Two major drug dealers killed carrying 800,000 ya ba pills
More extra-judicial killings? Both on police blacklist
Mai and Natchawi Srirat
Hang Dong police report the extra-judicial killing of two
major drugs suspects, while seizing 800,000 amphetamine tablets in Chiang
Mai’s Hang Dong district.
Sombat Puang-ngern, 40 years old, together with Tee, his
Chinese aide, were killed in the early hours of December 16 by the drug
suppression police, during a drug bust about kilometer 32 on the Chiang
Mai-Samoeng Road, in Tambon Ban Pong, Hang Dong district Chiang Mai
province. Sombat and Tee were on the police blacklist of major drug dealers,
and had been followed by undercover police.
Assistant Police Chief of the National Police Bureau,
Pol. Lt. Gen Priaophan Damaphong led the investigation and his police
inspected the crime scene, where they found a pick up truck and the bodies
of the two suspects
Both bodies were still holding 9 mm handguns, with both
men dying from gunshot wounds. Inspection of the pickup truck driven by the
suspects revealed a travel bag which contained 800,000 ya ba pills, hidden
underneath the back seat. Assistant Police Chief Pol. Lt. Gen. Priaophan
said that the ya ba pills found were still fresh, apparently just produced
and smuggled over the border.
He also added that some of the drug barons have returned
to the drug trade, but police already are keeping a close eye on them. “If
they return to drug smuggling, we will suppress them immediately. At this
time, all drug dealers are much more careful. Some of them are putting
government organization stickers on their vehicles to try to avoid police
interception and check point inspections. The police still have to follow up
suspects who are still at large and on the blacklists,” he added.
60 day arms amnesty yields over 3,000 weapons
Grenades and rocket launchers also handed in
Police Colonel Tarin Chantratip, the deputy commander of
the Chiang Mai Provincial Police Division, revealed that eight categories of
arms and weapons were handed in during the 60 day amnesty period. The
weapons were on display at the police division during a press conference
earlier this week.
surrendered to the Chiang Mai police.
The government has cracked down on firearms licensing as
part of the suppression of dark influences, and a 60 day amnesty was granted
from October 17- December 15, 2003. After the deadline, prosecutions will
take place against anyone holding unlicensed weapons.
Chiang Mai Provincial Police Division presented the
results of the amnesty which included 141 pistols, 3,329 rifles, 15 rocket
launchers, 2,292 bullets, 26 grenades, 104 tubes of explosive devices and
Pol Col Tarin said at the press conference that the inspection committee
would continue to enforce gun laws, and would give the seized weapons to the
Welcome in the New Year with the PM
Thaksin Shinawatra to begin another ‘countdown’
The countdown to 2004 in Chiang Mai will be celebrated in
grand style this year at the 700 Year Anniversary Sports Complex, at a party
presided over by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Apiwat Wattanangkul, of JSL Co., expounding on the attractions of the party.
“Happiness belongs to all Thais, happiness occurs
everywhere in the Kingdom of Thailand, if there is love and understanding
between one another. All Thais have the right to be happy, no matter where
they are,” says the slogan which the organizer JSL Co. has issued for this
The celebrations will start on 31 December at 12 noon,
and will last until 1.30 a.m. on New Year’s day. The motto for the party
is “2004 - The Power of Love”, with the host being PM Thaksin
Shinawatra, a Chiang Mai born boy back in his hometown for New Year.
The party’s main activities will be divided into three
parts; the first is “Star 2004 Singing and Dancing contest”, the second
is the activities from the sponsors’ booths outside the stadium, with the
finale being the actual Countdown to 2004 in the main stadium. Many actors
and actresses from Channel 7 TV will join in the fancy parades.
Many interesting and performances will be shown during
the day and at night. The highlight of the performances will be a Mini
Concert called “The Power of Love” by the famous singing duo Nicole
Theriault and Jirasak Panpoom
Dr. Apiwat Wattanangkul of JSL, the organizers said,
“This year, we will make a grand party for all Chiang Mai people to
celebrate New Year with PM Thaksin Shinawatra; everyone will be amazed. We
chose 700 Year Anniversary sports complex because we need more space for the
grand party, and we want to make it bigger and better than all the other
Main sponsors of the event are the Chiang Mai Provincial Authorities,
Channel 7 TV, JSL Co., Isuzu, AIS, Singha Beer, Thai Airways International,
the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Mass Communication Organization of
Thailand, and the Chiang Mai people themselves.
