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Campaign to restore the old city

The launch of the Old Chiang Mai City map was introduced at a press conference that also saw the organization of a new group composed of 6 different groups of concerned Chiang Mai citizens looking to see the charm and authenticity of the old city to be preserved and restored. Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn joined the press conference to ask that the people of Chiang Mai consider wearing traditional clothing once a week to honor the heritage and traditions of Chiang Mai. (Photo courtesy of Chiang Mai Municipality)

Elderly receive care at mobile health services unit

The Municipality is offering health checks for local residents for free through their mobile health services units.

As part of the ongoing Municipality program to offer health care and check ups for free to the elderly and indigent residents of Chiang Mai, a mobile health services unit has been visiting various communities around the city. On weekends the units provide additional rabies vaccines for pets and other services.

The mobile unit visited four different communities on August 24 providing eye exams and free glasses to elderly residents. In addition, blood pressure and blood tests as well as other health checks were on offer for the elderly residents. (Photo by Chiang Mai Muncipality).

800 million trees to be planted in honor of HM the Queen

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra plants the first tree of 800 million to be planted in the next five years in honor of HM the Queen’s 80th birthday this year.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra planted the first tree in Mae Taeng as part of the opening ceremony of a 5 year project to plant 800 million saplings in honor HM Queen Sirikit’s 80th birthday this year.

The Prime Minister was joined by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Yongyuth Wichaidit, the Minister of the Office of the Prime Minister, and the Ministers of Commerce, Natural Resources and the Environment, and Science and Technology at the tree planting ceremony held in Bang Nong Phung in Mae Taeng District.

The project plans to plant 20 million saplings in 2012, focusing on watersheds in 10 provinces including 8,000 teak saplings.

The Prime Minister then presided over the opening ceremony at Royal Rajapruek Park on “The Quality of Life and Local Wisdom in Asean” which showcases Northern products and will offer displays of local products including apparel, décor and food from August 6 to November 8.

£10,000 reward offered in 12 year old Kirsty Jones murder case

Mother Sue Jones appeals to the public for help

Sue Jones wipes away tears as she appeals to the public to come forward with information leading to the arrest of her daughter’s killer.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Twelve years on, the infamous Kirsty Jones murder remains unsolved, much to her mother continued grief. There were tears in her eyes as she talked about the death of her23 year old daughter, Kirsty Sarah Jones, who was found dead on August 10, 2000 in a Chiang Mai guesthouse. Sue Jones was accompanied by Dyfed Powys Police from Wales and Pol. Col. Songsak Raksaksakul, Director of the Bureau of Foreign Affairs and Transnational Crime in the Department of Special Investigation when she announced a £10,000 reward (approximately 490,000 Baht).

Pol. Col. Songsak, said on August 10, 2000 the body of Kirsty Jones was found in the Aree Guesthouse on Moon Muang Rd. Soi 6. She had been raped and murdered sometime during the night. The Royal Thai Police initially suspected the owner of the guesthouse, Andrew Gill but DNA test results showed that there was no match with the DNA collected at the crime scene.

On June 3, 2005 the DSI accepted the murder case of Kristy Jones as a special case and have been jointly investigating with the United Kingdom authorities to find the offender and bring him to justice. Both the DSI and United Kingdom authorities believe that the DNA evidence can restart the case. However, the DNA of 22 men who were resident at the crime scene and relatives of the suspects did not match the DNA which was collected at the crime scene.

“The DSI has been working to the fullest extent to solve this case. Besides relying on the DNA tests of the men at the crime scene, the DSI have conducted the DNA tests of inmates who are incarcerated for sexual offences at Chiang Mai Correctional Institution both those that are incarcerated and those that were released. In addition, the DNA collected at the crime scene was compared with 80,000 DNA samples in the database of the Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS) which is DNA samples taken from inmates nationwide, there are about 30,000 samples as well as the DNA of the suspects in unrest in 3 southern Thailand provinces and the DNA of those who died from the tsunami as well as their relatives. However, the DNA tests conducted on the different groups do not match the DNA which was collected at the crime scene”.

Detective Superintendent Andrew John said the Dyfed Powys Police issued the offer of a reward of £10,000 or approximately 491,100 Baht to any person who can provide information and leads useful for the investigation. The reward will be paid upon information leading to the identification and arrest of the person responsible for the murder. The DSI’s investigation team is responsible for examining and verifying all incoming information and fully hope to receive cooperation from the people of Chiang Mai. The DSI has produced the posters which will be posted around Chiang Mai at the police station, District Offices, and tourist sites.

Sue Jones said, “I felt like it only happened yesterday. Even over 12 years later, I still feel the great loss of Kristy in our lives, a beloved daughter and sister. She loved to travel and she loved Thailand.” She offered her thanks to DSI for continuing their work to find the person responsible and to the Dyfed Powys Police for their continued support of the investigation.

Recent reports from the United Kingdom indicate that the Dyfed Powys Police have returned to Thailand to meet with DSI investigators to match the DNA to a Thai suspect.
“Not a day goes by when I don’t think of what she would look like, what she would be doing, where would she be.”

Andrew John, Detective Superintendent of Dyfed Powys Police and Pol. Col. Songsak Raksaksakul Director of the Bureau of Foreign Affairs and Transnational Crime, DSI show off the poster offering a reward of £10,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of the person responsible for the murder.

Khum Khantoke takes the Princess Cup

Khum Khantoke received the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Cup for their traditional Lanna performance.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Local team of Lanna dance and drums from the Khum Khantoke took first prize with their Northern cultural performance at CMU in a show that was broadcast on Channel 9’s show “Khun Phra Chuay” (Oh My God) on July 21, 2012. The team received the HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Cup.

Khum Khantoke sent a team of performers from the restaurant to participate in the contest which saw over 20 teams competing.

Somkiat Ngam-Panich, the General Manager of Khum Khantoke, said the cultural performances shown in the restaurant are intended to not only preserve local culture but to also disseminate information about Lanna culture to visitors. The restaurant has the Northern style architecture, food and performances which many visitors enjoy watching as they sit on the floor to eat in a traditional style.

BoT reports expanding economy for the North

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Supawadee Punsri, the Senior Vice President for the Bank of Thailand (BoT) Northern Region Office issued the BoT’s latest report on economic growth in the North for the second quarter.

The public and private investment has seen growth which has also been supported by government support measures such as the first car discount offered to new car buyers that has seen a growth of eco car sales. The price of rise is high offering farmers incentive to increase production as the water and weather situation have been more favorable.

Although the tourist season was slower than last year the conditions of employment remain strong. Private investment is quite robust and the launch of new property developments has shown steady growth with 23 new condominium projects, as well as community projects valued at more than 15,000 million Baht with new community malls.

Export with border markets remains good and with the changing policies of Myanmar there has been a increase in demand for consumer goods from Thailand there. Although some luxury items will be affected by the economic crisis in Europe the major markets of the region are not directly affected. Economic stability is satisfactory and inflation has been slowed down by food and energy prices. The unemployment rate is low.

The trend in growth is expected to continue with the support of public spending, the expansion of policy to increase income and reduce the costs for the public through governmental programs. The rise of the base minimum wage and the wage hikes for government officials has increased the purchasing power of consumers.

“The Northern Region must be prepared to cope with the uncertainty of the global economy, economic conditions in Europe, extreme weather and natural disasters as well as increased product costs and domestic political risk. Policy and government spending still have a vital role in economic growth in the next phase “said Supawadee.

