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Update January, 2014


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
NEWS
 

Japanese government helps build earthquake safe school in Chiang Rai

Mr. Akihiko Fujii, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Mr. Surasak Benchapalaporn, Director of Ban Dongmada School signed the MOU to build earthquake proof buildings at the school.

The Government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects Scheme (GGP), is providing special emergency funds amounting to 7,428,000 baht for “The Project for Construction of Earthquake-Resistant School Building of Ban Dongmada School in Maelao District, Chiang Rai Province”. On January 21, 2015, Mr. Akihiko Fujii, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Mr. Surasak Benchapalaporn, Director of Ban Dongmada School, jointly signed the funding contract at the Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai.

Ban Dongmada School is a public primary school serving 3 villages in Dongmada Sub-District and now has 145 students enrolled from kindergarten through 6th grade. Many of the students are orphans, children from poor families and stateless children. Ethnic minorities such as Aka and Hmong account for over half of all students.

The largest recorded earthquake in the history of Thailand with a magnitude 6.3, and centered on the border between Maelao and Pan Districts, occurred on May 5, 2014. Many schools in Chiang Rai Province, including Ban Dongmada School, suffered severe damage that rendered the buildings unusable. As a result, many students did not have a place to study. It is thought that factors contributing to the serious damage are that the structures were not built to be seismic-resistant as earthquakes are infrequent in Thailand, and on top of that, the buildings were old. The Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai promptly inspected the earthquake-affected area and decided to support Ban Dongmada School that had several buildings damaged in constructing a new school building after consultation with the Chiang Rai Primary Education Service Area Office 2. This school building will be built based upon the first earthquake-resistant school building design in Thailand, a design by the Ministry of Education in the wake of the earthquake. In addition, the Thai Government will provide another earthquake-resistant building for the school.

The students of Ban Dongmada School are now forced to have their lessons in temporary classrooms that are just shells with a roof and 2 walls. This is a difficult learning environment due to the cold outside air in the morning and the direct sunlight pouring in during the day. The new school building, therefore, needs to be completed as soon as possible. The government of Japan will provide a safe and comfortable learning environment for students of Ban Dongmada School through this support as well as continuing to support other schools in Chiang Rai which were affected by the earthquake.

For more information on the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects Scheme please contact the Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai. Tel: 053-203-367 / Fax: 053-203-373 / Email: [email protected]


New dengue vaccine developed in Chiang Mai

Researchers hope to see its release in three years

A vaccination against all four strains of dengue fever has been trialed in Thailand and researchers hope to see it released to the public within a few years.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The 3rd workshop of ASEAN members states Dengue Vaccination Advocacy (ADVA) was held at Le Meridien Hotel Chiang Mai from January 8 -9, 2015 where Singaporean vaccine expert Prof. Tikki Pang held a press conference after the meeting with Prof. Ira Longini, American Biostatistics and Computational Mathematics expert on dengue fever from Florida, and Prof. Dr. Usa Thisyakorn of Chulalongkorn University and consultant of Faculty of Tropical Medicine of Mahidol University as a president of ADVA to announce cooperation on developing a dengue fever vaccine.

Prof. Dr. Usa Thisyakorn revealed that ADVA has helped to promote cooperation in the region on the fight against dengue and encourage shared responsibility to prevent and control dengue. ADVA has been working to see cooperation on the development of dengue vaccines in the clinic and use mathematical models and strategy to plan the introduction of dengue vaccines and integrated disease vectors management and vaccination to control outbreaks of dengue fever.

According to a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, after 60 years of scientific effort they have isolated and identified the pathogens in strains 1 (in Hawaiian, DEN1) and strain 2 (New Guinea, DEN 2). Professor Nat Pamonprawat from Mahidol University working on it from 1970-1980 indicated the possibility of vaccines for all four strains can succeed. In 1994 Sanofi Pasteur vaccines manufactory and the Vaccine Development Centre of the Mahidol University of Thailand collaborated on working on a vaccine and then in 2012, a result of the study of clinical Phase 2B in Thailand showed that dengue vaccine is possible. A study to test the effectiveness of a vaccine against dengue fever Phase 3 was held trialing 10,275 children for the first time and then later 20,000 people in South America were also trialed the vaccine.

