Rains dampen enthusiasm of party faithful as Thaksin on the stump visits Chonburi
Acting Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on March 9 gathered local Thai Rak
Thai party leaders and Eastern region parliamentary candidates for a public
rally in front of Chonburi Town Hall as part of his bid for reelection on April
Local residents gathered in strength to listen to Thaksin and others including
Phongtaep Thaepkanchana, Isorn Piangkate and Vira Musikpong use the occasion to
attack the opposition, especially the Democrats under the leadership of Abisit
Vachajiva, Chart Thai under the leadership of Banharn Silapa-archa and Mahachon
under the leadership of General Sanan Kachornprasart.
A 30-minute thunderstorm prior to Thaksin’s arrival sent party leaders and the
public scattering for cover. Finally Thaksin mounted the stage and addressed
the public in the rain to inform them that Thai Rak Thai is ready to return to
power and serve them to the fullest. The party is not afraid of the political
rumors started by a small group and is certain that the public still has faith
in Thai Rak Thai and its leadership.
PM Thaksin said that the upcoming election would be a historic one, as it will
strengthen democracy under the protection of the King. Parliament was dissolved
to return power to the people to give them the chance to reelect the good back
to power. If they are reelected they will put heart and soul into solving the
problems of poverty and drugs.
The rain, however, was heedless of the promises being made from the stage, and
precipitated upon the hapless politicians. The acting prime minister was able
to speak for only about 20 minutes by which time most of the public had got in
their cars and driven off home to escape the deluge.
Interior Ministry rebukes city hall for slowness
Says, ‘Officials cannot be relied upon’1
The Ministry of the Interior has taken the unusual step of castigating
Pattaya City officialdom for inefficiency and slowness in progressing
At a March 9 meeting in Pattaya District Office, Mayor Niran
Watthanasartsathorn gathered department heads to provide answers to the
slowness in withdrawing budgeted expenditures, the subject that had
sparked the ministry’s criticism.
Niran Watthanasartsathorn investigates the reasons
for the Interior Ministry’s complaints.
Pattaya deputy municipal clerk, Apichart Puechphan said that he had
represented the city in a meeting with the Interior Ministry where he was
reprimanded over Pattaya’s withdrawing of budgeted expenditures from
ministry funds for local development projects. Pattaya was compared
unfavorably to provinces whose local development projects were expanding,
He added that Pattaya has a negative image in the eyes of the ministry,
even though it is a tourist city.
Apichart was told that the city should have withdrawn 16 percent of its
budget in March. Ministry officials told him that the city administrators
were inefficient and could not be relied on.
Upon hearing of the complaints those responsible for the projects said the
work must be carried out in stages in the planning and bidding phases,
which sometimes causes delays in withdrawing budget allocations. Another
of the major problems is the slowness of contractors, which also causes
Phichaet Uthaiwattananont, director of Pattaya Public Works said that the
problems were not caused by slow bids and were also not caused at the
planning stages, but planners must follow better procedures and carry out
studies prior to making any decisions, and had better plan their budgets
After all the explanations Mayor Niran assigned Apichart to follow up on
projects that had not progressed in order to withdraw budgets allocated by
the ministry. Sittiparp Muangkhum, Pattaya deputy district chief, said
that the contractors who had not submitted bills to withdraw their 15
percent should also be asked to attend a meeting as these are the cause of
The Ministry of the Interior will inspect Pattaya City Council and help to
remedy matters, but this probably will not happen until after the general
Locals complain that Pattaya Carnival wasn’t worth the money
Concessionaire should refund part of 10mn budget
Pattaya Carnival 2006 wasn’t worth the money that was spent on it, and
the company that had the concession to organize the 10 million baht event
should pay back part of the fee.
That is the opinion of a large number of Pattaya residents, aired at a
meeting held on March 7 at city hall to assess the results of the carnival,
which had been staged February 24 to 26.
Muangkhum, Pattaya city engineering director presided over a meeting to
summarize results of the Pattaya Carnival 2006.
