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Vol. XIV No. 32
Friday August 11 - August 17, 2006

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Updated every Friday
by Saichon Paewsoongnern

 

NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Road accident campaign aims to instill a sense of responsibility

Highway police internet station will be games-free zone says commander

Chonburi deputy governor formalizes land acquisition prices for Jomtien Second Road

Grand opening for Walking Street archway set for August 12

Highway police hold training exercises at Bira race circuit

First aid training aims at creating medical emergency services network

Chonburi governor gives budget withdrawal advice

Gambling den operated under noses of police patrols

German on lam was selling paintings to survive

Two 14-year-old homeless girls raped in woodland near Pattaya Park

Brazilian mobile phone thief arrested

Gang led by Iranian hoodlum robs jewelry designer of 500,000 baht

20 elephants train for Mothers Day homage ceremony

Training program aims to unify diverse approach to child welfare

Primary Health Care Center opens for Chumsai Community

Japanese singer Makoto to be invited to Pattaya

Seminar looks at ways of improving labor complaints procedures

Four Marines who died in the South are laid to rest with full military honors

Life in Soi Apple is rotten say residents


Road accident campaign aims to instill a sense of responsibility

Breathalyzer checks to be carried out

Breathalyzer checkpoints have been set up at places such as the front of Pattaya Orphanage on Sukhumvit Road.

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
A campaign to reduce road accidents in Pattaya and to instill in the public a greater sense of responsibility in using the major road networks is being carried out by the Accident Reduction Network with the support of the Office of Health Promotion.
About 13,000 people lose their lives nationwide through road accidents every year, most of which involve the young and those of working age, with the 15-45 year age bracket predominant. Up to 80 percent of accidents involve motorcycles. Road accidents are increasing, not only bringing loss of life and leaving thousands more people seriously injured, but also causing economic loss through the deaths and injuries, the cost of dealing with accidents and their aftermath.
The Accident Reduction Network acts as the central coordinator between government and private sector organizations in developing solutions and implementing policies. The four central risk areas are Chonburi, Ayutthaya, Nakhorn Pathom and Chanthaburi.
Breathalyzer checkpoints have been set up at places such as the front of Pattaya Orphanage on Sukhumvit Road, manned by police under the command of Pol Lt Col Somchai Phongsai, Pattaya Municipal Traffic Police Inspector. Officers will be looking in particular at public transport vehicles, trucks, and souped-up motorcycles. If the test shows a driver is a little over the limit of 50 milligrams, the driver will be allowed to park and drink water until the level drops below the limit. But if results show that the driver is well over the limit, he or she will be prosecuted.
Pamphlets are being handed out as part of the campaign to instill a conscience in road users to reduce the number of road deaths, especially during holiday periods.
 


Highway police internet station will be games-free zone says commander

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
The highway police have opened a free internet station but they are adamant no one will be downloading pornography or playing online games there.
Commander of the Highway Police Division in Pattaya, Pol Maj Gen Suwira Songmetta conducted the official opening of the internet station, which has been set up in association with CS Loxinfo, on July 31.

Pol. Maj. Gen. Suwira Songmetta (left), Ph.D., commander of the Highway Police, conducts the official opening of the internet station.

The commander said, perhaps unnecessarily, that parents need not worry about their children downloading games or inappropriate images if they come to use the internet at the Highway Police Station. Here it will be free of games, he said. This internet facility will be used for study purposes only, and may be used by anyone free of charge.
Just in case anyone thinks there might be some wriggle-room, there is only one computer available and a friendly policeman is on hand to offer IT advice.
Pol Maj Gen Suwira said that highway police in other areas have already opened their own internet stations, namely at Prachinburi, Chiang Mai, Lampang, Prachuabkirikhan, Phuket and Saraburi. Pattaya is the seventh area and the concept will be expanded in future to cover all 205 highway police stations.


Chonburi deputy governor formalizes land acquisition prices for Jomtien Second Road

Vimolrat Singnikorn
The deputy governor of Chonburi has signed a proclamation that will speed up the acquisition of land for the construction of Jomtien Second Road, a project that has caused considerable dissent amongst the owners of the land upon which the new highway will run.

