Have a safe, fun Loy Krathong this weekend
Loy Krathong and Yi Peng explained
In case you’ve been living “behind the
mountain” and don’t already know, this weekend is the Loy Krathong
Festival, and nowhere does it quite like Chiang Mai.
There will be festivals, parades, events and exciting
things going on all over the area, as this is one of the Kingdom’s
favorite times of the year. So, take your loved one gently by the hand, lead
him or her to the water’s edge, and float your krathong together - it is
an experience you won’t soon forget.
If you’d like to know some of the history and
traditions behind this event, read on:
According to history written by King Mongkut in 1863, the
Loy Krathong festival has its roots in ancient Brahmin culture, going back
some 700 years. The spirits of the river were given offerings which were
sailed in the river in small boats (krathongs) and in this way the owner of
the krathong would gain absolution. This was a Brahmin belief.
The small boats fashioned by the beautiful and talented
Nang Noppamas, the daughter of a Brahmin priest and wife of King Phra Ruang,
were notable for their construction and beauty. It was this king who then
dedicated the krathong to the memory of the Buddha, and decreed that the
event would be called Loy Krathong and that it should become an annual
celebration to commemorate the skill and beauty of his consort. In this way
he lifted it out of Brahmin culture and installed it into the accepted
Buddhist way of life. This is the reason that the krathongs now carry three
incense sticks representing the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
Loy Krathong is known as the Yi Peng Festival in Northern
Thailand because the way the northern people count the months is different
from other regions. Yi refers to the second month of the year in the
northern calendar and is the same month as November. Peng refers to the
night of the full moon, so Yi Peng is the full moon in the second northern
During the Yi Peng Festival, people always decorate their
krathong with flowers, joss sticks and candles which will then sail away,
taking with them bad health, bad luck and unhappiness.
Lanterns are well-known symbols in the Yi Peng Festival
too, being used to decorate houses and temples in worship of the guardian
spirits. There are four kinds of lantern used in the festival: the hand-held
rabbit lantern, the hot air balloon lantern, the hanging lantern for
religious worship, and the spin lantern installed at temples. The belief in
lanterns is that the lights inside compare with the wisdom the people will
get in the next life.
PM Thaksin Shinawatra presents royal kathin robes at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep
Phitsanu Thepthong and
Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is a royal temple, built in 1373
by Phra Chao Kuena Thammikaraja, to house relics of the Buddha in the
revered pagoda. It is synonymous with Chiang Mai’s identity.
A royal kathin ceremony is held annually at the temple,
where high ranking government officials, public and private sectors and the
general public participate in the kathin presentation to the monks.
Prime Minister’s public persona is always immaculate, and this year was no
exception when he arrived at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep to pay respect to the
relics of the Lord Buddha, and present kathin robes to all the monks.
This year, PM Thaksin arrived at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep
to pay respect to the relics of the Lord Buddha, and presented kathin robes
and cloth materials to all the monks.
According to the monk’s consideration, they decided to
give the kathin robes to Prayarnsomphot, the abbot of Wat Phrathat Doi
Suthep who has been living here for many years. His Majesty the King also
donated Three million baht.
After the ceremony, PM Thaksin went inside the temple to change the
45-meter long ordained clothes covering the pagoda of the Lord Buddha’s
Helicopter crash injures infantryman personnel in Mae Hong Son
A helicopter from the special task force
of the 17th Infantryman Regiment, stationed at Baan Montalaeng Muang
district Mae-Hong Son province, crashed in thick fog when the helicopter
rotor struck a tree as they attempted to land.
The accident happened near Huay Luang village, Tambon
Tungyao, Pai district, Mae-Hong Son province approximately 10 km away from
Pai district. Direct access was not possible and rescuers were forced to
trek 3 km to the crash site.
The crew included Maj Songpol Klongthong as 1st pilot,
First lieutenant Pairoj Prasart 2nd pilot and Sergeant Major 1st class Utain
Watchara and Sergeant Major 3rd class, Nilan, mechanics on the flight.
