HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Governor’s stern words puts scare into South Pattaya’s 101 businesses

City Council to promote building casino and extending closing hours

Banglamung District invites public to commemorate His Majesty the King’s birthday on December 5th

Chonburi governor orders police to ensure safety of tourists

Jomtien Beach’s garbage problem must be solved soon, says committee

Some Beach Road businesses still commandeering footpaths and streets

Ten fireworks vendors arrested during Loy Krathong Festival

Foreign resident falls to his death from 15th floor of condo

Local policewoman completes law degree

Gun-toting, wig wearing flirt arrested for carrying a firearm

Death Notices

Governor’s stern words puts scare into South Pattaya’s 101 businesses

Orders city officials to do their job or face the consequences

Chonburi Governor Sawang Srisakun announced that he is taking a tough new stance on the ongoing controversy involving South Pattaya’s now famous 101 businesses. He has ordered city hall to comply with court orders to tear down the allegedly illegal buildings, and said that if this doesn’t happen, he will go after city hall, not necessarily the 101 businesses.

In case you’re new to town, there is a list of 101 businesses in South Pattaya which have long been encroaching on public land (this includes every building to the sea side of Walking Street). Owners of the businesses say that they have been there so long, they have exceeded the “statute of limitations” and now have the right to be there. However, the courts don’t agree.

This problem has been dragging on for years and has become a thorn in the side of Pattaya City government. City officials originally requested that owners of these establishments voluntarily dismantle the offending structures. When owners refused, city officials were forced to turn to the courts to try to resolve the issue.

Monday afternoon, Chonburi Governor Sawang Srisakun and his three deputies, Preecha Kamolbutr, Virawit Wivatanavanich and Phisit Boonchuang rolled into Pattaya to meet with the local media at city hall to discuss the issue.

When asked about the progress of the court cases regarding the 101 business, Governor Sawang responded by saying that he has already ordered local officials to continue the legal proceedings against the South Pattaya group which allow Pattaya City authorities to completely remove illegal buildings - and any portion of buildings which have been constructed on public land.

Governor Sawang added that should Pattaya officials not comply with the laws and fail to proceed with the removal, they themselves will be in dereliction of duty and will face legal prosecution.

One of the most unwavering protesters in this on-going fight to illegally retain public land has been the Nang Nual Restaurant, which has been at loggerheads with Pattaya City for nearly 10 years. While the restaurant has removed some part of its illegal structure, it has not completely complied with the order to remove sections which still infringe on public land and is holding out.

This convoluted story gets more complicated since Pattaya City presented the case to the provincial court and the court ruled in favor of the city. The ruling stated that city officials will be allowed to remove all illegal structures. However, officials have been dragging their feet and very few of the structures have been dismantled.

The latest development in this murky tale reveals that Pattaya City collaborated with Provincial Prosecutors Officers and received a letter from the Supreme Court stating that the 1979 legislation which governs building regulations authorizes officials to legally carry out their duties.

Governor Sawang explained that now the city must issue yet another legal order to vacate. If building owners or those in charge of the South Pattaya buildings fail to follow the orders within the specified time frame, Pattaya City has the authority to begin court proceedings, arrest the owner and remove offending structures that infringe on public property under amended governing building regulation legislation of 1992, Section 43, articles 1 and 2.

Governor Sawang said, “I will hand this matter over to the appropriate department and get the job done as quickly as possible. Ownership land title deeds will be checked using special funding if necessary.”

Sawang concluded, “However, if there are no ownership deeds pertaining to a specific property in question, those squatters will face immediate legal action to the full extent of the law. If officials fail to carry out their duty or procrastinate then they’ll face disciplinary action and/or court proceeding as well. The issue of 101 has gone on for too long and immediate action must be taken.”

