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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

HRH Princess Sirindhorn opens new graduate school at Burapha University

Keep Pattaya Clean operation underway

Fishermen using explosives damage HTMS Chuthatip and coral reefs

US Embassy urges safety seminar in wake of bombings

Pattaya to host 3rd International Youth Camp

Chonburi governor reminds village headmen to be administrators not politicians

Cambodian government delegation visits city

City cracks down on parking

Car bursts into flames on North Pattaya Road

Man honks car horn at young motorcyclists and gets shot

Norwegian out on bail after drunken hit-and-run accident almost loses arm in firework explosion

Belgian on beach has 300,000 baht stolen by transvestites

Homage paid on anniversary of King Taksin’s coronation

Itthipol Khunplome to run for mayor

Surat to run for mayor

244 drug addicts enlist into Navy school rehab program

Chinese Vice Admiral brings students to Sattahip Naval Base

Police chief issues guidelines and warning to Russian tour operators

Pattaya citizens still in fear after the Bangkok bomb blasts

D-Day for additional no-smoking zones


HRH Princess Sirindhorn opens new graduate school at Burapha University

HRH Princess Sirindhorn unveils the new Dr Pasuk Kullawanit Building at Burapha University.

Somsak Jakpaiwong of the Burapha University Council provides information about the Dr. Pasuk Kullawanit Building for HRH Princess Sirindhorn.

Assistant Professor Doctor Suda Suwannapirom, director of the Graduate School of Commerce, and Assistant Professor Saruti Sakulrat, director of the Graduate School of Public Administration, present general use money and souvenirs to HRH Princess Sirindhorn.

Suwanthep Malhotra and
Narisa Nitikarn

Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn on December 27 at 6:10 p.m. unveiled the plaque on the new Dr Pasuk Kullawanit Building at Burapha University.
The building will house the Graduate School of Commerce and the Graduate School of Public Administration, which both have master and doctoral programs. An eight-story structure, the building was erected with income from both graduate schools and cost 308 million baht.

The Dr. Pasuk Kullawanit Building.
The foundation stone had also been laid by Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn, the ceremony having been conducted on December 22, 2001.
Amongst those forming the official welcoming party for Her Royal Highness on the December 27 official opening were Somsak Jakpaiwong of the Burapha University Council, Assistant Professor Doctor Suda Suwannapirom, director of the Graduate School of Commerce, and Assistant Professor Saruti Sakulrat, director of the Graduate School of Public Administration.
The Dr Pasuk Kullawanit Building is named for the former chancellor of Burapha University who supported and encouraged both graduate schools both in terms of their educational programs and in being independent of any need of funds from the national government budget.
The Graduate School of Commerce has six campuses, namely Bangsaen, Bangkok, Rayong, Saraburi, Nonthaburi, and Mae Hong Son. The school has already produced 3,100 graduates.
The Graduate School of Public Administration has five campuses, namely Chonburi, Chantaburi, Sra Kaew, Thonburi, and Srinakarin, with 2,250 students who have graduated.


Keep Pattaya Clean operation underway

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
One thousand people took part in a Keep Pattaya Clean campaign that began with city hall administrators, members of Pattaya City Council, Navy personnel and conscripts from the Navy Recruit Training Center among those taking part.
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn performed the official opening, saying that keeping the city clean is vitally important for residents and visitors alike.
The campaign is an ongoing one that will cover the whole of Pattaya and will include houses, businesses, schools and government offices.
After the opening ceremony, workers rolled up their sleeves and cleaned up areas of Pattaya, washing down roads that were covered in sand, and clearing rubbish from the beaches.
Locals and business operators have been asked to clean up the front of their premises and government agencies were asked to cooperate by cleaning up schools and government offices.


Fishermen using explosives damage HTMS Chuthatip and coral reefs

A special patrol was sent out to investigate after receiving reports that fishermen in the area are using explosives to fish.

