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Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chachoengsao join UNESCO’s learning cities

Caitlin Ashworth

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3 cities in Thailand recently joined UNESCO’s membership of so called “learning cities” which are said to promote “lifelong learning” and sustainable development. Chachoengsao, Chiang Mai and Phuket joined the UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning Cities. Altogether, 55 cities from 27 countries, adding up to 230 cities in 64 countries around the world, according to UNESCO.

“These cities are outstanding examples of how lifelong learning can become a reality at local level. They have proven that effective lifelong learning policies and practices can support the development of inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and contribute to the 2030 Agenda.”

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning David Atchoarena says the recent new members have shown that they can make “lifelong learning a reality,” even after enduring the pandemic.

“With unprecedented urgency, the Covid-19-19 pandemic has underlined the necessity to build more resilient education systems for the future. With more than half of humanity living in urban areas, cities must be at the centre of this undertaking.”

David says he hopes it will inspire other cities in Thailand to follow.

“I very much hope that we will see many other cities from Thailand joining the network and working on providing lifelong learning opportunities for all to ensure a sustainable and peaceful future.”

The mayor of Chachoengsao, Kolayuth Chaisang, says his goal is to provide “effective education, thoroughly and equally to all citizens.” According to the Bangkok Post, the city is a key urban centre both economically and culturally.

The mayor of Chiang Mai, Tussanai Buranupakorn, says he wants to revitalise the city, while also maintaining the cultural significance. The city has a number of educational institutes, which goes along with UNESCO’s learning city principles.

Phuket is a hub of sustainable creativity, according to the Bangkok Post. The mayor of Phuket, Somjai Suwansupana, says he wants to preserve the city’s “identity, local wisdom assets and the charm of our multiculturalism.”

SOURCES: UNESCO | Bangkok Post

 

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    I bet the Thais are thrilled!
    What’s the point UNESCO. Do you give them a brass plaque?
    They do not want lifelong learning at the moment, just lifelong jobs, if only for a few years.

  2. Avatar

    Whiro

    Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    I had to check the date of this article because it sounded like something we would hear on April Fool’s day.

    Lifelong learning cities? Chiang Mai?
    UNESCO is a joke organization. They need to do a reality check first. Before learning and/or teaching, Chiang Mai officials must ban 12 yr old kids riding Honda 125cc. If they can’t for whatever the reason is, give them helmets to wear on their heads at least, so they don’t smash their brain when they ride through traffic full of diesel polluted streets.

    Should I mention cops are always standing by the school gates directing traffic ? Same cops are cutting tickets to those without helmets on the same street different time of the day whenever they need cash in their pockets for Sangsom. Educate the cops first UNESCO, then you can talk about this.

  3. Avatar

    Whiro

    Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    I had to check the date of this article because it sounded like something we would hear on April Fool’s day.

    Lifelong learning cities? Chiang Mai?
    UNESCO is a joke organization. They need to do a reality check first. Before learning and/or teaching, Chiang Mai officials must ban 12 yr old kids riding Honda 125cc. If they can’t for whatever the reason is, give them helmets to wear on their heads at least, so they don’t smash their brain when they ride through traffic full of diesel polluted streets.

    Should I mention cops are always standing by the school gates directing traffic ? Same cops are cutting tickets to those without helmets on the same street different time of the day whenever they need cash in their pockets for Sangsom. Educate the cops first UNESCO, then you can talk about your outstanding project :)) LOL

  4. Avatar

    Alan

    Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 3:04 am

    Good idea. Westerners need an education on real culture. And Chinese people need to have a massive block removed from their religious instinct. Thailand for me was a major educational experience, socially, spiritually, and health.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Crime

Murder of Thai wife may have been 2nd attempt by US man

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Jason Balzar, pictured with his wife before he murdered her, and during his arrest. (via uk.granthshala.com)

The American man accused of the murder of his Thai wife in Chiang Mai has now confessed to the brutal crime. And it may not have been the first time he tried to kill her. The 32 year old man, who was a computer programmer in the United States, admitted that he killed his wife while she was 3-months pregnant. Jason Matthew Balzar is now in custody at Muang Nan police station and has reportedly told police that he stabbed his wife Pitchaporn “Som O” Kidchob in the chest with a knife while she slept.

Police said after stabbing his wife, Jason put her body in a plastic bag and dumped it on the side of the road on Ban Srikerd-Samun Road, about 10 kilometres from their rented home at Tambon Chaiyasathan in the Muang district. A crime re-enactment was held at their home, a common occurrence in Thailand for police to piece together criminal acts and record details.

The murder was not Jason’s first accusation of violent crime, with details surfacing of his 2019 conviction for threatening to murder a woman in the US. There is unconfirmed speculation that the victim of that attack was the same Thai wife murder victim, but in Colorado domestic violence cases withhold the names of victims.

