Connect with us


Phuket sea gypsies offered free land in relocation deal

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket sea gypsies offered free land in relocation deal | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET: The provincial government has organized 50rai of land for the sea gypsy families living on Koh Sireh who are being sued by a private developer for allegedly squatting on private land.

“Other sea gypsy families are living in houses allegedly built on private land, but have yet to face legal action,” explained Phuket Vice Governor Sommai Prijasilpa at a meeting with local officials and sea gypsy villagers yesterday.

At this point, five families in the Laem Tukkae sea gypsy village are being sued.

The relocation offers sea gypsies the chance to move from their current east coast village, with panoramic views of the world heritage listed Phang Nga Bay, to the banks of the Tah Jeen Canal about five kilometers inland.

The 50 rai is controlled by the Royal Forestry Department, which has granted permission for the sea gypsies to live on the site, Vice Governor Sommai noted.

“We had to do something just in case they lose the right to live where they are now,” V/Gov Sommai said.

“Moreover, the sea gypsy community has outgrown their current site. They have to expand.”

Families wanting to move must register at the Phuket office of the Ministry of Culture at Saphan Hin.

“Priority in granting land allotments will be designated case by case,” V/Gov Sommai said.

Under the relocation offer, each sea gypsy family will be afforded a plot measuring 50 square wah (200sqm) on which they will be permitted to build one house.

During the inspection, however, V/Gov Sommai discovered houses of ethnic Thais already built illegally amid the mangroves.

Boon Suwanchatree, 69, one of the people already living at the new site, voiced her concerns that she and her extended family would have to move to make room for the indigenous sea gypsies.

“I have been living here for more than 40 years and in all that time we have never had problems accessing our homes or with anyone asking about us living on someone else’s land,” she said.

“I have a lot of family members here.”

V/Gov Sommai assured Ms Boon that a happy compromise would be found.

“Don’t worry, I would like to see all people living together without any problems,” she said.

Several government offices have been tasked with drawing up plans for the new village, V/Gov Sommai explained.

“After the village plan has been completed, we will start considering the allocation of plots where families can live,” she said.

— Saran Mitrarat

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Dozens of Burmese, Thai workers demand back pay, benefits in Phuket

Jack Burton



Dozens of Burmese, Thai workers demand back pay, benefits in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: The Phuket News

An estimated 100 Burmese and Thai workers went to Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday to report their employer for not paying them for 3 months, and to try and get some clarity if they still have jobs. They filed their complaint with the ombudsman’s office and the Labour Protection Social Security Office. 27 year old Burmese national Min Thu Khu explained to reporters that the workers’ predicament began in May, when many filed for the income support they are entitled to under the Social Security Act. Section 33 of the act entitles employees to compensation during periods of work cessation at […]

Continue Reading


Phuket may be chosen as test case in phased re-opening to foreign tourists

Maya Taylor



Phuket may be chosen as test case in phased re-opening to foreign tourists | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Syed Ahmad on Unsplash

As the Tourism Authority of Thailand considers how the country might safely re-open its borders, the Bangkok Post reports that there are tentative plans afoot to kick off the project with Phuket, possibly in October. The director-general of the Department of Health, Panpimon Wipulakorn, says Phuket’s position as a self-contained island means it would be easier to control any potential Covid-19 outbreak following re-opening. During the peak of the initial wave of Covid-19 infections in Thailand, Phuket had the highest rate of infections in the country, per capita, mostly concentrated in the Patong and Bang Tao areas. Meanwhile, TAT spokeswoman […]

Continue Reading


Korean man in Phuket suicide

Jack Burton



Korean man in Phuket suicide | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Phuket Andaman News

In an apparent suicide, the body of a South Korean man was found in a pickup truck in the city district of the southern resort province of Phuket yesterday, his head covered in a plastic bag. Police found the white pickup, with Phuket licence plates, in the car park of the Golden Triangle Been Co. in tambon Vichit after being alerted at around 11:40am. The body of the 40 year old man, whose name is being withheld pending notification of relatives and the South Korean embassy, was found in the driver’s seat. He was wearing a black T-shirt and jeans […]

Continue Reading
Follow The Thaiger by email: