Safety plan for tourists in the forests and mountains
Tourist Police hold training sessions
A training demonstration was held for
members of the foreign diplomatic corps, police, rescue units,
government officials and members of the public sector.
The Tourist Police Division has implemented a new policy for safety for
tourists and as part of that policy held training sessions with
government authorities, the private sector and rescue units in Northern
Thailand and Bangkok.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Thanitsak Tirasawat, Commissioner of Region 5, Pol. Maj.
Gen. Adit Ngamjitsuksri, Deputy Commissioner of the Central
Investigation Police, Pol. Maj. Gen. Aphichai Thiamart, Chief of theThai
Tourist Police, Governor Suriya Pratasbuntitya, Boonlert Buranupakorn,
President of Chiang Mai PAO, Mr. Wei Wei Qiu, Pro-consul of the Chinese
Consulate in Chiang Mai, Ben Svasti Thomson, the British Honorary
Consul, Mr. Yusuke Nemoto, Consul of Japanese Consulate Chiang Mai, Mr.
Mark Carlson, Consul of the American Consulate Chiang Mai, officials
from organizations involved including various rescue units, hospitals,
Sky Doctor medical units and the Police Aviation Division attended the
session on January 28, 2015.
In the training session Tourist Police presented scenarios of foreign
and domestic tourists in emergency situations in the middle of the
forest; and communication skills were demonstrated of who and where to
contact while encountering such situations. Standard first aid
procedures were also demonstrated and rescue vehicles and equipment used
to cut trees or bushes were also brought into the session. They also
demonstrated on how to rescue a tourist by helicopter, how to situate an
injured person before loading was also shown.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Aphichai Thiamart, Chief of the Tourist Police said,
“Thailand has many beautiful attractions that are known worldwide. Every
year, Thailand receives a large number of tourists and we must support
tourism by ensuring international safety standards. The action training
plan was held to build confidence and ready people to handle a real
situation. The mission is to connect all organizations involved, which
includes government agencies, private sector and residents. We must be
the perfect host and work together to ensure our visitors are
comfortable and safe in response to the new government policy in the
“Thailand Tourism” year. Soon we will be looking forward to the opening
of the ASEAN”, concluded Aphichai.
Police arrest 3 northern drug traffickers in Bangkok
Police arrested three men who had traveled
from Chiang Rai to Bangkok with 288,000 Yaba pills and 19.5 kg of Ya
Region 5 police announced the arrest of three alleged drug traffickers
arrested in Chiang Rai on January 26, 2015 with 288,000 methamphetamine
pills, 19.5 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and 121,500 baht in
Pol. Lt. Gen. Tanitsak Theerasawat, Police Region 5 Commissioner, Pol.
Maj. Gen. Prayach Bunsri, Deputy Commissioner of Police Region 5,
WinaiChaimongkol, Director of Narcotics Control Office Region 5 and Pha
Muang Task Force officers, jointly announced the arrest of Somkid
Thowsakul age 39, Rirut Intakosum age 31 and Yongyut Pukkham age 39.
Police received a tip off hat drugs were being smuggled to Central
Thailand from Chiang Rai and set up an ambush at the PTT Station on
Prasertmanukij Road in Bangkok where they arrested the three suspects
who had allegedly arrived from the North with the drugs. The three men
will be prosecuted in the North.
Emergency Call booths set up around the city
The Municipal Office has installed four
Emergency Call booths in the old city to aid visitors in need of
Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn announced the installation of four
Emergency Call booths at strategic tourist spots in the old city
including near Tha Pae Gate, in front of Wat Phra Singh and in two
locations near the Three King’s Monument.
The Mayor said that those in an emergency situation can simply push the
Emergency Call button and the call will be sent to the ATC of the Chiang
Mai Municipal Office for instant help.
He added that the city continues to install CCTV cameras around the city
but have been hampered by budget constraints making it impossible to
complete the project in one year as earlier planned. The CCTV
installation project will continue for the next few years and is planned
for completion in 2017. The CCTV cameras are also connected to the ATC
and are monitored there.
The Municipality is working to ensure the safety and security of Chiang
Mai residents and visitors. The population continues to grow and further
growth is expected as the AEC sees implementation at the end of this
The Chiang Mai Municipality will coordinate with other organizations in
using the CCTV footage to investigate crimes and violate traffic laws.
Chiang Mai to host Sugar Cane Technologists Congress in 2016
Chiang Mai will host the 29th International
Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Congress 2016 next year at the
Chiang Mai International Convention Center.
Chiang Mai won the bid to host the 29th International Society of Sugar
Cane Technologists Congress 2016 which will be held at the Chiang Mai
International Convention Center on December 5 -9, 2016.
