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Update April 2017


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Chiang Mai News
 

Road Safety Directing Center’s Songkran accident report on April 13th

NNT

The Road Safety Directing Center has just released its road accident report for April 13th, the first day of the Songkran long holiday.

The report indicates that being under the influence of alcohol was the number one cause of accidents on that day, followed by speeding. Most of these accidents involved motorcycles on both highways, and small roads.

According to the report, the top three misdemeanors that put lives at risk on the first day of Songkran, were refusing to wear a safety helmet, being under the influence of alcohol and speeding. In some cases all three driving risks applied

So far 79 people have died bringing the total to thus far to 167 from a total of 1743 accidents and 1795 injuries.

The Road Safety Directing Center also pointed out that speeding and being under the influence of alcohol are the major causes of road accident mortality. Most roadway deaths involved motorcycles.

The center’s data revealed that the top five reasons for motorists and bike riders being prosecuted on the first day included refusing to wear a safety helmet, driving without a driver's license, refusing to wear a safety belt, operating a vehicle recklessly and speeding.

The Interior Ministry earlier instructed provincial governors and district chiefs to make sure that celebration venues have enough parking spots and a parking service. The officials are to step up measures against accidents resulting from drinking and driving.

Meanwhile several provinces have been implementing strict safety measures, with a focus on preventing road accidents and drunk driving.

In Nakhon Si Thammarat province, Fourth Army soldiers and police officers were deployed to checkpoints along highway routes between Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani province. Aside from screening for drunk drivers and contraband, the checkpoints also provided bathrooms, rest stops, and drinking water for road-weary travelers.

In Trat province, several tourists made their way to the islands of Ko Kut and Ko Mak. The islands have set up road and maritime safety centers. Officials have been deployed to harbors and piers to accommodate the increase in arrivals. The Trat provincial administration has ordered the strict enforcement of safety regulations for ferries and other passenger boats. All passengers must wear life vests for the duration of their trips at sea.

In the North, the Governor of Chiang Rai province joined police brass and military leaders on an inspection of checkpoints throughout the capital district, as well as the districts of Mae Chan and Mae Sai. The checkpoints must be manned 24 hours a day to provide a rapid response to any emergencies or accidents that may occur. Officials will also be screening for contraband, including illegal drugs.

In Sakon Nakhon province, police officers have been setting up checkpoints to ensure that traffic laws are strictly enforced. However, the checkpoints have also been handing out mangoes to passing motorists, a measure that has been warmly received by local travelers.


PM urges all Thais to celebrate Songkran traditionally

NNT

The Prime Minister has urged all Thais to celebrate Songkran traditionally while safeguarding the nation's key institutions.

 

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha made the comment after attending religious rites at Government House on the occasion of Songkran 2017. Also participating in the event were Naraporn Chan-o-cha, the premier's wife, Cabinet members, and high ranking military and government officers.

Gen. Payut has implored Thai citizens to celebrate Songkran traditionally and join hands in protecting the Kingdom's institutions which include the nation, the religions, and the monarchy. He also vowed to perform his duties to the best of his ability, in order to secure peace and order in the country.

The Prime Minister wished holidaymakers safe travels and asked them to help prevent accidents during this festive season.


Commerce Ministry to inspect firm operating illegally

NNT

The Ministry of Commerce is stepping up measures against companies that operate out of bounds, without informing the Department of Business Development (DBD).

 

According to Deputy Commerce Minister Sonthirat Sonthijirawong, legally registered companies must inform authorities of the scope of its business. Should a company wish to adjust its operations, it must consult the DBD and receive a permit from relevant governmental units, in accordance with the law.

The Deputy Commerce Minister stressed that companies who fail to adhere to the business code are committing fraud and will be prosecuted. He warned that the government is intensifying its inspections of registered companies, in order to prevent them from operating beyond the declared scope of their business.


Investigation launched into fraudulent firm leaving Japan-bound tourists stranded at airport

NNT

The government has ordered the Customers Protection Board (CPB) to investigate an allegedly fraudulent tour agent leaving Japan-bound Thai tourists stranded at Suvarnabhumi airport.

Minister attached to the Prime Minister’s Office Ormsin Chivapruck said the CPB investigation against Pasit Arinchalapit, or known as Sinsae Shogun, will be launched for the suspected fraud.

Officials are ordered to inspect the office of WealthEver company registered in Nakhon Sawan as an importer of beverages and supplements. The operations will be expedited and under close supervision of the CPB as many people are affected from this fraud.

Information gathered from this investigation will be passed on to the related agencies, while compensations for the affected persons will need to be further discussed.

Investigations have also been ordered to check with other companies operating in the same manner.

The minister warned the general public not to instantly believe in any offers which could be too cheap to be true, and that the public may inquire with government agencies or the CPB hotline 1166 to verify the validity of such offer.


Record turnout projected for TTM 2017 in Chiang Mai

TAT

The Thailand Travel Mart 2017 Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion (TTM+ 2017) is on track to report a record turnout of buyers when it is held between 14 – 16 June, 2017, in the Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre (CMECC).

To be held for the second time in the northern capital of Thailand, the show has already reported a registration (closure date 23 March) of 480 buyers from 64 countries and 354 sellers from Thailand and the GMS countries. As of 11 April, 2017, the largest contingent of buyers for TTM+ 2017 are Europe (182), East Asia (137), ASEAN (42), America (38), Oceania (29), the Middle East (11), and Thailand (41).

Although final numbers will be established closer to the actual date, so far it is the highest turnout ever, well above the 343 buyers in 2016 and the 440 buyers in 2008.

 

The registration of 354 sellers is also higher than the 342 recorded in 2016. The sellers comprise hotels and resorts (272), tour operators and travel agents (30), GMS (14), entertainment (11), sustainable tourism (8), associations (6), NTOs (5), transportation (4), and other travel services (4).

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “This is a clear indication of the high level of interest in Thailand and Northern Thailand in particular. We are now finalising some very interesting events, activities and tours for the buyers which I am sure will go a long way towards helping them better promote Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand to their clients.”

 

Now in its 16th consecutive year, this year’s TTM+ will be held under the theme concept, “Delivering Unique Experiences”.

The event will be opened on 14 June at 13.30 – 14.00 Hrs. followed by the forum for Sellers and Buyers and then Local Tourism Product Presentation. The trade show will be held 14-17 June at the CMECC.

In the evening of 14 June, the welcome reception will be held at CMECC. On 15 June, a “Lanna Night” reception will be hosted by the Upper Northern Provincial Cluster. The “TTM+ 2017: Thank You Party” will be held on June 16 at CMECC.

The decision to maintain Chiang Mai as the venue of the TTM+ for the second consecutive year was designed to ensure that buyers and media get yet another chance to explore the many unique emerging cultural and natural attractions of North Thailand and the border countries of Myanmar and Lao PDR.

It is also part of the TAT’s strategy to better balance the distribution of visitors nationwide. Although the vast majority of visitors head for Thai beach resorts along the southern and eastern coastlines, the future potential lies in the North and Northeast Thailand region, which is set to offer its connecting routes to the neighbouring countries of Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar, and Vietnam.

In the first quarter of 2017, Thailand’s visitor arrivals surged to 9.2 million, generating nearly 5 million Thai Baht, up by 2 and 7 percent, respectively over the same period of 2016. Amongst these numbers, visitors from South East Asia were up by 18 percent followed by the Americas (+14%), Europe (+8%), the Middle East (+7%), ASEAN (+3%), and Africa (+2%).

For more information, please check out www.thailandtravelmartplus.com

*All photos shown:  Thailand Travel Mart 2016


Police arrest three for selling e-cigarettes

Police announced the arrest of three people accused of violating the Consumer Protection Act by selling e-cigarettes.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Provincial Police Region 5 cracked down on sellers of illegal electronic cigarettes recently and charged sellers of selling prohibited goods that could cause danger to consumers under the Consumer Act BE 2522.

Pol. Maj. Gen. Jaruk Limsuwan, Commissioner of Investigation Division Provincial Police Region 5 and Pol. Col.W eerachon Boontawee, Deputy Commanders (Investigation) of Provincial Police Region 5 announced the arrest of three suspects at the Region 5 Headquarters. Police arrested Weena Weerawuthikai, age 36 of San Sai, owner of WK Bike located on Rachapakinai Road along with 31 year old Ratchakit Wilertthada of Phitsanulok in his shop in Hang Dong, and 22 year old Tharin Tantiwilai of San Kamphaeng. Police als confiscated e-cigarette paraphernalia.

Before the arrest police made major announcements to media outlets that the selling of the e-cigarette or the liquid via social media would be tracked down. Police obtained search warrants for four houses where they believed the suspects were storing the e-cigarettes before sending them through the mail.


Police arrest San Patong man for starting fires

Police announced the arrest of a 38 year old San Patong man for setting a fire in a reserved forest area in violation of the 60 day burning ban.

Nopniwat Krailerg

San Patong police announced the arrest of a local man for starting fires in violation of the 60 burning ban recently. Police said that a neighbor had reported that someone was starting fires in Nam Bor Luang village near the forest.

Pol. Col. Anak Sripho said that police went to the scene and found 38 year old Pattana or Kiewpang starting a fire near his house in Moo 6. Police found a lighter in his pocket and he also confessed to police that he had started the fire in one spot with the lighter and then tried to expand the fire by using dried bamboo to spread the fire along a line.

 Officers charged him for being in violation of the 60 day burning ban under the Forest Act. B.E. 2484 (1941) Section 54 about construction, destruction, burning or doing anything to illegally destroy forests. He was also charged under the National Reserved Forest Act, B.E. 2507 (1964) and addition correction B.E. 2559 (2016) Section 14 “in area of national reserved forest, no one is allowed to take of possession or to live in the land construct, destroy, burn, or any actions to illegally destroy the national reserved forest”

Chiang Mai Province issued an announcement that the burning bad would be strictly enforced and a 5,000 baht reward will be given to those whose information leads to the arrest of someone setting fires. Reports can be made with the Chiang Mai Smog and Wildfire Problem Solving Directing Center at 053 112236 or call 191 for the 24 hour hotline.


Man arrested for brutal stabbing murder of his lover

Doi Saket Police announced the arrest of the suspect in the brutal stabbing murder of a transgender woman in Doi Saket. The body had remained undiscovered for five days after the murder.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Police arrested the suspect in the brutal stabbing murder of a 24 year old transgender woman in Doi Saket. The body of the victim was left in the house undiscovered for five days.

Police discovered the body of Prinya Jaijai of San Kamphaeng with stab wounds to the chest and neck. The body had been there for about five days.

Pol.Maj.Gen. Sarayuth Sanguanpokai, Commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police, ordered the police to urgently track down the killer in the brutal murder. Police suspected the murder may have been done by a partner and investigated Prinya’s friends. They arrested Taewin Bamrungthai age 33 from Mae Ai; he confused that he had killed his partner out of jealousy.


Police apprehend serial thief bag snatcher

Pol. Maj. Gen. Sarayuth Sanguanpokhai, Commissioner of Chiang Mai Provincial Police, Pol. Col. Piyaphan Pattarapongsin, Deputy Commissioner of Chiang Mai Provincial Police, and Pol.Col. Apiwat Chaisrisuth, Superintendent of Chiang Mai Police Station with the suspect in the bag snatching, the other suspect remains at large.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Police announced the arrest of one man in a team of bag snatchers suspected of stealing the bag from a German tourist in January. The other suspect has yet to be apprehended although the police do have a warrant for his arrest.

Police allege that Kittitat Kantiya of San Kamphaeng and Chatchavan Nanta of Mae Rim stole the backpack from the German tourist as she waited in front of a red light at Yupparaj Wittayalai School in January. Police tracked down the names of the two men using CCTV footage and asked for arrest warrants for the two men.

However, Kittitat had already been arrested on February 23 for breaking and entering while the other suspect has yet to be caught. Kittitat confessed that he had stolen the bag.


Famed Lanna artists file complaint of copyright violations on YouTube

Panutat Apichanachong, or Kru Ad, Om Rattanang, Patinya “Nong” Trangtrakul, and members of Lanna Artists Club filed a copyright infringement complaint with the police after a YouTube user uploaded their songs without their permission.

Nopniwat Krailerg

A group of famous Lanna artists filed a complaint with the police after discovering that a YouTube channel had uploaded their music without their permission, charging the police to find the person infringing their copyrights.

The artists complained that their music had been uploaded to YouTube without their permission. Accompanied by other famous Lanna artists such as Om Rattanang, Patinya “Nong” Trangtrakul, and members of Lanna Artists Club the group filed the complaint with the Inquiry Officer at Chang Puak Police Station Pol. Col. Nattawat Keankaew.

Panutat Apichanachong, or Kru Ad said that he and other artists had created songs and uploaded onto Youtube for broadcasting on his own channel which could earn income. Yesterday, he uploaded his two songs on YouTube channel, which were “Anna Thapae Part 2” and Songkarn Der Salor”. Subsequently, the You Tube channel named “Hao Kon Muang Nua” uploaded these two songs on their channel without asking permission, this is considered copyright infringement. Then, he tried to contact the channel owner but there was no response. He talked with other Lanna artists and found that other artists had the same problems for several years.

He told reporters that this wasn’t right because it is taking credit for their work. It is required a lot of time and energy to create their works. The artists agreed to file the report with the police and encouraged other artists to file complaints with the police as well. The Inquiry officer filed the report as evidence and will send to the investigative unit to find the culprits for further prosecution.


Fire at construction camp leave workers homeless

Residents of the building that caught on fire and police watch as fire fighters put out the fire that gutted the building.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Fire broke out in a building housing construction worker on Thung Hotel Road on March 9, 2016 while the workers were away at the construction site. The two story building was severely damaged and residents of the 32 rooms lost their belongings in the fire that took over an hour for firefighters to put out.

Seven fire engines rushed to the scene of the blaze that started in a room on the ground floor. Estimates at losses are at around 800,000 baht. The residents of the building returned to the scene of the fire, some wept openly as they lost all their belongings.

Fire investigators will check the building to find the cause of the fire.


Sanpatong man arrested for dealing Yaba

Police arrested a suspected drug dealer after he barricaded himself in his house before finally surrendering himself.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Police and military announced the arrest of a 38 year old Sanpatong man after a raid on his house. Dusit Phukandaeng barricaded himself in his house when he saw the authorities coming. Police said he threw a black bag out of his window before finally surrendering to police.

The suspect was taken to the police station for questioning where he told the authorities that he had been smuggling drugs for some time now. He identified his source as a man named ‘Santhi’ who lives in Hangdong but he told police he doesn’t know the man’s real name. He told police his customers are teenagers around the village. Dusit was arrested with 3,800 Yaba or methamphetamine tablets, a 38mm handgun and five motorbikes that police suspect were stolen.


