Happy Birthday HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great
The World’s Longest-Reigning Monarch
All of us at the Chiang Mai Mail and the other
members of the Pattaya Mail Publishing Company; Pattaya Mail, Pattaya Blatt,
and Pattaya Mail TV, join the Kingdom in wishing His Majesty a most Happy
Birthday, long life and our sincerest thanks for allowing a similar
celebration of “Fathers’ Day, 2012" throughout the Kingdom.
The Chiang Mai Mail would like to join the nation in
wishing HM the King a most happy 85th birthday on December 5. This day, a
national holiday is also Father’s Day to honor the Father of the Thai people
and all Father’s across the Nation.
Born on Monday, the fifth of December, 1927 at the Mount Auburn Hospital,
Cambridge, Massachusetts, HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great reaches his
eighty-fifth birthday, also celebrating sixty six years on the throne.
In his Coronation Oath, promulgated on the fifth of May 1950, the
newly-crowned Rama the Ninth vowed that, “We will reign with righteousness
for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people” and, in the six decades
which have passed since that auspicious day, the concept of “righteousness”
has dominated his reign. In fact, HM the King has constantly revered the
age-old Buddhist concept of ‘Kingship’ as defined in the Sutta Pitaka of the
Tripitaka in which a King is defined as Mahasammata - a King of
The Buddhist scriptures also define the genesis of the universe and the
progression of evils which befall mankind: greed, stealing and lying and the
inevitable repercussions of censure and punishment.
Our King has steadfastly reigned by these principles, embodying good
kingship in his own life and example and often speaking out against the
affliction of the evils so clearly spelled out in the Buddhist philosophy.
His Majesty’s insightful approach to local prevailing conditions has enabled
him to improvise new theories for agricultural development, to provide
guidelines for educating farmers on self-sufficiency, and to solve problems
of goitre by feeding iodine into salt roads at strategic points.
In all these works, His Majesty has promoted a simple approach using
environmentally friendly techniques and utilizing moderate amounts of
locally available resources. The royal projects have benefited millions of
people across Thailand, with a particular focus on aiding ethnic groups and
hill tribes in mountainous regions.
Thus, through the illustrious decades of his rule, HM the King has been the
very embodiment of his Oath of Accession that, “We will reign with
Righteousness for the Benefit and Happiness of the Siamese People.”
Princess Dara Rasamee Day celebrations
Dara Pirom Palace December 8
Chiang Mai Governor Tanin
Subhasaen is joined by officials in announcing Princess Dara Rasamee day to
be held December 8 at Dara Pirom Palace.
Princess Dara Rasamee was the daughter of Phra Chao Inthawichayanon,
the first King and the royal wife of King Rama 5. Her marriage to HM King
Chulalongkorn strengthened the ties between the Lanna Kingdom and Siam.
Chulalongkorn University (CU), Chiang Mai Province, Border Patrol Police
headquarters in Mae Rim District, and the Northern CU Alumni Association
will hold a Princess Dara Rasamee Day 2012 at Dara Pirom Palace in Mae Rim
District Chiang Mai at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 8, 2012 to honor the
There will be a “Suan Jao Sabai” in Dara Pirom Palace featuring Thai
cultural dances and then a Kad Mua Lanna style reception. On Sunday,
December 9, 2012 from 6:30 a.m. a wreath laying ceremony to make merit and
honor Princess Dara Rasamee will be held at the monument to her. There will
be a ceremonial process of elephants led by the “Fon Leb” Lanna dance with
more than 800 people taking part.
Dara Pirom Palace was built after King Rama VI gave his permission to
Princess Dara Rasamee to return to her childhood home of Chiang Mai after
King Rama V passed away. Princess Dara Rasamee worked tirelessly to help
local farmers, as well as promote native arts and culture. She was a strong
supporter of the local handicrafts and was a major influence in promoting
local handicrafts. She founded an experimental plantation named “Suan Jao
Sabai” because of her interest in agriculture and her wish to help Northern
Thai farmers. She grew several new rose breeds which she had received from
the English Rose Institute. Her favorite was the big pink rose which was
later named “Chulalongkorn” in honor of her husband. Princess Dara Rasamee
was renowned for her grace, charm and beauty and her dedication to the North
is being honored at her former residence.
Islamic bank to meet the financial needs of Muslim community
Alan Wonganan of the Committee of the Islamic
Bank of Thailand and other members of the Islamic Bank of Thailand met with
religious leaders at the Centara Duangtawan on November 19, 2012.
The Islamic Bank of Thailand held a seminar to meet with religious leaders
on meeting the banking needs of the Muslim community in Thailand that saw
more than 1,000 people attend to hear 9 religious leaders from around the
country discuss Islamic banking at the Centara Duangtawan Hotel on November
Alan Wonganan of the Committee of the Islamic Bank of Thailand said that the
Bank recognizes the importance of building trust and confidence with all
their clients, both Muslim and non-Muslim. He added that the reason for the
seminar was to meet with religious leaders to help build that trust and to
exchange information and build understanding about the management of the
bank. They hope to build a network of Muslim banks around the country.
The participants discussed suggestions to provide more banking services and
supporting the local mosques to meet the needs of local Muslims, to provide
training and education about the Islamic banking system and to build a
corporate culture within the bank that supported Islam, Buddhism and other
Let’s Go Shopping Gift Fair 2012
Industry Promotion Center Region 1 until December 10
The 22nd annual Gift Fair is being held at the Industrial Promotion
Center on Tung Hotel Road until December 10, 2012 from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30
p.m. Prasong Ninbanjong, Director of the Center announced recently.
The annual crafts fair is a highly popular event featuring more than 400
booths from communities across the country selling everything from textiles
to ceramics, wood, ornaments and handicrafts.
The Gift Fair is held annually to promote Thai handicrafts and this event
helps to prepare local entrepreneurs for the upcoming ASEAN Economic
integration by helping them to develop their marketing and promotion.
Food Safety market at JJ Market
Organic fruit and vegetables every Sunday
Dancers offer safe fruit and vegetables at the
grand opening of the safe food market at JJ Market behind Tesco Lotus
The Chiang Mai Public Health Office and JJ Market are
continuing the market offering fresh organic fruit and vegetables that is
held at the Hobby Market Zone in JJ Market every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6
p.m. every Sunday. People can find fresh vegetables and fruits, organic
rice, organic beef, chicken, eggs, and other local products.
Dr. Surasing Wisarutrat, Deputy Director of the Chiang Mai Public Health
Office said that this campaign will encourage farmers to grow their produce
free of chemicals and pesticides and not only provide consumers with safe
food but help the environment. The Office plans to help develop a network
marketing food safety to help farmers sell their produce and to supply
people with a supply of safe food.
New Market to promote Mae Hia
New routes for alms giving
Mae Hia Sub District Municipality with the Northern Tourism
Association Federation and Royal Park Ratchaphruek will hold activities in
front of the park every Friday on the theme “Inherit art and local culture
of Mae Hia”. Held every Friday starting November 30, 2012 beginning at 4
p.m. in front of the Royal Park Ratchaphruek there will be a street market
with a variety of crafts.
On December 7 a special event will be held with performances and music.
Additionally, there will be merit making opportunities to offer alms to 85
Buddhist monks from 6.00- 7.00 a.m. This “Main Street Project” has been held
in Chiang Mai and seen great results as people gather in the early morning
hours to offer alms to monks. Monday they start from Wat Phra Singh to Tha
Pae Gate. The Alms Giving walks will start from Wat Lok Molee on
Maneenopparat Road to Wat Moh Kam Tuang in Chang Puak Market on Tuesdays.
Wednesday from Wat Buppharam on Tha Pae Road to the Governor’s Residence at
Nawarat Bridge and Waroros Market; Thursday from Wat Suan Dok to Ton Payom
Market, on Friday in front of Royal Park Ratchaphruek and Saturday on
Rattanakosin road at Wat Chetuphon to Princes Royal College.
Immigration and Police
cooperate during high season
Immigration Police Division 5 Deputy
Commissioner of the Immigration Police Pol. Maj. Gen. Montri Potranant
presided over the opening of the plan to mobilize officers from Police,
Border Patrol, Immigration and Labor to tackle increasing crime during the
high tourist season. Pol. Maj. Gen. Montri Potranant said Immigraiton
Division 5 is responsible for the 17 northern provinces. He noted that
because of the large number of visitors in high season increased vigilance
is needed to suppress crimes such as drugs and human trafficking as well as
other crimes to make Chiang Mai more attractive and safe for visitors.
International Balloon Festival
The International Balloon
Festival held at Chiangmai Gymkhana Club from November 23-25 saw some major
damage from the big storm that hit on Saturday night but cleanup crews
worked full time and got the venue back in shape for the big concert by
singing star Hugo who played to a sold out crowd to great acclaim. Earth,
Wind and Fire Co. Ltd was joined by the Tourism Authority of Thailand,
Chiang Mai Municipality and many sponsors in holding the Festival for the
second year in Chiang Mai. The sight of the glowing balloons and light and
sound show filled the evening skies while the colorful hot air balloons
filled the early morning skies around Chiang Mai.
Preparations in place for Flower Festival
The Permanent Secretary for Chiang Mai Adisorn Kanmnerdsiri revealed
preparations for the 37th Flower Festival which will be held February 1-3,
The festival will be held at Suan Buak Haad Park with additional events at
Tha Pae Gate and Chang Puak Gate. The Grand Flower Parade will be held at
There will be flower contests, music in the park, Miss Flower Festival and
Miss International Flower Festival, and the parade will see a contest for
best float. The opening ceremony will be held on February 2, at 8 a.m. at
Nawarat Bridge when the spectacular parade with over 20 flower covered
floats will begin.
“Day Spa of the Year” Award for 2012 Goes to OASIS SPA
AsiaSpa Awards ceremony held at W Hotel Hong Kong
The award was received on behalf of spa founders,
Pakin Ployphicha and Toby Allen by Miss Aey Sirikul Tunkhum (pictured on the
right), regional spa manager for Oasis Spa, and Miss Kwan Preeyaporn
Chanwankham (on the left) from Thai Oasis Spa School.
AsiaSpa magazine is acclaimed as the region’s premier spa
magazine. It is devoted to helping its readers find the best selection of
luxury spas throughout Asia. Their awards are coveted and recognized as the
ultimate hallmark of quality and excellence. Annually, they recognized the
top spas who are consistent performers and trendsetter of the spa industry.
This year their sought-after award for Asia’s Day Spa of the Year went to
the Oasis Spa Lanna of Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Oasis Spa began in 2003 and is now one of the leading day spas in Thailand
with 10 branches in the tourist destinations of Bangkok, Chiang Mai,
Pattaya, and Phuket. Their unique concept of the “Ultimate Lanna Spa
Experience” quickly became a favorite of local spa goers and those visiting
Thailand from across the world. Acknowledged as one of the best spas in
Thailand, Oasis Spa has a nine-year record of excellence and innovation and
has won most of Thailand’s top day spa awards.
Under the Spotlight
Patricia Cheesman of Studio Naenna
One of the more interesting foreign residents in Chiang Mai must be
Patricia Cheesman, founder of Studio Naenna which helps local women produce
traditional textiles implemented in more modern fashions As Patricia pointed
out, helping weavers to sell their products at a fair price gives them not
only status in their villages but allows them to receive a fair wage for
their highly skilled work to support their families. Amazingly, the woman
who is considered one of the leading experts in the field of South East
Asian textiles didn’t start out in textiles. Initially she got her degree in
ceramics and she still has a small pottery shed where she takes a turn at
the wheel to produce beautiful pottery from time to time.
