Uncollected garbage piles welcome tourists
Maybe that’s why we received the ‘ugly’ tag
Chiang Mai Municipality is in trouble with its garbage
dumping site, and the many alternative sites are voicing opposition to
having a garbage dump in their areas. In the meantime, the piles of rotting
garbage accumulate in streets and sois all over the municipality.
Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat told Chiangmai Mail
that the provincial authorities would call an urgent meeting to speed up
locating new dumping sites.
The contract has ended at the Doi Tao dumping site for
garbage disposal, used for the past few years.
Residents of Chiang Mai City have lodged complaints that
garbage has not been collected for over a week, resulting in foul smells and
flies. The public has asked for officials to help take care of the problem
urgently, but many roads in the tourist city center as well as residential
areas are covered with uncollected garbage.
Lek Meeyaiyo, 54, a resident on Bamrungraj in tambon Wat
Kate, Muang district, said municipal garbage collectors usually removed
trash daily, but no one had come for a week, “Very bad smells are going
around now, and it has interfered with our work. Please inform the
collectors to get rid of these garbage piles,” she said.
Sathaporn Rodseng, 36, a grocer at the Chiang Mai Arcade
Bus Terminal, said normally the collectors removed garbage at 5 a.m. every
day, “But during the past two days, we have not seen any garbage
collectors despite there being many food shops and restaurants producing a
lot of waste and garbage piled up mountain-high around this tourist city,”
The first impression that tourists and visitors get is
piles of garbage at the bus stations with bad smells. This gave Chiang Mai a
“We want the garbage piled up in the bus terminal areas
to be removed as a priority,” said one observer, “or tourism will fade
Dr Surapong Tovichakchaikul, an advisor to the opposition
in parliament, recently took the media to see the conditions around the
Three Kings Monument area in the heart of the city, saying that the
municipality and Chiang Mai provincial authorities should solve the garbage
problem immediately. He will also lodge a letter of complaint with Prime
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Governor Suwat Tantipat said this problem is the
responsibility of the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization and
Chiang Mai Municipality.
“I really hope that the municipality can help solve this garbage
problem. They (municipal officials and PAO officials) have yet to contacted
me for urgent assistance to tackle the garbage,” he told Chiangmai Mail.
Chiang Mai-Lamphun road restricted
A ban has been slapped on heavy trucks using the Chiang
Mai-Lamphun road that runs parallel to the railway line. The Chiang Mai
provincial authorities have placed the prohibition order to maintain the
condition of the road surface, following an order from the Ministry of
Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat said the Public Works
and City Planning Department has designated the entire 27km stretch of road,
construction of which has been completed, to be free of heavy equipment.
The road was built for the local community to use. At
present, many trucks are using this road but with immediate effect only
trucks under 12 tons may do so.
The police have been instructed to enforce the
prohibition and weight limit.
Blind to have Braille signs installed at bus stops
All bus stops will soon have signs in Braille and audible
signals to help blind people, thanks to a project of the Chiang Mai
bus stop which will be installed with signs in Braille.
Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn said that current
mass transportation services of Chiang Mai still contained some barriers for
the blind. Many collide with bus stop poles because their sticks cannot
effectively recognize where they are placed. Because there were no amenities
for blind people at bus stops, signs written in Braille and audible signals
should be provided for them.
“Bus drivers do not stop at every bus stop and nothing
is provided to inform them when they arrive at their destination. These
factors have are stopping them traveling by bus,” he said.
The Association for the Blind of Thailand had asked for
service utilities for the visually impaired to increase their safety and the
municipality agreed to supply these amenities,” the mayor said.
“The municipality welcomes any suggestions or comments on its attempt
to serve blind people and is willing to assist immediately,” said Boonlert.
Germany volunteers to enlist in Thailand’s war on drugs
Germany has signaled its willingness to help Thailand
eradicate the production of opium in the Golden Triangle.
