Grand ceremonies held to commemorate Chiang Mai City Pillar
Thousands attend celebrations to pray for luck and prosperity
The Buddha Image is carried in a grand parade
respects to the Chiang Mai City Pillar.
Deputy Governor Pairote Saengphuwong lights
the candles to pay respects
to the Inthakin Pillar.
A traditional ceremony, to pay respect to the Chiang Mai
City Pillar or the Inthakin Pillar started May 10 with a spectacular light
and sound show.
Deputy Governor Pairote Saengphuwong, accompanied by high
ranking officials attended the khan dok ceremony to present offerings of
bowls of flowers, incense sticks and candles to the Inthakin Pillar, held
annually at Wat Chedi Luang Worawiharn in Muang District.
The ceremony to pay respects to the Inthakin or the City
Pillar is a long held tradition important to Chiang Mai city residents.
People who attended the ceremony attributed the hour long rainfall before
the ceremony as a result of the power of Phra Chao Fon Saenha.
The ceremony began with a grand parade carrying the Phra
Chao Fon Saenha Buddha image, together with Inthakin offerings along the
city roads to end at Wat Chedi Kuang.
Deputy Governor Pairote presided over the opening
ceremony by hitting a victory gong, and then lit the candles and incense
sticks, sprinkled holy water, and offered all 32 khan dok, (bowls of
candles, scent sticks, and flowers)
marking the worshiping ceremony to the Inthakin City
Pillar. This ceremony is held to ask for normal seasonal rainfall.
The highlight of the ceremony was to sprinkle holy water
and place the ‘khan dok’ on the city pillar. The light and sound show will
be held for 7 days and 7 nights in front of the grand chedi, and at the
Inthakin Pole House in Wat Chedi Luang. This grand event was held until May
17, the last day of the Inthakin festival.
The Inthakin City Pillar was built in the regime of King
Kawila and renovated in the era of Khru Bah Sriwichai, the holy man of the
Lanna Kingdom many years ago.
The Inthakin ceremony was held from May 10-16, when
people in white dresses brought flowers, incense sticks, and candles put
together in 32 bowls, and then placed in front of the Phra Attharos, the
main Buddha image which is housed in the Buddha image hall at the temple.
After that they sprinkle holy water onto the Phra Chao Fonsaenha Buddha
image, followed by alms giving to make merit, so as to bring luck and
City residents fill 32 bowls with flowers, candles and incense sticks in
a ceremony to pay respects to the Chiang Mai City Pillar.
Clashes, blasts in besieged Bangkok
An anti-government protester hurls a rock at advancing
Thai soldiers, Friday, May 14, 2010 in Bangkok. Violence in Bangkok that has
left more than 16 dead led the CRES to declare a State of Emergency across
15 provinces. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
By Denis D Gray
Thai troops clashed with protesters for a third day in
Bangkok on Saturday, as streets in the center of the Asian metropolis became
battlegrounds and authorities struggled to contain Red Shirt demonstrators
demanding the prime minister’s resignation.
Explosions and street fighting have killed 16 people and
wounded nearly 160 since the government attempted Thursday to seal off the
1-square-mile (3-square-kilometer) zone the Red Shirts have occupied in one
of the capital’s most upscale areas.
The spiraling violence, which has shifted from street to
street over three days, has raised concerns that Thailand — a longtime
tourism magnet that promotes its easygoing culture as the “Land of Smiles” —
was teetering toward instability because of the two-month-long political
The army says its troop are not shooting to kill, but
protesters during a lull in clashes Saturday crawled along sidewalks to
slowly drag away corpses of three people near the city’s Victory Monument
traffic circle. They told an Associated Press photographer that army snipers
had shot all three in the head.
Sporadic clashes resumed in several parts of the city
Saturday, and explosions once again echoed through streets emptied of
shoppers and tourists, as plumes of black smoke rose amid skyscrapers and
In a message from New York, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
appealed to both sides to “do all within their power to avoid further
violence and loss of life.”
But with negotiations terminated, the situation appeared
headed toward a final showdown on the streets.
“The situation right now is getting closer to civil war
every minute,” a protest leader, Jatuporn Prompan, said Saturday morning.
“We have to fight on. The leaders shouldn’t even think about retreat when
our brothers are ready to fight on.”
The Red Shirts have kept soldiers at bay by firing guns
and homemade rockets, hurling rocks and commandeering government vehicles.
Army spokesman Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd said some protesters also used
grenades and other weapons, and have an estimated 500 armed fighters.
The troops have kept their distance and made little
progress toward their goal of clearing the streets. Sansern said soldiers
will tighten the perimeter around the protest site in the next few days and
will conduct more intense operations without advance warning.
