Air-conditioned bus project launched in Chiang Mai
The plan is to help fight traffic jams
Surachai T. Bunditkul and Supatatt Dangkrueng
An air-conditioned bus route has been launched in Chiang
Mai as a pilot project to ease traffic congestion. The trial began on June
28 with 80 bus stops planned for around the city.
air-conditioned buses will now run routes around Chiang Mai City to
hopefully alleviate traffic problems.
In a response to the government policy on improving
Chiang Mai traffic, Chiang Mai Municipality and Chiang Mai Provincial Land
Transport Office has implemented this pilot project, starting from Kwan
Wiang Housing estate and to go around the city.
Mai MP Yaowapa Wongsawas cuts the ribbon to launch the air-conditioned bus
The routes for the air-conditioned buses start from the
housing estate to the inner old city via the city moats to Thapae Road, and
then return via Hang Dong District as a round trip. The buses will also stop
at tourist spots, apart from the other 80 bus stops.
Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn said that he could
solve the traffic jams in Chiang Mai City, but always has obstacles put in
his way, but this one should work to help relieve the traffic problems in
Chiang Mai. The mayor did not see bad consequences for the red mini-buses
(song taews), since this air-conditioned bus project would be complementary
This project is an investment by a private company, ACC
Real Estate, with Amnarj Aksornvanich, chairman of ACC Real Estate, saying
this project will cost one million baht a month and in the very near future
it will need more support and cooperation from the government. “The bus
fare is only 10 baht per person and only 5 five baht for students. There are
five air-conditioned 31 seat buses coming along every 15 minutes running
from 5.20 a.m. to 10 p.m. If we get positive feedback, there will be at
least 10-20 buses running every 5 -10 minutes,” said Amnarj.
However, Chiang Mai MP Yaowapa Wongsawas added that Chiang Mai needs the
routine buses to serve increasing numbers of tourists coming to Chiang Mai,
so this pilot project can be said to be close to our goal of providing more
convenient mass transportation for the public.
A most happy
46th birthday to
HRH Princess Chulabhorn
Born on July 4, 1957, Her Royal Highness Princess
Chulabhorn is the youngest child of Their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej
and Queen Sirikit of Thailand.
Chiangmai Mail joins the Kingdom in humbly wishing happy 46th birthday to a
most remarkable person, HRH Princess Chulabhorn.
HRH Princess Chulabhorn has two daughters, Their Royal
Highnesses Princess Siribhachudhabhorn and Princess Adityadornkitikhun.
Her Royal Highness graduated from the Faculty of Science
and Arts at Kasetsart University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in
Organic Chemistry, First Class Honors, in 1979. Her Royal Highness completed
her doctorate work in organic chemistry in 1985, and received her Doctor of
Philosophy Degree from Mahidol University in July of the same year, and has
a supreme record of academic achievement.
She undertook postdoctoral studies in Germany in 1987 and
has since been a visiting professor at universities in Japan, Germany, and
the United States of America. She holds Honorary Doctorate degrees from no
fewer than nine universities around the world. In 1986, she was appointed as
an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in London and was
awarded the Einstein Gold Medal of UNESCO.
Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn is chairperson of
the Working Group on the Chemistry of Natural Products collaborative program
between the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science and the National
Research Council of Thailand.
HRH Princess Chulabhorn has received international
recognition for her scientific accomplishments, in her appointment to
various United Nations posts, namely special advisor to the United Nations
Environment Program and member of the Special High-Level Council for the
International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction of the United Nations.
As a result of her experience as a scientist Princess
Chulabhorn became aware of the difficulties Thai researchers have in
obtaining the necessary funding for their research. In 1987, she established
the Chulabhorn Research Institute to provide a new fundraising agency. This
institute now acts as a focal point for the exchange of intellectual and
other resources in Thailand for the purpose of solving urgent problems
confronting the country in areas of health, environment, and agriculture.
