HM the King endorses new constitution
His Majesty the King endorsed the country’s 18th
constitution, five days after the kingdom, a constitutional monarchy since
1932, voted in favor of the newly-drafted charter in the first national
referendum to pave the way for the first post-coup national poll scheduled
for this December.
The charter took effect immediately after it was announced in the Royal
Gazette last Friday. TNA
Verdict clears Madame Mayor
A 46 page verdict cleared the Madame Mayor of all charges brought on by the
local Election Commission office and the national Election Commission that
sought to disqualify her from the recent mayoral elections.
On August 22nd, the Chiang Mai Administrative Court read the verdict inside
a packed courtroom filled with family members and supporters of Dr.
Duentemduang na Chiang Mai who was accused by the EC office of failing to
affix a stamp on one of her candidacy forms and for a tax issue involving a
The Mayor had filed the complaint against the Election Commission after
winning the election by a landslide on June 25.
The Mayor said she was pleased by the verdict and she can now proceed with
the business of the city.
She added that one of her priorities is flood control management and she has
begun work on ways to prevent a repeat of last year’s disaster that
inundated parts of the city.
She can now finalize building her management team that will assist her
during her four years in office.
The national Election Commission has 30 days to file an appeal against the
verdict and at press time had not announced if it would continue to seek her
The Gate to reopen in November
Vendors not allowed
Workers lay concrete slabs as
they renovate the Thapae Gate and surrounding area. The first phase should
be completed in time for the Loy Krathong festival to be held 23-25 of
The City of Chiang Mai hopes to reopen the Thapae Gate in time for Loy
Krathong on the 23rd of November said Dr. Ken Santitham, Deputy District
The long planned renovation of the Thapae Gate and its surrounding began on
July 13th after it was decided to beautify one of Chiang Mai’s most
The 63 million baht project is now 30% complete as workers pour 0.15 meter
thick concrete and resurface the 5,700 square meter area.
The area will also include additional close circuit cameras, added walkways
for easier transit across the moat, better lighting and tree barriers in a
City officials expect the first phase of the renovation project to be
completed in time for the Loy Krathong festival in November.
The first phase is comprised of the Gate area where vendors used to gather
every Sunday to sell their merchandise. The city has decided not to allow
the vendors to return once the project is completed.
The second phase which includes the immediate surroundings of Thapae Gate is
set to be completed by May 2008.
Thapae area will only be open for important events such as government and
religious activities. Private organizations who wish to hold activities will
have to enter into lease agreements with the city.
New U.S. Consul General
arrives in Chiang Mai
Michael K. Morrow has been appointed the new U.S. Consul
General in Chiang Mai.
U.S. Consul General Michael
K. Morrow has begun his duties at the U.S. Consulate in Chiang Mai. Photo
courtesy of the U.S. Consulate
Mr. Morrow previously served overseas at the U.S. Embassies in Gaborone,
Botswana, Warsaw, Moscow, and Lagos.
His most recent Washington assignments were Director of Crisis Management
Support in the Operations Center, and Deputy Director of the Office of
Mr. Morrow received a Masters Degree in International Affairs from Columbia
University in 1986. He also has a Certificate from Columbia’s Averell W.
Harriman Institute for the Advanced Study of the Soviet Union. He earned a
B.A. in Political Science at Miami University in 1984. Mr. Morrow is from
His wife, Shannon, is from Vancouver, British Columbia. They have two sons,
Sean and Brett.
Tachilek vendors close up shops
Business as usual last
Thursday at the border crossing between Mae Sai and Tachilek.
Many traders on the border town of Tachilek in Myanmar
have closed up shop amid fears that soldiers from the Myanmar army have
begun to arrest owners who deal in illegal DVD and CD sales.
Many of the vendors in Tachilek are members of the Red Wa tribe and have
been allowed under an agreement with the Myanmar government to sell their
wares provided they do not carry or store weapons.
This past week reports surfaced that several vendors had been arrested by
soldiers from the Myanmar government which prompted the closing of many
shops, notorious for plying illegal goods, mostly from China.
Reports (that could not be verified by the Chiangmai Mail) state that
members of the Red Wa army have been purchasing weaponry and stocking up on
food provisions in preparation for future skirmishes with the Myanmar
The government of Myanmar had ordered the ethnic Red Wa members to volunteer
as soldiers but this call has fallen on deaf ears. (CMM Reporters)
Sole protestor detained for condemning government
An unemployed engineer, Supachok Thongdart, 37, was
charged with condemning the current government under the lead of Prime
Minister Gen. Surayud Chulanont and the national referendum which was
approved by voters last week.
Thongdart shown here after being detained for condemning the government.
He was arrested while distributing leaflets critical of the government at
Pa-Ngae market which is opposite the 7th Artillery in Mae Rim district.
The contents of the leaflet can be literally translated as ‘the seizure of
power over Thailand’. He was sent for questioning at the 7th Artillery and
Kawila Military Camp.
Supachok, a graduate with a bachelor degree in engineering, told soldiers
that he criticized the government and had the right to inform others. He
admitted that he published the leaflets and distributed them on his own
willingness. He also sent a letter informing The Royal Thai Army
Commander-in-Chief and Council for National Security (CNS) Chairman, Gen.
Sonthi Boonyaratglin and the PM Gen Surayud of his actions.
Supachok is being detained by soldiers at the Kawila Military camp and may
face charges under martial law which is still in effect in Chiang Mai.
5 trips and get a free car
Members of the 5th Region
Police inspect the latest haul of methamphetamines as one of the suspects
(center) looks on.
The promise of a free car was just too tempting an offer for two men to turn
down. In return for a set of wheels the two men had to make 5 roundtrips
between Chiang Dao and Chiang Mai and transport methamphetamine pills or
The frequent drivers did not fulfill their part of the bargain and won’t be
seeing any wheels for a long time if they are found guilty in a court of
Theradaech Vitayathan, 26, and Kritapat Saetang, 30, both residents of Fang
were detained at a checkpoint last week and arrested for transporting 105
plastic bags containing 21,000 yaba pills.
The men said they were headed for the Big C parking lot in Chiang Mai to
make the delivery.
The suspects were former tour guides in Chiang Dao and were allegedly paid
50,000 baht to make the delivery. They told police this was their first
Both face charges of distribution of a class A drug.
Police cars running
on used cooking oil
The Chiang Mai police have come up with a novel way to reduce their fuel
Used vegetable cooking oil is now being processed into bio diesel that will
keep their patrol cars operating round the clock.
Gen. Seripisuth Temiyavej, Acting National Police Chief, presided over the
opening of a Bio Diesel Project at Chiang Mai police headquarters.
Acting National Police Chief Seripisuth Temiyavej was in town to preside
over the opening of the new bio-diesel pump at the district police
The project will be implemented nationwide, according to the Police Chief.
He added that the rise in the price of oil has increased the cost of regular
fuel and the police departments will be able to reduce their fuel bills by
Currently there are 40 bio-diesel pump stations and more are being created
to provide nationwide coverage.
The used vegetable cooking oil is being provided to the police by
restaurants, hotels, factories and traders. Patrol vehicles will use the bio
diesel, but vehicles over 10 years old will have to be filled with 50%
bio-diesel and 50% diesel.
Police sharpen skills with simulated terror acts
of the Special Forces unit take down a “terrorist” during their annual
training drill in Chiang Mai.
More than 500 officers involving Special Forces from 5th
Region Police, the 33rd Division Border Patrol Police, the Immigration
Police, the Mahrach Chon Nakhorn Chiang Mai Hospital and Chiang Mai
Municipality employees participated in simulated acts of hostage taking,
unruly demonstrations and bomb removals as part of their annual training
The drills took place to prepare the police should these incidents occur in
Chiang Mai. The simulations involved a group of “terrorists” taking someone
hostage and the Special Forces moved in to rescue the hostage.
Fake bombs were placed in different locations and removal experts succeeded
in disarming the explosives without incident.
Crowd control maneuvers using water cannons and police dogs also took place
to prepare police for unruly demonstrations.
The training exercises were monitored by Pol. Gen. Vichien Photsri, Deputy
National Police Commissioner and Pol. Gen. Kittitat Ruongthip, 5th Region