Kitti Chunawong, President of the Sugar Cane Society Thailand, Timothy
John Murry, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International
Society of Sugar Cane Technologist Congress, Suriya Prasatbuntitya,
Governor of Chiang Mai and Dr. Sarawut Srisakun, Director of the
Pinkanakorn Development Agency joined the press conference to announce
Kitti Chunawong, President of the Sugar Cane Society Thailand, said that
the event will see representatives from government agencies, the private
sector, and businesses involved in sugar cane and research institutes to
distribute information on technological progress and innovation in the
sugar cane industry.
The last time Thailand hosted the Congress was in 1992, around 2,000
people from over 50 countries are expected to take part in the event.
Academics, researchers and other organizations involved will showcase
the progress of science, technology and research from their countries.
This will be useful for the preparation of national research policies
through the exchange of knowledge and innovative technologies that will
benefit the sugar industry of Thailand.
Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya said “Chiang Mai’s economy is growing
with investments in various industries, including the development of
tourism and is growing to become a center of exhibitions and meetings in
Northern Thailand pushing Chiang Mai to become a MICE city in the
Greater Mekong Sub-region and BIMSTEC area. Chiang Mai will soon become
a MICE City in Northern Thailand, and being chosen as the venue for the
29th International Society of Sugar Cane Technologist Congress is part
of this process,” concluded Suriya.
Dr. Sarawut Srisakun, Director of the Pinkanakorn Development as the
representative of the Chiang Mai International Convention Center said,
“I’m very pleased that the Chiang Mai International Convention Center
has chosen to host the 29th International Society of Sugar Cane
Technologists Congress 2016. The Chiang Mai International Convention
Center is known as the biggest meeting center in NorthernThailand and it
is ready to host all sorts of national or international exhibitions as a
MICE City. It will be a great venue to meet the needs of the MICE
businesses and the opening of the upcoming Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (ASEAN) later this year”.
Japanese Film Festival February 13 – 21 at Central Festival
About the Pink Sky by Keiichi Kobayashi is
the story of a high school student who finds a wallet full of cash and
instead of returning the money loans it to a friend.
The Japanese Film Festival is an annual event organized by the Japan
Foundation, Bangkok which has been continuously organized for almost 40
years. In 2015, under the theme [LIFE], we are proud to present 15
Japanese films which are delicately selected for your pleasant. Watch
the award winning films that have inspired many audiences from over the
The Japan Foundation, Bangkok together with Major Cineplex, with support
of Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai and the Embassy of Japan in
Thailand, proudly presents the Japanese Film Festival 2015.
The Festival runs from Friday, February 13 to 21 at the Major Cineplex
at Central Festival and will feature films from Japan at only 100 baht
each. Thai and English subtitles are on all films and they will be shown
daily at differing times throughout the day.
Friday February 13 the Opening Film is Lupin the 3rd, Invitees Only
Sat 14 Feb: 11.00-13.00 - Tug of War! (2012, 111 min)
13.30-16.10 - The Story of Yonosuke (2013, 160 min)
17.00-20.00 - Saudade (2011, 160 min) Screening and Talk Session
Sun 15 Feb: 11.00-13.00 - Akko-Chan : The Movie (2012, 120 min)
13.30-15.30 - The Kirishima Thing (2010, 130 min)
16.00-18.00 - The Light Shines Only There(2014, 120 min)
Mon 16 Feb: 19.00-21.00 - Casting blossoms to the Sky (2012, 160 min)
Tue 17 Feb: 19.00-21.00 - Hospitalite 1.1 (2010, 96 min)
Wed 18 Feb: 19.00-21.00 - About the Pink Sky (2013, 112 min)
Thu 19 Feb: 19.00-21.00 - Leaving on the 15th Spring (2013, 114 min)
Fri 20 Feb: 16.00-18.00 - Until the Break of Dawn (2012, 129 min)
Sat 21 Feb: 11.00-13.00 _ Lupin the 3rd (2014, 120 min)
13.30-15.30 - The Ravine of Goodbye (2013, 117 min)
Closing Film: My Man (2014, 128 min) at 16.00-18.00
Japanese government helps build earthquake safe school in Chiang Rai
Mr. Akihiko Fujii, Consul-General of Japan
in Chiang Mai, and Mr. Surasak Benchapalaporn, Director of Ban Dongmada
School signed the MOU to build earthquake proof buildings at the school.
The Government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human
Security Projects Scheme (GGP), is providing special emergency funds
amounting to 7,428,000 baht for “The Project for Construction of
Earthquake-Resistant School Building of Ban Dongmada School in Maelao
District, Chiang Rai Province”. On January 21, 2015, Mr. Akihiko Fujii,
Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Mr. Surasak Benchapalaporn,
Director of Ban Dongmada School, jointly signed the funding contract at
the Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai.
Ban Dongmada School is a public primary school serving 3 villages in
Dongmada Sub-District and now has 145 students enrolled from
kindergarten through 6th grade. Many of the students are orphans,
children from poor families and stateless children. Ethnic minorities
such as Aka and Hmong account for over half of all students.
