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Vol. XIII No.5 - Sunday March 9, 2014 - Saturday March 22, 2014


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Update by Saichon Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
NEWS
 

Jumbos to be feted at National Thai Elephant Day celebrations

National Elephant Day will be celebrated on March 13 with a grand feast and blessing ceremony for the elephants.

Nopniwat Krailerg
National Thai Elephant Day is celebrated on March 13 every year since 1998 when it was first celebrated. The Maesa Elephant Camp in Mae Rim will hold celebrations on Thursday, March 13, 2014 from noon to 3 p.m. where Governor Wichien Phuttiwinyoo will preside over the event. The day will be open to visitors without charge and will feature the highlight of the day, the Elephant Sa Tok; a blessing ceremony for the elephants and the elephant feast. There will also be art & craft demonstrations, traditional fiddle performances by famed National artist Buasorn Thanomboon and dancers performing “Elephant Dances”.
Veterinarian Ronnachit Rungsee of the Maesa Elephant Camp said that Maesa Elephant Camp currently has 73 elephants which in the past worked as logging elephants. The camp has worked to maintain Thai elephants by breeding elephants and have had 25 baby elephants born in the camp. Currently Thailand has 2,500- 3,000 elephants in captivity and only 2,000 wild elephants. Their birth rates are lower than their death rates so it is important to care for elderly elephants and breed elephants to produce healthy babies. Maesa Elephant Camp cooperates with Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of CMU to use frozen semen from elephants for breeding for the first time in the world. National Thai Elephant Day focuses on educating, cultivating awareness to tourists generally, and preserve the traditions and science that related elephants.
 


Lucky license plates raise 26 million baht

The auction of lucky license plates raised 26 million baht for the road safety fund. Metit Wutthichyanan paid 1.4 million baht for lucky number 9999.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The lucky license plate auction held on February 22 and 23, 2014 at the Empress Convention Center, Empress Hotel raised 26,094,296 baht for the Road Safety Fund.
Chanchai Keelapang, Chief of the Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transport Office said that the highest price at auction was for lucky plate 9999 by Metit Wutthichayanan, a tour company owner, who bid 1,466,666 baht for his lucky plate. The next numbers, 8888 and 5555, were both auctioned off for 600,000 baht. The lowest price for a lucky license plate was for number 3300 for 21,000 baht. This year’s auction brought in 6 million baht less than last year’s auction which brought in 32 million baht. Chanchai Keelapang said that the 13th lucky license plate auction will be held in August.
Funds raised from the auctions are used to purchase equipment for people disabled in road accidents, 3 large LED screens for Police Region 5 to use in campaigns to promote road safety and CCTV cameras in high traffic areas such as Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport and Central Festival Chiang Mai.


Rak Chiang Mai 51 leader denies calling for a separate Lanna state

Dr. Pechawat Wattanapongsirikul, the head of the red shirt group Rak Chiang Mai 51 and an adviser to Acting Social Development and Human Security Minister Paveena Hongsakul, held a press conference denying allegations that he had called for a separate Lanna state.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Dr. Pechawat Wattanapongsirikul, the head of the red shirt group Rak Chiang Mai 51 and an adviser to Acting Social Development and Human Security Minister Paveena Hongsakul, held a press conference on March 3, 2014 at Warorot Grand Palace Hotel to deny allegations that he had called for a separate Lanna state called the Democratic People’s Republic of Lanna.
Dr. Pechawat denied media reports that he was the head of the separatist movement and noted that the name of the group had been misunderstood. He said that the name Sor Por Por Lanna did not mean Democratic People’s Republic of Lanna” but in fact, the name means “Assembly for the Defense of Democracy of Lanna” an organization set up to campaign for the elections held on February 2, 2014. He added that he was not involved with the group but had only been invited to speak on Election Day on the rights and duties of citizens to exercise their right to vote but had been forced to decline as he could not go.
He said that the Thailand was indivisible as everyone has the same traditions, languages and King and that the only divisive elements were disdain for human dignity, inequality in application of the country’s laws and not using democratic systems in governance with the King as Head of State. He said that he had discussed this in an academic setting, saying that if all three occurred at the same time then it could lead to self-management. He said his opinion did not say that there would be a separate state of the Democratic People’s Republic of Lanna.
Dr. Pechawat’s legal adviser Prakornkiat Yanhan said that his legal team had gathered evidence to prosecute those who alleged that Dr. Pechawat had called for a separate Lanna state.
Royal Thai Army Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha commanded Lt.Gen. Preecha Chan-ocha, commander of the 3rd Army Corps to prosecute those promoting the “Sor Por Por Lanna” or “Democratic People’s Republic of Lanna” and for their members to report to Mae Ping police and Meuang Chiang Mai police. Members of the “Sor Por Por Lanna” group or “Assembly for the Defense of Democracy of Lanna” issued a clarification to the Army chief that “Sor Por Por Lanna” means “Assembly for the Defense of Democracy of Lanna” and it was founded on 28 December 2013 with the purpose of advocating the February 2 elections. The group reiterated to the Army Chief that they did not have a policy to divide the country and said that the Army should check information from multiple sources especially when coming from media that has a history of disinformation.


