The Sanctuary of Truth has a message for Pattaya’s warring taxi drivers: Leave us out of it.
General Manager Noppadol Petchrath said Sept. 26 that an Uber ride-sharing service driver depicted in a viral video wearing a supposed Sanctuary uniform while arguing with a taxi driver did not work for the tourist attraction.
He said the man, seen in a Facebook video surrounded by angry taxi drivers, was not wearing an authentic uniform and had no connection to the Sanctuary. Whatever they are, Noppadol said, their dispute had nothing to do with the Sanctuary and the organization was not going to get involved.
The Sanctuary of Truth, Noppadol said, is a tourist attraction and all vehicles are allowed to come by and drop off or pick up customers. Executives will not take sides in the Uber vs. cabbies battle being raged in Pattaya, he said.
The video showed the alleged Uber driver leaving the Sanctuary of Truth with a passenger in the back seat. Suddenly another car, also a “black plate’ or unregistered taxi cab, blocked the road. A brown-shirted driver then approached the Uber driver, screaming that drivers at the tourist attraction have their own regulated queue and that he could not just come in and pick up a passenger. He was to wait in line for his turn.
The Uber driver, of course, had been hailed by the passenger using a smartphone app and had been parked at a nearby Family Mart, waiting for a summons.
The confrontation, which ended before the drivers came to blows, was the latest chapter in the guerrilla war being raged by Pattaya public-transport drivers on Uber, whose UberX discount service has been declared illegal in Thailand.
Noppadol said the Sanctuary of Truth is taking no sides in the battle. So he wanted to clarify that the orange-shirted driver did not work for the Sanctuary, as some online posters alleged.
He said the orange shirt was a poor copy of the temple staff uniforms, which are orange and blue. The logo on the driver’s shirt also was different and he did not have a name badge.
Noppadol said the Sanctuary’s legal staff are looking into the matter and will take action against anyone impersonating temple employees.