HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Former PM Anand calls for sustainable energy

Will construction halt?

Birt becomes latest pedophile arrested

Car thieves arrested after high speed chase

Cambodians arrested in grand sweep

Electrical fire causes light damage to Soi 17 building

Mayor officially “tees-off” charity mini-golf

Tourist Police nab speed dealers

Former PM Anand calls for sustainable energy

Expresses need for responsible energy management

Former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun called for balanced, responsible energy management, which includes "having the courage to sincerely forge a more sustainable path..." in his address to the 12th CEPSI congress held at the Dusit Resort in Pattaya last week.

n1.JPG (50083 bytes)Former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun address the 12th CEPSI congress at the Dusit Resort in Pattaya.

Anand addressed the Conference on the Electricity Power Supply Industry (CEPSI) as "what is certainly the most impressive group of global electricity supply leaders ever assembled in Thailand."

In a moving speech, the former PM outlined "the emerging key issues as I see them and the need to enhance the balance among a handful of concerns that all begin with the letter "E"; Electricity, Energy, Economy, Efficiency, Equity and the Environment."

In light of the current economic crises, Anand called for tighter management control and a balance of energy supply resources, stating, "To survive this crises, the power industry will need to increase internal efficiency through material saving, maintenance and personnel management. I can assure you that an increase in the price of electricity is not the solution. Rather, costs should be reduced and business strategy refocused."

Former PM Anand also expressed optimism for the future, "Conventional approaches to energy have focussed mainly on increasing energy supply to meet energy demand, but it is now becoming clear that a new approach is needed in order to meet social, economic and environmental objectives. We can turn this economic recession into an opportunity to improve efficiency and increase the profitability of existing power facilities. We can optimize resource utilization, reduce waste and adopt more advanced electric technologies favorable to the environment."

Anand urged the Conference to "...continue and even intensify your efforts toward a more energy-efficient future. The power plants of the next century should be green, a color representing the concept of sustainable energy production and consumption. An environmentally, efficient supply of electricity should incorporate these efforts: 1) maximizing energy efficiency and minimizing losses in the production and transmission of electricity to users; 2) minimizing environmental impacts associated with energy production by using cleaner fuels and applying appropriate management and equipment control; 3) maximizing or possibly replacing the use of fossil fuels with non-fossil and renewable energy resources when technically feasible and economically justifiable."

PM Anand concluded by stating that, "Above all, we must strive towards a more sustainable future."

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Will construction halt?

Legal issues may prevent construction stoppage

The Hiring Committee responsible for hiring the Samprasit Company to construct the wastewater treatment plant does not agree that the construction should stop from the 1st of November 1998 to 28 February 1999.

In a meeting on October 29, a committee composed of Pattaya City Manager Songsak Yomjinda, Preecha Kamolbut, Chonburi Province Manager, Sitipap Muangkhum, Director of the Pattaya Public Works Commission, Somsak Suraprasit, Director of the Working Group of the Pattaya Sanitation District, Phichet Uthaiwatnanon, Director of the Buildings Construction Division of Pattaya, Khanitheep Boonyaket, Central Government Inspector for Chonburi, Ms. Kanjari Rujirej and Anuphan Ithirat, Representatives of the Pollution Control Board of the Ministry of Science Technology and the Environment, held a meeting to clear up the various problems.

n2.JPG (48785 bytes)It is now unclear whether or not construction will stop during the tourist high season, as legal issues are now being raised.

The Macro Consultant Co. and the Samprasit Co. were called in to attend the meeting. The two companies were told to solve the problems connected with the construction immediately. The complaints concerned the terrible traffic congestion and the effects on the economy as the tourist season was fast approaching.

On October 27, the Pattaya City Council ordered construction to halt. However, Chonburi Province Manager Preecha Kamolbut stated that, "If we look at it from the point of law, we have no power to order the company to stop work, as the contracts are binding and have already been signed. The Pattaya City Council does not have the power to stop work. The problem is the work is very messy and everyone is upset that it is inconveniencing them."

The committee was upset that they had paid the consulting company 49 million baht to stop this very thing from happening. Mr. Preecha said the consulting company had problems as the Samprasit Company did not follow its suggestions.

