Election Commission monitors
activities of mayoral candidates
The Office of the Election Commission of Chiang Mai is closely
watching the financial activities of the candidates for the upcoming mayoral
election, keeping them under the restriction of 800,000 baht of spending for
their election campaigns.
According to Patcharin Rattanawipa from the Office of the Election
Commission of Chiang Mai, the 2003 local administrative election act
determined that the overall cost for the campaign for mayoral election per
candidate should not exceed 800,000 baht. Records of spending must be sent
for examination by the election commission within 90 days after the
election’s result is approved.
As there have been reports made to the Office of the Election Commission of
an excessive number of vinyl advertising boards installed around the city,
as well as flyers and brochures, it may appear that money being spent is
more than the law allows. The Office of the Election Commission Chiang Mai
wants to assure the public that unlawful activities, including overspending
as well as the making of unrealistic policies, will be monitored.
‘Complaints which have been received at the office up to September 24
concern illegal activities including vote-buying, damaging election campaign
boards and removing certain candidates’ advertising boards. The commission
has reported this to the police’, Patcharin said.
The Office of the Election Commission is prepared in every way for this
election, and has obtained cooperation from police, the military, the
private sector and volunteers from 86 communities in the municipal areas to
keep this election fair and honest. The electoral office teams have also
been sent to different locations to monitor against illegal activities
related to the October 4 election.
Appeal court dismisses Boonlert case
The Region 5 appeal court has dismissed the election commission’s
request for withdrawal of rights of Boonlert Buranupakorn as President of
the Provincial Administrative Organisation. It also disqualified a candidate
for the election to the provincial administrative council.
Buranupakorn President of the Provincial Administrative Organisation.
Judge Terawat Traiwaree dismissed the election commission’s request for a
one year withdrawal of the political rights of Boonlert Buranupakorn and 4
people of his team, allowing Boonlert Buranupakorn to return to being the
president of the Provincial Administrative Organisation after 3 months of
suspension forced by the election commission.
The appeal court dismissed similar cases of Chayannant Suriya, candidate for
the Hang Dong Administrative Organisation council, and Sangob Kantakaeo,
candidate for the Hod Administrative Organization council.
At the same time, the court disqualified Sujit Nawichai, candidate for the
San Sai Administrative Organization council, and demanded a re-election.
Boonlert Buranupakorn expressed his gratitude towards the just legal system
and added that he would return to working for the development of the
country, and that he would give support to the promotion of tourism,
creating of jobs, fun activities and festivals to stimulate the economy and
the incomes of Chiang Mai residents.
Prior to being suspended by the election commission, Boonlert Buranupakorn
won the Chiang Mai Provincial Administrative Organisation election that took
place on May 11, 2008, and was the president of Chiang Mai Provincial
Administrative Organisation for about a year.
Mong comes home to a hero’s welcome
Mong Thongdee safely arrived at Chiang Mai International Airport on
Wednesday, September 23. Amid the crowd of welcoming people, he thanked the
Thai people for giving him their cheering support and promised lots of
practice for the next competition.
Mong Thongdee, a stateless Burmese boy from Huai Sai School in Chiang Mai,
arrived at Chiang Mai by the fight TG110 in the afternoon, and was welcomed
by his parents and teachers, as well as the Chiang Mai residents of Lahu
Thongdee - the moment of triumph. (AP Photo)
Nong Mong while holding the photo of King Bhumibhol over his head gave his
thanks to his friends and Thai people who have been giving him the support
to achieve the 1st and 3rd places in the paper airplane competition in
Japan. He also added that he had bought candies from Japan for his school
friends and he would study hard to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot as
well as work hard so that he would win in the next year’s competition for
After the airport, Nong Mong got on a bus for Huai Sai School, passing along
the road by Ton Payorm Market in tambon Suthep and the rows of happy Chiang
Mai residents with their congratulating smiles and waves.
On his arrival at the school’s entry, his student friends welcomed Nong Mong
with a performance of Sabadchai drums. A binding ceremony was also held for
him by Aphichart Rattanayanyong, Vice Director of Chiang Mai Educational
Service Area Office 1, and the school’s teachers.
Tawee Hinkam, President of Suthep Administrative Organisation, said that the
congratulatory party for Nong Mong was to be arranged soon and he was
willing to help Nong Mong’s parents by getting them jobs as temporary
workers at his organisation, if that was not against the law.
Teacher beats student as classmate films it
Public outraged at teacher’s
A teacher in Thailand was captured on film beating a 14-year-old student and
bashing his head against a blackboard, sparking national outrage and pledges
last Tuesday September 22, from education officials to crack down on
corporal punishment in classrooms.
