Rayong group threatens mass demonstration
Atchasai and officials from the Eastern Public Network announce they will
hold a mass rally if 11 facilities they deem dangerous are not shut down by
A group of Rayong residents, unhappy with a court’s
decision to allow Maptaput Industrial Estate projects to resume, threatened
a mass rally if 11 facilities it deems dangerous are not shut down by Sept.
Suthi Atchasai, coordinator of the Eastern Public
Network, said the “dangerous” projects include petrochemical, iron smelting,
nuclear power, mining and coal-burning plants in Rayong, Chantaburi, Trat,
At a Sept. 11 meeting at the Star Hotel in Rayong, he
said the projects should not be built in areas near homes and called for
further investigations into their health risks and impacts. Suthi said
independent environmental, health and technical organizations should stage
open hearings to debate the merits of the projects.
He called on similar public-interest groups throughout
Thailand to submit petitions to the government to halt the projects by Sept.
20. If the government doesn’t adhere to their requests by Sept. 30, he said,
the Eastern Public Network will stage a mass demonstration at Maptaput and
remain there until it does.
U.S., Thai drug authorities launch ‘Operation Hot Spot’ in Pattaya
Officials announce the launch
of ‘Operation Hot Spot’ in Pattaya.
Pattaya authorities are cooperating with a U.S. drug
agency in a community-based initiative to fight the local narcotics trade.
“Operation Hot Spot” launched in Pattaya Sept. 22 with
both Thai and American officials handing out clothes, pens, hats and other
small items to promote the initiative, which encourages residents to give
authorities information on individuals involved in drug trafficking,
terrorism and money laundering.
Drug Enforcement Agency investigators from the American
Embassy in Bangkok met with Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome Sept. 15 to outline the
plan. Itthiphol is local honorary head of the nationwide program.
Under the program, people are invited to call 02-205-4444
or visit the dea-rewards. com website to provide drug-related tips.
Operation Hot Spot is tied to the DEA’s “Rewards for Information” program
that pays rewards to those whose information leads to arrest or conviction
of wanted traffickers shown online. The rewards can be substantial, with
good intel on Burmese drug kingpin Wei Hseuh-Kang netting 62 million baht.
Aims for the Pattaya chapter aren’t quite so grandiose,
with the city hoping to get tips related to drug dealing on Walking Street
and in other entertainment areas.
Tired of waiting on utilities, Pattaya starts yanking disused cables
Pattaya officials have taken charge of long-discussed
plans to trim the area’s mess of old, abandoned telephone and electrical
wires to help beautify the city.
employees work to bring down some of the many dead cables cluttering up the
Work began Sept. 9 on Sukhumvit Road in front of Pattaya
School #1 with Pattaya City Council member Banlue Kullavanijaya leading city
public works employees in a survey of utility poles to determine which wires
are no longer in service. Representatives from two telephone and one cable
television company were also summoned to remove any dead lines found.
While workers from TOT and CAT Telecom cooperated,
representatives from TT&T were notably absent. Banlue said that if phone
company’s lines are found to be dead and creating problems, the city will
pull them down.
Banlue’s launched his campaign at a city Public Works
Committee meeting Sept. 3, noting that residents have long complained about
the unsightly tangle of dirty, drooping cables dangling from nearly every
light pole around the city. Instead of replacing lines, utility workers
simply string up another until they collapse under their own weight.
It took years to get telephone and electrical companies
to finally move their lines underground along the north end of Beach Road
and getting them to remove unused lines throughout the city would take even
longer, Kullavanijaya said. Therefore, the city will simply do it itself,
and in short order, he said.
“Cables should be well arranged to be tidy and safe. If
well managed, it will create a nicer view of the city,” Banlue said.
He encouraged residents who see drooping wires to call
the Pattaya Call Center at 1337 to file a complaint.
Lawn-mowing Sattahip man rattled by discovery of snake and eggs
Finding a snake in the grass is one thing. Finding 27 of
them is quite another.
But that’s exactly what Chantana Thannin uncovered while
mowing the lawn of his Sattahip home Sept. 6. Curled up near his fence was a
rattlesnake lying on top of 25 eggs and hatchlings.
Handlers capture the snake to move it and its nest into the nearby jungle,
away from people.
Sawang Rojanathamsathan Rescue Foundation responded to
Chantana’s call for help, as the 39-year-old was afraid to get water from
the pond near the fence. While such snakes don’t aggressively seek humans to
bite, they will do so if they or their offspring feel threatened.
