Chiang Mai University researchers present
projects to HRH Princess Chulabhorn
Agriculture Fair opens at CMU
HRH Princess Chulabhorn gives a lecture on “the
importance of research to the development of the country” at Chiang Mai
University Convention Center.
HRH Princess Chulabhorn graciously presided over the opening ceremony of
Chiang Mai University (CMU)’s “To the 5th Decade as a University of
Excellence” event on November 26 morning. She followed up by giving a
lecture concerning the importance of research for the development of the
country. She later toured exhibits on projects being carried out by CMU
Kangwanpong, Vice President for Research Affairs, presents a garland to
welcome HRH Princess Chulabhorn to Chiang Mai University.
According to Chiang Mai University President Prof. Dr. Pongsak Angkasith,
the university, which was founded in 1964 as Thailand’s first regional
university, has contributed to the development of the community and the
country through its research projects. The 2 day event, in celebration of
its 45th anniversary, was aimed at presenting the university’s research
projects to the public. It is hoped that CMU research could lead to
commercial development, as well as lend to the University’s growing
reputation as an academic and research center.
The event was attended by presidents and representatives of 20 universities
from 10 countries, in partnership with Chiang Mai University, and about
1,500 scholars, lecturers, university students and students from across the
Princess Chulabhorn cuts the ribbon to officially open the 6th Agriculture
Fair at Chiang Mai University.
Free academic services to the community were also offered at the Chiang Mai
University Convention Center at the event, including human and pet health
advice and checkups, and anti-smoking information.
Meanwhile, the opening of the 6th Annual Agriculture Fair, “Environmental
Friendly Agriculture Following the Sufficiency Economy Principles”, was
presided over by HRH Princess Chulabhorn on Thursday, November 26 afternoon
at the Faculty of Agriculture at CMU.
HRH Princess Chulabhorn, after being met by Prof. Dr. Pongsak Angasith,
President of Chiang Mai University, and Theera Visitpanich, Dean of Faculty
of Agriculture, toured exhibitions on agriculture projects initiated by the
Royal Family, as well as those developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and
the University. She then took an electric car to visit the organic vegetable
farm on campus.
The Agricultural Fair will run through the 3rd of December and seeks to
promote eco-friendly agricultural technology based on the principles of the
sufficiency economy. The University hopes to encourage local residents by
showcasing the Faculty of Agriculture’s educational and research abilities
as well as provide agricultural students and interested individuals
information on new agricultural developments and technologies.
HRH Princess Chulabhorn inspects exhibitions
presented by Chiang Mai University Faculty of Agriculture members.
Royal Flora Ratchapruek event to honor H.M. the King on his 82nd birthday
(From left) Theera Wongsamut, Minister of
Agriculture and Cooperatives, Amornpan Nimanant, Chiang Mai’s Governor,
Chumphol Silpa-archa, Minister of Tourism and Sports announce the Royal
Ratchapruek 2009 event in honor of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 82nd birthday.
By Nopniwat Krailerg
The Royal Flora Ratchapruek in Chiang Mai is holding an 11 day event
to honor H.M. the King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 82nd birthday. Beginning
November 30 and running through to December 10, the event will feature open
air stage performances every evening from 6 p.m. concluding with a fireworks
show at 10 p.m.
The event, which is hosted in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture,
Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) and
Chiang Mai, will highlight the botanical gardens with displays of plants
from 13 countries including Malaysia, Japan, Netherlands, Morocco, Kenya,
Sudan, Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and South
Africa and 11 Thai organizations; exhibits on the King’s royal activities,
the Ministry of Agriculture’s works; agricultural, entertainment, tourism
activities, such as the display of technological methods of growing garden
plants, demonstration of handicrafts making, and sales of Royal Project and
The event will open with a ceremony releasing 999 lanterns and a parade in
honor of H.M. the King on November 30 and on December 5, a fireworks show
featuring 999 fireworks will wow crowds who come to wish H.M. the King well
on his birthday.
