Kingdom celebrates Wan Chatramongkhol (Coronation Day) May 5
Wednesday, May 5
Chiang Mai Mail joins with the Kingdom of Thailand in
joyously celebrating Wan Chatramongkhol, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
the Great’s Coronation Day on Wednesday, May 5. Long Live the King! The day
is celebrated as a national holiday, and as such all government offices and
commercial banks will close for the day. (Photo courtesy of the Bureau of
the Royal Household)
Wednesday, May 5 marks the 60th anniversary of the
Coronation of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great. The day is
celebrated as a national holiday, and as such all government offices and
commercial banks will close for the day.
Whist being crowned King of Thailand, His Majesty King
Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great took a sacred oath to rule with Righteousness,
for the Benefit and Happiness of the Thai people, which He has done
magnificently, garnering tremendous respect from His people. HM King
Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great is the longest reigning monarch in the world.
Long Live the King!
Each year on the 5th of May, the Kingdom of Thailand
commemorates the day when, in 1950, the Coronation Ceremony was held for His
Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, the 9th in the Chakri Dynasty (Rama
HM the King, after studying in Europe, returned to
Thailand and was crowned King during an elaborate and highly intricate
ceremony that out lavished all previous coronations in Thailand.
A week prior to His being crowned King, on April 28,
1950, H.M. King Bhumibol and Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitayakara were married.
Following the Coronation, HM the King returned to Switzerland to continue
The Coronation Ceremony reinforces the stature of the
Kings of Thailand. The first such elaborate ceremony was performed when Pho
Khun Phamuang succeeded Pho Khun Bangklangthao as the ruling King of Muang
Sukhothai. Phaya Lithai, a former leader in Sukhothai, left a historical
record in stone describing the coronation ceremony in Sukhothai at Wat
In the beginning of the Ratanakosin era, the first King
in the Chakri Dynasty (HM King Buddhayodfa the Great) took the title of Rama
I and moved the capital of Siam from Thonburi to the opposite bank of the
Chao Phraya River, and constructed Krung Ratanakosin (Bangkok). In the
process of building the Royal Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the
Emerald Buddha) the first King in the House of Chakri refined the coronation
ceremony, establishing important protocol that has lasted to this day. All
Kings to follow not undergoing the coronation ceremony would be unable to
assume the term “Phrabat” in front of the King’s title of “Somdej
Phrachaoyuhua”, and more significantly, the symbol of the nine-tiered
umbrella would also not be permissible or officially recognized.
The elaborate coronation ceremony of His Majesty King
Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great included all the ancient rituals required for
assuming the full title and the nine-tiered umbrella. HM King Bhumibol
Adulyadej then bestowed the honor posthumously on His brother HM King Ananda
Mahidol. HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s benevolent act raised HM King Ananda
Mahidol’s regal status from seven to a nine-tiered umbrella.
During the reign of HM King Mongkut (Rama IV), Buddhist
monks and Brahmin priests were incorporated into the coronation ceremony to
conduct rituals to sanctify the auspicious occasion. Previously the ceremony
was arranged and conducted by the Royal Palace staff and members of the
The annual coronation ceremony is currently a three-day
affair, starting with a ritual “tham boon” ceremony on May 3 to honor the
King’s ancestors. Later on the first day, another ceremony is performed,
whereby flags of honor are issued to distinguish various military units.
The following day, Buddhist ceremonies continue with
chanting rituals, prayers and Brahman priests announcing the auspicious
occasion forthcoming the next day (May 5).
On the 5th of May, His Majesty conducts a merit making
ceremony, presenting offerings to Buddhist monks, and leads a “Wien Thien”
ceremony, walking three times around sacred grounds at the Temple of the
In the evening the King conducts another sacred ceremony:
changing the yellow cloth on the Emerald Buddha, the guardian symbol
protecting the Thai people, which was transferred from Thonburi to Wat Phra
Kaew by Rama I.
Many rooms in the Royal Palace are opened for public
viewing on Coronation Day. Auspicious ceremonies are performed and displays
depicting Royal achievements are exhibited to reconfirm the King’s stature.
