IN BRIEF: Arts and issues mark tour of Swedish king and queen
Published on Feb 25, 2003
King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden will today begin a five-day state visit to Thailand at the invitation of Their Majesties the King and Queen.
Their programme will include visits to Bangkok, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai and Chiang Rai.
In connection with the royal visit, three seminars - on the environment, healthcare and Thai exports to Sweden - will be held tomorrow at the United Nations Conference Centre. Four cultural exhibitions will be held at the same venue as well as at the Conrad Hotel, Chulalongkorn University and Chiang Mai University.
Two Swedish artists, saxophonist Johan Stengard and pianist Andreas Landegren, will also give performances, at which Anna Lindh, the country's minister of foreign affairs, will represent the Stockholm government.
Judge urges landfill closure
A judge yesterday submitted an advocacy statement calling for the closure of a landfill site in Samut Prakan on the grounds that provincial authorities had wrongfully issued a permit for it despite zoning laws.
Arguing on behalf of Rajathewa residents, Judge Panupan Chairat urged the Administrative Court to revoke the permit.
The statement said the permit had been issued wrongfully for a residential area.
It said landfill contractor Pairojsompong Panit Co had dumped 3.5 million tonnes of garbage at the site since 1999, showing reckless disregard for health and zoning laws.
The court will hand down a verdict on Friday.
Ministry to seek Cabinet approval
The Agriculture Ministry plans to seek Cabinet approval for field tests of controversial genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
A Cabinet resolution prohibits field tests and other activities involving GMOs due to their unclear impact on the environment. Only laboratory tests are allowed.
"[The resolution] limits the development of the potential of Thai farmers and impedes Thailand's ability to compete with other countries," Agriculture Minister Sora-at Klinprathum |said yesterday. "Lab tests won't show us the real impact of GM crops."
Anti-GMO groups, including Greenpeace Southeast Asia and BioThai, scheduled a press conference today to oppose Sora-at's proposal.
What you see is how you're treated
Don't be surprised if next time you visit a private hospital you see a notice board displaying service charges or a large photo together with the name of the doctor on his office door, rather than just a nameplate.
These are examples of measures that all types of medical institutions must comply with, as laid out by nine ministerial announcements that came into effect yesterday, said Dr Narongsak Angkhasuwaplala, director of the Health Services Support Department.
The Public Health Ministry announced six months ago that it would enforce the measures to step up consumer protection in healthcareThe move is aimed at standardising hospitals and clinics, particularly those run by private operators, in terms of building facilities, equipment, service quality and professional codes of conduct.
Remember your roots
An action group on media freedom yesterday "reminded" two Thai Rak Thai MPs that they used to be broadcast journalists and urged them to halt their attempts to restrict the freedom of broadcast media.
The Campaign for Popular Media reminded Chon Buri MP Chakkraphand Yomchinda and Bangkok MP Sansanee Nakpong that they had been TV journalists before entering politics.
Chakkraphand and Sansanee have proposed a bill that would require the establishment of an ethics council for broadcast journalists.
They made the proposal after a radio news programme aired comments by Deputy Prime Minister Purachai Piumsombun attacking Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Purachai's aides later said the comments had been off the record.
Supinya Klangrong, a coordinator of the group, said Chakkraphand and Sansanee should halt their attempt to restrict the freedom of their former fellowjournalists.
Supinya said her group would write to Thai Rak Thai chief adviser Snoh Thienthong this week calling on the party not to put the bill to the House.
pictures from www.polfoto.dk