Vol. XII No. 32
Friday August 6 - August 12 , 2004

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by Saichon paewsoongnern


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Anti-substance abuse campaign underway

Pattaya mobile community service on the move

Municipal officers round up homeless

City signs MOU with Korean Power Company for eco-friendly power plant on Larn Island

AIDS prevention talk show opens in Banglamung


Rare whale shark washed up on Chonburi Beach

Police briefs

Hit man arrested in Pattaya

British tourist found dead in hotel room

Elderly woman raped by known drug addict

Finnish resident found dead in his home

Pattaya administrators review civil planning with private company

Organizers discuss the pros and cons of the Pattaya Queen’s Cup Marathon

Agricultural clinic opens as part of HRH Prince Vajiralongkorn’s birthday celebrations

Anti-substance abuse campaign underway

To commemorate HM the Queen’s 6th cycle birthday

Suchada Tupchai

Statistics from the Diseases Control Department, Ministry of Public Health revealed that apparently the problem of excessive drinking and smoking are rampant in the nation, especially the provinces of Bangkok, Pattanee, Rayong, Nakorn Ratchasima, and Chonburi. It also said kids tended to start taking narcotics and drinking alcohol at a very young age. Research also shows that unluckily most of the off-track kids mimic the mischievous acts from their irresponsible parents and passionate heroes.

Recently the public and private sectors have campaigned to bring about better awareness of the dangers of these vices and are working continuously to convince people to reduce this addiction.

Last year the Ministry of Public Health initiated the campaign ‘Tay Lao Phao Buree’ (literally meaning pour alcohol down on to the ground and to incinerate all cigarettes) to reduce the consumption of alcohol and cigarette smoking nationwide.

Pattaya City is without doubt one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country. Reportedly there are two kinds of visitors that visit the town. Some view the city as a quiet and peaceful resort where they can relax and lighten up.

But on the other hand, some inconsiderate visitors see the resort town as a place where they are free to do as they please and are often imprudent. Some visitors come for a holiday drunk, look for sexual entertainment, and get into trouble. They forget that the city is a real community of families, schools, temples, and of course impatient young kids who are ready to learn anything.

Some visitors forget that the immoral acts they do in this resort are being observed and imitated by local kids and even the grown ups. Put simply, smoking and drinking habits greatly disrupt the charm of the city.

Alcohol has a major influence on most road accidents and violence according to the official records. It is time people become mindful and learn from past mistakes to create for themselves a better way of living.

The authorities and many private sectors in Pattaya City recently answered the government’s call by organizing a communal activity to commemorate Her Majesty the Queen on the occasion of Her 72nd birthday, which falls on August 12.

The event is considered to be the nicest gift that Thais can give to HM the Queen on this extraordinary occasion. The organization committee strongly believes that this campaign will set a good example for the citizens, especially the youth of Pattaya, to trim down the consumption of these two vices.

The campaign committee members of the upcoming event include the Beauty Enhancement Association of the East Thailand, Buddhism Club of Pattaya committee, Ket Klao Beauty School, Mike Shopping Mall, Pattaya City Hall, and Banglamung district office. The event takes place at Banglamung School central ground on August 9 between 12.00-16.30 hours.

Pattaya mobile community service on the move

Khaotalo residents receive assistance

Ariyawat Nuamsawat

Pattaya City’s continuing efforts to aid disadvantaged residents led them to the Soi Khaotalo community last week. Volunteers and city officials provided a variety of services, offered advice on problem solving and listened to residents air their views.

Mayor Niran hands over rice, food, clothing and school supplies to the many residents present during the city’s community service.

Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn led the team to the community, drawing a great deal of interest from residents. Free health and dental checks were given and vaccinations, haircuts and foot massages were provided as part of the free services to the community.

The famous eggs for trash program was also implemented to promote recycling. Donations of food and clothing were also presented in cooperation with Tesco Lotus.

The Pattaya police department was on hand to provide entertainment, and they sang their way into the hearts of residents, spreading goodwill throughout the community.

Pattaya is a rapidly growing city and in many sectors residents are often overlooked in community programs. As such, the city recognizes the fact there are people in need. The monthly service has proved very popular as it not only brings much needed services and basic necessities to the people but also allows residents to inform administrators of the problems they are facing and in return receive needed help and answers to their questions.

