HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presides over funeral rites of
National Artist Narong Wongsawan
HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn lights
a sandal wood flower before placing it in the funeral pyre.
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn graciously presided over
the funeral rites of Narong Wongsawan the legendary and beloved National
Artist at the San Ku Lek Cemetery in Chiang Mai on January 18.
Amornphan Nimanant Governor of Chiang Mai along with a contingent of civil
servants and members of the public, were on hand to receive her as she
arrived to preside over the royally sponsored funeral ceremonies.
Narong Wongsawan was born on May 20, 1914 in Chai Nat province and after
completing his studies worked as a journalist for various newspapers writing
columns and reviews. He was also a respected screenwriter.
As ‘Rong’ Wongsawan, his nom de plume, he wrote many short stories. His
style of writing was unique and he usually told stories of his own life
experiences. He used old fashioned words to tell modern stories.
He was named National Artist in 1995 for his contribution to the furthering
of knowledge and preservation of Thai literature.
He died on March 15, 2009 at the age of 77 in Chiang Mai.
The cremation ceremony of Rong Wongsawan
was a somber yet magnificent affair.
Chiang Mai to begin beautifying program
Electric cables to go underground on Tha Pae and Chang Klan Roads
Chiang Mai City Municipal Council met to discuss the planned
preparations to move power cables underground on Tha Pae Rd. and Chang Klan
Rd. Chiang Mai Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn announced on January 19, that the
planned start date is set for April of this year.
He added that they hope to finish the job by the middle of the year and
remove not only power cables and posts but also telephone lines.
He reiterated the importance of making sure all contingencies were taken
into account so as not to interrupt power and phone services for area
residents. He added that meters would need to be moved ahead of time and
that backup generators would be put into place in case of power outages
during the move.
Once the cables are moved underground, the road will need to undergo repairs
and that trees and flowers were planned to add greenery to the city streets.
“With all organizations now in agreement, we plan to start work in April
and, together with the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) plan to finish
this project around midyear.” The Municipal government will be responsible
for water works, man holes and landscaping while the PEA will be responsible
for the installation of the underground cables. The PEA has a budget of 58.6
million baht, and the Municipal Government has received 150 million baht
towards this project.
The underground cables are expected to require lower maintenance and provide
a steadier rate of electricity as they will have less exposure to the
elements and lightning strikes.
The project was initially proposed under former Mayor Boonlert Booranupkorn
but was postponed until the current mayor took his position.
Chiang Mai University hosts video
seminar with noted U.S. academician
Students, academicians and members of the public
attend a video seminar hosted by the U.S. Consul General in Chiang Mai at
Chiang Mai University on January 20.
The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai and Chiang Mai University
held a seminar via the Digital Video Conference (VC) system, on the subject
of the Thai Democratic Status, on January 20 with a presentation by the U.S.
academic, Professor Robert Albritton of the University of Mississippi, whose
focus has long been on Thai politics. A former lecturer in Chiang Mai and
the Prince of Songkhla University, Professor Albritton, discussed political
theory and its applications to the Thai political process.
Students, local civic leaders, academics and the general public were invited
to participate in the video conference, discussing social contract theory as
proposed by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. Professor Albritton quoted John
Locke in the context of the current political crisis, stating that while
democracy will always have conflicts, it is not the democratic way to
“When discussing the Thai Constitution, the supreme law (constitutional law)
of the country must express the people’s goodwill,” Dr. Albrittton remarked,
and commented that while the Thai Constitution of 1997 was a good one, there
were still conflicts about it among the people of Thailand.
“Particularly, those weak parts of the Constitution need to be reformed as
this is the main issue that has lead to the conflicts among different
interest groups that want to change the Constitution”, he noted.
Egrets make a stunning
site in Phayao
Thousands of white egrets are flocking to Phayao Lake in their annual cool
season migration. The Department of Phayao Community Development urges
locals and tourists alike to view the spectacular scene in the early evening
Yuthaphum Namwong of the Department of Phayao Community Development added
that the best area to view the sunset and the egrets glowing white in the
dusk is from near Khundech Bridge in Ban Tom. This annual event is enjoyed
by birders, nature lovers and tourists alike for not only the stunning
images of thousands of egrets on the lake but also the beautiful scenery of
the area. (PRD)
Help Lhin Ping help Thailand’s
elephants; buy a Lhin Ping t-shirt
Zoo mascots join in to announce the new program
to raise money for elephants by selling Lhin Ping t-shirts.
