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Best English newspaper in Chiang Mai

It was with great honor that we at the Chiang Mai Mail accepted the award for Best English Language Newspaper at the Thai Reporter’s Day 2013 awards dinner held at Win Place Hotel on March 4, 2013. Chiang Mai Governor Tanin Subhasaen offered his congratulations on the win to Managing Editor Shana Kongmun and Editor Nopniwat Krailerg. Kritkamol Sirichokpisarn, President of The Reporters Association of Chiang Mai and the Executive Committee held the annual Thai Reporter’s Day 2013 dinner where awards were given to media professionals by their peers in recognition of excellence.
 


Nimman one way soi system prolonged to March 31

The one way system along Nimmanhaemin Road sois has been extended until March 31, 2013.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai Traffic police have decided to extend period of time the one way system on Nimmanhaemin sois will be in force until the end of March, Pol. Col. Suthichai Thananchai reported. The original plan was a one month trial period of making Nimmanhaemin Road sois one way beginning from Soi 5 and ending at Soi 15 with the one way direction alternating.
A meeting was held recently with concerned citizens and businesspeople and a decision was reached to continue the one way system until March 31, 2013.
The police said intend to continue enforcing parking regulations concerning odd and even parking. One local businesswoman on soi 15 said she felt the one way system was working well and hoped that it would continue past the trial period.
“Before this system was implemented, you would have people parking on both sides of the street, making it essentially a single lane.
Then cars would come from opposite directions and someone would have to back up the road so that the other could pass. It led to a lot of traffic jams on the sois. I think it’s a good idea and I hope they continue it,” she said.
The head of the Chiang Mai Traffic police noted that the many bars and restaurants on Nimmanhaemin sois have caused a lot of traffic problems. He added that the majority of people seem satisfied with the one way system as it allows vehicles to transit more easily. He said that after the trial period was over they will meet with residents and business owners.


City begins dredging the moat

Songkran preparations begin

Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn is joined by Deputy Mayors as the city begins dredging the moat in preparation for Songkran festivities.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai Municipality has started moat dredging operations to remove soil and sediment from the moat in a bid to ensure clean water for the Songkran Festival on April 13.
Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn said the the city needed to dredge the moat beginning from the Hua Lin corner which is the first point to accept water released from the irrigation canals into the moat. He noted that the area there had become quite shallow with a buildup of sediment and soil that had flowed into the moat from the canals. The city will dredge the area and then sprinkle limestone to clean the soil. In preparation for the large number of people who will swim in the moat, the city will also chlorinate the water to kill bacteria.
The city will continue to test the water until Songkran to ensure that the water remains clean and safe for the thousands of visitors that flock to the moat and use moat water during Songkran.


The Plaza reborn

Chang Klan road is the site of the latest shopping center as The Plaza is transformed into a department store offering women’s, men’s and children’s clothing as well as sporting goods and luggage.Managed by major property company, TCC Group, the department store will celebrate its grand opening on March 13 -15 and will offer a member card as well as one lucky winner driving away in a brand new bright green Honda Brio. Additionally there will be a mini-concert on the 14th and many chances to meet and greet with famous Thai singers and celebrities. Other prizes include mobile phones and more. Located in front of the Dusit d2 Hotel, The Plaza has more than 30 shops and parking for 300 cars.


ASEAN correctional facility architects & planners visit Chiang Mai

Deputy Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Justice Charnchao Chaiyanukij (2nd right) joins delegates before the welcome dinner.

Shana Kongmun
ASEAN visitors were joined by officials from the Ministry of Justice in Thailand for the 2nd annual ACCFA convention held at the Rati Lanna Riverside Resort from February 25 to March 2, 2013. Deputy Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Justice Charnchao Chaiyanukij welcomed delegates from as far as South Korea and Japan as well as ASEAN members Lao PDR, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, and Cambodia.
The ACCFA or Asian Conference of Correctional Facilities, Architects and Planners held their welcome dinner at the Rati Lanna on February 25, with a grand show and release of Khom Loy for the visitors. Participants ranged from Ministry of Justice officials from various nations to representatives of the International Red Cross including Alfred Grimm, the Deputy Head of the Regional Delegation in Thailand for the ICRC.
Planned visits included the Chiang Mai Juvenile Provincial Office, the Vocational Training Center at the Chiang Mai Women’s prison and visits to area prisons. For many of the conference goers this was their first visit to Chiang Mai although most of their time would be spent attending meetings many hoped to see some of the sights before they left town.

Delegates from Brunei Darussalam (from left) Nordin Hamidon, Musa Bagol, and MD Salleh enjoyed the traditional Lanna show put on during dinner.


One Day for Peace; Rotary clubs organize locally

Anurak Napawan, Governor of District 3360 Rotary International, presided over the opening ceremony and spoke on the project to gathered Rotarians.

Nopniwat Krailerg
District 3360 Rotary International together with the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai South, the Suthep Sub District Municipality, Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office, Phu Ping Police and the Office of Narcotics Control Board held the event “One Day for Peace” on February 23, 2013 in the village of Pong Noi.
Anurak Napawan, Governor of District 3360 Rotary International, opened the event that was held to promote cooperation in the professional community to work closely with local communities to enhance the quality of life of the residents. Health checks were provided by medical personnel from the Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office, while Rotarians joined in fun and games with the local kids as well as provided professional coaching and advice. Additionally a medicine chest filled with common household medicines was presented as part of the project in honor of HM the King’s 85th birthday to present such supplies to residents of remote areas.
The event was held as a continuing effort by Rotarians to implement their ideal of “Peace Through Service” the motto of Sakuji Tanaka Rotary International President 2012-2013. (Photos courtesy of PP. Yosawat Nithipanyawat)

This Pong Noi student had a great time at the event,
enjoying the fun and games.

Rotarians from several clubs in District 3360 RI meet with Rotary clubs in Chiang Mai.


Bangkok Airways celebrates 45 years

Gala event at Centara Grand

Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth, CEO and founder of Bangkok Airways welcomed guests from onstage.

Bangkok Airways, led by Mr. Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth, CEO, and Capt. Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, President of Bangkok Airways, hosted their 45th anniversary celebration with the theme “Circus of the Angels Night” at the Centara Grand Hotel at Central World.
The evening started with a welcome video from the President followed by a show by 5 of Thailand’s top models dressed as angels. There was then a show called Wings of Imagination form Hun, Grand and Kangsom, the star and KPN’s winners, Sun, Bomb and Petch. Then the magic show Wings of Glamour by Taya Rogers and Kathreeya English. Famed singer Billy Ogan then entertained the crowd followed by singer Burin Buoonsivut. The night ended with a mini concert by Ben Chalatit. There were game booths offering opportunities for guests to win air tickets and hotel vouchers and more.

President of Bangkok Airways Capt. Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth joined in the fun onstage, greeting guests to the party.

Capt. Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth said, “This year marks a very special occasion for Bangkok Airways to celebrate the 45th anniversary and is the reason why we organized this event as a give-back to all our customers and partners for their long time support.”
He added that the theme portrays Bangkok Airways as wings that take everybody to the different destinations that the company flies to.
Bangkok Airways was established in 1968 as Sahakol Air when it was initially operating air-taxi services, then in 1986 it started scheduled services, becoming Thailand’s first privately owned domestic airline, the company was re-named Bangkok Airways in 1989. (Photos by Nopniwat Krailerg).

Thailand’s top models started the evening walking the stage dressed as angels.

The evening was filled with music and magic.


New director of Convention Center named

Dr. Sarawut Srisakun, General Manager of Chiang Mai Night Safari

Chiang Mai Night Safari general manager Dr. Sarawut Srisakun has been named Ping Nakhon Development Bureau director to supervise the Chiang Mai Convention Centre, he was appointed on February 19, 2013 by Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasob Suratsawadee.

Dr. Sarawut Srisakun has been appointed as the new director of the Ping Nakhon Development Bureau and will oversee the Convention Centre, the Night Safari and Royal Park Rajapruek.

Mr Sarawut said: “The appointment will help to gear up the convention center’s readiness to organize the Asia Pacific Water Forum,14 to 20 May, which would attract 3,000 delegates and circulate Bt10,000 million in revenue.” He added, “I am not worried in this new position, I can work for the benefit of Chiang Mai and Thailand. The merger of the Night Safari, Royal Park Rajapruek and the Convention Center is good for the city and will help increase global visitors.”
Late last year, the Cabinet approved the public organization Ping Nakhon Development Bureau, which will oversee the Ciang Mai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Royal Flora Rajapruek and Chiang Mai Night Safari. The permanent secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office will chair the new bureau and the Chiang Mai governor will be included in the bureau’s board.


