Two drownings and
over 350 injuries
Each year the injuries from fireworks and
traffic accidents remain a blot on what should be a wonderful public holiday
period. Figures have been released by the Wieng Ping Rescue and the Ministry
of Public Health, showing that two people drowned in the Ping River during
the Loy Krathong period. Other statistics showed that injuries from
fireworks included 52 males and 35 females. However, these were much less
than the 250 males and 45 females who were injured from road traffic
It is taken as small comfort that these figures were
reported as being less than last year. One reason being given was that
government officials and the police in each area had caught the unlicensed
shops where fireworks were sold.
Hospitals reported the usual run of injuries, but nothing
appears to have been done to reduce the road accidents. Until this is done,
the figures will remain appalling and fatalities will continue. An increased
police presence and arrests for drunken driving could change these
Rev. Jesse Jackson
visits Karen refugee camps
in Mae Hong Son
Sittichai Prasertsri, the deputy governor of Mae Hong Son
Province welcomed an American delegation visiting the Karen refugee camp and
briefed them about the conditions in the region. The principal guest was the
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., chairman of the Rainbow/Push Coalition, who
visited the refugee camp at Ban Pangmoo Muang District Mae Hong Son.
Rev. Jackson said, “We would like to thank the Thai
government for taking great care of the refugees. However, we need the Thai
government to note that the refugee camp is only 5 km from the Thai-Burmese
border, which is not really safe.”
He added that the Thai government’s education
department should provide education to the refugees by supplying teachers to
teach them in the camp. “When the refugees go back to their homes in
Burma, they will be able to use their knowledge that they learned here to
Birth control education was another topic raised, with
the visiting delegation saying that the Thai government should give the
refugees family planning to control the birth rate of the refugees and to
protect them from over-population.
Walkathon and mini-marathon for World AIDS Day November 30
The Chiang Mai Runners Club and the
HIV/AIDS Infected People Networks in Chiang Mai will be holding a walkathon
and mini-marathon competition to mark World AIDS Day at the end of this
Nakorn Chaivong, a member of Chiang Mai Runners Club said
the club has joined with the HIV/AIDS Infected People Networks and
organizations in Chiang Mai to campaign against HIV/AIDS and raise funds to
help people who are already infected.
There are several age categories for the event, and the
entry fee is only B. 100. Winners in the categories will receive trophies
and all contestants will receive a participation memento.
The event will be presided over on November 30 at 6.30
a.m. by Deputy Chief Judge Sooboon Wutthivong, and the start/finish will be
in front of the Chiang Mai 700 year anniversary stadium.
People who are interested in participating can get more
details and application forms from the HIV/AIDS Infected People Network in
Chiang Mai at Chiang Mai City Hall (Revenue Building) tel. 053 890 490, 01
595-6617 or at the Chiang Mai Runners Club in the Chiang Mai Municipal
Stadium tel. 053 243 570.
Any ideas for New Year gifts yet?
Chiang Mai says don’t forget OTOP
Chiang Mai Province is encouraging everyone to buy
products from OTOP centers as New Year gifts, said Udom Maneekat, of the
Chiang Mai Provincial Community Development Office and secretary for the One
Tambon One Product (OTOP) Chiang Mai province. This is following the
government policy of support to OTOP projects.
The government hopes that the policy could solve poverty
and economic problems at the grass roots level. Chiang Mai province has
carried out this project successfully, with selections for outstanding OTOP
products and the grading into three, four or five star. OTOP products are
also classified into 6 types, food and beverage, textile and costume,
appliances and decorations, invention arts and souvenir and herbal items
which are not food or medicinal.
OTOP products are appropriate to use as New Year gifts,
and the Chiang Mai Provincial Community Development Office will make a list
of the gifts including prices, sending it to all official organizations and
private companies. There will be some made into gift packages such as
health, textile and costume, food and snacks e and ceramics and pottery.
More information is available from the Office of Chiang
Mai Provincial Community Development, 5th floor Chiang Mai City Hall, tel.
053-222-2936 or at every office of District Community Development.
Million baht offers to
But if they take it they can be deported!
