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Vendors and touts to be cleared away from Bali Hai Pier

Youngsters learn about dangers of HIV

Navy wives learn traditional massage skills to supplement family income

City faces pork shortage as abattoir plans closure

Tourists in favor of new beach layout

Consternation as tourism figures plunge 30 percent

One man drowns, 13 rescued as cargo ship hits fishing boat

Gang beats up and robs British man

Police raid Soi Sunee Plaza again

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will preside over coral seeding ceremony

Outstanding students awarded scholarships

Hospital improves facilities at Mercy Center

Bank cleans up at beach

Marines take delivery of 24 patrol vehicles

Military personnel cycle for health


Vendors and touts to be cleared away from Bali Hai Pier

People breaking regulations to be arrested and fined ďwithout exceptionĒ

Pramote Channgam
An urgent clean-up of Bali Hai Pier is to be undertaken, as the sprawl of vendors and the clutter of taxis along with the undisciplined use of the pier by boat operators is presenting a negative image of this important attraction.

Sanit Boonmachai says that anyone who breaks the regulations must be arrested and fined without exception.
Sanit Boonmachai, city councilor and chairman of the administration and peace keeping committee held a meeting at Pattaya City Hall during the afternoon of July 23, at which it was agreed that immediate action needed to be taken.
Sanit said that the appearance of the pier is rapidly worsening, with vendors taking up a complete lane of the walkway, boat operators mooring without following the safety regulations, and taxis and touts infesting the pier entrance.
Pattaya has a series of new regulations, enacted in 2003, concerning the operating of the pier, said Sanit, and these must be enforced by city officials to bring some order to this key tourism location.
Pol Maj Jeerawat Sukhontasrap, head of the Municipal Police in Department 2, said that keeping the pier in order is complicated because there are three departments responsible. Pattaya Municipal Police have responsibility for the area around Bali Hai Pier, while the Sea Rescue and the Harbor Department are responsible for keeping the pier itself and the boats in order. There had to be integration of the work of these three departments to ensure that the pier operated according to all the regulations.
The committee passed a resolution to direct city hall officials to work with the three organizations, and Sanit said that anyone who breaks the regulations must be arrested and fined without exception.
The Office of the Permanent Secretary of Pattaya City will create signs for the pier to ensure there is no misunderstanding, he added.

The undisciplined use of the pier by boat operators, along with the sprawl of vendors and the clutter of taxis is presenting a negative image of Bali Hai pier.


Youngsters learn about dangers of HIV

Organizers and students who participated in the project assemble
for a commemorative photo.

Sawittree Namwiwatsuk
The Office of Disease Prevention and Control in Chonburi Zone 3 has organized a campaign to warn students about the dangers of HIV, and how to avoid infection.
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay opened the campaign on July 24 at Pattaya School No 8, Pattayanukul, with organizer Mrs Rawisara Jirarojwattana also present and with students from 11 schools attending.
Rawisara said that HIV is continuing to spread amongst young people, and that not only is the disease a destroyer of lives it also undermines the future of the nation, taking away young people who would otherwise be an important part of Thailandís future.
She said that the reason the disease is spreading so fast amongst youngsters is that they often do not understand what comprises high-risk behavior, and how HIV is transmitted.
The Office of Disease Prevention and Control Zone 3 is running the campaign as a way of communicating with young people, and wants to hear the opinions of those present as to how the message could be further promoted.
Amongst the activities organized were a drama presentation, music, a public debate, an exhibition and a quiz with prizes for the correct answers. The 11 schools taking part were each presented with a shield to commemorate the event, which was held over the period July 24-25.


Navy wives learn traditional massage skills to supplement family income

Patcharapol Panrak
A professional level traditional Thai massage course has been organized for Navy wives to increase their family income.
Vice Admiral Komin Komutanon, commander-in-chief of the Coastal Defense Force at Sattahip formally opened the course on July 22, with 40 trainees attending.
Vice Admiral Komin said that in addition to creating a source of possible income for the wives of Navy personnel and others who were taking part, the knowledge that they gained would help them take care of their families and the elderly.
Rear Admiral Peerasan Watcharamul, the Coastal Defense Force deputy commander-in-chief said that because of the fast rising cost of living, the families of government employees throughout the country were finding it difficult to make their incomes cover all of their commitments.
The wives of Navy personnel were restricted in what employment they could take to help supplement their family income, as they had to reside close to the base where their husbands were employed.
The professional level traditional Thai massage course has been organized by Asst Prof Sirirak Pinkaesorn, a specialist in ancient massage from Sukhothai Dhammadhiraj University, together with a team of experts and trainers. The course is being held under the responsibility of Captain Banjob Phodang, director of the Naval Civil Affairs Department at the Coastal Defense Force.
Rear Admiral Peerasan said that traditional massage is a highly respected specialization, and that it can be learned by anyone regardless of their educational background. Once the practitioner has the certification, the work can be undertaken on a freelance basis, at a location suited to practitioner and customer.
An income of 20,000 to 30,000 baht per month is possible for those determined to put their new skills to work, which would greatly help the family budget.


