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Vol. XII No.22 - Sunday November 3 - Saturday November 16, 2013


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Update by Saichon Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
NEWS
 

Thailand’s Supreme Patriarch passes away on October 24

Nation in mourning

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra greets Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Royal Flora Rajapruek (Photo by PRD Chiang Mai)

His Holiness Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, passed away at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital on 24 October 2013 at 7.30 p.m., at the age of 100. King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital issued an announcement that His Holiness passed away from blood infection.
He underwent an operation on 14 October to remove portions of his intestines after being diagnosed with a bacterial infection. His condition was stable for a time, but then worsened some time following the surgery. His Holiness had been ill since 2002, when he was admitted to the hospital.
The passing away of His Holiness, the 19th Supreme Patriarch of the Rattanakosin period, has brought great sorrow to the Thai people. The Bureau of the Royal Household, in its announcement on 24 October 2013, said that His Majesty the King had learned about the death of His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch with great sadness.
His Majesty ordered the Royal Court to be mourning for 15 days as of Friday, 25 October 2013, to Friday, 8 November 2013. He also commanded that the body of His Holiness be placed at Phra Tamnak Phet (Royal Diamond Residence) at Wat Bovoranives in Bangkok and that the memorial rites be held in accordance with the royal tradition.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office issued an announcement ordering government offices, state enterprises, and educational institutions to lower the national flag to half mast for three days, from 25 to 27 October 2013. Government officials and state enterprise employees were instructed to wear mourning dress for 15 days, from 25 October to 8 November 2013. The Government also asked all independent organizations to follow suit.
The Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, Professor Tongthong Chandransu, said that the royal bathing rite for His Holiness would be performed in the afternoon on 25 October. The general public will be allowed to take part in the bathing rite at Wat Bovoranives in the afternoon on the same day.
His Holiness was the longest living Supreme Patriarch in Thai history. Born on 3 October 1913 in Kanchanaburi province, he was formerly known as Charoen Gajavatra. Upon completing his elementary education, he was ordained at the age of 14 in his hometown. He moved to Wat Bovoranives in Bangkok in 1929 to further his Pali and Dhamma studies.
During his tenure as abbot, Wat Bovoranives has become a center of foreign relations and is well-known to foreigners who are interested in Buddhist studies. His Holiness was the advisor and guardian of the present monarch, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, when His Majesty was ordained as a monk at Wat Bovoranives in 1956.
On 21 April 1989, he was invested by His Majesty the King as the Supreme Patriarch, who is Head of the Buddhist Order and is responsible for all ecclesiastical affairs of the order in Thailand. (PRD)
 


Sarapee village struck by tragedy, Governor pledges aid

Bus plunges into ravine; 22 dead

Chiang Mai Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu visits the small village struck by tragedy after a bus villagers were traveling in plunged into a ravine killing 22 people from the same area.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu visited the small Sarapee village struck by tragedy last week pledging aid and support for villagers after 22 residents were killed in a freak bus accident in Lampang.
Twenty two elderly Buddhist worshipers were killed in a bus accident in Lampang’s Wang Nua District on the evening of October 23, 2013 after the bus that took them to a Tod Krathin ceremony at Wat Mai Samakkee in Wang Nua plunged into a ravine.
Villagers from Chompu in Sarapee, Chiang Mai rented 3 buses to take them to the Tod Krathin ceremony for the end of Buddhist Lent in Lampang, according to the Sub-district Headman, Surasak Sombat. After the ceremony they visited the Tarn Thong Waterfall on the Phayao – Wang Nua Road. Heavy rains and a driver unfamiliar with the road caused one of the buses to slide into a guardrail and over the edge into a deep ravine.
Rescue teams from the area climbed down into the 100 meter deep ravine to rescue the survivors, about 40 people were on the bus. Twenty two people died in the accident and 17 suffered injuries.
The bodies of the deceased were brought back to the village in Baan Mae-salab, in Tambon Chompu, Sarapee District on the morning of October 24, 2013. Chiang Mai Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu visited the villagers during the day and paid his respects at the homes of the dead.
The Governor met with Pol. Maj. Gen. Krit Kittilue, Commander of Chiang Mai Police, Sitthichai Sawas, District Chief of Sarapee, Thawat Chaikaew, Mayor of Tambon Chompu and also representatives from 2 insurance companies to talk about reparation for the deaths. A minimum of 340,000 baht will be paid per death, 50,000 baht per person for treatment of injuries, and 200 baht per day for those absent from work.
Seventeen of the dead came from the small village of Baan Mae-salab and in many instances neighboring houses suffered losses in the accident. The cremation and burial ceremonies were held between October 26 – 28 and monks from neighboring temples were asked to attend as the district did not have enough monks for so many funerals.


