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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Kingdom of Thailand rejoices at the celebration of Their Majesties fifty-eighth wedding anniversary

Songkran adds 500M baht to city treasure chest

May 1 is Labor Day

10 fire engines rush to blaze at Soi Pothisan

Next stop boot camp for red ticket holders

Chonburi provincial elections April 27

Women’s prison to make way for city shrine

Chinese visitors promote Beijing Olympics

Police investigate mystery deaths of two Korean women on Koh Larn beach

Twice unlucky for bag snatcher

Australian man found hanged

Three injured in gang shooting

Cobra Gold celebrates Songkran the traditional way - to appreciate, respect and help

Worker killed in framework collapse at luxury apartment project

Cobra Gold 2008 scheduled for May 8-21

Sucker worm invades fisherman’s ear

Candidates sign social contract for free and fair mayoral and council elections

Blessings ceremony for city hall officials and staff

Workman injured as house collapses in rain

Ceremony marks 100th day after passing of HRH Princess Galyani

Sattahip Naval Base holds ceremony in mourning of HRH Princess Galyani

Students view lifestyle of the crab at Underwater World

Obituary


Kingdom of Thailand rejoices at the celebration of Their Majesties fifty-eighth wedding anniversary

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitayakara were married by Her Majesty Queen Sawang Vadhana, the paternal grandmother of His Majesty, at the Sra Pathum Palace in Bangkok on April 28, 1950.
Mom Rajawongse Sirikit, the daughter of the Thai Ambassador to France Mom Chao Nakkhatmongkol Kitayakara and Mom Luang Bua Sanitwongse met the soon-to-be-King at the Thai Embassy in Paris in 1948. They were engaged to be married at the Windsor Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland on July 19, 1949.
They returned to Thailand during the government of Prime Minister Field Marshal Pibul Songkhram and a stunningly beautiful marriage ceremony was held while the Thai military forces formed to honor and salute the Royal Couple.
Following the Royal marriage, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great ascended the throne, becoming the ninth King of Thailand in the Chakri Dynasty with all the pomp and pageantry befitting a Royal coronation on May 5, 1950.
Their Majesties have four children, HRH Princess Ubolratana, HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, and HRH Princess Chulabhorn.
Long live His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.


Songkran adds 500M baht to city treasure chest

Last year saw 8% increase in tourism says TAT

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
Songkran is estimated to have added at least 500 million baht to the Pattaya economy, with some 500,000 visitors arriving in the city to enjoy the festivities.

Chaiwat Charoensuk
The figures reflect an upbeat trend for tourism. Chaiwat Charoensuk, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Central Region 3 Office said that 2007 was a good year for Pattaya City and Chonburi Province in terms of tourist arrivals, with the figure standing at 6.62 million. Pattaya City itself received an income of 5.9 billion baht from tourism.
This represents an increase of about 8 percent over the previous year, 2006, when there were 5.5 million tourists and a tourism income of about 5.3 billion baht.
So far, 2008 looks equally promising, the sheer diversity of what Pattaya and Chonburi Province can offer proving to be an enormous attraction for a wide range of tourism market segments.
Chaiwat said that the large volume of business has encouraged a growing amount of investment, especially in the hotels sector. For hotel operators, existing and new, this has meant increasing competition.
Although there have been comments from the hospitality industry that the number of visitors has decreased, the reality is that the number of new hotels opening, especially large hotels, is spreading the business more thinly.
In the near future, said Chaiwat, 700 to 800 hotel rooms will open in Bangsarae and Najomtien, including major brands such as the Hilton, the Hyatt and the Holiday Inn. The hotel business, he said, is going to need a concerted approach to promoting Pattaya City and the province so that more business is generated and there is a more even spread of business amongst the large hotels.
Chaiwat explained that the number of tourists and revenue during the Songkran period, respectively 500,000 tourists and 500 million baht, was estimated against data from hotels based on reservations, and excluded other tourist expenditure.


May 1 is Labor Day

Thursday, May 1 is National Labor Day here in Thailand. Banks, government offices and many local businesses will be closed. If you have any banking to do, make sure to get it done by April 30, or wait until May 2.
Also, bar flies will be disheartened to learn that local elections will take place over the next two Sundays. This will mean alcohol sales will be prohibited over the next two weekends. For details, turn to page 2.


10 fire engines rush to blaze at Soi Pothisan

Police believe blaze was started by a short circuit

17 houses, four pickups and 17 motorbikes were damaged
in a blaze April 12 at Soi Pothisan.

