Townspeople take the anti-drug war to the streets
thousand Chiang Mai people paraded along the main city streets to
demonstrate their fight against drugs and then gathered at the Thapae Gate
to swear an oath against drugs. Organized by the Chiang Mai Municipality and
Chiang Mai Members of Parliament, the event was led by mayor Boonlert
Buranapakorn and MP Pakorn Buranapakorn. Schools, educational institutes,
police stations, and many concerned townspeople also took an oath not to be
drug addicts. Shown here, Chai Mongkol Ban Nameng community from Chiang Mai
is on the march against drugs.
Doi Inthanon National Park forest fires declining
Hill tribe curses appear to be working so far
By Supatatt Dangkrueng
The Hmong and Karen hill tribes gathered to weave a spell
and curse forest arsonists (please see story page 16), and so far it appears
to be working. The chief of Forest Fire Control Units, Pichit Piyachote said
the expected forest fires are quite late this year, as normally there are
reports of many fires during the first quarter the year.
Last year, the research unit of the Faculty of Forestry,
Kasetsart University showed that there was 324 forest fires covering 3,342
rai in Doi Inthanon National Park, with resultant damage valued at
This year, until March 7th, there were only 44 fires that
burned 356 rai of forest. Despite a promising start, the dangers will not be
over until the end of May.
The major cause of the forest fires is from local people
continuing to use slash and burn style farming methods which spreads and
goes out of control. “Since local people in Doi Inthanon have combined to
protect the forest and joined the fire fighters in 1998, fire damage has
been decreased,” Chief Pichit said.
Local people from 12 villages in Doi Inthanon got
together calling themselves the ‘Mae Klang Upper Basin Network
Organization’ and they are working to protect their forest, which they
Chiang Mai invited to wish His Majesty the King a swift recovery
Chiang Mai Governor Pisit Khetphasook has called on
everyone to sign their names for blessing the King to have a long life and
have a speedy recovery from his illness.
The Bureau of the Royal Household reported that HM the
King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great was operated on for hernia treatment on
March 4, in the Sayamindra building at Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok. The
doctors reported that the operation was successful and there were no
complications. King Bhumibol is recuperating at Siriraj Hospital’s 72
Years Anniversary building.
The Chiang Mai governor asked Chiang Mai people to sign
their names to the blessing at Chiang Mai City Hall, Chiang Mai Provincial
Administration Office, Chiang Mai Municipality, every district and
sub-district office, district and sub-district police station, and tambon
municipalities every day, including holidays.
The Chiangmai Mail, along with everyone in Thailand, joins with
Chiang P in wishing His Majesty a full recovery.
Orangutan fossil found in Phayao
10 million year old fossilized teeth discovered
Teeth fossils of an orangutan have been found in Chiang
Muan District, Phayao. Paleontologists believe that they belong to ancestors
of the orangutan that lived in the area 10 to 13.5 million years ago.
get out of the zoo to see what’s left of my great-great-great-great
Ms Yaowalak Chaimanee, the paleontologist who discovered
the fossil in a coalmine in Chiang Muan, said that the discovery could help
people learn more about life in ancient times, especially about the origin
and evolution of humans.
This new species of ape has been called Lufengpithecus
chiangmuanensis, in respect of the area where the fossils were found. It is
believed that it was related to the Indonesian orangutans in Borneo and
Sumatra. The weight of this orangutan species is assumed to be between 50 -
Ms. Yaowalak is a paleontologist from the Mineral Resources Department.
She found the ape fossils with her colleagues from the University of
Montpellier in France. This team also discovered other animal fossils in
Krabi Province in the south, and Chaiyaphum Province in the northeast.
Longan production up this year
But will the Chinese market be impressed?
Kriengkrai Kanongdechachat, head of the Chiang Mai
Agricultural Extension Office, said that he expects longan production this
year will be up by 50%.
Last year Chiang Mai harvested 196,533 tons with a market
value of 2,947 million baht, which is about average considering the local
climate and land fertility.
Most farmers plant longan out of season and now, with an
increase in planting, the crop is becoming one of the province’s major
In December last year farmers planted 10,700 rai
producing 21,000 tons of longan. Since December last year, the first grade
and second grade production is selling at 24-42 baht per kilogram. Longan
can be harvested three times a year, in December-January, February-March and
April-May, then the planting commences again in June.
With the import ban on longans by the Chinese last month,
it is hoped that negotiations to overcome this have been successful, so that
our farmers have a good marketplace for the product.
