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Vol. XIII No.17 - Sunday August 24, 2014 - Saturday September 6, 2014


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NEWS
 

Immigration clarifies new regulations for foreigners in Chiang Mai

Visa runs, overstay, and extensions of stay discussed

Members of the Chiang Mai diplomatic corps from Japan, the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, South Korea, and Peru met with officers from Chiang Mai Immigration to discuss the new regulations.

Shana Kongmun
Chiang Mai Immigration officials laid out the new regulations regarding overstay, in/out border trips, and extensions as well as cleared up many questions held by foreign residents at a meeting held organized by the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.
Chiang Mai Immigration authorities met with members of the diplomatic corps, media and interested parties and went over, point by point, the new regulations. The event, which was opened by ranking diplomat Japanese Consul General Akihiko Fujii, was held in English and in Thai and clarified the many new changes in effect as well as offered explanations for some of the changes that all foreigners would like to see.

Members of the local community also attended and asked questions regarding such as issues as hospital stays and 90 day reporting.

The Superintendent of Chiang Mai Immigration, Pol Col. Rutphong Sanwanangkum was joined by fellow Immigration officers Thawatchai Changoern and Pol.Sen.Sgt.Maj. Suranuch Srilapetch in opening the meeting where they started off by discussing the current changes announced in Act number 327/2557. The first was in regards to teaching personnel. Previously, only teachers with teaching certification could get a one year extension on their visas but now non-teaching education personnel, such as a librarian or technical support person for the school, are also eligible for the one year extension under section 2.6.
Another major change affects the students in non-formal educational institutes such as language or cooking schools, religious studies etc. in that they must renew their extension every 90 days and after one year must leave the country and obtain a new visa. However, this regulation does not apply to private schools, for example Montfort College but only those offering non-formal education.
The dependents of those entering the country on a non-OA (retirement) or non-IA (missionary) visa are now able to get their one year dependent extension in Chiang Mai in one day. The extension will extend to expire on the same day as the visa of their spouse. However, they must show proof of the relationship, such as a marriage certificate. The regulation on dependent children has now been expanded to include age exceptions for handicapped or disabled children. Previously all children under the age of 20 were eligible for a dependent child extension and once they were over the age of 20 would need to get their own visa. However, an exception has now been instituted for handicapped or disabled children over the age of 20; they will still be eligible for the dependent child extension with a letter from a doctor at a government hospital.
After the recent surrogate parent issues the Immigration Office now requires that if the parents of a foreign child born in Thailand wish to take the child out of the country they must have a passport from their home country (obtained in Thailand) and the child must travel with the parents and the parents must show both the birth certificate and passport.

French Honorary Consul Thomas Baude (center) joins Canadian Honorary Consul Jakkarin Wongwivat (left) and Kanokvan from the Canadian Honorary Consulate chat before the meeting.

Another issue facing local residents has been the volunteer visa, previously those applying for the extension needed to obtain a letter from the Ministry of Social Development and Welfare as well the organization meeting the normal requirements. The documents would then be sent off to Bangkok and returned within 30 days. Now, those volunteers who have the letter can extend for one year in Chiang Mai and get one year in the same day. However, those with no letter can extend every 90 days for a maximum of one year.
A major change involves those requiring medical extensions as now Immigration requires a letter on the letterhead of a government hospital to obtain the medical extension. The patient does not need to be treated at the government hospital but the letter requesting the medical extension must be on the hospital’s letterhead from a doctor that also practices at that hospital. For those entering the country on a 30 day visa exemption, it is possible to extend the stay for a maximum of 90 days per request.
Professional athletes have now been given their own category and may apply for a one year extension to play sports in Thailand but will need to show a contract with a minimum salary of 40,000 baht a month and a letter from the Sports Authority, the employing company will still need to show 2 million baht in registered capital per person.
The issue of overstay came up and they reiterated that that those who overstay will be restricted from entering the country. An overstay of more than 90 days and they will be forbidden from entering Thailand for 1 year, an overstay of more than a year but less than 3 years will see a 3 year restriction, an overstay of more than 3 years but less than 5 years a 5 year restriction. Those on an overstay of more than 5 years will be forbidden from entering for 10 years and an overstay of more than 10 years will extend the entry ban for life.
They then addressed the issues of what to do when your visa status changes, for instance the spouse that holds a dependent extension on a foreigner in Thailand on an OA visa will see their visa cancelled immediately if the person holding the non-IMM OA visa dies. However, if the person is in Thailand on a married to a Thai person extension, either husband or wife, and the Thai spouse dies then the foreign partner’s extension will remain valid until it expires but they will not be able to obtain a new extension and must find another kind of visa.
If the person is in Thailand on a non-B associated with their work they no longer have to leave the country if they change employers, however, they must cancel their current visa and go to Immigration with the new employment contract and they will be issued a new visa based on the new employer at Immigration in Chiang Mai, according to K. Thawatchai.
The officers then discussed the issue of in/out stamps, noting that the 30 days on arrival at the airport, or 30 days at a land border for citizens of G7 countries, is for tourists only. Those who do border runs for visas will be restricted and the Immigration officer at the border can ask to see a confirmed onward flight ticket. K. Thawatchai emphasized that it must be confirmed, it cannot be an open ended ticket. He urged tourists who plan on staying in Thailand longer to get a tourist visa, either in their home countries or in neighboring countries such as Laos, Cambodia or Malaysia. But again he noted, this is for tourists and that those wishing to stay long term must get a long term visa.
He added that for offshore workers who work outside the country for several months and then return regularly, but also leave and stay out for a period of time, will have no issue leaving and re-entering the country. However, he said that if they want to stay longer than a month they can get a tourist visa or they can extend their stay by 7 days in the country. This also applies to those who travel to Thailand regularly but also go home regularly. He did confirm that those entering Thailand on a 30 day visa exempt entry can only extend for 7 days in Thailand; a tourist visa can extend for 30 days.
He noted that online work for overseas companies that pay overseas is not prohibited but that the person will need to get a visa to stay longer, currently there is no new visa for these kinds of people.
K. Thawatchai stressed, “We try to balance service and enforcement but we must follow regulations. We have pressure from serving so many foreigners each day but we try to do our best.” He noted that some officers end up working to 8 p.m. to finish up their paperwork every day. He added that the last ten years has seen a huge growth in the number of foreigners, last year alone the number of foreigners serviced in Chiang Mai grew 4 times but the number of officers and the budget did not grow so much. They have worked to ease things by moving the offices dealing with migrant workers to the offices opposite Promenada but noted that the Residence Letter must be obtained there.
He added that for those foreign citizens who need to obtain a letter confirming proof of life for their home country governments to obtain their pension that their office cannot provide this and they must go to their Consulate or Embassy, he added that some countries may allow a notarized letter.
Pol Col. Rutphong Sanwanangkum told the Chiang Mai Mail that he has submitted the request for approval of the budget to build a new building on the site of the current one near the Airport, noting he has signed the application and that they have the plans in place and are ready to go but need budget approval. He added that if the budget for next year is approved for the construction they hope to have a new building within two years. There will be a temporary office nearby that will open for Immigration but once the building is done it will have an underground car park and will be able to accommodate the increased numbers more comfortably.
K. Thawatchai is hoping to streamline the 90 day check in process but must have approval of the new system, he added that he would like to issue each person with a long term extension with a card which they could just swipe at the Immigration office but again, approval must come from Bangkok. Currently you can report in person 15 days before or 7 days after, by mail or by giving someone the power of attorney to report for you. He added that the reason they stopped using the bar code system was that they had changed computer systems and all information must be inputted in the new system. He is hoping that the bar code system can be re-started once the new system is up and running. He added that this is different than the notification made by your landlord and that the notification by the landlord does not replace the 90 day report.
The officers were very patient in taking the many questions covering these issues of concern and noted that they would love to streamline the 90 day report process too but must follow regulations coming from Bangkok.
British Honorary Consul Ben Svasti Thomson concluded the meeting by thanking Finnish Honorary Consul and member of the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce Narong Kongprasert and the Chamber for organizing the event adding that he hoped it would become a more regular occurrence.
“I can see this type of meeting is very much needed and I hope that we see this type of informal meeting happening again. As we go into the AEC next year and we become a more international city these meetings will become even more important,” Ben Svasti Thomason said. He concluded, “Thank you again to Immigration and the Chiang Mai Chamber for organizing this meeting and I hope we can see each other again.”
 


Nearly 3,500 traffic offenders caught in one month

Five main offenses in four intersections

Pol. Maj. Supachai Juntra, Traffic inspector of Chiang Mai Provincial Police Station reports on the number of tickets issued for traffic violations since July 17, 2014.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Traffic Police have issued over 3,500 traffic violations since the crackdown on driving at four major intersections began on July 17, 2014. Police began targeting five major infractions including stopping over the line at the red light, driving the wrong way, blocking intersections, driving over the double yellow line, and using fake license plates and in the last two weeks of July ticketed 1,656 drivers.
From August 1 – 15 they ticketed a further 1,782 people for a total of 3,480 people. A majority of the tickets, 2,581, were for those stopping over the line at the red light.
Police have also been targeting illegally parked cars by locking the wheels or clamping. The measures against illegal parking began in earnest on August 18 and on the first day only police clamped the wheels of 42 vehicles on Nimmanhaemin, Huay Kaew, Suthep, Suan Dok and around the moat.


Longan farmers protest in Saraphi

Block the road to protest low prices

Longan farmers blocked the road in Saraphi on August 17, 2014 calling on the government to institute price controls.

Nopniwat Krailerg
A group of around 200 longan growers blocked the road in Saraphi District at 5 p.m. on August 17, 2014 to protest the low price of longan fruit on the market. They used 8 longan trucks and a trailer to block traffic on the Yang Nearng- Khua Mung Road in Nong Fak sub district to call on the government to institute price controls for longan.
They called on factories to purchase longan for 17 baht for size AA fruit, 7 bhat for A and 3 baht for B. They said that the factories had not been giving them the price as promised and called on the Army to rectify the problem.
Pol. Col. Yuthana Kaenchan, Superintendent of Saraphi Police Station commanded the patrol officer to keep the peace and a set a traffic team to assist the traffic to help those who use the road. Later, Worrakitti Sritipakorn, Saraphi District Chief Officer, Chief of Saraphi District Agricultural Extension Office and soldiers invited the leaders of the protest group to meet at Khua Mung Municipality. At the meeting they came to the agreement that large factories must purchase the fruit at 17 baht for AA, 7 baht for A and 4 baht for B, and small factories must purchase longan for 17 baht for AA, 7 baht for A and 3 baht for B. There will be compensation for growers who sold their fruit at the lower prices and officers were set in place to monitor factories and prevent them from reducing the prices. The protesters agreed to the deal and re-opened the road at 11:25 p.m.


Chiang Mai could still see more storm activity

August is the wettest month of the year

August is the wettest month of the year, September should be a little bit drier and temperatures start dropping.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The meteorologist at the Northern Meteorological Center, Pensiri Trisat, reported on the monsoon conditions this rainy season noting that August is expected to be the wettest month and that the rain will start reducing in September as the monsoon moves into the Central and Eastern regions of the country.
October is expected to be much drier and see temperatures begin to drop. She also noted that a tropical storm was predicted to move into the region sometime in August and then perhaps another one in November or December. She noted that according to the statistics of the past 61 years there had been only 14 storms that were either a typhoon or a tropical storm moving through the Northern region. She believes that El Nino may not occur this year which would see a lower chance of serious storms.
Rainfall through September 7 is expected to be heavy in some areas with rainfall declining in the last week of August somewhat, and average temperatures of 32 -34 degrees and lows of 24 -26 degrees Celsius.
In the first week of September rainfall is expected to be more widely scattered and temperatures drop to 31 -33 in the day and 24 -26 at night.
August is the wettest month of the year, September should be a little bit drier and temperatures start dropping.


Government holds conference to find ways to reduce road accidents

Injuries and death from road accidents has been climbing in Chiang Mai in the past three years (file photo)

