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Happy Birthday to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn

The entire Chiang Mai Mail staff joins the Kingdom of Thailand in humbly wishing HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn a long, healthy and happy life on this occasion of the Royal Anniversary of Her Birth. (Photo courtesy Bureau of the Royal Household)

The Kingdom of Thailand on April 2 celebrates the most auspicious occasion of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s 61st birthday. We at the Pattaya Mail Media Group join in with our most humble wishes for HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for a long, healthy and happy life.

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was born on April 2, 1955, the third child of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Thailand.

HH the Princess studied from kindergarten to high school at Chitralada School in Bangkok. She ranked first in the National School Examinations in the primary level (grade 7) in 1967 and in upper secondary level (grade 12) in 1972.

Ranked fourth in the National University Entrance Examination, HRH the Princess enrolled in the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, first class honor, and a gold medal in History in 1976.

She continued her studies in two graduate programs concurrently, obtaining an M.A. in Oriental Epigraphy (Sanskrit and Cambodian) from Silpakorn University in 1978, and an M.A. in Pali and Sanskrit from Chulalongkorn University in 1980. She enrolled in a doctoral program at Srinakharinwirot University (former College of Education) in 1981, and was awarded a doctoral degree in Developmental Education in 1987.

Michael Newbatt and H.E Mark Kent welcomed Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on her visit to the Kanchanaburi war cemetery on Friday 6 October 2015.

HRH the Princess holds honorary degrees in Geography, Chinese Studies of Humane Letters, Agriculture, Botany, Chinese, Pharmacy, Information Technology, Rural Technology, Public Health, Humane Letters, Regional Development Strategies, Environmental Science, Veterinary Medicine, Physics, and Laws.

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided over the opening ceremony of the Father Ray Center for Children with Special Needs on Thursday 28 January 2016. The princess was welcomed by Sister Pavinee and Khun Aurora from the Pattaya School for the Blind.

HRH the Princess runs several philanthropic organizations and foundations. She has been Executive Vice President of the Thai Red Cross Society since 1977; Executive Chairman of the Chaipattana Foundation (in charge of His Majesty’s development and environmental preservation projects), Ananda Mahidol Foundation (to promote higher education), the King Rama II Foundation (to conserve and promote Thai Culture); President of the Sai Jai Thai Foundation (to support disabled veterans), Prince Mahidol Award Foundation (to award prizes annually to members of the international community for outstanding performances in the fields of medicine and public health); and Adviser of the Committee of Thai Junior Encyclopedia Project by Royal Command of H.M. the King.

HRH the Princess represents Their Majesties in various royal functions. She also presides over ceremonies as well as other social and charity functions all through the year. In 1991, HRH the Princess was awarded the Magsaysay Award for Public Service.

HRH the Princess likes to travel around the Kingdom and abroad to obtain knowledge of physical geography and peoples’ varied lifestyles. One of her favorite pastimes is writing articles, poetry and short stories. Proceeds from her written accounts of her overseas travels are the main source of income for the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Foundation which was set up in 1979 to support needy students in schools, vocational colleges and universities.

On April 17, 2012, Her Royal Highness was inducted to the Honorary Doctor of Letters at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.
Happy Birthday from all of us at the Pattaya Mail Media Group!

Happy Birthday HRH Princess Ubolratana

Chiang Mai Mail humbly joins the Kingdom of Thailand in wishing Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana a most happy birthday on April 5. (Photo courtesy of the Bureau of the Royal Household)

Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Phannavadi was born on April 5, 1951, in Lausanne Switzerland. She is the eldest child of Their Majesties the King and Queen.

HRH Princess Ubolratana is a very devoted leader of young people in the campaign against drugs, and as such has instituted and keenly watches over the To Be Number One project, encouraging family values, music and sport as alternatives to drug use. She has also set up the Khun Poom project to assist autistic children in Thailand.

In 2008, HRH Princess Ubolratana played the main role in the Thai film “Where The Miracle Happens”.

HRH Princess Ubolratana has also shown a keen interest in the way Thailand is being promoted by the TAT, and regularly attends the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin.


Two killed when pickup plunges off the road in Mae Chaem

Rescuers worked in the dark on the steep mountainside to bring the victims to the hospital after the truck they were in plunged off the side of the mountain.

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Two people were killed and six people injured when a pickup truck veered off the road at a dangerous bend in Chang Koeng in Mae Chaem at 10:10pm on April 25, 2016. The truck plunged 30 meters off the road in the dark and rescuers had to climb down the incline to rescue the survivors and remove the bodies.

