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Police sweep of Phrao nets four drug suspects

Yaba left on the side of the road

Police with some of the contraband seized during the sweep of Phrao District by police.

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Police led a concerted sweep of suspected drug users and dealer in Phrao District on November 25, 2016 arresting four drug suspects and four others with drugs in their urine along with one person with an illegal shotgun and homemade rifle.

Led by Putthipong Sirimart, Chiang Mai Deputy Governor, Pol. Col. Mongkol Sampawapol – Chiang Mai Provincial Police Deputy Commander, Col. Subsakul Buarawong – Deputy Commander of the 33rd Military Circle, Songsak Walaijai – Phrao District Chief Officer of Chang Mai, and officers of police, military, Narcotics Control Region 5, and others they searched Ban Pa Aor, Moo 8, Nam Pae, Phrao District in Chiang Mai. Four suspects were arrested with 108 methamphetamine tablets, four others were detected with drugs in their urine and one suspect was arrested with a shotgun and a homemade rifle. Police also seized five guns and four bank account books.

Police also set up a checkpoint and found 18,000 methamphetamine or Yaba pills abandoned on the side of the Chiang Mai – Fang road.


Police clean out drug kingpin’s network in Mae Ai

Lt. Gen. Thana Jaruwat, 3rd Corps Commander revealed plans to eliminate corruption and influential people in the area once controlled by alleged drug kingpin La Ta.

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After the arrest of the alleged drug kingpin Lao Ta Saenlee last month police have been working to clean up the network by arresting accomplices and removing corrupt officials who had been abetting the drug networks. The 3rd Corps Commander sent military into area of Baan Huay San, Mae Ai district after arresting the alleged drug lord and 14 alleged members of his gang.

The military will be transferring officials out of the area and will be in charge of the selection of village headmen and sub-district chief officers to eliminate corruption and compromised officials.

Lt. Gen. Thana Jaruwat, 3rd Corps Commander, as Commanding General of Centre of Narcotic Prevention and Suppression in Northern Border said that in addition to clearing out influential people many assets had been seized and the drug network bringing drugs in through the area had been crippled. Many drugs were still over the border waiting transport but can now no longer come through this area. Army officials suspect that they will try to redirect the smuggling through Mae Sai and Mae Fah Luang in Chiang Rai.

Drug networks include the UWSA, Kokang and Lahu groups that are sourcing manufacturing materials in China and manufacturing the drugs in Myanmar. It is believed there are about 11 or 12 factories over the border in Myanmar. The army is working to eliminate the networks by arresting transporters and agents inside Thailand.


Mae Hong Son man arrested with 170,000 Yaba pills in Pai

Police announced the arrest of a Mae Hong Son man in Pai on November 25, 2016. The man was charged with drug trafficking after police reportedly found 170,000 Yaba pills and 3kg of Ya Ice hidden in his car.

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Police arrested 36 year old man from Mae Hong son after stopping his car at a police checkpoint in Pai, Mae Hong Son on November 23, 2016 and discovering methamphetamine and crystal methamphetamine hidden in the car.

Pichit Chokepakkachitporn of Mae Hong Son was arrested at the checkpoint with 85 packages of methamphetamine totaling 170,000 pills and 3 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine.

Police had received information that a drug smuggling group was using the route near Ban Muang Noi, Weng, and Pai in Mae Hong Son so as to avoid the more heavily patrolled route in Wieng Haeng in Chiang Mai.

Police said the car had been modified to smuggle drugs and after arresting Mr. Pichit raided his lodgings in Pang Ma Pha Sub-district of Mae Hong Son and his rental room in Nong Hoi in Chiang Mai. Police found evidence there to lead them other suspects, they have asked the courts to issue arrest warrants for the suspects.


Red truck driver returns lost bag to Chinese tourists

The grateful tourists thanked red truck driver Wirat Marueng for returning their bag with their passports inside.

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In two separate incidents involving forgotten bags the owners were lucky to have their bags returned to them in time to catch their flights.

The first incident was at Chiang Mai International Airport when a security guard found a bag left at the counter for filling out departure cards on November 23, 2016 at around 8:30 a.m.. The officer reported the incident but no owner was found. Security and EOD officers inspected the bag to make sure there was nothing suspicious and found inside 70,000 baht, Singapore dollars, Malaysian ringgit and jewelry for a total value around 200,000 baht. Inside the bag they found a receipt with a Chinese name on it and called on the public address system for the passenger. The passenger, who was heading to Malaysia on Air Asia came to the counter but was unaware that the bag had been forgotten. The grateful tourist made their flight on time.

