Plans for permanent border checkpoint at Ton Noon, Mae Hong Son
Phitsanu Thepthong & Supoj Thiamyoj
Alongkorn Polbutre, Deputy Minister of Commerce announced that the
border pass at Ban Ton Noon in Tambon Mae Ngao, Khun Yuam District, will be
upgraded to a permanent border check point, linking the Khun Yuam district
of Thailand and Mae Chae district of Myanmar. The Deputy Minister, the Mae
Hong Son Governor Kamthorn Thawornsathit, General Boonyarit Kalayanamit of
the Department of Trade Negotiations and the Mae Hong Son Chamber of
Commerce President Supoj Klinpraneet met with Aung Soe Thein, the Director
of the Department of Border Trade for Myanmar in Yangon between January 24
Free trade agreement talks were also held in Mae Hong Son in an effort to
increase cross border trade, tourism and investment projects and to enable
ASEAN agreements with Mae Hong Son.
The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Alongkorn Polbutre also attended the first
meeting in Mae Hong Son with the Director General of the Myanmar Trade
Department, the Director of the Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and the Director
of the Chamber of Commerce. Members of the business community also
participated in the meetings to seek cooperation on increasing cross border
trade and tourism.
After the meeting the group travelled to the Ton Noon border pass on the
Thai-Myanmar border. Once open, the border checkpoint would link Mae Hong
Son’s Khun Yuam district with Myanmar towns like Toungoo, Pray and the
coastal town of Thandwe, deputy minister Alongkorn said.
“From Khun Yuam district own to Ban Ton Noon border pass is about 30
kilometers, and then from the Thai-Myanmar border checkpoint to Toungoo town
in Myanmar is about another 200 kilometers”, he added.
The meeting and border inspection is regarded as the first step of the plan
to improve relations between Myanmar and Mae Hong Son province and is in
line with Thai government policy, following last year’s official visit of
the deputy minister Alongkorn to Myanmar. The government aims to open more
border crossings with a hope to increase trade and tourism between Mae Hong
Son and Myanmar.
Department of Livestock chief injured in accident in motorcade of
HRH Princess Sirindhorn
The Director General of the Livestock
Department, Preecha Somboonprasert and Nara Lanowittaya, the Director of
Phitsanulok’s Informal Education department both suffered broken bones after
their vehicle went off the road and into the ravine on January 22, both were
airlifted to the to Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital.
Photos courtesy of NBT TV
The Director General of the Livestock Department, Preecha Somboonprasert and
Nara Lanowittaya, the Director of Phitsanulok’s Informal Education
department both suffered broken bones when the vehicle they were traveling
went off the road and into a ravine on January 22. The car, part of HRH
Princecss Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s motorcade, fell into the ravine after
traversing a narrow and steep dirt road. The driver, Worapoj Tiewkul and
Apichat Jeerawut, Secretary General of Informal Education were also injured
and all four victims were airlifted to Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital by
helicopter at the request of HRH Princess Sirindhorn.
HRH Princess Sirindhorn and the group were on the way to visit the Mae Fah
Luang Hill Tribes Education Center at Ban Pituki in Om Koi when the accident
Community based tourism in Chiang Mai’s new Galyani Vadhana District
Chalermsak Suranan, Director of TAT Chiang Mai
of the Travel Agent Group of Ban Wat Chan Galyani Vadhana district.
Chiang Mai’s newest district, Galyani Vadhana, is the focus for
Chiang Mai’s community based tourism model as furthered by the Tourism
Authority of Thailand (TAT). Community based tourism at Wat Chan in Galyani
Vadhana District was promoted by the director of TAT Chiang Mai, Chalermsak
Suranan at Chiang Mai University’s Center for the Promotion of Arts and
Culture on January 23.
Community based tourism (CBT) is the concept that unique and authentic
tourist experiences which support community development and conservation are
developed and marketed to responsible travelers. The community organizations
become the manager and operator of the community’s own tourism resources
providing not only themselves with a sense of achievement and worth in their
own culture but provide tourists with unique cultural experiences in a
socially and environmentally responsible way.
Wat Chan is located in Chiang Mai’s newest district, Galyani Vadhana created
in memory of HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana, Princess of Naradhivas. The
village is the focus of an effort to promote eco tourism in the district
using community based tourism as a way to educate tourists about the way of
life of the local villagers but to also bring villagers into the tourism
process and make them more empowered in their own promotion.