As president of the Chulabhorn Research Institute, the Princess currently
directs five special research projects; the AIDS program, a program on
restoration and integrated development of the flood-affected areas in
Southern Thailand, seawater irrigation for cultivation of economic marine
species and preservation of mangrove, the rabies eradication program and a
special project for accelerated immunization in five southern provinces in
Thailand. Through these programs the Princess plays an auspicious role in
improving the environment and living standard of the villagers in a number
of Thai provinces.
Village tourism being promoted
Government needs to get more involved so that people will get more involved
A training course on village tourism was held on June 20
at the Empress Hotel to improve standards, run by the Tambon Administration
Organizations (TAO) and their executive committees. Chiang Mai Deputy
Governor Udom Puasakul chaired the opening.
The director-general of Tourism Development for the
Tourism and Sports Ministry, Dr Sasithara Pichaichannarong, said this
training course was aimed at bringing out ideas from TAO leaders and people
at the grass -roots level and to improve the standard of village tourism.
This task is being done with close cooperation with
Sukhothai Thammathiraj University to make the project feasible and submit a
request for government budget approval in the next fiscal year.
It is planned that in 2004, local people should become
more involved in the country’s tourism development. Because one of the
most important roles of tourism can be fulfilled by the people who live and
stay close to nature, as they are the best guides and can give real and
To head in the right direction, there will be public
relations and promotional campaigns to gain local cooperation, and there are
plans to bring the local tourism system up to international standards.
However, the government has to support this by providing more technical
programs such as development of foreign language skills and training courses
for guides to improve the abilities of people involved in local tourism.
Phayao wants a Tourism, Sports and Recreation Bureau
Officials would like to promote sustainable tourism
Phayao Tourism Sports and Recreation Center organized a
workshop to discuss the concept of setting up a Tourism Sports and
Recreation Bureau in the region to help local administration organizations
promote sustainable tourism management, which, it is hoped, would increase
communities’ incomes, and improve the quality of local life.
According to the government’s policy, the Ministry of
Tourism and Sports is responsible for developing tourism and sports in the
country. The government is trying to encourage local administration units to
participate in this.
To this end, Phayao Tourism Sports and Recreation Center
organized the workshop on June 23 at Gateway Hotel, Muang District, Phayao,
to consider a way to establish tourism, sports, and recreation units. The
participants at the workshop included Phayao Provincial Administration
Organization, Phayao municipality, 11 Tambon municipalities, and 59 Tambon
The opening ceremony was presided over by Phayao Governor
Somsak Boonpleung, who said that it would be advantageous for the local
administration organizations to participate in the tourism scheme.
Chiang Mai and Phuket attempt to shore up their tourist numbers
Surachai T. Bunditkul
Chiang Mai and Phuket Chambers of Commerce have set up a
Road Show to exchange trading and tourism between the two regions. Chiang
Mai Provincial Authorities and Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce (CCC) in
collaboration with Phuket Chamber of Commerce will start this pilot project
to encourage travel between the two provinces, Chiang Mai in the North, and
Phuket in the South.
right) Chowalit Sirinirun, Jumpol Chutima, and Ms. Saowalak Chimada announce
the “Chao Doi Chom Lay” project.
CCC president, Jumpol Chutima said that tourism business
over the country has really been badly affected by the SARS scare.
For the first project, Phuket Chamber of Commerce (PCC)
in coordination with CCC will organize the “Chao Doi Chom Lay” program,
which will take a hundred businessmen, dealers and government officials to
fly directly from Phuket to Chiang Mai on July 4-6, flying with Thai Airways
International. After the first trip finishes in Chiang Mai, PCC will take
Chiang Mai tour groups to visit Phuket.
This exchange program aims to build confidence among the
tourist business owners and stimulate Thai people traveling in their own
country in response to the government policy on “Thais Tour Thailand”.
One of the activities in Phuket will be an educational trip to the
important historical sites, tourist attractions, and cultural regions.
Ping River needs a properly integrated water resource management plan
The Department of Water Resources organized a workshop on
June 25 at Lanna Palace Hotel, on water resource management of the Upper
Ping Water Catchment. Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Parinya Panthong gave the
Wacharasin, the project engineer, reports the result of the Ping River water
resource management integrated plan.
