New Year Festival results in 12 fatalities
Chiang Mai’s road toll over the New Year Festival was
the second highest in Thailand, with 12 deaths, one less than Nakhon
Ratchasima. The Chiang Mai Governor immediately claimed that traffic rules
were strictly adhered to.
in Chiang Mai during the New Year Festival.
The Road Traffic Accident Prevention and Mitigation
Operation Center of Chiang Mai has summarized the deaths and injuries, as a
result from traffic-related accidents, between December 29, 2005, to
midnight of January 1, 2006, as following: 12 deaths, of which 11 are male
and 1 female; 111 injured, of which 87 are male and 24 female. There were 97
accidents, mostly occurring in the outer area, caused by drunk driving and
deaths and injuries came from the fact that many were not wearing helmets.
Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat had tightened the
rules and told the district administration to not organize New Year
celebrating fairs in areas nearby main roads, as most of the accidents used
to happen on main roads, such as in Fang district where five people died
when a pick-up truck ran into the crowd.
On the city’s main routes, check points looked for drunk drivers, to
ensure the safety for tourists who travel to Chiang Mai.
Security main issue during Thai-Burma border conference
Border issues, particularly the matter of security
during the pending visit of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit this month, were
very much to the fore during the Thai-Burmese Conference (TBC) which was
held at Tambon Mae Sai municipality office in Chiang Rai on December 29.
The meeting, which took place only 2 kilometers away
from the border, was headed by Col Somsak Nilbunjerd-kul, president of
Thai TBC and commissioner of the 3rd Calvary Regiment of Pha Muang Task
Force. Also participating were Chalermwut Rakkhatiwong, Mae Sai district
chief officer’s assistant, Pol Col Jetsada Yaisoon, superintendent of
Immigration and Choochai Udompode, head of Mae Sai Customhouse. Almost 20
Burmese officials, headed by Lt Col Teng Tey, commissioner of Burmese
special task force 359 and president of the Burmese TBC, joined the
Thailand asked Burma to be particularly vigilant
regarding the border areas at Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai during January,
when Her Majesty Queen Sirikit will visit the border area.
Thai officials also brought up the subject of a
building being constructed on the Burmese side near the second bridge at
Baan Pak Hee,
in Mae Sai. Thailand has helped in the construction process and later the
Burmese customhouse will be responsible for it. Sub Lt Prapat Limpraphan,
assistant of the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs said the ministry would
like both countries to jointly work at the Thai-Burmese border as soon as
possible. Thailand recommends opening the second bridge on January 21, a
recommendation that Burma accepted.
The Burmese side was
requested not to let an event like the one that took place on November 25
happen again. The Burmese army had bulldozed a route through a kilometer
of land at Doi Lang in Mae Ai, Chiang Mai. Owing to that action, there is
now disagreement as to which side the land belongs. If any movement is
needed, the Burmese should inform Thailand before taking any action.
The Burmese said that Thailand had invaded its side by
setting up 32 bases on an area there. Thailand replied that the area in
Doi Lang had already been clarified several times and confirmed those
bases were on Thai soil. The Thais added that at a conference held
between September 5-7, 2001, organized in Chonburi, both sides agreed to
maintain forces at that area, and if either side wanted to withdraw their
forces it had to be done by informing the commissioners of both sides.
Each country was able to patrol but it had to be only in its own area to
Burma claimed that Thai soldiers shot four residents
on November 16 in an area north of Fang, Chiang Mai. On December 7, SURA
troops attacked the Burmese army at Baan Nam Pong, injuring 11 officers
who had to be sent to Hin Tak Hospital in Mae Fa Luang, Chiang Rai. Four
of them had subsequently died. The Burmese believed Thailand supported
the troop carrying out the assault, but the Thais denied any involvement
in either of the two cases.
Children who do not hold Thai nationality can carry on studying
Chiangmai Mail Reporter
Mae Hong Son Area 1 Education Office has declared that
children who do not hold Thai nationality can study until they graduate at
Director of the office Koson Prakham said that the
Ministry of Education allows the children to study from elementary level to
university. There are 3,429 children in Mae Hong Son who do not have Thai
nationality and they are able to study the same in general as Thai children.