Theerarak Suthatiwong
Ten fire engines rushed to Soi Pothisan in Naklua during the early evening of April 12 when fire engulfed a settlement of wooden houses.
Pattaya Police Station received a report at 5 p.m. that fire had broken out, and a team of officers led by station superintendent Pol Col Noppadon Wongnom along with Sawang Boriboon Foundation rescue workers joined the firefighters at the scene.
The fire was in an area of 30 wooden houses with zinc roofs, and the owners had fled in panic with their valuables. Firefighters had the blaze under control in approximately one hour, and in the event 17 houses were damaged, along with four pickups and 17 motorbikes. Damage was estimated at 3 million baht.
Investigations revealed that the fire had started in the house belonging to 34-year-old Chaiya Kaewlek. He and other residents had gone out to sell goods on Pattaya Beach when the fire occurred. Most of the victims were from Yasothon, and had come to work in Pattaya by selling goods on the beach. They had leased a plot and built their shelters more than 10 years ago.
Mrs Wanarat Hongkam, 30, who lost her entire house in the fire, stated in tears that she had left the poverty of her hometown with 30 of her relatives to come and work in Pattaya. She sold steamed seafood. They had rented a plot of land and built about 30 houses. Before the fire, they had gone to work as usual, and only the children were at home. She lost her vehicle and other property that she had collected over the 10 years since she arrived in Pattaya.
Police believe that the blaze was started by a short circuit, but fire investigators in Zone 13 will conduct a closer examination and prepare a report.


Next stop boot camp for red ticket holders

Draft selection for Banglamung District

Pramote Channgam
April 9 and 10 saw the event that most young Thai men have distinctly ambivalent feelings about, namely the examination and selection process for the military draft.

Pongpan Chinram drew a red ticket and must present himself to the Army for duty beginning May 1, 2008.

Col Piyachat Thoopthong of the 1st Army Support Commandant Koh Chan presided over the selection for Banglamung District, which was held at the District Office.
There were 614 youths from the eight sub-districts under Banglamung District who had reached the age of 21 and were registered as reserve soldiers. Of these 90 were placed on the active list during this selection process, and were posted to the Army and Navy units in need of recruits.
The first day, April 9, saw 375 youths from Nongprue and Banglamung arrive for registration. Of these, 30 were selected. As 17 were volunteers, only 13 had to take part in the draw for red or black tickets, the red ticket meaning that the next stop for its possessor was boot camp.
April 10 was the second day of registration, with 239 young men from Naklua, Nongplalai, Khao Mai Kaew, Pong, Takhiantia and Huay Yai attending. On this day, 60 red tickets and 179 black tickets were prepared. The red tickets were divided into 25 tickets for the Navy, and 35 tickets for the Army. The atmosphere was tense. But the Army and Navy got their men.


Chonburi provincial elections April 27

No alcohol sales this weekend - and next

The Chonburi Provincial Administration Organization (PAO) will hold elections this Sunday, April 27, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. With this, the Election Commission has announced that once again, alcohol sales and public celebrations are prohibited from 6 p.m. Saturday, April 26, until midnight Sunday, April 27.
Pattaya’s mayoral and city council elections are scheduled for May 4, meaning bars and entertainment places in Pattaya will be prohibited from selling alcohol next weekend, too, from 6 p.m. Saturday, May 3, until midnight Sunday, May 4.
The PAO is the government organization responsible for the development of its province’s commercial, social, education, health and well being, and occupations sectors, as well as maintaining public utilities for the benefits of its residents.
The election will be for the head of the PAO and members representing each district in the province, who will monitor the work of the chairperson on behalf of the people.
Chonburi is one of 5 provinces holding elections this weekend. The other 4 other provinces are Nonthaburi, Songkla, Lampang and Chanthaburi.


Women’s prison to make way for city shrine

New prison to be in Banbung district

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
Chonburi provincial authorities are preparing to relocate the women’s prison so that a city pillar shrine can be built on the site.

The women’s prison in Chonburi will soon be relocated to make way for a city pillar shrine.

Chonburi Deputy Governor Monthian Thongnit said that the prison is located opposite the Buddha Sihingh Image House, and that the authorities wish to construct the Chonburi city pillar shrine here to make this a sacred place.
There is a 30 million baht budget from the Chonburi Administrative Organization to support construction of the shrine, and members of the public are also making donations.
Construction budget for the new prison will be between 500 and 600 million baht, spread over a two-year period at about 300 million baht each year. A 300-rai site has been chosen, and 30 million baht has already been allocated for a water reservoir and an access road.
Mrs Kalyanee Chanma, director of the Chonburi women’s prison said that the decision to move the jail had been made by the Chonburi governor, and that the female inmates would in the interim be moved into Chonburi central prison opposite Ekachon Hospital.
The Department of Corrections has selected the new site for the prison, which is in Banbung district. Kalyanee said that the current women’s prison is located on an area of 7 rai, and that there are at present more than 1,000 female prisoners. The site is too small, and the new site would allow larger accommodation along with buildings for occupational training.


