Late night Red Shirt rally at City Hall
Anti-government demonstrators stand in line for free food
as they gather in the commercial district of Bangkok, Thailand, early Friday,
April 9, 2010. Protestors marched to the satellite TV ground station in
Pathum Thani after the government order the closure of the People TV
Channel.(AP Photo/David Longstreath)
More than 1,000 Red shirt people (UDD) rallied in front
of the Chiang Mai City Hall on April 8 in protest of the declaration of a
State of Emergency following Red Shirt protests in Bangkok.
After heeding a call from the Rak Chiang Mai affiliated
radio station, 92.5 MHz, members of the Rak Chiang Mai 51 group gathered at
the Grand Waroros Palace Hotel inside the moat after midnight on April 8.
From there the group moved to Chiang Mai City Hall where they staged a
protest with loudspeakers at the closed South Gate of City Hall. 500 riot
police were on guard inside the gates but did not engage the group.
Linked to the People Channel Television, the Rak Chiang
Mai Red Shirts protested the State of Emergency, calling for Prime Minister
Abhisit Vejajiva to step down. The group also closed Chotana Road northbound
towards Mae Rim briefly but dispersed around 1:20 a.m.
Chiang Mai Governor Amornphan Nimanant, accompanied by
Pol Maj Gen Sommai Kongvisaisut, the commander of the Chiang Mai Provincial
Police Division, and high ranking officials of Chiang Mai Provincial
Authorities observed the rally in order to assess the situation.
celebrated April 6
Mai Governor Amornphan Nimanant presided over the ceremony to mark Chakri
Day on April 6, at Chiang Mai University’s Convention Center. Northern
dignitaries, international consuls, government officials, and members of the
public attended the ceremony held to honor the founding of the current
reigning Chakri Dynasty in 1782.
Chiang Mai Zoo Aquarium sea turtle exhibition scheduled
Rear Admiral Chakchai Phucharoenyos, 2ndleft, Royal Thai
Navy Commander and associates, are welcomed to the Chiang Mai Zoo Aquarium
for the upcoming sea turtle exhibition by Nipon Wichairat, the Assistant
Director of the Chiang Mai Provincial Authority.
The Royal Thai Navy along with Chiang Mai Zoo Aquarium
has scheduled an exhibition on sea turtles at the Aquarium in time for HM
the Queen’s birthday on August 12. HM the Queen has been actively involved
in turtle conservation since establishing the Turtle Conservation project on
Man Nai Island off the cost of Rayong in the Gulf of Thailand in 1979.
Rear Admiral Chakchai Phucharoenyos, Commander of missile
aircrafts and coastal safeguard for the Royal Thai Navy and 9 delegates from
the Royal Thai Navy visited the area planned for the upcoming exhibition on
sea turtles on April 9. They hope to educate people in the North about sea
turtles, their life cycles and endangerment.
Rear Admiral Chakchai said about 50 turtles will be
displayed including two rare species; the Chelonia mydas or Green turtle and
the Eretmochelys imbricate or Hawksbill turtle. The Hawksbill turtle is
considered critically endangered given the worldwide decline in numbers.
Although turtles in Thailand are a legally protected
species egg poaching, habitat degradation, pollution, and over-fishing
threaten to make them extinct. Only eight turtles nested on Thailand’s
southwest coast this year, compared to 350 in 1985 according to the Tourism
Authority of Thailand.
Students poll tourists
Recently, Pi Naen, the deputy director, and team
leader of Edutainer of the Enconcept E Academy School, a Bangkok-based
English language tuition school, was in Chiang Mai and organized mobile
classrooms for students here. She invited students to join in her
school’s outdoor training course on speaking English by introducing
foreigners to the traditional Lanna style Songkran in conjunction with
the Tourism Authority of Thailand Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai students practice their English and poll
tourists on Songkran at the Walking Street Market.
To educate tourists and help improve students’
English, they approached tourists at Chiang Mai’s well known Sunday
Walking Street Market and asked them questions about Songkran.
“Excuse me sir, do you have free time? May I ask you
some questions about Thailand and Chiang Mai? “ the students dressed in
Lanna costume asked tourists.
