Chiang Mai Mail wins accolades from Reporters’ Association of Chiang Mai
Reporters Association of Chiang Mai committee members , Deputy governor
Pairote Saengphupwong, and winners of Reporters Association shields of
honour at the Reporters day party held at the Chiang Mai Grand View Hotel on
Chiang Mai Mail was selected as the best local English language
newspaper by the Reporters Association of Chiang Mai, marking the Reporters
Day celebration on March 4.
The announcement, award presentations and party
in celebration of Reporters Day was held at Grand View Hotel, and presided
over by Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Pairote Saengphuwong. The party was well
attended by local media, business people, and government officials.
Educational scholarships were presented to
children of members of the local Reporters Association and Shields of Honour
were given to those selected by the Association for their news reporting and
for their social contributions to the community.
Chiang Mai News newspaper won for best local
media relations, Thai News newspaper for best encouragement of local ethics,
Thai Rath for best local crime news and photos. Kao Sod newspaper won for
best local arts and culture promotion, Variety magazine for best local
social creativity, TV Channel 3 for best local youth activities promotion,
TV Channel 11 for best local tourism promotion, Lek Sarakam won best radio
–television program commentator while GSSM FM 91.75 MHz radio station won
best local community radio. Auto & Travel magazine received a shield of
honour for best local automobile industry news and the Chiang Mai Mail won
best local English language newspaper.
Ping River drying up in early drought
The water levels of the Ping River at the Ban Pa Daed bridge area in Tambon
Pa Daed, Chiang Mai, have decreased dramatically with rocks emerging from
As a result of early drought and heat, the level of the Ping River has
dropped drastically, with levels so low that people can walk from one bank
to the other.
Particularly in the area around the village of South Pa
Daed, Ban Khor Klang, in Tambon Pa Daed, the river is so low that the river
bed is visible in places.
Additionally, wells, ponds, and reservoirs are drying out,
with pumps being used to pump water out of the Ping River to water field
crops and vegetable gardens.
At the Ta Wangtan and Phayakham weir areas, some people
have brought in large rocks and sand bags to dam the water.
Three districts; Om Koi, San Sai and Chai Prakarn, have
been declared drought disaster areas by the Provincial government, 30,000
rai of agricultural land has suffered from the drought.
The Irrigation Department has brought in 57 water pumping
machines to install along the Ping River to help spray water into the
communities’ field crops, and plants.
The district office authorities in Chiang Mai Province
are inspecting the areas hard hit by drought to estimate the needs for water
containers to store water for use in community schools, temple, and other
The Ping River at the Tha Wangtan weir area in Tambon Pa Daed, Chiang Mai is
seeing at very shallow levels.
Chiang Mai Zoo celebrates Lhin Ping’s 9th month
Lhin Ping celebrated her 9th month with a party
organized by Prasertsak Boontrakulpoonthawee, chief of panda research and
display project in Thailand, Dr. Kannikar Nimtrakul, panda veterinarian on
Lhin Ping enjoys her new play area on her 9th month birthday celebration.
Prasertsak said Lhin Ping is now 9 months old and
reaching the curious stage, where she likes to learn about the things around
her and develop her skills. The Zoo has installed a play area for her so
that she can develop.
Fan clubs from around the country presented gifts to Lhin
Ping for her birthday.
About 30 people from the Ban King Kaew Vibulsanti
orphanage visited Lhin Ping and brought her a birthday cake as well as a
panda ice sculpture.
Lhin Ping enjoyed birthday cake, ice sculture and other
gifts very much in her new play area, Prasertsak said, adding that now Lhin
Ping is about 25.3 kilograms, and is very healthy.
“It is expected that Lhin Ping’s new house will be completed next month
by the time she reaches 10 months old on March 27,” he concluded.
Joint Army exercises with
Singapore in Mae Rim
Singaporean and Thai soldiers take part
the Kotchasri joint military exercises in Mae Rim.
The Royal Thai Army took part in the 13 day Kotchasri 2010 joint
military exercises with their Singaporean counterparts, focusing on tactical
troop mobilization and assault. General Anupong Paochinda, the Thai Army
Commander, presided over the closing ceremony of the military exercise on
March 3 at Huay Tueng Tao Reservoir in Mae Rim District with the Singapore
Army Commander, Major Niaw Gian Hong.
The joint operation of Thai and Singapore Armies,
code named, Kotchasri has been taking place every year since 1977. This
year, The Third Army Region’s 4th Infantry
Division was responsible for the joint drills, organized from February
22 – March 6. About 600 Thai and Singaporean troops participated in the
Strategic areas in Mae Rim were developed for the
battalion exercise, with the sharing of experiences, knowledge and
skills in military planning and control, command and coordination, as
well as developing the good relationship tightening of the two countries
as the focus of the joint exercises.
