A most happy birthday to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn
The Kingdom of Thailand on April 2 celebrates the most
auspicious occasion of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri
Sirindhorn’s birthday. We at the Chiangmai Mail join in with our most
humble wishes to HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for a long, healthy and
entire Chiangmai Mail staff joins the Kingdom of Thailand in humbly wishing
HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn a long, healthy and happy life on this
occasion of the Royal Anniversary of Her Birth.
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was
born on April 2, 1955, the third child of Their Majesties the King and Queen
HRH studied from kindergarten to high school at
Chitralada School in Bangkok. She ranked first in the National School
Examinations in the primary level (grade 7) in 1967 and in upper secondary
level (grade 12) in 1972.
Ranking fourth in the National University Entrance
Examination HRH enrolled in the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University
and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, first class honor, and
received a gold medal in History. Her graduate programs ran concurrently as
she obtained an M.A. in Oriental Epigraphy (Sanskrit and Cambodian) from
Silpakorn University in 1978, and an M.A. in Pali and Sanskrit from
Chulalongkorn University in 1980. She enrolled in a doctoral program at
Srinakharinwirot University (former College of Education) in 1981, and was
awarded a doctoral degree in Development Education in 1987.
Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn uses education as
a means of community and social development. Her methods were acquired
during her studies and experiences in the field and provide a solid base for
the many projects she supports that advance the quality of life for ordinary
HRH has also attended several training courses including
computer, cartography, meteorology, survey and photo-grammetry, remote
sensing and geographic information systems.
Acquiring first-hand experience by working for Their
Majesties the King and Queen’s development projects in such fields as
nutrition, health and hygiene, education, water agriculture and cottage
industry has aided HRH in promoting much progress in these areas.
From these experiences HRH developed special interests in
agricultural extensions to improve schoolchildren’s nutrition. She
supports education from pre-school to tertiary levels and programs which
focus on mother and child care. HRH has also made great improvements in the
lives of handicapped persons through support of technology (IT) to develop
independent living skills.
HRH runs several philanthropic organizations and
foundations. She has been Executive Vice President of the Thai Red Cross
Society since 1977; Executive Chairman of the Chaipattana Foundation (in
charge of His Majesty’s development and environmental preservation
projects), Ananda Mahidol Foundation (to promote higher education), the King
Rama II Foundation (to conserve and promote Thai Culture); President of the
Sai Jai Thai Foundation (to support disabled veterans), Prince Mahidol Award
Foundation (to award prizes annually to members of the international
community for health); and Adviser to the Committee of Thai Junior
Encyclopedia Project by Royal Command of H.M. the King.
HRH began her teaching career in 1979, teaching the
General Education Program at Chulalongkorn University. A year later, she
joined the Department of Law Military Academy.
Presently she is Director of the Department of History,
and has helped to revise its curriculum. She also supervises the Thai Music
Club at the Academy.
In 1991, HRH was awarded the Magsaysay Award for Public
HRH also represents Their Majesties in various royal
functions and presides over social and charity functions throughout the
One of HRH’s favorite pastimes is writing articles,
poetry and short stories. Proceeds from her written accounts of her overseas
travels are the main source of income of the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn
Foundation. The Foundation was set up in 1979 to support needy students in
schools, vocational colleges and universities.
HRH loves Thai and foreign literature. She paints, plays
classical Thai instruments and practices Thai classical dancing. She is also
keen on sports including jogging, swimming, biking and trekking, which gives
her an opportunity to learn about plants, trees and geographical features of
In addition to her knowledge of Pali, Sanskrit and
Cambodian, HRH is fluent in both English and French and has been learning
Chinese, German and Latin.
PM Thaksin pleased with anti-drug progress in the North
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said at a meeting with
high-ranking officials, governors and commanders held at the Empress Hotel
Chiang Mai, that at this time he is satisfied with the results of drug
suppression efforts in the north of Thailand, and hopes that shortly drugs
will disappear from our country.
