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Phuket

Bar owners bamboozled by 30-day booze ban

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Bar owners bamboozled by 30-day booze ban | The Thaiger

PHUKET: In a hastily arranged press conference, the Ministry of Interior has announced a month-long ban of alcohol sales throughout Phuket, effective today.

Vice Minister Dumwrong Raknaa told the Gazette that the booze ban will, in one clean swoop, further the Ministry’s dual aims of celebrating the nation’s return to democracy and promoting traditional Thai values.

As Thailand’s face to the world, Phuket will be an important testing ground for a possible nationwide trial prohibition period of 90 days, tentatively scheduled to kick off on New Year’s Eve 2008.

Asked why the ban would be imposed coinciding with the usually boisterous Songkran Festival celebrations, V/Min Dumwrong said, “Tourists don’t want to see people drinking, throwing water around or having uncontrolled fun. This is as important to the development of the country as the One Tambon One Product initiative. In fact, we’d like to call this our One Village One Vice project.”

A number of alternative activities are being planned. “People who would normally while away their time and liver tissue by drinking are invited to learn about our great cultural traditions, such as fruit carving and basket weaving,” he said.

Free activity stations will be set up along Soi Bangla, Soi Paradise and other major nightlife entertainment areas, he added.

Police spokesman Col Onanong “On” Thetake said police welcomed the move. “We were suffering from crackdown confusion. We kept getting the days mixed up regarding when we were supposed to enforce alcohol bans during election periods, what time of day retailers were allowed to sell alcohol, closing times on bars and pubs….” he said.

“Running the ban continuously for 30 days will eliminate any further confusion on all these issues,” he added.

Coinciding with the ban is an announcement declaring a national April Fuel Day, during which all citizens will be encouraged to save energy and support alternative fuel initiatives.

Bar owners in particular are urged to contribute to the program by donating stockpiles of unconsumed beer, wine and spirits to the Ministry, for conversion into fuel.

Several Patong Municipality officials have already volunteered to handle the collection of alcohol donations. Pickup trucks will be stationed at collection points along the beach road, Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Rd and Soi Bangla. The vehicles will be readily identifiable by their blue flashing undercarriage lights and dark windows.

Club & Restaurant Association of Patong (CRAP) spokesperson Lars DeWindger said, “This is an outrage. The only way these guys are getting any of my beer is by prying the bottle out of my cold, dead hand!”

He added that he was planning to organize street protests in the heart of Patong.

“There will be placards. Marching bar girls, angry club owners and more fuming katoey than have ever been assembled in one place at one time will come together as one to demand fairness. Our traditional way of life is being put at risk,” he said.



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Phuket

Phuket seastead will be removed today

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket seastead will be removed today | The Thaiger

The Third Naval Area Command will remove the seastead stationed off Phuket south-east coast today, belonging to an American bitcoin investor and seasteading innovators Ocean Builders.

Thai authorities plan to seize the structure as evidence in a criminal case. They fear the structure will continue to be a navigation hazard if left there.

US national Chad Elwartowski and his Thai girlfriend, Supranee Thepdet (aka Nadia Summergirl), are facing charges of threatening the Kingdom’s sovereignty. Last Sunday officials from the Royal Thai Navy and Phuket Maritime boarded the structure saying it violated Article 119 of the Criminal Code and also posed a navigational hazard.

The couple launched the ‘Ocean Builders’ seastead on February 2 off the coast of Phuket. The structure is located to the southeast of Koh Racha Yai, approximately 12 nautical miles (22.2 kilometres) from the mainland.

Elwartowski has claimed that his seastead is outside Thailand’s territorial waters, but Thai authorities insist that it violates Article 119 and challenges Thailand’s territorial rights.

“The Royal Thai Navy has full authority and duty to protect national interest and marine sovereignty in the area,” according to a Navy spokesperson.

Regarding the couple’s claim that they feared for their lives, Vice Admiral Sitthiporn Maskasem, commander of the Third Naval Area, said that authorities had followed the legal procedures.