Rescuers rushed to the nine kilometer mark on the Inthanon – Mae Chaem road where they found two Mae Chaem residents dead on the scene. Six other people in including four from Mae Chaem and two people from Nam Soam in Udon Thani. Jaree Kuntee, age 45 and Supat Pholtri, age 63 were killed immediately.

Survivors included 15-year-old Wipaporn Wijit, 20-year-old Nawarath Darathitikul, 42-year-old Nukan Kuntee, 3-year-old Pitchaya Kuntee – daughter of Mrs. Jaree - the deceased, 52-year-old Mr. Boontin Yangraj, and 22-year-old Kittiporn Sanharn. The survivors reported that they had left Doi Inthanon with Mr. Kittiporn driving, however at a sharp curve in the road heading down the mountain he lost control of the vehicle and it plunged down the mountain.

Police uncover 80,000 Yaba pills hidden in spare tire

Police show off the spare tire where the suspects allegedly stashed 80,000 methamphetamine pills.

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Police found 80,000 baht hidden inside a spare tire at a checkpoint in Mae Prik in Lampang on April 26, 2016. Police announced the arrest of one woman and two men who were arrested at the checkpoint after police stopped their car.

Police stopped the vehicle at the Mae Prik checkpoint and searched the vehicle after the suspects behaved in a suspicious manner. They then found 80,000 methamphetamine pills stashed inside the spare tire. The suspects were arrested for drug trafficking and will be questioned to determine the supplier.

Woman killed in freak accident clearing fire breaks in Mae Jam

Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart, Molsuda Chamniprasart, President of the Provincial Red Cross, Deputy Governor Mongkol Suksai, and Mae Jam Chief District Officer Todsapol Peuan-udom are joined by friends, family and neighbors at the funeral of Mrs. Waree Satapornpratuang.

Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart attends the funeral of Mrs. Waree Satapornpratuang, a volunteer killed by a falling branch as she was helping to clear fire breaks to prevent forest fires last week.

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A thirty-nine year old resident of Mae Jam was killed by a falling tree branch while clearing brush for firebreaks in Mae Jan last week.

Waree Satapornpratuang of Mae Najon in Mae Jam had volunteered to help clear land to reduce the spread of forest fires and was killed when a branch fell from a tree where she was resting. The branch struck her on the head as she sat under the tree with other volunteers. Her body was taken to her home to prepare for the funeral.

Her fellow volunteers and neighbors said Mrs. Waree was a tireless and selfless person who had volunteered to help make the fire breaks as she was a strong supporter of the conservation of natural resources.

Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart was joined by his wife Molsuda Chamniprasart in her role as President of the Provincial Red Cross, Deputy Governor Mongkol Suksai, and Mae Jam Chief District Officer Todsapol Peuan-udom at the funeral. The Governor gave the family of the deceased financial assistance and praised Mrs. Waree’s devotion in volunteering to help Chiang Mai.

Government announces heavy penalties for fires in national forests

Request for cooperation as high heat and drought continue

A farmer burns his fields in this file photo, the government has announced heavy penalties for those found burning National Parks and Forests.

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Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart called on cooperation from farmers and members of the public to refrain from burning even though the proscribed ban on burning expired on April 15, citing the continued smog, high heat and drought.

He said permission must be given by the District Chief Officer and permission will be considered on a case by case basis. The Governor added that those found starting fires in National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries or National Reserved Forests will face fines and legal prosecution.

The Governoer pointed out that even though the ban on burning had expired haze and smoke levels remain high due to the high pressure and increasing hotspots in both the highlands and lowlands. The Governor called on agriculturalists to refrain from burning to protect public health and reminded farmers that burning would be allowed only a case by case basis.

The government is working to create fire breaks to prevent the spread of forest fires and Governor Pawin said that those found starting fires or burning in National Forests, Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Reserved forests will face 2 – 15 years in prison and fines from 20,000 – 150,000 baht.

Those found starting fires on their own property that leads to damage to other property or harm to people will face criminal charges with prison times up to seven years and fines not over 14,000 baht.

The Governor called on the public to report any fires to the Center for Smog and Wildfire at at 053-112236, 0993751110 or 191 which is open 24 hours a day. He reminded people that their cooperation is key to solving the problems of smog and fires in Chiang Mai. Noting that the fires are damaging the environment and causing serious health issues for the public.

