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Entertainment Venues Near Schools, Hospitals Prepare For Closure Order

Source: Vientiane Times

Education authorities are preparing to cooperate with fellow government agencies to shut down entertainment venues if found to be in breach of regulations once receiving the appropriate order.

Entertainment venues and shops that sell alcohol are not allowed to conduct business within 500 metres of educational institutions and hospitals.

They must relocate to sites at least 500 metres away, according to report of the government spokesman, Prof. Dr Chaleun Yiapaoher said in comments made at a monthly government meeting for March when discussing a draft Prime Ministerial Order on Entertainment Venues and Alcohol Shop Management among other issues.

The move toward formalising the order comes amid growing public complaints about the presence of some entertainment venues that have opened in inappropriate locations, an official said.

Head of the administration division under the department of Technical and Vocational Education of the Ministry of Education and Sports, Mr Sompai Sengvilaysack spoke to Vientiane Times by telephone yesterday on measures against entertainment venues for infringement of the regulations to reimpose order in the entertainment industry.

He said the authority had acted upon receiving information from traditional and social media sources including the Lao newspapers.

The ministry had organised meetings to discuss the problem of entertainment venues including plans to solve this issue. But, these meetings are only discussions as the PM’s Order has not been finalised.

The education authority has admitted that there is a concern on this issue because there is a difficulty to solve problems without an order to back action. “We cannot inspect or order owners of alcohol shops and other entertainment venues that operate close to educational institutions and hospitals to shut because we don’t have this draft Order yet,” he said.

At present, the ministry is finalising the draft list for the inspection of alcohol shops and other entertainment venues as it awaits the issuance of the Order, he said.

According to the Vientiane Information, Culture and Tourism Department, several years, the Department has been ordered to shut down temporarily and penalise some well-known nightclubs in Vientiane while ten more being closely watched after authorities suspected that their operations were in breach of the relevant regulations.

Four venues under close inspection include Star Club in Nonsavang village of Chanthaboury district, Dao Kham club in Nakham village in Sikhottabong district, Romeo Club in Khoknin village and Phik Club in Beungkhayong village of Sisattanak district.