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Restrained security on Phuket will not discourage tourists

Phuket Set for Secure Summit, says Defence Chief

Monday, June 29, 2009
SECURITY for the big July Asia Regional Forum on Phuket will be tailored to suit the island's tourism industry, the Defence Minister, General Prawit Wongsuwan said today.

He told reporters there was no need for the large-scale deployment of military forces, as there would be if the week-long forum was being held in Bangkok or Pattaya.

The internal security law will be enforced only on Phuket. It will not violate human rights or cause trouble to the public, he said.

Governor Wichai Praisa-nob told General Prawit that Phuket people had given undertakings that there would be no protests or problems of the kind that closed the Asean Summit in Pattaya at Songkran.

General Prawit and Governor Wichai talked at the Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket, which has been chosen as the central resort for the week of talks between senior officials from 27 countries.

Asean talks will be just one part of a wide-ranging series of discussions, with most interest now centring on regional security meetings that are set to involve North Korea and Burma.

It has been suggested that the Phuket talks would be the ideal opportunity for reconvening the six-nation discussions aimed at persuading North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

However, some experts believe that the six-nation talks are now irrelevant, and that the US, in recognition that the rogue nation is now armed and dangerous, needs to consider one-on-one discussions with North Korea.

For a variety of reasons - Rohingya boat people, Aung San Suu Kyi, and weapons of mass destruction - Burma has remained the other hot regional nation.

According to Phuketwan's rough calculations, if the veteran trading vessel Kang Nam did leave North Korea with a cargo of secret weapon parts bound for Burma, as reported, then it should be in the Andaman Sea, somewhere not far off Phuket, about now.

Burma, along with every country except one, has confirmed its attendance at the July meetings. So far, North Korea has not responded.

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Friday August 23, 2019
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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