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Vol. XV No. 26
Friday June 29 - July 5, 2007

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Updated every Friday
by Saichon Paewsoongnern

Weather Update

NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Happy Birthday HRH Princess Chulabhorn

Overhead cables to be removed soon, as power lines go underground

Refuse pit closed after villagers protest

Three US warships visit Juk Samed

Snakes alive, there’s a 5-meter python in the camp

Lucky escape for motorcycle taxi driver who attempted to beat the train

Hungarian’s sex pills story doesn’t stand up

Former wife arrested in shooting of German ex-police officer

Child abuser caught fighting victim on beach

Gold snatchers arrested after chase

Swedish businessman dies after eating som tam

Greater police vigilance urged as intellectual property offences soar

Baywatch

Seminar shows how protection against piracy and terrorism can be enhanced

Laem Chabang to showcase logistics expertise at China expo

Snake on a wire causes police explosion

A slippery thief was caught stealing chickens

New image on cards for Pattaya

Good support from business sector as mobile unit visits Wat Chaimongkol

Electricity Authority changes name for easier identification

Markets must improve to attract tourists says city hall

Landmark bill against marital rape gains NLA approval

“Mr. Clean” leads unofficial polling for next PM


Happy Birthday HRH Princess Chulabhorn

by Peter Cummins
Special Correspondent, Pattaya Mail
Photos courtesy of the Bureau of the Royal Household
Born on July 4, 1957, Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn is the youngest daughter of Their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit of Thailand and herself has two daughters, the princesses Siribhachudhabhorn and Adityadhornkitikhun.
Princess Chulabhorn graduated from the Faculty of Science and Arts at Kasetsart University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organic Chemistry, First Class Honours, in 1979, following with a doctorate in 1985, being awarded a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Organic Chemistry from Mahidol University in July of that year, capping off a record of excellent academic achievement.
In 1986, she was appointed as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in London and was awarded the Einstein Gold Medal by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The following year, she undertook post-doctoral studies in Germany, and has since been a visiting professor at universities in Japan, Germany, and the United States, as well as holding Honorary Doctorates from nine universities around the world.
Her Royal Highness is chairperson of the Working Group on the Chemistry of Natural Products collaborative program between the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science and the National Research Council of Thailand.
HRH the Princess has received international recognition for her scientific accomplishments, resulting in her appointment to various United Nations posts, namely special advisor to the United Nations Environment Program and member of the Special High-Level Council for the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction of the United Nations.
As a result of her experience as a scientist, HRH the Princess became aware of the difficulties Thai researchers have in obtaining the necessary funding for their research and so, in 1987, she established the Chulabhorn Research Institute to provide a new fund-raising agency for such research.
This institute now acts as a focal point for the exchange of intellectual and other resources in Thailand, for the purpose of solving urgent problems confronting the country in areas of health, environment, and agriculture.
As president of the Chulabhorn Research Institute, HRH the Princess currently directs five special research projects; the AIDS program, a programme on restoration and integrated development of the flood-affected areas in Southern Thailand, seawater irrigation for cultivation of economic marine species and preservation of the mangrove forests, a rabies eradication programme, with a special project for accelerated immunization in five southern provinces in Thailand.
