Vol. VI No. 29 - Tuesday
September 11, - September 17, 2007



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Superhighway’s Chotana intersection almost ready

New Governor appointed

Dengue fever cases on the rise in Chiang Mai

Dam project suspended after shooting

Gen. Sonthi pays farewell visit to Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai gets a sister city

Thai law will apply at refugee camps

 

Superhighway’s Chotana intersection almost ready

Saksit Meesubkwang
Despite a snag that will delay the opening of the Kuang Sing intersection on the Chotana Road, the superhighway construction will still be opened ahead of schedule.
The new construction teams under the leadership of Mr. Sukitch Sa-nguandikul, director of the First Road Construction and Bridge Renovation Work Center of Phitchit Province told the Chiangmai Mail that their work is 90 percent complete.
After years of delays, lawsuits and zero progress the Thai government took charge and have been able to finish what other contractors could not.
“It is 90 % completed, we expect to finish the overpass by the end of the month,” said Mr. Sukitch.
The only delay is the arrival of the water pumps which are being imported from abroad. Once the pumps arrive all work will be completed and the underpass will open according to the director of the construction site.
The scheduled date for termination was set for December but the construction team believes they can all the work done by the end of November.
The official opening would take place in December to mark His Majesty the King’s birthday.

 

New Governor appointed

Saksit Meesubkwang
Wibool Sa-nguanphong has been designated the new governor for Chiang Mai province as of October 1.

The new Chiang Mai Governor Wibool Sa-nguanphong takes over on October 1.

He replaces former Governor Wichai Srikwan who has been promoted as the Director General of the Local Administration Department and who will oversee the next general elections from his new post in Bangkok.
Mr. Wibool Sa-nguanphong was most recently the governor of Angthong province and served as deputy governor with Wichai Srikwan in Lop Buri province.
Chiang Mai’s new Governor was born in 1954 in Ayuthaya province. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science form Chulalongkorn University and obtained his masters degree in Public Administration from NIDA in Bangkok.
Prior to being named Governor of Chiang Mai, he served as deputy Governor of Roi Et, Ayuthaya, Samut Sakhon and Lop Buri provinces, and then Governor of Angthong province since October 2005.
The position of provincial governors is not an elected post. Governors are appointed by the national government.


Dengue fever cases on the rise in Chiang Mai

One dead and more than 400 afflicted out of a total of 716 cases of dengue fever so far this year are the figures being reported by the Chiang Mai Public Health Department.
At the monthly meeting of government department heads, Mr. Suthep Fongsri, an academic at the health department spoke about the hemorrhagic fever situation in Chiang Mai and the urgent need to implant strict policies on prevention and control.
The highest numbers of cases were found in Amphur Jom Thong followed by Mae Rim, Doi Ta, Doi Saket and Muong Kit.
In the city of Chiang Mai 100 cases have been reported and a 14 year old resident was the latest to contract the mosquito borne disease which claimed his life two weeks ago said health officials.
Most of the infected were found to be in the 10-14 year age group followed by the 15-24 year age group.
The disease is rampant during the rainy months of May through September. The disease has been widespread in nine districts, namely Fang, Chaiprakarn, Chiang Dao, Mae Rim, Doi Saket, Mae Wang, Jom Thong, Doi Ta and Mae Oon according to the latest statistics.
Mr. Suthep said that the best preventative measures include exterminating the breeding grounds of mosquitoes. Some schools and communities have not allowed the spraying of insecticides to exterminate the mosquitoes.
Mr. Suthep added further cooperation should be provided by all government facilities, schools, religious premises, companies and businesses to survey and exterminate the mosquitoes to help control and prevent the disease.
The Disease Prevention Department at Chiang Mai Public Health can be contacted at 053-211048-50 ext. 121 and 128. CMM Reporters


Dam project suspended after shooting

Thailand’s state-run utility Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has suspended its exploration for a new hydropower dam on Salween River until safety is ensured, but insisting the postponement would not affect Thailand’s energy situation.
Kraisi Karnasuta, EGAT governor revealed the Hatkyi project in Myanmar had to be put on hold indefinitely after EGAT employee Samarn Kantameun was killed in an attack last weekend.
He was the second victim after the first fatality, a geologist, stepped on a landmine near the project site last May.
Meanwhile, the other 47 EGAT staff has been transported back to Thailand.
The rebel Karen National Union (KNU) was suspected of firing weapons into the Thai workers camp. However, KNU secretary-general Pado Manza denied the claim, saying Myanmar’s government and Karen DKBA forces were active in the area.
Thai Energy Minister Piyasavasti Amaranand said the dam was a bilateral effort however the safety of Thai officials was a priority. He has urged authorities to expedite power plant development in Laos if the plan in Myanmar was uncertain. TNA


Gen. Sonthi pays farewell visit to Chiang Mai

Saksit Meesubkwang
Gen. Sonthi Bunyaratklin and his close aides paid a farewell inspection visit to the Pha Muong Horseback Regiment 1 in Chiang Mai before his announced retirement the end of the month.
Maj. Gen. Vanthip Vongvai, Commander of the Pha Muong Regiment provided a summary on results of field operations along the Thai-Myanmar border areas and also paid tribute to the retiring Army Commander.
General Sonthi told reporters that his visit was intended to say goodbye to his troops and issue three policies to his subordinates which include, the increasing amount of drugs entering the country across the border and the need to carry out continuous suppression activities. The General added the importance of creating relationships with neighboring countries and in the event of minor disputes to be patient and negotiate with good human relations. Lastly the General said the military should provide assistance when needed during floods, earthquakes, forest fires and droughts.
Asked by reporters about his future after retirement the General said he would provide that answer when he retires. He said that since seizing power, the Council for National Security had fulfilled its four promises, corruption suppression, create unity among the public, not using its power to control independent organizations and the drafting of the new constitution. He anticipated that general elections would be held by the end of the year.


Chiang Mai gets a sister city

Saksit Meesubkwang
Chiang Mai and Yogyakarta in Indonesia have become sister cities after a signing ceremony that took place between local government officials and government officials from Indonesia.
Yogyakarta (some people call it Jogja, Jogjakarta, or Yogya) is known for its outstanding historical and cultural heritage. Yogyakarta was the center of the Mataram Dynasty from 1575 until 1640. Yogyakarta’s numerous thousand-year-old temples which is located on the Island of Java.
At the ceremony, Mr. Vilat Ruchvattaphon, Deputy Governor of Chiang Mai and Sultan Chomengku Buono the 10th, Governor of Yogyakarta Province signed the agreement.
The sister city agreement allows for better cooperation on agricultural trade, tourism, education and cultural exchanges.


Thai law will apply at refugee camps

Thailand’s Justice Ministry will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to enforce Thai law in settling disputes among Myanmar refugees at four camps located near the Thai-Myanmar border, a senior ministry official said.
Thongthong Chandarangsu, deputy permanent secretary for justice, said that under the terms of the MOU, Thai law would be enforced at four refugee camps in Mae Hong Son, Tak, Kanchanaburi and Ratchaburi provinces where about 150,000 Myanmar displaced persons are staying.
Of the total, more than half of the displaced persons are below age 18 and disputes occur frequently which the Justice Ministry finds necessary to settle disputes through Thai law, said Mr. Thongthong.
It is necessary to provide knowledge to these people so that disputes could be settled amicably and without violence, he said, adding that the camps are too remote and traveling there is difficult.
The MOU, if signed, could be implemented in October, with UNHCR agreeing to pay for justice officials to be stationed at each camp and mapping out plans for assisting those involved in serious disputes which must be settled in court. TNA



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