Thailand celebrates Coronation Day on May 5
The Kingdom of Thailand celebrates Wan Chatramongkhol
(Coronation Day) on Friday, May 5 which marks the 60th anniversary of the
Coronation of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great. The day is
celebrated as a national holiday, and all government offices and commercial
banks will be closed to observe the day.
During his coronation, the new King of Thailand, the
Ninth in the Chakri Dynasty (Rama IX), took a sacred oath “to rule with
Righteousness, for the Benefit and Happiness of the Siamese People” which
He has done magnificently, garnering tremendous respect not only from his
own people but the world-at-large.
As of May 5, King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great becomes
the world’s longest- reigning monarch. Long Live the King!
His Majesty the King, after studying in Europe, returned
to Thailand and was crowned King during an elaborate and highly intricate
ceremony that out-shone all previous coronations in Thailand.
A week prior to His being crowned King, on April 28,
1950, H.M. King Bhumibol and Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitayakara were married.
Following the Coronation the King returned to Switzerland to continue
The Coronation Ceremony reinforces the stature of the
Kings of Thailand. The first such elaborate ceremony was performed when Pho
Khun Phamuang succeeded Pho Khun Bangklangthao as the ruling King of Muang
Sukhothai. Phaya Lithai, a former leader in Sukhothai, left a historical
record in stone describing the coronation ceremony in Sukhothai at Wat
In the beginning of the Ratanakosin era, the first King
in the Chakri Dynasty (King Buddha Yot Fa Chulalokmaharach) took the title
of Rama I and moved the capital of Siam from Thonburi to the opposite bank
of the Chao Phraya River, and constructed Krung Ratanakosin (Bangkok).
In the process of building the Royal Palace and Wat
Prakaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) the first King in the House of
Chakri, refined the coronation ceremony, establishing important protocol
that has lasted to this day. All successive Kings who did not follow the
strictures of the coronation ceremony would be unable to assume the term
“Phrabat”. This title precedes the King’s title of “Somdej
Phrachaoyuhua”, and more significantly, the symbol of the nine-tiered
umbrella would also not be permissible or officially recognized.
The elaborate coronation ceremony of His Majesty King
Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great included all the ancient rituals required for
assuming the full title and the nine-tiered umbrella. King Bhumibol
Adulyadej then bestowed the honor posthumously on His brother King Ananda
Mahidol. King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s benevolent act raised King Ananda
Mahidol’s regal status from seven to a nine-tiered umbrella.
During the reign of King Mongkut (Rama IV), Buddhist
monks and Brahmin priests were incorporated into the coronation ceremony to
conduct rituals to sanctify the auspicious occasion. Previously the ceremony
was arranged and conducted by the Royal Palace staff and members of the
The annual remembrance of the coronation ceremony is
currently a three -day affair, starting with a ritual “tham bun”
ceremony on May 3 to honor the King’s ancestors. Later on the first day,
another ceremony is performed, whereby flags of honour are issued to
distinguish various military units.
The following day, Buddhist ceremonies continue with
chanting rituals, prayers and Brahman priests announcing the auspicious
occasion forthcoming the next day (May 5).
On the 5th of May, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
conducts a merit-making ceremony, presenting offerings to Buddhist monks,
and leads a “Wienthien” ceremony, walking three times around sacred
grounds at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
In the evening the King conducts another sacred ceremony:
changing the yellow cloth on the Emerald Buddha, the guardian symbol
protecting the Thai people, which was transferred from Thonburi to Wat Phra
Kaew by Rama I.
Many rooms in the Royal Palace are opened for public viewing on
Coronation Day. Auspicious ceremonies are performed and displays depicting
Royal achievements are exhibited to reconfirm the King’s stature.
Chiang Mai public transport staying afloat on bio-diesel?
