A star is born
Elephant Pang Jenni gives birth to bouncing baby boy
at an auspicious time and date
Nong Nooch Gardens has a new addition to the family.
Twenty-nine year old show elephant Pang Jenni gave birth to her third calf
at 5 a.m. on April 5th (which is considered as the fifth lunar month).
Mahouts named the new addition ‘Plai Sao-har’. To the superstitious, the
month date and time of birth is considered to be a good omen.
Mama Pang Jenni and her young son, Plai Sao-har, are both doing well. Plai
Sao-har was born on fifth hour of the fifth day of the fifth lunar month -
an auspicious time indeed.
The show manager at Nong Nooch, Songwon Bupata said the
female show elephant had mated with Plai Bird 22 months ago and delivered
the bouncing baby boy at an auspicious time.
The fifth hour of the fifth day of the fifth lunar month,
coinciding with a Saturday as well, it was definitely a reason for
Later that day, as word spread, Nong Nooch received calls
from curious residents not only congratulating the tourist spot but also
requesting some of the elephant placenta, which is believed to help cure a
number of ailments in humans.
Both mother and son are reported to be doing well. Plai Sao-har can now
look forward to a life in show business, just like mom and dad.
Stricter road safety controls will be implemented during Songkran to try to reduce death toll
The annual water fest begins this weekend everywhere but Pattaya and Naklua,
next weekend here
The rising death toll on Thailand’s roads has been
causing the government concern. In an effort to promote more public
awareness and enforce stricter laws, a new road safety campaign aims to
reduce fatalities during the upcoming 5-day Songkran holiday, which is the
traditional Thai New Year.
The water festivities “officially” start throughout
the country on April 13 and run through April 15, although in reality the
water throwing usually begins earlier and lasts until later. In Pattaya and
Naklua, the celebrations take place on the 19th and 20th.
Chaturon Chaisaeng, deputy prime minister in charge of
the Eastern Seaboard provinces was recently appointed to head a committee
tasked to increase road safety in Thailand’s eastern region.
Working in conjunction with the Ministry of Interior,
Ministry of Communication, Ministry of Public Health, and National Police
Bureau the committee aims to reduce the number of deaths this year. Last
year 543 persons died in road accidents during the Songkran holiday. The
target this year is to reduce that number by 20% from April 11 through April
Data shows there are currently 15 million motorcycles
using the nation’s roads, but only 6 million of them are registered.
Statistics also reveal that 60-80% of the road accidents - especially during
the Songkran holiday - involve motorcycles. Drugs and alcohol are also major
factors contributing to accidents and sadly, figures show that only 22% of
motorcycle riders wore helmets and only 4% of their passengers wore helmets.
Chonburi Governor Sawarng Srisarkun is coordinating with
Chonburi regional police departments, and police stations in every location
in promoting the campaign: ‘With love, We arrest’. The intention is to
send a message that law enforcement will arrest offenders for their own
good, not because they are trying to give them a hard time. Included in the
campaign plan is first-aid assistance to injured victims.
The campaign was created to warn vehicle users to go
strictly according to road rules and do not drink alcohol or take other
drugs before or when driving. Traffic police will keep a close watch and
when they catch lawbreakers they will fine them a minimum 100 baht.
The central government urged every provincial governor
and road safety committees to follow up on the campaign for at least 2
weeks, or from March 17th to 31st. However, for Chonburi Province, the
governor asked the committee to continue through the holidays.
People are urged to leave their vehicles at home if they
are going to a party and get drunk. Motorcycle riders and passengers are
being warned to wear proper helmets while traveling.
For the campaign to be successful road safety be taken
seriously. The fining system has to be strictly enforced. Helmets also have
to be up to standard. Mediocre substitutes will not pass.
Police have authority to arrest any vehicle users with
over 50 milligrams of alcoholic substance in their blood. The offense
carries a fine from 2,000 to 10,000 baht or a 3-month jail sentence or both.
Pattaya’s sunken wreck will officially open this month as part of HRH Crown Prince’s birthday celebrations
Pattaya City, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Royal
Thai Navy representatives have announced that the official opening of the
city’s first sunken wreck, HMS Krarm will take place beginning at 9 a.m.
on April 26 through April 27 on the beachfront area between Sois 4-5. This
grand opening of Pattaya’s latest tourist attraction will be part of the
50th birthday celebrations of HRH Crown Prince.
Niran Wattanasatsathorn, Pattaya deputy mayor said, “We
are currently engaging in an extensive PR campaign to preserve the wreck
site and protect it from being damaged. We are, however, very concerned
about safety issues and trying to prevent divers from using the wreck before
it is declared open.”
“The two-day program for the opening celebrations will
include presentations on the history of the HMS Krarm and the operations the
navy undertook to sink it. A ceremony will take place which will release
marine life into the waters of Pattaya Bay. The tourism aspects of
underwater preservation will be addressed and booths will be set up on the
first day by the navy and private companies to display and sell diving
equipment. Beach cleaning activities have also been organized,” said Niran.
Meanwhile, officials will keep a close watch on the wreck
area to ensure safety at the facility before it is ‘officially’ opened
to the public.
Pattaya City launches annual rabies prevention campaign
Rabies greatly reduced due to free vaccinations
and community efforts
Pattaya City is working hard to control the dreaded
rabies and recently launched its annual prevention campaign to protect the
city’s animal population.
tight, this will only hurt for a second...
Mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat officially declared the
annual rabies prevention campaign open at the Soi 6 community health clinic
last Friday afternoon, April 4.
As Pattaya’s citizenry increases so does its animal
population, as many residents now own house pets. The city’s canine
population is estimated at almost 4,500 and the threat of rabies to
residents and tourists must be eliminated.
City managers are taking action in reducing the risk of
rabies, and in conjunction with volunteer veterinarians, the Department of
Health and Hygiene, Pattaya Animal Welfare Society and the Chonburi
Livestock Development Department, 13 treatment points will be set up around
the city to vaccinate animals against rabies, give contraceptive injections
and implement sterilization procedures.
A team of 50 people in 10 vehicles will set up these
points at the Soi 6-community health clinic, Pothisampan Temple, Chomlom
Temple, Soi Post Office in South Pattaya, Thamasmakee Temple, Kratinglai
Temple, Khao Noi community, Larn Poh markets, Pattaya School Number 8, the
Nonget community, Nongyai community and the Nonpangkae community.
Volunteers will provide the service for residents and
stray animals free of charge. The goal is to treat 80% of the canine
population within the city area.
The annual campaign has been made possible through the
donation of vaccines, medical supplies and valuable services to rid the
region of rabies. This year 1,000 doses of rabies vaccine have been made
available and government and private organizations have donated 300 bottles
of contraceptive medicine, medical supplies for sterilizations and 308 dog
Rabies is an extremely dangerous disease and is fatal in
humans. Since Pattaya is a well-known tourist town, the city keeps a
constant vigil to control the disease in the animal population and has urged
everyone to stay away from aggressive dogs.
Order on Jomtien Beach still difficult to enforce
Proposal on the table to restrict vendor rights to local residents
Sethapol Boonsawat, Jomtien committee head recently
chaired a meeting at Pattaya City Hall to follow up on the creation of order
on Jomtien Beach. At the meeting, held on March 27, it was acknowledged that
it is still hard to maintain order in this area. This section of the beach
is heavily populated with tourists, foot traffic and motor vehicles. The
array of food and beach chair vendors, motorcycle taxis, baht buses,
horse-drawn carts, tour buses, ice cream carts, and pickup trucks selling
seafood are all creating a variety of conditions which contribute to havoc.
Although the vendors provide services to the area, the committee stressed
that they must practice more discipline and keep their areas clean.
Motorcycle taxi drivers must obey traffic laws. Complaints include tour
buses that blow their loud horns and also disrupt traffic flow.
Jomtien Beach committee says that local vendors are ok, but those from out
of town can be a pain.
The committee meets regularly to publicize and confirm
the city’s regulations. There are penalties for breaking the laws and they
will be imposed on offenders.
Addressing the disorder and disobedience of city laws,
Sethapol Boonsawat said there are vendors selling their goods on the
footpaths and on the beach, especially in the area that provides beach
chairs and food and drinks. He pointed out that if the city allows this
misconduct to continue, Jomtien Beach will revert to its former state -
messy, dirty and chaotic - like some areas of Pattaya.
Sethapol said that Thai and foreign beach goers regularly
complain about these ill-behaved vendors.
