Over 630,000 people to be affected by cold weather
Over 633,000 people in more than 226,000 households are expected to be
affected by cold weather in Chiang Mai, according to the Chiang Mai Disaster
Prevention and Mitigation Office.
Pratchasakul, introduces the new center at the Disaster Prevention and
District officials from all over the province calculate that over 260,000
blankets and more than 86,000 jackets will be needed. Many organizations
have contacted the office requesting aid for area residents.
On Sunday, November 1, the Disaster Prevention Office set up a new center in
an effort to help find solutions to weather related problems that arise in
the province, according to Prachon Pratchasakul, head of the Office. The
center, which will be located at the Disaster Prevention Office, will be led
by Chiang Mai Governor, Amornpan Nimanant. The President of the Provincial
Administrative Organization, the new deputy director of the center, and
officials from various government offices will all work towards greater
cooperation between districts to help in mitigating the impact from forest
fires, cold weather and air pollution.
Border Patrol seize illegally harvested teak in Mae Hong Son
Border Patrol and forestry officials inspect
seized teak logs in Mae Hong Son.
Illegally harvested processed teak logs worth millions of baht were
seized by the Border Patrol, provincial police and forestry officials in two
different sub-districts in Mae Hong Son Wednesday, November 11.
79 teak logs were found and seized by the BPP squads, Mae Ngao National Park
officials , Ban Mae Koh forestry officials, local police and Sub Moei
District Administration officials, in the forest near Ban Mae Lui, Tambon
Mae Suad in Sob Moei district, Mae Hong Son.
Another further 150 teak logs were also confiscated by officials from the
Huay Sing Forest Preservation and Protection Unit, the Salween National Park
and BPP ranger forces based in Tambon Mae Sam Laeb, near Salween river
337th Border Patrol (BPP) Company officials, led by Pol. Lt-Col. Sippanant,
deputy superintendent of the 33rd BPP, based in Mae Sariang District, Mae
Hong Son, believe that the teak is actually being harvested in Thailand’s
national forests and is then transferred into Burma, opposite Tak’s Ta Song
Yang district, to be processed. The processed wood is brought back into
Thailand for transportation and sale.
The police suspect a joint effort between Thai nationals and the DKBA
(Democratic Karen Buddhist Army) to illegally harvest golden teakwood from
Thailand. It is believed that the abundance of landmines in the forests in
Burma, plus increased vigilance by Burmese authorities, have brought the
DKBA over the border into Thailand to harvest teak.
Officials report that due to the large number of logs seized in Mae Sam
Laeb, it will take some time before enough equipment and elephants can be
brought to the area to remove the teak.
Lost Canadian tourist rescued in Salween National Park
By Staff reporters
A Canadian tourist lost in the forest at Salween National Park used
his mobile phone to contact his sister to send rescuers. Steve Bajula told
authorities that he had arrived at Salween National Park at 10 a.m. on
Tuesday, November 10 and parked his motorcycle about 1 km from the Park
office and hiked into the forest from there.
He said he had walked through the forest taking photos until he realized
that he could not find the way back. He hiked toward the mountain top until
he obtained a signal on his mobile phone around 5 pm. He called his sister,
Katherine Bajula who was staying nearby in Mae Sariang.
His sister contacted Jaraesak Nantawong, Deputy Director of Conservation
Forest Area Administration Office 16 who then called on Mae Sariang police
and Surasak Wutin, Head of Salween National Park to enlist the help of park
volunteers, local villagers and the police and army to search for the
missing man. The searchers found the lost tourist at a wayside hut,
exhausted and muddy, around midnight, nearly 20 km from where he had parked
drowns in Mae Ping
A 40 year old American resident of Chiang Mai, Michael Snyder,
drowned in the Mae Ping River at the Old Nawarat Bridge near Duke’s
Restaurant early morning on Saturday, November 7. Pol. Col. Witsit Suesri,
an inspector at Mae Ping Police Station, reported when police arrived at the
scene they found Panrueng Suttidachanant, the 30 year old wife of the
deceased, sobbing that her husband had drowned.
She told police that they had only recently married in April and had been
running a restaurant called Veggie Corner, located on Ratchadamnoen Road.
She explained that her husband had gone out on the morning of the 6th and
hadn’t returned home. When she went to look for him, she found him playing
snooker. They argued when she asked him to return to help her with the
business so she returned to the restaurant alone.
