Bird Flu recovery to cost 25 billion
Banks setting aside the moneys needed
The SME Bank, accompanied by the Government Savings Bank
(GSB) and the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) has
outlined a budget of more than 25 billion baht for a recovery plan after the
outbreak of bird flu in Thailand.
Pinit Charusombat, minister of industry, said that
following the bird flu crisis major financial losses and suffering have been
experienced by Thai poultry farmers and others involved in the production
and sale of chickens.
Under the recovery plan, the Industry Ministry indicated
that the SME Bank together with the GSB, and BAAC have already set aside a
budget to help relieve the crisis, with 10 billion baht for recovery
procedures, another 10 billion baht for improving the breeding system and
more than 5 billion baht for slaughterhouses and poultry processing plants.
The Iron and Steel Institute of Thailand, in cooperation
with the National Food Institute has submitted to the Livestock Department a
restoration plan to build metal structured housing for chicken farms, to
improve sanitation and breeding procedures. This new style of chicken house
was displayed during the government’s campaign to promote poultry safety
at Sanam Luang.
Chiang Mai turns into Cinderella!
The lights go out at midnight
Saksit Meesupkwang and
Chiang Mai province is going to take its ‘social
order’ responsibilities seriously on zoning entertainment outlets with
punishments for those breaking the rules. Following the Bangkok meeting held
on February 12-13, it was announced that Chiang Mai must follow the 1966 law
which was amended last year.
This edict was given by Chiang Mai Muang District
Officer, Chumporn Saengmanee, who said that Chiang Mai is going to zone the
areas for restaurants, food shops and entertainment outlets.
He said that even though Chiang Mai is regarded as a
“tourist place” it will still follow the government rules and
regulations, in that they could operate their businesses until 2 a. m.
inside the entertainment zone, or until midnight for those outside the
He emphasized that any food shops, restaurants, karaoke
bars, and other entertainment outlets outside the proscribed zone found open
after midnight would be in violation of the law and face punishment.
District Officer Chumporn said that the new edict meant
that not only the local government offices, but also local police,
educational institutes; and family institutes must cooperate to ensure the
law is upheld.
The proposed zoning areas for Chiang Mai will be the
areas on the ring roads, starting from Chiang Mai City Hall, ending at the
areas behind Payap University. “When it is officially announced, those
operators and owners would then be allowed to open until 2 a.m.”
Dr Rathawut Sukmeee, the head of Chiang Mai Provincial
Public Health Office added that the office also takes responsibility for the
operations of traditional Thai massage and spa businesses in the city which
are currently booming as tourist attractions.
The only issue now will be to see if tourists really do
want to be tucked into their holiday beds by the Interior Ministry at
8 mio baht earmarked for Thai-Burma border development
Mae Hong Son hoping for increased trade and tourism
Supot Laowanasiri, governor of Mae Hong Song announced
that this year, the provincial authorities have planned to invest eight
million baht in a border development project that will connect the two
villages of Ban Huay Pueng and Ban Long Haeng with Burma’s Ban Hua Muang
nearby villages in the Shan State.
The two Mae Hong Song villages are located only 1,500
meters away from the Thai-Burmese border, and the plan is to set up a market
area and “One Stop Service Centre” where Thai and Burmese merchants and
vendors can come and exchange their goods and trade.
He also said there will be improvement in the border road
to make it more convenient for travelers between the two countries. This
road should be completed by the end of the year and he hopes these border
villages become tourist attractions in the future.
Suphot Klinpraneet, the president of Mae Hong Son
Provincial Tourist Association added that if these villages are developed as
market places linking the two countries, then more tourists and visitors are
expected to cross at these border villages to enter Ban Hua Muang in the
Shan State of Burma.
PEA to light up our lives
50,000 households to get an electrifying experience
The Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA)
has started a project to provide electricity supply to every family in six
northern provinces. By the end of next year, PEA plans to provide
electricity to more than 50,000 households that have yet to be connected to
Yaowapha Wongsawas (4th from right), deputy Thai Rak Thai party, presided
over the opening ceremony of the project to supply electricity to all
households by the end of next year. With her is Chiang Mai Governor Suwat
(3rd from left), Decha Wichipan, director of PEA, Northern Region 1, Chiang
Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn (2nd right), and guests of honor.
