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PM aims to turn Northeast into ‘Mekong economic hub’

Published August 19, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30324333

PM aims to turn Northeast into ‘Mekong economic hub’

politics August 20, 2017 01:00

By THE SUNDAY NATION

THE GOVERNMENT has its eyes set on developing the Northeast to become the “Mekong economic hub”, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday, ahead of a mobile Cabinet meeting to be held in the region.

He said his government aims to develop the Northeast to become the economic hub of the Greater Mekong Sub-region by solving existing problems and developing new projects, the National News Bureau of Thailand reported.

Greater Mekong Sub-region consists of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and China’s Yunnan and Guangxi Zhuang provinces.

The Cabinet is scheduled to convene its mobile meeting tomorrow and on Tuesday in Nakhon Ratchasima, which is seen as a regional gateway and the centre of the Lower Northeast, Government Spokesman Lt-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said.

The meeting would focus on projects like integrated water management, support of economic activities and agriculture, improving the quality of life of the locals, increasing organic farming and processing, developing eco-tourism, and expanding the One Tambon, One Product (OTOP) entrepreneurial scheme.

Nakhon Ratchasima, in particular, would be chosen for future development to make it a hub of both industry and agriculture, the spokesman said.

A high-speed train would connect the city to Bangkok as well as to the Eastern Economic Corridor, a grand development project of the government in the East, he said.

Sansern, who is also the Public Relations Department director general, has been in the spotlight in the past few days after he outlined a plan asking for “cooperation” from the media to report on the Cabinet trip. Some members of the media viewed this as “regulating and interfering” with their public responsibilities.

Samsern asked them to produce scoops on ministers and provide recordings to the PRD-affiliated National Broadcasting Services of Thailand. Some media outlets withdrew from the plan.

129 corruption claims lodged against state officials

Published August 19, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30324302

National Council for Peace and Order deputy spokeswoman Colonel Sirichan Ngathong

National Council for Peace and Order deputy spokeswoman Colonel Sirichan Ngathong

129 corruption claims lodged against state officials

Breaking News August 19, 2017 16:58

By The Nation

The Government’s centre for receiving public complaints has received 1,320 filings since it opened for service on July 14, the National Council for Peace and Order deputy spokeswoman Colonel Sirichan Ngathong said on Saturday.

“Of these, there are 129 filings related to alleged corruption of state officials. The government has given priority to deal with corruption issues, and has forwarded these cases to the National Anti-Corruption Centre for further investigation,” said Sirichan.

People had also lodged 110 complaints about irregular practices by military personnel, police and drug suppression officials.

However, the highest number of complaints – totalling 666 – involved hardships in life, and these cases had been forwarded to the Prime Minister’s Office in order to find solutions.

Members of the public also filed complaints about disputes over land rights, legal issues, and lack of proper utilities.

Sirichan said there were 11 cases in which officials needed more information from the complainants. Another 404 complaints lacked essential information, she said.

The junta has invited people to lodge their complaints via Post Box 444 Ratchadamnoen Bangkok, on the hotline number 1299, or face-to-face with officials at one of the 293 military complaints units across the country.

Cabinet has grand vision for development of Northeast

Published August 19, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30324301

Government spokesman Lt General Sansern Kaewkamnerd

Government spokesman Lt General Sansern Kaewkamnerd

Cabinet has grand vision for development of Northeast

Breaking News August 19, 2017 16:36

By The Nation

Government spokesman Lt General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said on Saturday that the Cabinet had its eyes set on developing the Northeast to become the “Mekong economic hub”.

The Cabinet would convene on Tuesday in Nakhon Ratchasima, which is seen as a regional gateway and the centre of the Lower Northeast, Sansern said.

The meeting would focus on projects including integrated water management to support both economic activities and agriculture, improving the quality of life of the Northeastern people, organic farming and processing, eco-tourism, and the One Tambon, One Product (OTOP) entrepreneurship scheme.

