HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Region 5 police confiscate 14 stolen pickup trucks

Drug traffickers see assets worth more than 8 million baht seized

Siam Cat Fanciers at Central Airport Plaza

Chiang Mai Fest this weekend!

Chiang Mai cleans up for Songkran

Poy Sang Long Festival

Rabies vaccinations available

Meet the Consuls

William “Bill” Young 1934-2011

Chiang Mai splashes into Songkran

Songkran Festival Program April 2011

Donated goods sent to Japan

Former soldier arrested for drug trafficking in Chiang Dao


Region 5 police confiscate 14 stolen pickup trucks

Pol Lt Gen. Chaiya Siri-amphankul, the Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5
and the seized stolen trucks that had been sold illegally at city second hand markets.

Saksit Meesubkwang

The Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5 confiscated 14 stolen pickup trucks with fake registration documents in the city that were going to be sold to second hand dealers in Chiang Mai. All 14 trucks had been sold illegally to customers.

Chiang Mai Police believe there is a network of car thieves under the control of an “influential person” stealing vehicles in the Central region and smuggling them up to Chiang Mai in the second hand car markets.

Pol Lt Gen. Chaiya Siri-amphankul, the Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5 said the police had seized trucks of all brands; from Toyota to Isuzu which were sold on to unwitting clients of the second hand markets with fake registratations. He said the gang members used old registered documents from old cars or pickups..

The Commissioner said the ring of car thieves would use registered documents from totaled or old cars or pickup trucks from garages in the Upper North to register the stolen vehicles.
Police intend to further investigation to try and break the ring of thieves.

Drug traffickers see assets worth more than 8 million baht seized

Pol Maj Gen Somsak Chantaping with the two drug suspects arrested
on April 7 in Chiang Mai.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai police arrested two drug dealers, seizing assets of one of them worth more than 8 million baht on April 6, 2011 Pol Maj Gen Somsak Chantaping, the Commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police announced at a press conference on April 7.

On April 6, the Drug Suppression Police of the Chiang Mai Provincial Police arrested a Mae Rim woman with 1,800 yabaa pills in the parking lot of a karaoke bar on Prachasamphan Road in Chang Klan district. She later confessed to police that she was delivering the drugs for a man who police arrested near the 3rd Ring Road.

There the police arrested a Saraphi man with 110,000 Baht in cash and a handgun.
Police then searched his house in Saraphi and land in Lamphun and seized assets worth more than 8 million Baht including his house, land, cars, motorcycles and gold jewelry.

Both were charged with possession with the intent to sell while the man was additionally charged with carrying a weapon without a permit.

Pol Maj Gen Somsak noted that since beginning of the 2011, the police have arrested more than 1,300 drug suspects. The largest ever in the province.

Phrao police arrested two drug suspects with 40,000 ya baa speed pills in their car at police checkpoint on April 7.

Phrao police was led by Pol Col Piyaphan Pattarapongsilp, Superintendent, set up a roadblock on the Chai Prakarn – Phrao Road in Sansai, Phrao district where they intercepted the car with the suspects and drugs. The suspects fled into a nearby forest however, the police apprehended the two men, both residents of Tak Province. The two men were charged with possession of drugs with the intent to sell.

Siam Cat Fanciers at Central Airport Plaza

The Siam Cat Show will be held from April 16 -17 at Central Plaza, Chiang Mai Airport. The Siam Cat Fanciers Club will be holding a cat show at the International Stage level at Central Aiport Plaza open to the public. Judged by an honorary committee of International judges from the Cat Fanciers Association, the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats, the event will also feature booths and displays offering cat and pet food from Royal Canin and others, toys, information and more.

The cats will be available for viewing as well as meeting at the event that will feature all breeds in a ring show. Judging begins at 10 a.m.

Chiang Mai Fest this weekend!

Schedule of performances

From April 8-10, 2011 5 pm. To 10 p.m. at Three Kings Monument

Friday 8 April 2011
16:30 Registration
17:00 Opening Ceremony at the Museum (Chiang Mai Arts and Cultural Centre)
17:30 Guests visit Art Exhibition - led by ballet dancers
17:45 Guests are escorted to the performance area, beginning with Scottish pipe
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

Chiang Mai cleans up for Songkran

Chiang Mai cleans up in preparation for the Songkran festivities.

Chiang Mai Mail online reporters

Chiang Mai turned out on April 2 to clean the city up in preparation for the upcoming Songkran festival. The Chiang Mai municipality along with Chiang Mai Provincial Administrative Organization, and Siam Commercial Bank cleaned up along the city gate and moats, so as to make the city ground and moat water clean and safe for Songkran revelers to splash water.

