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Phuket's Year of The Blade: Time to Wipe Out Weapons on Phuket

Monday, October 29, 2012
News Analysis

PHUKET: A group of Phuket honorary consuls is scheduled to meet Phuket Governor Maitree Inthusud for the first time this afternoon.

No doubt they will welcome him warmly, as he will welcome them, before sitting down to some serious talk about Phuket's future.

We hope knives and guns are close to the top of the list of topics.

There have been only two meetings in 2012 between Phuket's honorary consuls as a group and former Governor Tri Augkaradacha and other island administrators.

Sad to say, the innovative idea of Governor Wichai Praisa-gnob's term lost steam under his successor.

With Governor Maitree already declaring ''international'' as one of the key hallmarks of Phuket, and with the national government demanding that tourism drive as much revenue as possible, it's time these gatherings got back on schedule.

There's no doubt the regular meetings have been instrumental in spreading awareness of the importance of tourists' opinions to Phuket's future.

While it will always be the Thai residents, their elected leaders and the appointed administrators who drive Phuket's future, it's tourists who provide the income.

Their views count, and their needs are increasingly important. The national government has recognised this.

All the anxiety of the honorary consuls has been converted via their Bangkok ambassadors into a willingness to make Phuket a safer, more secure place - for residents as well as tourists.

We wouldn't be so presumptuous as to guess what the governor and the honorary consuls will discuss today.

But we'd suggest that in terms of tourism safety and security, 2012 has become the Year of the Blade.

Back in January, Sripanwa manager Vorasit ''Wan'' Issara was almost killed in an axe attack at a Phuket City nightspot that made headlines around the world because of the presence of Hollywood star Jeremy Renner.

In June, Australian tour agent Michelle Smith was murdered by bag snatchers who wielded a knife outside a five-star Phuket resort.

Just last week, a murderous gang possibly intent on rape attacked and stabbed a British tourist and left him seriously wounded in Krabi.

There have been other incidents, too many to list here.

In the aftermath of attacks, police on Phuket have become more pro-active. Neighborhood safety zones and security cameras - great for catching perpetrators, but not necessarily a prevention mechanism - are spreading.

But more needs to be done.

The wise words of Australian Ambassor James Wise spring to mind. Earlier this year, after Michelle Smith's murder, he suggested that police should try to rid Phuket of bladed weapons of all kinds, as well as guns.

Nothing scares away tourists faster than violent crimes.

We'd suggest that the words of Ambassador Wise are taken into account by Phuket's new governor, and by Phuket's new Police Commander, Major General Chote Chawanwiwat.

Is it too much to ask the authorities to conduct a campaign to clear knives, blades and guns from the hands of everyone in Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga? We'd like to see them try.

Comments

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then they take kitchen knives, they kill too, how to ban them?

Posted by bennie on October 30, 2012 02:47

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Control of weapons usually means criminals have them while those wishing to merely defend themselves do not. Instead of banning weapons, which never works in countries that cannot apply the rule of law with any kind of reliability and since most violent crime is committed by young males, I propose we have some kind of electronic surveillance on them, or simply lock them up until they are 55 or so and the testosterone levels are reduced. If young women wish to procreate , they can go and pick one out for a tryst.

Posted by CBF on October 30, 2012 07:46


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