Navy to sign 4-billion-baht contract with Israeli firm for drones

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The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) will buy seven drones for around 4 billion baht from an Israeli company.

Navy to sign 4-billion-baht contract with Israeli firm for drones

Vice Admiral Pokkrong Monthatphalin on Friday announced the winner of the tender for a drone system after Worakiat Rattananon, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Defence, signed the approval on Thursday.

Pokkrong said that the contract is being drafted and is expected to be signed within 30 days.

Israeli company Elbit Systems – Aerospace quoted a total price of 4.06 billion baht to win the bid.

Elbit Systems manufactures two unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) models — Hermes 900 and Hermes 450.

The Navy will receive seven Hermes 900 UAVs, according to the Defence Ministry.

The Royal Thai Army already has four Hermes 400 stationed at the 21st Aviation Battalion, Army Aviation Centre, in Lopburi province.

Published : July 01, 2022

By : THE NATION

Thailand monitoring border after Myanmar air strikes on rebels

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National security-related agencies are closely monitoring the situation on the Thailand-Myanmar border following outbreak of hostilities between rebels and Myanmar forces, the National Security Office said on Friday.

Thailand monitoring border after Myanmar air strikes on rebels

The remarks came after a Myanmar fighter jet entered Thailand’s air space in Phop Phra district of Tak province on Thursday morning to launch air strikes on ethnic rebels in Myawaddy border town.

Local residents panicked and two local schools suspended classes over the Myanmar air force operation.

The office’s secretary-general, General Supot Malaniyom, said all military units have been instructed to strictly monitor the situation. He said this conflict was Myanmar’s internal affair.

Local government agencies have already prepared a plan to deal with Myanmar refugees entering Thailand to escape the battle between the Myanmar army and ethnic rebels.

“The battle has happened four to five times this year,” he said.

He confirmed that Myanmar had been told to avoid intruding on Thailand’s territory. He also believed that the Foreign Ministry is working on this issue as well.

Thailand monitoring border after Myanmar air strikes on rebels

Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) spokesman AVM Prapas Sonjaidee said on Thursday that a Myanmar jet had launched air strikes on ethnic rebels along the border and intruded into Thailand’s air space before it disappeared from the RTAF’s radar system.

“The Royal Thai Air Force deployed two F-16 fighter jets to conduct air patrols over the border district and ordered a military attache in Rangoon to coordinate with concerned agencies in Myanmar about the intrusion,” he said.

Thailand monitoring border after Myanmar air strikes on rebels

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Friday that Myanmar had apologised for intruding into Thailand’s air space.

He also asked citizens to be confident in the Thai army’s ability to protect national sovereignty.

Published : July 01, 2022

By : THE NATION

Tropical storm ‘Chaba’ to be gentle on Thailand, says Met Office

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Tropical storm “Chaba”, which is set to slam into South China during the weekend, will not hit Thailand directly, the Thai Meteorological Department said on Friday.

Tropical storm ‘Chaba’ to be gentle on Thailand, says Met Office

It said the storm is moving slowly northwest with sustained winds of about 90 kilometres per hour. It added that the monsoon trough will lie across Myanmar and the upper North of Thailand before shifting into the low-pressure cell over Laos. A strong southwest monsoon, meanwhile, will prevail over the Andaman Sea, Thailand and the Gulf.

Rains with gusty winds have been forecast for some parts, while isolated heavy rains are expected in the North, Northeast, East and the southern coast.

People have been warned to beware of rivers breaking banks and flash floods.

Tropical storm ‘Chaba’ to be gentle on Thailand, says Met Office

The following areas will be affected today and tomorrow:

July 1

  • North: Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Lampang, Phayao, Phrae, Nan, Uttaradit, Phitsanulok and Petchabun.
  • Northeast: Loei, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Udon Thani, Nong Bua Lamphu, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Kalasin, Mukdahan, Roi Et, Yasothon, Amnat Charoen and Ubon Ratchathani.
  • Central: Kanchanaburi and Ratchaburi.
  • East: Nakhon Nayok, Prachinburi, Chachoengsao, Chonburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat
  • South: Ranong, Phang-nga, Phuket and Krabi.

July 2

  • North: Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Lampang, Phayao, Phrae, Nan, Uttaradit, Phitsanulok and Petchabun.
  • Northeast: Loei, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Udon Thani, Nong Bua Lamphu, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Khon Kaen, Kalasin, Mukdahan, Roi Et, Yasothon, Amnat Charoen and Ubon Ratchathani.
  • Central: Uthai Thani, Kanchanaburi and Ratchaburi, including Greater Bangkok.
  • East: Nakhon Nayok, Prachinburi, Chachoengsao, Chonburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat
  • South: Ranong, Phang-nga, Phuket and Krabi.

Fierce winds will whip up waves of 2-3 metres high and more than 3 metres in areas with thundershowers in the upper Andaman.

The upper Gulf will see waves of around 2 metres high and more than 2 metres in areas experiencing thundershowers.

Ships are warned to proceed with caution and keep away from areas with thundershowers, while small boats in the upper Andaman Sea should keep ashore until Wednesday.

