HRH Princess Bajarakitiyabha presides over opening of King Prajadhipok Institute’s annual conference
The King Prajadhipok Institute is an independent agency, researching and developing democracy in government and disseminating information for the
betterment of society. The Institute is named after Rama VII, H.M. King Prajadhipok (1925-1935) who granted the constitution to Thailand in 1932, changing the kingdom from an
absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy.
The institute puts emphasis on the important role the public has in participating in government decisions and establishing policy, thereby perpetuating a
true democracy with a government for the people and by the people, supporting the intentions contained in the Thai constitution.
Guest speakers during this year’s conference included former Philippine President Corazon Aquino and former Thai Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun.
Organisations from around the world participated in the conference with representatives from Australian Democratic Research Institute, Canada’s National Assembly Centre and
the Asia Foundation from the United States of America.
An exhibition of the achievements of H.M. King Prajadhipok and the institute were on display at the conference.
Pattaya Mail voted “Best in the East”
Third straight year
Pattaya Mail was awarded “Outstanding Newspaper of the East” from the Eastern Region Mass Media Association for the third straight year.
Pattaya Mail received the award for its “awareness and presentation of social and economic issues, creative writing and presentation, its positive
impact on the community, and its positive promotion of tourism.”
Pattaya Mail MD Pratheep Malhotra accepts the “Best in
the East” award from Chonburi MP Ittiphol Khunpluem
Managing Director of Pattaya Mail Publishing Co. Ltd., Pratheep Malhotra accepted the award at the Eastern Region Mass Media Association’s annual
gala awards presentation and dinner party on March 5th.
Pratheep expressed his gratitude, saying, “Each person from the newspaper is deeply moved and proud to receive this honor for the third straight year.
This adds to our determination to be a service to the community. We intend to continue improving and developing the quality of our newspaper.”
“We are proud to be the best,” Pratheep continued, “and with our dedicated staff, we are determined to always be the best. We have worked hard to get
to where we are; no one else can come close to what we’ve done and will continue to do.”
A large crowd of celebrities and government leaders attended the awards ceremony.
Prestigious honors were presented to different persons distinguishing themselves from media circles, including government leaders, local administrators,
agencies and charitable organizations. In all, 60 awards were recognized from Chonburi Province and the Eastern Region.
Eastern Seaboard - drug consumption capitol of the kingdom
Estimated 100,000 pills consumed daily
The Eastern Seaboard in general, Pattaya and Chonburi in particular, are together considered the drug consumption capitol of the kingdom. A combined
estimated 100,000 methamphetamine pills are consumed every day here.
H.E. Privy Counselor General Pichitr Kullavanijaya addresses a
drug seminar at city hall.
This information came out during a drug seminar at city hall on March 1. H.E. Privy Counselor General Pichitr Kullavanijaya opened the seminar, titled
“Pattaya Drug Prevention/Suppression Programs”, which was attended by many local politicians, included Chonburi governor Sujarit Pachimnan and Pattaya mayor Pairat
Pattaya and the Chonburi area were described as bases where drug activity is highly concentrated. Illegal drugs are easily obtained, and the higher paying
jobs in the area allow for more disposable income, which in turn facilitates the ability to purchase illegal drugs. The large number of entertainment businesses in the area are
also seen as competing with family values and the family as an institution.
Assistant commissioner from the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, Pol. Maj. Gen. Intadet Pornperaparn, a guest speaker at the seminar, pointed out that over 25%
of the nation’s youth are abusing illegal substances; most use methamphetamines.
Much needs to be done to combat the problem. Aside from the “Drug Free Community Program” supported by the provincial government, a recent program has
sought the help of government hospitals, local military bases and Buddhist temples to participate in providing drug rehabilitation treatment to addicts.
Recent legislation making businesses responsible, and therefore business owners liable to face charges for drug related activities occurring on their
property, is being seen as another way to help stem drug abuse.
Deputy Superintendent of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau Pol. Lt. Col. Jirat Phichitpai, founder of Ban Phoonsri Uppathum Drug Treatment Center in Soi
Phothisarn, said the current situation in Pattaya is, “Desperately out of control”. He said methamphetamines are available in every community in the surrounding area, not
only in Pattaya’s entertainment areas, and most alarming is the availability of drugs in the school system.
