Vol. II No. 30 Saturday July 26 - August , 2003
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NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Top cops award goes to Chiang Rai provincial police

Japanese tourist missing from jungle trek found dead

Doi Tung Palace celebrates Princess Mother Day

APEC Business Forum open to businessmen and entrepreneurs

Telecommunications forum held in Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai Thai-Burmese relationships smooth

Provincial court computerized to avert backlog

Little orange bat finds temporary home at Chiang Mai Zoo

Anti-Drug activities this weekend at Lamphun’s Northern Region Industrial Estate

CMU pining to take Thai herbal products to the world markets

Nan wants to be noticed

THAI to fly to international destinations from Chiang Mai

Malaysia tries to attract Chiang Mai travel agents

Lamphun’s Longan festival’s a long ‘un this year

DEP holds seminar for entrants to Middle East marketplace

ONCB and CMU discuss narcotics

Police torches find 38 dark influences

Phayao to be rid of drugs by the end of July

Karaoke entertainment outlets in Fang a problem

One Taiwanese killed and two critical in methamphetamine overdose

Two hill tribe drug dealers killed in drug suppression

Top cops award goes to Chiang Rai provincial police

Police Commander thanks the public

Metinee Chaikuna

The Chiang Rai provincial police received a shield of honor in the name of Pol. Lt. Col. Thaksin Shinawatra, the prime minister, for its outstanding efforts in drug elimination this year.

Pol. Maj. Gen. Wut Withitanond, Chiang Rai Provincial Police Commander said that PM Thaksin Shinawatra had granted the shield of honor to government offices that had turned in the best performances whilst eliminating drugs. Chiang Rai Provincial Police had the best record for the war on drugs.

The Chiang Rai Provincial Police commander said that the award should belong to all Chiang Rai people, as they gave all kinds of assistance to the police including information, reports, clues and helped police to make drug suppression a reality.

The Chiang Rai police also promised that they would continue suppressing drugs, and would try to announce that Chiang Rai had become a 100% drug-free zone by August 12, to celebrate and honor the Her Majesty the Queen on her birthday.

To speed up the process, Chiang Rai Provincial Police announced a reward of 10,000 baht for information leading to the arrest of major drug dealers, and 5,000 baht for successful arrests of minor figures.


Japanese tourist missing from jungle trek found dead

Police say his actions indicate suicide

Metinee Chaikuna

Jun Nakagawa, a Japanese tourist who went missing during a jungle trek in Mae Taeng, was found dead, hanging from a tree. Police surmise the death was a result of a successful suicide attempt, although investigations are ongoing.

Charoen Suthanee, the owner of Lanna House Co., Ltd., informed Mae Taeng police that Anucha Intah, one of his tour guides, reported a Japanese tourist had gone missing during the jungle trek.

Pol. Capt. Anant Yaisirikul from the tourist police said that the lost 35-year-old Japanese tourist, Jun Nakagawa, traveled with 11 other tourists in a tour group on July 15. Around 4 a.m. on July 17, Nakagawa went missing in the forest at the boundary of Huai Satan Village and Gupgap Village, Kued Chang Sub-district, Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai.

Mae Taeng police, accompanied by Chiang Mai tourist police and Kued Chang Sub-district villagers searched for the man for 3 days, finally finding his corpse hanging from a tree several kilometers away from the tourist camp.

A doctor verified the death but was unsure whether the man had committed suicide or had been murdered. However, the tourist police are assuming suicide at this time as two eyewitnesses said they had seen him leave the camp around 4 a.m. on July 17 carrying a rope.


Doi Tung Palace celebrates Princess Mother Day

Trees planted near Huay Sak Reservoir

Nuttanee Thaveephol

To commemorate the passing of the late Princess Mother, the Mae Fah Luang Foundation arranged many activities and opened Doi Tung Palace to the public on July 18.

The late Princess Mother Memorial Hall contains eight rooms which describe the late Princess Mother’s life.

