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Vol. XIII No.15 - Sunday July 27, 2014 - Saturday August 9, 2014


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
NEWS
 

Happy Birthday to HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn

The Chiang Mai Mail would like to join the nation in wishing His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn a very happy 62nd birthday. HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn was born on July 28, 1952, in the Ambara Villa of the Royal Dusit Palace in Bangkok, the second of four children, and the only son of Their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great and Queen Sirikit.
The Crown Prince attended the King’s School, Paramatta, Sydney, and in 1976, He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Military Studies at the University of New South Wales. The Crown Prince also attended the Royal Thai Army Command and General Staff College, graduating in 1978, and later received a Bachelor of Law degree from Sukhothai Thammatirat University in Bangkok in 1987. In 1990, He successfully attended the Royal College of Defense Studies in the United Kingdom.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej conferred his son with the title of ‘Somdech Phra Borama Orasadhiraj Chao Fah Maha Vajiralongkorn Sayam Makutrajakuman’ on December 28, 1972, making him the Crown Prince and Heir to the throne.
The Crown Prince has continued the Royal Family’s assistance programs in underdeveloped areas around the country and visited depressed urban areas around Bangkok distributing food and necessities to people in need. Another impressive undertaking was His participation in a fertilizer preparation project in Suphan Buri Province using natural ingredients to enrich the land in support of the country’s great agricultural pursuits. Farming is considered to be a highly significant and noble profession in Thailand and the Royal Family takes an active role in advancing the vital industry of agriculture.
HRH Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn and Mom Srirasmi Mahidol are the proud parents of HRH Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti, born on April 29 at 6:35 p.m. at Sriraj Hospital in Bangkok; the couple’s first child.

HRH the Crown Prince opens the ceremonial curtain, to reveal the RVYC signboard inaugurating the new clubhouse in 2005. (Photo courtesy Bureau of the Royal Household)
 


Government tackles songthaew routes

The Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transport Office has reorganized public transport in the city in an attempt to reduce traffic issues.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transport Department has come to an agreement with songthaews and buses that serve the outer areas that they will no longer stop inside the city but will only start and stop at the Chang Puak Bus Station or at the Arcade Station depending on their license. Red songthaews, which number about 2,000, will be the only songthaews allowed to make stops within the city starting August 1, 2014.
Chanchai Keelapaeng, the Chief of the Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transport Office said that the NCPO has given priority to tackle the issue of public transportation in the country. He noted that although in the past the yellow, white, green and blue songthaews that service the outer areas had been allowed to stop in downtown Chiang Mai they will now only be allowed to start and stop at the assigned stations.
The red songthaews will also be organized with some running their songthaews on set routes and others roaming the city. The Land Transport Department will also require the drivers to adhere to dress regulations. The Chiang Mai Land Transport Office and the Chiang Mai Municipality will ensure that there are enough parking spaces for the songthaews by the start date.
Chanchai Keelapaeng noted that Chiang Mai had the highest number of registered cars outside of Bangkok with cars and motorbikes numbering over a million causing traffic jams and obstructions in the inner city. The opening ceremony will be held on August 12, HM the Queen’s birthday.


Flood control project includes expanding width of Ping River

Widened in key locations

The government is proposing to take back portions of the riverside that were filled in and taken over for construction in a bid to reduce flooding in Chiang Mai.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai Flood Control and Protection Project, which has been organized by various government agencies, met recently to discuss the plan to widen the Ping River to its original width in strategic locations along a 90 kilometer stretch. The key areas include from Pa Tan Bridge to Rattanakosin Bridge, Rattanakosin Bridge to Nakhon Ping Bridge, Nakhon Ping Bridge to Pet Ngam Hotel, Pet Ngam Hotel to Wat Chai Mongkon, Wat Chai Mongkon to Montfort College Primary Section, Montfort College Primary Section to Nong Phueng weir and Nong Phueng weir to Wat Chedi Liam. In these areas of the river it was only 50 meters wide and unable to handle the volume of water passing through. The government will widen it up to 10 meters in some important areas.
The Office of Royal Development Projects will do both a ground and aerial survey of the Ping River to determine which areas needed to be returned to the original width of the Ping River. They will ask the people living on the land to return it to the government but if they do not do so willingly the government may be forced to use eminent domain to obtain the land. The project is highly controversial as many people have been built on the reclaimed land and the process to return the area to the river will be lengthy.