City faces pork shortage as abattoir plans closure

Illegal pig slaughtering forces official supplier into operating loss

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
Pattaya is on the verge of a pork shortage as the official abattoir that supplies the city with pork is preparing to close, the illegal slaughtering of pigs by breeders or agents having made the business financially unviable.

Porky gets a reprieve as Pattaya teeters on the verge of a pork shortage.

The abattoir, which is located in Nongprue Municipality, had declared it would close on August 1, but has agreed to remain open for another month while a solution is found.
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay held a meeting with representatives of the company on July 24 at Pattaya City Hall.
Verawat said that the privately operated abattoir is the only pork slaughterhouse in Pattaya City, and that its proposed closure would cause a serious shortage of pork meat in the city.
Previously, Pattaya had operated its own slaughterhouse, the law stating that every municipality must have a slaughterhouse in operation. When the private concern was opened in Nongprue, Pattaya City closed the old one.
For a while the private slaughterhouse was operating well, but recently it has been operating at a deficit. Verawat said this was because 250 to 300 pigs must be slaughtered per day, but only 80 to 150 pigs were being brought to the abattoir.
Many of the animals that should have been sent for slaughter were instead being killed by the breeders or other agents to avoid paying a fee, and pork was also being trucked in from outside the city limits.
Verawat said that a solution had to be found, and that in the meantime an extension of time was being requested for the slaughterhouse to continue operating for another month.
Following that, said Verawat, it was most likely Pattaya City would rent or buy the business from the private sector and run it as a public concern.
In the meantime, he said, it is important that measures be taken to prevent the illegal slaughtering of pigs to ensure that hygiene standards are maintained and the official abattoir is able to cover its costs.


Tourists in favor of new beach layout

But garbage is a problem

Pramote Channgam
Chonburi Governor Pracha Taeratís policy of rearranging the beach bed and umbrella concession areas to return at least 50 percent of the beach area to public use is receiving a favorable reaction from tourists, and a rather more guarded reaction from the vendors themselves.

These tourists from Pathumthani say they like the new beach layout.

The new arrangements started on July 1, and a survey by Pattaya Mail reveals that on both sides there are pluses and minuses.
Patchanee Niamsuk, a 41-year-old beach bed and umbrella concessionaire who works at a pitch in front of Soi 9, and who has been in the business for more than 20 years, said that the new policy has not affected her income at all. Further, she is happy because the image of the beach has become so much nicer. Patchanee did say, however, that the closing time for the vendors should be extended to give tourists that extra time on the beach.
Thipawan Kitchanapoot, who has run a beach bed and umbrella business for more than 30 years, said that the beach is getting dirtier, because vendors are now prevented from using large areas and there is no one there to clean up. Although the concession areas have been reorganized, city hall hasnít followed through with sending garbage collectors onto the newly released areas of the beach.
Tourists were using their own mats on the public areas, and this was leading to more uncollected garbage. City hall needs to remedy this quickly, said Thipawan.
Kitikorn Lidta, a 30-year-old visitor from Chonburi said that she didnít know about the organizing of the Pattaya beach bed and umbrella concessions. She likes the beach, and has found plenty of space in which to relax, in the areas where there are no beach beds. Not everyone wants to use a beach bed, she pointed out. Many prefer to bring a mat and sit with their families eating food they have prepared at home.
Raksak Sawatditat, a 23-year-old tourist from Pathumtani said that he comes every month with his friends, and uses the beach beds. On this visit, the change is noticeable, and the beach is much nicer. The beach bed areas are more orderly, and the prices have also come down from 50 baht to 30 baht. One thing that needs to be improved is the amount of garbage on the beach, and it should be cleared away.


