Protests around the city
oppose the amnesty bill
Protests took place around the city on November
6 and 8 as many residents voiced their opposition to the amnesty bill. Photo
by Hathaichanok Suphaloet.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Chiang Mai residents rallied around the city to protest the amnesty
bill that has been proposed to the government in Bangkok. Protesters held
signs and blew whistles at Tha Pae Gate, Chiang Mai Maharaj Nakorn Hospital
and at Chiang Mai University.
On November 6, 2013 at 4 p.m. in front of the Dhamma Hall at CMU students,
lecturers and staff protested with signs and blew whistles to show their
opposition to the amnesty bill. Protesters signed a petition and garnered
9,000 signatures that were presented to Senator Watchara Tantranon who
received the petition in person.
Protestors rallied at Tha Pae Gate on November 8 as well as many residents
showed their disapproval of the bill that passed the House of
Representatives on October 31, 2013. Around 300 Maharaj Nakorn Hospital
staff rallied in front of the statue of His Royal Highness Prince Mahidol of
Songkhla, front of Sjinno building to protest the amnesty bill. Led by
Assistant Professor Narain Chotirosniramit Deputy Director of Maharaj Nakorn
Chiang Mai Hospital and Asst. Prof. Dr. Arnon Chotirosniramit, Deputy Head
of the Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, CMU the group called on
the government to drop the bill saying it sends the wrong message to society
and tells people that corruption is not wrong.
Many protesters are dismayed by the numerous corruption cases that are now
before the National Anti-Corruption Commission that will be dismissed if the
bill were to pass. The Chiang Mai Peoples Anti-Corruption Network said that
every case before the National Anti-Corruption Commission must be brought to
justice to the last and to be fair to all parties. The network also asked
the Chiang Mai Senator to work honestly for the benefit of the people.
CMU officials issued a statement emphasizing that state authorities,
politicians and political parties must take into account what benefits the
majority when making any political decisions including both political and
economic. They stated that the government needs to legislate for the right
reasons and allow for full accountability. Politicians must adhere to the
rule of law in a democracy and strengthen democracy so that Thai people can
live together in peace and solve their conflicts.
Veterans hold Remembrance Day at the Foreign Cemetery
Remembrance Day ceremonies were held at the Foreign Cemetery on November 11,
2013 at 11 a.m. and were attended by veterans, friends and families of those
who fought and sacrificed for their nations. Michael Hancock, Her Majesties
Consul, gave the reading at the solemn ceremony and then was joined by U.S.
Consul General Michael Heath, Japanese Consul General Akihiko Fujii, British
Honorary Consul Ben Svasti Thomson and Canadian Honorary Consul Jakarin
Wangwiwat who also laid wreaths and poppies to honor veterans. A soldier
from the Royal Thai Army played last post followed by 2 minutes of silence.
The Royal British Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, schools, organizations
also joined in placing wreaths around the War Memorial after the piper
played The Flowers of the Forest.
Blessing ceremony as Chiang Mai Mail starts its 12th year
Xanxai Visitkul followed by Peter Malhotra and
staff chant prayers during the religious ceremonies.
The Chiang Mai Mail held a blessing ceremony at the office on the
2nd Ring Road on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 to bring continued success as
the newspaper entered its 12th year of publication. Attending the Buddhist
ceremony that was held by Phrakru Pipat Silplasangworn from Wat San Sai Moon
was Managing Director of the Pattaya Mail Media Group, of which the Chiang
Mai Mail is a part, Pratheep “Peter” Malhotra, founding partner Xanxai
Visitkul, Elfi Seitz, Executive editor of the Pattaya Blatt and editors
Nopniwat “Jae” Krailerg and Shana Kongmun as well as friends, family and
staff of the Chiang Mai Mail and Pimthong Accounting.
Phrakru Pipat Silplasangworn anoints the Chiang
Mai Mail office with holy markings.
