Pisit Ketephasuk welcomed as the new Chiang Mai provincial governor
Judged up to the task by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
Chuchart Leesuwan & Nuttanee Thaveephol
Pisit Ketephasuk has been installed as the new governor
of Chiang Mai Province, replacing Kosin Kedthong.
Chiang Mai governor, Pisit Ketephasuk and his wife, shown here paying their
respects to Buddha and the Three Kings Monument, just recently arrived in
the northern capital.
Kosin Kedthong has been promoted to director general of
Public Relief Work and the Disaster Prevention Department.
The immediate past governor said that he had already met
new governor Pisit Ketephasuk to discuss Chiang Mai Provincial officers and
ongoing projects, especially the drug problem and social order.
Kosin also said new governor Pisit was a gentle and
hard-working man. He was judged to be up to the task by Prime Minister
Thaksin Shinawatra, and Kosin hoped that the new governor will receive the
full cooperation of everyone in Chiang Mai.
Our new governor, Pisit Ketephasuk, is 56 years old, and came from being
a sheriff in the Donsak District of Surat Thani, Nadee District and Krabin
Buri District of Prachin Buri, U-thong and Muang districts of Supan Buri
Province to be a permanent secretary and deputy governor of Supan Buri.
Before this new appointment he was previously the governor in Angthong and
North Metrological Center warns: cold weather on the way
Winter season has begun
Get out your jackets and blankets, the North Metrological
Center announced that the winter season has officially begun, and warns that
temperatures will be dropping.
The northeastern monsoon, which blows in the dry season,
comes down from China to cover Thailand. There is also a low-pressure system
across Burma’s Mataban Gulf, and that low-pressure system is moving
towards the lower part of Northern Thailand. This is causing temperatures to
drop and morning fog in the North and Northeast of Thailand.
Chiang Mai Municipality is warning people to prepare for
the cold weather and to protect themselves from the cold and fire, as well
as to closely follow the weather situation.
Boonlert Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai mayor said that the
municipality is providing health services for many communities, which it
started on October 18 this year.
The North Metrological Center said that this winter’s
cold started in late October this year and will continue until February next
Fix Highway 118 says Pol. Maj. Yongyuth
Highway 118 from Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai is deteriorating
badly, according to letters received by Chiang Mai City Administration.
These problems have been noted for over a year, and the repairs, following
each rainy season, cannot keep up with the damage occurring.
118 is the main corridor between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, but in places
the road is in disrepair and Pol Maj Yongyuth Sarasombat wants something
done about it.
The permanent secretary of the prime minister’s office,
Pol Maj Yongyuth Sarasombat said at a meeting held last week at Chiang Mai
City Hall that there were several letters about the poor surface on Highway
118, in the area bordering the Pong Num Ron hot springs of Chiang Rai and
Doi Saket District of Chiang Mai.
As this is the main corridor between Chiang Mai and
Chiang Rai, it may also affect tourism. The responsibility belongs to the
Department of State Highways, but he would be willing to coordinate with
Ministry of Transport and Communication, said the PM’s permanent
Let us hope that will be soon!
126 million baht spent on Chiang Mai International Airport
Improvements being made to runway, sewer system, buildings, and security
The Airport Authority of Thailand is spending 126 million
baht on the Chiang Mai International Airport improvement project, according
to Flying Officer Suthara Huangsuwan, the director of Chiang Mai Airport
The projects being carried out include runways, sewer
system, ground equipment, indoor and outdoor passenger building improvements
and security system renewal, with all expected to be finished by November 5
Other projects being considered are hydrant systems,
inward and outward bound areas, the top of the passenger building and VIP
Airport Authority of Thailand is spending 126 million baht to improve Chiang
Mai International Airport. In the past fiscal year, 2.2 million passengers
have passed through this airline hub of the north.
“We are improving the runway because it needs repair,
and trying to manage the security system for safety,” the manager said.
