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Farang German Web Designer Shot On Koh Phangan


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Two nights ago in the village of Ban Tai two masked men entered the property of a German long term resident of Koh Phangan, Mr Beckman, and subsequently beat him. When he fought back they pulled out a gun and released two rounds - one of which entered his body. He survived this attempted murder.

The reason he was attacked is that via his website forums at kohphangannews he has launched a peaceful campaign with support of Thai Ban Tai local residents to try to have the closing time of the parties in Ban Tai where he resides controlled as none of the Thai locals can sleep. This includes half moon, shiva moon, black moon, jungle experience parties.

This campaign was ignored for many months by the officials of Koh Phangan who were trying to keep the parties running to what ever time they liked ... then officials in Surat Thani called a meeting and controls were put in place.

Since he started the campaign on his website and in the local community, Mr Beckman had been recieving threatening phonecalls from Thai's men, a number of gunshots were made outside his property, some Thai people came and threatened him and now he has been shot. He is lucky to be alive.

Kohphangannews explains in more detail the lead up to this event.

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Am I imagining this or have some posts already been deleted from this thread including one from sbk?

If so, why?

Believe that was a different posting which OP requested to be closed

yes i believe there was another thread running....

but when you take a look at the website and the story he wrote including pictures :o , you play with fire and you get burnt ......

One golden rule in Thailand is never interfer with something goverment related or mafia related and publise it ...... ( sad fact but true )

But i hope the Mr Beckman makes a full recovery.

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Am I imagining this or have some posts already been deleted from this thread including one from sbk?

If so, why?

Believe that was a different posting which OP requested to be closed

Per OP request, the thread was closed and deleted.

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Am I imagining this or have some posts already been deleted from this thread including one from sbk?

If so, why?

Believe that was a different posting which OP requested to be closed

yes i believe there was another thread running....

but when you take a look at the website and the story he wrote including pictures :o , you play with fire and you get burnt ......

One golden rule in Thailand is never interfer with something goverment related or mafia related and publise it ...... ( sad fact but true )

But i hope the Mr Beckman makes a full recovery.

I agree. Don't try to use civilised methods. The only thing they understand is their own methods.

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seriously what do you expect.this is thailand,dont meddle in things you cannot posibly win.

I agree entirely. Unless this poor German guy was being directly affected by the noise, why would he want to do anything. And, if the noise was bothering him, he should have moved (if at all possible).

I don't know when westeners will ever get it through their thick heads that taking strong action against Thais in general will get then into trouble (maybe even dead). Thais often solve disagreements with others especially foreigners with extreme violence and/or property damage.

This is not a country where westeners can sit down and have a frank, open and civil discussion with a Thai to sort out their differences in a mature and reasonable fashion and expect to come to some mutual and fair understanding and solution. For too many Thais the solution is to put a bullet through your head.

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All my solidarity to mr Beckam and Kohphangan news.

He's brave enough (or reckless?) to write something against the party mafia.

But he reminds to me Don Quixote, fighting agains the windmills.

Alla my best for a fast recovery and follow to write on KohPhanganNews!!

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I used to live in Ban Tai. Yes the noise was bad on some nights, depending on the direction of the wind, but I took this as part and parcel of living in Ban Tai. I could have easily moved to any one of the millions of quieter destinations on the island, but Ban Tai suited me and the noise was a negative I could cope with. I feel infinitely more sorry for the locals who have their family houses within the noise polluted area and do not have the option to move as a westerner would, however I think standing in for these people's views (as a westerner) is a mistake.

Everyone knows about the corruption in Thailand, and everyone should know not to get involved with locals with infinitely more power than them. I feel very very sorry for Mr Beckman, but feel that his fight was futile. It is widely recognised that the police are clamping down harder and harder and eventually the parties will die out. This is not due to one westerner's fight but due to the Thai police's increasing desires for control over nightlife, drugs etc. When or if these parties are eventually cancelled (as is the widely held belief) the local tourism trade will be the first to suffer. This is more harmful to Phangan than the parties. Don't bite the hand that feeds.

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The shiva moon, half moon, jungle experience and Black moon parties bring a very tiny fraction of the tourists that attend the full moon party. I seriously doubt that the removal of one or a few of these parties would have the deleterious effect that you suggest.

In fact, the main complaint that I heard was that these parties are constant. Not one a month but the half moon, twice, shiva moon and jungle experience apparently whenever they decided to. A the meeting Beckman attended it was concluded that each group was allowed one party a month.