Security and safety guards and officers will be deployed during Songkran from April 11-15 and a helmet wearing campaign will be launched in a bid to lower accidents in the city during the festival.
Chatree Chuamano, Deputy Mayor, presided over the clean up, saying it was also an auspicious day celebrating the birthday of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn as well as marking Thai Heritage Preservation Day.

He added that these activities were held to make Chiang Mai a clean and welcoming environment for visitors on the Thai New Year celebrations at Tha Pae gate grounds first. He noted that the water in the city moats was clean and safe enough for swimming, playing, and splashing.

“The city has also set up 13 security and safety check- points manned by officers, guards, and rescue teams around the city to help the public,” he said.

Poy Sang Long Festival

In imitation of the Buddha’s life, boys dress up in the finery of princes before giving up the outside world and joining the temple in a traditional hilltribes ceremony.

Khajohn Boonpath

The traditional Tai Yai ceremony of Look Kaew or Poy Sang Long kicked off this week on April 4 when grand processions were held in Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai. This unique event features novices dressed in elaborate finery paraded around on the shoulders of relatives before entering the monkhood.

In this unique tradition, the boys dress up like princes to imitate the Lord Buddha who was himself a prince before eschewing the secular life. They spend the three days before ordination being carried around on the shoulders of the older male relatives before taking the vows and joining the temple on the third day.

Mae Hong Son saw more than 50 Look Kaew novices going along city roads to pay respects to Buddhist monks in city temples. This is part of the traditional ordination ceremony in this Tai Yai tradition.

Mae Hong Son saw the festival held from April 4-7, while other Poy Sang Long ceremonies were held from April 6-10 in the villages such as Nai Soi in Pangmoo in Mae Hong Son where more than 90 novices will take part. Wat Pa Pao in Chiang Mai held their ceremonies from April 4-6.

From April 11-13 the ceremony is held at Ban Ruam Thai (Pang Oong) in Tambon Mok Champae with about 25 Look Kaew novices, and from April 18-21 in Ban Mae Sanga in Tambon Pangmoo where 40 Look Kaew novices will attend.

Rabies vaccinations available

The public is encouraged to bring their pets
 in for free rabies vaccinations from April 7-May 24.

Chiang Mai Mail online reporters

Chiang Mai Municipality is providing rabies vaccinations for pets in order to help the spread of rabies. In addition to the rabies vaccination, shots for getting rid of ticks and fleas and birth control will be on offer. However, the birth control shots are a temporary measure and pet owners should get their pets sterilized.

Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn said this is a public service to help prevent the spread of rabies. Rabies becomes more prevalent in the hot summer season and so the Municipality is working aggressively to fight the spread of the disease.

Veterinarians are offering services under the project launched by Office of Public Health and Environment. The Veterinary staff provides the vaccination services to pets in the municipal area from now until May 24, from 4.30 p.m. – 8.30 p.m.

The schedule for vaccinations beginning from April 7-May 24:

Nakhon Ping District:
7 April: Wat Papaeng- Wangsingkham, Sri Mongkol, Ku Tao Pattana
8 April: Chiang Yuen, Wat Papao, Moo Ban Oon-aree
11 April: Chetawan, Chompoo Changmoi, Ban Ping
12 April: Chiang Mun, Larmchang

Sri Wichai District
12 April: Kuan Khama Samakhee, Pattana
13 April: Samakhee Pattana, Wat Lokmolee, Erawan Soi 4, Sriwichai
19 April: Kupooloon, Chedi Plong, Tharn Tawan
20 April: Pa Ha, Suandok, Chaeng Hualin
21 April: Buak Haad, Puaktaem, Muen Ngern Kong
22 April: Phra Chao Mengrai Samakhee, Chang Taem, Inthanin

Mengrai district
25 April: Muen Toom, Wat Phan On, Wat Phakao
26 April: Changkong, Loi Kroh, Sai Moonmuang
27 April: Rakaeng, Kamphaeng Ngarm, Dao Dueng
28 April: Puak Pia Ruamjai, Pattana, Sri Suphan Muensarn, Banwualai
29 April: Thippanet, Thanwa, Saladaeng
2 May: Sripingmuang, Fah Mai Pratukorm, Intaranuraks
3 May: Nantharam, Wat Thardkham, Thipparat Villa
4 May: Sattha Wathua Fai, Mae King, Chaimongkol, Ban Meng
6 May: Chiangmai Land, Changklan, Pa Praonok ชุดที่ ๑

