Chiang Mai City makes merit for long life
Tassanai Buranupakorn presided over the merit making and life prolonging
ceremonies held on June 3 at 9.09 a.m. at the Tha Pae Gate grounds. (Photo
by Supoj Thaimyoj)
and Supoj Thaimyoj
Merit making and life prolonging ceremonies celebrating
the 714th year of Chiang Mai city’s foundation were
organized by the Chiang Mai Provincial Authority, the Chiang Mai
Municipality, Chiang Mai Youth groups, Buddhist monks and Chiang Mai
residents and held at 9:09 a.m. on June 3.
Ten different locations around the City moat hosted the
simultaneous merit making ceremonies with the two main locations being Three
Kings Monument, where Chiang Mai Governor Amornphan Nimanant presided over
the ceremony and at Tha Pae Gate where Chiang Mai Mayor Tassanai
Buranupakorn presided over the event that saw sai sin (sacred cord) wrapped
around participants and the entire landmark site, to keep out evil spirits
and bad luck.
Duangduen na Chiengmai, Chair of the Chiang Mai Provincial Council, right,
joins Chiang Mai Governor Amornphan Nimanant, 2nd right, in the life
prolonging ceremonies at Three Kings Monument at 9:09 a.m. (Photo by
Held at 10 different locations, at each of the City gates,
at Three Kings’ Monuments, and at each of the corner fortresses; Chaeng
Sriphume fort, Chaeng Katam fort, Chaeng Kuhuang fort and Chaeng Hualin fort,
the ceremonies are held every year on the 6th waning moon and the 9th month
of each year based on the Northern calendar, normally falling in May or
June. The merit making began at 6:00 a.m. with food and desserts prepared
for 9 Buddhist monks and donation tables. The monk’s prayed and recited the
teachings of Buddha; this was then followed by the offering of alms to the
monks. At the end of the ceremony, each participant pours some water over
their finger, a symbolic offering that the essence of all food and drink
given to the monks will be transferred to the spirits of past Kings of
Chiang Mai. It is believed that the ceremony brings good luck, prosperity
and morality to the City and develops a sense of being Thai. This ages old
ceremony, held every year, sees residents join with monks to honor and pray
for the continued life of their City.
foreign resident joins in the ceremonies to prolong the city’s life
and prosperity in the ceremony. (Photo by Jedsadapong Wongkiew)
Residents of Chiang Mai took part in the ceremonies held at Tha Pae Gate,
the Three Kings monument and at other points around the City Moat on June
3. (Photo by Jedsadapong Wongkiew)
Chiang Mai Zoo baby koala named ‘Reconciliation’
Prong Dong was born February 22 at the Chiang Mai Zoo
to Koko and Brian, she was named by a 5 year old girl in a contest.
(Photo courtesy of Chiang Mai Zoo)
here with her mother at the Chiang Mai Zoo, Nong Prong Dong
was named in a recent contest. (Photo Courtesy of Chiang Mai Zoo.)
Chiang Mai Zoo picked the name ‘Nong Prong Dong” or
‘Reconciliation’ from 496 submissions in the ‘name the baby koala’ contest
for the koala bear born on February 22 of this year. 5 year old Lapassarada
Mung-opas of Nonthaburi came up with the winning name. She won 10,000 baht
and a lifetime membership to the zoo.
The judging committee comprised seniors from Chiang Mai
schools and members of the media. Niphon Wichairat, Assistant Director of
Chiang Mai Zoo said the name reflected the current climate in Thailand and
that the baby koala should remind Thai people to live in harmony with each
Lapassarada’s mother, Wilasinee Mung-opas, was happy her
daughter’s name had been chosen, hoping that this would help unite Thai
Popular JJ Market Talent
competition slated for June 13
Just Dance perform at the press conference at JJ
The 4th JJ Talent Competition 2010
will take place on June 13 at JJ Market it was announced on June 2, this
year’s contest will feature singing, dancing and music with a goal to
showcase contestants creative abilities.
There will be three categories; singing, dancing and
musical talent divided into two groups by age. Students from Prathomsueksa 1
to Prathomsueksa 6 grade are in the first category and Mathayomsueksa 1 to
Mathayomsueksa 6 grade in the second category. Thai and international school
students from Chiang Mai will be taking part in the competition.
The event, supported by the Doing Good Deed Every Day
project from DTAC and JJ Market Project and be will be held at JJ Market
from 4.00 p.m. - 8.00 p. m. every second Sunday and the last Sunday of each
month, starting from June 13 until the final round of the contest to be held
on December 12, this year.
The winning prize for each category will be 20,000 baht
in cash and other valuable prizes will be rewarded to runners up.
The talent competition gives students a chance to perform for their
friends and family and to support each other in their creative endeavours.
Chiang Mai tour guides
to seek government help
Chiang Mai Mail
Thousands of tour guides in Chiang Mai are currently
jobless due to the political and economic crises in Thailand. Tourist
numbers have dropped to 10 percent of normal and the remaining guides
with work find themselves working about 3 days a month on average.
