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Thailand Live Wednesday 25 Aug 2010

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Thailand Live Wednesday 25 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 Tuesday 24 August 2010

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50 provinces warned of heavy rainfalls, sudden floods

BANGKOK (NNT) -- The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has warned people in 50 provinces of possible rainfalls and flashfloods during 24-28 August 2010.

The risky provinces are Lampang, Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Phrae, Nan, Tak, Phitsanulok. Sukhothai, Phetchabun, Uttaradit, Kamphaeng Phet, Pichit, Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Roi Et, Kalasin, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Nong Khai, Udon Thani, Loei, Nong Bua Lamphu, Ubon Ratchathani, Amnat Charoen, Si Sa Ket, Yasothon, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chaiyaphum, Surin, Buri Ram, Chanthaburi, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chantaburi, Trat, Ranong, Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Trang, Chumphon, Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat.

The DDPM has coordinated with its operation centers in the mentioned areas to closely monitor weather conditions and prepare all necessities for distribution to flood victims. People affected by disasters can contact the DDPM Hotline 1784 for assistance around the clock.

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-- NNT 2010-08-25 footer_n.gif

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Cabinet approves plan to propose Thailand as World Expo host

BANGKOK (NNT) -- The Cabinet supports the initiative of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) to enlist Thailand as a candidate for hosting the World Expo 2020.

Mr Akkapol Sorasuchart, TCEB Director, announced that the Cabinet on Tuesday had approved in principle the plan to propose Thailand as the host of the World Expo in the year 2020.

Recently, Ayutthaya, Chon Buri, and Chiang Mai were shortlisted as suitable venues for the international event.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is reportedly planning to unveil TCEB’s initiative to the world during his official visit to the current World Expo in Shanghai, China, in the beginning of September.

Thailand will tentatively contest against 15 other countries, including the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Australia, for the hosting of the World Expo 2020.

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-- NNT 2010-08-25 footer_n.gif

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Progress Claimed in Ratchadamri Bombing Probe

The chief investigator for the Ratchadamri bombing case insists the probe is progressing and his team is collecting evidence for the issuance of arrest warrants against more suspects.

Senior adviser to the National Police Office, Police General Panupong Singhara, who is supervising the investigation into the bomb blast at Big C superstore on Ratchadamri Road, said his subordinates are now soliciting more evidence to seek court approval for arrest warrants for more suspects.

Panupong insisted there is no delay in the investigation, but the case has a lot of details and needs time for collection of evidence.

He also said the testimonies of 48 witnesses benefited the investigation and helped disclose links to potential suspects.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Police Lieutenant General Santhan Chayanont, meanwhile, said investigators have yet to reach a clear conclusion in the case despite the fact that scores of people with knowledge about making explosives were invited for questioning.

An officer from the Army Secretariat, Lieutenant Colonel Suchart Kudsungneon, met investigators to give information about the bomb used in the attack as he is considered an expert in firearms and explosives.

Suchart once gave a valuable insight to investigators in charge of the cases involving nine coordinated bomb attacks in Bangkok in 2006.

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-- Tan Network 2010-08-25

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Hybrid operating room to be opened at Siriraj Hospital on 26 Aug

BANGKOK (NNT) -- Siriraj Hospital will open the first hybrid operating room on 26 August, aiming to enhance the efficiency of surgery for patients suffering from complicated diseases.

MD Worawong Slisatkorn, who oversees the hybrid operating room, stated that the new facility to be opened at Siriraj Hospital would be the first of its kind. Both x-ray equipment and surgical tools will be available in this room. This will expectedly help enhance the efficiency and the speed of surgery for patients with complicated diseases, such as brain and heart diseases.

MD Worawong elaborated that a surgery conducted in this special room would take about 2-3 hours while the patient would need only 4-5 days for recovery, as opposed to a 6-8 hour operation time and a 7-10 day recovery time required by a normal room.

Under a budget of 70 million THB, the hybrid operating room will be officially opened on 26 August. MD Worawong expected the new addition to Siriraj Hospital to have the capability to cure 500 patients each year or 2 people per day.

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-- NNT 2010-08-25 footer_n.gif

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PAD Cries Foul over Exaggerated Charges

The People's Alliance for Democracy have submitted a complaint with the National Anti-Corruption Commission against the metropolitan police deputy commissioner for what they alleged as exaggerated charges.