City Council to promote building casino and extending closing hours

Also tackles sticky issue of paying for wastewater treatment plant

The three pressing issues of a casino establishment, entertainment closing schedules to be changed from 02.00 a.m. to 04.00 a.m., and the 1,800 million baht wastewater management project compensation topped the agenda at the latest meeting at City Hall.

On the issue of building a casino in Pattaya, Tawit Chaimuenwong, chairman of Pattaya city council said that after spending 200,000 baht for Burapha University students to conduct a public opinion poll in the Banglamung and Pattaya area, the survey showed that 76% of the respondents said they would like to have casinos set up in Pattaya for economic reasons.

At the meeting, it was pointed out that rules to protect individuals from financial ruin - similar to those in place in the US, UK, Germany, and Muslim countries may work here in Thailand. A casino would also provide Pattaya City with more revenue. The council chairman said Pattaya City will draft an agreement letter for casino establishment and present it to the central government for review.

Regarding disagreements on the 2:00 a.m. closing time for night entertainment businesses, Tawit said the council agrees that the time needs to be adjusted.

The council plans to write to the new Minister of Interior, Wan Muhammad Nor Matha and request that Pattaya establishments be allowed to remain open longer.

Tawit went over some data pertaining to tourists and entertainment establishments in Pattaya. According to his figures there are 317 entertainment businesses, 236 room rental places, mainly hotel rooms servicing 23,960 rooms.

In 2001 there were officially 3,857,650 visitors making overnight stays in town, generating 39,953 million baht. The council said it would prepare an official document asking the Minister to extend the closing hours in Pattaya so that businesses can more easily recover from the economic downturn.

Tawit Chaimuenwong, chairman of Pattaya city council said that regarding the 1,800 million baht wastewater management project, the city is obligated to pay off 10% of the total amount to the Samprasit Contractor Co. within a10 year time frame.

Mayor Pairat added that the wastewater management project was completed and became operational on November 30, 2000. The contract in force at the time had a clause which included terms for a floating price in case the project ran over budget. Samprasit Contractor Co. is now asking for an additional construction compensation of 105,542,150.49 baht.

The matter was referred to the National Budget Bureau, Ministry of Treasury, who in turn informed the Pollution Control Department. The bureau thoroughly checked on the compensation cost and agreed to pay 98,295,860 baht to the contractor.

But the mayor said that Pattaya city council initially sent a letter to the Prime Minister to say that Pattaya City could only afford to pay 10% of the compensation cost, and the balance may have to come from other sources.

Banglamung District invites public to commemorate His Majesty the King’s birthday on December 5th

Songklod Kaewvisit

To commemorate the birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great on December 5th, Banglamung District invites governmental offices, companies, associations, clubs, business owners, students, and the general public to convey their love and respect to Thailand’s monarch on December 5th at Banglamung district office on Sukhumvit Road. The following is the schedule of the day:

Morning of December 5th

07.00 - Alms giving to 76 monks; dress code will be Thai traditional costumes or appropriate costumes.

08.00 - HM the King’s Birthday commemoration commences.

Evening of December 5th

17.00 - A candle lighting ceremony to wish the King a very happy birthday that will be held at Wat Sawang Fa School. Preparations for parade will begin.

17.30 - The parade will start at Wat Sawang Fa School and continue to Naklua Market, Pattaya North Road, Larn Pho Market, Banglamung electricity office, down Sukhumvit Road, and back to Banglamung district office. All are requested to be attired in Thai national dress or appropriate costumes.

Chonburi governor orders police to ensure safety of tourists

Efforts to be stepped up during peak season

Songklod Kaewvisit

Chonburi Provincial Governor Sawang Srisakul made an inspection tour of the police force at Pattaya Police station and urged officers to be dedicated and fully alert in keeping absolute peace during the peak tourist season.

Pattaya and Banglamung police and volunteers will be out in full force during the peak season.

The governor told them that terrorism has spread throughout the world, including Asian countries. Thailand may not be completely immune to terrorist acts, therefore it is the responsibility of law enforcement officers and volunteers to meticulously monitor the city and report any suspicious acts to their superiors.

