In Thailand English-language News for December 27 2017, Newsline presenter Cholaphansa Narula tells us about:
00:51 | A privy councilor has presided over a prayer ceremony at the Royal Plaza, Dusit Palace, to make merit for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and to seek blessings for Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign, and King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. Supreme Patriarch Somdet Phra Ariyavongsagatanana led 275 Buddhist monks from various temples in chanting holy stanzas devoted to the late King.
03:00 | The December 25-26 Cabinet retreat in the lower northern province of Sukhothai has allocated 24 per cent of the national transport infrastructure budget to the northern provinces. The projects include a dual-track railway from Lopburi to Paknampho, from Den Chai – Chiang Rai – Chiang Kong, and from Chiang Mai – Bangkok. A second Chiang Mai International Airport is also under consideration.
04:26 | The Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MoTS) and the Ministry of Transport (MoT) will work together to boost tourism connectivity in Northern Thailand. The plan aims to attract tourists from major northern cities such as Chiang Mai to smaller cities such as Pitsanulok, and Sukhothai, by improving connectivity in all methods such as road, rail and air.
Newsline speaks with Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat and others on how this will be achieved.
07:55 | Newsline takes a look at how the ‘Bang Rakham Model 60’ water management project has accomplished its goal of tackling serious flooding, while at the same time providing farmers with additional ways to generate income.
13:12 | The Metropolitan Police Bureau has stepped up patrols in an attempt to prevent criminal activities, including the use of fireworks, during the New Year holidays. Any fireworks displays must be approved prior, otherwise the organisers would be subject to a jail term of up to three years and/or a fine up to Bt60,000 (about US$1,830).
Meanwhile, Bangkok Governor, General Asawin Kwanmuang, has outlined the New Year celebrations being hosted by the city. Events include an alms-giving ceremony, overnight prayers, traditional song and dance performances, and sales of community products from all 50 districts of Bangkok in the plaza in front of Bangkok City Hall on Dec 31, 2017 and Jan 1, 2018.
17:03 | Krai Tangsanga, director of the Council of Engineers (COE), has urged car drivers to turn on vehicle headlights (low beam) during the daytime, citing research which shows it can reduce road accidents by up to 30 per cent.
17:51 | The Traffic Police Division is providing free motor vehicle inspections until January 3, 2018 at its Chatuchak head quarters as part of the government’s effort in reducing traffic delays and road crashes during the holiday period. Inspections will be carried out between 8:30am until 4:30pm.
19:00 | The Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) and commercial insurance companies have collaborated to launch a safe driving campaign ahead of the holidays and to encourage people to ensure they have adequate insurance.
Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn, director-general of the OIC, said the collaboration will see “affordable” insurance policies for supplemental medical expenses arising from motor vehicle accidents of up to Bt5,000 (about $152) per year available from from 7-Eleven convenience stores and post offices for Bt100 (about US$3), and Bt222 (about $6.76) per year.
20:18 | Veerathai Santiprabhob, governor of the Bank of Thailand (BOT) said that his department is to use ‘regulatory sandboxes’ to test financial innovations such as QR code technology for credit card payments, and blockchain technology for foreign transactions.
The bank will also conduct more big data research and more closely examine a broader rage of economic indicators to get a better view of the economy, with offices in neighboring countries planned in order to improve trade convenience.
21:26 | Families of those killed in the 2004 Tsunami have gathered in 14 countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Myanmar, in Asean, to mark the 13th anniversary of the disaster which killed more than 230,000 people.
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Newsline is a daily Thailand English-language news and current affairs programme produced by the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNBT) under the Thailand Government Public Relations Department (PRD) for *NBT World, the NNBTs 24/7 English language television service delivering Thailand government news and information to the Thai, Asean, and wider Asian communities. AEC News Today publishes Thailand English-language News M-F.