Visakha Bucha Day celebrated in the North
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.
Devout Buddhists around the North celebrated one of the most sacred days
in the Buddhist calendar; Visakha Bucha Day, honoring the birth,
enlightenment and death of the Lord Buddha.
On May 17 the faithful gathered at Lampang’s famous Wat Phrathat Lampang
Luang in Koh Kha district where Buddhist monks, tourists and Buddhists
gathered to make merit by alms giving of rice and dried food to monks.
People also paid their respects to Buddha and did charity works in the
honor of HM the King and wished him recovery and good health.
In Chiang Mai, many faithful gathered for the walk up to Wat Prathat Doi
Suthep to make merit before the day, then, on the day they gather and
walk around the Bot three times each holding three incense sticks, a
lighted candle and a lotus flower to represent the Triple Gems of
Buddhism; the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
Election campaign begins in Lampang
One of the billboards of PM Abhisit was
defaced in Lampang.
The Democrat Party was the first one to launch their election campaign
with billboards set up along the sides of the Kok Kha Superhighway in
Lampang. However, vandals damaged three billboards, defacing images of
current Prime Minister Abhisit Vejajiva. Other political parties have
not yet set up their billboards since Parliament was dissolved and new
Mae Hong Son detain man in human trafficking
Sarawut Tarmuelue was found smuggling 18
illegal immigrants into Thailand.
Mae Hong Son police arrested a member of the Volunteer Territory
Security forces for smuggling illegal immigrants over the border into
Thailand for work.
Pol. Col. Suriyong Wuthi , the superintendent of Muang Mae Hong Son
Police Station said on May 16, that Sarawut Tarmuelue was found with 18
illegal migrant workers in a pickup. He was detained by the police at
the bypass in Muang district while he was on his way to Chiang Mai.
Police said that the suspect had picked up Myanmar workers at Ban Huay
Pookaeng. Police report that Ban Nam Piengdin in Phabong is a key
smuggling area for illegal immigrants coming to work in Chiang Mai.
Drug trafficking in the North
By Khajohn Boonpath
The main transit routes for the
smuggling of heroin, ya baa, ya ice drug (crystal methamphetamine) from
Myanmar to buyers is mainly in Pai district of Mae Hong Son, Mae Taeng
district and Galyani Vadhana district of Chiang Mai, according to
In the past, drug traffickers worked
with heavily armed forces that acted as protection, groups of’ up to 20
carriers led by men armed with M 16s, AK 47s, and M 79 weapons.
However, the traffickers have recently
altered their tactics and now, instead of large groups of carriers have
reduced their numbers to 5 or less in each group and may pretend to be
villagers out hunting or gathering food in the forest.
The drugs are also packed into smaller
portions and divided up among the groups. They also use Thai hill tribes
people that live along the border and migrants within Thailand to deliver
the drugs to clients.
Authorities report that overseas demand
for heroin is currently very high and the markets have spread throughout the
Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Japan. The heroin produced by the Red
Wa is in especially high demand as it is considered of a much higher quality
than that produced by former drug kingpin Khun Sa.
Many of the former drug producers for
Khun Sa now work for the Red Wa using new techniques and modern products to
Pai is considered the top destination
for traffickers to meet buyers, authorities point out that Pai has the
second highest amount of foreign currency exchange in Thailand, coming in
after Koh Samui in the South.
Government officials listed their main
concerns regarding the drug trafficking problem as:
1. Lack of trust, integration, unity,
solidarity, and cooperation among the working agencies with exchanges of
information about the movements of drug smugglers along the border lacking.
Coordination of that information among the various agencies is necessary.
2. Not enough budget allocated to the
necessary agencies so that information gathering is not as effective. The
need for modern equipment is also high as the budget generally doesn’t cover
purchase of new vehicles and equipment while drug traffickers have new
vehicles and four wheel drive vehicles.
3. Many Thai hill tribe people are
mixed with immigrants from Myanmar and cooperate with them in smuggling.