Pesticides under review again
Biological controls favoured by Royal Projects
An International Symposium on Uses and Effects of
Pesticides in Southeast Asia: Ecological, Biomedical and Economic was held
during December 11-13. Dr. Santhad Rojanasoonthorn, Chairman of the
Organizing committee, said that the harmful effects following the use of
pesticides was a very important issue for Thailand as well as for the SE
Santhad Rojanasoonthorn, Chairman of the Organizing Committee.a
The major concerns are the improper use of pesticides and
the harmful residues, which remain in the agricultural products, water and
soil. Farmers need the knowledge and understanding of pest management as an
essential issue in the food production system.
The symposium, to commemorate the 72nd birthday
anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, had four objectives. Firstly to
assemble an international group of experts to develop an integrated,
interdisciplinary ecological approach; an overview of the uses of pesticides
and their environmental, socio-economic and biomedical implications; to make
recommendations for the policies or practices to reduce the harmful effects
and optimize benefits of pesticide use; and to publish a special issue of an
appropriate international peer-reviewed journal in both English and Thai.
Santhad gave a flower to HSH. Prince Bhisadej Rajani.
HSH Prince Bhisadej Rajani, the chairman of Royal Project
Foundation who presided over the symposium, said in his opening address that
today, the word “food safety” is increasingly important. Training and
research related to pesticides and their appropriate and safe use has been
commonly practiced in areas under the Royal Project supervision.
The Royal Project also promotes alternative methods such as biological
control of pests and diseases, and by promoting organic farming. HSH Prince
Bhisadej said that the integrated views and experiences from this meeting
could be used in optimizing the use of pesticides in this region.
Dredge the Mekong called for by Quadrangle groups
Thailand unhappy with Chinese 13 percent VAT
Northern investors have suggested to the government to
revive the plan to dredge the Mekong River rapids, after a Chinese ship got
stuck in the shallows.
450 delegates from Bangladesh, Burma, China and Laos as
well as 10 northern Chambers of Commerce attended a Quadrangle Economic
Cooperation forum at The Empress Hotel last week, to discuss further steps
in the Quadrangle cooperation, presided over by former minister Korn
Rachan Veeraphan, committee chairman of the 10 Northern
Chambers of Commerce, said that the Mekong River dredging needed urgent
attention, as it caused a number of problems for Thai Export traders.
The Thai side also suggested that China should reconsider the 13 percent
value added tax that China charges over Thai agricultural products, along
with an unfair pesticide clause for Thai fruits and vegetables.
GMS cooperation still not fully implemented
Visas, transportation fees, legal requirements and language problems
The trade and transportation connections along the Mekong
River were the main points of discussion among the member countries of the
Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) at the workshop held in Chiang Mai in
Wirawan Tanratanakul, National Economic and Social Development Board,
Northern Region, the moderator at the workshop.
During the past years, many proposals have been thrashed
out and passed by the GMS members aiming to develop these countries.
At this joint meeting, four main areas were highlighted,
according to Ms. Wirawan Tanratanakul of the National Economic and Social
Development Board (NSDB), Northern Region. The first is the Visa on Arrival
- Thais who want to go to China, currently face problems at the immigration
check-points, as the Chinese will not allow them into China without already
having a visa. This in direct contrast to the joint agreements between the
Chinese and Thai governments that any Thai tourists or businessmen can go to
China and be granted a Visa on Arrival. “But these problems are still in
existence because of a lack of communication between the Chinese Government
and immigration officers,” she said. Wirawan added that this particular
problem needed to be solved urgently, as it severely affected trade and
tourism relations between the two countries.