Chinese visitors promote Beijing Olympics

Present five Olympic mascots

Children pose with the Chinese Olympic mascots at Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens during the Songkran festivities.

Patcharapol Panrak
More than 1,300 Chinese tourists flew to Thailand on a special trip for Songkran and to present five Olympic mascots in time for the procession of the Olympic torch through the country.
The Pekinese Ming Jern Group was led by Tan Zheng Sung and Sittiwatchara Cheewaratanaporn, and arrived in Pattaya on April 14. A highlight of the tour was a visit to Nong Nooch Garden, where the group greatly enjoyed the traditional celebrations and the spectacle of the elephants playing with water.
Five Olympic mascots, each with a specific color, namely blue, red, orange, green and white-black were presented by the group, with the message Welcome to Beijing. The mascots are made from a thin parachute material, allowing the passage of light and air, and with the use of a battery to circulate air so that the people inside can move and breathe in comfort.
Sittiwatchara, who is president of the Thai-Chinese Professional Association, said that the Chinese people are very proud of the fact that the Olympics are being held in Beijing this year, and wish to spread goodwill for the event worldwide.
Mrs Kwanwan Khantisuk, general manager of Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, said that it was a pleasure to welcome the Chinese visitors at this particular time and that Nong Nooch was honored to be chosen for the presentation of the mascots.


Police investigate mystery deaths of two Korean women on Koh Larn beach

Theerarak Suthatiwong
Police are investigating the mysterious deaths of two Korean women found dead on the beach at Koh Larn.
Pattaya Police Station was informed of the discovery of the bodies on Tarai Beach at 11 a.m. on April 11, and station superintendent Pol Col Nopadol Wongnom led a team of officers to the scene that included Pol Col Paisan Wongwatsana, superintendent of forensics in Chonburi Zone 13, and Pol Lt Col Suwan Un-Anana, chief inspector of the Tourist Police, along with rescue workers from Sawang Boriboon Foundation.
One of the deceased women was lying on her back. She had long hair, was approximately 165cm tall, and was wearing a black T-shirt, a violet T-shirt and black jacket with gray jeans and black canvas shoes. Blood had issued from the nose. Time of death was estimated at about five hours previously.
The second woman was lying on her stomach about 3 meters away. She was approximately 160cm tall, had pale skin and long hair, and was wearing four layers of clothes, namely a black T-shirt, a yellow shirt, a white T-shirt and black jacket, along with black jeans and white canvas shoes. Her face and eyes were swollen, there was damage to her head, and she had dried bloodstains around the edge of her eyelids. It is estimated that she had died at the same time as the first woman.
Police officers examined a Thespesia populnea soland tree about 100 meters away from the corpses. They found one black handbag and one brown handbag, with contents that included lipstick, powder, cosmetics, and one page of a passport. However, the photo page was torn up, and the middle of the face was missing. The name was Miss Park Ji Hee, a Korean national of unknown age, and the document is thought to have belonged to one of the deceased.
Porn Chanhom, a 52-year-old baht bus driver, stated that the day before at about 2 p.m. he was waiting for passengers on Samae Beach, which is 2km away from where the bodies were found. The two Korean women came from the beach, and declined him in Thai when he asked them if they wished to use his service. The next time he saw them, they were dead.
Police at present have conflicting theories as to the cause of death. One theory is that the women were murdered, because there were several unusual marks on the corpses. Drowning would not have caused dried bloodstains around the edges of the eyelids, say some officers. Another theory is that the deaths were a suicide pact, the women throwing themselves into the ocean at high tide. The bodies have been sent to the Forensic Institute at the Police Hospital to find the cause of their deaths.
The day after the bodies were found, April 12, police led Korean Embassy officials to the scene, where photographs were taken and notes made.
Investigations have revealed that the women had not checked into any hotel in Pattaya or on Koh Larn. They had only small handbags for makeup, and came together on a private journey, not as part of any tourist group.


Twice unlucky for bag snatcher

The Russian victims (left) look on as Praiwan the thief (right)
is processed by police.

