Teenage gang detonates bomb at public concert
Are teenage gangs taking over Chiang Mai?
On January 11, the final night of the
Chiang Mai Winter Fair and Red Cross Fair, there was an escalation of
teenage violence which ended with a bomb going off during a concert,
injuring five people.
Two young women and three men sustained shrapnel
Police Lieutenant Major Sampan Sirima, of Changpuak
police station reported receiving notification of the explosion at the
winter fair grounds at around 11.15 p.m.
The injured were admitted to the Nakornping Hospital and
Kasemrath hospitals nearby. All of the injured were teenagers.
Before the concert started, it was reported that the
police set up a checkpoint along the roads to the venue. Apparently, despite
some teenagers turning back, the perpetrators of the bomb outrage slipped
through the net.
Teenage violence is not restricted to the vocational
schools in Bangkok and solutions should be considered very carefully without
resorting to knee-jerk blanket restrictions.
in Chiang Mai City
Not related to Southern violence say police
A bomb was discovered by Kamnan Tosanguan while he was
watering his garden at a house located on Rakaeng Rd, Tambon Hai Ya, Muang
District, Chiang Mai. The principal ingredient was potassium chlorate with
an electric detonator. Police estimate that the bomb would have the capacity
to inflict damage over an effective radius of 15 meters.
According to Pol Major General Kasem Ratanasunthorn,
Chiang Mai’s police commander, the bomb most likely came from a teenage
gang. He added that the police traced and found five teenage suspects in
that area who they believe left the bomb in that location. This kind of
dynamite explosive device was also found last year at Mae Wang District.
He said there were still a few groups of teenage gangs
around Chiang Mai, but the police had strictly controlled them, especially
during the Winter and Red Cross fairs in Chiang Mai; however, brawls and
fighting have erupted among the gangs leading recently to one death. He
stated categorically that this situation was not similar to the violence in
The police commander also ordered all police officers to
be more vigilant during this period while Her Majesty the Queen was residing
in Chiang Mai.
Miss Chiang Mai 2004 goes to CMU
Masters Degree student wins coveted crown
Miss Chiang Mai beauty pageant coincided with Chiang
Mai’s Winter Fair, and this year the organizing committee aimed to revive
the value of the event. Dhospark Communication Agency, the organizers of
this pageant, called the event “Miss Chiang Mai, with Lanna Wisdom”.
Mai MP Yaowapa Wongsawas (left) presented the trophy to Miss Chiang Mai
2004, Wanchula Sornlum.
To follow this concept, the stage was designed in Lanna
style and the beauty contestants wore only Lanna dresses. However, to view
their figures the judging committee judged the contestants wearing their
30 young women entered the contest, and they all had to answer random
questions during the interview session to find the winner. Finally, after
the points were tallied, Miss Chiang Mai 2004 was Wanchula Sornlum.
Inventors’ Day in Northern Region
Eureka! I’ve found it!
Santad Rojanasoonthorn, chief executive officer of the
National Research Council of Thailand (NRC) presided over the opening
ceremony for Inventors Day, held for the first time in the northern region
at Chiang Mai University’s Convention Center.
of the more interesting inventions on display at the National Inventors’
Jirapan Atthajinda, NRC secretary said that February 2 of
each year is allotted to be Inventors Day, to commemorate the patents
registered by His Majesty the King for inventing the “Chaipattana
Aerator” used to treat polluted water. His Majesty King Bhumibol’s
invention can be seen now in use all over Thailand.
Rather than hold exhibitions on the same day, Inventors
Day in the North was organized from January 8-9. In the Northeastern Region
it will be on January 23-25, at Fifth Year Anniversary Multi Purposed
Convention Hall, Khon Kaen University.
Santad added that it is important Thai inventors in this millennium are
encouraged to create inventions for the world. Government policy is to
develop the technology in the Thai inventions through the National Research
Council of Thailand to bring Thai inventions to the eyes of the world and in
so doing provide new business opportunities.
Longan fruit problems must be solved
Sustainable development called for
Minister of Commerce Watana Muangsuk
called an urgent meeting of all parties involved in the longan issue,
including government units, businessmen, and local people as well as longan
growers. The concept was to provide a forum for the various groups to
highlight problem areas and afford some solutions.
The meeting was held at the Chiang Mai City Hall meeting
room to prepare for the coming longan season. The minister said problems
associated with longan production include processing work safety, chemical
and pesticide control and marketing management problems. Solutions need to
be found to allow sustainable development as a long term plan.
Minister Watana said that his department needs to compile
all the problems concerned and the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of
Agriculture and Cooperatives would coordinate to find the correct responses
to the longan problem.
Royal Project receives international award
Colombo Plan prize for opium eradication
The Royal Project has been selected from more than 300
organizations in 24 countries as being the most outstanding organization
successfully helping solve the problem of opium poppy growing. The prize was
accepted by Prof. Dr. Kampol Adulyawit, the advisor to the Royal Project.
Dr. Kampol Adulyawit, an advisor to the Royal Project, accepted the prize on
behalf of the Royal Project, at Colombo, Sri Lanka.
This project was a standout in the world in that it has
eradicated opium by positive means, through crop substitution, by
establishing agricultural research stations and plant production centers in
the highlands in Thailand.
The Colombo Plan was established in 1951, by cooperation
of seven countries, and aims to develop economic and social sectors in the
Asia-Pacific region. In 1972, the Drug Advisory Program (DAP) was
established to give consultation and advice on the drug problem by
supporting the U.S. government backed efforts to solve the drug problem in
The 30 year anniversary of DAP was held on December 21,
2003 at Colombo, Sri Lanka, and the award was presented at that time.
One million baht offered if you die from eating oranges
But do you have to apply in person?
Deputy Interior Minister Pramual Rujanaseri says that Sai
Nam Phueng oranges from Chiang Mai contain no toxic pesticides despite what
is being said by some groups. He said that he would pay a million baht to
anyone who died by consuming Sai Nam Phueng oranges.
The rumour doing the rounds in certain academic circles
was that Chiang Mai’s Sai Nam Phueng oranges were so dangerous for
consumers that they should be referred to Sai Nam Pit oranges (poisonous
orange), which would obviously affect its sales in the domestic and
To respond to the increasing demand for the fruit, it is
claimed that many orchard growers in Mae Ai, Fang and Chai Prakan districts
have been inappropriately using many chemical substances to produce a larger
and faster harvest.
After hearing of this, Deputy Interior Minister Pramual
urgently took action to investigate the innuendo. The result conducted by
Agricultural Development and Research Center Region 1, Agriculture
Department, showed that 10 orange brands sold in the markets had no toxic
chemicals outside accepted safe limits.
At the time of going to press, not one dead person had so
far stepped forward to claim the reward.
Chiang Mai’s food processors gathering data as well as produce
FTA’s may result in crop replacement programs
Chiang Mai food processing businessmen’s
group has set up a food database. This is in response to the Free Trade Area
(FTA) policies put forward by the central government.
Ong-art Kittikunchai, the president of the group revealed
that from October 2003 the export figures in trade to FTA countries have
increased and this is seen as good for the people who are in the fruit and
vegetable processing business.
However, the government plans to reduce the areas under
cultivation and support crop replacement plans. The Federation of Thai
Industries, Chiang Mai and neighboring provinces has set up another food
industrial group, including 35 companies, to help collect and provide more
data in the Chiang Mai area.
“By coordinating with the private sector to exchange
information, this can have marked effects on the macro economy,” Ong-art
Giant pandas boost Chiang Mai tourism
But left waiting for the bus?
Srirat and Chin Ratitamkul
The black and white furry creatures that are really just
a couple of cute animals are now considered as godsends when it comes to the
economy and tourism industry in the northern province of Chiang Mai.
lovely panda couple.
