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Update January 2016


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Chiang Mai News
 

Yaba found stashed in a doll at the airport

Bag left outside the building

The baby doll that was found inside a black bag with 200 methamphetamine tablets inside.

Police show the doll and the bag that were recovered on Chiang Mai International property on January 16, 2016.

Nopniwat Krailerg
After receiving a tip off that drug dealing was taking place at Chiang Mai International Airport Drug Suppression officers led by Pol. Lt. Col. Kom Chetkhuntod investigated areas around the airport including the luggage loading area at 6 p.m. on January 26, 2016. Police found a woman’s black purse left near a post outside the building.

Further inspection of the purse found a typical child’s baby doll inside and stashed inside the doll were 200 Yaba or methamphetamine pills. The bag was taken to Phuping Police Station. Police believe the bag was left behind for a buyer to come pick up and will be investigating further to determine who left the bag behind, the area was covered by CCTV cameras so they are reviewing that footage now.

The latest rage in Thailand has been the possession of spirit dolls as many believe they will bring good fortune and the National Thai Police Chief had warned previously that criminals could take advantage of the trend and hide drugs in the dolls to transport them.


Unpaid workers file complaint with the government

Contractor cuts off water and electricity

A group of 121 migrant workers filed a complaint with the Damrongdhama office at City Hall alleging that Perfecto Partnership Ltd. owed them back wages and severance after shutting down operations with no notice.

A group of 121 migrant workers filed a complaint at the Damrongdhamma Center on January 27, 2016 alleging that the company that had hired them to work on three construction sites around the city had left them stranded and failed to pay outstanding wages.

The leader of the group reported that they had been working for the Perfecto Partnership Ltd. Co and had not been paid since December 16, 2015, a total of 906,988.80 baht is owed in unpaid back wages, the group alleged. Additionally the group stated that severance pay was also owed and payment for not giving notice since they were no longer being employed by the company. The group is asking for a total of 3,461,602.80 from the company.

The leader of the migrant workers also added that their water and electricity had been cut since January 22, 2016 since they were living in a space that was rented temporarily by the contractors. The leader said that this issue has been going on for some time and the contractors had not been paying on time recently, until last month when they didn’t pay anything at all and the workers lost contact. The main office is now closed so the group was certain that the company had abandoned them so filed a complaint. The Migrant Workers Federation has been notified of the situation and will investigate to see what can be done.


Fire burns down Chotana Bazaar Market

Fire trucks arriving at Chotana Bazaar Market which erupted in flames on January 23, 2016.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Vendors at the popular Chotana Bazaar Market suffered a serious blow when a fire broke out at 10.40 p.m. on January 23, 2016. The market, which is located on Chotana Road near the Mercure Hotel had over over 23 shops seriously damaged in the blaze.

Police and firefighters arrived on the scene with 10 fire trucks to find over 40 commercial buildings blazing with flames. All the shops contained clothing, hats, bags and other flammable items. Firefighters took over one hour to control and stop the fire. Over 23 shops were heavily damaged.

Damages caused by the fire estimated to cost over 10 million baht. Pending further investigations, firefighters believe that a short circuit may have started the fire.

Shop owner, 61-year-old Ms. Juangtip Pasuwat, said that she was already closing up when she saw thick smoke coming out of her building. Within minutes, the flames had spread and her neighbors were unable to stop the fire. Firefighters believe that a short circuit may have started the fire. Further investigations will be conducted to trace the actual cause. The owner estimated that over 10 million baht worth of items and facilities has been destroyed.


Canadian pilot lands plane in Phrao tapioca field after engine failure

A private plane piloted by a Canadian man makes emergency landing in a Phrao tapioca field after developing engine trouble.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Phrao villagers called the police after seeing a light plane land in a tapioca field in Baan Luang on January 24, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. Long Khod Police in Phrao rushed to the scene to find a privately owned red-grey Van’s RV-8 (registration HS-GMC) had made an emergency landing in the field after experiencing engine failure.

The owner of the tapioca field talks about the plane landing in his field and calling the police to come help the pilot and passenger.

