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Vol. XV No. 29
Friday July 20 - July 26, 2007

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Updated every Friday
by Saichon Paewsoongnern

 

 

 

Mail Bag

 

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

We care for dogs and other animals

No butts about pollution

Pattaya Mail on line

They have failed to keep Pattaya clean

Who’s Trashing the Beach?

Losing faith in the religion

We care for dogs and other animals

Editor,
We agree with Khun Michael & Friends about Khun Tony. Thousands thanks to Tony for his good (marvelous) deed for abused dogs in Pattaya. Not only do we read through Pattaya Mail but also we heard from taxis drivers around town whenever we took our Condo dogs to the veterinarian. Thanks Tony and unforgettable to thanks to Pattaya Mail as well.
Pattaya Mail is always save a huge column for stray dogs in need. On this occasion, Pattaya Mail surely will celebrate their “14th Anniversary” this month, we, from the bottom of our hearts wish Pattaya Mail all the best on this event as well as for the coming years.
Georges and Teresa.
Pattaya residents


No butts about pollution

Sir,
I am writing with regard to a letter in the June 29th issue entitled “Full Moon Messes” by a Mr. KOTO, the seemingly self-styled “Keeper of the Ocean”.
I would regard it as extremely unlikely that all of the garbage accumulated during a Full Moon Party was intentionally swept into the sea. I am sure that the organizers of such an event are more responsible than that. A more realistic explanation is that the cause of the flotsam and jetsam was an illegal discharge of debris from a sea going vessel. This used too be a common occurrence, although thankfully over the past six years or so such occurrences have been few a far between thanks to the action taken by the Thai authorities and the imposition of heavy penalties for offenders.
Over the past twelve years Pattaya has progressed in leaps and bounds with regard to the prevention of a polluted seascape. Within that period the deckchair vendors have been made responsible for the cleaning of their allocated area of the beach, city hall has placed various garbage containers along the beach road at regular intervals, which are in constant use and emptied on a daily basis, and city workers are sweeping and cleaning the beach promenade at daybreak every day. There are also periodic beach cleaning drives by local organizations. Mr. KATO is not alone in his efforts, although as he has only taken an involvement for the past five years, he is presumably unaware of the achievements that have thus far been accomplished.
Pattaya is a tourist venue, receiving over four million visitors on an annual basis, and as such has a large transient population, not only of holidaymakers but also of Thai people who come here seeking employment. To the majority of these people Pattaya is regarded as more of a convenience than it is a home, and consequently these are the people who are largely responsible for the polluting. Mr. Freddie Clark quite rightly identified this problem in his letter to the Mailbag on July 13th, and it is a problem that is not going to go away.
A recent problem that has appeared from the area of Walking Street to points north, is a proliferation of signs that have been stapled to trees along both the promenade and the beach, which are an absolute eyesore. One sign is in the form of an illustration that depicts a live fish + a cigarette = a dead fish with the slogan No butts. No garbage, Go to ocean. The accompanying sign contains the same illustration and has a monologue of rhetorical rambling. I quote: “please think twice, before you flick your cigarette into our streets, beaches, storm drains, where ever, the filter which is made from cellulose acetate and becomes “toxic” kills much of our wildlife such as fish, dolphins, turtles, crabs, birds and many others, also it is a bad idea for children unknowingly to put toxic filters into their mouths, if you would please dispose of your cigarette in a proper manner…” The person responsible for the sign was named as The Keeper of the Ocean.
I do not have a problem with anyone who advocates the preservation of the environment, but in consideration of the amount of Styrofoam containers, cups, plastic cutlery, paper bags, cans and bottles that are strewn along the beach area on a daily basis, some of which are a real danger to marine life and birds as they mistake it for food, it seems unrealistic to target a cigarette butt.
A bigger source of pollution than a cigarette butt is storm water runoff. After a heavy rainfall, especially in Pattaya where the sois in the vicinity of the beach invariably flood, runoff from the sewers and on the ground surface carries pollutants directly into the beach water.
How about a poster with a picture of a canine on it? Another more realistic and unaddressed problem is that of both stray and domestic dogs on the beach. Dog owners should be required to pick up after their pets for obvious reasons, the main one being to prevent fecal bacteria from getting into the water.
Mr. KOTO has stated that he is moving to another area. Dare I say as in “butt out”.
If this is truly the case then it would be a nice gesture if on his way out of town he could show a little bit of respect and consideration by removing all of the signs that he emplaced and in so doing eradicate the eyesore that he perhaps unknowingly created.
A major attraction for visitors to Thailand is its non-authoritarian life style, which is generally a pleasing respite from life in their own countries. Unfortunately, this is sometimes subject to abuse. Signs displayed with the intention of forcing a particular point of view onto other people are both objectionable and intrusive. In many other countries Mr. KATO would have been arrested and charged with littering. It seems appropriate to conclude with the frequently asked question “If you cannot do it in other countries, then why do you do it in Thailand?”
Roger Realm


