Mrs. Amornrat Chokpamitkul, a former MP for the Move Forward Party, posted her opinions on Facebook stating Thailand should cancel an alcohol sales ban on religious holidays due to its lack of reasonable grounds, according to her.
She provided three reasons to support her opinions as follows:
- There are already other measures in place to control drinking on this day, such as testing and monitoring the alcohol levels of drivers.
- The Thai society is not comprised solely of Buddhists; Thai people have religious freedom to practice various faiths. Also, many tourists are affected by the bans and are not religious.
- This practice is hardly enforced in other Buddhist countries.
Vesak Day or Visakha Bucha Day is an important day in Buddhism, which took place on June 3rd. During the day, like all religious holidays, the sale of alcohol is prohibited.
Business owners who violate this prohibition may face six-month imprisonment or a 10,000-baht fine according to Section 39 of the Alcohol Control Act. The prohibition applies to both wholesale and retail sales of all types of alcoholic beverages throughout the entire kingdom.
TPN media notes that there used to be an exception to the alcohol bans for tourists at hotels but this was removed during the government of Prayut Chan-O-Cha.
The alcohol ban days have been in place for almost fifty years as law, notes TPN, but as Thailand as increased in tourism and travelers from around the world the bans, which shut down the countries popular entertainment sector, have become more controversial and always draw many complaints from visitors, especially those only in Thailand for a few days on a holiday.
What do you think? Tell us in the comments below.