The professor also added that there are still four dengue strains at the present and the new vaccine can work against all 4 strains. Although it does not provide 100% protection it can reduce the severity of the disease. Now, the vaccine is being tested in Thailand in Ratchaburi and Kamphaeng Phet. Test patients are injected with the vaccine three times every 6 months. Results should be published and it is expected the vaccine will be available to the public within two or three years depending on policies of the different countries that will use it.


Bakery fire causes 400,000 baht in damage

The Phung Noi Bakery in Chang Puak suffered 400,000 baht in damages after a fire broke out at the gas oven.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai police and firefighters rushed to the Phung Noi Bakery in Chang Puak at 4:20 p.m. on January 17, 2015 to find black smoke billowing out of the building. Four fire trucks rushed to the scene to put out the blaze.

Bakery employees evacuated the building as soon as they saw the smoke and ire coming out of chimney on the 4th floor of the old building. On the ground floor firefighters found a large 1.5 by 2 meter oven on fire. It took firefighters around 15 minutes to put out the fire.

Rat and Phongphan Palapong of Phung Noi Bakery said that they believe the cause of the fire was most likely due to heat rising from the gas lines which sparked a fire that spread up the chimney. The chimney had accumulated years of soot, oil and grease and so was flammable. Firefighters urged companies to ensure their equipment is safe and not a fire hazard but praised the company for holding annual fire drills so that the employees remained safe. They estimate the fire caused 400,000 baht in damages.


Chiang Mai Jazz & Music in the City draws large crowds

The Chiang Mai Jazz & Music in the City concert raised funds for the Kamol – Riam Sukosol in Mae Ai.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai Jazz & Music in the City charity fundraising concert was opened on January 17, 2015 by Chalermchart Nakarangkul, the president of Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce, Chavalit Suvitsakdanon, Managing Director of Nim City Daily, Dr. Pranee Suvitsakdanon, Managing Director of Nim City Daily and Anan Thampanya, Director of Kamol-Riam Sukosol (Ban Pha Tai) School who were the recipients of computer equipment by the Nim Volunteer Club.

The free two day concert was held on January 17 and 18 and saw performances by the Orchestra Band of Montfort College, Kai Pannipa, Maleewan Jimena, The Fusion Mania, Non the Voice, Mild and others as well as fund raising activities to raise funds to purchase equipment for teaching, sports equipment and build a playground for Kamol - Riam Sukosol (Ban Pha Tai) school in Mae Ai district, Chiang Mai.


Changes to notarial services at the British Consulate in Chiang Mai

The British Embassy in Thailand announced that from 1 February 2015 there will be a change to notarial and documentary services at the British Consulate in Chiang Mai. From this date the British Consulate in Chiang Mai will cease providing notarial and documentary services e.g. pension letters, affirmations, certification of documents. These services will be provided by the British Embassy in Bangkok.

Visit https://www.gov.uk/government/world-location-news/change-to-our-services-in-chiang-mai for more information.

The changes are part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s 2013-2016 Consular Strategy, launched by the British Foreign Secretary in April 2013. The strategy commits the FCO to providing a more professional, modern and streamlined service for British Nationals who require access to notarial and documentary services.

The changes will make better use of resources and modernise the delivery of these services. This will allow them to focus our resources on helping those who most need it, providing more support to our most vulnerable customers including children, the elderly, people with mental health problems, prisoners and victims of serious crime.

The majority of requests the Honorary Consulate receives for notarial and documentary services in are for pension letters required by the Thai authorities. Individuals will not be required to attend the British Embassy in Bangkok in person for this service, their application should be submitted by post. For any service that does require attendance in person, such as oaths, affirmations of freedom to marry etc, the Embassy guarantees a same day service as long as the application is completed correctly and contains all the necessary supporting documents.


Chiang Mai police arrest Nigerian for computer fraud

Region 5 police explain how the computer fraud worked to reporters.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Provincial Police Region 5 announced the arrest of a 29 year old Nigerian man and his 29 year old girlfriend from Nakhon Si Thammarat on January 16, 2015 at the headquarters. Police said they had the Chiang Mai Courts issue an arrest warrant for Wannakan Sukming and Mr. Shola Rotimi Oluwple for violating the Computer Data Act.
The Muang Chiang Mai police received a complaint from Achara Patthong, age 53 of the Achara Silver shop who told police that her email account had been hacked and her customer list stolen. An email was then sent from an email address similar to her own asking for payment. Two foreign customers had fallen for the fake email and sent a total of 101,644 baht to the bank account of Wannakan Sukming. Wannakan told police that the suspect had ordered her to open the bank account so police arrested him as well.