He said he has information indicating 100,000 methamphetamines are exchanged daily in Pattaya, with a street value of 10 million baht. He said the drugs are
being brought in from northern Thailand through neighboring provinces.
Two Thais arrested for transporting illegal foreign laborers
Lao, Cambodian and Burmese workers also arrested
Reporter: Vichan Pladplueng
Somsak Upadee, age 30, and Prachuab Phetcharasumpol, age 27, were arrested on February 28 for transporting illegal laborers in two pick-up trucks to
construction sites at the Ekmongkol housing project.
Thais and foreigners working illegally were arrested from
the Ekmongkol housing project in Soi Khao Talo.
Pattaya tourist police inspector Pol. Maj. Naradech Klomtuksing and a group of officers were called in to investigate reports of illegal laborers working
at the housing project in Soi Khao Talo in Nong Prue. Police officers were positioned at the street entrance before intercepting the two trucks departing the construction
site. Police quickly apprehended six foreigners who made attempts to flee when realizing police were approaching.
The illegal laborers were identified as Lao, Cambodian and Burmese. The two Thai men told police the foreigners were hired at half the wages demanded by
Thai laborers, 100 baht a day, and could be found at nearly every construction site.
Pol. Maj. Naradech said that since the recent skirmish in Mae Sai, orders were issued to intensify the search for foreigners illegally working inside the
Kingdom to prevent possible incidents related to current disputes along the border.
Pol. Maj. Naradech just recently assumed command at the Pattaya Tourist Police Department 3 Office and said he was not yet familiar with the problem of
foreigners illegally residing in Pattaya, but he said he intended to take affirmative action in accordance with his directives and route out the problem.
Norwegian tourist found dead in room
Reporter: Boonlua Chatree
Norwegian Finu Bogga Clemeutsen, age 46, was found dead in his guesthouse room in Jomtien on February 20.
Hotel management found Clemeutsen’s body hunched over naked on the hotel room bed. A 20 cc syringe dangled from the crook of his arm. A bag of heroin
powder was found on a table nearby, along with 19 methamphetamine pills and a small plastic bag containing compressed marijuana.
Clemeutsen’s visa indicated he had just entered Thailand two days earlier.
Police investigators and the medical examiner from Bang Lamung Hospital suspect the syringe contained a lethal dose of heroin. There was no evidence of
The Sawang Boriboon Rescue Foundation transferred the body to the police forensic lab for final examination.
Suspected methamphetamine production center raided
Main supplier for the Eastern Region gets away
The Narcotics Suppression Bureau, acting on information received flowing the arrest of Chamnan Phannooch by Bang Sao Thong Sub-district Police in
Samutprakarn, raided a methamphetamine production center in Nong Prue.
The raid was conducted on March 1 and surprised three women on the premises, but the main suspect, Thongyod Yamorchae eluded capture. A sophisticated
closed circuit video system was found monitoring the surrounding area, and probably alerted Thongyod of the raid.
Police did find equipment for methamphetamine production, and an assortment of high-quality weaponry including one Uzi, a short barreled 20-gage pump
action shotgun, one 9-mm Berretta and a .38 revolver.
The three women were taken in for further questioning and were identified as Prakaiphet Padcha, age 27, possibly Thongyod’s girlfriend, Uraiwan
Khansomryt, age 27, and La-ong Sorloong, age 30. Also confiscated in the raid was a safe containing over one million baht in cash and a large collection of expensive Buddha
images and relics. No drugs were found during the raid and police called for a K-9 team to search the grounds.
Thongyod Yamorchae, age 38, is said to be the leader of a major gang of drug agents producing methamphetamines in the eastern provinces. The ingredients
are brought in from the north and final production is done in Pattaya.
Police believe he eluded capture and took the drugs and other money with him, tipped off by the sophisticated video monitoring system.
World leaders champion voices of the people
Former Philippine President and Thai PM push for democratic government by the people, for the people
Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino and former Thailand Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun were the featured speakers at the King Prajadhipok
Institute Annual Conference to Advocate Public Participation in Government, held from March 2-4 at the Ambassador City Jomtien Hotel.