The committee has come up with some ways out to improve
the situation. It was suggested that priority be given to vendors that are
registered as Chonburi or Pattaya residents. These local vendors don’t
create any problems and usually follow the city’s regulations. But because
vendors from other provinces are part of the region’s “floating
population” they are cavalier about local laws and their behavior is
careless and antagonistic. Some are seen aggressively running after tourists
trying to sell their goods and when tourists don’t buy, these vendors
become rude and belligerent. This results in destroying image of the city.
The committee is also willing to hold an open discussion with the beach
vendors to listen to their opinions and allow them to participate in
drafting some of the regulations which apply to them and will submit the
draft to the city authorities.
Chat Thai Co. leaves streets
filled with garbage
City forced to clean up the mess
Wuthisak Rermkitchakarn, Pattaya deputy mayor in charge
of public health and environment recently revealed that during last two
weeks Pattaya’s streets were overflowing with garbage because Chart Thai,
the company responsible under contract for city waste management, simply
abandoned its routine work.
The deputy mayor said he received reports that Chat Thai
company employees did not come to work at the beginning the month.
Apparently they spent their salaries on partying and getting drunk.
The deputy said the city had to manage the waste itself
to halt the flood of complaints that the city received from residents and
A new company, East Waste Management Company recently
signed a contract with the city after the last contract the city had with
the Chat Thai company finished.
The deputy mayor said the new contract signed with East
Waste Management Company was more carefully drafted to prevent the
mischievous conduct that was characteristic of the Chat Thai company in the
past. The 7-year contract was designed to match the current situation of the
city, now that the population has grown and more tourists visit.
The East Waste management company is scheduled to start
their work on April 16, 2003, and will continue until May 1, 2010.
Wuthisak said East Waste Company’s performance will be
evaluated every 4 months, and if the evaluation result comes out good, their
contract might be extended for 7 more years. The deputy mayor added that the
East Waste Management Company must prepare 5 rai of land for waste unloading
and separation and must transfer that piece of land to the city, until the
contract expires, to prevent the company from using that piece of land for
According to one rule written in the contract, the hired
company is to be responsible for 70% of the total area of Pattaya and Naklua,
and city hall will account for the other 30%, mainly in tourist areas.
Monthly fees collected from residents currently amount to
about 1.2 million baht, of which 70% goes to the contractor and 30% into the
Local hotels upset over reaction to SARS epidemic scaring away tour groups
APEC meeting scheduled for April 7-12 also postponed
as a result of SARS scare
On April 4, the Marriott Resort & Spa Pattaya hosted
a press conference concerning the precautionary measures they have put in
place to prevent the potential spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
at the Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital have donned masks when dealing with patients
to protect them from possible SARS infection.
Supadit Maneejaratasri, managing director of the Marriott
Resort & Spa Pattaya was joined by Antapol Wannakij, deputy director of
the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) central region 3 office and
Wannaporn Jamjumras, director of the Pattaya Department of Public Health and
Hygiene for the press conference at the hotel.
Supadit informed members of the press and guests that
there has been an over-reaction to the spread of this potentially fatal
disease within Thailand, saying he has followed the news reports from the
outset. There have only been two deaths in Thailand related to SARS and both
persons had traveled from Hong Kong and Vietnam.
The hotel has felt the full force of the disease scare
which has resulted in a loss of business as tour groups have cancelled all
Supadit said the hotel has implemented meticulous methods
of prevention and protection, and has contracted a private company (Ecolab)
to aid in all sterilization and hygiene procedures.
Antapol Wannakij, TAT central region 3 office deputy
director explained that TAT is currently undertaking a PR campaign in
tourist markets in conjunction with Pattaya’s business community and
organizations including the THA-Eastern Chapter, PBTA, and Pattaya Hotels
Association to ensure every measure of prevention is undertaken.
Current statistics show that in the last 10-15 days the
number of tourist arrivals to Thailand has dropped 10-15 percent.
A survey of hotels in Pattaya showed a significant drop
in bookings in March, resulting in 50-70 percent vacancy. The drop is
attributed to the current US-led war in Iraq.
The APEC tourism meeting scheduled for April 7-12 at the
Royal Cliff Beach Resort has now been postponed because Thailand and the
other 21 member nations fear further spread of SARS throughout the region.