Animal handlers lassoed the 70 cm. snake and pulled it up
to reveal the nest. Two of the eggs had already hatched. The babies were no
longer than a finger and were black with a white tail tip.
The animal rescuers transplanted the snake and its nest
into the nearby jungle, away from people.
U.S. Navy officials brief Thai counterparts as ships head toward Somalia
The U.S. Navy welcomed Thailand into the
multinational effort to battle Somali pirates in Africa, sending a top
special operations official to meet with senior Thai officers as the
ships prepared to get under way.
Captain Chris Chambers (left), chief of staff for U.S. Navy Somalia
operations, is greeted by Adm. Supakorn Buranadilok, commander in chief
of the Royal Thai Fleet, Rear Adm. Chaiyot Sunthornnak, commander of the
two-ship Thai contingent, and Capt. Ratsadang Theeranet, deputy
commander of piracy suppression.
USN Captain Chris Chambers, chief of staff for U.S.
Navy Somalia operations, met with Adm. Supakorn Buranadilok, commander
in chief of the Royal Thai Fleet, Rear Adm. Chaiyot Sunthornnak,
commander of the two-ship Thai contingent, and Capt. Ratsadang Theeranet,
deputy commander of piracy suppression at the Sattahip Naval Base Sept.
They discussed the 24-nation anti-piracy effort and
exchanged ideas on how the Thais could best participate. Chaiyot said he
appreciated the U.S. briefing and for taking the central role in curbing
the pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
The warship Pattani and supply vessel Similan left
for Somalia Sept. 10 for a 98-day mission. Defense Minister Gen. Prawit
Wongsuwan presided over the departure ceremony at Sattahip Juksamet
Prawit said Thailand is just one of many nations that
have suffered due to the hijacking of cargo ships. Both Thai ships and
government property have been affected, he said.
Chonburi firm celebrates ‘best rice’ award with Carabao concert
Chonburi’s C.P. Inter Trade Co. Ltd. threw area residents
and farmers a celebratory concert after its “Coronation” brand rice won the
“World’s Best Rice” award at the World Rice Contest in the Philippines.
Gov. Songpol Champaphan and C.P. Inter Trade Assistant Managing Director
Yongyut Prukmahadamrong pass the hat to kick off the celebratory Carabao
Deputy Gov. Songpol Champaphan hosted the concert by the
ever-popular Carabao at the Chonburi District Office Sept. 12. In addition
to the concert, the celebration also featured game booths offering prizes
for winners and the Charoen Pokapan Group selling goods at special prices.
There was also a lucky draw for free rice.
C.P. Inter Trade Assistant Managing Director Yongyut
Prukmahadamrong thanked all the farmers who grew the award-winning rice and
presented 250 bags worth 10,000 baht to the Chonburi Red Cross.
Yongyut said Coronation is grown for export to 110
countries around the world.
Rayong panel finds human trafficking problem not severe, but still requires action
committee on human trafficking found the problem in the province is not
severe, but there is room for improvement.
Preliminary findings by a Rayong committee on preventing
and suppressing human trafficking found the problem in the province is not
severe, but that there are still several areas where illegal prostitution
and forced labor need to be quashed.
At the panel’s Sept. 2 meeting, Lt. Supeepat Jongpanit
heard a summary of Rayong’s current trafficking situation. More data will
still need to be collected before a formal report can be prepared to guide
law enforcement and government agencies.
While Rayong’s human trafficking problem was not deemed
“severe,” it still exists, mainly in karaoke bars and brothels tucked away
in bungalows in remote parts of the province. Minors are often involved in
these operations, forced into prostitution by pimps and brokers.
The report also pointed out problems at some schools and
dormitories that house more male than female students, leading to social
problems and improper solicitation. Finally, the report also listed several
areas where it would be inappropriate for teens to work.
The subcommittee on human trafficking is comprised of
government, law enforcement and welfare organization officials. Its goal is
to set up a plan to prevent trafficking and to respond to cases were victims
Phothisamphan Pittayakarn School joins royal effort to stop violence against women
Students from Banglamung’s Phothisamphan Pittayakarn School were the latest
to join HRH Princess Bajarakitiyabha’s campaign to stop violence against
Students from Banglamung’s Phothisamphan Pittayakarn
School were the latest to join HRH Princess Bajarakitiyabha’s campaign to
stop violence against women, hosting a panel of top area legal advocates.
Region 2 Attorney General Pornsak Thepasuwan, Pattaya
Provincial Court attorney Pakorn Sukhonthachat and representatives from the
Office for Protection of Rights and Legal Aid led a series of lectures and
activities for the students Sept. 9.
