Political canvasser escapes injuries in “politically motivated” shootout
Building damaged, but no one was hit
Therdsak Jiamkijwattana, a political canvasser for PAO
presidential candidate Udornphan Chantaraviroj, was shot at three times in
what turned into a wild shootout at Chiang Mai Journalists Association
of Therdsak’s staff points to the .38 revolver bullet holes in the Chiang
Mai Journalists Association window.
Therdsak survived the ordeal, and in fact didn’t even
get hit, but did manage to pop off a few shots of his own, which he said
chased the gunmen away. No one, either in or out of the office, was injured.
The gun battle took place at around midnight on March 9.
Therdsak told police that while he was starting to leave the building, he
noticed 2 strangers wearing helmets and black clothes approach the building.
He said the perpetrators threw a soda bottle at the door to break the glass,
then began firing into the building. One shot hit the door, two more hit an
The 37-year-old Therdsak said he responded by shooting
back at them, which, he said, scared them off. However, during their
getaway, the gunmen fired two more shots into the building.
Astute Police Lt Col Wichien Charnwech, inspector at the
Muang District Police Station, surmised that due to Therdsak being the main
canvasser for Udornphan Chantaraviroj, a candidate for president of Chiang
Mai Provincial Administration Organization election this Sunday, the
shooting was most likely a result of political conflicts.
However, the case is still open and during the continuing
investigation, police will not rule out the possibility of business or
Therdsak owns the Chiang Mai Journalists Association building where the
shooting took place, which is located in the Raming Nives Housing estate on
Thippanet Road. He is also the vice president of Chiang Mai Journalists
Association, and the owner of Wihok Walkie-Talkie Radio Center.
PAO election this weekend
Eligible voters urged to turn out at the polls -
bars will be closed during elections
General elections for president and members of Chiang
Mai’s Provincial Administration Organization take place this Sunday, March
14, and eligible voters are being urged to show up at the polls to cast
Perhaps to help encourage this, but more likely because
it’s the law, sales of alcoholic beverages will be prohibited from 3 p.m.
Saturday March 13 to 3 p.m. Sunday March 14. According to the election law,
it is even illegal for restaurants to sell wine with dinner.
It is also against the law for the press to provide an
uneven amount of coverage for any particular candidate over the rest of the
candidates, and this past week the local press was sat down in front of the
Election Commission and reminded of their duties in this regard.
Election Commission heavyweights organized and spoke at
the meeting, including Kitti Prommarat, chairman of the Election Commission,
Niran Kamsemanat, director of Chiang Mai Provincial Election Commission, Pol
Major-Gen Pimol Sintunawa, Election Commission committee member, and Kanapol
Pinkaew, permanent secretary of the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration
Organization. Journalists were reminded not to make biased reports.
Kitti said that the press is the most powerful and
influential unit of Thai society, and that some journalists ignore the
election law and report the news in a way that might affect some candidates.
He said the seminar was held to provide a chance for election committees and
news people to discuss election news and exchange opinions on how to report
Meanwhile, the election committees are working overtime
to try and motivate as many people as possible to come out and vote. They
have published 1 million leaflets to promote the election, and have produced
tapes and CDs in all the local dialects to be broadcast on the many radio
stations in the region.
Kanapol Pinkaew, permanent secretary of the Chiang Mai
Provincial Administration Organization, also said that the committee
coordinated with Wing 41, which sent out helicopters to promote the election
in mountain and boarder areas on March 11 and 12. So, if you happened to be
in those areas and heard the copters buzzing around, that’s what they were
“TT&T Co., Ltd.’s northern branch is also
supporting the election by reporting election results through its high speed
Internet system,” added the secretary. “Chiang Mai will be the first
city in the country to apply Internet technology to help report election
Polls will be open from 8.30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Chiang Mai airport needs work to become the much vaunted regional hub
Mae Hia village protests being addressed
If Chiang Mai International Airport wants to be developed
as the aviation hub, it must extend its runways, said Flying Officer Suthara
Huangsuwan, the director of Airports Authority of Thailand (AOT), Chiang Mai
Officer Suthara Huangsuwan, general manager of AOT, Chiang Mai Branch.