The pilot, 55-year-old Canadian, Mr. Gary McNair, a former pilot for Korean Airlines, and his passenger, 56-year-old Mr. Martin Clarke, also Canadian, were slightly injured but safe. There was minor damage to the tapioca field, which belonged to Mr. Supit Mahawan and Mr. Prapin Hankla.

Mr. Kiethisak Rienwattana, Director of the Air Traffic Control Centre in Chiang Mai, said the pilot had requested permission at 9.10 a.m. to fly from Nok Airport in Baanthi, Lamphun, to Amphur Chiang Dao. On the way back, the plane experienced engine trouble at 9.55 a.m. and needed to land as soon as possible.

The Van’s RV-8 is a small plane popular among foreigners in Thailand. Many of these privately-owned planes are parked at the Nok Airport hangar.


AIS launches new 4G service using fast LTE Advanced technology

CEO Somchai Lertsutiwong andAIS staff at the ‘4G Advanced’ service launch and 4G New World New Experience’ fair held on 26 January 26, 2016.

On January 26, 2016, Advance Wireless Network Co., Ltd. (AWN), a subsidiary of the Advance Info Services PLC (AIS) Group, announced the official launch of 4G service in 42 provinces in regions nationwide.
The ‘AIS 4G Advanced’ service comprises full-speed packages, a range of 4G service centers and other packages such as ‘multiple internet devices’ and ‘family internet fee sharing’ in accordance with the company’s support for the growth of Thailand’s digital economy. Along with ‘AIS Play’, an entertainment application center that comes with 100 TV channels, the company target is to have full 4G coverage in every province by May 2016.

According to Somchai Lertsutiwong, Chief Executive Officer, the company is “the first and only service provider to offer services in both 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz”. The services will be launched under the slogan, “AIS 4G ADVANCED 4G, the fastest 4G ever”.

Pratthana Leelapanang, Executive Vice President of Marketing, said that

‘AIS Play’ will be offered to customers who subscribe to the company’s 4G packages allowing them to watch movies “embedded with 100 GB of AIS Cloud for free for the entire year”.

To celebrate the launch of the new service, the company hosted the ‘AIS 4G New World New Experience’, a mega fair on 26 January for customers to experience this new mobile communications standard, the 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology and understand its benefits for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with online businesses, start-ups, and content service providers. AIS also unveiled the new large screen 18.4-inch full high definition (HD) Samsung Galaxy View entertainment tablets at the fair.


CMU to host Winter Love Run 2016 on Valentine’s Day

 

CMU Winter Love Run 2016 Marathon categories. Visit www.cmumarathon.com or call 086-673-2565, 097-240-3884 for more information. Stay updated via the CMU Marathon Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/cmumarathon/

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai University (CMU) will host the Winter Love Run Marathon 2016 on Valentine’s Day. The Faculty of Engineering, in conjunction with the Faculty of Engineering Chiang Mai University Alumni Center, has recently scheduled the charity run for February 14 this year. Winners will receive the prestigious Royal Trophy among other prizes.

Chiang Mai University Marathon 2016 medals to be awarded to participants of its Winter Love Run Valentine’s Day event.

There are 15 different prizes to be won in the race, which will start and finish at Ang Kaew Hall on the CMU campus. Funds raised by the event will be used to support the needy patients in Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital and for the development of the Engineering Faculty.

The race consists of 4 different categories. The full Marathon (42.195 kilometers) will start at 3 a.m. while the Half Marathon (23 kilometers) will flag off at 5 a.m. The Mini Marathon (10.5 kilometers) will begin at 6 a.m. nd the 5.1-kilometer Fun Run will start at 6.30 a.m. All categories are open to both males and females, and there are no age limits.

The first to fifth-placed winners in each category will take home the Royal Trophy as well as a Chiang Mai University Marathon 2016 medal. First to third-placed winners in each category will also receive cash prizes of 3,000 baht, 2,000 baht and 1,000 baht respectively.

The organizers recently announced that over 2,500 people have now registered for the event. The Fun Run category has already received 670 entries and registrations will be closed when the number reaches 800.

Follow the results of the Chiang Mai University Marathon 2016: Winter Love Run on Facebook. For more information, e-mail: [email protected], Line: @cmu_marathon or call 086-673-2565 / 02-553-0859. You can also visit the CMU Marathon at http://www.cmumarathon.com/


Chiang Mai University Book Fair Week 2016 in February 2016

The 22nd Chiang Mai University Book Fair Week 2016 will feature publishers, authors and special guest appearances from February 2 – 10, 2016.

