Fire threatens power for Chiang Mai City
Danger from overgrown vacant lots ignored by Provincial Electricity Authority
Nopniwat Krailerg and
A fire broke out adjacent to the 3rd Electricity Supply
and Control Station, Chiang Mai, on the Chiang Mai - Hod Road, Tambon Ban
Sanpakwan, Hang Dong District. The fire was at the front of the electricity
station, in an overgrown vacant lot.
Lost in the blaze were 50 electrical conduits, each 12
meters long, as the company which was contracted by the Provincial
Electricity Authority had asked for temporary storage and left the
electrical conduit there.
The fire covered 200 square meters and came as close as
10 meters from the power supply station. There was only one fire engine of
Tambon Ban Sanpakwan Administration Organization that came to put out the
Chalerm Kanjana, an engineer of the Provincial Electricity Authority,
Chiang Mai, who joined the fire investigation, said that it was lucky that
the fire did not engulf the two main power poles supplying Chiang Mai City.
The whole province could have been blacked out as this station supplies the
power to many areas in Chiang Mai, including the area behind Chiang Mai
University back gate, Kad Suan Kaew shopping center, San Kamphaeng district,
Mae Rim district and the Northern Region Industrial Estate in Lamphun
Immigration announces 15 days amnesty
But check your status today!
Following heightened security the Immigration Bureau of
Thailand will get tough on offenders overstaying the 90-day rule, with fines
of up to 5000 baht plus 200 baht per day.
The good news is that Superintendent Pol. Col. Jinabhadra
Tansrisakul sought permission from Pol Lt General Chanvut Vajrabukka,
commissioner of the Thai Immigration Bureau to agree to an amnesty of 15
days from April 16 onwards after a request was made by Alastair Connon, a
member of the police monitoring committee.
is unique to Chiang Mai. I had asked for a 10 day amnesty for long term
offenders and the increase to 15 days shows the commitment from the officers
at Chiang Mai to help long term visitors and I am very happy at the level of
support given,” he said afterwards.
Though these laws are not new and offenders already pay a
penalty, the need for improved communication on these fundamental areas of
Immigration Law is needed. A common mistake people make is the belief that a
visa allows you to stay within the kingdom - it does not! It only gives you
permission to enter the kingdom, and only to enter between the starting date
and the finishing date displayed on the visa.
When you arrive in Thailand you must present an
Arrival/Departure TM. 6 card to passport control. One half is kept by
Immigration, the other half is stamped and attached to your passport, and
this stamp clearly shows your arrival date and the latest departure date.
“Those most vulnerable are those who fail to read to
the TM6 arrival card that is attached to their passports and those who are
confused about the length of the visa versus the actual time permitted to
stay, as they are not the same,” says Inspector Pol. Lt. Col. Kanokpun
Roobkajorn, head of administration at Chiang Mai Immigration.
The wording of the relevant act is found in Section 37
Para 5: “If the alien stays in the Kingdom longer than ninety days, such
alien must notify the competent official at the Immigration Division, in
writing, concerning his place of stay, as soon as possible upon expiration
of ninety days. The alien is required to do so every ninety days. Where
there is an Immigration Office, the alien may notify a competent Immigration
Official of that office.”
The enforcement of the “Notification of address” has
also started in earnest. Visitors and long term visitors must notify their
local police station or immigration office if they move from their recorded
address. You can appreciate the importance of this law when immigration
needs to locate a particular individual or nationality quickly.
An extract from Section 37: “An alien having received a
temporary entry permit into the Kingdom must comply with the following:
Shall stay at the place as indicated to the competent official. Where there
is proper reason that he cannot stay at the place as indicated to the
competent official, he shall notify the competent official of the change in
residence, within 24 hours from the time of removing to said place.”
“Shall notify the police official of the local police
station where such alien resides, within twenty four hours from the time of
arrival. In the case of change in residence in which the new residence is
not located in the same area, such alien must notify the police official of
the police station in the new area within twenty four hours from the time of
In layman’s terms, if you move or stay at a different
address than that listed at the police station or immigration office you
must notify them within 24 hours or face the penalty. Everybody should check
their entry stamp and departure stamp dates and in case of having overstayed
by mistake or being unsure, come to Chiang Mai Immigration and check. The
penalty fees can be really costly.