The Zoological Park Organization of Thailand is now offering panda
fans to the opportunity to join the Lhin Ping Happy Family by buying a Lhin
Ping t-shirt and at the same time, help Thai elephants. 300 lucky families
who buy t-shirts will get the chance to take their photo (not more than 4
people per family) with Lhin Ping and the panda family. The proceeds of the
Lhin Ping Happy Family t-shirts will go to help Thailand’s elephants and to
develop the Royally sponsored Elephant Kingdom Park in Surin Province. The
park is a refuge for Thai elephants and plans to dig two new water wells to
provide irrigation for crops for the elephants. Choose from three t-shirt
types and send your preference on a post card (with return address) to Panda
Show Center Chiang Mai Zoo 100 Huay Kaew Rd. Doi Suthep, Muang district
Chiang Mai province 50200.
The lucky winners will be announced in April, May and June and all proceeds
will support the “Bring the Elephant Back Home” royally sponsored project.
Dr .Sophon Dhamnui the director-general of the Zoological Park said animal
friends can help each other, like the Lhin Ping Happy Family Project so that
the pandas can help Thai elephants.
Creative Economy conference to address Northern Thailand’s IT economy
U.S. Consul General Michael K. Morrow and Chiang Mai Deputy
Governor Pairote Saengphuwong announce an international conference to be
held in Chiang Mai on February 18-19 at the Shangri La Hotel titled
“North Thailand’s Creative Economy conference: Opportunities and
Challenges in IT Sector”.
Organizations associated with the conference include the Chiang Mai
Chamber of Commerce, Chiang Mai University Department of Computer
Engineering, and the Public Relations Office Region 3 Chiang Mai.
Consul General Michael K. Morrow, left, and Chiang Mai Deputy Governor
Chumporn Saengmanee announce the upcoming Creative Economy Seminar to
be held February 18 and 19 at the Shangri-La Hotel.
Michael K. Morrow, U.S. Consul General, stated that the conference will
be one of the many events held over the next year in celebration of the
Consulate’s 60th anniversary in Chiang Mai. The conference is aimed at
attracting investment into the IT industry of northern Thailand. This
will help strengthen and diversify the Northern economy which is heavily
reliant on the seasonal industries of tourism and agricultural.
According to Choomporn Saengmanee, Chiang Mai Deputy Governor, Chiang
Mai offers an array of excellent public, private, and educational
resources for the IT sector to tap into. In hosting the conference, the
U.S. Consulate intends to enhance the image of northern Thailand as a
regional IT hub.
The Conference’s key note speakers will be U.S. Ambassador Eric G. John
and Deputy Minister of Commerce Alongkorn Ponlaboot. Conference
participants will include local, national, and international
representatives from the government, private, and academic sectors
including; IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, TTC Technology, Mycos Technologies,
Creative Kingdom Animation, Jimmy Software, Software Park Thailand,
NECTEC, TOT, and TT&T. The conference will provide bilingual translation
service (Thai –English) for conference participants. For more details
about the conference and registration, please visit
Pang Oong Park restrictions lifted as peak of high season passes
Mae Hong Son has revoked the need for tourists to register for
passes for their cars at the Mae Hong Son Folk Arts and
Handicrafts Center to enter Pang Oong Park. Now that the high
tourist season has passed, the restrictions are no longer
necessary. Prior to that, tourists needed to register their cars
and reserve a room and no more than 450 were allowed per day so
as to reduce the strain on resources of this popular
destination. For those that did not wish to stay, they were
required to park at Ban Na Pha Phaek and take the community
minibus in an effort to reduce the stress on natural resources
large numbers of tourists bring. Pang Oong Park or Ban Ruam Thai
as it is known, is a highly popular eco tourism destination
famous for its natural scenery, pristine waterfalls and famous
tea plantations. (PRD)
Myanmar-Mae Hong Son in free trade talks
The Mae Hong Son Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of
Commerce officials and officials from Myanmar held free trade
agreement talks on January 25 and 26 in an effort to increase
cross border trade and investment and to enable ASEAN agreements
with Mae Hong Son. The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Alongkorn
Polabutre, attended the first meeting in Mae Hong Son’s City
Hall on the 25th and the Thai Chamber of Commerce attended the
event on the 26th at the Golden Pai Resort in Mae Hong Son. The
Director General of the Myanmar Trade Department, the Director
of the Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and the Director of the
Chamber of Commerce for Loikho, Mandalay and Tongyee as well as
business associates participated in the meetings to increase
cross border trade.