Tropical storm ‘Chaba’ to be gentle on Thailand, says Met Office

Published : July 01, 2022

By : THE NATION

Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to resume flights after three years of shutdown

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Low-cost airline NokAir has applied to start operating domestic flights to and from Nakhon Ratchasima Airport, which has been shut since 2019, a source said.

Nakhon Ratchasima Airport to resume flights after three years of shutdown

Some 26 kilometres from downtown Nakhon Ratchasima, the airport first opened on December 5, 1997, to serve the domestic market. However, after years of running at a loss due to low passenger load, the airport was closed. During all of 2019, the airport had only served 39 passengers.

Nakhon Ratchasima Airport is located within the Nong Teng – Jakkarat Forest Park with a total area of 4,625 rai (740 hectares).

“NokAir will operate seven flights a week between Nakhon Ratchasima and Chiang Mai, Hat Yai and Phuket,” the source said. “The airline expects to start providing the flights by the second and third quarter of this year. It also plans to add six airplanes to its domestic fleet within 2022.”

The source added that before the closure, many airlines flew in and out of Nakhon Ratchasima Airport but had to cancel flights due to an underwhelming response. The airlines included Thai Airways, Air Andaman, AirAsia, Air Phoenix, Happy Air, Thai Regional Airlines, Kan Air, and New Gen Airways.

“There are two reasons behind the unsuccessful operation of the airport, first is that some airlines could not apply for flight permits from Nakhon Ratchasima Airport, and the second is the low number of passengers, forcing airlines to cut loss and stop their flights,” added the source.

Published : July 01, 2022

By : THE NATION

Severe Covid-19 cases rising, but still within estimate: CCSA

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As of June 30, 684 Covid-19 patients in Thailand have developed pneumonia and 292 are hooked up to respiratory devices. The number of pneumonia patients has risen by 86, and those requiring respiratory devices by four since June 17.

Severe Covid-19 cases rising, but still within estimate: CCSA

Dr Apisamai Srirangsan, spokesperson for the Centre of Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said on Thursday that the centre expected the number of severe patients to rise since restrictions were eased on June 1, especially the reopening of night-time venues.

“But the rise in patients is still within the level that our public health system can handle,” she said. “Currently, about 9.9 per cent of hospital beds are occupied by Covid-19 patients with medium to severe symptoms. This number rises to 20 per cent in densely populated areas. However, this is still below the 25 per cent estimated by the Public Health Ministry after the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.”

Apisamai added that the number of patients checking in at community isolation centres is also dropping, as people testing positive prefer to isolate themselves at home and receive medication from hospitals or clinics nearby.

The CCSA also reported that as of June 29, 139.74 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had been administered. Of them, 56.97 million are first jabs (84.5 per cent of the population), 53.16 million second jabs (80.5 per cent) and 29.61 million third jabs (46.5 per cent). The CCSA is hoping to administer third jabs to 60 per cent of the population, especially among those at high risk, in a bid to cut down on deaths.

“Only four provinces have administered booster shots to more than 60 per cent of the population, namely Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan and Phuket,” she added.

On Friday, Thailand recorded 2,354 Covid-19 cases and 16 deaths, while 2,154 patients recovered and were discharged. Since January 1, Thailand has seen a total of 2,301,834 Covid-19 cases.

Published : July 01, 2022

By : THE NATION

1.5 million discounts up for grabs in 4th phase of Thai travel scheme

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People who have registered for the “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” (We Travel Together) co-payment scheme will have access to 1.5 million discount offers until October 23.

1.5 million discounts up for grabs in 4th phase of Thai travel scheme

Those eligible for the scheme can book up to 10 discounted hotel nights from July 8 to October 31 and discounted flights from July 3 to November 5.

The discounted hotel rooms have been listed on www.เราเที่ยวด้วยกัน.com since June 27.

People who have participated in previous phases of the travel scheme are required to accept the new rules and conditions via the Paotang application before using their privileges.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand believes that the extended fourth phase of the “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” scheme will receive a good response as there are many public holidays in July. The holidays include Asarnha Puja Day (July 13), Buddhist Lent Day (July 14), His Majesty’s birthday (July 28) and special holidays on July 15 and 29 set by the government to stimulate tourism.

Under the extended scheme, members can avail of:

• 40% discount on accommodation of up to 3,000 baht per room per night (maximum 10 rooms/nights)

• 600 baht daily coupon that can be used for food or to pay for shows/events.

• 40% discount on plane fares with a cashback of up to 3,000 baht per passenger.

The scheme is only applicable to Thai nationals.

Published : July 01, 2022

By : THE NATION

3 Soneva Kiri execs slapped with charges over March fire

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Arrest warrants have been issued for Tropical Island Ltd and three of its directors for the fire that took place at Soneva Kiri Resort in Trat province on March 6.

3 Soneva Kiri execs slapped with charges over March fire

The resort on Koh Kut island was being managed by the company at the time of the fire, which seriously injured two guests and damaged some 34 million baht worth of their property, including jewellery and luxury watches.

Deputy police chief Pol Lt-General Sompong Chingduang met the press on Thursday to announce that after three months of gathering evidence, police decided to place charges against three executives – Sonashah Shivdasani, 45; Karl Michael French, 40; and Paphatya Awaiyawanont, 37.