Members of the People's Alliance for Democracy, or PAD, led by Major General Chamlong Srimuang, met with the National Anti-Corruption Commission, or NACC.

The group handed a written complaint to NACC member Wichai Wiwitsewi, claiming that deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, Police Major General Amnuay Nimmano, has abused his authority to harass members of their movement by exaggerating charges against them.

The PAD has taken offense with charges of terrorism lodged by the metropolitan police over their protests at Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports in 2008. The group has asked the NACC to consider their call for justice.

Chamlong stated that police have abused their power by exaggerating the charges against his group.

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-- Tan Network 2010-08-25

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Thaksin's Legal Advisor: Thaksin Quit Cambodian Post Voluntarily

The legal adviser to the self-exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra says his client stepped down as Cambodia's economic adviser in order to help ease the conflicts between Thailand and Cambodia.

Noppadon Pattama, a legal adviser to ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, confirmed reports that his client was resigning as Cambodia's economic adviser. He said it was Thaksin's own wish to give up the post, as he had difficulties fulfilling his advisory position.

Noppadon noted that the ex-premier has a lot of businesses to deal with and has to travel frequently.

The lawyer went on to say that Thaksin is not giving many interviews these days for fear that his messages could be misrepresented by his rivals, and that he hasn't made any moves recently because he wants to give the Thai government time to deal with the country's problems.

He denied that the Cambodian monarch had ordered Thaksin to step down from the post, and stressed that the multimillionaire made the decision on his own and voluntarily quit his post to help ease diplomatic tensions between Thailand and Cambodia.

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-- Tan Network 2010-08-25

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Colombian arrested for allgedly burglarising

By The Nation

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A Colombian man has been arrested for allegedly burglarising the Casa Ville housing estate in Sai Mai district.

Security guards caught Ricardo Quintero Coronel, 36, breaking into a house in the estate on Monday night with two accomplices of unknown nationalities, who barely escaped.

Bang Khen police said the man had frequently hit luxury housing estates, and usually rented a vehicle to carry the stolen goods. The two suspects on the run were seen driving a silver-bronze Toyota Fortuner SUV.

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-- The Nation 2010-08-25

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Floods spread as Mindulle nears

The Nation

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Flooding has spread to many parts of the country as a tropical storm moves closer to Thailand.

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Mechai appointed to UNAIDS commission

By The Nation

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Former senator Mechai Viravaidya was appointed to the UNAIDS High Level Commission on HIV Prevention last month alongside other famous personalities such as former French president Jacques Chirac and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr Mohamed ElBaradei.

"I am glad that there is new effort to focus serious attention on HIV prevention, since prevention is the only cure. We need imaginative and 'out-of-the-box' approaches to stopping the spread of HIV, and I believe this commission will help with a renewed effort in this endeavour," Mechai said upon hearing about his appointment.

Mechai is famous for popularising the use of condoms in Thailand.

All 17 members of the commission are expected to use their unique authority and influence to lead social and political campaigns over the coming year to galvanise support for effective HIV prevention programmes.

Thirty years into the Aids epidemic, the world has made unprecedented progress in the treatment of people living with HIV, yet more than 7,000 people contract the virus every day.

While treatment has grabbed the limelight as a key strategy, prevention has often been neglected. The UNAIDS commissioners will take the message of prevention to their circles of influence and help sway public opinion.

"We have received amazing support for the commission," UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidib said. "The greatest successes have been achieved in countries where the leadership has made reducing new infections top priority. With the backing of these personalities, we can bring about a prevention revolution and reverse the epidemic."

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-- The Nation 2010-08-25

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Suwit's candidate for Saksit's successor gets the nod

By The Nation

The Cabinet yesterday approved Natural Resource and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti's proposal that Chote Trachu, chief of the Groundwater Resources Department, be made his ministry's permanent-secretary.

The proposal for the appointment - put forward merely a week after three senior officials, including permanent-secretary Saksit Tridetch, were killed in a helicopter crash - was criticised by some as being inappropriately hasty.