The penalty/fines are up to:
1) For failing to register after 90 days, it is 5000
baht, plus a daily extra penalty of 200 baht per day.
2) For a house owner or proprietor who fails to notify
the name of the person living at or renting or staying at his property it is
3) For a hotel manager or guest house manager, it will be
Finally, please note that the amnesty is only for the “90 days”
Chiang Mai Water Works has no water to work with!
Songkran might have to be cancelled?
Meesubkwang and Jiraphat Warasin
Choke-amnuay Saipao, the manager of Chiang Mai Water
Works, admitted that the drought conditions have left him sorely embarrassed
and cuts are imminent. However, he said he has planned to seek more water
sources so that they could support and supply sufficient water to the
consumers in the city.
water level at Huay Kaew Waterfall is very much lower due to this year’s
At present, residents in the city are suffering from the
insufficient water supply, and many of the consumers have lodged the
complaints with the Water Works. It now seems as though they feel the Water
Works department’s excuses don’t hold water any more. He said that this
current water shortage problem was caused by the dry season which has lasted
A typical consumer is Prachit Thimakam of Southeast Asia
Consulting and Resource Company on the Irrigation Canal Road, in Tambon
Suthep, Muang District, Chiang Mai. He said that since last month they have
faced serious water shortage problems and the staff working in the office
are not able to flush the toilet after use, so being a resource company they
go out and use the toilet at other places. Perhaps they should try the ones
at the Water Works?
Even when the Chiang Mai Water Works Office informs
consumers in advance about cutting off their water, there have been periods
of up to three days before water was reconnected, prompting more complaints
from consumers and threats to cut off the manager’s water.
The Chiang Mai Water Works official admitted the shortage
of water for distribution but guaranteed they are taking additional measures
in looking for more water sources to return the water distribution back to
However, Choke-amnuay explained that even unrefined water
is in short supply and consequently the Umong water refinery plant is unable
to supply areas in Huay Kaew Road, Jed Yod Road, Thippanet Road and the road
running along the irrigation canal, starting from Ton Payom market to
Samoeng intersection down until Hang Dong-San Patong Road.
Chiang Mai Water Works office is appealing for
cooperation from Chiang Mai water users to use water economically and
reserve some water as an emergency supply from now on until supplies return
to normal. However, they do not know when that will be.
As an emergency procedure, they have asked the Department
of Irrigation to pump water from Mae Yuak reservoir and deliver the water to
the Umong refining plant. If they can get the pumps working efficiently they
believe they should be able to deliver 8,000 cubic meters of water per day.
Chiang Mai city is not alone. Wittaya Suankaewmanee, the
head of the water distribution and management project at Mae Taeng district,
said that they were also looking at an acute water shortage. They were now
unable to guarantee enough supplies for the local farmers. Even the Royal
Artificial Rain Making project have indicated that the degree of humidity
negated the possibility of making artificial rain.
With Chiang Mai attempting to attract more tourists, let us hope they
don’t want to shower too often. As the annual water throwing festival
comes closer, it even might become necessary to shower with a friend.
Violence against Women addressed at Chiang Mai Forum
Capital punishment for rape proposed
Jiraphat Warasin and
The Health and Development Networks (HDN) arranged the
forum on “Violence against Women” at the end of March. Facilitators at
the forum included Tassanee Srimongkol, director of Planned Parenthood
Association of Thailand, Northern Office; Awassada Jansantoe, researcher on
violence against women issue and Panngam Somanai, director of Lanna Women
Center. Around 50 women, including expats attended the forum and took an
active part in the proceedings.
women, including expats, attended the Violence against Women Forum and took
an active part in the proceedings.
Tassanee said that violence against women could be
classified in five main types; physical harm, mental harm, sexual violence,
excommunication and financial control. The forum focused mainly on domestic
violence or violence occurred within the family unit.
Awassada said that from her research on alcohol addiction
she found that most men who were alcoholics always hit their wives.
Surprisingly, Awassada’s research shows that Thai women tolerate domestic
violence because of the Thai traditional ideal of monogamy forced them to
live together with their husbands, and their maternal instinct that urges
them to protect their children and prevent them being raised fatherless, and
encouragement from parents and friend and religions.
