Summer storm damages Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization building
Earlier last week, a strong storm passing over Mae Rim
and Muang districts caused severe damage to several houses and buildings,
including causing the collapse of a D-TAC telephone mast crushing nearby
storm caused damage to the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization
Trees at Chiang Mai City Hall area and government
officials’ residences fell, causing traffic jams on Chotana Road linking
Muang and Mae Rim, and cut off electricity from Chang Puek area to Mae Rim
However, the officers at Chiang Mai Provincial
Administration Organization, Muang and Mae Rim municipalities quickly solved
the problems. The summer storm raged for about 20 minutes, accompanied by
A Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization
building was affected as windows on the 5th floor blew in but fortunately
all officials escaped unhurt. It appeared that the 5th down to 3rd floors
were severely damaged, and the building had to be vacated.
The initial damage was estimated at 3-4 million baht, as mostly
furniture, computers, air-conditioners and other items on the 5th to the 3rd
floors were damaged, including the office of the deputy PAO president. Four
vehicles in the car park were also damaged.
Chiang Mai organizes 55th Royal Wedding Anniversary celebration
Chiang Mai province will organize a celebration on the
auspicious occasion of Their Majesties Wedding Anniversary on April 28,
to bless Their Majesties the King and Queen, and to demonstrate Thai
citizens, and especially Chiang Mai residents, faithfulness to them.
Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat said that for this
occasion, Chiang Mai residents, in cooperation with government officials
and private sectors, will set up Buddha images, pictures of the king and
queen, and worship items at offices and proper places throughout Chiang
Mai, to show their faithfulness and to realize their kindness. Lanterns
and flags also will be decorated at government offices, hotels, banks and
department stores beginning April 27.
Governor Suwat requests that residents make merit for
Their Majesties the King and Queen on April 28 by presenting breakfast
for monks at Thapae Gate. People can also gather to bless them at Chiang
Mai University convention hall, where folks will strike bells and light
The government will not allow the selling, purchasing
and drinking of alcoholic beverages during this time, and entertainment
places will have to remain closed.
PM Thaksin Shinawatra raises the sixth constellation at Lok Moree Temple, Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai province celebrated its 705th anniversary on
April 12, and PM Thaksin Shinawatra traveled to Chiang Mai to preside over
the raising of the sixth constellation ceremony at Lok Moree temple, Tambon
Sriphum in Muang, Chiang Mai. Many high level government officials, army and
police officers and local residents attended the important ceremony.
Thaksin Shinawatra, joined by Suwat Tantipat, covers the top of the sixth
constellations with gold leaves.
Having paid respect to the elder monks, the PM raised the
sixth constellation to decorate the top of a pagoda at the temple while
holding a white cotton string that was linked to officials and the people.
Lok Moree is an ancient temple established by former
kings 600 years ago, and Pha ya Kuena, the sixth king of the Meng Rai
dynasty, invited 10 Mon monks from Phan City to rest in this temple. Former
Burmese kings inhabited the temple until the period of Kaew Nawarat, Chiang
Mai king, who arranged for a Buddha image for this temple. During WW II, Lok
Moree Temple had no abbot, so it was rented out to the government, and
became a deserted temple.
Thaksin Shinawatra lifts the sixth constellations, whilst officials and
Chiang Mai residents watch.
Later, Doi Suthep Temple asked permission from the
Department of Religion to re-instate the temple and the monks’ residences,
and cast the main Buddha image to become a complete temple again. Monks were
invited to live there permanently. From April 12, 2001 until April 12, 2005,
the temple has built a pagoda of sixth constellations, and invited the PM to
perform the ceremony. It could become one of the more important temples in
Chiang Mai, and be a place of pilgrimage.