Kawila district
9 May: Faham, Wat Ket, Nongseng - Faham
10 May; Ban San Pakoi, Tha Satoi, Srisoy Sanmool
11 May: Ban Den, Muang Kai, Khonsong (Transport) Soi 9
12 May: 12 Singha, Jaikaew, Nonghoi
18 May: Chiang Mai Housing, Muangsart Luang, Muangsart noi
19 May: Ton Kham, Sri Pankrua, Monfort Villa
20 May: San Naloong, Rodfai, Samakee, Ban Mai Pattana
23 May: Ban Pae, Nongpratheep, Ku Kham
24 May: Nong Pakrang, 7th Infantry regiment Kawila Army camp

Meet the Consuls

Honorary Consul of the Netherlands

Peter van Loo is the newest addition to Chiang Mai’s diplomatic corps, appointed as Honorary Consul for the Netherlands just last year. However, this does not make him a novice in any other terms as he has been a resident of Chiang Mai for 28 years.

He said he used to run an antique business in Holland and moved to Thailand selling antique reproductions when the market fell. He has an interior design background so has been designing and furnishing large scale projects such as discos and hotels.

Born in Rotterdam his family moved around a lot when he was growing up, so it would seem his longest roots have been set in Chiang Mai. He finished High School in Amsterdam and went to the University of Amsterdam where he studied religion. He said it was always something that had interested him; why do people do the things they do due to religion? Peter said that he had displayed an interest in various religions as a child, even attending different churches growing up. He picked up his first book on Buddhism at the age of 15 and said that after reading it all seemed very logical to him. He’s been a practicing Buddhist ever since, really. He said it was a very eye opening experience.

In order to be appointed as the Honorary Consul first Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands had to approve the Embassy’s request and then back to Thailand where His Majesty King Bhumibol then approved his appointment. The Honorary Consul represents all the Provinces in the North from Uttaradit to Phrae.

The Honorary Consul said he had long been doing many things to help Dutch visitors and residents to the North, this made it official. He said the Dutch Embassy realized the need for an honorary consulate as the Netherlands is the second largest investor in Chiang Mai after the United States with Japan coming third.

His main duties are threefold; help Dutch visitors and residents who have problems in the North and provide some consular services, economics, bringing businesses and people together, and representing the Netherlands and Her Majesty Queen Beatrix in the North.

The Consulate offers social assistance, visiting people in hospital or jail, documents for income certification and marriage eligibility, however Ministry of Foreign Affairs approval is necessary before people can marry. While the Honorary Consulate cannot offer visas to Thais, they must go to Bangkok to apply, however they will give advice as to necessary paperwork.

Peter van Loo said, “We should try to help all people in a proper way, I see it as a service. Before I was appointed I would get people calling for advice, so its an extension of that.”

One of the things he loves about Chiang Mai is the opportunity to find proper Buddhist temples that practice Buddhism without all the superstition and live the example of the Buddha. “I like to listen to the old monks who have interesting stories.”

The Honorary Consulate is located at Office Plus, Suite 105, opposite the Tesco Hang Dong, and is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. Phone is 053-806-816 and the fax is 053-806-817.

William “Bill” Young 1934-2011

William Marcus Young II was a long term resident of Chiang Mai and helped to establish a Lahu Foundation and Coordination Center to solve issues of drugs, poverty, and civil rights within the tribal community.

William “Bill” Young in 1963

Bill Young was born in Berkeley, CA, USA in 1934 and died in Chiang Mai on April 1, 2011. The third generation of a Baptist missionary family, Bill spent his childhood years in the mountains of Taunggyi, Burma among the Lahu and Shan hilltribes. Bill’s family escaped to India during World War II where his father and uncle both served in the Allied effort developing tribal intelligence networks throughout China, India and Burma.

The family returned to South East Asia after the war to live in Chiang Mai where Bill became fluent in English, Thai, Lahu, Shan and some Chinese. Bill enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 19 where he was deployed to Germany during the Hungarian revolution. Bill’s father and older brother were recruited by the CIA at this time, to develop a network of Lahu and Shan intelligence teams in Burma and Southwestern Thailand.

Bill returned to Thailand at the age of 24 to work with the CIA and American Colonel William Lair and General Vang Pao of the Royal Lao Army to train anti-communist Hmong guerillas in unconventional warfare. Bill established a headquarters in the mountainous region of Northwest Laos in 1962 to recruit leaders of the Lahu, Lao, Akha, Hmong, Khmu and other groups into a tribal council working together to stem the incursion of communists into the region. He convinced dozens of disparate groups to work together, earning commendations from the CIA and local ethnic groups.

Bill retired from the CIA to return to Thailand to work with archaeologist Dr. Chester Gorman excavating spirit caves in Mae Hong Son and Kanchanaburi. He then worked in Vietnam as a security advisor for a construction company and Chevron in the Sudan.

