Officials, residents and tourists celebrate
(Now former) Chonburi Governor Surapon Pongtadsirikun led local officials
and residents to celebrate Coronation Day on May 5.
The Coronation Day ceremony was held in Suporn Weerawan Meeting Hall at Chon
Klaya School, chaired by Governor Surapon Pongtadsirikun and attended by
government officials, local politicians and residents.
Chonburi Governor Surapon Pongtadsirikun leads residents to praise HM the
King on Coronation Day May 5.
The governor said all were assembled to honor His Majesty the King on the
day of his coronation.
“History has shown that His Majesty has worked tirelessly for his citizens
and developed the nation’s prosperity.
“His Majesty wishes us to live righteously for the benefit and happiness of
all our people.
“On this great auspicious occasion we swear an oath of loyalty and will try
at full capacity to develop ourselves and the nation according to His
Majesty’s royal mission,” said the Governor.
The Chonburi Cultural Office received a total of 455 Buddha relics from the
president of the Commission for Religion, Ethics, Arts and Culture in the
Commission Meeting Room at the Senate building. The items will be
distributed to schools in the province to be housed in shrines.
Governor Surapon also chaired the presentation ceremony of these relics to
the school in the three school zones: zone 1 with its 152 schools, zone 2
with 137 schools and zone 3 with 166 schools.
The same evening Deputy Governor Pisit Bunchuang also chaired another
celebration on the Chonburi Town Hall field for Coronation Day and the 60th
anniversary of His Majesty the King’s coronation, which will take place in
Joining the event were civil servants, military personnel, police, arbiters,
prosecutors, senators, members of parliament, local administration staff and
members of the Red Cross.
They offered flower trays to pay respect to His Majesty the King and swore
an oath allegiance to the monarchy.
Sattahip citizens take oath of unity
Officials gather in Sattahip
to pledge their allegiance to King and country.
Government officials and about 1,000 Sattahip people gathered to fly
the national flag and show their support for national unity in accordance
with the latest campaign to stop using violence to harm the country.
Yellow shirt and red shirt members alike, merchants, government workers and
youngsters gathered on May 1 at Sattahip District Office, led by Sattahip
District Chief Chaichan Iamcharoen to take an oath of loyalty in a campaign
to “Stop attacking Thailand.”
Chaichan said that currently Thai society is divided which has led to
violence and damaged the country’s image. In the past when the country was
in crisis, officials would still perform their duty with discipline.
They should act under the guidance of moral principles and in response to
His Majesty the King’s wishes for his people to live harmoniously together.
Government officers must be neutral and realize that they cannot let
divisions continue, otherwise society could split completely and civil war
ensue. Thai people may kill each other and destroy the nation’s unity.
Participants at the May Day meeting took an oath comprising nine points:
1. All parties stop using violence. 2. Everyone respect each other and the
law and not take liberty to end other people’s freedom. 3. Opposing parties
to end their conflict peacefully with political leaders, political parties,
members of parliament, not agitating animosity and stop any actions that
don’t conform to our system of democracy.
4. Stop the encroachment on the monarchy and using it for political
purposes. 5. State officials operate fairly according to the law. 6. The
mass media works responsibly and not make declarations for political or
financial benefit and not create hatred in the community.
7. Financial supporters and those working for the benefit of others not stop
their support. 8. Government operates correctly and clearly in accordance
with the Constitution. 9. State employees and the public who love the nation
relay this oath of loyalty to people still in conflict.
City officials pledge unity
Officials show unity by waving
flags, singing songs
and asking their compatriots to “Stop attacking Thailand”.
1,000 Pattaya City officials loudly sang the national anthem
together to show unity in protecting national institutions in the latest
“Stop attacking Thailand campaign” of the Ministry of Interior.
On May 4 Mayor Itthipol Khunplome convened the patriotic ceremony for his
officials at the King Taksin the Great statue in front of Pattaya City Hall.
City workers mustered up their best tuneful voices to sing the national
anthem while linking their hands.
Along with other provincial governments, the Chonburi administration was
ordered to make a pledge to the national institutions and encourage
residents to do so by paying respect to pictures of Their Majesties the King
and Queen and sign their names in support of the country and monarchy.
