Night Safari officially opened
PM declares we live in Disneyland
After the Grand Opening had been postponed a number of
times, Chiang Mai Night Safari has now been formally opened, presided over
by PM Thaksin Shinawatra and joined by cabinet members who came to Chiang
Mai for the mobile cabinet meetings. The PM’s family, wife Poja-
man and son Panthongthae Shinawatra, also attended.
on the day Chiang Mai Night Safari opened officially.
The PM said that it was the pride of Chiang Mai citizens
that they could now have their own night safari, which will support this
province to become the tourism center of the northern region and Mekong
River basin. Furthermore, there will be an Elephant Park and Cable Car after
the International Horticulture Exposition had been taken place.
“Today, Chiang Mai province has been developed
to be Chiang Mai World, similar to Disney land. We have our own nature and
culture,” claimed the PM.
Guangzhoe Panyu, Xiang-jiang Safari Park has presented 41
animals covering nine species, to the Chiang Mai Night Safari. Two of these
are beautiful white tigers, the female called Lizhen (“Pretty”), she is
one year and four month old, and a male named Zhaojin, meaning “to
headway”. There are currently 942 animals on display at the Night Safari.
After the initial free entrance period, the double
pricing entrance fee has been applied since February 1, 2006, with 250 baht
charged for Thai adults and 125 baht for children, while 500 and 300 baht
charged for adult foreigners and children.
There are two zones to view animals either taking vehicles or the Jaguar
Trail hike. It is open daily from 7-10.30 p.m. with ticket cost charge but
is offered free on weekdays from 1-4 p.m., and weekends and holidays from.
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
PM Thaksin blesses underpass on the 2nd ring road
The beleaguered Prime Minister presided over the
opening ceremony of the newly constructed underpass on the 2nd ring road
while hecklers shouted for him to step down from his post as PM. He
replied, showing a little paranoia by saying, “I would like to go for a
run on this 26 kilometers stretch of road with some of my followers but I
would die for sure and there are some persons wishing to have the PM’s
Thaksin Shinawatra listening to details of the road from Department of
The PM was in Chiang Mai to chair the mobile cabinet
meeting at the Night Safari, but whilst in the city, one of his many
other duties was to preside over the underpass opening which took place
in front of Chiang Mai City Hall and the PM was joined by Deputy PM Suwat
Liptapanlop and Deputy Minister of Interior Sermsak Pongpanit.
The 700 Year Anniversary Road has a history seeming to
be almost as old as the 700 Year Anniversary stadium itself. It was a
resolution of the cabinet on January 11, 1994, who then assigned the
Department of Rural Roads to be responsible for this project to construct
a modern road system for the city of Chiang Mai. It was constructed with
reinforced concrete, six lanes wide over a distance of 26 kilometers,
with two bridges across the Mae Ping River and a bridge across the
railway. Later, because of increased traffic it was developed to have
seven underpasses to provide an uninterrupted route for traffic radiating
from the center of the city.
The road has cost a total of 5,060 million baht covering the survey
cost, design cost and construction cost of 3,360 million baht, with 1,700
million baht having been paid to purchase land from residents.
Despite some negative indices BoT still upbeat for 2006
An upbeat Oubaur Krutha-nooch, senior director of Bank of
Thailand Northern Regional Office, said that the economy had continued to
expand even though demand decelerated in the first half of the year because
of the higher cost of fuel oil and the effects of the tsunami, including
violence in the Deep South. However, heavy demand for new electronic
products and modified agricultural machinery had produced a positive trend.
Income from tourism had increased in the third trimester and was strongly
forecasted to improve even more in 2006, enabling the North’s econo-
my to expand.
Kruthanooch, senior director of Bank of Thailand Northern Regional Office.
Income from agriculture rose by 11.0 percent compared
with the previous year when the annual increase was only 3.7 percent, but
agricultural products fell by 0.2 percent, because of drought and flood,
with industrial products also down compared with last year. Lamphun
Industrial Settlement’s export value was at 8.5 percent, down from the
previous year by 25.5 percent. According to figures released by electronics
products industry they showed output fell in the first trimester, but
recovered in the second and fourth trimesters with demand for information
recorders, engines and gems increasing by 26.1 percent, 96.2 percent and
11.0 percent respectively.
