Department of Special Investigation says 83% of smuggled pseudoephedrine comes from abroad
Exclusive interview with DSI head
Chiang Mai Mail editor Nopniwat Krailerg listens
to DSI commander Pol. Lt. Col. Pongin In-Khao about the pseudoephedrine
The Chiang Mai Mail sat down with Pol.
Lt. Col. Pongin In-Khao, Commander of the Department of Special
Investigation (DSI) Security Case and discussed the recent ban of
pseudoephedrine tablets and the issues facing smuggled tablets over the
Pseudoephedrine is a key component in
the manufacture of methamphetamine or Yaba and the Thai government banned
over the counter sales of the drugs in a bid to reduce Yaba production.
empty packets of pseudoephedrine that had gone missing from hospitals were
found discarded in San Kamphaeng earlier this year.
The DSI is searching for a man who they
say has gathered the pills from 6 hospitals and sent them over the border
into Myanmar for drug production. Police estimate that over 11.6 million
tablets have gone missing from hospitals and clinics around the North and
The DSI has launched investigations
into hospitals and clinics around the country, doing an audit of the drug
and found that since 2009 83 % of the pseudoephedrine had been smuggled
illegally into Thailand before being carried over the border.
After the police found a stash of cold
medicine with pseudoephedrine pills in San Kampaeng district an
investigation led officials to uncover 3 Government hospitals ,1 private
hospital, 8 medical clinics and 1 pharmacy involved in smuggling the pills.
Further investigation found a link to 6 hospitals in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
A large number of the pills are coming
from South Korean, with over 33 million tablets smuggled in from that
country. An exchange of information between the South Korean FDA and the
Thai FDA shows that hospitals have contracts with prescription drug
manufacturers there to import over 40 tons of the drug or around 850 million
The DSI have started a special case
committee to investigate the hospitals and the smuggled pills and to
determine if the remaining several hundred million tablets were imported
legally or not. The DSI will go to South Korea to work with the FDA there to
see if they can prevent further illegal importation.
Teacher praises police for the quick recovery of her stolen motorbike
The theft suspect with the recovered Fino and
other stolen items at the police station.
A Prince’s Royal College teacher
reported her motorbike stolen from in front of Yuparaj Wittayalai School on
Friday, April 27 to the police at the Muang Chiang Mai Police Station.
Warunee Lertvichaikul said that she had
parked her motorbike for about a half an hour to get something to eat and
had forgotten to remove her key from the motorbike.
Police have been investigating a string
of thefts from around Chiang Mai since April 25 and uncovered Chakri or Pom
Tasujai, age 30 of Baan Hong Lamphun and arrested him for stealing
motorbikes and other items. They recovered Miss Warunee’s motorbike and
returned it to her.
Police uncovered 1 Honda motorcycle, 4
bicycles and 1 HP Computer notebook from the suspect’s home. The accused man
confessed that he had graduated from University and had been unable to find
work, he had been gambling online heavily and needed the money to pay for is
gambling. He said he had stolen the Honda from Kad Suan Kaew and the 4
bicycles from a tutorial school near Wat Phra Singh. He said he had sold the
stolen bikes to second hand shops in Chiang Mai, Sarapee and Lamphun. The
accused confessed that he graduated from the University and now he lost no
money. And the online gambling heavily. The one of motorcycles he stolen
from Kad Suan Kaew and 4 bicycles stolen from the tutorial school near Wat
Phra Singh area and then sold the bike to a second hand shop in Chiang Mai,
Sarapee and Lamphun in cheap price.
Police arrest two Akha for theft
Two young Akha men from Mae Ai District were
arrested after many purse thefts around the city over the Songkran holidays.
Muang Chiang Mai police arrested to
Akha men after investigation into snatch and run thefts over the Songkran
holidays led them to the two men who had been released from prison last
On April 19, 2012 police were informed
of a theft in front of the 7-11 near Mahawan Temple on Tha Pae Road, police
investigation led them to the two men at the Night Bazaar. They confessed
that they had several successful thefts by driving up on a motorcycle and
grabbing the person’s bag before driving off. A Swedish tourist had a bag
stolen, as did several other foreign tourists on the 20th and 22nd
and a Thai woman who had her bag stolen on Chang Moi Road on April 23.