More than 50 students roamed the Walking Street Fair,
not only improving their English but acting as goodwill ambassadors for
the culture and their country. They handed out brochures on Songkran as
well as polled people at the market.
Students found that of those polled, 35 percent did
not know about Songkran, 29 percent did know about Songkran but only 3
percent of those knew it was the Thai New Year.
Of those who knew about Songkran, 29 percent knew
about it from friends, 22.8 percent from the internet and books and 8.7
percent from their travel agency. 52 percent of the respondents polled
said they chose Chiang Mai as a tourist destination because of its famed
ancient temples, elephant camps, friendly people and natural beauty.
Only 8.7 percent of those polled were here on business.
The majority of tourists polled were British, 17.6 percent, 13.7
percent were Australian and 15.6 percent were American or German.
Mae Hong Son Governor
reinforces City Hall
Mae Hong Son Governor Kamthorn Thawornsathit joins police
and military in readying City Hall in case of unrest.
Due to unconfirmed rumors that unknown parties intended
to set fire to City Hall, Mae Hong Son Governor Kamthorn Thawornsathit
ordered the military and police forces including volunteers to guard the
provincial city hall.
On April 6, Governor Kamthorn checked on police and
military preparedness on preventing violence in the city. He called on the 7th
Infantry Regiment, Mae Hong Son Provincial Police Division, territory
security volunteers, and municipality’ s fire engines to be ready in place
at the city hall area in case the rumors were not unfounded.
The Governor also was briefed by his deputy governors,
provincial authorities, and military officers on the current situation
regarding the Red shirt movement in Mae Hong Son.
Governor Kamthorn said the government would enforce the
law and fully intended to prosecute those who might violate the law by
attempting to invade or attack City Hall.
“We will not allow the red shirt people (UDD) to get in
and burn City Hall. We Mae Hong Son people, government officials, and
businessmen do not need the violence to erupt here. Mae Hong Son is a
peaceful town and as a popular tourist destination we do not want the unrest
here,” the Governor stated.
Large numbers of military officers and riot police were
deployed around the city hall, provincial court, and other important
government buildings, and other potential targets should there be unrest.
City streets cleaned for Songkran
The Chiang Mai Provincial Authority and Chiang Mai
Municipality organized the Chiang Mai Big Cleaning Day to welcome the
Songkran Water Festival on April 7. Chiang Mai Governor Amornphant Nimanant
joined Chiang Mai Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn, government officials and
members of the private sector in the Clean Up Chiang Mai campaign to welcome
visitors coming to Chiang Mai to celebrate the Songkran festival at the
Three Kings Monument.
April 5 sees two bombs
Military inspectors inspect the scene
in front of the Chiang Mai Lamphun
An M-79 grenade was launched at the Makro Department
Store on the Chiang Mai-Lampang superhighway at 12. 30 a.m. on April 5,
landing in the parking lot but failing to explode while a more successful
attempt occurred nearby around the same time at the Tananuwat Furniture
Factory, with the roof and building damaged by the explosion.
Thongchai Jersawang, a security guard at Makro said that
while he was patrolling inside the Makro compounds, he saw a pickup truck
passing by with two men inside. Upon hearing the loud noise of the grenade
falling onto the pavement, he inspected and found the unexploded grenade. He
called the Mae Ping Police station that brought out the bomb squad to remove
The small crater created in the
Makro parking lot by the unexploded grenade.
The CCTV camera at the furniture store also showed a
pickup truck which stopped in front of the store briefly. After it drove off
it was followed by a motorcycle, which the rider then launched the grenade
at the building.
Narong Tanannuwat, the owner of the factory and a past
president of the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce told police that he was not
involved with any interest groups, was not having any business conflicts and
is not involved in any political party. He believed that it was an attempted
attack on the Makro Department store, but it landed in front of his factory
The police assumed that this was another threat aimed at
creating disturbance but will review CCTV camera video installed on the road
and at the factory in an effort to identify the suspects and then determine
These make the 9th and 10th
bombing or attempted bombing in Chiang Mai in less than a month.
The Tananuwat Furniture Factory was the victim
of an M79
grenade explosion on April 5 at 12:30 a.m.