15 out of 24 Municipal Council members fail to show at Council meeting
New mayor still unofficial
Once again a majority of Municipal Council members failed to show at
the Council meeting that was rescheduled for new Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn
to present his administration’s policies to the Council. This time, 15 out
of 24 members failed to show at the rescheduled meeting on Thursday,
On the same day, those 15 members held a press conference at Maninarakorn
Hotel to inform the public as to their reasons for not showing. They felt
the could not endorse the Mayor’s win given allegations of vote-buying in
the election and that his case had not yet been resolved by the Election
Commission and the police. They added that they were not happy that the new
Mayor had not sent his policies to them for review prior to the meeting as
per regulations. Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn could still be declared the
official Mayor without the Council’s presence at the meeting, once his
written policies are sent out too all members of the Council.
Following the second failed attempt to announce his policies, Tassanai
Buranupakorn said that although he could not yet be declared the official
Mayor, he would not shirk his duties as Mayor. He added that he planned to
do his best as the Mayor, even though he was not yet allowed to issue
policies and orders. If he can not announce his policies within 30 days, the
alternative, which is to inform to Chiang Mai’s Governor by a written
statement as well as send out written policies to the council, will become
necessary in order for him to take his position officially.
U.S. Ambassador Eric G. John
visits Chiang Mai to discuss the
economic outlook for the region
The U.S. ambassador to Thailand Eric G. John foresees a bright
outlook for closer Thai-U.S. relations, especially in the area of bilateral
trade and investment.
The United States is Thailand’s largest customer in the world, with
U.S.-Thai bilateral trade reaching over $32 billion. Last week, Ambassador
John talked about business and economic growth with five Chiang Mai
journalists, including the Chiang Mai Mail.
He started the meeting expressing his pleasure to meet and talk with local
reporters and wanted to introduce the most significant issues on economic
and business cooperation between Thai and U.S. government organizations.
ambassador to Thailand Eric G. John foresees a bright outlook for closer
“During the past 40 years, we have seen growth of bilateral trade
cooperation between the two countries so that it is now worth around 1
billion US dollars, the increased growth signifies a new age in Thai-US
relations,” he said.
The U.S. is also second-largest investor in Thailand and has now surpassed
$23 billion in exports.“With more on the way . Investment by the private
sector has proven to be much more than the government to government
sectors”, he noted. However, he added that growing relations between the
governments was of equal importance to the U.S.
He continued, noting that U.S. business and investment projects in Thailand
have resulted employing around 250,000 people nationwide.
“The volume of exports from Thailand to US is worth around $23 billion,
which is a large amount and a big step to bring great benefits for
businesses in both countries”, Ambassador John added.
Ambassador John said that bilateral trade will also help stimulate growth of
the economy, by way of giving more opportunities for export growth and by
opening up trade potential and opportunities, adding the importance of a
continued, strong relationship between Thailand and the U.S.
The Ambassador said one of his goals is to increase the U.S. presence in the
North, adding that more bilateral trade as well as U.S. investment projects
should be increased in the Northern region. Currently there are not many
U.S. projects in Chiang Mai. “ There is less investment activity by U.S.
firms in the North when compared to the Central and Eastern regions.
Chonburi , Pattaya and Rayong have a much larger number of U.S investment
“However, many of you may have heard about the arrival of U.S. companies,
with Monsanto in Phitsanulok, Frito Lay in Lamphun, and Creative Kingdom in
Chiang Mai”. Monsanto in Phitsanulok employs 500 workers and involves 10,000
Thai farmers in producing high-yield hybrid corn seeds for sale in Thailand
and markets as far away as South America. While, Pepsi/Frito Lay produces
snack foods in Lamphun, employing over 1,000 workers and involving 2,000
farmer households in production The U.S. IT firm, Creative Kingdom Inc.,
employs 300 young Thais in digital animation and video game design.
“So, it is an important mission for the U.S. Embassy to cooperate with the
Thai government to stimulate and increase more private businesses as
stakeholders and in regulating or setting the framework of good cooperation
on economic development in the Northern region”
Last year, the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai held a seminar on
logistics system development in the Greater Mekong sub region (GMS) in
Chiang Mai, and has made efforts to integrate economic activities like
custom procedures and investment planning in the region’s industrial areas.