These signboards show where Jomtien Second Road construction will begin.
At a city hall meeting on August 2, Deputy Governor Komsan Aekachai and members of the planning committee formalized the reimbursement terms for the surrender of the land, which is to be done under Royal Decree.
The meeting followed an agreement on May 16 to set the price of the land to be surrendered on the Thappraya side of Sukhumvit Road to allow the construction of Jomtien Second Road, a six-lane 30-meter wide highway that will run for a length of 7.69 kilometers.
The land has already been surveyed. At present there are 274 plot owners out of 490 that have been to verify their area with the BTC Survey Group. The value as set out by the planning committee is 12,000 baht for a large plot and 14,000 baht for a small plot. The large plots are those over 100 square wah, and the small plots are less than 100 square wah.
Komsan said that the proclamation sets out the compulsory purchase terms and conditions for scrutiny by the general public.


Grand opening for Walking Street archway set for August 12

Celebrations to coincide with HM the Queen’s birthday

Narisa Nitikarn
The official opening ceremony for Walking Street’s new southern archway will be held on August 12, the same day as the birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn on August 2 held a meeting of the Walking Street Committee to prepare for the 10-year anniversary celebrations of Walking Street, which will be held over the period August 11 to 13, and for the opening of the new archway.

Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn says that preparations are set for this year’s celebrations.

Sunthorn Kang Sirikul, deputy chairman of the committee, said that 90 percent of the preparations had been finalized. All that was left to do was to install the two pictures of Their Majesties the King and Queen at the archways. This had been delayed because it was originally planned to have only one picture at each end, but the decision to install two required that changes had to be made to the archway structures to hold them.
The extended closure of Walking Street to traffic, from the present 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. will begin on August 11.
On August 12 a parade will take place in honor of Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday, wending its way from Royal Garden Plaza to Walking Street, and the road will be closed to traffic. The parade will set off at 5.30 p.m. This year Pattaya residents participating in the celebrations will wear blue colored clothing, provided by Pattaya City.
Students will perform dances at 7 p.m. and the garland laying to be performed by representatives of various organizations will start at 7.29 p.m. Following this there will be the giving of blessings and the lighting of candles.
After the ceremony the new archway will be officially opened and the 10th year celebrations of Walking Street will commence, with a variety of activities planned. Three stages have been erected for live performances, and an international beer-drinking contest will be held throughout the three-day period.
The royal shirts are reported to be selling well. The yellow ones for His Majesty the King and the blue ones for Her Majesty the Queen are priced at between 190 and 450 baht.


Highway police hold training exercises at Bira race circuit

Officers learn special tactics to use during emergencies when they are escorting VIPs.

Vimolrat Singnikorn
The highway police organized a training course from July 28 to 31 to learn safety measures to be implemented when escorting members of the Royal Family and other VIPs.
More than 100 highway police officers attended the course, which was held at the Bira International Race Circuit.
Pol Maj Gen Suwira Songmetta, commander of the highway police division said that the training was held to improve skills and efficiency in cases of emergency. The training involved both theory and application where the officers learned safety measures to be applied in all kinds of situations.
Mockup situations were practiced including terrorist attacks from the front, side and rear, and safety procedures to be implemented when the driver has been rendered inactive or the car has been immobilized.


First aid training aims at creating medical emergency services network

Vimolrat Singnikorn
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay on July 25 opened a training course in first aid, conducted at Pattaya Public Health Office on Soi Bua Khao and attended by 50

Volunteers at the seminar are shown a demonstration of basic emergency first aid.
personnel from organizations that included the rescue services and volunteer police.

Speakers and demonstrators at the course were from Nakhorn Pathom Hospital, who taught basic first aid and resuscitation methods.
Verawat said that in line with Ministry of Public Health emergency medical services policies, it is necessary to create a network of those skilled in first aid. Participants learned how to work with emergency medical operatives, and were awarded a certificate on completion of their training.