Sister of HRH Princess Soamsawali injured in car accident

M.L. Saralee Kitiyakorn, sister of HRH Princess Soamsawali, was injured in a remote area of Om Koi when the car she was in overturned on a steep mountain road.

Nopniwat Krailerg
M.L. Saralee Kityakorn, or K. Nam Phueng, sister of HRH Princess Soamsawali was injured in a car accident in Om Koi on February 22, 2014. Three other people, including the driver were injured in the accident that occurred at Baan Sob Khong as the car was traveling down a steep mountain road. The car overturned injuring M.L. Saralee in the chest. Apita Sareemarn saw injuries to her shoulder, neck and waist, while Nawarat Charanyakorn injured her right arm and the driver, suffered injuries to his face.
M.L. Saralee Kitiyakorn was traveling to Chiang Mai to film for a television documentary. Due to the remoteness of the terrain the Border Patrol Police sent a helicopter to evacuate the injured to Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. According to authorities a truck would have taken a day to reach the scene of the accident.
HRH Princess Soamsawali visited her sister in the hospital and M.L. Saralee Kitiyakorn was discharged from the hospital after care.


Chinese tourists causing a stir at CMU

CMU officials met with the parents of two Chinese youth who dressed in CMU uniforms and took photos at the school.

Nopniwat Krailerg & Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Lecturers at Chiang Mai University have reported regularly occurring instances of classes being disrupted by Chinese tourists entering the classroom to take photos of the students and lecturers and, in the case of classes in English, sitting in on classes to enjoy a free lesson.
The lecturers have told Chiang Mai Mail reporters that Thai students are very shy in front of strangers and by having the Chinese tourists sitting in on classes in English often do not participate in lessons as they feel uncomfortable in practicing English in front of strangers.
Additionally a security officer found two young Chinese tourists dressed in Chiang Mai University uniforms that their parents had purchased across the street. The security guard found the parents taking photos of the two youth dressed as students in front of the CMU sign and inside the university. Students and members of the CMU community had seen similar such actions before and commented on social media that such actions were inappropriate.
Associate Professor Rome Chiranukrom, Vice President for International Relations and Alumni Relations said that they had met with the family and discussed the inappropriateness of the actions and that by law people are not allowed to impersonate students at the school and that they must report to the police. They asked that people not post such photos on the internet as it gives a wrong impression of the school.
It has also been reported that some of the visitors are camping on the campus grounds. Chiang Mai University, with its picturesque campus and lake is a favorite destination for locals to walk in the afternoon but also for Chinese visitors as it was featured in the Chinese blockbuster movie “Lost in Thailand”.
Chiang Mai University is going to start charging fees for bicycle riders and parking for cars and motorbikes. They also plan on offering guided tours for tourists on a minibus.
Chiang Mai has seen a boom in tourism in large part due to the influx of Chinese tourists, many of whom are independent travelers. Last year there were 100,000 Chinese visitors to Chiang Mai and this year it is projected to be at least 120,000 with more direct flights being added in April as the airport will remain open after midnight to accommodate late night flights.


Forest Fire Smoke Free Day held in Chiang Mai

Deputy Governor Charoenrit Sa-nguansat reviews the troops, officials and equipment for fighting fires on National Forest Fire Smoke Free Day.

