Royal Plowing Ceremony falls on May 9
National holiday - government offices and commercial banks will be closed
Two well cared for oxen of the same color
pull an ancient plow, breaking the ground so that sacred seeds may be
planted. (File photo)
The annual Royal Plowing Ceremony at Sanam Luang near the Grand Palace
in Bangkok, and the accompanying Cultivation Ceremony held at the Temple
of the Emerald Buddha the day before, are of great significance in
Thailand. This year the ceremonies are taking place on Sunday and
Monday, May 8 and 9.
During the ceremonies, appropriate strains of different grains for
cultivating crops are selected just prior to the planting season, and
rituals are performed to interpret the year’s harvest. Grain selection
is an important consideration when planting crops, as the crops rely on
soil, ample rainfall and other natural factors.
The Cultivation Ceremony is also performed to help keep the different
grains free from disease, producing a bountiful harvest.
Their Majesties the King and Queen, or, more recently, Crown Prince Maha
Vajiralongkorn, usually preside over the Cultivation Ceremony held at
the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
The Royal Plowing Ceremony signals the beginning of the planting season
in Thailand. Two well cared for oxen of the same color pull an ancient
plow, breaking the ground so that sacred seeds may be planted. Two other
oxen wait in reserve.
Two Brahman priests sprinkling sacred water along the path lead the
royal procession, with its nine-tiered royal umbrella.
Two pairs of female guardians carry grain in one gold and one silver
container following behind the plow, seeding the tilled ground.
Three circuits tilling the earth around Sanam Luang are completed and at
the end the oxen are offered eight types of foods to select from: rice
grain, corn, peas, sesame, liqueur, water and grass. Brahman priests
then interpret their selection.
Following the ceremony, many people collect the seeds from the ground to
keep as sacred objects promising a prosperous year, while others sow the
ceremonial seeds mixed in with other seeds to sanctify the season’s
The day is celebrated as a national holiday, and as such all government
offices and commercial banks will close for the day. ATMs and most
currency exchange booths, however, will remain open.
Kingdom celebrates Wan Chatramongkhol (Coronation Day) May 5
(Photo courtesy of the Bureau of the Royal
Thursday, May 5 marks the 66th anniversary of the Coronation of His
Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great. The day is celebrated as a
national holiday, and as such all government offices and commercial
banks will close for the day. ATMs and most currency exchange booths,
however, will remain open.
Whist being crowned King of Thailand, His Majesty King Bhumibol
Adulyadej the Great took a sacred oath to rule with Righteousness, for
the Benefit and Happiness of the Thai people, which He has done
magnificently, garnering tremendous respect from His people. HM King
Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great is the longest reigning monarch in the
world. Long Live the King!
Each year on the 5th of May, the Kingdom of Thailand commemorates the
day when, in 1950, the Coronation Ceremony was held for His Majesty King
Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, the 9th in the Chakri Dynasty (Rama IX).
HM the King, after studying in Europe, returned to Thailand and was
crowned King during an elaborate and highly intricate ceremony that out
lavished all previous coronations in Thailand.
A week prior to His being crowned King, on April 28, 1950, H.M. King
Bhumibol and Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitayakara were married. Following
the Coronation, HM the King returned to Switzerland to continue
(Photo courtesy of the Bureau of the Royal
The Coronation Ceremony reinforces the stature of the Kings of Thailand.
The first such elaborate ceremony was performed when Pho Khun Phamuang
succeeded Pho Khun Bangklangthao as the ruling King of Muang Sukhothai.
Phaya Lithai, a former leader in Sukhothai, left a historical record in
stone describing the coronation ceremony in Sukhothai at Wat Srikhum.
In the beginning of the Ratanakosin era, the first King in the Chakri
Dynasty (HM King Buddhayodfa the Great) took the title of Rama I and
moved the capital of Siam from Thonburi to the opposite bank of the Chao
Phraya River, and constructed Krung Ratanakosin (Bangkok). In the
process of building the Royal Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the
Emerald Buddha) the first King in the House of Chakri refined the
coronation ceremony, establishing important protocol that has lasted to
this day. All Kings to follow not undergoing the coronation ceremony
would be unable to assume the term “Phrabat” in front of the King’s
title of “Somdej Phrachaoyuhua”, and more significantly, the symbol of
the nine-tiered umbrella would also not be permissible or officially
The elaborate coronation ceremony of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
the Great included all the ancient rituals required for assuming the
full title and the nine-tiered umbrella. HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej then
bestowed the honor posthumously on His brother HM King Ananda Mahidol.
HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s benevolent act raised HM King Ananda
Mahidol’s regal status from seven to a nine-tiered umbrella.
During the reign of HM King Mongkut (Rama IV), Buddhist monks and
Brahmin priests were incorporated into the coronation ceremony to
conduct rituals to sanctify the auspicious occasion. Previously the
ceremony was arranged and conducted by the Royal Palace staff and
members of the Royal Household.
The annual coronation ceremony is currently a three-day affair, starting
with a ritual “tham boon” ceremony on May 3 to honor the King’s
ancestors. Later on the first day, another ceremony is performed,
whereby flags of honor are issued to distinguish various military units.
The following day, Buddhist ceremonies continue with chanting rituals,
prayers and Brahman priests announcing the auspicious occasion
forthcoming the next day (May 5).