Beckman was just one of many people living in the area involved. Most of them are local thais who do, indeed, have no choice as to moving.

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I understand many people in KPG come for the parties, but now they are just a fraction of the many more coming in KPG for the beaches, relax, yoga and whatever connected with a real tourism.

Actually the day after any party I can see how business run lower than the usual (most of people crashed in the bungalows or still dancing in the after parties).

So, in my opinion, too many parties (don't forget the pool parties every 2/3 days in Drop In and Coral, running until 6 am) are more a damage than an help to this so suffering KPG tourism.

And without to forget wich kind of people and situations parties are going to create in both the local environment and the tourist community (drug, fighting, dangers, police bustings, byke accidents, etc)

To start the decision to make only four parties a month is a good choice, maybe difficult to digest from the crews doing more than one party a month.

Edited by angiud
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To start the decision to make only four parties a month is a good choice, maybe difficult to digest from the crews doing more than one party a month.

They tried it several years ago, one tambon-one party.

Full Moon plus four different parties, one every week and each week in a different part of the island.

Parties were starting late afternoon with some entertainment for the neighborhood kids & families and continued as a "rave" until 6.00am.

Local villagers were involved and were able to organize a stand selling drinks or food.

Unfortunately, that did not last long...

The last one I was attending was in Sreethanu (2003?).

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som nam na i guess... but also how despicable are the thais who did this.... par for the course in thailand sure, but still disgusting. if i were mr. beckman i would have waited until i left the island to wield my power.

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Becky has lived in Ban Tai for something like 15 years so I guess this makes him about as local as a foreigner can be. From what I hear he is well liked and respected by the local Thai families.

After doing a couple of the dreaded visa-runs with him I started to follow his website. It's a bit of a free-for-all in that people post anything they like - insults, threats, offensive views etc - this particularly came out on the subject of the Ban Tai parties.

When I first read the articles about his campaign to move the parties to a place out of ear-shot of where hundreds of villagers were trying to sleep (he was not trying to stop the parties) I did think he was playing with fire due to the type of people involved in the parties and half expected to read a story like this one but hoped I wouldn't. I do agree with his plight and think it is incredibly inconsiderate and disrespectful to have all night parties where large numbers of people are trying to sleep however this is not a fight I would personally like to take on.

These articles were first posted on his website a couple of months ago but then one day were removed because of 'the usual threats' as Becky himself put it. Then the party organisers finally met with some of the village leaders and residents at Wat Po after pressure from Surat / Bangkok where a 6am finish rule was agreed upon and only 1 party a month for each of the parties. Becky then re-instated his article on his website. 2 weeks later beaten with a baseball bat and shot 3 times.

It's sad to have to admit it but it's just not a good idea to tackle powerful people in Thailand, maybe especially powerful people on Thai Islands - even when you try to go about it in a fairly civilised manner as Becky did. We are guests here and many Thais want us to remember that, especially when it come to affecting their incomes. There are many downsides to the (possibly over-) development which KPG is experiencing but I hope it will bring with it a level of civilisation where shooting a foreign resident because he wants move parties in order to to improve the quality of life for himself and his neighbours does not happen.

I think this story will make international news and if so the officials in Surat and Bangkok who Becky has been in contact with can't ignore what has happened. I hope justice is done and the people who did this get what they deserve but sadly I doubt it.

I love KPG but this is bad news for the Island and for Thailand.

I wish Becky a speedy recovery.

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This is really sad and I hope the guy makes a full recovery.

It almost seems like, and I hate to say this, if you have a beef with the locals, you need to decide if you want to strike first in the extremis to send a message that you are not to be played with or leave. That seems to be the only choice.

It is not a wonder why some areas attract overseas riff-raff. I know a lot of people complain about this, but what do you expect? I mean what do you expect where violence seems to be the answer for all problems. :o Really sad.

TheWalkingMan

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I think this story will make international news

i kind of doubt that, and even if it does nothing will be done

You could be right but some people on Beckys website have posted that they are reporting this to their embassies.

If it does make the news, swift action will be taken but I suspect someone will be made a scapegoat and the real villians here will escape justice.

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Maybe I am the only one, but I think what this foreigner did was right.

