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Vol. XIV No. 40
Friday October 6 - October 12, 2006

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Updated every Friday
by Saichon Paewsoongnern

 

NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

East Water promises no more droughts with completion of supply system

Chonburi Buffalo races underway this week

First 3D map kiosks will be in place this year

300 take part in underwater cleanup

Sprayed pesticides found at Lan Pho Market during FDA swoop

Korean tourist market is growing for Pattaya

Vendors complain about smaller size of their locations at New Naklua Market

Yugoslavs arrested for 4 mn baht ATM robbery

Police bring in iron-bar attackers

Burglar’s career ends with a splash

Market traders awarded for high food safety standards

New baby giraffe for Khao Kheow Open Zoo

Muslims gather to celebrate the month of Ramadan

Eastern provinces launch website in 7 languages to attract tourism

Police briefs


East Water promises no more droughts with completion of supply system

(From right) Fuangfa Nimcharoen, vice president corporate affairs of Eastern Water, Cherdchai Pitiwacharakul, vice president Maptaphut Operations Center and Chaloempol Choopetch, general affairs manager Maptaphut Operations Center.

Narisa Nitikarn
East Water has promised there will be no more droughts in Pattaya for the next 10 years, following the completion of a program designed to alleviate the continual water shortages that have been suffered by the city.
After the droughts of 2004 and 2005 in Pattaya and the Eastern Region that affected locals, tourism and the industrial sector, the Irrigation Department at Chonburi appointed Eastern Water Resources Development and Management (Public) Company Limited, otherwise known as East Water, to carry out a program of works that would ensure sufficient supplies.
On September 27 the company provided an update on the situation to Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn at Pattaya District Office.
Fuangfa Nimcharoen, vice president of corporate affairs at East Water said that the pipe feed connecting the five reservoirs was now complete and all that remained was for the water to be pumped from Bang Pakong River to Bang Pra Reservoir. Currently the system is undergoing testing to check the existence of silt residues.
The works program is enough to supply all Pattaya’s needs for the next 10 years, said Fuangfa, because in addition to the new pipeline the company has contingency plans to pump water from Rayong, namely from the Dok-krai and Nong Plalai reservoirs, and from Bang Pra and Nong Kho reservoirs in Chonburi, directly to the filtering and processing system of the Provincial Waterworks Authority. Each of the reservoirs will be able to deliver 50-60 million cubic meters of water per year. There are also other reservoirs with an additional 150 million cubic meters per year available to serve extra demand if needed for the whole of Chonburi province.
Mayor Niran proposed that the company carry out a research of actual water consumption in Pattaya at present which will benefit the city in the long-term in calculating production costs.


Chonburi Buffalo races underway this week

Chonburi to spend 1.3 million baht on this year’s event

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
Chonburi Municipality is to spend over one million baht on this year’s buffalo races, which are due to be staged at Chonburi District Office Field from October 3 to 11.

Buffalo racing, a symbolic tradition of Chonburi, is underway this week.

The races, a traditional event in the province, were jointly announced on September 26 by Deputy Governor Thongtawee Pimsen, Chonburi Municipality Mayor Ukrit Tansawat, former MP for Chonburi Wittaya Khunplome, and Sanga Tanasanguanwong.
Ukrit said that the traditional format would be maintained this year as in other years. The official opening ceremony will be held on October 6, which corresponds to the waxing moon on the 14th day of lunar month 11, at 8:45 a.m. Sonthaya Khunplome, former advisor to the prime minister, will be the co-presenter for the opening along with Chonburi Governor Pisit Ketphasook. There will also be a parade with 13 floats, each representing a cultural aspect of Chonburi.
The total budget for this activity is approximately 1,300,000 baht. There will be three buffalo racing classes: midget, small and large. There will be a buffalo fancy dress contest, a healthy buffalo contest, bull and cow pedigree shows, and a Ms Farmer’s Girl competition.
They will also be other traditional sports that reflect life in Chonburi, such as a tug-of-war, oiled post climbing, kite fighting, and a boiled-mussel-eating competition. OTOP products will be on sale, along with local goods and products at factory prices. Stage performances will include a country music concert with well-known bands, and other entertainment.


