Chiang Mai emergency personnel ready for the New Year
Measures in place to reduce the number of accidents
Emergency Medical Services personnel work on
for the 7 dangerous days of the New Year holiday.
Chiang Mai police, fire, and rescue personnel took part in fire and
rescue training to prepare for the upcoming New Year’s holiday at the 700
Year Stadium on December 24. Rescuers attempted to extract people from a car
that caught on fire in a simulated exercise. There was also a fire
extinguisher demonstration and the rescue of a large number of casualties
resulting from a simulated accident. The goal was to increase cooperation
between the departments and ready them for the upcoming New Year holiday
Chiang Mai’s Governor Amornpan Nimanant has requested that the relevant
organizations monitor against violations of the Alcohol Beverage Control
Act, install traffic cones and signs warning of the danger of road accidents
at 75 dangerous spots in 24 districts, and prevent large vehicles from
entering steep roads such as the road to Doi Suthep. He also suggested that
out-of-towners travel with locals who are more familiar with directions if
“Chiang Mai hopes to see the number of road accident decrease from last year
by 5%,” Last year, over the 7 dangerous days of the New Year holidays,
December 29 to Janauary 4, Chiang Mai Province had 2,375 injuries with 339
accidents daily There were 33 fatalities and traffic accidents were the
principal cause of death, with 82 percent dying as a consequence.
Red Cross Fair to host Miss Chiang Mai 2010
Boonlert Buranupakorn, President of Chiang Mai
Administrative Organization (5th from left), Governor Amornpan Nimanant (6th
from left), Chalermsak Suranan, Director of TAT Chiang Mai Office (7th from
left) with the Miss Chiang Mai 2010 contestants.
The annual Red Cross Fair will be the scene of the next Miss Chiang
Mai contest it was announced by Amornpan Nimanant, Chiang Mai’s Governor,
Boonlert Buranupakorn, President of Chiang Mai Administrative Organization,
and Chalermsak Suranan, Director of Chiang Mai Office TAT on December 22.
Contestants for Miss Chiang Mai 2010 will compete for 100,000 baht, a
diamond crown, a trophy, a sash, and other prizes as well as to represent
Chiang Mai in social events and activities held during the year. Everyone is
invited to see the grand opening performance and support the beauty queens
in the first round of the pageant on January 2, the second round on January
3, and the final round on January 5 at the temporary stage set up at the
annual Thai Red Cross event.
Two Northern schools to receive new dormitories courtesy
of the Japanese government
Mrs Junko Yakata, of the Chiang Mai Japanese
and Ms. Wilaiwan Phiriyakit, Director of the Bankadwittayakorn school
in Mae Wang, show the signed agreement for the funding
of the construction of new dormitories at the school.
Text by Japanese Consul General in Chiang Mai
Bankadwittayakom School in Mae Wang District , Chiang Mai and
Sila-laeng School in Pua District, Nan Province will be the beneficiaries of
the Japanese government program Grassroots Human Security Projects Scheme
(GGP) which will provide funds to build dormitories for children from
outlying districts who need accommodation in order to be able to attend
school. In an agreement signed by Mrs. Junko Yokota, Consul-General of Japan
in Chiang Mai and Ms. Wilaiwan Phiriyakrit, Director of Bankadwittayakom
School, the GGP pledged 3,322,000 baht for dormitories in Mae Wang. On the
same day, Mrs. Junko and Mr. Phumiphan Prarom, Director of Sila-laeng School
signed an agreement where the GGP pledged up to 3,163,000 baht for the
construction project in Nan.
Bankadwittayakom School, serving more than 600 students, is the only public
secondary school which covers both lower- and upper-secondary education in
Mae Wang District, Chiang Mai. As a result, the school accepts students from
neighboring districts as well. Currently, more than 25 percent of the
students stay at dormitories in or near the school. Although the school has
two dormitories for female students, it has no dormitories for male students
and they stay separately in small and decrepit quarters for teachers instead
of students’ dormitories.
