Anti-war protesters stage die in
at Thapae Gate
A gathering of Chiang Mai people, joining with United for
Peace (Northern Thailand), marched from Thapae Gate to the American
Consulate on March 29 to protest against the War in the Gulf. The marchers
included students from Chiang Mai University, Thais and foreigners and
United for Peace members.
lie on the ground in front of the American Consulate to demonstrate how innocent people have
increase in numbers in their opposition to the war.
children know the Iraqi people are “human”.
anti-war rally moves along Thapae Road, with protesters carrying red
balloons as a symbol of the failure of democracy.
Muslims, and Christians joined the front against war.
At the consulate, some of the protesters lay on the
ground to represent how innocent people have died in the war. Many also laid
black ribbons and wreaths, and released red balloons to indicate the end of
Marchers called “Peace stops war!” repeatedly, while
the protesters raised placards with “Bush the Head of Terrorism”,
“Bush, Blair killing democracy” and “Iraqi people are also human, Stop
Protestors said that these activities were not aimed to
promote Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s regime or that of American
President George W. Bush, but to protest against war itself. They demanded
that the US and its allies cease military operations in Iraq and withdraw
their armies and revert to weapons inspections to protect the world’s
Pol. Maj. Gen. Kasem Rattanasuntorn, Chiang Mai provincial police
commander, instructed the traffic police to keep the demonstration from
obstructing traffic flow in the area.
Do you want to be a super-model?
Enter the Preaw Super Model 2003 contest
Central Airport Plaza in cooperation with Preaw Magazine
are searching for the new face of Thailand in its Preaw Super Model Contest
2003 this coming June 14, at the Grand Hall.
Magazine is offering you the chance to become a super model - just enter the
Preaw Super Model Contest 2003.
Many former winners have made it big in the Thai
entertainment and movie industry, including “Mamee” Nakaprapa Nakprasit,
the hot sexy star from “Mae Bia”, who is now in the international movie
“Butterfly”, “Hyn” Sasithorn Panichanok, the beautiful actress from
“Ta Lum Pook” or sweet-faced “Haisin” from “Jan Dara” movie and
“Chompoo” Araya A., the pretty actress who has many drama performances
televised through TV Channel 7.
The first round for this contest will be held at the
Plaza and those who make it through will have to put their best foot forward
on July 25 at the Bangkok Convention Center, Sofitel Central (Ladprao)
If you want to be a shining on the catwalk get an application form at
Public Relations Counter, 1st floor of Central Airport Plaza. For more
information contact 053 281 661 ext. 1307, 1308, 1310, 1312.
Conference contributes to future safe clean drinking water
The International Conference on Water Resources
Management for Safe Drinking Water in Chiang Mai from March 26-29 was aimed
at finding a resolution to deteriorated water resources as well as to manage
and maintain safe drinking water levels.
The organizer, Asst. Prof. Nipon Tuwanon, president of
the Chiang Mai University Faculty of Science, told the seminar that
contaminated water resources were a major problem directly affecting both
above and below ground water resources.
The forum was arranged for scientists, engineers and
administrators to exchange information and views relating to the current
status and future directions of scientific research and technological
development towards the provision of safe drinking water.
Approximately 60 papers were prepared for presentation in
the conference. Approximately half were contributed by distinguished
scientists and engineers from various overseas countries including
Australia, Bangladesh, China, Germany, India, Japan, Sri Lanka, Turkey, the
United Kingdom and the United States of America.
The conference is expected to make a substantial
contribution towards Thailand’s water resource management to ensure
adequate supplies of clean, safe drinking water.
Chiang Mai hosts international conference on drug related harm
“Lead poisoning” appears to be a main “harm” during the suppression!
The Asian Harm Reduction Network (AHRN) is working with
the International Harm Reduction Association, to hold the 14th International
Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm April 6-10 at the Westin
Hotel in Chiang Mai.
Organizers expect more than one thousand people will
participate in this conference. As Thailand is the host country, the Public
Health Ministry of Thailand, Office of Narcotics Control Board will join in
this meeting to provide technical data on drugs commonly used in Thailand.
Hopefully some rehabilitative work to reverse the harm related to drug abuse
among Thai citizens will come from this conference.
