Make Chiangmai Mail | your Homepage | Bookmark

Chiangmai 's First English Language Newspaper

Pattaya Blatt | Pattaya Mail | Pattaya Mail TV

 
 
NEWS
 

Department of Special Investigation says 83% of smuggled pseudoephedrine comes from abroad

Exclusive interview with DSI head

Chiang Mai Mail editor Nopniwat Krailerg listens to DSI commander Pol. Lt. Col. Pongin In-Khao about the pseudoephedrine smuggling issue.

Nopniwat Krailerg

The Chiang Mai Mail sat down with Pol. Lt. Col. Pongin In-Khao, Commander of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) Security Case and discussed the recent ban of pseudoephedrine tablets and the issues facing smuggled tablets over the border.

Pseudoephedrine is a key component in the manufacture of methamphetamine or Yaba and the Thai government banned over the counter sales of the drugs in a bid to reduce Yaba production.

Millions of empty packets of pseudoephedrine that had gone missing from hospitals were found discarded in San Kamphaeng earlier this year.

The DSI is searching for a man who they say has gathered the pills from 6 hospitals and sent them over the border into Myanmar for drug production. Police estimate that over 11.6 million tablets have gone missing from hospitals and clinics around the North and North East.

The DSI has launched investigations into hospitals and clinics around the country, doing an audit of the drug and found that since 2009 83 % of the pseudoephedrine had been smuggled illegally into Thailand before being carried over the border.

After the police found a stash of cold medicine with pseudoephedrine pills in San Kampaeng district an investigation led officials to uncover 3 Government hospitals ,1 private hospital, 8 medical clinics and 1 pharmacy involved in smuggling the pills. Further investigation found a link to 6 hospitals in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

A large number of the pills are coming from South Korean, with over 33 million tablets smuggled in from that country. An exchange of information between the South Korean FDA and the Thai FDA shows that hospitals have contracts with prescription drug manufacturers there to import over 40 tons of the drug or around 850 million tablets.

The DSI have started a special case committee to investigate the hospitals and the smuggled pills  and to determine if the remaining several hundred million tablets were imported legally or not. The DSI will go to South Korea to work with the FDA there to see if they can prevent further illegal importation.


Teacher praises police for the quick recovery of her stolen motorbike

The theft suspect with the recovered Fino and other stolen items at the police station.

Nopniwat Kraileg

A Prince’s Royal College teacher reported her motorbike stolen from in front of Yuparaj Wittayalai School on Friday, April 27 to the police at the Muang Chiang Mai Police Station.

Warunee Lertvichaikul said that she had parked her motorbike for about a half an hour to get something to eat and had forgotten to remove her key from the motorbike.

Police have been investigating a string of thefts from around Chiang Mai since April 25 and uncovered Chakri or Pom Tasujai, age 30 of Baan Hong Lamphun and arrested him for stealing motorbikes and other items. They recovered Miss Warunee’s motorbike and returned it to her.

Police uncovered 1 Honda motorcycle, 4 bicycles and 1 HP Computer notebook from the suspect’s home. The accused man confessed that he had graduated from University and had been unable to find work, he had been gambling online heavily and needed the money to pay for is gambling. He said he had stolen the Honda from Kad Suan Kaew and the 4 bicycles from a tutorial school near Wat Phra Singh. He said he had sold the stolen bikes to second hand shops in Chiang Mai, Sarapee and Lamphun.  The accused confessed that he graduated from the University and now he lost no money. And the online gambling heavily. The one of motorcycles he stolen from Kad Suan Kaew and 4 bicycles stolen from the tutorial school near Wat Phra Singh area and then sold the bike to a second hand shop in Chiang Mai, Sarapee and Lamphun in cheap price.


Police arrest two Akha for theft

Two young Akha men from Mae Ai District were arrested after many purse thefts around the city over the Songkran holidays.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Muang Chiang Mai police arrested to Akha men after investigation into snatch and run thefts over the Songkran holidays led them to the two men who had been released from prison last year.

On April 19, 2012 police were informed of a theft in front of the 7-11 near Mahawan Temple on Tha Pae Road, police investigation led them to the two men at the Night Bazaar. They confessed that they had several successful thefts by driving up on a motorcycle and grabbing the person’s bag before driving off. A Swedish tourist had a bag stolen, as did several other foreign tourists on the 20th and 22nd and a Thai woman who had her bag stolen on Chang Moi Road on April 23.

