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Vol. XIII No.8 - Sunday April 20, 2014 - Saturday May 3, 2014


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Update by Saichon Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
NEWS
 

Splashdown! Chiang Mai celebrates Songkran

Tourists flocked to Chiang Mai for the Songkran New Year Festival.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Tourists flocked to Chiang Mai starting on the weekend before the official Songkran holiday festival of April 13 – 15, 2014. Hotel bookings saw at least 80% occupancy city-wide while a total of 250,000 tourists were expected to visit the city. Of these 65% are foreign tourists, an expected 60,000 Chinese tourists were in the city. Thai visitors made up 35% of the visitors, up from Songkran last year. Revenues are expected to reach 900 million baht for the holiday.
Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo said that many different groups and companies had organized festivities for the Thai New Year including the Lanna World Musiq Fest, parties at local malls including Promenada, Central Festival, Maya and the Harbour. Additionally, many people took part in traditional Songkran activities such as bathing the Buddha, carrying sand into the temple and pouring water over the hands of revered elders and asking for their blessings.
As we went to print the nationwide Songkran death toll on Day 4 reached 204 lives (down 15 from last year) and 2,142 people injured in 2,027 road accidents. Drunk driving remained the largest cause of accidents at 43%, followed by speeding at 22 %. Motorcycles were involved in 78% of all accidents. A full report will be compiled in the next issue of the Chiang Mai Mail.
 


Chiang Mai honors Chakri Day

Chiang Mai Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo presided over the Chakri Day ceremony at Chiang Mai University Convention Center on April 6, 2014. He was joined by government officials, members of the public and private sectors, students and citizens in commemorating the establishment of the reigning Chakri Dynasty and to offer flowers and pay respects to King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke the Great on his establishment of Bangkok and to all the Chakri Kings.


Public holidays in May

The month of May has three major public holidays; Labor Day on May 1, Coronation Day on May 5 and Visakha Bucha Day on May 13. These are all public holidays and as such government offices will be closed and some businesses. Please note that Visakha Bucha Day is dry holiday and no alcohol can be sold.


Villagers file complaint over condo construction in Faham

Villagers in Faham filed a complaint against the Diamant Condo project alleging that pile driving at the site had damaged Wat Langka and nearby homes.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Villagers met with Faham City Council members at Wat Langka in Faham Sub-District in Muang Chiang Mai on April 10, 2014 to discuss the construction of the Diamant Condominium in Faham. Villagers allege that the construction project is causing damage to Wat Langka as well as to concrete homes in the area.
Nearly 50 households met at the Wat to ask that the project stop pile driving immediately as it was causing cracks in people’s homes and had damaged pillars at the Wat. They asked to see its construction plan and to inspect the company’s Building Construction License. They made an appointment to meet with SAO officers and the operators of the construction site to mediate on the issue.
Sakrapee Supha, acting as representative for the villagers said that the condo is located next to Wat Langka. Pile driving at the construction site made some Lai Kanok stucco attached around pillars in front of Viharn fall off, the viharn and pagoda had cracks as well as houses nearby.
Diamant Condominium Project is operated by N.C. Housing Public Company Limited located on Phaholyothin road, Lamlukka district in Pathumthani. This company has several real estate building projects in many provinces. Somchao Tanthatherdtham, the Managing Director of N.C. Housing Public Co., Ltd. bought the land at 13 million baht per Rai, next to the Super Highway in Faham to construct three 8-storey buildings on 4 rai.


