Vol. X No. 2 - Sunday
January 16 - Monday January 31, 2011



Home
Automania
News
Business
Health & Wellbeing
Book-Movies-Music
Columns
Community
Arts - Entertainment
Happenings
Eating Out& Entertainment
Features
Education
MailBag
Around Town
Sports
Travel & Tourism
Daily Horoscope
Cartoons
Long Live Her Majesty Queen Sirikit
Current Movies in
Chiangmai's Cinemas
Advertising Rates
Classifieds
Back Issues
Updated by Saichon Paewsoongnern


NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Elephants make merit on 11/1/11

Chiang Mai bids for World Expo 2020

Cool temps bring visitors to the North

Lignite victims file complaint with ERC

Illegal immigrants arrested on way to Petchabun

Blankets for the needy

Elephant injured by landmine shows good recovery

Crackdown on illegal occupation of public land

Golden teak illegally logged near Royal project

Meet the Consuls

The 7 dangerous days of New Years

LPG powered minivan catches fire on Chang Klan Road

Mortar shells fall on Thailand from Myanmar border

Drug trafficking continues during the New Year

Random violence on the roads of Lampang

Chiang Rai Governor visits Laos

 

Elephants make merit on 11/1/11

On the auspicious date of 11/1/11 Nipakorn Singhabhudathangkoon, Head of the National Elephant Institute, Forestry Industry Organization in Lampang led staff, officials, mahouts and 11 elephants from the Elephant Conservation Center in making merit and giving alms of rice and dried food to 11 Buddhist monks in Lampang. (By Thaweerat Pensalaphan).

 

Chiang Mai bids for World Expo 2020

Nopniwat Krailerg

Vicente Gonzales Loscertales, the Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) is now in Thailand to inspect potential sites for the World Expo 2020. He was expected to visit Ayutthaya, Chon Buri and Chiang Mai. He was in Chiang Mai January 13 and 14 explore the city and ascertain its readiness for hosting the World Expo in 2020.

Samroaeng Chaisen, head of the Chiang Mai Provincial Development Strategy working group discusses Chiang Mai’s preparations for the World Expo 2020 bid.

According to Samroeng Chaisen, Head of Chiang Mai Provincial Development strategy working group, the Thai Cabinet proposed the three provinces to vie for the Expo in August of 2010. The Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has been assigned by the Thai Government to run a Detail Project Feasibility Study and to finalize the host province within 120 days and the Cabinet will choose the hosting Province in February 2011.

Chiang Mai has offered 1300 rai of government land in Don Kaew in Mae Rim to host the expo and will expand Chiang Mai International Airport to receive up to 12 million passengers by 2020. Chiang Mai’s infrastructure linking it with other major cities and foreign countries is already fully in place, he added. The Thai cabinet also approved the high speed train plan on November 11, 2009 and to do feasibility studies on the high speed train between Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai also has many first class resorts, spas and hotels and is developing the city as a medical and wellness hub in the City of Life and Wealth plan which will improve the livability of the city.

Chiang Mai will host the .Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Expo 2015 and hosted the World Horticulture Expo in 2006, in which 30 countries participated, showing its ability to handle such events.

Travel & Leisure magazine voted Chiang Mai second best city for tourism in the world in 2010 and the Lonely Planet selected Chiang Mai as one of the top ten cities for world tourism as well.


Cool temps bring visitors to the North

The cool temperatures brought visitors flocking to the North for the New Year holidays. Mae Hong Son saw many visitors with their cool temperatures and morning fog. Chiang Mai saw a more than 20 percent increase in visitors (story on Page 5). With 107 road accidents in Chiang Mai with 10 deaths ranked the province 7th highest in the nation. 105 people were injured which pushed Chiang Mai to number 5 in injuries in the country. (Photo by Khajohn Boonpath)


Lignite victims file complaint with ERC

Maliwan Nakwiroj filed a complaint regarding current fund dispersal regulations for the Mae Moh Lignite Plant with the ERC.

Thaweerat Pensalaphan

Representatives of the victims of the Mae Moh Lignite Power Plant in Mae Moh, Lampang, filed a complaint with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to revise the drafted regulations put in place to speed up the distribution of funds to the community in aid of development, patient treatment and enforcing regulations regarding the fund.

Ms. Maliwan Nakwiroj, secretary for the victims’ rights groups, said that they had raised the issue late last month in a bid to enforce effective and regulated distribution of the fund. Earlier this month, they urged the Commission to revise the regulations as they felt that the latest regulations were not meeting with Fund objectives.

She said that the latest draft “should not benefit the Electrical Generating Authority staff but those people who suffered from the lignite plant in Mae Moh. Most of the funds are going to other projects that are not related to the Fund objectives.”

She also noted that victims of the plant have not received top treatment in a timely manner as the fund intended, “if they received compensation money, it was very late and in small sums when compared to the other projects’ funds allocation.”

