City officials take the lead
as clean up campaign begins
Leading by example – the Mayor
of Chiang Mai (right); Mr. Thawatwong na Chiengmai (left) President of
Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization (PAO); and Dr Ken
Santitham (center) permanent secretary for city Municipality sweep away the
streets to beautify Chiang Mai.
With broom in hand the Mayor of Chiang Mai along with other city and
provincial officials took to the streets of the city to begin a clean up
campaign, part of her initiative to beautify Chiang Mai.
Madame Mayor Pang was joined on Charoen Muang road by Mr. Thawatwong na
Chiengmai, the President of Chiang Mai Provincial Administration
Organization (PAO), Dr. Ken Santitham, permanent secretary for city
Municipality, representatives of several environmental organizations,
students, police, military personnel who in a short period collected some
2000 bags of garbage off the streets.
A determined Mayor said this pilot project will help educate residents and
minimize the refuse and pollution which has become one of the main concerns
for Chiang Mai residents.
Garbage collection and keeping the front entrances of homes should be
everyone’s responsibility added the Mayor.
Water trucks will now comb the city streets and public parks three days a
week in an attempt to wash away dust and air pollution emitted from cars,
trucks and buses to keep the city beautiful.
As high season brings in tens of thousands of tourists into Chiang Mai it is
hoped that most of them will notice the improvements being made by the local
government and residents.
The work on the walk ways along the moat and the landscaping that will add
more greenery in the city is still underway as laborers rush to have most of
it completed by the beginning of the Loy Krathong festivities.
Let the Loy Krathong
You may have heard the fireworks already or even lanterns
reaching for the skies. Some residents just can’t wait for the beginning of
one of Chiang Mai’s most beautiful festivities.
giant Krathong decorated with lights at Khatum Corner attracted many
Loy Krathong kicks off this week and the entire city will be abuzz with
dozens of officially sanctioned events and even more spontaneous gatherings.
Just some of the highlights include the Yipeng lantern procession, the Lanna
Thai cultural presentations and performances, the bamboo raft races and boat
races on the Mae Ping River, the spectacular release of thousands of
Lanna-style floating lanterns (khome loi or khome yipeng) that cover the sky
as far as the eye can see. Traditional belief has it that when these huge
lanterns are set adrift and float away, so do the troubles of the residents
in the city.
‘Yipeng’ literally means the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month and
the Chiang Mai ‘Yipeng’ and ‘Loy Krathong’ Festival of Lights is organized
annually by the Chiang Mai Municipality. During the festival, the entire
city of Chiang Mai, its houses, streets, canals, moats and the Ping river
are decorated with lights and beautiful lanterns, making these festivities a
most beautiful and memorable experience for visitors and residents alike.
The practice of setting adrift traditional krathong floats in rivers,
canals, waterways, lakes and ponds is also part of the festivities. While
traditional krathongs were made exclusively from banana leaves, today the
krathong come in all shapes and sizes and are made from a broad range of
materials. Following the contest, the krathongs are set afloat on the Mae
The final night of the celebration is the most important. A procession of
spectacular “Krathong Yai” or giant krathong floats will make their way
through the streets of Chiang Mai. The giant krathong feature elaborate
decorations depicting the story of the life of Buddha, Thai literature,
history and art. CMM Reporters
Vehicles to be tested for emission levels
City officials inspect a
vehicle being tested for emission levels as preparations to reduce polluting
cars and trucks go into effect.
The Chiang Mai Municipality and the Chiang Mai Provincial Police are
preparing a plan to control vehicle emissions as part of a preventative
measure to combat air pollution in the city.
At a recent demonstration officials from the city including the Mayor of
Chiang Mai were present when several vehicles were tested to determine the
levels of contaminating emissions set by the Chiang Mai Air Quality and
Noise Information Section.
Based on information from the Pollution Control Department, the emissions
released from vehicles during the month of March exceeded normal levels
therefore contributing to the blanket of smog that covered the city earlier
in the year.
On the same subject, the Governor of Chiang Mai, Mr. Wibun Sa-nguanpong
assigned a task force comprised of 24 District Chiefs, Village Headsmen, and
the President of the sub-district Administrative Organization to educate
villagers on the dangers of clearing their fields by setting them on fire.
Cold spells in Mae Hong Son bring worries
Temperatures in Mae Hong Song province have been dropping steadily and
officials and charitable organizations are concerned many residents may not
have enough blankets and warm clothing to keep safe.
Hill tribes in mountainous areas of Mae Hon Son are lacking warm clothes and
blankets to encounter cold weather and have resorted to wood fires to stay
Decha Sathaphol, the Mae Sariang district chief officer, said his team was
surveying the need for warm blankets and donations and financial support
from the public is welcome.