The mayor urged Pattaya citizens to do their best to help promote tourism
and solve the nation’s political and economic problems.
Entire town discounts
for tourists being discussed
“Travel an entire day, discount the entire town project” this May through
July is being discussed by the Chonburi Provincial Administration
Organization and tourism entrepreneurs as a way to bring tourists back to
Tourism and Sports Minister Sonthaya Khunplome.
On May 4, tourism entrepreneurs in Pattaya met to discuss this as a solution
to increase tourism for the rest of the year, after visitors stayed away to
avoid the recent political conflict.
Sonthaya Khunplome, former Minister of Tourism and Sports, Kasem Wattanatam,
Chonburi deputy governor, and Mayor Itthipol Khunplome also attended the
The mayor said that the violent protests on April 12 at the ASEAN Summit at
Royal Cliff Beach Resort and elsewhere in Pattaya resulted in a tourism and
He said because of this, tourism vaulted to the top of the agenda at the
April 21 Cabinet meeting.
From May through July there will be public relations and tourism support
activities which will try to reboot Pattaya’s economy as fast as possible,
the mayor said.
For example, drawing lots to win accommodation in a 5-star hotel, or other
gift vouchers. Costs are paid from an annual tourism promotion budget from
the provincial administration.
Sonthaya explained that tourism committees have already been selected, with
the mayor as chairman. The committees are cooperating with tourism operators
such as hotels, guest houses, restaurants, supermarkets and spas by
providing sales and gift vouchers for customers.
The project is divided into three periods, the first one being for May to
July which would be supported by a budget from the provincial organization.
The second is for July through September and the last one September through
October which might be supported by a budget from the central government.
“In the first period we will focus on ads and public relations in print
media, TV and on billboards promoting attractive places at discount prices.
“We also plan to provide more interesting tourism activities; for example
the Amazing Thailand Travel Fair May 14 - 17, and Thailand Grand Sale in
June,” Sonthaya said.
Boat park brought up
for public discussion
An artist’s rendering of
the new boat park at Bali Hai.
Plans are going ahead well for a new 735-million baht mooring
and boat park able to accommodate 370 boats near Bali Hai in Pattaya,
expected to be ready by August next year.
Some 100 tourist boat operators came to voice their views at a public
meeting on the new facility on April 30 at the multi-purpose building in
the Sea Rescue Center at Bali Hai. Mayor Itthipol Khunplome, city
administrators, advisors and consultants conducting a feasibility study
were on hand to listen to their concerns.
Officials heard public opinions on how the project might affect
residents living nearby, and the general environment.
The mayor said that this plan was sent to the government last year,
looking for approval for the 735 million baht budget, and that the
Budgeting Bureau has now approved that financial support.
However, original plans initially called for an eight-storey building,
but this was found to be too complicated for the area, and ultimately
unsuited for the parking of large boats.
So two million baht was spent to hire a consultant company to help
revise the plan and design the harbor to be easier to use.
Oceanography specialist Commander Wiroon Chotibute, representing of the
consultant firm, said the new construction plan has been completed.
He reported that there would be one car park built behind the Bali Hai
sea port. This would have advanced technology including an elevator
system for each floor. He said the boat park has been designed in the
form of a hydro lift. The boat park would also include a maintenance
garage and would be built to international standards.
“This boat park will not affect the environment and it will look tidy as
well as beautiful,” he said.
Some worries were voiced at the meeting about parking facilities and
equipment standards. But consultant staff assured people in attendance
that the system would meet world standards and would not cause any
City pledges support
for national unity
Mayor Itthipol Khunplome signs
his name to show
his respect for Their Majesties the King and Queen.
Mayor Itthipol Khunplome recently led government officials in signing their
names to show their respect for Their Majesties the King and Queen.
On April 29 at city hall, Mayor Itthipol, his deputy mayors, City Council
Chairman Tavich Chaisawangwong, and city employees gathered to sign their
names to bless Their Majesties with the goal of protecting important
This activity followed an urgent policy from the Ministry of Interior for
all provinces to encourage the protection of important national institutions
to create social unity and harmony in the country.
