Thailand News Update | Pattaya officials discuss re-opening bars and night life

Pattaya officials and stakeholders have been meeting to discuss the dropping of curfews and an official reopening of bars and the city’s vibrant nightlife. กุลชาติ กุลชัย the superintendent of Chon Buri Police, chaired the meeting. Bars around Thailand, particularly in tourist magnet areas, have been forced to convert to ‘restaurants’ in order to reopen and serve alcohol. From May 1, restaurants, and ‘restaurants’ serving alcohol have been permitted to open for an official additional hour, to midnight, but now Pattaya’s bar owners are insisting that it’s also time for them to reopen up as bars again. The meeting was held last Friday night in the lead up to the reopening of Walking Street over the weekend after police again closed down thru-traffic along the coastal nightlife strip between 7pm and 6am each day. Regarding the closing times, representatives from the local bars asked to re-instate the 3am closing time. There were also discussions about installing more CCTV cameras, additional street lights, road repairs, and keeping records of employee and guard identification. But the meeting was told that, despite the relaxing of the official curfew, by one hour, for restaurants to serve alcohol, the ban on bars remains at this time. Both the CCSA and Chon Buri governor would have to be involved with removing the current ban in the province.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is warning about fake 1000 baht banknotes and is urging anyone who finds them to hand them back to any commercial banks nearby. The PM’s spokesperson also gave details about how to detect the counterfeit bills. Locals in the central province of Nonthaburi have found lots of the fake 1000 baht notes. One female victim told Thai media that she received a fake bill from a female customer. The customer bought a grilled chicken at 190 baht and paid with a 1000 baht bill. She didn’t notice that the texture was different and let the customer go, so she had to pay back the shop owner 1,190 baht and was quite upset over the matter. She was able to identify the different texture later, and tried putting it in water, noticing that the colour changed. She added that sellers from a local market nearby found more than 30 fake 1000 banknotes. The fake banknote producers could face life sentences and fines up to 400,000 baht. The person who knowingly uses or circulates the fake bills could face up to 15 years in jail and fines up to 300,000 baht.

Thai transgenders can now join law school and take exams at the Lawyers Council of Thailand dressing in line with their gender identity. The decision has been handed down by a gender discrimination committee. The decision was made in response to a complaint reported by a law student who had been rejected the opportunity to take a written exam because he was dressed as a woman, and not as his biological gender. He had already been through sex-reassignment surgery, according to reports. The committee made a decision last week stating that the dress code of the Council’s law training school, which demands everyone to wear clothing that matches their biological gender, is in violation of Section 27 of the Constitution. It promises the rights to sexual equality, the right to choose their gender orientation, and the freedom to wear whatever they feel comfortable wearing, according to former secretary-general of the Lawyers Council of Thailand Dr สมบัตื วงคำแหง. The committee’s decision supports the National Human Rights Commission’s conclusion that university rules prohibiting transgender students from attending graduation ceremonies in an attire that matches their biological gender, violates human rights.

A British Muay Thai fighter is undergoing surgery in Bangkok after he was involved in a serious road accident in Koh Samui on April 13. Christian Richardson – a 32 year old martial arts champion from York, UK – pulled out of a coffee shop on his motorbike when he was crushed by a pickup truck. Christian survived the incident but sustained multiple injuries and broken bones in his skull. Christian received emergency treatment at a hospital in Koh Samui for three days and was later flown to a hospital in Bangkok where he is now undergoing multiple operations. Over two weeks have passed since the accident and Chris is still bed-bound with a badly infected open wound on his foot. In the coming days, Christian will receive facial and eye surgery to repair his broken cheekbone and fractured orbital floor. His family has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for his 1.1 million baht hospital bills in Thailand because Chris is too badly injured to fly home to England to seek medical treatment. If Christian’s insurance ends up covering his medical bills, all donations will be refunded, his sister added. Christian has lived in Thailand for the past nine months and recently won his first Muay Thai contest.

And lastly, a beautiful long lasting love story . . .An elderly Thai man from Bangkok finally had his wife’s body cremated after keeping it inside a coffin at his home in บางเขน district for 21 years. Since his wife passed away in 2001, the 72 year old retired military officer said he couldn’t bear to be separated from his deceased wife. However, he was scared he would die without holding a funeral for her, so he contacted a foundation for help. The foundation helped him to arrange a cremation and funeral, which took place at a temple in Bangkok on Monday. In 2001, จันทร์ จันวชรกาล’s wife died from a brain aneurysm after experiencing high blood pressure. Following her death, จันทร์ took his wife’s body to a temple in Nonthaburi to have Buddhist rites conducted but didn’t allow for her body to be cremated because he “couldn’t accept the situation.” Chan said that because he is getting older, he was worried he may not get the opportunity to say a proper goodbye to his lover, so he sought help from เพชรเกษมกรุงเทพ Foundation. The foundation took Chan to Bang Khen District Office to sort through records of his wife’s death and helped him to arrange a funeral, which took place on April 30th. The women’s ashes have been placed inside an urn, which Chan said he will keep until he dies.

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