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Phuket sea gypsies get ID cards and water, but no new fishing rights

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket sea gypsies get ID cards and water, but no new fishing rights | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Some of the issues facing Phuket’s sea gypsy communities were resolved in a meeting yesterday, held in accordance with the Ministry of Culture’s plan to improve the quality of life of sea gypsies in all six of the Andaman provinces.

The meeting follows more than 2,000 protesters, including sea gypsies and members of other landless communities from across the country, mobbing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at Phuket International Airport when she arrived for the mobile Cabinet meeting in March

Though the first issues raised during the protest in March were fishing and land occupation rights, the meeting yesterday focused on the ongoing issue of national ID cards for sea gypsies.

“The main problem, that must be resolved, is the lack of ID cards for sea gypsies in Ban Laem Tukkae and Baan Sa Pam,” said Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosuttirak.

“Many issues are the result of [sea gypsies] having no official documentation to prove that they are Thai nationals,” he explained.

Sumran Yukunthorn of the Phuket Provincial Office gave a detailed explanation of the process.

“Sea gypsies need to contact their local village headman to certify their Thai nationality, after which the village headman will send the necessary documents to the Provincial Administrative Office.

“Then the names can be added to the community registrar and the legal documents can be processed and submitted to the local District Office to issue the ID cards,” he said.

The other central issue addressed at the meeting was the lack of tap water for the sea gypsy community in Rawai.

“We will set up a water supply and meters for each house in the community,” said Pichai Wetchrungsri Deputy Director of the Phuket Waterworks Authority.

“Rawai Municipality will be responsible for providing free water during periods of drought,” he explained.

Despite the many concessions made at the meeting, Awiwut Chueadee of the Phuket Provincial Fisheries Office explained that his office will not budge on granting special permission to the sea gypsies for fishing in protected areas.

Previously, Sutha Pratheep Na Thalang, a local representative of a traditional fishing group, claimed that his people had been fishing in many of the protected areas for more than 100 years and that it was fundamentally how sea gypsies earned their living.

“I don’t understand why we have to change our entire way of life because of these laws,” he said in November last year.

However, Mr Awiwut said yesterday, “We cannot allow anyone to fish in the protected areas, but we will recommend that the Provincial Administrative Office considers providing [sea gypsies] more areas to fish in.”

All the representatives at the meeting were instructed to have their offices draw up plans to address the concerns raised at the meeting. They were to report these plans to Vice Governor Somkiet and arrange another meeting to follow up on them.

— Orawin Narabal

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Events

Phuket Monopoly game creators need your help with token designs

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Phuket Monopoly game creators need your help with token designs | The Thaiger

Phuket is set to get its own version of the popular game MONOPOLY and its creators want your help with ideas for the specialised tokens. ‘MONOPOLY: Phuket Edition’ was announced last month which will see the street art on the board game replaced with that of famous places around Thailand’s famous tourist destination. Such art will include beaches, hotels, shops, markets and other popular attractions.

Jennifer Lau from Winning Moves UK, is producing the game under official license from Monopoly brand owners, Hasbro. Lau says the tokens will feature a holiday theme. The token’s departure from the original theme of wheelbarrows, boots, iron, and thimbles as well as popular sports cars and hats.

“We have had a wealth of emails and suggestions coming in for Phuket, so thank you for each and every single one of them! We are taking them all into consideration whilst putting together the design of the game.”

“We wanted to change the tokens so that they would be more suitable for an island like Phuket, where so many people like to go on holiday to.”

“There will be six themed tokens that replace the original and we want to hear your suggestions for what these tokens should be!”

Bangkok has already been featured in the Monopoly game as it came out for purchase back in 2018.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket holds vaccine administration rehearsal as it waits for green light

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Phuket holds vaccine administration rehearsal as it waits for green light | The Thaiger

Phuket is rehearsing procedures to ready themselves for the Covid‐19 vaccine administration green light. A rehearsal at Vachira Hospital’s Lan Muang Khao open area was held late yesterday to iron out any kinks in the administration process. Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong watched over the procedures along with other health officials.