Chiang Mai International Airport’s runway is 3100 meters in length and 45
Chiang Mai International Airport is being promoted as the
Aviation Hub in this region. The landing area can accommodate 7 large
aircraft and 3 small aircraft at the same time and there are 6 international
airlines and 3 domestic airlines landing at Chiang Mai Airport.
The passenger building has the capacity to handle 5 million people per
year and there were 2.2 million passengers for the fiscal year 2002
including 2,080,000 domestic travelers and 120,000 international. Last year
there were 16,219 flights including 13,783 domestic and 2,436 international
Lanna Academy opens with ceremonies of respect
The grand opening ceremony of the Lanna Academy was held
on Sunday October 27 at Khum Bureerut, Klang Wiang intersection, in front of
the Luang Vihara Temple at Wat Jedi Luang. The ceremony consisted of a
cavalcade which rotated around various temples and shrines in Chiang Mai,
all with much significance to the Lanna history and culture.
The Lanna Academy is a network of local organizations
founded to recover and preserve the traditions, local wisdom, local culture,
and Lanna history. The Lanna Academy will be a center for research and
learning about everything Lanna.
Special sights visited during the ceremony where people
paid there respects included the Praputtapochanawaraporn Buddha Image at Wat
Jedi Luang, the Intakin pole, the Ar ruk Mungrai, the Three Kings monument,
the city’s naval temple, the Si Hing Buddha Image, Laikham Vihara Temple,
and the Pra Thammasittacharn at Pra Sing Temple. Along the way Assoc. Prof.
Somchot Ongsakun provided insightful information.
After the official opening speech, a discussion seminar
was held on subjects such as the project of moving the Chiang Mai Women
Prison out of the city’s center, moderated by Associate Prof. Dr. Tanet
Chroenmuang, Associate Prof. Somchot Ongsakun, and Surapong Pongdejkachorn,
secretary of the Lanna Academy.
The seminar was run by Pongprayoon Rajchapai, consultant
to the extraordinary committee on education, religion, and culture of the
Chiang Mai Provincial Narcotics Control Center reports results
Programs set up, statistics released
Chiang Mai Provincial Narcotics Control Center has
released details of this year’s activities in fighting the drug problem.
As part of the prevention program, the center organized a
White Powder Day at the Polytechnic Lanna College in June. Approximately
13,500 people attended the seminar and were given vital information about
drugs and the drug problem.
The center also held a district and tambon seminar, with
336 people attending 3 classes.
To try and promote drug prevention in industry, the
center organized White Powder Projects in the districts of Chiang Dao,
Chaipakan and Fang.
Drug treatment statistics show that 6,378 addicts came
for treatment, 3,253 for ya ba (amphetamines), 928 for heroin, 731 for
opium, 54 for inhaled substances, 40 for marijuana and 1,372 for other
The figures for drug arrests from January to August this
year were: ya ba 3,983 cases, heroin 403, opium 270, inhalation 107, and
5,551 school students were shown the privations
experienced on the jail system and it is hoped that this will assist in
preventing drug taking by the youth of Chiang Mai.
A confidential post box was also provided this year and
since May 13 letters were deposited in the box, reporting 31 cases, which
after investigating, 9 were found to be prima facie cases.
Old Chiang Mai City Hall area being developed into an eco-tourism center
City Center being turned into a tourism site
Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn announced that the
city plans to develop the old Chiang Mai city hall near the Three Kings
Monument into an eco-tourism center. The proposed name for the center would
be the “Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Center”.
The mayor said that people of Chiang Mai have come to
know the area around the Art & Cultural Center, Three Kings Monument,
the old public prosecutor village, the Chiang Mai district court, and Chiang
Mai provincial women’s prison as the city’s “navel”, or city center.
“Many places in the area have been opened to the public
and should be developed as tourism spots, especially the Chiang Mai City
Arts & Cultural Center run by Chiang Mai Municipality,” the mayor
said. The Corrections Department has committed to submitting the land to
Chiang Mai Municipality to be developed into a public park.