The largest recorded earthquake in the history of Thailand with a
magnitude 6.3, and centered on the border between Maelao and Pan
Districts, occurred on May 5, 2014. Many schools in Chiang Rai Province,
including Ban Dongmada School, suffered severe damage that rendered the
buildings unusable. As a result, many students did not have a place to
study. It is thought that factors contributing to the serious damage are
that the structures were not built to be seismic-resistant as
earthquakes are infrequent in Thailand, and on top of that, the
buildings were old. The Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai
promptly inspected the earthquake-affected area and decided to support
Ban Dongmada School that had several buildings damaged in constructing a
new school building after consultation with the Chiang Rai Primary
Education Service Area Office 2. This school building will be built
based upon the first earthquake-resistant school building design in
Thailand, a design by the Ministry of Education in the wake of the
earthquake. In addition, the Thai Government will provide another
earthquake-resistant building for the school.
The students of Ban Dongmada School are now forced to have their lessons
in temporary classrooms that are just shells with a roof and 2 walls.
This is a difficult learning environment due to the cold outside air in
the morning and the direct sunlight pouring in during the day. The new
school building, therefore, needs to be completed as soon as possible.
The government of Japan will provide a safe and comfortable learning
environment for students of Ban Dongmada School through this support as
well as continuing to support other schools in Chiang Rai which were
affected by the earthquake.
For more information on the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human
Security Projects Scheme please contact the Consulate-General of Japan
in Chiang Mai. Tel: 053-203-367 / Fax: 053-203-373 / Email:
New dengue vaccine developed in Chiang Mai
Researchers hope to see its release in three years
A vaccination against all four strains of
dengue fever has been trialed in Thailand and researchers hope to see it
released to the public within a few years.
The 3rd workshop of ASEAN members states Dengue Vaccination
Advocacy (ADVA) was held at Le Meridien Hotel Chiang Mai from January 8
-9, 2015 where Singaporean vaccine expert Prof. Tikki Pang held a press
conference after the meeting with Prof. Ira Longini, American
Biostatistics and Computational Mathematics expert on dengue fever from
Florida, and Prof. Dr. Usa Thisyakorn of Chulalongkorn University and
consultant of Faculty of Tropical Medicine of Mahidol University as a
president of ADVA to announce cooperation on developing a dengue fever
Prof. Dr. Usa Thisyakorn revealed that ADVA has helped to promote
cooperation in the region on the fight against dengue and encourage
shared responsibility to prevent and control dengue. ADVA has been
working to see cooperation on the development of dengue vaccines in the
clinic and use mathematical models and strategy to plan the introduction
of dengue vaccines and integrated disease vectors management and
vaccination to control outbreaks of dengue fever.
According to a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine,
after 60 years of scientific effort they have isolated and identified
the pathogens in strains 1 (in Hawaiian, DEN1) and strain 2 (New Guinea,
DEN 2). Professor Nat Pamonprawat from Mahidol University working on it
from 1970-1980 indicated the possibility of vaccines for all four
strains can succeed. In 1994 Sanofi Pasteur vaccines manufactory and the
Vaccine Development Centre of the Mahidol University of Thailand
collaborated on working on a vaccine and then in 2012, a result of the
study of clinical Phase 2B in Thailand showed that dengue vaccine is
possible. A study to test the effectiveness of a vaccine against dengue
fever Phase 3 was held trialing 10,275 children for the first time and
then later 20,000 people in South America were also trialed the vaccine.
The professor also added that there are still four dengue strains at the
present and the new vaccine can work against all 4 strains. Although it
does not provide 100% protection it can reduce the severity of the
disease. Now, the vaccine is being tested in Thailand in Ratchaburi and
Kamphaeng Phet. Test patients are injected with the vaccine three times
every 6 months. Results should be published and it is expected the
vaccine will be available to the public within two or three years
depending on policies of the different countries that will use it.
Bakery fire causes 400,000 baht in damage
The Phung Noi Bakery in Chang Puak suffered
400,000 baht in damages after a fire broke out at the gas oven.
Chiang Mai police and firefighters rushed to the Phung Noi
Bakery in Chang Puak at 4:20 p.m. on January 17, 2015 to find black
smoke billowing out of the building. Four fire trucks rushed to the
scene to put out the blaze.
Bakery employees evacuated the building as soon as they saw the smoke
and ire coming out of chimney on the 4th floor of the old building. On
the ground floor firefighters found a large 1.5 by 2 meter oven on fire.
It took firefighters around 15 minutes to put out the fire.
Rat and Phongphan Palapong of Phung Noi Bakery said that they believe
the cause of the fire was most likely due to heat rising from the gas
lines which sparked a fire that spread up the chimney. The chimney had
accumulated years of soot, oil and grease and so was flammable.