Underpass construction on the Mae Rim road causing dust, traffic jams

Underpass construction on the Mae Rim road has caused heavy traffic and jams as well as contributed to the dust in the air.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The construction of the Pack Squadron Underpass at the intersection of Highway 107 and Highway 121 started on July 16, 2013 and has seen delays as they waited for permission on using land for the road extension and more delays are expected once the road itself is finished as they need to wait for the placement of public utility poles. Recently, the Caretaker Deputy Minister of Transport General Prin Suwannatat inspected the progress of construction o the Mae Rim road.
It was noted that the construction of the underpass contributed much dust in the air and may have been a contributing factor to the high PM10 numbers that the province saw in March and early April. Additionally construction work causes daily massive traffic jams on the road during rush hour. People are forced to use the small narrow roads on either side of the construction site, forcing traffic into one lane each direction. Travel on the road in the dark is dangerous for those unfamiliar with the road as there are no street lights or warning signs. Those who want to turn right on to the Irrigation Canal Road coming from Mae Rim are forced to drive down to the U-turn in front of the Land Development Department on Chotana Road as there is no access to the road from the Chiang Mai bound lane. The number of cars making this U-turn have slowed traffic flow down considerably as well.
The underpass construction was allocated a budget of 598,645,269.54 baht in 2013 and the project was granted to Serm Sanguan Construction Co., Ltd. and Buriram Thongchai Construction Co., Ltd. Construction began on July 16, 2013 and is scheduled to be finished on July 5, 2015. The new underpass will allow traffic to flow easier on the road to Mae Rim, Samoeng and Fang as well as on to Pai and Mae Hong Son.


Chiang Rai bears the brunt of storm damage

Chiang Rai was hit hardest by the storms that hit Thailand from April 2 – 7, 2014, with over 16,000 homes damaged or destroyed.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Widespread thunderstorms across the North caused heavy damage to many homes and businesses. The storms, which came during the week of April 2 -7, 2014 hit many provinces of Thailand but the 10 Northern provinces of Chiang Rai, Pichit, Sukhothai, Phayao, Tak, Kamphaeng Phet, Lampang, Phitsanulok, Phrae and Uttardit saw much of the damage with Chiang Rai bearing the brunt of the storms.
The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation reported that a total of 16,104 homes were damaged in the North out of a total of 20,925 homes nationwide.
Chiang Rai saw the worst of the storms with 11,876 homes damaged in the storms that saw strong winds and rain. Pichit had 734 homes damaged while 650 homes were damaged in Sukhothai. Next came Phayao with 643 homes damaged or destroyed then Tak with 600 followed by Kamphaeng Phet with 524. Lampang had 480 homes damaged, Phitsanulok 424, Phrae 100 and Uttardit 73.


Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister checks forest fire situation

Suggests to burn for mushrooms earlier in the year

Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi visited Mae On District and suggested that if villagers must burn for mushrooms they do it before the low pressure weather systems cover the North every year and that this would help reduce the smoke issue.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Plodprasop Suraswadi traveled to Mae On District to check on the forest fire and smoke situation on April 5, 2014. He visited On-Klang sub district and Baan Sahakorn sub district in Mae On where he was welcomed by Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Chana Pangpibul and government section chiefs. Mae On had many more hot spots than compared to other areas but still a lower number of hot spots than in 2013, he was told.
The caretaker Deputy Prime Minister said that villagers should stop burning forest and if they must burn for mushrooms should do it before the low pressure areas cover the North annually. This will reduce the amount of smoke blanketing the province he said. He will assign relevant government agencies to collect data on the income that villagers actually gain from wild products that come from burning. He said he believed such data would help find solutions for the smoke problem..


Government discusses traffic systems in Chiang Mai

Nopniwat Krailerg
Deputy Governor Charoenrit Sa-nguansat presided over the meeting of the Subcommittee for the Management of Land Traffic Chiang Mai recently to discuss several projects for the province including the proposed high speed train, traffic engineering and management of traffic in the Nimmanhaemin area.
The high speed train project is still being studied for the phase one Bangkok – Phitsanulok route but the Subcommittee said, in case the project gets taken off the shelf, they should be ready with plans for the Phitsanulok – Chiang Mai phase of the project. The Subcommittee was studying the project to determine not only its environmental impact but economic feasibility.
The Subcommittee proposed more “count down traffic lights” which has shown success in reducing accidents, also implementing more systems of control of traffic lights by computers and footpaths. The Rincome Intersection at Huay Kaew and Nimmanhaemin is notorious for its traffic jams and the Sub-committee considered the legal left hand turn on a red light at all four corners. The intersection at Nong Hoi will be altered to allow forward moving traffic and right hand turning vehicles to go at the same time, allowing for speedier movement through the intersection and reducing traffic jams.
The Chiang Mai Sustainable Transportation Project was implemented recently to push for non-motorized transportation in the city with cycling. The Municipality wants to increase the efficiency of public transportation systems in Chiang Mai to maintain Chiang Mai’s identity.


