Vol. V No. 32 - Saturday August 5, - August 11, 2006
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by Saichon Paewsoongnern
 

 


NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

HRH Princess Somsawalee presides at Phra Singha Temple

Chiang Mai inundated

Hmong refugees in Phetchabun cannot live in Thailand

High price of fuel encourages change to liquid gas

Leaking chemical substance causes fish to die

Government declares no violence policy in 3 Southern provinces

AIDS check in Hmong people

Lamphun community radio producer arrested

Influx of visitors expected in November-may be accommodation shortage

Cruelty to dogs uncovered

77 alien laborers arrested to reduce crime

Murderer of Burmese man arrested

Heavy rains and floods expected in the North

Drug gang with huge ya ba haul nabbed

Bus crash: 1 dead 8 injured

Anti drug campaign appears to be succeeding

HRH Princess Somsawalee presides at Phra Singha Temple

HRH Princess Somsawalee presiding over the ceremony

Preeyanoot Jittawong
HRH Princess Somsawalee presided over a ceremony to commemorate Phra Singha Temple’s restored historical sites and objects on July 21. The ceremony was organized by Phra Singha Temple community and Central Group Co., Ltd., Office of Fine Arts 8, Chiang Mai, and teachers and students of Dhammaratsuksa School held.
The Princess was welcomed by Suwat Tantipat, Chiang Mai Governor and executives of Central Group Co., Ltd.
Phra Singha Temple is a temple over 600 years old. It houses many historical objects such as a sacred Buddhist precinct, 3-crowned pagoda, library for Buddhist scriptures, assembly hall, and paintings that were damaged and have now been restored. The restoration started in 2001 with a fund 7,500,000 baht from the Office of National Buddhism (formerly Department of Religion). HRH Princess Kalyani Vadhana handed over another 1,000,000 baht received from donations.
Phra Singha was built in 1888 by King Phayu, Chiang Mai’s ruler, 5th Mang Rai Dynasty. Formerly it was named Lee Chiang Phra Temple. During the reign of King Saen Muang Ma, Chiang Mai ruler of the 7th Mang Rai Dynasty, presented Phra Buddha See Hing or Phra Sing to this temple. People have called this temple “Phra Singha Temple” since that event. The temple was then promoted to a 1st grade monastery on November 30, 1940 during the reign of King Rama VIII to honour HM the King celebrating the 60th anniversary of his accession to the throne.


Chiang Mai inundated

A thousand households flooded after continuous rain falls

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai residents were warned to expect heavy rain during the night of July 30th, which continued through to the next morning. The continuous deluge resulted in severe flooding in numerous areas of the Muang district, causing traffic jams in several areas. A number of areas in the Chiang Mai Municipality were underwater and several schools had to close suddenly. Chiang Mai residents were worried that it might result in a repeat of the inundations of last year, when the biggest flooding for 30 years occurred on four separate occasions.

Foreign tourists cross the street in front of the Night Bazaar only to find shops closed for fear of flood.

