In Thailand English-language News for Mach 13, 2018, Newsline presenter Surapan Laotharanarit tells us about:
00:49 | The latest meeting of the national administration reform steering committee discussed the government’s ongoing efforts to tackle illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Thailand’s waters. The meeting discussed the problem of 415 fishing boats having no identifiable owner, while it was told that arrest warrants have been issued for owners of 150 vessels which remain unlicenced.
The meeting discussed plans for intensifying boat, catch, and personnel monitoring, with deputy prime minister and Defence Minister, General Prawit Wongsuwan, instructing agencies to diligently perform their duties according to the law, stating that human trafficking and enforced labour have no place in the Thai fishing sector.
02:28 | The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has continued its ‘Meet-the-People’ project initiated in 2014 requiring members of the legislature to travel to nine districts of Bangkok each year to disseminate information about the role, responsibilities, and achievements of the NLA directly to the people, and to help solve issues concerning residents.
Vice president of the NLA, Surachai Liengboonlertchai, told the meeting that the NLA now has to perform the duties of both the House of Representatives and the Senate in order to keep the country functioning. He said that Thailand is now moving forward in accordance with the national reform road map which is designed to promote social equality.
03:59 | Deputy permanent secretary for Education, Dr Peera Ruttanawijit, said yesterday that an internet connectivity upgrade has reduced the Office of the Basic Education Commission’s (Obec’s) internet bill from Bt2 billion to Bt300 million, while at the same time dramatically improving the quality of internet service available at schools nationwide.
04:53 | The Thai government has initiated a campaign for youths to make more constructive use of their time during the school break, after a recent study showed that a majority of young Thais plan to spend most of their holiday time focused on their mobile devices and surfing the Internet.
Vice minister to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), General Patamapong Prathompat, said there are more than 450 recreational activities for young Thais across the country to engage in, and about 3,000 part-time jobs offered to them during the school break. People are encouraged to check for more information at: happyschoolbreak.com.
05:52 | As part of Thai government’s Thai Niyom Yangyeun (Sustainable Thai-ness) initiative Commander of the Armed Forces Development Command, General Thongchai Sarasuk, yesterday took part in the inauguration ceremony for the construction of roads linking Tha Wang Pha and Pua districts Nan Province, northern Thailand. The roads will support logistics, facilitate commuters, and link important tourist destinations in the northern province.
On the same note the deputy governor of Surin, Pornpoj Bundityanurak, yesterday held a meeting with provincial officials to promote the ‘Sustainable Thai-ness’ project, particularly in the agricultural sector as a means of providing effective assistance to farmers to help improve their quality of life.
06:56 | Minister of Tourism and Sports, Weerasak Kowsurat, said on Monday that the National Policy Committee for Tourism (NPCT) forecasts that in 2018 tourism will generate some Bt3 trillion (about US$96 bln) in revenue. Some Bt1 trillion ($32 bln) is forecast to come from the local tourism sector, with the bulk generated by foreign travellers. The tourism industry has already seen an expansion in visitors during the first two months of this year, he said.
08:19 | Culture Minister Weera Rojpotchanarat yesterday outlined plans for this year’s Songkran Festival, which will take place from April 12-14. He said specific areas will be designated for water play to regulate the amount of water being used and to effectively provide safety for revellers. Campaigns will be initiated to prevent drunk driving, limit alcohol sales, and crime prevention.
12:02 | The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) has expressed it appreciation to the Thai government over it’s decision to expand its financial aid to cover infants up to three-years-old, from the previous 12 months.
Vitat Techabun, director-general of the Department of Children and Youth (DCY), said that some 500,000 parents signed up for the scheme last year, and another 85,000 have participated this year.
13:02 | Rabies eradication and containment campaigns have been launched across the country, particularly in Bangkok, Uthai Thani, Trat, and Trang provinces. Free vaccines for cats and dogs are being administered by mobile clinics, or at a number of related agency offices.
14:50 | The water level in the Mekong River remains low at between 2.00 meters and 2.30 meters. Thai authorities have asked China to release water from its dam to raise the water level so that boats and cargo ships carrying at least 25 per cent less than normal loads, are able to make their way along the river.
Chiang Rai City Hall will continue monitoring the situation and remains on stand-by to work with the Chinese authorities as required.
16:12 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has chaired a meeting to prepare for the hosting of two Asean summits next year. In 2019 Thailand will take over the rotating Asean chairmanship and will host two major Asean summits and a host of smaller forums and meetings.
General Prayut stressed the need to promote connectivity between Asean member states and other countries beyond the community, as it will be of benefit to the regional bloc.
Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has been tasked with the responsibility of informing the public about the summits in order to raise awareness about the opportunities they presents.
17:12 | A French Navy frigate docked in Manila yesterday on a four-day port call aimed at strengthening bilateral relationships with the Philippines, as well as to reaffirm France’s commitment to exercising freedom of navigation in the region.
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.