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Phuket land dispute heats up

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PHUKET CITY: The tense standoff at the Panason City construction site heated up this morning when landless villagers set fires to prevent backhoes from covering their modest homes with dirt and warning gunshots were fired by workers.

The fires were set at about 10am today and warning shots were fired into the air by backhoe operators around noon, one of the protesters told the Gazette by phone.

The protesters have blocked the entrance to the village since November 10 in a protest that sees little hope of ending any time soon.

Protest leader Kasinee ‘Ee’ Sae-en, said that with no other options left the villagers plan to take their protest right to the top with a trip to Government House in Bangkok.

“We will try to contact the Prime Minister or other officials there, because we haven’t had any luck with local officials. The Mayor of Wichit has already given formal permission for the company to fill in the land, so we have to do something,” she said.

The Gazatte tried to contact the mayor of Wichit municipality, but was unable to get a reply.

Many of the villagers have been living in the area for 10 years.

The villagers lack title deeds, but say they had signed deals with the previous owner of the land to live there before Bangkok-based Panason group acquired the land, 78 rai next to Soi Thep Anusorn off Chao Fa East Rd in Wichit.

For the previous report click here

— Atchaa Khamlo

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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