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Chiang Mai bids for listing as a World Heritage Site

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Chiang Mai bids for listing as a World Heritage Site | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Photo courtesy of the Chiang Mai World Heritage Project

Chiang Mai may soon be Thailand’s sixth World Heritage Site. Thailand’s current five world heritage sites include the Ban Chiang Archaeological Site in Udon Thani; the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex; the Historic City of Ayutthaya; the Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns; and the Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries.

The Chiang Mai World Heritage Working Group is now ready to make its submission to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) to make Chiang Mai a world heritage city, Woralun Boonyasurat, head of the Thai Art Department at Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Fine Arts, said yesterday.

In her capacity as head of the Chiang Mai World Heritage Initiative Project, Woralun said the submission didn’t mean the northern city would automatically obtain the status yet and there was more work to be done.

Chiang Mai bids for listing as a World Heritage Site | News by The Thaiger

Chiang Mai still has some urban management issues, especially the question of how it will be developed over the next two decades.

“Chiang Mai City has cultural sites within the old city walls and natural resources to be protected while it is developed. As we work on proposing it to be a world heritage site, people might wonder if this will push this city backwards into the past or not. I can say that it isn’t the case. We are doing this because we love Chiang Mai City and see the values that should be promoted and developed,” said Woralun.

“The world nowadays is facing a challenge in protecting and managing the cultural and natural resources and such work must be done in an integrating manner, not each group doing its own things separately. What we aim for is for people’s wellbeing and joint happiness in future.”

Sirikitiya Jensen, an adviser of the Chiang Mai World Heritage Initiative Project, said Chiang Mai City with its ancient history, culture and natural environment – especially the Doi Suthep sacred forest – should be conserved and developed sustainably with all sides’ participation to become a world heritage site, in which cultural and sentimental values can be protected in parallel with the city’s development.

Their comments were made during the World Heritage International Convention: “Integration of Historic Cities and Their Natural Settings for Sustainable Development”, which is being held at Chiang Mai University from yesterday until Friday.

Chiang Mai City has since 2015 been among the six Thailand sites on a tentative list for consideration for World Heritage status. According to the process, the sites must be on that list for at least one year before they can be nominated for full status.

There are currently 1,092 World Heritage Sites in 167 countries and they have all had to prove they have “outstanding universal value”.

Chiang Mai bids for listing as a World Heritage Site | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation



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Chiang Mai

Chinese tourist caught stealing GoPro from couple – VIDEO

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Chinese tourist caught stealing GoPro from couple – VIDEO | The Thaiger

A Chinese man has been caught stealing a camera from a Spanish couple in Chiang Mai.

The incident happened on Tuesday and was captured on CCTV. The Spanish tourists had been visiting Wat Phra That Doi Suthep when they put a GoPro camera on the bench they had been sitting on. After realising they’d left the camera there, they returned but the camera was gone.

They reported the missing GoPro to police who checked the CCTV footage which shows the camera was picked up by a man wearing a large hat.

The man had been sitting behind the Spanish couple and picked up the camera after he saw it had been left on the bench. He goes to sit where the camera had been left before using his large hat and shirt to disguise the fact he was allegedly stealing the camera.

The man was part of a Chinese tour group who police later tracked down to the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Centre. When approached by police the Chinese man handed over the camera telling officers that he had intended to hand it in but wasn’t sure how or where to report the matter.

Channel 7 reports that the incident seemed to have been put down to a ‘misunderstanding’, with the camera eventually being returned to the Spanish couple. According to Thai media the Chinese man has not been charged with theft.

Meanwhile, a British tourist, who used the same excuse after picking up a mobile phone left on the ground outside Chiang Mai Airport in February, was charged with theft and ended up in jail for ten days. Story HERE.

