Chiang Mai Mayor still unofficial
Municipal council members fail to show at meeting
Chiang Mai Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn expresses
disappointment after the postponed meeting.
After only 6 out of 24 Chiang Mai Municipal Council members showed
up at the first Council meeting of new Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn’s tenure
on November 18, he will be forced to call another meeting in order to
announce his policies.
Regulations require that the new mayor announce his policies to the
Municipal Council within 30 days of the approval of the election results by
the Election Council.
If he cannot make the announcement to Council members within that period
then he will be required to send out his written policy to all members. Only
then, once all Council members have been informed of the new policies, will
the new mayor’s role become official.
Sutat Srilom, President of Chiang Mai Municipal Council, was forced to
postpone the meeting and inform Council members of the rescheduled date due
to the high number of no-shows. Tassanai Buranupakorn, who was ready to read
his policy to the council, left the building disappointed.
Denying speculation that the Council members intentionally did not attend
the meeting, Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn said, “I think we need to be
optimistic about this. The missing members might have some business that
requires them to be elsewhere. I don’t think that they did this in an
attempt to negotiate for positions. About the meeting’s rescheduling, it is
up to the president of the council as well as rules and regulations. I will
be present at the re-scheduled meeting.
The Municipal Council consists of 24 members, until recently all members of
the Chang Ngan group, led by Poolsawat Warawal, former deputy mayor under
Boonlert Buranupakorn, now the President of the Chiang Mai Provincial
Administration Organization. However, the group split in the last election
and 18 members sided with mayoral candidate Wipawal Woraputtipong while the
remaining 6 members supported the campaign of the new mayor, Tassanai
Buranupakorn. However, representatives of the Council members denied rumors
of a split, suggesting that all members are free to make their own
Prime Minister unperturbed, confirms visit to Chiang Mai, Thaksin’s stronghold
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Friday reaffirmed that he will visit the
northern province of Chiang Mai, stronghold of fugitive ex-premier Thaksin
Shinawatra, on November 29, while urging police to take legal action against
a local radio broadcaster who is allegedly inciting the public to harm him.
The premier commented in response to reports that Chiang Mai Red Shirt
protesters led by the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD)
will rally against his visit.
The premier said there have been reports of possible attacks against him
from time to time, but this time it was announced by a community radio host,
which is considered illegal.
Mr Abhisit said police must take legal action against those who violate the
law, especially against a particular local radio broadcaster now being
served an arrest warrant.
The premier stood firm that he is unafraid but is duty-bound to carry out
his planned activities.
“It will be a pity if the meeting (of the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce)
cannot be held and unable to achieve reconciliation as planned.” Mr Abhisit
The prime minister conceded that his life is under threat, saying that the
National Security Agency is now considering whether to impose the Internal
Security Act (ISA) during the Red Shirt rally on November 28 in the capital
when the UDD planned to besiege Government House.
Meanwhile, Satit Wongnongtoey, Minister to Prime Minister’s Office, said
Friday that warning letters have been sent to local community radios which
incite the public to cause disturbances several times.
“If it is obviously found that they violate the law, I will order the
closure of the community radios. Legal action must be taken against them
immediately,” Mr Sathit warned. The government will not abuse power by
interfering with the community radios, but precautionary measures are
necessary as the prime minister is being targeted by some elements.
In another development, Chiang Mai Governor Amornphan Nimanand on Friday met
with concerned agencies to plan security measures during the prime
minister’s visit next Sunday. (TNA)
White tiger cub dies of kidney failure at the Night Safari
Pluang, the 8 month old female white tiger cub at the Chiang Mai
Night Safari has died of kidney failure, Narong Tananuwat, Managing Director
of Chiang Mai Night Safari announced November 13.
white tigers at the Chiang Mai Night Safari
Chatree Koohateparak, head of the Veterinary Department and Naratip
Worawattanatam, assistant head of the Veterinary Department said that Chiang
Mai University’s Veterinary Center did the autopsy on the rare tiger cub.
They hope to investigate further into the cause of death to find the
contributing factors to the cub’s illness and subsequent death. They
reported that Pan, Pluang’s brother, is currently in poor health, receiving
medical attention while his condition is being constantly monitored.
Prasert Niamjan, the animals’ caretaker, reported that white tigers often
need special care. Because white tigers are so rare in the wild the breeding
pool has been limited to the small number of white tigers in captivity.
Interbreeding among the tigers often leads to genetic defects.
Narong Tananuwat accompanied the press to visit Henry, one of 7 white tiger
cubs in the Chiang Mai Night Safari. He was photographed bottle feeding the
tiger cub at the Photo Corner at the Night Safari.