Dignitaries such as Payap Shinawatra, Surapol Kiartchaiyakorn, Chiang Mai
MP, Lt. Gen. Picharnmeth Muangmanee, Third Army Region Commander, Suwat
Tantipat, Chiang Mai governor, Prinya Panthong, vice governor of Chiang Mai,
Kwanchai Wongnitikorn, deputy governor, Pol. Maj. Gen. Wutti Wittitanon and
Pol. Maj. Gen. Suwat Kruengkrai, deputy commissioners at Provincial Police
Bureau Region 5 attended the ceremony.
on Burmese border
Third Army Region Commander visits soldiers
along northern border
On April 16, Lt. Gen. Picharnmeth Muangmanee, Third Army
Region commander visited Baan Mai Lan at Tambon Pang Mapah in Pang Mapah
district, Mae Hong Son to comfort and encourage the villagers while
affirming that Thai officers could control all border events, and would
never let the villagers be troubled by fighting of the two Burmese minor
Picharnmeth Muangmanee, Third Army Region commander, visits with Thai troops
along the Mae Hong Son border with Myanmar.
Later, he went on to encourage soldiers at the Thai army
base located in Baan Mai Lan, only one kilometer away from the scene of the
fighting. Having listened to their report, the commander stressed that
officers should be ready for confrontations between the two tribes by
patrolling areas near the base.
Moreover, the Third Army Region obtained the use of two
120 mm mortars on April 13, after having learned that Red Wah and Tai Yai
(SSA) tribes were fighting. However, if it appears that skirmishes continue
to increase, the Fourth Artillery Battalion will have to take over
responsibility for that border.
The commander said that the skirmishes may be the result
of a drug conflict, but Red Wah tribes could negotiate with the Burmese
government, and receive government support to attack the Tai Yai tribe. It
could not be predicted when the situation would end, but it was assumed that
the confrontations would not last long unless the Burmese government got
involved. However, Thai people are not affected by the fighting, and the
battalion will enlist modern technology weapons to protect Thailand.
Col. Yodsuek, an SSA leader, revealed that during the
fighting between April 12-14, Red Wah, in cooperation with the Burmese
government, attacked the SSA base with 2,025 rounds of ammunition, but since
the SSA had the advantage of controlling the higher ground, the SSA only
lost 3 soldiers and suffered 21 injuries. The Red Wah, however, suffered
heavy casualties, with 113 dead soldiers and 163 injured.
Clashes continue in Pang Mapah district, Mae Hong Son between both Red
Wah and the SSA base at Doi Pook Sam. When the Thai commander arrived at
Baan Mai Lan in the early morning, about 30–50 Red Wah soldiers crossed
the border into Thailand to search residents’ vehicles at Doi Ma Ngan and
demanded that Thais not give food to the SSA or Tai Yai tribe. Later, Thai
soldiers drove out the Red Wah armies from the Thai border and demanded an
apology from the Burmese government, as the collision led to a bomb falling
Wei Hseuh-kang commands a troop of Wa militia to attack Tai Yais
Mae Hong Son governor instructs district chief officer to protect residents
After Wa tribes attacked Tailang base, Mae Hong Son, on
April 12, it was learned that Wa armies belonging to Gen. Wei Hseuh-kang
attacked the Tai Yai tribe with artillery weapons at Baan Mai Lan Doi
Tailae, Mae Hong Son, only a kilometer away from the Thai border.
The Tai tribe countered with mortars for 30 minutes and,
after a break, fighting broke out again, with 30 bombs falling on Thai soil.
The fighting caused many Red Wa deaths, but the Tai Yais
did not appear to suffer losses, as their base has the advantage of high
Meanwhile, the 7th Infantry Regiment special task force
surveyed the border to prevent the two troops from encroaching into
Thailand. The army was ready to counter any incursion if necessary.
Mae Hong Son Governor Supoj Laowansiri, director of
Thai-Burmese border command, assigned Wirasak Sirisit, Pang Mapah district
chief officer, to protect residents at Baan Mai Lan, Tambon Pang Mapah in
Pang Mapah district, as it was unknown how intense the fighting would
Use of x-ray machines leads to drug arrests
Drug Suppression secretary-general supports
high-tech equipment use to control drug transfers
Pol. Maj. Gen. Wutti Wittitanon, deputy commissioner of
the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, said that the use of an X-ray machine
at Gew Thap Yang to check passing vehicles has led to the arrest of six drug
dealers traveling in both directions between Thailand and Laos. These
results have come after using the machine for only a few days.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Kritsana Pol-anan, secretary-general of the
Drug Suppression Division, has lent his support to the use of this high-tech
equipment to control drug transfers.