Pornsak told the youths that one of three Thai children
and women have been victims of physical or mental abuse. Incidents run the
gamut from beatings to the posting of scandalous video clips on the
Internet. In many cases, Pornsak said, there is little social support for
Feeling these are urgent problems that require solutions,
HRH Princess Bajarakitiyabha became the local ambassador for the United
Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the worldwide advocate against
violence toward women. The latest school event is just one activity being
organized by the local UNIFEM participants.
In addition to lectures, there were also booths offering
techniques to monitor and report violent incidents, knowledge, and
Thai, Cambodian army leaders tout open border at Pattaya meeting
Gen. Bun Seng (left), commander of the Cambodian Military Region 5 and Lt.
Gen. Kanit Sapitak, commander of the Royal Thai Army Region 1 sign a peace
While they don’t agree on who owns the Preah Vihear
temple, Thailand and Cambodia are working together along a different stretch
of border to increase trade.
At the annual Regional Border Committee Sept. 16 at the
Welcome Jomtien Beach Hotel, military leaders from both countries signed an
agreement to create an open border in a Srakaew district where holders of a
“border pass” can freely come and go between the two countries to do
Royal Thai Army Region 1 Commander Lt. Gen. Kanit Sapitak
said the area in Nonmakmun, Koksoong will be jointly managed by local Thai
and Cambodian governors and is aimed at supporting business in neighboring
Kanit’s counterpart, Cambodian Lt. Gen. Bun Seng, noted
that the Srakaew initiative was evidence Thailand and Cambodia can
peacefully work together on border-related issues.
That’s not to say the Preah Vihear issue is solved,
however. But Kanit deferred talk about the bitter, sometimes violent, border
dispute, saying it fell under the jurisdiction of another committee.
“But in the event any problems occur along the border,
both countries will find a peaceful solution, avoid facing each other with
armed forces, and will respect the sovereignty of each nation,” he said.
Baywatch: Pattaya Beach melting near Soi 6
All it takes is a little rain and Pattaya beach just
Residents in the area complained that this area in front
of Soi 6 has looked like this since the last few thundershowers and there is
still no sign of city workers putting it back in shape, even during the dry
Not a very good image to portray to our tourists who come
here for the much publicized clean and beautiful beaches is it?
Sea, sand, sun and broken ankles anyone?
City Hall take note.
Bogus license plates lead police to arrest of alleged drug dealers
Tracking a Honda Civic with bogus license plates, Pattaya
police arrested a couple accused of dealing crystal methamphetamines.
Kasemsuk and Pimonrat Panya have been arrested for allegedly dealing crystal
A team of crime suppression investigators tracked the
gray Honda bearing the unregistered plates down Sukhumvit Road to the Aroy
Chang Restaurant. Inside were Danai Kasemsuk, 27, and Pimonrat Panya, 29.
Both were found carrying ya ice, 4.5 g. in total. They were arrested and
charged with possession with intent to distribute.
Lt. Col. Kritsakorn Thong-In said the two were long
suspected to be active drug dealers and found that tracking the unregistered
car was the best way to finally catch them.
Isaan builder arrested for rape of 10-year-old Chachoengsao girl
A 46-year-old construction worker was arrested for
allegedly raping a 10-year-old girl reported missing by her parents.
Banjee Polthaisong was detained by residents at the
Paradise Bungalow in Pong after shouts from the child brought them to his
room. Inside bed sheets were soiled with blood and semen and the girl sat
nearby, clearly frightened. Police arrested the Khon Kaen man on rape
The bungalow’s caretaker told police Banjee had said the
girl was his niece when renting the room. The caretaker discovered the rape
and reported it to police.
Upon questioning, Polthaisong said that he was a builder
and had gone to Bangkla District in Chachoengsao for a contract. On the way,
he said found the girl on the side of the road and offered her new clothes
and a dessert to go with him.
Police have contacted the girl’s parents, who had
reported her missing at the Bangkla Police Station.
20 tourists soggy, but unhurt, after speedboat capsizes
Twenty South Korean tourists were soggy, but unhurt,
after their speedboat capsized while traveling from Pattaya to Koh Larn.
helpful speedboat brings some of the Korean tourists back to shore after
Marine rescuers pulled the tourists, along with a Thai
captain and tour guide, out of Pattaya Bay about 5 km offshore. Guide
Duanchai Malee said the Benjamaporn twin-speed boat hit trash or some other
object in the sea, causing it to pitch and take on water.
With so many people on board, the boat quickly became
All the passengers had been wearing life jackets, so no
one was lost or hurt. Authorities are questioning driver Komin Puthha, 53,
about the specifics of the mishap.
