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Updated every Friday
by Boonsiri Suansuk

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

City set for 3-day Pattaya Music Festival next week

Lions Club Pratamnak - Pattaya signs sister club agreement with Lions Club Mai Yang Korea

Ministry of Public Health cautions people to watch out for dengue fever

Banglamung reviews candidates for this year’s Outstanding Individual Award

Asia-Pacific Handicap group leaders visit Pattaya

Pattaya schools get involved in ‘One Product One Village’ project

City begins fining litterbugs on Beach Road

Gang members arrested after bike jacking in a quiet soi

Thai-Cambodian border talks held in Pattaya

French tourist talked out of attempted suicide

City set for 3-day Pattaya Music Festival next week

Beach Road to be closed from noon to midnight March 22-24, from Dolphin Roundabout to Central Road

Officials from the TAT office and organizers of the upcoming Pattaya Music Festival 2002 announced that they are set to go for the three-day music fest. Prime minister Taksin Shinawatra has been asked to officiate at the opening ceremonies.

The spectacular music festival, to be held March 22-24 from 12.00 midday to 12 midnight, is part of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s project to promote tourism within Thailand and encourage Thai nationals to tour the country, thereby boosting local economies.

The festival will cater to all styles of music including pop, rock, dance, Indy, hip-hop, pop jazz, easy listening and a DJ show on 3 separate stage areas on Beach Road, with stalls selling artists’ CDs and merchandise at reduced prices.

Organizers say all systems are go for the Pattaya Music Festival 2002 March 22-24.

During the 3-day festival, Beach Road will be closed off from midday to midnight from the Dolphin Roundabout to Central Pattaya Road. And in conjunction with the Amazing Thai Wisdom Fair, on Saturday, March 23, all of Beach Road, from the Dolphin Roundabout straight through to Bali High Point will be off limits to motorized traffic.

Original plans called for the festival to run for two days. However, the main contributor to the event, Grammy Entertainment Col. Ltd, asked to extend the event in order to promote famous Thai artists billed to attend the festival. Over 80 bands and 200 artists are slated to perform.

The Pattaya Music Festival will be held in North Pattaya near the Dolphin Roundabout, plus there will be stages set up on Beach Road around Sois 4 and 5. Prime Taksin Shinawatra is expected to officially open the proceedings on March 22 at 7.30 pm.

One of the highlights of the Pattaya Music Festival will be special guest band, Japan’s “Johnny’s Junior” which will kick off opening night.

Chonburi governor Chadej Insawang said Pattaya City will be ensuring the safety of tourists and artists with a strong Pattaya, Banglamung and provincial police contingent as well as security personnel from the Sattahip Naval Base and military personnel.

Advisor to the office of the TAT, Amornsak Pimlomnomai said the TAT had set a budget of 10 million baht for special activities scheduled this month, which include a Jazz Festival at Hua Hin, Thai ‘Luk Tung’ in Supanburi Province and a windsurfing competition.

Lions Club Pratamnak - Pattaya signs sister club agreement with Lions Club Mai Yang Korea

Lions Club Pratamnak Pattaya president, Lamai Pewthong signed an agreement with Lions Club of Mai Yang, Korea president, Bae Jotang, promoting twin club status at a small ceremony held at the Town in Town Hotel.

Witnessing the document signing ceremony were Lions district governor, District 310C, Naris Petcharat and Pattaya mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat as well as Lions Club members from Pattaya.

President of the Lions Club of Mai Yang, Korea, Bae Jotang (left), and Lions Club Pratamnak Pattaya president, Lamai Pewthong (right) signed an agreement promoting twin club status, witnessed by Lions district governor, District 310C, Naris Petcharat (2nd left).

President Lamai said that the signing of the agreement was a forward step in promoting good relations between the Lion Clubs in Thailand and Korea where the cultures and traditions from each country can be exchanged under the Lions’ umbrella.

This year’s meeting of Lions Clubs will be held in Thailand in the Muang Thongthani facilities in Bangkok.

The sister club (club twinning) is one of the many projects carried out by Lions Clubs in the Asian region, whereby cross cultural exchange and relationships are developed under the Lions banner.

