Tuesday, 1 May 2012

What is the Phuket Governor really scared of?

The Nation and the Phuket News have reported that Phuket Governor Tri Akkhadecha has prohibited a May Day concert organised by Myanmar migrant workers living in Phuket Province. According to The Nation:
Phuket Governor Tri Akkhadecha said Monday that he has prohibited concerts by entertainers from Myanmar for workers from the neighbouring country working in his island province on Labour Day, Tuesday. Tri said he was informed by local officials that several organisers had sought permission to hold concerts by Myanmar entertainers for workers from Myanmar in several areas in Phuket, including Muang, Thalang sand Krathu districts. He said the officials were told that some 10,000 tickets had been sold. But he informed the officials that the concerts could not be approved. Moreover, the Phuket Provincial Administration put up announcements at various places, telling workers from Myanmar and Cambodia to return to their shelters before 8pm. Tri said that if workers from neighbouring countries were allowed to stay out after 8pm on the Labour Day, arguments could occur and the situation might get out of control. Thungthon police station commander Pol Col Kraithong Chanthong said a group of Mon entertainers sought permission for holding concerts from April 28 to 30 but he had declined to approve it for fear that the concert goers would start fighting.
And according to the Phuket News:
Phuket authorities have turned down two applications by Burmese migrants to stage concerts on the island, citing concerns of possible violence that might get out of control. Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha said today (April 30) that he was afraid of the possibility that a concert planned for tomorrow in Thalang District would turn out to be “harmful rather than entertaining.” He said he had been told that the organisers of the concert had sold more than 10,000 tickets, even though permission for the event had not been granted. The governor said that this would be a large gathering of Burmese and might deteriorate into brawls between immigrant gangs. The other application came from a group of Mon migrant workers, who applied for permission to stage concerts at Thungtong fresh market over three nights, from Saturday until today (April 28-30). The superintendent of Thungtong Police Station, Pol Col Kraitong Jantongbai, said the group told police they expected 6,000 to 10,000 people to come to the event. This sparked police concern about security, and they turned down the application. In recent years, a number of crimes related to immigrant workers have been reported on media. The most notorious involved fatal fights between Burmese, or murders by Burmese of other Burmese. Police have found it hard to track down the perpetrators because of the large number of Burmese who have entered Thailand illegally and are therefore not documented. Gov Tri also noted regulations that restrict immigrant workers from gathering after 8pm. The regulations are in place to give authorities greater ability to control migrant workers. In Phuket’s history, no concert proposal by Burmese organisers has ever been granted permission.

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