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office held a conference with government and public health officials to find ways to prevent and reduce road accidents in Chiang Mai and to introduce seven pilot projects in Fang, Doi Saket, Muang Chiang Mai, Mae Rim, San Sai, Hang Dong and San Pa Tong Districts.
Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya chaired the meeting held at the Chiang Mai Phucome Hotel on August 15, 2014, as the group looked into innovative ways to reduce the number of road accidents in the province.
Dr. Termchai Temyingyong, Deputy Head of Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office noted that Chiang Mai has a large tourist population, both Thai and foreign who like to drive to Chiang Mai in major festivals increasing the number of cars on the road and causing more frequent accidents.
Statistics show that injury and death from road accidents has been climbing in the past three years, in 2011 there were 1,830 injuries, 1,958 in 2012 and 2,399 injuries in 2013. In 2011there were 15.79 deaths, 17.26in 2012 and 20.11 in 2013. Such accidents happened due to several factors including road conditions with high risk points in many districts, unsafe driving behavior such as not wearing a helmet and not wearing seat belts, drinking alcohol while driving and driving faster than the legal limit.
The Governor noted that while there is vast variety of driving conditions in Chiang Mai province and many tourists that implementation of measures to reduce accidents cannot be done by the government unilaterally but must include a network of related public and private agencies. There must be studies to find patterns in traffic and accidents and the development of a better rescue system for injured people in Chiang Mai that must cover all areas. The conference is one of many activities being held to find a solution that will lead to the prevention and reduction of road accidents continuously.


NCPO increasing fines on illegal logging

More species of trees added to the list

Jongklai Worapongsathorn, the director of Provincial Offices for Natural Resources and Environment Chiang Mai announced the new list of prohibited trees and fines in a bid by the government to control rampant logging of forests.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has increased the fines for illegal logging and for the possession and processing of prohibited timber as well as amended the law add 16 more different forbidden trees. These trees include 16 types of Dalbergia spp. (rosewoods) species including Teak, Rubber, Rosewood, Dalbergia oliveri Gamble, Dalbergia Dongnaiensis Pierre, Dalbergiabariensis Pierre, Dalbergiacana Grah, Dalbergia cochinchinensis, Dalbergia parvifloraBoxb, Siamese Rosewood and Burma Black Wood according to Jongklai Worapongsathorn, the director of Provincial Offices for Natural Resources and Environment Chiang Mai.
Additionally the NCPO has increased the fines for those in possession of the prohibited wood with a prison sentence of not more than 5 years, a fine not more than 50,000 baht or both. While those who are caught using the wood for industry will see prison sentences of 2 -15 years and fines between 100,000 – 1.5 million baht, up from the previous 10,000 to 1 million baht.
Owners of chainsaws are required to register their machines; Chiang Mai currently has 6,000 registered chainsaws.
The police and army will inspect many areas especially Doi Pha Daeng in Chiang Dao that has seen many cases of illegal logging and possession of prohibited timber.


Vending machine thief targets drinking water machines

Surachart Buasuk of Uttaradit confessed to police that he broke into drinking water vending machines and stole the coins over twenty times.

Chiang Mai Muang District Police arrested 30 year Uttaradit native Surachart Buasuk on August 13, 2014 after using CCTV footage to investigate a series of thefts from drinking water machines in the city.
Police tracked the suspect to Wat Sri Suphan in Haiya Sub-district after using CCTV cameras to track down his vehicle, a blue Honda Wave motorcycle. He confessed to police that he had broken into more than 20 drinking water vending machines late at night and stealing the coins. He told police that he would get between 400 to 2,000 baht per theft. He also confessed to stealing 2,700 baht from the donation box at Wat Duang Dee.


Government prepares for 2015 smog season

Burning continues in Chiang Mai as the government readies to combat next year’s smog season. (Photo courtesy of Ajarn Ron)

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
A conference was held on August 6, 2014 by the Provincial Government at Chiang Mai Hill Hotel to formulate a sustainable plan to combat forest fires and smog problems for next year. The meeting, chaired by Deputy Governor Chana Pangpibul was organized by the Office of Natural Resources and the Environment Chiang Mai and saw 100 officials from the district and provincial level as well as members of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Volunteer Network, community leaders and media attend.
JongklaiWorapongsathorn, the Director of the Office of Natural Resources and Environment Chiang Mai reported that the highest PM10 in Chiang Mai during the smog season this year reached 282 micrograms / cubic meter, which occurred on March 22, 2014. The average dust in the air exceeded standards over 20 days, 942 instances of forest fires damaged 9,147 rai, and they found 2,381 hotspots. The army and government held 80 days of surveillance and control forest fire and smog in Chiang Mai from February 1 to April 21 2014 and worked to get all sectors of society involved in preventing and solving problems. Government and senior management continued to focus on troubleshooting and monitoring the situation continuously.
The number of hotspots in 2014 was higher than in 2013 which saw 2,153 hotspots but the number of days the PM10 levels exceeded standards was 20 in 2014 and 25 in 2013.
The government also organized more education activities as well as a leaf bank for farmers to deposit their agricultural detritus for composting.