It is expected that the participants will stay on in
Chiang Mai to enjoy the Songkran water-splashing festival and help fill the
tourism coffers during this time.
Buy Thai campaign for Songkran Festival
Chiang Mai has launched a campaign to use local Thai
products during the upcoming Songkran Festival, from April 1 to 8 to
encourage people to buy products in the terms of the One Tambon-One Product
Udom Maneechai, chief of the Chiang Mai Community
Development Office, said that Chiang Mai is the center of various cultures
and customs including the Songkran Festival, which is also called Pee Mai
Muang (traditional Thai New Year celebration).
There are many admirable cultures reflected during the
Songkran Festival like dressing in the Thai Lanna style and using locally
made products. Significantly, this custom demonstrates the close
relationship between family members and shows respect for elders. During the
festival there will be a large number of tourists visiting Chiang Mai.
Therefore, Udom concluded that it is the right time to
encourage Chiang Mai people to maintain such traditions as dressing in Thai
Lanna style and using local products during the festival.
Lampang One Tambon-One Product sales top 86 million baht
The One Tambon-One Product scheme is progressing well,
Lampang Governor Chalermpol Prateepwanich reports. Sales of local Lampang
products have been hot-ticket items at many fairs both in the province and
beyond, and to date, sales have amounted to over 87 million baht, well over
the estimated 43 million baht the local organization had hoped for.
People in Lampang have worked very hard to improve their
local products, the governor said, and have effectively raised the standards
of their offerings. Lampang products have been approved by the One Tambon-One
Product judging committees from many villages.
Food and Drug Administration certificates have been
awarded to 24 Lampang Brand labeled products, and 37 products have received
certificates at various contests.
Apart from selling products directly, 25 Lampang products
can be bought through e-commerce. There is also a website containing
information on 100 different villages in Thailand, although the web site
address was not made immediately available.
The Lampang governor said that in this fiscal year’s
budget, Lampang expected to gain 99 million baht from its products, but
during the last 6 months sales from its products amounted to 98,289,062 baht.
He now expects that Lampang will gain 200 million baht from its local
products for the full year.
Computer art on display at CMU
Hold your mouse and click here!
The Chiang Mai University (CMU) Art Museum, with the
Faculties of Fine Arts and Architecture in cooperation with the Initiative
for Cultural Exchange and Computer Arts (ICECA) is hosting the first New
Media Arts Festival in Thailand, which commenced on March 28 and will run
through to April 15.
The exhibition includes computer art, interactive art,
video art, on-line projects as well as sound and computer installations. A
special collection of Thai animation works will be presented at the CMU’s
Faculty of Fine Arts. There are over 120 original media art works being
shown at 3 locations on the CMU campus. These will utilize over 40
computers, 4 theater-size screens and the Internet.
A seminar on Media Art, Video Art, Interactive-Art,
Electronic-Art and Software-Art has participants from USA, Germany, Holland,
Denmark, UK, Israel, Greece, Russia, Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland, Sweden,
Finland, Italy, France, Belgium, Romania, Serbia, Estonia, Brazil, Czech
Republic, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Philippines, Thailand, New Zealand
All festival events, workshops, screenings and
exhibitions are free, and you can gain an insight into the festival at
THA supports standardizing
hotel grading system
Vorapong Muchaotai, the president of Thailand Hotel
Association, Northern Chapter stated that the association supports the
scheme to standardize the grading system for Thai hotels.
The agreement came out of a Thailand Hotel Standard
Management Conference last week organized by the Tourism Authority of
Thailand and held at Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel.
“A standardized grading system would benefit the hotel
industry in Thailand, not only by raising the standards, but by promoting
the potentiality of Thai hotel marketing in this period of furious
competition,” Vorapong said.
The method to accomplish this task would be the
internationally recognized “5-star” method. Hotels that apply for this
grading system have to be licensed operations and have been open for
business for at least one year. Hotels would be assigned a standard rating
of one to five stars.
Gradings can be shown at the main entrance of a hotel for
3 years but if the standard is not maintained, the sign will be withdrawn.