Promenada donates a road to Chiang Mai

Promenada Resort Mall Chiang Mai, in close co-operation with the Chiang Mai Highway Department and Department of Highways in Bangkok, has invested 13 million Baht in the construction of a new road system comprising three lanes and an adjacent sidewalk, to help traffic through-flow and reduce unsafe situations on the 1317 Highway in Chiang Mai. The new road layout will provide enhanced access and greater carrying capacity to roads servicing new residential areas and a growing number of Thai and expat middle-class families in Chiang Mai. It will also serve Promenada Resort Mall customers by offering rapid and easy access to the new regional destination shopping mall and its unique range of retail and leisure activities.

Mr. Tjeert Kwant, President & CEO and shareholder of ECC Real Estate, said, “We are very pleased to be able to work closely with the Highways Department in both Chiang Mai and Bangkok, and the result is a new development to the current 1317 highway in Chiang Mai. This new road section will function as an important through-fare for a large number of motorists, commuters, and in the future, customers of Promenada Resort Mall Chiang Mai. We are also very satisfied to be working with a local Chiang Mai contractor for this project in partnership with the Chiang Mai Highway Department, ensuring excellent communication, strong cooperation and a superior quality of work.”

The new road is expected to take around four months to build, and will officially be donated to the City of Chiang Mai by Promenada Resort Mall Chiang Mai at a handover ceremony in late 2012. (PR)

McDonald’s opens 165th branch at Star Avenue

McDonald’s opened its 8th branch in the North, six in Chiang Mai, the others in Chiang Rai and Phitsanulok and its 165th branch in Thailand at the beginning of August at the Star Avenue Lifestyle Mall on the Superhighway. Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn presided over the opening ceremony with McThai’s CEO Hester Chew. The new McDonald’s has 119 seats and will be offer a 24 hour drive through service.

Kasikorn launches SME assistance in Chiang Mai

Kasikorn Bank has launched a special promotion for Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) in the North with a fixed interest rate of 7% on a credit line.

Pitpawat Pataranavic Assistant General Manager of Kasikorn Bank, said the Bank has envisioned the potential of Chiang Mai as an important economic area of the North. Noting that it with its infrastructure and strategic location for Myanmar it is positioned to see growth.

Kasikorn Bank defines SMEs as enterprises with annual sales less than 50 million baht. The new line of credit will see the lessor able to choose the amount and timing of payments, additionally the period of repayment is up to seven years with interest rates of 7% for first 3 months and a credit overdraft (O / D) or the amount of promissory notes (P / N) by the applicant. He added that this new line of credit will enable local businesses to reach their full potential in time for the Asean Economic Integration in 3 years. (PR)

Outgoing British Ambassador speaks on his time in Thailand

Expats, crime, pensions and more

By Shana Kongmun
The outgoing British Ambassador to Thailand H.E. Asif Ahmad spent what turned out to be a working holiday in Chiang Mai recently and took time out to meet with local media in a frank and open conversation of his time spent in Thailand and his vision for its future.
The Ambassador will be heading to London for a year and then back to an ASEAN country, he wouldn’t be specific as it has not yet been confirmed but said that he enjoyed the region.

H.E. Asif Ahmad engaged in a frank and open discussion about expats, Burma, Thailand and its future.

He acknowledged the issues that face many Chiang Mai residents, the long term often elderly settlers whose circumstances can change after they move here. He noted that they are working with the Royal British Legion as well as marrying the capabilities of the Embassy with volunteer networks such as Lanna Care Net to try and aid people. He added that it is limited as to what the British government can and cannot do.

Other issues of concern to the British government include drug and people trafficking, the Ambassador noted that there has been a rise in heroin trafficking again, in addition to the flow of precursor drugs across the border into Myanmar and their return in methamphetamine and crystal methamphetamine.

They are talking to the police and providing exchanges of information in regards to the way female victims of crime are treated and the need to protect crime scenes in order to collect as much evidence as possible. The Thai police are learning British techniques in dealing with cold cases and appreciate that we may be able to help in some instances. Thai police have travelled to the U.K. to study the use of CCTV and are implementing it in Pattaya.

“As a government we cannot investigate a crime in another country, we can work in an advisory capacity only.”

He added that the Kirsty Jones case, the young British backpacker raped and murdered in her guesthouse twelve years ago, is still an active case. The government is urging that there be another push to reinvestigate the case, “the family,” he added, “wants closure.”

The Ambassador then went on to discuss the growing prevalence of British criminals fleeing to Thailand, adding that the heat has been on them in Spain and they are now looking for new places to hide. The Thai police have been very cooperative in finding and deporting wanted British citizens.

He was frank in saying that the Thai government needs to be encouraged to attract the kinds of tourists they want. He added that they are reluctant to put people on the blacklist and that even chronic overstayers are not blacklisted. “They could be a little more discerning in the people they let back in. It’s ironic that bona fide expats have difficulties,” he finished saying, “Thailand’s hospitality and generosity needs to be targeted to the people they want.”

The British Behaviour Abroad report that was recently released showed that Thailand was the second most likely country for British citizens to require consular assistance and the third most likely country to be detained in. Additionally, the second most common cause of death (after natural deaths due to old age and illness) was road accidents. He added that it was largely young British citizens who died in road accidents.

“It is a simple fact that the British death tolls high number is due to people not wearing helmets. We do our best to warn travelers. Many do not realize that travel insurance will not cover motorbikes. We are talking to the Thais about stronger enforcement but the police don’t want to be too draconian, they are worried that enforcement of too high of fines will be a hardship for Thai people.”

After several recent deadly bus accidents, bus safety is a concern. He noted that many travelers do not realize the differences between the regulated government buses and those “illegal buses” that are much cheaper. He noted that it is was difficult to come up with the correct wording as they don’t want to say “don’t take buses” but they also want people to be aware that they need to go with a regulated bus.

The pension freeze issue that is near and dear to the hearts of many resident British citizens in Chiang Mai was mentioned to which the Ambassador replied, “It is a clear concern to us in the FCO. The changes were incremental and not one big bang, as it were it was a series of individual decisions based on the reciprocity of the nations which is why some nations have a pension freeze and others do not.”

Thailand is one of the nations where British expats have had their pensions frozen, as do those in Canada and Australia.

He added that the response has not been good, that if the government wanted to unfreeze pensions it would cost 65 million pounds a year and if they backdated the payments it would end up costing the British government 5 billion pounds. “It’s simply a matter of cost.”

The opening up of Myanmar is of huge significance in the region, “Before I arrived as Ambassador I was responsible for Burma policy.”

“We want to give the current President and team credit but they still need to improve human rights. Commercial law needs to be updated; the banking system needs to be modernized. There needs to be responsible investment. We don’t want to deliver Burma from one oppressive regime into the hands of another oppressor.”

He said that the General Elections of 2015 will be key, but he projects that in another 20 years, Myanmar could give Thailand a run for its money. He added that Burma has the fundamentals, but how long depends on many circumstances, it takes time to educate people and there is the danger that the Burmese factory workers could pull out of Thailand and back to Burma.

He said that Thailand has finally given a clear signal that they are willing to engage in serious negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement with the EU, noting that Thailand’s preferential tariffs will come to an end as the economy matures and reaches middle ground.

As for Thailand’s political divisions, he noted that Europe has a long and bloody history of civil unrest, Thailand is not unique in that. He said the two main factions seem to have realized that neither side can win completely; he believes that they realize a coup would mean further civil unrest on a scale not seen before. He added that the divisions are forcing each side to be more competent, adding, “I am not as pessimistic as others. People will test the boundaries but are more cautious. They would prefer less politicking and more delivery of policy. Thailand is unique,” he pointed out, “in that many political enemies used to be friends. They all know each other and have worked with each other in the past.”

Finally he said the main issues Thailand faces are energy security, they need to learn to use energy more efficiently. There is an unhealthy reliance on economic activitiy in Bangkok and the Eastern Seaboard that should be spread out. “Parents working elsewhere from their children is detrimental to society. They need to create more centers of economic activity.”

