State and private universities are pushing for amendments to a ministerial regulation that will ban the sale of alcohol within 500 metres of schools.
Why 500 meters ? And not 600 or 400, or 380 meters ? Another mystery related to the thai bigotry.
Educators demand 500-metre booze ban
Only shops ‘adjacent to schools’ affected
By Sirikul Bunnag
State and private universities are pushing for amendments to a ministerial regulation that will ban the sale of alcohol within 500 metres of schools. Led by Thammasat University vice-rector Prinya Tevanaruemitrkul, a group of vice-rectors for student affairs from private and public universities handed a letter to Deputy Education Minister Varakorn Samkoses on Friday, calling on the Education Ministry to query the Finance Ministry about progress of a move to amend its ministerial regulation on alcohol sales in the vicinity of schools and other places of education.
Mr Prinya said the group had asked the Finance Ministry to amend the regulation since October last year.
Then-finance minister Pridiyathorn Devakula promised to accept the proposal for consideration but there has been no progress to date, he said.
Without effective control measures in place, said Mr Prinya, shops selling alcoholic beverages would mushroom around universities and other places of education, causing young students to go astray.
He said the existing ministerial regulation only prohibits issuing a licence to sell alcohol to shops that are located ”adjacent to” an educational place, thus allowing shops that are in the vicinity of but not right next to a place of education to escape the ban.
Under the proposed amendments, new places where alcoholic drinks are served will not be allowed to open within a 500-metre radius of an educational place. Meanwhile, those that have been doing business near educational places before the ban takes effect will lose their licences if they are found guilty of opening beyond the legal business hours, or of selling alcohol to minors under 18 years old.
Before renewing the operating licences of shops selling alcoholic drinks that are located within 500 metres of an educational place, the Excise Department must also seek approval from the head of that place of education.
”Our proposed measures will not hurt the operators of the shops that have been in business before the ministerial regulation is amended,” said Mr Prinya.
”However, they will be affected if they fail to abide by the law or the amended regulation,” he added.
Mr Varakorn said he would talk to the Finance Ministry, adding that he was confident the finance minister would support the proposed amendments.
Nisachon Khlaikaew, a third-year student at Huachiew Chalermprakiart University and head of a youth group against alcohol, said the regulation, if amended, would be good news for students.
Many campaigns had been launched to keep students away from alcohol, but failed. Many shops located near universities refuse to cooperate, she said.