Pattaya’s city engineering director, Sittiparp Muangkhum chaired the
meeting, which was also attended by Suthichai Banluedaech, project manager
of K Creator Co Ltd, the company awarded the concession under city hall’s
budget, and K Creator’s project coordinator Sacaphorna Satacacharporn.
City officials had held numerous meetings to discuss the format of the event
and many aspects of the carnival were in line with the concepts agreed with
K Creator. However, many complaints had been heard that the carnival had
failed to impress tourists, and that the budget outlay was too high for what
was provided. There is now pressure on K Creator to refund part of the
Pikul Samanuan, head of the Soi Post Office Community, told the meeting that
residents are complaining that the carnival was far from the event
advertised. The performances were not as promised with only the singers on
stage and no dancers, and the parade was also not as promised, and was
nothing special. The 10 million baht budget had come from the pockets of the
local residents, said Pikul, and they didn’t get what they paid for.
12mn baht will be spent on promotional campaign this year
A 12 million baht budget will be used to run an advertising and public
relations campaign for Pattaya at home and overseas during this year.
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay chaired a meeting on March 8 to discuss the
campaign strategy with representatives of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
Region 3, the Eastern Thailand Hotels Association, Pattaya Business and
Tourism Association and relevant government officials and other
A substantial part of the overseas budget will go to South Korea, with a
couple of TV documentaries, a presence at Busan International Travel Fair
2006, and a series of subway advertisements. In Hong Kong, Pattaya is
cooperating with Asia Television Limited (ATV) to air travel documentaries
promoting Pattaya’s new image as well as facilities such as restaurants,
shows and spas. The documentary will be split up into four 30-minute
Promotional campaigns will also be held in Europe in such countries as the
Ukraine, Russia and Turkey through billboards. The foreign advertising and
public relations budget will amount to 7,500,000 baht.
A 4,500,000 baht budget has been allocated for domestic marketing in Chiang
Mai, Nakhorn Sawan, Nakhorn Ratchasima, Samutsakorn, and Samutsongkram.
Advertising will also be carried out on National Highway 7 at the entrance
to Suvarnabhumi Airport to attract tourists from different provinces.
Sontaya Khunplome registers for election and says he is convinced democracy will resolve political turmoil
Thai Rak Thai’s Sontaya Khunplome (left) leads
Thai Rak Thai’s parliamentary candidates for Chonburi as they register for
the April 2 election.
Sontaya Khunplome, one of the Thai Rak Thai party’s highest profile
figures in the Eastern region, formally registered as a parliamentary
candidate for Chonburi on
Appearing at the Pavilion in Chonburi, which will be used as one of the
polling stations, Sontaya was greeted by a crowd of well-wishers.
He told the gathering that he is convinced the present political turmoil
will not damage the party as they have always been close to the people, and
the public will make the final decision.
Sontaya said that he has never seen anything like the current situation in
Thailand, but he is confident that it will all be resolved within the
As a working MP he takes care of the eastern part of Chonburi province, with
Rayong, Chantaburi, Trad, Nakorn Nayok, Prachinburi and Srakaew all coming
within his area of responsibility.
There are eight candidates for the eight zones: Sanga Tanasanguanwong is
registering for Zone 1, Amarin Tangprakob for Zone 2, Wittaya Khunplome Zone
3, Surasit Nitiwutworrarak Zone 4, Ittipol Khunplome Zone 5, Chanyuth
Hengtrakul Zone 6, Poramet Ngampiches Zone 7, and Uthai Maneeratrot Zone 8.
Pattaya Waterworks directed to provide daily report on supply situation
Works underway to improve water pressure
Pattaya Waterworks has been directed to report to the city council on a
daily basis with information on the water supply situation, in view of the
continuing concern and complaints from the public and business operators.
of Pattaya Waterworks Dhanee Tongprachum (right) describes progress on water
Council chairman Tavich Chaiswangwong said the lack of water supplies in some
areas is affecting tourism and other businesses in addition to local
residents, and that the Pattaya Water Supply office must provide explanations
as a matter of urgency.
Councilor Farooq Wongborisuthi said the situation in Soi Nernplabwan, Soi
Khao Noi and Khao Talo is one of expanding communities and more houses, but
the water supply has not been expanded to meet the growth and the situation
should be rectified urgently.