Red minibuses freeze fares
Red minibuses in Chiang Mai
agree to maintain the old minibus fee even though gasoline costs are
Fuel oil prices continue to rise, and operators of public transport and
freight services are feeling the pinch. Minibus drivers serving in
different districts of Chiang Mai have appealed to the government to help
them because they were having great difficulty in continuing to bear the
high fuel oil costs. A spokesman said that most drivers could previously
run all day on about 500 baht but now fuel costs have risen to 700 baht
per day, but the bus fare still remains the same, the fee having been
adjusted once already this year. They want the government to maintain the
fuel oil price and not let it increase, and they could contain this
increase in running costs. Tour bus owners who increased their bus fares
just two months ago said that they might have to increase bus fares, if
gasoline costs went any higher.
Motorcycles serving as taxis at Chiang Mai Bus Station
said that they were still managing to maintain the same fare structure,
but if the benzene price rose to 30 baht per liter they too would have to
increase fares by 5-10 baht.
Singhkham Nunti, president of Lanna Transport
Cooperatives, the trade association serving red minibus, metered taxis
and air-condition vans in Chiang Mai told Chiangmai Mail
that the higher cost of fuel oil was affecting every form of public
transport service; and even though the fares had been adjusted in January
from 10 to 15 baht, his members were also suffering. However, he
confirmed that his cooperative would try to maintain the fares at their
present level for as long as possible, but would be looking to increase
them if the price of diesel exceeded 30 baht per liter (diesel cost was
27.33 baht on April 24).
The cooperative’s metered taxis were not so badly
affected, because most of taxis were using gas (NGV) that is only 10-11
baht per liter. Red minibus owners had previously tried to convert to
gas, but there were problems and it did not become universal, but some
vehicle owners, in cooperation with Gas Company, are studying this issue.
Currently all red minibuses are now using bio-diesel that is cheaper than
ordinary diesel by 50 satang per liter.
The president added that the cooperative was
considering a large project to set up their own gas station serving both
fuel oil and gas, which will cost around 20 million baht. It will be used
primarily to serve members of the cooperatives, which could help them to
save money on fuel costs.
Fuel oil prices in the world market have been steadily increasing and
recently, crude oil reached a peak of US$ 75 per barrel. There are
several underlying reasons for this price rise including the uncertainty
in the world market over the nuclear project in Iran, a decline in the
stocks of benzene in the USA and internal problems affecting fuel oil
exports from Nigeria.
Father sues Nakornping Hospital over stillborn twins
(left) and father (right) showing a record of the pregnancy and the two
babies which died while being delivered.
A distressed father, Sommai Boonsem and his family members, informed
officials at Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office of the death of his
twin boys who had died during childbirth at Nakornping Hospital, Chiang Mai.
Sommai disclosed that he and his wife arrived at the
hospital on April 16, with his wife already in labour and hemorrhaging
profusely. Doctors at the hospital declined Sommai’s requests to operate,
claiming an operating theatre was not available and saying that the mother,
Watcahree Yoohae should carry on and give birth naturally.
After half the day had passed by, the mother’s
condition worsened so the doctors finally decided to operate, but sadly, the
twin babies had already died before delivery.
Later, the father informed Mae Rim Police Station and
appealed for justice from the Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office;
and commenced legal proceedings against the hospital for the sum of three
million baht. He believed it was carelessness on the part of the hospital
staff, particularly regarding the doctor, who denied any responsibility for
Mongkol Manusthitikul, Sommai’s father-in-law and an
officer of the United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said that
this kind of event had occurred several times in the past because the
hospital staff considered his daughter was Karen, so the doctor did not pay
enough attention to her. The doctor had treated his daughter several times
before when she had been in labour and always offered very believable
excuses spoken in complicated medical jargon after baby had died, so
relatives did not sue the doctor. He said if the doctor did not admit
responsibility for the twins’ death, he would sue the hospital for three
million baht and would pursue the matter to the end. He would like to make
an example of this case for doctor to realize that it is his duty to treat
his patients to the best of his ability, despite their ethnic origin or
Ai Ruantone, deputy head of Chiang Mai Provincial Public
Health Office assured the distraught family that he would inform his
superiors of the matter and would press Nakornping Hospital to explain the
issue before continuing to verify the truth of the unfortunate incident.
