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Coronation Day Sunday, May 5

Kingdom celebrates Wan Chatramongkhol (Coronation Day) May 5

The Chiang Mai Mail joins with the Kingdom of Thailand in joyously celebrating Wan Chatramongkhol, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great’s Coronation Day on Sunday, May 5. Long Live the King! Since the day is celebrated as a national holiday substitution day will be held on Monday, May 6 and all government offices and commercial banks will close for the day. (Photo courtesy of the Bureau of the Royal Household).

Sunday, May 5 marks the 63rd anniversary of the Coronation of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great. The day is celebrated as a national holiday; since this year it falls on a Sunday, it will be observed on Monday May 6, and as such all government offices and commercial banks will close for the day. ATMs and most currency exchange booths, however, will remain open.

(Photo courtesy of the Bureau of the Royal Household)

Whist being crowned King of Thailand, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great took a sacred oath to rule with Righteousness, for the Benefit and Happiness of the Thai people, which He has done magnificently, garnering tremendous respect from His people. HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great is the longest reigning monarch in the world. Long Live the King!
Each year on the 5th of May, the Kingdom of Thailand commemorates the day when, in 1950, the Coronation Ceremony was held for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, the 9th in the Chakri Dynasty (Rama IX).
HM the King, after studying in Europe, returned to Thailand and was crowned King during an elaborate and highly intricate ceremony that out lavished all previous coronations in Thailand.
A week prior to His being crowned King, on April 28, 1950, HM King Bhumibol and Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitayakara were married. Following the Coronation, HM the King returned to Switzerland to continue studying.
The Coronation Ceremony reinforces the stature of the Kings of Thailand. The first such elaborate ceremony was performed when Pho Khun Phamuang succeeded Pho Khun Bangklangthao as the ruling King of Muang Sukhothai. Phaya Lithai, a former leader in Sukhothai, left a historical record in stone describing the coronation ceremony in Sukhothai at Wat Srikhum.
In the beginning of the Ratanakosin era, the first King in the Chakri Dynasty (HM King Buddhayodfa the Great) took the title of Rama I and moved the capital of Siam from Thonburi to the opposite bank of the Chao Phraya River, and constructed Krung Ratanakosin (Bangkok). In the process of building the Royal Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) the first King in the House of Chakri refined the coronation ceremony, establishing important protocol that has lasted to this day. All Kings to follow not undergoing the coronation ceremony would be unable to assume the term “Phrabat” in front of the King’s title of “Somdej Phrachaoyuhua”, and more significantly, the symbol of the nine-tiered umbrella would also not be permissible or officially recognized.
The elaborate coronation ceremony of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great included all the ancient rituals required for assuming the full title and the nine-tiered umbrella. HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej then bestowed the honor posthumously on His brother HM King Ananda Mahidol. HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s benevolent act raised HM King Ananda Mahidol’s regal status from seven to a nine-tiered umbrella.
During the reign of HM King Mongkut (Rama IV), Buddhist monks and Brahmin priests were incorporated into the coronation ceremony to conduct rituals to sanctify the auspicious occasion. Previously the ceremony was arranged and conducted by the Royal Palace staff and members of the Royal Household.
The annual coronation ceremony is currently a three-day affair, starting with a ritual “tham boon” ceremony on May 3 to honor the King’s ancestors. Later on the first day, another ceremony is performed, whereby flags of honor are issued to distinguish various military units.
The following day, Buddhist ceremonies continue with chanting rituals, prayers and Brahman priests announcing the auspicious occasion forthcoming the next day (May 5).
On the 5th of May, His Majesty conducts a merit making ceremony, presenting offerings to Buddhist monks, and leads a “Wien Thien” ceremony, walking three times around sacred grounds at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
In the evening the King conducts another sacred ceremony: changing the yellow cloth on the Emerald Buddha, the guardian symbol protecting the Thai people, which was transferred from Thonburi to Wat Phra Kaew by Rama I.
Many rooms in the Royal Palace are opened for public viewing on Coronation Day. Auspicious ceremonies are performed and displays depicting Royal achievements are exhibited to reconfirm the King’s stature.
Pattaya Mail Media Group joins with the Kingdom of Thailand in joyously celebrating Wan Chatramongkhol, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great’s Coronation Day on Sunday, May 5. Long Live the King!
 


Kingdom of Thailand celebrates Their Majesties sixty-third royal wedding anniversary

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit celebrate Their 63rd wedding anniversary on Sunday, April 28. (Photo courtesy of the Bureau of the Royal Household)

The Royal Couple were married at the Sra Pathum Palace in Bangkok on April 28, 1950.

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitayakara were married by Her Majesty Queen Sawang Vadhana, the paternal grandmother of His Majesty, at the Sra Pathum Palace in Bangkok on April 28, 1950. This year they are celebrating their 63rd wedding anniversary.
Mom Rajawongse Sirikit, the daughter of the Thai Ambassador to France Mom Chao Nakkhatmongkol Kitayakara and Mom Luang Bua Sanitwongse met the soon-to-be-King at the Thai Embassy in Paris in 1948. They were engaged to be married at the Windsor Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland on July 19, 1949.
They returned to Thailand during the government of Prime Minister Field Marshal Pibul Songkhram and a stunningly beautiful marriage ceremony was held while the Thai military forces formed to honor and salute the Royal Couple.
Following the Royal marriage, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great ascended the throne, becoming the ninth King of Thailand in the Chakri Dynasty with all the pomp and pageantry befitting a Royal coronation on May 5, 1950.
Their Majesties have four children, HRH Princess Ubolratana, HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, and HRH Princess Chulabhorn.
Long live His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.


Drought strikes 21 districts

Government allocates 23 million baht

Water supplies have been drying up around the province as high temperatures and a long period of drought have hit the province. (file photo)

Nopniwat Krailerg
Twenty one districts in Chiang Mai have been hit hard by drought over the past months and the government allocated funds towards assisting those hit by the drought and have been building temporary dams and repairing village water supplies around the province.
Wassana Wapinnanont, head of Strategy and Management for the Chiang Mai Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office, revealed that drought conditions began in early December and continue today. Districts hit by the drought are Om Koi, Chom Thong, Samoeng, Mae Cham, San Patong, Hod, Galyani Vadhani , Chai Prakan, Hang Dong, San Kamphaeng, Doi Lor, Mae On, Mae Rim, Wiang Heang, Phrao, Doi Tao, Doi Saket, Sarapee, San Sai, Chiang Dao and Mae Taeng. Nearly 1 million households have been affected by the drought.
Chiang Mai province is assisting victims of the drought, so far a total of 23,444,940 Baht has been spent in 14 Districts; dredging waterways, repairing water supplies, and building temporary dams. The support was scheduled to end April 30.


8 dead in 7 dangerous days

Chiang Mai highest number of accidents

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai ranked highest for number of accidents over the 7 dangerous days of Songkran but ranked 9th for number of deaths a report from the Chiang Mai Operations Center to Prevent and Reduce Road Accidents recently revealed.
In the period of April 11- 17 Chiang Mai had 104 accidents; the majority of which were men; 85 men and 25 women were injured. Chiang Mai ranked 9th in number of deaths with a total of 8; 7 men and 1 woman. Last year Chiang Mai had 9 deaths from road accidents during this period. Chiang Mai also ranked first in number of accidents for the 2012-2013 New Year period.
Four districts in Chiang Mai reported no injuries or deaths during the period; Mae Cham, Mae Taeng, Mae On and Galyani Vadhana District.
Nationwide, 321 people were killed with Prachuap Khiri Khan the highest at 12, Kanchanaburi and Roi Et tied at 11 deaths overall. The most common cause was drunk driving and the highest number of accidents involved motorcycles followed by pickup trucks.


New Minister of Tourism & Sports

Career politician and former provincial governor Mr. Somsak Pureesrisak has been appointed Minister of Tourism and Sports, effective April 9. He replaces the late Mr. Chumpol Silpa-archa, who passed away last January 2013.

Thailand’s new Minister of Tourism & Sports Somsak Pureesrisak appointed last month.

Born 15 November 1951, Mr. Somsak is an electrical engineer by training and also holds a Master’s degree in Development Administration. He began his professional life in 1993 in the Department of Town and Country Planning, and has risen up the ranks since then. He twice served as Governor of Suphan Buri Province in Central Thailand, the last time between 2006 and 2012.. Mr. Somsak is also a member of the Chart Pattana Party, which is part of the coalition government currently in power under Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Mr. Somsak visited the Ministry of Tourism and Sports on 5 April 2013 after his appointment was confirmed by His Majesty the King. After familiarising himself with the ongoing ministry activities, Mr. Somsak indicated that he would make visitor safety and security a primary focus of attention.
The policy emphasis was welcomed by TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni. “Safety and security for visitors is becoming an over-arching area of importance all through the global travel & tourism industry. We constantly get questions about this matter at international trade shows, and are very pleased that the minister has taken up this issue as a matter of priority.
“The TAT looks forward to implementing initiatives from the minister in further advancing the role of travel and tourism as the country’s largest service industry and contributor to national socio-economic development.” (TAT)


Yaowapha Wongsawat wins 3rd District seat in by-election

Prime Minister’s older sister

Yaowapha Wongsawat was elected to the 3rd Electorate District in a landslide but 5 complaints have already been filed with the Election Commission.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Yaowapha Wongawat was elected to take the seat in Parliament as the member representing the 3rd District in Chiang Mai province in by-elections held on April 21, 2013. The 3rd Electorate District covers San Kamphaeng, Doi Saket and Mae On.
Yaowapha of the Pheu Thai party took 67,101 votes from 309 polling stations. Kingkarn na Chiang Mai from the Democrat Party took second with 21,327 votes and Taweesak Phupa from the Thai Rubber Party came a distant third with 2,456 votes. Taweep Yodseranee garnered 977 votes.
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung paid a congratulatory visit to Yaowapha on her victory at San Kamphaeng.
Yaowapa Wongsawat is the sister of the current Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and wife of former Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat. Her daughter was elected as the Member of Parliament for the district in an earlier election but the election was overturned after it was found that Chinnicha Wongsawat had falsely declared her assets and she was banned from politics for 5 years.
Kasem Nimmolrat from Pheu Thai Party won in by-elections but resigned to work in local politics as the Deputy President of the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization. Many believe he resigned to make way for Yaowapha and strengthen the Yingluck government.
More than 10 million baht was spent to hold the elections and turnout reached 74.53% and 8,556 no votes. Election results will be certified within 30 days, 5 complaints have already been filed with the Office of Election Commission.


New President of Yupparaj Alumni Association elected

Schoolmate of Prime Minister

Mahawan Kawang (Right) won the trust of the alumni in a unanimous vote for president of Yupparaj College Alumni Association.

Nopniwat Krailerg
A classmate of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and the Chairman of their class, Mahawan Kawang, was elected as President of the Alumni Association of Yupparaj College at the Annual Meeting of the Association held on April 20, 2013.
Mahawan will serve as President for two years after the unanimous vote. He graduated from grade 6 in 1984 or alumni “24-27”, the same class as Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. He is expected to enter into national politics in the future. Now he is a DJ on a local radio station.
The Alumni Association held a traditional “Rod Nam Dam Hua” ceremony or the water blessing ceremony, to honor senior alumni and teachers followed by dinner.
Yupparaj College was the first school in the Northern Region and was established more than 107 years ago by HM King Rama VI.