The secretary-general also said that policy and strategy
to suppress drugs should include helping Laos and Burma to quit drug
production and to set up checkpoints leading to arrests in the area. PM
Thaksin Shinawatra agrees with this strategy and consultations between the
countries are currently in progress.
By using this equipment and setting up more checkpoints,
police expect drug trafficking in the area to decrease, as it becomes more
difficult for drug traffickers to reach the mountain ridge to get to Muang
or Mae Suai district in Chiang Rai.
The secretary-general visited the area on April 17 with
his team of officers. The entourage met with the vice governor of Chiang Rai
and other dignitaries, then traveled to checkpoints along the border in
Chiang Rai, starting from Gew Thap Yang in Mae Chan district, Chiang Rai to
Tham Pla in Mae Sai district.
They later received a report from Mae Sai customs house.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Wutti Wittitanon told the
secretary-general that during the first four months of the year, officers
have been watching 2,500 listed drug dealers, resulting in 200 arrests and
the seizure of properties worth almost 100 million baht, thus reaching the
initial target. He added that drug abusers are continually being
Cobra Gold 2005 exercises commence
US soldiers help rebuild the North
Cobra Gold 2005, the annual military exercises between
Thai forces and United States Special Task Forces, commenced quietly at the
beginning of April.
Exercises are being conducted in Chiang Mai and other
provinces in the east and northeast. Chiang Mai has been chosen as the
headquarters for the event.
Force jets do a fly by during training exercises for Cobra Gold 2005.
Whilst here, some of the US forces are using their free
time to help build schools and improve infrastructure in the area. In
Sukhothai, Tak and Phitsanulok, the US soldiers constructed two study
buildings and conference buildings in each province.
Sqn. Ldr. Somsak Hkongtone, who is leading the construction in
Phitsanulok, said that 40 US soldiers started construction of a conference
building on April 6 at Tambon Mae Raka in Wang Thong district, Phitsanulok,
and a study building at Tambon Tahpoe in Muang, Phitsanulok. He said they
expect to finish these within a month; after that the buildings would be
transferred to the sector concerned.
Traffic Police cooperate with Goodyear in safe driving campaign
Chiang Mai Provincial Traffic Police cooperated with
Goodyear Thailand Co., Ltd. with a “Good Drive by Goodyear” campaign to
remind Chiang Mai residents and visitors to drive and ride safely during
Songkran festival. Pretty girls handed out cool towels at 20 intersections
in Chiang Mai. There were also other media advertisements campaigning for
people to ride and drive safely, without drinking alcohol.
Police and Goodyear campaign to drive and ride safely in Chiang Mai.
Steven J. Atchison, marketing director of Goodyear
Thailand Co., Ltd. said, “Our company has realized that the result of the
Songkran festival or other long holidays is losing lives, destroying not
only the economy, but also the minds of people who have lost family members.
Therefore, the company is cooperating with Chiang Mai Provincial Traffic
Police to promote an accident reduction campaign during the Songkran
festival, as Chiang Mai is well known for this festival, and this activity
is one of our policies to repay the community, hoping that it will have a
Pol. Lt. Col. Sayan Janjamkrajang, inspector of management and plan works
at Chiang Mai Provincial Traffic Police said, “One cause of accidents is
that the drivers or riders disregards traffic rules, and therefore Chiang
Mai Provincial Traffic Police are cooperating with the company to advise
people to follow traffic rules, wear helmets, turn on front lights, abjure
alcohol before driving or riding, and so on. We hope that the number of
deaths can be reduced.”
Chiang Mai suffers 17 traffic accident deaths during Songkran festival
Injury rate down almost 3/4
Chiang Mai officials have summarized accident rates
during Songkran, from April 8-17, as follows: of the 17 deaths in Chiang Mai
over the holidays, 12 were males and 5 were females. The number of deaths
was up 2 over last year.