Sima Tachae, age 19 and Soontorn
Morelaekoo, age 25, of Mae Ai District confessed to police that they
targeted women as it was easier to steal their purses. Pol. Col. Aksorn
Wongyai Superintendent of Muang Chiang Mai police station encouraged
tourists and residents to keep a tight hold on their purses and vowed to
increase security in the city.
Mae Tang Villagers second protest suspension for an Asphalt Plant
Chiang Mai Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul meets
with the large crowd of protestors from Mae Taeng.
Villagers from Baan Huay Rai in Mae
Taeng District gathered in front of City Hall on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 to
protest the construction of an asphalt factory in their village.
More than 100 villagers joined the
protest led by Village Headman Sawaeng Saisri to ask the Governor of Chiang
Mai for assistance. This is the second protest the villagers have held
against the factory, the previous one was held on March 27, 2012 but factory
construction continued and the factory is now complete.
Villagers claim that not only will the
factory adversely affect the health of people living in the area but also
that the factory is not in compliance with Thai law as no meeting was ever
held to judge public opinion on the site.
The Village Headman said that now
construction is complete they will file to revoke the license of the
factory. He said that if this does not occur within 7 days the residents of
this 1,500 household village will continue their protest to get the factory
Chiang Mai Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul
accepted the protest letter from the group and said that the government must
enforce the laws, he expressed concern that all complaints must be heard and
promised that all relevant agencies will work to find a solution.
Chiang Mai Chamber signs MoU on fighting corruption
Narong Kongprasert, the President of the Chiang
Mai Chamber of Commerce signed the MoU with Phumpoon Pungprasit Deputy
Secretary-General of NACC with Governor M.L. Panadda as a witness.
The Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce
signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Bank of Thailand on April 23,
2012 with the National Anti-Corruption Commission to fight corruption in
Chiang Mai Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul
presided over the signing and the seminar that was held concurrently. The
Chamber and the Commission held lectures on how to combat corruption, and
the need to raise awareness among Thai people of the value of fighting fraud
and corruption. The seminar participants noted the importance of the public
sector working together with the private sector to eliminate this problem
from Thai society.
The Chamber noted that the cooperation
of the private sector and entrepreneurs to instill the values of
transparency into Thai society was key and that the private sector was
declaring their sincere intention to seriously combat corruption and instill
confidence in investors and improve the international image of Thailand.
Rotarians expected to travel to Chiang Mai
Thailand will host the Rotary
International Convention 2012 at the IMPACT Arena in Bangkok from May 6-9,
2012. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the meeting.
DG Chamnan Chanruang 3360 Rotary
International District Governor said that this should boost the number of
visitors to Chiang Mai 3 to 5 times normal for this time of year as many of
the visitors are expected to visit Chiang Mai after the convention.
In Thailand, there are 4 Rotary
Districts with 280 Rotary Clubs and around 7,000 Rotarians in total. There
are 34,282 clubs and over 1.2 million members worldwide.
Earth Day 2012 in Chiang Mai
U.S. Deputy Head of Mission (2nd left) Judith
Cefkin, Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn, U.S. Consul General Ken Foster, and
Deputy Governor Ritthipong Techaphan joined the Earth Day walk sponsored by
the U.S. Consulate from the White Pagoda to Tha Pae Gate on April 19, 2012,
Earth Day is celebrated around the
world on April 22, with over a billion people expected to participate. The
U. S. Consulate General held a walk from the Consulate to Tha Pae Gate on
Friday, April 19 at 10 a.m. to honor this day. Deputy Governor
Ritthipong Techaphan joined U.S. Consul General Ken Foster
and Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn to greet Judith Cefkin, Deputy Head of the
U.S. Mission visiting from Bangkok to take part in the walk.
Over 100 students,
Municipal and Consulate staff were joined by the Chiang Mai Sunday Bicycle
Club led by Dr. Nirund Phothikanon, the President of the Club who encouraged
everyone to join in cycling and added that the City, the Province, the
Police and the people must all work together to make Chiang Mai a clean and
green and bicycle friendly community.
Earth Day has been
held on April 22 every year since 1970. The founder of Earth Day,
Gaylord Nelson, at the time a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, was inspired by
the youth movement of the time and the massive Santa Barbara, CA oil spill
to organize a day to raise awareness of the need for clean air and water.
The very first Earth Day saw 20 million Americans take part.
This year’s rallying cry is “Mobilize
the Earth” and more than a billion people in 192 countries are expected to
take part in activities around the globe.
Consulate staff and their families joined in the walk.
the enthusiastic Chiang Mai Sunday Bicycle Club gathered for a group photo.
of the walk joined in for a group photo at Tha Pae Gate.
Ethnic groups from Myanmar meet in Chiang Mai
The UNFC held a conference in Chiang Mai this
week to discuss the progress of the peace talks with the Myanmar government.
The United Nationalities Federal
Council (UNFC) met in Chiang Mai on April 19, 2012 for the third time since
its inception in February 2011 to discuss the recent elections and changes
in Myanmar and the potential effects it may have on the progress of a
ceasefire between the armed groups and the government of Myanmar.
Members of the Shan State Progress
Party (SSPP), Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), Karen National Union
(KNU), Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), Lahu Democratic Union
(LDU), New Mon State Party (NMSP), Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF),
Pa-Oh National Liberation Organization (PNLO), Shan State Progress Party
(SSPP) and the Wa National Organization (WNO) met to discuss recent
negotiations with the government of Myanmar over a ceasefire. The members
agreed that the ongoing conflict would take some time to resolve but they
expressed hope that the Myanmar government was sincere in its changes and
that they would comply with agreements.
The meeting called for humanitarian aid
for the various ethnic groups that have been involved in the 60 year
conflict with the Myanmar government, noting that many people were suffering
due to being forced to hide in the jungle from the government soldiers.
Nadar Mya, spokesman for the Karen
National Union said that they hope there will be peace in the country and
that the world was watching the changes in the country.
Chiang Mai to host 41st National Games in December
Chiang Mai Province has been chosen by the Sports Authority of
Thailand to host the 41st annual National Games in December as well as the
National Paralympics Games which will follow.
Deputy Governor Ritthipong Techaphan was joined by the Director of the
Sports Authority of Thailand Region 5, the Chiang Mai Public Relations
Office and the Director of the Sports Authority of Thailand Chiang Mai at
the meeting of the National Games Organizing Committee to draft the
amendment for the audit committee to approve the budget.
The 41st National Games will be held in Chiang Mai from December 9-19, 2012.
Governor checks out dredging of Khan River in San Patong
Government readies for rainy season
Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul visits Royal Thai Army dredging operations in
Chiang Mai Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul
visited the dredging operations at the Khan River in San Patong by 3rd
Development Battalion, Royal Thai Armed Forces. A total of 33 dredging
projects are underway around the province in an effort to prevent a repeat
of last year’s flooding.
The Khan River is a tributary of the Ping and runs 32 km through the water
district areas of Ban Bor Luang and Thawang Phrao, there is small dam on the
river which the army will begin dredging as well. A total of 26 km will be
dredged and is scheduled to be completed by the end of May. The government
says the dredging will allow water to flow smoothly to the Ping River
without eroding the river banks and causing blockages that can cause floods.
The project is more than two thirds finished.
The Governor thanked the military for helping the people of Chiang Mai and
aiding government policies to prevent and resolve flooding in areas that
have previously been flooded.
Dangerous days of Songkran proving more dangerous than last year
The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation
Office reported 2,876 road accidents, 282 deaths, 3,059 injured during the
first 6 dangerous days of Songkran. So far the figure is higher than the
same time period in 2011 and higher than the fatality toll for the entire 7
days of 2011’s Songkran period. There are 53 more fatalities than the same
period last year but the number of accidents was down by 113. Last year’s
total reached 271 fatalities and 3,215 accidents, down 8.56 percent from
2010, while the number of people seriously injured fell from 3,802 in 2010
to 3,476 in 2011, a drop of 8.57 percent.
Chiang Mai joined Chumphon and Rayong in second place with seven deaths over
the first four days of Songkran in 2012 while Surat Thani and Nakhon Si
Thammarat had the most deaths with 10, and Chiang Rai reported the most
injuries and the most accidents.
