HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

PAD and UDD join hands to honor HM the King

Chiang Mai Deputy Governor garners promotion

Natural Agriculture opens green waste recycling plant in Mae Taeng

Chiang Mai Night Safari brings in new executive board

Contest focuses on outstanding Thai developed software

Chiang Mai businesses work together to find solutions

3 Mae Jo University students beat classmate to death

Community radio station dismantled under Emergency Decree

Police uncover motorcycle theft ring at Lamphun pawnshop

Monks’ quarters burgled in Mae Faek

Chai Prakarn woman arrested in drugs sting

Software piracy raid against manufacturer yields record haul


PAD and UDD join hands to honor HM the King

Rival political groups reconcile in a ceremony
to honor HM the King in Mae Hong Son on June 9.

Khajohn Boonpath

After witnessing the reconciliation talks in Pai, red and yellow shirt leaders in Mae Hong Son’s capital organized an event to honor His Majesty the King at Wat Chongkham temple in the Muang District of Mae Hong Son.

This was the second time this Northern province has seen leaders of the two rival groups reconcile. Leaders in Pai agreed to drop political rallies and work together to restore Pai’s economy the week before.

On June 9, UDD chairman in Mae Hong Son Prayong Wongtapha, PAD Chairman Narong Sithiwej, accompanied by about 30 people from both groups, took part in a ceremony to honor HM the King. Col Prasith Kaewkamnerd, the officer in charge of the 7th Infantry Regiment’s special task force witnessed the event with about 30 soldiers.

Prayong Wongtapha of the UDD in Mae Hong Son said that everybody can have different ideas, but they must be united and harmonious to benefit the whole nation, and here in Mae Hong Son both of these groups have lived together and worked together for a long time before the troubles started.

Narong Sithiwej of the PAD added that they had strived for support of the nation, religion and the King for a long time as well, “This is a good sign and good start that both sides joined hands and worked together. We are hoping this will spark people to work in harmony and unity,” he concluded.

Military officers acted as mediators between the two groups to work towards reconciliation. There were reports that some hard line members of the Red shirts that did not attend the event, while most of the yellow shirt group joined the event in large numbers.


Chiang Mai Deputy Governor garners promotion

Pairote Saengphuwong, Deputy Governor of Chiang Mai has been promoted by the Ministry of Interior to be the acting Governor of Chumporn Province in the South before retiring.

Pairote Saengphuwong, Deputy Governor of Chiang Mai

Pairote’s key role in preventing the Red shirt protestors from burning down Chiang Mai City Hall and his mediating abilities with the Red shirts were an important component in the promotion. The Ministry of Interior said his work as Deputy Governor could be a model for the younger generation. Deputy Governor Pairote, who assumes his new job on June 12, said that he would perform his duties to the best of his ability. The Deputy Governor of Chumphon, Warakarn Yokying, will take over the position of Deputy Governor in Chiang Mai. The Chiang Mai Mail would like to offer their congratulations to Deputy Governor Pairote and wish him well on his new endeavor.

Natural Agriculture opens green waste recycling plant in Mae Taeng

Mr. Manoonsak Tanthiwiwat, Managing Director for the FIO,
 Mr. Flavio Milan, First Secretary for the Swiss Embassy in Bangkok,
and Amornphan Nimanant, Governor of Chiang Mai cut the ribbon
to open the processing plant in Mae Taeng.

Shana Kongmun

Natural Agriculture, a Swiss-Thai company headed by Uraiwan and Jacques Cavin, opened their new processing plant in Mae Ho Pra in Mae Taeng District on Saturday, June 5. Governor Amornphan Nimanant was on hand to open the new plant.

Specializing in the production of organic fertilizers and mulches from leftover wood chippings, food waste, green manures and animal manure (elephant, cow and horse), the plant is still awaiting organic certification.

Sunchai Viravan of UnionFresh2003 is one of Natural Agriculture’s happy customers. A producer and exporter of fruit, mainly to Japan, his company has found the process offered by the Cavin’s invaluable. The leftover wastage from the fruit is sent to Natural Agriculture for recycling instead of adding to landfills, and they in turn then buy the organic fertilizer to provide to their contract farmers and orchardists.

Jacques Cavin enthusiastically propounded on the benefits of the process, stating that if everyone recycled their green waste instead of burning it, it would have a major impact on Chiang Mai’s pollution problems. Mr. Manoonsak Tanthiwiwat, Managing Director of the Forest Industry Organisation (FIO) in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment was another enthusiastic proponent of the green recycling. The plant is in partnership with the FIO, which, in the past ten years has planted 100 million trees, and has 100,000 hectares of teak forest in Northern Thailand.

K. Manusak told the gathered crowd that included the First Secretary for the Swiss Embassy, Flavio Milan, Ben Svasti Thomson, British Honourary Consul, Supajee Nilubol, Honorary Consul of Sweden, Mrs. Junko Yakata, Consul-General of Japan, Boonchai Kidkarnklai, Managing Director for Telewiz, and Bangkok Bank’s District President, Supaluck Promkuntha, that “We should have this kind of factory all over Thailand”.

Mr. Jacques Cavin talked about the importance of recycling green waste, especially to places like Chiang Mai that suffer from the pollution caused by burning off every year. The plant can take wood, leaves, rice straw, fruit waste, animal manure, in fact all sorts of compostable material and has a production capacity of 10 tons a day, currently producing around 5-6 tons. Sales of the finished product currently run at around 50 tons a month but sales are expected to surpass 100 tons a month by the end of the year and at that time the plant will expand its compost storage area.

“We need help from the government however,” he said. “They need to educate people about the importance of recycling. If everyone recycled their farm waste and plant material the haze would be reduced.”

Mr. Jacques Cavin explains the process to Governor Amornphan
and other guests at the opening ceremony for the plant on June 5, 2010.

Chiang Mai Night Safari brings in new executive board

The Chiang Mai Night Safari’s new CEO, Dr. Sarawut (left) and his executive
team are introduced to partygoers at their Media Thank You event. 

The Chiang Mai Night Safari introduced its new executive board and staff at a party to thank the media for their help in promoting the Night Safari on June 7. Dr. Sarawut Srisakuna, the newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer of Chiang Mai Night Safari was accompanied by his management team who organized the evening function to introduce the media representatives to the new management.

“We want to work in close cooperation with the people of Chiang Mai to draw more tourists to Chiang Mai, especially after the difficulties of the economic recession and the recent political troubles,” he noted. He added that they plan to work closely with the neighboring Ratchaphruek Royal Park in developing marketing strategies to promote the area.

“I will also work in cooperation with other PR clubs and tourism associations so as to help promote Chiang Mai and the Night Safari as an important tourist destination”, he continued.

Dr. Sarawut added that during this low tourist season the Night Safari would launch road shows with the Tourism Authority of Thailand at Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok in an effort to bring more resident visitors to the City.

“We will have to give it our all,” he concluded.

Dr. Sarawut presented the birthday gift of a giant gorilla and joined in the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to Chiang Mai Mail reporter Jedsadapong Wongkiew, whose birthday fell in the same day as the party.

Contest focuses on outstanding Thai developed software

(L-R) Sanchai Chartbanchachai, Account Manager of Aware Cooperation Co., Ltd., Dilok Kunadilok, a committee member of the Association of Thai ICT Industry, Pongsak Ariyajitpaisal, Manager of the Chiang Mai branch of the Software Industry Promotion Agency (Public) (SIPA) announced the Thailand ICT Award (TICTA 2010.

Jedsadapong Wongkiew

More than 500 software products have been submitted for the upcoming 7th annual Outstanding Software Products contest it was announced by the Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA) on June 9 at the Centara Duangtawan Hotel.

Pongsak Ariyajitpaisal, Manager of the SIPA Chiang Mai branch and Dilok Kunadilok, a committee member of the Association of Thai ICT Industry (ATCI) said that they are still receiving more admissions for the contest which ends June 17, 2010.