Chiang Mai International Airport is located on an area of
14,275 square meters. To service the attempt to become an aviation hub, 114
million baht has been set aside to be used from January 20 to August 16 this
year for expanding the airport’s building and lounge area for passengers
and 2,129 million baht for developing the runways and surrounding areas.
International arrival and departure lounges will be
extended to hold 650 passengers and AOT will also provide another
aero-bridge for the airport.
Thai Airways International (THAI) and AOT have planned
expending the runway by 300 meters into the northern part (Royal Thai Air
force land) that will be enable Boeing 747-400 planes to land en route to
London. The Air Force Engineering Department has been employed to make an
examination of the condition and strength of the runway, while Southeast
Asia Technology Co., Ltd. will study the environmental impact after the
residents are protesting against expanding the southern section of Chiang
Mai International’s runway to connect with the Chiang Mai - Hang Dong
Currently there are nine airline companies operating in
the airport including five domestic companies: THAI, Bangkok Airways, Orient
Thai Airlines, Phuket Airlines, and Thai AirAsia, and four international
companies: Silk Air, Lao Aviation, Mandalay Airways, and Mandarin Airlines.
These international airlines make between 64-70 flights a day using the
Chiang Mai airport, he said.
During the year 2003, there were 15,774 arrival and
departure flights, approximately 2 million passengers and 24,885 tons of
cargo through Chiang Mai, returning a profit of 70 million baht for AOT.
Flying Officer Suthara said that it is common for every
company to be faced with problems when they start to do something new, and
the Mae Hia villagers’ protests against the runway extension will be
examined. AOT has assigned a consultant to study the villagers’
disagreement and carry out an environmental impact analysis covering noise,
air pollution, traffic jams or land appropriation problems.
He also said that the attempt to become a regional
aviation hub does not depend solely on the airport, but also on the
transparency of government policy, adequacy of accommodation, abundance of
tourist attractions and effective campaigns to promote tourism to Chiang
Protecting, positioning, promoting at Mekong Forum
The theme for the Ninth Mekong Tourism Forum is,
“Protect, Position and Promote,” which reflects PATA’s commitment to
managing the reputation of Asia Pacific travel and tourism.
Issues on the table at the Mekong Forum include product
development and private-sector investment. Three breakout sessions will
focus on the practicalities of the Forum’s theme.
The Forum’s keynote speakers are Professor Kaye Chon
and William E. Heinecke. An optional pre-Forum seminar on March 26 offers a
hands-on learning experience as participants will have to deal with a crisis
For more information about the Mekong Forum, please
contact PATA Director-Development Stephen Yong, tel. (66-2) 658-2000 ext.
122; Fax: (66-2) 658-2010; e-mail: [email protected] Web site:
Thai doctor a West Australian first
Dr. Pisak Chinchai graduates from Curtin University
Chiang Mai resident Pisak Chinchai has many reasons to
smile. But one of his biggest joys came last week when he became the very
first person from Thailand to graduate with a PhD from a West Australian
Mai resident Dr Pisak Chinchai became the first person from Thailand to
graduate with a PhD from a West Australian University.
He flew from Chiang Mai to Perth especially to attend the
Curtin University’s Graduation Ceremony last Thursday. He received his
Doctorate in Occupational Therapy with a Chancellor’s commendation for
His achievement gave cause for celebration throughout the
University. His academic supervisor Dr. Ruth Marquis who is Head of the
School of Occupational Therapy said at the graduation that all of Curtin
University would celebrate with him. She added that Dr. Chinchai had gone to
extraordinary lengths to earn his Doctorate. He had made considerable
sacrifice in his pursuit to improve Occupational Therapy within Thailand. He
was separated from his wife and young family over a four-year period to be
able to study in Australia. Dr. Marquis went on to say that his happiness
was contagious, and that his story inspires all who meet him to keep going,
in an increasingly demanding environment. She explained that Doctor
Chinchai’s study of people with spinal cord injuries in Thailand’s rural
areas had the potential to make a significant contribution to the
development of community based Occupational Therapy Services throughout
She concluded by saying that his research work looked in
particular at people in remote areas of Thailand where they lack the
hospital after care, health services, family support services, workplace
rehabilitation and re-training that Australians take for granted. Dr.