He said this is in the interest of tourist safety and national stability, especially during the upcoming festive events and the World Scout Jamboree starting on December 28.

The governor said during World Scout Jamboree at Sattahip, the number of tourists visiting Pattaya and other tourist places in Chonburi will rise considerably. Police will have to work harder and they have been ordered to keep peace in the area and provide the best possible security to tourists visiting Chonburi Province tourist venues.

The governor added that although Thailand is not a target for international terrorists, tight security and effective law enforcement is in the best interest of the region.

The police have been ordered to strictly monitor the city and make sure behavior on the street is peaceful and petty crimes and theft is curtailed. The governor wants the crime rate reduced and other mischievous behavior eradicated.

During the recent Pattaya Loy Krathong Festival police and volunteers were out in force and were keeping peace on the streets and at various tourist spots. Police disclosed that the town was calm and peaceful, and no complaints or damage from the tourists were reported so far.

The governor said he was confident that Pattaya and other tourist spots in the Chonburi area are safe and that police would do their best to keep it that way.

Jomtien Beach’s garbage problem must be solved soon, says committee

Suchada Tupchai

Setthapol Boonsawat, president of the Jomtien Beach sub-committee called a meeting at city hall to discuss the chronic problem of waste management in the Jomtien Beach area. Pattaya’s peak tourist season has started and the holidays of Christmas and New Year are fast approaching.

During the meeting held on November 21st, the president urged business owners to prepare their garbage properly by putting it in black plastic bags, tie the bags tightly and get it to the pick-up spot on time. Pick-up for trash is every day at 11.00 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Setthapol said Chart Thai Company’s contract finishes in February. This company is presently responsible for garbage collection; however, it has been the subject of many complaints due to lack of efficient management. The committee said they expect that whichever company is awarded the next contract will produce better results.

The committee also stated that public urination in this area is against the law and offenders will be arrested and fined.

Some Beach Road businesses still commandeering footpaths and streets

City says it will not back down and might eliminate all illegally built beer bars

After numerous meetings and pleas for cooperation by Pattaya City officials, some businesses along Beach Road remain completely indifferent to city regulations concerning obstruction of public sidewalks and streets.

Mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat and a team from the city engineering department recently walked the length of Beach Road to make an inspection. The mayor said the tour was disappointing, as almost none of the businesses which were told to remove their obstructions from the public thoroughfares have done so.

The mayor said the city is now determined to have its own personnel come and remove these obstructions, with or without the cooperation of the owners.

Legislation is in place which puts the city within its rights to prohibit encroachment of public property by private business and small-time entrepreneurs.

City officials have made continuous announcements and official visits to these offenders to ask for their cooperation. When polite requests failed they were ordered to get their act together or be faced with penalties.

Tables, chairs, food carts, vendor stalls, rental vehicles, makeshift souvenir stalls and countless other commercial operations have practically taken over public sidewalks, sections of streets and legal parking places in Pattaya City.

The mayor instructed businesses to remove all items displayed on the footpaths and told business owners that the legislation governing buildings and public property would be enforced.

Mayor Pairat said that the city has requested businesses and building owners to allow 2 meters from the roadside for a footpath for residents and tourists to use. During the last 6 months requests for cooperation have been ignored.

He said the city will now take action and remove the offending obstructions. If they (building and business owners) still refuse to cooperate the removal project will be expanded to the removal of all illegally erected beer bars on Beach Road.

Ten fireworks vendors arrested during Loy Krathong Festival

But generally the festival was fun and peaceful

City officials and police gave fair warning that fireworks would be banned during the Loy Krathong festival and those ignoring the ban would be penalized.

Just some of the confiscated fireworks police grabbed in order to help ensure a more peaceful Loy Krathong Festival this year.

To enforce the official ban, Pattaya Police Chief Padungsak Ubekkanon instructed a team of officers to go out into the city and arrest all vendors selling fireworks.

