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CMU grads receive diplomas from HRH Princess Sirindhorn

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited Chiang Mai on Thursday, January 23 to hand out diplomas to Chiang Mai University graduates. The ceremonies were held at Chiang Mai University Convention Center on Nimmanhaemin Road. A total of 5,589 students graduated with a Bachelor’s degree while 1,700 students graduated from the Master’s program, 156 students received their doctorate degrees on Thursday. A total of 7,445 students graduated from CMU at the ceremony.


 


HRH Princess Ubolratana presides over “To Be Number One”

HRH Princess Ubolratana was on hand for the awards for outstanding performance for the To Be Number One Club.

Nopniwat Krailerg
HRH Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya was in Chiang Mai to preside over the opening ceremony for the Northern Division’s project “To Be Number One” at the Empress Chiang Mai Hotel on January 9, 2014. She was welcomed by Deputy Interior Minister Visarn Techateerawat for the event which saw “To Be Number One” clubs and provinces recognized for outstanding performances.

The project is aimed at improving the quality of life of Thai youth by teaching them ways to avoid drugs, grow strong minds and healthy emotional lives, improve confidence and self-esteem.

The Ministry of Interior organized a contest in the project “To Be Number One” by the order of HRH Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, the President of the project. The contest offers opportunities to youth to publish their works and exchange with others in a bid to fight drug use.

Chiang Mai’s To Be Number One Club was awarded for outstanding performance in the Northern Division, this year there are 94 clubs with representatives in the Northern Division.


Water in good supply for dry season

Regional Irrigation Office reports on water situation

Mae Ngat Dam has enough capacity to assist farmers and maintain the ecosystem of the area according to Apiwat Poomthaisong, Director of Operation and Maintenance Division, Regional Irrigation Office 1.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Regional Irrigation Office 1 (Chiang Mai) reported that the water situation in Chiang Mai remains good as accumulated rainfall during 2013 was at 1,113.40 mm, 4.09% above average. The water levels in the area’s dams as of January 14, 2014 remains above normal; Mae Ngat Dam has254.39 million cubic meters; Mae Kuang Dam has 130.42 million cubic meters. The total volume of water in the 2 large dams is 384.80 million cubic meters or 72.88%, higher than 2013 which had only 96.62 million cubic meters. Total amounts of water in 12 other medium sized dams have reached 44.04 million cubic meters.

Apiwat Poomthaisong, Director of Operation and Maintenance Division, Regional Irrigation Office 1 noted that levels in the Ping River at Station P.1- Nawarat Bridge from January to December 2013 were at 919.79 million cubic meters on average, 44.70% less than the normal average.

The Director said that the current amount of water in 12 dams in Chiang Mai is 482.85 million cubic meters (69.77% of capacity) enough for farmland in the area for irrigation, consumption, and to also maintain the ecosystem in the Ping River during the dry season in 2014. For the Water Allocation Plan for Agriculture 2014, the office set target areas for 192,923 rai to be supported by water allocation to various plant areas include perennial crops 96,352 rai, out-of-season rice 69,117 rai and vegetables 24,422 rai. They plan to drain 180 million cubic meters of water from Mae Ngat Dam for use in Maefak for 4 days, and to draw water from the Ping River for 3 days.The office also prepared to provide 66 water pumps and 6 6,000 liter water trucks to help 34,561 rai of farmland totaling 263 households.


Jazz in the City Festival draws big crowds and lots of fans

The 3rd annual Chiang Mai Jazz in the City Festival was held from January 18 to 19, 2014 and saw large audiences attending every night for the shows. Deputy Governor Adisorn Kamnerdsiri opened the event which saw performances from such favorites as Jazz Bacanus, Delistmo, Koh Mr. Saxman, Ben Chalatit, Handism Blues Bands, Hug Jazz, Deep O Sea and Two Popetorn. The festival raised funds to build a cafeteria at Kamon Riam Su Koson School in Mae Ai district, Chiang Mai and donate to social activities of the Nim volunteer club that gives Chiang Mai residents the opportunity to work for their society.