The Children and Community Development Network Center in
Sop Moei said it will mark National Children’s Day on January 6-8.
Chil-dren’s problems will be discussed and there will be performances by
hill tribe singers.
Burma’s ethnic groups draft their own constitution
Ethnic groups in Burma have drafted their own
constitution to protect the rights of the minorities but as the Burmese
government is currently drafting a new constitution of its own there are
doubts from many quarters that the ethnic document will be respected.
A reliable source from the border reported on December 22
that in the beginning of December many of Burma’s ethnic groups had
cooperated in drafting a new constitution based on the opinions and needs of
each side, giving equal rights to the ethnic groups within the country.
Written by the FCDCC (Federal Constitution Draft
Coordinating Committee), an organization under the control of the ENC
(Ethnic National Council), the draft has totally 28 pages, 14 chapters, and
189 sections. It is the first constitution drafted by the ENC and has no
relation to the constitution currently being drafted by the Burmese national
The ethnic draft is based on eight principles agreed at a
conference during the previous January, the most contentious of them, as far
as the authorities are concerned, likely to be that sovereignty must come
from the citizens, that every race has equal rights, and that the political
system must be democratic.
The draft also states that no serving military officer
can participate in a political party and cannot apply for a political
position. Further, the army and the National Intelligence Agency must come
under civilian control.
The FCDCC will meet again this month to consider the
Chiang Mai police installs surveillance cameras on
5 main roads to make trust for foreign tourists
Chiang Mai police installs surveillance cameras to
reassure tourists in New Year occasion reducing crime and resolving
traffic jam problem also. The installation performed at 5 main roads
which have congested foreign tourists.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Jiruj Promobol, Commander of Chiang
Mai Provincial Police, said that now Chiang Mai Provincial Police
rushing installing surveillance cameras along the roads in Chiang Mai
municipality area and bus terminal which will install at 5 important
point of Chiang Mai first. After that the police will expand
installation to cover over the province. Because installing
surveillance camera is permanent to help making trust to tourists who
visit Chiang Mai. It is a secure measure that Chiang Mai police will do
for tourists because in preceding period there were many criminal
problems happened in the area often with tourists especially with
foreigners. It damaged the images of Thailand and affected to tourism
The first points that will be installed are the main
roads that have congested tourists such as Loy Kroh road, Ratchadamnern
Moon Muang Road, and Ratchawithee Road which police could watch over
and take care of tourists and citizen better and more effective.
Further more police could rush to the scene to stop the crime or follow
the offender easily. It will help reduce the criminal problem and
traffic jam problem also.
Minister meets villagers displaced by Mae Maw power project
Chiangmai Mail Reporter
Yongyut Tiyapairat, Minister of Natural Resources
and Environment, has visited Lampang to check the progress of the relocation
of four villages affected by the Mae Maw power plant.
Residents are being moved to a new locality according to
a cabinet resolution in 2004, in which the government will pay for the costs
of removal and provision of new housing, but will not pay any compensation.
The removal has not yet been carried out because there is a problem with
land allocation. The budget for building the houses and public utilities
under the National Housing Authority is projected at more than 600 million
Yongyut said that from meeting and talking with the
villagers, almost all of them agree with the solution. There will be 493
immigrant families, and the costs are now being worked out. The villagers
will build the houses themselves within the agreed budget, or will be
allowed to hire others to do so. Regarding land allocation, there will be a
drawing of lots for each village and each house that should satisfy
The minister said that he will order his staff to
coordinate with the province and the Ministry of Interior about public
utilities building, electric systems, roads, and water supply.
Malaysia’s Ministry of Wildlife visits Mae Sa Elephant Camp
Elephant specialists from Malaysia visited Mae Sa
Elephant camp in Mae Rim district, Chiangmai, where the knowledge and
expertise of the keepers and the mahouts of Mae Sa make it an ideal school
to learn how to manage elephants in captivity.
The officials from Luala Kanda Wildlife Conservation
Centre in Pahang, Malaysia plan to train 1,400 wild elephants in an effort
to attract tourists. Salman Bin Saman, Asst. Director of the National and
Peninsular Park, Malaysia, said that 600 sq. km. had been set aside for the
conservation of many forms of wildlife, of which elephants would be the
Anchalee Kalmapijit, Director of Mae Sa Elephant Camp,
said that many foreign zoos had visited the camp to study selective breeding
methods and artificial insemination (AI) techniques, in which his staff had
unrivalled expertise. This breeding program would help to increase the
elephant population in Thailand which had fallen to approximately 2,000
There are currently 12 female elephants that have bred successfully using
AI. The most recent arrival was born to Pang Noi 2, weighing in at a
whopping 90 KG, and 95 cm tall. Both mother and calf are doing well.
Another 100 minibuses planned for loss-making mass transit system
Chiang Mai Municipality will this year spend 150 million
baht buying another 100 minibuses for its loss-making public transport
system, in the belief that with a better service the number of passengers
could rise by 50 percent.
Mayor Boonlert Buranu-pakorn said that minibuses started
running along five routes from October 31, but the service has been losing
money because of a lack of passengers. With only 26 minibuses in service, he
said, the system is unable to provide a convenient means oftransportation.
Passengers have to wait more than 15 minutes for a bus, which is far too
long, and there are not enough routes. Consequently, residents who have cars
are reluctant to switch to the public service.
Route adjustments are planned along with the proposal to
buy another 100 minibuses, an investment that will add up to about 150
Mega projects benefit only a small number of rich people, academic says
Mega projects planned at enormous expense for Chiang Mai
do little to help the local people and will only bring them unskilled work,
instead of enhancing the quality of their lives, a respected academic told a
Wildlife Fund Thailand in cooperation with the Chiang Mai
Lovers Association held the seminar on December 26, under the theme “Night
Safari and Chiang Mai Development” at the Thong Kwow Room in Chiang Mai
seminar topic “Night Safari and Chiang Mai Development” was interested
from 500 people in all type of career at Chiang Mai University
Five hundred people including academicians, writers,
students and local residents took part in the seminar.
Nithi Iawsriwong, a Midnight University lecturer, gave a
talk in which he said that the big recognized development projects in Chiang
Mai, totaling 14 that are known of and with several other unidentified
projects mooted, are considered important and will require huge investment,
but that the people of Chiang Mai have not even been consulted about them.
Even the Senate or the House of Representatives rarely
know anything about the projects until they are announced as a commitment,
for the decisions are made within the administration. Interest has now been
aroused as to how this situation can have arisen, and subcommittees are
asking for information.
The projects are designed to increase tourism but the
government has forgotten to consider that quality of life of the local
inhabitants is also important. Chiang Mai residents can see investments of
tens of millions of baht going into these mega projects, but they are not
going to bring any benefits to the local people beyond the provision of
unskilled jobs. The benefits instead will be in the form of profits for a
small number of business people.
“Tourism businesses can make a profit easily because
the government invests in tourism promotion. Projects such as the Night
Safari use tax revenues but they benefit only a small group, making a profit
only for rich people,” Nithi said.
Some of the projects also use up local natural resources, said Nithi,
such as drawing water from artesian wells and thereby affecting the ground
water level, which has repercussions on local agriculture.
Kenya nulls contract to supply 175 wild animals to Night Safari
Inappropriate conditions for care of wildlife cited for decision
Kenya has vetoed a contract to supply animals to Chiang
Mai Night Safari, following pressure from its own citizens and from
non-governmental organizations that conditions at the Safari are
inappropriate for African wild animals.
display zones in Chiang Mai Night Safari.
The high court of Nairobi ruled that the contract between
Thailand and Kenya was just for wildlife research and development, and not
for transferring the animals to Thailand, and that it was therefore null.
The decision followed an embargo on the transfer of 175 animals that had
initially been intended as a New Year gift to the Night Safari.
Yongyut Tiyapairat, Minister of Natural Resources and
Environment, said that the Thai government would not intrude upon Kenya’s
domestic affairs and that what happened next was a matter for the Kenyan
government to decide.
Supoj Methapiwat, director of the animal management
office, said that the decision not to send the animals to Chiang Mai would
not greatly affect the Night Safari. Of the species anticipated from Kenya,
25 can be obtained from elsewhere as they include animals such as the
giraffe and hippopotamus. The agreement between the two countries was for
more animals to add to the attraction of the Safari, said Supoj.