Drink Sato and win half a million!
Ceramic packaging needed for the fermented liquor
The Ministry of Science and Technology in cooperation
with the Industrial Promotion Department, Excise Department, Federation of
Thai Industry of Lampang Province and the Association of Fruit Wines and
Local Thai Whisky are looking for a ceramic container for Sato (fermented
local Thai whisky), and they are willing to make the winning designer
500,000 baht richer.
The contest opened on March 10 and will remain open for
entries until April 3 this year. First prize is 500,000 baht and a shield
from the prime minister, and the following three prizes are 200,000 baht,
100,000 baht and 10,000 baht.
The conditions and regulations are simple - the candidate
must send their entry in Thai style and it must be totally original. The
Sato container must be able to hold 600-750 cubic centimeters of fluid, and
the artwork should be attached in A2 size (594x420 mm) only.
Final judging will take place at Boonyawat Wittayalai
School in Lampang Province.
For further information contact the Medical Science
Service Department; 75/7 Phra Ram 3, Rajthewi, Bangkok 10400, tel. 02 201
7367-8 and 02 201 7376-7, or Ceramic Industry Development Center in Lampang
Province; 424 Moo 2 Phaholyothin Road, Tambon Thasala, Koh Kah District,
Lampang, tel. 054 281 884 and 054 282 375-6.
Confidential Chiang Mai
AIDS clinic opens in April
The Thai Red Cross Society’s AIDS Research Center,
which will be called the Chiang Mai Anonymous Clinic, will open at the
beginning of April this year and will be offering consultation and treatment
without requiring the names of the patients. Patients’ names and address
are not used, but identification will be by a code instead. The result of
the medical examination will only be given to the patients in person,
keeping the result confidential.
The anonymous clinic will give information about AIDS or
HIV positive disease as well as offering health checks for the virus. This
project is supported by the US government, which is contributing the budget
for AIDS prevention and supervision in developing countries all over the
world. The American Red Cross launched the project in cooperation with Thai
Red Cross through their AIDS Research Center.
The services include other tests as well, such as
hepatitis-B, syphilis, blood group, and CD 4 levels.
The clinic is located at the Provincial Red Cross, Chiang
Mai Chapter next to the municipality market, on Vitchayanond Road, Tambon
Changmoi, Muang District, Chiang Mai. Interested people can contact them at
053 234 669, 053 234 670, 053 235 574, and 053 235 161.
Lampang train history is remembered
Celebration to be held March 31 - April 2
Lampang Governor Chalermpol Prateepawanich said that
Lampang provincial authorities and private organizations will host the 4th
Lampang Train and Horse Carriage Remembrance March 31 - April 2 this year at
Lampang Railway Station.
carriages have been Lampang’s unique taxis since the State Railways of
Thailand opened the first northern railroad line service.
This celebration will promote tourism to Lampang and
revive the memories of trains and horse and carriages. Many activities will
be on tap, such as a train history exhibition, One Tambon - One Product
stalls, an old-fashioned market, and local stage performances.
The Lampang governor said that on April 1 at 7 a.m.
Lampang people will dress in King Rama VI style to welcome the tourists
traveling by Nakhon Ping express train. This train will stop to join the
celebration for 30 minutes; the travelers will then ride on horse carriages
to visit Lampang City, which is more than 1,322 years old, and ride in a
small train to see the World War II historical sites as well.
The State Railway of Thailand opened the first northern railroad line
service from Chiang Mai to Bangkok on April 1, 1916, so trains have been an
important lifeline for Lampang for 87 years.
Lamphun gets its own Juvenile and Family Court
The Juvenile and Family Court of Lamphun has been
inaugurated, with an office located on the Lamphun - Doi Ti Road, Muang
District, Lamphun. The office is under the supervision of the Ministry of
Justice and has been set up to watch over the rights of juveniles in Lamphun
The official opening ceremony was presided over by the
Chief Judge of the Central Court, Patcharawan Sawasditut. This has been
carried out pursuant to the royal decree and is effective from April 1,
The main thrust of the court is to support and judge
cases involving juveniles and families in Lamphun, and to give support and
suggest suitable rehabilitation for abused youths. Since November last year,
92 criminal cases and 43 civil cases have been tried relating to people from
The judicial system is watching proceedings and trying to
help the young people by giving them education and training courses to allow
them to eventually stand on their own feet in the society. It is expected
that these children under Ministry of Justice supervision will have the
opportunity for a new start in life.
