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Phuket’s Unity Against Injustice: Community Stands Strong After Dr. Thandao Chandam’s Assault by Swiss National Urs Fehr

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In a turn of events that could easily be mistaken for the plot of an enthralling drama series, the tranquil life in Thailand’s southern paradise, Phuket, was recently shaken to its core. The central characters in this unfolding tale are Pol Col Parinya Klinkesorn, a spokesman for the Immigration Bureau; Urs “David” Fehr, a Swiss national with a penchant for privacy; and Dr. Thandao Chandam, a young physician with a story that ignited a firestorm of public outrage.

It all began on a seemingly serene evening on February 24th, when the calm of Yamu Beach was disrupted by an incident that would have ripple effects reaching the highest echelons of Phuket’s administration. Dr. Thandao Chandam, a 26-year-old dedicated doctor at Dibuk Hospital, found herself on the receiving end of an unexpected and unprovoked encounter. While enjoying the peaceful ambiance of the beach, sitting on the steps in front of a lavish villa in the Thalang district, she was kicked in the back by none other than Urs “David” Fehr, the managing director of the Elephant Sanctuary Park Co that calls Phuket its home.

The reason behind this startling act? Fehr, caught in a moment of misjudgment, mistook Dr. Chandam and her friend for Chinese tourists, whom he accusingly stated have a history of encroaching on his beachfront property. The aftermath of this altercation saw Fehr and his Thai wife rushing to extend their apologies, but the damage was already done.

As word spread, and with Dr. Chandam bravely stepping forward to share her ordeal, the tale took a darker turn with revelations of supposed connections to senior law enforcement figures being flaunted during the confrontation. This detail, in particular, struck a chord with the proud people of Phuket, leading to an uproarious demand for justice and accountability.

The Phuket provincial administration, sensing the gravity of the situation and the bubbling public discontent, wasted no time. The call to revoke Fehr’s visa was swift, championed by Pol Maj Gen Songprod Sirisukha of Immigration Division 6, the authority overseeing the serene southern provinces of Thailand. The grounds? Fehr’s actions painted him as a menace to society, a disruptor of peace, and a violator of the communal harmony that Phuket prides itself on.

The saga took an even more dramatic turn as the local community, fueled by righteous indignation, staged a massive “picnic” on the beach right in front of Fehr’s villa, a bold declaration of unity and a reclaiming of public space. This act of solidarity did more than just send a strong message to Fehr; it reignited a nationwide conversation about the accessibility of beaches in Thailand, challenging the legality and morality of private ownership of these natural treasures.

With Fehr’s visa now revoked, and as he faces potential deportation pending the resolution of the assault case, the incident serves as a poignant reminder of the power of community, the importance of accountability, and the undeniable truth that no one is above the law. In the end, the serene beaches of Phuket were more than just a backdrop to this tale; they were a symbol of collective identity and shared values, reminding us all of the beauty that comes from standing together in the face of injustice.

As the sands of Yamu Beach continue to whisper tales of the tides, this story, too, will be etched into the annals of Phuket’s rich tapestry, a testament to a moment when the community found its voice, and justice found its way home.


  1. BeachLover101 March 7, 2024

    It’s about time someone stood up to these privileged folks thinking they can just do whatever they want because they’re rich. Bravo to the people of Phuket!

    • LegalEagle March 7, 2024

      While I admire the community spirit, we have to be careful about mob justice. What’s important is that the legal process is followed to ensure fairness.

      • BeachLover101 March 7, 2024

        Fair point, but sometimes you need a little ‘mob justice’ to get the ball rolling. The legal system can be slow and biased towards those with deeper pockets.

      • JusticeSeeker March 7, 2024

        It’s not mob justice, it’s public outcry. There’s a difference. The people are just expressing their dissatisfaction with how things have been handled in the past.

    • Skeptical March 7, 2024

      Not everything is black and white. We’re only hearing one side of the story. Why was the doctor even on his property, to begin with?

      • Kashtinka March 10, 2024

        The stairs were installed illegally onto Thai public property and now have to be removed. So the doctor and her friend was not trespassing..Watch the video as the man kicked the woman in her back while they sat chatting on stairs. Then the man proceeded to shout at them. It’s on video hence the outrage. Typically men shouldn’t kick women in the back even if he warned her first and in this case he just kicked a small woman.

    • Krap Thaichan March 17, 2024

      The whole story is slowly turning out to be one of the biggest lies that Thailand unfortunately has to experience. The truth is now gradually coming to light and shows that Dr. Thandao Chandam is not innocent at all! But the media remains silent on this because it does not fit into the scheme of the political agenda.

  2. GlobalNomad March 7, 2024

    Interesting how this incident brings to light the issue of beach access. In many countries, beaches are public property. Thailand should enforce this strictly to avoid such conflicts.

    • LocalPride March 7, 2024

      Exactly, beaches are a national treasure and should be accessible to everyone. It’s greedy to claim a piece of it as your own, especially in a community-centric culture like Thailand’s.

  3. ThailandHeart March 7, 2024

    I love how the community came together over this. Shows the strength and unity of the people of Phuket. Fehr’s actions were disgraceful, and he should face the consequences.

    • DigitalNomad March 7, 2024

      Don’t you think revoking his visa is a bit much? People make mistakes, maybe a hefty fine or community service would be more appropriate.

      • ThailandHeart March 7, 2024

        A mistake is accidentally stepping on someone’s foot. Deliberately kicking someone because of a mistaken identity? That’s a crime deserving of serious repercussions.

      • PeaceMaker March 7, 2024

        Both points are valid, but we must also consider the message it sends. Actions have consequences, and sometimes they’re severe. Hopefully, this serves as a deterrent in the future.

  4. HistoryBuff March 7, 2024

    This incident will surely go down in Phuket’s history. It’s remarkable how a single event can trigger such a powerful reaction and potentially bring about change. It reflects the power dynamics at play and might set a precedent.

    • Philosopher March 7, 2024

      Indeed, it’s a prime example of how grassroots movements can challenge existing power structures. It’s a reminder of the importance of community and the influence it can wield when united for a common cause.

  5. ExpatSam March 7, 2024

    As an expat living in Thailand, this story makes me think twice about how foreigners interact with local communities. Respect and understanding are key, and it’s crucial to remember we’re guests in this beautiful country.

    • CulturalBridge March 7, 2024

      Absolutely, Sam. Integration into local communities requires humility and a willingness to learn and adapt. It’s about building mutual respect and fostering positive relationships.

    • LocalGuy March 7, 2024

      It’s good to see some foreigners get it. Most of us are welcoming, but everyone has to remember to respect our customs, laws, and people.

      • ExpatSam March 7, 2024

        Couldn’t agree more. It’s a two-way street, and open communication and respect can help avoid such unfortunate incidents in the future.

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