Phrakru Pipat Silplasangworn chanted in Pali while holding white “sai sin”
string which was later tied around the wrists of all the participants. As
part of the ceremony Xanxai poured lustral water into a bowl as the monk
chanted in Pali. Offerings were made to the monk to make merit and the front
doors of the office were then anointed by the monk to ensure good luck and
good fortune. The monk then blessed the gathered staff, friends and family
with lustral water and the sai sin sacred thread was tied around everyone’s
wrist, to be worn to represent the Buddhist Sutras to be a constant reminder
to act according to Buddhist principles as well as for good fortune and
Managing Editor Shana Kongmun, Pattaya Blatt
Executive Editor Elfi Seitz and Peter Malhotra join together with Xanxai
Visitkul as he performs the ritual of pouring lustral water while the
revered monk chanted in Pali.
Hollywood Returns to Chiang Mai
American production company Bold Films, in collaboration with the Thailand
Film Board,are excited to bring another Hollywood production to Thailand.
“The Coup” starring Owen Wilson, Pierce Brosnan and Lake Bell is an action
thriller that began filming in Chiang Mai on November 3rd until December
“The Coup” is a movie about a family who moves to a fictitious Asian
country. In their new overseas home, they soon finds themselves caught in
the middle of a coup, and the father frantically look for a safe escape for
his wife and children. This movie involves pyrotechnics, with explosions,
gunfire and scenes designed to recreate a war. Prosthetics, fake blood and a
large stunt team are being used to create the action scenes. All these
elements are fake and are movie props, but may appear real. Between November
and December, filming will take place during the day and at night. It is the
first time that Chiang Mai has seen such a large - scale film production.
The production company assures residents that the Asian country in the film
is in fact fictitious and will in no way be presented as Thailand in the
“The Coup” helps put Chiang Mai on the map as a desired filming destination.
Bringing a large financial injection to the Chiang Mai economy, “The Coup”
has employed many local people, filled hotels across town and brought new
business to many vendors throughout Chiang Mai and Bangkok.Local companies
acknowledge that filming such a large project may mean some inconveniences
and ask for everyone’s patience and cooperation during the November to
UbolwanSucharitakul, Director of the Thailand Film Office said, ‘We welcome
the production to Thailand. This once again shows that whether comedy, drama
or high action, Thailand has the facilities and resources to provide the
quality of teams and production resources that Hollywood demands.’
In 2009, there were under 500 productions shot in Thailand each year. This
has grown every year since, and by the end of this year should be
3rd annual International
We Love Our King Day Parade
The 3rd annual International We
Love the King Day will take place on December 3 and is an opportunity for
foreign residents to show their love and respect for HM the King.
The International, We Love Our King and International Harmony Day will be
held on December 3, 2013 in honor of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 86th
birthday on December 5, 2013. The parade, which is a gathering of 117
organizations from Chiang Mai and the North, will hold a parade from JJ
Market, departing the market at 4 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to join,
according to organizer Ruchuchai, wearing national costume or a pink or
yellow shirt in honor of HM the King. At 6 p.m. the crowd will sing the
Royal anthem and then representatives of different countries will present
ceremonial silver and gold “Phan Phum” objects in honor of HM the King
followed by a minute of silence by candlelight to honor His Majesty King
Bhumibol. The parade and ceremony is held by every nationality to show their
love and respect for Thailand’s beloved monarch.
Campaign to fight smoke
season kicked off at City Hall
Army, police, district officials and tourism
authorities join Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu at the launch of the campaign
to combat air pollution in Chiang Mai.
The Chiang Mai Provincial Government kicked off their annual
campaign to try and fight the smoke and pollution season that usually starts
in earnest in March every year. Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu presided over
the launch of the campaign at City Hall on November 1, 2013.
Boonlert Buranupakorn, President of the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration
Organization (PAO) said that high pressure systems from China cover the
upper North bringing dry weather and causing the air pollution in the summer
to worsen as forest fires and out of control burning that affects peoples’
health. In order to prevent air pollution, Chiang Mai will cooperate with
local governments and organizations to set up centers to fight fires and air
pollution in every district in Chiang Mai.
Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu said that last year 25 days total were higher
than the standard for air pollution and that this affected the health of the
people of Chiang Mai as well as effects on tourism to the province. He said
the government was meeting with representatives from the 25 districts and
offering funds for solving air pollution problems as well as an education
campaign to stop burning.
