NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Electric vehicle transport at CMU is clean, green and safe

Paintings by Maesa Camp elephants presented to China

Annual Charity Mae Jo-Sansai “Walk-Run” attracts 4000 competitors

99 gamblers arrested during first five days of Euro 2008

Waree Chiang Mai School students tops at sports!

Arrest warrant for top government official revoked on appeal

Thailand - land of investment

Fashion show and Ballet launch watch display

Garlic growers’ protest forces Mae Hong Son city to virtual standstill

Former minister reports to police to acknowledge charges

 

Electric vehicle transport at CMU is clean, green and safe

Aim is also to raise environmental awareness

Saksit Meesubkwang
Public transport in the education year 2008 around Chiang Mai University’s extensive campus will be by electric vehicles; a clean, green, efficient, safe and economical solution in full accord with current environmental policy, according to the deputy president of CMU’s Physical and Environmental Management System, Dr. Ekachai Sang-In.
The system should help to reduce car usage on the campus, with its attendant parking, traffic management, environmental and accident problems, and should also raise environmental awareness amongst students, staff and visitors. CMU has 32 electric vehicles in service, which can run for a distance of 8 km without recharging. A 7 day non-stop service is provided, running from 7 am until 9 pm, with 450 scheduled journeys on weekdays and 230 on weekends.

 

Paintings by Maesa Camp elephants presented to China

Sporting subjects, Chinese history and the Great Wall

Members of the Thai-Chinese Association smile for a souvenir shot.

Saksit Meesubkwang
A recent visit to China by the President of the Thailand Chinese Association, Korn Thappalangsi, and the assistant MD of Maesa Elephant Camp, Peechaya Kulmapijit, was undertaken in order to cement relationships between the Thai-Chinese lineage and China itself, and to congratulate China for becoming host of the Olympic Games.
During the visit, paintings of various sporting subjects, including weightlifting, swimming and archery, by the elephants at Maesa Camp were presented to the Chinese authorities. Also presented were elephant paintings of notable occasions in Chinese history and of the Great Wall of China. All of the paintings will be exhibited on the opening day of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Peechaya stated that the presentation the paintings was a way to cement relationships between the “brother and sister” countries, and mentioned that China and Thailand have historically maintained a long relationship. China has consulates or embassies in large towns throughout Thailand, and there are Thai-Chinese peoples throughout the Kingdom; bringing positive results for both investments and business.


Annual Charity Mae Jo-Sansai “Walk-Run” attracts 4000 competitors

“Hard work never killed anybody”

Friday June 6 was this year’s date for the annual Mae Jo to Sansai Walk-Run Traditional Project, aimed at raising funds for the Prof. Dr. Wipat Bunsri Wangsai Foundation, which awards scholarships to deserving students at Mae Jo University.
Organised by the Foundation together with Mae Jo University and its Alumni Association, this year’s run attracted over 4,000 participants, made up from new students of the university and Alumni members from all over Thailand. Bangkhen Gate was the starting point; the Sansai district office was the destination, at which, as well as along the route, local Sansai residents had generously provided much-needed food and drink for the runners and walkers! After they had all arrived, Uthai Luechai, the Sansai district chief, gave a speech of welcome and thanks for their participation in an activity which annually created warmth and a sense of unity in both the Mae Jo and Sansai communities.
The Run-Walk was founded at the time of Prof. Dr. Wipat’s directorship of the Mae Jo Agricultural College, and was intended as a “trial” for new students because, according to Wipat, “agriculturists should be healthy and respond to the motto - hard work never killed anybody!” The winner of the Public Men’s Trophy was Poolsawat Leewayodsingkhon, with a time of 39.51 minutes; the Public Women’s Trophy was won by Urai Suteerana, whose time was 43.30 minutes. Paibun Leewayodsingkhon won the New Students’ Men’s Trophy with a time of 39.51 minutes; the New Students’ Women’s Trophy was taken by Lemuoey Laocha, whose time was 48.44 minutes. In the Walking section, the male winner was Dr. Amnuay Yotsuk with 36 minutes, and the female winner as Suwada Niyomkul with a time of 36.50 minutes.


