Kingdom of Thailand celebrates Wan Chatramongkhol
(Coronation Day) May 5
Saturday, May 5 marks the 57th anniversary of the
Coronation of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great. The day is
celebrated as a national holiday, but since it is a Saturday, all government
offices and commercial banks will observe the day (close) on Monday, May 7.
Whist being crowned King of Thailand, the 9th in the Chakri Dynasty (Rama
IX), His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great 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 from
His people. King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, the longest reigning monarch
in the world. Long Live the King!
Each year on the 5th of May, the Kingdom of Thailand commemorates the day
when, in 1950, the Coronation Ceremony was held for His Majesty King
Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, the 9th in the Chakri Dynasty (Rama IX).
His Majesty the King, after studying in Europe, returned to Thailand and was
crowned King during an elaborate and highly intricate ceremony that out
lavished 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 studying.
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 Srikhum.
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 Kings to
follow not undergoing the coronation ceremony would be unable to assume the
term “Phrabat” in front of 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 Royal Household.
The annual 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
honor 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 the Great (Rama IX)
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
British woman robbed
by motorcycle gang
One suspect in custody as citywide search
for gang leader continues
(center) points at her belongings that were stolen then recovered by the
Chiang Mai police. The suspect Ms. Promchanta (seated right) covers her
face. Pol Lt. Col. Kittipong Sukwattanaphan (second from left), Deputy
Superintendent of Chiang Mai Muang Police station is determined to arrest
the at large gang leader and put an end to these latest crimes.
The Chiang Mai police have set up road blocks around the city every evening
in an attempt to find and arrest the leader of a motorcycle gang who has
been robbing residents and tourists in the city.
The latest victim Ms. Gillinn Dempsey, a British national and resident of
Chiang Mai, was robbed of her belongings as she drove home on her motorbike
earlier this month.
A thief on a motorcycle grabbed her purse which contained two mobile phones,
a digital camera, 12,000 baht in cash and personal documents and then sped
Ms. Dempsey was unharmed during the attack and contacted the police who
filed a report.
The police then received a tip-off that Ms. Dempsey’s belongings could be
found at the Sairung mobile phone shop on Thewan Road.
On April 19th a police team led by Pol. Col. Prachuab Wongsook descended on
the shop and discovered a loot of 54 mobile phones, 15 handbags, 8 digital
cameras and 1 video camera, all apparently stolen.
The owner of the shop, Ms. Rapeephan Promchanta age 19, was promptly
arrested and she and the alleged stolen loot were transported to the police
station. The shop owner has been charged for possession of stolen goods and
faces time behind bars if convicted.
During the usual police interrogation of the suspect, Ms. Rapeephan revealed
that her boyfriend, Mr. Sarawut Oopkham age 33, and a native of Lamphun
province is in fact the motorcycle gang leader who has been robbing the
residents and tourists in Chiang Mai.
The police promptly issued an arrest warrant based on Ms. Rapeephan’s
testimony and launched a citywide search for Oopkham. The police said that
this gang of thieves has put a black eye on the good reputation of the city
which is normally considered a safe place to live and visit.
Quake shakes the North
A minor quake registering 4.5 on the Richter scale
triggered several landslides in the Mae Ta district in Chiang Rai province.
The April 22 tremor was felt in the two provinces of Chiang Rai and Phayao
and the epicenter was located approximately 5 kilometers north of Waing Pa
No serious injuries or damage was reported but some residents were
frightened as the earth shook at 1:19pm interrupting peoples lunches and
Mr. Smith Thamasaros, Director of the National Disaster Warning Center,
issued a warning to people in Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Phayao, and Mae Hong
Son to remain cautious in the event of future quakes that might rattle the
Mr. Smith said warning towers have been set up at Mae Sai District in Chiang
Rai, Chiang Mai, and Mae Hong Son and there are plans for towers to be set
up nationwide. The warning towers will also be able to detect and alert
residents on air pollution.
The Thai Meteorological Department provides a website in English that
monitors earthquakes and weather forecasts at http://www.tmd.go.th/en/
Emergency call center
to handle all calls
The government is reforming emergency response services
by integrating emergency calls under a single call service center.
The Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Khunying Tipawadee Meksawan
hosted the opening ceremony for a meeting to reform emergency call services.
The Minister revealed that the government is aware of the importance of
calls placed by citizens to report emergencies, grievances, complaints,
opinions, and will seek to provide convenient, safe, and rapid responses to
The Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office said that the public sector is
required to provide equal service for all citizens, in a transparent and
Khunying Tipawadee said that government agencies needed to improve their
information technology and communications network with a call center as its
core competency. The Minister said that separate call centers for different
types of emergencies was redundant, inefficient, and inconvenient.
The Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office believes that many beneficial
ideas would be derived from the ‘emergency service call reform’ meeting.
Massive hail storm hits Chiang Rai
A major hail producing storm caused havoc and serious
damage in several areas of Chiang Rai province late last week.
storage building with massive damage on its roof as a result of the orange
sized hail that pelted many districts in Chiang Rai. (Photo courtesy of Thai
Hail as large as oranges pelted homes, temples and businesses leaving at
last count as least 5000 residents’ homeless and causing widespread panic.
In Ban Huay Phueng at least 300 homes were completely destroyed as the
monster hail came crashing through the roof tops of the residents of this
hill tribe. Trees were also toppled during the storm.
In the village of Ban Pong Hai at least 42 homes suffered damage.
The Chalerm Phra Kiat School was also badly hit and damage to the structure
was severe according to district authorities.
Residents of Therd Thai and Mae Salong Nai region stated they had never
lived through such a damaging storm. Their homes were also affected by the
The office of Civil Disaster Prevention in Chiang Rai has been busy trying
to assist the people displaced by the storms.
Mr. Boonchai Boonjong, a member of Tambon Mae Salong Nai Administration
Organization and a resident there for 70 years said he had never experienced
anything like this. He added that the villagers were terrified and panicked
during the downpour. (CMM Reporters)
Major bust yields 1 porno VCD
The Deputy Prime Minister led a raid on Pantip Plaza in
Bangkok to suppress vice and intellectual property crimes.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Development and Human Security
Paiboon Wattanasiritham, conducted an inspection of pornographic vendors at
Pantip Plaza and instructed officers to conduct a sting operation resulting
in the apprehension of 1 VCD vendor, along with the seizure of 1
pornographic VCD, 30 MP3 discs, and 2 bags of marijuana.
The Deputy Prime Minister then visited entertainment venues along Bangkok’s
Patpong district on Silom Road and reported finding no illegal activities.
Mr. Paiboon reported that youths under the age of 20 years were not found
inside local entertainment venues and bar proprietors and their staff were
The Deputy Prime Minister added that he would conduct discussions with
Bangkok Governor Apirak Gosayothin and representatives of VCD dealers to
arrive at a proper solution to violation of intellectual property rights.
by monks sparks investigation
Tourist goes overboard with holiday pics
A Chiang Mai Internet shop owner did more than just provide a service to a
female tourist who recently requested that her holiday pictures be
transferred to a compact disc for safe keeping while apparently passing
through the city.
Unbeknownst to the unidentified woman the Internet shop owner kept a copy of
her holiday pictures and then handed them over to The Chiang Mai Buddhism
Club sparking furor and uproar amongst its members.
The photograph landed in the hands of Mr. Weerapong Srivichai, President of
the Chiang Mai Buddhism Club who was so incensed that he called an emergency
meeting to determine just who these monks were and what temple was
responsible for allowing this photograph to be taken.
An investigation was launched while the photograph in question somehow made
its way onto the Internet and into chat room forums around the country.
The Buddhism Club issued warnings to the temples in Chiang Mai advising the
monks and novices about unsuitable behavior and also asking tour company
guides to instruct tourists on proper etiquette and behavior when visiting
Mr. Chamlong Kittisri, Director of the Chiang Mai Buddhism Office took
possession of the CD and initiated the search for the culprits who perhaps
innocently posed in the photograph with the female visitor who may or may
not have known the seriousness of her actions. Apparently the compact disc
was loaded with photographs of the monks with the female in many unsuitable
Upon careful inspection Mr. Kittisri concluded that the photograph was not
taken in Chiang Mai after all and apparently no violations had been
committed within the religious community in Chiang Mai.
The certificates hanging on the wall in the background led the investigator
to determine that the monks in question may in fact be residents of a temple
in the neighboring country of Laos and perhaps from the historic town of
Despite the sigh of relief that was felt by the local Buddhism office after
it was determined the photograph was of foreign origin the case took on a
new path. The investigators contacted the Thai Foreign Ministry to ask them
to contact the government of Laos and inform them of this unsuitable
behavior which apparently took place in one of their temples.
The Buddhist religion has strict codes of conduct and all monks and novices
must uphold these codes or face punishment and even imprisonment.
More North Koreans caught at border
A group of North Koreans was apprehended by Chiang
Khong’s Immigration police and charged with illegal entry to Thailand.
The porous northern border has long been a smuggling route for North Koreans
who escape their country via China and then attempt to cross into Thailand
from Laos with hopes of being deported to South Korea, their destination of
This latest group was detained by a police team led by Police Captain
Phakawat Wethayanon, Sub-Inspector of Chiang Khong immigration checkpoint in
Chiang Rai, when they conducted a search operation at the Bus Terminal
Station in Chiang Khong after receiving a tip-off that a group of foreigners
were trying to make there way to Bangkok.
The 7 North Koreans which included women and children were taken into
custody after being spotted at the bus terminal.
According to their testimony made through an interpreter, they began their
journey through the southern part of China through Laos and crossed into
Thailand’s Chiang Saen district of Chiang Rai by the Mekong River.
According to the authorities there are several thousand North Koreans
waiting along the China-Myanmar border trying to make their way into
Thailand. They are apparently aided by a smuggling syndicate based in Chiang
Rai who police are still trying to locate.
The fate of this latest group is still unknown as local police are reviewing
their case with government officials in Bangkok. (CMM Reporters)