Kawila Army camp besieged
by Red Shirt demonstrators
Kawila Army Camp was besieged by hundreds of red shirted protestors
on February 4, causing traffic chaos in the area in protest against the
recent order to desist protesting in front of the Provincial Police Region 5
Headquarters. The protestors planned to meet with the Governor to lodge
The group of demonstrators, consisting of members of the Rak Chiang Mai 51
Group, red-shirt federation members, and National United Front of Democracy
Against Dictatorship (UDD) members in Chiang Mai and from Lamphun province
rallied about 500 people to protest in front of the army camp on the Chiang
Mai Lamphun Road in Wat Ket.
Former Pol Lt Col Supol Chumooncharoen submitted a letter in protest of the
coup to Lt Col Cherdsak Ketsom, who was on duty at the Kawila Camp. The
leaders of the protestors then took turns on car stage to criticize the last
coup staged by the military.
They said the 2007 Constitution, drafted and imposed after the military coup
should be dropped and expressed their disapproval of any future coups.
The protest caused severe traffic jams on the Chiang Mai-Lamphun road,
making the road impassable for several hours. The police asked them to leave
the areas and they regrouped at the Grand Warorot Hotel.
Petchawat Wattanapongsirikul of Rak Chiang Mai 51 announced to members on
Community Radio Station 92.to rally in front of Chiang Mai City Hall and
demand to meet with Pairote Saengphuwong, Deputy Chiang Mai Governor. He
said that the recent protests against the head of the Provincial Police
Region 5 chief at the bureau had caused traffic jams and that per the
government’s order, the group had pulled out of the area. However, he added
that they were not satisfied with this result and sought clarification from
the Deputy Governor.
Demonstrators from the Rak Chiang Mai Group 51,
red-shirt federation, and UDD in Chiang Mai, submitted a letter of complaint
to Lt-Col Cherdsak Ketsom of the Kawila Camp, in protest of the coup and to
voice disapproval over future coups.
Chinese New Year Festival to be held at Warorot Market February 14 & 15
The Chinese New Year Festival will be held at Chiang Mai’s Warorot
Market on February 14 and 15 and organizers proclaim it to be bigger and
better than previous festivals.
Chinese dragon parades for Chinese New Year. (AP Photo/Tourism British
The area will be decorated with Chinese lanterns, auspicious signs, and
sayings, with spectacular displays of Chinese acrobatics from Wat Saolin, a
giant lucky basket of oranges and Chinese biscuits for charity, and a parade
featuring a fire dragon more than 40 meters long.
Chinese food shops, booths and restaurants will set up market style for the
two day event. Mayor Tassanai added that this year’s Chinese festival is the
City’s 8th, offering entertainment for visitors and residents alike. In
addition, there will be a lion dancing troupe, a parade of Chinese
divinities, Chinese music, and a parade of Thai –Chinese clubs and
associations from Chiang Mai.
The parade will start at 9.00 a.m. on February 14, at Tha Pae Gate, move
along Tha Pae road, turn left on Witchayanon Road, and end at the main stage
in the Warorot market. The celebrations will conclude on February 15, and
will offer shows featuring Thai-Chinese art and culture, a kitty young
children’s contest and Miss China Town Chiang Mai.
local Thai-Chinese girl in the traditional Chinese cheong-sam will celebrate
Chinese New Year on February 14 at Warorot Market.
Tassanai Buranupakorn, Mayor of Chiang Mai Municipality, accompanied by Dr.
Ju Wei Ming, Chinese Consul General in Chiang Mai, and Chalermsak Suranant,
director of the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) Chiang Mai Office,
Noppadol Arnonthawilas, president of Thai-Chinese businessmen Association in
Chiang Mai, announced the upcoming Chinese festival at the press conference
held recently at Chiang Mai Samakhee Foundation.Dr. Ju Wei Ming, Chinese
Consul General said the festival will promote Thai – Chinese culture and
improve Thai-Chinese relations.
Chinese robes on display
Beautiful designs embroidered on woven silk robes, skirts, banners, sleeve
bands, shawls and covers are now on show at an exhibition of the clothing of
China’s 19th century Emperors.
(toy) Suwan, left, and Ron Simpson organized the exhibition of antique
Imperial Chinese clothing.