Special volunteer units to be assigned to monitor hot spots

Col. Sretapol Khethem, Deputy Commander of Military Circle 33 chaired a training program to put out forest fires at Phu Ping Palace where locals were taught fire prevention strategies.

Nopniwat Krailerg

A team of 25 volunteers per community has been assigned to coordinate with organizations involved to monitor for forest fires and hot spots.

Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Phuthipong Sirimart, as the chairman of the working committee at the Pollution Control Department, said that all respective districts should collaborate and monitor forest fires and stop them from the source before the air gets more polluted. The monitoring should take place 24 hours and be on the look out to nearby districts as well, and to report of any forest fires or hotspots discovered. Village chiefs and community leaders must also make public announcements to request cooperation and give warnings to residents.

Additionally, a team of 25 volunteers per community should be established to coordinate with organizations involved as well as monitor the hotspots. This way injuries and potential damage or casualties can be prevented.

“We should all be aware of what causes fires and put them out immediately if seen or contact authorities if the situation is out of hand. The air quality is poor as usual, due to forest and crop burning and that can result in major health issues if not looked into. We are urging all residents to take part as being an eye of the community and to put out or report of any forest fires to the Forestry Department or other involved. For more details, contact Chiang Mai City Hall at 053-112-236” said the deputy governor.


Water sprayed to increase moisture in the air

Nopniwat Krailerg

The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Center area 10 sprayed water into the air at Chiang Mai City Hall in a bid to reduce dust and increase moisture in the air. Although A4Thai website reports PM10 levels as being within acceptable ranges the high temperatures and dry weather led the officials to spray water.

Komsan Suwanampa, Director of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Center area 10, Lampang led officers and 4 supported water spraying trucks and 2 high pressure hose trucks or Fire Robot LUF 60 to spray water into the air for 30 minutes to reduce dust in the air due to road construction in front of Chiang Mai City Hall.

Komsan Suwanampa said that the Director-General of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation ordered the center to coordinate with Local Disaster Prevention and Mitigation offices to work with the Ministry of Interior, Local Administration Organization, Office of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Third Army Area to prevent and monitor wild fire and smog in the North. In addition, two trucks of Fire Robot LUF 60 were used in this mission. The Fire Robot is very helpful, especially, in the area which is narrow, hard to access, or dangerous. The said robot can be controlled by radio to walk into the target within 300 meters.

The Director-General of Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation ordered all 18 areas of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation centers to prepare to support the mission in the North where these problems happen every year during the dry season.

Lampang has seen many fires, especially at Doi Prabhat, Muang and Mae Moh so the center set up a directing and support center to support the area for quick operations.

The website http://air4thai.pcd.go.th/ reports air quality numbers updated regularly. The Northern Meteorological Center said that the North would see higher day tie temperatures while the Upper North part was still cold in the morning and night. The Lowest temperature was 16-20 degree and highest temperature was 35-37 degree. Weather on top of mountain would be cold to very cold with lowest temperature at 7-12 degrees.


AOT moves ahead on plan for new parking structure for the airport

Public hearings to be held this month

Director of Chiang Mai International Airport Flt. Lt. Wisut Jantana is joined by Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart and airport officials to announce the plans for a parking structure at the Chiang Mai International Airport.

Nopniwat Krailerg

The Airports of Thailand announced that Chiang Mai International Airport has submitted a plan for a new parking structure and hopes to see construction begin by 2020.

The Director of Chiang Mai International Airport Flt. Lt. Wisut Jantana said that the airport has formulated plans to deal with growth and handle higher air traffic volumes to support around 20 million passengers by 2030. Last year the airport handled 9.45 million passengers and has been working on improving facilities, services and passenger convenience in accordance with the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

A plan for a new parking structure has been submitted for an environmental impact assessment, the report and Cabinet approval should take about two years. Public hearings on the new construction will be held starting the middle of March. If all goes according to schedule construction should begin in 2019 and finish by 2020.


Sexual assault victim asks for police protection

Police are investigating the alleged sexual assault on a 12 year old girl and a 3 year old girl by a government official in his official residence.

Nopniwat Krailerg

The guardian of a twelve year old girl raped by a government official brought the girl to the Provincial Police Region 5 offices to ask for protection for the girl and her younger sister after they accused the man who had adopted them of sexual assault.

The woman told police that the man, who is a government official had raped the twelve year old girl and sexually abused the three year old girl in his official residence. The guardian said she had pressed the girls to find out why their behavior had changed so drastically and they confessed that the man had been assaulting them. The girls said he told them if they told anyone they would be killed.

The police tested the girls for evidence of sexual assault and police went to collect evidence from the man’s official residence in downtown Chiang Mai. They also called the man in for inquiries but he refused.

The guardian asked the police for protection given the man’s threats against the girls. Deputy Company Pol. Maj. Gen. Montri Somboonnanon took the girls in to secure custody and promised to prosecute the case with fairness.


Canadian biker arrested in hit and run

Three year old toddler injured in accident

A three year old toddler was left with two broken legs and potential brain damage after a hit and run accident on Maneenopparat Road on February 22, 2017.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Police tracked down a man suspected of a hit and run accident that left a three year old toddler in the hospital with two broken legs and brain damage. The girl’s parents are tourists visiting from Spain and said they were crossing the road when a big bike struck the girl’s pram on February 22, 2017 near Wat Pa Pao on Maneenopparat Road.

Police checked CCTV footage and tracked down a 52 year old Canadian man named Christopher Markus at a guesthouse in town. He was questioned by police and his motorcycle confiscated as evidence.

 The Canadian man was questioned by the Deputy Police Commander and admitted to hitting the child while he was overtaking another vehicle but wasn’t aware of the family crossing the street. He told police that he left because he was in shock and afraid as he is a foreigner on a visit to the country. He had rented the big bike to explore Chiang Mai. The man was charged with driving recklessly and his prosecution will be up to the court to determine.

The Spanish family said they love Thailand and visit every year, specifically during February but they don’t know if they will return again. They are only hoping that their daughter will recover soon.


Two geologists killed in tunnel collapse in Mae Taeng

Two geologists working on a water supply tunnel were killed when the tunnel collapsed on March 2, 2017.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Two geologists were killed after a tunnel under construction in Mae Taeng collapsed; one man escaped and informed police and rescue workers. The tunnel is part of the Mae Ngat – Mae Kuang Water Transmission Project that will solve water shortage issues in Mae Kuang Dam.

The tunnel collapsed at 7:30 a.m. on March 2, 2017 when three Italian Thai Co. Ltd. geologists were inside inspecting the tunnel before start of work that day. Two men were killed instantly; 24 year old Pathompong Siriwat and 24 year old Pratyawat Wasuanan, both of Chiang Mai.

The tunnel normally had workers in there in two shifts, morning and evening. Prior to releasing the workers to enter the tunnel the geologists surveyed the strut system in the tunnel. There had been a lot of water in the tunnel and that softened the walls.

It took rescue workers about an hour to dig out the tunnel and retrieve the bodies. Governor Pawin Chamniprasart visited the scene of the disaster with other officials.

Construction on the tunnel is scheduled to finish in 2021 and has a 15 billion baht budget – it is designed to bring water to the Mae Kuang Dam to solve the water shortage problem as Mae Kuang supplies water for agriculture, homes and businesses and industry in Chiang Mai an Lamphun.


Police announce another huge bust with 1 million Yaba pills

Also seized 165 kg of heroin and 89 kg of Ya Ice

Pol. Gen. Chalermkiat Sriworakan, Deputy Commissioner-General Royal Thai Police, Pol. Lt. Gen. Poonsub Prasertsak – Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5, Wichai Chaimongkol – Director of Narcotics Control Board Region 5, and Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart are joined by police officers at the display of the huge drug haul discovered in Chiang Rai.

Nopniwat Krailerg

In yet another major arrest Region 5 Police seized one million methamphetamine or Yaba pills, 165 kilograms of heroin and 89 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine from three men in Mae Sai District, Chiang Rai.

Police had received a tip off that a major shipment was due to come over the border with Myanmar so they set up a checkpoint at the border between Mae Sai District and Mae Chan District on February 23, 2017.

Police stopped two vehicles that were traveling together for inspection but the driver of the car sped off attempting to escape, the driver of the other vehicle, a pick-up truck, remained and police found drugs hidden in the back.

Police arrested Gua Yang, age26, Komkrit Thanawuthichai, age 18 and Her Tor, age 26 of Wiang Kean District Chiang Rai. The suspects confessed to police that they had been paid 150,000 baht to transport the drugs from the border to Wiang Kean, Chiang Rai. Police will investigate further to uncover the trafficking network.


Police nab snatch and grab thieves who targeted Chinese tourist

Police view the re-enactment of a snatch and grab theft by two suspects in front of the Thai Airways Office on Prapokklao Road.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Police announced the arrest of a couple in the snatch and grab theft of a Chinese tourist’s bag on February 22, 2017.

Pol. Lt. Gen. Poonsub Prasertsak, Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5 and Chiang Mai Provincial Police were on hand for the re-enactment of the crime by 24 year old Nattaphong Chaithep and 21 year old Nopparat Chaam in front of the Thai Airways Office on Prapokklao Road.

Police reported that a Chinese tourist was walking along Moon Muang Road around 10:20 p.m. and turned into Prapokklao Road carrying her blue handbag when the couple drove their motorbike in front of her, the man got off the bike and grabbed her bag before jumping on the bike and driving off. In the bag were her iPhone 7 Plus and two credit cards. The tourist reported the theft to the police who checked CCTV footage in the area and identified the motorbike.

Police arrested the suspects near the Ruamchoke intersection and Nattapong confessed to police that he had met Miss Nopparat in Facebook and they had committed the theft for money to rent a room to live together. Nattapong was released in January after spending five years in prison.


Police seize property valued at 120 million baht from drug trafficking network

Police inspect property seized from a suspected drug trafficking network.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Provincial Police Region 5 announced the arrest of a member of the Jae Air drug trafficking network in Fang last week after finding 200,000 methamphetamine or Yaba tablets and 2.8kg of heroin in a warehouse in Lamphun.

Pol. Lt. Gen.Poonsub Prasertsri, Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5 and Pol. Maj. Gen.Panudej Boonruang, Deputy Commissioner of Provincial Region 5 announced the arrest of Weerapong Jomkam of Fang and stated that 120 million baht in property had been seized from the suspected drug trafficker.

Police suspected Pannee “Jae Air” Jomkam of Kantaweesub Co. Ltd. of transporting drugs from Fang and Mae Ai hidden in transport trucks. Police received a tip off that two trucks and a lead vehicle would be transporting drugs. The first car from Chiang Mai held Dejpong Jomkam and Pannee Jomkam and another truck driven by Wirat Sanon and Chidchanok Jaitanan.

Both trucks were parked in a warehouse of construction materials in Lamphun for a long time. They bought cement, but they took two sacks out and placed beside steel bars in the warehouse before loading the cement. Subsequently, both trucks left the warehouse. On the next day, staff of the warehouse found that both sacks were still in the same position and, suspicious of illegal activity, notified police who found amphetamines and heroin inside the sacks.

Police collected evidence and found witnesses that led them to the suspects but arrested only Weerapong Jaikam, the other four escaped. Police confiscated properties including six rai of land with construction belonging to Kantaweesub Ltd Partnership valued at 20 million baht, 10 trailer trucks valued at 30 million baht, three vans and cars valued at 10 million baht, pick-up trucks, tractors, house and resort, 100 rai of orchard gardens, 19 rai of sand station, 23 rai of lime fields, and a house and land in Property Perfect Village in Bangkok, The total value was about 120 million baht.


Ban Donjan villagers file complaint asking to have village headman sacked

Villagers from Ban Donjan Moo 4 led by Prapaporn Chaichanachompu, Chairman of Village Fund of Ban Donjan Pattana asked to have their village headman discharged after three years of issues.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Villagers of Ban Donjan Moo 4 filed a complaint with the Damrongdhamma Office that the discharge order of their village headman had not been enforced more than three years after the initial discharge.

A total of 30 villagers filed their letter at Chiang Mai City Hall on February 21, 2017 asking that the government process the discharge order after the appeal by Poranee Chaiwapin, village headman of Moo 4 was rejected.

Led by Prapaporn Chaichanachompu, Chairman of Village Fund of Ban Donjan Pattana they passed their protest letter to Anchalee Uthai, Chief of the Administration and Justice Enhancement Group as the Deputy Governor’s representative.

Prapaporn said that they had presented the complaint letter because it had already been determined that she did not behave appropriately as village headman. Villagers allege that as village headman she did not take into consideration villagers opinions in regards to an SML project and the construction of sewers. The complaint stated that with the village headman in place it had caused much dissent in the village and they allege that she had not coordinated with the government organizations and local administrations in promoting the community, they allege that she not helped village youth and had collected parking fees from vendors.

Prapaporn then referred to an order issued by Muang, Chiang Mai Chief District Officer no. Cho Mor 0118/5266 dated 27 August 2014 regarding the District’s summary of inspection result that the village headman had behavior neglecting the role or is not appropriate with the position according to Section 14(7) of  the Local Government Act, BE 2457 (1914). As a result, the resolution was that Chiang Mai Governor would consider discharging the village headman.

However, the order was never issued and even though the villagers have constantly asked to have the village headman removed, she stated that nothing had been done.

On January 15, 2017 under Ministry of Interior regulations an assessment of duty operations of village headmen was held. However, the villagers state that the village headman didn’t publicize to the villagers but she gathered her people and cousins to assess her duty operations. The villagers stated that this showed dishonesty and non-transparency. After hearing of this they complained to the Village’s Community Committees to have a meeting and filed a complaint letter with the Muang, Chiang Mai District Chief Officer to ask for a re-assessment of the village headman’s duty operations. After checking, the District Chief Officer did order a re-assessment of the village headman on January 26, 2017. This assessment saw 169 villagers of Ban Donjan Pattana Community participate and the village headman didn’t pass the assessment. Consequently, Pornranee Chaiwapin, Village Headman of Moo 4 was discharged according Section 14(11) of the Local Government Act, BE 2457 (1914)

However, villagers found out that the village headman had appealed the assessment and asked the province to cancel the appeal, discharge the headman and allow the villagers to elect a new village headman.


Deputy Prime Minister visits Mae On to view bridge reconstruction

Deputy Prime Minister General Thanasak Patimaprakorn checks out the repair and reconstruction of the Huay Sua Bridge after it was severely damaged in flash floods last year.