Police patrolled the streets and arrested about 10 vendors who were selling fireworks. They were each fined 1000 baht and their wares were confiscated.

According to reports this year’s Loy Krathong Festival was more peaceful and there were a lot fewer accidents concerning fireworks, thanks to the ban.

Police said there were only a few traffic accidents and the tight enforcement and monitoring of the city during the festival showed very positive results compared with previous years, thanks to the cooperation of the city police force, Pattaya Tourist Police and the special task forces.

Foreign resident falls to his death from 15th floor of condo

Foreign resident, 44 year old Sean Parlaman fell to his death from the 15th floor of Star Beach Condominium in Jomtien last Saturday afternoon.

The incident occurred after Pattaya criminal investigators paid a visit to Parlaman to question him on allegations of child abuse - a case which was still pending in court.

Parlaman agreed to meet with officers in the lobby of the condo block. Officers requested that he accompany them to the police station for an interview.

Parlaman told police he wanted to give his condo and car keys to a friend before he left with the officers. Police waited in the lobby while Parlaman went upstairs to hand over his keys to the friend. Shortly after Parlaman departed, the officers who were still waiting in the lobby heard a loud thud outside the building. Rushing to investigate, they found Parlaman’s shattered body on the ground.

Sean Parlaman said he had been working with street children who were stuck on the merry-go-round of drugs and prostitution and hung out in South Pattaya’s Sunee Plaza. He said he wanted them to find a better way of life and tried to recommend they connect with a number of charity organizations in the city and the region who are set up to help them.

Despite being told by a long-term resident, “If you think that these organizations have no connection with the police and the places you’re trying take them out of then you are naive,” he continued his work and in the end it was these organizations who accused Parlaman of sexual abuse against the children he had been helping.

On September 30th Parlaman was arrested and charged with sexually molesting a 12-year-old child attending the Fountain of Life Center.

The accusations, which he adamantly denied until his death, came from two people: a teacher posing as the child’s guardian and the manager of the street kids’ home in Banglamung.

Parlaman was accused of putting a bruise on the young boy’s neck. But Parlaman said it occurred while the boy was playing with his friends.

The child, whose family is very poor was taken away and placed in a welfare institution. Distressed and wanting to go home the child was allegedly forced to admit to the incident in court.

Out on bail, Sean Parlaman continued to protest his innocence. In a letter to this office Sean Parlaman wrote; “After the October 30th deposition the questioning went badly for the prosecution, so the police pulled out the phony complains against me from May where the bar owner (Daeng) used some of his kids to ‘get even’ with me over his arrest.”

The case was reported in this publication earlier this year with Daeng, the apparent owner of what was once called the Sports Bar in Sunee Plaza being arrested for the propagation of child prostitution. The Sports Bar has since changed its name with Daeng still operating the establishment.

Sean’s letter continues; “According to someone who has tried to help me and who has ‘connections’ the boys were being told if they deny those earlier reports (from May) they can be jailed for a long time for perjury.”

The reports from May were originally quashed with no hard evidence to support the case. But the later indictment was still under process in the court system and even if Parlaman was found innocent from the September 30th charges he would face another three charges of child abuse held over from May.

This entire situation draws similarities to a case in Chiang Rai, where a volunteer Swiss social worker, Ralph Frishknect was accused of sexually abusing children at the Childlife Center. Reports say that Frishknect had apparently informed several donors regarding misappropriation of funds and was subsequently persecuted, with charges not being made public. The case ended when Ralph was found hanging in his jail cell amidst accusations of police impropriety.

A number of people in Pattaya who knew Sean Parlaman revealed similar improprieties, saying that local police officers appeared as if they were on a witch-hunt, breaking into his apartment and conducting illegal investigations without the occupant’s knowledge. Parlaman wrote; “...I want to tell you that I have never abused, exploited or in any other way harmed or taken advantage of anyone. I know that this story will not end up well for me...”

