Connect with us

Thailand

Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Rubber protests hit tourism, Expat fund scam bust; Education fails test

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Rubber protest impacting South tourism revenue
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The rubber farmers’ protest in Surat Thani is causing a loss of at least Bt10 million a day to the domestic tourism industry in the South.

“Sales of salted eggs as a flagship product of Chaiya in Surat Thani are an example. The business is being hit because of a drop in tourist numbers,” Yutthachai Soonthronrattanavate, president of the Association of Domestic Travel, said yesterday.

Related businesses like restaurants, souvenir shops, local bus operators and vendors are also feeling the pinch. As a whole, the rally is making a psychological impact on the industry. The scene is tending to decimate tourist sentiment, he said.

Tourist destinations south of Surat Thani or islands such as Krabi and Phuket are also impacted because the flow of visitors to the area is obstructed due to blockades facing land transport.

The evidence is clear that foreign tourists in Khao San in Bangkok are having a hard time. It is becoming inconvenient to travel to the South by bus. The bus they board gets delayed.

The government needs to find a solution very quickly or else the tourism industry will take a bigger hit. It is a key industry with liquidity to fuel the national economy.

If the government does not solve the problem soon, the association and tourism operators would submit an open letter to the prime minister, calling for the government to treat all industries equally, not just any single one. What the government does unfairly to industries has a domino impact on other industries, including tourism, he said.

He said he understood the hardship of rubber growers under current market conditions. Although their movement is giving the tourism industry a big headache, he could accept and share their suffering. However, they should stage their demonstrations in limited areas, not spread out to other locations, especially the airport, as that is the heart of tourism.

If the airport is closed or becomes enwrapped in the chaos, the whole tourism industry may be ruined. Then the country would need a long time to restore its image, he warned.

Clearly, what the government should do right now is to try to create a good atmosphere. Tourism feeds on sentiment, not just economic boost to enhance spending power. The country needs a peaceful environment to encourage travelling, he added.

Thanongsak Somwong, president of the Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association, called on the government to solve the problem quickly, otherwise its impact would be big and wide, especially on Phuket, Trang and Krabi.

Rubber protesters, govt in tense talks
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The ongoing protests by rubber farmers in several southern provinces have hit logistical networks and the tourism industry in several areas adjacent to the rally sites, halting bus services as well as the transport of frozen seafood products. The authorities are worried that protesters might seize airports in four provinces where they are rallying.

Senior officials held a tense negotiation with a group representing rubber farmers yesterday as part of government efforts to end the rallies. Both sides met at the government complex in northern Bangkok, after 20 people representing four groups of rubber farmers based in Nakhon Si Thammarat agreed to seek an end to the problem through talks. The farmers are demanding that the government intervene to raise the price of raw rubber sheets.

Other groups of protesters, including those based in Surat Thani where the largest protests are taking place, refused to join the meeting with the 20-member delegation, which was flown to Bangkok on a specially chartered flight.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra held an urgent meeting with her three deputies at about 2pm at Government House yesterday, where they discussed the problems caused by the large-scale rallies. The talks with the protest delegation then began at 6pm, an hour later than scheduled, and continued behind closed doors into late evening, and beyond press time.

Fears that the protesters would seize Surat Thani Airport proved unfounded when they decided merely to camp out in its compound. However, the airports in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Krabi and Trang are still a subject of worry and authorities fear a repeat of the situation in 2008, when airports in Phuket, Krabi and Hat Yai were seized by yellow-shirt protesters.

So far, the disruption at Krabi Airport has caused 20 tourists to miss their flights, Chamnan Srisawas, chief of the Krabi tourism association said, as he called on protesters to stop blocking roads leading to the airport, especially the Tham Sua intersection.
.

Govt warned of airport seizures
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Rubber growers in the South are threatening to lay siege to important places like airports and provincial halls if the government fails to answer their demand for a higher price for their produce.

Meanwhile, authorities have vowed strict law enforcement against protesters who cross the line.

“We will take legal action against protest leaders who are behind road and railway blockades,” police spokesman Maj-General Piya Uthayo said yesterday.