Site of Wiang Kaew Palace to be restored

Chao Dararat na Lamphun (4th right) and Chao Duangduan na Chiang Mai (5th right) were on hand for the opening ceremony of the new Wiang Kaew green area in the heart of the old city.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Originally the site of the palace of the ancient Lanna rulers, Wiang Kaew Palace was demolished and the prison built over it, later to become the women’s prison. This historical site is to be renovated with the remnants of the palace preserved. There will also be a park area and a display on the history of the Lanna rulers as well as Buddhist images.
On October 20, 2013 Chiang Mai Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu attended the ceremony held by the Abbot of What Phra That Doi Suthep, Prathep Wora-Sittajarn. He was joined by Chao Duangduan na Chiang Mai, President of the Chiang Mai Culture Council, Chao Dararat na Lamphun and Boonlert Buranupakorn, President of the Provincial Administration Organization.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep cooperated with Chiang Mai Province to restore the site of the old palace to be a green area in the city and a historical attraction, that the preservation of ancient artifacts would continue the cultural heritage of Chiang Mai and make it a center for cultural exchange with neighboring countries.


Complete financial services at the Money Expo 2013

November 8 -10

The Money Expo is a huge affair that fills the Central Hall at Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport with representatives from banks, insurance companies and financial institutions.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Residents seeking information on investment and financial services available to them would do well to visit the upcoming 8th annual Money Expo 2013 held by Bangkok Magazine said Santi Viriyarungsan, Chairman of the Money Expo.
The event, which will be held at the Chiang Mai Hall at Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport from November 8 – 10, 2013, will be held under the concept of “Money Carnival ‘The Colors of Money” to reflect the variety of investment and financial services and institutions.
The new generation is more financially aware and that a total of 32 different financial institutions will be attending the fair to help provide financial and investment services to people in Chiang Mai and neighboring provinces. Information on home, auto, school, person and SME loans will be available as well as credit cards, all kinds of bank deposits, and life and health insurance. There will be investment services and information on investing in the stock market, gold futures, and more. There will be a seminar on investment by experts in the business.
He noted that many institutions will offer special promotional rates during the Expo as well as fee free offers, giveaways and sweepstakes prizes.


Northern rail service delayed

The Northern line was shut from Uttaradit to Chiang Mai for several months after 23 derailments since the beginning of the year

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) reported that they are unable to restart Northern train services as scheduled as repairs to the line have not been completed on time.
SRT governor Prapas Chongsanguan reported on October 26, 2013 that the line from from Sila Art station in Uttaradit to Chiang Mai would remain closed until December 1, 2013. He noted that the rainy season and a shortage of manpower had led to the delays. The most difficult section to repair has been the Khun Tan tunnel between Lampang and Lamphun, where water from heavy rains has seeped into the one kilometer long tunnel.
Travelers who have already booked tickets can apply for a refund or re-schedule their tickets for December.
The 300 km stretch of track has been closed since September 16 after having 23 trains derail since the beginning of the year.
RAIL : The SRT has been repairing rail lines after a series of derailments, due to heavy rains and labor shortages the re-opening of the line between Uttaradit and Chiang Mai has been delayed. This photo taken from a derailment earlier this year.


Village hit hard by riverbank erosion to receive aid

Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu visited Mae Taeng villagers and presented them with funds after the village was hit hard by erosion from the Ping River.

Nopniwat Krailerg
After the tropical storm Nari hit Chiang Mai on October 16 and 17, the village of Baan Dong Pa Lan in Tambon Khelek lost a noodle factory and 6 houses when the riverbanks of the Ping River eroded in the fast moving water.
Chiang Mai Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu visited the villagers on October 22, 2013 to survey the damage; he ordered officers to help the people plan a permanent protective barrier so as to avoid a repeat of the damage. The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation has provided initial funds of 33,000 baht to people whose homes were damaged after the deluge, and will assist in rebuilding the noodle factory. Workers at the factory will receive compensation of 11,000 baht.
Typhoon Nari made landfall in Vietnam but weakened into a Tropical Storm as it moved across Vietnam, the Lao PDR and into Thailand.


