HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Deputy PM Suwat checks new stadium progress on eve of 1st ASEAN Indoor Games

Beach chiefs suggested keeping deckchair vendors in order

Bali Hai Pier concession holders ask for rent reduction

Boat operators briefed on new regulations for Bali Hai Pier

Koh Larn trespasser pleads with mayor over house demolition

Light and sound spectacular to highlight Loy Krathong festival

Bali Hai Pier Loy Krathong celebration

Editor of Pattaya Post shot dead

Manhunt on for two foreign killers who gunned down Dutch real estate developer

Australian dies in hotel fall

Thief attempts snatch-and-run with 600,000 baht

Flying Doctors provide free dental service throughout the province

Rice and uniform donation eases burden for 200 temporary employee

Star laws and the future of artificial satellites discussed at seminar

Deputy PM Suwat checks new stadium progress on eve of 1st ASEAN Indoor Games

Ariyawat Nuamsawat

Deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptapanlop inspected the new Indoor Stadium, the venue for the 1st ASEAN Indoor Games, during a visit to Pattaya on November 5. The Games are being hosted by Thailand and will be staged from November 12 to 19.

Inside the sports stadium is almost 100 percent complete, but outside the sports stadium is still worrisome.

The inspection revealed that construction of the frontage and the car park was not yet complete, while inside the stadium all construction had been completed and all that remained was the installation of a remaining few spectator seats.

Constructed under a budget of more than 480 million baht, the Indoor Stadium is a 108x120 meter four-story reinforced steel concrete building with a seating capacity for 4,000. The stadium can be used to stage indoor sports along with concerts, fairs, trade fairs and other events.

The first floor is an air-conditioned sports stadium with seating and operation rooms. The second to fourth floors contain the seating areas and utility rooms. The stadium has a 200-meter, six-track oval running track, an eight-track straight running track, a long and triple jump track, a pole vault track, a high-jump area and a shot-put area. Italian specialists Mondo have manufactured the field.

“The governor of Chonburi and Chonburi Provincial Administration Organization have been ordered to see that the yet-to-be-completed construction around the stadium be completed at least one day before the games are due to start. However no problems are foreseen in this respect,” said Suwat.

The Sports Authority of Thailand is offering an incentive to Thai athletes with a two million baht payment for every gold medal earned, one million baht for silver and 500,000 baht for bronze.

Beach chiefs suggested keeping deckchair vendors in order

 Ariyawat Nuamsawat

Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn and Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh addressed over 200 deckchair vendors at a meeting on November 1 to try to make them understand the regulations of the beaches and to propose that the vendors choose a leader for each beach to ensure order and public safety.

Colorful beds and umbrellas await the new arrangement.

Deputy Mayor Ronakit said that Pattaya is preparing for many international meetings, including the Asian Indoor Games, which are to take place later this month and there will many businessmen and tourists visiting the city during this period. Therefore the council wants to improve the appearance of the beaches. He said that the deckchairs, umbrellas and sun loungers were not laid out uniformly and were not all the same color. Ronakit said that he had ordered a designer to draw up a suitable design and he was trying to find sponsors for the scheme.

The deputy mayor said that there are 16 rules for beach vendors to obey. Anybody infringing the rules for the first time would be fined and persistent offenders would have their license revoked. The council planned to have a nominated chief for Pattaya, Dongtan and Jomtien beaches. The beach vendors should nominate a chief for each beach at the next meeting, he said.

A Mr Wallop, one of the vendors at Dongtan Beach, said that the council should hold regular meetings and provide inspection officers so that everybody was clear about what was expected. The beaches could then be maintained to the required standard.

Bali Hai Pier concession holders ask for rent reduction

Narisa Nitikarn

Concession holders at the shops on Bali Hai Pier have asked for a reduction in their rentals and a meeting was staged at Pattaya district office with Deputy Mayor Weerawat Khakhai presiding. Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn acted in a judicial role in an attempt to resolve the issue.

Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn (left) acted in a judicial role in an attempt to resolve the issue.

Mayor Niran said that those with concessions leasing space in the pier building in South Pattaya had requested a reduction on the increased rent back to the rate that it was prior to the recent increase.

Leases cost 105,000 baht per month. A proposal had been made to increase the number of shops, which required an increase in rent charges. Some of the new areas in the building have been leased but the occupiers still haven’t commenced business, and consequently the existing tenants are losing income.

