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Vol. XIII No.4 - Sunday February 23, 2014 - Saturday March 8, 2014


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Update by Saichon Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
NEWS
 

Efforts in place to prevent the spread of forest fires

Fire barriers erected in high risk areas

The Ad Hoc committee is working to prevent and control forest fires and have identified high risk areas and implemented measures to prevent the spread of forest fires in those areas (file photo)

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Acting Chief of the Natural Resources and Environment Office Chiang Mai said that the Ad Hoc Center to prevent forest fires that was set up to survey and control forest fires during the most high risk period, 80 days from February 1 to April 21, 2014 has organized efforts at the district levels to erect fire barriers, create upstream dams to ensure water supply and remove fuel for forest fires by promoting the “Branches and Leaves Bank” for composting instead of burning, and promoted the use of organic fertilizers in agriculture.
Acting Chief Prayad Ananpradit said that video conferences are being held every Wednesday between all participants to coordinate efforts to prevent forest fires. Eight sub-districts in Om Koi and six in Mae Chaem have been identified as being at high risk as well as two other unnamed sub-districts.
Since February 1 there have been 18 reports of forest fires, which were extinguished completely, 195 rai of forest land was damaged by fire. Doi Tao had the most hotspots followed by Hot, Mae Chaem, Chom Thong and Om Koi. K. Prayad reported that 50 hotspots had been reported in the first ten days of February.
He noted that this year had started off better than last year, and that the air quality and number of fires was lower than the same period last year. However, the Office has commanded the Forest Fire Control Station in the area of Royal Initiative Project and Om Koi Forest Fire Control Promotion Center to prepare for forest fires by making fire barriers around villages. Overall, the occurrence of hotspots has been reduced by 10% from the same period last year.
 


Territorial Defense Volunteers celebrate 60 years

Chiang Mai Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo salutes the flag of the Territorial Defense Volunteers in honor of the 60th year of the founding.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Territorial Defense Volunteers is a civilian force working with military and police to maintain peace and order in the country, to assist in natural disasters and provide support as needed. The Territorial Defense Volunteers were established 60 years ago and their Founding Day falls on February 10.
This year Chiang Mai Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo, as Commander of the Territorial Defense Volunteers, presided over the Founding Day ceremony. The ceremony, held to build up morale and promote pride in their work, was held at the Chiang Mai Volunteer Territorial Defense Camp where the Volunteers swore to uphold the vows of the Volunteers.
A plaque was dedicated to the Volunteer Territorial Defense Company and Angkana Puthiwinyoo; President of Ministry of Interior’s Ladies Association Chiang Mai offered 66 scholarships from the Association to the children of Territorial Defense Volunteers, government officers and officers who perform work for the Territorial Defense Volunteers.


Southern districts face drought conditions

Kuakoon Manasumphunsakul, Head of Water Allocation of Chiang Mai Provincial Irrigation Office reported on water capacity in provincial dams on February 11, 2014.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Although Mae Ngat and Mae Kuang Dams have more capacity than they did this time last year the Head of Water Allocation for the Chiang Mai Provincial Irrigation Office warned that southern sections of Chiang Mai Province could see drought this year.
Kuakoon Manasumphunsakul, Head of Water Allocation of Chiang Mai Provincial Irrigation Office, reported on the water situation on February 11, 2014 noting that in 2013 Chiang Mai had accumulated rainfall about 4% higher than average by the end of December. The Ping River currently has around 73.64 million/cubic meter of water, a bit lower than average. The tributary in Mae Taeng District has a flow rate of 6 -7 cubic meters per second and it is being sent into Muang district canals to supply water for the Night Safari, Royal Park Rajapruek and agricultural areas in Hang Dong and San Patong districts.
The amount of water flowing in the Mae Rim River is about 0.2 cubic meters per second, a slow flow for the river, flow rates are expected to decline steadily for all rivers.
Mae Ngat Dam has 227.78 million cubic meters of water, or 85.30%. The government plans to allocate about 15% of the total, or 26 million cubic meters to various sectors, thereby ensuring that the Ping River has enough water for water supply and weirs.
Mae Kuang dam currently has a capacity at 44%, or 103.66 million cubic meters. Combined these two dams has 78.50 million cubic meters more than this time last year. Most of the medium reservoirs in the north of Chiang Mai such as Chiang Dao, Fang, Mae Ai and Chai Pakran have enough water; exceeding 80%. However, in the south they have already begun facing problems in San Patong and Mae Wang as water is at only 40%. Hot and Doi Tao face the risk of water shortages. However, the office has prepared 66 pumps and 6 water trucks with a capacity of 6,000 liters each to supply water to agricultural areas during the dry season.


