Organized group of four
hit men make the contract
Surarat Muangnoi, 39, (AKA Eed Muangnoi), a well known
local politician, was shot dead by four gunmen while he was playing snooker
on Santhitham Road in Tambon Changpuak, Chiang Mai. Surarat was also an
influential figure in the gambling business, said police.
He was assassinated around midnight by four assailants
dressed in black, who had been waiting for the moment in the snooker hall.
He was shot at point blank range with a 9 mm firearm. He was rushed to the
Maharaj Nakhon Chiang Mai Hospital Intensive Care Unit, but was pronounced
dead shortly afterwards.
Pol Lt Col Wichian Chaisuparb from Tambon Changpuak
Police Station said police are investigating the motives behind the murder,
and are looking at leads provided by the gambling organization. They are
also looking for any local political conflicts.
Surarat was born in Phetchaburi province, and has
operated his businesses in Chiang Mai since 1987. He became a rich man from
his operations and was to be announced as a local member of Chiang Mai
PAO president celebrates after election
Promises to make good his promises
Thawatwong na Chiangmai, known locally as “Chao Nui”,
appears to have won the Provincial Administration Organization (PAO)
presidency with a sizable majority.
new PAO president Thawatwong na Chiangmai.
Thawatwong said that his main policies were to assist
farmers and the tourism industry, which will improve the economic situation
for every one of his constituents.
After the preliminary results of the election had been
announced, the new PAO president Thawatwong held a press conference at Thai
Rak Thai party building in Chiang Mai. Thawatwong declared that he and the
other 30 elected Thai Rak Thai PAO members were ready to work for Chiang Mai
still in process on Sunday (Election Day) at the Chiang Mai PAO building
The policies were directed to lift the standard of
living, economic situation and environment of Chiang Mai, support education
and stability of life in Chiang Mai.
In the beginning, the new PAO president and members will
focus their administration on agriculture matters since 60 percent of
residents are farmers. They would increase agricultural product prices,
provide markets for the products especially rice, longan and oranges.
The PAO would arrange a road show and promote tourism,
which is the main income generator for Chiang Mai, said Thawatwong. Even
though tourism industry involves a minority of residents, the income gained
from this industry will be distributed widely, he said.
Thawatwong said proudly that Thai Rak Thai leaders, PM
Thaksin Shinawatra and Deputy Prime Minister Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudth sent
their congratulations on the win.
He said that he did not have any political conflicts with
other candidates since they were all friends. There would be no petition to
the Election Commission on his political campaign since he did nothing
against the law.
Meanwhile, Kanapol Pinkaew, permanent secretary of Chiang
Mai PAO and the election director, said that a small number of eligible
voters in Wiang Haeng district and three polling stations in Muang district
had petitioned because officials did not make the voting procedure clear and
they cast their ballots incorrectly.
Other irregularities were reported at Nong Jom village,
Sansai district and this polling station will have to wait for the
The election director stated that the number of people who exercised
their right was very satisfying, as around 80 percent of eligible voters
turned out to vote in the PAO presidential race. Only 4 percent of ballots
from all electoral regions were spoiled.
Chiang Mai welcomes PATA delegates
By the middle of this coming week, more
than 350 delegates to the “2004 Mekong Tourism Forum” will be with us in
Chiang Mai. The forum is organized by the Pacific Asia Travel Association
(PATA), in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and will be
hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Buranupakorn, Chairman of the Chiang Mai Tourism Promotion Board
The Sheraton Chiang Mai will be the venue for dialogues
between the public and private sectors, strategic seminars, and discussions
on development and promotion of travel and tourism to and within the Greater
Mekong Sub-Region, claimed to be currently the fastest growing tourism
destination in the world.
This years’ theme is “Protect, Position and
Promote,” focusing to encourage multilateral cooperation on tourism
development and marketing within the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS),
comprising Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Yunnan, China
The Chiangmai Mail is delighted to exclusively publish
the welcome message from Boonlert Buranupakorn, Chairman of the Chiang Mai
Tourism Promotion Board.
“On behalf of the City of Chiang Mai, I would like to
express my pleasure and gratitude that you have honored and given us this
wonderful opportunity to welcome all distinguished guests on your visit to
our fair and ancient city.
“By your attending the PATA 2004 Mekong Tourism Forum
here in Chiang Mai, you will create the most excellent conditions to foster
and strengthen friendships between our peoples. This is also an excellent
opportunity for us to promote Chiang Mai, the ‘Asia’s most fascinating
city’, to the people of the whole world. May you be able to turn your
meetings into productive solutions for the correct positioning, promotion,
and protection of the Mekong tourism.
“Chiang Mai is a very important tourist destination in
Thailand and has become world renowned for its enormous number of tourist
attractions. Chiang Mai has a very strong infrastructure to be able to
accommodate and provide all the luxurious amenities at reasonable cost to
visitors, not only the holidaymakers, but also for business travelers.
“Once again on behalf of the people of Chiang Mai, I
would like to extend from the bottom of my heart, a warm welcome to you, our
dear and valuable guests. May you all have a happy and productive stay here
in Chiang Mai. I hope we are able to impress you with our hospitality, our
friendship, and our traditions. And on your departure, may you take back
home, happy memories of our city and our people.
“Wherever your travels and your destinies take you, I wish you all a
safe and pleasant journey.”
500 ex-drug addicts attend retraining
And score a 20,000 baht bonus!
Udom Maneekhat, Chiang Mai Provincial Development Office
head, said that the Chiang Mai Provincial Authorities appointed his office
to work with former drug addicts who had been rehabilitated during the war
on drugs. Part of the rehabilitation was training in useful occupational
skills and investment management methods.
In addition, the office has arranged training courses in
March on the Poverty Eradication Scheme in seven districts, including
Samoeng, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng, Chiang Dao, Phrao, Fang and Mae Ai districts.
Approximately 500 former drug addicts attended the
course. After the completion of the courses, the province gave each group of
attendees 20,000 baht investment money to begin their small businesses. The
Provincial Development Office will be responsible in following up their
Udom added that this occupational training course would
inspire former drug addicts to be eager to earn a living themselves.
Dog packs leave boy and father injured
Kamthai and Saksit Meesubkwang
A nine-year-old boy was attacked in the area of Ban
Sanpooloie, Doi Saket district on March 13 by a pack of dogs that included a
St. Bernard and four Dalmatians. The boy, Husen Sriwichai was bitten on his
face, neck, and both legs by the five dogs belonging to his neighbor. His
father, Arun Sriwichai, was also bitten while attempting to drive the dogs
away and rescue his son.
of Suraket’s fierce dogs.
Arun said that his son Husen was returning home passing
the house belonging to Suraket, one of his neighbors, as Suraket’s
daughter took the dogs out for walk. The pack pounced on the boy, and the
girl was unable to control them.
The father, on hearing the commotion, attempted to drag
the dogs off his son, but was then also bitten. The dogs’ owner, Suraket
came to their aid and called off his dogs and rushed the injured pair to
the wounded boy, and his father Arun, undergoing treatment at the McCormick
Arun said that he and Suraket had agreed on compensation, and the dogs’
owner agreed to pay for their medical care. Arun also said that Suraket kept
many fierce dogs that were known in the neighborhood to bite passers by. He
hoped that following this incident, Suraket would keep the dogs muzzled.
Forest fires prevent aircraft landings in Mae Hong Son
Forest fires happen every year in Mae Hong Son, with
again most fires the result of carelessness or stupidity by people in the
forests. The result of forest fires is far reaching, with effects on the
environment, economics, tourism and aviation.
Chana Naksuriya, Mae Hong Son deputy governor, presided
over a conference with associated government organizations to discuss forest
fire control and prevention.
Two days before the conference, many forest fires erupted
and planes were unable to land. Many arrival flights had to be cancelled,
producing an immediate loss in tourism income, said the deputy governor.
The province has assigned Tambon Administration
Organizations, Municipality, Provincial Administration Organization, Highway
Department and National Park, Wildlife and Plants Department to keep a watch
on their areas of responsibility, said the deputy governor.
The province also put up a 5,000 baht reward for people
who inform the authorities about arsonists.
Artificial rainmaking was suggested as another solution
for the forest fires, said Chana. If the budget for generating artificial
rain was not sufficient, the governor as CEO could ask for a supplementary
budget for solving this forest fire situation.
55 million baht in car tax arrears collected last month
Half million owners still in default
Archsathai Ratanadilok na Phuket, Head of Chiang Mai
Provincial Land Transportation Office, stated that after the office had
announced the tax amnesty for car owners to pay their outstanding vehicle
tax by February 25 this year, the office received over 55 million baht.
The rush to pay was such that the office was forced to
extend its working hours and take no lunch breaks. The office also opened
during weekends in February, and for the final two days the office stayed
open all day.