Through these programs HRH the Princess plays an auspicious role in improving the environment and living standards of the villagers in a number of Thai provinces.
One of the vitally-important duties HRH the Princess has undertaken in the immediate past has been the establishment of the Ban Namsai Community Project, to assist the victims of the 2004 tsunami, by applying the expertise of the biotechnology and sea life experience of the Department of Sea and Coastal Resources of the Chulabhorn Research Institute to alleviate the suffering of the people affected by this freak of nature.
On the occasion of HM the Queen’s sixth cycle, seventy-second birthday on 12 August 2004, and the 30th anniversary of the founding of diplomatic relations between China and Thailand, HRH the Princess presided over and presented Third Thai-China Relationship Concerts in October 2005 at different locations in the Kingdom.
Two years ago, on her fourth cycle, forty-eighth birthday, the Princess delivered the address, Innovative Scientific Paradigms in Cancer Chemotherapy, aimed at supporting researchers and scientists at the highest levels of Biomedical and Life Sciences in Thailand.
The honoured Innovative Scientific Paradigms in Cancer Chemotherapy speech for HRH Princess Chulabhorn was held for the third time.
The Chulabhorn Research Institute, in collaboration with the Royal Thai Ministries of Health and the Environment, held a broad-ranging Technical Subjects Meeting on the Environment of Asia and the Pacific, held in Manila, December 2005. Representatives of many Asia-Pacific countries, vitally interested in the affects of waste, pollution and other toxic substances on the environment and health, contribute to this important area of human development.
More recently, HRH the Princess delivered the keynote address to participants at the Fifth International Symposium on Chromatography of Natural Products, at the Polish Academy of Science and the Phytochemical Society of Europe, held at the Medical University of Lublin, Poland.
But, probably one of the most outstanding events in the life of this talented and hard-working Princess - especially in view of the 60th anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol’s accession to the Thai Throne celebrated last year - is the day, some 16 years ago, when she went to Cambridge, near Boston, Massachusetts.
Cambridge is generally known as home of the prestigious Harvard University. But for the Thai people, the name of the city also brings a special warm feeling, for it is where the country’s beloved Monarch was born. When HRH Princess Chulabhorn visited the city, it was more than a personal sentimental visit to her father’s birthplace. It was an official occasion of pride and was joy both for Thais and for the citizens of Cambridge: the inauguration of the King Bhumibol Square in honour of “Baby Songkhla”, as His Majesty was identified on his birth certificate at the Mt Auburn Hospital in 1927, when his father HRH Prince Songkhla was a medical student in the United States.
The city of Cambridge passed a resolution, “by acclamation” to dedicate “King Bhumibol Square”, in recognition of the King’s birth in Cambridge, as well as to acknowledge his world-renowned achievements and dedication to the welfare of the Thai people - as was overwhelmingly demonstrated by the huge number of royal guests who came to Thailand to honour our King last year. Hundreds of Thais and Americans crowded in to the new Bhumibol Square to witness the event and the street sign reads: “King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Born December 5, 1927, Mt. Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts.” It also bears the “tri-couleur” of the Thai flag.
HRH the Princess then delivered a speech to thank the city of Cambridge. The square, she said, was more than a reminder of His Majesty’s birth because it also embodied the common goals of both countries to work for the benefit of humanity.
Thank you HRH Princess Chulabhorn for your own lifetime of dedication.
All of us at the Pattaya Mail, Pattaya Blatt, Pattaya Mail on TV and the Chiangmai Mail join the entire Kingdom in wishing Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn a Most Happy 50th Birthday on the fourth of July 2007.