Currently there are 900 animals of 90 kinds on display, all of them from
zoos in Thailand. Additionally there are plans to import animals such as the
kangaroo and wallaby from Australia during the next two months.
Local Thai journalists critical of Chiang Mai’s many failed projects
Rate the debacles in a Top 10 list
Chiang Mai journalists have released a list of the 10
headline items that have done least to enhance the province’s image and the
reputation of its officials. They have also awarded nicknames that will be a
source of great discomfort to the recipients.
discussing the Top 10.
The list was devised during a meeting of senior media
representatives at The Gallery in Muang Chiang Mai, at the end of December.
Amongst those present were journalists from Thai News, Siam Rath, Manager,
Polamuang Nue, Pak Nue, Helping Hands radio station, FM 100 MHz and others
including Insom Panyasopha, the president of North Newspaper Association of
Thailand, Surachai Liew-sawadipong, director of Polamuang Nue and Amnat
Jongyodying, editor of Pak Nue.
Number one in the Top 10 is the story of the floods. The most
damaging floods in the past 30 years revealed many shortcomings in the Chiang
Mai administration, including flood control works to the Mae Ping River that had
been ignored for far too long until it was too late, delays in upgrading the
city drainage, and lack of an early warning system for the impending disaster.
The story that rated second only to the floods concerned the
scandal over longan prices, a situation that has continually reoccurred and
which has resulted in some arrests of small fry, but clearly not of the larger
figures manipulating from behind the scenes.
The Night Safari ranked at number three. In conceptual terms
this seemed like a perfect project, approved by the cabinet as a way of
promoting tourism and bringing more income into the province. However the
construction process had not gone according to plan and the project parameters
were continually being changed. Local residents were excluded and often could
not even access information. Finally, notoriety surfaced at home and abroad when
a suggestion was made that the Safari would have a “Predator” restaurant
specializing in an exotic animals menu, and the odd dog.
Number four was the on going garbage story, with waste
disposal supposed to have been resolved yet the lingering bad aroma persisted
over the entire year. The process reflects the inefficient management of the
local organizations, especially Chiang Mai municipality, which had hoped to
establish a garbage disposal plant in conjunction with a British company.
The sluggishly moving tunnel construction project at Khuang
Singh and San Dek intersections and the underground electricity cable
installation at Thapae Road rated number five in the year’s news stories. Both
intersections have been faced with insufficient budgeting. A private company has
been contracted to carry out part of the works but these are not the main or
Number six on the list is Chiang Mai’s mass transport
system, promised for the past 10 years but still inefficient when it did arrive.
The buses are running on routes that are not useful for residents, so
consequently the system is under-utilized. The municipality mean-while loses
money every day.
The ludicrous ‘wedding’ of the two pandas rated number
seven. These two goodwill ambassadors between Thailand and China were put
through a wedding ceremony that even though the organizers stopped short of
calling it a wedding was still in every other respect an auspicious ceremony
designed for humans. In the quest for publicity it was vulgar and demeaning.
Number eight was the ID card counterfeiting case at Mae Tang
district, which revealed that corruption is still rife amongst officialdom
despite the much publicized government policy to eliminate it. The arrest of
alien laborers in Chiang Rai uncovered systematic abuse of official powers by
community leaders, government officials and even the district chief officer.
Many people believe that similar cases exist in many other areas too. The story
of taking away Thai nationality from various Mae Ai citizens and then granting
it back was also ranked alongside the ID story, reflecting how people had to
fight for their rights, and that even when they had succeeded they still had to
Unsolved serious crime added up to ninth place on the top ten
list. During 2005 there were many examples in Chiang Mai of major cases that
remain unresolved by the police, or which had taken too long to solve, causing
residents to question the security of their lives and property. One example was
the murder of a young girl by strangulation and the hiding of her body. Another
was the audacious robbery at Yaowarat gold shop
in Tesco Lotus Khamtiang Market branch, which took place in broad daylight and
in view of security cameras, yet the thief is still at large.
