Make Chiangmai Mail | your Homepage | Bookmark

Chiangmai 's First English Language Newspaper

Pattaya Blatt | Pattaya Mail | Pattaya Mail TV

 
 
NEWS
 

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.

Nopniwat Krailerg
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 this year.

Nopniwat Krailerg
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 Singapore.
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.

Nopniwat Krailerg
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 Chiang Mai.
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, 2013.

Yutapoom Bunrueang
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 drugs.
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 Rincome/Superhighway Intersection.
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)


No MERS-coronavirus reported in Chiang Mai

Public Health Office warns people returning from the Middle East

Nopniwat Krailerg
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 Hospitals.


Dtac aims to spur economic growth in the North

Internet for all with TriNet

Nopniwat Krailerg
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 service.
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 workshop.

Nopniwat Krailerg
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 MICE”.
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 mega events.
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 future.”
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 and experience.
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.

Nopniwat Krailerg
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 drugs.


Police arrest man for stealing rental cars

Young couple arrested with 9 stolen motorbikes

A young Chiang Mai couple was arrested for stealing 9 motorbikes since the beginning of the year.

Nopniwat Krailerg
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, 2013

Nopniwat Krailerg
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 molestation.


Drunken dental student opens fire on Nimmanhaemin bar

Nopniwat Krailerg
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 away.
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 anti-government protesters

Nopniwat Krailerg
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

Nopniwat Krailerg
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

Nopniwat Krailerg
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 better.
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.


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Chiang Rai villagers win 4 year legal battle against power plant

Fraud alleged in Pang Kued election

“Lifestyle Dining Projects” slated for new Central Festival

Chiang Mai Municipality hold AIDS training course

International Day against Drug Abuse

Rimping Grocery at Star Avenue Lifestyle Mall

No MERS-coronavirus reported in Chiang Mai

Dtac aims to spur economic growth in the North

Chiang Mai en route to become MICE hub

Chiang Mai Night Safari welcomes new baby animals

2 drug traffickers arrested with over 3 million baht in cash

Police arrest man for stealing rental cars

2 students accuse teacher of molestation

Drunken dental student opens fire on Nimmanhaemin bar

Red shirts clash with anti-government protesters

2 monks arrested for procuring a 14 year old boy

4 monks on pilgrimage ill from eating mushrooms