Body of murdered Pattani Provincial Court judge returned to Chiang Mai
Saksit Meesubkwang and
The body of Pattani Provincial Court Judge Rapin Ruankaew
has been returned to his hometown in the Saraphi district in Chiang Mai.
Judge Rapin was shot dead on September 17 by Islamic youth activists.
A reception ceremony was held at the airport with Chiang
Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat, Udom Wattatatham, chief judge of Region 5,
Chiang Mai Provincial Court officials, and over 200 prosecutors, lawyers,
soldiers, police and his relatives to receive the coffin. Phra Raja
Sithacharn, the abbot of Phra Thart Doi Suthep temple, performed a funeral
rite at the airport.
Ruankaew, 4, Judge Rapin’s daughter at the reception.
Judge Rapin, 37, was shot dead by a group of Muslim youth
activists in front of his one year old son, Punayuth Ruankaew, and his
mother Pensri Ruankaew, while he was on the way home to pick up his wife
Duangnapha, who is also a judge. While stopped at a traffic light three
youths on two motorcycles rode up; one shot him with a .38 and the other
with a 9 mm pistol.
Police in Pattani have reported they have been able to
arrest one of the suspects. He is Abdulloh Pasi, 20, a student of Triam
Suksa Wittaya in Muang district. They found a concealed 9 mm pistol when
they searched him.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Gen Chettha Thanajaro said he
suspects the motive for the killing was that Judge Rapin had sat on at least
eight court cases dealing with violence in the South.
From now on, more police and soldiers are to be assigned
to guard high-ranking officials in an attempt to impede the threat Southern
rebels are now posing to them. There is reportedly a high bounty being paid
for killing these officials.
Minister of Justice Pongthep Thepkanchana said his ministry has asked Dr
Pornthip Rojanasununt, deputy director of the Institute of Forensic Science,
to investigate the case and collect all evidence at the scene. He also
warned all judges in the deep southern provinces to be careful and called
for cooperation from local people to help keep watch on the rebels.
Several northern provinces report floods, landslides, road blockages
In Lampang, a heavy rainstorm hit Hang Chat district,
causing flooding in 115 villages. Public relief workers with the provincial
authorities had to evacuate more than 3,000 villagers from high-risk and
dangerous areas, but they were hampered by rapid flash floods.
In Chiang Rai, the Kok River water level rose rapidly and
caused soil erosion along its banks. The owners of six houses had to moved
from the high-risk areas, while more than 5,000 households were affected by
the floods and some farms were destroyed, especially those in Phya Mengrai,
Toeng, and Muang Chiang Rai districts and municipal areas.
The provincial authorities are providing those affected
with food, drinking water and other necessities.
Somkid Phanukarn, chief of the Mae Hong Son Provincial
Office of Prevention and Public Disaster Relief Operations, said the
province was damaged by floods between September 8-13, particularly in Pai,
Pang Mapha and Khun Yuam districts. Damage was estimated at more than 24
million baht, with more than 9,000 people affected and more than 5,000 rai
of agricultural farmlands destroyed.
Moreover, it was expected damage by the floods that
occurred between September 14 -17 would be much higher.
On September 17, landslides and uprooted trees blocked
Highway 1095 (Mae Hong Son-Pai-Chiang Mai) at the Kiew Lom checkpoint area
in Pai district. More than 40 vehicles were stuck, paralysing traffic flow.
Highway district officers and workers are still tackling the road blockages.
The road linking Ban Sobsoi and Ban Naisoi in tambon
Pangmoo was also blocked by landslides at more than 10 spots. The high-risk
areas were located near the Pai River in Muang district.
Highway 1095 (Mae Hong Son-Pai) was also reported to be
blocked by landslides and fallen trees. Workers were dispatched to clear the
In Phayao, the provincial governor issued a warning of imminent floods
caused by overflowing lakes and rivers, as well as forest flash floods.
Governor Boworn Rattanaprasit asked the public to be alert and prepared to
be evacuated as the water levels on the Ing and Yom rivers and Phayao Lake
had risen dramatically.
Hill tribes line up for ID cards
The Local Administration Department in Mae Ai district
Chiang Mai has launched its identity card project for tribal minority group
members who have not yet been granted Thai citizenship.
