Chiang Rai villagers win 4 year
legal battle against power plant
Court revokes unlawfully issued license
Chiang Rai villagers rejoice as the
Administrative Court ruled in their favor against the government.
Nearly 600 villagers from the Wiang Nuea sub district in Wiang Chai
District of Chiang Rai rejoiced at the conclusion of their four year long
legal battle against the Energy Regulatory Commission after the Chiang Mai
Administrative Court ruled in favor of their lawsuit.
Nearly 100 villagers sued the Energy Regulatory Commission for unlawfully
issuing a license for the construction of a biomass power plant to
Phalang-ngan Sa-Ard Dee Company on January 20, 2009. The judge concluded
that the project’s construction could damage the environment and damage the
community’s health because of its construction near a public canal and
agricultural area. The Courts ruled that because no Environmental Impact
Assessment was ever filed and villagers were not allowed to vote on the
project that the license was unlawful and revoked the company’s license.
Villagers expressed relief and joy at the winning conclusion of their battle
against the government.
Fraud alleged in Pang Kued election
Mae Taeng villagers file a petition claiming
election fraud in the Village Headman election held in their village earlier
Nearly 100 villagers from Pang Kued village in Mae Taeng District
petitioned the Governor on Monday, June 24, 2013 alleging election fraud in
the election of the village headman.
Wilasinee Sairattanyu led the protest which submitted a petition to Governor
Tanin Subhasaen calling on him to investigate voter fraud in the elections
held in January 11, 2013. She told the Governor that she noticed cheating on
the vote counting in the election between Apinan Chamu who won the election
with 184 votes. She added that she was the other candidate and was told she
garnered 183 votes but she noticed irregularities in the count. She filed a
protest with the Mae Taeng District Chief which held a recount on May 7. She
said ballots in the box did not match. She protested to the Governor but
Apinan was installed as the Village Headman on June 19, 2013. She and 220
villagers signed a petition which they presented to the Governor asking him
to fire the current Village Headman. The Governor’s office received the
petition and will begin investigations within 7 days.
“Lifestyle Dining Projects”
slated for new Central Festival
Wanlaya Chirathivat, Senior Executive Vice
President for Business Development, Design & Project Construction for CPN
introduces their new high end lifestyle dining concept to be located in the
new Central Festival.
The Central Pattana Public Company Limited announced plans to invest 1.4
billion baht in 3 “Lifestyle Dining & Gastro Bar Landmarks” to be built at
the Central Festival Chiang Mai, scheduled to be completed later this year,
as well as at Central World in Bangkok and Central Festival Samui. The
projects will appeal to city residents and tourists with high purchasing
power, who love lifestyle dining and partying. The three landmark projects
will help promote Thailand as a leading travel destination of the world.
Wanlaya Chirathivat, Senior Executive Vice President for Business
Development, Design & Project Construction for CPN said that a global
lifestyle dining trend is popular and being seen in hip spots in such places
as the Meatpacking District in New York Cty, Liverpool Street in London, Xin
Tian Di in Shanghai, Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong and Clarke Quay in
The Blossom @ Central Festival Chiang Mai will be a first and only Lifestyle
Dining & Gastro Bar Landmark in the North on 12,000 square meters under a
Flora Blossom theme. The cost is approximately 370 million Baht. (PR)
Chiang Mai Municipality hold AIDS training course
Public health volunteers and village headmen
attended a seminar on HIV/AIDs held by the Municipality.
Chiang Mai Deputy Mayor Nutchudej Wiriadiloktham chaired a training
course held for village headmen and public health volunteers in the
Municipality on June 14, 2013 at the Chiang Mai Rattanakosin Hotel. The
course was held to offer education and information on HIV/AIDs, how it is
contracted and how to prevent it.
The rising incidence of unsafe sexual activity among youth as well as the
risks for those involved with trafficking and sexual abuse are major
concerns and the Deputy Mayor noted that many of these are on the rise in
Thailand implemented a highly successful program to combat HIV/AIDs but the
numbers began rising again in recent years as youth became sexually active
at earlier and earlier ages and often practice unsafe sex. There are an
estimated half a million people with the HIV virus in Thailand and rates
began rising despite a highly successful program first implemented in 1991.