Overhead cables to be removed soon, as power lines go underground

Narisa Nitikarn
Installation of the power lines and other cables underground along Pattaya Beach Road is now complete, and training of officials and technicians for future remedial works and problem solving is underway.

Taveechoke Bejrakashem from the Provincial Electricity Authority in Bangkok says that after testing the system and training the officers the overhead cables and electricity poles will be removed.

Saman Suttipongkaset, director of the Provincial Electricity Authority at Banglamung officially opened the training course at Pattaya City Hall on June 18.
The city has been working in association with the Provincial Electricity Authority and Demco Co Ltd on this project, designed to make the city’s beachfront more attractive, since 2005.
Saman said the system is now being tested, a phase that is critical because repair of the cables and system once everything is buried underground becomes more difficult.
Taveechoke Bejrakashem, one of the underground cable experts from the Provincial Electricity Authority in Bangkok said that after testing the system and training the officers the overhead cables and electricity poles would be removed.


Refuse pit closed after villagers protest

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
Sixty villagers from Village No 14 at Ban Tungklom in Nongprue made a formal protest to Nongprue Municipality on June 19, demanding the closure of a refuse pit in their area that they say was causing foul odors and was a potential environmental threat.

Stephen Hennah, a British inhabitant in the area, points out the foul odor from the garbage.
The pit, which had filled with water during recent rains, is located near Chaknok Reservoir. This is only 500 meters away from the community, and fears were voiced that the garbage-filled water might poison this water resource.
Resident Mrs Chamnian Tanner, 54, said the municipality started dumping refuse at this location five days previously without informing the villagers.
Another villager said it was inappropriate to use the area as a refuse dump, as it is primarily agricultural land and only 5 percent of the land is used for other purposes. Residents said that under the provincial zoning plan for 2003, many uses are specifically banned from this area, including markets, sports fields, golf courses, and waste disposal.
Mayor of Nongprue Municipality Mai Chaiyanit said that the municipality obtained permission from the landlord of a 15-rai area to dispose of waste free of charge. In this way, the municipality could save 20 million baht from its budget. He said the location is some way from the community and that he thought it would not create any problems.
Mai said, however, that the decision would now be reversed in the light of the complaints, and that it was encouraging that the villagers were showing informed concern over the environment. He promised that in future administrators would be more careful in performing their duties and would pay more attention to public opinion.
There are two pits near Village No 14, and Nongprue Municipality is prepared to close them and find another location, said Mai.


Three US warships visit Juk Samed

Captain Sanont Pha-Aem (right) welcomes the US Naval envoy.

Patcharapol Panrak
Captain Sanont Pha-Aem, deputy chief of staff of Sattahip Navy Base welcomed Captain Alfred Collins of the US Navy, Commander Eric R Kyle of the frigate USS Jarret, Commander Michael J Taylor of the frigate USS Ford and Commander David L Bollert of the USS Harpers Ferry at the base’s reception hall on June 22.
The three ships are participating in the Carat training exercises with the Thai Navy in Sattahip Cove and are moored at Juk Samed.


Snakes alive, there’s a 5-meter python in the camp

Rescue workers gain control of the lengthy python before transporting it out of harm’s way.

Patcharapol Panrak
The rescue services call center received an urgent request for help during the afternoon of June 18 from Amnaj Samrit, 40, a foreman at the Navy House Village in Sattahip, who reported that a large python had entered the construction workers’ camp.
Rescuers found the 5-meter long python in the camp and dropped a noose over its head. The snake was taken away and released far from any populated area at Khai Laem Puu Jao.
Amnaj told rescue workers that the snake had crawled in from the forest, probably in search of prey. Workers nervously attempted to send the snake back by shoving it with pieces of wood, but it fought back aggressively, and hungrily.


Lucky escape for motorcycle taxi driver who attempted to beat the train

Narisa Nitikarn
A motorcycle taxi driver was lucky to escape death when he drove around the lowered barrier at a level crossing in an attempt to beat the train and then lost his balance in the middle of the railway line.

American humorist Will Rogers once said, “Common sense ain’t all that common” - it was proved once again here by this motorcycle taxi rider.

The ignorance happened during the morning of June 9 where the railway tracks cross Soi Siam Country Club, near Nongprue Railway Station. Road users had stopped at the lowered barriers and were waiting for the train to pass when Wanchart Saejuu, 53, a motorcycle taxi driver working out of the Soi Nernplabwan motorcycle taxi rank, attempted to drive through before the train arrived.
As he rode over the tracks, Wanchart lost his balance. The motorcycle fell on its side and the train rode over it, totally wrecking the front of the bike. Wanchart suffered only minor injuries.
Volunteer police officers who were also working for the railway company notified Banglamung police who sent a patrol to investigate. Officers found an orange Honda Wave 125, lying alongside container train number 834 on the Maptaput to Laem Chabang route.
Wanchart, a resident of Kamphaengphetch, told officers that he was driving back after taking a passenger to Soi Siam Country Club and was in a hurry to pick up another passenger at Poy Prate Market in Soi Nernplabwan. He saw that the barriers were down, so he bent down and tried to cross the tracks before the train arrived. He lost his balance and the motorcycle fell on its side as the train came closer. He tried to drag the motorcycle off the tracks without success and the train hit it.
Witnesses said that people waiting at the barrier cried out in alarm at the motorcyclist as he attempted to cross the tracks in front of the approaching train, but he ignored them.


Hungarian’s sex pills story doesn’t stand up

Boonlua Chatree
Police have arrested the Hungarian owner of a Jomtien mini-mart, 46-year-old Gyorgy Kardos, for illegally selling the erectile dysfunction drug Kamagra. Police allege that he was a major dealer, and that he brought the pills in from overseas.