The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), SIPA, and ATCI are running the Thailand ICT Awards (TICTA). So far, this year, more than 500 entries have been submitted to the committee. This year an additional category was added, the Farming category, for which the winner will be awarded 100,000 baht and runners up will win 30,000 baht.

There are three main categories in the TICT contest; student, general public and agencies or organizations. Admissions for the contest will be ended on June 17, first round selections will be announced on June 22, with second round selections announced July 8 and the final round will be judged the first week of August. Awards will be presented on August 20 at the TICTA Night 2010 party.

The APICTA (Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Award) contest saw 70 entries with 21 winning submissions. Most of the submissions for the 17 categories were from Thai students. APICTA winners from Thailand will be sponsored for travel and accommodation during their trip to attend the APICTA 2010 contest to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on October 10 this year.

For anyone who interests in the contest, could ask for more details at In house Agency Co., Ltd on Nanglinchee road, Nonsee, Yannawa district, Bangkok Tel. 0-2285-3400-1 fax 0-2285-3118.

Chiang Mai businesses work together to find solutions

Nopniwat Krailerg

Business owners, tourism organizations, hoteliers and other agencies met on June 5 to work out solutions for the current tourist crisis hitting Chiang Mai. Led by the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association together with the Tourism Association of Thailand (TAT), the Provincial Chamber of Commerce, the Thai Hotels Association and other groups, they worked together to find solutions for the tourist guides, hotels, and other local businesses facing hardship after the recent political turmoil.

They will work with the SME Bank to fast track loans for struggling local businesses. A clinic has been organized by the SME Bank, Chiang Mai and the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association to advise local business owners on the guidelines for applying for loans at the bank. The clinic will be held June 20 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Suriwongse Hotel.

The Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association loaned money to 86 area businesses after the airport closure in 2008 and expect to aid more this time.

Vorapong Muchaotai, Secretary and Chairman of Marketing Development and Promotion of Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association said they have organized several road shows to promote Chiang Mai; the TAT Phuket Road Show to Chiang Mai) on June 18 at Rati Lanna Riverside and Spa Hotel, and then TAT Chiang Mai Road Show to Phuket in August. Road shows will be also held in Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Singapore, China and India this year.

Additionally, many events have been scheduled in Chiang Mai; the Chiang Mai Super Grand Sales to be held from July 1- August 31, the Travel Trade Show with 300 – 400 tour operators from Asian countries expected, as well as the Asia Tourism Golf & Travel Mart which will be held in September. The Chiang Mai & the North Tourism Conference (CTF 2010) will take place in November with 300 tour operators worldwide invited to attend the event.

3 Mae Jo University students beat classmate to death

The three suspects were brought in by Mae Faek police
to re-enact the murder of Thaweesapt Chompoochit.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Three Mae Jo University students lured a classmate out to a field on the pretense of buying drugs, beat him to death and stole his money and car.

Chiang Mai Provincial police chief Pol Gen Maj Sommai Kongwisaisuk accompanied the by officers from the Mae Faek police station announced the arrest of three suspects in the June 6 murder of Thaweesapt Chompoochit.

Mr. Passakorn or Pe Sodsri, 22, a resident of Tambon Samranraj, Doi Saket, Mr. Watcharapong or We Boonrat, 19, a resident of Tambon Chorlae, Mae Taeng district, and Mr. Rattikorn or Kuad Charoon, 23, a resident of Tambon Krood, Phun Phin District, Surat Thani were charged with beating Thaweesapt to death. They had contacted Thaweesapt on the pretense of buying drugs from him after meeting him at a welcoming party for new students to Mae Jo University. They told police he was a drug dealer in the Mae Jo and San Sai areas.

The group went to a field in Mae Faek in San Sai to pick up the drugs that were hidden there. It was then that Watcharapong and Passakorn killed Thaweesapt by hitting him with gardening implements while Rattikorn stood guard. They then stole 200,000 baht in cash and his Toyota Fortuner. The pawn shop operator they sold the truck to tipped the police off to the crime.