Chulalongkorn Day celebrated in Chiang Mai

Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu was joined by both members of the public and private sectors in honor H.M. King Chulalongkorn on Chulalongkorn Day on October 23, 2013.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai government officials, students and many others joined Chiang Mai Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu as he presided over the laying of wreaths at the King Rama V monument at City Hall on Wednesday, October 23, 2013. Many officials from agencies across Chiang Mai laid wreaths at the monument to pay homage to this great King. Consuls, civil servants, members of the judiciary, army, police, local governments, association, clubs, foundations and educational institutes were joined by the private sector including businesspeople and residents for the ceremony.
The Chiang Mai Governor spoke of the greatness of H.M. King Chulalongkorn and praised his leadership in taking Siam in the modern age. “Today is Chulalongkorn Memorial Day, we are gathered here to show our respect for King Rama V. The King worked for his people and established government departments, hospitals, post offices, phone networks and irrigation systems. Most importantly, he abolished slavery in Thailand,” the Governor concluded in his speech.


Chiang Mai Mail celebrates 11 years!

Pratheep “Peter” Malhotra makes merit to Kruba Srivichai on the occasion of the Chiang Mai Mail anniversary.

Staff reporters
Started on a wing and a prayer by Pratheep “Peter” Malhotra, the Chiang Mai Mail 11 years ago on October 26, the newspaper continues to thrive and grow. Peter said, “I remember the days when Xanxai Visitkul, Dan Dorothy and I flew up to Chiang Mai on a regular basis working night and day to get the paper launched. There was no lack of trials and tribulations and all the ‘fun’ we had along the way...even until today.”
Dr. Iain Corness remembers that when the paper started and we were having difficulties looking for Chiang Mai reporters and staff, he would fly up to Chiang Mai - “Every second weekend I would go up on the Saturday and do two dining outs and two Successfully Yours, write all four items and fly back on the Sunday. It was more than a little wearing!” Although he noted that despite two big meals in a row he managed to avoid weight gain with all the rushing around.
The newspaper business hasn’t changed much but it is now under the capable hands of editors Nopniwat “Jae” Krailerg, a 25 year veteran of the Chiang Mai news scene and local boy and transplant Shana Kongmun, also a 25 year resident of Thailand but not all of it in Chiang Mai.
With the dynamic duo at the helm, we’ve seen a resurgence of interest and enthusiasm for our paper in the Chiang Mai community. You all are showing tremendous support for ‘your’ English language newspaper. For that we are truly thankful.”
We look forward to the Chiang Mai Mail’s continuing success in the next 11 years!


OTOP Fair at Prasertland promotes national products locally

Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu hit the ceremonial drum to launch the OTOP Fair at Prasertland on October 18, 2013.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The 2nd Round of the Chiang Mai OTOP Fair was held at Prasertland on October 18 – 24, 2013. Chiang Mai Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu presided over the opening of the fair that saw OTOP or One Tambon One Product items from around the nation on sale at more than 300 booths.
Verasak Prapawatvet, the Director of the Bureau of Local Wisdom and Community Enterprises said that the inaugural fair held at Kad Choeng Doi or Prasertland offered food, beverages, souvenirs and product demonstrations and entertainment to attract tourists and stimulate the economy of the North.
The Chiang Mai Governor said that the government needs to focus on economic development at the community level, which, he noted, is the cornerstone of the country. The Department of Community Development under the Ministry of the Interior had developed the project to create jobs and income at the local level. He added that the OTOP program was one of the ways for local communities to develop new products and encourage self-reliance. He said that one of the reasons for its success was the cooperation of the people and skillful leaders in pushing OTOP forward.