Patcharapol Panrak
Fishermen using explosives in the ocean off Sattahip have caused damage to underwater sites, leading to a drop in the number of tourists diving in the area.
The sunken World War Two warship HTMS Chuthatip in Saem San Bay is amongst the sites damaged, and dive tour operators are complaining that the bay’s exotic fish are being frightened away.
Captain Chamnong Kittipiraphol, commander of Fleet 1 at Sattahip, says that many complaints have been received from Thai and foreign tourists that explosives have been used by fishermen around various islands in Saem San Bay and also around the area where HTMS Chuthatip has been laid to rest, between Koh Juang and Koh Rong Khone.
Tourists are saying there are no scenic diving spots left and that all the large fish have deserted the area. Captain Chamnong reported the matter to Admiral Nopporn Achavakhom, commander of the Strategic Fleet, before sending his deputy Captain Pachon Ramkomot and a team to investigate.
They found that explosions have occurred around HTMS Chuthatip, which lies 26 meters under the surface. The patrol investigated the various islands in the area and found that a lot of damage had been done to the coral reefs. Tourists and dive tour operators are now being asked if they have any information on who is carrying out the illicit bombings. Call the Strategic Fleet Command on 0 3843 8008.


US Embassy urges safety seminar in wake of bombings

Narisa Nitikarn
Scott M Bernat, chief of the Naval Security Force Protection Detachment at the United States Embassy visited Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn on January 4 to bring New Year greetings and at the same time ask permission to organize a safety seminar in Pattaya.

Scott Bernat (right), chief of the Naval Security Force Protection Detachment at the United States Embassy visits with Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn.

Bernat said that the timing was especially important in the wake of the bombings in Bangkok over the New Year.
The seminar would focus on the threat of bombs, and would involve both government and the private sectors.
The US ambassador to Thailand has already provided equipment such as bomb shields and will pay all expenses in organizing the seminar in order that those responsible can react as quickly as possible in the event of such an occurrence.
Niran said that he was willing to cooperate, but requested that details of the seminar be submitted to Pattaya District Office in writing.


Pattaya to host 3rd International Youth Camp

Narisa Nitikarn
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay chaired a meeting on the organization of the 3rd International Youth Fellowship Global Camp, which will be held from January 16 to 25 in Pattaya.

Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay chaired a meeting on the organization of the 3rd International Youth Activities.

Along with IYF representatives at the January 4 meeting in Pattaya District Office were city hall department heads and tourism industry representatives.
The IYF Global Camp has been held twice previously, once in Australia, which was attended by 1,200 young people and once in Hawaii, attended by 2,200.
Both events were a huge success and it is anticipated that 3,000 youths will attend the Thailand-hosted camp.
The IYF is announcing that it is looking for 500 Thai schoolchildren to volunteer to attend IYF Global Camp.
Pattaya was selected as host because the country has a large number of tourist attractions, which will be of interest to the young people attending from around the world. Each day the participants will be divided into four groups to travel to different tourist attractions throughout Pattaya.
The opening ceremony will be held on January 16 and a closing ceremony on January 25 at the Ambassador City Hotel Jomtien. Additionally, on January 20, starting at 5.30 p.m., a music concert will be held at Bali Hai Pier.


Chonburi governor reminds village headmen to be administrators not politicians

Narisa Nitikarn
Chonburi’s new governor, Pracha Taerat, met with village headmen from the districts of Banglamung, Sriracha, Sattahip, Koh Sichang and Banbung at Pattaya City Hall on December 28 to brief them on policies that he plans to pursue.

Chonburi Governor Pracha Taerat

Also present were Itthipol Khunplome, chief advisor to the mayor of Pattaya City, and Chanyuth Hengtrakul, former member of parliament for Chonburi.
Governor Pracha said that the Village Headmen Institute is considered to be a very important institute because it works so closely with the villagers. This is the way to ensure that society is receiving what it needs, especially the more vulnerable members of the community.
The new governor said that a village headman should be impartial and moral, and should not take bribes.
Pracha said that many village headmen are forgetful of their duties, and seem to think they are local politicians. This is incorrect behavior, resulting in inefficiencies in performance, as they are working for votes rather than for the good of society.
This situation has come about from the amendment to the law that states elections should be held every four or five years. As a consequence, the headmen have become far too concerned about their image and their mass popularity.
Village headmen should regard themselves as representatives working to provide service and benefits to the communities, and they should keep five basic requirements in mind: impartiality, transparency, justice, efficiency and economics.
“The village headman is the governor of his village,” said Pracha. “He should always be striving to provide service to his people.”