39,000 new car owners under government scheme

Chiang Mai highest in the North

Nopniwat Krailerg
39,749 Chiang Mai residents have filed with the government under the first time car buyer rebate scheme, the highest number out of the Northern provinces, Veena Srisomboon from the Chiang Mai Revenu Office revealed recently.
To date, 4,715 people have received a total of 339,824,473 baht in the scheme. So far, 70 people have been declared ineligible due to missing documentation and 89 people were terminated from the program completely.
The government rebate project ended on December 31, 2012. Chiang Mai came in second in the nation after Bangkok for first time car buyers applying for the scheme which requires that the buyers own the car for 5 years. If they sell the car before the 5 years they will be required to return the money to the Revenue Department.


Tourists trapped in Zoo monorail after accident

Monorail services halted pending inspection

12 tourists had to be rescued by the Suthep Municipal Fire Department after an accident on the monorail at Chiang Mai Zoo.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Twelve people, including children, were trapped on the Chiang Mai Zoo monorail after two cars hit each other at 10 a.m. on April 27, 2013. Rescue personnel from the Suthep Municipal Fire Department and police from the Phu Ping Police station rushed to the scene to assist the passengers in getting off the mid –air tracks using a cherry picker to get passengers out one by one. Rescue operations took about half an hour.
Nipon Wichairat, Deputy Director of Chiang Mai Zoo, reported that the Director has ordered that the 4 monorail cars be removed from service as they have had too many accidents and are a danger to tourists who come to the Zoo to relax and be safe. The Zoo wants implementation of technical solutions that are satisfactory and safe; the Thai Monorail Co. Ltd has a 20-year concession and started operations in 2006.


Thailand Travel Mart to be held in June

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is ready to organize another travel extravaganza to restate Thailand’s stance as the regional hub for holiday business.
TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni revealed that the tourism authority will hold “Thailand Travel Mart Plus The Greater Mekong Subregion” or TTM+2013 during June 5-7 at Impact Muang Thong Thani, in suburban Bangkok.
Mr. Suraphon said the upcoming travel promotion event is aimed at promoting Thai travel destinations and tourist service in the international market through business deals and negotiations between Thai and foreign business operators.
He added that the TAT hopes the event will help open more doors for small- and medium-sized businesses to meet markets outside Thailand.
The TAT Governor stated that this year’s event will be organized under the theme “Customize Your Experience” and will see the participation of at least 400 local businesses, ranging from travel agencies to hotels and resorts, airlines, golf courses and spa services.
Mr. Suraphon said that 413 buyers from 62 countries already confirmed their presence at the event.
He also noted that TTM+2013 will also be an opportunity for tourism businesses in the Greater Mekong Subregion to join and help highlight Thailand’s position as the travel hub of this region. (TAT)


Police seize 75 million baht in assets from suspect

A total of 650 million baht in assets has been seized from suspected drug trafficker Nittaya Jirayanithhikul, owner of the Jasmine Happy Park Home Village in San Sai.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Nittaya Jirayanithhikul, age 37 the owner of the Jasmine Happy Park Home Village in San Sai, saw a further 75 million baht in assets seized by police from the Office of Narcotics Control Board on April 18 to bring the total value of assets seized to 650,694,000 Baht.
Nittaya was arrested on January 16, 2013 for the murder of her husband, Somchai Theia after she allegedly hired hit men to kill him. She was also charged with drug trafficking with her younger brother-in-law.
On April 18 Narong Rattananukul, Acting Secretary of Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) and Pol.Maj.Gen Chamnan Ruwdrew Deputy Commander of Police Region 5 and more than 50 officers seized assets valued at 75,694,000 Baht including gold, computers, land and houses belonging to her mother and sister in addition to the 575 million baht seized on April 11, 2013. The seizure comes under a law which allows police to seize the assets obtained from drug trafficking.