Moreover, some of the community leaders, local authorities leaders, such as
kamnam, village headmen, and members of the Tambon Administration
Organization are involved in the drug trafficking business, In March 2011,
drug suppression police found that some security guards of a village in
Pangmapha District were involved in trafficking and letting them know the
safest routes into Thailand.
4. Some authorities and high ranking
officials overseeing drug suppression activities are not actively involved.
5. Difficulty in tackling influential
people involved in trafficking, there are no small working agencies that can
Chiang Mai Governor speaks on tourist deaths
Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul
reports to the Chiang Mai diplomatic corps that the Health authorities
continue to investigate the deaths at the Downtown Inn.
By Chiang Mai Mail online reporters
Chiang Mai provincial authorities invited representatives of the
diplomatic corps in Chiang Mai to clarify the deaths of four guests at
the Downtown Inn in February, 2011. At the meeting Governor ML Panadda
Disakul, who was accompanied by Dr Pasakorn Arkaradsewee, Director of
the Epidemic Office and Dr Wattana Kanjanakamol, Head of the Chiang Mai
Public Health Office, explained that they were still awaiting results.
He noted that the authorities were not ignoring these cases and that
they continue to work with World Health Organization Officials to find
the causes of the deaths. And while he didn’t deny it could be chemical
usage, he explained that there had been no medical evidence that use of
chemical pesticides was the cause.
The Governor added that the Public Health Office is working hard to
solve this case as the news and that they are awaiting results of tests
from samples sent to laboratories in Japan and the United States.
Dr Surasing Visaruthrat of the Chiang Mai Public Health Office said that
they had requested to perform autopsies but the relatives denied the
request, nonetheless, they continue their investigation into the cases.
The Governor added that this has damaged the image of Chiang Mai and
caused a downturn in the number of visitors, concluding that the Chiang
Mai authorities are doing everything in their power to investigate the
Moon and planet alignment at the end of May offers great stargazing
By Chiang Mai Mail online reporters
The rarely seen alignment of the moon and 4 planets on May 29 and 30
will offer beautiful photo opportunities Jullada Kaosa-ard, Chief of the
International Affairs and Public Relations Department of the National
Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) announced recently.
The moon will align with Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Mercury over the two
days near the end of the month and will appear in the East. The waning
moon will be lined up with the planets, “If the sky is clear, people can
see the alignment of the planets and moon between Pisces and Aries at
about 20 degrees in the East,” she added.
The alignment begins on May 27 and will run through May 30 but the
closest line up will be seen on May 29 and 30. More information can be
found at 1:
Getting Ready for 2011 Royal Flora Rajapruek
HE Banharn Sila-archa, former Prime Minister
and current Honorary Chairman of the Consulting Team for the Ministry of
Agriculture, reports on the readiness of the upcoming Expo in Chiang
On Apr 28, 2011, a meeting was held to discuss the upcoming 99-day Royal
Flora Rajapruek exposition which is scheduled from Nov 9, 2011 to Feb
14, 2012 in Chiang Mai. The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives,
represented by Minister Theera Wongsamut and HE Banharn Silpa-archa,
Honorary Chairman of the Ministry’s Consulting Team, announced that the
Right Man Co Ltd had won the bid for organizing the Expo by offering the
lowest bid at 391 million Baht.
They expressed confidence that the company would be able to organize the
event quickly and efficiently as they have experience in organizing
large scale events and will employ specialists, most of whom have worked
for the Royal Flora before.
The Rajapruek flower will be used as the official logo together with 6
other flowers. Mascot Nong Khun will continue to be used but will be
aged 4 years. He will be accompanied by four other mascots; Lom Bin, Din
Cham, Nam Sai and Ai-oon.
The first promotional event will be held on May 19 in Bangkok with an
event scheduled for Chiang Mai on May 20. The official promotion begins
July 13, with another event promoting the sound and light show scheduled
form September 14.
