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Business News






HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:
Young woman pulled from wreckage

Hotelier murdered during hotel robbery

Pattaya’s City Council dissolved

Bar worker falls 4 floors to her death

New stray dog policy starts in Jomtien

Naklua house gutted by fire

Police continue katoey arrests

Global campaign launched for right to education

Another noisy 2 year old!

Young woman pulled from wreckage

10-wheeler demolished her car

Rescue workers from the Sawang Boriboon Foundation extricated a young woman from the wreckage of her Mazda last week after a ten-wheel truck landed on top of it during a multiple vehicle accident.

After an hour, rescue workers were able to remove the woman from the wreckage and transport her to the hospital.

It took over an hour for rescue workers using cutting equipment to pull the young woman from her completely demolished car.

“It’s a miracle she survived,” one person said. “I don’t know how she did.”

The accident occurred in Pong Sub-District near kilometer markers 15 and 16 at 10:00 a.m. on November 23rd. Witnesses told police that before the accident, two others cars were involved in a minor accident. The drivers of the cars in the first accident were unable to come to an agreement, which caused a traffic jam. While they argued, a 10-wheel truck traveling at high speed crashed in to the backed up vehicles. The truck sent cars careering in every direction. The small Mazda was sent off to the side of the road and the 10-wheel truck rolled over on top of it.

Ten others were also injured and were sent to the hospital.

Police closed off the road and spent three hours clearing the wreckage.

The driver of the 10-wheel truck was identified as Mr. Surachai, a driver for the Jia Ha Huad Company in Rayong. Surachai fled the scene before police were able to apprehend him.

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Hotelier murdered during hotel robber

Police launch manhunt for foreign gangsters

Australian Peter John Curtain, the 45-year-old owner of the Orchid Inn on Soi Viking in South Pattaya, was murdered while resisting a robbery attempt by at least 4 foreign gang members at 2:45 a.m. on November 24.

Curtain suffered numerous blows to the head from a pistol and a medal rod. He was rushed to the hospital, but succumbed to his injuries.

45-year-old Peter John Curtain, the Australian owner of the Orchid Inn on Soi Viking in South Pattaya, was murdered while resisting a robbery attempt by at least 4 foreign gang members at 2:45 a.m. on November 24.

Police believe the gang who murdered him was the same whose members were arrested and deported in 1996 for a similar robbery. Police surmise they returned to Thailand using different names.

Three of the men were staying in the hotel. The three names in the hotel register were unclear but were listed as Stefan Iris Onnner, Alexander Korodoski and Sta Toch. Police believe they know of Korodoski, a Belgian, whom they surmise is the gang leader.

Without the keys, the robbers/murderers pried open all the hotel's safe deposit boxes.

Mrs. Phornsini Klomli, the hotel cashier, told police the men ordered room service, then later threatened her with a pistol, demanding the keys to the hotel’s safe deposit boxes. She said they also wanted to know where the money was kept.

She said she insisted she didn’t have the keys, so they forced her at gunpoint to take them to Curtain’s room.

Two British tourists, Allan Freeman and Geoffrey Evans, who were sitting in the hotel lobby when the robbery took place, were bound and gagged, but were otherwise unharmed. The robbers also bound Mrs. Phornsini.

After questioning the British tourists and hotel cashier further it is still uncertain whether there were four or five men involved in the robbery.

Police officers from the Foreign Mafia Suppression Center and members from the Provincial Police were later called in to continue the investigation. In Curtain’s room, they found his belongings strewn about. Apparently Curtain had resisted, and police are assuming the robbers must have pistol whipped him trying to force him to give up the keys until the injuries caused him to pass out and eventually kill him.

Without the keys, the men pried open 15 of the hotel safe deposit boxes and took all the contents, then fled the area. Police believe they made off with over 1 million baht in cash and valuables.

In the hotel rooms where the robbers stayed, police found a number of empty whiskey bottles and other information. All was confiscated for further analysis.

Police later found the taxi driver hired in Naklua to drive the men to Don Muang Airport. The driver told police that the men were carrying a heavy, square shaped object. Police are assuming the object was the safe belonging to Curtin. Apparently the thieves were still unable to access the safe.

Once arriving at the Don Muang Airport the men hired another taxi to take them to the Soi Suttisarn area in Bangkok where they then disappeared.

Police have alerted all airports and exit points in Thailand to prevent the gang from departing the country.

Police officials are imploring hotel personnel to thoroughly examine identification belonging to guests registering in hotels and to ensure to have the information clearly recorded, which will greatly assist police investigations in the future and provide a more secure setting for hotel guests.

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Pattaya's City Council dissolved

New election to be held within 90 days

Mayor Pairat Suthithamrongsawat announced on 29 November that Pattaya’s city council has now been dissolved in accordance with the new constitution. New elections for mayor and the 24 city council seats will take place within 90 days.

The Ministry of the Interior issued instructions to the Chonburi Governor and to the Pattaya city administration stipulating the action to be implemented in accordance with the 1999 constitution item number 116, part 120 a., dated 29 November 1999, requiring Pattaya city to enact the following three clauses:

1. Pattaya City Manager Office Chief Sunthorn Praseurtdee is to take over the duties of administrating the affairs of office of the mayor of Pattaya City until elections have taken place.

2. Pattaya City is to prepare the election process for mayor and 24 city council seats within 90 days.

3. Control procedures for the election process are to be researched as stated in the 1999 constitution and implemented by Pattaya City.

Chonburi Province and Pattaya city will announce the election procedures informing the general public and government administrative offices.

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Bar worker falls 4 floors to her death

Police suspect suicide, although suspicious

23-year-old Riam Chimchat allegedly jumped to her death from the 4th floor of the Porn Hotel on Soi Yamoto on November 28th. Police initially surmise suicide.

Rescue workers rush Miss Riam to the hospital where she was pronounced DOA.

Miss Riam was rushed to the hospital but doctors were unable to save her due to serious head injuries she suffered from the fall.

Investigating police questioned Krydsada Mukhwao, age 20, who identified himself as Miss Riam’s boyfriend. He told police Riam worked at one of the bars along Pattaya Beach Road and the two of them stayed in the same room at the Porn Hotel, along with one other man named Chingchai Janbia.

Krydsada, in tears, explained to police that he returned to the hotel to find Miss Riam drinking with a man named Pakalang. He said he began reprimanding her because he didn’t like her to drink alcohol. “Then all of a sudden,” Krydsada said, “she got up, ran from the room and jumped from the 4th floor.”

Police are continuing the investigation.

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New stray dog policy starts in Jomtien

Signs posted for “dog restricted areas”

Pattaya City is instituting a new stray dog action policy starting in the area of Jomtien Beach, with other areas to follow. The action is being taken due to the number of complaints registered by tourists involving stray dogs.

The plan, recently announced by Mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat, will begin with public announcements asking residents, vendors and tourists to refrain from feeding stray animals.

The next step will be the posting of signs announcing “Dog Restricted Areas” along the beach. Pattaya City Security Officers will be assigned to watch for visitors bringing dogs in to the restricted areas. They will notify the owners of the restriction policy and give warnings. If the warnings are ignored, fines of no more than 10,000 baht will be levied.

The mayor said the city wants to work with the residents and visiting tourists to make the beach areas free of wandering dogs. The new policy will be effective starting in December 1999.

The city administration also plans to coordinate with the Chonburi Provincial Animal Control Center in order to initiate a neutering project to decrease the stray dog population.

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Naklua house gutted by fire

Sustains 200,000 baht in damages

A two-story, single family home in Naklua was gutted by fire last week after faulty wiring or a faulty circuit may have ignited the wooden structure.

Police were called to the fire at Moo 6, Naklua just before noon on 28 November. Pattaya fire fighters were already at the site and were able to bring the blaze under control within 30 minutes.

The owner of the home, Mrs. Phimon Priamcharoen, told police she was outside talking with neighbors when the fire erupted. She said that someone yelled out “fire”, and she ran back into the house to try to save some of her belongings. But by that time, the flames were already out of control and she was unable to collect many of their things. Luckily there was no one else in the house at the time.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but fire officials suspect faulty wiring or a faulty circuit. The investigation is continuing.

The initial assessment put the fire damage at about 200,000 baht.

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Police continue katoey arrest

Making streets safe for the festivals

On November 23rd, Pattaya’s tourist police, led by Tourist Police Major Porarid Lilasiri, conducted their third sweep of Pattaya Beach Road, arresting a group of transvestites accosting tourists. Thirteen “girls of the second category” were fined 500 baht each and released. Fourteen others were arrested, fined and released on November 22nd.

“Girls of the second category” arrested after walking the streets accosting tourists.