The Thai press has been buzzing with reports of a tourism
operator from Phuket in the South of Thailand wanting to buy the Long-Necked
Karen, offering up to 1 million baht to persuade them to go to Phuket as a
The leader of the Long-Necked Karen minority group in Mae
Hong Son confirmed that a business group in Phuket wanted to buy between
three to five Karen to leave Mae Hong Son and relocate to live in Phuket for
about 5-10 years.
However, the government officials did not confirm this
news report, saying that it was just a rumour. A government spokesman said,
“In fact, it cannot happen because the Long-Necked Karen are not Thai
residents who have freedom to move anywhere in Thailand. They are considered
as war refugees from Myanmar. When the situation in their country is
resolved they will go back to their country.”
Itsarej Phusara, the Head of Mae Hong Son Tourism
Co-ordination Center, told Chiangmai Mail, “If they are going to Phuket,
they will become illegal aliens which is against the Thai law.”
It looks as if someone has been short sighted, rather
than long necked.
Special Remembrance Day ceremony held in Chiang Mai
Dedication ceremony of Flying Tigers memorial
Every year on November 11 at 11 a.m. people all over the
world remember those who gave their lives in the service of their country.
In America it is called Veterans Day, in France Armistice Day, and in
Britain it is Remembrance Day.
General (Rtd) Charles Bond spoke on behalf of the legendary Flying Tigers.
At the foreign cemetery in Chiang Mai, more than 150
people gathered to remember. Reverend Jonathan Bates, senior pastor at
Chiang Mai Community Church gave the welcoming address to remind everyone
what Remembrance Day was all about.
He said, “Today we live in this country of Thailand in
marvelous freedom. But such freedom was not without its cost and so we
acknowledge that cost and the benefits we enjoy from it. It was borne by
many with their lives. But Remembrance Day is not just about remembering the
dead, it is also an opportunity to remember the courage and commitment of
the living, those who, though surviving, have suffered greatly, both during
combat and since, that we might enjoy the freedom we now have. Despite the
world’s continuing technological and scientific advances, true peace
worldwide seems as far from reality as it perhaps ever was. The need for
armed forces for protection seems ever justified. But the threat today has
changed in the face of September 11th 2001. Globalization which has
benefited so many has also carried with it the globalization of violence.
Now our war is against terrorism we are told. So still today we are sending
men and women into combat, not so much to wage war as to secure and maintain
of the legendary Flying Tigers who came from the US to participate in the
dedication of the memorial.
Rev. Jonathan Bates then asked people to get up, listen
to the bugler playing The Last Post and join in two minutes of silence.
The second part was a dedication ceremony, which began by
presenting the colours and was joined by representatives of the Royal Thai
Air Force, the Free Thai, representatives of the legendary Flying Tigers
themselves, the Foundation of the Preservation and Development of Thai
Aircraft, the British Council, the US Consul General and the American
Ambassador to remember in particular a raid in 1942 on the Japanese Air
Serene Highness Prince Bhisadej Rajani laying a wreath at the base of the
For people who are not so familiar with the ‘Flying
Tigers’, this was a small force of crack pilots under the leadership of
Colonel Claire Lee Chennault that proved to be one of the most effective
units in the history of aerial warfare. Based in Kunming, South China, some
70 pilots were responsible for the destruction of nearly 300 Japanese
aircraft, and were credited with another 150. One of these raids on 24 March
1942 was against the Japanese occupying force in Chiang Mai.
In 1990, the wreckage of a P-40 was discovered in the
jungle by the Foundation for the Preservation and Development of Thai
Aircraft. It was then moved to the Royal Thai Air Force workshops in Chiang
Mai. This plane was piloted by William McGarry, who, with Flight Leader
Charles Mott, was held as a POW by the Japanese in Thailand. On that same
raid Squadron Leader Jack Newkirk was killed when his plane was hit by
ground fire and came down in Lamphun.
After a visit by the Flying Tigers in 1994 the governor
arranged for a small memorial, while talks continued about a more permanent
and appropriate remembrance. This came to fruition on 11/11/2003 in the
Foreign Cemetery in Chiang Mai when the memorial was dedicated to recognize
the American and Royal Thai Air forces, the Flying Tigers and the Free Thai
and in particular to honour Claire Lee Chennault, Jack Newkirk, Charles
Mott, and William McGarry.