International Day against Drug Abuse
Deputy Governor Ritthipong Techapun opened the
anti-drugs event held at the Lanna Polytechnic Technical College on June 21,
Over 1,000 students joined in an anti-drugs rally held at the Lanna
Polytechnic Technical College Chiang Mai on June 21, 2013. Deputy Governor
Ritthipong Techapun presided over the International Day against Drug Abuse
and Trafficking opening ceremony and spoke to the students about the dangers
of drugs and drug abuse.
The event was held by the National Command Center for Drugs Elimination
Chiang Mai and the Office of Narcotics Control Board Region 5 in a bid to
educate students about drug abuse and the pitfalls of trafficking in illegal
Students also enjoyed performances, a Scout parade, drawing competition,
soccer matches and a music competition.
Rimping Grocery at
Star Avenue Lifestyle Mall
Following its successful first launch at JJ Market, Rimping Supermarket
opened its second Grocery unit on the ground floor of the Star Avenue
Lifestyle Mall, Superhighway, on 27 June.
The 300-square metre Rimping Grocery concept offers a compact but
comprehensive selection of high quality Rimping food and household products,
including a wide range of imported food items, displayed in a pleasant
ambiance of subdued lighting and soft classical music. Most of the company’s
best-known selections are available here, including bakery products from
‘The Oven’ and freshly prepared ‘Ready to Eat’ takeaway meals, together with
a large selection of imported cheeses, frozen foods, fresh fruits,
vegetables, and organically grown products. Customers also benefit from
Rimping’s convenient home delivery service, and the ‘Superplus’ programme
where points accrued from purchases made can be exchanged for attractive
catalogued items or shopping vouchers. On the 27 June for one day only,
shoppers can apply for a free (normally 90 Baht) lifetime Superplus
membership (passport or valid ID card required)
More Rimping Grocery branches are scheduled to open in 2013/2014, including
a store in the new Maya Shopping Mall currently under construction at the
The 3-storey Star Avenue Lifestyle Mall offers easy access with four
separate entrances, including one on the Superhighway itself, plus ample
parking facilities, and a wide range of retail outlets, restaurants and
other services, provides convenient one-stop shopping choices from 10am -
10pm every day. (PR)
reported in Chiang Mai
Public Health Office warns people returning
from the Middle East
The MERS-coronavirus that emerged in the Middle East last year has
seen some new infections in Europe but so far no cases have been found in
Chiang Mai. The coronavirus, similar to SARS has killed 32 people in Saudi
Arabia since September of 2012 and 38 worldwide. There have been 65 patients
diagnosed with the illness which is characterized by headache, fever and
respiratory infections according to Dr. Surasing Wisarutrat of the Chiang
Mai Public Health Office.
Although the World Health organization reported in February that they felt
the risk of human to human transmission was low the doctor has warned anyone
returning from the Middle East to be on the lookout for respiratory
symptoms. He also noted that the office has prepared a quarantine room for
anyone who may be diagnosed with the virus at Maharaj Nakorn and Nakornping
Dtac aims to spur economic growth in the North
Internet for all with TriNet
Dtac plans to spur the expansion of their “Internet for All” vision
with an expanded call center that will support up to ten languages as part
of their plan to meet AEC integration goals. Additionally, they started 3G
mobile service plan bundled with a smart phone to make 3G more accessible
and affordable to a wider audience.
The faster speeds and enhanced call center coincide with their expanded
partnerships and distribution in the North. There is a growing trend of
mobile users who are using their phones mainly for data usage. There are now
up to 9 million Dtac customers who are data users and the newly expanded 3G
bandwidth on 2100 MHz frequency boosts the country’s potential for much
wider data usage. However, approximately only 20% of handsets in Thailand
support this bandwidth frequency and the average number of data users in the
North is lower than the number of users in other regions.
Mr. Jon Eddy Abdullah, CEO of Total Access Communications Plc., or Dtac
“With the vision to make internet accessible to everyone, Dtac has extended
‘77/77 Internet for All Road Trip’ to the northern region. This is done in
order to test the TriNet signal and make sure it works well to support our
customers and help make our ‘Internet for All’ vision to become reality. We
hope that this effort will not only help improve the people’s quality of
life, but also demonstrated the telecom sector’s capabilities to drive the
country’s economy as well”.