Nan Province will arrange six tribes’ culture festival April 9-11
Chertchai Wibulwuttikul, the Song Khae district chief,
said that the district authorities will organize the “6 Tribes’ Cultures
and Song Khae’s Good Things Festival” April 9-11 aiming to preserve the
culture of hill tribes living in Song Khae District.
The district has a hill tribe population that includes
Hmong, Thai Lue, Myan, Thin, Kamu, and Koa hill tribe minority groups.
There will be many activities during this local Nan
festival, such as tribal performances, youth music contests, a headman
singing contest, dancing contests and a hill tribe beauty contest.
It is expected that during this time, hill tribe people
will come back to their homes to join the celebration and visit their
relatives during the Songkran water pouring festival.
This festival is sponsored by Nan Provincial Authorities,
Sports Authorities of Thailand, Tambon Na Rai Luang and Chondaen
Administrative Organizations. The Song Khae district chief said that this
celebration will be held annually from this year.
Decrease in foreign tourists to put a dampener on Songkran?
Phitsanu Thepthong and
Occupancy rates for Chiang Mai Hotels was expected to be
only 60% during the 5 day Songkran water festival and celebration held from
April 10-15, according to Vorapong Muchaotai, the president of Thai Hotel
Associations (THA), Northern Chapter. When compared to the past three years,
the hotel occupancy rates in Chiang Mai were as high as 80-90 %.
Cancellations have been happening since January this
year, particularly among European tourist groups, reported Vorapong, adding
that the given cause of the cancellations was the US-Iraq conflict.
Vorapong, who is also the vice president of the Chiang
Mai Tourism Business Association, remarked that most of the tourists booked
into Chiang Mai hotels were mainly domestic tourists and visitors,
businessmen, government officials, private companies and hotel clients from
tourist markets in other Asian countries.
Several leading airlines have changed their air routes
and strategies to avoid routes passing over the Middle East where the war in
the gulf continues. The number of passengers flying over these areas have
fallen by over 50%. He expected more cancellations from the European,
American, and Australian tourist markets.
for alternative water sources
for Bhumibol Dam
By Supatatt Dangkrueng
The Department of Alternative Energy and Efficiency, led
by Deputy Director-General Sawat Hemkamol, has held discussions with people
from the Chao Phraya River basin on ways to establish an alternative water
supply for the Bhumibol Dam.
of Alternative Energy and Efficiency Deputy Director General Sawat Hemkamol
meets people at the water supply seminar.
A seminar, with participants from Mae Hong Son, Chiang
Mai, Lamphun, Tak, Nakhon Sawan, and Kamphaeng Petch provinces has been held
to follow up results of the study.
Several years ago there were water shortages during the
dry season in the Chao Phraya River basin, even though the Bhumibol Dam had
5,569 cubic meters of water out of its total capacity of 9,662 cubic meters.
The study recommends that the correct solution is to dam up the water level
from other domestic water resources.
from provinces like Tak, Mae Hong Son, Nakhon Sawan, Kamphaeng Petch,
Lamphun and Chiang Mai will follow up the study results.
Since February 1999, the department has been studying the
most effective way to transfer water from domestic water resources and the
Mae La Ma Luang River in Sop Moei District, Mae Hong Son Province is a
It shows that there are two possibilities to redirect
water into the Bhumibol Dam. They will now go on to study the property and
environmental impacts from the project.
This scheme has been planned to solve water shortage problems during the
dry season. It is also expected that the water quantity in the Bhumibol Dam
will be sufficient to serve human consumption as well as agriculture.
Local Liquor Network allowed to produce hooch
But the license is necessary first, says PM
Autsadaporn Kamthai and Nuttanee Thaveephol
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said in his “Thaksin
Talk with the People” radio program broadcast on March 22 that the
government has agreed to let local people produce their whisky but to do so
legally they must have a permit from the Excise Department.
PM Thaksin said that alcohol is a habit-forming drug that
must be strictly controlled. Producers who do not apply for the required
permits will be arrested.
Jamnong Thepsena from the Chiang Rai Provincial Excise
Office said that wine and whisky producers in Chiang Rai can apply for
permission at the Excise office.
