Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket sea gypsies fight forced relocation

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on

Phuket sea gypsies fight forced relocation | The Thaiger

SPECIAL REPORT

PHUKET: Fearing they will have nowhere to go if court-ordered evictions are carried out, villagers at the southern Phuket sea gypsy community in Rawai have steadfastly resolved to stay put.

“Our people have been living here for more than 200 years. Our homes once lined the length of the beach, but now we have only 19 rai to live on,” said village elder Ngeam Dumrongkaset, 68.

Put Hadthong, 48, and his family refuse to move.

“We have nowhere to go. My family has been living here for more than 60 years. Although they say they have documents to prove who owns the land, this is the land of our ancestors. No matter what happens, I will stay here. I will die here,” he said.

Mr Put learned of his eviction notice after his nephew handed him the court order when he returned from work one day in 2009.

“It was on the afternoon of March 21. I had just come home from work. My nephew said that court officers had delivered a court order requesting that I attend court two months later. It was only then that I learned the land I have been living on apparently belongs to Mr Piyawat Sa-Ngeamkul,” Mr Put said.

“Not only I, but the people living in seven other houses also received the court order,” he added.

The villagers went to court on the prescribed date, where they met Mr Piyawat’s lawyer.

“The lawyer offered us many choices. He said he would let us stay, but we would have to move out for a while so they could build row houses. Then we could move back and stay in the row house. He said we would have to sign rental agreements, but we wouldn’t have to pay any rent.

“He also wanted to build an area at the entrance to the village where we could sell fish. He said he would promote our village to tourists and persuade them to visit us to see how we live.

“We declined his offer. We did not believe him, and we do not like that kind of lifestyle. We would like to keep some privacy, instead of having tourists come through our village and our homes all the time. We like living the way we are now, we are happy enough,” Mr Put said.

After five court appearances, the court finally – on February 28, 2013 – ordered the villagers to vacate the land.

Maren Bangjak, 60, also learned that the land his family has been living on for generations may not be theirs.

“My sister was given the court order. I cannot remember the date, but it was after Mr Put and other neighbors were ordered to appear in court.

“Me and my neighbors have no idea what to do now, but we know for sure that we will never move out. I just hope that the officers from the Rights and Liberties Protection Department will be able to find a way for us,” he said.

“There are 13 people in my house. It’s a small house. We have less and less space to live in and they still want to force us to move,” he said.

Village elder Ngeam explained the court-ordered evictions arose from separate claims to land inside the village by Piyawat Sa-Ngeamkul and Chamroen Mookdee.

“Mr Piyawat’s land is about 2.5 rai, starting at the main entrance to the village. Before, the land belonged to Wan Areerob. He lived in our village, selling coffee. After he died, his son mortgaged the land, but he could not make the payments, so the bank foreclosed on the land,” said Mr Ngeam.

“The bank filed a complaint to the court, which assigned the Legal Execution Department to auction the land, which is how Mr Piyawat bought it. After the transfer of land ownership, Mr Piyawat filed a complaint that we were squatting on his land,” he explained.

Mr Chamroen owns land adjacent to the sea gypsy village, and has laid claim to land that sea gypsies now live on.

“He filed a complaint to the court. The court issued the warrant and finally ordered us to move out,” Mr Ngeam said.

Mr Put placed his faith on the Rights and Liberties Protection Department under the Ministry of Justice to provide much-needed help.

Pol Col Narat Savetanant, director-general of the Rights and Liberties Protection Department, and a team of officers held a meeting with about 300 villagers on March 16 to discuss the issue.

“We wanted to talk to the villagers to let them know that we are working with other government departments so we can come up with a reasonable solution,” Col Narat said.

As testament to the sincerity of his department’s efforts, immediately after meeting the villagers in Rawai, Col Narat led a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall to highlight the sea gypsies’ plight.

“The Ministry of Interior, the Department of Special Investigation and the Royal Thai Police are cooperating to find a way to fight the claims, and to find a lawyer to represent the sea gypsies,” Col Narat told the meeting.

“Our officers will be reviewing maps, historical photos and conducting interviews to prove that the Rawai sea gypsies have been living there for generations,” he added.

Mr Put hopes the efforts pay off.

“We are hoping they will be able to help us. They told us they will set up a meeting in Bangkok to discuss our problem. After that they will come back to meet us again and tell us their agreement and solution,” he said.

“We have nowhere to go.”

— Orawin Narabal

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

News

30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands

Greeley Pulitzer

Published

on

30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands | The Thaiger

Tourists were treated to the sight of a school of dolphins in the Similan Islands off the Phang Nga coast on Sunday.

Tour organisers said that around 30 dolphins swam close to the boat six or seven miles offshore, creating excitement for passengers. It was the first time dolphins had been seen in the vicinity since October 15.

The Similan Islands National Park director said they were bottlenose dolphins and were among several species now returning to the area following a five-year closure of the park for environmental rehabilitation. Food is again plentiful there for them, he said.