First 3D map kiosks will be in place this year

Vimolrat Singnikorn
Five 3D multimedia map kiosks will be erected at various locations in Pattaya before the year-end and a further 30 will later be placed at locations in Pattaya and Chonburi province, following a contract signing between Pinyo Tanwiset, chairman of Chonburi Provincial Administration and Kampol Tangaekachai, president of Hai-ya Innovation and Technology Co Ltd, at the Hard Rock Hotel on September 25.
Among the guests at the signing were Revat Phonlookin, deputy chairman of Chonburi Provincial Administration, Thanet Supornsahasrungsri, chairman of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association, and Suwanthep Malhotra, executive director for sales and marketing at Pattaya Mail Publishing Co Ltd.
Hai-ya Innovation and Technology has developed the 3D multi-media program to show images of the tourist attractions and entertainment outlets, along with maps showing visitors how to get there. The project has been organized in cooperation with the Chonburi Provincial Administration Organization.
Kamphol said that the project has been allocated a budget of 30 million baht. Five 3D map kiosks will be in place by the end of the year at locations in Pattaya such as in front of department stores and at Walking Street and an additional 30 will be placed later.
He added that Hai-ya Innovation and Technology would benefit from advertising fees at the kiosks, charging not more than 5,000 baht per advertisement per year.


300 take part in underwater cleanup

Deputy Mayor Wutisak Rermkitkarn presided over the start with Sarut Jutasan, chairman of the project and president of Marine Dive Company Limited and Bamroongsak Chatananthawej, Ph.D., head of the conservative section of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources.

Narisa Nitikarn
More than 300 people took part in an underwater operation to clean up the sea around Bali Hai Pier and Koh Larn on September 30.
Deputy Mayor Wutisak Rermkitkarn got the event off to a start, with Sarut Jutasan, chairman of the project and president of Marine Dive Company Limited and Bamroongsak Chatananthawej, head of the conservative section of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources.
The underwater cleanup is held annually, this being the eighth of its kind, and this year more than 300 people took part.
“Koh Larn attracts a great number of tourists, which also means that a lot of waste and refuse enters the sea,” said Wutisak. “About 1,000 kilograms of rubbish is found each year during the underwater cleanup, most of it being bottles. However, the annual cleanup helps to prevent an accumulation of underwater garbage.”


Sprayed pesticides found at Lan Pho Market during FDA swoop

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
Inspectors from the Food and Drug Administration went to Lan Pho Market in Naklua on September 27, where they found instances of sprayed insecticide on dry seafood and vegetables at every outlet.

Pharmacist Manit Arunakoon inspects food at Lan Pho Market in Naklua.

The inspectors said that merchants who violate the food safety and hygiene regulations are likely to suffer serious legal consequences.
Pharmacists Manit Arunakoon and Weerawan Taengkaew, both senior officials at the FDA, along with a team of officers inspected the food at random outlets in Lan Pho Market, where they found sprayed insecticide on dried seafood and on vegetables. The results were such that the inspectors were sent for more extensive checks. Vendors were directed not to sell food that had been sprayed.
The FDA has now warned the merchants not to sell contaminated food again. Products have been taken away for analysis at the Department of Medical Sciences to look for other contaminants. If contaminants are found in food, the producer and the merchant are both liable to legal action that can result in imprisonment of up to two years, or a fine of up to 20,000 baht, or both.
The inspectors say they always investigate the source of the produce, in addition to the merchants.
Manit, who is deputy secretary general at the FDA, said that a set of guidelines is issued to every province and to Bangkok, and that these must be followed. Consumers are advised that it is important not to choose meat, seafood or fruit and vegetables that have an abnormal color, or unusual smell, he said. The FDA guidelines available to the public set out specific details on what to buy and what to avoid.
“If the Food and Drug Administration finds contaminants in food, then there will be serious legal consequences,” he said.


Korean tourist market is growing for Pattaya

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay said that following a visit to Seoul and Busan between September 13 and 18, the Korean tourist market is showing good potential for Pattaya.
The promotional visit was carried out in cooperation with the Tourism Authority of Thailand Region 3 and the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association.

Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay, of Pattaya City says there is still room for growth in the Korean tourism market.

Verawat said the trip provided the opportunity of setting up booths to promote tourism and a chance to meet with representatives of leading Korean tourism companies at Busan International Travel Fair 2006. He said that the honeymoon and water sports enthusiast sectors showed especial promise.
However, the tour companies have asked for stricter safety measures for water sports because many Korean tourists had been injured in the past. Discussions will be held with the relevant organizations, said Verawat.
TAT statistics show that the number of Korean tourists to Pattaya increased by 28 percent last year over the 2004 figures, and that during the first six months of this year the market grew 33 percent compared to the same period last year.