Sima Tachae, age 19 and Soontorn Morelaekoo, age 25, of Mae Ai District confessed to police that they targeted women as it was easier to steal their purses. Pol. Col. Aksorn Wongyai Superintendent of Muang Chiang Mai police station encouraged tourists and residents to keep a tight hold on their purses and vowed to increase security in the city.


Mae Tang Villagers second protest suspension for an Asphalt Plant

Chiang Mai Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul meets with the large crowd of protestors from Mae Taeng.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Villagers from Baan Huay Rai in Mae Taeng District gathered in front of City Hall on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 to protest the construction of an asphalt factory in their village.

More than 100 villagers joined the protest led by Village Headman Sawaeng Saisri to ask the Governor of Chiang Mai for assistance. This is the second protest the villagers have held against the factory, the previous one was held on March 27, 2012 but factory construction continued and the factory is now complete.

Villagers claim that not only will the factory adversely affect the health of people living in the area but also that the factory is not in compliance with Thai law as no meeting was ever held to judge public opinion on the site.

The Village Headman said that now construction is complete they will file to revoke the license of the factory. He said that if this does not occur within 7 days the residents of this 1,500 household village will continue their protest to get the factory shut down.

Chiang Mai Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul accepted the protest letter from the group and said that the government must enforce the laws, he expressed concern that all complaints must be heard and promised that all relevant agencies will work to find a solution.


Chiang Mai Chamber signs MoU on fighting corruption

Narong Kongprasert, the President of the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce signed the MoU with Phumpoon Pungprasit Deputy Secretary-General of NACC with Governor M.L. Panadda as a witness.

Nopniwat Krailerg

The Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Bank of Thailand on April 23, 2012 with the National Anti-Corruption Commission to fight corruption in Thai society.

Chiang Mai Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul presided over the signing and the seminar that was held concurrently. The Chamber and the Commission held lectures on how to combat corruption, and the need to raise awareness among Thai people of the value of fighting fraud and corruption. The seminar participants noted the importance of the public sector working together with the private sector to eliminate this problem from Thai society.

The Chamber noted that the cooperation of the private sector and entrepreneurs to instill the values of transparency into Thai society was key and that the private sector was declaring their sincere intention to seriously combat corruption and instill confidence in investors and improve the international image of Thailand.


Rotarians expected to travel to Chiang Mai

Thailand will host the Rotary International Convention 2012 at the IMPACT Arena in Bangkok from May 6-9, 2012. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the meeting.

DG Chamnan Chanruang 3360 Rotary International District Governor said that this should boost the number of visitors to Chiang Mai 3 to 5 times normal for this time of year as many of the visitors are expected to visit Chiang Mai after the convention.

In Thailand, there are 4 Rotary Districts with 280 Rotary Clubs and around 7,000 Rotarians in total. There are 34,282 clubs and over 1.2 million members worldwide.


Earth Day 2012 in Chiang Mai

U.S. Deputy Head of Mission (2nd left) Judith Cefkin, Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn, U.S. Consul General Ken Foster, and Deputy Governor Ritthipong Techaphan joined the Earth Day walk sponsored by the U.S. Consulate from the White Pagoda to Tha Pae Gate on April 19, 2012,

Shana Kongmun

Earth Day is celebrated around the world on April 22, with over a billion people expected to participate. The U. S. Consulate General held a walk from the Consulate to Tha Pae Gate on Friday, April 19 at 10 a.m. to honor this day. Deputy Governor Ritthipong Techaphan joined U.S. Consul General Ken Foster and Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn to greet Judith Cefkin, Deputy Head of the U.S. Mission visiting from Bangkok to take part in the walk.

Over 100 students, Municipal and Consulate staff were joined by the Chiang Mai Sunday Bicycle Club led by Dr. Nirund Phothikanon, the President of the Club who encouraged everyone to join in cycling and added that the City, the Province, the Police and the people must all work together to make Chiang Mai a clean and green and bicycle friendly community.

Earth Day has been held on April 22 every year since 1970. The founder of Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson, at the time a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, was inspired by the youth movement of the time and the massive Santa Barbara, CA oil spill to organize a day to raise awareness of the need for clean air and water. The very first Earth Day saw 20 million Americans take part.