Stray animal population on the rise at local temples

Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn called on members of the community to be responsible for their pets as the numbers of abandoned animals at temples continues to rise.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai Municipality provided mobile clinics for rabies vaccinations, contraception injections and tick treatment for communities in the city last year but found the numbers of stray animals left at temples continued to increase.

Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn said that reasons that pets were left is owners bored with them when go a new pet or the owners do not want to pay for treatment of their pets when they fall ill. He said that the number of dogs and cats that are abandoned will continue to increase as long as people do not change this behavior. He urged people to consider before adopting a pet or taking one in and making sure they would be able and willing to take responsibility for their pets. He noted that the city will continue to provide the mobile clinics to try and eliminate rabies but strongly urged members of the community to take responsibility for their own pets.


Zoo readies to extend contract with China for pandas

Benchapol Nakprasert, Director of Zoological Park Organization of Thailand announces the hopes for extending the pandas’ stay in Chiang Mai.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Benchapol Nakprasert, Director of Zoological Park Organization of Thailand along with Kanchai Saenwong, Director of Chiang Mai Zoo, Nipon Wichairat, Assistant Director of the Chiang Mai Zoo, Boripat Siriaroonrat, Head of the working group of Panda Research and Display Project and Veterinarian Kannika Chantararangsee, Head of a working group for Panda Conservation, announced their plans for “The progress of Panda in Thailand and Chiang Mai Zoo Development plans Annual Year 2015”.

Benchapol Nakprasert said that Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui were initially going to stay on display for ten years, that contract expired in 2013 and was extended. The Zoo is in the process of renegotiating a new contract to keep Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui and are awaiting Cabinet approval for approval as it is considered an international treaty.
They hope to extend the stay of the two pandas in Chiang Mai while beloved Lin Ping, who is still in China, will be discussed at the end of the month.

The zoo will build a water park for children, size 3,674 square meters and 30 centimeters depth, include playthings, fountain court, changing rooms, etc. It is expected to be open this September. In addition, the zoo will launch the Huai Kha Khaeng Zone this October.

Veterinarian Boripat Siriaroonrat said that the Zoo is still working on the artificial insemination program for the pandas after Lin Hui lost her baby last year. She is still not in estrus but they are working to ensure her health is good and are learning new techniques after attending and international conference in Chongqing last year. The team is storing semen so that if she ovulates they will have some on hand to artificially inseminate her.
 


One million Yaba pills uncovered in major Northern drug bust

Suspect arrested in hospital parking lot

Police uncovered 1 million Yaba pills and 18kg of Ya Ice after receiving a tip off over a major drug trafficking attempt in Chiang Rai.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Police announced the arrest of a 43 year old drug trafficker named Niran or San Sakulrakkriet with one million methamphetamine pills and 18 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in the parking lot of the Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital on January 15, 2015 at the Provincial Police Region 5 office.

The suspect was arrested after police received a tip off that members of the infamous Lt. Col. Yi Sae network would be smuggling drugs from Chiang Rai to Bangkok with the pick up at the hospital.

Police stopped the suspect and uncovered the huge haul of drugs, the suspect confessed that he had been hired by his neighbor, a man named Samran, to deliver the drugs to the parking lot for 10,000 baht.


Burmese drug trafficker arrested in Fang with 100,000 Yaba pills

A Burmese man was arrested with 100,000 Yaba pills by the Border Patrol Police on January 8, 2015.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Pha Muang Task Force arrested a Burmese national in Fang District on January 8, 2015 with 100,000 methamphetamine pills in his possession after receiving a tip off that drug traffickers would be in the Mon Pin Sub-District.
On January 9, 2015 Lt. Col. Tanapol Wongsawat, Commander of 2nd Control Division, 5th Cavalry Regiment Task Force representing the Pha Muang Task Force, Fang government officers, Fang police, Border Patrol Police and Narcotics Control Office Region 5 officers announced the arrest of a Burmese drug trafficker named Jahae, last name unknown.
Capt. Worrasit Ketcharoen, set the team to ambush a gang of traffickers in the Mon Pin Sub-district and stopped three men walking through, the men ran off and officers managed to catch one man who allegedly had the drugs on him.
The suspect confessed that he was engaged to smuggle the drugs from the border in Myanmar.


