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Beachside villagers resist expulsion



Beachside villagers resist expulsion | Thaiger

CHERNG TALAY: Villagers in Cherng Talay today called a press conference to demand fair treatment as a deadline set by Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi for them to vacate public land expired. On March 16, the Governor gave the villagers four months to quit the beach and other pieces of land near the Laguna resort complex after no records of ownership could be found in the Thalang District Land Office. However, there was no sign today of the expulsion order being enforced. Speaking on behalf of the villagers, Veera Somkwamkid, Secretary General of the national People’s Network Against Corruption, said that villagers had title deeds for 10 plots of land. Anyone wishing to examine them should make an official approach to him, he said. A total of 26 premises on the beach and 10 plots of land behind the beach are involved in the dispute. Last year, K. Veera said, the Phuket Provincial Court ruled that the 25 premises on the beach were in violation of the law and must move off the beach. It also examined a 26th case – a claim that part of the Laguna Beach Resort swimming pool was on public land – but dismissed this case, he said. K. Veera said, “The Land Office says the documents for these plots are missing. But the villagers have their copies. The land investigation team can come and check these documents any time.” He added, “If the investigators determine that the documents are not genuine, then the villagers are prepared to vacate the land. “But this should be done in a way that is fair – one of the 26 cases involved a hotel. If the 25 villagers must vacate the land, then so should the hotel.” A source at Laguna Phuket said he was mystified by K. Veera’s statements. “As far as I know, the 26 cases are still being examined by the court,” he said.


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