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Pattaya Daily News

08 December 2006 :: 12:12:43 pm 6413

The Silence of the Press

8th December Dear Editor, I note, with interest, that the Funeral of Santi Lammaneenil took place the other day. Santi was the editor of the Pattaya Post newspaper for more than 10 years and was murdered earlier this year. Is it me, or is there a nasty whiff in the air over this cynical murder?
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Many months on, have there been any arrests? Do the police have a suspect? What happened to Santi’s Laptop? They (the police) seem to have a number of reasons for Santi’s murder.

The Nation reports that Lt-General Jongrak Juthanond, commander of Provincial Police Region 2 says Santi had “gambling debts, was having an affair and had upset local businessmen by reporting about clubs staying open after hours”.

The Nation then goes on to report that police had no motives to go on (?). I believe that this might be construed as a contradiction!

No mention from the police about the transfer of 5 Senior Policemen.

As I say, something smells.

I have sent this e-mail from an Internet Café and I am not supplying my name or address. If whoever did this to a prominent member of Pattaya Society, can get away with it, what could happen to me, for writing about it?

Pattaya corruption worsens an already bad environment

Whilst the anti-corruption spotlight is shining on Thaksin and his gang, spare a thought for the poor taxpayers of Pattaya, a city where too much easy money goes into the Treasury, and where many overpriced, incompetently carried-out projects are never finished.

Now the scale of spending has gone crazy. The toothless local press recently reported in excitement how call centres (costing the city Bt80 million to set up) are now in operation, and discussions about a useless Bt90-million archway into the city are in progress. These sums are outrageous, yet the local press remains uncritical. Why is that?

The silence of the press, the lack of police action in big-ticket corruption investigations, the lack of professional auditing or accountability in the tender process at City Hall and the absence of quality control in commissioned projects all leave honest taxpayers concerned about the misuse of their money and the scale of influence-peddling in the city.

There are so many badly finished, or unfinished, major projects in Pattaya that even on a drive around the city – assuming the roads are not still potholed where recent road works have been left unfinished – folks get the impression that the idea of stage payments to contractors (subject to quality-control checks on their work, and final payment only on satisfactory completion of the job) are new concepts. In the US and Europe they are standard procedures. Why are they not here?

The new mayor seemed to be doing a good job. But last week he stunned the city by announcing he would not be standing for re-election. When we realised who the first new candidate for mayor was, a highly connected local person, who the mayor himself introduced, we realised this was a sensible announcement. The mayor said he did not feel he had the qualities to continue to lead Pattaya, but he was happy to be an adviser to the new mayor! Inconsistent statements at best, which make us wonder about his refusal to stand again.

The pillaging of Pattaya’s budget cannot continue. The city has many social problems, too few police, poor schools and areas of great poverty – all of which could be helped by the sums mis-allocated from the city’s budget, which are instead being wasted on incompetent work and overpriced vanity projects, with nobody policing the process.

It is surely time the national press and the national government began a more critical coverage and auditing of this city. Without it, the influence peddling, the jackass local press and the lack of police resources, or police will to take on corruption cases, will ensure that the reputation of this city will remain in the garbage dump.

 From The Nation 


3rd November 

Extreme Censorship From The Nation

‘Pattaya Post’ editor found shot in head

‘Santi’s reports on hotels providing sex services led to transfers of senior police. Chon Buri police are investigating the gangland-style murder of a journalist and local newspaper owner found shot dead in his BMW yesterday morning in Pattaya.

‘Santi Lammaneenil was shot three times – in the forehead, under the chin and in the right temple. His hands were tied with a power cord from a mobile-phone battery charger. His body was found in Bang Lamung district, according to the initial autopsy report.

‘Lt-General Jongrak Juthanond, commander of Provincial Police Region 2, said someone might have wanted Santi killed because of his gambling debts, extramarital affair or his exposure of night entertainment venues in the beach resort town that operated beyond legal hours.

‘Up to three men might have abducted Santi, or tricked him into meeting them at the crime scene, Jongrak said.

‘The editor of the Pattaya Post newspaper for more than 10 years, Santi also freelanced for TV Channel 7, and Khao Sod and Khom Chad Luek newspapers. He was deputy chairman of the local press association and set to become its chairman.

‘A local veteran reporter, who identified himself as Dej, said Santi’s coverage over the past few months of certain hotels in Pattaya providing prostitutes had led to the immediate transfers of five senior police.

‘Santi’s car was parked with the TYPE still running when it was found near brush on Naklua Soi 16. The car’s interior had been ransacked and the rear windscreen had a bullet hole. His pistol was found in the car with two bullets fired.

‘Police quoted his widow, Sumalee Seedaeng, as saying Santi told her about specific information stored on his personal computer before he went missing on Monday. Police have not found any information leading to a possible motive.

‘Sumalee said a man with a large build had twice come to look for Santi at her house – the first time on the day Santi went missing and the second time the day after. Santi had frequently stayed overnight with his relatives over the past few months. Recently he asked her: How could our family go on if I’m abducted and killed?


Reporter : Methawee   Photo : Internet   Category : Editorial

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