The idea of club twinning has been around since the First World War, offering further economic development through better relations.

Ministry of Public Health cautions people to watch out for dengue fever

Chakrapong Akkaranant

Dengue (hemorrhagic) fever is still considered a threat to society, and preventative measures should be taken prior to and during the rainy season when mosquito larvae multiply in water sources and increase the spread of the disease. The disease mainly affects children from the age of 5-14.

Students learn about the mosquito and how to avoid it as part of the Public Health Ministry’s campaign to eradicate hemorrhagic fever.

Dr Vinai Virayakicha, Public Health Ministry’s permanent secretary, opened a conference at the Jomtien Ambassador City Hotel to promote community campaigns to control communicable diseases. The conference focused on a March campaign to encourage communities to take precautionary measures to reduce dengue hemorrhagic fever. Similar campaigns take place all over Thailand each year during this period.

The main audience at the conference in Jomtien consisted of officials from the Rural Administration Organization, which includes both municipal and sub-district administrators. The RAO is considered to be the closest level of government to local communities, and decides how local resources are to be utilized and how to implement controls to prevent disease.

Precautionary measures mainly include limiting the habitat where mosquitoes gather and breed by properly disposing waste and eliminating containers containing stagnant water. Construction sites, discarded tires or other unnecessary items which collect water are prime areas where mosquitoes multiply.

Printed material containing information on precautionary measures and recognizing the initial symptoms of the disease was made available for officials to disseminate among members of the community to encourage a combined effort in the annual campaign.

Other areas around Pattaya joined the campaign to increase awareness in the community and visual displays and skits were organized with students observing the nature of the disease carried by the small but dangerous mosquito.

Banglamung reviews candidates for this year’s Outstanding Individual Award

Chakrapong Akkaranant

The Banglamung selection committee, chaired by Chavalit Saeng-uthai, senior assistant district officer, met recently to review candidates for this year’s Outstanding Individual Award.

Banglamung candidates will be competing for the prestigious annual award against candidates submitted by other districts in Chonburi.

The Outstanding Individual Award in Chonburi first began in 1984. Each year, individuals are selected who have distinguished themselves by making positive and unselfish contributions to society, helping to promote virtuous behavior and setting an example for others to follow.

Narasingh Chayarat, a member on the selection committee, said that individuals are selected from various categories and professions including agriculture, industry, commerce, service, and leadership.

Nirand Watanasatsatorn, deputy mayor of Pattaya, was selected to represent Banglamung in the leadership category.

The local entry in the category of agriculture development is Charern Phiawnoi, a community leader in Moo 5, Khaomaikaew.

The commercial category candidate is Suwat Nongyai, who operates a private school.

Representing Banglamung in the category of public service is Naris Phechararat, governor of the International Lions Club 310-C.

No selections were made for the industry category due to limited qualifying credentials.

The final selections will be announced before the end of March after considering candidates from 10 districts and one sub-district in Chonburi.

Asia-Pacific Handicap group leaders visit Pattaya

Receive update on city plans to accommodate the elderly and handicapped

Chakrapong Akkaranant

ESCAP members met with Pattaya officials at city hall to get an update on the city’s progress in incorporating conveniences for the elderly and handicapped into city plans.

Leaders from the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) were in Pattaya on March 2 observing progress on preparations to provide a full-range of conveniences for persons with physical disabilities.

The ESCAP group visiting Pattaya included members representing Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Thailand. The information collected on the city’s progress of integrating conveniences for physically disabled persons and the elderly will be reported back to member countries and relayed to respective agencies.

Plans are underway for Pattaya to be a leading example for Thailand by providing the necessary conveniences and accommodating the special needs of older people and persons with physical disabilities.

The representatives from ESCAP, which is supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), met with mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat at City Hall, who presented ESCAP with a description of the plans in progress and what Pattaya has to offer.

Mayor Pairat disclosed that the city administration understands the importance of integrating the necessary conveniences to accommodate persons with physical disabilities and is in the process of incorporating the needs in all new construction. The city also plans to increase awareness among the business community in order to comply.

