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Governor shuts the Shark

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Governor shuts the Shark | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The biggest disco in Phuket, Patong’s Shark Club & Discotheque, was today ordered closed permanently on instructions from the Minister of Interior, Purachai Piemsomboon. The closure order, announced by Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi, came after it was discovered that the operating license for the disco – which can hold more than 1,500 revelers at a time – contained irregularities and had, in any case, expired. Gov Pongpayome said that it would not be renewed. The check on the license followed the publication, in the Thai newspaper Khao Sod, of photographs showing male customers kneeling with their hands behind their backs, eating ice cream out of cups gripped between girls’ thighs. The photographs, Khao Sod claimed, had been taken by a Thai tourist who had been scandalized by the entertainment. After a meeting of top officials today, Gov Pongpayome also displayed photographs of girls dancing semi-naked amid a crowd of onlookers in the club, which he said were taken in the club in July or August last year. He did not reveal where the photos had come from, but the Gazette understands they were provided by members of the local press. “This kind of behavior conflicts with Thai culture,” Gov Pongpayome said. Even though the pictures were taken last year, he added, they still showed illegal acts. Kevin Radke, the Canadian managing director of Mirage Entertainment Group, which owns the Shark Club, told the Gazette this evening, “All of this is just slanderous and not true.” Saying that the photographs were “not recent”, he accused the Thai press of “showing them out of context. They put little censor bars on them when there was nothing to censor. These are games that are played everywhere in the world.” He denied that the operating license was irregular, pointing out, “We went through all of the [correct] steps and all of the appropriate officials came and inspected our building, checked that everything was in order, and we were allowed to open.” The Governor said he had ordered Immigration Police Superintendent Col Apirak Hongtong to conduct rigorous checks on the passports, visas and work permits issued to Mr Radke and to the club’s general manager, Bob Hunt. In addition, he said that if it was found that Thai government officials or armed forces members were among those in the photographs, they would be hauled before a provincial inquiry or, if stationed outside Phuket, reported to the Ministry of Interior in Bangkok. The club was one of several visited by K. Purachai two weeks ago during a whirlwind tour of the island, but evaded closure. Mr Radke said changes to the club’s safety equipment and layout were currently being made in order to comply with local authority orders issued after K. Purachai’s visit. Asked what he thought had sparked the publication of the photos and the subsequent actions announced by the authorities, Mr Radke said, “There are always lots of stories. One is that we had a key member of staff leave on not such good terms, who is trying to hurt the business. I believe that’s the key. “If the place was a bad place, there wouldn’t be so many people there every night,” he said, adding, “I don’t believe I’ve done anything wrong, so I want to clear some of this so that the truth comes out, not these distorted stories. We try to run a very clean operation. “My other big concern is my staff. We have over 130, and if we close, all of these people lose jobs, and some of them have children and families. And then it goes down the line to beer suppliers and everything else. Obviously it will hurt me, but it will also hurt a lot of other people.”

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

Phuket

Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: ประชาสัมพันธ์ เทศบาลตำบลวิชิต

Hundreds of residents in Phuket’s Wichit subdistrict attended a workshop focused on reducing stress from to the pandemic-induced economic crisis. A psychologist was even on site to help those who had extreme mental stress and a Buddhist monk taught meditation techniques to reduce physiological effects of stress.

The event was planned in response to an online survey conducted by the municipality asking residents about how much stress they were experiencing from the economic climate. They found that some residents had serious stress issues brought on by the pandemic and financial problems, according to Wichit Mayor Kreetha Chotiwichphiphat.

“The loss of income due to the economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 situation has resulted in some people in the area suffering serious stress, which can lead to serious mental health issues.”

Around 350 people attended the event. The mayor says it was the first step in caring for the residents’ mental health. Local officials plan to hold similar workshops in the future.

“It was a good opportunity for people to realise the importance of mental health and to learn techniques of how to deal with stress, which will help people to maintain their physical health and avoid developing mental health problems.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket

The Thaiger

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Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket | The Thaiger

Chalong police in Phuket say they have yet to start investigating the illegal hiring of foreign teachers at an international school in Rawai, south of the island. Palm House International School allegedly hired foreign teachers illegally in which 2 were arrested by Phuket Immigration police on November 4.

Somkiet Sarasin, the leading investigator of the case, says the 2 Brits were informed that police were processing a charge of working illegally in the country against them, in which both denied the charges. Somkiet says the 2 were released on bail, but did not confirm the amount of bail that was set by the police.

“They are still staying in Thailand. I am not worried. I have their passports. I am not available to explain [any details] because the investigation is still ongoing.”

“This is normal for an investigation when the suspects deny the charge against them. I have to check more information against their claims. This case will probably be concluded next month.”

However, the investigation has yet to begin, with Somkiet saying he has not even questioned the owner of the school, despite his claims the case would be finished next month.

“The investigation into the school will take time. The investigation into the two British people must be finished first.”

Such allegations of foreign teachers working illegally have recently been in the news after Sarasas Witaed Sainoi Pitiyakarn School, in the central province of Nonthaburi, saw 7 foreign teachers probed for being hired illegally. That school, along with others in its private network, made nationwide news after CCTV caught a Thai teacher hitting, pushing and dragging a young student in the classroom. Such widespread violence against students has long been a sad component of many Thai schools, in which some of the teachers are unqualified and unlicensed to teach, but are hired anyway.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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