NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Fatal accident at known ‘black spot’ kills Welsh family

Northern Railway lays on extra train service for holiday period

Mardi Gras welcomes tourism season with a fanfare

Cigarette tax hike aims to stop young people smoking

Problems with buying unfinished condo units from the plan

KNPP denies shooting village headman

Buffalo smuggler’s story all bull, say customs officers

Countdown begins for Night Safari and free admission extended

Japanese C-G promotes training in the prevention of human trafficking

Selling from the cells, prison products now have their own logo

Villagers in Thai-Burma agricultural project area afraid they will lose their land

Burmese fisherman killed and Thai village headman shot

Now it’s the “Twilight Zoo” until February, 2006

Human rights in Burma subject of exhibition at CMU

Mekong quadrangle culture activity in Chiang Rai

Chiang Mai international conference center to be ready for 2008

IT moves into Chiang Mai’s court system

Murder mystery of friendly gift shop lady

Mission sets out to unravel the mystery of Anocha, believed abducted to North Korea 27 years ago

Attempts to lower the annual disastrous New Year road toll

Plans for security during New Year period

Fatal accident at known ‘black spot’ kills Welsh family

Nopniwat Krailerg

Rescue team removing the bodies from the car.

A former captain of a West Wales rugby club, his wife and his sister were all killed in a road accident on Chotana Chiang Mai-Fang Road at kilometer 21 of Baan Pa Tiw, Tambon San Pong, Mae Rim, Chiang Mai.

The driver, Angkhana Boontai, 25, a Lamphun resident was admitted to hospital in a serious condition, but the passengers Kenneth Ford, his wife Phaijit Ford (a Thai national), and his sister Violet Griffiths were all pronounced dead at the scene. Police and rescue workers had to use hydraulic spreaders and shears on the badly smashed vehicle, to extricate the bodies.

It appears that Angkha-na picked up the three tourists from a hotel in Chiang Mai to visit Mae Taman elephant camp in Mae Taeng district. On the way back in the afternoon, the vehicle ran off the road on a sharp curve, and crashed into a tree. Local residents all say that this corner has already claimed seven lives in the past 10 years.

Kenneth Ford, an ex-full back with Trimsaran Rugby Club was a popular figure in his native Wales, and his friends were deeply shocked to hear of the catastrophe.


Northern Railway lays on extra train service for holiday period

Saksit Meesubkwang

A meeting at Chiang Mai train station office

A special Bangkok-Chiang Mai train service has been laid on for the holiday period and railway staff and security services are ready to cope with the enormous volume of passenger traffic that is anticipated.

Director of the Northern Railway Office Anon Wongsuwan on December 13 called a meeting of the railway police to discuss extra security measures along with the increased support services that will be needed over New Year.

Anon said that with so many people traveling between the capital and the North an extra train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai will provide 600 seats at a ticket price of 1,300 baht. The train is a sleeper and food and drink will be provided on board. There are only a limited number of seats left on this train owing to heavy advance bookings but another bogy is being added at a ticket price of 900 baht per seat, as no food and drink can be provided in this car.

Railway police, in addition to taking care of the passengers, have also been briefed to be extra vigilant for signs of drug transporting. The officers will work in close cooperation with narco-tics control officials and Provincial Police BureauRegion 5.


Mardi Gras welcomes tourism season with a fanfare

Preeyanoot Jittawong

Suwat Tantipat, Chiang Mai governor and Boonlert Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai mayor presided over the opening ceremony of Chiang Mai Mardi Gras 2005.

Chiang Mai Mardi Gras opened the tourism peak
season on December 9 in fine style, the festivities con-tinuing for four days until December 12.

Governor Suwat Tantipat presided over the official opening, joined by mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn. There was a fancy dress parade on the evening of the first day, with Lanna art and culture as the theme. The parade started from the Tourism Authority of Thailand office, crossing Nawa-rat Bridge to Thapae and Chang Klan roads and ending at Wat Sri Don Chai.

Star of Mardi Gras 2005 competitors attended the fancy parade.

Street theater and musical performances continued throughout the event, with the crowning of the Star of Mardi Gras 2005 being the occasion everyone was waiting for.


Cigarette tax hike aims to stop young people smoking

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

In a move to try and stop people smoking, the Revenue Department has increased the tax on cigarettes by 4 percent, which means that a packet of cigarettes will now be between 3 and 8 baht more expensive, depending on the brand.