Boonlua Chatree
A snatch-and-run thief who snatched a bag from a Russian couple during the Songkran festivities and attempted to flee on a motorcycle was caught and given a beating by a security guard who had his own grievance against the thief.
Pattaya Police Station received a report at 12:50 a.m. on April 14 that a man was being detained in connection with a robbery at Yinyorm Beach, behind the Cosy Beach Hotel.
At the scene, police found the thief who had been beaten up and was being detained by several bystanders and the hotel security guard. He was identified as Praiwan Wilairit, age 35, of Buriram Province.
Two Russian tourists, Valadimia Polaf, 28, and his girlfriend Miss Vasilisa Seltova, 21, were waiting for the police to arrive, and embraced each other in relief when the officers appeared. They said that the man had snatched their bag when they were walking back to their hotel. Passers-by and the security guard had caught him.
The officers examined the area and found a yellow bag belonging to the couple, which was lying in dense grass along the beach. Inside the bag were an Ericsson cell phone, a Panasonic digital camera, and the personal documents of both victims. The accused confessed to committing the crime, because he wanted money to go out on Songkran Day. He was charged with theft.
Nirud Rumprakon, 46, a resident of Buriram Province who is security guard at the Cosy Beach Hotel gave a statement to the police. He said that he and Praiwan, who was a friend, had been selling fruit together until Praiwan borrowed his motorcycle on March 19 and did not return it. Nirud had reported this to the police, but Praiwan had disappeared until turning up to cause more trouble. Yet another charge was added to the sheet of the indigent Praiwan.


Australian man found hanged

Boonlua Chatree
An Australian man has been found dead at View Talay Condo 2, in what appears to be suicide by hanging.
Pattaya Police Station received a call at 4:50 a.m. on April 6 from Chainarong Pinpa, a 37-year-old security guard at the Jomtien Beach condominium, to say that he had found the dead body of a Western tourist. The deceased was hanging by his neck from a banister on the 19th floor of Building A.
Station superintendent Pol. Col. Noppadon Wongnom and Sawang Boriboon Foundation rescue workers went to the scene, where they found a man identified as John Peter Pace, a 46-year-old Australian citizen, hanging by a cable that was looped around his neck and secured via the banister to the tap on a water tank.
The deceased was dressed in a white wing collar shirt, grey Bermuda shorts, and he wasn’t wearing any shoes. Time of death was estimated at no more than two hours previously. A whisky bottle, a glass, a bottle of soda, cigarettes and a lighter were found on the floor next to his corpse. There were no signs of assault.
Chainarong said that he was on patrol and inspecting the deck at about 3:30 a.m. when he saw the man acting suspiciously. He advised him to return to his room, and then informed his superior. The guard said he knew Pace lived alone in room number 343/850 on the 18th floor, and said that in his opinion the man looked mentally disturbed.
Time passed, and when he went back to inspect the area again he discovered the deceased hanging from the banister by his neck.
The body has been sent to the Medical Jurisprudence Institute at the Police General Hospital for an autopsy.


Three injured in gang shooting

Boonlua Chatree
Three people were injured and a news reporter shot at during a dispute between Naklua youths during the early hours of April 11.
Banglamung Police Station received a report at 5 a.m. that three people had been hospitalized with gunshot wounds, one of them being sent to Banglamung Hospital and two to Bangkok Hospital Pattaya.
At Banglamung Hospital, the injured person was identified as Anuwat Nilphothong, age 20, from Soi Pattaya-Naklua 17, behind the Aksorn Suksa Technical School. He had minor injuries after being shot to his right leg. The other two were both aged 16, and had received bullet wounds to their upper right thighs.
Anuwat said he was asleep in his house with the other two persons when they heard the sound of motorcycles stopping outside. He opened the door and found about 10 youths, who had arrived on six motorbikes. One of them took out a gun and shot several times, injuring him and his two friends. Anuwat ran from the house to hide in the wooded area behind the building, and the gang fired into the bushes with what seemed to be two guns, although he was not hit.
Anuwat said that he recognized one of the gang as a man named Tao Naklua, and another that he knew as Ad. The cause of the shooting was most likely from a dispute in the past, he said.
As the officers were questioning the injured people, there was another report that the criminals were chasing news reporters, and had shot at them in front of a house on Soi Pattaya-Naklua 17, the same soi as the first shooting.
Officers went to investigate, and found Kamphee Absuwan, a 23-year-old reporter from the Pattaya Post and Kom Chad Luk newspapers who is permanently posted in Pattaya; Watchara Kaewkalong, 22, and Watcharapat Ramkomut, a 28-year-old reporter on a local newspaper.
There was a .38 caliber bullet cartridge on the ground, and the officers kept it as evidence. Kamphee had a bullet hole in his jacket and shirt. He stated that he had received information from the injured people in the hospital, and had gone to the scene of the shooting. He traveled there on the back of a motorcycle driven by Watchara, and Watcharapat followed them on another motorbike.
When they arrived at the soi, a youth had come close up to them on a white 125i Honda Wave, wearing a full-face helmet and with a revolver in his left hand. Kamphee said he was scared, and jumped off the motorbike and ran away. The man shot at him several times, but luckily the bullets only tore through his clothes. Watchara also jumped from the motorcycle and fled. Another gunman, also wearing a full-face helmet and riding a blue-black Honda Wave shot at him, but hit only the motorcycle. Watcharapat also left his motorcycle and escaped.
The reporters hid in the woodland and stayed there as the two gunmen came back down the soi looking for them. They waited until the criminals had passed by before reporting the shooting to the police.
Atthaporn Isim, also known as Ad, age 18 and a resident of Naklua, has been arrested, as has Maka Bunsa-Nguan, age 22, from Naklua. They have been charged with attempted murder.
Pol Col Sarayut Sa-Nguanpokai, superintendent at Banglamung Police Station said that members of the gang are familiar to the police, as they have been arrested before on drugs and firearms offenses. Kritsada Ponpaipal, also known as Tao Naklua, the 20-year-old leader of the gang has been charged before in connection with a number of cases in Banglamung and Pattaya. Now the police are after him again, and have requested an arrest warrant from Pattaya Provincial Court.