Re-launch of Skål Pattaya

New President of Skål Pattaya Tony Malhotra opens the inaugural meeting of Skål Pattaya.

Skål International Thailand announced that it celebrated the relaunch of the Pattaya and East Thailand club at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Pattaya on Thursday 28 February 2013.
The new club President Tony Malhotra, Deputy Managing Director of Pattaya Mail Publishing Co Ltd, presided at the inaugural event amongst Pattaya’s leading travel and tourism luminaries.
Asked why it is important to have a Skål Club in Pattaya, new president Tony Malhotra said, “Pattaya is expanding rapidly and there are many new tourism projects planned.
“Add to that a wide and diverse number of new Pattaya tourism executives stationed in Pattaya; a projected 3 million visitors annually and a record 22 million international visitors to Thailand. They all add up to the need for a professional association that is able to communicate and share knowledge to ensure that Pattaya and East Thailand maintains its firm foothold on the stage of world tourism. A destination with a Skål Club sends out a message to all stakeholders and suppliers that we are serious about the business of tourism. “
Skal International today has 18,000 members in 450 clubs in 85 countries and is the only association that links all branches of the travel and tourism industry, meeting at local, regional and international levels.


Municipality to launch new tourist information desk

The Chiang Mai Municipality is readying a new tourist information center on the west side of the Nawarat Bridge intersection. Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn visited the center as workers prepared the building for opening in March. “Chiang Mai Municipality is now 95% ready to launch the service,” the Mayor reported. “This service is very important for travelers, the office will be adequately staffed and the Tourist Police will also man the office to help visitors with security and safety. There will be a rotating exhibit of OTOP products which should help stimulate the economy as tourists are exposed to the many good handicrafts in Chiang Mai.”


Drug sweep in Pai

21 people were arrested in a drug and crime sweep in Pai, Mae Hong Son in a bid to suppress drug addiction and crime.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Police Region 5 police joined a task force of police and border patrol officers in a drug sweep in Pai that Deputy Commander of Police Region 5 Maj. Gen. Chamnan Ruwdrew said was a response to growing concerns over rising rate of drug addiction and the associated crimes that go with addicts. He noted that the sweep netted 21 people with methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, opium and 15 weapons. Additionally 4 people were arrested on outstanding warrants. 108 methamphetamine tablets were seized as were 3.34 grams of heroin, and 35 grams of raw opium stems.
Over 682 police officers were involved in the sweep that saw Mae Hong Son Governor Narumol Palawat take part in the opening ceremony alongside the Deputy Commander. The Deputy Commander noted that the suppression efforts in Pai would continue as the valley had become a route for drug traffickers and that had resulted in the spread of drug use among locals and tourists.


Over 5 million Yaba pills uncovered over holiday weekend

145 kg of crystal meth seized

Chiang Rai police uncovered 4 million methamphetamine tablets over the 3 day holiday weekend for Makha Bucha Day.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Drug smugglers took advantage of the long holiday weekend over Makha Bucha Day to attempt to smuggle in over 5 million methamphetamine tables and 145 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine (Ya Ice) in five separate incidents.
On February 22, 2013, police were tipped off that drugs would be smuggled from Mae Sai to Central Thailand but that the drug traffickers would not pass through the Mae Chan checkpoint. Instead police uncovered 2,120,000 Yaba tablets and 136 kg of Ya Ice packed in a green backpack and hidden under banana trees that were floating in Baan Mae Fuang canal in Mae Chan. The police were unable to discover who had hidden the drugs in the banana trees.
Police intercepted a 6 wheel Hino truck in Lampang on February 23 with 970,000 methamphetamine tablets hidden in the body of the truck. Police received a tip off that members of a Chinese Haw community in Chai Prakarn were smuggling drugs from Chiang Rai to Bangkok and intercepted the truck in Lampang. They arrested four men; Sompoch Keawcha-aum age 31, Pongpan Winyusingkorn age 42 of Mae Suay Chiang Rai, Tanakorn Trongtaitrong age 41, and Nikorn Saelee age 49 from Chai Prakarn, Chiang Mai.
Then on the 24th police in Chiang Rai arrested 29 year old Anan Saelee from Chiang Khong with 1,948,000 methamphetamine tablets at Mae Chan in Chiang Rai, he confessed to police that he had been hired to transport drugs from an Akha tribe near the border with Mae Fah Luang to deliver in Bangkok.
Also on the 24th police uncovered three men smuggling 200,000 Yaba tablets on the bus at a checkpoint in Lampang. Police received a tip off that drugs were going to be on one of the Chiang Mai – Bangkok buses. They stopped the bus at the checkpoint in Sop Prap District, Lampang and uncovered a black bag hidden near the toilet. Police touched the bag and discovered what felt like bricks hidden in the bag. Upon opening the bag they uncovered 200,000 Yaba pills. Police arrested Sai Htun age 29, Sai Maung Nyunt age 30 from Myanmar and Somnuek Jongdee age 28 from Fang. The men confessed they had been hired to carry the drugs from Chai Prakarn District in Chiang Mai to Bangkok for 40,000 Baht each.
The next day, a black pickup truck broke through the police checkpoint but crashed on the roadside. The driver managed to flee but officers found 680,000 methamphetamine tablets and 9 kg of crystal methamphetamine hidden in the truck. Police have issued an arrest warrant as they have identified the suspect.


