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Dear reader, may YOU have a swell Christmas and a fabulous New Year!





Thursday, December 25, 2008 VOL 1, NO 246



COUNTDOWN Despite the political and economic situation, Bangkokians’ New Year spirit remains strong, but celebrations will be mostly low-key.

Astrology: do you really understand it? By Paweena Vasanaruengsuk Hamburg School of Astrology graduate


f you are confident in yourself there’s no need to go see a fortune-teller. I suggest people be open-minded when it comes to tackling their problems, or go to the doctor if they are sick. In terms of astrology, I think people should find out more to see how it really works – change your beliefs into knowledge.


What’s on, what’s up... Check out the biggest sugar Christmas tree, visit a vineyard, treat yourself to a grand buffet dinner on the river and much more... DAILY XPRESS/NANTHASIT NITMATHA

>PAGES 9&10


Thursday, December 25, 2008







The countdown to 2009 will be a cosy affair in Thailand – lavish parties are being ditched for friendly get-togethers

Cuddle up to a cooler new year D A I LY X P R E S S


olitically exhausted and cash-strapped Thais are going for low-key New Year celebrations this festive season. Wine sales are down, hotel bookings have dropped and companies are scaling down their year-end parties for economic reasons, Daily Xpress has learned. Lavish gatherings are being ditched in favour of cosy get-togethers with family and friends.

director of Ambrose Wine, is taking a break from her busy social life with a trip to Koh Chang with her family. “Hotels and resorts are also ordering less wine,” says Saarunthorn, who attributes the drop to the recent airport closures and the financial crisis. Pornsawan, 27, is between jobs, and has had the free time to come up with two New Year’s options, one naughty, the other nice.


By Lisnaree Vichitsorasatra


C E L E B R AT E !

Heaven or hell? Upcountry countdowns Hordes of people are leaving the city to enjoy the countdown to 2009 in their hometowns. “I expect to hear lots of talk back home about what’s around the corner economically,” says Nukul Boon-iam, a soap opera director. “But a ‘whatever will be will be’ atmosphere will rule.” Saarunthorn Techaphaiboon, DAILY


“I have to choose between hell and heaven: a pool party, or running a marathon in my hometown of Nakhon Si Thammarat, where runners pray at nine shrines along the way.” Chain, 28, who works in Parliament House, said he’s bored of his routine life of partying so he’s going back to nature.

“I’m spending New Year with my photography club on a trip to Chiang Klang,” he says. Aree, 32, hasn’t decided where to go, but she’s avoiding the major countdown scenes around big shopping malls on the advice of her uncle, who works in the military. People on a budget might

decide to follow the example of Greg Hill, a Nonthaburi Social Studies teacher, and stay at home. “I was considering a posh resort, but with all the bills I’ve had this month, I think a quiet Christmas at home with a big steak and a bottle of wine is in order.”

>> The Skytrain and MRT underground will run to 2am on New Year’s Eve, and the Bt120 one-day tickets give revellers the chance to roam Bangkok without their cars. >> ON THE NET: Microsoft plans to broadcast live from New York’s Time Square through its MSN Video on New Year’s Eve, beginning at 7am here on January 1.

Editor: Tulsathit Taptim / Managing Editor: Thanong Khanthong / Deputy Managing Editors: Kumar Krishnan, Jintana Panyaarvudh / Design Editor: Leroy A Sylk Web Co-editors: Marisa Chimprabha, Paisal Chuenprasaeng / The City Editor: Chularat Saengpassa / The Fun Editor: Veena Thoopkrajae / Sport Editor: Preechachan Wiriyanupappong / Group Editor in Chief: Suthichai Yoon

>>DAILY XPRESS is edited by Tulsathit Taptim and published by NMG News Co Ltd, at 1854, Bang Na-Trat Road, Bangkok 10260, and printed by FOR DISPLAY ADVERTISING,PLEASE CALL (02) 338 3000 # 1 WPS (Thailand) Co Ltd, Tel (02) 338 3000, Fax (02) 338 3334. EDITORIAL: Tel (02) 338 3333. ON THE WEB: DAILYXPRESS.NET >>DAILY XPRESS is a supplement to subscriber copies of THE NATION with bonus distribution in selected areas of Bangkok and its environs every Monday to Saturday. The Sunday edition of DAILY XPRESS incorporates THE NATION. Subscription rates: one year Bt4,900 within regular delivery areas; please contact Customer Service on (02) 338 3000. For bulk copy subscription rates please call (02) 338 3532.



Thursday, December 25, 2008



6,000 The number of child soldiers in Sudan’s war-torn Darfur

briefly Christmas in Bethlehem goes live on the Net Christmas in Bethlehem is being streamed live on the Internet this year. A Christian online broadcast provider says it plans to offer a live webcast showing Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity and the adjoining Manger Square. It says the webcast will run through Christmas today.

Festive scenes


Clockwise from left: Trees decorated in Tbilisi, Georgia; a Santa Claus from Lapland, Finland, arrives in China’s Harbin city; consoling a child at a party in St Cloud, Minnesota; Santa Claus trainees learning how to work for an ecological-friendly Christmas in Tokyo.

Swindler gets 7 years in the slammer A Hong Kong swindler who used fake resumes and documents to scam his way into 12 jobs and steal HK$3.62 million (Bt16 million) has been jailed for seven years. Lam Chun-fai, dubbed by local media as Hong Kong’s version of the fraudster in the Hollywood drama “Catch Me if You Can”, used false documents to win jobs as a psychologist, accounting clerk and marketing boss. The 33-year-old was first arrested in 2001 for embezzling $135,386. But he jumped bail before embarking on the elaborate spree, taking two jobs using fake documents before fleeing Hong Kong and re-entering under a false identity. Lam claimed he had a business administration degree from Cambridge University, but police only found evidence of a secondary education. At one firm, he was even promoted from accounting clerk to manager in a month. – A F P

Germans plan to

counter Santa Movement aims to replace ‘cheap American import’ with Saint Nicholas A F P , Berlin


anta beware! Activists in Germany are waging an international campaign to do away with Father Christmas, and say they are gaining ground thanks to the global economic meltdown. Armed with child-friendly stickers, web-savvy promoters and chocolate figurines, the “Santa-Free Zone” movement says it is gathering steam this year against what it calls the hollow commercialisation of Christmas. Launched by a German Catholic priest in 2002, the campaign aims to knock Santa

off his pedestal and replace what they see as a cheap, American import with the real thing: Saint Nicholas.

Against the gift industry “The movement is intended to raise awareness of the fact that the consumption-oriented Santa launched by the Christmas-gift industry has very little to do with the holy bishop Saint Nicholas,” said Christoph Schommer of the Catholic aid group Bonifatiuswerk, which is rallying the Santa opposition. Saint Nicholas, an actual historical figure, was the

fourth-century Bishop of Myra in today’s Turkey whose legendary modesty and generosity led him to give gifts in secret. As the story goes, his greatest miracle was saving three girls whose impoverished father wanted to sell them into prostitution. Nicholas, who had inherited a fortune from his father, left three lumps of gold over three nights in their room while they were sleeping. Catholics and Orthodox Christians in much of the world still celebrate Saint Nicholas Day, usually on December 6, as a festival for children, who receive chocolates in their shoes when they leave them out overnight.

The streaming webcast will be played on

Beauty queen held A beauty queen from the Mexican state of Sinaloa has been arrested along with six companions for carrying weapons and US$100,000 (Bt3.5 million) in cash. Laura Zuniga, 23, was crowned “Miss Sinaloa” in July. She also won the Queen of Hispanic America contest in November in Bolivia. The men she was travelling with included Angel Garcia Urquiza, brother of Ricardo Garcia Urquiza, also known as “The Doctor”, who was detained in 2005 and suspected of running a major drug cartel.

GETOSAMA plates A New York man is finally excited to receive his “GETOSAMA” licence plates. Retired New York Police Department officer Arno Herwerth said he ordered the plates in 2007 as a reminder that September 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden remains at large. The plates were delivered, but the Department of Motor Vehicles ordered them returned, saying they could be considered objectionable. The DMV relented following Herwerth’s federal complaint. – AP


Thursday, December 25, 2008



SCARLETT JOHANSSON, AFTER BLOWING HER NOSE ON THE “TONIGHT” SHOW. THE TISSUE IS BEING AUCTIONED FOR CHARITY. “And you got some lipstick – and snot! There’s definitely snot there.”




No makeup, easy hours, sneaky jokes – why Stiller and Rock are back as cartoon zoo animals in ‘Madagascar: Back 2 Africa’ By Ellen McCarthy THE WASHINGTON POST


XTRA GOT TO MOVE IT >> Also returning for this sequel to 2005’s “Madagascar are Jada Pinkett Smith as Gloria the hippo and David Schwimmer as Melman the giraffe. >> “Madagascar: Back 2 Africa” opens in cinemas today, including a digitally mastered IMAX version at Krungsri IMAX at Paragon Cineplex.

hen Ben Stiller and Chris Rock were first asked to become a talking lion and a cartoon zebra, neither had toddlers or other parents to impress. Stiller was busy strutting down fashion runways as Derek Zoolander. Rock was doing his sold-out comedy shows. So why’d they sign up for “Madagascar”, an animated movie about escaped zoo animals? “It just seemed fun,” Stiller says with the sequel, “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa”, about to debut, seven years later. It was fun, as it turned out, for him, Rock, millions of moviegoers and DreamWorks, which banked more than half a billion dollars. If you want to know where Hollywood is hanging out these days, check the studios of DreamWorks and its rival Pixar. Think Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Renee Zellweger, Tom Hanks ... Chris Rock signed on to

“Madagascar” and its sequel simply because “they’re good movies!” “I’m a comedian,” he says. “Anything that’s funny I want to be involved in.”

Over their heads Fans of Rock’s trademark envelope-pushing adult humour might be surprised, but he and Stiller point out that these kidcentric movies are so rife with high-level comedy they appeal to them as actors and to the grown-ups forking over cash. “It’s fun sometimes for adults to be watching a quote-unquote kids movie and see a joke that they think, ‘Oh, wow, I can’t believe they actually put that in there’,” Stiller says. “And the kids – it’ll go right over their heads.” This kiddie flick is densely populated with actors known for their decidedly adult fare. Listen for the voices of Alec Baldwin, Andy Richter, Cedric the Entertainer, Sacha Baron Cohen of “Borat” fame and the late Bernie Mac, who plays the noble dad to Stiller’s long-lost lion, Alex. But make no mistake, says Rock, this is acting. “You’re


like, ‘Ooooh, I can put a little more emotion in that one. I mean, did you see ‘Kung Fu Panda’? Dustin Hoffman is acting. That’s the best Hoffman performance I’ve seen in a while.”

Thursday, December 25, 2008






‘FEARLESS’, the second album by 19-year-old country singer Taylor Swift, has reclaimed the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart.

Artists depict the capital’s past, present and future in ‘Krungthep 226’. > Page 8

A head

for heights


Tokyo Tower is seen amid festive illuminations in the Roppongi Hills. A symbol of Japan’s post-war economic miracle, a favoured backdrop for film directors and a romantic spot for young lovers, Tokyo Tower turned 50 on Monday. Modelled on the Eiffel Tower, but painted in orange and white to make it more visible to aircraft, the world’s tallest self-supporting steel structure has attracted 156 million visitors since it opened in December 1958.


A fine romance – times four

soopsip Eyeing the North Pole One of the great conspiracy theories of modern times –

Thaksin Shinawatra and his mysterious links with Finland – was back in the headlines this week. Our former CEO did indeed pal around in Helsinki with Nokia bigwigs during the 1980s Thaksin and ’90s, but no one’s been able to prove allegations concerning the so-called “Finland Declaration”, a supposed republican plot. Now, however, Finnish Ambassador Lars Backstrom has revealed another reason for Thaksin to be in his country in 2006. One of the newspapers back home says Thaksin acquired a reindeer-driving licence. It’s a tourist gag, apparently. And, no, he didn’t spend any taxpayer’s money on it.

Sneaky success Continuing with a Scandinavian theme, excellent

A quartet of short love stories hits the big screen today D A I LY X P R E S S


he success of “See Phrang” (“4Bia”), the collection of four short horror films released in April as a single package, may well have set a trend. Opening today is another four-segment movie, this one from, Sahamongkol Film International, and romance is the subject.

“Fan Waan Aai Joop” (“4 Romance”) is four short stories directed by Prachya Pinkaew, Chukiat “Madiaw” Sakveerakul, Bhandit Thongdee and Rashane Limtrakul. Shahkrit “Working on the same concept is an amazing experience for filmmakers. For me it’s been a complete change of mood after working on big action films,” says Prachya

who made “Waan”, about a couple (Shahkrit Yamnarm and Suthida Kasemsan na Ayutthaya) whose relationship has seen better years. Rachen, who made his debut in 1995 with “Loke Thang Bai Hai Nai Khon Diaw” (“Romantic Blue”) directs teen star Mario Maurer in “Joop”. GTH, meanwhile, is planning a follow up to “4Bia”, bringing Songyos Sukmakanan (“Dek Hor”) to join the four other “See Phrang” directors for “Haa Phrang”.

reviews arrive from Denmark for our Chat Pimuk troupe of khon dancers. They went there for two shows at the same time as Bangkok’s airports were closed. The performers slipped out via Singapore, but their masks and costumes remained hostages. So the Danish gigs went ahead in plainclothes, and yet the crowds loved them, admiring their spunk in the face of setbacks. Three people asked for their money back, though – probably PAD.

Contact Soopsip at



Thursday, December 25, 2008


show s

Are you in the market?

Tatiya Udomsawat’s ‘Democracy Monument’

Call (02) 422 8823 or visit

Budding marine talent


A wide range of works by hundreds of artists will be on sale through Saturday at the Art Market Festival 2009 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre at the Pathumwan intersection. The paintings, photographs, sculptures, postcards, ceramic ware and jewellery would make perfect holiday gifts. You can watch portraits being drawn as well as dance and drama onstage from 10 to 9.

The city you barely know Be amazed at the maps, paintings and photos in ‘Krungthep 226’ By Khetsirin Pholdhampalit D A I LY X P R E S S

Pam Sripian’s debut solo show “Flowers and Seascapes” is at Rotunda and Garden Galleries from January 2 to February 1 – small and medium-size oil paintings of dreamlike flowers and seascapes. That’s at the Neilson Hays Library, open daily except Saturday from 9.30 to 5. Call (02) 233 1731 or visit

Believing the Buddha Auttapon Suetongprasert presents his solo show “Imaginary Buddhism” at the Silom Galleria’s lower-level Gallery until January 11. His blackand-white drawings reflect his personal language of interpretation and expression, inspired by Buddhist thoughts. Drop by Monday to Saturday from 10 to 7 or Sunday from 11 to 6. Call (02) 630 3381 or visit


he city we know is only fleetingly recognisable in the exhibition “Krungthep 226”, which leaps through two centuries and into the imagined future. The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre repays its hometown patrons once again with an engaging show – organised by Luckana Kunavichayanont and Apisak Sonjod – covering the capital’s 226-year history and offering predictions of what’s to come. In “Bangkok’s Early Days”, reproductions of old graphics include a map of Thonburi drawn by an 18th-century Burmese spy, another of Bangkok commissioned by French priest Bishop Pallegoix in 1854 and replicas of mural paintings of Wat Suwannaram dating back to the reign of King Rama III. “My research confirmed that the most important person in Sitthidet Saenghiran’s ‘Economic Principle’

Krungthep’s history was King Taksin the Great,” says Luckana. “He recovered Ayutthaya from the Burmese and established the new capital, Thonburi. That was the pivotal point, the birth of Krungthep.” How the Bangkok bud blossomed is examined next, in panoramic photographs of the Chao Phya River, temples and palaces. Francis Chit’s snapshots taken during Rama IV’s reign are augmented by Chuang Moolpinit’s 1979 drawing of Chakri Maha Prasert and Sa-ngad Puiock’s 1962 painting of the Mahanak Canal. Facing these pieces, the city’s further progress is depicted in sketches of Silpa Bhirasri’s highrelief murals of the Democracy Monument and replicas of murals by Khrua Inkhong, one of the first Siamese artists to employ Western perspective and shading. In “New

Julio Brujis’ ‘Bangkok’

XTRA HOMETOWN HISTORY >> “Krungthep 226” continues until February 15. The art centre at the Pathumwan intersection is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 to 9. >> Call (02) 214 6630-1 or visit

Bangkok Skyline”, political and economic upheavals are revisited in satirical works such as a 2005 campaign poster for Vasan Sitthiket’s Artist Party – a putdown of Thai Rak Thai populism – and Chatchai Puipia’s sculpture of himself sitting on a cart, crossed-legged and stoically detached. On to the future in “Dream Bangkok”, where Julio Brujis has worked elements of shock

Vasan Sitthiket’s Artist Party poster and humour into pictures of the capital at night and Tatiya Udomsawat has sown thick jungles around Democracy Monument, Parliament House and Siam Paragon.