Number 10 on the Top 10 is the disfiguring of Chiang Mai by large advertising
hoardings. Many had appeared on the footpath near the Ping River and in the
center of the city. There is a large hoarding in front of Wat Jed Yod and
another on top of a Chiang Mai municipality carpark that is an ugly addition to
A revamp will transform Chiang Mai’s 2,000 phone booths
telephone booth in the old pattern served all the citizens in nowadays in Chiang
Mai Municipality area.
Chiang Mai’s 2,000 public telephone booths are to undergo a
makeover during the next three months, following the signing of an agreement by Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn and Damnern
Boonyasophat, customer service manager of TOT Corporation Public Company
The phone boxes, which according to the mayor are currently
regarded by residents and tourists alike as one of the least attractive things
about the city, will become a standardized design appropriate to their
This will be the first time such a project has been carried out with
Thailand’s telephone boxes.
Village wins award for measures to keep the air clean
Kittiyaporn Kanjam and Pinutda
Suwanchaisri (student trainees MFLU)
Results of the judging of the clean air contest organized by
the Social Research Institute at Chiang Mai University were announced on
December 27 at CMU’s Sa Ra Son Thed Convention Room.
The Moo Ban Rak Arkad Dee contest, or “villages love good
air” was designed to raise the profile of the air pollution problem in Chiang
Mai and Lamphun and encourage residents to understand they can make a
contribution to keeping the air clean.
The contest period was November 6 to 30 with the results
announced on De-cember 27. Assoc Prof Dr Phairote Wiriyajaree, vice president of
CMU was chairman of the committee that consisted of representatives from both
the government and private sectors and totaled more than 15 persons. Judging
criteria was based on information from health volunteers in each village, and a
survey by the committee.
Champion was Ban Tha Kway, in Tambon Nong Tong, Hang Dong.
The village receives 10,000 baht and a plaque sponsored by the Pollution Control
Department. The presentation ceremony will be held on January 20 at Tha Phae
Human Rights Commissioner checks out garbage plant grievances
The National Human Rights Commissioner has visited Papong Doi
Saket to gather information and opinions in relation to the garbage disposal
plant that Chiang Mai PAO wants to build there but where local opposition has
halted the project.
Plans for the project are now being adjusted, with 465
million baht budgeted for 113 rai of land at Baan Pa Tueng Noi, at Tambon Papong
in Doi Saket.
Commissioner Surasee Kosonnawin found that most villagers
disagreed with the project and they had not been given full information on what
the likely effects of the garbage plant would be.
A permit for the project was originally issued in 2001. The
project was then put on hold by the Chiang Mai governor, who ordered a survey
and directed that a new site be found. Later, in 2003, the plant was
reconsidered but at Baan Papong 139 villagers along with around 2,000 residents
of seven other villages in the area objected.
PM Thaksin flies North to
distribute blankets and clothing to residents at risk from cold
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra traveled by helicopter to
Chai Pra Karn district on December 31 to present a donation of blankets and warm
clothing to villagers who are at risk from the cold weather.
Accompanying the prime minister were Interior Minister
Kongsak Wanthana and his deputy Sermsak Pongpanit, and Chiang Mai Governor Suwat
Tantipat with his deputy Kongeak wilad Rujiwttanapong.
More than 5,000 villagers gathered to accept the donation.
The prime minister told them that when he attended the mobile cabinet meeting in
Sukhothai the previous week, he felt the weather there to be cold and he thought
then about the people of the North, where the weather is even colder.
The blankets and clothing handed out had been collected in cooperation with
the Provincial Office. Prime Minister Thaksin distributed 2,000 overcoats for
senior citizens, 100 items of clothing for students, and 5,000 blankets for
district representatives who included the Village Headman Association of Chai
Pra Karn, Fang, Mae Ai, and Chiang Dao
Burmese armies open fire on Karen Kaya base on Christmas Day
A Karen Kaya Base, near the villages of Baan Mae Suay Oo and
Baan Yam Chai Daen, Tambon Pha Bong in Muang, Mae Hong Son, came under attack
from mortar and machine gun fire. The attack, mounted by Burmese soldiers of
94th Battalion, 55th Light Infantry, located near the Thai Border lasted 10
minutes and was heard in Mae Hong Son where the Deputy P.M., Wissanu Krea-Ngam
was opening the Red Cross Winter Fair.