On the 5th of May, His Majesty conducts a merit making ceremony,
presenting offerings to Buddhist monks, and leads a “Wien Thien”
ceremony, walking three times around sacred grounds at the Temple of the
In the evening the King conducts another sacred ceremony: changing the
yellow cloth on the Emerald Buddha, the guardian symbol protecting the
Thai people, which was transferred from Thonburi to Wat Phra Kaew by
Many rooms in the Royal Palace are opened for public viewing on
Coronation Day. Auspicious ceremonies are performed and displays
depicting Royal achievements are exhibited to reconfirm the King’s
ChiangMai Mail joins with the Kingdom of Thailand in joyously
celebrating Wan Chatramongkhol, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the
Great’s Coronation Day on Tuesday, May 5. Long Live the King!
Court cancels Nimmanhaemin one way system due to complaints
One way soi system cancelled
Nimmanhaemin sois 5 – 17 are now two way
from Sirimangkalajarn Road to Nimmanhaemin Road.
The Chiang Mai Administrative Court cancelled the one way soi
system set in place by Chiang Mai police on December 25, 2016. The one
way system caused much confusion as four subsequent sois from Soi 3 – 9
went one way and the following four sois, Soi 11 15, went one way the
other way. Nimmanhaemin soi 17 remained two-way during the period.
Local residents filed a complaint with the Administrative Courts to have
the system removed as it caused many problems. The Police have removed
all signs from the roads and more signs will be put in place announcing
the two way system. Pol.Col. Pitsanu Unhaseree, Deputy Commander, Chiang
Mai Provincial Police, said normally it would take about three days to
receive the Court order and then the police will wait for approval from
the Courts to publicize and appoint an operations team for the next
procedure which includes repainting yellow lines and removing the white
one way arrows painted on the roads as well as publicizing the changes.
Signs on the main road have been removed and cars are using the sois in
both directions now, however during the one way period cars would still
drive the wrong way down the sois causing safety issues, which was one
of the concerns filed in the complaint.
Army asked to follow up on shooting at Kad Suan Kaew
Victim’s father complains shooter is posting pictures on social media
The father of a young man shot during a
fight called on Maj. Gen. Kosol Prathumchart to ask that the case be
looked into – he told the Major General that although the police had
issued arrest warrants nothing had moved forward and the shooter was
posting pictures of the gun on social media.
The father of a young man shot at the Kad Suan Kaew shopping
mall parking lot called on Army Officers at Kawila Army camp to expedite
the police case as it has now been ten days since his son was shot and
there have been no arrests.
The shooting occurred on May 8, 2016 when Purit “Pop” Rukprach, age 25
was involved in breaking up a fight between his friend and two other men
in the parking lot of the shopping center. Pop went to help his friend
Thanasab “Man” Kwangwan who was involved in a fight with Pathompong
“Boss” Chumtawee and Charnon “Dew” Leungingkasud. During the fight, Boss
shot into the melee, shooting Pop in the leg and causing serious injury.
Pop’s father Tatsanai Rukpracha brought evidence to his meeting with
Maj. Gen. Kosol Prathumchart, Commanding General of the 33rd Military
Circle to follow up after Phuping Police station issued arrest warrants
for the two suspects. However, he expressed concern that ten days had
passed and still no one had been arrested. Tatsanai told the Major
General that the shooter, Boss, worked as a security guard at an
entertainment area on Nimmanhaemin Soi 15 and had been posting photos of
himself with the gun on social media despite the arrest warrant.
The Major General said he would coordinate with Phuping Police Station
to ensure that this case was followed up on as soon as possible, noting
that an outrageous case of a public shooting like this needed to be
dealt with correctly. He also ordered the strict closing times of
entertainment areas and added that he was confident the case would be
AIS opens new center for disabled employees
Jaiporn Srisakul (center) Managing Director,
Advance Contact Center, at the launch of the new AIS Call Center in
Phrae employing the visually disabled.
Employees of the new AIS Call Center with
Jaiporn Srisakul, Managing Director, Advance Contact Center at the
opening of the new call center in Phrae.
AIS opened their newest call center in Phrae on May 18, 2016. This, the
9th call center, provides career opportunities for disabled people. AIS
has been working on a project to provide work opportunities for the
disabled at their call centers around Thailand.
The newest call center is set up at Santijintana School in Phrae for
visually impaired people.
Wilai Kieangpradu, Senior Vice President Public Relation, Advanced Info
Service Public Company Limited said that AIS has been working together
with the community to create value and benefit for society by generating
sustainable value and growth. Their CSR policy is working to provide
disabled people the opportunity to participate in development of the
country and society under the theme “Stronger Thai Family, Stronger
They have a three pronged approach; San Rak Kon Keng Huajai Krang
(create love among good people), San Rak (create love) in Thai Society,
and San Rak for volunteering, especially in Thai society.
AIS believes that disabled people are just as capable as the
non-disabled and that giving them the skills and opportunities to work
allows them the chance to take care of themselves. Because of this AIS
established the “AIS Call Center for career opportunity for the
disabled” project by opening call centers geared towards the disabled.
The first call center was opened in 2007and AIS call centers have
quickly increased. Including the newest call center there are now nine
call centers, the new one in Phrae, one at the Foundation for Blind in
Thailand under The Royal Patronage of H.M. the Queen in Bangkok,
Phaholyothin Place Building in Bangkok, The Northern School for the
Blind under the Patronage of H.M. the Queen in Chiang Mai, Redemptorist
Foundation for People with Disabilities in Chonburi, Redemptorist
Vocational School in Nong Khai, Sri Sangwan Chiang Mai School, Lampang
Eye Foundation in Lampang, and Sri Sangwan Khon Kaen School in Khon
Jaiporn Srisakul, Managing Director, Advance Contact Center or ACC, said
that “AIS has been aware that the disabled do have the same abilities to
do premium work and are just as capable of providing service to meet
customers’ satisfaction. As a result, AIS has continued to give career
opportunities for the disabled by expanding operation centers across the
She noted that AIS currently has 89 visually impaired staff and provides
work operations to meet their requirements. Vision and physical impaired
people would be in charge of calling customers to inform them of
privileges and offer services and campaigns of AIS and to provide SMS
service for customers receiving, sending, and canceling the service.
