PHUKET CITY: Teerayuth Prasertphol, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Transportation Office (PPTO), today filed for police to arrest shopowners at the Phuket Bus Terminal who have refused to vacate government land. The shopkeepers had until Friday to move, to make way for extra parking for songtaew at the bus terminal. The official notice of eviction was posted on April 21. However, six shopkeepers are refusing to budge. One of them, Mayuree Keesun, opened her store on the site 32 years ago, before the bus terminal even existed. K. Teerayuth told the Gazette, “The police have to get a court order, which will take about 10 days. Then, if K. Mayuree and the other five shopkeepers don’t move, the police will arrest them.” Far from being intimidated, K. Mayuree said, “A person from the PPTO has already told us that we must move or the police will arrest us. We have been advised that we should be prepared to post bail. “But we won’t go. We will let the police arrest us, because the government should at least compensate us for being evicted. “We would like to know what offense the police will charge us with,” she added. Speaking to the Gazette earlier, K. Teerayuth explained that the land belonged to Ngan Tawee Pee Nong Co Ltd before it became Transport Office land. He also explained that getting the shopowners to move has been a long, ongoing battle, with the first efforts to shift them being made in 1992. “In 1998, the court gave them permission to stay until now,” he added.
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