Maj. Gen. Bee Too, Commissioner of Karen Kaya, (KNPP) said
that the Burmese attack had caused little damage to his base and was probably
intended to demoralise his troops who were celebrating Christmas, or as a
diversionary attack whilst the Burmese Army delivered supplies to its border
He went on to say that Burmese soldiers in association with
Red Star Troop had recently burnt out 93 households in the Maw Chee district,
rendering 1000 KNPP homeless. This took place after Lt. Col. Teng Seng 1st Sec.
Gen. of the Burmese S.P.D.C. visited Loy Kaw, capital city of Kaya State and
announced that he intended suppressing minor groups in the area, especially
those located near the Thai border.
The leader of the Karen Kaya added that to perform this
action the Burmese soldiers had joined with both the Red Star Troop and the
Karenni National Solidarity Organisation, (KNSO) to suppress 48 target villages
to the west of Flu So district in the Loy Kaw near the border of Kaya State.
During this suppressive action almost 20 Karen Kaya had been killed including
both women and children.
Prison officer caught smuggling ya ba into jail
An officer of the Corrections Department in Lamphun has been
caught smuggling ya ba pills that police say he sold to the prisoners.
Narcotics control officers had been keeping a red Isuzu
pickup truck with Lamphun license plates under close observation for several
hours after a tip-off that drugs were being transferred to a Corrections
Department vehicle at Kham Thieng Market in Chiang Mai, where other goods for
the prison were being collected.
When the owner of the pickup arrived the officers surrounded
him. He was identified as Jeeraphan Pharasut, 53, a Corrections officer in
Lamphun. Jeeraphan was taken to Chang Puek police station. Investigating
officers found 176 ya ba pills hidden in the wheel cover. At first Jeeraphan
denied involvement, saying he was only performing his duty.
Police have discovered that some of the Corrections staff who
were close to the offender also smuggled ya ba into the jail by hiding it in the
Corrections products truck.
14 year old girl caught selling ya ba from city hotel
A 14 year old girl who was selling ya ba pills to other
teenagers and laborers in Chiang Mai city has been arrested.
Officers carrying out an undercover operation by buying drugs
from various suppliers, discovered the girl who was working from a hotel room in
Chang Puek Road.
Pol Capt Thanapong Pha-dungkarn, deputy inspector of
investigations at Chang Puek said that the girl, given the alias of Aom,
admitted she was dealing drugs for a living. He had directed an undercover
officer to contact the girl on her mobile phone to buy ya ba pills. The girl was
arrested at the Venus Hotel with two ya ba pills in her possession. Police found
another eight pills in the hotel room.
She was taken to the police station and officers called her parents. The girl
said she had run away from home and that she stayed in the hotel room to sell ya
ba at 200 baht per pill to people in the area.
Lonely Swiss man commits suicide at Christmas
A Swiss man whose Thai wife had left him and who could not
stand the idea of being lonely over Christmas killed himself in his own home by
carbon monoxide poisoning.
Officers from Doi Saket were called out on December 25 to an
address at Tambon Luang Nue. At the house they found a vehicle parked outside.
Gas from the vehicle’s exhaust had been fed into the house via a 16 meter long
hose, and the body of the foreigner man was found in a storeroom on the first
floor of the building. The man was identified as Peter Vaterlus, 51, a Swiss
national. Police estimated he had been dead at least six hours. Letters written
by the dead man were discovered.
Investigations revealed that Vaterlus had been married to a Thai lady named
Lek and that she had left him. He had tried to find her but was unsuccessful.
Faced with a lonely Christmas he had taken his own life.
All clear in search of Central Prison
A snap search of Chiang Mai Central Prison on December 28 by
almost 100 officers failed to turn up any illegal substances or weapons.
The 2,000 prisoners where searched without any advance
warning and was carried out because of fears of drug abuse or unrest during the
New Year period. Officers took away several wooden and other items that could
have been used as weapons, but otherwise nothing illegal was found within the
Chuchat Chailert, commissioner of Chiang Mai Central Prison,
said that officers were also on the lookout for mobile phones that could be used
to call outside contacts for drug supplies.