PEA Northern Region 1 announced the project at a meeting
held at the Empress Hotel, Chiang Mai, saying they had commenced plans to
supply every household with electricity by April of next year.
Decha Wichipan, director of PEA Northern region 1, said
that in six northern provinces there are still over 50,000 people who do not
have electricity in their homes. The plan is to bring electric poles and
lines to all accessible areas, while non-accessible regions will be set up
with solar panels to supply electricity for home use.
The total cost of this project will reach 900 million
baht, 300 million of this being reserved for setting up the poles and
electric lines and the remaining 600 million baht will be used to set up the
solar panels in different villages.
Chiang Mai trying to attract MICE market
Make cheese available after 2 a.m. is a start
The international convention and
exhibition center to be established in Chiang Mai will give Thailand a
greater chance of getting into more high-class tourist markets worldwide.
Chalermsak Suranant, director of Tourism Authority of
Thailand, Northern Office, Region 1, said that the construction of this new
international convention and exhibition center in Chiang Mai would increase
business opportunities and ability to compete in the world markets and
become a MICE (Marketing, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) destination
for world conventions.
“If Thailand can use the MICE market to attract
foreigners and markets from abroad, there is more area for expansion and
future competition with rivals like Hong Kong and Singapore,” he said.
The international convention center is expected to be
built in Tambon Mae Hia area, Hang Dong district, and the blueprints are
nearly finished for the construction.
Work is also expected to begin in August this year and
the building be ready to open in June 2006 to receive international
Industrial Fair 2004
in Chiang Mai February 27
Fashion and food
Chiang Mai Province is organizing the Industrial Fair 2004
by emphasizing that Chiang Mai is a fashion city and a place where you can
experience the world’s cuisine.
The Provincial Federation of Thai Industries, Chiang Mai
announced that Industrial Fair 2004 will be organized during February 27 -
March 7, at the Industrial Promotion Center, Region 1, on Tung Hotel Road,
Muang District, Chiang Mai.
The aim is to promote products of the north and one of
the most important, responding to governmental policy, is to push Chiang Mai
forward as another fashion city as well as Thailand’s world cuisine.
Products designed and developed here and of export standard will also be
displayed and sold in the fair.
There will be exhibitions of interesting industries,
fashion shows from well-known boutiques in Chiang Mai, the best of OTOP
products, seminars on SME’s, short-term vocational training courses and
other interesting activities.
Lampang looking for private industry
to run sequestered property
The Anti Money Laundering Office (AMLO) has presented the
Thai style housing in Lampang, which previously belonged to the suspected
drug dealer Panom Sap-anek, and was seized on August 2 last year, to Lampang
provincial authorities to look after with the profits to help maintain the
property, according to Amorntat Niratsayakul, governor of Lampang. The
housing complex is situated in Tambon Chompu, Muang Lampang district.
The authorities have agreed that this property should be
given to private enterprise to run as a tourist business, and the provincial
governor is looking for people to apply with viable plans for running this
The Lampang provincial authorities in this instance are
under supervision of AMLO and have been charged with running the business to
generate funds for maintenance and to use the seized property in a positive
Candidates keen to register for Chiang Rai PAO president
Must be a good salary on offer for the post
Registrations opened for the position of
Chiang Rai PAO president and for the first time, the candidates for the
elected post were lining up at the front door of the electoral office before
it had opened.
The early birds were Mrs. Rattana Jongsutthanamanee and
Salakjit Tiyapairat. Both candidates are backed by the Thai Rak Thai party
and since there was no opposition in the area, any other hopefuls for the
position will be registered as independents.
It is expected that there will be other candidates
campaigning in all 32 zoning areas in 16 districts and 2 sub-districts.
Registrations closed on February 13 and a fierce battle for electoral
loyalties is expected. National politicians have been approached to assist
some candidates, but with a preponderance of one political party, the
outcome is not difficult to predict from the populist party political
Local teas in the World Tea Festival pot
Chiang Rai turning over a new leaf?
The World Tea Festival has just been concluded and was
organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and the Ministry
of Social Development, and Human Security, the Mae Fah Luang Foundation
under the Royal Patronage, and Chiang Rai provincial authorities.
The festival was held to promote and introduce tea
produced in Thailand into the world markets, and to stimulate and educate
the people and farmers in the region to realize the importance of tea, a
cash crop that can grow here.