Chiang Mai Zoo welcomes new baby Douc Langur

A new Douc Langur has been born to the Chiang Mai Zoo.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai Zoo welcomed the newest baby to the family of Douc Langur primates at the Zoo. Douc Langur are considered some of the most beautiful primates in the world, their colorful red forehead offset by the white beard, yellow face and grey head. The primate also has a white tail and bottom.
At noon on 7th January, 2015, Kanchai Saenwong, Director of Chiang Mai Zoo re[ported that five year old mother Nang had given birth to a new bab from Father Bu, a 6 year old Douc Langur. Previously, the Chiang Mai Zoo received 2 female Douc Langurs, bringing the total to 6. The Zoo will be holding a contest to name the new baby. Chiang Mai Zoo received 3 Douc Langurs from Dusit Zoo on July 15, 2012; 1 male and 2 females.
The Doug Langur male is 2 times bigger than female and has a fur tassels at the waist on both sides. It lives in a group and eats vegetables and fruit, sleeping after eating. The gestation period is around 196 days. Douc Langurs can be found in Laos, Vietnam and Indochina although they are not native to Thailand. Douc Langurs are at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo, Dusit Zoo and Chiang Mai Zoo.


Chiang Mai Night Safari introduced 3 new Barbary sheep

Barbary lambs will be living in the Savanna Zone with the herd of Barbary Sheep.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai Night Safari welcomed three new Barbary lambs to the fold on January 9, 2015 where they will live in the Savanna Zone. Currently, Chiang Mai Night Safari has 11 Barbary sheep; 2 males, 6 females and the three babies whose gender is currently unknown.
Barbary sheep or Ammotraguslervia is a wild sheep that is native to North Africa. It has red brown hair on the body, chest and the upper part of the front legs. It has a large bent horn. The body is from 1.3-1.9 meters long and when mature can reach 90 cm tall and weight between 130-150 kg. It has hard hoofs to climb rocks. The Barbary Sheep usually delivers one of two lambs per year. Deliver 1-2 children per year. Barbary sheep are naturally occurring in northern Africa in Algeria, Tunisia, northern Chad, Egypt, Libya, northern Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger and Sudan (west of the Nile, and in the Red Sea Hills east of the Nile).


1 million meth pills seized in Chiang Rai

Police here arrested a drug trafficker with one million methamphetamine pills in a hospital carpark. They said the drugs were destined for Bangkok.
Pol Lt Gen Thanitsak Theerasawasdi, commander of Provincial Police Region 5, said Niran Sakulrakkiat, 43, was arrested driving a pickup truck with 10 bags containing 1 million methamphetamine pills and 18 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine or "ice" in green tea packages.
The suspect alleged that a man named Samran Khongkitcharoen hired him to park the truck at a gas station where another person would drive the vehicle to Bangkok. Police later arrested an alleged accomplice, who was not identified.
Gen Thanitsak said the speed pills came from the network of a Shan dealer identified as Saeng. The network is active in border areas of Chiang Khong district in Chiang Rai and localities in the Lao PDR opposite Chiang Khong.
It was the biggest capture of illicit drugs there this year and the market value of the drug could exceed Bt500 million in the capital. (MCOT online news)


HRH Princess Soamsawali opens CMU Agriculture Fair

HRH Princess Soamsawali opened the 7th Northern Agriculture Fair at Chiang Mai University.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
HRH Princess Soamsawali opened the 7th Annual Northern Agriculture Fair at the Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Agriculture on January 7, 2015. The Fair is being held in honor of HM the King on his 87th birthday and the 50th anniversary of Chiang Mai University this year.

In addition to exhibits on sustainable agriculture, post-harvest procedures, farmers networks and the works of HM the King and the Royal Project in Thailand’s agriculture there are also conferences and seminars on both international and national agricultural issues.

The Agriculture Fair also has local farmers selling agricultural produce and other products. There are also student demonstrations, performances and cultural events. The Agriculture Fair is at the Faculty of Agriculture on Chiang Mai University main campus and at the Mae Hia campus until January 11, 2015.