Thursday, December 25, 2008



WHAT’S ON/WHAT’S UP A tree you

see it!

can eat!

The Amari Atr New Phetc ium Hotel on haburi Roa d an Thai Roong Ruang Sug d ar Group welc om the “Biggest e 2009 with S Christmas T ugar ree for Cha rity”. This edible ma ated by exe sterpiece crecu Hanspeter tive chef Aschawand en and his tea m is six me tres high and th ree metres and is mad until Janu e of 52,009 ary 15 to b uy a sugar the Founda stick for Bt1 sugar sticks, You have tion under 0 an the King Pa pop in and tronage. Th d help raise funds for admire the e tree in th work. Call (02) e lobby so 718 2000 do extensio

Crazy for comedy The economy won’t get any better in the next month, so you might as well have a laugh about it. Punchline Comedy Club is bringing three comedians – John Gordillo, Kitty Flannagan and Roger Monkhouse – to the Bull’s Head on January 23 and 24. For a Bt1,500 ticket, call (02) 233 4141 or (02) 234 3590 or book online at

n 3165.

Music in the Park

The wond DoiTung ers of Spend

A walk in

the viney ard

Siam Wine ry h the first win as opened the doors to its Hua H e growing a in re the new ho me of Mon a in Prachuab Khiri Kh Hills Vineyard, soon Valley an province the exciting Wines. Visit , lif ors can exp and tropical vit estyle of New Latitud e ri e iculture fro e nce W in es and also mS Sala, desig learn abou ned by form iam Winery’s profess t io er Norman Thai-inspir Foster arch nal team. The ed pavilion it housing a b ect Sylvia S function ro oh, is a istro, om on elephan . Visitors are welcome wine bar, retail shop and ts. It’s open d to tour th e vineyard Tuesday th idays from - even rough Sun 11 to 6. For da more inform call (081) ation or rese y and public hol701 8874. rvation,

betwee at the DoiT n Bt2,000 and Bt5,0 0 ung Lifestyl e shops be 0 the end of fore January a n d yo rewarded w ith vouchers u’ll be Bt500. worth up to There’s ple nty searching fo on offer for those still rg ly including ifts for friends and fa m hampers, g ift sets, pro iduce, ceram ics, hand-w oven neckti and silk sca e rves. The p romotion is s available a t all branch es. You’ll fin them on th d e fo Discovery, S urth floor of Siam uan Lum N ight Bazzar, Marche ma Bon rke Rai and Ch ts as well as at Chian iang Mai air g po informatio n, call (02) rts. For more

extension 209.


Chill out this winter with the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra’s Concert in the Park series in the relaxed atmosphere of Sala Bhirom Bhakdi, Lumpini Park. Enjoy popular tunes, pop classics, music from the movies and Broadway plus legendary Thai songs by the BSO and guest vocalists every Sunday except January 4 at 5.30. Admission is free. The programme runs through February 15.

Broadway in Bangkok The much-loved musical “Chicago” comes to Bangkok with performances running from February 12 to 22 at Muang Thai Ratchadalai Theatre. Tickets costing from Bt1,000 to Bt4,000 are available at Thaiticketmajor. Call (02) 262 3456 or visit

Streets of sages Until Monday, the Fulbright Foundation hosts the exhibition “A Way to Wisdom” at Pridi Banomyong Institute in Soi Thonglor. On display are paintings by Praphan Srisouta, Prasit Silpadechakul and Pairoj Wangbon, drawings by Inson Wongsam and sculptures by Thawatchai Srisompetch

Amazing Isaan Every province in the Northeast will be showcasing its wares at the Amazing Isaan Fair 2009, which runs at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre from January 15 to 18. Check it out for local fruit, fresh products and processed foodstuffs such as Chinese sausage, as well as hand-woven cloth, silk, earthenware and handicrafts. For more information, call (02) 682 9880.


Thursday, December 25, 2008


WHAT’S ON/WHAT’S UP A night on the river

do it!

tautel Ho i-La ngr Sha rant at the ell to Bangkok joins in the farew xt2 Ne at 2008. A buffet dinner and s nce ma for with special per grand raffle draws with the land, Halo, a band from New Zea and lts adu goes for Bt9,500 for 12 er und n ldre Bt5,400 for chi ilwhile a Thai set dinner is ava 0 for ,50 Bt8 is ip ath Sal at e abl ldren. adults and Bt5,400 for chi urse -co five a h Or go Italian wit rant tau Res ini gel An at t banque a ing & bar for Bt9,500 includ bottle of wine.

On December 31, every res

Relaxing with music The Division of Music Education and Music Therapy, Department of Music and Dance, School of Arts, University of Kansas is organising “The Art of Applications in Music Therapy” on January 12 and 13 at Mahidol University's Salaya Campus. Early birds registering before January 9 receive a special discount to Bt3,600 (public) and Bt1,800 (students). Registration at the event costs Bt4,000 (public) and Bt2,000 (students). For reservation and more information,

Call (02) 236 8579.

call (02) 800 2525 extension 144 or e-mail,

Countdown in Chiang Rai

Four pay, five eat

Countdown to 2009 at Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort where dinner including drinks, a countdown party on the lawn featuring fireworks and a brunch on January 1 costs Bt4,000. The package is available to Thai residents only. For reservation,

d Throughout January, hea

to the Ambassador Hotel Bangkok’s Am Cafe for an international lunch buffet an featuring Western and Asi bar ad sal a as ll we as e, cuisin se, ane and Thai, Chinese, Jap g kin coo French and pasta en stations, The buffet is op ts cos and 0 2.3 to 11 from Bt399. Go in a group of five aand pay for four. For reserv 44 04 4 25 2) (0 tions, call extension 1581-2.

call 053-360-3333 or e-mail

New Year in Pattaya Mantra restaurant and bar at the Amari Orchid Resort & Tower in Pattaya offers a New Year allyou-can-eat buffet for Bt3,900 per person. After 11, the entrance fee is Bt500 per person inclusive of two drinks. Mantra DJ Ning kicks off the ascent to this end of your countdown. A recovery brunch the next day is offered at Bt1,650 (Bt850 per child) from 11 to 3. For reservation, call 038 429 591.

Mamma Mia! Huntsman Pub, Landmark Bangkok Hotel

The popular pub celebrates New Year’s Eve with an Abba party with the Swedish band's greatest hits performed by resident outfit Sweet Inspiration. The cover charge is at Bt1,500 net inclusive of four drinks, and a fourcourse set dinner menu priced at Bt1,200 net. For reservation, call (02) 254 0404 extension 7777 or e-mail festive

Gaysorn magpinic g Centre is hold-

op al Moment” promogic Ma rd: wa Re re ing the “Pu raffle game. With o” tion featuring the “Soi Da Bt12,000 spent on (or se every Bt15,000 purcha pper is entitled to enter American Express), a sho nce to win prizes worth the raffle game for a cha ine, Loewe, Bt3 million in total from Cel Emernegildo Zegna, ks, Da Montblanc, Kwanpen, Tumi, Disaya, Aigner, Longchamps, Bally, re. On the New Year’s THANNative, and many mo the day will receive a of Eve, the highest spender m Anantara Resort special package for two fro campaign’s top and Spa Phuket, while the to enjoy magical spender will have a chance ckage for two from pa moments from a special Maldives. the a, Sp Anantara Resort and

Sh Until Monday, Gaysorn

uty AbandonedVitbtayea a intings Sudprasert’s 25 acrylic pa

t on the streets inspired by stray dogs lef Dog…Dog ng are on display in “Looki auty” at Be ned do an Looking…the Ab 18. ry ua Jan til un y Gossip Galler 28 is open i So it mv khu Su in y ler The gal 30 to 8.30. 10. m fro Monday to Saturday ke an ma to or on ati For more inform it, vis ay nd Su a for nt appointme ail: call (02) 2586247 or e-m . om il.c gossipgallery@gma



Thursday, December 25, 2008


As good as new Cheer up your home this New Year with great goods at bargain prices D A I LY X P R E S S


ith most of us having a few days off over the New Year holidays, we’ve selected four second-hand shops that offer good quality products at bargain prices that are ideal for adding cheer to your home. At Pankan and SCAD, you’ll great used furniture and your money will help underprivileged people and rescued animals.

Papaya Already well known from its original home at Bangkok Bazaar, Papaya has now relocated to a three-storey warehouse on Soi Chokchai 4 (Lat Phrao Soi 55/2) and is piled high with everything from retro furniture to light fittings and ceramics to carpets, as well as artwork and accessories just begging for a home. There’s also a good stock of quality second-hand products imported from Denmark, Belgium, Germany, France, Holland and the US. Prices start at Bt200 and run into the millions. Call (02) 933 0661 or visit

Pankan Drop your unwanted belongings with the people at the Pankan (“sharing”) store at Seri Centre and they’ll make sure it flies into a new home. A brainchild of the Yuvabadhana Foundation, the shop sells stuff donated by good-hearted people and passes on the profits to help underprivileged kids nationwide. You’ll find everything from clothes to kitchenware, CDs to children’s books and furniture to electric appliances at prices that run from a mere Bt10 to Bt30,000. Call (02) 746 0448 or (02) 301 1096.

Retails Too At the Soi Cats and Dogs (Scad) shop on Sukhumvit Soi 71, shoppers can sift through a mountain of items donated by sympathetic Thais and foreigners, with all profits going towards finding homes for abandoned cats and dogs around Thailand. ReTails Too, as the shop is called, has every-thing from wooden cabinets to giant teddy bears at prices from Bt50 to Bt50, 000 and they’re all in good condition. People with a pet-shaped hole in their lives should make their way to the hideaway behind the store, where about 20 adoptable cats and dogs are waiting to make new friends. Call (02) 713 2635 or (02) 713 3354 or visit

The Peter Pan Collection House A century of Europe’s culture and craftsmanship glints in the shop on Soi Thonglor, ranging from furniture, chandeliers and kitchenware to garments that were made between 1900 and yesterday. A new branch of the Peter Pan Collection House was recently launched on the second floor of the Esplanade.

Thursday, December 25, 2008




quick shots A dry new year The Thai Health Promotion Foundation encourages us to take care of each other and not offer alcohol as a New Year gift. Representatives explain why through mime and other activities today from 1.30 to 2.30 at Victory Point, the Victory Monument. Call (02) 298 0222, extension 512.

Thai police learn to laugh at stress. Life doesn’t demand to be taken seriously all the time.

Ho ho? Ha ha! As the going gets tougher, Americans get into laughter yoga By Karin Zeitvogel AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE


ife got you bummed out again? Your personal cash crunch so bad you can’t see the Christmas tree for the forest of debt? You forgot to laugh, didn’t you? We’ve had lots of stories about “laughter meditation”, the yoga of chuckles that swept out of India to tickle the world’s tummy. It’s even caught on in grumpy America, where the whole economy is on its knees. “Laughter is such an easy thing – it comes naturally,” says Nira Berry as she leads 60 people, including cancer


the pros

Vatanyudi Thanavisuth, MD, is an ophthalmologist at Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital. Send your question about health to

patients, in an hour-long session of “ha-ha yoga” at a hospital in a Washington suburb. A quick warm-up of jiving to Kool and the Gang’s “Celebrate” and it’s straight into the serious business of laughing, as the group follows Berry’s lead and pronounces a determined ho-ho, followed by a rapid ha-ha-ha. “Laughter yoga combines laughter with yogic breathing,” she says. “When we laugh we exhale, and we automatically take a deep inhale afterwards, which is where the yogic breathing comes in.” You need neither a sense of humour nor a pill, a drink or the ability to bend your legs. The only prerequisite is the

ability to laugh, but getting people to laugh on command is difficult. So Berry tells her students to fake it. “Even if you fake it, your body is doing all kinds of wonderful things inside and you start changing your mood and getting healthier. And at the end people are really laughing.” Begun 15 years ago in India by Madan Kataria, laughter yoga is popular in Europe and another 30 countries around the world but is only just catching on in the United States. Getting people to waddle around a room full of strangers and act like a penguin while

ho-ho-ho’ing would be nearly impossible if the health benefits of laughter had not been proven by science. A 2006 study at the University of Maryland showed that watching a comedy film boosts the flow of blood to the heart while watching a sad film makes the flow decline. And an experiment conducted in Japan showed that diabetics’ blood glucose levels dropped after they chuckled their way through a stand-up comedy show. Ten minutes of sustained laughter will give you the equivalent workout of half an hour on a stationary bicycle, Berry adds.

Health for all the family Siriraj Hospital’s medical faculty holds easy-to-digest talks every month in the cosy Room 7008,on the seventh floor of Siammin Building. On Friday, January 9, the doctors will be discussing allergies while on February 13, they’ll be turning the spotlight on cholesterol held on Friday. In March, the subject is keeping the elderly in good health. The talks run from 10 to 11.30 and admission is free. Call (02) 419 7419.

Keep smiling even when you’re sick Rising costs and the threat of losing your job causing you stress? Now for some good news! Bangkok Hospital is featuring special offers that will bring a smile to your face even if you fall sick. Civil servants and state enterprise officers pay only Bt100 for ambu-lance service, Bt100 per night for a standard room, and receive 30-per-cent off medical charges. The general public pays a little more but receives a full 50per-cent discount on standard rooms plus 20-per-cent off medical charges. Call 1719.

Hey, Big Eyes: Don’t take risks I have normal eyesight, but I wish my eyes were rounder. Some of my friends wear the Big Eyes contact lenses from South Korea and they look fabulous, but I’m not sure if I should just buy them and rely on the instructions provided, rather than consulting a doctor first. Do you think their size – 14 or 15.5mm – will make any difference to my eyes? Wannabe

People who find eyeglasses inconvenient usually have contact lenses prescribed by physicians to correct their vision. The Big Eyes lenses might seem to give people dazzlingly beautiful eyes, but the accompanying risk has to be considered: You could lose your sight. The big contact lenses block oxygen from reaching the corneas, which then weaken and become prone to infections that could lead to blindness, even within just two or three days.

Another concern is that some of the fashionable contact lenses being sold might not meet approved medical standards and cause damage. The wearers can have allergic reactions due to the dyes and other chemicals used in making the lenses. So unless you have poor eyesight, and unless you’ve seen a physician first to ensure you’re a suitable candidate for contact lenses, you shouldn’t risk your precious vision just to be trendy.

Expert advice Piyavate Hospital offers weekly talks about health at its Rossukon Room on 16th floor, on Friday from to noon. On January 10, experts will advise how to keep away from cancer; on January 24, the focus is on the knees, while on January 31, it’s all about breaking away from back pain. Free admission. Call (02) 625 6500.

Contact Quick Shots at contact-


Thursday, December 25, 2008


TO SEE on tv

Hot Fuzz London’s top cop finds himself reassigned to a sleepy rural village in this 2007 spoof of buddy-cop movies by Brits Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. HBO (TrueVisions), 8pm


Baz Luhrma nn’s sweepin g epic is set Territory prio in th r to World W ar II, with Nic e Northern an aristocra ole Kidman tic English w as idow who a struggling ca rrives to wh ttle ranch b ip a ack into sha the heroic D pe rover (Hugh Jackman). ★ with help of ★ ★

Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause Santa, aka Scott Calvin, is faced with double-duty: how to keep his new family happy, and how to stop Jack Frost from taking over Christmas. Stars Tim Allen. Star Movies (TrueVisions), 8pm

Cinemax (TrueVisions), 8pm

How the Grinch Stole Christmas If you’re not moved by Dr Seuss’ animated holiday classic, then your heart is two sizes too small. MGM Gold (TrueVisions), 7pm

ri IM Also at Krungs

Pride and Glory

Toi et Moi

Transporter 3

Chukiat Sakveerakul, Prachya Pinkaew, Bhandit Thongdee and Rashane Limtrakul each direct a short love story. Stars include Shahkrit Yamnarm and Mario Maurer. With English

A family of New York City Police officers are pitted against each other in the investigation of a drug bust that went horribly wrong. Stars Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, Noah Emmerich and Jon Voight. ★★★

Julie Depardieu and Marion Cotillard star in this romantic comedy. In French with English

Driver Frank Martin (Jason Statham) has a new assignment: deliver the feisty daughter of a Ukrainian official from Marseilles to Odessa. For added excitement, Martin is fitted with a bracelet that will explode if he fails to make his delivery on time. ★★

subtitles at some cinemas.

A travel photographer (Ananda Everingham) and a a tour guide (Chayanan Manomaisantiphap) meet cute and fall in love. But then tragedy strikes, leaving the young woman in a coma and her new boyfriend as her devoted caregiver. With English subtiThis battle-of-wits thriller pits a bank robber against a street-smart detective in what appears to be the perfect bank robbery. Stars Clive Owen and Denzel Washington.

ew York zoo species of their The escaped N they encounter re he w d n Stiller, an nl ai African m Voices include Be e. tim st fir ry ve e ett Smith. own kind for th er and Jada Pink m im hw Sc d vi Chris Rock, Da AX. ★★★

Fan Waan Aai Joop

Happy Birthday

Inside Man

ca Escape 2 Afri ay to the r: a c s a g a d a M eir w animals make th

The Day the Earth Stood Still In this update of the 1951 sci-fi classic, Keanu Reeves plays an alien who comes to warn Earthlings of their impending doom. Jennifer Connelly also stars. Also at Krungsri IMAX. ★★★

tles at some cinemas. ★★★★

and Thai subtitles at House.

The Orphanage The past haunts a couple after they buy a spooky old orphanage. In Spanish with English and Thai subtitles at the Apex. ★★★★

Ikigami Citizens are issued death messages, telling them they have only 24 hours left to live. In Japanese with English and Thai subtitles at Apex.

Ong Bak 2 Phanom “Tony Jaa” Yeerum codirects his magnum opus, starring as a fierce young warrior who has only a taste for vengeance. With English subtitles at some cinemas. ★★★★


Super Hap A record company aims to make big baht with pretty-boy mixed-race singer Tom (Film Rattapoom). But Tom’s hiding a secret: ghost singer Tueng (Kiatisak Udomnak) whose looks are not superstar quality. Also stars Naowarat Yuktanan. With English subtitles at some cinemas.

Lido: (02) 252 6498 Siam: (02) 251 3508 Scala: (02) 251 2861

Century – The Movie Plaza (02) 247 9940

House (02) 641 5913-4

Major Cineplex/EGV Bangkok: (02) 515 5555 Chiang Mai: (053) 283 939

Major Hollywood Bangkok: (02) 718 7999

Paragon Cineplex Channel links Channel 3 – Channel 5 – Channel 7 – Modernine – NBT – Thai PBS – True –

Bangkok: (02) 129 4635 IMAX: (02) 129 4631

SF Cinemas Bangkok: (02) 268 8888 Phuket: (076) 209 000

Vista Chiang Mai: (053) 894 415

Thursday, December 25, 2008



CITYSCENE IN PICTURES Anchorman Varin Sachdev, right, with Dr Kotom Ariya and the Joe Louis Puppet troupe.

DonHetrakul, left, with French Ambassador Laurent Bili, Pracha Hetrakul and Sabine Bili.

Ambassadorial splendour D A I LY X P R E S S


rench Ambassador Laurent Bili and his wife Sabine recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first French diplomat to the French Residence in Bangkok. Their Royal Highnesses Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Princess Sirivannavari presided over the ceremony. The fancy party at the residence on the Chao Phya, next to Charoen Krung Road, featured diplomats and their wives dressed in period formal wear.

The Bilis wore Victorianstyle fancy dress. They took a boat on the river and entered the residence from the back yard, just as the home’s first resident, the Count of Castelnau, did when he arrived in Siam 150 years ago. Thai officers from the French Embassy dressed in traditional Thai costumes. Fireworks highlighted the occasion while the puppet troupe from the Joe Louis Theatre entertained hundreds of guests.

Ride the Pattaya Express Pattaya Deputy Mayor Ronnakij Ekasingh, third from left, helped start the American Express Platinum Journey: Pattaya Leisure Drive, organised by American Express, B

Above from left: Sumet Tantivejkul and his wife Khunying Chintana, Dr Jingjai Hanchanlash, Dr Sumet Jumsai na Ayudhaya and Jean Charconnet. Left from left: Finnish Ambassador Lars Erik Backstrom, US Ambassador Eric G John and his wife Yoon, Maria da Piedade de Faria e Maya, Portuguese Ambassador of Antonio Felix Machado de Faria e Maya and Brigitta Katharina Backstrom.

Grimm and the DusitD2 Baraquda Pattaya. Also pictured are DusitD2 Baraquda Pattaya general manager Paolo Randone, Charnchai Suthidechachai, TAT deputy governor Juthaporn Rerngron-asa, American Express (Thailand) vice president Anakkawat Kowathanakul and Serm Phenjati, DusitD2 Baraquda Pattaya’s consultant.


Close to Home By John McPherson


Pooch Cafe

The Buckets


Calvin and Hobbes

By Brian Basset

By Paul Gilligan

By Scott Stantis

By Bryan Basset

By Bill Watterson

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Red and Rover


Thursday, December 25, 2008



Games&YourStars SUDOKU

The last word in


By Eugenia Last

Today’s Birthday: Don’t let your emotions lead you down the wrong path. Stand your ground and hold on to what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. This is not the year to take risks or to let frivolous needs get in the way of your goals. Instead of trialand-error, this is a year that must be laid out precisely.

Yesterday’s Puzzle Answer Complete the grid so that every row, column and 3x3 box contains every digit from 1 to 9 inclusively.

ARIES ***** March 21-April 19 You’ll be busy running about and making sure everything is up to your standards. Back away from anyone who doesn’t often agree with you. This is the time of year to get along and to avoid any discord. TAURUS *** April 20-May 20 A change of scenery is what you need. Whether it means having a lot of people visit you or, even better, visiting friends and family, it will give you a renewed sense of where you are heading. GEMINI *** May 21-June 20 You may be uncertain about a lot of things, including some of your relationships. Listen instead of doing all the talking and you will get a whole new perspective. Enjoy what others have to offer.


CANCER *** June 21-July 22 You’ve probably taken on too much, but that’s OK, you will get through it. Family may be critical and sometimes difficult but, for now, concentrate on the positive. LEO ***** July 23-Aug. 22 Have fun with your family. Your high-spirited nature and entertaining ways will capture hearts. Don’t neglect the one who is counting on you most. Put time aside for that special person.


VIRGO ** Aug. 23-Sept. 22 Be confident if you want everyone around you to look up to you. Don’t let emotions overrule what needs to be done. This is not the time to argue over senseless, little things. It may be time for a change. LIBRA **** Sept. 23-Oct. 22 This can be a rather tense day if you let family get to you. Stick to the less serious members of your clan and you will avoid some hefty discussions about matters that will set you off. Love is on the rise. SCORPIO *** Oct. 23-Nov. 21 Lighten up and enjoy the day rather than being critical. Emotional deception is apparent if you are unapproachable or too quick to judge. Hold on to your thoughts for now or you could face problems. SAGITTARIUS *** Nov. 22-Dec. 21 You will be emotional regarding some comments made and actions taken but you have to allow others to be who they are. Put important decisions on the backburner for now.

Sissy Spacek

Singer Jimmy Buffett is 62. Actress Barbara Mandrell is 60. Actress Sissy Spacek is 59. Singer Annie Lennox is 54. Keyboardist Darren Wharton (Thin Lizzy) is 46. Singer Dido is 37. Singer Mac Powell (Third Day) is 36. Actress Katie Wright is 27.

CAPRICORN *** Dec. 22-Jan. 19 Be careful how you handle family and friends. It is likely that someone will ask you for financial help. Back away nicely, making suggestions but avoid lending if you don’t feel right about it. AQUARIUS **** Jan. 20-Feb. 18 Overspending to try to please someone is a bad idea. Make up for whatever you feel you should be doing by offering affection, good will and a helping hand. Your gestures will be a far greater gift. PISCES ** Feb. 19-March 20 You may feel a little uneasy seeing some of your relatives, especially if you have unfinished business with any of them. Avoid a disagreement about something that really doesn’t matter.


For For sale sale & & Lease Lease 1) 675-3,330 sq.m. 2) 1,200 sq.m. 3) 1,620 sq.m. 4) 2.3 rais Raw land 5) 700-1,000 sq.m. 6) 1,620 sq.m. 7) 2,500-5,000 sq.m. 8) 1,000-8,500 sq.m.


: Laem Chabang Industrial Estate, Chonburi (EPZ) : Amata Industrial Estate, Chonburi : Lard Krabang Industrial Estate, (EPZ) : Lard Krabang Industrial Estate, (EPZ) : King Kaew Project, km.12 : Hi-Tech Industrial Estate, Ayuthaya : Tonglow Industrial Land, Chonburi : Samutprakarn Factory

02-676-4031-5, 081-732-8242

Land 8-0-13 rai Wellgrow IE near Bangna-Trad Rd. between P&G and TOA next to a canal

7.7 MB/rai !! (081)639-4693, (081)988-8901

Land near Natural Creek 7 Rai and 11 Rai

Surrounded by mountains of Khaoyai, cold weather during winter, with natural creek on the rear side, Amphur Kaengkoy, 100 km. from Bangkok, near community and agricultural areas, suitable for fruit plantation and resort, ready to transfer

1,400 Baht/sq.w. Khun Mol 081-907-9783, 081-860-1442 WAREHOUSE FOR RENT Suitable for Store or Business/SMEs

Special Price - Ramintra outer Ring Rd., Km. 9 350-2,500 sq.m. - Near by Rama V Bridge, Nontaburi - Tiwanon Rd., (beside Soi Tiwanon 43) Ramintra Factory Co., Ltd. Tel. 02-914-2022, 02-914-2311, 081-806-1975

Index Living Mall : Special Mall for Home Furnishings. Challenges... opportunities... come alive at Index Living Mall in Dubai Got potential and self drive? Take it now! Attractive salary, great benefits await you!