Nakhon Ratchasima, in particular, would be subject to future development to make it become a hub of both industry and agriculture, Sansern said.

There would be a high-speed train connecting it to Bangkok as well as the Eastern Economic Corridor, a grand development project of the government in the East, he said.

Sansern, who is also public relations department chief, has been in the spotlight in the past few days after he outlined a plan asking for “cooperation” from the media to report on the Cabinet trip. Some members of the media viewed this as “regulating and interfering” with their public responsibilities.

Samsern asked them to produce scoops on ministers and provide recordings to the PRD-affiliated National Broadcasting Services of Thailand. Some media members withdrew from the plan after heavy criticism, but Sansern said it was still in place and it was up to the media how to respond.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also responded to the issue, saying he did not expect anything from the media in the first place.

Prayut said he would rather not give any interviews from now on, but say directly to the public what he wanted to say. It was apparently said in a satirical manner.

Bt13 billion seized in rice pledge case, says AMLO

Published August 19, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30324252

File photo

File photo

Bt13 billion seized in rice pledge case, says AMLO

politics August 19, 2017 01:00

By THE NATION

2,449 Viewed

Days before Yingluck verdict, anti-money laundering office boasts of assets frozen in relation to high-profile scandal.

LESS THAN a week before the Supreme Court delivers its verdict in the negligence case against ex-prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) yesterday boasted about its success in seizing or freezing almost Bt13 billion in assets from offenders in a case stemming from the rice-pledging scandal.

AMLO secretary-general Chaiya Siriampankul said the case was among the 19 high-profile cases in which the agency followed a money trail and provided public prosecutors with information to seek court orders for confiscation of assets from offenders.

Over the past year, AMLO’s work has led to the seizure or freezing of more than Bt40 billion from offenders in those criminal and corruption cases, less than 10 per cent of the total estimated damages of Bt469 billion, according to the agency’s chief.

Chaiya told a press conference that one of the high-profile cases stemmed from the previous government’s rice-pledging scheme. The scandal led to more than 100 related cases involving estimated damages of Bt405 billion.

AMLO so far has managed to seize assets from people involved in only one of those sub-cases – Bt12.91 billion from wealthy businessman Apichart Chansakulporn, who is better known as “Sia Piang”, and three others, who were accused of involvement in “fake” government-to-government rice-sale deals.

Judgement day

The highest court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders is scheduled to deliver its verdict in Yingluck’s case on Friday.

The government-to-government rice-sale scandal case saw the highest value of seized assets. It was followed by the zero-dollar Chinese tour case, in which the operators of Fuan Travel and OA Transport had a combined Bt9.5 billion of assets seized.

Another high-profile graft case involving the Klong Dan wastewater treatment plant, saw Bt6.35 billion in assets belonging to the offenders seized. It was followed by the Wat Dhammakaya embezzlement case, in which Bt2.34 billion was seized from certain businesspeople involved with the controversial temple.

Another Bt724 million was seized from those involved in the Nataree massage parlour human-smuggling case, where many young migrant women were found to have worked illegally in entertainment venues.

AMLO was also instrumental in seizing about Bt500 million from people involved in a narcotics smuggling network led by Laotian drug lord Xaysana Keopimpha, who was arrested at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in January, said Chaiya.

The agency also played an important role in confiscation of assets from violators suspected of laundering money – including drug smugglers, embezzlers, online gambling operators, and corrupt foreign officials hiding here, said the secretary-general.

Chaiya said that Thailand has improved its performance in enforcing the anti-money laundering law and combating the financing of terrorism. At the latest general assembly of the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, a review of Thailand showed that the Kingdom achieved a score of 56 per cent, much better than the previous review in 2007, when it got 31 per cent.

Thailand was rated “high” and “highest” in 26 out of the 40 items in the review, according to the AMLO chief.

He said that in four out of the 11 areas reviewed, the country was in a “substantial level”, comparable to leading performers such as Singapore and Belgium. But Thailand still needed to improve in halting bribe taking, tax evasion, stock manipulation and contraband smuggling.