Exercises in jungle survival, arming practices,
aiding injured soldiers and field exercises aimed at developing and
encouraging relations between the forces were staged in Mae Rim.
Chiang Mai Airport celebrates 22nd anniversary with new expansion
Piyaphan Champasut, Chairman of the Airports of Thailand Co., Ltd,4th.
left, cuts the ribbon marking the opening of an exhibition on the history of
the Chiang Mai Airport to mark the 22nd anniversary
on February 26.
Chiang Mai International Airport celebrated its 22nd
year anniversary last week, as the airport readies itself to be the regional
hub for air freight and passenger services. With recent expansion, the
airport is now ready to handle 8 million passengers a year and income for
the airport is expected to increase 40%.
Sereearat Prasutanont, Managing Director of the Airports
of Thailand (AOT) said that they plan to accelerate development of airport
facilities, hoping to propel the airport into one of the top 5 airports
Established in 1988 under the Commercial Aviation
Department the Chiang Mai Airport was transferred to the AOT in 2002. The
AOT has worked to develop its basic infrastructure to meet standards set by
the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Currently, 14 domestic and international airlines use the
Chiang Mai Airport with an average of 75 flights a day. Six domestic
carriers, Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Air Asia, Orient Thai, Nok Air and
Nok Mini operate a total of 465 flights a week.
With a budget of more than 12 billion baht, 14 projects
have been started or near completion that will meet the growing demand on
the airport. In addition to terminal changes and additions, new landscaping
is planned to make the airport better reflect the Lanna culture of Chiang
Mai to visitors.
Other plans include an energy saving project in honor of
HM the King; the Green and Clean Airport. There are also plans to build a
terminal for private and chartered flights.
Makha Bucha day celebrated in Chiang Mai
Wat Phra Singha Woramahaviharn was the site of Makha Bucha day activities.
Both Thai and foreign Buddhists in Chang Mai lit candles and circled
the main building of Wat Phra Singha Woramahaviharn three times, or
performed Wien Tian as the action is called, to celebrate Makha Bucha on
the evening of February 28.
Makha Bucha Day marks the anniversary of the Lord Buddha
teaching the principles of his religion to the 1,250 monks he had ordained
and who had convened without any prior notice. This holiday falls on the
full moon of the third lunar month.
At 7.00 p.m. Phrasingha Vichai, the abbot of Wat Phra
Singha Woramahaviharn accompanied by Chiang Mai Governor Amornphan Nimanant,
and his wife Sunatra Nimanant, the President of Provincial Red Cross, Chiang
Mai chapter performed the Wian Tien ceremony together with thousands of
In the morning of the day, people made merit by giving
alms to the monks, and then listened the Dharmma teachings at the temple in
the afternoon. And in the evening, people went to the temple to perform the
Wian Tien ceremony, so as to bring luck, happiness and prosperity to their
Food stalls in schools receive
Clean Food Good Taste certification
Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn presented Clean Food Good Taste
certificates issued after Municipality inspection to operators
of restaurants and food stalls at the Yupparaj Witthayalai
School on March 5. Mayor Tassanai said that the health
inspectors inspect shops and stalls in schools and colleges in
the municipality every year to ensure that cleanliness standards
remain high. The Municipality is pushing for every stall and
restaurant to work to obtain the Clean Food Good Taste
Villagers protest LPG station
Villagers from Ban Mai Santueng in Kuang Pao demonstrate in front of City
Hall, protesting the construction of a natural gas plant in their area.
More than 100 villagers from Ban Mai Santueng, Chormthong district, Chiang
Mai staged a rally protesting against the construction of an LPG gas station
in their area as they fear a re-occurrence of the gas explosion that
destroyed the lamyai drying plant in San Patong district several years ago.
On March 2, the villagers from Moo 8 (Group), tambon
Kuang Pao, Chormthong District, staged the demonstration in front of Chiang
Mai City Hall, calling for the government to help halt the construction
project under the supervision of a private company.
Organizers said that the company has been granted the
license for the construction of the plant in the village despite villagers
protesting many times. Villagers worry about a repeat explosion as well as
it negatively affecting the environment, natural resources and health. One
of the protesting villagers said that the majority of villagers did not
approve of the project during a public hearing, on December 29 with members
of the TAO (Tambon Administrative Organization) and that they had petitioned
several government agencies.
“However, this private company still goes ahead with its
gas station project, so we gather here to call for Chiang Mai Governor
Amornphan Nimanant to give us the answer in 7 days ,” he said. He added that
the gas plant will be very near an ice production plant already in the
Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Chumporn Saengmanee received
the villagers’ petition on behalf of the Governor and also met with the
leader of the protest, village headman Praphan Namwong and Seree
Kangwalkitch, the head of Chiang Mai Provincial Energy Office.