Chiang Mai celebrates Their Majesties 60th wedding anniversary
Chiang Mai Governer Amornphan Nimmanant, accompanied by
government officials, military officers, police, students and members of the
public held a ceremony to bless Their Majesties the King and Queen on the
occasion of their 60th wedding anniversary. They lit
candles in an auspicious ceremony held at Tha Pae Gate on April 28.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Mom Rajawongse
Sirikit Kitayakara were married by Her Majesty Queen Sawang Vadhana, the
paternal grandmother of His Majesty, at Sra Pathum Palace in Bangkok on
April 28, 1950.
party at the Zoo
Lhin Ping celebrates her 11th month with a cake,
fruit, bamboo shoots and a happy birthday song.
Lhin Ping celebrated her 11th month
in style with a birthday party attended by the residents of senior care
facility Ban Thammapakorn Home for the Elderly. Lhin Ping is growing well,
and enjoying her new enclosure at the Chiang Mai Zoo. She now weighs 33.5 kg
and is eating well, able to eat fresh bamboo shoots on her own. Lhin Ping
enjoyed a birthday cake, fruit and bamboo shoots and a happy birthday song
from staff and guests.
Niphon Wichairat, the Assistant Director of the Chiang
Mai Zoo then organized a “Rod nam dum hua” ceremony to pay respects to the
visiting seniors. He then offered a donation presentation of money and a
True- UBC satellite dish to Ban Thammapakorn Home so that residents enjoy
the live broadcast of the panda family on True -UBC’s Panda Channel.
disruption from Red Shirts
Chumseneethong submits a letter of complaint to Deputy Governor Pairote
Saengphuwong, protesting the actions of the Red Shirt group’s attempts
to disrupt the Rainbow Shirt rally.
After demonstrating peacefully on April 24 to show
their support for Prime Minister Abhisit Vejajiva and to call on him to
not dissolve Parliament, 3 representatives of the Facebook group against
dissolving Parliament, led by Chartchai Chumseneethong, submitted a
letter of complaint to Chiang Mai Governor Amornphan Nimanant on April
27, stating that the Red Shirts had disrupted their daily rally.
They had started a daily rally at Fitness Park near
the Chiang Mai University Convention Center, singing the National Anthem
and calling for a peaceful resolution of the crisis and opposing
dissolution of Parliament after more than 200 members of various groups
took part in a rally on April 24. Included in that rally were the
Rainbow Shirts, the Chiang Mai people group, Protecting the Thai Nation,
Buddhist Religion and King Institute, as well as members of a Facebook
group opposing dissolution in front of the Fitness Park.
With signs and banners opposing violence and the
dissolution of the government, the group marched up Nimmanhaemin Road to
the Amari Rincome Hotel intersection on the 24th.They
then sang the National Anthem and the SanSern Baramee song in praise of
HM the King as they returned to the Park at CMU.
Despite the heavy rains, the demonstration passed
peacefully but Phu Ping Police were there to guarantee the safety of the
They distributed leaflets as they passed by about the
mission of their peaceful demonstration. Calling for peaceful resolution
of the situation, without violating laws, they oppose the dissolution of
Parliament. They called for Thai people nationwide to join hands in
taking responsibility to solve the country’s political turmoil without
class, color or sides.“As Thai people, we would like to express our
loyalty to His Majesty the King, “one member of the group said.
However, subsequent rallies saw the appearance of
members of the Red Shirt group opposing their demonstration, with
leaders stating that the Red Shirts surrounded their group and, in an
effort to avoid confrontation, the group was forced to disperse.
They called on the Chiang Mai Government to protect
their rights to demonstrate peacefully.
“We are here to call for the provincial authorities
to help protect our demonstration from disturbance by the red shirt
group,” a member said.
Deputy Chiang Mai Governor Pairote Saengphuwong, met
with the group’s representatives on behalf of the Governor to receive
their complaint. He added that the government and provincial authorities
are currently keeping the peace and security in the city, and that if
any group violates the law they would be then taken for legal action.