Noted research biologist to speak about the sacred lotus
at the Prince Royal’s College
By Jack.C. Neale
Noted senior scientist and research biologist, Jane Shen-Miller,
will speak on The Exceptional Longevity of Fossil Seeds of the Sacred Lotus,
Nelumbo Nucifera-Survival of the Fittest at the Prince Royal’s College,
Harris Institute Auditorium on February 8, at 10.00 a.m.
In 1996, Shen-Miller and her team traveled to the village of Xipaozi in
Pulandian , Liaoning province, China, to search fro ancient lotus seeds.
They collected 20 seeds from lotus fruits recovered from an ancient lotus
“The cultivation of offspring from old seeds radiocarbon dated at between
200 and 500 years of age is a first in plant biology,” she said.
An international team led by UCLA scientists has germinated lotus seeds
nearly 500 years old from lotus fruits recovered from an ancient lake in
northern China. All four of the lotus seeds that were tested for viability
germinated; however, all showed abnormalities, particularly in their leaves,
stalks and underground stems.
Shen-Miller said that all soils are radioactive. The soil the lotus seeds
were found in emits low doses of potentially harmful, mutation-causing
radiation, which she said” most likely” is the cause of the abnormalities
that are similar to those in other plants irradiated experimentally.
Regardless of the abnormalities , the long-term low dose radiation does not
affect lotus seed germination; they still sprout. This research represents
the longest natural experiment of low-dose radiation ever recorded, and the
first time scientists have seen examples of the effects of radiation
exposure over centuries.
Research on the lotus seeds may have important implications for aging in
other organisms, she said, believing that the lotus must have a powerful
genetic system to repair germination defects arising from hundreds of years
“The lotus is so robust that it can sprout after centuries of exposure to
low-dose gamma radiation,” Shen-Miller said. “We need to learn about its
repair mechanism, and about its biochemical, physiological, and molecular
properties. The repair mechanisms in the lotus would be very useful if they
could be transferred to crops, such as rice, corn and wheat, whose seeds
have life spans of only a few years.”
Jane Shen-Miller is senior scientist at the Center for the Study of
Evolution and the Origin of Life, and a research biologist for the
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California,
Los Angeles. She received her undergraduate education at Washington State of
University, and her Ph. D., in horticulture and botany, at Michigan State
After serving as Botanist in plant physiology and radiation biology at
Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois, she was Associate Director of the
Metabolic Biology Program of the U.S. National Science Foundation,
Washington, DC, and Research Chemist (Department of Chemistry and
Biochemistry) and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research at UCLA.
An active contributor to studies of plant hormones, space biology, and the
developmental and physiochemical biology of the seeds of the Sacred Lotus,
Nelumbo nucifera, she has authored 180 scientific papers. Additionally, she
is a published poet and has recently edited a major work (My Two Years in
Nanking, Reminiscences of Inyeening Shen; Universe: NY, 2009) in which her
mother recounts the years of 19467-48 when her father, Dr. Shen Yi, was
Mayor of Nanking, the Nationalist capital of China.
An elected member of national science honors societies and a Charter Member
of the American Society of Gravitational and Space Biology, the American
Society of Photobiology, and the Association of Women in Science, she has
served on major committees and the editorial board of the American Institute
of Biological Sciences, the Association of Women in Science, the American
Society of Plant Physiologists and the Botanical Society of America.
SIPA training Syslog free!
For the government sector
The Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA) announced free Syslog
training for those in the government sector at a seminar to be held on
February 8 and 9 at the Conference Room at the Chiang Mai Far Eastern
Laohawisuth Manager Assistant of Software Industry Promotion Agency (Public
Organization)/SIPA Chiang Mai branch announced the seminar for free Syslog
training to be held on February 8-9, 2010 at Conference Room at Chiang Mai
Far Eastern University.
SIPA will hold training in “SRAN Road Show & Security Solution” with the
main target to promote and support the government’s use of open source
software and ensure that government offices are not in violation of the
Officials are required to follow certain procedures and have certain
qualifications in order to attend; however, the seminar is free of charge
for up to 30 officials. Each must bring their own laptop and must have
knowledge of data accumulation and open source software.
Chiang Mai Mail Vol IX No. 4 January 26-Febraury 1, published in the
page 1 story about Narong Wongsawan’s funeral ceremony that Narong
Wongsawan was born on May 20, 1914. In fact, he was born on May 20,
In the same edition in the story about Japanese funding for a day care
center, it was printed that Mrs. Amnoauporn Jirakoon, President of the
Mission for Tribal people Foundation signed the agreement to fund the
construction of a day care center, and also Kannika Kuankajorn, Director
of the Thai Volunteer Service Foundation when in fact, it was Mrs.