Highlights of the morning were Major General (Rtd)
Charles Bond’s speech, a representative of the Flying Tigers, and the
words of His Serene Highness Prince Bhisadej Rajani, who participated on
behalf of the Seri Thai and who said, “We all fight for freedom and I am
today very honored to meet a tiger in real life, but I am glad he is not on
The ceremony ended with the laying of the wreaths by the American
Ambassador Darryl N. Johnson, Dick Rossi, president of the Flying Tigers
Association, and H.S.H. Prince Bhisadej Rajani representing the Seri Thai
movement who laid their wreaths at the base of the memorial.
10 new five star hotels planned for Chiang Mai
THA predicting hotel boom
Vorapong Muchaotai, president of Thai Hotels Association
(THA), Northern Chapter said that Chiang Mai has a high potential to be a
gold mine for hotel projects and investment.
“There are preparations for constructing over 10 five
star hotels in Chiang Mai municipal and district areas,” said Vorapong,
who also anticipated that there are “more than 1,500 rooms to be developed
here. There are four hotel groups planning to build new hotels in Chiang
Mai, including Amanpuri, Oriental and Banyan Tree.”
Group is constructing a hotel in the area previously occupied by the British
Consulate and Consulate Park Restaurant. The five star hotel resort will
have 40 rooms and will be named the Chedi (Pagoda). Constructors expect it
to be completed next year.
Amanpuri Group is constructing its hotel in the area
previously used as the British Consulate and Consulate Park Restaurant for a
five star hotel resort with 40 rooms, to be named the Chedi (Pagoda) which
is expected to be completed next year.
The Oriental Group’s new hotel will be built on Chiang
Mai-San Kamphaeng Road which will be completed in 2006. The room rate will
be USD 650 per night.
Radison has chosen a prime area to build its luxury hotel
in Mae Rim district, and the Banyan Tree Group is already well underway with
its luxury hotel resort, which will be opened next year.
There are some international chains that have been
preparing to manage hotels and resorts in Chiang Mai. On November 1, Westin
Hotel changed its name to Sheraton and the Regent will be taken over by the
Four Seasons Group at the end of this year.
President Vorapong said that the hotel competition would
be fierce but denied that there would be a glut of five star hotel
Name the pandas competition
Has anyone asked the pandas what they call each other?
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)
together with the Zoological Park Organization and MK Restaurants have
declared the Name the Pandas Competition in Thai language open. The
competition gives entrants the opportunity to share in the total prizes of
200,000 baht plus a trophy from Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The
competition runs from now until November 30 this year and the results will
be announced on January 15 next year.
The competition is open only to Thai children between the
ages of 6-12 years. The pandas’ names must be in Thai and have a meaning.
Application forms are available at the Zoological Park
Organization at the Dusit Zoo, Khao Kheow Open Zoo Chonburi, Chiang Mai Zoo,
Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo, Songkla Zoo and all TAT offices, MK Restaurants and
Na Siam Shop branches in Thailand.
First prize is a scholarship worth 25,000 baht with the
trophy from Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, plus trips and free entry to
Chiang Mai Zoo for one year.
If you are a Thai child, and can read this, sharpen your
For more information call 02-2827111-3 ext.417, 419 or
02-2819029 during office hours or TAT, Northern Region, Section 1 on
Environmental problems in
Asia-Pacific under the microscope
Did they find anything?
Srirat and Phornphimon Thimsat
Chiang Mai University in cooperation with Shiga
University Japan organized an international symposium on environmental
management at Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel, Chiang Mai.
The opening ceremony was presided over by President Nipon
Tuwanan of Chiang Mai University. Assoc. Prof. Tanun Anumanrajadhon, the
chairman of the International Organizing Committee said that this symposium
would motivate people to understand more about the importance of the
environment and be aware of environmental conservation.
Saksit Tridech (right), deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of
Science and Technology shakes hands with a representative from a foreign
university participating in the seminar, symbolizing the great cooperation
during the symposium.
The symposium attracted 120 attendees, including
researchers, academics, both Thai and overseas delegates, teachers and
students from various education institutions.