Train station fills with CMU freshmen students

Annual Railway Freshmen Welcome

CMU freshmen filled Chiang Mai Train Station on the morning of July 22, 2014 where they took part in the traditional Railway Initiation Ceremony.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Chiang Mai’s train station filled with hundreds of arriving Chiang Mai University freshmen on July 22, 2014 in a welcome ceremony that dates back 50 years to the opening of the university. Led by the President of the 24th Chiang Mai University Alumni Association of the Faculty of the Humanities Yaowaluck Sutti the new students were welcomed before being sent on to CMU campus.
Many of the students started from Hualumphong Station in Bangkok on Juy 21, 2014 for the trip, during the journey students took part in activities organized by the CMU Student Association and associations from each faculty. As the train progressed North, they picked up new students at stations in Lopburi, Nakhon Sawan, Phitsanulok and Lampang.
The students were greeted by President of the CMU Alumuni Association Nirut Hattapasu and other members of the association as they start their college careers in Chiang Mai.


High speed train project continued

The high-speed train project has been continued with the Bangkok-Chiang Mai route expected to begin service in 2026. Three-hour trips between the two provinces are expected to cost around 1,000 baht/person.
The working committee of the Bangkok-Chiang Mai high-speed train project phase 2 said the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) had given the green light to the project to move forward. High-speed trains from Bangkok to Phitsanulok is set to operate in 2024 and from Bangkok to Chiang Mai in 2026. The project’s budget for construction and expropriation are estimated at 380 billion baht.
The fare of a three-hour Bangkok-Chiang Mai trip is estimated at 1,074 baht.
According to the committee, officials and the private sector in Chiang Mai expressed concerns over the expropriation and asked the committee to carefully study the matter to prevent future problems. They also called on the committee to connect high-speed train stations with other transportation systems. (NNT)


Opponents of Cable Car project call on Governor to cancel

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Opposition to the oft- proposed and long postponed plan to build a cable car system from the Chiang Mai Night Safari to Doi Pui submitted a petition to Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya calling on him to reject the project outright.
Anuchat Thananchai, a lecturer from the Faculty of Education, Chiang Mai University,, representing the group, said that for over 30 years the project has been proposed and it has seen strong local opposition that has postponed any decision. He pointed out to the Governor that the group fears the project will lead to deforestation in an area that has undergone massive reforestation efforts. He also pointed out that soil stabilization at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is a major issue and that the subsidence of the pagoda there has seen the Fine Arts Department there to repair the problem. Such subsidence must be a major concern for any proposed construction.
The group called on the Governor to reconsider any consideration of approving the project. The Governor said that there has not been a decision made on the project and that there was a need to study for further possible outcomes.


One way traffic for area around U.S. Consulate

Starting July 21, 2014 the Chiang Mai Municipality and the Traffic Police implemented a test of a one way system for traffic in the area around the Tessaban. Wang Sing Kham Road along the river will be one way traveling towards the White Chedi and the U.S. Consulate. Muang Samut Road will be one way going from Wichayanon Road to the PTT station on the corner of Wang Sing Kham Soi 1.


Rainy season continues as strong monsoon expected in August

Flash floods damage homes in Chai Prakan

The rainy season is in full force as villagers in Chai Prakan are hit hard by flash floods. The Thai Meteorological Department expects more rainfall in the next month as the monsoon has not weakened.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Pensiri Trisat, a meteorologist with the Northern Meteorological Center said that the mid-way point of the rainy season, July and August, is expected to see a monsoon trough blow across the northern region again and the Southwest monsoon will be stronger resulting in more rain over northern Thailand and heavy rainfall in some areas.
Rainfall in July has been close to the average with low temperatures between 15- 23 Celsius and highs of 32-34 Celsius at the maximum, which is a bit higher than the average temperature.
The rainy season has already brought disaster to Chai Prakan villagers who saw flash flooding on July 12, 2014 causing damage in 10 villages in Sri Don Yen, Pong Tam and Nong Bua Sub-districts. Baan Wiang Pat Tha Na in Sri Dong Yen was hit particularly hard where the flooding has destroyed 3 bridges, flooded agriculture land and affected 822 people in the area. In other areas 1,909 families were also affected by the flooding and the areas were also announced as a disaster area.
The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Chiang Mai Provincial office in worked with other agencies to survey the areas and rescue victims. The Chiang Mai Highway District repaired Chai Prakan – Phrao road and other destroyed roads. The Army, Provincial government and local governments sent their officer to help the victims with aid packages sent to the area. Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya sent 300 packages while the Chiang Mai PAO President sent 500 aid packages and 300 from the Chai Prakan local government.


