There have been quite a few posts written recently talking specifically about the strict policing of bar & entertainment businesses in Pai on orders of the new police management.
This action has simmered away for weeks culminating finally in a meeting at the Pai Police Station with the new Phu Gum Gup (Chief of Police) and his Inspector (Sawapor).
Local & invited media attended, village elders including many Phu Yai Baan’s from local surrounding villages attended, Tambon Gumnum’s attended, committee members of the Pai Tourism Club attended as well as various ‘respected’ bar owners.
It seems that the only bar owners missing were the owners primarily embroiled in the disputes which to me, regardless of their feelings towards the whole affair (or whether they were warned off as some are trying to say), was an outright show of disrespect.
Not so much towards the police because the issues were between these owners & the strict policies of the new police management, but more so towards the local village elders who have genuine grievances & needed in particular, to talk to the operators of the late night bars themselves.
They also showed contempt towards the members of the Pai Tourism Club who worked hard in arranging the meeting and who genuinely sought to act as a bridge over the divide.
Now everyone knows, more or less, what’s going on! You don’t have to be rocket scientist to understand this especially since it’s all open over the bridge again. Everyone knows that bringing in extra dollars to the community is important but having said that, everyone should know that if the village elders make the effort to attend a meeting, that they themselves should show them the same courtesy. It’s just basic manners.
The village elders are not stupid people, they understand the transformation that is talking place in their community & will accept it if they are respected, consulted & listened to. The glass might be slow in filling, but when it’s full & they decide to act, regardless of any other arrangements made, they will prevail and this point was illustrated clearly in the meeting. As one prominent local leader stated, party people (khon bun terng) & people who sleep (khon bun tom) cannot continue to mix if things keep going the way they are because their patience is running out!
The Chief of Police also made many strong points with respect to foreigner related drug deaths in the short time he’s been here, foreigners acting in an inappropriate manner ie: drunk & disorderly & walking around with no shirts on or inappropriately dressed, driving motorcycles crazily and generally forgetting themselves and doing things they would never get away with back home.
He also stated that with respect to the emergency lights flashing on the cars (no sirens), that from his point of view it’s clear that his men were out on the street & working & that they were approaching. If anyone was doing anything ‘illegal’ they had time to stop & correct themselves before they arrived, in other words, he was warning them not intimidating them.