He remarked that in February of 2010, the U.S. Consulate General will also
hold another seminar on the Creative Economy, the economic initiatives
conference in Chiang Mai, which will focus on the growth of information
technology and the need for advanced education in order to fulfill that
need. The seminar agenda will be promoted by the U.S. Embassy and the Thai
Ministry of Commerce to develop more businesses, especially in the field of
education, which would lead to the economic development for labor or workers
in this region.
“Chiang Mai is a high potential area, particularly for bilateral trade and
cooperation. This region could be a leader in the field of IT and offer
another alternative to attract more investment.”
Ambassador John noted the talks between the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs
and U.S. officials at the meeting held in Phuket in July this year was an
attempt to promote the Mekong Lower Initiative, which includes Thailand, the
U.S., Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The most important issue discussed at that
meeting was the protection of the environment along the lower Mekong River.
The ambassador added that while Chang Mai is not directly connected to the
lower Mekong river, it is a link between the environment and people who live
in the Greater Mekong Sub region (GMS) and that residents may see negative
effects from environmental and lifestyle changes with the addition of new
sources of income.
Focusing on the potential of the North is an integral part of U.S.
governmental and business relations, outside that the GMS organization.
President Barack Obama has stressed the importance of increased ties between
the U.S. and ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations), adding that a
personal relationship developed between the President and Prime Minister
Abhisit Vejajiva at the G20 meetings in Pittsburg and Singapore and the
recent APEC meeting. Both leaders continue to work together to grow both
governmental and business ties. He added that the recent talks between U.S.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Prime Minister Abhisit and Thai Foreign
Minister Kasich Pharos shows that close Thai-U.S. relations continue to
“Although Thai domestic politics still have conflicts, the status of
Thailand in the international stage is not really negatively affected in the
international community. The fluid political situation in Thailand does not
raise serious concerns with her neighbors” he remarked, adding that Thailand
does need to work to explain the situation and calm any fears as to her
Owner of internet gaming cafe arrested for violating curfew on gaming hours
The owner of Buddy Internet and Game Cafe in San Sai was arrested on
November 23 by San Sai and Provincial Police for allowing children under the
age of 15 in his cafe between the prohibited hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00
p.m. on weekdays.
Aketrakul Somsuk was charged under the 2008 film and video law which
restricts children to internet and game cafes between 2:00 p.m. and 8:00
p.m. on weekdays and from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekends, school and
public holidays. Cafes found violating the law will be subject to fines
between 100,000 to 500,000 baht or 10,000 baht a day per day in violation.
Owners also will have their business licenses suspended for 90 days and, if
they continue to violate the law, will find their licenses revoked.
Payap University celebrates
Students dressed in costumes from around
Asia, India, China,
Thailand and Malaysia, prepare to perform for the crowd at Payap
University’s International Day. ( Photo by Supoj Thiamyoj)
by Elena Sheppard
On November 20th Payap University celebrated its 7th annual
International Day. Roughly 1,000 attendees joined the international
festivities which included performances, activities and food from around
the world. With 19 countries represented, including Thailand, Germany,
Korea and Turkey, the event strove to showcase the University’s
international diversity and encourage unity and appreciation amongst
members of the Payap community and the Chiang Mai community at large.
Set on the spacious lawn behind the University library, International
Day entertained it’s guests with 35 food and activities stalls.
Attendees sampled Thai meatballs, American baked goods, and Indian
samosas among many other delicacies on the day’s international menu.
Food aside, there were activities from Cuban salsa dancing to Chinese
calligraphy. “It was a wonderful evening,” said Lauren Whitehead an
American teaching at Payap. “It was inspiring to see so many people come
out with such pride for their countries and compassion for their
Upon entrance attendees were invited to purchase the International Day
passports in which they could collect stamps to receive free prizes.
Additionally their passports served as raffle tickets to win prizes
including 10,000 baht, a roundtrip Thai airways ticket to Bangkok, a
weekend getaway at Kantary Hills and a one day tour of Chiang Rai. “This
was the first year to sell out of passports,” Jessica Loh, Head of
International Campus Life, said.
As attendees sampled from the different stalls, a broad array of faculty
and student performers entertained the crowds. Among the numerous acts,
including the finale of the University-wide “Payap’s Got Talent”
competition, the crowd enjoyed a nursing student performing traditional
Thai dance, Thai students singing German songs and a visiting professor
from America who performed on the Indian flute.