Police on bikes patrol city streets

The Muang District Police Station are sending out police to patrol on bicycles to patrol busy tourist areas.

Nopniwat Krailerg
In addition to the usual police trucks and motorcycles patrolling Chiang Mai streets the Muang Chiang Mai Police have also sent out bicycle patrols for areas that have a high number of tourists such as Loi Kroh, Moon Muang Road and the Night Bazaar.
Pol. Lt. Col. Kritsada Pongsuwan, Inspector of Muang Chiang Mai Police Station said, “The officers will patrol on bicycle every day in two shifts from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 12 midnight. The day shift police will watch over the areas and the routes along the moat while the night shift police keep an eye on the area along Moon Muang Road, Loi Kroh Road, and the Night Bazaar where the tourists regularly flock.”
The bicycle patrols are expected to help keep eyes on the ground and limit crimes against tourists such as bag theft and others.


NCPO opens platform for public opinion on reform

Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya announced the latest step in the reform process by the NCPO; a platform for people to submit their own reform ideas.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
As part of the national policy towards reconciliation and reform the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has mandated that provinces set up a platform for citizens to submit their suggestions for reform. Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya presided over the opening ceremony of the reformist stage at Chiang Mai Phucome Hotel on July 8, 2014 where 500 people from 25 sub-districts joined.
Chokdee Amronwat, Chiang Mai Permanent Secretary gave the opening speech saying that the purpose of the new project was to give every citizen the chance to present their own ideas on reform and that the local Center for Reconciliation and Reform (CCR) will collect the suggestions and present appropriate ones to the NCPO who will turn these ideas in to a plan to develop and reform the country.
Suggestions will be taken on reform in politics, standardizing the morality of government officers’ morality, reform in the justice system, reform in country management, educational reform, economic reform, media reform, reforming inequality in politics, society and the economy, corruption reform, natural management reform and others. The 500 participants came from backgrounds as diverse as private citizens, government officials, political activists, private business, civil society and others.
The Governor said that the NCPO and the provincial government believed that they will get great and useful ideas from Chiang Mai citizens and he asked every citizen to present their ideas to the reformist stage to help the NCPO develop the country.


New study needed for proposed Chiang Mai – Lamphun highway

Nopniwat Krailerg
A Chiang Mai – Lamphun highway was proposed in 2007 by the Department of Highways as part of the plan to improve and develop the highway system in Chiang Mai and Lamphun. The company hired to prepare the Environmental Impact Study reported that the proposed highway did not cut across any conservation areas that belonged to the government, state enterprise or private sector.
Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya announced that the DOH had received a report from the Ministry of Science and Technology that new guidelines for construction must include that the proposed highway not come closer than 2 kilometers to archeological or historic sites according to the law on archeological sites, antiques, artifacts, and national museums.
The proposed highway comes within two kilometers of Wiang Kum Kam, which was registered as an archaeological site in 1935. This necessitates the preparation of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and TEAM Consulting Engineering and Management was hired to study the impact on the environment, and how to yield the most benefits for the users of the highway and still have the least amount of impact on the site.
The area under study is 19.4 km long and encompasses two provinces, four districts, and ten sub-districts. Within Chiangmai the highway will pass Muang district (Pa Daed), Hang Dong (San Pak Wan, Sob Mae Kha, Ban Waen, Koon Kong), and Sarapi (Kua Mung, San Sai Mahawong). In Lamphun, it passes Muang district (Nai Muang, Pratoo Pa, Muang Nga).


