Songkran, alcohol ban : how to make a Z-Turn and lose face, simultaneously ?

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has asked the Council of State to examine the Alcohol Control Act and advise him before he makes a makes decision on whether to ban alcohol during the Songkran celebration next month.

The Council of State is expected to give its opinion this week.

There are conflicts between the Act and the coupmakers’ regulation which allows the sale of alcoholic beverages from 11am to 2pm, and from 5pm to midnight. The Act gives the alcohol policy committee authority to ban alcohol sales on specific days. (Bangkok Post)

Backfire. Hot potato. Abhisit, the alleged Prime Minister, gave a green light to his ministers to play with the thai talibans… The result ? They fell themselves into the trap. No one else is to blame.

Abhisit showed, once again, a total lack of leadership, a lack of courage and very poor political skills.

To understand how this new soap opera started, click here.

The thai talibans, because they are talibans coming from the Dark Age, hate alcohol and hate the idea that people could drink. Fair enough. Therefore, they pushed for a total ban during Songkran.

First, the Deputy Health Minister made some proposals, in their direction… then he modified the proposal. Mistake… And then, eventually, his boss (the minister) said that he was okay with the idea.

Now they are trapped.

They can’t let it go and cancel the whole circus. And they can’t impose a real ban.

So, in a very pathetic way, they give the hot potato to someone else ! The Council of State ! To get, allegedly, an “advice “.

What an absurd joke.

Abhisit wants to save face… His little face. But he will lose it… and the people will laugh at him because eventually they will impose a ban, but a… mini ban.

Like the Mini-Me in Austin Powers movie.

The world faces huge challenges because of the crisis… but Mister Abhisit is looking at his navel and is working really hard… about sales of alcohol during Songkran holidays. What an achievement.

Abhisit ? A mini Prime Minister.

A mini resignation would be suitable.

UPDATE
And of course the talibans… are not happy ! ๐Ÿ˜‰ They think -and they are right- that this story is nothing less than a delaying tactic. I told you It would make a perfect thai drama.

Anti-alcohol activists on Tuesday demanded the removal of Deputy Prime Minister Sanan Kachornprasart as chairman of the National Committee on Alcohol Consumption Control, citing a conflict of interest.

The call was made a day after Maj-Gen Sanan resolved to seek a Council of State ruling on the legality of the alcohol sales ban during next month’s Songkran festival. The move was seen by activists as a delaying tactic to prevent the ban from taking effect before the festival. (Bangkok Post)

UPDATE MARCH 28

Bingo. That was fast ! The Council of State gives back the hot potato. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The government has the authority to ban alcohol sales during the Songkran festival next month, the Council of State says.

The government’s legal arm said the proposed ban on alcohol sales was not in conflict with an announcement issued by the ruling National Executive Council (NEC) in 1972.

The ban could be issued under the 2008 Alcohol Beverage Control Act and not contravene the 253rd announcement of the NEC, Deputy Public Health Minister Manit Nopamornbode said. (Bangkok Post)

5 Responses to “Songkran, alcohol ban : how to make a Z-Turn and lose face, simultaneously ?”


  1. 1 Bedwyr 25 March 2009 at 2:39 am

    The Thai mind makes even a simple thing into a 3-act drama.

    Or a 3-ring circus.

    That is because to a Thai, power is not the prelude to doing a job, to actually shoulder responsibility and get things done. It is simply a means to peddle personal agendas, accumulate additional power without responsibility, and settle old scores.

    Which is why oafs like Anupong are able to offer ‘advice’ to the government instead of getting on and solving the problems in the south (at which he has been an unmitigated disaster), or digging more latrine ditches or something.

    Being a pooyay in Thailand means 4 things:

    1. You dont have a real job to do – the reward for years of dedicated kissing of the right asses.
    2. You get your snout in the public trough and can pillage the Thai people with imupnity.
    3. By some miraculous process, being appointed to some pooyay post bestows all knowledge so you literally do ‘know it all’.
    4. Because you know (see point 3) you can feel perfectly entitled to pronounce on all sorts of things about which in reality you know nothing whatever.

    They know all alright.

    Bugger all.

    In most places, 9 year old kids stop being 9 years old the instant they turn 10. Not in Thailand. In Thailand, what you get is 50-year-old 9-year olds.

    No wonder the place is going down the pan. Every day in a million small ways the pooyay are in the process of consigning Thailand to some great cosmic toilet. All the while in the secure knowledge that it is all someone elses fault. Thaksins, probably.

    Bedwyr

  2. 2 E. Spitzer 25 March 2009 at 3:16 am

    I’m surprised I haven’t heard anything about banning spaghetti strap blouses during the holiday. In the past that has always been a major concern of the Government.

  3. 3 Prokster 25 March 2009 at 6:50 am

    I thought they had already agreed to a one day ban on the 13th?

  4. 4 ThaiCrisis 25 March 2009 at 7:22 am

    No. They were just “thinking” about it… The deputy health minister and the minister came up with some ideas. But the problem is : Songkran is coming fast !

    They know that the idea of this ban is ridiculous…. but they wanted to receive goods points from the conservators, the bigots… so like children caught smoking (or drinking) into the school toilets… they are trapped. Hence, the Council of State joke…

    Face and stupidity… a devastating cocktail in Thailand, always.

  5. 5 Marvo 25 March 2009 at 8:07 am

    In a country where “not losing face” is practiced daily and carries so much importance, how do they manage to leave themselves so wide open so many times? I just don’t see how it’s possible.

    Oh yes, TC beat me to it… “stupidity!”
    Stupidity of a magnitude incomprehensible to the rest of the world. A devastating cocktail indeed TC.


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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

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


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