Haze remains high as ban on burning season expires

Pollution levels remain above government levels

Smoke and haze levels have remained high in Chiang Mai and the lifting of the burning ban on April 15 has seen levels rise again.

Deputy Governor Mongkol Suksai reports on the fires and haze problems.

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Despite the recent storm, the levels of particulate matter, that is tiny particles of dust that are invisible to the naked eye but still can seriously affect health and breathing, remains high.

Visibility is greatly reduced in many areas and the PM10 or particles smaller than 10 microns, has been well over the government safety levels of 120 micrograms per cubic meter since April 3, 2016. The PM2.5 levels, or fine particles that are 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller, and can only be seen with an electron microscope, have also been well above government recommended levels.

Mae Sai in Chiang Rai, Wieng sub-district in the Muang District of Phayao and the Chalermprakiat district in Nan saw long periods of dangerous levels of haze. While in Chiang Mai visibility has been so poor that Doi Suthep is no longer visible. PM10 levels in Chiang Mai reached a daily average of 192 on April 18 but hourly fluctuations have seen the levels reach as high as 288 on April 18 at 8am while the highest levels on April 21 were PM10 162 at 8pm

Although the burning ban expired on April 15, many farmers continued to burn during the ban period from February 16 to April 15. Additionally, the drought and high heat has led to forest fires.

Mongkol Suksai, Chiang Mai Deputy Governor, said that he has been working with district chief officers from 25 districts, local administration organization, forestry officers, and local leaders to be in charge of reserved forests and national parks. Forest department trained local people to fight fires in one hundred and one high risk areas in the forest and mountainous regions. The 2nd phrase assigned local forces to patrol high risk areas of wildfire and firefighting. While District Chief Officers were told to arrest people burning during the 60 day period.

There were 48 cases caught which were considered as under control. Now that the burning ban has expired the Deputy Governor will ask districts to rotate proscribed burning for fields in an attempt to alleviate smoke.

A rally held by local residents to call on the government to do something about the smoke and haze will be held at Three Kings Monument on Sunday, April 24th at 6am.

CMU improves grounds for pedestrians, bikes

An artist’s rendition of the new foot paths and cycling lanes that will circle Chiang Mai University.

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Chiang Mai University is improving pathways and bike lanes to ease transportation woes on the campus. The University is promoting the use of bicycles and walking by students and staff to maintain the environment and promote physical exercise as well as ease the traffic issues that have been clogging the narrow university roads.

Assistant Professor Nat Vorayos, Ph.D., Vice President for Physical Facilities and Environment said that Chiang Mai University has grown and developed quickly with many students, faculty and staff driving on campus causing the narrow roads to be too busy for pedestrians and cyclists. The University wants to encourage people to avoid using their cars or motorbikes and so is developing footpaths and cycling lanes around the university campus.

The University is constructing a new ring road that will start from the T-junction of the Rice Research Center (PTT.) to the Clock Tower, intersection of Faculty of Architecture and Faculty of Engineering, then passing the Men’s dormitory 2 and 7 to Romsak Market on to the Faculty of Mass Communication, Laws. It then goes to the Post Office circle, the University’s administrative office, Industrial Chemical Building, tennis court, 40 Year students’ dormitory, to end back at the T-junction of the Rice Research Center. Cycling lanes and footpath will be built alongside the ring road and at the same time. A new traffic circle will be constructed at the junction of the old Faculty of Administration to reduce accidents.

The University hopes that the new ring road will reduce traffic passing through the central part of the university including the Student Union of Chiang Mai University, Palm Garden, Chiang Mai University Library, and the Faculty of Science. Commuters can use this Ring Road instead. The operation will be finished by this October and ready for use before 2017.

Assistant Professor Nat Vorayos emphasized that the work is being done to have the least effect on the surroundings, to ease traffic and increase the use of foot paths and cycling lanes. He concluded that the University apologizes for any inconvenience and appreciates the creative suggestions to develop the university together.

Serial purse snatcher worked as a security guard

Suspect Surasak Intarat, a 38 year old native of Mae Hong Son, confessed to police that he was involved in a series of bag snatching cases in tourist areas.

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A man suspected of a series of purse snatching incidents in touristed areas was arrested by police on April 19, 2016. Police said that the suspect, Surasak Intarat, a native of Mae Hong Son, was working as a security guard in Chiang Mai and moonlighted as a bag snatcher.