Religion for Peace calls for an end to the violence in Gaza

Multi-faith organization protest for peace

The multi-faith organization Chiang Mai Religion for Peace Network protested against the violence in Gaza on Friday, July 18, 2014.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Over 300 Buddhists, Muslims and Christian members of the multi-faith organization Chiang Mai Religion for Peace Network met at Attaqwa Mosque in Wat Gate at 2 p.m. on July 18, 2014 to call for a cessation of violence in Gaza. Under the watchful gaze of police and army from Kawila Army Camp, the protest went off peacefully as the group, led by Assistant Professor Suchart Setthamalinee, director of the Institute of Religion, Culture, and Peace at Payap University and a member of the Central Islamic Council of Thailand was joined by Buddhist monks and Christian groups, held signs and photos.
Slogans such as End Israel’s attacks on Gaza, Their Innocent Tears are Crying and Should be Free, Stop Killing Innocent Children and We Are Not Terrorists, were just some of the banners in both English and Thai.
A large white banner was hung up and protesters were encouraged to write messages advocating for peace on the banner.
The group then read out the following statement; “The Israeli attacks on Gaza since the beginning of July has cost many children, women, elderly, and citizen of Palestine their lives. Their dwellings were destroyed and many became homeless even though they were not combatants. These acts are considered mass murder that severely violated human rights and are continuing in the present without interference of any superpowers. We gathered here today because we realized that every life has value and dignity and is created equal. Not a single life deserves to be ended by fellow human beings. We feel the pain of this great loss but not as much as our brothers and sisters in Palestine. We wish to send strength and good wishes to them and pray that they quickly regain safety of their lives and properties and that the violence will soon end. We ask the involved parties to quickly solve the problems and restore peace. We condemn the Israeli government’s inhumane violence that was inflicted upon innocent citizens. Although this is a small gathering, it stands for a pure power that encourages and sends our hearts to our brothers and sisters of all ages that are suffering through this great ordeal. We wish them secure, safe, and peaceful lives.”


American singer killed crossing the Superhighway

Grieving friend sings for her

Nopniwat Krailerg
Mae Ping police were called to the scene of a fatal accident on Thursday July 17, 2014 at 10:45 p.m. where they found the body of Nicole Sangsuree Barrett, age 34, a Thai – American woman recently resident in Chiang Mai.

Nicole Sangsuree Barrett, a 34 year old Thai – American woman who was in Chiang Mai taking a course in Buddhist Education was struck and killed by a car on the Superhighway on the night of Thursday, July 17, 2014 (Photo from Facebook)

A friend of the victom told police that they had left Central Festival Chiang Mai Shopping Mall and were trying to cross the highway when a speeding car came around the bend and struck Nicole, killing her instantly. Her friend asked rescue personnel to sing Duan Pen, the song by Carabao, for her lost friend.
Nicole Sangsuree Barrett of Portland, Oregon, had been attending a course in Buddhist Education in Social Transformation and was a musician, activist, artist and poet, advocating for LGBT rights and sustainability.
The driver of the car that struck her, Ratanapol Bunraem, admitted to police that he had been driving fast and did not see her as it was on a curve. Police charged him with reckless driving that caused death. Her body was taken to Chiang Mai Maharaj Nakorn Hospital to be autopsied.


Stash of war weapons uncovered in Lamphun

Police and Army uncovered a metal box with weapons and ammunition in the bushes on the side of the Chiang Mai –Lamphun road.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
After receiving reports from passersby of a large metal box in the bushes off the Chiang Mai – Lamphun Road investigating police found it filled with guns and ammunition.
Police Maj. Gen. Charan Worapattananun, Commander of Lamphun Provincial Police, Col. Boonyuen Inkwang, Commander of Order Maintenance Unit, the 7th Infantry Division, Lamphun section, Lamphun Police and military officials surveyed the bushes along Chiang Mai-Lamphun Road, near Muang Nga junction in Lamphun on July 11, 2014 and found the box. They coordinated with the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit from the Investigation Division Provincial Police Region 5 and found that inside the box were a Tavor assault rifle, an AK-47, 594 rounds of Carbine ammunition, 49 rounds of M-16 ammunition,155 rounds of AK ammunition, nearly10 long and short magazines, almost 100 used .22 shells, and 100 boxes of compressor bearings.
The Army confiscated the weaponry and will investigate the origin of the weapons as the Tavor Assault Rifle is commonly used in armed conflicts. Officials hypothesize that the owner was afraid of being caught after the Army called for all people to turn in their weapons and so left the box on the side of the road.