He returned to Thailand in the late 1980’s to establish Golden Triangle Tours where his extensive local knowledge and language skills guided high profile visitors around the region.

In his final years he established the foundation to help the Lahu people, never forgetting his roots in Burma.

Mr. Young is survived by five children and two grandchildren. The funeral was held April 6, 2011 at the Foreign Cemetery.

Chiang Mai splashes into Songkran

Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn is joined on stage by the head of the TAT, Chalermsak Suranant, sponsors and others in announcing the schedule of events for the Songkran Holidays.

Chiang Mai Mail online reporters

One of the best places to experience Songkran is in Chiang Mai, where it is celebrated on a grand scale with a flavor uniquely and entirely its own, attracting visitors from far and wide.

This year, Songkran Thai New Year festivities scheduled for April 11-15, 2011 will be held all around Chiang Mai, at temples, in the vicinity of the city’s gates and around the city moat.

Devout Buddhists visit the temple for merit-making and to listen to sermons. Lustral water is sprinkled on sacred Buddha images, such as the Phra Puttha Sihing image, and also poured over the hands of monks in a gesture of reverence. Donations are also made to the temple.

One of the highlights of the festival is the 'Songkran Beauty Queen Procession' that takes place on Songkran Day itself — April 13. Meanwhile, many other events leading up to the main attraction are spread over several days and it is here that the visitor gets to see various aspects of Chiang Mai, first hand, — its culture, cuisine, arts and crafts, as well as the friendly people.

Chiang Mai Municipality announced the Songkran schedule on March 31 at Thapae Gate grounds. Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn said this year, the Thai traditional New Year celebration in Chiang Mai will be held April 11-15, 2011.

He also asked for cooperation from the public and tourists alike not to drink alcohol as part of the alcohol free campaign, especially along the city moats, Thapae road, Ratchadmanoen road, Huay Kaew road, and others.

Mayor Tussanai also asked locals to help promote and preserve the great Songkran Lanna tradition and its activities by dressing in traditional Northern clothes and remembering to use the unique Northern dialect or ‘Kham Muang’ during the festival.

Highlights and Activities:

Procession of the sacred Phra Puttha Sihing Buddha image
Buddha images bathing ritual

Merit-making activities and presentation of offerings to Buddhist monks
Sand-stupa building contest

Rot nam dum hua bathing rituals as a gesture of respect to elderly relatives and other respected individuals

Lanna Thai cultural performances and folk games

Release of fish and birds as a merit-making gesture

Presentation of Lanna art and culture, and folk games

Songkran water-splashing around the ancient city moat.

For more information, please contact Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chiang Mai Office (0) 5324 8604, 0 5324 8607. [email protected]


Songkran Festival Program April 2011

(Traditional Thai New year celebration in Chiang Mai)

Holy water bathing/ pouring ceremony, local Lanna arts performances.9.00 p.m. - 12.00 a.m. April 1-3, at Wat Chiangman

Local Lanna arts and handicrafts shows at Wualai Road, 5.00 p.m. – 11.00 p.m. April 2, April 9

Local Lanna arts and handicraft shows 5.00 p.m. 11.00 p.m. April 3, April 10 at the Ratchadamnoen walking street.

Poysanglong, Tai Yai ordination ceremony; 9.00 a.m. – 10.00 p.m. April 4- 6 at Wat Pa Pao

Holy water bathing ceremony 9.00 a.m. – 10. p.m. April 7 -9, at Wat Chiang Yuen.
Sand pagoda/ chedi building, holy water bathing ceremony, local arts and Tung flag contests. 10.00 a.m. – 9.30 p.m. April 10-15 at Wat Chedlin.

Holy water bathing ceremony. 9.00 a.m. – 10.00 p.m. April 11-15, at Wat Phan-on.
Celebration, morning market, Thai and local singing contests, local arts shows; 8.00 a.m. – 11.00 p.m. April 11-15 at Wat Phrasing.

Songkran and New Year activities: 5.00 p.m. – 8.00 p.m. April 10 at Three Kings monument

715th years anniversary of Chiang Mai city, cultural road with local people, international food. 5.00 p.m. – 11.00 p.m. April 11-15 at Thapae gate grounds, Klangwieng intersection.

City’s 715th anniversary celebration, merit making ceremony. 6.00 a.m. – 8. 00 a.m. April 12 at Three Kings Monument.

Shrine/spirit house ceremony; 08.09 a.m. - 08.39 a. m. April 12 at Chiang Mai Municipality.

