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Phuket officials plan walking street, gated entrance at Surin

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket officials plan walking street, gated entrance at Surin | The Thaiger

PHUKET: A year after the demolition of the last remaining buildings along Surin Beach, and nine months after plans were announced to convert the beach into ‘Rajabhakti Park’, officials are still waiting for approval for the more than 800-million-baht project to be built in its place.

The plans, which have been revised several times, were submitted by the Cherng Talay Administration Organization (OrBorTor) to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MoTS) Phuket Office earlier this month.

“At this stage, we have yet to receive a response from MoTS. I cannot say when the plans will be approved, but everything has been submitted from our end,” said Cherng Talay OrBorTor President Ma-ann Samran.

“However, while waiting for the ministry’s decision, we are working to arrange 18 million baht for two projects, which we expect will be completed before the next high season comes around.”

The projects include a gate surrounding the beach as well as improvements to the general landscape in the area.

“I can’t deny that there are still problems at Surin. For instance, vendors are still setting up umbrellas and chairs despite the fact that it is illegal. However, we are doing our best to gradually solve these issues,” said Mr Ma-ann.

The budget for the slated gate is about 8mn baht.

“Building a gate is an effective way to make Surin well-organized and provide security for tourists and locals. With marked entrances, officers can control who enters the beach, and will be able to prevent vendors from illegally setting up umbrellas and beach chairs there,” said Mr Ma-ann.

“So far, vendors have been able to elude authorities and set up umbrellas and mattresses on the sand. We have never ignored this issue; the vendors have been arrested and punished accordingly. However, it is not something we want tourists to witness. I think the gate will provide a permanent solution to prevent vendors from conducting illegal businesses on the beach,” he added.

While waiting for budget finalization and approval, the OrBorTor has asked the military to step in and patrol the beach, starting Monday.

“At the moment, we still have no gate, so we have to rely on human resources. The OrBorTor does not have enough officers, so we had to bring in outside help. Let’s see who dares to bring umbrellas to the beach now,” said Mr Ma-ann.

The second project, which is beautifying and improving the landscape, is a back-up plan, in case the Rajabhakti Park plan takes longer than anticipated to approve.

“We intend to use about 10mn baht of our own budget to clear and establish park land and flower gardens on about 100 rai,” said Mr Ma-ann.

“The money will also be used to beautify the entire stretch of beach. We intend to turn it into a walking street and allow local vendors to sell their wares there from Thursday to Sunday night every week. This will not only help locals, but also provide a new attraction at Surin. However, the most important rule to remember is that the walkway has to be cleared every morning,” he added.

In further news about the ever-blighted Surin, Mr Ma-ann says that due to improved water treatment systems, there is no longer any black wastewater at Surin Beach.

“We will use the treated water to grow grass and plants in the area,” he adds.

He also confirms that since the demolition of restaurants and bars along the beach, not a single restaurant owner has returned to the area or disobeyed the law.

“No restaurants have been allowed to operate here, but we do allow ‘small’ vendors to sell food and drinks from salaengs (motorbike sidecars) near the beach. It does not look ‘too bad’ and helps the locals make a living. However, once the walking street is finished, we will ask all these vendors to move there,” said Mr Ma-ann.

“Unless we take immediate action, Surin Beach will be seized back by the vendor mafia. We are fighting to reclaim it for the public instead,” he insists.

— Kongleaphy Keam

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North East

Swiss man accused of overstaying visa and theft charges

The Thaiger & The Nation



Swiss man accused of overstaying visa and theft charges | The Thaiger

by Kamthon Kongsombat

PHOTO: Security footage from the Phuket jewelry store in December 2018 – Facebook

The Immigration Bureau says they’re going to blacklist and deport a Swiss man who overstayed his visa and is also accused of series of thefts in Nongkhai and Phuket.

The Nongkhai deputy immigration police chief Colonel Prasit Somjaiprasong says that Julien Andre Junior Cotting, a 25  year old Swiss national, was arrested yesterday at a guest house near the Mekong River in Nongkhai on theft charge.

He was arrested after 42 year old Sai-arun Konwan, the owner of the Chorfah Gallery Hotel in Muang district, filed complaint with police that a foreigner had stolen her bag that she left in the hotel’s lobby on January 8.

She told police that she noticed Cotting having coffee in the lobby. Security camera checked later showed the suspect picking up her handbag and leaving on a rented motorcycle.

The handbag contained 1,000 baht cash, an ATM and other credit cards as well as other important documents.

Sai-arun said Cotting was a regular customer at the hotel’s coffee shop.

After the complaint, police searched for the suspect and noticed a suspicious-looking foreigner at a guesthouse. His passport revealed that he was Cotting and he had overstayed his visa.

After Sai-arun identified the suspect it was found that he had an outstanding arrest warrant on a theft charge in Phuket province where he allegedly stole a diamond ring in December, 2018.