Ms. Maliwan added that the draft of the Fund regulations to be announced this year should be more in line with meeting the needs of the victims of the power plants health effects. She asked the Executive Committee of the Office of the ERC to speed up the final amendments to the regulations of fund dispersal noting, “Those who suffered due to the power plant are experiencing hardship and have to receive any real benefits from the funds. If the Executive Committee neglects their needs then the network will have to protest against the committee and Fund dispersal.”


Illegal immigrants arrested on way to Petchabun

The group of illegal workers after they were detained by the police in Lampang.

Thaweerat Pensalaphan

A dozen illegal immigrants from Burma were detained when the bus they were travelling on was stopped at a police checkpoint in Donfai, Lampang.

On January 6, at 1.30 a.m., the Maetha police in Lampang detained 12 Burmese immigrants; 9 men and 3 women, aged 18 -37 years old, while they were travelling on the Phuluang Tour bus to Petchabun. The police stopped the bus in a routine police checkpoint and arrested the group when they failed to produce ID cards or work papers.

Mr. Tor, a 22 year old man from Myanmar, said they had planned to travel to Petchabun to work in a chicken farm after crossing the border into Thailand.


Blankets for the needy

The Master Ruma Foundation, having received its license to operate in Thailand on Nov.3, 2010, based on the teachings and philosophy of Master Ruma, a well known and well traveled Spiritual Master of Vietnamese heritage, the Foundation is working to alleviate poverty and stress spiritual growth. Here they handed out 250 blankets to the most needy Ban Pong villagers and another 100 blankets for the residents of Baan Toong Pong.


Elephant injured by landmine shows good recovery

Pang Mae Khapae is seen her with the prosthetic and splint on her injured leg, the 15kg splint allows her to balance the more than 2,000kg the elephant weighs.

Thaweerat Pensalaphan

Pang Mae Khapae, the 22 year old elephant seriously injured by a landmine near Mae Sot in Tak in August last year is showing a good recovery at the Elephant Hospital in Lampang, Dr. Preecha Puangkham, Hospital Director said recently. The hospital fitted a splint over her injured leg to help her balance and strengthen the leg.

After 5 months of treatment, she is recovering well and hospital veterinarians are quite satisfied with her progress having fitted a stainless and aluminum prosthetic on her left foot with a splint to allow her to use the leg. Dr. Preecha said that once she makes a full recovery and becomes strong enough, she can return home to Tak.


Crackdown on illegal occupation of public land

Chiang Mai Mail reporters

Two builders encroaching on public lands saw their appeal to authorities to allow construction to continue on the site at Kamphaeng Din dismissed after they had been charged with illegal construction and trespass on public lands.

Chiang Mai Provincial Authorities ordered the suspension of construction and ordered government offices concerned to tackle the growing issue of encroachment on public property. The Deputy Director-General of the Fine Arts Department inspected the locale and found illegally issued land title deeds with more than 596 cases involved in the area.

Governor ML Panadda Diskul called on the public to respect their heritage and to not construct buildings on public lands. He added that any buildings found in violation of the laws would be pulled down and the builders charged.


Golden teak illegally logged near Royal project

Some of the golden teak logs seized near Ban Huay Sua Tao in Mae Hong Son.

Khajohn Boonpath

Authorities seized more than 50 golden teak logs near Ban Huay Sua Tao village under the Royal initiative of Her Majesty the Queen’s “A Small House in the Vast Jungle” project in Mae Hong Son on January 5.

On January 5, 2011, Khanchit Wongphraya, the Head of Huay Pong Forestry Conservation and Prevention Unit, Mae Hong Son was informed by village headman Uthit Tayadee of Ban Huay Sua Tao in Tambon Phabong, Muang district, Mae Hong Son of the illegally logged trees. A combined force of forestry officials, local government officials and villagers went to the scene where the logs were seized and further investigations will take place to find the poachers.


Meet the Consuls

The Honorary Consul for the French Republic

Thomas Baude is an old Chiang Mai hand, having arrived in Chiang Mai in 1980. He is a well known figure among both the Thai and expats resident in Chiang Mai and is an active promoter of not just the Alliance Fran็aise, but all things French. A charming man with a terrific sense of humor, he is certainly very approachable to not just the French who may come seeking help, but to everyone.

He recently joined the Alliance Fran็aise in hosting a charity Ramwong night for the Juvenile Protection Center with his lovely wife, Chamaiphan (Pu) an Associate Judge with the Juvenile and Family Court in Chiang Mai, where he was dressed in local Lanna attire for the occasion while his wife was elegantly dressed in more formal attire. Active in many events, he tirelessly promotes the Alliance Fran็aise activities and helps Thai students with their French as well.

