Cold spell covers the North
Chiang Mai Mail online reporters
The latest cold snap has resulted in Mae Hong Son authorities
distributing blankets and warm clothes to hill tribes people in the
mountains as temperatures drop to 4 C at night.
The Hmong in Tambon Huaypong in Mae Hong Son received blankets and thick
clothing from District Chief Officer Prasert Osathaphan and other
officials on March 29.
Anant Laolue, 22 said it was cold for three consecutive days, especially
at night; the temperature was as low as 4-5 C and they had to warm
themselves with fire, “We have never touched with this kind of weather,
it was cloudy the whole day with cold wind,” he remarked.
In Chiang Mai, Om Koi residents have seen cattle die from the cold
weather with temperatures reaching 7 C and Doi Inthanon recorded a low
of 5 C on the morning of March 29.
Torrential rains continue in the South with the Royal Thai Navy
evacuating stranded tourists from Koh Tao and Koh Phangan and 9
confirmed deaths due to the heavy rains, flooding and landslides over
the past 5 days.
The Thai Meteorological Department predicts a slight warming trend in
the North from the 1st of April while heavy scattered thundershowers are
predicted across the South but the rain is expected to decrease.
Northern provinces offer aid to Myanmar
Chiang Mai Mail online reporters
10 Provincial Chambers of Commerce across the North have invited the
general public to join them in donating money and items to help their
neighbors in Myanmar, hit by a 6.8 earthquake on the night of March 24.
The Committee of the Economic Quadrangle Project and 10 Provincial
Chambers in the North have conducted a survey of the damage caused by
the earthquake that hit Myanmar’s Shan State’s, Tachilek Province to
estimate the cost of damage.
They found that people were suffering hardship from the effects of the
earthquake so they set up donation program to aid the survivors. Many
relief organizations have helped the quake- hit areas in Tachilek,
Tarlay, Nayong, and Maung Lin, and Mae Sai and Chiang Saen in Chiang Rai
of the northern Thailand.
The earthquake is considered a major disaster for Myanmar with more than
130 people dead and more than 230 injured. It also caused one death and
18 injuries in Northern Thailand.
Pattana Sithisombat, the Committee Chairman of the Economic Quadrangle
Project and 10 provincial chamber of commence in the North, said Myanmar
is a good neighboring country that borders Thailand has long time close
relations with Chiang Rai.
He said donations could be made through the Committee Project at Thai
Military Bank’s Pahoyothin road, Muang District, Chiang Rai No
462-2-10622-9 savings account and then pay in slip could be faxed to 053
- 895255 . Additionally, donation boxes for needed items have been set
up at the Chiang Rai Chamber of Commerce offices at 153 Moo 6 Ban
Pakluay, Tambon Sansai, Muang district, Chiang Rai 57000 Tel (053)
700330 and fax (053) 774880.
Truck catches fire in Lampang
An 18 wheel truck caught fire on the Lampang
On March 29, police in Sobprab district, Lampang rushed out to scene of
a road accident where an 18 wheel truck and trailer lost control and
plunged off the side of the road into the ditch and burst into flames.
The accident occurred on the Superhighway Tak-Lampang road in Ban Mae
Kua, firefighters managed to bring the blaze under control although NGV
gas leaked from the gas tanks installed behind the driver’s seat. Police
assume that the driver lost control on the slippery roads, but he had
fled the scene after the accident.
Pai resident dead in shooting incident with police
A Pai man was shot dead by police after he was stopped by authorities
acting on a drug tip on March 28 in Pai District.
The combined forces of the Mae Hong Son Provincial investigative police,
military officers, Border Patrol Police, and Pai police were on patrol
in Ban Mai Yapo in Pai District after receiving a tip off that drug
smuggling was occurring in the village.
The man, Somboon Bowornsukan, 31 and a resident of Ban Mai Yapo in Pai,
opened fire on the police after they stopped to search. The police
returned fire, killing the man instantly. A search yielded 500 yabaa
tablets and some heroin.
New art and musical festival comes to Chiang Mai
The Jigger Bigger Band is just one of many
acts featured at the Festival scheduled for April 8-10.
Chiang Mai raises curtains to music, arts, artists and culture
extravaganza in the “Chiang Mai Fest 2011” at The Three Kings Monument
and Chiang Mai Arts and Cultural Centre.The 3-day event, which will take
place from April 8 to 10 at The Three Kings Monument, offers an eclectic
mix of arts and culture exposure, ranging from concerts by local and
international artists, dance performances and art exhibitions to a wide
and impressive array of sumptuous culinary experience under the theme
“Music and Dance in the Garden.