Doctors of Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital carried out a post-mortem
examination on the twin babies to ascertain the cause of death and the two
bodies would remain at the hospital until the case comes to the end.
Chiang Mai – the lung cancer capital of Thailand?
CMU voices warning on air pollution
Asst. Prof. Pongthep Wiwatanadet, from the Department of Community Medicine,
Chiang Mai University said that the number of patients with respiratory
diseases in Chiang Mai is currently very high. The incidence of patients
developing lung cancer is higher than any other form of cancer in Chiang
Mai, and the city heads the list of having the highest number of lung cancer
patients of any city in Thailand
Although lung cancer is usually associated with tobacco
consumption, it is thought that air pollution in Chiang Mai is a major
contributory factor to the high incidence of respiratory problems in the
city. The poor air quality is caused mainly by burning garbage and vehicle
exhausts. Worldwide studies have shown that there are several substances
which cause lung cancer that are found in the gases given off in any
incineration process and from vehicle exhaust emissions.
Asst. Prof. Pongthep said that researchers are studying
the relationship between air quality and respiratory diseases by examining
200 asthma sufferers in Chiang Mai and Lamphun. Each of these patients
undergoes a daily lung function measurement, which is compared with air
quality information, which is also collected daily.
According to the comparison statistics over the last 6
months, it has been shown that the patients’ lung function decreases in
direct proportion to diminished air quality. However, this study has still
to be completed before any firm conclusions can be drawn. Asthma patients
are particularly at risk because their lung function is lower than that of
The Department of Community Medicine has proposed several
preventative measures to diminish and eventually eradicate air pollution in
the city. The local Administration Organizations; such as Chiang Mai
Municipality, PAO and TAO, still has no effective garbage collection service
in certain areas, causing local people to solve their own problems by
incinerating. If these areas were provided with an effective
garbage-collection service it would obviate the need for incineration.
They also proposed that all vehicles should submit to
random roadside checks and be tested for exhaust emissions. Any vehicle
found to be below a certain standard should be taken off the road until such
times as the owner has improved the efficiency of the engine and resubmitted
the vehicle to a further test.
Furthermore, they recommended that an efficient public transport system
should be put in place; and commuters be encouraged to leave their cars at
home and travel into town by public transport. By both improving the
efficiency of car engines and reducing the number of vehicles on the roads,
it will go a long way to reducing the pollution in the city and make Chiang
Mai a cleaner and healthier place to live.
Study to ascertain
Mae Ping riverbank land holding is almost complete
Ping being dredged.
Gen. Surin Phikulthong, on behalf of the chairman of the group
tasked with solving the Mae Ping River encroachment reported on the
progress of the investigation.
Gen. Surin said he had assigned the Land
Development Department, Department of Lands, Marine Department and
Royal Irrigation Department to work together, combining information
on the Mae Ping riverbank landowners. Their remit included gathering
information about land-owners on both riverbanks, covering a
distance of 20 kilometers from the city of Chiang Mai. The
information gathering process is almost 80 percent completed and
expected to finish in the next two weeks.
The Royal Irrigation Department and Marine
Department have been assigned to study old records showing the
original width of Mae Ping River for the 20 kilometers, where the
river flows through the city of Chiang Mai. The whole study is based
on academic information that has long been a matter of public
record. The study makes abundantly clear that the Mae Ping River
should be widened to an average of about 90 meters and this is the
basic information that will be used to clear up any objections to
“We shall be able to verify riverside land
holding before presenting the results of the study to the PM’s
Office for the cabinet to consider how to eradicate the disastrous
flooding of last year,” Gen. Surin said. The records show that the
river has become narrower over the years; in some places due to
natural deposition but in others this process has been assisted by
the actions of the land owners. It now becomes the right of the
government to restore the river to its former dimensions, thereby
improving the watercourse to cope with the increased flow during the
Concerning the river dredging at the points where it was most
narrow, Gen. Surin stated that if necessary, they would seek the
participation of police to ensure there were no problems during the
dredging process. At some points the river was only 60 meters wide,
although records showed that it was 160 meters wide in the past.