Municipal officers round up homeless

Transients relocated to welfare facility for job training

Ariyawat Nuamsawat

A token effort in ‘improving’ Pattaya’s image included a roundup homeless people in the city on July 28. Led by city councilors Sanit Boonmarchai and Farouk Wongborisoot, municipal officers collected 24 people wandering Pattaya Beach Road, calling for alms. Representatives from the department of social welfare and development were also present during the operation.

Municipal officers rounded up twenty-four homeless people from Pattaya Beach and sent them to a welfare institute in Saraburi.

Each of the homeless had their details and personal histories recorded before being transferred to a special welfare facility in Saraburi, where they would be cared for and trained.

The operation comes after officials received complaints from Thai and foreign tourists about these people, and as Pattaya is a tourist town, officialdom saw the need to relieve the problem under the guise of improving Pattaya’s image.

City officials claim they are not sitting still on the issue, saying that municipal officers are constantly collecting many homeless people and sending them to the welfare institute for their own good. Many of the homeless come to Pattaya in the hope of finding some way to make money and support themselves.

City signs MOU with Korean Power Company for eco-friendly power plant on Larn Island

Boonlua Chatree

Further to last month’s meeting between city officials and a Korean consortium, the city has signed a memoriam of understanding with the group to carry out feasibility studies for the proposed hybrid power generation plant on Larn Island.

The project proposes to establish a power plant from solar, wind and diesel fuels to produce eco-friendly powers for the community, which at the same time will preserve the delicate environment on the island community.

Suh Young Suk, Chiel Comtech Co. Ltd. director signed a memoriam of understanding with the city to conduct a feasibility study for an eco-friendly power plant of Larn Island.

The consortium, led by Suh Young Suk, Chiel Comtech Co. Ltd. director has also put forth proposals for refuse incinerators - for waste treatment - as well as developing underground water supplies.

In the previous meeting a presentation showed that the company has successfully produced electric power using solar energy since 1980, and has built a number of plants in Korea. The project would be ideal for the island community, which is a popular tourist destination, to enable them to produce pollution free electricity and in turn preserve the island’s natural resources.

Once the study is complete the final proposal will be presented to the city for consideration by the end of the year. If successful, the Larn Island project will serve as a valuable model for other island communities in the province facing similar problems.

AIDS prevention talk show opens in Banglamung

5,151 people with AIDS in Chonburi since 1986

Decha Chalimyart

In light of the recent HIV/AIDS conference held in Thailand, provincial administrators riding on the wave of heightened awareness launched a DJ Talk show contest among local schools to bring the subject further into the minds of the region’s youth.

A DJ Talk Show on AIDS prevention began last week at the Banglamung School.

Last Friday morning Pisit Boonchuang, Chonburi deputy governor, opened the contest at the Banglamung School, along with Dr. Suthep Chityawong, director of education, District 3, teachers and students. The aim of the program is to promote prevention and understanding of the disease to prevent its spread among the community.

During the opening ceremonies, Deputy Governor Pisit revealed some interesting statistics, “Since 1986, the number of reported cases in Chonburi has amounted to a total of 7,124 persons. Broken down there are 5,151 of these people with full blown AIDS, 1,973 with symptoms of the disease, in Chonburi district alone 1,664 people and 914 have died as a result. The majority of these people are between the ages of 25-29 years and are laborers.

“In light of these figures it is important that everyone cooperates to fight the spread of HIV and everyone understands how to prevent the disease, whether through students or members of the general public. The disease is a death sentence and we must fight the spread of it,” concluded the deputy governor.

Local youths talked on the talk show about prevention and HIV complications. A display board was also set up for students to relay information and prevention methods.

Baywatch: Low safety standards, an accident waiting to happen

Decha Chalermyart

Questionable safety standards among trucks and contractors are becoming painfully more obvious. This vehicle was carrying large concrete blocks and poles along a busy back soi here in Pattaya. The danger, potentially fatal, came from the complete disregard for safety as the truck drove down the soi with the concrete block precariously balanced in the back with no form of restraint. The old truck had no tailgate and the load was not tied down - an accident waiting to happen.

When will such people learn to care not only for their vehicles but take responsibility for ensuring public safety by tying down their load to ensure an accident doesn’t happen which could involve innocent motorists and pedestrians?

