In Thailand English-language News for February 23, 2018, Newsline presenter Surapan Laotharanit tells us about:
00:47 | The ‘Love and Warmth at Winter’s End’ festival continues to attract people dressed in traditional clothes enjoying the sight of beautiful flowers and to learn about major events that took place during the reign of King Rama V and King Rama IX.
More than 200,000 flowers are on display, in addition to vending stalls selling food and locally made items. Entrance to the festival, which is open until March 11 from 10.30am to 9pm (10pm on Fridays and Saturdays), is free. Traditional Thai period attire can be rented by Thais and foreigners at the event.
02:21 | CEO of the SUPPORT Arts and Crafts International Center of Thailand, Amparwon Pichalai, on Thursday opened the 9th Identity of Siam event in Bangkok. Featuring works by over 150 master craftsmen and their heirs from around the country, the show this year is themed ‘treasure of wisdom’.
Visitors will find displays and workshops promoting Thailand’s craft products and heritage. The 9th Identity of Siam festival runs until February 25 at the Queen Sirikit Convention Center in Bangkok.
03:31 | Thailand is set to impose the ‘IUU-Free Thailand’ policy, said to have the objective to detect, inhibit, and eradicate Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Busadi Santiphitak, said that the government has been continually reforming the fisheries sector for the past three years.
Ms Santiphitak said relevant laws and regulations had been imposed, with a limitation on fishing license numbers in keeping with the quantity of aquatic creatures in the sea. She said Thailand is now focusing on a system to monitor the use of fishing licenses in compliance with international standards, and promoting the employment of legal workers in the fisheries sector.
04:41 | In a ‘meet the press’ event at Government House in Bangkok, Minister for Energy, Siri Jirapongphan, discussed energy security in Thailand after the concessions for the Erawan and Bongkot natural gas fields expire in 2022. Stating that more efforts are needed to resolving the issue, he cautioned that PTT Public Company Ltd., and Chevron Thailand Ltd., may scale back their investments.
In Southern Thailand, he said, energy infrastructure must be updated, with peak demand reaching 2,700 megawatts, while the regions two power plants have a maximum generating capacity of 2,400 megawatts. Mr Jirapongphan called for increased coal imports to reduce the country’s reliance on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), but added renewables were also being looked at.
07:32 | Vice chairperson of the national reform committee on public administration, Benchawan Srangnitra, said that work on promoting good governance in the public sector and fulfilling the needs of citizens was proceeding in line with the 2017 Constitution and the 20-year national strategy. Mechanism for the introduction of six reform strategies have been put in place, she said.
Meanwhile, Channarong Praneejitt, secretary of the national reform committee on justice revealed some details of the 10-point justice reform strategy. Plans include developing police stations into one-stop complaint centres, while technology will be incorporated into the investigation, search, arrest, and prosecution processes in a bid to speed up cases and increase transparency.
11:58 | The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has released its latest report on the country’s financial services. The study, conducted during the second half of 2016, shows that there was 35,410 financial institution service points nationwide, and some 9,682 cooperatives and pawn shops, leading to some degree of overlapping of financial services in some areas.
The study suggested that more service points should be installed by banking agents to allow people to perform financial transactions at locations such as petrol stations, post offices, and convenience stores, while more infrastructure development is needed so that people in remote areas have access to similar services.
13:53 | The government’s latest Pracharat project is designed to assist Thai youth prepare themselves to become the new workforce of the country, in addition to helping them earn extra money to ease the financial burden on their parents.
More than 600 employers are participating in the project, with more than 20,000 vacancies in Bangkok waiting to be filled by interested students. Those interested should contact their local labour office, any Bangkok Employment office, or the Ministry of Labour’s (MoLs) 1506 hotline number.
15:24 | Newsline takes a look at the Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden in Mae Rim district, Chiang Mai province. The garden is a centre for botanical studies and research to render services including biodiversity and environmental conservation.
19:02 | Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has met with Lao PDR deputy prime minister, Boonthong Jitmanee, to discuss anti-graft cooperation between the two countries. General Chan-o-cha said cooperation between the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and its Lao counterpart will help suppress corruption. He said Asean nations need to join together to tackle graft in a more globalized world.
20:08 | The 6th meeting of the Thai-Cambodian joint trade committee has agreed to attain mutual trade value of about Bt472 billion (about US$15 billion) by 2020. Thailand will focus on exporting innovations, software, organic products, and construction materials, with Thailand also hopeful of exporting more pork to Cambodia. A business matching session for the private sector was also held.
21:16 | Indonesia’s disaster agency said at least five people were killed, 14 injured, and more than 15 people left missing after a landslide on Indonesia’s heavily populated island of Java on Thursday.
• and more.
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.