Thirawat Wongtan (left), director of the Drug Rehabilitation Center, leads
Germany’s representative, Marion Caspers-Merk, on a tour of the
Germany’s Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal
Minister for Health and Social Security toured the Drug Rehabilitation
Center in Chiang Mai and said she was willing to cooperate with Thailand to
help eradicate the drug scourge.
As part of an official visit to observe Thailand’s drug
suppression and AIDS operation and prevention, Marion Caspers-Merk visited
the rehabilitation center of the Public Health Ministry in Mae Rim district
on October 7.
parliamentary state secretary to the federal minister for health and social
security, Marion Caspers-Merk (second right) listens to a summary of Thai
drug suppression at the Drug Rehabilitation Center in Mae Rim district,
Pittaya Jinawatra, director Office of the Narcotics
Control Board (ONCB), Northern Region and Dr Thirawat Wongtan, director of
the Drug Rehabilitation Center, welcomed her.
Germany has previously assisted Thailand in attempting to
solve the problem of opium plantations, through the Thai-German Highland
Development Program for 17 years, and still maintains an interest in the
government’s “War on Drugs”.
Pittaya said that the state secretary had shown keen
interest in the ONCB’s joint work in drug suppression with neighboring
Myanmar and Laos, particularly a project called “Yong Kha” that had been
initiated in Myanmar.
The German government was also interested in AIDS
prevention and operations in Thailand, following the recent International
AIDS Conference, Pittaya said.
German economic support to fight drugs had been reduced
after the Thai economy strengthened, but it might resume increased
assistance after this official visit, Pittaya predicted.
Germany, with a population of 80 million, had 100,000 drug addicts. It
was not clear whether most of the drugs came from Thailand as other
countries such as China were suspected of being a primary source of drugs
coming from Myanmar, she said.
Thai traders get wings clipped as Laos slaps ban on poultry
Laos has prohibited importation of poultry from Thailand
following the resurfacing of bird flu, and poultry traders in Chiang Saen
district, Chiang Rai are feeling the pinch.
A fine of 500 baht will be enforced on anyone who brings
Thai poultry into Laos. As a result, Lao people living in Ban Ton Pueng and
Huay Sai, Bo Keo province have stopped buying poultry from Thai traders.
Kongkaew Saensanunchai, a trader who has for over six
years sent chickens and ducks to sell at the two villages of Ban Ton Pueng
and Huay Sai, said the bird flu had seriously affected his business. Lao
traders and consumers now did not dare risk purchasing poultry from
“The epidemic has also caused the price of ducks to
drop from 50 baht to 30 baht a kilogram,” said Kongkaew. Prior to the
epidemic, he used to sell 50-100 kilograms of free-range chickens daily.
Now he can only sell about 10-20 kilograms.
Firecracker reduction called for during Loy Krathong
Students from 35 schools in Chiang Mai have joined up in
campaigning for a reduction in firecrackers and waste from hot-air balloons
during the Loy Krathong festival.
Dr Duangchan A. Charoenmuang, of Chiang Mai University’s
Social Research Institute and head of the project to encourage community
participation in combating air pollution, arranged a meeting on October 6.
About 50 volunteers from 35 schools and academic
institutions, including Montfort College, Sacred Heart College, Regina Coeli,
Prince’s Royal College, Yupparat and Dara Academy, attended.
They discussed campaigning for a reduction of pollution
during Loy Krathong, appointing a “Clean Air Day”, and also campaigning
for ‘clean’ mass transportation.
Dr Duangchan said that setting off firecrackers and
hot-air balloons during Loy Krathong was a cause of air pollution. During
this year’s festival, which will last nine days to attract tourist income
to Chiang Mai, even more air pollution would be result.
“Tourism is beneficial for the city as a whole, but
leaders should consider the effect on people’s health as well,” Dr
In the past, only a few firecrackers and balloons were set
off by temples during the festival, according to Thai custom and tradition.
Today, factories and shops make big business out of manufacturing and selling
Firecrackers not only cause air pollution but can also
cause injury or death. Two years ago, firecrackers fell on the roof of a shop
in Waroros market and caused a fire. No one was found liable for the loss,
said Dr Duangchan.
He said that the volunteers accepted that firecrackers and
hot-air balloons gave rise to air pollution. Therefore, they plan to call a
press conference at City Hall and submit a letter to Chiang Mai Governor
Suwat Tantipat to consider the matter.
They also produced stickers and signs to campaign for the
reduction of firecrackers and balloons and inform people about air pollution.
The team set December 4 of each year to be a “Clean Air Day”. This
year, activities, an exhibition and a stage performance to publicize the
project will be arranged at Chiang Mai University’s Art Museum.
Newborn giraffe dies after mother rejects it
Veterinarians unable to help
A giraffe at Chiang Mai Zoo gave birth to a female baby
giraffe during the night of October 8. Unfortunately, the newborn giraffe
died three days later.
giraffes still left at the zoo.
The cause of death is currently not known, and the Animal
Disease Autopsy Center in Lampang was carrying out a post-mortem, said
Chatri Kuhateparak, a veterinarian at Animal Hospital of Chiang Mai Zoo.
Results are expected next week.
Initially, Chatri assumed that the giraffe died because
it had been ignored by its mother who did not feed it. “The veterinarians
and zoo staff tried to feed the baby giraffe milk but it could not absorb
the milk,” said Chatri.
“For a newborn giraffe, the most appropriate way is to
be suckled from its mother,” he said. It was often the case for giraffe
mothers to ignore their offspring, so it is hard for newborn giraffe to
maintain their health. “If another giraffe has maternal instincts,” it
may feed a newborn giraffe as a surrogate mother,” Chatri said.
The zoo still has another four giraffes for visitors to view.
Young people must be smarter to defeat poverty
Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda gives his views
Thailand, the country that I care about: that was the
topic of a speech by General Prem Tinsulanonda, privy council chairman,
statesman and former prime minister.
Prem Tinsulanonda speaking on the Thailand he cares about, and how it can
overcome its problems.
He was guest speaker at a gala dinner hosted by Payap
University in Chiang Mai on October 9 on the occasion of its 30th
Gen Prem said that he had long been concerned about the
future of Thailand as a developing country. He told the audience of several
hundred, including students, at the Sai Tharntham Hall in the Mae Kao campus
that the country and its people still faced poverty as the main problem.
“It’s an urgent issue that needs solutions, and the
people concerned seem to have difficulty in finding them. If we can solve
this poverty problem, we can also solve the other problems like drugs, and
public life and security of assets,” he said.
of honor at the gala dinner
He had learnt about the suffering and the plight of the
people during his two terms of prime minister. “I could see with my own
eyes that the poor people were really less educated, homeless, unemployed,
and had little income. Therefore I want to see the government carrying on
this war on poverty which Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra declared in 2002
and which he has promised to rid the country of, within six years,” he
“I am happy to see that the Thaksin administration has
carried on this important issue, and I wish him success in tackling the
problem of poverty, which is also the wish of everybody in the country,”
The former prime minister said that, to eradicate
poverty, young people should follow His Majesty the King’s philosophy of a
self-sufficient economy and methods to survive.
Secondly, education, employment, and good health are
necessary and important issues need to succeed. Success depends upon
well-planned schemes in line with the government’s strategic plans, he
suggested. Gen Prem said that “love and care” and “well-wishing” are
also significant. “If we love people, love organizations, then we will be
willing to work hard for the sake of everybody.” The most important thing,
he said, was to love to work with colleagues and follow rules and
To solve the poverty problem, it is essential for the
government, especially the Ministry of Education, to play a major role “as
now we want to have smarter and better people”. However, he feels that the
ranks of intelligent people is in decline, “particularly among the young
“The new generation likes to play or surf the Internet
or chat-rooms, which is very dangerous for them. These young people are
likely to become self-centered instead of using rational thinking or
principles,” he noted.
