Archive for กรกฎาคม 2012


THE NATION January 31, 2012 1:00 am

The Cabinet will consider today a budget request for Bt800 million-Bt900 million so that 300,000 more tablet PCs can be handed out to schoolchildren.

The tablet policy management committee last week agreed to increase the distribution of tablets for the upcoming academic year from more than 600,000 units to 900,000.

As a result, all Prathom 1 (Grade 1) students under various ministries and some Prathom 4 (Grade 4) students can get a tablet.

The committee set the original budget for 700,000 tablets at Bt1.9 billion. Education Minister Suchart Thadathamrongvech said yesterday the government had told the Foreign Ministry to negotiate with China to supply the tablets under a government-to-government deal.

Olarn Chaipravat, an adviser to the prime minister, would oversee the contents and software that would be loaded on the tablets.

“The tablets need Internet access so students can search for information from the wider world. The students should be allowed to take them home.

“I’ve also planned a project that will give tablets to some parents so they can use them to gain more knowledge,” he said.

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THE NATION January 31, 2012 1:00 am

Plans have been unveiled for a Thai pagoda to be built in the United States similar to Phra That Phanom, with a budget of about Bt3 billion.

Construction is due to be completed by 2014 to celebrate the 87th birthday of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The original Phra That Phanom, located in Nakhon Phanom, has a history that goes back to BC535. The sacred structure is 57 metres high.

The assistant abbot of Wat Phra That Phanom Wora Mahawihan, Phra Maha Lerdej Worawangso disclosed yesterday that the replica of would not be as high as the popular temple in the Northeast.

“Lightning hits every new pagoda that is built based on Phra That Phanom but attempts to be higher,” the senior monk said. He said the plan to build a replica of Phra That Phanom came up after Buddhists in the US donated a 25-rai plot of land for its construction.

“The Buddhists there have much faith in Wat Phra That Phanom’s abbot Phra Thep Woramuni, who delivered sermons in Los Angeles in 2010,” the assistant abbot said.

The donated plot was spread over a small hill and a perfect site to build a pagoda. The landscape was also similar to Nakhon Phanom, he said.

Chawadon Yuenyong, director of the replica project, said the temple in the US would seek some parts of the Lord Buddha’s relics and parts of the 2,500-year-old original pagoda.

“The original parts are still kept even though restoration works has been done,” he said.

He said donations would be sought from people, the private sector, and state agencies for the new pagoda. It would be built mainly in Thailand and components shipped to the US for installation.

Chawadon said Bt3 billion would be needed for the project, so Wat Phra That Phanom was going to produce and sell amulets to help raise funds for the construction.

Meanwhile, he said the temple planned to celebrate the Year of Dragon this year by constructing a seven-headed Naga statue down to the Mekong River.

“The Naga structure will be about 555 metres long,” Chawadon said, “It’s going to be the longest Naga statue in the world. We will invite the Guinness World of Records team to verify this fact.”

Chawadon said a dragon was very much like a Naga in Thai beliefs. Construction of the structure would start early next month and be completed on April 11.

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The Nation January 30, 2012 3:40 pm

Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said on Monday that the dredging of canals and sewers in the capital would be done before the rainy season starts in May.

He said he had instructed the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s Drainage and Sewerage Department to speed up the dredging and have it completed before May.

Sukhumbhand was speaking to reporters after a meeting with senior BMA officials.

During the meeting, the Drainage and Sewerage Department reported on its plan for dredging canals and sewers in the capital to cope with possible floodwaters from upstream provinces, Sukhumbhand said.

He said the department initially expected that dredging would be undertaken in June, July or August but that he had instructed the department to speed up the works.

The department was also instructed to coordinate with the Army.

Asked to comment on speculation by a Pheu Thai MP that he would resign before the end of his term in January next year, the governor, a member of the opposition Democrat Party, said if he decided to do so, reporters would be informed first, not a Pheu Thai MP.