CMU United for the Nation

50th anniversary celebrations

The President of Chiang Mai University Assoc. Prof. Niwes Nantachit is joined by CMU Vice-Presidents to announce the start of the celebrations for CMU’s 50th anniversary.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Chiang Mai University is celebrating its 50th anniversary by organizing various events under the theme “5 decades, CMU United for the Nation”. The project was announced on January 15, 2014 at CMU by Assoc. Prof. Niwes Nantachit, President of Chiang Mai University; Asst. Prof. Supachai Chuaratanaphong, Vice President for the University Council Affairs; Prof. Pongruk Sribanditmongkol, Vice President for Planning and Development; Assoc. Prof. Rome Chiranukrom, Vice President for International Relations and Alumni Relations and Assoc. Prof. Theera Visitpanich, President of Chiang Mai University Alumni Association.
The celebrations will be held for 13 months from January 22, 2014 to January 24, 2015. The project includes various events such as nationally and internationally recognized academic seminars throughout the year, the “Yang Phra Bath Thi Yatra” exhibition this month, and the Regional Research Expo 2014 in March as well as other activities. They plan to sell souvenirs to bring revenue to the “50 years CMU” fund include 1,500 books of “5 Decades CMU United for the Nation”, stamps and commemorative coins.


Economic investment in the North grew in 2013

148 projects applied for BOI promotion

Director of the Regional Investment and Economic Center 1 Sakchai Luangsathikul announced BOI results for 2013.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Regional Investment and Economic Center 1, the Board of Investment (BOI), Ministry of Industry Thailand announced the results of economic investment in the 17 Northern provinces for the year 2013 at a press conference on January 17, 2014. Director of the Regional Investment and Economic Center 1 Sakchai Luangsathikul announced that 148 projects, mainly small to medium enterprises, had applied for Board of Investment (BOI) promotion during the year.
Small to medium enterprises with investment value less than 200 million baht started projects ranging from forestry, software, solar energy, gems and jewelry, metalwork, and others. Seventy – eight percent of promotions were in the SME category. Japanese investment in 13 projects had been approved for promotion by the BOI in the Upper North mainly in the manufacture of electronic components and metal manufacturing.
Thai projects increased to 56% year on year in 2012 while foreign projects increased from 28% to 30% while shareholder equity decreased from 17% to 14%.


Thai Architects hold Northern Show

The Architect Council of Thailand (ACT) held the opening ceremony for the “Northern Show-Off 2014” that was held from January 17 - 19 2014. The opening ceremony was presided over by HSH Prince Bhisatej Rajani, the President of the Royal Project Foundation on January 17 2014 at Chiang Mai Hall in Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport.


White shirts light candles to support elections

Chiang Mai City Community Network For Cultural Heritage Conservation

Around 200 pro election people gathered at Tha Pae Gate to light candles to show their support for the voting process.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
A group of nearly 200 white clad members of the Chiang Mai City Community Network For Cultural Heritage Conservation met at Tha Pae Gate on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 6 p.m. to light candles to show their support for the elections scheduled for February 2.

The group arranged “Phang Prateep” or small candles in little clay saucers into words such as “We Vote” and “Election” to show their support for the elections that have brought out large demonstrations of the opposition in Bangkok. The group invited people to vote on February 2. They were joined by Pheu Thai Party former Member of Parliament Tassanee Buranupakorn.

Rukpong Khamsaw of the Creative Youth Network Chiang Mai said that people who attended the event are resident in the old city area, students as well as foreigners that want to invite Chiang Mai people to vote in the election.


Sakura season fills the hills with color

Tourists cause social media controversy

The beautiful blooms of the flowering Wild Himalayan Cherry tree lined the roads of Chang Khian drawing a lot of tourists and traffic to the mountains.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The hills around Chiang Mai filled with the color of the blooming Wild Himalayan Cherry trees, also known popularly in Thailand by the Japanese word for flowering cherry trees; sakura.
Since January 10, 2014 the roadsides in Khun Chang Khian on Doi Suthep – Pui have been filled not only with blossoms but crowds of tourists and locals come to view the annual cool season spectacle after visiting Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. In addition to Chang Khian, which is known for its narrow winding roads, the blossoms can be viewed at Khun Wang Royal Project, Inthanon Royal Project, Doi Khun Mae Ya, Doi Ang Khang, Huay Nam Dung, and Doi Pha Hom Pok.
There was some controversy on social media as a photo of two Thai female tourists was posted with them posing for a photo with cut sprays of flowering cherry trees. However, the two claimed they had borrowed the flowers from a vegetable seller in the area and that the blossoms from a tree in her own yard.
The Wild Himalayan Cherry is called Sakura in Thai but its blooming period varies from that of the tree that is more widely known as Japanese Cherry which carries the name Sakura in Japan. The Wild Himalayan Cherry blooms from December to February while the traditional Japanese Sakura normally blooms in spring in Japan, from March to April. It is believed that the two trees evolved from a common ancestor in the South of China.


