PHUKET: The plot thickened in the ongoing investigation into encroachment onto Sirinath Marine National Park yesterday as five former park chiefs were accused of signing documents allowing encroachment.
“After reviewing several land titles from owners in the area, we discovered that five chiefs signed their names, making it legal for landowners to build on land that is part of Sirinath National Park,” said Samak Donnapee, Director of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP).
The five park chiefs accused – Thanapong Apaiso, Somkiet Soonthornpitakboon, Sukkhee Kamnuanslip, Jaruai Injan and Nontawit Jaturabanthid – worked at the park between 2005 and 2011, but are all now retired, Mr Samak said.
Current Park Chief Cheewapap Cheewatham has been tasked with filing police complaints against the five officers.
“As part of our follow up investigation, we found one of the accused officers’ signatures on documents provided by Baan Farang legalizing expansion of the resort.”
“We inspected the resort on Saturday and found that a new, small pier had been built on site.”
The owner of the resort must present valid documents authorizing the construction of the pier within one week, otherwise the DNP will file additional land encroachment complaints, warned Mr Samak.
However, the resort owner is suing Mr Cheewapap and former DNP chief Damrong Phidet for 45 million baht, claiming that the original encroachment investigation depreciated his land value and prevented him from selling it, said Mr Samak.
Trisara Resort also remains in the spotlight. When it was first raided (story here), it was found that the Chanote for the resort land was issued in 1994, even though Chanote titles for land in that area have not been issued since 1964.
“The Chanote is signed by the current owner, with his current name,” explained Mr Samak.
“Records at the District Office show that at the time the documents were signed the owner was registered under a different name.”
The remaining resorts from the original raid (story here) are still under investigation, Mr Samak said.
Meanwhile, two new targets came under fire yesterday for building on park land.
The Anantara Residence construction site allegedly built a stone pathway at its entrance that is encroaching on the national park, said Mr Samak.
“At this stage we will file a complaint to get the land back and begin to investigate the land title,” he said.
Officials also inspected what they believe is an illegally built construction workers’ camp in Cherng Talay.
“The four-rai camp, housing workers from World Construction Co Ltd, is illegally built in the national park. We also found an electrical pole installed without permission,” said Mr Samak.
“We are searching for the person associated with this building site to question them about the land rights. After that, we will file the complaints for the camp and the electrical pole at the Cherng Talay Police Station.”
— Saran Mitrarat
‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people
On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.
From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.
The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.
One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.
There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.
This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.
This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.
The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations
PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com
In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.
But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.
Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.
In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.
The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.
By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.
Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.
You can read the full list HERE.
Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com
Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com
Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works
The Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority says Rawai’s mains water supply will be shut off tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15) as new water pipes are fitted in front of The Title Beach Front condo resort complex on the town’s beachfront.
The mains water supply will be shut off from 9am until 4:30pm along the beachfront strip.
The PWA says the areas affected will be along Wiset Road along the Rawai beachfront road, as well as Soi Yanui and Soi Ruafaed.
Residents and businesses are being urged to collect water for use during the day today, before tomorrow morning’s shut-off.
As usual, the PWA say…“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Contact the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority on 076 319173 or 082 7901634 for more details.
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