Firefighters urged companies to ensure their equipment is safe and not a
fire hazard but praised the company for holding annual fire drills so
that the employees remained safe. They estimate the fire caused 400,000
baht in damages.
Chiang Mai Jazz & Music in the City draws large crowds
The Chiang Mai Jazz & Music in the City
concert raised funds for the Kamol – Riam Sukosol in Mae Ai.
The Chiang Mai Jazz & Music in the City charity fundraising
concert was opened on January 17, 2015 by Chalermchart Nakarangkul, the
president of Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce, Chavalit Suvitsakdanon,
Managing Director of Nim City Daily, Dr. Pranee Suvitsakdanon, Managing
Director of Nim City Daily and Anan Thampanya, Director of Kamol-Riam
Sukosol (Ban Pha Tai) School who were the recipients of computer
equipment by the Nim Volunteer Club.
The free two day concert was held on January 17 and 18 and saw
performances by the Orchestra Band of Montfort College, Kai Pannipa,
Maleewan Jimena, The Fusion Mania, Non the Voice, Mild and others as
well as fund raising activities to raise funds to purchase equipment for
teaching, sports equipment and build a playground for Kamol - Riam
Sukosol (Ban Pha Tai) school in Mae Ai district, Chiang Mai.
Changes to notarial services at the British Consulate in Chiang Mai
The British Embassy in Thailand announced that from 1 February 2015
there will be a change to notarial and documentary services at the
British Consulate in Chiang Mai. From this date the British Consulate in
Chiang Mai will cease providing notarial and documentary services e.g.
pension letters, affirmations, certification of documents. These
services will be provided by the British Embassy in Bangkok.
for more information.
The changes are part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s 2013-2016
Consular Strategy, launched by the British Foreign Secretary in April
2013. The strategy commits the FCO to providing a more professional,
modern and streamlined service for British Nationals who require access
to notarial and documentary services.
The changes will make better use of resources and modernise the delivery
of these services. This will allow them to focus our resources on
helping those who most need it, providing more support to our most
vulnerable customers including children, the elderly, people with mental
health problems, prisoners and victims of serious crime.
The majority of requests the Honorary Consulate receives for notarial
and documentary services in are for pension letters required by the Thai
authorities. Individuals will not be required to attend the British
Embassy in Bangkok in person for this service, their application should
be submitted by post. For any service that does require attendance in
person, such as oaths, affirmations of freedom to marry etc, the Embassy
guarantees a same day service as long as the application is completed
correctly and contains all the necessary supporting documents.
Chiang Mai police arrest Nigerian for computer fraud
Region 5 police explain how the computer
fraud worked to reporters.
Provincial Police Region 5 announced the arrest of a 29 year old
Nigerian man and his 29 year old girlfriend from Nakhon Si Thammarat on
January 16, 2015 at the headquarters. Police said they had the Chiang
Mai Courts issue an arrest warrant for Wannakan Sukming and Mr. Shola
Rotimi Oluwple for violating the Computer Data Act.
The Muang Chiang Mai police received a complaint from Achara Patthong,
age 53 of the Achara Silver shop who told police that her email account
had been hacked and her customer list stolen. An email was then sent
from an email address similar to her own asking for payment. Two foreign
customers had fallen for the fake email and sent a total of 101,644 baht
to the bank account of Wannakan Sukming. Wannakan told police that the
suspect had ordered her to open the bank account so police arrested him
Stray animal population on the rise at local temples
Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn
called on members of the community to be responsible for their pets as
the numbers of abandoned animals at temples continues to rise.
The Chiang Mai Municipality provided mobile clinics for rabies
vaccinations, contraception injections and tick treatment for
communities in the city last year but found the numbers of stray animals
left at temples continued to increase.
Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn said that reasons that pets were
left is owners bored with them when go a new pet or the owners do not
want to pay for treatment of their pets when they fall ill. He said that
the number of dogs and cats that are abandoned will continue to increase
as long as people do not change this behavior. He urged people to
consider before adopting a pet or taking one in and making sure they
would be able and willing to take responsibility for their pets. He
noted that the city will continue to provide the mobile clinics to try
and eliminate rabies but strongly urged members of the community to take
responsibility for their own pets.
Zoo readies to extend contract with China for pandas
Benchapol Nakprasert, Director of Zoological
Park Organization of Thailand announces the hopes for extending the
pandas’ stay in Chiang Mai.