Sila-laeng School provides kindergarten and primary education to 238
students from 8 villages in the Sila-laeng sub district and 6 other
districts in Nan, Phayao and Chiang Rai. Many of the students are from
remote hill tribe villages and about 50% of the student body requires on
site housing. The school already has 6 dormitories but they are overcrowded
In response to requests from both schools, the Government of Japan and the
GGP agreed to provide funds for the construction of dormitories to provide
students not only with a safe and clean living environment but an
appropriate learning environment as well. It is expected that the
dormitories will enable easier access to secondary education for students,
especially for minorities and those from low income households living in
mountainous areas. Moreover, it will bring them greater options for advanced
education and employment after leaving school. Fore more information
regarding the GGP projects please contact Mr. Sato, Consul General or Ms.
Hoshii and Mr Tsuda, GGP coordinators. 053-203-267.
Fa Ham cleans up
for the New Year
Mayor Preecha Worakul directs the clean up of Fa
Out with the old and in with the new, as the traditional New Year’s
saying goes. Fa Ham Municipality took the opportunity of welcoming in the
New Year with a new start by cleaning up public spaces. About 80 officials
and workers from Fa Ham Municipality spent the 4 days from December 21
trimming trees and plants, repairing advertising billboards and road lamps,
and cleaning up public places like markets, temples, schools and the roads.
Preecha Worakul, Mayor of Fa Ham Municipality organized the activity and
said that he hoped that getting residents of Fa Ham to help in this would
show them the need to take pride in the appearance of their homes and towns
by keeping them clean and safe. He added that this would be a good welcome
to tourists coming to Fa Ham for the New Year celebrations.
Ban Phae Yan in the MaeTha district of Lamphun won the award for
most outstanding Lamphun village of 2009 because the local villagers had
made a concerted effort to not only keep their village safe and clean but
also, by following H.M. the King’s sufficiency economy principles, was
entirely debt free.
Governor Dr. Direkkoch Panakonkleeb inspects handicrafts in the village of
Ban Don Luang while members of the delegation look on. Ban Don Luang is well
known for offering home stay holidays for tourists.
Lamphun Governor Dr. Direkkoch Panakonkleeb was on hand to welcome Asst.
Prof. Dr. Maythisa Pongsaksri, of King Prajadhipok’s Institute which
conducted the survey of Lamphun to find the best villages.
The Governor then went to Ban Rai Noi, in Pa Sang district, who won the
award for best garbage and recycling management. Villagers instituted a
Recyclable Waste Bank in honor H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 80th birthday.
Finally, the group visited the village of Ban Don Luang, to visit the
handicraft center there and see the exhibition of the history of weaving.
Ban Don Luang is well known for offering home stay holidays for tourists.
Representatives of King Prajadhipok’s Institute collected the data on
Lamphun villages in order to determine the winner of “Best Village” and plan
to further analyze more villages throughout the country in order to reward
successful villages with “Best Village” awards.
Prem Center Fundraises for Local School’s Field Trip to Doi Inthanon
The Prem Center Visiting Schools Program staff members from Prem
Tinsulanonda International School are taking the Nongplaman village
prathom school under their wing by raising funds for a two-day overnight
trip to Doi Inthanon for the students. The small Thai school will be
sending thirty-seven Year Six and Seven students with three of their
staff on the trip in January 2010. The Visiting Schools Program (VSP) is
a department within The Prem Center that hosts student groups visiting
Northern Thailand. VSP facilitates outdoor education, community service,
team building, and many other activities for youths aged 9 – 18 years
old. International schools from countries all over the world stay on the
Prem Center campus while fulfilling curriculum requirements, which
increasingly include community service projects.
Local Thai schools are usually open to community service projects
particularly in the more rural locations. Support from international
schools, through the VSP, has included building classrooms and bathroom
stalls, painting village buildings, providing stationary, donating shoes
and offering student scholarships. VSP has worked with public schools in
Chiang Dao, Mae Hong Son, Mae Malai, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng and Samoeng.
With the lack of government funding available to schools, particularly
for excursions not covered by classroom activities, VSP hopes to provide
Thai schools with more than just on-site projects by sponsoring annual
trips for under-funded Thai schools in the community.
Through fund raising, VSP staff hopes to provide Nongplaman School with
an overnight trip that includes accommodation, meals, outdoor
activities, science lessons and transportation. The trip to Doi Inthanon
aims to expose Thai students to sites and out-of-school activities that
the school administration cannot provide. Macro-invertebrate lessons and
multiple site-specific studies will be provided in Thai language along
with trekking and a visit to a Karen hill tribe village. The students
will learn about the farming techniques adopted by the local villagers
and how the ecology of the mountain has changed over time. VSP hopes to
provide an invaluable experiential learning opportunity for the
Nongplaman School students.