Former Red Shirt leader wounded in shooting

Niyom Luanengcharoen, or DJ Lae, founder of the Daeng Isan Lanna Chiang Mai group and former member of the Rak Chiang Mai 51 group was wounded in an attack on his house on July 19, 2014.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Niyom Luanengcharoen, or DJ Lae, founder of the Daeng Isan Lanna Chiang Mai group was wounded in the arm and leg when unknown assailants fired into his house in the evening of July 19, 2014.
The San Kamphaeng Police were called to his home after receiving reports that DJ Lae had been shot in his home in Baan Lao. They arrived at the scene to find Niyom had already been taken to the hospital for treatment.
This is the second time in three years that his house has seen gunshots, the police believe that the shooters were not professional as they fired nearly 20 rounds into the house and only hit Mr. Niyom twice. They were shooting from a nearby longan orchard in the dark and damaged the house.
DJ Lae used to be a leader of the Rak Chiang Mai 51 group and had recently had conflicts with other leaders of the group so broke off and formed his own group. Police believe this is one of the possible motives behind the shooting although they are questioning DJ Lae over other conflicts he may have been involved with.
Mr. Niyom has not been involved with politics since the NCPO took over the government.


Loansharking gang arrested after kidnapping debtors

A loansharking gang held a man and woman prisoner until they paid off their debt.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Four members of a loansharking gang were arrested by police on July 16, 2014 after they kidnapped and forced a San Sai man named Thanasit and a woman named Waranya to transfer money to the Siam Commercial Bank account of their employer.
The gang, which included Theera Mahaprom, Thai Kawila, Somnuek Boonchooying and Pongpan Jaemdorn, held the man and woman prisoner in the Ai Rak Inn in San Sai on July 15. They accosted the couple, stealing their iPhone and gold jewelry and then forced them to pay their debt by transferring 5 million baht to the SCB account of Pongpan Jaemdorn.
The victims went to the police after they were released and police managed to trace the gang via security camera videos.


Police find 250,000 Yaba pills hidden in car of arrested drug trafficker

Nopniwat Krailerg
A grilled pork seller who was arrested on July 7, 2014 for smuggling 156,000 methamphetamine tablets was found to have a further 250,000 tablets hidden in the Carryboy of his pickup truck after police investigations continued.
Police Colonel Weerawut Niamnoi, the Deputy Commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police, Komkrit Tritanapong, Chief of Phrao District Officer and 33th Military circle reported that they had found more drugs hidden in the car after they noticed an unusual smell coming out of the top of the Carryboy.. Chamlong Saenkiatikhun was arrested while driving the car which carried 156,000 Yaba tablets on July 7, 2014.


Marijuana tea makers arrested in Pa Daed

Dealing Yaba and marijuana

Police uncovered an operation making “marijuana tea” in an apartment in Pa Daed, Muang District, Chiang Mai.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The makers of what is popularly known as “marijuana tea” or cannabis tea was arrested by police on July 15, 2014 after police received a tip off that someone selling methamphetamine or Yaba was staying in Arunee Apartments in Pa Daed.
Police stopped Pongsakorn Saipreecha of Chonburi when he exited the room and questioned him. He admitted to police that there were methamphetamine tablets in the rooms. Police entered the room and found Athiwat Katirat of Chiang Mai inside with 2 liters of marijuana tea, equipment to make the tea and 500 Yaba tablets.
Both men were arrested and charged with production and distribution of illegal drugs.


Ceremony honors Somdet Phra Narai Maharat

Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya led the Lanna royal family, members of the Consular corps, military, police, government officials and others at a wreath laying ceremony for Somdet Phra Narai Maharat or Somdet Phra Ramathibodi III at CMU Convention Center on July 11, 2014. Somdet Phra Narai Maharat was the 27th king of Ayutthaya who established Lopburi as the second capital of Ayutthaya, a golden age he was the first person who brought new innovations to the country including the telescope, armament, fountain system and water supply systems.