Gyorgy Kardos (seated) is feeling a bit down after his sex pills story didn’t stand up to police scrutiny.

Investigations had revealed that Kardos was selling the sex-aid pills illegally to foreign tourists, and police mounted an undercover operation to buy one Kamagra Gel pack from him for the price of 4,000 baht. An appointment was made to meet him at the Dolphin Roundabout in North Pattaya, and when Kardos produced the pack he was arrested and taken to Pattaya Police Station.
Armed with a warrant from Pattaya Provincial Court, officers searched Kardos’s apartment at MM House on Soi Naklua 14 where they found 135 packs of Kamagra, each pack containing four pills, along with 52 packs of Kamagra Gel.
Kardos admitted that he brought the pills in from abroad but said they were for his personal use only. Police voiced some disbelief over this, given the volume of goods found in his apartment.
Charges have been brought against Kardos, who owns a mini-mart and motorcycle rental business in Jomtien, under the Drug Act (Section 101), which carries a punishment of up to five years imprisonment and a fine not exceeding 5,000 baht.


Former wife arrested in shooting of German ex-police officer

Boonlua Chatree
The former wife of a German man shot dead in Pattaya on June 25 has been arrested along with the alleged assassin.
Led by Pol Lt Col Suchart Pranee, deputy commander of investigations for Region 2, and a team of officers arrested 32-year-old Ms Rungnapha Sridaech, a resident of Trat, while she was sleeping with an unnamed man said to be the killer in a room at Niran Condo in Soi Arunthai. Both have denied having anything to do with the murder.
Heinrich Hermann Friedrich, 63, a German former police officer was shot dead in Soi Suksomboon, Nong Pla Lai. Banglamung police, Sawang Boriboon rescue workers and doctors from Banglamung Hospital were called out to the scene where they found the body lying face down in the road.
The deceased was wearing a blue short-sleeved shirt, black trousers, gray training shoes, and a gold necklace. In his right trouser pocket he had a gold colored watch, and 12 baht in coins. His spectacles were lying in the road. Police turned his body over and found that he had been shot in the right temple, in the middle of the back, in the left shoulder and in the left knee. Near the body police found four 9 mm shell casings, a plastic 7-Eleven bag and a bottle of Beer Chang.
Miss Nanthana Sukdee, 25, the girlfriend of the deceased arrived in a black Ford car to see the body, and told officers that she had lived with Friedrich for about two years. They were not married. They lived together in a house about 100 meters from the shooting. Heinrich had bought the house for 5 million baht, but it belonged to his former wife and the couple had divorced. His former wife had taken him to court to divide the property and the case had not yet been settled. The agreement states that Friedrich shall keep possession for a period of 30 years.
Nanthana said that Friedrich was a convivial man who liked to drink beer with the neighbors. Everyone in the village liked him and he had never been in an argument with anybody. Before the shooting he told her that he was going to buy some beer at 7-Eleven, which is located about one kilometer away. Shortly afterwards, one of the neighbors came to the front door shouting that Friedrich had been shot dead.
Pol Lt Col Somchai Yotsombat, deputy superintendent of Banglamung Police Station said that after questioning locals who lived near the scene, all had provided a similar statement in that the deceased left the house as usual and probably went to buy beer. They heard an argument and someone calling for help before hearing four gunshots. Witnesses came out to check and saw two young men drive off on a red motorcycle. The driver was wearing black and the passenger was wearing white.
Pol Lt Gen Asawin Khwanmuong, commander of Region 2 police assigned a team of officers to the case, and on the following day, June 26, Ms Rungnapha Sridaech was arrested.


Child abuser caught fighting victim on beach

Boonlua Chatree
A man who sexually abused a 14-year-old boy for two years was finally caught, whilst fighting with the youngster on a beach.
The boy, Tum, had managed to flee from his abuser, but when the attacker saw him walking on a beach he started to attack him.
Fortunately, Pol. General Sutin Suppuang and Police Lieutenant Chalerm Sirimak saw the Thai man hitting the boy on Jomtien beach at 1.30pm on June 17. They stopped the attack and took the man to the Dong Tan Police Box for questioning.
Tum, 14, said that two years ago he went to live with his guardian Sompong Sae-Seng, 38, from Trang. During that time, he was sexually abused every day and was kept a prisoner inside the house. He finally managed to escape a month ago and became homeless in the Pattaya area.
He was walking on the beach when Sompong spotted him. Sompong was drunk and hit him but luckily the police helped him from getting badly injured.
The boy had bruises on his face and body and the police sent him to the hospital for treatment.
Sompong Sae-Seng was charged with sexual abuse on a person aged under 15.