Rotary Club Chiang Mai Airport organizing King Naresuan 5 movie night

Fundraising activity to purchase water tanks

The Rotary Club of Chiang Mai Airport is organizing a special movie night screening the popular King Naresuan 5 at the SF Cineman at Promenada Resort Mall Chiang Mai on May 29, 2014. Tickets will sell for 360 baht, including snack and drink ,and the funds raised will go towards purchasing 6 water tanks for the Baan Nokkamin Foundation in Mae Rim, Imjai House in Doi Saket, San Sai Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and other remote areas of Chiang Mai.
The movie night is part of an ongoing project by the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai Airport to purchase quality water tanks with assistance from the Patraudon Co., Ltd., manufacturer and supplier of Diamond stainless water tanks and Green Tree plastic water tanks of the North who provide the tanks at a discounted price for the club.
SF Cinema City, Promenada Chiang Mai has provided the Club with a special rate for the evening so that more funds can be used towards the purchase of the tanks and Chiang Mai Printing supported the design and printed the cards without charge. The Rotary Club Chiang Mai Airport does community service projects around Chiang Mai as part of Rotary Internationals policy of “Service Above Self”. The project is part of the Matching Grant Project from Rotary Club International so that Rotary Clubs locally can work towards improving the lives of those in their community.
Call for more information: PP. Chokchai Sakdatorn 081-881-8106, PP. Thitiphan Lannaphan 081-716-9695 and PP. Chidwong Thanormthin.


Lanna World Musiq Festival draws Songkran crowds for concerts

The Lanna World Musiq Festival was held from April 13 – 15, 2014 at Suan Buak Haad Park in a bid to add live music and concerts for tourists and locals. The event, organized by Todd Thongdee and Singha Corporation Co. Ltd. saw concerts from Thai performers as well as musicians from over 20 countries including local favorite Lanna Commins, T-Bone and more. Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo said that besides the fun of throwing water that visitors will enjoy a quality music festival offered during the Songkran holidays and expressed his hopes that the festival would become an annual event.


OTOP product champion awarded to Mae Wang silver shop

OTOP Champion Products 2014 rewarded creative OTOP entrepreneurs.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Chiang Mai has become nationally and internationally recognized for the quality and variety of its handicrafts and so the Chiang Mai OTOP Product Championship was organized to initially provide training in standards of development for producers.
Deputy Governor Chana Pangpibul presided over the opening ceremony for the event held for OTOP entrepreneurs at the Chiang Mai Phucome Hotel on April 4, 2014. Associate Professor Pairat Trakansirinon, Dean of the Faculty of Political Science and Public Administration, Chiang Mai University organizer of the Chiang Mai OTOP Product Champion, said that training to achieve quality in development standards for producers is just one activity being held for the OTOP producers. The organizers hope to encourage OTOP producers to use their potential and knowledge to create value for their products. Additionally they are working to provide trainees with the tools to learn new ideas about creating products for the ASEAN market.
Somkuan Chormalee, Chief of the Chiang Mai Community Development said that the Chiang Mai OTOP Product Champion 2014 is a project of the OTOP products sales and distribution center in Chiang Mai.
The Championship selected product by use criteria of KBO (Knowledge based organizations) by a KBO committee and experts. The winner of the project is Bankad Silverware Handicraft, Mae Wang with a prize of 20,000 baht and a trophy, 2nd place went to Wualaisilpa Silverware (Pramual Thananchai) won 10,000 baht and a trophy, 3rd place went to Sai AuaSa Moonprai Chiang Mai (Watcharapong Wanmai) of Doi Lor who won 8,000 baht and a trophy. Fourth place went to Baan Celadon Chiang Mai (Tassanee Ya Jang) who won 6,000 baht and the 5th place to Mango Wood Tray (Warunee Thipeng) of San Kamphaeng who won 4,000 baht. Other prize winners include those of Knowledge-Based OTOP for a creative economy with Nail-covered dance Nong hah handcraft, Sanpatong winning 10,000 baht, 2nd place to Lanna Handicraft Wat Srisuphan (Kamonwan Sutthi), Muang who won 5,000 baht and 3rd plae to Pratuang Lacquerware who won 3,000 baht.


