This Friday is happy day for vendors

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YALA, Oct 19 – There are many different ways to boost shopkeepers’ worsening morale when they decide to close their shops en masse every Friday to avoid violence as rumoured in this southern province for weeks. 

The Yala municipality administration has declared a “Friday, Happy Day” campaign and offers raffles to shops that continued business as usual on Friday.

The campaign delightedly triggers shopkeepers’ enthusiasms. Vendors show up in full force to put their merchandise for sale at the busy-as-usual Pimonchai market in the provincial seat since early this morning.

But it is hard to say if they have faith in the authorities’ security system or they are more interested in winning the raffles. The rewards are, after all, attractive. The first winner gets a 5,000 baht cash award, followed by 3,000 baht and 2,000 baht for second and third place rewards respectively.

That’s not all. Employees of shops and vending stalls which stay opened on Friday are entitled to a lucky draw in which five gold necklaces are offered.

Municipality officials said the campaign will continue for a certain period to encourage shopkeepers and vendors to carry on their business on Friday.

Shops in Yala and neighbouring Narathiwat and Pattani have been closed on Fridays since late last month after leaflets were distributed, warning them of attacks if they opened their shops on Fridays.