Gold snatchers arrested after chase

Boonlua Chatree
Two thieves who snatched a gold necklace from a woman were caught after a police chase on Sukhumvit.
Police followed the pair to their house, where they found two more people smoking marijuana.
On June 18, at 2 a.m., Monparat Channam-ang, 52, from Phuket, was riding along Sukhumvit on a motorbike with her German husband when two thieves grabbed her gold necklace.
Dieter Hermbroct, 69, drove after the thieves until the police stopped them. Officers radioed to volunteers and other policemen to stop the muggers and chased them to their home address. The officers arrested them and seized another two teenagers who were smoking hemp inside the house.
Thieves Thongpoon Sakulna, 29, from Nakhon Panom, and Anupong Gade-chawee, 18, from Phitsanulok, both work as male prostitutes in South Pattaya.
The pair followed the couple’s motorbike and Gade-chawee grabbed the victim’s necklace, but she tried to pull the necklace back, and the necklace broke.
Police searched for part of the broken necklace, but the thieves said they threw it away during the chase. Police didn’t believe them and went back to their house to search for the necklace.


Swedish businessman dies after eating som tam

Patcharapol Panrak
A young Swedish man died after eating som tam prepared for him by his Thai girlfriend.
Officers from Plutaluang Police Station together with Rochan Thamsathan rescue workers were called out to an address at Plutaluang by Miss Sopha Kula, 29, who reported that her 29-year-old Swedish boyfriend Lars Mikaes Gustafsson was dead in his room.
At the scene, a single-story house, the officers found the naked body of the deceased, face up, and with both hands clenched. The room was in disarray, with clothing and other items scattered everywhere. A large quantity of soiled paper was found and there were traces of excreta in the bathroom. An inspection of the body showed no signs of violence and no money was missing.
Sopha told police that she had met the Swedish exporter at Koh Chang in April this year and that he came back to Thailand on June 20, when she went to meet him at Suvarnabhumi Airport. She suggested that to save money he stay at the house of her friend, 34-year-old Mrs Thaoval Yothorn, which became the scene of his death.
On June 22 at about noon they made som tam with the added ingredients of crabs and fermented fish. Her boyfriend only tasted a little, as it was very spicy. Sopha said that after eating the som tam Gustafsson started to suffer from stomach cramps and diarrhea. They were going to take him to the doctor, but he said he had some pills. In the late evening she went back home and he stayed at her friend’s house in the room that had been prepared for him. She came to visit him at 09.30 hrs and found that he was dead. She believed that the som tam caused his death.


Greater police vigilance urged as intellectual property offences soar

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
Intellectual property offences are soaring, despite continuing cooperation from the Department of Intellectual Property and the Royal Thai Police, and the only way to reduce the number of offenses is through law enforcement, says the DIP.

Somsak Panitchayakul, deputy director general of the DIP
A seminar for Provincial Police Region 2 was held on June 15 and attended by 200 police officers from Chonburi, Rayong, Prachinburi, Trad, Chantaburi, Srakaew, Chachoengsao and Nakon Nayok.
Somsak Panitchayakul, deputy director general of the DIP, which comes under the Ministry of Commerce, presided over the seminar at the Town in Town Hotel, along with Pol Maj Gen Koson Puawet, deputy commander of Provincial Police Region 2.
Somsak said that intellectual property is one of the fundamental aspects underlying the economy, affecting business, investments, and international trade. The government will continue to place emphasis on the protection of intellectual property rights, and pursue those who flout the law.
“All laws associated with intellectual property will be used, including customs laws, taxation laws, and the price of goods and services laws,” said Somsak.
In 2005 there were 7,689 arrests for intellectual property law infringements. In 2006 that had risen to 9,575 cases and in the January to April period this year there have already been 2,404 cases, in which nearly 6 million baht worth of property has been in dispute.


