Chonburi’s new governor vows to resolve Pattaya’s problems
‘I’m not afraid of influential forces’ says Pracha
The new governor of Chonburi, Pracha Taerat, arrived in Pattaya on December
8 for a meeting with members of Pattaya City Council and Pattaya City Hall
officials to discuss the policies he wishes to initiate.
Governor Pracha Taerat, “The government has to adapt … to socio-economic
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn welcomed the new governor, who was appointed
in November, and presented him with a summary report.
Governor Pracha said that Pattaya, as one of the country’s main tourist
venues, has experienced a socio-economic growth that has advanced the
private sector much further than the government sector. Therefore, the
government has to adapt through increasing its potential and in an efficient
In the past complaints concerning Pattaya have involved delays in procedural
aspects such as building or public utilities construction license
applications, and the administration needs to determine clear standards and
procedures. Other issues such as water shortages, pollution, waste disposal,
and safety for the public and property also have to be addressed as a matter
Governor Pracha said the province takes these issues seriously and further
meetings would be held with the relevant government and private sector
organizations to remedy the issues once and for all.
Special inspection divisions will later be deployed and local administrators
will be held responsible for any areas that still experience such problems.
He said that he isn’t afraid of the influential forces behind the scenes and
that in the near future these issues will also be dealt with.
Childcare experts meet to discuss ways of reducing domestic violence
Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon chaired a session on December 12 at the
Grand Sole Hotel of personnel in the public and private sectors aiming at
helping children suffering from domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon opening the meeting about children suffering
from domestic violence and sexual abuse.
About 80 people attended the two-day meeting, which was organized by Miss
Pannee Limcharoen, acting on behalf of the director of Social Welfare
Organization in Pattaya.
Miss Pannee said that data from the Foundation for the Protection of
Children’s Rights Center collected over the period 1991 to 2000 revealed
3,252 reported instances of children suffering from domestic violence around
the country. With overlapping categories, this figure could be divided into
873 instances of sexual violence, 359 instances of emotional abuse, and
1,277 instances of trafficking children.
Subsequently, reports were analyzed from national newspapers including the
Daily News, Thai Rath, Matichon, and Khaosod, and it was found that children
were the victims of sexual violations in 194 instances during the period
from January to October this year.
The meeting discussed ways of reducing the numbers of child victims, and it
was felt that teachers could be especially helpful in monitoring the problem
as many children spend more of their time at school than they do at home.
Amongst those attending the sessions were Col Dr Sumol Narkchalerm, and
representatives of the Foundation for the Protection of Children’s Rights
Center, the Puengdai Center at Chonburi Hospital, the Center for Child
Development and Rehabilitation in Chonburi, and the Father Ray Foundation.
Volunteer Tourist Police training program begins
Dr Suvit Yodmanee (center),
minister for tourism and sport, presided over the opening of the Volunteer
Tourist Police Training Program on December 10.
Dr Suvit Yodmanee, minister for tourism and sport, presided over the opening
of the Volunteer Tourist Police Training Program on December 10 at Pattaya
Tourist Police Station 4, Khao Pratamnak Road.
Organized with the cooperation of Pattaya District Office, the training
program was attended by 118 volunteer tourist police of both sexes and
comprising both Thais and foreign nationals.
The minister was welcomed by Pol Maj Gen Panya Mamen, commander of the
Tourist Police Division, Pol Col Supphol Arunsit, commander of the Region 2
Tourist Police, and Pol Lt Col Wuttichart Luonsukhan, superintendent of
Pattaya Tourist Police.
Pol Maj Gen Panya said that Tourist Police Station 4 and Region 2 were
seeking cooperation from members of the public, both Thais and foreign
nationals, who are trained in facilitating and providing safety to tourists.
They are taught basic first aid and firefighting techniques as well as
He said that full-time officers might not be able to provide full coverage
in these areas, hence the reason for the call for the cooperation of
Limo driver returns lost wallet to Norwegian passenger
A limousine driver who found 170,000 in a wallet left in his car by a
foreign tourist and who returned the money when tourist police tracked down
the owner has earned praise and a cash reward from the grateful visitor.