The mechanics suffered minor injuries, but both pilots
were unhurt. Further investigations into the cause of the accident are
Joyful Panda reunion
Immigration procedures over and health checks OK
Fifteen days after their ticker-tape welcome to Chiang
Mai, the two Chinese friendship ambassador giant panda bears have been
reunited. They had been kept in separate accommodation while zoo
veterinarians checked them both for any health problems, making particular
note of the fact that both had arrived with black eyes. The condition is
permanent and normal, said a spokesperson for the pandas.
couple in love - the giant panda ambassadors were reunited in their new home
at Chiang Mai Zoo. (AP Photo/Wichai Taprieu)
After being separated for nine days the panda couple
embraced warmly in their new air-conditioned house, and toured the
facilities together. Chiang Mai Zoo officials said that the duo were fine
and had adapted well to their new surroundings and said they hoped that the
giant pandas would be ready for public visits soon. Invitations to the
house-warming party will be coming directly from the pandas themselves. The
Chiang Mai governor and the mayor have apparently said they will both
University looking to upgrade OTOP goods
Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai, in
cooperation with Asia-Seed Institute of Japan is carrying out a pilot
project to upgrade One Tambon One Product (OTOP) goods with the objective of
making them unique and high quality while providing sustainable occupations
for local people.
The pilot project has been in operation since June 2003
with some original ideas from both university teachers and students, said
Assoc Prof Dr. Wanchai Sirichana, the university rector.
In addition, this project aims to provide local
entrepreneurs with some knowledge on the operation of small and medium-sized
enterprises (SME’s) as well as applying electronic commerce for export
products in the international marketplace.
The OTOP goods are being featured in five categories -
textiles and garments, food and beverages, furniture and decorative items,
gift items and souvenirs, and information and technology.
Rajabhat Institute hosts folk remedy expo
Anyone for snake oil?
The 2nd Expo and Seminar to gather folk doctors’
knowledge has been organized by the Folk Medical Science College of Chiang
Rai Rajabhat Institute in cooperation with Thai Research Funds (TRF). It
will run from November 27-30, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily. It aims to develop
standard medical books for folk doctors as well as establish a network of
folk doctors to help their local communities, said Assist Prof Dr. Yingyong
Taoprasert, the director of the Folk Medical Science College.
Amongst the activities the visitors are invited to take
part in are lectures on the roles of folk doctors in the public health
service system given by some national prominent scholars along with the
exhibition on the knowledge of folk remedies.
Visitors can purchase herbal products and folk food
supplements from eight provinces in the northern region and can experience
free services such as folk massage, fortune telling and other examples of
More in-bound Japanese tourism needs greater language proficiency
Thai Ambassador lays down key factors to boost Chiang Mai Tourism
Following the new THAI direct flight from Tokyo to Chiang
Mai, the Tourism Authority of Thailand predicts 1.3 million Japanese
visitors next year, and suggests pushing historical tours, eco-tourism and
local handicrafts as main attractions.
Japanese tourists rank 5th behind UK, USA, France and
Germany. Last year Thailand received 45,000 Japanese tourists.
ambassador in Tokyo, Kasit Piromya, says local government should put more
focus on historical tours, eco-tourism and local handicrafts and encourages
local residents to learn Japanese to increase tourism to the region.
The Thai Ambassador in Tokyo, H.E. Kasit Piromya
suggested that hygiene, tourist security and ability to converse in the
Japanese language should be the main factors urgently addressed to satisfy
“I think that Chiang Mai should focus more on its
cleanliness, growing more flowers to live up to its name as the ‘City of
Flowers’ and have police at the main tourist spots to ensure their safety.
Local government should also convince its constituents to learn the Japanese
language,” the ambassador said.
As Chiang Mai now has its Chiang Mai City Art and
Cultural Center, he said that Chiang Mai should arrange a cultural show
every night to promote Lanna traditions and draw tourists.
According to this year’s GDP figures, Thailand earned 37 billion baht
from tourism and related services, accounting for about 36 percent of the
GDP. Charubun Pananon, director of TAT Tokyo office, expects that next year
Thailand would receive more than 1.3 million Japanese tourists.
New shopping center on Chang Klan Road has ‘mayoral’ approval
30-mio baht development
Chiang Mai people have a new major shopping center on
Chang Klan Road, called Chang Klan Shopping Plaza.
Buranupakorn family, Boonlert (2nd left) and Aemorn (2nd right) at the soft
opening of the shopping plaza on October 22.
