Earthquake in Chiang Rai claims one life
Dams reported to be safe
Chiang Rai suffered heavy damage from the May 5
earthquake but aftershocks have begun to lessen as residents clean up from
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
An earthquake centered in Phan District in Chiang Rai caused major damage in
Chiang Rai province and claimed one life when the walls of a house collapsed
on its resident. The National Disaster Warning Center and Seismological
Bureau of the Thai Meteorological Department reported that an earthquake
with a magnitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale struck Chiang Rai at 6.08 p.m.
on Monday, May 5, 2014. The epicenter of the earthquake was in Mae O
sub-district, Phan district, Chiang Rai (19.71 N, 99.79 E) causing damage to
buildings, roads, power, and communication systems in a 24-kilometre radius
in Phan, Muang, Mae Lao, Mae Suai, and Wiang Pa Pao districts. The US
Geological Survey listed the magnitude at 6.0.
The quake, which was 27 km southwest of Chiang Rai’s Muang District, was a
shallow quake at a depth of 7.4 km, shallow earthquakes generally cause more
damage than deeper ones. The last quake which was near in size in the region
was a 5.1 in Chiang Mai in 2006.
The tremors were felt around the region and even in Bangkok high buildings
swayed during the earthquake. Numerous aftershocks have hit the North since
then with the largest being a 4.7 on the Richter scale striking Mae Suai
district in the early morning of May 9, 2014.
Buildings in Chiang Mai suffered damage as well with Chiang Dao, Chai
Prakan, Doi Saket, Fang, Prao, Mae Taeng, Mae Rim, Mae On, Mae Ai, Wiang
Haeng, San Kamphaeng, Sansai, and Song Kwae districts reporting damage.
Chiang Rai reported heavy damage in 7 districts while Phayao, Phrae and
Lampang also reported some damage.
The Mao Lao – Mae Suai road suffered subsidence and there were many damaged
temples and houses. Chiang Rai saw the loss of 46 homes completely and
another 6, 142 partially damaged.
Lertviroj Kowattana, the Director-General of Royal Irrigation Department
said that he had examined every dam already. The dams were not damaged from
the earthquake because they were built strongly and can withstand an
earthquake at 7 on the Richter scale.
Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn inspected joined city officials in
inspecting high building in the municipal area and confirmed the structure
of all buildings were secure. He had received a report that a department
store in Chiang Mai was cracked and building engineers found that while
there cracks on the joints between two buildings they were not structural
cracks. The Mayor noted that the Chiang Mai municipal area had not been
affected by the earthquake much and asked for people and visitors to not
Chiang Rai Governor Pongsak Wangsamer commanded the Chiang Rai Provincial
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office together with 10 officers of the
Emergency Response Team take light, machining and manpower to assist people
in Phan and Mae Lao district, and also commanded the Department of Public
Works and Town & Country Planning, Chiang Rai Office to inspect the
structure of damaged buildings. He also ordered to Provincial Electricity to
cope with blackout problem in Phan, Pa Deat, Mae Lao and Mae Suai districts.
He also ordered the Chiang Rai Irrigation Project to inspect a dam and
reservoir that might have been affected by the earthquake.
On May 12 in the evening a new earthquake of 5.0 on the Richter scale struck
Chiang Rai province near Mae Lao. Seismologists say this was not an
aftershock from the 6.3 that struck earlier. No significant damage was
reported from this earthquake whose epicenter was about 8 km underground in
Dong Mada subdistrict in Mae Lao, Chiang Rai. The National Disaster Warning
Center is monitoring several fault lines that run under Chiang Rai, Lampang
and Chiang Mai for risk of increased earthquakes..