Chai Prakan police officer arrested smuggling Yaba

Elected Council member from Chiang Dao caught with 70,000 Yaba pills

Chai Prakan Police Deputy Superintendent Pol. Lt. Col. Chamnan Phumpaichit was arrested with 800,000 methamphetamine pills valued at 243 million baht in his car, he confessed to police that he had been paid 6 million baht to smuggle the drugs to Bangkok.

A Deputy Superintendent of the Chai Prakan Police Station was arrested by police in Mae Sai on August 18, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. and was allegedly carrying 800,000 methamphetamine pills and 1kg of crystal methamphetamine.
Mae Sai police had received a tipoff that a bronze colored Toyota Fortuner would be smuggling drugs in the area. Police stopped Pol. Lt. Col. Chamnan Phumpaichit, Deputy Superintendent of the Chai Prakan Police Station at the checkpoint. He told the police that he was in a hurry on was on his way to work but police investigated and found the drugs stashed in the car. The suspect confessed that he had been paid 6 million baht to smuggle drugs from Mae Sai to Bangkok. He said he needed the money which is why he started smuggling drugs. The drugs were valued at 243 million baht.
On the same day in Chiang Dao a Sub-district Municipal Councilor was arrested with three other men with 70,000 methamphetamine pills. Tanabadee Pamornpongpan age 30, a member of the Municipal Council of Thung Khao Phuang Sub district in Chiang Dao; Chalermchai Pitimongkhonkul age 24; Siridech Laolee age 32 and Singthong Phuwongsa age 29 were arrested with the drugs, three of them were arrested at Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 3 in Muang Chiang Mai, while the fourth was arrested in his house in Tha Sala sub district in Muang Chiang Mai.


Famed Thai actor in car accident in Hang Dong

The Thai actor Waruth Woratham, most famously known for the drama Koo Kam and many other films and TV series, was injured in a car accident in Hang Dong. The actor makes his home in Chiang Mai.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The famous Lakorn actor Waruth Woratham, star of many movies and TV shows over the years including the popular Pla Lai Pai Daeng and Haunting Me, and the popular Koo Kam film set in World War II. Khun O as he is known was driving his red Suzuki Swift on a narrow road in Nam Phrae Sub-district when he collided with a pickup. He suffered four broken ribs, including a punctured lung. He was admitted to the ICU of Lanna Hospital in Chiang Mai. He remained in the hospital for four days to recover from the injuries.
Khun O told police that he had been returning from a fishing trip with friends in the area and the accident occurred as he was driving back to his house, the road was very narrow and dark and so he did not see the pickup truck.


Chinese tourist arrested after stealing iPhone at the airport

Chinese tourist Xiu Ming was arrested by Thai police after stealing an iPhone from the basket at the security x-ray checkpoint at Chiang Mai International Airport.

Nopniwat Krailerg
A Spanish tourist reported to police that his iPhone went missing after passing through the x-ray security checkpoint at Chiang Mai International Airport on August 10, 2014.
The victim, Spanish tourist MenÚndez Moreno Miguel age 39 reported to police that he had put his phone through the x-ray at the security checkpoint and left it in the basket, he reported the loss to police a few minutes later when he realized the phone was gone, giving them the serial number and his phone number.
Police used CCTV camera footage of the security checkpoint to find a female Chinese tourist had taken the phone and put it in her bag. She subsequently left her bag at Left Luggage. Police waited at the Left Luggage for her to return and found the iPhone in her bag. The suspect, Chinese national Xiu Ming, age 23 of Sichuan Province, confessed to police that she saw the phone in the basket at the X-ray and put it in her bag. She remains in Chiang Mai awaiting her court appearance.


Drug trafficker arrested with 9.5 million baht in cash

Gold bars valued at 1.3 million baht seized

Four men were arrested in a sting operation in Fang that netted 100,000 baht in methamphetamine pills.