He said the private sector is being encouraged to follow suit by adding the necessary changes in older buildings, especially hotels, and city regulations are being updated to reflect the needed requirements for older people and physically disabled persons in new construction.

The mayor also reported that the progress being made regarding the introduction and integration of special conveniences in Pattaya is approximately 50% complete. Public areas, tourist attractions, beaches and shopping centers are areas destined to incorporate the necessary changes and even public pay phones will be designed to accommodate physically disabled persons.

He also specified once more that Pattaya would one day be known as a shining example for other cities to follow and will also lead the way in human rights and the rights of women and children with equal rights afforded to everyone.

Pattaya schools get involved in ‘One Product One Village’ project

To sell their products at Amazing Thai Wisdom Fair

Boonlua Chatree

The ‘One Product, One Village’ project, part of the Taksin government’s policy to enable the villages around the country to become self-supporting was recently introduced to Pattaya School No. 5. School administrators have taken the policy one step further, and are assisting children in earning extra cash for their studies outside school hours.

Students at Pattaya School No. 5 are learning how to make artificial flowers to sell at the Amazing Thai Wisdom Fair every Saturday. They hope to use the money raised at the fair to offset their educational costs.

Mrs. Malee Burapawopanant, Pattaya School No. 5 director, and several other teachers recently began teaching students at the school how to make artificial flower arrangements and batik products. The seminars are part of the school’s extra curricular activities, and proceeds from the sales of the products will be put towards education costs for the students.

The project, called ‘One School, One Product’ further aims to teach the students extra skills as well as enabling them to subsidize their educational costs.

Malee Burapawopanant said that in Pattaya School No. 5 the project is targeted at students in the Mathayom 1 to Mathayom 4 levels (Years 7 to 10) where interested students can exhibit their creativity by producing colorful flower arrangements and stylish batik using a variety of products.

The products will be marketed to local and international tourists during the weekly ‘Amazing Thai Wisdom Fair’ held each Saturday on Pattaya Beach Road.

City begins fining litterbugs on Beach Road

In an effort to improve the cleanliness of the city, Pattaya’s mayor has instructed the head of the Department of Public Health and Environment to inform all municipal officers to begin fining anyone found littering on Beach Road.

Municipal officers have already fined a number of business operators, residents and tourists for carelessly discarding their litter. Under the Cleanliness Protection Act of 2002, litterbugs can be fined up to a maximum of 2,000 baht.

The head of the Department Public Health and Environment, Pramote Sapsaeng said that the increased effort is being directed at improving the cleanliness of Pattaya’s environment. He said previously the lack of enforcement has caused a great deal of garbage to accumulate on Beach Road, often discouraging tourists and residents from using the beach and ultimately damaging the environment.

A public relations program is also planned to inform residents, business operators, and tourists that the regulations will be enforced. The regulation in question was set down 10 years ago; however, the lack of enforcement has created environmental problems. It is most likely that people will protest the fines but officials say that it is necessary to curb the amount garbage being discarded carelessly.

The city plans to increase the area where fines will be incurred in the near future.

Gang members arrested after bike jacking in a quiet soi

Police make quick arrest 3 hours after the incident

Boonlua Chatree

Brothers Kwanpracha and Kwankelar Jitthawan (right) point out the gang members who bike jacked their motorcycle.

Four members of a local gang were arrested last week for bike jacking and assault with a deadly weapon.

The four were identified as Bunjert Payungsiripol, 18, from Chiang Mai, Panya Sarmar, 21, from Sattahip, Sakarin Limtrakulthongchai, 23, from Nonthaburi and Rattathumnun Saengchot, 27, from Pichit.

The gang assaulted two brothers, Kwanpracha Jitthawan, 21, and Kwankelar Jitthawan, 19, and stole their motorcycle on the evening of March 7.

The two brothers told Pattaya police that they were on their way home, riding down Soi Korpai when the gang attacked them with a one-meter steel bar. Both brothers sustained injuries in the attack.

Using the description the brothers gave them of the attackers and the stolen motorcycle, which had Ayudahya plates, within 3 hours police were able to find two members of the gang, Bunjert Payungsiripol and Panya Sarmar, who were riding the stolen motorcycle in the area where they had earlier committed the crime.