”From 5 pm to 10 pm, smile, sway, swing with international beats, and
spoil your senses with a selection of local Thai artists, from divas
like Nantida Kaewbuasai and Lanna Commins to local favorites such as
Manop Manasam, Chang Saton Orchestra, Pom BOYTHAI & Bangkok Xylophone,
traditional Thai music girl band Kamlai as well as Anucha Samaman, well
known for his performance “Play with Mask”.International talents are
also invited to join the extravaganza such as koto player Noriko Tsuboi,
cabaret vocalist Frans Bloem, Holland’s favorite Brass band Jigger
Bigger Band, famed guitarist Gilbert Medam, Scottish bagpipes & Celtic
Band, The Itinerants and Bollywood Indian Dance (with trainer to
encourage people to dance).In addition to those star-studded
performances, art exhibitions are also on display at the Chiang Mai Arts
and Cultural Centre from April 8-30 from 8.30 pm to 5 pm.
Here you can feel mesmerized by extremely talented artists’ work of art,
including the special fusion of watercolor paintings by Eng-on Homsuwan,
scenic paintings by Sa-Ngad Pui-Oak, Buddhist Arts paintings by Pichai
Nirand, oil paintings by Pisarl Thiparat, pottery by Somluk Pantiboon,
and Gilbert Medam’s Art of the 5L: Listening, Looking, Learning, Loving,
Living, Asian Paper Maker (Saa Paper & Okami Paper), traditional Lanna
way of life paintings by Saran Suwannachot, or comtemporary arts on
acrylic, oil paintings on woodboard by Angkrit Ajchariyasophon , etc.
For more information, please contact Chiang Mai Fest call center at
Chiang Mai Fest Schedule of performances
From April 8-10, 2011 5 pm. To 10 p.m. at Three Kings Monument
Friday 8 April 2011
17:00 Opening Ceremony at the Museum (Chiang Mai Arts and Cultural
17:30 Guests visit Art Exhibition - led by ballet dancers
17:45 Guests are escorted to the performance area, beginning with
17:50 Chang Saton – “Play with Mask” - Anucha Sumaman
18:00 Chang Saton – drum and Phoenix Dance by Manop Manasam
19:00 Cabaret music by Frans Bloom
20:00 Nantida Khaewbuasai’s Special Show
21:00 Jigger Bigger Band
Saturday 9 April 2011
17:00 Koto performance by Noriko Tsuboi and team
17:30 Bollywood dance
18:00 Gilbert Medam & Dancers (Bossa Nova Guitar and Brazilian Jazz)
20:00 Pom Boythai and Kamlai (female band)
21:00 Lanna Commins’ Special Show
Sunday 10 April 2011
18:00 Bollywood dance
19:00 The Itinerants (Scottish bagpipes & Celtic Band)
20:00 Pom Boythai and Bangkok Xylophone
21:00 Jigger Bigger Band
6.8 Quake rocks Myanmar and Thailand
Roads were severely damaged from the 6.8
that struck Myanmar and Northern Thailand.
Khajohn Boonpath and Chiang Mai Mail reporters
At least 74 people were reported dead and more than 100 injured in Myanmar
from the powerful 6.8 earthquake that struck on the night of March 24,
according to reports from Myanmar government radio and television stations.
Felt as far away as Bangkok and Hanoi, the quake that struck Myanmar saw the
towns of Tarlay, Tachileik and nearby villages in Burma's Shan state seem to
be the hardest hit.
The station reported that more than 70 bodies were found while some roads
were cut off and hundreds of homes were severely damaged or destroyed in the
quake. The government has sent search and rescue teams to the areas near the
epicenter to aid survivors.
Homes collapsed and many buildings damaged from
the earthquake that has seen a death toll of at least 74 in Myanmar and 1 in
Some roads were impassable forcing rescue teams to walk in and carry
supplies to reach hard hit villages. More than 400 temples, houses and 9
government buildings including a hospital were reportedly damaged in Tarlay
town near the epicenter. The towns of Tarlay, Tachileik and nearby villages
in Burma's Shan state appear to have been most severely affected from the
Chris Herink, Burmese country director for the charity World Vision said
there were reports that the number of people killed had increased.
"The latest unconfirmed number is 140 so it is a worrying trend definitely,"
He added that the numbers of dead were because "it's the time of day
combined with the severity of the quake and also obviously the construction
standards of the homes.”
Mae Hong Son Governor Kamthorn Thavornsatit said that buildings, historical
sites and temples were not seriously damaged by the earthquake which was
just located about 350 kilometers from the town.