Aemorn Buranupakorn, one of the owners of Chang Klan
Shopping Plaza, felt that constructing this new shopping complex would
benefit everyone as it is located close to Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar,
banks and hotels along the Chang Klan Road. “I have invested 30 million
baht to build this plaza to be a family center for shopping and dining after
work and school,” she said.
Already 60 percent of this shopping plaza has been reserved by many
international franchises of well-known restaurants, fashion stores and
Agricultural exports up 50 percent
Ong-ard Kittikunchai, a spokesman from the
Chiang Mai Provincial Industry Federation, stated that during the first
three quarters of this year, the export of food and agricultural processing
products from Chiang Mai and northern regions has increased by 20-50%.
However, exporters have been facing difficulties with the
relative strength of the Thai baht compared to other local currencies.
Ong-ard said that the main export market for Chiang Mai’s food and
agricultural products is Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, France, and Germany.
Following on from Thailand’s agreement on the free
trade of fruit and vegetables with China, China is now exporting their fruit
and vegetable products into the Thailand market. However, the local
authorities did not know what Chiang Mai should export to China other than
With the end of the season, and China looking for Thai
fruits like mangosteen, durian, and rambutan, there is a problem, as these
fruits are not grown in large quantities in the north.
World’s largest pot of Kaeng Kae Kai Muang at 16th Chiang Mai Food Festival
Bring a large plate
Chiang Mai Restaurants Association will arrange the 16th
Chiang Mai Food Festival at the end of this month, with the biggest pot of
Kaeng Kae Kai Muang in Thailand as a highlight of the festival.
Ratchasak Sriphumin of the organizing committee for the
Food Festival, said that over 50 famous restaurants in Chiang Mai would
present at their individual booths their best dishes for all people to taste
and purchase. All of the restaurants in the festival have been approved by
Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office that they meet all hygiene
This year’s food festival will be held from November 29
to December 5 at the activity hall, Central Airport Plaza. Famous chefs will
also demonstrate their cooking methods and let people taste their creations.
There will be art and cultural performances by famous artists and contests
including the most beautiful food vendor, and beer drinking and food eating
competitions are other interesting activities in the festival.
The biggest pot of Kaeng Kae Kai Muang in the country
will be cooked and sold at the festival. Funds raised by the activities will
be donated to the school for the blind.
PM switches on solar powered health care center
The sun shines on San Kamphaeng
The National Science and Technology
Development Agency (NASTDA), northern network, showed off its solar cell
electric generating system on Friday October 31, presided over by Prime
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The grand opening took place at Pa Tarn Health
Care Center, San Kamphaeng district, Chiang Mai.
Thailand’s NASTDA, with cooperation from the Renewal
Energy Development and Conservation and Development Department, of the
Energy Ministry, developed the high quality solar cells and plans to set
them up in 16 public health care centers, with the first being the Pa Tarn
The solar cells development has many important cost and
environment saving features, aiming to reduce the high cost of importing
fossil fuel sources such as petroleum, coal and natural gas.
Chiang Mai’s CEO strategies
Northern governors to promote Lanna culture
Chiang Mai is carrying out development
strategies to become the “City of Life and Prosperity” and support the
Buddhist way to create harmony for its community projects.
According to Suwat Tantipat, Chiang Mai’s governor,
there are four strategies for Chiang Mai, which involve solving the problems
of the poor, supporting tourism and hospitality services, supporting local
investment and developing the economy up to an international level and
developing local knowledge in the society.
Interior Minister Pramual Rujanaseree (center) at the CEO forum received a
warm welcome from Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat (left).
Towards these aims, Governor Suwat invited the provincial
government officials in Chiang Mai to a seminar about the Buddhist way for
their community projects. Governor Suwat said, “This project supports
tourism and service strategies to promote Chiang Mai. This way, the teenager
social problem which affects the image of travel in Chiang Mai will be
Another CEO style meeting was also held in the north,
with Pramual Rujanaseree, the deputy minister of interior presiding over the
CEO strategies meeting of the four northern provinces of Chiang Mai,
Lamphun, Lampang and Mae Hong Son.