Benchapol Nakprasert, Director of Zoological Park Organization
of Thailand along with Kanchai Saenwong, Director of Chiang Mai Zoo,
Nipon Wichairat, Assistant Director of the Chiang Mai Zoo, Boripat
Siriaroonrat, Head of the working group of Panda Research and Display
Project and Veterinarian Kannika Chantararangsee, Head of a working
group for Panda Conservation, announced their plans for “The progress of
Panda in Thailand and Chiang Mai Zoo Development plans Annual Year
Benchapol Nakprasert said that Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui were initially
going to stay on display for ten years, that contract expired in 2013
and was extended. The Zoo is in the process of renegotiating a new
contract to keep Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui and are awaiting Cabinet
approval for approval as it is considered an international treaty.
They hope to extend the stay of the two pandas in Chiang Mai while
beloved Lin Ping, who is still in China, will be discussed at the end of
The zoo will build a water park for children, size 3,674 square meters
and 30 centimeters depth, include playthings, fountain court, changing
rooms, etc. It is expected to be open this September. In addition, the
zoo will launch the Huai Kha Khaeng Zone this October.
Veterinarian Boripat Siriaroonrat said that the Zoo is still working on
the artificial insemination program for the pandas after Lin Hui lost
her baby last year. She is still not in estrus but they are working to
ensure her health is good and are learning new techniques after
attending and international conference in Chongqing last year. The team
is storing semen so that if she ovulates they will have some on hand to
artificially inseminate her.
One million Yaba pills uncovered in major Northern drug bust
Suspect arrested in hospital parking lot
Police uncovered 1 million Yaba pills and 18kg
of Ya Ice after receiving a tip off over a major drug trafficking attempt in
Police announced the arrest of a 43 year old drug trafficker
named Niran or San Sakulrakkriet with one million methamphetamine pills
and 18 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in the parking lot of the
Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital on January 15, 2015 at the Provincial
Police Region 5 office.
The suspect was arrested after police received a tip off that members of
the infamous Lt. Col. Yi Sae network would be smuggling drugs from
Chiang Rai to Bangkok with the pick up at the hospital.
Police stopped the suspect and uncovered the huge haul of drugs, the
suspect confessed that he had been hired by his neighbor, a man named
Samran, to deliver the drugs to the parking lot for 10,000 baht.
Burmese drug trafficker arrested in Fang with 100,000 Yaba pills
A Burmese man was arrested with 100,000 Yaba
pills by the Border Patrol Police on January 8, 2015.
The Pha Muang Task Force arrested a Burmese national in Fang
District on January 8, 2015 with 100,000 methamphetamine pills in his
possession after receiving a tip off that drug traffickers would be in
the Mon Pin Sub-District.
On January 9, 2015 Lt. Col. Tanapol Wongsawat, Commander of 2nd Control
Division, 5th Cavalry Regiment Task Force representing the Pha Muang
Task Force, Fang government officers, Fang police, Border Patrol Police
and Narcotics Control Office Region 5 officers announced the arrest of a
Burmese drug trafficker named Jahae, last name unknown.
Capt. Worrasit Ketcharoen, set the team to ambush a gang of traffickers
in the Mon Pin Sub-district and stopped three men walking through, the
men ran off and officers managed to catch one man who allegedly had the
drugs on him.
The suspect confessed that he was engaged to smuggle the drugs from the
border in Myanmar.
Chiang Mai Zoo welcomes new baby Douc Langur
A new Douc Langur has been born to the
Chiang Mai Zoo.
Chiang Mai Zoo welcomed the newest baby to the family of Douc
Langur primates at the Zoo. Douc Langur are considered some of the most
beautiful primates in the world, their colorful red forehead offset by
the white beard, yellow face and grey head. The primate also has a white
tail and bottom.
At noon on 7th January, 2015, Kanchai Saenwong, Director of Chiang Mai
Zoo re[ported that five year old mother Nang had given birth to a new
bab from Father Bu, a 6 year old Douc Langur. Previously, the Chiang Mai
Zoo received 2 female Douc Langurs, bringing the total to 6. The Zoo
will be holding a contest to name the new baby. Chiang Mai Zoo received
3 Douc Langurs from Dusit Zoo on July 15, 2012; 1 male and 2 females.
The Doug Langur male is 2 times bigger than female and has a fur tassels
at the waist on both sides. It lives in a group and eats vegetables and
fruit, sleeping after eating. The gestation period is around 196 days.
Douc Langurs can be found in Laos, Vietnam and Indochina although they
are not native to Thailand. Douc Langurs are at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo,
Dusit Zoo and Chiang Mai Zoo.
Chiang Mai Night Safari introduced 3 new Barbary sheep
Barbary lambs will be living in the Savanna
Zone with the herd of Barbary Sheep.
The Chiang Mai Night Safari welcomed three new Barbary lambs to the fold
on January 9, 2015 where they will live in the Savanna Zone. Currently,
Chiang Mai Night Safari has 11 Barbary sheep; 2 males, 6 females and the
three babies whose gender is currently unknown.