Kristian Rustan (left) rewards honest taxi driver Suthat Krathumkaet
(center) for returning his lost wallet.
Suthat Krathumkaet, a 43-year-old driver for Phra Phimai Transport and who
hails from Ayutthaya, reported to tourist police just after midnight on
December 8 that a quantity of money in numerous denominations had been found
on the back seat of his Toyota Camry.
He said he had been instructed by his company to collect a passenger from
Suvarnabhumi Airport to take him to the a hotel on Walking Street. After
delivering his passenger Suthat drove back to the office on Pattaya Third
Road and found the passenger’s wallet.
The tourist police contacted the hotel and identified the owner as Per
Kristian Rustan, a 52-year-old Norwegian who had realized he had lost the
wallet and was about to file a report with the police. Hotel staff directed
him to the Pattaya tourist police headquarters.
Rustan arrived at the police station where Suthat handed him the wallet. A
grateful Rustan rewarded the driver with US$200 (equivalent to almost 8,000
baht). Suthat said that he had worked for the company for five years. He
said that in the past passengers had left their mobile phones on the rear
passenger seat and he had always returned them.
“Everyone must be morally responsible,” said Suthat. “If I hadn’t returned
the wallet, it would have damaged Pattaya’s image. This was probably all the
money the visitor had with him. One must be honest and act responsibly.”
Husband and wife face charges of pimping 12-year-old boy
A husband and wife couple who operated a motorcycle rental business on Soi
Sunee Plaza have been arrested on charges of forcing an underage boy to
provide sexual services to foreign tourists.
Police acting on a warrant issued by Pattaya Provincial Court arrested
45-year-old Veera Ratree and 35-year-old Mrs Sunan Ruangjan at their house
on Soi Kaonoi during the afternoon of December 14, following accusations by
a 12-year-old boy identified by the alias of Noi.
Veera said that he and his wife Sunan had been renting out motorcycles on
Soi Sunee Plaza for a long time. When Noi along with seven or eight of his
friends asked to live with them, because they had no place to stay, the
couple had agreed and let the children into the house.
Noi had subsequently told police that the couple had forced him to sell sex
to foreign tourists. He said he hadn’t wanted to do it but he had been
threatened. Police are following up the allegations and are seeking Noi’s
Police undercover operation nets three members of family on drugs charges
Three members of a family, namely the father, son-in-law and daughter, have
been arrested for narcotics dealing in a police sting operation that netted
amphetamines, marijuana, opium, heroine and ecstasy.
in the family - police arrested three family members on charges of selling
The undercover operation was mounted following the arrest in the early hours
of December 10 of dealers selling ya ba in Rayong Province. Rayong police
passed on information to Pattaya police that another dealer was about to
sell a large consignment of ya ba in Pattaya City, and Pol Col Suthin
Srappuang, superintendent at Pattaya Police Station set up an undercover
operation to ensnare the dealer.
Rayong and Pattaya police worked together, contacting the dealer and
offering to buy 2,000 ya ba tabs. An appointment was made to meet in front
of the Nakornchai Air Bus Station on Sukhumvit Road, and police set up
roadblocks around the area.
At the appointed time of 2 a.m. a red Ford Ranger with two men inside
arrived at the location. Police officers identified themselves and searched
The two men were identified as Boonsong Makklang, 52, of Pattaya, who was
driving the car, and Yongyuth Harnwongburana, 58, of Nonthaburi Province.
Yongyuth was found to have five bags of ya ba in his shirt pocket,
containing 2,000 ya ba pills.
During questioning, police discovered that Yongyuth was the son-in-law of
Boonsong. Yongyuth confessed to being the owner of all the ya ba pills, and
said that ya ba and other narcotics were kept at his residence at Pattaya
Rungruang Village on Soi Nernplabwan.