Royal relief packages for earthquake victims from the Rajaprajanugroh Foundation
The Rajaprajanugroh Foundation under Royal
Patronage distributed royal relief packages to 2,500 families in Phan and
Mae Suai District in Chiang Rai who were affected by the earthquake on May
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Rajaprajanugroh Foundation under Royal Patronage distributed royal
relief packages to 2,500 families in the affected areas of Phan and Mae Suai
District in Chiang Rai after the province was hit by a 6.3 earthquake (the
USGS recorded it as a 6.0) on May 5, 2014..
Prasong Pitulkitja, Secretary General of the Rajaprajanugroh Foundation
under the Royal Patronage, Pongsak Wangsamer, Chiang Rai Governor, Wichada
Wangsamer, President of Provincial Red Cross Chapter of Chiang Rai and
relief teams sent a mobile relief unit to help earthquake victims on May 8,
Chiang Rai Governor Pongsak Wangsamer reported that the disaster damaged 7
districts in Chiang Rai affecting 45 sub-districts, 519 villages and 18,488
houses. One person died when their house collapsed and 23 people were
injured. 36 houses suffered heavy damage and 6,142 houses suffered minor
damage. Twenty nine temples, 46 shcools, 31 government agencies, 1 hotel, 4
bridges, 5 bridge-necks and 5 roads were also damaged in Chiang Rai. The
Governor has requested 185 million baht to repair the damage.
The Rajaprajanugroh Foundation will continue to provide Royal relief
packages for earthquake victims.
Chiang Mai celebrates
the coronation of
HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej
Chiang Mai Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo led
members of the Lanna Royal Family, foreign consular officers, members of the
House of Parliament and the Senate, judges, prosecutors, police and military
officers, government officials and many others from all walks of life to
honor the reign of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej and offer their blessings to
HM the King on Coronation Day, May 5. The ceremony began with a merit making
ceremony and then representatives laid flowers in front of the royal
photograph. Finally, everyone glorified HM the King by singing the Thai
Royal Anthem. Coronation Day marks May 5, 1950 when HM the King acceded to
Labor groups submit petition for equal rights for migrant workers
Labor Day brings labor protests
Labor organizers submitted a petition to
Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo to be forwarded on to the Acting Prime Minister
to offer migrant workers equal rights.
Labor Day on Monday May 1, 2014 saw over 100 members of various labor groups
including the Worker Solidarity Association (WSA), Modern Woodmen Foresters
(MWF) and many Labor Networks gather in front of City Hall to submit a
petition to Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo to submit to the acting caretaker
Prime Minister to provide the same labor rights to migrant workers as to
The group, led by Kanchana Dee-oot, the manager of Foundation for the Health
and Knowledge of Ethnics Labour, called on the government to sign the
Convention of the International Labor Organization (ILO) No. 87 and 98 to
promote labor’s democratic freedom of association and negotiation as the
same as other countries. They also requested some measures or policies, or
laws involving equal rights for migrant workers in Thailand as a key part of
the country’s development.
They also requested government to take serious measures to suppress human
trafficking or broker movement using worker registration to exploit migrant
labor by giving them no job, but selling them to a company that wants
migrant workers. The government was requested to strictly examine labor
The asked that the Social Security Office be in charge of forcing employers
to bring their migrant workers into the social security system, without
exception. There were other important demands such as asking the government
to call off the home return funds for migrant workers and to establish a
committee to monitor the 300 baht wage policy to be practical, effective and
to no detriment of the workers. The committee should consist of
representatives from the government and relevant sectors, academicians, mass
media, the Labor Union, and workers, participating in the procession both
nationally and regionally.
Immigration cracks down on border runners
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Royal Thai Immigration Police have announced that those holding
a 30 day visa extension will no longer be allowed to use border crossings
such as Mae Sai to obtain further time in Thailand. This restriction does
not apply to those holding multiple entry visas and re-entry permits and
applies at border crossings that do not allow people to enter Myanmar such
as Mae Sai.
