Two ‘colonels’ arrested
for drug dealing
Senior police found to be under occult curse
A long investigation revealed that Col. Mahasang and Col.
Mahachar dealt in drugs along the Thai-Burmese border. Their activities took
place opposite Pang Mapah district in Mae Hong Son. Connections with foreign
networks were found and both were involved with Wei Hseuh-kang, a notorious
drug and war lord.
Mahasang or ‘Chao Ping Liew’ Saelee, (2nd left) together with the two
parties in a press conference.
On Aril 7, Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya,
commissioner of the Provincial Police Bureau and Pol. Maj. Gen. Wutti
Wittitanon, deputy commissioner were able to report that the dubious duo had
been arrested. Col. Mahasang or ‘Chao Ping Liew’ Saelee, 59, a leader of
the Wah tribe, was charged with drug dealing and possession of a weapon.
He added that the pernicious pair had transferred their
wealth to another by purchasing property and houses, later identified as
Boonjert ‘Khun Kor’ Saelee or Cheunjit, a coordinator. Some properties
had already been seized by the police.
On April 6, Pol. Lt. Col. Chalermpol Hongsakul, Chiangmai
Provincial Special Task Force head led a team to arrest Col. Mahasang with
his two assistants at Khun Wang Place Village, San Sai, Chiang Mai. They
also found documents concerning international network drug dealings, as well
as weapons and ammunition.
Bizarrely, police found a brass plate under a foot towel
in the drug dealer’s bedroom, on which were engraved the names of Pol. Lt.
Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, Pol. Maj. Gen. Wutti Wittitanon and Pol.
Col. Sarawute Chantraprasert.
Tai tribe people, known for their occult knowledge,
interpreted this as black magic cursing the three police officers, as they
have pursued him for long time, and the suspects confirmed that the brass
plate was made by an old Tai tribesman.
Chiang Mai Airport safe
After the explosion at Had Yai Airport, Chiang Mai
Airport has increased its security to prevent a similar situation,
checking abandoned suitcases and vehicles parking nearby the building.
Flying Officer Suthara Huangsuwan, president of Chiang
Mai Airport Authority of Thailand (AOT), revealed that Chiang Mai Airport
could be considered a target for bombing after Had Yai Airport, as Chiang
Mai Airport is an international airport.
Wing 41, Military Camp 33 and police, both uniformed
and plain-clothes, are patrolling the airport 24 hours a day.
They request business owners inside the airport
building and all staff to keep eyes out for strange persons or
situations, and to immediately inform officers if they find unattended
suitcases or other packages.
New information center opened at Wiang Kum Kam buried city
The ancient buried city, dubbed the “Ancient
Underground City”, excavated from 1984 until 2002 by the Regional Office
of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai led by Yaowapa Wongsawat with 39,445,000 baht
funding, has just opened a new information center with Governor Suwat
Singhitakul, director general of the Fine Arts Department and Suwat
Tantipat, Chiang Mai governor, cut the ceremonial ribbon to open the new
Suwat Tantipat said, “I realize the importance of this
ancient city and know that it is necessary to preserve it, as it is an
important part of local and national heritage. Residents should be proud of
their ancient civilization and the public should be informed so they can
bring tourist money to the local residents and the country. This information
center will allow visitors to learn about the old local lifestyle and
atmosphere before visiting the real place, and it will support tourism”.
Arak Singhitakul, director general of The Fine Arts Department added,
“The Fine Arts Department is responsible for preserving, protecting and
promoting all cultural heritage of the nation for the public, and
archeological research is working to bring pride to the nation.”
Long pondering on Longan problem
Longan farmers, recently encouraged by unscrupulous
merchants to maximize their crops by use of dubious and dangerous chemicals,
are being chided and encouraged to grow Longan correctly.
Keyuraphan, the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives said, “I appeal
to you all to do your duty.”
On April 8, Sudarat Keyuraphan, this year’s Minister of
Agriculture and Cooperatives chaired a meeting about the Longan problem.