The meeting agreed that city council should help out in whatever way it could. District chief Sittiphap Muangkhum added that if the additional rent isn’t to be charged then the shops could be returned to the council and if someone required them at a later time they could be leased out.

Boat operators briefed on new regulations for Bali Hai Pier

Ariyawat Nuamsawat

Boat operators who use Bali Hai Pier attended a meeting at the Sea and Coast Rescue Center on November 3 for an update on the council’s new regulations.

Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh and council member Sanit Bunmarchai called a meeting of boat operators who use Bali Hai Pier.

Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh and council member Sanit Bunmarchai called the meeting, which was attended by more than 30 boat operators.

Ronakit said the council is in the process of drafting new regulations on the use of the pier. Concession rights have been granted to the private sector on the use of the upper pavilion, and the council will only oversee the use of the actual pier, to be carried out by municipal officials and sea and coastal rescue personnel.

Piers A, C and E will be reserved for dropping off passengers and tourists only, and it will be forbidden to moor on a long-term basis. This will enable passenger boats and other boats to use the piers jointly. Only four-wheeled vehicles carrying passengers will be allowed to transport passengers onto the pier and they must vacate immediately after doing so.

Sanit said that the regulations on the use of the pier are to be implemented to protect tourists and keep the pier clean. The regulations will also prevent the pier from being used as a place to gather for unlawful purposes at nighttime because the pier will only operate between 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Koh Larn trespasser pleads with mayor over house demolition

Camping center to be built under 51mn baht budget

 Narisa Nitikarn

Pattaya’s mayor led a delegation to Samae Beach on Koh Larn to inspect the area prior to the building of a camping center by the council under a 51 million baht budget.

Wuttipong Patkratok (no shirt, center) pleads with Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn (right) and Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh (left) to find a compromise regarding the removal of his illegal house on public land.

Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn along with Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh and officials from city hall visited the beach on October 31.

Niran said the project to provide a camping site will include the planting of trees, the construction of a central office, living accommodation, 10 commercial booths, a multipurpose court, two restrooms, a wastewater system and electricity facilities, all to be accomplished under the 51 million baht budget.

The intention is to attract tourists here where they will find different activities to those in Pattaya, such as fishing and hiking and the opportunity for an outdoors style of vacation for families and groups.

It is also intended to add a swimming pool at Samae Beach. The mayor said that although there is an extensive beach area, the pool is for tourists who don’t want to swim in the sea but who still want to be in a beach environment.

While the mayor and his entourage were surveying the beach area, a villager approached wanting to talk to him about the forced removal of his house, which stands on public property. His name was Wuttipong Patkratok, a son of Mrs Rampan Patkratok, a known trespasser on public land at Koh Larn. Wuttipong wanted to know if a compromise was possible. Rampan’s case pertaining to removal of the house is in the judgment phase, and she is waiting for an appeal through a court decision.

Wuttipong said he has lived on Samae Beach for over 40 years. He and his family will have nowhere to live after the authorities demolish his house. He cannot find a place to work because he has no plot to run a business. Mayor Niran asked Wuttipong to visit him at city hall for a discussion. He said that alternative accommodation could be arranged on Koh Larn. However, added the mayor, city hall will naturally respect the court’s order, whatever it may be.

Light and sound spectacular to highlight Loy Krathong festival

Narisa Nitikarn

Loy Krathong moved into its advanced planning phase on November 3 when Deputy Mayor Weerawat Khakhai chaired a meeting on the upcoming festive celebrations.

This year the focus will be on a light and sound show depicting the origins of the festival in the Sukhothai era, and there will be a Miss Loy Krathong 2005 competition.

Pattaya council members, government department heads, police officers and other relevant parties attended the meeting.

Deputy Mayor Weerawat said that on November 16 the Loy Krathong celebrations would be divided into two parts. A krathong banana leaf boat competition organized by the Pattaya Education Office will be held at Larn Pho Park in Naklua beginning at 1 p.m.. The evening activities will be held at Bali Hai pier beginning at 7 p.m. and will include the light and sound show and the Miss Loy Krathong contest.

Suradej Chanyaswad, managing director of SCV & Associates Co Ltd, the organizer of the light and sound show said that it will require two days in advance to set up the huge scenes depicting the Sukhothai era, and this will require cooperation from the traffic police and parking attendants because it may cause traffic congestion. The show will incorporate 128 actors with the main practice session prior to the event on November 15.