Chonburi governor gives budget withdrawal advice

Narisa Nitikarn
Chonburi Governor Pisit Ketphasook on July 25 held a meeting at Pattaya City Hall to discuss with Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn and his deputies and local government heads the procedures for timely withdrawing of budgeted sums for development projects.

Chonburi Governor Pisit Ketphasook discusses budget withdrawals with Pattaya City officials.

The Interior Ministry had earlier this year criticized city hall for delays in withdrawing budgeted funds, and provincial finance officers, legal department heads and local administration personnel also attended the meeting.
Pisit said that the government wishes to stimulate the economy, but local leaders also have to help and the meeting was being held to resolve matters, give recommendations and coordinate between Pattaya and the Ministry of the Interior to rush through budget withdrawals for the 2006 fiscal year.
Pichet Uthaiwatthananont, Engineering Department director, talking about the problems of the delays, said that Pattaya has a total of 39 projects, together worth 1,414,979,000 baht. Of these, 33 projects now have binding debts totaling 942,839,000 baht, 938,667,050 baht worth are signed in contracts, 317,115,899.98 baht has already been withdrawn and there is 4,171,950 baht remaining.
Sixteen projects have totally withdrawn budgets and six projects have not yet created a binding debt. These six are the purchase of a mobile vehicle to provide registration services to residents and costing 11,500,000 baht; the purchase of a mobile library costing 7,000,000 baht; the construction of a four-story fire brigade center with accommodation at 13,000,000 baht; the construction of the railway local road at 170,000,000 baht; payment for appropriated land on Jomtien-Second Road at 176,000,000 baht; and the installation of an electricity generating plant on Koh Larn at 94,640,000 baht. The grand total of these projects is 381,640,000 baht.
Each of the projects has a different problem, said Pichet. The railway road, for example, has been dormant for a number of years due to changes in the policy of the Railway Authority of Thailand. Land acquisition for the Jomtien-Second Road project is delayed because of locals not agreeing to the prices being offered, and is awaiting a final decision by the governor of Chonburi. The governor said he would take the matter to parliament as soon as possible in order to satisfy landowners who are having their land taken over for government use by 30 December.
Governor Pisit recommended that if it seems budgets cannot be withdrawn for various reasons then the original contract dates should be amended so that the actual budget withdrawals would then be on schedule as determined in the contract, otherwise budgets will not be withdrawable after the expiry period.


Gambling den operated under noses of police patrols

Police were able to arrest two hi-low gambling groups totaling 21 people, 12 men and nine women.

Boonlua Chatree
Local police are being investigated after a senior police officer at Chonburi ordered a raid on a Pattaya house that was being used for a large-scale gambling operation despite the fact that outside the house was a police box used as a checkpoint for patrolling officers.
The raid took place at 12:30 a.m. on July 29, following investigations by Pol Col Nopadol Wongnom, superintendent investigator of the provincial constabulary Region 2 in Chonburi. Police had learned that the house, located at Ekmongkol Village 5 on Thepprasit Road, was being used for hi-low gambling. Pol Col Nopadol asked for support from Pol Lt Col Sutham Chaosrithong of the crime suppression division at Pattaya police station, and more than 30 officers surrounded the house.
Police were able to arrest two hi-low gambling groups totaling 21 people, 12 men and nine women. Some of the gamblers had an escape plan already in place, and an estimated 10 of them ran out the back door.
Police seized two sets of hi-low gambling paraphernalia, and an amount of money. They learned from one of those arrested that the house was rented from a foreign owner.
Klanarong Srappai, 49, admitted that he was one of the hi-low bankers and said that the other had escaped over the back fence. Those arrested were taken to Pattaya police station.
In front of this gambling house was a red box where police patrols sign in and note their patrol duties. Pattaya police station had never received any report from the police patrols that the house was being used as a gambling den. Investigations are being carried out.


German on lam was selling paintings to survive

Boonlua Chatree
Tourist police acting under a request from the German Embassy arrested a German man wanted on internet fraud charges and for going absent without leave from military service in his own country.
Quirin Dominik Pfarr, 32, was arrested in Royal Garden Plaza during the afternoon of August 3. He had been making a living by selling paintings. Pfarr, who was living with a Thai wife, had been hiding out in Pattaya for a long time, according to police. His passport had expired many months ago and police say he was trying to make enough money to buy a forged passport.
Pattaya police in cooperation with the German Embassy have arranged for Pfarr to be deported.