Around 4,300 guides are out of work, according to Somrit Hikham, the
President of the Chiang Mai Guides Association.
Somrit Hikham, President of the Chiang Mai Tour
Guides Association led the meeting at the Mercure Hotel on June 1 to
discuss the tourism crisis currently facing the guides. (Photo by
300 representatives of tour guides in Chiang Mai met
at the Mercure Hotel on June 1 to discuss the proposal they plan to
submit to the government.
“Members of the Chiang Mai Guides Association met to
compile a list of the problems we face and submit our demands to the
Minister of Tourism and Sports and Prime Minister Abhisit Vejajiva
through the Chiang Mai Provincial Industrial Federation,” President
“Initially, we will ask for the Government to help
allow guides to get access to the services of the social insurance
system, and would also call for the Guide Cooperatives to help take care
of more than 40,000 guides throughout the country,” he added.
The tour guide profession is one of 33 protected careers reserved for
Young Zookeepers project
at Night Safari proves success
Chiang Mai Mail
The Safari Club’s first project, Young Zookeepers, held
along with Grace International School at the Chiang Mai Night Safari was so
successful that they plan to hold another one beginning in August.
Dr. Sarawuth Srisakul, the Manager of the Night Safari,
presided over the closing ceremony and presented certificates to those who
had graduated the course curriculum at the animal hospital in the Night
Safari on May 31.
The Safari Club activities, under the project “Young
Zookeeper” were held with the intention of promoting and creating public
awareness on natural resources and wildlife preservation through outdoor
classes. Mr. Mark Hunter, a teacher at Grace, took responsibility for
organizing the project with the Night Safari management, wanted the young
people to understand the importance of the bonds between man, wildlife and
nature. Students took part in preparing food for the animals, cleaning up
the residential areas of the animals, and took part in a training course on
being a junior guide at the Night Zoo over the past four months.
For any youths or educational institutes interested in
joining the upcoming Young Zookeeper project, contact the Public Relations
Department, Chiang Mai Night Safari, 053-999000 ext. 1064 and 02-357 3580.
Rival political leaders
in Pai reconcile
Chiang Mai Mail
An Army officer worked as a mediator to bring leaders of
the Yellow shirt and Red shirt groups together to reconcile in Pai district
in Mae Hong Son on June 3.
Maj Gen Prasith Kaewkamnerd of the special task force of
the7th Infantry Regiment, in Mae Hong Son brought Samart Chumrod, the
chairman of Red shirt group and Somkiart Somchit, a leader of Yellow shirt
group in Pai district to meet each other and shake hands. The two leaders
agreed to stop their political rallies and to work together in an effort to
improve the atmosphere in the town. Kamnans, village headmen and community
leaders were on hand to witness the meeting.
“Both of them were willing to agree on reconciliation and
non-violence. Both want to work together for everyone’s benefit,” said Maj.
Recent political demonstrations in Pai have had an effect
on tourism to the area. Samart said that the recent protests had created
disharmony among Thai people and that rallies needed to be stopped so that
the show of unity would help to bring tourists back to Pai.
Somkiart, of the Yellow shirts, expects the climate for
tourists to improve in Pai. “There will be no more conflicts between the Red
and the Yellow shirt members. We will join hands to help restore the nation
and society following His Majesty the King’s philosophy on economic
sufficiency as a guideline for living,” he concluded.
Chiang Rai homes suffer damage in severe windstorm
Chiang Mai Mail
More than 31 homes in the Mae Chan district of Chiang Rai
suffered damage in a severe windstorm that hit on the night of June 3.
Damages are estimated at more than a million baht.
Chettha Mosikarat, the head of the Chiang Rai Public
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office, accompanied by local Mae Chan
administration officials inspected the damaged homes in Ban Sannayao the
Most of the 31 damaged homes suffered from destroyed tile
and zinc roofs, and 3 farmers sustained serious damage to lychee and longan
orchards, however no injuries or deaths were reported.
Mrs. Boonniem Khanthano, 52, a victim of the storm, said
that the wind blew in very fast and strong wind, which woke her up around
midnight. The roof of her house was blown off by the storm and the family
had to move into the ground floor to escape the strong rain and wind. She
said that this is the worst storm she has seen in 30 years.
Mrs. Woranuch Saengnoomnual, the President of the Chiang
Rai Provincial Red Cross made sure that essentials were sent in, roof tile
and panels of zincs were also provided to help replace the roofs of the
ONCB works with local agencies to tackle drug trafficking
The Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) Northern
Region held a meeting with concerned governmental agencies on May 25 to
discuss the methods of blocking drug transit routes in a bid to reduce the
drug problem in the Northern border areas this year
Permpong Chawalit, Deputy S ecretary-General of the
Office of Narcotics Control Board discusses the drug trafficking problem in
three Northern provinces at a recent ONCB sponsored workshop.
The Maejo Golf Club and Resort in San Sai district hosted
the workshop that was held May 25 and 26 and organized by the ONCB. Permpong
Chawalit, Deputy Secretary-General of the ONCB presided over the event. He
recommended that the ONCB Region 5 coordinate with other agencies involved
in ensuring that policy is implemented in line with the ONCB.