The event was well attended this year, being held for a
full 10 days to teach the public about the different teas such as Chinese
tea, Indian tea, Sri-Lankan tea, Japanese tea and English tea.
About 3000 different varieties with different flavors can
be grown. Introducing the local farmers to grow tea, and distinguishing the
different tea leaves were some of the items covered during the festival.
New Project for FERC
You can help this charity at the FERC Gala
Text by Renee Vines
Photo by Marc Dumur
The Foundation for the Education of Rural Children
(FERC), will build a regional Library/Study Center at the Bann Hui Sing
School in the Mae Sariang district. The Center will serve ten villages by
loaning books and providing ready access to materials needed to study for
higher education admission exams.
Rover, secretary of the Samsara Foundation, receiving a gift from the
The project will be funded by FERC’s fifth annual gala
on February 28 at Le Grand Lanna. The previous galas have funded one major
building project and numerous scholarships in each of the last four years.
The Bann Hui Sing School is somewhat unique in that it
was started as a community effort to provide education for local children
about 15 years ago. The Thai Ministry of Education later took over the
school. The community spirit stills reigns in the area, however, as members
of FERC’s Board discovered in early February when they visited.
Community leaders were asked to provide volunteer labor
and make a small financial contribution to the project and they happily
agreed. Children from the school entertained the visitors and community
adults gathered to watch the measuring of the area to be covered by their
new library. Board members invited the children who danced for them to also
perform at the gala and the invitation was readily accepted!
A feeling of warmth and appreciation went with each board
member as they returned to Chiang Mai. This is what foundation work should
be - a group of people jointly interested in making a meaningful
contribution matched by eagerness of the recipients to chip in!
In the rural area of the mountains of Mae Sariang, it is
almost impossible for students to gain access to study materials that would
help them prepare for entrance examinations to colleges, universities and
technical schools. The center will solve this problem by housing an
extensive selection of such materials. It is expected that this regional
library will have 50,000 books on loan to both children and adults -
everyone in the community.
The foundation board selected this project after
examining several other proposals because it will serve a large number of
both hill tribe people and Thais and should add significantly to the
educational horizon of the community.
The budget for the Bann Hui Sing Library/Study Center is
600,000 baht and it is hoped that the entire amount will be raised at the
Fifth Annual Gala on Feb 28. Tickets at 1,500 baht are available at guest
relations Amari Rincome, Chiangmai Mail Office (Marion), Le Grand Lanna, or
from committee members Luxami Utaipol, Marc Dumur, Annelie Hendriks, Rebecca
Lomax, Celeste Tolibas-Holland and Renee Vines. A Patron ticket is also
available at 5,000 baht. Exciting auction items and prizes galore will be
available at the gala. See you there!
Party political jockeying already evident
The registration procedure for the election of Chiang Mai
Provincial Administration Organization (PAO) president and its members is
underway. The Election Day has been set for Sunday, March 14.
Kanaphol Pinkaew, the director of Chiang Mai provincial
elections said the current term of administration by the former president
and members finished on February 4, this year. The elections would be for
one position for president, and 42 seats for PAO members.
So far there are four candidates for president,
Thawatwong na Chiang Mai, a former Chiang Mai MP, and deputy minister of
finance; Mrs. Busaba Yodbangtoey, a former Chiang Mai mayor; Udornphan
Chantaraviroj, a former president of Chiang Mai PAO and Narong Niyomthai, a
former Chiang Mai MP.
Although three of the candidates are supposed to be from
the Thai Rak Thai party, Thawatwong was the only candidate formally
recognized by Thai Rak Thai party, while Mrs. Busaba was backed by the Rak
Chart Group, Udornphan, was backed by Pattana Chiang Mai (Developing Chiang
Mai) group, and Narong, a former Democrat Party member, is campaigning for
this election as an independent.
