Government to launch safe driving project
The government will launch a safe driving project to
promote and enhance disciplines among motorists to reduce the number road
accidents and casualties, according to Deputy Interior Minister Pramual
Pramual said that a special panel will be set up to
supervise the safe driving project, which would be launched throughout the
The special panel comprising of representatives of the
Ministries of Interior, Transport and Communications, Public Health,
Education, and the Royal Thai Police, will be headed by Deputy Prime
Minister Chaturon Chaisang, and will be in charge of tailoring measures to
enhance driving disciplines among motorists.
Safe driving will be included in curricula of all
classes; while private driving schools will also be supervised to include
driving disciplines in their courses, as they will be allowed to issue
driving licenses to their students under the close supervision and standard
control of government officials.
The move followed high records of road accidents and the
number of casualties during this year’s New Year festival. The Command
Center for Prevention of Road Accidents during the New Year Festival
reported that there were 11,438 accidents from December 27, 2002 - January
2, 2003, with a total death toll of 562 and 32,451 injuries.
Although the death toll and the number of injuries were
3.93% and 5.39% lower than those of last year respectively, they failed to
meet the government’s target of reducing the number of casualties during
the New Year festival by 20 percent.
The most accidents happened in Bangkok (124), followed by
Chiang Mai (49), Kanchanaburi (21), Samut Prakan (18), and Nakhon Sawan
(17). Most of the accidents were caused by motorcycles, followed by pick-up
trucks, according to the command center.
The most road deaths were recorded in Nakhon Sawan,
followed by Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani, Nakhon Phanom and Chonburi.
Most of the injuries were recorded in Nakhon Ratchasima, followed by Ubon
Ratchathani, Chiang Mai, Chonburi, and Buriram.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has
instructed agencies concerned to analyze the causes of road accidents and
casualties during the New Year festival so that preventive measures can be
implemented more efficiently during the Songkran Festival - the traditional
Thai New Year, in April. (TNA)
U-Tapao Airport resurrection on standby
Some say it’s due to lack of concern from the naval base and authorities
Pattaya and its environs desperately need an airport
which can conveniently handle international traffic. Last month, the issue
of U-Tapao airport development was discussed and the conclusion was reported
to the Travel Industry Assembly of Thailand, but so far the response has
facilities at U-Tapao Airport don’t meet the standards required by the
demand, but so far, improvements have been put on standby.
Surat Mekhawarakul, president of Pattaya Business and
Tourism Association, Somchai Khunpluem, Saen Suk municipality mayor, PBTA
members and Pattaya’s city council recently met again to push for U-Tapao’s
During a 1-year period, 300-500 chartered aircraft land
at U-Tapao, bringing in over a hundred thousand visitors. But the facilities
provided are way below acceptable standards.
Surat said if the naval base authorities ignore the
tremendous amount of income that the nation is going to get, it is a pity
for the naval base and the whole nation. He said the PBTA has tried to
persuade the naval base to reconsider the issue. The PBTA also collected
data on aircraft traffic in U-Tapao for the last 5 years and presented it to
the naval base hoping for action but feedback has been slow.
During the meeting, Kamnan Poh revealed that he has been
working closely with the city planning department, the Provincial
Administration Organization of Chonburi, a range of district administration
organizations, various municipalities, and Pattaya City and has gotten to
know all the projects and city plans for Chonburi Province.
He estimated that the provincial development budget, to
be funded by the government, would be up to 700 million baht and sincerely
hopes that U-Tapao Airport can be the center of air transportation in the
eastern region. He added that Nong Ngu Hao Airport is a very large and time
consuming project and may not be operational by 2004.
Kamnan Poh said that if the authorities are not
interested in the issue he could improve the airport himself.
In a unrelated matter, the Saen Suk mayor said that
Pattaya City still has planning problems, an example being the dismantling
of the 101 Walking Street businesses, which, he said, showed lack of
community strength. The arguments have dragged on too long between the
authorities and the private sector. Kamnan Poh said he would see what he
could do to help resolve the issue.
