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Thailand Live Thursday 22 Sep 2011

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Thailand Live Thursday 22 September 2011

News, Bits and Tweets

with webfact

Keep up to date with live updates from the news, hour by hour.

For breaking news,national, regional and international news updates on a daily basis only, this thread is closed to commentary so that those who wish to follow the news can find it here...

Commentary is still open for Thailand news in the relevant thread posted in News Clippings.

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Related topic: Thailand Live Wednesday 21 September 2011

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Fake CCTVs to 'control traffic, not crime'

By The Nation

Installing dummy surveillance cameras is acceptable and even widely practised. Its effectiveness is in discouraging traffic violations instead of preventing crime or providing evidence, a deputy Bangkok police chief said yesterday.

In Singapore, both fake and real cameras are used to discourage jaywalking and the jumping of red lights, said Pol Maj-General Phanu Kerdlarpphol, who is in charge of Bangkok traffic police.

"This was once considered for Bangkok, but it had not gone ahead because there are real cameras already in use," he added.

The officer was responding to reports emerging on the www.pantip.com webboard that the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority had installed 500 fake cameras in the capital - a charge the BMA has admitted.

"I know that fake cameras are used in other countries to control traffic violations, but the authorities should not depend on this practice to prevent crime or produce evidence," he added.

Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said he did not believe there was any corruption involved in the purchase of surveillance cameras, fake or otherwise, but he would have it investigated anyway. He said 1,325 fake cameras, priced at Bt2,500 apiece, had been bought in four lots separately from the purchase of real cameras, priced between Bt34,000 and Bt130,000.

He said all the 10,000 real surveillance cameras had been installed by June under his policy and that another 10,000 would be installed before his first term ends in January 2013.

Pheu Thai MP Jirayu Huangsab said a panel had been set up to scrutinise the issue since there were several discrepancies in statements regarding the matter from Sukhumbhand and his predecessor Aphirak Kosayodhin, both members of the Democrat Party.

He said the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Office of Auditor-General would be asked to look into the matter to see if there was any corruption involved.

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-- The Nation 2011-09-22

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Experts urge rethink on tablet

By The Nation

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Doctors yesterday urged the government to first have parents and teachers use tablet computers for four or five months before distributing them to students.

They also urged the government to seriously assess the impact these computers would have on youngsters, and if it is negative then the policy should be scrapped.

Supakij Siriluck, director of the Public Health Ministry's Policy and Strategy Bureau, said the government should not rush to distribute the tablet PCs, and should first educate parents and teachers on how best to use these devices so they can prevent them from having bad effects on children.

Dr Amporn Benjaponpitak, director of the Mental Health Technical Development Bureau at the Mental Health Department, said that once parents were trained, they would be |able to keep a close watch for inappropriate content and teach their children how best to use the devices.

Supakij urged the government to assess impact of the policy on pupils without bias for a year, and if negative impacts outweigh good ones, it should end the policy.

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-- The Nation 2011-09-22

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Court grants T-News injunction over NBT programme

By The Nation

The Administrative Court on Wednesday ordered the Public Relations Department not to take off the air a programme that is often critical of the red shirts and former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

The court granted injunction in a case filed on Monday by Green Intelligent Co Ltd, the producer of the "Joh Khao Ron Luang Khao Luek" (Delving into Hot News) programme, which is broadcast on the department's NBT television every Monday from 9 to 10 pm.

The court order prohibited the PRD from removing the plaintiff's programme off the air until further order or verdict from the court, according to a statement issued by the court on Wednesday.

Chatchai Phookhokwai, assistant executive director of the satellite-based T-News television who represents Green Intelligent, said that the company brought the case to court in a bid to seek protection to its constitutional right to expression. He said the company leased airtime from the PRD and the contract would expire on September 30.

According to the lawsuit, the PRD prevented Green Intelligent from broadcasting its programme on NBT on grounds that its content was not promoting the reconciliation efforts and that the programme mentioned the red shirts and a third party in a way that could cause social division.

The plaintiff said that the PRD action was against the Constitution, which guarantees the right to expression. The plaintiff requested court order for the PRD to allow the programme to be broadcast and sought damages of Bt564,200 plus interest for loss of income.

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-- The Nation 2011-09-22

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Education Ministry needs Bt70bn

By The Nation

The Education Ministry needs Bt70 billion for the fiscal year 2012 to cover the 13-per-cent salary hike for its officials as promised by the last government and for the increase in allowances promised by this government, Apichart Jeerawuth, permanent secretary for Education said yesterday.

Of the amount sought, about Bt400 million would be used to accommodate the hike in monthly cost-of-living allowances for civil servants and state employees, he said.

The Cabinet approved the increase in pay on Tuesday and it will go into effect from January.

The ministry will have to decide how and when it will implement the salary hike because it employed the most number of people, Apichart said.

He said the ministry had met relevant agencies to gather information being used to draft the Finance Ministry's regulations.

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-- The Nation 2011-09-22

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