Patricia is what is known as an “old Asian hand” although one would hardly
classify her as old! Her mother was half Chinese, half British and lived in
China and her father a British banker WAS working for The Hongkong Shanghai
Bank In Thailand when WWII started. Both were captured, sent to a Japanese
prison camp in the Philippines, fell in love and eventually married in the
camp. At the end of the war her father’s first posting was to Japan then
Singapore where Patricia was born. Her father started the first bank in what
is now known as Sabah but then was North Borneo. Patricia said that while it
was an idyllic childhood, escaping class to play on the beach, she was quite
behind in her studies when her father retired to England and she went to
school there. “There was one teacher and three classes. She couldn’t keep
track of all the children and I would often leave and go down to the beach
to play all day, sneaking back in just before the end of classes.”
However, she managed to catch up quickly in the United Kingdom and despite
her father’s wishes that she go into something other than art, which saw her
attend a finishing school in Switzerland for a time, she said she left home
and attended art school where she earned a first class degree. She met and
married in her last year of university and fortunately, her husband
understood her desire to return to Asia after she finished University.
She got a job working on an archaeological dig in Sulawesi but when that
ended she decided to visit a friend from Switzerland in Laos by taking an
overland trip up through Malaysia, to Bangkok and then the border with Laos.
“We paddled across the river in a dugout canoe. Heading into the mist on the
river was like paddling into the past. Everything in Laos was very slow with
a very nice ambiance and that was when we decided to live there.”
She got a job teaching in an International School in pre-Revolution Laos,
and was asked by the United Nations to help with a project erecting kilns in
remote villages. “And then they had a revolution and everyone left! I was 9
months pregnant and there were no doctors in the hospitals. a medical
student assisted the difficult birth and she delivered a healthy baby.
After the revolution the UN re-started the kiln project which saw her moving
to a remote village where her interest and love of textiles was kindled. The
families of the revolutionaries from the northeast of Laos brought their
heirloom textiles with them to Vientiane and often sold them. She started
researching them and found there was only one museum in Paris with any
information. This is what spurred Patricia’s antique Lao textiles collection
that now sees many beautiful pieces.
Patricia and her husband felt the need for a change and emigrated to
Australia where she lectured at universities and started her first book
which saw her travelling back to South East Asia and to Thailand after 4
years. She was offered a teaching job at Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of
Fine Arts where she lectures still today, teaching courses on textiles and
design in the Thai art Department.
She noted that it was meeting the weavers while researching her book that
inspired her to start Studio Naenna after the ladies asked her to buy their
textiles. She opened the first shop in 1987 and now her daughter runs Adorn
on Nimmanhaemin Soi 1 and Studio Naenna on Soi Chiang Khian. Patricia’s love
of beautiful textiles and her dedication to helping local weavers is
apparent when you visit either shop, the gorgeous high quality textiles
literally glow, the same glow that fills Patricia’s face when she talks
about her love of textiles.
The 3rd Botanical Garden Fair
Sirkit Botanic Gardens will offer many beautiful and rare plants for
garden lovers at the fair.
The Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden
will be holding their 3rd Botanical Garden Fair during December 1-9,
2012 at the Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai,
from 9 am to 5 pm Admission is free on Saturday and Sunday, the Garden
closes at 6 pm
Dr. Suyanee Wetsabutr, Deputy Director of the Botanical Garden
Organization, said the event is intended to honor His Majesty the King
on the auspicious occasion of His birthday on December 5, 2012.
There will be many educational activities, beautiful plants and flowers
along with a workshop on cooking local vegetables, making cards with
dried plants, miniature orchids, giant fireflies and a bouquet making
contest. Elementary and middle school students from various schools will
offer Music in the Garden every Saturday - Sunday Music in the Garden.
Additionally there will be a variety of goods for sale.
