15th Doi Kham Fair blessed with Royal Opening
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and his Royal Consort Mom Srirassa Mahidol
na Ayuthaya on December 9 presided over the opening ceremony of the 15th Doi
Kham Fair at Chiang Mai University’s Arts Museum. The fair was organized
by the Royal Project to display flowers, products, fruit arrangements, and
more. HRH the Crown Prince cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the fair,
which finished on December 29. They were welcomed by MC Bhisadej Rajanee,
head of the Royal Project Foundation.
500 houses damaged in freak hailstorm
Chiang Mai governor calls for
Heavy hailstorms returned at the end of December, with
more than 500 houses in 4 districts of Chiang Mai reported as damaged,
especially in Mae Taeng. The hailstorm was at its height around 5 p.m. on
December 25 and many people were forced to evacuate.
tobacco factory opposite the Mae Ma Lai market in Mae Taeng collapsed
following the hailstorm on Christmas Day.
The weather bureau says that the high-pressure flow comes
from China and passes Vietnam on its way to the North of Thailand. This
time, the humidity from the China Sea clashed with the south wind and caused
the hailstorm experienced in wide areas of Chiang Mai.
About 300 houses in Mae Taeng District were damaged,
especially around Mae Ma Lai Market, where the market roof, the tobacco
factory, and San Pa Sak School were heavily damaged. 120 houses in Saraphi
district, 18 houses in Mae Rim, and a Tambon in San Sai were also damaged.
Chiang Mai Governor Pisit Khetphasook has ordered every district to
investigate and report on the damaged areas.
No legal employment agency in Phrae, says Employment Office
Unemployed advised to be wary
Phrae Employment Office is warning job seekers to beware
of the illegal employment agencies that deceive the desperate unemployed by
offering overseas employment.
many jobseekers looking for employment nowadays, illegal agencies have been
springing up to take advantage of them.
Nilubol Manunartvimolkrit, of the Phrae Employment
Office, said that there were unlicensed employment agencies working with
usurers to give credit to people who want to work abroad. The interest rates
were inflated and many of the jobs did not exist. Some of the companies have
paid local people to suggest that their relatives look for work in Taiwan,
Malaysia, Israel, Singapore, Brunei, and the Middle-East countries.
The Phrae Employment Office confirmed that there are no
employment offices legally registered in Phrae that sends prospective
employees to foreign countries. Employment offices are empowered to find
positions for the jobless in the local areas. Unregistered offices advertise
positions or conditions that will end up costing the jobseekers a great deal
The conduct of these agencies is in violation of the Employment Service
statutes. If there is deceit noted, residents are invited to inform the
Provincial Employment Office at Phrae City Hall telephone 0-5451-1721 or
0-5451-1807 during office hours.
Children’s health projects on show in Lampang
The Lampang Children’s and Youth Assembly is tackling
national problems by showing projects associated with Health and the Society
as part of the Children’s Day festivities January 8-11 in Chiang Mai.
There are 37 projects which were presented at the
assembly fair recently held in Lampang. The children’s projects were very
varied including recycling garbage, ‘instant’ mathematics, and
instrument making, and were adjudicated by Lampang Governor Chalermpol
Chakrit Saenjinda, the leader of the Youth Network said
that the Youth Assembly was created because educators have to be aware of
the direction of today’s society.
The projects being shown in Chiang Mai during the
Children’s Day celebrations will then be representative of the ideas and
opinions of the youth of today, knowledge of which can lead to the solutions
for a better tomorrow.
The fight against cervical cancer escalates
50% reduction in mortality is the aim
The Ministry of Public Health has announced a national
policy of cervical cancer detection and protection for women. Currently,
health service centers from both private and government offices that are
participating in the health insurance project are providing cervical cancer
checks free of charge for people who are enrolled under the health insurance
The project began in the middle of August and aims to
reduce the mortality rate at least 50% within 5 years. The target group is
Thai women between 35 and 60 years old, which amount to around 10 million
people. Over 80% of Thai women with the disease are aged 35 and up.
