Army cancels Loy Krathong sky lantern world record attempt in Chiang Mai
The military in Chiang Mai has ordered the cancellation of a major sky lantern event planned for the Loy Krathong festival in November, following heavy criticism from conservation groups.
The event, jointly organized by the Chiang Mai Tourism Industry Council and the Office Huay Toeng Thao reservoir tourism promotion project, was to be held at Huay Toeng Thao in Mae Rim district of Chiang Mai.
About 20,000 Chinese tourists are expected to join the event and the organizers had hoped to set Guinness world record for the largest number of sky lanterns to be floated in the air at a single event.
The event, however, has been slammed by conservation groups, claiming that the release of sky lanterns is not a traditional Lanna custom and they can disrupt air travel, cause fires and result in garbage.
It is reported that Maj-Gen Suebsakul Buarawong, commander of the 33rd Army Circle, has ordered the cancellation of the event and, instead, has ordered the development of army-controlled areas to be tourist attractions as well as recreational spots.
Mrs. Saowakon Sribunruag, a coordinator for the Rak Chiang Mai community network, praised the army’s decision which, she said, reflected the army’s positive response to the people’s voice.