Royally Initiated Product
sales exhibition expected
to revive business for SMEs
A sales exhibition of locally made art and craft products generated under
the Royally Initiated Project scheme will be held August 7 -12 between 10
a.m. and 9 p.m. at the Chiang Mai Sales Centre for Royally Initiated
Products, located opposite Chiang Mai Zoo. The display will honour the
birthday of HM Queen Sirikit and her support of traditional local products,
the Model Farm project, the Highland Agricultural Development and the
of the locally made products which will be on display and sale at Chiang Mai
Sales Centre for Royally Initiated Products’ special exhibition.
The exhibition will include traditional art and crafts from all regions as
well as agricultural products. There will also be a display area set aside
for video presentations of Her Majesty’s activities. Outside the building
there will be 300 stalls selling selected products for the Chiang Mai area.
All profits from sales will go to Queen Sirikit’s SUPPORT project, initiated
to financially assist the development of craft products in regional
The president of NOHMEX, Nattaphong Hanpatarachaikul, has promised the
display of more than 200 handmade ceramic and wood products designed for the
export market, in the hope that local SMEs will find opportunities through
the exhibition to create business in spite of the present economic crisis.
A ‘Des.Res’. for the panda family Chiang Mai Zoo’s snow dome opens
Chiang Mai governor Amornpan Nimanant ,left,
and guests of honour at the opening of Chiang Mai Zoo’s
Panda Snow Dome, pictured at the opening ceremony.
Chiang Mai Zoo’s much publicised panda family now have their promised new
home, with the official opening of the specially built snow dome on July 17,
headed up by the Chiang Mai governor, Amornpan Nimanant, and his wife
dressed for winter - courtesy of the Zoo, who provide the overcoats!
The special snow dome was built for Chuang-Chuang, Lin Hui and their as yet
unnamed cub to bring their living conditions closer to those of their
natural habitat in the much colder temperature of China’s high mountains,
where snow is common in winter. An additional benefit to Chiang Mai tourism
was that visiting Thais would be able to experience very low temperatures.
Eventually, it would also allow the panda cub to have adjusted to weather
conditions in China’s Cheng Du area before she is returned there in 2 years’
The snow dome itself was built on a 580 square metre area, with a budget of
roughly 60 million baht provided by the government and the Zoological
Association. The artificial snow-generating system, comprising two parts, a
German compressor system and an American snow blow machine, was tested and
announced complete on July 6. Inside, the snow dome consists of a terrace to
view the snow and a space for snow sledding for the tourists, with the
temperature inside the dome being maintained at between 0 and -10
Visitors to the dome will be able to first watch and photograph the panda
family from the special viewing terrace, after which the pandas will be
moved inside and spectators will be able to play in the artificial snow
themselves. Coats and gloves for those unused to such cold will be provided
by the Zoo!
Guests at the opening of the Snow Dome,
shown enjoying themselves in the snow, a rare experience.
5 Rak Chiang Mai 51 leaders face arrest after riots
Chiang Mai police are preparing to issue arrest warrants shortly for
the 5 Rak Chiang Mai 51 leaders involved in the violent protests which
erupted over the recent visit of the Finance Minister to Chiang Mai. A
report on the case has been submitted to Deputy Prime Minister Suthep
Thaugsuban, whose brief is security.
According to the chief of the Provincial Police Region 5, Pol-Lt Gen Somkid
Boonthanom, the warrants will be issued within the next few days, and will
accuse the 5 leaders of illegal assembly by more than 10 people, inciting a
riot and obstructing the police.
The charges will be based on actual evidence. Gen. Somkid has stated that he
is not concerned about the likelihood of police being put under pressure by
the red-shirted group.
A total of 18 police officers were injured during the riots in two separate
confrontations, one outside Chiang Mai University when police attempted to
stop rioters from entering the campus and the other outside a police station
where a leading United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) member
was being detained after a hand gun and ammunition were found in his vehicle
at Chiang Mai International Airport.
Cabinet approves new laws on computer game control and movie censorship
Concern about the unsuitable content of an increasing number of computer
games and movies available to Thai children has led to cabinet approval of
proposals by the Thai Ministry of Culture. A game rating system will be put
in place to guide parents in their choice of games for their children, an
age-related limit will be placed on the number of hours young people can
play computer games in internet cafes, and new controls on movies will be
introduced. A further legal amendment and IT system which will prevent
youngsters under the age of 18 years from gaming for more than 3 hours per
day is also proposed.
is the Minister of Culture, Teera Slukpetch, presiding over the ‘Good Games’
initial exhibition held in Chiang Mai.
The new laws, which will operate under the 2008 Film and Video Act, will
introduce non- compliance penalties for internet cafes of closure of up to
90 days or removal of operating license. There is, however, a recognition
that playing computer games can help develop computer familiarisation and
skills. Movies have been reclassified into 7 categories, and will only be
screened to appropriate age groups. Those which insult the monarchy and
religion, risk undermining national unity and international relations, and
contain gratuitous sex scenes will be banned.
Rating will be similar to that used for TV programmes, using a suitability
index. Due to the difficulty of varying viewpoints in rating computer games,
the countrywide Mahidol University ‘Good Games’ touring exhibition is being
used as a checkpoint for the public, parents and the young players
themselves to contribute ratings from differing perspectives on a large
number of popular games. The new system will be created from rating
received, based on the several criteria. These will include violence, (the
capability to shock or scare by harmful and unlawful behaviour, extremely
violent scenarios and the promoting of attitudes such as inhumanity); blood
and its realistic presentation; sex, (including nudity, near-nudity and
style of clothing, sexual relationships between characters and wrong
attitudes e.g. sexism) and language, (vulgar, offensive, ungrammatical or
slang). Ratings will be given on a scale of 4-1, and will also be
categorised by age. The aim is to eventually rate every computer game
available for purchase in Thailand.
Mahidol University’s ‘Good Games’ exhibition’s initial outing was held at
Chiang Mai University’s Convention Hall on July 23, presided over by the
Minister of Culture, Teera Slukpetch, who stated that an age-determined
ministerial regulation concerning the times during which children will be
permitted to play computer games in internet cafes is being considered.
Below the age of 15, youngsters will be allowed to play between 2 p.m. and 8
p.m. on weekdays, and 2 p.m and 10 p.m on weekends. Those aged between 15
and 18 will be allowed to play between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. on week days and
10 a.m. to 10 p.m on weekends. The minister added that all provincial
governors had been appointed as members of the Safe and Creative Media
The ‘Good Games’ exhibition also distributed a CD of creative games as part
of the White Game Cafes project countrywide. Talks on game topics were
popular, as were samples of games for youngsters to try out, and a contest
to discover the Thai game which best represented the country’s art and
culture. The exhibition also featured a game addict clinic, aimed at giving
parents a chance to discuss their children’s problems with a specialist
Crowds of young people and their parents
attended Mahidol University’s
‘Good Games’ exhibition, held recently at CMU’s Convention Hall.
Domestic consumption of longan boosted at Three Kings’ Monument
A local longan grower smiles in the hope that
the Longan Fair will boost her business.
A fleet of trucks filled with locally grown longan fruit bound for
China was given a great send-off at the Three Kings’ Monument on July 26,
where a Longan Fair had been set up to focus the local and national consumer
market on the delicious fruit.
In attendance was deputy Chiang Mai governor Chuchart Kilapaeng, with guests
of honour including the deputy president of the provincial administration
Dusit Nontanat, the president of the Thai Chamber of Commerce Narong
Kongprasert, the chairman of the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce and Dr. Ken
Santitham, the clerk of the municipality.
of the fleet of trucks filled with longan which are travelling from Chiang
Mai through Chiang Kong, Huay Sai, Luang Nam Ta, Bo Ten, Bo Han and Sip Song
Panna to their final destination in China.
The purpose of the event was to deal with the issue of the decline in the
wholesale and retail price of the fruit due to over-supply, which is causing
financial problems for growers in the region. It is hoped that promoting
awareness of the fruit and its potential through local chambers of commerce
will encourage domestic consumers to purchase larger quantities.
To this aim, cooking demonstrations of unusual ways of using longan were set
up, with fish steamed with the fruit served with a delicious dip, (provided
by the chef from the Suriwong Hotel), proving very popular. Various
well-known Chiang Mai hotels’ chefs took part in the demonstrations, using a
number of interesting variations on the longan theme. Booths displaying
processed longan products also proved popular.
The fleet of trucks will travel from Chiang Mai through Chiang Kong, Huay
Sai, Luang Nam Ta, Bo Ten, Bo Han and Sip Song Panna before it reaches its
Three Chiang Mai reservoirs to be linked to improve water supplies
An increase in the amount of water supplies needed due to the
expansion in both the industrial sector and the population in Chiang Mai
and Lamphun provinces has resulting in the bringing forward of a tunnel
project which will link Mae Kuang Umdomthara, Mae Ngad and Mae Tang
is Prof. Dr. Lert Chantanapap, the senior consultant and director of the
project which will increase the amount of water in Chiang Mai’s Mae
Kuang Udomthara reservoir
Research has shown that, although Mae Ngad and Mae Tang reservoirs are
forced to discharge large qualities of water annually due to their
restricted size, Chiang Mai’s Mae Kuang reservoir has an over- capacity
of approximately 150 million cubic metres. Linking the three will
provide 147 million cubic litres of water for household use, and
approximately 50 million cubic metres for industrial use, which at
present has an insufficient allocation of 13.31 million.
