Chiang Mai honors HM the King
on his birthday
of Chiang Mai M.L. Panadda Diskul is joined by government and military
officials, Consuls and Honorary Consuls, distinguished guests, students and
local residents to pay their respects and honor HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej
on the anniversary of his 83rd birthday on December 5, 2010 at Chiang Mai
University Convention Center. (Photo by Shana Kongmun)
and Nopniwat Krailerg
Ceremonies to honor HM the King on his 83rd birthday
anniversary on December 5, were held around the city. Chiang Mai Governor
M.L. Panadda Diskul led northern dignitaries, consuls, honorary consuls,
senators, judges, attorney, civil government officials, police, military
officers, local organizations administrators, students, educational
institutions, clubs, associations, merchants, and general public
representatives at the ceremonies.
A grand merit making was held at 7 00 a.m. on the morning
of the December 5 with 199 monks receiving alms from the Governor and area
residents at Tha Pae Gate. Later a blessing for long life was held at the
Chiang Mai University Convention Center.
In the evening, at 7:19 p.m. a candle lighting ceremony
was held at Chiang Mai City Hall with offerings presented as a tribute to HM
The Chiang Mai Municipality held a candle lighting
ceremony at Tha Pae Gate, the Ratchaphruek Royal Park and Ministry of
Agriculture and Cooperative also organized its grand celebration with
opening ceremony of the 3rd ‘Ratchaphruek Ruamjaipak Rak Por Luang’ event
from December 4-6, 2010 with exhibitions of royal activities in the field of
agriculture on display. Additionally the Flora Fest is being held at the
Park, to blossom with color in time for HM the King’s birthday. The Fair
ends February 6, 2011.
As part of the event, an Agriculture commodities market
by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (Chiang Mai), and Marketing
Organization for Farmers, ran from December 3 -12, followed by Agriculture
Asia 2010 from December 4 -12, and the auspicious occasion of His Majesty
the King’s birthday “Ratchaphruek Ruamjaipak Rak Por Luang’ fair, to mark
the grand celebration from December 4- 6.
The 15th ASEAN University Games in Chiang Mai
The Chiang Mai Mail is proud to be working together with
Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Mass Communication and participants in
the 15th ASEAN University Games in producing the daily English language news
covering the day’s events. Visiting sports men and women will be able to
access daily schedules, photos and events in the paper which will also be
published online as a PDF file on www.chiangmai-mail.com. Additional
information can be found at the Games site: www.thai2010aug.com/
Lampang ceramics fair
promoted Lampang industry
Athikhom Suphanapong, Governor of Lampang and committee members opened the
Ceramics Fairs 2010, with the President of Lampang Ceramics Association.
Jittarporn Charasrum in
The 23rd Lampang ceramics trade
fair was expected to earn between 120 and 200 million baht according to
Wuthichai Wongnak, the chief of Lampang Provincial Commerce Office and
Deputy Lampang Governor Suwan Klaosunthorn. The fair, with accompanying
products on sale, dances and performances was held from December 1 to 12 in
Lampang at the famous ceramics market on the Kor Kha superhighway.
Wuthichai said Lampang province is regarded as the
country’s biggest production center, generating about 5,000 -6,000 million
baht in revenues. The ceramics produced here are internationally recognized
by internationals for their quality and design. He added that Lampang is
said to be the “City of Ceramics”.
Lampang has about 300 factories producing high quality
ceramics for export. Some of the products were brought for display and sale
at the Fair at deep discounts. About 150,000 people visited the annual trade
fair added Deputy Lampang Governor Suwan Klaosunthorn
He said this fair is annually organized to stimulate the
economy by publicizing Lampang ceramics countrywide and abroad.
Thai- Burma Tourism Relations
Hla Min, Chairman of Bago Division Peace and Development Council Commander
of Southern Command, Burma, and his wife visited a booth of Mae Hong Son
products on sales in Taung Oo, Burma. He and his wife were welcomed by
Thanin Supasaen, the deputy governor of Mae Hong Son.