Deputy Minister Pramual said, “It’s very easy to make your people
impressive and build up the Lanna kingdom. There are many amazing things in
the Lanna northern region that will persuade tourists to travel here, such
as the friendliness of Northern Thai people, the world renowned industries
and agriculture. But the important thing is prosperity in the region and
TAT pushing for International Convention Center in Chiang Mai
1.4 billion baht earmarked for the construction
The Tourism Authority of Thailand
announced the current progress for the construction of an International
Convention Center Project which has been approved by the Cabinet with a
promised government budget of 1.4 billion baht. Work is expected to start in
Chalermsak Suranant, director of TAT, Northern Office,
Region 1 said they have assigned Sindhu Poonsiriwong to do a feasibility
study on the project in terms of MICE marketing (meetings, incentives,
conferences, exhibitions). “From the beginning, we knew that Chiang Mai
had the location because the government has decided to provide 400 rai of
land on the property belonging to Nong Hor military training center on Klong
Challapratharn (Irrigation) Road near the city hall,” he said.
This project will be using 240 rai for the construction
site for the convention center, plus other projects including an SME Center
using 95 rai and the Agricultural Product Distribution Center for the
Northern Region using another 65 rai. In all these projects, the government
will be the investment partner.
The Cabinet has already approved a budget for
construction. The work for all projects is expected to be finished by
Director Chalermsak also said that when the center is
finished, there would be many tourists and seminars that would come to
Chiang Mai, estimated to be at least fifty thousand people a year. As a
result, income from tourism will rise to three billion baht annually.
BoT reveals 3rd quarter figures
Domestic consumption and exports up
Somsak Vongpanyathavorn, Bank of Thailand (BoT) senior
director of its Economic Research Division revealed that in the 3rd quarter
of this year the northern economy improved across the board.
The industrial sector in the areas of vehicles, tobacco,
and petroleum have gone up 10.5 percent compared with last year’s figures,
and productivity figures were steady, he said at the BoT’s Northern region
of Thailand senior director, Somsak Vongpanyathavorn of the Economic
Research Division gives his northern economic report.
Domestic consumption is increasing by 39 percent,
calculated by the increased number of motorcycles bought this year (229,977)
prompted by loan interest reductions.
Despite the fact that the SARS epidemic is well behind
us, the service sector is still in recession, as indicated by a decreased
number of airport arrivals. Somsak did say that the situation seems to be
better than the 1st and 2nd quarters of the year.
Exports aimed at the old markets of Japan, USA, Singapore
and Hong Kong had risen by 14.2 percent, equivalent to 1.182 billion
dollars. The relative calm situation across borders is another factor
boosting border trade by 48.4 percent.
Thai currency is now standing at 39.71 baht/US dollar and
seems to have become a little stronger in the 4th quarter, although BoT has
a currency speculation protection policy. “I believe that it would not
affect our economy and I think that if our currency becomes stronger and
more reliable, it will attract foreign investors, boosting our economic
outlook,” he added.
Thai Ambassador to Japan sees opportunities for Thai goods there
H.E. Kasit Piromya, Thai Ambassador to Japan, said that
the Japanese market has room for Thai OTOP and SME product sales.
The Thai government has set up promotions for Thai
exports from dried shrimp to snack food products including Thai fruits and
vegetables; fashion items, furniture, garments, and textiles.
Kasit Piromya, Thai Ambassador to Japan, said that the Japanese market has
room for Thai OTOP and SME product sales.
Thai manufacturers have begun to produce more Thai
exports for Japanese consumers, including household items for daily use.
“Design, styles and colors of the products for clothes and garments made
from both Thai silk and cotton are popular among young Japanese girls and
women,” he said. He added that the garment market has shown a greater than
10 percent growth rate in that country.
He encouraged Thai producers to increase their output,
and suggested that targets should be set and met. In the agricultural
produce market, he saw high potential for asparagus, lychee, and lamyai
(longan) products for export to Japan.
He also said many kinds of OTOP agricultural and consumer
products have the same potential for sales in the Japanese market. “OTOP
exports could be handbags made from wicker, rubbish bins, and household
items, and clothes.”
A slight cautionary note was expressed by Wanchai Ratchadamas, the
director of Industrial Promotion Center, Region 1 office, who said that a
large amount of Thai OTOP and SME products are exported annually to Japan,
but Thai products and exports must be up to international standards and
quality and designs in order to satisfy Japanese demand.
Chiang Mai to have e-government,
e-education, e-society, e-industry
Minister assures government backing, e-said
Following Phuket and Khon Kaen provinces, Chiang Mai is
now ready for information and communication technology (ICT) city
development, focusing on 5 strategies - e-government, e-education,
e-society, e-industry and e-commerce.
