Say No to violence against women
Rape and domestic abuse are among the most common forms
of violent crime in Thailand. Across the globe, as many as one in two women
experiences violence from an intimate partner and up to one in five
experiences or is threatened with sexual assault. More than 80 per cent of
trafficking victims are women.
Chulasing Wasantasing Chief of the Office of the Attorney
General opened up the cone as part of a ceremony to pay respect to the
portrait of HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha, UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador for
Accurate numbers are difficult to come by as most Thais
consider it a private matter best kept behind closed doors and many police
will not intervene in what is seen as a domestic dispute although Thailand
passed a law making marital rape illegal in 2007.
Chiang Mai residents joined in the campaign to “Say No to
Violence Against Women” on July 31, organized by the Attorney General’s
Office, Region 5, and the Attorney General’s Office for Human Rights.
Soldiers carry the portrait of HRH Princess
Bajrakitiyabha, UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador for Thailand as part of her
campaign to stop violence against women.
The campaign was held to honor HRH Princess
Bajrakitiyabha, who has been appointed as the goodwill ambassador to the
United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), especially for the
Thailand project on “Say No to Violence against Woman.”
This year, UNIFEM‘s project plans to organize around
100,000 activities throughout the nation, by November to mark the day
against violence and to educate the public about laws protecting women and
children from domestic abuse.
Starting from Three Kings Monument, women’s groups joined
in a parade to Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Center’s Park where exhibitions on the
rates of violence and laws protecting women and children against violence
were on show. The AG’s office was also there to give consultative services
Stage performances were also held in order to increase
public awareness on the problems of violence in Thailand and to promote the
campaign to say no to violence.
Marchers carry a banner in the parade to promote awareness of the problem
of violence against women in a bid to “say no to violence against women”.
Guesthouses see growing
signs of improvement
Seminar brings together local businesses
Due to the political and economic crises in Thailand and
abroad, around one quarter of guesthouses have been forced to close Paisal Surathamwit, advisor to the Chiang Mai Mayor. He added that while the local
guesthouses had been severely affected the Ruenram Chiang Mai Club has
indicated that the situation appears to be improving with the occupancy rate
now hitting 40 percent. He said the situation had started to see improvement
after the end of the World Cup.
Somsak Wongpanyathaworn of the Bank of Thailand, Northern
Region Office was a guest speaker at the seminar held on July 23 at the
Chiang Mai Municipality on the affects from global economic downturn and
Thailand’s political crisis to the guesthouse and business operations in
The Chiang Mai Municipality hosted a workshop on effects
of the global economic downturn and political crisis in Thailand on July 23,
inviting 85 local guesthouse owners and operators. Somsak Wongpanyathaworn,
from the Bank of Thailand and Arthapol Thaweesunthorn from the Tourism
Authority of Thailand’s Chiang Mai Office were guest speakers at the event
which was intended to allow guesthouse operators understand the situation
and seek solutions together.
There are around 300 guesthouses operating in the city,
with more than 1,000 rooms but during the political crisis the occupancy
rate was nearly zero and many were forced to shut down. Attendees at the
seminar said funding from the government to them to help cover costs would
be a good solution for the immediate problem.
Nikhom Traipitak, Acting Chairman of the Ruenraem (Guesthouses)
Club, said that less than 20 percent visitors to Chiang Mai stay in
guesthouses and they are almost always backpackers. He said that they hope
the seminar will present their concerns and needs to the government so that
they can forestall future problems but that the situation does seem to be
Lamyai prices higher
this year as season begins
The ceremonial releasing of lamyai trucks to markets
the country kicks off lamyai season in Chiang Mai.
On July 28, the Chiang Mai Provincial Authority along
with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives released a caravan of
lamyai fruit loaded trucks on their way to domestic markets as part of the
Chiang Mai Lamyai project management at Ban Kad in Mae Wang District.
Panit Charoenbun, Head of the Chiang Mai Provincial
Agricultural Office reported that due to lower production of lamyai, prices
are expected to be around 31 to 32 baht a kilogram or 27 baht a kilogram for
a lower grade fruit.
“If there are really large numbers of lamyai, the price
will be at 22 baht a kilo,” he said.
Production in Chiang Mai this year is about 152,346 tons
of fruit from 315,331 rai of land.
“The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives stepped up
measures to promote processed lamyai fruit for domestic consumption in a bid
to help lamyai growers,” he added.
5,600 tons of lamyai this year are being targeted for
domestic consumption in the provinces.
