Grandma Rat at 106 decides it is time to take life a little easier
She was born in the reign of King Rama V, before the first
airplane had flown, and when the motorcar was in its infancy. Now, at the age
of 106, Mrs Rat Khemthong still has clear memories of her girlhood, and is
active making herbal compresses used in traditional Thai massage.
The increasing years, however, inevitably mean that Grandma
Rat needs special care and attention. Rat, who has been lodging with the family
of Samroeng Chudchalamat, an employee of the Sattahip Naval Base, says she is
ready to move to a home for the elderly as she does not want to be a burden on
anyone in her final years.
Rat keeps with her one treasured possession, a garland that once hung on the
bows of the warship Sadet Tia.
Grandma Rat is originally from Patumthani. Her father was
Mon and her mother was Laotian, and Rat was their only daughter.
When she was 20, Rat married Pan Taothong and went to live
in the Huay Kwang district of Bangkok, where she earned a living by selling
desserts and learning Thai massage.
At the age of 40, Rat followed her husband to the Soi
Tiewson community, in Sattahip, where Pan worked as a watchman chiming the bell
as a signal and timekeeper for the villagers.
At that time Sattahip was a wild and remote place, but it
had begun to change when Prince Chumporn, the Father of the Royal Thai Navy,
founded the naval base there.
Pan passed away when Rat was 70. An engineer working at the
base and lodging at Soi Tiewson, Petty Officer Sompol Chudchalamat, was a close
family friend and invited Rat to stay with his family.
Grandma Rat continued working, her highly respected skills
in traditional massage bringing her customers from the level of admiral through
to the local villagers. She has always said that she can support herself, and
that she needs only lodging.
Shortly before Sompol passed away he asked his son Samroeng,
also a petty officer, to take care of her as Grandma Rat has no family.
Samroeng said she never gets sick and has a very good
memory, remembering stories from long ago and the people that she knew.
Now in her final years and unable to work she does not want
to be a burden on anyone, and feels that the social welfare home for the
elderly would be best as she will be near a doctor.
Grandma Rat keeps with her one treasured possession, garlands that once hung
on the bows of the warship Sadet Tia. Sompol had found this one windy day,
swept onto the beach by the waves. Grandma said that when she received the
garland she had a dream in which a man asked her to make some special garlands.
This she did, and will give them to those who take care of her in her last
Assistant judges discuss the increasingly complex juvenile crime problem
Over 200 assistant judges of provincial and juvenile
courts throughout the eastern provinces attended a seminar at the Tide
Resort in Bangsaen on July 30, aimed at fostering a greater understanding
of child problems and the related legal processes.
conference with (from left) Sitthisak Wanachakit, Appeals Court judge,
Chanchai Likhitjittha, deputy supreme adjudicator of Thailand, and Anocha
Cheewitsophon, director general of judges in Region 2.
Chanchai Likhitjittha, deputy supreme adjudicator of
Thailand, opened the seminar, saying that the youth problem in Thailand is
no longer a simple one. There are a diverse number of reasons behind the
problems seen by the courts, including disturbed family backgrounds,
poverty, and lack of education and motivation. These causes, said
Chanchai, are not unique to Thailand but are seen throughout the modern
Anocha Cheewitsophon, director general of judges in
Region 2, said that the legal system had a responsibility to understand
the underlying reasons for child crime, and the related problem of
wandering homeless children, in order to help the young transform their
negative behavior into positive attitudes.
This in turn would need the cooperation of many government departments
and other official bureaus, and an understanding of their role and
function was essential to the task.
Disabled youth leaders from
Latin America and the Caribbean observe facilities in Pattaya
Forty disabled youth leaders from Latin America and the
Caribbean joined disabled people from the Vocational Redemptory School for a
conference at city hall on August 1.
Assisting the visitors was a team of interpreters and
other helpers, for deafness, blindness and other physical and mental
deformities were added to the language challenges.
groups from 11 countries attended the meeting.
Designed for helping the leaders with training the
disabled in their own countries, the conference was opened by Mayor Niran
Wattanasartsathorn. Director of the Vocational Redemptory School Suporntham
Mongkolsawat led students from the school.
The visitors were interested in asking questions about
the disabled social welfare law and the rights of the disabled in Pattaya.
Mayor Niran said that Pattaya City respects all people,
whether physically challenged or not. The main point is to live in peace
together. City hall therefore works closely with the Redemptory School and
other organizations for the handicapped.
Pattaya City gave some money for a school-support budget
and built the school sports center, said the mayor. The support money comes
from two sources, one part from the government and the other from income
Suporntham said the school works with city hall in
arranging work for the handicapped after finishing their education at
Redemptory School, or they can continue their education in the normal
governmental schools. However, most of them prefer to work after finishing
school rather than continuing to study, he said.
