Song Contest sings the anti-drug message
Trill your way to 10,000 baht
Voice Studio in Chiang Mai has collaborated with Central
Airport Plaza and DAPP Records to host the “Chiang Mai to Be Number One
Singer Contest 2004” among primary and junior high school students
competing for a cash prize of more than 10,000 baht. The young singers must
apply before July 17, 2004.
left: Ajarn Thienchai Sukthieng, vice president of the project, Khunying
Pimjai Kuptawanitch, the president of the To Be Number One project, and
Wuthipong Thayaping, secretary of the project.
This contest is aimed at encouraging Thai youths in the
northern provinces not to turn to drugs, but properly use their leisure time
and abilities by singing instead.
There will be two rounds to end up with 10 contestants in
the final. The song that each applicant selects must be in Thai (string,
country or modern music) and they must arrange the backing track by
For more information, contact Voice Studio 1, Tel. 0-5341-0123 or Voice
Studio 2, number 11, Wangkam Building, Nimmanhaemin Rd., Tambon Suthep,
Muang, Chiang Mai, 50200, Tel. 0-5389-4552 or www. voicestudio.com and www.
Old Siam at the National Archives June 1–15
If you like history, or if you are interested in
historic photographs and art, then you should not miss the exhibition of
rare photographs of old Siam from the collection of the Nแprestek
Museum in Prague, an institution that specialized in art and artifacts of
governor of Chiang Mai, Kwanchai Wongnitikorn, and invited guests in the
National Archives Chiang Mai near Suan Dok Gate. (Photo by Michael Vogt)
The Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the embassy
of the Czech Republic in the Kingdom of Thailand, the US Consulate General
in Chiang Mai and Soka Gakkai Thailand organized the photo exhibition
“Siam through the eyes of the travelers Enrique Stanko Vrแz and
Enrique Stanko Vrแz was a famous Czech-American
globetrotter who visited Bangkok, Bang Pa-in and Ayutthaya in March and
April of 1897. During his stay he photographed King Rama V’s departure
for his European journey (photographs #15 and #16) and was even allowed to
inspect the royal boat.
the official opening of the exhibition (left to right, front row) Kwanchai
Wongnitikorn, vice governor of Chiang Mai; M.R. Chakrrot Chitrabongs,
permanent secretary for culture; Khun Somsri, deputy director of the Fine
Arts Department; H.E. Jiri Šitler, ambassador of the Czech Republic and
Somkiat Limrossukon, president of Soka Gakkai Thailand. (Photo by Michael
The second traveler, Josef Korensk, visited
Bangkok in May 1901 at the invitation of the Austrian consul Erwin Mueller
and his Czech wife. During their visits, both Enrique Stanko Vrแz
and Josef Korensk befriended the entrepreneur Eduard Bock, a
German from Moravia, who helped to build the first inland bound railroad
from Bangkok. Some of these photos (#50 and #51) were given to them as a
present, including some of the celebration of the fixing of the first
railroad tie in the presence of the entire royal court of that time.
57 rare photos of old Siam at the turn of the 19th
century can be seen at the National Archives Chiang Mai near Suan Dok Gate
until June 15. The exhibition times are Monday – Friday 8.30 a.m. –
U.S. Consulate Chiang Mai changes public service hours
The American Consulate in Chiang Mai
announces the following changes to its public service hours, to be effective
Monday, June 14, 2004:
Mondays: Visa applicants only: 8:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Tuesdays: American Citizen Services: 8:30 a.m. - 11:00
a.m. (Full Service), 1 p.m. - 3.30 p.m. (Limited Service, which mean, the
Consulate is open during these hours for American Citizens to pick up
tax/voting forms, passports, benefit checks, and to make general inquiries.)
Wednesdays: Visa applicants only from 8:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Thursdays: American Citizen Services: 8:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.
(Full Service); 1 p.m. - 3.30 p.m. (Limited Service)
Fridays: Emergencies only: (call 053-252-629, ext. 2104)
Thai Orchid Foundation holds art contest
2nd year attracts good entries
The Foundation of Native Thai Orchids arranged an art
contest at the Native Thai Orchid Garden, Maejo University, Chiang Mai,
with Lt. Gen. Phicharnmeth Muangmanee, president of the Foundation and
commander of the region presiding.
