Thailand rejoices at the birth of a son to HRH the Crown Prince
and Mom Srirasmi Mahidol
(AP-Staff Reporters) HRH Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn and Mom
Srirasmi Mahidol are now the proud parents of a baby boy born on April 29 at
6:35 p.m. at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok. It is the couple’s first child.
The Royal household proclaimed that the baby was born
through a Cesarean section. The newborn weighed in at 2680 grams and was 47
cm long at birth. The baby had an APGAR score of 8-9, which meant that he
was in perfect health. (APGAR stands for Activity, Pulse, Grimace,
Appearance, and Respiration, and is the first test given to a newborn.)
Doctors also announced that Mom Srirasmi was also in
“This is the greatest joy of Thai citizens,” Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra said in his weekly radio address Saturday.
Storm over Chiang Mai causes 10 million baht damage
Chiang Mai airport closed
The storm which swept over the Chiang Mai municipality
area on May 2 resulted in an hour-long electricity blackout in several
areas including the Chinese consulate on Suriyawong Road and Phra Poklao
Road, and a large tree fell over, damaging the wall of Chedi Luang
ancient tree fell, but miraculously, the shrine at Chedi Luang Temple was
Electricity posts fell down on the road nearby the
temple, and Chiang Mai International Airport was closed.
Pornchai Jitnavasathien, deputy mayor of Chiang Mai,
said there were several areas affected by the storm, but a street in
front of Chedi Luang Temple, Thapae Road, Suriyawong Road and government
offices were more affected than other areas. Miraculously, a giant statue
at Chedi Luang Temple was not damaged, although an ancient tree fell down
beside the statue.
No deaths were reported, but there were some injuries and seven
vehicles were damaged. The municipality invites residents to report any
damage on 0 5325 9023-25.
Consumers protected - Deputy Prime Minister visits Chiang Mai
On April 27, Phinij Jarusombat, deputy prime minister
representing the Office of the Consumer Protection Board, visited Chiang Mai
and attended the Consumer Protection Day at Kad Theater, Lotus Pang Suan
Prime Minister Phinij Jarusombat presents certificates to 56 gold dealers in
The Consumer Protection Act is represented throughout the
country but there is no provincial office in Chiang Mai. As there are only
sub-committees in each province, with the local governors as chairmen, the
Office of the Consumer Protection Board and its local sub-committees held
the activity to disseminate information about protection to the northern
region, and also to establish a Consumer Protection Network to control the
quality of goods and services.
Prime Minister Phinij Jarusombat checks goods at Siri Watthana Market.
Phinij Jarusombat said that people are generally
satisfied with the Consumer Protection Board’s activities. However, some
aspects of consumer protection law needed to be adjusted, because it
currently controls just quality, price and advertisements and accepts only
civil court cases. The board needed more public cooperation to watch over
this issue in order to efficiently protect consumers. An improvement would
not only up-lift the country’s standards, but would also be beneficial to
exports. After his address, the deputy prime minister presented certificates
to 56 Chiang Mai gold dealers.
He later showed expertise in testing the quality of gold, using tools
from Germany that are 99 percent accurate. Gold from three agents in Chiang
Mai was tested and it was found that one sample weighed only 96.4 grams,
which is lower than the standard level fixed at 96.5 grams. The gold was
sent to the Gems Center of Chulalongkorn University Bangkok for
verification, and if the result is confirmed, the local businessman and the
supplying factory will be prosecuted. Phinij also checked price notices on
vendor’s stands at Siri Watthana Market, and was very satisfied with the
SIPA supports Chiang Mai tourism with software
An information exchange network was set up at the
Sheraton Hotel, Chiang Mai on April 28, by the Software Industry Promotion
Agency (SIPA). SIPA organized the Tourism C-Commerce seminar to boost
tourism business opportunities.
contract signing at the SIPA seminar in Chiang Mai.
Boonsong Teriyapirom, secretary of the Minister of
Information and Communication Technology, presided over the opening ceremony
for the 300 software businesses and other interested people.
Kruewan Samana, president of SIPA, said, “Offering
opportunities for tourism business supported by SIPA is not only done in
Chiang Mai but also in other areas, and it is the expansion which offers
Boonsong Teriyapirom said that this seminar was a good
starting point to support tourism with software. However, it was needed to
understand the entire system and not only concentrate on technology — SIPA
had already suggested both software and hardware solutions.
