Miss Universe competitors from eight countries descend on Chiang Mai
Nopniwat Krailerg and
Miss Universe contestants from eight countries, USA, UK,
Kenya, Turkey, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad & Tobago arrived in
Chiang Mai on May 12, guided by Chanunporn Rosechan, Miss Thailand Universe,
resting at the Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel. The bevy of beauties are visiting
Chiang Mai to film a sequence for the public relations media for Thailand.
They continued their travels to Chiang Dao, to visit the
Chiang Dao Elephant Camp, and enjoyed bamboo rafting on the Mae Ping River.
In the afternoon, they were treated for lunch at the house of Assoc. Dr.
Charinrat Puttapuan, consultant of the Minister of Tourism and Sports, in
San Sai district, and had a taste of local food, the Kad Mua (mixing
market), and watched traditional Lanna performances.
Afterwards, they went to the Mandarin Oriental Dhara
Dhevi Resort to record a sequence concerning the spa, giving visitors the
opportunity for an ogle, before returning to Bangkok.
Charinrat Puttapuan revealed that the Ministry of Tourism and Sports had
spent 200 million baht to bring Miss Universe candidates to record the
promotional video throughout Thailand, which they believe is a worthwhile
expense, to associate Thailand around the world with voluptuous women in
scanty costumes, as if it were not already. The Ministry predicted that the
beauties from each country would promote Thailand even more after returning
home. For Thailand as a whole, the Miss Universe event will reputedly earn
the nation an estimated 3.2 billion baht, but how this figure is arrived at
defies conventional mathematics.
Buddhist Holy Day
of Visakha Bucha May 22
Banks and government offices to close May 23
This coming week, on Sunday, May 22, one of the most
venerated holidays on the Buddhist calendar will be celebrated: Visakha
Bucha Day. Visakha Bucha Day marks the beginning of the Buddhist Era
2,548 years ago, and celebrates the miracle of the Buddha being born,
reaching enlightenment and passing away all on the same date.
Devout Buddhists will participate in ceremonies at
nearby temples, make merit in the morning by bringing alms to monks and
listening to sermons. Later in the evening devotees will continue
assembling at temples to conduct the “Wien Tien” ceremony, walking
around sacred temple grounds three times holding candles, joss sticks and
flowers honoring the Buddha, the Dhamma (Buddha’s teachings) and the
Sangha, the Buddhist Monastic Order.
For this holiday, killing any kind of animal and
drinking alcohol or intoxicating substances is forbidden for 3 days. Wats
are to be adorned with lanterns, flowers and joss sticks as symbols of
worship, and skyrockets will be lit for three days to celebrate.
Since this year the holiday falls on a Sunday, banks
and government offices will observe the day, and be closed, on Monday,
Burmese boy soldiers claim Burmese army
using chemical weapons
On May 11, Maj. Gen. Beetoo, supreme commander of KNPP,
revealed that Karen Ka Ya arrested two Burmese soldiers in an area near the
Thai-Burmese border, opposite Baan Mae Surin in Khun Yuam district, Mae Hong
Son. The two soldiers were only 15 and 16 years old, arrested after their
escape from a Burmese battalion after they caught Malaria.
The boy soldiers were identified as Pvt. Mew Min, 15,
recruited when he was only 14 years old, and Pvt. Sow Su, 16, inducted when
he was 15. They were trained for only six months before being sent into
battle under the umbrella of Ready Reaction Battalion 511 commanded by Lt.
Col. Saw Loo, who controls a brigade in Kalaw, Shan State.
They said that troops were forced to attack even under
disadvantageous conditions, but defeat and retreat ensued. They heard the
battalion commander talking about using chemical weapons to suppress the
mutinous troops. Pvt. Sow Su caught malaria and, while being taken care of
by Pvt. Mew Min, a troop of Karen Ka Ya found the two fugitives.
The use of chemical weapons by the Burmese government was
first disclosed by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) in April this year
and it was later proved again by the Third Army.