Chiang Rai ready for the high season

Chiang Rai Municipality Mayor announced the upcoming Mekong Fair, Loy Krathong Four Nations and the month long Flower Festival that will be held in Chiang Rai in November and December.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Mayor of Chiang Rai, Wunchai Jongsutthanamanee announced the upcoming 18th annual Mekong Fair, the Loy Krathong Four Nations and the 10th annual Chiang Rai Flower Festival as part of the festivities planned for the upcoming high season at a press conference on October 18, 2013.
The Mayor noted that the Chiang Rai Municipality works with schools, government and private agencies to hold the Mekong Fair and Loy Krathong Four Nations every November. This year Chiang Rai is working with Chiang Rai Rajabhat University, Mae Fah Luang University, and Central Plaza Chiang Rai to support the Mekong Fair and Loy Krathong Four Nations festival, which will take place between November 15-18, 2013 at Tung and Lamp garden, Chiang Rai
The municipality plans to set up a big stage to offer shows from neighboring countries including Laos, China and Burma. There will be a Noppamas Beauty Contest, Little Noppamas and shows from ethnic groups in Chiang Rai as well as the “Daughters of ethnic groups” competition which is one of the highlights of the Fair.
The mayor said that, to promote tourism to the city the Chiang Rai Municipality will hold the 10th annual Chiang Rai Flower Festival from December 20, 2013 to January 20, 2014. The Chiang Rai Municipality will set Tung and Lamp as the main location for the festival. The official opening ceremony will be held on December 20, 2013. Additionally, the Chiang Rai Municipality will also hold New Year’s Eve celebrations ‘Countdown 2014’ at the Clock tower at Honor, Bunpaprakan Rd.


Youth learn about the initiatives of HM the King

Huai Hong khrai Royal Project

Students get hands on learning on the principles of self-sufficiency promoted by H.M. the King at the Huay Hong Khrai Royal Development Project in Doi Saket.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary organized a project to help youth in Thailand learn more about the Royal Initiatives of H.M. the King at Huai Hong Khrai Royal Development Project. Located in the forests of Khun Mae Kuang in Doi Saket, the project selected Thai and foreign youth to come to the Royal Project to learn more about H.M. the King’s ideas of self-sufficiency in agriculture.
Preecha Songkittisuntorn, His Majesty´s Assistant Principal Private Secretary led the media to visit the project on October 29, 2013 where they learned about 40 students had stayed in Huay Hong Khrai from August 7 to September 15, 2013. The second group of students are scheduled to visit from January 16 to February 24, 2014.
Students learned about the initiatives of H.M. the King before dividing into groups of five to live with farmers in 8 villages for hands on learning about self-sufficient farming.
Preecha Songkittisuntorn said that for 67 years, the King had bestowed great mercy upon Thai people through many royal duties that were committed to alleviate the suffering of people as well as lay the foundations of living, promotion and career development of people to be self-sufficient through 4,000 projects in every part of the country. The Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary organized this project to teach youth how to increase their knowledge and understanding through training and exchange of knowledge in the implementation of projects such as these.


Challenging the Philippines’ Gender Success Story

Jason Strother, Manila, the Philippines
Making her way to a briefing in parliament, Filipino Senator Grace Poe represents one side of the nation’s gender success story. According to international surveys, the Philippines rank among the top countries for gender equality, and is the only nation in Southeast Asia among the top ten.

Although the Philippines ranks high in the world for gender equality most women feel that the numbers do not reflect reality.

“As a mother and as a woman, I feel that apart from legislating, it’s also having the representation and advocating,” says Senator Poe, “reminding the citizenry that what we need to do is better the lives of our countryman and improve social protection in our country.”
Poe, 45, says she’s proud to be among the women who make up a quarter of both the Philippines Senate and House of Representatives.
“In terms of our neighbors here in Southeast Asia or even in the world, the Philippines – when it comes to women in leadership positions – is doing very well.”
In the staunchly Catholic nation women lead business and enter politics and women have twice been elected president. Anthropologist Carolyn Sobritchea says that women in the region have historically had a strong cultural presence.
“Filipino women, like Indonesian women or Southeast Asian women have had very powerful roles in society,” she explains, “They participated in farming, they were decision makers, and they could own land.”
But Sobritchea points out that even though the Philippines has elected two female heads of state, both presidents did little to advance women’s causes.
“It is very difficult for a woman politician to talk of women’s issues. They have to masculinize themselves to be able to be respected, they have to reconfigure their identity,” notes Sobritchea.
Some advocates say the country’s rankings don’t reflect the real situation for Filipino women, many of whom still live in poverty. Elizabeth Angsioco, who heads the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines, says global rankings give a misleading picture of the Philippines.
“It’s nice to look at international reports that say you’re doing really well, but it has to be grounded. These reports need to be contrasted with the actual quality of life enjoyed by our people, particularly women,” she says.
Angsioco says that at the community level, the barangays, women still suffer from high rates of poverty, hunger and domestic violence. Her group trains women to become leaders in their villages. But with a third of Filipinos living on just a dollar a days, women stay vulnerable. “If you look at the data now, what kind of economic opportunities are open? You will see that most women are in informal kinds of work, which means they are not protected by law,” she says.
Some students in Manila’s all women’s school, Miriam College, say they don’t think entering politics is as easy as the global surveys might suggest.
“Women from political dynasties have more chances of going into politics than other women who are not from a political or powerful family,” comments 19-year-old Rejane Cortez Torrecampo, who is studying international studies.
Her classmate, 19-year old Nikka Rivera, says that poor education standards, especially in the countryside, mean many Filipino women don’t really know their rights. “The information does not go to the grassroots or community level,” she says, “so women don’t know the different opportunities they have in order to participate in the decision-making process.”
But 20 year-old Jelyn Grace Torrez says it’s still a chance worth taking. “I want to be a good example, that women can do it,” she says, “that women can do something for the betterment of the country, and that women can make a difference.”
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 www. asiacalling.org.


