Vol. VI No. 19 - Tuesday
July 3, - July 9, 2007
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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Happy Birthday HRH Princess Chulabhorn

HM Queen Sirikit travels to Russia

It’s Madam Mayor for Chiang Mai

Home demolished by massive fireworks explosion

Flood watch – Governor says 900 villages at risk

Japanese woman robbed and raped

Dutch tourist charged for drug possession

Thailand and China discuss drug suppression

Happy Birthday HRH Princess Chulabhorn

Photo courtesy of the Bureau of the Royal Household.

by Peter Cummins
Special Correspondent, Chiangmai Mail

Born on July 4, 1957, Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn is the youngest daughter of Their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit of Thailand and herself has two daughters, the princesses Siribhachudhabhorn and Adityadhornkitikhun.
Princess Chulabhorn graduated from the Faculty of Science and Arts at Kasetsart University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organic Chemistry, First Class Honours, in 1979, following with a doctorate in 1985, being awarded a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Organic Chemistry from Mahidol University in July of that year, capping off a record of excellent academic achievement.
In 1986, she was appointed as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in London and was awarded the Einstein Gold Medal by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The following year, she undertook post-doctoral studies in Germany, and has since been a visiting professor at universities in Japan, Germany, and the United States, as well as holding Honorary Doctorates from nine universities around the world.
Her Royal Highness is chairperson of the Working Group on the Chemistry of Natural Products collaborative program between the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science and the National Research Council of Thailand.
HRH the Princess has received international recognition for her scientific accomplishments, resulting in her appointment to various United Nations posts, namely special advisor to the United Nations Environment Program and member of the Special High-Level Council for the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction of the United Nations.
As a result of her experience as a scientist, HRH the Princess became aware of the difficulties Thai researchers have in obtaining the necessary funding for their research and so, in 1987, she established the Chulabhorn Research Institute to provide a new fund-raising agency for such research.
This institute now acts as a focal point for the exchange of intellectual and other resources in Thailand, for the purpose of solving urgent problems confronting the country in areas of health, environment, and agriculture.
As president of the Chulabhorn Research Institute, HRH the Princess currently directs five special research projects; the AIDS program, a programme on restoration and integrated development of the flood-affected areas in Southern Thailand, seawater irrigation for cultivation of economic marine species and preservation of the mangrove forests, a rabies eradication programme, with a special project for accelerated immunization in five southern provinces in Thailand.
Through these programs HRH the Princess plays an auspicious role in improving the environment and living standards of the villagers in a number of Thai provinces.
One of the vitally-important duties HRH the Princess has undertaken in the immediate past has been the establishment of the Ban Namsai Community Project, to assist the victims of the 2004 tsunami, by applying the expertise of the biotechnology and sea life experience of the Department of Sea and Coastal Resources of the Chulabhorn Research Institute to alleviate the suffering of the people affected by this freak of nature.
On the occasion of HM the Queen’s sixth cycle, seventy-second birthday on 12 August 2004, and the 30th anniversary of the founding of diplomatic relations between China and Thailand, HRH the Princess presided over and presented Third Thai-China Relationship Concerts in October 2005 at different locations in the Kingdom.
Two years ago, on her fourth cycle, forty-eighth birthday, the Princess delivered the address, Innovative Scientific Paradigms in Cancer Chemotherapy, aimed at supporting researchers and scientists at the highest levels of Biomedical and Life Sciences in Thailand.
The honoured Innovative Scientific Paradigms in Cancer Chemotherapy speech for HRH Princess Chulabhorn was held for the third time.
The Chulabhorn Research Institute, in collaboration with the Royal Thai Ministries of Health and the Environment, held a broad-ranging Technical Subjects Meeting on the Environment of Asia and the Pacific, held in Manila, December 2005. Representatives of many Asia-Pacific countries, vitally interested in the affects of waste, pollution and other toxic substances on the environment and health, contribute to this important area of human development.
More recently, HRH the Princess delivered the keynote address to participants at the Fifth International Symposium on Chromatography of Natural Products, at the Polish Academy of Science and the Phytochemical Society of Europe, held at the Medical University of Lublin, Poland.
But, probably one of the most outstanding events in the life of this talented and hard-working Princess - especially in view of the 60th anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol’s accession to the Thai Throne celebrated last year - is the day, some 16 years ago, when she went to Cambridge, near Boston, Massachusetts.
Cambridge is generally known as home of the prestigious Harvard University. But for the Thai people, the name of the city also brings a special warm feeling, for it is where the country’s beloved Monarch was born. When HRH Princess Chulabhorn visited the city, it was more than a personal sentimental visit to her father’s birthplace. It was an official occasion of pride and was joy both for Thais and for the citizens of Cambridge: the inauguration of the King Bhumibol Square in honour of “Baby Songkhla”, as His Majesty was identified on his birth certificate at the Mt Auburn Hospital in 1927, when his father HRH Prince Songkhla was a medical student in the United States.
The city of Cambridge passed a resolution, “by acclamation” to dedicate “King Bhumibol Square”, in recognition of the King’s birth in Cambridge, as well as to acknowledge his world-renowned achievements and dedication to the welfare of the Thai people - as was overwhelmingly demonstrated by the huge number of royal guests who came to Thailand to honour our King last year. Hundreds of Thais and Americans crowded in to the new Bhumibol Square to witness the event and the street sign reads: “King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Born December 5, 1927, Mt. Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts.” It also bears the “tri-couleur” of the Thai flag.
HRH the Princess then delivered a speech to thank the city of Cambridge. The square, she said, was more than a reminder of His Majesty’s birth because it also embodied the common goals of both countries to work for the benefit of humanity.
Thank you HRH Princess Chulabhorn for your own lifetime of dedication.
All of us at the Chiangmai Mail, Pattaya Mail, Pattaya Blatt, and Pattaya Mail on TV join the entire Kingdom in wishing Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn a Most Happy 50th Birthday on the fourth of July 2007.


HM Queen Sirikit travels to Russia

Her Majesty Queen Sirikit is on a state visit to the Russian Federation at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has graciously designated Her Majesty the Queen as His representative who arrived in Moscow on July 2 and will tour several cities until her return to Thailand on July 11. Her Majesty the Queen’s visit coincides with the celebration of the 110th anniversary of Thai-Russian diplomatic relations when King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) visited Russia in 1897.
Queen Sirikit is staying at the historic Kremlin, a palace which has been arranged as her residence during her visit in Moscow.
President Putin will host a state banquet at the Kremlin, where Thai handicrafts from the Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques under the Royal Patronage of Her Majesty the Queen will be displayed to promote Thai culture and arts.
Her Majesty the Queen will travel to St. Petersburg to see Russian architecture and visit historical places related to Thai-Russian relations including Peterhof Palace, the residence of King Rama V when he visited Russia in 1897.
St. Petersburg State University will present an Honorary Doctorate Degree in the field of Eastern Languages and Cultures to Her Majesty the Queen. TNA


It’s Madam Mayor for Chiang Mai

The votes being tallied under the watch of soldiers at Chiang Mai’s Sports Center.

Saksit Meesubkwang
Mrs. Duentemduang na Chiang Mai or candidate number 2 won the top spot in last week’s mayoral election with a huge lead over her rival ex-Mayor Boonlert Nuranupakorn.
Mrs. Duentemduang garnered 24,204 votes while former Mayor Boonlert received 17,570 votes according to unofficial results. Votes were tallied at the Chiang Mai Municipality Sports Center under the careful watch of army soldiers.