On the same day at 11 a.m. a Chinese passenger reported to Chiang Mai International Airport security that she had forgotten her bag in a red truck that had picked her up from her hotel near Wat Pha Singh. The bag contained four passports which the passengers needed to travel to Shanghai.

Airport security worked with the Tourist Police, Phuphing Police and the Nakorn Lanna Transport Cooperative to track down the driver who brought the bag to the airport at around 3 p.m. The passengers managed to catch flights to Shanghai and return home despite the delay.


Chiang Mai readies for smoke season

New Command Center opened against fires and smog

Forest fires as well as agricultural burning are major causes for the annual smog and smoke that affect the North. The Command Center for Chiang Mai was opened by Deputy Governor Putthipong Sirimart and will work to increase cooperation from government officials at all levels.

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Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Putthipong Sirimart opened the new Chiang Mai Smog and Wildfire Solutions Center 2017 – 2018 to act as a command center to fight forest fires and wild fires in National Parks, wildlife reserves, conservation areas and forest areas. The Center will work to build cooperation from all sectors to analyze the problems and arrange operation teams to stop fires from spreading. The cooperation will be at all levels, from village to sub-district to district and provincial.

The Province has already issued two announcements regarding the prevention of fires; those lighting fires in all areas including agricultural after February 20, 2017, will face a fine of 150,000 baht and imprisonment up to 15 years. Last year 18 people were arrested in Chiang Mai and the government has told government officials at all levels to take responsibility for monitoring the situation and announce restrictions and fines clearly to the local people.

Fire restrictions will be put in place at a Provincial level from February 20 to April 20, 2017 but local areas may choose to extend that period as needed. Meetings will be held every Tuesday to track progress at the Command Center.


Bus driver arrested for stealing from passenger

Chiang Mai Tourist Police announced the arrest of Surat Thani native Mongkol Arunchote who confessed he had stolen cash from a Korean tourist on a tour bus in September.

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Chiang Mai Tourist police announced the arrest of the driver of a tour bus in Lampang after a Korean tourist filed a complaint with the police that cash had been stolen while on the bus in September.

Police issued an arrest warrant for Mongkol Arunchote of Surat Thani after receiving the complaint from the Korean tourist that 200,000 Korean won or about 9,000 baht had gone missing while he was on the bus. Police tracked the driver down and arrested him on November 18, 2016.

Mongkol had already been arrested for stealing from bus passengers eight years ago. He also admitted to police that he had stolen from tourists numerous times during his bus driving career.


Three dead and 16 injured in collision on Hod – Doi Tao Road

Three people were killed after a car and pickup truck carrying laborers collided on the Hod – Doi Tao road on November 20, 2016.

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Three people were killed and 16 people injured in an accident involving a pickup truck carrying fruit pickers and a car carrying two people on November 20, 2016 at 7:10 a.m. The driver of the car was killed on impact while his passenger escaped with minor injuries. Two others in the pickup truck that was flipped over on its side by the impact were killed at the scene.

Police and rescue rushed to the scene where they found a green Toyota Tiger pickup truck modified to carry people, flipped over on its side and many injured people in the road. The car was found on the side of the road with the driver dead at the scene. The driver, 30 year old Supachai Klongsawad of Mae Hong Son, was traveling North towards Khumyuan, Mae Hong Son at a high speed according to witnesses.

Two of the passengers in the pickup truck were killed on impact; 31 year old Paiboon Yodboonyuen and 59 year old Thong Tantang. The driver of the pickup truck suffered mild injuries as well. He told police that he was driving along the narrow two lane road when the Yaris driven by Supachai appeared driving at high speed and collided with the truck in the road. Police suspect the driver of the car may have been unfamiliar with the road or may have dozed off and lost control of the vehicle. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the accident.


Man arrested for murder of ex – wife, father - in – law

Pol. Col. Sarayuth Sanguanpokai, Acting for Commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police and Pol. Col. Piyapong Pattarapongsin, Deputy Commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police brought the suspect to the scene to re-enact the crime.

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Police were called to a grisly murder scene in Mae Rim on November 21, 2016 where they found the bodies of a man and his daughter knifed to death.

The bodies of 69 year old Naling Luka from Wiang Haeng, Chiang Mai and his daughter, 37 year old Yong Lungnaling were found with wounds on their bodies and faces. Police suspected the daughter’s ex-husband in the murders, a 42 year odl man from Mae Hong Son named Tor, surname unknown.

Mr. Tor told police that he had gotten drunk and went to his ex-wife’s house asking her to marry him again. When she refused he flew in to a rage and attacked her with a knife. Her father attempted to intervene and he knifed him to death as well. He fled and threw the knife into the bushes on the side of the road.