The workshop discussed the necessity of a properly
integrated water resource management plan. The demand and supply of the
water catchment area were shown. The local organizations and communities and
other concerned units were invited to participate in the integrated
Parinya Panthong said that the water resource management
of the Ping River is a very important issue because it affects many people
who are consuming and utilizing water from the river. The upper Ping River
water catchment area covers Chiang Mai and Lamphun provinces, while the
lower area covers Tak, Kamphaeng Petch, and Nakhon Sawan provinces.
Ping River rain water catchment area covers 34,865 square
kilometers. Chuwit Wacharasin, the project engineer said that problems with
water management in the area include water shortage for mass consumption and
agricultural purposes, soil erosion and flood.
There is a budget of around 128 million baht for implementing the plan
over the next 20 years.
Cultural promotion center opens in Chiang Rai
Integrating Lanna culture with community problem solving
Surachai T. Bunditkul
A new cultural promotion center was opened in Chiang Rai
on June 23, with the deputy minister of culture, Peera Manatat presiding
over the opening ceremony.
Peera said that Chiang Rai has good potential to be a
northern cultural center because of its rich natural resources. It also has
a remarkable Lanna cultural identity and has many tourist attractions.
The management and administration of the center “Sai
Yai Chum Chon” (Community Links) will follow the philosophy and principles
of His Majesty the King on “Self Sufficient Economy”, a scheme that
brings morality, which in turn will strengthen the communities and help
solve many local problems.
The Chiang Rai Provincial Public Relations Office said
that Chiang Rai provincial authorities had selected Tambon Mae Khao Tom as
the “Sai Yai Chum Chon” cultural promotion center, following a pilot
project conducted by the Ministry of Culture to integrate Lanna culture with
community problem solving.
Tambon Mae Khao Tom is complete in everything, including
the potential of the Tambon Administration Organization leaders, Tambon
Cultural Council, religion, monks, academic institutes and vocational
development groups. The province also has good infrastructure for careers,
natural resources, and arts and culture.
Royal Project helps develop hilltribe villages as agro-tourism attractions
Replacing opium with deciduous crops
The Royal Project Foundation’s Highlands Agricultural
Development Office brought a group of press, tourism-related agents and
entrepreneurs to the opening ceremony of the Royal Project Tourist Service
Center at Nonghoy Station in Mae Rim, Chiang Mai.
The Royal Project’s Learning and Tourism Promotion
Project conducts research on deciduous crops and supports hill tribes to
grow fruits and vegetables instead of opium. Since then, the village has
become one of the largest areas of deciduous crops cultivation, with the
Royal Project Foundation providing marketing support under the Doi Kham
To serve the increasing number of villagers and community
expansion, the development plan would create extra jobs in the fields of
tourism, agricultural products and handicrafts.
The village in the Royal Project Development center in
Mae Sa, Tambon Pong Yaeng, Mae Rim has been developed into a tourist
attraction as well.
Both villages are located in the highlands with beautiful
scenery, cool weather all year, and unique Hmong hilltribe culture, which
will draw both Thai and foreign tourists to visit the villages, and the
Royal Project Agricultural Research Center in the same area.
Chiang Mai aiming to become the northern educational hub of Thailand
At this rate we’ll be the hub of the universe by next week!
Chiang Mai is currently being promoted as the northern
hub of aviation, exportation, agriculture and medical care service, and now,
as Thailand’s northern educational hub.
To help promote this, on June 28 at the Royal Princess
Hotel, Thai Airways International sponsored a conference titled “Chiang
Mai, northern educational hub of Thailand”. Participants included Thai
Airways International, Thailand International Schools Association, private
university institutes and other government and private sector organizations.
Thai Airways will act as a “middleman” to link both
private sectors and government organizations to make this project a reality.
The company has opened more air routes to serve air transportation in this
region, with links to Singapore, China, Myanmar, Chittagong, Bangladesh,
India, Taiwan, Pukam, Rangoon, Chiang Rung, Luang Phrabang, Hanoi, and
At present there are about 70 international schools in Thailand with
approximately 20,000 students, of which 65% come from overseas.
TAT wants to see more South Korean newlyweds and golfers
TV crews invited to come and have a look
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) office in South
Korea has launched a tourism promotional campaign to persuade South Korean
newlyweds and golf players to visit Thailand.
The Northern Business Women Operators Club in cooperation
with TAT in South Korea recently brought a group of reporters from cable
television companies and local newspapers from South Korea to Chiang Mai for
The Korean reporters were here to shoot films about Thai
traditions, culture, and way of life in northern Thailand, including such
unique activities as the ceremony for prolonging life, making merit, and
giving food to the monks, and some old traditions that northern Thais
preserve. These tourism films to be will be broadcast to many countries
around Asia, including Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Saichalee Wannapreuk, the director of TAT Office in South
Korea, said that the press trip to Thailand was just one of the campaigns to
promote the image and tourism to Thailand. TAT statistics show that 700,000
Korean tourists visit Thailand each year. At the moment, many provinces such
as Phuket, Rayong, Phetchaburi, and Prachuap Khirikhan, are attracting
Korean newlyweds and golfers.
Solar power for Mae Hong Son
Make hay while the sun shines
The largest solar power plant in Asia will commence
construction at Mae Hong Son next month. Constructors expect to finish the
plant by April 2004.
“It will be the largest solar cell station in Asia, and
will provide clean energy for Mae Hong Son people ... (solar) will be the
main power source for the province,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wittaya Masena,
chairman of the Senate Committee on Science, Technology and Energy.
He said the two solar cell stations to be built in Mae
Hong Son would help reduce power generating costs, a welcome benefit since
power distributed from Chiang Mai is very expensive. Currently the power
supply for Mae Hong Son is not enough, and 50% of the population is not
connected to the electricity power grid.
He added that Mae Hong Son has appropriate topography for
solar cell plants, and said that more will be constructed in 6 areas,
including behind Mae Hong Son prison, Pha Bong Diesel power plant, Pai
District, Pang Ma Pa, Khun Yuam, and Mae Sa Riang districts.
The first solar power station will be the Mae Hong Son 2
Station with a capacity of 500 kilowatts. This construction project will be
built in Pha Bong Diesel power plant and will cost close to 200 million baht.
Chiang Mai cracking down
on the 90 day rule
Regulations require your presence every three months
The Chiang Mai Immigration Office has reminded alien
residents and foreigners who live in Chiang Mai to notify there whereabouts
to the immigration office every 90 days. Pol Lt Col Kanokpan Roobkajorn,
inspector of Chiang Mai Immigration Office said, “Many foreign people are
confused and don’t understand the need to check in with Chang Mai’s
Immigration Office every 90 days. Overstays will be fined 5,000 baht and 200
To add to the confusion, there are now two immigration
offices; one at the airport and another on Airport Road. There is a one-stop
service at the airport that can deal with some visas, such as the over 55
year retirees, some business owners in Chiang Mai and foreign people who
work as volunteers for Thai government.
“This center will help foreign people save time, rather
than come to the main office,” added Pol Lt Col Kanokpan.
Fore more details please call Chiang Mai Immigration
Office number 053 201 755.
Local NGO’s discuss the AIDS/HIV situation
Guest speakers present their findings - stimulate debate
Health & Development Networks (HDN) held its monthly
NGO Forum on HIV/AIDS and Development on June 24 in Chiang Mai. This event
focused on community activities in preparation for both the 9th National
Seminar on HIV/AIDS in July this year and the World AIDS Conference in
Bangkok, July next year.
present their findings and stimulate debate at the Chiang Mai NGO Monthly
Forum on HIV/AIDS and Development.