Tourist police had received a series of reports from tourists about bags being snatched in the areas around and inside the moat; investigation and CCTV footage led police to the 38 year old suspect who was arrested with an iPhone 5 stolen from a Russian tourist at Moon Muang Road on March 17, 2016, a Mac Book stolen from an American tourist on Rajamankha Road on March 20, a notebook stolen from an American tourist in Sriharat Road on March 23 and a Samsung Note 2 stolen from a Canadian tourist on Rajadamnoen Road on March 25.

After questioning by the police the suspect confessed that he had committed the thefts. The suspect already had a criminal record for stealing in 2008 and an outstand arrest warrant from Mae Laluang in a case of assault that resulted in death.

Ceremony to honor Lanna Kings held at Wat Suan Dok


Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart and one of the descendants of the Lanna Kings Wongkul na Chiangmai pour water in a merit making ceremony for the last of the Lanna Kings.

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The annual ceremony to pay homage to the Lanna kings of Northern Thailand was held at Wat Suan Dok, the burial site of many of the kings and ruling class of the Lanna Kingdom at 6 p.m. on April 17, 2016.

The Governor of Chiang Mai and his wife join Wongkul na Chiangmai in leading the parade to Wat Suan Dok.

Led by Governor Pawin Chamniprasart, the event was organized by the Chiang Mai College of Dramatic Arts and the Chiang Mai Cultural Office and included a parade of local dignitaries and tributes to the kings. The diplomatic corps attended the event to pay their respects including the Consuls General of the United States and Japan, the Consul of India, government officials, members of the public sector and visitors. Maharajkumar Rana Shi Arandeep Singh Saher Dholpur of Rajasthan also took part in the cultural show.

Traditional performances were followed by a light and sound show of the life of Princess Dararasami.

Members of the Lanna Royal Family Took part in the event which began with a parade from the Art and Culture Center at Chiang Mai University and ended at Wat Suan Dok where several traditional performances took place including the Fon Leb or Nail dance and a Klong Pu Ja show by Tai Yai people.

One of the descendants of the Lanna Royal family Wongluk na Chiangmai joined the Governor in pouring water over the statues of the nine Kings of Chiang Mai and of Princess Dararasami, wife of King Chulalongkorn. This was followed by a Rod Nam Dum ceremony and then a light and sound show of the Princess.

This ceremony is an important event in the Chiang Mai calendar and is organized annually during Songkran to make merit and honor the Lanna Kings.

Governor distributes aid to village hit by forest fire

Mae Ai village loses 78 houses in wild fire

Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart, Army and government officials visit Ban Na Ja in Mae Ai that was hit by a devastating forest fire on April 12, 2016.

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The Mai Ai village that was struck by a wild fire burning out of control on April 12, 2016 were visited by Governor Pawin Chamniprasart on April 14 as he and government officials distributed aid and surveyed the damage at Ban Ja Na.

Seventy eight homes were destroyed in the fire that hit Ban Na Ja in Mae Ai on April 12, 2016.

Three hundred people lost their homes in the fire that struck the village and caused extensive damage.

The Chiang Mai Governor handed grants from the Tribal Fund from the Chiang Mai Provincial Social Development and Human Security Office of 3,000 baht per family and a further subsidy of 2,000 baht for each family to 45 families for the first round.

The fire swept through the village, destroying 78 homes and leaving 300 people homeless. They are currently sheltering at the Border Patrol station nearby.

Additionally, a team from the Chiang Mai Children and Family Office was assigned to take care of vulnerable groups and focus on nutrition. Survival packs were distributed by the Royal Thai Army. The Chiang Mai Governor promised to assign relevant organizations from both government and private organizations to help the villagers who are temporarily staying at the Border Patrol Base nearby.

Many government and private organizations and people, having heard of the devastating fire, have already delivered necessities including drinking water, rice, and dried food to help victims.

The Chiang Mai Provincial team also opened saving bank account for donations to help the victims, named “Chiang Mai Disaster Relief Fund”, account number 547-0-37532-3

Dancers fill the square at Three Kings Monument to celebrate the founding of Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai rings in 720th anniversary

The square in front of the Three Kings Monument was filled with 720 dancers in traditional attire performing the grace Fon Leb dance to celebrate the 720th anniversary of the founding of Chiang Mai.

The performers of the Fon Leb dance ranged in ages from 10 to 94 to honor the founding of Chiang Mai.

The founding of Chiang Mai was celebrated on April 11, 2016 at the auspicious hour of 6:39 p.m. in front of the Three Kings Monument and was attended by many dignitaries, locals and visitors.

