HM the King calls for unity, asks people to perform duties to best ability
HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej
reads a statement during a ceremony on his 82nd birthday celebration at the
Amarin Winitchai Throne Hall in Bangkok, Saturday, Dec. 5. HM King Bhumibol
Adulyadej, the world’s longest reigning monarch, turned 82 on Saturday. (AP
Photo/Royal Household Bureau)
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Saturday called on
his 63 million subjects to unite and called for everyone to work to their
utmost ability so that the country could advance further and enjoy peace.
In his terse response to members of the royal family, senior government
officials and members of parliament who gathered at Bangkok’s Grand Palace
to wish him happiness on his 82nd birthday celebrations, His Majesty the
King said his happiness could be achieved, “If the country prospers, is
stable and is at peace.”
HM the King said this could be realized if every sector in the country is
determined to perform its duty with utmost wisdom, understanding and
sincerity by upholding the people’s interests rather than themselves.
“I ask all of you present here and holding important positions in key
institutions of our country, as well as all Thais (everywhere), to consider
thoroughly your duty and determine to perform your duty to your best ability
for the success of the country,” HM the King said.
Saturday marked the third time that HM the King, the world’s
longest-reigning monarch, has made a public appearance since being admitted
to Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital on September 19 with a lung infection and
The monarch was earlier seen in public twice - once on October 23,
Chulalongkorn Memorial Day, and once on the evening of Loy Krathong on
November 2 - both within the hospital grounds after being admitted over two
Today, he granted a public audience at the Grand Palace’s Amarin Winitchai
After the brief ceremony at the Throne Hall, His Majesty the King returned
to Siriraj Hospital.
Dressed in a white royal uniform and accompanied by Her Majesty Queen
Sirikit and members of the royal family, he left the Grand Palace to return
to the hospital in a motorcade as crowds of people lined the streets
cheering “Long Live the King”. (TNA)
94 monks-to-be receive mayoral haircut
Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome
(front, center) leads officials in the ritual cutting of hair for 94 novice
monks (background) being ordained in honor of HM the King.
Ready to become Buddhist monks, 94 men came to Pattaya City Hall
Dec. 2 to have Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome lead the ceremony in which their
heads would be shaved.
Pattaya had planned to cut off the hair of 83 monks to mark the 82nd
birthday of HM the King Bhumibol Adulyadej Dec. 5. But 94 showed up for the
ceremony so the mayor decided a few extra follicles wouldn’t hurt.
The group ordination took place from Dec. 2-10, during which time
prospective monks profess their loyalty to Buddhist principles. Once the
monks-to-be were given a clean save, they gave alms and presented flowers in
front of a photograph of HM the King at the King Taksin statue. Deputy Mayor
Wattana Chantanawaranon then spoke.
The day also featured a parade during which robes were brought to the new
monks, after which they traveled on foot from City Hall to Naklua Walking
Street and up to Jittapawan College, where they were to stay during their
On Dec. 3 all the new monks and their parents attended the ordinations for
novices at different temples in Pattaya including Prachum Kongka Temple,
Puttiwararam Temple, Nong Ket Noi Temple and Nong Ket Yai Temple.
Afterwards, the newly ordained monks returned to Jittapawan College and
began their monkhood.
City Hall marks Pattaya’s
Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and
other Pattaya officials pay homage to the King Taksin Monument in front of
City Hall on the 31st anniversary of Pattaya being granted Special Local
Pattaya Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome marked the 31st anniversary of the
founding of Pattaya City with a merit-making ceremony attended by city
officials and residents.
The Nov. 29 ceremony began with honoring the spirit of King Taksin, who was
adopted and honored by the city as its founder, and other former kings. This
was followed by officials, staff and guests giving alms to nine Buddhist
A wreath was also placed around a bust of Parinya Chawalitdhamrongkul to
remember the five-time city council member who donated 10 rai of land for
Pattaya City Hall’s construction on Nov. 23, 1980. Parinya first came to
Pattaya in 1948 and helped develop Pattaya, Naklua, Nongprue and Banglamung
as tourist destinations. He died in 2005.
