Kingdom celebrates Chulalongkorn Day
Many activities planned for October 23
Rama V statue, set up for this auspicious day, stands tall in front of
Chiang Mai Provincial Court near the old city hall.
Chulalongkorn Day, October 23, is a national holiday and
ceremonies will be performed throughout Thailand to mark the day that the
great King, known locally as “Phra Piya Maharaja”, passed away in the
This year, since the holiday falls on a Saturday, banks,
government offices and many businesses will be closed on Monday, October 25.
King Chulalongkorn was instrumental in modernizing the
Kingdom of Thailand and is credited with many visionary accomplishments,
including the establishment of the Council of State, setting up 12 different
ministries which reorganized the government administrative system and the
abolition of slavery.
King Chulalongkorn’s other ambitious achievements
included establishing trade and diplomatic contact with foreign governments,
and introducing revolutionary changes throughout the kingdom regarding
police security, a postal system, hospitals, and railroads.
The great King also was instrumental in maintaining the
nation’s sovereignty during a critical period in history when powerful
nations were expanding their influence and colonizing neighboring countries.
Local ceremonies are being held in front of Chiang Mai Provincial Court
near the old city hall. Hundreds of community representatives, business
owners, students and press are today paying their respects to a great king.
Deputy PM says development plan for upper Northern provinces has failed
Wants more local involvement
Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngarm came to Chiang Mai last week
to attend a meeting of the Lanna group of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lamphun,
Lampang, Phrae, Nan, Phayao and Mae Hong Son provinces. This group is
overseen by him and this meeting was their assessment over the past year.
He added that the development plans that have been
implemented were not proved a success, as an overall judgment. “Nothing
has changed for the positive, so at the next meeting each local
administration organization, like the Provincial Administration Organization
(PAO), Tambon Administration Organization (TAO), and local educational
institutes should be invited by each province to participate.”
He blamed the provincial authorities for unilateral
decisions that “did not give significance to the local people.” From now
on, he said that the universities and local administration organizations
should take part in the action and operational plans of development.
In the upper North, he remarked that there were many
famous universities like Chiang Mai University, Maejo University and Mae Fah
Luang University in Chiang Rai, as well as private universities that could
produce the qualified graduates to help work out the projects in the
“These institutes should be taking part in the
development plans, as we will stress human resources development, arts and
culture, environment, security and societies to be equally important as
economic development,” he said.
Teenage unprotected sex worrisome says Public Health Office
“Median age of teens having premarital sex is 16”
Dr Surasing Witsarutrat from the Public Health Office in
Chiang Mai sounded a warning, saying, “A recent survey of Chiang Mai high
school students shows the median age of teens having premarital sex is 16.”
It also shows the lowest ages of Chiang Mai children indulging in sexual
intercourse is between 8-12 years.
Surasing Witsarutrat from the Chiang Mai Public Health Office.
The survey also indicated that less than 50 percent of
sexually active teenagers used condoms showing a disregard for sexually
transmitted diseases. This is high risk behavior as regards the transmission
of the AIDS virus.
The actual number of HIV-infected teenagers in the North
could not be estimated because the Public Health Office could not force all
teenagers to have blood tests. Testing is only done when the teenager
However, the survey gave a hint that the spread of AIDS
among teenagers is on the increase. One patient whose age is only 16 has
been listed by the Public Health Office to receive the AIDS retroviral
medicine on regular basis. This means the patient became infected a few
Garbage problem in Chiang Mai being tackled
Municipality gives our rubbish to an English company
Chiang Mai Municipality has signed a contract with an
England’s SEPCO Holding Co., Ltd. to run a project which promises to turn
garbage into energy.
garbage is currently one of the biggest problems in Chiang Mai.
A contract was signed between Chiang Mai Municipality and
SEPCO Holdings, which was witnessed by Thailand’s Minister of Energy, Dr
Prommin Lertsureedech and England’s Minister of Environment and
Agricultural Environment, Elliot Morley.