Surapong Suebwonglee, ICT minister, said the government is ready to
financially support Chiang Mai as an ICT city but collaboration is
Dr. Surapong Suebwonglee, minister of information and
communication technology, said that it is a challenging thing to make a city
into an ICT city. An ICT city aims to give people easy access to the global
information network, and then use that information to improve their
businesses and enter the world market with their products. “To become an
ICT city, Chiang Mai residents need to be fully involved to make this goal
come true with full support from the ICT Ministry,” the ICT minister
A meeting was held last week with 150 people from
government and private sectors to discuss how to make Chiang Mai into an ICT
city and set a firm goal to achieve it within 2 years. The government has
promised a billion dollar make-over for Chiang Mai ICT city, to provide more
infrastructure and government offices.
Ambassador says Thai women have false perception of Japanese sex industry
H.E. Kasit Piromya, the Thai Ambassador in Tokyo,
addressed women’s groups on the realities of life in Japan for Thai sex
workers. He described it as a crisis situation. He also accused Thai society
values as forcing Thai women into prostitution to pay off family debts.
There are 20,000 illegal Thai workers in Japan and 80
percent of them are Thai women involved in prostitution to pay debts
incurred by their parents, he said.
Ambassador to Tokyo revealed the truth about Thai service girls’ lives in
H.E. Kasit revealed that the women are expected to repay
one million baht each so they have to work for two years, being forced to
have sex with 10-15 Japanese men per day with no days off, even for medical
reasons, and if they refuse to work, they will be beaten.
Poverty, materialism and a sense of indebtedness to
parents are influential factors enticing Thai women, especially from rural
areas, to work in Japan, he said. This image of Thai women being available
for sale is demeaning for Thailand. He added that now Japanese human
trafficking networks are invading the Thai rural areas, where that sense of
indebtedness is still important and dominant. He advises village leaders to
watch out for these organized networks.
The Thai government and the Thai embassy in Tokyo are
pushing the Japanese government to establish laws to counter human
trafficking, as well as help Thai workers receive some social security
benefits, as they pay tax to the Japanese government but get little in
“We are preparing to talk with NGO networks in Japan,
asking them to take care of foreign women working there as well as arrange
talks with the Japanese government to facilitate labor registration,” the
Thai ambassador said.
He finished by saying that women’s organizations should make sure that
this group of young women would not be threatened by the same network again
and that they should be fully welcomed back by the local people.
More drug arrests, says Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5
Elimination of major drug dealers within 60 days claimed
Police Lt. Gen Chalor Choowong,
commissioner of the Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5 said that his bureau
would continue to suppress drug trafficking and try to arrest the main drug
dealers in the northern region in the sixty days countdown for drug
A press conference was given to report on the arrest of
Ajian, a Burmese national and a member of the Wa minority group. He was
arrested smuggling 390,000 methamphetamine pills from the border area into
Thailand through Tambon Wiengpangkam in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai
province on October 30.
He was arrested by the drug suppression police in
combination with personnel from the Office of Narcotic Control Board (ONCB),
but his two accomplices avoided capture. The accomplices believed to be Arfa
Commissioner Pol Lt. Gen Chalor said, “At this time,
the provincial police are trying to eliminate all 43 drug dealers still left
on the blacklists in the northern region. We expect that we will be able to
arrest all drug dealers before the ending of the sixty days countdown for
Drug free factories in Lamphun
79 out of 149 factories participating in the ‘white factories’ program
Weera Phukhajornpanich, the head of
Lamphun Provincial Labor Protection and Welfare Office was interviewed on
Radio Thailand and Television Broadcast Station in Chiang Mai, on the
subject of the 60-day countdown program for drug elimination. It was claimed
that the situation regarding drugs among the factory workers in the province
was improving with 79 factories participating in this program to keep their
factories free from drugs.
Only seven out of 64 factories in the Northern Region
Industrial Estate area did not take part in the program because of obstacles
such as annual checkups and ongoing campaigns.
It was reported that during the past two years, three
workers in factories which had joined the program were found to be addicts,
but after their rehabilitation program, they had returned to work.
Weera expressed with confidence that there were no longer
any drug problems in the industrial factories.
