NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chicken culling continues to make Chiang Mai free from bird flu

Boonlert Buranupakorn wins mayoral election in a landslide

Elephants provide a different wedding for the adventurous

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn opens Mae Fa Luang University

FYI SME’s to get IPC websites

HM Queen Beatrice of the Netherlands pays Royal visit to Chiang Rai

Chulalongkorn Uni and Mae Hong Son looking at Burma

DEP backs local Thai exporters road shows

Chiang Mai’s safari night zoo planning to open next year

Spreading peace through science and commerce in developing countries

Students learn low budget moviemaking at Digital Moviemaking Workshop

Chiang Mai-Fang-Mae Chan highway to be four-lane road

Vehicle tax to support public transportation in Chiang Mai

Phayao teachers to be given road safety training

BoI courting overseas investors

Chiang Mai Street watch

Garbage-fuelled electric generators to be introduced

Chiang Rai Police to enforce road rules

Chiang Rai Police apprehend three hill tribe drug traffickers

Poverty registrations top 3 million

Bird flu and kamnan appointments main topics on talk-back radio

Chicken culling continues to make Chiang Mai free from bird flu

The “Great Chicken Massacre of 2004” continues

Many northern provinces have been forced to destroy thousands of chickens infected with the bird flu virus, but Chiang Mai province was expected be officially declared as free of bird flu free zone during this past week.

Selling “gai yang”, or barbecued chicken, is no longer as lucrative as it was just one month ago. This woman said she normally sells 50-60 kilograms of chicken per day, making about 3,000 baht, but this has dropped off considerably, despite medical and government officials saying that it is safe to eat chicken and poultry products.

In Lamphun alone, nearly 350,000 chickens have been put to death and buried in the nationwide attempt to rid the area of Avian Flu.

Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat said this province has proceeded to control the epidemic bird flu since January 29. The next step to recovery would be a promotional campaign launched to reassure people cooked chicken is safe to eat. On Saturday, February 7, a menu with prepared chicken was offered at the Thapae gate grounds.

The Poultry Epidemic Disease Coordination Center reported that in Chiang Mai they found infected chickens in three districts, 18 Tambons and 135 villages. In that area, over 140,000 chickens and 21,124 other poultry were destroyed.

In Chiang Rai, Sakchai Sriboonsue, the deputy director-general of the Livestock Department inspected the Boonsri chicken farms in Ban Daodueng, Tambon Mae Kaotom, to observe the cull and burial of over 20,000 chickens, and another 85,000 in the surrounding 5 kilometers radius.

The government also ordered officials to destroy the remaining 55,000 chickens in Tambon Nanglae, Tambon Mae Kaotom, Tambon Ban Du, and Tambon Thasud.

Vithaya Jintanawat, head of the Chiang Rai Provincial Livestock Office, said people within a radius of 5 kilometers of the epidemic areas could not move or hide infected chickens. If they were found guilty of this it would result in one year’s jail and a 20,000 baht fine.

In Lamphun, Thawat Sathieranam, the Lamphun governor, announced epidemic control areas have been declared for two points: at Tambon Makok, Pasang district, in a total of 80 villages and at Tambon Wieng Nongrong, where Governor Thawat has ordered a halt to the movement of chickens in a 50 kilometers radius.


Boonlert Buranupakorn wins mayoral election in a landslide

Chiang Mai Khunatham takes all 24 municipal seats

Phitsanu Thepthong

Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn earned a landslide victory in the local elections last week and was returned to office for a second four-year term.

Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn won the mayoral elections last week and will return to office for a second four-year term.

The Chiang Mai provincial election commissioners announced the results, showing that Boonlert received 33,658 votes. The nearest of the other four candidates was Dr Niwat Tantayanusorn with only 7,843 votes.

This was the first direct election of the Chiang Mai Municipality mayor and for the 24-seat city council. The Chiang Mai Khunatham group routed the opposition, winning all 24 seats in all four election districts, Nakhornping, Kawila, Mengrai, and Sri Vichai areas.

Despite publicity and electioneering and calls to meet their civic responsibilities, half the electors stayed away from the polls, with just over 50 percent turning out to record their preferences.

The director of the Chiang Mai provincial election commission indicated that his commission found no cases of electoral violations in Chiang Mai. However, there was one occurrence in Wiang Fang municipality, in Fang district, which is under review.