Construction of a factory to transform garbage into
energy is estimated to be finished by April 2005. Two facilities, having a
capacity of disposing of 200 tons of garbage each per day, will be installed
at Hai Ya cemetery, Muang district, Chiang Mai to turn garbage into energy.
This project is hoped to help save on fuel imports, add
value to garbage, improve Chiang Mai’s environment and reduce the chronic
backlog of the city’s garbage collection.
This project will cost 1.1 billion baht and will be the
pilot project for the country. The cabinet has planned to apply the
technology to another six municipalities - Surat Thani, Khon Kaen, Udorn
Thani, Prathum Thani, Hai Yai municipalities and Nonthaburi Provincial
Chiang Mai Municipality will have its expenses for garbage management
reduced from 590 baht a ton to 300 baht a ton.
Hot air balloons an aviation hazard?
Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Ltd. (AEROThai), Chiang
Mai branch is concerned about hot air balloons (kom loys) being released
during the Loy Krathong festival, saying that they could interfere with
AEROThai has asked the public to reduce the size of hot
air balloons and to inform it in advance before launching any oversized
balloon to prevent interference. Every year during this period there are
concerns over the effects from balloons on Chiang Mai International Airport
air traffic movements.
Group Capt. Suebboon Naennar, commander of AEROThai,
said that they realize there is a tradition in launching hot air balloons
during the Loy Krathong festival, but since some could reach up to 3,000
feet, pilots are sometimes startled and annoyed.
This year, AEROThai has asked for cooperation from many
government and private organizations, and temples around Chiang Mai to
minimize the size and reduce fuel contained inside the balloons.
If a balloon flew into the flight route, it might cause
malfunctions in aircraft engines resulting in emergencies and endangering
life, said the commander.
AEROThai also requested Chiang Mai Municipality, which
launches balloons every year during the festival, to let them know in
advance to forewarn the pilots, said Group Cap Boonsueb.
Chiang Mai Provincial Lands Transport Office cracking down on school buses
The Lands Transport Department has announced rules and
regulations for school bus services effective nationwide from November 15.
After this, every school bus, minibus, van, and pickup truck in Chiang Mai
must be upgraded to the same standard level for the school vehicles, driver
training standards and safety measures. Once attained, certificates will be
Autsathai Rattandilok na Phuket, the chief of the Chiang
Mai Provincial Lands Transport Office said many school buses were created
during the past years. He said that every school bus must display “school
bus” signs which can be seen clearly from a distance of 150 meters, with
lights and fully equipped with fire extinguishers and all have a permit from
the office to run as a school bus.
He added that these school bus drivers were responsible
for their vehicle’s condition. Violations will attract fines of 2,000 baht
and revocation of the license. Operators have until November 15th to comply.
Drug ring members and thieves arrested in Chiang Rai
Previous incarceration no deterrent
Chiang Rai police announced successful capture of a gang
of five thieves in the province. A police ambush resulted in the arrest of
the light-fingered five which included Sithipong Kamol, Akekapol Duangkaew,
Weerayuth Pojan, Kiatchai Karnkomsue, and Sorakij Tayaso, together with
seizing their motorcycle and other valuables stolen from a house in tambon
Rob Wiang, Muang district, Chiang Rai.
After questioning, the police found that this gang had
committed four other robberies. They admitted their guilt and confessed that
they had already been imprisoned in Chiang Mai prison.
Other arrests were announced by Pol Maj Gen Chamnong
Kaewsiri, the commander of Chiang Rai Provincial Police Division. His haul
included two drug dealers, Banyat Yamee and Srilai Yamee, who live in Chiang
Rai’s Muang district. Following their arrest police confiscated property
including a Ford car, a title deed for a dormitory, and a bank account with
a total value of 10 million baht. The arrest of these two dealers followed
the previous arrest of other dealers in Chiang Rai province. There is
neither honor in drug dealers or in thieves it would seem.