He said he has ordered his crew to collect accurate information and
perhaps he can come up with a better idea rather than dismantle the 101
complexes. He said a landfill project could be constructed which would
include a road for bicyclists and beach strollers. This would reduce the
tension and encourage cooperation between both sides.
Tourist police and volunteers lead beach clean-up
New Year’s gift to the people of Pattaya
Led by Pol. Lt. Col. Naradech Klomtuksing, a team of
tourist police and volunteers led a clean-up of Pattaya beaches as a gift to
the people of Pattaya and to provide a good example to residents on how
important it is to take care of the environment.
The clean-up started from the Dolphin Circle and
continued all the way down to the South Pattaya pier.
The campaign drew a large crowd of residents along the
way as people joined in to help the officers with the gesture. The message
conveyed is that if this is done at least one a week Pattaya can become a
clean and tidy place for everyone.
Tourist police teach students how to assist tourists and rescue victims from sea accidents
The city’s tourist police recently held a training and
educational course to teach 80 students from Pothisampan School how to
better serve their communities. The course included showing the students how
to rescue victims of water accidents, first aid procedures, how to prevent
and avoid crimes, and the correct procedures in reporting misconduct and how
to assist tourists.
tourist police recently trained 80 students from Pothisampan School how to
better serve their communities.
Pol Lt. Col. Naradech Klomtuksing presided over the
The aim of the seminar was to increase cooperation
between private and public sectors in enhancing the image of Thailand as a
tourist destination by increasing security in beach areas such as Pattaya
Beach, Jomtien Beach and Koh Larn.
The educational seminar was held in response to an increasing death toll
from sea accidents, resulting from people not paying attention to warnings
and from inefficient cooperation among rescue teams.
Diana Group donates rice and funds to the SOS Rice project
Encourages others to join the drive
Sopin Thappajug, managing director of Diana Group, and
her staff donated 350 kilograms rice, 15,000 baht and necessities to the SOS
Rice project, headed by Sanga Kijsamret, president. The even was witnessed
by tourists and members of the press at the Diana Inn on Pattaya Second Road
on January 1st.
Thappajug (holding donation box), MD of Diana Group, and K. Witoon, Diana
Group GM (smiling center), joined by Diana staff happily contributed to this
year’s SOS Rice project, headed by project president, Sanga Kijsamret
(left, wearing tie).
Sopin said, “This donation is part of Diana group’s
activities, including participation of staff, residents and hotel guests to
help poor children in Chonburi Province by providing lunch and scholarship
funds as well as other necessary items required on a daily basis.” Sopin
urged others to join in the fun and donate to this worthy cause.
The activity was held in the afternoon after executives and staff of
Diana Group joined in a Buddhist ceremony in the morning as part of their
2003 New Year celebration.
Grand spectacle held for 20th Sriracha Games kick off
Parades and traditional entertainment featured
at Assumption College, Sriracha
Sonthaya Khunpluem, Minister of Tourism and Sports,
presided over the opening ceremony for the 20th Sriracha Games at Assumption
College Sriracha. Held from January 3 -9, the games are held to look for the
best performers at the high school level in 6 different sports in the
Kingdom, including football, volleyball, table tennis, takraw, beach
volleyball, and athletics.
Traditional Khon Drama was a highlight of the opening ceremonies.
The opening ceremony included traditional Thai music,
dance, and ‘khon’ - traditional Thai stage costumed drama. The
festivities also featured a parade of 120 municipality schools from 5
different parts of Thailand. The mascot for the games was the turtle, which
portrayed the meaning of endurance and hard work. The turtle is also the
symbol of tourism at Loy Island, Sriracha.
Minister Sonthaya spoke of the true meaning and aim of
the games, saying that every athlete must keep in mind not only being able
to achieve trophies and prizes, but also play the games with heart and
sincerity and not give up. And more importantly, all sportsmen must learn
how to compromise and have a sense of forgiving and forgetting.
The opening of the games was declared after the official torch was lit.
