Editorial: A short
discourse on Cowardice
On Tuesday evening Thailand time, the world changed
forever. The suicide flights of four hijacked passenger planes in the U.S.
were the start of an international shockwave as the pictures from the news
agencies flashed around the world. The largest peacetime disaster in the
history of America.
“Horror” was the headline in one of America’s
most influential newspapers, but I believe that “Cowards” would have
been more appropriate. Terrorism is not a brave act. Terrorism on such a
large scale as we witnessed on Tuesday night is certainly an act of
aggression. The perpetrators of this crime will attempt to say that it was
even an act of retribution, however, when the victims of the attack are
thousands of innocent men, women and children going about their daily
lives, this is not a brave act in a “noble” war. This is an example of
crass cowardice. A terrorist “army” fighting not soldiers, but the
unarmed and unprepared public. It does not fill me with horror, it fills
me with revulsion. It was the most cowardly act in the history of the
One senior U.S. official has described it as a criminal
act against America. He is only partially correct. This was a criminal act
against the entire world as we know it. That those responsible will be
identified is definite. America and the free world will make sure of that.
There will be reprisals. “Justice” will be called for, but nothing can
be done to avenge this criminal act against mankind. A mankind that we
used to believe in, and still want to, but it is going to be difficult.
And why is mankind the loser? Because every time we
will meet someone from the race or religion that has committed this act,
we will tar them with the same brush. We will instinctually become
aggressive towards them. This is not justice either, but is a natural
response, but unfortunately a response that will set the cause of world
peace back by centuries.
We will weep for those who have perished. We will weep
for those who have lost family and friends. But most of all, we should
weep for ourselves, a world which has lost the hope of a peaceful future.
A hope destroyed by cowards, perhaps misguided cowards, but craven cowards
never the less. That they have debased the nobleness of mankind is
certain. That we are revolted by it is also certain.
Widening Beach Road
still on city’s agenda
Could begin next month
The city has sent out letters to landowners and
businesses on Pattaya Beach Road requesting assistance in allowing the city
to re-claim 3 meters of area to turn into a wider walkway. The letter
requests co-operation, but finishes with a warning that legal actions to
repossess eight meters of property belonging to the state could result.
Members of the city administration have sat down to
discuss the widening project with representatives of the businesses facing
hefty losses if frontage property is forfeited, or in this case returned to
the state. After meeting on September 7 and on eight other occasions the two
sides have yet to reach any final agreement. Some businesses seem inclined
to agree to 2-meter areas rather than the 3-meters wanted by the city, and
some businesses are in total disagreement with giving up frontage space.
According to the building control act, established by the
Ministry of Interior in 1975, roads in tourist locations along the coast,
such as Phuket and Pattaya, are to have boulevards 8-meters wide. The
expanded width would provide convenient walkways next to businesses and
present a more scenic and orderly appearance in Pattaya, but those affected
by the plan are slow to agree on the necessity, especially to the full
extent of 8-meters.
Suchai Ruayrin, former Pattaya city mayor and now
representing the group of businesses jeopardized by the plan, wants
guarantees from the city that the walkway doesn’t end up
cluttered with vendors
destroying the peaceful setting that still prevails in areas along North
Pattaya. The existing problem of rental vehicles and vendors obstructing
much of the walking space in other areas of the city have yet to be
corrected, another representative pointed out, and the affected businesses
are not inclined to undergo expensive renovations just to see the area
turned into a flea market.
A source from the city contractor’s office revealed
that the city is planning to act and budget preparations are underway. Red
paint has been set aside to identify the areas where widening will begin
starting from Dolphin Runabout to Central Road. Construction is planned to
begin during the tourist low season. Most areas are said to be only affected
by 0.50 - 0.2 meters.
to become first run by private company
Corrections Department calling for tenders
to administrate the prison
In an effort to save money, the Corrections Department
has decided to try privatizing the operation of the kingdom’s prisons,
and has chosen Pattaya’s new prison to pilot the project.
prison could be the first in the Kingdom to be run by a private company.
Thailand currently has 134 prisons which cost about 1.6
billion baht annually to run. Under the privatization plan, the
Corrections Department would contract out the administration of prisons to
private companies and pay them an annual fee. The Corrections Department
believes this would substantially cut their budget and would enable them
to upgrade the system to include a 100 million baht computerization of all
Prisoners would also benefit, as private companies
would improve health care and rehabilitation programs.