He added that authorities would most certainly not allow anybody to block the entrance of airports.

“If the protest spirals into airport seizures, we will invoke Article 135/1 of the Criminal Code. The maximum punishment under this clause is death,” he warned.

Piya said that in the face of threats from rubber farmers, police were now keeping a close eye on Surat Thani, Krabi and Trang airports.

“We are working with the Royal Thai Air Force in protecting these facilities,” he said.

As of press time, about 2,000 farmers had gathered and were blocking a road about 500 metres from Surat Thani Airport. However, passengers were still able to get to the airport using another road.

Deputy Prime Minister Pracha Promnog, meanwhile, has called on the protesters to talk to the government, adding that even though the authorities could not increase the rubber price significantly, it would help by reducing their costs.

“The Cabinet approved cost-lowering measures on Tuesday,” he said.

He also warned the protesters against seizing the airports, saying that relevant authorities might need to use force if the demonstrators go too far.

“We can’t allow any airport seizures,” he said.

Preparing for the worst

About 200 police officers were deployed at Surat Thani Airport to ensure immediate response if protesting farmers decided to raid the airport’s compound.

Manoon Upala, a protest leader in Surat Thani, said he would wait to hear what the National Rubber Policy Committee says today before planning his next move.

“If there’s no satisfactory response, I will coordinate with other protest leaders to seize provincial halls in various provinces, and then we will negotiate with the government from these halls,” he said.

In Nakhon Si Thammarat, rubber growers have blocked three intersections, while another major road was being blocked in Trang.

In Rayong, some 100 farmers blocked the road leadin

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Looking for your next home in Thailand? Let us match you with a local expert in minutes!

Thank you for your interest!

One of our agents will
reach out to you soon.

