A most happy birthday to
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn
Kingdom of Thailand on April 2 celebrates the most auspicious occasion of
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s birthday. We at the
Chiangmai Mail join in with our most humble wishes for HRH Princess Maha
Chakri Sirindhorn for a long, healthy and happy life on this occasion of the
Royal Anniversary of Her Birth.
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was
born on April 2, 1955, the third child of Their Majesties the King and Queen
of Thailand.HRH the Princess studied from kindergarten to high school at
Chitralada School in Bangkok. She ranked first in the National School
Examinations in the primary level (grade 7) in 1967 and in upper secondary
level (grade 12) in 1972.Ranked fourth in the National University Entrance
Examination, HRH the Princess enrolled in the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn
University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, first class honor,
and a gold medal in History in 1976.
She continued her studies in two
graduate programs concurrently, obtaining an M.A. in Oriental Epigraphy
(Sanskrit and Cambodian) from Silpakorn University in 1978, and an M.A. in
Pali and Sanskrit from Chulalongkorn University in 1980. She enrolled in a
doctoral program at Srinakharinwirot University (former College of
Education) in 1981, and was awarded a doctoral degree in Developmental
Education in 1987.The principle of using education as a means for community
and social development, which HRH the Princess acquired during her doctoral
studies along with her former experiences in the field, has provided her
with a solid base for her subsequent involvement in community development
activities.In addition to her formal degree programs, HRH the Princess has
attended several training courses and workshops to enhance her knowledge and
skills in effective integrated development.
These subjects include computer,
cartography, meteorology, survey and photogrammetry, remote sensing and
geographic information system and nutrition.HRH the Princess has acquired
first-hand experiences in working on development projects initiated by Their
Majesties the King and Queen. These projects involve a number of diversified
fields including health and hygiene, education, water resource development,
agriculture and cottage industry by regularly accompanying Their Majesties
on visits to remote areas since the age of sixteen.From these experiences,
HRH the Princess has developed special interests in agricultural extension
to improve school children’s nutritional conditions; supports education from
pre-school to tertiary levels; and mother and child care. She has also
concentrated on helping the handicapped, especially in using information
technology (IT) to develop independent living and learning skills.HRH the
Princess runs several philanthropic organizations and foundations. She has
been Executive Vice President of the Thai Red Cross Society since 1977;
Executive Chairman of the Chaipattana Foundation (in charge of His Majesty’s
development and environmental preservation projects), Ananda Mahidol
Foundation (to promote higher education), the King Rama II Foundation (to
conserve and promote Thai Culture); President of the Sai Jai Thai Foundation
(to support disabled veterans), Prince Mahidol Award Foundation (to award
prizes annually to members of the international community for outstanding
performances in the fields of medicine and public health); and Adviser of
the Committee of Thai Junior Encyclopedia Project by Royal Command of H.M.
the King.HRH the Princess began her teaching career in 1979 when she started
teaching the General Education Program at Chulalongkorn University. A year
later, she joined the Department of Law and Social Sciences, in the Academic
Division of Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy. Presently she is Director
of the Department of History, and has played an active part in revising its
curriculum. She also supervises the Thai Music Club at the Academy.
Occasionally HRH the Princess gives special lectures at several other
institutions and regularly attends academic conferences and seminars both in
and outside the country.
In addition, HRH the Princess represents Their
Majesties in various royal functions. She also presides over ceremonies as
well as other social and charity functions all through the year. In 1991,
HRH the Princess was awarded the Magsaysay Award for Public Service.HRH the
Princess likes to travel around the Kingdom and abroad to obtain knowledge
of physical geography and peoples’ varied lifestyles. One of her favorite
pastimes is writing articles, poetry and short stories. Proceeds from her
written accounts of her overseas travels are the main source of income for
the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Foundation which was set up in 1979 to
support needy students in schools, vocational colleges and universities.HRH
the Princess loves Thai literature and studies literature of other
countries. She enjoys playing classical Thai instruments and practicing Thai
classical dancing. She also paints and is keen on sports, including jogging,
swimming, biking and trekking - which gives her an opportunity to learn
about plants, trees and geographical features of the areas.In addition to
her knowledge of Pali, Sanskrit and Cambodian, HRH the Princess is
communicative in both English and French and has been learning Chinese,
German and Latin.PHOTOS: The entire Chiangmai Mail staff joins the Kingdom
of Thailand in humbly wishing HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn a long,
healthy and happy life on this occasion of the Royal Anniversary of Her
Chiangmai Mail humbly joins the Kingdom of Thailand in wishing Princess
Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Phannavadi a most happy birthday on April
5. Princess Ubolratana was born on April 5, 1951, in Lausanne Switzerland.
She is the eldest daughter of HM the King and Queen.
The city prepares for Songkran
Drunk drivers beware
The Mayor of Chiang Mai with local officials and beauty
queens meet the press to outline plans for Songkran.
Municipal agencies are in high gear preparing for
Songkran as safety is being promoted to make this year’s water festival an
enjoyable one for everyone. The local government is set to implement strict
measures on alcohol consumption and drunk driving.
Police will be setting up checkpoints on Doi Suthep road
and other main routes in Sankamphaeng, Sanpatong and Mae Rim to inspect
drivers and attempt to prevent drunk drivers from operating their vehicles
during Songkran. Drivers caught under the influence will face steep fines
and jail time.
Even bus terminals in the city will introduce a sobriety
checkpoint for on-duty drivers.
Last year it is estimated that more than 10,000 bottles
of booze were sold over the Songkran period. This year police will also be
monitoring shops where alcoholic drinks are sold in an effort to prevent
sales to minors.
Mr. Somboon Wisetchaichan, manager of Ratsana Shop said
these new measures would represent a decline in the sale of booze compared
to the same period last year.
Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn noted that his
department has cleaned out the waste in and around the city’s moats and has
emptied the moats twice in order to remove any waterborne diseases.
The Disaster Prevention Unit composed of 200 officials
will de dispersed around the city and be ready to assist local and tourists
in emergency cases. Local hospitals will be providing fully equipped
ambulances in strategic areas and offer first aid to those in need.
Deputy Commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Traffic Police
Pol Col Chamnan Ruadriew disclosed that more than 4,000 police would be in
all spots around the moats to prevent and relieve some unexpected events.
The roads circling the city’s moats would be temporarily closed from April
13 through April 15 to allow the crowds to enjoy the festival in a safer
Truck lands into
the Ping River
Onlookers watch as workers using cranes try and remove the
16 wheeler out of the Ping River.
Crowds gathered and traffic came to a crawl near the
Superhighway Bridge in Faham, Chiang Mai last Sunday as sightseers watched
cranes attempting to lift a 16 wheeler truck that plunged into the Ping
The accident apparently occurred when the driver of a loaded truck lost
control while making a slow maneuver near to the crash scene. No injuries
were reported at the time.
Skies will clear up for Songkran vows the Governor
Everyday an average of 200 foreigners have been seeking
treatment at Chiang Mai’s hospitals since the city was subjected to
hazardous polluted skies.
The Director of Chiang Mai Hospital, Dr. Woraphan Unachak
said the smog covering the city has increased the number of patients by
100%, most suffering from breathing difficulties.
The Governor of Chiang Mai, Vichai Srikwan is meeting
every morning with provincial authorities to assess the smoke situation and
has vowed that the skies will be completely clear before Songkran begins on
The Governor said there is no need for Chiang Mai to be
declared as environmental disaster zone again as he says the situation is
The annual water festival celebration hopes to draw
hundreds of thousands of tourists from around the world to the city and he
promised that attendees will not be affected by the haze or otherwise be
Apparently the message on banning fires has not reached
everyone in the Northern provinces as burn-offs continue and pollutants are
still being recorded at high levels in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong
Northern regional environmental office director Apiwat
Khunarak said smoke continued to rise from open-air burn-offs and forest
fires, and that a special artificial rain-making unit is continuing it’s
operations to reduce the smoke in the northern skies.
Forest fire in many areas bordering Chiang Mai and Mae
Hong Son contributes to low moisture in the area, which have made it
difficult for cloud seeding.
Just across the border in Tachilek, Myanmar an Army
General took a new approach to put an end to the widespread fires in his
When Lt.General Kyaw Win was forced to travel 160
kilometers by car because the airport in Tachilek was closed due to poor
visibility he arrested some 60 villagers accused of setting fires and
polluting the environment. Quoted by one news agency, the Lt. Gen. said he
was frustrated and angry that he wasn’t able to fly back and forth between
Kengtung and Tachilek. (CMM Reporters/TNA)
Gas prices up again
Fuel stations nationwide increased prices for all fuel
types last Thursday.
The PTT Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Chaiwat Churit,
attributed the price increase to unrest in Iraq and Nigeria, which has added
burden to the operating costs of fuel station operators.
The PTT Deputy Managing Director reported that other fuel
companies followed suit in the price increase, with fuel prices rising by 40
satang. Fuel prices for Benzene 95 now sells for 27.99 baht per liter,
Benzene 91 at 27.29 baht per liter, Gasohol 95 at 25.49 baht per liter, and
Diesel fuel at 24.14 baht per liter. (TNA/CMM Reporters).
Whistleblowers will be rewarded
The Ministry of Industry is calling on people to provide
evidence concerning factories illegal actions which pose a threat to the
environment. If authorities can successfully file lawsuits against factories
that are polluting or endangering the environment, those who provided
evidence will receive a cash reward.
Deputy Minister of Industry Piyabutr Cholvijarn revealed
that the Ministry has amended the 1992 Factory Act to address people’s
participation in preventing pollution problems caused by factories. It has
instructed the Department of Industrial Works and provincial industrial
offices across the country to initiate projects to campaign for people’s
The Director-General of the Department of Industrial
Works, Ratchada Singkalavanit says the ministry will grant a reward of
100,000 baht to those who provide evidence leading to factories illegal
actions. Moreover, they will receive 15 percent commission of any fines
imposed on polluting factories. The whistleblower hotline set up by the
Department of Industrial Works is 0-2202-3994. (TNA/CMM Reporters).
First it was a diet, now its porn
Zoo officials trying to get pandas excited
Chuang Chuang the panda has been spending his days in
front of a television watching panda porn.
Authorities at the Chiang Mai Zoo hope the images will
encourage him to mate with his partner, Lin Hui, and serve as an
instructional lesson in how to do it right.
So far, it’s been a tough sell, the zoo’s chief
veterinarian, Kanika Limtrakul.
“Chuang Chuang seems indifferent to the videos, he has no
reaction to what he’s seeing on TV,” Kanika said. “But, we’re continuing to
show him videos and hoping they will leave an impression.”
Everyday for the past week, Chuang Chuang has been taken
from his outdoor environment of rocks and trees to an indoor cage set up in
front of a big screen television. Animal experts then put on a DVD that
shows pandas mating.
At first, they kept the sound off but noticed that the
images alone were not grabbing Chuang Chuang’s attention, so they turned the
volume up, said Prasertsak Buntrakoonpoontawee, head of the zoo’s panda
“Before he might have been clumsy and not known how to
approach and react to a female panda. Now he will remember and imitate the
video,” Prasertsak said.
The exercise will continue for about another week. Then
Chuang Chuang will be reunited with his partner. Zoo officials say the two
pandas have been kept separate since late last year as part of efforts to
spark some romance between them.
Chuang Chuang was recently put on a strict diet because
zoo officials said he was too heavy to mate. The diet trimmed him down from
150 kilograms (331 pounds) to 142 kilograms (313 pounds).
Thailand rented 6-year-old Chuang Chuang and 5-year-old
Lin Hui from China for US$250,000 (€188,000) in October 2003 for 10 years.