Electioneering begins in the north
Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party, led by incumbent PM Thaksin
Shinawatra, staged its “Kick-off Campaign” in every region of the
country on October 17.
In Chiang Mai, the rally was at the Municipality Stadium
with numbers reputed to be 80,000, to be told of the works of the PM Thaksin
government during the last four years and new policies for his government if
re-elected. The election slogan is “Last four years for repairing, next
four years for strengthening the country”.
Wongsawas (center), deputy TRT leader with TRT members in the North.
Two new TRT candidates were introduced in Chiang Mai, the
first being the PM’s family member Payap Shinawatra who has been given
zone 2 of Chiang Mai.
The other is Jullaphant Amornwiwat, son of former MP
Sompong Amornwiwat, who has been earmarked for Zone 9 of Chiang Mai.
Yaowapa Wongsawas, deputy leader of the TRT party and
younger sister of the PM, was recently upgraded to be in the party list
system to make room for the new candidates.
The TRT candidates are Pakorn Buranupakorn, Payap
Shinawatra, Boonsong Terriyapirom, Wittaya Songkam, Pornchai
Atthapreeyangkul, Noppakhun Ratphatai, Surapol Kiatchaiyakorn, Phanintra
Pakkrakasem, Jullaphant Amornwiwat and Santi Tansuhas.
Candidates for Lamphun are Arpaporn Putthapuan, Sa-nguan
Pongmanee, and Sathaporn Maneerat. Panya Jinakam and Somboon Paiwal will be
candidates Mae Hong Son.
Yaowapa said that she was sure that most people would
still put their trust in the TRT candidates in the upcoming election and
allow them to continue to accomplish the party’s policies.
Payap Shinawatra said that he is prepared to enter politics and admitted
that being a sibling of PM Thaksin helped. He said that he was sure that if
he was chosen by the people of Saraphi district (his sister Yaowapa’s old
constituency), he would be able to continue his sister’s works because of
the close cooperation between them.
Bright future and prospects anticipated for Chiang Rai
Seminar told industrial estate will not decrease tourism
Foreign trade and investment along the northern borders
is on the way up, registrants were told at a seminar held at Dusit Island
Resort Hotel in Chiang Rai.
permanent-secretary of state for the Ministry of Transport Wanchai
Sarntooltad said the construction of border transportation networks is very
Most of speakers agreed that Chiang Rai will be the
golden gateway to neighboring countries. Reasons include the setting up of
economic zones along the borders to link with southern China, the proposed
industrial estate in Chiang Saen district, a new bridge across the Mekong
River, and the construction of a second river port.
The second port will be built to receive the influx of
Chinese cargo, and the Ministry of Transport has deemed that the second port
will be constructed on a 300 rai area at Ban Sobkok.
The permanent secretary of state for Ministry of
Transport Wanchai Sarntooltad said the new industrial estate in Chiang Saen
will not result in decreasing numbers of tourists and visitors, as many
sides fear. It will not be like Maptaput in Rayong or the Laem Chabang deep
water port in Chonburi province. He said these estates on the Eastern
Seaboard have increased employment, raising the living standard of the local
people, but there should be well planned city management, he added.
The seminar was attended by all the local and national politicians
including Vorakiart Somsoi, governor of Chiang Rai; Wanchai Sarntooltad, the
permanent secretary of state for Ministry of Transports; Nopporn Tonrub,
deputy governor of Chiang Rai; Boontham Thipprasong, deputy chairman of
Chiang Rai Chamber of Commerce and Veerapong Chaiperm from the Industrial
Estate Authority of Thailand, as well as Tuenchai Deetes and Viroon Puansaen,
senators for Chiang Rai.