Man arrested for trafficking endangered exotic animals
have arrested Chaiyapol Mahachai (seated) for his involvement in the illegal
trade of exotic, protected species.
Police have arrested a Thai man accused of selling
exotic, endangered animals on the streets of Pattaya.
Officers from the Natural Resources and Environmental
Crime Suppression Division apprehended Chaiyapol Mahachai, 28, near the
intersection of Soi Diana and Soi Buakhao Sept. 13. He was caught with two
plastic boxes containing 10 pygmy slow lorises and sugar gliders. He did not
have a license for the creatures, which he was selling for 30,000 baht each.
Expanding their investigation, officers found another 5
lorises at his home. He was charged with breaching the Wildlife Protection
and Preservation Act, possession and preservation of protected wildlife
without permission, trafficking protected wildlife and violating various
The arrest came on a tip from FREELAND, an international
animal-protection group, which has been assisting Thai national police track
an international animal-trafficking ring operating in Pattaya and at
Bangkok’s Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market.
More than 10 slow lorises were seized during the
two-month investigation, including babies and pygmy slow lorises, which were
poached and illegally shipped from another country, FREELAND Foundation said
in a statement. Pattaya police said the animals are often used in creation
of an herb-based prescription elixir.
Gold-snatching twins in double trouble after victim fights back
An Icelandic man who had his gold chain snatched by a
pair of twins chased down and smashed into the thieves with his motorbike.
Børne (right) points to the twins he chased down and captured via motorcycle
after they snatched a gold necklace from his neck.
Police found Ronan B๘rne (sic), 30, being assisted
by residents near the railroad tracks at Soi Siam Country Club Sept. 11.
Nearby lay his Yamaha Nouvo motorbike, which had crashed into the back of a
Toyota truck. He suffered only bruises to his legs.
Being detained by other residents at the scene were two
19-year-old twin brothers, Jakarin and Jakarat Nilchai. They allegedly tore
off Ronan’s jewelry at the Vanasin Farm market and sped away on their Honda
Wave. What they didn’t count on was a pursuit from the victim.
The Icelander caught up with the duo and rammed their
motorbike causing them to crash. Police found the gold on the twins and said
they were suspected of several other similar crimes.
One dead, 11 injured in early morning auto accident
victims lay scattered around the scene of the accident.
One woman was killed and 11 injured when a Canadian man,
apparently inebriated, smashed into the side of a baht bus in the Dolphin
Francis Joseph Giannini, 46, was arrested at the scene
after suffering only minor cuts to the head. He was found stumbling around
the wreck and shouting and was presumed to be drunk or high on drugs. He
claimed to be from Bangkok and unaware of the roundabout when entering the
intersection at high speed.
Three people were thrown from the taxi in the 4:30 a.m.
crash after Giannini smashed into it with his black Nissan pickup truck. The
baht bus careened into a coconut tree, smashing the vehicle and trapping
driver Sorot Limpasathiankul inside. It took rescuers more than 20 minutes
to free him.
All the victims - including Giannini’s Thai partner -
were taken to Pattaya Memorial Hospital. A woman passenger was moved to
Bangkok Hospital Pattaya and later died there.
Giannini, a long-term Thai resident originally from
Beirut but who holds a Canadian passport, was charged with involuntary
vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving and consumption of ya ba.
Pattayans celebrate ritual see-off of Lord Ganesha
Followers of the Hindu and Buddhist god Ganesha prepare to lower a statue of
the “god of success” into the sea at Pattaya’s Bali Hai Pier.
About 500 followers of the Hindu and Buddhist god Ganesha
capped a 10-day festival with a ceremony lowering a statue of the “god of
success” into the sea at Pattaya’s Bali Hai Pier.
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay and Pattaya Shaivites Club
President Chaiwat Detnathee led the faithful at a fire sacrifice and prayer
ceremony Sept. 12 as part of the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration. The
centerpiece of event was the ritual immersion of Ganesha images into the
sea, symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his
abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of his devotees.
About 500 people at Bali Hai joined in, bathing in
curcuma, coconut and nectar, and covering the heads of priests as per
At the auspicious time of 5:39 p.m., Verawat and others
raised the 2.4 m. statue of Ganesha and carried it into the sea.
Pinktober kicks off with music, seminar at Hard Rock Cafe
Thailand’s Thanyarak Foundation is teaming up with the
Hard Rock Cafe to raise awareness about breast cancer during its annual
month-long “Pinktober” event.
R) Panta, representing the Hard Rock Cafe Pattaya; Secretary-General Dr.