Two 14-year-old homeless girls raped in woodland near Pattaya Park

Boonlua Chatree
Two 14-year-old homeless girls were raped in woodland near Pattaya Public Park on Pratamnak Hill after being invited for a motorcycle ride by a group of youths.
A friend, 27-year-old Sukanya Trongwaleekul, the owner of a motorcycle rental stand in Soi Sunee Plaza in South Pattaya later took the two girls, given the aliases Noinah and Chompoo, to file a report with the police.
The 14-year-olds told officers that at 10:30 p.m. on August 1 they were with a group of about 10 others riding near Pattaya Public Park on motorcycles when four youths aged around 18 to 20 years and who knew some of the group came over to greet them. The youths proposed that the two girls ride on their motorcycles.
The four youths and two girls rode with the rest of the group around Pattaya a little and then left the others and headed back to Pratamnak Hill. They turned into a thicket on Soi Mountain Beach where the youths raped the girls. Afterwards they took them to the park and left them.
The girls made their way to see their friend Sukanya, in Soi Sunee Plaza. They said that as they were homeless and stayed with friends on a day-to-day basis, they were afraid the youths would find them again. Sukanya took them to file a report with the police.
A medical examination revealed both girls had signs of rape. Police took them to the location where they were raped, and also questioned the others in the group. Only the nicknames of the youths were known, namely Em, Benz, Big and Pok. They are said to be homeless themselves and to have a history of assault, robbery and drug abuse. Police are still searching for them.


Brazilian mobile phone thief arrested

Boonlua Chatree
A Brazilian man who raided the mobile phone center at Central Festival Center in North Pattaya was caught by a security guard with a bag full of phones and accessories.

Manoo was caught with a bag full of stolen mobile phones, but denies all charges.
A Central Festival Center guard apprehended the thief on July 28. Officers arriving at the scene found the man, identified as Manoo, age 26, in possession of a duffle bag that contained five mobile phones, six boxes of One-2-Call SIM cards, 24 mobile phone leather pouches, and an assortment of other cellphone equipment.
Police learned that as the department store was about to close Manoo went up to the second floor mobile phone center and raided drawers and counters. He filled his bag with mobile phone equipment, and then left the bag at a draught beer stall on Second Road before being apprehended by security guards.
The stolen property belonged to Miss Pattra Saipia, 24, the owner of Multimedia. Police notified mobile phone stall owners at the department store, who came to see Manoo at the police station. Shop owners said that he had previously stolen mobile phones, but was never caught in the act. Police charged him with theft, but he denied all charges.


Gang led by Iranian hoodlum robs jewelry designer of 500,000 baht

Boonlua Chatree
A gang of Thai men led by an Iranian criminal known as Jesse abducted an Australian jewelry designer and forced him at gunpoint to hand over jewelry and other valuables worth more than half a million baht.

Police are pursuing Saeid Sardehaee, aka Jesse, an Iranian who allegedly abducted and robbed an Australian in Pattaya.

The crime took place on August 2, when Jason James Bertogna, the 21-year-old son of a jewelry shop owner stepped out from the Hard Trock Bar on Walking Street, where he had been playing snooker, to buy some food. The man identified as Jesse, accompanied by four Thai men all wearing black wool hats, approached Bertogna and forced him to a black pickup truck they had parked in the soi behind the Marine Plaza Hotel, not far from the snooker bar. The Thai men then drove him away in the pickup, with Jesse following on a large motorcycle.
The pickup stopped in a wooded area off Soi SR. Threatening Bertogna with a gun, the gang took all the property he had with him, amounting to five diamond rings, two diamond bracelets, three credit cards, 3,500 baht in cash, and one LG cellphone and one Motorola cellphone. Their total haul was valued at 552,800 baht.
Bertogna, who was left alone at the scene of the crime, later described the Iranian man’s distinctive tattoos but said the black hats the Thai men wore obscured their faces.
Police say that Jesse is already under investigation. His real name is Saeid Sardehaee, and he is age 32. His last known address was in Nongpreu. Jesse works with a number of gangs and is known to have been a narcotics dealer. He was arrested in the middle of 2003 but had disappeared. Police have always believed him to be still in Thailand, and the international criminal investigation division in Chonburi has continued to investigate and pursue him.