From the analysis, it is known that the main problem is
that they do not have routine cancer checks. In Thailand, it is found that
cervical cancer is the number one disease of Thai women. The data revealed
that there are 5,600 Thai women diagnosed with cervical cancer each year,
and 3,000 people will die from it.
Mekong River countries get together in Chiang Rai
9th Cultural Relations Fair
Chiang Rai, with the cooperation of Chiang Rai Provincial
Administration Organization, the Tourism Authority of Thailand Region 2,
Mass Media and private organizations will hold the 9th Cultural Relations
Fair from January 10-12 at the public park at the foot of the Mae Fah Luang
Chiang Rai Governor Narin Panichkit said this program is
the result of cooperation between government and private organizations to
promote the 9th Cultural Relations Fair. It will be a cultural showcase from
Thailand, Laos, Burma and China.
Included in the fair will be an orchid contest, jewelry
displays and exhibitions of small Buddha images.
Chiang Rai Mayor Wanchai Jongsutthamanee remarked that in
the opening ceremony there will be a khantoke parade with traditional foods
for all fairgoers to enjoy.
Organizers hope that the fair will make for closer ties
between the four nations to improve further business, economy, politics and
Local Orchestra Center open in Lampang
Aims to preserve Lanna musical culture
Lampang has opened the Indigenous Orchestral Center in
Ban Fon Community School, Muang District, Lampang. This center is to
encourage children and youths to become interested in native culture, which
can lead to the conservation of local music and instruments.
Rasee Na Lampang, acting Lampang Public Relation Officer,
revealed that the Thailand Research Fund (TRF) has indicated the importance
and worth of the local orchestra. Realizing that local musical culture would
otherwise be lost from Lanna communities, Rasee has assigned a nine-person
team to research local instruments. This research will be used as the basis
to create the curriculum, and to then record the music.
The students in turn will be trained to return their
knowledge to the people and ensure that Lanna music continues in society.
Citizen’s action groups ask PM to resign
Supatatt Dangkrueng and Metinee Chaikuna
Local citizen’s rights groups in the North are
collecting 50,000 signatures to demand the resignation of Prime Minister
Thaksin Shinawatra. The use of what is described as “excessive force” to
quell the demonstrations in Songkhla is what has raised the ire of the
The people’s networks, covering more than 20 groups,
have disagreed with the government’s approach to control the protesters in
Hat Yai during the Thai and Malaysian cabinets meeting. The protesters are
opposed to the Thai-Malaysian gas pipeline.
Many NGO’s said the government used excessive force to
disperse the mob and then used the media to attempt to make a controversy
between the NGO’s and local people. Human rights committees have
investigated the incidents and local people are gathering the 50,000
signatures required to attempt to oust the PM.
Wing 41 welcomes in the New Year
Air Force dogs strut their stuff
Wing 41 held many activities to welcome in the New Year
2003. One of these was the pledge ceremony of the air force officers, who
together drank sacred water and swore an oath to avoid all drugs.
Force dog Anna shows how she apprehends criminal.
The ceremony was carried out in front of an image of His
Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great, to honor His Majesty.
Force dog Quantum searches for drugs.
ready for life in the Air Force at Wing 41.
On December 25, Wing 41 welcomed new Air Force recruits.
Group Captain Suraphant Suwannatat, the deputy commander of Wing 41 presided
over the ceremony, during which the new recruits were welcomed by enlisted
men. Monks blessed the new Air Force recruits.
At the end of the ceremony four Air Force dogs put on a
display showing how they were trained to find drugs and apprehend drug
smugglers. Three of four dogs were Alsatians and the fourth a Labrador.
The Alsatians were trained to fight criminals, while the
Labrador was able to find drugs no matter how deviously hidden.
The dogs will be showing their ability again on Children’s Day, during
which Wing 41 will be open for children.
