NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Two international societies honour HM the King for inventiveness

Court passes judgement in malpractice case

Holmes’ Comet viewed from Doi Inthanon

Election candidates sworn in

Attempted murder results in drowning death

Royal initiative “Discovery” brings ambassadors to Chiang Rai

Samurai gang resurfaces in Lampang

Rice share fraud special investigation to begin

Man arrested for smuggling rare gibbon

Police on the lookout for murderer who killed a Japanese female

BOT keeps an eye on graft busters

One year anniversary of koala bears celebrated at Chiang Mai Zoo

 

Two international societies honour HM the King for inventiveness

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand was honoured by two international associations for his innovative inventions, according to the Office of the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT).
NRCT Secretary General Prof. Anond Bunyaratvej said at a press conference that the International Federation of Inventors’ Association (IFIA) in Hungary and the Korea Invention Promotion Association (KIPA) form South Korea had honoured HM the King for his outstanding inventions.
Also presented at the press conference were IFIA President Dr. Andras Vedres and KIPA director Lee Jip-joong.
The Budapest-based IFIA is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation created by seven European inventors associations in 1968 to improve the status of inventors at the national and international levels, and to promote cooperation between inventors associations.
KIPA is an organisation specialising in promoting national intellectual property rights and commercialisation of patent technologies.
IFIA  presented IFIA Cup for His Majesty is Chaipattana Low Speed Aerator, a paddle-wheel machine in the form of a floating buoy that helps add oxygen to water, this aiding the purification process.
The surface aerator is effectively used in wastewater treatment, he said.
IFIA also honoured HM the King with its Genius Prize medal for his “New Theory” for farmers and his sufficiency economy philosophy.
Meanwhile, KIPA honoured HM the King as the Father of Thailand’s Inventions, he said, adding that KIPA also praised HM the King for his tireless work to find innovations to help ease the problems of the people and benefit persons in other countries.
IFIA said HM the King was a role model for the world’s inventors. His inventions could benefit all humanity.
Eighty-four member countries of IFIA have set February 2 as the first world inventor’s day, to honour the Thai monarch as he was the first person to receive the patent for the Chaipattana Low Speed Aerator.
The patent, number 3127, was granted on Feb. 2, 1993 for his invention.
It was awarded the first prize by the National Research Council of Thailand on July 22, 1993.
Thailand will host world inventors day February 2-5 next year. (TNA)

 

Court passes judgement in malpractice case

Saksit Meesubkwang
In mid November 2007, the Provincial Court in Chiang Mai passed judgement in an appeal case concerning medical malpractice which cost the life of a 17-year-old girl.

An initial court case had resulted in Dr. Charlie. Kanjanarak, right, being sentenced to four years imprisonment.
In 2002, Ms Siriporn Muima had attended a clinic to undergo a liposuction process, but the doctor who administered the treatment had allegedly used expired medication, causing her death.
An initial court case had resulted in Dr. Charlie. Kanjanarak, 48, being sentenced to four years imprisonment. An appeal was mounted, and bail was paid; however, this was finally rejected and the judgement of four years imprisonment was upheld. The parents of the dead girl have filed a civil case against Dr. Kanjanarak in the amount of 13 million baht damages.


Holmes’ Comet viewed from Doi Inthanon

The latest image of the beautiful Holmes’ Comet, shot by the deputy director of the National Astronomical Institute of Thailand, Dr. Saran Posayajinda, on November 18, 2007, at 01.22 a.m. The location was the mountaintop at Doi Inthanon, the highest peak in Thailand. Dr Saran used his telescope with a 106mm diameter lens to take the photograph.


