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Political parties agree on need for sustainable democracy

Representatives of Thailand’s two largest and opposing political parties agreed publicly last week that charter drafters and reformers need to produce a draft constitution that will satisfy most Thais, even if formulating such a charter takes longer than originally anticipated and leads to elections being held later than expected.
Representatives of Thailand’s two largest and opposing political parties agreed publicly last week that charter drafters and reformers need to produce a draft constitution that will satisfy most Thais, even if formulating such a charter takes longer than originally anticipated and leads to elections being held later than expected.
 
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) had drawn a roadmap for a return to electoral democracy by late 2015 or early 2016.

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Fishing laws being amended, delegation sent to EU

The Ministry of Commerce is sending a delegation to the European Union to provide updates on measures Thailand is taking to clean up and better regulate its fishing industry and prevent illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, as the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of security matters ordered the Ministry of Agriculture to rapidly draft organic laws to support the recently passed Fisheries Act of 2015.
The Ministry of Commerce is sending a delegation to the European Union to provide updates on measures Thailand is taking to clean up and better regulate its fishing industry and prevent illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, as the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of security matters ordered the Ministry of Agriculture to rapidly draft organic laws to support the recently passed Fisheries Act of 2015.
 
Deputy Minister of Commerce Apiradi Tantraporn will lead a team of government officials and executives of private companies to the E.U.

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More ivory tusks seized by Thai authorities

One week after the largest seizure of smuggled ivory tusks in Thai history, Customs officials confiscated another large haul of tusks totaling over 3 tons from a private company and the authorities vowed to pursue an investigation to identify and arrest the smugglers.
One week after the largest seizure of smuggled ivory tusks in Thai history, Customs officials confiscated another large haul of tusks totaling over 3 tons from a private company and the authorities vowed to pursue an investigation to identify and arrest the smugglers.
 
Customs chief Somchai Sujjapongse said his men uncovered 511 tusks, weighing 3.1 tons and worth more than $6 million in containers that had been declared as containing tea. The tusks were mixed in with tea leaves, he said, and his officials immediately seized them.

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Indonesia joins Thailand to fight illegal fishing

The same week that the European Union threatened to sanction Thailand over illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing, Indonesia, one of the countries most affected by that problem, agreed to form a joint task force with Thailand to tackle the issue and praised Thailand’s efforts to regulate and monitor its fishing fleets, saying the Thai government is truly committed to solving the problem.
The same week that the European Union threatened to sanction Thailand over illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing, Indonesia, one of the countries most affected by that problem, agreed to form a joint task force with Thailand to tackle the issue and praised Thailand’s efforts to regulate and monitor its fishing fleets, saying the Thai government is truly committed to solving the problem.
 
Seafood exports are a major earner of foreign exchange for Thailand, reeling in about $7 billion last year, and Thailand’s private-sector fishing fleet is one of the

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Germany donates funds to Thai anti-trafficking group

The government of Germany donated nearly $75,000 last week to a Thailand-based non-profit organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking, following a visit by members of the German parliament to observe anti-trafficking efforts in the Kingdom.
The government of Germany donated nearly $75,000 last week to a Thailand-based non-profit organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking, following a visit by members of the German parliament to observe anti-trafficking efforts in the Kingdom.
 
Members of the German parliament presented a check for the funds to executives of TrafCord, the Anti-Trafficking Coordination Unit of Northern Thailand, in Chiang Mai on April 13.

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Record ivory seizure at Bangkok port

Thailand’s crackdown on ivory smuggling scored two important victories last week when Customs officials interdicted two shipments of illegal ivory, including the confiscation of 739 ivory tusks being smuggled through Bangkok’s port in what amounted to the largest ivory seizure ever by Thai officials.
Thailand’s crackdown on ivory smuggling scored two important victories last week when Customs officials interdicted two shipments of illegal ivory, including the confiscation of 739 ivory tusks being smuggled through Bangkok’s port in what amounted to the largest ivory seizure ever by Thai officials.
 
The tusks totaled over four tons of ivory. Customs officials at the port found that they had originated in the Democratic Republic of Congo, passed through Malaysia and were due to be shipped to Laos.

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Japan set to partner with Thailand in Dawei project in Myanmar

Japan will come onboard as a partner in the Dawei industrial estate and deep seaport in neighboring Myanmar, a development spearheaded by Thailand, with the Japanese government expected to sign a formal agreement when officials from Thailand’s National Economic and Social Development Board visit Tokyo next month, an NESDB official said last week.
Japan will come onboard as a partner in the Dawei industrial estate and deep seaport in neighboring Myanmar, a development spearheaded by Thailand, with the Japanese government expected to sign a formal agreement when officials from Thailand’s National Economic and Social Development Board visit Tokyo next month, an NESDB official said last week.
 
Arkhom Termpitayapaisith, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) and also Deputy Minister of Transport, said Japan would hold an equal partnership in the Dawei Special Economic Z

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Ministry: $17 billion invested, 100K jobs created in six months

Thailand’s Ministry of Industry said last week that cutting red tape helped attract over $17 billion worth of investment in the industrial sector and created over 100,000 jobs during the past six months, while the Board of Investment said the value of investments during the first quarter of this year was six times higher than during the same period last year.
Thailand’s Ministry of Industry said last week that cutting red tape helped attract over $17 billion worth of investment in the industrial sector and created over 100,000 jobs during the past six months, while the Board of Investment said the value of investments during the first quarter of this year was six times higher than during the same period last year.
 
The positive economic news provides early indicators that Thailand’s economy, which has been sluggish during the past year, is reawakening and poised for another period of solid growth.

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Thailand vows to sustain anti-trafficking efforts

Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs pledged that the Kingdom will sustain its stepped-up anti-human trafficking campaign whether or not the United States raises Thailand’s ranking in its annual report on trafficking in persons.
Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs pledged that the Kingdom will sustain its stepped-up anti-human trafficking campaign whether or not the United States raises Thailand’s ranking in its annual report on trafficking in persons.
 
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tanasak Patimapragorn said that Thailand had already submitted its own brief to the United States Department of State detailing the measures the government has taken to solve the problem of trafficking in persons.

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Graft commissions targeting corrupt officials, land thieves

The government escalated its war on graft last week when the National Anti-Corruption Commission prepared two lists of allegedly corrupt government officials for review and possible action by a committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, with Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya vowing to punish and take legal measures against any officials if the evidence is sufficient.
The government escalated its war on graft last week when the National Anti-Corruption Commission prepared two lists of allegedly corrupt government officials for review and possible action by a committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, with Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya vowing to punish and take legal measures against any officials if the evidence is sufficient. 
 
“Anyone who has committed wrongdoing should know they are now in the hot seat,'” said Sansern Poljeak, Secretary-General of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC). 

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