Nopniwat Krailerg
February 24 was established as the Forest Fire Smoke Free Day on August 22, 2000 by the Cabinet to campaign to educate the public and increase awareness of the dangers of forest fires and to encourage farmers to stop burning forests. The campaign works to encourage the participation of individuals, communities, government agencies and private organizations to protect and preserve the forests and control forest fires.
Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Charoenrit Sa-nguansat presided over the opening ceremony of the event that was organized by the Forest Management Bureau No.1 (Chiang Mai Province) of the Royal Forest Department, the 16th Conservation Area Administration Office of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department and the Natural Resources and Environment Office Chiang Mai. The event was attended by over 1,500 people including officers of Royal Forest Department, National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, police, soldiers, relevant government agencies and members of theJeep Club Chiang Mai.
The Deputy Governor said that the day is also held to relate the current state of the environment and forest fires during January and February every year. He noted that during January and February 2014 the overall air quality was moderate but was likely to deteriorate. The AQI, PM10 levels and hot spots had been increasing during the beginning of the year and it was having a direct impact on people’s health, their quality of life, the economy and tourism in Chiang Mai. The government has instituted 80 days of strong surveillance for forest fires and prepared officials, vehicles and equipment to have the maximum effect in operations to control forest fires. The Deputy Governor concluded that the problems needed to be resolved in a serious and timely manner.


Tourist drivers causing mayhem on city streets

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chanchai Keelapang, Chief of the Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transportation Office recently reported that the Office had met with officials from the Chinese Consulate General in Chiang Mai to discuss measures to ensure that rentals made to Chinese tourists were within the law.
He noted that many tourists, especially Chinese tourists; rented cars but do not have driver’s licenses and did not know how to drive. They caused a lot of problems by driving down the wrong side of the road, park in no parking zones, stop suddenly without indicating and generally not following traffic rules. Local people had complained and posted photos to social media of dangerous and illegal driving actions.
The Office met with officials of the Chinese Consulate to seek measures to get tourists to follow traffic rules in the last two months. The Consulate officials suggested that police were too lenient with tourists who had broken traffic laws. The Consulate will inform Chinese tourists of the traffic laws and that a driver’s license is required.
The office has also been working with the Tourist Police, Immigration Division and Provincial Police to establish a service center for driver’s license for foreigners. The Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transport Office will cooperate with other units to seek measures to resolve the problems.


Public Health Ministry warns of formaldehyde in food nationwide

File photo of a vegetable stall in a Chiang Mai fresh market. (Photo courtesy of [email protected])

People should take notice of the color and smell of produce and meat to prevent consuming products contaminated with formaldehyde, the Department of Health asserted after it found concentrated formaldehyde contamination in beef.
Health Department Director-General Phonthep Siriwanarangsan revealed that the finding was the result of the Public Health office in Phitsanulok’s random inspection of outlets that sell beef products. The use of formaldehyde in food, which keeps the product looking fresh, has been increasingly observed although it was illegal; the penalty was a maximum of 2 years jail term or no more than 20,000 baht in fines, according to the Director-General.
People should observe whether the color or smell of meat is abnormal. The meat should also be treated with at least 70 degrees Celsius of heat before consumption, in order to allow the chemical to evaporate. As for fruit and vegetables, consumers should wash them either with salt water, vinegar or baking soda.
Those exposed to a high dose of formaldehyde will experience severe headaches, increased heart rate, chest pain, dry mouth and throat, nausea, and Diarrhea. If taken in by breathing, formaldehyde can destroy the respiratory tract, cause inflammation of the lungs and pulmonary edema; such consequences may prove fatal. Intake of even smaller quantities of formaldehyde contributes to cancer.(NNT)