99 gamblers arrested during first five days of Euro 2008

Surge in electricity consumption due to live broadcasting

According to police in Bangkok, 100 gamblers were arrested during the first five days of Euro 2008. The live broadcasting of the games apparently caused a surge in electricity consumption, but posts no threat to the power supply, according to officials.
Royal Thai Police deputy spokesman, Pol. Maj-Gen. Ruengsak Charit-ake, reported the nationwide statistics on football gambling suppression from June 7-11, saying that eight bookmakers, 99 gamblers and three betting collectors were arrested, with betting sheets valued at 87,870 baht and around 16,000 baht in cash. In addition, he urged the Crime Suppression Department and the Information and Communication Technology Ministry’s “cyber inspector” to work together to keep a close watch on online gambling and to introduce measures leading to its prevention at this time.
Apichart Diloksophon, deputy governor of systems control for the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, said electricity usage had increased by 0.6 million units per day since Euro 2008 started on June 7, but assured consumers that the increased demand would not overload the system as demand is low late at night when the Euro matches are broadcast. EGAT will increase its production throughout the rest of the month to cope with the increase, which has been shown to be dependent on the popularity of competing teams. During the opening match between Switzerland and the Czech Republic, electricity consumption rose by 200 megawatts and peaked during the match between Holland and Italy, increasing by 300 megawatts. (TNA)


Waree Chiang Mai School students tops at sports!

University entrance and swimming medals

At the end of last month, a selection procedure took place at Chiang Mai University Camp involving secondary school class 5 students from 17 school zones in the north of Thailand who wished to study for a Batchelor’s Degree at CMU faculties, including Engineering and Communication, Science, Agriculture and Education.
As well as considering students’ academic achievements at their present schools, their performances at a special “Youthful Preservation of Energy for the Look Chang, 3rd generation” event at the CMU Camp involving sporting and other events was also taken into consideration.
Amongst the students selected was Cholthicha Pechranasangkul, from Waree Chiang Mai School’s class 6 a, who received two gold medals in activities, and will go on to study for her Batchelor’s Degree at CMU’s Faculty of Communications.
Waree School students also scored many successes at another event, the 2nd Swimming Games held at the end of May by the Phrae Administrative Organisation, winning 22 medals and gaining the Best Athlete trophy.


Arrest warrant for top government official revoked on appeal

Defamation charge denied

The Ayudhya Appeal Court on Thursday revoked an arrest warrant issued for Sunai Manomai-udom, secretary-general of the Office for Prevention and Suppression of Corruption by Government Officials, which had earlier been issued against Sunai for his failure to acknowledge a defamation charge filed by ex PM Thaksin’s lawyers. The charge had been approved by the Lower Court.
Sunai had been accused of defaming the ex-premier whilst holding the top post at the Department of Special Investigation. Previously, his lawyer had sought a Lower Court order to withdraw the arrest warrant, but had failed. The subsequent petition to the Appeals Court was brought on the grounds that Sunai, as a responsible citizen, had neither reason nor intent to leave the country.
Meanwhile, Sunai pledged his innocence and vowed to continue fighting against what he called an “illegitimate action” to the end. At a press conference held later Thursday afternoon to clarify the allegations, he stated that he did not report to the police immediately after the arrest warrant was received because he believed that the warrant was improperly issued. (TNA)


Thailand - land of investment

Conference sets out investment opportunities in North

The conference was hosted by Satit Chanjavanakul (left)
pictured with local Chiang Mai dignitaries.