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Deputy Prime Minister General Thanasak Patimaprakorn visited Huay Sua in Mae On district to view the reconstruction of the Huay Sua Bridge after it was damaged in flash floods last September.

The Deputy Prime Minister was joined by a committee of inspectors from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Interior and spoke to the residents in the area about the damage.

Ms. Pataraporn Laijud, Mae-on District Chief said that the bridge had been severely damaged after flash floods; major sections of the bridge had been so badly damaged residents were prevented from crossing. The Chiang Mai government approved an emergency budget of 2.3 million baht to undergo immediate repairs.

Mae On was established as a district in 1994, has 6 Tambon government organizations and 49 communities over 442.3 square kilometers.


Governor expresses concern about littering and rubbish in Chiang Mai

Governor Pawin Chamniprasart chaired a meeting with local government officials to make Chiang Mai rubbish free and a “Clean Province.”

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Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart met with district chiefs, community leaders and government officials recently to discuss the issues with littering and rubbish that have become apparent during the high tourist season.

The Governor urged all sectors involved to collaborate and tackle the issue. His plans are to move forward under government policies ‘Thailand the Land Free of Rubbish’ and Chiang Mai as ‘Changwat Sa-ard’ or Clean Province. The first step to make this happen is to have local authorities raise awareness of rubbish issues within their respective communities and find ways to reduce waste/rubbish starting at the home and family level. This will then lead to communities, moobans and tambons promoting recycling at their levels.

The ‘Thailand the Land Free of Rubbish’ project was started in 2016 and will be observed till 2021to determine whether the plans are effective or not under the 3 R’s; recycle, reduce and reuse. Other strategies include ways to dispose of rubbish and regular cleaning projects in local communities. Moreover, some rubbish can be used for other purposes such as processing into fertilizers and other things.

He noted that if each and every Thai or foreign person living in Thailand would give up just a few hours of their day to come out and clean or get rid of their own rubbish properly, Thailand would become a rubbish free country within a day.


People receive help from Road Accident Fund license auctions

Chiang Mai residents disabled and injured from road accidents received wheelchairs and other equipment purchased from funds raised by the auction of lucky license plates.

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The Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transport Office announced the auction for auspicious license plates beginning with the letters Kor Yor on February 25 – 26, 2017 at a ceremony to distribute equipment for the disabled purchased with funds from previous auctions.

Manat Kansai, Chiang Mai Deputy Governor and Chanchai Keelapang, Director of Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transport Office were on hand to distribute the equipment to people who have been disabled from road accidents. The fund was set up to use money raised from the auctions to help people who have been injured and disabled in road accidents. In 2016 the fund helped 13,783 people from the 658,511,301 baht budget. Included were seven electric wheelchairs, 15 regular wheelchairs, eleven people received prostheses, four hospital beds, and other equipment for a total value of 1,766,000 baht.

The next auction on February 25 – 26 is expected to raise at least 15 million baht.


Police uncover 900,000 Yaba pills in modified pickup truck

Police found 900,000 Yaba tablets hidden in a compartment in a pickup truck that had traveled from Tachilek to deliver drugs to Bangkok.

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Provincial Police Region 5 seized 900,000 methamphetamine tablets found in a modified vehicle and arrested the driver from Mae Taeng.

Police said that Santi Pali, of Mae Taeng, was a known drug agent and they followed him as he drove the truck to Mae Sai and got a permit to drive the vehicle over the border into Tachilek in Myanmar. Police waited until he re-entered Thailand and followed him until he was stopped at the Pong Din check point in Doi Saket.

Initially police did not find any drugs but took Santi to the Region 5 offices where a detailed inspection of the truck yielded 450 packs of Yaba hidden in a compartment under the bed.

Police said that Santi confessed to police that this was the eighth time he had smuggled drugs across the border and was paid 200,000 baht each time to deliver the drugs to Bangkok.

Police will continue investigating to find the drug network responsible for the smuggling.


Governor donates 1000 blankets to Mae Taeng villagers

Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart donated 1,000 blankets to villagers in Mae Taeng on February 15, 2017. Mae Taeng suffers cold weather every year and it was determined that 20,000 homes were in need of warm clothing and blankets. His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun assigned a representative to donate 500 blankets people in trouble. The private sector already donated 2,000 blankets to people in the district. The government has asked for assistance from the private sector to help more villagers in the district.


Governor visits Mae Taeng to meet with local officials on fires and haze

Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart addressed local officials in Mae Taeng about efforts to fight pollution and haze caused by fires and burning.

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Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart visited local government officials in Mae Taeng to discuss solutions to the fire and haze problem that plagues Chiang Mai annually.

The Governor visited the Kuret Chang Municipality and met with  Local Administration Organizations, local leaders, Sub-District Headmen, Village Headmen, and volunteers and listened to the obstacles, and scope of work operations. They discussed finding ways to solve the problem in cooperation with the government. The Chiang Mai Governor asked for cooperation from all sectors to reduce smog and wildfire problems.

The 60 day fire ban in 2016 saw the number of hotspots reduced from 1,882 spots to 997 spots or 47.02%  change. The number of days when the PM10 levels hit dangerous levels dropped from 17 days from the past year to 14 days, and the highest value of PM10 of the year 2015 which was 299 micrograms per Ccubic meter (on March 17, 2015) reduced to 192 micrograms per cubic meter in 2016 (on March 26, 2016). Police arrested 18 people for fires during the 2016 fire ban period and aircraft were able to take off and land normally. Officials said they feel awareness has grown and more people are working to make it sustainable.

For 2017 the government has appointed a working team of Chiang Mai Smog and Wildfire Problem Solving Center to analyse problem conditions and present solutions to the Chiang Mai Smog and Wildfire Problem Solving Commission. A plan has been created and is divided into three steps including prevention measures taken from November 2016 to February 19, 2017. The second step will be during the fire ban from February 20 – April 20, 2017 by using a single command system to solve smog and wildfire problems. The third step will be to implement sustainable long term solutions using guidelines given by HM King Rama IX, for example, the wet forest, and growing 3 forests and get 4 benefits.

There were 62 hotspots from February 1 – 13, 2017, 28 spots in forest sanctuaries in 8 districts; Mae Chaem had 17 hotspots, Mae Ai had four hotspots, Om Koi had two and Chomthong, Mae Taeng, Mae Wang, Doi Saket, and Prao had one each. There were 16 hotspots in forest conservation areas in six districts; Hod and Chomthong had four hotspots, Mae Chaem had three, Samoeng and Mae Wang had two each and Chiang Dao had one. There were 18 Hotspots in agricultural areas in 9 districts including Mae Chaem which had four, Doi Tao and Chiang Dao had three, Fang and Mae Wang had two, and Doi Lor, Wiang Haeng, Hod and Mae Taeng each had one.


Two million Yaba pills seized in one arrest

Mae Wang man with Yaba and Ya Ice

Police announced the arrest of a Mae Wang man and the seizure of 2 million methamphetamine tablets and 150 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine.

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Region 5 Police announced a major drug bust with the arrest of a Mae Wang man with 2 million methamphetamine pills and 150 kilograms of crystal methamphetamines in one of the largest seizures in several years.

Pol. Gen. Chalermkiat Sriworakan, Deputy Commissioner General and Pol. Lt. Gen. Poonsub Prasertsub, Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5 announced the arrest of 41-year-old Pisit Chaongangkul from Mae Wang, Chiang Mai with 2 million Yaba pills and 150 kilograms of Ya Ice. They also seized 10,000 baht and impounded a house with land, two vehicles and a bank account with 400,000 baht.

Police were led to Pisit after arresting Bandasak Yungyongsan with 794,000 methamphetamine tablets and 10 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine at the Mae Ta Check Point, Phayao on December 4, 2016. Upon investigation they found Pisit was involved transporting drugs so they monitored him and an undercover agent contacted him to deliver drugs from Mae Ai to Bangkok. The agent met with him to transfer 100,000 baht to deliver the drugs. The suspect, Pisit, escaped during the sting operation but police traced him to a house in San Sai on February 10, 2017. The suspect confessed to police that he had been hired by a man named Keng to transport drugs. Police will investigate further to uncover the drug trafficking network


Sixty day burning ban to curtail smoke and haze begins February 20

Governor Pawin Chamniprasart announced the burning ban will begin February 20 and run through April 20, anyone caught burning will be prosecuted.

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Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart announced the start of the annual 60 day ban on burning in Chiang Mai at a recent committee meeting. He called on the private sector, schools and other organizations to help prevent fires during the period that will end April 20, 2017.

Chiang Mai governor urges organizations involved to prevent forest fires within 60 days

The Governor said that officials have appointed patrol units and urged all concerned to stop any fires in the Chiang Mai area and to inform officials about burning. People caught burning will be prosecuted. He added that an education campaign informing farmers and others of the penalties and asking for cooperation to not burn fields and forests. They have also included information on the health hazards the annual smog brings to local people.

The Governor added that the word has been given that all sectors involved will be making public announcements that from February 20 – April 20 no burning will be allowed anywhere.

Anybody who sees any burning activity can report to 053-112-236, 053-232-019, 053-525-128, 053-271-610 or the Chiang Mai Police at 191. For more information, visit http://123.242.165.5/wncm/ or www.cmuccdc.org.


Engineers predict Mae Jo Tunnel to be completed ahead of schedule

The Mae Jo Tunnel and Pa Tan Bridge expansion should be completed ahead of the scheduled March 2018 Project Engineer Rattapong Lertsuwanpaisan predicted.

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The project engineer for the Mae Jo Tunnel construction and Pa Tan Bridge expansion said that if everything remains on track the construction could be finished ahead of the scheduled March 19, 2018 date and could be ready by the beginning of 2018

Rattapong Lertsuwanpaisan, Project Engineer, said that the construction is currently ahead of schedule despite some problems replacing the old water pipes with larger water pipes which saw traffic lanes closed and water turned off periodically.

Currently, the tunnel is about 80 percent done with the lower part drilled through on both sides, next they are installing the water pumping system, lights and security. He added that even though the tunnel could currently be used without these safety features installed the engineers feel it isn’t safe.

The southbound lanes of the highway will be finished first followed by the north bound lanes beginning at Theppanya Hospital. That side has been delayed due to the placement of water drains to the river. The road connecting to the tunnel has already been completed but is not open, the construction remains fenced off. The expansion of the Pa Tan Bridge will be the final issue tackled.

The project began March 19, 2015 and is scheduled to end in March 2018 but the engineer confidently predicted that without further problems construction should be finished by the beginning of January 2018.


Mae Taeng man arrested with homemade rifle, Yaba

Pol. Col. Ataphol Meseang, Acting Superintendent of Mae Taeng Police Station and Pol. Col. Preecha Wangpreecha, Superintendent of Border Patrol Police 33 announced the arrest of a suspect with 1,950 methamphetamine pills in Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai.

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The Mae Taeng police reported the arrest of a local man recently with a stash of Yaba pills (methamphetamine) and a homemade rifle after a police raid on his home.

Police had suspected Paichet Jongyingyod of selling drugs and obtained a warrant to search his house. They found 20 Yaba pills in the pockets of his trousers and a further 1,930 tablets hidden in the house. They also found a homemade rifle with ammunition.

Police charged him with possession with intent to sell of illegal drugs and of possessing a gun without a license. The suspect confessed to police that he had been selling the drugs to teenagers.

Pol. Col. Ataphol Meseang, Acting Superintendent of Mae Taeng Police Station and Pol. Col. Preecha Wangpreecha, Superintendent of Border Patrol Police 33 said they would investigate further to uncover the drug network providing the suspect with the methamphetamine.


Pa Tan Bridge pipe construction finished in March engineers promise

The completion of the work on Pa Tan bridge to move the water pipes is going to be completed by the beginning of March engineers with the Provincial Waterworks report.

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The Provincial Waterworks Authority Engineer in charge of moving the water pipes on Pa Tan Bridge that spans the Superhighway before the Mae Jo turnoff promised that the construction would finish at the beginning of March which would then allow the Department of Transportation to being expansion of the bridge over the river.

Singthong Jankaew, Engineer level 7 of Chiang Mai Provincial Waterworks Authority Region 9 and Siam Ngaosri, Engineer of Hat Yai Nakorn Construction Co., Ltd., said that the large water pipes at Pa Tan Bridge had been moved by the Provincial Waterworks Authority further from the side of Pa Tan Bridge and to the middle and had to be changed twice. The engineers said that the work will be finished at the beginning of March and apologized for the inconvenience caused by delays.

The Mae Jo Tunnel at the intersection of Superhighway 11 and Highway 1001, the Pa Tan Bridge expansion and road expansion to ten lanes are all being done under the same contract. The Mae Jo intersection and Pa Tan Bridge have long been a bottleneck causing traffic jams. The contract with Chiang Mai Construction Co., Ltd. started on March 19, 2016 and is scheduled to be completed by March 2, 2017.


Police arrest member of motorcycle theft gang

Police announced the arrest of one man allegedly belonging to a gang of motorcycle thieves that police have charged after recovering the license plate of a stolen motorcycle in his possession.

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Police announced the arrest of a 29 year old Om Koi man that they believe is responsible for the theft of around 100 motorcycles around the city.

Pol. Col. Piyapan Patarapongsin, Deputy Chief of Chiang Mai Police reported that Samrerng Mue-ngae from Omkoi, Chiang Mai was arrested and was believed to be a member of a gang of motorcycle thieves operating around Chiang Mai. Police said that he was arrested in possession of the license plate of a Yamaha motorbike reported stolen.

Police said that Samrerng stole the bike on January 30, 2017 at 01:40 a.m. where he was seen with two other people at a game shop in Rakaeng on Chang Klan Road And another on Wieng Ping Road. The thefts were captured on CCTV and police said the three would work together as a team to search for motorbikes and then it would only take them 1 -2 minutes to steal the bike and drive off.

Police allege that the three suspects would take the bikes back to a place on Rachamankha Road which is where the police confronted the suspect and arrested him for theft. The other two suspects, 23 year old Supoj Nopaisarn of Om Koi and Sonna (last name unknown) had escaped arrest. Police are currently search for the two men.

Pol. Col. Piyapan said that Samrerng is just one member of several gangs that have been stealing motorbikes in the Chiang Mai area. The different gangs have stolen over 100 motorbikes and police are currently investigating to track down all those involved. Police believe that the majority of motorcycle theft gangs come into town from the mountains and rent a room and steal bikes for a living. The stolen bikes are sold to bordering countries and the cash split between the members of the gangs.


Maejo University student files complaint against Border Patrol officerr

A Maejo University student filed charges with Maejo Police after her boyfriend was assaulted and she was threatened with a gun by a Border Patrol Police officer outside a restaurant.