Chiang Mai Music Fest moves to Promenada

March 1 and 2

Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn joins festival organizer Yut Wanichanond of Earth, Wind and Fire, Jeerarat Meengam of the TAT Chiang Mai, Tjeert Kwant CEO of ECC International and representatives from the hotels and sponsors.

By Shana Kongmun
The Chiang Mai Music Fest will be at the Promenada Resort Shopping Mall on March 1 and 2 and will offer free hourly shuttles with the last one leaving the mall for Centara Duangtawan Hotel at the Night Bazaar and Imm Hotel at Tha Pae Gate at midnight.
The Music Fest will see such headliners as Matthew Mole, the first South African artist to enter the iTunes album chart at No 1 with his debut album. Other headliners include Hot Water, a South African rock band, Iyeoka, an award winning Nigerian-American poet, recording artist, singer, activist, educator and TEDGlobal Fellow. Popular Chiang Mai band Super Rittard will be performing as well as Singaporean group Take Two, Thomas Keissling from Germany, Akasha from Malaysia and special Kolingtang performances from Indonesia. All shows are free to attend.
The shows will begin at 4:30 p.m. with the last concert beginning at 10:30 p.m. Shuttles will hourly from Tha Pae at Imm hotel and Centara Duangtawan Hotel at the Night Bazaar starting from 3 p.m. with the last shuttle returning to the city at midnight. Other shuttle stops will include Kantary Hills Hotel on Nimmanhaemin road, CMU Faculty of Economics, Payap University’s Mana Canteen and Kairos Square, Le Meridien Hotel, Amora Tha Pae Hotel and the Holiday Inn. These shuttles will depart from 11 a.m. with the last one returning at 9:45 p.m. All shuttles are free.

Chef Gustavo of Holiday Inn will be offering tacos and other delicious foods along with all the other hotel and food sponsors including d2 Hotel, Rimping and many others.

Great food is, of course, one of the hallmarks of the Chiang Mai Music Fest and this year will see Mexican food from Holiday Inn’s new chef from Acupulco in Mexico, d2 Hotel, Imperial Mae Ping, Centara Duangtawan, Khum Phaya Resort, Rimping, vegetarian food from J Kitchen and many more. More info online at chiangmaifest on Facebook or at www. chiangmaifest.com.


Chiang Mai joins One Billion and Rising

V-Day to stop domestic violence

Chiang Mai residents joined NGOs and other groups to hold a V-Day One Billion Rising flashmob at Tha Pae Gate on February 15, 2014.

Shana Kongmun
Around the world women, men and children joined in V-Day One Billion and Rising events as part of a global campaign to end violence against women.
V-Day was created sixteen years ago by Eve Ensler, the author of the play “The Vagina Monologues” to raise awareness and end the violence against women and girls. Last year they started the One Billion Rising campaign, in reference to the estimated one in three women worldwide, or roughly one billion women, who will be raped, beaten or abused in her lifetime.
Chiang Mai residents joined with NGOs and groups to join in the campaign at Tha Pae Gate on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. to perform as a flash mob to raise awareness of the violence women face every single day. The V-Day campaign said that people in 207 countries joined in the event, with most offering flash mob performances in public places to raise awareness. More information on V-Day can be found at www.vday.org.


Governor kicks off campaign to prevent forest fires

The Governor announced that Thailand has signed an MOU with the Shan State of Myanmar to help prevent and fight forest fires.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo led the kickoff of the campaign to prevent forest fires and smog at the “Leaves and Stick Bank” in Mae Hia in Chiang Mai as part of the governmental policy that all sectors must work together to resolve the fire and smog problems. The kickoff, on February 6, 2014 at 9:15 a.m., saw Muang District Chiang Mai along with related government agencies and people from the Doi Suthep- Pui National Park, Control Wildfire Chiang Mai, Protected Areas Regional Office 16 Chiang Mai, Forest Management Bureau No.1 (Chiang Mai Province) and local governments join in. The Mae Hia Subdistrict Chief Officer Thanawat Yodjai reported on the progress.
The Governor joined I signing an MOU to solve forest fire and smog problems and added that he would like to thank all agencies, including public and private sectors and the corporate world for recognizing the importance of participation in such an important campaign. He noted that in the past ten years Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand has been faced with challenges on a scale never before seen with drought and forest fires. He added that the government would like to see cooperation with the neighboring Shan State of Myanmar in preventing fires and to that end has signed an MOU with them to fight forest fires and the smog problem together.