Suwat Tantipat represented Chiang Mai, together with local MPs with an
overall attendance of one hundred persons.
Sudarat Keyuraphan said, “This conference is to plan
before the approaching Longan season, and to recommend that Longan farmers
grow Longan without adding chemical substances; which results in an export
problem.” She added, “Tambon chief officers, village heads and Longan
orchard owners will be polled and we will request soldiers to survey by
satellite to confirm that information matches reports.”
The minister said that if merchants took advantage of
Longan growers, they would be prosecuted. If exporters cannot accept
contaminated Longan, then the government would contact overseas importers to
export the fruit to prevent middle-men taking advantage of farmers. It was
predicted there would be not more than 200,000 million tons of Longan this
year. The government would promote Thai citizens to consume Thai fruit and
offer to sell Longan in department stores.
“This is a first-time conference about Longans since I became Minister
of Agriculture and Cooperatives. I appeal to you all to do your duty,” the
Fah Haam TAO holds “Sueb San Withee Him Fang Ping” Fair
Tambon Fah Haam Tambon Administration Organization (TAO)
provided a fair called “Sueb San Withee Him Fang Ping” (to continue
Ping Riverside lifestyle) on April 8-10 at a wharf behind Ja Khao Temple.
Jaruwat, senior assistant muang distict officer, who presided over the
opening ceremony, strikes the gong.
Preecha Worakul, president of Tambon Fah Haam TAO said
that this fair was for rehabilitating natural resources along the Ping
River and to open a service centre for both Thai and foreign visitors, to
encourage tourism within Tambon Fah Haam, Chiang Mai. There were bio-marine
tourism, local northern activities, small sand pagodas, water pouring and
more traditional activities held.
Dr. Wasan Chompakdee, committee member of Mae Ping River
and environment coordination works added that Chiang Mai University had
supported the plan to conserve the Mae Ping River environment, and applied
a pilot plan for Tambon Fah Haam TAO, to be the pilot area. This plan had
been presented to the Natural Resources and Environment Department in March
2004 to apply to Mae Ping River development and other rivers. It was well
received and successful, as residents paid more attention to the river and
showed their support for Fah Haam TAO.
The opening ceremony of this fair took place on April 8, and breakfast
was presented to 79 monks and a Lanna style parade. Therdsak Jaruwat,
senior assistant muang distict officer, presided over the opening ceremony,
and later released 800,000 marine animals into the river.
Two koalas to arrive
at Chiang Mai Zoo in five months
It’s a long walk from Down-under
The two koalas from Australia are predicted to arrive in
Chiang Mai within five months, said Thanapat Pongphamorn, director of Chiang
Mai Zoo. The Zoo has already prepared a habitat for displaying the bear-like
marsupials, and expects that they will attract more people to visit.
Chuang and Lin Hui, friendship ambassadors from China, are the most popular
animals in Chiang Mai Zoo.
“Panda bears are currently the highlight of Chiang Mai
Zoo. On average, there are not less than 1,000 persons per day visiting the
pandas, and the total number of panda visitors, from October 2004 to March
2005, stands at about 413,635 persons,” he said.
Meanwhile, researchers are preparing to breed pandas in a research
project by cooperating with Chinese experts. This will hopefully occur some
time next year, as it depends on the couples having grown sufficiently to be
able to breed and whether the Thai ambience gives them the urge (to read the
instruction manuals). Normally, this kind of bear is five years old before
being ready for breeding.
Drought situation in Chiang Mai surveyed
The Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives has surveyed
the drought situation in Chiang Mai and found it not to be serious, and said
that no immediate help was required. However, some areas that are confronted
with drought situation will be aided by artificial rain making.