Rerk Sayamanon, deputy director of Doi Tung Development Project Coordination Office said that July 18 was the date of the late Princess Mother’s passing away.

To commemorate, the government and private sectors in Chiang Rai made witness to the Princess Mother’s prestige, celebrating in front of the Princess Mother’s statue, which was followed by the people in Chiang Rai planting trees in the Huay Sak reservoir area, in Muang District, Chiang Rai.

The Doi Tung Development Project Officials arranged the merit making ritual dedicated to the memory of the late Princess Mother at the throne hall of Doi Tung Palace.


APEC Business Forum open to businessmen and entrepreneurs

Focus on strengthening the APEC entrepreneurial society

The working committee on Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference on SME-Business 2003 has approved registrations for Thai entrepreneurs to attend the Business Forum section being arranged in Chiang Mai during August 4-7.

The APEC SME-Business 2003 secretariat informed the local business community that there would be representatives from 21 special economic zone countries participating in the upcoming conference.

Thai businessmen and entrepreneurs are invited to take part in the Business Forum section. The quota will be 3 representatives from Provincial Chambers of Commerce and 3 representatives from Provincial Industrial Federations from each province.

The conference, which is being organized in Chiang Mai during August 4-7, will take place at Westin Riverside Plaza Hotel. The conference topic will focus on strengthening the APEC entrepreneurial society.

Other agenda items will include entrepreneur development, business creation, finding capital for the SMEs, and problem solving for export procedures.


Telecommunications forum held in Chiang Rai

Regional collaboration on regulations the key

Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut

32 member countries of Asia-Pacific Telecommunications Organization participated in a forum held at Dusit Island Resort in Chiang Rai to set telecommunications policies and regulations.

In his keynote address, Col. Nalik-Atiphak Saengsanit, the deputy minister of Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) said that the forum was aimed at providing an opportunity for telecommunications entrepreneurs and government agencies responsible for national and international telecommunications policies to exchange information and share opinions about strategies and regulations.

The forum mainly focused on the development of regional and global telecommunication regulations, the management of telecommunications procedures, competition in telecommunication marketing, linking of telecommunication networks, preparation for Doha development agreement, telecommunication arrangements for the future, and regional collaboration on important rules of telecommunications.

The Asia-Pacific Telecommunication Organization was established in 1979 by the Asia-Pacific Economic and Social Development Committee of the United Nations, and the International Telecommunication Union to develop telecommunications, information technology and communication in the Asia-Pacific region.


Chiang Rai Thai-Burmese relationships smooth

Metinee Chaikuna

The atmosphere of the 31st Thai-Burmese Border Committees (TBBC) meeting on July 16 at Thachilek Province in Burma was smooth, with committee members from the two countries participating in religious activities and sporting competitions.

The TBBC meeting was arranged at the Golden Triangle Hotel, inside the Burmese border province after the president of TBBC from Thailand, Col. Apichart Meesommon, commander of Special Task Force, Cavalry Regiment 5 and the president of TBBC from Burma, Lt. Col. Karn Tuan, commander of 526 Force Battalion warmly greeted each other at the middle of the Maesai-Thachilek bridge before the official meeting.

On the issue of border intrusion, the Thai committee insisted that Thai people did not invade the Burmese boundary. The Thai committee also asked the Burmese to investigate the arrest of a Thai cavalry man of the Phamuang Task Force by Burmese soldiers along the Thai Burmese border along Mae Fah Luang, Chiang Rai. The committees also discussed the development project of the river boundaries between the two countries.

After the meeting was over, the TBBC had lunch together and made merit at the Kruba Saenglah temple. The TBBC also joined in sepak takraw and golf competitions at Rejina Hotel, Burma to strengthen their relationships and these activities were also to welcome the new TBBC president of Burma who has just been assigned to the post.

Col. Apichart Meesomon said that at the moment Thailand and Burma have good relationships, and emphasized the local relationship. From now on, the authorities from both sides would meet each other and play sports to improve and strengthen the relationship along the borders of Thailand’s Chiang Rai and Burma’s Thachilek.