Pinkanakorn Agency donates sports equipment

Phumphat Prombutr, Acting Central Administration Director of Pinkanakorn Development Agency (Public Organization) donated sports equipment to Wachara Laiprawat, head of the Pha Dang National Park in Fang district for the park officers to use in sports competitions that took place at the Pha Dang National Park Office from February 11 to 24, 2014.


Government reports air quality remains good

The global hotspot map focusing on Thailand, as of February 18, 2014. Updated views can be found here: http://www.ehabich.info/images/synchro/asia.jpg.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Air quality remained at acceptable levels at the beginning of February; the government reported that the Air Quality Monitoring Station reported 41 micrograms per cubic meter of PM10 and the AQI at 51 at City Hall on February 5, 2014, Yupparaj Wittayalai School had a PM10 of 27 and an AQI of 34 while Bhubing Palace had PM10 of 10 and an AQI of 13. By February 18 the numbers for Yupparaj Wittalayai School were a PM10 of 20 and an AQI of 44. On the same day, Lampang had a PM10 of 94 and an AQI of 84.
They reported that on one day they saw 11 hot spots; 6 in Doi Tao district, 2 in Om Koi district and one each in Chom Thong, Mae Chaem and Doi Lo. However, upon dispatching officials to the scene they found the fires had been put out. Readers can view the hot spot map for Asia here: http://www.ehabich.info/images/synchro/asia.jpg.
The 33th Military Circle has held publicity campaign activities to educate people about how to put out forest fires and how to prevent fires. The Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office also organized training sessions for personnel in all districts for Village Health Volunteers to help prevent smog and fires and established a center to receive reports on patients affected by smoke.
Chiang Mai’s air quality index can be found here: http://aqmthai.com/. A map for Air Quality in Thailand can be found here: http://aqicn.org/map/thailand/.


Japanese government funds construction of water supply systems for hill-tribe villages

Akihiko Fujii, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Mr. Thomas Benton, Country Director of Adventist Development and Relief Agency Thailand (ADRA Thailand), at the hand-over ceremony of the facilities at Jasae Village, in Mae Suai, Chiang Rai Province on February 11, 2014.

The Government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects Scheme (GGP), has provided funds amounting to 2,816,417 Baht for a project entitled “Construction of Water Supply Systems in Tha Ko Subdistrict, Mae Suai District, Chiang Rai Province”. On 11 February 2014, Mr. Akihiko Fujii, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Mr. Thomas Benton, Country Director of Adventist Development and Relief Agency Thailand (ADRA Thailand), were present at the hand-over ceremony of the facilities at Jasae Village, in Mae Suai, Chiang Rai Province.
The hill tribe villages in Mae Suay District have lagged behind in the development of sufficient social infrastructure. In particular the lack of a sustainable supply of sufficient clean water was a major concern for villagers especially in the 10 targeted villages in Tha Ko Subdistrict. They suffered from chronic water shortages and contamination, which affected their health and became increasingly serious. The improvement of water supply systems was thus an urgent need. Under these circumstances, ADRA Thailand, which has been working among the hill tribe communities of these areas since 2006 using a sustainable community development approach and has many years’ experience in the provision of water supply systems, planned this project with the participation of local people as well as the understanding and cooperation of the local government.
In response to a request from ADRA Thailand, the Government of Japan bore the construction costs of the gravity flow water supply systems for the 10 villages. Now villagers have access to a clean, sufficient and sustainable supply of water which thereby contributes towards improvements in the health and sanitation of the villages. (GGP)