She told police that when her husband came to pick her up at closing time,
they argued again. Stopping at the bridge on the way home, she said he got
up on the railing and told her he would jump in to prove his love to her.
She asked him to come down and talk but he jumped into the river and
consequently drowned. Police arrived on the scene at 1:50 a.m., shortly
after he drowned.
Louise Snyder, mother of the deceased, released this statement to the Chiang
Mai Mail: “What can we say on the loss of someone so dear to me and his
entire family, all his friends, Micheal we will miss you forever!! no words
can say how we feel, but know that we are praying to you to help us get
through this time of tremendous sorrow, our hearts are so heavy, we love you
and will forever think of you. You may not be with us in body but you are
with us in spirit and will always be in our hearts!
He is gone from what we know as our world
Now but a memory to treasure in our hearts & mind”
International Yipeng lamps
disappear from the stage at Tha Pae Gate
15 lamps, donated by the offices of the Japanese and Chinese Consul
Generals, were stolen from the stage at Tha Pae gate after the Loy Krathong
few of the Japanese lamps that disappeared from the stage at Tha Pae Gate
Local officials called out for the return of the lamps as the cultural
artifacts, which were donated to the event, were intended for display at the
upcoming 5th Lanna-Japan Cultural Exchange event to be held November 17 to
Officials called for witnesses to come forward to report the whereabouts of
the lamps. Anyone with information regarding the theft should contact the
Office of the Chiang Mai Municipality.
Chiang Mai Tourist Police
promote swine flu prevention
Pol. Col. Yuttasit Boonklam, Inspector of
Chiang Mai Tourist Police (center, in black shirt) in a group photo with
20 Tourist Police Volunteers at Tha Pae Gate.
By Supoj Thiamyoj
Chiang Mai’s police mascot joined the city’s Tourist Police, led by
Inspector Pol. Col. Yuttasit Boonklam, and 20 Foreign Tourist Police
Volunteers, in handing out masks and sanitizer gels to tourists and
residents in a bid promote methods of preventing the spread of swine
flu, or the (A)H1N1 virus.
Mai Tourist Police Volunteers set up booths to give guidelines for swine
flu prevention to tourists and residents.
In cooperation with the Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office,
Chiang Mai Provincial Administrative Organization and Chiang Mai
Municipality, the Tourist Police joined in organizing the campaign at
Tha Pae Gate on Sunday, November 8. The Ministry of Health has recently
warned of a new outbreak of the flu reaching Thailand and has encouraged
all regions to further swine flu prevention education.
Chiang Dao opens a new
Walking Street market
A new Walking Street market was opened in Chiang Dao
October 29 to commemorate the district’s 100 year anniversary.
Homchuen, Chiang Dao District Chief Officer, announces the
opening of the new Walking Street.
The road from the Intaram Temple to the intersection 500 meters
away will be closed to through traffic every Thursday from 3
p.m. to 10 p.m. Supoj Homchuen, Chiang Dao District Chief
Officer, announced that while spaces must be reserved, anyone is
allowed to sell without having to pay a fee. Officials hope that
the new walking street will promote tourism to the area and
boost revenue in the community.
Interested parties may call 05345-6022–3 or 05345-5079 to
reserve a space.
Swine flu outbreak might
occur in cool season
Chiang Mai Province has seen 4 deaths and 3,705 cases of swine
flu, or A(H1N1), since April 29 of this year, according to Dr. Surasing
Wisarutrat, Deputy Chief of Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office.
Surasing Wisarutrat, Deputy Chief of the Chiang Mai Provincial Public
Health Office, discusses swine flu cases in the province.
“Although the number of swine flu patients in Chiang Mai has continued
to increase over time, recently the province has only had a few swine
flu cases per week. The most in one week was 37 patients, in contrast to
prior outbreaks with 200 patients a week. The slow increase was due to
school holidays and hot weather,” said Dr. Surasing.
He expressed concern that there could still be an outbreak in the
upcoming cool weather and reminded people to remain vigilant in
preventing the spread of the disease. He reiterated the importance of
staying home when sick, wearing a face mask and washing hands in order
to help prevent the spread of the flu.
With the onset of winter there have been swine flu outbreaks in Korea,
Japan, the United States and European countries, he added. He also
warned people in high risk categories, those with heart, lung, kidney
and liver diseases as well as pregnant women, to be extra cautious as
they have a higher chance of complications or death from the flu.