During the amnesty period, 86,124 car’s owner paid
their tax dues, but there are still 510,717 car owners who have not yet paid
their tax dues.
of longans this year
Production up, but is consumer demand up?
Chiang Mai’s lamyai or longan production
this year will be around 180,000-200,000 tons in the markets, Chiang Mai
Provincial Agriculture Office has estimated.
Winai Laoterdphong, head of Chiang Mai Provincial
Agriculture Office, said that Chiang Mai has 247,000 rai of lamyai trees
under cultivation and 54,000 longan planters.
One reason for the increase has been the suitable
climatic conditions experienced last year, particularly during the period
November-February. The long cold spell had been very beneficial for the
Market surplus could be a problem, admitted Winai, but
they hope to counteract the surplus by exporting both fresh and dried longan
to international markets.
Winai said the longan planters have to nourish their crop
and only use natural fertilizer as chemical substances are strictly
forbidden according to the government decree on goods being supplied to the
Another Bird flu outbreak assumed in Sansai
Either that or 26,000 chickens in mass suicide pact
Krailerg and Saksit Meesubkwang
Chiang Mai people are again afraid of Bird Flu after
26,000 chickens and ducks have been found dead. The populace is now
nervously awaiting the results from testing by the Chiang Mai Provincial
doves picking food from the farm, likely to spread potential danger in the
The latest presumed outbreak has claimed 300 ducks in
Tambon Changpuak, Muang District and more than 26,000 chickens were found
dead without an obvious reason in the area of Tambon San Nameng, Sansai
District, Chiang Mai Province. The chickens came from the ‘Hia Daeng’
at one of the concerned farms in San Nameng are shocked because of the new
The provincial livestock officials are destroying the
remainder of the chickens to prevent the spread of the virus. The officials
have also announced this area is a disease control area. 10,000 eggs from
this farm have also been recalled.
Chicken carcasses have been sent to the Northern Medical
Sciences Research and Development Services Veterinarian Center, Hang Chat
district, Lampang province. Officials said identification and verification
would take a week.
Villagers who live nearby area expressed fear that they were once more
afraid to consume chicken and eggs.
Wing 41’s operational readiness checked
Efficiency and security of paramount importance
Wing 41, our local Royal Thai Air Force base in Chiang
Mai has just had its inspection. The inspection committee chairman, Group
Captain Vinai Dussarak, visited the Wing to ascertain the Wing’s readiness
for combat and to test security of the airport operations units here.
Captain Vinai Dussarak inspects RTAF personnel at the ready to do battle
This inspection committee’s visit was expected to boost
Wing 41 outpost’s protection efficiency. Other aspects reviewed included
vehicle patrol operation testing, vehicle examination, station patrol
operation testing and medical check-ups.
At the end, the Royal Thai Air Force officers, personnel and staff
attended a brief ceremony and military drill held at the Wing 41 security
force field, presided over by Group Captain Vinai Dussarak.
Policeman recovering from multiple gunshot wounds receives visits from top brass
Police Sergeant Somchai Chusakul, an officer in the Drug
Suppression Police Unit at the Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5, was hit
more than 10 times in a gunfight with drug dealers.
Police Bureau Region 5 commissioner, Police Lieutenant General Chalor
Chuwong (left), and Police Major General Kasem Rattanasunthorn (right),
commander of the Chiang Mai Provincial Police visited the injured police
He was admitted to Maharaj Nakhon Chiangmai Hospital, and
recently received a visit from the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5
commissioner, Police Lieutenant General Chalor Chuwong, and the Chiang Mai
Provincial Police commander, Police Major General Kasem Rattanasunthorn, and
more than 20 other officers.
After receiving a police tip-off, police went undercover
to buy 200 drug tablets from four drug sellers at the Bang Chak gas station
in Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai. However, the dealers were tipped off as
well and a 10-minute gun battle ensued. Sergeant Somchai was hit; one dealer
was killed, another arrested, and two others escaped in the melee.
Police Lieutenant General Chalor Chuwong said that Police Sergeant
Somchai Chusakul was now out of danger; however, the police are guarding him
closely. His family is currently being looked after by a special fund run by
the Police Affairs Department. He also said that Police Sergeant Somchai
will be considered for promotion. There are probably less painful ways of
gaining a senior sergeant’s stripes!