I want to:
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • United States+1
  • United Kingdom+44
  • Australia+61
  • Afghanistan (‫افغانستان‬‎)+93
  • Albania (Shqipëri)+355
  • Algeria (‫الجزائر‬‎)+213
  • American Samoa+1684
  • Andorra+376
  • Angola+244
  • Anguilla+1264
  • Antigua and Barbuda+1268
  • Argentina+54
  • Armenia (Հայաստան)+374
  • Aruba+297
  • Australia+61
  • Austria (Österreich)+43
  • Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan)+994
  • Bahamas+1242
  • Bahrain (‫البحرين‬‎)+973
  • Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ)+880
  • Barbados+1246
  • Belarus (Беларусь)+375
  • Belgium (België)+32
  • Belize+501
  • Benin (Bénin)+229
  • Bermuda+1441
  • Bhutan (འབྲུག)+975
  • Bolivia+591
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (Босна и Херцеговина)+387
  • Botswana+267
  • Brazil (Brasil)+55
  • British Indian Ocean Territory+246
  • British Virgin Islands+1284
  • Brunei+673
  • Bulgaria (България)+359
  • Burkina Faso+226
  • Burundi (Uburundi)+257
  • Cambodia (កម្ពុជា)+855
  • Cameroon (Cameroun)+237
  • Canada+1
  • Cape Verde (Kabu Verdi)+238
  • Caribbean Netherlands+599
  • Cayman Islands+1345
  • Central African Republic (République centrafricaine)+236
  • Chad (Tchad)+235
  • Chile+56
  • China (中国)+86
  • Christmas Island+61
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands+61
  • Colombia+57
  • Comoros (‫جزر القمر‬‎)+269
  • Congo (DRC) (Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo)+243
  • Congo (Republic) (Congo-Brazzaville)+242
  • Cook Islands+682
  • Costa Rica+506
  • Côte d’Ivoire+225
  • Croatia (Hrvatska)+385
  • Cuba+53
  • Curaçao+599
  • Cyprus (Κύπρος)+357
  • Czech Republic (Česká republika)+420
  • Denmark (Danmark)+45
  • Djibouti+253
  • Dominica+1767
  • Dominican Republic (República Dominicana)+1
  • Ecuador+593
  • Egypt (‫مصر‬‎)+20
  • El Salvador+503
  • Equatorial Guinea (Guinea Ecuatorial)+240
  • Eritrea+291
  • Estonia (Eesti)+372
  • Ethiopia+251
  • Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)+500
  • Faroe Islands (Føroyar)+298
  • Fiji+679
  • Finland (Suomi)+358
  • France+33
  • French Guiana (Guyane française)+594
  • French Polynesia (Polynésie française)+689
  • Gabon+241
  • Gambia+220
  • Georgia (საქართველო)+995
  • Germany (Deutschland)+49
  • Ghana (Gaana)+233
  • Gibraltar+350
  • Greece (Ελλάδα)+30
  • Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat)+299
  • Grenada+1473
  • Guadeloupe+590
  • Guam+1671
  • Guatemala+502
  • Guernsey+44
  • Guinea (Guinée)+224
  • Guinea-Bissau (Guiné Bissau)+245
  • Guyana+592
  • Haiti+509
  • Honduras+504
  • Hong Kong (香港)+852
  • Hungary (Magyarország)+36
  • Iceland (Ísland)+354
  • India (भारत)+91
  • Indonesia+62
  • Iran (‫ایران‬‎)+98
  • Iraq (‫العراق‬‎)+964
  • Ireland+353
  • Isle of Man+44
  • Israel (‫ישראל‬‎)+972
  • Italy (Italia)+39
  • Jamaica+1
  • Japan (日本)+81
  • Jersey+44
  • Jordan (‫الأردن‬‎)+962
  • Kazakhstan (Казахстан)+7
  • Kenya+254
  • Kiribati+686
  • Kosovo+383
  • Kuwait (‫الكويت‬‎)+965
  • Kyrgyzstan (Кыргызстан)+996
  • Laos (ລາວ)+856
  • Latvia (Latvija)+371
  • Lebanon (‫لبنان‬‎)+961
  • Lesotho+266
  • Liberia+231
  • Libya (‫ليبيا‬‎)+218
  • Liechtenstein+423
  • Lithuania (Lietuva)+370
  • Luxembourg+352
  • Macau (澳門)+853
  • Macedonia (FYROM) (Македонија)+389
  • Madagascar (Madagasikara)+261
  • Malawi+265
  • Malaysia+60
  • Maldives+960
  • Mali+223
  • Malta+356
  • Marshall Islands+692
  • Martinique+596
  • Mauritania (‫موريتانيا‬‎)+222
  • Mauritius (Moris)+230
  • Mayotte+262
  • Mexico (México)+52
  • Micronesia+691
  • Moldova (Republica Moldova)+373
  • Monaco+377
  • Mongolia (Монгол)+976
  • Montenegro (Crna Gora)+382
  • Montserrat+1664
  • Morocco (‫المغرب‬‎)+212
  • Mozambique (Moçambique)+258
  • Myanmar (Burma) (မြန်မာ)+95
  • Namibia (Namibië)+264
  • Nauru+674
  • Nepal (नेपाल)+977
  • Netherlands (Nederland)+31
  • New Caledonia (Nouvelle-Calédonie)+687
  • New Zealand+64
  • Nicaragua+505
  • Niger (Nijar)+227
  • Nigeria+234
  • Niue+683
  • Norfolk Island+672
  • North Korea (조선 민주주의 인민 공화국)+850
  • Northern Mariana Islands+1670
  • Norway (Norge)+47
  • Oman (‫عُمان‬‎)+968
  • Pakistan (‫پاکستان‬‎)+92
  • Palau+680
  • Palestine (‫فلسطين‬‎)+970
  • Panama (Panamá)+507
  • Papua New Guinea+675
  • Paraguay+595
  • Peru (Perú)+51
  • Philippines+63
  • Poland (Polska)+48
  • Portugal+351
  • Puerto Rico+1
  • Qatar (‫قطر‬‎)+974
  • Réunion (La Réunion)+262
  • Romania (România)+40
  • Russia (Россия)+7
  • Rwanda+250
  • Saint Barthélemy+590
  • Saint Helena+290
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis+1869
  • Saint Lucia+1758
  • Saint Martin (Saint-Martin (partie française))+590
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon (Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon)+508
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1784
  • Samoa+685
  • San Marino+378
  • São Tomé and Príncipe (São Tomé e Príncipe)+239
  • Saudi Arabia (‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬‎)+966
  • Senegal (Sénégal)+221
  • Serbia (Србија)+381
  • Seychelles+248
  • Sierra Leone+232
  • Singapore+65
  • Sint Maarten+1721
  • Slovakia (Slovensko)+421
  • Slovenia (Slovenija)+386
  • Solomon Islands+677
  • Somalia (Soomaaliya)+252
  • South Africa+27
  • South Korea (대한민국)+82
  • South Sudan (‫جنوب السودان‬‎)+211
  • Spain (España)+34
  • Sri Lanka (ශ්‍රී ලංකාව)+94
  • Sudan (‫السودان‬‎)+249
  • Suriname+597
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen+47
  • Swaziland+268
  • Sweden (Sverige)+46
  • Switzerland (Schweiz)+41
  • Syria (‫سوريا‬‎)+963
  • Taiwan (台灣)+886
  • Tajikistan+992
  • Tanzania+255
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • Timor-Leste+670
  • Togo+228
  • Tokelau+690
  • Tonga+676
  • Trinidad and Tobago+1868
  • Tunisia (‫تونس‬‎)+216
  • Turkey (Türkiye)+90
  • Turkmenistan+993
  • Turks and Caicos Islands+1649
  • Tuvalu+688
  • U.S. Virgin Islands+1340
  • Uganda+256
  • Ukraine (Україна)+380
  • United Arab Emirates (‫الإمارات العربية المتحدة‬‎)+971
  • United Kingdom+44
  • United States+1
  • Uruguay+598
  • Uzbekistan (Oʻzbekiston)+998
  • Vanuatu+678
  • Vatican City (Città del Vaticano)+39
  • Venezuela+58
  • Vietnam (Việt Nam)+84
  • Wallis and Futuna (Wallis-et-Futuna)+681
  • Western Sahara (‫الصحراء الغربية‬‎)+212
  • Yemen (‫اليمن‬‎)+967
  • Zambia+260
  • Zimbabwe+263
  • Åland Islands+358