Chinchai now works as a Senior Lecturer at the School of Occupational
Therapy at Chiang Mai University.
Chiang Mai-Lampang Superhighway roadwork results in water shortages
Waterworks wants budget for new pipes
Choke-amnuay Saipao, manager of Chiang Mai Waterworks
Office, said that road improvements on the Chiang Mai-Lampang Superhighway,
in front of the Juvenile Court, have caused water shortages in many areas
around Chiang Mai City.
construction has caused a reduction in water supplies in Chiang Mai City.
Kaew Nawarat, Tung Hotel and Khuang Singh areas are the
worst hit. He explained that the road improvement has obstructed the large
transfer pipe for tap water. They have connected a smaller diameter pipe as
a makeshift effort, but this results in lower water volumes for the city.
To solve the shortage, the office has requested
additional funds from the Waterworks Regional Office 9 Chiang Mai to replace
the large diameter pipe, said Choke-amnuay.
At present, Chiang Mai Waterworks is transferring water
from Mae Taeng and Mae Kuang dam to provide tap water in the Muang district
areas, declared Somboon Konkaew, head of the Incomes Collection Department,
Chiang Mai Waterworks Office.
During this summer, it is expected that there will be water shortages in
many areas. Waterworks is asking residents who are experiencing problems to
contact the office, said Somboon.
Royal Artificial Rain Making Center ready to beat the drought
Waiting for the right conditions
Sinchai Puengtambon, from the Upper North Royal
Artificial Rain Making Center, said this year’s drought could be more
severe than last year, caused by very slight rainfall.
During dry season, he predicts the drought will affect 10
million rai, with 7.66 million rice farms and 2.9 million share crops
throughout the country.
The center has been cooperating with Chiang Mai
Meteorology Center and other provincial centers in the North to observe
cloud movements and relative humidity to suit the artificial rain process.
As soon as the correct clouds and humidity are present, the center will
start to produce the artificial rain.
Already some organizations, agencies and farmers have
requested the center to produce rain, because water resources in their areas
are getting low.
Every year, the center makes artificial rain during all
seasons and for different purposes. The rain produced in the dry season is
to provide moisture and prevent forest fires, in the wet season to produce
water for specific planting areas and in winter to prepare the temperatures
and humidity for production of the artificial rain in the next season.
Drought predicted for dry season
Reservoirs low, but rivers are fine
Chadam Ratchadakorn, head of the Water Distribution
Division, Irrigation Office 1, said that this year the drought would be
worse than previous years. During the past few months, there have been no
reports of rain in irrigation project areas in Chiang Mai, Lamphun, and Mae
Hong Son provinces.
Chiang Mai Irrigation area has 11 medium reservoirs
containing 23,402 million cubic meters, or about 66 percent of the
The reservoir at Phuphing Palace, which has a capacity of
25,579 cubic meters of water, contains only 7,465 cubic meters, or just 29
percent of its total capacity. Lamphun irrigation has four medium reservoirs
that altogether have water volume levels at only 43 percent of their total
However, water in the rivers and irrigation canals in
Chiang Mai areas are currently at normal levels. In Mae Hong Son, the water
level in main rivers like Nam Pai and Nam Yom are also still in the normal
Water shortages are predicted for March since the water
level is less than previous years, especially in Mae Kuang, Doi Saket
district, said Chadam.
Water shortages have already occurred in some areas in
Chiang Mai and water pumps and water trucks are not enough to maintain
supply. Farmers who began to plant during this dry season will be lucky to
get enough water to maintain their growing crops.
