The Kingdom rejoices
in HRH Crown Prince
Maha Vajiralongkorn’s 52nd
Royal Birthday Celebration
2000 - HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn presided over the Rice Sowing
Ceremony and the presentation of the flag at the “Community Rice
Production and Promotion” center at the agricultural field, Moo 5, Bang
Ngam, Sriprachan, Supanburi Province. (Photo: Courtesy, Bureau of the Royal
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha
Vajiralongkorn was born on July 28, 1952, in the Ambara Villa of the Royal
Dusit Palace in Bangkok. He is the second of four children, and is the only
son of Their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great and Queen Sirikit.
The Crown Prince received His primary schooling at Udorn
Hall of the Dusit Palace and attended secondary school in Sussex and
Summerset, England. In August 1970, the Crown Prince attended the King’s
School, Paramatta, Sydney, Australia and in 1976, He received a Bachelor of
Arts Degree in Military Studies at the University of New South Wales. The
Crown Prince also attended the Royal Thai Army Command and General Staff
College, graduating in 1978, and later received a Bachelor of Laws Degree
from Sukhothai Thammatirat University in Bangkok in 1987. In 1990, He
successfully attended the Royal College of Defense Studies in the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej conferred his son
with the title of “Somdech Phra Borama Orasadhiraj Chao Fah Maha
Vajiralongkorn Sayam Makutrajakuman” on December 28, 1972, making him the
Crown Prince and Heir to the throne.
HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn attended numerous
military training courses in Australia and the United States, with
observation tours in England, Belgium, Germany, France and the Netherlands.
A long list of military courses attended by the Crown Prince includes
helicopter and high performance aircraft flight training, special warfare
training, demolition training, parachute training, and courses in small arms
and other weapons used in modern warfare.
Some assignments include Commanding Officer of the
King’s Own Bodyguard Regiment and Command, Commanding General of the
Royalty Security Command, and Instructor Pilot of the F-5 E/F.
Intermittently, He engaged in actions for counter -insurgency purposes in
the North and Northeast areas of Thailand as well as for protective purposes
in areas around Cambodian refugee camps at Khao Lant, Trat Province.
The Crown Prince has continued the Royal Family’s assistance programs
to underdeveloped areas around the country and visited depressed urban areas
around Bangkok distributing food and necessity items to people in need.
Another impressive undertaking was His participation in a fertilizer
preparation project in Suphan Buri Province using natural ingredients to
enrich the land in support of the country’s great agricultural pursuits.
Farming is considered to be a highly significant and noble profession in
Thailand and the Royal Family takes an active role in advancing the vital
industry of agriculture.
Extend closing times if you want
Chiang Mai to be tourism hub
Sympathetic MP promises to take message to the PM
The issue of closing times for entertainment outlets has
raised its stubborn head yet again.
The Entertainment Entrepreneurs and Operators Club of
Chiang Mai has met with the senator and Chiang Mai MP’s asking for help in
extending the government stipulated closing time to 2 a.m.
On July 18, club chairwoman Naiyanet Waiyaratchapanitch
and about 250 members representing restaurant clubs, beer bars, karaoke
bars, discotheques and other entertainment venues met at the Pornping Tower
Hotel in Chiang Mai. They all agreed that the closing time should be
At the meeting were Senator Thavorn Kiartchaiyakorn,
MP’s Suraphol Kiartchaiyakorn and Pornchai Arthapreeyangkul, and the vice-
president of the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization, Praphan
Naiyanet said the issue would be submitted to Prime
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. She said most of the entertainment
entrepreneurs have suffered financially because of the early closing times
since the Ministry of the Interior began implementing the government’s
Social Order policy in Chiang Mai City.
The police, as well as local administration and
government officials, have carried out nightly inspections since May and
ordered beer bars to close at midnight. Those proprietors in violation have
even been arrested. “Some operators have maintained their businesses but
as many as 20 percent have closed down,” she said. Beer bars were hardest
hit because their clients were mostly foreigners who did not dare return to
the bars for fear of being arrested, she added.
The members of the Entertainment Entrepreneurs and
Operators Club of Chiang Mai is asking the government to relax the closing
times to help them maintain their operations.