Hearing impaired people can serve using sign language via Web Cam. Also,
AIS has purchased modern technologies to help work operations to
facilitate works, for instance, installing online network, using
technologies to detect keyboard motion, screenshot display, or changing
to voice which must be used together with Pa Tatip application by
Thailand Association for the Blind for research and development, and
etc. In addition, AIS is ready to bring technology, human resources, and
expertise including abilities of the organization to help society and
provide opportunity for all Thais and the disabled in particular, who
have been considered as members in Thai family and society.
Jaiporn concluded,” We believe that everyone deserves a chance to
present their abilities in order to make themselves strong. This will
result in a strong Thai family and a strong Thailand.”
UK opens new visa application centre in Chiang Mai
From Mondya 16 May customers will be able to use the UK’s new Visa
Application Centre (VAC) in Chiang Mai.
The new visa application centre, run by commercial partners VFS, will
make it quicker and easier for customers in Northern Thailand to apply
for their UK visas.
Customers can pay extra for a number of premium services offered at the
VAC including the 3-5 day Priority Visa service, Premium Lounge as well
as additional services provided by VFS such as ‘’walk in’’ appointments.
Paul Bute, Chargé d’Affaires at the British Embassy said, “This new visa
application centre will make it more convenient for our customers in
Northern Thailand to apply for their UK visa. VFS Global successfully
manage UK visa application centres all over the world, and we expect
that through having this dedicated facility we will welcome more
visitors from Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand to the UK.”
The new visa application centre is located at the Siripanich Building,
floor 6 B, 191 Huaykaew Rd, Suthep, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50200
There will be no changes to the visa process for customers, who will
continue to apply for their visa and book their visa appointment via
www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa . However there will be an extra charge to use
this user-pay VAC which is £55 on top of the cost of the visa. The VAC
will be open 8.30am to 15.30, Monday to Friday with ‘primetime’
appointments also available on Saturday mornings for a fee.
Chomthong residents oppose solar energy plant
Present concerns about effects to the Governor
Deputy Governor Puthipong Sirimart listened
to the concerns from Chomthong villagers and assured them that a planned
solar energy plant would not affect their livelihoods.
Residents from Baan Pae in Chomthong presented a letter of
opposition to the Governor’s Office on May 17, 2016. About fifty people
took part in the protest. The residents said they had originally filed a
complaint with the Baan Pae Municipality responsible for the area but
that had not been answered.
Deputy Governor Puthipong Sirimart was on hand to accept the letter who
explained to the residents how the solar energy plant would work. The
residents of the village were concerned that the solar plant would
affect the production of longan trees and affect the local climate.
The Deputy Governor explained how the plant would work and assured the
residents it would have no effect on the weather and promised them the
government would make sure everything was done to regulation.
Wat Chedi Luang to start collecting entrance fees from foreign visitors
Tourists pose in front of the large signs
announcing the upcoming collection of fees from foreign visitors.
Wat Chedi Luang Woraviharn has posted a notice at the entrance that fees
will be collected from foreign visitors beginning July 1, 2016.
The abbot of the temple, Phra Rajachetiyajan, said that the temple has
seen a huge influx of visitors which has caused wear and tear on the
temple requiring extra maintenance and restoration. The fees will be
used towards upkeep of the temple.
The posted sign, which is in Thai, Chinese and English, states that a
fee of 40 baht per person will be collected from foreign visitors
starting July 1, 2016.
Signs announcing the collection of fees from
foreign visitors are in Thai, English and Chinese. A fee of 40 baht will
be charged starting July 1, 2016
Wat Chedi Luang was built in the 1400s and
at one time housed the Emerald Buddha; the temple was damaged in 1551
and rebuilt in the 1990s. The temple is one of the top visited temples
in the city.
Summer storm topples trees, power poles
Several homes severely damaged
An ancient Yang Na tree was toppled during
the summer storm on the Old Chiang Mai – Lamphun Road in the evening of
May 17, 2016.
Cars were damaged and destroyed by falling
trees and power poles during the summer storm that struck around 9 p.m.
in the Muang and Saraphi Districts.
Homes and shops were damaged by falling
power poles and trees in the storm.
In the light of day the damage was found to
be extensive in certain areas of the city, Nong Hoi in Muang District
and Saraphi were hit the hardest.
Estimates are now at around 26 power poles
down in the city, many damaging vehicles and homes.
The Old Chiang Mai – Lamphun road was the
scene of extensive damage from falling trees and branches, this old tree
split in half in the winds.
A seasonal summer storm struck parts of Chiang Mai in the evening of May
17, 2016 at around 9 p.m. toppling trees and power poles, causing road
closures and power outages. The Nong Hoi area and Saraphi were struck
hard by the storm with one home in Saraphi destroyed when an old tree
believed to be about 100 years old fell onto the home during the storm.
Several of the ancient Yang Na trees along the Old Chiang Mai – Lamphun
Road were damaged or fell completely into the road. The Yang Na trees
line the road until the Lamphun border and were planted over a hundred
years ago, around 1882.
Several homes and vehicles were severely damaged by falling trees and
power poles, which also caused a major power outage for parts of the
city and the area outside. The road is closed for clean-up and so far
government workers have found 26 downed power poles as well as trees.