Thai-Myanmar JBC meets on Mae Sot-Myawaddy border closure
The Thai-Myanmar Joint Boundary Committee (JBC) and
delegations on Friday have met in Myawaddy of Myanmar to negotiate
resolution of the Mae Sot-Myawaddy border closure and to boost bilateral
Chairman Vasin Teeravechyan of the Thai-Myanmar Joint
Boundary Committee (JBC) met with Myanmar officials to discuss the
border closure at Mae Sot.
Chairman Vasin Teeravechyan of the Thai-Myanmar Joint
Boundary Committee (JBC) led the Thai delegation to Myawaddy by crossing
the Friendship Bridge to confer with Myanmar authorities about the
continued border closure which has lasted for over two weeks.
Thai delegation included Thai ambassador to Myanmar
Apirath Vienravi, senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
and local authorities.
The authorities in the neighbouring country shut the
border crossing at the bridge across the Moei River and about 20 cross-border
trading ports along the river on July 12, which has brought trade and
transport to a standstill.
Myanmar authorities closed the border claiming that a
river embankment construction project on Thai side diverted the river
currents which might erode the Myanmar side of the river after having no
response from Thailand to its letter asking the Thai ambassador to
Myanmar to discuss the issue.
However, Thailand halted the construction project.
Prior to the meeting, Myanmar’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister U Maung
Myint welcomed the visiting Thai delegation at the Mae Sot-Myawaddy
Friendship Bridge and talked with Mr Vasin and Thai officials.
U Maung Myint said that the meeting was on the basis
of compromise, aiming to boost the relations between both countries.
Earlier Thai Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn
Ponlaboot and his team negotiated with Myanmar officials in Myawaddy for
border reopening, saying that he expected the Mae Sot-Myawaddy border to
reopen early next week.
Currently the results of the talks between Mr
Alongkorn and the Myanmar government to reopen the border at the Mae Sot-Myawaddy
Bridge in Thailand’s Tak province have been submitted to Myanmar’s
higher authorities for consideration. (MCOT)
Burma election splits
Banyar Kong Janoi, Rangoon, Burma
In one of Rangoon’s most popular tea houses, a group of
men are having a heated discussion about the upcoming election. A breakaway
group from Burma’s pro-democracy party, the National League for Democracy (NLD),
has confirmed it will contest the elections later this year. In the tea
house, some are supporting the decision, while others believe it’s a
betrayal of the democratic movement.
The National Democratic Force’s decision to run in the
controversial elections has put it at odds with other supporters of the NLD.
Traditional pro-democracy leaders, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, refused to
register the NLD for the poll and as a result, the party was disbanded by
the military authorities.
“Even if the opposition wins half the seats in parliament
they won’t have a chance to change anything. In order to make any decisions,
75 percent of parliament members have to agree. Besides, 25 percent of the
seats automatically go to members of the military and we don’t know how many
seats the pro-junta party will get. So the election means nothing,” said
Htaw Mon, a car broker in Rangoon.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s party’s decision to boycott this
year’s election is intended to send a strong message that the new
constitution and the poll is a sham, says U Aung Thein, a member of the
NLD’s central executive committee.
“The 2008 constitution was designed to entrench the
military regime. It is also against democratic principles. What’s more, if
we look at the right of ethnicities, this constitution seems like
federalism. In fact it’s not because the presidents and prime ministers have
to be members of the military. So it is very hard for ethnic people to get a
high position such as prime minster. That’s why it is not democracy and why
we cannot accept it,” said Thein.
The NLD is demanding the military government change the
constitution and make the polls free and fair.
“We want to change the electoral laws. The constitution
should be redrafted and a dialogue should be called among the political
parties and ethnic groups for national reconciliation. The election
commission should not be controlled by any political party. Now, as the
election commission has to dance for the junta, how they can do their job
freely? How can we take part in the election under these circumstances?” he
The NLD’s decision not to re-register to contest this
year’s election puts it at odds with some of its supporters, who have formed
a break-away party called the National Democratic Force. U Khin Maung Swe is
the leader of the party and agreed to a phone interview, saying it was too
dangerous to meet in person.
“We know this is not going to be a fair election, but we
have to move on from that. If we have legislature power we can make sure the
government is accountable. If we just say ‘the election is not free or fair’
and boycott it, the military government will rule forever. According to the
constitution, if no one challenges the military government they will win,”
“Our Burmese people need change. That’s why we want to
give them some hope in politics. The political crisis, which they have
suffered under for many years, must be solved in the parliament. We need
political reconciliation. We believe all democratic forces, ethnic leader
and leaders of the military who hold 25 percent of parliamentary seats will
help turn this country into a democracy in the future,” he said.