“If the government wants to promote Chiang Mai City as
the tourism hub, it should concentrate more on this entertainment sector,”
Pornchai Arthapreeyangkul, Thai Rak Thai Party MP for Chiang Mai, said at
the end of the meeting, “We, as the people’s representatives, will do
something about your complaint. I think an extension of the closing time may
be possible, and we will discuss the issue and forward the message to PM
Thaksin to help make the right decision.”
Ceremony performed to appease the spirits after senator’s ‘disrespect’
Following Senator Rabiabrat’s outcry against the custom
banning women from entering the inner pagoda at a Buddhist temple, which has
been widely labelled ‘disrespect’, a ceremony to appease the spirit of
the Lanna ancestors was performed.
Duangduen Na Chiangmai lights candles to worship at the main pagoda. The
candles were lit north, south, east and west of the pagoda to pay worship to
the pagoda and Buddha relics kept inside it. Panintra Pakkasem, Chiang
Mai’s Member of Parliament, Col Wisit Dechsakul and Thongchai Teparak,
chiefs-of-staff of the 3rd Army Region, lit candles at the other three
The ceremony took place at the main pagoda at Wat Prathat
For weeks, Lanna people from Chiang Mai and nearby
provinces have been opposing her insistence to be allowed to enter the inner
area of the pagoda. They believe that her ‘disrespect’ has frightened
and annoyed the spirit of all Lanna ancestors who have been protecting the
town and blessing all residents.
foreign nun, students and citizens participate in the ceremony.
Lanna monks performed the sacred ceremony to comfort the
spirits. “The ceremony is not new at all. It was regularly practised in
the Lanna kingdom in ancient times when any disaster that greatly affected
the people occurred,” said Prof Kiattikun Maneepayom, a specialist in
Lanna arts and a noted person of language and culture.
Hundreds of monks, government officials from the
Provincial Cultural Office, students, and members of the public participated
in the ceremony to protect their customs.
The religious ceremony began with people receiving the
five Buddhism precepts from monks and praying to show respect to the Buddha,
religious precepts and monks. After that, 39 monks delivered the Thamma Chak
Kappa Watana Sutra, which is the first sermon the Lord Buddha gave and
considered the most important in Buddhism.
Afterward, a leader came to present the four necessities
of a Buddhist monk, food, raiment, abode and medicine and then making merit
through the monks to the ancestor spirits, to pay them back for their
kindness and protection, especially to the spirit of Phra Chao Kue Na, the
king who brought the Buddha relics to the pagoda.
Later, Prof Kiattikun performed a ceremony to boost Lanna
people’s morale. Many had become nervous and frustrated by the senator’s
actions, and felt they needed to build up the strength of their souls again
and restore peace to the city.
The ceremony reflects a strong unity between Lanna people and their
Buddhist faith. It also showed their great pride in their respected pagoda
which has been the center of their spiritual life for many generations, as
they were ready to fight any offence directed at it.
PM gives Phayao
246 mio baht for projects
Sirikul Panpanya Public
Relations Department, Phayao
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra approved financing for
two development projects in Phayao during his tour to this northern
An amount of 246 million baht is to be spent on
improvements to the weir and irrigational system in Ing River basin and on a
maintenance project for Wat Sri Kom Kam and Buddhism Park.
The PM arrived in Phayao on July 19 and attended a
meeting with Phayao Governor Baworn Rattanaprasit who proposed five urgent
provincial projects which would cost 1.2 billion baht.
The projects would be for water resources development,
rubber tree planting promotion to solve poverty, the maintenance and
preservation of religion, the development and construction of transportation
routes, as well as border area development.
However, the PM approved only two projects giving the
province 246 million baht. Other projects will be assigned to responsible
ministries to consider within their budget allocations.
Gasohol now available
at 10 Chiang Mai petrol stations
PTT has introduced its new product, Gasohol 95, to ten
petrol stations in Chiang Mai and plans to open 400 more Gasohol 95
stations nationwide this year.
The northern capital received its first deliveries of
Gasohol 95 on July 16, after Bangkok stations.
PTT decided to expand its distribution to the North to
offer motorists a wider choice, said Apichit Ruchikiatkamchorn, deputy
managing director. Gasohol 95 was an alternative source of energy and PTT
was the first in the country to distribute it. The petroleum based fuel is
becoming popular among consumers as it is similar to Benzene 95 but 50
satang per liter cheaper.
Apisit added the gasohol will help the country decrease
its fuel imports, is more economical and will help protect the environment.