Manager of Pattaya Waterworks Dhanee Tongprachum said that presently the
water levels in the reservoirs under the control of the Irrigation Department
are sufficient for this year but feeding the water to Pattaya is a major
The Waterworks office has a budget of 260 million baht to improve the water
feed system for high locations. The office is in the process of hiring
Bangsaen Mahanakhorn Co to construct a 1,500 cubic meter water storage tank
at Khao Thappraya and a 2,000 cubic meter tank at Khao Talo, which will feed
the Sukhumvit Road side Soi Nernplabwan, Soi Khao Noi and Khao Talo as these
areas have suffered water pressure problems. It is anticipated that the tanks
will be installed by August and the water pressure should increase in the
Pattaya readies for the general election
66,000 residents entitled to vote
Pattaya is preparing itself for the national election, with Deputy Mayor
Ronakit Ekasingh on March 9 presiding over the first session of the
Election Committee of District 7, which saw 10 elected members attending.
Dhanee Sisai, director of Pattaya School 8 was elected as resident director
of the District 7 election.
Following the government’s dissolution of parliament on February 24 the
meeting was held to prepare the District 7 Election Committee, planning and
policies before the general election on April 2.
Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh presides over the first session of the Election
Committee of District 7.
The District 7 Election Committee has only 30 days in which to prepare for
the election. The following have been elected to the committee: Manas
Khongwattana, director of Pattaya School 7, Pol Lt Maj Somchai Phongsai,
traffic inspector of Pattaya Municipal Police, Adisak Somsaen, coordinator
of the Agricultural Technology College, Narong Piwoon, deputy director pf
Pattaya School 3, Mrs Yupaphorn Titiworn, deputy director of Pattaya School
6, Jirasak Jitsom, deputy director of Pattaya School 2, Mrs Jinthana
Waechote, education head, Pattaya City Council, Thirasak Jutphong, head of
public order and security, and Charlie Duangdara, acting head of the Office
of Pattaya District Chief.
The elected members have each been through an extensive election process by
Chonburi Election Committee. Ronakit said that District 7 is divided into
three areas for the election, Pattaya with 82 election zones, Nongprue 33
zones and Nongplalai nine zones. This totals 124 zones, with 65,976 Pattaya
residents entitled to vote.
Mayor Niran Watthanasartsathorn said that everything is well prepared for
the April 2 election, and that people can also vote in advance on March 25
and 26 between the hours of 08.00-15.00 at Pattaya School 2.
Hoodlums attack British man and Thai tourist with iron bar
Two unemployed men who decided to throw their weight around at a beer
bar have been arrested for injuring a British national and a Thai man.
Pattaya police station received a report at 5 a.m. on March 1 that two
people had been attacked with an iron bar at the entrance to Soi 8 on Second
Road. At the scene officers found two Thai men, one of them holding an iron
bar, who were identified as the attackers. They were Sompong Chamratnaew,
24, a resident of Khon Kaen, and Sanan Karaket, 20, of Buriram.
Chamratnaew and Sanan Karaket were charged with assault.
Also at the scene were Pitak Tedmee, 30, who had a fractured skull and was
bleeding, and Ashley Brown, a 42-year-old British national, who was bleeding
from two head wounds. Police transferred the two injured people to Pattaya
Memorial Hospital for treatment.
Officers questioned the two arrested men. They stated that they were
unemployed. They had been riding on a black Honda Wave motorcycle and at the
Little Ann Bar they found the foreign visitor drunk. They saw him use a
bottle of beer to hit the table. Thinking they would show a little muscle,
they stepped into the bar and hit him on the head. The two were charged with
assault and injury.
Drunken tourist injured after hotel fall
A drunken tourist was badly injured after he fell from the 4th floor of
a hotel at Jomtien Beach.
Officers at Dongtan police sub-station received a report from an employee at
the Silver Sand Hotel at 1:30 a.m. on March 7, saying that a foreigner had
jumped from the 4th floor of the White House Resort Hotel on Najomtien
workers take the injured man to hospital.