Suan Dok Hospital staff condemn violence against anti-government protesters

Staff from Suan Dok Hospital issued a statement condemning the violence in Bangkok and supporting the stand of the Permanent Secretary of Public Health.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
A group of staff from the Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital read out a statement condemning all violence against demonstrators in Bangkok in front of the statue HRH Prince Mahidol of Songkhla at the Sjinno Building.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Satawat Thongsawat, head of Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University led the group reading out the 5th such statement by the group, condemning all people involved in the violent incidents that have occurred in Bangkok including the January 17, 2014 attack where a grenade thrown into the crowd at Bantadthong Road caused one death. The group said they mourned for Prakong Chuchan, the protester who was killed in the attack. The group added their support for the stand made by the Ministry of Public Health and the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Public Health.


Friends of Public Health for Democracy declare their support for elections

Dr. Peesdech Sammanan called on hospitals to avoid using their names in expressing political opinions.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
A group calling themselves Friends of Public Health for Democracy declared their support for elections on January 10, 2014 before the shutdown protests in Bangkok. The group of doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and public health personnel, led by Dr. Peesdech Sammanan of Nakornping Hospital, issued a statement calling for compromise and negotiations, respect for the law and the Constitution.
The group called for all sides to use patience and avoid confrontation and violence in all forms. They asked that election officials perform their duties to organize the election and to follow the laws. They also said that hospitals should avoid allowing their names to be used in expressing political opinions, and called on them to show neutrality. They group said that people should adhere to the basic principles of democracy, liberty and equality and support the election process so that all people in society can participate.


Chiang Mai zoo welcomes new members

Paca and sero

A male and female paca, natives of the Americas, are visiting Chiang Mai Zoo for three months.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai Zoo welcomed the birth of the newest member to the Zoo family with the birth of a serow born on December 23, 2013. The parents are Puekpon, aged 3 years and 5 months and Leangpha, aged 2 years. Although the baby was healthy Zoo staff had to feed him as he was rejected by his mother. Serows are goat or antelope like mammals from Central and Eastern Asia.

Also welcomed to the Zoo are a pair of paca that are visiting from the Dusit Zoo for three months. The 4 year old male, named Nadech arrived recently with a 1 year and 5 month old female. The paca are from South and North America and are large rodents with dots and stripes on their sides, short ears, and barely visible tails. They have a snouted appearance like a wild boar.

This nocturnal animal is endangered in its natural habitat due to overhunting and predation. Typically the paca is found in the tropical forests of the United States, central Eastern Mexico and Northern Argentina. Pacas are usually between 50 -77 cm in length and weigh between 6 to 14 kilograms.


Jive Garden 8 draws over 10,000 to Pai

Jive Garden 8 drew nearly 10,000 people to the sleepy town of Pai, Mae Hong Son.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The quiet town of Pai, in Mae Hong Son, came alive on the night of Saturday January 18, 2014 when nearly 10,000 people descended on the Bura Lumpai Resort for the Jive Garden 8 Music Festival.

Despite the temperatures reaching 8 degrees Celsius and the resort reaching capacity people pitched tents and slept outside. The festival offered many fun activities on four different stages as well as music from live bands and famous DJs of Thailand. Acts such as Singto Numchoke, ETC, BoomBoom Cash and more kept the huge gathering entertained.

The organizer offered 40 blankets to the Pai Police Station and 100,000 baht to the Pai Hospital to purchase medical equipment.

The first Jive Garden music festival began 7 years ago as a party for the hard work of the DJs of Warm Up and Lounge who invited DJs to visit Pai. It was first held at Baan Pittalew and then later at the BeeBob in Pai. It has been held at the Bura Lumpai Resort since its fourth year.

Initially the festival had just a few people to grow to the nearly 10,000 this year. It has now been added to the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s calendar of events for Mae Hong Son. In addition to attending the festival tourists can visit the beautiful natural attractions in Pai and relax in the area hotels and resorts.