Amnuayporn Jirakun, Chairperson of the Integrated Ministries for Ethnic
Minorities Foundation and Ms. Kannika Kuankachorn, Director of the Thai
Volunteer Service Foundation (TVS).
Mae Chaem announces the
17th Tin Chok Woven Arts Festival
Wichitra Langsan, Mae Chaem’s
District Officer, announced the upcoming woven arts festival at
the Mae Chaem District Office, featuring weaving demonstrations,
performances, a parade and the Miss Tin Chok beauty contest.The
festival will run from February 5 to 7.
Mae Chaem District plans to celebrate its 17th festival
promoting the art of the uniquely woven Tin Chok, the
intricately woven hem pieces of the Pha Sin, or sarong. The art
of making Tin Chok is handed down from generation to generation
and Mae Chaem is famous for its unique and intricate Tin Chok
Wichitra Langsan, Mae Chaem’s District Officer, described the
upcoming festival at the Mae Chaem District Office, it will
feature weaving demonstrations, hill tribe performances, a
parade and the Miss Tin Chok beauty contest. The festival runs
from February 5 to 7 at the Mae Chaem District Office.
Chiang Mai Big Bike Riders head for the 2nd Bangkok Motorbike Festival 2010
Kick off for the bike ride to
Bangkok, hosted by Chalermsak Suranant, Director of Tourism
Authority of Thailand Chiang Mai, for the participants of the
Chiang Mai big Bike Riders, at Khum Khantok Palace on January
TAT’s Chiang Mai Office
Big Bike riders started from Chiang Mai on January 24 to
ride to Bangkok to join the 2nd Bangkok Motorbike Festival 2010.
Former Director of Bangkok’s Mass Rapid Transit Authority and
big bike enthusiast Prapat Jongsanguan joined a former Bangkok
gubernatorial candidate, press from American Iron, Rider
Magazine and Ayres magazine, both of the U.S.A and members of
the Harley Club of Japan in the ride through Thailand’s
countryside from Chiang Mai.
The event started in style with Chalermsak Suranant, Director of
Tourism Authority of Thailand, and Chiang Mai Office presenting
Thailand’s newest signature cocktails “Siam Sunray” to the
Riders started from Chiang Mai and drove through Doi Ang Khang
to Chiang Rai, then on to Sukhothai and Nakhon Sawan to arrive
in Bangkok in time for the grand opening of the 2nd Bangkok
Motorbike Festival 2010 held at Central World Plaza by Amalgamm
Illumination Ltd on January 28.
2 members of stage crew for Fon
Thanasunthon killed in truck accident
A 6 wheel truck belonging to the stage crew of folk
singer Fon Thanasunthon overturned on a sharp curve in the early
hours of January 26 on Highway 108 near Mae La Noi, killing two
members of the team.
6 wheel truck that overturned on a sharp curve in the early
hours of January 26 on Highway 108 Mae Hong Son - Chiang Mai ,
near Mae La Noi district, killing two members of the stage crew
for Fon Thanasunthon.
Ladda Botradalert, 24 and Montharat Kekhua, 15, were found dead
by local police on their arrival at the scene. The driver,
Nopadon Kekhua, 38 and Marnit Aonart, 22, were both injured in
the accident. The truck carried stage equipment for a series of
shows that Fon Thanasunthon gave at the Red Cross Fair in Mae
Hong Son from January 16 to 25.
The truck was leaving Mae Hong Son for the next show at Rayong
when the accident occurred at 3 a.m., killing the two members of
the crew. Given the early hour of the morning, police suspect
the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel.
Nok Air will replace Thai Airways on the Mae Hong Son – Chiang Mai Route
Thai Airways International announced the cancellation of
its Mae Hong Son – Chiang Mai route, effective March 1, Nok Air
will replace Thai Airways as the provider of service for the
route. Thai Airways holds a 39% stake in Nok Air.
Chokchai Panyayong, vice president of Thai Airways International
for Strategy and Business Development met with Mae Hong Son
Governor Kamthorn Thavornsathit and the President of the Mae
Hong Son Chamber of Commerce Supoj Klinpraneet to discuss the
cancellation. The decision to allow Nok Air to service the route
was the result of negotiations between the parties.