Tourists will be allowed one land entry only from May 10 and must obtain a
visa at a Consulate or Embassy if they plan on staying longer. Immigration
is cracking down on those who use the border crossings to obtain back to
back entries with no visa so that they can stay an extended time in
Mae Chaem villagers to get permanent check dams
Wilderness Society Organization builds check dams and plants trees
The Wilderness Society Organization announced
the plan to construct 100 check dams and plant 1,000 trees in Mae Chaem.
The residents of villages in Mae Chaem will benefit from the Wilderness
Society Organization of Thailand which will build 100 permanent check dams
(small dams built across small waterways such as a minor channel or drainage
ditch) and plant 1,000 trees. Mae Hoi village in Mae Na Jon Sub-district
will be the site of the opening ceremony that will be presided over by HSH
Prince Bhisadej Rajani on May 19, 2014 in honor their Majesties the King and
Queen on their birthdays. Government officials and residents from 8
provinces will join the ceremony.
Mae Hoi village currently has 80 Karen households, 423 residents. The
village needs to build check dam because such areas have influx of water
from the mountains and the villagers cannot retain water and slow water
during the rainy season. Moreover, this follows royal thought on building
dams. The Wilderness Society Organization of Thailand is cooperating with
many organizations to conserve, preserve and restore natural resources and
the environment. They also campaign and provide information about
environmental crises to people.
The basin of the Mae Chaem river has seen more than 21,512 rai per year
deforested in the past 6 years past (2001-2007) from farming corn, shallots
and cabbage as well as from mineral exploration and mining licenses granted
to mining companies. Over 47 license have been granted which will affect 81
villages if a mining concession starts work. Encroachment of the forest by
agriculture and mining is still not resolved seeing the Mae Chaem river
volume decrease every year, it provides 40 percent of the water that flows
into the Mae Ping River and 16 percent of the Chao Phraya River.
City Pillar Festival will be held from May 25 – June 1
Inthakin ceremony brings peace and prosperity to city residents
Monks place flowers as a blessing ceremony for
the Inthakin or City Pillar Festival.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
This annual ceremony is held to honor the Inthakin, or City Pillar
on the 13th day of the waning moon in the eighth Northern lunar moon and
continue until the second day of the waxing moon of the ninth month. This
year it falls on May 25 and concludes on June 1, 2014.
It is believed the current Inthakin was erected by King Mengrai at the
founding of the city on April 12, 1296 at Wat Sadue Mueang (also known as
Wat Inthakin) on Inthawarorot road. It was brought to its present location
inside a shrine on the temple grounds of Wat Chedi Luang by King Kawila in
The highlight of the ceremony is to sprinkle holy water and place the ‘khan
dok’ on the city pillar. The first day of the festival begins with the Fon
Saen Ha Buddha image with offerings parading from Wat Chedi Luang through
Phra Pokklao Road to Three Kings Monument then right on to Ratvithi Raod to
Chang Moi, then on to Tha Pae Gate, and Ratchadamnoen Road so that the
faithful may offer their blessings before the image then returns to Wat
Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo will preside over the ceremony with
administrators and faithful citizens of Chiang Mai participating to sprinkle
water onto the Buddha image, offer food to 108 monks, gild Buddha images,
and offer prayers at Wat Chedi Luang.
Chiang Mai people believe that the Inthakin brings security and well-being
to Chiang Mai citizens. This ceremony has been held annually since ancient
times with a belief that the ceremony will bring good luck and spiritual
encouragement to live peacefully and seasonal rainfall for farmers.
City provides free medical checkups for residents
City residents paid a visit to Wat Koo Tao to
receive free medical tests and eye checks from Chiang Mai Municipal medical
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Chiang Mai Municipality set up free medical checks for residents at Wat
Koo Tao on April 30, 2014 as part of a series of free services for Chiang
Mai residents in the municipal area. Residents came from many different
communities to avail themselves of the free medical checks.
In addition to eye exams, complete blood count, gout exams, fasting blood
sugar tests, liver function and kidney function tests, lipid blood tests,
chest x-rays and bone density tests were administered by medical personnel.
Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn visited the site to meet with residents from the
communities of Pattana Baan Koo Tao, Chiang Man, Cheatawan, Lam Chang, Pa
Pao, Chiang Yuen, Chang Moi, Oon Aree, Baan Ping, Sri Mongkol, Ling Kok and
Free Royal Rice distributed
on Agriculturalist Day
Deputy Governor Chana Pangpibul presided over the opening ceremony of
Agriculturalist Days in honor of the Royal Ploughing Ceremony at Royal Park
Rajapruek and distributed 5,000 packs of Royal Rice seed to the general
public. There were 11 types of seed available to the public and the rice
seed came from The Royal Ploughing Ceremony from May 9-13, 2014 at the New
Theory Agriculture Garden at Royal Park Rajapruek.
Amnesty International calls on members to demand investigation into missing Karen activist
Amnesty International is organizing a petition
campaign to push the Thai government into investigating the disappearance of
Karen activist Pholachi “Billy” Rakchongcharoen.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Amnesty International, the international organization focused on human
rights worldwide has urged its members to write to the Thai government
demanding an investigation into the missing Karen activist known as Billy.
The Urgent Action request invited members and interested people to sign a
petition that will be delivered to the Minister of Natural Resources and
Environment and Deputy Director General of Department of National Park,
Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department on June 12, 2014 to speed
investigation into Pholchai Rakchongcharoen, the Karen human rights activist
who was scheduled to testify against abuses by National Parks officials in
It is feared that Pholachi Rakchongcharoen, also known as “Billy,” has been
subjected to enforced disappearance in response to his activism. He has been
missing since April 17, 2014, just weeks before a scheduled court appearance
to testify against park officials who allegedly forced villagers to evacuate
and then burned the village down.
Billy, 30, was last seen in the custody of park officials on 17 April in
Kaengkrachan National Park in Thailand’s central Phetchaburi province.
According to park officials he was arrested for the possession of wild bee
honeycomb and then released after questioning. But there are no official
records of his detention and he has not been seen since. Billy is married
and has five young children.
There are grave concerns that Billy may have been disappeared by officials
angered at his involvement in a lawsuit against Kaengkrachan National Park
officials and the Department of Natural Park, Wildlife, and Plant
Conservation. At the time of his disappearance, he was travelling from his
village to meet with ethnic Karen villagers and activists as part of
preparations for the lawsuit, and was carrying documents related to the
case. The villagers claim that in July 2011 the authorities were responsible
for the burning and destruction of the houses of over 20 Karen families
living in the National Park, and Billy was planning to submit a petition
about the case to Thailand’s king.
Human rights defenders in Thailand often face harassment, intimidation and
attacks by officials and others opposing their work. In 2011, Karen activist
Taskamon Oborm, who worked with Billy, was shot and killed by unidentified
gunmen shortly after he helped villagers report on alleged abuses by
Kaengkrachan National Park officials. No one has been brought to justice for
The action demands that Thai Government urge authorities to take immediate
steps to establish the fate and whereabouts of Pholachi Rakchongcharoen,
also known as “Billy”, who was last seen in the custody of local authorities
in Kaengkrachan National Park in Phetchaburi province. And if Billy is in
custody, demanding that he is released immediately, unless he is brought
before an independent court, charged with an internationally recognizable
offence, and if remanded have immediate access to his family, a lawyer and
any medical treatment he may require.
The petition can be signed online at Amnesty International:
Rak Chiang Mai 51 members call for appointment
of new caretaker PM
Members of the Rak Chiang Mai 51 group, led by Worawut Rujanapinum,
submitted a petition to Chiang Mai Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo on May 8,
2014, calling for the speedy appointment of a caretaker Prime Minister after
Yingluck Shinawatra was dismissed from office by the Constitutional Court
after she was found guilty of violating the Constitution.