Election candidates sworn in

CMM reporters
The last day of Chiang Mai’s Members of Parliament candidate application welcomed eight more candidates, bringing the total for the four election zones to 108 applicants from 13 political parties.
The parties represented are People Power, Democrats, Chart Thai, Matchima Thipataya, Rua, Jai Thai Chart Pattana, Prachamati, the New Aspiration, Thai Pen Thai, Thai Rum Ruay Ekkaratch, Puea Pandin and the Farmer Networks of Thailand. The first and second election zones have 33 candidates, whilst the third has 24 and the fourth has 18.
The orientation session for the MP candidates was held on November 17 at the Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel, chaired by Dr. Sutthipol Taweechaikarn of the Election Commission of Thailand. All candidates were asked to conduct their campaigns in line with the relevant laws in order to promote corruption-free and fair elections. They were advised to shun vote-buying, and to be aware of the value of unanimity.
Many well known candidates attended the session, including Dr. Thaworn Kiatchaiyakorn, Maj. Gen. Intarat Yodbangtoey, Budsaba Yodbangtoey, Pol Maj Gen Prasert Chantrapipat, Kingkarn Na Chiangmai, Pol Sgt Gen Udom Worawan and Sujit Na Wichai. After the orientation session ended, the candidates attended a swearing-in ceremony, which took place in front of an image of His Majesty the King, a reproduction of the Three Kings’ Monument, and a monk.
Regarding the requirements for conducting the election, it was announced that verification of the candidates’ qualifications would take seven days. Application approval or disapproval would then be announced. The processes during the five registration days had been carried out smoothly and with good coordination from all parties. Several agendas were assigned including the selection of unbiased election staff, security arrangements during the election process, and management of the ballot boxes.
Candidate resumes only should be sent to the election zones to avoid confusion, and the election areas themselves should be arranged in order to facilitate usage by handicapped and aged persons. Election staff should be on hand to advise, in order to prevent voided ballots. The Deputy Governor of Chiang Mai, Ruengwan Buanuch, said that Chiang Mai Provincial Authority had been promoting and campaigning in order to allow voters to choose suitable and virtuous candidates, and that 1,000 democratic network volunteers had been appointed to follow up and deal with the problem of vote buying.


Attempted murder results in drowning death

Saksit Meesubkwang
An urgent call from a police box in Tam Pla, Mae Sai, resulted in a team of police rushing to a development under construction at Ban Sonkled Thong. There they found the drowned body of Mr. Prachon floating in the nearby river.
In his trouser pockets were two hand guns and a number of bullets. In a house on the development they found the pregnant owner, Ms Ladda, who had been shot twice in the head. She was in a serious condition, and was rushed to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital’s emergency unit, where she remains gravely ill.
The police also found her husband, Rapsael Louisandre, who had been shot in the shoulder. He told them that, when he returned home from a shopping trip with his wife, an intruder had stepped from behind the door and shot his wife twice in the head. The intruder then tried to make a run for it. Mr. Louisandre gave chase, and was shot in the shoulder. He continued to give chase and caught the attacker. In the course of the struggle which followed, both men fell into the river. The intruder was pushed under the water, where he drowned.
During the following police investigation, it was found that Mr. Prachon was unemployed and in debt, and that his wife had very recently given birth to a baby. His motivation for his crime was obviously theft, as he had no money to purchase necessities for the child. He had intended to rob the victims, but had lost his life as a result of his actions.
The superintendent of Mae Sai Police Station, Pol. Col. Thivathach Nakhorn Sri, commented that Mr. Louisandre was worthy of praise for struggling with and overcoming the attacker, that he had great sympathy for Ms Ladda and that he is praying for her full recovery. He confirmed that police will be sent to protect the family from further danger. Mr. Louisandre will have to be prosecuted under the law, but hopefully will be extended clemency as his actions were taken in order to protect his family.
He also stated that Mr. Louisandre’s action may well act as a deterrent to further attacks on foreigners.