Cobra Gold celebrates Songkran the traditional way - to appreciate, respect and help

Locals giving facials to sailors: Ray Davis, Shanon Wiley, Scott Mcguire,
Ron Collett, Roy McDonald, and Patrick Gregg.

Khao Mai Kaew Mayor Chamnien (center) poses with the sailors and community.

Ron Collett
Songkran is the Thai New Year, running from April 12 - 15, but locals in Pattaya celebrate this on the 18th and 19th.

From generation to generation - the tradition goes on.

Traditionally it is considered a family day, and an occasion for the young to give recognition to the elderly people and pay respect to them by pouring scented water onto their palms, while asking for forgiveness for any misbehavior or offense they have conducted in the past, and at the same time receiving blessings from them. The water pouring also symbolizes cleansing of the souls and bringing in good luck for the New Year, therefore it’s also the time for general spring-cleaning in homes.
In local communities, people gather at their temple to hold traditional Buddhist ceremonies and celebrations.

Blessing the novices - blessing the elderly.

The day starts with the young and old paying respect to the Buddha image and the monks, followed by the young pouring water onto the palms of the elderly, and offering daily essentials to those who may need them; be it rice, medicine or other items.
Coincidentally, while in Pattaya, members of EPU 112 and SEALOGFE 101 identified a community need, then developed and carried out a Community Relations Project, known in U.S. Navy acronyms as a COMREL.
In the last month, the cost of rice has skyrocketed over 30% in South East Asia due to shortages and demand increases. Rice is an important part of daily meals in Thailand and the sudden cost increase has put a strain on the budgets of those who can least afford it.

The Navy team unloads the rice.

With that in mind, a group of 12 sailors and civilians collected 8,900 baht (approximately $300) from their private funds, for the purchase of rice. With the help of Sue Kukarja, communications director of Pattaya Mail Publishing Company, 200 kilos of rice was purchased along with 15 first aid kits. The Pattaya Mail, familiar with local needs, identified Khao Mai Kaew (roughly translated as Crystal Wood Hill), a rural local community to receive this donation.
Six sailors representing the group delivered the rice and medical kits, and were able to meet and participate in Songkran festivities with residents of the community.
The Navy team unloaded the rice and handed out five-kilo bags to 40 children, who gratefully accepted.
Mayor Chamnien and community members warmly greeted the sailors, after which the group joined in the celebration of the New Year with water blessings, face powdering, music, and ceremonies to recognize the young and old of the community.
It was a rare and fulfilling experience for the sailors to participate in such activity, and a great opportunity for the locals to get to know them better.


Worker killed in framework collapse at luxury apartment project

Two others injured

Boonlua Chatree
One man was killed and two injured when cement framework collapsed at a luxury apartment project being constructed in Pattaya.

Rescue workers (background) remove the deceased after cement framework collapsed on top of him.
The tragedy happened at 11:30 a.m. on April 12 at the LK Apartment construction project on Soi Bongkot and Third Road. Police, led by Pattaya Police Station Superintendent Noppadon Wongnom, along with Sawang Boriboon Foundation rescue workers attended the scene.
The building was a seven-story apartment, where construction was proceeding on the fifth floor. Cement framework on the fifth floor had collapsed onto the workers on the floor below. Two injured people, identified as Bancha Buangam, 31, and a 28-year-old man known only as Chin were taken to Banglamung Hospital.
The dead man was brought down to the ground level by a rescue unit crane. He was identified as Khan Nontae, age 50, of Sangkha, in Surin. He was a woodworker. The scaffolding had collapsed onto his head, fracturing his skull and breaking his neck.
Investigators say the cement support was overloaded, causing it to collapse.
Pol Lt Col Samran Khamwattana, who has been put in charge of the case, said that he would call the project architect and the building foreman in for questioning to see if the framework was below standard, and to discover who is responsible for the collapse.