Tourists are forbidden to feed wildlife lest the free handouts alter the animals’ natural behaviour, and the park’s waters are also very sensitive to contamination from human disease and marine debris, according to the director.

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Continue Reading

Patong

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms

The Thaiger

Published

on

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | The Thaiger

by Sophie Deviller

Hotels on Thailand’s most popular holiday island are being forced to slash prices, with rooms left vacant and beaches sparse as Thailand’s tourism chiefs struggle with a plunge in Chinese visitors caused by the US trade war and a stronger baht. Phuket was the most visited destination in the country last year, after Bangkok, and a good gauge of the state of its crucial travel industry.

Tourism accounts for 18% of Thailand’s gross domestic product and Chinese holidaymakers make up more than a quarter of total arrivals. But while 2.2 million people from the country visited in 2018, according to official figures, the numbers for January-September were down almost 20% year on year.

Claude de Crissey, the French Honorary Consul in Phuket and owner of about 40 rooms in the Patong Beach area, says Chinese tourists are usually present even during the current low season.

“That was not the case this year,” he said, adding he had to lower his prices by as much as 50%.

The problem is not only in Phuket, with hotels also struggling to fill rooms in the seaside resort of Pattaya on the mainland and on Koh Samui.

Trade tensions with the US have already made some Chinese reluctant to take holidays owing to uncertainty back home, while the Thai baht has risen about 10% against the yuan this year.

A boating disaster off Phuket’s coast that killed 47 Chinese holidaymakers in July 2018 also scared some off.

“We are worried,” said an industry insider, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the topic in a country where tourism provides tens of thousands of jobs. Adding to the headache is the fact that more than 3,000 new hotel rooms are being constructed on the island, raising the question of who will fill them.

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

“In terms of business, it’s not good,” said Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, vice-president of the association of hotels in Thailand and director of Vijitt Resort.

“Because … we have more hotels, more rooms to sell, we have more restaurants, more coffee shops.”

Still, tourism authority chairman Yuthasak Supasorn said he remained “optimistic.”

“We should reach our goal of 39.8 million foreign visitors.”

However, that is only up from 38.2 million in 2018, much less than the jump seen from the previous year’s total of 35.6 million.

Counting on India

Now hoteliers and tour package operators are targeting visitors from elsewhere, particularly India, which experts see as a huge untapped market.

A rapid expansion of the middle class in India, increased direct flights and visa-free travel have prompted Thailand to revise forecasts upwards.

It now expects two million Indian tourists this year, after an increase of nearly 25% on-year in the first seven months. But for now, the lower arrivals is evident on the streets of Phuket.

“I’ve never seen anything as bad as what it is at the moment,” said Paul Scott from Australia, who said he has been coming to Thailand for 15 years.

He mainly blamed the stronger baht for the drop-off but also the fact that Thailand wasn’t the untouched vacation paradise it once was. “Now it’s not so new … and it’s not cheap,” he said.

SOURCE: AFP

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Continue Reading

Events

The 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle fun run attracts more than 4,000 runners

The Thaiger

Published

on

The 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle fun run attracts more than 4,000 runners | The Thaiger

4,000 runners from Thailand and overseas took part in the 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle Fun Run and Half Marathon 2019 yesterday, starting from the Phuket Gateway.

The event is expected to raise 700,000 baht for the charity, now in its 15th year. The money raised goes towards to The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, which is committed to protecting the marine and coastal environment, and ecosystems, for the wellbeing of sea turtles that nest in the Mai Khao beach and the surrounding areas.

The annual race also provides funds for thePhuket Marine Biological Centre’s Injured Turtle Rehabilitation Program and The Third NavalArea Command’s Turtle Hatchery Program.

The race was in its 15th year and runners of all ages and abilities took part in the race. The morning’s racing was divided into five categories – the 21.1km half marathon, 10.5km mini- marathon, 5km fun run and 3k family run and VIP participants for all the races. The route of 21.1 kilometre race took runners northwest along the Haad Sai Kaew beach towards Thao Thepkasattri bridge, past the rural road No. 3006, run along the road – Pi Lai viewpoint area returned back along the T. Baan Tha Nun to the iconic Sarasin bridge before finished the half marathon in the Phuket Gateway.

For Mini Marathon 10.5 km – Over all category, Mr. Chinnawat Changlek clocked 39 minutes and 40 seconds to clinch victory in the male half marathon, winning prize money and a trophy with the signature of Phuket’s Governor. The winner in the female mini marathon was Surakarn Wanna with a time of 47 minutes and 47 seconds.

Winners also received a prize gift voucher as well as a medal. Congratulations to all participants.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Continue Reading

The Thaiger Newsletter

Keep up with all the day’s news. Subscribe here.

The latest news and information from Thailand.