The visit was arranged by the Development and Training Center for the
Disabled of Asia and the Pacific. The group had already been to Bangkok
before arriving in Pattaya, and was proceeding to other parts of Thailand to
observe and collect information that will help them back in their homelands.
City hall receives another proposal to convert the ocean into drinking water
Yet another company has come forward with
a proposal for equipment that will resolve the water shortage problems by
converting seawater into potable water.
Waste Water Treatment Group (WWT) outlined a 250 million
baht project to city hall last week at a meeting chaired by Mayor Niran
(L to R)
Michael Kiefer, Friedrich Holzer and Amporn Klinsrisuk explain the WWT to
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn.
WWT representatives Amporn Klinsrisuk, Michael Kiefer and
Friedrich Holzer said the city could choose two ways of operating the
project. One is that the city could hold the ownership license of the
project and manage its income through its own collection system. Under the
second option, WWT builds the system and leases it to the city for a number
of years. When the lease is finished, WWT will hand the project to the city
Amporn said the company uses a production method called
the Pilote System, which produces not less than 24,000 cubic meters per
hour. The mayor said that ideally the city wants a machine that could
convert at least 40,000 cubic meters per day, or 400,000 liters, to suit the
demands of people in Pattaya City and nearby areas.
The mayor added that WWT is the fourth company to
approach city hall with a seawater conversion project, and to make a
decision a lot of factors have to be taken into consideration.
He said the theory of changing seawater to drinking water
was ideal because it would solve the water scarcity issue in the long run.
He suggested that WWT set up one portable machine to demonstrate the process
and its quality.
As to whether the city could produce large amounts drinking water, with
enough to sell to the Regional Irrigation and Water Supply Department, the
mayor said he would not know until the project is formulated, because the
cost of production is likely to be high.
April 2006 will see mega-meet take place in Pattaya
Pattaya City is getting ready to
host another major event, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Annual
Conference 2006, to be held in April next year.
Security is considered one of the most important factors
in the eyes of global organizations such as this one, and city officials and
police will mount a full-scale security operation to ensure the safety of
Four leading hotels, namely the Royal Cliff Beach Resort,
Dusit Resort, Montien Hotel, and Sheraton Resort, have block-booked their
rooms over the period April 23 to 27.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand will play a major role
in welcoming 2,200 members from some 40 countries, including Thailand.
Wattanapong Phonimdaeng, director of the TAT’s venue
arrangement division, is working with city council members, Pattaya and
Banglamung police, traffic police and tourist police to set up a universal
security force and lay out plans to maintain peace in the city during the
PATA was formed in 1952. At every annual gathering,
representatives from the member countries put forward ideas on improving
tourism and exchanging useful data amongst themselves. Usually the major
concerns revolve around airlines, cruises, hotels, tour companies, and
travel business operations.
Today the PATA headquarters is situated in Oakland, USA,
and its operational headquarters is in Bangkok. The Bangkok office is run
under the guidance of Peter De Jong, president and CEO. Main tasks are in
marketing, public relations, human resource development, and tourism
One of the key roles of this global networking group is
to lend a hand to countries in need of sustainable tourism development and
environment conservation, social stability promotion, and cultural
Mayor sets up in front of city hall office to talk with residents
Visitors to city hall might be somewhat surprised to find
the mayor sitting behind a desk in front of the finance office and answering
their questions, but it is part of a move to make the administration more
accessible to Pattaya residents.
Niran Wattanasartsathorn told reporters, “I want the people to feel they
can talk to city officials and that we answer their questions.”
“I’ve thought about this for a while but haven’t had
the time,” Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn told reporters as he took up his
new position on August 3. “I want the people to feel they can talk to city
officials and that we answer their questions. City councilors will also take
part in this when they are free of their duties.”
Niran went on to say that the aim was not to catch out
employees doing the wrong thing but to enhance relations between city hall
and the people to assist in solving problems and provide the best service
The idea came from Sriracha Mayor Chatchai Timkrachang, who has carried
out such activities for quite a while before Pattaya’s mayor followed suit.
Judges and court officials pay tribute to Prince Rapee
Father of the modern Thai legal system
On August 7 each year Thailand observes
Rapee Day, commemorating the passing away of Prince Rapee Pattanasak, the
father of Thailand’s modern legal system.
At Pattaya court on Pratamnak Road, Mayor Niran
Wattanasartsathorn, chief judge of Pattaya court Virot Tula-phan, court
officials, city council members and students took part in the Rapee Day
year on August 7, Thailand’s legal profession pays tribute to Prince
Rapee Pattanasak, the father of Thailand’s modern legal system.