Worawut explained that according to the decision of the Constitutional Court
justices, the ex-PM and nine ministers were found guilty of violating the
Constitution and abusing powers under Article 226 of the Constitution after
her order to transfer the Advisor to Prime Minister Tawin Pleansri. The
court ruled that nine cabinet ministers who attended a meeting over the
decision to transfer Tawin were also to be removed from office.
Rak Chiang Mai 51 members gave their request to the Governor to be filed
with the Constitutional Court to allow the remaining caretaker Cabinet to
have the power to appoint new caretaker Prime Minister. They also urged the
powers and duties of requesting the Election decree is the duty of any
person who has been appointed by caretaker Cabinet to take the position of
acting prime minister with power to present a decree, and the group will be
against every process which is performed by any person, group or
organization, without transparency, or against the laws.
The Cabinet appointed Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan as acting caretaker Prime
Minister shortly after Yingluck Shinawatra’s removal. The National Counter
Corruption Commission voted to impeach Yingluck Shinawatra one day after the
Constitutional Court removed her from office for her failure to suspend the
rice pledging scheme despite being aware that it was losing money and rice
through heavy corruption. The Commission voted unanimously that there was
enough evidence to indict her.
150 million baht in assets seized from Phrao drug trafficker
Pol. Gen. Pongsapat
Pongcharoen, secretary-general of the Office of Narcotics Control Board
(ONCB) points out all the properties seized from Arnan and Archan Jaiwan of
A Phrao drug trafficker who was arrested in April with 292,000
methamphetamine pills hidden inside the spare tire of a Mitsubishi Pajero
saw his and his wife’s assets value a 150 million baht seized by the Office
of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) under the law that allows authorities to
seize the profits of illegal activities.
Arnwan Jaiwan, age 42 saw his business, Phrao Auto Shop seized as well as
the Phrao radio station at 102.0 MHz set on 3 rai of land. Police
investigation found that he had put all his assets in his wife’s name,
Archan age 40.
Pol. Gen. Pongsapat Pongcharoen, secretary-general of the Office of
Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) along with Chana Pangpibul, Chiang Mai Deputy
Governor, Pol. Maj. Gen. Chamnan Ruwdrew, Deputy Commissioner of Police
Region 5, Wichai Chaimongkol, Director of the Narcotics Control Board
Office, Region 5 joined officers in the raid where they seized land and 5
buildings in Phrao and San Sai. A longan orchard, sand pits, a fish pond, 24
plots of teak plantation on a total of 60 rai, eight luxury cars, trucks and
tractors 2 big motorcycles, and 3 guns. The total value of all property
seized is set at around 150 million baht. His wife will be prosecuted for
collusion and money laundering.
The Secretary-general of the ONCB reported that Arnan belonged to a gang of
Lahu drug traffickers working with the infamous Lt. Col. Yi Sae and that he
was close to the Southern Wa soldiers who supported his drug smuggling
enterprise allowing him to operate for a long time.
Police have received a tip off that the gang intends to smuggle in 100
million pills but the police and army have prepared to intercept the
94 year old Australian man charged with sexual assault dies in custody
File photo of the accused Karl Joseph Kraus
after his return from Myanmar.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Karl Joseph Kraus, the 94 year old German born Australian citizen who
was charged with sexual assault of minors in June 2010 has died while
under arrest in the hospital. Mr. Kraus was charged with the sexual
assault of four Thai girls between the ages of 5 and 15. The girls were
neighbors of Mr. Kraus and were taking English lessons with him. The
parents reported him to the police when they noticed the girls started
acting withdrawn and problematic. When asked the girls said the man had
been sexually assaulting them for two years. At the time of his arrest,
police reported that they had found more than 100 photos of naked
children on the hard drive of his computer.