Chiang Mai saw 92 accidents during the 7 dangerous days of Songkran in 2010,
a 30% decrease from the previous year which pushed Chiang Mai down to the
number 5 position in the country for 2011.
Drunk driving has so far been the major cause of accidents at 42 percent
followed by speeding at 22 per ent. 83 percent of accidents involved
Happy Songkran 2012
city, stages were set up with live music to keep the crowds entertained.
Live music is found at Chang Moi Road and on Huay Kaew Road.
Songkran swung into full gear on
Friday, April 13 as Chiang Mai residents and tourists took to the streets to
celebrate the Thai New Year. From traditional bathing ceremonies to
splashing in the streets, Chiang Mai’s annual Songkran festivities have
something for everyone. And while many stay in to avoid the water, there are
also nightly events at Tha Pae Gate with dances, performances, and markets
to shop and eat. Official Songkran festivities end Sunday, April 15, 2012
with the last day of the street parties and the annual honoring of the
Governor with the procession to the Governor’s residence to pay respects
starts from 3 Kings Monument at 1:30 p.m. Temples around the city will
continue to offer merit making ceremonies and there are sand pagoda contests
at Buddha Satan.
Rajapruek Park entertained lovely traditionally dressed ladies for the first
day of Songkran, who performed the traditional Songkran ceremony to bathe
the Buddha image. (Photo courtesy of Royal Rajapruek Park)
dressed up for the occasion,
although it seems he may have his holidays confused.
An area was
set aside at the beginning of Huay Kaew Road to allow the faithful to bathe
a Buddha image for Songkran.
traditional clothes, these two were ready to start splashing.
involved in the fun, even the owner of Soho Bar and Guesthouse on Huay Kaew
Club’s stage is a big draw every year with a great selection of live music
and fountains of water, this year, Chiang Mai favorites Del Ritmo opened to
entertain the crowds.
Prime Minister opens Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai
Minister Yingluck Shinawatra traveled to her hometown of Chiang Mai to open
the Songkran Festival on April 13, 2012 at Tha Pae Gate.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra attended the merit making and alms giving
to 99 Buddhist monks and presided over the opening ceremony of the 2012
Chiang Mai Songkran Festival.
of traditionally dressed girls on bicycles with umbrellas started after the
opening ceremony, featuring the lovely women of Chiang Mai.
She was joined by Yaowapa Wongsawat,
wife of former Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, Finance Minister Boonsong
Teriyapirom, Governor of Chiang Mai ML Panadda Diskul, President of the
Provincial Administration Organization Boonlert Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai
Member of Parliament Tassanai Buranupakorn with Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn
and many local residents and tourists. The ceremony was held at 8:09 a.m. at
Tha Pae Gate while the merit-making and alms-giving ceremonies started at
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said "I am glad to be back in my hometown
of Chiang Mai; a city of culture for more than 716 years, especially in this
New Year. This is an auspicious day. I believe that the Thai people will
unite to work toward the good, ignore the bad things of the past year and
start the New Year with joy and happiness with the famous Thai smile.”
She added that the promotion of cultural tourism was reflected in the large
number of tourists traveling to visit Chiang Mai to experience and admire
the traditions of the ancient Lanna culture.
She noted that Chiang Mai people are very proud of their beautiful city and
greet visitors and offer them a Happy New Year. She concluded saying that
the glory and love of Their Majesties the King and Queen protect Thai people
and bring happiness and success.
Minister joins in the alms giving ceremony to 99 Buddhist monks at Tha Pae
Gate to start the New Year.
Songkran opening at Royal Rajapruek
Governor ML Panadda Diskul takes part in the Rod Nam Dam Hua ceremony
Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul and Dr. Chao Duangduen Na
Chiang Mai, President of the Chiang Mai Cultural Council presided over the
opening ceremony of Songkran at the Royal Rajapruek Park. A Rod Nam Dam Hua
ceremony, or pouring water over the hands of elders, was held for them both.
The Songkran festival at Royal Flora Park will be held from April 11-18 from
8 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Visitors can join in bathing the image of the Buddha made from Pho leaves
from the 179,500 visitors to the World Horticultural Exposition in 2006 in
honor of the King Bhumibol. There will be a mist tunnel, market, local
performances and Songkran parade.