Mae Moh villagers
to get respiratory center
The government has approved 36.5 million baht to build the Occupational and
Environmental Medicine Center at Mae Moh Hospital to provide respiratory
health care for local residents affected by pollution from the coal-fired
power plant in Lampang’s Mae Moh district. The Mae Moh Power Plant and
Lignite Mine is one of the largest coal-fired power plants in South East
Villagers have long complained of respiratory health problems arising from
pollution emissions at the plant and 4 years ago the government appointed a
commission to investigate the local hospital’s ability to handle respiratory
cases. The commission, consisting of doctors, government officials and
representatives of the local people concluded that the local hospital did
not have adequate facilities to treat respiratory illnesses that have arisen
in Mae Moh since the plant opened.
Prasert Kijsuwan, Director of Mae Moh Hospital, explained the Ministry of
Health will divide the 36.5 million baht provided by the Electrical
Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) towards construction of the
building, data and information services, specialized medical personnel and
research. Construction on the medical center is expected to start at the
beginning of next year.
The power plant has an annual production capacity of 2,400 megawatts and
accounts for roughly 12 per cent of the country’s electricity generation.
Half of plant’s output serves the North, while 30 per cent is sent to the
Central provinces and 20 per cent to the Northeast.
EGAT was ordered by the courts earlier this year to pay compensation and to
relocate villagers whose health had been affected by the power plant. EGAT
claims the controversial plant has implemented programs to tackle pollution
problems. (PRD Chiang Mai)
Japanese performance artists will open the 18th Comic Party
One of 10 Japanese
One of Japanese
Japanese Consulate-General in Chiang Mai
10 Japanese cosplayers will be visiting Chiang Mai as a part of the
Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths. They will be
taking part in many of the events related to the Lanna-Japan festival, like
a Japankiku radio show on FM 98.5, the Bong Odori Dance Festival on November
29 and participating in a talk on Japanese pop culture at Chiang Mai
University on November 30.
Cosplay, or costume play, is a type of performance art where the performers
don costumes to represent a specific character or idea, usually drawn from
popular Japanese culture. Characters are often taken from such sources as
manga, anime, comic books, classical novels and computer games. The term can
also be broadly applied to any costumed role-playing apart from the
The cosplayers will pay a visit to the Municipal Offices on November 27 as
well as be present at the opening ceremony of the 18th Comic Party, presided
over by the Mayor, on November 28 at the Central Airport Plaza.
10 tons of smuggled tobacco seized in Chiang Rai
10 tons of smuggled dried tobacco has been confiscated at the Ban Chaem
temporary checkpoint in Chiang Rai Somchai Sujjaponse, Director General
of the Customs Department, and Somchai Poolsawat, the Customs
Department’s Vice Director for Enforcement announced at a press
conference Sunday, November 15.
Customs officials at the temporary checkpoint found the 191 sacks of
tobacco at the checkpoint on the Mekong River on the Thailand – Laos
border but no one came forward to claim the tobacco. It is assumed that
the bags had been smuggled from Laos to be processed and sold in
The Director General said the Customs office plans to track down and
arrest the smugglers as importation without a license is illegal.
(PRD Chiang Mai)
Woman found stabbed to death in the trunk of her car
Two French citizens under suspicion
The body of Suchada Sittisarn, 33 years old, was found
in the trunk of her car with stab wounds to her neck and body.
Police found the woman’s red Mitsubishi parked at the home of
her boyfriend, Richard Mara Frederick, 66, in Chiang Mai’s Mae
Police from Mae On Police Station, led by Pol. Lt. Col. Manop
Jittjaroonpan were called to the scene to investigate the
murder. Mr. Frederick and his friend Marco had already left for
Mae Sai to renew their visas when the police arrived. Police in
Wiangpapao district in Chiang Rai caught sight of the two men in
a Jeep Cherokee on the morning of November 15 and detained the
suspects for transfer back to Chiang Mai.
According to Pol. Col. Panudet Boonrueng, a deputy commander of
Chiang Mai Provincial Police who helped lead the interrogation,
the two suspects denied any involvement in the crime. They have
both been sent to Maharaj Hospital in Chiang Mai to undergo an
examination for evidence of blood or fibers. Their Jeep Cherokee
and blood-stained shoes have been seized in the investigation.
According to Pol. Lt. Col. Kanit Prasansuk, no charges have yet
been filed but the statements of the two suspects have helped to
further the investigation. He added that the police plan to
further investigate the case and as soon there is enough
evidence to prove their involvement, the two French men will be
charged with the crime.
Art and culture event at Wat Si Supan
Wat Si Supan on Wua Lai road will be the site of a new festival
to promote and preserve the art and culture of Chiang Mai November 28
and 29 it was recently announced by Prof. Dr. Apinan Posayanon, Deputy
Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Culture. Chiang Mai is the first
province to hold the event that falls under the government’s creative
arts and culture project in its Thai Khem Khang “creative economy”
economic recovery plan.