By Phitsanu Thepthong
A recent visit to Myanmar by Northern delegates from the
tourism and trade sectors resulted in cooperation agreements between
Thailand’s Mae Hong Son Tourist Business Association and the Union of
Myanmar Travel Association (UMTA) on tourism cooperation as well as
agricultural collaboration between Thailand’s Mae Hong Son Chamber of
Commerce and The Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and
During the initial talks for tourism between the two
countries’ representatives Major General Soe Naing, the Minister of Hotels
and Tourism of Myanmar, said that this was first official visit to Burma by
a Thai delegation.
“We are now on the right track for Thai-Burma tighten
relations and then we need more members of the private sector from both
countries to be leaders to do business –to – business promotion for tourism
and hotels while the governments of both sides will be serving as the
“Our top priorities are tourism, culture and sports,
while investment will be coming up later when the new government’s policy is
declared,” he added.
U Win Aung, Deputy Chairman of Myanmar’s Bago Division
for Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Federation said, “We would need
further development of quality personnel in large numbers, especially in the
fields of tourism and hotels.”
Maung Maung Swe, the Chairman of Union of Myanmar Travel
Association (UMTA) said his targeted groups of tourists and visitors at
present are mainly from Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and China.
Prachuab Supinee, a Thai trade diplomat in Yangon
remarked “actually, Burma can see that Thailand wants to create good
relations with Burma, especially for trade and business. And Burma is happy
to cooperate by working together with Thais.”
“However, post-election it seems that Burma wants to open
the country for doing more businesses and seek opportunities with foreign
traders, investors and tourism operators and while its economic development
grows, the infrastructure is not there to handle large numbers of tourists,”
Supoj Klinpraneet, the President of Mae Hong Chamber of
Commerce, added that
“In the near future, we will have Asean Integration in
2015 and so tourism between the countries in this sub-region will become
“Trade and tourism are expected to have a bright
outlook,” he said with confidence.
Mae Hong Son district declared
disaster zone after crops destroyed
of corn and rice have been devastated by a plague of rats and aphids
in Pang Mapha District in Mae Hong Son.
More than 5,800 rai of agricultural land has been
declared a disaster area after rats and aphids devastated crops of rice and
corn in Pang Mapha District in Mae Hong Son Province.
Mae Hong Son Governor Kamthorn Thawonsathit made the
announcement earlier in December after 1,090 families had been affected by
the devastating pests. He has ordered the Office of Social Development and
Human Security to assist those villagers in need as many of them were
growing the crops for personal consumption.
Green City Initiative
at Agria Conference
By Shana Kongmun
Dr. Henk van Reuler, a soil fertility specialist at the
Applied Plant Research facility for Wageningen University in the Netherlands
was on hand at the Agria Conference to promote the Green City concept to
In cooperation with the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok, the
Consulate here in Chiang Mai, the Municipality and other groups, there is a
concerted drive to “green” Chiang Mai. Not just planting trees and using
structures to incorporate plants but preserving those plants and trees
already growing. Maintenance of existing plants, water infrastructure and
ensuring the plants have adequate growing space.
Urban development in Chiang Mai is growing, he added and
development must take existing trees and plants into account when planning.
The impact on social well being is as great as the economic and
environmental impact, he noted.
Trees can help with pollution by absorbing some
pollutants but cities and governments must fight it at the source to truly
tackle the pollution problems. To that end, a poll of “monumental trees” has
been undertaken in Chiang Mai and 20-25 trees in public places around Chiang
Mai qualified as monumental either due to size, age, or religious
significance. A tour is being developed to visit these trees. Many temples
harbor some of these trees and of the most well known in Chiang Mai is the
magnificent Raintree at the Chiangmai Gymkhana Club. He added that many old
trees are in schools but they aren’t included in the tour due to disruption
concerns. They plan to publish a tour book with sites, directions and
information about the trees to give to tour agencies and area businesses to
create bicycle tours. He added that the route inside the moat was about 5-6
kilometers but the entire route would cover 25 kilometers.