Rare whale shark washed up on Chonburi Beach

The corpse of a rare whale shark was discovered washed up on a beach in Chonburi Province on July 26 after having apparently been caught in a fisherman’s net.

Four meters long and weighing in at over 5oo kilograms, this whale shark washed ashore in Chonburi last week.

The four meter-long whale shark, weighing an estimated 500 kilograms, was discovered near the Khao Sam Muk Beach. As the body seemed unscathed, villagers speculated that the animal had been caught in a fisherman’s net, but had been released by the fisherman when he discovered that it had already died.

The body will be stuffed by the Institute of Marine Science at nearby Burapha University for research purposes. (TNA)

Police briefs

Boonlua Chatree

Woman arrested for supplementing her sandwich empire with amphetamine ring

The arrest of Nuchara Sompong, 31, on July 24, led to the detention of a further three drug traffickers.

Nuchara Sompong was arrested while delivering 40 methamphetamine pills to undercover officers. The three drug traffickers were arrested for running illegal drugs from Khampaeng Pet in the north to sell in Pattaya.

During her confession, Nuchara told police that she had a further stash at home and that she supplemented her income by selling the pills, as she apparently wasn’t making enough cash selling sandwiches from her Banglamung house.

Police visited the house and detained Nuchara’s husband, Chumporn Chae-eung and collected a further 50 pills and a loaded Thai made12-gauge handgun.

Back at the police station the husband and wife spilled their beans and presented information leading to a further two arrests.

In a sting operation, undercover police met two people for a deal in front of the Nongyai Temple. When the suspects showed, police sprang into action, arresting yet another husband and wife team.

Boontun Sairoj, 37 was found in possession of 3 ‘ya ba’ pills and a loaded .38 pistol, while his wife Wanna Suthi-udom, 48, had 40 tablets on her.

All four confessed to their illegal activities and were charged with possession with intent to sell a class one illegal substance. The two men received additional charges of illegally carrying loaded firearms and face a lengthy jail term, or even the death penalty for their crimes.

Underage drinkers detained in pub raid

Local law enforcement agents continuing their ‘social order’ crackdown raided the DOK Pub on Pattaya Third Road last week just prior to the prescribed closing time.

During the raid identifications were checked and 8 out of the two hundred inebriated revelers were found to be under the age of 20. The four boys and four girls were each fined 100 baht and given a stern warning to behave.

A further 18 youths under the age of 18 were also detained and given the same treatment before their parents were called to collect them.

The pub’s manager, Nattapol Boonmar was charged with allowing minors inside an entertainment venue and was taken into custody to face charges.

Man resorts to theft to ease financial burdens

A twenty -one year old man was detained by the owner of a mobile phone shop inside the Central Festival Business Center after the former had tried to run off with a mobile phone.

Anant Duanjantr confessed his crime to police, saying that he had borrowed money from a finance company and was unable to repay his debt. He decided to attempt to steal a phone from the shop, worth around 10,000 baht.

The shop owner, Terdsuk Promwung told police that the thief had approached him to look at one of the phones. In doing so, the man grabbed the phone and ran off. After shouting for help, and receiving none, Terdsuk chased after the thief and grabbed him before he was able to flee the shopping center, adding that even the ‘security guards’ failed to help him.

Police charged Anant with theft.

Tourist police arrest armed jet ski operator

Pattaya tourist police acting on information gained during a continuing investigation arrested Boonsong Chaeshua, 29, for possession of two loaded firearms: .38 caliber and .32 caliber pistols, both six shooters.

Boonsong was detained on Larn Island following a tip-off to police. Once in custody, he confessed to buying the weapons at 10,000 baht each to sell to others for a profit.

He was charged with two counts of illegally carrying loaded firearms in public without a permit or valid reason.

Hit man arrested in Pattaya

Boonlua Chatree

Region 2 criminal investigation officers arrested a known hit man hiding out in Pattaya following an extensive investigation in cooperation with Pattaya units.

Prajuk Chueapar was arrested in Pattaya last week.

Police staked out Prajuk Chueapar, 34, taking him into custody on charges of attempted murder in Prachinburi on May 18 this year. The arrest took place in front of Jimmy’s Place on Pattaya Second Road. When Prajuk saw police he attempted to run, but he fell and hit his head, allowing for an easy capture.