The principal objective of this symposium was to
strengthen the knowledge and understanding of environmental management in
the Asia-Pacific Region. Several interesting topics were presented in this
symposium including, “Towards a Sustainable Society” given by President
Kenichi Miyamoto from Shiga University outlining the environmental problems
in Japan that affect the society, where the problems came from and how to
manage the problems with sustainable development plans.
“The Present Perspective of Environmental Management” was given by
Dr. Saksit Tridech, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Science
and Technology, who spoke on social and economic development, and gave an
overview of environmental administration, environmental problems and global
issues and sustainable development.
The two giant pandas get ready for the curtain to go up
Lin Hui has early hairdressers appointment on November 20
Chiang Mai Zoo last week allowed the media to visit the
panda couple, their first official visitors since they arrived October 12.
Montri Nawikpon, director of the Zoological Park
Organization’s executive board, Sophon Dumnui, director of the Zoological
Park Organization from Bangkok, and Thanong Nateepitak, director of Chiang
Mai Zoo, took the group of scribblers from Bangkok and regional provinces to
admire the pandas at the panda exhibition and display section.
Chuang and Lin Hui show off for the gathered newshounds.
At the beginning of the public introduction, the two
giant pandas, Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui were teasing each other and did not
pay any interest in the visitors. After 10 minutes, the male made some
overtures to the visitors, but no letters or flowers were exchanged.
Director Sophon confirmed that they were in high demand
from the public, so Chiang Mai Zoo would prepare more parking space to hold
1,000 cars. The ‘soft opening’ of the panda house will be November 20.
The admission fees to see the Giant Pandas are 50 baht
for adults and 20 baht for children. For foreign tourists and visitors, the
charges are 100 baht for adults and 50 baht for children. This leads to the
question - how much for Chinese tourists to see the Thailand-China goodwill
ambassadors? And how much for expatriate residents?
Drug peddlers shoot two policemen leaving 100,000 ya ba as evidence
Two policemen wounded during a gun battle
with drug dealers were brought to Chiang Mai by helicopter from Ban Mae Wan
Noy, Tambon Mae Wan, Phrao District.
The helicopter from the Chiang Mai based Provincial
Police Bureau, Region 5 brought Police Senior Sergeant Major Chokdee
Chaichareun and Police Sergeant Major Subin Yala to Maharaj Nakhon Chiang
Mai Hospital. Both are reported as now out of danger.
The police were engaged in a sting operation when they
were stung. They were playing the roles of drug dealers, wishing to purchase
methamphetamines from the drug network, but during the course of the
transaction their true identity was uncovered and the real drug dealers
After the shooting, the criminals fled, leaving 100,000
ya ba pills to be used as evidence.
Pol Senior Sgt Maj Chokdee received one bullet in the
left side of his chest, and doctors at the hospital had to remove the
bullet. The other policeman, Pol Sgt Maj Subin was shot in the left calf.
Pol Maj-Gen Kosin Hintao, the commander of the Crime
Suppression Division (CSD) visited the two injured policemen in hospital.
The National Police Bureau has given 10,000 baht for each police as a
reward, for their dedication, motivation and as moral support.
With 100,000 ya ba pills and an extracted bullet as
evidence, police hope to apprehend the perpetrators very shortly.
Agent’s bank account will be suffering weight loss
The Ministry of Public Health in Chiang Mai has banned
the anti-obesity compound Sportron or Tone-AM after the Medical Sciences
Department found it contained synthetic ephedrine.
Ephedrine is known to affect the brain and
cardio-vascular system, being the base compound used in producing
amphetamines (locally called ya ba), if consumed for long periods.
Dr. Phaisan Tanyavinichkul said at the press conference
held at the Chiang Mai City Hall that the Ministry of Public Health had sent
the consumer protection officers to examine this product and they found that
there were many places at which this product was on sale including several
clinics, medical centers, beauty salons, medical stores and through direct
The officers are confiscating stocks of this product for
destruction, and recommend that anyone who has a stock of the compounds
should send it to the Ministry of Public Health in Chiang Mai immediately.