TOT behind the Chiang Mai ICT push
Seminar on the new technology presented to local businessmen
The Telephone Organization of Thailand (TOT) hosted an
information communication and technology (ICT) seminar at Sheraton Hotel,
Chiang Mai, to show Chiang Mai businessmen the newer technologies and what
to expect in the future. The seminar was also held in response to the
government policy on ICT development.
minister, Dr. Surapong Suebwonglee spoke live to the Chiang Mai seminar via
a video conference link from Bangkok.
Dr. Surapong Suebwonglee, the ICT minister used the new
technology to speak to the conference via video-conferencing from Bangkok.
“Chiang Mai is one of the three provinces of the country, which has a very
high potential as an ICT city. This will strengthen and develop the local
economy, especially the promotion of the software industry, which has the
potential to be one of the top income generators in Thailand,” he said.
TOT showcased their new services, such as answer services
with faster data transfer under the Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), Remote
Access Network (RAN), Circuit Emulation Service (CES), Asymmetric Digital
Subscriber Line (ADSL), Digital Data Network (DDN), Internet Protocol
Virtual Private Network (IP VPN), Internet Protocol Virtual Private Dial up
Network (IP VPDN), and other wireless internet services or Wi-Fi, with high
speed data transfer, and Frame Relay.
Chiang Mai deputy governor, Thongchai Wongrianthong was a
guest speaker on the subject “Ready for ICT Life”, and was followed by
Dr Panuthat Techasen from the Software Industry Promotion Agency, who spoke
on ICT & Modern Business, while Dr Monchai Noosong of TOT spoke on
Broadband Technology as the “Way to ICT City”.
Tutorials in acronyms are not yet being offered, but are obviously going
to be necessary in the brave new world. Perhaps it is time to start opening
some ISOITAs (Internet Schools Of Information Technology Acronyms).
Drug War II has started
The second wave of skewed statistics underway
The Northern Narcotics Control Office (NNCO) reports that
it is ready to launch the second War on Drug campaign, and has more than
4,600 suspects on the blacklists.
This time, the NNCO officers would seek more cooperation
from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local residents as sources of
information rather than just the official government sources.
The director of NNCO, Pithaya Jinawat, said that
following the first War on Drugs campaign last year, held in compliance with
the government’s policy, more than 23,000 drug dealers were stopped, of
which 7,000 dealers were killed and the other 16,000 dealers surrendered to
the authorities. These dealers came from the names of 101,000 drug
traffickers on the blacklists.
He expressed thanks and gratefulness to the Third Army
Region commander and the border patrol police (BBP) for their assistance in
the drug suppression, arrests and confiscation of properties.
During this second War on Drugs campaign, each district
has been instructed to build up a strong community liaison to monitor the
drug situation, while the Department of Local Administration should monitor
all government officials, especially the Power of the People volunteers.
During Drug War I, many those involved with drugs came
from those volunteers, he said. Many of them had purchased fake ID cards.
In this second operation, which will run from March 8 -
June 8, 2004, the office has collected more than 4,600 names of drug
dealers. This operation is being carefully and covertly implemented because
some dealers could hire top lawyers to plead their cases, leading the courts
to dismiss the charges.
Director Pithaya also spoke on the case of the Chiang Mai
Provincial Administration Organization member for Hot district, saying that
further steps would be taken to prove his guilt and ensure punishment. He
insinuated that this case was involved with not only police but also some
He was also looking to China and Burma to provide
cooperation on this serious issue. He finally noted that when they received
enough details this would result in more arrests of the drug dealers.
With 101,000 names on the blacklist in Drug War I and
only 23,000 accounted for (7,000 killed), this leaves 78,000 still at large.
This time, the figure is given as only 4,600 suspects on the Drug War II
blacklist, which prompts the question as to what happened to the other
Chiang Mai Immigration seeks better communication with the public
The policy of Police Lieutenant General Chanvut
Vajrabukka, commissioner of the Immigration Bureau Thailand, and Police
Major General Patrachai Hiranyaveja, commander of Immigration Division 3, is
something which can not be found everywhere in Thailand, but is probably
admired by many.
Mai Immigration Superintendent Pol. Col. Jinabhadra Tansrisakul.
The superintendent of Chiangmai Immigration has asked his
officers to provide information to the general public via the local
community radio stations that broadcast each Thursday on FM 99 Mhz between
the hours of 11 a.m. and 12 each week.
Kanokpun Roobkajorn and Senior Sergeant Major Wittraya Singhamanee.