Baywatch: No-go for wheelchairs

Vimolrat Singnikorn
Pattaya’s curse of damaged road surfaces seems to affect even wheelchair access ramps. City hall has pledged a budget of 1.5 million baht to build ramps for the disabled along the beach, part of a program to make Pattaya internationally renowned as a destination with first-class facilities for the disabled. Fifty of these ramps are to be in concrete, and 10 are made of wood. Shortly after its installation, the wooden ramp opposite Soi 6 has already split into two halves. It is a danger not only to wheelchair users but also to pedestrians, and is very unsightly. Does that sound familiar?


Seminar shows how protection against piracy and terrorism can be enhanced

Vice Admiral Jamnong Kittiphirachol addresses officers on the important role the Region 1 Strategic Fleet Sea Resources Protection Center at Sattahip plays regarding sea safety.

Patcharapol Panrak
Vice Admiral Jamnong Kittiphirachol, director of the Region 1 Strategic Fleet Sea Resources Protection Center at Sattahip on June 22 presided over a seminar for government and private sector organizations on the role of the center in the protection of international ships and ports from terrorism and piracy.
Rear Admiral Chomphol Vongwakin, chief-of-staff of the Region 1 fleet reported that the sea is a great economic benefit to the nation and is also greatly relevant to the security of the nation. The Office of the Board of National Security understands the importance of the issues and the lack of unity in operations, and the seminar was being held to help attendees understand how protection could be enhanced.
The seminar was attended by Navy officers, representatives of the Chonburi, Rayong, Chantaburi and Trat administrations, the Marine Police, shippers and the merchant navy, the Customs Department, the Association of Fisheries, the Labor Social Welfare Office, and private sector organizations.


Laem Chabang to showcase logistics expertise at China expo

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
Laem Chabang Port is to showcase its logistics potential to business people throughout the region at the 4th Four China Asian Expo, to be held at Kwangsi in China during the period October 20 to 23.

Laem Chabang Port has great logistics potential.

Chonburi Governor Pracha Taerat called a meeting of relevant agencies from the tourism, transportation, industrial and trade sectors to prepare for participation in the event, designed to promote trade and investment opportunities amongst the Asian countries.
The Department of Export Promotion at the Ministry of Commerce was contacted by the Chinese government to select potential provinces to show their products at the expo. Each year the event has a different theme and last year the DoE selected Khon Kaen and Chiang Mai to represent Thailand under the arts and culture theme.
This year’s theme is ports and tourism cities and the DoE selected Chonburi. It is anticipated that Laem Chabang Port will highlight details of transport routes to facilitate logistics on both land and sea, and the development of the Danang-Burma route as well as shipping between southern China and Thailand.
The Laem Chabang Port Authority is coordinating with private sector operators to feature booths at the event. The governor has also expressed an interest in displaying OTOP products at the show.


Snake on a wire causes police explosion

Theerarak Suthatiwongse
A stray snake caused an explosion at a Tourist Police station after it strayed onto power lines.
Fax machines, computers and phones were all damaged in the blast.

Evidently a snake (not shown) crossed electrical wires and caused a power surge, which in turn caused electrical fires at the Tourist Police Station.

On June 16 at 4pm, Police Lieutenant General received a report about how the electricity generator had exploded at the Tourist Police Office on Thappraya Hill. Fire engines and officers from the Provincial Electricity Authority went to the scene.
The explosion damaged three air conditioning units, computers, electric breakers, telephones and fax machines. In addition, the inside wall had a three-meter crack and there were cracks on the outside, caused by the blast. The TAT office, which is 100 meters away from the police office, also reported its fax machine had been slightly damaged by the burst of electricity.
An officer checked high voltage poles outside the building and found a dead snake on one. It is believed the snake had inadvertently caused the explosion by crossing over the wires.
Police Captain Supraphan Pobirom was at the scene when the incident happened. He said five officers were working in the office when they heard a loud explosion from outside. After that the air conditioning units and the electrical machines started to explode.
Niwat Sa-thong-lai, from the Provincial Electricity Authority, said the snake might have crept onto the wire and interrupted the system. That meant 400 volts struck the police office. The cost of the damage has not yet been assessed.