Billy finds a home, and
a friend, in Chiang Mai Zoo
Billy and Chaiyo raise hopes for a new
addition to the Chiang Mai Zoo.
Billy, a 19 year old male elephant donated to Chiang Mai Zoo by
the Khao Kheaw Open Zoo in Chonburi was introduced to 12 year old female
elephant Chaiyo November 5 at the Chiang Mai Zoo’s new 10 million baht
elephant enclosure. Officials hope that the two elephants will mate and
produce a calf.
Tanapat Pongpamorn, Chiang Mai Zoo’s Director, and Nipon Wichairat, the
assistant director for public relations, released the zoo’s newest
member into the newly renovated elephant enclosure in a bid to increase
the zoo’s elephant population. Officials also hope that this will
disprove any rumors regarding the Zoo’s breeding practices with its
Both elephants seem to like each other very much and, so far, spend time
with each other, enjoying the new enclosure and the pool that was
recently added, the Zoo director added. He hopes that the Zoo will soon
be able to welcome a baby calf elephant to its population.
ASEAN representatives meet to discuss energy sharing policies
Supoj Thiamyoj & Nopniwat Krailerg
Representatives from the 10 ASEAN
countries met in Chiang Mai November 9 to
discuss energy policies and promote regional
cooperation in the use of energy resources. The
Minister of Energy, Dr. Wannarat Charnnukun,
presided over the opening ceremony of the 11th
Forum of Heads of ASEAN Power
Utilities/Authorities (HAPUA) held at the
Holiday Inn Chiang Mai.
of Energy Dr. Wannarat Charnnukun presided over
the 11th Forum of Heads of ASEAN Power
95 representatives from the 10 ASEAN nations;
Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia,
Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Burma and
Thailand, attended the three day event.
Participants discussed ways of linking the power
supply systems of the member countries in a bid
to facilitate the trade of electricity and
natural resources, such as coal and gas, between
neighboring countries. The Minister said that
construction of nuclear power plants would have
to take into consideration economic,
technological and safety issues.
According to Minister of Energy, as ASEAN
countries’ resources are shared, each country
will have access to energy reserves for use in
emergency situations and the costs of
maintaining energy reserves can be reduced.
Examples cited were Burma and Laos which have
large supplies of water for generating
electricity as well as natural gas resources.
Aiding these countries in developing power
plants could then result in a boost to their
economies by selling power on to countries with
a higher energy usage. The Minister explained
that currently Thailand can produce 22,000
megawatts of electricity and expects to be able
to produce 51,000 megawatts by 2021.
Dr. Wannarat continued by expressing his belief
that the current conflict between Thailand and
Cambodia would not affect Thailand’s sales of
electricity to Cambodia. The partnership, which
has been in effect for the past 3 years, was
established by a MOU (memorandum of
understanding) and would not be affected by
politics. Thailand sells 40 megawatts each day
to Cambodia, earning the country up to 2.5
billion baht a year.
Meteor shower coming
Provided it’s a clear night, the early
hours of November 18 promise a meteor shower for
sky gazers in Thailand. The Leonids meteor
shower, which visits us every year, could
produce as much as 500 “shooting stars” every
The first peak is expected just after midnight
Wednesday, November 18, but sky watchers should
be able to start seeing the shower beginning
late Tuesday night, November 17. There should
also be a second peak period between 3:40 a.m.
and 5 a.m. according to the International Meteor
Organization’s website <
“Clearly, the evening to early morning UT hours
of November 17/18 are likely to be of greatest
observer interest. Luckily, new Moon on November
16 ensures perfectly dark skies for covering
whatever events happen,” the site writes, adding
that Asia will be the best place to watch the
Quoting NASA, Wikipedia writes: “The Leonids are
a prolific meteor shower associated with the
comet Tempel-Tuttle. The Leonids get their name
from the location of their radiant in the
constellation Leo: the meteors appear to stream
from that point in the sky. The 2009 display
peaking on November 17(/18) may produce more
than 500 meteors an hour.”
People should be able to enjoy the spectacular
phenomenon with the naked eye.
Northern Ecotourism travel event
educates and informs at Ratchapruek
Ecotourism in the north got a boost at
the first Northern ECO & Adventure Travel Mart,
held at Ratchapruek (Royal Flora Park) from
November 6 to 8. The widely attended event was
designed to bring together northern ecotourism
and sports related travel businesses, Bangkok
and nation-wide tour operators, and the media in
a bid to increase tourism to the north.
hill tribes are represented at a booth at the
Eco & Adventure Travel Mart.
