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Thailand Live Thursday 19 Aug 2010

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Thailand Live Thursday 19 August 2010

News, Bits and Tweets

with webfact

Keep up to date with live updates from the news, hour by hour.

For breaking news,national, regional and international news updates on

a daily basis only, this thread is closed to commentary so that those

who wish to follow the news can find it here...

Commentary is still open for Thailand news in the relevant thread posted in News Clippings.

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Related topic: Thailand Live Wednesday 18 August 2010

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Suthep: Emergency Decree to be lifted last in BKK

BANGKOK (NNT) -- The Emergency Decree will be revoked last in the capital city of Bangkok due to security concerns, according to Deputy Prime Minister for Security Affairs Suthep Thaugsuban.

Mr Suthep, in his capacity as Director of the Government's Center for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES), revealed that the authorities would consistently evaluate the overall situation and would recommend the lifting of the security law in the remaining provinces once normalcy was guaranteed in those areas. He insisted that Bangkok would be the last province liberated from the decree due to lingering uncertainties.

The special law is still enforced in 7 provinces, consisting of Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Udon Thani, Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen and Samut Prakan.

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-- NNT 2010-08-19 footer_n.gif

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DSI spares Thaksin, Potjaman in share concealment case

BANGKOK (NNT) -- The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has decided not to lodge charges against former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his ex-wife, Khunying Potjaman Na Pombejra, in the share concealment case.

The DSI investigators viewed that Mr Thaksin and Khunying Potjaman were not required to file their shareholding reports after all shares had been transferred to their nominees following the Supreme Court's verdict. The authorities also indicated that there were no changes in their share possession and thus decided not to take action against the two.

The complaint was filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with the DSI against the former premier and his ex-wife for violating the securities law by falsely disclosing their holdings in Shin Corp through proxies, including their family members, Ample Rich Co and Win Mark Co.

The SEC’s move followed an order of the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions in February this year for the confiscation of the Shinawatra family’s assets, citing that the two had concealed their assets through nominees.

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-- NNT 2010-08-19 footer_n.gif

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DDPM: Flood situation in 9 provinces returns to normal

BANGKOK (NNT) -- The flood situation in 9 provinces has returned to normalcy, according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM).

DDPM Director-General Anucha Mokkhavesa stated that continuous rainfalls during 1-17 August had left 248 villages in 24 districts of 9 provinces throughout the Kingdom inundated. The 9 flood-stricken provinces include Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Lampang, Phrae, Uttaradit, Nan, Rayong, Trat and Lamphun. Over 44,000 local residents and 9,000 households have been affected.

However, in the latest development, the flood situation in those provinces has significantly improved. The DDPM, in collaboration with concerned agencies, has dispatched teams of officials into the areas to assess the damages and speedily give aid to people in need.

Those troubled by the flood can contact the DDPM Hotline 1784 for further assistance around the clock.

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-- NNT 2010-08-19 footer_n.gif

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Countrywide discounts on consumer goods set on 20-22 Aug

BANGKOK (NNT) -- The Ministry of Commerce has asked for cooperation from entrepreneurs nationwide to discount their products during 20-22 August 2010 to help consumers burdened by expensive goods.

Permanent Secretary for Commerce Yanyong Puangrach stated that the ministry would join hands with retail and wholesale shops as well as department stores to offer special discounts and promotions on consumer goods from 20 to 22 August. The event is to celebrate the Commerce Day and the 90th anniversary of the Commerce Ministry’s establishment while helping the public save on living expenses and boosting public spending at the same time.

Around 7,765 shops across the country will participate in the 3-day campaign. Over 4,000 types of products, including rice, vegetable oil, seasoning, fresh food, electrical appliances, household utilities and clothing, will be put on discounts of 10-50%.

The opening ceremony of the Commerce Day event will be chaired by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on 20 August while Commerce Minister Pornthiva Nakasai will also present strategic plans for driving the Thai trade forward in 2011.

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-- NNT 2010-08-19 footer_n.gif

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Surin: Abhisit to meet Hun Sen in Brussels

By The Nation

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Prime Minister Hun Sen are expected to meet one-on-one when they attend the upcoming Asia Europe Meeting early October in Brussels.

Asean Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, who was on transit to Jakarta yesterday, expressed the hope that the two leaders would take the opportunity in Belgium's capital to discuss bilateral issues of mutual concerns. The two will join other Asean leaders to meet their European counterparts in Brussels, where the EU headquarters is situated.

Surin's revelation came after his trip to Phnom Penh early this week leading a Thai-Muslim delegation to visit Cambodian-Muslim community at the invitation of Hun Sen. He also presided over a table-top exercise on pandemic management among Asean members.