China and Thailand sign Chiang Saen industrial estate joint venture MoU
Environmental impact studies continuing
Chiang Rai deputy governor, Nopporn Tonrub envisages
Chiang Saen as a tourist town where visitors could use ferry boats to visit
both Laos and Burma on a Mekong river excursion. From here, boat tours could
run to South China’s Sibsong Panna, Jing Hong and Kunming in Yunnan.
Chiang Rai governor Nopporn Tonrub said Chiang Saen is a tourist town where
tourists could use ferry boats to visit Laos and Burma along the Mekong
“Chiang Saen was also built by King Mengrai Maharaj and
is rich in culture and traditions. It has been proposed as a world heritage
site by the provincial authorities,” he said.
The industrial estate project has therefore to be
developed with this in mind, and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) are
progressing, and since October 12 this year Mahidol University conducting
these in the area to be developed into the industrial estate.
Thipprasong, vice president of Chiang Rai Chamber of Commerce, said Chiang
Rai will be home for a newly developed industrial estate.
An inspection committee led by Prasong Iaemsiri from the
Office of Environment, Region 5 is suggesting the university team that
conducted the EIA in the three districts of Mae Sai, Chiang Saen and Chiang
Khong should expand their parameters to include the entire province.
Boontham Thipprasong, vice president of the Chiang Rai
Chamber of Commerce, said the newly developed industrial estate will bring
in great benefits to the upper North region, “But the villagers and people
concerned must realize there could be effects on the water, air pollution,
as well as social problems.”
The Chiang Saen industrial estate is a pilot project for
a Thailand-China joint venture for the estate development. The estate will
be built on 3,000 rai of land, costing 1.5 billion baht and further
investment costs to be met by China will be 4 billion baht.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed with China’s
Khunming New and High Technology Company, as a partner for the Sino-Thai
joint venture, investment and cooperation.
Not content with the trees, now they want the boulders
Stone smugglers apprehended
in mid shovel
Forestry officials, police and administrative officials
arrested five workers while they were using excavators to dig up huge stones
within national reserved forest and military land in tambon Mae Raem, Mae
Rim district, Chiang Mai.
The police also seized another two 6-wheel trucks, which
were used to transfer stones from the area.
The five workers confessed that they were employed to dig
up these stones and sell them to many gardening and decoration shops in
Chiang Mai. They were paid 20,000 baht a day for this smuggling task. The
officials charged them with stealing natural resources and have been
questioning them to find out who was the financial resource behind them.
Chalermpol Singha, assistant district chief officer, who
is responsible for security, said that the wrongdoers smuggled stones up to
two meters in diameter. Unfortunately for the errant excavators, Chalermpol
had already assigned officials to strictly inspect the area.
SIPA looking towards the ICT Knowledge Park in Chiang Mai
A conference of the Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA)
executives was held on October 18 with Manu Ondeedolchet, director of SIPA,
saying that software personnel were in high demand in the market but at
present Thailand does not have the capacity to produce these personnel to
meet the demand.
The feeling was that the country needs to produce more
personnel for the software industry and have them to work in the North. The
IT Knowledge Park is part of a government attempt to boost the
competitiveness of the Northern region and to upgrade Chiang Mai as the ICT
City. A budget of 362 million baht is earmarked for this project.
The ICT Knowledge Park is envisaged as the center of the
software industry, along with the Northern Animation Studio project to serve
academic institutes, provide infrastructure to support the project of
“E-government” and develop software personnel to maintain the growth of
Mae Hong Son Customs raking in the taxes
9.6 billion baht shows a healthy import/export situation
Bancha Kaewdaeng, head of Mae Hong Son Provincial Customs
Office, said that at present border trade via Ban Huay Pueng in tambon Huay
Pha, Muang district, Mae Hong Son is looking very healthy.
From October 2003 to September 2004, value of imported
products through all border areas under responsibility of the Customs Office
was 164 billion baht while exported products were valued at 24 billion baht.
During that period, import tax revenue was 9.6 billion baht.
