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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sensible proposals needed for alcohol

When new Public Health Minister Chalerm Yubamrung announced shortly after taking up his post late last month that he was pushing for a ban on the sale and even consumption of alcohol over the New Year's holiday and also on religious holidays, it generated disbelief more than anything else. The thought that a country that derives a major part of its revenue from the tourist sector would suddenly halt alcohol sales at the height of the tourist season defies all logic, especially as hotels and airlines are already reporting severe strain due to the ongoing political crisis in the country and a global economic picture that is worsening by the day. So it was no real surprise that Mr Chalerm backed away from the proposal on Friday to avoid fierce opposition from tourism entrepreneurs and tourists themselves.
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