The Interior Ministry has issued regulations through the
General Registration Affairs Division that those over the age of 12 years
who do not have a Thai ID card must get one. This ID card is printed with
the bearer’s name and a 13 digit code. Everyone will be recorded in the
census registration data. The ID card has to be renewed every six years.
According to Amporn Prasit, the head of the
naturalization process, under the Census Registration Section of the LAD,
the ID cards for the tribal minorities are similar to the local Thai ID
18,435 people are eligible to register: 6919 hill
tribesmen, 151 former Chinese Kuomintang nationalist soldiers, 351
independent Chinese Haw tribesmen, 681 Burmese displaced persons, 1,344
Burmese immigrants, 105 Thai Lue tribesmen, 8,884 hill tribe community
The procedure will last until October 1 and then be carried out in other
districts of Chiang Mai in November, and in the other provinces next year.
Charitable fund for ailing monks
Public invited to donate to fund for sick monks
A fund to support ailing monks in the North was
established on September 11. Dr Worapun Unnajak, director of the Heart
Centre of Chiang Mai Ram Hospital, Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn,
and Sampot Tianthong, director of the fund, chaired the conference, at the
Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel, to launch the fund.
The aim is to support monks in ill health, and provide
equipment at the Sujinno Building of Maharaj Nakhon Chiang Mai Hospital,
which offers free treatment for them.
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of HM the King’s
reign next year and HM the Queen’s 6th Cycle birthday anniversary this
year, the Heart Emergency Centre of Chiang Mai Ram Hospital donated 5
million baht to the fund.
It will help relieve the financial burden of the Faculty
of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, that pays over 24 million baht a year to
support and take care of the monks who obtain medical treatment at the
Maharaj Nakhon Chiang Mai Hospital.
A Pha Pa merit-making ceremony (a Buddhist ceremony to
present yellow robes to monks) will be arranged on October 9 at Wat Phra
Singh Woramahawihara temple in Chiang Mai to raise money for the fund.
Senior monks from 16 northern provinces will attend the ceremony.
The public is invited to make donations to the fund.
Please contact the fund coordination centre in Bangkok at 0-2939-0714-7 ext
109, 120 or Heart Emergency Centre, Chiang Mai Ram Hospital at 0-5322-4861
Mae Hong Son airport expansion
Buddhist temple, houses to make way for runway
Mae Hong Son provincial authorities have met to discuss a
plan to expand the local airport.
The provincial committee overseeing the project said PM
Thaksin Shinawatra approved the 262 million baht improvement during his
recent tour to this northern Thai border province.
Mae Hong Son Deputy Governor Sithichai Prasertsri,
speaking on behalf of the chief of the working group said, “The plan is to
extend the runway 200 meters, but this will impinge upon the present
location of the old temple Wat Banmai, and 30 households, which will have to
About 102 million baht has been allocated for the
relocation, while the rest of the money will be spent on the improvement and
expansion of the runway on 109 rai of mostly forest land, and another 14 rai
belonging to nearby villagers.
An un-named Mae Hong Son airport official said that Wat Banmai should be
replaced by another temple at a new location.
Thailand to be tourism capital of Asia?
Government wants more Western tourists
“How To Sustain Our World’s Tourism” was the theme
of an international conference held at Chiang Mai Rajabhat University and
presided over by Krirk-krai Jirapaet the Deputy Minister of Tourism and
The conference was to provide a forum for international
academics, students, educators, scholars, researchers, tourism industry
operators, executives and government officials to explore issues related to
the world’s sustainable tourism. 60 people in the tourism industry from 10
countries in the Asia-Pacific region attended.
“Tourism is one of the country’s main generators of
revenue. So the Thai government wants to draw more and more tourists,” said
the deputy minister. Adding that the government wanted to see billions of US
dollars earned annually from tourism.
After the 1997 economic slump, the Thai tourism sector
needed to recover and be upgraded under “modern tourism management”.
Today, Thailand was ranked only fourth after China, Hong Kong and Malaysia in
the Asian region, he remarked.
“There seems to be more and more Chinese restaurants,
but I would like to see more farang (Western) tourist arrivals,” he
Last year, six to seven million domestic tourists traveled
within the country. “In the North, Chiang Mai is still so charming and
attractive to attract visitors and tourists, as it has been long rich in arts
and cultural tourist spots, local handicrafts production and souvenir
products, and warm hospitality of the beautiful northern women,” he said.
