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Vol. XIII No.24 - Sunday November 30, 2014 - Saturday December 13, 2014


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
NEWS
 

International We Love the King Celebration invites everyone to join

Nopniwat Krailerg
At the weekly press conference at the Governor’s Office Deputy Governor Navin Sintusa-ard heard organizers of the International We Love the King parade invite members of the government, foundations, organizations and the general public to join in the 4th annual celebration in honor of HM the King. This year the parade will be held on December 3, 2014 and Ruchuchai Potha asked participants to meet at JJ Market by 3 p.m. where the Mayor of Chiang Mai Tussanai Buranupakorn and the Japanese and American Consul Generals will launch the parade.
Ruchuchai then explained that the parade would march to Tha Pae Gate where a candlelight ceremony would be held with the Chief of Region 5 Police presiding. There will also be music and dance performances as well.
Shana Kongmun of the Chiang Mai Mail and Shayne Rochfort of the Christian Outreach Center also spoke on their involvement in the event, noting that it was a great opportunity for the international community in Chiang Mai to show their support of HM the King and of Chiang Mai.
This is the 4th year the parade has been held and according to Aphiradee Thunthiwetchakul is expected to see as many as 3,000 people take part from all parts of Chiang Mai, including hill tribe people, foreign groups and Thais in this international event.
 


Chiang Mai celebrates HM the King’s Birthday and Father’s Day

Every year the Chiang Mai Governor offers his allegiance and pays respects to HM the King at Chiang Mai University Convention Center. He is joined by government officials, members of the consular corps, students and members of the public to honor HM the King.

HM the King’s birthday is December 5, 2014 and this public holiday will see events and celebrations take place all over Chiang Mai. Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya will oversee merit making and alms giving at Tha Pae Gate at 6 a.m. followed by a ceremony at Chiang Mai University Convention Center at 9 a.m. where the abbots of the main temples in Chiang Mai join government officials, members of the consular corps, members of the Lanna royal family, students and members of the public to honor HM the King.
In the evening a candlelight ceremony will be held at Tha Pae Gate honoring HM the King and the Municipality will be holding events at Tha Pae all weekend long. People make merit at local temples and join in honoring HM the King and Father’s everywhere on Father’s Day. There are several events taking place including the International We Love the King Parade on December 3, the Chiang Mai Bike Festival on December 5, the NAP Fair on Nimmanhaemin on December 5, and the International Balloon Festival on December 6.


Zonta calls for an end to violence against women and children

Zonta Chiang Mai held a campaign to stop violence against women at CMU’s Rugby field attended by Zontians, Deputy Governor Charoenrit Sa-nguansat, President of the Chiang Mai Cultural Council Chao Duangduan na Chiang Mai and ML Preeyapun Sridhavat, Honorary Consul for Peru.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Zonta International Club Chiang Mai held an event at the Rugby Field at Chiang Mai University on November 22, 2014 to raise awareness on the need to stop violence against women in Thailand as part of the Zonta International campaign to reduce violence against women worldwide.
Deputy Governor Charoenrit Sa-nguansat presided over the ceremony organized by Zonta Chiang Mai, also attending were President of the Chiang Mai Cultural Council Chao Duangduan na Chiang Mai, ML Preeyapun Sridhavat, Honorary Consul for Peru, the Head of the Chiang Mai District Court Suvicha Sukkasemhathai, Lalivan Karnchanachari District Governor of Zonta International District 17, Area 6 Directorof Zonta International District 17Chavali Pamela Osathanugrah, Area 6 Vice President of Zonta International District 17 Kulchalee Sermtavisub, police, students and guests.
President of Zonta Club Chiang Mai Suwimol Limlenglert noted that Zonta was established to develop the potential of women and children, to obtain rights and equality in education, work, law, and safety. The Club has been organizing events to publicize the need to halt violence against women and children; a campaign was also held in Paragon Park in Bangkok on November 18, 2014.
Thailand ranked second in levels of domestic violence among 49 countries studied by the United Nations (U.N.) in 2012 and 63% of the population felt it was acceptable for a man to hit his wife. A 2012 survey by Mahidol University’s National Institute for Child and Family Development showed domestic violence in Thailand increased with 30.8% of households reporting abuse.
Deputy Governor Charoenrit Sa-nguansat said that women and children are the most important people in the country and the world because women give birth to and parent the children who will become good people in society and therefor all sectors of society should work to prevent violence against women and children.


