NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chang Puak sees fiercely contested Mayoral contest

Border cooperation in Mae Hong Son

Mai Ai clash yields 300,000 yabaa pills

Lampang officials concerned about further food poisoning outbreaks

Gruelling run to raise funds for charity

Cobra Gold wraps up for another year

Romantic weddings on Valentine’s Day

Dedication of new meditation center

 

Chang Puak sees fiercely contested Mayoral contest

Prasarn Janeruamjit (left) shakes hands with his opponent, Kachen Chiakkhajorn (right)
at the registration for the Mayoral contest for Chang Puak Municipality.

Saksit Meesubkwang

Registration for the application to run for the position of Mayor of Chang Puak Municipality opened on February 21 and remains open until the 25th of February in a contest that sees the Democrats and Pheua Thai parties contesting hotly for the position.

Sub. Lt. Suwit Phetmee, Chairman of the local Election Commission opened applications for the upcoming elections of Mayor and Municipal Council Members for Chang Puak. Registration ends February 25 and the election is set for Sunday, March 27, 2011.

The Hug Chang Puak group led by Prasarn Janeruamjit with 6 council members and backed by the Democrat Party, the Chang Puak Khunnatham group led by Kachen Chiakajorn, also with 6 council members, backed by the Pheua Thai Party, are the two main contenders but an independent party has also applied to run in the contest.

Attorney Prasarn Janeruamjit, advisor to the Central Election Commission and Kachen Chiakkhajorn, a former secretary for the Chiang Mai Mayor as well as the advisor to Mayor of Chang Puak Municipality, are the two main candidates for Mayor.

It has been reported that both parties are backed by the national political parties for the upcoming election. Election Commission Chairman Sub - Lt Suwit Phetmee has reported receiving complaints regarding the upcoming election and said the Commission is working hard to make it fair and clean for both parties.


Border cooperation in Mae Hong Son

Khajohn Boonpath

Mae Hong Son has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation on border trade and tourism between Muang Mae Hong Son district chief officer Prasert Osataphan of Thailand and Ban Mai district chief officer Maj. Gen. Gyi Wun of Myanmar on February 21, 2011.

The agreement renews border trade and travel at the Ban Nam Pieng Din checkpoint in Mae Hong Son, and will help boost the economies on both sides of the checkpoint. Under the agreement, both sides will allow nationals to cross over at the pass, open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will help develop tourism spots together. Thailand will organize training courses in tourism skills for Myanmar. The border markets will be promoted for tourists and visitors to shop for local goods. They also agreed to work together to fight drug, arms and human trafficking across the border, and work to avoid conflict.

Maj Gen Gyi Wun, Ban Mai District Chief Officer of Myanmar noted that the Myanmar government now allows Kayah State authorities to work independently with Mae Hong Son on trade and tourism issues.

District Chief Officer Prasert of Mae Hong Son added that they are ready to increase trade and tourism across the borders so as to help the local economies of both districts.


Mai Ai clash yields 300,000 yabaa pills

Chiang Mai Mail online reporters

A deadly clash in the Mae Ai District along the border saw two smugglers killed and 300,000 yabaa pills seized by the Pha Muang Task Force on February 21, 2011.

The Special Task Force was patrolling the border about 2 kilometers from Ban Arsu when they uncovered a group smuggling drugs over the border around 2:30 a.m. The ensuing gun battle left two of the smugglers dead but the other 5 or 6 men dropped their backpacks and fled back over the border into Myanmar. The rangers found 300,000 yabaa pills in 3 backpacks and an M-16.


Lampang officials concerned about further food poisoning outbreaks

Chiang Mai Mail online reporters

Public Health officials are concerned that the coming hot season could see further outbreaks of food poisoning like the one that struck 65 students at a Lampang school last week.

Dr. Chalermchai Wuthipitthayamongkol, the acting head of the Lampang Public Health Office, said that with the change of weather people should be aware of food spoiling quickly in the heat and to take care of the food they eat. He warned people to make certain the food was clean and cooked thoroughly. He also warned vendors to make sure they wash their hands and to wash utensils thoroughly, warning people that they should make sure their spoons and forks are clean before eating in a bid to reduce food poisoning outbreaks during the summer.


Gruelling run to raise funds for charity

Mark Stevenson is off to Chile soon

Mark Stevenson is more than just a pretty face it would seem. The well known and charming husband of U.S. Consul General Susan Stevenson, this native of the United Kingdom has been in training for an upcoming marathon that can only be described as grueling. The Atacama Crossing starts March 7, a 250 kilometer 6 day run across the Atacama in Chile at altitudes of 3,000 meters sees competitors from all over the world and is part of the Racing the Planet series.