Corruption is, of course, an issue as there is a huge amount of public acceptance. Salary levels of police and teachers need to rise. Environmental problems were also on his list, as were the upcoming ASEAN Economic integration which will force Thailand to adapt to a global view.

“In order for things to work, the whole system needs to function. The last 5-6 years has been bad for Thailand and its growth.”

And finally, when asked since he hadn’t really had much of a holiday in Chiang Mai, where is his favorite place in Thailand, he laughed and said, “Anywhere quiet that involves fish.”

Ocean Dream launches inaugural cruise

The luxury cruise ship MV “Ocean Dream” recently kicked off its inaugural 4-day, 3-night cruise on the Gulf of Thailand. The 420-cabin luxury liner departed from the port of Laem Chabang in Thailand’s Chonburi province, stopping at Ko Samui, and then calling in at Sihanoukville, Cambodia before returning to Laem Chabang on Monday, 6 August, 2012.
Thai company Eastime Shipping Limited has teamed up with Profit Summit Deluxe Cruise Limited, a Chinese cruise ship operator, to run the service twice weekly, departing from Laem Chabang on Mondays and Fridays at 6:00 p.m.

TAT Governor Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni said, “The TAT is delighted that the MV Ocean Dream offers a great new option for travellers to enjoy the tranquil beauty of the Gulf of Thailand while offering a different perspective on Ko Samui and an introduction to the joys of Cambodia. It also highlights Thailand’s convenient location and marine transportation facilities in the heart of the ASEAN region. Thailand’s readiness in terms of transportation links and facilities, when combined with creative ideas in tourism, certainly will benefits all countries in the region.”

The 20,000 ton MV “Ocean Dream” offers passengers a full selection of luxury cruise ship amenities on its nine decks, including choice restaurants, clubs featuring a variety of entertainment, a swimming pool, a casino, a movie theatre, a shopping gallery and Internet access. The ship’s 420 cabins accommodate 1,060 passengers. The cost for the 4-day, 3-night Gulf of Thailand cruise is 11,000 Baht per person.

For more information please contact “Ocean Dream” Pattaya Office, Eastime Shipping Limited. 75/60-61 Moo 10 Sukhumvit Road, Tugsukla, Sriracha, Chonburi, 10900. 66 (0) 3849 1099, (0) 3849 1100 (TAT)

SilkAir Names New Chief Executive

SilkAir will have a new Chief Executive from 3 September, when Leslie Thng takes over from Marvin Tan, who will be returning to parent company Singapore Airlines. Mr. Thng, 37, joined SilkAir as a Board Director on 1 April 2012 and is currently SIA’s Vice President Network Planning. He has been with SIA for more than 13 years, during which time he has held positions in head office as well as overseas.

Before taking up his current post in Network Planning in December 2011, Mr Thng had been based in Frankfurt as General Manager Germany since June 2009. Prior to that he was based in Italy for one and a half years and before that was in China for more than three years. He has also worked in the Company’s Loyalty Marketing and Network Revenue Management departments.

Mr. Tan, 41, will be returning to SIA as Ag Senior Vice President Cabin Crew. He has been Chief Executive of SilkAir since October 2010.

“Marvin has been leading SilkAir through an especially exciting time in the airline’s history. During his watch SilkAir added eight new destinations to its network and recently announced the largest aircraft order in its history,” said SilkAir Chairman Mr. Mak Swee Wah.

“I would like to express my sincere thanks to Marvin and look forward to working closely with Leslie as we further enhance SilkAir’s role as the Regional Wing of Singapore Airlines.” (PR)

93 year old Australian charged with rape returned from Myanmar

Case postponed until August 20

Nopniwat Krailerg
Australian Karl Joseph Kraus, age 93 years, appeared at court recently after having fled Thailand to Myanmar where he was arrested by the police on July 24, 2012.

