City requests help in keeping sewers clean
They have also asked residents to
make sure they do not throw rubbish into the streets so that
waste is not washed down into the system and blocks drains. The
project is expected to be completed by July 27, 2013. (Photo
courtesy of Chiang Mai Municipality)
The Chiang Mai Municipality has requested the help of fresh
market vendors such as Ton Payom and other markets around the
city to not throw food waste into the sewers. The Municipality
is sending pumping trucks and cleaners to all fresh markets in
the city to dredge the sewers in the area to prevent flooding
and overflow. 14 markets around the city have been targeted;
Waroros and Ton Lamyai first, followed by Baan Tor, Muang Mai,
Muang Sunthorn, Ming Muang, Boriboon, Thong Kham, San Pakoi,
Nong Hoi, Chiang Mai Gate, Ton Payom, Siri Wattana and Pratu Gom
700 Cassia trees to be planted in parks around the city
Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai
Buranupakorn and Deputy Mayor Soonthorn Yamsiri plant a tree to
start the event.
(Photo courtesy of Chiang Mai Municipality).
Chiang Mai Mayor led the group of students and government
officials on June 4, 2013 to begin planting 700 Cassia or
Goldenshower Trees around Chiang Mai parks. The Cassia Fistula
is Thailand’s national tree and represents the youth of Chiang
Mai, the Mayor said. The trees are being planted for future
generations to enjoy and care for in a bid to keep the city
500 saplings were donated by Agriculture Research Center and 200
by Maejo University. Maejo University students planted 299 of
those trees at Lanna King Rama IX Park. Witthayalaikaset School
of Technology and Agriculture planted 199 saplings at the Train
Park, Witthayalai Technical College students planted 99 trees at
the cemetery, while Tessaban officials planted 59 trees at
Mayor Tussanai said that the Chiang Mai people need to follow
Her Majesty the Queen’s words and take care of the environment,
the forests and the watersheds.
Kachin Political Prisoners Remain Behind Bars
The entrance to the refugee camp in
Kachin state in Myanmar.
By Banyol Kong Janoi & Cherry Htike, Kachin, Myanmar
At a refugee camp in Myitkyina, Myanmar, 40-year-old Ze
Nyoi is having her lunch.
The mother of three still remembers the day her husband, Brang
Shawng, was taken away last year.
“It was 9 p.m. on a Sunday night. The authorities came and said
that they had some enquiries so they took my husband. They took
my husband into the interrogation room," she says.
Nyoi says they came back the next day and asked her to buy food
for her husband and promised she could see him. “But as time
went by, we were no longer allowed to visit him.”
Brang Shawng was accused of being a captain in the rebel group
armed wing Kachin Independence Army and implicated in a bomb
plot. He was returned to the camp for three days and was later
“When I saw him the first time, he was wearing a long sarong so
it covered up his wounds. All of his body was covered in
wounds,” she says, “I didn't recognize his face because of those
wounds. I was crying and crying till I passed out."
A day after the European Union lifted its sanctions, the Myanmar
government granted amnesty to 93 prisoners, including 59
political prisoners. But in Kachin state, activists claim that
hundreds of political prisoners are still in jail. Most of them
are accused of being rebel group sympathizers.
Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Kachin state
since 2011, when a 17-year ceasefire with the government broke
down.Since then, the government has been accusing refugees of
being rebel supporters and has stopped the supply of
humanitarian aid to them.
“If we were connected to the rebel group, we wouldn't come here
to live in a refugee camp. We would go to Liza, the rebel’s
headquarters and live in comfort,” explains Nyoi. “Here, we
struggle for food. Sometimes, we just eat rice without any
In February this year, the government held peace talks with the
Kachin rebel group and both sides agreed to try to reduce
military tensions and continue dialogue. But as yet, no formal
ceasefire agreement has been reached.Instead of dialogue, a
local NGO claims the government has arrested up to 100 refugees
allegedly accusing them of being rebel supporters.
Camp leader U Aung Myet believes that Brang Shawng is innocent.