The grand opening of the exhibition took place on February 1 at Lost Heavens
on Thapae road. Displaying clothing dating back 120 years to the Qing
Dynasty, the exhibition features antiques belonging to Ron Simpson and Panya
Ron added that while normally these kinds of exhibits would be shown at
Bangkok’s River City or in London they decided to bring it to Chiang Mai for
those interested in Chinese antique textiles.
The exhibition will be held February 2 -20, Monday – Saturday, between 11.00
a.m. to 7.00 p.m., (closed on Sunday), admission is free of charge.
Seminar on astronomy and
astrophysics held in Chiang Mai
The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (Narit)
held the “Thailand-Korea Joint Seminar on Astronomy and Astrophysics” from
February 1- 5 at the Chiang Mai Grand View Hotel. The seminar was hosted by
Narit to boost international cooperation on astronomy and astrophysics
between Narit and the Korea Astronomy and Space Institute (KASI) and the
Astrophysical Research Center for the Structure and Evolution of the Cosmos,
Sejong University (ARCSEC). The event was attended by more than 100 Korean
and Thai researchers, and students.
Kianmeesuk, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Science and Technology
addressed attendees of the Thailand-Korea Joint Seminar on Astronomy and
Astrophysics on February 1, at Chiang Mai Grand View Hotel.
Sirichai Kianmeesuk, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Science and
Technology was joined by Deputy Governor Chumporn Sangmanee and Associate
Professor. Boonrucksar Soonthornthum, the Director National Astronomical
Research Institute of Thailand attended the opening ceremony. Deputy
Permanent Secretary Sirichai addressed the crowd, discussing the agreement
signed in 2008 to boost cooperation on astronomy research between Thai and
Research projects from 25 Korean scientists and 16 Thai scientists were
presented to the gathered crowd of students, scientists and lecturers.
Deputy Permanent Secretary Sirichai added that this seminar was expected to
facilitate networking on research and research groups between Thailand and
Korea, including the telescope set up at the national observatory tower in
Chormthong district, Chiang Mai.
He added that this seminar also would bring maximum benefit to Thai and
Korean researchers, students and their exchange programs.
More than 100 Thai and Korean researchers and
students attended the seminar.
from new Bangkok Air flight
The Lampang Airport welcomed the inaugural flight of the new Bangkok –
Lampang route operated by Bangkok Airways with daily flights starting from
February 1, 2010.
After the previous service had been cancelled due to losses, visitors from
Bangkok had to travel to Chiang Mai before transferring to a Lampang flight.
The two and a half hour flight departing from Suvarnabhumi Airport carries
66 people according to Damrongwuth Viriya, senior director of Bangkok
Airways, who added that the air fare was 2,000 baht a passenger. The flight
makes a stopover in Sukhothai with the Lampang – Sukothai leg costing 1,090
Life for the disabled in Chiang Mai
By Criis on Huay Kaew
I am what they call an incomplete paraplegic , I use a chair
predominately but I can walk with the aid of a walking stick but very
slowly so I can walk up and down stairs as long as there is a railing or
a shoulder to lean on.
The Chiang Mai Airport is fine, the airport has disabled access to all
areas and disabled toilets , then you hit the transport issue , for
people with mild disabilities like those that use a walking stick or
similar it is no problem. We can hop in a tuk tuk taxi or songtaew.
People confined to a wheelchair are limited to taxis and some song taew
if the driver will let you sit in the front and put the wheel chair in
Those that use an electric wheelchair would have the most difficulty
because they are so heavy, I don’t know how they get around.
I’ve only stayed in two places in Chiang Mai, the first I climbed three
flights of stairs to get to my room however my current location suits me
fine although it’s not totally handicapped accessible. I was told there
is one place in town that accommodates wheel chairs with accessible
toilets. Obviously Bangkok has many places.
To get around town I use a tuk tuk , however to push around the streets
on sidewalks is nearly impossible. I don’t think there is a 50 meter
stretch anywhere that doesn’t have obstacles or the sidewalk just simply
doesn’t exist. So it’s onto the road, staying close to the gutter in
fear of getting hit by a car or motorcycle. The kerb and guttering is
almost a foot high on most streets so it is almost impossible to hop up
in a chair as I can do with most single steps up to 1/2 a foot high. So
it’s necessary to find a pole or parked car to lean on and get out of
the chair to step up onto the sidewalk.