Colorful balloons to fly over Chiang Mai skies

7thThailand International Balloon Festival 2013

TAT Chiang Mai head joins sponsors and Yut Wanichanond of Earth, Wind, and Fire Co. Ltd. announce the upcoming Thailand International Balloon Festival at Le Meridien Hotel on October 28, 2013.

Nopniwat Krailerg and Student Trainee CMRU
Chiang Mai skies will once again fill with colorful hot air balloons as the 7th annual Thailand International Balloon Festival returns on December 7 and 8, 2013 at the Chiangmai Gymkhana Golf Club. The festival is being held by Earth Wind and Fire Co., Ltd. and supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Wisoot Buachoom, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chiang Mai Office, said that the Thailand International Balloon Festival is one of the highlights of the year held in the high tourism season. He noted that this is the time to promote tourism and the economy of Chiang Mai. Every year, the Thailand International Balloon Festival attracts Thai and foreign tourists increasing every year. He added that the TAT has supported this festival since its inception and it is prominently listed in the tourism calendar of the TAT.
Yut Wanichanond, a consultant to Earth Wind and Fire Co., Ltd. and fellow ballonist said, “There are many options in the Festival for everyone both adults and children. There is balloon tethering and display in the early morning which allows people to go up and see the view of Chiang Mai in the morning in a colorful balloon, kite flying, softball, and the ‘Night Glow’, fireworks show. Moreover, there will be a big yellow duck balloon show in the fair. Also concerts from top acts like Garth Taylor, Palmy, Hugo, and Neung Jakkawal, a famous Thai pianist.”
Yut added that there will many food booths with both Thai and Internatioal food from the best hotels and restaurants in Chiang Mai. Tickets are 200 baht for adults and 50 baht for kids younger than 6. Kids under 6 or under 120 cm tall can attend for free. Tickets will be sold at Chi Chang Computer Promenada, Rimping Supermarket and Beyond Promenada, Rimping supermarket at Nim City Daily, Nawarat and Meechok.
Earth Wind and Fire Co., Ltd. is also presenting a new phone app; ‘Logo Grab’ to which will help publicize festival information as well as information about the company. Visitors can scan the logo of the fair or logo of company and then they can see information of the fair or product of each brand. The application was developed in Switzerland and can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. It is able to work with IOS and Android.


Piglet donation to needy villagers

Donations from Italy

Villagers from Doi Lo District received piglets to help supplement their income during the off season.

By Margaret Bhadungzong
The Castelli di Carta or, Castles of Paper is a non-profit organization created by a group of Italian Red Cross volunteers who had visited Chiang Mai in 2011. As of that date, the Castelli di Carta President Mrs. Paola Mazzocchi has raised donations to assist villagers. The Castelli di Carta is an association that organizes neighborhood events in Rome to raise the necessary funds. For the second time in 2013, Mr. Pino Ungaro the Asian Delegate of the Italian Red Cross has presided over a donation in October 2013 during his observation visit to the Home Health Care workshop which was the 32nd and final workshop of this fiscal budget. Mrs. Somboon Suprasert is the International Project Director of Italy and Mrs. Margaret Bhadungzong is International Consultant.
Yaang Kram is one of 11 villages in Doi Lo district with a combined population of 5,200 residents. The main source of income is rice and lumyai orchards. Off season income is from raising bell peppers and tomatoes. Raising a piglet will benefit the fifteen families in the supplemental income scheme.