Barbary sheep or Ammotraguslervia is a wild sheep that is native to
North Africa. It has red brown hair on the body, chest and the upper
part of the front legs. It has a large bent horn. The body is from
1.3-1.9 meters long and when mature can reach 90 cm tall and weight
between 130-150 kg. It has hard hoofs to climb rocks. The Barbary Sheep
usually delivers one of two lambs per year. Deliver 1-2 children per
year. Barbary sheep are naturally occurring in northern Africa in
Algeria, Tunisia, northern Chad, Egypt, Libya, northern Mali,
Mauritania, Morocco, Niger and Sudan (west of the Nile, and in the Red
Sea Hills east of the Nile).
1 million meth pills seized in Chiang Rai
Police here arrested a drug trafficker with one million methamphetamine
pills in a hospital carpark. They said the drugs were destined for
Pol Lt Gen Thanitsak Theerasawasdi, commander of Provincial Police
Region 5, said Niran Sakulrakkiat, 43, was arrested driving a pickup
truck with 10 bags containing 1 million methamphetamine pills and 18
kilograms of crystal methamphetamine or "ice" in green tea packages.
The suspect alleged that a man named Samran Khongkitcharoen hired him to
park the truck at a gas station where another person would drive the
vehicle to Bangkok. Police later arrested an alleged accomplice, who was
Gen Thanitsak said the speed pills came from the network of a Shan
dealer identified as Saeng. The network is active in border areas of
Chiang Khong district in Chiang Rai and localities in the Lao PDR
opposite Chiang Khong.
It was the biggest capture of illicit drugs there this year and the
market value of the drug could exceed Bt500 million in the capital. (MCOT
HRH Princess Soamsawali opens CMU Agriculture Fair
HRH Princess Soamsawali opened the 7th
Northern Agriculture Fair at Chiang Mai University.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
HRH Princess Soamsawali opened the 7th Annual Northern Agriculture Fair
at the Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Agriculture on January 7,
2015. The Fair is being held in honor of HM the King on his 87th
birthday and the 50th anniversary of Chiang Mai University this year.
In addition to exhibits on sustainable agriculture, post-harvest
procedures, farmers networks and the works of HM the King and the Royal
Project in Thailand’s agriculture there are also conferences and
seminars on both international and national agricultural issues.
The Agriculture Fair also has local farmers selling agricultural produce
and other products. There are also student demonstrations, performances
and cultural events. The Agriculture Fair is at the Faculty of
Agriculture on Chiang Mai University main campus and at the Mae Hia
campus until January 11, 2015.
Chiang Mai tops the country in New Year’s traffic fatalities
Most number of accidents in the country
The Road Safety Center issued results for the 7
Dangerous Days of New Year revealing that Chiang Mai had the highest number
of deaths and accidents in the nation.
Chiang Mai came in first for both numbers of fatalities and accidents during
the 7 Dangerous Days of New Year from December 30, 2014 to January 5, 2015.
Eighteen people died during the New Year holiday in Chiang Mai and 129
people were injured in 133 accidents. Chiang Rai and Petchabun came in
second with 15 deaths.
Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya added that 371 checkpoints had bet
set up around the province manned by 11,321 officers. The majority of
accidents involved motorcycles: 122 out of 133 while seven accidents
involved pickup trucks and four cars. Drunk driving was the cause of 31.90%
of the accidents.
This year’s death toll was higher than last year with 14 men and 4 women
killed. Of the injured, 100 were men and 29 women. The main factor was drunk
driving followed by speeding and not wearing a helmet.
The traffic police and government arranged public buses to accommodate
traffic for Doi Inthanon, Doi Suthep, Doi Angkhang and Doi Kham.
Nationwide the overall number was slightly lower with 341 deaths, down from
367 last year. There were 2,997 accidents with 3,117 injuries, down from
3,174 accidents last year and 3,344 injuries. Nationwide 37.30% of the
accidents were due to drunk driving and 24.39% were caused by speeding.
Motorcycles were involved in 82.26% of the accidents and in most of these
the riders were not wearing helmets.
Pathtanita Sadudee, Head of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office Chiang
Mai said that despite increased presence the numbers in Chiang Mai had risen
with drunk driving a major problem. Most of the dead were locals on
The Governor raised concerns about Songkran Festival and that local
governments must raise awareness against driving drunk and more checkpoints
for alcohol will need to be set up.
Dr. Cynthia Maung to speak at Chiang Mai International Rotary Club
The famed Dr. Cynthia Maung of the Mae Tao Clinic in Tak Province
will be speaking at a special open meeting held by the Chiang Mai
International Rotary Club on January 27, 2015 at Le Meridien Hotel Chiang
Mai. Dr. Maung is the founder of the Mae Tao Clinic, a native of Myanmar she
established the clinic in 1989 to cope with the huge influx of refugees
fleeing government violence and the 8888 uprising crackdowns.