Madam Mayor-elect Dr. Duentemduang Na Chiang Mai speaks to reporters after learning of her win.
The vote counting commenced at 10.00 p.m. and there were lots of cheers for former Mayor Boonlert as he was leading initially. But not long after the cheering crowds started to return home when they discovered that Dr Duentemduang Na Chiang Mai, her nickname is “Dr Paeng,” surged into the lead by a huge margin. The vote counting finished at 5.00 a.m. the next day.
Mr. Ken Santitham, Deputy Permanent Secretary of State for Chiang Mai Municipality and election director submitted the official count to the Chiang Mai Election Committee at 6.00 a.m. on the 25th of June and the results were submitted to the Central Election Committee for verification.
Almost 60% of Chiang Mai’s 109,311eligible voters went to the polls to cast their votes in a campaign that was racked with controversy.
34 year old Mayor-elect Duentemduang who holds the rank of Captain from serving in the army comes from a long line of politicians. Her grandfather was involved in city government, her father was an MP and a deputy interior minister and her mother has been involved in local politics for many years.
She holds degrees from Chiang Mai University and a doctorate from the University of California at Irvine.
While she campaigned for the Mayor’s office the Election Commission disqualified her for inaccuracies in her application forms to run for public office. She appealed the decision and filed a 10 million baht defamation suit against the local election committee.
Two days before the election took place the Election Commission overturned the ruling and she was back in the race.
With 48 hours to campaign she managed to defeat former Mayor Boonlert who was considered a favorite in the race.
She now has to prove her political might in the next few months as she inherits a city council that is made up of members from the ex-Mayors camp. The municipal council is up for election in eight months.
Although Dr Duentemduang Na Chiang Mai won the election she still has to wait for a decision of the Administrative Court on her eligibility as a candidate.
The results of other candidates were as follows: Mr. Pornchai Jitnawasatian, candidate 3, 9,577 votes; Mr. Pholchok Charoenrat candidate 4, 149 votes; Mr. Udom Suvitsakdeenont candidate 5, 7,735 votes; Mr. Tasaphumi Sophawan candidate 6, 72 votes; Mrs. Yaowarate Kanchankul candidate 7, 75 votes and Mr. Toed Chaiawongse candidate 8, 370 votes.


Home demolished by massive fireworks explosion

Drinking and negligence to blame

Pol. Col. Monthop Saengjamnong inspects the damaged home. The massive fireworks explosion sent five to the hospital.

Saksit Meesubkwang
A home on 61/3 Moo 8 in Chompoo, Saraphi district was demolished after a night of drinking and poor thinking.
The massive explosion sent five residents to the hospital with shrapnel wounds and perforated eardrums. Twenty nearby homes were also damaged in the blast.
Srila Tapan, 65, told police officers that his son Rawad sold sound systems and also collected fireworks.
A friend had handed Rawad a rocket to take care of. Rawad then invited friends to have some drinks and they were gathered about 7 meters from the collection of fireworks.
Someone was also burning trash about 3 meters from the fireworks and when a storm broke out the flames quickly spread apparently setting off the fireworks.
The explosion was so massive it blew out the concrete walls and roof of the single story home.
On arrival at the scene with Police Major General Banthop Sokolthaman, Commander Chiang Mai Police and Superintendent Police Colonel Monthop Saengjamnong found the five injured victims who were taken to Saraphi Hospital to be treated for shrapnel wounds.
Rawad was charged with negligence, causing damage to third party property and also possession of explosive materials. Forensics officers were also called in to carry out a full investigation. It is unlikely Rawad will return to collecting fireworks as a hobby.


Flood watch – Governor says 900 villages at risk

Saksit Meesubkwang
Chiang Mai Governor Wichai Srikwan, called a meeting with the heads of state agencies and provincial district-chiefs to remind them of potential forest floods and mudslides that may occur during this rainy period.

Homeowners view the damage to their property after floods produced mudslides in Chiang Rai province. Photo courtesy Chiang Rai Administration.
Almost 900 villages in Chiang Mai province are considered to be at risk, especially in the mountainous districts of Wiang Haeng, Mae Chaem, and Omkoi.
Governor Wichai says more areas are prone to mudslide and forest flood due to deforestation, and therefore, officials have to issue prompt warnings to the local residents so they can evacuate and move their belongings on time. He says Ping River has been excavated further to support heavy rain next month.
In Chiang Rai heavy rains and mudslides damaged at least 117 homes and displaced 2000 residents in several districts of the neighboring province.

A wall of water gushes through one of the affected villages in Chiang Rai province from last weeks flash floods. Photo courtesy Chiang Rai Administration.
On June 25 heavy rains fell for hours which caused mudslides covering houses in Mae Salong and Toed Thai Districts in Amphur Mae Fa Luang, Chiang Rai, which damaged 45 houses and affected 200 families.
In Amphur Mae Chan rains produce forest floods in Muu 7 and Muu 11 Ban Maekham damaging 72 households and thousands of rai of crops were destroyed.
The Governor of Chiang Rai, Amornphan Nimanant carried out an inspection and ordered those responsible to carry out a survey of the total damage, help rebuild the houses which had been destroyed and provide food and shelter.


Japanese woman robbed and raped

Police arrest maid and husband

Saksit Meesubkwang
A Japanese businesswoman who lives in Hang Dong was robbed and then raped at gunpoint in her home.
Police were called to her home and collected evidence which led to the arrest of two suspects, a husband with a criminal past and his wife who was employed as the maid in the victim’s home.

Suspects Suthat Jaikachad 25 (right) of Saraphee and his wife Angkana Jaikachad shown here after being arrested at the Hang Dong police station.
On the evening of the crime a man wearing a mask broke into the victim’s home in Hang Dong and robbed her of a gold necklace and pendant valued at 35,000 baht, a platinum ring valued at 20,000 baht and two mobiles phones. The suspect then raped the victim at gunpoint while suspect number two waited outside the police said.
DNA and fingerprint samples were taken by the police who used them to match those of the suspects.
The investigations led to the name of suspect Suthat Jaikachad. A background check was carried out and it was revealed that he had been imprisoned for selling amphetamines and released in 2003.
Police visited Suthat’s home and took his parents for a DNA test in order to check it against the DNA samples taken from the scene of the crime. When Suthat discovered that police had taken DNA samples from his parents, he fled with his wife, Angkana Jaikachad to Mae Hong Son where they proceeded to pawn the stolen goods.
The husband and wife team were arrested in Mae Hong Son and returned to Hang Dong for questioning.
Suthat admitted to the charges during questioning. He told officers that his wife used to work at the house where he had done some electrical work and knew the way in.
The motorcycle that Suthat used to commit the crime was stolen in Mae Rim District and Suthat admitted stealing it.
The couple faces a long list of charges including conspiracy, burglary, rape and use of a handgun, physical and mental injury to the victim.


Dutch tourist charged for drug possession

Khajohn Boonpath
District police in Pai arrested a tourist from Holland after he tested positive for amphetamine use.
A local tipster informed Pai police of a possible drug suspect which initiated an investigation that led to the arrest of 29 year old Ulf Hendricks Herford from Holland.
According to the police the suspect attempted to flee the scene when police discovered an undetermined amount of amphetamine pills that apparently had been discarded by the suspect in view of the authorities.
After a brief chase police transported him to the Pai police station where he was administered a urine test which according to officers tested positive for illegal drugs.
The police also searched his backpack and found drugs as well as drug paraphernalia in his room, though the suspect denies the charges.


Thailand and China discuss drug suppression

Mr. Phinij Hanphanich, Deputy Governor of Chiang Rai in his capacity as General Secretary of the Center in the Fight Against Drugs in Chiang Rai and the Drugs Suppression Committee attended a meeting with Mr. Chin Hua Fu, Director of the Office of Drugs Prevention and Supression Yunan in Sip Song Pana in Yunan, the People’s Republic of China. The group was sent by the Governor of Chiang Rai to find ways in which both sides can cooperate in drug suppression in the Mekong Delta.
The Deputy Governor said that both parties have agreed to establish an organization for the exchange of information and coordination and each side would appoint two operatives. Better communications systems will also be established to facilitate information exchange. Quarterly meetings will be held to exchange data and standards for repatriating drug criminals.
The meeting with the Chinese counterparts was a starting point and invitations to other upper Mekong Delta countries such as Laos and Burma will be extended so they may participate in future drug suppression meetings in order to reduce the production and trafficking of drugs in the region.
Chiang Rai Governor, Mr. Amornphan Nimanan, said that these discussions between the Thai and Chinese drug suppression agencies were direct and to the point. He added that names of known drugs traffickers and groups who are operating in the region were exchanged at the meeting as well as information of the present state of drugs operations along the border areas. CMM Reporters



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