Mai police, with a pile of motorcycles wrecked during Songkran in the
foreground, announce the death toll from road accidents.
The most common cause of death was yet again head
injuries suffered by people riding motorcycles without a helmet.
However, the injury rate decreased from the previous year
by 73 percent, from 1,705 down to 463. Of the 463 injuries; 327 occurred to
males and 136 to females.
During what Chiang Mai officials declared the “10
dangerous days”, from April 8-17, authorities set up a traffic accident
prevention and resolution center with 49 fixed and 41 mobile checkpoints.
People riding without helmets or driving drunk were arrested, and
officers did not allow elders and children to enter the traffic on the main
routes on April 16-17, the two worst days in Chiang Mai. There were also
alcohol tests for drivers and riders during these two days.
Concerned about sabotage, Chiang Rai Airport officials destroy abandoned motorcycle
English teacher in for a surprise on his return
Officers at Chiang Rai Airport destroyed a motorcycle in
Chiang Rai’s airport car park, before a Thai Airways airplane was given
permission to land. They learnt later, however, that a foreign teacher had
parked the motorbike, and left it there before his departure to Bangkok. The
vehicle was there for several days.
On April 13 at Chiang Rai airport, Acting Flight Off.
Wisit Euiprapha, head of the Chiang Rai Airport Authority of Thailand (AOT),
led a team to check the abandoned motorcycle at the parking lot, requesting
a bomb squad, soldiers and air force to protect people and deal with the
The officers later decided to destroy the motorbike. This
caused a loud noise and fire, but a fire engine was able to keep the fire
under control, much to the relief of frightened onlookers.
After the dust settled, the officers kept the wreckage
and did not allow the media to take pictures. Sutham Kaewboonsong, 30, a
government official working for the Public Relation Office had to destroy
the film he took of the event.
It was found that Achawit Sornsriwichai, 46, was the
owner of the motorbike. He had rented the bike to a British teacher at
Chiang Rai kindergarten.
The superintendent reported that the officers needed to
destroy the vehicle as a training exercise for the officers.
San Kamphaeng district office and Bor Sang culture route opened
PM Shinawatra presided over the opening ceremony
On April 16, PM Thaksin Shinawatra presided over the
opening ceremony of San Kamphaeng district office. Chiang Mai Governor Suwat
Tantipat informed the PM of all the details.
“It should become part of San Kamphaeng’s district
history that it has improved during the period of PM Thaksin Shinawatra, who
is a resident of this district,” Suwat said.
Thaksin Shinawatra addresses the attendants during the opening ceremony of
the new San Kamphaeng district office.
This building is a result of the PM’s request to San
Kamphaeng’s residents to adapt their district to be as renowned as in the
past, and government officials, Tambon officers, heads of villages, TAO, and
residents decided to move the official office, to apply it to be a center of
OTOP goods, and to establish San Kamphaeng’s Museum.
This area is called Kuang San Kamphaeng, matching its
culture heritage, and funded with 29 million baht.
A new office for the Ministry of Finance was allocated
108 rai of land at Mae Aon tobacco station, Tambon Saimoon in San Kamphaeng
municipality area. The construction of the building will be Lanna style and
cost nearly 8 million baht. State enterprises are building new offices and
other ancillary buildings.
The PM said that even though he had many responsibilities
he would always pay attention to his hometown, and, after learning that
every sector had cooperated so fruitfully, he was sure that San Kamphaeng
district would be quickly developed.
He very much appreciated the residents’ active
participation. He assigned Yaowapa Wongsawat, MP Pornchai
Atthapreeyang-goon, the Chiang Mai governor and district chief officers to
look after these movements and to facilitate people after finishing.
He also approved funds to develop the hot springs, and
assigned the highway department district office to expand routes linking the
hot spring to support Mae Aon sub-district.
After performing those duties at the new district office, the PM went to
Bor Sang crossroad in San Kamphaeng to preside over the opening ceremony of
Chiang Mai-San Kamphaeng culture route on super highway number 1006.