“I have investigated Brang Shawng’s background, from his birth
until he was arrested. I met his schoolteacher and his
employer,” says Myet, “Brang Shawng used to work at a
traditional goldmine and that’s very different from the
The international community has been campaigning for his
immediate release. Shawng was reportedly brutally tortured
during the interrogation and forced to confess to different
bombings in the area. Last year he was brought to trial with
knife marks and bruises on his cheeks and thighs.
“During the first confession, the judge found a recording device
taped to Brang Shawng’s body,” explains Myet, “The case has now
been postponed for a re-examination, we don’t understand why. We
want a fair trial. We want the judge who saw the tape to be our
The judge has since been taken off the case.
In March this year, the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights
in Myanmar, Tomas Quintana, visited the Myitkyina prison. There
he met Brang Shawng and other Kachin prisoners held on similar
charges. In his report, he confirmed that Brang Shawng had been
tortured by the military during their interrogation and forced
to give a false confession.
Ze Nyoi now has to raise the family alone in the refugee camp.
She sells food in the market so she can buy food for her husband
in jail and is still hopeful of seeing her husband again.
“I am very optimistic that he will be released soon,” she says,
“He hasn’t committed any crime.”
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
Give the gift of life
World Blood Donor Day on June 14
Give the gift of life on World Blood Donor Day,
June 14, 2013.
The Provincial Red Cross of Chiang Mai is joining together with the
National Blood Service Region 10 to encourage the people of Chiang Mai to
donate blood on World Blood Donor Day at Chiang Mai Hall at Central Plaza
Chiang Mai Airport on June 14, 2013.
Donations will be taken from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. said Indira Subhasaen, the
President of the Provincial Red Cross Chapter of Chiang Mai. June 14 is the
birthday of Dr. Karl Land Steiner, she noted, the man who discovered blood
types which has become crucial to medical care around the world.
She encouraged people to give blood saying it is the gift that connects
people for life. She thanked regular blood donors for their sacrifice,
noting that blood donation is to give without expectation of thanks but to
know that you will save someone’s life with your donation.
Hospitals need blood donations at a minimum of every 3 months in order to
treat patients and keep adequate supplies. Blood donors will receive a
special commemorative t-shirt at the event; there will also be a
commemorative wall for those who donate to write their well wishes to those
who receive the blood and entertainment while you wait.
Public warned of Dengue Fever outbreak
1,200 patients so far this year
Dengue fever is caused by the
bite of the Aedes mosquito genus; primarly the A. aegypti. The virus has
four different types and can cause sudden-onset fever, headache (typically
located behind the eyes), muscle and joint pains, and a rash, in the case of
Hemorrhagic Dengue fever, bleeding from the nose and mouth. (Photo courtesy
Chiang Mai is facing a massive outbreak of Dengue fever, Dr.
Surasingh Witsautrat Deputy Director of the Chiang Mai Public Health Office
said, with 1,200 patients and 2 deaths already this year. He noted that 3
years ago there were only 300 cases for the entire year.
Dengue is endemic in more than 110 countries and infects between 50 to 390
million people worldwide a year. Most people recover without any ongoing
problems and the mortality rate is less than 1% for those who seek
treatment; it is 1–5% without treatment.
“This year will be tougher than ever,” he said. He said that the Public
Health Department has set up a war room to tackle the ballooning situation.
“All 25 districts will join in working together to fight the outbreak. It
has reached epidemic levels in the province. This year’s outbreak has seen
four variants of the disease from two species of mosquito found in Chiang
Mai. We will implement a set of measures to control the outbreak,” Dr.
People are encouraged to remove all possible breeding sites; do not allow
standing water around the house, empty potted plants of water. The mosquito
bites during the day so people should wear repellent in the day time as
Highway 107 in Mae Taeng to finally be completed
Highway 107 that runs between Chiang Mai and Fang has seen
construction suspended since 2007, leaving gaping holes and unsafe
conditions after the subcontractor hired to do the job in 2005 failed to
complete it in the two years allotted. The government filed for breach of
contract against the company that was hired to build 14.340 km of road with
a total budget of 229,189,211 baht. The contractor failed to complete the
construction and villagers in the area and users of the road have had to
deal with the unsafe conditions brought about by uncompleted construction.
