Connect with us

Phuket

VIDEO REPORT: HM the King’s historic visit may bolster Phuket sea gypsy land rights

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

VIDEO REPORT: HM the King’s historic visit may bolster Phuket sea gypsy land rights | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET: As part of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) probe to establish how long Phuket sea gypsies have been living at Rawai Beach, officers have discovered movie footage of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej visiting the community in 1959.

The footage may prove critical to the sea gypsies’ fight against court-ordered evictions based on land claims by private investors, the Chief of the DSI’s Consumer and Environment Protection Office, Prawuth Wongsinil, told the Phuket Gazette today.

“The footage shows many houses built under coconut trees in the traditional sea-gypsy manner. One of the investors claims his title deed was issued in 1965, so we will ask any villagers who appeared in the footage, or their parents, if they knew about this title deed being issued,” Lt Col Prawuth said.

“According to the law, in order for a title deed to be issued, officers must come to the site and measure the land. If any such officers had come to the site to do this, then why did none of the villagers protest it, considering they claim to have been living here since long before 1965?” Col Prawuth asked.

The footage is just one of the many aspects the DSI officers are investigating to establish how long the once-nomadic seafarers have been living at Phuket’s southernmost beach.

Col Prawuth and fellow DSI officers arrived in Phuket today to begin excavations at the village and to collect DNA samples. Joining the DSI team are officers from the Central Institute of Forensic Science, operated by the Ministry of Justice, and archaeologists from the Fine Arts Department Phuket office.

“The Rawai sea gypsies filed a complaint to Ministry of Justice, asking us to examine evidence in their village to prove they have been living in the area for generations,” Col Prawuth told the Gazette.

“And so we have collected evidence that we believe could be used against private investors claiming plots of land inside what the sea gypsies consider their village,” he added.

Some of the sea gypsies have received court orders demanding that they move from certain parts of what they claim is their land (story here).

However, so far none of them has moved, citing rights to remain on the land, Col Prawuth said.

Now, the sea gypsies are seeing their case grow stronger.

“We also have aerial photographs of the area from many years ago [story here] and we have a register of students from Wat Sawang Arom, which is nearby [map here],” Col Prawuth explained.

“About 30 sea gypsy students’ names appear on the school list before 1957, and some of those individuals are still alive today,” he said.

Specialists from the Fine Arts Department Phuket office are now excavating two sites where villagers believe their ancestors were buried.

To make the all-important connection to strengthen the sea gypsies claim, officers from the Central Institute of Forensic Science are collecting DNA samples from every family in the village. This will result in more than 60 samples in total.

“If we find human bone fragments at these sites, we will match that DNA with the DNA database we are currently collecting,” Col Prawuth said.

“If we confirm any human bones found at the site are of sea gypsy origin, we will question the private investors as to why they are claiming the land is theirs, and, if so, why did they allow the sea gypsies to bury their dead on the land?”

Regarding human bones being found at the village in March this year (story here), Col Prawuth explained that the bones could not be used as evidence.

“We are aware of the bones that were found, but they cannot be used as evidence. They were reportedly discovered by sea gypsies in the village who stand to benefit if the bones prove to be of sea gypsy origin, and the bones were removed from their original location.

“As evidence, they are tainted,” he said.

Thawatchai Chanpaisalsilp, a specialist from the Fine Arts Department Phuket office, told the Gazette his team will dig to a depth of about 1.5 meters.

“We believe will find human bones at that depth. We started digging at around 10am today, and we will be working on the site for a whole week,” he said.

— Chutharat Plerin

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

Leave a Reply

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



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.

Phuket

Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: ประชาสัมพันธ์ เทศบาลตำบลวิชิต

Hundreds of residents in Phuket’s Wichit subdistrict attended a workshop focused on reducing stress from to the pandemic-induced economic crisis. A psychologist was even on site to help those who had extreme mental stress and a Buddhist monk taught meditation techniques to reduce physiological effects of stress.

The event was planned in response to an online survey conducted by the municipality asking residents about how much stress they were experiencing from the economic climate. They found that some residents had serious stress issues brought on by the pandemic and financial problems, according to Wichit Mayor Kreetha Chotiwichphiphat.

“The loss of income due to the economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 situation has resulted in some people in the area suffering serious stress, which can lead to serious mental health issues.”

Around 350 people attended the event. The mayor says it was the first step in caring for the residents’ mental health. Local officials plan to hold similar workshops in the future.

