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Phuket governor remains calm despite beach protest in Bangkok



PHUKET: Governor Nisit Jansomwong has asked that all information about the beach vendor protests in Bangkok be sent to him in Germany.

“Governor Nisit has not made any comment or instructed us to take any direct action at this point. I believe we will discuss this problem together after he flies back to Phuket,” Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosuttirak told the Phuket Gazette yesterday.

About 150 beach vendors arrived at the Prime Minister’s Office in Bangkok on Tuesday and submitted a letter of complaint to be given to Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, alleging that the governor was creating rules to help only a select few business operators, as well as not looking after the best interests of the province (story here).

The new rules set in place allow beach vendors to operate limited services in designated areas that comprise no more than 10 per cent of any given Phuket beach.

“We have passed on what little information we could glean from newspapers and television reports. However, we will just have to wait for the Prime Minister’s Office to see what the next course of action will be,” Vice Governor Somkiet said.

The vice governor explained that vendors were probably attempting to circumvent the provincial-level government because they had many failed attempts to sway the governor’s plan in recent months.

“The vendors have gone to the Damrongtham Center [ombudsman’s office] at Phuket Provincial Hall many times since December. However, Governor Nisit wants to stick to the plan, and give it a chance to succeed – which has frustrated them,” V/Gov Somkiet said.

“The vendors need to remain calm and work with Gov Nisit’s new rules, as all officers are trying their best to preserve our tourism industry and not negatively affect the people of Phuket.”

Governor Nisit is expected to return from the International Tourism Bourse 2015 in Berlin, Germany on Sunday.

— Voratuss Intasee


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