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Access to Justice

The 2nd Annual Access to Justice Fair was held at the Kantary Hills Hotel, which kindly sponsored the event. One of the many organizations there to help disadvantaged people set up a demonstration loom that is used to help women in poor communities.

By Shana Kongmun
The 2nd Annual Access to Justice Public Interest Fair was held at Kantary Hills Hotel Saturday, November 10 and featured many of the human rights NGOs in Chiang Mai including Freedom House which offers educational programs to Burmese migrants and refugees, We Women Foundation, which helps provide Burmese women with a higher education so that they can return to their villages and help lead their communities and the Foundation to Encourage the Potential of Disabled Persons which had several of their mobility aids on display.
M Plus Foundation was handing out free packs of condoms in line with their commitment to educating MSM communities on safe sexual practices, Kids Ark Foundation was there offering information and goods, International Justice Mission was on hand as were students from the National University of Laos’ Faculty of Law and Political Science Clinical Legal Education program which helps prepare students for community legal education and to help provide legal counsel for the poor.
The Access to Justice Fair aims to bring together organizations that help the disadvantaged and to offer information to those interested in getting involved. More information can be found at the BABSEA Community Legal Education site:, one of the leading organizers of the fair.

M Plus Foundation was handing out free packets of condoms.

The Garden of Hope is a Christian organization that works to help children who live in danger of being exploited or abused and rescues and rehabilitates girls who have been victims of human trafficking.

U.S. Election Watch held at Payap

Thai students take part in the voting process

Uncle Sam dropped in at the Election Watch at Payap University.

By Shana Kongmun
A mock election was held at the U.S. Election Watch, sponsored by the U.S. Consulate it was held on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at Payap University. Students and visitors were encouraged to cast their votes in mock election and saw President Obama repeat his victory in Thailand as well. Students also learned about the voting process, the need for voter registration, the rather confusing Electoral College and were given lists of difficult questions to stump American nationals who had joined the event to watch the returns on the giant overhead screen.
Governor Tanin Subhasaen dropped in to join U.S. Consul General Ken Foster and Payap’s Interim President Prof. Dr. Penpilai Rithakananone to take turns taking their photos with life size cutouts of President Obama and Republican contender Mitt Romney.
The evening ended at the U.N. Irish Pub where Democrats Abroad members celebrated the victory of President Obama with a 332 total vote in the Electoral College over Mitt Romney’s 206 and a total popular vote of more than 62 million to Romney’s 58.7 million.

U. S. Consul General Kenneth Foster and Chiang Mai Governor Tanin Subhasaen posed with lifesize portraits of Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.

Payap students ran the mock election, encouraging everyone to vote.

Democrats Abroad Gary Suwannarat (2nd right) is joined by her husband and fellow Democrats to celebrate President Obama’s win at the U.N. Irish Pub.

CNX Girl video debut party

Jantra (far right) joins Sailesh, Marisa and friends at the party.

By Shana Kongmun
A very fun locally made video, CNX Girl, featuring local resident Sailesh Patel, Payap University student and budding music star, debuted at Sangdee Gallery on Friday, November 9, 2012 to general acclaim.
Sailesh is a true character, showing up around town, and in the video, in his electric blue suit and his wonderful English accent. His video is a mix of rap, hip hop and pop as he drives around town with his beautiful CNX girl played by Jantra Jacobs. The videography, by Marisa Marchitelli, was superbly done and the evening ended up being quite a party. The big question was, what next for this stylish and ambitious young man? His answer was that it was all just fun but we shall see, perhaps Sailesh is the next big thing to come out of Chiang Mai!

Anders, Anselm and Namwan enjoyed the video and the party, proclaiming it a lot of fun.

Governor Tanin hosts diplomatic corp

U.S. Consul General Ken Foster, Japanese Consul General Kazuo Shibata, Governor Tanin Subhasaen, Chinese Consul General Zhang Weicai and Indian Consul Dhirendra Singh Garbyal join hands as a show of friendship and good relations at the reception hosted by the Governor.

By Shana Kongmun
Governor Tanin Subhasaen hosted a party for Chiang Mai’s diplomatic corps, as well as business people, government officials, and academics at the Four Seasons Resort in Mae Rim on Thursday, November 7, 2012. The Governor welcomed the group and asked the Chiang Mai’s ranking diplomat, Kazuo Shibata, the Japanese Consul General, to say a few words.
Mr. Shibata livened the party with his witty remarks and then the Governor presented gifts to Consul Generals, Consuls, Honorary Consuls and distinguished guests. The evening was casual, with many guests commenting on the friendly, open atmosphere. The Governor has said that he understands the importance of not only foreign tourists but residents to Chiang Mai and noted that Chiang Mai is turning into an international city.

Governor Tanin (2nd right) is joined by French Honorary Consul Thomas Baude (far left), Japanese Consul General Kazuo Shibata and Mr. Baude’s wife, Chamaiphan (Pu) an Associate Judge with the Juvenile and Family Court.

U.S Consul General Ken Foster and Governor Tanin share a fondness for traditional Thai shirts.

Honorary Consul for the U.K. Ben Svasti Thomson (right) shares a laugh with the Governor at the reception held at the Four Seasons Resort.

The Consul-Generals, Consul and Honorary Consuls joined with the Governor for a group photo before everyone gathered for dinner.

Remembrance Day honored at the Foreign Cemetery

Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars salute the cenotaph at the Foreign Cemetery for Remembrance Day.

By Shana Kongmun
Chiang Mai stood still for a minute as residents and veterans joined together in a moment of silence on November 11, 2012 at 11 a.m. to pay tribute to those who gave their lives in service of their country. The ceremony is held at the Foreign Cemetery where prayers are read, Ben Svasti Thomson gave a reading for the event and a trumpeter from the Royal Thai Army signed off with Last Call in a moving ceremony.

The bagpiper’s mournful sounds suited the somber and reflective mood.

Remembrance Day traces its roots back to the end of World War I, at the time the most deadly war in human history, when the armistice was signed between the warring nations in 1918.

The day was dedicated by King George V of the United Kingdom in 1919 and has been honored by Commonwealth countries ever since. The United States also adopted the day as Veterans Day, the day is honored in France and Belgium as well.

Two distinguished gentlemen graced the event; Roy Hudson who proudly proclaimed himself the oldest living resident of Chiang Mai at a very chipper age of 93 and Dr. Bob Duncan. Both men are World War II veterans, Major Hudson served in the front in Burma and moved to Chiang Mai in 1960 while Dr. Bob Duncan took part in Normandy.

British Honorary Consul Ben Svasti Thomson lays a wreath on the memorial.

Members of the U.S. Veterans of Foreign Wars were joined by active duty U.S. personnel from the U.S. Consulate and students from Lanna International joined in the ceremony to lay a wreath.

The solemn ceremony ended with attendees laying a small paper poppy on the memorial. The red remembrance poppy became a symbol of the day from the poem “In Flanders Fields” which recalls the fields of poppies blooming across World War I battlefields.

World War II veterans Dr. Bob Duncan (left) and Roy Hudson paid their respects.

The Royal Thai Army’s trumpeter playing The Last Call.

Prayers were read before everyone stopped for a minute of silence to honor those who had fallen in service of their country.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]]

Access to Justice

U.S. Election Watch held at Payap

CNX Girl video debut party

Governor Tanin hosts diplomatic corp

Remembrance Day honored at the Foreign Cemetery