Pattaya’s current status came into being with the Pattaya City
Administration Act of 1978. Before that the area was known as Naklua
Sanitation District, established in 1956, which was expanded to South
Pattaya in 1964 with a manageable area of 22.2 square kilometers.
As the township grew and became a favorite tourist destination of Thais and
foreigners alike, the former sanitation district could not manage the
administration and services to keep pace with its growth. The government
issued the Pattaya City Administration Act of 1978, dissolving Naklua
Sanitation District and Pattaya City was born.
The city has been administered under a special autonomous system of city
management since November 29, 1978.
The Constitution for the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2540 required that a local
administrator and the city council be elected. The Pattaya Regulations for
Administration Act B.E. 1979 was adopted on November 30, 1979 as the basis
for the current city governance.
Navy releases 983 turtles into the wild for Father’s Day
Rear Adm. Chakchai
Phucharoenyot (front left) leads officials in releasing
a 15-year-old male turtle in honor of His Majesty the King.
The Royal Thai Navy’s Sea Turtle Conservation Center marked this
year’s Father’s Day in grand fashion, releasing 983 sea turtles into the
wild to honor HM the King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the 9th King of the Chakri
Dynasty now in his 83rd year.
Navy and government officials, students and local residents all joined in
the Dec. 4 event led by Rear Adm. Chakchai Phucharoenyot, commander of the
Air and Coastal Defense Command. The goal, he said was to express unity,
honor the power of the monarchy, preserve natural resources and promote the
Navy’s good image.
One 15-year-old male turtle of reproductive age was set free along with 982
baby turtles about 6 months old each.
Chakchai said it was hoped the teenage turtle would help rebuild the
endangered turtle population.
The Sea Turtle Preservation Center regularly releases turtles it raises from
hatchlings back into the sea. Female turtles often go back to lay eggs at
Koh Khram, near the Sattahip center, but male turtles wander further and
help spread the population.
Engineers hired to permanently repair Sukhumvit sinkhole
Engineers have been brought in to permanently repair underground
pipeline damage that caused a giant sinkhole to appear in the middle of
Sukhumvit Road late last month.
from North Brick Co. explain how they plan to repair the spot under
Sukhumvit Highway where a 2-meter hole swallowed a motorbike near the
Rongmaikeed intersection Nov. 28.
City Hall hired contractors North Brick Co. to rebuild soil under where
the 2-meter hole swallowed a motorbike near the Rongmaikeed intersection
Nov. 28, injuring 21-year-old driver Pachara Luang-On. The company
planned to reinforce the road with concrete in a job that would take up
to seven days to complete.
Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome visited the accident scene with inspectors
armed with ground-penetrating radar Nov. 30 and determined that
contractors hired by the Provincial Waterworks Authority to excavate
soil around an existing water pipe had broken the main, causing water to
wash away sandy soil below the roadway.
While the road was patched up after the accident, another collapse
remained possible due to the soil damage. Therefore North Brick was
hired to repair Sukhumvit’s foundation before last week’s busy Father’s
Day holiday weekend.
Pattaya Hospital to run leanly, focus on basics
The Pattaya Hospital Advisory
Committee meets to set up new departments.
Pattaya Hospital will offer six specialized services that address
the population’s most-common medical needs while not filling its five floors
with unnecessary equipment and extra personnel, city planners say.
At a Nov. 30 Pattaya Hospital Advisory Committee meeting, officials said the
facility, due to open in 2011, will have departments dedicated to obstetrics
and gynecology, surgery, orthopedics, internal medicine, pediatrics and
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay said the city will add staff slowly to make
sure the payroll isn’t needlessly inflated and the medical equipment will be
purchased only if it is necessary.
Verawat said he is not worried about attracting enough medical talent to the
82-bed hospital, as many have already inquired about working there. However,
he added, it is too soon to start hiring doctors.