So what will happen to the Chiang Mai International Convention Center?
Pheerapong Euasoonthornwattana, director of Thailand Convention and
Exhibition Bureau disclosed that the government had assigned the bureau to
come up with a business plan for the Chiang Mai International Convention
Center, which will be finished in 2007.
There are several options. The government could manage
the entire operation, the government could sell the management rights to the
private sector (similar to the Sirikit Convention Hall); the government
joins with a private operator to manage it or to let the local
administration organization manage it. In Pheerapong’s personal opinion,
the best choice would be to let the private sector manage the convention
The final choice would not be made until the construction
of the convention center was completed. If the decision is made to let the
private sector manage the convention center, the Thailand Convention and
Exhibition Bureau will offer the position to management teams from Thailand
and overseas in the final months of this year. The bureau is fully aware of
the need for a professional management team and by offering this position to
the private sector world-wide, it would broaden the choice and increase the
likelihood of finding a suitably experienced management team.
The director added that when there is a world class
convention centre in Chiang Mai, the beauty of the area and its natural
surroundings will attract organizers to consider this convention center for
holding their activities in the city.
TAT was given the responsibility to design and construct
the convention center, with a budget of around 1.3 billion baht. The center
will have 4,500 square meters of display area and be capable of seating 3000
The Ministry of Culture discusses new guidelines
Tipawadee Mekhasawan presided at the seminar.
Guidelines for monitoring standards for TV, CDs and DVDs and movies were the
discussion points at a seminar held in Chiang Mai, with 300 interested
parties in attendance.
The aims of this seminar were to campaign and promote
understanding of cultural monitoring, especially as this comes under the Act
of Tape and Television Medium Control, 1987, but there have been many
amendments and additions since then. A cabinet decision made in November 4,
2003, required the Ministry of Culture to promote the use of TV as an aid to
education for children youths and families. This requires asking for
cooperation from television stations on every channel to extend the length
of broadcasting television programs for children and youths.
Regarding online games and Internet centers, the Ministry
of Culture has fixed a regulation for children who are under 18 years old to
be prohibited from playing games and using Internet services after 10 p.m.
each day and are also prohibited from using these facilities before 2 p.m.
from Monday to Friday, except holidays. Moreover, children under 18 are
prohibited from playing computer games for more than three hours a day. The
Ministry of Culture also has a plan to extend a cultural monitoring network
in academies as well as commercial online games shops.
Khunying Tipawadee Mekhasawan, Permanent secretary of Ministry of Culture
presided over the seminar which lasted 2 days.
at the seminar
Senate election results in Upper Northern region
Very obvious political ties compromises impartiality of Senate
In the recent senate elections in Chiang Mai, 74 percent of those eligible
to vote turned out to place their X against the candidate of their choice.
There were also 60,666 voided ballots, or 7.07 percent; and there were
62,348 no votes, or 7.34 percent.
Dr. Krai Dabtham, an outstanding local doctor and an
ex-director of Mae Ai Hospital who has dedicated his life to the public
good, received the greatest number of votes, with 145,196. The other four
senators to receive substantial votes were Prapan Buranupakorn, Pakorn
Buranupakorn’s elder brother, a Chiang Mai Member of Parliament; Busaba
Yodbangteui, Intharat Yodbangteui’s wife, a former senator; Amnuay
Yotsook, a former Chiang Mai MP and Udom Suwitsakdanont, a former PAO
councillor and owner of Nim See Seng Co., Ltd. but Poruethai Shinawatra, the
PM’s sister-in-law could only manage 7th
place, and in Chiang Mai, there can only be five senators, she missed the
In Phayao, the candidate who received the most votes was
Aree Tanbanchong, with 37,578 votesfollowed by Suwit Wongsriwong, 30,646
votes. In Phayao, there were 23 hopeful candidates, vying for the positions
of only 2 senators. 72 percent turnout was recorded, plus 12.5 percent no or
In Lampang, candidates from each of the 13 districts
competed for only two senate positions. The electorate of 599,705 eligible
voters stated their preference going to Dr. Tarnthong Thongsawad, with
76,375 votes. The 2nd place was
filled by Peera Manathat, with 52,081 votes.
In Phrae, there can only be 1 senator, but there were 7
candidates. Niyom Wiwornthanaditkul, got the highest number of votes,
achieving first place with 57,541 votes, with Kwanchai Panomkwan, candidate
number 4, coming a close second with 54,703 votes.
In Mae Hong Son, from 446 election areas, the winning
candidate was Anan Wanchaithanawong, with 44,003 votes.
Chiang Rai required four vacant senate seats to be
filled. These went to Salakchit Tiyapairat, the wife of Yongyut Tiyapairat,
the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment; Worakiat Somsoi, Jirawan
Wattanasiri, and Pluem Supapanya,.
In Nan, the candidate achieving the highest number of
votes was Chaiwoot Kooariyakul, and there is only one senate position for
In Lamphun, Songchai Wongsawad, was elected with 63,685 votes.
Bio-diesel becomes the new hope for local people due to its low price
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
Residents of Tambon Nhong Kaew in Hang Dong district are doing their bit to
save the planet by producing bio-diesel. They are supported in this endeavor
by Chiang Mai University.
The bio-diesel process involves buying used vegetable oil
from local people at 10 baht per liter. When it is mixed with other raw
materials and a chemical mixture, the total investment is 17 baht per liter.
At the moment, bio-diesel is only being made in small batches, but
production can be increased to make 150 liters at a time. The residents have
been producing bio-diesel for almost two months and have stockpiled more
than 3,000 liters of this fuel. It is on sale at 21 baht per liter, which is
six baht cheaper than the current market price. People who have bought
bio-diesel said that after using the fuel for more than 1 month, they had
experienced no problems with their engines, no black smoke, and it was just
the same as ordinary diesel.
Officers from Chiang Mai Measurement Center randomly
checked fuel dispensing pumps at petrol stations in Chiang Mai city; to
check that pumps are dispensing the correct amount of fuel, to prevent the
station owners taking advantage of customers. It was found that some petrol
stations close the petrol pumps, saying that the petrol has just run out;
but the new batch they have just received is at a higher price. In some
petrol-stations the inspectors found notices saying that customers must buy
at least 50 bahts-worth of petrol, because it is not economical in terms
electricity and personnel to sell less.
Buncha Phooamorn, deputy chief of Chiang Mai Measurement Center said that
there are 384 petrol stations in Chiang Mai, with a total of 2,882 petrol
dispensing pumps. From the beginning of this year, the oil price has risen
continuously and many entrepreneurs can no longer bear the burden, so that
10 percent of petrol stations have been forced to close.