Prime Minister presides over meeting on drought, smog and forest fires

Acting Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is greeted by supporters before she met with the Governors of the 17 Northern provinces to discuss the smog and drought problems.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Acting Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra met with Acting Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, Acting Transport Minister Chatchart Sittipunt, Acting Interior Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan and Acting Deputy Interior Minister Wisan Techathirawat at the International Convention Center on February 27, 2014 to discuss the drought, smog and forest fire problem with the Governors in the 17 Northern provinces.
Acting Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi clarified the current water situation noting that 60% of the water reserves had already been used, leaving 40% that must be used for the maximum benefit. The Thai Meteorological Department predicted that this year summer began in mid-February and will end in May and predicted that total rainfall will be similar to last year. This means that the total rainfall is not enough to meet the demands for consumer and agricultural consumption in the North, North East and Central regions.
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has determined the areas at risk for forest fires in 65 provinces and established an ad hoc center to prevent and resolve drought, smog and forest fires in all risk areas at the provincial level, district level and local level under the commanded of governor. They have mobilized resources including manpower and materials and made an action plan. They have asked for cooperation from the public in regards to community and agricultural burning. They have held a campaign to publicize the dangers of burning and to increase awareness.
Acting Prime Minister Yingluck stressed focusing on water management so that the consumer and agricultural consumers will have equal access to water in times of drought and that in the case of disaster the Provincial Governors will receive immediate assistance. She also commanded the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation cooperate with Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives arranged zoning area especially rice growing area to comply with water management. She also noted that the primary method to solve the smog problems was to prevent forest fires and burning.
After the meeting, the Acting Prime Minister and Ministers went to the foot of Doi Suthep to erect a fire barrier with 3,000 people.


Filling the air with love

City sprays water to launch clean air project

The Chiang Mai Municipality joined forces with Wing 41, Military Circle 33, the Traffic Police and others to launch a project to clean city streets and check emissions of vehicles.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai Municipality launched the “Filling the air with love” project on February 19, 2014 with the Mayor spraying water from a water truck to release water into the air and symbolically launch the project to clean Chiang Mai. A caravan of water trucks was released to clean city streets and water trees to dampen the dust and smog.
The Municipality also had emissions testers at Tha Pae Gate to stop trucks and cars that seemed to be emitting a lot of smoke and check the pollution emissions. Car owners also received advice on how to fix their cars and get rid of the smoky emissions. The event was held in coordination with over 20 organizations including Military Circle 33, Wing 41, Chiang-Mai Traffic Police Center, Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transport Office and others.


Government hears results of Flower Festival 2014

Survey results on suggestions for parade

The 48th annual Flower Festival was held from February 7 – 9, 2014, the government heard results of a survey of 2,000 people on the event.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Chiang Mai Rajabaht University surveyed 2,000 people from three different sectors; tourists, businesspeople and participants in the Flower Festival to learn of problems, obstacles and suggestions for improvement for the Chiang Mai Flower Festival held February 7 – 9, 2014.
Chokdee Amornwat, Chiang Mai Permanent Secretary met with officials to discuss the results of the survey. The survey found that the number of tourists and visitors had doubled over last year but that in the future there should be better marketing of the event nationwide, more signs promoting the Festival, and have officers who are proficient in English for tourists.
Fifty-two percent of the respondents felt that holding the Parade from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. was best and 48% felt that it should be returned to the morning time. Respondents also felt the number of days of the event should be extended. Chiang Mai Mail’s own unofficial survey found most people disagreed with the late start and preferred the parade in the early morning.
Respondents felt that the parade should be better lit so that flowers could be seen better and that crowd control was lacking and more staff were needed to keep people from blocking the parade route. Respondents felt that the opening ceremony should be grander and that there should be a greater variety of performances and shows as well as invite celebrities to attend the event.
Respondents to the survey said that Suan Buak Haad Public Park should have more floral decorations and needed more light, more parking and more public restrooms.


Songthaew driver found dead in his truck

Police do not suspect foul play in the death of a songthaew driver whose body was found in his truck in Prasertland.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The body of a 62 year old songthaew or red truck driver was found in his truck in the morning of February 28, 2014 in the parking lot of Prasertland on Canal Road. The Phuping police station received a report from another red truck driver who had gone to check on his friend after seeing the red truck parked in the parking lot since the morning of February 27.
Police and rescue personnel went to the scene but found Kongkham Khamwong from Mae Rim dead inside the vehicle in the driver’s seat. Police checked the area and found witnesses who said the man had driven himself there and parked the truck early in the morning of February 27. A preliminary investigation yielded no sign of foul play or injury and the medical forensic team believes he may have died from some illness or heart problems.