Many Northern provinces like Chiang Rai and Nan reported severe damage to
buildings, temples and historical sites with the famous four pagodas of
Chiang Saen in Chiang Rai seeing damage including Chedi Luang, where its
three-meter long pinnacle crashed to the ground, AFP news agency reported.
Chiang Rai Governor Somchai Hatyatanti, said that cracks had been reported
in some buildings. One woman died in Mae Sai when her house collapsed on
In Chiang Mai, no major damage was reported although homeowners reported
cracks in their walls and residents of tall condo buildings evacuated when
the earthquake hit causing the buildings to sway.
Aftershocks continued after the quake as minor tremors could be felt around
Damage estimates continue to be taken and the death toll may rise as reports
filter out of Myanmar.
Happy Birthday to HRH Princess Ubolratana
The Chiang Mai Mail would like to offer birthday wishes to Her Royal
Highness Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Phannavadi. She was born
on April 5, 1951, in Lausanne Switzerland and is the eldest daughter of
Their Majesties the King and Queen. Most recently, HRH Princess Ubolratana
has shown a very keen interest in the way Thailand is being promoted by the
TAT. She is also a very devoted leader of young people in the campaign
against drugs, and as such has instituted and keenly watches over the To Be
Number One project, encouraging family values, music and sport as
alternatives to drug use. She has also set up the Khun Poom project to
assist autistic children in Thailand named after her son who died in the
tsunami disaster of 2004.
Chakri Dynasty commemorated on April 6
Banks and businesses to close in observance of holiday
Chakri Day (April 6) was first instituted by H.M. King Vajiravudh (Rama VI)
in the year 1919 to commemorate all the Kings in the Chakri Dynasty, which
started with Rama I and continues to this day with Rama IX, H.M. King
Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great.
The reigning Kings in the House of Chakri brought peace and tranquility to
the people within Thailand’s borders and successfully protected the Kingdom,
maintaining sovereignty and integrity through crucial periods threatened by
European colonization and two World Wars.
In commemorating Chakri Day, the national flag is proudly displayed by the
people of Thailand and both government officials and members of the
community participate in traditional ceremonies, making offerings of flowers
and garlands at the many statues of Kings in the House of Chakri.
The Chakri Dynasty was ushered in on 6 April 1782 when a close aid of King
Taksin, General Chakri, marched back into Dhonburi and assumed the throne as
H.M. King Buddhayodfa the Great after King Taksin abdicated due to poor
health. Each Monarch thereafter has had Rama as part of their title.
Banks, government offices and most business offices will close on Wednesday,
April 6 in observance of this special day.
Earth Hour March 26, 2011
Chiang Mai Mail online reporters
Chiang Mai honors Earth Hour by turning off all lights at 8:30 PM tonight,
Central Airport Plaza, Chiang Mai Zoo and many other companies,
organizations and venues will join in by turning off their lights at that
Earth Hour was started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 when 2.2 million people
and more than 2,000 businesses turned off their lights to take a stand
against climate change. The idea grew and in March 2009, hundreds of
millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4000 cities in 88
countries/territories officially switched off. This year sees a record
number of countries and territories switching off in a display of unity to
call for action in climate change.
Around the world at 8:30 PM local time, lights will be switched off. Chiang
Mai will join in by switching off as well.
What to Do During an Earthquake
We received this very helpful information from the U.S. Consulate General
and in light of the recent earthquake and subsequent aftershocks here in
Chiang Mai felt it valuable information to pass on to our readers:
Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some
earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur.
Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and if you are
indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting
DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other
piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a
table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch
in an inside corner of the building.
Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that
could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and
protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture
that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you
know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.
Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research
has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to
move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire
alarms may turn on.
DO NOT use the elevators.
Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger
exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls.
Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when
people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from
collapsing walls.Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct
cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from
collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
If in a moving vehicle:
Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping
near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or
ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.
If trapped under debris:
Do not light a match.
Do not move about or kick up dust.
Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is
available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale
dangerous amounts of dust.
Wishing HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn a most happy birthday
On April 2 The Kingdom of Thailand celebrates the most auspicious occasion
of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s birthday. We at the
Chiang Mai Mail join in with our most humble wishes for HRH Princess Maha
Chakri Sirindhorn for a long, healthy and happy life.
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was born on April 2,
1955, the third child of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Thailand.
HRH the Princess studied from kindergarten to high school at Chitralada
School in Bangkok. She ranked first in the National School Examinations in
the primary level (grade 7) in 1967 and in upper secondary level (grade 12)
in 1972. Ranked fourth in the National University Entrance Examination, HRH
the Princess enrolled in the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University and
graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, first class honor, and a gold
medal in History in 1976.
