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Update February, 2015


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
NEWS
 

Makha Bucha Day is Wednesday, March 4

Makha Bucha Day falls on Wednesday, March 4, Buddhist faithful will flock to temples to make merit and give alms on one of the three most important days in the Buddhist calendar.

Shana Kongmun
Buddhist faithful celebrate one of the most revered days in the Buddhist calendar on Wednesday March 4. This most is one of three holy days on the Buddhist calendar and commemorates the miraculous event when 1,250 disciples traveled to meet with the Buddha with no prearranged agreement, at Weluwan Mahawiharn Temple in the area of Rachakhryha, India, seven months after the Buddha began his teachings.

The other holy days are Visakha Bucha Day, which falls on June 1 and celebrates the birth and enlightenment of Buddha and Asarnha Bucha Day, which falls on July 30 and commemorates the Lord Buddha’s first sermon.

This day is a public holiday and government offices, banks and many businesses will be closed. It is against the law for businessmen to distribute alcohol. This includes bars and restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, department stores, and community retail stores. An amendment to the decree exempts hotels from the ban. Those caught breaking the law can face up to six months in jail and fines up to 10,000 baht.


Australian Embassy to conduct a Consular outreach visit to Chiang Mai

The Consular Section of the Australian Embassy in Bangkok will conduct a Consular outreach visit to Chiang Mai on Friday 27 February 2015 from 08.30 a.m. to 1200 noon and from 1.00 pm to 4.00 p.m. at The Rim Resort at 5/12 Arrak Road, T. Phrasingh, A. Muang, Chiang Mai.
During this visit, the following services will be provided:
• Passport renewal applications – please ensure you bring all original documents and a photocopy of each document with you.
• Notarial services
• Statutory declarations for marriage, retirement visas and driving licence renewals
• Witnessing documents
Fees are payable in cash only. Please contact the Consular section on 02 344 6300 to confirm fees payable.


Prepaid phone users need to register their SIM cards by July 31

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Users of prepaid SIM cards will need to register their SIM cards with their network service providers by July 31, 2015 the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) announced.

SIM cards that are not registered by July 31, 2015 will be locked and the owners will be unable to call out or use the internet. Users of prepaid SIM cards should bring their ID and their phone to their mobile network provider or at the office of the NBTC. Mobile users can check their registration status by typing *151# and the response will show if the SIM is registered or not.


Mae Win receives fire truck from Japanese government

Ms. Kagesarin Tunkaew, Chief Executive of Mae Win Sub-District Administration Organization and Japanese Consul General Akhiko Fujii with the new fire truck for Mae Win sub-district.

The Government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects Scheme (GGP), has provided funds amounting to 2,855,000 baht for “the Project for the Procurement of a Fire Engine in Mae Win Sub-District Administration Organization in Mae Wang District, Chiang Mai Province”. On 19 February, 2015, Mr. Akihiko Fujii, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, Ms. Nitthiya Phongphanich, District Chief Officer of Mae Wang District and Ms. Kagesarin Tunkaew, Chief Executive of Mae Win Sub-District Administration Organization, were present at the hand-over ceremony of a fire engine with crane at Mae Win Sub-District Administration Organization in Chiang Mai.

Mae Win Sub-District is located in the southwestern part of Mae Wang District, and it is only one hour by car from Chiang Mai city but most of the Sub-District is a mountainous area. The Sub-District has a population of 11,905 and most of the residents are ethnic minorities such as Karen and Hmong who are engaged in agriculture. In recent years, eco-tourism making use of the rich natural beauty of this area has been introduced and become popular. Approximately 50,000 tourists from within the country and abroad visit this area in each year and the amount of homestay style accommodation is also increasing. However haze from mountain and forest fires has a bad effect on the tourism industry in this area because many inhabitants are still engaged in slash-and-burn agriculture.

Mae Win Sub-District Administration Organization, which has responsibility for disaster prevention, had only one fire engine with poor equipment, which is actually a modified pickup truck. This machine has almost no effect in fighting forest fires due to its limited capacity.

In response to a request from Mae Win Sub-District Administration Organization, the Government of Japan bore the costs of purchasing a medium size fire engine with a water tank and crane. It is expected that this support will contribute to ensuring the security of the residents in Mae Win Sub-District and the nearby area as well as mitigating smoke haze and aiding conservation of the natural environment in the north of Thailand. For more information contact the Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects Scheme (GGP). [email protected]


Airport readies for emergencies with fire drill

Airport staff took part in fire and rescue drills before the Chinese New Year to ready staff in case of emergency.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai International Airport personnel took part in a series of fire and rescue drills between February 9 and 13 to ready staff in case of an emergency during the influx of tourists during Chinese New Year.