20 elephants train for Mothers Day homage ceremony

Patcharapol Panrak
Nong Nooch Garden on July 29 organized a training session for more than 20 elephants, to ensure they are ready for the ceremony paying homage to Her Majesty the Queen on her birthday on August 12.

A young elephant practices presenting a garland to an image of Her Majesty the Queen.

Kampol Tansajja, director of Nong Nooch, said that more than 20 elephants would take part in the parade on Mothers Day, and that nine of them will present garlands to an image of Her Majesty. The ceremony will include a number of young elephants presenting garlands to their own mothers, the training for this part of the ceremony drawing an especially warm response from visitors.
To celebrate Mothers Day, children will be able to take their mothers to Nong Nooch free of charge, and 10,000 baht will be given to the most loving mother and child.


Training program aims to unify diverse approach to child welfare

Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon (inset) presides over a training project for officials from different organizations working for the betterment of Pattaya’s youth.

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
A training program for government officials and private sector organizations involved in the social welfare and the rights of children was opened by Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon at Town In Town Hotel on August 3.
Pattaya City now has many official departments and non-governmental organizations involved in social development and welfare, but they are not integrated and each group tends to work within its own confines. Greater integration and closer adherence to common standards is therefore required.
The problems dealt with by the departments, bureaus and organizations are diverse, including abandoned children, vagrant children, child labor, intimidation and violence, and pedophilia.
City hall worked in cooperation with the Supanimit Foundation, the Children and Women’s Protection Center, and the Children’s Home in Chonburi province to create the training program.


Primary Health Care Center opens for Chumsai Community

Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn (center), Health Center officials and Volunteer Health Care workers pose for posterity at the opening ceremony for the 17th Primary Health Care Center in Pattaya City.

Narisa Nitikarn
Pattaya City has opened its 17th Primary Health Care Center, with Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn presiding over the opening ceremony for the new facility at Samnak Song Nong Or on Soi Tai Hee Temple, in Central Pattaya.
Director Ratchanee Luanprasert said the new center is to serve the Chumsai Community and that it will be open every Buddhist holy day from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The center will give consultations for health and primary treatment to people through the volunteer health care scheme. Trained volunteers will help health care officials and members of the public are assured of receiving a service to the same standards as the other Primary Health Care Centers around the city.
The center has received the full support of the Samnak Song Nong Or Abbot, Priest Prawet Thammawaro, in provision of the location. After Mayor Niran performed the opening ceremony, the abbot led a ceremony of blessing.


Japanese singer Makoto to be invited to Pattaya

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
City hall is to spend 700,000 baht to bring a top Japanese singer here to promote Pattaya to his fans and other young music lovers.
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay chaired a public relations meeting on July 28, with director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Central Region 3 Office Chaiwat Charoensuk, chairman of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association Thanet Supornsahasrungsi, and vice president of the Eastern Thai Hotel Association Bundarik Kusolvit attending.

City officials ponder ideas for bringing in Makoto, the lead singer of Lucifer in Japan, to boost Pattaya’s image.

Verawat said Pattaya intends to increase the number of tourism attractions with the intention of attracting a greater variety of tourist groups. City hall had a 15 million baht PR budget for 2006, and amongst the campaigns this was funding were promotions and advertising in Korea and Hong Kong, support for the PATA annual conference, the creation of a welcome signboard in Pattaya City, and promotions in Turkey. There remains a surplus of 500,000 baht from all these and other activities.
Bundarik said that Makoto, the lead singer of Lucifer in Japan is popular in Asia and Europe. Makoto attended the Pattaya Music International 2005 event, and personally loves Pattaya. The intention is to invite Makoto back to Pattaya where the singer can take part in various activities in and around the city. This would attract a large number of young fans and emphasize Pattaya as an entertainment city. Makoto is known to have a free diary for the period September 5 to 7, and the invitation will be for that period.
The meeting agreed that this idea would be beneficial for tourism in Pattaya. It was decided that the remaining 500,000 baht be used for this purpose, with an extra 200,000 baht added from the Korea PR budget, making a total of 700,000 baht for this entire proposal. Makoto will be contacted and the expectation that he will take part in the activities is a positive one.