The causes of domestic violence include the husband’s
characteristics covering hot-tempered, aggressive, and domineering, inter
household relation like lack of compromises, ignorance, economic reasons,
environment and alcohol abuse. Panngam Somanai from the Lanna Women pointed
out the last three causes usually trigger domestic violence in poor families
especially in slum communities.
The male viewpoint towards women was also another
significant cause that should be considered, said Panngam. Many Thai men
view women as their servants.
The feeling from the forum was to ask the government to
pay more attention to the violence against women issues. To date, the
activities done to help abused women is mostly financial support from the
Women Study Center or other organizations that working on this issue, not
from the government.
Tassanee suggested the law on violence against women should be applied as
strictly as it was when Field Marshall Sarit Thanarat was prime minister,
stating that rapists must be executed.
World’s largest Saa paper sheet made in San Kamphaeng district
Took 30 workers 14 days with 50 kg mulched mulberries
San Kamphaeng district, Chiang Mai has the
honor of having the largest Saa paper sheet in the world. The giant Saa
paper sheet, was made by Saa Paper Farm in the district, and is about 4
meters wide and 12 meters long. It took 30 workers two weeks to produce from
the 50 kg of mulberries, and required local knowledge and skill to produce
paper of that size.
It will be used as the backdrop of the central stage for
the First Saa handicraft and local wisdom fair of Ban Ton Pao, which will be
held this weekend (April 9-11). Ban Ton Pao is renowned as the Saa paper
village producing and exporting the local handicrafts.
Innovation seminar provides roadmap say participants
“Where do we go from here?”
Autsadaporn Kamthai and
The Federation of Thai Industries, Chiang Mai Chapter
said at the Chiang Mai Innovation Forum that it will push R&D projects
to help SME entrepreneurs. The 2nd Forum was held on March 12, at the
Empress Hotel, providing an opportunity for academics, research centers,
researchers and SME entrepreneurs to meet and present their innovative
research work, products and projects.
Suradech Tanruangporn, organizing chairman of the Forum
said that this forum would help upgrade their businesses, and Chiang Mai
will become the innovation leader in the region.
Suphat Limpaporn, director-general of Department of
Industrial Promotion said that the scheme did not focus only on the new
industrial inventions, but also upgrading old inventions. He said that a
technology transfer center would be established to provide useful
information for the entrepreneurs to help them develop their industrial
products. Possibly, an industrial software park will be established in the
city, as well.
Deputy Chiang Mai Governor Thongchai Wongrianthong said
that Chiang Mai was chosen as the “innovation center” because the city
had many strong points to support it. Chiang Mai has worthwhile local
knowledge that can be utilized, especially handicrafts, availability of
public utilities such as financial institutes, transportation, availability
of medical treatment, educational institutes and an abundance of natural
The innovations presented at the forum included an
alcohol distiller using foam pumping techniques presented by the Institute
of Science and Technology Research and Development (IST), Chiang Mai
University, dyeing process development from IST, improvement of bean
processing from the Rajabhat Institute, Chiang Mai; flame treatment to
increase the strength of Sa mulberry paper from the National Science and
Technology Development Agency, Northern Region; Khao Taen packaging design
from Rajamangala Technology Institute, Payap Campus; Kaeng Khanoon
(Jackfruit curry) canned for exporting from Payap University and community
derived fertilizer from Maejo University, innovative creations from research
and development from Agro industry, CMU and the demand for IT personnel in
providing information and technology service.
Governor says Chiang Mai clean-up coming
And for once it isn’t the ‘red-light’ areas
Suwat Tantipat, Chiang Mai governor, echoed the
sentiments of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who wants to make all
tourism and travel provinces clean, green, tidy and beautiful.
Chiang Mai is a tourist destination city, so provincial
authorities would be working in cooperation with the municipality, Tambon
Administration offices, public health offices, and other government offices
concerned, to launch a Big Cleaning Day campaign in the city. “We have
already started to landscape, renovate, paint and repair some buildings such
as those in front of the government offices, universities and road
aisles,” he said.
Amongst eyesores that will be targeted are the many
billboards and advertising material on the footpaths. Chiang Mai
Municipality is now planning a public relations exercise with the shops and
building owners to ask them to adhere to municipal statutes. Hopefully this
will include all the electioneering posters.
One of the government policies is to display Thai
national flags on government offices and the public should do so as well to
show their pride in the Thai nation, and as showing respect for HM the
Queen’s 72nd birthday anniversary this year.
