dispute between the government and the company, although the repercussions stemming from the dispute had caused him consternation and had affected his ability to attend royal engagements. According to the statement, the Crown Prince said he respected the German court's ruling on the matter and had confidence in Germany's justice system. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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