The public can telephone or write in, to have their
questions answered by local officers. During the live broadcast, information
is given about recent arrests of illegal aliens, immigration law and public
enquiries are answered.
Also, a central telephone number was given for the public to contact if
they have information on, or if they have suspicions of, any terrorist acts.
Telephone 053 201 755-6, fax 053 277 510.
TT&T join the high speed internet services race
T-speed the latest entrant
Broadband internet users are being targeted by TT&T,
the number of users estimated as being over one million people by the end of
the year. The company wants to attract subscribers to their T-speed system,
a communications tool that would bring Thailand up to the same IT level as
internet users overseas.
believe they have something to dance about! (Photo by Saksit Meesubkwang)
Prachuab Tantinon, president & CEO of TT& T said
after the company launched its new telephone line installation, they then
looked at how to improve and use the developments of new technology. The
result was T-speed.
T-speed uses Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
technology that can convert analog telephone lines into a communications
pathway for high speed data communications while still being able to use the
telephone at the same time. T-speed could facilitate VDO conferencing,
public Web phone and other ICT services such as multimedia applications and
on-line interactive games.
Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Thongchai Wongrianthong presided over the
launching ceremony of the T-speed services at the Central Airport Plaza.
HRH Queen Sirikit advises forest firefighters to be vigilant
Forest monk inadvertently sparks Huay Khakhaeng inferno
Forest fires in the north have been worsening since 1995.
“This could be the worst season for years because of the severe prolonged
dry season,” said Plodprasob Surasawadi, permanent secretary of the
Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.
Surasawadi, permanent secretary of Natural Resources and Environment
Surapol Leelawaropas, Forest Fire Operation Center Chiang
Mai and Lamphun director, revealed that since November last year, there have
been more than 1,600 forest fires, causing damage to 10 thousand rai.
For safety reasons, forestry officers have been watching
over the Phuping Palace where Her Majesty the Queen is residing during her
visit to the North for some months. 50 firefighters from Phuping National
Park and another 60 from Khon Kaen, Chumporn and Phitsanulok provinces, plus
30 border patrol police have been appointed to 24 hour patrols around the
Plodprasob said that Her Majesty the Queen had called for
all forest firefighters to keep watch and prevent forest fires spreading.
The Queen also reminds them if the fire destroys the forest, it will destroy
the prosperity of the forest and will take about 10 years for the forest to
The greatest majority of forest fires are the result of
the actions of human beings, revealed the permanent secretary. Villagers
like to set fires to collect forestry products in the wet season, and some
are still using slash and burn agricultural methods.
The recent forest fire in Huay Khakhaeng wildlife
sanctuary area was caused by a forest monk who passed into the area and was
unaware that his candle had started the conflagration. Local officials are
now making this area off-limits for forest monks on pilgrimage.
According Thai law, the punishment for arson is
imprisonment for 10 years and 150,000 baht fines. Rewards for information on
arsonists are 5,000 baht.
War on Drugs,
the second wave part two
3rd Army chief blames foreign countries and Hi-So users
The Third Army Region is worried about a new wave of
drugs being introduced to teenagers, according to Lieutenant General
Phicharnmek Muangmanee, the commander in chief of the Third Army Region.
General Phicharnmek Muangmanee, commander in chief of the Third Army Region.
He stated that following the last War on Drugs,
amphetamines have become less available, but new drugs are taking their
place. “There are new kinds of drugs which are replacing the old, such as
ice, cocaine, ecstasy and love drug, and the drug dealers are targeting high
society customers who enjoy the entertainment places at night. These drugs
cost much more than other drugs,” he said.
He claims that the distributors of the drugs are
capitalists from major cities of three or four foreign countries. “We have
to cooperate with our neighbouring countries like Burma and Laos to keep a
close lookout for drug smuggling,” he told reporters in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat also announced the
second wave of the War on Drugs. He stated that this is in response to the
government policy of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who had called on
March 8 for provincial governors, provincial police commanders including the
chiefs of different government organizations concerned to cooperate in drug
elimination for the second time. He also said that he believes the first
plan of the War on Drugs had been proven very successful.
However, PM Thaksin has asked all officers to assist each other to
observe the communities, educational institutes, dormitories and factories.
He also wants soldiers and police to pursue people on the old blacklists. In
addition, officers should provide more training courses informing villagers
who live along the border area to report when they see drug smuggling. The
governmental policy is for eliminating drug use in Thailand, Suwat