Consternation as tourism figures plunge 30 percent

awittree Namwiwatsuk
The first three months of this year saw a worrying drop in the number of tourists to Pattaya, the arrivals having fallen by 30 percent, reports the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

TAT Pattaya director, Sub. Lt. Chaiwat Charoensuk

The figures refer collectively to Thai and foreign visitors, and much of the lack of local traffic can be attributed to the rising cost of gasoline and the cost of living in general.
Director of the TAT in Pattaya, Chaiwat Charoensuk, said that the figures for January to March were down by 30 percent, and that this trend was showing no improvement during the overall first six months of the year.
In addition to the decrease in Thai tourists, tourism from the European and Asian markets is also down, he said, including key markets such as Russia, Korea, China, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Chaiwat said that Phuket had been faring better than Pattaya, but that there were as yet no clear numbers for the entire six-month period.
He said that extensive overseas promotions at the giant trade shows had ensured Pattaya has a high profile. The city had been represented at ITB in Berlin in March, in May there had been a representation in Dubai, and in June in Guangzhou and Hong Kong, for the Chinese market.
Chaiwat said there were also various promotions to bring in tourists during the low season, such as the golfing event that involves 15 golf courses throughout Chonburi province.


One man drowns, 13 rescued as cargo ship hits fishing boat

Patcharapol Panrak
A crewman drowned when a cargo vessel struck a fishing boat off the coast of Sattahip early in the morning of July 31.
The 13 remaining crew members were hauled out of the water by a number of other fishing boats in the area, and taken to shore by a rescue operation mounted by First Naval Area Command and the Sattahip Marine Police.
The alert was received at 6 a.m. on July 31 by Pol Lt Col Anuchit Laklok, chief of Marine Police Station 3, Sub-division 5, Marine Police Division, who received a call from Teerachai Prasertvit, a 36-year-old resident of Samut Prakarn Province who owned the red-and-white Chonpaiboon fishing boat, a 20-meter vessel used for trawling.
Teerachai reported that a large cargo ship had hit his boat, causing it to immediately sink. The 14 crewmembers had been thrown into the water.
Vice Admiral Chairat Phukkarat of First Naval Area Command, who is also director of National Marine Coordination at the Protection Center in Area 1, assigned Rear Admiral Choompol Wongwekin, chief of staff, First Naval Command to send patrol squadron No 24 led by Lt Sakol Sukheesan, and a Special Operations vessel of the First Naval Thai Fleet led by two naval officers, PO 1st Class Sarawoot Phaengon and PO 1st Class Sompet Yanapanya to the scene.
The rescue boats, loaded with diving equipment, departed from Ocean Marina in Na Jomtien Sub-district, and worked in cooperation with the Marine Police No 633 Patrol Squadron.
Searching the seas, which were heavy, the rescuers found the hull of the fishing boat south of Koh Rin, and attached it to one of the rescue craft for towing back to shore. The co-ordinates were recorded as being at a latitude of 12 degrees north by 45 minutes and a longitude of 100 degrees east by 33 minutes, 25 nautical miles and three hours away from shore.
Wisit Prasertvit, the 30-year-old captain of the fishing boat said that at approximately 4:30 a.m. a large Indonesian cargo ship named the Mallayan Empress had appeared. The ship, captained by an Indonesian named Mahdan, was on its way from Bangkok to Laem Chabang Port. The vessel struck the fishing boat while the crewmembers were taking their break, causing it to immediately break up and sink. The crew jumped into the water, some of them grabbing foam boxes and other floatable items that they could cling onto.
One man was lost, and the remaining 13 drifted in the sea for about 30 minutes before being rescued by five fishing boats named the Charoenchai, Chareonsin, Damrong, Chonphaiboon 2, and Chonphaiboon19.

Navy divers attempt to salvage the sinking ship.


Gang beats up and robs British man

Theerarak Suthatiwong
A gang of three youths held up a British man with a gun in the early hours of July 31, beat him up, and stole his motorcycle.

Robert Page was beaten and robbed on his way home on July 31.

