Fighting the cold season in North
Beer Chang warms the villagers’ hearts
Mae Hong Son province together with the
private sector have combined to help the poor villagers get some warmth over
Mae Hong Son Disaster Public Relief Foundation together
with Por Tek Tueng rescue team brought 1,000 necessities including warm
clothes, rice and dried food to distribute to people in 11 villages and 4
cottage areas in Ban Huay Poo Ling, Mae Hong Son.
Mae Hong Son Governor Supoj Laowanasiri said that he had
received much support from government, the private sector and public
organizations in helping 12,000 families survive the winter season.
Governor Supoj said, “Beer Chang offered 10,000
blankets for every remote area in the province, we also received another
1,000 blankets from Raja Kreetha athletics club and we will receive another
2,000 blankets with 500 student uniforms from Thai Airways International and
Northern Women’s Association led by Laddawan Wongsriwong will give 2,200
It has already started to become very cold in the high
regions, but at least the poor people in Mae Hong Son would be warm.
THAI flies high to Laos and Burma
Thai Airways International (THAI) has launched its new
flights to Luang Prabang in Laos and to Rangoon in Burma.
Chai-Anan Samudavanija and Laotian ambassador to Thailand Hiem Thommachan
cut the ribbon with Chaiwat Chanapai, Vice President, Western Sales and
Distribution (2nd from left), Suthep Seubsantiwongse, executive vice
president for Commercial Department (4th from left), and Miss Prakaidao
Hovatanakul, district sales manager upper - Northern Thailand (2nd right).
Dr Chai-Anan Samudavanija, and Laotian ambassador to
Thailand Hiem Thommachan, jointly cut the ribbon, marking the official
opening of the inaugural flight between Chiang Mai and Luang Phrabang at the
Chiang Mai International Airport.
THAI says that they are adding to the reputation being built for Chiang
Mai’s position as Thailand’s northern aviation hub.
THAI not worried about imminent low cost air services
At the inauguration of the new links between Chiang Mai
and Luang Phrabang (Laos) and Rangoon (Burma), Thai Airways International
(THAI) revealed that 60 percent of the total capacity for those two air
routes was already taken up.
Kittikul, THAI Executive Vice President, Customer Services Department, at
the grand opening of the Wonders of Three Cultures event held at Central
Vasing Kittikul, THAI executive vice president, Customer
Services Department said, “After launching these two flights, I expect to
see 10 percent growth in the number of tourists coming to Chiang Mai next
year, boosting Chiang Mai economy about 8-10 percent.”
THAI aims to expand to more new destinations covering the
Indo-China region and other areas with a two hour flight time from Chiang
Mai such as Hanoi in Vietnam. “To make Chiang Mai a real aviation hub, we
are looking forward to expanding our links to these two hour flight
destinations,” the THAI executive vice president added.
Although there is going to be heavy competition in domestic flights when
the low cost airlines come into operation, THAI showed no signs of concern,
saying that it was business as usual, and confirmed that they did not expect
to see any effect on their ticket sales. “Our sales during the New Year
holidays are still the same and we think we do not have to be worried
because we are confident that our service as a key factor to compete with
the low cost airlines,” he said.
Two days of Xmas shopping at Chiang Mai’s Gift Fair
Buy your love a panda bear?
The Christmas and New Year festivals and celebrations are
coming up. To make it all a little easier, you have till December 7 to
attend the 13th Gift Fair at the Industrial Promotion Center (IPC), Region 1
Office where people who are looking for gifts can go shopping for unique
dancers performed at the opening ceremony.
There are more than 400 booths, presenting products such
as sa paper, costumes made from cotton and silk, herbal products and many
varieties of gifts.
The Gift Fair opened on November 28, presided over by
Suwat Rimpaporn, director-general of the Promotion Industrial Department
(PID). The aim is to promote Thai handicraft markets and to encourage
producers and suppliers to present their products to the nation and
worldwide markets to stimulate a market demand.
Since much of the items are produced by cottage
industries, the PID is trying to get the products on to the world stage.
All Thais hope that Thai products will become well known for quality.
Perhaps one day we will see brand name Thai clothes in the department stores
New SME Center still on track
The Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SME) Center
Project is still on target to be constructed on the 400 rai of land area of
the Hong Hor Military Training Camp, 33rd Military Circle. Date for laying
the foundation stone has not been set, but it is expected to be in 2004.
Two weeks ago there were plans on the table for three
projects to be constructed in the same area but now plans have been changed.
These included the International Convention Center which will be moved to
Tambon Mae-Hia and the Distribution Agriculture Products Center for Northern
Region, which new location is still undecided.
One of the main reasons for splitting up the construction
projects was traffic problems in that area.
The exterior of the new SME center will be in Lanna
cultural style and design, but the interior will be done out in a modern
high technology style including saving energy systems built in.
The tendering process is now underway to build the
center, since the government has approved the necessary budget.
Chiang Mai real estate set to boom?
30 percent growth this year
A seminar on the direction of real estate development in
Chiang Mai was held at the Empress Hotel, Chiang Mai with Deputy Governor
Prinya Panthong giving the keynote address.
Tantranont, president of Northern Real Estate Association
Watchara Tantranont, president of the Northern Real
Estate Association, said that all the signs were positive that Chiang Mai
real estate projects had recovered since the 1997 crash as there was a 30
percent growth this year.
He expressed confidence that the investment in Chiang Mai
would continue to escalate, with projects such as the IT Knowledge Park and
the College of Arts Media and Culture to be set up. In addition, the
government has also planned to construct a convention and exhibition hall.
However, Watchara was worried that there might be lack of sustainable
Assoc. Prof Manop Phongtach said that big budgets would
bring in the big successes, but Chiang Mai people should make sure they
upgrade the culture to be up to international standards, otherwise Chiang
Mai may be in a crisis again in some days ahead.
President of SC Asset group, Surathian Chakthranont said
Chiang Mai had a biodiversity that people have never used as a benefit for
this province, and uttered another note of caution. “When we expand the
real estate and tourism business unthinkingly, we will be trapped in a sex
and casino city,” Surathian explained.
Surathian believes that the modernization of Chiang Mai would certainly
bring in problems such as the Bangkok has had. The real estate concept
should be to develop the green environmental concept which was in the line
with Chiang Mai environmental campaign.
Southern China in trade and tourism promotion with Northern Thailand
Delegates from South China visited Phayao province for
talks to push the development on trade and tourism sectors between southern
China and the upper northern provinces of Thailand.
During a short state visit, the Chinese delegates led by
Yin Shin, the secretary-general of the Communist Party from China’s
Sibsong Panna town with the governor of Yunnan province, arranged the
meeting with the Phayao Governor Bovorn Rattanaprasit.
They said they were looking forward to boosting trade and
tourism sectors linking Phayao province and Yunnan with goods travelling via
waterways along the Mekong River from the Chiang Saen Port of Chiang Rai
province and continue on road transportation to Phayao.
According to observers at the meeting, the obstacles in
border crossing of each neighboring country was mentioned and will be
further discussed at the Chambers of Commerce meeting among the four
countries concerned. This meeting is scheduled to be held in Sibsong Panna
in March next year.
Under the framework of the free trade area for the two
countries, China still needs a large number of agricultural products from
Thailand such as lychee, longan and Thai jasmine rice.
Phayao provincial governor Bovorn has proposed trading
between Yunnan and Phayao in terms of agricultural products exchange and
spoke on the mutual benefits to both countries. However, this matter will
also be on the agenda at the next meeting in March.
Hopefully the Chinese delegates did not visit the Chiang
Mai Zoo to visit the pandas. Double pricing could have come as a shock!
HM the King’s initiative becomes reality
PM Thaksin Opens Study Centre for Self-Sufficient Economy
Chin Ratitamkul and Phisut Itsaracheewawat
PM Thaksin Shinawatra presided over the grand opening of
the Study Center for Self-Sufficient Economy, following His Majesty the
Thaksin returns greetings from many local residents welcoming him at the
Local residents and government staff gathered to welcome
Prime Minister Thaksin and his wife, Khunying Potjaman Shinawatra. All
prominent personalities were wearing a Thai traditional yellow silk,
acknowledging HM the King’s birthday.