Shan ordination ceremony fills Chiang Mai city streets with color

The Poi Sang Long festival sees Chiang Mai city streets filled with the colorful process of Shan people.

By Shana Kongmun
Photo by Harm De Vries

The annual Poi Sang Long novice ordination was held as members of the Shan ethnic group held their procession through Chiang Mai city streets to Wat Pa Pao on April 5, 2014 in Chiang Mai city. It is believed that the festival is based on the story of Prince Rahula, the son of the Buddha, who gave up his worldly life to follow his father’s teachings.
The first day the boys’ heads are shaved and they are dressed in colorful and ornate outfits, the following day sees the novices carried around the Wat on the shoulders of their male relatives, and finally they are carried to the temple where they will be ordained as monks for weeks or even months. The boys are usually between the ages of 7 and 14 when they undergo this centuries old ceremony. (All photos by Harm De Vries)

Women and men dress in their finery and join the procession to Wat Pa Pao.


Moving Province Project sees visit to Chiang Dao

Provincial government to provide services to outlying districts

Deputy Governor Chana Pangpibul launched the new project to provide services and meet with residents of the outlying districts in Chiang Mai.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Deputy Governor Chana Pangpibul paid a visit to Chiang Dao District on April 10, 2014 as part of the plan to pay visits to the outlying districts of Chiang Mai to assess their needs and work with local government officials.
Moving Province Project will see the Governor or Deputy Governors visit the districts of Chiang Mai Province to meet people and work with government officials. On this day, Deputy Governor Chana met with officials from the district to assess the smoke problem and the issue of drug trafficking on the border.
The project is being implemented to give people more channels to approach public services more conveniently and to lighten to the load of expense of travel and to allow Provincial authorities to learn about the problems of people more thoroughly.
The project titled “Relieve suffering, Bring about happiness, Make People Smile” is one of the Government’s policies aimed at providing from government sectors, Non-Profit Organization and private agencies for the people in distant areas. It is proactive services to make the government sectors acknowledge the suffering problems and the real needs of the people in the area and to resolve the problem in the best way possible. Moreover, the people can access public services conveniently and rapidly, reduce expenses of communicating with government agencies, reduce the cost of living and build up good relationships between the government and the people. Furthermore, it helps to disseminate knowledge, create common understanding, adjust favorable values and allows people to develop their local communities and apply HM King Bhumibol’s Sufficiency Economy Philosophy to improve the quality of life.