Students in rural area to benefit from new Border Patrol Police School
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presides over opening ceremony
The Border Patrol Police School was constructed to honor
HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on the occasion of her 48th birthday. It
was built under the patronage of the Airport Authority of Thailand (AAT),
which provided some 11 million baht budget to build the school. Following
approval from the Princess, the school was named the Border Patrol Police
The school has eight buildings, including three study
buildings, a home economics building, an activities building, and
cooperative store. It has been constructed in Lanna style architecture and
is surrounded by forest.
The school has been built to meet HRH the Princess’s
aim to extend secondary education for rural students. This school is located
in Mae Salong Sub-district, Mae Fah Luang District, Chiang Rai, and is the
first Border Patrol Police School that has a secondary program. The Forestry
Department allowed the school to be built on 50 rai of National Reserved
The school will admit 120 secondary students. It has 18
border patrol police teachers and one civilian teacher.
Chiang Mai Muslims stay independent but join boycott of US goods
The president of the Chiang Mai Muslim Association, Din
Arlee, believes Chiang Mai Muslims will not join the anti-war movements of
the Southern Muslims.
However, like all Muslims in Thailand, they will boycott
products carrying American brands, especially Coca Cola and Pepsi drinks.
He asserted that 20,000 Muslims in Chiang Mai would not
participate in anti-war protests beyond praying for the Iraqis.
Buddhists in Chiang Mai will join Buddhists worldwide in
prayers for universal peace.
Din Arlee said the 20,000 Muslims expected to attend the
Anti Drug Sport Challenge on April 5-7, would come to Chiang Mai for sport
only and not to protest against the war in Iraq.
The president said everybody would obey Chula Rajamontri,
the chief of the Muslims, who has commanded all to pray in church to keep a
good image and to create a peaceful atmosphere. Din also indicated that all
Muslims in Chiang Mai totally disagree with the war but seem to concur with
Wing 41 celebrates Air Force Remembrance Day
Air Force officers who gathered on the Royal Thai Air
Force Remembrance Day - March 27 - heard Wing 41’s Commander, Group
Captain Anond Chariyaphan, deliver a message sent from Air Chief Marshal
41’s Commander Group Captain Anond Chariyaphan salutes the 89th Air Force
Force officers get together to commemorate Remembrance Day.
This was the 89th year of the Remembrance Day. The merit
making ceremony started in the early morning, and was followed by the
conferring of certificates to officers and delivery of a message from the
Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Air Force.
The three officers who received certificates were:
Squadron Leader Mayuri Yongsawai, Air Warrant Officer Sompong Hongwiangchan,
and permanent employee Banlue Saorotha.
The Royal Thai Air Force was officially established on March 27, 1914.
War on drugs producing an
increase in petty theft?
Chiangmai Mail trainee reporter robbed
Chiangmai Mail trainee reporter
Ampai Kuntawong had her bag snatched and lost over 11,000 baht.
While riding home at 10.30 p.m., 2 men on a motorcycle
rode up on her left, snatched her bag from her shoulder and rode off. Inside
her bag, there was a mobile phone, a wallet, a dictionary computer and cash.
She informed the Changpuak police that the robbery
occurred on Santitham Road, and she tried to ride after them, but there were
many sois in that area and she was unable to keep up with the fleeing
The police officer said that petty theft such as bag
snatching is on the increase and they feel that this is as a result of the
drug suppression, which has increased to price of drugs such as ya ba.
When the addicts need drugs, they have to find more money
which they do in the easiest way by petty theft.
Police suggested that everyone should be aware and take
care of their property by keeping valuables on their person, rather than in
shoulder bags, avoid dark areas at night and travel in company, rather than
In ridding society of one evil, have we opened another
can of worms?
Ten teachers found to be
involved with drugs
2,605 students fingered as well
An inspector with the Ministry of Education has stated
that 10 teachers have been implicated and found guilty on drug charges. Most
have been removed from office, but others are awaiting judicial findings.
Boonrat Wrongyai, the Ministry of Education’s Region 10
Office inspector stated that he had investigated the teachers, who were from
Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Lampang and Phayao.
Unfortunately a large number of students in region 10
were found to have drug problems. Some 2,605 students were arrested as drug
users and 205 students were found to be drug dealers.
The principals of every school in region 10 areas have
been charged by the Ministry of Education with solving the problem.