Thaksin was greeted with bouquets of flowers upon his arrival in Chiang Mai.
While here, he said that at this time he is satisfied with the results of
drug suppression efforts in the north of Thailand
However, the prime minister emphasized a need to speed up
drug suppression, especially in the northern region, and said that the
number of drug users must be reduced. He said he expects all agencies
concerned to cooperate in eradicating drugs.
Provincial Public Health Officers and the communities
should work together to provide treatment centers. It could well be that
there are not enough centers, and communities should get together and help
them to stay away from drugs, he said.
He was especially worried about drug abuse at schools. He
told participants that there should be some action to cope with students
using drugs, such as drug testing, and providing special activities. PM
Thaksin suggested that both the government and private sector should
cooperate and promote interests for young people to be part of, such as
music activities, art exhibitions and sporting competitions.
Finally, he told the conference that if it has been found that some
officials are blocking the operations, reports must be made directly to him
and the Interior Minister, and the problem would be solved within 24 hours.
Librarians get ready for the e-information world
Autsadaporn Kamthai and
Hundreds of Asia Pacific librarians and information
professionals participated in a March 20 and 21 conference covering library
development in a digital world. Dr. Suraphong Suebwonglee, Minister of
Information Communication Technology, or ICT, presided over the
International Academic Conference (Asia-Pacific), which was held at the
Lotus Pang Suan Keaw Hotel.
Dr. Suraphong said that the government has been promoting
the concept of an ICT City in Chiang Mai, Phuket and Khon Kaen. Chiang Mai,
currently on the brink of becoming the IT City of the North, will have
high-speed Internet connections installed at places such as the airport, a
number of hotels, and various department stores. The budget for this project
in Chiang Mai is currently still being considered by the National Social and
Economic Development Board.
Apart from these 3 target provinces, the government will
also provide high-speed Internet connections to every province in Thailand.
The so-called e-library, one part of the ICT City project, requires each
province to have a center for information connection.
On the first day of the conference, many representatives
from national libraries in the United States, Netherlands and China
presented their academic papers. Conference attendees also visited and
observed the administration systems of the Chiang Mai Rajamangkala National
Library, as well as the Chiang Mai Art and Culture Museum.
In the wake of the Iraq war don’t rely on international travel says TAT
Promote travel within Thailand as well
The Tourism Authority of Thailand last week organized an
exhibition at Chiang Mai’s Imperial Mae Ping Hotel to promote traveling in
Petchburi. Silachai Surai, director of TAT regional office 2, said that the
exhibition was arranged in response to the current crisis in Iraq, and he
expects that the war will have a negative impact on world travel. American,
Canadian and European tourists will possibly change their plans to visit
Thailand because they are afraid of terrorist retaliation.
Surai introduced plans and projects to try and overcome any tourism fallout
resulting from the war in Iraq. (Photo by Autsadaporn Kamthai)
Silachai has made alternative plans to promote local
markets and tourism through this exhibition, and to hit new targets,
especially within Asia.
Over 20 resorts, hotels and local businesses from Petchburi combined to
show their services and products. They also offered special rates for
accommodation, plus attractive special packages for golf enthusiasts.
Air Quality slogan and promotional cartoons needed
Chiang Mai Municipality is organizing a contest for
slogans and a cartoon symbol, promoting “Chiang Mai Air Quality Regulation
and Vehicle Checking”. It is hoped that in this way, Chiang Mai people
will be more aware of air pollution and will check their vehicle’s exhaust
All entries in the competition must show the
contestant’s name, address, telephone, fax number, and email address. The
results of the contest will be announced on May 2 on the public relations
notice board, 1st floor of the Chiang Mai Municipality building.
For the slogan contest, the winner will receive 5,000
baht and a certificate, with the first runner up receiving 3,000 baht and a
certificate, and the 2nd runner up 2,000 baht and a certificate.
