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Phuket

Culture Minister vows to help sea gypsies

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Culture Minister vows to help sea gypsies | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The government has set up a national-level committee aimed at resolving land rights issues and other problems affecting Moken and other sea gypsy communities in the Andaman Coast region.

Minister of Culture Teera Slukpetch on Friday afternoon visited five sea gypsy villages: the Moken villages of Ban Lam Lah and Ban Hin Look Diaw in Mai Khao; the sea gypsy village on Koh Sireh in tambon Rassada; and the two sea gypsy villages in Rawai.

At all five villages land rights issues were among the problems raised, along with poverty and a loss of traditional culture and way of life.

In some cases, youths in the communities no longer know how to fish or speak the language of their ancestors, Mr Teera was told.

Despite some of the communities having been established over 100 years ago, most sea gypsies do not have title deeds to the land they inhabit.

In some cases the land is state property, but in other cases, most notably in Rawai, the land is claimed by private sector landholders with title deeds who want to evict them.

The government has set up the national committee and appointed me as chairman. This committee will resolve the problems of sea gypsy and Moken communities in Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi and Ranong,” Mr Teera promised.

The government would be flexible in finding ways to resolve land rights issues on a case-by-case basis.

Communities inhabiting state land will be allowed to remain there, he said.

In cases where other parties claimed the land and had title deeds to prove it, the committee would conduct a study to see if the title deed was issued before or after the community was established.

A provincial committee on sea gypsy issues will also be set up in each province with the provincial governor chairing the panel, he added.

The Culture Ministry will also build “culture centers” in each village to help preserve their way of life and educate future generations. Phuket is set to receive 10.2 million baht to set up five centers in fiscal 2010.

These centers will be promoted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand as a way of generating extra revenue for the communities.

Many other countries use local culture, including that of indigenous tribes, to promote tourism, he said.

The government is committed to establishing sustainable tourism that will benefit all sides, he added.

Sea gypsies is a general term used in English to refer to people commonly called chao ley (“sea people”) by Thais, though the government typically refers to them as khon thai mai (“new Thai people”) as part of its efforts to integrate them into mainstream Thai society.

Some sea gypsies in Phuket are part of the Moken (or Morgan) tribe of seafaring people, while others belong to the Ourak Lawoy tribe.

— Kamol Pirat



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Phuket

Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | The Thaiger

A Thai man has been shot dead near Saphan Hin in eastern Phuket earlier today. The arrest warrant has already been issued for the suspect.

The Wichit Police were notified of the incident on Rattanakosin 200 pi Road near Saphan Hin at 3.40am this morning.

Police and rescue workers arrived to find the body of 30 year old Teerasak Saeong from Phuket covered with blood and laying on the road. Two bullet wounds were found on his right and left temple.

Seven bullets were also found around Mr Teerasak’s body. Nearby they found a motorbike. His body was taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital for full autopsy and identification.

Witnesses told police that Mr Teerasak was stopped on his motorbike and was talking with the suspect who was in a black car. The suspect shot at Mr Teerasak and sped away.

Mr Teerasak was the son of a member of Rassada’s Municipal Council. At this stage police believe that the two had personal conflicts. Police are now searching for the driver of the vehicle who shot Mr Teerasak.

Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger

 

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Phuket

Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | The Thaiger

A male Danish tourist, driving a motorbike, has died after colliding with a truck in front of a market in Kathu.

The Kathu Police were notified of the incident on Phra Phuket Keaw Road in front of the new outdoor Vintage Market in Kathu at 3am yesterday morning.

Police and Kusoldharm rescue workers arrived at the U-turn to find the truck and driver waiting. The driver of the truck was 36 year old Sontaya Suchata waiting in the middle of the U-turn area.

Nearby they found a damaged Honda PCX and 51 year old Claus Pathuel Jensen, a Danish national from Glostrup. He was found unconscious under the truck. He was rushed to Vachira Phuket Hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Police report that the truck was going to take a U-turn outside the market area. The truck driver says he was unaware that Mr Jensen was coming from behind in the right lane. The motorbike was unable to avoid the collision with the truck and Mr Jensen PCX ploughed into the rear of the vehicle.

Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger

 

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Phuket

Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Facebook/Claire Johnson

An Australian woman, who was caught overstaying her visa by 111 days, will be released from detention and deported by Thai authorities tonight.

She came to the media’s attention on Monday after sending urgent messages to a friend saying that she was being taken to a detention centre and that “they are taking my phone”.

46 year old Claire Amelia Johnson is an Australian Gold Coast resident. She will depart Bangkok on a QANTAS flight scheduled to arrive in Sydney tomorrow (Friday) morning.

She was due to return to Australia more than a week ago but on Monday evening sent messages to her friend Juliet Potter and told her that she was in an immigration detention centre in Bangkok and begged her to please “help me”.

Read The Thaiger story about her desperate pleas HERE.

Ms Johnson had been running a medical tourism business called Cosmetic Holidays International that offered cosmetic packages in Phuket”.

The business was voluntarily deregistered with the Australian Securities Commission in May 2017, after five years of operation, but her social media accounts continued to promote her cosmetic-surgery tourism business.

Thailand’s immigration chief, Surachate Hakparn, told Australia’s Fairfax media that Ms Johnson had been arrested, as well as fined, and would be deported after overstaying her tourist visa by more than 100 days.

“My Immigration Department will send her to Australia. She leaves tonight.”

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would say only that it was “providing consular assistance to an Australian woman detained in Thailand”, without naming Claire.

Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | News by The Thaiger

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