International Women’s Day celebrated in Chiang Mai
Warasin and Linda Ratchai
International Women’s Day was celebrated at Nawamin
Tarachutit Payap School on March 6, with Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat
presiding. The Chiang Mai governor also gave shields of honor to eight of
the most outstanding women workers and 23 outstanding housewives in Chiang
Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat presented a certificate to one of Chiang Mai’s
most outstanding women.
This celebration was held in advance of the world event
on March 8, because officials in Chiang Mai province want each district to
individually arrange their celebrations on March 8.
In 1975, the United Nations decreed March 8 each year as
International Women’s Day to encourage countries worldwide to promote
sexual equality, provide opportunity for women to develop themselves, and
encourage women’s participation in politics and international development.
Chiang Mai’s population is 1.6 million, over half of
which are women. “These days, many women associations have been
established in Chiang Mai,” said Thipakorn Udommaneewan, head of the
Provincial Welfare and Protection Office. Thipakorn also said that Chiang
Mai’s work force is 47 percent female.
of women gathered at Chiang Mai’s International Women’s Day event at
Nawamin Tarachutit Payap School.
Governor Suwat said that we have to accept that women today have a great
responsibility in both their families and society. He would also like to see
men celebrate Women’s Day to strengthen their understanding of the new
dimension in women’s roles.
Mae Moh escargots on UNESCO menu?
Work progressing at a snail’s pace?
The ministries concerned have agreed to take back a 43-rai
area containing fossilized freshwater snail shells from the Mae Moh
Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand’s (EGAT) concession area in
Athikom Supanpong, Lampang’s deputy governor, said that
the Cabinet approved a Natural Resource and Environment Ministry proposal to
appropriate the 43-rai area containing the 13-million-year old snail shells.
Natural Resource and Environment Minister Prapat
Panyachartrak announced the area will be preserved and will be promoted as a
new tourist spot. The ministry will also ask that the area be given
UNESCO’s world geological heritage listing.
Mae Moh EGAT last year found the snail fossils 12 meters
under the coal seam and excavated the area to find fossils in an area 150
meters wide and 200 meters long.
Handicraft Smart Enterprise project underway
200 SME owners attended a ceremony last week at the
Chiang Mai University Convention Center to promote the new Handicraft Smart
Enterprise project. The Industrial Finance Corporation of Thailand (IFCT),
the SME’s Bank, and the Board of Investment (BoI) are all involved in the
Somkid (center) presided over the contract signing ceremony at the CMU
Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak said that
in the past, people viewed SME’s as small units, but these days the
importance combining SME’s is being realized. However, in the future,
SME’s have to apply new technology and packaging techniques. Most
importantly, SME’s have to make their products respond to the demands of
the international markets.
Dr. Somkid continued, saying that current exporting
statistics suggest that SME’s export capacity is generally good, but there
are still some risks because many enterprises like to produce the same kind
of product. This creates high competition among SME’s themselves, which
could be counterproductive.
Dr. Somkid also suggested that the Lanna Industry Union, which produces
handicrafts, should cooperate with associated organizations to promote its
handicrafts internationally. Universities should also provide personnel who
are keen in developing the country’s industry and technology. Thai people
have to support Thai products instead of imported products to sustain
SME’s growth, he said.
Lanna Songkran to cost 70 million baht
But baths are free
Jutamas Siriwan, the governor of Tourism
Authority of Thailand (TAT), has stated that Chiang Mai would organize the
Grand Lanna Songkran Festival during April 2-11. The highlights of the
festival will be presented at the opening ceremony on April 2 and on April 9
there will be a procession along the main streets.
During the festival, Chiang Mai City will have a light
and sound show, wonderful fountains and traditional Lanna performances to
celebrate the Songkran festival.
Overseas cable channels such as INN, CCTV, and NHK, will
televise the festival, said Jutamas. The main venue will be around the
city’s moats but the light and sound show will be set on the stage along
Ping River, in front of the Chiang Mai Municipality Office.