Three Kings spirits ceremony; 09. 09 a.m. – 10. 09 a.m. April 12 at Three Kings Monument.

Maha Songkran ceremony; 10. 30 a.m. - 11.39 a.m. April 12 at Chiang Mai Municipality.
Dum Hua offerings parade, paying tributes/ respects to Three Kings spirit: 4.00 p.m. – 6.00 p.m. April 12 at Three Kings Monument.

Songkran Celebration: City moat roads April 12-15.

Lanna land and arts exhibitions; 9. 00 a.m. – 9.00 p.m. April 12 -15 at Wat Inthakhin City Pillar.

Holy water bathing ceremony, sand pagoda building, local arts shows 9..00 a.m. – 10.00 p.m. April 12 -15 At Buddha Sathan.

Local Lanna arts show, Miss Songkran beauty contest: 7 .00 p.m. 12.00 p.m. April 12-15 at Thapae gate grounds

Traditional Thai new year celebration, holy water bathing ceremony; 6. 00 a.m. – 8.00 p.m. April 12- 15 at Wat Lokmolee.

Merit making ceremony on the Thai New year day: 6.00 a.m. -8.00 a.m. April 13 at Thapae gate.

Mae Ying Keerod Theep Kang Jong parade contest (young women holding umbrella and driving bicycles in procession), Thai Lanna in the Past fair: 7.00 a.m. – 12.00 p.m. April 13, at TAT’s Chiang Mai Office, Thapae Gate.

Grand opening ceremony of Songkran Chiang Mai: 8.09 a.m. – 8. 39 a.m. April 13 at Thapae Gate.

Lanna offerings contest: 8.30 a.m. – 12.00 p.m. April 13 at Thapae Gate.

Invitation ceremony for the Buddha Sihing image to be housed and carried on the Bussabok carriage; 9.09 a.m. – 09. 39 a.m. April 13 at Wat Phrasing.

Invitation ceremony for the Buddha Sihing, Buddha images and Miss Songkran on floats in the grand parade; 5. 30 p.m. - 6.00 p.m. April 13 at Sanpakoi intersection, Wat Phra sing.

Culture road; 10 .00 a.m. – 10.00 p.m. April 13-15 at Nawarat Bridge, Governor’s residence.

Sand carrying ceremony and parade: 3.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m. April 14 at Kua Lek (Iron) Bridge, temples on Thapae road.

Donated goods sent to Japan

Chiang Mai Mail online reporters

Tomoharu Abihara, the Director of Thai-Japan Education Development Foundation (TJEDF) said on April 1 that the Foundation had received over half a million baht to the their bank account, all funds go to help those in Miyagi Prefecture. Additionally, 350 bags of donated goods had been given to the Foundation by the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce and business operators in Chiang Mai, ARS D-SINE CO., LTD and Sain S Souvenir Co. The Chiang Mai Provincial Authorities donated flashlights for the victims.

Tomoharu Abihara noted that the donated goods were sent to Japan on April 1 via Thai Airways International and noted that Customs would be exempting tax on the donated items. The donated items were forwarded to Prof. Madaki Manabe, the Foundation’s representative in Tokyo and then Prof. Manabe will send these items next week to Miyagi Prefecture which was devastated in the tsunami.

Donations were made to Siam Commercial bank’s Chiang Mai University branch for Thai-Japan Education Development Foundation bank account number 667-276922-2.

For more information please contact Tomoharu Abihara, the director of Thai-Japan Education Development Foundation (TJEDF). [email protected] 081-972-9863. 87/187 Moo 12 Tambon San Kamphaeng, San Kamphaeng district, Chiang Mai 50130.

Former soldier arrested for drug trafficking in Chiang Dao

The two suspects with the haul of Yabaa pills at the police station.

Nopniwat Krailerg

A former soldier and Lisu hill tribe man was arrested with his girlfriend after he was caught attempting to deliver 12,000 yabaa pills to dealers in Chiang Mai theChiang Dao police reported.

The Lisu hill tribe man, accompanied with his girlfriend, was paid 30,000 baht to deliver the drugs, Pol. Maj. Gen. Somsak Chanthaping, Commander of the Chiang Mai Provincial Police said, noting that Chiang Dao police were acting on a tip off when they stopped the suspect’s pickup truck for a search at the checkpoint on the Chiang Mai- Fang road.

The police found the drugs hidden in a toolbox and detained the two suspects for further questioning. The suspect, Wichai Suayja, 27, told the police it had been the first time he had delivered drugs to Chiang Mai and that they had planned to hand the drugs over to a dealer in Chiang Mai. The police charged the pair with possession of drugs with the intent to sell.