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The Thai New Year is also the start of the 60th cycle, or 720th anniversary of the founding of Chiang Mai city by King Mengrai in 1296 and Chiang Mai celebrated with a fabulous Fon Leb or long fingernail dance with 720 dancers taking part in the performance in front of the Three Kings Monument on April 11, 2016 at the auspicious time of 6:39 p.m.

Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart was joined by his wife Monsuda, President of the Chiang Mai Provincial Red Cross to pay respects at the statue of the three kings; Phaya Mung Rai, Phaya Ngammeung, and Pho Khun Ramkhamhaeng to start the celebrations.

Chao Duangdeun na Chiang Mai, President of Chiang Mai Cultural Council attended the festivities as well as Maharajkumar rana shi arandeep Singh Saher Dholpur, a Prince of Rajasthan in India along with many Chiang Mai residents to watch the performance of 720 dancers. The dancers ranged in age from 10 years old to 94 years old. In fact, the combined ages of all performers was 22,995 years. The historical performance was a widely attended and the Maharahkumar joined in the performance, dancing with elegance and grace.

The event was widely attended by many local residents and visitors who were wowed by the graceful Fon Leb dancers with the long fingernail extensions moving with the music, and each person wearing traditional Lanna attire.

Road safety center opened at start of Songkran holidays

Chiang Mai leads in number of injuries in the nation

Deputy Governor Mongkol Suksai and officials attend the opening of the Center for the prevention of road accidents during Songkran during a video conference with Minister of Interior General Anupong Paojinda.

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The Road Safety Center for Chiang Mai was opened at City Hall on April 11, 2016 and attended by Deputy Governor Mongkol Suksai and other officials as Governors, Ministers and Deputy Ministers from around the country attended the video conference to launch the centers in all provinces for the Songkran holidays. The seven deadly days began Tuesday, April 12 to mark the seven-day period of the most traffic, and the most accidents during the holiday period.

The Minister of Interior General Anupong Paojinda said that the government was cooperating in all sectors to try and prevent accidents and enforce traffic rules. He emphasized that the Department of Public Relations and Press has been advertising the strict enforcement of rules in signs around the country. He called on the Royal Thai Police to work harder to enforce laws and crack down on drunk drivers, the leading cause of death in accidents during this period.

He noted that the government has given the police the authority to seize vehicles from drunk drivers. Extra officers have been assigned to set up additional checkpoints and to increase public awareness of the need for safe driving. Police have been asked to check vehicles for safety as well as helping victims of accidents and the increased numbers of patients at the hospitals during this period.

He also said, “I would like to encourage people to focus on water saving and concerns about our culture and lastly, would like to thank you all government sectors and relevant private organizations for excellent cooperation.”

The Seven Deadly Days of Songkran began on April 11 and so far has seen 181 killed in accidents in the first three days with a total of 1,777 injuries. Chiang Mai leads the nation in injuries with 80 people hurt in the first three days while Buriram leads in deaths with ten people killed in three days. The third day saw 65 people killed and 750 accidents. The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) reported a total of 64,310 drivers were arrested and 1,565 vehicles seized from April 9 -13. The majority of deaths from road accidents involved motorcycles and drunk drivers.

Remote police stations receive 4- wheel drive trucks

Four remote police stations took delivery of 4WD Toyota pickup trucks on April 11; Saohin and Pratumuang in Mae Hong Son, Mae Fah Luang in Chiang Rai and Na Meun in Nan.

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Four remote police stations received four wheel drive pickup trucks from the Region 5 Police headquarters on April 11 after the Commissioner General of the Royal Thai Police Pol. Gen. Jakthip Chaijinda noted the difficulty remote stations in mountainous areas were having in a visit last November.
Region Five police put out a bid to area dealers for the purchase and Lanna Toyota came up with the best offer. Pol. Lt. Gen. Thanitsak Teerasawad, Commissioner of Police Region 5 delivered the vehicles to Saohin Police Station and Pratumuang Police Station in Mae Hong Sorn province, Mae Fah Luang Police Station in Chiang Rai province, and Na Meun Police Station in Nan province. The four vehicles are to be used in work operations of police stations in highland and hilly areas, areas containing Projects initiated by HM the King, and remote areas. T
The Royal Thai Police approved to purchase four 4WD Toyota Hilux Revo Double Cab 2.4E pickup trucks with accessories via an electronic auction. The winner of the auction was Toyota Lanna Co., Ltd. and the remote police stations will be able to make good use of the vehicles in the mountains.