Japanese Film Festival features animated films

The Garden of Words is the opening film for the Japanese Film Festival which features anime films this year.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Japan Foundation Bangkok is holding the annual Japanese Film Festival in Chiang Mai from February 27 to March 2, 2014 at the Major Cineplex on the 4th floor of Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport, Saelee Wanlop of the Consulate General of Japan in Chiang Mai announced.
The festival will feature animated films, both modern and classic, including such Little Norse Prince Valiant dating back to 1968, Arcadia of My Youth from 1982 and the more modern Garden of My Words from 2013 and A Letter to Momo from 2012.
Supported by the Embassy of Japan in Thailand and Japan Airlines, the Festival begins on February 27, 2014 at 7:3 p.m. with a screening of the Garden of Words, while Arcadia of My Youth opens at 6.30 p.m. on February 28. Chibi Maruko-Chan (Ono-kun and Sugiyama-kun) starts at 2.00 p.m. on March 1 followed by Shot Film Package (Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor + The House of Small Cubes + Karo & Piyobupt at 4.00 p.m. and A Letter to Momo at 6.00 p.m. The final day, March 2 sees Little Norse Prince Valiant at 2.00 p.m., The Girl Who Leapt Through Time at 4.00 p.m. and Colorful at 6.00 p.m. Tickets are only 50 baht, and on sale at the ticket booth of the Major Cineplex, 4th floor in Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport from February 20 onwards.


Chiang Mai Green Beauty Scented works to improve Chiang Mai’s environment

Lakkan Srihong, a coordinator for the community network Chiang Mai Green Beauty Scented introduces their latest projects.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai Green Beauty Scented, which recently took part in the concert for Chiang Mai’s big trees, is a community network working to protect and rehabilitate Chiang Mai’s green areas which have been steadily decreasing. Established in 2009, Lakkan Srihong, a coordinator for the group, said that they currently have three ongoing projects. The first of which is the Fulfill Big Trees for a Greener Chiang Mai, which works to preserve and protect Chiang Mai’s stately trees.
Chiang Mai has many big old trees but they are pruned incorrectly so they have asked for coordination form the Faculty of Architecture at Maejo University to provide lessons in the proper pruning of trees to the Natural Resources and Environment officers. The officers are responsible for over 200 big trees in the old city and 300 big trees on the Chiang Mai – Lamphun road in Yang – Nerng Subdistrict.
The project began with a survey of the trees and then intensive training in proper arborist techniques to examine and maintain tree health. Thirty volunteers from various communities took part in the training and will take care of the 500 trees over the next two years.
The second project is “Suan Pak Hug Muang (Vegetable Garden, love the city)” which is working to increase green space by promoting the cultivation of organic vegetables for consumption, starting from the family level for kitchen and community gardens. Program participants can propose projects to the network, if the project be approved to get funding support 5,000 baht for family level and 25,000 for the small project level. The duration of the project is 10 months from May 14 - February 15.
The third project is working to collaborate with local governments to rehabilitate the 14 public parks in the city. The network is working to re-plant and take care of city parks, the latest at Kanchanaphisek Park and Rama 9 Royal Park Chiang Mai. More information on Chiang Mai Green Beauty Scented can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GREEN.BEAUTY. SCENTED.


Chiang Dao Municipal Councillor arrested for drug trafficking

New fundraising technique for Mayoral campaign

Samneang Sopana, age 50, a member of the Thung Khao Phuang Municipal Council in Chiang Dao, was arrested with 50,000 Yaba tablets, he planned on selling the drugs to fund his campaign for Mayor.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The police announced the arrest of Samneang Sopana, age 50, a member of the Thung Khao Phuang Municipal Council in Chiang Dao with 50,000 methamphetamine tablets on February 14, 2014. Also arrested were Aekachai Saengchan age 29 and Suphannee Sai age 31.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Chamnan Ruwdrew revealed that the drug trafficking gang had bought drugs from the network of Lt. Col. Yi Sae at the border to smuggle and sell in Thailand in Chiang Dao district. Region 5 police tracked the gang for some time before arresting them. The Municipal Council member confessed that he had been selling drugs to raise money for his mayoral campaign in the next election.
Police arrested two drug traffickers from Central Thailand at the Dong Yang Checkpoint in Phrae at 5:30 a.m. on February 16, 2014 with 818,100 methamphetamine tablets hidden in a secret compartment over the rear wheel wells. Police searched the black Mitsubishi pickup truck after police stopped the pair at the checkpoint and noticed they were behaving suspiciously. Nirut Thongumphai age 24 of Nakhon Pathom and Ranlana Nuritmon age 19 of Ratchaburi confessed to police that they were smuggling the drugs from Chiang Rai to sell in Nakhon Pathom.
Lampang Police announced the arrest of a Chiang Mai man with 32,000 Yaba tablets hidden in his car on February 18, 2014. Charoon Sriumphondaoruang age 23 of Hot district in Chiang Mai was stopped at the police checkpoint in Sobprap and when officers checked his car found the methamphetamine pills. He confessed to police that he had been hired to smuggle the drugs from a gas station in Doi Saket to the Mor Chit bus station in Bangkok for 100,000 baht.
Fang district saw a major raid by 1,220 officers of Region 5 police, Narcotics Control Board region 5, Pha Muang Task Force, Border Patrol Police 33 and administration led by Pol. Maj. Gen. Chamnan Ruwdrew Deputy Commissioner of Police Region 5 as part of a crime clearance campaign. They targeted 125 areas where they suspected drug transactions took place, arresting 235 people on drugs and other offenses. The police also arrested Lamai Sriwichai, a Village Headman in Chiang Dao sub district in Chiang Dao district with 19 methamphetamine pills, his urine tested positive for use. Officers seized 353,897.50 methmphetamine pills, 1.10g of Heroin, 1.55g of Marijuana, 100.05g of Opium, 16 guns and 163 bullets.