Expansion in the service industry slowed down from the
previous year as some foreign tourists cut short their holidays because of
the tsunami and unrest in the south and also heavy flooding in the north.
Thai tourists were being more careful with their money due to the increase
in the price of fuel oil. However, Chiang Mai Night Safari was still able to
attract a large number of tourists, resulting in hotel room bookings being
increased by 5.2 percent and passengers coming through Chiang Mai airport
increased by 4.9 percent. The numbers of car and motorcycle registrations
rose by 12.4 percent and 0.6 percent but this rise was very much less than
the year before, when the figures were 28.1 and 6.0 percent
Private sector investment, especially in the construction
industry, expanded from the previous year with sales of construction
supplies showing an increase of 17.8 percent. Building projects in the
municipality rose by 3.2 percent but this was less than last year when the
rise was 4.4 percent. The outlook for investors was also healthy, with 56
projects authorized by northern BOI attracting 9,802.3 million baht of
Exports passing through the Northern Customhouse rose by
14.8 percent around half the rise of the pre-
vious year. Exports passing through Chiang Mai Airport also substantially
increased, rising by 37.2 percent, with the steepest rise taking place in
the last half of the year, especially in tobacco, diamonds, rubies and
carburetors. Exports to Burma ex-
panded in first trimester, but fell in the third trimester owing to Burma
paying more attention to border trade at the Mae Sod and Mae Sai border
crossing points. Exports to Laos also increased and goods destined for China
rose by a massive 94.6 percent, while imports only increased by 13.4 percent
for the same period. Most of the products imported were circuit boards and
electronic components from Japan, USA and Singapore.
The senior director added that the outlook for Northern economy in 2006
looked very bright, especially in the electronics industry where he forecast
a growth of around 10 percent. Furthermore, mega-projects such as the Night
Safari and the International Horticulture Exposition would attract more
tourists to the north, boosting the income of local residents in the service
Tai tribe army celebrates 10 year anniversary
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
SHAN (Shan Herald Agency for News) reported that on
January 27-28, 2006, an SSA-A troop under the command of Col. Yawd Serk
organized a 10 year anniversary celebration to commemorate the liberation of
the Tai tribe that fought previously under the name of the MTA, commanded by
Khun Sa. There was also a graduation ceremony for officers, NCO’s and
soldiers of the troop with around 430 candidates at the ceremony, held on
Doi Tai Lang opposite Pang Mapha district, Mae Hong Son.
parade celebrating 10 year anniversary of SSA, at Pang Sua Lai Camp (Photo
Col. Yawd Serk proudly told the assembled graduates at
the ceremony that the Tai tribe never once acknowledged Burmese authority.
“Ten years of combat between Burma and the Tai tribe have resulted in no
clear winner, but we will continue the struggle to regain independence, no
matter how long it takes,” he vowed.
Col. Yawd Serk went on to reveal the SSA-S internal
structure adjustment in four aspects, including accrediting Col. Sai Yee,
High Commissioner of SSNA (Shan State National Army) to be vice president of
RCSS (Restoration Council Shan State); Col. Yawd Serk is to develop training
programs to increase the troop efficiency; SSA agreeing to an alliance with
other troops and promising to cooperate with one another and finally that
the RCSS will maintain its initial policies that are troop unity, honoring
the Pang Long Contract, democracy, development of citizens livelihood and to
continue the fight against drugs and promoting peace.
A brief history of the SSA-S records that combat started on January 27,
1996. On that day, Col. Yawd Serk led a force of around 300 from Muang Tha
opposite Baan Piang Luang in Wiang Haeng, Chiang Mai, who wished to break
away from the MTA troop commanded by Khun Sa who was about to surrender to
Burmese authority. That 300 strong troop moved across the Salwin River into
the Shan State to set up a new group, independent of Burmese authority and
established the SSA officially on January 1, 1998.