Most clubs and restaurants at least have a stair or two within their
establishment that has to be negotiated which can make it difficult for
the disabled. However there are plenty that are street level and have an
accessible table, the staff are almost always most helpful to me in
moving chairs and other furniture. Toilets are the biggest problem for
wheelchair bound people, doorways are always too narrow and there is
just not enough room to get the chair into the cubicle.
As with tourist attractions, Wats that I have been to all have stairs,
there is a lift up to Doi Suthep, and ramps up to the main area and
lookout. Elephant rides are possible, plenty of Thai people will help
get you onboard. I’ve only done that once, the long neck village at Mae
Rim is rough but accessable. The Chiang Mai Zoo is ok, a bit hilly, but
you can catch a small bus around
Chiang Mai Univesity is ok to get around as they have paths and ramps
and disabled toilets. Oddly, however, they have no lifts; so I climb two
flights of stairs to attend class.
As in most countries there is always someone willing to help if you ask
, in Chiang Mai if I’m pushing up a small incline I find people always
rush up behind me to give me a push. The concrete paths and walkways
always have a hole or crack to negotiate which makes it difficult.
While I have no hesitation recommending Chiang Mai to a disabled person
but only if they are very independent, since most people don’t travel
alone they should have no problems if they have a Mai pben rai attitude
and are willing to take the good with the bad.
Santi Music School praised for its high standards
Santi Music School Press Release
Noted local music school, the Santi Music School run by
Ajarn Santi, Saengthon, recently underwent evaluation by a
former lead inspector of schools from the United Kingdom. He
spent 3 weeks at the school, evaluating the students’ progress,
teachers and management.
He concluded that overall standards are good, with especially
high standards in drumming, electric guitar, individual voice
and advanced piano. Students’ achievements are very good in
piano overall and in drumming and guitar and good in voice
training including the choir.
He added that teaching standards in the school is very good and
that it is a significant strength for the school. Overall
students make very good progress in their learning, except in a
few isolated cases where assessment is not used effectively or
language is a barrier to new learning.
The inspector felt that students generally have very positive
attitudes towards the school and to learning. Students also
develop very good relationships with their peers and with staff
and these are strengths of the school in helping to raise
standards. The school offers a very good, wide, rich and varied
curriculum for its students and that the general atmosphere is
conducive to learning.
The Santi Music School plans to use the evaluation to better
increase its already high standards of teaching to help students
achieve their full potential, gain self confidence and expose
students to the joys of music.
Chiang Mai Municipal Council holds its first meeting
By Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai Municipal Council held its first fully
attended meeting on February 3, the first ordinary session this
year where all 24 council members attended for the first time
since Tassanai Buranupakorn was announced as the new mayor.
Mai Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn addresses the Municipal Council
Members in the first full meeting of the Council.
The first two meetings failed to materialize as only a few
Council members showed up each time, Mayor Tassanai was unable
to present his administration’s policies and as a result, his
confirmation as Mayor of Chiang Mai was delayed But this latest
meeting, which was chaired by the President of the Municipal
Council went smoothly and the Council members were informed
about follow- up plans, evaluation of the Municipality’s
projects during fiscal year 2009 as well as Chiang Mai
Municipality’s plans for the next three years (2010-2012),
including the approval of the reserved funds for projects and
The full complement of the Chiang
Municipal Council attends the Council meeting on February 3.
Saving Tigers in Year of the Tiger
The conservation group WWF (formerly the World Wildlife Fund)
has warned that the tiger population in Southeast Asia’s Greater
Mekong Region has dwindled more than 70 per cent in 12 years
from an estimated 1,200 in 1998 to around 350 today, thanks to
the growing demand for tiger body parts used in traditional
Chinese medicine, a trend which threatens the region’s
Indochinese tiger population.
In light of the sharp decline of the tiger population at such an
alarming rate, Thailand’s Huai Kha Kheang and Thung Yai wildlife
sanctuaries, comprising nearly 6,500 sq km (some 2,500 sq miles)
of forests bordering Myanmar, is billed as a remarkable effort
to save the big cats.
According to official statistics, there are around 250 Bengal
tigers in Thailand, with the number of striped tigers at Huai
Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary alone having increased by almost
double since 2007.From an aerial photo survey, around 80
Indochinese tigers are currently found at Huai Kha Khaeng, and
another 20 at Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary.