Prajuk was charged with attempted murder in the first degree and was detained at the Pattaya holding cells prior to being extradited to Prachinburi Province.

British tourist found dead in hotel room

Boonlua Chatree

The death of a UK citizen was reported to the Pattaya police station at around 9.30 a.m. on July 30. Officers proceeded to the hotel on Soi 9 to discover the body of Peter Callard, 49, from the United Kingdom. Initial inspections of the room and body showed no signs of foul play.

Police questioned Montar Jantason, 31, who told them she had been with Callard for 3 years, during which time he had constant hearing problems.

Montar went on to say that she was sitting on the bed when Callard suddenly jerked and closed his eyes. She went to check him and discovered he was dead.

The body was taken to the forensic institute to define the cause of death. Police surmise that the Englishman had suffered a massive heart attack resulting in is death.

Elderly woman raped by known drug addict

Assailant’s rap sheet leads to swift arrest

Boonlua Chatree

A 65-year-old woman arrived at Banglamung Hospital on the morning of July 25 after she had been raped by an intruder in her Huay Yai house. The elderly woman had a knife held to her throat throughout the ordeal and required several stitches due to the force of the rapist.

Seebrom Phanyadech was arrested last week for smoking ya ba and raping a 65-year-old woman.

She told Banglamung police that she was sleeping and heard a noise at around 5 a.m. She went to investigate only to discover a young man, in his 30s, inside her house, holding a knife. She begged for her life saying she had no valuables. Instead the man, she identified as See, forced her into the bedroom and raped her. Relatives took her to the hospital for treatment.

Police investigators set up a task force to detain the criminal. Police records showed that the man had a history of drug abuse.

The following day, police stormed the man man’s home, located in the same village as where the crime occurred, to find him in the bathroom washing his clothes as if nothing happened. He was promptly taken to the Banglamung station for interrogation.

Seebrom Phanyadech, aka See, 29, confessed to police that he was stoned to the eyeballs after smoking two ‘ya ba’ pills and felt amorous. He added that he knew the elderly woman was home alone and decided to take his chances, but when he gained access he knocked over a plate causing the old woman to stir. Seebrom told officers that since he had heard no report about his nefarious activity he returned home and wash his clothes.

Police charged him with rape, deprivation of liberty, grievous bodily harm and use of a class one illegal substance.

Finnish resident found dead in his home

Police surmise accident, but aren’t ruling out foul play

Boonlua Chatree

Banglamung police rushed to the home of Hannu Makela, 62, of Finland following a phone call from his wife when she found him dead in the living room.

Police arrived on the scene to find the man lying on the floor with his eyes still open. At the back of his head was a two-inch cut which may have been caused from a fall or a blow to the head.

Police questioned the man’s wife, Parnthong Permpanya, 54, who told police that she had lived with Makela for 18 months but they were not legally married. Parnthong added that Hannu had been drinking at home the night before.

She told officers that she went to bed in the early hours of the morning and at around 6 a.m. she went out to get him to sleep in the bed but found he had passed away. The woman also said that Hannu had suffered bouts of dizziness for over a year and sought treatment from a local hospital.

Police and a doctor from Banglamung Hospital examined the body and the surrounding room. Police discovered no signs of a struggle except for the cut on the back of the man’s head. The body was sent to the police forensic institute in Bangkok for an autopsy report.

Investigating officers suspect that the man fell after suffering from a dizzy spell and hit his head on the floor. Due to the nature of the wound police have not ruled out a blow to head and are awaiting the coroner’s report before continuing their investigation.

Pattaya administrators review civil planning with private company

Master plan for beauty and function viewed favorably

Suchada Tupchai

The administration recently addressed the issue of city planning during a meeting with representatives of the Consultants of Technology Co. Ltd. at city hall on July 28. The private company proposed a number of short to long-term solutions to properly develop Pattaya and add to the beauty of the city’s environs. City administrators, councilors and concerned personnel were present for the proposal.

Sakdichai Prayotewanich, project manager and Parnarong Chotiwech, project advisor from the consulting company made their pitch to the city. “Our aim is to present designs and plans that will improve the look of Pattaya in its overall development. Our company has conducted a survey of the areas and we have come up with two plans; an improvement plan and a capital improvement plan, as well as an implementation strategy,” said Sakdichai.

