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Privy Councilor Surayud eyes Phuket sea gypsies needs

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Privy Councilor Surayud eyes Phuket sea gypsies needs | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Gen Surayud Chulanont, Privy Councilor to HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej and former prime minister, has suggested that local authorities take further steps to improve the quality of life of the Phuket sea gypsies living in the north of the island.

Gen Surayud chaired a meeting in Thalang last Thursday to hear the current state of the living conditions of the sea gypsies in the Laem Lah and Hin Luk Diao communities in Mai Khao.

The visit followed up on an initiative to improve sea gypsies’ living standards launched by the Culture Ministry in 2009 (story here), which was formalized into an official government campaign last year (story here).

Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwing reported to Gen Surayud that the sea gypsy communities at Laem Lah and Hin Luk Diao together comprised 167 families, totalling 566 people.

“The two communities used to be a single community living in Phang Nga. But then they migrated to the Pak Phra channel [separating Phuket from the mainland], where they divided into two communities,” Governor Nisit explained.

The sea gypsies in the two villages have been granted Thai citizenship and have 72 children attending primary school, as well as 27 attending high school.

“All the kids must attend school, but most of the adults are formally uneducated. However, in addition to speaking their native language, they are all able to speak Thai and the Southern Thai dialect,” Gov Nisit said.

Most of the villagers are fishermen or have jobs outside the village, while many of the housewives work as shellfish openers. The most common health issues affecting the communities were related to obesity, dermatitis, hypertension, asthma, heart disease, paresis and occasional dengue fever.

“The villagers spend most of their income on consumer goods and sending their children to school,” Gov Nisit said.

“There are some financial aids available to them, such as the Baan Laem Lah and the Hin Luk Diao community saving funds. Some villagers have taken out loans from the Women’s Professional Improvement Fund. However, most of them do not wish to be in debt.”

Both communities are in the process of requesting that the villagers be granted rights to live on the land where they now reside, Governor Nisit added.

The government was working on several projects to improve the sea gypsies’ standard of living and to offer them more life opportunities, he added.

“We are working on improving the quality of their homes so that they are safe and hygienic, and we have launched programs to help them become self-sufficient,” Gov Nisit said.

Other government initiatives presently underway include the establishment of an education fund and a bachelor-degree scholarship, as well as assistance in professionally managing and promoting their skills as fishermen to achieve higher standards of living.

“We are also encouraging the villagers to embrace and practice their traditional culture as a way of attracting tourists,” Gov Nisit said.

Gen Surayud offered two suggestions: “First, we should promote vocational study among the youths so that they can learn a trade and later earn a living.

“Second, when we are considering changes to their homes to make them safer and cleaner, we have to be careful to preserve their traditional culture in order to encourage them to be proud of themselves.”

The gradual erosion of traditional sea gypsy culture along the Andaman coast has come under increasing international attention. The increased awareness was part of what led to the impressive documentary “Vanishing World of the Sea Gypsies” (click here).

Earlier this year, the Department of Special Investigation revealed evidence to support land right’s claims by residents in the Rawai sea gypsy village who were fighting off court-ordered evictions to hand over their land to local investors (story here).

The same sea gypsy village in Rawai is also struggling to protect their youngsters from the deadly downward spiral of drugs and prostitution after revelations that girls, one as young as 10, were allegedly prostituting themselves to pay for drugs (story here).

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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