The 50-second clip, filmed by a classmate using a mobile phone, was
broadcast last Monday on a nationally televised morning news program.
“Are you really going to stop!” the male teacher shouted at the student,
gripping the boy’s neck in a choke hold and whacking his head repeatedly,
according to the footage obtained by The Associated Press.
The bespectacled boy wore the standard Thai school uniform of a white
buttoned shirt and dark shorts. He was slightly taller than his teacher’s
“I won’t do it anymore,” the boy screamed after the teacher slammed his head
at least four times against the blackboard as his classmates watched,
The beating occurred Sept. 9 at a private Thai-Chinese bilingual secondary
school in Bangkok.
The student had forgotten a textbook and the teacher reprimanded him,
prompting the boy to sound off with profanities at the teacher who then flew
into a rage, said the school’s director Srithai Damrongrat.
The classmate who filmed it showed the clip to a neighbor who was so
outraged he brought it to the headquarters of Thailand’s Channel 3
“I could not accept it, so I brought the video to Channel 3 myself,” said
the neighbor, Manop Mankong, a 61-year-old food vendor. “I want to seek
justice for the boy in the video and also want Thai society to learn a
Among those who watched the news show Monday morning was the boy’s older
sister and primary guardian, Maliwan Oipien, 35, who said the teen had not
told his family about the beating.
“We were shocked. The teacher’s behavior is too violent to accept,” said
Maliwan, who filed a police complaint against the teacher Monday afternoon
and sent the boy for medical tests to check for head injuries.
Education Minister Jurin Laksanawisit announced Tuesday that the teacher had
resigned and an investigation was under way to determine whether he should
face criminal charges.
“We will not let a situation like this happen again,” Jurin told Channel 3
Officials have called on schools to follow the ministry’s regulations that
say teachers cannot use their hands or other hard objects to discipline
students, said ministry official Bandit Sriputtangkul, who is in charge of
private schools nationwide.
The teacher, 29-year-old Weerapong Pongchanoh, expressed tempered remorse at
being “too violent for the public to accept.”
“I feel terrible for what I did to my student,” said the teacher, contacted
on his cell phone. “But I knew what I was doing. I did not use excessive
force to hurt him. Otherwise he would have started bleeding.”
Director General of the Internal Trade Department opens farm outlets
By Supoj Thiamyoj
Yanyong Phuangrach, the director-general of the Internal Trade
Department, presided over the openings of farm outlets, (centres for sale of
chemical-free agricultural products), at the Multiple Cropping Centre of
Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Agriculture and in Saraphi district.
Chiang Mai’s Deputy Governor Chuchart Kilapaeng also attended the ceremonies
held on September 23.
Phuangrach, director-general of the Internal Trade Department
According to Yanyong, farm outlets have been built to support minor
agriculturists, taking in their products that are not accepted by other
markets. There are overall 10 farm outlets in the country, Chiang Mai is the
only province that has two.
The Ministry of Commerce has policies to develop the market for more sales
of ‘blue’ fresh produces and to add more value to agricultural products, as
well as preventing the smuggling of vegetables such as garlic and shallots,
In his speech regarding his new position as Permanent Secretary of the
Ministry of Commerce, the director-general of Internal Trade Department
Yanyong Phuangrach said he has been assigned to work according to the
government and the Ministry of Commerce’s policy concerning stimulating the
declining consumer power as well as on their income guarantee to stabilize
the incomes of agriculturists
Chemical-free vegetables for sale on one of the
stalls at the farm outlet
San Sai protected forest area destroyed by pesticides
Villagers, leaders of the villages in Mae Faek sub-district and the
vice-president of Mae Faek district municipality, accompanied forest
officials to examine an area of protected forest in San Sai district,
after villagers had reported trees being destroyed by the use of
pesticides, then removed and replaced with banana, rubber, and mango
Saipin Piasuan, chief of the 33rd forest protection unit in Chiang Mai,
said that his team had previously inspected the area by helicopter but
found nothing unusual. He also assured that the wrongdoers would be
arrested and punished.
Chuchart Chomchuen, leader of Mae Faek sub-district, suspects that the
destruction of forests has been financially supported by powerful and
wealthy people and that it must have been done during nighttime.
Villagers from Moo 8, Moo 6 and Moo12 of Mae Faek sub-district will
cooperate with forest officials to guard forest areas and restore the
destroyed trees, according to Chuchart Chomchuen. Capitalists had
invaded the protected San Sai forest, turning it into a place to live
and make money from. .
Phayao to host Greater Mekong seminar on education,
culture and economics
Phayao is preparing for the meeting in support of a
project for the promotion and development of its investment and
business relations with other countries, especially countries in
Mekong regions, which is scheduled to take place between October
16 and 17 at the Gateway Hotel, Muang district, Phayao.
Phayao is to host the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Education
and Culture Connectivity for Economics:(ECCE), meeting in which
individuals and organisations are allowed to discuss the topics
of economy and culture, subsequently leading to cooperation
among them in business, investment and tourism.
Topics for the meeting will include a talk with following
discussions on Lanna- GMS group international policies in
economy, education and culture by the Deputy Secretary-General
of the National Economic and Social Development Board, the Thai
Consul-General in Kunming, and involved organisations and
individuals, a talk on linking Mekong region countries’
educational markets led by Nitipoom Nawarat, and a workshop
entitled ‘Culture, Tourism and Business Opportunities’ by
tourism business personnel from Phayao and other provinces. The
talks will start at 8:00 a.m.
Chiang Mai prepares for swine flu
Amornpan Nimanant, Chiang Mai’s Governor, the Ministry of Public
Health has urged public health offices and every hospital in the
province to prepare for the breakout of H1N1 during October to November
– the period of school breaks and many religious festivals. He has sent
out teams of specialists to follow up swine flu infections and death
cases, has given aids to provinces with swine flu infected patients and
deaths, and demanded provincial officials educate the residents in ways
to prevent against the virus.
As there are events during October to November in which many people will
gather, the provinces’ governors and provincial public health offices
are to arrange a team to educate the residents of ways to protect
themselves from swine flu and ensure virus-free event locations.
During this period, any flu patient is to be suspected as an H1N1 case,
sent for treatment and given the swine flu medicines immediately,
without being confirmed by lab results.
Additionally, the Ministry of Public Health’s Health Service Support is
assigned to educate health volunteers who work closely with local
administrative organisations to cooperate with officials on plans and
practices for swine flu control and prevention in their communities.
Local Foundation First to Test Microfinance Regulations
Recent announcements from the Bank of Thailand (BOT) have
suggested that a new priority will be to promote the microfinance
industry in the country. This is about to be tested by the Common
Interest Foundation which intends to transform its charitable
microfinance program into a regulated microfinance operation.
While neighbouring countries, such as Cambodia, have seen their
microfinance industry flourish in the past decade, Thailand has seen
very little activity. Current Thai laws and regulations are considered
too restrictive and too challenging to operate a viable microfinance
program. Besides a few NGO programs, microfinance is conducted primarily
through government programmes such as the BAAC and the Government
Savings Bank. Not only have the laws stifled the microfinance industry,
but many rural people are left to rely on illegal loan sharks who often
charge interest rates as high as 20% per day.
To help correct this, the BOT has been developing new laws to help
promote microfinance and to hopefully attract more from the private
sector. The Common Interest Foundation is attempting to be one of the
first to respond and to legally register its microfinance operation in
Common Interest currently runs a charitable microfinance program that
helps rural villages to establish its own Village Bank. A
‘Village Bank’ is a term used to describe an informal group of members
from the same village, typically women, who save together each month and
subsequently use their collective savings to provide loans to each
other. Loans disbursed within each Village Bank are known as ‘Internal
Loans’. Since Internal Loan demand usually exceeds the amount of funds
available within the Village Bank, the group can request additional
funds or ‘External Loans’ from Common Interest.
As a way to attract more funds to its program, Common Interest intends
to transform its microfinance project into a Non-Bank Financial
Institution. The new company will be run as a for-profit company but
will have a strong social mission. Profits from the company will be
channelled back to the foundation to help fund the foundation’s other
Current laws require the new company to have an initial capital
registration of 50 million baht. This is substantially higher than what
the foundation currently has. The foundation has sent a letter to the
Governor of the Bank of Thailand requesting an exemption to this
requirement on the basis that the new microfinance company will be a
social company. Organizations and Investors around the world are
watching this process to see if Thailand truly is opening its doors to
For more information on this application, please contact: Nittaya
Den-Aksornkul, Program Officer Common Interest Foundation Tel / Fax:
053-855-000 or 089-555-8664 (Mobile)
Lord Buddha’s relics to be
enshrined at San Pu Loei Temple
The Lord Buddha’s relics were presented to
the Wat by the Buddhist Supreme Patriarch Phra Yansangworn, (seated 5th
right). They will be enshrined in the 7 metre-tall Buddha image when it
Buddha relics were given by Phra Yansangworn Somdej Phra
Sangharaja to be enshrined in the 5-metre Buddha Image in San Pu Loei
San Pu Loei Temple, situated in San Pu Loei sub-district, Doi Saket
district, was built in 1737. At that time it was known as Sali Wiang
Kaeo Temple. It is currently run by Phra Kru Ba-noi, the temple’s chief
San Pu Loei Temple is now constructing a Buddha image measuring 7 metres
tall by 5 metres in width, financed by donations from religious
residents in Chiang Mai.