She continued her studies in two graduate programs concurrently, obtaining
an M.A. in Oriental Epigraphy (Sanskrit and Cambodian) from Silpakorn
University in 1978, and an M.A. in Pali and Sanskrit from Chulalongkorn
University in 1980. She enrolled in a doctoral program at Srinakharinwirot
University (former College of Education) in 1981, and was awarded a doctoral
degree in Developmental Education in 1987.
The principle of using education as a means for community and social
development, which HRH the Princess acquired during her doctoral studies
along with her former experiences in the field, has provided her with a
solid base for her subsequent involvement in community development
In addition to her formal degree programs, HRH the Princess has attended
several training courses and workshops to enhance her knowledge and skills
in effective integrated development. These subjects include computer,
cartography, meteorology, survey and photogrammetry, remote sensing and
geographic information system and nutrition.
HRH the Princess has acquired first-hand experiences in working on
development projects initiated by Their Majesties the King and Queen. These
projects involve a number of diversified fields including health and
hygiene, education, water resource development, agriculture and cottage
industry by regularly accompanying Their Majesties on visits to remote areas
since the age of sixteen.
From these experiences, HRH the Princess has developed special interests in
agricultural extension to improve school children’s nutritional conditions;
supports education from pre-school to tertiary levels; and mother and child
care. She has also concentrated on helping the handicapped, especially in
using information technology (IT) to develop independent living and learning
HRH the Princess runs several philanthropic organizations and foundations.
She has been Executive Vice President of the Thai Red Cross Society since
1977; Executive Chairman of the Chaipattana Foundation (in charge of His
Majesty’s development and environmental preservation projects), Ananda
Mahidol Foundation (to promote higher education), the King Rama II
Foundation (to conserve and promote Thai Culture); President of the Sai Jai
Thai Foundation (to support disabled veterans), Prince Mahidol Award
Foundation (to award prizes annually to members of the international
community for outstanding performances in the fields of medicine and public
health); and Adviser of the Committee of Thai Junior Encyclopedia Project by
Royal Command of H.M. the King.
HRH the Princess began her teaching career in 1979 when she started teaching
the General Education Program at Chulalongkorn University. A year later, she
joined the Department of Law and Social Sciences, in the Academic Division
of Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy. Presently she is Director of the
Department of History, and has played an active part in revising its
curriculum. She also supervises the Thai Music Club at the Academy.
Occasionally HRH the Princess gives special lectures at several other
institutions and regularly attends academic conferences and seminars both in
and outside the country.
In addition, HRH the Princess represents Their Majesties in various royal
functions. She also presides over ceremonies as well as other social and
charity functions all through the year. In 1991, HRH the Princess was
awarded the Magsaysay Award for Public Service.
HRH the Princess likes to travel around the Kingdom and abroad to obtain
knowledge of physical geography and peoples’ varied lifestyles. One of her
favorite pastimes is writing articles, poetry and short stories. Proceeds
from her written accounts of her overseas travels are the main source of
income for the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Foundation which was set up
in 1979 to support needy students in schools, vocational colleges and
HRH the Princess loves Thai literature and studies literature of other
countries. She enjoys playing classical Thai instruments and practicing Thai
classical dancing. She also paints and is keen on sports, including jogging,
swimming, biking and trekking - which gives her an opportunity to learn
about plants, trees and geographical features of the areas.
In addition to her knowledge of Pali, Sanskrit and Cambodian, HRH the
Princess is communicative in both English and French and has been learning
Chinese, German and Latin.
Chiang Mai residents donate 350,000 baht to Japan
Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn presents a symbolic
check for 350,000 Baht from the people of Chiang Mai to Japanese Consul
General Kazuo Shibata on March 22, 2011.
By Shana Kongmun
Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn and representatives from various local
organizations and temples donated 350,000 baht collected from around the
city to present to Japanese Consul General Kazuo Shibata on Tuesday, March
22, 2011 at the Japanese Consulate General on Mahidol Road.
Mayor Tussanai said that City residents had collected 350,000 baht for
disaster relief, “It’s not a lot compared to the disaster but it shows the
close relations between Thailand and Japan; relations that go back to the
Ayutthaya period when Japanese soldiers helped Thais. And more recently when
the Prince Akihito of Japan introduced the Pla Nin or Tilapia to Thailand to
help the Thai people and it became an important and popular fish.”
He added that the Thai people offered their deepest sympathies to Japan on
this terrible disaster.
Consul General Kazuo Shibata said, that the earthquake and tsunami were far
worse than originally expected and that this was the worst disaster Japan
had seen in many hundreds of years. However, he said, “Many Thai people
expressed their condolences and sympathies to the Japanese people. We feel
their sympathy and “nam jai” and that has been a very important present for
Japanese people still suffering from the disaster.”