The Nongplaman School fund raiser has spurred the interest of many
teaching staff and parents on the Prem campus. During the annual
International Day celebration held at The Prem Center, VSP raised over
THB 10,000 through child sponsorship, water bottle and personalised
postcard sales. In addition, many people have made private donations.
VSP still needs to raise more to meet their goal of THB 75,000 for the
students. To make a contribution towards the Nongplaman school’s trip to
Doi Inthanon contact Michael Cumes at [email protected] or call
053 301 500 ext. 5008. Sponsorship of one student costs 1,900 baht.
Likewise, if you have information about a public school that you think
would benefit from a community service project, please contact VSP with
Air Bagan to start direct Yangon-Chiang Mai flights
TAT Director Chalermsak
Suranant,left, and Suranart Chaweesup, center, managing director
of P.BB. Travel Agency Center Co., Ltd. Announce the new direct
flights to Yangon at the Rati Lanna Riverside Spa and Resort
Myanmar owned Air Bagan announced a new service from
Yangon to Chiang Mai, with the first flight taking off on
January 7. The planned schedule has flights two times, on
Thursday and Sunday. Chalermsak Suranant, Director of the Chiang
Mai office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, announced the
planned schedule on December 18 with Suranart Chaweesup,
managing director of P.BB. Travel, Air Bagan’s local
The TAT director believes that the new direct flights will make
it more convenient for Thai and foreign travelers as well as
business people and government officials to travel to Myanmar.
He believes that the international links that Chiang Mai Airport
has to offer will attract more tourists to Myanmar and the
Seminar on Social Security for informal workers
Street vendors, home based, temporary and part time
workers will now be included in the government’s social security
system. Informal workers, as they are known, number as high as
24.1 million people in Thailand and, until now, have not been
covered by the government social security act, Raksak
Chotchaisatit, Inspector for the Social Security Office,
explained at a seminar about informal workers at Lotus Pang Suan
Kaew Hotel on December 22.
Chotchaisatit of the Social Security office, discusses new
welfare benefits for part-time and self employed workers in
Raksak explained that about 14% of the nation’s population, or
about 9.2 million, is either already in the pension system or in
the social security system. Enabling informal workers to join
would also allow them to access benefits and the total would
increase to 13 to 14 million. During 2007 – 2008, the government
made some improvements on social security benefits and subsidy
rates as described in Section 40 of the B.E. 2533 Social
Security Act, aimed at enabling informal workers, such as
home-based workers, entertainment venue workers, taxi drivers,
street vendors, etc, to voluntarily obtain social security. The
government also looked into allowing agriculture and fishery
workers to join the social security system.
Raksak further added that the government revised the Social
Security Act, with approval passing in August, so that the
government will partially subsidize the social security pay-in
for informal workers.
Raksak concluded his speech at the seminar stating, “People
under the “Social Safety Net” and “Social Protection” will
increase from 9 million to 24.1 million when the plan to expand
social security to cover informal workers is completed.
Ministry of Energy launches new energy conservation program
for government offices
Suthep Liumsirijarern, Deputy
Director of the General of the Department of Alternative Energy,
joins with local officials to promote energy conservation and
education in energy issues in government office buildings.
A new program to promote energy savings for government
offices has been launched as part of the government’s 15-year
alternative energy policy which aims to increase the country’s
use of alternative energy to 20% by 2022. The new program,
introduced to Chiang Mai at the Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel on
December 22 by Suthep Liumsirijarern, Deputy Director General of
Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency, was
developed by the Ministry of Energy to help 800 government and
state enterprise offices to save energy.
Five organizations, including the Energy Conservation Center of
Thailand (ECCT), Arun Chaiseri Consulting Engineers with Green
Earth, Kasetsart University, Energy Conservation Technology and
Innovation Technology have been assigned to advise and guide the
energy saving operations at these offices by providing them with
specialized personnel, the development of human resources
specialized in energy saving promotion, organizing activities to
raise awareness in energy saving among public and state
enterprise officials as well as help improve energy management
of the offices.