He pled not guilty and posted bail of 400,000 baht and had his passport
confiscated awaiting trial. He managed to obtain new travel documents
and fled over the border at an unmarked crossing into Myanmar in
mid-2012 where he rented accommodation for a month in in the eastern
Karen state capital of Pa-an. He was discovered by Myanmar authorities
and returned to Thailand to stand trial.
Upon his return court appearances were regularly postponed citing health
reasons. He was held in a hospital and not a prison cell due to his
frail health and died in the hospital on May 1, 2014.
Nearly 2 million methamphetamine pills seized in Northern drug arrests
Ten days of drug arrests yield 2 million Yaba pills
and 15 kg of Ya Ice
An arrest in Lampang on May 10 saw police
uncover a half million methamphetamine tablets valued at 150 million
Arrests around Chiang Mai and the North resulted in the seizure of
nearly 2 million Yaba or methamphetamine pills and 15 kg of crystal
methamphetamine, also known as Ya Ice.
The first case was announced on April 30 when two men, one 60 years old,
the other 61, were arrested in Mae Ai District with 100,000 Yaba pills
and 3 million baht in cash. Before the arrest the Region 5 Investigative
Police received a report that the two suspects were selling drugs in the
Mae Ai District. They set up a sting operation to purchase 100,000
methamphetamine pills for 3 million baht. They met the suspects to make
the exchange in front of the Sanpasak Priests Camp in Mae Ai. Police
went to arrest the two men but one turned on the police with a machete
and attempted to escape. Police shot him in the foot to stop him from
attacking them. He was charged with both drug smuggling and attempted
On May 8, 2014, Muang Chiang Mai police arrested a second set of drug
traffickers from Mae Ai, Jakha Phayamani age 41, and Naaue Jato age 36
with 400 methamphetamine pills, the police set up a sting operation
after learning the couple were dealing drugs on a local level, they set
up an appointment to purchase 40 methamphetamine pills on the road
opposite Nakornping Hospital in Mae Rim district.
A decoy was sent to meet them but they told him that they drugs had been
stored in their rectums and they needed to be taken downtown to excrete
them. On the way in to town the police intercepted them, took them to
the police station and waited for them to excrete the drugs. The result
was condom package with 400 tablets of Yaba, the accused confessed that
they were hired by to smuggle the drugs for 4,000 baht. the drugs for
4,000 Bath as the wage.
On May 11 the ONCP and police announced four separate cases on May 9 and
10 resulting in the seizure of 1,358,000 methamphetamine tablets and 15
kg of crystal methamphetamine. The first case involved two Hmong men
from Chiang Khong in Chiang Rai who were arrested in Phitsanulok with
400,000 methamphetamine tablets and 10 kilograms of crystal
methamphetamine, two other suspects escaped from the police.
The second case involved two Hmong men from Mae Rim who were arrested
with 360,000 Yaba pills and 2 kg of Ya Ice. The police had received a
tip off of a drug pick up at the border of Mae Ai District. The suspects
confessed that they had been hired to deliver the drugs to Pathum Thani
for 250,000 baht each and that this was the third time they had smuggled
The third case involved four Hmong men from Tak province who were
arrested in Phayao with 198,000 methamphetamine tablets. The men
confessed that they were hired for 300,000 baht to carry drugs from Phu
Chi Fa border, Phayao to Ayutthaya.
The 4th case involved a man from Satun in the Deep South who was
arrested in Mae Chan, Chiang Rai with 400,000 methamphetamine pills and
3 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine. The suspects are being held
pending further investigation and police hope to uncover a larger drug
On May 10 in a separate case two men were arrested in the parking of the
Rong Kwan Hospital in Phrae Province with 80,000 methamphetamine pills.
The two men, one from Mae Rim, the other from Nan, were arrested after
police uncovered the 80,000 Yaba pills and 6.4 million baht in cash.
Police revealed that the men belonged to one of the biggest drug
trafficking gangs in the North.
