NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Residents accuse city fathers of wasting annual budget

Chiang Mai International Airport holds emergency practice drills

Karen network rejects curriculum at Chiang Mai’s Non-Formal Education Center

Northern region flood statistics updated

TK Park in Chiang Mai should have Lanna identity

Chiang Mai supports ecotourism and OTOP

Residents protest stone mill

Lamphun flood victims request government assistance

Cool number plate sold at 1.05 mil baht

Plan for moving Hmong refugees to a third country cancelled after responsible officer dismissed

4,000 ya ba pills seized

International drug dealing gang arrested

Allegations of police assault on university student

Escaped drug dealer’s bloated corpse found in river

Border patrol police arrest ya ba dealer

North Koreans escape to Thailand again

Three internet cafes in Chiang Mai reprimanded

Lampang announces 6-month narcotics report

Residents accuse city fathers of wasting annual budget

Saksit Meesubkwang
Concerned Chiang Mai residents appealed to Chiang Mai Municipality to reveal how their taxes were being spent, after observing what they considered to be profligate spending on unnecessary projects. For instance, municipality workers removed the footpath on Doi Suthep Road, despite the fact it was in good shape, and planted flowers and trees on the footpath, instead of spending the money on a far more urgent problem, dealing with the flooding along the Ping River. It was the opinion of many residents that the municipality was rushing to spend the money before the end of the financial year, which comes at the end of this month.
Prof. Chalermphon Saemphet, leader of the Chiang Mai Lovers Group disclosed that it was apparent that the municipality seemed to be trying to totally spend the annual budget before the end of this financial period, because doing so before the forthcoming election might be beneficial for the current government.
“The municipality has replaced a perfectly serviceable footpath with a new one and then dug it up to plant trees. Many people thought it was a waste of taxpayers’ money to do this and would like the council to verify how taxes are to be spent before engaging in such wasteful practices,” he said.
Disputing accusations of wastefulness, Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn stated that the money had been spent on adjusting the scenery around the city and came from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and not from the 2006 annual municipality budget. The scenery was enhanced to welcome the International Horticultural Exposition “Ratchaphruek 2006” that is to take place at the end of this year.
He further explained that the footpath had been in use for more than 10 years and had become damaged, so a new footpath needed to be constructed. The bamboo plants had been planted on Boon Ruang Rit Road because this highway was the main route between Chiang Mai Airport and the city canal, and it was decided to add green color on that route.
The mayor added that the entire process had been debated and sanctioned by the appropriate municipality committee and the work was carried out as part of their overall strategy. All work on the municipality’s responsible areas was predicted to be finished by the first week of September because the scenery around Chiang Mai City is spruced up every year before the start of the high season.
The entire budget for the municipality’s local area development plan this financial year was 923,592,000 baht; and 899,393,000 baht has already been spent on 37 construction projects.


Chiang Mai International Airport holds emergency practice drills

Saksit Meesubkwang
On September 7, Chiang Mai International Airport held simulated emergency practice drills to prepare the airport staff against bomb threats

During the practice simulation, fire-fighters help the ‘injured’ in the airport car park.

The training exercise simulated an explosion in the airport car park, with
numerous injuries and deaths. The airport staff had to be ready to coordinate with local agencies such as hospitals, the fire department, the Local Administration Organisation, the Border Patrol police and numerous private sector agencies.
Pilot Officer Suthara Huangsuwan, director of Chiang Mai International Airport, said that he hoped the practice would help prepare the airport staff to deal quickly and effectively with a real emergency.
Following the recent terrorist bomb threats in London, Chiang Mai International Airport has increased security measures and checks on people travelling through the airport, including checking any liquid substances brought onto planes.
The simulation, which was opened by director of the Regional Airport of Thailand Public Company, Flight Lieutenant Pradit Mongkonapiban, was held in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s regulations that state such exercises have to be held every two years.


Karen network rejects curriculum at Chiang Mai’s Non-Formal Education Center

Saksit Meesubkwang
Several Karen officials voiced their objections recently over many aspects of Chiang Mai Non-Formal Education Center’s educational curriculum, which in their opinion did not properly address the needs of Karen students.

Educators meet at the Non-Formal Education Meeting Room, Mae Rim district in Chiang Mai.

A discussion was held on September 5 at the Non-Formal Education (NFE) Meeting Room in Mae Rim district, Chiang Mai, chaired by Worrapoj Teawkul, director of Non-Formal Education, Chiang Mai. The talks centered on the education provided for hill tribe students in Om Koi district in Chiang Mai.
Various organizations participated in this meeting, including Wai-ying Thongbue, coordinator of the Karen Network for Culture and Environment, Surapong Kongkarnphruet, chief officer of Karen Educational Center in Kanchanaburi, and representatives of many organizations claiming experience in language and culture.
Worrapoj Teawkul said that the NFE’s curriculum for Karen students in Om Koi district emphasizes teaching the Thai language; Karen language is only taught outside the curriculum. Money had been provided from the Department of Education, with additional funding from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to cover the cost of the extra-curricular tuition.
However, it was apparent that the Karen language was not being taught in schools in the area, so this discussion was arranged in order to exchange opinions whether the curriculum is suitable and correct. If the curriculum does not address the needs of the native speakers, the points that are not correct should be changed in order to give equal attention to the teaching of the Karen language as well as teaching Thai.
Wai-ying Thongbue said the NFE had provided Karen language tuition on their curriculum for over 2 years, but had used the Thai alphabet. However, the NFE never informed or consulted with native speaking tutors, despite the fact that there are many organizations and highly educated Karen people who have huge expertise in these matters.
He said that this is not fair to Karen students because their language will be misused and taught incorrectly. Children of future generations will eventually be taught by people whose expertise in the Karen language and culture has been corrupted by incorrect tuition now.
Wai-ying also said that he wanted many organizations to have discussions about Karen language and culture. He stressed that he wanted native speaking tutors to teach the Karen language in all the schools, instead of parents having to hire language experts to instruct their children after school hours.
Elisabeth Foerther, a volunteer from the U.S. said that she had come to Chiang Mai to help in training teachers how to adjust their teaching for local people and children. She was experienced in this area and has seen that children are happy to study with NFE, as they learn languages. She said she had no idea about the suitability of the curriculum provided for the children’s education, and she would have to confer with the teachers who had drawn up the curriculum.


Northern region flood statistics updated

Over 1 billion baht damages

Staff Reporters
Several northern provinces have been badly affected by recent floods. Lampang province was the hardest hit, with floods in 430 villages spread over 12 districts. Over 30,000 people have been affected by the floods and the cost of repairs has been estimated as up to 1 billion baht.
Phasakorn Chompupan, head officer of administration and general service sector of the Department of Public Disaster and Relief, Lampang, revealed that 430 villagers had been flooded throughout 68 sub-districts and 12 districts. Only Sop Prap district did not experience any flooding. Wang Nua district saw 73 villages flooded, whilst Thoen district and Mae Tha district saw 71 and 69 villages flooded respectively. The flood damage in Lampang is expected to cost about 3.9 million baht.
In total, 8,594 households have been damaged, along with 49 roads, 42 bridges, 121 weirs, 2 river walls and 63 drainage points. The agricultural sector was also affected, with 4,454 rai of rice fields, 800 rai of corn fields, 104 fish ponds and 170 livestock damaged.
In Chiang Rai flash floods occurred for the fifth time this year at Pa Tueng sub-district in Mae Chan district on September 6, destroying 20 households in a number of different villages. Though the floodwaters had largely dried up the next day, residents remained anxious. The Department of Public Disaster Prevention and Relief, Chiang Rai, estimated that the damage since the beginning of August would cost up to 21 million baht. Nearly 380 villages spread throughout 14 districts have been affected and residents have been warned to be careful of disease.
As of September 6 several areas in the central district of Lamphun were still flooded. Most areas are returning to normal and some schools cancelled classes for one day. The Lamphun Provincial Health Office reported that over 1,300 patients had received treatment due to diseases spread by the floods. More than half this number suffered skin diseases, while the rest had diarrhea, pinkeye and respiratory diseases.
Pramon Sujarit, Sam Ngao district chief officer in Tak revealed that the floods at Krabat, Wang Chan and Wang Man, all in the Wang River basin, had flooded households and agricultural land, damaging around 10,000 rai at an estimated cost of 30 million baht.


TK Park in Chiang Mai should have Lanna identity

Preeyanoot Jittawong
Around 600 young people and teachers throughout Chiang Mai were hugely involved in influencing the style and identity of the new Thailand Knowledge Park. They strongly believed that the TK Park in Chiang Mai should have a Lanna identity so that the park would convey the culture and unique lifestyle of Northern Thailand.
The committee responsible for the park staged a meeting with Chiang Mai Youth Network with the support of the Office of Knowledge Administration & Development Department. They invited young people, Chiang Mai residents and teachers to share their opinions on the content and theme of the park that is to be established near the train station.
The initial intention for establishing TK Park is to make it a source of knowledge and inspiration for youngsters, and the local people insisted that the park should have a definite Lanna identity and feel.
The opinions of local residents, especially those of young people were very positive and constructive, and advocated that TK Park should be constructed to meet the needs of the younger residents of the area.
The widely differing teenagers’ thoughts were surveyed throughout August and September this year, and the consensus of everyone involved is that the Chiang Mai TK Park should be set up to be modern, creative and comfortable to use, so it would attract young people to enjoy learning there.
TK Parks have been set up in other parts of Thailand, namely in Yala, Maha Sarakham and Chonburi, but local people would like the design of Chiang Mai TK Park to be different from the others. It should be constructed according to Northern style and show off the unique art and culture of Lanna, to make young people love and take pride in their Northern heritage.


Chiang Mai supports ecotourism and OTOP

OTOP business owners in Chiang Mai and nearby

Preeyanoot Jittawong
Tourism in the Northern provinces received a boost when the Office of Tourism, Sports and Recreation, Chiang Mai held an operational seminar to discuss the competitive potential of tourism management. 160 members and executives of Tambon Administration Organizations, Tambon municipality and OTOP business owners in Chiang Mai brainstormed at the Baan Saen Tong Room in Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel on September 5, on how best to improve the service to the Lanna network.
Sakthip Krailerg, Ministry of Tourism and Sports undersecretary and president of the seminar, said that the purpose was to boost the potential of communal tourism management to allied members in 4 northern provinces: Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang and Mae Hong Son, which are naturally linked by having beautiful natural tourist attractions, similar cultures, unique community lifestyles and possess the potential to have a major impact on the tourism industry.
Sakthip said that according to previous research, it was found that tourism that brings lots of income into the country does not necessarily benefit local people. TAOs should develop strategies to encourage local residents to provide services such as home-stay and other associated facilities, in and around the scenic areas that attract tourists to visit these locations.
If tourists are persuaded to stay in an area instead of just passing through, the knock-on effect spreads their tourist dollars and baht into all sectors of the community. This will increase wages and benefit many more members of the community, such as local shopkeepers, produce growers, guides, taxis and many different service providers. The local community’s participation has to be stressed in order to develop tourism, by encouraging cooperation and aiming at achievable targets that will make Thailand the center of natural and cultural tourism in Southeast Asia.
For sustained tourism development to have a positive affect on people’s lives in the community, suitable tourism management has to be provided to allied members and there has to be strong promotion of OTOP village tourism management by TAO members.
Making OTOP a part of ecotourism will boost tourism management, strengthen local communities and provide more opportunity for ordinary people to become a part of this program and spread the revenue throughout the local households. When community members realize the significance of their efforts, it will give them a passion to do more for their communities and help each other to conserve natural resources.


Residents protest stone mill

Nopniwat Krailerg
Over 100 villagers from the Mae Taeng district of Chiang Mai gathered at Chiang Mai City Hall on September 4 to present a petition to Chiang Mai deputy governor, Thongchai Wongrianthong. The petition is to protest against the construction of a stone mill in Mae Taeng.
The dispute regarding the stone mill has been going on for ten years. Recently, however, the company requesting authorisation to build presented legal documentation and an environmental impact study to the Chiang Mai provincial authority and was given permission to proceed with the construction.
Local villagers have opposed the construction due to concerns as to how it will affect Bua Tong and Ched Si waterfalls, both important water sources. The villagers have announced that they will continue to appeal to the administrative courts to prevent the construction of the stone mill.


Lamphun flood victims request government assistance

Saksit Meesubkwang
Floods in the Muang and Mae Tha districts of Lamphun on the night of August 31 caused heavy damage to numerous houses along the Mae Tha River. Following the floods the Provincial Administration Organisations (PAO), the Tambon Administration Organisations (TAO) and the Department of Administration promised to provide help to those affected.
Despite such promises, flood victims feel little help has been forthcoming. Insorn Bamrungchaem, 47, told reporters that aside from food, water and medicine, he had received no serious support. Residents in affected areas are most in need of support in repairing their homes. Although the government has promised 20,000 baht to each household to help with repairs, this money has yet to materialise.
Following the floods, provincial officers visited houses in order to take photos and deliver assurances that the 20,000 baht compensation would be paid. Since then the provincial officers have visited the flood site with members of the press, but there is still no indication that the compensation will arrive soon.
With the media there, residents took the opportunity to request support from relevant government organisations in repairing their homes.


Cool number plate sold at 1.05 mil baht

Ronayuth Tang-ruamsab, deputy director general of Department of Land Transport, presents Kor Lor 9999 to Yuthasak Sathianyangkoon, Deputy Chiang Mai PAO, who won the auction with a bid of 1,050,000 baht.

Nopniwat Krailerg
As on previous years, the third License Plate Auction in Chiang Mai proved to be an exciting event. The auction, held by the Office of Land Transport, reported earnings of 11 million baht, the majority of which will be used to fund road safety campaigns.
The auction took place between September 2 and 3 at the Empress Hotel in Chiang Mai. Ronayuth Tang-ruamsab, deputy director of the Department of Land Transport opened the auction and was welcomed by Chanchai Keelapaeng and the staff of Chiang Mai Land Transport. There were many participants at the auction and a total of 301 license plates were sold.
The highlight of the auction was plate number ‘Kor Lor 9999’, which was sold to Yuthasak Sathianyangkoor, deputy of the Chiang Mai Provincial Organisation, for 1.05 million baht.
Ronayuth revealed that the auction, which was open to owners of private vehicles carrying less than seven persons, had raised 14 million baht for the road safety fund. Previous auctions, which have been held since 2003, have used funds to supply breathalysers for the Office of Land Transport, to buy computers for the Royal Thai Police and to set up a road safety training program in schools and colleges. Funds have also been used to set up a bicycle safety program for pratom students entitled “Cultivating Road Safety Consciousness in Children”.
This auction will be the last to see the ‘panda’ logo on Chiang Mai’s license plates. The 2007 auction will feature a new logo, though it will still incorporate elements unique to Chiang Mai. The auction is open to all members of the public. All funds raised at the auction will be used to help reduce road accidents.


Plan for moving Hmong refugees to a third country cancelled after responsible officer dismissed

Saksit Meesubkwang
Plans to relocate Laotian Hmong refugees to a third country suffered a set-back recently, when the officer responsible for the move was summarily dismissed.
On September 4, Tophong Umphanphan, standing in for the Phetchabun governor announced that negotiations were in progress to move at least 2000 Laotian Hmong refugees, presently residing in Baan Huay Nam Khao of Phetchabun Province, back to Laos. However, the negotiations have been placed on hold because Gen. Punlop Pinmanee, the former deputy director of Internal Security Operations Command, and the person responsible for this project, had been dismissed from his position.
He added that a few days previously, on September 1, a meeting was held to discuss how to help the Hmong refugees re-locate to new homes. A decision was made to provide an old disused airport area that was available as their new location. However, permission to use the airport needed to be sought from the Internal Security Operations Command to check if the move affected relationships on the Thai-Laotian border. The province will report the outcome of this resolution to the government and will continue to consult with the Internal Security Operations Command to see if the relocation to this site is permitted or not.
Tophong also revealed that the Laotian Hmong refugees were not allowed to remain at Baan Huay Nam Khao because their presence affected Thai Hmong citizens. Therefore, a new place that will not affect the environment or local established relationships must be prepared for them, and this issue must be to the mutual satisfaction of every organization concerned.
In the meantime, Pol. Col. Aram Khaosa-aad, superintendent of Khao Kho Police Station in Phetchabun expressed that now there are 200 Hmong refugees in custody at five local police stations and the police officers were at full stretch trying to deal with these refugees.
Lt. Dewit Muenthao, a representative of Third Army Region responsible for recording the particulars of the Laotian Hmong refugees at Baan Huay Nam Khao, disclosed that the details of over 6,000 Laotian Hmong people had been recorded. The biography of each had to be checked to protect internal security and no more refugees from Laos are being allowed to enter Baan Huay Nam Khao.
To prevent any further entry, Third Army Region has set up 24 hour patrols on all routes in and out of the village.


4,000 ya ba pills seized

Staff Reporter
During a routine check on a Chiang Rai-Bangkok bus, police discovered a man carrying 4,000 ya ba pills concealed in his trousers. Yuthaphon Meemana, 34, of Singhburi, was arrested and later revealed that he had been asked to sell the pills in order to raise money to pay for legal costs of another drug suspect based in Nonthaburi.
On September 7 police officers carrying out a drug check on a Transport Co. Ltd. bus in Chiang Rai bus terminal noticed Yuthaphon acting suspiciously. On further inspection they discovered the ya ba pills hidden in his trousers.
On questioning, Yuthaphon claimed that he had been hired by Khamron Khadsee, a suspected drug dealer recently arrested in Nonthaburi, to pick up the ya ba in Mae Lao district of Chiang Rai then take it to Singhburi to sell.
He claimed that Khamron had relatives living in Mae Lao who gave him the ya ba before taking him to Chiang Rai bus terminal. Yuthaphon said that he was to receive a share of the money made from the sale of the ya ba whilst the rest would go towards paying Khamron’s legal fees.


International drug dealing gang arrested

Staff Reporters
Mae Sai Police officers recently arrested an international drug dealing gang and seized 5 kilograms of ice with a street value of almost 5 million baht.
Mae Sai police and narcotics suppression officers in cooperation with Pha Muang Task Force jointly captured Lee Ken Choi, 37, a Malaysian national and Daraka Wongchang, 31, a Thai citizen living in Phayao Province.
At the time of their arrest they were found to be in possession of 5 kg of ice and 250,000 baht in cash, all of which was seized.
The arrest took place after the officers had been informed that the Malaysian man and Thai woman were travelling to the Thai-Burmese border at Mae Sai to purchase drugs. They were observed at a gas station in Mae Sai in the process of buying drugs from Burmese drug dealers, who fled the scene before the police could capture them.
Both confessed that they had travelled to Myanmar to purchase the ICE and arranged to pick it up at that gas station. Their intention was to continue transferring the narcotics to other dealers in Malaysia.
This amount of ice was conservatively estimated to be worth around 5 million baht on the streets of Kuala Lumpur.


Allegations of police assault on university student

Saksit Meesubkwang
A university student allegedly beaten by a police officer after visiting a nightclub has undergone three operations and is said to be in serious condition. The student, Anuporn Phikulkeha, 21, a freshman at Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, was assaulted at a nightclub at Kad Chueng Doi, Suthep sub-district, Chiang Mai, on the night of August 9.
According to reports, an off-duty police officer known as Ja Boy, who was at the time moonlighting as a security guard for the club, accused Anuporn of throwing a bottle at the entrance of the nightclub the previous night. When Anuporn denied this Ja Boy and members of the nightclub staff assaulted him. Anuporn was taken for treatment at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital.
On September 7 Anuporn’s parents, Wisut and Sophon Phikulkeha, along with 10 other family members asked Pol. Maj. Gen. Jiruj Promobol, commander of the Chiang Mai Provincial Police, to prosecute the nightclub owner and Ja Boy. After being informed of the case Jiruj ordered officers to investigate in order to discover if there was any truth to the allegations. Jiruj said that if it was proved that a police officer had been working as a security guard at a nightclub he would be prosecuted, although he made no mention of what would happen if a police officer had assaulted and seriously injured a member of the public.
There are a number of late-opening entertainment venues at Kad Chueng Doi, and its proximity to educational institutes and universities attracts many students. There have also been incidents of fighting and violence reported in this area.


Escaped drug dealer’s bloated corpse found in river

Nopniwat Krailerg
The bloated corpse of an escaped drug dealer was recently found floating in the Mae Taeng River. The body was identified as Thong Thanaphum, 21, a resident of Mae Rim district in Chiang Mai.
The deceased man was found to be handcuffed behind his back and was lodged in overhanging tree branches on the river bank near the town of Kued in Keed Chang sub-district, Mae Taeng district. Officers believed that he had been dead for more than 3 days.
In view of the man being handcuffed, Pol. Maj. Gen. Jiruj Promobol, commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police made enquiries and discovered that 3 days previously, Thong had been arrested after being found in possession of 1,000 ya ba pills while riding his motorbike through a drugs checkpoint. He had been caught whilst attempting to smuggle illegal drugs from Baan Sob Kai in Mae Taeng district with the intention of selling them in Chiang Mai.
After his arrest, he was handcuffed, and forced to ride on the back of a police officer’s motorbike to face legal proceedings at Mae Taeng District Police Station. Desperate to escape capture, he suddenly jumped off the motorcycle and despite being handcuffed, dived headlong into the river. However, the river was swollen from recent rains and he was swept away in the strong current.
Police believe that he was unable to swim because of being hampered by the handcuffs, and drowned whilst making his foolhardy attempt to escape custody.
According to his rap sheet, he had previously been arrested by Mae Taeng police officers in August 2005, at that time in possession of 63 ya ba pills. Unfortunately for him, this time he took too much water with his pills.


Border patrol police arrest ya ba dealer

Staff Reporter
After receiving information that narcotics were to be transferred from Chai Prakan district in Chiang Mai, border patrol police, posing as customers, apprehended a ya ba dealer at a karaoke shop in Khuang Singh district, also in Chiang Mai.
Pol. Capt. Niroot Phromyad, deputy inspector of the Border Patrol Police 33, revealed that Timina Saelee, 44, a half Chinese Haw, half Lisu resident of Chiang Dao’s Muang Na, was arrested along with 223 ya ba tablets.
Timina stated that he had bought the tablets from A-sun (last name unknown), a Chinese Haw living in Chai Prakan, for 60 baht per tablet, and intended to sell them for 200 baht per tablet.
He claimed to have been dealing ya ba for some time before his arrest.


North Koreans escape to Thailand again

Staff Reporters
On September 3, six North Korean nationals presented themselves at Chiang Saen police station, requesting that officers arrest them and grant them political asylum. Police provided the group with shelter behind the Chiang Saen district police station, but refused to arrest them, stating that they were consulting with the Chiang Saen district chief officer and immigration officers before making a decision.
The North Koreans, comprising a group of three males and three females aged between 15 and 40 years old, are believed to have entered Thailand on board a Chinese cargo ship sailing down the Mekong River. Police in Chiang Saen are seeing an increasing number of North Koreans requesting asylum in Chiang Saen. The method of stowing themselves away on Chinese cargo ships seems to be a popular route for defectors from North Korea.
Pol. Lt. Col. Sophon Muangfuang, deputy superintendent of Chiang Saen district police station, said that the issue of North Korean defectors will be discussed at an upcoming meeting of police and immigration officials. At the moment, enforcement of any policy regarding North Koreans is inconsistent, but police officers are complaining due to the extra work involved in taking care of them. He said that in the past wealthy North Koreans, or those with skills, such as doctors or engineers, had been crossing the border into South Korea. Since the border with South Korea is heavily guarded, however, the route through China into Thailand is becoming more popular.


Three internet cafes in Chiang Mai reprimanded

Nopniwat Krailerg
Police recently made a check on internet cafes in Chiang Mai and found several establishments that allowed under-age students to play on the internet after 10 pm. Three cafes located near Phrasingh Temple in Chiang Mai, At Home Internet, PC Internet and JC Internet, were discovered to be allowing many teenagers under 18 years old to continue to surf the internet late into the night. The students’ names were noted and their schools were informed.
The internet cafe owners were prosecuted.
The spot-checks were applied on the evening of September 6, on the orders of Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5 in cooperation with student inspector, Renu Dhavatsri and Muang Police Station officers.
The three internet cafe owners were identified as Anan Tasanaprasertsilapa, 31, the owner of At Home Internet, Dhosaphorn Sinmee, 35, the owner of PC Internet and Phat Kraunat, 31, the owner of JC Internet. They were accused of allowing young people under 18 years to surf the internet after 10 p.m.
The student inspector said that the list of student names would be forwarded to their schools, which would be requested to find preventative measures in association with the students’ parents.
The checks were made because many parents and residents had informed the police that many students gathered in internet cafes late into the night. Most played online games and chatted in the cyber world, which could easily bring about further social problems.
Pol. Lt. Col. Thanet said that Chiang Mai’s governor and the commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5 expressed their concerns about this problem and the police had warned internet cafe owners several times not to let youngsters continue playing the internet after the time allotted by law. These warnings were still being ignored; therefore the officers were left with no alternative but to prosecute the owners according to the law.


Lampang announces 6-month narcotics report

Staff Reporters
A report given by the Lampang Narcotics Prevention Office on August 30 revealed that in the six months between March 1 and August 31 Lampang Province has made a number of significant steps in the battle against drugs. According to the report, in the six month period narcotics officers arrested 19 major drug dealers and impounded property worth 26 million baht.
Charonsuk Chumsri, Lampang deputy governor, added that since March, 19 major drug dealers have been arrested, along with 134 small scale dealers and 45 dealers with outstanding warrants. In addition, officers seized 73,201 ya ba pills, 39.1 grams of opium, 73 marijuana plants and 538 kratom leaves.
Efforts to provide treatment for drug addicts have also made progress. RE X-Ray, an organisation dedicated to helping drug addicts, treated 2,792 patients, of whom 32 were sent for respiratory treatment and 95 were sent onto mandatory rehabilitation programs.
Recent drug suppression efforts in Lampang have seen the arrest of 14 drug dealers in Baan Kham Laa, Tambon Baan Rong and Baan Mae Mao Derm between August 8 and 10. Officers confiscated 692 ya ba pills along with four grams of opium and two shotgun shells. On August 29 at Baan Huay Nam Tuen, Tambon Pong Tao and Baan Chon Daen, Tambon Bang Rong, officers arrested another 19 drug dealers and confiscated 2,519 ya ba pills.