The fair is set to attract at least 3 million visitors and will feature
the Giant Flora Wheel, a ferris wheel located in the Imagination Light
Garden that will offer panoramic views of the gardens. A Kid’s Eco Park
will also be a highlight, promoting awareness on global climate change.
The government has allocated a 444.9 million Baht budget for the Expo
and another 208 million Baht is expected for the renovation and
construction of gardens within the site. Facilities, infrastructure,
security, traffic control systems and shuttle buses are also being set
up to accommodate visitors.
So far, 14 countries have confirmed their participation including South
Korea, Canada, Pakistan and Yemen and all 22 organizations which had
gardens displayed in the last Expo have also confirmed their
participation. A total of 70 nations have been invited to join.
Flood warnings for Chiang Mai
On May 10, 2011 the Meteorological Department of Thailand issued flood
warnings for the North, including Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lamphun,
Lampang, Phayao, Phrae, Nan, and Uttaradit. Other provinces in the East
and South also received the warning due to a low pressure cell that has
been covering the upper part of the North while the Southwest monsoons
are still in effect in the South.
Lampang has already seen flooding due to the Mae Wang River coming over
the top of its banks and two trains were trapped in a flooded area
there, passengers were transferred to buses. Lamphun has also seen
flooding from the early rains.
Scattered thundershowers and isolated heavy rains are forecast for the
rest of the week.
Baby tigers welcomed to Chiang Mai
6 healthy baby Bengal tigers were born at the Chiang Mai Night Safari
recently bringing the total of Bengal tigers to 15 Dr. Saravuth
Srisakun, Chiang Mai Night Safari’s special area manager reported.
Four of the fifteen Tigers are male while seven are female.
baby Bengal tigers joined the Night Safari family, all babies are
healthy and in good condition.
The Bengal tiger is the world’s second largest animal in the Felidea
family. Bengal tigers are second only to the Panthera Tigris in terms of
size and can be found in South Asia in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and some
areas of Burma.
Sadly this protected species faces extinction as its skin is in demand
for rugs and furs and its bones are a popular Chinese herbal treatment.
While the most numerous of the tiger subspecies, Bengal tiger numbers
are considered to be less than 2,500.
The Chiang Mai Night Safari plans to build a Tiger World Zone at the
North Zone near the lake providing the tigers with a better habitat. The
new attraction is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year and
will coincide with the upcoming World Horticulture Event.
Lampang car catches on fire
By Thaweerat Pensalaphan
Sitthichai Tharnworakul, 26, a resident of
Lampang, was driving his car with his mother in Lampang on May 7, 2011
when he noticed the accelerator did not work properly and found smoke
streaming from the hood, He managed to pull over and get both himself
and his mother out of the car before the car burst into flames. The
Lampang fire fighting team were called in to put out the blaze which
damaged the car extensively.
The Northern Economy continues 1st quarter growth
Senior Director of the BOT Northern Region,
Sathorn Tophothai reported on the health of the Northern economy.
The economy of the North continued growing during the first quarter
although some industries did see a slow down as a result of the Japan
tsunami aftermath the Bank of Thailand (BOT) for the Northern Region
Speaking at the press conference, Senior Director of the BOT Northern
Region, Sathorn Tophothai stated that Northern economy in March and
throughout the 1st quarter of 2011 had seen expansion but slower than
Agriculture was still favorable owing to a good harvest while Tourism
continued to grow. Investment is still showing good figures because of a
significant number of construction projects. Manufacturing production
has slowed down following a decline of electronic industries in the
region. Domestic demand is increasing at a small level while inflation
is rising. The region is seeing a reduction in unemployment while the
savings and loan business expands.
“Northern industries have continued to expand in all sectors. The main
driving factors are domestic demand from private and government sectors,
agriculture income, tourism, private investment and a low rate of
unemployment. Manufacturing production, especially the hard disk drive
business, has been slightly affected by the Tsunami disaster in Japan.