Last Thursday, over 500 local people, Thai and foreigners alike, attended a conference organised by the Thailand Board of Investment, and held at the Shangri-La Hotel. Entitled ‘Thailand Investment Year 2008 - 2009, the conference was simultaneously translated into English and Japanese for those who could not speak Thai. Delegates included representatives from almost all the Consular offices in Chiang Mai, local business entrepreneurs, and members of the public with an interest in the future of Chiang Mai and Thailand as a whole.
Satit Chanjavanakul, the secretary general of the Thailand Board of Investment, performed the opening ceremony and gave a speech of welcome, followed by a brief outline of available investment opportunities in Thailand presented by Sudjit Inthaiwong. Under the heading of ‘Roadmap to Investment Year’, Dr. Pornamatee Vimolsin, a senior advisor to the Policy and Planning of National Economic and Social Development Board gave a briefing on ‘Infrastructure development of the GMIS group and investment in the Northern Region’. This was followed by ‘Roadmap to Green Factory’, given by Rachada Singalavanija, the director general of the Department of Industrial Work. There were also talks on ‘Workers’ readiness in the Northern Region’ and ‘Investment opportunities in the Northern Region from the private sector perspective’.


Fashion show and Ballet launch watch display

Corum Basel timepieces at Robinsons

The Corum “Classic Tourbillon Billionaire”.

Following their successful preview in Bangkok, Corum Basel’s new range of watches launched at the recent Baselworld international watch and jewelry trade fair was on display at Robinsons Airport Plaza until June 11. Dr. Chao Duangduan na Chiengmai was the guest of honour at the launch event on May 30, which featured a fashion show with celebrity models including Mom Luang Preeyapun, the director of the Chiang Mai Ballet Academy. During the launch, over 80 VIP guests were treated to a dazzling ballet performance by students of the Academy. Watches featured in the display include Corum’s Classic Tourbillon Billionaire, priced at 40,060,000 baht and their Golden Tourbillon Panoramique, slightly more affordable at 6,300,000 baht!


Garlic growers’ protest forces Mae Hong Son city to virtual standstill

Panic buying of fuel as tankers blocked

Kajohn Boonpath
Garlic growers in Mae Hong Son caused chaos on the roads and around the town hall last week as they protested in a bid to force the government to pay a fair price as previously agreed for their produce. A group of protestors blockaded the entrance to the town hall, forcing employees to climb over walls to get to work, whilst another group blocked the main access road to the city, causing traffic chaos and impeding the delivery from Chiang Mai province of essentials including foodstuffs and fuel. Threats were made to block Mae Hong Son’s airport should the growers’ demands not be met. In spite of a strong police presence, the leader of the protestors, Niran Chankaen, stated that the protests would continue indefinitely.
Rumours of a shortage of fuel due to protestors’ blocking tanker trucks from entering the city resulted in a rush on gas stations by concerned motorists, causing reserve stocks of fuel to drop by more than 5,000 litres in 3 hours. The reserve stockpile of 10,000 litres was estimated to be able to last for 1 day, causing more panic buying and stockpiling by motorists. Two tankers were sent from Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai for emergency supplies; these were also blocked on their return.
As a result of the protestors’ actions, the local PPP Member of Parliament, Adul Wanchaitanawong, has assured the growers that the government will operate according to their demands, and that the matter will be settled shortly.


Former minister reports to police to acknowledge charges

Accusations of lese-majeste based on speech given last August

Jakrapob Penkair, the former minister attached to the Prime Minister’s office who was recently accused of lese-majeste, reported last week to the Crime Suppression Division in order to acknowledge the charge against him. Jakrapob met with the chief of the CSD, Pol. Lt.-Gen. Somyot Pumpunmung, and insisted on his innocence, saying that the accusation was the result of political motivation, and vowing to fight the case in court to prove his innocence. He also said he had prepared documents to present to police in his defence, including a translation of his speech given last August.
Jakrapob is accused of challenging the high institution in a speech he gave at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand in August last year about the 2006 coup, which toppled the then-premier Thaksin Shinawatra and brought in a military government. Under heavy political pressure, Jakrapob last month announced his resignation, saying that he wanted to relieve pressure on the ruling People Power Party and its Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej.
Gen. Somyot stated that Jakrapob was released after acknowledging the charges against him. The courts have not yet issued an arrest warrant against the former minister, who has now volunteered his surrender himself. (TNA)