Onion farmers complain they are being skinned
Brought tears to the eyes of 1,000 growers
More than 1,000 onion planters and farmers from San Pa
Tong and Mae Wang districts gathered at Chiang Mai City Hall to register
their protests against the low onion prices. The demonstration came about
after their letters of complaint were not acknowledged.
The farmers said they had not gained any assistance from
the authorities concerned. Onion prices dropped to 1 baht a kilogram, while
the investment cost of onion planting is about 4-5 baht per kilogram.
onion farmers say they are being skinned, so last week over 1,000 onion
planters and farmers from San Pa Tong and Mae Wang districts gathered at
Chiang Mai City Hall to register their protests against the low onion
Saokham Yon-in, chairman of Don Pao Tambon Administration
Organization and the leader of onion planters, said that the planters had
banded together to help each other by protesting and making an official
“If the authorities will guarantee that the onion
prices will not be lower than the investment cost, they will be satisfied.
But they are upset because the authorities accepted their petitions, but did
nothing to help the planters raise onion prices,” he said.
Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat invited
representatives of the onion ‘union’ to discuss the situation. After
listening to the onion growers, Governor Suwat vowed to alert the
Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives Ministry and appointed
representatives to help solve the problem with the official authorities.
With tears (of joy) in their eyes, the skinned onion growers finally
dispersed after hearing that someone was taking their tears seriously.
Thai Cabinet strikes compromise on
The Associated Press
Bowing to protests from Bangkok’s world-famous
nightlife industry, the Cabinet agreed Tuesday to compromise on a regulation
that would have forced many nightspots to close at midnight, two hours
earlier than the current deadline.
All nightlife establishments, including restaurants,
bars, massage parlors and nightclubs, will be allowed to stay open until 1
a.m. no matter where they are located, according to a regulation approved at
Tuesday’s weekly Cabinet meeting.
As part of its campaign to curb youth crime and promote
traditional values, the government announced in January that all nightspots
outside specified entertainment zones would close at midnight instead of 2
The regulation was supposed to take effect Monday night
but was suspended at the last minute.
The Cabinet revised its decision after vigorous protests
from business owners and workers in the nightlife sector, who said they were
not consulted and that the earlier closing hours threatened their
livelihoods and the tourism industry.
The new regulation must still be reviewed by legal
experts, but is expected to come into effect on April 1.
Deputy Interior Minister Pracha Maleenont described the
new Cabinet decision as a compromise.
“This decision meets halfway between what is wanted by
operators of such places and law enforcers,” said Pracha, who is in charge
of the government’s so-called “social order” campaign to clean up Thai
Setting earlier closing hours is part of a government
effort to curb growing juvenile crime, restore traditional values and alter
the country’s well-entrenched image as a raunchy paradise for sex tourists
and thrill seekers.
“I am confident that the new measures will prevent
youth from being spoiled by those places, and we can also reduce number of
crimes and accidents,” Pracha said.
Nightspot operators had mixed feelings about the Cabinet
Sura-aek Mekprasertwit, a co-owner of the Good Evening
pub and restaurant, said it was a relief that everyone would receive the
same treatment, “but still there will be a lot of negative impact on
businesses and people working at night, including taxi drivers.”
Chiang Mai’s Safe Driving Week launched
Will only work if the authorities continue more than 7 days
Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat presided over the
opening ceremony of the Safe Driving Week, promoting headlights on and
helmets worn, to help reduce the number of road accidents. The Command
Center for Road Safety Control has set up the week long campaign in every
province as Safe Driving Week.
sales boomed on the day campaign was launched.
On February 27, there was a parade of motorcycles, at the
Chiang Mai Municipal Stadium, where the Chiang Mai Provincial police
commander, Pol. Maj. Gen Kasem Rattanatsoonthorn also attended. On the day
there were motorcycle service clinics and a good standard safety helmet
could be bought for B. 99.
parade with headlights on and helmets worn.
Governor Suwat said turning on the headlights of the
motorbikes would make the motorcyclists easier to see, and could help
prevent road accidents. The province is responding to the government’s
policy and campaign with the hope that the people in Chiang Mai province
would cooperate and help prevent road accidents.