Chiang Mai tops the country in New Year’s traffic fatalities

Most number of accidents in the country

The Road Safety Center issued results for the 7 Dangerous Days of New Year revealing that Chiang Mai had the highest number of deaths and accidents in the nation.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai came in first for both numbers of fatalities and accidents during the 7 Dangerous Days of New Year from December 30, 2014 to January 5, 2015. Eighteen people died during the New Year holiday in Chiang Mai and 129 people were injured in 133 accidents. Chiang Rai and Petchabun came in second with 15 deaths.

Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya added that 371 checkpoints had bet set up around the province manned by 11,321 officers. The majority of accidents involved motorcycles: 122 out of 133 while seven accidents involved pickup trucks and four cars. Drunk driving was the cause of 31.90% of the accidents.

This year’s death toll was higher than last year with 14 men and 4 women killed. Of the injured, 100 were men and 29 women. The main factor was drunk driving followed by speeding and not wearing a helmet.

The traffic police and government arranged public buses to accommodate traffic for Doi Inthanon, Doi Suthep, Doi Angkhang and Doi Kham.

Nationwide the overall number was slightly lower with 341 deaths, down from 367 last year. There were 2,997 accidents with 3,117 injuries, down from 3,174 accidents last year and 3,344 injuries. Nationwide 37.30% of the accidents were due to drunk driving and 24.39% were caused by speeding. Motorcycles were involved in 82.26% of the accidents and in most of these the riders were not wearing helmets.

Pathtanita Sadudee, Head of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office Chiang Mai said that despite increased presence the numbers in Chiang Mai had risen with drunk driving a major problem. Most of the dead were locals on motorcycles.

The Governor raised concerns about Songkran Festival and that local governments must raise awareness against driving drunk and more checkpoints for alcohol will need to be set up.


Dr. Cynthia Maung to speak at Chiang Mai International Rotary Club

Shana Kongmun
The famed Dr. Cynthia Maung of the Mae Tao Clinic in Tak Province will be speaking at a special open meeting held by the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club on January 27, 2015 at Le Meridien Hotel Chiang Mai. Dr. Maung is the founder of the Mae Tao Clinic, a native of Myanmar she established the clinic in 1989 to cope with the huge influx of refugees fleeing government violence and the 8888 uprising crackdowns.

Dr. Cynthia Maung, founder of the Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot, Tak Province will be speaking to the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club and guests at the Le Meridien Hotel Chiang Mai on Tuesday, January 27 at 7:30 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Starting with a makeshift clinic she has grown the facilities to not only include a hospital but also education and satellite clinics. The hospital provides surgical services, reproductive care, HIV treatment, prosthetics, eye and dental care. The clinic serves between 400 - 500 people on average by about 700 staff providing health care and child protection services. The clinic treats more than 115,000 cases annually.

Dr. Maung has been awarded the Sydney Peace Prize, the Magsaysay Award, and the Catalonia International Prize among many others. Her tireless efforts to provide health and child services to Burmese refugees along the Mae Sot border have earned her international praise and her efforts to work with the Thai government have resulted in a positive relationship with the Thai Ministry of Public Health and Mae Sot Hospital.

Raffle tickets will be sold to raise funds for the Mae Tao Clinic and will feature such great prizes as two return tickets from Bangkok Air from Chiang Mai to Yangon, a Spa and Silver Needle Afternoon Tea Experience for 2 persons at 137 Pillars House, a gift voucher for the green fees for 18 holes of golf for 2 at the historic Chiengmai Gymkhana Golf Club and a gift voucher for 1000 baht for food at Chez Marco Mediterranean Restaurant.

Dr. Cynthia will be speaking on the Mae Tao Clinic and initiatives for children and the current border situation with Myanmar. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. for registration, tickets are 200 baht. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. at Le Meridien Chiang Mai.


Unseasonal rain comes to the North

Doi Suthep is covered in clouds as rain continues across Chiang Mai and the North.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Unseasonal rains have brought some relief to drought stricken Chiang Mai and the Thai Meteorological Department predicts that the rains and cool temperatures will continue through to Monday, January 12, 2015. A rather strong high pressure from China extends to upper Thailand and a westerly trough moves across the North and upper Northeast bringing thunderstorms and gusty winds. Isolated hail is predicted for the North and Northeast. Temperatures have dropped from 6-8 ░C.
People in the higher altitudes are warned about cold and damp weather which is predicted to continue through next week.
The rain, which began the afternoon of January 8, is providing some welcome relief as Chiang Mai faces its worst drought in sixteen years. Facing a severe water shortage the First Irrigation Office said that it would not release any water for rice fields in the coming season as the Mae Kuang Dam was at its lowest level in sixteen years.