Police went to search the premises. Ms Ladda Makklang, Boonsong’s
28-year-old daughter, was in the house, and in her bedroom they found a
dresser containing a large quantity of drugs that included 800 ya ba pills,
dried marijuana contained in 16 small bags, 3.2 grams of opium in a plastic
bag, 0.5 grams of heroine in a plastic bag, and 13 blue and pink ecstasy
All three people were arrested. Yongyuth said he had been a tourist guide in
the Dusit district of Bangkok before meeting Ladda. She was a student and a
drug user, and he bought pills for her. They began living together as a
couple, and then moved to Pattaya.
Yongyuth had a career on the side as a drug dealer, and they received
narcotics from Cambodia and hid them in their home. Boonsong, Ladda’s
father, was a vendor selling rice gruel soup at the entrance to Soi
Nernplabwan. He said he didn’t know that his son-in-law and daughter were
involved in narcotics trafficking until the arrest.
Yongyuth and Ladda have confessed, but Boonsong continues to deny all
charges against him. Police investigations continue.
American held on charges of statutory rape of 14-year-old girl
John Fredrick Langan (right) answers charges of
hiring underage girls for sexual purposes.
An American has been arrested on charges of having sex with an underage girl
and a Thai woman has been charged with pimping, following enquiries by
tourist police that led officers to a room on the 13th floor of a South
Mrs Pornthip Manchit, 33, was exiting the hotel with a 14-year-old girl
identified by the alias of Miss Ya. Questioned by tourist police officers,
Pornthip said that an American man had asked her to bring Ya to his room at
the hotel for sex. He had paid 1,000 baht for the girl, and Pornthip
received 500 baht in commission. The man had taken the girl into the
bathroom and had sex with her there while Pornthip waited inside his room.
She added that there were another three Thai girls in the room for sexual
Police followed Pornthip back into the hotel and waited while she knocked on
the man’s door. It was opened by John Fredrick Langan, a 62-year-old
American citizen, who was wearing only a towel. On the bed inside the room
were three girls, all naked. They were identified as Ms A (an alias), age
15, Ms Wipa Pannawat, age 19, and Ms Sa (an alias), age 17. The three girls
said they had left home and had been living in Pattaya for some time. They
had been on the beach in front of the Royal Golden Plaza when Langan came up
to speak to them. He offered them 600 baht each to have group sex in his
room. They agreed and went with him.
Langan said he had only kissed the girls, as a father would do with his
daughter, because he had none of his own. Police didn’t believe his
statement. Both Langan and Pornthip now face charges related to sexual
activities with a minor.
Questions raised over uniforms as volunteer officer is shot at police checkpoint
A volunteer police officer who was still awaiting confirmation of his
official status and had yet to be attached to Pattaya Police Station was
shot and wounded at a checkpoint when he attempted to stop a motorcycle with
The incident has prompted an enquiry, because none of the other volunteers
manning the checkpoint were wearing uniforms, in contravention of the
regulations governing volunteers.
Dongtan Police Sub-station received a report at 3:30 a.m. on December 9 that
the officer had been shot while he was working with a regular police officer
at a traffic checkpoint at the intersection between Soi Chaiyapruek 1 and
Soi Angket Condominium.
Officers went to the scene where they joined other officers from Pattaya
Police Station, totaling more than 30, and a large number of non-uniformed
Non-uniformed police had already transported the wounded volunteer police
officer to Pattaya Memorial Hospital. He was named as Watchara Saengkaew,
age 21. He had been shot in the upper left arm, the bullet passing through
him and causing only minor injuries.
Watchara’s pink Yamaha Mio motorcycle was lying in the road, spattered with
blood. Nearby were four spent 9mm bullet cartridges. Police established that
the attackers were two youths aged around 20 years, riding a black-bronze
motorcycle. They had driven into Soi Chaiyapruk and passed in front of Mai
Wilai Market before arriving at the temporary checkpoint, which was manned
by Pol Sgt Maj Bunsong Jaklang and a number of volunteer police officers.