Mae Hong Son residents object to Nok Air flights replacing Thai Air
Rumors have it that Thai Air will quit flying the loss
making Chiang Mai-Mae Hong Son route and has requested Nok Air, a private
airline, to take over, starting on May 1.
Choti Naramontol, head of Mae Hong Son Chamber of
Commerce’s tourism business section, said that people are confused about
this issue, so Thai Air should properly inform the public. However, after
the rumor spread, the chamber consulted with tourism businesses and private
sectors concerned to present the following petition:
1. They would like Thai Air to maintain its services,
without stopping its flights.
2. They would prefer not to have another private sector
3. They would like to be consulted about the private
sector airline, but if Thai Air thinks it is necessary to add flights by
offering additional flights to other airlines, it should be under the
control of Thai Air.
4. The responsible officers have to inform local
residents about the changes, while considering advantages and disadvantages.
5. The officers concerned have to confirm Mae Hong Son
flights to assure tourism packages for visitors to Mae Hong Son.
The chamber of commerce has presented this petition to
Taewan Damronghad, manager of Thai Air, Mae Hong Son branch, as well as to
Panya Jeenakham, MP of Mae Hong Son area 1, and Adul Wanchai-thanawong,
senator of Mae Hong Son, in order to encourage Thai Air to continue flying
“Mae Hong Son Chamber of Commerce considered that Thai
Air is a state enterprise serving people, so it should not think only of its
own benefit, even though it loses money. It has flown this route for 50
years, if it is at a loss, Thai Air could not have done so for this long
period. To transfer flying routes to other airlines means that the local
residents will have more difficulties, and it could have a negative affect
on Mae Hong Son’s economy; therefore we appeal to Thai Air to reconsider
the decision,” the president explained.
Chiang Mai (PAO) to celebrate King Naresuan Pagoda on April 24-25
Thawatwong Na Chiang Mai, president of Chiang Mai
Provincial Administration Organization (PAO), said the PAO will organize a
celebration of the King Naresuan Pagoda April 24-25.
The celebration will be held to pay homage to the king,
to give thanks for his protection of Thailand during its wars with
neighboring countries and to allow the new generation to realize the
sacrifices made by all Thai kings, resulting in a free Thailand.
This ceremony will be organized on April 24 at 09.39 a.m.
by pouring golden liquid on 400 small Buddha images called “400 years of
Phra Gring Naresuan Maharaj”, in front of the Phra Naresuan Maharaj pagoda
in Chiang Dao district, Chiang Mai. The PAO will invite all famous monks in
Chiang Mai to chant an incantation over the images, and after this ceremony,
the molds used for this casting will be destroyed.
On April 25 at 09.39 a.m. there will be a propitiation
ceremony with 10 monks and 108 novices being presented breakfast, and
offered the four essential requirements of life. Then, the monks will carry
out a propitiation ceremony for the soul of King Naresuan.
A Lanna local dance called Forn Leb will be performed,
and fighting performances, using ancient weapons, will occur.
At night, an activity to honor the king will be a son et
lumiere performance, starting at 8 p.m. Everybody interested in witnessing
this spectacle should contact Chiang Mai PAO, or phone 0-5389-1500-6 # 226.
Chiang Mai drives towards health center status
36 health-related businesses awarded
Doctor Rattawut Sukmee, the head of Chiang Mai Provincial
Public Health Office, said that the Ministry of Public Health is supporting
a plan to promote Thailand as the Medical Hub of Asia. Chiang Mai is one of
the four pilot provinces applying this plan.
Mai governor, Suwat Tantipat (seated center) presents certification
documents to health business owners at the Chiang Mai Provincial Public
Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health has assessed various
health-related businesses in the area, separating them into categories such
as spas for health, massage for health, and massage for beauty. 36
businesses that have shown support for this program have received
certification documents from Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health.
Suwat Tantipat, Chiang Mai governor, presented the
certification documents on April 12. He said that the government would like
Chiang Mai’s private hospitals, dentistry clinics, Thai herb and massage
businesses to implement the province’s strategies.