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Two students claim they were threatened with a gun and beaten by a Border Patrol Police officer outside a restaurant in Sansai. The female student has filed charges against the officer after she and her boyfriend were treated at the hospital.

Nattacha Aonsa, a 20 year old student at Maejo University accompanied by her lawyer Narit Limsirirat reported to the Maejo police that her boyfriend Panupong Urid, a 25 year old graduate student at Maejo University, had been leaving the restaurant with four friends in Sansai around 11 p.m. on January 30 when they met Lt. Aritat Kankai. He drove his car and parked very close to them, she reported and then got out of his car to ask “Why are you looking at my face, do you have any problem?” and then started beating her boyfriend, Panupong. He then took a gun from his car and hit Panupong in the face with the butt of the gun before firing the gun into the air five times. He then pointed the gun at her and threatened her “Don’t get involved.”

After he drove off they took Panupong to Lanna Hospital Chiang Mai for medical care with injuries to his face and body and unable to speak. The doctors said recovery could take a month and for now he will need to be fed by gastric tube as he isn’t capable of swallowing his food.

Nattacha asked the police to arrest and take the officer to court as soon as possible.


Victims of human trafficking returned to Myanmar

Rescued from infamous Bangkok massage parlor

Immigration, police and Myanmar officials repatriated some 15 victims of human traffickers back to Myanmar last week at Mae Sai in Chiang Rai.

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The Chiang Rai Social Development and Human Security last week returned fifteen young victims of human trafficking that had been rescued from an infamous massage parlor in Bangkok to Myanmar on June 8, 2016.

The massage parlor raid resulted in the rescue of 115 victims of human trafficking from the massage parlor located in Kanchanpisek in Bangkok last year, they were sent to the Kredtakarn Protection and Occupational Development Center for physical and emotional therapy and occupational training as well as assisting in the prosecution of the traffickers. Once that was completed there were sent to Chiang Rai and repatriated at the Mae Sai Checkpoint with cooperation from officers in Myanmar.


Government promotes bio-mass energy production from corncobs

Smoke and pollution reduction by using alternative methods

Farmers learn how to convert their corncobs to usable charcoal with a great reduction in the amount of smoke added to the atmosphere when compared to traditional open air burning. The use of incinerators also ensures the corncobs have added value by being turned into usable charcoal.

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The Chiang Mai Energy Office held a workshop to train local people in Mae Chaem district on the process of producing bio-mass energy from corncobs rather than just burning them in the open last week.

Teerasak Jaratsriwisit, Chiang Mai Energy Officer, opened the workshop session for villagers in a bid to raise awareness and educate them on alternative methods of disposing of agricultural waste. The villagers learned how to convert their corncobs by using an incinerator to create charcoal. The workshop was attended by community leaders, Local Administration Organizations, residences from Mae Chaem totaling 100 people.

Mae Chaem is the main area for corn planting and has a large amount of agricultural waste.


Chiang Mai kicks off campaign to tackle wild fires and smoke

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In a bid to combat the annual smoke that plagues Chiang Mai and the North the 3rd Army Commander and Director of the Regional Wildfire and Smoke Prevention Center launched the campaign to combat fires.

Lt. Gen. Wijak Siribansob chaired the opening ceremony of the annual event where he was joined by Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart, Lt. Gen. Thana Jaruwat of the Center, and Mae Rim District Officer Padsadej Hongladrom.

Four sets of firefighting equipment were given to the Chairman of the Mae Rim Sub-district headmen and Village headman organization, as well as to the Pong Yang Sub-district headman, Pong Yang Sub-district Mayor and Don Kaew Sub-district Mayor.

Additionally the event was held to bring together all elements of the campaign to fight fires including local administration organizations and Chiang Mai residents to learn more about the problems of smoke and wildfires. The campaign includes education about the dangers of wildfire and smoke to health and attempts to create participation at the local level in reducing the problem.

The 3rd Corps Commander as Director of Reginal Wildfire and Smoke Prevention and Solution Center said that despite having water sources the regions faces fires and smoke every year from February to April resulting in damage to the environment and health of the residents. Usually it is caused by human activity; burning agriculture waste, grass on the side of the roads and in the forest. This often spreads and ends up out of control. He added that less than 30 percent of the smoke came from neighboring countries. He said that wildfire and smoke can be controlled and reduced by a strong campaign for awareness and raising participation by government, private, and people by stopping all kinds of behaviors that cause wildfire and smoke. He added that although, wildfire and smoke was under control last year to satisfactory levels, this year it is a concern and all sectors must be ready to fight any wildfires immediately.

The Center is in charge of planning and controlling 14 public campaigns to combat wildfires and smoke in cooperation with the government and local administration organizations to solve the problem in the nine Northern provinces. The Army is following HM Queen Sirikit’s royal command concerning people in the North that are suffering and being affected by wildfire and smoke. In addition, Her Majesty wants everyone to commit to cooperate to solve and reduce the problems.


Opium poppy growing areas identified in the North

Five provinces with over 1,000 rai

The 36th Ranger Regiment led by Col. Pat Wongsarapee distributed food and milk to students in Om Koi in an area known for growing opium poppies in a bid to educate and reduce the amount of cultivation of the illegal plant.

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The Narcotic Crops Survey and Monitoring Institute released their report on opium poppy growing in the North in five provinces; Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Tak and Kamphaeng Phet.

According to Thipakorn Tatpak, Director of Strategy and Directing Section, Narcotic Crops Survey and Monitoring Institute, Office of Narcotic Control Board, they had found 1,599.60 rai in the five provinces already under opium cultivation; 1,034 rai in Chiang Mai, 476.34 rai in Tak, 39.12 rai in Mae Hong Son, 39.63 rai in Kamphaeng Phet and 9.71 rai in Chiang Rai.

Further surveys found the areas being prepared for cultivation in Om Koi district in Chiang Mai, Mae Ramat and Phop Phra districts in Tak, and Klong Lan district in Kamphaeng Phet, the ONCB has targeted these areas for destruction of opium poppy crops.

Col. Napak Suwankiri, of the Department of Narcotics Prevention and Suppression Center, 3rd Army Area met with communities leaders in areas of Baan Nalaomai, Chiang Dao to ask for cooperation in not planting opium poppies and to distribute blankets and other necessary items to local people. The villagers in Baan Nalaomai said they had changed to home stay tourism and the Army has found a great reduction of opium poppy cultivation in the area.

Col. Pat Wongsarapee, Commander of Special Unit, 36th Ranger Regiment in cooperation with Administration Officers, Mae Tuen and Om Koi Police Station, and 22nd Chiang Mai Forest Prevention and Conservation Section visited the work operations of the Section’s narcotics operation and suppression team and destroyed three lots of opium fields and distributed blankets and milk distribution students in the Tasongyang-Pikukee area of Om Koi, Chiang Mai.


No disaster declared this cold season

Three hundred thousand considered vulnerable

Chiang Mai Permanent Secretary Manas Khansai announced that so far this cold season no area has been declared a disaster area due to the cold but the government has distributed clothing and identified vulnerable populations should there be further cold weather.

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Although the government did not find it necessary to declare any part of Chiang Mai province at disaster area so far this cold season, they identified vulnerable groups in each district and distributed warm clothing to prepare Manas Khansai, Chiang Mai Permanent Secretary announced at the January 29 press conference.

The government distributed warm clothing to 170,000 people out of the 300,000 determined to be vulnerable. Many villagers and areas received clothing from other sources including local charitable organizations such as Rotary clubs and private companies.

 The Chiang Mai Governor ordered that some warm clothing be held in reserve for each area in case there are further cold spells. An emergency budget was already set aside to purchase extra clothing as needed. The Governor emphasized the need for cooperation and coordination from all sectors to ensure that there is no redundancy in areas receiving warm clothing and that all vulnerable people are protected.


NAP Fair opens on Nimman soi 1

Handicrafts and workshops until February 3

The Chiang Mai Deputy Mayor opened the fair welcoming locals and tourists to the popular annual event.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters

The popular NAP Fair was opened the Chiang Mai Deputy Mayor on January 28, 2017 at Nimmanahaemin Soi 1. The popular fair is in its 17th year and features unusual and beautiful high quality handicrafts, jewelry, clothing, ceramics and much more. The event offers a full schedule of afternoon workshops including making lanterns, Lanna flags, organic gardening and quilting.

Every evening the streets are filled with shows such as shadow puppets, live music and dancing. The event runs through February 3 and parking is available at the Chiang Mai University Convention Center. Traffic is always heavy during this fair so visitors are encouraged to park outside and walk in or take a shuttle.

The NAP Fair or Nimman Art Promenade schedule features live music, dances and workshops.

The NAP Fair is famed for its fun and unique high quality handicrafts, jewelry, clothing and more


Chiang Mai hit by a series of small earthquakes

85 small earthquakes in the past 60 months

Chiang Mai Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office Thana Nuaplod reports that a series of very small earthquakes will see officials offer earthquake preparedness drills in Mae Wang and Chomthong.

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Chiang Mai has seen around 85 small earthquakes since 2014 according to the Chief of Strategy and Management Section, Chiang Mai Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office Thana Nuaplod.

IN 2014 four districts had eleven earthquakes including Sansai, Mae Wang, Doi Saket and Chiang Dao. The number of earthquakes escalated in 2015 with 22 earthquakes in nine districts including Phrao, Mae Wang, Wieng Heng, Mae Jam, Doi Saket, Samoeng, and Chiang Dao. The province saw 39 earthquakes in 2016 in 11 districts including Phrao, Sansai, Mae Wang, Fang, Doi Sket, Samoeng, Hod, Chaiprakan, Jomthong, Doi Lor, and Chiang Dao. The first month of 2017 has already seen earthquakes in Chomthong, Mae Wang, Doi Lor, Sansai, Mae Chaem, Phrao, Doi Saket, and Chiang Dao. Most of the quakes were very small and hardly noticeable, ranging from 1 on the Richter scale to 4 and was due to the release of energy along the Mae Ta fault that runs from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai.

Most of the earthquakes took place in Chomthong and Mae Wang and the Governor ordered organizations to provide locals with information on the earthquakes and to hold earthquake preparedness drills this year.


Shoot out with Pha Muang Task Force leaves one man dead

The Pha Muang Task Force and Mae Sai Police found a backpack filled with 290,000 methamphetamine pills after a shoot-out with a gang of suspected drug traffickers in the mountains of Mae Sai in Chiang Rai.

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The Pha Muang Task Force were patrolling in the area around Wieng Pang Kham in Mae Sai District, Chiang Rai on January 26, 2017 when they encountered a group of six or seven men with backpacks after receiving a tip off that traffickers were expected to be smuggling drugs through the area.

Police encountered the men around 7:50 p.m. in the high mountain area filled with orchards and forests and called on them to halt. The group opened fire and ran into the forest and across the border. Police and army found one man dead from gunshots and a backpack with 290,000 methamphetamine tablets.

Police and Army will continue patrolling the area and search out the traffickers in the region.


HRH Princess Sirindhorn presides over commencement of Chiang Mai University students

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn representing HM the King awarded degree certificates to 7,270 Chiang Mai University students on Monday, January 23, 2017.

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Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn representing His Majesty the King handed degree certificates to the graduates of Chiang Mai University in the 51st Commencement ceremony on Monday, January 23, 2017 at Chiang Mai University Convention Center.

There was a total of 7,270 students from 21 faculties and the Graduate school that took part in the commencement ceremony. There were 611 graduates with first honor degrees, 760 graduates with second honor degrees, 138 graduates were awarded gold medals for good learning through program and 473 graduates were awarded the silver medal. Honorary Degrees were also given to nine experts and four people were appointed Professor Emeritus.

After the commencement ceremony, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn kindly granted audiences to two groups that received donated money and a group that received an image of Buddha. The Operation Commission of Chiang Mai University Saving and Credit Cooperative was granted to dedicate 1,000,000 baht. Executives, Lecturers, and Chiang Mai University Engineering Alumni Association received some of the funds from the charity marathon “Chiang Mai University Marathon 2016” totaling 350,000 Baht. Professor Thipawan Mungmee, Lecturer of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University was granted 35 inch tall Burmese style Buddha image for creation of contemporary Buddha image.

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn chaired the opening ceremony of the 45 Year Building at the Faculty of Dentistry, Chiang Mai University and also viewed the Honorable Project for cerebration on the occasion of her 5 birth cycles, 2nd April 2015 at Faculty of Dentistry, Chiang Mai University.


Gang of teenage bike thieves nabbed in Chang Puak

Maj. Gen Sarayut Sangnuanpokhai, commander of Chiang Mai Police and Deputy Commander Pol. Col. Piyapan Patarapongsin are joined by police and the five suspects, all minors, to show the motorbikes they had recovered from the thieves.

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Five Chiang Mai boys were arrested for stealing motorbikes were arrested in the Chang Puak area after a string of motorbike thefts late at night.

The five boys, ranging in age from 15 – 18 years old, were arrested at a home in Chang Puak with motorcycles with license plates from Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Bangkok and Lamphun.

Police in the area had received reports of motorbike thefts in the area and neighbors of the house called police noting there were a lot of motorcycles and suspicious activity. The five boys confessed to stealing motorbikes and would search around apartment blocks and homes looking for expensive motorcycles to steal. They told police that if the bike was not locked in place it could take them only 20 seconds to hotwire the bike. They told police that the bikes would be taken to Lamphun and sold for 7,000 – 8,000 baht and the money used to buy drugs.


Mae Ai rice farmers protest water usage rights

Water shortages as water is diverted to orange orchardists

Mae Ai rice farmers protest water usage by orchardists in the district, stating they face water shortages for the next rice crop.

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Mae Ai rice farmers presented a letter of complaint to the Chiang Mai governor asking him to resolve a water rights issue that has resulted in water being diverted from rice farming to orange orchards in the district. The farmers state this has left them with a water shortage for the next crop of rice.

Led by Anan Sunthorn and Somsak Kienkaew, the group of about 350 farmers presented the letter of complaint to Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart stating that they were now facing a water shortage as orchardists were taking water directly from the source.

The farmers requested that officers enforce the National and Forest laws in regards to land and water usage. Farmers in Mae Sao sub-district are facing a water shortage and have asked a separate reservoir be built in the area to cope with the water usage.

Deputy Governor Manus Kansai received the letter to pass on to the governor and said a commission will be appointed to investigate.


ASEAN members plan to tackle drug trafficking in the Golden Triangle

Sirinya Sittichai, secretary-general of the Narcotics Control Board is joined by representatives from ASEAN to tackle drug trafficking in the Golden Triangle.

