Tight security planned during APEC Conference
Local police on the ready
Pol. Lt. Col. Chawalit Kochahiran, deputy commander of
Chiang Mai Provincial Police has assured that the security during the APEC
Conference in Chiang Mai from July 30 - August 8 this year will be intense,
with special operation teams from both Chiang Mai and Bangkok.
Pol. Lt. Col. Chawalit said that Chiang Mai police has a
security team responsible for checking personal and location safety plus
facilitating traffic flow. The National Police Office will take on the main
task in maintaining security and will set up the operation control center.
For the VIP’s, special security police will be taking
care of them from their first step in Chiang Mai until their leaving. Tight
security will include a special entrance to the airport for the APEC
ministers. Special police will be standing by in hotels.
There will also be X-ray scanners at hotel entrances,
looking for weapons. Police officers will patrol and inspect around the
buildings used in the conference. All hotel staff will be subject to
security checks. Police dogs will check for bombs, grenades and explosive
objects in the hotel rooms, conference rooms, and banquet rooms before the
ministers arrive. Likewise, the APEC Ministers and VIP’s will have police
escorts when traveling.
“In the case of terrorism, special forces from Chiang
Mai and nearby provinces will be mobilized to maintain security. Operators
from Naresuan 261 task force from Bangkok will also control the
situation,” said Pol. Lt. Col. Chawalit.
The APEC Conference will be held in Chiang Mai on 3
topics including Women Leadership Network Forum at Chiang Mai Plaza Hotel on
July 30 - August 3, Business Forum Meeting at Westin Hotel on August 4-7,
and SME’s business on August 4-8 at Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.
Country areas to get TV 11
Government spending 820 million on ‘soaps’
Somsak Sawangcharoen, deputy director-general of the
Public Relations Department, said the government has provided a budget of
820 million baht to increase the cover given by 50 TV stations all over the
This project has been granted a concession by Loxley Co.
Previously, there were 34 stations under supervision of TV Channel 11, and
another 16 stations under TV Channel 9 and ITV sharing the same transmission
Loxley Co would also improve the broadcasting signal of
all 50 stations by changing transmitters and checking the coverage.
Currently 35 stations have been tested and passed.
Signal will be improved in Ubon Ratchathani Province and
some areas in the central plains region.
Somsak said that he expects this year about 93 percent of
the people in the country will be able to watch TV Channel 11 with clear and
sharp picture and sound. This is part of the government service to provide
for people in remote villages.
Northern Region Work Safety Week August 7-9 at Kad Suan Kaew
Learn how to work safely
Northern Provincial Labor Protection and Welfare Offices
and Work Safety Center have organized the Northern Region Work Safety Week
2003 in Chiang Mai from August 7-9 at Kad Suan Kaew.
The principal objective of the fair is to be the center
for exchanging work experiences and safety technologies. The activities
include seminars on the technique of minimizing harm, fire-fighting and safe
There will also be sale and demonstrations of safety
protection equipment and job demonstration and training. The participants
can also have a free health check, physical efficiency, and mental and
physical health counseling.
There is also a Safety Bowling competition with 25,000
baht up for grabs. For additional information, contact Chiang Mai Provincial
Labor Protection and Welfare, 053 890 472-3.
Tourism promotion launched for Om Koi
Wild flora and fauna are the attractions
Somchai Rungsakorn, the district chief of Om Koi Office
in Chiang Mai has launched a tourism promotion campaign for those who are
visiting the Royal Project (under Her Majesty the Queen’s Royal
Patronage), including other cultural and natural attractions.
Om Koi District is about 200 kilometers south of Chiang
Mai City and has many natural attractions, currently being promoted in the
Unseen in Thailand guidebook from the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Amongst these is Mon Jong Hill, inhabited by gorals, one
of 16 protected species of wildlife, as well as the area for Tao Rang or
giant Caryota Urens, a type of rare palm, mostly found at the steep slopes.
The Royal Project Nang Non Agricultural Center is also
located in Tambon Mae Tuen, and is the breeding center for barking deer,
bears, and some wild orchid plants. Chom Chang temple and Karen hill-tribe
villages are being promoted as cultural attractions as well.
Belta releases new
Expect to sell 100,000 by year’s end
Following the success of its economy models, Sri
Thanonchai and Tossakan, Belta Computer Company has launched new models for
higher target groups with a new 900 grams pocket PC Belta Indy Pad for
Microsoft Office Presentation, Belta Mollis Series 3 Notebook for high
quality graphics and multimedia in-the-future 3 dimensional graphic
technology, and Belta Infinity S 300 for home entertainment.
left) Sumalee Luekuan, marketing manager at Chi Chang, Pannee Chompuchaikerd,
marketing manager and Eakkapop Suwan, product manager of Belta Company
present the new models.