The deputy mayor also said the city still has a goal to treat 20,000
patients a year but said the plans have been changed somewhat to focus on
house calls to the elderly and disabled, rather than in-patient care.
Too many passengers, too few life
vests on speedboats in deadly crash
Victims and relatives grieve
Two speedboats that collided near Bali Hai Pier, killing two passengers and
injuring more than 40 others, were carrying more passengers than legally
allowed, didn’t provide enough life vests and were operating with expired
licenses, according to a top Transport Ministry official.
Deputy Minister Kuakul Danchaiwijit, who came from Bangkok hours after the
Dec. 2 accident to investigate, said the Pattaya Marine Department is also
culpable for not enforcing safety regulations. The department immediately
set up a commission to further study how such accidents could occur.
Two Chinese tourists, Zheng Honglu, 57, and Chen Ding Chan, 50, drowned when
the Tawatchainamchok 7, returning from Koh Larn, and the New Friend, leaving
Pattaya Port, collided around 12:30 p.m. The Tawatchainamchok 7 sank about
100 meters north of Bali Hai Pier while the New Friend managed to stay
afloat until succumbing in shallow water about 30 meters from shore.
Fifteen Chinese, Taiwanese, British, Pakistani and Thai passengers were
hospitalized with broken bones, head injuries, joint and chest pain. Two
were placed in intensive care. Thirty others were treated for minor injuries
and shock at the scene.
The Tawatchainamchok 7, licensed to carry up to 22 people, had 31 Chinese
and Taiwanese passengers and crew on board. The New Friend was carrying two
fewer British, Russian and Middle Eastern passengers than it was allowed,
but neither boat provided enough, if any, life vests, Kaukul said. Also, the
vessels’ licenses had expired, he said.
New Friend captain Pairoj Tobklang, who fled the scene after the accident,
and Tawatchainamchok 7 driver Niwet Buasri, 35, were charged with negligence
resulting in death. Niwet immediately surrendered to police and 32-year-old
Pairoj was brought into Pattaya Police Station Dec. 3 by a relative. Both
men denied the charges and have been released on 100,000 baht bail.
Lt. Col. Chonnapat Nawalak, deputy superintendent of the Pattaya Police
Station, said witnesses saw the two boats heading toward each other near the
entrance of Bali Hai Pier. As they passed, witnesses said the New Friend
jerked and smashed into the stern of the Tawatchainamchok 7.
Pairoj told the police he did not see Tawatchainamchok 7 because his view
was obstructed by restaurant boats moored near the pier. He swerved to avoid
the other boat at the last moment, but it was too late. He drove his boat as
far as he could, then returned to the accident scene to help the injured, he
Col. Pakorn Tabnet, deputy commander of the Chonburi Provincial Police, said
the accident is being investigated by Pattaya police and marine officials,
but that Chonburi would be keeping tabs on the case.
Nakorn Sawaddee, a Pattaya boat operator for 30 years, said restaurant boats
anchored in the busy channel leading into Pattaya Port do pose a problem and
that many boat captains say they cannot see oncoming traffic well. He said
Pattaya officials should consider moving the restaurants away from the pier.
Rescuers rush a victim to
From friend to foe, German drug addict charged with bar owner’s murder
A German man whose life spiraled out of control from drug use has
been charged with killing his former friend and owner of Kanya’s Romantic
Garden Bar and Guesthouse.
Timo Bloch, 30, was arrested around 11:30 p.m. Dec. 3 after numerous
witnesses reported seeing the impoverished web designer stab 48-year-old
Peter Alfons Schroth to death in the Internet shop adjoining the Jomtien
Beach bar several hours before.
apprehend the drug crazed German murderer.
The Hammelberg native, who was stabbed seven times to the abdomen, bled to
death at the scene waiting to be transported to the hospital. He is survived
by his wife of 20 years Sukanya and was popular with many locals, who poured
out their grief and anger on Pattaya-related Internet sites for days after.
