Phuket sea gypsies protest cemetery plans

MAI KHAO, PHUKET: Moken sea gypsies gathered at Phuket Provincial Hall on Tuesday to protest a plan to appropriate cemetery land for the construction of a new police office.

Around 50 members of the Ban Laem La and Ban Hin Look Diow Moken communities voiced their discontent at the Treasury Department’s plan to grant nearly half of their public cemetery to the Provincial Police.

Members of the two communities in Mai Khao said the decision was made without their consultation.

The protesters petitioned Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop to order all parties involved to come to an amicable solution.

According to the Treasury Department, a meeting was held a day after the protests in which all participants agreed to a full re-evaluation of the plans.

In 1967 a survey by the Thalang District Chief and the Moken measured the cemetery at 75 rai, but over the years encroachment has reduced it to just 17 rai.

The Tsunami Memorial Cemetery is also located within the 17 rai plot.

— Sitthipong Nongkaew

Phuket News

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