This year’s rallying cry is “Mobilize the Earth” and more than a billion people in 192 countries are expected to take part in activities around the globe.

U.S. Consulate staff and their families joined in the walk.

Members of the enthusiastic Chiang Mai Sunday Bicycle Club gathered for a group photo.

Participants of the walk joined in for a group photo at Tha Pae Gate.


Ethnic groups from Myanmar meet in Chiang Mai

The UNFC held a conference in Chiang Mai this week to discuss the progress of the peace talks with the Myanmar government.

The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) met in Chiang Mai on April 19, 2012 for the third time since its inception in February 2011 to discuss the recent elections and changes in Myanmar and the potential effects it may have on the progress of a ceasefire between the armed groups and the government of Myanmar.

Members of the Shan State Progress Party (SSPP), Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), Karen National Union (KNU), Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), Lahu Democratic Union (LDU), New Mon State Party (NMSP), Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), Pa-Oh National Liberation Organization (PNLO), Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) and the Wa National Organization (WNO) met to discuss recent negotiations with the government of Myanmar over a ceasefire. The members agreed that the ongoing conflict would take some time to resolve but they expressed hope that the Myanmar government was sincere in its changes and that they would comply with agreements.

The meeting called for humanitarian aid for the various ethnic groups that have been involved in the 60 year conflict with the Myanmar government, noting that many people were suffering due to being forced to hide in the jungle from the government soldiers.

Nadar Mya, spokesman for the Karen National Union said that they hope there will be peace in the country and that the world was watching the changes in the country.


Chiang Mai to host 41st National Games in December

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai Province has been chosen by the Sports Authority of Thailand to host the 41st annual National Games in December as well as the National Paralympics Games which will follow.
Deputy Governor Ritthipong Techaphan was joined by the Director of the Sports Authority of Thailand Region 5, the Chiang Mai Public Relations Office and the Director of the Sports Authority of Thailand Chiang Mai at the meeting of the National Games Organizing Committee to draft the amendment for the audit committee to approve the budget.
The 41st National Games will be held in Chiang Mai from December 9-19, 2012.


Governor checks out dredging of Khan River in San Patong

Government readies for rainy season

Chiang Mai Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul visits Royal Thai Army dredging operations in San Patong.

Chiang Mai Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul visited the dredging operations at the Khan River in San Patong by 3rd Development Battalion, Royal Thai Armed Forces. A total of 33 dredging projects are underway around the province in an effort to prevent a repeat of last year’s flooding.

The Khan River is a tributary of the Ping and runs 32 km through the water district areas of Ban Bor Luang and Thawang Phrao, there is small dam on the river which the army will begin dredging as well. A total of 26 km will be dredged and is scheduled to be completed by the end of May. The government says the dredging will allow water to flow smoothly to the Ping River without eroding the river banks and causing blockages that can cause floods. The project is more than two thirds finished.

The Governor thanked the military for helping the people of Chiang Mai and aiding government policies to prevent and resolve flooding in areas that have previously been flooded.


Dangerous days of Songkran proving more dangerous than last year

The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office reported 2,876 road accidents, 282 deaths, 3,059 injured during the first 6 dangerous days of Songkran. So far the figure is higher than the same time period in 2011 and higher than the fatality toll for the entire 7 days of 2011’s Songkran period. There are 53 more fatalities than the same period last year but the number of accidents was down by 113. Last year’s total reached 271 fatalities and 3,215 accidents, down 8.56 percent from 2010, while the number of people seriously injured fell from 3,802 in 2010 to 3,476 in 2011, a drop of 8.57 percent.

Chiang Mai joined Chumphon and Rayong in second place with seven deaths over the first four days of Songkran in 2012 while Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat had the most deaths with 10, and Chiang Rai reported the most injuries and the most accidents.

Chiang Mai saw 92 accidents during the 7 dangerous days of Songkran in 2010, a 30% decrease from the previous year which pushed Chiang Mai down to the number 5 position in the country for 2011.

Drunk driving has so far been the major cause of accidents at 42 percent followed by speeding at 22 per ent. 83 percent of accidents involved motorcycles.


Happy Songkran 2012

Around the city, stages were set up with live music to keep the crowds entertained. Live music is found at Chang Moi Road and on Huay Kaew Road.