Thanong Bidaya, Minister of Finance, said that the 75 percent tax on cigarettes will be increased to 79 percent, which will increase government revenue while at the same time cutting the number of smokers.

Revenue Department director Utid Tamwatin said that income will increase by 3 billion baht a year, taking the revenue from tobacco up in total to 38 billion baht during 2006, but that the essential goal is not increasing income.

“Increasing the tax on cigarettes was done to prevent young people smoking and to discourage new smokers,” said Utid.

Smokers whose chosen brand is Krong Thip paid 13.52 baht tax on each pack before the increase, and 16.95 baht after, the retail price increasing from 35 baht to 40 baht. Marlboro’s former tax was 24.44 and is now 30.65 baht, with the retail price increasing from 55 to 63 baht, while L&M Red and Green was formerly taxed at 18.52 baht and is now 23.23 baht, the selling price having gone up from 39 baht to 45 baht.

Thailand Tobacco Monopoly predicts that 2006 sales volume will decrease by between 7 to 10 percent while the Revenue Department expects the volume to decrease by 10 to 12 percent. Considering that the government owns the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly, it seems as if what they were about to lose on the swings, they gained on the roundabouts!


Problems with buying unfinished condo units from the plan

Preeyanoot Jittawong and Kittiyaporn Kanjam

Ramesh N Ministry and the condo contract.

A controversy that arose over the Twin Peaks condominium project on Chang Klan Road highlights the gray area that exists in the purchase of uncompleted apartment units and the concern this can cause to foreign buyers.

On December 13, Ramesh N Ministry informed Chiang mai Mail that he had had his doubts about the project after agreeing to purchase three units for almost 5 million baht in April this year. He had paid a deposit of 10,000 baht to the developers, and then later he was asked for a further payment.

Ministry had taken his concerns to an attorney who had followed up with Chiang Mai municipality and discovered that the condominium project did not yet have an occupation permit even though it was already being advertised to potential buyers. Ministry wondered if the project itself was legal, and he contacted the developers to ask for his money back. The developers advised him to sue them.

Six months passed before Ramesh Ministry requested help from the Consumer Protection Agency at the Department of Lands. Following this, Twin Peaks sent representatives to negotiate with the purchaser and later informed reporters and officers that the building needed to be finished completely before asking for an occupation permit from the authorities, who would then send an inspector to check the premises before issuing the document.

Twin Peaks confirmed the condo was legal but said that construction was only 80 percent completed, meaning an authorization document could not be requested. The permit will be applied for
in April.

Finally, both sides compromised and the condo returned 10,000 baht to Ramesh N Ministry. The Twin Peaks representative said that deposit money would be returned to anybody else under similar circumstances, and apologized for the delay.

Complaints or queries of this nature can be referred to the Consumer Protection Agency Chiang Mai or by calling 0 5311 2708-9.


KNPP denies shooting village headman

Chiangmai Mail Reporter

Reports that troops from the Karen Kaya in Burma had opened fire on a boat, killing one Burmese and wounding a Thai village headman are being denied by the group via SHAN press agency.

On December 13, a Thai newspaper published the story that troops shot at a Thai village headman and his three Burmese companions while they were fishing on the Pai River. The report said one Burmese was killed and Suthad Photaboot, Baan Nam Piang Din village headman, was shot in the hip.

Thai security officers said it was an act of the Karen Kaya or KNPP, a military group against the Burmese government. However, Re Man Too, secretary general of the KNPP, told the press agency by phone on December 15 that KNPP was not responsible. His troops were not even in that area at the time, as it is under the responsibility of the Karenni National People’s Liberation Front, or KNPLF. This group has already surrendered to Burmese authority. Additonally, some zones in that area were patrolled by the Burmese army.

“Our troops did not move into that area owing to the fact there were many KNPLF and Burmese soldiers patrolling there. Villagers and the people of the area are very well aware of this,” he said.


Buffalo smuggler’s story all bull, say customs officers

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

A man who bought five buffaloes which he hoped to sell at a handsome profit, saying he did not know they were smuggled in from Burma, was not believed by customs officers.