If you know what all of that means, then you should think
about giving them a visit.
Pannee Chompuchaikerd, the marketing manager, said that
Belta predicted this year’s sales target would be 80,000 units, but
despite being a local brand, for the first half year the sales volume was
nearly 50,000 units, so Belta used their new computers to do the math and
now expect to sell 100,000 units by the end of 2003.
In Chiang Mai, Belta has selected Chi Chang Computer Company as its sales
outlet. Sumalee Luekuan, the marketing manager at Chi Chang said that Chi
Chang Computers has 2 branches, one in Chiang Mai Land Housing Estates and
another at Central Airport Plaza Department Store.
Chiang Mai to host World
Horticulture Festival in 2006
Time to start sowing the seeds
The Cabinet has approved in principle Chiang Mai to host
the World Horticulture Festival in 2006 with a budget of 1.955 billion baht
earmarked for the event.
Sora-art Klinprathum, Minister of Agriculture and
Cooperatives presided over a meeting discussing preparations for the world
festival at the Office of Agriculture Development and Research Region 1,
Chiang Mai on July 8. The Cabinet has already agreed to organize the
festival at the Royal Agriculture Research Station, Chiang Mai in Hang Dong
The festival will be held on 500 rai of land with part of
the budget for the improvement of communications and transportation systems,
water supply, plants watering systems, and public utilities. The pattern of
the festivity will follow that of the last festival held in Kunming, China.
The festival will be a way to publicize Thailand’s
horticulture production technology and bring world trends in agricultural
technology to Thai farmers.
Lamphun expects 75,000 tons of lamyai this season
Lamyai surplus in Lamphun
By Surachai T. Bunditkul
Lamphun is expecting increased tonnage of lamyai fruits
this year and the committee on farmers’ assistance has allocated 600
million baht to help boost the product’s distribution in other provinces,
plus another 50 million baht for promotion of lamyai processed fruit
products, interest free, from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.
Tawat Satiannam, the Lamphun governor said there is a
problem of a lamyai surplus in Lamphun and has proposed assistance measures
to the committee to help solve the low prices caused by lamyai oversupply.
The lamyai fruit promotion projects are to be launched
for the overseas and domestic markets with a government budget of 5 million
baht for a lamyai fruit fair.
for chronic ailments?
Relies on mind over body
A physician from Kerala state, India, who uses natural
healing, held a seminar on “The Indian Method of Natural Healing” on
July 7 at the Women’s Studies Center, Faculty of Social Science, Chiang
After finishing 15 days of natural healing workshop at
Wongsanit Ashram in Nakhon Nayok Province, Jacob Vatakkanseri, an Indian
physician gave the one day seminar on natural healing. He said that natural
healing is a self-treatment practice based on the principle that body and
mind could cure any disease if the body was in good condition. Moreover,
learning and practicing self-healing was suitable for chronic illnesses such
as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer (in the first or second stage),
asthma, heart problems, and a weak immune system.
“The most important aspect of self-healing is care of
our diet, and we may do this by decreasing our food intake and washing
poisons out of our bodies. We may choose food that is not only suitable for
the body but also washes away harmful substances and strengthens the
elemental balance of the body as well,” he said.
He added that according to the principal of natural
healing, if a patient ran a fever, he would feel happy because that was the
way of self-healing. The high body temperature showed that the germs were
killed, was another of his claims. When people had diarrhoea, they took
medicine to stop it, but this was a natural body process of cleansing.
“Diseases are the blessing of God, they are not the body’s enemy,”
said Jacob Vatakkanseri.
He said he has many years of experience and knowledge,
and has built up confidence in the self-healing of chronic illnesses. He
established the Navasiwan Center in Kerala state as well as four other
natural healing centers in southern India with the motto “When you come,
you are a patient, when you leave, you are a doctor.”
for Northern Industry
Thai entrepreneurs should pay attention to global picture
Thailand Institute of Science and Technology Research (TISTR)
organized a technology road show on July 9 at the Empress Hotel in Chiang
Mai to strengthen the industrial section in northern Thailand.
Dr. Ladawan Chodmonkol, the deputy director of TISTR
service section, said that with the high competition for business around the
world, the industrial entrepreneurs in Thailand should pay much concern to
the global picture. At the same time, they should develop the manufacturing
process of products to reach a global standard.
To support the efficiency of Thai industry, the TISTR as
one of the government sectors tries to provide business information about
the demand for quality products, and provide an opportunity for the
entrepreneurs to share opinions.