He told police that he had come back to the scene of the crime the next morning as he had pills there to use to kill himself but he couldn’t find them so he fled. Police tracked him down as he attempted to flee Chiang Mai on a bus to Mae Fak and brought him back to Mae Rim to re-enact the crime.


Thief sells the gold snatched from a gold shop last week

Police re-enact the crime in Wat Jet Yod area

Police had the 29 year old Mae Hong Son gold shop robber re-enact the crime at the gold shop in the Wat Jet Yod area. The man told police he was unemployed and needed the money.

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Chiang Mai police used CCTV to track down a Mae Hong Son man who robbed a gold shop in broad daylight in the Wat Jet Yod area last week, announcing his arrest at the re-enactment of the crime.

Twenty nine year old Eakarin Wongsa confessed to police that he had gone into the Juruwat Gold Shop in the Jet Yod – Chiang Khien Road and asked to see a piece of gold jewelry with a half baht weight, valued at 10,000 baht. He said the shop owner looked away so he grabbed the gold and ran outside, jumping on his waiting motorbike and driving off.

Police had the thief re-enact the crime after they arrested him at his lodgings behind Chiang Mai Rajabhat University. In his possession they found a receipt for the sale of the gold ring, as well as the motorbike used in the crime.

He told police that he was unemployed and needed cash badly so had sold the gold ring at the Yaowarat Gold Shop in Sarapee and received 9,500 baht. He told police he had already spent all the money from the sale of the gold ring.


HRH Princess Soamsawali visits flood-hit Mae Taeng

Aid distributed to villages hit by flash flooding

 

Apai Janthanajulaka, Vice President of the Princess of Pa Foundation, Red Cross Society was designated by HRH Princess Soamsawali to distribute royal aid to Mae Taeng villagers hit by flash floods.

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HRH Princess Soamsawali visited Mae Taeng after the district was hit by heavy rains and flash floods last week. The Princess designated Apai Janthanajulaka, Vice President of the Princess of Pa Foundation, Red Cross Society as the royal representative to visit and distribute 50 sets of survival bags to flood victims.

HRH Princess Soamsawali was met by Deputy Governor Prachuab Kanthiya, and Monsuda Chamniprasart, President of the Chiang Mai Provincial Red Cross at Wat Baan Chang in Mae Taeng District on November 16, 2016. Mae Taeng Chief District Officer Sarawuth Thaicharoen gave a report on the situation in Mae Taeng.

Heavy rains and flash floods affected 11 villages in 11 sub-districts, affecting 605 families and killing one man. Agricultural areas were also hit hard by the flooding. Chiang Mai Province also distributed survival bags and necessities to the flood victims.


Local rice farmers receive government and private support

Rice prices too low for farmers to make a living

Provincial Police Region 5 is supporting local farmers, along with the private sector, by selling rice for local farmers at Provincial Police Region 5 headquarters and stations around the region. Additionally local markets are setting up and will sell farmers’ rice.

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The government and private sectors showed their support for local rice farmers on November 15 and 16, 2016 by providing locals the means to sell their own rice and avoid the middleman.

Region 5 Police launched their project “Helping Thai Farmers” which will allow farmers to sell their rice at markets set up in three locations. Members of the public are encouraged to attend these markets that will begin this month and be held until September 2017.

The markets will be held at Chiang Mai 89 Plaza on every Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Jadee Liam Market on Fridays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and at Provincial Police Stations under subsidiary of Provincial Police Region 5 every day during government business hours. All police officers and people can buy farmers’ rice at these locations.

Many other government sectors including the 33rd Military Circle and the private sector have pledged to support the project by buying jasmine and sticky rice including hotels and restaurants.

The Provincial Commercial Office Trade Officer Kantharat Sarasomrak said that the office will work in cooperation with the Community Development Office, the Provincial Agricultural and Cooperatives Office, the Provincial Agricultural Extension Office, the Provincial Cooperative Promotion Department, the Provincial Industry Office, the Provincial Labour Protection Office, the Marketing Organization for Farmers, and the Faculty of Agriculture of Chiang Mai University.

Government and private Sector in Chiang Mai supported Civil State’s rice market by bring to sell in various areas. The rice from farmers will be sold at local department stores, 4 branches of Tops Supermarket, 7 branches of Rimping Supermarket, 4 branches of Big C Supermarket (Public) Co.,Ltd., CRC Thaiwatsadu Co.,Ltd., 24 branches of PTT Gas Station, the Office of  Provincial Police Region 5, the Chiang Mai Provincial Electricity Authority (from the 1st to the 5th of the month), the Farmer’s Market at Chiang Mai City Hall (every Friday), Safe Food JJ Mareket (every Sunday morning from 6 a.m. to 12 noon), Chiang Mai Community Market – Safe Food (every Saturday at 8 a.m.- 12 noon), Chiang Mai Commercial Chamber, and Tae Phae - Rajdamnern Walking Street (every Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.).


Yee Peng Krathong parade in black and white to mourn His Majesty the King

Chiang Mai Rajabhat University took first prize for their float in Group 1 in the Grand Krathong Parade held on November 16, 2016.

The U.S. Consulate General team, led by Consul General Jennifer Harhigh and her family, took part in the Grand Krathong Parade this year as well.

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Governor Pawin Chamniprasart presided over the Grand Krathong Parade on November 15, 2016 that featured floats in black and white to pay respects and mourn the loss of His Majesty the King.

The Governor also handed out prizes to the winning floats, this year 19 groups joined the contest with the parade route starting at Tha Pae Gate and ending at the Chiang Mai Municipal Buildings next to the white chedi.

There were two groups with Chiang Mai Rajabhat University taking first in the Group1, followed by floats from the Chiang Mai Business Tourism Association and Mae Taeng Tourism Association in second and Tesco Lotus Chiang Mai in third. The winner in Group 2 went to the Dhamma Rachawadee Conservation Group followed by Wat Payakdonkaewphothiyarn in second place and the Alumni Club of Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, Chiang Mai in third place.


Candlelit Chiang Mai holds Yee Peng to honor His Majesty the King

Candles formed a large number 9 in Thai script to honor His Majesty the King.

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The Yee Peng Festival began on November 12, 2016 at 6 p.m. at Three Kings Monument with the ceremony to light the lanterns placed around the city and hundreds of people joined together to light candles around the city walls to honor His Majesty King Rama 9.

“Lighting the Lanterns to Brighten the Sky for the City’s Protection” was organized by the Community Network of Chiang Mai Conservation, local people working to conserve Lanna traditions and cultures. Deputy Governor Putthipong Sirimart and Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn led the event, speaking on the kindness of His Majesty the King.

Students and other members of local organizations lit 49,999 candles around the city walls, gates and moat.

A minute of silence followed the lighting of the lanterns and then members from 26 different organizations lit 49,999 candles around the moat and on the walls and gates. People can also light 9,999 hanging lanterns at the Three Kings Monument. Events were also held in front of Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Center and Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel where the hotel turned on lights in the rooms in the shape of the number 9 in Thai script.

 

The gate was lined with flickering candles on the evening of November 12, 2016 in a beautiful tribute to His Majesty the King.


Police nab suspect in snatch and grab thief from Korean tourist

Police brought the suspect in the snatch and grab theft of the bag of Korean tourist to the scene of the crime for re-enactment.

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Police announced the arrest of a suspect in the snatch and grab theft from a Korean tourist in the Santitham area on November 10. The woman was riding a bicycle near the YMCA when a man wearing a helmet rode beside the woman and grabbed her bag out of the basket.

The tourist reported the crime to the police, saying she had lost 3,000 baht in cash, three credit cards, her passport and cell phone. The suspect remembered the red color of the motorbike and the three digits on the license plate. Police used CCTV footage from the area to find the motorcycle’s owner. The motorcycle was registered to Jamlong Piwan who told police he had loaned the motorcycle to Kita Kansuya, a 26 year old man from Chomthong District in Chiang Mai.

Pol. Maj. Gen. Pittaya Sirirak, Pol. Maj. Gen Pongdej Phompijit, Acting Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5, Pol. Col. Piyapong Phattarapongsin – Deputy Commander of Chiang Mai Police Station announced the arrest of the suspect in the theft and reported that he had been found with Korean won notes, and a cell phone. Additionally they found clothing and a backpack that matched the description of the clothes the thief was wearing.


Disaster Prevention Office warns mountain residents will need warm clothes

Colder than usual winter is expected this year

The Thai Meteorological Department is predicting colder than usual temperatures this winter.

The Chief of Management Strategy Division, Chiang Mai Public Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office Thana Nuanplod warned that mountain villages will need warm clothes.

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The Chief of Management Strategy Division, Chiang Mai Public Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office Thana Nuanplod warned that mountain villages will be in need of warm clothing this winter as colder than normal temperatures are expected to hit the North.