Pichet says the first vaccine round of 4,000 doses should arrive early in March, with the 2nd and 3rd set of doses, 16,000 and 48,000 respectively, to arrive in April and May.

“The government recognises the importance of the affected areas of the economy where the epidemic situation of COVID-19 must be stopped and has allocated the COVID-19 vaccine to Phuket Province to build herd immunity, restore the economy, return a smile to Thailand.”

“We are preparing to COVID-19 mass vaccination to build confidence among the people that they will receive a quality, safe vaccine and to receive follow-up care after it has been administered.”

Pichet says Phuket’s first target groups to receive the vaccine include medical and public health personnel, with others on the frontlines to come next.

Then, workers aged 18-59 years old, people with underlying diseases including chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity will follow.

“People with severe neurological conditions and pregnant women should be wary of taking the vaccine, as well as women who are breastfeeding and people with immunodeficiency.”

The procedure to get vaccinated starts by recipients undergoing screening by having their temperatures taken, and then sanitising their hands before entering the administration area. Then, they will move their way through a series of steps, detailed below:

Step 1: Register

Step 2: Record weight and blood pressure

Step 3: Pass the screening process by have their medical history and risk assessment recorded and then signing a consent to receive the vaccine

Step 4: Wait for vaccination

Step 5: Vaccination

Step 6: Rest for 30 minutes, while being observed for symptoms. Then scan the official Line account “หมอพร้อม” (“Doctor Ready”)

Step 7: Pass a final check before receiving a document confirming vaccination

Pichet says health workers will follow up with vaccine recipients after 1,7, and 30 days from being vaccinated to monitor any adverse reactions.

Those who are set to receive their second jab will have appointments made for them. Those who receive the Sinovac vaccine will be scheduled to have their second doses 2 to 4 weeks after the first. AstraZeneca vaccine receivers will be scheduled for their second doses 10 to 12 weeks after the first.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket police officer charged with attempted murder for shooting and critically injuring a noodle vendor

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket police officer charged with attempted murder for shooting and critically injuring a noodle vendor | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siamrath

The drunk, off-duty police officer in Phuket who has caught on camera shooting and beating a noodle vendor on Bangla Road is now facing attempted murder charges as well as charges of carrying a firearm in public without a necessary reason and firing a weapon in a public area. The commander of the Phuket police station said he ordered investigators to prosecute the officer Pornthep Channarong with every criminal charge that can be applied.

The officer had gotten into an altercation just before dawn yesterday and shot a young vendor who was walking by. Surveillance camera footage show the 25 year old suddenly falling to the ground after being shot. The officer walks up and shoots the vendor at a close range, but it appears the second shot did not hit the vendor. The officer also slapped the vendor in the face, picked him up and shoved him over, and then kicked him as he lay on the ground.

The vendor has a 4 year old daughter and 3 month old son. His wife says normally he works as a motorbike driver, but he was helping his mother selling noodles. He was shot while he was walking back from collecting a noodle bowl, she says. The vendor is in critical condition and being cared for at Vachira Phuket Hospital’s intensive care unit. He’s in need of Type B blood.

“For his condition, the doctor told me that the bullet went through his lung. He lost a lot of blood. We need a lot of Type B blood for him.”

A disciplinary investigation into the incident was launched by police and Pornthep was officially dismissed from the Royal Thai Police force. Region 8 Police Commander Kitrat Panpetch says the incident does not reflect the police force in Phuket.

“The incident was caused by an officer who did something wrong that our organisation does not want. We are a big organisation with more than 200,000 officers under our control. Our officers are not all bad like this.”

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pornsak Nuannu says he has reminded the police chiefs across the island to discuss reasons for carrying firearms in public.

“Carrying firearms is to prevent any type of crime that may happen, not to commit a crime by themselves like this incident. If I see any police doing such a thing, I will decisively proceed in terms of both officer discipline and criminal charges.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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