As the terrain in which the three reservoirs are located is mountainous,
underground tunnels are considered to be the best option. A tunnel
between Mae Tang and Mae Ngad is already under construction and due to
be completed this month. Research and design for a 23-kilometre tunnel
linking Mae Ngad to Mae Kuang was completed in March, with construction
scheduled to begin in 2012. A budget of approximately 4,600 million baht
of government money has been allocated to the project.
Prof. Dr. Lert Chantanapap, director and senior consultant of the
project, states that the linking of the three reservoirs will not only
ease the 2 provinces’ water shortages, it will also reduce the risk of
flooding without impacting on the natural landscape of the area.
Rak Chiang Mai 51 hosts Thaksin’s 60th birthday celebration
Pictured is the 2492 feet-long sheet
of mulberry paper used as a mega-birthday card on which
supporters wrote messages of congratulation.
‘Red Shirt Central’, otherwise known as the Grand
Wararos Palace Hotel in Chiang Mai’s old city, was the obviously
chosen venue on July 26 for a huge party to celebrate the 60th
birthday of fugitive ex- PM Thaksin Shinawatra.
Auspicious numbers featured strongly in the celebration, with a
2492 feet-long sheet of mulberry paper used as a mega-birthday
card on which supporters wrote messages of congratulation. The
Buddhist year 2492, (1949), was Thaksin’s year of birth. The
numbers game continued with 3,000 pieces of cake brought by
red-shirts from Chiang Mai and nearby provinces, an achievement
which, according to their former leader during his phone-in,
should be in the Guinness Book of Records, along with the
A Rak Chiang Mai 51 leader, Kanyapak Maneechak, said in her
speech that, in the eyes of the group, Thaksin is still their
Prime Minister, and urged those who support him to continue to
work as a group to bring him back. Thaksin’s brother-in-law and
former PM, Somchai Wongsawat, was briefly on hand to celebrate
with the 5,000 supporters.
During the party, Thaksin’s expected video phone-in from an
undisclosed location, provided his supporters with a song from
their absent leader in which he stated that he would return,
plus a 25 minute address in which he promised that 100 global TV
channels would broadcast collectively in an effort to solve
Thailand’s economic and educational problems. This network, to
be called Voice TV, would cost 1 billion baht to set up and is
expected to be on air by next month. He also promised that, if
he was allowed back into Thailand, pardoned and re-elected to
his former post, he would spend 120 billion baht to solve the
problem of poverty. Reports state that over 1 million signatures
have already been collected from supporters on a petition which
requests a Royal Pardon for the convicted ex-PM.. Red shirt
leaders have vowed to collect at least 5 million names.
Pilot project by Thai Health Promotion Foundation calls for expat input
A new health and environmentally-focused initiative has recently been
set up in Chiang Mai by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, led by its
project manager Nuttaphon Jaruwannaphong. The project, the Social
Marketing and Communication Plan, is community-based, and will involve
cooperation between the Thai government, the business sector, city
residents, students and the expat community.
It is designed to support a number of the foundation’s other health
plans, which deal with issues such as alcohol, tobacco, accidents and
exercise for health,
Thai Health aims to mobilise support and social capital from groups in
Thai society. Together with its partners, it will carry out effective
communication campaigns. For Chiang Mai, the foundation is aiming to
involve both Thais and foreigners in a study of the city and the
development of problem-solving strategies which will benefit both
Activities will include raising social awareness of major local health
issues; the support of partner organisations working with the issues of
garbage management, water and organic food; the essential involvement of
the media for health promotion, including collaboration with
universities on curricula and training of students in health promotion
and working with all media in developing effective health promotion
Training will be provided to organizations involved in health promotion,
together with assistance I the development of media material to
organisations such as exercise and community groups. Long-term
communication campaigns that provide clear messages to targeted groups
and induce behavioural changes that enhance health will be supported.
Subjects will include children and young people, the family, consumer
protection, and public policy.
The foundation’s strategies will include public relations campaigns, on,
offline, and in local media publications, which will disseminate
information about projects supported by Thai Health, and encourage their
replication. Exhibitions and events will be organised for both the
general public and target groups.
The project in Chiang Mai is intended to be a pilot which, if successful
over its 6 month duration, will be applied to the rest of the country by
the foundation. A request has been made by Thai Health through the
Chiang Mai Friends’ Group to foreigners living in the city to
participate in the project by sending notification of perceived problems
with possible solutions. The foundation is looking for people who are
willing to be involved in brainstorming and working together with local
people to improve the health of and lives of all residents.
