Sunday, January 06, 2008

Review on catfish ban

Review on catfish ban

The border ban on catching the rare giant catfish along the stretch of the Mekong River in Chiang Khong district is likely to be reviewed this year since a band of local fishermen has recently demanded the resumption of the traditional catch.

Published on January 6, 2008

"There are 12 out of a total of 68 giant-catfish fishermen who want to continue fishing this season beginning in April," Phisit Wanatham, chairman of the Chiang Khong Giant Catfish Group, said yesterday.

The ban was imposed last year by local Thai-Lao authorities in Chiang Khong and Huay Sai towns after international environmental group WWF led a movement to stop harvesting the endangered species in order to prevent its extinction.

Most Thai and Lao fishermen have agreed to end their decades-long pursuit, but some Thai fishermen continued laying nets, prompting Laotian authorities to send a protest letter to Chiang Khong authorities about the infraction.

"The 12 fishermen claimed the ban had been decided on by only some groups of local fishermen, not including themselves, and they insist on pursuing their traditional livelihood," Phisit said.

Chinaphat Chaimol

The Nation

Three jumbo mourners

Three elephants will be among the millions mourning the passing of HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana, who adopted them.

Published on January 6, 2008

The three pachyderms are living at a shelter in Lampang under the supervision of the National Elephant Institute.

The first elephant is a 14-year-old cow named Phang Phra Thida Juthanant. She was adopted on October 8, 1994, about a year after she was born.

The Princess later accepted patronage of the NEI and paid an annual visit to Phang and the shelter every year. On these occasions she donated to the shelter and several other NEI concerns.

She subsequently adopted two more elephants, which shared her birthday, May 6. Phang Wanalee was born in 1997 and Phang Aleena in 2004.


Princess bountiful

Kidney patients'expenses slashed by her foundation

Published on January 6, 2008

Watcharapong Settasakkho, a 25-year-old engineer who lives in Kanchanaburi province, was expected to die of chronic kidney disease in the middle of last year but survived by the grace of Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana.

"I am very grateful to her for saving my life," he said. "The cost of treatment for this disease is very high, and if she had not helped me I can't imagine how I would have survived."

Watcharapong had been suffering from kidney disease since his last year at Sri Pathum University in Bangkok. When it was found that neither of his kidneys could function any longer he was admitted to Rajvithi Hospital, where he also suffered from depression.

"One doctor suggested I consult the Kidney Foundation of Thailand and ask about a transplant, and I did have the operation," he said

The foundation was established 28 years ago and chaired by the Princess. It was established to help patients with kidney disease, particularly those in the last stages who needed transplants but could not pay.

The cost was Bt2,000 per session, and there were two sessions a week. Most could not afford this. The foundation charged them only Bt500 to Bt1,000.

"I don't know the words to express my deep gratitude for her kindness," he said.

Jiraporn Worathitaporn, 42, was also suffering from chronic kidney disease and received treatment from the foundation.

"I had suffered for seven years. I was treated at a private hospital, but it was so expensive. Then I was advised to go to the foundation for cheaper treatment," she said

Jiraporn has now been receiving peritoneal dialysis at least twice a week from the foundation for seven years.

Princess, public pay tribute

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn yesterday provided a meal to eight monks performing praying services for her aunt, HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana.

Published on January 5, 2008

The elder sister of HM the King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away at the age of 84 early Wednesday.

In response to His Majesty's instruction, royal merit-making ceremonies for the princess will continue for seven days since the day she passed away.

During the 100-day mourning period, praying ceremonies will continue at the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall from 6am to midnight every day. The funeral ensemble will perform mourning music at regular intervals.

Members of the public were allowed to pay their tributes to the princess at the Saha Thai Samakhom Pavilion inside the Grand Palace. A portrait of the Princess was placed so that mourners could show their respect for her.

There were also books in which the mourners could sign their messages for the Princess.

A total of 15,891 people signed messages at the pavilion yesterday.

The Nation

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