Bloch, who admitted to police he’d had a serious ya ba habit for the past
year, confessed to the crime and broke down in guilty tears upon seeing
Sukanya, but the man who once called Schroth friends got no sympathy from
the dead man’s 49-year-old wife nor police. While he was still too high on
methamphetamines to coherently answer interrogators’ questions, he said only
that he was angry because Schroth allegedly hadn’t paid him to design the
Kanya’s website and that he lost control because of the drugs.
Witnesses told police that Bloch had come to the Kanya as it was being
opened for the night and went into the Internet shop to talk with Schroth.
The two got into an argument during which Bloch supposedly pushed his former
friend and produced two knives. The older man reportedly grabbed a plank of
wood to defend himself, but before he could, Bloch plunged a knife into his
Police investigators noted the obvious signs of trouble and recovered one
knife lying on a table and another blood-stained blade on the floor.
Bloch initially escaped on a motorbike after running screaming from the
shop, thrusting his fists into the air and shouting “I won!” One driver
reportedly used his car to try to knock Bloch to the ground, but the
He was eventually turned in by his girlfriend who told police he was staying
near the Chao Phaya Resort on Soi 17 off Thepprasit Road. Police recovered
his handbag, which was hidden at the Mitre Chaibancha Shrine. It contained
one ya ba tablet and his passport.
Bloch told reporters that his life had steadily deteriorated after he began
using ya ba a year ago. At first, he said, he could control the drug. But
lately his actions were more and more out of control and he was not working
and was strapped for funds. He told the media he did not plan to kill anyone
and was not sure why he brought the knives to Schroth’s bar. The drugs, he
claimed, simply took him over.
Cause of death of American dive instructor still undetermined
An American dive instructor police originally speculated had
committed suicide by lighting charcoal inside a sealed rental car may in
fact have died of a stroke, Bangkok forensics experts have ruled.
Kenneth Earl Steube, 49, was found Nov. 30 at the foot of Wang Pla Mountain.
Police initially ruled the death a suicide. An eyewitness, Rampei
Puenpaiwong, 55, who tended a cow nearby on November 25, told the police
that on that day she saw the car drive around on the mountain road 3 times,
but never saw it come back down from the mountain.
Police originally speculated that he had parked, threw his keys out the
window, locked the doors and then lit Kingsford charcoal briquettes inside
the vehicle. Carbon monoxide poisoning was their official cause of death.
But according to preliminary autopsy results from the Central Institute of
Forensic Science, Steube died of a stroke. The complete autopsy is to be
carried out for more information about the death and to conclude the case.
Police had said they believed Steube had been an instructor with a
Pattaya-area dive shop. Officers surveyed shop owners in the days following
his death, but discovered that, according to his passport, Steube had only
arrived in Thailand in late October and was scheduled to depart at the end
Deputy U.S. Consul-General Charles D. Carson met with Col. Somchai
Soontawanik, superintendent of the Sattahip Police Station, to check on the
progress of the investigation and was assured that no final determination of
cause of death, either by natural causes, suicide or homicide, has yet been
German twice sheds police, clothes to romp around Pattaya
An apparently mentally ill German man who twice escaped police
custody and his clothes was finally detained on property damage and
Bernard Otto Clouth has gotten himself into a rather precarious position.
Police arrested him, partly for his own safety.
Alexander Bernard Otto Clouth was well-known to police when he was first
taken into custody on Pratamnak Soi 1 in Jomtien Beach Nov. 25. Residents
complained the man, previously arrested for disturbing the peace, was
trespassing on the grounds of the Pattaya Hai condominium while drunk at 3
Tourist Police officers brought him to Pattaya Police Station to both
protect himself and others.
Clouth, however, would not be constrained, either by police or the dirty
rags he was wearing. Stark naked, he fled from the Soi 9 police station and
gave bargirls and tourists up to Soi Buakhao a sight they won’t soon forget.
Tourists gave him clothes and police eventually gave him a ride back to Soi
Somehow, however, Clouth again shed his police escort and his clothes. This
time he climbed to the station’s roof on the third floor, which promptly
collapsed, taking some power lines down with it. This time, officers gave
the German a barred room he couldn’t escape and dressed him up with a few
new criminal charges.