Suradej added that billboards advertising the spectacle have been designed in both Thai and English. The event will keep to the Thai traditions. Stickers have also been printed with the same content as the billboard advertisements.

Applicants for the Miss Loy Krathong contest must be between 15-28 years old and the competition is open to all beautiful women throughout the country. Application forms are available from Pattaya District Office and Sophon Cable TV Co Ltd from now until November 15.

Bali Hai Pier Loy Krathong celebration

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

19.00 Master of Ceremonies introduces the festival
19.05 Thirty Nang Noppamas contestants introduced
19.45 First show by local youths
20.00 MC announces 10 Nang Noppamas contestant finalists
20.15 Second show by local youths
20.30 Last 5 Nang Noppamas contestants question & answer session, followed by sash and prize pre
sentation to the winner of Miss Media
20.40 Stage performance showing origin of Loy
Krathong tradition
21.30 Mayor speech, followed by fireworks lighting
21.45 Prizes and sashes to the winner and runners-up
of Nang Noppamas (Miss Loy Krathong)
22.00 Music show
22.10 Esaan traditional show
23.50 Modern music by DJ
24.00 Closing ceremony

Editor of Pattaya Post shot dead

Deputy Commander of Thai Royal Police adamant that killers will be brought to justice

Staff Reporters

One of Thailand’s most prominent journalists was found shot dead in his car in a Pattaya lane, sparking a massive police hunt for his killers.

Santi Lammaneenil, a Channel 7 special reporter and editor of the Thai language Pattaya Post, was shot dead in his car on Soi 16/1 Pattaya-Naklua Road. He had been shot in the forehead, the right temple and the left side of his chin with a 38 mm handgun. Santi was bond and blindfolded, his shirt used to tie his hands, which were also bound with a mobile phone charger cable. The left rear windscreen of the car had been shot out and the victim’s own 38 mm handgun was lying at his feet. He had been dead not less than 12 hours.

The victim’s car at the scene.

The victim’s wife, Mrs Malee Seedaeng, 35, told officers that before her husband disappeared at about 1 p.m. on October 31, a tall, well-built man with curly hair parked a white Mitsubishi at the front of the house and asked the whereabouts of Santi. She told the man that her husband was not home.

Then at 9 p.m. the same day, a bronze colored car, model unknown, parked outside and three men asked where her husband was. Again, she told them that she did not know. She became worried and attempted to telephone her husband but his mobile phone was switched off. Santi never returned home.

Pol Lt Gen Jongrak Juthanont, Commander of Region 2 Police, said that after preliminary investigations police understood that the victim was a straight-to-the-point, no-holds-barred reporter. Two months previously he had written a scathing attack on a Pattaya entertainment venue that had greatly annoyed the owner. Police were also aware that the victim was addicted to gambling on football, and there was an extra issue of a love affair. Police suspect that at least four people were responsible for the killing.

On November 3, Pol Col Somnuk Changate, superintendent of Pattaya police, called in the owner of the club who allegedly had a dispute with Santi. He denied any involvement, stating that the pair had spoken and had come to an understanding.

Forensic experts have meanwhile found male head hairs in the left passenger seat of the car and are almost certain that they belong to the killer. The hairs have been sent for DNA testing.

Police have also called in a teenaged girl who Santi allegedly had been dating, working on the theory that extra marital activities could be behind the shooting.

Officers have inspected Santi’s notebook computer because before his death Santi had told a few close friends and wrote in a Pattaya Post article that “if anything happens to me then check out my personal notebook computer”. Police found details on Santi’s football gambling debts of over 1.6 million baht. There were also details of threats made by a Pattaya bar owner and mention of being followed.

On November 5 police called in staff from a local disco after learning that at about 1 a.m. on October 31 the victim had been seen drinking there. They confirmed that Santi was there and had been drinking alone at the front of the DJ podium before being joined by three women and a man. He wasn’t seen again until the discovery of his body.

Police have found a witness who heard gunshots and have compiled enough evidence from the scene to draw up a picture of Santi’s last moments. The gun that was used to shatter the rear windscreen belonged to the victim. Police are looking for the shell casing and the origin of the gun.