Border crossing times extended

The border crossing at Mae Sai in Chiang Rai will now close at 9:30 p.m. instead of 6:30 p.m. while the crossing in Tak will close at 8:30 p.m.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The border crossing at Mae Sai in Chiang Rai will now remain open until 9 p.m. instead of closing at 6:30 p.m. the Ministry of Interior announced. The border crossing at Mae Sot in Tak Province will open from 5:30 a.m. and close at 8:30 p.m. Mae Sai will still open at 6:30 a.m.
A meeting of National Security Council members agreed to the new border crossing hours to promote trade, investment and tourism. The government has set a target to increase cross border trade to 1.5 trillion baht in volume for 2015 and the new extended hours are expected to help the government reach those targets.


Baby sun bear welcomed to Zoo

The Chiang Mai Zoo welcomed the newest little member, a baby Sun Bear, the first animal to be born at the Zoo in the New Year. Mother Nan was named by the public and father Paul came to Chiang Mai from Dusit Zoo in Bangkok. Malayan Sun Bears are native to Burma, Indochina, Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, and southern China. They are more common in Southern Thailand and are omnivorous, eating both leaves, insects, worms and small animals, they are very fond of coconut and can damage the trees. They average around 100 -140 cm long and can weight between 27 kg to 65 kg. Sun Bears are nocturnal creatures although at times can be diurnal, they like to sleep in trees and can make sounds that sound like a barking dog. The protected bears are pregnant for around 95 days and can live up to 20 years. There will be a contest to name the new baby Sun Bear.


Man arrested in New Year bomb scare

Police investigate the fake bomb that was found on January 1, police announced the arrest of a Phrae man who said it was a prank.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Police announced the arrest of a Phrae man in the bomb scare on New Year’s near the Anantara Chiang Mai. Police reported that a fake pipe bomb was found near the Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa, opposite the French Consulate and Alliance Franšaise in the morning of January 1, 2015.
Although the item ended up being a fake, bomb disposal experts still disabled it with a high pressure water gun on site at Charoen Prathet Road before taking it in for examination and determining it had no explosives in it.
Pol. Col. Suwat Kaewduangto, Deputy Commissioner of Chiang Mai Provincial Police reported that police investigated CCTV cameras in the area to determine who was behind what they believed to be an attempt to disrupt New Year’s festivities.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Thanitsak Theerasawas Commissioner of Police Region 5 said police found that the device was actually a fire extinguisher and traced it to a nearby hotel from the serial number on the body of the container. This led to the arrest of Phrae native Somphop Wongluea, age 36 who has been working in a nearby hotel. He confessed to police that it was simply a prank.


Fang girl wins Miss Chiang Mai

Miss Chiang Mai Alisa Santitham and runners up at the contest.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The annual Miss Chiang Mai contest, a fixture of the Chiang Mai OTOP and Winter Fair saw an 18 year old Matthayom girl from Fang take first place and assume the crown of Miss Chiang Mai for 2015.
The third place winner went to Kawinthip Jindarassamee, age 21 and second place to Warissara Chailert, age 22 while 19 year old Alisa Santitham from Fang took the crown, a hundred thousand baht cash prize and the chance to compete in Miss Thailand 2015 later this year. Alisa was a favorite, also winning Miss Photogenic, Miss Bangkok Clinic award and Miss Personality.
The Miss Chiang Mai contest is held at the Winter Fair held behind City Hall every December, past winners have gone on to win Miss Thailand including Supaporn Homboonyasak in 2010 and Wachiporn Sittipong in 2002.


Year-end crime report from Region 5 police

798 offenders arrested from December 22 -26

Region 5 police announced the results of a crime sweep during December 22 – 26, 2014 resulting in the arrest of murderers, a kidnapper, drug traffickers and those carrying illegal weapons.

