Police set up checkpoints around the city
Locals afraid to go out at night claim police
Vehicles and motorcycles are being subjected to searches as police have set
up a number of checkpoints around the city in an attempt to crack down on
drivers without proper identification.
Pol. Lt. Col Chamnan Ruadraew Deputy Superintendent Traffic Chiang Mai
Police ordered four police stations; Amphur Muong, Mae Ping, Chang Phuok and
Phu Ping to set up checkpoints to target vehicles used by Thai Yai and
migrant laborers from Myanmar after receiving complaints from the public who
they claim are too afraid to leave their homes at night.
Pol. Lt. Col Chamnan Ruadraew stated that he has received calls from the
public that a group of Thai Yai youths were roaming the city at night
causing accidents that have resulted in injuries and death of innocent
drivers. Therefore a dragnet was instituted where police are not stopping
vehicles and motorcyclists to ensure drivers are carrying proper
Thai Yai is the name given to people who come from Shan state in Myanmar or
who live in the northern districts of Fang, Chaiprakarn and Mae Ai. The
majority does not carry identification cards and are subject to arrest and
deportation. Those who have settled in the northern districts of Chiang Mai
province are issued colored coded documents by the Thai district officials
but these documents do not allow them to travel or re-settle in Chiang Mai
city. In special cases some may obtain work permits but most that live in
Chiang Mai are illegally employed.
In the past six days the police have confiscated 54 vehicles and 2 of them
were involved in purse snatching incidents said the police.
Driving a vehicle in Chiang Mai without proper identification can result in
fines of 2000 baht and possible jail time.
Chiang Mai Mayor quits abruptly
Governor to name acting Mayor
Long time Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn, in
office since 2002 and elected by popular vote in 2004, threw in the towel on
Friday after his city councilors walked out on him in a show of
Boonlert Buranupakorn seen here in his official photograph
The Mayor’s abrupt resignation caused the Municipal Council to be dissolved
and the future of city politics to enter into a new era of government
Tensions had been brewing at City Hall for the last two months after council
Pornchai Jitnawasathian of the Chiang Mai Khunnatham group resigned his post
apparently under pressure by the former Mayor and his family.
Pornchai had expressed interest in running as a Member of Parliament for the
Constituency number 1 in the next general election. This decision did not
sit well with the former Mayor’s family who has had a stronghold in this
precinct according to insiders.
It is now up to the Governor of Chiang Mai to appoint an interim Mayor while
the city’s Election Commission will begin preparations for an election in 60
Scores injured in messy Mae Jo road crash
A Mitsubishi pick-up truck collided with a Honda Sedan sending the vehicles
skidding into a group of motorcyclists stopped at a red light on the Mae Jo-
Chiang Mai Road at the Likitcheewan intersection (second ring road) at 8
p.m. on May 1st causing a number of injuries as motorbike drivers and
passengers went flying in the air and crashing into the pavement.
of the injured motorcycle drivers being attended by medical rescue personnel
before being transported.
Witnesses quickly assisted the injured as the awaited the arrival of police
and medical rescue teams.
The accident was due to the carelessness of the drivers according to Pol.
Lt. Col Settachai Kamnoi, police inspector of Sansai police station, who
arrived at the scene along with ambulances from the nearby Teppanya
The injured motorbike riders were transported by ambulance to Teppanya
Hospital and fortunately none of their injuries were live threatening.
The police seized the damaged vehicles and motorcycles and impounded them at
the Sansai police station as they await the outcome of the investigation.
The vehicle owners were fined 500 baht each and will need to compensate the
injured motorbike drivers. The compensation amounts to cover the medical
bills and the damaged motorbikes will be at the discretion of the parties
as criminals increase attacks
Pol. Col. Prachuab Wongsuk,
Superintendent of the Chiang Mai police shown here at an urgently called
meeting to discuss ways to put an end to these attacks on foreigners.
Chiang Mai is quickly losing its reputation as a safe city as criminals have
begun targeting tourists on a daily basis. This very rare type of crime
against foreigners has steadily increased in the past few weeks and the
attacks occur in seconds leaving tourists and foreign residents stunned.
Thugs on motorbikes approach unsuspecting tourists and foreign residents who
stroll around town or ride their motorbikes. In a matter a seconds, hands go
towards purses, satchels and shoulder bags and suddenly the victim loses
Ms. Candice Elizabeth Firth, age 24 and from England, was the latest victim
to report to the police about her attacker that left her in shock while
walking on Sriphumi Road.
Ms. Firth was out touring the sights of the city when suddenly a male on a
motorbike snatched her bag and sped off. His motorbike did not have a
license tag. She screamed for help but the attacker escaped with 129,000
baht worth of personal belongings including her passport.
Pol. Capt. Supot Shalat, duty officer at the Chiang Mai Municipal Police
Station received the call for help and dispatched officers to interview Ms.
Firth who was in a state of shock when the officers arrived at the Eagle
Apparently the police have had just about enough of these daily occurrences
and Pol. Col. Prachuab Wongsuk, Superintendent of the Chiang Mai police,
called a urgent meeting with 300 of his police officers and instructed them
to do what they can to put an end to these attacks which are tarnishing the
image of Chiang Mai.
Until these thugs are rounded up it is recommended to carry only a copy of
your passport photo page, the money you will need and to remain vigilant
while exploring the city.
Myanmar PM returns home
Prime Minister Gen. Soe Win returned home late last week
after seeking medical treatment for more than two months in Singapore,
Soe Win arrived aboard a commercial flight at Yangon’s International
Airport, where he was greeted by a host of military leaders including junta
leader Senior Gen. Than Shwe, according to the witnesses who insisted on
anonymity for fear of disclosing official information without authorization.
The 59-year old prime minister was taken straight to a military hospital in
Yangon, witnesses said.
Soe Win went to Singapore late February on what Singapore’s Foreign Affairs
Ministry said was “a private visit.”
The Myanmar Embassy in Singapore later said Soe Win was being treated for a
“serious health matter.” Family sources of the prime minister said Soe Win
was suffering from acute leukemia.
His current condition was not known and it was not clear if he would be able
to resume his duties.
Soe Win is the second of Myanmar’s ruling junta to seek medical care in
Singapore this year. In January, Than Shwe, 74, was treated at the same
Singapore General Hospital for an undisclosed medical condition.
Who will blink first?
Update on “Syndromes and a Century”
Neither side has blinked in the stand-off between Apichatpong Weerasethakul
and the Thai censors over his award-winning film, Syndromes and a Century.
They still require four cuts, and he refuses to comply and has withdrawn his
film from distribution in Thailand.
Meanwhile, worldwide reaction to the censorship has increased. Here at home,
an urgent seminar was held April 23 attended by a number of big names in the
Thai entertainment business, who rallied in supporting Apichatpong and in
freeing Thai cinema from the control of the censors. The seminar was held at
House of Rama, the arthouse theatre operated by the country’s biggest
studio, Sahamongkol Film. Two more academic seminars are scheduled at two
leading mass communication universities, Thammasat and Chulalongkorn.
One group, thaicinema.org, reported calling the censorship office for
updated information about the return of the Syndromes print to the
filmmaker. An officer repeated over and over the statement, “It is now in
the legal procedure.”
The public revolt and rebellion includes a petition to the National
Legislative Assembly to abolish film censorship in Thailand. As of last
Thursday, there were over 5,000 signatures. You can join the crusade by
visiting their website: http://www.petitiononline.com/nocut/petition.html