Vol. VIII No. 33 - Tuesday
August 18 - August 24, 2009



Home
Automania
News
Business
Book-Movies-Music
Columns
Community
Art, Music & Culture
Happenings
Dining Out & Entertainment
Features
Letters
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]:

Baby panda Lhin Ping’s long-stay dependent on new Thai-Chinese research centre

Major Chiang Mai organisations stress economic damage caused by political unrest

Aung San Suu Kyi verdict attracts worldwide condemnation

CMU female staff and students enter Buddhist sisterhood

Counterfeit goods worth 20 million baht destroyed by Mae Sai customs

Local entertainment venues plagued by ‘music police’ sting

Ancient forest monk tradition under threat in north-east

Rotary Club of Chiang Mai Thin Thai Ngam celebrates its 50th anniversary

New exhibition at 116 Gallery features 35 Thai artists

1500 orchids planted in Chiang Mai Zoo’s forested areas

Rat-killing contest to protect against plague

 

Baby panda Lhin Ping’s long-stay dependent on new Thai-Chinese research centre

Supoj Thaimyoj
Following a visit by the Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Suwit Khunkitti to Chiang Mai Zoo to check on the progress of the new baby panda, it seems that the possibility of the cub’s being able to stay in Chiang Mai for more than the 2 years agreed may be on the cards.
The government of China may be nearing agreement on the establishment in Thailand of a joint Thai-Chinese panda research centre, according to the minister. A longer stay for the new arrival may improve Chiang Mai’s local and international tourism and economic prospects.
The minister added that the Chinese authorities have noted the effort that Chiang Mai Zoo and veterinary officials have put into the project, and said talks are continuing on that basis. Apparently, very few details remain to be discussed and agreed on. The budget for the project is not expected to be high, and will be partly financed by profits from the ‘Name the Panda’ contest, the final result of which, announced last Monday, is that the cub will be named, in Chinese, Lin Bing, and referred to in Thailand as Lhin Ping, a Thai transliteration which links the cub to the Ping River.
4 possible names were short-listed by a panel of judges from many suggested names on many thousands of postcards. For the final judging, ‘Lin Bing’, (Lhin Ping), meaning in Chinese, ‘forest of ice’ attracted 13.2 million postcard votes, 60% of the total sent in.
The lucky winner of the 1 million baht prize, a car and a trip for 2 to Chengdu in China, is two-year-old Nong Plai Fah Sikahom from Sakhon Nakhon, whose grandmother Maliwan Philasri sent 8 postcards on behalf of her granddaughter, four with the winning name. Maliwan has been looking after the little girl since her parents split up last year, and says that the money will be used to ensure Noi Plai Fah gets a good education. An amount will also be donated to charity in Noi Plai Fah’s name, and family will build a new house. The car will be used by her mother, Anoma Posawang, for her daily travel to her place of work in Bangkok
A party and Mothers’ day event was held August 12 at the Zoo, during which the young winner was awarded her prize. Before the ceremony started, Nong Plai Fah was given a chance to see the cub, first through the glass screen at the clinic, and then close-up. At first asleep, the baby panda woke when the child became excited and yelled, ‘Please, bring her out!’, although she was afraid to touch Lhin Ping.

 

Major Chiang Mai organisations stress economic damage caused by political unrest

Representatives from the joint consortium of Chiang Mai business federations and associations, SMEs, and the 7 Chiang Mai universities and vocational colleges, pictured giving their statement urging the government to find a solution to the political dispute and asking for the prompt completion of the city’s International Convention Centre in order to boost tourism and the local economy. 

Supoj Thiamyoj
Concern about the economic situation in Chiang Mai has been expressed by a consortium comprising all the major organisations in the city, both private and educational.
The Federation of Thai Industries’ Chiang Mai chapter, the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Banks in Chiang Mai, the Association for the Promotion of SMEs in Chiang Mai and Lamphun, the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association, NOHMEX, the Thai Hotels Association, Chiang Mai University, Mae Jo University, Payap University, Chiang Mai Rajabhat University, Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, the North-Chiang Mai University, and the Far Eastern University stated August 11 at Airport Plaza that violent political protests and political uncertainty have severely damaged the city’s investments, tourism and export businesses as well as the income of its citizens.
The consortium considers that if the political situation is not resolved, it will be impossible for the city and the country to recover from the damage caused, and has issued a statement asking all concerned to put aside their differences and work together for the good of the country’s economy, its tourism industry, and its businesses.
The statement makes the following points; firstly, that democratic means of expressing differing opinions must be supported without resorting to violence, with the right to protest within the law without violating the rights of others or harming tourism prospects being respected if adhered to. Organisations should cooperate to ensure the welcoming, correct and honest treatment and safety of visitors to the city.
Secondly, the government needs to urgently solve the political problems in order to create harmony within the Thai community. This will help revive the economy. Officials in charge of order in the community must do their jobs according to the law, with justice, and the application of a single standard to all.
Thirdly, in order to attract more business events to the city, the Chiang Mai International Convention Centre needs to be completed as quickly as possible. This will also create more jobs for Chiang Mai residents, and become a permanent source of income for residents and the province.
The statement will be delivered to the Chiang Mai governor, Amornpan Nimanant.