Captain Wisuth Vantana, director of the Chiang Mai International Airport, said that the Personal Development Department of the Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited joined the rescue and fire department and staff of Chiang Mai Airport for the emergency drill. The goal was to educate and train staff of the aiport on how to handle a real emergency. Training involved standard procedures of how to take control of the situation, to communicate, work together, and evacuate people out of the building in such situations. Another purpose of performing fire drill practices is to assure passengers and people who use the airport of the safety of the airport.

The fire drill practice was led and instructed by Patom Thantaranon, the director of the Fire and rescue Department of Suvarnahbumi International Airport and activities included standard instructions how to put out fires and rescue procedures, studying the handbook guide on how to prevent fires from happening, putting away inflammable items in a proper way, how to escape fires and how to evacuate passengers and many more. Participants in the fire drill included 27 employees, part time workers and staff of the Fire and Rescue Department of Chiang Mai Airport, and 13 people from other organizations.


Safe Mekong Project sees four nations patrol the area

Four million Yaba pills seized since January 15

Safe Mekong Project participants from Thailand, China, Myanmar and Laos patrol the Mekong River for drug trafficking.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Representatives from 4 countries patrolled the region as part of the Safe Mekong Project in Chiang Saen on February 12, 2015. Permmpong Chawalit, Secretary of the Office of The Narcotics Control Board was the leader of the representatives from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand in the patrol. The Safe Mekong Coordination Center was recently opened by Gen.Paiboon Khunchaya, Minister of Justice, with the mission to fight drugs along the borders of the four countries.

Secretary Permpong Chawalit said that this is the first patrol held jointly by the four countries and added that it was good to see all four countries working together to wipe out drugs in the region. The patrol took place in Laos from Mom Village, in China from Kuan Luey Pier and inspection on boats. The results of every patrol will be gathered and analyzed in meetings between representatives of each country.

Since the Safe Mekong Coordination Center was opened on January 15 until February 6, 2015, 839 patrols were performed, 166 check points were set, 97 siege inspections were performed, 108 marine patrols were held, 372 investigations were held and 32 arrest warrant were issued. There were 64 ambushes of drug traffickers with 587 cases resulting in the arrest of 741 people and the seizure of 4 million methamphetamine tablets, 180 grams of heroin, 37 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and 293 kg of pseudoephedrine, the precursor to creating Yaba.


Chiang Mai readies for the Year of the Goat celebrations

Chinese New Year Festival February 18-20

The Dragon dancers are a popular feature of the Chinese New Year Parade to be held on February 19, 2015 starting from Tha Pae Gate.

Nopniwat Krailerg

The Chinese New Year festivities celebrating the Year of the Goat were announced at a press conference on February 9, 2015 at the shrine of Chao Kwan Uoo on Kwang Meru Road by President of the Provincial Administration Organization Boonlert Buranupakorn and Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn with Tourism Authority of Thailand Chiang Mai Director Wisut Buachoom.

The festival celebrates its 13th anniversary this year to promote local Chinese Thai culture, traditions and food.

The parade begins February 19 at 9 a.m. and ends at the Chinese temple behind Waroros Market. The parade will feature dragon dancers who visit shops and houses along the way with donations being given to feed the dragon to ensure prosperity for the coming year.

The festival will feature food and handicraft stalls, Miss China Town 2015 and the popular China Doll contest for children.

Wisut Buachoom said that this year be held in honor of the 60th birthday of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and will also mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Thailand as well as the 11th year of cultural cooperation between the tAT and the Ministry of Culture at the Embassy of China in Thailand.

The TAT expects that the festival will cost over 600 million baht but is expected to draw over100,000 Chinese tourists giving the city up to 95 percent occupancy.


Police seize property valued at over 55 million baht from suspected drug traffickers

Police discuss the seizure of assets gained as the result of drug trafficking as part of the Safe Mekong Project.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Police seized property valued at over 55 million baht from suspected drug traffickers as part of the government policy to seize proceeds of illegal activities in Chiang Rai on February 10, 2015.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Prayat Boonsri, Deputy Commander of Police Region 5, Pol. Maj. Gen. Panudej Boonruang, Commander of Phrae Police, Pol. Col. Jaranee Rearngtham, Deputy Commander of Chiang Rai Police and Wichai Chaimongkol, Director of ONCB Region 5 led a team of police officers to arrest Koijiew and Suthiwat Saethern and seize property in Rob Wieng, Muang, Chiang Rai and Nanglae, Muang, Chiang Rai. Land, apartments and houses were seized as the profits of drug trafficking.
The two were arrested in March 2014 with Kornthong Srisaikerd and 6 other people with over 3 million Yaba or methamphetamine tablets.
The police have been given permission to seize more property to investigate, currently only seizing three properties valued at 55 million baht they intend to seize 7 more from the pair.
The arrest and seizure is part of the Safe Mekong Project which was launched with the opening of the Safe Mekong Coordination Center 2015 with the four participating countries of Thailand, China, Laos, and Myanmar to block the smuggling of drugs.