Bangkok residents found it hard to come to terms with the
violence in their city, which prides itself as an exotic and welcoming
gateway to the Land of Smiles, as Thailand is fondly known.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. I heard gunshots and
explosions all day,” said Kornvika Klinpraneat, a 7-Eleven employee. “This
is like a civil war. The battle is being fought in the middle of the city.”
World Lychee Fair promotes tasty seasonal fruit
The World Lychee Day in Chiang Mai Fair will run from May
19 to 23 at the Big C Arena in Don Chan. Organized by the Chiang Mai
Provincial Agriculture Office, the Farmers Network Group and the Lychee
Growers Group, the event means to promote this tasty seasonal fruit to
Chiang Mai residents and tourists from around the world.
Two young women display bowls of lychees for the World
Lychee Day fair.
With a 16 million baht budget to promote the fruit, the
fair will offer fresh fruit straight from the orchards and dried lychee
The Chiang Mai Provincial Authorities and a working
committee on fruits in the North have set aside a budget to help lychee
growers to help distribute this year’s lychee products of 7,000 tons from
the growers to the consumers.
They also plan to help growers promote their processed
lychee products and marketing to encourage the consumption of lychee in
season, and the third measures is to promote packaging, and the last measure,
it’s to promote consumption of lychee fresh fruits in season.
Thani Thammasuwan, the Assistant Chief of Chiang Mai
Provincial Agriculture Office said lychee production in Chiang Mai this year
has dropped by more than 40 percent due to unseasonably warm weather in the
cool season which resulted in lychee trees producing less flowers than last
year, and so, less fruit.
He noted that this year’s production was about 16,052
tons, 11,870 tons less than last year’s production. Most of the lychee
fruits are produced in Fang, Chai Prakan, Mae Ai, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng and
Muang districts, about 44,892 rai of land in orchards.
About 5,958 tons of fruit have already been harvested or
about 37.12 percent. China makes up the largest export market for Thai
lychees, with a total of about 8,000 tons being exported annually.
Recreation room for sick kids
donated by Ronald McDonald House
Dr Nueng Ekmahachai, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of
Medicine, Chiang Mai University, 2nd left and Shallot Thonawanick, of
the Ronald McDonald House Foundation, 4th left, pose with staff and
patients at the Maharaj Nakhon Chiang Mai hospital after the
presentation of the new recreation room at the hospital.
McDonald’s through Ronald McDonald House Foundation (Thailand)
committee member Shallot Thonawanick presented a recreation room for
children at the Maharaj Nakhon Chiang Mai Hospital on May 11. Dr. Nueng
Ekmahachai, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Chiang Mai
University received the donation at the presentation ceremony held in
the Children’s Orthopedic Center at the hospital.
Shallot said that McDonald’s had been creating and
renovating recreation rooms for children at hospitals and schools since
2001 with 18 having been completed so far and another 7 scheduled for
the upcoming year.
Shallot said that McDonald House wanted children at
the hospital to be able to play and have fun while undergoing treatment.
waiving baggage fees
As a sponsor of the Chiang Mai Golf Festival 2010 Bangkok
Airways announced a waiver of all baggage charges for golfers travelling to
Chiang Mai from Bangkok between May 1 and June 26, 2010.
for new exhibition center
Chumpol Silapa-archa, the Minister of Tourism and Sports
presided over the foundation laying stone ceremony for the MICE construction
project site in Chiang Mai.
Chumpol Silapa-archa, Minister of Tourism and Sports was
in Chiang Mai Monday May 10 to preside over the foundation laying ceremony
for the Chiang Mai Meeting Incentive Convention and Exhibition (MICE)
building in Chang Puak.
The MICE building, which is expected to finish
construction by October of 2011, has been a budget of 2.2 billion baht, on a
plot of more than 335 rai near City Hall and the 700 Year Stadium.
The completion due date of October 1 is expected to be in
time for the big Royal Flora Ratchapruek Fair to be hosted by the Chiang Mai
Provincial Authority. Once it is finished, it will be the first and biggest
government sector MICE area for the region.
The Minister believes the project will generate more
income for the province and the country because of Chiang Mai’s high
potential for MICE marketing development.
The Cabinet approved the project on September 16, 2003
and then assigned the Tourism Authority of Thailand to carry on the MICE
project by working in cooperation with the Northern SME Promotion and
Development Center, Industrial Promotion Department.
Once it is completed, there will be 419,625.46 square
meters total with 55,076.02 square meters for internal space for public use,
and 364,549.44 square meters will be for external space.
The MICE center will have a capacity of 10,000 people
with the biggest conference room able to hold about 3,000 people. A
restaurant that can hold 2,000 and other smaller meeting rooms will make for
a flexible space. Parking for about 3,000 cars is included in the plan.
The building will include a swimming pool, offices, food
shops, souvenir shops, exhibition halls, banks, postal office,
transportation offices, tour companies, and government working agencies in
terms of One Stop Service and others.