French and Shivdasani are UK nationals, while Paphatcha is Thai, Sompong said.

3 Soneva Kiri execs slapped with charges over March fire

“Investigation revealed that the resort’s Villa 63, where the fire started, had never been inspected for fire safety and that the company had been renting it out to guests without notifying the registrar as required by the Hotel Act of 2004,” Sompong said.

“The company also failed to maintain its power system, which sparked the fire, and failed to ensure the fire alarm system was functional, which resulted in the blaze spreading throughout the resort. Hence, charges have been placed against the company and its directors for negligence resulting in injuries and damages.”

Sompong said that after the arrest warrants were issued, Paphatcha had turned herself in to face charges, though the other two directors are still missing and police believe they may have fled the country.

Trat police chief Pol Maj-General Pakorn Maneepakorn, who was also at the press conference, called on hotel operators to adhere to safety regulations as required by law, as well as ensure fire prevention systems, including smoke detectors, sprinklers, alarms and firefighting equipment are in functional condition at all times.

Published : July 01, 2022

By : THE NATION

Thailand records 2,354 Covid-19 cases and 16 deaths on Friday

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Ministry of Public Health reported on Friday (July 1) morning that in the past 24 hours there are 2,354 new patients who tested positive for Covid-19, four of whom have arrived in Thailand from abroad.

Thailand records 2,354 Covid-19 cases and 16 deaths on Friday

Death toll increased by 16, while 2,154 patients were cured and allowed to leave hospitals.

Cumulative cases in the country since January 1, 2022 are at 2,301,834.
 

The country’s total caseload from Covid-19 stands at 4,525,269 – 4,470,490 of whom have recovered, 24,115 are still in hospitals and 30,664 have died.

Separately, another 6,588 people were given their first Covid-19 shot in the last 24 hours, 10,502 their second shot and 45,731 a booster, bringing the total number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered nationwide to 139,814,878.

According to Worldometer, confirmed cases globally had risen to 552.75 million on Friday, 527.88 million of whom have recovered, 18.51 million are active cases (36,830 in severe condition) and 6.36 million have died (up by 1,405).

Thailand ranks 26th in the global list of most cases, which is topped by the US with 89.36 million, followed by India with 43.47 million, Brazil with 32.36 million, France with 31.08 million and Germany with 28.29 million.

Published : July 01, 2022

By : THE NATION

Travellers warned against carrying cannabis to Singapore

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Thai travellers have been warned against carrying products with cannabis content to Singapore, where smugglers could face capital punishment.

Travellers warned against carrying cannabis to Singapore

Deputy government spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek on Thursday posted a warning on her Facebook page, citing information from the Thai embassy in the island state.

She said that cannabis and hemp are considered illicit drugs in Singapore, although Thailand has legalised the plant since June 9.

According to the embassy in Singapore, the use or possession of marijuana carries an imprisonment of up to 10 years or a maximum fine of 20,000 Singapore dollars (about 508,000 baht). Those who trade in marijuana or smuggle into or out of Singapore risk capital punishment.

The embassy urged Thai travellers to refrain from carrying cannabis, hemp or products containing the plant into Singapore, as they could risk the severe punishments.

Earlier this month, the Thai embassy in Indonesia posted a similar warning on its official Facebook page.

“The Royal Thai Embassy in Jakarta would like to warn Thai people not to carry cannabis, hemp, or products with cannabis or hemp ingredients into Indonesia,” it read.

Violators of the law could face at least five years in jail to life imprisonment and capital punishment, or a hefty fine of 2.4 million baht.

A similar warning was also posted earlier this week by the Thai embassy in Seoul about carrying cannabis or hemp to South Korea.

Meanwhile, Vietnam also has capital punishment against marijuana smugglers.

Published : June 30, 2022

Songkhla woos tourists with popular Hat Yai fried chicken

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The Songkhla provincial administration and the business sector are highlighting Hat Yai fried chicken at a street food festival, hoping to promote gastronomy tourism in the southern border province.

Songkhla woos tourists with popular Hat Yai fried chicken

The Street Food Festival @ Hatyai was launched at the Supasarn Rangsan Park in Songkhla’s Hat Yai district on Wednesday. Songkhla Governor Jessada Jitwat and Natee Ratchakitprakan, the chief adviser to a deputy prime minister, presided over the opening ceremony. The festival will continue until July 3.

Songkhla Chamber of Commerce chairman Thanawat Poonsilp said Hat Yai fried chicken was highlighted at the fair, which would help make the dish better known to draw more visitors to Songkhla and Hat Yai to try it.

Thanawat said the chamber had enlisted 20 Hat Yai fried chicken shops in Songkhla to organise the Hat Yai fried checked fair at the Street Food Festival to promote the dish.

He said the dish could be further developed into a tourist attraction for Hat Yai.

Thanawat added that Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has sent an invitation to Michelin Guide to try Hat Yai fried chicken. The minister hopes the dish would help drive the tourism industry in Songkhla.

Published : June 30, 2022

By : THE NATION