* indicates required



ม็อบ “สมัชชาคนจน” เดินเท้าถึงทำเนียบ กดดันรัฐบาลไม่จริงใจ [Live] | The Thaiger
ข่าวการเมือง7 hours ago

ม็อบ “สมัชชาคนจน” เดินเท้าถึงทำเนียบ กดดันรัฐบาลไม่จริงใจ [Live]

ชมวาทะเด็ดธนาธร ให้การศาลรัฐธรรมนูญ คดีวีลัค ทำงานการเมืองเพราะอยากเปลี่ยนแปลงสังคม | The Thaiger
ข่าวการเมือง3 days ago

ชมวาทะเด็ดธนาธร ให้การศาลรัฐธรรมนูญ คดีวีลัค ทำงานการเมืองเพราะอยากเปลี่ยนแปลงสังคม

ตรวจหวย 16/10/62 รางวัลที่ 1 เลขท้าย 2 ตัว 3 ตัว เลขหน้า 3 ตัว และรางวัลอื่น ๆ | The Thaiger
ตรวจหวย5 days ago

ตรวจหวย 16/10/62 รางวัลที่ 1 เลขท้าย 2 ตัว 3 ตัว เลขหน้า 3 ตัว และรางวัลอื่น ๆ

ตรวจหวย 16 ตุลาคม 2562 ผลสลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล 16/10/62 | The Thaiger
ตรวจหวย5 days ago

ตรวจหวย 16 ตุลาคม 2562 ผลสลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล 16/10/62

ถ่ายทอดสด “สลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล” 16 ตุลาคม 2562 ลุ้นรางวัลที่ 1 สด ๆ | The Thaiger
ตรวจหวย5 days ago

ถ่ายทอดสด “สลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล” 16 ตุลาคม 2562 ลุ้นรางวัลที่ 1 สด ๆ

หนุ่มแท็กซี่ฉาว ท้าต่อยเจ้าของธุรกิจเต๊นท์ กลางงานสนามหลวง | The Thaiger
ข่าว6 days ago

หนุ่มแท็กซี่ฉาว ท้าต่อยเจ้าของธุรกิจเต๊นท์ กลางงานสนามหลวง

ไทยแชมป์วอลเลย์บอลอาเซียนกรังด์ปรีซ์สนาม 2 รางวัลรายบุคคล | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล2 weeks ago

ไทยแชมป์วอลเลย์บอลอาเซียนกรังด์ปรีซ์สนาม 2 รางวัลรายบุคคล

ตรวจหวย1ตุลาคม2562 ผลรางวัลที่ 1 เลขท้าย 2 ตัว 3 ตัว เลขหน้า 3 ตัว และรางวัลอื่น ๆ | The Thaiger
ตรวจหวย3 weeks ago

ตรวจหวย1ตุลาคม2562 ผลรางวัลที่ 1 เลขท้าย 2 ตัว 3 ตัว เลขหน้า 3 ตัว และรางวัลอื่น ๆ

ถ่ายทอดสดหวย 1 ตุลาคม 2562 ลุ้นรางวัลที่ 1 สลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล | The Thaiger
ตรวจหวย3 weeks ago

ถ่ายทอดสดหวย 1 ตุลาคม 2562 ลุ้นรางวัลที่ 1 สลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล

สีจิ้นผิงกล่าวสุนทรพจน์ ครบรอบ 70 ปีก่อตั้งสาธารณรัฐประชาชนจีน -ลิงก์ถ่ายทอดสด | The Thaiger
ต่างประเทศ3 weeks ago

สีจิ้นผิงกล่าวสุนทรพจน์ ครบรอบ 70 ปีก่อตั้งสาธารณรัฐประชาชนจีน -ลิงก์ถ่ายทอดสด

คลิปไฮไลท์วอลเลย์บอลเวิลด์คัพ 2019 นัดที่ 5 | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล1 month ago

คลิปไฮไลท์วอลเลย์บอลเวิลด์คัพ 2019 นัดที่ 5

คลิปไฮไลท์ วอลเลย์บอลเวิลด์คัพ 2019 นัดที่ 1 | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล1 month ago

คลิปไฮไลท์ วอลเลย์บอลเวิลด์คัพ 2019 นัดที่ 1

Paramount เตรียมรีเมค FACE/OFF หนังบู๊ระดับตำนาน | The Thaiger
หนัง1 month ago

Paramount เตรียมรีเมค FACE/OFF หนังบู๊ระดับตำนาน

ประยุทธ์ โต้ รัฐบาลไหนก็มีตำหนิทั้งนั้น “ถึงเวลาก็อ้างอย่างที่ผมอ้าง” | The Thaiger
ข่าวการเมือง1 month ago

ประยุทธ์ โต้ รัฐบาลไหนก็มีตำหนิทั้งนั้น “ถึงเวลาก็อ้างอย่างที่ผมอ้าง”

อารัมภบท รักฉุดใจนายฉุกเฉิน My ambulance ตอนแรก 6 กันยานี้ | The Thaiger
บันเทิง2 months ago

อารัมภบท รักฉุดใจนายฉุกเฉิน My ambulance ตอนแรก 6 กันยานี้

Trending