The new center is located on 108 rai of land and features
an exhibition hall and demonstration fields, to help local farmers improve
their knowledge, following the King’s initiative called “The New
This New Theory and philosophy is a new way of
agriculture emphasizing the emotional, social, economic, technology and
natural resources and environment to help farmers become self-sufficient and
To follow the King’s concepts, farmers should spend 30
percent of their time on rice, 30 percent on water and 30 percent on plants,
with the final 10 percent being devoted to construction.
In the future, the center could be developed as a home stay serving
foreign tourists, but currently it would be fully used for improving the
skills of local people.
State visits to Chiang Rai
Luxembourg to be followed by the Netherlands
Kongkaew, PRD Chiang Rai
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg arrived in
Chiang Rai to follow up the school contribution project to which she is
attached. She was given a civic welcome by Chiang Rai Governor Narin
Panitchkit, plus other dignitaries including the chief judge of Chiang Rai
Provincial Court, the provincial police commander, the military commander
and the president of Chiang Rai Provincial Red Cross.
After her welcome, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa went by car
to Ban Pha Dua School in Tambon Mae Salong, Mae Fa Luang district to see the
educational activities there and gave donations to 16 student
representatives. Ban Pha Dua School is under an education project, where
they are looking after nine hill tribe students.
Chiang Rai’s deputy governor, Sriprom Hormyok said they
are now busy preparing for the state visit of Her Majesty the Queen of the
Netherlands who will be visiting Chiang Rai shortly.
Ministry of Commerce
gives marketing info for
fermented alcohol producers
Lampang hosts spirited seminar
The Department of Business Development, Ministry of
Commerce, is holding seminars to educate fermented whisky entrepreneurs
around the country.
The project has been launched initially in Lampang
province, before expanding to cover 55 other provinces.
Vichit Phangsrikul, a consultant to the Minister of
Commerce, presided over the seminar for local fermented alcohol
entrepreneurs at Lampang’s Vieng Thong hotel. The seminar was in the line
with the government policy which supports new SME businesses.
The department held this initial seminar for producers
and owners at Lampang as this area has 462 entrepreneurs who are registered,
making Lampang the number one province in this regard in Thailand. The
seminar was aimed to impart knowledge about accounting systems, marketing
strategies and effective business principles, administration and marketing
World AIDS Day in Chiang Mai
Candles lit in commemoration
World AIDS day is held on December 1 of every year.
People all over the world join to help AIDS patients and people infected
with HIV. Chiang Mai held “Candle Light for AIDS Patient” at Thapae Gate
to stimulate people to realize the impact of the AIDS problem.
Tantipat, president of Provincial Red Cross, Chiang Mai Chapter presided
over the opening ceremony and lit the candle to the denote the start of the
event for all participants.
Chiang Mai’s World Aids Day was organized by Chiang Mai
Public Health Office and Ornnadda Tantipat, president of Provincial Red
Cross, Chiang Mai Chapter presided over the opening ceremony and lit the
candle to the denote the start of the event for all participants.
The Candle Light for AIDS was designed to remind everyone
of the deaths from AIDS and to encourage AIDS patient to fight on and never
give up the struggle and to give encouragement for the people who work with
Many people still do not understand AIDS, especially how
to treat people who are infected with HIV and how the virus spreads. This
year the campaign focused on acceptance of AIDS patients and the rights of
Feelings of aversion to AIDS patients has a large impact
on their mental state because AIDS patients always feel guilty and ashamed.
However, AIDS patients are a part of society and just wish to contribute
like every other person.
To make the campaign successful, Thais need to feel sympathetic towards
AIDS patients and treat them like part of the family or friends. Social
outlook needs to be changed since people want to separate AIDS patients from
Thai society. There are many things that Thais still need to do to assist
AIDS patients. Perhaps World AIDS Day will help them realize this fact.
War on poverty in Chiang Rai underway
Thaksin administration’s six year plan explained
Chiang Rai Governor Narin Phanitchakit
said that following meetings in the province, Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra’s views were that poverty among Thai citizens could be resolved
by providing some opportunities and boosting the potential power of each
person which would result in sustainable solutions and at the same time the
people could be made self-reliant.