“It was a good opportunity for people to realise the importance of mental health and to learn techniques of how to deal with stress, which will help people to maintain their physical health and avoid developing mental health problems.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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

Phuket

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

The Thaiger

Published

on

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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

International Schools

Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket

The Thaiger

Published

on

Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket | The Thaiger

Chalong police in Phuket say they have yet to start investigating the illegal hiring of foreign teachers at an international school in Rawai, south of the island. Palm House International School allegedly hired foreign teachers illegally in which 2 were arrested by Phuket Immigration police on November 4.

Somkiet Sarasin, the leading investigator of the case, says the 2 Brits were informed that police were processing a charge of working illegally in the country against them, in which both denied the charges. Somkiet says the 2 were released on bail, but did not confirm the amount of bail that was set by the police.

“They are still staying in Thailand. I am not worried. I have their passports. I am not available to explain [any details] because the investigation is still ongoing.”

“This is normal for an investigation when the suspects deny the charge against them. I have to check more information against their claims. This case will probably be concluded next month.”

However, the investigation has yet to begin, with Somkiet saying he has not even questioned the owner of the school, despite his claims the case would be finished next month.

“The investigation into the school will take time. The investigation into the two British people must be finished first.”

Such allegations of foreign teachers working illegally have recently been in the news after Sarasas Witaed Sainoi Pitiyakarn School, in the central province of Nonthaburi, saw 7 foreign teachers probed for being hired illegally. That school, along with others in its private network, made nationwide news after CCTV caught a Thai teacher hitting, pushing and dragging a young student in the classroom. Such widespread violence against students has long been a sad component of many Thai schools, in which some of the teachers are unqualified and unlicensed to teach, but are hired anyway.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Army deny Twitter spin, “Don’t Reopen”, English proficiency low | Nov 27 | The Thaiger
Thailand7 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Army deny Twitter spin, “Don’t Reopen”, English proficiency low | Nov 27

Thailand News Today | Shots fired, the yellow ducks, “no coup” promise | November 26 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 day ago

Thailand News Today | Shots fired, the yellow ducks, “no coup” promise | November 26

Thailand News Today | No vaccine, no flight, protest latest, smoking ban | November 25 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 days ago

Thailand News Today | No vaccine, no flight, protest latest, smoking ban | November 25

Thailand News Today | Holiday road toll, protests tomorrow, GDP recovery | November 24 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 days ago

Thailand News Today | Holiday road toll, protests tomorrow, GDP recovery | November 24

Thailand News Today | Dinosaurs in BKK, BOT tackles Baht, Special K isn’t special | November 23 | The Thaiger
Thailand4 days ago

Thailand News Today | Dinosaurs in BKK, BOT tackles Baht, Special K isn’t special | November 23

Thailand News Today | Bangkok exodus, Pattaya air pollution, Vaccine next month? | November 20 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok exodus, Pattaya air pollution, Vaccine next month? | November 20

Thailand News Today | Protests to escalate, Domestic violence, Tourist visa exemptions? | Nov 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Protests to escalate, Domestic violence, Tourist visa exemptions? | Nov 19

Thailand News Today | Emergency Decree, Protesters shot, Baht boost temporary | Nov 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Emergency Decree, Protesters shot, Baht boost temporary | Nov 18

Thailand News Today | Protesters v Police, Quarantine reduction, VietJet passenger arrest | Nov 17 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Protesters v Police, Quarantine reduction, VietJet passenger arrest | Nov 17

Thailand News Today | The RCEP reset, Hotel Talkfest, Protesters to be arrested | November 16 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | The RCEP reset, Hotel Talkfest, Protesters to be arrested | November 16

Thailand News Today | Coconut Business, Weekend protests, Pork dressed as Beef | November 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Coconut Business, Weekend protests, Pork dressed as Beef | November 13

Thailand News Today | More Thai Airways debt, Korean soldier, TripAdvisor warning | November 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | More Thai Airways debt, Korean soldier, TripAdvisor warning | November 12

Thailand News Today | PTT pays out, Revised visa requirements, Protester’s asylum | Nov 11 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | PTT pays out, Revised visa requirements, Protester’s asylum | Nov 11

Thailand News Today | Thai official positive, Head-butt latest, protest letters | November 10 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Thai official positive, Head-butt latest, protest letters | November 10

Thailand News Today | Golf STVs, Russian head-butted, protest latest | Nov 9 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Golf STVs, Russian head-butted, protest latest | Nov 9

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending