Thailand News Today | Pattaya Walking Street “Ruined”


Business operators on Pattaya Walking Street have blamed the authorities for causing a public nuisance and spoiling the city’s reputation because of an unfinished road renovation project.

The Pattaya Walking Street Business Association insists the road needs to be completed faster than the current schedule, and more street lights installed, if it is to save face with the public.

In January, Pattaya officials, led by the former city mayor, Sontaya Klunpluem, announced that 80% of the renovation of Pattaya Walking Street had already been completed. The mayor revealed electric and communication wires had been buried underground, the street refurbished, footpaths painted, drainage improved, and a retractable roof installed allowing visitors to enjoy the street both day and night. But Sontaya didn’t provide a clear schedule on when the renovation would be completed.

The Pattaya News reported that business operators had been informed by the authorities that they would complete the work by August.

President of the Pattaya Walking Street Business Association, Narit Petcharat, held a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the unfinished road project with some business owners.

Narit says feedback from both Thai and foreign visitors revealed they enjoyed Pattaya Walking Street, but many complained about the unfinished road and sidewalks, and added that the street lights were insufficient.

Narit says these complaints affect the good reputation of the city and the problems need to be solved as soon as possible. He insists all of the works should be completed and ready before August because the number of visitors will continue to increase.

Aside from street renovation and light problems, Narit says he wants the authorities to close the street to vehicles to ensure the safety of visitors.

Narit feels the project delay might be related to a mayoral election issue.

Pattaya held a mayoral election on May 22, but the city still could not officially conclude the result due to the disappearance of ballot papers in some districts. A new election for those districts has been rearranged for June 12, and Narit hopes the unfinished works will be completed after that.



Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport is increasing the number of check-in counters in preparation for an upcoming surge of tourists. The nation’s capital city is expecting around 70,000 travellers to arrive per day, and for it to increase to 100,000 people per day during the high season.

Suvarnabhumi Airport General Manager, Kittipong Kittikachon, yesterday informed the media that the airport expects the arrival of about 460 flights per day, both domestic and international.

Suvarnabhumi Airport’s recent report predicts more travellers are expected during Thailand’s high season from October onward. The airport manager says the number could reach 100,000 travellers per day. In preparation he has asked each airline to open a check-in counter 3 hours before flights are scheduled to leave to avoid crowded terminals.

Kittipong revealed check-in counters have been increased to 318, with 196 of them new self-check-in machines, while 42 self-baggage loading counters are also on standby ready to serve. He added that Suvarnabhumi Airport has upgraded its toilets inside passenger terminals, the security checkpoint, and the passport control counter.

The west side of the passenger terminal, currently under renovation, is expected to open at the end of this month.



Now that cannabis is, sort of, legal in Thailand, Police are giving drug offenders their cannabis back.

The Office of the Narcotics Control Board plans to return 16 tonnes of confiscated marijuana to its original owners, according to the board’s Secretary General Wichai Chaimongkol. The stockpiled cannabis is valued at 110 million baht.

Yesterday, all parts of the marijuana plant were delisted as a Category 5 narcotic in Thailand. Growing cannabis at home became legal and more than 3,000 “cannabis convicts” were released from prison. Now that the plant – including the THC-rich flowers – is no longer illegal, the narcotics board is asking those who want their confiscated cannabis back to put in a request at the narcotics board office in Din Daeng or the provincial office where the drug case took place.

To add to the awkwardness, Wichai said he warns people against the recreational use of cannabis, and so those who’ve come to pick up their returned goods should only use them for medicinal purposes, all 16 tones of them.



Thailand made progress today in its fight against horrible tasting beer, as the Progressive Liquor Bill that was submitted by the Move Forward Party sailed through its first reading in the Lower House.

The landmark bill seeks to break the monopoly of the beer companies with the elephant and lion mascots, you know who they are, and will give small-scale brewers and entrepreneurs a shot at providing us with much better tasting alternatives. Last night, the bill sailed through its first reading by 178 votes to 137, with 15 abstentions.

A 25 member committee has now been set up to scrutinise the bill over the next seven days, before it is resubmitted for its second and final readings in the House of Representatives.

Opposition’s Move Forward MPs cheered and applauded after the vote while เท่าพิภพ ลิ้มจิตรกร, who had proposed the bill, was embraced warmly by a number of people, who will probably buy him lots of beer this weekend.

Taopiphop was arrested for producing his own craft beer without a license in 2017. He vowed from that moment he would become an MP and change the law. The 33 year old is making good on that promise.

Move Forward party leader พิธา ลิ้มเจริญรัตน์ says the bill, as well as the Marriage Equality Bill, will pave the way for changes for the better in Thailand if they are passed into law.

He said “Passing the Progressive Liquor Bill can be viewed as achieving equality in business, as it will allow local communities to process their agricultural produce into alcoholic drinks. The passage of the two bills will send a message to the world that Thailand is on path to change for the better.” And that includes better tasting beer.

The 178 MPs who voted for the bill included a number from the government, including 23 Democrat MPs, 9 from Bhumjaithai and two from the Palang Pracharath Party.



Meanwhile in 1984, the Burmese dictatorship still intends to execute 4 of its citizens despite appeals from around 200 civil society organisations to drop the ruling.

The UN Amnesty International, and 199 civil society organisations have all backed a statement that reads:

“We, the following organisations and world citizens condemn the order of execution and call for Phyo Zeya Thaw, Ko Jimmy, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw to be given justice and respect before the law. We also call for the immediate release of all political prisoners, the end of violence and for the establishment of genuine peace and federal democracy in Myanmar.”

Unsurprisingly, the junta dismissed these pleas and insists it will execute the 4 people. This conviction marks the country’s first judicial executions since 1990.

The 4 people sentenced to death include former National League for Democracy Member of Parliament Phyo Zeya Thaw, and democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu, better known as ‘Ko Jimmy’, for alleged terrorism, while Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw were convicted and sentenced to death for killing a woman they alleged was an informer for the junta in Yangon.

Maj Gen, Zaw Min Tun, Chief of the Tatmadaw (Burmese Army) True News Information Team, says no date has been set for the executions.

The 4 have all gone through the legal process of appealing and asking for an amendment of the sentence but the court rejected their appeals. There is no other step in Myanmar after that.

A Burmese legal expert, Min Lwin, says the 4 have not received a fair trial because they lost their legal rights to defend at the military tribunal. They also lost their rights to legal counsel during the appeal process.

He added that “Normally, the appeals process for a death sentence takes up to 3 to 5 years through different courts and takes at least 4 to 5 years to go through state leaders. But such a fast-track process is unprecedented.”

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric says he is deeply troubled by the Burmese military’s decision to proceed with the execution of 2 pro-democracy activists after they received death sentences.

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