Cambodian government delegation visits city

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
A Cambodian delegation led by Chea Thea, personal assistant to Somdech Chea Sim, Cambodia’s acting head of state and president of the senate, arrived in Pattaya on January 5 for discussions on business opportunities in the city.

(From left) His Excellency Chea Thea, Kim Sovann and Khat Sokha.

The delegation was met at Pattaya City Hall by Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh, who said that the meeting dealt only with broad issues and that further discussions would be held with the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association.
Later, the delegation visited a diving business and strolled along Walking Street before departing. During the visit their security was taken care of by Pattaya Municipality Police.
Chea Thea said that since democracy, Cambodia’s economy has been developing and that trade with other countries was progressing.
Agriculture, he said, has become more efficient under the various developments that are taking place in that sector, and tourism is becoming an important source of revenue for the state. Benefits are being provided to attract investors, and the country’s infrastructure is being improved.
The delegation also included Kim Sovann and Khat Sokha, advisor to Somdech Chea Sim, president of the senate, and acting head of state.


City cracks down on parking

Chonburi Deputy Governor Komsan Aekachai (inset) is getting tough on parking in public places.

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
Pattaya District Office is getting tough on parking in public places after receiving many complaints from tourists and locals, directing those responsible to remedy the situation urgently.
Chonburi Deputy Governor Komsan Aekachai has called an emergency meeting of responsible agencies, including Chonburi, Banglamung and Pattaya Municipal Police to consider ways to ease traffic problems in tourist areas.
The meeting was ordered directly by Chonburi Governor Pracha Taerat.
Komsan said that Pattaya is continually suffering traffic problems due to road repairs and the laying of drainage systems by the Regional Irrigation Department. The problems are also caused by vehicle operators who have taken over a long stretch of Beach Road as a parking area, resulting in the road being unusable by tourists and locals. Many have submitted complaints to Chonburi Provincial Office.
Pattaya District Office and Pattaya Municipal Police will designate permanent parking areas and parking meters will be installed to remedy the problem of long-term parking.


Car bursts into flames on North Pattaya Road

Boonlua Chatree
A saloon car burst into flames opposite the Fairtex Hotel on North Pattaya Road and two fire engines raced to the scene with rescue workers from Sawang Boriboon Foundation.

Nataphumi Sukloet’s car caught fire in North Pattaya.

The fire happened at 00:15 hrs on January 2. Police arriving at the scene found the bronze Toyota Corona with a Chonburi license plate engulfed in flames, and rocked by intermittent explosions as the LPG-powered engine burned. Police cordoned off the area over a 200-meter radius and fire fighters doused the flames in 15 minutes.
The owner, 40-year-old Nataphumi Sukloet, told officers that he was driving home when he saw smoke coming from the engine. He stopped the car and the fire quickly spread. He called the police.
Nataphumi said that he purchased the car 10 months ago and eight months ago had it fitted out with an LPG fuel system. The car had never suffered any problems until the fire.
Police surmise the fire was probably caused by a short circuit, but investigations continue.


Man honks car horn at young motorcyclists and gets shot

Boonlua Chatree
An exasperated motorist who honked his horn at a group of youths who were riding their motorcycles in a dangerous manner was shot by one of them with a pistol.
Police from Dongtan Sub-branch Police Station were called out at 6:30 a.m. on December 30 by a report that a man had been shot on Sukhumvit Road, in the direction of Pattaya to Sattahip opposite Lotus in South Pattaya.

Tui Wayo was shot for honking his horn at youths riding recklessly on their motorbikes.