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Representatives from the ten member states of ASEAN joined together at a meeting held at the Holiday Inn Chiang Mai to hammer out plans to tackle drug trafficking in the Golden Triangle region.

The Golden Triangle region is considered a red zone and affects all ASEAN nations as well as surrounding countries. The 5th ASEAN meeting on drug issues took place in Singapore in October 2016 where Thailand proposed that the ASEAN countries bordering the Mekong River and the Golden Triangle work together to tackle the drug trafficking problem. The proposal was approved and plans laid out in the ten year plan.

The primary objective is for ASEAN countries to support six areas; tight security and the prevention of movements by drug traffickers, drug suppression in the Golden Triangle area, develop drug suppression skills for organizations involved around the Golden Triangle, coordinate and report any suspicious activities, install policies and work with residents in the area. Thailand is also reinforcing the AAITF project that already exists as well as the ASITF.

Sirinya Sittichai, secretary-general of the Narcotics Control Board said that this meeting was set to follow up on the process after the recent meeting in October and all details will be shared with the ASEAN countries concerned. Thailand will be supporting other countries as well and more details will be revealed in a future meeting.


New Australian Honorary Consul appointed for Chiang Mai

Ron Elliott has been named the new Honorary Consul for Australia in Chiang Mai, replacing Michael Walther who retired after serving for over ten years as Honorary Consul in Chiang Mai.

The Australian Government has appointed Mr. Ronald Elliott as its new Honorary Consul resident in Chiang Mai with jurisdiction throughout the provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Lampang, Mae Hong Son, Phayao, Phrae, Nan, Uttaradit, Sukhothai and Tak.

Mr. Elliott is a dual Australian/Canadian citizen who has lived in Chiang Mai since 2014.  Throughout his distinguished career, Mr. Elliott was a senior executive with 45 years of experience in policing, critical infrastructure protection and airport security. He has extensive experience working with government organisations in Australia and Canada.

Nearly nine hundred thousand Australians visit Thailand every year and there are a large number of Australians resident in northern Thailand. Mr. Elliott’s appointment will help the Australian Government to continue delivering high quality consular services to Australians in Chiang Mai and neighbouring provinces.

Australia and Thailand have a strong relationship based on shared interests and strong people-to-people links. The two countries work closely together in regional and international forums, and on a range of important issues including defence, law enforcement, counter-terrorism, and combatting people smuggling and human trafficking. Thailand is our eighth largest trading partner and Australia’s fifth largest source of international students.

Mr. Elliott replaces Mr. Michael Walther, who has provided outstanding service to Australia and its people during his tenure as Honorary Consul in Chiang Mai since 2004.

Contact details for the new Australian Consulate in Chiang Mai are as follows:

Hours: Monday to Thursday 9am- 12pm (by prior appointment only) Call 091 857 6996 for an appointment or email [email protected]. LINE aushoncon FAX: 053 336 958


Popular Chiang Mai Photographic Group Exhibit opens January 28 at Maya

Bye Bye by Kenneth Decker is one of many photos that will be on display at the CMPG Exhibition at Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center.

The Chiang Mai Photographic Group will be holding their 9th annual exhibition at Maya Lifestyle Shopping Centre in January and invite you to enjoy a remarkably diverse collection of work by 35 photographers from half a dozen countries.

This compilation of arresting images is our ninth exhibition and the subjects range from intimate portraits and abstract compositions to startling architecture and stunning landscapes.   Previous events have met with much critical acclaim and this year’s show features more black and white photographs and an even greater selection of unusual and sometimes challenging subjects.

Maya has once again kindly given us a great location on the 3rd Floor next to the glass elevators and the show opens daily from Saturday, 28th January to Sunday, February 12th.  Martin Venzky-Stalling, founder of Creative Chiang Mai, will be presiding over the Grand Opening at 4:00pm on Saturday Jan 28th and we hope you will join us for a glass of wine and meet the CMPG members whose photographs are on display.

The CMPG is a non-profit organisation which aims to further all aspects of the picture taking abilities of its members through the sharing of skills and mutual support in an informal and inclusive atmosphere. For more information visit cmphotogroup.com

Thanks go to our generous sponsors: Canon, Photo Bug, River Market, MAYA and Chez Charlotte without whom we could not mount this exhibition.


U.K. Honorary Consul in Chiang Mai awarded for his charity work

The U.K. Honorary Consul in Chiang Mai Ben Svasti Thomson has been named as a Points of Light award winner for his charitable work.

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A British born charity creator in Chiang Mai has been named as a Point of Light by Prime Minister Theresa May for working with vulnerable groups in Thailand.

Ben Svasti Thomson is dedicated to improving the lives of those in need in Northern Thailand. He has set up a number of successful charitable organisations including ‘Women Against AIDS’ to educate and empower women, ‘the Mother and Child Concern Foundation’ for families affected by HIV/AIDS, ‘Grassroots’ which supports former sex workers into alternative livelihoods and ‘the Anti-Trafficking Coordination Unit’ working with Thai government agencies and civil society groups to fight trafficking and support its victims.

As the U.K. Honorary Consul in Chiang Mai, he has spent the last six years supporting others to give back. His dynamic network of volunteers help care for expats from all nations who cannot travel to access assistance when in trouble.

Ben is the latest recipient of a Point of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

In a personal letter to Ben, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

    Your voluntary work in Northern Thailand has improved the lives of countless people in need – from educating and empowering women in the fight against AIDS, to working with the Thai authorities to combat trafficking. As the U.K. Honorary Consul in Chiang Mai you are also supporting others to volunteer too.

    Across the world British volunteers like you are helping to build a better world for everyone. The Point of Light award is a small thank you on behalf of the whole country, in recognition of your exceptional service.

British Honorary Consul in Chiang Mai, Mr Ben Svasti Thomson said:

    Indeed I am most honoured to receive this award, although it is totally unexpected and had never been on my radar! Of course no one works alone and I must, in turn, thank all those who have provided their support in my charity networks and in the British Embassy Bangkok.

    I started volunteering almost 40 years ago, during my year off after university, and have worked for charities ever since. I have worked with refugees, abused women and children, people living with HIV/AIDS, victims of human trafficking and, most recently, British nationals in distress.

    My work as a volunteer has given me the most meaningful and rewarding experiences of my life. At times it has been challenging, but it’s an amazing experience to discover the compassion which lies inside us all through working to help those in suffering. It enables one to transcend one’s own petty world and strengthen one’s character by immersing oneself in service to those who are in far greater need.

    Whether you have just finished your education, are in between jobs or at a similar crossroads in your life, then time spent volunteering in the community will often be the most valuable time in your life in terms of discovering yourself while helping others.

    Too many people nowadays are glued to a virtual world rotating around social media. I urge you to get into the real world, surround oneself for a while with real people who are struggling to exist in the face of terrible hardship and give your time and energy to partner with them in making their world a better place for themselves and their families.

HM Ambassador to Thailand, Mr Brian Davidson, said:

    Ben has made an enormous contribution to the local community in Northern Thailand. I am also immensely grateful for the work he does for this Embassy in supporting expats from the UK, both personally and through the networks he has created. But I am even more proud of his dedication to making a difference to the lives of ordinary people across Thailand - through the charities he has established and his collaboration with government and civil society. He is a shining example of the kind of partnerships that exist at all levels between the UK and Thailand.

Ben is the 655th winner of the Points of Light award which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA and was first established by President George H. W. Bush. Over 5,000 US Points of Light have been awarded and both President George H. W. Bush and President Barack Obama have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK which honours shining examples of volunteering across the country.

Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Point of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.


Chiang Mai second for accidents nationwide in 7 Dangerous Days of New Year

Sanpatong highest death rate in the province

Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Phuthipong Sirimat met with police and public health officials to review Chiang Mai’s accident and death rate during the 7 Dangerous Days of New Year.

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Chiang Mai province came in second nationwide in number of accidents and sixth nationwide in number of fatalities caused by accidents. Chiang Mai had 152 accidents with 164 injuries and eleven deaths. Most of the accidents occurred on December 31 and January 1 and most of the accidents involved local people.

The numbers were reported by Deputy Governor Phuthipong Sirimat at a press conference last week where the Deputy Governor said that preparations should begin now for Songkran in April by increasing the number of breathalyzers, and cracking down harder on unregistered vehicles, vehicles with no insurance, speeding and other violations.

A working committee was set up to handle all operations and to ready for Songkran. The Public Health Department Chiang Mai will be in charge of most plans and operations with the Chiang Mai Police seconding on security and safety. Volunteer police and Scouts will be involved as well.

The Deputy Governor expressed appreciation to Chomthong and Sarapee for their efforts in reducing accidents.

Eleven people died in Chiang Mai, six men and five women, in Sanpatong District. Thirty-three accidents, the most in one period, occurred on December 31, 2016 and January 1, 2017. Drunk driving was the leading cause of accidents followed by speeding, careless driving, getting cut off, obstacles, falling asleep at the wheel, overtaking and overloaded vehicles in terms of reasons.

Most accidents took place on main roads and highways with the period from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. seeing the highest followed by 12 noon to 4 p.m. and midnight to 4 a.m. The age of road victims varied from 50 years old and up, 30-39 and 15-19 years of age. Most of the injured and casualties were people local to the province. A total of 75,650 vehicles were inspected and there were 21,133 arrested for violating traffic rules and others. The only district with no accidents was Galyani Vadhana.


Local girl wins Miss Chiang Mai 2017 crown

Chiang Mai Rajabhat University student

Miss Chiang Mai 2017 Supaporn Ritthipruk and her court with first runner up and runners up Prapasiri Intarungsri, Walulee Duangwana, Pijika Kongsatan, and Chayanith Tor Charoen.

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A native Chiang Mai resident and student at Chiang Mai Rajabhat University took home the Miss Chiang Mai 2017 crown last week and was named the 64th Miss Chiang Mai in the popular event.

Supaporn Ritthipruk “Nong Bow” is taking a Thai major at the Faculty of Education at Chiang Mai Rajabhat University; she also took home Miss Personality as well as Miss Central Festival, Miss Smile By Muang Thai Life Insurance, Miss Bangkok Clinic 2017, and Miss Air Asia 2017.

The winner received a diamond crown and 100,000 baht in the contest. First runner up went to 18 year-old Prapasiri Intarungsri, studying English at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University. She also won the Miss Popularity Contest and took home 50,000 baht. Runners up took home 25,000 baht and included Walulee Duangwana, also winner of Miss Photogenic, Pijika Kongsatan, and Chayanith Tor Charoen who also won Miss Lifestyle by M Boutique Resort.

The contest began with 20 contestants and ended with the final five. Miss Chiang Mai 2016 Atcharee Buakiew made her final farewell walk on stage before the announcement of Supaporn Ritthipruk as the new Miss Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai girl Supaporn Ritthipruk took home the Miss Chiang Mai 2017 crown recently.


Lanna Historic City Forum welcomed experts from around the world

Chiang Mai University welcomed experts from around Asia and the world to the Lanna Historical City Forum.

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Chiang Mai University and Chiang Mai province hosted the Lanna Historic City Forum and welcomed experts from many countries including the United Kingdom, China, India, the United States and Myanmar.

The opening ceremony was chaired by Weera Rojpojanarath, Minister of Culture at University Hostel Services Centre, Chiang Mai University and Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart delivered the welcome speech.

Attendees visited important historical sites in Chiang Mai including Wiang Khum Kam, Wat Suan Dok, Wat Prathat Doi Suthet, Wat Jed Yod, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh and the moat and walls around the city.

The forum covered environmental settings with Prof. Dong Wei School of Architecture, Southeast University, Prof. Dilip K. Medhi, Department of Archaeology at Guwahati University Guwahati, Assam, India, and Prof. Suparp Tajai Lampang, Rajabhat University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences speaking. The forum also had experts discussing Archaeological and Historical Precedents headed by Dr. Ruthjaya Apakorn, Director of SEAMEO SPAFA Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts of SEAMEO-SPAFA. They also discussed Ideological Belief & Intangible Expressions with experts and Ajarn Withi Panitchphan, Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University as moderator. They covered Architectural Components with international experts and Asst. Prof. Dr. Chanarong Srisuwan, Dean of Faculty of Architecture, Chiang Mai University as moderator. They finished the forum by covering the important topic “Safeguarding and Conservation Management of Lanna Authenticity” with Khun Sawittri Suwansatid, Advisor to the Minister of Culture and Former Secretary General of Thai National Commission for UNESCO as moderator.


Suspect re-enacts murder of step-father in Mae Taeng

The suspect in a stabbing murder re-enacts the crime for the police, showing police how he stabbed and beat his stepfather to death.

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Police brought the suspect in a brutal stabbing murder in Mae Taeng to re-enact the crime at the home where the man stabbed his stepfather to death.

Pol. Col. Piyaphan Pattarapongsin, Deputy Commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police, Pol. Col. Atapol Meesieng, Superintendent of Mae Tang Police Station, and police brought 21-year-old Wittaya Jacha of Mae Taeng to re-enact the crime at the scene. Many local people came to watch the re-enactment of the brutal murder that stunned the community.

Wittaya confessed to police that he had argued with his stepfather, Mr. Yoha and ended up fighting with him in the kitchen. He told police he grabbed a knife and a wooden cutting board and stabbed and beat his stepfather to death. He then ran away to the road near the village where he was caught. He told police that he was angry with his stepfather and they always argued.


Kachin locals protest against Myanmar military actions

Over 30 members of the local Kachin community protested in front of the Myanmar Consulate General on January 5, 2017 calling on the government to stop attacking the people of Kachin and Shan states.

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Members of the local Kachin ethnic community held a protest outside the Myanmar Consulate – General on January 5, 2017 to protest attacks by the Myanmar Army against Kachin and Shan States in Myanmar in the past months.

The group also called on the Myanmar government to investigate the disappearance of two pastors in Mong Ko in Kachin State. Nawng Latt and Gam Seng disappeared on Christmas Eve after leaving to meet with army officials at the base to assist in facilitating the release of local people who had been detained. The two men have not been seen since leaving for the appointment. They had been helping journalists report on the situation in Mong Ko where there has been heavy fighting between the Myanmar Army and ethnic armed groups.

Protestors held signs asking for the investigation into the disappearance of two religious leaders who had been helping journalists report on the attacks in Mong Ko.

A group of about 30 people led by Tortor Norkam and Hongtong protested in front of the Consulate building and held signs in English and left a letter for the Consul General asking the military to stop their attacks on Kachin people and to investigate the disappearance of the two pastors.