After the use of chemical weapons to suppress minority
groups became known, residents along the Thai-Burmese border have become
fearful. Border residents have appealed internationally to force the Burmese
government not to use chemical weapons. The infamous Burmese ruling junta
was also criticized regarding conscription of youths under 18 years of age.
Attack underway on striped mosquito
80 percent success rate predicted
Preecha Worakul, president of Fah Haam TAO in Muang,
Chiang Mai said, “The current increasing spread of Dengue hemorrhagic
fever needs to be stopped immediately, therefore Fah Haam TAO presented
plans to prevent and control hemorrhagic fever on May 15, in cooperation
with Tambon Fah Haam Health Center, Tambon chief officer and village heads.
The activity is to destroy mosquito sources along the houses at Tambon Fah
Worakul, president of Fah Haam TAO giving information to the vendors at
This program needs cooperation from all areas throughout
the Tambon. It started with giving information to Tambon Fah Haam Public
Health volunteers and about 200 community leaders to have the same
information. Later, residents were informed and people were requested to
overturn coconut shells or anything containing water. Also, treated sand was
distributed to seven villages (altogether 3,753 houses) to eliminate
mosquito larvae. TAO also provided staff to spray chemical substances in
every village in Tambon Fah Haam, kill larvae and reduce the risk of
hemorrhagic fever. Records of the program activities would be kept. In
future, new rules would be implemented to force every house to continue
mosquito elimination, as requested by the TAO.
“There were Dengue hemorrhagic fever victims at Tambon Fah Haam last
year, and we therefore pay much attention to prevent the disease this year.
We predict that it will achieve an 80 percent success,” the president of
Fah Haam TAO said.
ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization looks at possibility
ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization (AIPO) Commissions
conference opened on May 14 at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel, Chiang Mai. The
opening ceremony was presided over by Pokin Palakul, Thai Parliamentary
president. Eight countries attended the conference, Thailand, Singapore,
Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia and Philippines, and two
observers were Myanmar and Brunei. The conference lasted three days.
Palakul presided over the opening ceremony of the AIPO commissions
Pokin Palakul said that ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary
Organization (AIPO) was an organization cooperating among member countries,
to exchange opinions that affected the region. The organization had realized
that moving on to new methods could reflect the important roles of a
parliament, i.e. the legislative role and the administrative department
examination. Those were the reasons to set up an ASEAN parliament.
“The three days of the conference are aimed to find
methods to set the duties of the commissions. I believe that an ASEAN
parliament will succeed in forms and duties similar to the European
parliament. This is a good chance to see if the ASEAN parliament can become
more effective, and to focus more on the organization’s duties
afterwards,” he added.
The next AIPO conference will be organized from September18-23 in Wiang
Chan, Laos. AIPO was established in 1977 by the Indonesian parliament for
cooperation among the eight member countries of ASEAN.
The Department of Mineral Resources warned residents
living in risky areas throughout the Northern provinces, such as Mae Hong
Son, Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Tak and Kamphaengphet, to be aware of the
possibility of mudslides during the rainy period. In Chiang Mai alone, there
are 232 risky areas in 17 districts.
The cause of the mudslides is deforestation, leaving no
roots to hold the soil on slopes. Falling trees and rocks pose an additional
risk. There are warning signs to alert residents, such as increasing water
volume in the creeks which would also become muddy; and there could be
threatening noises from mountains and creeks.
If such a situation should arise, residents should escape
to higher places, and should never build houses blocking waterways or under
deforested slopes. Updated weather forecasts should be carefully observed.
Thai masseuses warned about Czech Republic
Thai women planning to work as masseuses in the Czech
Republic should carefully check in advance, in order to avoid exploitation,
as most employers hire native Czech girls due to work permit and language
Orachorn Ratanamanee, head of the Chiang Mai Employment
Office, said that the Department of Employment learned that the Thai Embassy
in Prague had surveyed the Thai massage businesses in the city and found
most of the workers there to be native Czechs, proclaiming they had received
traditional Thai massage certificates from Thailand. The parlours hired
natives because it was difficult to get permits for Thai masseuses. There
were also language-related problems and a predatory attitude towards Thai
women working as masseuses.