It is estimated that over 100,000 tourists will head to
Chiang Mai for the grand festival. The budget for nationwide publicity of
the festival would not exceed 70 million baht, reported the Governor
This year’s Songkran festival would emphasize Lanna
culture and tradition and introduce it to foreigners, said Jutamas. They
will also get wet, said the voice of experience.
Crackdown on drunk drivers promised
Community service as well as jail and fines mooted
The authorities are saying that they accept the fact that
the road toll is too high, and with 50 percent of accidents caused by
drivers and riders with blood alcohol levels greater than 0.05 mgm percent,
something has to be done.
The Don’t Drink and Drive message has been promoted in
many ways by successive government agencies, with little or no effect. With
600 people dying on the roads over Songkran last year, statisticians will be
hard at work this year to show a reduction. (The road toll last year in
Thailand was around 13,000, with over 1,000,000 being injured.)
This year, the Probation Department, Ministry of Justice
has launched its promotional campaign to control the problem, and bring
those who break the law to justice. This is being done through a Drunk
don’t Drive Foundation and the Traffic Police Office Headquarters, who are
promising tougher application of the relevant laws.
According to the Land Traffic Act of 1978, it is illegal
for drunken people to drive. The penalties include imprisonment for up to
three months and a maximum fine of 10,000 baht. If a drunken driver injures
another person, the penalties escalate to up to three years jail and up to
6,000 baht fines. Killing an innocent victim can result in a fine of 20,000
baht and up to 10 years jail.
However, this year it is going to be different, say the
authorities. Application of the laws will be stricter. As well as fines and
jail sentences, convicted drunk drivers will have to carry out community
service and attend training courses under the control of the Probation
Office and Department, and carryout work such as sweeping the street,
cleaning traffic signs, painting traffic signs and street kerbs, helping
people cross the road and taking care of road accident victims.
What the authorities did not reveal is just how they are
going to catch the offenders, before they cause the accidents. How many
breathalyzers are held by the police in Chiang Mai? Blood alcohol
measurements are not practical as a roadside manoeuvre. Unfortunately
“education” promotions have not worked in the past, and threats of
community service on top of fines and imprisonment do not look like much of
a deterrent. This new tiger has neither teeth nor dentures.
We’re from the Taxation Department, and we’re here to help you
On-line tax form submission possible
Chiang Mai Provincial Revenue Office, Area
1 and the Region 8, Revenue Office has announced they provide on-line
services for people who want to submit their personal income tax assessment
electronically. This will be convenient for people who have to submit their
taxation form before March 31, 2004.
The service center is also set up at the city hall, which
will be very convenient with fully equipped computers. This service center
can save time and expense for many people because formerly people had to
submit their taxation forms directly at the provincial and district revenue
The on-line computer center is available at three
different locations; in front of Chiang Mai City Hall (the old building),
Robinson Department stores (Central Airport Plaza) and Tesco Lotus
(Kamthieng branch) until March 31, every day from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
With finger poised on the button, Prinya Parnthong,
Chiang Mai deputy governor, visited the on-line computer service and
submitted his personal income tax form last week.
Street kids - a universal problem
Boonmee Sawaengtham, the woman in charge of the Welfare
Center Home for Boys, said that the problem of homeless children is an
endless conundrum in the capital city of Chiang Mai province. The local Home
for Boys is under the supervision of the Ministry of Social Development and
“To solve this problem, we should start at the family
institution since it is very influential and close to the children. It is
not easy to control this social problem since homeless or street children
from other localities see Chiang Mai as a prosperous place for earning a
living and a large number of them head to the city every year,” said
The Home provides accommodation, probation, training and
education. More than 1,600 children have gone through the center and have
become well behaved members of the society, revealed Boonmee.
Both government and private sector NGO’s have been
cooperating, hoping to reduce and solve the problem. Initially, the
provincial authorities have assigned suitable people to work on a campaign
on the homeless children problem, with Chiang Mai’s deputy governor as the
working group chairman.