Perhaps most in keeping with the event’s underlying message was a
performance by students from the International Master’s of Divinity
program who represented the Asian countries of Thailand, Vietnam,
Cambodia, Nepal, Korea, Lahu, Kahsin and China. Representatives from
each country came slowly on stage in their nation’s costumes and holding
heart-shaped balloons with simple messages written on them; “Love,”
“Hope.” All the while, in the background there played a song about
9 Districts declared emergency
areas due to cold weather
160,000 residents in Phayao affected
Cold temperatures have affected more than 160,000 people
in Phayao Province, prompting the government to declare 9
districts emergency areas. Financial assistance will be given to
these areas to help provide residents with blankets and warm
clothing. Day-time temperatures continue to be as low as 13 C.
Cherdsak Choosri, Phayao’s Governor, chaired a meeting with
officials from Phayao Office of Disaster Prevention and
Mitigation, Provincial Administrative Organizations, District
Chief Officers as well as representatives from relevant
organizations on November 23 to organize plans to aid the
Chiang Kham, Muang and Dok Khamtai are three districts with the
highest number of affected residents, the public sector has so
far donated 2,000 blankets but more are needed to help the more
than 20,000 people affected in each district. Governor Cherdsak
added that the Provincial government plans to approve a million
baht budget to distribute donations and aid locals. Residents
should start receiving blankets at the beginning of December.
Additionally, 3 districts in Phayao, with more than 7,000
households affected by drought, including Pong, Chiang Muan and
Phu Kamyao, have also been announced as emergency areas and as
such, can begin receiving government aid.
Doi Inthanon saw Chiang Mai’s first frost on the morning of
November 23 when the temperature reached a chilly 7.5 C. Doi Ang
Kang saw the temperature fall to 8.5 C. More than 200,000 Chiang
Mai residents have been affected by the cold weather Pairote
Saengphuwong, Deputy Governor of Chiang Mai said, adding that
private organizations and the public sector have generously
donated clothing and blankets.
Local administrative organizations have also worked in aiding
area residents and the Governor will allocate 50 million baht of
the budget to areas most affected by the cold should the
temperatures continue to remain below 15 C for more than 3 days.
Mai Ai, Mae Chaem, Omkoi and Wiang Haeng districts have been
hardest hit by the low temperatures with residents in need of
warm clothing and blankets.
The Meteorological Department of Thailand predicts that
temperatures should begin rising as the cool air mass loses
Omkoi to be focus of special task force
Plan for opium poppy eradication
Khajohn Boonpath & Staff reporters
An integrated task force has been formed to patrol Omkoi
district in Chiang Mai Province. Due to the poverty of its
residents and its isolated location, it has seen an increase of
illegal activities ranging from opium poppy production, illegal
immigration, and has become a center for the transportation of
stolen vehicles across the border. Illegal immigrants and the
illegal harvesting in the National Forests remains a problem,
according to the report released by the Office of Narcotics
Control Board this November.
The task force created to monitor the area will consist of
members of the Border Patrol Police, local administrative
officials, Royal Thai Rangers, and the Omkoi police to be led by
Pol, Col, Satit Katetanon, Deputy Commander of the Border Patrol
Police Division, Region 3. The Omkoi Special Command, led by Lt.
Col. Adul Jampatong, Deputy Commander of Rangers Force Division
36, has already found and destroyed 4 rai of opium poppy
Meanwhile, the 2010 plan for the eradication of opium poppy
planting was announced November 24 at the Pha Muang Task force
Center by Lt. General Wantip Wongwai, Deputy Commander of the
Army Area 3. The plan will cover 76 separate areas in the north,
of which the army will be responsible for 65 areas in Mae Chaem
and Omkoi. They will be supported by the Office of Narcotics
Control Board, Provincial and Border Patrol Police.
Lt. General Wantip traveled to the Omkoi district to observe the
destruction of opium plants and to distribute sporting equipment
and other goods to Rang Bee village members of which have
cooperated with officials in their goal to eradicate opium poppy
To date, 46 rai of opium poppy fields have been destroyed with a
further 94 rai awaiting destruction.