To show its support, the government approved 800,000 baht in 2003, 3.8
million baht in 2004, 2.5 million baht in 2005, and maybe 60 million baht
next year, to assist Chiang Mai to become the Medical Hub of Asia.
Monks help with suicide problems
Chiang Mai Public Health and several other sectors have
cooperated to set up a network of monks to look after people who are in
serious mental condition and depressed, full of fear and sadness, to solve
suicidal problems in Chiang Mai.
Dr. Rattawut Sukmee, the head of Chiang Mai Provincial
Public Health Office, said that problems that led to negativism, worry,
despair and insomnia could still be solved by certain methods.
The Public Health Department found that residents are
suffering, causing many suicides. These people need mental refuge, and
therefore a monk network is an alternative choice that they may believe in
and have faith that it is able to give advice to relieve their despair.
The Public Health Department has therefore established a
monk network in different areas to give preliminary advice to deal with
depression. People who need help can contact 0 5321 1996 and 0 5327 8967 #
121, to ask for advice.
Safe food on Suthep and Huay Kaew roads
Chiang Mai Public Health continues
“Clean Food, Good Taste” program
Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office is continuing
the government’s “Clean Food, Good Taste” policy, and is now stressing
that this should emphasized from the farm to the table.
Restaurants and vendor stands will be checked and
controlled to ensure they reach the required standard for hygiene. If during
these checks it appears that a restaurant or vendor stand has reached the
required standard, they will be awarded with the “Clean Food, Good
So far, 1,459 restaurants and vendor stands in Chiang
Mai, 73.2% of the total number of food outlets here, have received this
In 2005, the Chiang Mai Public Health Department is going
to continue this program with restaurants, caf้s and vendor stands on
Huay Kaew and Suthep Road, in cooperation with Chiang Mai municipality,
Tambon Chang Puek Administration Organization and Chiang Mai Restaurant
There are 65 food businesses comprising 31 vendors’
stands and 96 restaurants that are expected to reach the standard level, or
70% of the entire target group on the two roads.
French lady unable
to resist Thai lingerie
The police, in their customary precipitate fashion
perhaps intensified by the sex of their suspect and the nature of her crime,
last week rushed to the hotel room of a French lady who, it was alleged by
staff of department stores, had helped herself to some expensive and
After all but breaking down the door of her room at the
Sri Tokyo Hotel, they found to their disappointment a fully clothed French
national, Fontan Ilona Jadwiga, 44, with a number of costly items such as
brassieres, pants and other underwear that had been stolen from the
departments store in Chiang Mai, including Central Airport Plaza and Central
Kad Suan Kaew.
Her desire to own these items apparently overcame her
caution and she foolishly returned to the same stores several times to
repeat the thefts, leading to her identification.
Government proclaims renewed war on drugs
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra renewed his commitment
to the war on drugs on April 11 at a meeting attended by Deputy Prime
Minister Pol. Gen. Chitchai Wannasathit and the Minister of Interior, Suwat
Liptapanlop and other dignitaries.
Officials are instructed to cooperate to control and
eradicate drugs in every region of Thailand.
“Today is an important day when we join together to
warm Thais hearts by saving our children from drugs. Even though we have
already done this twice before, the government will continue to pursue
results ... and eliminate the drugs that destroy our country’s future,”
the PM said.
He added that the first drug eradication activity showed
successful results, and the second was done to prevent a reoccurrence, but
he accepted that drugs had spread again as government officials had many
duties and responsibilities, and had neglected the drug problem. However,
the government had cooperated with national authorities to get rid of drugs
within three months, to block drug transfer routes that had been moved from
Burma’s border to that of Laos and Cambodia. Most, but not all, of the
drug dealers were influential gangs living in neighboring countries.
“I tell all of you not to be afraid of drug dealers,
even if they are in Thailand or in neighboring countries, because nobody is
greater than the law, and I ask you to do your own duty with an all out
effort. The government promises to protect you and repay you for your
efforts—but if there is any section ignoring drug dealings, officials
concerned will be seriously prosecuted,” Thaksin affirmed.
