News from Thailand – July 29, 2014


The repair of Thailand's longest wooden bridge, the Saphan Mon bridge in Kanchanaburi, is not making much progress. Last year, 70 of the 850-meter-long bridge collapsed, the repair began in April and has only progressed 30 percent so far. Scheduled was four months, but that is not possible.

The work has been delayed because the emergency bridge that was right next to it has to be relocated, only 26 posts have been found and 1,300 new ones now have to be built, most from the Northeast. The rain has also caused delays.

– Some reporting Bangkok Post reminds me of the role of Kees van Kooten as Prof. dr. Dr. Ir. Akkermans who kirts "I am called" in the distribution of ministerial posts. So too today.

The newspaper opens with the expectation that army commander Prayuth Chan-ocha, who will retire in September, will remain as leader of the NCPO (junta) and will also hold the post of prime minister in the interim cabinet to be formed.

The current second man is named Udomdech Sitabutr as the successor to the position of army commander. Former army commander Anupong Paojinda is tipped as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. That says "a source," and now let's hope that source doesn't suck it out of his big thumb.

In the article it is all name dropping, information that seems less relevant to my readers this Tuesday morning. (What does the weekday have to do with that again, Dick?)

The article also contains recycled news about the legislative assembly to be formed (NLA, a kind of emergency parliament), reform council and the appointment of an interim cabinet. A list of 200 names of people who will form the NLA has already been sent to the king. The royal approval is expected this week.

Again from a mysterious source: 110 out of 200 are army officers. The NLA has 220 members, so there is still room for later appointments of suitable people. The remaining 90 members are former senators and academics. (I miss civil society organizations.)

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense asks for an understanding of the dominance of the army in the NLA. "The country is not in a normal state yet." According to him, the nominated candidates are "the cream of the crop". The NLA is expected to meet for the first time next week.

– The NCPO (junta) has ordered the evacuation of all 1,500 Thais in Libya as the fighting between pro-government forces and militant groups escalate. The first evacuations take place within 48 hours. According to the Thai ambassador, the situation in Tripoli is "life threatening." Closing the embassy is being considered. Other countries have also started to take their fellow countrymen away. The Thai evacuees move to Djerba in Tunisia and fly from Djerba and Tunis to Bangkok.

The junta is also working on plans to transfer Thais who work in Israel to safer areas. The embassy advised them to stop working or temporarily change jobs. According to the ambassador, 65 of the 500 Thai workers who work within 20 km of the Gaza Strip have requested evacuation. Seven have already returned to Thailand.

– It has been different once in a while, but it is completely different again between Thailand and Cambodia. Cambodian Defense Minister Tea Banh, on a two-day visit to Thailand, says his government understands the political developments in Thailand and in particular the policy of the junta to restore peace and democracy in the country. Tea Banh is among others accompanied by the son of Hun Sen, the prime minister of the neighboring country.

During the visit, bilateral issues, preparations for the Asean Economic Community and border issues are discussed, but the issues surrounding Preah Vihear Hindu Temple are not discussed. According to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense, it is not the right time for that, because that could lead to a conflict. "Let's live happily together just like in the past. We can talk about it later. "

– The provincial court of Betong (Yala) has approved the arrest warrants for two suspects of the devastating Friday bombing. Ten people were allegedly involved in the attack.

Three separatists and a soldier died in two incidents in Narathiwat yesterday, and a police officer was wounded. The agent was shot at in his Toyota when he drove home. That happened 200 meters from an army base. From there, an operational team was sent to fight the militants. Three of them were shot, a soldier who was seriously injured died later in the hospital.

A girl died on Sunday evening in a blast in Sai Buri. Six others, two rangers, two young girls and two women, were injured.

– Is that called creative accounting? The railways (SRT) only want to bear one fifth of the 109 billion baht debt, the rest is on the account of the government. It should also dock for infrastructure projects. This proposal will go to the Ministry of Transport on Friday and further to the State Enterprise Policy Commission and the NCPO.