To complicate matters, if the company does not bring the work in on schedule, it will be subject to fines of 1.8 million baht for each day it is behind schedule.

The committee expressed that they do not want to end up wrangling with the company over whether fines should or should not be paid. The company could legally claim that they were ordered to stop the work, and that the fines should be waived.

The committee suggested that work should continue, especially on roads where traffic can still move. As for other areas where the road must be closed to traffic for short periods, the construction should be carried out at a rapid pace. It was noted that stopping construction would cause a major problem in terms of logistics, as it was not easy to acquire construction materials, as they had to be ordered months in advance.

It was suggested that a compromise be reached. Work should be stopped partly, as well as speed up work on some sectors so as to cause the least damage to business and the tourism industry in Pattaya.

The committee said that as the project must be finished by the time specified in the contract, although the contract has already been extended by six months, they had to be fair to the company too.

The committee said that the project was being praised in foreign countries, as visitors can look forward to cleaner beaches in Pattaya as no wastewater would be drained into the sea.

The committee has asked the consultant company to put up signs to warn people of possible hazard areas. Water trucks should ply the sites regularly and spray water to keep the dust down.

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Brit becomes latest pedophile arrested

Caught in the act with 2 under age boysn3.JPG (33697 bytes)

British national Leslie Peter Henman, 44, was arrested at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 29th and charged with child molesting after police entered his South Pattaya hotel room to find him naked in bed with two naked under age boys. Henman was allegedly engaged in sex acts with the 13 and 14 year old boys.

Henman is originally from Kingston, England, but has been working at the Hong Kong Bank in Hong Kong. Henman entered the Kingdom on 21 October for a holiday that was scheduled to last until November 23.

Pol. Lt. Col. Supathee Bunkrong, Officer in charge of the Pattaya Foreign Assistance Center, made the arrest after receiving information that Henman was allegedly picking up small boys and bringing them to his room for sexual purposes.

Police also found 4 video cassettes which contain sex with over 20 young Thai boys, and Vaseline in Henmann’s room.

Henman confessed to police, stating that he usually paid between 300-500 Baht per boy/time.

Henman was turned over to the Pattaya Police for further interrogation before trial.

The boys were turned over to Mahathai orphanage to look after.

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Car thieves arrested after high speed chase

Part of gang taking cars to Cambodia

On October 2, Rayong police arrested an army sergeant and 2 women for possession of a stolen car after a high speed chase in Rayong. The three were part of a gang of thieves who specialize in stealing cars and selling them in Cambodia.

Infantry Master Sergeant Thiwa Raksawong, 26, and two women identified as Chulaporn Chitkhuntot and Thida Seeharach, both 19, were arrested after police roadblocks put an end to a chase in Rayong that started when police approached the trio outside a snooker parlor in Rayong.

n4.JPG (21725 bytes)Infantry Master Sergeant Thiwa Raksawong, 26, (left) and two women identified as Chulaporn Chitkhuntot and Thida Seeharach, both 19, were arrested for grand theft auto.

Police had tracked down a stolen car belonging to Ms. Phongnooch Thaweerungcharoen, which was parked outside the snooker parlor. Police waited for the thieves to emerge with the intent of arresting them, but the trio managed to elude capture in the parking lot resulting in a 4:00 a.m. high speed chase through the streets of Rayong.

All three were later arrested at a roadblock. No contraband or weapons were found. All three were taken to the Pattaya police station for further questioning.

Sergeant Thiwa told police that he had not stolen the car. He stated that he was a ‘mule’, a person who delivers stolen cars to Cambodia. His army rank made border crossing much easier. He was paid 5,000 baht for each stolen car he delivered.

All three were charged with ‘theft in the night’ and sent for due process of law.

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Cambodians arrested in grand sweep

Police cheaning up Pattaya for tourists

On October 31st police did a grand sweep of Pattaya, arresting illegal aliens, ‘hit men’, raided drug selling areas, and arrested all ‘dark’ influences. This was in preparation for the coming tourist season. A sort of ‘spring cleaning’, Pattaya style.

Police then went to a nameless apartment building, presented a search warrant and combed the apartment. Police found the entire third floor of the building was occupied by illegal immigrants from Cambodia.

n5.JPG (37382 bytes)Cambodian men, women and children were rounded up by police for begging and selling candy on the streets of Pattaya.

