Vol. VIII No. 5 - Tuesday
February 3 - February 9, 2009



Home
Automania
News
Book-Movies-Music
Columns
Community
Art, Music & Culture
Happenings
Dining Out & Entertainment
Features
Letters
Social Scene
Sports
Chiang Mai FeMail
Daily Horoscope
Cartoons
Happy Birthday HM Queen Sirikit
Current Movies in
Chiangmai's Cinemas
Advertising Rates
Classifieds
Back Issues
Updated every Tuesday
by Saichon Paewsoongnern


NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Red-shirted riot hits CMU – shots fired

Monday February 9 is Makha Bucha Day

Chiang Mai hosts typhoon discussions

New Zealand aid worker mauled by tiger at Khumsu Tiger Centre

Link with international software company will benefit college’s IT students

Strategies for wildfire prevention on Doi Inthanon discussed

A Memorial to David Crisp

Local residents urged to save water due to low reservoir levels

New Chiang Mai provincial district to be formed

A Valentine’s Day romantic wedding package from TAT

Public heath warning given against consumption of raw pork

Chiang Rai opium plantations destroyed

 

Red-shirted riot hits CMU – shots fired

Members of the pro-Thaksin Rak Chiang Mai 51 group
shout protests at Chiang Mai University.

Saksit Meesubkwang
50 red- shirted members of the pro-Thaksin group Rak Chiang Mai 51, led by Petchawat Wattanasirikul, staged another protest on January 24 at Chiang Mai University, during which a demonstrator drove his car at a group of police.
The subject of their protest was Democratic Party icon Suthep Thaugsuban, who was on a visit to Chiang Mai in order to attend an alumni party being held at the university. Suthep had already arrived at the venue to greet and talk with CMU president Prof Dr Pongsak Angasith and his friends, when the demonstrators intruded, causing police, already in attendance as a precaution, to attempt to restrain them. Police fired at the demonstrator’s car as it was being driven at them. Unconfirmed reports state that the driver was hit in the shoulder. Pornchai Suwanpichaiyos, a 43 year old demonstrator, was arrested by police. During the incident, Pensuwan Nakapreecha, director of CMU’s library, was slapped in the face by one of a group of protestors as she tried to get them to leave the university’s premises. She later reported the assault to the police. During the protest, Suthep left the university grounds, using another exit.
Two days later, Petchawat and 30 members of the group petitioned Surachai Jongrak, Chiang Mai deputy governor, urging that he transfer the policeman who shot at the demonstrator’s car to a different area within 5 days. The group also demanded that provincial authorities should be sent to inspect the Santi Asoke monastery in Mae Tang, belonging to Maj Gen Chamlong Srimuang, as they claim it is built on national park land, and should be demolished as a result.
On the same day, CMU’s president called deans of all faculties together to discuss the Rak Chiang Mai 51 group’s violent intrusion into the alumni party. A representative was appointed to liaise with local police in charging the group with destroying official property.

 

Monday February 9 is Makha Bucha Day

Banks, offices will be closed

This year, Makha Bucha Day (Buddhist All Saints Day) falls on Monday, February 9. Government offices, banks and many businesses will be closed.
This holy day commemorates the miraculous event when 1,250 disciples of the Buddha, Gautama Sakayamuni, traveled to meet with the Buddha with no prearranged agreement, at Weluwan Mahawiharn Temple in the area of Rachakhryha, India.
Devout Buddhists are expected to turn out in the thousands at local temples to conduct religious ceremonies.


Chiang Mai hosts typhoon discussions

Apinya Wipatayotin
Over 80 leading meteorologists from 14 countries gathered in Chiang Mai recently to brainstorm on the upgrading of tropical storm early warning systems and responses at a week-long Typhoon Committee meeting aimed at promoting and coordinating efforts for reducing the impact from tropical storms. The participants also discussed ways to reduce damage caused by tropical storms.
Thai delegates reported on the impact of tropical storms on the country as well as presenting a study on climate change and resultant changing tropical storm patterns. The role of weather forecasting in disaster preparations and responses was a highlight of the presentation, and it was stated that the public had more confidence in the Meteorological Department’s predictions over the past years, due to its improvements in accuracy and regional detail. Investment in human resource development and advanced technology for weather forecasting has contributed to the increased reliability of the agency’s information. Since technology and staff training are important in weather forecasting, Bangkok will ask for cooperation and support from Typhoon Committee members, especially the US and Japan, for technology transfers and skills training for the weathermen.
Established in 1968, the Typhoon Committee currently has 14 members – Cambodia, China, South Korea, North Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, the United States, Vietnam and Thailand.
Climate expert Anond Snidvongs, director of the Southeast Asia Regional Research Centre, said Thailand is likely to face only minor impacts from tropical storms this year, thanks to the mild effect of the La Nina phenomenon, which is characterised by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. It brings humidity from the sea to the land, leading to a sharp rise in rainfall.