Two men stabbed trying to thwart daring daylight robbery

Thief snatches gold necklace from Warorot Market

Police led the suspect to reenact the crime at the Tiger Dragon Gold Shop at Warorot Market on April 16, 2016.

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Two good Samaritans, the father and son owners of a Buddhist supplies store, were stabbed by a thief who snatched a gold necklace at a Warorot gold shop on April 6, 2016.
Police say the suspect, Lu Saokam, entered the store and pretended to look at a two-baht weight gold necklace. When the clerk’s attention was distracted he snatched the gold necklace and ran into the busy Ton Lamyai market. The clerk called for help and the father and son owners of a religious supplies store attempted to stop the thief. The man allegedly stabbed 56-year-old Paijit Kamyard and his son 24-year-old Jakrit before jumping on a waiting motorbike. However, the thief dropped his bag in the escape.
Pol.Col.Weerayuth Prasopchokechai, Superintendent of Muang Chiang Mai police station and the owner of Tiger-Dragon Gold shop paid a visit and brought flower to both injured people and all of them were safe. The owner of gold shop will pay for all medical expenses.
Police checked the bag and found a letter of allowance for an alien to live temporarily in the Kingdom in the name of Lu Saokam, 39 years old. Later in the same day at 10 pm. Muang Chiang Mai Police investigators arrested the suspect on the side of Chotana Road in Mae Rim as the suspect was driving home to Wiang Haeng District.
The suspect confessed to police that he had stolen the jewelry. The suspect claimed that he wrapped the gold necklace in a shirt and hid at the fence of house at High Land View Place village in Amphur Muang. However, the police found only the shirt with no gold necklace.

Realistic emergency drill at Suan Dok Hospital fills the ER

Soldiers from Kawila Army Camp joined in as “patients” for a practice drill in case of catastrophe at Mahaharaj Nakhon Chiang Mai Hospital on April 7, 2016.

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A realistic emergency drill was held at Maharaj Nakhon Chiang Mai Hospital on April 7, 2016 to train the staff should there be a natural disaster or some other incident involving mass casualties.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Narain Chotrasaniramit organized the training drill to ready staff for any kind of mass incident. Around fifty people from the Kawila Army Camp were involved in the simulation as “patients”. Of those five were marked as deceased, ten as severely injured and twenty as moderately injured.
The surprise drill was announced and every part of the hospital coordinated in the practice treatments working smoothly to ensure that international safety standards were met.

Large trees safe from new parking garage construction

Smaller trees and existing buildings will be moved

The new parking garage will be constructed next to the Faculty of Fine Arts. The University has vowed to move any trees in the way and will accommodate construction to protect the large Tamarind and Rain trees near the building.

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Chiang Mai University held a hearing on the construction of a planned parking structure near the Faculty of Fine Arts. The new structure will provide parking for students and faculty at the Faculties of Agriculture, Business Education, Fine Arts, Administration and the Graduate School.
The new building will provide parking for 450 vehicles including motorbikes. The University addressed student and public concerns regarding moving existing trees and buildings on the construction site saying that trees will be moved in other proper areas. Only dying trees will be cut down and permission must be given before they can be cut down.
Thirty-six trees 10cm to 20cm in diameter will be moved to new places at the Facutly of Agriculture, The 40 Year Dormitory and the Art and Culture Exhibition Center. All moves will be supervised by the Building and Public Facilities Division.
Trees larger than 20cm including the large Tamarind Tree and Rain Tree next to the Fine Arts Faculty will be conserved and construction made to accommodate the trees. The spirit houses will be moved to a new location in front of the building and the pond next to the building will not be filled in.
Permission must be granted before any important religious or ancient sites can be moved and proper procedures and ceremonies must be followed.
Compensation will be provided to any business that is moved.
Temporary parking will be provided in the parking lot north of the Faculty of Business and Administration and Faculty of Agriculture. After the construction the University will plant additional large trees to provide shade in the area.

North suffers in heatwave

April to remain very hot with low rainfall

Methee Mahayosanan, Director of the Northern Meteorological Center reported that the high temperatures are expected to continue through to April 17 when the North may see strong thunderstorms with high winds.

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The Director of the Northern Meteorological Center warned that the heatwave blanketing the North with high temperatures will continue through Songkran although some relief is in sight temperatures are expected to ease around April 17 – 20 with possible stormy weather.