Sansern to pursue his plan to seek media ‘cooperation’

Published August 19, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30324256

Sansern to pursue his plan to seek media ‘cooperation’

politics August 19, 2017 01:00

By THE NATION

PUBLIC RELATIONS Department chief Lt-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd yesterday confirmed to The Nation that he would stick to his plan to ask for “cooperation” from media during the Cabinet trip next week.

But it is up to the media how to respond, said Sansern who is also the government spokesman.

The plan is being heavily criticised by members of the media, who view it as “regulating and interfering” with their public responsibilities.

The issue emerged after some media and social media users circulated an August 15 letter inviting editors of all media outlets to meet on Wednesday to discuss preparations for the Cabinet trip, including news reporting. Sansern had said this was not “regulating” the media as has been criticised, but “asking for cooperation” to produce news scoops concerning Cabinet members on the trip, set for August 19 to 22.

Sansern’s reply to the criticism was that past news reports mainly covered the prime minister, despite the fact that other Cabinet members also joined him on trips. People need to also hear from Cabinet members about Thailand’s problems and their efforts to tackle them, he said.

That aim led him to ask media outlets which ministers they wished to follow, and let them choose.

Sansern said the plan remains the same, but some media members did not want to be involved. He said he had no problem with that, as they were free in the first place to pick topics of interest to report.

The spokesperson insisted that he just wished to see news reporting cover various issues. People have the right to know various issues that the government has been working on, he added.

“It’s the media’s job to inform people, right?” said Sansern, while conceding that the idea, and the approach he initiated, might be deemed an inappropriate way for government to deal with media.

Media professionals yesterday rebuked the plan, viewing it as an attempt by the PRD to interfere in the decision-making of broadcasting media by asking them to report on “underrated” ministers as well as asking them to provide recordings to the PRD-affiliated National Broadcasting Services of Thailand.

Thepchai Yong, president of the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association, said Sansern’s action was tantamount to interference in the media’s work. “It is not a wise move on the part of the government, as this could be seen as an attempt to dictate to the media,” Thepchai said. He said that media have a professional responsibility to report truthfully and hold those in power and interest groups accountable, not to serve as a public-relations tool for government.

The Thai Broadcast Journalists Association has issued a statement expressing its concern and disagreement with plan, which they deem an effort to intimidate and interfere with the media. The association views it as inappropriate for government to ask media to heed the government’s demands.

Auditor-general warns against misuse of travel budget

Published August 19, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30324224

Auditor-General Pisit Leelavachiropas

Auditor-General Pisit Leelavachiropas

Auditor-general warns against misuse of travel budget

politics August 18, 2017 18:30

By The Nation

Auditor-General Pisit Leelavachiropas on Friday warned staff of local administrative agencies that their salaries would be cut and they could face prosecution if trips they undertook were not in line with the stated purpose.

The Office of Auditor-General (OAG) has sent letters to the Interior and Defence ministries to scrutinise budget spending of local administrative organisations following reports that some employees had been offered a subsidised trip to Bangkok to support Yingluck Shinawatra. The former prime minister will next week hear the final verdict from the Supreme Court over the rice pledging scheme.

Pisit said the Office only wanted to prevent misuse of the state budget.

Every year, local administrations are allocated a budget for field trips or educational tours, he explained. But it was reported that the budget allocated for trips to other events in Bangkok had been exploited to fund travel to the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders, which heard the Yingluck case, Pisit said.

The Office wanted the notification letter it had sent to be a norm for all agencies to abide by the rules and regulations.

Spending should not be to serve a private purpose or disturb peace in society, the auditor-general said, adding that now some agencies were holding up field trips and opening the way for the Office to inspect.

Rights commission reset improves international reputation: Meechai

Published August 19, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30324219

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Rights commission reset improves international reputation: Meechai

politics August 18, 2017 17:48

By The Nation

Chief charter writer Meechai Ruchupan on Friday insisted the resetting of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) seen in the organic law is necessary for improving the agency’s international reputation. Also, he believed that the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) would not petition against the controversial bill.

