PHUKET TOWN: Three nighttime venues have been cited for violations after police officers, led by Vice Governor Niwat Wattanasen and Pol Col Paween Pongsirin, Superintendent of Phuket Town Police Station, went on an inspection tour on Tuesday. The Sure Garden, in Soi Taling Chan, was ordered closed for 30 days because it was found to be serving customers under the age of 20. The two other venues escaped with warnings. The popular Kor Tor Mor, on Chana Jaroen Rd, was ordered not to provide live music because it has only a restaurant license. The Shark Pub, in the Rome Place Hotel in Soi Hab Ake, was allowed to remain open while irregularities in its entertainment license are sorted out. Yesterday afternoon, Gov Pongpayome told reporters, “According to the [government’s] Better Social Order [policy], we have to deal strictly with this problem. We don’t want a situation like the one in Nong Khai.” Recent raids in that northern city netted some 90 underage drinkers. A number of government officers were subsequently transferred. Meanwhile, in Bangkok, AFP reported today that Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has called for a review of a proposal to impose restrictions on teenagers, including a 10 pm curfew, as part of the continuing social order campaign. Thaksin said the proposal by Interior Minister Purachai Piemsombun, which would revive a 1972 law originally aimed at curbing student protest, needed further consideration to see whether the law should be updated. “In principle, I have assigned the Interior Minister to review why we have children under the age of 18 who go out freely and drink alcohol,” Thaksin told reporters. “In foreign countries they would be arrested.” Although Purachai’s campaign has generally been popular, the possible introduction of a curfew has drawn heavy criticism from both the public and rights groups who have branded the idea as “dictatorial”.
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