Inflation began accelerating at the end of the quarter,” the Director
Investment from private sectors grew by 9.2% from the same period in the
previous year while the budget expanded 5.7 %. Exports are valued at 312
million dollars and grew by 5.6% when compared with the previous year.
Imports to the North are valued at 127 million dollars seeing a 7.8%
growth in electronic parts imports. Border trade saw a 5.1% growth in
exports and 39.5% rise in imports.
Production of significant cash crops increased by 5.2% which included
rice, garlic and sugar cane. The selling prices led to a7.4% increase in
farming income. The improvement in tourism, especially during Songkran
festival, is a result of political stability and clean air.
Savings increased by 8.3% and loans 11.9% respectively. (BOT)
Big Cleaning Day at Mae Taeng River 2011
Chiang Mai Mail online reporters
The 1st Big Cleaning Day on the Mae Taeng River 2011 was held on May 6
and saw volunteers clean the 33 kilometers long river and its shoreline.
The clean up kicked off at Tambon Kued Chang Administration
Organization, Mae Tang District by Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Chuchart
Keerapang. Many Thai and foreign volunteers joined in cleaning the
Jointly organized by Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association, Tambon
Kued Chang Administration Organization and other government and private
sectors, the Big Cleaning Day aims to increase green areas along the
river, promote conservation, maintain the natural biodiversity, and
prevent landslides and encroachment.
Trees were ordained to save them from being cut down, trees were planted
and garbage was picked up by volunteers for the 33 km length of the
river. Volunteers also rafted along the river to survey tourist sites.
Mae Taeng is an important river for agriculture and tourism as the
source of Mae Ping River. Many tourist activities like forest tours,
elephant farms and rafting rely on the health of river to keep the
National Tree Day at Rajaphruek Royal Park
The Rajaphruek Royal Park and the Highland Research and Development
Institute (Public Organization) and associated organizations are
organizing tree planting activities on May 20, 2011 from 8.00 to 12.00hr
at the area in front of Chang Kham gate, at Rajaphruek Royal Park to
commemorate National Tree Day.
They aim to promote awareness and urge Thai people to realize the
significance and value of forest resources. It will serve as a stage for
the public to have a chance to join tree caring activities and the
“Adding gold to Doi Kham Mountain” project which started last year to
promote forest conservation.
Activities include tree planting on Doi Kham, a photo contest titled
“Plants in Rajaphruek”, a poem contest on “Love Tree, Love the Earth,
Love Rajapruek”, a walk rally that involves tree knowledge and natural
conservation, exhibitions on trees and green area creation, compost
making demonstrations, mini garden arrangements, and tree ordination to
save trees from being cut down. For more information, call 053-114110-5
or visit www.royalparkrajapruek.com.
Chiang Mai to be Medical Hub
Chiang Mai is ready to be an international medical hub, said Chiang Mai
University’s (CMU) Faculty of Medicines Dean Assoc. Prof. Dr. Niwes
Nantachit. Thai standards of medical treatment is not inferior to any
other country and is inexpensive and this will help the city to rise as
an international medical hub, he added. Another accompanying factor is
the unique local culture, hospitality and service-mindedness of the
local people that would impress any visiting patients.
CMU’s Faculty of Medicines is initiating 4 policies to drive the city
forward as an international medical hub; precedence treatment for Thai
patients, establishing networks with all levels of hospitals, developing
effective patient referral system and thorough access to medical
treatment and promotion of self care provided to public.
The Faculty is also attempting to achieve excellence in both medical
curriculum and treatment as it develops its place to serve as an
international medical hub in the future. It is also establishing
information links between government and private sectors to fully
support Chiang Mai as international medical hub by 2014, he concluded.
Chiang Mai named Splendid City of Culture by Cabinet
Chiang Mai Mail online reporters
Chiang Mai was named the “Most Splendid City of Culture” by the Cabinet
on May 3, Chiang Mai Governor Panadda Diskul announced, adding that this
designation brings great pride to the Northern capital.
“This project is a model of the strategy to create the pride, unity and
harmony in the province,” he said, adding that at present, Chiang Mai is
the center of development projects in the northern region and has seen
rapid growth that betters the livelihood of residents and locals.
“So it is urgently required to preserve and pass on the unique values
and image of Chiang Mai, traditions that have existed more than 700
years. The unique arts, culture, traditions, local wisdom, handicraft
work, and diversity of races makes Chiang Mai uniquely outstanding”, he
This project was initiated to show the loyalty, love and honor to the
nation, religion and monarchy and to preserve the cultural heritage of
Chiang Mai in honor of HM the King’s 84th birthday celebrations on
December 5, this year.
The Ministry of Interior considers this as an outstanding project.
Governor ML Panadda announced the appointment of a working committee in
response to the Cabinet announcement to help restore important cultural
icons and buildings.
The Governor asked for cooperation from all sectors concerned to help
restore the city and its culture, including disputed land, architecture,
and inner Old City issues. He also asks the general public to join hands
in helping solve the city’s problems over the next few months. He
included karaoke pubs or entertainment venues where the girls are
dressed and behave improperly for Thai culture.
He said that people should take care to honor the beautiful Lanna
traditions. Additionally, the laws will be enforced to help the city
solve these problems. He added that he would like to help restore the
local dialect and dress. “I will ask for cooperation from everyone, the
public and educational institutes to consider using the Northern dialect
in course studies in schools.”
Coronation Day celebrated in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul
presided over the ceremony to honor the coronation of His Majesty the
King on Chatramongkol Day on May 5, 2011at Chiang Mai University’s
Convention Center. The Governor was accompanied by northern dignitaries,
Consuls General and Consuls, Members of Parliament, government
officials, police and military officers and representatives from all
sectors. Thursday, May 5 marks the 61st anniversary of the Coronation of
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great. (Photo courtesy of Chiang
Mai Provincial Authority).
IBM chooses Chiang Mai as “smart city”
Chiang Mai Creative City: Updates and IBM
Smart City meeting at CMU on May 3, 2011 (Courtesy of Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Mail online reporters
IBM has chosen Chiang Mai as one of 22 cities around the world to
receive technology and services as part of its IBM Smart City Challenge.
Chiang Mai will be developed as a medical services hub as well as
promote it as a smarter food center. Chuchart Keelapaeng, Deputy
Governor of Chiang Mai added that IBM was already moving ahead with the
project after a meeting held at Chiang Mai University where IBM
Thailand’s Managing Director Pansiri Amatayakul and U.S. Consul General
Susan Stevenson were both in attendance.
IBM’s Smart City project will help increase the efficiency of medical
personnel and staff, so as to give the better service to patients with
more convenience, fast services and links with other sectors and
In the agriculture sector, he noted they would help plan cultivation
systems as well as irrigation systems and weather forecasting; producing
and promoting the Chiang Mai brand name worldwide for its good food
Chuchart added that Chiang Mai has a high potential for development is
ready to move forward with these projects, noting that this will help
boost the economy.
The Deputy Governor added that Chiang Mai would be joining the 'Smarter
City' ranks once IBM implements the system, this will also be proposed
as part of the strategic planning for Chiang Mai. The province will
allocate a budget of 200 million Baht to help support the IBM project
which has put in about $400,000.
Five experts from the United States, the Netherlands and France have
been sent by IBM to work with the Chiang Mai Creative City committee and
Chiang Mai University to develop the project.
Chiang Rai women arrested smuggling drugs
Chiang Mai Mail online reporters
Chiang Rai police arrested three local women at the second Chiang Rai
Bus Station after a cavity search by a police woman uncovered 42,000
Yabaa pills distributed among the three women.
The three Chiang Rai women ranged in age from 18 to 44 and were stopped
by police on the way to the bus station where they said they were going
to buy bus tickets to Saraburi for work. The cavity search by a
policewoman resulted in discovery of the drugs.