30 mio baht to be invested in making “Doi Tung” a brand name
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
ML Disnadda Disakul, Marketing Manager of Doi Tung
Development Project, under the patronage of Her Royal Highness the Princess
Mother, reported that the Doi Tung project has allocated 30 million baht to
make the “Doi Tung” brand name more familiar in the marketplace. This
will be done by publicizing different categories Doi Tung brand products
through the media. This will cover agriculture, tourism, handicrafts, and
An important factor in their advertising is to make their
customers aware that Doi Tung products have been grown by hill-tribe people
as an alternative to growing poppies for drugs. ML Disnadda added that the
project has to improve their products and should seek the advice of
agricultural consultants in choosing species of plants to grow and modern
methods of horticulture to improve their yield and taste.
Doi Kham coffee is planned to expand from the present 12
branches in 2006 by opening the 10 new outlets in business locations. Every
Doi Tung product sales outlet will show the same logo and selling points
together with the background of the products to promote a good image of the
ML Disnadda said that Doi Tung project cooperated with THAI and AirAsia
to highlight the route to Doi Tung tourist destinations to capture the
interest of tourists in the brand; also joining with Bangkok fashion houses
to show off the handicraft products. The Doi Kham brand of coffee is now
ready to be sold internationally with project officials in negotiations with
other countries to formally enter the market.
Baby giraffe born at the Night Safari
Chiang Mai Night Safari reported that staff and
veterinarians in Chiang Mai Night safari project attended the birth of a new
female giraffe named Nam Phueng that arrived on January 25. The newborn
giraffe is in good health but she needs a little time to adapt to her new
surroundings, including the bright lights. She is the 6th
giraffe in Chiang Mai Night Safari and 7th
newborn animal in this zoo.
Midwife Plodprasop Sura-sawadee, chairman of the
government committee in charge of the Night Safari project, said that this
baby giraffe is a special addition to the project because of its birth
coinciding with the Chinese New Year Festival.
He added that when baby giraffe is ready, the Night Safari will show her
to the visitors and affirmed that Chiang Mai Night Safari will have another
opening ceremony on February 6 to coincide with the mobile Cabinet meeting.
The staff has arranged a tour of the facility for the cabinet, with two
white tigers from China looking forward to seeing them.
Chiang Mai Resident Networks joins the anti-government movement
Mai Resident Networks held a press conference criticizing government.
Local residents of Chiang Mai, particularly those
affected by various projects, both those in progress and those being planned
by the government, have formed action groups to air their concerns about how
these projects are going to affect their daily lives. The areas in question
are the Chiang Mai Night Safari, a long-term solution to the floods in
Chiang Mai, residents affected by Mae Maw Powerhouse and the hill
tribe’s residence management scheme.
At a recent press conference on February 3rd,
Nikhom Phutta, coordinator of the Wildlife Fund Thailand and Suriyan
Thongnoo-iad, secretary of Northern Agriculturist Federation; spoke of
several problems that were causing concern to their members. Nikhom Phutta
said that the Night Safari was a huge project that the government was
promoting as a Chiang Mai tourist destination. The Resident Networks agreed
that this project would bring jobs and extra income to many citizens, but
nevertheless were concerned that the organizers of the Night Safari had
spent immense sums of money with no organization in place to check how the
money was being spent.
He raised the subject of the environmental impact on
those members of the local community living close to the Safari, voicing
their fears of living with dangerous wild animals as close neighbors. Also,
the safari covered several thousand rai of land and had been sited in lands
designated a national park. The National Park Act stipulates that no one is
allowed to keep animals in the park or introduce plants and must conserve
the environment to maintain the eco-systems in the park. Furthermore,
residents are allowed to be a part of the bio system management to protect
natural resources; and buildings or any other kind of construction are not
permitted there. However, the government has gone ahead and sited this huge
project in that area and encouraged the private sector to invest there. It
could be said that this act is illegal and has gone ahead without any regard
for local citizens.
Nikhom added that the government was exploiting wildlife
benefit the economy and were importing animals from Kenya to live in a
confined area without any clear idea of how to conserve these animals;
furthermore the Chiang Mai Resident Networks would prefer the government to
cancel the import of these 175 wild animals. They also request that local
residents should be consulted more and informed in greater detail on how the
huge sums of money have been spent on the project.