Dr. Ladawan added that the applied technology would play
an important role in the manufacturing process because it was then easy for
the entrepreneurs to control the quality of their production.
CMU students want busses
Plan delayed after minibus protest
Chiang Mai University (CMU) students want the
municipality to launch bus routes running between the main campus to Suan
Dok campus. CMU Student Union, led by it president, Sarawut Kantaja, asked
to meet Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn, and presented a letter
demanding continuation of this project.
Kantaja (right) president of CMU Student Union, presents the students’
demand to Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn (left).
The municipality had a project for running buses serving
CMU students, but after the red minibus protest this project has been
delayed. CMU Student Union wants the municipality to continue the project,
which could ease traffic problems around campus and facilitate the
students’ getting around, especially first year students. “The student
union agreed that this project could help first year students from the
Faculty of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Associated Medical
Sciences, and cure traffic problems as well,” said Sarawut.
Boonlert said that this project would provide 4 buses
running between main campus and Suan Dok campus running from 7 a.m. to 8
p.m. This is the third project in providing mass transportation for
students, firstly in Prince’s Royal College - Dara route and the second in
Regina - Sacred Heart - Monfort - Chairoj route.
The municipality would review and make a decision regarding the CMU bus
route within two weeks, he said.
Only 30 items selected from 132 entries in Chiang Mai’s OTOP contest
27 food products, 2 non-alcoholic beverages, and 1 herb
Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office’s judging
committee has judged the 3 categories of Chiang Mai’s One Tambon - One
Product (OTOP) entries: food processed products, non-alcoholic beverages,
From the 132 entries, there were only 30 items selected,
27 items from the 103 food processed products, 2 from 16 items of
non-alcoholic beverages, and 1 from the 13 entries for herbs.
Dr. Rattawut Sukmee, Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health
Office chief said that the OTOP contest is being held in response to the
government’s policy on promoting local products.
The OTOP project is aimed at creating a good business
opportunities for people in each local community to earn more income. The
project encourages people and helps them improve the standard of local
products up to export levels.
Women in crisis in Thailand
Suffragettes on the streets again?
A special discourse, which was open to the public, was
held at the Women’s Studies Center, Faculty of Social Science, Chiang Mai
University on July 10. The topic was Women’s Crisis in Thailand with the
address given by Prof. Peter Bell from the State University of New York.
Peter Bell at Women’s Studies Center, CMU.
This talk was intended to provide a framework for
analyzing the roles of women in Thailand, their power, and their on-going
struggles to change Thai society.
According to the speakers, after the economic crisis in
1997, Thailand’s day to day living was controlled by the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) austerity programs, recession, unemployment, and cuts in
social benefits. Women always suffered in this phase of the crisis due to
their need to maintain the family.
Much was asserted that patriarchy in Thailand functioned
through the mediation of the so-called “traditional” forms of male
dominance exercised through the family, religion, and ideology. Furthermore,
patriarchy was global, and patriarchal capitalism was superimposed on the
traditional forms, Prof. Bell propounded.
However, Prof. Bell said that women had the power to provide a new vision
of society, to redefine the narrow visions of patriarchal capitalism by
linking their struggles with global anti-capitalist movements.
Inexpensive government sponsored computers arrive by snail mail
The first “Sinsamut” PC’s arrived in Chiang Mai and
were delivered to the lucky recipients at San Pa Koi Postal Office on July
Kraikruan (left), assistant director of Regional Postal Bureau, Region 5,
delivers the first ICT computers to the happy recipients. (Photo by Surachai
Jeerakarn Kraikruan, assistant director of Regional
Postal Bureau, Region 5, said there were 22,858 people who had booked ICT
computers in the northern region, and Chiang Mai ranked second, after
Bangkok, with 7,210 people booking.
Delivery of the reserved computers has been done through
106 centers. For the North, there are 3: the San Pa Koi Postal Office,
Lamphun Postal Office and Denchai Postal Office in Phrae.
The government’s PCs project was launched to provide low cost PCs for
low-income earners at 10,900 baht excluding VAT. The second phase of this
successful project is to offer a notebook computer priced at 22,000 baht
excluding VAT with interest-free terms for government officials.
Mae Hong Son -
Samoeng shortcut proposed
Will save four hours traveling time
Mae Hong Son Province is supporting a project for
construction of a road from its Thai-Burma border to Samoeng District,
Chiang Mai Province, a distance of 185 km. This is expected to boost economy
and tourism between the two provinces.