The governor added that the payment of compensation to flood victims in 30 Bangkok districts was now 80 per cent complete. He said the government has yet to approve compensation for 12 other districts.

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The Nation January 30, 2012 1:45 pm

A ranger was wounded in a presumed insurgent assault on a Pattani base on Sunday night, while four residents were killed and another five wounded in a roadside attack on their vehicle a short time later in Pattani’s Nong Chik district.

The authorities believe the assailants in both incidents were from the same group, although there is still conflicting information on who attacked the pickup, killing the four.

The victims were taken to Nong Chik hospital, where the wounded are now being treated.

Initial police investigation showed that an unknown number of men used an M79 grenade launcher in their attack on a ranger base in Nong Chik district at about 10pm last night. One soldier suffered slight injuries.

The rangers pursued the attackers. On the Pattani to Yala Route 418, they came upon the wreckage of a bulletriddled pickup truck and discovered the bodies of four individuals and five wounded. All were taken to hospital.

The authorities initially believed the assailants attacked the ranger base, later firing on the pick up truck as they were fleeing

Police are investigating reports that the rangers pursuing the assailants fired at the pickup truck after assuming that gunfire erupted from the vehicle.

Investigators did not speculate as to which group was responsible for the incidents.

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Davos January 30, 2012 1:00 am

IMF helping kyat unification, bigtax changes to come, minister tells CEOs at Davos summit

The Burmese government is drafting a tax incentive law which will be the most attractive in the region, as it prepares to achieve a six-per-cent growth target in 2012, according to an economic minister.

U Soe Thein, Burma’s Industry Minister, told international journalists the tax incentive law could be passed by the end of the upcoming Parliamentary session next month.

A plan is also underway to boost international business confidence in the kyat – the Burmese currency – in consultation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

U Soe Thein led a delegation, which also included Rail Transport Deputy Minister Thura U Thaung Lwin, to their first participation at the World Economic Forum.

“We were very busy meeting global policymakers, officials and CEOs,” the minister said.

The Burmese delegation’s trip followed a recent visit by WEF chairman Klaus Schwab to Burma, where he met both Thein Sein, the president, and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. He invited both to attend the Davos forum.

U Soe Thein said he received a lot of ideas and learnt about many issues at WEF sessions. They included the Eurozone crisis, job creation, sustainable energy and green policy, resource management, population and growth, poverty eradication, refugees and displaced people, women and children, SMEs, anti-corruption and good governance.

“We learned what we shall (need) to do in the future…We were honoured to attend,” he said.

In his meeting with CEOs, the minister said they extended recognition to what the Burmese government was doing in its reforms, and were interested in the country’s growth and investment potential, plus the peace process with ethnic minorities. He reiterated that the reform process was not due to external pressure or economic sanctions but followed the desires of the Burmese people.

He said Burma was centrally located to engage in trade and investment with China, India and Africa. It had markets as well as skilled labour, plus availability of energy resources, including gas and hydroelectricity.

“Like Norway and Sweden, we also have access to two seas and have fishing potential,” U Lwin said, noting that his country was also the world’s biggest producer and exporter of rice in the pre-war era.

U Soe Thein said his government was working, with assistance from Japan, on tax investment incentives, which would be the most attractive in the region. The package would include an eight-year tax exemption, with a possible extension, if the ventures proved profitable for the country. The law could be passed during the parliamentary session next month.

The minister said consultations with the International Monetary Fund in December and this month were helping the authorities work on “currency exchange unification” and mechanisms for implementing fiscal and monetary policies.

He said the government planned to upgrade the central bank, now a department under the Finance Ministry. It had been proposed to give it independence.

The Burmese industry minister said three economic zones were being set up: one of which would be Dawei (undertaken by Italian-Thai Development) and another near Yangon aimed at facilitating firms from China, Japan, Korea, Thailand and the rest of the world.

“Yes, we are in a hurry…” he said, citing preparations for the 2013 Southeast Asian Games, and 400 meetings scheduled for it to assume chairmanship of Asean in 2014, plus the Asean Economic Community in 2015, and to achieve the UN Millennium Goals.