“These have further been categorized into two separate issues. 1) Civil planning for the overall design, or master plan for Pattaya. This still requires a lengthy and detailed study before we can arrive at a proposal. 2) Plan to improve and develop various points around the city as well as further planning,” said Sakdichai.

“The master plan is to create better functionality at various points around the city. This includes using public land effectively so that it will benefit and beautify the city at the same time, as well as surrounding communities. The first is to upgrade lighting at 24 points using specific lighting designs to brighten these points, many of which are important. They include lighting entry-exit points to Pattaya along Sukhumvit Road, along the main roadways, specifically intersections, Pattaya Beach and Jomtien Beach roads, major intersections, traffic islands, Bali Hai pier area, Chalermprakiat Park (fitness park), and Dolphin roundabout. A down light system is allocated to these points to illuminate what is currently quite dark and potentially dangerous. The budget required for the project is 5 million baht,” revealed Sakdichai Prayotewanich.

He went on to propose the second part as affecting communities by introducing the concept of signboard designs in 3 different types: functional signboards, exhibition signboards and interactive signboards. The focus was for the latter along Beach Road, especially for the various activities that occur along the strip and would need to be not only aesthetically pleasing but also able to withstand the elements.

After listening to the presentation city councilors and administrators viewed it favorably, particularly from the point of view of developing Pattaya for the future so that it would also be pleasing to the eye. However, administrators said that they need to keep things in order, specifically on the subject of signage as most people flaunted Pattaya’s lax enforcement rules to the point where signs had gotten out of control and businesses did as they pleased. They mentioned that further order will be introduced to curb the issue.

Representatives for the Consultants of Technology Co. Ltd. agreed stating that they need more time to complete surveys before presenting their ideas to the city in the future.

Organizers discuss the pros and cons of the Pattaya Queen’s Cup Marathon

Criticisms include lack of adequate facilities and logistic hiccups

Ariyawat Nuamsawat

Organizers of this year’s Pattaya Queen’s Cup Marathon met to give a post-humus review of the event at a meeting on July 28 held at city hall. The marathon, held on July 18, received a majority of good comments from visitors, booth holders and athletes; however, a number of issues have been raised, including a lack of adequate parking and toilet facilities.

Wirawat Khakhai, Pattaya deputy mayor presided over the meeting.

Officials gathered opinions from over 100 people attending the three day event organized by the National Sports Association, Pattaya City, Tourism Authority of Thailand and provincial authorities.

Topping the list of drawbacks was the lack of parking space for visitors; closely following was the lack of toilet facilities available for athletes and store holders.

Other complaints pertained to a lack of pre-event promotion, particularly in Pattaya, as well as the disorganization prior to the Queen’s Cup parade from the Bali Hai pier to the start/finish line of the marathon.

Some felt there was not enough drinking water available before, during and after the 2.5 kilometer parade. Some evidently didn’t receive one of the promised event T-shirts.

Further complaints were posted pertaining to the prize giving ceremonies, with a number of runners, already tired, having to wait for the trophies to be handed over. Some left before receiving their medals and trophies. Other points were raised as to the malfunction of computer chips used to calculate times, causing some runners to dispute the placings.

A positive point came when the majority of surveys from residents and participants unanimously agreed that this year’s event drew large numbers of visitors to the city.

City officials took all comments into consideration for further improvements next year.

Agricultural clinic opens as part of HRH Prince Vajiralongkorn’s birthday celebrations

Ariyawat Nuamsawat

As part of the government’s farmer assistance program and HRH Prince Vajiralongkorn’s birthday celebration, an agricultural clinic was officially opened by Chonburi Governor Pisit Ketphasook at the Nongplalai district offices on July 28.

Chonburi Governor Pisit Ketphasook visited the numerous booths open at the clinic.

The clinic, aimed at providing assistance, education and the latest technological advances in the industry, also serves to enable local producers to compete in the national and international markets through improving product standards.

Run by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, the program began in 2002 as part of the Prince’s 50th birthday celebrations and has since conducted a large number of clinics throughout the country.

During the opening ceremonies over 400 local agricultural producers attended with the majority sharing their knowledge on accounting and production practices as well as viewing demonstrations made available on the day.

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