The cartoon contest is even more rewarding, as the winner
will receive 20,000 baht plus a certificate. In addition, 2 contestants
having the most outstanding cartoons will receive 5,000 baht - and
certificates, of course.
Students and all interested budding artists should
contact the Environmental Promotion Organization at the Public Health and
Environmental Bureau, 3rd floor Chiang Mai Municipality building, tel. 053
259 220, 053 256 221, 053 876 246, or www.chiangmaicity.org
Tone down Songkran excesses, says municipality
Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn said that Songkran
is a festival that Chiang Mai made famous, but nowadays some people have
ignored the polite traditional behavior by wearing improper costumes, or
carelessly throwing water onto others. Consequently, the municipality has
asked Chiang Mai residents to participate in the true meaning of this
festival by dressing in appropriate Lanna clothes, speaking politely in
Lanna language, and throwing water carefully, with due regard to others.
The mayor said that the municipality and other government
and private organizations would organize Songkran, regarded as Chiang
Mai’s New Year Festival, between April 11-15 this year at Wat Pra Singha,
Wat Loke Molee, Wat Jetlin, Tapae Gate, Buddha Sathan, Rajadamnern Road, and
This year’s festival is aimed to promote the local
traditions and Chiang Mai Tourism. Festivities would include parades of
Buddha image from the temples, Lanna Thai Traditions, local markets, local
beauty contest, folk song performances, and many other unique activities,
including an international food festival.
Ngao police station in Lampang Province wins school anti-drug award
There are 123 stations under the supervision of the
Provincial Police Region 5, Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB),
Supervisory Unit, to take care of all 125 schools in the northern region.
Those stations who have performed the best in getting the message across
were rewarded recently in a prize giving ceremony which took place at the
conference hall of Provincial Police Region 5.
First prize went to Ngao police station in Lampang
Province where their project encouraged students to be core leaders and
teachers were the advisors to establish a club within the school to promote
The first runner-up prize went to Rong Kwang police
station with the Rong Kwang Anusorn School of Phrae Province using nurses
and police as advisors to establish a clinic in school.
Mae Sai police station in Chiang Rai won the second
runner-up with their project at Ban San Sai School.
Pol Lt Gen Inthadej Pornpeerapan, the commissioner of
Provincial Police Region 5, said the projects were deemed a success and
promoted drug free zones in the schools. He did counsel caution, as many
drug users turn to be glue sniffers instead, as the price has mounted for
amphetamines. Collaboration between teachers and parents to keep close watch
on children is required.
The ONCB office will provide a budget to establish drug
education centers for the schools that received awards this year.
EGAT looking at joint Thai-Myanmar Salwin River hydroelectric project
Sitthiporn Rattanopas, director of the Electricity
Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), spoke at a conference in Chiang Rai,
saying that a joint project on building a dam to produce low cost
electricity was under consideration. They see benefits on constructing a dam
to block the Salwin River in Myanmar and the Burmese are in agreement with
More study is needed to look at the advantages and
disadvantages, and it is not possible to speculate on the construction date
at present. It is estimated that the proposed dam would produce 16,000
megawatts from the hydroelectric generators. This output could alleviate
power demands in both Thailand and Myanmar and the Myanmar people are
anxious to see the construction take place in their country.
Ban on alien laborers,
says Ministry of Labor
Time to apply for work permits has expired
The Ministry of Labor’s resolution not to grant work
permits to unemployed alien laborers is firm, said the Chiang Mai Employment
Orachorn Rattanamanee, chief of the Chiang Mai Employment
Service Office said that the Ministry of Labor launched a policy to organize
the employment of alien labor by approving the Burmese, Laos, and Cambodian
workers to work in the kingdom after registering and providing a 1 year
extended work permit.
The last day for registration was January 15 this year,
therefore, the time is up and the new immigrants cannot ask for permission,
even though there are many employers who want to have more laborers to fill
some empty positions.