“Tourism is booming and we need more hotels, certainly,” he added.

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The Nation January 30, 2012 1:00 am

Two hooded robbers broke into the adjoining homes of a family in Bangkok’s Sai Mai district yesterday morning and made away with more than Bt1.5 million in valuables.

The robbers did not harm any of the four people in the two houses.

Lamjuan Mukkratok, 58, was at home with two very young granddaughters and a Laotian housemaid when the robbers struck.

Lamjuan’s daughter, who owns the houses, had already left home for work.

“I was walking upstairs to get a towel for my granddaughter when two hooded men showed up,” Lamjuan said. Her granddaughters are just two-and-a-half years old and two-months-old.

The grandmother said both robbers wore gloves and threatened her with a six-inch-long Sparta knife.

“They tied both my hands and feet,” Lamjuan said, “Then, they blindfolded me and asked about the valuables in the houses.” She said the robbers spoke with accents of the Northeast.

“I begged for the safety of everyone and told them where the valuables were,” Lamjuan said.

She said after the robbers left, she removed the blindfold and called for help from neighbours. The robbery took place at around at 6.40am.

A check showed the robbers took Bt20,000 in cash, a 32-inch TV screen, diamond sets, gold necklaces and bracelets. In all, the victims lost more than Bt1.5 million in valuables.

The houses are units of Supalai Village on Sukhapiban 5 Road, two detached buildings surrounded by a fence.

“Security cameras have recorded a suspicious van. We have also found other evidence that will be useful in the case,” police said.

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Wannapa Khaopa
The Nation January 30, 2012 1:00 am

Discipline, hard work earn global contest victory

Thai students are often accused of lacking self-discipline and analytical and systematic thinking, which are important for problem-solving and teamwork to reach a common goal more easily. But one group of university students has proved they are an exception to this image.

The Chulalongkorn University engineering students won a global competition, becoming the first group of Thai students to win first place in a global programming contest.

Pattara Sukprasert, Thanakorn Chindanonda and Sira Songpolrojjanakul, all 21 years old, are third-year computer engineering students. Late last year they won the IEEEXtreme 5.0 programming contest.

Their team, called “cuSAT”, defeated 100 teams of college students, or more than 4,100 students from 63 countries worldwide, including 18 teams from four Thai universities.

Second place went to students from the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka and third to those from Belarusian State University in Belarus.

IEEEXtreme is a global challenge in which teams of students compete over a 24-hour period to solve a set of programming problems.

It is held by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a non-profit association. The four previous contests received an increasing amount of attention and competitors, making it the world’s largest programming contest.

The fifth contest, IEEEXtreme 5.0, was held on October 22 of |last year, starting at 7am Bangkok time and ending at 7am on October 23. During that time, the Thai students stationed at their universities used computers to solve the programming problems online while those in other countries did the same.

The competition tests problem-solving skills, with real problems in everyday life, by using engineering skills to design a program and send it for online checking through the Internet.

The problems range from simple to intermediate to difficult, directly challenging contestants’ creative thinking and intelligence.

The contestants had to solve problems about managing a large quantity of information or statistics, calculating how to do reasonable shopping under limited conditions, finding right roads to make the shortest journey and solving equations.

Those writing the programme that produces the correct result in the least time are the winners.

By solving most of the problems correctly and taking the shortest time, the Thai students became the winner.

Assistant Prof Pizzanu Kanongchaiyos, a computer engineering lecturer at Chulalongkorn, said the faculty’s students had competed in the contest three times in the past three years.

In the first two times, the best the students could do was rank among the top 10 universities with the highest scores. With more experience in the competition and better team management, they finally won it.

Pattara, Thanakorn and Sira told The Nation they had to continue practising solving programming problems otherwise they would not be fluent enough to write computer programmes to solve the problems quickly.

“Stopping practising only for three months, we will lag behind others, unable to do it fluently as before,” Pattara said.