Chockchai said that Thai Airways is letting Nok Air operate on
this route, following the airline’s policy of Two-Brand Strategy
which is aimed at giving service in terms of Premium Services,
transporting international passengers, and flying in to
Thailand’s cities with tourism potential.
“Actually, Thai Airways has to change its strategy for business
operations, because of the economic crisis and recession during
the past year, as well as the effects of bird and swine flu and
the high price of fuel. These are the main factors, and for Thai
Airways to survive the crisis we need to implement restructuring
plans, such as reducing expenses, pay raise reductions and
financial structure adjustment
Supoj Klinpraneet, President of Mae Hong Son Chamber of
Commerce, said that they would like to request Thai Airways to
suspend its plan to cancel the Mae Hong Son-Chiang Mai route for
“We also ask Thai Airways to keep its brand name or THAI logo on
this route whether they cancel its operations or not, since Thai
Airways is the national carrier, people have greater confidence
President Supoj added that Thai Airway cancellation is expected
to affect the economy, tourism, educational and governmental
agencies and those losses of up to 10 billion baht to the Mae
Hong Son economy could occur as a result of the cancellation of
the route .
Three red shirt demonstrators arrested at protest
Three Rak Chiang Mai 51 supporters were arrested after throwing
stones and firecrackers at police during a demonstration against Pol Lt-Gen
Somkid Boonthanom , Chief of Police Region 5 at the Provincial Police Region
5 headquarters . Pol Lt-Gen Somkid has been arraigned with 4 other police
officers in the disappearance of Saudi businessman Mohammad al-Ruwaili 20
years ago. The Rak Chiang Mai 51 group organized at the police headquarters
on January 25 to demand that Pol. Lt-Gen Somkid be suspended from active
duty as Chief of Police for the region. The gathered group threw a homemade
coffin adorned with a photo of Pol Lt-Gen Somkid and then, in an attempt to
enter the station, threw fireworks and stones. Police used water cannons to
subdue the crowd.
Anuwan Kemacha, a novice from Vieng Dong Temple in Hang Dong district, Mr.
Kongkaew Wangtun, 49 of Sob Perng village in the Mae Taeng district and Mr.
Thep, surname unknown, 23 were released by police and then went to file
charges of police brutality at the Mae Ping Police Station stating they had
Thailand to repatriate Karen
villagers who fled Myanmar army
Bangkok, Jan 25 (TNA) - Thailand will repatriate more than 1,500
displaced Karen villagers from Myanmar along the Thai Myanmar
border, a population which who escaped fierce fighting in
Myanmar to Thai territory since June 2009, according to Lt-Gen
Thanongsak Apirakyothin, the 3rd Army Area Commander.
Gen Thanongsak said that the meeting of Thai security agencies
and representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) in the northern province of Tak on January 14
agreed that more than 1,500 villagers who crossed into Thailand
to escape the fighting in Myanmar since mid-2009 would be sent
back to Myanmar without seeking their consent.
He said there is no fighting in Myanmar, therefore, all of them
would be safe when they return to their country.
Gen Thanongsak added that the government had no policy to
provide additional temporary shelter for these people.
He said that the government would gradually send them back to
300 students at risk from A(H1N1) under close watch, schools closure ordered temporarily
Bangkok, Jan 25 (TNA) - Thailand’s Office of the Basic
Education Commission (OBEC) on Monday ordered the temporary
closure of schools where students reportedly contracted
Influenza A(H1N1), and placed some 300 high-risk students across
the country under close watch.
Special Affairs Bureau director Satchathorn Wattanamongkol of
the Office of the Permanent Secretary for Education said that
according to the weekly report on the A(H1N1) situation from
January 18 to 23, laboratory test results confirmed nine
students in OBEC schools were infected with the virus.
Of the nine, two are in the capital, three in Ayutthaya, two in
Phrae, one each in Chaiyaphum and Narathiwat, said Mr
He said that the ministry has also ordered the temporary closure
of schools in Narathiwat and Phrae to contain the disease.
Mr Satchathorn said that 296 students in 23 OBEC schools in 14
provinces are also under close surveillance.
Contracting A(H1N1) since June 2008 were 2,708 students
nationwide, but the situation can be contained and controlled
despite the continued spread of new patients.
The education ministry has instructed provincial OBEC directors
across the country to step up screening the measures in schools
to detect A(H1N1) risk students, he said.
However there have been no reports of A(H1N1) in private