Others involved in the campaign include the deputy chief
of Chiang Mai Administrative Organization, chief of Children, Youth and
Women Protection Center; officers from Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5
Office; director of Social Welfare Division, Chiang Mai Municipality;
director of Non-Formal Education Center, officers from Social Development
and Welfare Office, chief of Welfare Home for Boys, representatives from
YMCA, children’s development volunteers, community drama project group and
Ban Ua Aree group.
The breakdown of the 100 street children living in Chiang
Mai shows that only 10 are living at the Home for Boys. There are around 30
selling flower garlands in the city. Of these, some have their own families
and go to school, while the others are assigned work by adults who are
involved in child slavery and labour.
Boonmee said that the Boys Home does not have the
authority to arrest these street children, but the police have a legal right
to do so and bring the children to the center. “For those who do not have
parents we would accept them and willingly take charge of them,” she said.
“We take care of them as if they were our own
children,” Boonmee said. “If they want to have special tutorial courses
on the weekends to make them smarter, we would let them have these just the
same as our own children.” Pleasingly, two youths from the Home for Boys
are going to graduate with bachelor degrees from Maejo University.
YMCA Chiang Mai and the Non-formal Education Center
assist them by providing educational opportunities for these children.
The southern provinces woo the north
Sea, sun and sand the draw cards
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is promoting domestic
tourism, in the wake of some recent dampeners on international arrivals, and
was behind a road show bringing representatives from southern provinces to
This month, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan and
Ratchaburi tourism enterprises held a road show here in Chiang Mai at
Imperial Grand Hall, Imperial Mae Ping Hotel, to persuade Northern people to
visit these provinces.
visit our seaside resorts, said tourism representatives from the South at
the recent road show held at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel, Chiang Mai.
Silachai Surai, director of TAT, Central Office, Region 2
said that this was their second road show in Chiang Mai. The main thrust of
the exhibition is to give northern people attractive offers to promote
travel to Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Ratchaburi.
The natural tourist attractions in the South are totally
different from those in the North. The South abounds seaside beaches, as
opposed to the North’s mountains and forests, said Silachai. “We aim to
attract families,” said Silachai, adding that, “We also aim at the MICE
market, because in our areas there are many hotels capable of supporting
this important facet of tourism.”
Silachai said that the bird flu crisis did not affect the
tourism situation in his areas because the numbers of incoming tourists in
each province is not too far below last year’s. The road show has been
extremely helpful in raising the interest of domestic tourists to each
Chinese to import Thai longan and lychee
Satisfied with Thailand’s production methods but dislike the price
Following a trade mission to China, led by Phitsanu
Rianmahasan, director of Import Policy Administration Committee Office,
together with representatives of longan and lychee orchard owners and
gardeners in four northern provinces including Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Chiang
Rai and Phayao, it was reported by Wipada Trisat, head of Chiang Mai
Provincial Commerce Office that an agreement has been reached with the
Chinese markets have agreed to import 15,200 tons of
dried longan left from last year’s harvest in Thailand. The Thai
government, in cooperation with the growers union, will deliver the longan
and lychee within the next month to China.
Chinese markets decided to import Thai longan and lychee
because Thai growers presented product quality guarantees, said Pratuang
Narintarangkul na Ayuttaya, president of Saraphi Longan Growers Cooperative
Committee, Chiang Mai.
The Thai government will jointly invest with the Hong
Sheng Company in China to build a cold storage facility in Jinghong (Chiang
Rung) that could hold up to 3,000 tons of fresh longan delivered from Chiang
Sean district of Chiang Rai before sending them on to China.
The Chinese market suggested the Thai government produce
the labels in Chinese to serve Chinese customers. Chinese markets also
complained that Thai longan price was more expensive than those from other
countries. The Thai government replied that even though the price was
higher, Thai longan is a better quality product.
Chiang Rai prepares for
Hill Tribe Games in June
“I’m a mountain man, and I like...”
Direk Konkleeb, Chiang Rai deputy governor, announced
that the Hill Tribe Games will take place from June 18-20 this year. Hill
tribe athletes will attend from 19 provinces throughout the country,
covering Kanchanaburi, Kamphaeng Phet, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Tak, Nan,
Phayao, Phitsanulok, Phetchabun, Phrae, Mae Hong Son, Ratchaburi, Lampang,
Lamphun, Sukhothai, Suphan Buri and Uthai Thani.
