PHUKET TUK-TUK SAGA Taxi Wars On Horizon?
Picking up the cover of the Phuket Gazette about the French family beaten by a tuk-tuk driver certainly gave a chilling reminder about the seriousness of the situation. Over recent weeks an outcry has been heard all over the island with a petition currently making the rounds in cyberspace to give to the Governor.
Recent hotel blockades include Centara and the new Outrigger Laguna Village where disputes have turned nasty. While many political analysts have decried the potential for some sort of 'civil war' in the Thai papers between Thaksin supporters and the current administration, the potential for violence in Phuket between illegal taxi's, tourist and local establishments seem far more imminent.
While we have a high degree of sympathy for locals trying to earn a living driving vehicles, at the same time the islands rice bowl being tourists deserve respect and simple rights for safe, secure and manageable transport while visiting Phuket.
Dialogue, renewed controls, reforms and at the end of the day a compromise solution which meets the needs of all the parties is a priority on the island as never before. If allowed to continue unabated, violence only results in more of the same.