A free shuttle bus to the Botanical Garden Fair will run on December 1,
2, 3, 6, 7, 8 December at Mae Rim District office and 4-5 December at
Rim Tai School. The first bus to starts at 10 am and the last bus at 4
pm For more information, visit the Information and Public Relations
Phone 053-841234 and www.qsbg.org.
Worker killed when roof
collapses during demolition
The old building collapsed
A 3 storey building on Samlan Road was the scene of the death of a
construction worker from Sakhon Nakhon after the roof collapsed during
demolition on November 26, 2012 at 3:40 p.m.
Rescue teams rushed to the scene to find Bancha Pongprom, age 32, trapped in
the cab of the backhoe with concrete debris pinning him into place. In the
more than an hour it took to cut him out, he died from injuries sustained
from the debris.
Police said during a preliminary investigation that the company Piem Boon
Co. Ltd. had permission from the city to demolish the old building so they
hired two backhoes from Sangung Kanchang Co. Ltd to dismantle the building.
16 workers were on site when the accident occurred and a retaining wall
collapsed unexpectedly, crushing the driver in the cab of the backhoe.
The building was being demolished to make way for a new boutique hotel.
Garage mechanic arrested for stealing cars at work
27 year old Chiang Mai native Prapatsorn Tasoo
has been charged with theft in 3 different provinces.
Deputy Commander of Region 5 police Pracha Rattapan announced the arrest of
a man who has been charged with the theft of cars and motorcycles from
various garages around Chiang Mai, the North.
Police began their investigation of the case after multiple reports of theft
from garages around the region came in during August 2012. Investigation
showed that police believe 27 year old Chiang Mai resident Prapatsorn Tasoo
would take a job in a garage, work there a few days and then steal vehicles
from the garage to sell before moving on to the next job somewhere else.
On November 24 police arrested Prapatsorn and confiscated 4 stolen
motorcycles and a white Honda Jazz that had been stolen in Phitsanulok.
Police uncovered evidence that he had stolen vehicles in Chiang Mai, Lampang
and Phitsanulok. Arrest warrants for the suspect were issued in all three
The Police reported that the suspect had been arrested of theft in 2004 and
released from prison in 2007.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Pracha said that garage owners should try to do background
checks on new employees and check their criminal records at a nearby police
3rd Army opens operation center to eradicate poppy fields
To survey and operate in 8 Northern provinces
Maj. Gen. Pansak Chandong, Deputy Commander of
the Task Forces Command surveys the task force command center in Mae Rim.
The Royal Thai Army, 3rd Army Special Forces opened the operations
center to tackle the eradication of opium poppy fields in the 8 Northern
provinces during the upcoming growing season. The Center is stationed at the
7th Artillery Battalion at Phra Pin Klao Military Camp in Mae Rim until
April 30, 2013.
3rd Army opened operations center for control and destroy the opium fields
in northern areas.
Maj. Gen. Pansak Chandong, Deputy Commander of the Task Forces Command of
3rd Army special operations forces said that the center will not only work
on surveying and eradicating opium poppy fields but also coordinate with
relevant agencies and implement an education campaign to stop people from
growing opium poppies and to educate them about the dangers of illegal
To date, the Army reports that surveys show that the number of fields under
cultivation has dropped by 20-30 percent from last growing season mainly due
to the weather and the effective actions of state agencies. However, opium
prices are quite high and demand remains so the Army feels that there is
still a need for effective patrolling and action. However, they noted that
there do appear to be less fields planted in the border areas and more drugs
coming across the borders from other countries.
“Robbers Nest Search” results in 306 arrests around the North
Some of the 306
people arrested by Region 5 police around the North over a two day period.
Deputy Commander Police Region 5 Pol. Maj. Gen. Chamnan Ruwdrew and police
officers in the Northern provinces announced the arrest of 306 suspects as part
of the ongoing sweep of criminal offenders known as “Robbers Nest Search”.