The Ministry of Interior has the responsibility to survey
all the problems facing Thais such as land for cultivation, homeless people,
illegal occupations, fraudulent practices and housing problems including
plans to provide students with paid work so they can earn enough for living
while still being in school.
To accomplish this government policy, all provinces are
responsible for establishment of an Integrated Center for the war on poverty
and social problems under control of the governor as the director and the
deputy assistant as the committee and secretary.
The plans are divided into three steps: the survey
process from Jan 5-March 31, 2004, the analysis from April 1-June 30, 2004
and the solution practices from July 1, 2004. Chiang Rai province is now at
the stage to introduce the Center at the provincial, district and
Pha Muang task force admits drug barons still survive
New refineries indicated in Burma
Intelligence Units of the Pha Muang Task Force said that
there were still some drug traffickers trying to smuggle drugs into Thailand
from neighboring countries through the Wiang Haeng and Mae Ai border
Lt. Gen Thanongsak Tuvinan, Superintendent of the
National Defense College, brought 260 personnel consisting of teachers, 46th
National Defense College students, 16th National Defense College students
and other students to learn more and observe the situation in the upper
The visitors were welcomed by Prinya Parnthong, Chiang
Mai’s deputy governor, together with many others involved with the study
tours on the economics, politics, government and drug situation along the
Intelligence units stated that drug barons were still
manufacturing drugs along Thai-Burmese borders, waiting for the right moment
to smuggle methamphetamines into Thailand and were forming new distribution
networks as well as smuggling drugs from Laos into Thailand.
The drug refineries have moved deeper inside Burma around
Tha, Jod, Han, Tung and Kan areas in Tachilek province and around the
infamous Golden Triangle area.
Pa Muang Task Force source revealed that when compared
with last year, the drug seizures were less; however, this still entailed 35
million amphetamines pills, 9 officers lost their lives and 10 were injured,
while 136 drug dealers classified as extra juridical killings.
Fingerprint Collection Begins for Visa Applicants in Chiang Mai
December 3, the U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai will begin collecting
fingerprints from most applicants for nonimmigrant visas.
The collection of a “biometric identifier” was
mandated in the U.S. Homeland Security Act of 2002. Fingerprints were chosen
because they believe them to be the most effective and least intrusive
Fingerprints will be used only by authorized officials
and for official purposes. There are no plans or agreements to share
fingerprints with any foreign government.
Registration of stateless Mae Ai people continues
Thai authorities have insisted that the minority group in
Mae Ai district would be treated fairly in the registration process towards
being granted Thai citizenship, but much will be depending on the legal
Sub Lt Sombat Chanjetsadakorn, the head of Protection and
Elimination on False Registration Documentation and Citizen ID Cards Office,
Bureau of Registration Administration, from the Local Administration
Department (LAD), said that the registration documents of Mai Ai
district’s residents were now undergoing further examination. Since this
problem has been ongoing for the past two years, the organizations concerned
would facilitate the documentation in compliance with the correct approval
The verification process being done at the Ministry of Interior would be
completed by the middle of December. The Minister of Interior Ministry has
the right to approve the presence of aliens in Thailand or grant Thai
citizenship to any minority group, say the provincial authorities.
More drug arrests in Chiang Mai
Jails raided, but the drug runners were already inside
A combined force of police and soldiers confiscated 52
bars of compressed heroin (18 kg) and over 200,000 methamphetamine tablets
during raids throughout the northern region.
It was part of the 60-day countdown against drugs as a
part of the celebrations for His Majesty the King on his birthday.
At the Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5 press the haul
of heroin and methamphetamine pills was mentioned, plus the capture of three
drug couriers identified as Wasan Sae Mee and Mrs. Armeema Laoyeepa, both
Lisu hill tribe natives, Wiroj I-Mang from Lamphun.
They confessed that the seized drugs belonged to the
prominent drug dealers from the Wa minority group and Kokang network. The
drugs were intended to be delivered to the major drug dealers in Nakhon Si
Thammarat province in the South of Thailand.