Fang and Mae Ai villagers petition Governor over land reform

Fang and Mae Ai villagers petitioned the Governor to change their land titles to allow for full ownership. Deputy Governor Navin Sintusa-ard met with the villagers to receive their petition.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Villagers from Fang and Mae Districts traveled to the Damrongtham Center Chiang Mai on February 13, 2015 to petition the Governor to issue legal titles to land instead of more limited agricultural land permits.
Over 100 residents led by Janewit Suethowong, village leader of Moo 7, Baan Luang, Mae Ai and other village/community leaders asked the Governor to intervene in land reform issues which saw the villagers issued with Sor Por Gor 4.01 titles which allows the land to be used only for agricultural purposes and cannot be bought or sold but only inherited. Instead the villagers want to be issued with full titles allowing them to claim the property.
Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya ordered Deputy Governor Navin Sintusa-ard to receive the petition and send all documentation to the Chiang Mai Land Office for review. He also ordered governmental organizations to inspect and survey the land to help the residents.
The group disbursed peacefully awaiting results from the Government.


Myanmar man stabbed to death by unknown assailant

Police in the small soi near Ten Karaoke Bar where the body of 21 year old Sai Hling was found on February 12, 2015.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Police were called to the scene of a murder near Ten Karaoke on Wangsing Kham Road in Chang Moi on February 12, 2015 to find the body of a 21 year old Burmese man in the road with a stab wound to his chest.
The body was identified as belonging to 21 year old Sai Hling from Myanmar. His motorbike was found approximately 70 meters away from the body.
Police reported that the young man had only recently married and was working daily at a chicken processing factory. According to witnesses he went to work as normal that day and would normally return home at 6:30 p.m. According to witness reports the victim had borrowed 25,000 baht and had repaid all but 5,000 baht of the debt.
Police believe that he was returning home as usual when he was suddenly attacked by an unknown assailant with a knife and stabbed. He tried to run back to his rental accommodation which was nearby but died from his wounds before he could reach his home.
Police continue to question witnesses and collect evidence on the crime, they are confident they will arrest the assailant soon.


Pingnakorn Development Agency signs MOA with CAMT CMU

Dr. Sarawut Srisakun, Acting Director of the Pingnakorn Agency and the Dean of CAMT, Asst. Prof. Dr. Phithipong Yodmongkol signed a Memorandum of Agreement to develop education services at the Chiang Mai Night Safari on February 12, 2015.

Nopniwat Krailerg

A memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed between the Pingnakorn Development Agency and the College of Arts, Media, and Technology (CAMT) of Chiang Mai University on February 12, 2015 to develop academic courses and organizations to develop new enterprises in the service and tourism industries among others.
Dr. Sarawut Srisakun, Acting Director of the Pingnakorn Agency and the Dean of CAMT, Asst. Prof. Dr. Phithipong Yodmongkol signed the agreement which agrees to support academic services with continuing education, non-formal education, and research and student development. Additionally they will collaborate on development of new enterprises in the service industry and organizing events.
The agreement will also see the two organizations will be to exchange knowledge that will benefit local networks and cooperation developing a regional and community database.
Some results of the MOA will see an Animal Behavior Tracking project in the Chiang Mai Night Safari using special embedded technology, a Survey and Evaluation of Customer Satisfaction project of Chiang Mai Night Safari, Exhibition and Convention, Research of Socio-Economic Impact Assessment, Society, Tradition and Arts of Chiang Mai Night Safari, training courses for staff and personnel development with non-degree programs , academic courses, graduates, Ph.D. and many more.


Air pollution levels still stable as 60 day increased surveillance begins

Jongklai Wornpongsathorn, Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Department Chiang Mai reported that air pollution levels remain stable but that the government begins 60 days of increased surveillance beginning February 15, 2015.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Air pollution levels remain stable in Chiang Mai as the government begins implementation of burning bans for the province starting February 15, 2015 and increased surveillance of pollution and hot spots for 60 days.

Jongklai Wornpongsathorn, Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Department Chiang Mai said that the air pollution report from January 1st, 2015- February 9th, 2015, saw the PM 10 levels during a 24 hour period reach 92 micrograms at the highest and 6 micrograms at the lowest. Fifty hotspots were discovered around the province during this period.

The government announced a burning ban effective from February 15 to April 15, 2015:\; anyone discovered setting fires during this period will be prosecuted under the law. Those who turn in people arrested burning will be rewarded 5,000 baht. Permission to burn can be granted by the district chief of the area concerned. Starting from February 15 officers will be out on patrol making sure residents do not set fires.