Dr. Apinan Posayanon, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Culture,
discusses the new event for the promotion and preservation of Chiang
Mai’s art and culture. The even will be held between November 28 and 29
at Wat Si Supan on Wua Lai Road and at Tha Pae Gate
The festival will start at 6:00 pm on Saturday November28 with
performances of Lanna style dancing, Khon drama and an exhibition from
the Wua Lai community on its way of life. Continuing Sunday, November
29, regional handicrafts, textiles and artworks from local artists will
be on display as well as another Khon drama performance from 5:00 pm. At
6:00 p.m. Minister of Culture Teera Slukpetch will preside over the
opening ceremony. Organized by the Chiang Mai Community Art and Culture
Center, for more information, please contact the Ministry of Culture’s
public relation department, 0-2422-8853-8, or Chiang Mai Culture Office,
Khon drama by the Fine Arts Department
CMU promotes increased
awareness, health and
education for the disabled
Dr. Pongpisut Jong-Udomsuk, the Director of
Health Systems Research Institute, and Prof. Dr. Pongsak Angkasith,
Chiang Mai University’s President, with representatives of Chiang Mai
University’s disabled students.
With a goal of increasing opportunities for higher education for
the disabled, increased health care, new methods of learning and
increasing community awareness and acceptance of the disabled, Chiang
Mai University and the Health Research Institute pledged a continuation
of cooperation between the two organizations on October 29 at Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai University has held classes in the humanities, engineering,
architecture and other subjects for about 800 disabled people since
2004, thanks to financial assistance and support from the Health Systems
Research Institute. The University promised to continue these programs
as they have proved quite successful.
Prof. Dr. Pongsak Angkasith, Chiang Mai University’s President, and
Pongpisut Jongudomsuk, the Director of Health Systems Research
Institute, signed a renewal of a memorandum of cooperation between the
University and the Health Systems Research Institute with a plan for
creating a strong network for disabled people in the upper North.
“Uncaged! The Art of Ability” exhibition increases awareness of Cerebral Palsy
Mai and Wichai greet
visitors to the exhibition opening.
Story by Shana Kongmun
Photos by Liam Morgan
“Uncaged: The Art of Ability,” an exhibition
displaying the artwork of two talented young
artists opened Saturday November 14 at the Mute
Mute Gallery on Tha Pae road. Presented in the
exhibition are over 60 pieces of two courageous
Thai children, Mai Aeju and Wichai Gavilla.
These two young boys have been literally
un-caged from the confines created by their
cerebral palsy, poverty and the ignorance
surrounding their condition with the help of
Cultural Canvas and Baan Piranan, a resident
care facility for individuals with cerebral
palsy. Cultural Canvas Thailand worked together
with Baan Piranan to teach the boys how to
express themselves through their art. Their
creativity and ingenuity shines in their
artwork, expressed in multiple mediums.
What started as weekly art workshops to teach
the two boys art grew into a full blown
exhibition featuring their art. Mai and Wichai,
with the help of Baan Piranan, overcame great
hardship, abuse and neglect to transform into
two lovely boys with a yearning to learn, to
express themselves and to take part in the world
at large. Cultural Canvas Thailand is a
volunteer organization that hopes to foster
equality, community interaction and social
change through artistic outreach and volunteer
services in conjunction with local
organizations. Cultural Canvas volunteer Aimee
Aubin said, “Art and therapy have given these
children a voice, something to call their own.
They’re no longer trapped behind stigmas and
stiff bones. Today, they’re not patients-
Mai and Wichai,as well as other residents and
artists of Baan Piranan, were on hand to greet
exhibition goers According to Piranan Singjalai,
the occupational therapist in charge of Baan
Piranan, the children under her care at the
residential facility had suffered neglect and
abuse until their rescue. Mai was quite
literally caged, spending his life in a small
bamboo cage under his mother’s wooden hut when
Piranan found him. He is now a bright, alert boy
whose determination and personality shine
Mai and Wichai’s artwork is displayed along with
information and stories pertaining to cerebral
palsy. Audience members are invited to take a
journey through two floors of exhibition space
portraying the boys’ stories, their art, and
presenting their experience through multiple
mediums. The exhibition’s goal is two-fold: to
increase awareness and understanding about
cerebral palsy and to raise money to continue
the support of organizations advocating for
struggling social groups. All of the artwork
displayed is for sale by donation. Audiences’
donations will go directly to Cultural Canvas
Thailand and Baan Piranan, continuing to provide
them with the resources necessary to transform
the lives of struggling social groups in Chiang
Mai, Thailand. The opening exhibition will run
at the Mute Mute Gallery until November 30th.
The boys’ artwork on
display at the gallery.