Vendors complain about smaller size of their locations at New Naklua Market

Narisa Nitikarn
Vendors from the New Naklua Market on September 27 filed a complaint with Pattaya City Hall, saying their locations are smaller than what they had been promised.
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay met with the protestors, who said they were afraid city hall would allocate new vendors for the extra space that was available.

The New Naklua Market, about which the vendors filed a complaint with Pattaya City concerning the smaller size of their stalls.

Verawat, along with Chatchawan Chimtin, engineering inspector for the New Naklua Market construction, acting on behalf of the Public Health and Environment chief, said that the smaller size vendor concessions were because more space was needed for the power and water supply systems.
Additionally, city hall architects have enlarged the walkway to 1.9 meters for the public’s convenience, including water drainage to avoid the path becoming wet as it did in the past.
This means vendors have 2 meters in width and only 1.5 meters in depth, instead of 2 meters. However, officers had already checked to make sure the carts would go through a size of 1.5 meters.
Some vendors were still unclear about the smaller size, saying they were afraid that the extra area would be kept for new vendors. Verawat denied this. City hall intended all the original venders to have a location, he said.
Vendors were also urged to put their picture and name in front of their location, so the public could know whom they were buying from, and to avoid locations being sub-leased at a higher price than Pattaya City collects.
Verawat and officers will survey the location once again to adjust and enlarge it, so vendors will have more space to put out their goods. “Sometimes you should make a sacrifice for the common interest,” he told the vendors.


Yugoslavs arrested for 4 mn baht ATM robbery

Cool thieves rip cash machine off bank wall

Boonlua Chatree
A gang of Yugoslavian criminals broke open the ATM of a bank in Chonburi and hauled away the safe containing 4.4 million baht in a rented pickup truck.
Chonburi police received a report from Kasem Sornchai, the manager of Kasikornbank Oom Muang branch on September 23 saying that the 300-kilogram machine had been torn away from the wall of the bank.

Police lead away Milan Nikolic, one of two Yugoslavs arrested for a 4 million baht ATM robbery.

Pol Lt Gen Soros Iamsa-ad, commander of Region 2, and a team of officers inspected the scene where they found tire tracks and skid marks, and the remains of the ATM machine scattered about. The safe that held the money was missing. The thieves had used duct tape to cover the closed circuit video camera.
Pol Lt Gen Soros ordered the Foreign Crime Investigation Bureau under the direction of Pol Lt Col Pirom Preeyakorn of Banglamung police to carry out a background check on foreign criminals. Investigations revealed that three foreign nationals had carried out the crime.
At 5 p.m. on September 25, Pol Lt Col Pirom and Pol Lt Col Thaveesak Suothong arrested two suspects, identified as Milan Nikolic, 35, and Lazic Branislav, 46, both Yugoslavian nationals. The two were hiding out at BS Mansion in Nongprue. Police also confiscated a Toyota pickup with a Chonburi license plate, a number of tools including drills, knives, and telecommunications equipment, and 2.4 million baht in cash.
Police said that the gang had hired the pickup from a car rental company on Pattaya Third Road on September 18. The owner of the company read that a gang had robbed an ATM machine and got away with 4.4 million and suspected the foreigners that had rented his pickup.
After carrying out the robbery the gang opened the safe and emptied it of its contents before throwing the safe into Mabprachan Reservoir. They kept the money in their apartment. Only 2.4 million baht was recovered, the rest having already been spent.


Police bring in iron-bar attackers

14-year-old girl is amongst the beach thugs

Charges have been brought against Kaittisak Kaewkam, 18, Anuson Bunyapab, 25, Nattasak Chaipipat, 26, and a 14-year-old girl given the alias of Miss Top for robbery, assault, and causing serious injury.

Boonlua Chatree
Three men and a girl have been charged in connection with the assault on two Russian men with metal beach umbrella poles, and a similar attack on an Israeli that had taken place a few hours earlier.
The Russians had been beaten and robbed on the beach near Soi 6 around 4 a.m. on September 24, and had been hospitalized. Police believed that the same attackers were responsible for the assault on an Israeli tourist that had taken place about 9:30 p.m. on September 23 on the beach in front of the Hard Rock Hotel.
Pol Lt Gen Panya Mamen, commander-in-chief of the Tourist Police, ordered Pol Col Supapol Arunsit, superintendent of Tourist Police Headquarters 2 to set up an investigation and bring in the criminals as quickly as possible.
Pol Col Supapol organized a team led by senior officers whose investigations revealed that a gang had been assembling for unlawful purposes in that area, and a list of names was quickly drawn up. By September 27 arrest warrants were obtained from Pattaya Provincial Court, and at 12:30 a.m. on September 28 four people were arrested near Beach Road Soi 6. The four were identified as Kaittisak Kaewkam, 18, Anuson Bunyapab, 25, Nattasak Chaipipat, 26, and a 14-year-old girl given the alias of Miss Top.
Police found in their possession five one-foot-long beach umbrella metal support bars and items of property later identified by the victims. Police said that other property had been sold at the Pirom secondhand shop on Soi Buakhao in Central Pattaya. The money had been spent on alcohol and drugs.
Charges have been brought against the four for robbery, assault, and causing serious injury.