Man arrested for murdering 2 migrant workers

Nopniwat Krailerg
A Tai Yai man named Yod (last name unknown) age 40 after he confessed to police that he had murdered two of his fellow migrant workers after a drinking session.
Police found the bodies of two men in a grassy forested area near Tesco Lotus Kamtieng on Assadathorn Road on April 18, 2013. Yao (last name unknown) age 35 and Jumuang (last name unknown) age 45, members of the Tai Yai ethnic minority group, were battered to death.
Police investigation led them to arrest Yod on April 24, 2013, who confessed to police that he had killed the two men after Yao had made fun of him during a drinking session. He told police that he and two friends Toon and Zha joined the two men drinking together when Yao made fun of him. The two men went to sleep in the forested area and he followed them with his two friends, first mistakenly killing Jumuang by battering him with a branch. After realizing his mistake he found Yao and killed him while he slept.
Pol. Col. Supakorn Sripruek, Deputy Superintendent of Chang Puak Police Station said that the police continue searching for the two accomplices, Toon and Zha.


Man arrested for snatching bag from tourists

Sanae Sujai was arrested by police after they tracked down the phone stolen in a bag snatch from a Thai woman. Police found many items suspected of having been stolen from tourists from the house of the suspect.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Muang District Police arrested 23 year old Sanae Sujai after he snatched the bag of a Thai woman on Rachapakinai Road on April 23, 2013; the bag contained 3,000 baht in cash and a Samsung Galaxy SII mobile phone. Police were able to track the phone and found someone using it in Hang Dong. Police went to investigate and arrested the 23 year old man with the phone. A check revealed he had a record for burglary.
Sanae confessed to the police that he regularly rode his motorbike around the city looking for bags to steal. He told police that he had stolen the bags of a Thai woman at Santitham Temple and another at Rincome Intersection in February and in March he stole the bag of an American woman in front of Wat Dok Euang on Ratchawithi Road and the bag of a female Chinese tourist on Sriphoom Road. His spree continued into April when he stole the bag of a Chinese woman at Prapokklao Road and from a foreign female tourist at Chiang Mai Technical College.
Police searched the house of the accused and seized many items as evidence in the case.


3 dead in Sarapee accident

Lucky escape in Mae Rim

Mae Taeng resident Banpol Keeri walked away from this accident which saw the electric pole snapped in half by the impact.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Police and rescue personnel rushed to the scene of a deadly accident that occurred on April 21, 2013 at 6:35 p.m. at the Padaed – Thawangtan Bridge in Sarapee District. Rescue personnel found a black Toyota pickup had collided with a 6 wheel truck. Both vehicles were severely damaged by the impact and three people in the pickup were found dead trapped in the smashed remains of the truck while 6 other people were transported to Sarapee hospital. Two adults and one child were killed in the accident.
Police are investigating to determine the cause of the accident.
A 29 year old resident of Mae Taeng was luckier as he survived a high impact crash with an electric pole on Chotana Road in Mae Rim on April 19 at 12:45 a.m. Rescuers found a Mitsubishi pickup truck with the entire front half of the truck destroyed and part of the roof collapsed from the weight of the electric pole that had snapped in half upon impact and landed on the truck.
The driver, Banpol Keeri who was only slightly injured, told police that he was returning home to Mae Taeng after having some alcoholic drinks. He said that he was driving very fast and dozed off at the wheel. PEA officials worked to restore power caused by the accident.


Court case of 94 year old Australian man postponed

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Karl Joseph Kraus was wheeled into Chiang Mai Provincial Court on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 9 a.m. where he faced the latest of his many court appearances on charges of sex offences against 4 young Doi Saket sisters.

94 year old Australian Karl Joseph Klaus appeared in court on Monday, April 29, 2013. His case was postponed awaiting the doctor’s report. (Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

Karl Kraus, an Australian national now aged 94, plead not guilty to 4 offences allegedly committed against his neighbor’s daughters some 6 years ago. He was initially bailed by the court but fled across the border to Myanmar, to be re-captured weeks later by Australian Federal Police there and returned to Chiang Mai.
Since then he has been held in the hospital of Chiang Mai’s male prison. Visits have to be conducted through a glass screen and via an internal telephone. In the past few weeks he has become visibly weaker and his hearing has deteriorated so that he cannot use the phone, and is no longer in touch with his son in Australia. A source close to the case says that he now suffers from double incontinence and has expressed a wish to simply go back to Australia to die.
Each month he is taken for a medical checkup to Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, where regulations insist that he is accompanied by a prison officer and kept in leg chains.
Although he has medical reports, the Judge said that he must question the defendant’s doctor in court. Representatives of the Australian Embassy in attendance succeeded in bringing the proposed date to June 10.