Early burning will be permitted in nine areas including specific areas in Chomthong, Chiang Dao, Om Koi, Fang and Mae Chaem districts. These areas must be burned before March. Fire resistant boundaries are being set in place near Doi Suthep and Buhbing Palace.

A communication station is using the latest technology is being used to capture footage from satellites to pinpoint hotspots with high PM10 levels in real time across Chiang Mai province. There are currently only two stations measuring PM10 levels, one at City Hall and the other at Yupparaj Wittayalai School.

The government has called on residents to help keep Chiang Mai smog and smoke free, noting that it was every person’s responsibility to make sure there are no fires set. PM10 levels can be found at http://aqmthai.com/


Police to tighten up enforcement against drunk drivers

Chiang Mai topped the list for road accidents during the New Year, mainly due to drunk driving. The police plan on setting up checkpoints with breathalyzers in nine key districts around the province.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai police plan on tightening up enforcement of the traffic laws in Chiang Mai, with a focus on nine problematic districts; Muang Chiang Mai, San Kamphaeng, Doi Saket, Sarapee, Hang Dong, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng, Sansai and Fang; The Governor has ordered the police to focus on drunk drivers, especially on motorbikes as that has the highest fatality rate. He called on police to arrest and jail violators for at least two days.

Wasana Waphinanont, an Analysis, Policy and Planning Specialist of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Center Chiang Mai said that during Songkran 2014 Chiang Mai ranked third with the most deaths from road accidents in Thailand after Nakhon Ratchasima and Chiang Rai. Over the New Year period, Chiang Mai ranked first with over 129 injured and 18 killed, all because of drinking and driving, especially on motorbikes.

The Chiang Mai Road Safety Center will be stricter with inspections to prevent drinkers from driving, especially during annual festivities in 2015 like Songkran. Drunk drivers will now be stopped from driving in the following 9 districts; Muang Chiang Mai, San Kamphaeng, Doi Saket, Sarapee, Hang Dong, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng, Sansai and Fang. Authorities will organize 13 patrols with volunteer police, and 12-14 officials in each patrol team. The patrol teams will have breath analyzers and will be on duty from 4 p.m. to midnight. Drivers who have over .05% of alcohol in their system will be prosecuted, fined and jailed, starting from March 1-April 19, 2015 (50 days).

The law will be remain the same, as violators will be arrested and sent to court, but from now on, the Chiang Mai Road Safety Directing Center has issued a new measure which is to arrest and lock up violators for the period prior to judgment. The Governor of Chiang Mai agreed that if road measurements are tightened and the prosecutions are stricter it will help raise the awareness and prevent people from drinking and driving.


Love without Alcohol campaign encourages kids to have clean Valentine’s Day

Students present their proposals to cut down on drinking over Valentine’s Day to Deputy Governor Navin Sintusa-ard.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Thai Power Community Foundation and the IOGTNT Movement have organized the 2nd Love without Alcohol campaign to encourage youth to celebrate a drug and alcohol free Valentine’s Day.

Miss KanyaInthanee, a representative from the Alcoholic and Drug Prevention Department reported that data collected from Rajabhat Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai University, Rajamangkala University of Technology Lanna and Mae Jo University have found that 31% of students spend their time in entertainment venues, 15% at the movies, 12% at restaurants, 11% in their rooms with their loved ones and 8%in other provinces. However 52% of the respondents planned on spending Valentine’s Day out drinking.

Thirty percent of respondents said that they believe there is a high drinking rate because of advertising, 23% due to the internet and 12% due to special promotions.

The groups have organized the education campaign because of the high rate of accidents, crime, domestic violence, and rape that can occur. The goal is to prevent people from drinking alcohol on the day of love and encourage people to drink healthy drinks with the idea of a “Magic Valentine without Alcohol” on the upcoming Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2015.

The campaign will also be proposed to the Governor of Chiang Mai through Mr. Navin Sintusa-ard, Deputy Governor of Chiang Mai with three major proposals to the government; to perform a marketing inspection in restaurants and entertainment venues that are illegally advertising special alcoholic promotions, and selling alcohol to people under 20 years of age, 2. To prevent shops near all schools including universities from selling alcoholic beverages and to prevent them from putting up promotion signs, and 3. To have a call center to contact organizations involved to receive complaints and reports of people violating the laws.


Outstanding Researchers Award of 2014 for CMU Department

Professor Suchaya Luewan of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Chiang Mai University announced that the department had been chosen as Outstanding Researchers for 2014.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Faculty of Medicine at Chiang Mai University has won the award as Outstanding Researchers 2014 on Teacher’s Day.
Professor Suchaya Luewan of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Chiang Mai University said this award emphasizes the importance of research ethics for researchers. The results are from performing 7 years of research starting in 2008 covering 56 research tests under the physical medicine of maternal and pediatrics. The summary of the research has been published in many other countries and has 18 principal researches in 129 international databases, which is why the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has been selected by the Faculty of Medicine to be elected as one of the most important faculties in Health Science.
The Department has focused on the diagnosis and care of the fetus, which is supported by the Thailand Research Fund. In the past, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Chiang Mai University has served as an advisor to the public as they progressed their work on prenatal ultrasound and biochemical tests in pregnant women. This has allowed medical students from around the country to learn more about the process and procedures and is now used in studies which have helped radiologists, obstetricians and pediatrics in the last 7 years.