“If we find that you have the product you will be prosecuted and run the
risk of a jail sentence for 5-20 years and a 100,000-400,000 baht fine,”
He also warned customers not to believe too much in the advertisements,
especially as an anti-obesity foodstuff. It is expensive and a health risk
too, he said. The best way to lose weight is to avoid food which contains
flour, fat, and sugar and to have regular exercise.
Anti-Drug athletic competitions to honour His Majesty the King
The Tourism, Sports and Recreation
Organization, Chiang Mai Center, has organized an athletic competition as
part of the anti-drug campaign at the 700 Year Anniversary Sports Complex on
November 21. It is also being held as part of the national events to honour
His Majesty the King.
There will be 28 competition categories with 36
institutes in Chiang Mai participating. Competitors will be placed in age
classes beginning at the Under 10’s, going through to open class. A full
range of track and field events will be decided, with distances from the 100
metre sprints through to the 5,000 metre endurance events. There is also the
broad jump, pole jump, high jump, triple jump, discus and hammer throwing,
shot putt and javelin.
This year, the organization will classify the Under 18
year old athletes with the best representing the 10th education zone
consisting of six northern provinces, to compete at the next rounds of the
National Student Athletics Competition to be held at Khon Kaen province in
the Northeast region.
U.S. offers counter-narcotics assistance to Border Patrol Police
BPP receives 274 M-4s from US and
help from NAS, DEA, ONCB & ILEA
US Ambassador to Thailand, Darryl N.
Johnson and Police Major General Dhanakorn Siriatha, Commander of the Border
Patrol Police (BPP) Regional Headquarters 3, participated in a handover
ceremony of US counter-narcotics assistance to Thailand.
Commander Saroj Banya from Bangkok and US Ambassador to Thailand, Darryl N.
Johnson (seated center) pose for the official photo after the U.S. handover
This assistance is intended to increase the BPP’s
ability to protect Thailand’s borders and decrease illegal cross-border
narcotics trafficking from Burma. In doing so, the US helps Thailand meet
its defined number one security threat - illegal drug trafficking from
This assistance involved 274 M-4 Carbines for the BPP
units who are involved in border security and counter-narcotic missions. The
total assistance package, including spare parts and tool kits were worth USD
By now the US has worked with Thai authorities on these
programs for nearly four decades. This cooperation has involved not only
interdiction efforts, but also opium eradication campaigns, alternative
development in conjunction with the Royal Projects, demand reduction, drug
abuse prevention as well as treatment and criminal law reform. The
Embassy’s narcotic affairs section (NAS) has provided over USD 80 million
in assistance for drug and other criminal control in Thailand since 1974.
HE Darryl N. Johnson, in his speech at the BPP regional
headquarters, said that the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) has not only
worked closely together with the ONCB (Office of Narcotics Control Border)
but Thailand and the US even co-founded the International Law Enforcement
Agency (ILEA) in late 1998 to enhance the effectiveness of regional
cooperation against transnational crime in Southeast-Asia, including illicit
drug trafficking, terrorism, and other forms of organized crime. The
delivery of the equipment signals once again the strong ties between
Thailand and the US and with US President George W. Bush designating
Thailand as a major non-NATO ally, the cooperation is supposed to grow even
stronger in the future.
Two Thai and two Singaporean drug smugglers arrested
1.5 kg methamphetamine and
ya ba pills in a shampoo bottle
Chiang Rai’s Mae Chan District Police in cooperation
with the Drug Suppression Task Force arrested two Singaporeans and two Thais
on drug smuggling charges.
Pol Major Jamnong Kaewsiri of Chiang Rai said police
officers from Mae Chan police station and Drug Suppression Task Force
arrested the alleged offenders at the Mae Chan checkpoint. Singaporeans Tan
Kim San and Yang Tung Lam were found to be carrying 1.5 kg of pure white
flake methamphetamine plus methamphetamine pills, which were hidden in a
At the same time, Bangkok police rounded up two Thais who
were waiting for their hair shampoo. They were Tatjira Jamplaklai, aged 30,
living in Bangkok and Anong Youngwai, 40, from Chiang Mai.
According to Major Jamnong the Singaporeans confessed
that they had brought the drugs from Burma and would deliver them to Bangkok
following Yang Tung Lam orders, who attempted to tell police that they had
rubies and not drugs inside the shampoo bottle.