Wired Communities seminar
ICT in Teaching and Learning - Experiences from the UK
A seminar to explore ways in which Information
Communication and Technology (ICT) can be more effectively integrated into
education and link the classroom to the wider community was held at the
Rydges Hotel Chiang Mai. It featured keynote presentations by three UK
speakers: Grace Kempster, Marion Brookes and Neeta Patel. This seminar was
part of the Wired Communities series of Leading Edge seminars as part of the
4th Thai-UK Education Festival 2004.
new British Ambassador to Thailand, His Excellency David Fall, presided over
the opening of the seminar “Wired Communities - ICT in Teaching and
Learning: Experiences from the UK”, organized by The British Council,
Chiang Mai, in the ballroom at the Rydges Tapae. It was the ambassador’s
first official visit to Chiang Mai. Pictured from left: David Hopkinson
(director of the British Council Chiang Mai and hon. British consul)
standing next to Madame Fall, H.E. David Fall (the British ambassador) and
Arie J.M. de Keijzer (GM of The Rydges Tapae).
The opening ceremony was presided over by the British
Ambassador to Thailand, David Fall, as part of his first official visit to
Chiang Mai, and participants were welcomed by David Hopkins, director
The morning sessions included “Learning communities,
Thinking nations - Developing Wired Communities” presented by Grace
Kempster, director of ISM, British Council, “Transforming learning in the
classroom - the role of ICT”, by Marion Brookes from Cambridge Education
Associates and the “Knowledge and learning in the virtual education
environment” by Grace Kempster. The other topic was “If you build it,
they will come - the myths and realities of developing online services” by
Neeta Patel, the director of Internet Business Development Group, British
“Wired Communities Where knowledge and learning
Connect,” was presented at the seminar showing that “Culture Online”
has helped enable people to develop their talents to the full, it is an
innovative initiative to increase access to, and participation in, art and
culture. It brings together cultural organizations with cutting edge
technical providers to create projects that will delight adults and children
of all ages and backgrounds.
WebPlayUK is another internet-based project that enables
primary schoolchildren from rural and urban areas to work with a
professional theatre company to create, produce and perform short plays. The
plays are then uploaded onto a specially created website.
The National Grid for Learning (NGfL) is also a gateway
to educational resources on the internet. NGfL provides a network of
selected links to websites that offer high quality content and information.
It offers information ranging from starting up a business, having a baby,
starting a new school, looking for a job, dealing with crime, learning to
drive, moving home, looking after someone, pensions and retirement, death
and bereavement, and other services on-line such as applying for a passport
and registering to vote.
At present, the seminar concluded that Internet for
Education, is a free, “Teach yourself”, tutorial that lets you practice
your internet information skills with experts to guide you to the best of
Internet for Education has been written by Stephen
Pickles of the Institute of Education, University of London. It is one of
set tutorials within the RDN Virtual Training Suite, created by subject
specialists from universities and professional organizations across the UK.
Fire season upon us again
Chiang Rai sets up fire prevention unit
Chiang Rai has launched a promotional
campaign to help save lives and property from forest fire outbreaks during
this dry season. Charunroj Chimsamran, the head of Chiang Rai Provincial
Public Relations Office announced that they have once again reached the dry
season, which easily supports forest fires.
Sadly, during this season, forest fires often occur and
the needless loss of human life and property comes about because of
negligence, he said.
This year a special task force center has been set up in
Chiang Rai on Pratu Chiang Mai Road, Tambon Wiang, Muang Chiang Rai
district. This fire prevention and control unit is set up to help those who
have questions or need assistance when dealing with forest fires.
To gain more collaboration from the city they are
organizing a rally, a painting and poetry contest and competition about the
The unit hopes that with this they can educate more
people about the dangers, and prevent forest fires. The event will be held
at Mae Suay Witthayakom School on February 28 at 9 a.m. in Chiang Rai. The
public is welcome.
Lamphun Province trying to lower Songkran road toll
Effective measures being put forward
Lamphun Province seeks cooperation from
both government and private sectors to launch a promotional campaign among
motorcyclists about turning on headlights and wearing helmets. This is being
done to attempt to decrease the shocking Songkran festival road toll.
Prayoon Wongphanitch, deputy governor of Lamphun Province
revealed that during the past New Year Festival there were 255 accidents in
Lamphun Province, 236 of which involved motorcycles. In almost half the
cases, the injured people were under 20 years of age and the accidents
happened at road junctions.
Lamphun Provincial Authorities have asked for cooperation
from the government organizations and private sector, especially from large
industrial concerns that have many employees. They are asking them to ensure
their employees are wearing helmets and always turning on headlights.
Lamphun Provincial Authorities will also cooperate with
educational institutes and related organizations to set up a service center
to install a system that when the riders start the engine, headlights will
be switched on automatically.