A six-wheel truck driven by Umporn Kanthong, a resident of Phrao district, was stopped at a checkpoint. Inside were the five buffaloes. Surasak Promtip, 42, a Pang Mapha resident who was riding in the truck said he was the owner of the buffaloes but when he was asked for documentation he did not have it. He was arrested and charged with smuggling livestock.

Surasak confessed he purchased the five buffaloes from villagers at Baan Napupon in Pang Mapha at a price of 16,000 baht each. He did not know they were imported illegally. He thought he would sell them in Chiang Mai at a profit and hired driver Umporn to transport them.

Buncha Kaewdaeng, head of Mae Hong Son customhouse, Kittipong Udomset, head of Mae Hong Son quarantine station, and Lt Anuwat Muenmanom, commander of Ranger 3604 on duty at Baan Mai Sang Nam in Pang Mapha, jointly seized the five buffaloes that were hitching the free ride into Thailand. The buffaloes are currently not admitting to anything.


Countdown begins for Night Safari and free admission extended

Another 100 mio baht found for Ferris wheel and fountain!

Nopniwat Krailerg

Some parts of Chiang Mai Night Safari already completed.

Chiang Mai Night Safari is 100 percent finished except for the addition of two newly announced attractions, namely a spectacular fountain and Thailand’s highest Ferris wheel, and the countdown will begin on the night of December 31 ready for the opening on New Year’s Day.

Visitors will be able to enjoy free access for the entire month, with entrance fees being waived until February 1.

Safari director Plodprasope Surasawadee said that a German company is installing the fountain under a budget of 48 million baht, and the 50 meter high Ferris wheel is being imported from Japan at a cost of 50 million baht.

On the countdown night there will be many activities such as bicycle riding for health, school music band performances, an animal voice and movement impressions competition, questionnaires, a fancy dress contest in which participants dress as animals, and a grand fireworks display. Breakfast will be presented to monks the following morning.

The initial period during which people could visit the Night Safari free ended on December 15 but this offer will now be extended to January 31 as a New Year’s gift, said Plodprasope. Beginning from February 1, Thais will be charged 250 baht and foreigners 500 baht, so forget about munificence in February. Tour agents who take tourists to visit the Safari will also be charged because they have already charged their clients.

Almost 600,000 people visited the Night Safari during the free admission period, and if they had been charged, the Safari would have earned 180 million baht of income. However, remember that no free offer s ever undersubscribed.


Japanese C-G promotes training in the prevention of human trafficking

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

Katsushiro Shinohara, Japanese C-G in Chiang Mai, Adul Pholpra-In, Phayao Deputy Governor; and Preecha Watanakunakorn, Bangkok YMCA Foundation president, at the opening ceremony.

On December 9, 2005, the opening ceremony of large assembly hall to be used for training in the prevention of human trafficking and support for its victims in Phayao province, was presided over by Katsushiro Shinohara, Japanese Consul-General in Chiang Mai, Adul Pholpra-In, Phayao Deputy Go-vernor; and Preecha Watanakuna-korn, Bangkok YMCA Foundation president.

Katsushiro Shinohara, (right) and Adul Pholpra-In, Phayao Deputy Governor (left) jointly presided over the opening ceremony.

The Phayao center in Dok Kham Tai district was constructed by the Bangkok YMCA foundation with 3.5 million baht budget from the Japanese government under the GGP (Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security projects Scheme). Because there are many human trafficking victims in Phayao province plus resultant women and child prostitution, the new large scale assembly hall will be able to accommodate 6,000 victims of human trafficking per year for rehabilitation and retraining. It is expected the introduc-tion of the new hall will positively contribute to the prevention of human trafficking in northern Thailand, and not only in Phayao province.

There was also a hand over ceremony of a used fire engine to Dok Kham Tai sub-district municipality which was received by Adul Chai-wut, Mayor of Dok Kham Tai sub-district municipality. The used fire engine was donated by Chikuma City, Japan according to the request of Dok Kham Tai sub-district municipality because they had an insufficient number of fire engines. The fire engine was transported from Japan to Dok Kham Tai directly and the Japanese government paid the 600,000 baht bill for transportation.


Selling from the cells, prison products now have their own logo

Kittiyaporn Kanjam and Pinutda Suwanchaisri (student trainees MFLU)

Natthee Jitsawang, director general of Department of Correction presided over the opening ceremony of the 19th Prison Products Exhibition.