Cynthia Maung, founder of the Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot, Tak Province will
be speaking to the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club and guests at the Le
Meridien Hotel Chiang Mai on Tuesday, January 27 at 7:30 p.m. The event is
open to the public.
Starting with a makeshift clinic she has grown the facilities to not only
include a hospital but also education and satellite clinics. The hospital
provides surgical services, reproductive care, HIV treatment, prosthetics,
eye and dental care. The clinic serves between 400 - 500 people on average
by about 700 staff providing health care and child protection services. The
clinic treats more than 115,000 cases annually.
Dr. Maung has been awarded the Sydney Peace Prize, the Magsaysay Award, and
the Catalonia International Prize among many others. Her tireless efforts to
provide health and child services to Burmese refugees along the Mae Sot
border have earned her international praise and her efforts to work with the
Thai government have resulted in a positive relationship with the Thai
Ministry of Public Health and Mae Sot Hospital.
Raffle tickets will be sold to raise funds for the Mae Tao Clinic and will
feature such great prizes as two return tickets from Bangkok Air from Chiang
Mai to Yangon, a Spa and Silver Needle Afternoon Tea Experience for 2
persons at 137 Pillars House, a gift voucher for the green fees for 18 holes
of golf for 2 at the historic Chiengmai Gymkhana Golf Club and a gift
voucher for 1000 baht for food at Chez Marco Mediterranean Restaurant.
Dr. Cynthia will be speaking on the Mae Tao Clinic and initiatives for
children and the current border situation with Myanmar. The program begins
at 6:30 p.m. for registration, tickets are 200 baht. The program begins at
7:30 p.m. at Le Meridien Chiang Mai.
Unseasonal rain comes to the North
Doi Suthep is covered in clouds as rain
continues across Chiang Mai and the North.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Unseasonal rains have brought some relief to drought stricken Chiang
Mai and the Thai Meteorological Department predicts that the rains and cool
temperatures will continue through to Monday, January 12, 2015. A rather
strong high pressure from China extends to upper Thailand and a westerly
trough moves across the North and upper Northeast bringing thunderstorms and
gusty winds. Isolated hail is predicted for the North and Northeast.
Temperatures have dropped from 6-8 ░C.
People in the higher altitudes are warned about cold and damp weather which
is predicted to continue through next week.
The rain, which began the afternoon of January 8, is providing some welcome
relief as Chiang Mai faces its worst drought in sixteen years. Facing a
severe water shortage the First Irrigation Office said that it would not
release any water for rice fields in the coming season as the Mae Kuang Dam
was at its lowest level in sixteen years.
Border crossing times extended
The border crossing at Mae Sai in Chiang Rai
will now close at 9:30 p.m. instead of 6:30 p.m. while the crossing in Tak
will close at 8:30 p.m.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The border crossing at Mae Sai in Chiang Rai will now remain open until 9
p.m. instead of closing at 6:30 p.m. the Ministry of Interior announced. The
border crossing at Mae Sot in Tak Province will open from 5:30 a.m. and
close at 8:30 p.m. Mae Sai will still open at 6:30 a.m.
A meeting of National Security Council members agreed to the new border
crossing hours to promote trade, investment and tourism. The government has
set a target to increase cross border trade to 1.5 trillion baht in volume
for 2015 and the new extended hours are expected to help the government
reach those targets.
Baby sun bear welcomed to Zoo
The Chiang Mai Zoo welcomed the newest little member, a baby Sun Bear,
the first animal to be born at the Zoo in the New Year. Mother Nan was
named by the public and father Paul came to Chiang Mai from Dusit Zoo in
Bangkok. Malayan Sun Bears are native to Burma, Indochina, Thailand,
Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, and southern China. They are more common in
Southern Thailand and are omnivorous, eating both leaves, insects, worms
and small animals, they are very fond of coconut and can damage the
trees. They average around 100 -140 cm long and can weight between 27 kg
to 65 kg. Sun Bears are nocturnal creatures although at times can be
diurnal, they like to sleep in trees and can make sounds that sound like
a barking dog. The protected bears are pregnant for around 95 days and
can live up to 20 years. There will be a contest to name the new baby
Man arrested in New Year bomb scare
Police investigate the fake bomb that was
found on January 1, police announced the arrest of a Phrae man who said
it was a prank.
Police announced the arrest of a Phrae man in the bomb scare on
New Year’s near the Anantara Chiang Mai. Police reported that a fake
pipe bomb was found near the Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa, opposite
the French Consulate and Alliance Franšaise in the morning of January 1,
Although the item ended up being a fake, bomb disposal experts still
disabled it with a high pressure water gun on site at Charoen Prathet
Road before taking it in for examination and determining it had no
explosives in it.