This election was the first opportunity for Chiang Mai residents to vote directly for their representatives, being part of the new decentralized system giving power to the local administration. This is in direct opposition to the proposed kamnan appointment system, which many say is taking away the voice of the people.


Elephants provide a different wedding for the adventurous

Is that really the size of your trunk?

The National Elephant Institute is again offering young lovers the chance of having their wedding ceremony on an elephant on February 14, Valentine’s Day, the traditional day of all lovers.

Part of the 2003 procession.

The most untraditional wedding ceremony will take place at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, Hangchat, Lampang and all eligible couples can join in, provided that they are engaged and want to be married, or they are already married but would love to participate as a honeymoon or anniversary treat or just to reinforce their marriage vows.

Before you can get married perched on a pachyderm you have to take a training course on February 12, which is just to show the prospective bride and groom how to ride (and nothing else).

The actual celebration includes all traditional marriage trappings, with a Khan Maak procession (limited to 40 elephants), a ‘Bride begging ceremony’, shows, dancing, the wrist tying ceremony and even souvenirs for the couple and 20 invited guests.

Snacks and refreshments, as well as the marriage certificate, will be given out before the couples are invited to a one night home stay in Lampang (with or without their elephant) and the guests (with or without the newlyweds) will be dining Khantoke style.

The costs, as well as more information, is available from the National Elephant Institute (054 228 108, 054 228 034) or from Jeerasak Kasamsaamran at 01 885 3708.


HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn opens Mae Fa Luang University

Grand Lanna style ceremonies in Princess’ honor

The grand opening of Mae Fa Luang University in Chiang Rai province was held as a Lanna style ceremony and was graciously presided over by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

According to Assoc Prof Dr Wanchai Sirichana, president of Mae Fa Luang University, it was the greatest honor that the university could have. It began with the Buddhist priests presiding over the three main events during the day.

The first was the opening of the university itself, the second was the opening of the Chinese language and culture center, and the last event was the conferring of the first degrees to the graduating students.

Flower arrangements as offerings were similar to those offered to honor King Rama VII when he visited Chiang Mai many years ago. Another Lanna touch was Tung flag procession, with 11 male university students holding Tung flags, dressed in silk Lanna costumes, together with 28 students in Lanna outfits and 80 people in local northern costumes.

During the events there was Lanna music provided by local northern musicians together with Lanna dancers in their spectacular dresses and decorative items.


FYI SME’s to get IPC websites

Acronym courses a prerequisite?

The Industrial Promotion Center (IPC) Region 1 is ready to disseminate information for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME’s) via the world wide web, according to Wanchai Ratchadamas, the director. It is offering information for business entrepreneurs and operators, so that they could update their information, events, and news, and could have more chances to get training from the upcoming courses to be provided by the Ministry of Industry.

He said information packages on trade fairs, industrial products and other items are on offer, adding that those who surf the website would get much more information on useful business deals. Interested people should visit http://ipc1.dip.go.th or www.dip.go.th

He added that on the home page, there will be easy to understand facts and information on food production, presented in cartoon form as well. This might be attractive for students in the educational institutes to learn more about the SME businesses.

For more information, contact IPC Region 1 Office on Tung Hotel Road, Chiang Mai or tel. 053 - 245361-2 ext. 240 during office hours.


HM Queen Beatrice of the Netherlands pays Royal visit to Chiang Rai

Busara Sukwiboon

Her Majesty Queen Beatrice of the Netherlands, accompanied by her son Crown Prince William-Alexander and their royal entourage, received a warm welcome from Chiang Rai Governor Narintr Panitchakitch upon their arrival at Chiang Rai Airport on January 22.

The Netherlands Royal Family checked in at Dusit Island Resort Hotel to relax before going to Mae Fa Luang Foundation for dinner.

The following day they visited the Opium Museum, situated at the Golden Triangle in Chiang Saen district, and then to Doi Tung, to look at the Royal Development Project and a textile factory, Saa paper factory and coffee factory.

During their visit in Chiang Rai, all government officials were on hand to welcome the royal visitors to the city and show all it has to offer. After the Chiang Rai visit, they traveled to Phitsanulok.


Chulalongkorn Uni and Mae Hong Son looking at Burma

Forewarned is forearmed?