An exhibition displaying products made by the inmates of Chiang Mai Provincial Central Prison was held between December 16 and 26 at Khamthiang Market.

Natthee Jitsawang, director general of the department of correction presided over the opening ceremony, with Chuchat Chailert, commissioner of Chiang Mai Provincial Central Court, Kritsadaporn Siampakdi, Chiang Mai deputy governor, and Ananchai Nimmanhae-minda, chairman of the Khamthiang Market committee also present.

The exhibition catered for the growing interest in prison-made products, for which there is now a new brand and logo. It was also part of the process of developing the standard of the products to be able to compete with the market. Most importantly, however, making these goods allows prisoners to have an occupation when they return to society and for them to begin a new life and have some money to support themselves.

There were 22 prisons in the North displaying their products. Most of these are furniture and wooden handicrafts, and hand-made cotton items. The next venue for the exhibition is Bangkok, where almost 100 penitentiaries will be staging a major exhibition from January 12-22.

Interested residents visit the exhibition.


Villagers in Thai-Burma agricultural project area afraid they will lose their land

Chiangmai Mail Reporter

Villagers on the Burmese side of the border opposite Chiang Rai province are afraid that a new agricultural cooperation project between the Thai and Burmese governments will displace them from their land.

SHAN (Shan Herald Agency for News) press agency reported on December 15 that Thailand and Burma had signed an agreement that would in theory bring income for Burmese laborers, reduce the number of alien laborers who are currently in Thailand, and allow the Thais to import the produce at beneficial rates.

The large-scale agricultural project would use land from Tachilek district to Ranong in Burma, totaling 77 million rai. The Thai government will fund the project while the Burmese military government will supply the land and labor.

Villagers fear however that the lands they currently cultivate will be confiscated by the Burmese military, which they say has happened
before.

Villagers in Tachilek district, opposite Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai province, say that their farmed land has been taken away by the military authorities on several occasions, with no compensation. Although they were promised work the authorities had moved in ethnic Wa laborers instead.

They now say that the project will take away their land, lose them their livelihood, and still leave the matter of illegal labor in Thailand unresolved.


Burmese fisherman killed and Thai village headman shot

Rescued by Burmese troops

Saksit Meesubkwang

A village headman fishing on the Pai River was shot and wounded by what is believed to be a group of Karen Kaya on the Burmese side of the river.

Muang Mae Hong Son Police Station reported that the incident happened on December 13. The headman was identified as Suthad Photaboot, 47, of Baan Piang Din. He was admitted to Sri Sangwan Hospital with a bullet wound to his right hip.

Suthad told investigators that he, along with three Burmese men had gone fishing on the Burmese side of the river. When their boat arrived at Baan Sop Eua, four kilometers from Baan Nam Ping Din, people who he believed to be Karen Kaya shot at the boat. One of his Burmese companions was killed.

Burmese soldiers shot back at the offenders who retreated, whereupon the Burmese rescued Suthad and the two surviving Burmese. The troops told him that the Karen Kaya were fomenting trouble because they are dissatisfied with the Red Star army which controls that region.


Now it’s the “Twilight Zoo” until February, 2006

Nopniwat Krailerg

Thanaphat Pongpamorn Chiang Mai Zoo director said that in this high season period, Chiang Mai Zoo will open the “Twilight Zoo” which is the second time of the activity, after was very successful in 2004. The activity is to encourage the tourists to visit and see the twilight atmosphere of Chiang Mai Zoo including a chance to see many animals which hunt at those times, including tigers, wolf, hyenas, gorals, Asiatic Black bears, binturong, and wild boars.

In the Twilight Zoo, Chiang Mai zoo will have electric
trolley cars servicing tourists to see night atmosphere of the 100 rai zoo. During the trip guides will give details and information to tourists. The Twilight Zoo opened on December 3, 2005 and will run until February,
2006 which is the end of winter.

Thanaphat also said that this is extending the time for visiting pandas, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. because Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui like cold weather, so extending the time will not affect their health.

Although Chiang Mai has opened the Night Safari or night zoo already, Chiang Mai zoo believes that there will still be many tourists who love seeing animals as a family because they can explain the night life of animals to their children. The Chiang Mai zoo will use the pandas as the selling point since they are the stars of the zoo already.

Currently there are 3000-4000 tourists each day visiting the Chiang Mai
zoo during daylight hours and 100 tourists at night.