350,000 baht was collected from various points around the city including the
Sunday Walking Street Market, the Night Bazaar, Waroros and temples over the
5 days from March 14 – 19, 2011. A guest book for members of the public to
offer their sympathies is located in front of the Japanese Consulate General
offices in the Business Park building on Mahidol Road.
3.1 earthquake in Pai
A minor earthquake shook Pai district in Mae Hong Son on March 21, measuring
at 3.1 on the Richter scale. There were no reports of injuries or serious
damage according to Adichart Surin, the Director of the Geology Division of
the Department of Mineral Resources and Seismology Monitoring Center.
The tremor occurred at 6.23 p.m. and the epicenter was at Tambon Wiangnue in
Adichart noted that the high risk provinces for earthquakes are Mae Hong
Son, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Phayao in the North.
“It is very often that the tremors with seismic centers were found in these
provinces because the faults are mostly located in Northern Thailand.
Last July 26 last year, 6 small earthquakes were reported in Pai and
residents in Mae Sarieng district and other nearby districts also felt the
Fugitive Rak Chiang Mai 51 leader surrenders to police
Chiang Mai Mail online reporters
A Rak Chiang Mai 51 Group member one of the core leaders of the group
surrendered to the police station in Mae Ping on March 21, 2011. He denied
all charges and was released on 100,000 baht bail.
Phetchawat Wattanapongsirikul fled to another country in January when he was
initially charged with violating national security and damaging government
buildings during the political riots last year.
He surrendered to Pol Lt Col Ithirat Sanpanya of the Mae Ping Police
Station, after an arrest warrant was issued for him in January. At the
police station, Phetchawat was met by about 100 red shirt supporters,
including Phrakru Suthepsithikhun, the abbot of Wat Sriboonruang.
Phetchawat was accused of invading and destroying government offices,
insulting the former Provincial Police Region 5 commissioner Pol Lt Gen
After his release on bail he said he will fight against the charges, adding
that he surrendered to the authorities because he was asked by ‘Pu Lak
PuYai’ (influential and senior persons) who suggested it to him since the
general elections are expected soon.
He added that he was a member of Puea Thai Party and that he plans to help
them campaign in the future.
Hundreds of birds found dead in Lampang and Phayao
Cold snap suspected culprit
Thaweerat Pensalaphan and CMM online reporters
The recent unseasonal cold snap is the suspect in the deaths of hundreds of
swiftlets that were found dead in Lampang and Phayao Provinces.
On March 18, dozens of birds were found dead in Tambon Ban Sa, Jaehorm
district, Lampang by villagers. They reported that they looked like they had
died from the cold.
The swiftlets are under the country’s wildlife protection and preservation
law as one of endangered species.
The villagers said the swiftlets had migrated and come to live in the rich,
green and fertile mountain forests near the village for more than 3 weeks.
They said each year in summer the birds migrate there.
Villagers collected bodies to send to the Provincial Livestock Office to
test further on the cause of death.
The weather in 13 districts of Lampang was very cold with temperatures
dropping to 14-16 C on the low flat lands and to 10 C in the hills and
Phayao residents also reported that hundreds of swiftlets were found lying
dead and samples were also sent to the Provincial Livestock Office to make
certain that Bird Flu is not the cause of death.
On March 19, Aree Tanbanchong, Chief of the Phayao Public health Office,
said she was coordinating with the Provincial Livestock Office to collect
samples to determine cause of death. Officials initially assumed that the
rapid change of weather might be the cause of their deaths.
Japanese government provides vocational training for disabled in Mae Hong Son
Consul General for Japan, Kazuo Shibata,
standing right, is seen here presenting the grant for a new training center
for the disabled to Dr. Thaweesak Mahachawaroj, Chairman of the Christian
Service Foundation (Baptist) in Mae Hong Son.
The Government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human
Security Projects Scheme (GGP), is providing funds amounting to 3,363,200
baht for The Project for Promoting Vocational Training for People with
Disabilities in Mae Sariang District, Mae Hong Son Province. On March 21,
2011, Mr. Kazuo Shibata, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Dr.
Thaweesak Mahachawaroj, Chairman of the Christian Service Foundation
(Baptist), jointly signed the funding contract for the project at the
Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai.
Mae Sariang and neighboring districts; Sop Moei, Mae La Noi, and Khun Yuam,
are mountainous with many residents from ethnic minorities. In these four
districts, about 2,240 residents are registered as people with disabilities.