Nok Mini opens new Chiang Mai-Udon Thani route
The inaugural flight of Nok Mini
Airline’s Chiang Mai – Udon Thani route departed Chiang Mai on
January 17, 2010.
Japanese government to fund
projects in Lampang and Chiang Mai
Mrs. Junko Yokota, Japanese Consul
General Chiang Mai and Mrs. Amnoauyporn Jirakoon, President of
the Mission for Tribal People Foundation sign an agreement to
fund the construction of a day care center and dormitories for
Hill Tribe children in San Sai, Chiang Mai.
Lampang’s Organic Agriculture organization is set to receive
grant assistance from the Grassroots Human Security Projects
Scheme (GGP) to the amount of 3,012,000 baht. Junko Yokota of
the Japanese Consul General Chiang Mai signed an agreement to
that effect with Kannika Kuankajorn, Director of the Thai
Volunteer Service Foundation on January 20, 2010 at the Japanese
Consul General Chiang Mai office.
The Thai Volunteer Service Foundation plans to build a training
center and accommodation for those interested in organic
agriculture in Ngao, Lampang, stating that area residents had
shown great interest in using organic techniques.
The next project to be approved was the construction of day care
and dormitories for Hill Tribe children in San Sai, Chiang Mai”
by the GGP which pledged 3,175,500 baht towards the construction
and agreed between Junko Yokota and Amnoauyporn Jirakoon,
President of the Mission for Tribal People Foundation.
The Foundation wants to build a day care center and dormitories
for the children of working Hill Tribe parents in the San Sai
district thus allowing the children further social and
educational development. The building will consist of a day care
center on the first floor and dormitory accommodation for boys
on the second, most of the being orphans and prone to
mistreatment if left to fend for themselves.
Travel agents from around the North attend tourism meeting
Sarawut Sae-Tiaw, President of
the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association (3rd from L) and Mr. Worapong
Moohchowtai President of Development and Marketing, Chiang Mai Tourism
Business Association (4th from L) and a committee member of the Chiang Mai
Tourism Business Association at the event on January 18.
The Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association held its first meeting
of 2010 with more than 300 travel agents from 17 provinces in the Northern
region attending the event at. Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel on January 18.
Wansadej Tawornsuk, Deputy Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
(TAT) gave the keynote speech discussing tourism development in the north,
with Wittaya Klongsup, Secretary of the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce also
speaking on the future of Chiang Mai. Photo contest winners were announced
from the Yee Peng Lanna Chiang Mai contest and awards were handed out for
outstanding members of the association.
Worapong Moohchowtai, President of Marketing for the Chiang Mai Tourism
Business Association discussed future projects in development such as the
Caravan Road Show R3a Road in March from the 13th to the 19th, which will
target attracting tourists from China to use Chiang Mai as a base for
exploring the region.
Miss Bo Sang Umbrella Festival crowned
A student from Chiang Mai Rajabhat University won Miss
Thida Rom Bo Sang or Miss Umbrella, at the 27th beauty contest
held on January 17 in San Kamphaeng, Chiang Mai. The beauty
pageant was held at the annual Bo Sang Umbrella and Handicraft
Festival in Bo Sang.
Umbrella Festival Phakaprai Sukham wears her crown after winning
This year, Miss Phakaprai Sukham, 22, a student in the Tourism
and Hospitality Department of Chiang Mai Rajabhat University
crowned Miss Umbrella; she also won Miss Sweetheart by popular
The first-runner up was Miss Watcharawan Dechanuphanont, a
student from the Mass Communications Department of Payap
University, the second-runner up was Miss Thalatchanant Pimchan,
a student of General Agriculture at Chiang Mai University. The
third runner up was Miss Warunee O-Chawat, a student from the
Management Science Department of the Rajamangkala University of
Technology Lanna, Chiang Mai, while the fourth runner up was
Miss Darin Suwannut, a student from the Geology Department of
Chiang Mai University.
Miss Umbrella Festival winner
Phakaprai Sukham poses with
the runners up at the conclusion of the Miss Umbrella beauty
Chiang Mai Tourist Police launch swine flu information campaign
Chiang Mai Tourist Police, together
with the Tourist Police Mascot handed out free antiseptic hand
gel and face masks in a new campaign to promote awareness of
H1N1 influenza prevention measures among tourists in Chiang Mai.
The campaign, organized by the Chiang Mai Provincial
Administrative Organization and Chiang Mai Provincial Public
Health Office in coordination with the Tourist Police, included
stage performances and educational exhibits at the Three Kings
Monument on January 17.