Nopniwat Krailerg
In a series of arrests from August 6 to August 15 police seized over 180,000 Yaba pills, nearly a kilogram of Ya Ice and 9.5 million baht in cash and 70 baht weight of gold bars valued at over 1.3 million baht.
The first arrest took place on August 6, 2014 when Region 5 police announced the arrest of two men from Fang on drug trafficking. The two men were stopped on the Chiang Mai – Fang road in Fang District by local police who knew that they had been involved in the Lampang Central Prison drug network. A search of the two Fang found the with 80,000 methamphetamine pills. The two men confessed to police that they had been paid 30,000 baht to smuggle the drugs from the Fang Bus Terminal.
On August 12, 2014 police arrested a 31 year old Chiang Mai woman, Phayomthip Bangwan, with 174 methamphetamine pills. Police learned of her dealing from drug addicts in the area and arrested her with 174 methamphetamine pills at her home in Muang District. She confessed to police that she was selling the drugs to addicts but upon further investigation police found that there were several outstanding warrants for her arrest by the Chiang Mai Provincial Court.
Police arrested four men from Fang and one man from Chiang Dao after on August 15, 2015 after police set up a sting operation in Fang to purchase over 5 million baht in drugs. The undercover police set the appointment to meet at the PTT Gas Station in Fang. There they arrested the men with 100,000 methamphetamine pills. The men confessed that they belonged to the drug trafficking gang of a Chai Prakan man named Jaha Jaso.
On the same day police and army in the Muang District arrested 11 drug addicts in a sweep of the area, sending them to camp for rehabilitation and therapy.
On August 16 a major Chiang Mai drug trafficker was arrested by police after a search of his home in Nong Pa Krang Sub-district of Chiang Mai revealed 272 methamphetamine pills, 910 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 9.5 million baht in cash, 70 gold bars valued at 1.3 million baht, 2 land titles and five cars as well as weapons.
Police had been investigating Sorrawit or Arjong Kijpakdeepong, age 41, after he came to their attention for being unusually rich and a member of a major drugs trafficking network in the North.
Police had recently learned that he had been buying a lot of drugs and so executed a search warrant to investigate his home as they expected to find drugs; they found drugs, cash and weapons in this house as well as in two other houses owned by the suspect.


Royal charity dinner for women prisoners in Chiang Rai

Female prisoners from Chiang Rai Central Prison were treated to a dinner and ceremonies honor HM the Queen on August 8, 2014.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Ministry of Interior Ladies Association of Chiang Rai joined with the Chiang Rai Red Cross and the Business & Professional Women’s Association of Thailand to organize a royal charity meal for female prisoners at the Chiang Rai Central Prison in honor of Mother’s Day and HM the Queen’s birthday on August 8, 2014.
Chiang Rai Governor Pongsak Wangsamer was joined by his wife Wichada Wangsamer as the head of the Ministry of Interior Ladies Association of Chiang Rai in holding the dinner. A ceremony was held to pay homage to Queen Sirikit and jasmine flowers were offered as a blessing to HM the Queen. The women joined in singing songs for HM the Queen in addition to the ceremony and the meal.


Over 1,000 people cycle for HM the Queen

Over 1,000 people cycled for HM the Queen to celebrate her 82nd birthday. The group started at the International Convention & Exhibition Center and cycled 30 km to the Chiang Mai Night Safari on the morning of August 10, 2014.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Over 1,000 people cycled from the International Convention & Exhibition Center to the Chiang Mai Night Safari on August 10, 2014 to celebrate the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit on August 12, 2014. Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya and Major General Sarayuth Rangsee, the Commissioner of the 33rd Military Circle presided over the opening ceremony that started at the International Convention & Exhibition Center early morning.
The large group of officers, officials and general public were led by Dr. Sarawut Srisakun, Director of the Pinkanakorn Development Agency which organized the event to honor HM the Queen on her 82nd birthday as well as promote exercise and build harmony in the community.


Small earthquakes continue in Chiang Rai

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) reported that there have been many small earthquakes in Chiang Rai the past month. Most of the earthquakes are centered in Mae Suai, Mae Lao and Phan Districts in Chiang Rai. Strengths vary with the strongest a 4.1 on the Richter scale in Amphur Mae Suai on August 16 at 8:25 a.m. Most of the earthquakes are in the 2.4 range and have cause no damage or injuries. There were 31 very small quakes all under 4.1 from August 4 to August 18 in Chiang Rai. Most geologists agree these are minor aftershocks of the May 5, 2104 earthquake of 6.2 magnitude that killed one person and damaged or destroyed many structures in Chiang Rai.


