PAO readies for schools transfer despite teacher protests
Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization has
accepted the policy to transfer education institutes to its control,
although there has been considerable dissent amongst teachers in the
Mai PAO members raise hands agreeing with a policy to transfer school
management to the PAO.
President of the Chiang Mai PAO Chaichatree Limjaroon on
November 14 chaired a meeting at Chiang Mai Plaza Hotel to discuss the new
Kanapon Pinkaew, deputy chief executive of the PAO, said
that as the Department of Local Administration had announced the transfer
would take place in 2006, there was now an urgency to finalize the details.
A committee has been set up as per Ministry of Interior
policy, with its members including Kamchorn Saiwong-in, Sawet Wiangthong,
Thanut Supasri, Chaichatree Limjaroon, Niwat Chatwararat and Watthana Suwan.
Chaichatree said that the PAO had consulted with
elementary and middle-high schools in five education areas beginning in
2004. There were three separate groups. In one group, 200 schools intended
transferring to the PAO, the second group said it only wanted to be
supported by the PAO, while the third group does not want to come under the
PAO at all. The last two groups have a maximum of only 20 schools.
The PAO could not accept all 200 schools at the same
time, said Chaichatree. There will be only one school per district over the
22 districts and two sub-districts, and one school from five education
areas, totaling 29 schools, that the PAO is able to accept.
He added that Chiang Mai PAO had been ready to manage education in
schools since 2004. Commenting on the resistance by teachers in some
provinces, Chaichatree said they did not fully understand the transfer
process and what it involved.
84 men to enter monkhood for HM the King’s birthday
solemn hair shaving ceremony is one of the rituals performed before men
enter the monkhood.
A ceremony for 84 men to enter the monkhood as part of
the celebrations surrounding the 78th birthday of His Majesty the King,
and the 60th anniversary of His Majesty’s accession to the throne, was
conducted at Wat Phra Sing Woramahawiharn on November 25-26.
This is part of a national ordination, at which 790
men throughout the country entered temples within their own regions.
The ceremony began on the night of November 25 and
continued to the morning of 26th. Many residents joined in with the
The 84 newly ordained monks in Chiang Mai will stay at Wat Ram Pueng
from November 26 to December 6, a total of 11 days.
men entering monkshood joined a parade from the Three Kings Monument.
Ministry sets up center for protection of human trafficking victims
The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security has
set up a center to counter human trafficking and to assist those who are
victims of the trade.
Wanlop Ploytaptim, permanent secretary at the ministry
said there are provincial and international sectors within the agency, with
the provincial areas headed by relevant governors and the international
areas led by the ambassadors of the countries concerned.
The center acts not just in the prevention and
suppression of human trafficking, but also accepts victims for treatment and
protection. Provinces seen to be especially at risk, especially in the North
and the Northeast, will be the first targets of the center.
The permanent secretary added that the ministry had also
ruled that relief can be offered to those at imminent risk. Subsidies can be
applied for at the Bureau of Woman and Child Trade Prevention, Department of
Social Development and Welfare or by calling 0 2659 6168 or 0 2569 6116. The
ministry has a 500 million baht budget to support such cases.
At a recent conference held in Chiang Mai, Mongkol
Danlaipitikul, head of Social Development and Security Office of Chiang Mai,
said that social and cultural changes are influencing the growing problem of
human trading. “This problem is increasingly worrying as the tendency is
towards more violence,” he said. “It is becoming a national problem that
urgently needs resolving and this can only be done through the participation
of all sectors.”
A place in the sun for Mae Hong Son families
Chiangmai Mail Reporter
Mae Hong Son is continuing to encourage households to
switch to using solar power and every family that has requested the
installation of solar cell systems will have been supplied by June next
Direk Konkleeb, Mae Hong Son governor, said the province
is pleased with the acceptance of the solar cell concept and that solar
energy helps improve the quality of life of residents and also supports
tourism developments. A good example of the latter is Huay Hee village in
tambon Huay Poo Ling, which is using the solar home system.