Three small girls drowned in the Ping River
Bodies found on the riverbank
Three young schoolgirls, Ngern and Buao, both 11 years
old, and Jina 14 years old, children of Thai Yai laborers, were apparently
sucked under by a whirlpool underneath the Rama IV bridge in Tambon Paton,
Muang District, Chiang Mai. The tragedy occurred around 2.30 p.m. on
The area is a popular swimming spot for local children,
and the three little girls had gone there with two friends that afternoon.
The young girls apparently slipped from the upper edge of the bridge and
were taken by the rapid currents and whirlpools. Three of the girls
disappeared. The other two panicked and ran home shouting for help.
Rescue and relief teams, including divers from Chiang Mai
Municipality, immediately began a search of the area, but the divers had to
give up when it became too dark.
The next day, retrieval attempts began at first light,
but the rescue team from Ruamjai Foundation and a team of divers from the
municipality gave up their attempts to find the bodies because the currents
and whirlpools were considered too hazardous.
A few days later, all three bodies were found washed up
on the shore in various areas about a kilometer away from the scene of the
Pol. Lt. Patpong Kamkaew, police inspector at the Chang
Puak Police Station, previously said that police had assumed that all three
girls drowned and rescue attempts were abandoned.
The children’s parents are Thai Yai who came from Burma
to work as laborers in Chiang Mai.
for drug information
60-day countdown produces wallet-jerk response
Phrae province has launched its strategic operation on
drug suppression by providing cash rewards of 2,000 baht to anyone who gives
information leading to the arrest of drug pushers or addicts during the drug
elimination 60-day countdown for drug elimination.
The assistant district chief officer, Samart Loypah
presided over a meeting of the drug suppression unit of Phrae province, and
said that during the 60-day countdown for drug elimination to celebrate His
Majesty the King’s birthday anniversary on December 5, the province is
taking the elimination very seriously. They are keeping a lookout for drug
dealers as well as addicts who they want to join the ‘Return good citizens
to a society’ project.
To achieve the excellent performances on drug
suppression, 2,000 baht cash would be given to anyone assisting the team to
capture Phrae’s drug dealers and addicts.
Five districts in the province, Wang Chin, Long, Nong
Muang Khai, Soong Men, and Den Chai districts had clear records of drug
dealers and addicts while other districts such as Ban Kok Nan Tha of Rong
Kwang, Ban Mae Ram of Song, still have a problem regarding drugs and
Two drug couriers killed
by Chiang Rai police
Police sting operation turns into shootout
Chiang Rai police last week shot dead an assistant
village headman and his accomplice who were acting as drug couriers for a
notorious drug smuggler.
The police had planned a sting operation, attempting to
buy 100,000 ya ba pills, but the couriers were tipped off before they handed
over the drugs and took the money and tried to escape.
A shoot-out at the scene resulted in both men being
killed. There were no police casualties.
After the gun battle, police found the bodies, two .38
pistols and the pick-up truck with its load, supposedly a box of apples, but
inside there was a haul of 100,000 methamphetamine pills.
According to Chiang Rai police, the two men were
assistant village headman Wichai Kumpeera, 42 years old of Mae Sai and his
accomplice Rin Tongnumman, 40 years old.
The police confiscated the drugs as evidence.
60-day countdown unearths more drugs in Pai
The arrest of another drug dealer in Pai district, Mae
Hong Son province with a haul of 20,000 methamphetamine pills showed that
the fight is not yet over, according to the police.
Following orders from Mae Hong Son Governor Suphote
Laowannasiri, the police superintendent of the Mae Hong Son Police Station,
Pol. Col. Sompong Putnil, the drug suppression deputy superintendent, said
the 60-day countdown operation for drug elimination is well underway.
One drug trader, identified as Kittiwat Saeju, 19, from
Tambon Wieng Tai, Pai district, Mae Hong Son was charged with possession of
20,000 ya ba tablets discovered in a sting operation led by Pol. Lt. Col.
Songkit Ontrakrai, the investigation inspector, and Pol. Lt. Kijja
Srikantha, the head of the special task operations unit.
Kittiwat confessed that he was hired to deliver the
goods, but refused to disclose details of his employer. Meanwhile, police
are keeping alert and looking out for drug problems in Pai district to
comply with the 60 day deadline.