Pol. Col. Suwat Kaewduangto, Deputy Commissioner of Chiang Mai
Provincial Police reported that police investigated CCTV cameras in the
area to determine who was behind what they believed to be an attempt to
disrupt New Year’s festivities.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Thanitsak Theerasawas Commissioner of Police Region 5
said police found that the device was actually a fire extinguisher and
traced it to a nearby hotel from the serial number on the body of the
container. This led to the arrest of Phrae native Somphop Wongluea, age
36 who has been working in a nearby hotel. He confessed to police that
it was simply a prank.
Fang girl wins Miss Chiang Mai
Miss Chiang Mai Alisa Santitham and runners
up at the contest.
The annual Miss Chiang Mai contest, a fixture of the Chiang Mai
OTOP and Winter Fair saw an 18 year old Matthayom girl from Fang take
first place and assume the crown of Miss Chiang Mai for 2015.
The third place winner went to Kawinthip Jindarassamee, age 21 and
second place to Warissara Chailert, age 22 while 19 year old Alisa
Santitham from Fang took the crown, a hundred thousand baht cash prize
and the chance to compete in Miss Thailand 2015 later this year. Alisa
was a favorite, also winning Miss Photogenic, Miss Bangkok Clinic award
and Miss Personality.
The Miss Chiang Mai contest is held at the Winter Fair held behind City
Hall every December, past winners have gone on to win Miss Thailand
including Supaporn Homboonyasak in 2010 and Wachiporn Sittipong in 2002.
Year-end crime report from Region 5 police
798 offenders arrested from December 22 -26
Region 5 police announced the results of a
crime sweep during December 22 – 26, 2014 resulting in the arrest of
murderers, a kidnapper, drug traffickers and those carrying illegal
As part of the Region 5 Police’s efforts to clear criminals from
city streets for the Christmas and New Year high season police arrested
798 people in 771 cases from December 22 to December 26, 2014 Pol. Lt.
Gen. Tanitsak Theerasawat, Police Region 5 Commissioner announced.
In a bid to improve safety during the holiday season for both residents
and visitors the police coordinated with other agencies to raid target
locations and set up checkpoints to check for drugs and other illegal
items such as weapons as well as for wanted criminals.
Police arrested 21 people on a variety of assault charges, two for
murder, one for kidnapping 64 people on gambling charges and 35 carrying
illegal weapons including war weapons such as assault rifles. Police
arrested 565 people over the period and confiscated a total of 540,642
methamphetamine pills, 3,075 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 6.24g of
heroin, 8,516g of opium, 43.85g of marijuana, and 72 Kratom leaves. They
destroyed 336 square meters of opium fields, and arrested 25 people on
outstanding warrants on drug charges as well as arrested 71 other people
on drug charges.
Chiang Mai makes merit for New Year
Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya and his wife join
merit making ceremonies at Wat Phra Singh to honor HM King Bhumibol and pray
for harmony and prosperity in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya and his wife Mananya
joined leading monks, government officials and members of the public in
making merit on the morning of New Year.
The Governor and Deputy Governors prayed at six key locations around the
city to honor HM the King and to pray for harmony and prosperity for Chiang
Mai in the coming year 2558 in the Buddhist Era.
The Governor and Deputy Governors visited Wat Phra Singh, Wat Mahathat Doi
Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Suan Dok, Wat Phrathat Srijomtong and Wat Tha
Thon in Mae Ai.
Chiang Mai tops the list for most accidents over New Year
Tied with Surat Thani, Buri Ram and Phetchabun for most fatalities
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Road Safety Center reported that in the first two days of
the 7 dangerous days of New Year saw Chiang Mai tie for most fatalities
with Surat Thani, Buri Ram and Petchabun with seven dead. Chiang Mai
also topped the list for most number of accidents at 49 although Nakhon
Sawan had the most number of injuries with 52. The only provinces with
no accidents were Rayong and Phang Nga.
Eighty-four percent of the accidents involved motorcycles and drunk
driving was the cause of 42 percent of the accidents.
Recent reports show that the third day, January 1, 2015. saw Chiang Mai
and Nakhon Sawan with the highest numbers of accidents. The third day
alone saw 604 road accidents, injuring 625 people and killing 60 people
The three day total saw 190 people killed in 1,737 accidents and 1,782
people injured nationwide in the count that began on December 30, 2014
and ends January 5, 2015.
Fake bomb uncovered near Alliance Franšaise
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Third Army commander reported that a fake bomb was
found near the Alliance Francaise building on Charoen Prathet
Road on January 1, 2015. The object, made to look like a bomb,
was placed under a tree on the sidewalk about 500 meters from
the Alliance Franšaise; the building also acts as the French
Police and Army are viewing CCTV camera footage in the
neighborhood to determine the culprits. Police suspect that kids
aiming to disrupt New Year’s Eve celebrations were behind the
item that was an iron rod wrapped with electrical wires and tape
to look like a pipe bomb. Members of the bomb disposal unit used
a high pressure water gun on the item.