Month: March 2004

  • Phuket NewsGov urges swift action on seaweed | Thaiger

    Gov urges swift action on seaweed

    PHUKET: At a provincial meeting this morning Phuket Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura admitted that bright green seaweed covering large parts of Patong Beach is the result of poor waste disposal practices by the Patong Municipality, but stressed that it is not a danger to human health. The Governor did acknowledge, however, that the piles of macroalgae are a threat to tourism.…

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  • Phuket NewsTax man’s take rises 50pc | Thaiger

    Tax man’s take rises 50pc

    PHUKET: The island’s tax collectors were highly successful in February this year, collecting almost 50% more than in the same month in 2003. The latest figures released by the Phuket Provincial Revenue Office show a rise in the overall tax harvest from 223.97 million baht in February last year to 334.17 million baht in the same month this year, an…

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  • Phuket NewsRoads claim 15 more lives | Thaiger

    Roads claim 15 more lives

    PHUKET: Fifteen people were killed on Phuket’s roads between January 20 and February 20, according to the latest statistics from the Wachira, Thalang and Patong government hospitals. All of the victims died while riding motorcycles, Ampaipan Pawawattananusorn, of the Phuket Provincial Health Office, reported. In the same period, 1,024 people were hurt in crashes involving motorbikes. Another 80 people were…

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  • Phuket NewsHeated views at zoning seminar

    Heated views at zoning seminar

    PHUKET: What might have been a dry discussion of the technicalities of zoning in Phuket turned into a wide-ranging and sometimes emotional discussion of Phuket’s ills when 150 people attended a Phuket Gazette-Nation seminar on Saturday. On stage to lead discussion of “Can Zoning Save Phuket?” at Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort were Dr Sommai Prijasila, Head of the Foreign…

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  • Phuket NewsAppeal over missing dive instructor

    Appeal over missing dive instructor

    KATA: The wife and friends of dive instructor David Wiewel, 57, have issued an appeal for anyone who has seen the Dutchman since 8 am on Friday (March 26) to get in touch with them. Mr Wiewel left his home at 121/1, Koktanod Rd, Kata, at that time and was last seen walking toward Kata Noi. He left behind his…

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  • Phuket NewsHotel unions examine service charge issue

    Hotel unions examine service charge issue

    PHUKET CITY: For members of local hotel labor unions, the question of who gets service charges was high on the agenda at a recent international meeting of labor officials in Phuket. Regional representatives of the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) gathered at the ST Hotel on March 27-28 to discuss collective…

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  • Phuket NewsVideo captures tourist’s “suicide’ | Thaiger

    Video captures tourist’s “suicide’

    KARON: A video recording of a Thai tourist speaking her last known words was found in the bedroom of her Karon holiday home where she apparently committed suicide. Pol Maj Jessada Sangsure, of Chalong Police Station, told the Gazette that he received a call yesterday at 6 pm from a male cleaner who found the body. Maj Jessada arrived to…

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  • Phuket NewsSongkran water battles to be zoned

    Songkran water battles to be zoned

    PHUKET (The Nation): Revelers will have to watch out where they hurl water during Songkran next month because local authorities plan to designate specific areas for their antics. “We will ensure that the revelers have fun while observing laws and safety rules,” Phuket police chief Pol Maj Gen Veerayuth Sittimalic said. The proposed free-for-all zones are Saphan Hin in Phuket…

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  • Phuket NewsFirst round of zoning hearings completed | Thaiger

    First round of zoning hearings completed

    PHUKET CITY: The Phuket Public Works and Town and Country Planning Office (PWTCPO), which is responsible for drawing up a comprehensive set of island-wide zoning regulations by October 1, has completed a first round of public hearings in each of Phuket’s three districts to gauge public opinion on zoning issues. The zoning is intended to curb the unregulated development that…

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  • Pattaya NewsDirect Phuket-Pattaya flights take off | Thaiger