Tamnit Ansusinha; Piyachart, also representing the Hard Rock Cafe Pattaya;
and Sita, representing the Hard Rock Cafe Bangkok at the official
presentation of a framed set of Pinktober pins to Secretary-General Dr.
The celebration begins Oct. 1 at the Hard Rock with a
breast cancer seminar and is being marked at cafes around the world with
charity benefit concerts and the sale of the company’s 11th limited edition
Pinktober pin. The Hard Rock donates 75 percent of the revenue from the pin
to breast cancer charities.
Locally, Advanced Information Systems, the Grammy music
label, Spicy Disc, Coca-Cola, Singha Corp., Pernod Ricard Thailand and other
companies are cooperating with the Hard Rock in also marking the 15th
anniversary of the Thanyarak Foundation, which works to raise breast cancer
awareness in Thailand.
Thai pop artist Burin Boonvisut and executives from Hard
Rock cafes in Pattaya and Bangkok visited the foundation’s offices Sept. 6
to present a framed set of Pinktober pins to Secretary-General Dr. Tamnit
Ansusinha. More than 30 pins adorned the frame, which was signed by Burin.
In addition to the seminar, the Oct. 1 event will also
feature a mobile mammogram bus and concert from Grammy-label artists.
Activities run 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. and more information is available by calling
038-426-635 or 080-141-2599.
Thai Oil donates 1 million baht to Chonburi pillar project
Assistant Managing Director Narongrit Thawornwisitporn hands
over a 1 million baht donation to Chonburi Gov. Senee Jittakasem.
Thai Oil Ltd. became the latest company to contribute
funds toward Chonburi’s city pillar project, donating 1 million baht for the
Assistant Managing Director Narongrit Thawornwisitporn
said 560,300 baht is earmarked for construction support while the balance
will be for purchase of amulets, statues and coins.
Chonburi Gov. Senee Jittakasem has been rounding up
wealthy companies and individuals to pay for the shrine, which the governor
feels the city needs, as other major municipalities have so-called lucky
The 200 million baht project is slated to be completed by
the Dec. 5, 2011 birthday of HM the King.
Police step up patrols of gold shops, banks
Pattaya Police are stepping up patrols of area gold shops
to prevent robberies.
Superintendent Col. Nanthawut Suwanla-Ong announced Sept.
15 that officers are taking a more proactive role in stopping robberies and
burglaries at high-value targets, including banks.
Pattaya’s SWAT team is taking a leading role in taking a more proactive role
in stopping robberies and burglaries at high-value targets, including banks
and gold shops.
Leading the initiative will be the city’s Special Weapons
and Tactics squad, which have divided the city in half and planned patrols
from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.
In addition, Nanthawut said, he has increased the number
of red boxes in sois and residential areas where police patrols check in
regularly during the night, signing their names to ensure the area is being
watched by the police, from 100 current red boxes to more than 200.
Checkpoints on roads leading in and out of the city run
every weekend. This, he said, will increase safety and peace of mind for
residents and tourists.
Japanese Buddhist group ties nuclear weapons to social ills
Mayor Verawat Khakhay (left) and Soka Gakkai Thailand Association Vice
President Kasuhiro Bunnoko (right) jointly open the exhibition.
Tying today’s problems with drugs and domestic violence
to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, a local leader of a Japanese
Buddhist lay organization told a group of Pattaya-area students and
residents that countries cannot realize their own success until their ethics
are focused on advancing peace.
Kasuhiro Bunnoko, vice president of Soka Gakkai Thailand,
hosted the “From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace: Transforming
the Human Spirit” exhibition Sept. 13 at the association’s Soi
Chalermprakiat 5 offices. Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay and a number of area
The exhibition, shown in Bangkok in February and in 16
other countries, examines the nuclear weapons issue through the lens of
human security. The exhibition was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary
of the 1957 declaration by Josei Toda, the second president of the Soka
Gakkai, calling for a ban on nuclear weapons.
The online presentation focused on the message that
countries cannot become successful by unleashing suffering on others. By
reorienting society’s ethics toward peace, many other social ills can be
corrected. Bunnoko told the group that drug, environmental, domestic
violence and other social problems can be solved through peaceful
These problems, he said, start small but quickly expand.
If state agencies and the public cooperate, they can be solved through
Soka Gakkai International is a lay Buddhist movement
linking more than 12 million people around the world. Members integrate
their Buddhist practice into their daily lives, following the Lotus Sutra
based teachings of Nichiren, a 13th-century Japanese Buddhist priest.