The Energy Office recently sent a letter to the project
operator to temporarily suspend construction, signed by the Chiang Mai
Governor Amornphan Nimanant. Protestors said that at the last public meeting,
they had aired concerns that there had not been an environmental impact
One dead, 650,000 yabaa pills seized in Fang clash
The 3rd Army Region Command and Pha Muang
Task Force clashed fiercely with drug traffickers in Fang,
killing one of them and seizing more than 650,000 yabaa pills.
Acting on a top off that large quantities of drugs were expected
to be moved through the area, members of the Pha Muang Task
Force and a unit from the 4th Calvary were
dispatched to Doi Suitang, located in the southwest of Fang
District, 3 kilometers from the Myanmar border.
Deputy Governor Pairote Saengphuwong and Lt-General
Tanongsak Aprirakyothin inspect the haul of weapons and drugs at the Pha
Muang Task Force Headquarters.
On February 28, after a gun fight ensued between the
units and 20 drug smugglers, the Task Force members found the body of one of
the smugglers, two AK-47 assault rifles, a 9mm hand gun, and 650,000 yabaa
pill in six green backpacks.
The next day, at the Pha Muang Task Force Headquarters,
Lt - General Tanongsak Aprirakyothin, and Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Pairote
Saengphuwong inspected the haul sized from the drug traffickers. Lt-Gen
Tanongsak said that he believes that members of the Wa are responsible for
trying to smuggle the drugs from neighboring countries into Thailand,
especially along the northern border areas between Thailand and Myanmar.
“There seems to be more and more drug smuggling through
the northern border areas in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai provinces,” he
remarked, adding that it is the duty of the Third Army Region authorities to
be on alert and to deploy operations against the drug smuggling into
Fire damages 50 year old Dechanukroh Boxing Stadium in Wat Ket
By Nopniwat Krailerg
Police were informed of a fire at Dechanukroh Boxing Stadium,
Kawila camp, on Sannalung road, in Wat Ket in the Muang district
in the early hours of March 2. The municipality dispatched 6
fire engines and a water truck, and a full complement of fire
fighters and rescue workers to the scene. They were joined by
fire fighters and 4 fire engines from the 33rd
Military Circle at Kawila Camp.
The fire had started in the boxer’s rooms and spread
quickly to the rooftops of the 50 year old wooden building. It took
firefighters about 45 minutes to get the blaze under control.
Pol Lt Col Songtham Chankan, police inspector of Mae Ping
Police said given the age of the building and the construction materials,
the fire caught fast as the dry wood burns easily. He added that it is
believed to be an electrical short circuit that caused the fire but that the
forensic unit will investigate to determine the cause of the blaze.
Blaze at Dechanukroh Boxing Stadium in Wat Ket on March 2 caused half a
million baht in damage.
American tourist faces
deportation on old charges
By Richard Hardy
An American tourist is being detained by police in Chiang
Mai after a routine visit to the U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai unearthed
a15 year old warrant from the state of Alaska.
American Claude Levallee is seen here in a classroom
photo, teaching in China. Mr Levallee is currently being held pending
deportation on a 15 year old charge from the U.S.
Life changed dramatically for 59 year old Claude Lavallee
on February 21st after he walked into the U.S.
Consulate to have more pages inserted into his passport. The passport was
confiscated and on leaving he was arrested by Thai police and taken to Phra
Singh police station to await deportation.
He has been told that the actions are due to his failure
to attend a court hearing in Fairbanks, Alaska, 15 years ago on a bench
warrant for possessing 2 ‘bong’ pipes, used for smoking cannabis. No drugs
were found in his possession and traces in the pipes were too small to
“My lawyer told me there was no need to attend court and
I have never been told that a warrant was issued” said Mr Lavallee, speaking
from the small cell he shares with 7 other men. “I renewed my passport in
2003 and there was no problem. I should have returned to my job in Zhengzhou
on February 27th. Now I have lost my job and probably
a car and motorcycle there too.”
American Consul-General Mike Morrow said that
representations had been made to Thai police over the conditions in which Mr
Lavallee is being held, but he could not comment further on the case.
A diabetic with angina and high blood pressure, Mr
Lavallee now starts his 3rd week in detention and has
a heavy cold. He says his cell is infested with mosquitoes, and at night
ants and large cockroaches appear through the gaps in the wooden floor on
which he has to sleep. The toilet is an open pipe in one corner. His one
regular visitor is the English manager of the guest house where he stayed,
who takes food and medicine to him.
“My one intention now is to return to Fairbanks, go to court, sort this
matter out and put it behind me” emphasized Mr Lavallee. “I have not broken
any law in Thailand, but of course am now overstaying my visa. The Thai
police are quite friendly and seem just as bemused as I am about the whole