NARIT holds Astronomy camp for kids

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) or NARIT organized the NARIT Astronomy Camp for astronomical clubs from different schools to provide kids with real life experience in astronomy and to inspire them to continue their interest in astronomy.
Dr. Saran Posayajinda, Deputy Director of the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand revealed that NARIT Youth Camp is held twice a year and usually gets good feedback. NARIT has seen the importance of promoting a good environment for learning using astronomical activities so started NARIT Astronomy Camp this year. The camp’s activities included lectures on astronomy, observing the sky, using astronomical equipment such as telescopes, binoculars etc, using star charts and observing the sky by telescope at Doi Inthanon peak as well as group activities including a visit to the Thai National Observatory for studying the organization and telescope whose 2.4m diameter is the biggest in Southeast Asia.
NARIT Astronomical Camp was held on March 10 -14, 2014 at NARIT Information Technology and Training Centre, Doi Inthanon National Park.
Three students and 1 adviser each from Kasetsart University KamphaengSaen Campus, Bamnetnarong Wittayakom School Chaiyaphum, Singha Buri School, Benchama Rat Rangsarit School Chachoengsao, Udomdarunee School Sukhothai, Thepsirinromklao School Bankok, Hangar Rat Rung Sarit School Chainat, Yasothonpittayakom School, Satit Buu Bumpen School Burapha University Chonburi and Saiburi Chaengprachacarn School Pattanee took part.


Burned body of Mae Hong Son man discovered behind the cemetery

The burned body of a man from Mae Hong Son was found on this small road behind the Chinese cemetery in Suthep Subdistrict.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Phuping Police were called to the San Lom Joy Cemetery in Suthep Sub-district at 7:30 a.m. on April 7, 2014 after villagers passing on the road spotted a burned corpse in the grass on the side of the small road behind the cemetery.
Phuping Police Chief Aksorn Wongyai met with forensic officers from the police and forensic medical personnel from Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital at the scene. They found the body of a short haired Thai man, laying on the road, his body burned and with wounds on his face and head as well as a wound between his eyebrows that could have been the initial cause of death.
The officers found a small Buddha amulet on the body as well as a wallet with the ID card of Soontorn Thaweekingpetch age 35 of Tham Lod sub district, Pang Mapha district in Mae Hong Son. Police believe that he was first killed and then burned and that the incident might have happened the night before as the area was isolated and not visited during the night. Police are investigating the case to find the murderer of the Mr. Soontorn.


Fire destroys home of former Phayao Police Commander

The home of the former Provincial Police Commander of Phayao was almost completely destroyed in a blaze on April 3, 2014 in Nong Hoi.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Mae Ping Police were called to a house near Wat Chedi Liam on Koh Klang Road in Nong Hoi at 6:30 p.m. on April 3, 2014 to find a large wooden 2 story home ablaze.
Firefighters from the area rushed to the scene but it took 45 minutes to bring the fire under control due to the dry wood and high heat. The home was almost completely damaged in the fire. Police found that the home belongs to the former Provincial Police Commander of Phayao Province Pol. Maj. Gen. Prasai Sangkhasap.
Initial investigation led forensic investigators to believe it may have been caused by a short and exacerbated by the dry, hot weather but they will fully investigate to determine the cause of the blaze which caused around 3 million baht in damage.


Former Chiang Mai policeman arrested smuggling drugs

A former police officer and another man were arrested for allegedly smuggling drugs hidden in the spare wheels of their vehicles.

Nopniwat Krailerg
A tip off to police in Chai Prakan saw them arrest two men with methamphetamine at the checkpoint in Pha Hong in Chai Prakan on April 3, 2014. The police knew that a drug trafficking gang planned on using Chai Prakan to smuggle drugs so worked with the Pha Muang Task Force to set up the checkpoint to stop cars.
Two alleged drug smugglers were arrested and while the men, 65 year old former Pol. Sgt. Maj. Yoswaris Jithip of Chiang Mai and 45 year old Anan Jaiwan claimed to not know each other both men were discovered with packages of methamphetamine pills hidden in the spare wheels of their cars. Both men were driving a Mistubishi Pajero and both men were arrested at the same time.
Police uncovered a total of 488,000 methamphetamine tablets hidden in the spare wheels. The police are investigating further and the two men face the seizure of their properties as the proceeds of drug trafficking.