72 year old man arrested for sexual assault of stepdaughter

72 year old Kueh Saesong was arrested for repeatedly raping his stepdaughter over a course of 9 years.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Region 5 Police Deputy Commander Chamnan Ruwdrew announced the arrest of a 72 year old Hmong man for repeatedly raping his own stepdaughter over a course of 9 years. Police allege that the man began raping his stepdaughter when she was 9 years old and continued the sexual abuse for 9 years until the girl escaped to the New Life Foundation which contacted the police.
On February 27, 2013, the police issued an arrest warrant for Kueh Saesong of Khun Chang Kian on Doi Suthep for the rape of a child under the age of 15. Police worked with coordinators from the New Life Foundation in making the arrest. The girl reported that the sexual assault began when she was 9 years old and that her stepfather would take her out into the garden and rape her when her mother was not at home. The girl, whose name has been concealed for her own protection, said he would then give her 20 baht and would threaten her if she told anyone.
Kueh Saesong confessed to police that he had married the girl’s mother so he could have access to the child ten years ago.


Wooden home catches fire behind CMU

Damages at 1 million baht

The two story wooden house behind CMU was nearly totally destroyed after a fire spread rapidly in the heat and wind.

Nopniwat Krailerg
High summer temperatures and hot winds fuelled a blaze at a wooden two story house behind Chiang Mai University on March 2, 2013. Phu Ping Police and firefighters from the Suthep Sub-District Municipality rushed to the scene at 10 a.m. when they received a report of a house fire.
The old wooden home burned quickly after the dry weather and high heat. 62 year old owner Chanchai Chaichana told the police that he and his wife were downstairs watching TV when he smelled smoke coming from the second floor. Investigators report that the fire started near the shelf with the Buddha on it and quickly spread through the house. They believe that the fire was caused by a short circuit as the home was 48 years old and the wiring may have been old and defective.
Damages to the home are estimated at around 1 million baht.


Thief tracked through stolen iPhone

Police use technology to trace the phone

Accused thief Surapong Kam-Ai with the many items recovered from his house in Saraphi.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Police used modern technology to track down a stolen iPhone to a house in Saraphi where they arrested 24 year old Surapong Kam-Ai. They found the accused with the phone as well as many other stolen items such as mobile phones, laptops and 17 methamphetamine tablets on February 23, 2013.
At the beginning of February a man reported to police that he had fallen asleep in his car on Canal road as he was drunk and didn’t want to drive home. He left the window partially open to get some air and while he was asleep someone unlocked the door and stole his property. Police were able to track down the iPhone even though the thief sim card had been changed.
Surapong told the police that on more than 15 different occasions he had broken into people’s cars this way. He confessed to police that he would drive his motorcycle around town late at night looking for people asleep in their cars with the windows opened. He said that he would use the money from the stolen items to purchase Yaba.


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Best English newspaper in Chiang Mai

Nimman one way soi system prolonged to March 31

City begins dredging the moat

The Plaza reborn

ASEAN correctional facility architects & planners visit Chiang Mai

One Day for Peace; Rotary clubs organize locally

Bangkok Airways celebrates 45 years

New director of Convention Center named

Re-launch of Skål Pattaya

Municipality to launch new tourist information desk

Drug sweep in Pai

Over 5 million Yaba pills uncovered over holiday weekend

72 year old man arrested for sexual assault of stepdaughter

Wooden home catches fire behind CMU

Thief tracked through stolen iPhone