Human rights in Burma subject of exhibition at CMU

Saksit Meesubkwang

An exhibition on human rights in Burma, or the lack of them, was the subject of an exhibition at Chiang Mai University Art Museum
on December 12, held in recognition of Human Rights
Day and organized in
conjunction with the Salween team and alliance group.

A large gathering of Thai and Burmese artists from the fields of literature, music and fine arts gathered at the exhibition and there were displays of Thai dancing from Wiang Hang district and a performance of Aung San Suu Kyi’s biographical story by Chulalongkorn University students.

In the exhibition room were images of Aung San Suu Kyi and a display of the culture of each of the ethnic groups in Burma.


Mekong quadrangle culture activity in Chiang Rai

Chiangmai Mail Reporter

Chiang Rai province, in association with Lanna provinces, organized a cultural activity of four Mekong River basin countries to promote our own Lanna culture and produce a stage for exchanging cultures among neighboring countries. An attendance of more than 100,000 people is predicted, and with OTOP products being sold, hopes are high that this will bring in many millions of baht through a boost to the tourism business.

Worakiart Somsoi, Chiang Rai governor disclosed that Chiang Rai will jointly hold the cultural activity with eight Lanna provinces between December 21-25, 2005 at the old Chiang Rai airport.

Hopefully, it will be able strengthen Lanna culture through its cultural heritage that will be conserved plus it will encourage neighboring countries in a good future association in relation to investment, tourism and trade.


Chiang Mai international conference center to be ready for 2008

Nopniwat Krailerg

Junnapong Saranak; Tourism Authority of Thailand Northern office region 1 Director said that cabinet permission has been received in October this year, with a 1.9 billion baht budget, to build the international conference center and Northern SME center office close to the Chiang Mai 700 years Anniversary Stadium in the same area of Northern Agricultural product market project.

Appointment of a building contractor is expected to be announced soon and it is estimated that construction of the center will be finished by November 2007.

Junnapong said that they will be ready to hold international conferences in 2008, and marketing the con-
cept overseas would be no problem. Hopefully this ‘mini’ project will not suffer from the same problems as the mega projects have of late.


IT moves into Chiang Mai’s court system

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai’s courts are to begin accepting evidence and court documentation through the electronic media, following a Decem-ber 16 ruling by Jakrit Anansuchatkul, judge commissioner of Court Region 5.

The ruling was supported by TT&T (Public) Co., Ltd. which supplies the video technology that will be used to speed up court procedures. Pol Lt Gen Panupong Singhara na Ayuthaya, commissioner of Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, said the program will be first applied in the three police stations at Hot, San Pa Tong and Chiang Dao.

Provincial court judge Ubonrat Leepatanakit said that information technology could support efficiency and convenient service, and also save on expenses. Asking for court documentation through information technology will initially be used for prison cases only and will be later used for other cases.

Prakit Wangpat, director of Northern TT&T (Public) Co Ltd said that the equipment is able to send image and voice signals together at the same time.


Murder mystery of friendly gift shop lady

Saksit Meesubkwang

Forensic police search the boyfriend’s vehicle.

The owner of a gift shop located in front of Chiang Mai University, known to everyone as a lively and friendly lady, has been found murdered in bizarre circumstances.

Officers from Phuping Police Station along with forensic specialists and a doctor from Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital were called out to the scene of the crime on December 13. Next to the PTT gas station near CMU on Chiang Mai Irrigation Road they found the body of a woman wearing a purple sweater and jeans. She had been blindfolded and was tied to a tree with a car seatbelt. The woman had been struck on the head with a solid object and the officers estimated she had been dead for four or five hours.

Police identified her as Benjaporn Pewpong, 27, a resident of Chotana Road at Tambon Chang Puek in Muang, Chiang Mai. Five hundred meters away from the body was a bronze Mira that belonged to the dead woman, and investigations revealed that the seatbelt used to bind her had been taken from the vehicle.

Friends told investigators that Benjaporn, also known as Ann, was a lively person and that she owned a gift shop in front of CMU. She drove her car home every day after 10 p.m. and she had no argument with anyone.

Wuthichai Jaisamak, 29, the boyfriend of the dead woman said they had dated for several years and the parents of both knew about their relationship. Wuthichai’s car was searched and a black sweater, trousers and a cutter removed from the vehicle for investigation.