Governor Suwat wants to see beautiful flowers and
orchids, especially lining the road from the foot of Doi Suthep Mountain to
the top. Maejo University has said it will take the responsibility for
planting the orchids on the road up to Doi Suthep and then throughout Chiang
RTAF de-commissions its OV-10 C jets
33 years old and time to be pensioned off
The end for the Royal Thai Air Force’s OV-10 C jets was
marked by a moving farewell ceremony at Wing 41, Chiang Mai. However,
despite their age, the jets have not yet finished their useful life, having
been donated to the Philippines in a PR move between the two governments.
Chief Marshal Chalit Pukpasook puts the farewell garland on the OV-10 jets.
The OV-10 C jets, operated by the 411 Squadron (of which
the white shark is taken as a symbol), have been serving the Royal Thai Air
Force since June 16 1971, with the major mission and responsibility being
air support in the North, covering the northern provinces of Phayao, Chiang
Rai, Mae Hong Son, Phitsanulok and Phetchabun. They were also used along
with ground-fighting military troops in eliminating communist insurgents,
with Wing Commander Phisit Srikalsilp, who was the first wing commander of
the OV-10 C squadron.
The OV-10 C jet had the capability of carrying Sidewinder
guided missiles, as well as being a very versatile fighter jet. Some sorties
flown by these jets included countering invasions of the Cambodian and
Vietnamese soldiers from the eastern part of the country or the heated
disagreement over the Ban Rom Klao territory with Laos and the situation of
fighting over the western part of the country with Burma and the Red Wa
The Thai government sent four OV-10 C jets to the
Philippines last year, with another four earmarked for the same destination.
Air Chief Marshal Chalit Pukpasook, commander in chief of the Air Force
Military Operation, placed garlands of flowers on the jets before Wing 41
gave them a tearful send-off.
1,300 rai of Doi Inthanon
forest destroyed by fire
Hunters blamed by Head of Forest Fire Control Unit
Doi Inthanon National Park erupted in an
almost uncontrollable inferno causing damage to around 1,300 rai of forest
and land including some of the famous tourist spots and wiped out many 1,000
year old rose bushes. Also lost in the blaze were endangered wild life
species including gorals.
The forest fire began in the northern area of Mae Parn
Waterfalls or Mae Parn Watershed Mouth in the National Park bordering
Chormthong and Mae Chaem district.
The fire raged in the connecting corridor between the two
districts where fire fighters spent two days trying to stem the blaze but
the high temperatures and strong winds fanned the blaze, making it difficult
for fire fighters to control.
More than 200 fire fighters from the Inthanon fire
fighters, Mae Oum Watershed Mouth Unit, soldiers from the Air Forces and
villagers were called out to fight the fire by cutting fire breaks to
prevent the spread to the Phra Thart Napametaneedol and Phra Thart
Pichit Piyachote, Head of Forest Fire Control Unit,
Chiang Mai 5 (Doi Inthanon), said that this was the worst fire in the last
10 years. It was expected that villagers who hunted for animals to be
sacrificed during Songkran caused the forest fire.
PM Thaksin declares war on forest fires
16 chiefs of provincial forestry offices try to come up with answers
The order has been given by Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra to stop the spread of forest fires. To comply with this,
Chatrachai Rattanopas, the director-general of the Forestry Department
called a meeting of the 16 chiefs of the Northern Provincial Forestry
Offices to seek solutions to the forest fire problem, which is recurring
Rattanopas, director-general of the Forestry Department
PM Thaksin Shinawatra has insisted on getting the answers
as quickly as possible. “Because the fire problem not only destroys the
natural resources but also impacts on the economy and the tourism as well,
it is important that the public be made aware,” he said, adding that a
promotional campaign for solving the forest fire problem would be carried
out, and every chief of the provincial forestry offices would automatically
be appointed as the working committee chairman and the chief of provincial
public relations as the committee secretary.
The mass media would also be asked to join the
committees, working in cooperation with the local administration
organizations on publicizing the effects of forest fires among people using
the local area loud speaker broadcasting channel in each community. This
would also have to be done in several hill tribe languages.