Thipparat, Deputy Director of Engineering of Chiang Mai Highway District 3
has submitted a budget to the government to complete Highway 107 in Mae
Villagers protested to the government as the repairs stalled and on May 21,
2013 Pratuan Thipparat, Deputy Director of Engineering of Chiang Mai Highway
District 3, announced that the Highway Department has terminated the
contract with the company in February and has presented a 99.63 million baht
budget to the government for approval.
The Highway Department has assigned the Office of Highway Building Center in
Lampang to complete the project. They plan on repairing the road surfaces,
install a traffic light, warning signs, and street lights as well as
dividing lanes. The Deputy Director hopes the budget will be approved in
early June 2013 and predicts construction will be completed in four months.
Water Summit comes to a close as leaders emphasize cooperation
Chiang Mai Declaration issued
Leaders from the Asia Pacific region met with
water experts, business people and development agencies to discuss water
related issues and problems in the region from May 16-20, 2013 at the
International Convention Center.
The 2nd Asia Pacific Water Summit was held in Chiang Mai from May 16 – 20,
2013 at the International Convention Center and was attended by world
leaders, academics, water experts and government officials from over 40
countries to discuss water issues such as flood and drought, and to share
their experiences in handling the problems after disasters occur.
The summit emphasized cooperation in water management and integrating
resource management in the future to reduce the loss of life and property
caused by floods, drought and natural disasters.
The Chiang Mai Declaration was issued at the conclusion of the summit which
expressed awareness of the importance of water for sustainable development
and the challenges that are associated with coping with many important
global issues. The Declaration covered 13 major issues and was signed by the
9 heads of state attending the Summit; Thailand, Brunei, South Korea, Laos,
Myanmar, Vietnam, Georgia, Tajikistan and Vanuatu.
Some of the objectives include according high priority to water and
sanitation issues on the national agenda, encourage the inclusion of
disaster risk reduction in the UN development agenda, enhance regional
planning and cooperation, accelerate incorporation of integrated water
resources planning and management, promote efficient use of water resources
and yet still take into account basic human needs, improve irrigation
systems in the agriculture sector, encourage the adoption of measures to
reduce water pollution, increase communication towards development of water
disaster risk reduction systems, improve water quality and protect wetlands,
and encourage better networking and partnerships between the public and
The 2nd APWS Leaders Forum offered leaders from the Asia Pacific region an
opportunity to network international and regional development agencies, and
the business sector to build new partnerships on water security and
water-related disaster challenges.
Chiang Mai hosts the 6th
Thailand Rice Convention
More than 500 people from 40 countries attended
Minister of Commerce Boonsong Teriyapirom opened
the convention and noted that the government plans to continue its rice
Over 500 people from 40 countries recently attended the 6th Thailand
Rice Convention held at the International Convention Center from May 26-28.
The opening ceremony was presided over by Minister of Commerce Boonsong
Teriyapirom under the theme “Pushing ASEAN towards the World’s Rice Hub”.
The conference invited those involved in the rice trade, both domestically
and internationally and in both the public and private sectors. Rice
importers, academics and qualified professionals attended the seminar that
included academic conferences, field trips to view agricultural areas, and
Panelists discussed the future of global rice production noting that more
countries were becoming more self-reliant and producing higher volumes of
their own rice. The general consensus was that this would cut into rice
exporters’ sales overseas. Academics criticized the government’s rice
pledging policy saying it had increased production over quality although the
Minister said the government has no plans to drop the scheme.
The Minister concluded that the meeting showed the potential of rice exports
and provided a forum for the exchange of information and ideas that could
only benefit the rice industry by building better relationships and
Thai – Lao Joint Cabinet
meeting in Chiang Mai
Tourism, labor and checkpoints discussed
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra signs an MoU
with Lao PDR Prime Minister Thongsing Thammawong.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and the Thongsing Thammawong, the
Prime Minister of Laos PDR met at the 2nd Thai – Lao Joint Cabinet Retreat
at Le Meridien Hotel in Chiang Mai on May 19 and 20 to hammer out agreements
over opening a new permanent border checkpoint and the Thai – Lao Friendship
bridge as well as tackle issues such as labor, tourism, human trafficking
They discussed ways the two countries can work together to prevent human
trafficking and to facilitate the importation of legal labor into Thailand.