Royal initiative “Discovery” brings ambassadors to Chiang Rai

19 Ambassadors from 11 countries including Greece, Korea, Chile, Portugal, Cuba, Pakistan, Singapore, Bangladesh, the Vatican State, Nigeria, Panama and the Ukraine, visited Chiang Rai recently as part of the Royal Initiative “Discovery”.
The visit was organised and led by the Thai Tourism and Sports Minister Dr. Suwit Yodmanee. The Ambassadors were warmly greeted and welcomed on their arrival at Chiang Rai airport by the Governor of Chiang Rai, Preecha Kamolbutre, together with Thanya Nikrothanont, the Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Northern Region 2, the Director of Chiang Rai tourism, sport and recreation, Sawet Mantai, the Director of Chiang Rai Airport, Pratueng Sornkham, and the heads of many governmental offices in the region.
Dr. Suwit Yodmanee said, in an address to the visiting VIPs, that he was sure their first visit to Chiang Rai would encourage them to fully promote the natural charms and artistic charms of the city, adding that he expected a large number of tourists to visit the city during the high season, especially during the Mekong River Basin Cultural Festival, scheduled for 21st to 25th November. He continued as follows:
“More foreign tourists are expected this year, with the focus on visitor quality rather than quantity. However, some groups, particularly from Japan and China, may decrease in number, as negative domestic news may cause diminishing confidence.
“Meanwhile, Thailand has to develop and promote new tourist attractions in order to compete with neighbouring countries. TAT has established several new offices overseas to help promote tourism in Thailand.”
The Deputy Governor responsible for TAT’s plans and policies, Akkapol Phrueksawan, mentioned that, when the R3a-R3b route linking Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and China is completed, an increased influx of tourists is expected in Chiang Rai as a result of decreased journey time. Currently, 4-5 Thai entrepreneurs together with those in neighbouring countries are offering Mekong River ferry services, which will result in more optimistic prospects for tourism and the resultant income growth.
The third Mekong Friendship Bridge will be constructed in Chiang Khong district, with completion expected in 2012, concurrent with the completion of Route R3a linking Thailand with Laos and China.
The Director of Chiang Rai Airport, Praterng Sornkham, said that an influx of tourists is expected to crowd the city this winter. On average, 100,000 passengers have arrived each month, which signals optimism for the growth of tourism in the province. Chiang Rai’s geographic location close to Laos, China and Myanmar can only encourage its desirability as a base for exploring these countries.


Samurai gang resurfaces in Lampang

CMM reporters
Lampang teenagers not fearing the law have set up a Samurai gang in each village, and nearly 50 of them gathered to ride around on motorbikes attacking people with swords who ignored them. The latest victim was a student from a technology institute, who was attacked and struck in the face during the Loy Krathong Festival, which resulted in several stitches.
The attack took place at 11:40pm on November 25, after the last parade group had passed by. Pol. Cap. Kaiyachat Kampanchan, Inspector on duty at the Muang Lampang Police Station received a notice that a group of between 40-50 teenagers had assaulted another group of teenagers. The gang used swords to strike one of the teenagers in the back and face, while he was sitting and drinking on the sidewalk observing the parade, which resulted in serious injuries. The Lampang Hospital Center rescue vehicle transferred the injured person to the Lampang Hospital Center.
The incident occurred in front of Arunothai School on Chatchai Road, Sobtui, Muang, Lampang. The officers were only able to arrest one of the criminals, who was identified as Witsanu Paranan, a 17 year old, from Ban Klauyluang, Klauypae, Muang, Lampang. However, he denied striking the injured person with a sword, but admitted that he was with the group of criminals. The others had already fled on the motorbikes (3-4 on one motorbike). The officers detained him and expanded the case to pursue the other criminals.
The injured person was Mr. Witawat Muangkam, 19 years old, a 3rd year student at Lampang Technical College. He had black and blue marks on his back, but had been seriously injured to his face, which required 25 stitches; right eyebrow and right cheek.
The injured person stated that he had attended the Loy Krathong Festival with seven others. He was sitting and drinking together with them, while the last of the Krathong parade passed by in the direction of the Lampang Municipality Office at the clock tower 5-way intersection. Then a group of approximately 40-50 teenagers on motorbikes came and stopped beside the road before attacking his group without saying a word. He was the last person in the group that tried to run away. One of them struck his back with a sword, and followed up by striking his face once again. This resulted in him sustaining injuries to the right eyebrow and cheek. He fell down in a pool of blood, before a rescue unit arrived and transferred him to the Lampang Hospital Center, where he received 25 stitches.
The officers didn’t allow Witsanu Paranan to be bailed out, and charged him with cooperating with others to injure and try to kill another person. The case is being expanded to pursue the other criminals for punishment according to the law.