“We don’t believe our Burmese people can move to a
liberal democracy, so we will have to go with a socialist-liberalist
democracy with a market-oriented economy. We want to boost the economy to
increase the number of middle-class people in the country,” said Swe.
While U Aung Thein from the NLD’s central executive
committee says Burma will only change if an elected government runs the
country, and that could take decades, perhaps the new generation holds more
“We haven’t seen an election before. It is very exciting
to cast our vote. It is good to know that we can choose our leader,” said
high school student Mi Mow on the streets of Rangoon.
Note: This article was first broadcast on Asia
Calling, a regional current affairs radio program produced by Indonesia’s
independent radio news agency KBR68H and broadcast in local languages in 10
countries across Asia. www. asiacalling.org. In cooperation with the Faculty of
Mass Communications at Chiang Mai University.
Torrential rains cause
flash flooding in Pai
Pai saw flash flooding from torrential rains on Tuesday, July 27,
roads being washed out and houses flooded.
Pai in Mae Hong Son was hit by heavy rains and flash
floods and a minor earthquake on Tuesday, July 27.
At 2:30 a.m. 10 homes in Mae Hee were damaged when the
Huay Mae Hee River overran its banks after torrential rains. Livestock in
Mae Hee and Ban Sai Kao were washed away in the torrent and 7 motorcycles
were damaged. Two houses in Mae Hee were fully engulfed in water destroying
After the flash flooding soldiers from the special forces
of the 7th Infantry Division helped villagers clear up
and the Pai Municipality brought in fire trucks to spray water to blast mud
off of people’s homes.
Peerat Ruangsuksai, chief of the Meteorology Station in
Mae Hong Son reported a minor earthquake of 2.4 on the Richter scale at 2:47
a.m. in Pai District. The July 27 quake was one of 17 minor aftershocks felt
after a small earthquake on July 26 at 12:15 a.m.
in selling illegal teak
By Khajohn Boonpath
Military and forestry officials seized more than 1,100
illegal teak logs at a road blockade in Tung Yao in Pai District, Mae Hong
Son Province on July 29, 2010.
Preecha Sukkasem, from Pai District was caught with
illegally harvested teak in Pai on July 29, 2010.
Officials stopped a Toyota truck driven by Preecha
Sukkasem, from Pai District at Mae Ya on Highway 1095 and uncovered 1,196
illegally harvested logs of golden teak.
Preecha claimed that the wood on the truck belonged to a
member of the Police Suppression Division and that he had been hired to
smuggle the wood from Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai by a police officer in the
suppression division in Mae Hong Son. He added that this was the third such
trip he had made from Mae Hong Son.
Military intelligence sources revealed that golden teak
in Ban Huay Fak in Mae Hong Son was being held by a police captain who had
hired Karen hill tribes to obtain the illegally harvested teak.
The Karen refugee camp at Ban Naisoy in Tambon Pang Moo
was known to illegally harvest teak from the Huay Hok area near Ban Huay
Fakin Mae Hong Son. The illegally harvested logs would be then transported
to a wood factory in Ban Papu in Tambon Phabong in Muang district, Ma Hong
Son. The source added that this had been going on for quite some time, and
that one incident reported on July 24 involved forestry officials in Mae
Sarieng who had intercepted a 6 wheel truck carrying processed golden teak
wood products and, after the driver claimed that the wood belonged to a
police corporal and produced documentation, the driver and the wood were
New Army unit set up
to protect border
By Phitsanu Thepthong
Reliable sources in the Army reliable deny news reports
that the new army unit being set up in the North was due to red shirt
Military sources based here at the Infantry Division in
the North told Chiang Mai Mail the long borders in the North and the
largeness of the region, from Nakhon Sawan, Kampaeng Phet, Tak, Lampang, to
Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son and to Chiang Rai was the reason behind the need
for a new unit.
“The new army unit has been proposed for a few years for
border defense. The current number of military personnel is not enough to
keep the border protected; we need to expand coverage in the region under
the supervision of the 7th Infantry Division. It is
not related to the red shirts at all,” the source told the Chiang Mai Mail.
On Saturday, July 24, the plan to establish a new army
unit in the northern province of Chiang Mai was released and critics charged
that it was intended to obstruct the activities of anti-government
protesters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD)
loyal to fugitive ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
It has been reported that the Army chief ordered the 3rd
Army region, responsible for security affairs in the North, to study the
establishment at the 7th Infantry Division in Chiang Mai. Establishment of
the unit will cost an estimated Bt10 billion over five years, starting in
The Thai government said the establishment of the new
army unit at the 7th Infantry Division is aimed at
protecting the borders and that because of the insufficiency of army force
and personnel it will take 5-6 years to set up the new unit.