The project has been done in conjunction with the Urban
Development Institute, Yawanit Tharachai from Mae Jo University, and Dr.
Duangchan Apavatjrut Charoenmuang of Chiang Mai University’s Social Research
He noted that there already many Thai initiatives to
protect big trees including an ongoing Municipal project, “tree of the year”
that nominates a significant tree each year.
Huay Ton Noon border pass gets green light from Myanmar government
By Phitsanu Thepthong
Maj Gen Hla Min, the Chairman of Bago Division Peace and
Development Council Commander of the Southern Command, Burma, recently
announced full support for Thailand’s road improvement project to link
Thailand and Burma through Huay Ton Noon border pass in Mae Hong Son. He
noted that the new link had a high potential for cross border trade and
During the visit of the Mae Hong Son, Lamphun and Chiang
Mai trade and tourism delegation to Burma late last month, apart from
attending the grand celebration of the Taung Oo city’s 500th
anniversary for its establishment, trade and tourism talks were also held
between the Thai and Burmese delegates.
“We have raised the trade issues on the five western
gateways to Burma by proposing to using the North-South and East -West
economic corridors, as well as the improvement plan for the R3W road links,
the maintenance work of the first Thai-Burma Friendship Bridge in Mae Sot,
Tak and then mapping out the building up of the second Thai-Burma Friendship
Bridge,” Supoj Klinparneet, President of the Mae Hong Son Chamber of
A top priority is to accelerate cooperation on the
upgrade at Huay Ton Noon and the S
And one of the top priorities, it’s to speed up the
cooperation plan to upgrade the Huay Ton Noon - BP13 border pass for trade
and tourism to be the permanent check- point in Khun Yuam district, Mae Hong
Son, as well as the Sinkhon border pass in Prachuab Khiri Khan. Re-opening
closed border passes, such as the one in Three Pagodas in Kanchanaburi also
remains a priority.
Finally, they also considered opening new ones at
Myawaddy, in Kanchanaburi, and Mae Hong Son.
Earlier this year, Thai Deputy Minister of Commerce
Alongkorn Polabutre, Myanmar’s Director of Border Trade Department Aung Soe
Thein, and Mae Hong Son Governor Kamthorn Thawornsathit, accompanied by both
Thai and Myanmar delegates visited Huay Ton Noon border pass in Khun Yuam
District to discuss upgrading it to a permanent border checkpoint.
It was then that the group of business and trade
officials visited Myanmar to discuss the status of the pass.
Meet the Consuls
Republic of India
By Shana Kongmun
Arvind Kumar, the affable and well informed Consul for
India here in Chiang Mai originates from the state of Bihar about 90
kilometers from where Buddha obtained enlightenment in the ancient capital
city of Patna, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
Pataliputra as it used to be called, was the capital of the Magadha Empire
and is a holy site for Sikhs and located near important pilgrimage sites for
Buddhists, Jain and Hindus.
Consul Kumar attended Patna University and Delhi
University for his Graduation and obtained his Post Graduation and M.Phil.
in Sociology at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He joined the Civil
Service in 1993 serving in various ministries until 2006 when he joined
India’s Foreign Service or Ministry of External Affairs, as it is called. He
was posted to Chiang Mai as Consul in April of 2007 and while his 3 year
tenure as Consul is up, the Ministry has yet to appoint a successor. It
depends, he noted, on the Ministry finding someone suitable for the post. It
could be early next year but the Ministry is flexible and it could be as
long as a full year longer.