10 kilos of Ya Ice valued at 30 million baht seized in sting operation

10 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine with a street value of 30 million baht was seized in a sting operation in Chiang Mai on February 25, 2014.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Department of Special Investigation and the Police Region 5 cooperated to uncover a drug trafficking ring out of Myanmar in a sting operation that yielded 10 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, or Ya Ice, valued at 30 million baht.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Suthep Dejraksa Commissioner of Police Region 5, Pol. Maj. Gen. Chamnan Ruwdrew Deputy Commissioner of Police Region 5 and Pol. Lt. Col. Somporn Chuenkomol, director of Special Case Operation Center Region 5 of Department of Special Investigation (DSI) announced the arrest of Hom Aunsaeng age 29 from Mae Sai and a Burmese man named Kue age 39 of Tachilek in Myanmar in a sting operation. Thai undercover operatives offered the men 9 million baht in cash to purchase the drugs.
The arrest was the result of DSI working in coordination with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Police Region 5 to investigate a transnational drug trafficking gang linked to groups of people in Northern border areas. Although police arrested two members of the gang, others escaped. Officers bought the drugs packed in Chinese green tea boxes. Police believe the ring is controlled by a dealer in Mae Sai in Chiang Rai.


28 injured in pickup truck accident

Fang villagers headed to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

28 people were injured when the truck they were riding in rolled onto its side going around a steep curve.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Twenty eight members of the Dara-ang tribe in Fang District were injured, mostly elderly people and small children, when the pickup truck they were riding in overturned on a sharp curve on the road to Doi Suthep.
Phuping Police station received a report of the accident on the road to Doi Suthep near the Wang Bua Ban Waterfall in Suthep district at 8:30 a.m. on February 22, 2014. Police and rescue personnel rushed to the scene where they heard the cries of injured people near the truck that lay on its side in the road.
The police found that they were headed to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep to worship but the driver, unfamiliar with the road, rolled the truck on the sharp curve. The injured were rushed to Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital for treatment.


Eight hundred teak logs confiscated in Lampang

Lampang authorities have seized 800 logs of protected teak, whereas two million baht worth of Siamese rosewood has been confiscated in Bueng Kan Province.
More than 800 logs of protected teak have been found in a wood processing plant located in Lampang Province. According to provincial authorities, the arrest came following complaints made by locals who claimed that there could be wood smuggling going on in the area. Authorities also found wood processing equipment and other evidence, which will be used to trace the perpetrators.
Meanwhile, another arrest was made in Bueng Kan Province, where a total of 112 logs of Siamese rosewood and a truck were confiscated. Police said the timber was being delivered to Bung Khla District, adding that the wood was worth up to 2 million baht. (NNT)


Drugs arrests in the North yield nearly half a million Yaba pills

6 arrests in 9 days

A Fang man was arrested smuggling 200,000 methamphetamine tablets in Phrao.

Nopniwat Krailerg
On February 19 Chiang Mai traffic police operating a checkpoint in front of the Aun Ai Rak Restaurant on Wang Singh Kham road in the city stopped a Honda Wave driven by Wisit Wongpanya, age 30 in a route traffic check. The driver was acting suspiciously so police asked for permission to search his vehicle and his belongings. Police found 200 methamphetamine tablets hidden in his bike and in his bags. He was arrested for possession and taken to the Chang Puak Police Station.
Initially, the suspect confessed that he is an electrician and he sells drugs he bought in Fang district for 80 baht per pill to be sold to teenagers and workers in town for 200 baht per pill. He was arrested while traveling to deliver drugs to a buyer.
On February 22 a Fang man was stopped at the Phrao – Ping Khong checkpoint after police received a tip off that drugs were expected to be carried through the checkpoint. The police stopped Ti Ai – Li, a Tai Yai man from Fang and uncovered 200,000 methamphetamine tablets packed in plastic bags and hidden in a big plastic bucket along with agricultural equipment. The suspect told police that he had been hired to carry agricultural equipment and denied all knowledge of the drugs hidden in the truck.
The Border Patrol Police performed a sting operation on February 24, 2014 in Chai Prakan where they made an appointment to purchase drugs from a dealer in the area. Tuekha or Lai Singkhornbanjong, age 46 of Chai Prakan, delivered the drugs and police found 12,000 methamphetamine pills. The suspect confessed that he had been dealing drugs for a long time and receiving drugs from the border in Chiang Mai.
A San Kamphaeng woman was arrested after police received a report that there were drugs in the room where she was holding a party on Wiang Bua Road in Chang Puak Sub-district. Police raided the room and found Rosarin Phanuwatdecha, age 38, with 32 ecstasy pills and 400 grams of crystal methamphetamine. She confessed to police that she sold the ecstasy to customers in bars and clubs but used the crystal meth for herself.
Three men from Chai Prakan were arrested by the police on Fbruary 27 after they received a tip off that the gang would smuggle drugs through Baan Pang Ma Ku in Chiang Dao sub district by motorcycle. Police patrolled the route and stopped three men; an underage youth driving the motorcycle and Nathor Jachu age 28 riding pillion. Pa-ngee Pusu age 35, who was also arrested, rode another motorbike nearby. The youth managed to escape but police found found 98,000 methamphetamine pills on the two remaining suspects who confessed that they had been paid 5,000 baht per person to smuggle the drugs to Pang Dang village in Chiang Dao.
Lampang police seized 164,000 methamphetamine pills at a checkpoint in Sobprab District on February 28, 2014. Police stopped the driver of a bronze Isuzu pickup truck and searched his truck because he was acting suspiciously. They uncovered 164,000 methamphetamine tablets hidden in the side panels of the doors, the gearbox and the pickup bed. The suspect, Nikomsak Khuensuwan age 39 of Chiang Rai, confessed to police that he had been paid 100,000 baht to carry the drugs from Laos to Lopburi.