A Lampang bust also on May 10 saw a 33 year old man from Chiang Rai
arrested with half a million Yaba pills. The police had stopped his car
but he fled and when they found the car the suspect had fled on foot
into the forest. They tracked him down and arrested him. The drugs were
found stashed in the trunk of the car. The man confessed that he was
paid 600,000 baht to smuggle drugs from the Tachilek border in Mae Sai,
Chiang Rai to Samut Prakan, and said this was his second time in drug
smuggling. The value of the drugs seized was valued at 150 million baht.
Governor organizes informal coffee talk with local heads
Monthly gathering to increase dialogue
Chiang Mai Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo has
instituted a monthly coffee meeting with local heads of government to
problem solve and dialogue on issues they face each month.
Chiang Mai Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo has instigated monthly informal
coffee talks with local heads of government, judges, officials, military
officers, and sub-district headmen in a bid to increase dialogue and
The first meeting, which the Governor plans to make a monthly event, was
held at the Green Lake Resort Chiang Mai on May 7 and saw lively
discussion amongst participants. The new Deputy Governor Navin
Sintusa-ard was introduced as were other new heads of local governments.
The event was organized this month by the Protected Area Administration
Regional Office 16 at the Green Lake Resort Chiang Mai; each month will
see different organizers and different venues. The Governor hopes these
more informal gatherings will give the heads of local authorities the
opportunity to exchange experiences and allow coordination between
agencies run more smoothly.
This month’s meeting covered the recent earthquake and effects of the
earthquake on the dams and assured of the safety of the dams. They also
discussed the needs of people affected by the earthquake. The Department
of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation of Chiang Mai arranged a donation
center to receive donations to help Chiang Rai residents who were hit
hardest by the earthquake.
Tree planting and love the Thai Buffalo camp for youth
Promotes sufficiency economy and sustainable agriculture
Capt. Woraprach Kassakul of the 7th
Battalion Army announced a camp to teach children about sustainable
agriculture and the Sufficiency Economy to be held on May 24, 2014.
The 7th Army Battalion will hold a Tree Planting and Loving Thai Buffalo
Camp for youth at the Phra Pinklao Military Camp in Mae Rim on May 24,
2014 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to promote integrated and sustainable
agricultural systems as well as the sufficiency economy of the HM King
Bhumibol Adulyadej and provide animal therapy for youth.
Capt. Woraprach Kassakul, the Civil Affairs officer, said that the camp
will work to teach youth on how to use their time wisely, improve their
social, emotional state and health and learn to apply the Sufficiency
Economy principles of HM the King in daily life.
The students will begin their day planting trees and plants and raising
animals following the principles of the Sufficiency Economy. Next they
will learn to harvest plants from the garden, eggs and quail eggs and
cook food for themselves. Finally the last station will introduce them
to the Thai water buffalo and they will learn to understand the animal,
how to feed them, control them, touch them and ride the animals that
were traditionally used in farming. Upon completion of the camp each
participant will receive a certificate.
Interested youths must be between the ages of 5 – 13 years old, the fee
for the camp is 150 baht. Contact Sub. Lt. Amporn Lungkhonchom Tel.
083-3046171 for information.
Training session for villages on Smokeless Biomass Incinerator
Reducing agricultural burning
Jatuporn Burutpat, Director General of
Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, inspects one of the low cost
Smokeless Biomass Incinerators at the workshop.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Department of Environmental Quality Promotion held a training
workshop on the use and operation of the Smokeless Biomass Incinerator at
the Convention Hall of the Khum Phucome Hotel, Chiang Mai recently The
workshop is part of a campaign to prevent and reduce the annual smoke and
smog situation in the North.
Jatuporn Burutpat, Director General of Department of Environmental Quality
Promotion presided over the workshop which saw participants learn how to
build and use the Smokeless Biomass Incinerator for their groups and areas.