The ten stations in Chiang Mai which provide the Gasohol 95 are the PTT
station at Wing 41, Chiang Mai Laksanapong 2 and 3 stations in Muang
district, Sukhum service stations in Faham, San Kamphaeng and Saraphi
districts, Somjit Chiang Mai 1995 station in Muang district, Wilai Service
Station in Doi Saket district and Panya Motor stations in Nong Hoi and Pa
and landslide map available on website
The Land Development Department has put a flood warning
and landslide area map in the website www.ldd.go.th for the general public
and government offices to take appropriate action. The map, on a 1:50,000
scale, can identify areas at risk within a village and in a province.
Northern provinces Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son,
Lamphun, Nan and Tak are at risk of landslides, says the department.
Its director, Attha Somrang, said that a flood and
landslide in Tak’s Mae Ramat district in May followed the department’s
Attha suggested people keep an eye on the levels of canals and rivers in
the event of heavy rain. If the level was reaching a dangerous level, people
should move to higher ground for their own safety as flooding could follow.
Northern governors and ambassadors to work together
Department, Chiang Mai
The eight provincial governors of the Lanna Group from
the upper North and Thai ambassadors to nine foreign countries have agreed
to set up a joint data base.
According to Dr Wissanu Krea-ngam, deputy prime minister,
they will develop joint working procedures and systems in detail in the near
He said at a press conference held after their workshop
in Chiang Mai on July 18 that they will set up a joint operations center, in
the form of a "Virtual Organization", consisting of
representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the
Interior, Thailand Chamber of Commerce, and the National Economic and Social
Development Board (NESDB).
The centre will be manned by a working group which will
compile the data base from the eight provinces and nine embassies. Meetings
between the governors and ambassadors would be held more frequently.
He also said a training course would be devised, with the
assistance of the Damrong Rajanuprab Institute.
Deputy PM Wissanu said to promote more trade and
investment links with other countries, a Foreign Relations Office would be
set up. Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would be stationed in
the office to act as a liaison for the governors in the North and the Thai
He added that the final conclusion of the workshop will be endorsed at
next week's Cabinet meeting in Bangkok.
Chiang Rai gets praise and money from PM
Worachat Kongkaew, Public
Relations Department, Chiang Rai
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra continued with his
largesse, during his northern tour, approving a large budget for Chiang Rai
province to create close ties with neighboring countries to boost the
tourism and travel industry.
The PM also plans to upgrade the customs and immigration
services to meet international standards.
He approved the urgent budget for the Chiang Rai project
worth almost three billion baht to help solve flooding in this northern
province in a three year plan.
The PM has paid great interests in the social issues in
Chiang Rai, such as human trafficking, flash foods and tourism. He said the
people of Chiang Rai would face another tourism boom in the near future,
because as many as two million tourists from Asian countries are expected to
visit this province. “However, Chiang Rai must have a tourism magnet to
draw more tourists and visitors, and the people in the tourism industry must
also be qualified,” he said.
He instructed the director-general of the Irrigational
Department, together with the Member of Parliament for Chiang Rai, to carry
out a feasibility study for plans to help solve the social problems.
PM Thaksin praised the governor and his deputies for carrying out the
government works on the CEO integrated policy. “It is quite clear that in
three years, many things will have changed for the positive in this
province,” he said.
PM meets the people of Phrae
Agrees to some of their requests
Public relations Department, Phrae
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra met the people of Phrae
on July 18 during his tour of the province, when he explained his policies
to local government officials.
Phrae has submitted requests for several projects
totaling 600 million baht. The province asked the PM for the Nam Mae Sai
reservoir in tambon Padaeng, Muang district to be constructed to address the
flooding problem as well as agricultural needs.
Other requests are to expand the airport to be able to
receive larger aircraft, a road construction project to promote tourism, and
forest conservation projects in Song and Long districts.
Another mega-project will include the development of
Highway 11, from Denchai to Uttaradit, into a four lane highway.
They also need government investment for a study of the
transportation system, with a cargo container center at Denchai to cope with
economic growth through a Free Trade Zone agreement in this region following
the Quadrangle Economic Cooperation development plan between Thailand,
China, Myanmar and Laos.
While in Phrae, PM Thaksin approved the government budget
requests for the construction of the dam, road construction covering 14 km,
and the registration for study course enrolment via the Internet service of
Maejo-Chalerm Phra Kiart in Rong Kwang district. Maejo University has been
chosen as the center of technology transfer to communities and scientists
will be sent to help assist the university staff.