Tourism C-Commerce Solution was displayed by software companies that were
members of SIPA such as Pushed e-Catalog system and E- Marketing. A
cooperation contract was signed between private organizations and SIPA.
Municipal officers to Park and Ride
Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn has said that
there was insufficient parking space available for residents outside the
municipal offices, because too many vehicles belonging to municipality
officers were parked there, resulting in residents dissatisfaction.
The municipality will solve this problem by offering air
condition busses to transfer its officers to work. An area beside Lotus
Khamthiang branch is being considered to be parking area for the officers,
and the busses would pick them up from there and transport them to their
offices at the municipality building, three times per day.
“This plan will be applied soon to provide more
parking area in the municipality office available for residents,” the
24th Cobra Gold training begins in Chiang Mai
On May 2 at Pang Suan Kaew Hotel, Chiang Mai, the opening
ceremony of this year’s Cobra Gold manoeuvres took place, presided over by
US Ambassador Ralph Boyce and Gen. Chaisit Shinawatra, Supreme Commander of
Royal Thai Army, joined by Singaporean Ambassador Chan Heng Wing and
Toshihisa Takata, Japanese Minister.
Shinawatra, Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Army (fourth from left), US
Ambassador Ralph Boyce (fifth from left) and other representatives display
their unity on stage during the opening ceremonies for Cobra Gold 2005.
US Ambassador Boyce said that Cobra Gold would add
ability to create peace under the umbrella of the UN. “I’m proud to
inform that one more step of Cobra Gold this year is to cooperate with other
countries in providing aid for disaster victims and to rehabilitate regions
affected by tsunami. I think there is a benefit for Cobra Gold to cooperate
with Thailand to practice in rescuing the victims.”
He added that he was pleased to see US and Thai armies
cooperating well to rescue victims after only two days of the disaster
happening. They quickly modified the Utapao Thai Naval Air Station to be the
hub for regional tsunami relief to rescue the victims from Indonesia and Sri
Lanka. They could do this process because of several years of practice, with
previous Cobra Gold exercises.
However, Cobra Gold training needs cooperation from each
country and he gave much thanks to the Thai government that the training was
held, and he also thanked the Singaporean and Japanese representatives.
Gen. Chaisit Shinawatra said that he was pleased to learn
that the Cobra Gold countries would have their training in Thailand. For the
last 20 years, Cobra Gold has become the symbol of the army cooperation
between Thailand and America.
3,644 US forces will participate, including elements of US Army Pacific,
US Marine Corps Forces Pacific and US Pacific Air Forces, US Pacific Fleets,
as well as Special Operations Command Pacific, Air Combat Command, Air
Mobility Command, Military Sealift Command and reserve elements from the
Army, Navy, Air Forces, and Marine Corps.
Air Pollution Call Center in Chiang Mai receives many calls
Control of air pollution shows signs of taking effect as
Many Chiang Mai residents inform the Call Center about air pollution issues,
while several organizations are cooperating with Tambon chief officers and
heads of villages to educate local residents on burning garbage, and how to
Apiwat Kunarak, director of the Regional Environment
Office, revealed that after Chiang Mai province had established its 24-hours
call center (telephone 0 5389 0000) to receive calls about forest fires and
garbage and agricultural materials burning, there were 135 incoming calls in
24 hours about garbage burning — most of them from Muang, San Sai and Mae
Rim areas. The organizations responsible for the Call Center are the Highway
Bureau, Chiang Mai municipality, Office of Protected Forest Management,
Chiang Mai Office of Natural Resources and Environment, Chiang Mai Office of
Agriculture, and the Regional Environment Office.
The director of the Regional Environment Office said that
there were some areas where the TAO and municipalities had ignored the
efforts; however, they would be encouraged to take more action to prevent
burning, and to inform residents about proper control of garbage-related
ITV and Air Force brings tsunami-affected children to Chiang Mai
ITV and the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) joined forces in the
“From Sea to Mountain” program, to rebuild children’s confidence after
facing the tsunami catastrophe in the six southern provinces.
Tantipat, Chiang Mai governor, welcomes the children at Wing 41.