Drug arrests yield 28 kg of Ya Ice and 880,000 Yaba tablets in 10 days

Police shoot out tires of drug smugglers on 2nd ring road

Police uncovered half a million Yaba pills and 3kg of Ya Ice after shooting out the tires of a speeding pickup truck in Chiang Mai on the 2nd ring road.

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A sting by police in Phayao Province on January 8, 2014 resulted in the arrest of a drug dealing network, with three men arrested Phayao Provincial Police. Ronnachai “Jack” Wechsuwan was arrested after police set up a drug buy for 10 methamphetamine or Yaba tablets. They uncovered a further 110 pills at his house and seized his pickup truck as proceeds from drug sales. After arresting Jack the police uncovered Thanakorn Triumtra age 38 and Rungnapa Nantawong age 23 who were wholesalers of the drug. Police raided their house where they found 121 methamphetamine pills and 11.54 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine or Ya Ice as it’s known in Thailand.

Police seized land and goods valued at over 150 million baht in Phayao and Chiang Rai from the arrests, the pair confessed that they would buy the pills in Chiang Rai for 100 baht each and sell them for 300 baht each. They told police they would smuggle the drugs in their car but would swap out the license plate each time.

Police tracking a pickup truck carrying drugs attempted to intercept the vehicle on the 2nd Ring Road Ban Si Bua Ngoen, Tha Sala Sub District in Muang Chiang Mai, about 200m from the Buak-krok Siwilai underpass at the San Kamphaeng Road (Highway 1006) on January 15, 2014.

The police fired at the vehicle, shooting out the tires, however the driver leapt out of the truck and ran away. Police found half a million methamphetamine tables and 3 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in the truck. They believe the truck was headed for Chiang Mai International Airport as the drugs were covered in foil to avoid detection by the x-ray machine and were in 3 boxes marked as liquor. The value of the drugs was estimated at 150 million baht.

Pol. Maj. Gen. Chamnan Ruwdrew, Deputy Commissioner of Police Region 5 revealed that the methamphetamine pills have a pink color which is a new type pill believed to come from the gang of Lt. Col. Yi Se. The police believe the pills are coming from Chiang Rai and would be transported to Bangkok by plane.

Border Patrol Police arrested a 47 year old Lisu man from Fang, Chiang Mai in a drug sting on January 16. The police set up the undercover buy after receiving information that the man was a known drug dealer. They arrested Fahching Saelee on the side of the road in Mae Soon sub-district when he delivered 42,000 Yaba pills.

Rangers in Mae Hong Son received a report that a drug trafficking gang would be smuggling drugs through Ban Huai Phueng Mai in Mae La Noi District on January 16. Five soldiers were sent to intercept them but the smugglers were warned and escaped into the darkness. They left behind 4 bags filled with 384,000 Yaba tablets and 20 kg of crystal methamphetamine.

A Lisu man from Mae Fah Luang in Chiang Rai was arrested in connection with smuggling 4 kg of crystal methamphetamine valued at 20 million baht on January 18, 2014. The police tracked down the man when police uncovered a plan to send a package of Ya Ice to Khon Kaen by a private transport company. Police arrested the man who had been hired to send the drugs and then tracked down the receiver in Khon Kaen who told police that he had been hired by the network of notorious drug kingpin Li U to receive the drugs, he was paid 30,000 baht to pick up the package and it would be picked up from him later in Khon Kaen.

Police arrested Sonkiat Wiboonsantisuk with 4kg of crystal methamphetamine and seized his property valued at 30 million baht under the law that allows police to seize property gained from the sales of drugs or other illicit activities.


Truck driver killed as big rig flips and burns on Mae Rim – Samoeng Road

The driver of an 18 wheel truck was killed when the brakes on his truck failed on a curve on the Mae Rim – Samoeng Road.

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The 49 year old driver of an 18 wheel truck was killed in an accident when the truck he was driving overshot a curve on the Mae Rim – Samoeng Road near Mae Sa Waterfall on January 11, 2014 at 11:30 a.m.

Police, rescue and firefighters were called to the scene where they found the 18 wheel truck registered in Nonthaburi overturned and on fire. The fire fighters spent half an hour fighting the blaze. They found the body of 49 year old Somphian Singhakhot of Kalasin Province trapped in the cab of the truck.