Earlier, Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Nam Hong wrote a letter to Vietnam, the Asean Chair, with copies to all Asean foreign minister asking the grouping to mediate the dispute over the Praviharn/Preach Vihear Temple. Surin has urged both sides to settle the issue peacefully.

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-- The Nation 2010-08-19

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Kindergarten closed over flu, one man dies from H1N1

By The Nation

KALASIN

A kindergarten was closed as a precaution for five days after many students got flu, while the province public health office reported one latest death from H1N1 influenza as a Don Jan district resident who reportedly got the virus from Chaiyaphum.

Out of seven people confirmed to have H1N1 influenza, one fatally ill man in his 40s was pronounced dead at Kalasin Hospital, said public health official Dr Pisit Euwongkul. All hospitals there thus were prompted to watch out for the virus and timely medicate suspected patients. Anuban Kalasin School, where many students had flu-like symptoms, announced its temporary closure for five days starting yesterday. The school will spray disinfectant before its reopening on August 23.

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-- The Nation 2010-08-19

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OAG wants three excluded from corruption case

By The Nation

Former interior minister Bhokin Bhalakula, former deputy commerce minister Wattana Muangsuk and former Bangkok governor Apirak Kosayodhin should not be prosecuted in the Bt6.8 billion fire-engine corruption, as the evidences didn’t link them, Office of Attorney General (OAG) deputy chief Waiyawuth Lohtrakul said yesterday.

Whilst National Anti Corruption Commission representatives in the joint committee on the case saw that all suspects should be prosecuted, OAG officials thought the three should be left out.

Waiyawuth said Bhokin was unlikely to involve because an English-language document seemed to be placed later in the MoU for engine procurement that he had already signed. Apirak was forced by the contract to open the L/C account to let the procurement proceed on or he could face a lawsuit by engine supplier for neglecting his duty. Wattana at the time of issue emerging wasn’t in the position to involve in this case, he said.

Since NACC insisted to prosecute them all, Waiyawuth said NACC would have to get lawyer to file a lawsuit and wait for the court to rule on the case. He insisted that OAG didn’t deliberately left the case pending for two years, but worked on it since they received the case report.

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-- The Nation 2010-08-19

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Fossils thought to be newly discovered dinosaur

By The Nation

KALASIN

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Fossils of new specie of plant-eating dinosaur, aged 150 million years, were found in Phu Noi area of Kalasin’s Kham Moung district for the first time in the world, Mineral Resources Department director-general said yesterday.

At the Science Week launch at Phu Khum Khao’s Sirindhorn Museum yesterday, Porntip Pancharoen said that over 400 fossil pieces from three early Jurassic dinosaurs were retrieved in the past seven months from the Phu Noi excavation site. Unable to compare the 50cm-long jawbone and 3-4 teeth to any known species, Thai researchers confided that this was new specie and planned to promote and build a building over the site to prevent people from stealing fossils, she said. They also excavated from the same rock layer some 30 crocodile and tortoise fossil pieces, which were under testing if they were also of new specie.

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-- The Nation 2010-08-19

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Insurance urged for workers

By The Nation

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Employers of immigrant workers are being encouraged to buy a treatment insurance package for foreign employees to ensure their health welfare and more reliable prevention of communicable diseases.

With an annual treatment insurance package priced at Bt1,300 per worker, they will be given full medical services during illnesses and regular medical check-ups, deputy Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr Siriwat Thiptharadol said at a Bangkok seminar yesterday.

From January this year, 1,310,690 immigrant workers have registered with Thai authorities. The work permits of most had not been renewed after expiry of the February 28 countrywide deadline.

The tendency for diseases to spread from them to Thai people is unusually high, Siriwat said,"because of their lack of money to seek treatment for illnesses, in addition to poor hygiene in their living places, or their reluctance - in the case of those without work permits - to meet doctors for fear of repatriation".

A pre-employment check-up is being considered as a requirement for Thai-employed immigrant workers. The Bt600 package consists of examination for tuberculosis, use of illegal drugs, pregnancy, syphilis and elephantiasis. Any worker found with these illnesses must be treated or they cannot be employed.

A Bt1,300-treatment package will entitle ill workers to medical care of the same standards that Thais would receive, Siriwat said. It will be available until February 28 next year - a one-year period starting from last year's countrywide deadline.

Citing the examination of 220,444 workers from Burma, Laos and Cambodia from January to June - 2,295 of them had diseases requiring follow-up treatment, such as malaria, tuberculosis, intestinal worms and elephantiasis, while another 81 had diseases prohibiting them from employment.