Nine die in Army helicopter crash in Phayao

Mid-air explosion seen by villagers

Nine Army personnel were killed in a Bell 212 helicopter crash in Phayao on November 17, 2014.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Nine people died, including the Deputy Commander of the 3rd Army Region when a Royal Thai Army Bell 212 helicopter exploded in mid-air only ten minutes after take-off at 5:30 p.m. on November 17, 2014. Villagers in Ban Dok Bua in Tha Wang Thong Sub-district in Phayao said that there was an explosion in the air and then the helicopter fell to the ground and burned on the ground.
The helicopter had just left the Army base in Phayao for an inspection mission in Chiang Rai and was carrying Maj. Gen. Songphol Thongjeen, the Deputy Commander of 3rd Army Region, Col. Kitti Suwancharoen, Col. Yuttaphong Puenfung. Lt. Col. Wuttisak Sunthornsuk, Lt. Col. Manit Surasena (first pilot), Capt. Worrapong Changsalak (copilot), SM1 Anan Chomchiangkham, SM1 SomphopMalaiwong (machinist) and SM1 Apirun Saendondu (machinist), all of whom died in the crash.
All of the deceased were taken to Wat Khuha Sawan in Phitsanulok where they were honored with a Royal Cremation on November 25, 2014.
In 2011, the Thai army was forced to ground its fleet of the same Bell 212 helicopters after three helicopter crashes only a few days apart killed 17 people. Officers are investigating the cause of the accident.


Mae Taeng villagers ask for house numbers

Ban Pah Mai has only 7 registered houses

Natee Theerarojanapong and Komsam Simmi present the petition to Viroon Phantevee, Chief of the Chiang Mai Governor’s Office asking for the government to assign house numbers in Ban Pha Mai in Mae Taeng.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Around thirty Ban Pa Mai villagers petitioned the government to issue house numbers to over 60 homes at the Damrongdhamma Center City Hall on November 18, 2014.
Led by Natee Theerarojanapong and Komsam Simmi, the villagers called on the government to issue house numbers to over 60 homes in the village. Ban Pa Mai has 74 households with a total population of 282 people but only seven houses have the required documentation to register and obtain house numbers. The other homes are forced to share access to water and electricity since they lack the required documentation to register their houses.
Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya assigned Viroon Phantevee, Chief of the Chiang Mai Governor’s Office to meet with the group and look into their complaint. The Chief said that he will discuss the matter with the relevant government agencies to resolve this issue as soon as possible.


Rotary clubs donate bicycles to local children

Japanese clubs donate 150 bicycles

Students from six schools will receive 150 bicycles brought from Japan by the Rotary Club of Seseragi Mishimaand, the Rotary Club of Kawaguchiko both of District 2620 in Japan and the Rotary Club of Bangkok Suriwong.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The 103rd handover of second hand bicycles brought from Japan to donate to needy children in Thailand took place at the International Convention Center on November 24, 2014 with Rotary members from Japan, Chiang Mai and Bangkok joining Japanese Consul General Akhiko Fujii at the handover.
The Rotary Club of Seseragi Mishimaand and the Rotary Club of Kawaguchiko both of District 2620 in Japan worked with the Rotary Club of Bangkok Suriwong in District 3350 in bringing the bicycles to Chiang Mai for distribution.
The opening ceremony was presided over by Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Navin Sintusa-ard who was joined by President Petchanapa Pontumaruk of Rotary Chiang Mai North, Mr. Akihiko Fujii, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, DGE. Surasak Prurgsiganont D.3360, PGD. Dr. Waewdao Limlenglert, members of the Japanese clubs and Rotarians in Chiang Mai, teachers and students who came to receive bicycles.
President Petchanapa worked with the Japanese and Bangkok clubs to coordinate the donation of bicycles for students in the North who lived more than 5 km from their schools and had no other transportation. The club surveyed and selected six schools to receive the bicycles; Wat Wang Kham Noi School, Ban RongWai School in Doi Lo, Ban Mai Tessaban School in Chiang Dao, Ban Pang Tong School in KhunYuam Mae Hong Son, Pho Luang Uphathum School in Phrao and School of Life in Doi Saket. These bicycles will be used by students to ride to school and then passed on after graduation for the next class.
Consul-General Akhiko Fujii said that the activity was first organized in 2002 and in the 12 years since a total of 40,000 bicycles have been donated. The bicycles make it convenient for students to travel to school. They also provide a means of exercise and are environmentally friendly. The Consul General added that he hoped the donations would build good relations between Thais and Japanese.