However Chiang Mai City had more and more cars on the
roads. It had changed. “There are many waitresses in mini-skirts instead of
dressing in traditional Thai costumes. Cultural dressing up seems to be
fading away in this northern capital,” he said.
The TAT’s goal for 2008 was 20 million tourist arrivals
from outside the country. “That is as our ambitious goal, to promote
Thailand as the tourism capital of Asia, with world-class standards in
service, high quality of tourist spots and efficient tourism marketing
The Thailand tourism area could be expanded into the
neighbouring countries of southern China, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam
in the Great Mekong sub-region, the conference was told. “Tourism
cooperation is very important and better than each country working
separately. Local participation is also needed for tourism promotion and
development,” he added.
Krirk-krai pointed out that some highlights of tourism
issues today are how to manage tourism influx and deal with the overcrowded
tourist spots which should be upgraded, like those promoted in the “Unseen
in Thailand” tourism programs.
The two-day international conference was organized by the
Tourism Industry Department, Faculty of Business Management.
Clean-up of Java weeds from Mae Kao canal
The Mae Kao canal in the Pimuk Housing Estate area in
tambon Tasala in the Muang district is now being cleared of Java weeds,
thanks to students from Wat Kha Jao and soldiers from the 33rd Military
Circle (Kawila Camp).
The clean-up is being coordinated by the Chiang Mai
Provincial Administration Organization (PAO), in cooperation with the tambon
Tasala Administration Organization (TAO).
from the 33rd Military Circle (Kawila Camp) are getting rid of Java weeds in
Mae Kao canal in the area of Pimuk Housing Estate in tambon Tasala, Muang
district, Chiang Mai.
PAO deputy president Udom Suwitsakdanont said that the
PAO realized the significance of water resources for people and agriculture.
The weeds had triggered floods to nearby areas and troubled residents.
The PAO therefore wanted to improve the 20 km long canal,
which is of considerable importance to Chiang Mai residents as it flows
through five districts and areas falling under 10 TAOs.
The clean-up will run to September 30. The PAO is cooperating with
soldiers and communities along the canal, and relevant official
organizations like Harbours Department have been assisting.
Japanese former governor awarded Knight Grand Cross
For initiating OTOP 25 years ago
The international conference “One Village One Product (OVOP)
Summit” with the unwieldy title, “Uplift Grassroots Economy
Sustainability” took place from September 16-19 at Chiang Mai
University’s Convention Center in Chiang Mai.
Thaksin with Morihiko Hiramatsu, former governor of Oita province in Japan,
who was given the Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of the Most Noble Order
of the Crown of Thailand.
More than 500 people participated, including 65 of
Thailand’s resident ambassadors; representatives from 14 countries running
OVOP projects; representatives from export promotion agents in 30 countries
including ASEAN countries, Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, India,
Tunisia, New Zealand and Australia.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said that the Thai OTOP
(One Tambon One Product) project has been successful beyond expectations.
Before this project, the total sales figure of tambon producers in the
communities in 2001 was at 215 million baht. However, since the introduction
of the OTOP project, sales had soared, to earn almost 24 billion baht in
2002 and 33 billion baht in 2003.
PM Thaksin added, “From the social aspect, this project
will be the solution to slow down the immigration to big cities such as
Bangkok because each tambon or village will be making products and earning
income. The government’s main objective is to continually sustain
grassroots economy stability.”
“Moreover, this project accords with the
self-sufficient economy method initiated by His Majesty the King. It will
lead the country to learn how to develop its own base and economy
stability,” said the PM.
After his address, PM Thaksin presented the Knight Grand
Cross (First Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand to
Morihiko Hiramatsu, the former governor of Oita province in Japan who began
the “One Village One Product” concept more than 25 years ago.
At the summit, there were also exhibitions where products
from Thai OTOP ventures and other participating countries were displayed and
sold. These included 51 domestic producers and 21 foreign producers from
India, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Malaysia, Taiwan and Italy.
The main Thai products on display dealt with home decorations,
handicrafts, arts, clothes and costumes, Thai herbs, food and beverages.
200 people assemble to save the Ping River
A seminar on implementing an environmental conservation
and development plan for the Ping River and its tributaries was held on
September 17 at Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel, Chiang Mai.