Chiang Mai Governor appeals to residents for donations to Haiti earthquake victims
Amornphan Nimanant, Governor of Chiang Mai, called on
Chiang Mai residents, local organizations and the Thai Red Cross
Society of Chiang Mai to help the millions of Haitians left
homeless, hungry and injured after the devastating earthquake in
Mai Governor Amornphan Nimanant calls for local residents to
donate to help people in Haiti.
To facilitate donations, they can be made by area residents at
the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Office, accounting
department, City Hall Chiang Mai Chotana Rd. A. Muang Chiang Mai
or at the Thai Red Cross Society of Chiang Mai 196 Rasapakinai
Rd. T. Sri Phum A. Muang Chiang Mai or by transfer to “Red Cross
Chiang Mai” savings account no. 390-4 -21918-9 Bangkok Bank
,Chang Pruek branch and send the slip which your name, surname,
phone number to Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Office,
Factory owner netted
in large drugs haul
980,000 yabaa pills found
The owner of an orange processing plant was arrested on
January 20 after local police received a tip off that a large
shipment of drugs from Fang was expected to be sent to Bangkok
from the factory. A police raid on the factory yielded 980,000
yabaa tablets hidden in baskets ready for shipment. Surapin
Suponsophon, 54, the owner of the plant located in Baan Huai
Moung, was arrested by police for drug trafficking but denied
all knowledge of the drugs.
Suponsophon was arrested after 980,000 yabaa pills were found in
her orange packing plant.
Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Pairote Saengphuwong announced that
it was one of the biggest drug arrests in Chiang Mai and that
cooperation between all departments had resulted in the arrest,
with a hope to further track down the drug trafficking network.
He added that the details of any concerned citizens offering
information that leads to arrests will be held in complete
confidence by the authorities.
Health Department fears increased severity in second round of swine flu
Swine flu or the H1N1 flu virus has seen an increase of
8-10 patients being admitted to hospital every week in Chiang
Mai with a total of 6 deaths. The rate in the city has
maintained a steady rate through prevention and treatment.
However, Dr. Surasigha Wisrutrat, Deputy Director of the Chiang
Mai Department of Health, expressed concern that the spread of
the virus in the areas outside of the city would continue to
grow as people on the outskirts and suburbs of the city were
less likely to go to the doctor to have their illnesses treated.
Surasigha Wisrutrat, of the Chiang Mai Health Department, gives
the latest update on swine flu in Chiang Mai.
The Health Department started giving flu vaccinations for those
in high risk groups at Nakornping Hospital on January 11. The
Health department estimates there are 2.8 million people at high
risk across the country with over 4000 of those in Chiang Mai.
Dr. Surasingha will target those in high risk groups for the
vaccination, with a total of 57,560 people. Doctors, nurses and
public health staff, pregnant women over 3 months, obese and
disabled people, those with congenital diseases such as Chronic
Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Asthma, Stroke, Renal failure,
Cancer patient receiving chemotherapy, Thalassemia,
Immunodeficiency and Diabetes are among those considered high
However, the Health Department found that many people in high
risk groups did not come for the first round of vaccinations
through either lack of information or a fear of side effects.
However, unless allergic to the vaccination side effects have
Major drug haul of key component in ya ice manufacture in Chiang Rai
Peerapol Saelee of Chiang Rai was
arrested with pseudoephedrine,
a key component in the manufacture of ya ice on January 13.
986,500 pseudoephedrine pills were confiscated by the
Pha Muang Task Force and military rangers from the 3rd and 2nd
Cavalry Regiments in Baan Khao Sai in Chiang Rai on January 13.
Acting on a tip off that the drug, used to make ya ice, was
being smuggled in bulk over the border, police stopped a pickup
truck driven by Mae Sai resident Peerapol Saelee, 33, and found
the pills hidden in a bag in the truck. The value of the drugs
could be as high as 7 million baht. Mr. Peerapol was taken to
the Mae Sai police station to be charged with drug smuggling.
Speaker’s Corner at Prem
Vianna Unland talks about the perils
of global warming and the need for action in her speech at
Speaker’s Corner at Prem International School
Students at Prem Tinsulanonda International School practice
their speech making skills at the Speaker’s Corner on campus on
January 22. The ten and eleven year old students chose their
topics and formulated their speeches, practicing for some time
before speaking at the square in front of the auditorium.. Prem
International School encourages social responsibility among its
students and this was displayed in the topics chosen, with
students emphasizing global warming, species extinction and the
logging of rainforests.