HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Innovations from the North to go South

15th International AIDS Conference highlights presented in Chiang Mai

Respect paid to fallen Japanese soldiers from WW II

Government aims for ‘health society’ by 2015

More spa therapists to be trained

Raffles LaSalle Grand Opening on Friday, August 27, in Chiang Mai

Innovations from the North to go South

Contest brings out different inventions

Autsadaporn Kamthai

The Northern region selection is part of the 4th Thailand Innovation Awards initiated by Science Association of Thailand (under Royal Patronage) in cooperation with National Innovation Assembly, Thai Health Foundation and Department of Intellectual Property. The final will be held in the mid of October at Impact Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok.

A student from Phetchabun Rajabhat University explains the operation of the silk worm collecting machine.

All regional selection rounds were done during National Science Week looking for the most intelligent innovations in each region to compete in the national innovation competition in Bangkok.

The competition is exclusively for university students who are aged under 28 years old. It is divided into three fields including engineering and technological innovation, innovation involved with biological and physical science and health innovation.

Innovations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, Phetchabun Rajabhat University were very prominent amongst the entries and they were chosen as the winner, and first and second runners-up for the engineering and technological innovation competition. The winner was a silk worm-collecting machine while the first runner-up was a fish scale removing machine and the second runner-up was a machine to mix and fill soil into the planting bags. For more information, please contact Ajarn Wiroj Chok-u-domchai at 0-1888-8115.

For health innovations, an artificial tear formula produced from Kritosan Gel from faculty of Pharmacy, Chiang Mai University was judged the winner.

For innovations related with biological and physical science, this was won by the Science Faculty, Naresuan University.

15th International AIDS Conference highlights presented in Chiang Mai

The August Monthly NGO Forum on “Perspectives on the 15th International AIDS Conference” will be held at the Health and Development Networks (HDN) Office, on Ratchaphakhinai Road, on Tuesday, August 31 from 4-6 p.m.

The HDN invites the community to join the monthly NGO Forum to share conference highlights from the 15th International AIDS Conference.

A panel of conference participants will share their perspectives on key developments, commitments made and other emerging issues raised during the conference.

The panelists include representatives from the areas of harm reduction, human rights, sex workers, treatment, youth, and the HDN perspective. HDN will present its activities, including the official, HDN produced conference newspaper, ‘The Correspondent’ (you can read the newspaper online at www.hdnet.org). It will also make available to the community a large number of different publications in Thai and English that were collected and brought back from the conference.

At the forum, HDN will introduce the Asia program manager, Patty Weisenfeld, of the Female Health Foundation and she will speak on the foundation’s work.

Call 053-418-438 or email to reserve a seat. The HDN team would very much appreciate it if you could register before coming. It cannot guarantee hand-outs of materials for those participants who arrive late or do not register.

Respect paid to fallen Japanese soldiers from WW II

Ceremonies at Wat Muen Sarn in Chiang Mai

Nopniwat Krailerg

Kana Satthra (faithful group) of Wat Muen Sarn and a Japanese NGO held a merit-making ceremony to mark the 59th anniversary of WW II at Wat Muen Sarn, located in Tambon Hai Ya, the city center of Chiang Mai, and to honour the Japanese dead.

Japanese visitors pay respect and pray for “May Peace Prevail on Earth”, among them the Japanese Consul to Chiang Mai Saburo Sato and his wife Mishiko.

Wat Muen Sarn is a historical temple. During WW II, Japanese troops were stationed inside the Wat before marching further through Mae Hong Son province. An annual merit-making ceremony was held on August 15. An exhibition was set up to provide the historical background. Japanese weapons and accessories were displayed, as well as old Japanese banknote produced at Wat Muen Sarn. In those days, apart from Japanese troops situated at the Wat, there were also a field hospital and a banknote printing factory.

Guests and visitors register at the scene of the Memorial.

Phrakru Sutthijittapirat, the abbot of Wat Muen Sarn, and Pol. Lt. Col. Cherdchai Chomthawach who founded the WW II museum in Mae Hong Son said that during that time, many Japanese soldiers died here. Phrakru Opas Kanaphiban, the abbot of Wat Muen Sarn at that time, collected all the remains of these Japanese soldiers, and held a merit-making ceremony every year for the deceased Japanese soldiers. Once people in Japan heard about this, they have come to participate in the ceremony in increasing numbers.