Rice share fraud special investigation to begin

Saksit Meesubkwang
A special unit will be set up at Changpuak Police Station this month by the Department of Special Investigation, Crime Suppression, to investigate the recent rice share scam instigated by Ruamtun Khapleek Co., known as the Joint Capital Retail Trade Company, and Somkid Business Co. Ltd.

A special unit will be set up at Changpuak Police Station this month by the Department of Special Investigation, Crime Suppression, to investigate the recent rice share scam.
This unit will create a file of all victims of the scam who have made a report, which will assist in tracing the perpetrators in order to make arrests. The scam, which was networked countrywide after it was started in the Chiang Mai area, involved persuading people to deposit an investment of 650 baht in the company, telling them that it would earn a return of 1,000 baht per month. The companies used rice to persuade people to invest, then closed down without returning the invested funds.
At present, there are at least 426 victims of the fraud, although it is believed that many more, particularly workers from the Lamphun area, have not yet come forward to register.
The deputy director of DSI Crime Suppression Pinyo Thongchai stated that he would be co-operating with local police officers to urge a full investigation of this case, as the companies concerned have infringed the Royal Act of 1984 by creating a loan system with intent to defraud. On further examination of the use of the money so received, it will be decided whether money laundering regulations have also been breached.
Police Lt. General Kittitat Ruantip, the assistant national police chief, requested that persons who had been defrauded by these companies and who had not yet filed a report should kindly come forward and give details. They should not believe that they will eventually have their money returned by the fraudsters.
A press release on November 21 by the Superintendent of Changpuak Police Station stated that this scam, which had damaged not only individuals, but also Thai society, has received a great deal of attention, and that the authorities are committed to a thorough investigation resulting in convictions of those involved.


Man arrested for smuggling rare gibbon

On the afternoon of November 15, Somsak Posuwan, a resident of Chiang Rai, was charged with possessing a male gibbon monkey belonging to a protected species.
It seems that he had obtained the animal through local villagers, and had trained it in order to be able to put it on show at one of his tourist attractions in the Mae Yao area.
On being informed of this, two C8 forestry officers, Sitthikarn Chuemuangparn and Payao Saidee, both working with the Forest Conservation Unit in Chiang Rai, arrested Mr Somsak and confiscated the animal, as the possession of any animal belonging to a protected species is illegal.
A full investigation will be carried out, based at Mae Yao Police Station. (CMM reporters)