The 110 children chosen to participate on this trip came
mainly from Phuket and Krabi. They had either become orphans or were physically
The RTAF used a C 130 aircraft to carry the children to see
the famous pandas at Chiang Mai Zoo, and they were treated to a Wing 41 flying
show, and were shown handicrafts at Baan Tawai, Wiang Kum Kam, Baan Bor Sang and
many other places. Suwat Tantipat, Chiang Mai governor, welcomed the children at
Wing 41 on April 28.
Niwatthamrong Boonsong-paisarn, CEO of ITV, said that ITV was
concerned about our brothers and sisters affected by the tsunami and it
therefore encouraged people to donate necessary items or money to aid the
ITV had also used some of the funds donated to construct and repair homes and
schools as well as for scholarships, encouraging career development and
rehabilitation amongst the young.
Safe som tam (aka papaya salad or papaya pok pok) throughout Chiang Mai
Galvanized by recent reports that the well-known and popular
som tam could be unsafe for consumption, the Regional Medical Sciences Center,
Chiang Mai initiated the “Clean Som Tam” campaign throughout Chiang Mai, as
a part of the government’s policy concerning food safety.
som tam business in Muang, Chiang Mai.
Prof. Suchai Charoenratanakul, Minister of Public Health,
assigned 14 Central and Regional Medical Sciences Centers to organize “Clean
Som Tam from Thai to World Market”, by training all som tam vendors either in
or out of department stores to adapt som tam quality standards and to stop them
from adding substances to artificially flavor som tam. If this had to be done,
only good quality ingredients are to be used.
The Regional Medical Sciences Center cooperated with consumer
protection groups to train about 50 persons and som tam business vendors in
Muang, Chiang Mai, during April 28-29, to lift their standards and reassure som
tam consumers. Ingredients were collected and checked, such as raw papaya, nuts,
small dry shrimp, palm sugar, pickled crab, fermented fish and fresh vegetables.
The center has warned against chemical substances being added to vegetables
and fruits in Muang, Chiang Mai since 2002, but did not find anything of low
standard, rather safe and clean fermented fish in Muang and San Kamphaeng.
Deputy Prime Minister visits pilot biodiesel factory in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is getting attention from other ministers than the
prime one, as, on April 27, Phinij Jarusombat, Deputy Prime Minister, visited a
biodiesel research facility in San Sai district, Chiang Mai. This facility has
received an investment of almost 16 million baht for biodiesel research and
production for mini busses in Chiang Mai.
The factory produces biodiesel by using vegetable oil as a
primary substance, converting it into 2,000 liters of hundred percent bio diesel
each day. It will be sold to vehicles joining the project and it is predicted
its use will increase productivity depending on primary resources.
The Deputy PM said that biodiesel production was encouraged
throughout the country and it would be recommended to the PM within a week.
Phinij said that the same system could be applied in other areas by copying the
model biodiesel research facility at San Sai.
He added, “To produce biodiesel costs 15 baht per liter,
which is cheap and helps to reduce the imports of fuel oil. Chiang Mai is a good
pilot project with 200 mini busses taking part in the project.”
Garlic prices leave sour taste in farmers’ mouths
Request government guarantee of 28 baht per kilogram
1,500 garlic farmers in seven districts in the Mae Hong
Son, led by Niran Jankan, the president of Mae Hong Son’s garlic farmers,
gathered in protest at low prices at the Mae Hong Son City Hall. They
requested the government, through Supoj Laowansiri, Mae Hong Son governor,
to increase the garlic price as it was considered to be too low.
The farmers waited for three hours but no representative
appeared to accept their petition, resulting in even more unhappy garlic
The Mae Hong Son governor later decided to accept their
petition to guarantee dry garlic prices at 28 baht per kilogram and promised
to present it to the government, and he promised to inform about the result
on Saturday, April 30. The protesters accepted his word and they disbanded.
Niran Jankan, the president of Mae Hong Son’s garlic
farmers said that when PM Thaksin Shinawatra visited Mae Hong Son last year,
he promised the farmers to guarantee fresh garlic price at 10 baht. In
previous years, fresh garlic stood at 10 baht and dry garlic at 30 baht per
kilogram, but it was later reduced. In Mae Hong Son, 55,000 tons of fresh
garlic are grown and the declining garlic prices are affecting the all the
Having received the petition on April 27, the governor
went to Bangkok to consult with the government, which has now approved the
purchase of dry garlic at the requested price, thus solving low garlic
prices throughout the country with the stroke of a legislative pen.