The letter called on the government to stop oppressing ethnic groups and to stop the attacks on people in the state. On September 16, 2016 the army attacked Keeton in Kachin State and Lai Pong on September 27, 2016 using artillery and aircraft to bomb the areas. Thousands of refugees fled but China refused entry and many are now sleeping on the road with no guarantee of safety.

The leaders said the Kachin community condemns the Myanmar Government and Army and called on the to stop attacking and oppressing people in Kachin State and north of Shan State and investigate the disappearance of Religious Teachers and  chaplains in Mong Ko. They called on the Chinese Government to allow Kachin refugees to escape into China and have humanity toward Kachin refugees.

The letter also stated that Kachins have known that the Myanmar Army receives support from the Russian Army to attack Kachin State and called on the Russian Government to investigate the group of people providing help to the Myanmar army in these attacks.

The protest lasted about 30 minutes and disbanded peacefully among a heavy police and military presence.

The Kachin community protested for about 30 minutes before disbanding peacefully.


Royal Thai Police Assistant Commander hands over vehicles, winter clothing for officers in remote areas

Acting Assistant Commissioner-General of Royal Thai Police Pol. Lt. Gen. Decha Boodnampetch hands over winter clothing for police officers and families in remote areas to Acting Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5 Pol. Gen. Poonsub Prasertsak.

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Acting Assistant Commissioner-General of Royal Thai Police Pol. Lt. Gen. Decha Boodnampetch visited the Provincial Police Region 5 headquarters on December 26, 2017 to meet officers and to hand over 57 vehicles and 48 motorcycles for use in police stations. He also gave winter clothing for police officers and families who are on duty in rural and remote areas from the Police Officers and Family Welfare Foundation.

The Assistant Commissioner – General was welcomed by Pol. Gen. Poonsub Prasertsak, Acting Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5 and officers at the Region 5 headquarters on his visit. He said that the vehicles were for use in substations around Region 5 and he also delivered winter clothing purchased by the Police Officers and Family Welfare Foundation which donated 1,506 sets of winter clothing.

Provincial Police Region 5 received 57 new vehicles and 48 motorcycles for use in substations around the region.


Police announce arrests in five drug cases since December 21

At 11 a.m. on 26 December 2016, Pol. Lt. Gen. Decha Bootnampetch, Acting Assistant Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police accompanied by Pol. Maj. Gen. Poonsub Prasertsak, Acting Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5, Maj.Gen.Kaseamsuk Takam, Commander of the 33rd Military Circle, Mr.Prajuab Kanthiya, Chiang Mai Deputy  Governor, ONCB  Region 5 announce the arrests of ten suspects in five drug cases in the period from December 21 – 27, 2017.

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Acting Assistant Commissioner-General Pol. Lt. Gen. Decha Bootnampetch was joined by Acting Commissioner of Police Region 5 Pol. Maj. Gen. Poonsub Prasertsak in announcing the resolution of five drug trafficking cases in the North since December 21, 2016. Ten suspects were arrested and 1.61 million amphetamine tablet and 8.6 kg of crystal methamphetamine were seized in the arrests in Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai and Lampang.

Police seized 1.61 million amphetamine tablet and 8.6 kg of heroin in separate cases from December 21 – 27, 2016.

The first arrest occurred in Pai, Mae Hong Son at 6 p.m. on December 21 when police arrested 50 year old Yee Laoyeepa with 10,000 methamphetamine or Yaba pills while the second case occurred on the same day at 10 p.m. in Chiang Rai when police arrested 43 year old Ker Mor and Suksan Choksansiri of Tak with 394,000 Yaba pills and 8.6 kg of Ya Ice or crystal methamphetamine.

The third arrest occurred on December 22 in Chiang Dao when police arrested 39-year-old Mongkolsiri Yalo with 40,000 methamphetamine tablets. Officers stopped the man at the checkpoint as he was behaving suspiciously but found nothing illegal, however when he was released he turned into a garbage dump about 500 meters from the checkpoint and came back with a black plastic bag. Police followed him and he droped the bag on the side of the road and attempted to flee. Police found the drugs in the bag and arrested the man.

On the same day police in Wieng Kan in Chiang Rai found 56,000 methamphetamine tablets after reports of a suspicious truck were received, the truck drove away before the police arrived but they found the drugs on the side of the road.

In Lampang police arrested three suspects; 52-year-old Charoen Aobam from Chiang Mai, 42-year-old Kanchitpol Puthong from Bangkok, and Phutthipoong Kusolpayungkit from Chiang Mai with 1,116,285 Yaba tablets after stopping a tour bus headed to Central Thailand.

Police uncovered drugs hidden in luggage in the lower part of the bus and then arrested three additional suspects with a further amount of Yaba pills in Hang Chat.

Region 5 police said that from the period from October 1 – December 24, 2017 they had arrested 5,446 suspects and seized a total  of 8,393,264 amphetamine tablets, 43.39 kg of crystal methamphetamine, 35.75 kg  of heroin, 18.17 kg of poppy plants , and 18.78 kg of marijuana. They also seized property with a total value of 8,697,498 baht from drug suspects. Provincial Police Region 5 will continue with stringent checkpoints as drugs are expected to flow south during the busy New Year period. 


Police will increase drunk driving checkpoints for the 7 Deadly Days of New Year

Chiang Mai topped the list for most accidents and injuries over last year’s New Year’s holiday period. The Government is setting up extra checkpoints and introducing neighborhood watches to reduce the number of drunk drivers and accidents. (File photo)

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The Chiang Mai Disaster Protection and Mitigation Office is preparing for the “7 Deadly Days of New Year” by increasing drunk driving checkpoints with a focus on the areas that had the highest number of accidents and arrests last year. Last year Chiang Mai was first in the number of accidents and injuries over the seven day period and 16th with seven people killed in accidents.

The government will focus on setting up more checkpoints in communities that have shown high numbers of accidents last year. Additionally they will be increasing checkpoints around the province and will strictly enforce speeding, drink driving, and helmets.

Two hundred and ten local administration organizations will set up safety check points, and check points will be set up on every sub-district for drunk drivers. Tourist areas will see strict enforcement including Doi Inthanon, Doi Angkang, Doi Suthep, Doi Kham and Doi Mon Chaem. Extra officers will be assigned to care for tourists and manage traffic. Those found in violation of laws regarding driving could have their license impounded for seven days.

This year the Chiang Mai Governor wants all districts and temples to set up a night neighborhood watch service to watch out for and care for those people too drunk to drive and to set up car sharing to reduce the use of vehicles on New Year’s Eve as the Governor is determined to reduce Chiang Mai’s traffic accident toll during the seven deadly days of New Year.


Speed cameras installed on Doi Saket Road

Highway 118 has large number of accidents and deaths

Speed cameras have been set up on a stretch of Highway 118 to Doi Saket in a bid to cut down on the number of accidents caused by speeding, tickets will be mailed to the owner of the vehicle.

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Speed cameras were set up on Highway 118 to Doi Saket on December 21, 2016 on the stretch from Doi Ngang Kaew to Doi Saket in five different places to reduce accidents on the mountain.

The cameras were installed as part of a project that saw cooperation between the Chiang Mai Provincial Police, Department of Highways, local Administration Organizations, Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Thai Health Promotion Foundation, and the Civil Engineering of Faculty of Engineering, Chiang Mai University which studied the stretch of road and determined that the major cause of accidents was due to high speed on the steep hills and winding road.

That section of Highway 118 is considered very dangerous and had 56 accidents with six dead in 2014, 73 accidents in 2015 with seven dead and in 2016 so far 66 accidents with five killed.

The cameras were set up between the 15.5 km mark and the 51 km mark and the speed limit is set at 80 km/hour; the 1st point is at Km. 50+400 around Ban Nam Du, the 2nd point is at 43+050 around Doi Saket Highway Police Service Center, and the 3rd point is at 35+800 around Ma Bok Rak Coffee Shop. The 4th point is at 21+700 around Ban Dok Dang Shrine and the 5th spot is at Km 15+600 around Doi Saket T-Junction with speed limit at 90 km/hour. The system will record vehicles’ speed for 24 hours and inspect for over speed limit. Then it will transfer data from the camera to a computer; after a registration check of the database of the Department of Land Transportation a ticket will be issued and will be mailed to car’s owner to pay the fine. Police will also be setting up checkpoints to fine on the spot, if the fine is not paid in the specified time a warrant will be issued for the owner of the car.


Light rain predicted over Christmas

Temperatures expected to drop over New Year

Metee Mahayodsanan, Director of Northern Meteorological Center explains the predicted weather patterns for the short and long-term in Chiang Mai, predicting light rain over Christmas and colder weather over the New Year.

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The Northern Meteorlogical Center has predicted light rain over December 25 – 25, 2016 with temperatures dropping around the New Year.

Metee Mahayodsanan, Director of Northern Meteorological Center said that light rain is predicted due to moist air flowing from the South East while this winter is expected to be longer than previous years. The temperatures are expected to drop at the end of the year and after January 2, 2017 should drop even further.

This coming year the Northern Meteorological Center expects an average of 10 – 20 mm of rain until April, 2017 before entering the rainy season which will make it less dry than the drought of 2016. However, there is still a chance of smoke and smog caused by wildfires but it is hoped that the increased moisture will reduce the chance of fires.

However, he pointed out that burning when the air is moist still causes smog. “This year it is expected that the PM 10 levels in Chiang Mai will be lower than last year. Upon analysis of the smog problem, about 70-80% of cause of problem was from burning in the lower area in Uttaradit and Phitsanulok.” He added, “If agricultural areas are burned it will have a negative impact on the Upper North and in Chiang Mai because the south wind will bring smog to the region, especially in Chiang Rai resulting in increasing PM 10 levels.”


Royal Project Fair 2016 opens at CMU Convention Center

The stage for the Royal Project Fair is always beautifully decorated and filled with fruits, vegetables and flowers decorated to honor His Majesty King Rama IX.

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The Royal Project Fair opened on December 22, 2016 with a great variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as cut flowers, plants and hilltribe crafts along with many beauty products. The Fair, held annually at Chiang Mai University (CMU) Convention Center on Nimmanhaemin Road runs through December 25, 2016 and is open daily.

One of the highlights are the fabulous flower and vegetable arrangements and this year a small wooden train replica hauling vegetables that offers a wonderful photo opportunity for visitors. The Food Court is always popular with a variety of food on offer to eat there or take home and in the garden are fabulous flower and vegetable sculptures one can take in while enjoying a cup of Royal Project coffee.

This popular event is always very busy and there is parking out front be aware of traffic and consider attending at non-peak times to avoid the crush of eager consumers looking for bargains on fresh fruit and vegetables.

The Royal Project Fair runs from December 22 to December 25, 2016 at the Chiang Mai University Convention Center from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Many unusual plants are on sale at the Royal Project Fair including tulips and decorative kale and cabbage.

The fruit and vegetable section is the most popular area for shoppers featuring products from Royal Project farmers. There are also fresh cut flowers, beauty products and handicrafts on sale at the Fair at CMU Convention Center.

The wooden train with carts filled with fruits and vegetables is a popular backdrop for photos.

The Food Court is outside the building and filled with food and drink for sale, popular at lunch time, the court is open all day.

The garden outside is filled with decorative flowers and vegetables including this beautiful sculpture made from vegetables. The area is a popular place to enjoy a Royal Project coffee and look at the scenery.


HRH Princess Sirindhorn concerned about opium poppy planting in Chiang Mai

Lt.Gen. Wihaj Siribanprot, 3rd Army Area Commander / Commander of Special Unit of Narcotics Prevention and Suppression Center reports on opium poppy field destruction and the expansion of opium poppy plantations, a major concern of H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

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Her Royal Highness Maha Chakri Sirindhorn expressed concersn to the Third Army Commander recently about the rise of opium poppy planting in rural communities especially in Mae Chaem and Om Koi Districts.

Lt.Gen. Wihaj Siribanprot, 3rd Army Area Commander / Commander of Special Unit of Narcotics Prevention and Suppression Center, the Third Army Area Command, said that H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn had mentioned her concerns to him in a recent meeting. Her Royal Highness has many projects in Mae Chaem including expansion of the Mae Chaem Hospital.

According to the latest information from the Institute of Survey and Monitoring Narcotic Plants, Office of Narcotics Control Board, there were 15 flights surveying poppy planting and 3 land surveys during August to November 2016 to survey planting areas since the rainy season. The surveys saw a total of 887.5 rai in Chiang Mai and 1537 lots of 1179.26 rai surveyed by the Institute of Survey and Monitoring Narcotic Plants. In Om Koi the survey found areas growing opium a total of 984 lots of 727.27 rai and 35 lots of 24.04 rai in Mae Chaem District. All plantation areas were in remote rural and mountainous areas.

The Special Unit of Narcotics Prevention and Suppression Center, Third Army Area Command in Chiang Mai has been destroying opium poppy plantations since November 15, 2016. The Special Unit destroyed opium totaling 322 lots of 343.33 rai in in Ban Paper-Nakien, Om Koi and area of 81 lots of 103.50 rai inTha Song Yang-Pitukee, Ta Song Yang, Tak.


Flight of the Gibbons issues statement on accident and closure

Flight of the Gibbons issued the following statement: As widely reported in the domestic and international media, an accident occurred last week on the Flight of the Gibbon course in Chiang Mai. In brief, a customer (with a child) had just completed a Zipline crossing and landed on the platform. In turn, the next customer began crossing. The first customer fell backwards from the platform, resulting in a collision with the second customer. The customers remained attached to a cable at all times, which prevented falling to the ground.

Flight of the Gibbon’s staff acted quickly to get all three customers to safety and accompanied them to hospital. The child was promptly discharged. The two adult customers are in the hospital for the time being, but are expected to fully recover.

After millions of safe zip line crossings, Flight of the Gibbon has earned a reputation for being among the most responsible and safest operators, and so when an event like this happens, the entire team takes it very seriously. In addition to regular daily inspections, this course had already undergone a complete engineering inspection for 2016, which was successfully passed. The Zipline operator maintains a copy of this license in its office and is in full compliance with all business and safety laws and regulations.

“We are extremely distressed by what happened on Friday and have a manager on hand at the hospital with the guest. We expect them to have a full recovery from this accident. Of course, we will do our utmost to take care of them and cover all their personal and medical expenses. Our customers are of paramount importance to Flight of the Gibbon,” explains Kriangkrai Srihaampai, Operations Manager at Flight of the Gibbon.

The management team’s preliminary review of this accident indicates that there were no equipment failures of any type, but that this accident was caused purely by human error. Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, operation of this course has been temporarily suspended, pending another complete engineering inspection. Flight of the Gibbon apologizes to customers who are inconvenienced by the suspension of operations at this location. Customer safety is the company’s number one priority. Operations will resume again as soon as possible.