Fraudulent phone seller on Facebook caught by police

Saowalak Khamkhun, age 18, confessed to police that she had defrauded over 30 people on the internet with a fake iPhone scam.

Nopniwat Krailerg
A girl who posted photos of an iPhone for sale on Facebook was arrested by Region 5 Police for fraud.
Saowalak Khamkhun, age 18, was arrested by police on February 17, 2014 after complaints that she had posted a second hand iPhone for sale on Facebook but after half the payment was made would post the victims wheat flour, glass and other worthless items in place of the phone.
Between December 2013 and January 2014 police received multiple complaints that a user named Mo May was defrauding people on the internet. After sending the victim the package she would block the customer and also open the ID card of another person to open new bank accounts to receive the money.
Police investigated the CCTV camera footage of the bank where she had opened the bank account under the fake name to find her.
She confessed to police that she had perpetrated the fraud on over 30 victims over the internet. She told police that she had sold a real iPhone 5 to someone but after sending them the phone she did not get paid. She told police that she was saving the money to buy a new iPhone 5.


Hotel maid confesses to stealing from Chinese tourist

Chantira or Koi Dechwilai confessed to police that she used her position as a maid at a local hotel to rob a Chinese tourist’s room.

Nopniwat Krailerg
A Chinese tourist reported to the Muang District Police station that cash from his wallet had been stolen from his room at a Tha Pae gate area hotel while he was out. Mr. Li Zhong filed the report with police saying he had left his belongings in his room while he traveled outside Chiang Mai and when he returned found 1,100 Yuan missing from his wallet, approximately 6,000 baht.
Police investigated the hotel and questioned witnesses and interrogated Chantira or Koi Dechwilai. They viewed her as a suspect because as a maid for that floor she had access to every room and also did not return to work after the theft. Police searched for her and once they found her and arrested her she confessed that she had stolen the money from the Chinese tourist’s room.


New Year’s Eve bag snatcher arrested

Smart phone technology defeats serial thief

Serial bag snatcher 40 year old Chaiyut Intanon was captured by police after they used technology from the smartphone of a Chinese tourist to track him down.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Police announced the arrest of a serial bag snatcher on February 11, 2014. Chaiyut Intanon, age 40 was arrested for stealing a black iPhone 4S and a woman’s purse on New Year’s Eve. Police received a report from a Chinese tourist that a man on a motorcycle had grabbed her purse and driven off at 9 p.m. on December 31, 2013 on Sri Phum Road near the District Office.
Police used the smart phone’s technology to track down the phone as well as their contacts with area second hand mobile phone sellers to track the phone and the suspect. They arrested the suspect at his home in San Sai where they uncovered the stolen iPhone.
The suspect confessed that he had also stolen a bag from a Chinese tourist on Singharat Road in October, 2013 and had also burgled a home in San Sai during the same period.


Fake bomb creates chaos in the city

Police detonated the package to uncover a fake bomb placed near the Mae Jo intersection of the Super Highway.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Police believe that a package designed to look like a bomb was placed at the road near Nim Transport on the Super Highway to create chaos in the city and create fear.
Mae Ping Police received a report of a suspicious object at 12:45 p.m. on February 10, 2014 and coordinated with the Explosive Ordinance Disposal team (EOD) of the Border Patrol Police to disarm the object. The EOD rushed to the scene and police closed the road at the Mae Jo intersection of the Super Highway creating a traffic jam.
Pol. Col. Mondop Sangjamnong, Deputy Commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police control officer along with the EOD team investigated the object green beer cans wrapped with black tape and cables on the outside. The EOD fired a high pressure water cannon at the object and then remotely destroyed it at 1:15 p.m. Investigating officers found that it was not a bomb but only beer cans wrapped with tape. Police believe the object was placed to create chaos and panic.