Mae Sai bridge to open more trade with Burma (Myanmar)
Another bridge over troubled waters?
Pachara Sinsawas, chief of Mae Sai Customs House said
that the second Thailand-Burma Bridge at Mae Sai in Chiang Rai province is
scheduled to be opened in April. This is in response to increased border
trade over the past year.
The Mae Sai Customs House chief said that border trade at
present is continuing to be prosperous with a great number of visitors
traveling through the area and as a result, income from taxes has exceeded
the previous estimated figures.
The plan to introduce another custom house at the new
bridge is underway with budget support from the government and 200 rai of
land would be expropriated for road construction around the Mae Sai
district, leading to the bridge.
He believes that the new bridge would help build up not
only strong relationships between Thailand and Burma, but also benefits in
trade and tourism for both countries.
Chiang Rai preparing
for an economic boom
Trade with Burma, Laos and China proposed
Chiang Rai Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with Mae
Sai Customs House, Department of Customs arranged a seminar on the potential
of business, tourism and investment in Chiang Rai province’s economic
border area to urge local business people to be prepared for commercial and
trade competition with other countries.
Sermchai Kittirattanapaiboon, president of Chiang Rai
Chamber of Commerce, said that the Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai was a
significant spot for Thai trading exchange with neighboring countries like
China, Burma and Laos. “If the entrepreneurs are not well prepared for
business competition, they might miss a good commercial and trade
opportunity,” he said.
Pachara Sinsawat, chief of Mae Sai Customs House, stated
that this seminar would increase confidence and potential of trading
competition with neighboring countries located in the Golden Triangle area.
Many experienced people from the Foreign Trade
Department, Custom Department and Committee of Chiang Rai Chamber of
Commerce were invited to be instructors at the seminar to give information
on trading such as importing and exporting procedures, policies of export
promotion with tax and tariff and other duty-free trading zones.
The seminar was held at Inn Come Hotel, Chiang Rai
province. Rachen Phojanasoonthorn, Foreign Trade Depart- ment
director-general, presided over the opening ceremony and 300 entrepreneurs
and businessmen attended.
Own a car? The tax man is looking for you!
Last year, Atsathai Rattanadilok na Phuket, head of Chiang
Mai Provincial Transport Office, announced a type of amnesty for car owners
who had not paid their taxes. The period of grace has now finished, and the
Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transport Office will now proceed with decisive
measures to identify the tax evaders.
If you use a public road, you will pay your dues to the
government, is the new watch-phrase. This can involve 10 or 20 years back
taxes in addition to fines as set by the law.
The fine, according to the vehicular act, is 1,000 baht
and transportation fine is 5,000 baht. However government policy is now to
prosecute and recover all debts owed to the state.
Increases in electricity charges not caused by power shortage says EGAT
Shocking news from Mae Moh plant
Kiartisarn Ekaphan, the assistant governor of Mae Moh
Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) said rising charges were
not related to any shortage of electricity, as they have 35 percent more
power in reserve over and above current demand.
Rising oil prices would result in increasing the cost of
power generation, even though more than 70 percent of fuel used is natural
gas from the Gulf of Thailand and Burma. However, oil demand is rising in
the power plant owing to the problems with the natural gas pipeline from
“The EGAT only submitted a report related to higher
cost of electricity generation for consideration by the committee concerned
with pricing, and it was this committee that raised the charges,” said
He said that all power plants across Thailand could
supply electricity at an average of 26,000 megawatts; the entire power
consumption in the country is only 65 percent of that, leaving 35 percent in
power reserve. Even if the demand for power increased by 20 percent in the
near future, Thailand had no need to invest in additional power plants.
He also expressed the opinion that there are no problems
with the supply of raw materials for the production process, so this also
means no increasing electricity charges.
Ban Tawai chosen
as OTOP pilot village
Local government still clinging onto hope of tourist dollars
Supol Ditsukthaworn, district chief
officer of Hang Dong, Chiang Mai feels assured that Ban Tawai, as the pilot
One Tambon One Product (OTOP) village could attract visitors and support
The district chief officer said that Ban Tawai of Moo 2,
Tambon Khun Khong, was qualified as a pilot OTOP village for tourism with
budget put aside of more than 4 million baht to be kept under the
supervision of Khun Khong Tambon Administration Organization. This follows
the government policy in terms of tourism leading to an economic boom within
He also believes that this project would help demonstrate
the craftsmanship skills and folk wisdom of local manufacturers in producing
various products from materials found in the area.