Examination of 77,245 workers from Burma, Laos and Cambodia two years ago showed that 576 had diseases requiring follow-up treatment and another 162 had diseases forbidden at the work place.

To tackle the language barrier between hospital staff and immigrant workers in the provinces, 75 immigrant workers have been trained as public health volunteers to help during treatment. A new project being considered is to train more volunteers to work as teacher assistants in schools where the children of the workers study, Siriwat said.

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-- The Nation 2010-08-19

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Awards honour outstanding corporations, citizens nationwide

By The Nation

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The fourth annual "Than Kun Phaen Din" (Returning the Favour to the Land) event, held by Nation Multimedia Group and organised by Thailanguage newspaper Kom Chad Luek, kicked off yesterday.

Six new awards recognising outstanding corporations will be presented this year, in addition to new awards for six young people as "role models", said NMG CEO Thanachai Theerapattanavong.

The event is aimed at recognising and honouring model citizens in all walks of life based on their contribution to society. It will select 76 "good people" in various professions and social roles, each from one of Thailand's 76 provinces.

Presented yesterday at a Bangkok press conference, the honorary judges from outside NMA this year are former minister Mechai Viravaidhaya; former public health permanent secretary Mongkol na Songkhla; former Culture Ministry permanent secretary, Weera Rojjanphojarat.

Also present: former social development and human security ministry permanent secretary Phanita Kamphu na Ayutthaya; National Health Commission Office of Thailand secretarygeneral Amphol Jinda; Giffarine Skyline Unity Nalinee Phaibool; Slave of the Land chairman Thanin Phanpraphakij; and Boutique New City chairperson Sirina Cho

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-- The Nation 2010-08-19

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PREAH VIHARN DISPUTE

Thailand declines Asean help in border dispute

By The Nation

Thailand insisted yesterday it could solve the conflict with Cambodia over the Preah Vihear Temple bilaterally without the involvement of any third party.

The Foreign Ministry would send a letter to the Asean chair, Vietnam, soon to explain that bilateral mechanisms it has with Cambodia are sufficient to settle the border dispute peacefully, said deputy spokesman Thani Thongpakdi.

The letter to the Asean chair would be in the line with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's notes to the United Nations recently which insisted the two countries would not use force to solve the border conflict, he said.

Vietnam, as the current chair of the regional grouping, said on Tuesday Asean members are holding talks on a request from Cambodia to help resolve a potentially deadly border dispute with Thailand.

"As Asean chair, Vietnam is actively consulting with other Asean countries about the proposal that the association mediate in the Preah Vihear dispute," Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga said.

Cambodia's foreign minister Hor Namhong on Saturday appealed to the 10member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) for help, "in order to avoid any large scale armed conflict".

He said a stalemate with Thailand had extinguished any hope of further bilateral negotiations.

The neighbouring nations have been locked in a troop standoff on their border since July 2008, when the ancient Preah Vihear temple was granted UNESCO World Heritage status.

Asean secretarygeneral Surin Pitsuwan said on Monday he would await a decision by the bloc's foreign ministers before responding to Cambodia's request for regional help.

The World Court ruled in 1962 the temple belonged to Cambodia, although its main entrance lies in Thailand.

The exact boundary through the surrounding grounds remains in dispute, and occasional gunfights between troops of the two nations have claimed lives.

Nga called for peaceful settlement of the dispute, and urged Cambodia and Thailand to refrain "from armed conflict and from acts that could affect Asean solidarity."

The ThaiCambodia border has never been fully demarcated, partly because it is littered with landmines left over from decades of war in Cambodia.

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-- The Nation 2010-08-19

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Callcentre suspects face maximum penalties

By The Nation

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All 35 suspects allegedly part of foreign "call centre" rackets have been indicted of criminal conspiracy, a charge that carries a heavier penalty than public fraud - the charge that should actually have been pressed against them, a senior official from the Department of Special Investigation said yesterday.

The public fraud charge requires personal accounts from all victims, but since most of the victims are also foreigners, the DSI could not contact or interview them in time to press the public fraud charge against the suspects, Songsak Raksaksakul said.

Criminal conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail and/or a Bt17,000 fine, while the public fraud charge subjects violators to a maximum fiveyear prison term and/or a Bt10,000 fine.

Songsak said the 35 suspects, mostly Taiwanese, Chinese and African nationals, were indicted by the public prosecutors and that it would take up to two years before they are convicted.

"The swift action of the police and the lengthy court process could somewhat slowdown these people's operations in Thailand," he said.

DSI and the police are also monitoring former Thai officials who provide logistical support for these groups, he added

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-- The Nation 2010-08-19

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