The recent Burmese police arrest of two criminals who shot the former Kanchanaburi Provincial Administration Organization (PAO) member for Thailand has also created a good atmosphere between the two countries.


Provincial court computerized to avert backlog

Justice will be swifter

Nuttanee Thaveephol

Chiang Rai Provincial Police and Toeng Provincial Court have responded to the government ‘s bureaucracy reform system by using new technologies to speed up the process of justice.

Virome Intasaro, the judge of Toeng Provincial Court said the court received computers from Pol. Maj. Gen. Wut Wititanon, Chiang Rai Provincial Police Commander, in July.

The judge said that the court has been open since October last year, and is responsible for 6 district areas in Chiang Rai including Toeng, Chiang Khong, Wiang Kaen, Khun Tan, Phaya Mengrai districts and Doi Luang sub-district. “Up till now, about 800 legal actions have gone through the court. Most of the cases are concerned with drugs because the trafficking route has changed to Chiang Khong district areas along the Mekong River,” said Virome.

The Toeng Provincial Court has fewer lawsuits in arrears because it is a newly established court. However, the judge added that after the computer system is installed and connected with the Chiang Rai Provincial Police, the justice process would be easier, faster, and better for the people contacting the court for services.

The more efficient information system would result in saving time such as warning witnesses about the appointments to come to the court by connecting through the police office network.


Little orange bat finds temporary home at Chiang Mai Zoo

Chiang Mai Zoo recently admitted a little orange bat that had been caught in a house in San Kamphaeng district, Chiang Mai. The baby bat is too young to be identified, although zoo officials suspect it looks like a new type found recently in Northeastern Thailand. The zoo veterinarian will take care of it until the little bat can live by itself naturally, after being separated from the mother bat.


Anti-Drug activities this weekend at Lamphun’s Northern Region Industrial Estate

Carabao Band to perform July 26

Nuttanee Thaveephol

Tawach Sathiennam, Lamphun governor gave notice that the province, in cooperation with Lamphun Northern Region Industrial Estate (NRIE), would organize Anti-Drug Activities from July 25 to July 27 this year at the NRIE Office and Lamphun Provincial Sports Stadium.

Encouraging people in drug prevention and drug suppression to eradicate drugs even more from our country will be done by creating unity amongst the organizations.

There will be many activities including blood donations, low-price products, One Tambon - One Product sales, and a large anti drug exhibition.

This Saturday, July 26 the opening ceremony will be presided over by Somsak Thepsutin, Minister of Industry. After the minister opens the event, there will be a special football match between a VIP team, led by the minister and a very special U-Star team, led by well known stars and singers from Grammy Entertainment and RS Promotion. Later that evening, there will be a free concert from the Carabao Band from 7 p.m. onwards.


CMU pining to take Thai herbal products to the world markets

Decides it needs to improve its standards

Supatatt Dangkrueng

The Pharmacy Faculty, Chiang Mai University, organized a workshop on Herbal Products Development for Global Markets, at Rydges Tapae Hotel. The meeting was designed to assist information sharing between researchers, specialists and lecturers in the pharmaceutical and herbal cosmetic products.

Due to the increasing popularity of herbal products, the Pharmacy Faculty has been collecting information on herbal and pharmaceutical products, and believes that this information should be provided for people interested in the herbal subject.

About 50 people participated in the three day meeting, and they reported that they gained much insight into the products available and the interactions with specialists and speakers, who were sponsored by the government in line with the Reverse Brain Drain (RBD) project.

The first two days focused on current knowledge and the last day was spent on current production methods. The topics included product development strategies, US and international requirements and global approaches, natural products and phyto-therapeutics, and a workshop on sensory evaluation of pharmaceuticals and cosmetic products.

The outcome was that Thai herbal production has to improve its standards if it wishes to be part of the global market.


Nan wants to be noticed

Could be the gateway to Indo-China says Chamber of Commerce

Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut

Surapol Tienrasud, the president of Nan Chamber of Commerce, said that this border province has been highly accepted in the developing strategy of border trade and tourism, and Nan could even be the gateway to Indo-China.

