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Fascinating detail revealed by cache of old documents

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Fascinating detail revealed by cache of old documents | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The effort to classify four huge stacks of old documents found by workers fixing the roof of Phuket Provincial Hall nearly six years ago should be completed by the end of September, the official in charge of the project says.

Suntree Sungayuth, Chief Archivist at the National Archives in Trang, told the Gazette that some of 70,000 pages of official documents date back a century or so.



The effort to read through and classify all the documents, now in its sixth year, has been slow because of the fragile state of the papers and the fact that only two people are responsible for all the work, she explained.

The papers have been broadly divided into two main groups according to date, and then subdivided into almost 300 topics. These should be listed by title and page number on the Fine Arts Department website within two month’s time and on the Rajabhat Phuket University’s Anurak Thai webpages.

This first group of documents dates from 1900 to 1933, when Siam was still divided into administrative divisions known as monton, of which there were 10. Monton Phuket was the administrative center for a number of tin-mining areas in the south during that period.

“The documents tell us about the management and development of Phuket during that era. Among the documents found are a daily account of the work by Monton Phuket’s fourth Governor, Praya Rassada Nu Pradith. Many of the documents are official reports, local public announcements and tin mining concession contracts,” she revealed.

Some of the documents discovered are in English, including one contract with a foreign company in which the company agrees to complete a road building project in return for a mining concession, she said.



The second set of papers, from 1933 to 1952, deals with Phuket after it was established as a province. It will probably take until the end of September to finish reading and classifying all these documents, she said.

She said that documents of interest from this period include papers from the period, when the country was under the control of Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram.

Observers who believe that the Thaksin administration was the first to employ country-wide campaigns to effect social change might be surprised at some of the official edicts issued back then.

“At that time, Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram had several policies intended to ‘reform culture to make it more civilized’,” K. Suntree explained.

“These included public directives on how people should live their lives, such as instructing them to clean their houses and keep them tidy and to stop eating betel nut and wearing jonekarbane [traditional Thai trousers]. They were told to start wearing hats when outside the home.

“Men in Bangkok were also instructed to give their wives a kiss before leaving home,” she said.

K. Suntree said that for the moment those interested in seeing the documents can do so only by visiting the National Archives Office in Trang, which is opposite the train station on Nong Yuan Rd.

“We keep the documents in a climate-controlled room and we cannot allow people to make photocopies, as the paper is too old and fragile,” she said, adding that once all the documents have been classified, each will be copied – once – and made available to the public for research purposes through the two websites.



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Phuket

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest

The Thaiger

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Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Department of National Parks

Officers from of the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area have helped in the release of a slow loris back into the wild yesterday.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation reports that the head of Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area, Pongchart Chueahom, yesterday released the slow loris to the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Are in Thalang.

The slow loris was found near a furniture factory in Thalang last week. It was being treated at a pet hospital before being handed over to Khun Pongchart when it was ready to be set free.

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy

The Thaiger

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Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy | The Thaiger

A floating seastead has today been towed by a naval vessel back to the Port of Phuket in Cape Panwa. Meanwhile the Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam is challenging the owners and builders of the structure to take the Thai Government and Navy to the International Court of Justice.

The Royal Thai Navy’s Third Fleet ventured out with a group of reporters on Saturday to inspect the floating seastead, the first of about 20 planned Ocean Builders for the open waters about 22km from Phuket’s Koh Racha Yai.

Nothing valuable was found on board the octagon-shaped steel and aluminium structure which was attached to a floating platform.

Two vessels were used in today’s operation. The living quarters were detached and placed on the first vessel and the second towed the floating platform to the shore for safe keeping pending legal action against its owner as well as the builder, Ocean Builders Company.

Dr. Wissanu said yesterday that Thai authorities were authorised to remove or dismantle the floating housing unit with or without the consent of its owner after finding the structure could pose a threat to Thai national security and sovereignty in accordance with Article 119 of the Criminal Code.

He said that the structure also posed an obstacle to vessels and was located not far from an oil rig.

Regarding the threat by Ocean Builders Company to sue the Thai government in the International Court of Justice for the removal, the deputy PM says he welcomes the move, noting that no government anywhere would allow a seastead settlement near their maritime territory.

Seasteader Chad Andrew Edwartowski and his Thai wife, Mrs. Nadia Summergirl, are wanted by the Thai police for questioning after Thai immigration revoked the American’s non-immigrant visa and blacklisted him.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Phuket

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung

The Thaiger

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Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phattalung Rescue

Two people have sustained serious injuries after a Phuket taxi slammed into a tree in Phattalung last night.

Phattalung rescue workers were notified of the accident in Mueang Pattalung District at 7.57pm last night (Sunday).

They arrived at the scene to find the Phuket registered taxi resting in front of the big tree on the side of the road near a temple. The front of the vehicle had extensive damage following the collision.

The two people who sustained serious injuries were 58 year old Wanchai Srithong and 64 year old Jamras Srithong. They were both taken to the Phattalung Hospital.

Pattalung City Police are continuing their investigation. There has been no explanation given at this stage as to why a Phuket taxi was in Phattalung.

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger

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