Viriya Chuaybamrung, chief of the Provincial Forestry
Office, Chiang Mai, said that Chiang Mai would become the center for the
northern region for operations against forest fires, and each province can
work in cooperation and propose methods for solving the problem.
In Chiang Mai, there would be weekly and monthly press
conferences. The press would be invited to witness first hand from
helicopters the real condition of the forest. Billboards would be put up at
intersections, radio reports on forest fires would be broadcast and centers
opened for receiving information about forest fires would be set up in every
district of each province.
While public education cannot be ignored, whether it will see a decrease
in the incidence of forest fires could be debatable. As far as stopping the
spread of forest fires is concerned, surely a grid system of fire breaks as
used in other countries might go further towards stopping the spread, as
insisted upon by the PM?
Diarrhoea outbreak prompts hygiene push
Officials plug stopgap measures to reduce flow of outbreaks
The incidence of severe diarrhoea in 38 central and
northeast regions has more than quadrupled this year, with four deaths being
recorded already. The disturbing trend is highlighted by a Ministry of
Public Health Epidemic Disease Control Office survey, from January 1 to
Wallop Thainua (2nd left), permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry
(right) inspects Chiang Mai Gate market, briefed by market manager Suriyan
Major danger zones include Sakon Nakhon (242 patients and
2 deaths), Bangkok (212 patients, 2 deaths), Samut Sakorn (119 patients),
Nonthaburi (57 patients) and Phetchabun (25 patients). There were 802
patients in Chiang Mai, 1540 in Lampang and 901 in Chiang Rai.
Dr. Wallop Thainua, permanent secretary of the Public
Health Ministry, said the ministry has constantly monitored the situation
since the outbreak of the bird flu. Initial actions included a campaign to
clean the markets. This campaign was reinstated due to the hot weather
allowing pathogens to spread more quickly.
He added that the campaign should be ongoing and focus on
markets as pathological germ sources. Dr Wallup said chopping blocks and
meat grinding machines could not be cleaned with water alone and chlorine
substances were necessary.
Other places of concern include the market grounds and
Several campaigns to encourage proper hygiene practices
have been applied this year. Volunteers from the public health offices visit
patients’ homes to check if chickens were being raised and to collect
detailed information on the cause of disease.
The permanent secretary said that he would like to see
Chiang Mai as the city of clean food in the near future.
The deputy governor of Chiang Mai, Kwanchai Wongnitikorn
said there were only 90 fresh food markets in the province while 25 markets
in the city areas were already cleaned.
“The province has introduced strict measures against
more than 1,645 stalls, or about half the total. All would be completed
before the Songkran festival.” He urged local residents to inform the
provincial public health offices of any dirty markets.
Suriyan Maneewan, manager of Chiang Mai Gate market, welcomed the
permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry and deputy-governor of
Chiang Mai during a tour of the market.
Northern economy looking strong says BoT
Imports and exports both up
According to the Bank of Thailand, foreign trade,
measured through the various customs houses in the north, is progressing
well, with February’s figures increased by 43.9 percent and worth 169.9
million US dollars. Much of the increase in exports came from production in
the northern region industrial estate and reflected the demand of new
technological merchandise or information technology related business.
The major commodities exported were electric circuit
switches, electrical appliances, optical equipment, electric wires and
cables, transformers, electric motors and gems, but sports equipment and
leather goods exports were down.
The bank officials noted the exports through the customs
house at Chiang Mai Airport also grew 12 percent in comparison to that of
last year. These commodities included crops and value-added agricultural
products which increased at the expense of wood and ceramic products. All
the export markets in the local region increased - China, Burma and Laos.
The BoT also said that imports had also increased by 40
percent from the previous year. Most imports related to materials needed for
production of goods at the northern region industrial estate, and included
machines for the manufacturing of circuit switches and other machinery,
gems, base steels or metals and plastic resin products. Most of these goods
were imported from Japan, Singapore and Israel but imports from the United
States and South Korea decreased. However, it was still China and Burma that
were the main import countries with seafood and agricultural products the
It was also agreed by the BoT officials here that the
trade balance was positive 58.9 U.S. million dollars, an increase of 20
million from the previous year.
Business registrations increase
Financial investment up correspondingly
Orajit Singkalawanich, director-general of Department of
Business Development, said that the Thai economy was growing through
increased confidence among Thai entrepreneurs, because of the government
support for them in both domestic and international markets.