The city therefore calls on its residents to show their loyalty and support
for the nation, religion and the monarchy. Images of Their Majesties have
been installed and people are invited to sign their names to pledge their
Mayor Itthipol said that currently there are movements and events that
adversely affect national unity with some elements in the population causing
problems for people and damaging property.
The public is invited to join in signing to pledge their support for
national unity during official hours every day in May at city hall.
Armed robbers injure five after daring gold robbery
Three men armed with military assault rifles robbed a gold shop in
Jomtien and escaped with gold jewelry worth 300 million baht. During their
escape they exchanged fierce gunfire with pursuing police, wounding an
officer and four children.
The wounded escaped serious injury.
the reenactment of the crime for police and the media, Kamol shows how he
leaned out of the window to fire at pursuing police, as Surachart (seated in
the driver’s seat) shows how he drove the getaway car.
The heist took place in the morning on May 4. The Yaowarat Gold Shop was the
Police believe up to six men were involved. Three have already been taken
into custody, whilst three more are being sought for questioning.
Police have in custody Kasem Klindee, 35, from Pattaya, Surachart Yodthong,
25, from Rayong and Kamol Saengperm, 36, from Chonburi.
Kamol and Surachart were arrested in Bangkok, and a huge stockpile of war
weapons and ammunition were seized from them. Kamol also had 14 gold
necklaces in his position at the time of the arrest. Surachart had 18 gold
All were charged with attempted murder of a police officer, armed robbery,
possession of war weapons and with being accomplices of other armed robbery
suspects still at large.
Surachart has admitted to being the getaway driver. Kamol has confessed to
firing his war weapon inside the gold shop whilst two other suspects swiped
the gold. He named the two other suspects as “Dam”, a Pattaya taxi driver,
and “Sorn” from Rayong. Police have not released the name of the sixth
capture from the shop’s CCTV camera shows the armed robbery in process.
Kasem has denied all charges, although Kamol and Surachart have allegedly
named him as being the brains of the operation as well as providing the
Kamol and Surachart told police that on the morning of the robbery, they had
gathered at Kasem’s house in Kao Maikeow. Surachat said drove the Toyota
Vios along with Sorn and another robber, to pick up Kamol at his house in
Police received the robbery was in progress call at 9 a.m. on May 4. Pol
Lt-Col Chalermkat Sirimak at the Dongtan police sub-station sent officers to
the Yaowarat Gold Shop and a chase ensued. Roadblocks were set up and a
police helicopter was called in. The armed robbers fled along Sukhumvit
The car used in the hold-up, a Toyota Vios, was spotted parked in Soi
Chaiyapruek near the Indoor Sports Stadium in Pattaya. As police patrol cars
closed in, the suspects opened fire with their automatic weapons, the hail
of bullets bursting the front tires of a police pickup and riddling its
engine, which stopped immediately.
The potentially deadly barrage pierced the right door of the car and wounded
Police Sergeant Siam Pho-ngarm, 38, the head of the suppression police
squad. He was shot in the right leg and right shoulder. He was rushed to
Bangkok Hospital Pattaya.
Stray bullets also hit two boys and two girls who were walking along the
road. Kestsara Buasir, 8, was hit in her left leg, Phichachaphan Phanchart,
8, in her right leg, Jamorn Chuabangkoo, 14, was shot in his right shoulder
and right leg and Akanis Chaiphan, 14, in his right leg. All were taken to
The Toyota then sped from the scene of the firefight. The driver appeared
very familiar with the routes through the cassava fields in Tambon Khao
Maikeow in Banglamung.
Pol Maj-Gen Niwat Chan-itthikol, deputy commissioner for the Region 2
Provincial Police Bureau, called out 100 policemen from Banglamung and
Sriracha stations and a police helicopter to chase the robbers.
Police found the Toyota parked in the front of a house in Soi Saisukhon in
Banglamung District. House owner Prasert Prempree, 50, said he saw three men
leaving the Toyota and driving away in a pickup.
Suspect Kasem was tracked down and arrested in front of his father’s house
at Tambon Khao Maikeow at about midnight on May 5. He denies all charges.