The theme for this year’s conference was “Public Participation: Sustainability of Democracy”.
Mrs. Aquino and Mr. Anand arrive at the King Prajadhipok
Institute Annual Conference.
Mrs. Aquino said that people power was the essential ingredient to keep democracy healthy. She said integrating ideology with democratic values into
current trends, and inspiring today’s youth are vitally important in correcting problem areas that could affect attaining a peaceful existence in the future.
Mrs. Aquino stressed the importance of incorporating democratic principles into the education system, with specific emphasis on voting and involving the
community in government.
She also stressed the role of people power in overthrowing two former dictators in the Philippines in the last 15 years. Speaking of the former presidents
Marcos and Estrada, Mrs. Aquino said the first revolt overthrew Marcos without bloodshed and restored democracy in the Philippines.
The second movement, the removal of Estrada, people of the Philippines removed a government leader who failed morally to deliver on policies and promises
for democracy. Mrs. Aquino contended that democracy was restored both times in the Philippines by the people’s strong will and the power of God.
The recent change in the Philippines said Mrs. Aquino, was assisted by a free exchange of information made possible by new information technology including
mobile phones, cable TV, and the Internet, aided by an unimpeded flow of information.
Former Prime Minister of Thailand Anand Panyarachun agreed that it is important to maintain the media’s reliability and integrity, and that the
people’s involvement in government is imperative to having a true democracy.
Anand also referred to incidents inspired by the people causing change in Thailand that was only realized after much bloodshed followed by many tears of
sorrow. He said both the tragic and appalling incidents of October 1973 and May 1992 were catalysts contributing to liberating people’s rights, leading to the changes
incorporated into the 1997 Thai constitution.
Specific changes include the public right to transparent government with public participation in government matters and most importantly unrestricted
access to information.
Anand used the selection of the National Tele-communications Commission and the National Broadcasting Commission as examples. He said if transparency was
not apparent, supplemented by vested interests and using national security as an excuse to rationalize information restrictions, the end result would be as though the ears
and eyes of the nation were closed and desensitized to what is actually taking place.
Anand said the same holds true for providing for public hearings in the new constitution, whereas withholding information would render the public incapable
of forming accurate opinions. The outcome would be the public being exploited by their own people for personal gain. Public hearings on important matters are paramount to
Referring to the future of members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), he said necessary adjustments are required to uphold human
rights. Governments for the most part, even progressing democracies, are currently reacting as oppressors rather than public servants answering the needs of the people.
“Achieving a true democracy with government transparency and public participation,” Anand said, “requires awareness of the rights of all parties
involved with a clear understanding of the duties among government offices, private businesses and the public.” Government and private business are in positions to benefit
more than the people he said, therefore, it is important to remember that ignoring public participation and restricting access to information leaves the public with few
alternatives but to protest, often leading to conflict and violence.
Sailors plan now for summer exercise in Southeast Asia
by Lt. Leslie Hull-Ryde
Planning a naval exercise takes time and teamwork. That’s why members of the U.S. Navy visited Pattaya Feb. 26 - March 2. Coming from Singapore, Japan,
Guam and the United States, American Sailors met with their Royal Thai Navy counterparts for the second time in less than six months.
The U.S. and Thai Navy and Marine Corps get together annually to prepare and execute the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training exercise. CARAT is billed
as the U.S. Navy’s premier bilateral exercise in Southeast Asia.
Navy Rear Adm. Mark Edwards, commander, Task Force 712
receives the key to the city from Pattaya mayor Pairat Suthithamrongsawat.
“The result of the exercise has not only made our personnel improve their knowledge and skills, but it has also built friendships and enhanced
military-to-military relationships,” says Rear Adm. Sirichai Khanisthakul, commander, Frigate Squadron 2 of the Thai Navy.
“For this reason, we regard CARAT as a very important annual exercise which we always look forward to.”
The 2001 series marks the seventh for the two countries.
During the planning conferences, the host nation outlines its objectives for the exercise. Each summer, the two countries come together to implement the
“We plan to operate bilaterally, improving our warfare skills; enhancing communications; and furthering our understanding of each other,” says Rear Adm.