Supot Laowanasiri, governor of Mae Hong Son presided over the academic cooperation understanding between Mae Hong Son and the Asia Studies Institute of Chulalongkorn University. Assoc Prof Surichai Wankaew, deputy director of the Asia Studies Institute from Chulalongkorn University, together with Kosol Prakham, director of the Regional Office of Education, Region 1, Mae Hong Song jointly signed the cooperation.

Kosol said Mae Hong Son areas are very important for educational development, and people will benefit from education in the social, economic, and political sectors. He said that at present, competitive trade is the strategy, so the Burma studies will cover border trade, the learning process, and work development among government offices, tourist business associations, and chambers of commerce.

The academic cooperation will allow study more in depth regarding the different aspects about Burma, including society, politics, culture, language, tourism and business.

The development of the economy and government are the main topics of the cooperation since they can help Thailand acknowledge and even learn from what Burma is doing. The studies will help educate Thais in Mae Hong Son about their close neighbor and allow them to grow together.


DEP backs local Thai exporters road shows

United States, European countries and Japan are main targets

The Department of Export Promotion (DEP), Northern Center, has revealed plans to take local entrepreneurs and exporters from Chiang Mai and other northern provinces to participate in over 119 trade events and overseas trade fairs to assist them in expanding their businesses worldwide.

Ms. Jiraporn Tullayanond, director of DEP, Northern Center, Chiang Mai, said her office would focus on the SME groups much more than large industrial entrepreneurs, as SME’s lacked opportunities to participate in such large foreign trade fairs.

However, SME’s are recommended to attend some trade fairs in this country first, such as the Bangkok International Trade Fair (garments, textiles and fashion accessories) in January, Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair (Gemstones and jewelry items) in February and other local trade events.

Entrepreneurs doing so would also get a 30 percent reduction for attending these events in Thailand. After practicing in this country, they would gain full support to join in trade fairs in other countries, she said.

Jiraporn said that the main products from Chiang Mai and northern provinces are decorative items, household products, furniture items, food and processed-food products and the markets in the United States, European countries, and Japan are regarded as their major marketplace.

Thai entrepreneurs expressed interest in foreign trade events covering consumer goods among the Middle East countries due to high purchasing power of those consumers.

Those who are interested in foreign trade fairs must also attend a seminar or training program held by the BoI regional offices to learn about foreign export regulations, procedures and marketing strategies.

She also recommended local entrepreneurs attend seminars organized all year round in Chiang Mai, such as the strategies on food export (February), the export opportunities to Japan’s market (February), the strategies on gift and household products (March) and the export opportunities to the US market (April).


Chiang Mai’s safari night zoo planning to open next year

Triple pricing policy announced already!

The construction of Chiang Mai night zoo is expected to be completed in April 2005 with the estimated number of visitors and tourist being 1.2 million. The project will reach the break-even point within seven years, according to the developers.

Chiang Mai’s safari night zoo plans to open next year.

Bernard Harrison & Friends Co., Ltd. has already presented the plan for government approval. It is now under revision and would be completed in March this year. Military engineers have begun fence alignment and the next job is to construct the central stage.

The zoo hopes to have 1,000 animals from over 100 species on view and the zoo will be also divided into four parts, called the Predator Prowl, Savanna Safari, Jaguar Trail, and Swan Lake areas.

Entrance fee structure is entrancing. Upper Northern adults are 170 baht, children 100 baht and students 70 baht (family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children is 450 baht). For Thai tourists not from the North, adults will be 250 baht, children 150 baht and students 100 baht (family ticket is 650 baht for 2 adults and 2 children). Foreign tourists come in at adults 400 baht, children 300 baht and families at 1,200 baht.

Local families with foreign husbands, Bangkok wives and children born in Chiang Mai should start queuing now with birth certificates at the ready!


Spreading peace through science and commerce in developing countries

Nobel Laureate to address Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai University (CMU) will welcome a very famous keynote speaker who will give an address on applied gene information on Thursday, February 12, at 2 p.m. He is Dr. Richard J. Roberts, a Nobel Laureate for Medicine and a research director at New England Biolabs, Beverly, Massachusetts.

Dr. Richard J. Roberts, a Nobel Laureate for Medicine will speak at CMU on Thursday, February 12.

Dr. Roberts was educated in England, attending the University of Sheffield where he obtained a B.Sc. in Chemistry in 1965 and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1968. He joined Dr. J.D. Watson and began to work on newly discovered enzymes in 1972. Over the next few years more than 100 such enzymes were discovered and catalogued in Dr. Robert’s laboratory.