Suthep explained that the government had set new requirements
for energy consumption by government offices and that some
offices had been found to lack adequately trained personnel in
energy savings, so that the new program was necessary to help
these offices up to the legal standard set by the government.
Beauty and innovative technology featured at annual Motor Show
Two lovely young woman presenting
autos at the Chiang Mai Motor Show.
Local auto dealers showcased the
at the Chiang Mai Motor Show at the Big C Arena.
Chiang Mai’s own auto show, presided over by Mayor Boonlert
Booranupakorn, opened its 19th event on December 18 at the Big C
Arena Hall and ended on December 27. Showcasing new cars and the
latest innovations in the auto industry, the event, sponsored by
V-Sign Media Company, featured test drives of the latest cars,
with many local auto dealers displaying their wares.
A Car stereo contest, the Off-Road King’s Cup and the Miss
Chiang Mai Motor Show contest offered event goers more to do see
and do than just cars. As in previous years, the lovely car show
presenters were a popular attraction at the motor show.
Seminar educates migrant workers about their rights
Chumporn Saengmanee, Chiang Mai’s
Deputy Governor, 5th from left, receives
a souvenir and takes a photograph with migrant workers at the
The North Labor Network hosted the annual event for
International Migrants Day on December 18. International
Migrants Day was established by the United Nations in 2000 in
honor of the day in 1990 when the U.N. General Assembly adopted
the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of
All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.
The event was aimed at educating migrant workers in Thailand
about their rights. Thai and migrant workers socialized, getting
to know one another better so as to better improve relations
between Thais and migrant workers. The event’s opening was
presided over by Chumporn Saengmanee, Chiang Mai’s Deputy
At the event, representatives of migrant workers in Thailand and
the North Labor Network made 5 requests to the government: that
the government monitor employers and ensure that workers in
Chiang Mai receive the minimum wage of 168 baht according to the
law; that the government enact laws to protect the housemaids
and other personal employees; that the government allow migrant
workers to obtain Workmen’s Compensation and to allow them to
found labor unions or to be members of labor unions: and finally
that the government operate a transparent process when doing
nationality checks of migrant workers and to systematically
manage migrant workers.
Jon, a member of the Shan and President of the Worker Solidarity
Association said, “I hope that the International Migrants Day
event will prompt the protection of rights of migrant workers in
this country, allow them as well as Thai workers to obtain
Road safety campaign launched for the New Year
Bid to reduce traffic fatalities over the ‘7 dangerous days’
Pol. Maj. Gen. Boonmee Somsuk, the
Deputy Commander of Provincial Police Region 5, (5th from left),
Amornpan Nimanant, Chiang Mai’s Governor, (6th from left),
Boonlert Buranupakorn, the President of Chiang Mai
Administrative Organization, (7th from left), Dr. Ken Santitham,
Municipal Clerk of Chiang Mai Municipality, (8th from left),
with representatives from private and government organizations
participating in the campaign.
In a bid to increase awareness and reduce traffic fatalities in
the coming ‘7 dangerous days’ of the New Year holiday, the
Chiang Mai government, Chiang Mai Provincial Administration
Organization (PAO) and the Provincial Police have launched a
campaign to raise public awareness about the dangers of drunk
driving, one of the leading causes of road accidents in this
period, and to promote road safety over the New Year.
Chiang Mai’s Governor, Amornpan Nimanant was on hand at Central
Airport Plaza al with Boonmee Somsuk, Deputy Commander of the
Provincial Police, and Boonlert Buranupakorn, the President of
Chiang Mai Administrative Organization, to launch an education
campaign about the dangers of drunk driving on December 24. The
campaign will run through the 4th of January. The large number
of tourists and returning Thais increases both the traffic and
the danger of accidents during the New Year period.
Police plan to increase vigilance on the roads but also have
called for responsible driving from both tourists and locals.
Last year, a total of 3,824 road accidents with a death toll of
367 occurred during the seven dangerous days during New Year
Man’s body found on the side of the road in Suthep
The body of a convicted car thief was found at the side
of the road in Suthep district on Wednesday, December 23.
Tanawat Kaensa, 37, a Chiang Mai resident, was found with
gunshot wounds to his head. A Toyota car was found nearby with
the engine still running.