A visit to Thailand when he was still in school led him to further interest and after completing his one year stint in the Army, he began studying Mandarin Chinese and Thai. He went on a round the world trip where he met an old friend running the Alliance Fran็aise in Bangkok who offered him a position should he wish to stay. However, he returned to Paris to complete his schooling but due to strikes school was delayed a month. A letter arrived from his friend with the offer still on the table, so he took it up and flew out to Thailand in January of 1980. He eventually moved to Chiang Mai to run the rudderless Alliance Fran็aise here in November of 1980 and, it seems, never looked back.

He noted that the Alliance Fran็aise is a Thai organization but that French citizens would come to him for help. After a while the French Embassy realized since he was already acting as an honorary Consul, they might as well make it official and he was made French Honorary Consul 15 years ago.

Mr. Baude said, “Personally, the diplomatic social life doesn’t appeal, but nobody else would do it, and I was doing the work anyway.”

He said the first day of work was the day the wife of a United States Drug Enforcement Agency agent was shot at Anusarn Market, so it’s a day he won’t be forgetting any time soon!

The French Honorary Consul offers a few notarial services to French citizens such as income certification but also visits French prisoners and contacts their families and gives them the address of lawyers that can help. He added that they contact families when there is a death in the family, and will offer help when possible. He noted that while French citizens must make their passport applications in Bangkok, they can pick their passports up here in Chiang Mai, saving a second trip south to the capital.

However, his most important role is representing the Ambassador and the country here in Chiang Mai. He noted, “We are the link to the Embassy for authorities here.”

After so many years in Chiang Mai, he said it was not difficult to pinpoint a favorite thing about the city, “The quality of life here is very good, and the general niceness of the Chiang Mai people. If I weren’t happy, I wouldn’t have stayed.”

He concluded, “I have travelled quite a bit and there are very few places in the world with this special feeling.”


The 7 dangerous days of New Years

Chiang Mai sees reduced tolls from last year

Lampang’s first death of the New Year holidays was a result of this accident when the driver of a pickup truck died when his vehicle plunged into an irrigation canal in Ban Maekong. (Photo by Thaweerat Pensalaphan).

Nopniwat Krailerg and Thaweerat Pensalaphan

The 7 dangerous days of the New Year holidays, December 29, 2010- January 4, 2011, saw 107 road accidents in Chiang Mai with 10 deaths (9 men, 1 woman) ranking Chiang Mai as the 7th highest in the nation. 105 people were injured (77 men and 28 women), which pushed Chiang Mai to number 5 in injuries in the country.

This is a 5 percent drop in road accidents from the same period last year when there were 116 accidents in Chiang Mai and 12 deaths with 124 injuries, a more than 15 percent drop for each.

Motorcycle accidents totaled 82.9 percent of all accidents in the Province while 40.3 percent of accidents involved drunk driving while 18 percent involved speeding.

Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul chaired the closing ceremony of the operation center set up to help prevent and reduce the number of road accidents during the New Year holiday 2011 at the Chiang Mai City Hall. He noted that plans will be started in advance of the Songkran festival to help reduce the number of accidents during that holiday in April.

Governor Panadda noted, “The number of visitors to Chiang Mai was 15 – 20 percent higher than last year and yet the number of dead and injured was lower than last year’s figure.” He noted that the prevention of big tour buses driving up Doi Suthep, Doi Angkhang and Doi Inthanon as well as road blocks and check points helped reduce the number of accidents this year.

Lampang saw 62 accidents with 65 injured and 4 dead during the New Year holiday, most of the cases involved motorcycle accidents Kritpetch Petchburanin, head of the Lampang Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office reported, adding that most cases involved drunk driving.

“This year the death toll was higher than last year when we had only two deaths,” he added.

Nationwide, the country saw 358 deaths from road accidents during the 7 dangerous days of the New Year, 11 more than last year with 3,750 injured, a drop of 77, government officials reported. A slight drop in total accidents was met, with 3,497 this year, down from 3,534 last year.

Phitsanulok and Chiang Rai had the highest number of injuries while Lopburi had the highest number of deaths nationwide with 13. Drunk driving and speeding were the two major causes of accidents and most involved motorbikes and pickup trucks. One fourth of those injured or killed were under the age of 20.


LPG powered minivan catches fire on Chang Klan Road

A white Toyota minivan owned by Ekasit Laisaengphong, 39 of Mae Taeng, caught fire on January 5 on Chang Klan Road near the Seasons Department Store. The owner told police he stopped the modified LPG vehicle when he smelled a leak and got out to investigate. The van suddenly burst into flames and billows of smoke filled the air as passersby quickly got out of the area of the fire. Police and Municipal fire engines rushed to the scene and brought the fire under control. (By Nopniwat Krailerg)


Mortar shells fall on Thailand from Myanmar border

Khajohn Boonpath

The New Year saw fighting intensify between Karen soldiers and the Myanmar government in Myanmar opposite Ban Sob Moei in Sob Moei District of Mae Hong Son. During two nights of fighting beginning January 3, gunfire and the sounds of mortar could be heard by Thai villagers and on January 4 two mortar shells fell inside the Thai border landing 150 meters from the village of Ban Pa La Ue’s Thai Community Learning Center.

