Thailand junta uneasy about Pokémon Go craze: Use it wisely, PM warns youngsters

Pokemon Go's debut in Thailand has alarmed the country's generals, prompting the kingdom's junta chief to warn youngsters against playing too much and the army to ban the game from barracks.

AFP August 09, 2016 13:18:38 IST
Thailand junta uneasy about Pokémon Go craze: Use it wisely, PM warns youngsters

Bangkok: Pokémon Go's debut in Thailand has alarmed the country's generals, prompting the kingdom's junta chief to warn youngsters against playing too much and the army to ban the game from barracks.

The mobile app was made available in Thailand on Saturday, delighting many in a country where Japanese subcultures have a significant following. But the game — which encourages users to hit the pavements in search of digital monsters — has sparked safety concerns partly because Bangkok's streets are notoriously pedestrian-unfriendly.

"Thai walking culture is not like Japan and there are limited pavements," government spokesman Sansern Kaewkumnerd told reporters on Tuesday. He said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, who seized power in 2014, "does not want to ban the game".

Thailand junta uneasy about Pokmon Go craze Use it wisely PM warns youngsters

Representational image. AFP

But the premier has urged players to know "their limits... and use their time wisely," Sansern added. "The game could harm players with things like loss of money, their job, their education as well as the relationships they have with the people around them," he said.

He added that parents should advise their children to be "self-disciplined" and use their time well.

His comments came as Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said the game was banned inside military barracks and government security agencies.

A barracks in the northern city of Khon Kaen hoisted a sign warning Pokemon Go players they faced up to three years in jail if they trespassed onto military property, Channel 3 television showed.

Even when a pedestrian's eyes are firmly fixed ahead Bangkok's streets can be a veritable obstacle course. Pavements are patchy and those that exist are littered with hurdles from street vendors and fire hydrants to potholes and tangled wiring.

Thailand's Public Health Ministry said the game should be welcomed for encouraging people to exercise but warned users to be careful near "roads, swimming pools, rivers and canals".

Local media has been filled in recent days with stories of hundreds of players glued to their phones outside parks and malls. Some have even taken to using motorbike taxis and cars to get a head start as they navigate the traffic-choked city in their search for Pokemon.

Giorgio Taraschi, an Italian living in Bangkok, said he was lightly struck on Monday night by a man driving a car while playing the game.

Updated Date:

also read

Indian Army Recruitment 2021: Apply for 100 women Soldier GD posts at joinindianarmy.nic.in
India

Indian Army Recruitment 2021: Apply for 100 women Soldier GD posts at joinindianarmy.nic.in

This recruitment drive will fill up a total of 100 vacancies. Candidates should note that the last date to register for the posts is 20 July

NATO members to bid symbolic farewell to Afghanistan tomorrow as US military withdraws from country
India

NATO members to bid symbolic farewell to Afghanistan tomorrow as US military withdraws from country

With the US leading the withdrawal, European allies and Canada want to hear Biden's plan about how security will be assured at their embassies

As drawdown deadline nears, US mulls possibility of airstrikes if Afghan forces face crisis in future
World

As drawdown deadline nears, US mulls possibility of airstrikes if Afghan forces face crisis in future

With restrictive rules of engagement that require hours of overhead surveillance before a US airstrike is authorised, Afghan forces have tried to compensate, launching 10 to 20 airstrikes a day