The Office is preparing for the effects of the weather as cooler temperatures are coming. The Thai Meteorological Department said that the winter season begins November 16 and will run through February 17. The average lowest temperature in upper part of Thailand will be around 19-20C and average lowest temperature of the country will be 6-7C in the Upper North and Northeastern regions. The coldest period will be in the last half of December to the middle of January, 2017.

The Office has prepared a budget and has informed districts and local administration organizations to establish managing centers at the district and local administration organization level. The Ministry of Finance said that funds can be disbursed in an emergency situation when temperatures fall below 8 degrees Celsius for three consecutive days. This will enable to the government to release funds to purchase warm clothing and other needed items. The budget is set a 240 baht per person and the province will not receive more than 1 million baht in the year.

A survey was done of the 25 districts and found that there are 171,631 at risk people, of those 142,261 are elderly people with fragile health, 5,117 children and 24,523 disabled people. None of these people have received any help for the past two years. Most live in the highlands in Fang, Om Koi and Mae Chaem.

The private sector is stepping in to help; Honda will donate 11,000 items; 5,000 blankets, 5,000 winter jackets, 3,000 winter jackets for children, and 3,000 pairs of socks for kids on 21 November 16 at Ruppaport School, Bo Kaeo, Samoeng District. Rakbankerd Foundation will give 1,800 blankets and sports equipment in the area in Meuang Kong, Chiang Dao on December 17, 2016.


Police work to ensure security during Loy Krathong

 In a ceremony held at Three Kings Monument Acting Commissioner for Region 5 Police Pol. Maj. Gen. Poonsub Prasertsak released 750 police, military, and other officers on to the city streets to ensure the safety and security of tourists during Loy Krathong.

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Pol. Maj. Gen. Poonsub Prasertsak, Acting Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5 said that they will place 750 officers from the police, military, administration organization and volunteers on the streets for Loy Krathong in a bid to ensure the safety and security of visitors and residents during the busy period.

The Acting Commissioner said at the ceremony to release the officers held at Three Kings Monument that the tourist high season has arrived and the upcoming Loy Krathong Festival will see the numbers of visitors swell. He added that the police want to create confidence in the safety of tourists in Chiang Mai and all sectors will work together to suppress criminal activity and provide safety and security.


World Irrigation Forum brings water experts from around the world

Dr.Saeed Nairizi, President of International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage: ICID spoke on the work of His Majesty the King in irrigation and water management.

Thailand won the WatSave Award for its work on researching reduced water usage for rice growing.

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Water experts from around the world came to Chiang Mai to attend the 2nd Annual World Irrigation Forum held at the Chiang Mai International Convention Center from November 6 – 8, 2017.

The forum, which was attended by 1200 people from 52 countries saw ministers and senior officials from governments attend to discuss the issues facing water and irrigation. Ministers from Bhutan, Ethiopia, the People’s Republic of Chian, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Lao People's Democratic Republic met with the Minister from Thailand. Additionally other countries sent senior officers as well as irrigation experts.

The World Conference was divided into five meetings, 12 parallel meetings, academic presentation via 50 posters, and 17 subordinate meeting hosted by international organizations and institutes.

Dr.Saeed Nairizi, President of International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage: ICID, offered his condolences to the Thai people on the loss of His Majesty the King and commended them on their dedication to ensure that the event still went off smoothly. He reminded everyone of the important work of His Majesty King Bhumibol in the areas of irrigation and visited the Huai Hongkhrai Development Study Center in Doi Saket along with other ministers.

He concluded that the Forum had been successful because all countries attending understand the importance of irrigation and sustainable water management that can help lead to food stability and eliminate poverty. The Ministers issued the Chiang Mai Declaration regarding cooperation of countries to increase irrigation performance parallel with generating food stability, improvement of networks linking rural development with country development, supporting participation of people and increasing power of negotiation in agriculture.

Each country attending presented its problems their solutions as well as introduced ways to develop irrigation and agriculture. Thailand presented research on rice farming using less water, dry rice farming and irrigation during drought. The methods introduced by the Thai team can help to reduce the use of water by 20%-30% and production costs, but still produce more rice. The Thai research won the WatSave Awards 2016 at the forum.


Hmong people join in mourning His Majesty the King

More than 3,000 ethnic Hmong people came to City Hall to pay their respects and show their love for His Majesty the King at a ceremony to mourn his loss.

The Chiang Mai Hmong Network hosted the event at City Hall and will also be sponsoring chanting rites in Bangkok as well as sending food to feed people at the Grand Palace.

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More than 3,000 members of the Hmong ethnic community joined in a ceremony at Chiang Mai City Hall to pay respects and mourn His Majesty the King.