Further surveys expect to find more and work crews are around the city
clearing streets and restoring power poles.
Visakha Bucha Day is May 20
Walk up Doi Suthep on May 19
Buddhist faithful around Thailand
and the North gather to honor the Buddha’s birth, death and
enlightenment on Visakha Bucha Day, which falls on the Full Moon
in May or June. Here, Lampang residents and tourists make merit
at Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang. (File photo)
Visakha Bucha Day falls on Friday, May 20 and is one of the most
venerated days in the Buddhist calendar. The day celebrates the
Buddha’s life, enlightenment and death and finally, achieving
final release from the circle of rebirth. It is a national
holiday and alcohol will not be sold or served around the
However, the day begins the night before as thousands of
Buddhist faithful join to walk up Doi Suthep. People begin
walking the 11km hike in the evening while most people will
arrive at Wat Prathat Doi Suthep around 1-3 a.m. to walk three
times around the temple. People will give alms to 225 monks at
6:30 a.m. at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. There will be a bathing
ceremony with Royally blessed lustral water of the Buddha images
at 3 p.m.
Japanese government helps Chiang Rai villagers with home medical care
Mr. Shinya Aoki,
Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Mr.
Khongsak Chaichana, Director of Khuntan Hospital
at the handover for home medical care equipment
on May 17, 2016,
purchased with funds from the Japanese
Government’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots
Human Security Projects at Khuntan District in
Chiang Rai province.
One of the Khuntan
villagers enjoys the new electric wheelchair
purchased with funds donated by the Japanese
The Government of Japan, under its Grant
Assistance for Grassroots Human Security
Projects Scheme (GGP), has provided funds
amounting to 3,522,000 baht for “The Project for
Improving the Home Medical Care System for
Residents in Khuntan District, Chiang Rai
Province”. On 17th of May, 2016, Mr. Shinya
Aoki, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and
Mr. Khongsak Chaichana, Director of Khuntan
Hospital, were present at the hand-over ceremony
at the hospital.
At the ceremony, an ambulance, 25 oxygen
concentrators, 20 anti-bedsore air mattresses
and 5 electric wheelchairs were presented to the
Khuntan Hospital is the only public hospital in
the district and is serving around 31,900
residents of 55 villages in 3 sub-districts. The
hospital is also participating in JICA (Japan
International Cooperation Agency)’s technical
cooperation project, entitled the "Project of
Long-term Care Service Development for the Frail
Elderly and other Vulnerable People (LTOP)", to
develop the service model by which the elderly
in need of nursing care, the disabled and family
caregivers are continuously supported at
community level. However, the lack of a vehicle
for home visits and medical equipment at the
hospital had caused difficulties in providing
The oxygen concentrators which were presented
will be lent to patients with severe chronic
respiratory disease for use at home, and the
anti-bedsore air mattresses will be lent to
bedridden patients. Electric wheelchairs will be
lent to people who have severe difficulties in
walking with the purpose of supporting
independence and social participation of persons
with disabilities. The ambulance will be used
for home visits to the needy. It is expected
that this support will contribute to improving
the home medical care system for the elderly,
persons with disabilities and family caregivers
in Khuntan District.
For more information, please contact the
Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, Grant
Assistance for Grassroots Human Security
Projects Scheme (GGP). Tel: 053-203-367 / Fax:
053-203-373 / Email:
Commissioner presides over foundation stone laying ceremony
New office building for Provincial Police Headquarters
Pol. Maj. Gen. Montri Sumbunnanont, Chief of
Chiang Mai Provincial Police holds the stone that is being anointed by
Phra Dhamma Senabordee, Abbot of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep at the
Foundation Laying Ceremony for the new Provincial Police Station.
The Commissioner of Police Region 5 presided over the foundation
stone laying ceremony for the new office building for the Chiang Mai
Provincial Police on May 16, 2016 at 9 a.m.
Luang Phor Dhamma Mungkalajan (Luang Phu
Thong), Wat Pha That Sri Jom Thong anointed the foundation stone and is
joined by Pol. Lt. Col. Thanitsak Teerasawat, Commissioner of Police
Region 5 was joined by Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart, Maj.
Gen. Kosol Pratumchart - Commanding General of the 33rd Military Circle,
Weerayuth Pannuam – Deputy Director of Bureau of the Budget, and Pol.
Maj. Gen. Montri Sumbunnanont, Chief of Chiang Mai Provincial Police.
Pol. Lt. Col. Thanitsak Teerasawat, Commissioner of Police Region 5 was
joined by Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart, Maj. Gen. Kosol
Pratumchart - Commanding General of the 33rd Military Circle, Weerayuth
Pannuam – Deputy Director of Bureau of the Budget, Pol. Maj. Gen. Montri
Sumbunnanont, Chief of Chiang Mai Provincial Police, policemen, and
other honored guests. The ceremony contained gilding and anointing the
foundation stone performed by Luang Phor Dhamma Mungkalajan (Luang Phu
Thong), Wat Pha That Sri Jom Thong, Advisor to Monk Dean Region 7 and
Phra Dhamma Senabordee, Abbot of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Deputy Monk
Dean Region 7 led the religious ceremony with nine monks.
This was followed by a Brahman who led the prayer for the foundation
stone laying ceremony for the office building of Chiang Mai Police
Station. Attendees gave offerings including 9 sacred woods, the placing
of 9 sheets of gold, pink gold, and silver, and set of nine gems. Monks
chanted an auspicious prayer – Chai Mongkol and put popped rice and
flowers, silver and gold coins into the foundation stone.