The Mae Hong Son community has discussed the economic
aspects and environmental impacts from the proposed road. The meeting drew
much interest from the community and was attended by villagers, headmen, and
engineering staff, as well as interested residents.
Tara Construction Co has been assigned to conduct the
feasibility study for the Highways Department. The results will be studied
and if given the go-ahead, the project will be sent to the Transportation
Ministry for budget approval and support.
Mae Hong Son Governor Supoj Laowanasiri said at present
there are two ways to travel from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son, one through
Mae Sariang District and the other through one Pai District. These are both
very tortuous roads and make travel very slow between the two provinces.
If approved, the proposed new shortcut would take only 2
or 3 hours instead of 6-7 hours for the 185 km journey. It is hoped that the
new road would facilitate trade, business and tourism between the two
Mae Hong Son prepares to cope with floods
Suphot Laowansiri, Mae Hong Son provincial governor, has
ordered his staff to be on 24 hour alert and be ready to handle all natural
disasters during this rainy season.
According to the weather forecast from the Northern
Region Meteorological Center, it is predicted that following the rains of
the past few weeks, flash floods are likely in many areas.
The Mae Hong Son governor noted that he has operational
plans with other rescue teams and clubs, along with volunteers, and has
equipment ready including life-vests, flotation aids, medical kits and
necessary food supplies with 24 hour availability, to cope with the expected
Following last year’s loss of lives and property in
flash floods, the governor warned his people to frequently check weather
forecasts and flood alerts.
The Civil Disaster Prevention Center in Mae Hong Son has
also launched public information bulletins for people who live in the flood
risk areas, such as the low plains and the areas along the riverbanks, to be
ready to evacuate, taking belongings and cattle to safer high ground.
Laos asks for assistance in road improvement to Nan border
Old Cold War route to be repaired
By Nuttanee Thaveephol
Laos has asked Thailand for cooperation on road
improvements to connect up with the Nan borderline. The road construction
will go from Ban Huay Kroan in Nan Province to connect with northern Laos
and then up to southern China.
Thada Sathienrurk, advisor for the Northern Chamber of
Commerce Region 10 said that the Cabinet had approved in principle the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs giving a financial contribution to the Laos
government for improving the 55 km route joining Nguen and Pak Baeng village
of Laos with Ban Huay Kroan, in Nan.
Though the road still cannot be used, after the
improvements are finished it will be the connecting route between Nan
Province and Pak Bang - Udomxai - Boa Ten in Laos and then up to Boa Han in
south China, which used to be a strategic road during the Cold War.
Thada added that this development scheme would give more
opportunity for the country to use Nan as a gateway to other countries in
All the appropriate Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
studies have been completed, and the route would have benefits for all
linked countries. This project will also show Thailand’s sincerity in
helping Laos to gain more economic stability and demonstrate the bilateral
cooperation of Laos and Thailand under the ASEAN framework.
Lampang’s influential figures are protected by government officials, says governor
He is nonetheless prepared to hunt them down
Lampang Governor Chalermpol Prateepawanich said that he
had already submitted a list of all the influential figures in his
jurisdiction to the Ministry of Interior, prior to waiting for permission to
apprehend these dark forces.
Lampang has divided the list into 3 groups, with category
A being the most urgent cases, B needing close follow up, and C covering
those who need to be watched. Unfortunately, the Lampang governor said that
most of the figures were protected by government officers, but he is
nonetheless prepared to hunt down the miscreants.
In this northern province, illegal lottery dealers still
proceed unchecked. There are also illegal loggers, underhanded bidding, job
placement scams, and gunmen that the provincial authorities have started to
Social order operational center set up in Lampang
Seven teams, working in shifts, to cover 24 hours
Lampang provincial authority has set up a police box at
Lampang five-junction clock tower as the center for a social order operation
to ensure security for Lampang people. Lampang Deputy Governor Derek
Gonkleep is the director of the center.
The opening ceremony to officially launch this project
was held at the police box in front of the city municipality building,
presided over by Chalermphol Prateepawanich, Lampang governor on July 1.
This project was initiated because of the problems with
criminals destroying private and public properties. The situation has been
getting worse recently with young hooligans racing noisy motorcycles on the
superhighway at night.
There will be seven operational teams working in shifts
over the entire 24 hours, watching out for the troublemakers as well as
drugs or dark influences.
Relocation of Klong Ngoen Community meeting obstacles
Some welcome change, others fear problems will arise
145 families making up the Klong Ngoen Community, who
have squatted along the Mae Kha riverbanks, have been told they have to move
as the Mae Kha canal is going to be dredged and work done along the edges.