Robert Arthur Page, age 52, was taken to hospital and then went to report the attack to Pol Lt Col Chaiyaporn Tongnapieng at Banglamung Police Station, accompanied by his Thai wife.
Page said that the crime had occurred on Soi Plastic Factory, in Chakngaew-Ban Amphur Road, in Huayai Sub-district.
He said he was a social worker in England, but had left his job and married a Thai woman, and now lives in Pattaya. He was riding his white 125 I Honda Wave motorcycle home at 5 a.m., having been drinking at some beer bars on Soi Buakao in Central Pattaya. He was only about 500 meters away from his house when three youths appeared on two motorcycles. One of the bikes came up alongside, while the other tailed him. The passenger on the bike alongside pulled out a gun and pointed it at him, forcing him to stop.
Page said that one of the youths then approached him, and struck him several times with a three-inch piece of wood studded with nails. He was knocked to the ground, and the three youths surrounded him. They then took his wallet, which contained four ATM cards and 2,000 baht in cash. They also took his mobile phone. Then they rode off on his motorcycle.
A local person helped Page to the hospital, where he was treated. His nose had been broken, there was a large cut on his head, and his right knee was hurt. His cuts needed a total of 20 stitches. After that, the doctors allowed him to go home.
He then went to the police station to file a report, and was taken back to the scene of the crime. Police investigations continue.


Police raid Soi Sunee Plaza again

Boonlua Chatree
Police raided gay bars in Soi Sunee Plaza in the early hours of July 26 and, finding no illegal activity at any of them, turned their attention to a number of boys hanging around the streets, eventually charging 29 of them with drugs use.

Police rounded up and arrested 29 boys between the ages of 13 and 19 and charged them with narcotics use.

Pol Col Nopadol Wongnom, superintendent at Pattaya Police Station and Pol Lt Col Chatchai Ruenthawin, deputy superintendent of investigation, led the raid with regular police officers being joined by volunteer officers.
The officers inspected six male a-go-go bars. The boys in each of them were found to be over the age limit, and each of the bars had its license in order.
Turning their attention to the streets around the Soi Sunee Plaza area, the police rounded up 79 boys between the ages of 13 and 19. They were taken for urine tests, and 29 of them tested positive for narcotics use.
Pol Col Nopadol said that the boys who were rounded up were waiting to solicit sex to foreign visitors. He said that drugs use is prevalent in Pattaya, and that the boys who tested positive would be sent for treatment, which would be for their own good in future.


HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will preside over coral seeding ceremony

Sawittree Namwiwatsuk
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will preside over a coral seeding ceremony in Pattaya on August 26.
A meeting was held on July 28 at the Dusit Thani Hotel by Vee Ni Thai Public Co Ltd to prepare for Her Royal Highnessís visit.

Krua Kanhanon, secretary for Royal Ceremonies explain the process for Her Royal Highness Maha Chakri Sirindhornís upcoming visit.

Chonburi Deputy Governor Montian Thongnit and Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh also attended the meeting.
Montian said that Vee Ni Thai, which is sponsoring the project, is cooperating with the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Royal Thai Navy, Rambhai Barni Rajabhat University in Chantaburi Province, and the Foundation of Marine Sciences.
The project will see the seeding of 80,000 branches of coral at areas that include Koh Samet in Rayong Province, Koh Hwai in Trad Province, Koh Kahm and Chong Samaesarn in Chonburi Province, and Koh Taloo in Prachuab Kirikhan Province.
This meeting was held to prepare for the project and for the security plan for Her Royal Highness. Krua Kanhanon, secretary for Royal Ceremonies attended the meeting to explain the process for the visit.


Outstanding students awarded scholarships

Scholarship students and their benefactors pose
for a group photo during the presentation ceremony.

Sawittree Namwiwatsuk
The Puean Rak Nong Club distributed 30 scholarships to needy students on July 29 at a Pattaya City Hall ceremony.
The scholarships, awarded to those whose scholastic results were good but whose families lack money, went to students from the 10 schools under Pattaya City jurisdiction.
Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon presided over the donation ceremony, along with Kosit Kaewtrairat, chairman of the Puean Rak Nong Club.
Kosit said that members of the club are concerned that students with good scholastic results are being held back in their studies by the fact that their families are enduring financial hardship. Those receiving the scholarships include previous recipients who have shown good progress, with some having received scholarships for the past four years.
This is the fifth occasion the club has presented scholarships, the 30 being handed out each being worth 2,000 baht. The total value of the scholarships that were distributed was 60,000 baht.
Recipients must have an average 2.50 grade score, and anyone with 3.80 or more receives an extra 500 baht. This year there were six students receiving this extra amount, adding 3,000 baht to the total amount awarded.
Kosit said that the members of the club were committed to continue funding scholarships for the most promising students until the youngsters had graduated from school, and that in the event of Pattaya City establishing another school in the future, the number of scholarships would be increased.