Food Bank set up for disasters
The Chiang Mai Public Health Office and Central Food Retail Co. Ltd., Huay
Kaew Branch of Tops Supermarket, signed an agreement to help coordinate a
Food Bank in times of disaster. On October 29, 2013, Dr.Paisan
Thanyawinishkul, Public Health Physician and Dr.Toranee Gayee, Project
Manager of the “Development of Incident Management System, Chiang Mai”
signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Tops to handle the purchase and
procurement, storage and maintenance of the Food Bank. This would include
checking expiry dates, replacing expired food and delivering food to the
Khru Ba Sriwichai Foundation gives awards to outstanding members of society
Khru Ba Sriwichai Award winners with Luang Phor
Prathep Kosol at the awards ceremony held at Wat Phra Singh.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The 24th annual Khru Ba Sriwichai Awards were given out on November
9, 2013 by the Khru Ba Sriwichai Foundation for those outstanding in the
Buddhist field, the government field and in the public sector.
Luang Phor Prathep Kosol, Chiang Mai Provincial monk dean, presided over the
awards ceremony that was held at Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai. The President
of the Foundation then welcomed everyone and reported on the works of the
In the first category of Buddhist monks the Khru Ba Sriwichai award was
given to Phra Khun Chao Wimon Munee, Deputy Abbot of Wat Sri Soda in Suthep,
he is also the secretary to Luang Phor Prathep Kosol. He graduated as a
Dhamma Scholar Advanced Level, Pali Scholar Level 5 and earned a BA at
Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University and a Master’s in Education at
Chiang Mai University.
Mayuree Yoktree with the Chiang Mai Provincial Social Development and Human
Security, Chiang Mai won the award in the Government category. She graduated
with a Bachelor of Social Work from Thammasat University, and a Master of
Arts (Development Administration) at Maejo University.
The General Public award went to Saowakon Khuntaraj, a retired civil servant
who is active in charity and social welfare work and a busy public activist.
Saowakon graduated from Wattanothaipayap School and earned a Bachelor from
Chiang Mai Rajabhat University.
Department of Employment
supports job fair for hill tribes
Pravit Khiengpol, Director-General of the
Department of Employment presided over a job fair held in Wawee in Chiang
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
A Job Fair was held by the Department of Employment in T. Wawee in
Mae Suai District in Chiang Rai on October 30, 2013 for members of hill
tribes ethnic minorities. Pravit Khiengpol, Director-General of the
Department of Employment presided over the fair which is hoped to give
ethnic minorities alternative sources of income and to help them avoid drug
trafficking and drug abuse. District Chief o Mae Suai Chavengsak Jaikam said
that usually when people have steady jobs and income they do not use drugs
and do not traffic in drugs.
The targets are hill tribe members in Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Phayao, Nan,
Lamphun, Lampang, Phrae, Tak, Phetchabun, Loei, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai,
Kamphaeng Phet, Kanchanaburi, UthaiThani, SuphanBuri, Ratchaburi, Prachuap
Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi, and Chiang Rai.
The Director-General noted that people can take jobs to their homes or they
can work outside the house if they prefer. The Department of Employment will
organize recruitment and language training for who want to go abroad to work
and earn higher wages.
Night Safari greets
new baby animals
Unique Goral bred at the Chiang Mai Night Safari
Dr. Sarawut Srisakun with the newest member of
the Night Safari family; the baby Goral born on October 21, 2013.
Chiang Mai Night Safari’s breeding pair of Gorals successfully produced a
new baby Goral to the Night Safari family. The sex of the Goral remains
unknown but the baby, born on October 21, 2013 to 3 year old mother Sang Dao
and father Silp is the 20th Goral to be born at the Night Safari. There are
no 26 of these CITES listed endangered species at the Night Safari. The
Chinese Goral is a goat like creature distributed through Burma, China,
India, Thailand, Vietnam, and possibly Laos. Gorals usually weigh between
25-40 kg and are 80-130 cm in length, with short, backward-facing horns.
