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international news_ Jonty Skrufff _ 30th December, 2004

Thailand's Ruler Backs Nightclub Noise Ban

'Thai authorities look certain to introduce a 90 decibel noise limit on nightclubs throughout the country imminently, after their hugely revered King expressed concern that clubbers could be damaging their hearing from loud music.'

Bangkok city clerk Khun Ying Nathanon told MCOT Company's Thailand News Service that in practise officials might well tolerate levels up to 110, though clubs playing music higher would face fines and closure if they fail to reduce levels. According to the Bangkok Post, officials from the Department of Disease Control tested decibel levels throughout Bangkok's 1,700 nightspots last year and found most clubs pumping out music between 90 and 120, though with some reaching an ear splitting 148decibels.

The regulations are likely to be particularly strictly enforced, given the King's enormous influence and popularity in Thailand, which are reflected by laws governing Royal etiquette.

"It is a criminal offence to make critical or defamatory comments about the King or other members of the Royal family," the British Embassy warn on the travel section of their website. "Punishable by a sentence of 3 to 15 years."(Jonty Skrufff / Skrufff.com)

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