Sunday, August 20, 2017
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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.

Crown Prince becomes King

Posted by pakin On December - 2 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

The Kingdom has a new King after His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn on Thursday accepted an invitation to ascend the throne from the National Legislative Assembly president.

His Royal Highness said: “I accept [the invitation to be king] and to fulfil the royal intentions [of the late King] for the benefit and happiness of all Thais.”

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced the completion of the formalities on the TV pool.

“Thailand now has a new King,” he said.

The new King was formally named His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, according to the Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary.

The title came after the Crown Prince accepted the invitation of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai and acceded to the throne as the 10th King of the Chakri dynasty Thursday night.

His Majesty’s acceptance of the invitation was made in accordance with the Palace Rule on Royal Succession 1924 and under the present interim constitution, according to the office’s letter sent to the Public Relations Department director-general Thursday.

Pending the coronation, His Majesty is to be named in Thai as Somdet Phra Chao Yoohua Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.

When King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away on Oct 13, the royal succession process began.

Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, who serves as the regent, led the heads of the country’s three branches of government for an audience with HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn on Thursday afternoon to invite him to ascend the throne as the new King.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Mr Pornpetch, and Veerapol Tungsuwan, president of the Supreme Court, accompanied Gen Prem.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said Gen Prem has ended his role as regent now the Crown Prince has accepted the invitation to reign.

Regarding portraits and pictures of His Majesty the late King decorating Ratchadamnoen Avenue and government buildings, Mr Wissanu said nothing would change now the new King has been proclaimed.

He also said the public can still wear black as a gesture of mourning for the late King.

However, the government will discuss and issue announcements on how to proceed after the new King ascends the throne, he said.

As Crown Prince before acceding, the new King presided over a royal merit-making ceremony Thursday to mark the 50th day since the passing of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall inside the Grand Palace.

He was accompanied by other members of the royal family.

Other merit-making ceremonies were also held nationwide to mark the 50th day since the passing of the late King.

Prime Minister Prayut and his wife led members of the cabinet and government officials Thursday morning in merit-making in front of Government House to mark the 50th-day event.

The ceremony began with Somdet Phra Maha Munivong, the abbot of Wat Ratchabophit Sathit Maha Simaram, leading 89 monks in chanting prayers.

Gen Prayut then led cabinet members and government officials to give alms to the monks. A similar ceremony was held in front of the office of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, where governor Aswin Kwanmuang led city officials and members of the city and district councils in alms-giving.

A merit-making and alms-giving ceremony was also held at the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Road, attended by Mr Veerapol, along with more than 1,500 judges and court personnel.

They also sang the Royal Anthem in honour of the late King.

At the government complex on Chaeng Watthana Road, Attorney-General Pongniwat Yuthapanboriparn led executives and personnel of the Office of the Attorney-General to perform a merit-making rite and gave alms to monks.

Meanwhile, a clean-up is getting under way at Sanam Luang, and areas around the Grand Palace after more than a month during which crowds of people have come to pay their respects to the late King in the Grand Palace. City Hall began the clean-up at 9pm on Wednesday and it is scheduled to end today.

In Chai Nat province, provincial governor Nimit Wanchaithanawong led local officials, and residents to pay their respects before the portrait of His Majesty the late King and offering alms to 89 monks to mark the event.

The late King visited this central province three times in the past.

A total of 89 men were to be ordained as monks Thursday as a tribute to the King Bhumibol.

Nipawan Kaewrakmook, secretary-general of the Thai Journalists Association, said the association, and other media professional organisations will join the Thai Red Cross Society to hold a blood donation event on Jan 25 to mark the 100th day since the passing of the late King.