Chiang Mai MP Yaowapa Wongsawat agrees, and said that
over 3.3 million tourists from Thailand and other countries come to visit
Chiang Mai every year, bringing 37 billion baht into the province.
“Whilst developing the province as a center of
eco-tourism up to international standards, private companies and government
offices have cooperated to conserve the environment,” Yaowapa said.
She also said that she has supported and encouraged
several eco-tourism projects and activities. These projects include
developing historic sites, namely Wiang Kum Kham as an open museum; and the
Walking Street Project, which helps reduce pollution and supports tourism.
Chiang Mai has over 30 historic places that can be
developed as eco-tourism sites.
300 doctors attend the CMAAO annual academic conference in Chiang Mai
The annual academic conference of the Confederation of
Medical Association of Asia and Oceania (CMAAO) was held October 25-26 at
Lotus Pang Suankaew Hotel and was opened by the new governor of Chiang Mai,
The conference covered academic medicine and is one which
the CMAAO holds every year for its country members. This year the Medical
Association of Thailand, a member of CMAAO, was the host for the conference.
300 doctors from all over Thailand and abroad came to
exchange academic knowledge and culture. Following its successful
conclusion, visiting doctors were shown Chiang Mai City.
New Chiang Mai Governor stresses the importance of the press
Promises to be open and honest with the media
Chiang Mai’s new governor, Pisit Katephasuk, took
office on October 28. Soon thereafter, he met with the press and stressed
what an important role he feels the press plays in the community. He also
announced that he is very pleased to cooperate with the press.
Mai’s new governor, Pisit Katephasuk and his wife paid respects to the
Three Kings Monument shortly after the governor took office.
“I think the press is very important because it
publicizes our official conduct and lets us know what troubles the people
might be having, all the while presenting information to the masses,”
The governor said he promises that he will present only
the facts and will explain any problem issues. “Chiang Mai people can use
the press as a way to inform the Chiang Mai Provincial Office about problems
they have encountered,” the governor said.
The governor also said he has received policy guidelines from the
Ministry of the Interior about his administration, and that his
administration must produce tangible outcomes. The Ministry of the Interior
told him to be the leader of the provincial officers and Chiang Mai people,
and whilst doing so, be a moral leader and a leader of changes.
Chiang Mai celebrates Chulalongkorn Day
Wednesday October 23, the Chiang Mai people, led by high-ranking officials,
joined the people nationwide in a ceremony to pay respect to His Majesty
King Chulalongkorn the Great (King Rama V) on the occasion of King
Chulalongkorn Memorial Day.
Royal London Circus gala premier
coming November 7
Charity event will raise money for scholarships and flood victims
The Prince Royal College Alumni Association and Dara
Academy Alumni are hosting the gala premier of the Royal London Circus on
Thursday November 7 beginning at 6.30 p.m. The gala opening is a charity
event, and everyone is invited to come and see the show.
The circus will take place on the pitch in front of the
Lanna Poly-Technical College in Chiang Mai. After the gala premier, shows
will continue every night until November 21.
Royal London Circus shows feature amazing animal acts by
dogs, cats, lions and tigers, as well as gymnastics shows, a parade of
clowns, and magic shows. In all, the circus features 80 performers and 21
Some of the proceeds from the gala premier will go
towards scholarships and relief for flood victims in the north.
Tickets for the gala premier are priced at 200, 300, 500,
and 600 baht, and are on sale at the Prince Royal College and Dara Academy.
Chiang Mai Neurological Hospital to stop participating in the Thirty Baht Medical Scheme
Will transfer their quotas to private hospitals
Doctor Maitaj Samsen, the director of Chiang Mai
Neurological Hospital, announced that from now on the hospital will stop
participating in the Thirty Baht Medical Scheme. The hospital will transfer
their quota of more than 15,000 patients to Chang Puak Hospital and the
medical center of Wing 41.
About two thousand patients will be transferred to the
medical center in Wing 41, and the rest, more than ten thousand, will be
transferred to Chang Puak Hospital.