Rallies by Rainbow shirts across the North
More than 200 Mae Hong Son residents opposing the
dissolution of Parliament gather in front of the Phraya Singhanartraja
Statue on April 27.
Khajohn Boonpath and
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son both saw demonstrations by
the Rainbow shirts against dissolution of Parliament and calling for a
peaceful resolution to the current crisis.
The Mae Hong Son rally held on April 27 was attended by
more than 200 Rainbow shirts, Yellow shirts and members of the Facebook
group opposing dissolution. They plan to submit a letter to the Mae Hong Son
Governor Kamthorn Thawornsathit. They also visited soldiers at the 76th
Infantry Regiment at the Montalang Army Camp in Tambon Phabong, Muang
district as a show of moral support. They concluded their rally by singing
the National Anthem and announced their intention to meet every Friday at
the Phraya Singhanartraja Statue, the first ruler of Mae Hong Son, until the
government solves the problem of the Red shirt protests in Bangkok.
In Chiang Rai, more than 100 people gathered at the King
Mengrai statue on April 28 calling for the government to not dissolve
Parliament while members of the Red shirts staged a rally about 300 meters
The Rainbow shirts sang the National Anthem, waving flags
while the Red shirts waved red flags nearby. Pol Col Mongkol Samphawapol,
Superintendent of the Chiang Rai Police ordered police to deploy to the
rally and help keep peace between the two groups. The rally by both groups
dispersed after an hour.
Mekong Tourism Forum to discuss challenges in Mekong region
The Mekong Tourism Forum has confirmed a compelling list
of speakers to address its theme for 2010, “New Roads, New Opportunities.”
Tourism ministers, director generals, travel industry CEOs and leading
private sector and development minds will address current and future
challenges and opportunities facing tourism in the Mekong region. The Forum
takes place in Siem Reap, Cambodia, 7-8 May 2010.
The Mekong Tourism Forum provides a cooperative platform
for stakeholders in the tourism industry to discuss the development,
marketing and promotion of travel to, from and within the Greater Mekong Sub-region
(GMS). It is an inclusive, interactive and results-oriented opportunity
aiming to encourage public and private sector participants to work together
to represent the GMS as a single destination.
High profile speakers include H.E. Dr Thong Khon,
Minister of Tourism of Cambodia, Mr Luzi Matzig, Group CEO, Asian Trails, Mr
Pradech Phayakvichien, former Governor, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mr
Bill Black, Managing Director, Altiva Hospitality, Mr Tran Trong Kien,
Founder and CEO of Buffalo Tours Vietnam, Ms Chananya Phataraprasit,
Chairperson, Asian Oasis, Mr Inthy Deansavan, Managing Director of Green
Discovery Laos, and Mr Greg Duffell CEO of PATA, to name a few.
One of the highlights will be “In Conversation with Lim
Neo Chian”. In this session Yeoh Siew Hoon, Editor & Producer of WIT-Web In
Travel will interview the former CEO of the Singapore Tourism Board, who
will share Mekong-region travel encounters from his 2009 “ASEAN On Wheels”
4-wheel drive adventure. He will highlight the opportunities that he sees
for Mekong tourism growth in the years ahead.
Opportunities and threats will be analyzed against a
backdrop of growth. “Tourism demand for Mekong region destinations is
storming ahead,” said Mr Mason Florence, Executive Director of the Mekong
Tourism Coordinating Office in Bangkok. “We need to work together to make
sure development is fair and sustainable and that we remove obstacles to
growth and poverty alleviation.”
With new road corridors opening much of the sub-region,
there will be sessions on “Pioneering Mekong Tourism Products,” “The Path to
Community-based Tourism,” “How Sustainable Tourism Can Drive Profit,” and
“The Road Ahead.”
Government speakers will update the audience on visa
regulations, border crossing changes, airport developments, and new policies
and incentives for the tourism sector. For the full program showing all
speakers, visit http://mekongtourismforum.org/site/forum/programme/. \The
Mekong Tourism Forum 2010 is open to all. Registration (only US$50; PATA
members US$30) can be done online at www.mekong tourismforum.org. For
further information email to: [email protected] or call the Mekong
Tourism Coordinating Office at: (+66) 2-612-4150.
