Angkarn Yasanop, 29, graduated from the Sampran Royal Police Cadet Academy in Nakhon Pathom in 2007. After he served as an immigration officer at Phuket International Airport, he was moved to Phuket Town to work as an immigration office Sub-Inspector. Here he discusses the need to pair swift immigration processing at the airport with sufficient security.
PHUKET: People are working so hard to promote Thailand’s tourism industry that we are often overlooking issues of safety and security, which is why many international criminals are able to easily enter our country.
At the airport we are trying to speed up the process of moving people through immigration to impress tourists and provide a better experience for them. However, because of this we often fail to check tourists’ information carefully enough.
Now that we will be joining the Asean Economic Community (AEC), our policies are likely to be geared toward making the immigration lines at airports move even faster.
I understand that people entering the country, as well as Immigration officers, want to have a speedy service. However, the security of the country is very important, and a fast service doesn’t guarantee safety. Perhaps it would be better to provide the same speed of service, but increase the quality of our security.
One of the major issues in our current security system is that our database of people blacklisted for entering the Kingdom is not linked to Interpol, so it doesn’t automatically flag those wanted by the international policing agency, nor does it allow us to sync up our system with its black list.
This lack of communication between our system and theirs is one of the fundamental reasons that transnational criminals are able to enter Thailand.
Now if an embassy asks for our cooperation in arresting a criminal, they will send the suspect’s name or arrest warrant to the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok and it will be added to our system. But this only works in cases where the embassy has notified us – if they don’t provide the information to us, we have nothing to work with.
Another standard situation when we are able to add criminals to our blacklist is when they have committed a serious crime in Thailand and the police inform us of either the criminal’s name or the arrest warrant information.
In such a case, we will add the criminal to our blacklist before deporting him and he will not be able to return to Thailand.
Another security measure we have been working on enforcing in Phuket is having hotels and other guest houses filing daily reports to the Phuket Immigration Office that identify all foreign guests.
However, Phuket has a lot of hotels and it is hard to control all of them. We started the project about a month ago, and have already started issuing fines to hotels and guest houses that have not complied. The fine is set at 2,000 baht for smaller businesses and 8,000 baht for larger resorts and hotels.
So far we have fined only about 10 businesses. There are still many more that need to be fined, but with our current manpower it is impossible. There are just too many places on Phuket for us to take quick action against all of them.
This security measure, like many others, is intended to increase the safety of all residents and visitors to Phuket. Because, really, the security of a province and a country leads to greater happiness for all. Though we do our best to protect Thailand, it is the responsibility of every Thai citizen to do his part in protecting their homeland.
Please, everyone, help us to take care of Thailand.
If you find a foreigner taking part in an illegal activity or notice a suspicious-looking foreigner in your neighborhood, even if he or she is a friend of a friend, report it to us at 076-221905.
— Orawin Narabal
Thailand’s swift response to the ‘fall armyworm’ pest
OPINION: Somsak Samanwong – Regional Technical Educator for APAC, Corteva Agriscience. PHOTO: East-East Seed
In Thailand, corn is an indispensable staple crop, used as an important source of feed for a thriving poultry and livestock industry. About 1.04 million hectares of our land is used to produce corn, with this year’s yields estimated at a record high of 5.3 million tonnes.
As Thailand becomes increasingly recognised as a major world food exporter, our reliance on corn is growing to meet consumer demand for meat, both locally and globally – we are currently the third largest chicken exporter in the world. For many of us, it comes as a surprise that this ordinary but versatile crop is intrinsic in fuelling our status as the “kitchen of the world”.
A small but powerful threat
However, this established position and the very growth of our food economy is currently under siege from the rise of fall armyworm, a pest so damaging that it can destroy corn crops overnight. The fall armyworm is an insect native to the Americas, where it has caused significant damage for decades. With a zealous appetite for corn, the pest quickly began to ravage crops in the Africa region following its arrival in 2016, causing losses of $13.3 billion.
Fall armyworm started moving closer to home, spreading across Yemen, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, before reaching Thailand in December 2018. Since then, around 50 corn-growing provinces have been infested, particularly in the west of Thailand.