On April 8, Sudarat Keyuraphan, Minister of Agriculture
and Cooperatives, visited Chiang Mai province and organized a conference to
pursue drought situation and to find methods to solve the problem, with all
After consultations, the minister concluded only some
areas such as Doi Tao and Hot districts might need artificial rain to grow
However, the main plan to solve the drought is to dredge
rivers and canals throughout the country, predicted to be complete in June.
The minister instructed that every natural water source in Chiang Mai be
searched for and water volumes computed.
Chiang Mai municipality invited 100 household
representatives living in the municipality area to attend a training workshop
to share environmental knowledge about environment problems and to let them
actively participate in protecting the city’s environment. Indirectly, it
could reduce garbage and waste from private houses. The training workshop took
place on March 8 at the Park Hotel, Chiang Mai.
City is becoming dustier by the day.
Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn said that currently the main
environmental concern in Chiang Mai affecting community residents’ life is
the air quality. Using information from the Pollution Control Department, it
appears that dust is increasing exponentially.
The Natural Resources and Environmental Policy Office agreed that dust is
the main problem, and has increased compared to previous years. As for ozone,
it exceeds the safe standard level only a few times.
Free Art viewing at Matoom Art Studio
Matoom Art Studio on Ragang Rd. by Tua or Shoompol
Taksapornchai was formally opened by the owner of the studio, joining with Thai
and international artists. Everyday Tua teaches children how to draw at Kad Suan
Kaew department store, and gives advice about art at his studio.
artworks produced by adults, be it smaller or larger paintings or furniture, can
be found at Matoom Art Studio.
Shoompol Taksapornchai said, “I have set up this studio
because I love art, and for it to be a place to share art opinion among artists
and the public who are interested in art, including displaying art works without
emphasizing business profits. I am an artist who likes to present my art work
but I did not have sufficient money to hold an exhibition. That’s why I would
like to offer an opportunity to new artists, both Thai and foreigners, who wish
to exhibit their art work. I will be very appreciative if I receive suggestions
“Tua” Taksapornchai in his studio, in the middle of art pieces produced by
both Thais and foreigners.
He is willing to teach art to children during their summer
vacation to instill art in Thai youngsters’ minds so that they love art and to
maintain it in Thai society forever.
He will also display antique furniture until April 23, 2005.
New bus routes for the new busses
Nopniwat Krailerg and staff
Chiang Mai people’s long wait for mass transportation has
now been relieved by the purchase and release of twenty four 36-seat busses to
serve Chiang Mai residents from May onwards. 62 million baht was received from
the government for the purpose. Routes have already been surveyed and the
municipality will therefore use these routes to be convenient and safe for the
Route 1 on Nong Pratheep - Cheung Doi (foot of the hill):
Outward trip starts from Nong Pratheep crossroad straight to the super highway
route 11 to Arcade terminal bus station, turn left to the station until meeting
Kaew Nawarat Road, then arriving at Nakorn Phing Bridge. Passing over the
bridge, turning left to Witchayanon Road along Ping River, right towards Thapae
Road, turn left to Khodchasarn Road and u-turn to Moonmuang Road until meeting
Sriphum Corner. Turn left to Sriphum Road to Huarin Corner and then turn left
long to Arak Road until meeting Methang Temple, u-turn along Boon Ruang Rit Road
to Suan Dok Gate crossroads, turning left to Suthep Road till arriving at Cheung
Inward trip starts from Cheung Doi along Suthep Road to Suan
Dok Gate, then turn left to Boon Ruang Rit Road till meeting Huarin Corner, turn
right to Manee Nopparat Road to Chang Puek Gate, turning left along to Chang
Puek Road till arriving at Chang Puek internal bus station. Turn right to Sanam
Kila Soi 1 till meet Wat Chiang Yeun School junction, then turn left to Manee
Nopparat Road to Sriphum Corner, then right to Chaiphum Road and turn left to
Chang Moi Road. Turn left to Rachawong Road, right to Witchayanon Road until
arriving at the white pagoda, right to Witchayanon Road along to Nawarat Bridge
then turn left from the bridge to Chareunmuang road till finish at Nong
Route 1 number 4 Chiang Mai Airport- Sai Kaew market: Outward
trip starts from the airport along to Airport Road, left to Mahidol Road till
arrive at Jang Goo Huang T-junction, then turn left to Bamrung Buri Road to
Khatom Corner, left to Moonmuang Road till meeting Sriphum Corner, left to
Sriphum Road and u-turn to Manee Nopparat Road till meet Sriphum Corner; left to
Witchayanon Road. Turn right to Rachawong Road and turn left to Tai Wang Road
then cross Nawarat Bridge along to Nawarat Road and turn right to Arcade
terminal bus station. Then turn left to super highway Route 11 to San Dek
intersection, and turn right down to super highway Route 118, and finish at Sai
Inward trip starts from Sai Kaew market along to super
highway route 118 to San Dek intersection, turning left to super highway Route
11 to Nong Pratheep crossroad, then turn right to Chareunmuang Road till meeting
Nawarat Bridge. After crossing the bridge straight on to Thapae Road to Night
Bazaar junction, turning left to Chang Klan Road till arriving at Sang Tawan
crossroad, right to Sri Don Chai Road till meet Khatom Corner. Go straight on
Chang Law Road to Jang Goo Huang T-junction then turn left to Mahidol Road to
airport T-junction, and turn right on Airport Road then arrive Chiang Mai
The municipality has offered job opportunities for bus drivers and bus fare
collectors. Applicants for these positions will be interviewed during April.
New public park for Chiang Mai
Former train station land to become public park by November
To add green areas in Chiang Mai City, the municipality
is converting a former train station land in the east area into a public
park. The project is expected to be finished within 300 days, or before the
end of this year.
Mai municipality is converting this former train station into a public park.
(Photo by Watcharapong Jingkaujai)
Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn said, “Chiang Mai
municipality is using all options for the public park to serve the
residents, covering 47 rai, while the remaining 15 rai will be reserved for
future projects. This project is in accordance with PM Thaksin
Shinawatra’s policy to improve environment and well-being of Chiang Mai
“The public park will be one of the lungs of Chiang
Mai, similar to Suan Buak Had Public Park which is well known as a relaxing
area, exercise place, playground, outdoor stage and more.”
Chiang Mai municipality received a revised budget of 99
million baht, approved by the Minister of Interior and coordinated by Pakorn
Buranupakorn, MP of Chiang Mai area 1.
The mayor said that this project has been awarded to DPCS Co., Ltd., as
the company offered the lowest construction cost of 98,820,000 baht, and
promised to finish within 300 days from now.
Fuel rates affect Thailand, but less than in neighboring countries
Songwit Ittipatanakul, president of the Chiang Mai
Tourist Business Association, reported that the increasing cost of gasoline
affects all business sectors. Car hirers also had to adjust their rates
according to gasoline costs.
Even tourism packages, both domestic and international,
had increased in cost, but he believes that the number of tourists would not
decrease, as the rising costs in Thailand are not too severe compared to
neighboring countries. However, Thailand needs to promote new and
interesting places or find new target groups.
Chiang Mai should provide attractive new places to entice
tourists. The association has consulted its members to present a petition to
the government to improve tourism places and to set up new attractions.
The tourism trend in Chiang Mai is predicted to move
upwards, especially at five star hotels, as several new hotels have already
opened, and a considerable number are still under construction. They will be
especially attractive for overseas tourists visiting Chiang Mai, and these
categories of hotels are working with professional marketing plans, which
can only benefit Chiang Mai.
As for new tourism places, Chiang Mai should emphasize
combining culture and hilltribe lifestyles in a stylish place, featuring
Chiang Mai as an art and cultural center. Real culture must be maintained,
and should not be modernized.
Requesting information from vehicle hire businesses, Chiangmai
Mail learned that they had to adjust their hire charges by 20-30
percent, or change from 1,500 baht to 1,800 baht per day, depending on the
driving distance. To visit destinations at more distant locations, the fare
will be 1,800-2,000 baht per day.
Monks receive breakfast in national religion unity ceremony
Meesubkwang and Watcharapong Jingkaujai
Because of an apparent lack of appreciation of religion
in Thailand, currently expressed by terrorist activity in the south of
Thailand, the government led by PM Thaksin Shinawatra held a religious
ceremony to encourage peace and unity among Thai nationals, under the theme
“national religion unity creation ceremony”, on April 10 throughout the
monks gather with Christians and Muslims to pray for peace in Thailand.
Chiang Mai residents and government officers led by Suwat
Tantipat, Chiang Mai governor, gathered to present breakfast to 100 monks on
April 10 at a Lai Kham cathedral of Phra Singh Temple in Muang, Chiang Mai.
Muslims and Buddhists pray together for peace in Thailand.
Suwat Tantipat presided over the opening ceremony and
said, “Thailand has been affected by both overseas and domestic problems,
causing sluggish development in the country, leading to many problems. I
believe that people should think more about consciousness, wisdom,
righteousness and wrongdoings after the presentation, to live peacefully
Camp, US consul general of Chiang Mai together with David Summers, Suwat
Tantipat, Chiang Mai governor and Prinya Panthong, vice governor of Chiang
Mai participating in the ceremony.
In addition to the ceremony in the morning, there was also a national
religion unity creation ceremony organized at Chiang Mai City Hall in the
evening by Christian, Islamic and Buddhist leaders, combining their own
religious activities for Thai peace.
Drug dealer killed in graveyard
After receiving information that there would be a drug
transfer, Investigation Police from Provincial Police Bureau Region 5 led by
Pol. Col. Sarawut Chanprasert, superintendent, waited at Ton Pao graveyard
on Chiang Mai-Fang Rd. at Tambon Wiang in Fang, Chiang Mai, the hand-over
place favored by the drug dealer.
At 3 a.m. on April 5, the police ambush posse saw a
middle-aged man riding a motorcycle, whose appearance fitted the information
received. The police immediately rushed to arrest him but he shot at the
police, which led to a shootout lasting about five minutes.
The man was killed in the exchange of gunfire and was
later identified as Sorapon or ‘Boon’ Jantakham, living at Tambon Wiang
in Fang district, Chiang Mai. The police found a 9 mm handgun, 6 bullets,
and 10,000 ya ba pills.
for citizenship arrested
Noppol Koontolwan, 24, a mechanic, was arrested by
Administration Department officers for presenting false documents to renew
his ID card, claiming his old one was lost.
Having checked the submitted information with the
Central Registration Bureau, the officers found that he was an illegal
alien who gave wrong information about his birth date and illegally had
added his name to the residence registration. He is being prosecuted for
presenting fake documents officials.
It was learned that Noppol had tried to gain
registration before, even going so far as to seek conscription in 2001. He
was found to be a Laotian, although he claimed to be Thai, but could not
name his parents.
Search of prison cells reveals many contraband items
Commissioner confiscates bingo cards
Siriwat Sairat-in, the commissioner of Chiang Mai Central
Prison, led a 50-strong team of warders and police officers and searched the
cells of 10 prisoner. They were looking for weapons and hidden drugs.
The search was sprung without warning and many
potentially lethal items were found including about 100 CDs and cassette
tapes, a transistor, 120 pills of unknown medicine, 200 small sharp wooden
items, 20 bingo game cards, and many pieces of wire and iron.
Having completed the search, Siriwat Sairat-in said that
this action was taken to prevent prisoners hiding dangerous items and
weapons that could lead to unexpected events. “As for the bingo cards and
other dangerous things found in the prisoners’ rooms, the officers will
investigate how they were smuggled into the prison,” the commissioner
He added that this process was very successful and he had
already assigned the officers to pay more attention to checking unacceptable
items to prevent violent events and bingo games.