People in the area reported to Pol. Lt. Col. Nattapong
Chaichana, Inspector of Phu Ping Police Station that in the
middle of the night they heard voices and the sound of an engine
running followed by gunshots. Someone reported finding the body
to the police in the morning.
Police plan to question the owner of the Bangkok registered
vehicle, Suthep Sinsawaipol, 47. Given the deceased’s criminal
record, police believe that the shooting could have been the
result of an illegal deal gone wrong.
Short circuit suspected cause of fire at Government Savings bank
Firefighters put out a fire believed
to be caused by an electrical short
at the Government Savings Bank in Mae Hong Son on December 20.
By Khajohn Boopath & Jedsadapong Wongkiew
The Mae Sariang branch of the Government Savings Bank in
Mae Hong Son caught on fire in the morning of Sunday, December
20. Local police were informed by a phone call and fire and
police units were dispatched to the scene. The police officer on
duty also called the Provincial Electrical Authority’s local
office to have the electricity to the building shut off in case
the fire was due to an electrical problem.
Firefighters extinguished the second floor blaze within an hour.
Upon entering the four story building they found that the fire
had started at a computer station in the loan section. Employees
of the bank told the investigating officers that it is bank
policy to switch off all computers and electrical equipment
before closing for the weekend.
Nobody was injured in the fire as the bank was closed for the
Sunday and damage costs have not yet been estimated. Police and
fire officials plan to investigate to determine the cause of the
Mae Kha Canal the scene
of a gruesome discovery
The body of a 6 month old male fetus was found wrapped
in a plastic bag in the Mae Kha Canal in Chiang Mai’s Muang
district, near a bus station on December 24. . Saokaew Yunkerd,
head of the bus station, told Pol. Lt. Col. Decha Paohom,
Inspector of Chang Phuak Police Station, that he had noticed the
bag in the water a couple of days ago but couldn’t see what was
inside due to the murky water of the canal. He said today the
bag had floated higher and he could then see the fetus inside.
He called over other bus drivers to confirm and then called the
Forensic doctors from Maharaj Nakorn Hospital accompanied the
police to the scene. It is believed that the body could have
been aborted and thrown in the canal. Police plan to find the
mother for prosecution.
Illegally harvested teak found in Pang Moo, Mae Hong Son
Acting on a tip off that local officials, together with
a local wood dealer, have hired Karen from a nearby refugee camp
to process illegally harvested teak, Lek Wongsa, head of the Mae
Hong Son Deforestation Control Office and 50 others from the 9th
Infantry Regiment Task Force, the Patrol Police Company 336 and
Mae Hong Son forestry officials raided a protected area in Pang
Moo in Mae Hong Son.
bundled belongings of one of the workers left behind when police
raided the forest area for illegal teak harvesting in Mae Hong
Son's Pang Moo sub-district.
10 Karen were spotted processing illegal teak but escaped into
the forest when pursued. At that site they found about 40 pieces
of processed wood as well as a large number of logs waiting
processing into lumber. Documents and clothing belonging to the
workers that had been left behind confirmed that they were from
the nearby refugee camp. Officials then searched the area and
found another 100 processed teak logs awaiting transport.
Mae Hong Son Deforestation Control officials have learned that
trucks carrying the illegally harvested teak managed to pass
through both forestry volunteer checkpoints and the police
checkpoint at San Sob every day as the teak was delivered to a
house in Ban Mai Nai Soi.
of the processed teak wood found to have been illegally
harvested and processed in the raid on the protected forests
near Pang Moo in Mae Hong Son.
Mae Hong Son Deforestation Control officials speculated that the
gang in charge of illegally harvesting teak had moved to Pang
Moo after their operations near Nam Piang Din village had been
shut down. The illegally harvesting of teak has been ongoing in
the area for at least three months. Trails leading to the nearby
refugee camp indicate that wood was taken there after
The officials plan to request a search warrant for the refugee
camp from Prasert Osatapan, District Chief Officer of Mae Hong
Son Muang District.. The District Office has previously refused
entry to the camp by the police searching for stolen
motorcycles. The motorcycle thief told the police that he had
sold many motorcycles to the camp but the District Office
refused to issue a search warrant for fear of causing unrest
among the refugees. Deforestation Control officials state that
if they cannot get a warrant from the District Office they will
request one from the Ministry of the Interior.