The unthinkable happens! Service in the ‘lunch hour’
In a bold new step, all divisions in the Ministry of
Labor and Social Welfare will provide service during their lunch break from
noon to 1 p.m., and have the full backing and support the government policy
The chief of Chiang Rai Provincial Office of Labor and
Social Welfare Administration, Manoo Deetet, revealed that all the divisions
the ministry regarding employment, social security, labor protection and
welfare, the skill development center and the provincial labor office, are
supporting the lunch break service.
In addition, the offices will not be closed until the
last customer who registered before 4.30 p.m. has been served.
Chief Manoo added that the ministry is collecting data
regarding problems from employees and the employers. All problems can be
recorded at PO Box 92 Chiang Rai 50700 or Provincial Office of Labor and
Social Welfare, Chiang Rai Provincial Administration, Tambon Rimkok, Muang,
Chiang Rai, 57100 telephone 0 5371 5829.
42 weapons in Mae Ai
Anti-drugs declaration from villagers
Lt. Gen. Udomchai Ongkasingha, the Third Army commander
presided over a weapons amnesty and mass promise not to deal with any drugs
at Mae Ai district, Chiang Mai. 42 weapons were submitted.
Local soldiers, with the cooperation of the Pha Muang
Task Force and the Drugs Prevention and Control Center of the 3rd Region
Army and the 2nd Region intersection led by Maj. Gen. Nakorn Sripetchpant,
all promised to continue the fight against drug traders.
The Army has also been making a mass public relations
project to persuade drugs dealers and drug addicts to stop dealing with
drugs. As part of that, the army is also spreading knowledge of the harmful
effects of drugs to the villagers.
Many drug traders have been arrested and others have fled
from the region, while the use of illegal drugs has fallen through these
Now with the knowledge of drugs and their effects, the
villagers are ready to fight against drugs and cooperate with the government
to advise them on drug trade routes and caravans in their area. 1,500 people
from around the Mae Ai districts of Chiang Mai and Huay Chompoo, Muang
District, Chiang Rai Province gathered to submit the 42 weapons to the
government office, and made a mass promise not to deal with drugs in the
Helmets and lights for Chiang Mai motorbikes
Time to stop the death toll says Dep. Public Health Minister
The Deputy Minister of Public Health, Pol General Pracha
Pormnok, presided over a recent safe riding project to promote the wearing
of helmets while riding motorcycles. The accident prevention council of
Chiang Mai, led by Provincial Governor Pisit Khetphasook, organized the
event to convince riders to wear helmets and turn on their headlight while
The grand opening took place at Arcade Land
Transportation Station on December 25 in front of the Deputy Minister of the
Health. Students from 10 institutes rode over 200 motorbikes while wearing
helmets along the roads in the city to promote the project.
Pol. General Pracha revealed that latest New Year, there
were 1,199 accidents and 21 people died. 80% of the accidents occurred with
motorcycles, with the main reason for fatality being not wearing a safety
The Ministry of Health put rescue and recover personnel
on 24 hour alert all over Thailand during the New Year period. The emergency
number to call is 1669, which will be serviced all over the country.
Forestry Conservation award goes to Northern village
Now you can see the wood for the trees!
Ban Tha Pa Pao in Lamphun Province has been awarded for
its preservation of 8,000 rai of natural and forestry resources for the year
Phaibul Jamhong, a headman of Tambon Tha Pla Duk said the
villagers from Ban Tha Pa Pao started forest preservation 20 years ago after
seeing that destruction of the forest caused the droughts, floods and the
massive damage to the village.
In 1994 they signed an agreement to protect and save the
forest area, which is the source of Huay Sai Khao River. Since then, the
forest has recovered with many types of trees proliferating, such as
lagerstroemia, shorea, ormasia, Pterocarpus, and teakwood.
When the forest is again rich, the villagers can use and
harvest from the jungle, increasing the annual income for the villagers by
an average of THB 20,000 a year.
Following the recovery of the forest, Ban Tha Pa Pao has
been given the PTT Authority of Thailand conservation award, having been
selected from more than 95 candidates all over the country. We should be
proud that Ban Tha Pa Pao, a village from northern Thailand, is a leader in
the forest conservation in this country.
Opium crop eradication season in full swing
76 areas targeted
The Northern Narcotics Prevention and Suppression Center
of the 3rd Region Army is overlooking an area of possibly 3,274 rai of opium
poppies. 76 target areas for this year’s eradication include Wiang Haeng,
Chiang Dao, and Mae Taeng districts, Chiang Mai province and Pai district of
Mae Hong Son.
Rubin, the Consul General of Unite States of America in Chiang Mai (right)
and Major General Picharnmet Muangmanee, deputy commander of the 3rd Region
Army (left) preside over the opening ceremony of this year’s Opium crop
eradication held on December 23 at the 7th Field Artillery Battalion, Mae
Rim District, Chiang Mai.
Eradication may be difficult but, everyone has to cooperate for the good of
the country,” says Eric S. Rubin, the Consul General of USA in Chiang Mai.
Eric S. Rubin, the Consul General of USA Consulate in
Chiang Mai and Major General Picharnmet Muangmanee, deputy commander of the
3rd Region Army presided over the opening ceremony held on December 23 at
the 7th Field Artillery Battalion, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai.
The Narcotics Control Project was contributed to by the
NAS, an aid assistance program from the United States, to help curb
narcotics production by supporting the units involved in opium crop
officers are ready to exterminate all the opium in 2,274-rai areas of Chiang
Mai and Mae Hong Son
Major General Picharnmet Muangmanee, deputy commander of the 3rd Region
Army said that everyone has to cooperate in opium eradication and that
people in those areas should be ready to assist by giving information
regarding the location of the opium fields.
9 million yaba pills and 350 million baht of property confiscated
Majority of drug smugglers foreign nationals, say police
Pol. Maj. Gen. Wut Wititanond, the commander of Chiang
Rai Provincial Police revealed that Chiang Rai Provincial Police have been
working diligently following the declaration of war against drugs traders,
and that they have arrested 181 people who were not Chiang Rai residents. 97
of the foreigners they arrested came from neighboring countries.
Most of the drugs confiscated were yaba (speed pills) and
they had confiscated over 9 million pills.
The Office of Narcotic Control Board has been cooperating
with Chiang Rai Provincial Police, who also run promotions for local people
to advise them not to deal with drugs, and to also spread knowledge of the
ways to prevent drug use and help solve the drug problems in the target
Death in custody in Wiang Haeng
Police claim suicide, villagers not convinced
More than 200 people from Wiang Haeng District gathered
at the provincial police station Region 5 to call for justice in the case of
Charn Paka, a suspect who was arrested and died in custody. Police say it
Charn Paka was arrested on December 17 and charged with
being drunk and disorderly and causing bodily harm. Only an hour after being
put in jail, he was sent to the Wiang Haeang Hospital, but the hospital
officer informed relatives that he had died before arrival at the hospital.
Charn’s body was still handcuffed to the bed and there
were signs of asphyxiation. Police said that the suspect had hanged himself
and died. However, the hospital doctor had not indicated the cause of death
and merely said that he had died before reaching the hospital.
Later, the Maharaj Nakhon Chiang Mai Hospital verified
that Charn died through strangulation which could have occurred through
The local people are calling for Wiang Heang police
officers to get out of the area within 24 hours because Charn’s father did
not believe that his son had committed suicide.
Deputy Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5, Pol.
Maj. Gen. Pantuwat Sriwalai said that the police would investigate the case
as soon as possible and the people should give the police officers
understanding in this difficult situation. The police will respond to the
case with in 7 days.