    Direct Phuket-Pattaya flights take off

    PHUKET: Bangkok Airways will launch direct Phuket-Pattaya flights on Sunday (March 28) – part of a general aviation expansion that also sees Hong Kong-based airlines Cathay Pacific and Dragonair getting access to some domestic routes within Thailand. Bangkok Airways’ Sales Executive in Phuket, Julalak Atiwattananon, told the Gazette that, starting March 28, the new Phuket-Pattaya service will fly on Sundays,…

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  • Phuket NewsPhuket Seminars to focus on quality-of-life issues | Thaiger

    Phuket Seminars to focus on quality-of-life issues

    PHUKET: In connection with a Nation Multimedia Group (NMG) editorial board meeting to be held in Phuket this weekend, The Nation newspaper and the Phuket Gazette will present an English-language seminar entitled: “Can zoning save Phuket?” Focused on provincial planning, zoning, environmental and other issues critical for tourism, property development and day-to-day living on the island, the seminar will be…

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  • Phuket NewsMove to curb long-tail rip-offs | Thaiger

    Move to curb long-tail rip-offs

    RAWAI: Island-wide measures are to be introduced to register all of Phuket’s long-tail boats, set standard fees for tourist trips, and punish rip-off boat operators. Most of the island’s long-tail operators are honest, but some unscrupulous boatmen have been known to charge excessive rates and cheat tourists. Another cause for concern – and action – is the tour group operators…

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  • Phuket NewsPolice seek witnesses to double fatality | Thaiger

    Police seek witnesses to double fatality

    RAWAI: Police are keen to interview anyone who may have witnessed a collision between a car and a motorbike that killed a British tourist and his Thai girlfriend on Wiset Rd, Rawai, on Sunday night. Killed were Briton Scott Tristan Watkins, 33, and Sasithorn Kaewyai, also 33, from Buri Ram. The following day, the driver of the Mitsubishi Pajero involved…

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  • Phuket NewsNew base for anti-smuggling operations

    New base for anti-smuggling operations

    AO MAKHAM: The new Customs House and pier at the Ao Makham Deep Sea Port, officially opened yesterday, is expected to play a major role in the protection of the area around the port from various maritime perils, including smuggling and environmental problems. The Customs Department will base five vessels there to intercept fuel-oil smugglers and drug runners. Anti-smuggling operations…

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  • Phuket NewsPolice appeal over headless corpse | Thaiger

    Police appeal over headless corpse

    KAMALA: Police have appealed for information to help them identify a badly decomposed, headless body that was found washed up on seaside rocks at Laem Son on Sunday. Pol Capt Serm Kwannimit, of Kathu Police Station, told the Gazette that the body was discovered by local villagers at about 4:30 pm. He said that police believe the victim was probably…

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  • Phuket NewsMayoral candidate disqualified

    Mayoral candidate disqualified

    PHUKET CITY: The Phuket Election Commission (PEC) has barred Thanapong Kho-udom, leader of the Pattana Baan Rao (“Develop Our Home”) Party from running for Mayor of Phuket City in elections due to be held on April 4. Kittipong Thiengkunagrit, Director of the PEC, told the Gazette that electoral rules state that a mayoral candidate must have lived within municipal boundaries…

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  • Phuket NewsCourt accepts Blue Canyon case | Thaiger

    Court accepts Blue Canyon case

    PHUKET (The Nation): The Phuket Provincial Court has decided that a complaint filed by a founder of Murex Co, developer of the Blue Canyon Country Club, has sufficient merit for it to proceed. The court set March 29 as the date of the first hearing, allowing the accused, Sia Leng Yeun, an executive of Murex, to defend himself against the…

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  • Phuket NewsPiglet deaths “not from bird ‘flu’ | Thaiger

    Piglet deaths “not from bird ‘flu’

    PHUKET CITY: The deaths of 60 piglets on a single farm recently from respiratory infection were the result of hog cholera, not avian ‘flu, according to the island’s top livestock official. The Chief of the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office (PPLO), Sunart Wongchawalit, told the Gazette that the piglets died after contracting hog cholera, also known as swine ‘flu. The deaths…

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  • Phuket NewsDemocrats in landslide victory

    Democrats in landslide victory

    PHUKET TOWN: The ruling Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party’s attempt to become a force in provincial politics in Phuket received a stinging setback in yesterday’s elections for the presidency of the Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor), with the TRT candidate coming last by a long way. The winner, after vote-counting ended at about 4 am today, was Democrat candidate and former…

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  • Phuket NewsDugong not out of the woods yet | Thaiger

    Dugong not out of the woods yet

    PHUKET TOWN: The health of the young female dugong rescued by staff of the Phuket Marine Biology Center (PMBC) on March 5 has improved, but the animal is still far from a complete recovery. The young animal, little more than an infant, was found stranded at the edge of Klong Pa Khlock, exhausted, bruised all over and with a large…

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  • Phuket NewsObstructive bureaucrats slammed

    Obstructive bureaucrats slammed

    PHUKET CITY: The President of the recently formed Phuket Real Estate Club (PREC) yesterday slammed bureaucrats for constantly putting obstacles in the way of the booming property market. Announcing that the club plans to stage a public seminar on April 3 at the Royal Phuket City Hotel to address problems faced by those in real estate development, Phummisak Hongsyok, former…

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  • Phuket NewsPhuket must decide on expo center: Chavalit

    Phuket must decide on expo center: Chavalit

    PHUKET TOWN: Phuket and its tourist trade are essential to Thailand’s economy but what matters most is that the island’s inhabitants decide their own future, Deputy Prime Minister Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyuth said today. “I’d like to ask if Phuket people really want to build the International Convention and Exhibition Center (ICEC) or not,” he said of the controversial 2.5-billion-baht project…

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  • Phuket NewsBroken leg foils car thief’s escape | Thaiger

    Broken leg foils car thief’s escape

    PHUKET CITY: A man suspected of stealing two cars and electrical equipment in a wave of thefts tried to escape through a third-floor window at Phuket City Police Station today and ended up in Wachira Hospital with a broken leg. The man specialized in robbing the homes of foreigners, police said. Pol Capt Akanit Danpitaksat, Sub-Inspector of Investigation at Phuket…

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  • Phuket NewsBird ‘flu saves prawn farmers | Thaiger

    Bird ‘flu saves prawn farmers

    PHUKET CITY: With the appearance of avian ‘flu in Thailand, many consumers have made a switch to fish, seafood and the other “white” meat – pork. Fish, and prawns in particular, have become shoppers’ favorites. Before bird ‘flu, prawn prices were depressed because of caps on imports imposed by the US and Europe, resulting in huge surpluses. For prawn farmers…

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  • Phuket NewsGazette launches private home delivery | Thaiger

    Gazette launches private home delivery

    PHUKET: In response to increasing demand from readers for home delivery, as well as pressure from advertisers for paid (vs ‘give-away’) circulation, the Phuket Gazette has today launched a “Phuket Special Delivery” subscription. Available to readers in Phuket Province only, the new service promises direct, hand delivery to homes and offices virtually anywhere on the island – “every Saturday morning,…

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  • Phuket NewsAutopsy finds Russian girl was electrocuted

    Autopsy finds Russian girl was electrocuted

    PHUKET: Police have resumed their inquiry into the death of a 10-year-old Russian girl beside the pool at the Dusit Laguna Resort Hotel, after an autopsy by the Institute of Forensic Medicine (IFM) in Bangkok established that she was electrocuted. It is almost two months since Ksenia Drashinskiy died in mysterious circumstances while on vacation with her parents at the…

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  • Phuket NewsDeadline approaches for fun venues | Thaiger

    Deadline approaches for fun venues

    PHUKET: Entertainment venues on the island have just a few more days to register under a new law that requires all such venues to have licenses. From January 13, owners of the venues were given 60 days to apply for licenses under the revised provisions of Section 3 of the Entertainment Act. The 60-day period expires on Friday. Wisut Romin,…

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  • Phuket NewsMakeover for Immigration office | Thaiger

    Makeover for Immigration office

    PHUKET CITY: The Phuket Immigration Office (PIO) is to be redecorated as a prelude to a proposed full-scale redevelopment that could add an IT crime center and make Phuket an Immigration center for other southern provinces. The new Superintendent of the PIO, Pol Col Witawat Buranasompop, told the Gazette that the new look for the Immigration ofice should be complete…