SOURCE: Chiang Mai News

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Chiang Mai

Police defend theft charges on British backpacker Chris Dodd

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Police defend theft charges on British backpacker Chris Dodd | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Chris Dodd, BBC

Police are defending their actions when they charged a British backpacker with theft after he picked up a mobile phone at Chiang Mai airport last February.

29 year old Chris Dodd spent 10 days in jail in February after he was charged with stealing the phone belonging to a German tourist and remanded in custody by a court. Chris insists that he intended to hand the phone in when he arrived at his accommodation.

Read the original Thaiger story HERE.

The charge was dropped after his family and friends back home raised 828,690 baht to pay a fine on his behalf. Dodd has since returned home and continues to protest his innocence.

He has also complained in interviews with the local media that he was forced to have his dreadlocks shaved while he was detained and had to sleep in an overcrowded jail where nobody spoke English.

Dodd, a tattoo artist, told the BBC that he found the phone just as he was about to get into the taxi after arriving at the airport.

The broadcaster says he told them he picked it up the phone and while looking for its owner he moved it to a different location, which is considered theft in Thai law.

Pol Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen said police at Chiang Mai International Airport had been approached at 8.40pm on February 26 by a German tourist who said she had lost her mobile phone in the terminal.

Police defend theft charges on British backpacker Chris Dodd | News by The Thaiger

CCTV footage showed a foreigner with dreadlocks and white cap pick up the phone from the floor of the passengers’ lounge before leaving the airport in a public van.

Police then traced the van to a guesthouse in Tambon Sripoom, Muang district and found the phone in the possession of British backpacker Dodd, who comes from Poole, Dorset.

“The SIM of the phone we confiscated from the British man had been removed, and the password and language changed,” said Krissana.

“All the data had been wiped clean. Police then took him to the Pupingrachaniwet police station to be charged.”

Based on the evidence, police charged him with theft and he was taken to Chiang Mai prison pending trial. He was freed on bail on March 11.

Krissana insisted that the shaving of the dreadlocks had been done in accordance with the regulations.

“We strictly follow the laws with respect to basic human rights,” Krissana added.

“We are gathering information from his interviews to consider legal action against him.”

BBC quoted Dodd as saying: “I was stripped naked, sent in, given a blanket. Then, the next thing you know you’re being taken into the cells, where they house massive amounts of people.

“Nobody spoke English. It was really intimidating. You just have to fight for a space on the floor and you have people’s legs all over you.”

SOURCE: The Nation

Police defend theft charges on British backpacker Chris Dodd | News by The Thaiger

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Chiang Mai

British backpacker returns home for Easter after being jailed in Thailand

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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British backpacker returns home for Easter after being jailed in Thailand | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Facebook.com

A British backpacker is back in the UK for Easter after being released from prison after being incarcerated for 10 days over a ‘trivial’ offence.

26 year old Chris Dodd told the BBC he was arrested for picking up a mobile phone he found on the ground whilst waiting for a taxi at the Chiang Mai airport. He was accused of theft after taking it with him to his accommodation.

According to Chris, he says he picked up the phone trying to find the owner. In doing so he moved it to a different location – considered theft under Thai law. He says his intention was to report it to police and find the owner when he arrived at his hostel accommodation.

Police identified him on airport CCTV. He was arrested at the hostel.

Prison guards shaved Mr Dodd’s head but gave him the shaved-off dreadlocks saying he could keep them.

British backpacker returns home for Easter after being jailed in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

“I was stripped naked, sent in, given a blanket.”

“Nobody spoke English. It was really intimidating. You just have to fight for a space on the floor and you have people’s legs all over you,” Chris told the BBC.

According to his lawyer he faced a five year prison sentence if convicted, but the charges against him were eventually dropped and he was able to leave Thailand. Mr Dodd was released on bail after family and friends raised £20,000 (828,000 baht).

His lawyer told Mr Dodd to leave Thailand immediately after being released. The charges were dropped last Friday.

SOURCE: BBC

British backpacker returns home for Easter after being jailed in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

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