Kanchanaphisek Public Park re-opened after renovation

Adding green space for the public

Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn presided over the opening ceremony for newly renovated Kanchanaphisek Public Park next to Suan Prung Hospital.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Kanchanaphisek Public Park, which was inspected by Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn two years ago for rehabilitation had been abandoned and overgrowing with weeds, until slated for renovation by the Municipality to add to Chiang Mai’s desperately needed green spaces.
Located next to Suan Prung Hospital the 16,000 sqm park was renovated in cooperation with community groups Chiang Mai Green Beauty Scented, the Chiang Mai’s Self-Managing Association and area community groups.
The opening ceremony on February 21, 2014 was presided over by Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn who noted that more benches, lights and trashcans had been added to the park, the paths improved, bathrooms renovated and more trees and plants planted to improve the green space for public use. The park has a part of the old city walls inside it for historical interest as well and is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and there is no alcohol or smoking allowed in the park.
The Mayor noted that the Municipality is working to add more green spaces to the city which is quite low on green areas for public use.


Leaves & Sticks Bank in Mae Hia receives visit from Acting Prime Minister

OTOP also on agenda

Acting Prime Minister inspects the products for sale at the giant OTOP Exhibition and Distribution Center in San Kamphaeng before meeting with OTOP entrepreneurs.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Acting Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra paid a visit to the Leaves & Sticks Bank in Mae Hia during her recent visit to Chiang Mai. She was on hand to preside over the opening of the Bank on February 28, 2014 with the Mayor of Mae Hia Municipality Tanawat Yodjai and sub-district heads, village heads and others. The Leaves & Sticks Bank was established to help Mae Hia residents manage their organic waste, allowing people to deposit waste such as grass and plant clippings, sticks, leaves and other organic waste. The waste is composted and distributed to farmers and gardeners. The Bank was established to promote composting and allow farmers to get rid of their organic waste without having to burn it.
The Acting Prime Minister then visited the recently opened OTOP Exhibition and Distribution Center in San Kamphaeng to inspect the center and meet with a group of OTOP entrepreneurs in Chiang Mai as well as officials from related agencies. The group gave a report on past operating results, problems and obstacles they face and sought solutions to develop the center further.


Royal Cremation rites for donated cadavers at CMU

Faculty of Medicine scatters ashes in the Ping River

Students from all medical faculties joined in the Royal Cremation Rites for those who had donated their bodies to the school for study, the rites are held every year to show the school’s respect and appreciation for the people who have donated their bodies after death.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Every year the Department of Anatomy at the Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University holds a Royal Cremation Ceremony for those bodies that had been donated to the school for scientific purposes. This year the bodies of 485 people were cremated from February 28 to March 2, 2014 at Wat Latthi Wan in Mae Rim.
Medical students need to learn to perform dissection and study anatomy from real bodies and organs. Charitable people from Chiang Mai donate their bodies to be used in science after their deaths and the school holds the ceremony to show their respect to these patrons of science.
The ritual ceremony was held at the Department of Anatomy at CMU on February 28 and the bodies transported to Mae Rim for cremation after the ceremony. Once all the bodies were cremated their ashes were scatted on the Ping River. Students from all medical faculties joined in the ceremony including the Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Dentistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medical Technology, Faculty of Nursing and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
All teachers and students joined to show their respect and appreciation for the donations of the cadavers for study as it is vital to medical students to have real subjects to study and learn from.