Songkran swung into full gear on Friday, April 13 as Chiang Mai residents and tourists took to the streets to celebrate the Thai New Year. From traditional bathing ceremonies to splashing in the streets, Chiang Mai’s annual Songkran festivities have something for everyone. And while many stay in to avoid the water, there are also nightly events at Tha Pae Gate with dances, performances, and markets to shop and eat. Official Songkran festivities end Sunday, April 15, 2012 with the last day of the street parties and the annual honoring of the Governor with the procession to the Governor’s residence to pay respects starts from 3 Kings Monument at 1:30 p.m. Temples around the city will continue to offer merit making ceremonies and there are sand pagoda contests at Buddha Satan.

The Royal Rajapruek Park entertained lovely traditionally dressed ladies for the first day of Songkran, who performed the traditional Songkran ceremony to bathe the Buddha image. (Photo courtesy of Royal Rajapruek Park)

Kids love Songkran!

One tourist dressed up for the occasion,
although it seems he may have his holidays confused.

An area was set aside at the beginning of Huay Kaew Road to allow the faithful to bathe a Buddha image for Songkran.

Dressed in traditional clothes, these two were ready to start splashing.

Everyone got involved in the fun, even the owner of Soho Bar and Guesthouse on Huay Kaew Road.

Discovery Club’s stage is a big draw every year with a great selection of live music and fountains of water, this year, Chiang Mai favorites Del Ritmo opened to entertain the crowds.


Prime Minister opens Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra traveled to her hometown of Chiang Mai to open the Songkran Festival on April 13, 2012 at Tha Pae Gate.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra attended the merit making and alms giving to 99 Buddhist monks and presided over the opening ceremony of the 2012 Chiang Mai Songkran Festival.

The parade of traditionally dressed girls on bicycles with umbrellas started after the opening ceremony, featuring the lovely women of Chiang Mai.

She was joined by Yaowapa Wongsawat, wife of former Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, Finance Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom, Governor of Chiang Mai ML Panadda Diskul, President of the Provincial Administration Organization Boonlert Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai Member of Parliament Tassanai Buranupakorn with Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn and many local residents and tourists. The ceremony was held at 8:09 a.m. at Tha Pae Gate while the merit-making and alms-giving ceremonies started at 6:09 a.m.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said "I am glad to be back in my hometown of Chiang Mai; a city of culture for more than 716 years, especially in this New Year. This is an auspicious day. I believe that the Thai people will unite to work toward the good, ignore the bad things of the past year and start the New Year with joy and happiness with the famous Thai smile.”

She added that the promotion of cultural tourism was reflected in the large number of tourists traveling to visit Chiang Mai to experience and admire the traditions of the ancient Lanna culture.

She noted that Chiang Mai people are very proud of their beautiful city and greet visitors and offer them a Happy New Year. She concluded saying that the glory and love of Their Majesties the King and Queen protect Thai people and bring happiness and success.

The Prime Minister joins in the alms giving ceremony to 99 Buddhist monks at Tha Pae Gate to start the New Year.


Songkran opening at Royal Rajapruek

Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul takes part in the Rod Nam Dam Hua ceremony

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul and Dr. Chao Duangduen Na Chiang Mai, President of the Chiang Mai Cultural Council presided over the opening ceremony of Songkran at the Royal Rajapruek Park. A Rod Nam Dam Hua ceremony, or pouring water over the hands of elders, was held for them both. The Songkran festival at Royal Flora Park will be held from April 11-18 from 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Visitors can join in bathing the image of the Buddha made from Pho leaves from the 179,500 visitors to the World Horticultural Exposition in 2006 in honor of the King Bhumibol. There will be a mist tunnel, market, local performances and Songkran parade.

Dr. Chao Duangduen Na Chiang Mai, President of the Chiang Mai Cultural Council rings the bell to open the Songkran Festival at the Royal Rajapruek Park.

Traditional Lanna performances will
be held daily at the Park until April 18, 2012.


Songkran Schedule

April 13

A large water tower with sand pagoda was built at Wat Phra Sing, 14 meters high and 18 meters wide, members of the public are encouraged to make merit at Wat Phra Sing for Songkran.

6 a.m. Merit making and alms giving at Tha Pae Gate
8:09 a.m. Grand opening ceremony at Tha Pae Gate
8:30- noon; Lanna offerings contest, performances at Tha Pae Gate
7 a.m. – noon: Parade of Mae Ying Kee Rod Theep Kaeng Jong, or Lanna girls on bicycles with umbrellas beauty contest, from the TAT office to Tha Pae Gate.
9.09 – 9.39 a.m.; Invitation ceremony of Buddha Sihing image on a special carriage at Wat Phra Sing.
1:00 p.m. Invitation ceremony for Phra Buddha Sihing image, parade of Buddha images and Miss Songkran float in the procession from Train Station to Wat Phra Sing.
7 pm. to midnight: Miss and Mr. Songkran Contest, Lanna local arts competition at Tha Pae Gate

April 14

3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Buddhist procession from Iron Bridge to Tha Pae Gate carrying holy sand and relics

April 15

1:30 – 6 p.m. Blessings will be offered to the Chiang Mai Governor with participants starting from 3 Kings Monument to the Governor’s Residence on Nawarat Bridge.

April 13-15

Buddha Satan will have sand pagoda creations, water pouring ceremonies over the Sirimangkalajarn statue and Lanna performances. All day
Water throwing around the moat and on Huay Kaew Road with live performances on Huay Kaew Road and Chang Moi.

Traditional Lanna celebrations at Wat Lok Molee. All day.
Sand pagodas, pouring water over Buddha statues, performances at Wat Jetrin. All day.

Activities at Chang Phuak Gate; health and safety promotion for no alcohol at Songkran. All day.

Lanna performances, local market, food stalls. From Tha Pae Gate to Klang Wiang. Evenings


PM Yingluck to join in Chiang Mai Songkran Festival

Nopniwat Krailerg
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is scheduled to attend the Chiang Mai Songkran Festival and visit her hometown in San Kamphaeng district to pay homage to her deceased parents and her ancestors.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will return to Chiang Mai for Songkran.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to travel to Chiang Mai in the evening of April 12 and go to Green Valley village in Mae Rim district for a ceremony in Northern Thai. On April 13 she will join in the merit making and alms giving to Buddhist monks at Tha Pae Gate. She will then travel to her hometown to pay homage to her ancestors.

The Prime Minister will join in the bathing of the Buddha image at the parade grounds at Chiang Mai Railway station at 1 p.m. and then join in the procession to Tha Pae Gate. She plans to join Chiang Mai people in splashing water after that before returning to Bangkok on the 14th.


Municipality checks out water gun vendors

In a bid to cut down on the number of dangerous high water pressure water guns for sale around the city Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn and police inspected vendors selling water guns to ask them to refrain from selling the high pressure guns. Many residents and tourists have complained about the potential dangers of these guns that shoot strong streams of water at passersby.


Nine workers sustain minor injuries in wall collapse at Promenada Resort Mall

9 employees working on the new Promenada Resort Mall construction site were injured slightly when scaffolding collapsed on April 10, 2012.

Scaffolding collapsed at the Promenada mall under construction on the Chiang Mai- Mae On road at 8 p.m. on April 10, 2012, slightly injuring 9 workers of both Thai and Myanmar nationality.
ECC International Real Estate Co., Ltd. in charge of the project informed the media of the scaffolding collapse. Mr. Tjeert Kwant, CEO of ECC International Real Estate, said that although the injuries were not severe all workers were sent to the hospital immediately. 7 were released immediately while two of the workers were kept under observation at the hospital.
The company notes that they are focused on the safety of their workers and strictly comply with all health and safety standards. The company plans to bring in outside independent experts to inspect the damaged site and make sure there was no damage to the structure. Construction in other areas of the mall will continue as usual.


Police launch campaign to reduce Songkran accidents

Chiang Mai Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul rings the gong to start the education campaign for road safety during Songkran.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Provincial police joined forces with the Provincial Administration Organization and the Provincial government to launch a campaign to reduce the number of traffic accidents over the 7 dangerous days of Songkran which begin tomorrow, April 11 and end Tuesday, April 17.

On Tuesday, April 10, 2012 M.L. Panadda Diskul Chiang Mai Governor and Deputy Commissioner of Police Region 5 Pol. Maj. Gen. Chamnan Ruadreaw, and President of the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization (PAO) Boonlert Buranupakorn joined police and volunteers at the campaign to prevent and reduce road accidents during the Songkran Festival 2012 at Tha Pae Gate.