The governor said there are 15,790 households that have
requested the installation of a solar cell system. Of these, 8,338 families
have now had their systems installed, and installations for the remaining
7,452 families will be completed by June 2006. Anyone else interested in
having solar cells installed can apply at the nearest district office,
Tambon Administration Organization office, or Provincial Electricity
PM petitioned over forest water source
Three hundred members of the water source forest
conservation confederation presented a petition to the prime minister,
via Jareunsuk Choomsri, Lampang deputy governor, to protest against the
formal establishment of forest communities, saying it will be
advantageous for only some groups.
Prapat Ruankhamfoo, president of the confederation
said that the protesters wanted to ensure that the water sources in the
forests are open to all, as they are an important resource for
everyone. If areas of the forest are managed as a community, it
effectively means an invasion of land, and will endanger natural
resources. The confederation believes that no one should be able to
take special advantage of this national heritage.
The deputy governor promised to present this
petition to the prime minister as the confederation requested.
Transport companies in conflict turn to government
Gen Intharat Yodbangtuey, chairman of senate administration commissions.
A conflict between two transport companies servicing
southern routes may go to the Department of Land Transport for resolution,
following a recent meeting of the senate administration commission.
The conflict is between Rot Ruam Nakornping Transport and
Nakornping Transport Co Ltd. Rot Ruam Nakornping has petitioned the
government over the closure of certain transport routes.
Ausathai Rattanadilok na Phuket, head of Chiang Mai
provincial transport office said the matter will be taken up in committee at
the transport office. However, he would like all to understand that the
government did not cause this conflict; it was a problem between two private
sector organizations who were now asking the government to deal with it.
The companies used to be part of the same organization
but Rot Ruam Nakornping Transport sold its shares. There are now 29
minibuses belonging to Rot Ruam and 18 owned by Nakornping Transport.
Police on high alert for visitor security during high season
Maj. Gen. Jiruj Promobol, Chiang Mai Provincial Police commander.
Chiang Mai police are on special alert to protect the
security of tourists during the high season, and are issuing safety advice
for the visitors.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Jiruj Promobol, Chiang Mai Provincial
Police commander said that tourists could be classified loosely into two
groups, those who come for the city life and the shopping, and those who
prefer to go out into the countryside and see the natural attractions.
All police stations are on the alert at prime city areas
such as the Night Bazaar, and various amusement places and the hotels.
Uniformed and plain-clothes officers are being positioned in these places.
At the same time officers are on duty to protect tourists in the forest
areas, and the police are working in cooperation with the soldiers and
border patrol police.
The commander has advised visitors not to pitch their
tents in remote and deserted areas or in unauthorized areas of the national
parks, because an emergency could arise in which the rescue services would
not be immediately informed.
Tourists are also told to be aware of drug dealers who may wish to take
advantage of them during this busy season.
Lovers of Chiang Mai Association want info on projects
More dissenting voices are being raised about the Chiang
Mai Night Safari in the wake of the prime minister’s visit on November 16.
Chaiphan Praphaswat, director of the Community Rights
Institution and representative of the Khon Rak Muang Chiang Mai Association
(people who love Chiang Mai Association) said that although the prime
minister had said the safari will open soon, the association believes this
project is not complete and is not ready to open.
The association did not meet with the prime minister
during his visit, and believes he did not want to meet them. Further, the
association had petitioned the governor in the middle of October to ask for
clarification on all the Chiang Mai development projects because they were
afraid that the projects will affect the environment and quality of life in
There was, however, no reply from the governor. The
National Human Rights Committee, the Commission of Social Development and
Human Stability, and the Senate have now been approached.
Chaiphan said that Chiang Mai residents have a right to
information on the developments because the projects affect their lives.
Further, the Thai people in general have a right to know more, because it is
their tax money that is paying for the schemes.
