The mass of residents was led by the head of the community Mr Surasak Tainapreaw and community secretary Weerayut Jaesoh who handed a letter to Phuket Vice Governor Prakob Wongmaneerung asking for them to assist with their present predicament.
Mr Surasak said, “We are from the community on Moo 2 Koh Kaew which covers an area of land of more than 300 rai. More than 300 families settled on the land as they thought it was ‘outlaw land’ (land without document of ownership). We believed the land had previously had a concession for a tin mine, but that the concession had ended.
“In 2005, Muang Phuket District put up a notice stating that the land was ‘outlaw land’ and that people can carry on living there. So more people came and settled. Roads, a church and mosque were built, and the Pracha Samakkee Community was finally established,” Mr Surasak explained.
“In November this year, we received information that a group of people claimed that the land was inherited. Some local residents were sued and expelled from the land. Notices were sent to us stating that a court order had been obtained by the Phuket Land Office and that they were to measure the land boundary together with the plaintiff and local residents who were being sued,” Mr Surasak added.
“I am calling for help from government offices to help us as we are now in trouble. We lived here for a long time because we believed that the land belonged to the government,” Mr Surasak noted.
V/Gov Prakob said after receiving the letter, “I will hand this complaint to relevant offices to check. However, the court order must be followed to measure the land boundary for the disputed land map. Relevant offices will give fairness for everyone involved in such land issues.”