The old Chiang Mai Provincial Police office building was built in 1970
and is about 46 years old. Due to the expansion of the work of the
police force and other operations the police required a new office
building. Pol. Maj. Gen. Montri Sumbunnanont, Chief of Chiang Mai
Provincial Police proposed a budget with the support of Narong
Phuapiwong, a former Member of Chiang Mai House of Representative and
Advisor to the Chiang Mai Committee monitoring and police
administration. The Bureau of the Budget approved a 49 million baht
budget with 46 million baht for the new office building and 3 million
baht for three houses for police deputy commanders and superintendents
in the compound of theChiang Mai Provincial Special Weapons and Tactics
located behind the Muang Chiang Mai Police Station. The office of
Special Weapons and Tactics was moved to Government Complex in
Sankampaeng, Chiang Mai. The old building will be partly demolished to
make room for the new building.
City Pillar Festival will be held from June 1 – June 8
Inthakin ceremony brings peace and prosperity to city residents
Monks place flowers as a blessing ceremony
for the Inthakin or City Pillar Festival.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
This annual ceremony is held to honor the Inthakin, or City
Pillar on the 13th day of the waning moon in the eighth Northern lunar
moon and continue until the second day of the waxing moon of the ninth
month. This year it falls on June 1 and the festival will conclude on
June 8, 2016.
It is believed the current Inthakin was erected by King Mengrai at the
founding of the city on April 12, 1296 at Wat Sadue Mueang (also known
as Wat Inthakin) on Inthawarorot road. It was brought to its present
location inside a shrine on the temple grounds of Wat Chedi Luang by
King Kawila in 1800.
The highlight of the ceremony is to sprinkle holy water and place the
‘khan dok’ on the city pillar. The first day of the festival begins with
the Fon Saen Ha Buddha image with offerings parading from Wat Chedi
Luang through Phra Pokklao Road to Three Kings Monument then right on to
Ratvithi Raod to Chang Moi, then on to Tha Pae Gate, and Ratchadamnoen
Road so that the faithful may offer their blessings before the image
then returns to Wat Chedi Luang.
Governor Pawin Chamniprasart will preside over the ceremony with the
City Mayor, administrators and faithful citizens of Chiang Mai
participating to sprinkle water onto the Buddha image, offer food to 108
monks, gild Buddha images, and offer prayers at Wat Chedi Luang.
Chiang Mai people believe that the Inthakin brings security and
well-being to Chiang Mai citizens. This ceremony has been held annually
since ancient times with a belief that the ceremony will bring good luck
and spiritual encouragement to live peacefully and seasonal rainfall for
Employer arrested for hiring migrant workers illegally
Three Burmese nationals arrested for working in the wrong job
A Thai employer was arrested alongside three
Myanmar nationals for illegally employing migrant workers without the
Police announced the arrest of four people, one Thai national for
employing migrant workers outside their permitted area and permitted job
and three Myanmar nationals who were working in the bread factory in
Saraphi on May 12, 2016.
Special Branch Police arrested Yodsawat Chansirithanawat of Chang Puak
Sub-district after someone filed a complaint with police that he had
employed alien workers illegally at his bread factory in Pha Bong,
Saraphi. Police investigated and found three people from Myanmar, one
woman and two men, who, although they possessed work permits, the
permits were not for employment at the factory.
The migrant workers told police they had been working in the factory for
15 days and received a 300 baht a day wage. They did hold work permits
but the permits were for unskilled labor and the employer specified in
the work permit was not their current employer. They were also arrested
for working illegally and taken to the Saraphi Police Station for legal
Remains of missing man found in ravine after missing one year
Rescue personnel retrieved the remains from
a pickup truck that had crashed into ravine in Mae Chaem.
The remains of a man who was reported missing one year ago were
found on May 12, 2016 in Mae Chaem. A rusting pickup truck was found in
a ravine on the mountain in Mae Najon Sub-district and police found
skeletal remains inside the truck. Police said it appeared that the
truck had crashed on the road and fell into the ravine.
The heavily damaged truck held the remains
of an unknown male but police believe they are the remains of a man
reported missing a year ago.
The police tracked down the license plate and found the vehicle belonged
to Suradej Chulaluck, age 32 of Mae Suk in Mae Chaem District. Suradej
had been reported missing by the owners of the rooms he was renting in
the Muang District last year. They told police that he had gone to visit
family in Mae Chaem but never returned.
The police will have the DNA of the remains checked to match the man’s
family but believe the remains to be Mr. Suradej. They believe he may
have lost control of his truck while driving on the curve and plummeted
50 meters into the ravine. The Medical Examiner has taken the remains
Police arrest four suspected drug dealers in sting
Police captured three suspected drug dealers
after they attempted to flee a drug sting operation on May 9, 2016.
Region 5 Police announced the arrest of three men and one woman in a
drug sting operation on May 9, 2016.
Police set up an undercover officer to purchase methamphetamine tablets from
or Songklod “Jay” Anathachak, age 31, at a garage near the suspect’s house
in Tha Sala Sub-district of the Muang District. Police say they purchased
eleven Yaba or methamphetamine tablets from the suspect who led police to
the a man named Naruedol “Golf” Kaweein, age 26 who they were told regularly
smuggled and sold drugs to youths in San Kamphaeng.
Police set up a meeting for Songklod to purchase thirty Yaba pills by
contacting the suspect by telephone and using Facebook through his
girlfriend, 19 year old Nucharee or Naet Paengjai of Doi Saket. Songklod, or
Jay arranged to have the drugs delivered to his house where police lay in
wait to arrest the drug suspects.