It has also been found that there are very high expenses
for shipping procedures from China to Thailand. Chinese cargo ships need to
pay double fees, to transport cargo from China to Thailand, causing high
operating expenses. This appears to stem from problems coming through Laos
It was also proposed that member countries have the same
standard of roads, traffic signs, and accept international driver licenses,
even an international license plate and insurance, with all these points
needing to be cleared up before the road corridor construction is completed.
A number of other countries will join the GMS, including Vietnam, Bangladesh
and Cambodia. There are plants to link all the countries with a road system
expected to be completed by 2007.
The final point was that of the language barriers, it being obvious that
inter-member trade and transportation will need a common language to be able
to function efficiently. (Perhaps now is the time to implement English as
the lingua franca? You can post your Chiangmai Mail abroad.)
Chiang Mai Pattana group
to contest mayoral elections
Garbage, floods and social problems platform
Dr. Niwat Tantiyanusorn, the head of Chiang Mai Pattana
(Development) Group and mayoral aspirant, said that he had found that there
were a number of issues that needed to be solved urgently such as garbage
management, flood control, and social problems. Although many problems had
been addressed, many solutions had not been found, or were not successful.
Chiang Mai Pattana Group wishes to introduce themselves
to Chiang Mai people as candidates for the upcoming election, divided into a
consultancy and an administrative side. The four people entering the
administrative race are Dr. Niwat Tantiyanusorn, Dr. Anusorn Kunanusorn, Dr.
Ketthai Lagapim and Dr. Wichai Wongchai. The consultancy side consists of
many skilled and extensively experienced persons. Tasks would be properly
analyzed, and solved in the right direction, they claim.
Dr Niwat said that this election for the Chiang Mai Mayor
breaks away from history for the local administration system, as residents
can now vote for the mayor directly.
Nirun Kamsemanan, director of the Chiang Mai Provincial
Election Commission, said elections for the Mayor of Chiang Mai municipality
and for the President of the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration (PAO) will
take place early 2004.
The current Chiang Mai Municipality Council will be on
duty until December 24, 2003. Elections will have to be done within 45 days
thereafter, and a likely date will be February 1, 2004. As for the Chiang
Mai PAO, the current administration team will leave office on February 4,
and again, after 45 days, elections are expected to be held mid March 2004.
For campaigning purposes, Chiang Mai Municipality has set
aside a budget of 1.1 million baht, which will be used for seminars, flyers,
signs, posters, billboards, and for additional publicity.
The election commission director added that there his
commission will ensure that there are no violations of the election law by
candidates, sponsors and even by the public.
Expat businessman donates 1 million baht to Chiang Rai Police Station
Thanawan Chumsaeng, PRD, Chiang Mai
Capt. Charles Arthur Joseph Wonder, owner of a shipping
business who has lived in Thailand for many years, and is married to a Thai
woman, gave one million baht to the Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5, to
help build an information center, and establish an information network, and
to buy new equipment to develop information technology for the Chiang Rai
Police Major General, Warasith Pornlert, Deputy Commander of Provincial
Police Bureau, Region 5 was detailed to receive this very generous money
donation, and said that the money would be used by the Chiang Rai Provincial
Police to help develop an effective security, intelligence and suppression
Chiang Mai State Railway not affected by cheap air fares
It has always made a loss!
After two weeks of Orient Thai’s special promotion
flights of 999 baht from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, Chiang Mai Railway Station
said there was no negative effects for them.
Suphanpayak, Head of Chiang Mai Railway Station, is struggling to finding a
way to prop up the railway business.
He explained that he could not reduce his ticket prices
to fight the low cost airline, because the railway business had been in s
loss and debt situation for many years, without any apparent way to reverse
Chiang Mai Railway Station was prepared to buy new bogies
and locomotives to upgrade the quality of its services as well as to reduce
the problem of time delays, but Suthep Suphanpayak, Head of Chiang Mai
Railway Station, said that he is waiting for the approval from the State
Railway of Thailand, needing a budget of 20-30 million baht. He stated that
a new locomotive would cut two hours of travel time to Bangkok, reducing it
to 11. However, when air travel takes one hour, he is probably flogging a
very dead equine.