The chief of the Chiang Mai Employment Service Office
also said that this policy is to organize alien workers and provide
understanding among the employers. Furthermore, the Immigrant Labor
Administration Committee, presided over by deputy Prime Minister Korn
Dabbaransri, has agreed to end the previous alien workers policy, especially
for new jobs and work sites.
US led Iraqi conflict puts pressure on consulate security
Chiang Mai Provincial Police has arranged special patrol
groups to watch and inspect all foreign consulates in Chiang Mai. This has
been caused by the need for heightened security during the US led coalition
war against Iraq.
Currently there are 22 consulates in the Chiang Mai area.
In particular, organizations and consulates of American and Iraqi interests,
including their tourists and visitors to Thailand are being concentrated on.
Pol Maj Gen Kasem Ratanasuntorn, police commander, said
that security patrols had been in place for the last 12 months, but with the
stand-off having escalated into armed aggression, he is ready for all
eventualities and may even involve the frontier policeman who may have to
come and support the city police.
Tourist police and police in the area will protect and
take care of tourist security. The police from all 24 districts have called
for a meeting on how to protect and give security to the tourists in this
crisis, especially those from America and Iraq. Chiang Mai, however, has had
no sign of terrorist intrusions.
Thai-Cambodia relationships improving, says PM
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has said that the
relationship between Thailand and Cambodia is improving, after the tension
which occurred last month.
PM Thaksin explained that now the Cambodian leadership
has assured Thai people that they will be safe when visiting his country.
Cambodia has already started to broadcast Thai soap operas and regular
television programs, as they had done before the civil violence erupted.
However, the prime minister insisted that he does not
want to see Thai people going to Cambodia just to visit the casinos. Those
who want to visit Cambodia must now have their personal identification
documents with them at all times, and are requested to behave correctly in
the neighboring country.
Thailand and Cambodia had a severe clash earlier this
year, which caused the two countries to close the border checkpoints, and
Cambodia had banned all Thai television programs in its country as part of
Liquor protestors have their say
Sit-in has now ended
The 5,000 members of the Northern Local Liquor Network,
who had camped in front of the Chiang Mai City Hall for 6 days, went back
home after the secretary of finance and the minister and director of the
Excise Department accepted their proposals for further discussion.
protesters gave the secretary of finance their proposal, and satisfied that
it was accepted, they all went home.
In the Chiang Mai City Hall, Sutha Chunsang, the
secretary of Finance; Sathit Limpongpun, director of the Excise Department;
Bawon Rattanaprasit and Parinya Parnthong, Chiang Mai deputy governors,
discussed the problems with 23 leaders and representatives of both Northern
and Northeastern Local Liquor Networks.
Local Liquor Network representatives submitted proposals
that ask the government to abolish certain resolutions, made on January 21st
by the ministerial council, and to abolish the 4th announcement of the
Ministry of Finance 2003, and to support liquor research and development.
The director of the Excise Department said that his
department had a policy to support local liquor by allowing communities to
independently produce liquors for the first time. Now there are thousands of
people asking for permission to produce fermented liquors, and 500 of them
wish to produce distilled liquors.
It was claimed that all of the protesters obey the law,
pay taxes, and use products in accordance with the standards required by the
Excise Department, the Ministry of Health, and other associated
organizations. However, if there are any defects in the pronouncements of
Ministry of Finance, the people have the right to ask for changes.
The protest ended with the secretary of the Finance Minister and his
people accepting their proposals for discussion during the next cabinet
conference, presided over by the Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Chavalit
Yongchaiyudh, on April 1st.