Hmong groups were led by Reuangrit Jaocharoen, Chairman of the Chiang Mai Hmong Networks and Hmong Tribes, more than 3,000 people assembled in the field in front of Chiang Mai City Hall to commemorate His Majesty and his boundless and generous kindness. More than 70 members of the community performed on the Hmong reed mouth organ performing music to honor His Majesty.

Inside City Hall Governor Pawin Chamniprasart delivered a formal promise to the ethnic community to work with them to fight the illegal drug problem, to help them protect and conserve forest resources.

Chairman of Chiang Mai Hmong Network Reuangrit Jaocharoen said that it is difficult for many of the Hmong people in Chiang Mai to go to pay respects to HM the late King at the Grand Palace. So, he coordinated with Chiang Mai province to organize the ceremony. He said that due to His Majesty’s care and concern the Hmong people have been helped for many years, they would like to show their love and respect for the King by hosting a monk’s chanting rites ceremony in Bangkok for one night, they will also send five tons of fruit and vegetables to feed people at the Grand Palace.


Remembrance Day ceremony held at Foreign Cemetery

 

The foreign community came together today, Friday, November 11 to honor those who have fallen serving their country. The Remembrance Day ceremony is held every year at the Foreign Cemetery with a moment of silence at 11:11 a.m. British Honorary Consul Ben Svasti Thomson laid the first wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier, he was joined by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Royal British Legion, the U.S. Consul General Jennifer Harhigh and other consuls and honorary consuls, students and members of the public who laid wreaths and paper poppies at the solemn ceremony that marks the end of World War I.


Loy Krathong schedule

Loy Krathong has been scaled back this year to honor the memory of His Majesty the King. This important holiday begins with a special candle lighting ceremony to honor His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Three Kings Monument where 99,999 candles will be lit at 6 p.m.

From the 12th to the 15th of November there will be beautiful illuminated sculptures around the moat as well as contests for the best decorated front door or front age. Temples will hold ceremonies and special events; Wat Lokmolee, Wat Pan Tao, Wat Srikong, and Wat Chai Mongkon.

November 13 - The opening ceremony for the Yee Peng Festival will be held at Tha Pae Gate at 6:30 p.m.

November 14 – This is the first night Khom Loy or sky lanterns will be allowed – between 7 p.m. and midnight. People will also start to float krathongs on the river and moat this night.

November 15 – The Grand Krathong Parade will start from Tha Pae Gate and finish in front of the Municipal Offices near the White Chedi – starting from 6 p.m. Khom Loy are also allowed on this evening as well, until midnight.


Veterinary Department helps farmers harvest rice

 Farmers receive help from the Agriculture Department with the use of combine harvesters to harvest rice in the Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son.

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The Veterinary Department and the Chiang Mai Agriculture Office organized efforts to assist farmers in harvesting rice recently as farmers face low rice prices. The Royal Thai Army joined in the event and a combine harvester was used to harvest rice in Mae Rim.

The offices plan on targeting areas in Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son in the coming harvesting season. Farmers have usually hired laborers at 700 baht per rai to harvest but with the combine harvester costs can be reduced to 300 baht per rai. The group will subsidize some of the transportation cost so that the fee will be 25 baht per kilometer as opposed to the former 20 satang per kilogram.

The next target will be in Doi Saket, Chiang Mai with 600 rai followed by Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son. The project wants to cover all districts, however, limitations as rice will be harvested simultaneously, it was proved not possible. The Animals and Agriculture Division 3 has only two combine harvesters and will require another one from another division for help.

Mr. Sompol Sankam, Director of Chiang Mai Agriculture Office, said that the market price of rice has started increasing from 5-6 baht to 7.40 baht per kilogram. Most rice will go to the market during the end of November – December. In Chiang Mai, area (in the field and on the mountain) rice is grown on 54,000 rai, sticky rice (San Patong) is 347,560 rai with total rice production of 269,312 rai. Jasmine rice is widely grown in Phrao, Fang, Mae Ai, and San Patong District. Sticky rice has seen less demand but demand remains high for other rice.


World Irrigation Forum held in Chiang Mai

The 2nd World Irrigation Forum was held in Chiang Mai; members of the Cabinet visited the event at the Huai Hongkhrai Development Study Center recently. Mr. Thongplew Kongchan, Deputy Director General for Operation and Maintenance, Royal Irrigation Department accompanied Cabinet and high ranking international officials attending the 2nd World Irrigation Forum (2nd WIF 2016) and viewed prototype models of the Development Study Center initiated by HM the late King from Huai Hongkhrai Development Study Center, Doi Saket, Khao Hin Sorn Development Study Center Muang, Narathiwat, Huay Sai Development Study Center, Cha-Am, Petchaburi, Phuphan Development Study Center, Muang, Sakon Nakhon, and Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Center, Tha Mai, Chantaburi. Mr. Surat Thanusilp, Director of Huai Hongkhrai development Study Center welcomed the group.