The Nan Chamber of Commerce has planned to broaden the road from Huay Kron in Nan to Luang Phrabang in Laos - which is to be promoted as a World Heritage tourism site by the UN. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Nan office, and a tourist police office will also be established soon.

“Nan is a small town, but we have maintained many valuable natural and cultural resources. The tourists do not have much information about us; they only know Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, but not Nan. So, this is the time to promote Nan as one of the tourist attractions of northern Thailand,” said Surapol.

He also noted that outsiders thought that the local business of Nan Province was only agricultural, but in fact, local handicrafts such as silverware and silk weaving in the traditional style are important sources of provincial incomes. These goods are being presented in One Tambon - One Product campaign to reach the international marketplace.

Development of the province could also be seen with the Rajamangala Institute of Technology, Nan campus and other secondary schools adding Chinese Mandarin to the curriculum as the third language course for students after Thai and English.


THAI to fly to international destinations from Chiang Mai

Thai tourism is going to be in better shape

Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut

The SARS crisis is over and Thai Airways International (THAI) is increasing the number of its international fights between Chiang Mai and international destinations supporting Chiang Mai as the regional transportation hub.

THAI’s Chiang Mai office announced that THAI will fly to cities outside Thailand such as Luang Phrabang and Vientiane in Laos, Tokyo, Taipei, and Frankfurt in Germany, commencing in October to promote the local tourism and travel industries.

THAI will also work in cooperation with the Thai Industries Federations, and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to bring in more international tourism agencies as well as some members of the foreign press to visit Thailand.

Boonlert Perera, the director of Chiang Mai Tourist Business Association, said that the increase in international flights would encourage more tourism-related business conditions in the region. “This is a good sign that will mean that tourism in Thailand is going to be in better shape,” he said.


Malaysia tries to attract Chiang Mai travel agents

“Open your window and let the clouds creep in”

Supatatt Dangkrueng

Kittivong Sudhibutr, Malaysia and Singapore tour operation manager of Sun Moon Tours & Travel Co., said Malaysian tourism operators have organized a road show in Chiang Mai to introduce tourist attractions and accommodation in Malaysia. There were many participants from local operators.

The road show recommended the Genting Highlands, well known as the city in the clouds, 2,000 meters above sea level. It has all facilities and is not far from other tourist attractions. Being located on a mountaintop, when you open your window, the clouds can creep slowly in to your room.

Kittivong said that most Thai tourists who visit Malaysia are from Bangkok, the northern and northeastern regions. The numbers are around 6,000 each year, but organizers hope to increase this. This was why they decided to arrange the road show in Chiang Mai.

The Malaysian tourism operators’ road show in Chiang Mai was held at Royal Princess Hotel on July 18 to provide special promotion packages for northern people and to push the local tour operators to pay more interest in Malaysia.


Lamphun’s Longan festival’s a long ‘un this year

Even the cows and pigs are longin’ to go!

Nuttanee Thaveephol

Lamphun Provincial Public Relations Office has announced that the Longan Festival will be organized during August 1-10, at Lamphun Sport Stadium. This year’s fair focuses on processed longan products.

The fair will promote the marketing of longan fruits, longan orchards and gardens, good quality longan plantations, and Lamphun tourism. The activities include longan sales, longan contests, dried longan and processed longan contests, cows, fighting cocks, and pigs contests, and of course a Miss Longan Beauty contest.

The beauty contest is on opening day, August 1, at 3 p.m., and at 4 p.m., the longan parade will march from Lamphun City Hall to Lamphun Sports Stadium. The lucky visitors will be able to see the agricultural exhibitions, competitions to see who has the biggest longan, a sepak-takraw competition, and stage performances every night during the fair.

Soontorn Boonmee, the culinary teacher who won the Thailand Super Chef Contest will be longing to demonstrate different longan recipes as well.