The story has ended and not well. Police have informed the court system that the case be dropped and closed because the accused is dead.

Sean Parlaman’s body was transferred to the police forensic institute in Bangkok for an autopsy.

Local policewoman completes law degree

Boonlua Chatree

Pol. Capt. Siraprapha Suparattanachot recently completed her law degree and is awaiting promotion to police major captain.

Pol. Capt. Siraprapha Suparattanachot celebrates with friends her recently completing her law degree. She is now in line for promotion to police major captain.

The press congratulated her and said that they know she is a good public servant and a credit to her department. The press all know Pol. Capt. Siraprapha very well, respect her and think she is a good cop.

She also has a remarkable record throughout her years on the force. They said that this officer is exceptional and whether she stays on as a law enforcement officer or practices law, she is highly qualified for either field. She serves her country with distinction and is well-loved by her friends.

Gun-toting, wig wearing flirt arrested for carrying a firearm

Thought it might impress the girls at a Loy Krathong concert

Paipum Won Muang, 17, must not have got the memo about parts of Pattaya being “no gun zones”. When caught, he didn’t even deny he had a 9-shell 32 mm handgun in his possession.

Perhaps just a slight bit, well, “ba”, seventeen-year-old Paipum Won Muang donned a wig, loaded up his pistol and headed out to a Loy Krathong concert to meet some girls.

A concerned citizen turned him in when they spotted him with a pistol during a Loy Krathong concert in Pattaya.

Paipum, who was also wearing a longhaired wig, told police that he went to the concert to try and make some new friends, and he thought that taking his gun along would be a good way to impress the girls.

The cops, however, were not impressed. Even though he didn’t harm anyone, he was charged with possession of a firearm in the city and for not having a license for the gun.

Death Notices

Manfred Prietschweller, German tourist

Fifty-seven year old German tourist, Manfred Prietschweller died in his hotel room earlier this week after losing his battle with a long-term liver disease.

Earlier that morning, Manfred complained to his wife that he was experiencing increased pain and could barely get out of bed. She called for a doctor, but he died before help could arrive.

An initial examination showed that Prietschweller went into a state of shock, which eventually led to his death. As is the case with most all deaths involving foreign visitors, investigating police requested the body be examined at the police forensic institute in Bangkok for autopsy and a report on the cause of death.

Laurence Sofleks, Canadian tourist

Sixty-two year old Canadian tourist, Laurence Sofleks (sic) was found dead in the 6th floor room of a Central Pattaya hotel. The hotel’s housekeeping staff discovered the body.

A preliminary police examination revealed no signs of foul play.

Hotel staff revealed that Mr. Sofleks had booked into the room with a Thai woman. However, the woman had left the hotel to go to another province to conduct some personal business 3 days prior to the discovery of the body.

Staff said the Canadian gentleman was observed drinking heavily in the hotel’s coffee shop before retiring to his room. However, staff said that this was his normal routine since he checked in. But staff said they did not see him for 2 days prior to discovering his body.

Investigating police officers think that because of the man’s age and excessive consumption of alcohol as well as the possibility of a long-term illness, that the man might have suffered a heart attack.

The body was sent to the police forensic institute in Bangkok for an autopsy report. Police are also interested in talking to the man’s female companion as part of the investigation.

Yrjo Veikkp Pietarinnen,
Finnish national

Boonlua Chatree

Finnish national Mr. Yrjo Veikkp Pietarinnen, age 62, born in Malaga, Finland, was found dead in his condo on November 17th. A friend came to visit and discovered the body.

Police were called in at 9:30 a.m. There were no signs of a struggle and none of Pietarinnen’s personal belongings were missing. A lot of medication was found and it is presumed that Mr. Pietarinnen was suffering with an illness. Investigation officers believe the man had died about 2 hours before the discovery, and may have succumbed to a heart attack.