“We have to accept that the NHRC members must be removed and a new batch recruited to allow representatives from civil society to take part. This is to fix the issue where the agency was downgraded by international organisations,” he said.

The downgrade made the NHRC unable to vote at the international level, Meechai said. If the agency included more representatives from civil society, Meechai believed the increased expertise would improve the commission’s international reputation.

The remark came following the NLA’s vote on Thursday passing the organic law governing the agency. But the vote was not without controversy. Some NLA members disagreed with dismissing current NHRC members.

In addition to the NLA, the 2017 charter also allowed the CDC to petition the Constitutional Court if they believed the bill was unconstitutional.

Meechai, however, said he didn’t think the panel would do so. The drafters did not see any problems in the bill, the CDC chairman said.

Despite criticism, government wants media ‘cooperation’

Published August 19, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30324217

File photo

File photo

Despite criticism, government wants media ‘cooperation’

politics August 18, 2017 17:05

By The Nation

Government spokesman and Public Relations Department chief Lt-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd on Friday confirmed to The Nation he would stick with his controversial plan to ask for “cooperation” from media during the Cabinet trip next week.

But it is up to the media how they would respond, he said.

The plan is being heavily criticised by members of the media, who view it as “regulating and interfering” with their public responsibilities.

The issue has emerged after some media and social media users circulated an August 15 letter inviting editors of all media outlets to meet on Wednesday to discuss preparations for the Cabinet trip, including news reporting. Sansern had said this was not “regulating” the media as has been criticised, but “asking for cooperation” to produce news scoops concerning Cabinet members on the trip, set for August 19 to 22.

Sansern’s reply to the criticism was that past news reports mainly covered the Prime Minister, despite the fact that other Cabinet members also joined him on trips. People need to also hear acknowledgement by Cabinet member of Thailand’s problems and their efforts to tackle them, he said.

That aim led him to ask media outlets which ministers they wished to follow, and let them choose.

Sansern said on Friday that the plan remains the same, but some media members expressed their wishes to withdraw from the plan. He said he had no problem with that, as they were actually free in the first place to pick topics of interest to report.

The spokesperson insisted that he just wished to see news reporting do as it is supposed to by covering various issues. People have the right to know various issues the government has been working on, he added.

“It’s the media’s job to inform people, right?” said Sansern, while conceding that the idea, and the approach he initiated, might be deemed an inappropriate way for government to deal with media.

Media professionals yesterday rebuked the plan, viewing it as an attempt by the Government Public Relations Department (PRD) to interfere in the decision-making of broadcasting media by asking them to report on “underrated” ministers as well as asking them to provide recordings to the PRD-affiliated National Broadcasting Services of Thailand.

Thepchai Yong, president of the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association, said Sansern’s action was tantamount to interference in the media’s work. “It is not a wise move on the part of the government, as this could be seen as an attempt to dictate to the media,” Thepchai said. He said that media have a professional responsibility to report truthfully and hold those in power and interest groups accountable, not to serve as a public-relations tool for government.

The Thai Broadcast Journalists Association has issued a statement expressing its concern and disagreement with plan, which they deem an effort to intimidate and interfere with the media. The association views it as inappropriate for government to ask media to work under the government’s demands.

Prosecution cites agencies’ warnings on rice scheme to accuse Yingluck

Published August 19, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30324132

File photo

File photo

Prosecution cites agencies’ warnings on rice scheme to accuse Yingluck

politics August 18, 2017 01:00

By The Nation

IN ITS CLOSING statement in former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s case regarding her government’s rice-pledging scheme, the prosecution claimed she had failed to act to prevent damages and irregularities.

The 211-page document was submitted on Wednesday to the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders, where Yingluck is charged with negligence in connection with the project, Isra news agency reported. The case was filed by the Office of the Attorney-General.