The leader of the illegals was Mr. Khomsin, 35, a Cambodian national. Officers rounded up 49 men women and children and took them to the Pattaya police station for further questioning.

The group confessed to all, saying they had rented the entire floor of the apartment as a ‘base of operations’.

At night the group would go onto the streets to beg and sell chewing gum. When the chance arose, they also snatched purses and picked pockets to make extra money.

Mr. Somchai Jitraphonchana, the owner of the apartment was charged with harboring illegal aliens and forcing children into labor.

Immigration police were contacted and will deport the Cambodians.

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Electrical fire causes light damage to Soi 17 building

Security bars present obstacle to firefighters

When firefighters arrived to battle a conflagration in an office building on Soi 17, efforts to extinguish the fire were hampered by security bars on the windows of the building.

n6.JPG (40559 bytes)Donning asbestos gloves, two flame foilers grabbed hacksaws and began to saw at the obstinate bars. The flames danced merrily out of their reach, seeming to mock the frustrated men.

Firefighters try to get through security bars to put out a fire in an office building on Soi 17, Eventually they had to give up and shoot water through the gates.

Finally giving up, the firefighters, not knowing if anyone was inside the building, shot giant jets of water through the bars and the conflagration expired.

Checking the circuit breakers, firemen found that there had been a current surge which overcame the circuit breakers and they burst into flame.

Initial damage was estimated at 4,000 baht and no one was hurt in the fire.

Mrs. Gurjeet Kaur Khanijou, 65, a Thai of Indian descent told officers that she was sleeping on the third floor when she heard an explosion, and then smelled smoke. It came rushing out of the top floor of the building.

At the same time, neighbors began yelling for everyone to evacuate as there was a fire. She rushed to the third floor of the building and found smoke everywhere. She quickly telephoned the fire department before the fire got out of hand.

Police conjecture that this flare up was indeed caused by a short circuit.

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Mayor officially “tees-off” charity mini-golf

Pattaya Mayor Pairat Suthithamrongsawat took the first putt to officially open the Rotary Club’s ‘Charity Mini-Golf’ tournament at the Fairplay MiniGolf course on Sunday, November 1.

n7.JPG (63660 bytes)Mayor Pairat “tees-off” the first to officially get the charity mini-golf tournament underway.

Mr. John Richards, President of Rotary Club of Jomtien Pattaya, stated that the purpose of the tournament was to help local charities. "The appalling collapse of the Thai economy had affected people at all levels of society and everyone is suffering from the effects. The Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya saw that this problem has a major effect on society. Children were being abandoned, and physically and mentally challenged children were not being given proper care due to parents lack of money."

With this in mind, the Rotary Club and various businesses had organized the ‘Mini Golf’ tournament from which all proceeds will go to charities, such as the Fassbind Foundation, the Pattaya Orphanage and many others.

Mayor Pairat Suthithamrongsawat replied, saying that he felt it was an honor to see such community spirit among the concerned foreign citizens of Pattaya. He admitted that the government sector could not solve these problems alone. He thanked the Rotary Club of Jomtien Pattaya and the other business organizations involved and encouraged them to keep on with their good works.

There is still a chance to enter the tournament and vie for fabulous prizes, as well as help local charities. The mini-golf Charity Golf Tournament will continue through Sunday, November 8th. See Community Happenings for more details.

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Tourist Police nab speed dealers

Acting on complaints from Muslim community

On October 28th, Tourist Police made another raid in their relentless war on the methamphetamine epidemic in Pattaya.

The bust was made in Soi Nern Phlap Waan when officers stealthily surrounded a group of motorcycle taxi drivers at the entrance to Soi 9, Nern Phlap Waan in Banglamung.

Police were acting on a report from Muslim residents of the area who told officers that the ‘speed’ epidemic was so bad that their children were not going to school and were neglecting their social responsibilities.

Performing body searches on the motorcycle taxis, officers found 170 tablets of ‘orange speed.’

The officers took Somkiart Allor, 28, Somnuk Matung, 33, to Tourist Police headquarters.

The two confessed to all, saying that a large ‘wholesaler’ had approached them and offered them the ‘local dealership.’

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