Plans to link this village with other tourist spots in
San Kamphaeng district and the historical sites of Wiang Kum Kam in Saraphi
district, would be carried out after the project was judged as achieved.
Meanwhile, the districts were in preparation to welcome all visitors during
the coming Songkran festival, which they believe would bring revenue to the
San Kamphaeng fair popular with locals
Let’s do it every year urge townspeople
San Kamphaeng district has launched an ambitious 10 week
plan called San Kamphaeng, the land of handicrafts. According to San
Kamphaneg district officer, Surachai Chongrak, they have been holding the
tourism promotion event every Saturday for the past 10 weeks and it has
proven to be a success so far.
officer Surachai Chongrak.
He noted that many tourists visit the district fair,
generating more than 300 million baht, which has resulted in an economic
boom in the district, bringing back life to San Kamphaeng once again.
From a survey conducted by Chiang Mai University,
although many townspeople expressed their concerns, 97 percent still want
the street fair next year, as it generates income and promotes tourism to
the region. The district chief officer said that it was, however, just
initially a trial period of tourism promotion in the district. “If this
event will continue, district officials will work in cooperation with local
agencies, housewives, village headman, and others,” he added.
highlight of the promotion plan will include the street fair, umbrella
painting demonstrations, handicraft show and entertainment.
The highlight of the promotion plan will include the
street fair, umbrella painting demonstrations, handicraft show and
entertainment. The exhibition hall, displaying the history and background of
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, will also be open to the lucky public.
NOHMEX 2004 scheduled for March 5-9
Modern Lanna crafts featured
The Northern Craft Design Festival 2004 will be held March
5-9 at the Art Museum, Chiang Mai University, by the Northern Handicrafts
Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NOHMEX). The hours will be from 10
a.m. till 4 p.m.
In cooperation with the SME Center the festival will be
displaying and selling retail products, featuring best design and beautiful
products with good quality. The festival concept will be mainly on modern
Lanna style, emphasizing handicraft and sculpture. Visitors will find good
quality products which are aimed for export on display, according to Sukin
Wongsa, the president of NOHMEX. People could also go shopping to choose and
buy OTOP and SME products.
Sukin expected that the sales target would be around 10
million baht, as there will be about 200 shops selling different items.
A seminar on SME production will be also organized for
interested entrepreneurs including the demonstration of products, an
industrial clinic, product design contest, packaging contest, as well as,
entertainment for festival goers.
Metered taxi service looks to the future
Tourists are looking anxiously down the road
Singkham Nanti, chairman of Nakhon Lanna Transport
Cooperatives, stated that the cooperative started metered taxi service on
February 14 and many Chiang Mai people and tourists in the local areas have
been using the taxi service.
An increasing number of residents and tourists turn to
the metered taxi instead of the red song taew mini-busses that have been the
symbol (but primitive) mode of public transportation services in Chiang Mai.
The cooperative’s metered taxis are the same colors as those used in
In the near future, it is planned that more than 300
metered taxis will replace some red mini buses in the Chiang Mai City area.
One metered-taxi will replace one red mini bus to maintain the balance.
Singkham also guaranteed that there would be no
opposition from tuk-tuk drivers even though the taxis are their competitors,
because all the tuk-tuk drivers have accepted the Chiang Mai Provincial
Transportation Office’s resolution that allows the taxis to be used,
replacing the song taew mini busses.
Currently the cooperative has only 3 metered taxis and
that seems to be inadequate. Passengers who want to take the metered taxi
service can call 053 271 242 and 01 952 0900. The taxi service starts at 6
a.m. and runs until midnight each day.
An efficient taxi service is one area of Chiang Mai’s
tourism that has gone unheeded for too long, and it is one positive step in
the correct direction.
