Royal Project Foundation celebrates 40 years and honors HM the King
HRH Princess Soamsawalee cuts the ribbon, to
open the event held on December 17 at Chiang Mai University’s Convention
Center (Photo by Supoj Thiamyoj)
HRH. Princess Soamsavali presided over the opening ceremony for the
celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Royal Project Foundation. The
celebration,which Prof. Dr. Pongsak Angkasit, President of Chiang Mai
University said was held in honor of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej and HM Queen
Sirikit, took place at the Chiang Mai University Convention Center on
December 17. The event features exhibitions showcasing HM the King’s Royal
Projects, particularly academic and research projects as well as the
highland development projects that have been initiated to aid hill-tribes
people in the mountains.
Products from the Royal Project Foundation, featuring the Doi Kham name,
which guarantees that it is a Royal Project item, were on display and sale.
Cooking demonstrations as well other activities for youth and residents of
the Royal Projects areas were also organized.
The Royal Project Foundation was founded in 1969 by HM the King to place
emphasis on research and development of crops to replace opium poppy farming
in the highland areas
“We want a real deal” say Mae Rim
Residents in a global day of climate action
Mae Rim residents release a lantern
as part of the candlelight vigil for climate action.
By Mary MacLachlan
On December 12 people from around Mae Rim gathered at The Prem
Center amphitheatre to light candles and share stories from the front lines
of climate change as part of a world-wide day of action.
Chang a student at Prem Tinsulanonda Interational School, addresses the
crowd about the need for action on global warming.
In other locations around the world, participants joined thousands of
communities holding candlelight vigils to urge world leaders to deliver the
‘real deal’ the world needs. In Copenhagen, Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu and
former U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson led a special vigil
outside the climate negotiation headquarters.
“People of Mae Rim want a real deal,” said Prem resident Mary MacLachlan, a
member of the online campaign network, Avaaz.org, that co-ordinated the
global action. “We need a deal that is ambitious enough to leave a planet
safe for us all, fair for the poorest countries that didn’t cause climate
change but are suffering most from it, and binding with real targets that
can be legally enforced,” MacLachlan added.
Ricken Patel, Executive Director of Avaaz.org says “The day of action shows
the huge level of public concern that climate negotiations are falling short
of what’s needed to avert climate catastrophe. Our leaders have heard from
major corporations and big polluters for a long time. Today, finally, they
heard from citizens. Reaching a real deal must now be their top priority.”
Images of the day of action from around the world, including the rally at
The Prem, will be shown at the UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen.
Our children’s urgent need:
climate agreement in Copenhagen
By Jere Locke
From December 7th to December 18th, the countries of the world
convene in Copenhagen, and theeffort over many years to reach a global
agreement will start again. The results in Copenhagen will likely define the
future of this planet. While the scientists issue ever more alarming
reports, there appears to be little chance of anything more coming out of
the negotiations than a political framework, devoid of specifics as to
percentages of cuts, reporting requirements, or money to the developing
countries for adapting to the changes ahead. They are planning, in the words
of The New York Times, to “punt the most difficult issues into the future.”
The summit’s primary goal is to reach a worldwide, binding agreement that
will ensure that global warming does not exceed a maximum of 2 degrees
Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as recommended by the Nobel prize
winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a panel of 2500
climate scientists. Our best and brightest scientists understand that if we
reach this level of temperature rise, we will be on a slippery slope to at
least 4 or 5 degrees C rise, dooming future generations to horrendous
consequences. In Thailand these consequences include the very possible
flooding of Bangkok later this century; a deep, permanent drought in some
areas of the country; and the loss of maybe half of the rice crop.
A real leader of the world’s scientific community Dr. James Hansen, director
of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies in the U.S., states that
the climate is nearing a crucial tipping point that, if passed, would lead
to “practically a different planet”. Dr. Rajendra Pachuari of India, who
is the chair of the Intergovernmental IPCC said in 2007, ” What we do in the
next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining
Going into Copenhagen, the main obstacle to a successful agreement is that
the developed countries led by the U.S. are proposing emission cuts of 25%
of what the scientists recommend, plus only about 75 million dollars for
adaptation and mitigation assistance to developing countries who will bear
the brunt of climate change, but have per capita emission figures far below
the US and EU. In truth, the real need for adaptation is probably at least
400 billion. Since the United States is responsible for 25% of the yearly
total emissions, they should pay 25% of the yearly total required.
The last century has taught a lesson of inter-connectedness, of global
unity. We’re in this together as a world, and we cannot separate our fate
from that of other nations. Climate change will affect everyone—the rich,
the poor, the West African, the Eastern European, the US and yes, Thailand.
We must all press for an agreement which includes transparent reporting and
verification—the same for everyone, no excuses, no opting out. And all
nations must sign on the dotted line affirming that they will continue this
quest for a healthy climate and a secure world, accepting their respective
responsibilities. But we cannot, we must not, go halfway, and postpone the
hard work for later. The hard work must begin on December 7th., for the
stewards of our green Earth and our children’s future—it’s the highest
responsibility the present generations of our world will ever face, and the
Written by Jere Locke, member of the Northern Climate Change Network in
Chiang Mai where he now lives and Director of the Texas Climate Emergency
Campaign. He just spent 18 months in Texas working on the US national
climate bill. Jere can be reached at [email protected]
The Lanna Architects 2009 event at Think Park showcases green construction
The 13th annual Lanna Architects fair, held by the Association of
Siamese Architects in conjunction with Chiang Mai Lanna Architects
Commission and TTF International, was held at Think Park at the Rim Kham
intersection between December 10 and 13.
Excellency Honorary Professor Kasem Wattanachai, HM the King’s Privy
Councilor, presided over the opening ceremony and granted the awards for
Best Architecture at the event on December 11.
His Excellency, Honorary Professor Kasem Wattanachai, HM the King’s Privy
Councilor, presided over the opening ceremony which took place on December
This year was the festival’s first outdoor event, highlighting the “Going
Green” theme of the fair. More than 50 companies exhibited their goods and
services and gave advice to festival goers as to green, appropriate building
materials. Businesses also showcased the most recent building technologies
and winners of architecture awards had their designs shown at the event. The
Home Clinic, which gave free advice on interior design, was a very popular
booth with attendees.
Next year’s event is planned for November 26-28, with the venue to be
A booth displaying decorative home products
at the Lanna Architects 2009 event at Think Park.
Long Live His Majesty The King
Phitsanu Thepthong editor of the Chiang Mai Mail represented the
management and staff in signing the Royal guestbook at Chiang Mai
University’s Convention Center to wish HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej good
health and long life on the occasion of His 82nd birthday.
Elephants returned to the wild
From street begging and elephant rides to a home in the wild
2 elephants were released into the forest of Doi Pha Muang Wildlife
Sanctuary in Lampang on December 16, as part of the project to return 81
elephants to nature in honor of the King, in a ceremony presided over by
Dr. Sumet Tantivejkul, the Chairman of the Elephant Reintroduction
The Elephant Reintroduction Foundation found and bought the two
elephants, Pang Tookta, 27, and Pang Namchok, 59, who were used for
labor, tour business and street begging in different provinces, from
their owner in Surin. They were the 7th and 8th elephants reintroduced
to nature by the foundation.
The event celebrating the release of the elephants was sponsored by
Arrow and was attended by the Director of Arrow, Somphol Chaisiriroj,
well known actor Nirut Sirijanda, and Thamarat Chokwatana, Director and
Executive Vice President of ICC International.
The Elephant Reintroduction Foundation was started by H.M. Queen Sirikit
after a state visit from H.M. Queen Elizabeth and H.R.H. Prince Philip,
the Duke of Edinburgh, to Thailand in 1996. H.M. Queen Sirikit wished to
offer an alternative future for domestic elephants, one in which they
live out the rest of their lives in the forest, away from humans.(PRD).
New Year holidays will show increased vigilance by Chiang Mai Police
Pol. Maj. Gen. Sommai Kongwisaisuk, the Commander of Chiang Mai
Provincial Police announced increased police security measures
for the upcoming New Year holiday. He said that the large number
of tourists is a draw for criminals and that the police plan to
monitor the province for theft, drugs and guns.
The police hope to reduce the number of thefts, with motorcycle
thefts reaching 800 new cases a month. So far the police have
managed to recover 5,000 of the stolen motorcycles, this despite
a decrease in the force from 4,000 police officers to 3,000 due
Police who are found to be negligent in their duties will be
punished by being made to do public service, such as care for
leprosy patients and practice rice farming. The commander
expects that members of the police force should have a better
understanding of the victims of crime.(PRD)
Renowned artist, Sangiam Yarangsi, opens new exhibit of artwork
Sangiam Yarangsi, the nationally and
internationally-recognized Chiang Rai-born impressionist painter
opened his first exhibition of paintings in Chiang Mai on
December 11 at Galerie Panisa, the event was presided over by
Wuttinai Ratchafak, Deputy Justice of Appeals Court Region 5.
This latest exhibition of his presents 100 pieces he has created
over the past year.
