Vol. VI No. 17 - Tuesday
June 19, - June 25, 2007
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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Military road blocks search for protesters

Mayoral election gets ugly

Chiang Mai to host tourism forum

Canadian tourist injured by bandits

Robberies in Chiang Mai becoming more aggressive

Opening ceremony for new buildings at Payap

Amazing Thailand sale fair starts June 21

Internet scammers going after Thai Internet users

Thailand to build nuclear power plant

Military road blocks search for protesters

Saksit Meesubkwang
Government authorities set up the road blocks on all the Northern routes to prevent ousted Thaksin supporters from reaching Bangkok to join in the nightly anti-government rallies being held in Sanam Luang.
Members of the military, police and local administration officials were ordered on June 13th to set up check-points on Chiang Mai-Lampang superhighway in Saraphi district area of Padaed check-point. Another check point was set up in Mae Tha and Li districts of Lamphun province. All check points are being manned 24 hours and tour buses and vans are being searched for possible protesters trying to reach Bangkok.
Exactly how protesters are identified and singled out from regular travelers is still unclear.
Law enforcement officials have requested the cooperation from tour bus operators and rental van companies to provide authorities with information should they come across large groups attempting to travel to the capital.
Police Colonel Chamnan Ruadrew, the deputy commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police Division, added that he has ordered his forces to set up additional check-points to operate around the clock. More than 200 policemen were on alert in Chiang Mai to prevent any sporadic anti-government protests.


Mayoral election gets ugly

Saksit Meesubkwang
Politics is never pretty and neither are the thousands of posters, banners and campaign materials that have covered Chiang Mai in the recent weeks. Most get blown away by the winds and end up littering the city.

One of the election campaign signs belonging to candidate number 1 defaced with a sticker that says: Resigned already, why coming back?
But now the police have entered into the arena and arrested a campaign worker for allegedly placing stickers on the former mayor’s campaign posters that read: ‘No way back for you after your resignation.’
The former mayor of the city who abruptly resigned last month is now candidate again for the same position.
The police of Muang Chiang Mai Police Station promptly arrested local 35-year-old Karoon Siriphanuphong who apparently had about 300 stickers on him. The charge: trying to discredit a candidate during an election.
Karoon confessed he was hired by a former member of the municipal council now working with a candidate. The police charged Karoon with destroying other people’s property and whoever hired Karron may be barred from politics for 10 years.
Someone who has already been banned from running was the only woman running for mayor of Chiang Mai.
Meanwhile, Captain Dr. Duantemduang Na Chiang Mai, candidate number 2 with all her posters and banners around town apparently won’t get her name on the ballot as the Office of the Provincial Election Commission disqualified her for apparently not providing evidence relating to some land purchases and rental income. She has since filed an appeal to the Election Commission and is awaiting their verdict.


Chiang Mai to host tourism forum

Kannapol Pinkaew, Assoc. Prof. Rome Chiranukrom, Junnapong Saranak and Songvit Ittipattanakul seen here during their working level meeting discussing plans for the important tourism forum to be held in Chiang Mai.

Linda Ratchai
Travel representatives from 5 countries met last week in Chiang Mai to discuss ways to boost tourism between the member countries known as the East Asia Interregional Tourism Forum or EATOF and to prepare for the general forum that will be hosted by the city of Chiang Mai later this year.
The EATOF working level meeting comprised of members from Jillin, China, Tottori Japan, Gangwon-do, Korea, Sarawak, Malaysia, Quang Ninh, Vietnam and Chiang Mai gathered at the Central Duang Tawan hotel to prepare for 7th EATOF meeting that will take place in Chiang Mai from the 5th to the 7th of September.


Canadian tourist injured by bandits

Cowardly thieves slash woman’s wrist

Saksit Meesubkwang
A Canadian tourist was badly injured when she attempted to resist three young attackers from stealing her belongings.
The gangsters snatched Julie Blais’ shoulder bag containing her passport, a camera and currency totaling 3,000 baht as she headed back to her apartment on Moolmuang Road.
As she struggled with the attackers one of them pulled a knife and slashed her wrist causing a deep injury.
The attackers fled and Ms. Blais was rescued by tuk-tuk driver Dan Panyasri who had been waiting for customers outside Somphet Market.
Panysari transported Ms. Blais to the hospital where she was treated for the wounds she sustained needing 30 stitches to mend her slashed wrist.
The police team led by Pol. Lt. Col. Worakun Khunyodying from Muang Chiang Mai Police Station interviewed Ms. Blais in the hospital and their search for the cowardly thieves continues.
Ms. Blais had been in Chiang Mai to study Thai massage and departed back to Canada on June 15th.


Robberies in Chiang Mai becoming more aggressive

Couple pushed off their motorbike

Saksit Meesubkwang
A Thai woman and her foreigner friend were thrown off their motorbike and injured during an attack by two thieves on motorbikes in Chiang Mai.
The two victims identified as Henrick Jensen, 38 years, and a Thai woman, Thayanun Kongkanon, 29 years, were hurt when they were pushed off their a motorcycle by the two bandits.
Thayanun stated that she was riding her motorcycle with her boyfriend around the city when two men on their motorcycle approached them and gave her a hard push with their feet until she lost control. They snatched her bag containing Thai currency of 2,000 baht, a mobile phone, passport and some amounts of dollars before fleeing the scene.
The attack occurred on Maneenopparat road in front of Chang Puak Market.
The police team led by Pol. Lt. Col. Kittiphan Kamron, a police inspector from Muang Chiang Mai Police Station arrived on a scene after the robbers had fled.
The police said it will be difficult to resolve this crime as there were no witnesses to the attack. They added that not only are these crimes are being committed every day in Chiang Mai but they are becoming more aggressive.


Opening ceremony for new buildings at Payap

New law school and International House

Dr. Pipat Trangratapit, President of Payap presents Privy Councilor Dr. Kasem Wattanachai with a gift.

Linda Ratchai
Dr. Kasem Wattanachai, Privy Councilor presided over the official opening ceremonies of the Law School Building and Paradornparb International House at Payap University in Chiang Mai on the 14th of June. Guests of honor, U.S. Ambassador Ralph L. Boyce, U.S. Consul General Bea Camp, Dr. Pipat Trangratapit, the founding President and one of the ‘Board of Trustees’ at Payap University and Dr. Esther Wakeman, vice president of religious affairs also attended.

US Ambassador to Thailand Ralph Boyce unveils the ceremonial plaque at the new law school at Payap.

Wirat Koyadul, vice president of Church of Christ Thailand offered prayers during the opening ceremony and the speaker of honor, Dr. Kasem Wattanachai spoke about sufficiency economy.
Hundreds of students and staff were on hand for the inaugural event.
Payap University is a private, liberal arts and pre-professional school founded in 1974 by the Church of Christ in Thailand. In 1984, Payap became the first accredited private university in Thailand.

The new law school open and ready to teach future lawyers.


Amazing Thailand sale fair starts June 21

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will organize the 6th Amazing Thailand Grand Sale Fair 2007 at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok from June 21st until the 24th from 10 AM to 8 PM.
At the 6th Amazing Thailand Grand Sale Fair 2007, the best products and services in Thailand will be offered at a special price of 10 to 50 percent off. Variety of goods and services from nationwide are offered at special price, including apparel, silk, leather products, jewelry, health care and beauty products. People can buy brand name products which offer particularly good value for money. In addition, tour packages, resort and air tickets will be sold at special prices. (NNB)


Internet scammers going after Thai Internet users

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that there are groups of people from South Africa who are attempting to deceive Thai people and steal their money through Internet email scams.
These groups of scammers will usually send e-mails to the victims claiming that they have won a lottery, such as a World Cup lottery worth millions of US dollars. On other occasions they would email the victims, making up stories that they have enormous amounts of money that need to be deposited in other people’s account. Then the fraudsters would lure the victims to pay for financial charges in exchange for a larger amount of cash.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry says the e-mails generally are in English and the senders claim that they are businessmen, professors, nurses, or lottery winners. They would also attach false documents to verify their cases. The ministry reveals that some Thai people have been deceived by the scammers and have lost a substantial amount of money.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry therefore would like to warn people of these scams, and people should delete such e-mails. (NNB)


Thailand to build nuclear power plant

Thailand will proceed with a plan to build a nuclear power plant to serve the increased demand for electricity, according to Thailand’s Energy Minister Piyasvasti Amaranand.
Addressing a speech on “Why should a nuclear power plant be built”, Mr. Piyasvasti said the nuclear facility is needed because of the rising consumption of electrical power.
Electricity use has risen 1.14 per cent in comparison with economic growth of one per cent, he explained.
The nuclear power plant is an alternative to produce electricity with no affect on the global warming, the minister said. The action plan to build the nuclear power plant will be finished at the end of this year and preparation will take another seven years. Construction will be completed in 2020.
Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) director Kraisri Karnasuta said that construction of the nuclear plant is necessary, and that EGAT will clearly explain its necessity to the public before construction begins.
The project, however, is under way and EGAT is looking for an 800 acre site to build the 4,000 megawatt power plant.
The budget to build the nuclear power plant is estimated at US$6 billion.
When the construction is finished, the cost of producing electricity at the nuclear power plant will stay at Bt2.01 per unit, lower than the Bt2.05 per unit of the electricity produced by conventional coal-fired power plants. (TNA)



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