Fall armyworm infestations can result in yield losses for corn of up to 50%, which can have devastating implications – for those whose livelihoods rely on their crops, but also for the poultry and other meat production industries whose success and expansion heavily depend on their produce.
What makes fall armyworm so challenging to control is its high reproductive capacity and long migration distances. The pest has been known to migrate up to 1500 km3, slightly more than the distance from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, covering up to 100 km per night. Couple this ability to travel with rapid reproduction – four generations of fall armyworm can be observed in a single corn crop – and you have a devastating mix.
Recognising the tremendous impact of fall armyworm on the nation’s farmers and our food security, the Thai authorities and key stakeholders across the agriculture industry have come together, uniting efforts to equip our farmers with the tools they need to help manage the spread of fall armyworm. By applying our learnings with fall armyworm in response to future threats, we can help to ensure our farmers are empowered and our nation’s food supplies – for Thailand and for the rest of the world – are protected.
Taking swift and decisive action
Thailand’s Department of Agriculture responded to the first FAO warning of fall armyworm in India by setting up a surveillance program to monitor corn growing states along the shared border with Myanmar. During this time, informative materials about fall armyworm and the ongoing surveillance program were shared with relevant agencies, universities, and most importantly, corn farmers.
Establishing communication between the authorities and those on the ground was and remains an important focus, and a telephone hotline and Line account were set up so that farmers are able to report potential infestations. As a previously unseen pest in Thailand, setting up infrastructure to monitor crops in the recognition of fall armyworm was pivotal to aiding a quick response.
Imparting knowledge through educational efforts
Knowledge-sharing between the authorities, academic experts, farmers and industry is crucial in the fight against threats like fall armyworm. In November 2018, an educational programme for Thailand’s authorities developed with the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) by CropLife Asia helped to provide senior agricultural and food industry leaders with in-depth information about fall armyworm and its habits.
By sharing knowledge of the pest between the government and affected industries, accurate and up-to-date information could spread across the country almost as quickly as fall armyworm itself.
Farmers remain at the heart of agriculture, and thus, in-field education is of paramount importance to safeguard crops.
Through a series of training programmes and the provision of educational materials, farmers were educated on and empowered to adopt an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach, as recommended by the World Trade Organisation on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, to control and prevent the spread of fall armyworm. IPM combines pre-emptive treatments, scouting, monitoring and targeted treatments to protect the health of corn crops from seed to plant, and, in turn, to protect Thailand’s food security.
Equipping farmers with the necessary tools
In adopting an IPM approach against fall armyworm, it is our role as agriscience experts to ensure farmers have access to safe, effective and greener solutions to control its physical spread. And, through the development of innovative technologies, solutions are available to provide farmers with long-lasting control of fall armyworm, whilst being environmentally safe to use.
Amparar®, Corteva Agriscience’s foliar spray, contains the active ingredient Spinetoram and has been recommended for use in corn in Thailand to help protect corn crops against fall armyworm. It controls the insects in two ways – through ingestion and contact by the pest, providing a quick knock-down for lasting control. Amparar® has been awarded the prestigious Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for its positive environmental profile and margin of safety towards beneficial insects. It is recommended by the Thai authorities as the top crop protection product for managing fall armyworm.
Our fight against fall armyworm has brought to light the invaluable role of corn in the development of Thailand as global provider of food. Perhaps even more importantly, it has helped to demonstrate how much can be achieved when public and private sectors work together in response to those that threaten our food security. We must continue to activate and engage all stakeholders – from farmers, governments, industry and academia – to ensure that, whatever the next threat to our “kitchen of the world”, we remain poised for action to protect it.Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Opinion: Retirees and medical insurance in Thailand
By Barry Kenyon of The Pattaya Mail
Thai government spokespeople, in recent years, have emphasised that that Thai hospitals are not free for foreigners. They have cited examples of sick and crowd-funded aliens desperate to get back to their home countries, or annual reports from public hospitals bemoaning the unpaid bills of foreign nationals.