Chiang Mai Night Safari celebrates 9 years

Dr. Sarawut Srisakun and leaders from four municipalities join together in feeding the animals at the Chiang Mai Night Safari on February 6, 2015 for the 9th anniversary of the Night Safari.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai Night Safari celebrated the 9th anniversary of its founding on February 6, 2015 as the the Pinkanakorn Development Agency (Public Organization) organized the opening ceremony for the celebration with Dr. Sarawut Srisakun, Acting Director of the Agency and 4 community leaders from four municipalities as the chairmen.

Werrapol Boonchuduang, Director of the Animal Chiang Mai Night Safari said that Chiang Mai Night Safari has 134 different kinds of animals and 1,434 animals in total. Three hundred bags of fertilizers collected from the animals in the Chiang Mai Night Safari were presented to the leaders of four communities for agricultural purposes.

The atmosphere in the celebration of the 9th anniversary of the Chiang Mai Night Safari was packed of excitement while they organized a buffet for the animals. They fed the elephants, the horses, the goats, the bears, the porcupines and the raccoons to show their affection and appreciation for the animals at the Night Safari.


The 10th Lanna – Japan Festival showcases cultural performances at 3 Kings Monument

Twiggz Fam street dancers will be a popular draw for the Lanna Japan Festival

The highly popular cultural event, the 10th Lanna – Japan Festival 2015, is being presented by the Consulate – General of Japan, Chiang Mai, the Chiang Mai Japanese Association, the Chiang Mai Longstay Life Club and the Chiang Mai Municipality at Three Kings Monument on February 22, 2015.

There will be many cultural performances including dances, singing, concerts and cosplayers at the event as well as food and travel and tourism information. One of the highlights will be the performance by the Japanese group Gypsy Queen who have been on tour around Asia. Other popular performances will be the Twiggz Fam street dancers, and the new trendy KRUMP dance from Japan.

Entrance is free and visitors are encouraged to wear traditional Japanese Yukata to the festival. Booths at the festival open at 4 p.m. and stage shows begin at 6 p.m.


Temperature will drop again in Thailand's upper part

The Meteorological Department has forecast cooler weather conditions and more raining from February 12th – 15th in the North, Northeast, and Central regions.

The weakening high pressure system from China has slightly increased the temperature in the upper parts of Thailand earlier Wednesday morning.

However, people were told to brace for winds and thunder showers from Thursday until Sunday, as westerly winds from Myanmar move towards the same region. Temperatures are forecast to drop slightly.

The department has also issued a wave warning for fishermen from Nakhon Si Thammarat province southward, due to the northeastern monsoon (NNT)


February events in Chiang Mai to end violence against women worldwide

Over 150 Chiang Mai residents danced with the world for gender justice last year, in the One Billion Rising flash mob at Tha Pae gate on 14 February 2014. This year’s mass action dance event to end gender based violence will take place at the Three Kings Monument on 14 February 2015 at 3pm.

Chiang Mai once again joins hundreds of cities around the world this February, with a lineup of public events organized by volunteer activists as part of the global V-Day Campaign to help end violence against women. Over 150 Chiang Mai residents danced together in 2014 as part of the “One Billion Rising” global flash mob for gender justice. This year’s worldwide dance event in Chiang Mai will be accompanied by English language readings of “The Vagina Monologues,” the renowned play written by Eve Ensler, who is the founder of the international V-Day movement.

• Tuesday 10 February 2015 - One Billion Rising “flash mob” dance practice 7:30pm (visit facebook.com/onebillionrisingchiangmai for location and additional practice dates/details)

• Thursday 12 February 2015 - Reading of “The Vagina Monologues,” a play by Eve Ensler @Sangdee Gallery & Art Cafe 7:30pm https://www.facebook.com/events/710393762393028/

• Saturday 14 February 2015 - One Billion Rising Flash-Mob Dance, Discussion & Awareness Raising Event @Three Kings Monument 3:00pm

• Wednesday 18 February 2015 - Reading of “The Vagina Monologues,” a play by Eve Ensler @Free Bird Cafe 7:30pm https://www.facebook.com/events/583972158369805/

• Wednesday 25 February 2015 - Reading of “The Vagina Monologues,” a play by Eve Ensler @AUA Auditorium 7:30pm https://www.facebook.com/events/333033386901229/