New Zealand aid worker mauled by tiger at Khumsu Tiger Centre

Saksit Meesubkwang
A New Zealand aid worker with an organisation which runs orphanages, emergency relief operations and development programmes along the Thai-Burmese border is receiving hospital treatment after being mauled by a tiger at the Khumsu Chiang Mai Tiger Centre on January 25.

Tourism officials give some flowers to New Zealand aid worker Ruth Corlett as she recovers in the Lanna Hospital after being mauled by a tiger at Khumsu Chiang Mai Tiger Centre.

Ruth Corlett, 45, on a break in Chiang Mai with her husband and three children, had been allowed to enter the 1 year-old tiger’s cage, along with staff at the facility, having been assured that the tiger had been conditioned to safely interact with humans. As she stroked its head, the tiger became annoyed and attacked her, mauling her leg. She was immediately transferred to Lanna Hospital, where she received 54 stitches to the wound and is now recovering.
A staff member at the Tiger Centre told reporters that the tiger, Pancake, had always been friendly and had never bitten anyone before. The facility has pledged that they will pay all medical expenses, and will tighten controls on visitors’ entry to cages in order to prevent the possibility of further injuries.
An assistant to the Governor of Chiang Mai told reporters that, as the unfortunate incident may have affected tourism to the city, an inspection of the facility would be carried out by the Office of Animal Species Conservation. The inspection will determine whether the facility’s policy of allowing visitors to approach dangerous animals is unlawful. The office will also recommend measures to ensure the safety of visitors to all such facilities.


Link with international software company will benefit college’s IT students

The official opening of the Software Training and Development Camp.

Michael Davies
The 20-week Software Training and Development Camp, a unique link between Chiang Mai’s College of Arts, Media and Technology (CAMT) and Chiang Mai Lanna Business Services (CLBS) was officially opened on January 22.
Dr. Nopasit Chakpitrak, Dean of CAMT, explained that the link felt, ‘Something like a wedding,’ and had come about due to one of CAMT’s PhD students working with C<BS on cross-cultural issues, adding that it was invaluable to CAMT to have found an international software organisation in Chiang Mai with which the college could work. Dr. Nopasit considers that it provides an opportunity his students cannot afford to miss, with its focus on teamwork and the development of commercially related technology. Matthew Schenk, web development leader at CLBS, which has bases in Germany, Malta and Thailand, stated that the company will sponsor and help the Software Development Training Camp.


Strategies for wildfire prevention on Doi Inthanon discussed

Municipal authorities and local leaders gather together to discuss wildfire prevention measures at Doi Inthanon national park

Saksit Meesubkwang
A meeting between community and local leaders, municipal departmental heads and other concerned organisations was held recently in Chiang Mai’s Chom Thong district, during which the prevention of forest fires in Doi Inthanon national park during the upcoming hot season was discussed. Local administrative organisations were urged to encourage their communities to participate in wildfire prevention, rather than focusing on budget settings and allocations, as there are serious concerns over the effect of wildfires on the delicate natural environment of the park.
Chom Thong’s’s district chief stated that it was imperative for awareness of fire-fighting protocols to be made known to local communities in order to protect the forests. Also present at the meeting was Upai Wayupat, the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation’s director general, who emphasised the need for cooperation and vigilance. Adul Jaipeng, chief of the local Fire Control Unit, stated that, ‘Winter this year has been unusually cold, which has increased the risk of wildfires. However, setting fires is now prohibited; should farmers need to burn agricultural land they must first notify their local community leaders.’
In the years since Doi Inthanon’s establishment in 1968 as a national park, forest fires in the designated area have been a serious environmental threat, with large areas of forest being destroyed. Protection of the area cannot be left to a single organisation, but must involve all concerned parties, according to Adul, as fire damage in the important national park takes a considerable to time to reverse.


A Memorial to David Crisp

Friends of David Crisp pictured gathered
at Wat U Mong for the blessing and memorial.

Michael Davies
Last Thursday, friends of the late David Crisp met at Wat U Mong for a blessing. They presented offerings in David’s memory to the Abbot, including a palm tree, and were assured by the Abbot that the tree would be planted in a very special place where there are animals, and that as the tree grew it would be a living memorial to their friend.
The blessing and memorial was arranged at short notice by Tom Somsak; after the blessing David’s friends were invited to go to his home to lay roses – a Thai tradition.
Police have reported they have made two arrests in connection with David’s murder; a further suspect is reported to have crossed the Thai-Burmese border.