Please send any communications or suggestions to [email protected]
between now and the end of August. Your involvement and help will be
very much appreciated.
Expats’ Club presentation slams commercial over-fishing in native cultures
The recent fortnightly meeting of the Chiang Mai Expats’ Club
held at the Shangri-La Hotel featured yet another interesting guest
speaker, freelance documentary film-maker Jon Wong.
Malaysian-born Jon has gained international recognition in his chosen
field, underwater filming. Although admitting, at the outset of his
presentation, that funding for his work has largely been down to his own
efforts, he has gone on to tackle some very emotive – and politically
sensitive – issues. He uses his documentaries to attempt to get across
to world-wide audiences the serious ramifications of continued
commercial over-fishing, particularly on indigenous native cultures in
one of the world’s most environmentally important ecosystems – the
unique biodiversity of the marine life and coral reefs of the Indonesian
archipelago and the South China Sea.
Not surprisingly, Jon’s extremely graphic video images, especially those
of turtles, stimulated a great many thought-provoking questions from CEC
members. Those who would like to see more of Jon’s documentary footage,
(some of which is presently still in rough-cut, un-edited form), are
invited to let the CEC Board know of their interest, as Jon is happy to
set up a special screening at a future date.
British Legion Marches into Town
Chiang Mai is well on its way to having a sub-branch of the
Royal British Legion, following well attended meetings at The Olde Bell
on Loi Kroh Road.
Robert Duncan, recently returned from the last official D-Day Normandy
Landings commemorations in France, pictured at the Royal British
Legion’s recent well-attended Press Night at the Olde Bell, sponsored by
AA Insurance Chiang Mai, Pedr, the pub’s popular landlord and several
The UK charity, which helps millions of former and current servicemen
and their families, was founded in 1921 and is best known as the
‘custodian of remembrance’ on November 11th annually, and the world
famous Poppy Appeal. A branch has existed in Pattaya for several years,
and only a few more members are now needed to make the Chiang Mai
British Legion a sub-branch.
Welfare Officer Glenn Croston told a packed meeting on July 22 that
membership was open to all who supported the Legion’s aims, irrespective
of nationality, and Colin Hardcastle gave the vote of thanks on behalf
of the younger generation. Many were surprised to learn that since WW2,
only one year, (1968), had no UK service personnel killed in action. The
Legion’s Social Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each
month, at The Olde Bell, beginning at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome.
The annual non-denominational Remembrance Day gathering will be held at
the Foreign Cemetery, Chiang Mai, from 10.45 a.m. on November 11. After
the traditional 2 minutes silence, traditions of respect will also be
held by Seri Thai and the local branch of the US Veterans of Foreign
With thanks to www. mychiangmai.com
FERC Scholarship Committee interviews young scholars
Members of the Fund for the Education of
pictured during their recent tour of FERC-supported rural schools.
Members of the FERC scholarship committee recently toured rural
schools in which their young scholarship recipients study in order to
monitor the progress of each student. Frank Weicks, scholarship
committee chairman, Glynn Morgan and Norman Robinson, committee members,
along with administrators from Region IV Department of Education, spent
several days going from school to school to sit with the youngsters and
talk about their studies and their progress. Yuwan Pujeenaphan, Region
IV Administration and member of the scholarship committee, coordinated
Scholarship students are selected from 120 schools located in five
governmental districts, and include both Thai and ethnic hill tribe
students. Many of the schools are located in such remote areas that
students must board on site. The seven schools visited are spread out
over Region IV and each varies in layout and focus. Santisuk School, for
instance, is designated a self-sustaining school. Students and teachers,
working together, grow much of their food. One school was closed because
of concerns that a sick student may have H1N1 influenza, but the team
will return there at a later date.
The team was delighted to learn that a graduating scholarship recipient
from Mae Wang has become the first student from that school to ever
attend university. His expressed educational goal on applying for the
scholarship was engineering, and he has been admitted into an
engineering program of study in Bangkok. They were further interested in
the supplementary courses of study that have been undertaken with FERC
scholarship funds, including special maths and English language courses
to upgrade student skills and increase the probability of their being
accepted into university.
At the Ban Kad Wittayakom School in Mae Wang, the FERC scholarship
committee members were surprised to be offered a tour of an historic
site that is partially located on the grounds of the school. 18,000
Japanese soldiers who were killed in Burma, India and Thailand during
World War II are commemorated there at a beautiful shrine.
The FERC scholarship committee and its individual members, as well as
members of the board of the foundation may be contacted through its
website, www. thai-rural-education.org. Donations to FERC through its
website are tax deductible under U.S. tax laws.