Flight of the Gibbon holds itself to the highest safety standards, and their goal is zero accidents. It is the only Zipline course operator in Thailand with an inspection certificate certifying compliance with the International Standards of the ACCT.


Adventure tourism operator closed after accident on zipline

 

Pol. Maj. General Pittaya Sirirak, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Provincial Police Region 5 and Mae On District Chief Pattaporn Laijud visit Flight of the Gibbons zipline facility after three Israeli tourists were injured after colliding on the zipline.

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Region 5 Police shut down well-known adventure tourism operator Flight of the Gibbon on December 17 after a family of three was injured at their zipline venue in Ban Mae Kampong in Mae On on December 16, 2017.

Pol. Maj. General Pittaya Sirirak, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Provincial Police Region 5 was joined by Mae On District Chief Pattaporn Laijud and other officers to inspect the facilities and the scene of the accident at the Flight of the Gibbon on December 17.

Three Israeli tourists were injured when they collided on the zipline at 2 p.m. on December 16, 2016. The tourists, identified as Ms. Orit Rov, 40, Mr. Sahar Meir, 42, and Liam Boborow, 7, were taken to the hospital where Ms. Orit was found to have a broken rib and injured hip, while the man and the boy were treated and released.

Authorities closed the facility temporarily to investigate the safety of the venue. Last year a Chinese tourist was killed when she fell to her death on October from a zipline at Flying Squirrels in Mae Rim.


Community radio station shut down for operating without a license

Army and police confiscated equipment from a community radio station they believed was operating without a license.

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A community radio station in Haiya was shut down by military, police and officers from the Office of the National Telecommunications Commission after it was found to be operating illegally and unlicensed on December 15, 2016.

The Vihol Radio Community Station at 89MHz is owned by Terdsak Jiemkitwattana, the former leader of a local yellow shirt group in Chiang Mai. Police found only Eakachai Wilaiwan, a 40 year old employee and a 50 meter high radio tower. The station had no license to broadcast so the authorities seized all broadcasting equipment transmission lines, computers and other items used at the radio station for inspection.

PIC 2: A community radio station was shut down in Haiya after a raid by police and army, the owner claims he has a license and will be presenting it to authorities.

After the seizure the owner, Terdsak Jiemkitwattana, posted on social media that the station had been open and operating for the past three years and that this was the fifth inspection by authorities but the first time his equipment had been confiscated. He claimed he had a license and would be bringing it in for the authorities to inspect. In the past the station had supported the political movement of People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and People's Democratic Reform Committee. He said he believes that his equipment was seized this time because recently he had criticized the government’s working on Youtube and Vihok News.


Rice Market to be held at Maya on the weekends

The Rice Market opened on Saturday December 17, 2016 and will open every weekend in front of Maya Lifestyle Mall to give farmers a chance to sell their rice to the public.

Organized by Samoeng District Office, the Department of Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Maya Lifestyle Mall, the Rice Market was opened by

Farmers and their families are selling rice, vegetables and other products from Samoeng at the Rice Market every weekend in front of Maya Lifestyle Mall.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters

Maya Lifestyle Mall is hosting Samoeng farmers on the weekends to give them an opportunity to sell rice and other products. Organized by the Samoeng District Office, Maya Lifestyle Mall and the Department of Internal Trade at the Ministry of Commerce, the rice market will be held every weekend to give local farmers a chance to sell their rice to the public.

Rice farmers have been struggling to sell their rice as prices continue to fall and the government sector has been working to find ways to help farmers connect directly with the public. The Rice Market was opened by district officials and the Maya head as a food truck was also on hand to offer free food to visitors.

The Rice Market will be in front of Maya Lifestyle Mall every weekend from December 17, 2016 during the day.


Lanna MICE Mart welcomes visitors from ASEAN countries

Buyers from neighboring ASEAN countries attended the Lanna MICE Travel Mart and wore traditional garb for the opening ceremony.

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The Lanna MICE Mart was held at the Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Center from December 13 – 16, 2016 and saw buyers from ten ASEAN countries take part in learning about tourism businesses in the four provinces of the Upper North at the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions) Mart.

The Lanna MICE Mart was opened by traditional Lanna performances.

Businesspeople from Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang and Mae Hong Son took part in the event to offer booths on landmarks, arts and culture, nature and more in the Upper North. Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Prachuab Kanthiya and Suthon Wichairath, Director of Chiang Mai Tourism and Sports Office welcomed participants to the Lanna MICE Mart 2016, with many participants wearing national costume at th opening party.

The Lanna Mice Mart 2016 was held during 13-16 December 2016 by Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang, and Mae Hong Son Provinces in the Upper North Cluster Region 1 in cooperation with the Chiang Mai Tourism and Sports Office. These provinces are able to support MICE events in tourism and to create inspiration for travelers. Sixty buyers in the tourism industry in ASEAN and 60 businesspeople in the tourism industry in the Upper North Cluster 1 were invited to participate in the event.

Suthon Wichairath, Director of Chiang Mai Tourism and Sports Office, said that this event aimed to promote tourism in the Upper North by inviting capable entrepreneurs and purchasers from ten ASEAN countries to join the event and use Chiang Mai as the center of the event to link to other provinces in Upper North Cluster 1.

The Deputy Governor said, “Buyers will see our readiness, especially the Convention and International Exhibition Center, that Chiang Mai is ready to serve these entrepreneurs. This event also links to other attractions in four provinces in Upper North Cluster 1.” He noted that businesspeople joining this event were screened by tourism associations, chambers of commerce, and hotel business entrepreneurs for their capabilities to present MICE events, quality tourist attractions, cultures, traditions, and adventure attractions. He concluded that the event gives visiting buyers close contacts with local business people and allow them to travel around Chiang Mai and see all the Upper North has to offer in person.


New Year’s Eve services to honor HM the King expected to attract millions around the country

Chiang Mai will have service at every temple in the province

 

New Year’s Eve will see mourning ceremonies around the city, the province and the country as the nation pays their respects to His Majesty King Rama IX.

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Chiang Mai residents will take part in services that will be held at temples across the province and around the country to mourn His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on New Year’s Eve. Ceremonies will be held at all Royal temples and all major temples as well as at temples around the city and the province; around 1,000 temples in Chiang Mai are expected to take part.

The Sangha Supreme Council has asked temples across the country to take part in the services. Around 1 million people are expected to join in Chiang Mai province and up to 20 million nationwide Siriya Boonsiripreak, Director of Chiang Mai Provincial Culture Office said.


Royal Project Fair to be held December 22 - 25

Chiang Mai University Professor Pongsak Angkasit, chairman and organizer and Professor Danai Boonyakiat, director of Operations and Marketing announced the upcoming Royal Project Fair which will be held from December 22 – 25, 2016.

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The popular Royal Project Fair will be held at the Chiang Mai University Convention Center beginning December 22 – 25, 2016 and offer products from many of His Majesty King Rama IX’s signature Royal Projects. HRH Princess Soamsawali will be opening the event on December 22.

The 47th Annual Royal Project Fair is a popular event in Chiang Mai where residents flock to purchase Royal Project fruits and vegetables along with hill tribe products, flowers and plants.

The 47th annual Royal Project Fair was announced at the Royal Project Foundation on Suthep Road by Chiang Mai University Professor Pongsak Angkasit, chairman and organizer and Professor Danai Boonyakiat, director of Operations and Marketing. Before the press conference was a special performance by various tribes who joined and sang Chata Cheewit (Fate of Life) and the Impossible Dream for the occasion.

Professor Pongsak Angkasit said that the Royal Project, which was started by the love and support of HM King Bhumubol Adulyadej in1966, was the greatest gift to the people of Thailand in history. The Royal Project was started to assist rural people, specifically high areas in the mountains as well as conserving forestry and Thai property. The project involved planting vegetables and fruits for sufficient living, including bringing new crops to Thailand such as strawberries and many other different fruits and vegetables.

Activities will remain similar to previous years, however since Thai people are still mourning then a memorial services will take place as well. The mission of the Royal Project will now be under the reign of HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn or King Rama X, who made a royal appearance at the Royal Project Fair in 2015. Last year’s event raised over 8 million baht and this year is expected to reach 9 million baht, which will be returned to support the agricultur and residents.

Progress in agriculture will be displayed as well as introductions to new species of plants, vegetables, fruits; update on marketing, products and many more. There will be over 30 booths displaying the Royal Projects as well as crafts by tribe members. All concerned are encouraged to dress appropriately in honor of HM the late King for the occasion


Chiang Mai hosts three big events to honor HM King Bhumibol on his birthday

Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart was joined by government officials, military officers and many others in offering food to monks at Royal Park Rajapruek.

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Three major events were held on December 5, 2016 to mark His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s birth; the first took place at Royal Park Rajapruek at 7 a.m. where the Governor was joined by many officials and officers, visitors and members of the public in an offerings ceremony to present food to 199 monks.

The Chiang Mai Governor digs in planting banana trees in honor of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Governor Pawin Chamniprasart then chaired a banana tree planting ceremony in honor of King Rama IX at 9:30 a.m. at Huay Tung Tao reservoir in Mae Rim. The tree planting ceremony was organized by Paradorn Homyam, Deputy Director of the Botanical Garden Organization and attended by the Deputy Chief Justice, President of the Chiang Mai Red Cross Monsuda Chamniprasart and officials. Ten different species of banana were planted for a total of 389 trees over 3 rai. The banana trees were planted to help retain soil and moisture and create a more balanced eco-system.

The final event took place at 700 Year Stadium in the evening where thousands of Chiang Mai residents turned out to honor His Majesty King Rama IX and mourn his passing. Everyone wore traditional Lanna dress in black and white, traditional dance performances were held and everyone joined in together to sing the royal anthem.


Chiang Mai Zoo joins Region 5 police to help farmers

Pol. Maj. Gen. Achawat Chotikasatiean, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5, chaired the opening ceremony of the rice distribution center for Thai farmers under the “Provincial Police Region 5 helps Thai Farmers” Project with Nipon Wichairat, Director of Chiang Mai Zoo and Advisors to Provincial Police Region 5 (Police Management Inspection) and representatives of San Pa Tong Agricultural Cooperative, Phrao Agricultural Cooperative, and Nikomphrao Agricultural Cooperative joining the ceremony at the Sophon Damnui Building at the Chiang Mai Zoo.

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As part of efforts to assist farmers hit hard by the low price of rice the Chiang mai Zoo is joining the Region 5 Police in distributing rice from the Agricultural Co-operative.

From December 7, 2016 to September 30, 2017 people can buy good quality rice at a fair price directly from farmers at the Sophon Damnui building in front of the Chiang Mai Zoo.

Region 5 Police started the project to help farmers sell their rice directly and already offer markets at the Region 5 Police headquarters and at various markets around town.


Residents petition for traffic island on Chotana Road

High number of accidents along stretch of road at Tung Hua Chang

Residents of the San Pong area are petitioning the government to add a traffic island to the very dangerous seven kilometer stretch of road on Chotana road; at least five people a year are killed or injured in accidents along this one stretch every year.

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Residents of Mae Rim have petitioned the Governor to have a traffic island built in the middle of the road in the area starting from Tung Hua Chang to Muang Pha and Huai Nam Rim due to the high number of accidents resulting in serious injury and death.

Residences of San Pong Sub-district, Mae Rim District began the drive at Ban Pa Tiew with Manote Wongjeeno, Assistant Sub-district Chief leading the villagers in petitioning. The residents want the government to build an island in the middle of the road on Highway 107 or Chotana Road.

Manote said that the seven kilometer strip of road needed a traffic island as just the narrow yellow line had resulted in many accidents as people cut across from one side to the other and also posed a serious danger for pedestrians attempting to cross the road.

He said that they need at least 5,000 signatures for the island to be considered and urged people to join in reminding everyone that at least 5 people are killed or injured on this stretch of road each year.

The chief said that he and the former San Pong Mayor had requested this from the Chiang Mai Rural Road Office once, but there was no progress. Boonsong Teriyapirom, a former member of House of Representative, had also proposed this traffic island to relevant government sector for safety and properties in the area of people using this route.


Thailand Coffee and Bakery Expo 2016 to be held in Chiang Mai

Asawin Kamwang, Operating Director of Expolink Global Network Co., Ltd., Jiruth Na Adyuthaya – Deputy Director of Management and Strategy Support, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), Chef Jamnong Nirungsit - Honorary Advisor of Thailand Chefs Association and representatives from relevant organizations announced the upcoming expo at the recent press conference.

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Chiang Mai will be hosting the Coffee and Bakery Expo 2016 for the first time from December 15 – 18, 2016 at Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport it was announced at a press conference recently. Expolink Global Network Co., Ltd. in cooperation with the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, the Thailand Chefs Association, the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce, the Chiang Mai Industry Council and the Chiang Mai Chefs Club will be participating in the event that will run daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

ExpoLink is the Thailand representative of the Cologne Messe Co. Ltd. from Germany and also holds the international exhibition THAIFEX World of Food Asia. The organization has brought together leading businesses in tea, coffee, baked goods, food technology and services for the event in Chiang Mai.

Apart from selling goods and business seminars the exhibition will include a cooking contest divided into Junior Chef Challenge and Senior Chef Challenge for Thai, European and Chinese foods, fruit and vegetable carving contest, workshop providing food knowledge, and others.


Anti-drinking organizations petition governor to crack down on bars near schools

 

Representatives from Chiang Mai Stop Drinking Coordinating Center, Love Chiang Mai Community Network and the Institution Education Network met with Deputy Governor Prachuab Kanthiya and presented him a letter to crack down on venues selling alcohol close to schools after the Malin Sky Pub scandal.

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Several anti-alcohol organizations joined together to present a letter to the Chiang Mai Governor to strictly enforce laws regarding bars and entertainment venues close to schools in Chiang Mai. The group, which consisted of representatives from Chiang Mai Stop Drinking Coordinating Center, Love Chiang Mai Community Network and the Institution Education Network met with Deputy Governor Prachuab Kanthiya and asked him to pass it on to the Prime Minister.

In the letter the organizations asked the Governor to be strict in regards to entertainment venues, bars, pubs, karaoke clubs and alcohol sales close to schools, universities and temples. They also asked for clear zoning rules after the incident at Malin Sky Pub became a nationwide scandal.

The bar was only ten meters from the University and although there was an order for its closing it was still in the courts, the group pointed out that there are many similar bars and restaurants near the university even though there are zoning regulations.