Distinguished guests included Somchai Khunpluem, Saen Suk municipality mayor
and Minister Sonthaya’s father, plus Chonburi Governor Sawang Srisakun,
and Preecha Kamolbutra, vice governor of Chonburi. Chatchai Timkrachang,
Sriracha municipality mayor, gave the welcoming speech.
Kazakhstan beauty wins Miss CIS & Russia in Pattaya
Beauty contest organized by Songklod Tour Company
Songklod Tour Company staged a “Miss CIS & Russia
in Pattaya 2003” contest at the Tiffany Theater, North Pattaya.
Zumadilova (center) from Kazakhstan was crowned Miss CIS & Russia in
Pattaya 2003. She is flanked by runners-up Olka Moizhiva and Tatania Zilo.
Organized on January 2, the contestants were tour members
of the company. Akhmarol Zumadilova from Kazakhstan was crowned Miss CIS
& Russia in Pattaya 2003, as well as Miss Congeniality for the night.
Songklod Tour Company’s contest committee selected
qualified women for the contest from almost one thousand tour members that
traveled together for their trip to Pattaya.
Contestants wore swimsuits during the qualifying round,
and in the second round the stage was graced with 5 gorgeous finalists in
The first runner-up was Olka Moizhiva, and second runner
up was Tatania Zilo from Kazakhstan.
The event was organized to entertain tour members during their stay.
Aussie thwarts Jomtien bag snatcher
Warning to all motorcyclists
An Australian businessman who has been looking at
investment in Pattaya has had his views soured by the actions of a
motorcycle bandit operating in Jomtien. Riding along Chaiyapruek Road in
Jomtien on Thursday evening, he had put his camera bag, complete with
personal documents, in the front carrier of his rented motorcycle. He became
aware of another motorcycle coming quickly alongside, but did not anticipate
that the rider would lean over and grab the camera bag as he rode past.
Fortunately, the Australian had looped and twisted the shoulder strap of the
bag under the carrier, and the would-be robber was unable to misappropriate
the bag with his quick snatch and grab.
The Australian went to pursue the man, but he rode off at
high speed and his motorcycle had no registration plate. The whole incident
has naturally left a sour taste in the business investor’s mind. He
believes that if the police were to stop all unregistered motorcycles, this
would have to be beneficial to the Pattaya-Jomtien area.
Beware of a large dark-skinned Thai man, riding a red
unregistered motorcycle in the Jomtien area, and be sure to firmly attach
your belongings to your motorcycle.
Police bust Paradise Bar’s balloon
Watchful eyes are still trained on Pattaya’s nightlife
establishments, and after receiving information that some venues are still
ignoring laws against indecent stage shows, Pattaya undercover police raided
Paradise Entertainment in Soi Pattaya Land 1 at half-past midnight on
December 27th for providing lewd shows for tourists.
Paradise Bar was raided during the holidays for getting just a little bit
too festive with their balloons.
During the sweep, the venue was staging obscene
homosexual and heterosexual shows for over 100 foreigners. All the
performers were apprehended and taken to the police station.
Songkampol Kontam, the manager of the operation was arrested at his home
in Payao and confessed to the offence.
Illegal Burmese workers arrested
Caught just before payday
After receiving a tip that a group of illegal workers
were working on a construction site in Nongprue Banglamung, investigating
police officers found a group of 16 Burmese nationals working on a building.
The workers were unable to produce legal IDs, so officers took them to the
police station for questioning.
All 16 admitted to entering the kingdom illegally and
told police that they had crossed over the border at Mae Sot and had been
working in construction for a Mr. Pao (last name unknown) for a wage of 180
baht per day. However, since they had started their work 28 days ago, they
had not received any payment.
By the time police had arrived, Pao, of course, had
already fled the scene.
Dead infant discovered in trash bin
The tiny body of a newborn baby was discovered by a
garbage collector on January 3rd. When Pattaya police received the tragic
report they rushed to the site near Smart Bookshop on Central Pattaya Road,
where they discovered the abandoned corpse covered with rubbish.