Eight days sees 1.62 million Yaba tablets seized by police

Arrests in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Lampang

Police uncovered 400,000 methamphetamine tablets hidden inside refrigerator coolant tanks in one of a series of arrests that yielded 1.62 million Yaba tablets in 8 days.

Police uncovered 1,624,000 methamphetamine tablets in arrests from October 16 – 24, 2013 in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Lampang.
The first arrest on October 16, 2013 saw 4 men arrested with 400,000 methamphetamine tablets hidden in coolant tanks. Police stopped four men in a pickup truck and a car after they turned to avoid a police checkpoint on Phahonyothin Road and took the old Mae Prik – Tern road instead. Police in Mae Prik were warned and stopped the vehicles. Inside the pickup truck they found 8 coolant tanks and hidden inside 400,000 methamphetamine tablets. The men are suspected of attempting to carry the drugs to Bangkok.
Chiang Rai police joined forces with Pha Muang Task Force and Police Region 5 to uncover a drug trafficking route being used in Mae Chan on October 17, 2013. The police had received a tip off that smugglers were walking across the border at Mae Fah Luang to Mae Chan. Police set up a surveillance and found 6 or 7 people carrying bags along the route. They fled when the police showed up leaving behind bags containing 600,000 methamphetamine tablets. A sweep of the area resulted in the arrest of 10 suspects.
Provincial Police Region 5 officers announced the arrest of two main drug traffickers in Chiang Mai; Premthichai Pimawatra, age 26 of Wiang Haeng District and Ikphu (last name unknown) age 21, of Myanmar, with 280,000 methamphetamine tablets hidden in a black Honda CRV on October 19, 2013. Pol.Maj.Gen. Chumnan Ruadreaw said that a police investigation had found a network of drug traffickers picking up drugs from a factory in Burma. The police investigated a black Honda CRV that was seen leaving Mae Fah Luang in Chiang Rai and heading towards the border and the site of the Yaba factory. Police followed the car after it returned to Thailand the next day and intercepted it in A. Muang, Chiang Rai. Police uncovered 280,000 methamphetamine pills hidden under the back seat, valued at more than 50 million baht. The two men confessed that they had been hired by Ped, an convict recently freed from prison in Nakhon Si Thammarat on drug charges. They told police they received 10,000 baht per person to drive drugs from Burma to Nonthaburi. Ped and his wife drove in advance of the car and when they saw the police they sped away. Police are investigating the network and hope to arrest the kingpin soon.
Three men from Chiang Rai were arrested on October 20, 2013 with 194,000 methamphetamine tablets hiding in a Honda Civic in Khun Tan District. After police arrested them they confessed that they had been hired by people from Laos to carry drugs to Bangkok at night, this had been the third time they had carried drugs for the group. They said they had picked the end of Buddhist Lent to smuggle the drugs as they hoped to avoid the police.
On October 23, 2013 at 10.30 p.m. Sob Prab police in Lampang arrested a Burmese man named Mueng (last name unknown) with 100,000 methamphetamine pills hidden in his bag after he boarded the Chiang Mai – Bangkok bus. He confessed to police that he had been hired to carry the drugs to Bangkok.
On October 25, 2013 Pol. Lt. Gen. Sutep Detraksa, Commissioner of Police Region 5 with Pol.Maj.Gen. Chumnan Ruadreaw, Deputy Commissioner of Police Region 5 announced the arrest of Natthawat Prommin, age 30, with 50,000 methamphetamine pills hidden under a Hino 6 wheel truck. The man was arrested on October 24 at the Aob Luang checkpoint in Hod, Chiang Mai. He told police that he had been hired by an unknown Lahu man in Fang to carry drugs to Bang Pa In in Ayutthaya. He told police that he would pick up a truckload of fresh corn for delivery and hide the drugs in the truck. The police also seized his assets which included 3 houses, a plot of land, a dormitory and a bank account with 20 million baht as part of the law that allows police to seize assets gained from drug trafficking.


Man arrested stealing from donation boxes at Wat Suan Dok

19 year old arrested

19 year old Myanmar migrant laborer Sai Wan was arrested after stealing 2,000 baht from the donation boxes at Wat Suan Dok.