Nopniwat Krailerg

The 22nd Chiang Mai University Book Fair Week 2016 will be held from February 2 - 10, 2016, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. at the university's main library building. Organized by the CMU Library Bureau, the objective of this annual event is to encourage both students and local residents to read by creating an opportunity for them to purchase books at affordable prices.

The fair will have over 100 booths offering a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction from both popular Thai and international publishers. Representatives from the publishers and authors will be available during the event to share and exchange experiences with book lovers. Special guests this year include Khunying Wimol Siriphaiboon, Khunying Chamnongsri Hanjaneraks, Dr. Pramuan Pengchan, Dr. ‘Pop’ Chart Kobjit, Thie Tham, Pimta Tanitda, Ployse, Champim, Weeraporn Nithiprapa and many more.

There will be a Music Contest for musicians and music lovers and the sale of local food and homemade merchandise. For more information, visit their website http://library.cmu.ac.th/cmubookfair or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CMUBookFair


ATM thief nabbed by Chiang Mai Police

Caught still holding victim’s wallet

ATM thief caught by Muang Chiang Mai Police, he confessed to using the ATM cards after guessing the code based on the year of the birth of the victim.

Nopniwat Krailerg
On January 21, 2016, Muang Chiang Mai Police arrested 24-year-old Worayut Supan from Bangkok. He was charged with using stolen electronic automated teller machine (ATM) cards to withdraw money. The suspect was caught red-handed with a victim’s wallet, identity (ID) cards, 1student card and a 7-11 card.

Local police received a stolen property report on January 5, 2016. The victim claimed that his wallet had been taken from his bike parked outside the Le Méridien Chiang Mai hotel on Chang Klan Road in Muang, Chiang Mai. The wallet contained cash, personal documents and ATM cards. Police investigated footage obtained from ‘Police Eyes’, their recently installed closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras located in the vicinity while the victim contacted his banks and discovered that 20,600 baht had been withdrawn from his Bangkok Bank ATM account and 400 baht from his Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) account.

Police identified the thief through the CCTV footage and applied to the courts for an arrest warrant. On January 21, they found the suspect near Thae Phae Road and confronted him before he was able to get away. He was caught with the documents that belonged to the victim who had filed the report.

Worayut Supan confessed that he had stolen the wallet and used the ATM cards after guessing the code based on the birth year of the victim. He threw away the cards after withdrawing some cash before going to Bangkok to spend all the money. He was arrested soon after returning to Chiang Mai.


Thailand International Balloon Festival to be held March 4 and 5

From left Bringkop “Joe” Vora-urai, conductor of the Lanna Orchestra, TIBF organizer Sornchat Krainara of All About Arts Thailand, Jaruwan Suwannasat, Director of the Exhibition and Events Department of the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau, Wisoot Buachu, Director of the TAT Chiang Mai, Warunee Khammeru, Representative of the Northern Thai Hotels Association and Executive Assistant Manager of the Duangtawan Hotel, and puppeteer Pairat Sawasdisara.

The Thailand International Balloon Festival held a press conference at the Dusit D2 Hotel on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 to announce the upcoming event which will be held on March 4 and 5 at Payap University. Exciting new features such as the International Heritage section, performances and original composition for the Night Glow Balloon show were introduced as well as the many delicious food booths hosted by the top hotels in Chiang Mai.

This year the festival is being held at the beginning of March to give everyone a better opportunity to visit the fair. Payap University is a great location for the event with easy access and plenty of parking for visitors. The organizers are looking forward to promoting Chiang Mai in March when there aren’t as many events filling up the calendar and offering tourists yet another great reason to visit this beautiful city in Northern Thailand.

A special feature of the Thailand International Balloon Festival this year will be Chiang Mai’s diverse international community in the International Heritage section with booths from India, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Germany and many other countries featuring performances, special activities, food and more.

The focus on the cosmopolitan and international nature of Chiang Mai continues with night time concerts from popular and talented locally based international musicians. Chiang Mai is a hugely popular destination for expats in Thailand due to its arts and music, diverse culture, great climate, beautiful nature, friendly people and modern lifestyle. This is reflected in the diversity of musicians and artists taking part in the event.

Payap University will offer the ideal location for balloon shows, performances and the spectacular balloon night glow show which will feature original compositions by Ajarn Bringkop “Joe” Vora-urai and the Lanna Orchestra. This amazing performance will be the first of its kind in the world and Ajarn Bringkop promises an inspiring and moving performance set to the beautiful sight of glowing balloons in the night sky. He said that he wants to convey not only the movements of the balloon but also the emotions of the pilots as they fly their balloons.

This unique festival will draw members of the diverse international community of Chiang Mai and the North of Thailand as well as pilots and balloons from around the world. One of the highlights of the event calendar in Chiang Mai, this event proves to be a huge hit year after year.

Jaruwan Suwannasat, Director of the Exhibition and Events Department of the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau said that the organization is a big supporter of events of this nature in Thailand and believes that Thailand offers many advantages including long history and venues around the country. The launch of the ASEAN Economic Community makes Thailand ideal to become the hub for mega-events in Asia. The TCEB works under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Office to develop and expand business events and ensue that we are one of the destinations for business events in Asia.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is a proud sponsor of the event with TAT Chiang Mai Director Wisoot Buachum noting the long history of the event being held in Chiang Mai. This year is being held in March to promote tourism in Chiang Mai and draw tourists to the city in a period when there aren’t many festivals and events.

As part of the Thailand International Balloon Festival’s commitment to community they are proudly hosting the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club’s annual Golf Ball Drop in which tickets are sold for ball numbers and on March 5 at 5 pm golf balls will be dropped out of the balloon and the numbered ball closest to the target wins 30,000 baht! Tickets are three for 1,000 baht or one for 500. The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club is closely involved in working with the local community with programs to prevent drowning in young children, winter clothing distribution, clean water for schools and eyesight clinics for children among the many projects they have worked on or are still working on. Interested parties can contact cmirotary.org for more information on the Golf Ball Drop.

Tickets will cost 200 baht for adults and 50 baht for children and will be available at Rimping Supermarkets around Chiang Mai including Maya Lifestyle Mall, Promenada Resort Mall, Nim City Daily, Nawarat and Meechoke in Chiang Mai. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Thailand International Balloon Festival 2016 is organized by All About Arts with sponsorship from the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau, TAT, Chiang Mai Municipality, Tiger Balm and local hotels.


Japanese government provides help to Uttaradit Hospital

 

Consul General of Japan Shinya Aoki and the Director of Uttaradit Hospital Songwut Subthawisin examine the equipment purchased with funds donated by the Japanese government.

The Government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects Scheme (GGP), has provided funds amounting to 2,738,000 baht for “the Project for Procuring Medical Equipment for Patients with Chronic Respiratory Disease in Uttaradit Province”. On 18 January 2016, Mr. Shinya Aoki, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Mr. Songwut Subthawisin, Director of the Uttaradit Hospital, were present at the hand-over ceremony of oxygen concentrators and related medical devices at the Uttaradit Hospital.

Uttaradit Province lies about 500 km north of Bangkok and about 250 km South of Chiang Mai. The population of the province is about 460,000 people and most are engaged in agriculture. Uttaradit Hospital is a public hospital in Uttaradit Province under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Public Health. The hospital functions as the medical center of the province receiving and treating serious cases sent from the district level hospitals. Most of the in-patients in the hospital have insufficient funds to pay the costs of long-term hospitalization, so the Department of Internal Medicine has established a home medical care system. Procuring oxygen concentrators for this project thus makes a contribution to improving the quality of life and psychological welfare of the patients by eliminating the cost and extra work of replenishing oxygen tanks. It is expected that this support will contribute to ensuring the improvement of the home medical care system provided by the hospital.

The Japanese government intends to continue supporting projects which contribute to improving medical and healthcare services through its Grant Assistance for Human Security Projects scheme (GGP).


Rajvej Hospital signs agreement to care for long-stay elderly Japanese residents

Dr.Weerachat Lertnithikul, Director of Rajavej Chiang Mai Hospital (middle) sings the MOU Thai-Japan Medical Partnership with a representative from the Wafukai Medical Corporation Co., Ltd. and NSD International Co., Ltd. at the Holiday Inn Hotel Chiang Mai on January 18, 2016.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Rajavej Hospital signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create a parternship with Wafukai Medical Corporation to develop a program for elderly long-stay Japanese residents in Chiang Mai at the Holiday Inn Hotel Chiang Mai on September 18, 2016.

Dr. Weerachat Lerthnithikul said that Wafukai Medical Corp. is a leader in the field of nursing and they would be using NSD International Co. specialized IT systems from Japan to advise patients and provide medical support via the Telehealth Service. Using this technology would provide links from other facilities to Rajavej as the hub for medical services.

Dr.Weerachat Lertnithikul, said Chiang Mai is well-known as an ideal location for retirement and that many Japanese have chosen to move here to spend out their retirement years due to the natural environment and top facilities. This pilot program will improve services to residents for elderly residents in Chiang Mai.


Chiang Mai will bloom during the Flower Festival

One of the many beautifully decorated and elaborate floats at the Chiang Mai Flower Festival (File Photo)

Chiang Mai beauties vie for Miss Flower Festival and take part in the parade. (File Photo)

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai is ready for the 40th annual Chiang Mai Flower Festival which will be held from February 5 – 7, 2016 at Suan Buak Haad Public Park, Tha Pae Gate and the Three Kings Monument.

The Flower Festival will have flower and plant contests, plant sales, and of course the Miss Flower Festival beauty pageant as well as the Miss International Flower Festival to be crowned. There will also be music concerts in the park and the OTOP market as well as many food stalls.
Chiang Mai will be decorated with flowers as the city celebrates the 720 year anniversary of the founding of Chiang Mai.

The opening ceremony will be held on February 5, 2016 at
The opening ceremony on February 5, 2016 while the parade will be held on February 6, starting from Nawarat Bridge to Tha Pae Gate and on to Suan Buak Haad Park. Many streets in the area will be closed for the parade. The parade features floats decorated with plants and flowers from districts from across the province and the floats will be parked at Suan Buak Haad for the weekend so that visitors can take their photos. The inner moat roads Arak and Bumrung Buri will be closed at the Suan Buak Haad corner for the festival.


Couple arrested at Chiang Dao checkpoint with 100,000 Yaba pills

Chief of Chiang Mai Police Pol. Maj. Gen. Montri Sumbunnanont with the arrested suspects and the packets of Yaba they had allegedly tried to smuggle into Muang Chiang Mai.

Nopniwat Krailerg
A young couple was arrested after police discovered 100,000 methamphetamine tablets hidden in their car at a police checkpoint on January 14, 2016 in Chiang Dao District.

Chief of Chiang Mai Police Pol. Maj. Gen. Montri Sumbunnanont announced the arrest 28 year old Winai Chumueku from Chiang Dao and his girlfriend Natrika Suemue age 28 from Chiang Rai with 100,000 methamphetamine tablets.

Police said that the arrested drug traffickers were ordered to stop at a checkpoint in Baan Kaeng Pan Tao in Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai at 11:30 p.m. on January 14, 2016. A search of the Toyota Vios found 40 packages of Yaba hidden under the driver’s seat.

The accused confessed that they had problems with money and so had agreed to carry methamphetamine to the city. They hired a rental car in Muang Chiang Mai before driving up North to pick up the drugs. They confessed that this was the second time they had smuggled drugs, the first time they had brought in 700,000 Yaba tablets.

Police will continue investigation into the case to uncover the drug trafficking network involved in the case.


Chiang Mai to host UFI Open Seminar in Asia 2016 in February

TCEB promotes Chiang Mai as gateway to Mekong Sub-Region

(From left-right) Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart, Ms. Jaruwan Suwannasat Director of Exhibition and Events of TCEB and Group Captain Visutr Chantana, General Manager of Chiang Mai International Airport at a press conference on January 15, 2016 at Shangri - La Hotel Chiang Mai.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau is working to boost Chiang Mai as a gateway to the Greater Mekong Sub-Region and a center for trade shows and other events and as part of this plan have scheduled the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) to hold the UFI Open Seminar in Asia 2016 from February 25-26, 2016 at the Shangri - La Hotel Chiang Mai.