U.S. Consulate holds Election Watch event for students

Students learned about the U.S. election process and also learned more about studying in the U.S. at the Election Watch event sponsored by the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai.

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The U.S. Consulate – General held an Election Watch on Wednesday, November 9 fr Chiang Mai University students to witness first-hand the results of the U.S. Presidential Election/ holds Election Watch event for CMU students-pic 1

U.S. Consul General in Chiang Mai Jennifer Harhigh addressed the students and talked about the democratic process in the United States as well as the country’s close relationship with His Majesty the King.

 U.S. Consul General Jennifer A. Harhigh opened the event where she was joined in a video conference by Ambassador Glyn T. Davies. Former Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Oran Chaiprawat, Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Prajuab Kanthiya – Chiang and the Deputy Commmissioner of Provincial Police Region 5 Maj. Gen. Pittaya Sirirak joined the event along with students from international schools and Chiang Mai University. There were many booths regarding further study in United States, English study information by AUA, and about the election system and democracy in the U.S.

Jennifer A. Harhigh, Consul General of the U.S. reminded everyone that His Majesty King Bhumibol was born in the United States. During his reign the U.S. has had 12 Presidents and five of them officially visited Thailand; Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and Barack Obama. His Majesty visited the U.S. officially twelve times since 1967, she said, “ He used to say that “I visited you not only as Head of the State, but as a friend also and as a civilian loving civilians”.

The Election Watch lasted for several hours as the election remained close to the end when Donald Trump won the Electoral College.


Department of Land Transport warns that UBER is illegal

Personal cars are not allowed for public transportation

The Department of Land Transport warns against using UBER in Chiang Mai as it is illegal for a private car to act as public transportation. The owner of the car will be fined 2,000 baht if arrested.

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With the recent announcement by UBER that the service was being extended to Chiang Mai effective November 1, 2016 the Chief of the Chiang Mai Land Transport Office Chanchai Keelapaeng warned that services such as UBER are illegal in Thailand as it is prohibited to use a personal car for public transportation.

UBER, the well-known mobile application, allows for users to call for service from a vehicle registered with UBER and pay with their credit card. The driver is given training by UBER and the application deducts 25 percent from the cost of the trip while the owner of the car will receive 75 percent.

The director said that there are only two kinds of cars allowed to use legally for public transportation; a taxi with a meter attached and a car with a green license plate commonly used for airport transportation.

He reiterated that a personal vehicle can serve for personal use only and is not allowed to be used as a public vehicle serving passengers and those car owners arrested as driving for UBER will face a 2,000 baht fine. The passenger will not be fined as they are not the owners of the vehicle.


Khom Loy allowed only on November 14 and 15

Must be done away from the airport

The release of Khom Loy and other floating objects as well as fireworks will only be allowed on November 14 and 15 and on New Year’s Eve.

Nopniwat Krailerg

The Chiang Mai government announced restrictions on the release of Khom Loy or floating lanterns for Loy Krathong, stating they can only be released between 10 a.m. to 12 midnight on the 14th of November and between 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. on the 15th of November. Additionally, Khom Loy will be allowed on New Year’s Eve from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Fireworks and firecrackers are also prohibited outside these times, khom loy and fireworks can only be let off in allowed locations as determined by the local Chief District Officer. The sale of khom loy and fireworks can only be done in locations allowed by the local Chief District Officer.

Releasing Khom Loy near the airport is prohibited as well, and must be at least 4.6 kms away from all sides of the runway.

These restrictions were announced in the Government Gazette on October 14 and specify that anyone found in violation of these laws will face three years in prison or a fine not more than 60,000 baht or both.


Chiang Mai flocks to Royal Park to honor the memory of HM the King

More than 35,000 at the ceremony

Officials estimate more than 35,000 people flocked to Royal Park Rajapruek on November 2 to honor the memory of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters

Officials estimate more than 35,000 people came together at Royal Park Rajapruek on November 2, 2016 at 6:39 p.m.to pay tribute to and honor the memory of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej in a candle ceremony.

Led by ML Panadda Diskul, Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office and former Governor of Chiang Mai, people thronged to the park to sing the Royal Anthem as well as other songs dedicated to His Majesty the King.

