วันศุกร์ที่ 15 มีนาคม พ.ศ. 2556
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will urge Japan to participate in the rehabilitation of infrastructure in Thailand following the flood crisis.
The Prime Minister is scheduled to pay an official working visit to Japan on 6-9 March 2012 to strengthen bilateral relations and restore Japanese investors' confidence in Thailand’s flood solutions.
Joining the trip will be Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, Minister of Information and Communication Technology Group Captain Anudith Nakornthap, Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom, Industry Minister M.R. Pongsvas Svasti, and Deputy Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt.
On March 7, Prime Minister Yingluck will give a keynote address at a seminar of business people, organized by Thailand’s Office of the Board of Investment, and meet President of the Japan Finance Corporation Shosaku Yasui and a group of Japanese tour operators. On the same day, after meeting the President of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and giving a speech at a meeting of Thai and Japanese business leaders, Prime Minister Yingluck will hold talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
As Thailand and Japan celebrate the 125th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations in 2012, the Prime Minister will propose the promotion of strategic partnerships between both countries in all aspects. Emphasis will be placed on ASEAN connectivity with the Greater Mekong Subregion, especially cooperation in economic rehabilitation, since both countries suffered severe natural disasters in 2011. She will inform Japanese public and private sectors about Thailand’s anti-flood programs.
Leading Thai business people accompanying the Prime Minister during this trip will discuss with their Japanese counterparts cooperation in enhancing the competitiveness of Thailand as Japan’s production base and product distribution center. Japan continues to be the largest foreign investor in Thailand.
On March 8, Prime Minister Yingluck will have an audience with Crown Prince Naruhito before leaving for Sendai, the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, to visit local residents affected by the “Great East Japan Earthquake.” She will also visit flood-hit Thai workers who have been transferred to work temporarily in Japan. The Tourism Authority of Thailand, the City of Sendai, and the Tohoku Tourism Promotion Organization in January 2012 signed a letter of intent to use tourism as a means of helping to facilitate economic and social recovery from the natural disasters that have struck both destinations.
On March 9, the Prime Minister will give an interview to NHK Television before returning to Bangkok.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Comments on UN Press Statement and Other Developments Related to the Explosions Incident
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has stated that the setting up of the National Development Fund for Women was an effort to empower Thai women and enhance their potential. It is among the Government’s 16 urgent policies to be implemented in the 2012 fiscal year.
Prime Minister Yingluck gave a briefing on the policy and guidelines for the operations of the fund at the Santi Maitri Building, Government House, on 18 February 2012.
Attending the briefing were Cabinet members from seven relevant agencies, namely the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. The participants also included senior officials from all 20 ministries, governors from 77 provinces, representatives from related organizations, and members of the media.
The Prime Minister said that the Government would work with both local and national women’s organizations and provide greater opportunities for their participation in national development. She called for cooperation from various agencies to publicize the National Development Fund for Women and promote its operations for the sustainable development of women.
She pointed out that although the Government was well- aware of women’s problems and attached great importance to gender equality, it was necessary to establish mechanisms and measures in order to promote the roles of women and to protect them effectively. For this reason, the Government has decided to set up the National Development Fund for Women.
The fund, which is under the Prime Minister’s Office, serves as a revolving funding source for women to borrow with low interest or without interest. The money will be used to develop their occupations, generate employment and income, promote their welfare, ease their problems, and enhance the potential of women’s networks.
Each province will be granted 100 million baht on average, based on its population, to set up a women’s development fund. Registration will be opened for members of the fund between February 19 and March 2, when public forums will also be held in all regions of the country to listen to the opinions of women’s networks.
Prime Minister Yingluck cited Her Majesty the Queen as a model for women development. For instance, Her Majesty established the Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques, or SUPPORT, to provide Thai people, especially women, with sufficient training to enable them to turn out high-quality crafts and thus earn extra income. The setting up of the National Development Fund for Women is also meant to pay tribute to Her Majesty on the occasion of her 80th birthday anniversary in 2012.
The second mobile Cabinet meeting under the Yingluck Shinawatra administration is scheduled for 21-22 February 2012, in the northeastern province of Udon Thani.
Prime Minister Yingluck will leave Bangkok for Loei province first, on 21 February 2012, before traveling by helicopter to Udon Thani to chair a meeting of the Regional Joint Public/Private Sector Consultative Committee.
The Cabinet meeting will take place on February 22 at the auditorium of Udon Thani Rajabhat University in Muaeng district. The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board will propose a number of projects for the Cabinet to consider during this meeting. The projects will be carried out in 12 northeastern provinces, namely Udon Thani, Nong Bua Lamphu, Nong Khai, Loei, Bueng Kan, Mukdahan, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Roi Et, and Kalasin.
Among them are the construction of roads, the expansion of traffic lanes, water management, and tourism development. Another project seeks to develop Khon Kaen province as a center for public health services. Nakhon Phanom will also propose the construction of a regional health center and a convention for the Greater Mekong Subregion.
President of the Federation of Thai Industries Payungsak Chartsutipol said that, at the upcoming meeting with the Cabinet in Udon Thani, the Regional Joint Public/Private Sector Consultative Committee would urge the Government to speed up the construction of a dual-rail link between Bangkok and Nong Khai, so that they would be completed by 2019.
