Deputy PM Purachai Piumsomboon opens 8th APEC Women Leaders Network Meeting
Leaders should stimulate women to be confident of change
Deputy PM Purachai Piumsomboon last week presided over
the opening ceremony of the Women Leaders Network Meeting (WLN). In his
address he told the assembled women leaders from 21 economic zones, that
this conference was a significant stage for them to step forward to the
future perspective of women.
The deputy PM said, “Women not only comprise an
important share of our population, but also a significant portion of the
economic activity in the APEC region. In Thailand, for instance, women
account for over 70 percent of the labor force, a level reached in several
other APEC economies.”
Lewchalermwong, advisor for the Minister of Social Development and Human
Security, gave a powerful address at the meeting.
Janistar Lewchalermwong, advisor for the Minister of
Social Development and Human Security, in her address said, “The important
issue is the political empowerment of women in which Thailand has also seen
some progress. There has been an increasing number of women in national
administration positions, therefore, any policy concerning women can be
launched more easily. However, there must be leaders who can stimulate women
to be confident of this change.”
She added that there were two significant women’s
problems, a lack of education in rural areas and the more serious problem of
social values and perspective that still judge women to possess inadequate
leadership. The second case is rather difficult to solve within the confines
of Thai society.
Yaowares Shinawatra, the Federation of Business and
Professional Women’s Association of Thailand, Chiang Mai branch, said that
this Chiang Mai meeting was a good opportunity for Thailand to promote the
country’s products to the international market and develop a high standard
for Thai commodities. “We participate in this APEC meeting by publicizing
and introducing ways for further international cooperation of Thai women’s
organization,” she added.
Three critical regional issues were identified as
sub-themes for the seminar, including Knowledge Creation, which tried to
move beyond mere education and focus on processes geared towards research
and applying knowledge. The participants could share their knowledge and
experiences with others.
Human Security was the second sub-theme which identified
gender-based violence against women and children as national social problems
The third issue was Entrepreneurship on which Thailand
presented the government’s project for stimulating the economy at the
grassroots levels such as a Revolving Fund of Villages and Urban Communities
and One Tambon, One Product.
Gorals in Doi Inthanon National Park are at risk of becoming extinct
Mind your morals and preserve the gorals
Doi Inthanon National Park is asking villagers in Mae
Chaem to preserve gorals, a rare animal scene in only a few areas of
northern Thailand. The animals are among 15 types on the endangered list.
a type of stag, are now rarely found in the northern provinces.
Raweewan Sirisaiyas, a forestry scientist and the
assistant chief of Doi Inthanon National Park, stated that the gorals there
are at risk of becoming extinct due to the villagers continually hunting
them. The national park is unable to stop the killing of these animals.
“The number of gorals is reducing because of forest fires, destruction of
the forests and hunting. The solution lies in the hands of the forest
Officials at the national park have cooperated with four
nearby communities to research the topic, “The People’s Participation in
Gorals Conservation” supported by Thai Research Funds (TRF). Raweewan said
that most of the villagers and the local administration organizations are
happy to participate in the research.
History being rewritten
New evidence leads to revision of King Naresuan’s story
New testimony has been discovered about King Naresuan the
Great and an ancient army route that will change the way we look at this
particular period of history.
statue of King Naresuan the Great - a hero to Siamese people who gave him
the utmost respect and praised him as a warrior king.
Burmese historical information being researched at
Silapakorn University with local historians discovered recently that King
Naresuan the Great, who fearlessly marched his troop through the areas of
Muang Ngai and Wiang Haeng to attack the Kingdom of Burma, had later
returned to Wiang Haeng and it is there that he died and not at Tambon Thung
Kaew in Muang Hang as mentioned in the chronicle of Prince Dhamrong
“The new historical information will have a grand
effect on the Kingdom of Thailand,” said Phongsatorn Theerabodi, the
assistant district chief officer of Wiang Haeng. Archeologists and
historians are currently working together to revise the history books.