Nopniwat Krailerg
A 19 year old migrant worker from Myanmar was arrested after CCTV camera footage showed him breaking into donation boxes at Wat Suan Dok. The footage showed a young man between the ages of 16 – 20 breaking into the donation boxes at Wat Suan Dok at 4 a.m. on October 15, 2013.
On October 17 Phuping Police arrested Sai Wan, age 19 on Huay Kaew Road near the Phuping police station after a reviewing the CCTV tapes at Wat Suan Dok. The man was arrested with 20 baht in his pocket and the same long sleeve shirt he was wearing when he broke into the donation boxes.
Sai Wan confessed to police that he was a legal migrant worker but had lost his job and was unable to find further work. He broke into the donation box on October 15 and stole around 2,000 baht by the time the police arrested him two days later he had spent all but 20 baht.


Dengue fever situation improves

Chiang Mai one of the highest rates of infection

Female ‘’Aedes aegypti mosquito’’ as she was in the process of obtaining a “blood meal” Author: James Gathany Source: [http://phil.cdc.gov/phil/]

Dr.Pradit Sintavanarong, the Minister of Public Health, has stated that the general situation of dengue fever in Thailand has continuously improved.
According to the Minister, the number of Dengue fever patients has dropped from approximately 2,000 per week to under 1,000, which is expected. 714 patients, with no deaths, were reported last week.
Since the beginning of the year, the number of people coming down with dengue has topped 136,000, among whom 126 have died. Among the high-risk groups are those between 15 to 24 years of age, followed by teenagers— between 10 to 14 years old— and adults between 25 to 34 years old; at 29%, 22%, and 13%, respectively. Over 67,000 of the patients were students. The provinces with the highest rates of the fever are Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Krabi. The 5 provinces that are still at risk include Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Nonthaburi, Rayong, Narathiwat.
The southern region remains at risk as it will be in for by heavy rains from October all the way through to December, during which the number of dengue patients is expected to increase.
The Public Health office in every province has been asked to seek cooperation from local communities in getting rid of mosquito breeding grounds every week to protect against the fever. (NNT)


Youtube clip leads to arrest of teenager

Prankster hit a foreign man in the head with his shoe

Nopniwat Krailerg
A YouTube video went viral in Thailand after it showed two teenage boys hitting an older foreign man in the head with a shoe. Initially the man did not file a complaint with the police but after the video became public and Thai people in Chiang Mai expressed their displeasure with such behavior the man, Italian national Mark Monti, went to the police with his story.
The 58 year old man said he had been walking down the street when the two boys ran up and slapped him in the head with a flip flop. It wasn’t until the video went viral that he went to the police and asked for an apology from the boys.
Police were able to identify the two boys, teens aged 16 years old who confessed to police that they had left school that day looking to play a prank on someone and to impress their friends. The teen who hit the man with the shoe was charged with assault and fined 500 baht.


Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn re-elected

Tussanai Buranupakorn, number 3 on the ballot, was re-elected as Mayor of Chiang Mai Municipality. Here he is seen announcing his early resignation before becoming a monk on the occasion of his uncle’s death.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai’s Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn re-took his seat as Mayor of Chiang Mai Municipality after giving it up one month before the end of his first term to become a monk to make merit for his uncle Pakorn Buranupakorn who passed away at the age of 50.
Mayor Tussanai, number 3 on the ballot, won the election with 26,700 votes while number 1 on the ballot newcomer Thidarat Siriwittayakorn came in second with 20,873 votes.
Third place went to Pornchai Jitnavasathien, who garnered 7,962 votes.


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Thailand’s Supreme Patriarch passes away on October 24

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Site of Wiang Kaew Palace to be restored

Complete financial services at the Money Expo 2013

Northern rail service delayed

Village hit hard by riverbank erosion to receive aid

Chulalongkorn Day celebrated in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Mail celebrates 11 years!

OTOP Fair at Prasertland promotes national products locally

Chiang Rai ready for the high season

Youth learn about the initiatives of HM the King

Challenging the Philippines’ Gender Success Story

Colorful balloons to fly over Chiang Mai skies

Piglet donation to needy villagers

Eight days sees 1.62 million Yaba tablets seized by police

Man arrested stealing from donation boxes at Wat Suan Dok

Dengue fever situation improves

Youtube clip leads to arrest of teenager

Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn re-elected

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