Mark Edwards, commander, Task Force 712, headquartered in Singapore. His staff is responsible for coordinating the exercise for the U.S. team.
“We’re all successful when we take advantage of every opportunity to enhance regional cooperation.”
The United States will team up with the navies and marine corps from the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei later this year. CARAT
Thailand takes place June 17 - 29. Three ships, a submarine and approximately 1,800 Sailors and Marines will come to Pattaya, Sattahip and Utapao.
In addition to the operational aspects of the exercise, American crews will work in the local communities, sprucing up and making repairs at schools,
orphanages and a detention center. The U.S. Navy band, Orient Express, from Yokosuka, Japan, is expected to perform in a variety of public concerts in the area.
Despite the hectic schedule, the American service members will get some time off while in Pattaya.
“Our Sailors like to come to Thailand,” says Edwards. “It’s one of their favorite places to go.”
City leaders say the money Sailors and Marines spend while on liberty in Pattaya provides a “big boost to the economy.”
One U.S. naval officer who works in Thailand says last year, service members from the States made 23,000 reservations in one hotel alone. During an aircraft
carrier visit, Sailors pump approximately $1 million a day into the local coffers. That’s just entertainment costs. It doesn’t include ship support services the U.S. Navy
While in Pattaya for the CARAT planning conference, the U.S. Navy’s most senior officer in Southeast Asia met with the mayor of Pattaya. After a formal
visit in his office Feb. 27, mayor Pairat Suthithamrongsawat took Edwards to the construction site of the city’s newest pier, slated for completion in October 2002.
One hundred police officers trained to recognize illicit fuels
Nationally endorsed training seminar held in Pattaya
Reporter: Boonlua Chatree
The National Police Bureau, seeing the need to conduct training on suppressing and preventing the illicit trafficking of liquefied petroleum gas to counter
the problem more efficiently across Thailand, held a training seminar last week at the Welcome Hotel.
Police General Soonthorn Saikwan, deputy commissioner of the National Police Bureau and chairman of the Prevention and Suppression of Illicit Fuels
Committee, opened the seminar. Police Major-General Mongkol Kamolbud, deputy commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau and deputy director of the Illicit Fuels
Suppression Center, presented the information to 100 police officers at the inspector level and above representing all nine provincial police regions in Thailand.
The three day seminar, which began on February 22, was addressed by several different agencies and offices involved with the problem. Key speakers were from
the National Energy Plans and Policy Office, Thai Industrial Standards Institute, Department of Commercial Registration, Public Works Department, Customs Department, Excise
Department and the private sector’s Petroleum Authority of Thailand, and the World Gas Company Ltd. (Thailand).
Former Saensukh mayor donates land for horse track
Earmarked to replace Nang Leurng Track in Bangkok
Somchai Khunpleum, commonly known as Kamnan Poh, donated 626 rai of land to build a new horse racetrack. The land is located on Hwy 331, next to the Formula
One Raceway, and opposite the Asia University.
The new racetrack would be built to replace the Royal Turf Club’s Nang Leurng Racetrack in Bangkok.
Bangkok governor Samak Sundaravej recently commented that moving Nang Leurng Racetrack would be a good thing, due to its antiquated structure and inadequate
facilities, specifically a parking area that disrupts traffic on race day.
Soon after, the Royal Turf Club began looking for a new location. In due time the club chairman, Chamlong Ratanakulserireurngryt, and Somchai Khunpleum,
former mayor of Saensukh Municipality, began discussing the idea.
Colonel Akhom Saisa-ad, who is chairman of the racetrack’s board of directors, said the new racetrack would be a completely modern construction along ISO
9002 standards, with two tracks, sand and grass, and a staging area for resting and preparing the horses within the half-moon stadium. A training/exercise area for horses will
be included in the construction along with administrative offices and other facilities. The cost of construction is estimated in the realm of 2-billion baht, with the overall
design taken from Japan’s world-class Kokura Racetrack.
However, the proposal has yet to be discussed with Bangkok governor Samak Sundaravej, and requires decisions on budgeting matters supporting the move out of
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