Doi Suthep to be the scene of many Buddhist activities on Visakha Puja
A Waisa Paramee activity at Doi Suthep has been arranged, to
continue a tradition of presenting water granted by Royalty, and to climb Doi
Suthep Mountain on Visakha Puja day.
The Waisa Paramee will take place on May 16-22 by presenting
water and monk’s clothes granted by the royalties to Lok Moree Temple, and
residents will celebrate at the temple, followed by parades around the city.
Many districts will participate in the parade, with decorated
floats as well as traditional costumes and clothes, and there will be service
points along the way up to Doi Suthep.
Tourist’s valuables do the disappearing trick
Cheap hotels say too expensive to fit door locks!
Pol. Maj. Gen. Kittithad Reunthip, deputy commissioner of
Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, revealed that there were six cases on the
books of tourist’s valuables disappearing, especially in hotels.
This is occurring too frequently, he said, and demanded
that police concerned in the six north provinces report all incidents so
that a policy can be formulated, which Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na
Ayuthaya, commissioner of the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, had
stressed to be a priority.
The commissioner added that police officers had consulted
several hotels and the Thai Hotel Association Northern Chapter to pay
attention to tourist security. There was no problem with large hotels but
smaller hotels were not paying much attention, claiming they could not
afford the high costs of installing double lock systems and surveillance
The commissioner emphasized this issue, especially in
Chiang Mai, because it was a tourist destination. During May, police would
discuss amongst themselves how to lift security standards by cooperating
with hotels and suggesting to them how to improve their internal security
Pha Muang Task Force trains community leaders in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai
To support the PM’s “War on Drugs III”, Pha Muang
Task Force, Maj. Gen. Pairat Thongjaktu assigned officers in Chiang Mai and
Chiang Rai to cooperate with police and civilians in setting up checkpoints
in areas suspected of drug smuggling.
Pha Muang Task Force provided a team to train society
leaders and for the young to learn about the harm caused by drugs, and to
persuade them to “just say no” and to get involved in sports and other
Team 321 trained 200 society leaders and young people on
April 29 - May 1 at Baan Doi Kaew, Tambon Mae Ai in Mae Ai district, Chiang
Mai, and team 322 trained at Baan Song Pee Nong, Tambon Rimkhomg in Chiang
Khong district, Chiang Rai.
The Pha Muang Task Force also requested both government
officials and residents in those areas to cooperate with one another to
eliminate drugs from society.
Mae Hong Son Provincial Police getting tough on traffickers
May have to arrest themselves!
A conference delineating the suppression policy on drugs
and human trafficking in Mae Hong Son province took place on April 27 at the
Mae Hong Son Provincial Police office.
Son Provincial Police officers consult one another in a conference.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Thong-in Harnpajonsuek, Mae Hong Son
Provincial Police commander, said that there would be monthly conferences to
conclude and assess police work in each police station. Assistance from Mae
Hong Son Provincial Police could always be requested, and due to the
province’s proximity to the Burmese border, officers had to prepare
themselves to be ready to cope with all situations.
A number of gangs always transferred illegal goods
through the province, therefore officers had to set up check points on every
route. It was learnt that some Thais and Thai police officers were getting
involved with human trafficking and drug dealings. They would be seriously
suppressed and prosecuted or dismissed from governmental services, he
The commander added that Mae Hong Son Provincial Police would crack down
on drugs, as the War on Drugs III had recently been proclaimed by the
government. The police would check in every area such as villages, education
institutes, temples, residences and entertainment places, and arrest anyone
concerned with drugs, such as drug takers, retailers and networks. The
province had applied the new policy since May 1 and also pursued old drug
dealers who were on the police list, and on new drug dealers through wealth
Phuping policeman assassinated
Foul play at the police box
Nopniwat Krailerg and
On May 1, Pol. Cpl. Samarn Taesai, 30, head of protection
and suppression department of Phuping Rachaniwed Police Station, Chiang Mai
was shot at a police booth located at the Suthep Tambon Administration
Organization in Muang, Chiang Mai. He was shot in the back of the head at
Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner of the Provincial Police
Bureau Region 5 at Pol. Cpl. Samarn Taesai’s funeral ceremony.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner
of the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, confirmed that according to the
trajectory he was shot from behind and also confirmed that the policeman’s
personal effects, service pistol and police two-way were stolen.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong said that Pol. Cpl. Samarn Taesai
was on duty together with a volunteer at the police booth near the
irrigation canal in Muang, Chiang Mai. However, the volunteer has
disappeared and police is now trying to find him.