A slippery thief was caught stealing chickens

Theerarak Suthatiwong
The owner of a door and window frame manufacturing business was puzzled why the number of his chickens appeared to be decreasing, so he hid out to try and catch the suspected thief. He found that a python was the culprit.

Rescue workers found the 1-meter python, estimated to be about a year old, looped around a beam and enjoying a postprandial snooze.

The Sawang Boriboon radio center received a call on the morning of June 22 from Srithai Maksamoe, the 44-year-old owner of Chor Srithaicharoen Kanchang, located on Soi Chaiyapornwithee in Nongprue. He said a python had been eating his chickens, and that the snake was curled around a crossbeam behind his house.
Rescue workers found the 1-meter python, estimated to be about a year old, looped around the beam and enjoying a postprandial snooze. Its stomach had a suspiciously chicken-sized bulge. They used an iron pipe along with a 4-meter PVC pipe to snare the snake.
Srithai said he had nearly 100 chickens behind the house, which backed on to a wooded area. However, the population had been dwindling every day. He had hidden himself to keep watch, and was astonished when he found the reason for the lost chicks. The python was released into the wild far away from any residences.


New image on cards for Pattaya

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
Tourism bosses are brainstorming to come up with a new slogan and image for Pattaya. The current logo looks dated and so officers from four provinces have joined forces to think of a new brand image.

From left: Chomroon Wisawachaipan, chairman of Pattaya Business and Tourism Association, Sinchai Wattanasartsan, vice president of PTBA and Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay.

On June 14, at the A-One Royal Cruise Resort, Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay led a conference between local government organizations, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Business and Tourism Associations from Chonburi, Rayong, Chantaburi, and Trat to come up with new ideas.
TAT hired advertising agency Leo Burnett to come up with a new image and highlight any weak points in its tourism strategy. The agency spoke about the current theme, “The Jewel of the Coast”, which reflects the important treasures of Thailand, such as beaches, sports and tourist attractions.
However, the agency also thought “The Jewel of the Coast” didn’t represent the heart of the tourist zone, and wasn’t keen on the logo. They thought it looked similar to a design used ten years ago, and so there is a need for a more updated image.


Good support from business sector as mobile unit visits Wat Chaimongkol

Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn and city administrators distribute food and other goods to residents of the Chaimongkol Temple Community

Vimolrat Singnikorn
Pattaya City’s mobile road show rolled into the Chaimongkol Temple Community on June 19, distributing food and other goods and providing free services.
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn, mayoral adviser Itthipol Khunplome, deputy mayors Wutisak Rermkitkarn and Verawat Khakhay, along with a number of city councilors attended the event.
The Tesco Lotus branches in North and South Pattaya provided 155 bags of rice and 100 consumable packs for free distribution to residents.
Miss Pannee Limcharoen, acting on behalf of the director of the Social Welfare Section said that good cooperation had been received from business people for this visit of the mobile unit, who were supplying goods at low prices in addition to the free support provided by other organizations.
The Social Welfare Bureau sent 50 masseuses to provide free foot massage, free haircuts were given by Juthamas Beauty School and the Vocational Training Center, and repair of electrical machines was carried out by the Redemptorist Vocational School.


Electricity Authority changes name for easier identification

Officials celebrate the Provincial Electricity Authority of Banglamung’s name being changed to the Provincial Electricity Authority of Pattaya City.