Chiang Mai is a major tourist destination for the Songkran holidays and sees a high number of road accidents and fatalities during the holiday; it is one of the top 10 provinces to report road deaths, according to the police.

Provincial police joined in the event in a bid to reduce the accident rate over the 7 dangerous days of Songkran.

The campaign to prevent and reduce road accidents during Songkran Festival 2012 will be held from April 11-17 in a bid to raise public awareness for driving safely and sober for both motorbikes and cars.

From April 11-17 last year, Chiang Mai saw 92 accidents, a 30% decrease from the previous year which pushed Chiang Mai down to the number 5 position in the country. In 2011 there were 11 deaths during Songkran in Chiang Mai; 9 men and 2 women. Most of the accidents involved motorcycles and the top cause for accidents was drunk driving followed by speeding and not wearing a helmet.


Realistic fire and rescue drill draws crowds at Tha Pae Gate

Flames escaped from the windows of M Hotel at Tha Pae Gate on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 as part of a fire and rescue drill organized by the Municipality.

The Chiang Mai Municipality held a fire and rescue drill at Tha Pae Gate and Hotel M on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 from 10 a.m. to ready rescue personnel for the upcoming Songkran holidays.

Fire and rescue vehicles were sent from the Chiang Mai International Airport, Wing 41, the 33rd Military Circle Kawila and the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization (PAO) to participate in the drill.

A fire drill was held at Hotel M with fire crews fighting a fire in one of the top floors while  a rescue drill removed a “victim” from the moat. The preparedness drill was very realistic, with flames shooting out upper windows of M Hotel, drawing crowds. Police shut off the area for the drill as traffic handling and control was also an important part of the drill that was held to prepare crews to help ensure efficient care and safety for visitors to Chiang Mai during Songkran.

Crews rescued victims who had fallen into the moat to prepare for the upcoming Songkran holiday.


American man jumps from 6th floor condo room

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chang Puak police and rescue were called to View Doi Mansion on Morakot Road in Santitham at 5:50 p.m. on April 10, 2012 after receiving reports that a foreigner had jumped from a 6th floor window.

Officers found the body of Douglas Theron Smith,  and American citizen aged 43 years old in the parking lot lying in a pool of blood.

The owner of the building said Mr. Smith had moved into the building on March 1, 2011 and had a companion with him at the time of his death. Police spoke with the companion, a ladyboy named Nui, who reported that Mr. Smith had been acting strange lately and had been using Valium to sleep.

Nui said that Mr. Smith had seen a doctor at the Sirpat Medical Center at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai hospital that morning but didn’t know why. He said that he had gone to the toilet and when he came out, Mr. Smith had leapt to his death. Police continue investigating the case.


Chiang Mai Fest on this weekend

Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul and TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa were joined by TAT Chiang Mai’s head Chalermsak Suranont, the Indian Consul and his wife and General Managers and chefs from the hotels offering food and drinks at the Fest for the grand opening of the 2nd Annual Chiang Mai Fest.

Shana Kongmun

The 2nd annual Chiang Mai Fest opened on Friday, April 6, 2012 at 6 p.m. with Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul welcoming all visitors and residents of Chiang Mai to enjoy the second annual music festival. TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa joined the Governor and representatives from the hotels at the event and Indian Consul Dhirendra Singh Garbyal and his wife at the opening ceremony to ring the gong to start the evening.

A beautiful Lanna performance entertained the crowd, followed by star bartender of Dusit d2 Hotel Chiang Mai showing off the skills that have earned him bartending awards. He presented the finished drink to Mrs. Juthaporn at the end of the show. Then German singer Thomas Kiessling took the stage to wow the audience with his beautiful voice. A bit of rain didn’t deter the crowd as Il Quinto, a South African male vocal group took the stage to entertain followed by Mango Republic comprised of leading Chiang Mai musicians, Garth Taylor playing folk and country music, the Blues Brothers tribute show and Nueng Jakkawal closed out the evening.

If you missed last night, turn out for the show tonight, it is sure to entertain. Show starts from 6 p.m. at the 3 Kings Monument and finishes at 10 p.m.

A beautiful modern Lanna performance started the evening.

German singer Thomas Kiessling was the first singer to take the stage, setting the tone for a great show.


