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Phuket villagers ramp up tunnel protest

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket villagers ramp up tunnel protest | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: More than 100 villagers from Baan Mon community in Patong descended on Provincial Hall last week to hand a formal letter of complaint to the governor against the proposed Patong Tunnel project.

The villagers vowed to fight any government effort to expropriate land needed for the project.

Current scheduled rates for expropriation set by the Land Department would never cover the high costs of finding new homes in Patong, they said.

They also called for another public hearing on the project now that a Korean firm has expressed interest in funding construction.

Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop readily accepted the villagers’ concerns.

“It’s good when people stand up to voice their opinions. Any project must have minimal negative impact on the people. However, the tunnel project still has many steps to go through,” said Governor Wichai, whose tenure in office will come to an end this month.

This latest protest follows a public hearing at Phuket Graceland Resort on April 27, when the project study team announced its recommendation to build two 1.17-kilometer tunnels with elevated roads at both ends. It was one of six route options considered.

Under the plan, west-bound traffic would approach Patong Hill from Kathu, diverting near the Go Kart Speedway on Phra Barami Road (Route 4029) onto an elevated road leading up to the tunnel.

Traffic would emerge on the Patong side onto a 204-meter-long elevated road passing over Phisit Gorani Road in Baan Mon and connecting to Phang Muang Sai Kor Road, near the APK apartment complex.

Witsanu Yidsua, village headman of the 3,000-member community, said about 30 of the community’s 380 families would lose their homes from expropriation if the project goes forward.

“We only found out that our village would be affected after it was announced that this plan had been chosen,” said Mr Witsanu.

Fellow Baan Mon representative Kittisak Sa-nguanporn said, “Baan Mon is the only village in Patong that still keeps its village lifestyle. Everywhere else is jam-packed with apartment blocks and hotels.”

The previous town council rejected the tunnel project in 2008, but the current board continues to push for it, he said.

“This option was chosen because it costs less, but they didn’t think about the cost to our village. It’s not just 30 houses having to move, other households will also be affected during the construction,” he said.

“The project will affect the village’s water supply from the dam in the forest in the hills above, which was built after HM The King visited.”

Baan Mon is home to the Ratchapathanusorn (the National Memorial of His Majesty The King’s Footprint) on Phisit Gorani Road. The site commemorates HM The King’s visit to Patong on March 11, 1959.

Mr Witsanu said the monument will undergo a complete rebuild for next year’s annual celebration marking the event.

“The design is already being created by renowned artist Chalermchai Kositpipat and Patong Municipality will provide the budget of more than 10 million baht to build it,” he said.

— Atchaa Khamlo

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Phuket

Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

Police tracked down and arrested a Burmese woman who allegedly left her newborn baby on a bench in Phuket’s Patong area last week. The mother faces charges of abandoning a baby.

The newborn was left in a reusable shopping bag on a bench behind a Krungthai Bank branch. A woman in the area heard the baby crying and found the newborn in the bag along with a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing. Police reviewed surveillance camera footage shows a woman, police later identified as Ei Ei Phyu, leaving the bag on the bench.

Police say the woman gave birth on September 9 at a local hospital in Surat Thani’s Phun Phin district. Ei Ei allegedly took a van from Surat Thani to Phuket on September 22 and stayed with a friend in Patong. The early the next morning, she allegedly left her baby on the bench before boarding a bus back to Surat Thani.

Burmese workers in the Patong area told police Ei Ei used to work at a local Indian food restaurant before she moved to Surat Thani to work as a rubber tapper. Ei Ei allegedly told police she is not in the position to raise a child.

In earlier reports, police said the baby is healthy and does not appear to have any injuries.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Thailand

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC

The Thaiger

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Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | The Thaiger

The upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night event in Abu Dhabi will feature Thailand’s only national marking her third fight with the UFC, the world’s largest mixed martial arts competition. 24 year old Loma Lookboonme, from Burirram in northeastern Thailand, will fight in the event on October 3, 2020.

Loma is a Muay Thai fighter who has adapted her MMA skills to fight in the UFC where she currently trains at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket. Loma qualified for the national team at the age of 19 and has fought in over 12 nations worldwide. She currently trains 6 days a week starting daily at 6:30am with a 3 kilometre run. In the UFC, she will be competing against China’s Angela Lee who is the undisputed champion of the 52 kilogram fist weight category.

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | News by The Thaiger

Loma’s parents are former Muay Thai fighters and her 2 sisters currently compete as well. She reportedly started training at 8 years old after being inspired by her father, whom she describes as her “hero.”

Like most Thais in such fighting sports, Muay Thai offers a way to rise out of poverty-and fighting for the UFC can be financially lucrative. But Loma says her only Thai sponsor is the gym where she trains, with the rest of her sponsors being from foreign brands. She says she is trying to get more Thai sponsors but feels that maybe she needs to win the UFC first before Thai brands notice her.

Loma lost her last fight and says her new opponent gives her nothing to lose. She says her goal is to get into the Top 10, but is not sure when it will happen. Loma says for now, it would be good to fight against someone in the Top 10 to help her prepare for her future.

FULL INTERVIEW: Thisrupt.co

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