Yarangsi, nationally and internationally-recognized Chiang
Rai-born impressionist painter.
“I have been painting landscapes for over 20 years, since I was
a student in Chiang Mai. I never want to change the style or
follow the current trend because the essence and quality of my
art is what I’m mainly interested in.
I like traveling and my paintings are inspired by that. So there
are many different angles. I’m not fixed at one viewpoint or one
identity. But I have one love and that is nature. I’d like to
say that I love making my art,” Sangaim Yaransi said.
The 10th solo exhibition given by Sangaim over the years, the
exhibit runs at Galeria Panisa through January 4.
Woven Legends by Patricia Cheesman
“Woven Legends” an exhibition by Patricia Cheesman, well
known textile expert, opened on the first floor at the Le
Meridian Chiang Mai Hotel on December 12. Organized by O.P
Chiang Mai, the exhibit showcases traditional woven fabrics as
well as traditional hand weaving techniques. The exhibit
displays equipment as well as antique textiles and offers
locally woven textiles for sale.
Cheesman, specialist in traditional weaving of Thailand and
Laos, shows traditionally-made woven fabrics at the Woven
Working with weavers in 20 villages, Patricia Cheesman has
collected old fabrics, dyed them with “khram” (indigo) and given
them to members of the Weavers for the Environment Association
(WFE), of which she is the founder. Members of the WFE
Association produced the beautiful and unique textiles from
these fabrics that are on show at the exhibit which ends January
Patricia Cheesman is a well known authority on Thai and Lao
textiles and is a part time lecturer at Chiang Mai University as
well as author and owner of Studio Naenna.
Silk weft Ikat woven textile titled
woven in 2009 on sale for 40,000 baht.
Traditionally woven textiles on
display at the Woven Legends exhibit
at the Le Meridian Chiang Mai Hotel on the 1st floor.
Contributions of Foreign
Tourist Police Volunteers
recognized at Christmas party
(Left to right) Dr. Shu Weiming,
Chinese Consul-General in Chiang Mai, Pol. Lt. Col. Yuttasit
Boonklam, the inspector of Chiang Mai Tourist Police, and the
Tourist Police volunteers at the party.
The Chiang Mai Tourist Police, led by Inspector Pol. Lt.
Col. Yuttasit Boonklam, held a “Merry Christmas and Happy New
Year” party for 50 foreign Tourist Police volunteers on December
11. Dr Shu Weiming, the Chinese Consul-General for Chiang Mai,
attended the event as an honorary guest. The Tourist Police gave
a certificate to a representative of the volunteers, thanking
them for their hard work in supporting the Chiang Mai Tourist
Canadian tourist found dead in a condotel near the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
The body of a Canadian tourist, Warren Leonard
Battaglia, 49, was found in his room at the Night Bazaar
Condotel on December 13, has been sent to Maharaj Nakhon Chiang
Mai Hospital for an autopsy.
Bussara Intapanya, a 39 year old resident of San Kamphaeng
district, told the police that she left the room around 11.00
a.m and, at that time, her boyfriend Warren Battaglia, was still
alive. When she returned around 4.30 p.m., she knocked on the
door with no response. She then tried phoning the room but when
no one picked up the phone she asked the hotel staff to open the
door. Upon finding the body of Mr Battaglia on the floor of the
bathroom, she immediately called the police.
The Chiang Mai Tourist Police hope that the autopsy will
determine cause of death.
Illegal North Korean
immigrants arrested in Phayao
14 illegal immigrants from North Korea were arrested on a
passenger bus leaving Chiang Rai for Bangkok December 15.
The police at Mae Tam Check Point in Phayao stopped and searched
a passenger bus on the way from Chiang Rai to Bangkok, and found
14 illegal immigrants from North Korea; 5 men, 8 women and a
boy. The North Koreans confessed to police that they had entered
Thailand at Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district and planned to find
jobs in Bangkok. All of them were arrested and charged with
illegally entering Thailand.
Police from Phayao Police Station have been intensively
monitoring for both illegal immigration and drug trafficking
during the period running up to and including the New Year.(PRD)
Liverpool loss to Fiorentina leads to the suicide of a local resident
Maitree Saenmongkol, a 48 year old resident of the
National Housing Project located in Nong Hoy sub-district, was
found lying in his bedroom with a gunshot wound to his head and
a gun in his hand by his wife Nongyao Aiongtai, 50 years old.
Maitree subsequently died at the Rajvej hospital on December 10.