Dtac is now ready to roll out TriNet service in the north by the end of
June. The service launch is coupled with the introduction of affordably
priced, but high-spec smartphones, which are bundled together with TriNet 3G
Chaiyod Chirabowornkul, Dtac’s Executive Vice President of Customer Group,
noted, “With the ‘Customer Centric’ commitment and the aim of improving
customer serviceability and our staff productivity, Dtac has invested more
than 800 million baht to upgrade our service centers’ facilities with great
attention to detail and improve our staff’s serviceability in order to make
sure our 26.5 million customers are happy. As a result, we hope that it will
help boost our customer loyalty and ensure they receive the best service
from dtac regardless of where they are”.
Chiang Mai en route
to become MICE hub
TCEB hosts workshop to promote cooperation
Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, the President of
Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) joins Governor
Tanin Subhasaen and Dr. Sarawut Srisakun, Director of Pinkanakorn
Development Agency in charge of Chiang Mai’s convention center at the
The Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), in cooperation
with the Chiang Mai Provincial government held a workshop to push Chiang Mai
to become a regional MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and
Exhibitions) hub. The “Year of MICE, Chiang Mai” workshop was held to
educate MICE related businesses and interested people on the MICE industry
and to support the government’s policy to make 2013 the “Chiang Mai Year of
Chiang Mai Governor Tanin Subhasaen said, “The seminar is the first step
taken under the 1st phase of Chiang Mai MICE’s development plan that was
prepared by the government and private organizations earlier this year.”
He added that the workshop is a good start in educating people directly
involved in the MICE industry, especially those on the operational level
about the potential and opportunities available in the industry.
“Through good understanding of the MICE industry, Chiang Mai can move
towards its goal of becoming the MICE hub for the Northern region in the
near future,” the Governor added.
According to the Chiang Mai MICE Destination master plan prepared earlier
this year, development will be divided into three phases; phase 1, which
began this year will see growth in domestic MICE set as the target with all
concerned agencies working together to improve infrastructure and various
education campaigns will be introduced. In the second phase, from 2014-2015,
promotion will be extended beyond domestic MICE to cover regional
cooperation blocks, including GMS, BIMSTEC and Chiang Mai Twin Cities. These
cities will work closely together to grow the market. While business and
economic growth progresses, the balance between business and cultural
development must be achieved. In the third phase (2016-2017), Chiang Mai
will be promoted as a Global MICE City with the capability of handling world
Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, the President of Thailand Convention & Exhibition
Bureau (Public Organization), said, “MICE is a key business with great
potential to enhance Chiang Mai as a business hub in the region. Considering
that the income generated by MICE industry is 2-3 times higher than tourism
and the business knowledge transfer that occurs promotes sustainable
learning and development. In making Chiang Mai a MICE Destination, all
concerned parties need to have good understanding and cooperate well in
driving development in the same direction. Chiang Mai’s success will surely
become a case study or a model for the development of other MICE cities in
The “Year of MICE, Chiang Mai Workshop” is held in cooperation with public
and private organizations; TCEB invited leading figures in the MICE and
tourism industry to share with the participants their knowledge, observation
In 2012, Chiang Mai MICE industry value reached 3,859.3 million baht, out of
which 94.2 million baht was generated by domestic MICE travelers and 3,764.8
million baht from international MICE travelers. In terms of number of MICE
visitors, 22,150 domestic and 46,826 international MICE travelers visited
Chiang Mai. When compared to the 2011 MICE income of 3,355.9 million baht,
the industry enjoyed a significant 15% growth.
Participants noted that Chiang Mai has very strong infrastructure advantages
which support the city’s plan to become a MICE destination. The newly opened
international convention center is one of the country’s 9 international
standard convention centers, covering 10,000 square meters exhibition area.
The facility is located on a 335-rai plot, making it Thailand’s largest
convention facility and the province has a total of more than 33,000 hotel
rooms. Chiang Mai International Airport is the country’s third largest
airport after Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports; it handles
401 domestic flights and 76 international flights per week, or a total of
12,377 flights per year. The airport can handle maximum of eight million
passengers and 30,000 tons of cargo.
Chiang Mai Night Safari
welcomes new baby animals
Barbary sheep and Red river hog
The mother Red River Hog sports the distinct
coloring on her face while her offspring are striped.
Chiang Mai Night Safari’s Director Dr. Sarawut Srisakun introduced
new baby animals to the public on June 15, 2013. A new Barbary Sheep, the
Night Safari’s 8th, was born on April 4, 2013. The Barbary Sheep is native
to North Africa and has reddish brown hair and large curving horns. Normally
they reach between 1.3 – 1.9 meters and when mature up to 90 cm tall and
between 130 – 150 kilograms. They use their hard hooves to climb up steep
rocky slopes and are very agile creatures able to achieve a standing jump of
over 2 meters. They usually deliver only between 1-2 offspring a year.