Japanese government promotes
organic farming in Phayao Province
The Government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for
the Grassroots Human Security Projects Scheme (GGP), granted 2,789,500 baht
for “The Project to Improve the Environment and to Promote Organic Farming
in Phayao Province” on April 30. 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 presented agricultural
equipment and a vehicle at the Foundation’s farm in Chun District, Phayao
The Foundation of Training Center for Agriculture and
Occupation has engaged in the promotion of 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 are urging farmers to reduce
this agricultural burning. However, without providing knowledge and
techniques on how to utilize rice straw instead of burning it, this will not
lead to behavior change among farmers. Therefore, the Foundation has
recommended utilizing rice straw for compost, feed for livestock, and
mushroom beds and plowing 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 a vehicle to reduce their heavy
In response to a request from the Foundation, the
Government of Japan has agreed to provide funds for the purchase of
agricultural equipment and a vehicle to compress, bale, and transport rice
straw efficiently. They will be lent to some 300 farmers promoting organic
rice farming and utilized in agricultural training targeting annually some
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. Sato, Consul, or Mr. Tsuda and Ms. Hoshii, Coordinators
for GGP, Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, Telephone: 053-203-367 /
Red shirts in attempt to take over Army checkpoint in Mae Hong Son
More than 10 members of the Red Shirt group in Mae Hong
Son attempted to seize the Phabong checkpoint in Mae Hong Son’s Muang
district on April 25 in an effort to block military and police personnel
from travelling to Bangkok to reinforce authorities there.
Deputy Commander Somjet Pakdeebandit negotiates with the
Red Shirts at the checkpoint in Mae Hong Son.
The 35 armed military and police officers in charge of
the checkpoint refused to allow them to take over. Col Somjet Pakdeebandit,
Deputy Commander of the 7th Infantry Regiment
negotiated with the group for an hour after which the Red Shirts left the
The Deputy Commander said, “We could not let the red
shirt group close or block the road, nor besiege the government offices, and
buildings as per the orders of the Mae Hong Son Governor, Kamthorn
Thawornsathit, who has adopted the government policy on dealing with the
Red Shirt leader, Payon Sarawat said that they had wanted
to block military forces, “but this time, we didn’t have enough people so we
Mae Ai border clash leaves
3 drug traffickers dead
Members of the Ranger force and the Pha Muang Task Force
at the scene of the gun battle in Mae Ai.
Khajohn Boonpath and
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Pha Muang Task Force clashed with a drug trafficking
gang on April 29 leaving 3 dead and uncovering 200,000 yabaa pills.
Acting on a tip-off, the Pha Muang Task Force, in a
combined mission with officers from the Office of Narcotics Control Board
Region 5, the Provincial Internal Security Command and the Chiang Mai
Provincial Police deployed in the Mae Ai area near the Myanmar border to
await a large drug shipment.
Members of the Ranger force of the 3102th Company
encountered the traffickers about 2 kilometer from Ban Huay San in Mae Ai
District, 500 meters inside the Thai border on April 29.
A ten minute gun battle with four heavily armed traffickers resulted in
the deaths of 3 of the traffickers; an AK47 was found near the body of one
of the men and 200,000 yabaa pills were found in backpacks.
Arrest warrant issued for former Mayor of Ban Pong in Phrao
Chiang Mai Mail
A nation-wide arrest warrant has been issued for former
Ban Pong Mayor, Siroj Chompoorat for the murder of the Permanent Secretary
of Ban Pong, Kritipong Srichai.
Police in Mae Faek were called to the report of a fire to
find the body of Kritipong Srichai, 41 years old, inside a burning pickup
truck on the outskirts of Phrao District on April 24. Mrs. Rosada Srichai
informed police that her husband had called her to tell her he planned to
have drinks with the former Mayor before he disappeared.