The women confessed to police that they had heard that there was a high
demand for the drugs in Saraburi so they bought the drugs from a Lao
man, put the drugs in condoms and inserted them.
The women were detained by the police for further questioning and
First TEDx event in Chiang Mai shows the city to be a centre of creativity
Chiang Mai is a leading creative city with a diverse community of people
with ideas worth spreading. TEDx is coming to Chiang Mai for the first
time with the inaugural TEDxDoiSuthep on May 22, 2011.
This self-organised conference has been licensed by the world-renowned
TED. It follows on from a handful of TEDx events in Bangkok over the
past year such as TEDxBKK and TEDxKrungthep. TEDxDoiSuthep is a half-day
event will be held at Chiang Mai University’s Art Center.
In the spirit of ‘ideas worth spreading’, TED has created TEDx. TEDx is
a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to
share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxDoiSuthep, where x
= independently organized TED event. At TEDxDoiSuthep, TEDTalks video
and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection
in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the
TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are
The theme of TEDxDoiSuthep is ‘Creativity & Collaboration’. The exciting
lineup of speakers will share innovative and inspiring ideas from their
respective fields including the arts, performance, photograph and
The speakers are Dhamananda Bikkuni, the first female Theravada Buddhist
monk in Thailand, James Robert Fuller, photojournalist, Jo Jandai,
founder of Pun Pun Organic Farm, Laura Spector and Chadwick Gray,
performance and visual artists, Mo Tejani, writer and PEN finalist,
Richard Barber, theatre activist, Ryan Libre, award-winning documentary
photographer, and Tin Tin Nyo, General-Secretary of the Burmese Women’s
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.
Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has
grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives.
The annual TED Conference invites the world's leading thinkers and doers
to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at
TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall,
Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani,Philippe Starck,
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with
simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK.
TED's media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted
daily, and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and
interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be
translated by volunteers worldwide. TED has established the annual TED
Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are
given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which
offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events
around the world, and the TEDFellows program, helping world-changing
innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community
and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and
Tickets are limited, for information visit www.tedxdoisuthep.com.
Thailand celebrates Coronation Day
The Chiang Mai Mail joins with the Kingdom of Thailand in celebrating
Wan Chatramongkhol, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great’s
Coronation Day on Thursday, May 5. Long Live the King! The day is
celebrated as a national holiday, and as such all government offices and
commercial banks will close for the day. (Photo courtesy of the Bureau
of the Royal Household)
Thursday, May 5 marks the 61st anniversary of the Coronation of His
Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great. When crowned as 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.
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. A week
prior to 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 studying.
The Coronation Ceremony reinforces the stature of the Kings of Thailand.
The first such 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 following Kings that did not undergo the coronation
ceremony would not be able to use 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
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
Flood measures in place for rainy season
Mai Mail online reporters
The Chiang Mai Municipality has stepped up measures to cope with flood
problems in the upcoming rainy season, Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai
Buranupakorn announced during an inspection of the city’s drainage
Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn, seen here in a
file photo, announced plans to reduce flooding on Chiang Mai city roads.
He said the Municipality plans to clean out all the drainage pipes in
the city and apologizes for the traffic inconvenience the clean up work
will cause. He added however, that it was necessary to do since many
roads flood very badly during heavy rains as the drainage system is too
blocked to move the water efficiently.
The first project has started in Meng Ra District, encompassing
Nantharam Road, Suriyawong Road and then Chang Klan roads. The project
is expected to run through July in areas around the city.
Guns and opium seized in Om Koi
The haul of opium and firearms from the home
of an Om Koi man.
Combined forces of police, local authorities and army soldiers raided
the house of a villager in Om Koi District of Chiang Mai and found
nearly 2 kilograms of opium and weapons.
