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Nakhon Ratchasima Orders Closure

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NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Nov 19 (TNA) - The Governor of Thailand's northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, Mr. Phongphayom Wassaphut, yesterday launched a crusade against karaoke slot-machine parlours, warning that such venues would be shut down regardless of opposition.

Mr. Phongphayom, who yesterday led a raid on 20 karaoke parlours located near railway tracks in the province tambon Hua Thale, said that local people had complained that the parlours created disturbances and acted as fronts for prostitution.

Speaking of the 'mushrooming' of karaoke slot-machine parlours in the city, the provincial governor warned that they could lead to problems of drug abuse and crime.

He also noted that the owners of the karaoke parlours in question had violated contracts made with the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) five years ago.

On 31 March this year the Nakhon Ratchasima provincial court ordered that the karaoke parlours be removed by 5 October.

The province has ordered that all the karaoke parlours face immediate closure.

Mr. Phongphayom said that the closures would go ahead regardless of whether or not the owners launched a protest.

The land alongside Nakhon Ratchasima's railway tracks is currently home to over 170 karaoke parlours, which pay a daily fee of Bt100-200 to rent the land. (TNA)--E006

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For once I find myself in agreement with a closure policy.

All Karaoke establishments should be closed, in all towns,

and the import of the machines banned as well.

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