International Horticultural Exposition progresses
International Horticultural Exposition
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
An ebullient Sudarat Keyuraphan, Minister of Agriculture
and Cooperatives issued an upbeat progress-report on the construction of the
Haw Kham Luang Building that is to be used to house the International
Horticultural Exposition (Ratchaphruek 2006), which will take place from
November 1, 2006 to January 31, 2007, to honor HM King Bhumibol as one of
the world’s longest serving monarchs. Now, the preparations, at 62%, are
ahead of schedule; and it is predicted that the building will be ready to be
handed over to the Chiang Mai Organizer Company in July according to the
The main room will be used to display agricultural
produce and developmental work of His Majesty and is separated to eight
zones. Zone 1 will lead visitors to pictures of the king visiting citizens
in different areas. Zone 2 shows his project “Jitralada” with examples
of a rice farm, bio diesel production and coral. Zone 3 will show various
royal projects where the king has tried to solve water problems, both
flooding and drought, including purifying polluted water to relieve the
water supply of Thailand’s citizens. Zones 4, 5, 6 and 7 will stress on
the six development centers that have been set up throughout the country on
His Majesty’ s initiative, to help residents of each area to have a
productive occupation. Zone 8 will conclude with all the works the king has
initiated for all citizens to earn sufficient money to enjoy a good standard
There will also be an art exhibition of both paintings and sculptures
created by well known artists. The budget for organizing the exhibitions and
decorating the building is about 40 million baht. The exhibits are to be on
permanent display and information will be disseminated by multimedia and
become a source of knowledge for students and the public, including foreign
tourists; for everyone to learn of the dedication of His Majesty; and his
graciousness since he occupied the throne of Thailand 60 years ago.
Dept of Disease Control extinguishes the weed in Chiang Mai
But VIP smoking OK?
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
The Disease Prevention and Control Office visited Chiang Mai, after being
told that restaurants in the airport were allowing smoking in
air-conditioned areas. Dr. Samna Foo-trakul, head of Disease Prevention and
Control Office 10 carried out the inspection and gave suggestions to the
owners of restaurants inside Chiang Mai International Airport.
From the inspection, it was found that several
restaurants had illegally provided smoking areas for their customers. The
Non-smokers Protection Act 1992, strictly states that air-conditioned
restaurants must be non-smoking areas, and should not contain any smoking
areas. This includes every room inside the airport, with the exception of
personal work-rooms or (astoundingly) VIP lounges. The owners of the
restaurants accepted they were at fault and promised to improve.
Officers also examined cigarette retailers in Chiang Mai city to give
advice about correct selling methods and make sure that shop-keepers do not
sell cigarettes to young people.
Burmese army assaults Tai
tribe base: Thai army assigned to set up a strong force at the border
force seen parading on the anniversary of their establishment. (file photo
courtesy of S.H.A.N.)
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
The Burmese army savagely attacked the Loi Kawwan base of the Tai tribe and
there is every probability that the ensuing battle may continue for a long
time. Recently, additional Burmese forces from Tachilek added their support
to the soldiers fighting the Tai tribe.
A report from Chiang Rai province said that the Burmese
army, made up of elements from Mongyawng based Light Infantry Battalion 311
and Tachilek-based Light Infantry Battalion 526, commanded by Lt. Col.
Gawnzuen, assaulted the Tai tribe base of Shan State Army (SSA) at Loi
Kawwan, opposite Mae Fa Luang district of Chiang Rai. There were sounds of
heavy fighting which continued for almost three hours, but the outcome of
the battle was not known.
Later, the Burmese army in Tachilek opposite Mae Sai,
Chiang Rai moved an additional force with heavy weapons to the war zone to
support the Burmese force that was battling with the Tai tribe. Tai
tribes-army close to Chiang Mai border are ready to send an army to support
their compatriots at Loi Kawwan, Chiang Rai to fight off the Burmese
This engagement has long been predicted by the Third Army Region
Intelligence, so the Thai army has been assigned to strengthen security
along the Thai border in this area. This was the first time this year that
Burmese forces have attacked minority groups nearby Mae Hong Son and Chiang
Drug dealer arrested, with 8,200 ya ba pills
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
Soldiers of the Pha Muang Task Force, together with Chai Prakan police
officers in Chiang Mai were tipped off by informers of a possible drug
shipment in their area. They mounted a checkpoint at Baan Pha Hong, and kept
a look out for two suspicious cars. When these particular vehicles, arrived
at the road block, the officers pulled them over and thoroughly searched
both cars. They found 8,200 ya ba pills hidden in a sticky rice container
and the three occupants who belonged to the Lahu tribe, confessed that they
were drug dealers from the same gang.