Two ya ba dealers killed and 150 thousand pills discovered
The Pha Muang Special Task Force has informed the Chiangmai
Mail that 2 ya ba dealers have been killed and 150 thousand amphetamine
pills recovered in a raid at Pa Sang Ngam Village in Mae Sai.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Wut Vititanon, commander Chiang Rai
Provincial Police, and Col. Nakhon Presertsook, the deputy commander of the
5th Calvary Regiment, Pha Muang Special Task Force said that the Pha Muang
Special Task Force exchanged fire with drug dealers at Pa Sang Ngam village
and 2 dealers were killed in the fire. They were later identified as alien
laborers from Burma, known only as Ayee and Alao. The officers also seized
the haul of amphetamine pills, 2 hand grenades, and a motorbike.
Police followed the case to the dealers’ employer and
found 52,000 pills covered by melted bee wax and hidden in a pig farm.
Police arrested the guard, Kamla, and confiscated the property, which
included 50 rai of land, plus account books, fishponds, a pig farm, and
other property totally around 10 million baht.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Wut said that the drug syndicates had
complicated networks and had been trafficking in drugs for a long time,
often using new methods for each delivery. He said the local people and drug
suppression forces have to cooperate to stamp out the drug industry.
Young hoodlum gangs run riot
One innocent victim killed and two others injured
A well known restaurant on Phaholyothin Road in Muang
District, Lampang was the venue for the latest young gangland shootout.
Police were alerted of the situation and were present at the scene minutes
after the fracas.
Apparently one gang was defeated, and so they ran off, to
return with a firearm. Indiscriminate shooting occurred which resulted in
three patrons of the restaurant being hit by bullets. The injured were Sumet
Lekvaitool, 26 years old and Amerit Aunguen, 21 years old. Both were shot in
the stomach, and their condition is described as serious.
The third victim, Mrs. Sawokemollawan Maneeyos was shot
three times in the shoulder and chest and died later at the hospital.
Police investigation turned up Ram Latalu, 21 who was
very quickly arrested after he confessed that he was the gunman.
Expat horn player gets off on the wrong beat with local drummer boys
A new version of “Battle of the Bands”?
Thapae Walking Street is the center for all types of
activities on any Sunday. Last weekend had an additional attraction with an
expat horn blower having an altercation with some Thai percussionists, just
to be sociable!
and drums apparently don’t mix, especially if different styles of music
are being played by people from different cultures. Can’t we all just get
The fracas was caused by the inability of the horn blower to get into the
rhythm of the Northern Thai drums being played by the young lads in front of
him. Or perhaps it was vice versa! Questions on the musical ability of
either party on the horn, or the drum, were raised, as well as doubts as to
whether the musicians’ parents were legally married. The conundrum was
eventually solved by officers of the municipality. There were no reports of
physical injures, although some passers by complained of ear pain.
Omkoi District’s drug problem reduced by 50% through public cooperation
District chief proud of achievement
By Nuttanee Thaveephol
Omkoi District’s drug problem has been reduced by 50%,
much of this due to public unity and cooperation, said Omkoi District Chief
Somchai said that 66 out of 95 villages had been facing
serious drug problems before the government’s war on drugs became
effective. As a result of the anti-drug campaign, the drug problem in the
district has now been reduced by 50 percent. The data shows that there are
now 33 villages considered ‘clean’ and drug free. 34 dealers have
already been arrested, which also exceeded the officials’ expectations.
The district chief said that this is a result of the
local people’s awareness and cooperation with the drug suppression
officers. In addition, more than 3,500 hill tribe villagers have declared
war against drugs among their own people, also promising not to become
involved themselves in any drug-related activity.
“Nowadays, each village has 20-25 anti-drug volunteers
responsible for drug prevention and suppression, and 1 volunteer has been
assigned to look after 10-20 houses. Although the officers have achieved a
much better result than ever expected, we will strictly follow the drug
suppression policy, to continue to apply pressure on the drug syndicates,”
The people in Omkoi District also collaborated well with the government
officers, as local residents from more than 5 villages immediately destroyed
opium fields found in their areas.