The MICE – Meeting, Incentive, Convention, and Exhibition
building is expected to generate income for the tourism sector of more than
3 billion baht a year on average and increase tourism income by 10 percent.
Abbot and monk arrested for murder of rival in love
Kru Bah Noi, or Anucha Nalai, 24, the abbot of Wat Phayak,
in white T shirt, and Phra Tong or Amphol Uamkul, his accomplice, were
brought in by police to reenact the crime near the entrance to Wat Phayak in
Talad Kwan, Doi Saket.
Chiang Mai Mail
The Abbot of Wat Phayak Donkaewphothiyarn in Doi Saket,
Khru Bah Noi, also known as Phra Arnawilo, or Mr. Anucha Nalai, 24 was
arrested along with fellow monk, Phra Tong or Amphol Uamkul for the murder
of Amornphan Chamnikrai, 17, the boyfriend of the Abbot’s former girlfriend.
At midnight on May 4 Amornphan Chamnikrai, 17, was shot
while driving his motorcycle to pick up his girlfriend Miss Duangduen
Nampeng, 19, from her job at the 7-eleven store in Doi Saket. Amornphan was
shot in the chest from a passing vehicle and died on the way to the
After the shooting, police took Miss Duangduen in for
further questioning. She told them she believed her former boyfriend, Anucha,
and his friend Amphol Uamkul were the gunmen. The police brought the two in
for questioning and while they initially denied the drive-by murder, in the
end they confessed to the shooting. Amphol confessed to pulling the trigger.
The gun belonged to the abbot Khru Bah Noi. Khru Bah Noi told police that he
had killed the man out of jealousy.
Chiang Mai under State
Governor Amornphan Nimanant met with Major General
Chanukorn Tanthakosol, Commander of the Kawila Army Camp and Pol. Major
General Bandop Sukhonthaman, Deputy Commissioner of the Provincial Police
Bureau, Region 5 to plan for the State of Emergency decree by the CRES.
Chiang Mai Provincial Authorities and military and police
officers met to set up a Special Task Force Center, following the State of
Emergency decree for Chiang Mai by the Center for the Resolution of the
Emergency Situation (CRES) in Bangkok.
Chiang Mai was one of 15 provinces included in the State
Governor Amornphan Nimanant, Major General Chanukorn
Tanthakosol, Commander of the Kawila Army Camp and Pol. Major General Bandop
Sukhonthaman, Deputy Commissioner of the Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5
took part in the meeting on May 4 at the Kawila Army Camp to set up the task
force center at the camp.
The Center will provide a meeting place for the Chiang
Mai Security and Peace Keeping Command, used by police, the military and
local administrators in case of an emergency arising.
Chiang Mai Governor Amornphan Nimanant said Chiang Mai
authorities would join hands with local military officers and police
following the political unrest and State of Emergency.
He also asked the public people not to go to join Bangkok
protests because Bangkok is a dangerous war zone, “Also, those operators of
land transport;, tour buses, vans, and cars that take people to Bangkok to
join protestors will be in violation of the State of Emergency.
“We do not want to have to confiscate vehicles or assets
so operators of transportation should cooperate with the authorities.
Additionally, any community radiot stations that call to stage rallies, or
protestors that gather in groups larger than 5 people will find legal action
taken against them.”
Maj Gen Chanukorn Tanthakosol, the commander of the
Kawila Army camp said following the State of Emergency announcement in
Chiang Mai, Governor Amornphan Nimanant will be the commander of the Special
Task Force Center, while the military and police authorities will be the
“Although there is not any violence here in Chiang Mai
right now, the authorities and police and military forces are now on alert
to help keep the peace and security. In case of an emergency, these forces
will then be deployed,” he added.
Chiang Mai PAO to help
villagers combat drought
One of the well drilling machines ready for use in
The Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization (PAO)
released a caravan of water trucks and well drilling machines to help tackle
drought in surrounding villages.
The Chiang Mai PAO has plans to drill 128 wells in 25
districts in the next month in an effort to increase water supplies for
stricken villages. About 1500 villages are facing serious water shortages
for consumption and agriculture.
On May 10, Boonlert Buranupakorn, the President of Chiang
Mai PAO, presided over the ceremony to release the trucks to fight drought.
Drought in Chiang Mai is getting worse, with 25 districts
being declared disaster areas due to the drought. The PAO plan includes
canal and river dredging, and sending water trucks to distribute water to
hard hit villages.
The PAO also plans to buy water from the Regional Water
Work Authority and will provide 39 water pumps to areas that have requested
help. Drilling machines are also being readied to drill more wells for
drought hit areas together with a private company.
President Boonlert said that the hardest hit areas were
districts south of Chiang Mai, Doi Tao, Omkoi, Mae Chaem, Doi Saket, San Sai
and San Kamphaeng in the list of 25 districts. The PAO has set aside a
budget of 50 million baht to help relieve villagers struggling with drought.