Chiang Rai Police seize AK-47s

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Rai police received a report that traffickers planned on smuggling drugs and firearms through the forest to Pang Khon village and on April 8, 2014 they were joined by government officers and officers from the Forest Protection Unit to set up an ambush in the target area.
The police intercepted two men, one carrying black bags and another carrying a rifle. Police called on the two men to stop but they managed to escape into the forest as the police were unfamiliar with the area. The police discovered that the two men had dropped the bags and uncovered 3 AK 47s in the bag along with the rifle dropped by one of the suspects.


Assistant Village headman from Mae Ai killed in gun battle with police

Nearly 1.5 million Yaba tablets uncovered in 9 days before Songkran

Nopniwat Krailerg
Police were kept busy in the run up to Songkran as drug traffickers in the North continued to smuggle drugs over the border.
Doi Saket police rushed to the scene of a gun battle between Region 5 Investigators and a drug trafficking gang on the Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai Road just near the entrance of the Royal Project Huai Hong Krai in Doi Saket district on April 2, 2014 at 12:20 a.m. where they found two suspected drug traffickers shot dead by the police.
The two men had been stopped by the police at a checkpoint but attempted to flee, and when trapped, opened fire on the police.
Nimon Wongchaijaroen age 32 of Mae Ai and Inkaew Duangsaeng age 45, Assistant Village Headman of Malika sub district in Mae Ai were found shot to death near their vehicle with two pistols on the ground near their bodies. Police were forced to clear the area as they also found a hand grenade near the bodies. They also found four bags containing 400,000 methamphetamine pills stamped 999 and with the symbol of clasped hands in the car.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Chamnan Ruwdrew, Deputy Commissioner of Police Region 5 said that the drugs are from a Tai Yai group that have 999 symbols and from Lieutenant Colonel Yi Sae that have the symbol of the clasped hands. The total value of the drugs is estimated at 80 million baht.
The next day saw 5 men arrested with 50,000 methamphetamine pills in front of the Big C Hang Dong on April 3, 2014. Saeng Sasa age 66 of Narathiwat, Maya Sai age 51 of Bangkok, and 3 men from Chiang Mai, Somchai Tami age 26, Somnuek Sakolwachara age 26 and Thanet Saehor age 33 were arrested with 50,000 methamphetamine pills. Police had information that a drug trafficking gang from Southern Thailand was in Chiang Mai to take delivery of drugs at the Big C Hang Dong and arrested the five men after uncovering the drugs hidden in the spare wheel of a pick up truck.
On April 4 a 33 year old woman from Mae Fah Luang in Chiang Rai was arrested at the Nang Fa checkpoint in Phrae at 11:30 a.m. after the bus she was riding in was stopped. Police found her behaving suspiciously and had police woman check her body. They found 3 packages of methamphetamines hidden in her body, one with 1,123 pills hidden in her vagina, another two cubes with 500 pills and 510 pills each hidden in her anus. Misi Peawse confessed that she had been hired to smuggle the drugs from the border.
On April 6, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. police investigating a suspected drug trafficking route in the mountain pass at Doi Sam Sao Yai in the area opposite of Mongyawng where the Wa influence is strong. Soldiers patrolled the area and met with about ten unknown armed men carrying backpacks. Police called on them to stop but they opened fire. Police returned fire and after a ten minute firefight found the bodies of two men with guns and a grenade. They examined the backpacks of the two men and found 100,000 methamphetamine pills. The other men disappeared into the forest during the firefight.
On April 10 Chiang Saen police in Chiang Rai acting on a tip off that there would be a delivery of drugs at a fertilizer warehouse in Baan Chom Kitti, staked out the location and stopped Sumittra Silawong age 31 as she carried fertilizer into the warehouse . Police investigated inside the warehouse found 1,800 methamphetamine pills in a glass bottle buried at the back of toilet in the warehouse. Police further investigated and arrest Sumittra’s boyfriend, Surachai Fuchareon age 37 with 80,000 methamphetamine pills and seized a new house in Ban Saew sub district in Chiang Saen, a gold bar, gold necklace, gold ring, watch and bank accounts worth 4 million baht.
In another arrest on April 11, Region 5 police arrested Supoj Khongtharasaichon age 26 of Doi Luang with 248,000 methamphetamine pills while the suspect prepared to smuggle the drugs from Therdthai sub district in Mae Fah Luang district to Muang Chiang Rai. He was arrested in a police sting operation set up by an informant.
The suspect confessed that he had been hired to distribute the drugs to a dealer in Chiang Rai for 300,000 baht if he done. The drugs were delivered to him by Yor, a Lahu man who live in Myanmar. He said this was the first time he had smuggled drugs because he needed money for his children and to renovate his house. Pol. Lt. Gen. Suthep Dejraksa said that these drugs come from the leader of a gang, a woman named Ching Ching. Previously, members of the group were arrested in Muang Chiang Rai. The value of the drugs is about 74 million baht on the market.
Also on April 11 Pha Muang Task Force officers patrolling in Mae Salong Nai in Mae Fah Luang, Chiang Rai ran into 8 – 10 men suspected of trafficking drugs at the junction by Ban Eko and Ban Lao Sip. The gang opened fire on them after officers identified themselves. The ensuing 20 minute gun battle ended in the deaths of 7 men with 600,000 methamphetamine pills, 7 kilograms of heroin, weapons and a grenade. The remaining men had escaped into the forest.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Suthep Dejraksa said that the drug problem should decrease once the AEC opens up and Myanmar has new elections that see all minorities participating in the administration of the country.