Pattaya’s prison was chosen to be the first to try
the new plan partly because it is brand new. The final construction of the
prison was just recently completed at a cost of over 170 million baht. The
prison is located on 23 rai of land outside of Pattaya in Nong Pla Lai
Pattaya’s new prison can accommodate over 1000
prisoners serving time for minor infractions. It is scheduled to
officially open in October.
The prison’s special warden, Wachachai Chaiwat,
interviewed on September 7, said the privatization plans called for a
vocational training center so inmates could learn a useful trade and
receive rehabilitative instruction in the process. The items produced at
the prison facilities would be sold on the open market, Wachachai said.
Aside from providing vocational instruction the private
administrators would also be responsible for transferring prisoners to and
from court. They would also handle overall prison security in accordance
with Department of Correction requirements.
Warden Wachachai said if the pilot project proved to be
successful the format would be implemented at other prisons around the
The Pattaya City Prison was completed almost 2-years
ago but has been experiencing repeated problems preventing it from being
used to its full extent. Due to the unavailability of running water only a
few hundred prisoners could be confined at the location. But local
government assistance from Chonburi, Banglamung and Pattaya provides water
trucked into the prison and it is now capable of operating at full
to the rescue
Come to the aid of French tourist
When a destitute man tried to snatch a gold necklace
from the neck of French tourist Claude Bendon around noon on September 4,
witnesses quickly jumped in and detained the thief.
and bruised, Yingyong will now get a free meal courtesy of the local jail.
Yingyong Phumilamnao, 26, from Ang Thong Province, who
told police he hadn’t eaten in two days, tried to snatch a two-baht
weight gold chain from Bendon at the Grand Market Hall in Soi Bua Khao.
People in the market who witnessed the event quickly
tackled Yingyong, bringing him to the ground. After a bit of a struggle,
they managed to detain him until city police arrived.
When police first arrived on the scene, they thought
the thief was the victim, as he was in a dazed condition with his body
battered and his clothing torn.
The gold chain was retrieved and returned to the owner,
albeit in pieces and with a portion missing following the scuffle.
Yingyong defended his actions by telling police he was
new to Pattaya and unable to find employment. He said he became destitute
and deranged after not eating for the past two-days. He said when he saw
the Frenchman walking in the market with the heavy gold chain around his
neck, he lost sight of his senses from his severe hunger and instantly
snatched the gold chain from his throat intending to sell it so he could
Yingyong’s story failed to draw much sympathy and he
was hauled off to the city jail and charged with committing robbery in
New AMLO asks for
Holds anti-money laundering seminar in
The new anti-money laundering office recently opened in
Bangkok and almost instantly money-laundering headlines captivated the
media, and just as quickly, the office is stressing the severity of the
menace and the importance of expanding cooperation to protect the
Pol. Lt. Gen. Wadsana Permlap, the secretary of the
Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO), opened a seminar about the direction
needed to gain mutual cooperation in combating money laundering and
foreign related crime. The seminar took place on September 4 at the
Montien Hotel Pattaya.
Lt. Gen. Wadsana Permlap, secretary of the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO),
addressed a money-laundering seminar in Pattaya.
Government and private agencies participating in the
seminar included representatives from the Ministries of Justice, Defense,
Interior, Foreign Affairs, and the National Police Bureau, the National
Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, the Thai Banking
Association and the Foreign Banking Association. Also participating in the
seminar were representatives from related agencies of Australia, Belgium,
Canada, Great Britain and the United States.
The goal of the seminar was to establish new procedures
and eliminate obstructions in combating money laundering and foreign
related crimes in Thailand by creating greater cooperation among related
agencies. The prime minister is the chairman of the newly-formed AMLO, and
is supported by the National Security Council. Money laundering and
associated crimes are receiving priority attention.
Other topics addressed at the seminar included laws
requiring change, specifically the punishment for crimes in money
laundering, falsifying documents, and penalties for anyone guilty of
laundering funds acquired from drugs, prostitution, human trafficking,
corruption and tax evasion.
The AMLO plans to create a central data base so that
the AMLO and related agencies can function as a cohesive network whilst
tracking suspicious transactions among the multitude of business
communications made daily.
ambushed on dark road
Possibly because of gamblig or philandering
Sommai Yusabai, 39, was gunned down in a dark and
deserted area near Wat Krating Lai, Naklua. Sommai was shot once in the
temple and died instantly. A small amount of money was found in the
pockets of his clothing and he was identified from his Marine Plaza Hotel
The body was brought to the Banglamung Hospital, whose
staff contacted district police at 11.30 p.m. on August 31st to report the
Police officers investigated the surrounding area where
the shooting occurred and found only Sommai’s motorbike lying off to the
side of the road. No witnesses were available.
