In Thailand English-language News for August 15, 2017, Newsline presenter Dhra Dhirakaosal tells us about:
00:00 | Thais from continue to visit the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall at the Grand Palace to pay their respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, with several activities conducted in preparation for his royal funeral.
01:48 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has called on all sectors to prepare for monsoon rain by preparing flood prevention and warning systems. General Chan-o-cha said the overall flood situation had begun to improve, though eight provinces are still affected by flooding. He said he expected the situation to return to normalcy in less than a week as the Royal Irrigation Department (RID) and the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) had deployed boats and machinery to divert water out of the areas ahead of the upcoming monsoon season.
03:12 | The Satun Provincial Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has distributed 500 relief bags and pumps to 400 households, shops, and resorts on Koh Lipe which have been hit by floods as a result of heavy rain leaving underground water sources contaminated. Koh Lipe has been declared a disaster zone.
04:34 | Khon Kaen officials have begun assessing flood damage to about 7,680 hectares (about 18,978 acres) of rice field, while relief packages have been distributed to 800 homes inundated by flood water. Meanwhile the Sheikhul lslam of Thailand, Aziz Phitakkumpon, has delivered donations collected from Muslims across Thailand to help flood-hit victims in Sakon Nakhon.
05:58 | The director of the Office of SME Promotion (OSP), Salinee Wangtan, said that flood-hit small and community enterprises will be offered interest free loans of up to Bt200,000 (about US$6,010- $30,075), while small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be offered interest-free loans of up to Bt1 million (about US$30,050), to repair damages caused by the floods. Officials will visit Sakon Nakhon between August 15 and 19 to collect loan applications.
08:52 | Chairman of the Public Relations Subcommittee to Promote Reconciliation, Major General Kongcheep Tantrawanich said on Monday that he is confident that the Reconciliation Social Contract will effectively resolve conflicts in the country. He said the Social Contract is designed to promote understanding among members of the public and confidence in the justice system, in the hope of restoring peace and order in the country. He also advised the public to be wary of false news that is intended to provoke hatred and fuel conflicts in the society.
10:08 | The Department of Medical Sciences (DMS) has signed an agreement with Siam Bioscience Co., to develop biotechnology drugs for the treatment of ailments such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis in order to reduce import costs and to help propel Thailand to a hub of international medical care by 2025. According to Dr Sukhum Kanchanaphimai, director-general of the DMS, Thailand imports more than Bt25 billion ($75 million) worth of biotechnology drugs each year, but only 5,538 of some two million Thais needing the drugs have access to them.
11:34 | The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) and the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) have annnounced the results of three programmes run between September 2016 to August this year aimed at raising the standards of Thai SMEs. The programmes – strengthening new entrepreneurs, innovative packaging for SMEs, and preparing entrepreneurs for the Asean Economic Community (AEC) – attracted more than 731 participants and generated over Bt1 billion ($30,057,120) in revenue. The OSMEP aims to grow the SME sector to account for 50 per cent of the country’s GDP by 2021.
12:46 | Transport Company ceo, Jirasak Yaovatsakul, said the company has established a committee to oversee all operations within Mo Chit Bus Terminal in Bangkok following a dispute with a private contractor that harmed the company’s ability to accommodate passengers. The aim is to transform Mo Chit Bus Terminal into a model for bus terminals in other locations.
13:53 | More than 10,000 students attended the 9th General Achievement Test (GAT) coaching campaign organized by the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTAT). The ‘cram session’ aims to help students get into university by offering tips for university entrance exams, as well as classes in mathematics, English, and critical thinking.
14:57 | Residents of Khon Kaen Province have resolved to preserve the 85-year-old Ban Han Railway Office as a heritage site following reports that the landmark building will be demolished to make way for the dual-track railway project. Residents are planning to relocate the building within the vicinity of the district office and landscape the surrounding area to resemble its original location, before handing it over to the local Department of Non-Formal Education to be transformed into a library and a learning centre about the country’s transportation history.
15:58 | Newsline takes a look at Jinghong Dam in Yunnan province, China, which supplies electricity and water for both China and other countries downstream.
19:17 | Some 5,000 Thai Hajj Pilgrims are staying at the Makkah Hilton and other 5-star properties near the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, while preparing themselves to participate in the pilgrimage ritual.
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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 via cable and satellite. It is also available via android and iOS apps. AEC News Today publishes Thailand English-language News M-F.