Another welding gas bottle explodes in Nan
Unwelcome Xmas gift as 4 injured and 10 houses damaged
A gas bottle at a welding workshop exploded in Nan City
on Xmas afternoon, resulting in 4 people injured and 10 houses damaged. The
accident took place at 3.10 p.m. on December 25 at the Chuwit welding shop
located in Tambol Nai Wiang, Muang District, Nan.
The gas explosion resulted from a gas leak while the
worker was welding in close proximity to a 50-kilograms oxygen tank.
The blast caused damage to more than 10 houses in a
200-meter radius around the workshop. The structures in the area suffered
severe damage with windows blown out and roofs shattered.
Chuwit Yajai, the owner of the factory was seriously
injured and was taken to Nan Hospital along with three customers, Phra Kru
Athorn Nantawat, Nikom Somkuan, and his brother, Preecha Yajai.
Known drug dealer killed during escape attempt in Mae Rim
The drug suppression police force finally trapped yaba
dealer Paisarn Thanapornpaisarn while he was carrying 200,000 amphetamine
pills on the Chiang Mai - Fang Road, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai.
Police had received a tip-off that there would be a drug
transfer to Chiang Mai City and set up a checkpoint. They tried to stop a
suspicious car, but the driver rammed the car through the barricade and
tried to escape.
During the interception of the suspect, he opened fire on
police, but died instantly during the exchange of gunfire at the scene. The
drug dealer was found to be Paisarn Thanapornpaisarn or Seng Laoyang, from
the Lisor hilltribe from Chiang Dao District.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Preawpan Damapong, the assistant commander
of the Royal Thai Police Department visited the scene with Pol. Lt. Gen
Inthadej Pornpeerapan, the Provincial Police Regional 5 Commander.
The commander said that the police had been following
this drug dealer and his gang for a long time and that members of the gang
were on the Narcotics Suppression Bureau blacklist. This gang has allegedly
been transporting amphetamines to Bangkok as well as centers in the North.
Suicide jumper from bank in Phrae
TFB denies any involvement
By Metinee Chaikuna
A woman was found lying in the road in front of the Thai
Farmers Bank in Phrae, having apparently jumped from the roof of the bank
building. Pol. Capt. Phadoong Jackthon, the duty police officer at the
Provincial Police Station, Phrae went to the scene and found the woman was
still alive and she was transferred to Phrae Hospital. However, she died
while still in ER.
Investigating police found that her name was Areerat
Rattanshompoo, 28 years old. The name was taken from the ID card in her
purse which contained 520 baht and a lock of hair. In addition, they found
her diary which contained articles referring to God, heaven, and hell.
Police have contacted her relatives and family.
Nawin Poonsawat, the manager of the Thai’s Farmer Bank,
said that it was quite impossible that the woman jumped from the rooftop of
the bank’s building because it was guarded, and every door was closed so
no one would be able to get in to the building. He assumed that the woman
might have fallen from the back of a vehicle.
Prasert Khankamnanta, a bank officer said that he
received a telephone call from the Krung Thai Bank that a woman seemed
agitated and tried to go up to the rooftop of the Krung Thai Bank, but the
guard took her out of the building and let her go. After that she headed
towards the Thai Farmers Bank and Prasert was warned to look out for her,
but apparently the woman had eluded both staff and guards.
Children of AIDS victims get a helping hand from Novotel
The staff and executives of the Novotel Hotel Chiang Mai,
led by Scott Ong, the general manager, donated teaching aids, study
equipment, clothing and blankets for the Home & Community Care for the
Village project. This was started to help the poor children whose parents
died from AIDS.
Ong (standing back center) led the Novetel Hotel team and hosted lunch for
needy children in the Home & Community Care for the Village Project set
up by the president of the project, Apasaree Chaikuna, seen here with
chairmen Jan M. G. Steuten (to the left of Mr. Scott) and Bert Smith (on the
right of Mr. Scott).