Officers and Sawang Boriboon Foundation rescue workers at the site found a white Toyota parked at the side of the road. Inside was 52-year-old Tui Wayo, a native of Lopburi Province, who had been driving the vehicle. He had been shot once in the shoulder by a weapon of unknown caliber, and was shouting in pain. Mrs Sompong Meemak, his 42-year-old wife was sitting beside him and trying to comfort him.
Sawang Boriboon rescuers took him from his car and transferred him to Banglamung Hospital for treatment. Physicians stabilized his condition but Tui had to stay in the hospital so doctors could monitor his condition.
Police questioned Sompong, who said that she and her husband had a grocery shop in Nongjaptao Village and were driving to Naklua Market to buy some goods.
They saw a number of youngsters riding three motorcycles, each bike having a girl on the pillion seat. The drivers were swerving recklessly without any heed to other road users. Her husband was disgusted with this and honked his horn. Sompong told him that he shouldn’t get involved with them, because she was worried that they might assault their car.
One of the motorcyclists slowed down and pulled onto the side of the road. He allowed Tui to get ahead of him, and then caught up with the car on the driver’s side. The young rider took out his gun and shot Tui, and then the riders fled in the direction of Sattahip. Tui pulled his car up at the side of the road and called the police.
On initial questioning, police believe the gang was from Sattahip.


Norwegian out on bail after drunken hit-and-run accident almost loses arm in firework explosion

Boonlua Chatree
A Norwegian man out on bail after a hit-and-run accident that killed a British tourist on December 30 was badly injured when a firework exploded in his hand during New Year celebrations.

Norwegian Hans Bjorger Mobraten was arrested for the hit and run death of Briton Jimmy Hassim. Later, after posting bail, Mobraten nearly blew his arm off setting off illegal fireworks.

Just after midnight on December 30, police at Khing Khong Taal sub-station received a report that a car had hit a motorcycle ridden by a foreign national, killing him. The accident happened in front of the View Talay Jomtien Condo sales office on Thappraya Road.
Officers went to the scene where they found the body of 52-year-old Jimmy Hassim, a British national, lying face down in a pool of blood next to his blue JRD motorcycle. He had died immediately from severe head injuries. Police transferred the body to Banglamung Hospital.
Witnesses said the deceased was driving the motorcycle from Pattaya and was about to turn into the condominium when a Toyota Sports car speeding from the direction of Jomtien hit the bike and sped off along Thappraya Road towards Pattaya.
Officers called for assistance and the car was stopped at the Pratamnak Hill intersection. The front bumper was bent in, the windscreen was smashed and there were traces of blood on the front of the vehicle.
There was only one person in the car, the driver, later identified as Hans Bjorger Mobraten, 58, of Norway. Mobraten was allegedly drunk and at first refused to get out of the vehicle, but as police could see a bottle of alcohol in the car, police took Mobraten into custody and gave him a breathalyzer test. He was found to have an alcohol reading of 280 milligrams. The legal limit is 50. Mobraten allegedly kept shouting that he wasn’t drunk, but police locked him up in a cell and charged him with drunken driving causing the death of a third party.
The following day, December 31 at 1 p.m., Mobraten placed 200,000 baht bail which was approved by the investigating officer, Pol Lt Col Taylert Loepoe, and he left police custody.
At 00.20 hrs on January 1, Pol Col Suthin Sappuang, commander of Pattaya Police received a report that a foreigner had been seriously injured in a fireworks explosion in the soi next to Jomtien Complex Condo, on Jomtien Beach Road. He went to investigate with Pol Lt Col Sirichai Khruprasetwattana and a team of officers.
At the scene the officers found Hans Bjorger Mobraten badly injured in front of a bar at the condo. He had suffered a huge gash to his left arm and the bones were shattered. He had also suffered gunpowder burns. Sawang Boriboon rescue workers gave first aid treatment before taking him to Bangkok Pattaya Hospital.
Mrs Anita Forberg, 59, the injured man’s wife told officers that they were celebrating the New Year countdown and bought two rockets for 1,500 baht each from a vendor. Her husband lit one of the rockets and stood back, but it failed to go off. He walked back to investigate and picked it up. The firework exploded in his hand.
Police are now looking for the vendor.


