Thailand and China to Expedite Free Visa Talks07 Dec 2023
BEIJING (NNT) - Mr. Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, recently met with Mr. Wang Yi, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, at the sidelines of the 8th Mekong - Lancang Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (FMM MLC) in Beijing.The discussions between the two sides centered around enhancing bilateral relations, emphasizing high-level exchanges, and progressing negotiations on a mutual visa exemption agreement for ordinary passport holders. A key focus was also placed on advancing the Thailand-China high-speed railway project, which aims to connect with the China-Lao PDR high-speed railway. They also underscored the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing transnational crimes and exchanged perspectives on mutual regional issues.During the meeting, Mr. Parnpree conveyed his gratitude to the Chinese Government for its assistance in repatriating Thai nationals from Laukkaing, Myanmar. Furthermore, he proposed the reinvigoration of the Consultation Mechanism between the Foreign Ministers of the two nations.In a gesture to strengthen diplomatic ties, Deputy Prime Minister Parnpree extended an invitation to China’s Foreign Minister to visit Thailand at the earliest opportunity to participate in the proposed talks. The discussions between the two countries aim to expedite the process of reaching a mutual agreement on visa exemptions and further solidify the collaborative efforts in various areas of mutual interest.
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Friends in Need (of “PA”) Fair 2023 Officially Kicks Off07 Dec 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Friends in Need (of “PA”) Volunteers Foundation of the Thai Red Cross held the Friends in Need (of “PA”) Fair 2023 to honor Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali Krom Muen Suddhanarinatha and Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati for their unwavering commitment to aiding flood victims for over 28 years.During the fair, a ceremony took place to award commemorative pins from the Friends in Need (of “PA”) Fair 2023 to honor relevant agencies, remarkable benefactors, and the Friends in Need (of “PA”) volunteers network, Thai Red Cross. Chairman of Friends in Need (of "Pa") Fair 2023 Professor Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai presided over the ceremony. Dignitaries from various government and private agencies, including Public Relations Department (PRD) Deputy Director-General Tassanee Pholchaniko and NBT Director Jariya Prasopsub, graced the occasion.Deputy Chairman of the Friends in Need (of "PA") Fair 2023 Chatchai Phromlert highlighted its role in sharing the foundation’s vision and mission, particularly in aiding flood victims with principles of sharing, sufficiency, and sustainability. He underscored the collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors in supporting the operations of the Friends in Need (of “PA”) Volunteers Foundation.This year, the event is held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (QSNCC) from December 6–10, featuring an exhibition of the foundation’s mission, along with booths offering a variety of products and souvenirs. Proceeds from the fair will be donated to the Friends in Need (of “PA”) Volunteers Foundation, Thai Red Cross, to assist in the rehabilitation of individuals affected by floods.The fair also boasts daily musical performances from various institutions and charitable activities featuring artists and celebrities, providing an enjoyable experience for visitors.
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Senate Labor Committee Chair Aids Repatriated Thai Workers07 Dec 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Two Thai workers, Chalermchai Saengkaew and Phatthanayut Tonsokri, who were previously held hostage in Israel, returned safely to their homes in Nakhon Phanom province on December 4. They were warmly greeted by their families and local authorities. Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew, Chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, along with other officials, visited their residences to offer support and financial assistance. Each worker received 5,000 baht from the Thai authorities, a gesture meant to provide moral support and boost their spirits.Waranit Kiritphongvekin, Acting Employment Officer for Nakhon Phanom, informed the men about employment opportunities and the benefits of the Employment Department’s fund, which offers up to 45,000 baht in financial aid, including compensation for those returning due to war-related dangers or loss of physical or mental capabilities.The State of Israel has also provided significant assistance to the workers. Each worker received an initial aid of 10,000 shekels (95,000 baht) in the form of a cash card, and for six months, they will receive monthly payments of 6,900 shekels. In case of any health issues, the repatriated workers can seek medical advice and apply for further financial support for an additional six months.
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Digital Government Awards 2023 Presented07 Dec 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Prime Minister’s Office has presented the Digital Government Awards 2023 to state agencies that have elevated their organizations in line with the policy of driving the country with a digital government.Puangpet Chunlaiad, Minister attached to the Office of the Prime Minister, presided over the award handing out ceremony. This year, a total of 150 awards were given to state agencies for their transformation into digital governance. The event, organized by the Digital Government Development Agency (DGA), recognizes the developmental changes and successes of these state agencies nationwide in this crucial area.Notable awards included the Digital Government Award for the agency with the highest digital readiness score, the Quality Agency Award in State Data Governance, the Quality Agency Award in State Data Disclosure through the Central Data Center, and the Quality Agency Award in Digital Personnel. Other awards were the Outstanding Digital Leadership Award, the Outstanding Development Award, and the Local Digital Award.Congratulating the winning agencies, Puangpet emphasized the importance of improving state services, making it easier for citizens to interact with the government remotely.
