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Slow phase out of ‘Paraquat’ meets resistance

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Slow phase out of ‘Paraquat’ meets resistance | The Thaiger

Activists are voicing their objections to the Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Grisada Boonrach’s proposal to ban the use of paraquat in three years instead of one.

The Hazardous Substance Committee is scheduled to hold a meeting tomorrow to reconsider the banning of three controversial agricultural chemicals – paraquat, glyphosate, and chlorpyrifos.

But the BioThai Foundation has disclosed the minister’s text message to his ministry’s senior officials, ordering that the ban on paraquat be implemented on a step-by-step basis so farmers have time to seek an alternative weed-controlling option.

His message urged the ministry to start by setting a clear deadline on the ban of paraquat imports and setting up prohibition zones, starting with organic farms and river headwaters in the first year, followed by irrigated farms in the second year before finally banning the use of paraquat nationwide.

Alternatively, he said, farmers and local authorities could set their own plan to phase out the use of paraquat in their province within three years.

But the proposal is being met with overwhelming opposition from several environmental and health protection organisations and academics who are urging the Hazardous Substance Committee and the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry to follow the Public Health Ministry’s and the Ombudsman’s resolution to officially ban the three chemicals this year.

Thailand Pesticide Alert Network coordinator Prokchol Ousap said Grisada’s proposal was unacceptable, as it went directly against the Public Health Ministry, Office of the Ombudsman and the National Human Rights Commission’s decision to not just ban paraquat, but also glyphosate and chlorpyrifos, by the end of this year.

SOURCE: The Nation



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Election

His Majesty urges Thais to elect ‘good people’ in today’s election

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His Majesty urges Thais to elect ‘good people’ in today’s election | The Thaiger

His Majesty the King has quoted from a speech delivered by his father, the late King Bhumibol, to urge voters to elect “good people” to rule the country.

The Royal Household Bureau announced at 8.44pm that His Majesty had instructed the Lord Chamberlain to quote from a royal speech delivered by King Bhumibol at the sixth gathering of National Boy Scouts at the Vajiravudh Boy Scout Camp in Chon Buri province on December 11, 1989, as a reminder to the public.

In his address then, King Bhumibol had said: “Please remember one important thing, that there will be both good and bad people in the country’s administration. No one can make all the people good. To keep the country peaceful and in order, though we cannot make all people good we must support goodness.

We must let good people rule and ensure that bad people have no power to cause trouble and turmoil.”

His Majesty urges Thais to elect 'good people' in today's election | News by The Thaiger

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Election

“A clean and fair election”, EC assures international delegates

The Thaiger & The Nation

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“A clean and fair election”, EC assures international delegates | The Thaiger

Thailand’s Election Commission has assured representatives from 11 nations and one international electoral watchdog organisation of a clean and fair election tomorrow.

The EC briefed representatives of election commissions from Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, East Timor, and Vietnam at the Rama Gardens Hotel at 9.45am this morning.

Representatives of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance also attended the session.

EC secretary general Jarungwit Phumma told the representatives that the EC welcomed them to observe tomorrow’s election.

Jarungwit says the EC allowed the representative to monitor the election to show that the polls would be transparent, clean and fair so that the international community would have confidence in the next government.

EC commissioner Wiroj Kowattana assured representatives that the Thai EC was an independent organisation and it was not under anyone’s order to ‘organise’ the polls.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Thailand

Eight Burmese migrants drown, two still missing in Kanchanaburi road crash

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Eight Burmese migrants drown, two still missing in Kanchanaburi road crash | The Thaiger

Eight Burmese migrants drowned along with two others that are missing, presumed dead, after a van they were travelling in was hit by a 10 wheel truck and both vehicles plunged into a canal in Kanchanaburi’s Tha Muang district in western Thailand today.

Police say the accident happened at 12.10pm at the Sa Setthi Intersection in Tambon Ban Mai.

About 100 rescuers rushed to the scene to try to save the passengers who were trapped inside the van.

The rescuers were able to retrieve eight bodies, one of them a pregnant woman. Four were rescued and were sent to a nearby hospital.

Officials say two of the group are still missing.

The van was transporting the migrants back to Myanmar.

SOURCE: The Nation

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