Regarding the construction plan for Kaeng Sua Ten Dam,
the PM said he would keep the dam in mind as the last choice. At the moment
he would use the Kaem Ling (monkey cheeks) system initiated by His Majesty
the King to help solve drought and flooding in the area.
Thaksin also asked all officials of the Irrigation
Department to survey the irrigational system and then provide enough
irrigation for farmers.
He supported locally designed Moh Hom clothes and
processed wood items as OTOP products.
He said he would review the request for the Ministry of
Transportation to consider the expansion of Phrae airport as well as the
construction of the four lane highways between Uttradit to Denchai and from
Rong Kwang district to Ngao district in Lampang.
1.4 mio baht found in gift box
Courier said she was unaware of the contents
Organization of Thailand
Police have confiscated 1.4 million baht in cash at after
they received a tip-off that a Chinese Haw woman was transporting a large
amount of cash.
They were told she was traveling in a car with friends
from Ban Arunothai village in Chiang Mai’s Chiang Dao district.
Pol Capt Sa-nguan Mahawan set up a roadblock along the
Muang Na-Chiang Dao Road, and stopped a pickup truck loaded with passengers
to check whether it carried any smuggled goods.
A Chinese Haw woman from Tak province, 34 year old Palor
Sae Yang who was in the front, was carrying a gift box and appeared nervous
when police asked to search it.
When they opened the gift box, they found the 1.4 million
baht. Palor denied any knowledge of it, saying that people in Ban Arunothai
had asked her to take it to relatives in Tak province’s Pobphra district.
Police confiscated the money pending further
investigation, and drug suppression police searched the house in Ban
Arunothai, but found nothing illegal.
Police still believe the cash was laundered money from
drug trafficking in the area. It is unknown at this time what the police
will do if it proves to be otherwise.
Daring robber smashes display counter
Flees with gold jewelry worth 50,000 baht
A robber made off with 11 gold ornaments worth 50,000
baht from a Ratcha Chiang Sean Road (tambon Hai Ya) gold shop display
He hid his identity by wearing a helmet during the
robbery on July 16, said Supaporn Kangwarnklai, the owner of Kangwarn Gold
Shop. The robber entered the shop just after it opened and while she was
arranging items in the display counters, he smashed a hole through the glass
with a stone, and snatched the ornaments and fled.
Kangwarnklai, owner of the Kangwarn Gold Shop, indicates the (newly
repaired) display counter where a helmeted robber made off with lots of
The gold shop has closed circuit television but the
robber’s face was hidden by the helmet and he could not be identified.
Police of Muang district police station have taken
fingerprints and blood samples from when he cut himself breaking the glass
and will check to see if they have a DNA match.
A sketch of the robber’s helmet has been circulated to all gold shops
in Chiang Mai and Lamphun to warn owners, said Pol Lt Maj Narich Sorndith.
Police have asked other gold shop owners to inform them if they suspect
another customer wearing a helmet, bandages and carrying a rock.
New designer drugs, heroin replacing ya ba tablets
ONCB points finger at Myanmar
The ONCB (Office of Narcotic Control Board Northern
Region) is keeping a close watch on new drugs being smuggled into the
country from Myanmar.
The director, Pittaya Jinawat, said that the new drugs
include ‘ice’, a crystalline form of amphetamine that can be used to
produce ya ba (speed). It is primarily produced in south China.
police confiscated ya ba pills and arrested the couriers following Chiang
Mai police suppression.
He added that a new form of ‘ecstasy’, produced in
the Netherlands, is being smuggled directly into Bangkok as well as coming
in through Malaysia.
“Both ‘ice’ and ‘ecstasy’ can now be
manufactured in Myanmar, but the quality is not as high as the original
drugs produced in China and Holland,” he said.
Pittaya said ONCB officials usually apprehend suspects
and ecstasy traffickers and confiscate the drugs in Chiang Rai. “We are
keeping an even closer watch now as the refineries and production bases for
the drugs are located inside Myanmar but are very close to Thai
territory.” Myanmar is well known as a production base for ‘ecstasy’,
‘ice’, and ya ba.