Phongsatorn Theerabodi, the assistant district chief
officer of Wiang Haeng, noted that the Wiang Haeng Cultural Federation and a
club named “We love Wiang Haeng” plans to organize a historical seminar
to discuss Wiang Haeng history and the new information about the death place
of King Naresuan the Great.
King Naresuan the Great was a hero to Siamese people who
gave him the utmost respect and praised him as a warrior king. While he was
only a 9-year-old prince, he had been taken hostage and grew up in Burma. He
became well acquainted with Burmese ways including sword fighting. The King
of Burma also had a son, named Phra Maha Uparat, that was the same age as
King Naresuan. They became both friends and competitors.
One day they played cock fighting and the fighting cock
of King Naresuan won. Then he informed Phra Maha Uparat that one day he
would declare independence for Siam from Burma. When he was 15 years old in
1569, he was sent back to Ayutthaya while his elder sister, Phra Supan
Kanlayanee would go to Burma. However, the Prince ascended the Siamese
throne as King Naresuan, at the age of 35.
During the fourth and fifth invasions, the Burmese troops
were led by the Burmese Crown Prince, Phra Maha Uparat, King Naresuan’s
old friend, and because of the destruction of the last campaign on Ayutthaya,
King Naresuan and his younger brother, Prince Egatosrot did not wait until
the Burmese reached Ayutthaya, instead both brothers advanced at Nong Sarai
in Suphanburi and prepared an ambush for the Burmese.
On January 25, 1592, with confusion caused by a large
number of Burmese troops and Siamese elephants, both brothers were
surrounded by the enemy. But King Naresuan recognized his enemy from his
childhood and immediately challenged him. He made the stratagem that he and
Phra Maha Uparat would fight together on an elephant using a long pike,
which was considered as one of the most honorable fighting tactics in that
era. They fought very seriously, and finally King Naresuan beat Phra Maha
Uparat. It was then that Prince Phra Maha Uparat died. To this day that date
is regarded as Thailand’s National Armed Forces Day.
After the fight, a pagoda was built in Suphanburi
Province to commemorate a most glorious battle earning King Naresuan the
victory, which deterred Burmese invasions. King Naresuan waged wars with
many countries and made the Ayutthaya Kingdom independent and more
Nevertheless, in 1605 while campaigning against the enemy
in the northern region, King Naresuan was taken ill with a boil on his
cheek. It turned septic, causing blood poisoning, from which he later died.
King Naresuan the Great, one of Siam’s notable warrior kings, died at the
age of 50 having reigned for only 15 years. To the Thai people, King
Naresuan the Great is always the hero whom the entire nation holds in high
More ideas to combat the low season
August is Happy Family Month
An “Amazing Thai Wisdom Products” fair will be held
at Thapae Gate and Thapae Road Chiang Mai, during August 8-10 this year.
This fits in with the APEC SMEs forum, and is also a good chance for tourism
promotion during this low tourist season.
Jutamas Siriwan, governor of the Tourism Authority of
Thailand remarked that tourists should start coming back to Chiang Mai now
the SARS crisis is fading away. To assist tourism related businesses, this
Thai handicrafts presentation should help the producers.
The “Amazing Thai Wisdom Products” fair runs from 2
p.m. - 10 p.m. with many cultural activities covering local food, Thai
handicrafts, OTOP product display, and cultural performances.
On Sunday, August 10, it will be extended to Thapae
Walking Street in front of Wat Mahawan and in front of Siam Commercial Bank.
There will also be a special activity called “Happy
Family” with the winners receiving domestic travel packages.
“TAT has set August to be Happy Family Month and on
Sunday, August 10 this year there will be a family costume contest to be
held at Thapae Gate. The winner will receive a package tour to Phuket. The
TAT booth will be distributing Unseen in Thailand postcards for anyone to
request Unseen in Thailand information on places to visit. A lucky winner
will receive a package tour to Krabi,” said Jutamas.
