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Beach chair protest falls on deaf ears

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KHAO LAK: An angry crowd of about 200 beach chair renters and other residents of the Bangniang area of Khao Lak blocked the road to Bangniang Beach from 9 am to 5 pm yesterday to protest the removal of beach chairs and umbrellas from the beach. Police and military personnel moved all the chairs and umbrellas from the beach earlier the same day on orders from Phang Nga Governor Samatcha Pothaworn. The protesters kept up the roadblock until Gov Samatcha arrived to listen to their grievances. In the event, he was unmoved, refusing to back down from his controversial decision to ban beach chairs at Khao Lak – a move intended to preserve the beach’s natural beauty and to differentiate it from beaches in neighboring provinces, particularly Phuket. During the confrontation, and in front of cameras from several TV stations, one foreigner, asked by the Governor for his opinion, was cheered after he asserted that no other beach resort in the world banned beach chairs and umbrellas. The foreigner was escorted from the presence of the Governor by police, who were heard asking him for his name, address and other details. Local people contacted this evening said they were still angry about the issue. One village leader said he was upset by the way in which the Governor had treated people who were simply trying to voice their opinion, and vowed to continue to fight the order.

 

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

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