Belgian on beach has 300,000 baht stolen by transvestites

Boonlua Chatree
A Belgian visitor had 300,000 baht stolen from him by two transvestites who approached him on Pattaya Beach with offers of sexual services.
Christophe Ottevaere, age 35, filed a report with police at 3 a.m. on January 2, saying that he had left his room in Nikom Court to walk along Beach Road. Two people dressed as women and aged between 20 and 25 years had approached him, and hugged and fondled him. They asked him to have sex, but he refused and tried to walk away.
After he had gone about 200 meters he realized that his wallet was missing from his right pocket. The wallet contained 13 euro notes in denominations of 500, and consequently he had lost 6,500 euros, equivalent to about 302,000 baht. However, the 30,000 baht he carried in his other pocket was still there.
Ottevaere said he had been in Pattaya for only one day, and was here to celebrate the New Year. He was due to fly home in two days’ time. He had withdrawn the money from the bank to purchase his airplane ticket.
Police have shown the unlucky Belgian visitor file photographs of transvestites in the hope he can recognize them.


Homage paid on anniversary of King Taksin’s coronation

Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn presides over the ceremony and leads all attending officials in making offerings to the Great King Taksin.

Vimolrat Singnikorn
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn presided over a ceremony to pay homage to King Taksin the Great early in the morning of December 28.
Council members from Pattaya City and Chonburi gathered, dressed in the official white uniforms of public servants, and representatives of private organizations also attended.

Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn lights a candle to pay respect to the Great King Taksin.
The gathering at the King Taksin Monument at Pattaya City Hall was to commemorate the date of his coronation, December 28, 1768.
Ten monks prayed during the Buddhist ceremony, floral offerings were made, and there was a display of traditional Thai fighting to honor the memory of a King who had fought so hard to remove invaders from his country and establish continuing peace.
King Taksin, who was the only king of the Thonburi era, the era that preceded the current Rattanakosin reign, was born in 1734. His father Hai Hong was the holder of a governmental gambling house monopoly, and his mother was Lady Nok-Iang. His reign lasted from 1768-1782.
When the Burmese destroyed Ayutthaya in 1767, Taksin was governor of the city of Kampaengphet. He assembled an army and marched on the Burmese, resting his forces briefly at what is today Pattaya and Naklua. The invaders were driven out and Siam became independent, remaining so from then onwards.

Officers put their hands together in a salute to receive blessings for prosperity from the revered monk at the Great King Taksin homage ceremony.

Old style fighting was performed to remind people of the ancient period of fighting.


Itthipol Khunplome to run for mayor

Niran says he will step down at end of term

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
Itthipol Khunplome, former member of parliament for Chonburi Province Zone 5, has announced his intention to stand for mayor of Pattaya when the term of the present mayor ends in the middle of 2008.

Itthipol Khunplome announces his intention to run for mayor of Pattaya in 2008.

The present incumbent, Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn, has said he will step down when his term of office ends.
Sontaya Khunplome, leader of the We Conserve Chonburi Group, said he would be supporting Itthipol.
Pattaya City and the Chonburi administration need to work on a careful development strategy for Pattaya because it is an international city and an international tourism destination that brings huge income into Thailand, and as such has to be treated separately to all the other communities on the east coast, said Sontaya.
Mayor Niran said that in more than three years in the mayor’s seat he has seen at first hand the problems and obstacles that Pattaya faces. Pattaya City has a different administrative system to other local administrations, and is far more of an international community.
He said he would leave office when his term is finished and won’t run for the next term. However, he has said that he would be willing to act as chief advisor to the new mayor, and would be proud to be in a position where he could still help Pattaya develop.
Other changes in Chonburi include Wittaya Khunplome, the second brother in the family and former member of parliament for Chonburi Zone 2, becoming president of the Chonburi Provincial Administration, taking over from Pinyo Tanwiset, who had several times served as president.
Itthipol, the fourth brother in the family, says that he is ready and eager to take on the challenges of the job and that he is helped by the fact he is currently official advisor to the mayor of Pattaya.
Itthipol is 33 and is the son of Somchai and Mrs Satil Khunplome. He graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in jurisprudence from Chulalongkorn University, and a master of arts degree in jurisprudence from Golden Gate University, USA. Sontaya, his eldest brother, has held ministerial positions in several ministries.