According to Transport Minister Suriya
Chuangrungruangkitch, the arrival of the panda couple in Chiang Mai has
increased visitor numbers five-fold. The pandas have also been good for Thai
Airways International, which has heavily publicized panda trips, and are now
scheduling extra flights to cope with extra demand.
However, Transport Minister Suriya said that the city still has some way
to go in its transformation into a regional aviation hub. He noted that city
bus operators have recently pointed that the absence of bus routes in the
city was a big problem. This matter would now be looked into as a matter of
urgency. Could the problem possibly be ‘red’?
Frost covers Doi Angkhang Mountain
3000 tourists experience a nip in the air
The public relations officers of the Royal Project
revealed that during the past New Year holidays, there were over 3,000
tourists per day visiting Doi Angkhang in Fang and Chai Prakan district
as seen at the Royal agriculture Chinese persimmon plantation on Doi
Most ascended the mountain to see the legendary views from the top of Doi
Angkhang during this cold season. However, many were not prepared for the
mercury’s plummet to 1 degree Celsius causing frost (known locally called
“mae ka ning”) that could be seen on the Royal Project’s produce.
Tourists were getting up before the sunrise to see the fields covered by the
Moto-X comes to Chiang Mai
But in the center of town?
The news photo shows the plot of land
being developed for a Moto-X circuit behind the Hillside 4 Condominium on
Huay Kaew Road in the heart of Chiang Mai City.
has been under construction, but protests from local residents has put a
temporary halt to this. However, if it goes ahead, the noise pollution will
annoy nearby residents as well as the city’s passers-by.
While it is important that the young people have places such as this to
work off some of their extra hormones, should this be in the center of town?
Chiangmai Mail will keep you informed of further developments.
Unregistered cars being hunted down
“We’re from the taxation department and we’re here to help you”
Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transport
Office indicates that there are 300,000 unregistered cars running around the
roads, whose owners owe around 900 million baht in unpaid taxes. Registered
vehicles number only 50,000, and owners of those coughed up 30 million baht
for the honor of sitting in traffic jams caused by the illegal 300,000.
To show that the Land Transport Office does have a heart,
they are giving all the defaulters up till February 25 to come in and
‘fess up, with the chance to then pay by installments.
Atsathai Rattanadirok na Phuket, the head of the office
said that his department has been on the lookout since September 1, 2003.
The owners of the unregistered cars had 180 days from that date to come
clean, and the cut-off will not be extended past February 25, 2004.
To make it even easier, the office has set up a mobile
unit for paying the tax, and on January 14, the mobile unit was expected to
move to San Patong district and on January 17 to Mae Wang district to serve
the people in those areas.
As a very special, once in a lifetime offer, owners who
have not paid tax for more than three years will have the debt capped at the
3 year level, but the payment needs to be done within the 180 day period of
When will they start on the 2 billion unregistered
motorcycles, I wonder?
Necessity is the mother of invention, goes the saying
This time the invention was the necessity for the mother!
Chakree Charoenchit, the inventor of the Life Innovation
“Physical Therapy Chair” received the inspiration from his mother.
Wanting to help his paralyzed mother he began working on the invention in
exercise chair is now available for purchase.
Chakree is a lawyer, but always liked to invent things;
so he got an idea to invent an exercise machine for his mother to make her
His first chair did not work, but he did not give up. The
next one was successful. Only six months after Chakree’s mother began
using the physical therapy chair, she recovered from the paralysis.
The physical therapy chair can be adjusted up to 180
degrees, and the body is made of fiberglass. Four wheels allow movement, but
they can be locked. Four massage spots on the back of the chair and four
massage spots for the buttock are set up to relax and stretch the
patient’s muscles. The chair is controlled electronically, and uses around
1 baht per hour of electricity.