Villagers thank police for return of stolen Buddha images
70 villagers and students from Maepong School, who
respect the revered Buddha images from Wat Maepong, Doi Saket district,
Chiang Mai, were led by Phra Kru Manit Pattarakul, the abbot, and Phra
Somyos Piyathammo, the deputy abbot, to express their gratitude to the
police investigation team on recovering their stolen Buddha images. This was
held at the Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5.
from Doi Saket district pay respect to the returned Phra Yongkaeng Buddha
The villagers’ representative thanked the police for
their part in recovering one of the most respected Phra Yonkaeng images,
more than 1,000 years old.
Phra Kru Manit Pattarakul, the abbot of Wat Maepong, has
asked the officers to mete out heavy punishment to the culprits.
and students’ representative presents flowers to thank Pol Lt Gen Chalor
Chuwong, the commissioner of the Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5.
Pol Gen Lt Chalor Chuwong, the commissioner of the police
bureau, region 5, said during the past three years there have been about 50
cases of Buddha image robberies, but only 22 cases resulted in successful
He said that all three most revered and respected images
that were recently snatched from a temple in Hot district were recovered and
returned to the temple in Hot District.
The patter of little feet in Chiang Mai Zoo?
Chinese officials to look into nocturnal nuptials, as pandas get frisky
Chiang Mai Zoo is buying up heavily on panda
‘pampers’ as the gossip columnists are predicting hearing the sound of
little paws later this year. Thewee and Thewan, the Thai-Chinese friendship
ambassadors, have been becoming very friendly recently.
pandas sleep, regaining their strength after a heavy night?
According to Gen Lertrat Rattanawanitch, chairman of the
committee on marketing of the Zoological Park Organization, and the research
project for the pandas in Thailand, said they are expecting the birth of the
first baby panda in Thailand soon.
Judging by the age of the pandas, it was thought that
they would not be having a family until around 2007; however, it appears
that they might have begun early, having thrown off the constraints of
living at “home” in China and perhaps putting together some of those
long-lasting holiday memories.
Chinese officials are traveling to Chiang Mai around
March-April this year to study their breeding habits. If they score the
jackpot and fireworks fly the first time out, the delivery would be expected
around August or September.
Both bears are very healthy and strong, eating around 10
kilograms of food per panda, per day. The female panda’s weight has risen
from 60 - 80 kilograms, while the male has gone from 106 to 125 kilograms.
Since the two pandas from China settled down on October 20, more than
400,000 visitors have come to see them, generating more than 15 million baht
in revenue for the zoo.
Chiang Mai plans short-time drought strategies
But will they hold water?
Chiang Mai plans to launch its strategy to prevent
drought and solve the problem before this year’s dry season. Chumporn
Intathep, head of Chiang Mai Public Disaster Prevention and Relief
Operations Office, stated that the Chiang Mai office has set strategies that
would integrate with other organizations for continual cooperation and
sustainable prevention. The offices in the province’s districts also plan
to develop more water resources.
The office has made an index of drought villages by
listing them in order of priorities. It has also assigned to many districts
the plan of conserving and supplying water to provide villagers with enough
water during the drought season. Promotional campaigns of public water
resources development have been launched to help conserve and sustain the
Chumporn said that the preparation plan for the
strategies has been divided into 3 periods: short-time, medium-time and
long-time period. The office also assigned many districts to check their
water trucks, water pumps and all machines dealing with the drought to be
immediately ready for use.
The office also stays in close cooperation and contact
with other associated organizations including the Water Resource Department,
Underground Water Department, Irrigation Department and Royal Artificial
Chumporn said that last year the press reported the wrong
information on the drought situation, which caused a negative impact on the
office and associated organizations. Consequently this year, he has
appointed every district office to send their reports on the drought
situation to the provincial office to encourage the press to report the
Forest fires show their potential
Fireman severely injured
A visit to give moral support to Somnuek Chaipanya, an
injured fireman, was carried out by Siri Akka-akara, the director of the
Prevention of Forest Fires, National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation
The fireman was seriously injured while taking part in an
operation to control the forest fire situation in Mae Yuam National Park. He
was rushed to Mae Sariang district’s hospital in Mae Hong Son province.
Director Siri ensured that the man and his family had
enough funds for their immediate needs and then visited the scene of the
forest fire around a steep mountain region, known to be prevalent for
He expressed the opinion that the situation regarding
forest fires in Thailand would be more serious this year due to the drought.