Montree Janthawong, representative of Phakee Rak Chiang
Mai organization said that government would go ahead with mega-projects in
Chiang Mai, worth several billion baht but many problems in Chiang Mai, such
as poverty and flooding, were still not solved. In the opinion of his
organization, the main cause that led to the flooding in the previous year
was that the government-authorized construction of several roads around the
city which obstructed waterways.
Maliwan Nakwiroj, representative of Residents Affected by
Mae Maw Powerhouse Lampang reiterated their grievance that 500 families
affected by the Mae Maw Powerhouse had appealed to the government to deal
with this problem for a long time and had presented petitions to cabinet on
eight separate occasions, but their plight was still ignored.
The press conference was given by representatives of the following
organizations, Chiang Mai Resident Networks consisting of Phakee Rak Chiang
Mai, Northern Agriculturist, Representative of Residents Affected by Mae Maw
Powerhouse Lampang, Mae Ping and Khan Rivers Basin Resident and Northern
Agriculturist Federation and took place at Baan Tha Kaew, on Huay Kaew Road
in Chiang Mai.
Now it’s “Chiang Mai World” and cable-cars again
Three Chiang Mai univer-sities, in partnership with
Chiang Mai Night Safari, have just been given a government budget of 12
million baht to conduct a feasibility study and formulate a plan concerning
several aspects of local tourism, including marine tourism, tribal tourism,
historical tourism and handicraft tourism. The plan, expected to be
completed in about six months is primarily to develop tourism locations and
to increase their efficiency by adding value to the tourism product.
On January 30, Plodprasop Surasawadee, assistant of
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment on behalf of the Director of
Chiang Mai Night Safari, signed a cooperation contract hiring consultants
for the Chiang Mai tourism development plan. The contracts were between the
Night Safari and three educational institutes, Chiang Mai, Maejo and
Kasetsart universities. These three universities are expert in many academic
fields and they have enthusiastically accepted the task of being consultants
for the Chiang Mai tourism development plan, and spending the money wisely.
Plodprasop informed them that he had been assigned by PM
Thaksin Shinawatra to study and form a tourism plan for Chiang Mai by
linking nature, history, culture and archeology to form a tourism route,
adding that these four aspects of the tourism route would be linked to
Chiang Mai Night Safari, and locations nearby, to become “Chiang Mai
World”. Chiang Mai Night Safari and the International Horticultural
Exposition are the first attractions of the proposed Chiang Mai World, to be
followed by an Elephant Park, with an Aquarium and Theme Park planned for
the near future. These tourist attractions will be linked by cable car over
a 15 km. distance.
The cable car will start from Chiang Mai Zoo going on to
Huay Kaew Waterfall, the Elephant Park and Night Safari and terminating at
the International Horticulture Exposition. It will also be linked with a
light electric tramway into the city with a terminus at Chiang Mai Zoo,
providing a swift environmentally friendly means of avoiding traffic jams
along Huay Kaew road.
With regard to each uni-versity’s role in the Chiang Mai tourism
development plan, CMU is responsible for studying history, culture and
handicraft while Maejo University is studying tribes and agriculture, with
Kasets art University studying the mountain and marine aspects of the
Mae Ping River dredging in progress in Chiang Mai
In 2005, Chiang Mai experienced the worst flooding in 30
years, with the Mae Ping River rising to unprecedented levels three times.
Besides affecting major economic zones such as the Night Bazaar, the
flooding caused severe damage all over the province, but especially in the
city, where several hundred thousand households were inundated. PM Thaksin
Shinawatra inspected the situation and commanded government organizations to
deal with flooding problem.
As a result of the PM’s orders, dredging operations
commenced in late 2005 on several stretches of the Mae Ping River, from Mae
Taeng district to Mae Rim, with around 30 km being cleared so far, at a cost
of 30 million baht. Around 50 percent of the river has been dredged so far
and the whole operation is expected to be finished in June this year.
Dredging the water-course will increase its capacity to hold water by more
than 1.2 million cubic meters. There has also been a small bonus from the
dredging operation, with 500,000 cubic meters of reusable sand reclaimed
from the river bed.
The dredging is planned to continue over the next four
years with a budget of 200 million baht earmarked to cover the cost of the
operation. The river will be dredged from Chiang Dao district to Doi Tao
district with the Department of Marine removing around five million cubic
meters and other local administrative organizations responsible for dredging
a further three million cubic meters. By this process, the capacity of the
watercourse will be increased by roughly 20 million cubic meters and tenders
to carry out the work are now being invited.
In the city, Chiang Mai municipality has asked the Department of Marine
to dredge Mae Ping River along the 6.6 km stretch from the Patan Bridge to
the superhighway, especially near the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5
office. The watercourse should then increase its capacity along this length
by 100,000 cubic meters. Dredging and widening the Mae Ping River is
expected to solve the flooding situation in Chiang Mai and prevent a
recurrence of the disastrous flooding of 2005.
Region’s Government Counter Service (GCS) opens
region’s first Government Counter Service: GCS in Central Airport Plaza,
Government Counter Service (or GCS) is the service center
combining the facilities of 27 different Government State Enterprises and
Local Administrative Organizations. Instead of going to a different office
to perform each task, people will be able to go to these GCS offices when
they wish to renew their passport for instance, or make an airline seat
reservation, sending tax documents, Identification Card application,
personal biography certification, 30 baht wellbeing insurance card,
bus/air/train ticket reservation, applying for planning permission to build
a house, requesting the services of different authorities namely, a new
house number, electricity, water supply, phone number (TOT), notification,
government information, documents downloading, and trademark registering.
The entire concept is a one point fast-delivery of
multi-services in the community, open daily including public holidays with
similar opening hours of a department store. The Office of the Public Sector
Development Commission will increase the number of GCS in department stores,
sky train stations, metro stations, and airports in Bangkok and other
PM Thaksin Shinawatra opened the first local GCS in Central Airport Plaza
department store on February 6.
Phayao Dinosaur Park coming?
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
The recent discovery of dinosaur remains prompted Ruangwan
Buanoot, deputy governor of Phayao to head up a work team with of Dr. Warawut
Sutheethorn, a recognized dinosaur expert, to survey the area where the dinosaur
fossils were found. This location, at Yom Riverside, Tambon Mang in Chiang Muan,
Phayao and will be promoted as a tourism destination.
Ruangwan said that the survey process would reveal vital
information which would be used to form the primary plan to develop this area as
a natural tourism destination and world historical site due to the fact that
Phayao was the only Northern Province to have discovered dinosaur fossils. This
falls in with the PM’s strategy for tourism in the Lanna provinces and this
site will be managed as a study centre where students and the general population
can learn about dinosaurs.
Proposed development, with a budget of 6 million baht, will
include an information center to be set up alongside tourist residences. Chiang
Muan district will present details of these plans before the end of 2006.
Dr. Warawut added that there might be more fossils in this area and if
digging was planned systemically, more dinosaur remains might be found in deeper
layers. However, at this stage it could not be ascertained whether this was a
single dinosaur or part of a group.
800,000 year old trees discovered in Tak province
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
First we hear of dinosaurs in Phayao and now six stone tree
remains have been found in Tak, claimed as being the largest fossilized trees in
South East Asia. Khom Kruayoo, head officer of Khao Phra Bat National Park
located at Baan Sam Kong of Tambon Tak Ok, escorted journalists, students and
around 500 eager old tree tourists to show them what proved to be world’s
longest petrified trees. Discovered in 2003, officers of the park measured the
base of one tree to be 4.88 meters wide and 2.55 meters in diameter and 72.22
meters in length, as long as 150 students standing in a line.
Experts of the Department of Mineral Resources said that
these rock trees were 800,000 years old. There have been six trees found in the
area and some are still in good shape. They comprise several different species
of tree for example Makha, Mai Daeng, Golden Teak and Mai Krabak. An ebullient
Khom Kruayoo said, “It looks like this area holds the worlds longest rock
trees and is South East Asia’s largest stone tree source. Before these trees
were discovered here, the longest stone tree was to be found in Arizona, USA and
was only 36 meters in length.”