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  • Phuket NewsResort guards arrested | Thaiger

    Resort guards arrested

    CHERNG TALAY: Two former security guards from Banyan Tree Resort Phuket have been released on bail by the Phuket Provincial Court after being charged with attempted murder. Over police objections, the court released the two men the same day they were taken into custody – March 4. Pol Lt Col Suwat Kaewprom, Deputy Superintendent of Cherng Talay Police Station, named…

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  • Phuket NewsChuan leads Democrat vote drive

    Chuan leads Democrat vote drive

    PHUKET CITY: Former Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai and other Democrat Party leaders went walkabout and attended a rally at Saphan Hin on Saturday to support Anchalee Vanich-Thepabutr’s bid to win the presidency of Phuket’s Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor). Among others in attendance at the walkabout and rally were current Democrat Party leader Banyat Banthadtan and senior members Trairong Suwankiri and…

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  • Phuket NewsStranded dugong recovering after rescue | Thaiger

    Stranded dugong recovering after rescue

    CAPE PANWA: A sick dugong was rescued by the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) on Friday, given medication and food, and is making its first steps toward recovery. A fisherman saw the animal, a young female, stranded in Klong Pa Khlock, Baan Para, close to where the klong meets the sea. He contacted the PMBC who came and retrieved the…

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  • Phuket NewsSearch and destroy at the chicken farm

    Search and destroy at the chicken farm

    PHUKET: This week has been Clean Your Chicken Farm Week. Starting on Monday, the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office (PPLO) initiated a campaign to destroy any viruses in chicken farms and chicken meat companies in Phuket. While the campaign has been deemed successful, PPLO Chief Sunart Wongchawalit and Vice-Governor Niran Kalayanamit took matters into their hands yesterday morning, personally administering the…

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  • Phuket NewsTwo more held for gang slaying | Thaiger

    Two more held for gang slaying

    PHUKET TOWN: Two more teenagers believed involved in the execution-style murder of a 15-year-old on January 17 were arrested on Monday in Ranong. The victim, Khajornkiat Tongdeesuk, was tied up, gagged and beaten before being taken to Naamsai beach on Koh Sireh where his killer fired a shotgun into his head. Police believe the slaying was part of a war…

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  • Phuket NewsCurb resort guards, mob urges police | Thaiger

    Curb resort guards, mob urges police

    CHERNG TALAY: An argument between locals and security guards at the Banyan Tree Phuket resort led to about 100 villagers staging a protest outside the Cherng Talay Police Station last night. The crowd protested for six hours, calling on police to have the guards removed from their jobs, said Pol Lt Col Suwat Kaewprom, Deputy Superintendent of Cheng Talay Police…

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  • Phuket NewsWind stops as Langkawi regatta starts | Thaiger

    Wind stops as Langkawi regatta starts

    LANGKAWI (Gazette, Asian Yachting): Yesterday’s first day of racing in the BMW-Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2004 suffered from a syndrome known all too well to organizers and competitors in the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta – fickle winds. For the Racing, Premier Cruising and Sports Boats classes, two windward-leeward courses were planned, but after the first lap of the first race,…

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  • Phuket NewsB145m reservoir budget “a done deal’ | Thaiger

    B145m reservoir budget “a done deal’

    THALANG: The head of the Phuket office of the Royal Irrigation Project (PRIP) is “100% confident” that the 145-million-baht budget for the purchase of land to create a reservoir at Klong Bang Neaw Dum will be approved by Bangkok by the end of March. The project, which is intended to provide a second major supply of water on the island,…

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  • Phuket NewsEntertainment venues get temporary reprieve | Thaiger

    Entertainment venues get temporary reprieve

    BANGKOK: The Cabinet resolved today that entertainment venues may stay open until 2 am for the time being because new regulations enforcing earlier closing times have yet to be approved. A source in the Cabinet Secretariat, who asked not to be named, told the Gazette that all venues, regardless of when they received operating licenses, could stay open until 2…

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