Bancha stated that at present there is a foreign liquor
exporting company selling products in Burma, consigning their goods through
Ban Huay Pueng. This company’s wines are distributed in Taunggy and
Mandalay provinces in Burma. The company says that most of its clients live
in Taunggy and Mandalay so exporting through Ban Huay Pueng is convenient
and delivery takes only 24 hours.
However, problems in exporting products still exist and
are caused by local companies that do not understand the Customs Office
regulations, said Bancha.
Bancha said that after Mae Hong Son opens a market fair
at Ban Rong Haeng in tambon Huay Pha, Muang district in early 2005, border
trade through Ban Huay Pueng will become even more brisk.
Ministerial law allows Mae Hong Son Customs Office to
import and export all kinds of products, while in the past some imported
products were excluded, stated Bancha.
Farmers complain Saa paper factories release wastewater into rice fields
Official protest to village headman
200 farmers from Ban Nongkong, Group 2 in Tambon Tonpao,
San Kamphaeng district, Chiang Mai, rallied in front of the Village Headman
Office, calling on village head Boonchom Jaikampan for help to assist
farmers who have suffered from the wastewater released from the Saa paper
They claim that their rice crop was destroyed, following
complete tracts of land being contaminated by the waste.
Boonchom said that the farmers complained of the waste
hazard created by the factories which are located above the rice paddies,
and the waste was comprised of chemical substances that contaminated the
Thawil Mongkolcharoen, the deputy permanent secretary of
Tambon Tonpao, added that the tambon Tonpao municipality has been looking
for ways to solve this waste problem.
He said he had asked for cooperation from the
manufacturers, by treating their waste before it was released into waterways
supplying the rice farms; however, this situation is still in the
Fireworks to be banned at Loy Krathong?
Authorities keeping tight watch on firework factories
In the wake of the explosions in firework factories in
Ayutthaya and the approach of the Loy Krathong festival, Chiang Mai
province is keeping watch on the production and distribution of fireworks
in the city.
Mai Deputy Governor Kwanchai Wongnitikorn
Officials are regularly examining two firework
factories in Chiang Mai, situated in Sarapee and Hang Dong districts to
prevent explosion, especially with the production of very large fireworks.
The province has already closed two non-registered factories in Hang Dong
Wanchai Pipatsamut, head of Chiang Mai Industry Office,
said that the office has examined all firework factories. If any district
finds non-registered production, the office will have them registered and
Deputy Governor Kwanchai Wongnitikorn said that the
province had commanded all districts to keep a close watch on the sale of
fireworks and make sure all fireworks were registered and approved.
Pol Lt Gen Panupong Singhara Na Ayutthaya, commissioner
of the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, wants to ban giant fireworks and
is stopping traders selling them during the festival. The commissioner is
preparing to propose his policy to Governor Suwat Tantipat to make a
public announcement in advance of the Loy Krathong festival.
The deputy governor said that associated organizations would confer to
discuss the hot air balloons. Hot air balloon are a cause of many
household fires during the festival every year, said Kwanchai. “Being a
local tradition, careful consideration is needed,” he added.
problems all “Thai’d” up
DNA testing not conclusive says Khunying Pornthip
The squabble that resulted from 1,243 hill tribe people
being removed from the residential census in Mae Ai district, Chiang Mai
The aggrieved minority group appealed to the Ministry of
Justice, calling for what they called ‘justice’ to be applied fairly to
them. Finally in response to their claims, Somchai Wongsawas, the permanent
secretary of state for the Ministry of Justice, accompanied by Khunying Dr
Pornthip Rojananand, the director of the Central Forensic Science Institute
visited the people in Mae Ai to investigate their problems.
The Ministry of Justice wanted show the villagers that
they were not forgotten and suggested the Forensic Science Institute could
help prove their race by DNA testing.
However, Khunying Pornthip said that although the DNA
testing method would be used for confirmation of their nationality, it could
not indicate their exact nationality, but it would tell something about
She added, “In Mae Ai district, at present, it has been
found that there are some groups of people that could not have their
background identified with DNA testing for their parents and relatives.
