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Thailand Live Thursday 6 Oct 2011

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Thailand Live Thursday 6 October 2011

News, Bits and Tweets

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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 5 Oct 2011

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PRE-POLL PROMISES

Thai govt scales down plan to give free tablet computers

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Thai PM Yingluck might have made a blunder by ignoring Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi

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Siriraj team wins award for vaccine

CHULEEPORN ARAMNET

THE NATION

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A team from Siriraj Hospital's Faculty of Medicine has an outstanding technologist award from the Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Technology for creating a vaccine against dust-mite allergens.

The foundation, which comes under the patronage of His Majesty, announced its list of awardees yesterday.

"We have handed out two outstanding technologist awards this year," Assoc Prof Dr Sakrin Bhumira said in his capacity as chairperson of the foundation's selection panel.

The other winner was a team from SCG Cement and the Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment (JGSEE) for creating the SCG Fluidised Bed Gasifier that can be used to support the production of alternative energy.

The foundation started handing out the outstanding technologist awards since 2000 to encourage technological development in the Kingdom. Up to 34 projects were submitted for the competition this year.

Assoc Prof Vanna Mahakittikun, who is part of the winning team from Siriraj Hospital, said their new vaccine had reduced Thailand's dependence on imports. "Our version is much cheaper.

The country can save between Bt36 million and Bt360 million a year," she said proudly. Thailand is one of the four countries that have the technology to commercially produce vaccines against dust-mite allergens.

"We are producing the vaccine for use locally and for Asean countries," Vanna said.

Her team and other recipients will be attending an award-presentation ceremony on October 19 at Bangkok's Siam City Hotel.

Also at the ceremony will be winners of the Young Technologist Awards, including Dr Nitsara Karoonuthaisiri, who is chief of the National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology's Microarray Laboratory; and Kasetsart University's Asst Prof Dr Apiniti Jotisankasa.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-06

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FLOOD CRISIS

Monks at risk as temples inundated

The Nation

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The widespread flooding has affected 16,718 monks and novices at 1,588 temples.

Of the temples, 460 are in the North, 122 in the East, 164 in the Northeast and 842 in the Central region.

Nopparat Benjawattananun, director of the National Buddhism Office, yesterday instructed provincial Buddhism offices to look after the monks' welfare and move those at risk to safer temples. They were also told to have police provide security at the flooded temples.

The Thai Sangha's flood victims assistance centre is collecting relief items, such as dried food, clothes and medicine, for distribution in Ayutthaya, Saraburi and Angthong today.

Those interested in making donations can call Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University's Wang Noi and Wat Mahathat campuses at (035) 248 000 and (02) 222 2835.

Boat owners urged to keep engines running

Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi yesterday urged boat owners on the Chao Phraya River to propel water into the sea faster before peak tides hit from October 17-18.

The vessels, with sterns pointed southwards, should be moored tightly and run their engines to push river water downstream within this 10-day period, he said. The idea is to increase the river's capacity to carry the massive runoff from the North.

The government would reimburse gasoline expenses for cooperative boat owners, he said.

They should notify state offices or call him at (081) 496 6644 with their name, address, boat type and size so officials can plan the best positioning to effectively thrust water out into the ocean.

The government was also preparing measures to cope with four more storms expected to pass through soon, he added.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-06

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Red-shirt villages' nationwide

The Nation

Some 4,000 so-called "red-shirt villages" declared yesterday they had joined together to strengthen the "fight against dictatorship" and help bring former premier Thaksin Shinawatra back to Thailand.

About 200 representatives from the red-shirt villages met in Udon Thani yesterday and voted Pol Second Lieutenant Kamolsilp Singhasuriya as chairman of the Red-Shirts Village for Democracy Federation.

He said the federation would act as a coordination centre for red-shirt villages and promote the establishment of more such villages nationwide.

Former charter drafter Kanin Boonsuwan and Prasong Boonpong, a former deputy leader of the now-defunct People's Power Party, also joined the event.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-06

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United States grants US$260,000 to fight human traffickers in Thailand

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University rectors 'sided with coup'

The Nation

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A group of 100 Thammasat University alumni yesterday gathered at the university's auditorium to read a statement protesting against a previous rector and his successor for siding with the 2006 coup.

The group, led by 1968 graduate Sayan Suthamsamai, said Surapol Nittikraipot and his successor Somkit Lertpaithoon failed to uphold the university's spirit of democracy.

Sayan said Surapol supported the coup and had allowed soldiers to deploy inside the university before cracking down on protesters at Rajdamnoen Avenue.

Somkit, who helped write the coup-sponsored charter, had made a grave mistake by putting the university's founder Pridi Banomyong in the same category as military dictators like Sarit Thanarat and Thanom Kittikachorn and should therefore be removed from his position as rector, he said.

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-- The Nation 2011-10-06

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