Phra Kru Ba-noi received the relics from Phra Thep Saraweti,
representing Phra Yansangworn Somdej Phra Sangharaja, on September 21.
They will be enshrined in the large Buddha image when it is finished.
However, they are at present being temporarily placed in the Buddha
image hall. San Pu Loei Temple is also asking for permission to use
Somdej Sankaraj’s symbol on the Buddha Image for blessings for visitors.
First ‘Car Free Day’ for Chiang Mai
The sign displayed in the parade
promoting cycling to save energy.
Chiang Mai Municipality, in cooperation with public and
private environmental organisations including the Regional
Energy Coordination Office 10, the Office of Natural Resources
and the Environment, the Chiang Mai Sunday Bicycle Club, the
Global Warming Network, the YMCA, and Khon Hak Doi Suthep Group,
hosted a ‘Car Free Day’ on September 20 at the municipal sports
The event was held in support of the solving of the pollution
problems in Chiang Mai, with promotion of the use of bicycles,
public transportation and car pools in order to reduce fuel
usage, subsequently decreasing the amount of pollution in the
air. The event was modelled on the worldwide campaign on and
around the date of September 22, designated as Car Free Day.
After the opening ceremony, which was presided over by Chiang
Mai’s Deputy Governor Pairote Saengphuwong, had ended, the group
of participants deployed to form a map and flag of Thailand thus
conveying the message of harmony, and the bicycle parade began.
The cyclists rode to Nong Buak Had, Chiang Mai University’s Art
Centre, and their final destination, Ratchaphruek Park.
Bicycles parade around the town
during the campaign
for pollution control and prevention on Car Free Day.
Toyota Vigo hosts
Smart Power Day
Sanguan Limsenglert, Managing
Director of Toyota Lanna,
gave a prize of a golden necklace to the winner of the bingo game.
On September 19, Toyota Vigo Smart Power Day was held by
Toyota Lanna in front of their showroom. By arranging for the
fun event to take place, Toyota Lanna showed its gratitude by
giving in return for the trust the company has gained from its
long-time customers and the press. The opening ceremony was
presided over by its managing director Sanguan Limsenglert.
pretty presenter introduces the new Toyota Hilux Vigo Prerunner
2.5 VN Turbo.
The company also introduced the Toyata Hilux Vigo Preruner 2.5
VN Turbo, with its faster and smarter engine which consumes less
fuel, the latest technology from Toyota.
Entertaining activities in this special event included Vigo
Smart Power Band Contest for school and university students, a
rally game and a bingo game from which the winners received gold
necklaces and other large and small gifts. The highlight was a
stage show by the Ang Terd Terng comedy group, which is
currently one of the most popular groups in the Thai comedy
industry, and Jintara Poonlap, the famous and talented
Chiang Mai Night Safari to
return 68 wild animals to nature
In support of the project entitled, ‘Return animals to
the upstream forest land of nature’, in honour of King Bhumibhol
and Queen Sirikit, Chiang Mai Night Safari, represented by
specialist and project advisor Sanga Uaetrakul has given 68
animals to Commander-in-Chief Gen. Kitti Jakkabat, acting for
the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters. The ceremony was at
Santikiri village, Doi Mae Salong, Mae Fah Luang district,
Chiang Rai, at 11:00 a.m. on September 22.
The project ‘Return animals to the upstream forest land of
nature’ was done according to the Royal Thai Armed Forces
Headquarters’ policy concerning the readjusting of Santikiri
village, site of a reforestation between 2008-2020 on 9,000 rai
in the village and nearby areas, and in support of the
government’s work concerning Thailand’s security and drug
trafficking issues. The reforestation has been carried out in
5000 rai by various projects.
Chiang Mai Night Safari is cooperating with the Royal Thai Armed
Forces Headquarters to restore the upstream forest land by
returning the animals to their natural surroundings.
According to the Managing Director of Chiang Mai Night Safari,
Narong Tananuwat, the organisation in support of forest and
animal preservation which has 1,800 animals under its
responsibility is honoured to join this project which aims to
preserve nature, keep the environment in good condition and
return animals to nature, as well as to promote tourism and
create a permanent income for the community.
The first lot of the wild animals to be given by Chiang Mai
Night Safari will consist of 30 deer, 30 wild boar and 8
peacocks As the animals have been kept under conditions of
simulated natural habitats, there is no doubt that they will
survive in the wild.