Public Health for Democracy Group donates funds to police

Members of the Public Health for Democracy Chiang Mai group donated 32,200 baht to Pol. Maj. Gen. Pacha Ratanaphan, Deputy Commissioner of Police Region 5 for the families of fallen policemen.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Members of the Public Health for Democracy Chiang Mai group visited Region 5 Police headquarters on February 23, 2014 to donate funds raised for the families of police officers who had died while on duty at the PDRC rally in Bangkok and to support police on guard at the rallies.
The group made up of doctors, nurses and public health staff visited Pol. Maj. Gen Paca Ratanaphan, Deputy Commissioner of Region 5 Police Bureau to donate 26,000 baht for the families of police officers who had died on duty at the rallies and a further 6,200 baht for necessities while on duty such as food or drink.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Pacha Ratanaphan, Deputy Commissioner of Police Region 5 thanked them for the donation and for recognizing the importance of police officers who perform their duties with firmness, patience and recognizing the importance of democratic principles. Region 5 Police had sent 8 units, or about 1,000 officers from the 8 Northern provinces to Bangkok to help maintain order during the demonstrations there.


Royal Rainmaking Center tackles haze and drought conditions

Rainmaking planes to fight forest fires

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chief of the Northern Royal Rainmaking Center Anuparp Pawawattananusorn said that center has been monitoring weather and air pollution in the North; by the middle of February Lampang and Phrae already had air pollution that exceeded the standards. The center began launching planes to make rain on March 1, 2013 and will cover Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang, Phayao, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son and Tak for 264 day by 1 CN Aircraft, 1 CARAVAN Aircraft, 1 SKA aircraft and 1 helicopter for surveillance.
Rainmaking is usually more effective at the end of March as there is more moisture in the air to seed clouds. The center has already received requests for rainmaking in many areas, including Pua District in Nan, Sam Ngao district and Wang Chao district in Tak, Wiang Pa Pao in Chiang Rai, Ban Hong in Lamphun, Song District in Phrae and Mae Chaem district in Chiang Mai. This year the center will also use the planes to extinguish forest fires.
Prayad Ananpradit, acting chief of The Natural Resources and Environment, Chiang Mai office said they received 103 reports of forest fires in the first three weeks of February, all of which were extinguished completely, 887 rai of forest land was damaged. They found 130 hot spots, with Doi Tao having the most at 32 hot spots, Hot and Om Koi each had 23 hot spots Mae Chaem had 21 hot spots, Chong Thong 10 and 4 each in Mae Wang and San Kamphaeng. Samoeng, Mae Taeng and Doi Lo had two hotspots each and San Sai, Fang and Wiang Haeng had 1 each.
Air Quality started to drop in Chiang Mai in the middle of February with the AQI reaching 75 in the first week of March although Lampang, Phrae and Phayao both registered AQI over 125


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Jumbos to be feted at National Thai Elephant Day celebrations

Lucky license plates raise 26 million baht

Rak Chiang Mai 51 leader denies calling for a separate Lanna state

Sister of HRH Princess Soamsawali injured in car accident

Chinese tourists causing a stir at CMU

Forest Fire Smoke Free Day held in Chiang Mai

Tourist drivers causing mayhem on city streets

Public Health Ministry warns of formaldehyde in food nationwide

Prime Minister presides over meeting on drought, smog and forest fires

Filling the air with love

Government hears results of Flower Festival 2014

Songthaew driver found dead in his truck

10 kilos of Ya Ice valued at 30 million baht seized in sting operation

28 injured in pickup truck accident

Eight hundred teak logs confiscated in Lampang

Drugs arrests in the North yield nearly half a million Yaba pills

Kanchanaphisek Public Park re-opened after renovation

Leaves & Sticks Bank in Mae Hia receives visit from Acting Prime Minister

Royal Cremation rites for donated cadavers at CMU

Public Health for Democracy Group donates funds to police

Royal Rainmaking Center tackles haze and drought conditions

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