Chiang Mai prepares for funeral ceremony of HRH Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda

A ceremony was held at Wat Suan Dok on Friday, April 6, 2012 to prepare the grounds for the cremation ceremony for HRH Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda on Monday, April 9.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul was joined by Prathep Kosol in presiding over the ceremony to decorate the crematorium grounds at Wat Suan Dok in preparation for Monday’s ceremony for the funeral of HRH Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda.

The ceremony will be held Monday, April 9, 2012 at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. at Wat Suan Dok in conjunction with temples in Chiang Mai and Bangkok and the funeral ceremony at Sanam Luang.

The Governor has asked residents to wear black from April 8-10 out of respect for the funeral of the Princess, the only child of King Rama VI.


“Khu Chao Luang” ceremony on April 17

The Khu Chao Luang ceremony will be held at Wat Suan Dok on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.

Nopniwat Krailerg

The Chiang Mai Culture Office will hold the “Khu Chao Luang” ceremony to remember and pay homage to the Songkran festival and to mark its completion. This annual event features a parade of organizations and schools from the Chiang Mai University Art Museum to Wat Suan Dok. There will be a light and sound show from the dramatic arts students at Chiang Mai University as well.

The ceremony will be held at Wat Suan Dok on April 17, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. and everyone is invited to join this traditional event to honor Songkran.


Suspicious bag found in train station toilet

Bomb disposal police opened the bag to find it was simply some clothes and shoes forgotten by a tourist.

Nopniwat Krailerg

The Chiang Mai police called in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (EOD) of the Border Patrol police and K-9 units after a suspicious bag was reported left in the women’s restroom at the Chiang Mai Railway station.

At 10 am on April 5, 2012 Pol. Col. Somsak Ginapak Chief of Maeping police station Muang Chiang Mai called in the EOD after the bag was reported left in the restroom.

EOD border patrol police and K-9 teams found one black bag and after there was no indication of explosives inside opened it to find shoes and clothes as well as a Chinese book, it is believed the bag must have belonged to a Chinese woman tourist who forgot the bag.

The CCTV cameras have not been functioning due to repairs at the station. The police expressed concern over the malfunctioning cameras as the train station is a major transit point and landmark in Chiang Mai.

The police and army are on a heightened state of security after bombings in Hat Yai targeted tourists.


Security boosted after car bomb in Hat Yai

Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul announces measures to ensure safety and security over the Songkran holidays.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul instructed police and district officials to be extra careful during the upcoming Songkran holidays after a car bomb was set off in the basement of Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel in Hat Yai on March 31, 2012.

The Governor warned police and agencies to help prevent such events in Chiang Mai by setting up checkpoints to search for drugs and weapons, to crack down on drunk drivers in a bid to reduce Songkran fatalities, and to monitor suspicious people.

He also asked the President of the Northern Thai Hotels Association to carefully examine the documents of all guests and make sure that they report guests as required by law. He also asked that they report any suspicious behavior to the police.

He added that it was very important that security checkpoints were carefully manned at all points, including the airport, train station, buses and roads into Chiang Mai. He concluded that even though Hat Yai is quite far away, it was best to take no chances and to ensure the security and safety of residents and visitors.


Education campaign to reduce drunk driving

Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn opened the latest effort to educate drivers on the dangers of drunk driving on March 3, 2012 at the Happytime Radio station sponsored event “98 Happytime Drink, Don’t Drive” at Tha Pae Gate.

The caravan of motorcycles included students and members of the public who distributed stickers and urged the public to raise awareness on the deadly results of drunk driving during the upcoming 7 most dangerous days of Songkran.


Songkran 2012 schedule of events

April 1-3;  Lanna performances water pouring ceremony over Phra Sae Tang Khamani  at Wat Chaing Man

April 4-7; Poy Sang Long or Festival of the Crystal Sons by the Shan people at Wat Pa Pao

April 7-9; Water pouring blessing ceremony at Wat Chiang Yuen

April 10-15: Sand pagodas, pouring water over Buddha statues, performances at Wat Jetrin

April 11-15; Wwater pouring ceremony over the Wat Pa-on Buddhist relic, Lanna performances, local market, food stalls. From Tha Pae Gate to Klang Wiang.