Sawittree Namwiwatsuk
The Provincial Electricity Authority of Banglamung has now officially changed its name to the Provincial Electricity Authority of Pattaya City, for greater ease of identification by Thai citizens and foreigners.
Noranit Rangsiwichitprapa, deputy director of distribution and service for Region 3 made the announcement on June 22 at the Grand Sole Hotel, and the change becomes effective on July 1.
Present at the briefing was Banglamung District chief Pratheep Chongsoubtham, Saman Sutipongkaset, manager of the Provincial Electricity Authority of Pattaya City, Banglamung District, and Narongsak Kamalet, director of the Provincial Electricity Authority in Zone 2 (Central), Chonburi.
Noranit said the Power Authority divides its services into three levels. In the past the Banglamung Power Authority was classified as a Class 3 power board, servicing the main consumer unit. It has 6,642 consumers with a monthly average income of 2.6 million baht. However, the Banglamung Power Authority provides service equal to the provincial level, and it has therefore been promoted to Power Authority Level 1, having one power authority bureau under its responsibility, the Power Authority sub-branch of Koh Larn.
Currently Pattaya City has 109,316 consumers. The purpose of the name change from the Provincial Electricity Authority of Banglamung to the Provincial Electricity Authority of Pattaya City was for it to be better known by Thai people and foreigners. The address remains the same, at 100, Moo 2, Naklua, Banglamung, Chonburi 20150, tel 038 221007, or Call Center 1129.
Noranit said that the Power Authority has announced this change in writing to homeowners and entrepreneurs under its responsibility. He added that in the future it is planned to install a branch at Na Jomtien, to take care of the opposite side of Sukhumvit Road for the convenience of Thai and foreign residents in that area.


Markets must improve to attract tourists says city hall

City fathers want to organize local markets in order that they become more productive tourism attractions.

Vimolrat Singnikorn
Market operators gathered at Pattaya City Hall on June 13 to see how better organization could lead to them becoming more productive tourism attractions.
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay led the session, saying that 16 fresh markets are currently registered and another five are unregistered.
Market operators need to ensure their markets comply with the Market Act of Pattaya City Sections 35, 37, 55, and 58. This is in accordance with the Public Health Act BE 1992, and Section 70 of the Pattaya City Administration Act BE 1999.
Under these regulations there are three categories of market: a market with a building structure that is held at least once a week; a market without a building structure that is held at least once a week; and a market without a building structure that is held on a temporary basis.
All three categories have to proceed in accordance with the Pattaya Act for all measures, such as cleanliness of the goods distribution location, and hygienic garbage collection and disposal.
City hall will next survey and evaluate the markets to see if they are complying with the Act, and if not they will be given 15 days to rectify their deficiencies. Two such periods are allowed, and if the market does not pass muster after this its license will be suspended for one year.
Bubpa Songsakulchai of the Sanitation Department said that if the markets operate to the required standards they could increase their numbers of Thai and foreign customers by 10 to 20 percent.
Mae Laor Market is currently top of the line for cleanliness and safe food in the market sector, said Bubpa.


Landmark bill against marital rape gains NLA approval

Under the terms of a new legal provision of the Thai Penal Code, a husband can no longer physically abuse his wife or engage in involuntary sexual relations against his spouse’s will.
Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly (NLA) approved an amendment providing that a marital rape is now subject to a maximum jail term of 20 years.
The Thai Penal Code Section 276 currently exempts punishment for a husband who has sexual intercourse with his wife against her will, an understanding which is widely seen as gender discrimination against women.
There have been many attempts to change this legal provision, but NLA action represents the first time that a wife’s rightful willingness will be protected by the Thai Penal Code.
Following promulgation of the amended Section 276, a marital rapist will face a minimum jail term of four years, up to a maximum 20 year incarceration, or a minimum fine of 8,000 baht up to 40,000 baht or both. (TNA)


“Mr. Clean” leads unofficial polling for next PM

Purachai Piamsomboon, former deputy prime minister who resigned from politics in January 2005, has emerged as the favorite choice for prime minister in a survey conducted by the ABAC Poll.
The Assumption University survey - better known as the ABAC Poll - interviewed 1,750 Thais and 558 foreigners in Bangkok and surrounding areas. It found that 41.7 percent of the respondents wanted Purachai, dubbed “Mr. Clean” for his staunch anti-corruption line while he served during the first term of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Slightly over one third of the respondents - 37.7 percent - wanted ex-prime minister Anand Panyarachun to head the new government after a general election, likely to be held this November, while 34.6 percent favored Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva.
As many as 59.3 percent of foreign respondents said they agreed that the ousted government of Thaksin was engaged in rampant corruption while 7.4 percent disagreed.
Almost half of the foreign respondents, 49 percent, also believe attempts by an ongoing demonstration to drive out the Council for National Security from power would lead to violence in the country, while 87.9 percent believe that a general election would be the best way to solve the country’s political impasse. TNA



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