Governor Prinya Panthong (left) and Prasertsuk Jamornmarn (right), director
of the Natural Environment and Art Conservation Division, Office of Natural
Resources and Environment’s Policy and Planning presided over the seminar.
200 people attended, including the Natural Environment
and Art Conservation sub-committee, representatives from Chiang Mai, Lamphun,
Tak, Kamphaeng Petch and Nakhon Sawan, as well as district chief officers
and representatives from local administration organizations took part.
The seminar aimed at informing relevant organizations and
the public about the plan and raising awareness of the value of the Ping
River in history, ecology, community art and tradition.
A rehabilitation plan was necessary following the
deterioration of the Ping River and its tributaries. The river is vital to
not only Chiang Mai people but also those living in provinces through which
Deforestation along the Ping River bank and at the
watershed mouth area has triggered soil erosion and caused a drop in the
water level. It also makes flooding more prevalent in the city. To keep a
balance of the river’s ecology, the Office of Natural Resource and
Environment, Policy and Planning has produced a master plan to revive and
develop the environment of the Ping River. For this, cooperation from all
relevant organizations and people is required.
Deputy Governor Prinya Panthong and Prasertsuk Jamornmarn, director of
the Natural Environment and Art Conservation Division in the Office of
Natural Resources and Environment, Policy and Planning, presided.
Motorists with dark tinted windows face 2,000 baht fine
and editorial staff
Motorists with vehicles fitted with dark tinted windows
have been warned: they will be fined as these are illegal.
Pol Lt Col Sompong Chamrunphan, deputy superintendent of
the Chiang Mai Provincial Traffic Police said that traffic officers have
been informed by the National Police Bureau to take action against motorists
breaking the law.
He said that this measure has been enforced by Deputy
Prime Minister Jaturon Chaisaeng who is chairman of the National Disasters
Some of the car windows installed with reflective dark
windows may have caused road accidents by oncoming motorists being blinded
by the reflection of bright lights at night.
Some motorists might also use dark tinted windows to
commit crimes, as people outside could not see into the vehicles.
Pol Lt Col Sompong said that the traffic police would
take strict action to crack down on offenders, “If any vehicle owner
violates the Traffic and Vehicle Act of 1979, he or she will be charged and
fined 2,000 baht,” he said.
Chiangmai Mail approached a motoring spokesman for another view on
this problem, since over 90 percent of cars in Thailand run tinted windows.
His report outlined that since there are many grades of sunscreen tint, it
is presumed that some of these will pass police scrutiny, but is this
specified in the 1979 Traffic Act? Cars without window tinting will also use
much more fuel as the air-conditioner units have to run more frequently to
keep cabin temperatures lower. This runs contrary to the latest push towards
energy conservation. To suggest that felons will be thwarted by having no
window tinting borders on the ludicrous. Similarly, any reflections that
return to a driver from oncoming traffic are less than the intensity of
light being received by the oncoming traffic from the first driver’s
vehicle. Window tinting across the top of the windshield would result in
almost negligible reflections. Other countries specify the degree of tint
and perhaps Thailand should be enforcing this standard in the shops that
supply the window tinting film.
Two schoolboys drown in Nan River after heavy rains
Two schoolboys drowned in the Nan River when the floods
hit the provincial town of Nan. Following many days of heavy rains, the
waters damaged 100 households and farming land in the municipal areas.
Ban Puangpayorm and Ban Thali were flooded by the water
overflowing from drainage pipes and the river, while Ban Suan Tarn Community
and Ban Donsriserm were also flooded, especially along Norkham Road, and
sois in the villages were impassable.
Nan provincial authorities and the Nan Provincial
Administration Organization (PAO), led by Governor Dr Suwat
Chokesuwattanasakul and PAO president Narin Lao-araya, have dispatched teams
with food and other necessities, including survival kits, to assist those
The tragedy on the river occurred when sixteen year old Veeeradej
Sungnoen, a Mathayom 1 student at Wiangsa School and another schoolboy from
Thawangpha district were practicing for the upcoming boat race competition,
an annual tradition for the two districts of Wiangsa and Thawangpha. Their
bodies had not been found by the time this item went to press.