Duangduen Na Chiang Mai, President of the Chiang Mai Cultural Council rings
the bell to open the Songkran Festival at the Royal Rajapruek Park.
Lanna performances will
be held daily at the Park until April 18, 2012.
water tower with sand pagoda was built at Wat Phra Sing, 14 meters high and
18 meters wide, members of the public are encouraged to make merit at Wat
Phra Sing for Songkran.
6 a.m. Merit making and alms giving at
Tha Pae Gate
8:09 a.m. Grand opening ceremony at Tha Pae Gate
8:30- noon; Lanna offerings contest, performances at Tha Pae Gate
7 a.m. – noon: Parade of Mae Ying Kee Rod Theep Kaeng Jong, or Lanna girls
on bicycles with umbrellas beauty contest, from the TAT office to Tha Pae
9.09 – 9.39 a.m.; Invitation ceremony of Buddha Sihing image on a special
carriage at Wat Phra Sing.
1:00 p.m. Invitation ceremony for Phra Buddha Sihing image, parade of Buddha
images and Miss Songkran float in the procession from Train Station to Wat
7 pm. to midnight: Miss and Mr. Songkran Contest, Lanna local arts
competition at Tha Pae Gate
3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Buddhist procession from Iron Bridge to Tha Pae
Gate carrying holy sand and relics
1:30 – 6 p.m. Blessings will be offered to the Chiang Mai Governor with
participants starting from 3 Kings Monument to the Governor’s Residence on
Buddha Satan will have sand pagoda creations, water pouring ceremonies over
the Sirimangkalajarn statue and Lanna performances. All day
Water throwing around the moat and on Huay Kaew Road with live performances
on Huay Kaew Road and Chang Moi.
Traditional Lanna celebrations at Wat Lok Molee. All day.
Sand pagodas, pouring water over Buddha statues, performances at Wat Jetrin.
Activities at Chang Phuak Gate; health and safety promotion for no alcohol
at Songkran. All day.
Lanna performances, local market, food stalls. From Tha Pae Gate to Klang
PM Yingluck to join in Chiang Mai Songkran Festival
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is scheduled to attend the Chiang
Mai Songkran Festival and visit her hometown in San Kamphaeng district to
pay homage to her deceased parents and her ancestors.
Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will return to Chiang Mai for Songkran.
The Prime Minister is scheduled to travel to Chiang Mai in the evening of
April 12 and go to Green Valley village in Mae Rim district for a ceremony
in Northern Thai. On April 13 she will join in the merit making and alms
giving to Buddhist monks at Tha Pae Gate. She will then travel to her
hometown to pay homage to her ancestors.
The Prime Minister will join in the bathing of the Buddha image at the
parade grounds at Chiang Mai Railway station at 1 p.m. and then join in the
procession to Tha Pae Gate. She plans to join Chiang Mai people in splashing
water after that before returning to Bangkok on the 14th.
Municipality checks out water gun vendors
In a bid to
cut down on the number of dangerous high water pressure water guns for sale
around the city Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn and police inspected
vendors selling water guns to ask them to refrain from selling the high
pressure guns. Many residents and tourists have complained about the
potential dangers of these guns that shoot strong streams of water at
Nine workers sustain minor injuries in wall collapse at Promenada Resort Mall
working on the new Promenada Resort Mall construction site were injured
slightly when scaffolding collapsed on April 10, 2012.
Scaffolding collapsed at the Promenada
mall under construction on the Chiang Mai- Mae On road at 8 p.m. on April
10, 2012, slightly injuring 9 workers of both Thai and Myanmar nationality.
ECC International Real Estate Co., Ltd. in charge of the project informed
the media of the scaffolding collapse. Mr. Tjeert Kwant, CEO of ECC
International Real Estate, said that although the injuries were not severe
all workers were sent to the hospital immediately. 7 were released
immediately while two of the workers were kept under observation at the
The company notes that they are focused on the safety of their workers and
strictly comply with all health and safety standards. The company plans to
bring in outside independent experts to inspect the damaged site and make
sure there was no damage to the structure. Construction in other areas of
the mall will continue as usual.