The elder statesman added that teachers are important in
the educational system. “We want to see more professional teachers, not
just plain teachers,” he said.
Administrators of organizations and the general public
should be more aware of values such as “merits” and “ethics” to help
avoid corruption. He said there are still corrupt people, including
government officials, in society buying votes, positions and contracts,
while some people avoid paying government tax.
“I think corruption will be in our society for a long
time. However, people should be aware of it. The people have the right to
vote for their representatives who have both merits and ethics to run the
country. But this seems to be difficult,” he said
The country’s rulers should be honest in their work. “I am still
worried that there are two dangerous things for the general public at
present - environmental problems and human conflicts leading to war and
terrorism,” he concluded.
New army assistant head draws the line against drugs
The new assistant commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai
Army has visited Pha Muang Task Force in Chiang Mai to stress that the
suppression of drug smuggling is a hot issue.
Lertrat Ratanawanitch, the assistant commander-in-chief.
Gen Lertrat Ratanawanitch, assistant to
Commander-in-Chief Gen Pravit Wongsuwan, visited the task force on October 8
to familiarize himself with the drug situation in its area of
He came to the North to attend the task force’s
briefing on drug prevention measures and drug suppression, including the
Thai-Burma cooperation plan to help develop the villages along the
At the briefing, Lt Gen Picharnmeth Muangmanee, commander
of the 3rd Army Region, Maj Gen Manus Paorik, the commander of Pha Muang
Task Force, were on hand to welcome him.
Afterwards, Gen Lertrat said many drug suspects had been
apprehended and 14 million ya ba tablets had been seized, reducing the
number of tablets distributed in Thailand. He also spoke of the rural
development plan and looking after the work of the people, especially the 50
royally initiated projects, in cooperation with the Third Army Region’s
Other issues raised were national security and peace
along the borders with neighboring Myanmar and Laos.
Apart from the development projects along the Thai-Burmese border, joint
military patrols and exercises between Thailand and Myanmar will be
intensified next year. Next month, a meeting of the Thai-Burmese Border
Committee, in which Burmese Prime Minister Gen Khin Nyunt has shown
interest, will take place.
Most suicides in Thailand occur in the North
The North has the highest rate of suicide in the country.
This chilling fact was brought out at a seminar “Update on Suicide
Prevention: National and International Experience” held on October 11-12
at the Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel. 150 psychiatrists and associated medical
of the Mental Health Department ML Somchai Chakaphant speaks on the suicide
situation in Thailand.
Keynote speakers were Dr Udomsilp Srisaengnarm, as well
as Dr Chee from the University of Melbourne, Australia and Dr Afzal Javed
from the University of Warwick, UK who spoke on suicide prevention in
Australia and England.
“The Northern region has the highest rate of suicide
and suicide attempts in the country,” said ML Somchai Chakaphant,
director-general of the Mental Health Department. The suicide rate in the
North is over 15 per 100,000 people which is twice that of other regions.
Udomsilp Srisaengnarm delivers his keynote address at the seminar.
“Suicide is linked to severe diseases like HIV/AIDS,
alcohol dependence and depression. Thus, it is really a social disease,”
said the director-general.
A gradual increase of patients with depression (from
3,721 in 1999 to 4,755 in 2003) and alcohol dependence (from 711 in 1998 to
1,513 in 2003) at Suan Prung Psychiatric Hospital predicts a multiplying
suicide rate within the region.
Young adults (aged over 20 years) are the major victims
of suicide while elderly people are ranked second. Taking poison,
tranquilizers and pesticides are common ways for people to commit suicide.
Main causes of young adult suicide are family and social problems, while for
the aged it is physical problems.