Methee Mahayosanan, Director of the Northern Meteorological Center reported that the weather will continue to be very hot due to very low rainfall. In previous years the average low rainfall was about 30%. But rainfall has been 7% lower than the norm since the early period of this year and there are no signs that rainfall would increase. Currently, she said, the North is covered by low pressure resulting in heat and no clouds.

She said that April 8 and 9 might see some light rain in the North as a high pressure system expands into the region but high temperatures will remain with temperatures rising during the Songkran period and reach up to 39C. A low pressure system is expected to bring rain and thunderstorms along with gale force winds and the possibility of hail from April 17 -20. However, the low pressure system is expected to return and bring with it a return to high temperatures, she concluded.

Chiang Mai celebrates 720 years

Calendar of events for the city’s anniversary

Three Kings Monument will be the center of many activities including special ceremonies to honor Phaya Mengrai.

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This year residents of Chiang Mai are joining in with celebrations for the 60th cycle 720th year anniversary of the founding of the city. Activities in honor of this auspicious occasion will begin on April 10 through April 14. In 1276 on April12 King Mengrai marked the founding of Chiang Mai or Nopburi Sri Nakornping Chiang Mai. The city became the center of a prosperous kingdom and the foundation for the Lanna culture.

A special performance will be held at Wat Suan Dok honoring the Lanna kings on April 17 at 6pm.

To celebrate this 60th cycle anniversary – based on the Zodiac calendar- the city will begin festivities with a merit making ceremony at 6:30am on April 10, 2016 at Wat Phra Singh. There will be 720 monks and novices in front of the Royal Temple along Tha Pae Road. Buddhist faithful, officials and members of the public will join in offering monks food and alms. At 6:30pm there will be a Mahasanting Luang ceremony to celebrate the 720th anniversary led by the head Abbot of Chiang Mai.

The celebrations will continue on April 11 with a traditional Northern Thai dance performance with 720 participants from government organizations and communities at Three Kings Monument at 5pm. Following the performance thiere will be local Lanna music with traditional drums and Lanna lanterns.

On the 12th of April at Three Kings Monument at 8am a ceremony to pay respects to the Three Kings and Phaya Mengrai in particular will be held. At 3pm at the 700 year Stadium there will be a ceremony honoring Phaya Mengrai and then a light and sound show at 8pm titled Sang Pisut of Ping Nakorn or the Pure Light of Ping Nakorn.

Lanna New Year will be celebrated on April 13 with an offering of food to monks at the Tha Pae Gate at 6am followed by the ceremony at Wat Phra Singh at 9:09am for the Phra Buddhasingh image. The Buddha image will then be paraded from Wat San Pakoi to Wat Phra Singh where the faithful will splash water on the image as it parades by. The evening will close with dance performances at the Three Kings Monument at 6pm.

Thursday, April 14 celebrations will include music, song and dance performances including a Lanna opera at Three Kings Monument at 6pm.

The final day will fall on Sunday, April 17 with a worship ceremony held at Wat Suan Dok and include the heirs of the seven high ranking princes of the Lanna Kingdom at 10am. This will be followed by a tribute parade with the Chiang Mai Governor and Prince Wongsak na Chiangmai, government officers, members of the Lanna royal families and members of the public at 5pm. Finally, at 6pm, a ceremony to pay respects to Chiang Mai’s ancestral kings will be held.

Other activities include Thai Heritage Conservation Day and a special presentation of Buddha images and relics at the Chiang Mai National Museum from April 12 – 17, 2016.

Bangkok Airways joins in Chiang Mai anniversary with traditional Songkran Festival

Governor Pawin Chamniprasart and officials from TAT, Thai Rath and Bangkok Airways announces the launch of a special traditional Songkran Festival at Wat Mahawan in honor of Chiang Mai’s 720th anniversary.

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Bangkok Airways is joining Chiang Mai in the 720th anniversary celebrations with a special Songkran celebration at Wat Mahawan on Tha Pae Road called Fun with the New Year Festival to Celebrate 720 Years of Chiang Mai City it was announced with the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Thai Rath Newspaper.

The anniversary represents the 60th Cycle anniversary of the founding of the City and Lanna traditions will be honored during the Songkran period with special celebrations from April 12 – 15, 2016.

Governor Pawin Chamniprasart expressed his pleasure that Bangkok Airways is helping to promote the ancient cultures and traditions during Songkran. “Everyone can see the nice culture and tradition and the natural warmth and friendliness of the Lanna style,” he said. “With the cooperation of temples and communities supported by the government and private sector,” he continued, “This year’s Alcohol Free Songkran Zone will comply with the good traditions of Chiang Mai.”