V-DAY is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler’s award winning play The Vagina Monologues and other artistic works. Over the past 2 decades, the V-Day movement has raised over $120 million to fund thousands of community-based anti-violence programs around the world, and educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it. www.vday.org

At this year’s readings of The Vagina Monologues in Chiang Mai, a donation of minimum 200 baht is requested, with 100% of net proceeds to benefit Thai Freedom House. Thai Freedom House offers educational and community building opportunities to Burmese refugee families, in order to prevent the trafficking and exploitation of refugee women, young girls and young boys. The play will be read by 7 Chiang Mai based women from around the world and directed by Elanor Anardil. While readings are open to the public, minors under 18 who are not accompanied by a parent will not be admitted.

A limited edition set of greeting cards will also be sold at the readings to benefit Thai Freedom House, including images contributed by Chiang Mai resident artists Feral Willcox, Doris Kraushaar, Mark Walder, Chan Wai, Chris Chun, Polly Szantor, and photographers Dani Leis, James de la Cloche, Alberto Cosi, Kevin Landwer-Johan and Lisa Kerry.

One Billion Rising is V-Day’s most recent global campaign, which has galvanized over one billion women and men on a global day of action towards ending violence against women and girls. It is the largest mass action in human history. The campaign began on 14 February 2012 as a call to action based on the staggering UN statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. The event coincides with Valentine’s Day because statistics show a significant increase in the incidence of domestic abuse and sexual violence around February 14. www.onebillionrising.org

Chiang Mai event organizer Mary Ulseth invites women and men who would like to dance for gender justice this year to visit facebook.com/onebillionrisingchiangmai for group practice details. Participant Camille Risler identifies her own motivation to join the movement: “I am rising in solidarity with all the women victims of any kind of violence. I am rising because I refuse to live in an unequal world where too often women are victims of violence only because they are women.”

The Municipality of Chiang Mai has approved this year’s public gathering event on 14 February 2015 at the Three Kings Monument, and has also offered to provide free electricity.


Old wooden house in Old City damaged in fire

An old wooden home on Ratchadamnoern Road caught fire causing 500,000 baht in damage; luckily it did not spread to neighboring homes or cause any injuries.

Nopniwat Krailerg
On Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 11 a.m. police and fire fighters were called to the scene of a fire blazing in an old wooden home on Ratchadamnoern road. Firefighters rushed to put out the blaze before it spread to other homes nearby.

Thick clouds of smoke were seen streaming out of the home and neighbors feared the worst. However, firefighters were able to put the fire out completely within an hour and it didn’t spread to nearby homes, nor were there any injuries caused by the fire.

Homeowner Jinda Fuangfoo, age 62, said she had recently turned the house into a Thai cooking school with the first floor having cement walls. She said that she was in front of her house when she suddenly saw a thick cloud of black smoke coming from the second floor of her house. She quickly called the police and firefighters.

Fire inspectors believe the fire may have been caused by an electrical short and that damage was estimated at around 500,000 baht. The fire inspectors intend to continue investigation to determine the cause of the fire.


Serial burglar arrested after more than ten break-ins

Mr. Sai Sen from Myanmar confessed to burgling more than ten rooms after police tracked him down with CCTV camera footage.

Nopniwat Krailerg
A Burmese man was arrested on February 3, 2015 after police tracked him down via CCTV camera. Police had received a report from the Krung Arun Apartment in Padaed that a room had been broken into. After viewing the CCTV camera footage the police were able to identify and track down the thief.

Police arrested Mr. Sai Sen from Myanmar along with a black Acer laptop, five mobile phones, five wallets, various electronic gadgets and equipment used to break into rooms.

He was charged for burglary by the police and confessed to them that he had committed more than ten burglaries and had sold the items and used the money to live because he was unemployed.


Mae Rim man killed after barricading himself in a Sansai house

Pol. Snr. Sgt. Maj. Komkiet Wannapira, who was shot in the line of duty, was visited by Pol. Maj. Gen Montri Samboonanon, Chiang Mai Police Chief who donated money and flowers.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Police surrounded a house in San Sai near the Sri Sahaparp Intersection on February 4 after tracking down 24 year old Mae Rim man Narin “Sam” Sudarak who was suspected of having shot two police officers on February 3, 2015 after they tried to break up an argument.

According to the police the suspect, Sam, was involved in an argument and when police tried to break up the fight, he shot and injured two police officers. Sam was also shot during the incident which took place on February 3, 2015.

Police tracked the man down to a house in Sansai, surrounded the home and called on the suspect to surrender. However, Sam shot at the police who returned fire, killing the suspect immediately. The suspect had been arrested many times for drugs and other problems in the Keelek area of Chiang Mai.

