Local community petitions Administrative Court to stop high rise construction
Ban Chang Kien community members have filed a letter of complaint
with the Administrative Court accusing a nearby high rise construction site
of negatively affecting the quality of life of residents in the area.
Nathee Theerarojanapong joined about 10 representatives of the community,
calling themselves the Khon Hug Chang Kien or the Love Chang Kien Group, in
submitting the letter signed by around 200 people to staff at the Courts on
Nathee said they were suffering from construction projects in Ban Chang Kien
area in Tambon Chang Puak. He said that Chang Puak Municipality suggested
the group submit a petition to the court, asking the court to order an
injunction to cease work at the site as the project had seriously disturbed
the community and violated the human rights of the communities. He added
that members of the community should be protected by the Constitution.
Nathee finished by saying that the construction projects have negatively and
severely impacted the communities’ environment, health, public welfare, and
quality of life. The group has asked for the suspension of current high rise
projects and for other proposed projects to be required to gain community
approval before being allowed.
Group members display their banner,
fighting against high rise construction in their community.
Chiang Mai Iam aims to
improve life in Chiang Mai
Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn, accompanied by
representatives of agencies involved in the Better Chiang Mai project,
presided over the opening ceremony of the project at the Three King Monument
on January 31.
Jedsadapong Wongkiew & Nopniwat Krailerg
In an attempt to improve living quality in Chiang Mai, the Chiang
Mai Iam (Better Chiang Mai) operating plan was launched, aiming to develop
the city to be the first livable and sustainable city in the country and to
see sustainable results in 99days.
Late last month, Chiang Mai officially launched the project to develop
Chiang Mai city. The municipal government, together with civic groups,
academic networks, public and private sectors and work agencies, has begun
working to solve the city’s pollution problems.
After a one year survey the group found that the three main problems
confronting Chiang Mai city were garbage disposal, waste water treatment,
and chemicals from the agriculture sector. They found that 320 tons of
garbage was produced daily in the city. The government has spent more than
200 million baht annually to deal with garbage disposal yet the city often
overflows with garbage.
Waste water is not treated properly, causing polluted and contaminated water
in the city’s canal and the extensive use of pesticides and chemical
fertilizers used by farmers has contributed to environmental pollution
Nattapong Jaruwanphong, Director of the Chiang Mai Iam project, added that
many famers in Chiang Mai use a lot of chemicals for their farms, as high as
80 percent, causing health and environmental problems
Chiang Mai Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn said that this Chiang Mai Aim project
hopes to see within 99 days of operations. “The Municipality is glad to take
part in the project with our full capacity. Because this plan is also in
line with Municipal policies on city management, like composting leaves and
plant waste. This can be done utilizing technology developed by Maejo
“A plan to develop a reservoir to help naturally treat waste water from the
Mae Kha city canal has been studied,” he added
The Mayor said that the Municipality also plans to remove the giant
commercial billboards and replace them with naturally made billboards soon.
“City authorities have removed quite a few billboards along the city moats,
and plan to enact a measure requiring authorization before commercial signs
can be installed in the moat area,” the Mayor concluded.
Local VFW Post honored
for support by Thai Army
Michael Holmes, VFW Post Commander with General
Chanukorn Tantakochol, Commander of Army Region 33. (Photo by Peter Noyes)
On February 3rd, members of Chiang Mai VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Post
12074 joined the ranks of their Thai counterparts in the spirit of Thai
Veterans Day. In appreciation of the support and comradeship provided to
local Thai vets by the Post, General Chanukorn Tantakochol, Commander of the
Army Region 33, presented VFW Post Commander Michael Holmes with a plaque.
(L-R) James Sterritt, Al Evans, Michael Holmes,
J Sapp, John Cosentino,
Billy Horner, Patrick Webb (Photo by Peter Noyes)
Immigrant labourers have until February 28 to obtain work permits and
Nopniwat Krailerg & Jedsadapong Wongkiew
The Chiang Mai Provincial Employment Services Office reported that
44,000 foreign workers have registered with authorities to prove their
nationality, either from Laos, Myanmar or Cambodia, yet only 5,000 of those
have submitted a letter of request for work permits.
Ploytuptim, of the Chiang Mai provincial Employment Services office
explaining work permits procedures for immigrant labourers.
According to Mrs. Pannawadee Ploytuptim of the Employment office that
according to a January 19 Cabinet resolution, the period to prove nation of
origin was extended and regulations allowing them to live in Thailand were
relaxed. Those from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia were specifically targeted in
this resolution. She said most of their work permits had been expired since
January 20, 2010 and that the time for them to send requests to prove
nationality had been extended until February 28 of this year.
Officials further reported that 66,231 Myanmar, Laotian and Cambodian
immigrants were granted the work permits in 2009, 101 Lao, 13 Cambodians,
and 66,177 from Myanmar.