Police have charged the three men with murder and robbery.

Community radio station dismantled under Emergency Decree

Supoj Thaimyoj

A combined force of Army and police pulled down the Rak Chiang Mai 51 community radio station antenna on June 7 at the Grand Waroros Hotel under the Emergency Decree.

At 10.30 a.m. Pol Col Yuthachai Puaprasert, the superintendent of Chiang Mai Police Station, and Col Suebsakul Buarawong, the operations division chief of the 33rd Military Circle, Kawila Army Camp, led the combined force of more than 300 personnel. The entrance to the Rak Chiang Mai 51 Group’s Community Radio Station based at the Grand Waroros Hotel was closed and all the radio equipment was confiscated. Riot police were deployed in case of difficulties.

Worrawut Rujinaphinant, alias as DJ Daeng Songkwae, a representative of the red shirt group was a witness during the seizure of the radio equipment along with some 20 other people gathered in front of the radio station.

Most of the group expressed their dissatisfaction over the o action against their radio station, shouted at the officials and then let candles and incense sticks in a ceremony to curse the official, others hit the Saengsieng gong commemorating the 100,000 votes Thaksin obtained.

Police informed the representatives of the Rak Chiang Mai 51 group that the order had been issued by the Center for Resolution of the Emergency (CRES) under the Emergency Decree and that other radio stations had already been dismantled; Yellow shirt radio station 89.0 MHz Wihok Radio station led by Therdsak Jiamkitwattana and 105.5 MHz led by Mahawan Kawang. Three more community radio stations are targeted for seizure as well.

Police uncover motorcycle theft ring at Lamphun pawnshop

Seated from left, Veer chat Chanboonruang, Anusith Solos, Nutipong Mengthong, charged with the theft of motorcycles in Chiang Mai and Lamphun.

Supoj Thaimyoj

Acting on a tip, Chiang Mai Police worked in conjunction with Lamphun police to raid a pawnshop in Lamphun that was purchasing stolen motorcycles. On June 10, Chiang Mai Provincial police brought in 3 men charged with stealing motorcycles in Chiang Mai and Lamphun provinces.

The police identified the three suspects as Veerachat or Nuek Chanboonruang, 43, Anusith or Jiab Solos, 30, and Nutipong or Kao Mengthong, 33, all of Chiang Mai.

The police received a tip that Veerachat Chanboonruang, the owner of the pawnshop, Nuek –Tukta Leasing) Shop in Pasak, Muang District, Lamphun, purchased stolen motorcycles. Veerachat told the Lamphun police that he bought the stolen motorcycles from Anusith and Nutipong for 15,000 baht a motorcycle. Police believe more than 20 stolen motorcycles had been bought by the shop.

Police confiscated 47 motorcycles from Veerchart’s shop for further investigation, they are being held at the Lamphun Muang Police Station.

One of the recovered motorcycles had been stolen on June 9 from CM Computer Shop in Chang Phuak in Chiang Mai.

Monks’ quarters burgled in Mae Faek

Supoj Thaimyoj

A couple was charged with burglary after forgetting their mobile phone in the monks’ quarters they had robbed at Wat Buddha Uttayarnphothinimit in Mae Faek. Chiang Mai Provincial Police arrested the two suspects for stealing 52,500 baht, music players and sound amplifiers, computers, Buddha images and necklaces from the temple in San Sai district.

On June 10, Pol Col Phanudej Boonruang, Deputy Commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police and Mae Faek police brought in two suspects; Theerayuth Polkaset, 26, from Nakhon Sri Thammarat and Ms. Kesarin Thongsawas, 20, from Phrao District in Chiang Mai.

Police were called to the temple on June 8 by the village headman, upon arrival the temple abbot, Phra Khru Praphan Techapanyo, told police that someone had broken his door, stolen 37,500 in cash from a cabinet and also broke open the locked donation boxes to steal a further 15,000 baht.