Burglar’s career ends with a splash

Doughty service girl eventually wins battle with drunken thief

Boonlua Chatree
A burglar who broke into the apartment of a bargirl looking for money to buy drugs and who ended up being fished out of a lake by police is now in custody and presumably contemplating a change of career.

Phacharaphorn Samanmit uses the bar she was attacked with to point out soggy burglar Sayan Namkam as police protectively look on.

At 04.30 a.m. on September 14, Pattaya Municipal Police received a report that a burglary had taken place at a room at Thong Ha 2, Soi Bongkoch, Third Road.
On arrival at the scene, officers led by Pol Capt Somphorn Supolsongkram found that the room in question was located on the first floor, and were met by Miss Phatcharaphorn Samanmit, 26, a native of Surin Province who worked as a service girl in a bar. She had suffered a split lip and bruising to her arms, especially her left shoulder after being attacked with a steel bar. There were signs of a fight with belongings scattered everywhere.
Phacharaphorn told the officers that she had arrived home from work, unlocked the door and was grabbed from behind by a thin man who had long black hair and was carrying a steel bar. He looked like a drug addict. The man pushed her into the room and punched her in the face, splitting her lip. He pulled at her shoulder bag and she pulled back at the same time screaming for help, but nobody responded as anyone who might have heard probably thought it was a domestic quarrel.
Eventually the attacker thought the situation wasn’t looking too good and so he hit her over the shoulder with the steel rod, knocking her over, and managed to run out of the room carrying her black shoulder bag. She ran after him still screaming for help but the assailant jumped into a lake and disappeared into the night.
After questioning Phacharaphorn, police followed the burglar’s escape route. The small lake was located in a wooded area behind the building and as the night was very dark the officers presumed that the thief had already made his getaway.
However, as they were about to take the woman to the police station to file a report, Pol Capt Somphorn spotted the attacker still hiding in the lake. Realizing he was spotted, the burglar went under the water to try and make his escape, but he was dragged out looking very wet and carrying a one-meter long steel rod and a black leather shoulder bag that contained 1,060 baht in cash. Clearly, the circumstantial evidence was against him. Phacharaphorn identified him as her attacker.
The burglar was named as Sayan Namkam, 28, a resident of Udon Thani. He admitted carrying out the assault and told officers that he used to work as a waiter at a karaoke bar in South Pattaya. Because he was addicted to amphetamines he was fired. He tried to find other employment without success, and had no money to buy drugs. He turned his hand to burglary, admitting that he had committed numerous offences.
Sayan was charged with assault with a weapon and burglary. His records will also be checked and he will be tested for drug addiction. Brave bargirl Phatcharaphorn was sent to hospital to have her wounds treated.


Market traders awarded for high food safety standards

Vimolrat Singnikorn
Twenty-two traders were presented with plaques signifying they had passed food safety and hygiene standards at a ceremony on September 22 led by Praiwan Arromchuen, member of Pattaya City Council.

Somsak Srikram (left), owner of Rompho Market, receives an honorary plaque from city council member Praiwan Arromchuen.

The traders, who are based at the Rompho and Najomtien fresh markets, were awarded stars under government policy for the supply of safe food. Also awarded was Somsak Srikram, the owner of Rompho Market, who passed the requirements for operating a 5-star standard fresh produce market.
The Food and Drug Administration has mobile food safety units traveling through all 76 of Thailand’s provinces checking on standards. The program includes a public relations element to ensure consumers that food safety standards are being monitored and adhered to. This includes the award of stars and plaques.
City hall in association with the Health and Environment Department and with the assistance of Banglamung Hospital and Banglamung District Health Department inspected food production locations at 14 markets in the Pattaya area. Rompho Market was categorized as a 5-star fresh produce market, and Najomtien Market passed the standard at the 3-star level.
Rompho’s Somsak said the market has been in operation for only nine months. Located on an area of land 2 rai in size, the market contains 40 shops. Cleanliness is the basis of market operations, he said. Water is not allowed on the walkway, and the wastewater channel is cleaned out every two days. The design of the market building features a high ceiling to allow maximum air circulation.