The two youths slowed down when they saw the checkpoint, and tried to make a
U-turn to avoid the police. Watchara, who had only just applied to be a
volunteer police officer and whose application was still in process, was
posted at a second point in accordance with the barrier plan. He and a
number of other volunteers stepped forward and asked the motorcyclists to
stop and be searched. The pillion rider shot a gun several times into the
group of officers. One bullet struck Watchara, who fell to the ground. The
volunteers radioed for help but the motorcyclists escaped.
Police surmise the two youths were most likely carrying some illegal items,
and consequently tried to escape when they saw the police barrier. Pol Col
Suthin Srappuang, superintendent at Pattaya Police Station, has ordered that
the youths be tracked down. He has also began an investigation into why the
checkpoint was being operated without a commissioned officer, and why the
volunteers were not in uniform.
Anti-polio campaign underway
Rotary plays leading role in supporting vaccinations for under-5s
A campaign against polio began on December 13 when Mayor Niran
Wattanasartsathorn announced a program to administer vaccines to children
under the age of five years.
children received the first stage of polio vaccine on December 13 in
Pattaya. The second stage will be held January 17.
As a sweetener for the kiddies who might be apprehensive about being
vaccinated, city hall has prepared toys for them to play with.
Worldwide, the fight against polio is backed by the World Health
Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Center to Control and
Protect Against Diseases, and Rotary International. Since 1985, over two
billion children around the world have been vaccinated against polio.
In Thailand, Rotary works in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health.
A seminar was held on November 23 to discuss strategy for the vaccination
campaign, and December 13 saw the startup, with the ministry and Rotary
Clubs together working with doctors, nurses and other public health
professionals throughout the country.
Pattaya’s campaign started at the multi-purpose field in front of Pattaya
City Hall. The vaccine was administered to children up to the age of five
years, and the second-stage vaccination will begin on January 17 at the
Public Health Service Center on Soi Buakhao.
Every child will have to receive the vaccine five times, and at specific
intervals. Health care officials stress that vaccination is the only option
to this disease, because there is no cure.
Local Rotary Clubs played a
big role in the polio vaccination day on December 13.
SY Senrity Co will stage countdown festivities
SY Senrity Co Ltd has been selected to organize the Pattaya Countdown that
will take place from December 29 to January 1.
The company has arranged for top acts including lAF 1- AF 3 and B the Star
to attract visitors to the New Year festivities, which will center upon Bali
Hai Pier in South Pattaya.
Pattaya District Office has allocated a budget of 3 million baht for the
Two companies submitted bids, namely Bio The Net Limited and SY Senrity Co.
The formats and activities suggested were very different, and both companies
took a different approach to last year’s festivities.
This year’s Pattaya Countdown will be held December 29 to January 1, a total
of four days separated into two parts. The four days will include music
concerts, activities and 2007 fireworks will form a spectacular display.
There will be booths selling products and food and drinks, along with games
World Vision urges greater media responsibility
in coverage of child and women victims
Chonburi Deputy Governor Komsan Ekachai on November 23 chaired a meeting at
the Diana Garden Resort conference room between the World Vision Foundation
of Thailand (WVFT), the Suppanimitr Foundation Group, leading figures in
social development sectors, and the media.
Amongst those attending were associate judge of the Chonburi Juvenile Court
and managing director of the Diana Group Sopin Thappajug, Chonburi province
social developer Doctor Suvimol Nakchalerm, coordinator of the Suppanimitr
Foundation Sudjai Nakpian, Kamolthep Malhotra, general manager of Pattaya
Mail, and local media representatives.
Deputy Governor Komsan Ekachai.
Komsan, whose position includes responsibility for social development, gave
a warm welcome to the attendees and described the background to the child
protection law that became effective in 2003, but which is still
inappropriately and inefficiently exercised.