Teamwork was also the key to success for them, besides self-discipline in drills.

“With the time constraint, we had to manage the time we took |to solve each problem, and as the competition was done over 24 straight hours, we had to manage time to take turns having a short break, too.

“Our team could manage time well and separate the duties of each member effectively. Working under pressure, we felt stressed, but had to help everyone calm down,” Thanakorn said.

Pattara said working together in good teamwork, they respected and trusted the ability of each other.

Sira said they had developed their analytical and systematic thinking, the skill needed for |problem solving after they had practised writing computer programmes before and during the competition.

“Without such thinking, we could not find proper or right answers. We have to analyse the problems and integrate our knowledge to find the best answers,” Sira said.

Thinking skills were actually an important base of study in every field, he said.

Students interested in studying computer engineering should be enthusiastic about learning and keep updating themselves on new technologies, which change very fast in the digital world, they said.

Current computer engineering students who want to compete in IEEEXtreme or other similar programming contests locally and internationally should keep practising and learning how to work with others on their teams, they said.

Sira called on government agencies, like the Education Ministry, to provide more national programming contests and contests in other fields of studies that require practice to motivate more students to seriously improve their skills.

He wants the media to help promote the contests to make them known and popular so that more students will be interested in doing such activities that are useful for them.

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The Nation January 30, 2012 1:00 am

The Graduate Research Conference of 2012 has sent |out an invitation to interested parties including graduate |students, researchers, academic staff, thesis advisers and ad-ministrators to attend and exchange knowledge and research experience.

Oral and poster presentations by graduate students from private and state higher education institutes will be presented at the 13th conference to be held at Khon Kaen University on February 17.

The conference is also a crucial mechanism to improve academic excellence and advance thesis standards, according to the Curriculum Standard of Higher Education Commission of Higher Education.

Prof Dr Soottiporn Chittmittrapap, from the secretary-general’s office of the National Research Council of Thailand, will give a speech on graduate research management for the country’s development.

Call 0-4320-2420 or visit http://gs.kku.ac.th for more information.

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The Nation January 30, 2012 1:00 am

Yothinburana School will |organise an “EP/IP Open House 2012″ on February 5 to intro-duce EP (English programme) and IP (International programme) to parents planning to send their children to the school.

It will give them a chance to meet and talk with current students studying both programmes.

The open house will be or-ganised at the Royal Thai Aide-De-Camp Department in Bangkok.

Yothinburana introduced EP in 1998 – the first such school in Thailand. Its curriculum is based on Education Ministry regulations, with students studying the Thai curriculum in English. The EP offers three fields (science-math, English-math and Chinese-Japanese fields) for upper secondary students. The number of students studying in this programme is now about 90.

IP, the new programme, opened three years ago, using the English standard curriculum certified by Cambridge University. Textbooks are from the United Kingdom. The programme will offer secondary education from Grade 7-11. It is open to applications from those who want to enrol in Grade 7 after they finish their primary education. Currently, 23 students are studying in Grade 7 and 8.

Applications for EP (Matthayom 1 and 4) and IP (Grade 7) will run from March 15-19. Applicants for EP (Matthayom 1) must take a written exam on March 24. Applicants for EP (Matthayom 4) and IP (Grade 7) will do so on March 25.

To make reservations for the EP/IP Open House 2012, call 02-241-2603 and 02-241-2630.

For more information visit http://www.yothinburana.ac.th/yothin.

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The Nation January 30, 2012 1:00 am

A young man died and his girlfriend was critically injured early yesterday when his speeding motorcycle was kicked over and stolen in Taling Chan district.

Panitat Suksee, 20, was killed instantly while his passenger, a student at a famous school, was taken to Vajira Hospital.

Witnesses said they heard a vehicle fall and hit the bridge across Bang Lim Canal at about 3.50am. They then saw some teenagers walking around a downed blueandwhite Fino for awhile until one pulled it up and took off with it. The other teens then left on two motorcycles.