Karl Joseph Kraus is being escorted by Police Region 5 officers at the Thai-Myanmar border on August 3, 2012. (Photo Courtesy of Police Region 5)

Mr.Kraus was arrested in June of 2010 and charged with the rape of 4 girls under the age of 15 in Tarn Ingdoi in Doi Saket. However, he jumped bail, obtained funds and crossed the border into Myanmar at Mae Sot where he lived in a rented house for about a month.

The suspect was taken to Chiang Mai Central Prison after being returned by Myanmar authorities on August 3, 2012. He was scheduled to appear in Court for the start of the trial of the rape on August 6, 2012 but defense attorneys pled with the judge to put the trial off as the health of the suspect was not strong. The case was postponed until August 20, 2012 at 9 a.m.

Mr. Somyod, the father of the 4 Thai girls that accused the Australian of rape spoke to the Chiang Mai Mail after the postponement. He said that their house was only 100 meters away from that of the accused and that he often gave candy to the children and allowed them to play at his house. He added that his daughters were afraid to tell him but when the girls were afraid to go outside he pushed them to tell him why. This is when he went to the police. He added that before his escape to Burma Mr. Kraus’ health seemed normal and that he had been drinking alcohol in front of villagers.

The Prosecution said that it was clear he intended to flee, that he was a thread to society and that he had spent the past two years fighting the case. He added that there is strong evidence, Police allege they seized more than 100 photographs of naked children, including some with him posing with them. The suspect has not confessed to the crime and claims innocence. If found guilty at trial, the accused will see a sentence of 20 years in prison although it is possible that due to his great age the court could reduce his sentence by half.

Mae Taeng villagers continue protest against asphalt factory

Mae Taeng villagers meet with Chiang Mai Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul to request his help in dealing with an asphalt factory in the village.

Nopniwat Krailerg
A group of around 60 villagers from Ban Rai in Tambon Keelek in Mae Taeng District gathered in front of City Hall on August 6, 2012 to submit a request with the Chiang Mai Governor that he help in their opposition of the registration of ownership of machinery in a disputed asphalt factory in Ban Huay Rai. This is their second attempt to get the factory shut down as they say the factory that will affect the health of over 500 households in the area.

Villagers allege at that the Keelek Tambon Administration Organization (TAO) approved the construction of the asphalt factory without a public hearing. They said the TAO claimed that the Board had approved the construction of a warehouse but not a factory however; villagers say that equipment has been moved into the building. The villagers state that despite protests the TAO has not answered.

They asked the government to suspend the license for registration of the ownership of the machinery in a bid to stop work at the factory. Chiang Mai Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul received their request and said he will work with the Ministry of Industry to resolve this problem quickly.

Muang KaewJum, a 66 year old resident in the area, said he has a longan garden about 50 meters away and that when he and his wife go to work in the garden they can hear the machinery starting at the factory. His wife has fallen ill after that and has been hospitalized 2-3 times with chest pain and coughing.

Border Patrol officer arrested in drug bust

Border Patrol Officer Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. Wasan Wisarutawessaphu confessed to smuggling drugs from Chiang Dao after 22,000 Yaba tablets were found hidden in his truck.

Nopniwat Krailerg
A Border Patrol Police officer was arrested Yaba hidden in his Toyota pickup truck at a police checkpoint in Kangpantao, Chiang Dao.

Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. Wasan Wisarutawessaphu, age 45, of the Border Patrol Police Division 33, was arrested with 22,000 methamphetamine pills on August 11 said Pol Maj Gen Chamnan Ruadrew, a Deputy Commissioner of the Provincial Police Region 5.

They then searched his house where they found a further 2,000 methamphetamine tablets. The Sgt. Major has seen land and other property valued at more than 3 million Baht seized in the raid.