He said that there is no center for teaching the Thai
language in India and that learning the local language depends on the
interest of the Consul, he confessed to speaking a little Thai, but not well
as he has only learned a bit “here and there” in between his very busy
The Consulate was established in Chiang Mai in 1972 and
is currently housed at 33/1 Thung Hotel Road, and serves 17 Northern and
North Eastern provinces. They offer visa services to both Thai and
foreigners here in Chiang Mai, with visa hours running Monday through Friday
from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, excluding holidays. The Chiang Mai Consulate issues
around 2,000 visas a year, with it split fairly evenly between Thai
nationals and other foreigners. He said Thai nationals can pick up their
visas after 1 working day but other nationalities will take about 5 working
Mr. Kumar noted that the number had been increasing year
by year and in the last 5 years the number of visas issued has doubled. He
feels this is due to enhancement in tourism, “India is coming into
prominence and a lot more airlines are flying into the country but also
inside the country.”
Additionally, the Consulate offers notarial and other
consular services to Indian nationals, but, he noted, there are only about
100 Indian nationals residing here. He added that there are about 1000
persons of Indian origin but carrying a Thai passport.
Last year about 700,000 Indians visited to Thailand and
this year the number is expected to cross one million but mostly they travel
to Phuket, Pattaya and Bangkok. Although, he added, there have been two
grand Indian weddings held in Chiang Mai. The most recent wedding saw 700
guests fly in from India in 8 chartered flights. He added two more large
weddings are in line for next year with one confirmed in January, 2011.
Consul Kumar added that while not a full Consulate
General, he hopes the government will expand the current Consulate to
include a trade office. Currently, he approves all visa applications,
liaises with local Thai authorities representing his countrymen and women
and attends diplomatic and Thai government functions as the representative
for India. He works to promote bilateral relations and to inform people
about India. He said, however his most important role related to issuing
visas and consular services. “We need to expand our consulate; it is very
small and needs to expand to cover commercial and educational roles.” This,
he noted, was his main goal as Consul.
Trade between Thailand and India, he noted, has increased
by 10 times in the past 7 years with a lot of companies interested in
investing but there is no commercial wing. He added that adding a commercial
section has been proposed to the Ministry and he hoped that the Consulate
could be expanded to meet these new needs.
Consul Kumar added that once Indo-U.S. relations
improved, Indo-Thai relations also warmed as India took a proactive role in
improving political and economic relations with East and South East Asia.
He noted the polite and friendly people, the civic
facilities, and the safe and secure feeling of Chiang Mai has made it a most
pleasant place to live these past 3 years. Finally, he added “When I leave I
will miss the greenery and cleanliness of the city.”
New Year’s gift baskets
inspected for health safety
Chiang Mai Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn is joined by Public Health
officials inspecting gift baskets at area stores.
Public Health officials have inspected gift baskets
on sale around the city for out of date food goods that may present a
risk to public health. Dr. Wattana Kanchanakamol, the Head of Chiang Mai
Provincial Public Health Office accompanied by Mrs. Niyada Muen-anant,
the Head of the Chiang Mai Office of Internal Trade, and officials chose
random baskets for inspection consisting of canned food, tea, coffee,
canned fruits, sweets, biscuits and beverages.
The goods and products in the baskets must be sealed
with the price tag and expiry date clearly attached and no alcohol
They said there were some convenience stores in
outside districts that prepared New Year’s baskets with out of date,
copied and smuggled products like wine and whiskey. Officials have also
found some fresh markets that package unwashed fruits and vegetables
still containing pesticides in baskets so consumers should be aware of
Chiang Mai Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn and Sanitation
Group officials, Public Health and Environment Office, Municipal and
Provincial Public Health Officials, and with Internal Trade officials
have launched an inspection tour to several department stores shopping
centers, and convenience stores that sell New Year’s baskets to ensure
warned to avoid raw pork
Medical doctors in Lampang have announced a warning
to the public to avoid eating raw pork. Dr. Chinoros Leesawas of Lampang
Provincial Public Heath said that after the medical monitoring two
people were found sick of streptococcus suis, caused by eating Larb Moo
or raw spicy minced pork meat at a birthday party.
Authorities dispatched a mobile medical unit to
Tambon Thonthongchai to help control the situation and prevent the
Aabout ten villagers ate the Larb Moo at the wedding
party and shortly after that some of them felt sick. So, there, the
medical unit had to carefully watch them in the Ban Tonthongchai village
and nearby villages. After that, it was found that one more villager was
also found sick.