The events will include track and field, football,
volleyball, Sepak Takraw, Petanque and other traditional competitions.
“Hopefully, the games will help promote exercise and good healthy living
among hill tribes around the country,” said Direk.
Chiang Rai will select Hill Tribe athletes to represent
the province at a pre-event competition on March 21 and 22. For more
information, please contact the Sports Authority of Thailand, Chiang Rai
Provincial Center, or call 053 713 004 and Hill Tribes Development and
Welfare Center, Chiang Rai Province or call 01 992 5689.
Kad Suan Kaew
to build 350-room hotel
Krung Thai bank underwriting 200 million baht complex
Pol Lt Suchai Kengkarnkha, managing director of Kad Suan
Kaew, stated during its 12-year anniversary celebration that the company
plans to expand and improve its hotel business and department store.
Lt Suchai Kengkarnkha, MD of Kad Suan Kaew shopping park and hotel complex,
A 200 million baht budget, underwritten by the Krung Thai
Bank would be spent on improving its current hotel facilities and
constructing a new one. The new hotel will be located on 15 rai of land
close to the current hotel complex, and construction is expected to be
completed within two years.
The new hotel rooms will be on the 10-15th floors of the
new building with the lower nine floors used for car parking.
Management is confident that the new hotel would be profitable because
Chiang Mai has a high potential in tourism with over 2 million tourists
annually, bringing much tourist dollar revenue to the city, said the
Chiang Mai police apprehend Samurai gang members
Fancy swordsmanship not enough to get away
Phuping Police have arrested two members of the teenage
Samurai Gang. They were on the trail of three of the young miscreants, but
one is still at large. The gang had followed a victim to his home in Sai Lom
Joy village, where they injured a man and stole his motorcycle and
Samurai Gang members, Daeng and Ake, shown here with some of the haul and
their samurai sword, were charged at Phuping Police station.
Pol Col Prachuab Wongsook, superintendent of Phuping
Station, commanded the investigation team, led by Pol Capt Jaran Kampa,
investigation police deputy inspector, to examine the crime scene and hunt
for the criminals.
After questioning the witness, police officers knew that
the criminals were named Daeng and Ake. One hour later, policemen arrested
Thawatchai, or Daeng, at Udomlert Court behind Chiang Mai University, and
Nisithi, or Ake, at his rented house on Santitham Road. The officers
impounded the stolen motorcycle, a 2 foot long samurai sword and the
unregistered motorcycle they used when carrying out the robbery.
The two teenage criminals confessed that they took up
crime to pay for their football gambling habit. They followed their victim
looking for the opportunity to rob him.
When they reached the village, they realized the place
was deserted, so they called the victim to stop and threatened him with the
sword. The frightened victim handed over his possessions and ran, leaving
his motorcycle for the criminals.
Pol Capt Jaran said that the teen gangsters had been committing crimes
two to three times a month, but police had stepped up surveillance and were
routinely stopping youngsters on unregistered motorcycles.
Safari Night Zoo entering animal exchange program
Swap you a slug for a three toed sloth - if you rush!
Chiang Mai Safari Night Zoo is getting ready to stock up
on animals and promises species that are not usually seen in Thailand.
Animals and wildlife from foreign countries will be brought to Thailand as
part of an international animal exchange program.
Under this program, species of animals and wildlife from
Thailand’s National Park, Wildlife and Plants Department will be sent to
participating countries under stringent wildlife exchange rules.
Pisarn Wasuwanitch, the inspector-general of the Ministry
of Natural Resources and Environment said the exchange program would soon be
underway, while construction of Chiang Mai Safari Night Zoo is forging
ahead. The Night Zoo progress is 15 percent at present, and within the time
frame. Current work includes landscaping and fencing.
So far, he indicated that 200 million baht, of the total
one billion baht, has been used for the infrastructure.