The private sector has also called for the acceleration of a high-speed train project, linking Bangkok with Nong Khai, as well as the improvement of transportation routes along the Mekong River, and the construction of a railway linking four provinces, namely Maha Sarakham, Roi Et, Mukdahan, and Nakhon Phanom.
Other proposals include ways to promote trade and investment and develop the logistics system so that it is able to cope with economic growth in the northeastern region, connecting with neighboring countries. As for tourism promotion, the private sector will ask the Government to consider supporting the construction of a cable car project at the Phu Kradueng National Park in Loei.
The mobile Cabinet meeting will provide a chance for ministers to visit local people to listen to their problems and follow up on the implementation of various government projects. Prime Minister Yingluck wanted a mobile Cabinet meeting to be held once a month. The first mobile Cabinet meeting took place in the northern province of Chiang Mai in January this year. After the second one in Udon Thani in February, the third one is scheduled for 19-20 March 2012 in the South, and the fourth one for 23-24 April 2012 in the central region.
Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul has given a pres briefing regarding the explosions occuring on Soi Sukhumvit 71 in Bangkok on 14 February 2012.
The briefing took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok on 15 February 2012, with the participation of several senior officials responsible for national security.
A report issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that, on 15 February 2012, the National Security Council convened an urgent meeting of the Thai security authorities concerned regarding the incident which was attended by several high-ranking officials, including the Secretary-General of the National Security Council, the Director of the National Intelligence Agency, the Director of the Office of Policy and Planning of the Ministry of Defense, the Deputy Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police, and the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Based on the preliminary investigation and existing evidence, the meeting arrived at the following conclusions:
1. The explosive devices found are improvised explosive devices (IED) with C4 components and magnetic strips. No link between this incident and the arrest of Mr. Atris Hussein earlier last month has been found. It is likely that these explosive devices were intended for the assassination of an individual or individuals rather than a large-scale attack;
2. The suspects comprise three men and one woman. The Thai authorities reacted promptly to the incident, and two out of the four suspects have already been arrested. The first suspect was the man injured from the explosion at the scene of the incident, while another suspect was the man arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport while trying to flee Thailand. Although both suspects were found with Iranian passports, further investigations will be conducted before determining the authenticity of the passports and their nationalities;
3. At present, the Thai authorities have not yet identified the two arrested men as terrorists. The Thai police will press criminal charges on these two men on the grounds of possessing explosive devices that caused danger and injuries to others, as well as attempted murder. Further investigations will have to be conducted before any conclusion can be made.
At 15.30 hr on 15 February 2012, the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs gave a briefing on this incident to members of the diplomatic corps and international organizations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Police General Pansiri Prapawat, Deputy Police Commissioner, joined the briefing.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it had been monitoring the travel alerts and advisories issued by countries regarding this incident and found that, as of 15 February 2012 at 11.50 hr, 10 countries, namely Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, the Netherlands, Japan, South Korea, Brazil and New Zealand, have issued travel advisories, providing information about the incident and stating that the Thai authorities are investigating. While most of them merely advised their citizens to exercise caution in public areas, none of them has linked the incident with terrorism.
The Foreign Minister also sought cooperation from the Thai public to remain vigilant and encouraged them to quickly report to the police should they come across any unusual activities.
Prompt action is being taken to deal with the smoke haze and bushfire situation in the upper northern region, comprising eight provinces, namely Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Lampang, Phayao, Phrae, and Nan.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is closely monitoring the situation and implementing measures to prevent and ease the problem.
The smoke haze and bushfire problem usually arises from January to April each year. It is caused by all kinds of burning in various communities, as well as the slash-and-burn farming technique employed by farmers. Dust and smoke particles from forest fires cause air pollution and health hazards, particularly respiratory illness. They also contribute to global warming and affect the country’s tourism, as well as land and air traffic.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment believes that the smoke haze and bushfire situation this year will be less severe than last year because of the “La Niña” phenomenon, which has resulted in a large amount of rain in the early months of the year. The amount of rain has eased the smoke haze problem. At the same time, because of a successful campaign, local residents have cooperated with the authorities by reducing the burning of farmland after harvest.
The Pollution Control Department is implementing an action plan on the solving of the problem from 2012 to 2016. It has also sent officials to Laos and Myanmar to monitor the situation there in order to reduce the problem in the region. Lampang Governor Booncerd Kidhen signed an announcement on February 8, controlling the burning of waste and leaves in the entire province to prevent aggravation of the problem. The decision was meant to maintain the level of dust particles in the air at not more than the accepted safe standard of 120 micrograms per cubic meter.
The floods have abated in many provinces in Thailand and, for the most part, the situation has returned to normal, but several provinces are now facing drought, a new natural disaster. According to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, five provinces are suffering from drought. They are Kamphaeng Phet, Lamphun, Sukhothai, Loei, and Chanthaburi. The affected provinces have set up relief centers and assigned officials to deal with the situation.
Regarding the cold weather problem, the Director-General of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Wiboon Sanguanpong, said that cold weather posed a major problem in many provinces this year. Thirty-three provinces were declared cold disaster zones: 13 in the north, 17 in the Northeast, and three in the central region.