Surat to run for mayor

Says a local man is needed for the job

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
Surat Mekavarakul, chairman of Mike Co Ltd and former president of Banglamung District Cultural Council, has thrown his hat into the ring and announced he will be running for mayor in the next election.

Surat Mekavarakul will run in the next Pattaya mayoral election.

Making the announcement at Mike Shopping Mall on December 27, Surat declared that as a native of Pattaya he is confident he could lead a team of new people who can take Pattaya forward to the next stage of its development.
Pattaya’s present mayor, Niran Wattanasartsathorn, has already announced that he will step down when his term ends in 2008, and that he will not seek further election.
Surat said Pattaya needs a man from the local community who understands the intricacies of the city and who will be able to work with people he already knows well, and who know him.
Surat said Pattaya City is an increasingly important international destination and that it has to change its image from being primarily a local city, in terms of the lifestyles of the people, the environment, and education.
The mayoral candidate added that he is assembling a campaign team around him.
“We are the next generation of politicians,” he said. “We don’t adhere to the old political style, and we have nothing to be afraid of.”
Surat, who is 47, has a master’s degree from Nida Institute. He has had a long and distinguished career in the Pattaya business community and is deputy chairman of the Chonburi Chamber of Commerce.
He ran in the last mayoral election in Pattaya and was defeated by Niran by only 2,000 votes.
Surat said he doesn’t belong to any political group but works independently with his main concern being the welfare of the community.


244 drug addicts enlist into Navy school rehab program

Patcharapol Panrak
The first stage of a program for the rehabilitation of 244 drug addicts was completed with a ceremony at Wiwat Polamuang School, Royal Thai Navy Division 2, on December 28.

Capt Jongkol Meesawat, director of the school and commander of the Training Center at Air and Costal Defense Command, leads the ceremony.

Capt Jongkol Meesawat, director of the school and commander of the Training Center at Air and Costal Defense Command, led the ceremony.
Also present were Ms Puangkaew Chuachid of the Department of Probation, Director’s Division 2, Sunai Leelaphansit, Samutprakarn probation director, and Lt Com Thammanoon Wongpradit, deputy technical director of Wiwat Polamuang School, who submitted a report on the 244 narcotics addicts who were being treated.
The school began the drug rehab program last November, operating under the guidelines of the Narcotics Addict Rehabilitation Act of BE 2545 (2002), and receiving addicts from the Department of Probation Division 2, Samutprakarn Probation Department, and other probation departments.
The 244 students have now passed the preparation stage and are ready to go into the second stage of rehabilitation. Once they have completed the program they will return to their families.


Chinese Vice Admiral brings students to Sattahip Naval Base

Patcharapol Panrak
Vice Admiral Lee Tian Reon, deputy commander-in-chief of the National Defense College of China, arrived in Pattaya on December 28 with 23 students from the college.
The group visited the Royal Thai Navy Base at Sattahip, where the base’s commander-in-chief Vice Admiral Chanchai Charoensuwan welcomed them.

Vice Admiral Lee Tian Reon (left), deputy commander-in-chief of the National Defense College of China, shakes hands with Vice Admiral Chanchai Charoensuwan, Royal Thai Navy Base at Sattahip’s commander-in-chief, showing the good relationship between Thailand and China.

The purpose of the visit was an educational one, as Sattahip is the largest base of the Royal Thai Navy and it has a wide range of responsibilities both in navy and civil matters.
Vice Admiral Lee spoke of the good relationship that has long existed between China and Thailand and spoke too of the historical and cultural heritage shared by the two countries. He said that the ethnic background was sometimes so close that, unless a Thai or Chinese person spoke, no one would know which nation they came from.
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has regularly visited China, said the Vice Admiral, and this has created an even closer bond between the Chinese and the Thais.


Police chief issues guidelines and warning to Russian tour operators

Boonlua Chatree
Pol Col Suthin Sappuang, commander of Pattaya Police, and his deputy Pol Lt Col Sirichai Khrooprasertwattana invited more than 50 Russian tourist guides and Russian tour operators to a meeting on December 22 to discuss ways to prevent crimes against tourists, especially Russian tourists visiting Pattaya.