“After we stop participating in the Thirty Baht Medical
Scheme, some people who don’t know may still come in to get treatment,”
said the director of Chiang Mai Neurological Hospital. “If they do, we can
provide assistance in simple cases.”
Due to it being a specialized hospital, the Chiang Mai
Neurological Hospital is “going full speed” to service patients who need
nervous system care, and to provide 24-hour operation room services for
emergency cases involving brain trauma, the Dr Maitaj said.
Is Chiang Mai ready to hold the National Games?
With a month to go, there is still much to do
Chiang Mai Provincial Administration will host the 33rd
National Games, this year called the Nakhon Chiang Mai Games, December 13 -
Although 14 committees and a bureau are sharing
responsibility for managing the Games, there are still many things the
committees have to finish before the beginning of next month.
Organizers plan to spend 4 million baht to improve the
training courts and sports grounds, but they are still waiting for the
Sports Authority of Thailand to contribute the necessary sports equipment.
The medical staff, responsible for treating the sick and
injured, is behind schedule, and public utility organizers, responsible for
coordinating with the communication offices in Chiang Mai, don’t plan to
finish preparing communication devices until a week before the games start.
The business and licensing committee, responsible for
giving out licenses to produce official souvenirs and for finding
sponsorship for the games, only began to release details on October 30,
leaving themselves just one month to find viable sponsorship for the event.
The administrative committee has only just started to
design invitation cards and set up “welcome points” at the airport,
railway station, and land transportation center.
Other committees are starting to make progress, however,
including the public relations committee, traffic and security, sports
technique, city and tourism development, and the residence and food
The secretary bureau has ordered souvenirs, but said they
have not been finished yet. The bureau also announced that they will be
responsible for scrutinizing evidence of sportsmen’s eligibility from all
provinces, and report any problems they find back to the provinces in the
The secretary bureau is also creating and printing
memorandum books and ID cards. The bureau announced that there will be a
press party at the venue on December 16.
Chiang Mai Social Welfare committee proposes better unemployment benefits
Jobless would get 50% of their previous wages
People laid off from their jobs could be eligible to
receive 50% of their pay as unemployment compensation if a Chiang Mai Social
Welfare committee proposal is passed.
Under the proposal, whilst employed, employees would
contribute 1% of their income to the fund. This 1% would be matched by a 1%
contribution from the person’s employer and 0.5% by the government.
Laid off workers could collect an amount equal to 50% of
their wages at the time they were laid off. Unemployed could receive this
compensation for not more than 180 days within 365 days of the time they
were first laid off.
To be eligible for this unemployment compensation,
workers must have worked for 15 months and contributed to the fund for at
least 6 months before being laid off, and have been registered with the
government’s employment office. Also, the termination of their employment
must not have been based on criminal, negligent or careless performance, or
Workers must also be ready and able to go to work, and
must accept any job the government’s employment office might find for them
during their layoff period. When no job is available, the unemployed must
report to the office at least once a month.
Anyone who is qualified could begin to receive financial
support by the 8th day after his or her last employment.
Surasvadee Chantharat, the director of Chiang Mai
Provincial Social Security Office said that the Social Security Office has
studied this plan and is prepared to submit it for royal decree social
security law enforcement.
Mae Sa Elephant Camp retorts government charges
Says it is not responsible for waterfall deterioration
Anchalee Kalmapichit, owner and manager of Mae Sa
Elephant Camp, says that the camp is not responsible for the deterioration
of the Mae Sa Waterfall as the government claims.
“We have all the basic public utilities including
electricity, clean water, telephone and Internet,” she said. “The space
(throughout the camp) is separated properly and is within public health
management standards. The camp also affords facilities and safety for
As part of the Mae Sa Waterfall reformation project,
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra ordered the Chiang Mai Provincial
Administration to investigate the cause of Mae Sa Waterfall’s dirtiness
and to fix the problem to improve the waterfall.