Police launch campaign to reduce Songkran accidents
Chiang Mai Governor M.L.
Panadda Diskul rings the gong to start the education campaign for road
safety during Songkran.
Provincial police joined forces with
the Provincial Administration Organization and the Provincial government to
launch a campaign to reduce the number of traffic accidents over the 7
dangerous days of Songkran which begin tomorrow, April 11 and end Tuesday,
On Tuesday, April 10, 2012 M.L. Panadda
Diskul Chiang Mai Governor and Deputy Commissioner of Police Region 5 Pol.
Maj. Gen. Chamnan Ruadreaw, and President of the Chiang Mai Provincial
Administration Organization (PAO) Boonlert Buranupakorn joined police and
volunteers at the campaign to prevent and reduce road accidents during the
Songkran Festival 2012 at Tha Pae Gate.
Chiang Mai is a major tourist
destination for the Songkran holidays and sees a high number of road
accidents and fatalities during the holiday; it is one of the top 10
provinces to report road deaths, according to the police.
police joined in the event in a bid to reduce the accident rate over the 7
dangerous days of Songkran.
The campaign to prevent and reduce road
accidents during Songkran Festival 2012 will be held from April 11-17 in a
bid to raise public awareness for driving safely and sober for both
motorbikes and cars.
From April 11-17 last year, Chiang Mai
saw 92 accidents, a 30% decrease from the previous year which pushed Chiang
Mai down to the number 5 position in the country. In 2011 there were 11
deaths during Songkran in Chiang Mai; 9 men and 2 women. Most of the
accidents involved motorcycles and the top cause for accidents was drunk
driving followed by speeding and not wearing a helmet.
Realistic fire and rescue drill draws crowds at Tha Pae Gate
Flames escaped from the
windows of M Hotel at Tha Pae Gate on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 as part of a
fire and rescue drill organized by the Municipality.
The Chiang Mai Municipality held a fire
and rescue drill at Tha Pae Gate and Hotel M on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 from
10 a.m. to ready rescue personnel for the upcoming Songkran holidays.
Fire and rescue vehicles were sent from
the Chiang Mai International Airport, Wing 41, the 33rd Military
Circle Kawila and the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization
(PAO) to participate in the drill.
A fire drill was held at Hotel M with
fire crews fighting a fire in one of the top floors while a rescue drill
removed a “victim” from the moat. The preparedness drill was very realistic,
with flames shooting out upper windows of M Hotel, drawing crowds. Police
shut off the area for the drill as traffic handling and control was also an
important part of the drill that was held to prepare crews to help ensure
efficient care and safety for visitors to Chiang Mai during Songkran.
rescued victims who had fallen into the moat to prepare for the upcoming
American man jumps from 6th floor condo room
Chang Puak police and rescue were
called to View Doi Mansion on Morakot Road in Santitham at 5:50 p.m. on
April 10, 2012 after receiving reports that a foreigner had jumped from a 6th
Officers found the body of Douglas
Theron Smith, and American citizen aged 43 years old in the parking lot
lying in a pool of blood.
The owner of the building said Mr.
Smith had moved into the building on March 1, 2011 and had a companion with
him at the time of his death. Police spoke with the companion, a ladyboy
named Nui, who reported that Mr. Smith had been acting strange lately and
had been using Valium to sleep.
Nui said that Mr. Smith had seen a
doctor at the Sirpat Medical Center at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai hospital
that morning but didn’t know why. He said that he had gone to the toilet and
when he came out, Mr. Smith had leapt to his death. Police continue
investigating the case.
Chiang Mai Fest on this weekend
Chiang Mai Governor ML
Panadda Diskul and TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Mrs. Juthaporn
Rerngronasa were joined by TAT Chiang Mai’s head Chalermsak Suranont, the
Indian Consul and his wife and General Managers and chefs from the hotels
offering food and drinks at the Fest for the grand opening of the 2nd Annual
Chiang Mai Fest.
The 2nd annual Chiang Mai
Fest opened on Friday, April 6, 2012 at 6 p.m. with Chiang Mai Governor ML
Panadda Diskul welcoming all visitors and residents of Chiang Mai to enjoy
the second annual music festival. TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Mrs.