After a preliminary investigation police believe the truck, which was carrying 45 tons of mineral water from a factory in Mae Rim District, had lost control on the curve when the brakes failed causing it to overturn and catch fire


Russian dead after fall from 6th floor hotel room

Chang Puak police investigate the room belonging to the Russian man who fell to his death on January 11, 2014.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Chang Puak police were called to a hotel near Huay Kaew Road after receiving reports that a guest had fallen from his 6th floor room at 10:30 a.m. on January 11, 2014.
At the scene police found the body of a 30 year old Russian man in the parking lot of the hotel. He had close shaved hair and was wearing cream shorts and a long sleeved white sweater.
Police said the man had been staying in the 6th floor room since December 21, 2013. Staff said he kept to himself. Preliminary police investigation could not determine if the death was suicide, accident or murder. The police have coordinated with the Russian Embassy to contact the man’s family.


Prankster caught on film causes social media stir

Apologizes for stunt filmed two years ago

The boy who was filmed provoking the rhino at Chiang Mai Zoo has come forth and apologized for his behavior of two years ago.

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“Game” turned himself into police after a prank he pulled in 2012 and was filmed on his Blackberry was spread throughout social media in January. Game, who was 16 years old when he pulled of the foolish stunt, apologized to Zoo officials for his actions at the time.
A video of the boy was released on social media sites and went viral, showing the 16 year old provoking a rhinoceros and poking a baby crocodile with a stick. Zoo staff worked with police to try and find the boy. He turned himself in after the social media storm erupted.
He met with Chiang Mai Zoo Director Kanchai Sanwong and Nipon Wichairat, the deputy director of Chiang Mai and two friends who were also involved in the prank to apologize on January 17, 2014. He and his family regret the incident and he said he no longer meets with those friends and no longer pulls foolish stunts.
Chiang Mai Zoo Director Kanchai Sanwong said that if the Zoo sued the boy he would be fined as well as imprisoned but the administrators of the Zoo have decided to forgive him his actions due to his youth. He has also agreed to show responsibility for his behavior by cleaning the stables for one month.


Red shirts protest against Bangkok shut down on January 13

Red shirt protesters from around the province gathered in front of Three Kings Monument to protest against the Bangkok Shut down demonstrations on January 13, 2014.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The first day of the Shut Down Bangkok protests by anti-government demonstrators on January 13, 2104 saw groups of red shirt proesters from many districts in Chiang Mai and Lamphun gather at Kawila Army camp before marching to Tha Pae Gate and then on to 3 Kings Monument. The group, on pickup trucks, motorcycles and cars carried red flags as well as the national flag and posters supporting the election and condemning the Bangkok shut down protests.
Led by Jatuporn Prompan, one of the core leaders of the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship the group then traveled from the Three Kings Monument to the Chiang Mai Municipal stadium to condemn Democrat Suthep Thaugsuban. They were joined by Pheu Thai candidates Tassanee Buranupakorn and Bunsong Teriyapirom as they moved through Prapokklao Road, to Chang Puak Gate and then the Municipal stadium.


Girl Guides hold 4th General Assembly in Chiang Mai

The Friends of Asia Pacific World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts held their 4th General Assembly meeting at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel on Friday January 17, 2014. Mr. Peter Schnyder, the General Manager of the Imperial Mae Ping welcomed the group and their speaker M.L. Panadda Diskul, Permanent Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior.


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

CMU grads receive diplomas from HRH Princess Sirindhorn

HRH Princess Ubolratana presides over “To Be Number One”

Water in good supply for dry season

Jazz in the City Festival draws big crowds and lots of fans

CMU United for the Nation

Economic investment in the North grew in 2013

Thai Architects hold Northern Show

White shirts light candles to support elections

Sakura season fills the hills with color

Suan Dok Hospital staff condemn violence against anti-government protesters

Friends of Public Health for Democracy declare their support for elections

Chiang Mai zoo welcomes new members

Jive Garden 8 draws over 10,000 to Pai

Drug arrests yield 28 kg of Ya Ice and 880,000 Yaba tablets in 10 days

Truck driver killed as big rig flips and burns on Mae Rim – Samoeng Road

Russian dead after fall from 6th floor hotel room

Prankster caught on film causes social media stir

Red shirts protest against Bangkok shut down on January 13

Girl Guides hold 4th General Assembly in Chiang Mai