Prince Rapee, a son of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V, was
born on October 21, 1874. After he obtained his secondary education in Suan
Kularb Palace School in Bangkok, he went on to study law at Christchurch
College, Oxford University. He came back and became minister of justice at
the age of 22 in 1896. He held the position for 14 years.
The Prince took initiatives on establishment of the
first law school in the country in 1897. He drew up a syllabus and taught
the students himself. In his 14 years in office, he laid a firm foundation
for the Thai legal system.
In 1911 King Vajiravudh, Rama VI, appointed Prince Rapee
Minister of Agriculture. He promoted systemization of land title deeds and
ownership, and initiated the Royal Irrigation Department and many projects
to aid farmers. He fell ill in 1920, and resigned from active service. He
went to Paris for medical care and passed away on August 7 of the same
His statue was constructed in front of the Ministry of Justice and each
year law practitioners and the general public who now live under the law he
once wrote pay tribute to him.
Gang murders French businessman’s wife for her Mercedes-Benz
A joint operation between Bangkok and local police led to
the arrest of five men for the brutal murder of Saiking Garbet, 28, the wife
of a French businessman.
The gang members were identified as Sant Treewatanant, 32,
owner of Kookai Car Care on Pattaya Third Road, Khuntorn Pongpiphapmongkol,
24, Patchorn Ratsomboon, 26, Warunee Leknark and Samruay Chotechumni, 25.
They killed the woman in Pattaya by strangulation and
smashing her head against the concrete numerous times before dumping her body
in bushland near Km 42-43 along the Bangna-Trat Road in Bangkok. Then they
took the woman’s Mercedes-Benz, valued at around 2 million baht, and sold
All five were arrested after an extensive investigation and
brought back to Pattaya to re-enact their crime. Whilst in Pattaya, the dead
woman’s husband tried to assault the perpetrators but was stopped by
The motive for the killing was revealed as theft of the
woman’s property. Her body was still undergoing examination at the forensic
institute a week after it was discovered, before relatives were allowed to
commence with funeral rites.
Alleged fake credit card user faces jail
Miss Waew-ta, a jewelry shop owner near Wat Chaimongkol,
called Pattaya police to say that Nisar Anjum, 38, a British national, was
attempting to purchase a gold necklace from her shop with a phony credit
Anjum sits with police whilst trying to explain why his allegedly English credit
card would have been issued by a bank in Malaysia, and without his name on it.
She held the card and his passport until the police arrived.
Anjum told the officers that the DBS credit card he handed her in payment for a
one-baht gold necklace belonged to him. He said he got it from a bank in
England. Police, however, could not find Anjum’s name on the card, and also
discovered that the card was issued by Affin Bank of Malaysia.
Police said if Anjum were found using false plastic cards to pay for items,
he would face a one-year prison term or a 100,000 baht fine, or both.
Trouble in paradise as senior Bangkok police raid Heaven
Angels arrested and deported
Over 100 police from Bangkok’s crime suppression
division raided the Heaven Bath House and Entertainment complex on Sukhumvit
Road on August 4 and arrested more than 60 Thai and foreign women on flesh
Pol Maj Gen Wutti Liptapanlop, Central Investigation Unit
deputy commander led the raid. An undercover officer posing as a customer
and using marked banknotes was first sent into the premises and once the
bait was taken police stormed the venue.
from Uzbekistan and six from Myanmar were arrested and deported from Heaven.
The cashier and doorman were immediately detained while
officers inspected the premises. A total of 42 Thai women along with 16
Uzbekistani and six Burmese women were found throughout the four-floor
complex. A number of the women were under 20, the legal age allowed to work
in such establishments. All the women were taken into custody, with the Thai
women fined 1,000 baht each and the foreigners escorted to the immigration
office for deportation proceedings.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Heaven’s owner,
Sana Jaroon, aka Sier Tum, aged 46, for illegally employing underage staff
and foreigners in the flesh trade. Sana was not on the premises at the time
of the raid.
Pol Maj Gen Wutti said later that due to the nature of
the offences all properties and assets from the business would be
He added that investigations would be undertaken against
five senior Banglamung police officers for allowing illegal activities to
operate in their jurisdiction. The five are Banglamung police superintendent
Pol Col Woratchai Sriratanawut; Pol Lt Wisute Jantsong, who is deputy
superintendent in charge of the criminal investigation unit; Pol Lt Col
Pramote Ngarmpradit, crime suppression head and deputy superintendent; Pol
Lt Col Wallop Arjsamit, crime suppression inspector; and Pol Lt Col Komsorn
Marbumrung, criminal investigation inspector.
