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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 Righteousness.
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.

Nopniwat Krailerg
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 Northern Princess.
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.

Nopniwat Krailerg
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 19, 2012.
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 religions.


Let’s Go Shopping Gift Fair 2012

Industry Promotion Center Region 1 until December 10

Nopniwat Krailerg
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 Khamtieng.

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

Nopniwat Krailerg
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, 2013.
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 Nawarat Bridge.
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

By Shana Kongmun
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

Queen 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 during demolition.

Nopniwat Krailerg
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.

Nopniwat Krailerg
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 provinces.
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 station..


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.

Nopniwat Krailerg
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 drugs.
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.

Nopniwat Krailerg
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

Nopniwat Krailerg
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 Emirates.
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

Nopniwat Krailerg
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 discovered.


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

Magnificent 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.

The Japanese Cosplayers were a big hit with the crowd.


Rohingya Muslim Minority Face Marriage Restrictions

Rohingya marriages face government restrictions.

Banyol Kong Janoi, Rakhine State, Burma
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 government permission.
“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 says.
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 unregistered children.
“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 citizenship.
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 Burma.
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 www.asiacalling.org.


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.


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Happy Birthday HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great

Princess Dara Rasamee Day celebrations

Islamic bank to meet the financial needs of Muslim community

Let’s Go Shopping Gift Fair 2012

Food Safety market at JJ Market

New Market to promote Mae Hia

Immigration and Police cooperate during high season

International Balloon Festival

Preparations in place for Flower Festival

“Day Spa of the Year” Award for 2012 Goes to OASIS SPA

Under the Spotlight

The 3rd Botanical Garden Fair

Worker killed when roof collapses during demolition

Garage mechanic arrested for stealing cars at work

3rd Army opens operation center to eradicate poppy fields

“Robbers Nest Search” results in 306 arrests around the North

Body of American man found in Irrigation Canal

Swiss woman’s body found in condo

10 million baht in property seized from suspected drug traffickers

Yi Peng 2012

Rohingya Muslim Minority Face Marriage Restrictions

Nok Air to start daily flights to Hat Yai