The medical unit monitored the situation there until
it appeared to be improved.
The three villagers survived but officials warned
that it can be fatal.
“If any one eats a lot of raw Larb Moo, he or she
will express her or his symptoms, like high fever, headache, strength at
neck, and shock. These symptoms then maybe affected to the ear nervous
system and could cause deafness and in some cases, death.”
Doctors stressed that people should avoid eating raw
pork as these cases continue to occur.
to enforce alcohol laws
Members of the No Alcohol network
meet to present their petition to the Deputy Governor.
The No Alcohol and Stop Drinks network with members
from 17 Northern Provinces lodged a complaint with the new Deputy
Governor of Chiang Mai, Mrs. Naruemol Palwat, to step up enforcement on
those breaking laws regarding alcohol sales and promotions in time for
the Winter Fair later this month.
A hundred members of the group submitted their saying
that 87 percent of stores illegally sold alcohol to underage youth. A
further 82 percent contravened advertising regulations and sold in
Thongchai Yongyuen, the network core coordinator
along with Stop drinks Network said Chiang Mai is a tourism city, ranked
the world’s best second city, and is popular with Thais and foreigners,
especially during this peak tourism season.
He added that they fear that underage drinking and
drunk driving will be a problem causing more accidents and deaths.
He said, judging from a survey conducted of 1,000
people in the Muang district in Chiang Mai from November 12 -19, 45.66
percent reported problems from breaking the rules and regulations on
alcohol sales and drinking.
Moreover, it was found that 55 .39 percent of them
reported seeing drinking in temples and public parks. 82.6 percent had
seen advertising that broke the laws regarding alcohol promotion while
87.1 percent report that they had seen alcohol sales to youth under 20
years of age.
Golden teak lumber
confiscated in Mae Hong Son
of the illegally cut golden teak wood
that had been processed into lumber in Mae Hong Son.
Mae Hong Son authorities confiscated about 40 pieces
of smuggled lumber in a raid at Huay Ha, near the long neck Karen
village of Ban Pu Kaeng.
Mae Hong Son Governor Kamthorn Thawornsathitkul
ordered the raid after receiving several complaints of teak smuggling in
the area. No suspects were arrested in the raid, however, Forestry
officials believe the wood was ready to be smuggled out of the area and
had been cut by villagers of nearby Ban Hay Due.
Governor Kamthorn also denied that there was a report
about log smuggling through the Ban Nampiengdin border pass between
Thailand and Myanmar, noting that the border pass is mined by minority
groups from inside Myanmar. He added that there had been no official
report of log poaching in the area but that he would be reporting the
complaints to the House Commissioners on Natural Resources and
Chang Puak police sweep nets eight suspects
Police and the 8 suspects arrested in one day in Chang Puak.
Chang Puak police arrested 8 suspects from in one day,
Pol Col Veerawuth Niamnoi, Deputy Commander of Chiang Mai Provincial
Police arrested Anant Kasobsod, 28 of Saraphi, along
with his wife Mrs. Saowanee Pansin, 21 of Mae Rim district with 100
yabaa pills and charged them with possession of drugs with intent to
sell after the couple were stopped at a road block and searched. They
confessed to the police that they had just bought from a man and were
going to sell them on.
A security guard with PAM Inter-Guard Co. Ltd was
charged with theft from the Madu Arts and Heng Karnkaset Companies
located in the market where he worked. Additionally, the Burmese man was
charged with illegal entry and working illegally.
During the search of his house situated behind the
Chang Puak bus station, the police also charged two Thai Yai illegal
immigrants from Burma, who were identified such as Phyimaung, 34 and
Kruesaeng, 20. All were then detained for questioning.
The final case involved three youths who were accused
of robbery. The police said they would follow people riding on a
motorbike, kick their bike to the ground, and then steal valuables from
the victims as they lay on the ground. Police said they had done this at
least 8 times in both Chang Puak and the Muang Districts.