Seminar looks at ways of improving labor complaints procedures

Vimolrat Singnikorn
Director general of the Department of Labor Protection and Welfare Padungsak Thephasadin Na Ayudhaya presided over a seminar designed to smooth procedures for the filing of complaints involving unjust employment conditions, held in Jomtien from July 28 to 30.

Senior judge of the Central Labor Court Dr Kasemsan Wilawan.
Senior judge of the Central Labor Court Dr Kasemsan Wilawan was the key speaker, with lawyers and labor relations personnel making up the majority of the 50 delegates.
Judgment in labor disputes is considered to be essential in terms of economic and social stability. There are currently 3,363 cases relating to unjust employment terms pending for the period 2002 to current, and this will increase. The seminar looked at ways of standardizing procedures and setting out guidelines that could be followed by future cases.
Padungsak said that many of the problems arise when the employee considers that the wage being paid does not correspond to the work that has to be done, and the employer refuses to increase the payments.

Director General of the Department of Labor Protection and Welfare Padungsak Thephasadin Na Ayudhaya.


Four Marines who died in the South are laid to rest with full military honors

Patcharapol Panrak
A formal military funeral has been given to four Royal Thai Marines who lost their lives this year during the insurgency in the South.

Admiral Sathiraphan Kaeyanon, commander in chief of the Royal Thai Navy, lights candles in memory of the fallen soldiers.
Admiral Sathiraphan Kaeyanon, commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Navy presided over the ceremony at the Marines Monument in Touey Ngam Bay, Sattahip. Vice Admiral Siwichai Sirisalee, commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Marine Corps, deputy commander-in-chief Rear Admiral Pracha Srisilpakul, and the families of the deceased attended the religious rites and internment.

Relatives pay homage to the deceased during the ceremony.
The four Marines were Captain Charunsak Wangdang and Ensign Surasak Saelim, who lost their lives while fighting insurgents in defense of the Raloh Railway Station in Naratiwat on January 29; Volunteer Marine Sariyan Namphochai, killed when a mine exploded at Santhad Mountain, Naratiwat on February 1; and Captain Siwarit Donpol, injured in an explosion beside the Bangnara River at Naratiwat on June 15 and who passed away on July 13 at Somdejphrapinklao Hospital.
Guns fired a salute as the ashes of the men were laid to rest, and Admiral Sathiraphan paid tribute to the four brave men who made the ultimate sacrifice for the peace and stability of their homeland.


Life in Soi Apple is rotten say residents

Street is breeding ground for pests and disease

Kamolthep Malhotra
Residents in Soi Apple, located behind the Carrefour megastore, have protested to city hall that their soi is becoming a slum because of neglect by officialdom.
They say they have been complaining for years about the conditions there and have voiced their grievances to four different mayors, but still the soi is in a bad state despite the fact it is in the center of the city.

Soi Apple, located behind the Carrefour megastore, has been neglected by officialdom.

Soi Apple, or Panead Chang 10 is located directly behind the wall of Carrefour, in Pattaya Central Road. About 20 years ago the Soi Apple Village developer extended a block of townhouses that blocked the waterway at the end of the soi, preventing water from flowing into the underground drains.
Since then, after heavy rain, water runs down to the bottom of the soi and gathers there with no way out. Homes are sometimes flooded, and the ground becomes a muddy and malodorous pond.
Pattaya Mail reporters visited the soi and found that the residents’ complaints were justified. Not only is the thoroughfare in a bad shape, it is a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, cockroaches and rodents.
Residents say that all their complaints to city hall have been ignored. Now they want action. If nothing is done, they say, they will take the matter to a higher authority.



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