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Tangled trouble in Paradise

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Tangled trouble in Paradise | The Thaiger

PHUKET TOWN: Thirty owners of businesses in the market area of Patong’s Paradise Complex descended on the Consumer Protection Office at the Provincial Hall on Monday morning to protest construction by the Royal Paradise Hotel, which they say has blocked access to their shops with thigh-high walls made of concrete blocks. The protest is the latest turn in a tale that has as many twists as a pretzel. The protest leader, Dr Sakda Ruamrungsee of the Andaman Medical Center, told the Gazette that the area in front of the shops used to be a pedestrian area. “Now, the complex’s owner is building on it, which is blocking shop entrances,” he said. “On September 14, we handed the Governor a petition asking him to investigate the construction going on in the complex. Four weeks later, the Governor suspended the construction after finding out that Patong Municipality had not issued a building permit for the project. Construction was banned pending Patong Municipality approving the project,” he explained. “We asked for further action since Patong Municipality has not enforced the Governor’s order; and building [in the complex] continued over the weekend,” said Dr Sakda. Suwat Boonchanawiwat, Chief of the Construction Section of Patong Municipality, denied that the municipality had failed to take action. “We received a complaint on September 14,” he said, “and informed the Paradise Complex they must stop building. When we went to check, there was no construction going on.” However, Dr Jirachai Amornpyroj, GM of Royal Paradise Hotel in Patong, which owns the land on which the Paradise Complex is built, told the Gazette yesterday that his company had not been ordered to stop building. “We have already applied to Patong Municipality for a building permit, which is currently being considered, and we have not been ordered to stop building. “We continued construction while waiting for the permit, which we believe will be approved soon, because we didn’t want to waste time.” Now, however, he said, “We have stopped any further construction until we receive the building permit.” He explained, “About two years ago, the area used to be full of bar beers, but they’re not there anymore. The hotel recently received complaints from guests that the area looked dangerous at night. So we decided to convert it into a food court and night plaza.” He agreed that the business owners might have suffered from the construction, but pointed out, “The purchase contract for each of their buildings says that the buyer owns 12 square wah (48 square meters) of land [and that] the owners of businesses in the complex have rights only to the interiors of their buildings.” But, he explained, “Some have built awnings that extend into the area [outside their shops], or put cooking equipment or tables and chairs there. They don’t have any rights under the awnings extending out from their shops.” An officer at the Provincial Consumer Protection Office, who asked not to be named, said on Tuesday, “About a week after we received the business owners’ first complaint, we invited the owner of the Paradise Complex to come and discuss the problem, and to present his building permit. “He arrived for the meeting, but said that he would show us the building permit later. We’re still waiting to see it.” He said that the office would look into the matter further, but added, “If the owner has the legal right to build on the land in question, then we will not take any action against him.” Patong Municipality’s Suwat said, “We asked the business owners to produce documents to prove that the Paradise Complex does not have the right to construct anything on that land. “The Paradise Complex has already submitted its design for approval, but we can’t approve it until the problem with the business owners has been sorted out. “According to the documents supplied by the Paradise Complex, there’s nothing wrong, but we have asked them to make some changes to the design, which they haven’t sent back to us yet. “If the design is corrected and if the business owners fail to prove that there is anything else wrong, then we may issue the permit – provided there are no other problems.”



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Phuket

Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin

The Thaiger

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Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin | The Thaiger

UPDATE: The suspect in this morning’s shootings, 53 year old Chana Rodket from Songkhla, has shot and killed himself in Saphan His this afternoon. He was a housekeeper a the beauty spa where the shooting took place.

Earlier, a South Korean man and Thai woman were injured in a shooting at a beauty spa near Naka Market in Phuket Town.

The two sustained serious injuries from bullet wounds. Wichit Police reports that they was notified of the incident at ‘The Beauty Spa’ at 10.30am.

Police and emergency responders arrived at the scene to find two injuried from gun shots. Blood-stained towels were found around the scene of the shooting.

The two people shot were 74 year old South Korean man, Kwang Hee Kim (father of Ms Eun Mi Kim, the owner of the Beauty Spa) and a 56 year old Thai woman named as Somsri Chuatonghua, a staff member at the spa.

Both taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital.

Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger

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Two shot in Phuket Town beauty spa this morning

The Thaiger

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Two shot in Phuket Town beauty spa this morning | The Thaiger

A South Korean man and Thai woman have been injured in spa shooting in Phuket Town.

The two sustained serious injuries from bullet wounds after having been shot at the spa in Wichit today.

Wichit Police reports that they was notified of an incident at ‘The Beauty Spa’ in Wichit at 10.30am this morning.

Police and emergency responders arrived at the scene to find two injuried from gun shots – a 74 year old South Korean man, Kwang Hee Kim, and father of Ms Eun Mi Kim, the owner of the Beauty Spa.

The other person injured was a 56 year old Thai woman named as Somsri Chuatonghua who is staff at the spa.

They were both taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital. The suspect, Somphon, a house-keeper at the spa, is currently being sought by police.

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Bangkok

TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran

The Thaiger

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TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is expecting more than 2.3 million local and foreign tourists will join the various Songkran celebrations this year. They say that should generate 20 billion baht+ in revenue for tourism and tourism-related services.

TAT’s Governor Yuthasak Supasorn says 300,000 international arrivals are expected to celebrate the five day festival starting April 12, along with two million locals who will travel to celebrate Songkran this year. Songkran falling on a weekend this year will also bolster local tourism numbers.

The number of Songkran-specific visitors is up this year, partly because of the growing popularity of the festival internationally and the government extending the holiday to five days this year, now starting on April 12 (although ‘Songkran, the Thai New Year, is actually on April 13).

Songkran festival extended HERE.

He admits that the bad publicity about the poor air quality in the northern regions is a problem, especially around Chiang Mai which has become a big international visitor favorite over recent yers.

Chiang Mai is one of nine provinces in the North struggling with smoke haze, mostly because of open-air burning of farm waste and rubbish, and localised bush fires. The heavy smog has caused temporary suspension of flights between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son although flights into Chiang Mai have been unaffected so far.

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