Army Wives Association donates supplies for earthquake victims

The Army Wives Association donated school uniforms, blankets, raincoats, dried food and many more items to Phanphittayakom School in Phan District Chiang Rai to help alleviate problems caused by the May 5 earthquake.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Army Wives Association of Thailand donated supplies to the Phanphittayakom School in Phan District Chiang Rai after the school suffered serious damage from the May 5 earthquake that registered 6.3 on the Richter scale.
Phongphan Chan-ocha, the President of Army Wives Association of Thailand and members of Army Wives Association of Phitsanulok and Phetchabun donated supplies that the Association had raised to Phanphittayakom School, Phan district, Chiang Rai on July 9, 2014. Phan District Chief Officer, Samrit Sawamiphak, and Phanphittaya School Director, Sanong Sucharit welcomed the group to the school and expressed gratitude for their assistance.
The school director said that 5 buildings at the school were damaged; the most severely damaged building was the main school building. Twenty four classrooms were damaged and the school is currently in the process of demolishing and rebuilding the damaged buildings.
Phongphan Chan-ocha said that the provided aiding supplies were the necessities, such as blankets, dried food, school uniforms, socks, raincoats and sweaters, and many more. The items were provided to 500 affected citizens and 2,309 students in the school.


Australian paramedic students on call with Ruamjai Rescue

A group of 20 Australian students studying to be paramedics had hands on experience with accidents in Chiang Mai as they went out on calls with the Ruamjai Chiang Mai Rescue Foundation

Nopniwat Krailerg
A group of foreign paramedical students from Charles Sturt University in Australia traveled to Chiang Mai to experience hands on situations with the Ruamjai Chiang Mai Rescue Foundation on July 7 and 8. The students, who were in Thailand for three weeks, spent two days in Chiang Mai going out on rescue calls, much to the surprise of many accident victims.
The 20 students were led by Nualnong Wongtongkam and Ms. Tania Johnston on an overseas study trip to learn more about the Thai health care system and to experience Thai culture. The two day trip to Chiang Mai gave the students a chance to practice patient care in an urban environment. Other study trips were carried out in remote rural locations to give the students a full experience.


Local organizations join together to aid earthquake victims

Victims of the earthquake in Baan Pa Kor Dam in Mae Lao District in Chiang Rai received assistance from northern organizations including the Buddhist Association of Chiang Rai and Zonta International Chiang Rai on July 16, 2014. The President of Buddhist Association of Chiang Rai Pornsawan Siri-intaratorn accompanied by the committee, President of the Excellent Mother Association of Chiang Rai Udomsri SiriBoonma, members of Zonta International Chiang Rai donated necessary things and money to elderly earthquake victims; many associations in Chiang Rai collected money and goods such as rice, household appliances, towels and much more for the donation.


Be Prepared!