Red shirt group destroys PDRC Chiang Mai stage

Police evacuate PDRC from stage

Members of the Red Shirt Freedom Chiang Mai group destroyed the stage of a planned PDRC “Love Chiang Mai Love Thailand” rally at Wat Jet Yod on February 16, 2014. The event was cancelled before the group arrived.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
A group of about 30 members of the Red Shirt Freedom Chiang Mai Group led by Apichat Insorn or DJ Auan traveled from Chang Puak Gate to Wat Jet Yod to confront the Love Chiang Mai Love Thailand demonstration coordinated by the PDRC Chiang Mai in front of Wat Jet Yod on Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 1 p.m.
However, police managed to evacuate the group from the area before the slingshot and club wielding group arrived. The Red Shirt group destroyed the stage set up by the PDRC and burned their signs before departing.
Panupong Weratantayaporn, a coordinator of PDRC Chiang Mai said that as soon as he heard of the planned Red Shirt visit he cancelled the event. Damaged property included the stage, ice coolers and the national flag but no one was injured since a clash between the two groups was avoided.


Encouraging healthy behaviors in kids

Municipality holds seminar for educators

Rung Sripo, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Chiang Mai Municipality presided over the seminar held to educate local schools on the importance of teaching good health habits to children early on.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai Municipality held a seminar on February 6, 2014 at the Municipal Building to offer training and insights to educators on the importance of emphasizing healthy lifestyle habits in children from a very early age.
Rung Sripo, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Chiang Mai Municipality, who presided over seminar, said that people have many bad health habits such as eating foods that are too salty, eating too much sugar or foods too high in fat, as well as eating fast food, soft drinks, coffee, smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. Many people do not exercise as they have much more sedentary lives than before and that the changes in society with both social and economic conditions are contributing to an unhealthy, high stress lifestyle.
The Secretary noted that most of these behaviors are started in childhood and need to be counteracted early on so as to maintain healthy lifestyles. The Chiang Mai Municipality recognizes the importance of these unhealthy habits and organized the project by inviting administrators of schools in the Chiang Mai Municipality to learn. The Secretary noted that now is the time that all sectors must work together to create good health habits in children and youth to make sure the country develops in a healthy, sustainable and high quality way.


Governor releases fish to make merit on Makha Bucha Day

Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo releases fish to make merit for Makha Bucha Day.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Chiang Mai Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo released fish in the Ping River on February 13, 2014 to make merit in advance of one Buddhism’s most important days; Makha Bucha Day.
The Governor and Phra Thep Kosol, Dean Monk of Chiang Mai presided over the ceremony that began at Buddha Satan where students were given certificates for their work to benefit Buddhism and support and promote Buddhist activities on holy days by Governor Wichien.
The Governor noted that the fish release was just one of the activities scheduled for Makha Bucha Day, and added that he appreciated the efforts of students to work for Buddhism because their work benefits not only themselves but their families and communities as well. After his address to the audience the Governor went to the Ping River to release the fish.


Chiang Rai kids with Cerebral Palsy receive help from Japanese government

Akihiko Fujii, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Mr. Jaroon Jittiwutikarn, Chairman of Ruam Mit Foundation for Youth, jointly signed a funding contract for the project at the Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai on February 12, 2014.

The Government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects Scheme (GGP), is providing funds amounting to 3,196,100 baht for “The Project for the Rehabilitation of Children with Cerebral Palsy in Chiang Rai Province”. On February 12, 2014, Mr. Akihiko Fujii, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Mr. Jaroon Jittiwutikarn, Chairman of Ruam Mit Foundation for Youth, jointly signed a funding contract for the project at the Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai.
There are almost 16,000 handicapped people registered in Chiang Rai province, 200 of whom have Cerebral Palsy. Children with Cerebral Palsy are found much more among poor and highland ethnic group families because of teenage pregnancy and hard work during pregnancy. In particular, the handicapped children without citizenship have difficulty in receiving the protection and rehabilitation affirmed in the human rights charter and lose their chance for recovery and self-reliance.
The Ruam Mit Foundation for Youth has carried out rehabilitation training for children with Cerebral Palsy and their parents in cooperation with Mae Lao and Mae Fah Luang hospitals in Chiang Rai province since 2011. As a result the children have recovered remarkably and regional rehabilitation network for the children is being created.
In response to a request from Ruam Mit Foundation for Youth, the Government of Japan has decided to provide funds for the construction of a rehabilitation center and the running of a rehabilitation program for children with Cerebral Palsy by the Foundation. It is expected that this will enhance support for handicapped children in Northern Thailand.
The Government of Japan intends to continue supporting projects for handicapped people through its Grant Assistance for Human Security Projects scheme (GGP).