The injured police officers were sent to Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital where Pol. Snr. Sgt. Maj. Chairath Srichan was treated for two gunshots, one to the body and one to his right arm while Pol. Snr. Sgt. Maj. Komkiet Wannapira was shot four times.


Special marriage registration for Valentine’s Day

Nopniwat Krailerg
Valentine’s Day, the Day of Love falls on Saturday this year and the Chiang Mai City Hall has organized officials to be in the office to register marriages on this special day. The registration for marriage on February 14 is open to everyone who is eligible to marry including locals and foreigners.

Gifts will be given to all couples who register on Valentine’s Day and the first 10 couples to register will receive special gifts. All couples will also get a chance to win hotel vouchers, fine dining vouchers and many more. With the support of hotels, shopping malls, banks and insurance companies all marriage registration will be free!

Additionally at the Royal Park Rajapruek, Chiang Mai will be organizing the “Rally Selfie Love Love” for couples to cycle around the international park, including the Legend of the Red Thread of Love in the Chinese Park, the Legend of the Love Candy in the Indonesian Park, the Legend of the Umbrella of Love in the Japanese Park, the Legend of the Wish for Love in the Bhutan Park, the Legend of the Rock of Love in South Korea Park and to take photos with loved ones in the Netherlands Park. Photos will be provided by professional photographers in 4x6 inch, a CD file with high quality image resolutions and many other prizes. Prices include 300 THB per couple and reservations are required. Registration is opened from today till Valentine’s Day. For more information, contact 053-114110-5 or visit the website at www.royalparkrajapruek.org


Chiang Mai to beef up surveillance against haze

Last year’s haze, while of short duration, was very high causing many health issues around the province. (File photo)

The governor of Thailand's northern province of Chiang Mai is worried about the haze season, as the level of small particulate matter is on the rise and he has ordered a more strict surveillance of weather conditions in all districts for the two months.

Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya said the current level of small particulate matter still stands at 92.34 microgrammes per cubic metre, far from exceeding the safety standard level of 120 microgrammes per cubic metre (MCM).

Meanwhile, the Pollution Control Department reports that the air quaility measurement station at Yuparaj Witthayalai School showed PM10 level in Chiang Mai this morning of 79 MCM, a moderate level. Chiang Mai City Hall saw the PM10 level at 75 MCM, while the average level of particulate matter is around 44-97 MCM, the highest level being at Baan Sob Pard subdistrict.

The governor stresed that although the level of small particulate matter in the province remains within the standard level, the province has prepared measures ahead of the haze period to better handle the situation, especially the early burning of dry leaves in risk areas to prevent forest fires, 70 per cent of which have been completed.

Besides, the province has set up a campaign to promote stricter surveillance against the haze for 60 days in all districts, from February 15-April 15, 2015. (MCOT online news)


Groom survives car plunge off cliff

Three family members died in the accident

The groom and one of his relatives survived the crash while three other family members were killed instantly.

Nopniwat Krailerg
A Buriram man was injured and members of his wedding party were killed when their car plunged off a 15 meter cliff in Doi Inthanon after returning from the wedding ceremony in Mae Hong Son.

Duty officers at the Inthanon National Park and Chomthong Police Chiang Mai received a report of a car that had fallen off a 15 meter cliff on Highway 1009 at 1:30 p.m. on January 31, 2015. Officers rushed to the scene to find a grey Toyota in a ravine, of the five people inside the vehicle three people were killed in the accident. Sanong Pengchan, 78 years old, Supakorn Ruangnangron age 40 and Panom Op-un, age 55 were killed immediately while the groom, 34 year old Nathapong Op-un and Lim Op-un, age 5, were injured and trapped in the car.

Rescuers had to cut the injured out of the vehicle and transport them to Chomthong Hospital. Police found that Nathapong had been driving and was returning from his wedding in Mae Hong Son with four relatives and on their return home decided to go sightseeing in Doi Inthanon. However, unused to the sharp curves the driver overshot a curve and ran off the road and down a 15 meter cliff.


Region 5 police tackle human trafficking in the North

Several women were arrested for prostitution while other bars were charged with illegally operating a business.

Nopniwat Krailerg
As part of the policy issued by the Royal Thai Police headquarters Region 5 Polic have ordered investigative officers to check on karaoke bars, restaurants and other entertainment venues that may be in violation of laws by employing underage workers and trafficking foreign labor.

Starting on Sunday February 1, 2015, Police Region 5 have inspected many venues and arrested people suspected of violating laws regarding employees age and other issues.

Five people were arrested in prostitution on Chang Puak Soi 4 as well as raids were conducted on various bars selling alcohol during prohibited periods resulting in charges against the Zoom Bar, Lolly Pop Bar and Flash Bar where charges were filed including illegally operating a business, offering illegal services to customers and having employees under the age of 18 years old.