They pointed out that many venues allow people under the age of 20 while others are not closing on time. They asked the government to strictly enforce the laws and zoning regulations on these venues. They pointed out that although the bars and clubs have licenses they are not seriously inspected and laws are not being enforced. Additionally, their proximity to temples, schools and local communities has an effect on the residents from noise pollution, drunks and fights. The law states that shops and venues selling alcohol can be no more than 300 meters from schools.

The Deputy Governor said the government has been inspecting the venues in the area weekly and that zoning regulations and licenses can be found at the Provincial Excise Office. He added that all of the shops currently operating had received their licenses before the NCPO’s order in 2015 and can continue business but new ones are not allowed. However, if a shop breaks one of the five rules they must be closed. Those rules include allowing people under the age of 20 to use the venue, selling alcohol to people under 20, opening past regulated hours, the possession of weapons or drugs.


Police arrest man suspected of serial theft

Suspect released from prison in September

 

Rachan Supayor was released from prison in September and arrested after committing multiple robbers on December 6, 2016.

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Chiang Mai Police arrested a Muang District man suspected of ten different theft cases in Chiang Mai over the past weeks on December 7, 2016. Rachan Suyapor was arrested in a gaming shop in Santhitham area and found with electronics, mobile phones and equipment to break into houses.

Police received a report about a theft at a dorm room in Haiya on November 23 and CCTV footage led to them to the suspect. He eventually confessed that he had stolen ten times over the past weeks. He told police that he had been in prison for theft and released September 16, 2016. He said he was unable to find a job so went back to stealing. One of his victims turned out to be the nephew of the Chief of the Land Transportation Department.


Man arrested in series of burglaries in housing estates

Suspect wanted by Saraburi for theft

Thongsuk Kaewhao was arrested and charged with theft after a series of home break ins in the suburbs and housing estates. Police are tracking down his accomplice.

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Police announced the arrest of one of the suspects in a series of break ins in homes in housing estates on December 7, 2016 adding that the man had an arrest warrant issued from Saraburi Courts for theft as well.

Thongsuk Kaewhao of Nakhom Pathom was arrested by Phuping Police and Police Region 5 after a series of 11 breakins in different housing estates was reported. Police investigated and found that Thongsuk had been seen driving a bronze colored Toyota Wish in the areas that had been robbed. They investigated Thongsuk and found that he had an outstanding warrant from Saraburi as well as having had warrants in Bangkok in 2003, Nakhon Rachasima in 2013 and Nakhon Pathom in January 2015 as well as the one from Saraburi from November 2015.

Police arrested the suspect at a rental home in Mae Hia and found a screwdriver, gloves and stolen items such as amulets and rings. The suspect confessed that he had been working with another man to break into houses during the day when the owners were at work. He told police that he and the other man would use two cars; target a home, climb the fence and break a door or window. They normally stole things that were easily carried such as gold and cash and then split the proceeds.

Police will be using the information gained from the Thongsuk to track down the other suspect. Many victims of the robberies came to see their property at Region 5 Police headquarters, at least 11 cases so far have been confirmed in Muang District, Phuping, Mae Ping and San Sai.


Call for donations for annual Red Cross Winter Fair

President of the Chiang Mai Provincial Red Cross Monsuda Chamniprasart calls for donations for the upcoming Chiang Mai Red Cross Winter Fair.

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The annual Red Cross Winter Fair will be held from December 28, 2016 to January 8, 2017 at the field behind City Hall. The popular fair sees large donations from the community to be raffled off and given as prizes in booths.

The President of the Chiang Mai Provincial Red Cross Monsuda Chamniprasart called on the community for donations to the event. “Unity Day to Help the Red Cross” will be held on December 8, 2016 at the Volunteer Defense Corps, Chiang Mai 1 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon to receive donated items such as motorcycles, bicycles, electric equipment, and clothes for the Chiang Mai Red Cross Association.

Donors can also contact the Office of the Chiang Mai Red Cross Association at 053-212638, or the Chiang Mai Local Administration Organization at 053-112613 or 053-112617, or Mrs. Sirikul Pongladda, Chief of the Chiang Mai Finance and Accounting Group at 053-112614.

Monsuda urged everyone to donate to help those less fortunate. The Mucha Kachad Shop in this year’s Winter Fair will sell 9,000 charity Red Cross Lottery tickets at 80 baht each. Revenue is expected to reach 7.2 million baht. First prize is a sports car, second prize a pick-up truck, third prizes will be three 110CC motorcycles, fourth runner up prizes will be five half baht gold necklaces, 10 refrigerators as the sixth runner up, 10 televisions as seventh and 20 bicycles as eighth. There will be 180 prizes given out to those who have the last three digits of not more than 1,000 baht. The shop will also sell 200,000 Red Cross Fish at 20 baht each. The Provincial Red Cross hopes to raise 4 million baht at the event this year.


Gift Fair open until December 11

Beautiful handwoven textiles from around the region are on sale at the Gift Fair 2016.

Bags and other accessories are also on sale at the fair.

This booth was filled with wonderful vintage photos of HM King Rama IX, HM Queen Mother Sirikit and their family.

A fair wouldn’t be a fair in Thailand without a lot of food, from khao soy noodles, to southern Thai food, the food aisle has it all.

The annual Gift Fair opened on December 2, 2016 at the Industrial Promotion Center on Thung Hotel Road. The popular event will be open through December 11, 2016 and features a wide variety of unique and handmade products such as bags made from teak leaves, handwoven phasin, jewelry, basketry, clothing, toys, health and beauty products and many more

The Gift Fair is a long running tradition for Chiang Mai shoppers and always very popular with locals and visitors. The event is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and entrance is free.


Suspected cop killer shot dead resisting arrest

The suspect in the killing of a police officer was shot resisting arrest in Mae Taeng.

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Police shot dead the man suspected of killing a Chiang Mai police officer last week at his mountain hideaway in Pha Pae, Mae Taeng District on December 2, 2016.

Police traced Prasert Laolee, suspected of killing a 23 year old Police Lance Corporal during a drug sting to the mountainous region near Baan Buak Meed in Pha Pae, Mae Taeng and traveled to the remote area to arrest the suspect. The suspect opened fire on the police; they returned fire killing the suspect at the scene.

Prasert Laolee was a suspect in the shooting of Police Lance Corporal Sirayuth Noiarun during a drug buy at Mae Taeng on November 29, 2016. He escaped with Suthasinee Sae Nor from Prachinburi to the mountains. Police found Mrs Suthasinee at the same location and arrested her to face charges.


Father’s Day ceremonies announced for December 5

Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart announces the ceremonies to be held on King Rama IX’s birthday on December 5, 2016.

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Chiang Mai residents are invited to attend ceremonies for King Rama IX on the occasion of his birthday on December 5, 2016. The day will start at 6:45 a.m. with a merit making ceremony offering food to monks at Three Kings Monument followed by the ceremony at Chiang Mai University Convention Center at 9 a.m. followed by a candlelight ceremony at City Hall at 7 p.m.

In addition, there will be food offerings for 199 monks to dedicate to HM the late King at Hor Kam Luang, Royal Park Rajapruek, Chiang Mai at 6 a.m. and commemoration ceremony at the 700 Year Stadium from 4 p.m. There will be cultural performances including traditional candle dancing by 1,999 dancers, tributes and singing the Royal Anthem. Please wear black traditional dress to mourn King Rama IX. It is expected to be a large event with thousands of people attending.

 

To prepare for the event the Chiang Mai Traffic police will be in place from 2 p.m. on and no vehicles will be allowed inside. Police expect 20,000 people and have warned of traffic jams. Three parking areas will be opened at the Convention Center, at the Farm Outlet and the parking lot of the Provincial Government Center or City Hall. There will be free shuttles will be offered from the three locations to the 700 Year stadium

Police expect heavy traffic jams on Canal Road and linking roads. Traffic police and volunteers will help to organize the parking and direct traffic.


Police officer killed in clash with drug traffickers in Mae Taeng

Police Lance Corporal Sirayuth Noiarun was killed in a shoot-out with drug traffickers in Mae Taeng, the 23 year old was a native of Chiang Mai.

Nopniwat Krailerg

A Police Lance Corporal was shot and killed during a shoot-out with drug traffickers in Mae Taeng on November 29, 2016 at around 10 p.m. in Keelek in Mae Taeng.

Police had set up a sting with Kanawith Nithikomporn to purchase 2,000 methamphetamine tablets. Kanawith then contacted two people to obtain the drugs, Prasert Laolee, age 35 and Suthasinee Sae Nor of Prachinburi to deliver the drugs at a bypass road in Keelek, Mae Taeng.

Police investigate the scene of the shooting in Keelek, Mae Taeng.

The couple drove to the meeting point where they were ambushed by police, Prasert fired at the police with a shot gun who returned fire. Pol. Lance Corporal Sirayuth Noiarun was shot and died at the hospital. The two suspects fled into the forest where police found a blood trail. Police found the car belonging to Suthasinee in San Sai.

Police have charged Kanawuth and continue the search for the missing couple for the death of the Police Lance Corporal.

Police Lance Corporal Sirayuth Noiarun was 23 years old and a native Muslim of Chiang Mai. He was a Police Non-Commissioned Officer Student from Region Police Training Center 5, the 2nd Company of 2013. He graduated in October 2014 and began duty as a Squad Leader (Suppression) at Galyanivadhana Police Station. He was then assigned for temporary duty for drug suppression with the Chiang Mai Provincial Police. He was posthumously promoted five ranks to Police Sub-Lieutenant. His body was sent to Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. At 11am on November 30,2016, Pol. Maj. Gen. Poonsub Prasrtsak, Acting for Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5 visited his mother and gave her funds to help with the hospital bills. The funeral was held at Chang Klan Cemetery on the same day.


Nakhon Pathom man killed in accident at Ruamchoke tunnel

A thirty-five year old Nakhon Pathom man was killed in a high speed one car crash late at night at the Ruamchoke Tunnel.

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Police and rescue were called to the scene of an accident at the Ruamchoke Tunnel around midnight on November 29, 2016. They found a gray Honda Accord that had hit the guardrail with so much impact it had gone under the guardrail slicing off the roof and crumpling the front end.

Inside police found the body of 35 year old Teerasak Chungchant whose body was wedged so tightly into the car that it took the rescue team over 20 minutes to cu he body out of the car.

Police believe the driver was going at a very high speed when he lost control and hit the guard rail. Police found a bottle of alcohol in the car. The body was taken to Maharaj Nakorn Hospital Chiang Mai Hospital for his relatives to claim the deceased.


CMU Engineering student beaten in seemingly random attack

Paveekorn Samphanwiwat reported to police after he was assaulted by a man in front of the CMU Engineering Gate, he suffered a broken arm and said he didn’t know the man who attacked him.

Nopniwat Krailerg

A twenty-two year old Chiang Mai University engineering student was beaten and suffered a broken arm in a seemingly random attack on November 24, but waited to report until November 29.

Paveekorn Samphanwiwat reported to the Bhuping Police Station that he had been attacked and left with a broken arm in front of the Kiang Mor Condominium, he told police he waited to recover enough to report the crime.

He told police that he had left the Damnernsaduk Coffee Shop next to the condominium to go home when he was accosted by 22 year old Wutthikorn Donpan and his friends. Wutthikorn, an economics student at Payap University, claimed that Paveekorn had looked at him wrong. Paveekorn explained he didn’t know him and was sorry if there was any misunderstanding or bad feeling but told police that Wutthikorn still attacked him and slammed in between two cars, breaking his arm and injuring his face.

Paveekorn said he and his friends tried to end the problem and leave but that Wutthikorn tried to continue beating him with a baseball bat. The man’s friends stopped him from continuing the assault the victim alleged. The mother of the victim insisted to police that they prosecute the other man for the assault. Paveekorn is the nephew of Rear Admiral Dr. Mayuree Samphanwiwat.


Fallout from Malin Sky Pub brawl continues as hotel is shut down

The Core Hotel Chiang Mai was shut down by government officials after it was found to be operating without a hotel license. The hotel is the site of the Malin Sky Pub where the son of a general was assaulted by bodyguards for celebrity customers.

Nopniwat Krailerg

After the well-publicized attack on the son of a Major General in the Royal Thai Army at the Malin Sky Pub by bodyguard hired to guard celebrities, officials visited the Malin Sky Pub and Core Chiang Mai Hotel owned by Ball Kritsana.

Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Prajuab Kanthiya explained that Malin Sky Pub was allowed to be open so near to Chiang Mai University because it had received a license before the implementation of the NCPO order forbidding bars near schools.

Authorities found that the hotel was not licensed and was closed immediately. The owner surrendered to authorities the next day. The Deputy Governor announced that in addition to being unlicensed the bar was too close to the school and in violation of the laws it had been opened before the NCPO order 22/2015 was put in place and so need to be closed before midnight and could only sell cigarettes and alcohol as per the license that had been issued before the order.

However, the hotel was opened illegally and the government had ordered a crackdown on illegal hotels operating without a license.

On November 25 bodyguards assaulted the 23 year old Payap student Isaranuwat Wankawisan, son of Maj. Gen. Wittaya Wankawisan, Commanding General, the 38 Military Circle – Suriyapong Camp, Nan province. The bodyguards turned themselves into the police.

 


 
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Police announce arrests in five drug cases since December 21


Police will increase drunk driving checkpoints for the 7 Deadly Days of New Year

Speed cameras installed on Doi Saket Road

Light rain predicted over Christmas


Royal Project Fair 2016 opens at CMU Convention Center


HRH Princess Sirindhorn concerned about opium poppy planting in Chiang Mai

Flight of the Gibbons issues statement on accident and closure


Adventure tourism operator closed after accident on zipline

Community radio station shut down for operating without a license


Rice Market to be held at Maya on the weekends


Lanna MICE Mart welcomes visitors from ASEAN countries


New Year’s Eve services to honor HM the King expected to attract millions around the country


Royal Project Fair to be held December 22 - 25


Chiang Mai hosts three big events to honor HM King Bhumibol on his birthday

Chiang Mai Zoo joins Region 5 police to help farmers

Residents petition for traffic island on Chotana Road

Thailand Coffee and Bakery Expo 2016 to be held in Chiang Mai

Anti-drinking organizations petition governor to crack down on bars near schools

Police arrest man suspected of serial theft

Man arrested in series of burglaries in housing estates


Call for donations for annual Red Cross Winter Fair

Gift Fair open until December 11

Suspected cop killer shot dead resisting arrest


Father’s Day ceremonies announced for December 5

Police officer killed in clash with drug traffickers in Mae Taeng

Nakhon Pathom man killed in accident at Ruamchoke tunnel

CMU Engineering student beaten in seemingly random attack

Fallout from Malin Sky Pub brawl continues as hotel is shut down


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