In Thailand English-language News for April 9, 2018, Newsline presenter Surapan Laotharanarit tells us about:
00:45 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha and his wife, Naraporn Chan-o-cha, yesterday led an entourage to visit the final day of the ‘Grand Songkran celebration: the Legend of Thailand’ at the Royal Plaza in Sanam Suea Pa.
Highlights of the festival included a sand pagoda building competition with a trophy granted by King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, which attracted more than 40 teams from state agencies, the private sector, educational institutions, and the public.
02:48 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday advised members of the public and social media users to carefully check information before repeating it, claiming there are ill-intentioned groups attempting to discredit his administration.
He added that he hoped that the next administration will use state funds judiciously and in the best interests of the nation, versus introducing populist policies aimed at remaining in power. General Chan-o-cha said countless social and political issues have been resolved and the well-being of the poor significantly improved since the present government and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) took office in 2014.
04:23 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has reportedly lauded the period TV series “Love Destiny” for boosting tourism and triggering Thai citizens’ curiosity about their culture and history, resulting in historic destinations seeing a huge influx of tourists, Thai and foreign, dressed in traditional Thai clothing.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MoTS), Ministry of Culture (MoC), and the Ministry of the Interior (MoI) have been instructed to promote cultural tourism in 55 secondary provinces by showcasing the uniqueness of each community. Local communities and local governments are to also collaborate by adopting a civil-state approach to identify their uniqueness and identity in order to boost tourism.
05:46 | Deputy Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police (RTP), Police General Chalermkiat Sriworakhan, yesterday observed the roll-out of a QR code system which patrol officers will use to confirm their patrol route instead of making an entry in a book kept inside police boxes along the route path.
The launch came while promoting this year’s “Leaving Your Home with Police” programme aimed at ensuring the security of properties left unattended during the Songkran festival commencing later this week. Police General Sriworakhan anticipates that this year the number of houses participating in the programme will exceed the 7,000 enrolled last year.
06:59 | Provinces across the country are holding traditional Thai activities in the lead up to this year’s Songkran festival between April 13 and 17.
Meanwhile, more than 10,000 Cambodian workers have returned home through the Ban Laem border checkpoint. Foreign workers from neighbouring countries are allowed to return home to celebrate Songkran from April 5 to 30.
08:33 | Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) yesterday forecast that Thailand’s six major airports will see an 11.9 per cent increase in air travel between April 11 and 17, compared to the same period last year. The number of passengers is forecast to increase by 14.4 per cent or around 430,700 people a day. A total of 17,550 flights are expected over the Songkran period or about 2,510 flights per day.
Suvarnabhumi International Airport (SIA) is expected to be the busiest airport, with more than 1,000 flights and nearly 200,000 passengers expected per day, followed by Don Mueang International Airport (DMIA), which is expected to see a 21.8 per cent surge in passenger numbers. The AOT reported yesterday that security measures are in place at all facilities to ensure passengers’ safety, with medical teams on standby to deal with any emergencies.
12:12 | Chiang Rai City Hall has implemented a zero tolerance policy for motor cycle riders who fail to wear helmets and car drivers and passengers who don’t wear seat belts, entering their premises in response to a 2010 Cabinet resolution declaring the period 2011-2020 ‘a decade of road safety’.
Civil servants and officials, together with state agency staff, who violate the road safety law will be first verbally reprimanded, while a written report will be sent to their supervisor for a second or third offence, which may impact their promotion or the renewal of contracts. Members of the pubic who fail to abide by the law inside the City Hall grounds will be verbally reprimanded.
13:45 | The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has invited people to visit a community market and take a boat ride at Wat Krathum Suea Pla in Prawet district, with the aim of conserving river culture and developing canals as a water transportation route.
14:52 | Many people have visited a retro fair to capture the ‘olden-time’ atmosphere in Tha Sap sub-district of Yala Province, taking selfies with retro vehicles and murals depicting the lifestyle of Muslim and Chinese people in the past. Additionally, an exhibition on the history of Yala and a photo gallery of Yala in the old days allowed visitors and the regions young to learn more about the province’s history.
15:39 | A new Pracharat market has been opened in Tha Muang district of Kanchanaburi Province to promote local traditions and culture, and help residents earn extra income.
17:05 | Newsline looks at the Francophone Film Festival, held by the Thailand Film Archive and the French Association of Bangkok, to showcase art and culture and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film ‘Town in Mist’ to honour Albert Camus, a Nobel prize writer.
20:48 | Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono, and Cambodia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn, yesterday signed a $4.6 million grant and a $86 million loan for economic and electricity transmission projects in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. Mr Kono pledged Japan to help Cambodia become an upper-middle income economy country by 2030.
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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.