Source: Vientiane Times
As many as 18 entertainment venues will have to move from their location near the National University of Laos after they were deemed to be a distraction to students.
The measure is part of the government’s so-called decision to relocate such places so they are at least 500 metres away from important offices and educational institutions.
Some 13 internet cafés and five snooker clubs were located too close to the university in Xaythany district, Deputy Head of Office at the university Mr Bounpone Phomma told Vientiane Times yesterday.
“Internet cafes pose a particular threat to students’ performance. They offer online soccer gambling and games,” said Mr Bounpone, who is also a member of the district’s committee in charge of social issues.
Students, including those from Sathid Secondary School, skip classes so they can waste their time on internet games and playing snooker, Mr Bounpone added.
“These venues are still operating,” he said.
The university has been selected to pilot a scheme for the relocation of undesirable recreational facilities.
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith recently issued a 23-page Government Decree stipulating that entertainment venues must be located at least 500 metres away from places of education, hospitals, state offices and international organisations.
Discotheques, nightclubs, bars and karaoke clubs must also be 500 metres away from religious places, monuments, ancient and sacred places, caves and other revered sites.
Minister of Education and Sports, Mrs Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun, told the National Assembly recently that authorities in charge had set a target to complete the pilot scheme by December, but this did not happen.
A national committee in charge of implementing the decree is expected to hold a meeting next week to review the pilot scheme.
Representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Education and Sports, Information, Culture and Tourism sector, the National University of Laos and other relevant bodies are set to attend the meeting, which is expected to be chaired by Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Bounkeuth Sangsomsack.
“With the internet cafes and snooker clubs still operating, we will ask for guidance from the meeting on the next move. The university is not in charge of managing these venues directly,” Mr Bounpone said.
Another problem area is the Waiwan Pub in Nathom village.
Although the pub, which is very popular with students, is some distance from the university, it often stays open later than the official closing time, he said.
Under the decree, entertainment venues are required to strictly observe opening and closing times, which are set at 6pm and midnight.
Karaoke bars and concert venues must not open until 9pm and must close by midnight.
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