English band wins GBOB World Final

The Global Battle of the Bands

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The world finals for the Global Battle of the Bands (GBOB) was held at Central Festival on February 8, 2014 and saw bands from Australia, Bahamas, Belarus, Czech Republic, England, Greece, India, Malaysia, Moldova, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Ukraine, Thailand and Vietnam compete for the top prize.
GBOB is a live music competition from amateur and professional bands from around the world that must perform original music and must perform live in order to qualify. The event was sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, MTV Thailand, Singha Corporation Co., Ltd., Nok Air and Chiang Mai Musicians Singers Actors Association (CMSAA).
Firekind, a British band from Southwest England, took the top prize of 1 million baht and the chance to work with a world class production team. Doctor Victor from the Czech Republic took second, Need from Thailand took third, Crawford Brothers from Australia took fourth, fifth place went to Vox Mira from Belarus and Dudes from Norway came in sixth.


Night Safari welcomes 3 year old giraffe

Donated by Zoological Park Organization

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Zoological Park Organization of Thailand under the Royal Patronage of HM the King (ZPO) donated a 2 year and 10 month old giraffe to the Chiang Mai Night Safari on February 10, 2014.
Dr. Sarawut Srisakun, Director of Chiang Mai Night Safari revealed that the delivery of the giraffe was part of the MOU signed last year by the two organizations to build up cooperation by exchanging animals and cross training staff sessions
The Chiang Mai Night Safari previously sent 3 gorals to the ZPO and the ZPO sent the giraffe to the Night Safari. The cooperation between the two organizations is important as some animals cannot be traded but can be exchanged for propagation and study within the relevant agencies. The Chiang Mai Night Safari has successfully bred 20 gorals and the Zoological Park Organization as succeeded in breeding the Red-shanked douc which will be donated to the Night Safari in the future.

Dr. Sarawut Srisakun of the Chiang Mai Night Safari announced the delivery of a new giraffe from the ZPO.


U.N. advisor visits ERDI to discuss renewable energy research

DR. Jiang Mingjun inspects ERDI-Nakornping research on renewable energies.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Dr. Jiang Mingjun, General Observer and Special Advisor of The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) visited the Energy Research and Development Institute – Nakornping to discuss the establishment of a learning center for renewable energy and a sustainable development network organization of the United Nations at Chiang Mai University.
Assoc. Prof. Prasert Rerkkriangkrai, Director of ERDI-Nakornping and Dr. Pruk Aggarangsi, Deputy Director of ERDI-Nakornping welcomed Dr. Jiang Mingjun General Observer and Special Advisor of The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Dr. Mingjun is also the founding President and Director-General of Global Parties Climate and Ecological Alliance: GPCEA and President of Global Parties Climate and Ecological Alliance: GPCEA. They were joined by the management team of the Be Green Group; the Be Green Group produces energy from fast growing trees that are easily renewable.
Dr. Jiang Mingjun focused on the research and development of innovative activities, especially, innovation of transformation biomass into energy both from anaerobic fermentation process or biogas production and transformation of solid biomass into oil and gas by pyrolysis and gasification.
Dr. Jiang Mingjun said the U.N. has been involved with a variety of effective technologies that the institute has focused on researching such as Biogas technology CMU-CD, CMU-CSTR and CMU-CBG. He will work to deploy and publish the research to member countries of the U.N. He also praised the vision of the institution in efforts to reduce dependence on fossil energy and to take advantage of hybrid renewable energy in all its forms in order to develop power consumption sustainably. Dr. Jiang said the development of technologies based on environmentally friendly ideas and the use of resources must be as effective as possible. He also pledged to support the dissemination of knowledge of Chiang Mai University to countries around the world to help promote the need for sustainable development.


 
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