“From the [aerial] survey, we see around almost 10 new-born
tigers in both Huai Kha Khaeng and Thung Yai Naresuan every year,”
said Dr Anak Pattanawiboon, director of Wildlife Conservation
Society (WSC) Thailand Program. According to Sunthorn
Chaiwattana, chief of Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, the
decline in the wildlife population is mostly due to hunting by
humans, an activity which must be reduced to enhance the quality
of wildlife. By doing so, smart patrols with MIST technology, a
spatial management information system from Africa, has been
applied at Huai Kha Khaeng sanctuary to drive away poachers and
help stabilise the tiger population and other animals.
Strange behaviours of animals and their hunters will be
monitored and recorded in the natural landscapes where animals
walk past or while they are on the prowl, and where hunters wait
to trap the living creatures. After each patrol, reports are
made to a monthly meeting to review for an improvement on
further effective prevention on incessant poaching.
As tigers sit at the top of the food chain as the primary
predator, the growing tiger population indicates growing numbers
of lower species hunted by tigers such as bulls or wild deer,
which also signifies the quality of such the environment and its
proper habitat maintenance.
Dr Anak, the director of WSC Thailand Program, said it was
fortunate officials at Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary took
the matter of increasing the tiger population seriously. “Due to
the official seriousness, the outcome of the work is tangible
and intense, which can become one of the conservation models for
saving tigers,” the director said.
Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary targets its tiger population
density to be five tigers per 100 sq km within seven years, from
a density of 2.39 tigers at present.”The tiger population
density keeps increasing, from previously we used to have a
density of only 1.7 tigers per 100 sq km,” said Saksit
Simchareon, head of Bengal tigers research team.
Due to its accomplishment on saving the tigers and to follow the
Kathmandu Global Tiger Workshop last year, Thailand is currently
hosting the 1st ASIA Ministerial Conference (AMC) on Tiger
Conservation, participated by environment ministers from 13
Asian nations, while it plans to offer its successful smart
patrol model to preserve the big cats for other countries to
The conference, held in the Prachuap Khiri Khan resort town of
Hua Hin from January 27-30, aims to persuade countries to set
tiger population targets, double the animal numbers by 2020 and
announce an action plan for a September tiger summit in Russia.
According to WWF, the global wild tiger population now stands at
an all-time low of 3,200, down from an estimated 20,000 in the
1980s and 100,000 a century ago. (TNA)
Chiang Rai border shoot
out leaves one dead
The Pha Muang Task Force clashed with drug traffickers
crossing the border in Mae Chan District, Chiang Rai province,
killing one. A unit of the Task Force was patrolling the area
near Ban E-Kor in Mae Chan District when they encountered 6 men
who opened fire on the unit. The members of the Task Force
returned fire, resulting in a 10 minute firefight with the drug
traffickers. The traffickers fled back across the border leaving
one of their members dead at the scene and abandoning a .38mm
weapon, a small amount of heroin and 3.1 million baht in cash.
Drought at Doi Tao Lake
causes drop in tourists
Vendors at Doi Tao Lake have complained to authorities
that drought has caused a drastic drop in water levels at Doi Tao Lake,
causing a drop in tourists and radically decreased sales of fish. The
vendors stated that the dry season and concomitant drop in water levels
began earlier than normal this year.
According to the vendors at the lake, normally they can sell between
1000-1200 baht a day but that has dropped to 200- 700 baht a day, adding
that losses began as the price of fish rose due to the increase of oil and
Doi Tao Lake, a manmade reservoir located 133 km south of Chiang Mai city
along the along Chiang Mai-Hot-Doi Tao route. The large reservoir with lush
green trees is situated beyond the Bhumibol Dam in Tak province. It was used
for agriculture and fishery irrigation. This great body of water offers many
recreational opportunities like rafting and fishing during the rainy and
cool seasons. (PRD)
Chiang Mai swine flu update from Public Health Office
The Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office disclosed
that the number of swine flu (H1N1 virus) patients is still high
and that they have asked schools with confirmed cases to refrain
from engaging in activities with other schools so as to limit
Dr. Surasing Wisarutrattana, Deputy Chief of the Chiang Mai
Public Health Office, reported 85 cases in the week of January
19-25, with most of the patients being students aged 5-14. The
Public Health Office is keeping a close watch on those schools
which seem to be at high risk for H1N1 transmission.
Last month, it was found that the number of H1N1 patients was
quite high, particularly among the school students; he added.
Chiang Mai Provincial authorities have received about 10,000
doses of the vaccine to be given to high - risk groups from now
through March. A second round of vaccinations will be given in