Government tackles blocked footpaths at Night Bazaar

Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya and Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn inspect the Night Bazaar footpaths to determine if the vendors are blocking pedestrians.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The footpaths at the Night Bazaar may be seeing reorganization after Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya visited the market and checked the state of the footpaths with Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn and other provincial and municipal authorities and police at 6 p.m. on November 18, 2014.
The Administrative Court ruled in favor of the Chiang Mai Municipality in requiring vendors to use knock-down carts and in requiring them to only be placed in areas determined by the municipality. Additionally, the vendors must leave space for pedestrians to walk on the footpaths.
The Night Bazaar has seen falling sales and lower numbers of visitors than before and it is felt that is due to the cramped sidewalks, difficulty in walking and difficulty to access due to the carts that take up the footpaths. The Chiang Mai Municipality had to take vendors to court to enforce regulations and the Governor visited to see how the enforcement was progressing. Out of 700 vendors only around 30 have not changed over to knock-down carts and the municipality has designated parking areas for these carts.
The Governor noted the importance of organizing the space to make it tourist friendly and encouraged the Municipality to enforce regulations. The Chiang Mai Mayor said they have prosecuted those stall owners who refuse to change to knock-down stalls and have already drawn up lines for entrance paths that prohibit stalls.


Two veterans walk to Bangkok to pay their respects to HM the King

Two Thai veterans of the Vietnam War started from Three Kings Monument at 9:30 a.m. on November 19, 2014 to walk to Bangkok to visit Siriraj Hospital and offer their wishes for a Happy Birthday to = HM the King on December 5, 2014. Udom Nakkorn and Sangium Thiyanan will walk 700 km through Lamphun toTak, Kampaeng Phet, Nakhon Sawan, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, PathumThani, Nonthaburi and ending at the hospital to pay their respects to HM the King. The men are being assisted in their endeavor by the military officers of the 7th Infantry Division, 33rd Military Circle of each province they will trek through.


Entrance road to Airport to be one way

This graphic map shows the one way entrance into Chiang Mai Airport and the exit to the Hang Dong Road just opposite Tesco Lotus Hang Dong.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The entrance to the Chiang Mai International Airport will become one way only in a bid to reduce traffic congestion from vehicles trying to enter and exit the airport.
The intersection at the Airport is routinely clogged with vehicles trying to exit across traffic and this new one way system will allow cars to only exit South to Highway 108, or the Hang Dong Road near the Tesco Lotus Hang Dong. The change will make it faster for passengers to enter the airport and to the terminal building. It will also reduce traffic congestion at the airport intersection as cars are required to exit to the road to Highway 10.
The Chiang Mai Traffic Police have been working with the Chiang Mai International Airport and Chiang Mai Highway District 1 to organize the new route in a bid to reduce the delays that have plagued people trying to enter and exit the airport.


Unlicensed radio station at North Chiang Mai University shut down

Police confiscate equipment used in an unlicensed radio station at North Chiang Mai University.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Military, police and NBTC officials raided an unlicensed radio station on the North Chiang Mai University campus at 12:10 a.m. on November 19, 2014 and seized radio equipment.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) said that the station was broadcasting without permission and gave notice to a staff member at the station, Weerasak Saikuna, age 25, for operating a radio station without permission.
The equipment was taken to Hang Dong Police Station after confiscation and further investigation may take place.


Chinese gang arrested in call center con

Thirty-four suspects from China and Taiwan were arrested in a raid on a house in San Sai after cooperating with Chinese police at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Bangkok.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai police worked with Immigration and officers from the Economic Crime Suppression Division to arrest 49 suspects in a call center scam that swindled more than 100 people in China with damages of over 50 million baht.
The police raided a house in San Sai on November 13, 2014 where they arrested 34 Taiwanese suspects and 15 Chinese suspects. All suspects without a passport would be prosecuted for illegal entry before being deported by the Immigration police. Officers seized computers, phones and other items used in the house for the call center. One person escaped during the raid.
Members of the call center gang would swindle Chinese people out of money with claims of bank and credit card debt. Victims sent the gang over 50 million baht, more than 100 people in China were victims of the fraudulent call center.