In January this year, 3841 new entrepreneurs registered
their new businesses and this represented 11.8 billion baht as their
registered capital investment. When compared with January last year, the
number has increased by five percent and the registered investment is also
Yokohama Tire Manufacturing (Thailand) has highest
registered capital of new registrations at 552 million baht. Yokohama is
located in Rayong province and manufacture, distribute and export vehicle
components and tires. The three most popular registered entities are
construction companies (328), property rental companies (152) and radio and
television sales (107).
The director-general said that in January 1,017
businesses cancelled their registrations and 2 billion baht capital was
withdrawn, though these figures were lower than the year before. Drissen
Lamphun Co, Ltd, located in Lamphun and manufacturing metal products, had
the highest registered capital (115 million Baht) among the de-registered
The director-general added that the statistics suggested
that entrepreneurs have become more confident to put their investment into
many fields of endeavor. The government has supported the entrepreneurs by
providing advice, training courses on business and providing investment
sources to make them capable of competition in international markets.
Thai Heritage Preservation Day presents “Underground Treasures of Wiang Kum Kam”
April 2 each year is celebrated as Thai
Heritage Preservation Day to honor Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on her
birthday. This year the Chiang Mai National Museum organized a special
exhibition featuring the ancient city of Wiang Kum Kam.
The ancient city of Wiang Kum Kam, is an important
cultural site in Chiang Mai province. From the excavations during past 20
years, Department of Fine Arts has discovered antiques that reflect the
prosperity of the past civilization of the Lanna kingdom.
In the exhibition, visitors will learn the history and
archeology of the Wiang Kum Kam ancient city. There are also stone
inscriptions, Buddha images, Lanna containers, Chinese crockery, gold rings
and sculptures on display.
This special exhibition will be shown from now until
April 30 at the meeting room of Chiang Mai National Museum from 9 a.m. - 4
p.m. daily (other than on April 13-15, for the Songkran festival). For more
information, contact telephone no. (053) 221308, 408568.
Low Cost battle continues
The sky’s the limit!
Orient Thai Airlines was Thailand’s first low-cost
airline when it introduced One-Two-GO in December last year, operating
flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The response in the first month of
operation was beyond expected targets with the total number of passengers
reaching more than 40,000.
One-Two-GO’s successful launch not only signaled for a
positive future ahead, but led to Thai Airway’s decision to decrease its
domestic airfare to remain in the race. Others have now followed suit.
The entry of other low-cost airlines included Air Asia
which employs a different pricing strategy to One-Two-GO. Air Asia’s
progressive pricing strategy differed in that it’s pricing relied on the
promotion of a minimum airfare rising to more than 2,000 baht on its
domestic routes, including Bangkok-Chiang Mai.
In turn this has led to further pricing manoeuvres from
One-Two-GO to ensure market competitiveness.
Thailand’s first ‘GO SHOW FARE’ from One-Two GO
will offer ‘One price on every seat and every flight, no booking
required’ on the following flights:
The ‘Go Show Fare’ became effective from April 1st
this year, for Bangkok-Chiang Mai and from April 8, on the Chiang Rai,
Phuket and Hatyai routes.
The ‘Go Show Fare’ is based on a first come-first
served basis. Advance booking is not required as the passenger can go
directly to the airport on the desired travel date and time.
For passengers who prefer to make advance reservation,
bookings can be made at the Call Center 0-2267-2999 for every flight and
every destination. For passengers living outside Bangkok, reservation can be
made at One-Two-GO district offices during office hours.
Orient Thai Airlines is now undergoing contractual
agreements with various financial institutions to offer alternative methods
of payment via banks, as well as 7-Eleven counter services and in the near
future customers will be able to make payments via ATM machines.
The healthy competition is certainly producing a bonus
for Thailand’s air passengers.