Local residents urged to save water due to low reservoir levels

Saksit Meesubkwang
It has been announced by Chiang Mai’s provincial water authority that the flow of town water originating from the Mae Guang Dam will be reduced from 48,000 cubic metres per day to 25,000, due to low water levels in the reservoir. The authority is taken various measures to lessen the possibility of a drought, including improving the capacity of the Patan filtering plant to 24,000 cubic metres per day. Additional pipelines are being installed on Chotana Road, in front of the Lanna Golf Course, and in front of Mae Jo University, in order to link up water supplies from the Mae Rim works to those of Chiang Mai. Supplies from Lamphun are already linked with the Chiang Mai system. The work in hand should be able to handle anticipated shortages.
Replacement work is also being carried out to solve the problems caused by slow water flows through existing pipes, which may cause uneven flows until its completion. The authority apologises fro any inconvenience caused. Cooperation is also being sought from the department of Royal Irrigation and the 33rd Army’s Kawila military camp should water supplies to the city be interrupted. Both organisations are able to transport water to the city. However, residents are being asked to economise on their water usage and to store water wherever possible.
Problems with broken pipes and water shortage can be reported directly to the Chiang Mai Water Work Office on 1162 or 053-233479. This is a 24-hour service.


New Chiang Mai provincial district to be formed

CMM Reporters
It was recently announced that three tambon areas of Mae Cham district are to be grouped together to form a new amphur, in order to enable residents to access their own local government offices rather than having to travel long distances as at present.
The three districts are Mae Daed, Ban Chan and Chaem Luang, which will be grouped together under one of four names, Ratchanakarin, Galayanivadhana, Galayamitrayarn and Wat Chan Chalermprakiat. The move has already received cabinet approval, with Royal approval for the chosen name applied for.
Chiang Mai province will promote the new district as being liveable for both residents and visitors due to its beautiful and fertile natural surroundings and its cooler weather. 200 rai of land has already been allocated for government offices. The area is already famous for its pine forests, for its Queen Sirikit Arts and Crafts Centre at Ban Wat Chan, and its Forest Industry Organisation’s High Land Agricultural Development. Several private tourist enterprises are also located in the area.


A Valentine’s Day romantic wedding package from TAT

CMM Reporters
This year’s St. Valentine’s Day in Mae Hong Son’s Pai district will have a special meaning for 50 couples, as a result of the Tourist Authority of Thailand’s organisation of special marriage ceremonies to be held between February 13 and 15.
The weddings will take place in a romantic natural mountain setting, amongst trees and flowers and next to a stream. TAT is planning to provide the 50 happy couples with an unforgettable experience including a 3-day honeymoon stay at a nearby resort, and it is asking perticipants to dress in Lanna style wedding attire. The couples will take part in an elephant parade, be photographed at the historical Tha Pai Bridge, and will be invited to a special dinner at Pai Hot Spring Resort.
TAT is hoping that couples who would like to take part will download application forms from www.paiallscason.com or call on 089-557-6079 between now and February 10. The cost of the entire package will be 4,999 baht per couple.


Public heath warning given against consumption of raw pork

CMM Reporters
The Phrae Public Health Department has issued a warning against eating raw pork, as there is a significant risk of a possibly fatal Streptococcus Suis infection.
The viral infection can cause serious symptoms such as fever, renal problems, toxic shock syndrome, deafness, meningitis, septicaemia, endocarditis, and coma, and can in some cases result in death. Workers with pig carcasses are also at specific risk, especially if they have open cuts or abrasions on their hands, and should wear protective gloves when butchering pigs.
Cases of Streptococcus Suis infection are occurring in the area, all of which have been traced to either the consumption of dishes containing raw pork, such as Lab Moo and Sok Lek, or the handling of infected pig carcasses.


Chiang Rai opium plantations destroyed

CMM Reporters
More than 4 rai of opium plantations in Chiang Rai province were destroyed on January 25 by a combined force of more than 100 armed special operations police. Following a tip-off concerning two plantations on the border between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai provinces, police found 1 rai of land, mostly harvested, and 3 further rai in an adjacent valley. In both plantations illegal growers who were harvesting the raw opium and guarding the plantations fled into a heavily-wooded area of forest upon the arrival of the police.



Chiangmai Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
189/22 Moo 5, T. Sansai Noi, A. Sansai, Chiang Mai 50210
THAILAND
Tel. 053 852 557, Fax. 053 014 195
Editor: 087 184 8508
E-mail: [email protected]
www.chiangmai-mail.com
Administration: [email protected]
Website & Newsletter Advertising: [email protected]

Copyright © 2004 Chiangmai Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Advertisement