Connect with us

Phuket

Sea gypsies beg for protection after “gun threats’

Published

 on 

PHUKET: About 200 Rawai sea gypsies yesterday begged Phuket authorities for protection after a group of men allegedly threatened to shoot them if they moved concrete blocks that had been placed on the public access road to their village.

“Last month, a group of men put concrete barriers on the path between the beach and our village, which we have been using for more than 100 years,” said Sanit Sae-Chua, who led the group to Provincial Hall yesterday.

“We filed our first complaint on May 15, and then we removed barriers. Then, on June 20, about 20 men came back to put the concrete barriers on the path again.”

Mr Sanit said that the gypsies have removed the blocks before, but this time they faced threats from the men.

“This time they said, ‘Move the concrete and get shot’,” said Mr Sanit.

“We do not feel safe. Please protect us from these people. Send someone to measure the land and the beach so that no one can tell us that we cannot pass through the public land.”

Villagers submitted the complaint directly to Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkhaosutthirak and Capt Boworn Promkeawngam of the Royal Thai Navy’s Phuket-based Third Area Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc).

“I will speak with Muang District Chief Supoj Chanakij, as well as the Chalong Police, and have the relevant authorities send security staff to the area,” Vice Governor Somkiet said. “I will also call the people who claim to own this land to question them about the incident.”

The Rawai sea gypsies have been fighting for many years to prove the rights to the land their families have been living on for generations.

Last year, DNA tests on skeletal remains unearthed in their village confirmed that the seafaring nomads have called Phuket’s southern beach home for more than 100 years (story here).

The Department of Special Investigations (DSI) stepped in after the DNA test results were revealed and vowed to provide evidence to support the villagers’ fight to continue living at the village.

Establishing long duration of residency is a key element in the gypsies’ fight against private investors who had won court orders to evict some villagers from the site (Video Report here).

“We hope the court will consider the evidence and dismiss the private land claims,” Chatchawal Suksomjit, then-director of the DSI, said. “But it is now up to the court, and we cannot interfere in its decision.”

Vice Governor Somkiet touched on this note and told the villagers that it takes a long time to review land right ownership cases.

“Everything must be done very carefully to ensure that it is fair,” V/Gov Somkiet said. “However, I will organize a meeting to discuss the land ownership problem as soon as possible.”

The sea gypsies dispersed yesterday after V/Gov Somkiet promised to send security personnel to protect them.

Last night, Civil Defence Volunteers went to the sea gypsy village to stand guard, the Phuket Gazette was told today by one of the volunteers.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand8 mins ago

3 men were arrested for stealing Thai Internet connection & World Cup betting in Cambodia

Pattaya13 mins ago

Intoxicated Pattaya woman left uninjured after overturning car

Crime53 mins ago

Woman who allegedly scammed victims for over 30 million baht arrested in Pattaya

Sponsored2 hours ago

Krungthong Plaza offers endless choices of well-selected plus-size fashion products

Bangkok1 hour ago

Bangkok BTS Skytrain fares to increase next year

Thailand1 hour ago

Police put brakes on car rental thief in Bangkok

World2 hours ago

New drug marks major milestone in slowing Alzhemier’s

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
World Cup2 hours ago

400 to 500 migrant workers in Qatar died due to World Cup, not 6,500

Visa3 hours ago

Thailand advises Indians to obtain visa prior to travelling to avoid long queues

Thailand3 hours ago

Driver furious with Bangkok shopping mall after foreigner accidently causes damage to her car

Politics3 hours ago

Iran promises Thailand it won’t attack Israeli tourists

Crime4 hours ago

Korean woman arrested for 5 million baht theft, 6-year overstay

Tourism4 hours ago

Japan is the No.1 tourist destination among Thais

Cambodia4 hours ago

10,000 Angkor Wat residents facing mass eviction

Thailand5 hours ago

Parents seek justice after 4 year old child dies after mysterious fall at school

Bangkok5 hours ago

Popcorn promotion: people capitalise on all you can eat

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending