Bomb scare at local bank
The Siam Commercial Bank Meechoke branch received a call at 9:45am
on October 22 informing them a bomb had been planted at the entrance of the
financial center. The caller then gave instructions to the manager to place
all the bank’s money in bag and place it in front of the institutions ATM
The bank manager, Sujinda Srisommai, said the caller would detonate the bomb
if she did not follow through on his instructions.
The police were called and arrived outfitted in their bomb disposal gear
along with a remote control robot. They quickly cordoned off the area and
began the slow process of retrieving a suspicious box on the floor of the
The police led by Police Major General Banthop Sukhonthaman used a high
pressure water hose to deactivate any bomb circuits.
After a 90 minute tense ordeal police concluded there was no bomb and the
threat came from an unidentified called trying to extort money from the
The contents of the box produced a child’s t-shirt packed in foam.
Police Commander Bandop said his team will question all bank employees,
review video from the banks security cameras and trace all phone calls in
order to locate and arrest the suspect.
HM the King recovering satisfactorily
His Majesty the King was reported as making satisfactory
progress in recovering from his recent illness, it was announced Monday by
the Royal Household Bureau, following a report by the monarch’s medical team
who checked His Majesty’s brain and large intestine.
In its tenth statement on the king’s health, the Royal Household Bureau said
the team of royal physicians reported that a magnetic resonance image (MRI)
scan of his brain showed that there was no infraction or brain damage.
“There is no evidence of cerebral blood vessel stenosis nor occlusion, which
indicated that there was temporary cerebral ischemia,” according to the
The result of a computerized tomography (CT) scan of His Majesty’s abdomen
disclosed that the infection on his large intestine is now resolved to
His general condition is satisfactory, the statement concluded.
Queen Elizabeth II of Britain has sent a message to HM the King wishing the
monarch a quick recovery.
The British monarch’s message was delivered last Thursday to His Majesty the
King by the nation’s Ambassador to Thailand, Quinton Mark Quayle.
Praising the close relations between two royal institutions, Queen Elizabeth
said she hoped the HM the King would recover soon and fully perform his
duties again. TNA
Local soldiers depart
for troubled South
Special forces from the 7th Infantry Division gathered at the Three
Kings Monument to bestow merits before departing for duty in the three
Nopporn Ruonchan, Commander of the Special Forces 7th offers instructions
and presents garlands to his troops during the emotional send-off ceremony.
Many of the 800 soldiers were accompanied by family members during an
emotional send-off as they begin their term of duty in the troubled southern
provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.
Mothers and wives placed garlands on the soldiers and threads from their
skirts into little bags for their son’s to wear around their necks as it is
believed that it will keep them from danger. The soldiers also carried
different types of amulets.
Tears flowed as many are aware they will be stationed in a troubled region
rife with daily killings.
Colonel Nopporn Ruenchan, Commander of the Special Forces 7th Infantry
Division presided over the send off ceremony and asked for blessings from
Chiang Mai’s most sacred monks who sprinkled holy water on the soldiers.
The soldiers will be assigned to protect government institutions, teachers
and monks when they make their early morning rounds to collect alms.
The Colonel said that his troops had received training in weapons,
psychological warfare and in Yavi language.
Majority of Thai youth
know too little about AIDS
Almost 77 per cent of Thailand’s youth — the segment of the population most
vulnerable — have little knowledge about the potentially-deadly acquired
immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), according to the Ministry of Public
Deputy Permanent Secretary for Public Health Dr. Paichit Varachit said the
problem of contracting AIDS among adolescents is now of concern because the
social environment had changed swiftly.
According to the AIDS surveillance report released on September 30, the
number of AIDS patients is as high as 321,650. Of this, 50 per cent are
persons aged between 25-34 years.
It showed that most people with AIDS had contracted the usually-fatal
disease in adolescence and began to show signs of illness when they grew up
and become adults.
A survey on the knowledge about AIDS among Thai youth found only 23 per cent
of young males and 26 per cent of young females properly understood the
development and seriousness of the disease.
A report on surveillance of risky behavior found only about half of young
Thais use condoms when they have casual sexual encounters.
An average age of the youth who engage in sexual activities begins at 15
years old compared with the 18 year age-level indicated in an earlier
It found 36 per cent of male students and 28 per cent of female students
have had sexual intercourse.
Dr. Paichit said such behavior might lead to other problems such as
contracting HIV and premature pregnancy, which could deny youth the
opportunity for further study for a better future.