Police officers took all three mules into custody along
with the evidence and sent them for interrogation at Chai Prakan Police
Station, Chiang Mai to face charges.
From the interrogation, the police officers learned of more drugs at the
house of I-Sue Ma in Mai Ai. A search team went to the address and found
20,000 ya ba pills hidden there, but unfortunately I-Sue Ma’s husband,
Weerapong, one of the biggest drug dealers at the border area had got wind
of the raid and had left the premises ahead of the team’s arrival. Police
have applied to Fang District Court for a warrant for Weerapong’s arrest.
700 drink-drivers arrested in Chiang Mai during Songkran
During the Songkran Festival, over what were considered to be the 10 most
dangerous days from April 7 to April 16, 694 people had been arrested for
driving while under the influence of alcohol. They were sent to the Chiang
Mai District Court, where they were each sentenced to one month imprisonment
and ordered to pay a 2,500-3,000 baht fine.
Rommanee Klanbida, director of Chiang Mai Detention
Office said that the incidence of drink-driving was higher than the previous
year. Last year, 500 drinkers were arrested, but this year, the number rose
to almost 700. The miscreants covered a wide range of society, including
government officers, students, university students including working people
whose average ages were 35-45. The persons who were charged with
drink-driving will have to report to officers four times a year and their
behavior will be monitored.
Director of Chiang Mai Detention Office also said that those who were
drunk and caused injury to third parties will be in detention for two months
under more strict conditions; and will also have to do community services.
Drug dealers arrested after bus bust
Chiangmai Mail Reporter
Police officers on duty at Chiang Rai Provincial
Bus Terminal received an urgent radio call from their commanding officer
Pol. Col. Charan Worapattananant, Superintendent of Chiang Rai Provincial
Police Station, to be extra vigilant. This was after being informed that
there would be a drug-shipment on a bus from the Thai-Burmese border from
the Red Wa tribe during the Songkran Festival.
Police officers spotted two suspicious men loading their
baggage into the air-conditioned bus and decided to search their baggage,
and found 10,000 orange ya ba pills inside five packages. They arrested the
two couriers, later identified as Pichai Trakulpitakij, 23, and Somsak
Saetern, 20, both of them residents of Nan.
They were taken into custody and sent to face charges. The two men
confessed that they had been hired by a financial backer to pick up the
packages from the border in Chiang Rai and transport them to a Mr Big at
Talad Thai, Pathum Thani. They were to get 45,000 baht in wages and had
already been paid the first installment of 5,000 baht.
Football gambling agents in Chiang Mai arrested
Many people like to gamble in Thailand, as they do elsewhere in the world.
Some are content with having a flutter over a friendly game of Mah Jong or
putting a few baht on their local lad in a bout of Muay Thay. But a growing
number of punters are risking their hard-earned satangs on the outcome of
overseas football league matches. The gamblers get to know where these
events are being shown on satellite TV, at shops or houses owned by the
agents who will take their bets. Children and young people also gather at
these gambling houses and the authorities are concerned that by becoming
involved in such activities, it will affect their studies and cause problems
in their family and social life.
With the aim of stamping out these illicit gambling dens,
police officers were ordered to crack down on these places. A posse of
police went to check on a house located on Ratchiangsaen Road in Muang,
Chiang Mai, after learning that the premises were being used for football
gambling. They they arrested three people in the process of accepting bets
on the outcome of football games, later being identified as Thanasak
Nantasane, 32, living in Chom Thong district; Chiang Mai and Chamaiporn
Teerachai, 23, resident of Pua district Nan and Suwit Kong-ngern, 31,
resident of Tambon Thasala in Muang, Chiang Mai.
