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Patong facing ruin if curfew continues, says entertainment boss

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Patong, known throughout the world for its throbbing nightlife, now faces its second night under the military curfew imposed by coup leader Army Chief Prayuth Chan-ocha.

The curfew bans all unsanctioned travel on the streets from 10pm to 5am (story here).

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Ong-art Phiewruangnont at 5pm today confirmed that the curfew will remain in effect throughout Phuket for at least one more day.

“We have received no special instructions. The nationwide curfew will remain in effect until further notice,” he told the Phuket Gazette.

Maj Gen Ong-art was returning from Nakhon Sri Thammarat, where he joined Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut at a briefing this afternoon at the Royal Thai Army Fourth Area Command (story here).

Patong, the night entertainment capital of Phuket, was shuttered last night in observance of the curfew, leading the local entertainment boss to warn of the town’s ruin if the curfew continues.

“We were affected big time last night,” said Weerawit Kurasombat, president of the Patong Entertainment Business Association.

“If this curfew continues, it will be even worse than the tsunami. At least tourists could understand the tsunami was a natural disaster.

“The financial losses are serious, but they are nothing compared to the loss of image. Tourists will stop coming [to Phuket] if they believe they can’t have a good time here, and it will take a very long time to regain their confidence.”

The town was calm last night, confirms Patong Police Superintendent Chiraphat Pochanaphan.

“No arrests were made because nobody was caught breaking the curfew,” he said.

“I respect the law,” noted Mr Weerawit, “but Phuket is a tourist destination free from political violence.

“I want high-ranking officers on the island to understand my concern, and I’m hoping they can do something to help.”

— Chutharat Plerin


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