Classes offered to prepare yummy Thai dishes
Chuliporn Sighanetra, director of Chiangmai Vocational
College, said the Thai government has launched a policy to promote Thai
dishes to become international favourites. To follow this, the Office of
Vocational Education Committee together with Chiang Mai and Lamphun
Vocational Colleges are now holding six-hour vocational courses to teach
many famous Thai dishes.
of the participants in the training course to prepare tom yum kung, one of
the 15 main dishes in the Thai menu, “From Thai Kitchen to World
More than 100 participants from Chiang Mai and Lamphun
provinces are now joining the training courses conducted by the teachers
from the Nutrition and Food Science Department and the Domestic Science
Department of Chiang Mai Vocational College.
The main aim is to teach how to cook Thai food to high
standards of ingredients, taste and cleanliness, with tips for each dish.
All the dishes included in this course are popular among
Thais and gourmets worldwide, such as tom yum kung (clear prawn soup with
lime), pad Thai (fried noodles, Thai style, tom kha kai (chicken in galangal
soup), gaeng kiew waan kai (green chicken curry), panaeng moo (pork in red
curry), hor mok moo (steamed curried pork wrapped in banana leaves), tod mun
pla krai (fish pastry cake), gaeng phet pedyai (roasted duck in curry), yum
nue yang (grilled beef salad), kung padpong karee (fried prawn in
Indian-style curry), pad krapao kai (fried chicken with basil), kai padped
med mamuang (fried chicken with cashew nuts), gaeng karee kai (chicken in
Indian-style curry), and moo sate (BBQ curried pork).
The aim is to produce quality cooks and chefs able to
cook standard food, and to add knowledge and extensive experience in cooking
which will enable them to work in Thailand and abroad.
Tassanun Juansang, head of the Nutrition and Food Science
Department of Chiangmai Vocational College, cited tom yum kung as a
world-wide famous Thai dish with a unique taste. “Prawns are available in
any country, but not the herbs like galangal, lemongrass and Citrus hystrix
leaves. Even though these herbs are also available in some countries, chefs
might not know how to cook it properly and they will give the food a bad
taste. Galangal and lemongrass will give an appetizing and seasoning odour
only when they absorb heat,” she said.
The technique to cook delicious tom yum kung is that
prawns should be cooked at the end. As they consist of protein, they will
get stiff and dry when exposed to a long period of heat and their sweetness
might be lost.
All the participants are taught how to preserve the
tenderness of prawn meat. “The sweetness of prawns should be retained. In
the past, the prawns were fried in oil, to be dropped into the bowl of soup.
However, chilli paste and milk are used instead nowadays,” she said.
Tassanun anticipated that the course will be conducted annually. All
entrepreneurs who want their chefs and cooks to receive a course certificate
are welcome to contact the Nutrition and Food Science Department, tel.
Flooded Chiang Mai gets ready for dry season
Public boat service along Ping River to reduce traffic jams
The House Commissioners for Local Administration have
called on heads of many organizations in Chiang Mai to discuss a plan for
water sources and supply during the coming dry season and Ping River
led the press on a tour of the Ping River, pointing out where invaders had
encroached. He also showed them excavation work on the river.
On September 17, Maj Gen Intarat Yodbangtoey, chairman of
House Commissioners met Chiang Mai senators Thaworn Kiatchaikorn and Dr
Arkom Tandilok, and other North-eastern and Southern senators as well as
Wanchai Sarntoontat, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Transport,
members of the Forestry and Irrigation Departments and heads of public
organizations in Chiang Mai.
Wanchai said that in previous years, the Harbours
Department was assigned to help excavate the Ping River for a distance of 20
kilometres to solve the problem of shallow waterways and overflowing. This
year, after two weeks of heavy rain, Chiang Mai had experienced less severe
flooding than in previous years, he said.
When the department started to excavate the Ping
riverbank, landowners living close by protested, as did senior ministers,
politicians and high-ranking soldiers. The department sued them - about 300
people in total - to have the riverbank declared public property. Some of
the protestors agreed to move out and only 30 cases were still under legal
process at present.
“However, the Harbours Department is facing a financial
shortage,” said Wanchai. “The previous excavation did not cost much, but
it faces greater expenditure for the 2005 excavations.”