HDN invited eight special guest speakers from local NGOs
who attacked eight different issues on HIV/AIDS, including Traditional
Healers and Holistic Health Care by Wiroj Khantasook, the project
coordinator of Holistic Health Care Project from North Net Foundation,
Advocacy for Mobile Populations and HIV/AIDS Vulnerability by Jackie
Pollock, the coordinator of MAP Foundation for the Health & Knowledge of
Ethnic Labor, and Budsaya Kunakorn-Sawat from Northern Youth Network
presented the Impact of HIV/AIDS on Young People and Active Movement.
HDN is an Irish non-profit organization that wishes to
improve communication and the quality of debate, expand discourses and
promote self-representation in the HIV/AIDS, health and development-related
The Ministry of Public Health released new figures showing that Thailand
will be home to over 1.1 million AIDS sufferers in three year’s time.
Prof. Pakdee Pothisiri, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Public Health, said
that the Ministry of Public Health estimated that Thailand was already home
to 1,033,500 AIDS patients in 2002, of whom 398,400 had already died.
Japan supports move to reduce agrochemicals in the North
Must show results quickly to gain good reputation
Surachai T. Bunditkul
Chiang Mai Provincial Agriculture Extension Office is
receiving good cooperation from the Japanese International Cooperation
Agency (JICA) consulting with Thai government officials regarding a joint
project titled “Appropriate Technology for Reduction of Agrochemicals in
The director of the office, Kriengkrai Kanongdechachat,
said that the project is in line with the office policy to reduce toxic
chemicals in all vegetables, because much northern produce has residual
chemical problems, especially in longan fruits.
In view of the fact that Thailand is aiming to be a
player in the world market, this project will need to show results very
quickly if this country is to gain a good reputation for its agricultural
Chiang Mai is prepared for floods and storms
Special task force operation center established at Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Office
Wichien Noonrod, Chiang Mai Provincial Public Relations
Office chief, said that Chiang Mai has already put together this year’s
special plan for solving flood problems and taking care of storm victims in
Chiang Mai’s 22 districts and 2 sub-districts.
During the May - November rainy season there is always a
risk of floods and storms in many areas. Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat,
as Civil Disaster Prevention Center director, has ordered every unit to
prepare to assist victims, and has established a special task force
operation center at Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Office.
Wichien added that this operation center is responsible
for implementing the plan and being the communications center during any
disaster situation. The center is also open to receive donations of aid and
equipment that victims may need.
The center is divided into 5 units: the warning and
emergency report unit, rescue unit, evacuation and security operations unit,
first aid and donations unit, and recovery operation unit. All 5 units are
If you happen upon a disaster situation, please contact
the Provincial Administration Office, 053 221 182 or 053 210 055.
100,000 baht offered for information leading to arrests of makers of deadly bogus La Sante wine
One man killed, 4 others injured after drinking the wine at birthday party
Phitsanu Thepthong and AP
Boonnak Sriya, 42, a gardener at the Siam Bay View Hotel
in Pattaya took a sip of wine from a bottle purporting to be La Sante wine
and suddenly felt dizzy, vomited and passed out. He was rushed to hospital
where doctors pumped his stomach but failed to revive him. Doctors suspect
he died of toxic poisoning.
La Sante wine.
La Sante wine.
The man who died and four others who were hospitalized
after drinking the liquid, labeled as La Sante wine, were all employees of
the same hotel in Pattaya.
Relatives of the sick men handed over the remaining wine
and the bottle for further testing at the police forensic institute.
“During their investigation, police poured some of the
liquid from the wine bottle into a plastic cup, and it burned through the
plastic,” Lt. Col. Supot Amnatmankong of the Pattaya police said.