Mae Hong Son villages hit by severe drought
Villagers line up to receive water
from water tankers brought in by the 7th
Infantry Region Task Force, Mae Hong Son Forest Fire Control Center, and the
Tambon Administration Organization.
More than 200 families in 3 villages in Tambon Huay Pong
in the Muang District of Mae Hong Son, face severe hardship caused by the
summer drought that has dried up water in rivers and canals.
Falling short on water for both drinking and use, the
Tambon Huay Pong Administrative Organization (TAO) has requested assistance
from Mae Hong Son provincial authorities to truck in water supplies. The 7th
Infantry Region Task Force, Mae Hong Son Forest Fire Control Center, and TAO
have all been requested to help supply water for the stricken villages.
Suparb Parppredpring, President of Huay Pong TAO, said
the water in water canals and rivers had rapidly dried up and that the water
supply from the mountain is no longer working. They have requested
authorities help deliver water as soon as possible.
He noted that the shortage of water has been a problem
since February, with garlic growers in the Huay Pong area also facing
difficulties as irrigation sources have dried up for their crops.
Surasak Preedee, village headman of Ban Kaen Fah, added
that they do not have a medium sized reservoir to conserve water for use
during the dry summer months as well, pond, river and canal water has dried
“The villagers and farmers have to face this until the
end of April or beginning of May when, it is hoped, the rain will come and
hopefully relieve the water shortage crisis”, he noted.
Court issues arrest warrants for 7 Red Shirt leaders
The Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for seven Red
Shirt leaders including Arisman Pongruangrong in connection with storming
Parliament on Wednesday. April 8. The court said their action violated the
law under the Emergency Decree for three counts — intruding into a
government office, detaining and causing others to lose freedom, and forcing
others to do or not do something. Each count is punishable by up to five
years in prison.
Thousands of demonstrators carried their protest to
Parliament on Wednesday after learning that the Prime Minister and his
cabinet were meeting there.The red-shirted protesters led by singer-turned-activist
Arisman broke through both the fence and a cordon of riot police, making
their way into the Parliament compound, forcing the House session to end
The prime minister however left the building long before
the protesters arrived, while Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban and
government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn and several Democrat MPs were
later evacuated by helicopter.
Mr Arisman said that he only wanted to find Mr Suthep to
question him about a firebomb which he said was hurled from inside the
Parliament compound to protesters.
Mr Arisman added that the Red Shirts’ seizure of an M16
assault rifle and a 9mm handgun from the security detail at Parliament meant
that the deployed security personnel are not unarmed as was earlier
Five suspects arrested in drugs sweep
Pol Maj Gen Sommai
Kongwisaisuk, Commander of the Chiang Mai Police
with 5 drugs suspects and 20,000 yabaa pills on April 4
at Chiang Mai Provincial Police Division.
The Chiang Mai Provincial Police Division arrested five
drug suspects with a haul of 20,000 ya baa pills on April 4.
Acting on a tip off that a gang would be smuggling drugs
across the Myanmar border, Pol Maj Gen Sommai Kongwisut, Commander of the
Chiang Mai Police, had police set up a check point in Chai Prakarn.
On April 4, the Chai Prakarn Police, at Pha Hong check-point
in Chai Prakarn district intercepted a Mitsubishi pickup truck and arrested
Anan Kongmuang, 49, a resident of Chiang Dao District and Ms. Saifon Promtip,
34, a resident of Phrao district, with 20,000 yabaa tablets found hidden in
the front seat.
Upon interrogation Anan confessed that the drugs belonged
to someone named Songwut who was waiting for delivery in front of the
Carrefour Department Store in Nong Pakrung on the Chiang Mai- Lampang
Police proceeded to Carrefour where they apprehended
Songwut Somsong, 40, and Ms. Siriporn Ruepakchee, 25, both of Nakhon Phathom
province. Further investigation led to the arrest of Theerasak
Wattanathongchai, 31 of Bangkok at the Chiang Mai Phucome Hotel in Suthep,
who was also suspected of awaiting delivery of drugs.
The Chiang Mai Police detained all 5 suspects for further
investigation and plan to charge them with drug possession with the intent