Chakree has developed the design and look of the chair to be modern,
lightweight and long lasting, but his proudest achievement is that when
using it, his mother returned to normal. However, it should be noted that
this invention has not been examined by any medical institute or medical
organization to confirm the claims being made about it.
Waste-to-Energy incinerators dangerous says Greenpeace
Carcinogens released to the atmosphere claimed
The environmental group Greenpeace has warned the general
public in Chiang Mai about the reputed dangers of waste-to-energy
incinerators currently being proposed by Ministry of Energy.
Buakamsri, toxics campaigner for Greenpeace South East Asia, calls for other
ways to avert a garbage crisis.
The government is planning to construct garbage-burning
power plants in the provinces of Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Nakhon Ratchasima, and
Rayong. The plan was expected to be submitted to the Cabinet for approval on
January 13 this year.
Chiang Mai previously opposed and successfully stopped
the construction of a similar incinerator in Hang Dong district in 1995.
Tara Buakamsri, toxics campaigner for Greenpeace
Southeast Asia claims, “These waste-to-energy and integrated waste
management systems are fancy names for incinerators. If the correct decision
is going to be made, the government must learn from the past experience in
Hang Dong and implement zero waste initiatives instead of trying to justify
inefficient technologies and waste our resources.”
He pointed out that contrary to claims by the Energy
Ministry that the incinerator in Phuket is successful, Greenpeace claims
there is no success story of garbage burning power plants in Thailand.
A study of the incinerator in Phuket by the United
Nations Environment Program and Germany Technical Cooperation (GTZ) in 2001
showed an increase in environmental and public health threats. The study
indicated that the Phuket incinerator releases a large amount of the toxic
chemical Dioxin, which is known to be carcinogenic, says Greenpeace.
“These projects will not help us clear a path for
sustainable waste management policy. They are prohibitively expensive to
build. Even with supposedly state of the art facilities, an incinerator’s
toxic emission cannot be controlled completely. Those living in the Chiang
Mai-Lamphun basin must be concerned about living under a toxic cloud, if
this plan materializes,” said Chainarong Setthachua, director of Southeast
Asia River Network (SEARIN).
Greenpeace has been campaigning against waste
incinerators in Thailand since 1999 and successfully stopped a Japan Bank
International Cooperation (JBIC) loan package from financing a waste
incineration project in On Nut, in Bangkok last year.
Greenpeace urges the government to instead of creating
dirty energy from waste, it should implement environmentally acceptable
waste management strategies and support zero waste initiatives to make local
A new source for electric power
Three bright sparks design Jumpin’ Jack Flash
Most sources of energy are non-renewable, such as coal,
wood and oil. As a result much research has been done into new energy
sources. A group of students from Rangsit University began by questioning
themselves, “Why don’t we produce our own energy?”
inventing team: Wichai (left), Wikran (middle) and Chalum (right) with their
Wichai, Chalum, and Wikran, university students from
Faculty of Art at Rangsit University, came up with the sparkling idea of a
new energy resource from shoes, calling it “Energize Step”.
The three students worked on an idea to produce energy by
putting the specific equipment in the heel of shoes and harnessing the
energy produced by walking. In this case, the specific equipment in the heel
will transform the energy to keep in a battery which can be used to power a
radio, walkman, mini disc, or electronic toys.
The process from the end-user point of view is quite
easy. Just put on the shoes and then walk. More steps will produce more
The three inventors have been walking on this invention
since 2002 and released it for scrutiny for the first time last year.
It’s not perfect yet, admit the trio, but they are hoping for funds
from a government organization to support their project and allow further
Thai-Burmese cooperation needed to help eradicate drugs
Mekong basin countries and India need to join the fight
Thai-Burma cooperation plus other neighboring countries
located along the Mekong river basin must combine to destroy the drug trade.
Pitaya Jinawat, the director of Northern Regional Office of Narcotics
Control Board (ONCB) said that the Thai-Burma cooperation to suppress drugs
along the borders during the past six months was very productive in many
dimensions, with good information exchange and operational suppression.
A survey conducted along the Mekong river basin of
Thailand, Burma, China, and Laos including India, is needed to help control
the chemical substances used for production of drugs before delivery to the
refineries located in Burma.
The director added that the Third Army Region has asked
for further cooperation from the Royal Thai Army to help support the
high-risk villages along the Thai-Burma border that have been involved in
the drug trade as smugglers or drug throughways.
Burmese gang charged with counterfeiting visa stamps
Illegal immigrants give police the tip-off
Three Burmese students from an international school in
Bangkok were arrested on charges of using counterfeit immigration stamps,
while another 12 Burmese were arrested as being illegal aliens who were
waiting for their immigration visa stamps.
During the raid, they said they were waiting for their
agents to return with their passports and entry visas. These were to cost
them between 5,000-9,000 Thai baht.
After receiving this information, the authorities and
officials swooped on the Mae Sai Inn Hotel and found the three Burmese
agents, Nyi Tun Win, 26, Thet Aung Latt, 24, and Mong La Sae, 30.
The 20 government officers led by Colonel Sangob
Sunuadorn, Mae Sai immigration commander, found equipment including an
arrival immigration stamp, a departure immigration stamp, a Thai consulate
in Rangoon stamp, a Thai consulate Garuda stamp, and a visa extension stamp.
Officials said that the Burmese counterfeiters contacted
Burmese immigrants wishing to work in Bangkok, arranged fake passports and
visas and then took them to Bangkok.
Nyi Tun Win and Thet Aung Latt, who are both studying at
an international school in Bangkok, are claiming that they are innocent, but
police are not impressed and have charged them.
According to Lieutenant General Charnwut Vatcharapuk,
Immigration Commander, AMLO (Anti Money Laundering Office) they could
sequester the property of people who earn their living by human trafficking.
Police and military personnel advised to be alert in the North
The North needs more lerts
Pol. Lt. Gen. Chalor Chuwong, the commissioner of
Provincial Bureau, Region 5 said that following the violence that had
erupted in southern Thailand, he had ordered the police under his
supervision in every area, especially at tourist attractions and consulates
to be particularly vigilant.
The government units concerned have been asked to
coordinate and exchange information and news to the people in the area.
“If there is something suspected or unusual, residents have to inform the
police immediately so they can protect them,” he said.
Maj. Gen. Manas Paorik, the commander of Pha Muang Task
Force also added that up to now he has not received any information
regarding terrorism threats in the North, but has to prepare preventive
measures and strategies in case of all eventualities. However, he believed
that the terrorism links or violence in form of similar attacks would not
happen in the northern region.
Alcohol impaired rider involved in multiple accident
Pillion passenger severely injured
A severe accident occurred on Klong Chollapratharn
(Irrigation) Road near Chiang Mai Phucome Hotel. A car driven by
Phitchayaphorn Saengpuwong, 21, was involved in a collision with a
motorcycle ridden by Vanakorn Kaewboonpong, 25, that was also carrying a
Mazda 626 was severely damaged following a collision with a motorcycle and a
When the two collided, the driver of the car swerved and
ended up hitting a parked car.
The pillion passenger on the motorcycle was seriously
injured and was admitted to the nearby Maharaj Nakhon Chiang Mai Hospital;
however, the rider escaped with only minor injuries. Whether the pillion
passenger was wearing a helmet was not recorded.
Police Captain Withaya Winyangyong from Phuping police
station said that from the blood alcohol examination of all people involved,
he found that Vanakorn, the motorcycle rider, had a level of 150 milligrams
per milliliter, which is higher than the accepted limit in Thailand. He
admitted that he had just come from a party.
Vanakorn was charged with reckless driving and being
drunk whilst in charge of a motorcycle.
Police Captain Withaya said further investigation would
be done after Vanakorn had sobered up.