Pol. Col. Suthin Sappuang (left), commander of Pattaya Police, and his deputy Pol Lt Col Sirichai Khrooprasertwattana talk to more than 50 Russian tourist guides and Russian tour operators.

At the meeting Pol Col Suthin said that Pattaya police were very concerned at the recent shooting of a Russian tourist in a robbery. The tourist, a female, was seriously injured.
The commander asked the guides to inform tourists to be careful and not to go to unlit places as this only assists criminals in carrying out their crimes.
He also said that when carrying bags not to carry them on the arm that is next to the road and not to carry any more property that is needed on any certain day. When crimes do occur, he said, try to remember what the attackers looked like.
He also asked the guides to help promote Pattaya’s image and to facilitate tourists when buying goods and not overcharge them or cheat them. If it is found that tour operators take tourists to buy goods priced above the normal prices and complaints are received the tour operators will be arrested immediately.


Pattaya citizens still in fear after the Bangkok bomb blasts

Vimolrat Singnikorn
After the terrifying explosions that went off at eight different crowded spots in Bangkok on New Year’s Eve, killing three Thai citizens and injuring another 30 people, including a number of foreigners, there is some trepidation in Pattaya as well as in the capital.
Pattaya Mail reporters have been talking to some local citizens to find out how they feel about the tragedy and how they are trying to save themselves from potential harm at this moment.
The majority of people questioned said they were still leading their normal routine lives and did not hide away in their premises. One reason is that people are confident in the security provided by the city’s police, although of course there is the added reason that no one wants to stop working because they would lose the income to feed themselves and their families. However, most people seem to harbor at least some anxiety.

A security guard of a hotel near the beach, Rawai Unabutr said he was confident there were enough security officers in the crowded areas of the city.

Thidamart Vanitsawat, a Central Pattaya local said that she was a bit scared after the incident in Bangkok and was concerned that it could happen in Pattaya. She said this fun city is one of the major tourist attractions and there are a lot of visitors in town every day.

Sawat Sama, a beauty salon owner said she was shocked to hear about the explosions and was not sure of Pattaya’s safety, as there are a lot of people traveling to the city and no one really knows who they are.

Beer bar operators in Soi 6 (from left) Praiwan Pathep, Samran King and Naew Chankesorn said they were not very sure of the security status in some areas at night but sales in their bars have not fallen by much, and they are still able to operate as normal.

Pak Kornchantuk, a food stall vendor on the beach said she is afraid to go back home alone at night and she would not go into a crowded place, as it is not very

Preenuch Sukhsilp, a beer bar operator said that the incident had urged the city to provide greater public security. She said that nevertheless it has affected some businesses and the local economy. However, she added, those who come here frequently and know the city are not staying in their rooms but going out as always, as they are quite confident of the safety police provide.


D-Day for additional no-smoking zones

Carefree days for tobacco puffers in Thailand are going up in smoke, as the law banning smoking in virtually all public places came into force on Dec 29.
Public Health Minister Mongkol Na Songkhla called on law enforcement agencies and entertainment venues to strictly enforce the law. Owners of entertainment venues failing to comply with the law may be subject to between a Bt10,000-20,000 fine and those who puff a cigarette despite the law may have to pay a fine of Bt2,000.
Thailand has one of the toughest anti-smoking laws in the world. It is at the forefront of the region’s anti-smoking campaign and has enacted a host of restrictions on the tobacco industry including bans on cigarette advertisements, bans on smoking in most public places and requirements that all cigarette packs include graphic photos depicting the ill effects of tobacco on health.
Last year the government banned cigarette displays at points of sale, making Thailand only the third country worldwide to do so.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Dr Mongkol said that smoking claims 52,000 lives yearly as a result of cancer and heart disease. The government has to foot the bills of over Bt50 billion to treat those with lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema.
“To make sure that the law is carried out to the letter, we need cooperation from all involved. If there is not a clear sign-posting, or no proper smoking zone and non-smoking zone in public places, owners of such venues would be liable to fines,” said Dr Mongkol.
Virtually all public places would be declared non-smoking zones under the new restriction, except personal offices, private rooms and designated smoking rooms. (TNA)