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Without martial law, will Phuket's banned sunbeds return to the beaches?

Phuket May Be First to Lose Martial Law: Cabinet, NCPO Meet to Boost Asian Beach Games

Sunday, October 5, 2014
PHUKET: Martial law could be lifted on Phuket as early as next week to encourage visitors for the Asian Beach Games in November.

The possibility of Phuket becoming the first province in Thailand to have martial law removed will be discussed on Tuesday when the country's Cabinet meets with the National Council for Peace and Order.

The following day, Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkan Wattanawarangkul is due to make her first visit to Phuket for a briefing on preparation for the international games, to be held from November 14-23.

More than 20 sports - including jet-ski racing, beach volleyball and paragliding - are scheduled for Phuket's bays and beaches in an event that has already attracted thousands of resort bookings.

Tourism officials believe that lifting martial law next week would provide a burst of pre-games publicity, enabling more travellers to obtain travel insurance and serving as a promotion for Phuket's new, improved beaches.

Sunbeds and umbrellas have been banned and many illegal shorefront restaurants and beach clubs demolished since the military took charge of Thailand on May 22.

Khun Kobkan will be keen to recover from her much-criticised suggestion that, in the aftermath of the murders of two tourists on Koh Tao, visitors should all wear ID wristbands.

Phuket, Thailand's most international province, has already benefitted from the NCPO's involvement in support of Region 8 police action to demolish the island's thuggish taxi ''mafia'' and clear encroachers from public beaches and national parkland.

Lifting martial law would probably help people from some destinations to gain travel insurance but leave law enforcers less able to proceed with a campaign to eradicate corruption in local councils and among local authorities.

At present, martial law enables authorities to access bank accounts and other important documents without needing to apply through the courts.

While the Asian Beach Games is important for Phuket, the tenth anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami, which made Phuket a household word around the world, has so far been overlooked.

The big wave was Thailand's biggest natural disaster, killing 5400 people from more than 40 countries. The ambassadors from those countries are all still waiting to hear how the Thai government plans to commemorate the tsunami on Phuket and in Krabi and Phang Nga, which suffered more than the holiday island.

Phuketwan has suggested that the Thai government should issue a commemorative tsunami medal to mark the good deeds of hundreds of heroes and helpers from Thailand and overseas who demonstrated how brave and generous people can be when faced with a catastrophe.

Comments

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They do not mean this, they are only finished about 30% - + of all corruption in Phuket, then we are back with all the problems we had in the past, is this possible?

Posted by Bjorn Ronningen on October 5, 2014 18:13

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No! No! We already have convicted taxi "mafia" thugs back behind the wheel, the last thing we want is to let them rip again!

Posted by Smithy on October 5, 2014 18:40

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A roll-back could see all the work done so far ending in vain if local people are put back in charge in Phuket. Long may the NCPO rule.

Posted by Mister Ree on October 5, 2014 19:00

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Martial law must be rescinded throughout Thailand in order for countries to lift their warning. Unfortunately countries don't look at Thailand on a province by province basis.

Posted by phuketsaviour on October 5, 2014 20:35


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