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Phuket officials to clamp down on begging sea gypsy kids

PHUKET: Officials yesterday announced that they will begin a clampdown on children from the Rawai sea gypsy community begging for money from people visiting the area in and around the sea gypsy village.

crime, culture, tourism,

The Phuket News

Friday 16 June 2017, 04:57PM

Head of the Rawai sea gypsy community, Mr Niran Yangpan. Photo: PR Dept
Head of the Rawai sea gypsy community, Mr Niran Yangpan. Photo: PR Dept

The announcement was made yesterday (June 15) during a meeting held at Phuket Provincial Hall and attended by Phuket Vice Governor Siwaporn Chuasawad, officials from the Phuket Primary Educational Service Area Office, Office of the Phuket Non-formal and Informal Education Office, Chalong Police, Phuket Tourism and Sports Office, Rawai Municipality, head of the Rawai sea gypsy community, Wat Sawang Arom School, and Office of Social Development and Human Security.

Yesterday’s meeting was held following allegations that children from the sea gypsy community have been begging for money in the Rawai area, especially close to Rawai Pier near the sea gypsy village.

Having received complaints about the issue an investigation was made into the allegations and were found to be true.

It was noted that about 12 children, aged between 8 to 12 years old, were begging.

Some of those children were said to attend Wat Sawang Arom School close to the sea gypsy community, while others were said not to attend school at all.

It was found that the children would run after people asking for money and would pester them until they got some.

Some children were even said to have jumped on people and hassled them while in parking areas close to Rawai Pier.

Most of the people asked for money were members of tour groups visiting the area or tourists dining at restaurants.

Head of the Rawai sea gypsy community, Mr Niran Yangpan, said, “The issue of children begging for money is now a chronic problem. I have spoken to the parents of the children involved and explained to the parents that what their children are doing is illegal.

“However, the parents feel that their children are doing nothing wrong. They told me that it is okay for children to ask for money from tourists,” Mr Niran said.

“Instead of stopping their children, they support them, and now the number of children begging is increasing.

“This problem is damaging the image of the Rawai sea gypsies,” he added.

V/Gov Siwaporn said, “We have to stop the children doing this, so we will now station officials at areas where the begging takes place. I am sure that if these children see officials they will be scared and will stop begging.

“If officials see children begging then they will warn them, they will also go and and talk to their parents.

“We will start lightly, but if the begging continues then we will give harsher punishments to those involved. If the parents still let their children do this then they will be held responsible, V/Gov Siwaporn said.

“Schools and education centres should hold activities for these children so that they have something to keep them busy, then they will not have to disturb the tourists.

“We will also issue brochures to tour guides and tourists to inform them not to give money to these children,” he added.



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Kurt | 19 June 2017 - 16:00:44

Ematt: I agree with you that no one should tell other/sea gipsy people how to live their lives.
However, it stops when sea gipsy people disturb other people in their lives, as thai press photos show.

About schooling: Also in Thailand any kid is obligated to go to school. It is the job of the thai government bodies to look after that.
Ematt, tell me, what in your eyes is for gipsy children a traditional job or.. 'anything else' ?
Begging? As a 'future'?

And to answer your question: No, the thai government did not engage me. In contrary, I strongly feel that the thai government should do more to get this gipsy children a education, starting with enrolling them in schools as the thai laws demand.

All this has nothing to do with by you called western reform thinking.
It is all just about thai school education law enforcement.  Right?

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Pauly44 | 19 June 2017 - 12:33:42

Ematt: Same could be said for any indigenous population worldwide however progression is inevitable whether they like it or not the world will catch up with them eventually, they probably should try adapting. I personally find it deplorable they encourage their kids to hit the streets and beg for money from tourists, inexcusable for any adult/parent, that they've been there for generations and so on does sound very familiar but quite frankly doesn't quite cut it, seems taking responsibility doesn't exist in Thailand. I personally could give a hoot what they do it's just concerning for the kids their parents have that attitude as they will end up passing on the same to the next generation.

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ematt | 19 June 2017 - 10:07:32

Kurt, I have visited many sea gypsy communities over the years. According to anthropologists, they have most likely been living in this region for at least 1000 years longer than you and I have. I don't feel any need to tell them how to live their lives. 

My comment was based on the previous reader's post characterising another race as "fat and lazy". Shocking, really.

By the way, not to sound indelicate, but I'm just curious: What business is it of yours anyway, whether or not they send their kids to school, or work in a traditional job, or do anything else for that matter?

Has the Thai government engaged you to introduce Austro-Germanic cultural reforms into Phuket? Or is this a self-appointed position?

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Eagle | 18 June 2017 - 09:28:11

@ematt,no fake here.He is like this.Proved it many times already.
@BenPendejo.Do you mean by saying"need to get dispersed and taught how to get with the program"it should be the same way as they did to the American Natives in your country?Do you like to wear these white costumes with the white pointed hoods sometimes?

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Kurt | 17 June 2017 - 17:41:33

It is easy to clamp down on kids for begging., give me a bit smell in the mouth about 'officials'.
Why not clamp down on these kids and get them daily in school?
A more positive thai government approach?
Is education not a more positive thai contribution?

And if 'officials' feel the urge to clamp down something, why they not clamp down on illegal tuk tuk parking? 
On so many more serious wrong matters?
it looks like the more serious matters are blinding eyes by donations/brown envelopes.
Any other explanation?

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Kurt | 17 June 2017 - 17:17:14

ematt: you are to quick with your reaction on BenPendejo.
Why you not go yourself to that sea gypsy area a day and experience yourself reality?
After that you share your experiences with us.  Ok?
Find out why many of these kids are begging around instead not going daily to school?
Kids by thai law have to go to school, yes?
And come up with a survey to proof that all gypsies are working.

Sounds fair, yes?
If many gipsies are not working, tell us why it is that way?
People work to make a living, yes?

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ematt | 17 June 2017 - 10:55:16

I think this post by BenPendejo is fake. No one could be that much of a hater in real life.

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BenPendejo | 16 June 2017 - 18:36:17

More proof that the Sea Gypsies (corney name by the way) are nothing but a culture of entitlement and need to be dispersed and taught how to get with the program of life and earning a living.  I would be willing to bet that it was the parents that sent their kids out to beg...easy money, and as one of the bum gypsies was quoted, "it is okay for children to ask for money from tourists".  This is like saying "they work and have lots of money, so they should give us some for free.  If anyone is unsure about how big of bums they are... go see the village.  Many fat and lazy people sitting and laying around doing absolutely nothing with themselves.  The village is strewn with trash and the beach areas look like a trash dump.  This is not a rich cultural heritage...these are historically freeloaders that bring nothing to the community or Thai society.

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