“The next step is that the Local Administration
Department must find the other persons to help in searching for their race,
persons who could identify and certify their background before being granted
Thai nationality,” she said.
Chiang Mai and North Travel Show 2004 next month
The 2nd Chiang Mai and North Travel Show will be held
from November 29 - December 2 this year at the Chiang Mai University’s
Convention Center on Nimmanhaemin Road, Chiang Mai.
It will be hosted by the Chiang Mai tourism promotion
board, led by Chiang Mai’s mayor, along with director of Tourism Authority
of Thailand’s Northern Office, Region 1, president of Chiang Mai Tourist
Business Association and other local organizations.
The show will be also aimed to offer tourism-related
business operators and entrepreneurs an opportunity to sell their services
and products and to meet domestic and foreign sellers and buyers.
Chiang Mai mayor, Boonlert Buranupakorn said the form of
the travel show will be designed as “table top sales” and allow for
business negotiations on tourism and among those concerned in Chiang Mai and
from the North.
Those participating in this show will include educational
tours to the tourists spots in Chiang Mai such as Mae Sa Elephant Camp, Doi
Suthep Mountain, and others in the North, so buyers can judge their
potentials and readiness on tourism in the northern Thailand.
The Chiang Mai North and Travel Show 2004 is aimed at
boosting tourism in Chiang Mai and the North, and for the region to be more
Chiang Mai’s role in the GMS
Members of the business and academic sectors discussed
whether Chiang Mai was ready to be the hub of the Greater Mekong Sub-region
(GMS) in education, commerce, and transportation, at the Greater Mekong
Consultancy-Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce seminar.
Speakers were from the Greater Mekong Consultancy and the
Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce, who pointed out that although Chiang Mai was
the region’s largest city with the most cosmopolitan population plus many
educational institutions, diverse agriculture, tourist attractions and good
transportation links, it had not fulfilled its potential. Within Chiang Mai
itself there is poor awareness of its region, few library resources, and a
provincial strategy orienting the city towards Bangkok.
The government has established a ‘master plan’ for
Chiang Mai to be the region’s transportation hub. The city has many
unrecognized advantages, such as local crafts, language ability, informal
trade links, as well as a strong and advanced agricultural sector through
which Chiang Mai could become the region’s leading city.
The Greater Mekong Consultancy is a locally based
organization established three years ago to harness local knowledge and
cultural sensitivities of the locally based population with experience in
sustainable and appropriate development throughout the region. More seminars
will be organized to build a positive dialogue among all interested parties
for the sustainable development of Chiang Mai so it can play a leading role
in the region.
Opening the seminar, Ian Bushell together with Somchai
Sirisujin and Dr Ron Renard a Director of the Greater Mekong Consultancy,
explained that the purpose of the seminar was to examine different aspects
of current development in the GMS and how Chiang Mai can take more of a lead
in these activities. Somchai Sirisujin the Executive Director of the Chiang
Mai Chamber of Commerce explained that Chiang Mai had active links with the
Chambers of the Economic Quadrangle countries (Yunnan, Laos, Myanmar and
Dr Ron Renard, a resident of Chiang Mai for almost 30
years gave a historical perspective of the city’s place in the GMS and
explained how the authorities had mainly looked south to Bangkok for
direction. The authorities in neighboring countries had actually identified
Chiang Mai’s potential as a center for the North much earlier. Despite the
new initiatives of the current government, there was a little knowledge or
expertise like language skills in Chiang Mai that would assist the city in
developing its economic and cultural links with its GMS neighbors.