Cotting faces charges of theft and overstaying his visa and will be prosecuted and deported, immigration authorities said.

ไชยยศ ไชยพฤกษ์ covered the story in Phuket last year. Here’s one of the photos from that post…

Swiss man accused of overstaying visa and theft charges | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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What to do if a pet tests positive for Rabies

The Thaiger



What to do if a pet tests positive for Rabies | The Thaiger

PHOTO: PR Department

An announcement about animals in a Rabies Outbreak Zone.

These are things that pet owners must do when it has tested positive for rabies.

• Pet owners must follow Animal Epidemics Act 2015.

• No person may move an infected animal or carcass specified in such announcement into, out of, through or within such zone unless they have written permission from the veterinarian who is responsible for such area.

• Anyone who does not follow the guidelines shall be fined up to 40,000 baht or jailed up to two years.

In any event, follow the guidelines of your local vet and consult the authorities in such a situation.

A district livestock development office in Phuket province has announced a Rabies outbreak zone in the Chalong area yesterday.

Read more about the establishment of the ‘zone’ HERE and a response from the Soi Dog Foundation HERE.



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Soi Dog Foundation responds to Rabies outbreak zone in Chalong

The Thaiger



Soi Dog Foundation responds to Rabies outbreak zone in Chalong | The Thaiger

Following the announcement form the Phuket Livestock Development Office that a rabies outbreak zone was set in Chalong area yesterday (January 17), Soi Dog Foundation Co-Founder, John Dalley, explained about the incident as the dog, which was indeed infected with rabies, was sent to Soi Dog Foundation for treatment after it was found very sick. It is the first dog which was found positive for rabies after several years in the one and only ‘Rabies Free’ zone of Thailand – Phuket.

A district livestock development office in Phuket province has announced a Rabies outbreak zone in the Chalong area yesterday.

Read more HERE.

“A dog was brought into Soi Dog by our dog catchers after it was reported to be vomiting and unable to stand,” said John Dalley.

“It received treatment for several days but did not respond, and symptoms of staggering and being unable to open its mouth, and head tilted to one side led our veterinary staff to suspect rabies as these are classic symptoms.”

“The dog was euthanised and its body sent to the Government testing laboratory. The result indicated that the dog was positive to rabies, the first positive case seen in a dog on Phuket for many years.”

Right after the rabies was detected, Soi Dog Foundation has worked closely with the local Livestock Development Office in order to control the situation.

“Soi Dog are working closely with the Department of Livestock to vaccinate all dogs within a 5 kilometres radius of where the dog was picked up. Soi Dog will focus on strays and the DLD on owned dogs.”

He urged that people shouldn’t be panicked about the situation but be always aware about the importance of vaccination if they get bitten (or scratched or licked on an open wound).

“There is no cause for alarm. We see numerous positive cases in dogs in Bangkok, but no human cases have occurred there in the past 12 months. The traditional picture of a rabid dog foaming at the mouth and attacking people is not a true picture, as with this dog. Anybody being bitten by a dog at any time should always immediately wash the wound with soap and water and go along to their local clinic or hospital to receive the necessary injections.”

John also mentioned about the message that Soi Dog Foundation has been trying to tell government, entrepreneurs as well as people in general that importing unvaccinated puppies to the safe zone like Phuket can be the cause that brings rabies back in the area.

“Although this is likely an isolated incident it should be noted that Soi Dog has repeatedly, over the years, warned of the dangers and requested successive governors to stop the hundreds of very young puppies being imported to Phuket each year for sale at markets and pet stores, but nothing has ever been done. We hope the new Governor will take action. These puppies are generally coming from uncontrolled puppy farms in rabies endemic areas.”

“Puppies cannot be vaccinated against rabies until they are at least 12 weeks old and are reliant on the mother’s immunity providing she has some. The case of a puppy seller in Chatuchak market dying from a bite from a puppy shows the danger.”

“In addition, removing vaccinated sterilised dogs from the street increases the chances of rabies spreading. The World Health Organistion, The Food and Agriculture Division of the United Nations, The World Organisation for Animal Health and The Global Alliance for Rabies Control have issued joint statements advising that the way to eliminate rabies in humans is to eliminate it in dogs first as much cheaper and more effective to do that.

If 70% or more of dogs in a country are vaccinated and strict controls on entry imposed, then you will eliminate rabies.

If you remove vaccinated dogs and put them in a pound, then you are reducing the number of dogs on the street that are vaccinated which allows for others to take their place that may not be vaccinated.”

If a member of the public sees a dog that is staggering or unable to stand then they can call the Soi Dog Helpline on 076 681 029.

Soi Dog Foundation responds to Rabies outbreak zone in Chalong | News by The Thaiger

Rabies control in Chiang Mi last year

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