However, he also expressed confidence that his office would be able to
manage this problem, but did ask for more cooperation from local residents
to keep alert and immediately inform the officers regarding the discovery of
any forest fires.
Ministry of Culture looking to upgrade its officers
Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel was the venue for Chiang Mai
province’s officials to meet with their Ministry of Culture, and be
advised as to their functions and the requirements of their posts. This was
in a milieu of the officials being told they were free to put forward their
points of view as well.
Jureemas, the Minister of Culture
Anurat Jureemas, the Minister of Culture, told the
attendees at the seminar that although the ministry is a new one, it has
excellent policies, but if the officials in the operation level do not
participate or understand the principles, the outcome will not be successful
and it will also create problems. “If the officials at every level
cooperate in determining the vision and plan the work together, the work
will definitely run well,” said the minister.
M.R. Chakarot Jitraphong, permanent secretary of the
Ministry of Culture said that the role of the academic has changed. It is a
government policy that the Ministry of Culture would consider the
qualifications of all personnel, be that executive, academic or operational
During April, the ministry will have a personnel
reshuffle. For the groups who have the new vision, they will have a good
chance for the future, not like the conservative groups that work slowly.
Last week, he authorized transfer documents for 17 people because qualified
persons were not working in the right job. From now on, the Ministry of
Culture will rearrange all positions in the appropriate way to drive the
mission the most efficiently.
The permanent secretary also added that the ministry has
plans for a Masters Degree Education Project where their people can continue
learning and working at the same time. The Ministry has arranged with
Thammasat University for the new syllabus of the Management of Cultural
Affairs that will start the first semester in this educational year 2004.
Chiang Mai talkback listeners agree with EGAT privatization
But many have worries about escalating prices
Most of Chiang Rai’s local listeners indicated their
support for the policy to privatize the EGAT and introduce it to the Stock
Exchange of Thailand. The opinions were aired through Radio Thailand, Chiang
Rai station’s talkback program. The radio program follows PM Thaksin
Shinawatra’s weekly live broadcast through radio networks under military
and police supervision across the country, every Saturday’s morning.
However some were concerned with the possibility of
higher charges for electricity and recommended a public referendum on this
issue before any decision by the government due to lack of information
forthcoming on the impacts of privatization.
Privately, many residents are more worried about the loss
of control over ‘public’ utilities and their control by private
interests, that could then hold the country to ransom. At this time the
privatization gives more “power” to the rich and less of a voice for the
Heifer International opens office in Chiang Mai
That’s no bull!
The 30th anniversary of Heifer International Thailand was
held recently in Chiang Mai during the opening of its new office here.
His Serene Highness Prince Bhisadej Rajani, chairman of
the Royal Project Foundation attended and jointly presided over the opening
of the new office with Charles Stewart, chairman of Heifer International.
HSH Prince Bhisadej also made a presentation to Dr Chau Ba Loc, the director
of Heifer International Vietnam.
Serene Highness Prince Bhisadej Rajani (2nd left), chairing the opening
ceremony of the new office with the guests of honor and Heifer International
Others at the opening ceremony included Pramoj Ua-amnuay, director of
Heifer International Thailand; Dr James De Vries, senior vice president for
programs; senator for Chiang Rai Tuanjai Deethes, and Dr Mahendra Lohani,
director of Heifer International for the South Asia-Pacific zone, and
officials from the Livestock Department and from Chiang Mai University’s
Faculty of Agriculture.
to drag Chiang Mai into
the 21st century
Everything is on the way up -
other than entertainment opening hours!
Ministerial representatives, district chief officers and
sub-district chief officers met at Chiang Mai Hills Hotel in an effort to
implement strategies for benefits of our Thai citizens and at the same time,
conform to provincial integrated administration.
On this occasion, Suwat Tantipat, the governor of Chiang
Mai, said that the three aspects of provincial strategies include proactive
plans to build a new economic structure with a boost to investment and new
industries, while at the same time, adjustment plans were put in place to
increase the value of the present economic structure to benefit industries,
tourism, agriculture and sustainable development, whilst restoring folk
culture as well as promoting it to the outside world.