The Thai Cabinet passed a resolution to extend the One Stop Service Center
for Lao workers to prove their citizenship for another 120 days from the
expiry date of April 14, 2013.
The two sides expressed their commitment to work together to promote
economic development and trade including additional border crossings. In
particular, the operation of the release of goods at a Single Stop
Inspection (SSI) border point to promote trade. They will promote private
sector investment along Routes 8 and we and Laos agreed to facilitate the
standard fee on those routes. They also agreed to develop transport linkages
including a railroad linking Nong Khai and Tha Na Langt to connect with the
upcoming high speed railway. Additionally they agreed to the administration
of a new bridge linking Chiang Rai’s Chiang Kong district with Boe Kaew’s
Huay Xai in Laos that is expected to open to the public this year.
The countries plan to increase cooperation in tourism and promote tourism in
the region. Laos expressed a willingness to support the idea of a single
visa for the region or the ACMECS Single Visa.
Three documents were signed at the meeting; a memorandum of understanding on
agriculture, an agreement on the use and maintenance of the Thai – Laos
Friendship Bridge, and an agreement on the administration of the new bridge
in Chiang Rai.
Promenada Resort Mall soft opening set for June 7, 2013
(From left): Khun Lalida Hirunteerapol,
Marketing Manager , ECC International Real Estate, Khun Ellen Wit, Marketing
Director, ECC International Real Estate Khun Tjeert Kwant, President & CEO
of ECC International Real Estate, Khun Sirikanya Narongtanupon, Managing
Director, ECC International Real Estate and Khun Naruewan Pinit, Marketing
Manage , ECC International Real Estate.
Promenada Resort Mall Chiang Mai’s soft opening is set for June 7, when the
first phase of the mall will open with a weekend of shows, activities and
attractions. The opening weekend will feature stars and celebrities, the
highlight being a special live performance by J. Jetrin on the evening of 7
June. Uniqlo will present an exclusive fashion show on the center stage, as
guests enjoy refreshments from the living food caravan.
There will be an ultra-modern 8-screen “SF Cinema City”, which will launch
at the same time as the soft opening of the mall and the 720-sqm ice skating
rink will be opened at phase two.
Mr. Tjeert Kwant, Chief Executive Officer and shareholder of ECC
International Real Estate, said, “The soft opening of Promenada Resort Mall
will give residents of Chiang Mai a chance to enjoy a unique retail, leisure
and entertainment destination. A majority of the external garden areas will
be completed by the soft opening date, so our guests will get a very strong
impression of what the full Promenada experience will be like. The second
phase of the mall is scheduled to be ready on 12 July.” He noted that there
had been delays due to the many construction projects going on in the city
it had been difficult to find a contractor.
The Promenada Resort Mall will, upon completion, have a total building area
of 91,951 square meters and includes three floors of parking space under the
building. 50,000 square meters for rental space, or more than 350 stores
with both local and international brands.
The launch celebrations also feature the European Union Film Festival (from
13 June), which presents a 10-day celebration of the joy of moving images.
Guests will experience the superb technology of SF Cinema City’s
cutting-edge movie theatres as they enjoy a selection of 18
thought-provoking movies from 15 EU countries. From captivating Czech
romance, to riveting Italian drama, to light-hearted Polish comedy, a vast
cultural immersion awaits. The Film Festival, which is exclusive to SF
Cinema City, provides free admission on a first-come, first-served basis,
with English subtitles for all films and Thai subtitles for the top five
picks. The Film Festival is the first of a succession of monthly events to
be held at Promenada, to be followed by a high-profile dance competition and
many more future events.
Developing OTOP Health products
Good Manufacturing Practice standards
Dr. Wichai Tienthaworn, Assistant Minister of
Public Health, presided over the opening ceremony held on May 24 at Central
Plaza Chiang Mai Airport.
OTOP health and food products were featured at a fair held at the
Chiang Mai Hall at Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport from May 24-26 with more
than 300 people taking part. Dr. Wichai Tienthaworn, Assistant Minister of
Public Health, presided over the opening ceremony held on May 24, noting
that this project was in response to government policy that OTOP products be
upgraded to the international level and in line with Good Manufacturing
Practice (GMP) standards.