So far not a lot has happened. Holders of one year 0/A visas or ten year 0/X, issued by Thai consulates and embassies abroad, do now require medical insurance worth at least 400,000 baht for in-patient treatment and 40,000 baht for out-patient care. But the vast majority of expat retirees in Thailand receive their annual extensions of stay at a Thai immigration office. They do not currently require insurance.
Will that change? It’s not clear. The government has already stated that long-stay aliens with a history of physical illness may be checked out before an extension of stay is granted. What this means, if anything, is unclear but it could signify the immigration bureau’s refusal if an applicant is discovered to have unpaid hospital bills.
One substantial reason for leaving well alone is that many expat retirees self-insure because they are too old or infirm to obtain medical insurance. But these wealthier retirees contribute billions of baht annually to (mostly) private hospital coffers when significant surgery is required. They would be forced out of the country if unobtainable medical cover was made compulsory, thus leading to a gigantic loss of income.
It’s also true that the mandatory insurance requirement for 0/A visa holders is modest. A sum of 400,000 baht may seem a lot but is unlikely to cover the total bill for heart surgery, most cancer operations and stays in an intensive care unit, at any rate in the private sector.
Read the rest of the editorial HERE.
Buddhists call for boycott of Hilton & Waldorf Astoria Hotels with the opening of Siddhartha Lounge
OPINION: The Buddhist Times
Since its creation in 1996, Buddha-Bar Paris has been using the name and image of Buddha in it’s Bars and Hotels throughout the world. Typically the franchises use large statues of Buddha in their Bars and around dance floors and in restaurants similar to a Buddhist temple.
What makes the use of Buddha’s image in these bars most insulting to Buddhists around the world is that Buddhism does not support the consumption of alcohol. So to use the Buddha’s image as decoration to promote the consumption and sale of alcohol and as a prop on dance floors and in restaurants is especially disrespectful and hurtful to Buddhists.
Now comes a further insult with the Buddha-Bar franchise opening the Siddhartha Lounge at Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah. (Siddhartha Gautama being the full name of Buddha).
According to the Knowing Buddha Organisation in Thailand what the Buddha-Bar franchise is doing is not only disrespectful but it is immoral. The foundation points out that “Respect is Common Sense”.
Buddhists feel hurt by the misuse of the name and image of their father, as people of other faiths would be if the image of Christ or Mohammad were used to promote bars and nightclubs.
The Buddha–Bar, restaurant, and hotel franchise created by French-Romanian restaurateur Raymond Vișan and DJ and interior designer Claude Challe, with its original location having opened in Paris, France in 1996.
Raymond Vișan, according to Wikipedia, had the idea of establishing the chain of restaurants and bars which came from his fascination with the Orient. However at the age of 60 Visan suddenly died of terminal cancer. The franchise was continued by co-founder Claude Challe and Vișan’s wife Tarja, who took over the reins of the Buddha Bar franchise upon Vișan death.
Critics of the Vișan’s and Claude Challe say that these self described artists and creators have created nothing but bad Karma and Sin for themselves. They suggest that Buddha-Bar franchise is a form of “grotesque Plagiarism ” which has merely hi-jacked a 2500 year old religion, using the name and image of Buddha, who imparts peace, compassion and loving kindness, for the purpose of selling alcohol and making money. As any case of plagiarism it is expected that Buddha-Bar and Waldorf Astoria will soon find them selves in the courts say Buddhims advocats.
Buddhist around the world are calling the Boycotting of Waldorf Astoria Hotels Hilton Hotels, Buddha-Bars and the music of Claude Challe, demanding that they stop using the image of Buddha and instead creat their own brand.
The views expressed in this editorial do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of The Thaiger or its staff
Top 10 things NOT to do in Thailand (2019)
Top 10 things to do in Phuket when it rains (2019)
Top 10 scams in Thailand (2019)
Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket
Top 10 English news sources in Thailand (2019)
China has the most atheists, Indonesia and Philippines the most believers
Top 10 most boring news stories
So you’re moving to Vietnam?