Dr. Roberts has also been involved in studies of Adenovirus-2 and discovered split genes and mRNA splicing in 1977 for which he received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1993. His laboratory sequenced the 35,937 nucleotide Adenovirus-2 genome and wrote some of the first programs for sequence assembly and analysis. DNA methyltransferases are an area of active research interest and in collaboration with Dr. X. Cheng, DNA base flipping was discovered in 1993.

Dr. Robert’s current interest focuses on the identification of restriction enzymes and methylase genes within the GenBank database and the development of rapid methods to assay their function.

For information and free tickets telephone (053) 943 661-5, 224 076 and 941 007, fax (053) 219 252, 943 666 and 942 666, email opxxo004 @chiangmai.ac.th or [email protected] chiangmai.ac.th


Students learn low budget moviemaking at Digital Moviemaking Workshop

Marion Vogt and
Renee Weygandt

Move over Quentin, Robert and Sofia, the next generation of filmmakers is right at your heels! Students in grades 7-11 came together for the first ‘Digital Moviemaking Workshop’ to learn low budget, guerilla style moviemaking.

Students at the Digital Moviemaking Workshop: Joel Illif, David Hoppe, Brian Byers, Joey Tell, Mark Hoppe, Andrew Migliazza, Anthony Frederick, Tim Osborne, Leif Bauer, and Jon Overholt.

The students met for two hours each Saturday for approximately 10 weeks in the classroom to learn all the skills necessary to write, produce and direct their very own short films.

“It’s about not letting lack of professional equipment get in the way,” said instructor, Renee Weygandt. “There are so many people who have the desire to make movies but don’t realize that even with the most amateur equipment they can make a decent movie - as long as they have a good story. That’s what I really try to emphasize in the class. The audience will forgive a lot of shortcomings as long as the story affects them in some way. If you don’t have a good story, you won’t have a good movie. It’s that simple. I even show them examples of short films made by other filmmakers to prove that point.

“Of course, there’s a lot more to making a movie than a story, so we talk about lighting, sound, camera angles, etc. Basically we take the students from the development of their script, to finding cast and crew, to all the ‘ins and outs’ of production and finally post-production.”

After the students have learned all they can in the classroom, it’s then time to put it all to practice. They have a choice to work individually or in teams to make their own short film. “In this class,” Renee added, “there are five movies in production right now!”

“What’s great about it is that they are each unique. You won’t find any typical ‘Hollywood’ stories here. I encourage everybody to think outside the box and to find their own style. I think we’ve accomplished that.”

So now, as students from the first class are moving into production, it’s time for a new crop of directors to move in and take their place in the classroom. “The response has been great. That’s why we are starting two new classes this month. We will have one for 7th and 8th graders and another class for 9th grade to adult. However, if there’s enough interest we will start a separate class only for adults and seniors.”

If anyone is interested in finding out more about class times, location and fees, email Renee at [email protected] dream makersproductions.com or [email protected]

Better hurry, though. Class size is limited!


Chiang Mai-Fang-Mae Chan highway to be four-lane road

PM wants Chiang Mai road hub as well as aviation

Chiang Mai-Fang-Mae Chan highway has just been surveyed, with the Deputy minister of Communications, Wichet Kasemthongsri, accompanied by his delegates traveling along the road, starting from Mae Taeng, passing Mae Ai of Chiang Mai province and then the Mae Chan district of Chiang Rai. This road also passes through Chiang Dao, Chai Prakan, Fang, Mae Ai districts of Chiang Mai and then connects to Mae Chan.

The survey was part of the expansion plan for this strategic road, designed to boost the economy in the two provinces of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. This is in response to the government’s main policy to create and develop transport and communication potentials, to foster expansion of the Thai economy.

Deputy minister of communications, Wichet Kasemthongsri said that his delegates would inspect the condition of Highway No 107 from Chiang Mai to Fang, with the planned expansion to a four lane highway. This road project has been already approved by the government’s Highway Department, for survey and construction.

Wichet said that Chiang Mai has been counted as having the highest potential of the provinces in the North, and Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra wants Chiang Mai to be promoted as the hub of all transports - water, air, and road. Government spending on highways is scheduled to cost two billion baht.