In addition, the combined force of the police, soldiers,
and defense volunteer forces with over 200 officers had raided Ban Kid Sam
Sib, in Mae Hong Son, hoping to apprehend Arsapah Laoyeepa who was on the
blacklist of the Drug Suppression task force unit in Mae Hong Son but he had
fled the scene before the team’s arrival.
They did not return empty-handed as they bagged seven
Burmese natives who were charged with possession of 5 gm of raw opium and
their opium cultivation was also destroyed.
At the same time, police in conjunction with the soldiers
from Pha Muang task force and the Correction Department officials launched a
search operation for drugs and illegal items in the Chiang Mai Central
Prison, 90 percent of whose inmates were convicted of drug charges, but
nothing illegal was found inside the prison.
A similar search and destroy operation was held at the
Lampang Correctional Institution which uncovered forbidden items such as
cutters and sharp metal. This operation was also deployed in the Lamphun
Prison but only a vegetable peeling knife and a modified fork were found.
The Phyao Provincial police along with the officers from
the 33rd Border Patrol Police or Phaya Ngam Muang task force searched the
Phayao Prison complete with drug sniffing dogs and explosive detectors but
nothing illegal and no drugs were found.
Alien workers pursued by BPP
Meanwhile, Thai farmers enjoying cheap laborers
The 337th Border Patrol Police (BPP) Unit has been
scouting around the countryside, looking to arrest those laborers who are
illegal immigrants in Thailand.
The alien laborers came to Mae Sariang District, Mae Hong
Son province, to be employed by villagers to help harvest their crops and
produce. The authorities swooped, catching 54 laborers, while they were
taking a rest in the field at the end of a hard day’s work.
The alien workers included men, women, and the aged. Some
of them admitted they had run away from the refugee camps and had been
employed as farm workers for over 1 month.
The investigation showed that all of the illegal
immigrants had escaped from the (very) temporary holding center at Mae
Kongka Sala, Mae Sariang district. Local farmers said that the refuges were
needed by the villagers because their wages were lower than Thai laborers,
and in addition they are industrious, and able to work hard in all kinds of
Drug courier gives up ya ba tablets, an M16, a motorcycle and his life
Another ‘extra judicial’ statistic
Pol Major General Kasem Rattanasunthorn, commander of
Chiang Mai Provincial Police announced an extra judicial killing in Wiang
Haeng district area, Chiang Mai.
The police commander said that Pol Sub Lieutenant Rangsit
Kaewchaiya and Wiang Haeng police set a checkpoint on Ban Jong-Ban Kae Noi
Road in the Wiang Haeng district, Chiang Mai. Noticing suspicious behaviour,
they stopped Charin Vongsathorn, on his motorcycle. After being ordered to
stop, he jumped off the motorcycle grabbing his gun to fight the police.
Defense was claimed by the police who then opened fire and the man was
killed at the scene.
After a thorough investigation, police found 114,000
tablets of compounded orange and green methamphetamines in 57 plastic bags,
an unregistered M16 assault weapon with ammunition, one grenade and one
Commander Kasem Rattanasunthorn estimated that now there were no more
than five million methamphetamine tablets hidden along border areas in Wiang
Haeng, Fang, Mae Ai, Chaiprakan and Chiang Dao border district areas, and
police would continue to locate and destroy them.
Chiang Mai looking at solving poverty and social problems
Government counting the numbers
Over 200 people from Tambon Huay Sai, San Kamphaeng
district, attended a community seminar organized by the Chiang Mai
Provincial Community Development Office.
Chaiyasit Hotrakit, the director-general of the Community
Development Department, said that the government had divided social and
poverty problems into seven main categories, such as agricultural and
farming land, the homeless, illegal occupations, supporting student
part-time work to make them self-sufficient, fraudulent practices, personal
debt, and housing for the poor.
At the seminar, Chaiyasit explained that the definition
of being “poor” covered all people who had an income lower than 20,000
baht per year. It is estimated that there were around 10 million people in
this situation around the country. Chiang Mai has been selected to launch
this survey and other provinces will become involved after December 6, 2003.