Sukharoj (right), Chiang Rai Winery Co. Ltd. legal advisor, filed a
complaint with Pol Lt Col Chatchawan Phisuthiwong, deputy superintendent of
Pattaya Police Station, and asked him to help search for those who produce
bogus La Sante wine and to bring them to justice. Nirut is holding a bottle
of real La Sante wine - the killer bottle of wine sits at the center of the
Tests revealed at least three highly toxic solvents in
the wine: Tertrahydrofuran (THF), gamma butyrolcatone (GBL) and acetonitrile
or methyl cyanide. THF is used for producing PVC pipes and cement, GBL is an
industrial solvent used in the paint industry and for cleaning heavy
machinery, and acetonitrile is used to make pharmaceuticals, pesticides,
plastics, batteries and inorganic salts. A hospital spokesperson said that
usually THF and GBL would smell strong enough to deter anyone from consuming
it, but surmised that perhaps the partygoers were already too drunk to
Nopparat Suwantemee, the factory manager, of Chiang Rai
Winery Co., Ltd., the manufacturers of the real La Sante wines in Chiang Rai
Province’s Tambon Sritoy, Mae Suai District, said the company is offering
a reward to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of those
responsible for the fake wine.
“There is no doubt that the liquid was not the true La
Sante product, after testing procedures were carried out by the police and
the Food and Drug Administration,” said Yothin Wimukdayon, the chief of
Chonburi Provincial Excise Office, who oversees the whisky distillery and
operation in Pattaya, confirming that he has inspected and compared the
label of the La Sante wine bottled legally by the company with the fake one.
Nopparat said fruit and herbal wines produced by Chiang
Rai Winery Co. are up to standard and experts supervise the winemaking
process. Raw materials used for making the wine do not contain chemicals.
Suspicions continue to mount, with Wiroj Sabua, marketing
manager of Chiang Rai Winery, which distributes the wine for the Chiang Rai
Winery Group, believing the incident was an attempt to discredit its
reputation as it had planned to sell the product overseas. “This case may
spoil and discredit Thai La Sante wine, which is a good quality wine,” he
Nirut Sukharoj, the legal advisor to the Chiang Rai
Winery Co., Ltd. has filed a complaint and asked Pol Lt Col Chatchawan
Phisuthiwong, deputy superintendent of Pattaya Police Station, to help
search for those who produce bogus La Sante wine and to bring them to
Nopparat Suwantemee, the factory manager at Chiang Rai
Winery said that the company has strict quality control systems, beginning
with the cultivation of raw materials free from agro-chemicals, and the
production is also under supervisions of academics and technicians with
doctorates in the fields of food science.
For the actual wine production, there are experts from
Thailand and abroad, together with three academics with bachelors degrees in
food science to help supervise the distillery process. The company also uses
high quality bottles, labels, other materials, and has a correct trademark.
Crafty wood-smugglers caught
Village headwoman arrested
Charae Wongchaya, the chief of Phrae Forestry Office,
together with forest officials from Denchai District received a police
tip-off that frequent wood smuggling was going on using the highway between
Phrae and Uttaradit provinces. The timber was allegedly being taken
illegally from the forest at Huay Lark Phuen Village in Tambon Huay Rai,
The officers set up a roadblock on the highway and
noticed a pick-up truck with the Local Administration Department (LAD),
Ministry of Interior logo stenciled on it. They followed the truck and
stopped it at Tambon Mae Jua and on searching it found 10 portions of
teakwood under a seat inside the truck. The driver, Phaksupaporn Kukong, the
45-year-old village headwoman of Ban Pong Village, Sung Men District, was
Phaksupaporn, the alleged offender, said that she often
smuggled illegal wood, but has never been arrested. This was probably
because her car had the LAD logo as a ‘pass through’ at each checkpoint.
However, the officers seized the material evidence for further interrogation
and law process.
Two drug dealers killed
in drug suppression skirmish
Special forces ambush nets 100,000 speed pills and weapons
Phamuang Task Force soldiers killed two Wa soldiers
guarding a drug convoy from Burma during a skirmish in Chiang Mai’s Mae Ai
District on June 27.
100,000 speed pills were discovered at the scene, along
with weapons, after the predawn gunfight in the Thai border district.
After officials received a tip-off on June 25 that drug
smuggling would be going on in the border area, Major-General Manus Paorig,
Phamuang Task Force commander, assigned a special task force from the 133rd
cavalry battalion to ambush the drug convoy.
During the operation, which took place north of Ban Huai
San just one kilometer away from the border demarcation, Thai forces and
smugglers exchanged gunfire for about 20 minutes.