He added, “This site will be developed as a bio tourism
location and his officers are searching diligently to find more remains and
preserve them in good condition. Since the discovery was published, the site has
already received over 200,000 visitors. The Guinness Book of Records will
officially measure these trees and enter the statistics into the record book
which will reflect honor for all Thai citizens.”
It is to be hoped that, what with Dinosaurs and Tree Fossils,
Thailand is not slipping back to the Stone Age, and wonder if perhaps they were
illegally logged all those years ago!
Mental hospital patient attacks CMU vehicles
Khamkongdee was sent to Phuping police station
Phuping provincial police were informed by a security
guard on duty at Chiang Mai University on February 4, that a deranged man
was striking cars belonging to teachers and students in Chiang Mai
When police officers arrived at the scene, the man
removed his shirt and ran off across the football field, with police and
students in hot pursuit. The man, Thanakorn Khamkongdee, 22, an inhabitant
of Chiang Rai, led his pursuers a merry old dance before he was finally
collared after a 20 minute chase.
After his capture, police officers noticed that Thanakorn seemed very
nervous, and they learned he had been a frequent patient at Suan Prung
Psychiatric Hospital and was still undergoing treatment. The police officers
returned him to the hospital, leaving the unfortunate owners of the six cars
he had damaged frantically examining their insurance policies to see if they
Drought and fires imminent
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
The Royal Artificial Rain Centre is cooperating with
provincial agricultural offices in the North planning to solve the drought
problem this year. Although the four dams in the Northern provinces are up
to more than 90 percent capacity, the areas outside the irrigation systems
still have an ongoing problem.
Somchai Reungsuthinaru-phap, director of the Royal
Artificial Rain Center reported that the water level in the four Northern
dams; Bhumibol dam in Tak province, Mae Ngat and Mae Kuang dams in Chiang
Mai province, and Kiw Lom dam in Lampang was higher than last year, but
Bhumibol dam was only about 70 percent full. This amount of water was barely
enough for agriculture in the dry season and if the area experiences drought
this year; as it has done in three previous years, Chiang Mai, Lampang, and
Tak will use chemicals to endeavor to make rain like before.
Chokchai Panomkwan, the mayor of Phrae warned of the high
risk of fires during the dry season. Phrae municipality Fire Department
stands in a high state of readiness at this time of the year and he
cautioned all residents to take extra precautions in safeguarding their
property, especially those in high risk situations such as gasoline stations
or liquefied petroleum gas outlets. All residents should not burn the forest
during the dry season to avoid the risk of wildfire.
Chakaj Thepthongpan, chief of the Wildfire office, Phayao
said that his records show that 141 separate wildfires occurred around
Phayao in 2005. In his area of responsibility, containing Wiang Lor Wildlife
Sanctuary, Doi Luang National Park, the National Forestry Reservation
Project and Mae Tum-Mae Na Rue forest totaling 187,500 rai, wildfire has
destroyed 467 rai, the time of highest risk being February and March.
Phuwanart Sinsub, Denchai district chief officer, Phrae
reported that there are five tambons that have an annual drought problem and
in an effort to solve it, Phrae province gave 1 million baht to pump water
from an alternative source to irrigate10,000 rai of agricultural land and
hoped that would be sufficient until March.
Relocation of Burma’s capital city to finish in February
Chiangmai Mail Reporter
Burmese authorities said on February 5 that the Burmese
government predicted that all ministries and military headquarters would
finish relocating to Pyinmana by this February.
In the meantime, some government organizations have
already started working in Pyinmana, the new capital; which is located in a
central part of the country, even though telephone lines to some places are
not yet installed. However, all ministries expect to finish relocation by
the third week of this month.
Officers of various ministries announced that the formal
opening ceremony for the new capital city, Pyinmana will be presided over by
Senior General Than Shwe, the leader of the Burmese government, but a
definite date is yet to be fixed. Ministries of Defense and Interior have
occupied their new offices since December, 2005 while other ministries are
to open soon.