Bangkok monk arrested smuggling Yaba

Mae Chaem monk arrested for selling drugs

This Bangkok monk was arrested on a bus in Lamphun with 120,000 methamphetamine pills hidden in his monk’s bag.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Two monks were arrested and defrocked for drug related offenses in two separate incidents in the North. On November 17, 2014 Lamphun police announced the arrested of a Bangkok monk who was allegedly caught with 120,000 methamphetamine pills.
Police arrested Thanayuth Phonsaen on a bus at the Wang Din Checkpoint in Lamphun with the drugs hidden in his monk’s bag. He was subsequently defrocked after the arrest.
On November 20, 2014 police announced the arrest of a 27 year old Mae Chaem monk with 43 Yaba pills in his possession. Police received a tip off of an area monk selling drugs and upon investigation found Phanlop Chankrachang on the road in Phanang Village in Mae Chaem with 43 methamphetamine pills in a plastic bag hidden in his angsa, or shoulder cloth. The suspect tried to escape police by running into a corn field and climbing a tree. Police persuaded him to surrender and he was arrested and defrocked. The suspect confessed to police that he would sell the methamphetamine pills to teenagers as well as take it himself.


Accident in San Kamphaeng injures five, including three monks

Nopniwat Krailerg
Five people, including three monks, were injured when a Toyota Fortuner collided with a Toyota Corolla at an intersection on the Chiang Mai – Mae On Road in San Kamphaeng at 2:30 p.m. on November 19, 2014.
Police and rescue personnel at the scene found the Fortuner had overturned and the sedan a further 10 meters down the road. According to a preliminary investigation it appeared that the sedan drove through the intersection, which does not have any traffic lights, and crashed into the Fortuner.
The Fortuner was driven by Chalermsri Sumna who was taking three monks to a temple in Mae On. The injured were rushed to the Mae On Hospital for treatment after police had to use cutters to free the men from the SUV.
The exact cause of the accident is still under investigation by police.


Fake military van used to smuggle 1.6 million Yaba pills

Police officer stabbed in drugs arrest

Private Wichai Rakkiriket was arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling after police stopped a white rental van with fake military stickers and plates and found 1.6 million methamphetamine pills and 150 kg of crystal methamphetamine inside.

Nopniwat Krailerg
In three separate cases in the North police and army uncovered over 3.6 million methamphetamine pills and 150 kg of crystal methamphetamine and arrested two men while two men escaped and one man was killed after stabbing an Army officer.
Members of the 31st Rangers Regiment Task Force in Chiang Rai received a tipoff that a man would be smuggling drugs through Mae Fah Luang and set up patrols in Ban Huay Kra in Mae Salong Nai in Chiang Rai on November 12, 2014. A man driving a red Honda Wave dropped his motorcycle and fled on foot when he saw the officers. They officers gave chase but were unable to catch up to the man. Upon investigation they found a bag with 20,000 methamphetamine pills. The motorcycle was found to belong to a Somporn Sunthornnan of Pathum Thani and police will investigate his involvement in the case.
A drug trafficking suspect was shot dead by police in Sukothai after he stabbed a police officer with a knife during a raid on an apartment in Sri Sumrong District in Sukhothai. Police received a tip off that a gang would be smuggling drugs from Lamphun to Sukothai and raided an apartment at 5 a.m. on November 12. Officers from Region 5 and Region 6 raided the hotel where one of the gang, Wa (real name unknown) stabbed Pol. Maj. Surachai Thangam, he was shot dead during the attack. Police arrested two men; Pech Saekue and Chaiwich Auemarthon of Tak. They found 2 million methamphetamine pills in bags in a pickup truck allegedly belonging to the gang. The suspects confessed to police they were smuggling the drugs to Nakhon Sawan.
On November 16, 2014 Region 5 police stopped a white van with fake 7th Infantry Division stickers, a VIP sign and a license plate modified to look like a military plate in Phrae. Police had received a tipoff that a van that had been modified to look like it was a military vehicle would be smuggling drugs from Chiang Rai and were able to track the rented van from its GPS.
Police set up a blockade at Den Chai in Phrae to stop the van but the driver tried to speed away. Police chased the vehicle and shot out the tires about 1 km from the checkpoint but the driver escaped into the brush. Inside the van police found 1.6 million Yaba pills and 150 kg of crystal methamphetamine. Later, the driver, who turned out to be Private Wichai Rakkiriket, age 22 a military draftee of the 17th Infantry Regiment at Khun Chong Kham camp in Phayao, was arrested about 20 km away from the van he had left behind.


English tourist dies in Chiang Mai hotel

Swindled out of 10 million baht

Nopniwat Krailerg
The body of a 38 year old British citizen was found in the Inter Inn Hotel on Kotchasarn Road at 10 a.m. on November 14, 2014 after Muang Chiang Mai police received a report from the staff.
Police investigation found Kyrill Alexandrovich Khieninson, age 38, on his bed with epilepsy medicine in the room and rice whiskey bottles.
Police investigating the death found that the man had traveled to Thailand several years before where he met a girl working on Loi Kroh Road. He invested 10 million baht in what she told him would be an elephant conservation camp. The girl disappeared after he gave her the money for the camp.
Police believe the distraught man may have died due to a combination of his epilepsy and alcohol but will perform an autopsy to make certain.


No Alcohol communities in Chiang Mai province

Chiang Mai Permanent Secretary Chokdee Amornwat presided over the opening ceremony of the event to promote no alcohol in Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Chiang Mai has the fifth highest rate of alcohol consumption in the country and the impact on quality of life is significant due to alcohol related health issues, drunk driving and accidents. To combat this growing problem a project has been implemented by the Chiang Mai government to reduce alcohol consumption and mitigate other risk factors to health such as smoking.
Chiang Mai Permanent Secretary Chokdee Amornwat presided over the launch of the project at Wat Phra That Doi Saket on November 14, 2014 in a bid to organize community efforts to combat excessive drinking.
The Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office will work together with communities to set up working groups in each of the 25 districts to promote efforts to combat alcohol consumption in the No Alcohol campaign.


Flora Festival begins December 1

The popular winter festival at the Royal Park Rajapruek begins December 1, 2014 and will run through to February 28, 2014 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and feature the work of His Majesty King Bhumibol in promoting horticulture and the Royal Project Foundation. Activities in the festival is include a cold climate flowers display by the Royal Project Foundation, a light show at The Royal Pavilion or Hor Kam Luang, demonstrations atf the Royal Project Foundation’s learning center, exhibitions to honor HM the King, performances from neighboring countries, and various activities in special days. Entrance tickets are 50 baht for Thai adult and 25 baht for Thai children and 100 baht for foreign adult and 50 baht for foreign children. There is also an unlimited ticket for all 90 days of the festival for 400 baht.


Blood Drive at Duangtawan Hotel

The Duangtawan Hotel Chiang Mai organized a blood drive for the Thai Red Cross Society in conjunction with the Thailand Blood Bank and Maharaj Chiang Mai Hospital. The blood drive is part of the project “To do good for HM the King”. Duangtawan staff gave blood at the Chiang Dao Room at the Duangtawan Hotel Chiang Mai.


Farmers given chance to sell direct

Farmers Market at City Hall

Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya presided over the opening ceremony of the new Farmers Market at City Hall on November 20, 2014.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai farmers are being given the opportunity to sell direct to the public with the opening of a new farmers market at the Chiang Mai Agricultural and Cooperative Office inside Chiang Mai City Hall on November 20, 2014 where Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya presided over the opening ceremony.
The Farmers Market will be held every Friday and give small farmers, co-ops, and community enterprises the opportunity to sell their produce direct to the consumer. Over 35 safe agricultural items will be sold including organic products, eggs, fish, pork, dairy products and processed products.
Farmers have seen their incomes squeezed by middlemen taking a cut of the sales of their products and the Chiang Mai Agricultural and Cooperative Office opened the new Farmers Market to give farmers a chance to sell their certified products.


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

International We Love the King Celebration invites everyone to join

Chiang Mai celebrates HM the King’s Birthday and Father’s Day

Zonta calls for an end to violence against women and children

Nine die in Army helicopter crash in Phayao

Mae Taeng villagers ask for house numbers

Rotary clubs donate bicycles to local children

Government tackles blocked footpaths at Night Bazaar

Two veterans walk to Bangkok to pay their respects to HM the King

Entrance road to Airport to be one way

Unlicensed radio station at North Chiang Mai University shut down

Chinese gang arrested in call center con

Bangkok monk arrested smuggling Yaba

Accident in San Kamphaeng injures five, including three monks

Fake military van used to smuggle 1.6 million Yaba pills

English tourist dies in Chiang Mai hotel

No Alcohol communities in Chiang Mai province

Flora Festival begins December 1

Blood Drive at Duangtawan Hotel

Farmers given chance to sell direct


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