Consequently, Chiang Mai Employment Office warns Thai
women who are planning to work as masseuses in the Czech Republic to check
whether the massage business they intend to join has permits for them,
otherwise they may be disappointed and be forced to provide sexual services
for their cheques instead.
More details are available on 0 5322 3325, or 0 5322
2865-6 during government service days.
busts border bartering
Thailand permits Burmese troops into Thailand to investigate
The bombing in the Burmese capital has increased tension
along the border and the Burmese government imposed controls on goods
imported from Thailand and closed several border points. Lt. Gen.
Picharnmeth Muangmanee, Third Army Region commander, confirmed increased
security around the border areas but allowed residents to go about their
usual work in Mae Sod, Tak and Mae Sai, Chiang Rai.
Gen. Picharnmeth Muangmanee
The general said that the event in the capital city of
Burma did not directly affect border areas. Thai armies were assigned to
check tools and instruments that could cause sabotage, and not to allow any
transports into Burma. Furthermore, the Third Army Region is cooperating
with the Burmese Junta to keep an eye on suspicious troops.
Officers on duty at the Thai-Burmese Relationship Bridge
check point at Baan Rimtai, Tambon Ta-sailuad in Mae Sod, Tak, reported that
they allowed the Burmese government to send five investigators and MI 27
officers into Thailand to search for the perpetrators. They would
concentrate on resistant troops escaping in different communities in Mae
Meanwhile, the special task force of 4th Infantry
Regiment, Mae Sod and soldiers from Naresuan task force used a grenade
checking machine and K-9 to check in and outgoing vehicles at Thai-Burmese
As for the situation at Thai-Burmese border in Tak, the commanders of
Buddhist Karen and Christian Karen had commanders moving their troops away
from the battle area for fear that the Burmese government would attack in
Dispossessed Karen farmers appeal at Tak City Hall
Residents from Tambon Sammuen in Mae Ramard district, Tak,
led by Chareun Subkhundon, president of Tambon Sammuen Administration
Organization and Manus Subkhundon, Tambon Sammuen chief officer, joined a
thousand villagers on May 10 to present a petition, involving agriculture land,
to Suwat Tonprawat, Tak governor.
On March 27, forest officers from the Office of Protected
Forest Management Region 14, Tak, and forest police arrested and prosecuted
residents, resulting in the petition to the governor to return agriculture land
area covering 2,800 rai, over five villages, to the residents, because they are
facing extreme hardship being left with no land on which to eke out their
Chareun Subkhundon, the leader, said that they wanted the
governor to solve the problem, and that it had affected 500 families in five
villages, whose land was seized. He accepted that some of these areas had been
newly occupied, but most of them had belonged to the residents for a long time.
Although the government service had approved five rai for each family, this was
insufficient to generate income. They need their land before this rainy season.
Jakarin Yode-ma, administrative officer of the 7th Forest
Office revealed that the land areas seized on March 27 were new areas which the
residents had just prepared for agriculture, and that they trespassed over a
wide area. Moreover, a teak house, modified wood, and many teak logs that were
found, and a forest in Baan La-pe Mai that houses the president of Tambon
Sammuen Administration Organization and Tambon Sammuen chief officer, were
illegally logged and this may result in mudslides. He added that land that the
residents used for planting was not seized.
Soonthorn Rattanawaraha, Tak assistant governor, said that a
committee should be set-up, comprised of government officials, the residents and
district chief officer, to verify how many persons had possessed the land before
it was proclaimed it as a reserved forest in 1964 by using an aerial map.
Whatever appeared as the result, all sectors had to accept it.
One death from hemorrhagic fever in Chiang Mai since January
Dr. Surasing Wisarootrat, deputy head of Chiang Mai Public
Health, speaking about the Dengue hemorrhagic fever situation in Chiang Mai said
that from January 1 to May 7, there were 36 patients as well as a 42 year old
woman from Mae Rim who had died from the disease.
During the same period last year, there were only 16, but the
numbers are still within the average range over a five years period. Concerning
the new mosquito species said to have been found in Bangkok, he said that it has
not yet been found in Chiang Mai.
officer sprays chemical substances to kill mosquito larvae in Chiang Mai.