The police were called to the man’s house by his wife when she
heard a gunshot from their bedroom and found her husband barely
breathing with a gunshot wound to his right temple. His wife
told police that he and his friends had been drinking beer and
watching the Liverpool – Fiorentina match at their house. After
the match, which Liverpool lost 1-2, the friends left the house
and Maitree went into their bedroom. When she heard the gunshot,
she ran into the room and called the ambulance.
Police examined the hands of the deceased for gunshot residue,
his wife and the man’s friends were taken to Maharaj Nakhon
Chiang Mai Hospital for examination as well. Police discovered
that the .38 used in the shooting belonged to the deceased.
Police are investigating to see if the suicide is due to
involvement in illegal betting.
Rak Chiang Mai 51 Group block reservoir to protest against news talk show host
The political group Rak Chiang Mai 51, led by Kanyapak Maneejak
or DJ Aom, blocked access to a reservoir at Highlands
Agriculture Development Center as Channel 3’s “Roeng Lao Chao
Nee”, a live news talk program, was being filmed there. The
group was protesting the show’s hosts, Sorayuth Sutasnajinda,
Sukwan Bulkul, Krittika Sakmanee and Ekkarat Kengtuktang, as not
being-politically neutral in the presentation of their show.
After filming ended DJ Aom and Sorayuth Sutasnajinda met to
discuss the issue. DJ Aom requested that the TV host be more
neutral in his program. While Sorayuth Sutasnajinda, his
colleagues and the show’s crews insisted that they have always
been neutral and have never sided with any political groups. He
also told them that his show is open to calls from anyone and
that the group’s members are encouraged to provide feedback
whenever they feel misinformation about them is given. Sorayuth
added that he and his staff are willing to correct any factual
mistakes that may be made.
The group, which had been kept from entering the filming site by
the police, dispersed peacefully at the end of the talks.(PRD)
Army to help combat forest fires
and air pollution caused by fires
The 3rd Army Area Commanding General Lt. Gen. Wantip Wongwai
chaired a meeting with various local and regional government
offices to develop a marketing campaign to combat forest fires
in the coming year. They hope to use mass media and the public
relations department to increase public awareness of the
pollution caused by fires.
The General said that Their Majesties the King and Queen have
great concern over the issues of forest fires and air pollution
in the northern region caused by burning fields, as well as the
impacts of high air pressure, air pollution from the neighboring
countries and El Nino.
The Third Army Area has positioned 300 teams consisting of 3000
officers and 7 helicopters, with weaponry, ready to cooperate
with other offices in fighting forest fires in Chiang Mai,
Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Tak and Lampang.
The Third Army Area has set up a Special Command for Air
Pollution and Forest Fire Control at Chiang Mai’s 3rd
Development Battalion, the command’s term will run between
December 25, 2009 and April 30, 2010.
All local and regional governmental organizations will cooperate
to combat fires and air pollution that often occurs in the dry
season from December to February.(PRD)
Japanese woman found dead
in a guest house near Night Bazaar
A 76 year old Japanese resident of Chiang Mai was found
dead in her bathtub by the housekeeper at the guesthouse where
she resided in Changklan road on December 16 at 9:30 a.m.
Mai Police investigate the room of Takako Kanomi, a Japanese
national who was found dead in her guesthouse room on December
The housekeeper told police that she had knocked on the door of
Takako Kanomi 76, in order to clean the room. When she received
no response, she unlocked the door with a master key. The
police, after being called by the housekeeper, sent the body to
Maharaj Nakhon Chiang Mai Hospital for an autopsy to determine
cause of death.
The manager of the guesthouse told police that Ms Takako Kanomi
had lived in Chiang Mai for many years and that he believed she
might be alcoholic. Police have contacted the woman’s family for
Fire damages KTB Leasing
Offices on Superhighway
Chiang Mai Municipality firefighters
bring the blaze at KTB Leasing Co.
offices under control on Saturday, December 19.
Fire broke out at the KTB Leasing Company’s offices on
the Chiang Mai-Lampang Superhighway opposite the Lanna Hospital
on Saturday, December 19. The fire, which started on the ground
floor, quickly filled the building with thick, black smoke.
Company staff were on hand to open the building to firefighters,
thus allowing firefighters to keep the blaze from spreading to
nearby buildings. It took 6 fire engines about 30 minutes to
extinguish the blaze.
The fire caused traffic jams in the area as Changpuak police
were needed to direct traffic and to help the firefighters gain
access to the burning building.
While it is believed that a short circuit caused the fire,
Changpuak police said that there will be an investigation to
determine the cause of the blaze. The fire, which burned the
entire ground floor, damaged offices and a stationary shop,
resulting in an estimated 500,000 baht worth of damage.