Mission sets out to unravel the mystery of Anocha, believed abducted to North Korea 27 years ago

Preeyanoot Jittawong

Sukham Panjoi (left) and Banjong Panjoi (right) were comparing Anocha’s picture with Jenkins’ book that was the same person.

A quest to find out exactly what happened to a Chiang Mai woman who was reportedly kidnapped from Macau and taken to North Korea 27 years ago is about to begin, with her family and friends fueled by hope from a book written by a US Army deserter who says he knows her well.

On December 16, Pornchai Atthapreeyangkul, MP, Boonthong Phoocharoen, president of Payap University, and Surachai Jongrak, San Kamphaeng district chief officer gave a briefing on the next move that they hope will uncover the mystery that has surrounded the disappearance of Anocha Panjoi.

Attending the briefing were Sukham Panjoi and Banjong Panjoi, Anocha’s brother and nephew.

Anocha disappeared in 1978 and nothing has been heard from her for 27 years. Tomoharu Ebihara, Payap University teacher, coordinator and chief of the Association for the Rescue of North Korean Abductees, said that after surveying all of the evidence he believed Anocha was taken to North Korea. He cited parts of “Ko Ku Ha Ku” (To Tell The Truth) written by Charles Robert Jenkins, an American soldier who deserted from the army and lived in North Korea for 40 years, marrying a Japanese woman who was abducted and brought into the country.

Jenkins wrote the book when the Japanese government helped him and his family come to his wife’s home in Japan. Jenkins writes that Anocha knows his family intimately, and says that she was kidnapped when she was living in Macau. The book includes pictures of a woman resembling Anocha. Tomohara believes she is alive because the book was published only on October 15, but North Korea denies the kidnapping.

As a result of all this, three groups of volunteers, namely the Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea (AFVKN), National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea (NARKN), and the Parliamentarian League for Early Repatriation of Japanese Citizens Kidnapped by North Korea have invited the two members of Anocha’s family, along with Surachai and Tomoharu, to travel to Japan.

There they will visit the families of kidnap victims and also meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and other senior Japanese ministers. A number of reporters will cover this trip.

Anocha’s brother and nephew said that although there is little hope of visiting Anocha, they hope she is still alive. If she cannot come back to Thailand they hope that she will be able to contact them, because everyone is waiting to hear from her.


Attempts to lower the annual disastrous New Year road toll

Nopniwat Krailerg

Pathrawan Sadudee, head of Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Chiang Mai, disclosed that the office will endeavor to keep accidental deaths below 17 and injuries below 300.

Officers will crack down on speeding and drunk driving on five main routes entering Chiang Mai. 100 checkpoints along the city area, and outside the city, will be set up. Small shops selling alcohol to drivers will be monitored, though it was not enumerated how this was to be achieved.

Almost 200 police officers, hospital and administrative sectors have been asked to rapidly report accidents, numbers of deaths and injuries by online network for the office to analyze each day and to adjust their
accident reduction strategies.

Last year, during the seven days of the New Year period, there were 460 accidents in Chiang Mai resulting in 17 deaths and 516 injuries. After analyzing, it was found that 71 percent of injuries were because riders did not wear helmets and 53 percent were drunk. Most accident occurred with motorcycles on highway (44 percent) and TAO and municipality area routes (35 percent).

Unfortunately, we have run this particular item for the past three years, so it will be doubtful if there will be much change. Motorcyclists are still not wearing helmets, the traffic rules are not being consistently enforced and alcohol affected behavior is endemic.


Plans for security during New Year period

Nopniwat Krailerg

Plans for provincial security have been revealed by Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner of Provincial Police Bureau Region 5. These include an increased police presence, enforcement of traffic regulations, and a warning to tourists not to be ostentatious with their wealth.

Before the New Year, 152 station officers will try to eliminate all kinds of crime and police will work jointly with residents seeking
information and infor-mation technology will be applied.

During the New Year, police will enforce regulations seriously especially regarding traffic including motorcycle helmets, safety belts and drunk drivers. Checkpoints will be set up to monitor the situation.

The commissioner said that now there are many tourists visiting the north especially in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Drug dealers may join as tourists therefore police have kept a close eye on them. He warned tourists not carry wealthy jewelry or much money while traveling. Any problem could be relayed to telephone 191 at all time and police will be at the scene in 15 minutes.