The facelift for Chiang Mai Railway Station is expected to be completed
at the end of this month. This project includes a larger car park, an air
conditioned food center, souvenir shops, advanced ticket reservations and an
Unique Akha style New Year celebration
Visitors and overnighters welcome
“Look Khang”, the Akha hilltribe traditional New Year
celebration, will be held early next month, and local organizers hope to
welcome visitors and tourists from the low and flat lands.
Suthat Luangmool, chairman of Mae Fah Luang Culture
District Council, says that the unique new year celebration takes place
annually on January 2, and has been held for more than 100 years.
Preserving this tradition, the leaders of the Thai Akha
hill tribes of the Doi Tung Development Project, the Mae Fah Lang Culture
District Council, and the Akha hill tribes people in Chiang Rai, will
jointly organize the traditional New Year, starting at 10 a.m. at Samakee
Kao Village, Tambon Mae Fah Luang, Mae Fah Luang district, Chiang Rai
On the day, the activities will bring Akha hill tribesmen
and women from 17 villages under the Doi Tung Development Project, to join
in celebrating their new year and Akha hill tribes shows, demonstrations of
picking up bamboo worms, and other forest products will be on show.
Interested people who want to stay overnight in the village can receive
more information from Peerasak Yoolue, the village headman of Ban Samakee
Kao, telephone 06-1890880 or 05-03572440.
Franchise B2B Thailand Road Show at Chiang Mai
274 franchise opportunities on disply
The Department of Business Development, Ministry of
Commerce, hosted a “Franchise B2B Road Show 2003”, to introduce Thai
Franchises and make people understand this type of business.
Chiang Mai Governor, Thongchai Wongrianthong opening the Franchise B2B
Thailand Road show, with (L) Peerapong Kitiveshpokawat, FSA Secretary
More than one thousand people attended the road show,
eager to learn terms and policies of 50 franchisers, and to find out the
most suitable one for them.
Peerapong Kitivethpokawat, Secretary-general of Franchise
and Thai SMEs Business Association (FSA), said that there were about 274
franchisers, with 200 of them Thai, and the rest international.
“I think there is a bright future for people who are
interested in having a franchise, as we can see strong growth in this area
during the past three years, and we expect a further increase of about 30
percent within the next five years,” he said.
The franchise system and the image of franchisers seemed
to be the main obstacles blocking a successful and full implementation of
this business, which needs to be solved immediately. The FSA
Secretary-general commented that the franchisers should not treat themselves
as a cooking school, but they needed to focus on how to develop their
products to make a process easier and more convenient.
FSA had been preparing to export some Thai Franchises
such as Neo Suki and Black Canyon to America and countries in South East
For those interested, Peerapong said they should be aware
that there is no free lunch in this world, so if some franchisers offer
special privileges by cutting out royalty fees, it is better to stay away.
Another clue to long term profitability was that the franchisees should
look at franchisers’ capacity and willingness to make their product
successful and well-known in the market place, not to only increase their
More Consulates wanted for Chiang Mai
Visa problems slowing tourism being claimed
To make Chiang Mai a real aviation hub, there is an
urgent demand to open more consulates to reduce visa processing times. This
problem was highlighted in a group discussion looking at how to develop the
tourism industry between neighboring countries in the Greater Mekong
Sub-Region (GMS). Other items mentioned included ineffective tour guides,
and a shortage of information center staff for tourists.
In Chiang Mai there are only four consulates - China,
India, Japan and America - capable of issuing visas for local residents and
foreign tourists, which was considered not to be enough, particularly if
Chiang Mai wanted to be a leader in the GMS.
Somrith Haikhum, President of the Chiang Mai Guide
Association, said that more and more tourists were changing their
destination from Thailand to Vietnam and Cambodia, making Thailand only the
third choice in this region.
“If we would like to rebuild our reputation, we need to
change our standpoint, becoming the first or last stop for tourists wishing
to visit Cambodia and Vietnam. Chiang Mai has a high potential international
airport that can serve many wide-bodied aircraft so visa processing needs to
be more convenient,” he explained.
Two representatives from Burma and Laos both agreed that
they would like to open consulates, but they still lacked effective
officials and staff to do this.