Gen. Phicharnmeth Muangmanee, commander of the region presiding.
Several well known artists took part, including Ajarn
Chalermchai Kositpipat, who is the number one ranked artist in Thailand.
Judges included Dr. Weerachai na Nakhon, director of Chiang Mai Queen
Sirikit Botanical Garden; and Ajarn Sa-ngad Pui-ok, Asian region botanist
specialist; Ajarn Surasit Saowakong, Ajarn Aumnuay Butre-in, and Dr. Manop
of the paintings entered in the contest.
Lt. Gen. Phicharnmeth said in his address that he was
delighted to see the second running of the art contest. He said this
contest would encourage people to look for native Thai orchids. It would
also help preserve the orchids as part of the national heritage in
response to the wishes of Her Majesty the Queen.
The art contest was divided into five categories. Eakarin Chualao was
given 50,000 baht first prize for his painting of an orchid, while the
first runner-up’s prize valued at 30,000 baht went to Soonthorn Suwanhem
for his painting of bamboo. The second runner-up was Prathap Wiengnil who
received a prize worth 20,000 baht for the painting of Her Majesty the
Queen and an orchid.
of itinerant alien workers cause for discussion
Vaccination and HIV/AIDS still a huge problem
Health and Development
Access to health care for migrant workers, drug users and
people living with HIV/AIDS were topics of discussion in the Health and
Development Networks monthly NGO forum.
The theme “Access for all” was chosen in light of the
upcoming 15th International AIDS Conference (IAC) which will be held in
Bangkok in June. Sansern Dongdee of the Migrant Assistance Program (MAP)
explained the difficulties migrants face accessing health care. “Migrant
workers from the neighboring countries of Burma, Cambodia and Laos often
come to look for job opportunities in Thailand, and are subjected to the
worst working environment and exploitation, accepting jobs that are shunned
by Thai workers,” Sansern claimed. Because they are not included under the
30 baht health scheme, their access to treatment is extremely limited.
representatives and the Public Health Office participated in the Health and
Development Networks forum.
The forum asked for educational materials in various
Migration trends connected to international projects were
also cause for concern. A construction project linking Thailand, Myanmar,
Laos and China, funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is due to be
completed in 2007. This will, along with the Mekong canalization, use
migrant labor and problems such as drugs and sex trafficking and the spread
of HIV/AIDS will follow.
The registration of migrant workers began only a few
years ago. While the official number of those registered is around 9,000
workers, the actual number could be as high as 70,000.
Prapat Sukkiaw and Nattapol Tanunchai from the Ozone
House, a group that works with drug users, claimed that drug users often
speak of being “set up” and falsely charged by the police;
discrimination and a lack of understanding from their families and society.
Imprisoned drug users are at high risk of contracting
HIV/AIDS by sharing syringes with their fellow inmates. The methamphetamine
drug users are generally teenagers, aged 14-15, and they often contract HIV
through sexual transmission.
Access to information concerning the prevention and
treatment of HIV/AIDS among these groups is minimal. Ozone House
representatives called for an increase in educational activities for drug
users on the prevention of HIV/AIDS, how to look after their health and how
to live with people infected with the AIDS virus.
The Network of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in
the Upper North has been pushing for increased access to health care for
more than a decade. Their advocacy has led to the implementation of the
NAPHA project by the government to make AIDS drugs available free of charge
to 50,000 people harboring the virus. It is important to note that efforts
have been made to include drug users and ethnic groups under this free
However, in reality, drug users and ethnic minorities
still face significant barriers in accessing these drugs. Public officials
complain that ethnic workers move too often as migrant workers and it is
difficult to follow up and monitor the cases. This issue will be addressed
collectively between the network of PLWHA in the Upper North and the
Northern Regional Public Health Office.
Issaree Sirirut, the representative from the Chiang Mai
Provincial Public Health Office, said that a new convention center is to be
built in Chiang Mai, and this would lead to an increase in migrant laborers.
They will cooperate with the Ministry of Interior to expedite a survey of
these workers to be completed by August.