Narong Tananuwat, the current secretary general of the
Economic Quadrangle Committee explained that this organization started four
years ago and comprised Yunnan (one of the poorest regions of the PRC), Laos
and Myanmar as well as Thailand. Over 400 million people lived in this
region and it had enormous economic potential. Historically, cooperation had
been difficult, but now the member countries appreciated the many benefits
that expanded trade, new business opportunities and enhanced productivity
One of the initiatives is to make Chiang Saeng a new
industrial center for Chinese electronics manufacturing. The area would need
up to 20,000 skilled workers over the next few years to meet the
requirements for this project. Concerns about the environmental impact on
this important historical region were being addressed and the new
development would be located some distance from the ancient sites.
Somchai Sirisujin also stressed that the various national
sub-committees fully appreciated the need to maintain cultural differences
such as language and dress and balance these requirements with sustainable
development in the region.
Maung Aung, associate director of the Socio-Economic
Consultants and previously an infrastructure expert at the Asian Development
Bank gave an outline of the various infrastructure projects that are
potentially available in the GMS, including transportation.
Finally, Jack Kelly a locally based expert in Tourism
from J.E. Austin & Associates looked at tourism prospects in Chiang Mai
and the GMS. The number of tourists is increasing exponentially and the
challenge is to manage these opportunities and make the experience for
future tourists safe and enjoyable.
Kelly questioned whether Chiang Mai could ever be a
tourism “hub” if it was unable to produce a world calibre website, but
the potential was there if management and co-ordination were improved.
German charged with killing a Swiss tourist
Denies all charges but police proceeding
A German tourist, Adrian Gordon, 33, was arrested and
charged with murdering his Swiss friend, Raffael Buhrmann, 32, following an
investigation by police in San Kamphaeng and Chiang Mai provincial police.
escort Adrian Gordon, suspected of killing Raffael Buhrmann, to the press
Raffael Buhrmann was found dead on October 11 at a house
in San Kamphaeng district, Chiang Mai. It appeared initially that he had
been bludgeoned to death.
On October 14, Pol Lt Gen Panupong Singhara Na Ayutthaya,
commissioner of Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, and investigation police
brought the accused German to a press conference held at the Provincial
Police Bureau Region 5. However, Gordon denied the crime.
Pol Lt Gen Panupong said that after the murder of
Buhrmann, forensic police from Chiang Mai Provincial Police Station and
medical officers from the Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University
examined the body and searched for evidence at the murder scene.
The court issued an arrest warrant for Gordon, and during
questioning it was discovered that before Buhrmann was killed, the two men
had been involved in a heated argument.
Doctors from CMU Faculty of Medicine declared that
Buhrmann died through strangulation and other multiple injuries. Three kinds
of drugs were found in the body, stated Pol Lt Gen Panupong, but it will
take another few days for the laboratory to clarify what types of drugs they
“The Police have put high priority in investigating
this murder case, because both the victim and accused are foreign tourists
and a swift outcome is important to the city’s image,” said the
Gordon would be charged with the murder of the Swiss tourist, although
police were also investigating whether there was more than one person
involved in the crime.
Large drug bust in Chiang Mai
nets dealers and agents
Extra-judicial killing in Chai Prakan district, Chiang Mai
Pha Muang Task Force seized over 400,000 ya ba pills from
two agents in Chiang Dao and Chai Prakan districts and confiscated the
dealers’ properties valued at 20 million baht.
suspects arrested and hauls seized by the Pha Muang task force.
A joint press conference was held on October 16 at the
Pha Muang Task Force by Pol Lt Gen Watcharapol Prasarnratchakij, commander
of Narcotic Suppression Bureau, Maj Gen Manus Paorik, the commander of Pha
Muang Task Force, and Pittaya Jinawat, director of the Office of Narcotics
Control Board (ONCB), Northern Office.
The ya ba was produced in Burma, some time ago and was
smuggled into the kingdom through Ban Na Kong Moo-Pong Pa Khaem, in Thai Yai
occupied areas and then via Chiang Dao district in Chiang Mai.
The Pha Muang Task Force had been tipped off that the ya
ba shipments would be smuggled into Chiang Dao and Chai Prakan districts.