Reporters have discovered that the victim’s mobile phone, which was missing from the scene of the killing, has now been found. It had been sold to a second-hand mobile phone dealer in the Kahathaepprasit Market. The phone’s memory card was still present, but the SIM card was missing. Police are questioning the dealer to find out who sold him the mobile phone.

Latest reports are that police have found a house where Santi had been taken against his will. No bloodstains were found. All that was found at the house were the killers’ tire tracks. It is believed that they shot Santi in their own car before transferring him to his vehicle, tying a blue hand towel around the victims’ head to stem the blood. It is known that the vehicle in question was a bronze-gold colored van. Police are now searching for the van.

Santi was a special reporter for Channel 7 and many newspapers such as Khao Sod, Khom Chad Luek, and Matichon. He was also editor of Pattaya Post and was vice president of the Pattaya Press Association. Santi was well loved and respected by the Pattaya press fraternity due to his straight and incisive reporting. His body was taken to Wat Thamsamkki in South Pattaya. Relatives are adamant that no cremation will take place while the killers remain at large.

PM Thaksin Shinawatra has instructed police to urgently find those responsible for the murder, because, he said, “The crime seriously damages Thailand’s reputation”.

Manhunt on for two foreign killers who gunned down Dutch real estate developer

Boonlua Chatree

A Dutch real estate developer was shot and killed by two foreign men on a motorcycle in what police believe was a gangland murder.

Banglamung police received a call on November 2 from Mrs Sukanya Khan-In, 29, to say that her husband, 45-year-old Dutch national Johannes Mieremet had been shot dead and that his body had been taken to Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital.

Officers went to the intensive care unit at the hospital where they examined the corpse. Mieremet had been shot by a 9mm handgun in the right side of his head and in the left side of his chest. Staff said he was dead on arrival at the hospital. The body was transferred to the Forensic Medicine Institute for a full autopsy.

Sukanya told police that she had been with her husband for a year and that the couple had no children. On the day of the killing the couple had gone to see a plot of land at Allot Village, at Singto Park in Soi Chaiyapruk 2. Suddenly two foreigners that she alleged she recognized as Dutch acquaintances appeared on a Honda Wave motorcycle with the license plate concealed. They were shouting and one of them said to her husband, “I have been ordered to kill you because of your behavior,” before shooting him and escaping in the direction of South Pattaya.

Region 2 police commander, Pol Lt Gen Jongrak Juthanont and Chonburi commander Pol Maj Gen A-Nan Charoenchasri ordered an intensive search for the killers, setting up roadblocks on all connecting roads to Pattaya City and working with the immigration police to try and prevent them from slipping out of the country.

Superintendent of Pattaya police Pol Col Somnuk Changate, and Pol Lt Col Wuttichart Luansukhan, inspector of Pattaya tourist police division 3 organized a search of the city, particularly in and around the known criminal hideouts. Police are also looking into the background to the Allot Village development to see if they can find a motive for the killing.

Meanwhile, ANP news agency reported that Mieremet was allegedly major player in the Dutch underworld and his murder was the latest in a series of killings of Dutch crime figures. Mieremet’s former lawyer, Evert Hingst, was shot dead in Amsterdam a few days earlier.

A Dutch newspaper, ‘De Telegraaf’, said that Mieremet had been talking with De Telegraaf crime reporter John van de Heuvel about Evert Hingst’s murder.

Australian dies in hotel fall

Boonlua Chatree

An Australian fell to his death from the eighth floor of a hotel on Pattaya 2 Road, scattering tourists who saw him fall.

Police called to the scene found the body of Shaun Michael McVeigh, age 37, lying on the roadside at the side of the hotel. The hotel manager and staff told the officers that the guest had checked into a room on the eighth floor on October 23. They had no idea how he could have fallen.

The body was transferred to the Department of Forensic Medicine and police have contacted the man’s family.

Police surmise that McVeigh may have been broke and committed suicide. He was scheduled to check out of the hotel on the day of his death.

Thief attempts snatch-and-run with 600,000 baht

Stole so that he could get married

Boonlua Chatree

A policeman on routine patrol in the Pattaya Beach Road area at 10 a.m. on November 2 heard a woman cry out for help. Investigating, he found an officer of the Siam Commercial Bank, 23-year-old Ms Daorat Ardyaemsuan, who told him that a man had snatched about 600,000 baht contained in a brown paper bag from the front of the bank’s exchange booth on Pattaya Klang Second Road Beach Branch, which is located only 200 meters away from the police station. The robber had escaped in the direction of North Pattaya.