ML Somchai said that compared with other countries,
Thailand’s suicide rate should not be considered high. Countries with high
suicide rates are European countries, Japan, and Sri Lanka.
Prevention has been planned to cope with the problem, such as risk group
identification, access to effective treatment, family relationships, control
of pesticides and public education.
Tourists promised more convenience with new minibus office
A new three-storey office belonging to the yellow minibus
service was officially opened on October 11. It is situated behind Wat Loke
Molee temple and cost 4.1 million baht. The new office replaces the old
building at the cramped area of Erawan market in tambon Chang Puek which had
Prasert Chantrapipat and guests of honour join in the opening ceremony of
the new building.
Nakorn Chiang Mai Transport Cooperatives, which manages
the yellow minibus operation, spent 2.1 million baht to buy the land and
another 2 million baht for its construction. It is hoped that the new office
will be more convenient for both Thai and foreign tourists in contacting the
center and using its services.
new 3-storey office of the yellow minibus service, situated behind Wat Loke
Molee temple, was officially opened on October 11.
In Srikammoon, board chairman of the Nakorn Chiang Mai
Transport Cooperatives, told Chiangmai Mail that if any tourists
required transport to any tourism sites such as Doi Inthanon Mountain or Mae
Hong Son - the cooperatives were well prepared to provide vehicles for them
immediately. He also guaranteed inexpensive prices and the safety of all
vehicles because the drivers were experienced and the vehicles in good
The cooperatives have been operating a transport service
between Chiang Mai City and other districts such as Mae Rim, Chiang Dao,
Fang, Wiang Galong, Wiang Papao, Mae Chaem, San Kamphaeng, San Patong, Chom
Thong and Chiang Rai.
At present, the cooperatives have over 1,000 members and
969 vehicles. In future, the cooperatives will apply for route improvements
from the Land Transport Department and new registration plates for its
air-conditioned vans to be registered to serve the public on more routes in
The cooperatives were also running a project to enable
its members to borrow money from the Cooperatives Promotion Department at
low interest in order to improve their cars’ condition and performance.
“In the past, the cooperative faced many problems from
a concession on the same routes but now coordination between red and white
minibuses has increased and helped reduce the problem,” he said.
Contact for transport service to tourism sites could be
done at its new office or by calling 0-5321-5343 or 0-5322-4655.
Pol Col Prasert Chantrapipat, deputy commander of Chiang Rai Provincial
Police Division who is the advisor to the cooperative, Autsathai
Rattanadilok Na Phuket, head of Chiang Mai Lands Transport Office and
Singhkam Nunti, board chairman of the cooperatives, presided over the
to crack down on drugs
X-rays to be used
The new Chiang Rai provincial governor has ordered X-ray
machines to be installed to be used for drug searches, and wants community
leaders, kamnan and village headmen to play a greater part.
Governor Veerakiart Somsoy said after he had outlined
government policy to the community leaders in Mae Chan and Mae Sai
districts, that Chiang Rai had stepped up measures throughout the province
to track down drug addicts and dealers.
Strict measures will be enforced to suppress drug
ringleaders and their networks of traffickers by working in cooperation with
volunteers in the communities, including kamnan and village headmen. X-ray
surveillance has been installed in the villages.
Veerakiart added that using the X-Ray measure in the
province is implementation of government policy. The approach involving the
community is expected to lead to greater efficiency and success.
The Tambon Administration Organization has also allocated
money for the prevention and suppression of drugs at grassroots level.
Mae Hong Son throwing money
at tourism, rather than agriculture
Mae Hong Son provincial authorities have drafted a 3 year
plan assigning four organizations to improve roads and tourism sites.
A budget of 63 billion baht has been allocated for the
improvements, to be carried out between 2005-2007 by the Highway District
Office, Accelerated Rural Development Office, Agriculture Office and Natural
Resource and Environment Office.