Mark is not just entering this race for the challenge or the thrill or even to see a uniquely beautiful, remote part of the world, but to also raise funds for charity. Shelterbox is a disaster relief organization that provides families in disaster hit areas with a box containing a tent, water filtration, stoves, pans and basic tools. Shelterbox has a proven track record since 2001 in providing boxes of aid that provide shelter, warmth and dignity to people in immediate need. http://www.shelterbox.org/about.php.

Mark hopes to raise enough money to purchase ten boxes, at a cost of 490 per box or, at today’s rates about 24,000 baht each box, or a total of 242,000 baht to help those in need. See his site for more information and help cheer on the latest edition to the Chiang Mai community! http://www.justgiving.com/Mark-Stevenson0.


Cobra Gold wraps up for another year

U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand Kristie Kenney visited Chiang Mai on Friday, February 18, for the second time in two weeks, to attend the closing ceremony of the 2011 Cobra Gold exercises. This year marks the 30th round of the joint U.S.-Thai exercises, now one of the largest multilateral training events in the world. Over 13,000 troops from seven nations participated this year, the largest contingent ever.

In her remarks, Ambassador Kenney highlighted the importance of U.S.-Thai friendship and thanked the Thai government and people for hosting Cobra Gold 2011. The Ambassador said, “Thailand is the United States’ oldest friend in Asia, and what began as a two-country military exercise has become one of the world’s most successful training events with participants from across the region.

“The Ambassador emphasized that the Cobra Gold program was not just about improving military skills. “The young men and women of our militaries have worked together to help improve the lives of the Thai people. They have built schools throughout Thailand, brought needed healthcare to families in rural areas, and donated clothing and shoes to families in need.”

Following the ceremony, Ambassador Kenney met with Burmese women leaders and with members of Chiang Mai’s Creative City initiative and local U.S. business owners. In addition, the Ambassador toured Waroros Market, also known as Kad Luang, to commemorate its 100th anniversary. She enjoyed seeing the regional customs and goods of northern Thailand while witnessing the vibrancy of the local economy. On her way to the airport, the Ambassador stopped by the Nimmanhaemin Starbucks, a U.S. franchise, to enjoy a beverage before her trip back to Bangkok. (PR).
 

 

Romantic weddings on Valentine’s Day

The National Institute for Elephants and the Lampang Provincial Authorities organize
a Valentine’s Day wedding on elephant back annually.

Saksit Meesubkwang and Thaweerat Pensalaphan

Chiang Mai hosted special wedding days for couples on Valentine’s Day by offering a marriage registration and wedding on a hot air balloon. At the Kanjanapisek grounds behind Chiang Mai City Hall, Adisorn Kamnerdsiri, Muang district chief office, along with Boonlert Buranupakorn, the President of Chiang Mai Provincial Administrative Organization, opened the wedding registration public services for the 9 couples chosen for the unique wedding.

One of the couples chosen to celebrate their wedding on a hot air balloon behind Chiang Mai City Hall.

Chiang Mai Zoo also held the Valentine’s Day celebration for Chuang Chuang and Lhin Hui, the parents of the young panda Lhin Ping with staff preparing a special meal of red grapes, cherries and apples.

Lampang authorities offered special wedding celebrations on elephant back with a theme of “We love each other and we love elephants”, the National Institute for Elephants and the Lampang Provincial authorities saw 9 couples who have been married for more than 30 years show up at the ceremony. Lampang Governor Athikhom Suphanpong praised the couples for their love and dedication to each other saying they are models for the younger generation.

The wedding ceremony on elephant back is organized annually to celebrate Valentine’s Day and to promote the preservation of Thailand’s elephants.


Dedication of new meditation center

Master Ruma, well known spiritual leader of the Master Ruma Foundation, recently arrived in Chiang Mai from the United States to preside over the official opening and dedication of the Master Ruma Foundation. The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held at the Praipanwana Resort in Baan Pong on Feb. 13. The event was attended by approximately 200 of his disciples, Monks, and guests, representing eight different countries. The Master Ruma Foundation (MRF) was granted its license and officially recognized by the Thai Government in November 2010. Based on the teachings and spiritual guidance of Master Ruma, the MRF is dedicated to the promotion of meditation (specifically the Light and Sound Meditation Method), vegetarianism, and charitable efforts in behalf of the poor and disenfranchised peoples of Thailand. The MRF sponsors free meditation instruction and vegetarian cooking classes every Sunday morning. For further information contact 0878012117 or [email protected]