He added that Dengue hemorrhagic fever this year was more
serious, as earlier rains and climatic changers caused mosquitoes to breed
faster. Normally, larvae development took three to four days and the mosquito
lived for 30–45 days. Mosquito eggs could survive over a year and could still
be present at the time of the next rainy season. He expected that there would be
more victims this year.
The Public Health Department has requested residents to
destroy mosquito sources such as old automobile tires, coconut shells, and pots
and cans by turning them over in case they contain water. The Department, in
cooperation with the municipality, had already sprayed chemicals at main
mosquito sources to kill mosquito larvae.
Anyone who has a high grade fever for 2–7 days may have
Dengue hemorrhagic fever and should immediately visit a doctor.
Dr. Songwute Hutamai, director of 10th Office of Diseases Control MOPH Chiang
Mai, revealed that from January 1 to May 7, areas in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai,
Phayao, Lamphun, Lampang and Mae Hong Son had the most hemorrhagic fever
Brave policemen remembered
Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner
of the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, revealed that they have planned to
build a remembrance building in front of the office in Chiang Mai, to
recognize and remember policemen who died on duty. It would display
biographies of all officers who died on duty during the past 50 years, to
bring pride to their families. Other parts of the building could exhibit
ancient supplies and a library, and the names of the policemen would be
carved on a plinth. Construction would commence within two weeks starting
with the plinth and residents could participate by donating money to support
Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner of the Provincial
Police Bureau Region 5.
“We will survey the last 50 years or more to record the
brave policemen’s names on the remembrance building, to realize their
merit. It will also encourage police officers to work hard, knowing that if
they die they will be remembered, because this place is only for brave
officers,” the commissioner said.
One example of a policeman who died on duty is Col. Cpl. Samarn Taesai, a
policeman at Phuping Police Station, who was killed in a police booth
recently and who will be considered a brave policeman and his name and
biography will be included in the building.
Pachyderms public poo performance at Chiang Mai Zoo
Chiang Mai Zoo in cooperation with Chiang Mai Elephant
Camp and Crocodile Farm introduced elephant performances and elephant riding
around Chiang Mai Zoo. The opening ceremony was presided over by Yongyut
Tiyapairat, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, at Palad
Waterfall, Chiang Mai Zoo.
Tiyapairat, minister of natural resources and environment at the opening
The minister said that this program was to solve the
problem of elephants wandering around the city and to provide them with a
permanent residence. It should also attract tourists to the zoo, especially
as it is a project of “Green Mountain Life”.
Visitors had a chance to watch four elephants dancing and showing the
success of their toilet training by making extensive use of the unique flush
toilet. Afterwards, the minister and Prinya Panthong, Chiang Mai vice
governor rode an elephant to visit the elephant village and wastewater
Cobra Gold 05 closes in Chiang Mai
Thai Supreme commander Gen. Chaisit Shinawatra, US Deputy
Chief of Mission Alexander Arvizu, Singaporean Ambassador Chan Hen Wing and
Japanese Ambassador Atsushi Tokinoya presided over the dedication of a
building at Wat Koung Waree Thai School, Muang, Phitsanulok, as well as the
Cobra Gold ’05 closing ceremony at Lotus Pan Suan Kaew Hotel, Muang,
Chiang Mai, on May 13, 2005. The joint Cobra Gold Exercise was held from May
of the USA, Japan, Singapore and Thailand in Cobra Gold.
Cobra Gold is a regularly scheduled military exercise
designed to improve participant’s readiness and combined joint
inter-operability, as well as enhance relationships and demonstrate resolve
to support humanitarian interests of friends and allies in the Asia-Pacific
The exercise finished after achieving all of its goals.
It improved capabilities in helping people through relief efforts,
particularly in the tsunami-hit areas. Military members from the United
States, Thailand, and Singapore, as well as Defense Forces from Japan,
gained valuable experience in operating together and are now better prepared
to respond to future disasters. Many other government and private agencies
also participated in the exercise.
