A foreign country calling for a weapons ban in Thailand. Wow.
For some reason I never visited Phuket in all my time in Thailand. I had no idea it was such a lawless land. Next time, Phuket - for sho!
Australian Ambassador calls for Phuket weapons ban
Phuket Gazette – Friday, June 29, 2012 9:49:29 PM
PHUKET: Australian Ambassador to Thailand James Wise today called for police to launch an island-wide crackdown on weapons, including those carried by tuk-tuk drivers.
Speaking after a high-level meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall, Amb Wise said the recent fatal stabbing of Australian tourist Michelle Smith had put a spotlight on public safety in Phuket.
Australian Ambassador James Wise today called for an
island-wide ban on carrying weapons on Phuket.
“There has been massive media coverage in Australia of this and it will have an effect on some people who would otherwise have come to Phuket – that is only human nature,” he said.
Amb Wise said the Australian authorities were very pleased that the Thai police were able to find the suspects. “They have been charged and they will now face the courts of Thailand, as they should, but that of course is really not much comfort at all for the family of Mrs Smith,” he said.
“I would hope that – given the nature of the crime – the police will move very quickly to confiscate knives and guns and other weapons which people are carrying in Phuket. I understand tuk-tuk drivers quite often have weapons. They shouldn’t have weapons. They don’t need weapons to drive a tuk-tuk,” he said.
Amb Wise suggested that one way authorities could encourage tuk-tuk drivers to stop carrying weapons was to not only to confiscate the weapons found, but also impound the tuk-tuks.
He pointed out that ever since his installment as Ambassador to Thailand in 2010, the authorities in Phuket have been calling for stronger support from the central government in Bangkok.
He explained that he and other ambassadors met with senior officials in Bangkok several months ago to discuss such issues, and that another meeting was scheduled for July 11.
“At that meeting we will also be drawing to the central government’s attention our concerns, but also conveying to the central government the very strong wish of the authorities here in Phuket for strong support from the central authorities,” he said.
Amb Wise pointed out that most Australians who visit Phuket have a trouble-free visit here.
“Overwhelmingly, the Australians who come here have a wonderful holiday and many of them come back. Phuket remains a very attractive destination for Australians, but the case of Mrs Smith last week – the very, very tragic murder of Mrs Smith – does put a spotlight on the security situation here in Phuket.
“I think it provides an opportunity for us in the diplomatic community, for local authorities here and for local people here to say, ‘Look, enough is enough. We need to fix some of these problems that we have been talking about for years – but let’s take this opportunity to deal with these issues, to fix these issues, not just talk about them,” he said.
Phuket NEWS: Australian Ambassador calls for Phuket weapons ban
Last edited by cluezo; 30th June 2012 at 05:01.
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Who cares? these will be all forgotten in a week.
...unfortunate, but true: the pull of pheromones easily cancels out the fear of scams and bodily harm...
...majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd...
This Wise guy (get it?) is the ambassador of a first-world country and this is what he comes up with? Maybe it's time for Australia to assign someone who lives on planet Earth as ambassador to Thailand. If he's actually stating the position of the Australian government by calling for a weapons ban, then Australia's government has gone mad.
In the recent spate of violent crimes involving guns and knives on the Gold Coast the governments response was to blitz the region for two weeks with 2000 extra police. From that blitz they have made over 100 arrests on weapons charges and broken 3 major drug supply rings.
Of course in Thailand the police are well aware of who the key players are and they wouldn't dream of busting their own cash cows.
We could all sit outside on banana lounges discussing the best way to rebuild a 4WD transmission and agree, through shared stories of conquests supporting our assertions, that there is no basis to the proposition that those least assured of their persuasions are the first to condemn others for theirs.
The man is doing his job, voicing the concerns of the international community and calling on governments to take stronger action. Where are the other ambassadors? (Don't answer that.)
I sleep in the daytime, I
Work in the night time, I
Might not ever get home
Bill, I really enjoy and agree with most of your posts, but I definitely disagree here. The "international community" apparently doesn't realize that the Thai guy who fatally stabbed Mrs. Smith hoping to get a few hundred baht for his next drink would also not hesitate to do the same to a lot of his fellow Thais, including tuk-tuk drivers. Which might go some way toward explaining why tuk-tuk drivers have weapons. I am thankful that the "international community" has so little influence on Thailand if this is the best that it has to offer.
Thanks, but I don't understand your point.
The mugger targeted a foreigner but would have targeted a Thai just as easily? You don't say?
The tuk-tuk drivers are apparently a law unto themselves. They're part of the scene the ambassador is talking about cleaning up.
The "international community" are there to represent the feelings and voice the concerns of their nationals. They could always just do nothing, I suppose. It wouldn't put any pressure on the government to do their job though.
Yes, that's my point. Of course the tuk-tuk drivers are a law unto themselves, as are the police, the politicians, the rich, et cetera, here. I certainly don't think nothing should be done, and I think it's perfectly right and acceptable for ambassadors to voice concern and call for specific actions when citizens of their countries are killed.
But I think a call for a weapons ban is completely laughable.
Okay, I see what you're saying. But what else can be done? Presumably it's already illegal to be carrying machetes and knives and guns around, so asking the police to enforce the existing laws is hardly revolutionary. A place like Phuket that exists largely off the tourism dollar needs to get its house in order. I can't believe the jet-ski 'damage' scam is still allowed to continue. Shirley they can't be seriout?