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Two flying lantern events in Chiang Mai for Loy Krathong get their permits revoked

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Two flying lantern events in Chiang Mai for Loy Krathong get their permits revoked | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: Rove.me

Chiang Mai’s City District Office has scrapped permits previously granted to organisers of two ‘sky lantern’ events that would have released a total of 5,000 flying lanterns during the upcoming Loy Krathong Festival, on November 11.

The two events, one at the dinosaur-featuring Hidden Village Chiang Mai attraction and the other at the Royal Park Rajapruek in tambon Mae Hia, were deemed to be within the air navigation safety zone.

According to Muang district chief Weerapan Dee-on, releasing hot-air flying lanterns would be a violation of the Thailand Air Navigation Act which has been in effect since May 26, 2019.

“The violation carries a penalty of a maximum five-year imprisonment and/or a maximum 200,000 fine baht.”

The move stems from the Chiang Mai governor’s policy to ensure that the Chiang Mai Airport approves events within five district that may have been within the official air navigation safety zone – Muang (all tambons), Hang Dong (all tambons), Saraphi (the four tambons of Kua Mung, Don Kaew, Tha Wang Tan, and Nong Pheung), Mae Rim (the three tambons of Don Kaew, Rim Tai and Mae Sa) and San Sai (tambon Nong Han).

The governor had instructed the district chiefs to ask the airport authority to confirm whether event locations within their jurisdictions that were usually granted permits to release flying lanterns were deemed within the restricted zone. If so, the permits would be immediately revoked.

The annual Loy Krathong Festival, widely known in Chiang Mai as Yi Peng Festival, is highlighted by people launching flying lanterns into the sky so as to be rid of bad luck. As the items could pose a danger to aviation, the release time periods and locations have been limited.

In other parts of Thailand the festival is more earth-bound with local communities preparing small floating rafts of leaves, flowers and candles.

Find out more about Loy Krathong 2019 Rove.me

SOURCE: The Nation

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Crime

Chiang Rai policeman fired over torture death of university mascot dog

Jack Burton

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Chiang Rai policeman fired over torture death of university mascot dog | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

When the body of Tia, the mascot dog of Chiang Mai University was found in May, suspicions arose immediately. It was initially announced that Tia, or “Shorty” in English, had been run over by a car, and police later said a student had come forward to confess. But animal rights group Watchdog Thailand, based in Chiang Mai, investigated the incident and reported their findings to police.

Security footage didn’t support the original story, Now, one of the 3 police corporals who allegedly tortured and killed the beloved dog has been dismissed from civil service. The incident, which took place May 8, has shocked locals and students, and Watchdog Thailand has been pushing for justice. University students even floated a plan to build a statue dedicated to his memory.

Officers of the Chang Phueak police station reportedly found evidence of the animal being taken off campus at night, tortured and the body being dumped by the suspects.

Apart from the dismissal of one suspect, a committee is being set up to investigate the case further. National police chief General Chakthip Chaijinda himself has said he will ensure justice is served.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Khaosod English

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Environment

Unemployed elephants: Some return to the wild, others sent to work in logging business

Caitlin Ashworth

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Unemployed elephants: Some return to the wild, others sent to work in logging business | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Caitlin Ashworth

The drop in tourism has had a huge impact on the elephants in Northern Thailand, leaving many elephants, you could say, unemployed. While some elephants are out of business and been taken back to their natural habitat, others are struggling in captivity and might be sent off to work in animal labour which some people may deem as unethical.

A reporter from BBC Thailand follow a group of elephants making the trek and spoke with those in the ‘elephant’ business. You can watch the video HERE. One owner, who goes by the name Uncle Eddy, told BBC, if the tourism industry doesn’t pick up soon, he will hand over his 57 elephants to a logging business in Myanmar.

The video from BBC Thailand showed Uncle Eddy’s elephants on short chains standing in a cement outdoor structure. He said if the elephants don’t work, then they don’t get exercise. Without exercise, the pregnant elephants would have trouble giving birth and the babies would eventually die, according to his commentary.

Thailand has a variety of elephant camps and sanctuaries. There is continuous debate on how elephants should be cared for in captivity. Some establishments keep elephants on a short chain, only to be taken out for rides or shows. Some businesses describing themselves as sanctuaries have elephants roaming the property and allow tourist to feed and bathe the animals. This ‘ethical’ model is becoming more popular with some of the tourism demographics visiting Thailand in the past.

The Chiang Mai-based Save Elephant Foundation started a project to return some of the elephants back to their natural habitats, Thai PBS World reports. From April to May, more than 100 elephants trekked north from Chiang Mai to Mae Chaem, a 150 kilometre trek.

BBC followed a small group of elephants led by the Save Elephant Foundation and said the elephants became very thirsty and some seemed to be “low on energy”. The charity’s founder, Lek Chailert, says the pandemic is a chance to get elephants out of the tourism industry.

“Tourists would be swamping into Thailand. The Covid-19 pandemic will give us time to think.”

SOURCES: BBC Thailand | Thai PBS World

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Crime

Animal activists claim police officer killed beloved campus dog

Caitlin Ashworth

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Animal activists claim police officer killed beloved campus dog | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

A Thai animal rights group is accusing a Chiang Mai police officer of abusing and killing a beloved dog, Tia, a stray adopted by students at Chiang Mai University.

Watchdog Thailand, based in Chiang Mai, investigated the incident after the dog’s body was found last week and recently reported their findings to police, according to Nation Thailand. The autopsy of the dog’s body doesn’t seem to match the police officer’s story. No details on the dog’s condition are reported.

Police say the activist group have also spoken to witnesses and seen surveillance camera footage. The group posted a video on Facebook with a clip from surveillance footage of a dog approaching a person on a motorbike, but no apparent abuse is shown in the video.

Police are investigating the dog’s death and say they will be questioning the police office.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Posted by อีจัน on Wednesday, 20 May 2020

 

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