It is with great regret that I must announce the cancellation of tomorrow’s rally.
Our intention was to create a positive gathering of concerned citizens and residents to petition the government to give us correct and greater information about the annual air pollution and the dangers it poses to our health. Unfortunately, there are elements in society with unknown agendas who have used our well intentioned event to create chaos and plant seeds of suspicion about our intentions.
We have recently been warned by many members of the media, government and related organisations that our event may be hijacked by ill intentioned people who wish to cause chaos.
I have already been threatened with arrest and bodily harm and I am not willing to risk anyone’s safety tomorrow.
I am saddened that an innocent gathering to raise awareness about a potentially deadly health hazard has to be cancelled, but sadly it is so.
I do believe that we have created greater awareness over the past week, as seen by the many more activities, seminars and letters of warnings which have happened since the announcement of the gathering. We also submitted our letter to the governor who has promised to deliver it to the government.
I thank you very much for your support and hope that we can continue to fight for the good health of our citizens and children.
The Right to Breathe Gathering is a non-political gathering with the aim of coming together to petition the government to step up efforts in solving this annual problem as well as to ask authorities for the following:
A plea to find solutions to the annual air pollution danger to the people of the north of Thailand.
To the Honourable Governor of Chiang Mai Province HE Prawin Champrasart
To the Honourable Mayor of the City of Chiang Mai HE Tassanai Buranupakorn
To the Honourable President of the Provincial Administrative Organisation HE Boonlert Buranupakorn
We are the citizens and residents of Thailand and other countries living here in Chiang Mai who are concerned about the ongoing environmental crisis and health impacts of the haze and the air pollution which is affecting Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand each year. We acknowledge the efforts made by the government and independent organisations all working towards solutions, however, given the health issues that are the result of the aforementioned issues, we wish to ask for more urgency in finding solutions so that citizens can protect themselves appropriately from the many health dangers we face due to this problem.
We therefore ask you, as the governor and mayor of Chiang Mai, to request that the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand to urgently take these three important steps to provide this information.
1. We humbly request that the Pollution Control Department, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Government adopt the World Health Organisation (WHO) Standard for the identification of dangerous levels of particulate matter for both PM 10 and PM 2.5 and include both readings in every official document published so that this information is widely available to the public.
2. We humbly request that the Government urgently install, with international assistance if necessary, more monitoring stations in Chiang Mai city and other regional centres and rural centres, to monitor both PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels.
3. We humbly request that the Government provides accurate information regarding the hazards of haze and air pollution on public health, especially children and the elderly while also educating those on effective dust masks that protect at the level of PM 2.5.
4. We humbly request that the relevant agencies and authorities measure pollution levels from vehicles in Chiang Mai and publish this information to the public. We also ask that all vehicles have their emission levels measured, and must not exceed that standard level before registration is approved.
We hope that your excellencies will seriously consider this petition and that our proposal is forwarded to all the relevant agencies, at all levels.
Thank you for your kind attention.
The citizens of Chiang Mai
A Facebook group has been set up, and since it was launched on Friday has had nearly 500 people showing interest in attending. The event hopes to draw concerns citizens of Chiang Mai together and we hope that you can all come for this one hour, bringing signs and wearing masks, to show solidarity in hopes of a clearer future.