Sommai’s wife was later questioned but she was unable
to provide any clues, other than identifying her husband as a habitual
gambler. She also indicated he was carrying on an affair with a cafe
Thai and Myanmar
military leaders to work towords ending border disputes
Joint border patrols to tackle drug
trafficking, illegal labor
The “19th Thai-Myanmar Regional Border Committee
Meeting” took place September 5-7 at the Cholchant Pattaya Hotel.
Thailand’s Third Region Army commander Lt. Gen. Watanachai Chaimuenwong
and senior army officers met with Maj. Gen. Thein Sein, chief of the Myanmar
military delegation, to discuss border concerns with specific attention
being paid to the trafficking in narcotics.
Third Region Army commander Lt. Gen. Watanachai Chaimuenwong (right) and
Maj. Gen. Thein Sein, chief of the Myanmar military delegation headed high
level military talks in Pattaya last week.
This meeting held in Pattaya resulted from talks with the
Burmese State Peace and Development council in early July about investment
problems between both countries, various problems along the border including
border crossing points, and the exchange of 60 Thai prisoners.
During this past week’s meeting Lt. Gen. Watanachai
said the talks focused on the direction needed to suppress and prevent drug
trafficking, illegal foreign laborers and other problem areas of concern. He
said the two sides were on the verge of conducting joint border patrols in a
combined effort to suppress drug production and end mutual disputes along
the border, creating stability and peace on both sides.
When asked to elaborate on the government’s 20 million
baht budget allocation to combat drugs in the Thai/Burma border region, the
commander of the Third Region Army, Lt. Gen. Watanachai indicated a
comprehensive effort was required directed at multiple areas. He said in
order to eradicate the production of illegal narcotics it was necessary to
identify the precise location of production and to understand the history of
the problem. He identified a portion of the budget allocation would be
directed to crop substitution programs to replace the cultivation of opium
poppies in the region.
The Third Region commander referred to the
methamphetamine problem as more complicated, requiring further planning, and
he described the chemical ingredients to produce the drug as being
transported from outside of Burma to production facilities deep in the
jungles of Burma. The exact details of suppressing this type of drug
trafficking constantly undergo revision and the joint patrols along the
border will play an important role in effecting positive results.
Another topic of discussion involved small skirmishes
frequently occurring on the border, which are, “still being worked out,”
Lt. Gen. Watanachai said. Both sides want to avoid armed conflict.
The Prime Minister’s orders for the military to take a
special active interest in eliminating the constant flow of laborers
crossing the border was also discussed at the meeting, and indications are
that the outcome of the meeting would have a positive affect on this problem
large rent hike
National Housing Authority backs down
A large throng of flea market vendors assembled in
protest at the Pattaya complex of the National Housing Authority on
September 2 after receiving notices announcing new concession fees would be
added to their existing rental fees.
of flea market vendors gathered outside the National Housing Authority
office in Pattaya to protest a rent hike.
The flea market, located at the market center across from
the Aksorn School on Thepprasit Road, is managed by and located next to the
Notices distributed on August 31 announced new contract
terms effective September requiring a 10,000 baht concession lease fee for
spaces 3 x 3 meters and 5,000 baht for smaller spaces. The piece of property
is a highly sought after location and there is a long waiting list to obtain
The vocal protestors chanted outside the office for three
hours before a spokesman from management finally appeared and informed the
crowd that the concession fees were cancelled and everything would go back
to normal. But before dispersing, the vendors demanded written guarantees.
The spokesman eventually agreed to put it in writing.
The market is located on 6 rai of government land. Along
with the housing complex nearby, it is leased on a three-year contract at a
cost of approximately 3-million baht. The new 10,000 baht concession fee
from the 500 vendors would have equaled approximately 5-million baht on top
of the daily 100 baht rental fee collected every Friday, Saturday and
Sunday, which itself equals 150,000 baht per week.
The management had offered payment arrangements allowing
for five separate installments, and was also prepared to lease out to new
vendors the spaces of anyone not inclined to agree to the new terms.