Fashion Revolution Day asks “who made your clothes”

The global fashion industry is coming together to highlight the challenges of the fashion supply chain, from exploitation to pollution, with the inaugural Fashion Revolution Day on the 24th April 2014, when a series of global events and initiatives will highlight the fashion industry’s most pressing issues and engage local communities to demand greater transparency throughout.
On April 24th last year, 1133 people were killed when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Many more were injured.
The textile industry is widely regarded as a major contributor to global pollution but, according to research by Deloitte, 2 in 3 fashion companies are not focused on engaging consumers with regard to sustainability. According to the Australian Fashion Report in 2013, 61% of companies surveyed didn’t know where their garments were made.
With one simple question: ‘Who Made Your Clothes?’ we’re asking everyone who’s taking part in Fashion Revolution Day to be curious, find out, do something about it, by wearing an item of clothing inside out, photographing it and then sharing it with the hashtag #insideout on all social networks.
Fashion Revolution Thailand will hold an event at Thapae Gate on the 24th April, volunteers will show up with their clothes on inside out and ask the question Who made your clothes? The clothes themselves will answer the question. The volunteers will be asked to research who made their favorite piece of clothing and then attach a cut out speech bubble which would tell you where this piece of clothing came from. This is the first awareness campaign of its kind in Chiang-Mai, over 50 countries around the world will be holding their own event in support.
Find out more at http://www.fashionrevolution.org/. Like Fashion Revolution on Facebook at facebook.com/fashionrevolution.org and follow @Fash_Rev on Twitter. (PR)


Outstanding Community Product Fair offers local arts & crafts

The 2nd annual Outstanding Community Product Fair was held at the G Floor of Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport on April 5, 2014. The event, which was opened by President of the Provincial Administration Organization Boonlert Buranupakorn, features outstanding locally made arts and handicrafts. The President was joined by Noppawong Ratpathai (4th left), President of OTOP Chiang Mai and Tanatchaporn Pongyen (7th Left), General Manager of Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport.


Music & Cultural Festival; Moving towards ASEAN

The first annual Music and Cultural Festival; Moving towards ASEAN was held at Promenada Resort Mall Chiang Mai from April 9 - 11, 2014. Chiang Mai Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo presided over the opening ceremony of the event that was held in cooperation with the Chiang Mai Journalists Association, the Public Relations Department Region 3, the Chiang Mai Employment Office and the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce.


