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Phuket’s poor plea for place to live

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong today vowed to look seriously into resolving the problem of where entire communities of poor people may continue to live on the island without fear of forced relocation.

economics, natural-resources, property,

Premkamon Ketsara

Monday 5 June 2017, 05:50PM

The news came after Gov Norraphat met with representative of more than 300 people from poor communities across Phuket gathered at Provincial Hall today (June 5), calling for an update on requests for “Community Chanote” deeds.

“Community Chanote” deeds were introduced under the Democrat Abhisit Vejjajiva government in 2010 in order to provide poor communities across the country rights to live on and use government land for subsistence – but to never own or be able to sell the land.

However, Community Chanotes were no longer supported or issued under the ensuing Yingluck Shinawatra administration.

In their call for an update to their plight today, the villagers pointed out that they had already handed a a formal written request to Phuket Vice Governor Siwaporn Chuasawad on March 20, when about 50 residents from 17 poor communities – all members of the “Phuket Community Network” – gathered at Provincial Hall.

That request asked for urgent action by Phuket Provincial Office in response to a report on April 19 by Wattai Chuchuern, who at the time was the Director of the Management Division of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Phuket Office. (See Khao Phuket report here.)

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Mr Wattai reported that at least six communities in Phuket should not be considered for a Community Chanote, as he claimed that all of the villagers in the communities seeking the community deeds were encroaching on protected mangrove forests or on private, or otherwise, already legally held land.

“The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources has checked the boundaries of the protected mangrove forests… The Acting Director of Phuket DMCR believes that six communities – Thasak, Koh Phee, Ao Yon, Bang Rakmai, Hon Saithong, Thanit Thurakit Ruamsin – are not suitable for such ‘land living deeds’ (sic),” said the report.

“Most of the areas were settled near town and have grown into large communities. Some communities now include private businesses, some communities overlap other people’s land.

“These communities are all new and encroach on (already claimed) land and it must be checked how they got the land,” Mr Wattai wrote.



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