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A timely terrorism warning from Major General Verasak Lomwong

Phuket Tourism 'Possibly a Target for Terrorism'

Thursday, July 14, 2011
PHUKET: A timely warning that terrorism and tourism do not mix has been delivered to Phuket. By coincidence, the warning was followed within hours by a triple attack on the Indian city of Mumbai that killed and injured more than 150 people.

Phuket's warning came yesterday at a meeting of key Phuket authorities with Thai Army security expert Major General Verasak Lomwong, who told them that Thailand was one of 36 countries seen as being subject to terrorist attacks.

While the insurgency in Thailand's south continues to claim lives almost every day, Phuket and other tourist destinations in Thailand have so far been spared.

But transnational terrorism knows no boundaries.

Major General Verasak warned the gathering at Provincial Hall in Phuket City that Indonesia and the Philippines, both prey to terrorists who attacked tourists, were neighbors in the region.

Thailand was also a centre for production of fake passports, Major General Verasak said, and tourist destinations such as Phuket in many ways represented ideal international ''melting pots'' where outsiders could mingle unnoticed.

He said that Phuket was easily accessible by sea and air. The key priorities for Phuket, he told the media after a closed-doors meeting, were:

.. More security officers at Phuket's deep sea port;
.. An improvement in the quality of security at Phuket airport especially and other airports;
.. More security officers who could protect Phuket consulates.

The message to Phuket delivered by the major general was ''Protect is better than Retreat.''

Less than an hour after the Mumbai blasts, India's Home Ministry confirmed a terrorist attack and placed the entire city on high alert.

A Mumbai terrorist attack in 2008 killed 166 people, targetting two luxury hotels, a Jewish center and a busy train station.

Wednesday's blasts coincided with the birthday of the lone surviving Pakistani gunman from 2008.
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Comments

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Thank you guys, a perfect promotion for our tourism !!!

Posted by Resident on July 14, 2011 18:08

Editor Comment:

London, New York, Barcelona, Mumbai, even Sydney are all ''possible targets,'' too. We'd be delighted to say that Phuket was not a target - if only it was true. In the past seven years, Phuket has had a tsunami and a plane crash, so being a ''possible terrorism target'' - along with its biggest regional rival, Bali, where terrorists have struck twice - is hardly daunting. Don't lose any sleep, Resident.

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Thanks for the article Ed. Resident, the lives of your cash cows and the patong locals are far more important than you lining your pockets.The people need to be made aware of a threat so they can make decisions, no matter if it effects local business interests or not.

Posted by Scunner on July 14, 2011 22:16

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Its just the harsh reality we all live with, terrorists and fundamentalists may struck any day, any minute. I doubt that people would avoid Phuket for that reason when Europeans, Americans and Aussies have to watch their back all the time anyway. I would say that tuk-tuk/taxi drivers, shameful scams and increased costs (even low-season) is the major reason for not visiting Phuket rather then the risk of a possible terror attack.

Posted by Swede on July 15, 2011 03:17


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