Chiang Mai Provincial Police Deputy Commander Pol Col
Panudetch Boonruang worked with the investigative team to arrest two
suspects in the murder; Pradit Sutha, 38, a former member of Tambon Ban Pong
Municipality, and Sompetch Chaikham, 43, a former deputy mayor of Tambon Ban
Pong. They confessed that they had worked together with the former Mayor to
Tambon Ban Pong was upgraded to a Municipality in March
of this year and new elections resulted in the new Mayor, Chak Wongkhamma,
being elected. It is believed that the former Mayor was angry with the
Permanent Secretary for not backing him in the new election.
Court issues death sentence
for major drug dealer
The Court of Appeal on Tuesday upheld a lower court death
sentence against a major drug dealer from Thailand’s North, while acquitting
him on charge of conspiring with others and ordering a return of assets and
properties to the defendant. Jirasak Chatworanit, alias Arsan, of the Yao
hill tribe, a major drug dealer in Thailand’s North and Laos, and his gang
members were charged with possession of 60 blocks of heroin and 100,000
methamphetamine tablets for sale.
Mr Arsan was issued an arrest warrant by the Narcotics
Suppression Bureau and escaped to hide in China. He was deported by Chinese
authorities to face prosecution in Thailand in February 2004. Initially, the
lower court sentenced him to death for having drugs in his possession and
handed down a four-year jail term for conspiring with others to commit drugs
offences. However, as the defendant gave testimony useful for the police
investigation, the imprisonment was reduced to two years and four months and
the assets to be confiscated to the country. The defendant later filed an
Mae Wang District hit
by severe wind storm
Chiang Mai Mail
Mae Wang District in Chiang Mai was hit by strong winds
on April 28, affecting 39 villages across 4 Tambon in the district. 400
buildings were severely damaged and more than 120 rai of field crops and
orchards were devastated with many lamyai and longan trees uprooted.
Soldiers from the 3rd Development
Battalion joined local authorities to help stricken villagers in Ban Kiew
Lae Papao and other villages in the District. Thousands of people were
affected, with roofs torn off, rice mills damaged and storage sheds for
crops knocked down.
Warinda Tapeng, the owner of a rice mill destroyed in the
strong winds said, “The winds were stronger than we have ever seen before
and the destruction was so fast. It was so sudden, that before we knew it
the rooftops had blown away.“
Udom Noomsri, President of Tambon Ban Kad Administrative
Organization (TAO), said the TAO staff and authorities had initially brought
in more than 8,700 pieces of roof tiles to distribute them to the stricken
The TAO has also provided some financial support to the
victims and plan to ask for more financial help from the district and
provincial authorities in case of a shortage of supplies and necessities.
Red shirts overcome
barricades at City Hall
Around 300 members of the Red shirt group in Chiang
Mai pulled down the entrance gate to Chiang Mai City Hall on April 28 in
a show of anger against the government for the use of military force to
disperse the Red shirt demonstrators in Bangkok.
A minor clash and injuries between the red shirt
protesters and the riot police was reported when the red shirts were
trying to pull down the entrance gate. They then brought in more tires
to pile up in front of the gate to burn.
Petchawat Wattanapongsirikul, a leader of Rak Chiang
Mai 51 Group called for the red shirt protesters to move back to their
base at Grand Waroros Hotel and the group returned to the hotel. The
Community Radio Station run by the Rak Chiang Mai 51 group at the Grand
Waroros Hotel has now been ordered closed by the government. (PRD)
at Police headquarters
An M 79 grenade was fired into the headquarters of
the Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5 late Sunday night. There were no
reports of injuries.
At 11.00 p.m. on April 25, an explosion damaged the
second floor office of Deputy Commissioner Pol Maj Gen Bandop
Sukhonthaman. Shattered glass was also found outside an administrative
room on the ground floor. Police said the grenade was fired from the
bridge on Mahidol road, opposite police headquarters.
Pol Maj Gen Bandop and Commander of Chiang Mai
Provincial Police Pol Maj Gen Sommai Kongwisaisuk inspected the scene
after the blast, together with forensic police team. The police will
review CCTV tape to see if they can identify suspects.
The Provincial Police Bureau Region 5 Building is
often targeted by members of the Red Shirt movement.