Ms. Jaruwan Suwannasat Director, Exhibition and Event of TCEB said at the press conference announcing the new seminar that the Thai government’s strategy is to develop the country so that income is distributed fairly and centered on trade and services in each region. The TCEB supports the international exhibition industry and sees furthering Chiang Mai as one of the five MICE cities in the country. Chiang Mai, due to its strategic location and developed infrastructure, is the center of economy, trade and investment in the region and push towards trade with the GMS.

The UFI members consist of government and private industry trade shows from around the world. The seminar held in Bangkok in 2010 was a huge success with hundreds of attendees. By organizing the event in Chiang Mai the TCEB will encourage entrepreneurship, trade associations and groups involved in the trade fair industry in Chiang Mai to recognize the importance of international trade fairs and economic promotion within the provinces.

The TCEB sees this seminar as elevating the importance of trade fairs in the country and see growth in the MICE industry in the country. The TCEB estimates that in 2016 MICE revenues will increase five percent with around 1.06 million MICE travelers generating revenues of about 92 billion baht. International trade fairs alone should draw 191,000 people, or approximately 17 percent of the total MICE market


Army launches campaign against forest fires

Third Army Commander Lt. Gen. Somsak Nilbancherdkul launches the new 3rd Army Kick Off Campaign to combat forest fires and haze on Thursday, January 14, 2016.

Nopniwat Krailerg
As part of the government’s bid to educate people about forest fires and haze in the North, the 3rd Army launched a campaign on January 14, 2016 at the Armed Forces Development Battalion in Mae Rim.

The launch of the Kick Off Campaign to Prevent Forest Fires and Haze 2016 was presided over by Lt. Gen. Somsak Nilbancherdkul, 3rd Army Commander who said that forest fires in the North are mainly caused by human activity and end up out of control, causing serious haze in the region. The fires are a problem from people burning the forests for food from January to March with major effects on public health, damage to the environment and causing problems with air transportation. He called on all sectors to work together to combat the annual haze that chokes Northern Thailand.

Over 2,500 government officials joined the campaign and learned about methods to use instead of burning, the tools and equipment used in firefighting and to provide education guides on how to create awareness and understanding in the general public.


Two arrested with 400,000 Yaba pills stashed inside a truck in Chiang Rai

Region 5 Commander Pol. Maj. Gen. Tanitsak Teerasawat with police displaying the drugs stashed inside panels in the white Toyota Fortuner driven by the suspects.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Police announced the arrest of two people after 400,000 methamphetamine pills and a small amount of heroin was found hidden inside a six wheel truck and Toyota Fortuner at 4:30 a.m. on January 11, 2016.

Pol. Maj. Gen. Tanitsak Teerasawat, Region 5 Commander, said that the police had stopped the men in the vehicles at a checkpoint in Mae Lao, Chiang Rai and decided to search the vehicles after they behaved suspiciously. After police uncovered the drugs they placed Jongjai Duangdee and Orawan Srisawat under arrest on suspicion of drug trafficking.

Police will investigate further to uncover the drug trafficking ring behind the smuggling attempt.


Chiang Mai preparing for Lanna Expo 2016 to welcome AEC

CHIANG MAI,(NNT) – The northern province of Chiang Mai is gearing up to host the Lanna Expo 2016 in June and July, hoping to boost local entrepreneurs’ competitiveness following the opening of the ASEAN Economic Community.

Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart convened a meeting with relevant officials at the provincial city hall to follow up on the progress of preparations being made for the Lanna Expo. To be held for the fourth time this year, the event is scheduled for June 30 through July 6 at the Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Center.

The expo will offer visitors various types of products and services, including tourism products, industrial crafts and health services. There will also be exhibitions showcasing the potential of entrepreneurs in the Upper Northern Provincial Cluster in various aspects, along with academic seminars.

The attendants at the meeting expected the Lanna Expo to help enhance local operators’ capabilities and give them a competitive edge against others in the ASEAN Community era. More discussions will be arranged concerning other details of the expo, such as zoning and the tackling of problems compiled from previous events.