Antapol said, “TAT cannot yet say how the disease will
affect Thailand but will have to wait for the final word from the Ministry
of Public Health.” He stressed that the ministry is keeping a very mindful
watch on the situation around the country.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) has already
indicated that Thailand is not at risk of reaching a level of epidemic
status and has taken the country off its list of risk countries. TAT offices
around the world have mounted an intense PR campaign based on this
Wannaporn Jamjumras, director of the Pattaya Department
of Public Health and Hygiene said, “Thailand is currently experiencing
only ordinary flu strains and there has been no distribution of specific
medicines used to treat the SARS virus.”
However, as a precautionary measure Wannaporn urged
everyone to maintain a high level of hygiene and ensure everyone receives
adequate rest. She explained that according to current information being
released symptoms of SARS infected people would typically include running a
fever of 38-40 degrees for 3-5 consecutive days.
Pattaya City has distributed leaflets to inform residents
of the symptoms which would indicate SARS. Wannaporn stated that and if any
people suspect they have become infected or someone close to them might be
infected, they must inform the Pattaya Department of Public Health and
Hygiene or the Banglamung Hospital immediately.
Wannaporn concluded by saying, “There have been no reported cases in
Pattaya; however, officials and hospital staff are taking all the
precautionary methods which are recommended and are also wearing surgical
masks while dealing with the public.”
Pattaya Police test their metal in dramatic simulation training exercises
The need for police to keep their skills and response
time to serious crimes finely honed is an ongoing process. The latest
training scenario took place earlier this week as an armed robbery was used
to refine reaction times and violent suspect detention skills.
in the name of the law!” Pattaya police tested their metal in a dramatic
exercise last week, apprehending four “armed robbers”. Although this was
just an exercise, it looked quite real to passersby who didn’t know what
was going on.
The simulated crime took place in South Pattaya, as three
men ‘robbed’ a storeowner at gunpoint, fleeing the scene in a getaway
vehicle with a fourth man acting as driver. The owner of the store then
called police regarding the simulated incident. A team of officers was
dispatched to the crime scene while another team went in search of the
Using radio communication officers caught the men on
Sukhumvit Road near the Redemptorist Center. A large number of residents
watched the operation, all the while wondering what was going on.
Quick police action in such incidents is vital, and to date, police are
well practiced in this type of crime. The training operation not only tested
police operations but also aided in the overall reduction of crime in
This side soi off Pattaya Third Road was
used as a parking area during the recent Pattaya Music Festival. The
electrical wires have been left to hang at a low level, not only causing an
eyesore, but more importantly, this is very dangerous should a hapless
pedestrian not see them or a car or motorbike drive into them. When will the
Banglamung electrical authorities or the city begin to rectify such
sub-standard and dangerous work?
Key ecstasy and ya ba
Over 400,000 baht worth of evidence confiscated
A lengthy police investigation culminated on April 1 with
the arrest of two suspected “big time” drug dealers, Thaweesak Saetung,
aka Seng Cefiro, aged 32, and Wiwat “Lek” Thientananurak, also aged 32.
The two are though to be major suppliers of ya ba and ecstasy.
chief, Police Col. Kamolchai Tienrungroj (left) spearheaded an investigation
that led to the arrest of suspected drug dealers Thaweesak Saetung, aka Seng
Cefiro, and Wiwat “Lek” Thientananurak.
The two were paraded before the press, along with over
400,000 baht worth of drugs, paraphernalia, cash and equipment that had been
confiscated from them.
The arrest came after undercover police learned that the
two were about to make a drug deal in Soi Arunothai, central Pattaya. Police
arrested the two suspects, who were allegedly waiting to exchange drugs for
Pattaya’s police chief, Police Col. Kamolchai
Tienrungroj, spearheaded the investigation.
Police troops led by Pol. Lt. Col. Sakrapee Preawpanich,
Pattaya police deputy commander, searched Thaweesak’s car and found 91
yaba pills, 6 packs of ecstasy weighing 10 grams, 1 pack of the drug
ketamine, 1 mobile phone, many pieces of jewelry and 86,000 baht cash.
Both suspects were charged with possessing with the intent to sell first
class illegal drugs.
Man arrested after holding gun to foreign tourist’s head
He denied all allegations
Bangkokian Jaroenwit Sarntikanavin was not overly
impressed with snide remarks made by two foreign tourists regarding Thai
people. Drunk and insulted, he first pistol-whipped one man who’d made
acerbic comments about Thais, then belligerently held his loaded 9mm Glock
pistol to the other foreigner’s head.
sad display of the times we now live in, Jaroenwit Sarntikanavin (left)
allegedly held a loaded 9mm Glock pistol to a German tourist’s head after
the latter allegedly made disparaging remarks to the Bangkokian.