1. Bangkok - Chiang Mai or Chiang Mai - Bangkok 999 Baht
2. Bangkok - Chiang Rai or Chiang Rai - Bangkok 1,199
3. Bangkok - Phuket or Phuket - Bangkok 1,199 Baht
4. Bangkok - Hat Yai or Hat Yai - Bangkok 1,299 Baht
networking held in Chiang Mai
Imports-Exports ready to boom, if we can get them up the Mekong
A networking meeting of fruit and vegetable exporters in
Thailand and Yunnan, China was held at Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel. Peng
Rendong, Chinese consul general in Chiang Mai; Vipada Trisat, director of
Commercial Affairs Office, Chiang Mai; Narong Tananuwat, secretary general
of Joint Economic Quadrangle Chamber Committee and Li Wenfeng, assistant
director general of Yunnan provincial department of commerce, participated
in the conference with 45 Chinese exporters.
left) Li Wenfeng, assistant director general of Yunnan provincial department
of commerce, Peng Rendong, Chinese consul general in Chiang Mai, and Vipada
Trisat, director of Commercial Affairs Office, Chiang Mai.
Peng Rendong stated that Thailand and China needed to set
up trading structure provide human resources and improve transportation to
sustain the trade between the two countries. He did not suggest ways to lift
the level of the currently almost dry Mekong, to allow shipping to move
Vipada said that since Thai government opened the free
trade between Thailand and China on October 1, the free trade could improve
the economy in South East Asia by 10 billion US dollars. It was noted that
Chinese fruit and vegetable imports to Thailand has outnumbered Thai fruit
and vegetable exports because China was at the peak of the harvest of fruit
and vegetables. However, from now on, Thai fruits especially lychee, longan
and mango from the North will start to be exported to China.
Li Wenfeng revealed that Yunnan abounds in fruit and vegetables and
produces the largest fruit and vegetable crops in China. The popular
vegetables are tomato, onion, potato, cucumber, while fruits are apricot,
peach, plum, apple, orange, banana, and mango.
HIV victim tries self-immolation as way out
Suicide bid thwarted by fire department
Muang District Police Station in Chiang Mai received a
frantic call that a fire was raging in a slum property in Fahmai Community,
area 1, Soi Pracha Samphan, Tambon Changklan. Fortunately, neighbors and a
fire engine extinguished the fire. When they entered the property, a
32-year-old woman was found sitting in the charred remains of a kitchen.
woman was taken in for further questioning.
The woman was emaciated and neighbors said that she was
the daughter of the house owner. Her father had gone to work as a
construction worker and her mother stayed at home, but had very little to do
with the daughter.
Neighbors also said that the woman had been a good
looking girl, but after separation from her husband she took to working at
night in the seedier parts of town. It was not long before she discovered
that she had contracted HIV and everyone then shunned her.
She had tried other ways to end her life, such as running out in front of
passing cars, but had been unsuccessful. Once again she was unable to carry
out her own demise and the police took her in for questioning. Police said
that if she was found to be of unsound mind, she would be admitted to the
Suan Prung Psychiatric Hospital.
Auto theft solved in 24 hours
Police not taken in by phony number plate
Police at Criminal Investigation Division, Chiang Mai
Provincial Police Headquarters arrested Chokchai Wuttinunsurasit, the
54-year-old owner of a cooking gas shop, for auto theft. He was caught
driving a stolen car complete with a car license plate that he had made in a
The 24 hours in the day of a CID policeman began with the
report to Police Captain Boontham Kamrai at Muang Chiang Mai Police Station,
by Suthee Wongkamolchun, a 34-year-old engineer. He attested that on March
27, at 6.30 p.m. he parked his car at Chiang Mai Bowl. After one hour he
rolled out to the parking lot to find that his car had been struck out and
he did not even have the advantage of a spare. His golden bronze Honda Civic
car, license number 7799, Chiang Mai, had split, and he felt his life was
now headed for the gutter.
The police were soon on the smell of the exhaust of the
vanished Honda, with Pol Maj Gen Krasem Rattanasoontorn, the Police
Commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police Division Headquarter and Pol Col
Suthep Dejraksa, Deputy Commander, ordering Pol Lt Col Thawatchai Yumak, to
investigate and follow the vanished vehicle.
On March 28, at 6 p.m. when the police team arrived at
the car park of Mushroom Suki Restaurant on Mahidol Road, Tambon Pa Daed,
Muang Chiang Mai, a car with similar features was found parked there. This
vehicle had the number 8888, Bangkok but police soon saw that the plates
were made of photocopied paper sheets. The police team waited and took
Chokchai Wuttinunsurasit into custody when he wanted to drive off.