Investigators examined the dead child and found wounds
and bruises around its neck. Time of death was estimated to have been about
5 hours before discovery.
Officers suspect the baby’s mother was young and
financially destitute and probably murdered her child, then attempted to
cover her crime before fleeing. The death of the newborn is still under
investigation and police are searching for the mother.
Hotel cook arrested for theft after woman loses struggle for handbag
Lost his wallet with ID during the struggle
Police didn’t have a whole lot of trouble tracking down
twenty-year-old hotel cook Supat Thanborisut. The mugger wannabe dropped his
wallet, which contained his ID and home address inside, during a mugging
last week in front of Pattaya Court in Jomtien.
were able to track down and arrest Supat Thanborisut at his home because he
dropped his wallet, which had his ID and address inside, during an attempt
to steal a woman’s handbag.
Supat, who originally comes from Petchaboon, was arrested
at his home after he beat and snatched a purse from Ms. Saijai Sirichot, age
30, a receptionist at the Adriatic Plaza Hotel. The purse contained 500 baht
cash and one mobile phone.
Saijai told police she was on her way home from work on
her motorbike when Supat rode up on his motorcycle and kicked her. When she
tipped over on her bike, he grabbed her handbag. Saijai said she screamed
for help during the fight but the scoundrel told witnesses they were husband
and wife and to back off from what he said was a domestic disagreement.
She grappled with him and fought to retain her handbag,
but lost the struggle as he snatched her purse and rode off. However, during
the tussle, the culprit’s own wallet fell on the roadside as he fled the
Police were able to trace Supat and made the arrest by identification
documents he had left behind. Supat admitted to the crime saying that he
decided to steal because he had not received his salary and needed money to
reclaim his pawned mobile phone, and wanted a little extra for the New
Heavy drinking may have led to death of German national
Officials were called to investigate a death at a
residence in Naklua, where the body of Manfred Golfin, aged 53, a German
national was found on the bathroom floor.
No foul play was evident and it was believed that the man
had died 30 minutes prior to discovery.
The girlfriend of the deceased, 45-year-old Poomkaew told
police that she had known Manfred for almost an entire week and had stayed
with him in the rented room. Although not employed in the medical field, she
nonetheless told police that she noticed that the deceased was suffering
from heart problems, but said it was not very serious.
She said they both went out together every night to
drink, and on that particular day they had gone out as usual, but this time
she said she thought that Manfred had too much to drink.
When they returned to their residence, he walked to the
bathroom, collapsed in front of the door and was knocked unconscious, so she
called for help.
Heroine dealer arrested with
over 200,000 baht worth of dope
Anusorn Faksakorn, age 35, was arrested in front of a
disco on Pattaya Third Road after police were tipped off about his drug
dealing in the city.
After searching his residence in Pattaya Land and House,
Nongprue, cops found 400 grams of heroine packed in plastic bags labeled
“Two Lions Tread the Globe”. The street value was estimated at over
Interrogation revealed the dealer obtained the heroin
from a Singaporean at 120,000 baht per lot and sold them in smaller portions
at 200-2500 baht per pack. His customers were mainly teenagers around
entertainment complexes in Pattaya.
Anusorn is now in police custody waiting for his trial
for possession and selling a class one illegal substance.
The “Two Lions that Treaded Globe” had their trip cut
short when they were seized as evidence.
Brawling foreign tourists keep police busy throughout
the New Year’s festivities
A handful of drunken foreign tourists cast a shadow on
Pattaya’s New Year celebrations. The welcoming in of 2003 for most people
was a joyous and festive occasion. The city’s entertainment establishments
were given special permission to stay open until 6 a.m. for Christmas Eve
and New Year’s Eve, which allowed residents and tourists to make the most
of the season.
Unfortunately behind the scenes, police were kept busy with a number of
foreign tourists who had too much to drink and cast aside all pretense of
good manners. One such incident forced officers to break up a brawl outside
one of the city’s hotels after an apparent misunderstanding led to blows.
Police managed to contain the situation before it led to serious injuries,
but too much booze and hot tempers kept cops vigilant through the night.