Two teams of soldiers and drug suppression police were sent to stop the
transfers and arrest the two groups of traffickers.
The information was that the first rendezvous would take
place at 1 p.m. at the Ban Rin Luang - Muang Na roadside in tambon Mae Na,
Chiang Dao district. The plainclothes soldiers pretended to purchase the ya
ba from a Thai Yai dealer named La. They then seized 300,000 ya ba pills and
On the same day, at 5 p.m., it was arranged that another
three dealers, Soonthorn Phibarnkij, 36, Nafu Phibarnkij, 40, and Jawa
Laojang, 23, residents of Chai Prakan district, would supply ya ba to the
plainclothes police at Ban Pha Hong in tambon Sri Dong Yen, Chai Prakan
district. Soldiers and police therefore co-planned to arrest the three
The three dealers rode up on a motorcycle but twigged
that this was a set-up and began firing on the police. In the ensuing gun
battle, Soonthorn was killed, but Nafu and Jawa were arrested and over
100,000 Ya Ba pills, one shotgun, and a motorcycle were seized.
After the arrest, the authorities confiscated properties
belonging to Soonthorn and Nafu that included 200,000 baht cash, a title
deed, a house located on 1 rai land, four deposits for land in tambon Sri
Dong Yen, a bank deposit account, a longan drying factory on 2 rai, along
with eight drying ovens, 10 rai of longan plantations and a Toyota pickup
truck. The combined value was 20 million baht.
Pol Lt Gen Watcharapol said that drug busts have gradually decreased from
260,000 cases in 2002 to 160,000 cases in 2003 and 70,000 cases this year.
X-rated VCD leads to arrest of policeman and accomplice
Underage sex film available over internet
Following a ‘whistle-blowing’ by a Chiang Mai
journalist, a policeman and his accomplice have been arrested for production
of pornography involving an underage girl.
Sergeant Nipon Rakta-le (right, wearing sunglasses), and Pichai Saetiaw
(left), at the press conference.
Pol Sergeant Nipon Rakta-le, 36, a policeman stationed in
Chonburi Province, and Pichai Saetiaw, 37, were sent to Pol Lt Gen Panupong
Singhara Na Ayutthaya, commissioner of the Provincial Police Bureau Region
5, for further investigation of their part in the production of an X-rated
video showing them having sexual intercourse with a 14 year old girl.
The arrests followed the handing in by a journalist of an
X-rated video CD to Pol Lt Gen Panupong last week, showing sexual
intercourse between the accused men and the girl. The journalist informed
the commissioner that this X-rated film was presented in one website and was
distributed at many markets.
The accused said that the sexual intercourse happened two
years ago after they met the girl at a discotheque in Chonburi. After the
shameful episode, they left the record of their interlude with another
person living in Chonburi. Unfortunately, this person made copies of their
film and distributed them.
Pol Lt Gen Panupong said he was unsure as to whether the courts would
oppose bail for the two men.
Dane commits suicide
Police presume personal problems
Krailerg and Saksit Meesubkwang
A Dane who had been under treatment for one year
committed suicide on October 11. Hamidi Hassan, 47, ended his life by
He had visited Chiang Mai twice but did not often go to
see the doctor, unless he needed further prescriptions.
The last persons who saw him reported that he said he was
going to his room in the guesthouse as he had a headache.
Pol Maj Thongchai Kannikar, police inspector of Chiang
Mai Muang district Police station, along with tourist police, forensic
police, and doctors from the Maharaj Nakhon Chiang Mai Hospital were at the
Mrs. Sutin Schrut, the owner of the guesthouse said that
the man had been staying alone at the guesthouse since September 1, and his
outstanding debt with the guesthouse was for 43,528 baht. Some people said
that he was homesick, especially for his mother.
The body was brought for autopsy at the Maharaj Nakhon
Chiang Mai Hospital, and police informed the Danish Embassy.