Food supplements targeted by
Consumer Protection authorities
Eat more vegetables and save your money is the call
Ampai Kuntawong and Autsadaporn Kamthai
Jaroon Yanasarn, the chief of Consumer Protection
Division, Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office, said that high
intensity marketing of various kinds of food supplements has come under
their scrutiny recently. Exaggerated claims that supplements can cure
diseases or increase intelligence have been noted by his department.
One food supplement which he mentioned by name is
Spirulina. This is one product that claims in its advertisements that it can
cure any serious diseases. Chiang Mai Public Health affirmed, however, that
Spirulina could not cure any diseases, and was only indicated as a
supplement for convalescent patients since it was only a high protein (amino
acid) product and contains chromium, magnesium and chlorophyll that could be
found in vegetables.
Although Ministry of Health allows food supplements to be
sold, it does not allow producers to exaggerate their product’s qualities.
Those in violation can be fined and imprisoned. It seems as if the
manufacturers are ignoring this.
Illegal immigrants detected at highway checkpoint
Sex trade organized through Bangkok agency
Highway Police in Denchai District, Phrae Province
arrested five illegal immigrants who had been working in Bangkok in the sex
industry. The aliens were detected at a routine highway immigration
Highway police set up the immigration checkpoint on the
Phrae-Denchai-Utaradit Road looking for aliens coming into town for the
Songkran Festival. They noticed one tour bus from Bangkok, whose driver was
acting suspiciously. Police pulled the bus over and began checking the ID
cards of the 25 passengers on the bus. Five girls at the rear of the bus
looked nervous, and none had the necessary IDs. They admitted they were en
route to Mae Sai District in Chiang Rai Province.
Police Captain Pisan Kamwongpin, from the Denchai
District Police Station investigated and the five women confessed that they
were from Yawn town in Burma, having come into Thailand through Mae Sai
District, Chiang Rai. The agency that had arranged this had sent them to
work in Bangkok as singers in restaurants or as prostitutes.
They were all charged with being illegal immigrants into
the Kingdom and have been deported.
Army and police learn about latest drug production methods
The Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) has launched
a training course to examine or test for precursor chemicals used in the
production of drugs.
Teerapat Santimetaneedol, secretary of ONCB chaired the
first two group seminars on drug testing for primary substances or precursor
chemicals at the Holiday Garden Hotel from March 27-28, and from April 3-4.
The training course was provided for both police and
military officers who are working with drug suppression, especially on
detecting the initially processed substance. These substances can be used to
produce methamphetamine pills; hence it is important to seize these
precursor chemicals before they are used in drug production.
Teerapat said the operation teams are also keeping their
eyes on new ways of drug trafficking. The most recent police discovery was
ya ba hidden in milk cartons being smuggled in from China border areas.
The precursor chemicals are still smuggled across borders
into illegal labs where methamphetamine tablets are produced. Ephedrine,
used for the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine in the region, is
diverted and smuggled out of China and India, say the officials.
Fifty police officers from Provincial Police Region 5 and
Provincial Police Region 6 became the first group of officers being trained
on March 27-28, and on April 3-4, an additional 50 military officers from
the Third Army Region were trained.
It is expected that the operation teams should now know
some of the drug traffickers’ new tricks and how to search for precursor
chemicals used to produce drugs.
Police and Army boost cross-border drug control
Border Patrol Police (BPP), Regional Headquarters 3 is
preparing its forces to close the northern borders in the beginning of
Pol. Maj. Gen. Thanakorn Siriaut, the BPP commander said
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has commanded him to send more border
patrol police forces to close the borders because of a serious influx of
drugs flowing into Thailand from neighboring countries.
Most of the drugs come into Thailand through the Chiang
Rai, Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son borders.
BPP, Regional Headquarters 3 plans to send another two
more companies for a specific mission to close the borders in the northern
part of Thailand from the beginning of April.
The Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son borders normally have
only five companies of border police. Having at least seven companies would
make the force stronger and more powerful.
The BPP commander said he had already arranged with the
3rd Army Region to bring in some military forces to help cope with the drug
problem areas. They will be stationed at the Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son
The troops will be sent from Phitsanulok, Nan and
Utaradit provinces because they are experienced and skilled in the lands and
the routes near the northern Thailand borders.