Call for A negative blood donors

O negative are universal donors and are eligible

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The call went out this morning on social media and has swept through the country as a young woman lies in the hospital desperate for A negative blood for operations needed after she was struck by a vehicle while riding a motorbike in Chiang Mai.
Eligible donors are asked to donate at the Chiang Mai Red Cross blood bank next to Yupparaj School in the old city 053-418-389 ext 17. Please note that you cannot have high blood pressure, be over 55, lived in the UK for more than 6 months between 1980-1996 due to mad cow disease and have had tattoos or piercings in the last six months. Also those taking malaria tablets or with infections are asked to not donate.
When making the donation please specify Lucy Ann Hill at Rajavej Hospital Chiang Mai. Also be aware that this is a rare blood type in Thailand and always needed so consider making a donation at other times as well.


His Majesty asks Thais to be mindful

His Majesty the King has extended his wishes for all Thais to meet happiness, progress and success in their goals.
In his New Year message released on New Year’s Eve, His Majesty said happiness and misery as well as fulfillment and disappointments were normal happenings nobody could avoid. He, therefore, urged all Thais to prepare their mind and body for such an event by not living in complacency.
In the royal message, His Majesty urged that in the new year Thais enhance their physical health and keep their mind awakened in order to be able to go through undesirable situations and achieve the goals of happiness, prosperity and success.
His Majesty the King also designed a New Year greetings card for his subjects.
The royal greetings card depicts His Majesty wearing a white lightly-patterned Hawaiian shirt under a white light-jacket which has an embroidered Khun Thongdaeng royal pet logo on the left breast.
Under HM the King’s photo are a few lines of blessing in Thai, read as “May all have strong physical health, stable spirit and mind and always be mindful to keep abreast of situations”.
Above the picture says “Happy New Year B.E. 2559”, and on each corner lie the Great Crown of Victory and the golden urn. Under HM the King’s picture to the right is a cartoon of blue monkey representing the Year of the Monkey. To the left reads “May you have happiness and prosperity”.
The greetings card is framed with double rows of tiny smiley faces, numbering 396 altogether. The bottom of the card features a blue strip on which a message says the card was designed on 31 December B.E. 2558. (NNT)


Road death toll reaches 380 over New Year’s 7-day holiday

Exceeds last year’s toll by 13 deaths

The Road Accidents Prevention Center reported 380 people died and 3,505 were injured in 3,379 road accidents throughout the country during the seven dangerous days of the New Year’s holiday season, from December 25 - Jan. 4.
Nakhon Ratchasima reported the highest number of deaths, 15.
On January 4 alone, the last day of the seven dangerous days, 40 persons died and 289 were injured in 287 accidents, all in a single day.
Drunk driving was blamed as the main cause of most accidents, about 20.14% of the total, followed by speeding at 17.28%.
Chiang Mai had the highest number of accidents, with 139 accidents and 140 injuries.
At press time, the local road toll statistics for Pattaya and Chonburi were not yet available.
Numbers across the board were up from last year, including 13 more deaths and 161 more injuries incurred in 205 more accidents.
Last year, 367 people died and 3,344 were injured in a total of 3,174 accidents during the same period.


‘Arms for drugs’ gang busted in Pathum Thani

Royal Thai Police Region 5 announce the arrest of 9 drug traffickers in Pathum Thani on Monday, January 7, 2016.

Nopniwat Krailerg
At 10.30am on January 7, 2016, Pol. Maj. Gen.Tanisak Teerasawat, Commander of the Royal Thai Police Region 5, Wichai Chaimomkol, Director of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) Region 5, and Pha Mung Task Force officers announced the arrest of 9 drug traffickers in Pathum Thani and one in Paton sub district, Muang Chiang Mai.
Prateep Soisub, 43, Somsak Poonpol, 39, Nattakorn Nontsomboon, 40, Somporn Watchang, 45, Sangwan Sasanae, 41, Sudkate Suriyawattananont, 25, were arrested along with Teerayuth Kumwong, 30, Saran Boonrua, 25 and Boonyarit Songcharoen, 30. They had drugs, guns and weapons in their possession including five M-16s and five AK-47s as well as three cars, 13 mobile phones, four credit cards and 23,000 baht cash.
Investigations indicated that there would be a delivery on January 3, 2016 at a lane near Bliss Resort on the Chiang Mai-Lampang Rd along the Super Highway in Paton sub-district. Phumpipat Intarapradit, 41 from Fang, was arrested upon arrival at the drop off point. He told the police that the 398,000 methamphetamine pills and 3 kilograms of crystal ice found in the car were from Fang District along the border and were for distribution to a drug network.
The accused helped the investigators by arranging delivery the next day on January 4 at the PTT gas station near the entrance to the golf course in Klong Luang in Pathum Thani. The second group brought weapons in exchange for the drugs. All were promptly arrested. Police said this is the first time they had seen weapons exchanged for drugs.