He followed his passion. He did what he thought was right in a manner that appealed to rational minds. That the Thais (in general, in particular, in some cases?) think that "settling" this by shooting him is the best solution is lamentable.

If this guy is well respected by locals, his near-martyrdom will not go unnoticed.

If no one takes a stand against injustice, where will we be?

I see nothing about whether the assailants were found, but given the sloppy way everything is done here, it's hard to know how that will pan out.

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i totally agree with you markwolfe but i learned myself the hard way in KPG that morals don't mean squat and by speaking out you take your life in your hands... so you have to be smart and protect yourself if you are going to go about trying to change things in a culture with totally different playing rules. it's too bad that becki wasn't able to do that. he is brave, but it is also a predictable response in KPG. he probably didn't take the threats as seriously as he should have.

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i totally agree with you markwolfe but i learned myself the hard way in KPG that morals don't mean squat and by speaking out you take your life in your hands... so you have to be smart and protect yourself if you are going to go about trying to change things in a culture with totally different playing rules. it's too bad that becki wasn't able to do that. he is brave, but it is also a predictable response in KPG. he probably didn't take the threats as seriously as he should have.

There might be an article in The Nation tomorrow. I know one of the editors. If not, then probably the next day. Keep an eye out.

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We live in a country where justice is measured in baht(even for thais but especially for farangs)We live in a country where there is no law that will go on the side of a farang.We live in a country where everything is about saving "face" whether such and such a person is morally right does not enter the equation.To go to such lenghts as this man did might be honorable but foolish if you value your life.

Back home in the west where there is more equality with regards to "the law" i could see the point in standing up for ones principles,but here in thailand "morals and rightness of ones actions" account for very little and will usually end in violence or death.

For westerners taking a stand like this is honorable but pointless if it turns out you are just going to be shot for your trouble.I hope the man recovers,and realises he is one lucky person to have survived.

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German shot at for 'opposing all-night raves'

By Phoowadon Duangmee

THE NATION

Published on April 1, 2009

Attackers must be local party planners, says 39-year-old victim

Koh Phangan, once made famous by its fullmoon parties, is becoming an uninviting, if not lawless, island after a German expat was woken up in the middle of the night and shot in the hip.

Flederer Ralf, 39, told The Nation that he had to run for his life on Sunday night when two men attacked him while he was in bed.

"Two masked men, about 20 years of age, entered my house at around 2am on Sunday night," said Ralf, who runs www.kohphangannews.org under the pseudonym Beckmann. "They woke me up and charged at me. I grabbed a baseball bat to defend myself. Then all of a sudden, one of them pulled out a gun and opened fire."

Ralf was hit three times in the hip before being able to escape. He is being treated at Bangkok Hospital in Samui.

The expat, who has been living in Koh Phangan for 17 years now, believes he was attacked by local partyorganisers upset about his complaints over the latenight partying.

Koh Phangan's famous fullmoon parties have been drawing thousands of young travellers, turning the small, peaceful island into a noisy place.

The sheer variety of moonthemed shindigs on Phangan is amazing, each one touted by loud psychedelic flyers posted all over the island. There's the Half Moon, the Black Moon and the Shiva Moon parties among others, and each is a bacchanal of allnight techno music and halfnaked foreigners unabashedly indulging in drugs and alcohol.

The local residents, led by Raft, kept filing complaints with the local police, who were far too slack in taking action. Then Ralf and other residents filed a complaint with a government anticorruption bureau in Bangkok, which is currently checking to see why local authorities have been allowing this nonstop partying.

"Once the Bureau started investigating, I started getting threats," the victim said. "Ten days before I was shot, a stranger showed up at my front yard in the middle of the night and shot at the coconuts."

According to Ralf, there are at least 16 parties a month around the tiny island, and many if not all of them start at dusk and carry on until the next afternoon. Also, more often than not, these moonthemed parties are rife with crime and drugs.

There have been several cases of foreigners being killed or hurt at these parties. Danny Hall, a backpacker, has been missing since last February, while tourist Astrid alAssad Schachmer was found dead shirtless near the party scene in Thongsala village.

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Sigh...from a copy editor's standpoint, this article would never even make it into a high school paper. Does the Nation not have foreigners working there to edit the Thaiglish? Even the headline is wrong -- "to be shot at" means that the person in question was not hit.

Shockingly poor copy.

The article doesn't really give us much information Thaivisa members didn't already know. And why on earth didn't the reporter talk to the authorities?

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