The opening ceremony of the Tourism Authority of
Thailand hosted event was presided over by
Pairote Saengphuwong, Chiang Mai’s Deputy
Governor, together with Akkaphol Prueksawan,
deputy governor of TAT for tourism products.
The exhibition, held inside the export center,
featured tribal cultures and tourism activities
from around the region as well as the “7 green
concepts of tourism” found in the Green Zone.
The event featured package tours and special
deals for rock climbing, camping, horseback
riding, four wheeling and ATVs, motocross,
elephant camps and music camps.
female presenter welcoming the visitors into the
Green Tourism zone.
Ecotourism aims to include programs that
minimize the negative aspects of conventional
tourism on the environment all the while
enhancing the cultural integrity of local
people. The TAT hopes that this event, the first
of its kind, will help promote the North not
only as a tourist destination but one for the
ever growing ecotourism sector.
The Thailand-based Northern Eco and Adventure
Mart will turn into an annual event from next
year. Organisers said one of the reasons for the
change in frequency from a biennial show was an
anticipated boost in funding from the Tourism
Authority of Thailand.
Hand to Paw Animal Outreach
and Care For Dogs join together
to help dogs at temple in Mae An
By Sandra Clyburn
Caring for dogs, providing service and
community awareness is the mandate of both Hand
to Paw Animal Outreach Programme and Care for
Dogs. Several months ago these two organizations
established a partnership to support the local
community in the area around Prem International
from Prem bathe local dogs.
Students from the school became active and
dedicated members of Hand to Paw. They have
worked diligently and with dedication providing
care and lots of love to the dogs that call the
local temples home. They are also actively
pursuing fundraising activities to financially
support the temple projects.
On Saturday November 7, Care for Dogs and Hand
to Paw met at the temple in Wat Mae An. The
mayor of Mae An, K. Rathad advertised throughout
the local area and encouraged people from the
village to come to the temple and bring their
dogs. This was a first in this community and the
students were surprised by the large turnout.
for Dogs volunteer administers a vaccine to a
The CAS students acted as translators, bathed
the dogs and sprayed them for ticks and fleas.
They provided demonstrations on tick removal and
also noted any possible minor injuries that
required attention: dog bites, the beginning of
mange, etc. At the same time vaccinations for
parvovirus, heartworm, distemper and
leptospirosis were administered. Care for Dogs
and Hand to Paw will return again at the end of
the month to continue the vaccination program.
Many of the villagers listened attentively to
the seminar explaining the benefits of
sterilization and the importance of having this
procedure conducted in a safe manner by a
qualified veterinarian. As a result, at least 15
female dogs have been designated for spaying. In
the next 1-2 months Hand to Paw, with the
support of Care for Dogs, will facilitate the
process. The dogs will be transported to the vet
clinic where the procedure will be performed.
They will then be returned to their owners for
care and a regimen of antibiotics. Truly a
partnership in action working towards a
Swiss man arrested on pedophilia charges
Chiang Mai police arrested 54 year old
Swiss citizen Joseph Cornell Velisbat at the
Grand Bai Toei Hotel Wednesday, November 11 and
charged him with the molestation of minors under
the age of 15 years old. Police were led to the
Swiss man by a 14 year old boy who had been
staying with him in his hotel room. The boy told
police that he was told he would be paid for
spending time with Mr. Velisbat.
The police noted that Mr. Velisbat has been
coming to Chiang Mai and Phuket since 2005 and
it is believed that on his many trips to
Thailand he regularly invited boys from the age
of 14 to 16 to his rooms for intercourse.
The investigative officers from Provincial
Police Region 5 have found another victim and
are attempting to locate all boys who have had
contact with Mr. Velisbat. They also plan to
locate the middlemen who acquired the victims
for the Swiss man and promised to subject all
those involved to prosecution and punishment.
2 dead in head on collision at
infamous stretch of road in Mae Rim
Wiang Haeng district students also injured in minibus accident
The van that crashed
into the pickup truck, killing both drivers.
A head on collision between a minivan
carrying students from Mae Tang and a pickup
truck carrying teachers from Ban Kae Noi School
resulted in the deaths of the drivers of both
vehicles on the morning of Monday, November 9.