Disaster prevention office warns people at risk from cold weather
At least 160,000 people in Chiang Mai are at risk from
the cold weather, according the Office of Disaster Prevention and
Head of the agency Pathrawan Sadudee said the winter this
year is likely to be colder than in recent years. Having surveyed every
district in Chiang Mai, the office found there were 160,000 villagers facing
cold weather in exposed or remote regions. The office has prepared around
10,000 blankets from its own resources and a further 20,000 have been
donated by the private sector, and these will be distributed.
Local administration organizations have been contacted to
provide a budget for essential aid materials to those in the highland
Monks and Lanna Dog Rescue condemn exotic wildlife idea
A dog dinner not on anyone’s menu
Nopniwat Krailerg and
and Lanna Dog Rescue members hold a discussion at Wat Pa Daeng, Chiang Mai.
The controversy over suggestions that a Chiang Mai Night
Safari restaurant serve exotic meats is rumbling on, despite protestations
that it was only an idea and has already been dropped.
Wat Pa Daeng and Lanna Dog Rescue have held joint
discussions over the idea of serving wildlife and dog meat. Monks of the
temple said it was against the teaching and rules of Buddhism while Lanna
Dog Rescue said they will remain opposed to the idea as it is unacceptable.
During the discussions a statement was made that Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra, as a son of Chiang Mai, should take care to protect the image of
the province and its people.
The discussions were held on November 22, with 10 monks
and 15 members of Lanna Dog Rescue at the meeting. Only one day before there
had been a protest in front of the Night Safari, and the Safari director had
said that the idea, which he claimed was only a suggestion, had already been
Phra Kru Thamatorn Teerapong, the abbot of Wat Pa Daeng,
said that this movement was not political in its nature. Buddhism takes the
view that humans should be kind to animals. It is considered by Buddhist
teaching that people should not eat elephants, horses, snakes, lions,
tigers, bears or humans.
Lanna Dog Rescue has released a statement saying the organization resists
the exotic menu idea in cooperation with other organizations and with Chiang
Mai residents who wish the province to be regarded as a friendly and gentle
Mae Ping flood prevention scheme to go to deputy PM
Governor Suwat Tantipat said that a solution for the flooding
problem is to be suggested to Deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptapanlop, but that
one issue needing to be urgently resolved was that of trespassing along the Mae
Ping River. He indicated that various sectors, including the Marine Department
had been asked to deal with it.
The governor said that officials had been negotiating with
the trespassers before resorting to legal action, but in some cases there had
been no other option than to present the cases to the court.
Director general of the Marine Department, Thawanrat Onsiri
said there have been two problem points in the Muang area where works to widen
the river by 120 meters have been attempted over the past two years. This is the
matter of private sector land opposite the former Public Water Office and at the
Provincial Police Bureau Region 5 headquarters. The river is only 60 meters wide
at these two points. The police headquarters had been requested to move two
housing blocks for government officials and part of the canteen, which would
clear 12 meters of land. However, there is more land that belongs to the public
and private sectors and consequently some redesign is needed for the widening,
which is expected to be completed within two months.
Scouts and Guides pay homage to King Rama VI
Jittawong and Kittiyaporn Kanjam (Student Trainee MFLU)
governor, Chiang Mai Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, and guests participated in the
The Chiang Mai Boy Scout Commission held a ceremony on
November 25 to pay homage to King Rama VI. The ceremony was held at Yuparaj
Wittayalai School with 2,500 Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and guests taking part.
Governor Suwat Tantipat, who is also director general of Chiang Mai Boy
Scouts, led the occasion. November 25 commemorates the passing away of King Rama
VI, regarded as the father of Scouting in Thailand.
Seminar discusses ways
of turning remote regions away from opium growing
A seminar that discussed ways of developing remote hill
country in various countries in the region away from the planting of opium and
adopting the cultivation of other crops was supported in its funding by the US
Consulate and staged at the offices of the Bureau of Highland Agriculture
Development in Muang, Chiang Mai, on November 24-25.
