Thursday, July 27, 2017
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In the footsteps of King Rama IX

Posted by pakin On July - 26 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

A main reason for Thais to visit Lausanne, the French-speaking city on Lake Geneva in Switzerland, is because it is where the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej spent 18 years of his life, from 1933 to 1951.

The capital of Vaud state, Lausanne is part of the “In The Footsteps Of HM King Rama IX” themed trip, initiated by Kuoni travel agency and hosted by Switzerland Tourism Organisation and Swiss Airlines. The idea is to strengthen relationships between Thailand and Switzerland.

Known as the University City, Lausanne is home to 144,000 people of which 42% are foreigners, said Ellis Pagani, a local guide.

“Lausanne is not a big city,” she said. The city was built on slopes made by three hills and two rivers. It faces Lake Geneva and it takes a 40-minute boat trip to get to Évian in France, which is on the other side. Many French workers crossed the lake to work in Lausanne because the city has a stable economy, Pagani added.

Lausanne is a “dynamic, open and multicultural city” where people from many parts of the world come to work, live or study, she said.

“This is the strength of Lausanne because local people are open-minded. Newcomers give new ideas as they bring with them their cultures, languages and religions. Together we can learn new things,” said the guide, who was born in the Netherlands and has lived in Lausanne for 30 years.

The chairman of a National Legislative Assembly (NLA) subcommittee on media reforms has conceded it will not be an easy task to roll out the controversial law regulating the media.

ACM Chalee Chanruang said the bill has still not undergone public hearings.

This process is needed to comply with Section 77 of the new charter.

There is a strong possibility the Protection of Media Rights and Freedom and the Promotion of Ethics and Professional Standards Bill will be amended before going to the NLA, he said.

The bill was endorsed by the National Reform Steering Assembly on Monday amid opposition by members of the media.

It needs to go before the cabinet for consideration and then the NLA.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-Ngam said that as the draft legislation is yet to undergo public hearings in line with the new constitution, the government will proceed by gauging opinions from all sides including those of the media.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, on World Press Freedom Day Wednesday, said the media should find a balance when working with the government. The press should support good things done by the government and criticise bad things, although there should be mutual respect, he said.

The Thai Journalists Association (TJA) and 29 other media bodies released a joint statement to mark the day.

The TJA demanded the bill be suspended and regime orders limiting press freedom be revoked.

Speaking at the TJA seminar, Supinya Klangnarong, an ex-member of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, said the bill is an attempt to expand state power and limit that of the people.

National human rights commissioner Angkhana Neelapaijit said the government should guarantee that the media will not face threats.

NLA member Somchai Sawaengkan said he disagreed with the bill.

Talking to the Bangkok Post, Swedish ambassador to Thailand Staffan Herrstrom said freedom of the press contributes enormously to democracy, transparency and innovation.

“You need that kind of wide space for different views just to encourage people to think outside the box,” he said.

Finnish ambassador Satu Suikkari-Kleven said Finnish journalists adhere strictly to ethical guidelines while people are active in monitoring the conduct of the media and discussing social issues openly.

In a separate development, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand received a letter from police at Lumpini station asking it to cancel its discussion on “Memories of 1932: The Mystery of Thailand’s Missing Plaque”, scheduled to be held at 7pm Wednesday at its office in Bangkok. The FCCT changed the topic to one on world press freedom instead.

RIDE-HAILING service Grab yesterday began a two-wheeled service in partnership with Bangkok’s army of motorbike taxi riders – known collectively as Win.

For the GrabBike (Win) service, passengers can use the Grab mobile app to book a ride and request pickup for any destination in Bangkok. The launch of services followed a trial.

GrabBike is Grab’s fastest growing service in Southeast Asia, providing locals and visitors with a faster and more reliable way of getting around in congested cities, the company says.

Grab says GrabBike (Win) is intended to complement the city’s public transport services, and fulfils passengers’ needs for quick, efficient and affordable connectivity between districts, especially during peak hours.

“Grab is excited to launch our GrabBike (Win) service, working with participating driver-partners to provide fast and convenient on-demand rides to people visiting, working and living in Bangkok,” said Wee Tang Yee, country head of Grab Thailand.

“We worked closely with the Department of Land Transport for our trial service and are now expanding GrabBike (Win) to cover all areas of Bangkok. Grab stands for greater transport freedom, safety and accessibility for the Thai people and we are committed to continuously improve the livelihoods of our driver-partners through the Grab platform.”

The company said the GrabBike (Win) trial service provided Win driver-partners the opportunity to learn and make better use of the Grab app and its features to complete more rides.

Grab’s ride-hailing technology is improving the efficiency of the current Win system by better balancing driver supply and passenger demand between Win spots within city districts. This helps reduce passenger waiting times and increase driver productivity resulting in higher daily incomes for Win driver-partners without increasing their work time.The GrabBike (Win) service is served by motorbike taxi drivers licensed the Department of Land Transport. GrabBike (Win) fares are priced the same as local Win bike rides and are displayed in the app before passengers make their bookings. Passengers can pay for rides with cash or use the firm’s GrabPay service. With GrabPay, the fare is charged to a passenger’s registered credit card on the app after the ride.

 

 

Trang’s inland treasures

Posted by pakin On April - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Beyond the beaches, the old walled town teems with historical and cultural charms

WHILE MOST of the travellers arriving in Trang quickly find a perch on the beach or head straight to the boats to go diving in the Andaman Sea, the tranquil town itself offers all sorts of landlubber delights.

Trang was a thriving trading hub in the days when it was known as Muang Thub Thieng, a port established by Chinese merchants.

In the days of the Sumatra-based Melayu Kingdom between 600 and 1200 AD, vessels docked there laden with kerosene for lamps and ingredients for making pastry. When they departed, they were filled with locally grown pepper.

In 1899 the area became the first place where rubber was planted in Siam. A man called Phraya Ratsadanupradit Mahison Phakdi brought the saplings from Malaya and built up an export business.

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