Dr. Sarawut Srisakun, Director of the Chiang Mai Night Safari also annoucned
the birth of two new baby serows, a male born to mother Pee Mai on October
15 and a female born to Tong Hog on October 21, both share the same father;
Tong Ou. There are now 8 serows in the Night Safari. Serow is another goat-
like species native to Asia and are related to the Goral. Both animals have
suffered habitat destruction and hunting by poachers who mistakenly believe
their parts have the ability to heal bones.
Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn re-elected
Chiang Mai’s Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn was re-elected 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. He expects to be sworn
in as Mayor within a month.
City readies for
New Year’s accidents
Chiang Mai is already readying for the 7 dangerous days of New Year the head
of the Victim Assistance Bureau, Office of Disaster Prevention and
Mitigation, Chiang Mai, Worawit Intajai reported. The Office of Disaster
Prevention and Mitigation has formed a committee to prepare measures to
reduce road accidents during the New Year’s holiday season. They intend to
push for law enforcement, tackle traffic engineering, medical emergencies
and rescue and push for education to combat drunk driving, speeding and
driving without a helmet. Checkpoints will be set up and those who are
caught in violation of helmet, seatbelt, speeding and drunk driving laws
will be fined.
Farmers want progress
report on debt transfer
Around 1,000 farmers gathered in front of
City Hall to demand a progress report on debt restructuring plans.
Around 1,000 members of the Farmer’s Reconstruction and Development Fund
from 17 Northern provinces gathered at the front of Chiang Mai City Hall
on November 4, 2013 to demand a report on the progress of the transfer
of farmers’ debt from the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural
Cooperatives into the Fund. The Fund was set up by the Government to
restructure farmers’ debts.
Led by Waropat Sangchan, the network coordinator, he said that the group
feels there has been no action on the debt restructuring and that so far
they have seen no benefits from the Fund. Representatives from central
Thailand joined the demonstration that also saw farmers from Lamphun,
Chiang Rai and Lampang. The group moved to the field behind City Hall
and said they would stay in place for 3 days, about 2,000 people were
expected to be involved in the assembly.
Girl’s quick action stops a thief
Police commend her for her actions
Phuping Police praised 3rd year Rajamangala University of
Technology Lanna student Ransimaporn Yotsuk after her quick thinking
caught a thief. Pol. Col. Duldecha Achawasamittrakool gave Ransimaporn
the certificate at the station on November 6, 2013 a few days after the
Yotsuk receives a commendation from Phuping Police station for her quick
action in helping to stop a thief.
Witnesses said that a woman working at Chiang Mai Public Health Office
had left her bag on the table beside her as she ate at a restaurant in
front of Chomdoi Condos on Canal Road on October 28, 2013. A man
snatched her purse off the table and jumped on a motorbike to flee.
Ransimaporn saw the thief driving away and opened her car door in time
to knock the man off his motorbike and bystanders detained him until
The purse, which contained 29,000 baht and an iPhone was returned to the
grateful woman, police arrested Sompob Sitthiprasert, age 30, from San
Sai and Ransimaporn was praised for her quick witted action.
Realistic rescue drill for Loy
Krathong staged by authorities
The Chiang Mai Municipality held a realistic
mock disaster drill in preparation for the Yee Peng Festival.
The Chiang Mai Municipality held a very realistic mock disaster
rescue drill on November 7, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. in front of the Municipal
Building. The drill, which was simulating a building fire after an
earthquake saw Urban Search and Rescue teams enter the building to
search for “victims” and a fire was lit to train firefighters and
medical rescue personnel.
The drill, held in preparation for the Yee Peng Festival saw many
agencies from around the Province take part including the Civil
Protection Volunteers of Chiang Mai Municipality, The Chiang Mai
Provincial Electricity Authority, Traffic Police of Chiang Mai police
station, Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Chiang Mai Provincial
officials, Wing 41 officers, 33rd Military Circle personnel, Chiang Mai
Provincial Administration Organization officer, the Chiang Mai Public
Health Office, and many hospitals in Chiang Mai. The drill went smoothly
although many tourists stopped to view the realistic exercise drill.