Authorities confiscate 5.9 million baht in Lamphun
Twice as many addicts turn themselves in as was expected
Lamphun Governor Thawat Sateinnam released the latest
results of the ongoing drug suppression campaign in his region. During the
period 1st of January until 19th of March, the drug suppression operation
center in Lamphun arrested 371 drug traders, from an estimated total of 555
According to the information received from the governor,
609 drug traders have voluntarily surrendered to the authorities, plus an
additional 14 drug dealers have been killed. Suspected drug users on the
blacklist number 2,777; however, the number of users voluntarily reporting
themselves was in fact nearly twice as high as originally anticipated
(4,585). Another 44 drug users were caught, and one has been killed.
Selected addicts who show their good will and come to the
police voluntarily will be eligible to attend rehabilitation camps following
the “Do merit for your country” objective.
The Lamphun Provincial Police also confiscated a number
of items during the ongoing campaign, including 6 cars, 2 motorcycles, a
cement mixer, 1 motor, 2 land titles, a number of mobile phones, guns,
account books, gold necklaces, and cash. The total value of all goods was
estimated to be 5.9 million baht.
Chiang Rai’s Wieng Pa Pao District ‘over target’ on drug suppression
Wieng Pa Pao District has become the first area in Chiang
Rai to achieve a success rate of over 100% in drug suppression, says
Chamnarn Klinhom, Wieng Pa Pao District Public Health assistant officer.
He said that the cooperation from every organization
involved made it possible to become the first area from all Chiang Rai’s
16 districts and 2 sub-districts to post 105% success figures.
Wisit Sittisombat, Wieng Pa Pao district chief, said that
the district office opened 24-hour drug checkpoints at Baan Santisook and
Baan Pong, to intercept any drugs delivered from the hills to the plains.
This operation caused extreme difficulties for traffickers of amphetamines
from the hill tribe villages to Mae Suay District, Chiang Rai and Fang
District of Chiang Mai.
The district chief believes that the suppression of major
drug syndicates will result in increased numbers of addicts requiring
treatment. Wisit also presided over a drug treatment course by leading more
than 100 addicts to join a treatment project at Wieng Pa Pao Wittayakom
Bulletproof vests being supplied by Chiang Mai PAO as drug war heats up
The Provincial Administration Organization (PAO) of
Chiang Mai has allocated a budget of over 3 million baht to buy bulletproof
jackets for Region 5 border police.
Udonpan Jantaraviroj, Chiang Mai PAO chief executive,
said they have responded to the government’s ‘War on Drugs’ by
fighting against, and publicizing the dangers of, drug abuse.
The chief executive said that he has asked for permission
to provide 200 bulletproof jackets, at a cost of 16,000 baht each, with 3
jackets to be given to every police station. In special and particularly
dangerous areas such as stations located near the border, 10 jackets will be
Chiang Mai police prepared for all Iraq war situations
Pol. Maj. Gen. Kasem Rattanasoontorn, the Chiang Mai
Provincial Police Commissioner, said that provincial police officers have
been prepared to cope with any scenario occurring as a side effect from the
war in Iraq. 136 Chiang Mai police officers have had training on how to deal
with all eventualities.
officers guarding the Chiang Mai American Consulate, Wang Singha Kam Road,
where all traffic is prohibited between midnight and 6 a.m.
The security guards are divided into various sections,
with the Tourist Police taking responsibility for the safety of tourists,
and the “Disorder Suppression Officers” responding to the American
Consulate here in Chiang Mai, where 30 officers from the Lamphun force have
been requested to help with manning the team.
During the ongoing war in Iraq, no vehicles are allowed
to pass in front of the American Consulate on Wang Singha Kam Road from
midnight to 6 a.m., in order to maintain security.
The commissioner said that there are security guards
covering 24 hours each day. If there is an unusual event too great for their
resources, the police will ask the military for help.
24-hour security has also been instituted at Chiang Mai International
Airport. Pol. Maj. Gen. Kasem insisted, however, that the police would be
immediately able to cope with any unusual situation.