Health products, processed foods and dry goods were part of the exhibit and
the government aims to start exporting to ASEAN in 2015. The Minister of
Public Health, Dr. Pradit Sintavanarong, wants all products to be submitted
to the FDA for approval and involvement in the development of services. They
plan on training producers in every province to build consumer confidence in
OTOP health products.
There are around 20,000 OTOP entrepreneurs producing food and drinks
nationwide and the FDA wants them to strive for high quality production
standards with cleanliness, safety and workplace conditions meeting
‘Panda’monium as Lin Ping celebrates her 4th birthday
Chiang Mai Zoo officials announce the Panda
Exhibit of the story of Lin Ping to be held at the Zoo until June 9.
“Fantastic Four Years with Lin Ping” is the theme of the nearly 2
week long event celebrating famed panda Lin Ping’s birthday, the Chiang Mai
Zoo Director recently announced.
Director Thanapat Pongpamorn said that the Chiang Mai Zoo will hold
festivities from May 27 to June 9, 2013 with an exhibition of the life story
of Thailand’s favorite panda.
Lin Ping is the first Giant Panda born in Thailand. She is quite large for
her age of four years and has already entered estrus veterinarian Kanikar
Nimtrakul, said Lin Ping was not quite ready for mating when she entered
estrus at the age of 3. However, by mid-October she will be sent back to
China to mate. She could be gone as long as a year as it could take her 6
months to adapt to her new home and a suitable mate would need to be found.
She would also need to enter estrus at the right time. But, the doctor said,
Lin Ping could return to Thailand as early as 2 months after successful
breeding was completed.
Doctors are also monitoring Lin Ping’s mother Lin Hui to see if she will
mate again. They check her urine three times a day for an increase in
hormones. They noted that if Lin Hui did fall pregnant again then she would
probably stay in Thailand for 2 years to take care of the new baby panda.
Gang of Vietnamese arrested on suspicion of thefts around the city
A large group of young Vietnamese nationals were
arrested in Chiang Mai on suspicion of burglary.
The Department of Investigations of the Chiang Mai Immigration Police worked
together with the Chang Puak Police Station to investigate a group of
Vietnamese nationals believed to be robbing parked cars at nightspots around
Chiang Mai city. On May 18, 2013 the police raided Kwan Pracharaj
Condominium in Chang Puak where they arrested 6 men and 3 women on suspicion
The group was aged between 19 and 28 years old and after interrogation
police then arrested a further 7 Vietnamese nationals suspected of being
part of the ring. 6 more men and another woman, ages ranging from 19 to 31
were taken into custody by the Immigration Police at Kransiri Place in
Police uncovered many items of stolen property including 26 cell phones,
Thai and Vietnamese cash, ATM cards , 6 bank books, a DVD player, a camera,
a tablet and a notebook computer.
The police are strictly investigation such transnational criminals by
surveilling guesthouses and other accommodation in Chiang Mai.
1.6 million Yaba tablets
seized in Chiang Rai
43 kilos of crystal meth
Plastic bags holding 1.6 million methamphetamine
tablets and 43 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine were put on display by
police in Chiang Rai.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Chiang Rai police and the Pha Muang Task Force announced the seizure
of 1,660,000 methamphetamine tablets and 43 kilograms of crystal
methamphetamine in Mae Sai.
Soldiers from the Pha Muang Task force came upon 6-7 suspects carrying large
sacks crossing an earthen dyke at the Sai waterway in Baan Wiang Hom in Mae
Sai District on May 13, 2013. The police called out to the group to stop and
be searched but they dropped the sacks and fled. No suspects were
Police found 7 fertilizer sacks filled with 1.66 million Yaba tablets packed
in plastic and 43 kilos of Ya Ice. Authorities believe the men belonged to a
group of Muser drug traffickers led by Lt. Col. Yee Sae. Thai police have
put a 2 million baht reward for information leading to the arrest of Yee
Massive police sweep
for criminals in Chiang Mai
Maintaining order during the Water Summit
than 60 suspects were rounded up for drug and weapons possession prior
to the Water Summit.