Inspector-General Pisarn said that the animals and
wildlife will be brought from Australia and Africa in the main, and the
animals selected are expected to live and flourish in the night zoo
environment. One hopes so, it would be trifle embarrassing to send them back
in a box!
K9 Curry is a hot seller in San Patong
Do vendors wear Hush Puppies!
Nopniwat Krailerg and
Dog meat trade has been rarely discussed within Thai
society for many years, but now it may be become the talk of the town, even
if not the flavor of the month.
Chiangmai Mail reporters had heard about the dog meat
trade in Chiang Mai as well, particularly at Ban Tung Siew village.
roadside dog meat BBQ in San Patong district.
Going undercover, the puppy reporters carried out a
survey in San Patong district, Chiang Mai. First kennel on the block was a
house in one soi opposite Tung Siew School, which was reputed to sell dog
meat. The owner’s fur was ruffled by our line of questioning and he
attempted to remain muzzled. He just said he did not want to get in trouble
because he was previously reported as being involved with the dog meat
trade. After that, many government officers investigated and kept watch on
him. He had to stop his business for a while and lost much income. We
noticed that he had two cages that could be used for holding dogs, but he
denied this, saying they were for drying lamyai. A fruity excuse.
One of his neighbors, however, said that every morning
the man had sliced dog meat available at 35 baht per kilogram. Some
villagers and vendors who own small bars and stalls along the roadsides
would buy the meat and make it as one recommended specialty in their bars.
Dogs being killed were not from San Patong district, said
the villager. A trader from Chiang Rai province would deliver the dogs to
his house. However, dog meat traders do not kill the dogs in their local
areas. They would do it in a forest far from the community areas. During wet
season, the smell of dead dogs is very unpleasant, complained the villager.
Another villager admitted that dog meat was consumed, but
said, “Not all of San Patong villagers eat dog meat, just a minority. It
depends on each person’s taste and point of view,” said the local
The informant added that sometimes dog meat was also
available at Ta Karn market in Tung Siew village. There is a popular dish
called “Kaeng Muan” or dog curry. Usually, there are two shops selling
Kaeng Muan, located close to the Siam Commercial Bank, Tung Siew branch.
Kaeng Muan is also usually put in earthen pots that have black bottoms to
make it easily recognized by customers.
The villager said that when eating dog meat he did not
feel as if it was dog. Kaeng Muan did not smell of raw meat because the
cooks knew how to prepare it. They use chili, onion, pepper, lemongrass,
shrimp paste, herbal plants and other ingredients to make it “aroy maak”
and fit for consumption.
The official position, taken by the authorities we
contacted, was that there have been no reports of dog meat for sale in the
district. Not a single bark.
That man would eat dog, however, should really come as no surprise. After
all, we eat pigs, chickens, cows, sheep, crocodiles, kangaroos, ostriches
and lambs. The problem associated with dog meat is that feral dogs carry
diseases, just like feral cats or rats. From a public health point of view,
the use of dog meat does present a risk. From the villagers’ point of
view, dog meat is an inexpensive and plentiful source of protein. Man’s
best friend in more ways than one?
Con men pushing another job scam, promising
work in the USA
Unemployed warned to beware
of confidence tricksters
Ms. Orachorn Rattanamanee, head of Chiang Mai Provincial
Employment Services Office, said that they have been informed that brochures
have been distributed to people in the Northeast of Thailand purporting to
offer well paid jobs as farm laborers in the United States.
The brochures claim that there are 2,000 vacancies for
agricultural positions in the US and the message is supposedly guaranteed by
the Labor Office’s ex-inspector and the Agriculturist Supplement
Cooperatives, which is an unknown organization.
The con men say they will charge 400,000 baht from a job
seeker for services and expenses and the salaries offered are 60,000 baht
per month before overtime payments. The term of the contract is said to be
The Labor Office says they have no authorization from the
American authorities to send people to the US, and prospective employees
have to register with the American authorities here first.
The office says that job seekers should not believe these
people who claim they are agents for employment offices in the United
States. You have been warned!