British man arrested for possessing child pornography

Police question British national Fabian Blandford over possession of child pornography after the US Department of Homeland Security alerted the Royal Thai Police to his IP address after he triggered an alarm with the U.S. National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children viewing child pornography online.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Royal Thai Police arrested a British man on Tuesday, January 6, 2016 on charges of possessing pornographic images of children in Fang District in Chiang Mai. The police were alerted to the issue by the U.S. National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children who had tracked him by his IP address after they found him viewing child pornography online.

US Homeland Security investigators contact the Department of Special Investigations (DSI) in 2015 and their investigation led to the arrest of 64 year old Fabian Frederick Blandford of the United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 6 by DSI officers and Region 5 Police.

Royal Thai Police raid the home of British national Fabian Blandford and arrest him for possession of child pornography on Tuesday, January 6, 2016.

Police found that Blandford had ordained as a monk in a local temple and believed he did so in order to get closer to children. They found he had also been teaching English to local children and is married to a Thai woman who has one child.

The Director of the DSI Foreign Affairs and Transnational Crime Bureau Pol. Lt. Col. Paisit Sungkahapong served the arrest warrant issued by the Fang Court and investigators discovered a collection of child pornography on his computers. Police said it was clear he had taken the photos himself and believe the children are local.

He is being held in police custody at Fang Police Station and has been charged with possessing child pornography, a charge that can see Blandford in prison for up to five years and face a fine of 100,000 baht in accordance with legislation that too effect on December 7, 2015.
 


14 die in Doi Saket bus accident; driver held

 Nopniwat Krailerg

Thirteen Malaysian tourists and a Thai tour guide were killed when their Chiang Mai-bound bus plunged into a ravine in Doi Saket District.

Police believe the accident happened after the Weerapan Tour coach driver hit another vehicle then sped away from the scene and lost control on the Pang Fan curve of Highway 118.

Driver Somporn Bualuang, 58, was being held in police custody at Doi Saket Hospital.

On board the bus were 21 Chinese-Malay tourists on their way back to Chiang Mai from visiting tourist attractions in Chiang Rai. Eleven were pronounced dead at the scene and three more at Doi Saket Hospital. Malaysian media reported they came to Chiang Mai on Dec. 17 for a five-day tour organized by Malaysian tour operator Chiu Travel.

Killed were four of six members of one family, spanning three generations, from an 85-year-old grandmother to her 39-year-old granddaughter, according to Malaysian media.

Before the accident, Somporn collided with another vehicle, pushing it off the road and crashing into a post. The driver was unhurt, but instead of stopping, Somporn accelerated, trying to escape the scene.

He lost control of the speeding coach when it hit the treacherous curve about 30 kilometers from Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai Governor Pavin Chamniprasart rushed to the scene. He said state insurance would pay up to 1.6 million baht for each fatality and 850,000 for those injured.

 


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

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CMU to host Winter Love Run 2016 on Valentine’s Day

Chiang Mai University Book Fair Week 2016 in February 2016

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Couple arrested at Chiang Dao checkpoint with 100,000 Yaba pills

Chiang Mai to host UFI Open Seminar in Asia 2016 in February

Army launches campaign against forest fires

Two arrested with 400,000 Yaba pills stashed inside a truck in Chiang Rai

Chiang Mai preparing for Lanna Expo 2016 to welcome AEC

Call for A negative blood donors

His Majesty asks Thais to be mindful

Road death toll reaches 380 over New Year’s 7-day holiday

‘Arms for drugs’ gang busted in Pathum Thani

British man arrested for possessing child pornography

14 die in Doi Saket bus accident; driver held


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