The president of the project is Apasaree Chaikuna, with
chairmen Jan M.G. Steuten and Bert Smith, the organizers. There were 60
children covered by the project from San Kamphaeng, San Patong, Mae Rim, Mae
Wang, and Muang Chiang Mai districts.
After the official donation, the hoteliers gave the children lunch to
celebrate Christmas. This was arranged at the family’s service place, Ban
Peang Medical Center.
Lamphun University to open in 2004
Lamphun will have its provincial university opening in
2004. It will be the combination of the colleges in Lamphun and will be
located in the Lamphun Agriculture and Technology College.
The government’s educational policy has been to foster
the creation of provincial universities. Colleges in each province will be
combined and upgraded to become the provincial university. Nakhon Pranom and
Narathiwas were the pilot provinces, both of which now have their own
The Lamphun University Project began in September 2002
and is expected to be the combination of the Agriculture and Technology
College, Pa Sang Vocational College, Lamphun Technical College and NIDA.
Agricultural Technology, Tourism Industry, Industrial
Technology, Business Administration, and Arts are the faculties which will
be opened in the first semester of the educational year 2004.
Snap checks of prisoners carried out in Chiang Mai and Lamphun
Only a single cutlery set found
As a surprise visit from Santa, an early morning check
was carried out at the Women’s Correctional Institute in Chiang Mai and
the Central Prison in Lamphun on December 25, by police officers from the
33rd Border Patrol Police Headquarters complete with 12 police dogs.
It is the policy from the Correctional Institute to look
for forbidden items, and Nawwarat Tanasrisutart, the director of Chiang Mai
Women’s Correctional Institute, said random searches are carried out twice
a week and this was the last examination of the year.
The 12 officers, 89 correctional staff and the police
dogs examined the property of 2,312 women in Chiang Mai Women’s
Correctional Institute, but found nothing.
After the search at Chiang Mai Women’s Correctional
Institute, they continued the investigation at Lamphun Prison. 1,404 male
prisoners and 289 female prisoners were searched, but only a knife and a
fork and a spoon and were found.
Ya Ba driver apprehended with 4 million baht
Claims he didn’t know it was there!
Nirund Sakchaipiboon, a Hmong from Chiang Khum, was
arrested by Pol. Lt. Gen. Intadej Pornpeerapan, the commissioner of
Provincial Police Region 5. At the time of his arrest, 999,000 baht was
confiscated, which was assumed to be the revenue from selling drugs. After
further investigation, the police then found 4 million baht in cash hidden
in the roof lining of the vehicle.
Nirund said that he knew nothing on the 4 million baht,
as he was just hired to deliver ya ba pills to customers in Bangkok and
return to Chiang Dao. The payment for this job was 20,000 baht.
The commissioner said that this group of drug traders had
a large network, and the people involved in drug smuggling were a different
group from those who were attempting to shift large amounts of ‘black
money’. He also said that the police had a new plan regarding drug
smuggling, especially with heroin, which was now coming into the country for
a large quantities.
3rd Inventor’s Day will be celebrated in Lamphun Province
Thailand has produced many inventions, and as far as can
be ascertained, HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great is the first King in
the world to be granted a patent to an invention. The Cabinet has decreed
February 2nd as Inventor’s Day to honor His Majesty the King who invented
the Chai Pattana Waterwheel and received the patent on February 2, 1993.
In Lamphun, the 3rd Inventor’s Day will be celebrated
with an exhibition held February 13-15 at the Tourism Service Center,
There will be many activities, including exhibitions and
presentations of some of the King’s inventions such as the New Theory,
Royal artificial rain, palm oil, and the excellent research exhibition of
HRH Princess Naha Chakri Sirindhorn.
Visitors will also see the works of young inventors and
there will be stage performance, debates, a music show, entertainment and
The Tourist Service Center is located in front of Phra
Thart Hariphunchai Temple near Ta Kham Bridge, Muang District, Lamphun.