Chokchai was charged with the theft and unlawful use of the car, as well
as attempting to make it disappear. Chokchai acknowledged and understood the
charges but denied committing both of them. He is currently in jail and
reading the memoirs of the great illusionist David Copperfield. The car has
been held for questioning by the Chiang Mai Police Forensic Division for
further investigation and other details.
Upper Northern Children and Youth Networks discuss Child Protection Act
Complain that it is all suppression and not protection
Warasin and Nopniwat Krailerg
Over 150 people filled the Chiang Mai University’s Art
and Cultural Promotion theatre to discuss and air their views on the new
Children’s Protection Act which came into force on March 30.
The Upper Northern Children and Youth Networks considered
that the contents of this ministerial law do not protect or support youths,
but just likened it as control and punishment.
They feel it creates more opportunities for officers to
violate the rights and freedom of youths. They feel that this regulation
violates Article 30 of Thai Constitutional law, regarding the fundamental
rights of children.
Ms. Amei Woymaeku, a youth representative from We are
Your Friend said that with Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra agreeing to
disband the committee to follow up the war on poverty, this has also
affected many children and youths who were from farming communities. She and
Somsak Kuikia will submit an open letter to Prime Minister Thaksin through
Somchai Charoen-amnuaysook, director of Children Support and Protection
Pramuan Kowitchaiwiwat, the chairman of the Upper
Northern Children and Youth Networks stated that the children and youths are
not involved with drafting the act which directly affects them and do not
understand the implications.
He said adults should ask for the opinions of children
and support them to become involved.
He also asks for sympathy for children without ID cards,
but are children who respect the Thai flag and His Majesty the King of
Thailand, and sing the Thai national anthem, but are counted as aliens.
There is also a problem that as child prostitutes they are squeezed by
Ms. Umporn Boontan, director of the Youth Potentiality
Foundation (TYAP) stated her opinion that this act was the first act by
which children could get systematic protection for the first time in
Thailand. Even though it is not absolutely perfect it is a good start.
Somchai Charoen-amnuaysook, director of the Children
Promotion and Protection Office, together with Aphichai Kulcha, chief of
Supportive and Potentiality Development of Students, expressed concerns over
misunderstandings of the social order crusade concerning the curfew, saying
that this children’s protection law was issued not to force and limit the
rights of children, but readers who read only one line or do not really
know, interpret it incorrectly.
They said that this is the Children’s Act, not a law of
revolution. Its content is about protection, and takes care of, and supports
children both mentally and spiritually. When there is a problem, the law
states that specialists have to solve the children’s problem and local
administrative officers must devote least 15 percent of their work time for
The main contents of this Act are such as to stop young
people, aged under 18 years old, from buying drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes
or going to places of entertainment. Anyone who allows them to do that will
be punished with three months imprisonment and/or fined not more than 30,000
It appears to most observers that the Act is one of
suppression and domination, without working out ‘why’ such decrees are
deemed as necessary in a country where family ties are reputedly held in
such high esteem. Parental control and values cannot be taken away by
government decree. The government by the people, for the people, should be
working out how to assist parents in these difficult times, not just
suppressing children, is the message that many were attempting to give at
Swiss tourist attacked and seriously injured by youth gang
Left to suffer by callous residents
Patrick Viglino a Swiss tourist, was attacked by six long
haired youths on Charoenraj Road, Chiang Mai but passers-by did just that -
they passed by.
found Viglino battered and bruised on the sidewalk.
The 34-year-old tourist was attacked after having an
altercation with the youths in a pub.
He was attacked in full view of many vehicles passing by
the well-populated area, but nobody was interested in helping the man being
attacked and beaten with sticks and beer bottles.
Finally two patrol police officers from Mae Ping Police
Station were called out but all of the attackers had escaped by that stage.
Viglino was admitted to McCormick Hospital for medical
care and treatment. He suffered multiple facial wounds and required suturing
by the McCormick ER staff.
Viglino told Chiangmai Mail that he and his
girlfriend, Ms Florence, had been traveling in Thailand for over 2 months.
Before traveling to Chiang Mai City, they went to the South where he felt
that it was very dangerous with the terrorism threats, but he was not
attacked in any way, such as he was in ‘peaceful’ Chiang Mai.
He admitted that he had too much alcohol in the night in question, but he
considered that attack by six youths to be very cowardly, and not the type
of holiday memory he wanted to take home to Switzerland.