Store Manager & Assistant Store Managers Responsibilities: • Manages the store, performs to achieve sales target. • Maintains store's standard performance. • Develops services and ensures effectiveness. Qualifications: • Bachelor's Degree in any related field with at least 10 years experience in retail operations. • Dynamic, team player, leadership skill and work hard.

Sales & Customer Service Responsibilities: • Advises customers and offers right products and services solutions. • Maintains store's standard performance, performs to achieve sales target. Qualifications: • Bachelor's Degree in any related field with 2 years experience in retail operations. • Dynamic, self-disciplined, high responsibility and work hard.

All positions require:

Sales Coordinators Responsibilities: • Summarizes sales ordering documents, plans and coordinates all logistics. • Coordinates all sales activities within the store to ensure customer satisfaction. Qualifications: • Bachelor's Degree in any related field with at least 2 years experience in coordinating sales activities or logistics. • Dynamic, well-organized, self-disciplined & responsible.

Section Managers Responsibilities: • Manages sales floor, schematic, replenishment, stock availability, performs to achieve sales target and maintains store's standard performance. • Trains and develops staff for operation effectiveness. Qualifications: • Bachelor's Degree in any related field with at least 5 years experience in retail operations or similar. • Dynamic, team player, leadership skill and work hard.

- Service minded with good personality., Good command of English, preferably writing skills. - Can work in Dubai, UAE for a minimum of 2 years.

Interior Designers / Visual Display Professionals Interior Designer's

Responsibilities: • Provides 3D services, including interior design housing and residence. • Advises customers about interior design, furniture and decorative items.

Visual Display's

Responsibilities: • Interior design, display room setting in the store. • In store communications (e.g. design, placement of POSM in points of sale, etc.)

Qualifications: • Bachelor's Degree in Interior Design, preferably interior housing, visual merchandising in housing or retail business. • Dynamic, self-disciplined and high responsibility.

Cashiers Responsibilities: • Handles cash and registers sales transactions. • Process and control documents. Qualifications: • Vocational or Commercial Certificate in any related field, preferably with experience in retail business. • Accurate, self-disciplined and high responsibility.

If you are seeking a dynamic, exciting work environment and everyday challenges, apply now!

Human Resources - Recruitment

Index Living Mall Co., Ltd.

43/15 Moo 7, Rama 2 Road Soi 50, Samaedam, Bangkhunthien, Bangkok 10150, Thailand Tel: 0 2898 5544 ext. Recruitment Fax: 0 2898 4377

Email: Visit:

Based out of Rayong, Dacon Inspection Services Co., Ltd. has over the last 15 years developed into one of Thailand and the region's leading inspection companies, specializing in advanced and high technology inspection services for the Oil & Gas, Petrochem and Power industry. The company has recently received ISO 9001 Certification, and expands into new high tech sectors, especially Advanced and Digital Radiographic Testing and X-ray services as well as high end Ultrasonic’s, while at the same time further expanding into ASEAN countries. The company has taken aim at going towards Public Listing in Thailand, so to further boost our team of young and dedicated professionals, we are looking for the following people to join us:

Level 3 Inspector - to develop new and market leading inspection services ◆ Thai or foreign nationality ◆ Degree in Engineering ◆ Must be NDT level 3 Certified in MT, PT, UT and/or RT ◆ Minimum 8 years of experience in the Oil & Gas industry ◆ Team Leadership experiences preferred ◆ Must have excellent communication and human relations skills ◆ Strong working knowledge of NDT ◆ Good knowledge of relevant Codes and Standards ◆ Be able to work in Rayong province

Inspection Engineers - to be in the team of inspectors ◆ Bachelor’s degree or diploma in Engineering ◆ Some years of experiences in Inspection would be a plus ◆ Dynamic, initiative and hard working ◆ Work for local and international projects ◆ Can work overtime and travel to the provinces and overseas ◆ Good in English for both speaking and writing ◆ Be able to work in Rayong province Remarks: ✬ Intensive and extensive trainings both local and overseas will be provided ✬ Career advancements and opportunity to grow in both local and overseas locations

Marketing/Salesperson ◆ Some years of experiences in Marketing/Sales to the Oil & Gas, Petrochem and Power industry ◆ Good command of spoken and written English ◆ Own car and driver’s license Send your application in English only to

Dacon Inspection Services Co., Ltd. 51/10 Moo 5, Sukhumvit Road, Ban Chang, Rayong 21130 Tel: 038-880788, Fax: 038-880727 Email:

Sumitomo Corporation Thailand Ltd. and Sumi-Thai International Ltd., the affiliated companies of Sumitomo Corporation, a Japanese leading international trading and investment company with 179 offices worldwide. We and our affiliated group companies are expanding our business and require more highly qualified and dynamic manpower for the positions of:

Senior Assistant Tax and Accounting Manager Responsible for tax & accounting of Metal Department, consolidated report. Qualifications: ● Male, age 35-40 ● Master's or Bachelor's Degree in Accounting, Finance, Audit ● CPA licence is an advantage ● Good command of English ● 10 years experience in accounting for big firms ● Knowledge of tax and accounting

Project Development To create and develop the new business opportunity. Project: Infrastructure projects such as transportation, water, industries, etc. Qualifications: ● Male, age 30-35 ● Bachelor's Degree in Engineering ● Master's Degree in Business Administration ● Good command of English ● 5-7 years experience in project development

Investment/Project Analyst Job Description: ● Analyze the feasibility of company's project investment from investor's point of view ● Develop & Analyze financial model ● Sensitivity analysis ● Risk & Return analysis ● Suggestion/Comment for risk protection Job Qualifications: ● Male/Female, age 30-33 ● Bachelor's/Master's Degree in Finance ● Experience 5-7 years as a project analyst, investment analyst in financial institution or project investment in the company ● Good command of English Please apply in person or send your resume in English by mail with expected salary and recent photo to

Sumitomo Corporation Thailand Limited 20th & 21st Floor, M. Thai Tower, All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Rd., Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Ms.Pornpimol Tanpanichakul, Human Resources Development Department E-mail: tanpanichakul.pornpimol@ Tel. (02) 654-0002-29 ext. 403



Thursday December 25, 2008

THE SPORT The Boston Celtics gave themselves an early Christmas gift – and one that money can’t buy – a place in the franchise and NBA record books. Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo scored 18 points apiece as the surging Celtics rolled to their 19th consecutive victory, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 110-91. “We haven’t really kept up with the Garnett streak, but any time you win, any time you establish yourself in history is always a great thing,” Garnett said. - DPA

Chelsea’s Essien tops Ghana poll Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has been named Ghana Footballer of the Year after a media poll. A couple of other midfielders in the national ‘Black Stars’ team, Sulley Muntari of Inter Milan and Laryea Kingston of Hearts, came second and third respectively. – AFP

Evra targets title treble for United Patrice Evra has told his Manchester United team-mates to focus on a hat-trick of Premier League titles. “My target is to win three titles in a row,” he said. “To win it again would be the best feeling. We have the potential to do it but we must keep working hard.” Evra will be missing during


The NHL-leading San Jose Sharks piled on a record-breaking five goals in the first 21 minutes for a superb win over the Vancouver Canucks. Sharks captain Patrick Marleau had a goal and two assists.