He said that governors should take his lead to suppress
drugs, including cooperation with neighboring narcotics suppression
divisions to request reports about drug transfers, because the number of
wholesale drug dealers has decreased but retail drug traffickers remained.
Finally, he gave a modern technology drug checker to Chiang Mai Provincial
Bureau Region 5 office responsible for Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang, Mae
Hong Son, Nan, Phayao and Lamphun.
Thai singer and movie stars visit female prisoners in Chiang Mai
On April 13, Chiang Mai Women’s Prison invited a Thai
singer and movie stars, Supoj Janjareun, aka Lift (a singer), Natthanan
Khunwat (an actor), Pimphan Jantha, aka Yui (an actress), Nirawan Niritisai,
aka Ying (an actress) and Siraprapha Sookdamrong (an actress) to entertain
the prisoners. The inmates and their visitors had a real good time with the
singer and movie stars.
celebrities join the activity at Chiang Mai Women’s Prison.
The president of Chiang Mai Women’s Prison explained
that she tried to organize activities for prisoners to relieve their
depression. These prisoners are offered career training, such as tailoring,
cooking and massage, and academic courses. 13 prisoners have graduated with
bachelor degrees and 30 are still studying.
The prison invited the celebrities to entertain prisoners
on the occasion of the Songkran festival, to enjoy Thai tradition even with
their limited freedom. It was predicted that many activities would be
repeated for the prisoners.
There are 1,300 female inmates at the Chiang Mai Women’s Prison,
narcotics offenders making up 80 percent, 66 persons are sentenced with life
imprisonment, and five are on death row. The latter are a result of the
prisoners’ involvements with drugs.
Pha Muang Task Force arrests drug dealer
On April 14, Maj. Gen. Pairat Thongjaktu, commissioner of
Pha Muang Task Force, announced that he had commanded the Second Calvary
special task force on another drugs crack down, this time in Chiang Dao.
During their operation, troops searched a motorcycle
belonging to Kittipong Phothipamai, 20, from Tambon Hang Dong, Chiang Mai,
and found 9 ya ba pills in a box.
Kittipong admitted that he purchased these from a Tai Yai
laborer who was working in Fang district. He was remanded into custody at
the Chiang Dao Police Station.
Afterwards, Maj. Gen. Pairat announced that the Pha Muang
Task Force is in the process of expanding their investigations into other
Border Patrol policeman dies during firefight with unknown troop in Mae Ai
Small, unknown troop robbing Thai citizens
On April 15, villagers reported that a gang, probably
foreign militia, with weapons was robbing a house belonging to Samarn
Kaewtha, 35, at Tambon Mae Ai, and stole clothes and dry goods before
escaping towards the wilds behind the house. Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. Boonchop
Moonmuang, led 334 border patrol police in cooperation with the Pangsan-krue
village safety team in pursuit of the robbers.
While following the unknown troop to a forested hill, the
troop returned fired at the officers with war weapons for about ten minutes.
Later, it appeared that Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. Boonchop Moonmuang had been
wounded with two bullets. The officers called for help from the border
patrol police, who threw bombs and countered the fighting until the area was
cleared after an hour.
Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. Boonchop was admitted to
Radpracha-nukraw Hospital, but died later from loss of blood.
Later Pol. Lt. Col. Sipanun Sornkhunkaew, commander of
334 Border Patrol Police, led a team to check the area and after having
found bloodstains, they assumed that the some of the unknown troops were
hurt or dead. The border patrol police had blockaded all routes and let K-9
boot camp trainees pursue the troop.
Lt. Gen. Picharnmeth Muangmanee, Third Army Region
Commander, surmised that the unknown troop consisted of only 4-5 persons
scrounging for food at the village, when the village safety team raised the
alarm. A Burmese army shirt was also found, but there was no confirmation
that the shirt indeed belonged to a Burmese soldier because it might have
been stolen or bought.
The commander sent border patrol police to protect the
The Burmese government denied knowledge of the troop.