“The plan puts emphasis on the city’s tourism as it
is its main source of income, together with border trade,” Mae Hong Son
Governor Suphote Laowansiri said.
“Mae Hong Son is different from other provinces in that
it has only seven percent of arable land. The proportion of agricultural
space to its population does not balance, so the province must concentrate
on tourism instead,” he said.
The Mae Hong Son tourism sector has to distribute income
to all communities. The province has targeted Ban Rak Thai in tambon Mok
Jampae and Ban Huay Sue Tao in tambon Pha Bong, Muang district to be
developed as new eco-tourism sites to attract revenue.
Thailand still a key player in the drug smuggling scene
More heroin is expected to be smuggled into Thailand,
with the traffickers changing their transit routes to bring it in via Laos
instead of Myanmar.
The Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), Northern
Office said international relations between Thailand and its neighbors
Myanmar and Laos have improved, and Thailand is ready to adjust its
strategic plan in the second “War on Drugs” in this region.
The prospects of future cooperation between Thailand and
Myanmar are said to be bright. The Burmese authorities have cooperated well
in reducing drug production among the minority groups, as well as helping to
repatriate drug suspects fleeing Thailand to hide in Myanmar.
The Laotian authorities are also reported to be
cooperating with Thai authorities to arrest drug suspects who hole up in
Laos. According to an ONCB official, there are more than 50 names on
blacklists who have crossed the borders to hide from the Thai authorities.
ONCB director Pittaya Jinawat said that drug dealers were
likely to smuggle along the water route of the Mekong River, passing through
Laos into northeastern Thailand. “Drug dealers arrested in Bangkok and
nearby areas confessed that more and more drugs are being smuggled through
Isaan,” he said.
The major drug routes in the north are likely to be
Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, and Tak provinces.
“Most of confiscated hauls at present are drugs that
were smuggled a long time ago and stockpiled. Only one case was found to be
from a new batch of drugs seized by the Drug Suppression Division police,”
It seems more heroin is coming into Thailand as there is
a smuggling route going north to China. However, the Chinese authorities
have set up checkpoints in cooperation with Burmese anti-drug units, but
“Thailand is the network and transfer location for drug smuggling to third
countries,” he added.
As a result of official analyses, the strategic
anti-drugs plan would be adjusted and continuously revised with the
cooperation of officers in the Third Army Region.
The authorities have reduced the amount of drugs entering
Thailand since the government launched the first “War on Drugs”. This
second time, the government’s policy will put pressure on drug users and
“We will focus on major drug traders who help smuggle
ya ba pills and heroin into Thailand,” he said.
Fair deal turns into fiasco
Chiang Mai Brand turning sour
The much-touted Chiang Mai Brand Fair has turn into a
Chiang Mai fiasco.
Not only has the fair, originally planned for October
6-10 at Thapae Gate ground, been postponed to next year, now the
organizers are struggling to find a venue.
Governor Suwat Tantipat had even been invited to open
to ill-fated fair, but Chiang Mai Municipality, at the last minute, wanted
the venue to welcome the Paralympics medallists and hold the Pha Pa
The municipality then asked the Chiang Mai Brand
Association’s members to reduce the fair’s duration to only three days
- from October 6-8 - to avoid overlapping. However, the association
refused, afraid of losing its investment if such a large fair were held
over only three days. They decided to postpone.
Witoon Kritphol, president of the Chiang Mai Brand
Association, told Chiangmai Mail that permission to hold the fair
had been forwarded to the Chiang Mai Commerce Office, submitted to Chiang
Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat and sent to the municipality to ask for the
permit to use the Thapae Gate grounds.
Unfortunately, the document transfers went very slowly
because everybody was too busy preparing for PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s
visit at the One Village One Product Summit in Chiang Mai.
Witoon said that at first the municipality had agreed
to allow the fair to be held at the venue, so the association released the
details to the media, but as the request form was sent to the municipality
very late, and the celebration to welcome the Paralympic medallists was
considered more of interest to the general public, the application for the
fair was then turned down.