As part of a massive city-wide sweep during the visit of many
heads of state and other dignitaries during the 2nd Asia Pacific Water
Summit in May, Governor Tanin Subhasaen and Pol. Lt. Gen. Suthep
Dejraksa, Commander of Police Region 5, announced the arrest of more
than 60 people over two days on charges of drug and weapons possession.
More than 34,000 methamphetamine pills and over 30 firearms were
confiscated as well as 10 million baht in cash.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Suthep said that the police had worked hard to ensure
security and safety for the world leaders visiting Chiang Mai and to
make sure that not only was the province free of any potential terrorist
threats but also clearing it of criminals.
Beware of deadly mushrooms this rainy season
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Mushroom gatherers are warned to avoid any mushrooms they are
not totally sure of, Dr. Surasingh Witsautrat Deputy Director of the
Chiang Mai Public Health Office warned. He noted that every year people
are admitted to hospital with symptoms from consuming poisonous
mushrooms, sometimes resulting in death. There were 44 people admitted
to hospital in 2012 after eating poisonous mushrooms, 4 of whom died.
“Given that we are entering the rainy season, people should be careful
when eating forest mushrooms. When the mushroom is very small it is
difficult to ensure they are safe to eat. I suggest that if you are not
sure if the mushroom is edible then it is best not to eat it,” the
Deputy Director warned.
He added that most patients come from remote areas; those living
adjacent to the forest such as Om Koi, Mae Chaem and Samoeng.
10 million in cash seized from Northern drug network
Deputy Prime Minister Pol. Capt. Chalerm
Yubamrung and officers from Police Region 5 and the ONCB Region 5 view
the cash confiscated from suspected drug traffickers in Chiang Rai.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Police Region 5, Office of Narcotics Control Bureau (ONCB) Region 5 and
the Pha Muang Task Force announced the arrest of 3 suspects allegedly in
possession of 2,000 methamphetamine tablets and 10 million baht that
police believe was headed for the border to fund drug manufacturers.
Investigation led the police to suspect a Lisu tribe drug trafficking
network in the North of bringing drugs over the border into Thailand.
Police followed a suspicious black Nissan pickup truck from Fang
District in Chiang Mai to Mae Chan in Chiang Rai. They requested the
Border Patrol Police to set up a checkpoint to stop the truck and three
men Ar-Chuebe Saejang age 48 and his son Ar-nin Saejang age 20 and
Ar-bae Saejue age 30 were arrested after a search found 2,000
methamphetamine tablets and 10 million baht in cash hidden in a
Deputy Prime Minister Pol. Capt. Chalerm Yubamrung joined the press
conference in Bangkok and said that this arrest was severely damaging to
the drug network in the North and that the seizure of such a large
amount of cash would reduce the drug trade. He noted that all countries
in ASEAN must work together to fight the drug trade.
Two people murdered
trying to sell their cars
Killers posed as car buyers
Police announced the arrest of two men who have been accused of
posing as potential car buyers and then killing and stealing the cars of
the sellers. Pol. Maj. Gen. Chamnan Ruwdrew, Deputy Commissioner of
Police Region 5, told reporters that the police had apprehended two of
the alleged killers but that one man, nicknamed “Dum”, had escaped.
Boonsom Chanbutr, age 68 and Nakorn Hanpa, age 39, together with their
accomplice would look for cars for sale, call the number and pose as
buyers, police allege. They would lure the victim to somewhere quiet and
kill them. They were caught trying to sell the stolen vehicle of their
The accused confessed to police that they had killed two people in this
manner. On January 18, 2013 they lured 33 year old Rung-Lawan
Sujaritpong of Om Koi to meet them so they could view her black Toyota
pickup truck. They told police they had strangled her to death with a
rope and buried her body in the forest area of Doi Tao.
The second victim was Mr. Parkpoom Nuansri age 30 of Sarapee. However,
he resisted and they told police they had to hold a gun to his head and
handcuff him before he too was strangled and his body dumped in the
swamp near the Gassan Golf Course in Baan Thi, Lamphun. They were
arrested trying to sell his blue Toyota pickup truck in Mae Sot, Tak