Cosplay takes center stage at Comic Party

Cosplayers went all out at Central Plaza Airport Chiang Mai to win the chance of representing Chiang Mai in the next Cosplay contest in Bangkok.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport played host to a cast of characters on April 5 – 6, with comic book and anime characters coming to life and strolling around the mall. The event, which featured Japanese comics and anime souvenirs for sale at a Flea Market, saw many local and Japanese fans come together dressed like their favorite cartoons or game characters.
The climax of this event was the “Cosplay Contest” in which competitors prepared performances and costumes to run for the first place in both singing and performing divisions. In the Singing division, first place went to Nakaksorn Niamlapnueng, cosplaying as Hatsune Miku of Vocaloid with the song Senbonzakura. First place in the Performance division went to Mingmada Akkarakeuakun, cosplaying as Len of Vocaloid and Sittirat Boonyai, cosplaying as Kaito of Vocaloid singing the song “Delusion Tax”. These 3 winners will represent Chiang Mai in the next Cosplay contest in Bangkok.


Charity art auction supports Lamphun school for orphans

Supamit Kitjapipat, the owner and Managing Director of Siripanna Villa Resort and Spa cuts the ribbon with the artists and former Mae Hong Son Governor Naruemon Palawat.

Wipanee Inthapan and Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Siripanna Villa Resort and Spa Chiang Mai, in cooperation with the Lanna Artist group, organized the 4th Charity art auction from April 4 - 6, 2014. The auction was held to raise funds for the Chalermprakiet 48 Pansa School, Lamphun. The school was established by Caring Hearts for Aids Foundation to support the education for children whose parents died from AIDS, abandoned children and sexually abused children. Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn graciously bestowed the name “Chalermprakiet 48 Pansa School” on the occasion of the 48th birthday of Her Royal Highness. The school is a boarding school where the students don’t have to pay for expenses.
This auction was held by Siripanna Villa Resort and Spa Chiang Mai in cooperation with the Lanna Artist group led by Pornchai Chaima, the artist awarded Silpathorn prize, Field of Visual Art 2005. There were many masterpieces from famous artists in many areas including Lanna artists, regional artists and national artists. Supamit Kitjapipat, the owner and Managing Director of Siripanna Villa Resort and Spa, Chiang Mai donated his painting collection for this auction and ensured that all proceeds from the auction will go to the school covering all expenses from the event.


Chiang Mai welcomes South African connections

Thai Ambassador visits Chiang Mai with media

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo welcomed the Thai Ambassador to South Africa, H. E. Woradej Weerawekin, to Chiang Mai at City Hall earlier this month. The Ambassador traveled to Thailand with South African media and government officials to introduce them to the many beauties of Thailand in target areas including Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Bangkok.
The Ambassador said that many people in South Africa often now ask about the interesting and amazing places in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai whereas before they were more interested in Southern beaches such as Phuket and Samui. The Ambassador brought 9 people on the weeklong trip to meet with the Governor of Chiang Mai and see the sites.
Governor Wichien said that most tourists are very impressed with the ancient Lanna culture so prevalent in Chiang Mai as well as the 13 different hill tribe ethnic minorities with their own separate identities. The Governor noted the friendly and welcoming nature of the Chiang Mai people and also the interesting OTOP products for sale here including carved wood, silver products, handicrafts and more. Also, Governor Wichien said that there are many cultural places of interest including Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, the Chiang Mai Zoo, the Chiang Mai Night Safari and the many beautiful temples in the city. Chiang Mai is also rich in nature with the Royal Park Rajapruek with its beautiful gardens and flowers.
The Governor noted that transportation is convenient in Chiang Mai, with easy access by plane, with more than 200 flights per day and 18 direct flights from foreign countries. He added that Chiang Mai’s charming people, beautiful places, fresh air and low cost of living have attracted many foreigners to retire here, including Europeans, Japanese and Koreans. The political turmoil has had almost no effect in Chiang Mai, he concluded, saying that tourists can travel comfortably to Chiang Mai and be welcomed by the friendly Chiang Mai people.


 
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