Over 1 million Yaba tablets seized in arrests in Chiang Rai

Pha Muang Task Force in shootout in Mae Chan

Members of the Pha Muang Task Force uncovered 960,000 Yaba tablets hidden deep in the forest in Chiang Rai on April 24, 2013.

Chiang Mai Mail Reporters
In two separate incidents in April, police seized over one million baht in Yaba tablets from drug traffickers in Chiang Rai.
On April 22, Chiang Rai police were given a tip off by informants that drugs were going to be transported from Baan Pang Mahan to customers in Tambon Wawee in Mae Suai District in Chiang Rai. Police set up a checkpoint, Pol. Maj. Gen. Chamnan Ruwdrew Deputy Commander Police Region 5 reported, and attempted to stop the three trucks. The three vehicles sped away from the checkpoint and police followed in pursuit. They discovered three bags filled with 120,000 methamphetamine tablets on the side of the road near Ban Huai Nam Khun in Mae Fah Luang District, Chiang Rai. Police suspect three men from Baan Pang Mahan and have issued a warrant for their arrests.
At 20:50 pm. on April 23, the Pha Muang task force setup a checkpoint at Baan Kiw Satai in Mae Chan District, Chiang Rai. Police said that a pickup truck stopped around 100 meters short of the checkpoint and around 12 men got out of the car and walked through the checkpoint. Police spotted what appeared to be a weapon and shots were fired, injuring one man. The rest of the men fled into the forest.
The next morning police found 960,000 methamphetamine tablets packed into sacks and fertilizer bags about 2 km deep into the forest from the checkpoint. Police believe that the gang was transporting drugs to Chiang Rai to send to dealers.


Governor takes the stage as King Kawila

Governor Tanin played the role of King Kawila, the King who fought off the Burmese and restored Chiang Mai to glory as its King.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai officials and students took part in a ceremony held annually to worship the ancestors at Wat Suan Dok on April 17, 2013. The evening started with a parade led by Governor Tanin Subhasaen, Chao Pongsak na Chiang Mai and other members of the Northern Royal families. Chiang Mai government officials and students joined the parade that started at the CMU Art Center and ended at Wat Suan Dok.
The Governor participated in the “Wai Kru Chao Luang” ceremony to honor Chiang Mai’s past rulers that are interred at Wat Suan Dok including Princess Dara Rasami, the Lanna wife of King Chulalongkorn. The ceremony is held annually after Songkran to pay homage to the rulers of Chiang Mai. The Governor paid his respects, saying that the Lanna Kings had kept the North safe and peaceful.
Governor Tanin then played the part of King Kawila, the first ruler of the Chao Jed Ton dynasty in an elaborate light and sound show.


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Coronation Day Sunday, May 5

Kingdom of Thailand celebrates Their Majesties sixty-third royal wedding anniversary

Drought strikes 21 districts

8 dead in 7 dangerous days

New Minister of Tourism & Sports

Yaowapha Wongsawat wins 3rd District seat in by-election

New President of Yupparaj Alumni Association elected

39,000 new car owners under government scheme

Tourists trapped in Zoo monorail after accident

Thailand Travel Mart to be held in June

Police seize 75 million baht in assets from suspect

Man arrested for murdering 2 migrant workers

Man arrested for snatching bag from tourists

3 dead in Sarapee accident

Court case of 94 year old Australian man postponed

Over 1 million Yaba tablets seized in arrests in Chiang Rai

Governor takes the stage as King Kawila