Ya ba profits hidden in a candy bag
Sweet success, say police
Acting on a tip-off, police from Hang Dong district,
Chiang Mai, followed Chalita Khuntasen, 31, after learning she had a drug
deal in the making, when she had arranged to deliver ya ba to clients in
Hang Dong district. She was arrested on February 3 while driving a car
belonging to her husband who worked for a government organization in Chiang
Mai province. She was apprehended trying to sell ten speed pills to a
customer waiting at a gas station on the Chiang Mai-Hang Dong Road.
70 more amphetamine tablets were discovered in the car, along with 10,000
baht hidden in a candy bag, which was seized by the police to be retained as
evidence. After she was arrested, she implicated Adul Lerdsompong, 21, a
retail drug dealer whom the police also planned to arrest. Moreover, the
officers intend to investigate her husband to see if he was involved with
this illegal dealing. Pol. Col. Atthakit Kornthong, deputy commander of
Chiang Mai Provincial Police observed that the drug dealers had changed from
packing ya ba in straw, to hiding it in candy bags.
Khong River in Chiang Saen port begins to dry out
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
Chiang Saen in Chiang Rai has a large port used for
exporting products to China and recently a cargo ship became stuck in the
sand, due to unprecedented low water levels in the Khong River. Chiang Rai
is facing a severe drought at the moment, and has declared a state of
drought in eight of its districts. Surveys show that the Khong River is
drying up with sandbanks appearing in the watercourse.
According to the ship’s crews, the reason the Khong
River is drying up is because China has dammed the river to store the water
for itself in the dry season.
Australian accused of raping 2 year old step-daughter
Australian national, Jason Daron Mizner, 32
On January 30 Ple, (real name withheld), 30, mother of
Noi, (name suppressed), 2, informed Mae Rim Police Station officers of the
rape of her daughter accusing an Australian national Jason, her new husband
of only a month. This act occurred at their rented house on Arak Road,
Tambon Phra Singh in Muang, Chiang Mai on day that she informed police. She
showed the police a video recording that Jason had made whilst raping the
little girl, which after being checked by the police forensic department,
appeared a genuine record of this illegal act. The little girl was taken to
Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital where doctors found evidence of sexual
assault with sperm present in the baby’s vagina, which was later verified
be that of the husband when compared with his DNA.
Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner of Provincial Police
Bureau Region 5 (left) checking evidence.
The mother said that she had dated Jason for one month
before he asked her to marry him. On the day the rape took place, they
agreed that he would move his belongings to her house and live with her. He
went to fetch his possessions and asked to take the little girl along with
him. When they returned, her daughter cried, complaining of pain in her
lower stomach. She examined her and realized that Jason had done something
bad to the girl, but when questioned, he claimed she had fallen down and
hurt herself. She later found the video and opened it, immediately informing
the police when she realized the contents.
On February 1, Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na
Ayuthaya, commissioner of Provincial Police Bureau Region 5 and Pol. Maj.
Gen. Jiruj Promobol, Chiang Mai Provincial Police comman-der together with
Pol. Col. Montree Sambunnanon, Mae Rim Police Station superintendent jointly
held a press conference and informed reporters of the arrest of the
Australian national, Jason Daron Mizner, 32, and charged with raping a girl
younger than 13 years old.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong also said that they had learned from the
Australian Juvenile police authorities that there was an arrest warrant in
force for this offender, in Queensland, Australia, for the rape of a young
girl in his home country, but he had escaped arrest by fleeing to Thailand.
He would be kept in custody here in Thailand and would extradited to
Further on-line games shop restrictions
But are the new laws workable?
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
Amornthad Niratisayakul, Lampang governor stressed that
to comply with the government’s policy concerning rules to deal with
social and youth problems, especially obscene media, online games shop
owners would have to take greater care to ensure that their young customers
were not being exposed to obscene videos, or games with pornographic
These practices are supposed to be eliminated nationally
by determining a set of rules and conditions with which each games shop
owner must comply. These Utopian rules will protect security and encourage
good behavior in youngsters.
These shops must install legal software and ensure that
youngsters under 18 years old are not allowed to play between 8 a.m. to 3
p.m. and 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays, except during holidays and then not
longer than three consecutive hours, with records being kept of the service.