A large posse of about 50 police officers immediately set off in pursuit and the thief was apprehended with the paper bag full of money still in his possession.

He was identified as Supong Nutchkasem, age 25, and claimed to be TV cameraman. Supong said he was planning to ask his girlfriend to marry him but her parents had asked for a dowry and gold to the value of 400,000 baht. He had therefore planned the robbery to pay for his bride but unfortunately from his point of view he had been arrested before he could hand the money over.

Siam Commercial Bank’s Daorat said that she had withdrawn 600,000 baht to hand over to the exchange booth. When she took the paper bag from the car the thief snatched it from her grasp and fled.

Flying Doctors provide free dental service throughout the province

Chatchanan Chaisree

The Volunteer Flying Doctors Foundation is working in Chonburi province between now and December 2 to provide free dental service to the public.

Known in Thai as “Por Or Sor Wor”, the foundation is a mobile medical and dental team established in 1969 by Her Royal Highness the Princess Mother with the mission of providing health care to those who may not be able to afford it, or for those who live in remote areas.

Physicians talk with public health officers as they prepare to offer their dental services to the public;.

Presently the foundation is working in cooperation with the Chonburi Provincial Hygiene Department. Volunteer dental surgeons are undertaking checkups, fillings, extractions and teeth cleaning.

Beds fill up with students and grown-ups coming for free dental care.

Suratsawadee Thang-Ngeon, a Level 4 dental surgeon at Sattahip Hospital said that the mobile clinic has a total of 23 officers and dental surgeons from four hospitals, namely the Wat Yanasangwararam, Sattahip and Banglamung hospitals and the Provincial Hygiene Department. About 100 people are coming in for dental treatment each day. The Flying Doctors are scheduled to travel to all the villages, sub-districts and districts of Chonburi province during their time here, which is November 1 to December 2.

Rice and uniform donation eases burden for 200 temporary employees

Narisa Nitikarn

Rice and uniforms have been handed out to 200 temporary government employees at a ceremony at Pattaya district office.

Making the presentation were Deputy Mayor Wuttisak Rermkijakarn, Mrs Wannaphorn Chaemjamrat, director general of the Office of Health and the Environment, and councilor Bunlue Kullavanich.

Bunlue Kullavanich, city council member, Chitapa Suwattaphorn, city council member, and Wuttisak Rermkijakarn, deputy mayor present rice and uniforms on behalf of Pattaya City council.

Wuttisak said the rice donation is a city council practice done every two months to help ease the burden of monthly living expenses for its temporary employees. This time the donation had included uniforms as the existing ones were wearing out.

Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn, Deputy Mayor Wuttisak, council member Phanote Khanawattanakul, and Chokudom Equipment Co Ltd provided the rice and uniforms. Each temporary government employee received two bags of rice and two uniforms. Rice will again be distributed in two months’ time.

Star laws and the future of artificial satellites discussed at seminar

Narisa Nitikarn

A seminar staged by the Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs at Siam Bayview on October 28 discussed the future use of artificial satellites and the laws that support and control their usage.

Dr Viraphand Vacharathit, director general of the Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs was the seminar opening presenter.

Opening presenter was Dr Viraphand Vacharathit, the department’s director general. Amongst the delegates were officials from the Office of National Stability, GISTDA, the Department of Meteorology, the National Intelligence Agency, the Ministry of Defense, and the Ministry of Commerce.

Dr Viraphand said that many people thought “Space” did not concern them. But much of our modern life depends on artificial satellites, varying from national defense through to weather forecasting and including everyday entertainment and telecommunications.

Thailand has four Thaicom satellites and is consequently very much part of the international space community, following the rules and regulations regarding satellite use. The Kingdom has applied to be a member of the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses for Outer Space, COPUOS, which sets up regulations with the UN General Assembly. There are presently 65 member countries.

Dr Somkiat Ariyapratchaya, formerly Thai ambassador to Austria, said that Thailand is increasingly using satellite technology in different ways, for example in drug suppression, forestry, agricultural development, water resources control, and public area trespass. We must continue to stay abreast of space technology developments, and in the laws governing artificial satellites under UN guidance, as part of our own national development, said Dr Somkiat.