Government spokesmen said that the unit is not intended
to block the red shirt people’s movements but to keep border peace and
security in the areas supervised by the 3rd Army
Yabaa and Ya ice confiscated in drug arrests
Chiang Mai Mail
The Pha Muang Task Force confiscated 4,600 yabaa tablets
and 3.6 kilograms of ya-ice in three separate incidents from the 23rd
of July in Mae Ai, Mae Sai and Chai Prakarn.
On July 23, a police checkpoint uncovered Suthas
Pongpratiyanon from Ban Chang in Rayong with 631 yabaa pills hidden in his
mouth and under the driver’s seat. He said he had bought the drugs in Mae Ai
with a plan to sell them in Rayong.
Mr. Arping Sae Lee, 35, a Chinese Haw from Mae Salong was
arrested in Mae Sai with 3.6 kilograms of ya-ice hidden in four candy bags
in his backpack.
The second incident occurred on July 28 when the Pha
Muang Task Force and Mae Sai police uncovered ya-ice worth ten million baht
on Mr. Arping Sae Lee, 35, a Chinese Haw from Tambon Mae Salong, with 3.6
kilograms of ya-ice hidden in four candy bags in his backpack. He told
police that he had bought the drug from Mr. Arnai, (surname unknown) in Mae
Sai market, Chiang Rai, to deliver to a dealer in Chiang Rai town.
July 29 saw the arrest of Ratkrai Saengmuangpiang, 34 and
Mrs. Ladda Khamwong, 35vof Hangchat district and Mr. Nathapat Naiyana, 28,
from Korkha district of Lampang Province with 3,970 yabaa tablets at a
police checkpoint in Chai Prakarn.
A checkpoint at Ban Pha Hong in Tambon Sridongyen
uncovered the pills hidden in two Heineken beer bottles in a backpack in the
vehicle belong to the suspects. They confessed to police that they had
travelled to Fang to purchase the drugs and were returning to Lampang to
Suspects in all three cases were being detained by police
pending further investigation and charges.
Police investigating internet cafes for software piracy
280 PCs with 4.3 Million Baht worth of pirate software
found in Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Hat Yai and Nong Khai
Police officers with the Economic and Cyber Crime
Division recently ramped up their efforts to stamp out software piracy at
Internet Cafes in Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Hat Yai and Nong Khai through the
coordination of a nationwide measure to prevent the illegal and unauthorized
use of software products.
In the first phase of the campaign police officers
recovered pirated software worth 4.34 million baht at eight Internet cafes.
Each café, with an average of 35 PCs on site, was found
using a variety of pirated software products. The owners of the cafés face
business disruption, fines and possible jail terms.
“These cafes are relatively significant businesses, using
large numbers of PCs loaded with unlicensed software to generate revenue and
profits,” said Police Colonel Chainarong Charoenchainao, Spokesperson of the
Economic and Cyber Crime division (ECD). “Like any other business, they are
expected to adhere to Thai laws. Our investigation shows that these
businesses have violated the Thai copyright act. As a result, they are now
facing legal consequences.”
In other activity related to police enforcement of
software intellectual property laws, Thai police arrested two computer
retailers on suspicion of selling pirated software at the COMMART IT fair.
Thai police conducted patrols throughout the fair,
identified two hardware dealers who voluntarily offered to preinstall
unlicensed software onto the laptops they sold, and arrested them for
suspected software piracy. These two dealers will face criminal prosecution.
“Using and selling of pirated software is a clear
violation of the country’s copyright laws, and we are determined to remind
businesses of the severity of the violation through enforcement” said Police
Colonel Chainarong Charoenchainao. “There is an awareness of the risks
associated with the sale of pirated software at COMMART. Similar
investigations and arrests were made for software piracy in recent years at
COMMART. We are seeing a reduction in the availability of pirated software,
but clearly there is more work to do.”
Regarding recent reports of complaints by Internet Café
owners about enforcement actions against pirated software at Internet café’s,
Police Colonel Chainarong Charoenchainao said, “I am not familiar with the
specifics of this situation, but from my understanding the owner of an
internet café was charged with software piracy for having pirated software
on a significant number of computers at his place of business. There is an
ongoing investigation seeking information about this matter, so I cannot
comment further. But I can say that when we conduct raids against Internet Cafés using pirated software, we follow a protocol in which the copyright
owners are closely involved in the legal process and coming to an agreement
for damages. ECD simply follows up on complaints about piracy lodged by
copyright holders, and then collects evidence at Internet cafes for which
search warrants have been obtained. We are not involved in the negotiation
or settlement process.”
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.in.th. (Vero PR)