Connect with us

Phuket

Lifestyle: Have mobs become a fashion statement in Phuket?

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: Just days after Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s government finally managed to restore order to Bangkok, mob militancy was back on the streets of Thailand. This time, it was closer to home. Protesters blockaded Srisoonthorn Road in Baan Bang Tao for almost 24 hours, causing disruption for both residents of the island and the tourists so crucial to our economy.

Such protests are all too familiar to island residents. In mid-March, a similar blockade took place in Kamala. Villagers there, angry that a man charged with a brutal assault was granted police bail, took to the streets and blockaded the Kamala-Patong Road for 20 hours.

At the beginning of February, the Laguna Phuket resort complex was blockaded by disgruntled staff for three days.

And in early January protesters blockaded the entrance to Sirinath Marine National Park in Sakoo for three days, trapping some tourists’ cars inside the park for the duration.

Any consideration of such protests can hardly ignore the yellow and red elephants in the room. Late last August, yellow-shirted members of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) forced a complete shutdown of Phuket International Airport.

Prime Minister Abhisit owes his position in large part to this kind of militancy, following the shutdown of Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang Airports and the occupation of Government House by the PAD protesters last year.

Despite the clear illegality of these actions and the inestimable damage they caused, the PAD leaders have not been held accountable, at least by the courts. This makes it hard to avoid the conclusion that in Thailand, people power – or mob rule – does work.

This message was clearly not lost on Thaksin Shinawatra’s red-shirted supporters, who earlier this month wreaked havoc in Bangkok and Pattaya.

In Phuket, street protests are typically directed at local police. One protester, Voravuth Maneesri, believes “people power” is the only weapon he has to force the authorities to listen to him. [See First Person, page 23, this week’s Phuket Gazette.] There is, after all, no real equivalent of the UK’s Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in Thailand.

It would perhaps be naïve to call for the immediate establishment of an effective police complaints body in the image of the IPCC, but without such effective mechanisms in place there appears to be no end in sight to street protests, which in a well-functioning society are a matter of absolute last resort – not a knee-jerk reaction.

— Daniel Waites

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

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.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand10 hours ago

Thailand News Today | OnlyFans content creators arrested on pornography charges | September 21

Thailand11 hours ago

Soldier allegedly assaults neighbours following horn honking

Thailand12 hours ago

Border agencies instructed to look out for gun smuggling along Myanmar border

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 10,919 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand13 hours ago

Officials clarify Korat police van stopped at the beach after collecting murder suspect

Crime13 hours ago

OnlyFans content creators arrested by Thai police on pornography charges

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand14 hours ago

Comments Galore! feat. Golf | Thaiger Bites | September 21

Cambodia14 hours ago

Scientists study bats in Cambodia to find clues about Covid

News15 hours ago

Update: government official that allegedly stole from fund meant for the disabled spent all the money on gambling

Thailand16 hours ago

Morning Top Stories | Reopening of entertainment venues, Manny Pacquiao for president | September 21 |

World16 hours ago

Flight restrictions to the US to ease in November – US government

Thailand17 hours ago

Bangkok re-opening Criteria, Thai Airways keeps Struggling | Good Morning Thailand | Episode 93

Thailand17 hours ago

Government warns that posting pornographic material is illegal following OnlyFans creator being questioned by police

Indonesia17 hours ago

Bali to re-open for international yachts with fully vaccinated crew, passengers

World18 hours ago

British Airways tests first ever net-zero carbon emissions flight

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Phuket7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Trending