It is believed that the murder weapon is a .357 magnum,
and it was also learnt that he had just moved from Phitsanulok to Phuping
Rachaniwed Police Station, Chiang Mai.
A full police funeral was arranged.
Chiang Mai businessman killed at airport
Police surmise marital or money problems
On April 29, a security guard at Chiang Mai Airport
reported to police that he had found a dead man in a car, parked at the
Chiang Mai Airport staffs residence. Pol. Maj. Boonsong Nikorntuan, duty
inspector of Phuping Police Station in Muang, Chiang Mai, led a team to the
scene and found a man lying in a car, later identified as Sarawute
Pisarnwaree, 36, SN garage owner, and manager of the northern region of AYUD
The body had wounds to the neck and palm, and evidence of
a struggle could be seen, leading to the assumption that he was killed from
behind, and died not less than five hours previously.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner
of the Provincial Police bureau Region 5, together with Pol. Maj. Gen.
Jiroot Prommobone, commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police, and forensic
police went to the scene to look for more clues.
Initially, a business or lover’s conflict was suspected
to be the cause, as it was found that the deceased had many girlfriends
although he was married, and also enjoyed night life.
His wife, Narose Pisarnwaree, said that her husband had
no enemies. He told her that he would pick up his boss at the airport, and
she did not hear from him until police reported they had found his body.
Pol. Maj. Sarawute Chantraprasert, investigation
superintendent of Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, said that the police
had checked the airport surveillance cameras, but he could not be seen, and
the police therefore assumed he must have waited outside the building. Two
witnesses said they saw a dark red car following him, and two men wearing
blue safari suits sitting in that car. It is suspected that they tried to
negotiate with the man, and later killed him.
However, the main causes pointed to a lover’s conflict
or business problem due to the fact that he was dealing resort business
insurance in Chiang Mai, and would receive high commissions. His garage did
not seem to have any problems. The police now think that the two men in
safari suits were hired to kill him, and the police have promised to speed
New highs in Thai-Burmese cooperation
Selling stolen motorcycles!
Pol. Maj. Gen. Thong-in Harnpajonsuek, Mae Hong Son
Provincial Police Station’s commander, informed the press that a number of
young Thai and Burmese men have been cooperating to steal motorcycles, and
then sell them along the Thai-Burmese border.
Arrested with 16 hot motorcycles as evidence were Thai
nationals Angkarn Luenam and Chaowalit Manithong, and Sue and Aek, Burmese
men. The two Thai felons would be prosecuted for theft, and the Burmese will
additionally be charged with being illegal aliens. The stolen motorcycles
would be returned to the owners.
After investigation, it was found that the four criminals
were members of an even larger gang which had as its members Jingna and
Sang, Burmese, who escaped Thai police custody over motor cycle theft. The
four villains claimed that the motorcycles were for their own usage, and not
for selling. However, the police felt that four motorcycles each probably
pointed to a felony, rather than avid collectors.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Thong-in Harnpajonsuek said there were 11
cases of motorcycle smuggling resulting in arrests this year, three cases
were being verified, four cases were in court process, and seven cases were
in prosecution process.
However, this case was different from the others because
the dealers were Thai, and not just Burmese. Police officers will continue
with planned checks on motorcycle dealings and young men with four
motorcycles each can expect a ‘please explain’.
Heavy rain fails
to extinguish house blaze
300,000 baht damage
A house on fire on Chotana-Chiang Mai Road resulted in
the police informing the Chiang Mai municipality to send fire engines to the
remains after the fire.
Three fire engines tried to extinguish the blaze at the
wooden house for about 20 minutes, but the house was totally destroyed. The
family renting the house escaped injury.
After investigation, the police learnt that that house was rented by
Manop Saeton, 36, a soy milk seller living there with his wife and three
children. There was heavy rain and a storm that night causing the
electricity to cut off, and Manop lit a candle in the house and went to bed.
The candle’s illumination turned out to be not such a bright idea.