The permanent secretary added that after the excavation
was finished, the department planned to license public boat ferry taxis to
create new types of tourism and water transportation for Chiang Mai. “The
boats will directly reduce the traffic jam in the city and save time for
people who go to work outside the town,” he said.
The first boat landing will be at Don Kaew village in Mae
Rim district. The boat route will pass in front of the municipality building
and end at Meng Rai Bridge in front of the Sheraton Hotel.
Chiang Mai senator Thaworn said the city faced a drought
during the dry season, but in the rainy season it suffered from floods. He
therefore suggested Chiang Mai have a water supply for the dry season, and
the Irrigation Department should consider this. “There should be check
dams along the Ping River to control the amount of water flowing through.
However, the check dams must be constructed in both Chiang Mai and Lamphun
because the river passes both cities.”
Watershed conservation and development was important, so
the Forestry and Land Department should keep watch on the watershed to
lessen the severity of drought. In addition, he also suggested that posts
should be used to mark the boundary of the river in order to prevent
invasion by “capitalists”.
After the conference, Wanchai led the press on a tour on the Ping River
to observe the river boundary where some invaders had encroached, but where
the state had seized it back.
Clean food tastes good at only 221 restaurants and 53 food stalls
The Chiang Mai Public Health Office on September 21
presented a “Clean Food Good Taste” sign to 221 restaurants and 53 food
stalls in Chiang Mai municipal areas, to guarantee their food quality and
The project was initiated by the Health Department in the
Public Health Ministry in 1999 to standardize all food shops and restaurants
in the country and indirectly promote the province’s tourism and economy.
“Clean Food Good Taste” endorsement is given the Chiang Mai Public
Health Office carries out random checks.
Before the restaurants and food stalls were awarded the
“Clean Food Good Taste” sign, the Public Health Office has randomly sent
inspectors to spot checks at each venue for food quality and hygiene. Only
businesses whose food and containers were clean and hygienic receive the
endorsement to display.
This year, 221 out of 229 restaurants and 53 out of 154
food stalls were approved. With only one third of food stalls within Chiang
Mai municipal areas passing, it was noted that all food stalls have to be
careful in their garbage collecting and management, container washing and
clothing of cooks and assistants.
Deputy Governor Kwanchai Wongnitikorn chaired the ceremony at the Novotel
Governor’s eye in the sky surveys flood damage
Farms and fisheries worst hit
Chiang Mai’s governor flew over the city last weekend
to inspect areas hit by the floods, especially along the Ping River and it
tributaries to estimate the cost of the damage caused.
Ping River nearly overflowing its banks as it passes through Chiang Mai
City. (Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)
On Sunday, September 19, Governor Suwat Tantipat was
taken by Border Patrol Police, Region 3 helicopter to inspect the areas
from the Mae Taeng, Doi Saket and San Kamphaeng districts in the north to
the northeastern and southeastern parts, before heading southwards, then
finally flying over the Chiang Mai municipal areas.
He said the rainfall and flooding had decreased, though
the worst hit areas were still suffering. The cost of the damage was still
being evaluated, he said. The most damaged areas were fish farms and
“The government is helping the victims of the natural
disaster,” he said, adding that local organizations like the Provincial
Administration Organization, tambon administration organizations,
municipal and district offices and provincial authorities could help with
relief immediately, without waiting for central government approval for
Governor Suwat was accompanied by Thawatwong na Chiang
Mai, president of the Provincial Administration Organization, and heads of
government divisions and public organizations to hand out survival kits
and clothes to over 300 flood victims in 10 tambons and 60 villages in the
San Kamphaeng district.
PM Thaksin Shinawatra did similar presentations last week in tambons in
Chiang Mai’s San Kamphaeng district, his local electorate.
Here come the Fun Police volunteers
Customers found in venues after closing time face 2,000 baht fine
Chiang Mai administrative officials are to check that
entertainment outlets toe the line laid down by the government’s social
order. A royal decree on September 16 announced compulsory compliance with
the closing times as gazetted, plus not allowing entry to anyone aged under
20 to certain venues, no weapons to be taken into entertainment venues, no
obscene shows, no drugs and operating the businesses in accordance with
of the famous entertainment venues at the Chiang Mai Lands area on Changklan
Road where night entertainment is available.