At the scene officers found the man, Mike (surname unknown), a 32-year-old
Italian national, lying on the ground. He had back and head injuries. Police
took him to Bangkok Pattaya Hospital.
Police questioned the security guard at the Silver Sand Hotel who stated
that the foreigner had jumped from a 4th floor window of the White House
Resort. However, White House employees confirmed that the injured man was
not a hotel guest. They didn’t know where he had come from. Police could not
question the injured man because he was in a drunken state. Enquiries will
Construction worker who raped 3-year-old girl said it was with her consent
A construction laborer accused of raping a three-year-old girl has claimed
that the child had encouraged him to carry out the act.
Banglamung police station received a report from Ms Kulab Lansrila, 40, and
Sompan Ong-Ard, 32, at 1 a.m. on March 1 saying that their daughter had been
raped by a construction worker in front of Nongprue Temple. Volunteer police
and villagers were currently detaining the man in a thicket beside the road
near the temple.
Somboon Chamniwat suffered a beating from local residents, who detained him for raping
a 3-year-old girl.
Police officers went to the scene and found volunteer village police officer
Sanit Chanpen, 39, in charge of the alleged assailant, Somboon Chamniwat, a
31-year-old native of Yasothorn. Somboon had injuries from a beating he had
received from the villagers. The officers escorted him to Banglamung police
The child’s parents were crying and holding the girl, who was in a state of
fright and had blood on her long white skirt. Police transferred the girl to
Banglamung Hospital where it was found that she had suffered tissue damage
from forced penetration.
Somboon gave a statement, saying that he loved children. He said that the
little girl was lovely and he had a strong urge to have intercourse with her.
The girl’s parents went out to work and he was in the labor camp in front of
Nongprue Temple. He bought some desserts to win the girl’s affections so that
he could fulfill his desires. He stated that he didn’t rape the girl, but that
the girl encouraged him to have sex with her. Police charged him with raping a
girl under 10 years of age with her agreement or not.
The couple told police that the husband worked as a 10-wheel-truck driver
transporting soil, and the wife kept her husband company every day. Two days
previously they had found the girl in a state of unease, and on this day had
returned earlier because they were worried about her. They found that Somboon,
who regularly drank at their residence, was raping the girl. They asked the
villagers to arrest him before giving notice to the police.
Police net 21 Cambodian beggars making profitable living in
Tourist Police arrested a whole squad of Cambodian beggars after complaints
from tourists who were being pestered for money.
Pol Col Supapon Arunsit, commander of Tourist Police Headquarters Section 2,
led the swoop upon the beggars who were working the city’s entertainment
areas. A total of 21 Cambodians were taken into custody: one male and nine
females, and 11 children, nine of who were girls. The beggars were taken to
Pattaya police station, and later deported.
The beggars told police that they could make a lot of money in Pattaya. They
received about 300 baht per person from tourists. If they begged in Rong
Klua, in Aranyaprathet, which is on the border, they could earn only 50 baht
per day. Therefore they took the bus to Pattaya.
Shop owner survives eight gunshots
The owner of a shop selling metal rolling doors and shutters was critically
injured when he was shot eight times while drinking with his employees.
Police were called to the shop at Soi Tawan Ice Cube at 10:30 p.m. on March
5, where they found the owner, 42-year-old Bamrung Bunsong, lying in a pool
of blood. He had eight bullet holes in him, including a shot that had hit
him in the back of the head. He was rushed to Bangkok Pattaya Hospital.
Witnesses said the gunman had fired from the back door of the shop while
Bamrung was drinking with Tanapol Sontanawong and another two employees.
Nobody had seen the assailant arrive. Police have assumed the attack was
over a business dispute.
Two teenagers arrested showing off guns to their friends
Two teenagers were arrested in the early hours of March 1 for carrying guns,
which they were showing off to their friends under the flyover at South
Police were alerted to the gathering by a motorcycle that had fallen over on
the footpath. Seeing the officers, the gang fled. Some youths were seized,
however, including a 16-year-old who was carrying a .38 caliber weapon, and
a 17-year-old who had a .22 gun and one bullet. They were charged with
illegal possession and carrying of firearms.