Governor Pawin Chamniprasart, ranking officers and government officials and members of the foreign diplomatic corps joined the Minister in leading the ceremony. Students from Montfort College, Princes Royal College, Dara Academy, and the College of Arts and Music at Payap University performed as the audience sang along to mourn the loss of His Majesty King Rama 9.

Chiang Mai people joined together in the candlelight ceremony at Royal Park Rajapruek.

A sea of candlelight filled Royal Park Rajapruek as more than 35,000 people took part in the ceremony to honor HM the King.

The garden came alive with tens of thousands of candles.

Royal Park Rajapruek was filled with Chiang Mai people honoring HM the King on November 2, 2016.

Spelled out in candles “Chiang Mai loves HM King Rama 9”.

A sea of candles filled the Royal Park Rajapruek as more than 35,000 people turned out to honor the memory of His Majesty King Rama 9.

Minister ML Panadda Diskul returned to Chiang Mai to join Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart and many others in honoring His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.


Loy Krathong Supermoon this month will be the closest since 1948

Next one this close will be in 2034

Dr. Saran Posayajinda, Deputy Director of NARIT, announced the dates of special activities and open houses as well as the Supermoon expected on November 14, 2016.

Nopniwat Krailerg

The moon will look just a little bit bigger, weather permitting, this Loy Krathong as there will be a Supermoon, that is when the moon becomes full on the same day as its perigee, or point closest to the Earth.
The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) – NARIT will be open for sky gazing during the winter and the highlight will be “Super Full Moon on Loy Krathong” on November 14, 2016. NARIT will have three telescopes set up around the city.

They will be holding open houses and activities until March 2017 and invite the public to join at no cost. The organization will have a star party and youth camp six times in the coming year; November 6 across from the Three Kings Monument, November 14 at Central Festival Chiang Mai “Full Moon closest to the world in the year”, Saturday, January 14, 2017 at Central Festival Chiang Mai, the 4th time on Friday, February 3 at Chiang Mai Night Safari, the 5th time on Saturday, February 25 at Sirindhorn Observatory, Chiang Mai University, and Saturday 4 March 4 at Central Festival Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai residents will also be invited to join in lighting candles in memory of His Majesty the King at Central Festival at 7:09 pm on November 14.

NARIT will also be holding an open house at The Thai National Observatory, Doi Inthanon National Park on Saturday January 21, 2017 and Saturday February 18, only 120 people will be allowed to view the giant 2.4 meter telescope on each day.


Thailand to resume festive and entertainment activities from 14 November 2016

The Loy Krathong Parade will be held on November 15, khom loy will be allowed November 14 and 15, 2016.

The Royal Thai Government has announced that when the first 30 days of the mourning period for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej have passed on 14 November, 2016, restrictions on festive celebrations and entertainment venues will be lifted and television and radio broadcasts can return to normal programming.

The announcement from the Government has been made to reassure visitors with plans to visit Thailand that all events and festivals will be going ahead as planned. It is also to let locals know that, while the mourning period is being respected, other areas of life will be returning to normal to avoid disruption and to enable people to make a living.

All entertainment venues, parties, festivals and radio and television broadcasts will resume on 14 November, 2016.

In addition, as a way of celebrating Thailand’s past and culture during this historical transition period, the Department of Fine Arts, Ministry of Culture, is inviting all visitors to visit national museums and historical parks throughout Thailand with free admission from now until 31 January. (TAT)


Cooler weather headed to the North

Doi Inthanon in a sea of mist at sunrise on October 31, 2016 when the temperature hit 8 C. Photo by Pronthep Charonesubsakul, Chief of Doi Inthanon National Park.

Nopniwat Krailerg

The North saw cooler temperatures start on October 30 and can look forward to cooler temperatures and a decrease in rainfall the Deputy Director General of the Thai Meteorological Department Songkarn Aksorn announced.

From November 2, 2016 the North will see light fog in the morning and light rain with a

minimum temperature 19-23 C and a maximum temperature 29-31 C.  Wind will be out of the east from 0-30 km/hr. From November 6 -8 the mornings will cool with temperatures dropping by 3-5 C. Isolated to scattered thundershowers mostly in the western part. Minimum temperatures will be 17-21 C while the maximum temperature 28-30 C and winds will be coming from the Northeast at 15-30 km/hr.

On October 31, 2016 at 6 a.m. the temperature at Doi Inthanon hit 8 C. The temperature at Kiew Mae Pan View Point was 12.8 C with clear skies and many Thai and foreign tourists stayed overnight there to see sunrise and sea of mist in the morning.
 


 
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Khom Loy allowed only on November 14 and 15

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Thailand to resume festive and entertainment activities from 14 November 2016

Cooler weather headed to the North