Gang arrested after stealing more than 40 motorcycles
A couple was arrested for stealing over
forty motorbikes in San Sai, two men were arrested for dealing in stolen
goods as part of the gang.
Over the past two months more than 50 motorcycles have been
stolen in the San Sai area and police used CCTV cameras in the area to
find the thieves. The cameras revealed a couple that scouted out
potential bikes to steal, mainly Honda Dreams.
On November 7, 2013 Pol. Maj. Gen. Krit Kitilue, Commander of Chiang Mai
Provincial Police and Pol. Col. Boonlue Eiamyai Superintendent of San
Sai police announced the arrest of Anucha Bunsai age 38, Piyaporn
Srihasuk age 19, for theft and Waranyu or Som Taweesaengsopol age 33 and
Saengwong Inkham age 35 for dealing in stolen goods. Police uncovered 5
motorcycles, a passkey and equipment used to steal the bikes.
The suspects confessed that they had stolen more than 40 motorcycles in
the past two months. They would use a screwdriver to crack open the
keyhole and then steal the bike. They said it would generally take them
around ten seconds to steal a bike. The suspects, Anucha and Piyaporn,
said they would then sell it to Waranyu and Saengwong in Mae Sai for 15
– 19,000 baht and the bikes would then be transported into Burma for
Man arrested for sexual assault on a minor
Police arrested Sombun Chantip, age 62, for
indecent sexual assault on a minor after an alleged incident in a bookstore
where a 6 year old girl was groped.
Police arrested a 62 year old man after he was accused of sexual
assault on a 6 year old girl in bookstore in a shopping center in Chiang
Mai. Police allege that the girl was reading a book in the store and when
her guardian turned away for a few minutes Sombun Chantip, age 62, aka
Somboon Fumfuay from Sarapee, groped under the girl’s skirt, touching her
The manager of the store saw the assault and intervened to rescue the girl
but the man ran away before he could be caught. Police used CCTV cameras to
track down the suspect.
Smart and safe Yee Peng Festival 2013 November 16 – 18
Miss Yee Peng 2012 joins President of the
PAO Boonlert Buranupakorn police and government officials to light the
lantern sculptures around the moat.
President of the Provincial Administration Organization (PAO) was joined
by Chief of Muang District Police Aksorn Wongyai, Touchpol Aphiratimai,
Deputy Municipal Clerk, and Public Health official Dr. Anuwut touched in
major issues that Chiang Mai faces during the Loy Krathong period
including danger from drunk driving and fires from Khom Loy. The police
will set up checkpoints and the area around the moat has been declared
an alcohol free zone.
The small parade was held on Saturday, November 17, 2013 and the Grand
Parade takes place this evening from 6:30 p.m. starting at Tha Pae Gate
and ending in front of the Municipal Building on the river where the
judges panel will sit.
Celebration of Blind musicians
2nd Thailand International Blind Music Festival
in Chiang Mai
President of the Thailand Association of the
Blind Torpong Selanon announces the 2nd annual Thailand International
Blind Music Festival at a press conference.
The 2nd Annual Thailand International Blind Music Festival is
scheduled to be held in Chiang Mai at Tha Pae Gate on December 20 – 21,
2013. The event, which will also be held in Bangkok December 14 – 15,
2013 is being held to show the musical skill of both Thai and foreign
blind people. Performers from Brazil, Kenya, Portugal, Indonesia, Laos
and Cambodia will also perform with music ranging from Jazz to pop,
rock, and international music. The Festival is being held by the
Thailand Association of the Blind, its president Torpong Selanon said,
after they were elected to host the World Blind Union 8th General
Assembly which was held in Bangkok last year. The Festival came to
fruition for the first time last year because of the inspiration from
the General Assembly the President of the Union reported.
“This festival will promote Chiang Mai tourism during the high season.
It is the way to show their abilities of blind people through music.
These blind musicians will be role models for other blind people. They
have ability, even though they are disabled. They will be the
inspiration for other blind people to find their talent.” said, Torpong.