Co-organizer was the Office of the Permanent Secretary for
Agricultural and Cooperatives under the Ministry of Agricultural and
This seminar was designed to study the possibilities of crops
and markets for them, with the intention of guiding remote areas away from their
reliance on narcotics planting for their income. A manual has been written for
international cooperation on highland development, which was discussed during
There were 30 attendants from nine countries, namely Laos,
Vietnam, China, Nepal, Afghanistan, Columbia, Peru, Bhutan and Thailand.
Academics from the different countries recommended different market approaches,
while Thailand presented the Royal Projects as a study case.
Musical motorcycles the latest fad
Easy riders earn cash at fairs and parties
A new fad amongst Chiang Mai teenagers is to install
stereo equipment on their motorcycles so they can listen while they are
riding, not to mention adding an extra blast of sound for the benefit of
A young motorcycle owner told Chiangmai Mail that the
easiest of the bikes for installing systems are the Honda Wave, Yamaha Mio
and Nouvo, as the speakers can fit comfortably onto the frames. All you need
is an MP3 player with 12 volt loudspeakers and an adaptor. The equipment can
be found in any electronics shop and is not expensive.
The price range for converting your motorcycle into a
ghetto blaster on wheels is 5,000 baht upwards. Sound quality, experts
declare, is as good as that found in a car stereo, which is not much of a
comparison, say other ‘experts’.
Enterprising young owners have also found a way of making
some cash with their musical motorcycles by hiring themselves out at fairs
and other events where music is needed, for a fee of between 500 and 1,000
Most, however, add headphones so they can listen to the
music while they are riding, although none of the young motorcyclists
appears to know if what they are doing is illegal or not. They simply turn
the music off when they see a checkpoint or a police patrol.
And the lucky number is 9999 at 1.75 million baht
Nopniwat Krailerg and
license plate number tender is interesting for many residents.
Bidding for lucky-number license plates generated great
excitement in Chiang Mai with the highest amount being paid for number 9999, at
1.75 million baht.
Chiang Mai Provincial Transport Office organized the lucky
license plate number bidding for the second time this year, auctioning Kor Ror
license plates with 301 numbers. Kor Ror in the Thai language means
accomplishment and riches. Revenue from the tender will go towards the road
Bidding was held on November 26-27 at a grand ballroom of The
Empress Chiang Mai Hotel, and was headed by Piyaphan Champasut, director general
of the Land Transport Department, Governor Suwat Tantipat and Ausathai
Rattanadilok Na Phuket, head of Chiang Mai Provincial Transport Office.
Excitement ran high, with 1,400 persons attending and registration revenue
reaching 2,599,500 baht.
Highlight numbers were 1111, 2222, 3333, 4444, 5555, 6666,
7777, 8888, 9999, 8899, 9988 and 8989. Winning bidder for the coveted number
9999 was Uthid Suwitsakdanon or Hia Yai, Nim See Seng Leasing Company owner,
with 1,750,000 baht. This was a little lower than the previous year when the Kor
Yor 9999 bid reached 1.8 million baht.
The entire revenue raised during these two days was 18,429,000 baht. In 2004,
the Kor Yor license plate tender was arranged by Chiang Mai Provincial Transport
Office and raised 22,835,000 baht total revenue. Total bidding throughout the
country stood at 684 million baht according to information published in June of
Frosts and fogs descend as temperatures plunge
Tourists from Thailand and overseas are beginning to
arrive in large numbers to experience the cold winter weather of the
North and to see the mist-shrouded beauty of Doi Inthanon. Temperatures
are now sinking low enough to cause frost around the peak.
Doi Ang Khang in Fang district and Doi Inthanon
National Park in Chom Thong district are also popular destinations for
The Christmas and New Year festive period is expected
to bring in even greater numbers of visitors, and drivers are warned to
take it easy, particularly around the hill roads where the curves and
gradients need to be tackled very carefully. Drivers are also asked to
act responsibly by not driving after they have drunk alcohol.
Temperatures around the mountain tops touched 4
degrees Celsius on November 22, and more frost is expected. National
park officers advise any visitors seeking accommodation near the peaks
to make reservations before arriving, as the lodging houses are almost
full. Camping is available as an alternative although officials tell
visitors that the safety regulations need to be followed closely to
Worapoj Kunawiwatthanangkool, from the Northern
Meteorological Center, said that the cold weather is moving from China
across the North of Thailand and that temperatures are expected to
continue falling. Widespread fog is expected in some areas.