The accident occurred at an infamous stretch of
road called the Ban Mo curve, in Mae Rim’s San
Pong sub-district. The van’s driver, Janlong
Puanpan, died at the scene and Noppadol
Poomrueng, the truck’s driver and also a teacher
at Kae Noi School, died en route to the
8 of the passengers from both the minibus and
the truck were injured in the accident, most of
them severely, and sent to Nakhon Ping Hospital
in Mae Rim for treatment. The pickup truck also
hit a motorcycle, injuring two more people.
Police are still investigating the cause of the
accident. They have not yet determined if the
accident was due to the minivan driver either
dozing off at the wheel or possibly losing
control of his vehicle when other vehicles cut
in front of him. The narrow, twisting stretch of
road is the site of many accidents and is well
known to locals as the haunted curve.
Meanwhile, 6 students from Wiang Haeng
Wittayakom School were injured when the minibus
they were riding in overturned in Chiang Dao’s
Ping Khong sub-district. The students, all male,
and their two teachers were traveling to an
academic event in Fang when the accident
occurred on Monday, November 9 at 10 a.m.
Muangchai Kambua, 18, was the most severely
injured with a head injury that caused a loss of
consciousness. He and the other 5 students, who
were only slightly injured, were all taken to
the Chiang Dao Hospital for treatment. The two
teachers in the van were uninjured.
Police are still investigating the cause but
believe that Teeradet Fahlert, a teacher at the
school, may have dozed off while driving,
causing the car to swerve into the other lane,
hit a tree and overturn.
Three former police officers netted in major drugs and arms bust
Three former police officers were
arrested on drug and arms smuggling charges in
Chiang Mai on Monday, November 9 Pol. Lt. Gen.
Wut Liptapanlop, Commissioner of Narcotics
Suppression Bureau Region 5 Police reported.
Former Police Senior Sgt. Maj. Sriyont Kankeng
was found with 40,000 yabah tablets stuffed into
computer parts in a car by the combined task
forces of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau
Police, the Provincial Region 5 Police, the
Highway Police and members of the Army Area
Region 3. The former policeman had planned on
delivering the drugs to Bangkok when he was
arrested at the Chiang Mai Transport Station.
His arrest led police to the capture of a
further 6 members of the gang, including 2
former policemen, and the confiscation of a
large cache of weapons and ammunition. Police
found 3 M16 rifles with 3,000 rounds of
ammunition, one 11 mm hand gun, 48 pieces of TNT
weighing 1½ lbs., 54 pieces of PETN (used to
make priming cords for explosives) and 27 rounds
of ammunition for an M79 grenade launcher. The
gang traded arms for drugs with gangs from
neighboring countries and then sold the drugs on
University lecturer arrested in drug sting
A North-Chiang Mai University lecturer
was arrested Sunday November 8 in an undercover
sting operation after police received a tip that
Suttichat Pattakul had been selling yabah to
The sting took place at the lecturer’s house in
Hang Dong district after the police made
arrangements to meet him there in the early
hours of Sunday morning. After finding 40 yabah
tablets on Suttichat, Pol. Capt. Nopparit Kanta
and his team from the Office of the Narcotics
Control Board Region 5 arrested the 31-year-old
lecturer and charged him with possession of a
Class A drug with intent to sell. He was taken
to Hang Dong Police station for prosecution
where he admitted to police that he had been
taking yabah to relieve stress but that he had
been selling drugs only to a few friends.
2 workers killed at Chiang Rai
Rajabhat University construction site
Chief engineer charged with negligence
Two construction workers were killed and
two more severely injured when the scaffolding
they were working on collapsed at the site of
the new international conference building under
construction at Chiang Rai Rajabhat University,
Tuesday afternoon, November 10.
Pol. Capt. Peerapat Oonnantakat, Inspector of
Ban Doo police station reported that the four
workers were on the scaffolding guiding a steel
beam into place over a pillar of the unfinished
building when the pillar collapsed. Sak
Suwannakan and a man known only as Auan died on
the way to the hospital after falling 10 meters.
Kandit Kason and Rattakorn Jaiprom remain in
hospital with severe head and leg injuries.
Wiboon Koichoosakul, the engineer in charge of
the site and partner in the construction company
Chiang Rai Benjapol, said that the accident was
due to strong winds which caused the beam to
slip off balance and fall on the scaffolding
resulting in the collapse of the scaffolding.
His company has pledged full financial
assistance to both the injured and the families
of the deceased in covering hospital and funeral
While police have charged Wiboon with causing
death through negligence they continue to
investigate the cause of the accident.