“We will investigate as to whether these five officers
were involved in allowing the premises to operate and if there is any odd
changes in assets or bank accounts,” said Wutti. “The details will be
forwarded to the Interior Minister and the National Police Bureau commander.
If they are found to be in breach of the law, legal proceedings will be
The five officers have already been transferred to
inactive posts pending investigation. If found guilty they will be dismissed
and their assets confiscated.
Wutti also told reporters that if any government officers
had supported this influential business they would meet with the same fate.
Tax evasion investigations are also underway against Heaven’s owner.
The venue has been closed until further notice.
Woman selling ya ba to tourists arrested along with her supplier
A woman agent selling ya ba to foreign tourists on
Walking Street has been arrested along with her supplier.
Police investigations had revealed that Miss Arun
Srapthai, 38, had been distributing the class 1 narcotic from a South
Pattaya beer bar. Following Arun to her rented apartment at Pattaya Hill
Condo on Pratamnak Road, police conducted a search and discovered 10
orange-colored ya ba pills.
Arun admitted she bought them from Preeda Srongdaoruang
for the price of 250 baht per pill, and distributed them to foreigners and
her German boyfriend for 400 baht per pill. She said her boyfriend had gone
back to his hometown, and that she had kept some of the pills for her own
The officers suggested Arun contact Preeda and make a
fresh order. This she did, making an appointment for 60 pills to be
delivered to her room for a payment of 15,000 baht, while police prepared
the money and photographed the proceedings for later use.
Preeda, a 29-year-old native of Bangplama in Suphanburi
province, arrived about 20 minutes later on a red Honda Wave motorcycle. He
delivered the 60 pills to Arun, and collected the 15,000 baht. Police
arrested him and found an additional 50 ya ba pills in his black training
trousers. He has been charged with possession intended for distribution.
Former employee suspected
of arson in blaze at Soi Bongkot refuse depot
A disgruntled former employee is suspected of setting
fire to a recycling depot on Soi Bongkot, off Pattaya Third Road in the
early hours of July 28.
Depot owner Pichit Nuchjaroen, 37, alerted firefighters
and police to the blaze and five fire units were dispatched. Firemen took 30
minutes to extinguish the flames, fuelled by waste paper and other garbage.
Police questioned Pichit as investigators sifted through
the ashes, and he said that he suspected a former employee, known only as
Gae, to have lit the fire.
Pichit said the man, who is in his early 30s, was
dismissed because he became abusive and lazy due to consuming too much
alcohol. He is also suspected of being hooked on drugs.
“I didn’t think he would resort to setting fire to
the business,” said Pichit, who added that he and his family had taken
care of the man for a number of years.
Damages are estimated at over 200,000 baht.
Angry navy officer rams
A navy officer angry with his girlfriend after an
argument rammed her motorcycle with his own motorbike and severely injured
Sattahip police and officers from the Rojana-thammasatan
Foundation called out to the crash scene on Dong Tan Beach Road in Sattahip
found two women and a man. The women had only minor injuries but the man was
transferred to Queen Sirikit Hospital.
Miss Prangthip, one of the injured women, told police
that the man, who she named as Sombat, intentionally hit their motorcycle.
She said she had known Sombat for some time, from a karaoke bar where she
worked. On the night prior to the accident they had an argument and
Prangthip asked Sombat to stay away from her.
Sombat became angry. When Prangthip went off with her
friend on a motorcycle to think things over, Sombat followed them. In a rage
he drove his motorcycle into theirs.
Prangthip has filed suit against Sombat for using
physical violence and causinginjuries to her.
Drug operation nets
re-offending dealer and over 100k in cash, gold and pills
Senior Pattaya police raided a small hotel off Pattaya
Third Road in the early hours in the morning of July 27, resulting in the
arrest of Wichart Kwansongkroh, 26, and Panya Khunsri, 21, with 320
methamphetamine pills and a loaded Noring 9mm automatic pistol.
The pair were taken into custody and questioned. Through
the interrogation officers learned that Wichart was out on bail from a
previous case of being caught with 600 pills. The court process was
continuing with Wichart claiming that he returned to selling the drugs to
gain enough money for the court case. Both were placed on drug and weapons
Investigating officers learned from the men that they
bought the pills from another man, identified as Sorayuth Sukdech, 26.
Police set up a sting and arrested Sorayuth in possession of 412
methamphetamine pills, 2 grams of the drug ice, 105,000 baht in drug money
and numerous other items including 14 baht weight in gold. Officers
confiscated all property made from the profits of drug sales.
Region 2 police commander Jongrak Jutanont later said that he had
instructed senior provincial police and stations throughout the region to
continue the crackdown on illegal drugs, confiscating all property of
dealers in the process.