Crackdown to eliminate lewd materials and websites in December
Big brother is watching what you watch!
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
The Thaksin government is to continue its suppression of
pornography with a major drive throughout December that aims to eliminate
obscene materials, close down local websites and block websites from
Government spokesman Dr Surapong Seubwonglee said that
provincial governors and police commanders are being asked to actively
pursue those who deal in lewd materials and websites. At the same time,
internet and online game shops will be asked to implement rules that prevent
youngsters under the age of 18 from using the services for more than three
To counter the influence of subversive media,
universities and private development organizations are being encouraged to
present creative TV and radio programs supported by funds from the
government. Special TV stations for children and teenagers will be
established and programs broadcast that are beneficial for those special age
Watana Muangsook, Minister of Social Development and
Human Security, said that PM Thaksin Shinawatra was concerned about the
influence of pornographic media and has directed lewd Thai websites be
closed down and foreign websites blocked. The target is to eliminate all
obscene media within December, which is considered feasible, said Watana.
Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, which has the
responsibility for the eight Northern provinces, has placed its officers on
alert to check the internet and online game shops, and outlets selling
obscene materials. Many outlets in Muang Chiang Mai have been prosecuted
during October and November for dealing in lewd materials.
With the outlawing of drugs, prostitution, underage
drinking, Internet gaming, poverty and now lewd materials, the local force
is going to be busy.
Teenager unconscious after playing online games for 5 hours
Foundation workers went to help Suphalerg in Ozone Net after he suffered a
A young student suffered a convulsive seizure after he had
been playing online games for five hours non-stop in an internet cafe.
Suphalerg Jakrachai, 19, who lives at Pra Poklao Road in
Tambon Sriphum, was found slumped in the seat of computer No 1 at Ozone Net, in
front of the old Maha Nakorn Theater on Chotana Road. He was unconscious and
sweating profusely. Staff from the shop and rescue foundation officers took him
to the nearby Lanna Hospital.
Staff said that Suphalerg had been playing the online game
“War Craft” from 7.30 a.m. until he collapsed at 12.30 pm, a total of five
hours. It is believed he either suffers from a congenital disease or was taken
ill from a combination of fatigue and stress. Chiangmai Mail contacted a doctor
who suggested that hypoglycemia from lack of food, or epilepsy brought on by the
flickering screen could also be the reason.
Online game and internet shops are currently being targeted by both police
and the Chiang Mai administration, as it is believed they encourage lawlessness
and lead to loss of study time for school and college students. It appears they
might also cause convulsions!
50,000 baht reward for capture of gold thief
A reward of 50,000 baht is being offered for information
leading to the arrest of the audacious thief who jumped the counter of the
Krungthep Yaowarat gold shop in Lotus Khamthiang Market Branch. In the
robbery, he cut the wires on the surveillance camera, and escaped with
515,200 baht value of gold. The robbery was reported in last week’s Chiangmai
Pol Lt Gen Panupong Singhara na Ayuthaya, commissioner of
the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, said that police are still searching
for the thief, who is aged about 30. His image was recorded by the camera
but not clearly, as the camera was positioned to observe the staff at work.
A photograph of the robbery has, however, been widely circulated and police
are confident of an early arrest.
The commissioner confirmed that a reward of 50,000 baht
is being offered to anyone who supplies information that leads directly to
the capture of the robber.
Three suspected drug dealers shot dead in border gunfight
Investigations having revealed that drugs were being smuggled
across the border and being stored at a hill tribe village between Fang and Mae
Ai, Pha Muang Task Force headed by Col Anantasak Treelao, commander of the 2nd
Calvary Regiment began a search.