For many of them, it is difficult to find work due to limited opportunities
to receive rehabilitation, education, and vocational training as well as
language differences and social bias against them. As a result, they tend to
depend on their families economically. Therefore, it is necessary to empower
them by providing vocational training and work opportunities according to
their type and degree of disabilities, and to generate additional income to
improve their quality of life.
The Christian Service Foundation (Baptist), which promote education and
manages hospitals and welfare centers established for the underprivileged,
has made one of its properties at Mae Sariang District available for
activities conducted by a non-profit organization, the Christian Center for
the Development of People with Disabilities. The Christian Center, whose
target areas are Mae Sariang, Sop Moei, Mae La Noi, and Khun Yuam Districts,
provides welfare services for people with disabilities in remote mountainous
areas, school preparation programs and special education for children with
disabilities, vocational training in handicrafts for people with
disabilities, and support for income generating activities by their
families. However, one of the buildings for the activities is wooden and
more than 50-years-old, and is too decrepit and structurally unsuitable for
In response to a request from the Foundation, the Government of Japan has
decided to provide funds for the construction of a center to promote
vocational training for people with disabilities. It will include two
vocational training and work rooms for people with disabilities as well as a
seminar room to be utilized for income generating activities by family
members and awareness raising activities for community members. In addition,
since a dormitory room and a toilet and shower room for the disabled will be
prepared, it will make the center accessible for those living in remote
mountainous areas. It is expected that vocational training and other
activities will be conducted by the Christian Center more efficiently and
effectively, helping people with disabilities and their families in
Maesariang and neighboring districts to generate additional income and
resulting in an improvement in the quality of life. For more information,
please contact Mr. Sato, Consul, or Ms. Hoshii, Ms. Hamaguchi, Coordinators
for GGP. Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai. 053-203-367.
Chiang Mai offers condolences to Japan
PAO President Boonlert Buranupakorn and Chiang
Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn offer their condolences to Kazuo Shibata,
Consul General for Japan in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai Mail online reporters
Chiang Mai City and Provincial officials sent condolence messages to Japan
on behalf of the people of Chiang Mai. Japan faces the worst natural
disaster in its history after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake triggered tsunami
waves that wiped out much of the northern coastal areas and triggered major
crises at a nuclear power plant.
Boonlert Buranupakorn, President of Chiang Mai Provincial Administrative
Organization (PAO) and Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn offered
condolences to the Japanese people in this terrible disaster in a meeting
with Japanese Consul General Kazuo Shibata, on Monday, March 14, at the
Japanese Consulate General in Chiang Mai.
Donation centers have been set up in front of the Chiang Mai PAO and
Municipal offices so that residents can help aid victims of the earthquake
Cash donations through the Japan Tsunami Victims Relief Center, Chiang Mai
can be made at Krung Thai Bank, Kuangsing Branch Account number
JJ market organizers of the Japanese Festival to be held on March 19 at 6
p.m. will take donations for the victims as well as run fund raising
activities along side the performances of Japanese art, music and shops
offering Japanese goods.
Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul has donated items for auction as have
other TV and film starts. Proceeds from the auction will go to helping
survivors in Japan.
For information, please contact 053-231517, 053-231520-5 ext 108,
083-208-7592, 086-9174331, 084-0405821or [email protected],
[email protected], [email protected], www.jjchiangmai.com.
Chiang Mai Creative City moves ahead
Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul is joined by U.S.
Consul General Susan Stevenson, Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn and Rev. Dr.
Pradit Takernrangsarit, President of Payap University, Martin
Venzky-Stalling and other CMCC committee members.
By Shana Kongmun
At a meeting held at Chiang Mai University on Friday, March 18, 2011 saw the
Chiang Mai Creative City (CMCC) initiative receive the support of Chiang Mai
Governor ML Panadda Diskul and the announcement that the Ministry of Culture
supports Chiang Mai’s initiative to apply for UNESCO’s Creative City
designation gave the burgeoning movement a good push forward.
The meeting, chaired by the CMCC Chair Asst. Prof. Dr. Nat Vorayut saw Mayor
Tussanai Buranupakorn and U. S. Consul General Susan Stevenson join the
panel with committee member Martin Venzky-Stalling and Rev. Dr. Pradit
Takernrangsarit, President of Payap University.
In addition to the revelation that the Ministry of Culture supported a bid
by Chiang Mai for a folk arts and crafts designation in the UNESCO Creative
Cities Network was that they also plan to promote Pattaya in the field of
Film and Phuket in Gastronomy.