Pattaya Mail on line

Hi,
We want to thank you for the Pattaya Mail Online.We enjoy reading about Pattaya and it’s local stories every week.My wife is from Bangchan and your 0nline newspaper keeps us informed of local news while we live a world away. 
Sawadee,
Richard and Jinda Rayburn
Brooklet,GA USA


They have failed to keep Pattaya clean

Dear Sir or Madam,
 I was in Pattaya last June for 2 days only. I was going to cry if I didn’t leave from there. After 4 years of not coming to Thailand I decided to visit Thailand. The airport was nice and fine. I took a taxi to Pattaya so I could meet my old friends (Thai family).
I found Pattaya to be over polluted, full of smoke. It reminded me of Bangkok in the past.
I decided to check out early after I met my friends. I promised my self never to come back to Pattaya it is not acceptable, what is going on.
When I arrived to Bangkok it is totally different then before. It is much cleaner and tidier. I really like the place I spend a lot of time with my old Thai friends over there.
Kindly I want your paper to reach the responsible person for cleanness of Pattaya and let theme know they have failed to keep Pattaya clean. Too much emission of vehicle smoke.
Thanks and Regards,
Ali Almarzooqi


Who’s Trashing the Beach?

Dear Sir,
This is in response to KOTO’s letter of June 29th. He is upset about the messy beaches and said that tourists will avoid Jomtien and Pattaya beaches. That is definitely true, except he blames it on the farangs who “are” the tourists! I have lived very near the water in Najomtien since January and visit the beachfront daily. In that area “I” am the only non-Thai person roaming the beach. There is so much trash including dangerous broken glass that I need to wear shoes to walk. The fishing boats get stuck there daily at low tide and I see what they throw off their boats. I can tell what is washed up along the shore is entirely from the day (or night) fishermen, including hundreds of empty bottles from the high caffeine drinks that they need to stay awake.
I have traveled to beaches on all coasts of the U.S. and have never seen anything on any beach other than shells! I am expecting company in a few weeks and I’m embarrassed to take them to the filthy water that I would never set foot in. First, I have to tell them that they have to wear shoes, and then that they can’t go in the water! Also, I see along the beaches in Pattaya and Jomtien where drainage pipes carry “something” from restaurants out to the ocean. What is it? Yes, you are right KOTO... garbage and bad habits. Think again on who needs to clean up their act!
Disappointed Beachcomber


Losing faith in the religion

Dear Sir,
Yet more monks causing mischief, (re.Pattaya Mail July 13th) “Unscrupulous shopkeepers use monks to make profit”. The headline should have been “Men in robes for hire” since the men were indeed hired for 200 Baht a day to stand there from 3-6am receiving ‘alms’.
The men were ‘warned’ by the chief abbot of the district and then allowed to return to their temples among them the local Buddhist College. This kind of occurrence has become all too common, even in this very same market! The damage done to Buddhism is beyond measured. These men, and others who abused or hid behind the robes for other activities should have been severely punished to stop them from simply moving to other temples committing exactly same offence again.
Now I’m aware these are harsh words but it’s these things that are diluting my belief in Buddhism. I feel uneasy going to temples, it all seems to be about money and commercial interests as the temples ground (pick any temple) always have markets.
The temples don’t seem to be helping people in need, in fact it’s the temples themselves that always seem to be in need of something.
Then I read about the Australian lady in Bangkok Post who after rediscovering her faith in Christianity had devoted herself to helping others. I’ve met many people like her right here in Pattaya who have/are involved in local charities. Some of them have wondered aloud to me about how come Thais are not so eager to help people/children, or even dogs, in need, compared to their pouring of money into temples, to make ‘merit’? In my humble opinion it’s because they have long believed that the more merit they make in this life the better their next life would be. So they’d rather make merit for themselves instead of helping others. Just watch when the ambulance come with all its siren blaring, most Thais won’t get out of the way for them. What does that tell you?
So I for one have stopped going to temples. And if the Buddhist body of Thailand don’t take any great step to improve the quality of their monks and the image of the temples, I’m sure the only thing that keep people going to one is the promise of money and becoming rich, rich, rich. Maybe that’s happening already.
Making Buddhism Thailand’s official religion isn’t the answer either.
P. Sonthiporn
Pattaya



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