The deputy governor said he was born in Chonburi and had lived there for
most of his life, and had seen the problems of the harassment of children
and women. Those who became victims often suffered even more after the media
presented their unfortunate news to society, as they could so easily be made
to appear the culprits.
Komsan said the strategies to tackle the problems never changed.
“We have actively to protect and set tight regulations for the safety of our
children and women, and passively we must aid those who go through
difficulties in living, either physically or mentally, after they have been
the victims of violence, whether that happened within their families or out
on the streets,” he said.
The deputy governor said that generally there are two groups of children
that are forced to experience hardship in living. One is those who arrived
with their parents when the family moved to Chonburi province looking for
work and who were then abandoned and had to make their own way. He said that
from there it is very easy for a child to fall in with bad company.
of the Suppanimitr Foundation Sudjai Nakpian.
The second group includes children that have been brought to Chonburi
province by businesspeople in the hope of being given an opportunity to make
some income at workplaces. He said that, on the contrary, what happens was
that those children were misguided and pushed into the circle of illegal
businesses. In turn, they became thieves and criminals, or caused other
Komsan advised the media in attendance that they should use sensitivity in
reporting cases of children that are at risk of being mistreated, locked up,
harassed, beaten, or exploited, and he urged everyone to have sympathy for
the underprivileged in our society. “Let’s start from there,” he said.
Coordinator of the Suppanimitr Foundation Sudjai Nakpian stressed the
appropriate ways of presenting news and information on the victims of
violence to the eyes of the world. She said some publications printed
pictures, and even family members’ names and addresses in their papers
without any concern for the aftermath that could affect the lives and
feelings of the victims and their families.
World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT), the Suppanimitr Foundation
Group, leading figures in social development sectors, and the media met at
the Diana Garden Resort conference room to discuss greater media
responsibility in the coverage of child and women victims.
She said the worst enemy to those suffering from violence is the
word-of-mouth that spreads throughout their own neighborhood, their
villages, and their communities.
Sudjai presented some of the bad examples of news coverage on the projector
board, and said that this kind of coverage would do no good to the sufferers
and their families. She urged the press to be more responsible in giving out
private information to readers.
Dr Suvimol Nakchalerm said that to finally have the media attending a
children and women life protection meeting was a great opportunity to put
the views of social developers across. Dr Suvimol said that in her
experience in teaching morality to prisoners in their cells, she knew that
some of them learned bad ways from examples covered in the media.
She said that with children having their own mobile telephones that are
capable of capturing photos and videos, some offer sex services in this way.
She said the motives that drove them to such actions were simply to show off
to their friends and gain respect as well as to make some pocket money to
buy luxury goods.
Dr Suvimol presented some startling figures to the audience. She said that
25 percent of children studying between Mathayom class 4 and 6, between the
ages of 14 and 17 years, have had one or more experience in sexual
She also said 45 percent of schoolchildren had once or more than once gone
through physical and mental disturbance from their friends, neighbors, or
Thailand has been put on the top of the list of countries unable to control
harassment and sexual trading of children and women, said Dr Suvimol.
A representative of the Public Health Department of Pattaya City Hall
attending the meeting presented information on the registered and
unregistered population of the city. She said that officially only around
100,000 citizens are on file as registered with a permanent home in the city
area, but the number of those who have moved here in search of work could be
as high as 500,000, and it is those who are of most concern.
She said that city hall places great importance on training local
schoolteachers to become capable second parents. She added that some parents
are good only to give birth to their children but not fit to nurture them
correctly and productively. She said teachers should be able to maneuver
their charges into doing good things and not to turn to vicious activities.
During the question and answer session that followed the meeting, some local
press representatives came up with ideas to monitor the irresponsible
publication of stories in the newspapers.
Pattaya Mail general manager Kamolthep Malhotra said it was difficult
to immediately eliminate certain types of behavior that some editors or
directors possessed that are risky to society. He said some press believed
that by presenting pictures of young sufferers, giving their family names
and addresses, or publishing insulting or even offensive headlines could add
sales or audiences to their newspaper or TV show.