Governor meets the people of Chai Prakan

Over 1,500 local people from Chai Prakan met with Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya and received bicycles, fertilizer and other goods.

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Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya was joined by officers from the Pinkanakorn Development Agency and Chiang Mai Province in a trip to Chai Prakan at the very northern edge of Chiang Mai Province. Located 127 km from the city Chai Prakan was made a full District or Amphur in 1994 after it was split off from Fang District.
The Governor was joined by more than 45 heads of government agencies and local government officials and saw more than 1,500 local people. They distributed 250 survival kits, 20 bicycles for disadvantaged students, 200 consumer goods kits from the Chiang Mai Red Cross, eyeglass from the Chiang Mai Night Safari, and fertilizer from the Chiang Mai Provincial Livestock Office. In addition the Chiang Mai Provincial Fisheries Office distributed 30,000 fry, or small young fish to heads of local communities in the district.


Supermoon gives super show this full moon

Narit issued this photo and description of the supermoon that occurred August 10, 2014.

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Chiang Mai Mail reporters

In time for HM the Queen’s Birthday, Thailand was treated to a supermoon on August 10, 2014. A supermoon happens when there is a full moon and the moon also happens to be at the closest point on its approach to Earth. The Moon has an elliptical orbit around the Earth meaning that at some times it is closer to the Earth than others. This month the Moon was 356,896 km from Earth.
Although the early evening saw the sky clouded over and rain showers many people stayed up late to get a glimpse of the moon around 1:04 a.m. Other areas of Thailand had very clear skies and got a much better view. The next supermoon this year will be on September 9, 2014. Supermoons occur roughly every 14 moons.


Governor releases fish to honor HM the Queen on her birthday

Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya took part in a merit making ceremony in honor of the 82nd birthday of HM Queen Sirikit on August 6, 2014 at Wat Tha Luk on the Ping River. The ceremony, organized in collaboration with the Chiang Mai Provincial Fisheries office saw 50,000 fish of different native species released into the river as part of HM the Queen’s idea to conserve natural resources and assist people in need.


Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital has new Ronald McDonald Room

Hospital needs toys, books for kids

Staff of the Children’s Ward of the Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital open the Ronald McDonald room after renovations. They called on the public to donate toys, books and coloring books for the young patients who use the room.

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The Ronald McDonald House is well-known worldwide for providing young patients with a comfortable place while they undergo treatment and now the Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital has renovated the Pium Rak Ronald McDonald Room, offering kids undergoing cancer and other treatments in the hospital a recreation room. The room, which re-opened for children on August 4, 2014, offers children a colorful and creative atmosphere very different from that of the hospital and gives them many activities to do. However, the hospital has a shortage of toys for children and welcome donations of toys, books, coloring books, etc at the Children’s Ward.
Assistant Professor Sitthicha Siriaree and Dr. Laddawan Singhakhumfu, Deputy Directors of the hospital were on hand to open the new room with Suwat Sinuan, Coordinator of Ronald McDonald House Charities. Suwat said had worked to create recreational areas for children in hospitals around the country since 2001. The room at Chiang Mai was originally created in 2003 and was renovated in 2010; this is the second refurbishment for the space with new paint, repair of damaged equipment and other amenities..


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Immigration clarifies new regulations for foreigners in Chiang Mai

Nearly 3,500 traffic offenders caught in one month

Longan farmers protest in Saraphi

Chiang Mai could still see more storm activity

Government holds conference to find ways to reduce road accidents

NCPO increasing fines on illegal logging

Vending machine thief targets drinking water machines

Government prepares for 2015 smog season

Chai Prakan police officer arrested smuggling Yaba

Famed Thai actor in car accident in Hang Dong

Chinese tourist arrested after stealing iPhone at the airport

Drug trafficker arrested with 9.5 million baht in cash

Royal charity dinner for women prisoners in Chiang Rai

Over 1,000 people cycle for HM the Queen

Small earthquakes continue in Chiang Rai

Governor meets the people of Chai Prakan

Supermoon gives super show this full moon

Governor releases fish to honor HM the Queen on her birthday

Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital has new Ronald McDonald Room

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