Juthaporn Rerngronasa joined the Governor and representatives from the
hotels at the event and Indian Consul Dhirendra Singh Garbyal and his wife
at the opening ceremony to ring the gong to start the evening.
A beautiful Lanna performance
entertained the crowd, followed by star bartender of Dusit d2 Hotel Chiang
Mai showing off the skills that have earned him bartending awards. He
presented the finished drink to Mrs. Juthaporn at the end of the show. Then
German singer Thomas Kiessling took the stage to wow the audience with his
beautiful voice. A bit of rain didn’t deter the crowd as Il Quinto, a South
African male vocal group took the stage to entertain followed by Mango
Republic comprised of leading Chiang Mai musicians, Garth Taylor playing
folk and country music, the Blues Brothers tribute show and Nueng Jakkawal
closed out the evening.
If you missed last night, turn out for
the show tonight, it is sure to entertain. Show starts from 6 p.m. at the 3
Kings Monument and finishes at 10 p.m.
modern Lanna performance started the evening.
singer Thomas Kiessling was the first singer to take the stage, setting the
tone for a great show.
Chiang Mai prepares for funeral ceremony of HRH Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda
A ceremony was held at Wat
Suan Dok on Friday, April 6, 2012 to prepare the grounds for the cremation
ceremony for HRH Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda on Monday, April 9.
Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul
was joined by Prathep Kosol in presiding over the ceremony to decorate the
crematorium grounds at Wat Suan Dok in preparation for Monday’s ceremony for
the funeral of HRH Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda.
The ceremony will be held Monday, April
9, 2012 at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. at Wat Suan Dok in conjunction with temples in
Chiang Mai and Bangkok and the funeral ceremony at Sanam Luang.
The Governor has asked residents to
wear black from April 8-10 out of respect for the funeral of the Princess,
the only child of King Rama VI.
“Khu Chao Luang” ceremony on April 17
The Khu Chao Luang ceremony
will be held at Wat Suan Dok on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.
The Chiang Mai Culture Office will hold
the “Khu Chao Luang” ceremony to remember and pay homage to the Songkran
festival and to mark its completion. This annual event features a parade of
organizations and schools from the Chiang Mai University Art Museum to Wat
Suan Dok. There will be a light and sound show from the dramatic arts
students at Chiang Mai University as well.
The ceremony will be held at Wat Suan
Dok on April 17, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. and everyone is invited to join this
traditional event to honor Songkran.
Suspicious bag found in train station toilet
Bomb disposal police opened
the bag to find it was simply some clothes and shoes forgotten by a tourist.
The Chiang Mai police called in the
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (EOD) of the Border Patrol police and K-9
units after a suspicious bag was reported left in the women’s restroom at
the Chiang Mai Railway station.
At 10 am on April 5, 2012 Pol. Col.
Somsak Ginapak Chief of Maeping police station Muang Chiang Mai called in
the EOD after the bag was reported left in the restroom.
EOD border patrol police and K-9 teams
found one black bag and after there was no indication of explosives inside
opened it to find shoes and clothes as well as a Chinese book, it is
believed the bag must have belonged to a Chinese woman tourist who forgot
The CCTV cameras have not been
functioning due to repairs at the station. The police expressed concern over
the malfunctioning cameras as the train station is a major transit point and
landmark in Chiang Mai.
The police and army are on a heightened
state of security after bombings in Hat Yai targeted tourists.
Security boosted after car bomb in Hat Yai
Chiang Mai Governor ML
Panadda Diskul announces measures to ensure safety and security over the
Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul
instructed police and district officials to be extra careful during the
upcoming Songkran holidays after a car bomb was set off in the basement of
Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel in Hat Yai on March 31, 2012.
The Governor warned police and agencies
to help prevent such events in Chiang Mai by setting up checkpoints to
search for drugs and weapons, to crack down on drunk drivers in a bid to
reduce Songkran fatalities, and to monitor suspicious people.
He also asked the President of the
Northern Thai Hotels Association to carefully examine the documents of all
guests and make sure that they report guests as required by law. He also
asked that they report any suspicious behavior to the police.