In addition to military training, Cobra Gold ’05 also included civic
projects, such as construction and medical assistance initiatives in the
provinces of Tak, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Udonthani and Rayong. This year, a
civic project was also conducted in Phang-Nga, the province hardest hit by
the December 26, 2004 tsunami. This project was very successful and the
people of Phang-Nga gave a warm welcome to the Cobra Gold participants.
Besides the military benefits, the exercise forged closer relationships and
understanding among the participating nations.
Shock horror! VCD
rental shops stock porno VCDs
Catering for public tastes, perhaps?
On May 16, police searched Thaiwech shop, VCD rental and
sales center, located at Tambon Mae Hia in Muang, Chiang Mai and found 200
pornographic VCDs on display, as well as other kinds of movie CDs, and some
additional ones were hidden under the table.
The owner, Udonsak Saejang, 34, was arrested and evidence
Although Udonsak claimed that all VCDs were in the
process of being destroyed, the police did not believe him as he had run the
business for a long period and he was charged with the heinous crime of
renting porno VCDs.
Later, the police searched another movie shop on
Suriyawong Rd. at Tambon Hai Ya in Muang, Chiang Mai, but they, having
probably received sufficient warning, had nothing illegal in obvious stock.
The police said that after having learned from
students’ parents that there were VCD rental shops allowing students to
rent porno movies, the officers had increased their checks on VCD rental
Killers of insurance manager arrested
Two murderers who had killed an insurance manger were
taken to re-enact the scene in front of Chiang Mai International Airport on
May 13. They had shot the man on April 29. Police later learned that they
had called the manager to pick them up at the airport to talk about resort
insurance. The victim drove to the airport where the two cold-blooded
killers told him to wait, but later killed him and fled on a motorcycle.
killers at the press conference.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya,
commissioner of the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, told reporters that
the police pursued the two criminals after learning about the audacious
killing and arrested them on May 12.
The killers were Jiradech Iamsa-ard (aka Joe), 24,
living at Tambon Tayang in Tayang, Phetchaburi, and Athichai Boonjit, 24,
living at Tambon Padad in Muang, Chiang Mai, both university students. The
knife used to kill the manager was also found.
Athichai said that his girlfriend was cheating on him with another man
and, after forcing her to tell him the identity of his rival, he and
Jiradech planned to kill the manager. He said that the killing had been
planned for two years, but only the latest attempt was successful.
Non-commissioned police officers initiate exchange program with Singapore
Provincial Police Bureau Region 5 has sent the first
group of non-commissioned police officers to visit Singapore, in order to
gain and exchange suppression experiences.
Twenty non-commissioned police officers, who had
previously made impressive achievements, were sent to Singapore. This
exchange is a part of a program “To Improve and Develop Thai police”,
instigated by Pol. Maj. Gen. Wutti Wittitanon, deputy commissioner of
Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, and Pol. Col. Chamnan Ruadreuw, deputy
commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police. They are to exchange experience
with Singapore police involved with suppression and investigation.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner
of the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, said that this program serves to
encourage non-commissioned police officers who have worked in a certain area
for a long period. They could learn new things from Singapore police, which
could be applied here in Thailand.
The first group spent three days in Singapore to be
followed shortly by another group. Singapore police officers would soon
visit and learn something from the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5.
Thieves learn lesson, inadvisable trio rob the police
Saksit Meesubkwang and
A gang of thieves working for flower shops in Waroros
Market, comprising Aekarat Sissuebpol, 23; Jonyajai Yasorn, 23; Toon
Boonmee, 19; and Athiwat Thacheun, 16, were arrested and found to be in
possession of stolen mobile phones. They were all sent to Phuping Police
Station for the usual investigative procedures and, failing sufficient bail,
the prosecution process.
downcast gang at the press conference.
Their practice was to ride motorcycles around the city,
breaking into parked cars and pick-ups. Public complaints were seemingly
ignored until, on May 9, they made the mistake of robbing the car belonging
to Pol. Lt. Col. Somchai Jankhong, parked at Dok Fai Condominium on Siri
Mangkalacharn Road, taking a mobile phone and a car audio set. They sold the
audio set to an auto supplies shop near Chiang Mai Train Station and used
the mobile phone themselves.