The director also introduced 2 male and 1 female Red River Hogs, also known
as the Bush Pig (not to be confused with the Bushpig!) that were born on May
22 in Shawana Safari. At present the safari has 7 male and 3 female red
river hogs. This wild pig is native to the Guinean and Congolese forests in
Africa. They have long reddish hair, long ears and a long black and white
nose. There is a tufted length of white hair along the spine and their
faces, in contrasting black and white hair make them appear to be wearing a
mask. Their body has a long red brown hair. It has a long ears, long black
and white nose, line length across the spine. Adults weigh between 45 to 115
kilograms with the boar weighing more than the sow and stand 55 to 80
centimeters tall, with a length of 100 to 145 centimeters. They use their
large muzzle to root in the soil for insects, roots and tubers although they
will also eat lizards.
2 drug traffickers arrested with over 3 million baht in cash
Two men were arrested on June 17, 2013 and
charged with the possession of illegal firearms as well as illegal drugs.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Five men were arrested for illegal gambling and possession of drugs
after police found them near Prachasampan Road, Chang Klan sub district on
June 15, 2013. Four men were charged with gambling and amphetamine use after
police uncovered drugs and paraphernalia to use drugs. The fifth man was
arrested with selling them drugs and 194 methamphetamine tablets were
uncovered in his house.
Border Patrol police set up a sting operation in Thaton after receiving a
report that a drug deal was expected to go down in a grocery store in Ban
Tha Ma Kang, Mae Ai District. The sting operation saw the arrest of Pipat
Panyakeaw with 1 kg crystal methamphetamine and 83,530 baht in cash. The
crystal methamphetamine has a street value of 1 million baht.
Two men were arrested by Police Region 5 and charged with drug and illegal
weapons possession after Prasobchai Weerawanich, age 33, and Nikorn Garinta
age 28, were charged with selling 1,183 methamphetamine pills and were found
with 4 pistols, 2 shotguns, guns accessories and a large quantity of bullets
in their possession on June 17, 2013. Police were investigating an old
arrest warrant for Prasobchai for dealing in stolen goods when they tracked
him down to an apartment in Nong Pa Krang sub district Chiang Mai. Police
uncovered 3 weapons in his vehicle. He told police that Nikorn had more
weapons and drugs in his home in Mae Rim. In Nikorn’s house they found more
weapons and the drugs.
Police worked with the Pha Muang Task Force to arrest two men on suspicion
of drug trafficking on June 18, 2013. Arto Basegu, age 35, was arrested on
the Mae Sai – Chiang Rai bus at the Mae Chan Police checkpoint in Chiang Rai
at 5:30 a.m. after a tipoff to police had them stop the bus looking for
traffickers. The police, after investigating, found around 20,000
methamphetamine or Yaba tablets. The accused confessed that he was hired to
carry the drugs to an unknown man and get paid 20,000 baht per trip.
That same morning police arrested Arlong Mayur, age 43 of Chiang Rai with 20
methamphetamine pills and 3,400,000 baht in cash. Police stopped him as he
passed through the checkpoint on his motorcycle. The accused did not divulge
the source of the cash but police believe it was derived from trafficking in
Police arrest man for stealing rental cars
Young couple arrested with 9 stolen motorbikes
Chiang Mai couple was arrested for stealing 9 motorbikes since the
beginning of the year.
A Lampang man was arrested and charged with auto theft after
Udon Thani police contacted the Chiang Mai police that Attagorn Meechai,
age 32 had stolen a rental vehicle, sold it and fled to Chiang Mai. The
Superintendent of Muang Chiang Mai police Pol. Col. Aksorn Wongyai
announced the arrest of the man on June 18, 2013 noting that the police
had contacted car rental companies in Chiang Mai to see if the man would
repeat the crime here.
A car rental company on Mahidol Road told police that he had contacted
them to rent a car. They then found Attagorn and arrested the suspect on
suspicion of auto theft.
A Chiang Mai couple was arrested on June 24, 2013 after police
investigation of CCTV footage saw a young couple, dressed in hip-hop
clothes driving a white Honda Jazz and stealing motorbikes. The couple
were identified as Kiatisak Senja age 20 and Watcharee Prasert age 19
and arrested in Doi Saket. They confessed to police that they had been
stealing motorbikes since early this year, stealing a total of 9
motorbikes. Police managed to find all the stolen motorbikes and will
return them to the owners. When the arrest was announced one bike owner
punched the suspect for stealing his motorbike.
2 students accuse teacher of molestation
Two Lamphun students reported a case of
sexual molestation by a teacher to the Provincial Police on June 24,
A Lamphun teacher brought two 16 year old students to report a
charge of sexual molestation to Pol. Col. Weerachon Boontawee, chief of
Children Women Family Protection and Anti Human Trafficking Center of
Provincial Police Region 5 on June 24, 2013.
The teacher took the two students to the police as the teacher had known
them from their old school in Lamphun a year previously and they had
told the teacher about the molestation.
Pol. Col. Weerachon Boontawee said that the police will questions the
two students and investigate the case to obtain evidence before applying
to the courts for an arrest warrant for the teacher accused of sexual
Drunken dental student opens fire on Nimmanhaemin bar
Phuping Police were called to the scene of a shooting at the Ban
Din Restaurant on Nimmanhaemin soi 13 at 12:30 a.m. on June 22, 2013
where they found 3 injured men; Korean Ty Yeon Lee age 17, Thai Scott
Moris Chaiwattana age 20 and Canadian Nicolas Brown age 35.
Witnesses told police that the suspect, 6 year Dental student Danot
Praweenmet, age 28, was a customer at the restaurant where he got very
drunk. He had an argument with the three men after he made advances on
their friend. The suspect left the restaurant and returned with a 9 mm
gun and shot 5 times into the restaurant from his car before driving
Police found the car and the suspect at 3 a.m.in a house on Soi 3,
Siroros Road in Suthep Sub-District. They found 4 gun shells in the car
and a 9 mm gun in the bedroom. He was arrested on charges of attempted
murder, possession of a weapon and ammunition without a permit and for
carrying a gun in a public place.
Red shirts clash with
Nimmanhaemin Road was the scene of clashes between around 100
Rak Chiang Mai 51 members led by DJ Gaga and DJ Tom and members of the V
for Thailand white masked group that rallied against the government at
the Health Park behind CMU on June 14 at 4 p.m. Members of Rak Chiang
Mai 51 moved from Waroros Grand Hotel to the road in front of Hillside 2
condominium where 20 white masked people were holding signs protesting
against the government.
Witness report that red shirt members shouted at the protestors and
threw rubbish at them. They then tried to grab the protest signs and
witnesses reported they also hit the white masked protestors with sticks
as police stood by. The protestors scattered but members of Rak Chiang
Mai 51 members followed them. They then blocked the road for 30 minutes,
creating a major traffic jam before returning to the Health Park.
2 monks arrested for
procuring a 14 year old boy
Two monks were arrested by Chiang Mai Police on June 18, 2013
after they procured a 14 year old boy who was then sexually
abused. Police reported that the two monks, Pra Sarunyapat
Worrasatkitti age 20 and Pra Bantita Aekwanasiri age 23, picked
the boy up in front of a school in town and brought him to Wat
Jom Kiri in Chiang Dao by tuk tuk.
The boy alleged that the two monks molested him along the way
and then handed him over to another monk who also sexually
abused the boy before sending him to the Abbot, Pra Kru Kittipan
Suntornpanyo in a private room. The boy told police he was
molested by the abbot who then gave him 1000 baht. The next
morning the boy went to the police to report the assault.
Police have arrested the two monks with indecent assault and
child abduction and are collecting evidence to arrest the abbot.
4 monks on pilgrimage ill from eating mushrooms
Four monks on pilgrimage from Buriram fell ill after
eating poisonous mushrooms they found in the forest in Om Koi
district. The monks ate an Amanita Vahinata mushroom believing
it was edible. According to Asst. Prof. Somsak Chaovisitsaree,
Director of the Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, the monks
were treated in Om Koi Hospital for three days after eating the
mushrooms and were sent to Chiang Mai when they did not get
The doctor noted that people should not eat mushrooms unless
they are absolutely sure they are edible and if there is any
doubt it is best to avoid them as they can be quite toxic. If
someone falls ill from eating mushrooms the doctor said they
should immediately purge by drinking warm water mixed with
charcoal or egg white to induce vomiting.