Kamolthep said it is not easy to prevent people from consuming unproductive
and pessimistic reports, but as society is growing fast and parents
regardless of their background tend to have more responsibility in
developing their own family’s quality of living, parents should be
intelligent enough to choose media and what information to take into their
Kamolthep compared the current situation of our country as a graph where he
said Thailand is probably at its lowest point of culture and morality
breakdown and hopefully with great help from every sector in the community,
whether from the current tighter government policies, police, parents,
teachers, and media, the graph should look better in the near future.
He gave an example of countries that have been going through a similar state
where there was much crime, and cases of child molestation and harassment of
women. Obviously, not many governments could handle and control the
situation completely. Thailand is going through much pain about the issue.
He said it’s time for the press to admit that we are holding one of the
strings and could no longer turn a blind eye on the matter.
Finally the deputy governor gave hope to the audience by saying that
Chonburi province has set aside a budget to cultivate the strategies that
had become provincial policy to heal the crisis. Nevertheless, he said,
money alone would not make the project successful if all of us in society
did not play our part, particularly the media, as they are one of the most
influential channels to reach to every household, even ones situated in the
farthest communities of the kingdom.
World Vision Foundation of Thailand is a partner of World Vision
International Organization founded in 1950 by a Christian leader and
American reporter, Dr Bob Pierce. It has more than 100 members of the
international partnership of Christians all over the world helping poor and
needy people whose mission is “To follow Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in
working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek
justice and bear witness to the good news of the kingdom of God.”
There are four regional WVFT Coordination Centers around the kingdom. The
main center that covers the area of Bangkok and Peripheral Central provinces
is at 582/18-22 Sukhumvit 63 Klongton-nua, Wattana district, Bangkok 10110.
Phone 02 381 8863-5, fax 02 381 2034, 711-4100-1.
You can read more about the World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT) or
donate on line via the website www.worldvision.or.th or email
Elderly Club gathers to pay respects to HM the King
Lecturer Pranee Maneesarn
(front left), chairwoman of the Pattaya Elderly Club, leads the elderly
members in paying their respects and blessing HM the King on Father’s Day.
Over 200 members of the Pattaya Elderly Club, led by chairwoman Pranee
Maneesarn, gathered at the Pattaya Public Health Center on December 8 to
commemorate the birthday of His Majesty the King.
The club, which is supported by the Pattaya Public Health and Environment
Department, organizes different monthly activities for the elderly, ranging
from recreation to health and exercise activities.
On this occasion, in addition to paying their respects to His Majesty, the
members took part in a female and male beauty contest.
Pattaya Elderly Club was established in 2002 and currently has more than 600
members, with the youngest being 45 years of age.
TNT donates more than 3,000 safety helmets to school pupils
TNT Express (Thailand), led by
David Record, country general manager, has presented over 3,000 safety
helmets to children at two schools in Pattaya.
TNT Express (Thailand) has presented over 3,000 safety helmets to children
at two schools in Pattaya in a safety campaign mounted in conjunction with
the Foundation for the Protection of Children Against Danger.
The company, which is a specialist in delivery services, presented the
helmets to 1,742 children at Pattaya School No 8, and 1,750 children at
Pattaya School No 9. The total of 3,492 helmets was donated on December 14
by David Record, country general manager of TNT Express (Thailand) and
Pratheep Tanprasert, director of the Foundation for Protection of Children
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn and the director of Pattaya School No 9, Ms
Sopa Kithapol, welcomed the visitors.
Record said that many children ride on motorcycles and many do not wear
protective headgear. Consequently they are at great risk of injury in a
traffic accident. These two Pattaya schools are the first to receive helmets
from TNT Express, and the company plans to donate more helmets to other
schools throughout the country.
The children were delighted with the presentation. It is estimated that more
than half of the families whose children attend the two schools use a
motorcycle for taking their children to school, and most of the youngsters
do not wear protective headgear.
The children staged two shows for the visitors as a thank-you for the