Celtics roll Sixers for franchise-record

New York Jets player Shaun Ellis was slapped with a US$10,000 fine by the National Football League’s disciplinary officials on Tuesday for throwing snow at Seattle fans. At the end of a 13-3 Sunday Jet loss, Seattle fans hit the Jets’ players with snow balls as they entered the tunnel to the locker room. Ellis, a defensive end, responded by walking over to a snow bank and tossing a boulder-sized chunk of snow that hit a fan. – AFP




Jets Ellis fined for throwing snow


United’s Christmas fixtures as he serves the four-match. The former Monaco star is likely to make his first appearance after the ban against Chelsea, at Old Trafford. “I would like to thank the FA for my little holiday, it means I can spend more time with my family over Christmas,” he joked. – AFP

I can win Aust Open: Tsonga Rising French player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga believes he can go one better at the Australian Open next month and win his first Grand Slam title. The 23-year-old from Le Mans exploded on to Tsonga the scene in Melbourne at the start of the year when he reached the final as an unseeded player defeating Rafael Nadal in straight sets in the semi-finals. He then lost to Novak Djokovic in a closely-fought title match. “I will go into the Australian Open as one of the possible winners. I am sure of that,” Tsonga said. “The Grand Slam tournaments are what it is all about. I can’t wait to get down there and get on with it. “I am very ambitious for next year and Melbourne will be crucial to what follows.” – AFP

Chelsea boss Scolari hits out at Terry’s dismissal – but there are rumours that the captain’s unhappy with his methods DPA, Sunderland, England


helsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari broke his media silence to condemn referee Phil Dowd’s decision to send off John Terry during Monday’s 0-0 draw at Everton. Terry was dismissed for serious foul play by referee Phil Dowd after a reckless lunge on Leon Osman. Scolari refused to attend the usual post-match press-conference. “If I go to say something [straight after the game] maybe I say something wrong and I need more time to look at everything,” he said. “I have to look at the game again if something happened in the game. I need to be sure

about this or that. “I said no [to the press] at that time because maybe I’d have problems in the future – in that time I am not calm. “If I go then I answer some questions and I’m angry.” He still professed bewilderment on Tuesday, even though neither of Terry’s feet were rooted, bringing him within the Football Association’s definition of serious foul play. “Maybe I look at the game and I change my mind, but I don’t change my mind about yesterday,” Scolari said. “I looked at the game again and I don’t change. “It’s the same as I thought yesterday. For me it’s not normal. I

don’t understand the decision. “But he’s the referee. After [the red card] John goes to his friend [Osman] to apologise, he goes off like normal. He’s a very good captain, he accepts the decision from the referee.”

Cech makes case for boss Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech insists Scolari still has the full support of the Stamford Bridge squad. Reports in the English media recently claimed that senior players including Terry and Frank Lampard were unhappy with Scolari’s training methods and substitutions. Chelsea’s results have hardly quelled the sense that Scolari is struggling to adapt to life at the west London club, as well as the unique demands of the Premier League. “We have seen things that

Thursday December 25, 2008




“We’ve had the discussion and I just said the timing I thought was very poor. He should have not done that interview ... but we have resolved that and I have told him I don’t want him to leave.”

have been said, there is always a lot of comment at this club,” Cech said. “It is always speculation. But out on the pitch no-

AP, Liverpool, England



Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari signals instructions to captain John Terry.

body is complaining, nothing is being said. “And when we were down to 10 men it is clear we are physically ready and are happy with the tactics and fighting for the manager.” There was some good news for Scolari on Tuesday as the Football Association confirmed that Brazil defender Alex won’t face disciplinary action for a stamp on Everton midfielder Tim Cahill. Dowd was asked to review footage of the incident after no action was taken against the player on the field. Alex appeared to bring his foot down on the Australian’s thigh after being tackled but he will not face punishment. A statement from the Football Association said: “Referee Phil Dowd said had he seen the incident, he would not have shown Alex a red card.”

afael Benitez is close to a return to the Liverpool dugout for tomorrow’s clash against Bolton, while star striker Fernando Torres should also be back in action soon. Liverpool manager Benitez missed Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Arsenal while he recovered from a kidney stones operation, but he is expected to be back on the bench for Bolton’s Boxing Day visit to Anfield. Benitez’s assistant Sammy Lee hopes his imminent return can provide the perfect boost for Liverpool to finish the year on a high. “Rafa is a lot better, he’s on the mend. He has been in a lot of pain but he is improving,” Lee said. “His presence is always missed, but the organisation he has put in place is such that even though he has not been here this week, the battle plan is still there. “We know what we have to do, the game plan is there, it is business as usual. “He is missed and hopefully he will be back with us for the Bolton game. “He is a hands-on manager, it is hurting him more being away from the training ground really, but he will be back soon.” The Bolton game may be

too soon for Torres to return from a hamstring injury that has forced the 24-year-old to miss five matches, but Lee expects him back soon. “Fernando’s progress has markedly improved. He is getting better. He improves with every training session and he has worked very hard on his rehabilitation,” Lee said. “We will put him in when we see fit, that’s not evasive but I don’t want to start revealing our line-up.” Liverpool go into the first of their Christmas fixtures on top of the Premier League and protecting an unbeaten home league record in 2008. It is the first time Liverpool have been top at this stage since 1996, and two wins over the holiday period against Bolton first and then at Newcastle on Sunday will give them their best points tally in a calendar year for 19 years. “The lads will be in training on Christmas Day, we have two very important games in three days coming up and they are very professional and accept that they have to have their Christmas at a different time to everyone else,” Lee added. “They know the job in hand, they know what preparation is needed to stay at the top of the Premier League.”

The striker plans to leave Zenit in January.

‘Arshavin transfer on the way’ AFP, London



Petr Cech, Chelsea keeper

“Michael won’t want to hear what I am saying. They say there is no loyalty in football any more but this is an extreme case. He has been handsomely paid, for four years and there should be some return for Newcastle.”





Benitez and Torres close to Reds returns



Freddy Shepherd

Fernando Torres is back in training after recovering from a hamstring injury.

ighly-rated Russian forward Andrei Arshavin could finally be on his way to Europe after his agent said the Zenit St Petersburg player was almost certain to be sold in the transfer window. Arshavin has been linked to Arsenal, Tottenham and Real Madrid and, according to a BBC website report yesterday his agent, Dennis Lachter, said Arshavin and Zenit had agreed that he should find a new club in January. “He will definitely move in January or the player and club will lose money,” Lachter said. “Zenit and Andrei understand that it is time for them to part from each other.” Arshavin, 27, was linked with Tottenham last summer following his impressive performances at Euro 2008, and this week Zenit general director Maxim Mitrofanov was quoted as saying his price tag was £20 million and they hoped Arsenal would make an offer. But Lachter denied reports that the player had visited both teams’ training grounds on a recent trip to London. “That is not true,” he said. “I was in London and he was there too, but the only reason he was there was to shoot an advert for a company he has a contract with.”

Thursday, December 25, 2008




OUT OF TIGER’S SHADOW Woods’ absence opens the door for other players

Woods that the most important thing was to be part of the conversation. With the world’s No 1 player out of sight for the second half of the season, the conversation shifted to four players:



No real advantage for Fijian Did the 45-year-old Fijian take advantage of the big cat being away? Not really. Singh has been among golf’s elite for the better part of a decade now, winning three majors and taking the No 1 ranking away from Woods in 2004. He might not be considered

Padraig Harrington The Irishman joined some elite company by becoming only the seventh player in the last 50 years to win consecutive Majors in the same season. That was enough to be voted player of the year by five organisations – golf writers from both sides of the Atlantic, the PGA of America, European Tour and US PGA Tour.

Anthony Kim AP

iger Woods posed next to the trophy on the 18th green, a familiar scene with a rare twist. It was Sunday, and his clothing did not include a trace of red, and his jacket was black, not green. He was merely the host of the Chevron World Challenge. His duty was to thank sponsors and volunteers and give the trophy to Vijay Singh. “I’m on the operational side this week,” Woods said. That still beats being operated on, which is why no one had seen Woods at a tournament in any capacity since he won the US Open, his last event before season-ending knee surgery. He went the final 188 days of the US golf season without hitting a single shot, opening a host of opportunities for those he regularly beats. Singh won the silly season event for the first time, taking home his third trophy that belonged to Woods a year ago. The other two were from the Bridgestone Invitational and the FedEx Cup.

Tiger Woods congratulates Vijay Singh, winner of the season-end Chevron World Challenge.



Woods’ chief rival, but he could be remembered as the secondbest player in Woods’ era. Still, there were some who benefited from Woods spending more time chasing his daughter than chasing Jack Nicklaus. And there were some who didn’t. The next four players behind


Woods in the world ranking after he won the US Open – Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy and Ernie Els – combined to play 41 times and produced one victory over the last six months. The only time Mickelson made headlines was because of something Woods’ caddy said. During a discussion about rivals, Nicklaus once told

Everyone raves about Kim’s raw skill and unlimited potential. It was worth paying attention to when he delivered. The first victory came at Quail Hollow in Ohio by five shots against a strong field. Then came a two-shot victory at Congressional in Maryland to join Woods, Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott to become the only players in the last 10 years to win multiple times in a season before turning 25. Adding to the hype was his emotional play at the Ryder Cup, and the thrashing he gave Garcia in the Sunday singles. Kim closed him out on the 14th hole, 5 and 4, and was so fired up he stormed off to the 15th tee without realising he had won. “He’s got the swagger,” Woods said. “He’s got all the tools.”