Vehicle tax to support public transportation in Chiang Mai

Government stepping in to break the monopoly - or joining it?

The Ministry of Transport is preparing to introduce a public transportation system for Chiang Mai. It will be the first pilot project, with the former operators being able to take part in management.

Nikorn Chamnong, the deputy minister of transport, addressed the seminar held recently in Chiang Mai, to canvas opinion on the public transportation system to be introduced for Chiang Mai City.

He said that the road traffic problems have increased without proper management of public transportation. The city is growing up and expanding, but the existing public bus operators are not helping solve the traffic jams and congestion. Chiang Mai’s pilot project will be undertaken by the government in a partnership with the public at the initial operation of the plan.

Meanwhile, he said that the current local bus operators would also be in a partnership, in term of management, adding that this pilot project will be worked on next year.

Deputy Minister Nikorn said that he would propose tax collection for vehicles in Chiang Mai, which generates 480 million baht annually, be used to support the pilot project.

From his survey, he said that 70 percent of the public agreed with the adoption of a new public transportation system.


Phayao teachers to be given road safety training

A start towards incorporating it in school curriculum?

The Supportive Fund Office for Health Promotion is supporting road safety planning in schools. Phayao Educational Office, Region 1 in cooperation with the Supportive Fund Office has provided 50,000 baht to organize the training courses for teachers to teach about prevention of traffic accidents, and to then pass on the information to their students.

Sakorn Buasri, director of Phayao Educational Office, Region 1 said that the road toll is now an important problem that affects everyone and all sectors of the community. He said that it is the outcome of the country’s development, communication and transportation that has move forward so rapidly. It causes injury and death as well as economic loss.

Phayao Educational Office Region 1 with the financial support will organize more training courses for 100 teachers on the prevention of accidents. It is expected that the teachers will extend the knowledge and apply it through various media to educate teenage student groups to realize and understand safety on the road, which in turn will result in the prevention of road accidents.


BoI courting overseas investors

Attempting to marry them off to local SME’s

Northern Region Board of Investment (BoI) revealed plans to link data bases between the supported and promoted industrial sectors and the local manufacturers at grass roots level with the BoI offices in other countries facilitating a transfer of knowledge to the industrial entrepreneurs.

Mrs. Siriporn Nurak, director of the Northern Region, BOI said they have taken on the responsibility to provide assistance and promotion of region’s industry, especially for the local manufacturers.

Cooperation from concerned organizations, including the Ministry of Industry’s networks, was needed in a bid to link data bases with some large industrial sectors in terms of technology transfer to increase the potential of the local industries.

BOI would seek assistance from foreign governments and private sectors to help support the transfer of technological knowledge. It was obvious that most foreign countries paid much attention to domestic industry, specifically Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME’s).

BoI expects that this will give a boost to local businesses and will also indicate the diversity of local manufacturing to importers and investors overseas.


Chiang Mai Street watch

The streets have just been renewed, but what is this? A hole in the middle of the street on Ratchdamnoen Road appeared mysteriously last Saturday night. Was something forgotten? Did someone find a map with buried treasure indicated at that spot? Have aliens landed (without the requisite visa)? Does anyone know what this holey site is being built for? The best educated guess as we went to press that it was a bunch of discarded holes left over after an attempt at Swiss cheese making.


Garbage-fuelled electric generators to be introduced

Greenpeace says plants are anything but green

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is in favor of a plan to manage the garbage problem and waste disposal with incinerators, replacing the landfill system for garbage management.

During a trip to Chiang Mai province, Prapat Panyachartrak, minister of natural resources and environment, said future garbage management will be done by cooperation between his ministry and the Ministry of Energy to build the garbage-electric plant rather than the garbage landfill at present which has severe environmental effects such as water leakage at the landfill site contaminating underground water resources.

The newly introduced plan would be submitted to the national environment committee for consideration before the final decision will be made by the ministers concerned.

Under this plan, the specific types of garbage waste would be separated with organic waste being used as organic fertilizer, and recycled garbage would be reused as fuel for generating electric current.

However, the Greenpeace Group said at their press conference in Chiang Mai that the ministry’s garbage-electric plants were hazardous and they opposed construction of them in Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Nakhon Ratchasima and Rayong provinces.

Waste-to-energy incinerators are dangerous says Greenpeace and they have warned the general public about the reputed dangers of the incinerators currently being proposed by Ministry of Energy, claiming that carcinogens would be released to the atmosphere.