“Laos cannot open a new consulate in Chiang Mai right
now, but tourists wanting to go to Laos can get a Visa on Arrival at an
immigration office after paying a $30 visa fee. Also, we might have to
consider giving a “plus” to tourists who would like to travel deeper
into other districts in Laos,” the President of the Lao Tourism Authority
Improvinging the standard of tour guides is another
problem, and both Burma and Laos requested Thailand to help them train their
staff by exchange or joint workshops.
The most beautiful girl in the North is well-rounded
Well, that’s what the Public Relations Department says!
Chiang Mai is looking for the most beautiful girl in the
North when it hosts the Miss Chiang Mai beauty contest. The contest will
bring the beauties out looking for a chance to win 100,000 baht in cash, a
diamond crown, a golden hairpin, a robe, a trophy, and more.
Wichien Noonrod, head of Chiang Mai Provincial Public
Relation Office (PRD), said that during the provincial Winter Fair and Red
Cross Fair 2004, to be held from December 30, 2003 to January 11, 2004, a
Miss Chiang Mai 2004 beauty contest will take place.
He added that interested young women need to be Thai
Nationals and be able to speak a Northern native language, be aged between
17-25 years old, a minimum of 163 centimeters tall, and have completed at
least a 12th grade education.
The first round of the contest will be held on January 8,
2004 from 7.30 p.m. at Imperial Mae Ping Hotel, and the final round will be
held on January 10, 2004 on stage at the Winter Fair.
If you think you fit the description, then you should contact Tosapak,
the promoters. The PRD hand-out said “All well-rounded contestants from
now on until January 6 can contact Tosapak Co., Ltd., Imperial Mae Ping
Hotel and Chiang Mai City Hall.” For more information contact 02-6702525.
Chiang Mai Winter and Provincial Red Cross Fair 2004
Chiang Mai Provincial Authorities will
hold the Fair during December 30 2003 - January 11, 2004 at the grounds
behind the City Hall.
One of the highlights will be another Miss Chiang Mai
Beauty Contest. The stage will be decorated in Lanna style with the theme
for the pageant being “Chiang Mai Beauties with Lanna in their Hearts”.
Chiang Mai has invited well known entertainers Kala,
Clash, Taxi, Micro, Pamela and others to entertain the fair goers. There
will also be many OTOP products on display and sale from every district.
Government organizations and private sectors will also
present small exhibitions, showing just what they have done this year and
have been joined by the National Science Museum. The Ministry of Justice
will hold “Justice Meets People” to provide knowledge on the law for
Chiang Mai province will have to deal with a number of
problems, such as traffic jams, limited parking, and dust. The provincial
authorities will expand parking areas and design suitable access to get to
the fair. As far as the dust problems, water will be sprayed day and night,
say the organizers.
Mae Hong Son province plans to reopen its district airport
However most will be for light planes
PRD, Mae Hong Son
Supot Laowanasiri, Mae Hong Son governor, said that they
have a plan to renovate and re-open the old airports in Pai, Khun Yuam, and
Mae Sariang districts early next year.
The airports were built and used during World War II, but
only Mae Hong Son is being currently used. The three existing district
airports could only support small aircraft.
Governor Supot said the reopening of these three district
airports was aimed to increase the number of tourists to Mae Hong Son.
This would not require a high budget he said, The plan is
to develop Pai airport first, producing a greater tourism potential for the
towns in Mae Hong Son. Last year foreign tourists had exchanged 14 million
baht in foreign currency.
As a trial run, 30 small aircraft landed at Pai airport
as part of an aeronautical rally.
Reunion Day Sunday, December 21,
at Wat Suan Dok
Juvenile problems acknowledged
At 9.30 a.m., Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat will be
graciously presiding over the opening ceremony of Reunion Day, which Chiang
Mai YMCA Association will host together with children and juveniles
organizations network for Chiang Mai area.
At present, there are many child and juvenile problems in
Chiang Mai area, and the numbers of these social problems are increasing,
being seen in aggression, crime, prostitution and drug related problems.