Lanna Care Net seminar on preparing for end of life issues

Paul Surtees
It has long been the motto of the Boy Scouts to Be Prepared! That sound approach can usefully cover most aspects of life, and should also extend to making concrete preparations for any accidents which may happen, and even for the end of life, too.
With more and more foreigners choosing to retire to Chiang Mai, the seminar held by Lanna Care Net at River Market recently on what needs to be done now to make that final journey easier makes gathering information easier.
Nancy of Lanna Care Net [www.lannacarenet.org] and Carl of Cancer Connect [www. cancerconnect-chiangmai. com] briefed scores of expatriate foreigners on practical steps that we should all take now to be ready in case an accident, or worse, befalls us.
1. Keep a card with you at all times, giving the contact details of your next-of-kin. Lanna Care Net provides blank cards for such usage.
2. Keep in a safe place copies of your passport and bank cards.
3. Take out accident insurance.
4. Keep at least THB 100,000 in a local bank account, as that amount would likely be required quickly as the first part of the medical costs needing to be covered in case a serious accident befalls you.
5. Register with a local general practitioner or hospital, for example by having a routine medical check-up, and keep their contact card with you at all times.
6. Register with your Consulate as a long-terrm resident here, if applicable.
7. Plan ahead about who can take decisions on your behalf about medical procedures and financial matters, if you are rendered unconscious or unable to communicate, following an accident or illness.
8. Have a Thai will, and name an executor, to ensure that what you have here in Thailand is distributed according to your wishes, if and when the end comes.
Those points could usefully be followed by people of any age living here. Fatal road accidents are unfortunately far from rare here, and sadly many-a young person’s final journey on this Earth starts when he or she mounts a scooter or motorbike.
For the older crowd a range of concrete steps was recommended to make progress towards our final days easier including lists of local hospitals and nursing care/rehabilitation centres in Chiang Mai. With a lot of elderly foreign residents intending to end their days here in Chiang Mai, the unpalatable but undeniable fact is that these probably will be needed, one day.
It was explained at this seminar that, though most of us might prefer to pass away peacefully in our sleep at home when our time comes, the less-peaceful reality is that we’re more likely to be hooked up to various machines in a hospital intensive care unit during our last moments.
The tasks falling to our next-of-kin in handling such matters would also be eased if these pieces of advice were to be followed.
1. Does your next-of-kin know where to get hold of your medical records quickly, if needed?
2. Is your next-of-kin pre-authorised to handle your financial and legal affrairs, and known to your local bank manager?
3. Have you briefed your next-of-kin on whom else to contact in case you become seriously ill or pass away?
4. Has somebody else been given – just in case – your email and online banking account user names and passwords, etc?
5. Does your next-of-kin hold your ‘’living will?’’ (see below)
6. When the end does come, do you want your earthly remains to be cremated, buried or donated to medical research?
7. Has someone been fully briefed on what type of memorial gathering, religious or otherwise, you’d like them to arrange for you, if any?
8. Do you have a separate will covering, in the local legal format, each country in which you own things?
An important part of this seminar was a thorough briefing about the benefits of arranging a ‘’living will,’’ meaning pre-thought-out points about what steps you would want taken if you are close to death.
Lanna Care net has worked up an Advance Directive, in which you can give now your clear decisions on end of life decisions including do not resuscitate or end of life support so that your next-of-kin and doctors will know how to proceed. The lack of holding a living will mean simply that others will likely take these decisions for you, if needs be.
It is not intended that this article includes legal advice; which should instead be obtained from a qualified lawyer.


Free Day at the Chiang Mai Zoo brings over 20,000 visitors

The Chiang Mai Zoo declared Friday, July 11, 2014 a free day at the Zoo and over 20,000 people took advantage of the offer of free admission to visit the Zoo causing heavy traffic and jams as people traveled to the Zoo. The commissioner of the 33rd Military Circle Maj. Gen. Sarayuth Rangsee and Director of the Zoological Park Organization Thanarat Wadeesirisak opened the event which featured activities for visitors including music from the soldiers, cultural performances and northern Thai curry with noodles or rice. Maj. Gen. Sarayuth Rangsee said that this was a good opportunity to get feedback for further activities to resolve the past situation and foster peace. If the event did really work out, the military section would initiate more events in the near future.


Traffic police to focus crackdown on 3 main intersections

Traffic violators to be fined

Police are cracking down on illegal driving that causes traffic issues at three main intersections in Chiang Mai; San Dek, Rin Kham and Airport.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai traffic police have plans to crack down on traffic violations at three main intersections; the San Dek Intersection, the Rin Kham (Rincome) Intersection and the Airport Intersection. The police planned to initially publicize the enforcement of laws at these three intersections said Pol. Col. Sittichai Thananachai, Chief of the Chiang Mai Traffic Police. After the first week traffic violators will be stopped and fined.
The traffic police will go after people who run red lights, drive on the other side of the double yellow line, block traffic in the intersection, cross the stop line at the intersection, reverse down the road and use fake license plates.
According to Land Traffic Act - B.E. 2522, those who cross the double yellow line and park past the stop line can see fines not exceeding 1,000 baht, blocking traffic and reversing traffic lanes will lead to a fine not exceeding 500 baht, and using fake license plates, will lead to a fine not exceeding 2,000 baht. On the first day of the operation, traffic police reported that drivers cooperated well with the laws.


 
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