Aung San Suu Kyi verdict attracts worldwide condemnation

Elena Edwards
The verdict and sentence announced last Tuesday at the end of Nobel Women’s Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial have attracted worldwide condemnation, led by the USA and the United Nations.
President Obama, in a written statement, criticised her further imprisonment, and also expressed concern about the 7 year hard labour sentence given to John Yettaw, whose trial was delayed due to his poor health and epileptic attacks. ‘Today’s unjust decision reminds us of the thousands of other political prisoners in Burma who, like Aung San Suu Kyi, have been denied their liberty because of their pursuit of a government that respects the will, rights, and aspirations of all Burmese citizens’. Obama said.
In the UK, PM Gordon Brown expressed his outrage, referring to a ‘sham trial’, and stated that Britain would urge the international community to agree further sanctions and a total arms embargo against the Junta. ‘I am both saddened and angry at today’s verdict which showed that the military regime in Burma is determined to act with total disregard for accepted standards of the rule of law and in defiance of international opinion’, he said.
The French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s office released a statement saying that the president was calling on the European Union to impose new sanctions on Burma.
In an apparent act of support for Suu Kyi, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that Radio Australia will resume broadcasts into the pariah state immediately.
The Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith is calling on the international community to voice its condemnation of the verdict and sentence, and will contact his Thai counterpart, to discuss further action within the international community.
Further East, Malaysia wants an urgent meeting of ASEAN to discuss the verdict, which has also been condemned by members Indonesia and the Philippines. India’s foreign ministry spokesman, although not denouncing the outcome, urged the Junta to recognise the need for political reform and reconciliation.
China and Russia have asked for more time to consider a draft statement condemning the verdict, although many political analysts believe that China will not back any United Nations action proposed against Burma.
ASEAN itself, criticised internationally in the past for its soft stance on Burma, has issued a rare statement condemning the verdict and sentence. However, analysts believe that the Junta will not pay a great deal of attention to condemnation from either the international community or ASEAN, of which Burma is a member state.


CMU female staff and students enter Buddhist sisterhood

Pictured are the 78 CMU staff and students who temporarily entered the Buddhist sisterhood in order to make merit and attend a 3-day retreat

Siripron Raweekoon
A Nek Kam Ma Charini ordination ceremony was held August 11 at Chiang Mai University, to enable 78 female faculty members, employees and students to temporarily enter the Buddhist sisterhood in order to make merit for Queen Sirikit on her 77th birthday. During the ceremony, presided over by CMU’s Dean Prof. Dr. Pongsak Ungasith, participants were instructed in basic Dharma practice by Phra Kru Paowanawirat, Wat Rampoeng’s senior monk. The ordinants attended a 3-day retreat held between August 11 and 13 at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University in San Sai district.


Counterfeit goods worth 20 million baht destroyed by Mae Sai customs

CMM reporters
As part of the struggle against counterfeit goods, approximately 20 million bahts’ worth of pirated merchandise seized by Mae Sai customs officers during the past 9 months was recently crushed. The goods were intercepted and confiscated at border checkpoints in the area and at local markets.
Goods destroyed included movie DVD’s, music CD’s and fake designer bags and clothes. The majority of the haul comprised products made in China and transported by road via Burma for sale in the north of Thailand and Bangkok. Counterfeit goods make large profits for the manufacturers, and have caused international concern, particularly in the USA.


Local entertainment venues plagued by ‘music police’ sting

Staff reporters
Bars, restaurants and places of entertainment in the city are again being plagued by a well-known sting known locally as the ‘music police’ scam, in which ‘officials’ enter premises where music is being played and demand to inspect the business’s computer for illegally downloaded MP3s. They then state that unlicensed downloads have been found and that a hefty fine will have to be paid, or the computer will be seized. The conversation then turns to a ‘settlement amount’, usually around 30-50,000 baht. If the owner of the premises is on site, insists on seeing some identification, prevaricates, mentions his lawyer, or asks questions about identity, etc, the ‘official’ will usually leave.
In the case of legitimate investigations of this nature, there will be a representative from the Thai Music Association with documentation, accompanied by a police officer, again with identification. This Association covers the use of music by Thai artists only. In the case of international music, there is no right to enforcement. If the MP3s have not been illegally downloaded or purchased, any computer cannot legally be seized.
A local Thai lawyer recommends that any owner confronted with an ‘official’ should not let him near the computer, as it has been known for scammers to download illegal MP3s onto a machine. The ‘official’ and anyone accompanying him, should be asked to provide identification, which should be photographed if possible. Employees should be fully informed and instructed on how to proceed, as they may be uncertain about legalities. Under no circumstances should a computer be allowed to be removed, nor should any ‘fine’ be paid over by an employee or owner unless legitimacy has been fully established