Thai authorities said heavy fighting erupted between the two groups in December as combined Karen forces attacked Myanmar government strongholds near Ban Sob Moei, causing 74 refugees to flee across the border to seek shelter from the fighting, authorities reported. The refugees have not yet returned to Myanmar.


Drug trafficking continues during the New Year

On January 6, Lampang police arrested former Army Sgt Maj. Uthane Ponsri of Nonthaburi with 8,000 Yabaa pills hidden in his car after he was stopped at a checkpoint in Tambon Nakae in Lampang.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters and Thaweerat Pensalaphan

A Mae Taeng man was arrested in Lampang after police, acting on a tip off, set up a roadblock and caught him with 296,000 Yabaa pills on January 8. The man had hidden the drugs inside the speakers in the pickup truck. The suspect confessed to police that four hilltribes men in Chiang Rai hired him to deliver the drugs to Bangkok for 300,000 baht a trip.

A police sting at the Maesa Waterfall in Mae Raem turned deadly when police surrounded the dealers, one of whom opened fire on the police. Return fire resulted in the death of Chartchai Laochang, 23 of Kong Kaek in Mae Chaem. Police uncovered a shotgun, 1.4 million baht in cash and 20,000 yabaa pills. His accomplice is being held by Mae Rim police.

On January 6, Lampang police arrested former Army Sgt Maj. Uthane Ponsri of Nonthaburi with 8,000 Yabaa pills hidden in his car after he was stopped at a checkpoint in Tambon Nakae in Lampang. He told police that he had bought the pills in ban Rongkhun in Chiang Rai for 600,000 baht and planned to transport the drugs to Pattaya for sale. The former cavalry soldier was charged with possession with intent to sell.

Two tour guides were also charged with drug trafficking during the New Year holidays when Maetha police in Lampang arrested tow Udon Thani based guides with 200 Yabaa pills at a police checkpoint. The police stopped the Phuluang bus from Chiang Mai to Khon Kaen when they found the drugs in the pocket of one of the passengers. Pornchana Srisuwan confessed they had bought the pills in Chiang Dao, Chiang Rai for 15,000 baht with a plant to sell the in Udon Thani.

Two Krabi men and a man from Satun were arrested by police after a checkpoint in front of Wat Chai Sriphume in Lampang stopped their vehicle and a search yielded 1kg of crystal methamphetamine, 1 and a half kilograms of heroin and 14,000 Yabaa tablets worth over 10 million baht on December 30.


Random violence on the roads of Lampang

The windshield of the truck was shattered
by marbles on the highway in Lampang.

Thaweerat Pensalaphan

Around 10.30 p.m. on January 9 THE Kor Kha police station in Lampang were informed by a truck driver that a young man driving a motorcycle on the wrong side of the road swerved towards his truck and threw marbles at his windshield, shattering the windshield and forcing him to stop immediately. The driver, who was coming from the Northern Region Industrial Estate in Lamphun was on the Paholyothin Highway when the unknown young man caused the damage to his vehicle. Police are investigating the incident which, so far, has no suspects.


Chiang Rai Governor visits Laos

Chiang Rai Governor Somchai Hatayatanti called on the governor of Bokeo district of Lao PDR, on the New Year in a bid to improve relations and boost trade and tourism between the neighboring countries and the two provinces.

Some 20 Thai government officials led by the Governor paid a visit to Than Khams Man Soonwilers, the District Governor of Bokeo, which is situated opposite to Chiang Khong border district of Chiang Rai. The meeting covered drug suppression activities along the border as well as cooperation on trade, investment and tourism as well as the exchange of agricultural products, especially rubber.

Chiang Rai has a plan to set up a development project for a joint economic zone, particularly the areas close to the 4th Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge construction site across the Mekong River linking Chiang Khong District and Bokeo District of Laos.

Governor Somchai also visited the construction site of the bridge, construction is expected to be completed at the end of 2012. He then visited the Bokeo District Hospital in Laos whos construction is supported financially by the Thai government as well as being provided with medical equipment and an exchange of Thai and Lao knowledge and personnel for hospital work.



Chiangmai Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
189/22 Moo 5, T. Sansai Noi, A. Sansai, Chiang Mai 50210
THAILAND
Tel. 053 852 557, Fax. 053 014 195
Editor: 087 184 8508
E-mail: [email protected]
www.chiangmai-mail.com
Administration: [email protected]
Website & Newsletter Advertising: [email protected]

Copyright © 2004 Chiangmai Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Advertisement