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UNESCO Declares Thai Songkran Festival a Cultural Heritage07 Dec 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - UNESCO, the United Nations Agency for Education, Science, Culture, Communication, and Information, has officially recognized the Thai Songkran Festival as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. The announcement was made during the 18th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Kasane, Botswana.Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin expressed profound gratitude on behalf of the Thai government and its people. He stated that the annual festival reflects the core values of gratitude, benevolence, and unity among Thai people.Songkran is widely known for its lively water-splashing activities, symbolizing Thailand’s rich cultural diversity, creativity, and communal spirit. This recognition marks "Songkran in Thailand" as the fourth Thai element to be listed in UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage inventory. This follows the inclusion of the "Khon" masked dance performance in 2018, "Thai Massage" in 2019, and the "Nora" dance performance from Southern Thailand in 2021.In celebration of this honor, the Ministry of Culture is organizing an event titled "Songkran in Thailand, Traditional Thai New Year Festival" at Lan Khon Muang and Wat Suthat Thepwararam in Bangkok. The event, open to the public, is scheduled to commence tomorrow at 6 PM.The recognition of Thai intangible cultural heritage, which involves practices, expressions, knowledge, and skills, underscores its vital role in the nation’s cultural identity. It also contributes significantly to the Sustainable Development Goals, reinforcing the cultural fabric and heritage of Thailand on a global platform.
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Chalawan Thailandicus Fossils Declared National Treasure06 Dec 2023
(picture source : ไดโนเสาร์เล่าแบบไทยๆ)BANGKOK (NNT) - Rare fossils of an extinct giant reptile, Chalawan thailandicus, from the late Jurassic period, have been declared Thailand’s 44th national treasure by the Department of Mineral Resources. The announcement, published on the Royal Gazette’s website, highlights the fossils’ rarity and special value, found in Nong Bua Lamphu and Mukdahan provinces.The first Chalawan thailandicus fossil, a nearly complete lower jaw, was discovered in the early 1980s near Nong Bua Lamphu, in the Phu Kradung Formation in the Northeast. After thorough research, Thai and foreign paleontologists in 2013 classified it as a new species, distinct from the previously identified Sunosuchus thailandicus.The fossil analysis suggests that Chalawan thailandicus had a skull length of approximately 1.1 meters and an overall body length exceeding 10 meters. The reptile’s name, "Chalawan," is inspired by a character in the Thai folktale of Krai Thong, who could transform into a crocodile with diamond teeth.
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Thai Rice Exports Surge as Indonesia Faces Reduced Harvest Due to Drought06 Dec 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Ministry of Commerce has reported a surge in Thailand’s rice exports as Indonesia’s rice industry was hit by El Ni?o-triggered droughts and a delayed monsoon season during the first 10 months of this year.Information from the October 2023 projection of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecast a 3% drop in Indonesia’s 2023/24 rice production at 33.5 million metric tons. Indonesia typically has three rice growing cycles annually, with the primary cycle during the rainy season - from October to December - accounting for about 45% of total rice cultivation, and harvests between February and April. Two additional off-season cycles occur during the dry season. Most of Indonesia’s rice cultivation relies on irrigation, covering 85% of the cultivated area, primarily in lowland regions that depend on rainfall to supplement irrigation systems.The Trade Policy and Strategy Office also reported that Thailand’s rice export volumes in the first ten months of 2023 reached 6.9 million tons, an 11.4% increase from the same period last year, valued at nearly 136.3 billion baht, a 24.7% increase. The top five rice export markets for Thailand are Indonesia at 13.19%, the United States, South Africa, Iraq, and China.
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Probe Ordered into Tourist’s Police Uniform Incident06 Dec 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - National Police Chief Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol has ordered an investigation into a video showing a Chinese tourist wearing a Thai police uniform, with an apparent officer assisting him.Royal Thai Police Spokesman Pol Lt Gen Achayon Kraithong announced the probe to determine the video’s origin and participants.Pol Lt Gen Achayon stated that the ongoing investigation, which is anticipated to conclude shortly, will determine if any legal or regulatory violations have occurred. He emphasized the significance of maintaining the integrity of the Thai police force and cautioned tourists against wearing police uniforms or soliciting unauthorized services from officers.The incident, first brought to light by a Facebook user, has drawn comparisons to a previous case involving unauthorized VVIP services provided by certain Thai officials to a Chinese tourist. The earlier incident had led to the investigation of four police officers.
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PM Affirms Ongoing Works to Free Thai Hostages06 Dec 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has confirmed the government’s ongoing efforts to assist Thai hostages held in Gaza since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas conflict on October 7. Dismissing rumors of abandonment, he stated that further hostage releases are contingent on the next ceasefire. Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara said earlier that eight or nine Thai nationals could still be held hostage by Hamas.The Ministry of Labor is also negotiating with various countries to employ Thai workers from Israel in their agricultural sectors, with South Korea as a potential destination. Israel has requested Thai workers to continue their employment, extending contracts for another year for those with five-year agreements.Financially, the Thai government has provided 15,000 baht to each returning worker and is planning further compensation, including a 50,000 baht additional payment and a proposal for a three-year debt suspension.
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