Government aims for ‘health society’ by 2015

The Public Health Ministry recently unveiled plans which aim to see a dramatic improvement in the nation’s health by the year 2015, while bringing Thai life expectancy in line with other countries in the region.

Opening an academic seminar for medical administrators, Deputy Public Health Minister Anuthin Chanveerakul painted a worrying picture of the state of the nation’s health.

At 60.2 years, average life expectancy was below than that of Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia, while new lifestyle-related diseases were rising in line with globalization, and disease control was becoming increasingly complex.

Each year nearly 80,000 Thais die from cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease, or an average of 200 deaths per day. Anuthin said that unless the situation was addressed as a matter of urgency, the nation’s future development would suffer.

Under the Ministry of Public Health’s ‘Healthy Thailand’ strategies, the government will work to promote healthy behaviors, and reduce risk factors by 2015 in accordance with United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

The ‘Healthy Thailand’ plans, which will be put into action this year, will see coordination between various related agencies. Focusing on five key areas - exercise, food safety, mental health, environmental health, and the reduction of diseases, such as cancer and diabetes - the plans will pave the way for Thailand’s hosting of the World Health Organization’s global health promotion conference next year. (TNA)

More spa therapists to be trained

The Chiang Mai Labor Skill Development Center plans to train more spa therapists and hotel workers to cater for the country’s fast growing spa and hotel businesses.

There is high demand for spa therapists in Thailand’s tourist towns where the service industry, like spas and hotels, are proving very lucrative, according to Arin Chuchot, the director of the Chiang Mai Labor Skill Center.

The center has already trained 100 spa therapists to work in the southern province of Phuket. But there is still a high demand there for more to be trained. According to research on the service industry in Chiang Mai, there is also a shortage of trained hotel workers there.

The center plans to provide training for female inmates in the Chiang Mai prison so that they can help fill the demand for housekeeping workers in the hotels. This would also mean that they can support their families after their release, the director said.

Other plans include training more construction workers, as Chiang Mai has several construction projects in the pipeline including a national convention center, a handicrafts center and five-star hotels. (TNA)

Raffles LaSalle Grand Opening on Friday, August 27, in Chiang Mai

Degrees in Design and Fashion become even more possible in the North

Staff reporters

Those who drive regularly along Nimmanhemin Road will have noticed the facade of the Wang Khum Building has changed during the last two months. The windows are most elegantly dressed, with exquisite materials on fashion models, and are changed on a regular basis. There is also a new sign proclaiming Raffles LaSalle, International Design School.

Krerkrit Saiyao (O), Career Consultant of Raffles LaSalle in Chiang Mai in front of the trendy office windows.

Inside there are light colors, stylish chairs, lamps, comfortable seating and lots of most trendy magazines everywhere. I was greeted by Krerkrit Saiyao (O), their Career Consultant who enlightened me with regards to the Raffles LaSalle and the career opportunities they offer.

Raffles LaSalle is a recognized International Design School originally from Singapore but has already established itself successfully in Bangkok. It is an educational institute, dedicated to professional design disciplines in Fashion Design, Fashion Marketing and Management, Interior Design, Multimedia, and Graphic and Product Design.

The Chiang Mai office at Soi Nimmanhemin will act as an admission and information office for the company, which will enable Chiang Mai students to receive an insight on fashion and make it possible for them to receive first hand information on how to become a designer for any kind of material or multi media.

Their two year advanced diploma is conferred by the Quebec Ministry of Higher Education and Science and gives the students the possibility to continue their studies at other universities overseas with which the LaSalle College Group has an agreement, or continue one more year to receive a Bachelors Degree which is validated by Middlesex University, London, or by the Curtin University in Australia.

All classes are taught in English and they follow an international curriculum. Fees for such a two year advanced diploma are 600,000 baht, but the certificate course over one and a half years is only 400,000 baht.

The Grand Opening celebration of the Chiang Mai Admission Office of the Raffles LaSalle International Design School will be on Friday, August 27, with VIP’s such as Suratep Tanprasert, Secretary General, Office of the Private Education Commission; Alvin Lee, Vice President Asia Pacific in charge of all Raffles LaSalle schools in the Asia Pacific Region as well as VIP’s from Chiang Mai. Raffles La Salle Fashion Lecturer Bernas Chan will perform a Dance with Fabrics and a Fashion Show by Akarat Varinsathian, their Award Winning Alumnus will conclude the evening.