Alcohol ban during Songkran : the thai taliban tribe has a new member

Public Health Minister Witthaya Kaewparadai yesterday approved the two options with regards to alcohol sales during Songkran, from April 12 to 14, before asking the National Committee for Alcohol Consumption Control to make a final decision. (Nation)

Thai politicians have the sense of hierarchy. And the thai t(h)aliban tribe got a new member.

March 5
The Deputy Health Minister proposes :

ban alcohol sales throughout the entire Songkran holiday period, for five days or for just three days.

March 12
The Deputy Health Ministers changes his plan :

ban all sale of alcohol during the entire period; or ban sale at stores but allow restaurants, pubs and hotels with an Excise Department permit to serve booze from 6pm to midnight.

March 18
The Health Minister agrees with the latest proposal of his subordinate. But as a good politician, he gives the hot potato to… the National Committee for Alcohol Consumption Control ! šŸ˜‰

He’s courageous.

Of course, there is a debate within the government. The Tourism Minister is not happy… He wants to postpone the ban. Read his statement and you’ll find the light. Or the drink.

Tourism and Sports Minister Chumpol Silapaarcha said he did not agree with the public health ministry’s plan to ban alcohol sale during Songkran, as it would destroy the festive atmosphere. Instead, he said, the government should put off plans to ban alcohol until next year, because the country badly needed to boost its tourism.

“We agree with the ministry’s plan to ban alcohol sale, but it should not be done this year,” he said. “We will lose a lot of tourists if we stop them from purchasing alcoholic beverages. The government can issue a ban when the economy returns to normal.

“We have to remember that tourists bring money to Thailand and we must take advantage of this. So I ask the government to put off the ban.”

What a nice guy… very straightforward in a way.

Let me translate his words : “I agree with the ban, but right now we are in deep poo poo so we need them. The tourists. Unfortunately if I may say. Oh my god, I always forget that I’m the Tourism Minister. What a freaking job. But anyway, when the economy will be back to normal, fuck them, we will be able to impose the ban.”

What do you think ? Am I a good translator ? šŸ˜‰

6 Responses to “Alcohol ban during Songkran : the thai taliban tribe has a new member”


  1. 1 DavidB 20 March 2009 at 10:26 am

    You forget one thing, Sanan (he of the Winery and fancy sunglasses) was appointed to head the committe to look into this.
    Do you see him agreeing with the puritans at Health Ministry ?
    More moves than a can of worms this one.
    And, a smart move by whoever gave him the job.

  2. 2 ThaiCrisis 20 March 2009 at 11:09 am

    He might be a wine drinker, or owner of company linked to booze…. don’t forget the name of this committee : “National Committee for Alcohol Consumption Control
    šŸ˜‰

    He could give a green light, to please the conservators, the puritans and the bigots (as a favor to get something back, etc.).

    My bet : they will impose a ban, but a short one. Perfect thai solution : totally inefficient, many people will be hangry, but no one will lose face. šŸ˜‰

  3. 3 absolutelybangkok 20 March 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Glorious piece, beautiful, very well written.

  4. 4 ThaiCrisis 20 March 2009 at 12:37 pm

    I knew you would appreciate my… translation skills. šŸ˜‰

    I’ve got an automated decipher of thaipoliticianspeak device.

  5. 5 DavidB 20 March 2009 at 1:46 pm

    I too can smell a compromise.
    Your “translation skills” are spot on.
    But, with him in charge, I think it might not go the way the Healthy puritans want 100%.
    Remember he was banned for a few years- before t was fashionable.
    He’s also one of the “old school” head kickers. I can’t see him giving ground.
    More likely he could “help” a few “friends”…if you know what I mean….nudge, nudge…..

  6. 6 airbus 20 March 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Supermarket sales will do well – more support for Tesco/Carrefour ! That makes sense ????

    Flights out of Thailand are heavily booked that week – I wonder why !!


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Thailand Crisis

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But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.


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