April 12: merit making to celebrate the 716th year of the founding of Chiang Mai at 3 Kings monument. Ceremonial offerings to King Kabilaprom at the Chiang Mai Municial building.

April 13: Grand opening of Songkran at Tha Pae Gate with offerings of food to monks. Miss Umbrella contest, Miss Songkran Contest at Tha Pae Gate. Blessings of the monks at Wat Phra Singh.

April 12-15: Wat Lok Molee will have traditional Lanna celebrations for the New Year.

April 13-15: Buddha Satan will have sand pagoda creations, water pouring ceremonies over the Sirimangkalajarn statue and Lanna performances.

April 13-15; water throwing around the moat and on Huay Kaew Road with live performances on Huay Kaew Road.

April 14; Sand will be carried along the Iron Bridge to Tha Pae Road in a Buddhist ceremony

April 15; Blessings will be offered to the Chiang Mai governor with participants starting from 3 Kings Monument to the Governor’s Residence on Nawarat Bridge.


Mourning period for HRH Princess Bejaratana

Alcohol sales restricted

This coming Sunday are Municipal Council by elections and as per Thai law there will be no alcohol sales in voting areas. Additionally, in respect for the funeral services for HRH Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda Sirisobhabannavadi, the only child of King Rama VI whose funeral will be held on April 9, alcohol sales will be restricted on April 8 and 9 and people are asked to wear black mourning clothes from April 8-10. Residents are invited to attend ceremonies being held at Wat Suan Dok on April 9.


UK offering fast track visitors visa applications

Over 50,000 visitor visas were issued to tourists, family visitors and business travellers in 2011 – a 16% increase compared to the same period in 2010. 94% of all UK visit visa applications made in Thailand last year were successful.

British Ambassador to Thailand, Asif Ahmad said, “It is great to see that even more Thai people are choosing the UK as the ideal destination to travel and do business. The UK offers a wonderfully diverse range of attractions, from historical sites to modern architectural designs and, some of the best business event and conference facilities in the world. We hope to welcome even more visitors in 2012, the year of the London Olympics, where the world can see the best of what Britain has to offer.”

The UK Border Agency and its commercial partner, VFS Global, have introduced two new premium visa services to provide customers with greater choice and flexibility

A priority visa service is now available to eligible customers who are applying for a visit visa. The service allows for customers, who meet certain criteria and pay an additional fee, to have their visa application placed at the front of the processing queue.

The new priority service costs 3,000 baht and is paid for at the time the application is submitted. The UK Border Agency aims to turn around priority applications within 3 working days.

A Prime Time appointment service has also been launched for the convenience of customers. Those who pay a fee can make an appointment to lodge their visa application and provide biometrics at the visa application centre on a Saturday. Prime Time appointments must be made online. Customers can also collect their documents between 9 am and 12 noon on Saturdays at no charge.

For more information on the new premium and priority services visit the UK Border Agency in Thailand website.
 


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Department of Special Investigation says 83% of smuggled pseudoephedrine comes from abroad

Teacher praises police for the quick recovery of her stolen motorbike

Police arrest two Akha for theft

Mae Tang Villagers second protest suspension for an Asphalt Plant

Chiang Mai Chamber signs MoU on fighting corruption

Rotarians expected to travel to Chiang Mai

Earth Day 2012 in Chiang Mai

Ethnic groups from Myanmar meet in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai to host 41st National Games in December

Governor checks out dredging of Khan River in San Patong

Dangerous days of Songkran proving more dangerous than last year

Happy Songkran 2012

Prime Minister opens Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai

Songkran opening at Royal Rajapruek

Songkran Schedule

PM Yingluck to join in Chiang Mai Songkran Festival

Municipality checks out water gun vendors

Nine workers sustain minor injuries in wall collapse at Promenada Resort Mall

Police launch campaign to reduce Songkran accidents

Realistic fire and rescue drill draws crowds at Tha Pae Gate

American man jumps from 6th floor condo room

Chiang Mai Fest on this weekend

Chiang Mai prepares for funeral ceremony of HRH Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda

“Khu Chao Luang” ceremony on April 17

Suspicious bag found in train station toilet

Security boosted after car bomb in Hat Yai

Education campaign to reduce drunk driving

Songkran 2012 schedule of events

Mourning period for HRH Princess Bejaratana

UK offering fast track visitors visa applications