Another drive to get motorcyclists licensed
Saturday testing being offered
The Head of the Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transport
Office, Autsathai Rattanadiloke na Phuket, said that the office is now
providing service on Saturdays. This is following the government’s
initiative to make life easier for people who do not have time during office
hours on weekdays to sit the test for a driving license.
Rattanadiloke na Phuket, Head of Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transport
The transport office is also cooperating with educational
institutions to encourage their officers to have a driving license. The
office is to hold meetings offering specific information on transport
regulations and encourage motorcyclists to ride with safety. There will be a
youth education system put in place, starting from primary school levels.
Autsathai said that any school or campus that is
interested and concerned with road safety should contact him and he would
send the officers to carry out lectures directly on the campus.
Interested people can visit Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transport Office
on Saturday during office hours and educational organizations can contact
the office at Mae Hia 053 270 410 or 053 278 265.
Chiang Mai tourism related organizations join ITB 2003 in Berlin
The International Tourism Bourse (ITB) 2003 was held
March 7-11, 2003 in Berlin. It is regarded as the world’s largest tourism
festival, which brings tourism and travel executives from more than 130
countries to Germany.
left) Jint Sukumaraphan, vice-president of the Thai Hotel Association (THA)
Northern Chapter, Boonlert Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai mayor, Udom Puasakul,
Chiang Mai deputy governor, Vorapong Moochaotai, president of THA,
Chalermsak Suranant, director of TAT, Chiang Mai office and Boonlert Perera,
president of Chiang Mai Tourist Business Association are shown here getting
ready to be Chiang Mai’s tourism representatives at ITB this year.
This year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand rented a 504
sq meter booth for our Thai Tourism Exhibition. There were 113 tourist
agencies, hotels, car rental companies and cruise lines sharing the
exhibition area, which was arranged in the shape of a Thai pavilion. Chiang
Mai organizers created a Lanna party in the pavilion as well.
Chalermsak Suranant, Tourism Authority of Thailand,
Northern Region 1 director said that joining this festival is one of the
best ways to increase tourist numbers to Chiang Mai.
A press conference was also regarding the cooperation
between Thai and Chinese Tourism Authorities, promoting the concept of
“Thailand and China - Combined Destinations” presented by Somkid
Chatusripitak, the deputy prime minister. One of the highlights was the
“Thailand Gala Dinner” presided over by HRH Princess Ubolratana.
Chiang Mai currently receives around 35 billion baht each year through
tourism, but after the ITB, the provincial organizations are targeting 50
billion baht from the tourism section.
Are you employing aliens?
MOI regulations must be followed
The Chiang Mai Provincial Employment Office announced
that earlier this month, all aliens have to have photographs ready for their
registration documents and identity cards, according to Miss Orachorn
Rattanamanee, the office chief.
She said the working committee on aliens immigration, on
the registration process, and work permits for Burmese, Laotians and
Cambodians in Thailand, had completed its work and this process has been
approved by the Local Administration Department (LAD), Ministry of Interior.
The LAD has implemented the work registration and will
begin printing and issuing the photocard licenses for their work permits
around the beginning of this month.
However, the employment officials informed Chiangmai
Mail that those aliens who have kept their documents and receipts issued
by the Employment Department can use this as a temporary license while
waiting for their new one. For more information, contact 053 222 865-6 ext
17 - 19 during office hours.
in Chiang Mai
The Democrat Party last week held a meeting for members
at the Novotel Hotel, Chiang Mai. The opposition party, led by party leader
Chuan Leekpai and his deputy, Banyat Bantadtan, plus Tarrin Nimmanhaeminda,
Abhisit Vejjajiva, Suthep Thuagsuban, Trairong Suwannakiri, met with other
party officials from the north.
Chuan said, “Democrat Party members from 191 branches
all over country number about three million, and of these, there are 35
local offices in the northern region. All of our members have joined with
our party with their hearts, not by force like other parties.”
On April 20, there will be an internal election looking
for a new administrative committee. Banyat, now the deputy party leader, is
one of the party’s strongest assets as he prepares to stand for the
position of Democrat leader next month. He was confident that most of the
MPs and party branches in the North would back him. He also enjoys strong
support among the party members here, despite the fact that he is originally
from the South.
SME entrepreneurs shown how in Chiang Rai
A large number of new entrepreneurs in Chiang Rai
attended a course to prepare them to step up into Small and Medium scaled
Enterprises (SME’s). The course was provided by the Industrial Promotion
The seminar in developing human resources to support
their economic growth was held for the first time at Little Duck Hotel in
Chiang Rai March 3 -10.