A video conference was held at Region 5 headquarters on February 2 where regional officers were given strict orders to tackle human trafficking by Pol. Gen. Eak Angsananon.


Korean Rotarians donate school supplies in Chang Khian

Korean and Thai Rotary Clubs joined together to donate supplies to a school in Chang Khian last month.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Members of six Rotary Clubs in District 3270 in South Korean visited Chiang Mai last month to donate supplies to a school in Ban Khun Chang Khian in Chang Puak Sub-district.

Twenty two Rotarians from Kim Hae Gukhwa Rotary Club and Kim Hae, Korea led by ADG. Park Jeom Sook Assistant District Governor 3270 and President Choi Mi Sook, Kim Hae Gukhwa Rotary Club travelled from South Korea to donate educational materials, medicines and instruments to Si Ne Ru School, Ban Khun Chang Kian in Chang Puak Sub district, at the top of Doi Suthep. They were welcomed by Nopniwat Krailerg, President of the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai Airport with his team, Rotary Club of Lanna Chiang Mai and Rotary Club of Nakorn Hariphunchai, and teachers and students of the school.

Before the donation ceremony, the Thai Rotary Clubs gave a warm welcome speech and thanks to the Korean clubs and the Hmong students performed for the group. The donation was received by the director of the school, Manchai Fuengfukichakan. And after the ceremony there had a luncheon and everyone joined together to plant 3,000 Arabica coffees behind the school.

ADG.Park Jeom Sook, Assistant District Governor 3270, said that this was part of the Global Volunteer Program of Rotary International that the two regional clubs have joined together with Chiang Mai to help children and villagers in Chiang Mai.


Motorcyclist killed in head on collision

Driving on the wrong side of the road

The driver of this red Yamaha motorbike was killed instantly when he hit a car as he entered the road coming from the wrong way.

Nopniwat Krailerg
A thirty-seven year old Fang man was killed instantly when he collided head on with an oncoming car at 7:40 a.m. on January 31, 2015 at the underpass near City Hall.

The Chang Puak Police and rescue rushed to the scene to find the body of 37 year old Surachai Panya of Fang at the entrance to the underpass, approximately 30 meters from the body was a wrecked red Yamaha motorbike and another person, later identified as 44 year old Paijit Hinkaow, the driver of the grey Toyota Vios that had hit Surachai.

Paijit told police that she had been driving on the Sompotch Chiang Mai 700 Year Road near City Hall when she saw Surachai enter the underpass coming from the wrong direction at a high speed. He collided with her car, was flung from the impact and died immediately.


The Great Legend of the Thai Elephant at Elephant Nature Park

Nopniwat Krailerg

The Thailand Elephant Conservation Center Lampang and the National Elephant Institute under the patronage of Hangchat, Lampang will be holding a free show, “The Great Legend of Thai Elephant" at the Thailand Elephant Conservation Center Lampang from February 5th- 9th, 2015. The event, which starts from 5:30 p.m. is free and will feature an ancient market theme, games and prizes and a show about elephants that will take you back through the history of the Thai elephant. The show is being held to honor HM the King and to showcase these wonderful animals that are the national symbol of Thailand. For more information, contact the National Elephant Institute at 054-829-322, Email: [email protected] or www.thailandelephant.org.
 


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Makha Bucha Day is Wednesday, March 4

Australian Embassy to conduct a Consular outreach visit to Chiang Mai

Prepaid phone users need to register their SIM cards by July 31

Mae Win receives fire truck from Japanese government

Airport readies for emergencies with fire drill

Safe Mekong Project sees four nations patrol the area

Chiang Mai readies for the Year of the Goat celebrations

Police seize property valued at over 55 million baht from suspected drug traffickers

Fang and Mae Ai villagers petition Governor over land reform

Myanmar man stabbed to death by unknown assailant

Pingnakorn Development Agency signs MOA with CAMT CMU

Air pollution levels still stable as 60 day increased surveillance begins

Police to tighten up enforcement against drunk drivers

Love without Alcohol campaign encourages kids to have clean Valentine’s Day

Outstanding Researchers Award of 2014 for CMU Department

Chiang Mai Night Safari celebrates 9 years

The 10th Lanna – Japan Festival showcases cultural performances at 3 Kings Monument

Temperature will drop again in Thailand's upper part

February events in Chiang Mai to end violence against women worldwide

Old wooden house in Old City damaged in fire

Serial burglar arrested after more than ten break-ins

Mae Rim man killed after barricading himself in a Sansai house

Special marriage registration for Valentine’s Day

Chiang Mai to beef up surveillance against haze

Groom survives car plunge off cliff

Region 5 police tackle human trafficking in the North

Korean Rotarians donate school supplies in Chang Khian

Motorcyclist killed in head on collision

The Great Legend of the Thai Elephant at Elephant Nature Park


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