Songkrot Palakawong na Ayutthaya, Director of Corporate Communication, Bangkok Airways, said that Bangkok Airways is aware of the importance of Chiang Mai’s good traditions and cultures. “As a part of private sector and airline service, we should participate in promotion of local traditions in an appropriate and correct manner,” he said. “This event is aimed to promote Lanna Songkran Festival so tourists and residents can experience traditional Songkran ceremonies in a way that is hardly seen now,” he continued. “Also, water splashing in line with a traditional Songkran will allow water saving under drought conditions.”

Activities will include traditional water splashing, encourage people to wear traditional local dress, offer demonstration booths on how to do Tung Sai Jang (paper cutting), bamboo weaving and other activities as well as local food.

The second part will be booths of religious and traditional activities like pouring water over the Buddha image, pouring water over one’s Lanna Zodiac animal of the year, lighting candles for prosperity, rice offerings to monks, Lanna merit making ceremonies, and decoration of Bodhi Tree’s strut. There will be booths for art and cultural shows and entertainment including Glong Phu Jao, Glong Mong Seng, Glong Kon Yao, Glong Ting Bom, Glong Tung Nong, Thai Nail dance (Fon Leb), Sward Dance, Fon Zheung, Fon Kai Lai, and Thai Massage.

Bangkok Airways will arrange a parade to participate in pouring water over the Buddha image and to offer the Governor a water pouring ceremony. The events will take place from April 12 -15, 2016 from 9am to 5pm at Wat Mahawan on Tha Pae Road.

Safety inspection at Chiang Mai Zoo in time for Songkran

Nipon Wichairat, Director of Chiang Mai Zoo reminds drivers and staff of the importance of following all safety protocols

Nopniwat Krailerg
Full safety inspections were given to Chiang Mai Zoo to ensure that it complied with full safety standards in time for Songkran.

Nipon Wichairat, Director of Chiang Mai Zoo together with officers and volunteer police for Chiang Mai Zoo inspected services in various parts of the zoo before this year’s Songkarn Festival. Strict safety measures are in place for the open-sided bus, zipline, and animal shows. The Director emphasized that there must be daily instruction and inspection of all equipment, vehicles and shows during the Songkran Festival. Employees and especially drivers must not drink alcohol or take drugs so that the Zoo can ensure the safety of all tourists.

Zoo Director Nipon Wichairat, staff and police conduct safety inspections before Songkran.

The Director said that this year the Zoo will be enforcing stricter policies to reduce the chance of accidents. Employees will be given random drug and alcohol tests. Additionally, staff will make sure that visitors who drink will not be allowed to drive at the Zoo. Any staff caught violating security rules will be strictly punished.

No plastic, no foam

Government urges businesses to use green products

The Chiang Mai government urges all sectors to use cloth bags and their own food containers and say no to foam and no to plastic.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart held a meeting with the Chiang Mai Waste Management Commission at the end of last year to set in place a police to reduce waste and offer sustainable management of waste in the government sector. This plan was announced recently as the Governor called on all sectors to reduce the use of plastic bags and foam containers. The five-year plan is in accordance with government policy on reducing plastic waste.

The Governor called on cooperation from government officers and employees of various organizations to reduce their use of plastic and foam containers from shops, convenience stores, and department stores and to act as role models by using cloth bags, paper bags, food containers, and food carriers from now on.

Australian Embassy to hold outreach visit at Dusit D2

The Australian Embassy in Bangkok will be holding an outreach at the Dusit D2 Hotel Chiang Mai on Friday, April 29, 2016.

Chiang Mai Mail Online reporters

Consular officers from the Australian Embassy in Bangkok will be visiting Chiang Mai on Friday, April 28, 2016 to offer citizens’ services at the Dusit D2 Chiang Mai Hotel. The services will be offered at the M Room in the hotel on 100 Chang Klan Road from 9 am to 12 noon and from 1 pm to 3 pm.

During the outreach visit the following services will be provided:

  • Passport applications – please ensure you bring all original documents and a photocopy of each document with you.
  • Notarial services
  • Statutory declarations for marriage, retirement visas and driving licence renewals
  • Witnessing documents
  • Certified true copies of documents (please ensure you bring the original and a photocopy of each document with you)

Fees are payable in cash only. Please contact the Consular section on 02 344 6300 or email [email protected] prior to your visit to confirm fees payable.

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No plastic, no foam

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