Chiang Rai Police to enforce road rules

Crackdown from now till Songkran

Pol Col Montri Samboonyanon, the superintendent of Chiang Rai police, following the policy of Narin Panitchakit, Chiang Rai governor, has met with representatives from 11 educational institutes in Chiang Rai to discuss the Chiang Rai road toll, the province with one of the highest accident rates in Thailand.

So far, police feel that they are not receiving cooperation from the public, which, at the same time, is asking the authorities to make the streets a safer place to drive. People are still being observed overtaking on the wrong side, not wearing helmets, and running red lights.

The police chief of Chiang Rai Muang District Police Station said that there are still many students, university students and others, who drive with reckless disregard of the traffic laws, drive under the influence of alcohol and make it dangerous for others to be on the streets.

The police will set up spot checks from now until Songkran to check for helmets, observation of speed limits, use of safety belts and drivers under the influence of alcohol and they are again asking for cooperation from the public.

The checkpoints will be set up in cooperation with the Chiang Rai Provincial Transport Office, Chiang Rai public health office, and traffic police and the accident prevention units. Checkpoints will be set up 24 hours a day and will constantly be manned.

The police hope to decrease the accident rates before and during Songkran as they will be checking diligently.


Chiang Rai Police apprehend three hill tribe drug traffickers

Fall for a 4 million baht sting - downhill tribes people from there

The police arrested three Hmong hill tribe people and seized their illegal booty of 200,000 pills as evidence in Chiang Khong District, Chiang Rai Province.

Sriprom Homyok, deputy governor of Chiang Rai Province; Police Major General Chamnong Kaewsiri, commander of Chiang Rai Provincial police said the police arrested Suthat, or Tong Chokekajornphaisal, 37 years; Mrs. Yek Chokekajornphaisal, 39 years, a resident of Tambon Wiang; and Yong Laoto, 21 years, resident of Tambon Bokaew, Samoeng District, Chiang Mai.

The trio was arrested following a plainclothes police sting operation, where one officer purported to be a rich and influential buyer, meeting with Suthat and Mrs. Yek and arranging to buy 200,000 drug tablets at 20 baht per tablet, coming to four million baht.

After agreement, an appointment was made with the drug dealers to exchange drugs and money on Ban Tung Sai Road, in Tambon Wiang, Chiang Khong District.

The unsuspecting dealers were then held with material evidence of 200,000 tablets hidden in a fertilizer bag. They were charged with possession of a Class 1 drug (ya ba).


Poverty registrations top 3 million

Debt figures inaccurate says San Kamphaeng District Chief Officer

Chin Ratitamakul

The number of poor people registering for government help has now been recorded as high as 3,224,622; however, Surachai Chongrak, San Kamphaeng district chief officer, said many people did not give the correct information about the real amount of their debts and creditors as they feared influential persons were involved.

“They might also misunderstand and think that the government would donate money to them,” Surachai said. He added that when the government receives completed financial data from the people, they would use the Anti Money Laundering Office and tax laws to punish influential people who take advantage of the poor.

Dr. Chantana Suthijaree, the head of the Political Science Department, Faculty of Social Science, Chiang Mai University, said the poverty registration was an election campaign device, but it was not wrong to use the policy to assist the poor people. However, the government had not launched any concrete programs to solve the poverty problem. The GDP has become higher, but it was only through an artificial demand with the government stimulating people to spend extravagantly. The government should think about the results of burgeoning debt levels in the private sector, Dr. Chantana concluded.


Bird flu and kamnan appointments main topics on talk-back radio

Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched

This past week, People’s Feedback via Radio Thailand, Chiang Mai dealt mainly with the elimination of poultry in order to control the spread of bird flu. The people felt that the government had given them information too late and the way of controlling the disease by elimination of the poultry was not as effective as it should be because people were hiding their chickens.

People also still believe that the disease could be spread via the air. They are afraid that when all the chickens are killed, eventually the villagers would have no food and some rare breeds of fighting cocks were expected to become extinct.

Another hot issue was the changing of the selection of positions of village headman and kamnan going from an election by the people to become an appointment selected by a committee. Callers were equally divided on this issue. Some proposed recruitment by screening examination with minimum qualifications, age and education to produce a qualified person who is capable of working efficiently and should have training before they assume the position.