DEP holds seminar for entrants to Middle East marketplace

9th Thailand Exhibition in the U.A.E. September 21-24

Supatatt Dangkrueng

A seminar at Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel on July 18 was organized by DEP, Northern Center to promote the Middle East market among the northern producers, especially for those who produce One Tambon - One Product (OTOP) to display their products at the upcoming the 9th Thailand Exhibition in the U.A.E. September 21-24, this year.

Suttisak Laohachewin, executive director of Thai Trade Center, Dubai, said at the press conference that the Middle East market has high potential for Thai exporters. Thailand has stepped into the Middle East market under the umbrella of “Thailand Exhibition” aiming to promote Thai products. At this 9th exhibition, it is expected that more than 200 Thai products will be on display.

Thai products have been well accepted in the Middle East especially in Dubai and Sharjah because of quality. “The major imported goods to Dubai and Sharjah are foods, appliances, machinery, construction materials, furniture, and jewelry,” said Songtham Saisawetwari, deputy general-director of DEP.

The Middle East market is growing and expanding, so DEP has planned that the service business could be promoted as well, featuring medical services, health care services, spa and Thai massage.

Further details can be obtained from the DEP 02 515 0093 ext 642, 488 and 695.


ONCB and CMU discuss narcotics

Academic network to assist in solving drug problems

Supatatt Dangkrueng

The Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), Northern Region and Chiang Mai University (CMU) cooperated on creating a narcotics academics network conference held at Chiang Mai Hills Hotel. It was hoped that development of their academic network would assist in solving drug problems.

Pittaya Jinawat, director of ONCB northern region chairs the academic narcotics conference.

Pittaya Jinawat, director of ONCB, northern region, presided over the opening ceremony of the seminar, saying that drug suppression has faced some difficulties through lack of the academic information.

To assist, a center was opened to look at problems associated with the drug industry. It was established on August 23, 2001, and called the Northern Substance Abuse Center, which is located on the second floor of Research Institute for Health Sciences, Chiang Mai University. Its framework covers investigation of the number of drug users every three years and evaluating the drug situation and operational process of drug suppression.

This seminar was participated in by 50 participants including lecturers, academics, officers and authorities from Chiang Mai University involved in the narcotics action project.


Police torches find 38 dark influences

Only another 122 on the list to be foun

Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut

Provincial Police Region 5 has arrested 38 influential people from 8 provinces in upper northern Thailand. The results were announced by Pol. Lt. Gen. Prung Boonpadung, the commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5.

Pol. Lt. Gen. Prung also said that the Lampang Provincial Police had informed the Provincial Police Region 5 that there were 8 more influential people to add to the blacklist of Lampang province’s influential figures. This brings the number of people who were under scrutiny to 160 people, and with the arrests of 38, there are still 122 under police watch.

Besides the crackdown on dark influences, the National Police Office is still keeping an eye out for drug couriers at checkpoints, and investigating in the high-risk drug areas.

These investigations under the Provincial Police Region 5 showed there were 43 drug dealers still operating in the upper northern provinces. The police expected that these people would be apprehended within 3 months. Another 1,500 drug peddlers would be arrested before November, said the police commissioner.


Phayao to be rid of drugs by the end of July

Big celebrations planned

Nuttanee Thaveephol

Phayao Province is ready to proclaim itself as a strengthened province on July 30 this year when the anti-drugs declaration ceremony will be arranged at Phayao Sports Stadium as part of the celebration of HM the Queen’s birthday anniversary on August 12.

Adul Polpra-in, Phayao deputy governor said that according to the government’s policy on sustainable strengthening of the community to eradicate drugs, all 790 villages and 13 communities could pass the Ministry of Interior standard certification. After the follow-up and evaluation of the communities and villages, it was found that all of the known 937 drug dealers have been suppressed.

The policy process is now at the 6th level of the drug eradication measure, with 5,169 drug takers having passed the merit making for the homeland project and are already under treatment.