Officers from the Office of Narcotics Control Board received a tipoff that a government official was smuggling drugs from Chiang Dao to Chiang Mai in a Toyota pickup. After stopping the vehicle and finding the drugs, the accused confessed that he been hired by a dealer in Chiang Dao to deliver to customers in the city.

Forest encroachment on Doi Suthep

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul met with government agencies after receiving complaints from the Paramotor Club of Chiang Mai of encroachment on Doi Suthep - Pui National Park, especially behind Huay Tung Tao Reservoir.

From a survey done by the Office of Conservation Area 16 Chiang Mai it appears that over 600 land plots in Tambon Khun Chang Kian have been found while in the total area over the Park covers four districts, there are about 4,000 land plots that have been uncovered.

The Governor called on urgent action by the Office of Conservation Area 16 to tackle the invasion by encroachers as quickly as possible. The Office will investigate the matter and the Governor would like the process completed within one month and urged them to deal with all encroachers equally under the law.

16 year old arrested in stabbing of woman in Pantip Plaza toilet

Nopniwat Krailerg
A woman reported to the police on August 1, 2012 that she had been assaulted in the toilets of Pantip Plaza on Chang Klan Road. Witnesses at the scene said that Jintana Kamlet, age 36, had walked into the restrooms on the 3rd floor of Pantip Plaza and shortly after they heard her call for help.

She reported that a young man had climbed into the stall she was using and assaulted her with the knife, stabbing her and then robbing her of her purse. However, her outcry brought help and the boy left behind a bag and the knife. Inside the bag they found a receipt from Tesco Lotus Charoenmuang Road Branch, police checked the date and time stamp and then checked images from the CCTV at the Tesco Lotus as well as at Pantip Plaza.

Police investigation led them to 16 year old Arthit Kampuang who has been charged with robbery and assault, they found Arthit at his mother’s home in Sukhothai Province.

Protesters over airport parking fees meet with officials

Nopniwat Krailerg
An organization of academics and citizens that filed a protest with the Chiang Mai Governor on July 23 over the doubling of prices to use the parking lots at Chiang Mai Airport met with government officials and the Chiang Mai Consumer Protection Office on August 10, 2012 to discuss the progress of lowering the prices.

The Director of the Chiang Mai International Airport Visoot Chantana joined the meeting to talk to the complainants with Chiang Mai Provincial Office Chief Viroon Pandhevi acting as mediator.

The leader of the group, Dr. Chuanchim Boonrahong said that the airport parking lot concessionaire Palang Ruam had doubled the prices on June 1, making it a hardship for those who wished to use the parking lot but didn’t have corporate reimbursement. He said that the charge was unfair as the concessionaire had a monopoly on the parking as there was no other place to park.

The group proposed that the company cancel the doubled charge for parking until September 15, 2012 and then they would meet to determine the direction to take.

Visoot Chantana explained that in terms of pricing, the parking charges are set according to market rules and to reduce the amount of cars as the lot was over capacity. The bids for the next contract would be announced in the news and that the lot would be audited on a yearly basis.

The Chiang Mai Provincial Office will continue to mediate the dispute and work to come to an agreement.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Campaign to restore the old city

Elderly receive care at mobile health services unit

800 million trees to be planted in honor of HM the Queen

£10,000 reward offered in 12 year old Kirsty Jones murder case

Khum Khantoke takes the Princess Cup

BoT reports expanding economy for the North

Promenada donates a road to Chiang Mai

McDonald’s opens 165th branch at Star Avenue

Kasikorn launches SME assistance in Chiang Mai

Outgoing British Ambassador speaks on his time in Thailand

Ocean Dream launches inaugural cruise

SilkAir Names New Chief Executive

93 year old Australian charged with rape returned from Myanmar

Mae Taeng villagers continue protest against asphalt factory

Border Patrol officer arrested in drug bust

Forest encroachment on Doi Suthep

16 year old arrested in stabbing of woman in Pantip Plaza toilet

Protesters over airport parking fees meet with officials