Chiang Mai Municipality sues the Regional Waterworks Office
Mayor not going to let it be water under the bridge
Chiang Mai Municipality is suing the Chiang Mai Waterworks
for breach of contract over the re-laying of underground water pipes.
Boonlert Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai Mayor said Chiang Mai Waterworks were
responsible for the work that was done, and the damage that was done, to the
Chiang Mai road system.
The mayor claims that Chiang Mai Waterworks haphazardly
left the expensive road construction in damaged condition. He made an
example of Chang Klan Road, which was totally renewed, costing more than 10
million baht; however, after the waterworks dug it up and installed the new
water pipe, the road and footpath were destroyed and could not be used.
Chiang Mai Municipality has conferred with Chiang Mai
Waterworks but nothing has been resolved yet, so, the municipality decided
to sue for damages. The legal issue is that the construction and resetting
the water pipe in the municipality has not followed the contract, and the
damage is at least 50 million baht.
The Chiang Mai Mayor said that according to Article 56 of
the Municipality Bill, B.E. 2496, the municipality needs to sue to protect
their rights at law otherwise the municipality could be sued by either local
people or one of the local politicians claiming the municipality neglected
New Job opportunities for displaced pachyderms
Elephants wanted for Elephant Patrol
The government has provided work for more than 200
elephants to patrol the forest areas around Chiang Mai. Prapat Panyachartrak,
minister of Natural Resources and Environment presided over the ceremony
marking the Elephant Patrol project at Mae Takrai National Park in Doi Saket.
Prapat said that the government has approved a 24 million
baht budget to employ more than 200 elephants and their mahouts to patrol
the national parks and wildlife conservation areas around the country. The
newly employed elephants would be assistants for the forest officers who
work in the remote areas.
The Elephants Patrol project is intended to solve the
problems of elephants wandering in the cities and is expected to run for six
months. Elephants and their mahouts who participate in the project will
receive 10,000 baht a month.
The news source did not indicate if this was 10,000 baht
each, or as a couple. It was also not confirmed whether the elephants would
have to wear National Parks and Wildlife Conservation uniforms and hats.
Five nations agree
to battle drug problems
Ministerial meeting held on drug control
A ministerial meeting on drug control, organized by the
Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), was held at Pentalateral
Cooperation in Chiang Rai July 22-24. Strengthening cooperation among the
five-nation member countries are China, India, Laos, Burma and Thailand. In
response to the Thai government policy with war on drugs campaign, the
meeting ended with great success.
Thai Minister of Justice Pongthep Thepkanchana, who
oversees the work on drug prevention and suppression, led the meeting
together with the deputy minister of security, China; minister of interior,
India; minister of the office of the Laos president, Laos, and minister of
Answers to drug concerns are to control all chemicals
used for production including their alternatives. All countries involved
have agreed to unite and are immediately blocking trafficking routes found
in Thailand while preventing the smuggling of precursor chemicals from China
and India via Thailand and Laos to drug refineries in Burma’s Shan State.
Important precursors and chemicals now under strict
control in the chemical name list are ephedrine, pseudo ephedrine, acetic
anhydride, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, toluene and acetone. Severe
penalties for violations are in order.
All countries agreed that income distribution using the
“alternative development” is a way to eliminate opium poppy growth with
participation from the people at grassroots levels, as market access of
products will be an important factor for the sustainable development being
Thailand and China jointly promote marketing for
agricultural products that have been produced from the alternative
development of neighboring countries, India is urged to help explore the
markets of those products.
Meetings at ministerial and senior levels will be held
regularly with special tasks recognizing the “Chiang Rai Declaration” on
drug control. China, India, Laos, Burma and Thailand all agreed to meet
again in Thailand at the senior official level meeting under the framework
of Pentalateral Cooperation on Drug Control.