Tourist Police also took in a group of children selling chewing gum and flowers on the streets from Soi 2 to Soi 9. The young children, 11 in all, both girls and boys aged four to eight, were all from Cambodia. The group will be turned over to the Pattaya police where they will be further transferred to immigration authorities.

The Tourist Police also remanded to custody a group of men for illegally selling fireworks. The merchandise was confiscated and all the perpetrators were fined.

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Global campaign launched for right to education

Ten years after the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child guaranteed education for all children, the promise is still a distant dream. Over 125 million children, most of them young girls, never even see the inside of a classroom. Another 150 million children receive schooling of such low quality and such high cost that they drop out of school soon after they start.

Not willing to let this injustice continue, a powerful alliance of international organisations and national movements have joined forces to launch a Global Campaign for Education. The campaign intends to mobilise public pressure on governments to fulfil their promises to provide free, quality education for all people. Article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child requires governments to make primary education compulsory and available free to all, while Article 29 calls for education that develops children’s full human potential and prepares them for responsible life in a free society.

Bringing together organisations working in 180 countries, the campaign’s steering committee includes: Education International (the world organisation of teacher unions), Oxfam International, ActionAid, the Global March Against Child Labour, the South African NGO Coalition, the Campaign for Popular Education (Bangladesh), and the Brazilian National Campaign for the Right to Education. This campaign marks the first time that leading social organisations have joined together in a determined drive for universal education.

“It is time that governments and the international financial institutions recognise that education is a fundamental human right,” said Elie Jouen of Education International. “Governments must provide the resources and implement the reforms needed to achieve education for all.”

A mere 1% of what the world spends each year on armaments would be enough to provide education to every single person on earth. The children who have grown up during the 90s without any education may wonder if we could have cared less about their rights.

The Convention broke new ground in getting governments to agree that the right to education goes beyond the right to a seat in a classroom. It calls for education which builds tolerance and equality, and enables each child to develop to his or her fullest potential. But schools serving poor and minority groups too often abuse children’s dignity, stifle their abilities and promote intolerance and prejudice. In these cases, fundamental reforms are urgently needed to engage children, teachers and parents in creating a better system.

The Convention also legally obliges countries to promote and encourage international cooperation in support of education. Throughout most of this decade, Western governments have in fact done quite the opposite, squeezing out interest payments and service charges on third world debts at the cost of children’s health and education.

“Education denied is a future denied,” said Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson of the Global March Against Child Labour. “The most important right for the survival and development of hundreds of millions of children is the fundamental right to education.” Many of the world’s 250 million child labourers began their life of grinding work when affordable education was no longer an option for them.

The Global Campaign for Education will be demanding at least eight years of education for all children, and a second chance for adults who have missed out. The campaign is also calling for: better provisions for early childhood education and care, a public commitment of 6% of GNP for education, the mobilisation of new resources through aid and debt relief, reform of IMF and World Bank structural adjustment policies, an end to the exploitation of children for their labour, democratic participation of civil society in education, fair and regular salaries for teachers, properly equipped classrooms and a supply of quality textbooks, and non-discrimination in the provision of education.

For more information contact: Richard Langlois, Campaign Coordinator, c/o Education International, 155 Bd Emile Jacqmain, 1210 Brussels, Belgium. Tel: (32 2) 224 06 55, Fax: (32 2) 224 06 06, Mobile: (32 4) 77 544 636, E-mail: [email protected]

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Another noisy 2 year old!

Last weekend, Delaney’s the Irish Pub on Second Road turned two years old. The celebration was crowded with well wishers, rendering manager Kim Fletcher lost for words (for once) at the turnout for the birthday bash. This inability with words was seen to get worse as the night went on.

A lovely couple from Edinburgh in Scotland were left wondering if this was a normal night at Delaney’s. They were delighted to hear that some other nights are even noisier! But after several jars of foamy fermented liquid, they didn’t care either.

Most of the British Chamber of Commerce Bangkok people ended up there after their own networking night was over, with Jill and Gethin Thomas holding court on the dance floor. Ramil, Janette, Hans and Elder thumped out the music and the place really rocked on till the wee hours.

As functions came to an end all over Pattaya, the revellers all gravitated towards the Delaney’s birthday bash, and it was very, very late when the staff finally managed to push the last customer out the door and close up. Contrary to popular rumour, this was not Bjorn Richardson - he was the second last customer.

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Updated by Boonsiri Suansuk