On the declaration day, the Minister of Interior will present flags to 803 villages that have defeated drug problems in their communities. There will be many activities including military band performances from students of Phayao Wittayakom School and Pinitprasart School, a show from the To Be Number One Club in Phayao, and arts and culture performances from Phayao students.


Karaoke entertainment outlets in Fang a problem

Hangouts for noisy teenager

Metinee Chaikuna

Noisy entertainment outlets in the form of karaoke bars and restaurants along the roadsides in Fang District are being used by noisy teenagers and are annoying the general populace. The authorities are now insisting that this be brought under control.

Police have already ordered some entertainment places in Fang to close. However, there are still more that are obviously a problem as far as providing undesirable influences for teenagers, as well as causing a public nuisance.

The issue has come to a head and police are now arranging patrols at night to combat the problem, as well as look very carefully at the ages of the patrons using these establishments.

Fang district officials are asking for cooperation from entertainment places in the area to check the ages of customers because if these places become the headquarters of teenage gangs, they will destroy the peaceful and attractive image that the Fang population is striving to produce.


One Taiwanese killed and two critical in methamphetamine overdose

Burmese dealer arrested

Metinee Chaikuna

On July 17, two Taiwanese were found in a critical condition and one had already died, in a Mae Sai hotel. A chemical substance was found at the scene in the hotel room, according to Mae Sai police investigating the case. The two Taiwanese still alive are now in the Intensive Care Unit at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital.

Pol. Lt. Col. Soontorn Chantharangkool, deputy superintendent at Mae Sai Police Station told the Chiangmai Mail that the three Taiwanese were Chu Chao-huang, 34 (deceased), Ko Yu-hung, 33, and Chao Chia-an, 35.

They had checked in at Wangthong Hotel, Mae Sai near the Thai-Burma border on July 15, and hardly went out of their room. After two days, the room maid received no answer so the hotel staff climbed up to look through the window. They found the two men were having convulsions and the third man lay motionless on the floor. The cleaner then opened the door with a spare key and the ambulance took the two men and the body to hospital.

Police examination of the room disclosed a chemical substance, similar to crystallized honey. “We took some of flakes to test and it showed that it was 87-99% pure methamphetamine,” said Pol. Lt. Col. Soontorn Chantharangkool. The police will gather evidence to file a lawsuit against these two Taiwanese for the use of narcotics.

On July 20, Pol. Lt. Gen. Prung Boonpadung, the commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5, and Pol. Maj Gen. Wut Wititanond, the commander of Chiang Rai Provincial Police disclosed that the police found out that the methamphetamine substance was sold to these Taiwanese men by a group of three Burmese. A police raid only managed to trap one of the gang, Mong Ting Nai-U, living in Thachilek Province, Burma who still had 7 kg of methamphetamine. The accused confessed that he was hired to smuggle the chemical substance by a person named Lao Sue or Joh Joh or Joe. They said that the drug dealers did not know that the Taiwanese man had died.

Pol. Maj. Wut Wititanond said that this group of methamphetamine drug dealers were on the Chiang Rai Police blacklist, and the haul was confiscated.


Two hill tribe drug dealers killed in drug suppression

5 kg heroin seized

Supatatt Dangkrueng

The 334th Border Patrol Police (BPP) seized 5 kilograms and 15 bars of heroin and two dealers were killed in a gun battle in Fang district, Chiang Mai province on July 20.

The Royal Thai Police were fired upon by the drug dealers, but the BPP shot the men whilst returning their fire.

Pol Col Koosak Ar-sasappakit, superintendent of 33rd BPP Headquarters disclosed that the police were tipped off that in the early morning of July 20, there would be drug smuggling in the area of Tambon Mae Ngon, Fang District. The operation team set out to pretend to buy heroin from the smugglers, but the peddlers recognized the officers and opened fire.

The drug dealers were identified as Duangnek Saephan and Kriangkrai Mongkholpetchkiree, both 20 years old. They were Chinese Haw dealers living in that area.

Pol Col Koosak added that he believes that attempted drug smuggling through the border routes would continue.



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