“We are investigating the case further,” said Pol Lt Colonel Surin Onsawang, a detective at Taling Chan Police Station.

Station superintendent Pol Colonel Ponganan Klaiklueng said Panitat’s girlfriend was still unable to speak about the accident.

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The Nation on Sunday
Davos, Switzerland January 29, 2012 1:00 am

Governments will need to act with more far-sightedness if serious impacts from natural disasters such as the recent Thai floods are to be avoided, Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong told a gathering at the World Economic Forum.

Speaking at a session on “Tough Choices in Times of Crisis” with a panel that included Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault-Nissan Alliance, Kittiratt said he had to make his toughest choice after an aerial survey of the flooding and saw the massive volume of water surrounding the country’s economic zones.

“What should I do? Report to the public or the prime minister?” he said, referring to the magnitude of the expected devastation.

“We had to make a decision that is not for ourselves but for the others,” said Kittiratt, who is now also the finance minister.

Kittiratt looked back at the Thai flooding situation and noted that reports were issued by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and others before the floods last year, recommending that something be done to avert serious damage from possible floods. But the reports were shelved and nothing was done. “I think we have to act with more far-sightedness … [if we had done so] the devastation would have been avoided.”

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The Nation on Sunday January 29, 2012 1:00 am

While policy-makers consider whether to set up a special facility – including a jail on an island – to prevent convicted drug dealers organising deals from behind bars, the Corrections Department chief said tomorrow’s meeting of prison directors would seek solutions to the problem. And he plans to tell them to keep drug suspects in a separate zone from others.

Corrections Department chief Suchat Wong-anantachai said yesterday the idea of special prison, if approved, would take a while to materialise, but the department could separate drug convicts from others now.

For example, Bang Kwang Prison’s zone 2 could be reserved for drug convicts serving life sentences. This would stop inmates from recruiting network members and the new zone would have tough rules including stricter visits under security cameras, he said.

Deputy Premier Chalerm Yoobamrung, filling in for the PM’s TV programme yesterday, said the special prison zones would be reserved for drug convicts and manned by officials who were not corrupt. One could possibly be implemented first at Nakhon Ratchasima’s Si Khiu Prison.

Chalerm said the government aimed to cut drug trafficking in one year. They would focus on reducing sources and demand for drugs, by seriously cracking down on dealers, intercepting narcotic ingredients, punishing any officials involved, and asking night entertainment venues not to allow drug activities.

He urged police to erect a barbed-wire fences along northern borders including Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district, as 87 per cent of illicit drugs were smuggled through eight border provinces particularly Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai.

Chalerm also warned dealers to quit, saying they could be victims of “silent killings” by fellow dealers, but not by police.

He later spoke to anti-drug police at Kalasin and told the governor to reinstate the province’s effective crackdown measures from 2002, as he wanted Kalasin to be the anti-drugs model.

Telling officials to take legal action against dealers without fear of “influential” figures, he said whatever happened he would be responsible. The government had no policy to kill any suspect, he said, but the problem of killings came from drug-dealing networks.

Another speaker on the show, national police chief Gen Priewpan Damapong, said police wouldn’t violate drug suspects’ rights when they were arrested, but if suspects fought back, police had to defend themselves.

The Narcotics Control Board chief Adul Saengsingkaew said they would implement an anti-drug campaign in 60,000 villages this year, while the Public Health Ministry rehabilitate 400,000 addicts and the Education Ministry would undertake anti-drugs activities in schools.

Meanwhile, Bang Kwang Prison chief Wisanu Prajongkit said the search yesterday of drug inmate Peerayuth Phatsakol -accused by another suspect, Nipon Kanchat, of doing deals from prison – found nothing illegal. Guards would prevent him from contacting Nipon and other suspects in the case.

Wisanu said he would ask permission for Corrections officials to carry a gun, after a Bang Kwang official’s home was shot at in Nonthaburi on Tuesday night.