Police called to defuse the situation disarmed Jaroenwit,
then took all three men to Soi 9 station for questioning. The two German
tourists filed a complaint about being threatened.
Officers unloaded the gun of its 13 rounds of ammunition
before questioning Jaroenwit, who initially refused to give any details
whatsoever. Officers did check the gun’s registration documents which
revealed his name, age and place of residence.
Jaroenwit denied all allegations that he threatened the
foreigners but the tourists were adamant, as were the witnesses to the
Police charged Jaroenwit with attempted murder, carrying a loaded gun in
public without permission and illegally carrying a concealed weapon. The
thin-skinned gunslinger was transferred to the criminal investigation office
before being escorted to the ‘monkey house’ where he now awaits trial.
Tourist police arrest teen drug dealers
The desperation amongst the drug-dealing community is
beginning to show. In the latest crackdown, Pattaya tourist police arrested
three teenagers; a 17-year-old boy and two girls aged 13 and 16. The
threesome was arrested in North Pattaya following an investigation and a
sting operation which used marked banknotes.
During a supposed purchase, officers handed over the
funds in marked bills and then arrested the three teens and confiscated the
39 speed pills in their possession. They were promptly taken to tourist
police headquarters where they confessed to selling the illegal drugs,
stating that this was the second time they had done so.
They told officers that they had received the pills from
a man identified only as Keng, who delivered 30-50 pills each time. They
added that they had already sold 30 pills from their first stash. The second
time around they weren’t so lucky.
All three teens were transferred to Soi 9 police station
for further interrogation and were charged with selling a class one illegal
Failed relationship ends in murder - suicide
Lover shoots himself rather than surrender to police
Unrequited love ended in tragedy for two lovers on March
30. Police were called to the scene of a shooting on Soi 8 at 5 p.m. On
arrival officers pushed their way through a large crowd of onlookers in the
busy soi. At the scene they found a young woman who had been shot in the
head by her boyfriend, who had fled after the murder.
Twenty five year old Siriwan Songsermsakdikul, a staff
member of a hotel on Soi 8, lay fatally wounded on the floor next to her
desk. Hotel staff that called in the report told police the shooter had run
out the back door of the hotel.
Police gave chase, quickly found him and ordered the man
to halt. One officer fired a shot, which missed the suspect but did hit a
nearby car. Seeing no way to escape, the man turned the gun himself and
ended his life on the side of the road. He was later identified as
36-year-old Pramote Oopsee.
Investigation revealed that Pramote and Siriwan were
seeing each other but their relationship was stormy. Siriwan apparently
called it off.
On the day of the shooting Pramote had visited his
estranged girlfriend to try to patch things up and when she refused, Pramote
pulled out a 12-gauge shotgun and shot her in the head. Pramote eventually
shot himself with the same weapon.
The bodies were sent to the forensic institute for
further examination before funeral rites were carried out.
Police arrest extortionist in a sting operation
After five long months of paying extortion money to a
gang, 33-year-old Khao Mai Kaew resident Anusorn Timmanao finally had enough
and reported the harassment to police.
resident Sombat Krongkaew (seated) was arrested for extorting 500 baht a
month under threat of physical harm from Khao Mai Kaew resident Anusorn
The matter was handed over to the criminal investigation
department, and during an interview with officers, Anusorn said the group
had demanded a sum of 500 baht per month. They threatened him with physical
assault if he missed a payment. Finally fed up with the extortion and
threats that created great problems for Anusorn and his family he went to
the cops for help.
Officers planned a sting operation and handed a marked
500 baht note to pay off one of the men. At 2.30 a.m. Anusorn met with
Sombat Krongkaew, a resident of Buriram Province. Police lay in wait and
detained Sombat once the transaction was complete, taking him to the Soi 9
station for questioning.
At the station, Sombat denied all allegations that he had extorted money
from Anusorn, and claimed that the money handed over was for a previous
drinking session. Unconvinced officers stated that the marked bill was in
Sombat’s possession and subsequently booked him on charges of extortion
and threat of bodily harm.