On May 2, Col Kachachart Boondee, the commander of the Special Task
Force, Third Army Region; the 337th Border Patrol Police in Mae Sarieng;
Omkoi district officers and a special operations unit of Chiang Mai
Provincial Police with a search warrant issued by the Provincial Court,
searched the house of Naela Klinkajornklai, 49, in Ban Huaykong, Tambon
Yangpiang , Omkoi district, Chiang Mai. The police were tipped off that
drugs and weapons could be found at the house.
The search yielded 1.7 kgs of opium, opium seeds, 39,100 baht, 2
firearms and ammunition. The Om Koi police detained him for further
questioning and charges.
US Consulate celebrates press freedom day
The U.S. Consulate Chiang Mai commemorated World Press Freedom Day by
sponsoring Ms. Wandee Suntivutimetee, founder and editor-and-chief of
Salween Post, to attend the U.S. State Department’s May 1-3 World Press
Freedom Day event in Washington, D.C. The theme of this year’s
conference is “21th Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers.” Ms.
Wandee will post daily reports about the event in her online newspaper,
which is based in Chiang Mai and provides news and analysis of political
and human rights issues in Burma for Thai audiences.
Each year on May 3, World Press Freedom Day commemorates the fundamental
principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world,
to defend the media from attacks on their independence, and to pay
tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of
their profession. This year’s World Press Freedom Day event will focus
on the potential of the Internet and digital platforms, as well as more
established forms of journalism in contributing to freedom of expression
democratic governance and sustainable development.
U.S. Consulate General Susan Stevenson says, “The United States values
freedom of the press as a key part of democratic governance. Democratic
societies have their problems, but they are accountable, and the
exchange of ideas is the foundation for their accountability. We support
Ms. Wandee’s participation in the Washington World Press Freedom event
to promote online media and reporting on the situation in Burma.”
More that than 100 speakers from 44 countries will participate in the
Washington event, which boasts over 800 registered participants from 100
countries. Sessions will include “Do social media platforms give
citizens new ways to monitor and engage their governments?” “Has the
digital given women greater access to news?” and “Censorship in the
Digital Age.” This is the first year that the United States will host
The U.S. Consulate General encourages local press, government offices,
civic media, and the public to support World Press Freedom Day and
follow Salween Post’s online updates at http://www.salweennews.org/,
http://www.facebook.com/SalweenpostFanpage, and Twitter@salweenpost; and
World Press Freedom Day at http://wpfd2011.org/,
http://www.facebook.com/wpfd2011, and Twitter@wpfd2011.
Chinese visit Chiang Mai to expand trade relations with the North
By Chiang Mai Mail online reporters
The Director General of the Commerce Department from Yunnan in southern
China visited Chiang Mai with Chinese business leaders in the import
export and logistics fields at the end of April.
The Committee for the Economic Quadrangle and 10 Chambers of Commerce of
Northern Thailand met with the visitors to launch logistics businesses
with Thai partners on fruits from China.
About 65 participants from public and private sectors, import and export
companies, fuel firms, logistic companies from air and land transports
met Chiang Mai counters late last April.
The Chinese businessmen surveyed business between China’s Kunming
Province and Bangkok to expand trade and investment projects during
consultative meeting with concerned agencies in Northern Thailand. They
discussed obstacles to the flow of trade and the solutions that could be
found. Chiang Mai businesses did “business matching” with Chinese
counterparts at the meeting held at the Le Meridien Hotel.
Most of them discussed about the problems and obstacles solutions to
help flow Thailand and China’s Yunnan trades relations. The business
operators mostly from Chiang Mai and the North did the “business
matching” with the Chinese counterparts which was held in at Le Meridien
Chairman of the Commerce Ministry Xiong Qinghua, And Deputy Chairman
Zhao Ping led the Chinese while Chiang Mai Governor ML Pannada Diskul,
the President of Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce Narong Kongprasert, and
Chinese Consul General in Chiang Mai Zhu Wei Min led the Chiang Mai