500 join to plant coral to honor HM the King
More than 500 military and government officials, Boy Scouts and other
volunteers worked together to rebuild the Sattahip-area marine environment
by planting coral in honor of HM the King’s birthday Dec. 5.
on behalf of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in
conjunction with Royal Thai Navy Region 1, Boy Scouts and others, plant
coral to honor Their Majesties the King and Queen.
The merit-making activity sponsored by the Ministry of Natural Resources and
Environment and Royal Thai Navy at the Viharn Luang Pho Dam in Samae San
November 26 saw scouts from Boy Scout Academy Class 416, marine-preservation
volunteers and others affix baby coral to PVC piping that was to be laid in
coastal waters to help form a new reef.
Bhimuk Simaroj, assistant ministry director, said the project allows
residents to remember the kindness of Their Majesties the King and Queen as
well as rebalance the marine environment. Planting new coral using PVC is
easy and ensures the tiny animals a 90 percent survival rate.
Young coral is brought in from incubation and placed in 14 branches in tubes
120 cm. by 60 cm. The branches are fastened to the PVC with screws, leaving
the growing coral protruding about 3 cm above the piping. The structure is
then submerged offshore and will in time grow into a coral reef.
Navy bird watchers go ape
over rare monkey discovery
Royal Thai Navy officials surveying the bird population around the
Naval Recruit Training Center in Sattahip discovered that nearby Chang
Mountain is not only home to a number of rare avians, but several troops of
endangered silvered langur monkeys as well.
of the endangered silvered langur monkeys recently discovered by bird
watchers at Chang Mountain in Sattahip.
Four troops of the nearly all-black primate, also called the silvery leaf
monkey, were discovered with one troop boasting 10 members.
Rear Adm. Yuttana Fakpolngam, director-general of the Naval Education
Department, said it was strange to find the macaques so close to the navy
camp where there is so much noise and pollution from arms training. However,
he said, it’s no surprise that the animals can survive as generations of
people at the recruit training center have been taught to preserve the
environment and protect the animals. Hunting is prohibited in that area.
Protected under Thai law, silvered langurs live in the treetops, gathering
food during the day and communicating by using various pitches and volumes.
They appear at first to have silver hair, but appear black in all but the
The monkeys were found during an excursion intended to map the bird species
in the forest surrounding the training center with preservation and tourism
development as goals. The information will be entered into a database
wildlife researchers can use. Officials said the area may be developed in
the future to grow the bird and animal population.
Marine hailed for bravery in return to Rayong
Vice Adm. Suwit Thararoop (right), Royal Thai
Marine Corps commander in chief, presents Ensign Chonlatit (seated) with a
commendation for bravery.
Royal Thai Marine Corps officials have petitioned HM the King to
reward the bravery of a soldier shot during an attack on his unit in
Southern Thailand in August by promoting him to sub-lieutenant.
Ensign Chonlatit Sonkong returned to the Naval Air Division in Rayong Nov.
24 where he was welcomed by Vice Adm. Suwit Thararoop, Marine Corps
commander in chief, supervisors and other military personnel.
Ensign Chonlatit was singled out for bravery after an Aug. 3 attack on his
team from Ban Jobor Base in Narathiwat Province while on patrol near the
Hidayatul Dawah mosque. During an ambush by Muslim insurgents Chonlatit was
shot in the leg while an attacker was trying to take his firearm. The marine
prevailed and shot dead one of the insurgents.
Suwit hailed Chonlatit’s actions as an example to marines for his
willingness to risk his life to aid team members. It also boosts the morale
of all soldiers fighting in Thailand’s three strife-torn southern provinces,
Therefore, the Royal Thai Navy plans to petition HM the King to promote
Ensign Chonlatit to sub-lieutenant for his bravery. Suwit also said other
soldiers involved in the August incident will have their pay and ranks