The closing statement pointed to written warnings from relevant state agencies – including the Office of the Auditor-General and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) – about reports of irregularities.

Also, according to the document, the state-run Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, the Public Warehouse Organisation and the Marketing Organisation for Farmers had reported in writing to the Yingluck government about many irregularities involving the scheme.

The problems included the reporting of false information about rice planting areas, missing rice from government stocks and the suppression of farmers’ rights.

The prosecution’s closing statement said there was no evidence to prove that Yingluck, as the government head at the time, had raised the issue with her Cabinet or taken any action in tackling the problem of irregularities in a concrete way.

Yingluck read her closing statement before the court on August 1. The court is scheduled to deliver its verdict next Friday.

More than 2,500 police officers will be deployed at the Supreme Court on that day to keep law and order, Metropolitan Police deputy commander Pol Maj-General Phanurat Lakboon said yesterday.

Govt plan to influence media coverage slammed

Published August 19, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30324140

  • Sansern
  • Mana
  • Thepchai

Govt plan to influence media coverage slammed

politics August 18, 2017 01:00

By Wasamon Audjarint,
Saksa Samerpop
The Nation

A move by the Public Relations Department (PRD) to have TV stations give more coverage to “underrated” Cabinet members has been viewed by media professionals as an attempt to curb press freedom and an interference with media’s decision-making.

PRD caretaker director-general Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd on Wednesday asked editors and reporters from broadcasting outlets to “cooperate” with the agency to give more media attention to “underrated” ministers during the upcoming mobile Cabinet meeting in Nakhon Ratchasima next week.

Each TV outlet is to accompany a minister, except the PRD-affiliated National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT), which will report on three ministers.

Although in principle the media were given the option to choose which of the 17 ministers they intended to cover, Sansern told the journalists to make decision immediately, according to a source attending the meeting.

Sansern also said that in addition to their desired broadcasting, they should also submit their recordings for further airtime on NBT. “The PRD has enough resources but this [method] should help create a variety of reporting on the government,” he said.

The participating media outlets are Nation TV, Channel 3, Channel 5, Channel 7, MCOT, Thai PBS, Mono 29, Channel 8, TNN, NEW 18, True4U, One Channel, GMM 25, Thairath TV, NBT and NBT World.

Sansern, who is also the government spokesperson, said that the plan is to give more spotlight to ministers other than Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, who often draws most media attention.

This “working integration” between the government and private outlets should help boost public understanding on the government’s performance, the spokesperson said.

“They can even use their own microphones in their reports to be sent to the NBT,” he added. “We won’t dictate how they report. It’s all voluntary.”

The plan, however, has been slammed by media professionals and academics who say it is not the government’s duty to get involved in media decisions on reporting.

Thepchai Yong, president of the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association, said what Sansern did was tantamount to interference in the media’s work. “It is not a wise move on the part of the government, as this could be seen as an attempt to dictate to the media,” Thepchai said.

He insisted that the media has a professional responsibility to report truthfully and hold those in power and interest groups accountable, not to serve as a public relations tool for the government.

Weerasak Pongaksorn, managing editor of Nation TV, stressed that the media uses its own discretion on reporting. “We’re free to consider what and what not to report for social benefits,” Weerasak said.

Mongkol Bangprapa, secretary-general of the Thai Journalists Association, said he was concerned that Sansern’s guidelines could violate Article 184 of the Constitution, which states that the Upper and Lower houses shall not interfere or obstruct exercising of the media’s rights.

“Whether the media will be interested in reporting the matter depends on what content it holds and how it will attract public attention,” Mongkol said.

“The best way can be for the government to facilitate our reporting procedures without imposing new demands or agendas on the media,” he added.

Communications academic Mana Treelayapewat said that while the government should know its boundaries, media workers should also adhere to press freedom and refuse to bow to unfair conditions.

“The cooperation should not be made because of mere consideration or some mutual benefits,” Mana said. “The freedom to report should be at the forefront.”

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