Police collected as evidence for DNA testing a white shirt found thrown away
in the cassava fields, suspecting that Kasem had changed shirts then came
out from the fields to meet police.
Yaowarat Gold Shop is a three-storey shop house only about 300 meters from
the Dongtan police sub-station on Jomtien Beach.
Owner Malinee Mantoonprayuk, 50, and customer Rungthiwa Aksorn, 47, still
shaken, recounted the dramatic hold-up.
Malinee told police that she was weighing a one-baht golden necklace
belonging to Rungthiwa, who was going to pawn it to the shop.
Three robbers, tall with fair skin, all hooded and dressed all in black,
barged into the shop, firing the automatic weapons into the back gate and
shouting for them to get down on the floor.
According to the police, the men took only two minutes to do their work
before fleeing. Whilst firing their guns into the sky, they jumped into a
getaway Toyota waiting with a driver at the ready.
Police said CCTV video showed that the robbers were very skillful,
specialized in using the war weapons and had prepared the robbery well.
At the scene police found eleven AK47 and M16 used cartridges scattered on
the floor among the broken shelves. The robbers grabbed gold necklaces, and
wrest laces from four trays, weighing in total about 300 baht.
In another twist to the drama, Pol Lt Col Chanathat Nawalak, deputy
superintendent of Pattaya Police Station, received an order from Pol General
Thanee Somboonsap, deputy national police chief, to take the 11 spent
cartridges for further testing at the Forensic Police Division to see if the
weapons were the same ones used in the attack on Sondhi Limthongkul, the
People’s Action for Democracy leader, in Bangkok last month. At press time
the results had not been made public.
Four arrested in ya ice bust
Pattaya police have arrested four alleged drug dealers with about
two million baht worth of ya ice being smuggled in from Poipet in Cambodia.
On May 3, 2009 policeman Chaleumsak Teirnthongsri and his investigation team
rounded up the four suspects from separate locations.
Thongchai (Krao), 30, was arrested in Banglamung allegedly with 0.7 grams of
ya ice in his possession. Akaraj Srivitat, 40, and Atchara Kavichai, 27,
were arrested at Pakarang Resort in Sattahip allegedly with 765 grams of ya
ice. Napawan (Ning) Soisri, 28, was arrested in Central Pattaya allegedly
with 180 amphetamine tablets.
Police said urine samples of all accused tested positive to the drug.
Police Private Chaleumsak said that Thongchai was a drug dealer in Pattaya
from whom undercover police sought to buy amphetamines.
According to police, Thongchai then ordered ya ice from Akaraj who was an
important agent. He ordered 50 grams of ya ice each time for 50,000 baht to
sell on to teenagers and tourists in Pattaya.
Police said Thongchai cooperated with them to call and order 765 grams of ya
ice from Akaraj by transferring money to the bank account of Akaraj’s
Police said Akaraj bought ya ice from Aranyaprathet Market near Poipet in
Cambodia then drove to the appointment place at Pakarang Resort.
There, police were waiting and pounced on Akaraj and Atchara, allegedly
while they were carrying amphetamines. Police said the pair dealt in the
drug to make money to gamble at gambling dens in Cambodia.
Mystery skulls found at sea
Mysterious human skulls being dragged up in fishing nets in the Gulf
of Thailand are again puzzling fishermen.
rescue worker holds up one of the skulls local fishermen found in their
On May 6, Pramote Thosakul, village head of Samaesarn District in Chonburi,
said that in 1993 fishermen found several sealed containers in 25-50 meters
of water in three areas. Some believe this is where the skulls are coming
The first container is between Koh Pai and Koh Kram. The second is further
away - about 30 nautical miles south, and the third location is in the east
of Koh Jan in Samaesarn Bay.
Allegedly the fishermen thought the containers were filled with things of
value, so kept them secret.
However, over the years the fishermen have found as many as 100 human skulls
in their nets. The skulls were taken to local temples to be cremated.
A Sawangrojana Organization officer said, “Many years ago we received many
human skulls from fishermen who reported to the Navy to pick them up. Since
then, we have not heard anything about human skulls … until last two
Some people are speculating that the human remains may belong to people who
went missing during the 1992 Bloody May crackdown. Human rights activists
and relatives of the missing are asking Prime Minster Abhisit Vejjajiva to
look into the matter.