Baht 36,250 was found in their possession along with 300 betting slips
used for football gambling. Later, the same force searched a nearby house on
Wua Lai Road and arrested the owner Yuthana Chaiwong, 30 for similar
offences. This time, 1,460 baht and 52 football betting slips were seized,
plus a bank account that was being used for gambling. All the offenders were
taken into custody at Muang Chiang Mai Police Station awaiting further
prosecution; and the only betting certainty is that it’s an odds-on sure
thing that they would not be joining the Songkran Festival this year.
Suicidal patient rescued in Chiang Rai
Chiangmai Mail Reporter
The recent hot weather in Chiang Rai caused a patient in Chiang Rai’s
Prachanukroar Hospital, to overheat and climb up on the rooftop of the
hospital laundry building in a suicide attempt. Staff members of the
hospital engaged him in conversation for approximately one hour to prevent
him from jumping, before the patient finally accepted the assistance of
other officers who were climbing up to help him.
Unfortunately, getting down from his precarious perch did
not seem as easy as climbing up, because the roof was very steep.
Consequently, the hospital staff had to coordinate with rescuers from Chiang
Rai Municipality who sent a fire truck and trained rescue workers to bring
The drama was not yet over as unfortunately, fire
truck’s ladder could not reach the patient because there were high voltage
cables in the way. So the rescuers laid a ladder on the truck and eventually
brought the deranged patient safely back down to earth.
Following his rescue, medication was administered to alleviate his
distress and he was placed under close observation to prevent further roof
0.5 mio baht of copy CDs seized at Mae Sai
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
Mae Sai Customs in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai confiscated 21 boxes of Thai
Look Tung and Thai pop music MP3 CDs including a famous Korean series, Dae
Jang Kuem, numbering around 10,000 CDs costing 500,000 baht. It was
indicated these were produced in and imported from Burma.
After a tip-off, Kitti Suthisamphan, assistant of Mae Sai
Customs’ head officer together with customs officers searched a Mae Sai
The officers seized 21 suspect boxes and took them to the
customs office, and found they contained copy CDs.
After checking destinations of these boxes, they were to
be delivered to several provinces covering central part, north-east region,
and north and south regions as well. The addresses written on the 21 boxes
were given to investigation officers of Mae Sai Police Station to follow.
Post office staff said that all the boxes were delivered by Burmese men
to the post office but the boxes were too heavy and suspecious so the staff
had called the customs officers to check them.
Border Cavalry stymie drug transfer from Red Wah
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
Acting on a tip-off, Lt. Col. Domsak Khamsaisang, commander of the special
task force of 3rd Calvary
Regiment, Pha Muang Task Force in Chiang Rai set up a roadblock. The
officers had been informed that ya ba belonging to the Red Wah would be
transferred from Burma in a green Hi-lux pick up driving from Muang Mai 46,
the area where the Red Wah was known to operate.
On approaching the roadblock, the pick-up turned yellow
and drove away at high speed when the officers requested a search. The
soldiers followed the pick up closely and finally caught it up. After
searching, 1,400 orange color ya ba pills were discovered as well as a
package of raw opium and heroin. The three occupants of the pick-up were
arrested, later identified as Aso Wojue, 21; Longong Wuisue, 50; residents
of Mae Suai district and Awue Bese, 38, livng at Tambon Terdthai in Mae Fa
Luang, Chiang Rai, all three being members of the Lahu hill tribe. They were
sent to Mae Fa Luang Police Station and charged with drug trafficking.
During interrogation, Longong and Aso, the father and son admitted that
they had traveled to Burma to purchase ya ba from the Red Wah because
several of their usual drug sources were proving difficult to reach, due to
the obstructive actions of the drug-suppression teams in the area. They met
Awue, who was a member of border drug gang in Mae Fa Luang, to contact the
Red Wah for purchasing ya ba. They intended to distribute these drugs to
several areas to fulfill orders, but were arrested before could complete
that part of the operation.