Young gangsters apprehended
Repeat felons not getting the message
Lampang provincial police, led by Pol. Lt. Col. Thaveesak
Nayangcharoen, deputy superintendent for investigation at Lampang Muang
Police Station, reported the police force’s success in apprehending three
young ‘ride-by’ thieves. The miscreants were aged between 17-24 years
old and were all Lampang residents.
The police said the Khelang Radio Center at Lampang
Police Station received details describing the culprits, who were not only
carrying out ride-by robbery but had left people injured as they knocked
them over with their motorcycles. Miss Wantanee Saenmuangkaew was one of the
victims knocked down in front of Khelang Ram Hospital on Phaholyothin Road.
After receiving fresh information, police gave chase and
stopped the thieves, seizing two motorcycles, two mobile phones, three
handbags, two sharp knives and 300 baht cash.
All confessed their crimes to the police, telling them
about nine episodes during an 11-day spree, January 24 - February 3. Six
cases were bag snatching and the other three were pre-meditated robberies in
the local area.
Lampang Muang District Pol. Lt. Col. Thaveesak
Nayangcharoen has also warned local residents to be on the lookout, while
the police themselves will be investigating teenagers found loitering after
midnight. He intimated that there were other young hoodlums in Lampang and
the police have them under surveillance.
Mae Hong Son’s previous PAO president unopposed
Says his record speaks for itself
Registration of the candidates for Provincial
Administration Organization (PAO) president and members is underway in Mae
Hong Son. There are 24 registered election areas in Mae Hong Son and the
hopefuls submitted their applications at Mae Hong Son Social Civic Center.
However, there was only one applicant for the position of
PAO president, Surasith Trithong, the former president who is also a member
of the Thai Rak Thai Party, still dominant despite the bird flu controversy.
Many people gave him encouragement and support, especially the hill tribe
people who traveled from Pang Ma Pha District, Pai District and Sob Moei
Districts in Mae Hong Son.
Surasith stated that he was quite confident that he would
get the votes from people again because he believes that people could see
and review his work during the past years, citing the development of public
utilities and the promotion of Mae Hong Son culture and education. He was
not even worried if there were other competitors and he said that his bid
must be evaluated by the productive work he has done in the past.
Lampang PAO elections look lively
At least there is more than one party represented
During the first day of registering candidates for the
election of president and members of Lampang’s PAO (Provincial
Administrative Organization), the atmosphere was full of vitality. National
politicians have realized the importance of the northern provinces, and,
showing solidarity and support for their candidates, are backing three
Candidate No. 1 in the run for Lampang PAO president
turned out to be Jarasrit Chantarasurin, son of Pinit Chantarasurin, a
Member of Parliament from Lampang Province and member of the Doi Ngern
Group. The younger Chantarasurin’s team includes former members of
The Mae Wang Group scored number 2 on the ticket with
Phairoj Lohsoonthorn, a long-term Member of Parliament from Lampang who has
survived many elections, sending Mrs. Sunee Sommee, who was a member of the
PAO in the Wang Nua District, in at number 2.
The last group was the Boonchu Pattana Group, led by the
aptly named Boonchu Trithong, a Lampang senator who decided to field
candidates in five areas out of a total of 30.
It is also interesting, for those who watch Thai
politics, that the Doi Ngern Group and the Mae Wang Group are running
separate tickets, sending their own candidates to compete against each
other, even though they were in alliance at the last election.
Drug traffickers still being caught in Thailand
Methamphetamines, opium and weapons seized
The Pha Muang task force has seized more than 14,000
methamphetamine pills, along with raw opium and weapons in Wiang Haeng
district, Chiang Mai.
Maj. Gen. Manas Paorik, the commander of Pha Muang task
force, assigned cavalry forces to keep watch on the drug situation and in
response, they set up a checkpoint at Ban Chong, in Wiang Haeng district.
They then apprehended two suspects who were searched, revealing a haul of
14,000 methamphetamine tablets, half a kilogram of raw opium, 7 rounds of
ammunition and one knife.
The two males confessed they were hired to bring the
drugs to customers, but disclosed no details of their employers. Further
interrogation might assist them to remember the source.
Pha Muang special task force would continue their
operation to suppress the remaining drug networks in the north.