Patong Mayor hands out useless, cheap face-masks
Top 5 reasons why Aussies choose medical tourism in Thailand
Stricter controls and paperwork putting brakes on residential property market
Thailand’s changing tourist demographic – the Indians
Bangkok land prices plateau, new tax on the way
Mandatory health insurance for ‘Long Stay’ visa starts October 31
Toxic skin-whitening creams still available on shelves
Phuket police arrest meth dealer, discover drugs valued at 15 million baht
Out of 37 countries, Thailand has the worst pension system, says Bloomberg
Immigration police arrest German man in connection with death of German woman in Pattaya
Hotel guest in Chiang Mai runs up bill of nearly 50,000 baht before fleeing
One dead, three in coma, ten seriously ill after drinking moonshine mixed with poisonous toad blood in Chonburi
Tourism Council of Thailand cites Thai baht as biggest challenge to tourism
International chess competition finishing in Jomtien
Italian man shot and killed by girlfriend’s ex
Italian busted in Australia smuggling heroin
Biometric scanning system to be tested at five provincial airports
Airline on brink of collapse, TG president warns
Brexit latest – Five possible scenarios
Points deduction system for drivers to be introduced mid-December
Gardens by the bay – Singapore’s horticultural showcase
Another Thai hotel management dispute flares up – The Peninsula Bangkok Hotel
สรุปดราม่า “หนังน้องเดียว ลูกทุ่งวัฒนธรรม” เล่นหนังตะลุง “ด่าพระสงฆ์”
ม็อบ “สมัชชาคนจน” เดินเท้าถึงทำเนียบ กดดันรัฐบาลไม่จริงใจ [Live]
ชมวาทะเด็ดธนาธร ให้การศาลรัฐธรรมนูญ คดีวีลัค ทำงานการเมืองเพราะอยากเปลี่ยนแปลงสังคม
ตรวจหวย 16/10/62 รางวัลที่ 1 เลขท้าย 2 ตัว 3 ตัว เลขหน้า 3 ตัว และรางวัลอื่น ๆ
ตรวจหวย 16 ตุลาคม 2562 ผลสลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล 16/10/62
ถ่ายทอดสด “สลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล” 16 ตุลาคม 2562 ลุ้นรางวัลที่ 1 สด ๆ
หนุ่มแท็กซี่ฉาว ท้าต่อยเจ้าของธุรกิจเต๊นท์ กลางงานสนามหลวง
ไทยแชมป์วอลเลย์บอลอาเซียนกรังด์ปรีซ์สนาม 2 รางวัลรายบุคคล
ตรวจหวย1ตุลาคม2562 ผลรางวัลที่ 1 เลขท้าย 2 ตัว 3 ตัว เลขหน้า 3 ตัว และรางวัลอื่น ๆ
ถ่ายทอดสดหวย 1 ตุลาคม 2562 ลุ้นรางวัลที่ 1 สลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล
สีจิ้นผิงกล่าวสุนทรพจน์ ครบรอบ 70 ปีก่อตั้งสาธารณรัฐประชาชนจีน -ลิงก์ถ่ายทอดสด
คลิปไฮไลท์วอลเลย์บอลเวิลด์คัพ 2019 นัดที่ 5
คลิปไฮไลท์ วอลเลย์บอลเวิลด์คัพ 2019 นัดที่ 1
Paramount เตรียมรีเมค FACE/OFF หนังบู๊ระดับตำนาน
ประยุทธ์ โต้ รัฐบาลไหนก็มีตำหนิทั้งนั้น “ถึงเวลาก็อ้างอย่างที่ผมอ้าง”
- Thai Life3 days ago
Top 10 English news sources in Thailand (2019)
- News4 days ago
Top 10 most boring news stories
- Expats3 days ago
Thai app will ease expat immigration woes and make 90 day reporting simple
- Business3 days ago
500 people own 36% of equity in Thai companies
- Thailand19 hours ago
Points deduction system for drivers to be introduced mid-December
- Technology2 days ago
The dangers of 5G – coming to a mobile phone near you
- Property2 days ago
Guaranteed rental returns – Are they real?
- Politics4 days ago
PM defends the 80 billion baht munition spend