Drug smugglers have changed their transit routes from
northern Thailand to the northeastern region. Pittaya also said the amount
of heroin being smuggled into northern Thailand has more than doubled this
The government’s much vaunted War on Drugs, on the
other hand, has at least led to a drop in the quantity of ya ba tablets
Pittaya added that a meeting held earlier this month
between Thai and Burmese authorities at Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5
headquarters would strengthen bilateral cooperation. Myanmar would help
trace those suspects for whom search warrants had been issued in Thailand
but who fled to Myanmar to hide.
The question that should be asked, is that if the Myanmar refineries are
so well known to the ONCB, why has nothing been done to stop the production
by the Burmese authorities?
New Toyota amphibious vehicle fails first voyage
Passed tree-test but failed buoyancy
A Toyota van was towed out of the city moat at Jaeng
Katam Fort after the driver lost control of the vehicle as he attempted to
avoid crashing into oncoming motorcycles.
The submarine van after it plunged into
the city moat.
Before plunging into the moat, the van hit a tree. No one was injured,
but the occupants reported being dampened by the entire incident.
Thieves steal hi-tech equipment from Buddhist temple school
At least two burglars have stolen hi-tech equipment
including a digital camera, cables, memory stick, and batteries worth 30,000
baht from the Maha Chulalongkorn Rajavittayalai School at Wat Suan Dok in
When staff member Arthawuth Chantaen arrived at the
school on Monday morning, July 19, he noticed the items had disappeared from
the computer laboratory. However, the 25 computers in the room had been
points out the cupboard from which the stolen items were taken.
Arthawuth informed the police that a Sony Cyber Shot
digital camera, cables, memory stick and batteries were missing.
Police from the Phuping police station arrived to
investigate the burglary, in the graduate school building where Buddhist
monks study for their Masters degree. The burglars had left their
The police said that the thieves climbed up the
electricity pole located near the room, and entered through the unlocked
windows. The police would check footprints and fingerprints.
Arthawuth said that the thieves might be people who used the computer lab
Four motorcyclists hurt after crane knocks over telephone pole
Last time it got a pick-up truck!
A mobile crane knocked down a telephone pole, dragging
the phone and electricity cables in its wake, injuring four people and
damaging two motorcycles as a result.
errant pole after the accident.
The incident took place at about 9.30 a.m. on July 16
when the crane belonging to the Nim See Seng Leasing Company hit the pole on
Muan Dam Pra Kod Road.
The injured, Prachak Saengsawang, Sarika Wongsrisai,
Anunt Kanti, and Prasert Kanti, were on the motorcycles behind the crane,
said a shop vendor who witnessed the event. They were taken to Chang Puek
and Lanna hospitals for treatment.
The crane driver, Sommai Kasamut, will be charged with
careless driving, causing injury to other persons and damage to property.
The TT&T Co. pole was only recently erected to
replace another one which had fallen on a passing pickup truck last month.
The driver was uninjured in that incident.
Poles along the Muen Dam Pra Kod Road are old and not firmly embedded,
according to a TT&T Co. employee who preferred to remain nameless.
Buddhism Office steps in to avert split in community
Temple troubles in Samoeng
Over 50 dwellers in tambon Maesarb in
Chiang Mai’s Samoeng district have protested against the order stopping
them going into Buddhist temples, given by the tambon’s chief monk, Phra
Athikarn-udom Sunyato. He has advised the monks in seven local temples not
to accept invitations from villagers who believe in the Nam Meow doctrine or
allow them to enter the Buddhist temples.
Nam Meow is a doctrine in Buddhism’s Mahayana tradition
that teaches its followers to sacrifice and help human beings as their
friends. The doctrine shares with the Hinayana tradition the belief in the
“Three Jewels”: in the Lord Buddha, his teaching (dhamma), and community
of monks (sangha), as well as in making merit.
The Nam Meow doctrine differs from the Hinayana in its
prayer script, which is in the Japanese language, although the meaning is
the same. However, its followers believe the monks in tambon Maesarb
misunderstood its prayer script.
One of Nam Meow’s followers, Prachan, said he felt
uneasy and troubled because he was not allowed to enter any temples, as the
monks and novices chase him away. His neighbors who follow the Hinayana
tradition also cut off their relationship with him.
Phra Chinnaworn Wachirayano, the abbot of Wat Pang Duem
in tambon Maesarb, said that he disagreed with the instruction of the
command of Phra Athikarn-udom Sunyato that monks should not associate with
Nam Meow followers. He said he did not want the conflict to worsen and cause
a split within communities.