The ex-governor said that the main cause of the
waterfall’s deterioration is that elephants in the nearby area bathe and
defecate in the water sources.
But Anchalee says that’s not true. “The Mae Sa
Elephant Camp is not the cause of the problem,” she said, adding that the
way they feed the elephants proves her case.
“Our elephants eat natural grass that comes from a
plantation. When outside of the camp they eat natural grass as they walk
around. The elephants are also fed bananas, sugarcane and corn purchased
from Chiang Mai and nearby provinces,” she said.
Anchalee also said, “Water flowing through the camp
from the activity areas has no effect on the quality of water (beyond the
camp) because the elephants eat vegetables.”
To get rid of the sewage, Anchalee explained that waste
from all work and activities is always collected and separated before being
sent to the incinerator. When her elephants bathe in the local streams, if
they happen to defecate the excrement is gathered up from the water and
contained in bags to be used as fertilizer.
She also said that Mae Sa Elephant Camp is trying to join
the ISO 9001 version 2000 system in services and is confident of the
camp’s international environmental and safety standards.
Transport Office hastens systematizing 19 red mini bus routes
Drivers demand income guarantees
Saying that there is a shortage of mass transportation in
the city, Kosin Katethong, ex-Chiang Mai governor has nominated a working
committee and sub committee to work out a municipal minibus system.
The committee has been divided into 5 groups, one each
responsible for route signs, public relations, transport point setting,
advertising the project and setting a budget.
city should soon have 19 new red mini bus routes if all the offices involved
in organizing the system can work out the details.
The Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transport Office revealed
that they will undertake setting out route signs and establishing transport
point settings (bus stops).
The office recently met with representatives from Chiang
Mai Municipality, the traffic police, the president of Lanna Transport
Cooperation, and Land Transport technicians and academics, and agreed to set
up 19 minibus routes and 20 mini-bus queues to serve the public during the
initial stage. Additional routes may be adjusted or added later.
The sub-committee announced that they are reviewing the
proposal and doing a feasibility study, the results of which will be used to
set a budget.
The Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transport Office is also
studying such tangibles as current minibus drivers’ average income,
numbers of cars on the streets each day, numbers of passengers in and out of
the city during rush hour, how many cars at what times are plying each main
route and sub route, connecting roads to the 19 main roads, appropriate
parking points for solving the traffic problem whilst facilitating the
customers, and people’s opinions about improving the project in the
However, organizers of this project are faced with the
problem of minibus drivers saying they risk earning less income compared to
running their own routes. The Lanna Transport Cooperation has demanded
income assurance from the municipality, starting at 600 baht a day per bus,
which would equal 1.14 million baht a day for 1,900 buses. However, the
money the cooperation is asking for is just an estimate, not a fixed cost.
The committee plans to find the most appropriate way to
manage this compensation, and ideas have been put forward such as selling
monthly tickets or asking for cooperation from shops and companies to let
their officers travel by minibus, then keep the fee as a foundation for the
management at the beginning in accordance with all factions.
Panyapol Mongkolcharoen, chief of the Municipal Commerce
Bureau, Chiang Mai Municipal Clerk Office revealed that Chiang Mai
Municipality said that Chiang Mai City needs buses to facilitate
transporting the masses, although there can be a disadvantage because of the
drivers’ income assurance.
“This is one way to solve the traffic and pollution
problems, even if the municipality can lose more than a million baht per
day,” Panyapol said. “But Chiang Mai townspeople would get better
accommodation from the new mass transportation. That is how the municipality
would make and return a profit to our people.”
The Chief of Commerce Bureau insisted the project continues, and said he
expects that this kind of mass transportation system would not only be
possible, but also improve the traffic situation from now on.
Thapae Walking Street takes place every Sunday
made products such as these are big sellers at the Sunday Walking Street.
that walking around shopping has given you tired feet, get a foot massage -
it’s only 49 baht for 20 minutes.
Road is closed every Sunday for tourists and visitors to enjoy shopping.