Hospital improves facilities at Mercy Center

The hard working group takes time out to pose for a group photo.

Sawittree Namwiwatsuk
Bangkok Hospital Pattaya has worked with the Mercy Center to improve the facilities at the center and so help create a safer environment for the homeless children who are cared for there.
Work began on July 26, led by Dr Narin Boonchongcharoen, deputy director of the hospital, and the hospitalís marketing director Neera Sirisampan.
Dr Narin said that the work was designed to improve the lives of the abandoned youngsters who live at the center, and included providing a new barrier around the upper stairway as a safety precaution, painting the centerís fence and building, and cutting the grass in the compound.
The program is being supported by several sections of the hospital with donations of money and materials, and in addition there have been donations of other essentials such as powdered milk, diapers, dry food, and clothes.
Kanokkorn Khaimuk of the Mercy Center Orphanage Foundation said that the center currently has 21 children under its responsibility, aged between one and 12 years. Staff includes one nurse, one baby sitter, one teacher and one maid.
Most of the children being taken care of have been abandoned, coming from communities that include Koh Phai and Thepprasit communities, and some are from broken homes in which the parents have been involved with drugs.


Bank cleans up at beach

Pramote Channgam
The Bank of Ayudhya worked in cooperation with city hall on July 26 to clean up Pattaya Beach, which paradoxically appears to be more prone to the accumulation of garbage now that the area under vendor concessions has been reduced.

Mayor Itthipol Khunplome (left) participates in the beach cleaning effort with staff from the Bank of Ayudhya.

The cleanup was kicked off Mayor Itthipol Khunplome at 9:30 a.m. and started from the Dolphin Fountain area.
More than 100 people took part, most of them bank management and employees, and a number of the bankís customers.
The cleaning squad moved from the fountain area towards South Pattaya, collecting discarded plastic bags, bottles, and a variety of other kinds of garbage.
Pongpinit Daechakupt, chief sales network officer at the Bank of Ayudhya Public Co Ltd said that the bank had long had a policy of helping society and that the conservation of an important attraction such as Pattaya Beach was clearly of concern to every resident of Pattaya.


Marines take delivery of 24 patrol vehicles

The Royal Thai Marine Corps at Sattahip
have taken delivery of 24 cargo and troop carriers.

Patcharapol Panrak
The Royal Thai Marine Corps at Sattahip have taken delivery of 24 cargo and troop carriers, which will be deployed in the troubled South.
Admiral Sathiraphan Kaeyanon, commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Navy, who presented the 1 1/2-ton military trucks to Vice Admiral Suwit Thararoop, commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Marine Corps, made the handover on July 29.
Admiral Sathiraphan said that the troubles in the South have led in the past to military personnel being killed or injured by explosives hidden on the roadsides, and that troops in the three provinces there are in need of more armored vehicles.
The vehicles were purchased from AM General Company, of the USA. They consist of 14 heavy variant utility M 1097 A2 vehicles for the carriers, and 10 1045 A2 vehicles with payloads of no less than 3 tons, or the capability of transporting a 10-man crew. They have four-wheel-drive, and an automatic transmission.
Categorized as a light tactical vehicle for command and control, the vehicle can also act as a special purpose weapons platform throughout all areas of the modern battlefield, the platform being located on the roof and capable of turning 360 degrees.
The vehicles, which can be used by scout platoons of the armored divisions, the infantry and mechanized infantry battalions, were delivered to Sattahip by Rear Admiral Chatcharin Choosri, director general of Naval Transportation.


Military personnel cycle for health

More than 200 military personnel and members
 of their families set out on a bicycle rally to promote good health.

Patcharapol Panrak
Air Defense Regiment 1 staged a bicycle rally on July 25 as part of its No Big Belly project, designed to get personnel and their families to trim down and stay healthy.
Regimental commander-in-chief Capt Ekkarat Promlampak opened the event, saying that the program is aimed at all male military personnel who have a waistline of more than 90cm, and consequently are at risk from pathogens.
The rally was organized to encourage personnel to exercise by riding bicycles for short distances from home to work. Apart from getting exercise, bicycling can reduce energy consumption and travel costs.
More than 200 military personnel and members of their families took part in the ride.



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