He added that it was very important
that security checkpoints were carefully manned at all points, including the
airport, train station, buses and roads into Chiang Mai. He concluded that
even though Hat Yai is quite far away, it was best to take no chances and to
ensure the security and safety of residents and visitors.
Education campaign to reduce drunk driving
Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn
opened the latest effort to educate drivers on the dangers of drunk driving
on March 3, 2012 at the Happytime Radio station sponsored event “98
Happytime Drink, Don’t Drive” at Tha Pae Gate.
The caravan of motorcycles included students and members of the public who
distributed stickers and urged the public to raise awareness on the deadly
results of drunk driving during the upcoming 7 most dangerous days of
Songkran 2012 schedule of events
April 1-3; Lanna performances water pouring ceremony
over Phra Sae Tang Khamani at Wat Chaing Man
April 4-7; Poy Sang Long or Festival of
the Crystal Sons by the Shan people at Wat Pa Pao
April 7-9; Water pouring blessing
ceremony at Wat Chiang Yuen
April 10-15: Sand pagodas, pouring
water over Buddha statues, performances at Wat Jetrin
April 11-15; Wwater pouring ceremony
over the Wat Pa-on Buddhist relic, Lanna performances, local market, food
stalls. From Tha Pae Gate to Klang Wiang.
April 12: merit making to celebrate the
716th year of the founding of Chiang Mai at 3 Kings monument.
Ceremonial offerings to King Kabilaprom at the Chiang Mai Municial building.
April 13: Grand opening of Songkran at
Tha Pae Gate with offerings of food to monks. Miss Umbrella contest, Miss
Songkran Contest at Tha Pae Gate. Blessings of the monks at Wat Phra Singh.
April 12-15: Wat Lok Molee will have
traditional Lanna celebrations for the New Year.
April 13-15: Buddha Satan will have
sand pagoda creations, water pouring ceremonies over the Sirimangkalajarn
statue and Lanna performances.
April 13-15; water throwing around the
moat and on Huay Kaew Road with live performances on Huay Kaew Road.
April 14; Sand will be carried along
the Iron Bridge to Tha Pae Road in a Buddhist ceremony
April 15; Blessings will be offered to
the Chiang Mai governor with participants starting from 3 Kings Monument to
the Governor’s Residence on Nawarat Bridge.
Mourning period for HRH Princess Bejaratana
Alcohol sales restricted
This coming Sunday are Municipal Council by elections and
as per Thai law there will be no alcohol sales in voting areas.
Additionally, in respect for the funeral services for HRH Princess
Bejaratana Rajasuda Sirisobhabannavadi, the only child of King Rama VI whose
funeral will be held on April 9, alcohol sales will be restricted on April 8
and 9 and people are asked to wear black mourning clothes from April 8-10.
Residents are invited to attend ceremonies being held at Wat Suan Dok on
UK offering fast track visitors visa applications
Over 50,000 visitor visas were issued
to tourists, family visitors and business travellers in 2011 – a 16%
increase compared to the same period in 2010. 94% of all UK visit visa
applications made in Thailand last year were successful.
British Ambassador to Thailand, Asif
Ahmad said, “It is great to see that even more Thai people are choosing the
UK as the ideal destination to travel and do business. The UK offers a
wonderfully diverse range of attractions, from historical sites to modern
architectural designs and, some of the best business event and conference
facilities in the world. We hope to welcome even more visitors in 2012, the
year of the London Olympics, where the world can see the best of what
Britain has to offer.”
The UK Border Agency and its commercial
partner, VFS Global, have introduced two new premium visa services to
provide customers with greater choice and flexibility
A priority visa service is now
available to eligible customers who are applying for a visit visa. The
service allows for customers, who meet certain criteria and pay an
additional fee, to have their visa application placed at the front of the
The new priority service costs 3,000
baht and is paid for at the time the application is submitted. The UK Border
Agency aims to turn around priority applications within 3 working days.
A Prime Time appointment service has
also been launched for the convenience of customers. Those who pay a fee can
make an appointment to lodge their visa application and provide biometrics
at the visa application centre on a Saturday. Prime Time appointments must
be made online. Customers can also collect their documents between 9 am and
12 noon on Saturdays at no charge.
For more information on the new premium
and priority services visit the UK Border Agency in Thailand website.