The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was instituted in 2005 and now
encompasses 25 cities in categories including, design, media arts, music,
and literature in addition to film, gastronomy and folk arts. The program
aims to celebrate and maintain cultural diversity by allowing cities to
promote their local heritage in a sustainable way that focuses on not just
their past but their way forward and to adapt and harness the proliferation
of technology and social development to further a city’s product of
Dr. Nat Vorayut told the gathering that he felt the CMCC initiative could
“create more opportunity for the people of Chiang Mai and make sure
development is sustained and environmentally aware.”
Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul remarked that he had been following the
proceedings of the CMCC with great interest and enthusiasm.
“The CMCC is an excellent initiative,” the Governor said, “economically,
socially and culturally the increased branding of Chiang Mai would help all
of us to attract more investment and development, create more jobs and
opportunities for the citizens of Chiang Mai, development that is based on
Chiang Mai’s strengths.”
He continued, “We will make it a core part of our strategy working with the
Government in Bangkok to ask their full support. I look forward to working
with the Mayor on this initiative.”
“This is particularly inspiring because it has been led by Chiang Mai
University and others in the private sector and not by the government. There
are already many relevant and ongoing projects; the Creative Lanna Economy
Project, the Department of Intellectual Property’s Creative Economy project
and the Mayor’s efforts to make Chiang Mai cleaner and greener.”
He noted, “Chiang Mai is a beautiful city with beautiful people, the Rose of
the North it has been called, with a beautiful culture and rich history. I
am convinced if we work together peacefully we can achieve great things.”
After a discussion by Martin Venzky-Stalling iterating the strengths and
weaknesses of Chiang Mai, U.S. Consul General Susan Stevenson noted the U.S.
has been a supportive force in the Creative Economy process, suggested that
the Design category would allow Chiang Mai to grow and diversify and bring
more diversity to the economy. Rev. Dr. Pradit felt that Chiang Mai should
be more daring and try for Design.
Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul agreed, however he felt that Chiang Mai should
“focus on the things we can do for certain.” He suggested that Chiang Mai
might find application for the Folk Arts category more successful and that
achievement of the Folk Arts designation would see Design flow
Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Art, Media and Technology has been
advising the Ministry of Culture and will offer their research on the
subject at the next month.
5 dead in accident in Lampang
The Isuzu pickup truck was totaled and resulted
in the deaths of 5 men when it hit a tree in Lampang.
Thaweerat Pensalaphan and CMM online reporters
5 men were killed when the pickup truck they were riding in slammed into a
tree after returning from an engagement party. Police suspect that the
driver was drunk and was driving at a high speed on the rain slick roads
when he lost control on the Paholyothin Road in Sobrpap in Lampang on March
The driver, Sri Khamwan, 53, a resident of Tambon Maekua and a passenger
were seriously injured in the accident and sent to Lampang Hospital. The
injured passenger died on the way to the hospital while 4 men, all also
residents of Maaekua were found dead at the scene.
Police suspect that Sri was drunk and lost control of the car.
Phayao also saw a deadly accident on March 14, where four women were killed
when a tour bus carrying passengers to Chiang Rai overturned after swerving
to avoid a motorcycle. Police were called to the scene in Maeka in Phayao
after the Chokrunthawee Tour bus on the Phuket-Bangkok-Chiang Rai router
overturned around 4 a.m.
The bus driver Kongphan Kanharuang, 45, told the police that he drove the
bus with 30 passengers on board leaving Bangkok and heading for Chiang Rai
when a motorcycle cut in front of the bus and as he swerved to avoid the
motorcycle he lost control and the bus overturned, killing the four women.
Raw opium worth 1m baht uncovered in Mae Hong Son
Two Myanmar nationals were arrested with 12.8 kg
of opium in Mae Hong Son.
Soldiers arrested two suspects with a haul of raw opium worth one million
baht on March 16 at the Ban Nampiengdin Border pass in Phabong in Mae Hong
Son. Soldiers discovered a man and woman smuggling raw opium from Kayah
state in Myanmar into Thailand with the intent of refining it into heroin.
On March 17, Thanin Supasaen, Deputy Governor of Mae Hong Son, Col. Boonyuen
Inkwang, Deputy Commander of the Regiment, and Pol. Maj. Gen Kasemsant
Bunyakarn, the commander of Mae Hong Son Provincial Police announced that
two suspects had been arrested with 12.8 kg of raw opium worth 1,200,000
The two suspects were identified as Mr. Plae, surname unknown, 43, a Tai Yai
with Myanmar nationality, who lives in Tambon Mokchampae, Mae Hong Son, and
Mrs. Jaeng (surname unknown), 24, a Myanmar national who lives in Tambon
Phabong, Mae Hong Son.