However, Suwit said the post had to be filled and that Chote was the best candidate available. Despite not having extensive work experience like his predecessor, Suwit said the 48-year-old was willing to learn what was necessary for the job. He also dismissed speculation that Chote was getting the job because he was close to him, saying that the candidate was far closer to Jatuporn Buruspat, chief of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department. He added that people should give Chote some time to prove himself first.

Meanwhile, in a brief phone interview, Chote said that he did not know he was in the running for the job and that he could not say anything because his appointment had only just been approved.

Hannarong Yaowalert, president of the Foundation for Integrated Water Management, said he had not heard Chote's name among the environment-agency circles and that naming Saksit's successor within seven days of his death was very tasteless. He added that Suwit should have organised a proper selection procedure, so a suitable person, who had the knowledge, experience and was acceptable to all parties, could be chosen.

Chote, born on January 7, 1962, did his bachelor's at Khon Kaen University and his master's at Kasetsart University. He joined the Industry Ministry before moving to the Groundwater Resources Department in 2002. He became the department chief last year.

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-- The Nation 2010-08-25

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Farmers warned of disease outbreak in Northeast

By The Nation

An outbreak of the water-borne disease melioidosis has infected 1,307 people and caused six deaths this year - mainly among farmers in the Northeast.

Public Health Minister Jurin Laksanawisit has warned farmers to avoid wading through water and walking over soil with bare feet because the bacteria burkholderia pseudomallei, which causes melioidosis, is common in soil and water.

"Please wear boots," Jurin said. "If you have a fever, please go to see a doctor".

Victims were also recommended to tell their doctors about their occupation and location of their houses to allow an accurate diagnosis. Due to its flu-like symptoms and potentially long incubation period, melioidosis can be difficult to diagnose.

Disease Control Department specialist Dr Kamnuan Ungchusak said melioidosis was curable if the infected patients got timely treatment, but it was a slow process.

"The treatment period can run to five or six months," he said.

Burkholderia pseudomallei has been named as a possible agent for biochemical weapons - although its effects are not as grave as anthrax.

Melioidosis has also been detected in Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore.

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-- The Nation 2010-08-25

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Child slave labour claims denied

By The Nation

Child slave labour is not practised among Thai and immigrant workers in Samut Sakhon, the provincial labour welfare office said yesterday.

Office chief Bunrit Saenphan was speaking after leading a group of US Department of Labor officials on a tour of seafood processing factories in the coastal province. The visit follows a private charity agency study claiming many among the 20,000 young Thai and foreign workers there are being overworked or exploited in the seafood and fishery industries.

He said workers under 15 in the province were mostly children helping with their parents' household chores or willingly in small-scale industries. "It's not child slave labour, nor are they involved in works with hazardous environments," he said.

Bunrit admitted illegal employment of immigrant workers was continuing in Samut Sakhon, but the situation was better as a result of efforts by office workers. Business operators were also cooperating and volunteers were feeding the authorities with tip-offs over illegal hirings.

A Mirror Foundation study says more than 20,000 Thai and foreign workers, aged 15-18, including 4,715 registered Thai workers, are working in factories under harsh conditions.

There are now more than 100,000 young and adult immigrant workers registered in Samut Sakhon, where there are more than 100 unregistered seafood processing factories. Large numbers of others live and work there illegally.

The US officials will continue paying visits to various locations in the province until Friday. "But they have found no illegal activities or abuse yet," Bunrit said.

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-- The Nation 2010-08-25

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Royal family to preside over cremations

By Janjira Pongrai

The Nation

Royal family members will preside over cremation ceremonies for some of the five officials killed in the helicopter crash in Nan province on August 17.

The ceremonies will be held at Wat Phrasri Mahathat in Bang Khen district of Bangkok.

Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will preside over the cremation ceremonies for Royal Household Bureau adviser Sahat Boonyawiwat and Natural Resources and Environment Ministry inspector-general Kowit Panyatrong, on Wednesday, September 1, at 5.30pm.

Their relics and ashes will be collected on September 2 at 7am.

The princess will preside over the late permanent secretary of the ministry, Saksit Tridej's cremation ceremony on Sunday, August 29, at 6pm.

His relics and ashes will be collected the following day at 7am.

Meanwhile, cremations of the pilot, Major Jenwit Arunsawat and the mechanic, Sergeant Withoon Thien-ngoen are scheduled for Saturday, August 28, at 2pm.

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-- The Nation 2010-08-25

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