The Deputy Secretary-General said the workshop would
clarify to all agencies involved their areas of responsibility, and would
develop strategic plans specific to each area and agency to target drug
routes, reducing the expansion of the drug trade and concomitant drug use.
The workshop will increase support for high risk
communities, particularly those 14 districts in three Northern provinces
that have serious drug problems and drug smuggling; Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai
and Mae Hong Son.
Pirated fake sportswear seized from sporting goods store
Chiang Mai Mail
Chiang Mai police searched the Krachang Sports Shop and
found pirated sportswear, shirts from famous football clubs, World Cup 2010
sportswear, shoes and more. The police reported about 3,468 fake and pirated
sportswear worth more than 3 million baht had been seized in the raid on
The Chiang Mai Provincial Police, Region 5, in
cooperation with the Suppression police in charge of intellectual property
violations were issued a search warrant for the Krachang Sports Shop on Arak
Road in Phrasing.
The police said there were about 3,468 sports wears,
worth more than 3 million baht.
The police charged the owner of the shop, Jedsada
Thewanukul, 27 of Sarakham province with possession of goods in violation of
the copyright laws. Jedsada was detained at the Provincial Police Bureau
Region 5 for further questioning.
Municipal Council meeting
A Chiang Mai Municipality Council member revealed at the
June 1 Council meeting that “influential persons” collected money from
rental stalls and shops selling goods near the Waroros market in an area
that was currently under government jurisdiction.
The first Chiang Mai Municipal Council meeting in its
second ordinary term this year was held on June 1 at the Municipality’s
conference room with Kasem Parameesilapakhajorn, the Council Chairman,
presiding over the Opening ceremony. 20 of 22 Council members attended.
The fiscal year budget was to be reviewed after Governor
Amornphan Nimanant sent it back to the Council unapproved. However,
Municipal Council member Suthas Srilorm informed the Council that the public
park area at the State Railways of Thailand had just been completed and
opened for the public following public complaints about its disrepair.
He added that public was unable to use the public park
near Waroros Market as vendors had blocked it off with tents and the rest
rooms were very dirty and neglected. Additionally, he said he had received
complaints that a man named Hia Ko was collecting money from vendors who had
put up tents in the public park, but that the money was not going to the
maintenance of the park and that he was unaware as to where the money was
“The money collected from vendors at the park should be
going to the municipality to fund local development projects,” Suthas said.
“We would like to ask the Mayor to help in this issue so
that the public parks can be managed by the Municipality, to clean the area
up and manage the vendors. The park should be a place for the public to use
for relaxation and recreation,” Suthas continued.
“We do not want to see any more “influential persons” in
the Chiang Mai Municipal areas,” he said.
Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn said that he would assign the
Deputy Mayor, Natthachudej Viriyadiloktham, and his officials to look into
this case immediately.
Some Council Members supported Suthas claim, stating that
it was known that bribe collection had been going on in the area for some
time, but when the issue had been brought forth at previous Council meetings
no administrator had taken direct responsibility for tackling the problem.
The Council Members expressed concern that the issue needed to be dealt with
so as to avoid the same problems that had confronted the Night Bazaar in the
arrested in Chiang Rai
Chiang Mai Mail
82 illegal immigrants were arrested by the Chiang Rai
Marine police in 3 districts of Chiang Rai on June 2. 30 of the immigrants
arrested in Chiang Saen, Chiang Khong and Wiang Kaen districts were from
Myanmar, a further 47 from Laos and 5 were from North Korea.
All 82 have been charged with entering the country
illegally and were detained at Chiang Saen Police station for further
investigation as police believe that some may be responsible for bag
snatching and theft in Thailand.
The Marine Police Division has ordered the Marine Police
in the northern border areas to step up patrols as many illegal immigrants
continue to cross over the border to work illegally in Thailand.
There have been numerous cases of North Koreans found to
be crossing the border into Thailand in recent years. Most end up with the
Embassy of the Republic of South Korea.
Two small explosions
set off in popular markets
Chiang Mai Mail
Two small bombs were set off in Chiang Mai, the first on
Sunday night, near the police station on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, near the
Walking Street Market on May 30 and the second was a small homemade bomb on
Witchayanond Road near the Waroros market on Tuesday, June 1. No injuries
The first explosion was suspected by police to be a large
firecracker as scattered paper was found around the area of the explosion
that took place just inside Soi 6 at 8:30 p.m. Motorbikes parked near the
scene were damaged but no injuries reported. The loud bang and flash caused
by the explosion scared many of the shoppers that throng the nearby Walking
The second explosion occurred near Waroros Market as
witnesses reported seeing two men on a motorcycle toss the homemade bomb
onto a pile of rubbish around midnight. The pile of rubbish caught fire, but
was quickly extinguished by area residents and no injuries were reported.
Police believe both incidents could be from a group or
groups intent on causing chaos in the city due to the recent political
crackdown. Police continue to investigate the crimes and intend to step up
security measures in order to keep calm in the city.