They were arrested on the road to Mae Hong Son on their way to deliver the
drugs for refinement. They confessed that they worked on a construction site
in Mae Hong Son and were hired to smuggle the opium to the meeting point for
160,000 Baht. They were detained at the Ban Nampiengdin Police Station for
further questioning and were accused of possessing the drugs with intent to
New Zealand issues caution for travelers to Chiang Mai
By Chiang Mai Mail online reporters
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs for New Zealand issued a health advisory on
March 17, 2011.
“We are aware of 6 recent unexplained deaths in Chiang Mai, including of one
New Zealander. The cause of death is unknown, and the results to date are
inconclusive although there has been speculative media comment linking the
deaths to local food markets.
It is recommended that travellers take general preventative health measures
including paying attention to personal hygiene, eating only hot food and
drinking clean water. Those who experience severe sudden multiple vomiting
with or without diarrhoea, should seek medical attention immediately.
The Governor and authorities in Chiang Mai have asserted that Chiang Mai is
safe for tourists. However, in light of the lack of any clear explanation of
the recent deaths, it is up to individual travellers themselves to determine
the risks of travelling there.”
Chiang Mai Governor reported at a press conference earlier this month that
authorities were sending samples overseas for testing. Recent reports
indicate that Sarah Carter, the New Zealand girl, died from the echovirus.
However, since then the Department of Disease Control has reported that
Sarah Carter, American Soraya Vorster, 33 and an unnamed French woman died
around the same time but were staying at different hotels. An elderly
British couple died at the same hotel as Sarah Carter but authorities have
concluded it was a coincidence. The death of Thai guide Waraporn
Yinghasawanont remains unexplained.
Chiang Mai Mail online reporters
The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (Public
Organization) based in Chiang Mai reported that the full moon on the evening
of March will be a super moon, when the moon makes its closest approach to
Earth in 18 years.
The moon will be the biggest on the night of March 19 or early morning of
March 20, around 2 a.m. when the orbit of the moon takes it within 356,577
kilometers from earth making the moon appear about 2-3 percent larger.
The average distance between the Earth and the moon is about 382.900 kms as
the moon moves in orbit around the earth from West to East, the nearest
point is called the perigee and the furthest the apogee.
The last big full moon was seen on December 12, 2008. Scientists point out
that this natural phenomenon, which occurs regularly, is not cause for
Akha in Mae Chaen gain help from Japan
The Government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human
Security Projects Scheme (GGP), is providing funds amounting to 3,440,700
baht for “The Project for the Construction of a Training Center for Ethnic
Minorities in Maechan District, Chiang Rai Province”. On March 15, 2011, Mr.
Kazuo Shibata, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Mr. Kraisit
Sitthichodok, Director of Association for Akha Education and Culture in
Thailand, jointly signed the funding contract for the project at the
Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai.
Many Akha people living in Northern Thailand, especially Chiang Rai，Chiang
Mai，and Lamphang Provinces, have limited opportunities to gain occupational
skills necessary to improve their income. In addition, the introduction of
new ways of life to their communities has made it difficult for them to
sustain their ethnic customs and culture. At the same time, they are facing
new issues relevant to such changes, such as health problems caused by
agricultural chemicals, the rise of life-style related diseases, devastation
of forests, decline of natural resources and human rights issues arising
from economic and social differences. Therefore, they increasingly feel it
necessary to learn indigenous occupational skills and alternative health
management so that they can have more options for occupations in mountainous
areas, improves their income, and reduces problems involving health, the
environment and human rights.
The Association for Akha Education and Culture in Thailand, which mainly
targets Akha people and communities in Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Lampang,
Phayao, Phrae, Tak, and Phetchabun Provinces, has provided activities for
young people, training and seminars on occupational skills and human rights
for women and elderly groups, and environmental protection including
alternative energy and waste treatment. Moreover, through the network with
Akha groups in Laos, China and Myanmar, the Association has also conducted
seminars on health management, education for children, and prevention of
human trafficking. However, due to the limitation of existing facilities for
such activities, a new building is required to implement training and
seminars more effectively and efficiently.
In response to a request from the Association, the Government of Japan has
decided to provide funds to construct a center and purchase equipment which
will be utilized for training and seminars on indigenous occupational skills
and alternative health management. In Northern Thailand, the Government of
Japan has assisted projects to promote educational, medical and welfare
services for ethnic minorities through GGP，as well as supporting the
construction of a learning center for self-reliance of ethnic minorities in
Phrao District,Chiang Mai Province. Through this assistance for the
Association, it is expected that the center will be utilized effectively by
many Akha people, resulting in empowerment and income generation. For more
information, please contact:Mr. Sato, Consul, or Ms. Hoshii，Ms. Hamaguchi,
Coordinators for GGP
Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai. 053-203-367.