“Actually, since only 5,000 people requested for work permits we have to ask
for cooperation from their employers to remind their employees to submit
their request before February 28.
“There are many people that have not yet informed the Office, particularly
those whose work permits expired by January 20, and they have been asked to
contact the Office before February 28 when the extension period expires. The
Employment Services Office is open daily at the Provincial building and a
branch has been opened at the former New Chang Puak Restaurant on the
Chotana road. Anyone who has not yet registered to prove their nationality
by the deadline will not be issued work permits and will be deported,” she
The Employment Services Office also organized a meeting with employers to
inform them about the procedures for proving nationality and obtaining work
permits on February 10 and 11, at Chiang Mai Phucome Hotel, and on February
13 in the districts of Mae Ai, Chai Prakarn, and Fang.
International Art Exchange Thailand –USA Exhibition at CMU Art Gallery
Michael K. Morrow, the U.S. Consul General in Chiang Mai opened the
new international art exhibition at the Art and Culture Gallery at Chiang
Mai University (CMU) on February 6.
Kamol Tassananchalee, declared a National Artist in 1977 presents a painting
to U.S. Consul General Michael K. Morrow at the exhibition opening.
The works of Ajarn Kamol Tassananchalee, 5 other National Artists, 8
lecturers from the Print, Painting and Sculpture Departments at CMU, 4 Thai
free lance artists and 6 American artists were featured at the gallery The
exhibition aims to develop the creative cooperation between the U.S. and
Thailand and to encourage Thai artists to further develop their artistic and
creative abilities. The event ends February 16.
Mark Greenfield, an American artist, explains
the creative process
to Michael K. Morrow, U.S. Consul General Chiang Mai.
Japanese Government provides help to promote organic
farming in Phayao
Mrs. Junko Yokota, Consul-General of Japan
in Chiang Mai and Dr. Misaburo Taniguchi, President of the Foundation of
Training Center for Agriculture and Occupation, signed the contract for
the new project at the Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai.
Japanese Consul General Press Release
The Government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for the
Grassroots Human Security Projects Scheme (GGP), has agreed to provide
funds amounting to 2,789,500 baht for “The Project to Improve the
Environment and to Promote the Organic Farming in Phayao Province”, and
on February 12, 2010, Mrs. Junko Yokota, Consul-General of Japan in
Chiang Mai and Dr. Misaburo Taniguchi, President of the Foundation of
Training Center for Agriculture and Occupation, jointly signed the
funding contract for the project at the Consulate-General of Japan in
The Training Center for Agriculture and Occupation Foundation in Chun
District in Phayao Province has been promoting agricultural techniques
for farmers, young people, and hill tribe members as well as community
development in rural areas. Specifically, aiming at sustainable,
environmentally-friendly farming, the Foundation has cultivated organic
crops without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers at its farm
and extended the techniques elsewhere.
In the Northern provinces, a smoky haze in the dry season, partly caused
by burning agricultural waste, such as rice straw and stubble after
reaping, is a serious environmental problem. Currently, governmental
bodies and local administrative organizations have been educating
farmers to reduce this agricultural burning. However, without providing
knowledge and techniques on how to utilize rice straw instead of burning
it, will not lead changes among farmers. Therefore, the Foundation has
recommended utilizing rice straw for compost, feed for livestock, and
mushroom beds, and to plow rice stubble back into the ground. However,
it is still difficult for farmers to carry out these techniques in
practice due to the lack of agricultural equipment and vehicles to
reduce their heavy workload.
In response to a request from the Foundation, the Government of Japan
has agreed to provide funds for the purchase of agricultural equipment
and vehicles to compress, bale, and transport rice straw efficiently.
They will be lent to some 300 farmers promoting organic rice farming and
utilized in the agricultural training targeting annually around 200
trainees and visitors to the Foundation’s farm. This is expected to
reduce air pollution from the smoky haze and to promote sustainable
environmentally-friendly farming. For more information about GGP, please
contact Mr. Ambe, Vice Consul, or Mr. Tsuda and Ms. Hoshii, Coordinators
for GGP, Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, 053-203-367.
Two French suspects charged in November 2009 murder of Thai woman in Mae On
Two French citizens suspected in the killing of a Thai
woman found stabbed to death in the trunk of her car in Mae On
last November have been arrested by Chiang Mai police for
Richard Frederick, 66 was arrested for the murder of Suchada
Sithisarn, 33, while Marco Pierre, 60, was charged as an
accessory in the crime. Both men were denied bail.
On November 15, 2009, the body of Ms. Suchada was found stabbed
to death in the trunk of her car parked in front of the home of
Mr. Frederick. Her father had reported her missing earlier. Mr.
Frederick and his friend Mr. Pierre were found later driving a
Jeep Cherokee in Chiang Rai. The two men were questioned and the
Cherokee was impounded for investigation.
The two men deny all charges.