Bunjert and Panya confessed to the crime and subsequently told police the whereabouts of the other two.

Police quickly found the others sleeping in their rented room in Soi Korpai.

After the two brothers positively identified the four perpetrators at the police station, all four admitted to stealing the motorbike to purchase methamphetamines. They now face charges of assault with a deadly weapon and theft.

Thai-Cambodian border talks held in Pattaya

Thai government hosts the 3rd General Border Committee Meeting

The Thai government recently hosted the third General Border Committee Meeting, which was organized to discuss relations along Thailand’s border with Cambodia.

The meeting, held at the Ambassador City Hotel in Jomtien, included deputy prime minister and Thailand’s minister for defense, General Chavalit Yonchaiyudh, H.E. General Tea Banh, senior minister and H.R.H Prince Sisowath Sirirath, co-minister of National Defense of Cambodia.

H.R.H Prince Sisowath Sirirath (left), co-defense minister of Cambodia, shakes hands with Gen. Chavalit Yonchaiyudh (right), deputy prime minister and minister of defense in Thailand, as H.E. General Tea Banh (center), co-defense minister of Cambodia witnesses the event.

During the discussion, General Chavalit stressed that the meeting’s objective was to further develop border relations and exchange ideas on how to improve patrols and cooperation in border towns. In addition, the committee reviewed the results from previous information exchanges which included the construction of a school in the Cambodian province of Gamphongthom which is being built under the patronage of HRH Princess Sirinthorn.

Construction of the school is due to be completed in May this of this year and will provide education for Cambodian children in the border province.

Other issues discussed at the meeting included:

1. The border cooperation agreement, signed on June 14th, 2000 will improve the quality of border patrols along both sides particularly in border towns. Border definition and marks need to be upgraded.

2. Observation along the Thai-Cambodia border needs to be increased and both nations should continue to uphold the use of travel documents during border crossings. Special privileges need to be extended to diplomatic passport holders, and these privileges might also apply to other types of passport holders in the future.

3. Further cooperation must be forthcoming in regard to the prevention of illegal laborers crossing over into Thailand from Cambodia.

4. Increased economic and trade promotion and cooperation along the border will benefit both nations.

5. A resolution to the problems of illegal weapons trade as well as illegal trading of cultural artifacts, motor vehicles and fishing disputes.

6. Increased suppression and prevention of the flow of narcotics and false ID documents via sea and land by imposing tighter controls.

7. A resolution to social and economic disputes between residents along the border in both countries.

8. The implementation of programs which improve the quality of life for low-income boarder residents.

9. Removal of the large number of landmines along the border.

Now that the guidelines have been set, the meeting was considered as fruitful in all aspects. Results will again be reviewed at the 4th General Border Committee meeting held next year in Cambodia. The date and venue has yet to be set.

French tourist talked out of attempted suicide

Eventually fled into the night wearing nothing but a smile

Vichan Pladplueng

Pattaya police were eventually able to talk French tourist Patrick Duvae out of jumping off the roof of a guesthouse in Soi 6. But before they did, the large crowd that had gathered in the middle of the night on March 10 witnessed a tense situation, as well as perhaps more of Duvae’s anatomy then they might have wanted.

By the time police arrived, the 55-year-old Duvae was pacing back and forth across the roof of the guesthouse, completely naked.

Upon seeing the police, Duvae appeared to panic and increased his pacing, threatening to jump from the building. Police tried to calm the man and placed a net on the ground in case the man made good on his threats.

After 30 minutes, Duvae began to visibly tire and was eventually brought down from the roof with the aid of an extended ladder, prompting a cheer from the crowd.

Police were not able to question Duvae, as he seemed to be in a state of inebriation, but a girl working at the guesthouse where he stayed told police that Duvae had not been himself the last few days. She said he seemed in a daze and even broke his nose when he fell down the stairs and she had to take him to the hospital. She said she even contacted his wife in France by e-mail to come and take him home.

As a fitting finale, police were unable to contain the Frenchman, who ran off into the night wearing nothing but a smile. Officers did not pursue the matter further as they were more than relieved to see him safe and let the matter end.

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