Bunpot Amarapiban, Director Public Education and Extension Division noted
that a large part of the smoke and smog that covers the North is due to the
burning of agricultural waste for new planting as well as other garbage. The
Department of Environmental Quality Promotion researched the development of
the Smokeless Biomass Incinerator for villages. Since April, 2013 they have
created and developed the low-cost Smokeless Biomass Incinerator and showed
residents the effects of using the incinerator to clear biomass garbage.
Their aim is to replace outdoor burning by using the Smokeless Biomass
Incinerator for decreasing pollution from smog and fire forest.
The Director Public Education and Extension Division said that the10
Northern provinces which are Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phrae, Phayao, Lampang,
Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Tak and Uttaradit have the worst smoke and smog
problems that affect more people so the government is finding ways to
decrease burning in high risk areas.
Community tackles drug and alcohol abuse
Dr. M.L. Somchai Chakraphan, adviser to the
Department of Mental Health met with representatives of the Northern
Substance Abuse Center, Integrated Management for Alcohol Intervention
Program, Thai Community Empowerment Foundation, and the Network of
Village Headmen to track the progress of The Khuenphak Community
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Khuenphak Community Project was set up to tackle drug and alcohol
problems that were taking over the sub-district of Chiang Mai city. A
recent survey found that alcohol abuse in the area often led to drug
problems and then crime, fighting and accidents. The local community
members worked with local agencies to solve the issues of drugs and
alcohol in the community targeting children and young people using drugs
and alcohol and working to helping them get clean from drugs and alcohol
and not return to drug addicted behaviors.
The program, in 10 villages, was supported by village headmen and
members of the community who arranged many activities including public
discussion, the appointment of a working group to screen for addiction
in the community, developing caretakers for the addicts as they fought
their addictions, arranging blessing ceremonies for ex – convicts and
helping them to find careers and jobs so as to avoid a return to drug
and alcohol abuse.
Dr. M.L. Somchai Chakraphan, adviser to the Department of Mental Health
along with representatives of the Northern Substance Abuse Center,
Integrated Management for Alcohol Intervention Program, Thai Community
Empowerment Foundation, and the Network of Village Headmen met to track
the progress of the project on May 5, 2014.
Dr. M.L. Somchai Chakraphan said that Khuenphak community is a caring
and curing community whose strength comes from the community empowerment
with religion, the Network of Village Headmen, elderly villagers, and
the state and academic agencies. He noted that they focus on starting to
do something and spreading knowledge along with solving alcohol and
drugs problem in the community at the same time. The most important way
to deal with the problem is to give space and warmth to the addicts
because there is no medicine that can cope with the symptom completely,
unless there is awareness and a strong empowerment of the community that
can lead to extended results.
Maharaj Nakorn Hospital is a smoke – free zone
Associate professor Dr. Somsak
Chaovisitsaree, Director of Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital
and the President of the Smoke - Free Hospital Project reports
on the progress of Maharaj Nakorn Hospital as a smoke - free
The Maharaj Nakorn Hospital under the Faculty of
Medicine Chiang Mai University announced that it is a 100%
non-smoking hospital and that personnel have the right to warn
those found smoking in the hospital and report them for
prosecution under the Non-Smokers’ Health Protection Act B.E.
The hospital, which recently signed an MoU with 8 different
organizations to promote smoke – free facilities, is ready to
provide care and treatment for smokers who wish to quit.
Associate professor Dr. Somsak Chaovisitsaree, Director of
Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital and the President of the
Smoke Free Hospital Project said that the MoU was signed with
the Clergy of Pan Sao Temple, Chiang Mai Provincial Public
Health Office, Hangdong Hospital, Sriphat Medical Center,
Phuping Police Station as well as Suthep Municipality to ensure
each facility is 100% non-smoking. Other organizations are
expected to join in the agreement in the future.
The hospital has banned the sale and use of tobacco products in
the hospital’s areas and set up committees responsible for
combating smoking in addition to allowing personnel to warn
smokers in the buildings and submit them for prosecution.