Fire at Wat San Pakoi destroys
assistant abbot’s historic residence
Firefighters battle the blaze at Wat
San Pakoi on February 7.
Historic teak buildings burned to the ground in a fire
that firefighters believe was started by an electrical fault at
Wan San Pakoi in Wat Ket, north of the Kawila military camp. The
fire, which broke out at 5:20 pm on February 7, destroyed the
assistant abbot’s residence, built in 1839 and spread to a
historic teak bell tower, other monks’ residences and another
tower in the Wat. The narrow lanes into the temple made entrance
for the 20 fire trucks from Chiang Mai Municipality and Kawila
Army camp slow and difficult, taking 3 hours to bring the fire
under control. Traffic was stalled on the road outside the
temple for several hours while firefighters battled the blaze.
Fortunately, the assistant abbot, Phra Kru Rattana Sutasoonthorn,
was away from the temple so avoided the fire, but he said
several antique and gold Buddha images were lost and many of the
temple’s important documents and items of value were destroyed
in the fire. Damages are estimated in the tens of millions of
baht. Forensic investigators from the fire department will
continue to probe the cause of the fire and determine accurate
Funeral Rites for 104 year old former abbot of Wat Tha Champee
The late Luang Poo Kru Ba Duangdee,
pictured here at a Buddhist ceremony
to raise funds for construction of San Patong Hospital at Wat
on March 2008. (Photo by Bunyarit Tulaphanphong)
Luang Poo Kruba Duangdee Supatho, the most senior monk
and former abbot of Wat Tha Champee, San Patong district, Chiang
Mai died of kidney failure after dialysis treatment at the
Maharaj Nakhon Chiang Mai Hospital’s intensive care unit. He had
been a monk for 83 years and was 104 years old.
His body was moved from Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital to
Wat Tha Champee temple in San Patong for further funeral rites
and the water pouring ceremony on Sunday, February 7.
He had been admitted to Bumrungrad Hospital with kidney problems
September 2009, but was discharged after showing improvement. He
returned to Wat Tha Champee on December 2 and was admitted to
San Patong Hospital on January 19 of this year. He was
transferred to Maharaj Nakhon Chiang Mai Hospital on January 25
with persistent low blood pressure.
Dr Chaiwat Bamrungkitch, Assistant Dean of the Faculty of
Medicine, an expert in kidney disease cared for Luang Phu Kruba
Duangdee Supatho; he also received many well wishes from other
members of his temple and laypeople.
Chamlong Kittisri, the director of the Chiang Mai Provincial
Buddhist Religion Office, said he would be granted an audience
at the Royal Palace in Bangkok to obtain Royally sponsored water
for the body of Luang Poo Kru Ba Duangdee at the funeral rites.
Chiang Mai Governor Amornphan Nimanant visited the Wat on
February 6, paying his respects to the senior monk.
Luang Poo Kruba Duangdee Supatho was formerly a novice and
follower of Kru Ba Srivichai, the monk who built the first road
up to Wat Phrathart on Doi Suthep, he was born April 26, 1906,
during the reign of King Rama V, and Chao Inthawitchayanon, the
ruler of Chiang Mai, at Ban Tha Champee, Tambon Tung Satok, San
Patong District. Both his parents were farmers, he was the
seventh (youngest) of 8 children. All his siblings have since
When he was young, he went with his parents to make merit with
the famous Kru Ba Srivichai, at Wat Phra That Haripunchai in
Lamphun province. After meeting he ordained as a novice at the
age of 13 at Tung Satok, later in his life, he was a student of
Kru Ba Pothima, the abbot of Wat Tha Champee and a friend of Kru
Kru Ba Sirivichai passed away in 1938, at the age of 35 years
old; when Luang Poo Kru Ba Duangdee had been a monk for 12 years,
which is when he decided to follow Kru Ba Kaopee to build many
wats. He was also the abbot of Wat Tung Satok after Kru Ba
When he was 42 years old (22 years in the monkhood), he received
his first higher rank in 1975, then again in1987. He received
his royally presented name and rank in 1997, and got a higher
rank again in 2007 at the age of 102.
Processed golden teak
seized in Mae Hong Son
13 pieces of processed golden teak wood were seized by
forestry officials in a forested area near Ban Maihung in Mae
Hong Son province on February 3. About 50 villagers from Ban Mai
Hung opposed the removal and requested of forestry officials
that they be allowed to keep some of the wood as souvenirs.
golden teak logs seized in Mae Hong Son by Forestry officials.
The blockade by villagers and subsequent negotiations between
them and foresty officials took about two hours; officials
denied the request and removed the wood to Huay Pong Forestry
Protection and Conservation Unit.
The Mae Hong Son Provincial Forestry Coordination Centre and
Huay Pong Forestry Protection officials suspect that the same
influential people involved in last year’s seizure are involved
in this processing plant as well.