Ancient forest monk tradition under threat in north-east

CMM reporters.
Monks in Thailand’s north-east who live in forest retreats in order to follow the tradition of solitary mediation may be forced to give up their ancient way of life, based on that of the Buddha himself
A Forestry Department ruling stating that such retreats are breaking the law will result in the closure of 68 of the sites, but does not seem to apply to commercial sites such as resorts in the same areas which are illegally occupying forest land.
The abbot of a Rayong Wat, Phra Khru Samusuchin Pariboono, chaired a meeting of concerned monks last Tuesday, during which he stated that he wished only to see justice, with the regulations applied to all stakeholders, not just to monks.
He stressed that forest monks have a duty to protect and preserve the forests, adding that the Forestry Department was incorrect in stating the monks were destroying the environment by their practice. After also admitting that a very small minority of forest monks may not have been protecting their environment, he conceded that those retreats could be closed.
Chularat Boonyanakorn, director of the National Buddhism Office, agreeing that a few retreats are breaking the law and noting that the issue is controversial, has requested a clear directive from the department, in order to avoid social conflict over the issue.


Rotary Club of Chiang Mai Thin Thai Ngam celebrates its 50th anniversary

District Governor Waewdao Limlenglert, of District 3360 R.I. (left), releasing fish into the Ping River during a merit-making ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the Chiang Mai Thin Thai Ngam Rotary Club.

Supoj Thiamyoj
The Rotary Club of Chiang Mai Thin Thai Ngam celebrated the 50th anniversary of Chiang Mai Rotary Club last week by releasing 20,000 fishes into the Ping River at Montfort College in honour of HM Queen Sirikit’s birthday.
The merit-making event was attended by District Governor Waewdao Limlenglert, of District 3360 R.I., the club’s president Assoc. Prof. Rome Jiranukom, and a number of the club’s members. All were welcomed by Brother Meesak Wongprachanukul, the school’s director, who also took part in the ceremony.
The releasing of such a large number of fish was aimed at increasing the present population in the river in the hope that it may become a source for food.


New exhibition at 116 Gallery features 35 Thai artists

Supoj Thiamyoj
With more than a brief nod to Mothers’ Day, the new exhibition at 116 Gallery on Charoenmuang Road has as its subject as well as its title, ‘The Love of Mother and Child’, and is being held in honour of the birthday of HM Queen Sirikit.

A work depicting a mother and child by Prayom Yondo, one of the 35 artist featured in 116 Gallery’s new exhibition.
60 works are presented; all are expressions of the concepts of love, faith and warmth towards the mother, and are products of the artists’ emotions and gratitude to their own mothers. The exhibition opened on August 9, attended by a good crowd including all 35 artists represented.
116 Gallery is housed in an interesting 75-year-old building, renovated specifically as an art gallery. The gallery itself was intended as a space both for nationally-known Thai artists to display their work and for the encouragement of new talent, as well as encouraging interest and learning about art in the general public.
For more information, please call 053-302-111, or email on [email protected]

Guests at the opening of 116 Gallery’s new exhibition,
pictured admiring the artworks on show.


1500 orchids planted in Chiang Mai Zoo’s forested areas

Supoj Thaimyoj
A project to re-establish orchids in the forested areas of Chiang Mai Zoo was launched August 4, inspired by Maejo University’s orchid preservation and cultivation project inaugurated by HM Queen Sirikit in 2006.

The orchid re-establishment project in the forests around Chiang Mai Zoo was inspired by a similar Maejo University project inaugurated by HM Queen Sirikit in 2006.
At the event initiated by the zoo, Maejo University and Chiang Mai Zoo officials placed 1500 orchids amongst the trees in the grounds of the zoo, aiming to create a more relaxing and beautiful horticultural environment for visitors from Thailand and the rest of the world. It is also hoped that the project will provide an opportunity for the study and awareness of orchids amongst students and all those interested in these lovely plants.
On the same theme, the 28th Lanna Flower Festival was held between August 10-12 at Nong Buak Hat Park, organised in cooperation between the city’s Municipality, the Chiang Mai Orchid Organisation, the Patan Agriculturists Group, and Chiang Mai’s Bonsai Association. Again the focus was on orchids, with flowers and trees for garden planting and contests in which the winners received a Queen Sirikit Royal trophy. Also featured were community products and agricultural products, all for sale.


Rat-killing contest to protect against plague

Staff reporters
In response to the news that pneumonic plague has broken out in an isolated district in western China, the Chiang Mai Municipality is offering 5 baht per dead rat to stallholders at Muang Mai fresh market as part of its campaign against rodent-borne diseases.
The ‘special offer’ comes in the form of a rat- killing contest, with the winner standing to gain 1000 baht and the runner-up 500 baht. As a result, enthusiastic stallholders are spending their nights rat-hunting. According to the municipality, if the scheme is successful, it will be expanded to other fresh markets in the city.



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