Police on the lookout for murderer who killed a Japanese female

Japanese tourists and more than 10 Japanese mass media organizations are following a case about a Japanese woman being murdered.
It was reported that in the afternoon of November 25, Miss Tomoko Kawashita, 27, a Japanese tourist, had been robbed, her throat cut, and her body dumped in the forest on a hill in the area of the entrance to Saphanhin Temple at Sukhothai Historical Park Muangkao.
The deputy commissioner in Region 2 called in the Muangkao Police and ordered them to urgently conduct an investigation, emphasizing that the murderer must be arrested, since the case affects Thailand’s tourism image.
After questioning witnesses, it was found that the deceased had rented a bicycle for sightseeing in the park, and then had been murdered and robbed.
In continuing news for this case, on November 26, Pol. Maj. Gen. Ta-Ngai Prasajaksattoo, deputy commissioner of the Provincial Police in Region 6 came to the Muangkao District of Sukhothai to follow the progress of the case. This included calling a meeting for every department of the police station associated with this, in order to speed up conducting an investigation to find the criminals “as soon as possible since it is a case that has a lot of consequences for the tourism image of the Sukhothai Province”, including that the Japanese media is interested in this case. There are more than 10 Japanese Mass Media organizations closely monitoring the progress of this case.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Ta-Ngai revealed that there has not been much information released, because the police are in the process of questioning witnesses. However, a search warrant was requested to search the suspects’ houses. This case drew interest from Suwit Yodmanee, Minister of Tourism and Sports, who was at the crime scene and is monitoring the progress of this case by himself.
“The police were not complacent, because this case is crucial. It involved a foreign tourist, and it has consequences for the tourism image of the Sukhothai Province. Every sector was urged to hurry and investigate to find the criminals to continue the case,” the Deputy Commissioner of the Provincial Police from Region 6 said. (Thai News)


BOT keeps an eye on graft busters

The governor of the Bank of Thailand, Tarisa Watanagase, said recently that before every national election, BOT sends a letter to the commercial banks requesting their co-operation in reporting suspicious transactions, particularly those involving amounts in excess of Bht2 million. This information is intended to help identify and prevent malpractice involving vote buying during the run-up to the elections themselves.
Governor Tarisa also said that the upcoming election would help to expand the Thai economy in the short term as the resulting stability of government policy would encourage increased confidence amongst investors.
In Phayao province, the chairman of Phayao Provincial Public Health Office, Dr. Chamnun Hansuthiwechakul, is organising a workshop for village health volunteers. In accordance with provincial policy, the workshop will encourage volunteers to vote without bribes.
Dr. Chamnun has said that the workshop will be held in every village in Phayao Province. On November 14 and 15, the workshop visited Khun Chom Dam Camp, Chiang Kam District, the meeting hall of Phuchang District, Wad Koo Phang Land in Tambon Huay Kao Kum, Chun District, Sala Pratchakom of Pom District, and the meeting hall of Phu Kam Yao District.
On November 21 and 22, the workshop took place at Doi Phu Nang National Park in Chiang Muan District.
In Chiang Mai, the second day of registration for candidates in the upcoming election passed quietly, as no candidates tried to register, although representatives of certain candidates arrived to submit additional documents. Candidates were beginning to escalate their campaigns by using vehicles to make announcements as they drive around the city; some others were visiting voters door to door, after paying their respects to the sacred statues of Chiang Mai.
There were about 67 registered candidates from 9 political parties active in Chiang Mai; with the final date for registration being November 16.
In Mae Hong Son Province, the second day of registration mirrored that of Chiang Mai, in that only one party registered that morning, with another in the afternoon. To date, there are candidates from 10 parties registered in the province, most of whom are local politicians, former representatives, or former senators in Mai Hong Son. (Thai News)


One year anniversary of koala bears celebrated at Chiang Mai Zoo

Saksit Meesubkwang
Chiang Mai Zoo organized a celebration on November 22 for the one year anniversary of the koala bears’ arrival last year from a zoo in Australia to live at Chiang Mai Zoo.

It’s already been a year since these koalas arrived at Chiang Mai Zoo.

The four koala bears named CoCo, Flula, Simpson and Byron arrived on November 20, 2006. The celebrations included performances and games for the 300 school children who were able to attend the event for free. There were also animal quizzes and souvenirs were on sale to visitors at discounted prices.
Thanaphat Phongkamorn, the director of Chiang Mai Zoo, said that since the koalas came to live at the zoo, a staff of experts have been taking care of the koalas regularly and the four animals are all in good health.
In 2007, the zoo has so far earned 50 million baht in zoo entrance fees and it is anticipated that in 2008 more Thais and foreign tourists will visit the zoo generating even greater revenues.