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Pattaya Daily News

21 May 2010 :: 12:05:28 pm 21230

Pattaya Struck by Stringently Enforced Gloomy Curfew

Despite protests from tourists and locals alike, Pattaya was again plunged into darkness come 9pm on Thursday. Pattaya Police stringently enforced the curfew restrictions placed on Chon-Buri province, patrolling around the city informing businesses, residents, streetside vendors and foreigners that they were to cease their activities and return to the homes, hotels and residences immediately in accordance with the emergency decree.
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Pattaya, the 21st of May 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Wednesday night saw the closure of many businesses and bars throughout the city, including North Pattaya’s Big C and Central Pattaya’s Carrefour and Central Festival shopping centers, however this was more of precautionary measure as most feared a Red Shirt uprising similar to that which was being witnessed in Bangkok.

Thursday however saw the extension of the government imposed curfew to Pattaya City as the Center for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) further sort preventative measures to restrict the Red Shirts ability to mingle with innocent civilians creating unabated chaos. Along with Wednesday night’s closure of Central Festival and Carrefour, all major shopping centers, supermarkets, minimarts, convenience stores, specialist’s shops, streetside vendors and markets had all closed by 9pm whilst police patrolled around the city closing all bars, clubs, pubs and nightclubs in accordance with the curfew.

As opposed to the self imposed closures on Wednesday, all bars including those directed mostly at the local Thai population were forced to close, meaning the entire city became somewhat of a ‘ghost town’ by 10pm. Gone were the neon lights, bar girls, beach road hawkers and street vendors and in their place, patrolling police, council workers and positively nothing except for the occasional drunk and confused foreigner who had not been informed about the current state of Thailand political affairs.

Although there was the odd foreigner tramping for an open 7-Eleven or Family Mart, most had been well prepared for the curfew which seemed to be actioned with little fuss, confusion and for the most part any significant resistance. Walking Street managed to completely shutdown within an hour whilst the regular patrol of police vehicles in the area ensured that there were no bars attempting to avoid the curfew restrictions. Many of the major nightspots chose not to open at all on Thursday, which is understandable when most don’t even begin to become lively until well into the night.

The odd food seller could still be seen operating his/her stall from a more secluded location, amongst the intertwined Soi’s which weave their way throughout Pattaya, however; even they had returned home by 10:30pm due to a lack of business. Local food markets and congregations of food vendors decided not to open in the evening whilst a few were unaware of the curfew before subsequently being informed by police and disappearing into the night.

Several residents and business owners commented that this was the first time they had been a part of such a citywide crackdown, many fearing the impact a prolonged curfew may have on their livelihoods. Although the CRES at present have extended the curfew restrictions until Sunday many local residents fear that it will be extended further if the situation begins to flare again in Bangkok. It must be noted, that there was also the odd business owner and streetside vendor who appeared to be thankful for the night off.

Public Service Announcement: The CRES curfew will again be enforced in Pattaya tonight (Friday the 21st of May) from 9pm until 5am on Saturday. All residents and tourists are advised to purchase any essential items and return to their room before 9pm in accordance with the emergency decree.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Community News

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