Three men drove to the house and when police emerged attempted to flee in a
pickup truck but were stopped by the police before they could escape. Police
charged three men with selling drugs; Naruedol “Golf” Kaweein, Anirut “Ton”
Khamsaeng, and Theerachai “Tok” Boonsom, age 25 who were found with thirty
Yaba pills. All three men are from Ton Pao in San Kamphaeng District.
Police then searched Naruedol’s home and arrested his girlfriend, Nucharee
as an accomplice. All four were taken to the Mae Ping Police station for
detention and further police investigation before police file charges in
Lychee production could drop 30 percent due to ongoing drought
Lychee production is predicted to be 30
percent less than last year due to the ongoing drought in the North the
Chief of the Chiang Mai Provincial Commercial Office Nittaya Muan-anant
The ongoing drought has seen lychee production drop drastically
and officials are predicting that 2016 lychee yields could be up to 30
percent less than last year’s crop.
Mrs. Nittaya Muan-anant, Chief of Chiang Mai Provincial Commerce Office,
accompanied by officials, visited Chai Prakarn District to view the
lychee situation at the buying station at Ban Je Banyen, which began on
May 7, 2016.
Although lychees will be smaller and less
colorful this year due to the drought the taste is expected to still be
The Hong Huay lychee strain is priced at 40-50 baht a kilogram, and
mixed grade is at 30-35 baht a kilogram for the wholesale price at the
buying station. The trade volume is around 4.5 tons per day. The retail
selling price at the station is priced at 50-60 baht per kilo as of May
Most of the lychees in the market are grown in Mae Ai, Fang, and Chai
Prakarn which has been affected by the serious drought in the North. The
drought has caused the fruit to be much smaller, lighter colored skin
and a burned appearance. However, reports are that the fruit still
tastes good, that only the appearance has been affected by the drought.
New fire breaks out in Doi Kham
Fire close to Wat Phra That Doi Kham
broken out near Wat Phra That Doi Kham in the hills above Roya Park
Rajapruek in Mae Hia. The fire began around 2:30 p.m.
A fire broke out in the forest near Wat
Phra That Doi Kham today around 2:30 p.m. Firefighters rushed to the scene
to battle the fire and a helicopter from the Royal Rainmaking Project was
dropping water onto the flames that are creeping closer to the temple.
The fire is dangerously
close to the revered Wat Phra That Doi Kham. Firefighters and a helicopter
are on the scene fighting the fire.
Firefighters are in the temple spraying
water onto the buildings and onto the fire nearby to save the revered temple
from the fire.
Wat Phrathat Doi Kham is located in the
hills above Royal Park Rajapruek was built in over 1300 years ago and houses
important Buddha relics. A sacred site for local people, the forest temple
is only 11 kilometers from the city. (Photos by Pitchayakan Norkaewmoon)
The fire is easily visible
from Canal Road in Mae Hia above Royal Park Rajarpruek.
Firefighters spray water
onto the fire from the grounds of Wat Phra That Doi Kham.
Wildfire devastates over 300 rai of Doi Suthep-Doi Pui National Park
Flames visible from the city
Flames filled the air on May 8, 2016 as Doi
Suthep – Doi Pui National Park was swept by a wildfire. It took over 100
people including firefighters and soldiers, to get the fire under control
that damaged over 300 rai of National Park.
Over 300 rai of national park was damaged in a wildfire that swept across
the tinder dry park in the early afternoon of May 8, 2016. Firefighters,
aided by the Army, worked until past 2 a.m. to get the fire under control.
The fire broke out in a remote forested area near Ban Khun, Chang Khian in
the National Park. Social media was filled with photos of the fire that was
visible in downtown Chiang Mai. Firefighters were brought in from local
administration offices from around the region with over twenty fire trucks
rushing in to help the beleaguered local firefighters. Soldiers from the
33rd Military Circle were brought in to help beat back the fire and worked
alongside firefighters, officers from the National Park, the Disaster
Prevention and Mitigation Center in Area 10, Lampang, the Chiang Mai Office
of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Center, and local people who
joined in to create fire breaks. Fire breaks were hastily put in place
behind the Chang Khian Boy Scouts Camp and the forest around Suan Buddha
Dhamma Nong Hor behind the Chiang Mai International Convention Center.
Flames were visible from the Convention Center as worried residents
monitored the fire and prepared for a possible evacuation.
High temperatures and extended drought saw the
fire quickly spread out of control on Doi Suthep near the Chiang Mai
International Convention Center and Chang Khian.
Firefighters managed to bring the fire under control around 2 a.m. on May 9,
and officers continued to patrol the area to monitor for hot spots. Wat Phra
That Doi Suthep and Bhubing Palace were never in danger from the fire which
was North of these two important icons of Chiang Mai.
The fire was visible from main streets in the
city and social media filled with people taking photos.
Locals pitched in to help, bringing food and water to support the
firefighters in the middle of the night, offering their gratitude for the
efforts of the firefighters, soldiers and other people in getting the
wildfire under control.
Firefighters continue to patrol the area and a helicopter was brought in
during the daylight hours to drop water on areas that appeared to still be
at risk. Officers speculate the fire may have been started by people
searching for forest products.
Over 300 rai of the Doi Suthep – Doi Pui
National Park were devastated by the wildfire. Officials continue to patrol
Wildlife in the burned out forest was devastated, however a firefighter
found three newborn squirrels that managed to survive the fire and they were
taken to the Chiang Mai Zoo to be nursed back to health and raised in the
Residents posted on social media expressing anger and concern that despite
the sustained high temperatures and drought that there was still burning and
in an area that put so many homes and lives at risk.