New baby giraffe for Khao Kheow Open Zoo

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
A giraffe was born at Khao Kheow Open Zoo on September 17, the fifth birth for the zoo and one that will no doubt be a great attraction for visitors in the weeks to come.
Zoo director Suriya Saengphong said that the baby giraffe’s mother is 12-year-old Dam and that the father is also 12 years old and is named Kay. Both animals were brought from South Africa.

The latest member of the zoo.
The mother gave birth at 10 a.m. on September 17 in the African Savannah Park, located on five rai of land and designed to resemble the African animals’ natural habitat. The savannah is very popular among the many tourists who come to take photographs and they can see the giraffes up close.
Mother Dam began contractions at 6 a.m. and the baby could be seen as early as 8 a.m., finally emerging two hours later. Vets pronounced the baby, which is the third to be born to Dam, as fit and strong.
Mother Giraffes are pregnant for 420-468 days and give birth to one offspring at a time. The young wean at 10 months and they live for 20 to 30 years.


Muslims gather to celebrate the month of Ramadan

Muslims gather to celebrate the beginning of “Ramadan”.

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
Moslems gathered at the Darul Ibadah Mosque on September 22 ready for the beginning of Ramadan, which had its official start on September 23 and will continue until October 23.
Leading a group of devotees watching for the first sign were Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon along with Farooq Wongborisuthi, member of Pattaya City Council, who had brought a number of Thai Muslims to the Sukhumvit Road mosque.
Farooq said that the month of Ramadan is deeply important in Islamic life, because it is the month that the Qur’an was given, so Muslims could use it for their lives, and to lead humans to follow the correct path.
This month is the month of forgiveness and to gather goodness, which will bring development and good fortune to people’s lives. This month is also the month of donations and for people to make sacrifices and help each other.
Muslims also believe that Ramadan is physically good for the body, the act of fasting helping to clear the body’s systems, tone up the skin and muscles, and sharpen the senses.


Eastern provinces launch website in 7 languages to attract tourism

Narisa Nitikarn
Sucharit Patchimnan presided over a presentation at the Pattaya Sea, Sand and Sun Resort and Spa in Sattahip on September 25 to announce the official launch of the www.easternthailand.com website.
The website is designed to boost tourism to Eastern Thailand and has been created by Chonburi Governor Pisit Ketphasook and by the governors of three other Eastern provinces, namely Rayong, Chantaburi and Trat.
To ensure maximum traffic from its potential tourism markets, the website can be viewed in seven languages: Thai, English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and German.
Sucharit said the website was created to boost tourism throughout Eastern Thailand, which has many diverse attractions and which can be easily accessed from Bangkok.
The presentation was attended by a large number of provincial administration officials and tourism industry professionals, and ended with a mini concert given by Ko Saxman.


Police briefs

Boonlua Chatree
Drunken Frenchman no-no in go-go bar
The tourist police were called out at 2 a.m. on September 18 to the Honey A-Go-Go Bar on Soi Diamond, Walking Street, when the management complained that a drunken foreigner was refusing to pay his bill.
Officers found French citizen Michael Saliou in an advanced state of intoxication. He was charged with being drunk and disorderly, and disturbing the peace, and removed to a cell for his own safety until he could sober up.
Dutch motorcycle rider dies in rain after hit-and-run accident
A Dutchman was killed when his motorcycle was rammed from behind by a hit-and-run driver at the U-turn in front of the police traffic point at Central Pattaya shortly after midnight on September 23, a time of heavy rainfall.
Police attended the scene with Sawang Boriboon Foundation officers. The dead man was named as Hendricus H.I. Mostard, 64, a Holland national. He was wearing a military design T-shirt and was lying on his back in the middle of the road beside an overturned blue Suzuki Viva motorcycle. Death was from head injuries.
Police established that the deceased had been staying at Central Park Village. Witnesses said he had been riding his motorcycle from the South Pattaya direction and had turned at the U-turning to head towards Central Park 2, opposite to the scene of the accident. Suddenly a bronze Isuzu had approached at speed and hit the rear of the motorcycle. The deceased had been thrown backwards against the car windscreen. The Isuzu driver didn’t stop but sped off in the direction of Chonburi.
Police put out a call for patrols to look for a car with a smashed windscreen and damage to the front, but the vehicle was not found. The search, however, continues.



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