Chiang Mai’s officials have been advised to apply these
rules strictly as the government will measure and evaluate their work. If
the result of their enforcement is below 80 percent adherence, their
evaluation score will be zero. This will also affect the governor, and
district officers will be blamed as well.
Chanasuek Nuchai, assistant Muang district officer
responsible for provincial security, said that since the government measure
of social order was launched, Muang district officials had strictly
controlled venues on a nightly basis.
Additionally, 24 territory security volunteers were
appointed to work with the existing patrols to check violations of the
rules. Inspections include checking for illegal activities.
Chanasuek said that so far 30 venues in Chiang Mai had
been closed. For the first offence, an outlet will be closed for 30 days.
The second violation will result in a 60 day closure while the third will
mean a 90 day closure. After the fourth violation, the business license will
“All outlets have to cooperate with the government,
especially on disallowing youths aged under 20 to enter. They have to check
all guests’ ID cards on entry, and must close at the appointed time,”
Customers who are found in venues after closing time face
a 2,000 baht fine, while the owner will be fined up to 10,000 baht.
For ‘khao tom’ shops that also sell liquor and play
music and close in the early hours of the morning, the police have charged
some of their owners with selling alcohol outside the appointed time. If
these shops still continued selling alcohol after the appointed time, the
administration division would penalize them, said Chanasuek.
The patrol team is keeping a watch on the growing numbers of small pubs
and beer bars along the streets. The team looks for youths aged 18-20 who
are not allowed to enter entertainment outlets and instead turn to drink at
these roadside bars.
Entertainment venue closing times now gazetted
Zoning holds the key
The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) has spoken again, and
closing times for entertainment venues are no longer open to debate. It has
now promulgated the Interior Ministerial Law, published in the Royal Gazette
of September 16 and effective from September 17. Venue owners must strictly
follow Section 3(1)-(5) of the penal code or face punishment according to
The Act setting the operating times of entertainment
venues first came into being in 2003, and distinguishes between five
categories of service locations.
According to Section 3(1), dance venues (with or without
partners) within the zoned area and locations operating before this Act may
open from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Those outside the zoned area can only open from 9
p.m. and close at midnight.
According to Section 3(2), venues where food, alcohol,
tea or other beverages are sold or served may operate from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
and 6 p.m. to midnight depending upon whether it is inside or outside zoned
Section 3(3) covers showers, massage parlors or saunas
inside the zoned areas and locations that were operating before this Act,
with service persons, may operate from noon to midnight. Those outside the
zoned area may open from 6 p.m. to midnight.
According to Section 3(4), any venue where food or
alcohol is sold or served with music performances or other entertainment; or
where singers, dancers or waiters are allowed to accompany the customers; or
where singing equipment is available to customers; or which has a dance area
or where dance performances take place or are allowed to take place,
providing it is within the zone and the other venues being operated before
this Act may be open from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. The others outside the zoned area
may only open from 6 p. m. to midnight.
According to the Section 3(5), venues where food and
alcohol are sold or served with music or other performances, which cease at
midnight, may operate from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
General restaurants where food, beverage and alcohol are
sold or served with music, but without live music performances, are not
considered entertainment service locations. These may remain open 24 hours;
however, music and the sale of alcohol are not allowed after midnight.
To additionally complicate matters, the Ministry of
Interior is considering to amend the legislation covering entertainment
service locations of 2003 (Act 4) by adding another category: Restaurants
similar to service locations according to the Section 3(4) but without music
performances and temporary structure restaurants where alcohol is sold and
karaoke jukeboxes are available will be grouped together in order to fill a
gap in the regulations.
As they are mostly located in community areas, they might
be annoying and bothersome to nearby residents, and give rise to threats to
the safety of persons and property. The matter is being considered by the
Legislation Office in the Ministry of the Interior and will be submitted to
So to provide a short pr้cis, if you know whether
you are inside the proscribed zones and your establishment is covered by 3
(1) or 3 (2) then you can stay open until 2 a.m. If you are under 3 (3) then
you can open at noon, but must close by midnight. 3 (4) can stay open till 1
a.m. and 3 (5) can also stay open till 1 a.m. Restaurants can stay open 24
hours, but cannot sell alcohol after midnight.
A restaurant that supplies service girls who dance and do massage will be
covered by further legislation that will be enacted to cover all