On November 15, the officers were patrolling an area near
Baan Pang Tong when they came upon a group of 10 persons carrying knapsacks and
walking through the forest. The patrol stopped the group with the intention of
searching them, but instead the officers were shot at and a 15-minute gun battle
Fearing an ambush, the patrol waited for a while after the
shooting had stopped, then they moved into the open. The dead bodies of three
suspected drugs dealers were found, but there were no drugs upon them. The
others had fled back across the border into Burma.
Karen schoolboys killed by bomb
Four Karen tribe schoolboys were killed and a fifth injured
when a bomb they picked up on their way to school exploded.
The boys were identified as Surapol Chatpaisan, 11, grade 5;
Tija Matimahachon, 12, grade 6; Pajawtoo Sawang-aramruang, 11, grade 5 and
Boonsong Nawpraison, 12, grade 6. A fifth boy, Phabiasook Ajoing, 12, grade 6,
was injured and was admitted to Omkoi Hospital. All the boys were from a Karen
tribe living at Tambon Nakian in Omkoi, Chiang Mai and studying at Baan
Chumchone Omkoi School.
The injured boy said that they lived in a Charuentham
Christian dormitory two kilometers from the school. On that day they walked to
school as usual, and on the way they found a bomb. Pajawtoo picked it up,
telling his friends he would take it to the teacher to find out who the owner
was. They thought the bomb was harmless but it exploded. Phabiasook survived
because he was standing a little apart from the other boys.
Officers from Omkoi Police Station along with Pol Lt Gen
Panupong Singhara na Ayuthaya, commissioner of the Provincial Police Bureau
Region 5 and Pol Maj Gen Jiruj Promobol, Chiang Mai Provincial Police commander,
are investigating the incident.
The police commissioner said it was necessary to find out
where this bomb came from. Omkoi Police Station officers have questioned
villagers who said that rangers sometimes practiced in this area and that the
bomb probably belonged to them.
Alcohol store burns after owners charged for illegal trading
reporter films the blazing Amnuay alcohol shop at the middle ring road behind
Double trouble for the owners of a liquor store at the old
San Kamphaeng intersection. Police had checked the shop and charged them because
they did not hold an alcohol distribution license. The owners then shut up shop
and went home, only to be advised later that the premises were on fire.
Fire engines and another set of police officers raced to the
Amnuay liquor shop on November 26 as the single-storey wayside building blazed.
Firemen took 20 minutes to control the flames but the entire stock and
furnishings, together worth about 50,000 baht were destroyed.
The owners, Amnuay Thiwang and his wife Renu, both 47, said they had run the
shop for four years. On the evening of the fire, an eye witness said three
youngsters riding motorcycles had been seen loitering around the shop before the
fire started. Arson is suspected and police are investigating the case.
German woman injured in ride-by bag snatch
officers take offenders to a press conference.
Police have arrested five men who snatched the bag from a
German woman and slashed and punched her when she tried to resist.
Police said that two of the thieves had been on a motorcycle
near Wat Pha Khao on Rachamangkala Road when they saw the woman walking along
the street. They tried to grab her bag but she resisted, so two other men cut at
her with a knife while another punched her head with a knuckle-duster. They had
then fled with the bag.
A passerby who saw the event called Muang Police Station and
officers rushed to the scene. The woman, identified as Stephanie Fasico, 29, a
German national working as a reporter for a publishing company in Germany, was
sent to Chiang Mai Rama I Hospital for treatment.
The offenders were soon discovered by Muang Police Station
officers, gathered in a soi beside Central Kad Suan Kaew Department Store. They
had Stephanie’s belongings with them, along with the two weapons used to
attack her, a knife and a knuckle-duster.
A press briefing was held at Chang Puek Police Station at
which the men were identified as Thawatchai, Chalermkiart, Phisit, Rainrit and
Pol Lt Gen Panupong Singhara na Ayuthaya, commissioner of the Provincial
Police Bureau Region 5, said at the press briefing that these people gave
Thailand, and Chiang Mai especially, a poor image. He said that police were on
constant vigil to protect visitors and that if any robbery or other distressful
event occurs, the nearest police station should be contacted immediately.