Other plans to push the provincial strategies ahead
focused on appropriate management of natural resources such as forest
rehabilitation, highland development and improvements in the use of water
resources accompanied by measures to solve poverty, secure life and
property, and conserve natural resources.
The ceremony was attended by representatives from 20
concerned parties and they agreed to follow the proposed strategies of the
province to help the integrated administration in a bid to boost Chiang Mai
as the city of life and prosperity.
The Chiang Mai governor presided over the ceremony to
sign the agreement on provincial strategies for the 2004 fiscal year.
Four nations look
at shipping route problems
Giant catfish just one of them
A committee comprising experts from the four countries
China, Thailand, Burma and Laos are surveying the Mekong River as further
steps to expand water routes linking the South China Sea.
The Joint Committee of Coordination on Commercial
Navigation of Lan Chang-Mekong River (JCCCN), consisting of representatives
from the four countries, carried out the third survey and plan to improve
water channels for commercial navigation covering a distance of 331
kilometers of water routes from Guanlei border point of China to Chiang Rai
province of Thailand.
Zhao Zhue Ming, the Chinese survey team leader, said the
plan to dynamite rocks and cataracts to make convenient watercourses along
the Lan Chang and Mekong River would be completed soon and erecting
navigation signs along the routes is underway.
However, some areas marked by Thailand and Laos such as
Kon Phi Luang of Tambon Rim Khong, Chiang Khong district, Chiang Rai
province were proposed for reconsideration and additional surveying because
the citizens are worried about the environmental impact that might end up
leading to the giant catfish (pangasianodon gigas) becoming extinct.
He added that the survey of navigation routes at Kon Phi
Luang and the decision to dynamite rocks obstructing the waterway would
definitely be done, and more than 30 Chinese experts on the environment,
fishery and navigation are collecting data and procedures to avoid negative
impacts on the environment, endangered fish and rare plants, found in the
The decreasing water level in the Mekong River now was
relayed back to the committee from the four countries. During this period,
dams in China would be periodically shut down to block the transportation
routes for three days and allow only one day for navigation activities.
“At Risk” groups for human trafficking advised
Vocational training centers to get message across
Vocational training courses will help reduce the problem
of trafficking in women and children, says Minister of Social Development
and Human Security Sora-art Klinprathum. He disclosed that measures to
establish vocational training centers together with homes for children and
women across the country could help reduce the serious problems of trading
in women and children.
One course was delivered at the Vocational Training
Center, Chiang Rai, with more than 400 participants from the at risk groups
paying much attention to the programs. The government also announced it has
planned to introduce more training centers in the northern region to address
the problem of human trafficking.
Officials were monitoring the situation and took
responsibility to supervise the at risk groups, especially hill tribe people
and other residents from rural areas. However, he added that the government
was keeping alert on the situation and would seek close cooperation from
neighboring countries to help solve the human trafficking problem.
Chiang Mai governor wants arsonists charged
Forests going to blazes say officials
Chiang Mai CEO Governor Suwat Tantipat complained to the
Provincial Forest Office about their failing on the management and control
of forest fires and said decisive measures must be instituted now.
Jringsoongnern, the director of Forest Preservation and Management, Area 16
Office, reported on the fire situation.
The press conference on the occasion of Toxic Smoke Free
Day was organized by Pakorn Jringsoongnern, the director of Forest
Preservation and Management, Area 16 Office, at Huay Kaew Botanical Park,
Chiang Mai Province, and saw some incendiary remarks from the Chiang Mai
governor who presided over the event.
Suwat Tantipat said that the forest is a precious
treasure of our country, and forest fires affect the total economic system
of the country.
The governor said that since he has been in charge, he
has never seen even one arsonist brought to justice. In the past, the
Provincial Forest Office just worked on the campaign to educate people to
understand about loss from forest fires, but it was already proved that
forest fires are not because of natural phenomena but man made in 100
percent of the cases. “Therefore, we have to punish these persons, because
they are not afraid of the law. This year, the Provincial Forest Office must
be strict and apply decisive measures against the arsonists and prosecute to
the full extent of the law to prevent imitators,” he said.