The Chao Nue (Northern People) Club recently donated 1000 blankets to
residents in Mae Sariang, Mae Lanoi and Sob Moei districts through the
project entitled “The 10th Giving Back to the North.” The donations were
held at the field in front of the Mae Sariang district office and presided
by the club’s president ACM Jirasak Puwanartnurak.
Grenade thrown at
business fails to explode
Police were alerted by an early morning anonymous phone caller who told them
a grenada had been found at Ruamtun Kapleak Co. Ltd. in Tambon Chang Puak.
The M26 grenade was thrown in front of the business but failed to detonate.
Police suspect one of the investors who may have been cheated in an apparent
pyramid or ponzi scheme may be to blame.
The authorities said that a number of people, including monks and hill tribe
people had accused the owner of Ruamtun Kapleak of luring investors with the
promise of a quick profit through sales of rice grain. The owner is alleged
to have made off with about 100 million baht and has disappeared.
Police Major Somyod Wangwiang, said that officers have already questioned
200-300 alleged victims.
Rueangwan Buanuch, Deputy Chiang Mai Governor, said that many ponzi schemes
have been found operating in Chiang Mai. Many of them establish a rice grain
retail company to lure people into investing with promises of doubling their
money. Some who were duped took out bank loans to invest in the get rich
Thai News owner and editor dies of heart failure
On behalf of the Chiang Mai Mail, reporter Saksit
Meesubkwang, right, presented a flower wreath to pay respects and
condolences to the family of Chiang Mai’s Thai News daily newspapers owner
and editor Mr. Monchai Tesapaet, who passed away last Saturday of the heart
failure. Mr. Monchai was 50 years old.
Team of wandering Long Necks detained in Chiang Dao
Six members of a long neck tribe in Mae Hong Son were
detained by police in Chiang Mai’s Mae Tang district after they were
discovered working at a resort hotel in the Chiang Dao area.
of the detained members of a Long Neck tribe in Mae Hong Son has here photo
taken at the Chiang Dao police station after they were discovered working at
a nearby resort.
The Karen tribe members in police custody were quoted saying they had been
kidnapped by a tour company who wanted to display them for tourists in
Chiang Dao. The police though are investigating whether they the long necks
traveled out of Mae Hong Son by force or on their on accord.
Non-governmental groups (NGO’s) have long condemned tour group visits to
Karen tribes calling them human zoos, yet the indigenous tribe benefits
monetarily by charging for photographs and selling handicrafts.
The six members had been working at the Wang Namyad Resort when police
discovered they did not possesses the proper working permits and had left
the province of Mae Hong Son without the required documents.
One of the long neck women stated that about one month ago a group of
investors had asked them to come to work at the Wang Nam Yad Resort for a
salary of 2,000 baht a month for each of the six. The deal included food and
board at the resort. They were to work distributing souvenirs to the guests
at the resort.
The long neck members were transported back to Mae Hong Son and have been
put under refugee protection by the United Nations.
Dec 24 national holiday
Thailand’s cabinet decided to make the day following the
December 23 general election a national public holiday, according to Deputy
Interior Minister Pol. Lt-Gen. Teeravut Butsriphume.
Gen. Teeravut said the cabinet at its weekly meeting agreed with the Labor
Ministry’s proposal to set December 24 as a national holiday to enable the
public sufficient time to travel home and vote.
The move was in accord with the government’s target to have an over 70 per
cent turnout of eligible voters, he said.
The deputy interior minister said the cabinet asked the Ministry of Finance
to coordinate with the Bank of Thailand to consider whether the day should
also be a bank holiday.
Registration of candidates for next month’s parliamentary election began
Monday for a five-day period. It is unlikely that any party will emerge as
frontrunner in the election. TNA
Drivers caught off guard
as intersection opens
Friday’s surprise opening of the Kuang Singh-Chang Puak
intersection caught Chiang Mai drivers off guard causing traffic jams for
several kilometers in each direction of the Superhighway.
The unaccustomed drivers were forced to abandon the tricky and treacherous
turns and u-turns and drive under or cross over directly through the newly
opened intersection leading to confusion and bewilderment. The chaos led to
a traffic jam from the newly opened site all the way to the Amari Rincome
For almost six years Chiang Mai residents have had to endure delay after
delay as former private contractors failed to finish the Superhighway
The original contractor, Jirathep Partnership was awarded the task in 2002
and was obligated to complete the project by May of 2006. The contractor
then claimed the company was adversely affected by higher fuel costs,
construction materials causing cash flow difficulties and work on the
Superhighway came to a halt in February of this year.