Not only was the application turned down, but the
municipality wanted the fair shortened to three days. “Three days are
not enough for the fair since the association has now wasted almost
100,000 baht for electricity, cleaning, advertising and 30 members had
paid in advance, while another 30 are preparing to pay in a few days,”
Many of its members were heartbroken by the
cancellation, as they had paid for the fair and altogether had lost tens
of thousands of baht, he said.
It is hoped the fair will now be held in January and
the municipality has pledged to co-organize it to make it bigger than
expected, and to run it monthly.
Pradit Phuplab, assistant head of the Chiang Mai
Commerce Office, told Chiangmai Mail that at first he did not
expect any problems but there were other schedules on the lists.
Consequently, the fair can only be held on weekdays.
After the association requested the fair to be held
monthly, he was unsure of the pledge from the municipality, and again
feared last-minute cancellations.
Meanwhile, Chiang Mai Brand products are being displayed and
distributed at the Sunday Market in the vicinity of the Three Kings
Monument, said Pradit.
Unlicensed teen driver damages 5 motorbikes
and Nopniwat Krailerg
Five DJs from Chiab Radio and Magazine have petitioned
Pol Lt Gen Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, the new commissioner of Provincial
Police Bureau Region 5 about alleged improper police procedures after they
laid a complaint about a traffic accident involving a prominent media mogul.
the five owners of the damaged motorcycles hand the petition to Pol Lt Gen
Sarawut Jantraprasert, investigation superintendent of Provincial Police
Bureau Region 5.
Sarina Jantranil, Jintana Rujiyapanont, Ruengwimol
Wongmun, Anusarn Saenmahoong and Weerapol Soonklang laid the complaint
through investigation superintendent Pol Lt Gen Sarawut Jantraprasert,
against police officers at Muang district police station.
motorcycles damaged by a youth driving the media owner’s car.
Their motorcycles were damaged while the bikes were
parked in front of the company office on Tippaneth Road, in tambon Haiya, by
a 16 year old youth driving a car belonging to Terdsak Jiamkijwattana, a
well-known personality who operates his own local newspaper, television
program broadcast on Channel 11, a radio transmission base and rescue team
called “Wihok Saifar”.
The DJs notified the police and Pol Col Boontham Kamrai
investigated. Initially the youth allegedly said that Terdsak’s wife had
asked him to take the car to have its batteries recharged but he could not
drive very well and did not have a driving license.
However, at the police station, he changed his statement,
saying he stole the car to go for a drive. This was to protect Terdsak and
his wife, claim the five DJ’s.
The five claim that the police did not make a record of
the case and did not take any action against the youth.
The five DJs claimed unfair treatment and improper police
procedures including not seizing the car after the accident, releasing a
driver who did not possess a driving license, not opening a police file, not
fining a careless driver and the car’s owner who bore co-responsibility
for the damage to the motorcycles.
After receiving the petition, Pol Lt Gen Sarawut pledged to help resolve
the matter to satisfy both parties.
Sex kittens, filmmaker among those held for shooting porn VCDs
Police keeping a close watch on suspect VCDs (933 of them)
Alleged skin-flick movie stars, a film director, and
others have been arrested in connection with the production of pornographic
movies that included a schoolgirl.
Pol Lt Col Chakrit Aiemchaengphan, deputy superintendent
of the Crime Suppression Division (CSD), Bangkok, on October 5 arrested
alleged service girl provider Jintana Suthanin, aged 37, her husband and VCD
film director Prasobchoke Kaminkaew, 47; Nonthaburi resident Yothin
Krutprong, 36; and Bangkok-based male and female actors.
The CSD police said that the arrests followed the
apprehension by Chiang Rai police of some suspects in the North and seizing
of X-rated VCDs on sale in Chiang Rai. The movie was shot and produced in
Nakhon Nayok province and the VCDs sold in Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai.