Air-con buses running
for CMU students
Return trips from CMU main campus to Suan Dok
The joint project between the Municipality and Chiang Mai
University (CMU), supplying students with three air-conditioned buses
running between CMU main campus and Suan Dok campus, has been launched. This
is a free service for students, university officials and staff.
This project was delayed due to the recent protests by
red mini-bus drivers, but pleas by the representatives of the CMU Student
Union, led by its president, Sarawut Kantaja, saw the project for serving
students get the go-ahead. The municipality says the bus service should ease
traffic problems around CMU campus and assist the students in getting around
At present, there are three buses running from CMU campus
to Suan Dok campus or Maharaj Hospital, passing Chiang Mai Ram Hospital, Kad
Suan Kaew and return as one round trip, running from 7.30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
every day except Sunday.
Mayor Boonlert said this service is a trial project for
three months. The municipality is currently absorbing the expenses for the
bus rental charges, which amount to 2,000 baht per day. He also said that
they were prepared for dissent from the red mini-bus group.
Angkhang Royal Agricultural Station future discussed
All villages to receive electricity by 2004
Angkhang Royal Agricultural Station held its annual
meeting at the station in Fang to discuss options for their future projects.
Deputy Prime Minister Suwit Kunkitti chaired the meeting, which was attended
by His Serene Highness Prince Bhisadej Rajanee, Royal Project Foundation
chairman, along with other representatives from government and public
organizations, totaling 77 members at this annual conference.
Serene Highness Prince Bhisadej Rajanee shows the ‘pre-cooling’
The meeting discussed various topics including the
establishment of highland development and research projects, organizing the
international conference, zoning useable areas and supply of electricity in
all villages under the patronage of the Royal Project.
Representatives from the Agriculture and Cooperatives
Ministry presented the planning for the international seminars, which will
be held in September this year and January and November next year to
showcase the successful project of His Majesty the King in reducing the
opium areas and improving the quality of hill tribe people’s life.
The committee also discussed the process of providing
electricity to all villages in the Royal Project area in line with the
government policy of supplying every household with electricity by 2004.
Following the successful conclusion of the meeting, the
deputy PM visited the ‘pre-cooling’ area of the station, which is part
of the Royal Project’s production packaging system, and visited the flower
garden in Angkhang Royal Agricultural Station.
Chiang Mai Municipality looking again at mass transit systems
But will certain bus drivers see red?
Boonlert Buranupakorn, the mayor of Chiang Mai
Municipality has approved a government budget for research on mass
transportation systems in Chiang Mai.
To this end, a seminar on mass transit system development
was held at the Information Technology Service Institute, Chiang Mai
University. More than 100 participants included scientists, technicians,
researchers, and others who were concerned about the prolonged traffic
Mai University has been providing free electric shuttles for its students.
Boonlert said that the municipality would provide the 1.3
million baht budget for the Information Technology Service Institute to
research Chiang Mai’s mass transportation system.
The old plan, created by the Express and Rapid Transit
Authority of Thailand (ERTA) in 1995, proposed a 27 km small electric
railway transport system. However, according to Mayor Boonlert, due to
economic restraints it would be difficult to complete this project within
the next 10 years.
Currently the municipality has been providing
air-conditioned bus service and school buses to try to abate the
transportation problem, but not without much resistance from some quarters.
Happenings on Mothers Day (August 12)
7.00 a.m. at Thapae Gate, the governor of
Chiangmai and other officials will present food to 68 monks.
08.15 a.m. at the air-conditioned gymnasium at the 700
Years Stadium (near the Provincial Hall), people can sign their names to
wish Her Majesty a Happy Birthday. Invited dignitaries will include Royal
Family members staying or living in the north, government officers, consuls
stationed in Chiangmai, municipal officials, students and representatives of
clubs and associations.