The native flora and fauna was destroyed by the
fire that swept through the tinder dry forest. Officials speculate the fire
was started by people looking for forest products.
Local people banded together to show support for
firefighters and donations of food, drinks and water were brought to the
A helicopter came in at daylight to fly over the
fire zone and drop water on hotspots during the day of May 9, 2016. The fire
was finally brought under control at 2 a.m. on May 9.
Chiang Mai celebrates the Coronation Day of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej
Chiang Mai Governor Pawin
Chamniprasat lights candles to honor HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej on the
occasion of his Coronation on May 5.
The people of Chiang Mai joined together to celebrate Coronation Day
on May 5, 2016 at the Chiang Mai University Convention Center with Governor
Pawin Chamniprasart presiding over the ceremonies.
Governor Pawin Chamniprasart
addresses the gathered audience to honor HM the King on Coronation Day.
Molsuda Chamniprasart, President of Red Cross, Chiang Mai
Chapter, along with heads of government agencies, government officials and
the members of private sectors and public joined in the ceremony to present
their offerings in honor of His Majesty the King. They praised his reign on
his throne, ruling the country with merit and justice.
The coronation of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyade took place on May 5,
1950 and he is celebrated as the 9th King of the Chakri Dynasty on this date
The Coronation Day royal ceremony celebrated the white nine-tiered umbrella
as a symbol of royalty. On His Coronation Day His Majesty the King said, "We
will rein the country with justice and righteousness for the sake and
happiness of the Thai people.”
Drugs and weapons seized from drug trafficking ring
Policeman injured by suspect in Ayutthaya
Region 5 Police show the suspects in a drug
trafficking ring recently apprehended in Lamphun and Ayutthaya.
Some of the weapons seized from the suspects
during the arrest.
Nopniwat Krailerg (Chiangmai Mail)
Region 5 Police announced the arrest of a major drug trafficking ring
that was tracked down after the arrest of ten members of the ring in
January, 2016. Police announced the arrest of five people at a press
conference at Region 5 Headquarters on May 3, 2016; four in the North
and one accomplice in Ayutthaya.
The case began with the arrest of Phumpipat Intarapradit, and nine other
accomplices with a haul of 398,000 methamphetamine pills, 3 kilograms of
crystal methamphetamine and ten firearms on January 3, 2016. The
investigation led them to Phrae where they worked with police on a tip
off that more members of the gang were smuggling drugs hidden under
cabbages in a pickup truck.
Police traced the truck, driven by Prakit Puapornsawan, age 68 of Chiang
Mai with Nangluck Saraphan age 54, to Li District, Lamphun where they
found 218,000 Yaba pills in a paper box hidden inside 700 kilograms of
cabbage and cauliflower. The couple told police they had been hired by
Sunan Saraphan, age 26 and Thitiwat Nusa, also of Chiang Mai, to carry
the drugs to Charoen Daoduangsook, age 32 of Amnart Chareon Province in
Police went to arrest Charoen in in front of the central fresh market in
Ayutthaya but he attempted to flee the scene and struck a police officer
with the truck in his escape attempt. Police fired at the vehicle,
injuring the driver slightly. Police then arrested Mr. Charoen for
assault and drug trafficking.
In addition to the Yaba pills police found semi-automatic weapons, and
froze the assets of the suspects including six cars, 1,181,000 baht in a
bank account and many other assets.
Workers protest at City Hall on Labor Day
Calls for allowing free movement of migrant workers
Over 120 workers rallied at City Hall to
call for the government to review laws regulating the movement of
migrant workers, remove obstacles to the formations of labor unions, and
ensure the protection of workers’ rights under the law.
Over 120 protestors gathered at City Hall in Chiang Mai on May
2, 2016 to call on the Chiang Mai Governor to review laws regulating the
movement of migrant workers, remove obstacles to the formations of labor
unions, and ensure the protection of workers’ rights under the law.
Members of various groups under the umbrella
of the Northern Workers Network file a petition with a representative of
Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart on Labor Day.
The Northern Workers Network, which consisted of members of a myriad of
organizations including the Foundation for Human Rights and Development,
Foundation to promote women’s opportunities(EMPOWER), MPLUS Foundation,
Thai Yai Women Action Network (SWAN), the Shan Youth Power (SYP), the
Federation of Migrant Workers, Labour Network and many other
organizations and groups, presented a list of complaints to the
government calling for action issues affecting workers in Chiang Mai.
Those complaints included unfairness in the workplace, violations of
workers’ rights, obstacles in establishing more labor unions, unfair pay
for migrant workers, and workers not receiving the rights and
protections established under the labor laws.
They also proposed that the Ministry of the Interior amend the
regulations restricting travel of migrant workers, and ethnic highland
groups as well as address their status and other related issues.
They called on the Chiang Mai Governor and the Ministry of Interior to
appoint a sub-committee for the Chiang Mai Labor Office to help solve
the problems of the health and safety of the workers in the workplace
and ensure that the rights and protections of the Labor Laws are
Japanese government helps remote Mae Hong Son villagers gain access to health services
The Japanese government provided funds to
purchase four wheel drive emergency vehicles in 2013 in Mae La Noi
District in Mae Hong Son and staff traveled to the remote district to
check on progress on April 27, 2016.
The Japanese government, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots
Projects program, assisted the villagers in the remote area of Mae La
Noi District in Mae Hong Son by providing the funding to purchase
off-road vehicles to help provide medical treatment in 2013.
On April 26, 2016 the Consul – General of Japan and the staff from the
Consulate – General in Chiang Mai followed up on the progress of the
project which provided funds of 3,563,000 baht to Mae La Noi Hospital.