    image

    Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

    Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

    Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

    Click to comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment Login

    Leave a Reply

    Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

    image

    Follow Thaiger by email:

    Bangkok24 mins ago

    UPDATE: Bangkok governor candidates answer Russell Crowe’s questions on TV

    Thailand2 hours ago

    Thai man injured in turbulence demands airline to take responsibility

    Thailand2 hours ago

    Thailand News Today | Nok Air’s latest investment failure is costing the airline millions

    Sponsored11 hours ago

    Make your dream vacation at these 5 grandest luxury villas in Phuket

    image
    Travel2 hours ago

    When are the holidays in Thailand, and what do they mean?

    Phuket3 hours ago

    As travel opens, Phuket officials gather to fight drug problem

    Thailand3 hours ago

    Canadian man arrested for stealing traffic barriers in Chiang Mai

    image
    Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
    Thailand3 hours ago

    Wife dies, husband in coma after eating poisonous mushrooms in northeast Thailand

    Thailand3 hours ago

    Thailand’s health officials say flu shots available for 36% of ‘vulnerable’ people

    Thailand4 hours ago

    Unconscious 75 year old woman survives floating 500 metres along a river

    Bangkok4 hours ago

    Monitor lizard stuck in water pump causes flood in Bangkok

    Thailand4 hours ago

    Thai-Chinese gang arrested for dating app scam at Chiang Mai’s luxury resort

    Chon Buri5 hours ago

    Russian woman assaulted in Chon Buri

    Thailand6 hours ago

    Thai PM looks for Field of Dreams reaction on the back of new medical tourism hub

    Chon Buri6 hours ago

    Chon Buri man allegedly attacks neighbour for asking about parcel

    Politics6 hours ago

    Leaders of smaller Thai parties want to legalise online casinos

    Thailand8 months ago

    Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

    Tourism1 year ago

    Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

    Phuket1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

    Tourism1 year ago

    Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

    Tourism1 year ago

    In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

    Trending