09.00 a.m. the governor of Chiangmai will light candles
to pay respect to the Lord Buddha, and will then offer a blessing to Her
Majesty the Queen.
5.00 p.m. will be the opening of the Lanna Prueksachart
Fair at the playground behind the Provincial Hall.
8th APEC WLN produces fruitful results
Women pursue gender development
The conclusions from the three-day Women’s Leaders
Network (WLN) were announced at a press conference after the closing of the
meeting. The three days had seen much debate on the creation of knowledge,
sharing, and management through partnership, promotion of human security for
women and women entrepreneurship through creative partnerships.
Nitithanprapas (center), permanent secretary of the Ministry of Social
Development and Human Security presided at the closing ceremony of the Women
Leaders’ Network Meeting at Chiang Mai Plaza on August 2.
The press conference was chaired by Dr Juree
Vichit-Vadakarn, chairwoman of the organizing committee. The recommendations
included the implementation of family friendly policies such as affordable
daycare options, flexible hours and helping women and men balance family
life and careers.
Dr Juree said they met and emphasized aiming to create
stronger relationships among the member countries as well as close
cooperation between WLN members and others. Fruitful results were produced
from the meeting, especially the integration of women affairs to be part of
the APEC agendas.
The forum also called for the recognition of women in
care services and homemakers in terms of social benefits, higher levels of
professional training and the reinforcement of indigenous people’s
contribution to the development.
Dr Juree added that WLN recommendations included
abolishment of gender discrimination and suggested that more research and
data be gathered in this region.
APEC women leaders, especially from Hong Kong, Mexico,
Indonesia, Philippines, Canada, and Vietnam promised to take recommendations
to their leaders and ministries in pursuit of gender development in their
Mae Moh declared
a drug-free district
Still keeping a watchful eye, however
Mae Moh in Lampang is the first district in this northern
province declared to be 100% drug free. On July 29 at Mae Moh Wittaya
School, Direk Konkleep, deputy Lampang governor officially displayed the
sign announcing the drug-free status of Mae Moh.
The declaration ceremony was witnessed by thousands of
people from 5 tambons and 39 villages in Mae Moh. It included the
presentation of certificates to all tambon and village headmen who have
helped wipe out drugs from their areas. Finally, there were mass pledges
when people promised they would never get involved with drugs in the future.
Mae Moh gained drug-free status through assistance from
local people, government and public organizations. They launched anti-drug
operations, suppression, drug prevention and rehabilitation as part of the
government launched “war on drugs”.
Mae Moh District was set up as the command center to keep
watch and monitor the movement of drug users and dealers in the areas. Even
though the three month “War on Drugs” campaign ended, the district still
continues with prevention measures and follow-up. Mae Moh is a strong
community and major force in Lampang.
Transformer explosion destroys 10 motorcycles and 2 cars
Transformed to scrap in 5 minutes
An electricity transformer inside the Physical Education
College exploded, destroying 10 motorcycles and 2 vehicles, but with no loss
of life or injury.
attempt to extinguish a burning transformer at the Physical Education
College gate. (Photo by Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut)
Eye-witness Rewat Nawajack, a teacher at the Physical
Education College, told reporters that at around 9.50, electricity in the
college went off so the Provincial Electricity Authority were called to
At 10.30 a.m. the electricity technicians were working on
the transformer at the gate of the college when it exploded. Rewat said that
the transformer exploded 3 times and set alight to the truck parked under
the electricity pole, followed by 2 cars and 10 motorcycles parked nearby.
sign on the car reads, “New Generation Power” - unfortunately,
old-fashioned electricity did in the car. (Photo by Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut)
Police from Chang Puek Police Station said that they need
to investigate from the Provincial Electricity Authority how this explosion
occurred and how much it would cost in reparations. Police said that it was
expected that this would be in the millions of baht because the transformer
was valued at more than a million, each car at least 100,000 baht, and each
motorcycle around 20,000 baht.
motorcycles and some bicycles were destroyed in the blaze. (Photo by
“The Provincial Electricity Authority needs to
compensate for the damage to the students’ property, and we need to
investigate to see if the technician was to blame for the incident,” said
Pol. Capt. Pairat.