The action, which targets high risk groups and areas, is going after known
criminals as well as investigating migrants and people selling illegal
fireworks. The first raids were conducted on October 9-10 in the early morning
hours. The second raid on November 22-23 targeting areas where drug users were
known to gather. 306 people were arrested in the raid and 293 people face
charges in court.
Body of American man
found in Irrigation Canal
The body of a man was found floating in the water of the Irrigation
Canal near the entrance to Wat Ram Poeng in the morning of November 14,
2012. Police and medical teams from Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital were
called in to investigate.
Villagers found the body when they went fishing in the Canal with a cast net
and uncovered the body.
The police recovered the body from the water and he was found to be wearing
black jeans and no shirt A wallet with an Abu Dhabi driver’s license in the
name of Jerry Lester Dow, age 56 of the United States was found on the body
along with an iPhone. Mr. Dow was a resident of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab
Medical experts say he had been dead for two days and had injuries that were
indicative of an accident. Police investigation shows that he arrived in
Chiang Mai on November 11, 2012 and was driving a large black motorcycle. It
appeared that he had met a Thai girl and was driving along Canal Road at
around 2 a.m. on the 12th when the bike hit a fence post, throwing him into
the water and killing the Thai passenger whose body was found at the scene.
Swiss woman’s body
found in condo
Police cite natural causes
Police were called to Mountain Front Exclusive Condominium on Canal
Road when the body of a foreign resident was discovered by a condo employee
who was alarmed when the woman had not been seen for several days.
Police said it appeared that 60 year old Elizabeth Agnes Zeier had collapsed
in the bathroom where she died. She lived alone and investigators found
medicine for heart issues.
There were no signs of forced entry or of a struggle and police contacted
her doctor here in Chiang Mai who informed them she had coronary problems.
Condo employees told police that they had not seen her for some days and
residents on her floor had complained of a smell so they used the spare key
to open her room where they found her body in the bathroom. Medical
investigators believe she had been dead at least four days before being
10 million baht in property seized from suspected drug traffickers
Mae Taeng resident escapes from police
Police worked to arrest a suspected
drug trafficker in a drug buying sting on November 18, 2012 when they set up
a meeting with Kraisorn Rangsan, age 53, to purchase 150 methamphetamine or
Yaba tablets. However, Kraisorn managed to escape from police when they met
to deliver the money. Police believe the suspect is hiding out in Chiang Mai
On November 26, 2012 Pol. Maj. Gen. Chamnan Ruwdrew Deputy Commander Police
Region 5 with Border Patrol Police and ONCB Region 5 Police raided
Kraisorn’s hous in Sop Pheng in Mae Taeng and seized 3 plots of land, 1 Thai
style teak house, a rice mill, 2 pickup trucks, 1 motorcycle and bank
accounts totally over 10 million Baht under the Prevention and Suppression
of Money Laundering Act 1999 which allows the government to seize the
property resulting in the profits of the drug trade.
Yi Peng 2012
Popular holiday still brings death toll
floats filled the streets of Chiang Mai as thousands of people came to watch
the hours long parade.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Yi Peng 2012 concluded with a light rain on the grand parade that
took place on Thursday, November 29 but didn’t dampen the spirits of the
thousands of people who lined the streets to watch the giant Krathong floats
pass by. At least 34 groups were represented in the procession that took
many hours to complete before coming in front of the stage at the Municipal
Building to be judged. Many organizations, schools and government and
private groups offered up grand floats, beautiful dancers, a highlight was
the magnificient float from Chiang Mai University and Promenada showed its
strength with a beautiful float accompanied by many beautiful people. The
Japanese Cosplay group offered a unique and popular float and participants
including Darth Vader.
However, Yi Peng was not fun and games for all, despite numerous public
warnings and cracksdowns by police on large, illegal fireworks, some people
still made their own with two men dying after homemade fireworks exploded.