The forum also called on the government to revive
vaccination services for filariasis (elephantiasis) and leprosy due to the
influx of migrant workers.
For more information, contact [email protected] or tel. (66) 053 418
438. The NGO Forum meets on the last Tuesday of every month. The next
meeting will be held on June 29.
The Ministry of Public Health gets in on the buzzwords
Thailand to be Asia’s Health Hub
The Ministry of Health administration committee last
week traveled to Lampang province to observe the workings of the hospital
as part of the ongoing technologies transfer and experiences exchange
Dr. Somchai Chuapetcharasophon, deputy director-general
of the Health Services Support Department under the Ministry of Public
Health, brought the 32 provincial chief medical officers and directors of
the general hospitals from the South and the Northeast to observe the
operations of Lampang Hospital.
He also spoke on the strategy of accelerating Thailand
to become Asia’s health hub. According to the government policy that
promotes and supports the country’s economy by means of attracting
foreign currency into Thailand, the Ministry of Public Health has
responded by establishing this “Asia’s heath hub” project, expecting
to bring earnings into the country of about 200 billion baht during the 5
year period 2004-2009.
There are three economic viewpoints: developing medical
service businesses, health services and health promotions. Since Thailand
is considered a major source for medical herbs, if the project is fully
achieved, it is expected that the income from foreign patients, spa
businesses and herbal products to the country could be about 26 billion
European Film Festival 2004 at Chiang Mai’s Major Cineplex
24 outstanding movies from now till June 13
The European Film Festival, which is now an integral
part of the cultural calendar in Chiang Mai, is having its 6th
screenings here. 24 Platinum Films from 17 countries are being shown June
1-13 at Central Airport Plaza’s Major Cineplex.
After the enlargement of the EU, four of the ‘new’
countries were represented and could show their long and distinguished
film making traditions.
night enthusiasts Thomas Baude, Director Alliance Fran็aise and Hon.
French Consul; H.E. Jirํ Šitler, the Ambassador of the Czech
Republic to Thailand; Chamaiphan Baude (Pu); Hagen Dirksen, Hon. Consul to
Germany; Ulf Hausbrandt, Political Officer; Prinya Panthong, Deputy
Governor and Wanphen Dirksen. (Photo by Michael Vogt)
The Czech Republic, (Tragi-Comedy - Autumn Spring),
Hungary, (Comedy-Romance - Stracciatella), Poland (Drama – There and
Back) and Slovakia (Family Movie – Thomas the Falconer) all reflected
the idea of people’s longing for happiness, love and understanding,
their efforts to overcome troubles and win over death, while criticizing
greed and painful desires.
Prinya Panthong, Deputy Governor of Chiang Mai, said
movies were a very helpful way to learn about different cultures in
today’s world, saying, “We live in the time of globalization,
technical development and growth but what would our world be without
movies and dreams? I hope that this year even more Chiang Mai residents
take the opportunity to inspire themselves, to relax and increase world
understanding so that our children will have the chance to grow up in a
Ulf Hausbrandt, political officer of the delegation of
the EU posed the question in his opening address, “Why a European Film
Festival? First and foremost we believe that there is more to EU-Thai
relations than tuna quotas, tariffs and textiles - the things you usually
read about. For us, the cultural dimension of our relations is equally
important. We want to demonstrate specifically European cinema, which
feeds the mind with intelligent stories that go beyond digital effects and
the typical recipe that make modern blockbusters. In selecting the movies
we did not limit ourselves just to the positive aspects of European
culture and society, we will also show some of the more problematic
But there is more than dramas and tragedies which you
can watch, on Sunday June 6 at 5 p.m. look for ‘Upspring’, a hilarious
comedy which won the Jussi Award for best film, best script and best music
in Finland in 2003. Or take in the Swedish film ‘Gossip’ (2000) on
Saturday June 12 at 7 p.m. Hope, fear, emotions and insecurities of ten
women during one day in their lives. All of them hoping to be given the
part of Queen Christina in an American movie, perhaps the chance of a
Take in a ‘different’ movie this week, courtesy of the EU and the
sponsors who have brought this film festival to Chiang Mai.