Three influential masterminds arrested for hiring to murder
Seven year old case finally receives a break
Conflicts with local affairs and politics in Lamphun led
police to three masterminds for the May 19, 1996 premeditated murder of
Lamduan Panyakosa, chairwomen of the Villages Women Club of Ban Nam Dib, Pa
Sang District, Lamphun.
L to R) Santisuk Chaiwong, Tambon headman, Jirasak Waneesorn, a member of
Lamphun provincial council and Natthawut Maneesorn, of Tambon Administration
Organization are charged with hiring three gunmen to murder Lamduan
Panyakosa, chairwomen of the Villages Women Club of Ban Nam Dib.
Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5 issued arrest warrants
for three men, Santisuk Chaiwong, a headman of Tambon, Natthawut Maneesorn,
a member of Tambon Administration Organization and Jirasak Waneesorn, a
member of Lamphun provincial council. All were charged for hiring gunmen to
Police officers confiscated the syndicate’s weapons
including two .38mm guns, a .357mm gun, a shotgun and 78 rounds of
ammunition. After further in-depth investigations, the police arrested the
three gunmen, names withheld, who were hired by the influential figures to
Unruly teenage behavior examined
TRF hoping to find solution
Teenage violence is increasing in Chiang Mai. Teenage
gangsters such as the well-known Samurai gang are a problem and a menace to
The Thai Research Fund (TRF) has presented the results of
their research project on the drug problem among youth groups which was
participated in by Maejo University, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai
University, Hot-line Center Foundation, Chiang Mai and Children Development
Dr. Sombat Tapanya of the Psychiatry Department, Faculty
of Medicine, Chiang Mai University said that according to the information
from the research project, it was found that household violence, and the
parents’ behavior affected children’s behavior. It pushes children to
also act aggressively and this then goes out into the community.
“The aggression in teenagers is the illness of
today’s society. Children nowadays are ignored by society, so they try to
find a way to draw society’s attention to them, but in negative way.
However, it does not mean that we don’t have the way out. We do, but
families and communities need to cooperate with each other to take care of
children more than ever,” he said.
Dr. Sombat proposed a solution in that children could be
divided in to 3 groups. “The first group is children who do not have
problems. The second group included the children who are at risk of being
violent like those in broken homes but they do not congregate in gangs. The
third group is one of violent and aggressive children who are making
problems. The way to act with these 3 groups should not be the same.”
“For the third group, if they are guilty of misconduct
or commit crimes, they need to be arrested and sent for treatment from
psychologists. For the second group, we need to arrange activities for them
so that they will not join the third group. For the first group that does
not have any problem, we should prevent them joining the trouble makers by
providing them with activities sponsored by school, family, and
community,” he said.
Teerarat Boripantakul, Medical Science Department,
Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University added, “The power of teenage
groups should be used in positive ways. We can find the way to encourage
them in working for the public. That will make them feel useful and
successful. Actually, every child wants to feel successful in life and wants
to gain self-esteem from society. Children feel successful especially when
they join in groups or become important persons in the group. Activities
arranged for them should be like camping, or public work. I think the
problem will be decreased in one level by this.”
Prasong Yuesuksamran, the researcher from Leader
Development and its network in Chiang Mai said that the problems of Chiang
Mai teenagers have become chronic and are not managed seriously. “The way
to solve these problems starts in the family and then in the community.”
“There’s no one or any organization to give a hand or
try to take on the responsibility on this issue straight way. Nobody is
clearly in charge of these problems. In the past, we emphasized arresting
them but we did not have any clear aim or strategy on solving the problem to
prevent these teenagers from gathering and becoming gangs in the city,” he