Police found a mobile phone on the floor, which led to the arrest of the couple, a further suspect, Wanna Maisuwan, 36 of Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Theerayuth’s uncle, was also involved in the theft but police have not yet been able to apprehend him.

Police said the gang had been stealing valuables from public places around town.

Chai Prakarn woman arrested in drugs sting

Taying Saeju, 27, was charged by the Chiang Mai and Chai Prakarn
police after a drug sting on June 9 in Chai Prakarn.

Supoj Thaimyoj

Chiang Mai Provincial Police arrested a woman in Chai Prakarn on June 9 in a drugs sting with 42,000 yabaa tablets and 2.8 million baht.

Chiang Mai and Chai Prakarn investigation police charged Ms. Taying Saeju, 27, a resident of Nongbua in Chai Prakarn district, near Chai Prakarn District Office after undercover police arranged a drug buy with her. The police delivered the money to her at a restaurant on the Chiang Mai - Fang road in Chai Prakarn and she arranged for the pick up from her husband, Wasant Chairangsri, in front of the Uawitthaya School, Soi 2 on the Chiang Mai-Fang road.

Wasant threw the drugs at the buyer as he drove his pick up away, police were unable to catch him at that time, but Taying was arrested for further investigation.

Software piracy raid against manufacturer yields record haul

Thai police conducted one of the largest software piracy raids on record this week, finding unlicensed software on 365 computers at an Ayutthaya-based manufacturing and services company. The total value of the unlicensed software is valued at nearly 10 million baht. The registered capital of the company facing charges is nearly four billion baht.

Official records for the largest software piracy haul in Thailand were not immediately available. But according to available information, in 2002 a company in Thailand was raided by police for use of unlicensed software on 300 computers.

The origin of this case began like most others, according to police. Acting on the tip received from an anti-piracy hotline, police investigated the company and collected evidence before conducting the raid. The surprise raid resulted in a six-and-a-half hour audit of all the company’s computers. Authorities found PCs containing unlicensed software products developed by Adobe, Autodesk, Microsoft, Solid Works and Thai Software Enterprise, a Bangkok-based software development company.

“This is certainly among the largest software piracy raids we have ever conducted in Thailand,” said Police Colonel Chainarong Charoenchainao, Spokesperson of the Economic and Cyber Crime division (ECD). “But this isn’t to say that suddenly large companies have become a target. We investigate all types of companies. One commonality is that we have received anonymous tips or legal complaints that these companies are using unlicensed software, which is a violation of Thai law. The other thing targets have in common is that we find substantial evidence that the law with regard to intellectual property is indeed being broken. In other words, any company that uses unlicensed or under-licensed software is a potential target—no matter the size or scope of their business.”

In addition to the major raid in Ayutthaya, police have been steadily enforcing the intellectual property rights of software developers in an ongoing nationwide effort to reduce Thailand’s software piracy rate of 75 percent. Police officers have made significant progress in recent years, and say that steady, consistent raids are the most effective enforcement strategy for reducing Thailand’s software piracy rates.

“We do not raid a company and then rest on the success of the raid,” said Police Colonel Chainarong. “We tackle software piracy cases every week and sometimes every day. The records will show that our efforts to protect software copyright are constant. This is how we have found success in reducing Thailand’s PC piracy rate in each of the last three years — a rate of reduction that is among the best in Asia.”

Other recent police raids targets for software piracy include seven large manufacturers, with registered company assets in the range of multi-millions to billions of baht. These companies include a stainless steel manufacturer, a medical equipment manufacturer, an auto parts manufacturer, a precision parts manufacturer and a rubber products manufacturer.

According to the copyright law of Thailand, executives of companies found using pirated software are subject to a fine of 800,000 baht, or a jail term of up to four years, or both.

Those who report the use of unlicensed software by calling 02-714-1010 or by reporting it online are eligible to receive an award of up to 250,000 Thai Baht. The identity of the caller is protected. More information is available online at www.stop (ECD Police)