Chao Duangduen na Chiangmai, chairperson of the Chiang
Mai Cultural Council, has also stepped in to attempt to heal the divisions.
The conflict was finally solved after the director of the
Chiang Mai Buddhism Office, Chamlong Kittisiri, informed Phra Kru
Sirichaikoon, Samoeng district’s chief monk, to cancel the instruction.
The instruction violated the right, protected by the
Constitution, for people to freedom of belief if it does not affect the
nation, religion and royal institution. Some might even borrow from another
religion and say the final result came from the wisdom of Solomon!
Children starving throughout
Relations Department, Nan
Around 3,600 children under the age of six in Nan
province are suffering from malnutrition, Nan Governor Dr Suwat
Choksuwattanasakul has revealed. Most of them are hill tribe children.
At a seminar on malnutrition among children, organized by
the Nan Provincial Public Health Office, Dr Suwat called for practical
solutions to the problem present in every village of this northern border
With the cooperation of provincial public health
officials, action would be initiated in every district, tambon and village
to enlist the cooperation of parents and caregivers, he said. This would be
in response to the government’s call for the prevention of malnutrition in
rural and remote areas.
Students playing hooky in internet shops get hooked
School inspectors getting tough
School inspectors and officers from the Chiang Mai
Provincial Police Division raided four games and internet shops after Chiang
Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat received numerous complaints that internet
outlets were influencing students to skip classes, causing their grades to
technical college students playing games in one of the shops.
The first stop was next to the Chiang Mai Technical
College, where they found 16 students, in uniform, brazenly playing games.
The second was opposite Wat Pha Bong on Singharat Road where 12 students in
uniform were found. The shop is reputedly owned by a former director of
Lamphun Technical College. The third shop was located at the intersection in
front of Wat Dub Pai, where 20 students were found playing games online.
The fourth was in the soi alongside Hor Phra School on
Singharat Road. This time the school raiders returned empty-handed as no
students were caught, as their friends had warned them by mobile phone.
The names of the students were recorded before they were
returned to their schools for punishment. The inspectors and officers also
searched their bags but did not find anything illegal.
Most of the students caught admitted they were playing
online games, although some claimed they were on the internet doing research
for school assignments.
Worawut Jinarit, one of the inspectors, said that he
would like teachers to be stricter. He also appealed to internet shop owners
to act responsibly.
He added that recently the role of school inspectors had
diminished and they had not been included in any department for more than a
However, they are now getting a chance to perform their duties again
after the governor instructed them to crack down on truancy and proposed
they officially resume their tasks. There are about 30 inspectors on duty
every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I am sure the school children will soon
realize that Tuesdays and Thursdays are ‘safe’!
Instability in Myanmar
puts off Thai investors
Relations Department, Chiang Mai
Myanmar has cooperated well with Thailand on various
issues and wants friendly relations with its neighbour, but Thai businessmen
are still wary.
This is the assessment that came out of a workshop at the
Imperial Mae Ping Hotel in Chiang Mai attended by eight governors of the
Lanna group provinces and Thai ambassadors attached to nine countries.
Suphot Theerakaosalp, the Thai ambassador to Yangon,
Myanmar said, “The Burmese government wants good relations with Thailand.
However, Thai businessmen and investors are still not sure because of the
internal situation in the country, especially the conflict situation along
the Thai-Burmese border. If there is not peace within Myanmar, Thais won’t
invest there,” he said, adding however that the Burmese government has
given more significance to cooperation with Thailand on issues like drug
suppression, and national and border security.
“Thailand is still regarded by Myanmar as the first
‘gateway’ for economic interaction and development.” Myanmar has an
abundance of raw materials, energy and cheap labor that could support and
receive an influx of large investment projects by Thais.
Meanwhile, Jirasak Thanesnant, the Thai ambassador to
India, reported India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at 10 percent,
and the country had a huge population with strong purchasing power.
“Interesting businesses and investments in India would
be in public works, information technology, sciences, trade, and the tourism
sector,” he added.
“The overland route between Thailand and India passing
through Myanmar could be the economic route linking these countries. India
is the major Asian market, after China.”
It is reported that the Thai embassy is focusing on trade
between Thailand and India this year, which could reach USD 2 billion, if
stimulated by a Free Trade Area agreement.