The clash left two Wa soldiers dead; one was dressed in a
military uniform. Nearby, about 100,000 speed pills, 1 AK-47 rifle, 1
pistol, 1 Chinese made grenade and 30 rounds of ammunition were recovered.
All was confiscated and transferred to Mae Ai Police
Station to undergo further investigation.
Police believe that this smuggling convoy was from the Wa-controlled
area inside Burma, and the drugs were being smuggled into Thailand.
Let’s talk about drugs
Probably better than extra-judicial killings
“Let’s take moralizing out and put humanity in”,
the Asian Harm Reduction Network (AHRN) published in its press release on
June 26, the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illegal Trafficking.
Don McVinney of the Harm Reduction Coalition said that
they have to accept the reality that there are people who use drugs. Due to
the failure of drug eradication in societies, the AHRN said that because the
popular moral theory dictates that addiction is a moral failure,
intervention means moral redemption or punishment for being morally weak.
The publication noted that many school-based prevention
programs have also proven ineffective for those who are already using drugs,
since there is no significant difference in drug use between the school’s
graduates and students never exposed to the curriculum.
“Rather than throwing students out of school for making
a bad decision, let’s offer help, keep them busy, institute constructive
punishment for rule-breaking within the school context, and try to increase
their connection to teachers, administrators, and other students,” urges
Marsha Roshenbaum, director of the Safety First program.
Drug addicts are also blamed for HIV/AIDS infection, as
intertwined problems. Dr. Peter Poit, executive director of UNAIDS stated
that the young people should be given life skills and provided preventive
education so they would be able to protect themselves from using drugs or
from HIV infection and ultimately escape the cycle of addiction.
The AHRN tries to meet the drug users and involve them in
policy making and advocacy, and considers their opinions. The organization
suggests that governments in any part of the world should face drug use as a
public health issue instead of only upholding the old policies on drug
US government to help develop three major municipalities in Thailand
Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and Phuket to get help
Surachai T. Bunditkul
The US government will soon send experts to improve the
municipalities of three major provinces in Thailand: Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen
Mayors from the three provinces gathered at the Chiang
Mai Municipal Office on June 26 to attend a meeting with US Consul-General
During the meeting, US Consul-General Eric Rubin
witnessed a Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony between Portland,
USA, and the 3 municipalities. The MOU will set up cooperation to improve
work procedures at Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, and Phuket municipalities.
Also during the meeting, all three mayors presented a
“wish list” of things they would like help with achieving.
Chiang Mai’s Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn asked for
cooperation from USA experts to help improve and recover land in the Ping
River basin. He said that over the years, people have been encroaching on
the riverbanks, especially residential housing, hotels and restaurants, and
Mayor Boonlert feels that those that have should be punished. He would like
to see the area from Pa Tan Bridge in the north of Chiang Mai City to the
Provincial Police Region 5 landscaped and brought back to its original,
Peeraphon Pattanateeradet, the mayor of Khon Kaen
Municipality, presented 2 projects to the meeting. For the first, he said
that his municipality needs to create a plan for the city to open its
tourist “Walking Street”, which he said would bring in maximum profits
to the area and create business opportunities for people in the
For the second, Mayor Peeraphon said help would be
appreciated in devising an administration and managing system for garbage
disposal and wastewater treatment, and it would be really nice if this could
be done within the municipality’s limited budget.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Phuket Municipality Lt. Phomsak
Hongyok picked three major projects to help improve his city. Bang Yai moat
development would the first on his list, he said, because the moat passes by
the city and public parks area.
The second would be an Information Technology project
dealing with public health for primary treatment of the public at Phuket
Municipal Health Center. The last project he asked for was a software
showcase to support IT and promote businessmen who want to invest in IT
software writing programs.
The mayors are hopeful that all these proposed projects
will take effect within the next 5 years, which they feel is enough time to
develop the projects and cope with any problem that might arise.
If these projects prove successful, they will be used as
pilot projects when extending the program to other municipalities throughout