Suphol Leelawaropas, the director of the Forest Fire
Operation, said that the drought will come earlier than last year because
the wind and monsoons from southern China. Since December 2003 up till now,
more than 1,000 forest fires took place in the areas of Chiang Mai and
Lamphun. The Forest Preservation and Management of Area 16, with the 720
officers and 16 fire-fighting units located in every district of both Chiang
Mai and Lamphun are responsible for an area of 7,000 rai. It is impossible
for our officers to fight fires in every area, he protested.
It is very necessary for every person to assist because the forest
natural resource does not belong to the officers or an organization only. It
is the duty and responsibility of every person to look after our valuable
resource so that in the future the next generation can appreciate the green
Is KTTR a real step forward in police relations?
Certainly a real step forward for foreigners
Chiang Mai businessman Alastair Connon, a former UK Crime
Prevention chairman, has been appointed as the first foreign adviser to
assist the KTTR committee and help promote better relations between the
Royal Thai Police and foreigners.
KTTR is an abbreviation of what is more widely known by
Thais as “Kor tor tor ro” (aka the National Federation of Police
Monitors), which is now turning its attention to promoting its role to
foreign investors, tourists and residents.
Col. Jinabhadra Tansrisakul, superintendent Chiang Mai Immigration, and
Unfair treatment, corruption, apathy and intimidation are
just some of the reasons people mistrust the police and are reluctant to
contact them. In recent times things have changed dramatically. Since
KTTR’s inception some three years ago, people have felt more optimistic
that their complaints about the police’s actions will actually be dealt
KTTR is responsible for closer relations between police
and the people. It has the legal right to inspect and monitor police
performance relating to their handling of the public, and to help create a
better understanding and mutual respect.
Over the past 3 years, the organisation has grown
substantially, with most police stations in Bangkok now having a KTTR
presence of 5 to 7 members, bridging the gap between senior police officers
and the public.
These representatives are primarily involved with
assisting the public in understanding the role of the police and how they
work, by guiding them through police procedures, giving them advice and,
most importantly, giving the public the opportunity to complain without
feeling intimidated or worried about any repercussions.
Essential information on most crimes is out there and the
feedback provided by the public to the police via KTTR has resulted in a
reduction in corruption, and valuable intelligence on drug suppliers has
also been forthcoming.
For the skeptics who feel that KTTR has no teeth, they
should consider the case of a former chief of police who, after having been
reported as unwilling to work with KTTR and the local community, was moved
to another province, and the three superintendents who were suspended from
duty after KTTR found that the underground lottery was still flourishing in
their districts - despite government funds being made available to them to
combat the problem.
Understanding the need to promote better relations
between the Royal Thai Police and foreigners, Deputy Commissioner-General
Suthorn Saikwan has appointed Chiang Mai businessman Alastair Connon as the
first foreign adviser.
Part of the new foreign adviser’s brief is to highlight
possible areas of breakdown in communication and gather information and
comments from members of the foreign community and to provide an avenue for
foreigners to raise their ideas for improvements.
Commander, Immigration Division 3, Major General
Patrachai Hiranyaveja has already instructed the creation of a new English
language “Immigration Bureau” website, which is currently under
development - resulting from feedback Alastair Connon received from the
foreign consulates in Chiang Mai of the need for detailed immigration
information available in English.
If you have any suggestions, you can contact Alastair
Connon. Write in English to [email protected] or in Thai to [email protected]
New Chittagong-Chiang Mai route brings counterfeiters closer, quicker
Vigilant immigration police spot fakes as well as fakers
Pol. Lt. Col. Grish Saengpol, inspector at the Chiang Mai
Immigration Police Office, in cooperation with police officers from Phuphing
Police Station, arrested two Bangladeshi passengers at Chiang Mai
International Airport, found carrying counterfeit US dollar banknotes.
The aspiring scam artists, Manik and Mohammed Shahid,
were passengers on a Thai Airways flight, hoping to bring a suitcase full of
new imports to Thailand to redress the balance of exports between the two
They were arrested during the arrival baggage checking
process after the officers found many fake US banknotes in their luggage.
After investigating, it was found that both Manik, 51, and Mohammed Shahid,
45, were in possession of fake 100 dollar bills. They were charged with
possessing and illegally carrying counterfeit currency into the kingdom.