PHUKET: Hundreds of angry anti-government protesters last night forced the organizers of the annual Phuket Red Cross Fair to cancel a live concert by Thai rock star Sek Loso, who was to perform the closing show at the fair.
Sek “Seksan Sukpimai” Loso was one of many Thai celebrities who joined a publicity campaign calling on voters to cast their ballots at the upcoming February 2 election.
His participation in the campaign, however, drew much criticism from anti-government factions, who posted angry comments on the Sek Loso Facebook page.
Sek, who has been enjoying a career revival after fighting a drug addiction, fired back at his online critics, swearing at them in a posting that was later pulled down from his Facebook page (click here
Determined to prevent the rock star from taking the stage, hundreds of protesters massed at the fair at Saphan Hin (map here
). Many of the crowd held placards with messages, including one that read, “You can have a different opinion, but we cannot accept you swearing at us. Go make a living somewhere else. Drug addicts not welcome in Phuket.”
Phuket Red Cross President Pawinee Inthusut attempted to talk the protesters into disbanding, but the angry crowd refused to budge.
About an hour later, at 10:30pm, officials announced the concert had been cancelled, making it clear to fair-goers, “We do not want any conflicts.”
The announcement evoked cheers from the protesters, who blew their whistles and started heading home.
“Ms Pawinee, my wife, tried negotiating with the protesters to let Sek Loso perform, but they remained angry at his Facebook posting,” Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut told the Phuket Gazette
Despite the last-minute cancellation, Sek Loso remained positive that he would return to the island to perform.
“The governor asked me for cooperation by postponing the concert. Never mind, I’m here to entertain you brothers. I’ll perform for you guys, later,” he posted on Facebook.