In Thailand English-language News for April 18, 2018, Newsline presenter Cholaphansa Narula tells us about:
00:45 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday that the Cabinet had resolved to appoint Sonthaya Khunpluem, leader of the Palangchon Party, as his political advisor. The Cabinet also agreed to appoint Ittipol Khunpluem as vice minister of tourism.
Regarding the recent detention of two political activists who had planned to carry out a symbolic protest at the residence of deputy prime minister Prawit Wongsuwon, the PM said people need to consider the matter from both sides, otherwise they may end up supporting activities which have an impact on other people.
01:49 | The weekly Cabinet meeting has endorsed the appointment of Prasong Poontaneat as the new Permanent Secretary to the Finance Ministry, and to the appointment of former secretary-general of the office of the council of state, Pakorn Nilprapunt, to the post of Secretary-General of the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission (PSDC).
The meeting also resolved to transfer former director-general of the State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO), Eakniti Nititunprapath to head up the Revenue Department, while Prapas Kong-Ied, Director-General of the Public Debt Management Office (PDMO) was tasked with leading the SEPO. Poomsak Aranyakasemsuk, Inspector General of the Ministry of Finance, was placed in charge of the PDMO.
03:07 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday expressed his gratitude to more than 60,000 officers who were deployed at 2,000 checkpoints to facilitate safety for commuters and provide security for holidaymakers during the Songkran festival.
Saying that most deaths and injuries over the seven days were caused by violation of the laws, particularly driving while intoxicated, speeding, and failing to wear crash helmets, he called for relevant agencies to propose additional methods for combatting Thailand road deaths.
Up to midnight on April 17 378 people had died on Thailand’s roads during the seven-day 2018 Songkran period.
03:51 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday that he is hopeful the government can declare safety zones in the three southern border Provinces before the end of this month, starting with Cho-airong District of Narathiwat Province.
He added that peace talk plans between the government and different groups is expected to progress and will help build trust among all, reducing acts of violence in the Southern provinces.
04:48 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday presented plaques of honour on Nattakarn Muenphol and Panida Yospanya for exposing corruption being committed by officials in charge of the Khon Kaen fund for the destitute, which led to the exposure of wide-spread ingrained corruption through the programme nationwide and dating back many years.
He assured the two ‘whistle-blowers’ that security units would continue to ensure their safety.
06:12 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday urged people to be on high alert and keep abreast of warnings from the Meteorological Department about tropical storms.
Meanwhile, Minister of the Interior, General Anupong Paochinda, said yesterday that people in the northern, northeastern, central, and eastern regions have been receiving constant warnings about tropical storms since April 15, adding that the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) and officers from the ministry are closely monitoring the situation.
07:06 | Minister of Foreign Affairs, Don Pramudwinai said yesterday advised Thais to not be overly concerned by recent military strikes launched by the US and its allies on suspected chemical weapons facilities in Syria. He said that Asean nations have not yet adopted a stance on the matter, while the United Nations (UN) has expressed its wish to see joint efforts to find peaceful solutions.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said he has instructed security agencies to keep a close watch on the situation and to prepare measures to prevent any indirect effects on Thailand.
08:28 | Isara Ordeedolchest, senior president of the Investment Strategies Department of SCB Securities Company (SCB), predicted yesterday that the Thai economy will continue to expand on the back of last year’s 3.9 per cent rise in GDP, spurred by a recovery in private-sector investment and increased purchasing power.
While SCB has maintained its target for the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) to reach 1900 by the end of this year, he said risks include an earlier than expected interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve, and the trade war between China and the US.
12:06 | Thailand has jump up to 36 place in World Bank 2018 Doing Business Report as a result of significant business procedure reform.
Additional reforms to the to the business registration process are planned, including reducing the existing 700,000 business licenses available to 1,000, while the Department of Business Development (DBD) is planning to offer a 30 per cent reduction in fees for those registering their businesses online.
13:11 | Tourism and Sports Minister, Weerasak Kowsurat, said yesterday that this year’s Songkran period saw more than Bt20 billion (about US$ 640 million) in circulation.
Mr Kowsurat said that about 20 per cent came from the sale of traditional Thai clothes, while room occupancy in secondary cities increased by 60 per cent.
14:03 | National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) secretary-general, Takorn Tantasith, said yesterday that representatives of True Move H Co Ltd had attended the NBTC office to clarify an alleged leak of its customers’ personal information.
If found guilty the company could have its operating license withdrawn and face several other charges under the Organisation to Assign Radio Frequency to Regulate the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Services Act B.E. 2553.
14:51 | Newsline takes a look at the ‘Thailand Innovation Hubs 4.0’ exhibition where innovative technology is being showcased by inventors in preparation for the Easter Economic Corridor (EEC).
Organised by the Association of the Council of University Presidents of Thailand (ACUPT), the event features six categories: agriculture and food, ageing society, bioenergy, creative economy, smart city, and KU innovation 4.0 by Kasetsart University Thailand (KUT). More information can be found at Thailand Innovation Hubs 4.0 (Thai language only).
18:24 | Immigration check points in Cambodia and Thailand are assisting Cambodian workers returning to Thailand after the Songkran holidays.
In Sa Kaeo Province, immigration services are open from 6 am to 10 pm to deal with more than 10,000 returning workers each day. Meanwhile some 30-40,000 Cambodian workers have already passed through the immigration office at Poipet city.
19:30 | Philippine Defence secretary Delfin Lorenzana and US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim yesterday attended the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of a US storage facility in a northern Philippines’s airbase.
Scheduled to be complete by August, Ambassador Kim said the warehouse will be used to provide humanitarian and disaster relief, and to reduce the amount of temporary tent housing currently in use by US troops in the Philippines.
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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.