Metta Wanaram Temple lays foundation stone for large Buddha image
Abbot Wimutimaethi, head priest of Chonburi
province, and Rear Admiral Komin Komutanon, deputy commander in chief of the
Sattahip Naval Base lead a ceremony to lay the foundation stone for a large
Buddha image at Metta Wanaram Temple.
A ceremony to lay the foundation stone for a large Buddha image at Metta
Wanaram Temple was conducted on March 1 by Abbot Wimutimaethi, head priest
of Chonburi province, and Rear Admiral Komin Komutanon, deputy commander in
chief of the Sattahip Naval Base.
Sakchai Lert-Amornsrap and Ms Parnee Panyaporn also participated in the
stone laying ceremony, which was attended by navy officers and
representatives of public and private organizations.
The Buddha image “Buddha Mang Mee Srisuk” is 12 meters high and is being
built to honor His Majesty the King’s 60th anniversary on the throne.
Donations have come from the public at home and overseas. The mold is being
used for making shrines in other Buddhist countries.
Sattahip has a hill but there is no large Buddha image on a mountain, so
Metta Wanaram Temple had this idea to install a Buddha image where it would
be clearly visible.
US and Thai fleets prepare for joint exercises
Rear Admiral Surasak Rounroengrom, commander of Frigate Squadron 2, and Rear
Admiral William R Burke, commander of the American Pacific Fleet, held a
meeting on March 6 at the Green Park Resort conference center to lay out the
final plans for the upcoming 12th CARAT training exercises. The date for the
exercises was not immediately made available, but the exercises usually take
place in May or June.
The joint US-Thai CARAT (Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training) navy
exercises are held annually, swapping between Frigate Squadron 1 and Frigate
Squadron 2. The exercises emphasize all types of naval activities and are
staged to improve knowledge, expertise and experience of personnel and
strategies on surface vessels, submarines, air-strike defense, and sea and
land based divisions to increase confidence in cooperation.
Other than basic training, the exercises also include following up on world
events and changes in technology, such as communications and preventing the
enemy from listening in or intercepting. The exercises include anti drug
trafficking and acts of piracy that affects commercial shipping industry and
fisheries. The navy plays a role in the prevention of such acts and protection
of these industries and the crews of vessels involved.
Rear Admiral Surasak said that all navies around the world have to be in a
state of readiness at all times, including the Royal Thai Navy in order to
react swiftly and efficiently in the event of crises.
City Scope: City council helps man disabled in car accident
Deputy Mayor Wattana Jantanawaranon (left) provides
help to Wiwatt Wanprao who was involved in a car accident on January 9.
A delegation from Pattaya Social Welfare Department headed by Deputy Mayor
Wattana Jantanawaranon on March 1 went to provide assistance to a man living
in an overcrowded community in South Pattaya who had been disabled in a
The team learned that Wiwatt Wanprao, of Soi Charoen Jurarat, Thepprasit
Road Soi 5, had been struck by a car on January 9 this year. Wiwatt now has
to rely on the care of his mother and family at all times. The family is
very poor. Wattana presented two bags of essentials and five packs of
diapers. He also advised the family to register the disabled man in order to
gain disability support payments.
Wattana said that they had presented rice, dried food and the diapers, as
this is what the mother requested. He said that if they register the
disability, Wiwatt would receive 500 baht per month disability pension for
the rest of his life. Pattaya City Council will also coordinate with the
Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to ensure a payment to
help support the family of not over 2,000 baht. If the injured man would
like an adjustable bed the city will provide one, and if at a later date the
man is able to help himself a wheelchair will also be provided.
Wiwatt’s mother, Montha Khaopraphan, said that it was difficult to take care
of him as the family is very poor and has now lost a breadwinner. Nowadays a
lot of expense is incurred in buying medication, doctor visits and
transportation to the hospital.
Redemptorist School begins work on new 30mn baht multi-purpose building
The foundation stone for the Redemptorist School’s new multi-purpose
building, which will house classrooms and female accommodation, was laid at
a ceremony on March 3, at 9:39 a.m.
School director Father Joseph William Tobin, Father Banchong Chaiyara,
chairman of the school committee, and Father Apisit Kritsaralam, school
priest, presided over the laying of the stone in a ceremony attended by
Mayor Niran Watthanasartsathorn and supporters of the Redemptorist School.