Nopniwat Krailerg
As part of the Region 5 Police’s efforts to clear criminals from city streets for the Christmas and New Year high season police arrested 798 people in 771 cases from December 22 to December 26, 2014 Pol. Lt. Gen. Tanitsak Theerasawat, Police Region 5 Commissioner announced.
In a bid to improve safety during the holiday season for both residents and visitors the police coordinated with other agencies to raid target locations and set up checkpoints to check for drugs and other illegal items such as weapons as well as for wanted criminals.
Police arrested 21 people on a variety of assault charges, two for murder, one for kidnapping 64 people on gambling charges and 35 carrying illegal weapons including war weapons such as assault rifles. Police arrested 565 people over the period and confiscated a total of 540,642 methamphetamine pills, 3,075 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 6.24g of heroin, 8,516g of opium, 43.85g of marijuana, and 72 Kratom leaves. They destroyed 336 square meters of opium fields, and arrested 25 people on outstanding warrants on drug charges as well as arrested 71 other people on drug charges.


Chiang Mai makes merit for New Year

Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya and his wife join merit making ceremonies at Wat Phra Singh to honor HM King Bhumibol and pray for harmony and prosperity in Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya and his wife Mananya joined leading monks, government officials and members of the public in making merit on the morning of New Year.
The Governor and Deputy Governors prayed at six key locations around the city to honor HM the King and to pray for harmony and prosperity for Chiang Mai in the coming year 2558 in the Buddhist Era.
The Governor and Deputy Governors visited Wat Phra Singh, Wat Mahathat Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Suan Dok, Wat Phrathat Srijomtong and Wat Tha Thon in Mae Ai.


Chiang Mai tops the list for most accidents over New Year

Tied with Surat Thani, Buri Ram and Phetchabun for most fatalities

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Road Safety Center reported that in the first two days of the 7 dangerous days of New Year saw Chiang Mai tie for most fatalities with Surat Thani, Buri Ram and Petchabun with seven dead. Chiang Mai also topped the list for most number of accidents at 49 although Nakhon Sawan had the most number of injuries with 52. The only provinces with no accidents were Rayong and Phang Nga.
Eighty-four percent of the accidents involved motorcycles and drunk driving was the cause of 42 percent of the accidents.
Recent reports show that the third day, January 1, 2015. saw Chiang Mai and Nakhon Sawan with the highest numbers of accidents. The third day alone saw 604 road accidents, injuring 625 people and killing 60 people nationwide.
The three day total saw 190 people killed in 1,737 accidents and 1,782 people injured nationwide in the count that began on December 30, 2014 and ends January 5, 2015.


Fake bomb uncovered near Alliance Franšaise

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Third Army commander reported that a fake bomb was found near the Alliance Francaise building on Charoen Prathet Road on January 1, 2015. The object, made to look like a bomb, was placed under a tree on the sidewalk about 500 meters from the Alliance Franšaise; the building also acts as the French Honorary Consulate.
Police and Army are viewing CCTV camera footage in the neighborhood to determine the culprits. Police suspect that kids aiming to disrupt New Year’s Eve celebrations were behind the item that was an iron rod wrapped with electrical wires and tape to look like a pipe bomb. Members of the bomb disposal unit used a high pressure water gun on the item.
 


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Japanese government helps build earthquake safe school in Chiang Rai

New dengue vaccine developed in Chiang Mai

Bakery fire causes 400,000 baht in damage

Chiang Mai Jazz & Music in the City draws large crowds

Changes to notarial services at the British Consulate in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai police arrest Nigerian for computer fraud

Stray animal population on the rise at local temples

Zoo readies to extend contract with China for pandas

One million Yaba pills uncovered in major Northern drug bust

Burmese drug trafficker arrested in Fang with 100,000 Yaba pills

Chiang Mai Zoo welcomes new baby Douc Langur

Chiang Mai Night Safari introduced 3 new Barbary sheep

1 million meth pills seized in Chiang Rai

HRH Princess Soamsawali opens CMU Agriculture Fair

Chiang Mai tops the country in New Year’s traffic fatalities

Dr. Cynthia Maung to speak at Chiang Mai International Rotary Club

Unseasonal rain comes to the North

Border crossing times extended

Baby sun bear welcomed to Zoo

Man arrested in New Year bomb scare

Fang girl wins Miss Chiang Mai

Year-end crime report from Region 5 police

Chiang Mai makes merit for New Year

Chiang Mai tops the list for most accidents over New Year

Fake bomb uncovered near Alliance Franšaise


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