He was sentenced to 2 years of probation after an attack in Longmont, Colorado that was originally charged as attempted murder, but lessened due to a technicality. According to the arrest report, Jason attacked her after she refused sex, hitting her head and pointing a gun at her, which fired near her head. He was again arrested for violating his probation by possessing 73 guns in December 2020.

After confessing to killing his pregnant Thai wife, Jason is being charged with the murder and with concealing her body. The American man claimed that he decided to kill her in her sleep because he was upset that she wanted to leave him. The couple had plenty of rough patches with frequent arguments being common in their household.

The victim’s family don’t believe the murder was a sudden crime of passion. Her sister and mother said they have often seen him carrying a knife.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Thailand

American arrested for alleged murder in Chiang Mai has past record of abuse in Colorado

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ตำรวจภูธรจังหวัดน่าน

The American man who was recently arrested for allegedly murdering his pregnant Thai wife in Chiang Mai had been sentenced to 2 years of probation back in 2019 on assault charges after his gun went off while he was threatening a woman in Colorado. A report from the Associated Press says it appears to be the same woman.

Jason Matthew Balzer, 32, had initially faced attempted murder charges for assaulting a woman in Longmont, Colorado, but those charges were dropped. A Boulder District Attorney’s Office spokesperson told a local reporter in a previous report that “in every case, we need witnesses to testify at a trial. Unfortunately, due to issues with the victim’s availability, the higher charge had to be dismissed.”

The victim had called the police saying Jason had asked to have sex and then assaulted her when she said “no,” according to the arrest report. She told police he hit her face and slammed her head onto the bed’s headboard several times before taking out a revolver and threatening to kill her, the report says. The woman told police she pushed the gun and it went off near her head.

Balzer pled guilty to third-degree assault in December 2019 and was sentenced to 2 years of probation. In December 2020, Jason was arrested in Colorado after police allegedly found 73 guns in his van. Possession of firearms is a violation of probation. It’s unclear when Jason travelled to Thailand.

Since the case in Colorado involved a victim of domestic violence, the name was redacted in public court records, but a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office told AP reporters that the victim has the same name as the woman killed in Thailand. Based on photographs, the spokesperson says they appear to be the same person.

On Thursday, Jason was arrested in Chiang Mai. Reports say he confessed to stabbing and killing his wife, 32 year old Pitchaporn Kidchop, who was 3 months pregnant. Police say Jason sealed his wife’s body in a garbage bin before taking it to the woods about 5 kilometres away. In Thailand, a murder charge carries a maximum penalty of death.

Local police posted photos of the crime reenactment on Facebook. In Thailand, it is common for suspects to admit to crimes and reenactment the crimes to law enforcement officers and the press.

 

SOURCE: Time Call | Associated Press

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Chiang Mai sees 2 elderly deaths from UK Covid variant including French woman

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Chiang Mai province is reporting the deaths of 2 elderly women from the UK Covid-19 variant, including a French woman. The provinces death toll is now 9 according to the governor. The 81 year old French woman was suffering from high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. She fell down on April 22 and received treatment at a hospital. After coming home, she started feeling Covid-like symptoms and was readmitted to the hospital on April 26. Doctors say she succumbed to the UK variant of the virus on May 3.

The second death was that of an 87 year old woman who had diabetes and kidney issues. She reportedly contracted the UK variant of the virus from a family member. She was admitted to the hospital on April 27 with Covid-like symptoms and died on May 3 as well.

Chiang Mai health officials recently reported a new cluster of the UK Covid-19 variant, as it was discovered in people who went to a Lotus market in Ruam Chok. The new cluster yielded 9 new infections. Today, Chiang Mai is reporting 33 new, daily infections. But 244 Chiang Mai Central Prison inmates are also infected but are not being included in the daily count. The prisoners are being counted in a ‘Bubble & Seal’ cluster.

Chiang Mai University and Mae Jo University field hospitals are planning to close next week. They currently have 46 and 90 patients respectively. A group of 125 people in Chiang Dao, who are considered to be high-risk, have been tested, with results to come tomorrow.

The tally for Covid-related infections and deaths reported over the past 24 hours reports 19 new deaths and 2,419 cases. There have been 52,411 confirmed Covid-19 infections in the recent outbreak with more than 16,000 cases in Bangkok, the epicentre of infections.

Over the past week, new clusters of Covid-19 infections have been detected in crowded Bangkok neighbourhoods, including the Khlong Toey slum. Poor communities in Bangkok have been seen as vulnerable to coronavirus outbreaks as people live in close proximity to each other and many cannot afford to stop working to abide by stay-at-home orders.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

 

 

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