Nattaphol Pussathewa, a senior Industrial Finance
Corporation of Thailand (IFCT) Northern Region branch manager said it is
government policy to support and develop a new breed of entrepreneurs to
create their own SME’s. This is an important basis to secure our own
The Department of Industrial Promotional held this
seminar at Chiang Rai, working with IFCT, Northern Region. Nattaphol said in
the next six months there would be follow ups to see how they adapt and use
their newly learned skills in their enterprises.
The organizers are confident that even the old hands at
the game would benefit from the information given at these seminars.
Forest fire danger high following the expected drought this summer
Due to the hot weather and dry season, the Northern
Meteorological Center has warned people to be on the alert for the forest
fires which occur every year during summer. Despite the fact that the
weather is still cool in the morning it is quite hot in the daytime.
fires are often caused by careless human actions.
In northern Thailand during March 6 - 12 this year, the
Meteorological Center had forecast that there would be partly cloudy skies,
with lows around 12-16 degrees C but the highs were 33-37 degrees C.
Forest fires are occurring in many places, especially in
the deciduous forests in the mountains of the northern upper portion.
According to the weather forecast, a drought will occur in many areas, so
people should beware of this natural disaster and additionally follow the
daily weather forecasts.
forest fire burns along both sides of road to Phayao Province in Wang-Nua,
Forest fires are natural disasters, but often result from human
activities including slash and burn cultivation and sheer negligence with
cooking fires and cigarettes.
Wiang Haeng officials collect donations for the family of a soldier killed by drug dealers
Wiang Haeng District, Chiang Mai has invited the public
to donate for the family of a soldier killed by drug dealers. Wichien
Noonrod, Chiang Mai Provincial Public Relations Office Chief said that
Sergeant Major Samai Songsri was killed in a fierce fight between government
troops and drug traffickers, while besieging in Ban Pak Sam village of
Tambon Piang Luang, Wiang Haeng. Officials say his poor family should have
some aid from the public.
His needy family consists of 3 sons: 10 year old twins
and a 3 year old boy. Sergeant Major Samai’s wife has a very small
Wiang Haeng District officials would like to help
Sergeant Major Samai’s family because he sacrificed his life in the fight
for drug suppression.
Anyone who wants to donate money for the soldier’s
family could contact the Drug Suppression Operation Center of Wiang Haeng
District, Chiang Mai, 053 477 061.
Phrae gun factory application still not finalized
District waits, anxious to fire the first shots
Phrae Governor Amornphan Nimanant has informed Chiangmai
Mail that despite a statement from the managing director of JK Defense
Industrial Company, Jeerapan Kongpan, that they wished to build a factory in
the area, there has been no further contact from the company.
Job applicants have also heard nothing. The Phrae
governor said that it was the provincial office’s hope that the factory
would be built for the betterment of the local economy.
Eakachai Wongworakul, the deputy president of the Phrae
Chamber of Commerce said that the chamber had directed enquiries to the
company and was told that some of the applicant engineers were selected to
be trainees in Germany and the factory construction would be started within
this year, possibly around April after Songkran Festival.
The gun factory would be the first large firm in Phrae,
expected to spend hundreds of thousands baht during the construction phase.
The Chamber of Commerce deputy president said that he wanted Phrae people to
Phrae has 616 legally registered factories include 600
small factories and 16 medium factories but there are no large factories in
CMU deputy dean taken hostage but escapes
Ransom plot fails
The deputy dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Chiang Mai
University was kidnapped and his family asked for ransom, but he escaped
from the bandit.
Dr Songkram Chaowasin, the deputy dean and his wife
informed police that a thief robbed them and their children at gunpoint and
then tied their hands and feet before taking their money and other
valuables. The thief took Songkram with him as a hostage.
The crime took place on the night of March 5, and the
thief demanded 400 thousand baht from Dr. Songkram’s family as a ransom
the next morning.
Dr. Songkram’s wife alerted the police, but Dr Songkram
escaped and took police to an abandoned condominium 2 kilometers from his
house where he had been tied up with wire.
Despite claims that there might have been an accomplice
involved, police believe that it was the work of one bandit. The criminal
was disguised and had prepared copper wire and tapes before committing the
crime and bringing the victim to the abandoned condominium on Chollaprathan
The robber got away with more than 30 ornaments, such as
gold necklaces and rings, and 36,000 baht in cash. The police have yet to
make an arrest.