(25 September) The Royal Thai Army has finally met its mortal enemy – basil fried rice.
Numerous patrons were surprised to find a sign reading "Attention All Customers – No Basil Fried Rice" at the canteen of Office of the Army Secretary in Bangkok.
The owners of the stalls told our correspondent that the Thai staple dish had been banned after the pungent smell of the stir-fried chili, garlic and holy basil leaves had drifted into the offices of Army staff, causing much disturbance to the senior officers and preventing them from performing their duties in the finest manner.
According to one of the stall owners, the canteen had unsuccessfully tried to get rid of the smell by installing cooker hoods to every stall. Yet, the smell still leaked into the offices.
"The Army had spent so much money on dealing with the smell, including the renovation of the building and the installation of the cooker hoods," the vendor said, "But they weren?t very effective".
The Army staff eventually announced a ban on cooking the dish, but allowed the vendors to sell the dish if it had been prepared elsewhere.