Every police authority has received orders to monitor the
situation and ensure shop owners are following these rules. Any business
owner failing to do so is liable to be punished according to Children
Protection Act 2003, Tape and Television Control Act 1960 and 50th
Considering that young people can find these games on line at their
homes, this raft of new laws look like closing the stable door after the
horse has bolted.
Two Lahu tribesmen shot and 100,000 amphetamine tablets discovered
Two brothers, Jaka Ja-ue, 26 and Jana Ja-ue, 24, both
Lahu tribesmen living at Baan Huay Muang in Mae Ai district, Chiang Mai,
were shot and killed by the police whilst resisting arrest in Baan Pang
Guang, Mae Taeng, on January 31. At the time of the shooting the brothers
were driving a pick-up which, when searched, was found to be carrying
100,000 ya ba pills hidden in an ice bucket and two .38 revolvers. No police
were reported as injured in the incident.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Uayporn Jittakanon, commander of Narcotics Suppression
Division 2, said that the officers had known of the activities of these two
drug dealers for a long time. They were well known for smuggling ya ba from
Burma across the border in the Fang area and
delivering it to clients in Muang, Chiang Mai. There are around 20 people in
this gang and the police will increase their endeavors to put a stop to
their activities. Hopefully, some will be arrested.
Claims that more Thai citizens have been abducted to North Korea
Ebihara showing a book of minutes in Tokyo in December last year.
Information concerning a Thai lady allegedly abducted to
North Korea came to light in a book entitled “To Tell the Truth” written
by Charles Robert Jenkins and published in Japan in 2004. The book mentioned
some Thai people taken to North Korea, naming Anocha Panjoi as one of them.
This prompted a seminar in Tokyo in December, 2005, to raise the issue of
the abduction of this person to North Korea.
Tomoharu Ebihara, representative of the Rescue of North
Korean Abductees Chiang Mai (ARNKA) and Coordinator of National Association
of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea in Thailand from the Japanese
Department Faculty of Humanities of Payap University held a press conference
at Chiang Mai City Hall. It was to give information about Anocha Panjoi, the
Thai lady believed to have been abducted. Interviews with two other Thai
ladies who were involved with her were mentioned.
Another reliable book entitled “Gook” written by
Kenji Fujimoto published in Japan in 2003 mentioned that he had worked in
North Korea as a Japanese food chef for 13 years. He had later returned home
to Japan in 2001 and had written a book describing his life and experience
in North Korea and a paragraph of that book told of the time he had met
seven Thai ladies working as hostesses in a karaoke bar in Pyongyang city.
of those seven ladies was named Katai.
Tomoharu informed journalists he believed that the women had been
abducted to North Korea, also that a greater number than the seven he had
met had suffered the same fate. Another seminar concerning this issue is to
be organized at YMCA Convention Hall (1F), Chiang Mai on February 18 from 2
to 4.30 p.m. The seminar will be conducted in
the Japanese language and Sukham Panjoi, older brother of Anocha Panjoi,
will join the seminar to answer any questions concerning his sister. Any
interested person or organization wishing to join the seminar should book by
email: [email protected] with seats costing 140 baht per person.
Police raids net drugs and possessions worth several million baht
In the early morning of January 31, narcotic suppression
police together with a Pha Muang Task Force of around 100 officers mounted
an operation to simultaneously search several
target villages that were suspected of being involved with drugs. These
included Chiang Dao, Chai Prakan and Wiang Haeng districts and 29 different
locations in Chiang Mai, most of which were Hmong and Lahu villages.
After the search had taken place, around 20,000 ya ba
pills were discovered at two villages, Baan Nong
Tao, Tambon Ping Khong in Chiang Dao, but the offenders were able to escape,
due to their familiarity with the locality. However, the police did manage
to catch Krasae Samtao, 21 together with 400 speed pills and 36,000 baht in
In the meantime, another team of officer searching around Wiang Papao,
Chiang Rai came across Cherdchai or Ko Jaikhamthiang, an offender who had
escaped from police custody. He was arrested and his house and a pick up,
valued at 3,000,000 baht, were seized. These possessions were believed to
have been purchased with the proceeds of drug dealing and money laundering.