The Provincial Health Department reported a total of 136 injuries from
fireworks, including 21 critical cases. Galyani Vadhana, Mae Wang and the
Muang Districts had the highest number of incidents. Most of the injuries
were to arms, legs and the face. Additionally, there were 7 deaths and 855
injuries due to traffic accidents, a 20% rise from last year.
Cosplayers were a big hit with the crowd.
Rohingya Muslim Minority Face Marriage Restrictions
marriages face government restrictions.
Banyol Kong Janoi, Rakhine State,
Kyaw Kyaw Oo, 25, is cautious by nature. A member of Burma’s
persecuted Rohingya, he doesn’t want to meet in public, nor use his real
name. Even to marry his girlfriend, Kyaw is too scared to do so without
“I graduated three years ago and I applied for permission to get married two
years ago,” he says, “I heard that if you pay a large amount of money, you
can get permission immediately.”
Kyaw gave government officials $US200 to secure the permission.
The Burmese government has restricted the number of Rohingya marriages since
1994. Couples have to get permission from their local authority to get
married and failure to get a permit could result in a lengthy jail sentence.
“One of my friends applied for the marriage permit and his documents were
approved, but he didn’t have any money to pay the officials,” explains Kyaw.
“So he couldn’t have his documents and continue the marriage and after that,
the authorities came to arrest him and he was put in jail for 7 years,” he
According to NGO the Arakan Project, which records human rights abuses
against the Rohingya, marriage permits are only granted after paying high
bribes and after long delays. It can take two years or more to get approval.
“For me it’s very clear that this is a tactic from the government to control
the population,” says Chris Lewa, from the Arakan Project. “In one
parliamentary session, the Ministry of Immigration explained that preventing
marriages was a way to reduce population. As a result, there are many cases
of illegal marriages among the Rohingya. Many young couples run away to
Bangladesh because they can’t marry in Burma and their parents can’t pay the
fee. In other cases, the couples continue their relationship without a
permit and when the girl becomes pregnant, she has to abort the baby because
it’s a living proof that they had an illegal marriage,” explains Lewa.
Even when they get married, Rohingya parents have to sign an agreement not
to have more than two children. The Arakan Project says the government
punishes Rohingya children by putting them on a ‘black list’ if their
parents don’t have a marriage permit.
The government announced that about 7,000 Rohingya children born this year
are unregistered. In total, it’s estimated that there are around 40,000
“The government has not issued the birth certificate for children since the
mid 90’s,” she says, “If a child is not registered, they can never get a
card, travel, and can’t go to school. When they become an adult, they can’t
marry because they don’t have documents.”
In a recent letter to the United Nations, President Thein Sein said that the
Burmese government was prepared to address the sensitive issue of Rohingya
He also promised to look at other issues such as work permits and granting
freedom of movement for the Rohingya. However, he didn’t say anything about
the marriage restrictions.
The Arakan Project is urging the government to tackle this issue.
"If a parent wants to declare their child, they know that they can go to
jail for illegal marriage so they never declare this to the authorities,”
says Lewa, explaining that children are kept in hideouts or sent away from
The situation, says Lewa, has to end.
“We’ve heard stories of Rohingya children being left out in Bangladesh
refugee camps. It’s a very sad situation for the children and the mothers.
This marriage issue is a gross human rights abuse against the population.”
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. It is
published in conjunction with the Faculty of Mass Communications, Chiang Mai
University. You can find more stories from Asia Calling at
Nok Air to start daily flights to Hat Yai
Nok Air recently announced that they
will begin daily flights to the South’s biggest city on January 1, 2013. The
two hour and five minute flight will depart Chiang Mai every day at 8:30
a.m. and arrive at 10:35 a.m. and the return flight departs Hat Yai at 11:05
a.m. and arrive in Chiang Mai at 1:15 p.m. Tickets are starting at 1,990
Baht inclusive of tax for a one way ticket.
Beginning today the airline will also increase the frequency of flights from
Don Meuang to Chiang Mai to 9 flights daily.