(From left) Father Banchong Chaiyara, licensee and chairman of the committee for
the Redemptorist School in Pattaya, Father Joseph William Tobin, C.Ss.R.
superior director of the Redemptorist School, from Rome, Italy and Father
Apisit Kritsaralam, C.Ss.R. priest of the Redemptorist School in Pattaya
preside over laying the foundation stone.
Father Banchong said that Father Ray had the intention of erecting a new
building to provide more classroom space and female accommodation to replace
the original two-story timber structure. The old building was in a state of
disrepair, didn’t have elevators for the disabled in wheelchairs, and was
very overcrowded because it could support only 40 units.
This new building received a large part of its support from the Pattaya
Orphanage Trust in London, in the United Kingdom, and other supporters
included the Redemptorist Alumni Association in Pattaya, Hongkong and
Shanghai Banking Corporation, and the Royal Cliff Beach Resort. They have an
approximate budget of 31,700,000 baht for construction, decoration and
installation of accessories. The official opening is expected to take place
at the end of this year. However, there is still some shortfall in the
budget and they are looking for additional support.
The building will be in Thai traditional form, with three floors. Dimensions
are 18 m. x 52.5 m, with an area of 2,100 sq m. The first floor will have a
library and a conference room. The second floor will feature a computer room
and language laboratory. The third floor will provide the female
accommodation. An elevator will provide access for wheelchair users.
Bank of Thailand invites black market moneychangers to go legitimate
(From right) Fongthip
Prapasawudi, senior analyst at the Exchange Control Division Strategy and
Exchange Control Department Financial Markets Operations Group from Bank of
Thailand and Vorachai Reantongcome, Team Executive Strategy and Exchange
Control Department Financial Markets Operations Group from Bank of Thailand
meet with Tavich Chaiswangwong, chairman of Pattaya City Council and Deputy
Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh.
The Bank of Thailand is offering black market moneychangers in Pattaya
the opportunity to go legitimate.
Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh and Council Chairman Tavich Chaiswangwong
welcomed bank officials to Pattaya City Hall on March 6 for discussions on
licensed currency exchange business operators. Pattaya as a tourist city has
a high rate of foreign currency exchange transactions and there are still a
large number of black market currency exchange operations. It has therefore
been decided these need to be brought into the government system.
Vorachai Reantongcome of the Executive Strategy and Exchange Control
Department Financial Markets Operations Group of the Bank of Thailand said
that although the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Thailand announced in
August 2004 that standards on licensing will be revised, the public is not
yet aware of the new licensing standards.
Pattaya has a large number of illegal currency exchange operators. There is
a need for greater public relations awareness to have these unlicensed
operators submit license applications. Customers are able to check which
operators are licensed with the Ministry of Finance.
“I would like to invite these unlicensed operators to submit license
applications because the Bank of Thailand is open on licensing,” said
Vorachai. “All that is required is a registered capital of one million baht
and all shareholders must be Thai nationals.”
Applications may be submitted to the Bank of Thailand. For further details
call the head office at 0 2283 5117 and 0 2283 5199.
Pattaya’s press gathers to remember slain media leader
Pattaya’s press gathered at Thamasamakee Temple in South Pattaya on
March 5 to commemorate the death of one of their best-known members, Santi
Lammaneenil, who was murdered at the end of last year and whose killers are
still at large.
Hengtrakul lights a candle in remembrance of slain journalist Santi
Representatives of the media offered food to monks as merit making for
Santi, who had been vice president of the Mass Media Club and who was a
Channel 7 reporter, and also for other late members of the media community,
including Sathaporn Chua-Aree, chairman of the Sophon Cable TV company who
passed away from illness at the beginning of January.
Local politicians attended the merit making, including former Member of
Parliament for Chonburi Chanyuth Hengtrakul, Mayor Niran
Watthanasartsathorn, and Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay. The evening saw a
gathering of media people at Lychi Garden, Town in Town Hotel.
March 5 was National Media Day, established by the Thailand Mass Media
Association 50 years ago.