These problems are thought to be the result of social
changes amongst family, school, and friends, influencing children’s
behavior and attitudes. To counter these problems, the children and juvenile
organizations network will hold activities to give them the opportunity to
be more confident and push them to realize their own innate potential.
Some of the objectives of the day are to teach child
rights, to help and stimulate children who are at risk, and show them how to
develop themselves in the current society, to create awareness of the
current social problems and their effects.
Chiang Mai people join the “Waen Kaew” spectacles project.
Better vision for poorer people
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT)
together with UBC and Major Cineplex Group organized the Waen Kaew glasses
Project, which commenced in April this year in Bangkok, and ended in Chiang
Mai on December 12, when the closing ceremony was held at Chiang Mai
University’s Convention Center. Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat
presided over the festivities.
Thanatsri Sawasdhiwas, honorary advisor to the project, presenting his views
on the project.
40,000 spectacles and more than 7 million baht were
donated to give impoverished people an opportunity to see the world more
According to the Metta Pracharak Hospital (Wat Rai
Khing), poor vision is one of the main problems in the country’s
development. Therefore, a glasses bank was established in 1994, asking for
donations of glasses, for people who had problem with their eyesight,
especially in rural areas.
Joonlapongsatorn, Deputy Governor of EGAT’s Human Resource and
Administration; Dr. Kanthima Kulchorn na Ayuthaya, the Director of Agencies
Communication Department of UBC Company Group; Anawach Ongwasith, Senior
Director of Marketing Department Major Cineplex Group, the sponsor for the
project and Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat as the representative from
Chiang Mai giving all the donated glasses to Dr. Pongpan Wongmanee, the
Director of Metta Pracharak Hospital (Wat Rai Khing).
Having learned of this project, HRH Princess Maha Chakri
Sirindhorn established the fund. Although more donations poured in
subsequently, the economic crisis took its toll, causing the project to be
put on hold.
On the occasion of the Princess’s 48th birthday this
year, EGAT and the glasses bank together with UBC and Major Cineplex
organized the “Waen Kaew Project”, to celebrate this special occasion
and as a way to fulfill the Princess’s intentions.
“Waen Kaew” project will still continue to help people in rural areas
have spectacles and better eye sight, by donating glasses and providing
Taiwan eases work permits for Thai workers
But will Thailand reciprocate?
The Taiwanese government has opened up Taiwan for Thai
workers by granting a work permit for any individual wishing to work in
Orachorn Rattanamanee, head of Chiang Mai Employment
Service Office, said that Thai and Taiwanese governments have agreed after
the 8th committee summit between Thailand and Taiwan that they would both
publicize the opportunity of direct employment.
This agreement would assist workers who had already
completed their contracts and wished to continue working in Taiwan, to run
the visa process themselves, without going through an employment agency.
The government has encouraged Thai workers to do their
best to please their Taiwanese employers so that when their contracts
completed, Taiwanese employers can extend their contracts immediately,
without going through an employment agency and thus reducing costs.
Those who are considering going back having been offered
direct employment should contact the Labor Department to issue a bank
guarantee and a reference first, before processing the visa, and should not
forget to bring all the documents required to apply for residency.
For more information, contact Chiang Mai Employment
Service Office, 1st Floor, Administrative Building, Chiang Mai City Hall at
053-222865-5 ext. 17-19, during working hours.
Traffic jams on Doi Inthanon during the long weekend
Bring your woollies says Inthanon National Park
PRD, Chiang Mai
A flood of travelers visiting Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s
highest mountain, during the long weekend resulted in kilometers-long
As well as all car parks being filled to capacity, the
pine garden area and the field in front of the administration office were
invaded by travelers’ tents, even though this was against all regulations.
Surachai Tuamsomboon, Head of Inthanon National Park,
said that all the Park’s accommodation had been reserved until next year,
but that they would prepare tents for travelers wishing to stay for a night
(but not in the pine garden or the field). The charge would range between
300-800 baht per tent.
Inthanon National Park has also prepared a New Year
festive season countdown party, featuring hill tribe traditions. Warning
signs have been place to alert visitors to bring warm clothes.