Deputy Transport Minister Sansern Wongchaum then announced the government
would intervene and finish the project within six months – they did.
The Kuang Singh intersection was completed by the bridge construction unit
from Phichit province and the San Dek intersection – expected to be
completed by December 5th - by the bridge construction unit from Khon Kaen
An official opening of both intersections is to take place on December 5th
in honor of His Majesty the King’s birthday celebrations.
Two million baht heist at local golf club
Detectives don’t have much to go on except for two empty
safes and some empty beverage bottles from some apparent thirsty thieves who
made off with cash, gold and some priceless Buddhist amulets in burglary at
the Chiang Mai Highland golf club and spa resort.
On November 13 Police Lieutenant Colonel Suthin Saenpaeng, duty inspector
Mae- On police station and his team were called to the golf resort to
investigate a break-in.
When they arrived they discovered two large safes had been cracked open and
the contents including 520,000 baht in cash, gold and priceless amulets had
The two safes weighing about 160 kilos each had apparently been opened by a
crowbar and screwdriver that were found at the crime scene. A refrigerator
had also been raided and apparently the burglars helped themselves to some
refreshments before carrying off the loot.
Seven security guards who were on duty at the time of the robbery were
questioned by the police.
Besides the crowbar, the screwdriver and two empty refreshment bottles, the
police apparently uncovered a solid piece of evidence and expect to make
some arrests very soon. Courtesy Thai News
Local candidate pulls
stunt during registration
The first day of local proportional zoning for Minister of Parliament
candidates produced an overwhelming number of hopefuls who showed up at the
Chiang Mai Municipal stadium.
Tovichakchaikul, right, a candidate of People Power party for Chiang Mai
constituency walks with his supporter wearing a mask of ex-Prime Minister
Thaksin Shinawatra as he arrives to register for the general election in
Chiang Mai. (CMM Photo)
The candidates began arriving in the early morning hours of Nov. 12 to draw
numbers and begin their candidacy requirements for the general election that
will take place on December 23.
Enthusiastic supporters from each party also showed up to cheer on their
When Suraphong Towijackchaikul registered to his name, he concealed his face
but not his loyalties by wearing a huge mask bearing the face of former
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
The publicity stunt by Suraphong, of the newly established People’s Power
Party, was a reminder of Thaksin’s enduring effect on Thai politics more
than a year after he was deposed in September 2006.
A more significant reminder came with the release of a poll showing that the
People’s Power Party - comprised of major remnants of Thaksin’s Thai Rak
Thai Party, which was disbanded by court order - is the most popular among
A survey of 4,410 people conducted Nov. 1-10 by Suan Dusit Rajabhat
University in Bangkok showed the PPP had a 38.6 percent popularity rating,
while its main rival, the Democrat Party, had 32.3 percent. The poll didn’t
give a margin of error.
“I am wearing the mask of former Prime Minister Thaksin to register for my
candidacy because Thaksin assigned me to run in this constituency,”
Suraphong told reporters, acknowledging what is an open secret - that
Thaksin is the party’s patron. Chiang Mai, is Thaksin’s home turf, and along
with the rural northeast, one of Thaksin’s political strongholds.
The Suan Dusit poll confirmed the split between the capital city and the
The poll showed the Democrats, Thailand’s oldest political party, with a
46.2 percent popularity rating in Bangkok against 30.8 percent for the PPP.
But outside of the capital, the PPP had a commanding lead over its rival,
reflecting Thaksin’s continued popularity in the populous north and
northeast of the country.
The Election Commission has divided the country into eight zones for the
party-list system. Each will have 10 representatives in the House.
Zones 3 and 4 include the Northeastern provinces. Khon Kaen and Chaiyaphum
are in the group of Central and Northern provinces in Zone 2, while Nakhon
Ratchasima is in Zone 5 along with other Central and Eastern provinces.
There are 480 seats in the lower house at stake in the upcoming elections -
80 party list seats assigned according to a formula based on the total vote
received by each party and 400 directly elected seats. (The AP
contributed to this story)
Local Democratic Party
The Democratic Party held a
press conference to announce their nominees for the upcoming elections.
(l/r) General Pichanmet Muangmanee, Surapong Pongdejkhajorn, Chackawan
Wannawong and Preecha Pongcharoenkul - on the party list for the next
election Preecha, Surapong and Chackawan will stand in the election and
providing they get enough votes - General Pichanment will be offered a party
seat in the next Parliament. The General Election is scheduled for the 23
December, with the Democratic Party being the oldest of the political groups
established 61 years ago. (CMM Photo)