The Klong Ngoen Community had previously agreed to resettlement at Ban Khao
Tan Luang, Tambon San Sai Luang, San Sai District as it is convenient for
transport and travel to town.
However, the local residents were not so enthralled with
this concept because they are afraid of possible problems such as congestion
in their community, pollution and crime. But this was not universal as some
thought that relocating would be accepted and they would be welcomed as new
members of the community.
Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn said there is a
budget of 14.5 million baht from National Housing Authority to construct
public utilities for the new community. A promised relocation budget from
the government has not yet been made available, but Mayor Boonlert added
that the San Sai Luang Municipality has proposed to lend this money while
the budget is on the way.
However, there was a community forum of 200 local
residents held at Ban Tan Khao Luang to discuss this topic led by San Sai
Luang Mayor Natee Damrong in his position as the representative from the
Municipality, Town and Urban Planning Department. There was no real outcome
from the meeting with no concord from both sides.
Mayor Natee said that Klong Ngeon Community relocation
must proceed and local representatives will be asked to sit in meetings
until this is resolved. We hope the chairs have cushions.
633 people committed suicide in Chiang Mai last year
Samaritans Center reveals dreadful statistics
Suicides in Chiang Mai rose to 633 people last year,
according to Dr. Preab Kuramarohit, deputy director of Chiang Mai Samaritans
Dr. Preab stated that the groups at risk are unemployed
workers and farmers aged between 25-40 years old. The primary causes of
suicide are divorce, loss of a partner, depression, drug addiction, severe
debilitating disease, and being old.
The most popular method of committing suicide is hanging,
the second is taking an overdose of medication, followed by shooting oneself
and jumping from a high building. Dr. Preab said that unsuccessful suicides
should have psychiatric treatment and not given sympathy from others.
“We can identify the signs and symptoms in suicidal
people such as insomnia, headache, worrying, lonesome, feeling lost and
The Samaritans Center gives advice to those people who
feel discouraged and want to commit suicide, and there will be a workshop on
telephone counseling for people in crisis.
Interested persons can apply to join the workshops at
Suan Prung Psychiatry Hospital which are held on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday,
and Saturday from 6-10 p.m. or contact 01-531633, 09-5127350, and
01-8819165. The workshop will be arranged later in July this year. The
tuition fee is 200 baht.
Teenage gangs targeted by police
135 police to SWAT teenagers
135 Chiang Mai police have been assigned as a special
operation team to counteract teenage gangsters. Parents and teachers are
also asked for their cooperation. Pol. Lt. Col. Chawalit Kochahiran, deputy
commissioner of Chiang Mai Provincial Police Office said that in line with
the intensive social order policy, with suppression of drugs and influential
figures, now was the time to stamp out teenage toughs.
135 police officers have been divided into 3 groups
responsible for covering teenagers’ meeting places from 9 p.m. - 3 a.m.
The strategies for overcoming this teenage threat to society covers a three
pronged approach, including the offensive method such as arrest and
suppression, defensive method such as inspection, and public relations
method such as publicizing the problem and solutions to parents and
After the suspects are apprehended, they will be checked
for any type of illegal activity, then brought to the police station to wait
for their parents. The police will discuss the problems with the teenagers
and their parents.
“The teenage gangsters are a social problem which the
police alone cannot solve. The police units have to cooperate in coping with
the problem,” said Chiang Mai Provincial Police deputy commissioner.
Pol. Lt. Col. Chawalit said that there are 23 gangs in
the city area whilst 10 are in San Kamphaeng, 3 are in San Sai, 2 are in
Hang Dong, and 5 are in Saraphi District, Chiang Mai.
Illegal logging and saw milling operator arrested
Small axe men caught, large ringleaders still at large
Prasit Kingsoi, a 53 year old villager from Ban Pong Hua
Had Village, in Phrae Province, was charged with possession of 18 portions
of teak wood, 2 meters in length and 300 mm diameter, plus 84 pieces of
milled wood. 6 motorcycles were also impounded.
Charae Wongchaya, the chief of Phrae Provincial Forestry
Office, with Manop Sai-Unjai, the forestry managing officials of Mae Yae Mae
Sang Forest Conservative Unit and a group of forestry officials surrounded
the illegal saw milling factory in the Mae Yae Mae Sang forest park on July
Prasit, the alleged offender confessed that he and his
workers had smuggled the teakwood from the forest park, and processed it,
before transporting it to a furniture factory in Sung Men District.
Although officials have tried to crack down on the
illegal loggers, illegal tree felling businesses are still operating.
Officials say that this is because they have not been able to arrest the
ringleaders and are only catching the small axe men. However, they are
continuing to hunt down those who are denuding the teak forests.