They are expected to generate millions of dollars (euros) in revenue from
Thai and foreign tourists visiting the zoo.
There are as few as 1,600 giant pandas in the mountain
forests of central China, according to the zoo. An additional 120 are in
Chinese breeding facilities and zoos, and about 20 live in zoos outside
Pandas are threatened by loss of habitat, poaching and a
low reproduction rate. Females in the wild normally have a cub once every
two to three years. (AP/CMM Reporters)
Sheraton Chiang Mai becomes Holiday Inn
Pictured centered is the newly named Holiday Inn Chiang Mai.
InterContinental Hotels Group introduced its Holiday Inn
brand to Northern Thailand when the Sheraton Chiang Mai became the Holiday
Inn Chiang Mai on 1 April 2007.
The 25-storey, 526-room hotel is Chiang Mai’s tallest
building, and located along the Chiang Mai-Lumphun Road, on the bank of Ping
River. Offering easy access to the business district and shopping areas
including the famous Night Bazaar, the hotel is a five-minute drive from the
city centre and ten minutes from Chiang Mai International Airport. Its rooms
average 45 square meters in size and other features include more than 3,300
square meters of meetings space.
Jan Smits, chief operating officer, Southern Asia and
Korea, InterContinental Hotels Group Asia Pacific, said, “There is a strong
and growing demand for branded mid-scale hotel accommodation in Chiang Mai,
a lively and prosperous city that is widely regarded as a gateway into
Northern Thailand and the Mekong region. Right in the heart of the action is
Holiday Inn Chiang Mai, which will undoubtedly appeal to travelers to this
The hotel is owned by the Chiangmai Riverside Plaza Hotel
Co., Ltd. One of the company’s owners, Kasem Shaikh, said: “With the
strength of a respected industry leader like InterContinental Hotels Group
and the appeal of a world-renowned brand like Holiday Inn, we are confident
that the re-branded hotel will be a great success.”
Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts is the world’s most
recognized hotel brand and the winner of Business Traveller Asia Pacific’s
Best Mid-Market Hotel Brand in Asia Pacific and Best Mid-Market Hotel Brand
in the World awards for six consecutive years. Holiday Inn Chiang Mai will
be the sixth Holiday Inn hotel in Thailand.
Trainees from 9 Asian nations fight child cyber-sex abuse
Child protection advocates from nine Asian countries
gathered in Bangkok for training on combating child sex abuse in cyberspace.
Fifty-four child protection advocates including police
officers, lawyers, judges and NGO workers from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos,
India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam attended
an international workshop jointly organized by the British embassies in
Cambodia and Thailand and Microsoft Corporation.
The regional workshop was part of an ongoing commitment
by the British Government to work with a wide range of partners to combat
child sex abuse throughout the world, in connection with cyber pedophiles,
according to the UK embassy in Bangkok.
The workshop was aimed to instruct participants about
techniques used by pedophiles to target victims through the Internet, and
offer practical advice on how to combat it. The training also broadens
international co-operation, and aid capacity building and information
sharing within and between the countries of the region, said embassy
Although children in some countries like Cambodia have
difficulty accessing the Internet, they are still vulnerable to be sexually
abused. Pedophiles use the Internet to find locations to get easy access to
children, according to Microsoft Asia Pacific executive Katherine Bostick.
They post photos of children abused by relatives and
friends on the Internet and profit from selling them, she said.
Quoting a report from the US news program NBC’s Dateline,
Ms. Bostick said there are 50,000 child pornography predators online at
present. “The Internet connects children and pedophiles. There is no border,
but it’s a global problem,” she said.
The training held at the International Law Enforcement
Academy (ILEA) in Bangkok, was designed and delivered by experts from the
UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) in partnership
with associate members from the Virtual Global Task Force (VGT). VGT is an
international alliance of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Canada,
the UK and the US, working to protect children from sexual exploitation.