The Hospital used the funds to purchase a four wheel drive ambulance, a
four wheel drive truck for mobile medical units, a portable ultra-sound
machine for use in pregnancy tests and a defibrillator.
The handover ceremony took place in February 2013 and members of the
Japanese Consulate – General in Chiang Mai traveled to the remote
district to follow up on the efficacy of the equipment. Staff at the
hospital reported that the trucks and equipment had really improved
services and helped people in the district and nearby areas to get
emergency health services.
Prime Minister reviews efforts to combat forest fires
Drought and smog critical issues in the North
Prayut Chan-ocha visited Chiang Mai with Cabinet ministers to review government
policies on drought and smog.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha visited Chiang Mai on April 27, 2016 to follow
up on government progress on the smoke, wildfire and drought issues facing the
North. At the meeting held at Royal Park Rajapruek the Prime Minister urged the
community to work together to conserve national resources and combat forest
Prayut Chan-ocha was joined by Governor Pawin Chamniprasart, Ministers and
government officials for the meeting reviewing measures to tackle smoke, burning
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Minister M.L. Panadda Diskul, Minister of
Interior Anupong Paojinda and Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Chatchai
Sarikulya at a meeting where Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart reported on
government efforts in wildfire prevention and cooperation from all government
sectors in combatting the wildfire problem during the 60 day burning ban from
February 16 to April 15, 2015.
The Governor said that public awareness was on the rise and more people worked
together to create a model to fight wildfires and expand that model to other
districts and sub - districts.
The Governor also reported on the low volume of water in the upper Ping River
resulting in lower volumes of water distribution since January 2016. He told the
Prime Minister that water was being distributed in 17 shifts totaling 25.8
million cubic meters since January 2016. This will be in operation until the end
He added that many farmers had taken part in low water planting, with 3,399
projects with a 970 million baht budget to allow local people to work and earn
money with new opportunities including agricultural products processing and
community participation in tourism activities. He added that Chiang Mai has been
working to fulfill government policies for sustainable economic practices.
The Prime Minister then gave an award to Mae Chaem District on their projects to
fight burning and also gave agricultural machines from the Ministry of Interior
and distributed money from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative to
support projects that promote agricultural career development based on
community’s requirement to release drought 2015/2016 totaling 22.5 million baht.
A letter was presented to the Governor asking for use of National Forest Reserve
in Mae Chaem and Mae Fang from 14 village headmen. Also twelve artesian aquifers
in 11 areas were approved.
The Prime Minister said that it had been a pleasure to visit Chiang Mai this
time. He added that the government and NCPO are greatly concerned for the
people’s well-being and handed permission letters for making use and living in
national reserved forest area which has been operated in many areas.
He said that the Government will continue this policy in every province where
people have occupied deforested areas for a long time. People receiving the
right of use can trust that they possess the right to live and make use of the
area. He said most wildfires were human caused and not natural. He pointed out
that after cultivating rice and corn farmers burn the fields to prepare for the
next planting. He said this problem must be fixed at the source. He added that
neighboring countries cannot be blamed as the source of the smoke as they have
the same issues and farming procedures as Thailand.
He called on the people to be a leader in ASEAN for reducing smoke and smog,
noting that “First we must turn to look at ourselves. All people in the country
must help together as we are stronger together.”
Instructions were given to the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of National
Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, and Department of Forestry to find
solutions for the watersheds and methods to link the source of water to the
destination. The plan must concern all water users especially people living
downriver. He added “We cannot lose forest and water resources. We must be
careful in solving this problem at the source and it must be done for the whole
system because lack of forests will cause water shortage.”
Man sentenced to life in prison for horrific murder
Para Chusri was arrested by police
for the brutal murder of a 33 year old Roi Et woman in 2015. He
was sentenced to life in prison. (File photo).
The Chiang Mai Court sentenced a 52 year old man to life
in prison for the horrific torture and murder of a woman on
April 14, 2015. The body of 33 year old Samorn Klungdej was
found in the bathroom of a hotel near Chang Klan Road brutally
sodomized by a bottle until it had broken inside her and she
bled to death from the injuries.
Police said the Para Chusri, of Chonburi, confessed that he had
met the victim in a bar after she got off work and they rented a
room after getting drunk in a pub. He claimed that they had
taken an aphrodisiac and that he then sodomized her with a
bottle until it broke.
The courts granted leniency since he had confessed to the crime
and reduced his sentence from the death penalty to life in
prison for murder by physical torture.
Police Chief postpones planned motorcycle bans on Chiang Mai roads
Don Kaew underpass and Airport overpass still open to motorbikes
The Provincial Police chief shelved
plans to ban motorbikes on the Don Kaew underpass and the
The Chiang Mai Provincial Police Chief postponed the planned
prohibition of motorcycles on the Don Kaew underpass and the
Airport overpass stating the planned ban would cause
difficulties and no public hearings had been held on the issue.
Initially the Land Traffic Subcommittee had announced that
motorcycles would be prohibited from using the Airport flyover
and the new Don Kaew underpass on Highway 107 beginning May 1,
According to statistics the number of motorcycle accidents has
leaped in numbers in the past few years. Additionally, the
number of vehicles traveling to the airport has increased
resulting in more accidents between cars and motorcycles. The
Police also originally said the new underpass on Highway 107
didn’t have large enough paved areas off the road.
The trial was set to take place for two months until Provincial
Police Chief Pol. Maj. Gen. Montri Sambunnanont called for a
suspension of the plans and said the plan would be revisited
after public hearings later next month.