Cobra Gold 2008 scheduled for May 8-21

This year marks 27th anniversary of the event

Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, and the United States recently announced their participation in the Cobra Gold exercise to be held in Thailand from May 8-21, 2008.
Cobra Gold is a regularly scheduled joint and combined multi-national exercise hosted annually by the Kingdom of Thailand. Cobra Gold 2008 (CG08) is the latest in a continuing series of exercises designed to promote regional peace and security. This exercise marks the 27th anniversary of this regionally significant training event.
The U.S. Embassy Bangkok’s Deputy Chief of Mission James F. Entwistle said at the CG08 press conference that “multi-national responses to regional crises are likely to be the norm in the future; in order to better address tomorrow’s requirements, it is vital that friends train together. There is no better exercise than Cobra Gold in keeping our militaries ready to respond to the real-world priorities of supporting peace, stability, reconstruction, and humanitarian assistance.”
Training will consist of a computer-simulated command post exercise, field training exercises, and humanitarian/civic assistance projects.
In addition to the five main participating countries, the Royal Thai Government has invited several other nations to participate in various roles during the exercise. The following countries have been invited: Australia, Brunei, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Philippines and Mongolia.


Sucker worm invades fisherman’s ear

Patcharapol Panrak
A fisherman who dived into the sea to set fish traps was hospitalized when a sucker worm entered his ear, and anyone diving in Sattahip Bay is warned of the presence of these sea creatures.
Saikid Unok, the 33-year-old captain of a fishing boat, was rushed to Sirikit Hospital Naval Medical Department during the early hours of April 10 by his wife Watsana Chuanak, 39.
An ectoparasite that Thai fishermen know as “toi dood” or “ai dood” had entered his right ear and attached itself to his eardrum tissue, causing bleeding and intense pain.
It took the physicians approximately 20 minutes to pinch the worm out, as it had gone deep into the eardrum tissue.
Saikid, who recovered fully after his treatment, said that he had taken his boat to set fish-traps in the sea at Koh San Chalam, in the Samaesan Sub-district estuary. He dived about 10 meters into the water, and the worm had entered his ear. He said he had gone back to the surface and tried to remove it without success. Then his eardrum became very painful, and blood came out of his ear. He hurried back to the shore, and his wife took him to hospital.
Saikid said that sucker worms usually attach themselves to fish or dead sea creatures. The worm causes the carcasses to dry. Usually, he said, he is very careful, but was unlucky this time. However, the physician saved him.


Candidates sign social contract for free and fair mayoral and council elections

Election to be held May 4

Mayoral candidates (L to R) Alisa Phantusak, Itthipol Khunplome, Surat Mekawarakul, Supawee Wiriyawattana, and Tanawat Kaewphuthong have promised, in writing, a clean and fair election. Let the games begin!

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
Chonburi Election Commission has asked the five candidates running in the mayoral election on May 4 to be transparent in their actions and to fight a clean fight.
Candidates running for the position of mayor of Pattaya City and a total of 81 Pattaya Council seats have all signed an agreement promising to keep to the election rules and not to cheat.
The social contract was signed on April 9 at Pattaya City Hall, with Anon Raewattananon, chairman of the Chonburi Election Commission, Poonsak Sangkaew, director of the Chonburi Election Commission, and Koson Aunkliang, chairman of the Pattaya Election Commission acting as witnesses.
There are now five candidates running for the position of mayor, and each has been allocated a number. Ms Alisa Phantusak is No 1, Itthipol Khunplome No 2, Surat Mekawarakul No 3, Ms Supawee Wiriyawattana No 4, and Tanawat Kaewphuthong No 5.
Similarly, each of the 81 candidates running for the Pattaya Council seats has been allocated an election number.
There will be 85 ballot stations around Pattaya City. Pattaya School No 2 has been selected as the venue for counting the mayoral votes. The count for Pattaya councilors in Zone 1 will be at Banglamung District Hall, the Zone 2 count will be at Nongyai Temple, Zone 3 at Pattaya School No 5, and Zone 4 at Pattaya School No 7.
Anon said that previous elections had attracted a large number of complaints concerning cheating, especially in the areas with a high level of competition. It is hoped that the social contract would help reduce this. Anon himself said that as a Chonburi native, he personally wished to see a clean and fair local election won by people who would administer and develop the city for the benefit of the people who live there, not by those who had bought their position for their own reasons.
Chonburi Election Commission is circulating information on the social contract to every registered voter, and asking that any evidence of cheating or maladministration be reported to the Chonburi Election Commission Office on tel 081 8619501, or the Pattaya Election Commission Cooperation Center at tel 038 253220.