In a related matter, police brought Major Piyanat Jatejamras, an officer at Army Region 3′s Engineering Battalion, accused of involvement in drug trafficking, to the Criminal Court to get approval for him to be detained for 12 days. They told the court Piyanat should not get bail as he may flee. The major was accused of being a drug courier by Nipon, who was arrested last week along with 3.8 million ya ba tablets and 71 kg of crystal meth at a house in Pathum Thani.

Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and Drug Suppression Police yesterday arrested 11 Chinese Haw people in Bangkok accused of being in a drug gang along with 24 kg of crystal meth (or ‘ice’) and 400,000 ya ba tablets worth about Bt200 million. DSI chief Tharit Pengdit told a press conference that six suspects were arrested with 24 kg of ‘ice’ in a sting operation at Tesco Lotus Mall on Ram Intra Road. That led to the search of a restaurant in Soi Ramkhamhaeng 24/3, where the 400,000 ya ba tablets were found, and five other suspects arrested.

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Khanathit Srihirundaj
The Nation on Sunday January 29, 2012 1:00 am

Two more suspects in the December robbery of an Indian businessman have been arrested, police said yesterday, bringing the number of people in custody in the case to seven.

Police arrested Chuanchom Srichan, 29, and Weerayut Ngamkhieo, 24, and confiscated Bt2.6 million worth of various foreign currencies, pistols and a gold necklace from the two suspects.

Earlier, Chuanchom fled to Khok Sung district in the eastern province of Sa Kaew. He was later ordained as a monk at a temple there. Weerayut, who is a volunteer attached to the Military Police, was arrested in Kut Rang district of Maha Sarakham province in the Northeast.

Chuanchom confessed to taking bags from the victim’s car, and Weerayut confessed that he threatened the victim and his driver with a gun.

The development follows the arrests of five members of the suspected robbery gang announced Friday.

The last member of the gang – Uttaraphong Kangnok – remains at large.

The gang robbed Abdullah Rehman, 52, who runs a currency-exchange business in Thailand, while he was in his car on Si Phraya road in Bangkok’s Bang Rak district on December 30.

They took seven bags containing many different currencies amounting to more than Bt50 million.

Police have seized a total of Bt54 million worth of banknotes from the suspects.

Police believed they would be able to arrest Uttaraphong soon since he and Weerayut work for the military.

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The Nation on Sunday January 29, 2012 1:00 am

Outspoken MP Chuwit Kamolvisit yesterday claimed that a big gambling den would open next week in Bangkok’s Ratchadaphisek area, near another den he told police about earlier.

Wang Thong Lang police station superintendent Pol Colonel Thawat Wongsa-nga denied an illegal gambling den was set to open in the area under his jurisdiction, as claimed by Chuwit.

Chuwit claimed the den would have 50 gambling tables and would be protected by a figure of authority. The den was fully equipped with gambling facilities, he said.

He promised a reward of Bt5,000 to anyone providing an accurate tip-off about a small gambling den, Bt10,000 for information on big dens, and up to Bt20,000 for information leading to the arrest of a den owner.

Chuwit insisted the identities of those providing information would be protected.

He said he had turned down bribes in relation to his anti-gambling drive.

The MP claimed there were two major gambling networks operating in Bangkok and Pathum Thani: the “Sor” network, named after a police officer’s initial, and the “Teu” network.

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The Nation on Sunday January 29, 2012 1:00 am

Authorities in Kanchanaburi and from the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department have seized 51 elephants from three elephant camps in Sai Yok district for inspection.

Two more camps will be inspected this week in an effort to stop people taking the identity papers of dead elephants and passing the documents off as those of elephants taken from the wild.

According to district Chief Somchart Theerasuwannachak, the officials are now inspecting the identity papers of the elephants and have collected blood samples from six elephant calves for DNA testing. It will take around two weeks to know the tests’ results. The results must confirm that they are the calves of elephants that the owners claim to be their mothers, otherwise police will take legal action.

Owners would have to present documents for the calves to authorities for comparison with the authorities’ documents, Somchart said.

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