Anti rabies shots given
to stray animals
Sattahip’s village chief is providing anti-rabies vaccinations for
villagers’ pets and stray dogs and cats during the summer.
lucky pup gets a shot in the behind.
On May 4 Saisunee Panpet, chief of Sattahip sub-district, Pichet Panpet,
formerly of Sattahip Sub-district Administrative Organization village no. 3,
along with the village committee gathered to provide a vaccination service
point on the sports field at Sattahip Naval Base Factory.
Many residents took advantage of the service and brought their dogs and cats
in for vaccination.
Saisunee said that this project was set up to reduce risks from dog bites.
The goal was to prevent and control rabies in dogs and cats and the
transmission of viruses from dogs to humans.
Services being offered were free rabies vaccinations, neutering of dogs and
cats, technical advice and information on rabies.
People responsible for animals are urged to bring in their domestic animals
for annual vaccination which will protect them. The program also vaccinates
and sterilizes stray dogs and cats.
Community leaders train for society
The Department of Probation of the Ministry of Justice brought
together teachers and community leaders in Chonburi to participate in
training under the slogan “Empowering community collaboration.”
Mayor Wutisak Rermkitkarn opens the training.
On May 7 at the Police Resort and Convention, Ministry of Justice, Deputy
Mayor Wutisak Rermkitkarn opened the ceremony for the training.
This objective is to allow local people to take part in activities organized
by the government. The project has been operating since 2006 and has
organized many productive activities aimed at training community leaders to
take on roles, obligations and leadership in the community.
A total of 350 people are in the justice training network at present.
Thailand proposes investment on transportation to Germany
The Ministry of Transport has proposed to the German
government that it invest in Thailand’s transport system after it expressed
interest in investing in vehicles and development of alternative energy
businesses in the kingdom.
The proposal was made during a meeting of the 2nd Thai-German Joint Economic
Committee (JEC) held in Berlin by Thai Deputy Prime Minister Korbsak
Sabhavasu to German Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg.
Accompanied by senior officials from the Board of Trade of Thailand (BTT),
Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) and the Thai Bankers’ Association (TBA),
Korbsak told the meeting that Thailand is facing economic problems similar
to those of Germany and must create confidence for consumers and investors
through short and long term projects, as well as boost trade and investment
with other countries.
This meeting, he said, would help lay out strategies to persuade more
foreign businesses to invest in Thailand.
The German economic minister said that the trade agreement between the
European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has
not achieved very much headway, but he hoped that trade and investment
relations between Thailand and Germany could help improve trade between the
two larger groupings.
Germany was Thailand’s number one trading partner among the European
countries in 2008 in terms of value.
Thailand in 2008 imported goods valued at US$4.495 billion from Germany
while its exports were valued at $3.198 billion. Major goods imported from
Germany are electrical appliances, medical and scientific equipment, while
Thailand exports computers, garments, rubber and canned food. (TNA)
Some delay in free
Pattaya City will distribute free school uniforms to all students in
public schools as part of the government’s policy of free public schooling.
But not all students may receive their two free uniforms allotted in the
first semester. Some may receive their uniforms in the second semester due
to budgetary delay.
Pattaya’s Education Office is asking parents to be patient as the procedure
takes “quite awhile,” but confirms that uniforms will be available for every
Wetchote confirms that students will receive their free uniforms in line
with the government’s policy.
Many parents have asked when the free uniforms will be ready as students in
Pattaya have not received them yet.
Chintana Wetchote, project chief said, “There has been a delay on the budget
allocation to Pattaya City … funds may not be in time for the uniform to be
distributed this upcoming semester but surely will be done for next
In the past the city had funded free uniforms for some students, 30% to
elementary school students and 20% to secondary school students, with
schools selecting which needy students qualified to receive them.
“Parents must understand that all students will receive two free uniforms
for sure but they may be delayed until the second semester. The city does
not want parents to buy too many new uniforms for their children but better
wait for the free ones to save some money,” Chintana said.