Blessings ceremony for city hall officials and staff

Pattaya City’s 300+ employees line up to pour scented water
on the hands of senior officials and staff at city hall.

Sawittree Namwiwatsuk
More than 300 city hall officers and employees gathered for the Thai New Year Rod Nam Dam Hua tradition on April 18, conducting a pouring of lustral water for the spiritual wellbeing of senior officials and staff.
The officials gathered at the King Taksin Monument, where Pattaya City permanent secretary Sittiprap Muangkoom led the ceremony.
Viratana Jirasripaitoon, director of the Sanitary Works Department was the representative Pattaya official who gave Songkran Day blessings to the senior management, while Sittiprap responded with blessings for administrators and employees for the New Year.
The blessings ceremony being completed, there was a traditional sprinkling of water, making the plaza around the King Taksin Monument a lively and colorful scene.


Workman injured as house collapses in rain

Theerarak Suthatiwong
A workman was injured on April 16 when a heavy rainstorm mid-day caused a house to collapse.
The rain, which lasted for an hour but did not deter Songkran revelers, caused flooding on many roads.
The house that collapsed was a two-story Thai-style teak building under construction on the Huayyai-Sukhumvit Road, opposite Elephant Village. It was 80 percent completed. The roof collapsed under the weight of the rainwater. The workman, identified as 18-year-old Naruenat Nonkongkang of Kanchanaburi Province, suffered head injuries. He was transferred to Banglamung Hospital.
Naruenat said that the house belonged to Mrs Mam (unknown real name and surname), who is the younger sister of the owner of the Chalida House Project, which is located opposite. He and his colleagues were making a wall. It started to rain, which was followed by the rainstorm. This caused the posts on the second floor to incline and collapse. The workers scattered, but Naruenat said he wasn’t able to escape in time. The beam fell on his head.
The costs for damage are unknown until Mrs Mam comes back from up country.

This two-story Thai-style teak building under construction on the Huayyai-Sukhumvit Road collapsed during a heavy rainstorm.


Ceremony marks 100th day after passing of HRH Princess Galyani

Ten monks from Wat Yai Intharam
in Chonburi performed the merit-making ceremony.

Vimolrat Singnikorn
The 100th day after the passing away of Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani was marked with a ceremony on April 11 at Banglamung District Office, with Pratheep Chongsubthum, Banglamung district chief and mayor of Nongprue Municipality Mai Chaiyanit presiding.
Her Royal Highness the Princess passed away on January 2 at 2:54 a.m. at the age of 84 years.
Officials, court members, military personnel, police, and community representatives of Banglamung and Pattaya gathered for the ceremony, wearing black and white attire. Ten monks from Wat Yai Intharam in Chonburi performed the merit-making ceremony. Robes were then offered to the monks, along with the traditional necessities.
Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana was born on May 6, 1923 in England, and was named Mom Chao Galyani Vadhana by King Vajiravudh. She was the elder sister of His Majesty King Anada Mahidol, and His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. In 1927, she was elevated to Her Highness Pra Vorawongse Ther Pra Ong Chao Galyani Vadhana by His Majesty King Prajadhipok (Rama VII). In 1935, the Princess was elevated to Her Royal Highness after her brother ascended to the throne as King Rama VIII. Her Royal title was Somdetch Pra Chao Pi Nang Ther Chao Fa Galyani Vadhana.
The Royal birthday ceremony of May 6, 1995 celebrated HRH the Princess’s 6th 12-year cycle birthday, where His Majesty the King bestowed the title of Kroma Luang Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra upon her. This made her the only female member of the Chakri Royal Family during the reign of King Rama IX to have been bestowed this title.

People crowded into Banglamung District Office for the merit making ceremony to mourn the hundred day passing of HRH Princess Galyani.


Sattahip Naval Base holds ceremony in mourning of HRH Princess Galyani

Many people in Sattahip gather to make offerings in a ceremony to mark
the 100th day after the passing of Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani.