Camilo Villegas The Colombian deserves a cameo mention, but two consecutive victories is not quite enough to establish himself as a challenger to Woods. Even when he wasn’t contending, Villegas was promoted for his magazine looks and stylish clothing. But he is No 7 in the world, and rightfully mentioned in a growing group of young stars.

Sergio Garcia Garcia is similar to Singh in that he was part of the conversation even before Woods left, having established himself as the best player to have never won a Major (and perhaps the youngest player, at 28, to carry that burden). Garcia wasn’t affected that much by Woods’ absence. What he really needs is for Harrington to break a leg, because the Irishman twice has trumped him on the closing holes at Majors in the last two years. Even so, Garcia restored his star power by winning the Players Championship and twice losing in extra holes during the US PGA Tour play-offs – one to Singh, another to Villegas. Asked who benefited the most from his absence, Woods focused on youth – Kim, Villegas, Garcia. “They’re hitting their stride now,” he said. “They’re coming into their own.” The question is whether they can keep pace when Woods is wearing a red shirt on Sunday, not a black jacket.



Thursday, December 25, 2008





Olazabal names Dougherty

Capital’s beach volleyballers boost final gold tally

Phukrongploy. The capital also took one gold apiece from the women’s singles table tennis, women’s indoor volleyball and basketball and the men’s Go (“Chinese chess”) team. However, Bangkok would have surpassed their previous mark of 131 had they not let golds slip through their fingers in several events.



Near misses


angkok yesterday brought the curtain down on the Phitsanulok-hosted National Games with a bang, retaining their crown by capturing a massive 291 medals, including 125 golds, in the country’s annual sports extravaganza. After 11 days of competition among athletes from all 76 provinces, Bangkok took the lion’s share of the prizes – 125 golds, 90 silvers and 76 bronzes – to reign supreme in the 37th edition of the Games.

Nakhon Nayok players try to tackle Samut Prakan’s Kampol Sangchan on their way to the gold medal in the men’s rugby yesterday.

Impressive hoard Their gold-medal hunt was almost as successful as last year’s expedition in Nakhon Si Thammarat, which brought them 131 golds. A distant second with 44 golds, 34 silvers and 48 bronzes were Chon Buri. while Chiang

Yesterday, they lost goldmedal matches in the men’s singles and mixed doubles tennis competition, table tennis’s mixed doubles and men’s singles, the men’s basketball, men’s indoor volleyball and women’s Go.

Spectacular ceremony Mai (37-34-41) came third. Hosts Phitsanulok (24-15-31) and Suphan Buri (21-27-24) finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Kamolthip, Yupa shine The final day of the Games

saw 28 gold medals on offer. Bangkok grabbed six, including golds in the men’s and women’s beach volleyball competition, thanks mainly to their national spikers led by twotime SEA Games champions Kamolthip Kulna and Yupa

The closing ceremony took place last night at the Phisanulok Main Stadium with a dazzling fireworks display and impressive performances. Trang will host the 38th edition from September 5 to 15 next year.

European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal has named Englishman Nick Dougherty as the seventh player to represent Europe against Asia in the third edition of the Royal Trophy to be held at Amata Spring Country Club just outside Bangkok from January 9 to 11. Dougherty is one of Europe’s most accomplished young players and one of the continent’s biggest hopes for the future. “I am honoured to have been selected by captain Olazabal ... This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I will do all I can to make the most of it,” said a delighted Dougherty. “I really want to have a great year in 2009 and there would be no better start than – with captain Olazabal and my seven teammates – defending the Royal Trophy.” AGENCIES

Thursday, December 25, 2008





Asian Tour hits out at rival plans

YANKEES DANDY Recession-proof pinstripes gamble big money on some big stars AP, New York

he big, bad New York Yankees are flexing their mighty chequebook, and the rest of Major League Baseball isn’t happy. While the recession has many teams cautious about spending, the Yankees remain in a Gilded Age, dropping more than US$400 million on high-profile free agents, including an eightyear deal with first baseman Mark Teixeira on Tuesday. The crosstown Mets have lavished big money, too, and other teams are jealous. “This year they just both went crazy,” San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito said of New York’s teams. “All these people are going East now. It’s crazy.” The Yankees tend to let criticism bounce off their pinstripes. “I’ve got enough things to worry about and think about,” co-chairman Hal Steinbrenner said. “I try not to concentrate on any of that.” Across a city where cocktail party talk centres on the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme and the demise of Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch, the two baseball teams have grabbed attention with their dazzling deals during a time of retrenchment. How in the world can they afford this? Well, the Yankees already own about one-third of



Pitchers AJ Burnett, right,and CC Sabathia are new assets for the New York Yankees. their own regional sports cable network. They’ve started their own concession company in conjunction with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. And now they have a new, $1.3 billion ballpark opening in April. The top ticket at the new Yankee Stadium goes for $2,500 next season. The best seat at the Mets’ Citi Field seems like a discount, averaging $495. “We are very sensitive to the economic conditions, to people’s concerns,” Yankees president Randy Levine said. “We monitor it very closely and, if necessary, can make adjustments. But as we stand today, we believe strongly that our

fans and customers appreciate that we continue to reinvest in our product.” The Mets, whose owners also own a share of their own network, made the first big freeagent move. They struck a $37 million, three-year agreement with closer Francisco Rodriguez. But that was a pittance compared to the nearly quarter-billion dollars – $243.5 million to be precise – the Yankees committed on a single day last week for a pair of starting pitchers: CC Sabathia got a $161 million, seven-year contract and oft-injured AJ Burnett was enticed to the Bronx with an $82.5 million, five-year deal. New York fol-

lowed that up by striking a $180 million deal with Teixeira. After the Yankees’ streak of 13 consecutive play-off appearances ended, you could count on them to set the top of the market. Around the rest of MLB, the highest free-agent contract belongs to pitcher Ryan Dempster, who will receive $52 million over four seasons to remain with the Chicago Cubs. While arch-rivals Boston Red Sox play in Fenway Park, with the smallest capacity in the major leagues at about 37,750, the Yankees are moving into a ballpark next season that holds 52,325 – about 4,500 seats fewer than their old stadium.

The Asian Tour has condemned the rival OneAsia golf tour of attempting to invade the continent, issuing a strongly worded statement yesterday in response to fresh speculation about the organisational future of the sport in the region. The Asian Tour’s statement came after reports the Japanese Golf Tour had held talks with US PGA and European Tour officials about bringing events from those tours to Japan. The talks deepen the uncertainty about which sanctioning bodies will control Asian golf in the near term. The Australasian, Japanese, Chinese and South Korean tours had been party to the creation of the One Asia tour, which had initial plans for a combined tour in those nations from 2009. However organisers had said 2010 now appeared the more likely start, and with the proposed tour downscaled from a full-blown tour to a smaller series of high-profile tournaments open to leading players. “The Australasian Tour, which has initiated the formation of the OneAsia Tour, held meetings in Asia without inviting the Asian Tour to these meetings, which we view as going against the spirit of cooperation and an attempt to invade Asia,” said Asian Tour executive chairman Kyi Hla Han. AP

Upbeat Fabregas escapes the knife AGENCIES, Barcelona



Cesc Fabregas arrives in Barcelona yesterday.

rsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas has confirmed he will not be undergoing an operation on his damaged knee. Fabregas travelled to Barcelona yesterday to consult specialist doctor Ramon Cugat about the problem he picked up during Sunday’s Barclays Premier League draw with Liverpool when he was tackled by Xabi Alonso.

The injury is set to keep the Gunners’ captain sidelined for around four months, but it will not require the Spain international to go under the knife. “After consulting with the best doctor possible, we’ve decided not to operate. If it would have been necessary it would have been the first thing I would have done, but the doctor recommended to me not to do it because I’m young and the

meniscus is not damaged,” Fabregas said. “Although we cannot be certain because the injury only happened a few days ago, but I will be out for more or less four months. My intention is to return as soon as possible to help my team-mates. “I will endeavour to return as soon as possible to do what I like most, to play football.” Fabregas did not come out for

the second half of Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium after sustaining the knee problem following a tackle by his Spanish teammate Alonso. The 21-year-old Fabregas said of Alonso: “He was very concerned about me. He called me after the game, he has been sending messages and also called me before I saw the doctor.”

Aaron Kwok