Third gold shop robbed in Chiang Mai
On December 24, a gold shop in front of the Boriboon Market
on Chotana Road was robbed, making it the third gold shop robbed in Chang Puek.
police checking the scene.
After the alarm was raised, police interviewed the three shop
assistants, who said that a man in good clothes rode a motorcycle and parked in
front of the shop. He came into the shop and asked to see two
gold necklaces weighing three baht.
Janthana Wangnan, 32, informed the police from the Chang Puek
Police Station that when she showed the necklaces to the man he grabbed them and
fled. Staff said that the thief was wearing a dark blue and cream color sweater,
black jeans and white sneakers but did not record the license plate of his
motorcycle. The loss to the shop was around 60,000 baht.
Police believe that the current high gold value is the reason for the
frequent robberies and advise gold shop owners be very vigilant during this
Sugar prices capped and stores will be monitored
A careful watch is being kept on the price of sugar
in Chiang Mai to prevent hoarding and profiteering as market forces
Wairak Walairat, head of Chiang Mai Provincial
Chamber of Commerce said that sugarcane production had been reduced and
at the same time rising fuel costs worldwide had caused demand to
increase as many countries were using it as an alternative fuel source.
“Normally, Chiang Mai imports between six and seven
thousand sacks of sugar per week, with 50 kilograms in each sack, but at
present only 1,700-1,800 sacks are able to be imported. Therefore, the
committee for goods and service prices of Chiang Mai has set a maximum
on the retail price of sugar and will keep a continual check on stores
to make sure the price levels are followed,” he said, adding that this
move is also intended to prevent the hoarding of supplies.
Residents and tourists who believe sugar is being hoarded or sold at
an unreasonable price should inform the office or call the 1569 hot
Thai elephants bring exported illegally
Chiangmai Mail Reporter
Soraida Salwala, Secretaty General of the FAE (Friends of the
Asian Elephant), disclosed that Thai elephants continue to be exported, both
legally and illegally. Her investigations revealed that at least 30 elephants
had left Thailand bound for destinations that included Asia and Europe, or
nearby countries such as China and Japan.
Records show that 40 years ago, there were 40,000 elephants
in Thailand. This number has diminished drastically to leave only 2,600 in the
wild. She said that as the elephant has such a prominent place in Thai history
and culture, greater efforts should be made to maintain the present elephant
population and certainly not for it to be reduced.
She had recently learned that more than 100 Thai elephants
were slated for export, and called for their sale to be banned.
It was common knowledge that the illegal export took place on the Northern
Thai border where the mountainous terrain made observation and control
difficult. But the FAE will be more vigilant and report suspicious movements of
elephants to the authorities.
Bird flu equipment presented by PAO
Chiang Mai PAO has supplied injection equipment and chemical
disinfectants for protection against avian flu for use throughout the province.
PAO president Thawatchai na Chiang Mai presented the supplies to deputy
governor Kritsadaporn Siampakdee. The delivery comprises 48 injectors and 20,530
liters of disinfectant. The equipment will be distributed to district level
officers. Fears are that the winter will see an outbreak of the disease.
Huge drug store discovered in Burma waiting for transfer across the border
Chiangmai Mail Reporter
A special task force of Burmese soldiers stationed at
Tachilek together with narcotics control officers searched a warehouse and
uncovered a large haul of drugs belonging to the Red Wah and awaiting shipment
to Thailand over the New Year holiday.
Col Somsak Nilbunjerd-kul, commissioner of the 3rd Calvary
Regiment Pha Muang Task Force in Chiang Rai received an urgent notice from the
Burmese authorities that armed officers had searched the building after learning
that drugs were being stored there.
It was reported that four men identified as Burmese and Wah
were arrested in the building. Investigations revealed about one million orange
colored ya ba pills packed in fertilizer sacks and hidden in fruit boxes, along
with 70 bars of pure heroine weighing about 100 kilograms. The drugs have an
estimated value of 200 million baht and the four men were sent for investigation
to see if they could provide information on the backers and the distribution
Col Somsak said the warehouse was a storage base where the
drugs were collected prior to being smuggled across the border at Chiang Rai.