Patcharapol Panrak
Sattahip Naval Base and other units under the Royal Thai Navy along with government and private organizations and members of the public in Sattahip made offerings on April 10 in a ceremony to mark the 100th day after the passing of Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani.
Rice and dry food were offered, together with robes and lunch for 84 monks at a ceremony presided over by Vice Admiral Sriwisut Ratarun, commander-in-chief of Sattahip Naval Base, at Sattahip Temple field.
There was also a chanting ceremony at Sattahip Temple, for which Vice Admiral Komin Komutanon, commander-in-chief of the Coastal Defense Force, and Sattahip District chief Narong Theerachantarangkul lit candles and joss sticks.
Vice Admiral Sriwisut, addressing the gathering, said that the nation had lost a highly esteemed person who can’t be called back, and that all was left was to pray for her soul to go to heaven. She always performed with a pure heart, he said, and worked always for the good of others.


Students view lifestyle of the crab at Underwater World

Vimolrat Singnikorn
Underwater World has arranged a special exhibition of seven types of crab for schoolchildren to view during the summer vacation.

A Giant Hermit Crab, one of seven crab species now on display at Underwater World in Pattaya.

Pebble crabs, frog crabs, decorated crabs, rock crabs, giant hermit crabs and spider crabs are on display in an area of 15 square meters.
Darong Yingchon, an expert on aquatic animals at Underwater World said that these seven species are all found in our homeland, in the waters of the Andaman Sea and the Thai Gulf. There are large numbers of them, but the crabs are hard to study in their natural habitat, as they are nocturnal.
The exhibition allows students to see how the crabs live and protect themselves. The decorated crab, for example, has small pincers and a fragile structure that makes it vulnerable against a stronger enemy, so it has a tactic of hiding. Most of them live in the sea amongst seaweed or in coral reefs to remain hidden. They crawl slowly, and it is difficult to see them when they have debris stuck to their shells. Some attach themselves to sponges, and use them as a cover.
Darong and other members of the Underwater World staff are on hand to explain to students other aspects of the lifestyle of the crabs on display.


Obituary: Walter Leo Meyer (19.5.1915 – 19.4.2008)

Peter Fässler
President of the Swiss Society Bangkok

Swiss-born Walter Meyer, who passed away last Saturday just one month short of his 93rd birthday, arrived in Thailand in 1941 and discovered Pattaya more than 50 years ago. As the chairman of the Swiss trading house Berli Jucker his professional career came to an end which he had started in the very same company in the forties as a secretary. Under his leadership well-known products like Agfa-Gaevert, Bayer, AEG and MAN found their entries into the Thai market. “Sweeter” consumer goods such as Sugus candies and Toblerone were made available to the Thai palate due to his endeavours.
Walter Meyer became possibly more publicly known to the local community for his countless community projects. Some 50 years ago he co-founded the Royal Varuna Yacht Club which he also steered as its first commodore from 1957 to 1964. In 1962 he laid the foundation to the Swiss School which today allows more than 200 German-speaking children, regardless of financial means, to gain an education from kindergarten to the Swiss/German/Austrian equivalent of a baccalaureate.
His deep catholic faith was also to the tremendous benefit of the Holy Redeemer Church of Thailand. Pattaya’s St. Niklaus-Church and the cemetery on Sukhumvit Road were built on more than 11,000 square meters of land donated by him to the Church. He was also actively involved in the establishment, fund raising and support of the Pattaya Orphanage.
Despite his 67 years in Thailand Walter Meyer maintained his Swiss roots. In commemoration of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s fifth cycle birthday some 20 years ago he donated the “Sala Swiss”. This Swiss Chalet was built at the shores of the lake at the Yanasangwararam Temple and is a replica of the “Hechhuis”, a historical chalet built in 1586 in Wolfenschiessen in Central Switzerland. In October 1987 H.M. the King, H.M. the Queen and H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited the Swiss Chalet outside Pattaya.
He furthermore actively supported the endeavours of the Swiss community in Thailand. The Swiss Stone Ball fountain - in resemblance of a Swiss glacier - was presented in celebration of H.M. the King’s 50th Anniversary of His Accession to the Chakri Throne in 1996 and is open to the public in Bangkok’s Lumpini Park. The very same park was beautified with a replica of a Swiss sun dial - the original was built 1958 in Zurich - in commemoration of H.M. the King’s sixth cycle birthday in 1999.
Walter Meyer always lent an open ear to the Swiss Society Bangkok. The last function at his residence in Bangkok was the very well attended “Oldies but Goldies Night” with a potpourri of popular tunes, to which he invited all members of the Swiss Society.
He was laid to rest at the cemetery of the Saint Niklaus Church in Pattaya on April 24, 2008. The ceremony was well attended by family and friends.
He leaves a big family behind; with the thanks of all those who had the privilege of knowing Walter Meyer I am extending my sincere condolences to his wife Olive, his children and grandchildren. Many people will remember him for his generous and charitable way and enriching their lives with his friendship.



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