According to acting SRT governor Prasert Attanan, splitting the debt is the key to resolving and relieving the huge debt burden on which the SRT is burdened. A new four-year plan will come into force later this year. Nothing came of the beautiful plans in the five-year plan that ends this year. They concerned the construction of double track, the purchase of locomotives and wagons, and a new signaling system.

The fault of the railways is incidentally, because the company has a lot of land: in Bangkok alone 512 rai (Makkasan), 1070 rai (Phahon Yothin) and 277 rai (Yannawa) and in other provinces eleven plots. (Why is reporting never about the balance sheet, but always about the profit and loss account?)

The derailed wagons of the Eastern & Oriental Express were brought to Bang Sue (Bangkok) station. The damaged railway line would have opened last night.

– What kind of dumbbells (my choice of words) work at the Ministry of Education? Yesterday I wrote about the good deeds passport and today the newspaper reports that the ministry wants to allow unauthorized professionals from certain professional groups to use the chalk because of the shortage of teachers. (Read: to give lectures) Deans of universities and colleges oppose.

A similar plan has already been devised by the Teacher’s Council of Thailand (TCT), but in this plan the unauthorized teachers should follow a course at the same time as teaching, which allowed them to meet their authority. In the ministerial plan they are automatically given a certificate of competence after two years of trial runs. "We have no problems with outsiders, but we must maintain quality," says TCT President Paitoon Sinlarat.

The dean of the Education faculty of Rajabhat Maha Sarakham University asks whether there is a shortage of teachers at all. He points out that 300,000 students are following teacher training.

– 26 percent of the total coastline of Thailand is affected by erosion, or 830 of the 3,148 km. Some pieces are in a critical condition. The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources will review its anti-coastal erosion plan and offer it to the new cabinet in October. Next month a study will start on the most eroded places in nineteen provinces, including Rayong, Chanthaburi, Phang Nga, Krabi and Phuket.

In 2011, the government made 19 billion baht available for anti-erosion measures. Of this, 4 billion has been spent.

Economic news

– NokScoot, the joint venture of Nok Air and Scoot from Singapore, is on the warpath, as the budget company has brought the start of the long-distance flight to Japan early to September 1. On that date, Thai AirAsia X (TAAX) also starts flying to Japan.

TAAX flies from Don Mueang to Narita and Osaka, both non-flights. NokScoot has not yet announced its destination, but it will probably be Narita. For the new connection, the company uses a Thai license from Pete Air, which has never been used. For example, the company circumvents the time-consuming procedure for obtaining a permit from the Department of Civil Aviation.

NokScoot will fly a Boeing 777-200 on its route to Japan. Abroad, the number of seats is being increased from 323 to 415, according to industry sources. And the device gets a new paint, in which the logos of both companies are incorporated. – Source: Bangkok Post

More news in:

Army seizes 6.24 km2 swiped land in forest reserve
Ten percent of the rice stock is spoiled

  1. Chris says out

    As far as I can judge, there is a great lack of teachers with practical experience at the universities. This has a number of reasons:
    1. the content of the training courses is hardly or not at all suited to the business community that graduates must include as employees, not on an incidental basis and also not on a structural basis (eg through an advisory board in which the business community is represented);
    2. the salaries of teachers are lower than the salaries in business;
    3. new teachers are mainly recruited via the family and acquaintances circuit of the current teachers;
    4. Due to the requirements of the ministry in terms of quality (sbeaking), when hiring teachers, much more attention is paid to having academic qualifications (such as a completed Ph.D.) than to practical experience.
    5. The result is that the labor market for foreign teachers becomes even more difficult than it already is.

    Appointing so-called unauthorized teachers with practical experience is not such a bad idea in current Thai education at university level. It could be good for employability.

    VA: F (1.9.22_1171)



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