“We are neither hunting them down nor threatening them,” said the commander.

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North East

Forecast drought will weaken the Thai economy

The Thaiger

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Forecast drought will weaken the Thai economy | The Thaiger

Thailand suffers calamities at both ends of the annual weather spectrum – both drought and flood. But as the demands on agriculture grow, with a growing population and the rise of tourists and development, the effects of these two extremes are becoming more apparent.

Which leads us to this year’s outlook of lower rains which is exposing the poor management of the Kingdom’s water resources. Greater development and growing population bases hasn’t been met with more or larger water catchments.

So Thai farmers are expected to face a tough 2019 as forecasters say the drought will be more acute than usual, lowering the water levels in reservoirs in the central and northeastern provinces especially.

Int eh south, Phuket, Thailand’s largest island and surrounded by water, has an acute water shortage as of Songkran and, without adequate monsoonal rain between now and November, will be facing a water crisis if it has to rely on its own island resources.

The Director General of Department of Agricultural Extension Samran Saraban says the drought this year is exacerbated by El-Nino weather cycle which causes temperature to rise 1-2 degrees higher than normal and cause the water levels in major reservoirs to drop to worrisome level. Higher temperatures mean more evaporation and more usage of reserves.

The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has called for farmers not to grow off-season rice as drought is predicted to spread into northeastern and eastern regions. That there will likely be a new administration coping with political instability will not help leaders focus on the country’s looming water shortage.

The long dry season will lower certain farm outputs, pushing up their prices. However, an overall farm income is set to decline because the drought will leave other negative affects to farmers who are also the consumers as well. This will affect the purchasing power of farm households, which account for one-third of Thais.

Etc, etc, etc.

Economists estimated the damage from the drought on the economy this year could be high. Kasikorn Research Center estimate the drought could cost at least 15.3 billion baht. Whilst Anusorn Tamajai, Dean of Economics Faculty, Rangsit University, estimates the drought to cost even more – 20-30 billion baht -because it would affect the outputs of off-season rice, sugarcane and tapioca.

“It will dampen the purchasing power of farmers in the second quarter.”

Siam Commercial Bank’s Economic Intelligence chief Yanyong Thaicharoen said that the lackluster farm income can slash the growth rate of domestic consumption this year to 3.5% versus 4.6% growth last year, in addition to other factors, namely, high household debt and slower demand for durable goods.

Spending power from farmers, according to SCB, is crucial to sustain the growth of the economy. However, the grassroots economy is bracing for negative outlook this year.

There will be intense pressure on this season’s management of Thailand’s valuable water resources, through the remaining hot season and as the catchments gather water during the monsoon.

Forecast drought will weaken the Thai economy | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: Thai PBS | The Thaiger | Wikipedia

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People

Patong’s trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal

The Thaiger

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Patong’s trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Patong Police / Theeraphong Penmit / Newshawk Phuket

A Phuket boy has been rewarded after setting an excellent example for the rest of the Patong community.

8 year old Kosin Ta-ngam, who is studying at Sai Nam Yen School in Patong in Pratom Suksa Three, has been collecting garbage in the filthy Pak Bang Canal and along Patong Beach since the beginning of this year.

He lives with his grandmother and other relatives. His grandmother has been looking after Kosin since he was 10 months old.

A certificate, scholarship and life vest have been awarded to Kosin by the Patong Police Chief Col Anothai Jindamanee for displaying excellent citizen for the community as a youth volunteer and being an active part of keeping the city clean.

The Pak Bang Canal, running through the back of Patong into Patong Bay, has been a dark, dirty mess for decades. Many promises have been made to clean it up but it remains a disgraceful waterway flowing through Phuket’s main tourist town.

The tiny eight year old seems to be able to achieve a lot more than the local municipality with all their money and machinery.

Kosin, you are the Thaiger hero for today and we salute you!

Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger

Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger

Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger

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