Rain volume at Chiang Mai International Airport was measured at 96.5 millimeters, but the highest volume was 109 millimeters, measured at Baan Maejo in San Sai district. The northern districts of Chiang Mai received 60-80 millimeters, and at 5.00 p.m., the water level of the Mae Ping River at Nawarat Bridge reached measuring point P. 1 standing at 4.33 meters (the critical level being 3.70 meters). Last year the water level reached 4.90 meters, causing the largest floods in Chiang Mai for decades.
Chiang Mai residents most affected by the floods were the Pratu Kom and Fa Mai communities, including Baan Sri Ping Muang, where almost 1,000 households were underwater. Meanwhile, villages in the Hang Dong TAO area were also under almost a meter of water, due to water overflowing from Tha Chang weir. Baan Mo villagers in San Kamphaeng were also flooded by meter-deep water. Some residents had already taken the precaution of moving to a safe area, but some that were unable to get out in time were waiting for help from government organizations. Several routes in Chiang Mai Municipality were made impassable by the deep water, such as Khuang Singh crossroad, Mahidol Road, routes in front of Ton Phayom Market and behind Chiang Mai University. They became flooded because of the drains being unable to cope with the deluge and water that brimmed over from a nearby irrigation canal, which resulted in about 40 centimeters of floodwater on these routes, causing traffic jams. The Chiang Mai-Hang Dong Road was also flooded, especially near Baan Tharn Dong Village where the water level reached to thigh level; as well as Pa Phrao Nok community on Chang Klan Road.
In the Mae Rim district, Baan Ton Kaew at Tambon Rimtai was also flooded over a wide area because of water from Mae Rim River overflowing at Baan Muang Pha point. The water flooded roads and gas stations, and only two out of four lanes were able to be used on several major routes. At Tambon Nahuek and Tambon Saluang, water was a meter high in villages and 50 cm deep on routes, rendering them impassable. Many villages experience black outs as the electricity supply was disrupted.
Chiang Mai governor, Suwat Tantipat held an urgent meeting of organisations concerned, to come to the aid of trapped residents by bringing them food and other essential goods and to take them to safe areas by boat.

(Above) Military officers help to pack sandbags to block the flood

Sermsak Pongpanit, Deputy Minister of Interior (right), Boonlert Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai Mayor (middle), and staff check the flooding situation at Ping River bank on Aug 1.

Flood in front of Montfort College, always the first place to get flooded as it is close to the Ping River


Hmong refugees in Phetchabun cannot live in Thailand

Saksit Meesubkwang
Hmong refugees at Baan Huay Nam Khao, Khao Kho District of Phetchabun Province are denied permanent residence by both a third country and Laos. Thailand also proclaimed that they could not live in the kingdom permanently; however, the Thai government promised to request the US to accept these people.
A regular source of the Third Army Region reported from Phetchabun that Gen. Punlop Pinmanee, deputy director of Internal Security Operations Command visited the Baan Huay Nam Khao Hmong refugee camp to look into the situation. He had been given the responsibility of dealing with the problem of the Hmong refugees who had been living along a roadside at Tambon Khek Noi for three years, police and the local TAO having washed their hands of them
Gen. Punlop said that he had met with Gen. Wang Pao, a former CIA soldier who had fought in the Thung Hai Hin war in Laos and they had talked about the Hmong refugees. As the US had rejected them and Laos would not allow the Hmong people to return to that country, the problem of their welfare had landed on Thailand’s doorstep. Gen. Wang Pao said that in his opinion, the Laotian Hmongs should be relocated in a third country family by family. The Third Army Region should make available all personnel data; including certifying which person was a real Laotian Hmong who had immigrated to live at Baan Huay Nam Khao and who was a refugee from the fighting. However, this opinion was criticized and rejected.
The deputy director added that the area the Hmong refugees were living in now at Baan Huay Nam Khao belonged to Thailand and they had entered into the kingdom illegally. The Thai authorities were not so hard-hearted as to beat them off for humanitarian reasons. They were allowed to live in the country on a temporary basis only; and the Thai authorities took good care of them. Some 300,000 Laotian Hmongs have already immigrated to the US and a few of them have even occupied political posts. He said he would like the leaders of these refugees to request a third country or even the US to accept the refugees now living in Thailand because the Thai authorities have stressed that they could only be responsible for them on a temporary basis.
When they first arrived, the Laotian Hmongs refugees agreed to live at Baan Huay Nam Khao for a few months only, but now three years have passed and they are still there and the population is increasing (200 children). The entire refugee population has now reached 6,060, divided to 1,079 households, 3,148 males and 2,912 females, and have even elected a president of their home away from home, Chong Tong Saewang. Most of them have made it clear that they would like to live in Thailand, however, it depends on whether the Thai government can relocate them to live in third country or not.
Stay or go; Gen. Punlop revealed that from now on the Third Army Region would be responsible for them and it was his policy to stress to these people that they should leave the kingdom as soon as possible, due to the fact that it affected the country’s security. The Thai authorities wanted the refugees off their hands, but would relocate them humanely and ensure that they were treated fairly.


High price of fuel encourages change to liquid gas

Saksit Meesubkwang
The high and rising price of fuel at the pumps have caused many people in Chiang Mai to install a liquid gas-fuel tank in their vehicles.

People bring in their cars to install the gas fuel system.

There are now 20 automobile gas-tank distributors in Chiang Mai and the numbers are steadily rising. A study has shown that about 20 percent of car users on the streets of Chiang Mai and nearby provinces are actively interested in having a gas-tank installed due to the high price of fuel.
Phanich Chaiyasri, vice president of the Physical Education Institute, Chiang Mai said that he used to use a benzene-fuelled car, powered by a 2,000 c.c. engine and paid on average of 5,000 baht per month for fuel. Faced with rising fuel costs, he decided to have his car fitted with a gas tank so that he can use both benzene and gas. He paid 15,000 baht for the installation and 400 baht for a tank full of gas, which enables the car to run for 380 km. Comparing the cost of benzene, which is 30 baht per litre; and gas, which is 10 baht per litre; Phanich now finds that his fuel costs 3 times less than before.
A run-on affect has increased sales of second-hand European cars as many had been fitted with a gas system by their previous owners.


Leaking chemical substance causes fish to die

Khajohn Boonphat
A black coloured chemical substance with a bad smell leaked into the Lang River, Pang Ma Pha district in Mae Hong Son and caused the death of numerous fish; residents of 4 villages then took them home to eat. Military forces and drug intelligence officers explained that this contamination might be from a leaking chemical container hidden near the river.
Chana Naksuriya, Mae Hong Deputy Governor offered the theory it may be the result of someone smuggling a chemical substance to use in the production of illegal drugs in an area close to the Lang River. When it rained, the flood may have caused the chemical substance containers to crash on rocks resulting in ruptures. Chana then issued orders to the Pang Ma Pha district chief officer to send a volunteer group to check and investigate the cause of dead fish in Lang River and immediately report back to the province.
Military intelligence reported that prior to this incident, there was a report from the Office of Narcotic Control Board (ONCB) that a group of drug dealers had smuggled in a chemical substance used to produce heroin. The Ether was brought from Chiang Mai to an area in Pang Ma Pha district in Mae Hong Son destined for the Red Wa in Baan Khai Luang in Myanmar opposite to Baan Ae Ko, Tambon Tham Lawd, Pang Ma Pha district in Mae Hong Son. Although they could not be sure, it was a possibility that this chemical was the cause of the pollution in the Lang River.
However, the Office of Public Health warned residents who had collected the dead fish not to eat them because the fish were contaminated that would almost certainly have an adverse effect on villagers who consumed them. An estimated 1.5 tons of dead fish had been collected by villagers fro consumption. The biggest fish, a “Plamung” (Mung fish) weighed 10-15 kg.


Government declares no violence policy in 3 Southern provinces

Preeyanoot Jittawong
The National Committee of Freedom and Unity, led by Khothom Areeya and Dr. Ananchai Thaiprathan recently arranged a meeting at Payap University in Chiang Mai to talk about the grievances of those living in the 3 Southern provinces and come up with workable solutions to their problems.
The main cause of the civil unrest and chaos in the south stemmed from what residents perceive as social injustice and discrimination by the government. 30 percent of the Muslims living in the south sympathize with terrorists and the tendency will be for this number to rise if the government does not solve the problems as soon as possible.
Dr. Anathachai talked about the situation and the fact that there have been terrorists in the 3 Southern provinces for a long time, but their strategies and movements have adjusted. The government has constantly acknowledged this matter, but their strategies and counter-measures to eradicate the terrorists have been ill-conceived, especially as they have chosen to use military force to solve the problem, which has made the situation worse. If the government does not adjust their tactics and ideas, the violence will surely escalate.
30 percent of Muslims sympathized with the terrorists in the 3 Southern provinces. The terrorists had always believed that they have never had equality under Thai law and constantly felt in fear for their lives; they protested and fought for what they perceived as their rights and their pride. 50 percent of the southern population is regarded as neutral; and the remaining 20 percent are with the government. However, if the government still persists in using violence to solve the problem, it is almost certain that the proportion of Muslims who sympathize with terrorists will rise, and those who are now neutral will side with the terrorists.
Dr. Ananchai strongly suggested that the government should abandon their present strategy of using violence to solve the problems because it will cause even more trouble. Instead it should seek more peaceful ways of easing the social tension by removing or changing what the local residents see as discrimination or social inequality.
Khothom Areeya said that the National Committee of Freedom and Unity debated trying to solve the problems and they would compile a report of the findings to send to the government. They also wanted to motivate people into thinking that this matter is not just the problem of the 3 Southern provinces, but a matter for the whole Thai nation to cooperate and solve.
He added that in his opinion, part of this problem is that although there is no doubt that Thai people love their motherland, their definition of being Thai is too narrow and constricting; resulting in intolerance of differences in race, religion and people with different cultures. The definition of being Thai should be broadened to make it acceptable to live peacefully alongside people of different race, colour and creed.
Justice is another problem that should be addressed, because those terrorists always ask for justice under Thai law. The government should give more significance to politics and administration and less to trying to achieve a solution by military means, by giving the opportunity for people to own their resources and ensuring that they will not be discriminated against.
There are already many different races living quite peacefully in Thailand; such as Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, and Melayu etc. We should accept the difference and treat them equally. This report was just an idea creator for the government and PM Thaksin Shinawatra has said that this will be applied to help solve the problems along the Southern border.


AIDS check in Hmong people

Preeyanoot Jittawong
Instruction and advice on birth control and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, including a check for AIDS was recently provided for Hmong people living in the north of Thailand. Many people were interested in the check and although AIDS was not found, gonorrhea was rife in large numbers of the population.

Tassanee Srimongkol, director of The Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand under the Patronage of H.R.H. the Princess Mother

Tassanee Srimongkol, director of The Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand under the Patronage of H.R.H. the Princess Mother, revealed that many among the Hmong tribe still lacked the knowledge and realization of how to prevent the transmission of venereal diseases and AIDS; and did not use any form of birth control. Some tribal cultures and beliefs could bring about the spread of venereal disease and AIDS and many of the population had a low quality of life. Therefore the association has set up a 2-year project with the aim of preventing transmission of these diseases and to inform the Hmong people on how to practice birth control.
The scheme also aims to improve the livelihood of Hmong people in 13 villages in 5 districts, Mae Rim, Muang, Chom Thong, Hot and Mae Chaem. The Association will train volunteers in each village so that they can continue to pass on their knowledge to villagers. Besides conducting checks for venereal disease and AIDS, the doctors handed out condoms and birth control medicines and gave advice on birth-control methods. This process has been applied for one year and many Hmong people have already been checked for AIDS and venereal diseases. No one was discovered to have AIDS but 18 people from the 96 persons checked were found to have gonorrhea. The advice and checks will be continued until April next year and the association hopes the project would create awareness among the Hmong people the importance of sexual health and practicing birth control.


Lamphun community radio producer arrested

Nopniwat Krailerg
A community radio station in Lamphun came on air a bit too strong when it set up illegally and its signal interfered with aeronautical radio at Chiang Mai International Airport.
The National Telecommunication Commission of Thailand (NTC) headed by Chatchai Nootnon, head officer of the NTC asked police to prosecute the owner of the community radio station, alleging that it was illegally using radio telecommunication equipment and had set up the radio station without permission.
The police also had received further complaints from Aeronautical Radio of Thailand that a radio signal emanating from around Lamphun was interfering with messages to and from aircraft approaching Chiang Mai International Airport. Tracking equipment revealed that the rogue radio signals were coming from a house in CP Peak Quality House Village 1, Tambon Makhue Jae in Muang, Lamphun. This was the HQ of a community radio station known as Lanna Radio Station Anti Drug 105.5 MHz. Mongkol Yodphet or Noom Mongkol, a well-known northern singer and producer owned it and the police found he had an illegal 45-meter mast to broadcast his programs, instead of the maximum 30 meters allowed. Noom Mongkol was arrested and prosecuted.


Influx of visitors expected in November-may be accommodation shortage

Chiang Mai Housing Bureau program prepares to cope

Preeyanoot Jittawong
Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association recently opened a website to enable accommodation business owners in Chiang Mai to register the details of their facilities in readiness for International Horticultural Exposition Ratchaphruek 2006. The website will assist tourists who wish to visit the International Horticultural Exposition in November to search for accommodation and make reservations in advance; and of course will support many other activities that will happen in Chiang Mai. It is expected that there will be up to 3 million tourists visiting Chiang Mai at the end of this year.

Boonlert Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai Mayor

Boonlert Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai Mayor, as the president of Office of Accommodation Service and honorary committee member of Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association, said that Chiang Mai Municipality was informed that tourists had contacted hoteliers in the City for reservation of more than 40,000 rooms. However, there are only approximately 20,000 rooms available and it is expected that accommodation will be insufficient to cater for all those who intend to visit the Horticultural Exposition and the other attractions that have been laid on in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Chiang Mai Municipality, North – Chiang Mai University and Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA) Chiang Mai Branch created a website for Chiang Mai Housing Bureau to give an opportunity to owners; hotels, resorts, guesthouses, apartments, and other accommodation businesses to register whatever accommodation they have available on the website www.cnxtourism.com. This is the official website of the Office of Accommodation Service, which gathers information on whatever rooms are available, ranging from small to large and shows the information on the website to provide a service for foreign and Thai tourists to check available accommodation and book online.
Also, this website provides for advance reservation, which is another service that facilitates tourists who wish to visit the International Horticultural Exposition Ratchaphruek 2006 and other activities in Chiang Mai.
Accommodation business owners who would like to register with the program can ask for more information and application forms at Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association, Tel 0-5381-9314-5. Accommodation list will be shown in the website.


Cruelty to dogs uncovered

Saksit Meesubkwang
Appalled by the callous killing of stray dogs, 30 foreigners and Thais of the Care for Dogs group put up posters to try to persuade people not to kill stray dogs at Tambon Fah Ham in Muang Chiang Mai; where regularly every Friday, more than 50 dogs are killed.
San-ya Sukrakhorn, advisor of the Thai Animal Guardians Association (Thai AGA) said that the Care For Dogs group had coordinated with Thai AGA to check the situation at Fah Ham and found that every Friday night, about 10 men kill dogs at the village football field, but nobody dared to watch because they were afraid of what the men might do. Whilst this callous behavior was being secretly observed, more than 50 dogs were brutally killed. Local people said that including pets and strays, there were approximately 200 dogs in Tambon Fah Ham.
San-ya also said that local residents reported that they always hear dogs howl and scream with pain. There are always blood stains left behind after the dogs have been slaughtered; and they believed that the dogs are cruelly massacred. Dog meat is brought here to be sold because some people still mistakenly believe that eating dog meat is beneficial to their health.
On July 21, Care for Dogs group and dog-lovers of Tambon Fah Ham and the owners of the dead dogs intend to set up a camp to monitor the massacre. A representative of the group will also inform Mae Ping Police to investigate and trace the dog killers.
According to the inquiry conducted by Fah Ham Tambon Administration Organization (TAO), they protested that the TAO did not poison the dogs as residents’ suspect. Those who cruelly kill the dogs are probably alien laborers who inhabit this area. It is more likely that those who poison the dogs may be local residents who object to the fact that the stray dogs bark incessantly at night.


77 alien laborers arrested to reduce crime

Chiangmai Mail Reporter
The Superintendent of Mae Sai Immigration in cooperation with police officers of Mae Sai Police Station conducted a crime suppression operation aimed at alien laborers who illegally came to Thailand from neighboring countries. Officers spread out along the Thai-Burmese border to known commonly used entrance routes into Thailand at Baan San Phak Hee, Tambon Mae Sai, near the Thai-Burmese Friendship Bridge and the 2nd Mae Sai Bridge. Officers stopped a bus that was crossing the bridge, with 17 alien laborers on board with no I.D. or any documents. The officers placed them in custody and also arrested the bus driver Sukham Man-mhor to face legal proceeding.
Continuing their efforts in Mae Sai district, officers also arrested a further 60 alien laborers, who were sent to interrogation offices of Mae Sai Police Station to face legal proceedings.
This suppression operation happened because lately, alien laborers have committed many crimes, especially motorbike theft, in Mae Sai district and caused a lot of trouble to local residents. Also, illegal drugs from neighboring countries have become more prevalent and are being distributed by alien laborers. The police hope that by cracking down on the alien laborers and preventing them illegally entering the kingdom, it will reduce the crime rate in the area.


Murderer of Burmese man arrested

Pol. Col. Chamnan Ruadrew, Deputy Commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police (3rd from right) at a press conference.

Saksit Meesubkwang / Preeyanoot Jittawong
Chiang Mai Provincial Police arrested the murderer of a Burmese labourer at Tambon Tasala on the night of July 22, 48 hours of the murder (See last weeks Chiangmai Mail).
A dead body had been found near the swamp at the back of the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Hotel on July 22. The body was identified as that of La Nangpan, 20, a Burmese labourer. On the night of July 21, La had attended the wedding of a friend at an old butcher’s shop near the crime scene. After the ceremony, the victim had an argument with others at the party and was later pursued and assaulted.
Witnesses identified the attackers as Burmese immigrants Por-ka Lungta, Moo-ling, and Dam. Por-ka was apprehended and the motive was discovered to be a disagreement about different styles of Tai tribal boxing. Each of them maintained that their Tai tribal boxing style was superior and challenged each other to see which was the better. Strong words led to blows being exchanged but La could not fight and fled from the wedding ceremony. All 3 accused chased after La and caught up with him near the swamp where they savagely attacked and killed him, then fled.
Police hope to arrest the other two accused quite soon.


Heavy rains and floods expected in the North

Chiangmai Mail Reporter
The Meteorological Department issued warnings about heavy rain expected in the Northern and upper Northeastern Region. For the next few days, the southeast monsoon, which covers the Andaman Sea near the upper Gulf of Thailand is slightly heavier than usual. This, together with the low-pressure that currently covers North Vietnam, is bringing heavy rain to the Northern and upper Northeastern Region of Thailand, especially in Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Nan, Phrae, Uttaradit, Loei, Nhong Khai, Nhong Bua Lamphoo, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon and Nakhon Phanom.
People that live in high-risk areas, such as low-lying land, foothills or near watercourses in these provinces should prepare for sudden floods. The Meteorological Department will continue to inform of the situation with up-to-date weather reports.
Ask for more information at Tel. 0-2398-9830 and 0-2399-4012-4 or 1182 and www.tmd.go.th or from Weather Report Radar at www. cmmet.com 24 hours a day.
Help may also be sought at Disaster Prevention Center: People Division at responsibility district, sub-district, municipality, and Tambon Administration Organization (TAO) or Chiang Mai Disaster Prevention Center: People Division at Tel. 0-5322-1470, 0-5321-3568, and 0-5321-3382.


Drug gang with huge ya ba haul nabbed

Gang led by official of TAO

Chiangmai Mail Reporter
July 24: Provincial Police Bureau Region 5 arrested a gang of notorious drug dealers caught in possession of more than three hundred thousand speed pills whilst they were trying to transfer them to Central Thailand. Six gang members, headed by an official of the Tambon Administration Organization (TAO) were arrested. Their possessions were also confiscated and the continuing investigation is expected to reach to other gangs, especially the “Chom Marn Blue” group, an equally notorious drug gang in the north-east region of Thailand.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, Provincial Police Bureau commissioner, said that this gang imported drugs from the Red Wa in Burma and the offenders had been pursued for over 3 months. Some members were arrested at Chiang Rai Airport and two who had been hired for 1,600,000 baht to deliver the drugs were arrested in Kamphaengphet Province, whilst another two distributors were captured in Bang Pa-in District of Ayuthaya while awaiting the arrival of the ya ba.
“These ya ba pills were intended for distribution in the north-east and western regions of Thailand and they were produced in various colors to attract clients while maintaining the same ingredients. The purple ya ba is a new color and is preferred by drug addicts in the south of Thailand around Song Khla and Satun provinces. This group of drug dealers is a big gang and some of them are associated with an even larger gang in the north-eastern region.” the commissioner disclosed. The police are already in possession of information of those involved and are assembling the evidence to apply for an arrest warrant for everyone concerned.
Another arrest
A light sentence did not deter Anan Kingtapluang who had just been released from jail after serving 8 months for dealing in heroin On July 23rd Song Police, Phrae Province nabbed him carrying 50,000 amphetamine pills hidden in the spare wheel of his pick up.
The drugs were to be delivered to Songkhla and he was to be paid 250,000 baht for the delivery. He said that he had been hired by a former headman of Mae Fa Luang District of Chiang Rai Province and another resident of Nonthaburi. Armed with this information, the police arrested both men in Phayao Province. They admitted that they had provided the drugs and all three offenders now face prosecution, and, hopefully a more serious sentence.


Bus crash: 1 dead 8 injured

Saksit Meesubkwang
One woman died and eight other passengers were injured after a bus crashed on the 56 km stretch of the Doi Tao-Hot Road. Rescue teams arrived on the scene from Hot Hospital to find a severely damaged air-conditioned bus belonging to the See Fa Transport company, lying on its side in the middle of the road.
The rescue teams discovered the body of a 30 year-old woman crushed beneath the bus. Initial attempts to remove the body failed and a crane was brought from Chiang Mai in order to lift thebus. Officers found no ID on the body and have been unable to identify the woman. The eight injured passengers, amongst the, the driver, suffered from minor cuts and bruises which were treated in Hod Hospital.
Following an investigation officers discovered that the bus left Bangkok on July 26th heading for Chom Thong district in Chiang Mai. About 40 km before its destination, whilst driving down a steep slope in heavy rain, the driver lost control of the bus which then crashed an drolled onto its side. Both the driver and the backup driver were treated in hospital for minor injuries.


Anti drug campaign appears to be succeeding

Region 5 made almost 7000 narcotics related arrests since October 051

Nopniwat Krailerg
Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5 revealed the results of aggressive anti-drug operations in the North since October 2005.

Some evidence of ya ba seized by Provincial Police Region 5 (File photo)

During this period there had been 6,853 arrests and he expressed his satisfaction with the results. He said that this had been achieved by the dedication of his officers, the vigilance of soldiers and police at fixed and mobile checkpoints, the use of chemical testing equipment and the keen noses of the 30 K9 police sniffer dogs.
Certain places that need watching more closely include entertainment centres, because these are the venues where drug deals are likely to take place. The changes in plans have been implemented to keep up with the ever more devious tactics of the drug networks. Presently, drug gangs are trying to expand into foreign markets, but all movements are being watched and the situation is under control.
New drugs spreading throughout the country are similar in composition to ya ba and are comparably priced. Once there is sufficient evidence of people being involved in drugs, arrests will immediately be made, especially of those whose names are on the blacklist.



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