The intrepid policeman called his own cell phone number
and requested them to return it to him in exchange for a reward. The less
than bright gang fell for it and met the enraged policeman, who promptly
They confessed that they had done this several times concentrating on car
parking lots, sharing the items and financial rewards amongst each other.
They were indicted for stealing and destroying property. They should enjoy
an enforced holiday from the flower shops shortly.
Police officer’s death leads to arrest of two members of Wihok Saifa Rescue
A policeman’s death was re-enacted by Tirasak
Luechasup, 19, from Tambon Nongkwai in Hang Dong, Chiang Mai, and Worrapol
(pseudonyn), 16, at the Suthep police booth in front of Tambon Suthep
Administration Organization Chiang Mai.
two criminals are taken to re-enact the scene of killing a policeman.
Pol. Cpl. Samarn Taesai was gunned down while on duty on
May 1, resulting in the entire police force diligently pursuing the killers,
resulting in the arrests of both men who are Wihok Saifa Rescue Team
members, at Raming Niwet Village on Thipanet Rd., Tambon Hai Ya in Muang,
The police found a .38 revolver with 30 bullets, a 9 mm
revolver and a motorcycle. They were charged with murder with intent and
possession of weapons without permits.
Their initial confession was that they had stolen a gun from Settha
Jiamkitwattana, the founder of the Wihok Saifa Rescue Team, and on the day
the event happened they traveled along several police booths but found no
one except Pol. Cpl. Samarn. The two supposed rescuers pretended to ask the
policeman about a map, and while he described directions, the killer shot
him in the head with the stolen revolver, and took the policeman’s gun.
The two criminals confessed that they were well acquainted with police
officers in this booth, and knew the officers’ movements well. The
commissioner is raising Pol. Cpl. Samarn’s rank four grades and would take
good care of his family.
Police kill narcotics dealer and find heroin worth 20 million baht
A member of a narcotic gang was killed after he tried to
battle with the officers in a grove beside Lamphun-Lampang superhighway.
Later, Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner of the
Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, and Pol. Col. Sirote Pakpitjaruen,
superintendent of Muang Police Station, Lamphun, went to check the scene.
They found a car was parked on the roadside, about 50
meters away from the body which was holding a .38 revolver. It was found
that he was shot in the back, possibly whilst trying to flee. There was
nothing else on the body, other than 6,000 baht, but 21 kilograms of heroin
was found in his car, plus another .38 revolver and 8 bullets. The heroin is
valued at 20 million baht.
The commissioner said that after he had been tipped off
that would be narcotics transfer on that route; he had assigned Pol. Col.
Sarawute Chantraprasert, Provincial Police Bureau Region 5 investigation
superintendent, to watch out for the dealing. The dealers were four minority
tribesmen men driving two cars, but one vehicle escaped and a man who had
been with the one killed also escaped. The heroin was to be transferred to
clients in Bangkok.
Defacto husband charged with killing four month old baby
McCormick Hospital staff treating a four months old baby
they suspected had been deliberately injured, informed police who rushed to
the hospital but the baby, Natthapol Klanboot, died before the officers
re-enacts the situation leading to the death.
The police investigated Umpol Klanboot, 23, of Tambon
Paprag, Kanchanaburi, the stepfather, and Pakamad Tasanapoonpol, 16, of San
Sai, Chiang Mai, the mother, to testify while the baby’s body was sent to
Dr. Pongrak Sribanditmongkol, Maharaj Hospital for further study, who found
blood in his lungs and broken bones.
Umpol told police that he had lived with Pakamad since
December 25, and she was pregnant but already separated from her ex-husband.
On the day of the event, the baby was crying and he fed him milk but the
baby choked. Umpol claimed he tried to help the baby but the baby became
weaker so he took the baby to the hospital.
Umpol was charged with carelessness causing death. Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong
Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner of the Provincial Police, reported that
it was notable that such cases were increasing among young parents between
15-24 years old. The youngsters should be taught more about ethics and child
care, he said.