The suspects confessed that they had brought some female
actors from Mae Sai area for the VCD, according to the police.
It was initially reported that a schoolgirl in Chiang Rai
province was in one scene of a movie on sale in Mae Sai District, Chiang
Following a tip-off, the Chiang Rai police with the CSD
police arrested the three suspects who allegedly produced the pornographic
This in turn alerted Pol Maj Gen Chamnong Kaewsiri,
commander of the Chiang Mai Provincial Police Division, who ordered Pol Lt
Col Sunthorn Chantarangkoon, deputy superintendent of Mae Sai police station
in Chiang Rai, to investigate the case.
It is alleged that there is a group which has been
looking for female students in Chiang Rai to act in the obscene movies.
The police planned to trap the culprits by asking to buy
the VCDs last month, which led to further arrests and the seizure of the
VCDs titled “Waan Yod”, “Fakbumrua, “Satreewit School” shot by
hidden camera, and “Tarzan”. In all, 933 VCDs were seized.
Controlling human trafficking
Frank Weicks, longtime resident of Chiang Mai was
recently invited to speak at a workshop organized by the Human Rights
Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) on law enforcement issues related to the
trafficking of women and children in South East Asia.
J. Weicks representing the United States during his speech at the workshop
in Kuala Lumpur next to Irena Vojackova-Sollorano from the International
Organization for Migration, Chief of Mission for Southeast Asia.
The three day workshop in Kuala Lumpur brought together
experts in combating trafficking from Europe, the United States, Indonesia,
Australia and Cambodia, and worked to develop a national plan of action for
the country of Malaysia.
Controlling human trafficking, whether for purposes of
labor or prostitution, is particularly difficult in locations where migrants
can flow freely across borders and especially in geographic locations where
the border of a developing country abuts that of a wealthy neighbor.
In his opening address, vice chairman of Suhakam, Tan Sri
Simon Sipaun urged cross border sharing of information, security operations
and networking between ASEAN countries. “Collective efforts from all
countries are needed, these being the countries of source, transit and
destination.” He noted that Malaysia was doing its best to tackle the
problem, but that over 15 thousand foreign women involved in the flesh trade
had been arrested in the two year period from August 2002 until August 2004.
Some were trafficked against their will, but others came in search of
Frank Weicks addressed a plan to identify victims of
trafficking, whether adults or children, through a comprehensive system of
information based on relationships with individuals and organizations. These
relationships must be built on trust and nurtured over a period of time. The
individuals and organizations must trust that law enforcement will handle
victims appropriately. “It is vital,” he noted, “that victims of
trafficking be treated as victims and not as perpetrators.” In the past it
has not been uncommon for them to be arrested and tried for illegal entry or
Frank Weicks, who is a United States Federal
Court-Qualified Expert in child sexual exploitation and child pornography,
detailed the components of interviewing victims of trafficking, particularly
child victims. He stated that the sexual exploitation of children is not a
new problem, but is exacerbated by certain economic and political
conditions. Developing countries and countries that have suffered economic
crises are particularly vulnerable. On a micro level, children from poor
and/or psychosocially disorganized families, no matter what their country of
origin, are also at risk. He noted that the problems of these families, even
in prosperous countries such as the United States, make their children
particularly vulnerable to sexual predators.
He discussed child sex tourism in Southeast Asia, and
noted that many western countries now have laws allowing them to prosecute
offenders for crimes committed in other countries. A pedophile that comes to
Thailand from the United States, for instance, can be prosecuted in the
United States for any crimes committed against children in Thailand. This
calls for coordination between law enforcement agencies in both countries.
Workshop presenters were invited to dinner hosted by the charge
d’affaires of the United States Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Robert A.
Pollard. Mr. Pollard led a lively dinner discussion of issues related to the
workshop and pledged his support of the work.