The problems would also impact on the family, community, society and
eventually, the nation. TNA
Protest at Three Kings monument
Twelve women gathered in front of the Three Kings
monument in the old city last Wednesday evening to bring attention to the
ongoing conflict in Myanmar.
The women tied their hands together to represent 12 years pro-democracy
leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest. Some 150 sympathizers
showed up for the demonstration.
Hilltribes to rock Chiang Mai
On November 3rd, 2007, in honor of H.M. the King, the
hills of Chiang Mai will rock once again as hilltribe musicians stage their
second International Pop Concert to advocate for recognition of legal status
and the prevention of HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, and drug abuse. The
Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister will be the events’ master of
The Concert will attract more than 20 popular hilltribe singers, from seven
ethnic groups, who will lead the show with songs, entertainment and messages
delivered in Karen, Hmong, Mien, Akha, Lisu, Tai Yai and Lahu languages. A
group of young Thais who participated in the Mekong Youth Forum on Human
Trafficking this summer in Bangkok will also take part in the Chiang Mai
event – reinforcing one of the Hilltribe Concert’s main messages – that
vulnerable groups, including children, should have a voice in the prevention
of trafficking and other matters that seriously affect their lives.
The show will take place at Kard Cherng Doi, and will be broadcast live by
Radio Thailand Chiang Mai, which transmits across Thailand, southern China,
Lao PDR, northern Viet Nam, Myanmar and parts of India (beginning at 7 pm).
Thailand’s Channel 11 television station will also conduct a simultaneous
live prime time telecast from 8.30pm onwards for viewers throughout the
Dr. David A. Feingold, head of the United Nations Educational Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Trafficking and HIV/AIDS Project and one of
the event’s co-organizers said “This year’s event is even bigger, and
highlights the importance of legal identity in preventing human
Over 5,000 highland minorities and lowland people are expected to attend.
Admission is free, but requires a ticket, which can be obtained from Radio
Thailand Chiang Mai. The concert will coincide with an exhibition to honor
His Majesty the King, and the Chiang Mai Food Festival.
Tickets are available at: Radio Thailand Chiang Mai, 49 Prachasamphan
Street, Tambon Changklan, Muang District.
Poll - Majority willing
to sell their vote
Attempts by interim Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont to
eliminate vote-buying during the upcoming general election are likely to be
fruitless as a recent survey shows that two out of three Thais - 64.6 per
cent of the respondents in a new survey - are quite ready to accept gifts or
money in exchange for their votes.
Assumption University ABAC Poll director Noppadol Kannikar said the poll
conducted among 3,758 eligible voters aged above 18 in 14 provinces
nationwide between October 15 -20 showed that almost 65 per cent of all
respondents were willing to accept bribes in exchange for their votes in the
December 23 election.
Only of 35.4 per cent of the respondents said they would not accept bribes
or favors in exchange for their votes.
Also, the most worrisome result obtained from the survey was that 83 per
cent of the respondents said they would not inform the Election Commission
or concerned officials on any vote-buying practices even if they had
Two-thirds — 66.7 per cent — said vote-buying in Thailand is now reaching
its most critical point ever.
Only 51.9 per cent of the respondents said they would consider both
political party policies and the qualifications and personalities of the
candidates before casting their ballots, while 28 per cent said they would
give preferential attention to the candidates themselves and only 20.1 per
cent indicated they would make their decision based on party policy
Martial law eases -
not in Chiang Mai
The Cabinet resolved last week to further lift martial
law in additional areas, in an apparent move toward normality that is
intended to lessen pressure from political groups seeking a more democratic
atmosphere for their campaigns in the run-up to the upcoming December 23
The Cabinet agreed that martial law, currently imposed in 27 provinces
nationwide, will be minimized to the least number of areas as possible,
Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratkalin said.
“Martial law will be maintained only in some districts or provinces (where
it is) deemed really necessary,” Gen. Sonthi said. “Should it be considered
unnecessary in any districts or provinces, it can be lifted. This will help
lessen distrust and frustration of the political side.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said the Cabinet asked the
National Security Council (NSC) to consider partial lifting of martial law
in some border provinces, particularly in districts which do not share the
border with neighboring countries. However, the law needs to remain imposed
in the three southernmost border provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.
The NSC in its October 12 meeting recommended that martial law be revoked in
11 of 35 provinces and be instated in an additional three provinces. As a
result of the NSC resolution, only 27 provinces nationwide are now under
The provinces of Chiang Mai and the northeastern province of Buriram are
among the provinces remaining under military rule. TNA