Nong Prue TAO looks
at ecotourism for sustainable development
The Nong Prue tambon administrative organization recently
met with representatives from the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s central
region 3 office in Pattaya to discuss the possibility of creating ecotourism
attractions to help develop area communities.
Leaders from 14 communities in Nong Prue sat in on the
discussions, which identified ecotourism as possibly being included with the
“one tambon-one product” scheme as a service type of product. The
promotional program is currently underway in many communities in the
Northeast and attracts many tourists interested in observing rural life in
The ecotourism plan for Nong Prue is being seen as the
start of closer working relationships between local levels of government and
the TAT under the government’s decentralization scheme. If ecotourism does
come about in Nong Prue the two agencies would be working closely together
and consulting each other on all matters and/or problems resulting from the
Representative Thailand visits Pattaya Mail Office
by Peter Cummins
Last week, Gamini Abeysekera, the United Nations
Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative for Thailand visited the Pattaya
Mail office for some discussions with Peter Malhotra and Peter Cummins.
A number of important issues involving the vast juvenile
population of Pattaya, Jomtien and the Eastern Seaboard, generally, were
Representative Thailand Gamini Abeysekera (R) visited with the “two
Peters” - Malhotra and Cummins, at the Pattaya Mail office.
Peter M. pointed out that there are many people and
organizations in both the public and private sectors working tirelessly for
the benefit of our children. He emphasized that in almost three decades’
experience of living and working in a Pattaya environment, he has seen
“remarkable changes and most positive improvements in the whole
Jomtien-Pattaya area, especially over the past five years.”
Mr Gamini was impressed with such work as that being done
by the Jesters Children’s Fair, the fourth of which will be held next
Sunday (Sept 16) and the Jesters’ contributions to the Fountain of Life
Center, which, over the years, have raised millions of baht for the
children. He was also briefed on the progress of the judicial system where
children are protected as ‘victims’ rather than offenders, the “Street
Kids” benefits and the “moral camps” philosophy.
It was agreed that, besides the excellent work being done
by so many sectors for the benefit of Pattaya’s young people, the
additional imprimatur of UNICEF would be invaluable to the ongoing efforts.
Or, as Mr Gamini said, “UNICEF’s involvement could contribute a
‘value-added’ component to what is already an impressive array of
Mr Gamini requested a report documenting and analysing,
in a cumulated form, an updated description of what is being undertaken.
This would include persons/organizations responsible, funding, anticipated
results and, most importantly, benefits accruing to the children themselves.
Peter assured Mr Gamini that Pattaya is, indeed, striving
to become “a child-friendly” city and, with UNICEF’s blessing, “We
can make even greater strides for empowering our younger generations, in a
safe, wholesome milieu.”
The Pattaya Mail will move quickly on preparing
such a document which can be used as a preliminary justification for any
possible UNICEF plan of action for this and other regions on a national
“We are most happy that UNICEF will give this area the
full benefit of the Agency’s attention,” Peter informed Mr Gamini.
Photography Businesses Guild hosting “Photo Expo 2001” in November
Sawad Padiphanprasert, president of the Photography
Business Association, and Damrong Ratanachuchok, chairman of the Chonburi
Photography Business Guild, announced on September 7 that the “Chonburi
Photo Expo 2001” and the “2nd Nationwide Photo Business Seminar” will
be held at the Dusit Resort Pattaya on November 3rd.
Padiphanprasert, president of the Photography Business Association, and
Damrong Ratanachuchok, chairman of the Chonburi Photography Business Guild
announced the upcoming “Chonburi Photo Expo 2001” and the “2nd
Nationwide Photo Business Seminar”.
The Chonburi Photography Business Guild is hosting this
year’s function for the members of the Photographic Business Association
from 40 locations around the country. The function begins at 9.00 a.m. with
a seminar discussing the future of the photography business and modern
photography with lectures presented by resident experts in the association.
A photo exhibit displaying modern photography technology
and equipment from leading film companies in Thailand is scheduled
throughout the day. Photo equipment at special prices will be on sale and
free photos will be available.
Updated every Friday
Copyright 2001 Pattaya Mail Publishing Co.Ltd.
370/7-8 Pattaya Second Road, Pattaya City, Chonburi 20260, Thailand
Tel.66-38 411 240-1, 413 240-1, Fax:66-38 427 596; e-mail: [email protected]
Chinnaporn Sungwanlek, assisted by Boonsiri Suansuk.
E-Mail: [email protected]