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Phuket Opinion: Appreciating hero expats

PHUKET: In the immediate aftermath of the Phoenix tour boat disaster on July 5, Phuket’s dive community without hesitation galvanised to join rescue and recovery efforts. After the last body was recovered Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong assured that formal recognition would be given to those who gave their time, money and heart to the recovery effort that officials so direly needed. They are still awaiting that recognition.

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By The Phuket News

Sunday 29 July 2018, 09:00AM


Surat Thani Governor Witchawut Chinto leads a ceremony to rightly honour the Koh Tao Rescue members for their efforts in the Tham Luang cave rescue in Chiang Rai and for joining the recovery efforts after the Phoenix disaster in Phuket. Photo: Koh Tao Rescue

Surat Thani Governor Witchawut Chinto leads a ceremony to rightly honour the Koh Tao Rescue members for their efforts in the Tham Luang cave rescue in Chiang Rai and for joining the recovery efforts after the Phoenix disaster in Phuket. Photo: Koh Tao Rescue

Making the oversight worse is that divers from Koh Tao have been formally thanked.

To this, The Phuket News is happy to pass that message on to local officials by printing the message below sent to our offices this week – albeit anonymously, understandably to avoid the writer from being subjected to any negative attention by local officials, as history has so often proved is what local officials do best specifically for this segment of the expat community.

The message read:

I am concerned for the 50+ freelance instructors who dropped everything, gave their effort freely and had quite a traumatic experience and have received not even a thank you.

They deserve to be thanked, acknowledged at least as much as those that came from Koh Tao, who received certificates and commemorative coins of HM The King from their provincial Governor.

By the time Koh Tao Rescue got to Phuket the body recovery was complete. However, we do commend them for turning up.

It is nearly three weeks since the boat sank. I am sure the people who helped that day don’t expect rewards for their time, however a little acknowledgement might go a long way to soften the blow – they are suffering with the drop in tourists and lack of work as a result of this avoidable tragedy.

These are the same guys that are harassed by the police every year and arrested because of things like carrying a customer’s bags, the same people that live in fear of losing their work permits.

They broke the law. Nowhere in their work permit does it say search and recovery of dead bodies is part of their work description. Yet when asked by the Marine Police they did so freely because it was needed and nobody had the resources.

There is an obvious difference between how different local authorities value the input into the local community by foreigners who live here.

Unfortunately, this is part of a bigger issue of how local government treats foreigners that live and work in Phuket. Every year we see good people give up and leave Phuket because it is so obvious none of us are wanted here.

 

 

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Christy Sweet | 02 August 2018 - 14:02:16

Those Tham Kuang cave boys would be deceased if not for British Cave Rescue Council- and US AF and Aus doctor.  
Meanwhile that odd and harassing interpretation of the TM-30 Address Report  is clearly the door not hitting anyone's butt on the way out. "Yankee get out" was theme of a City Hall protest not too many years ago.

Pauly44 | 01 August 2018 - 18:28:39

So it's a gang of 5 now! 
Perfection, Thailand, those two words don't belong in the same sentence, pleeeaaase! 

Rorri_2 | 01 August 2018 - 18:14:16

Pascale, we need to explain, those that "criticize" are expressing exactly what Thais, on online forums, and news media, are saying, will you codemn them, the "apologists" only sprout the same BS as the Thai authorities, they want to hide the truth, no one ever said  they expect Thailand to be "perfect." You need to visit Thai forums/media.

Pascale | 01 August 2018 - 17:42:33

"Gang of four"In my eyes the group called"Apologists"shows their love and respect for this country! I am sure they know very well about the problems here,but not one educated person would expect this country to be perfect when moving here.The other group using every article to comment in a negative way.Nothing to do with constructive criticism.Pure lust of showing their dislike...

Jor12 | 01 August 2018 - 17:40:08

Neo-colonialist...yes I know exactly what it means contrary to the misconception of others.

ematt | 01 August 2018 - 17:06:53

Re: "defending anything and everything", I won't speak for others but for me, Thai people certainly do not need me to defend them as it is their country and they can do as they please.  I do find it remarkable however that a small minority of foreign guests in this country feel compelled to engage in such hateful rhetoric against a culture which is not their own. Sad.

DeKaaskopp | 01 August 2018 - 15:45:59

The Thai basher using this forum as a way to release their anger,because at home they have nothing to say.

Pauly44 | 01 August 2018 - 13:10:09

There is also another gang of four hell bent on defending anything and everything at all cost regardless of the facts of the matter and the reality of it, that is the problem, the level of denial just astounds me.

ematt | 01 August 2018 - 12:37:02

Don't know about "capitalist running dogs", but we definitely have a "gang of four" here who seem to be on a mission to denigrate Thai citizens - at any and every opportunity - as "thoughtless, shameful, pathetic, ignorant, selfish, stupid, greedy, petty, childish" etc. The anger and hatefulness astounds me. Why so resentful? Not getting the adulation and subservi...

Rorri_2 | 01 August 2018 - 11:18:59

my comment specifically referred to the PM, once again, sometime never provides proof, so hard for him to do, only refers to Mr Google... pathetic. If you cannot provide proof then everything you say is BS.

Sir Burr | 01 August 2018 - 07:21:22

Neo- colonialists? Tired expression and getting old. Jor12 clearly doesn't know what it means. Maybe look at the dictionary definition? Why not start using "capitalist running dogs". That hasn't been used for a while.

Jor12 | 31 July 2018 - 18:33:15

Sue...it was a reference to a previous article to which the commentator refers. At least you could find it, so well done. Why someone needs a link is beyond me when a simple Google search reveals dozens of links. Also, the comment states "HM King's written message dated 4 July 2018" Again a simple Google search will reveals numerous links.

Rorri_2 | 31 July 2018 - 15:41:51

Can't find anything with regards to the PM, on July 4, next time provide meaningful link, to back up what you say... oh, wait, you never do.

Sue Yu2 | 31 July 2018 - 12:33:27

Jor12-Think you're getting confused with the thanks for the Tham Luang rescue & the Phuket boat disaster. The article relates to Phuket & all is explained clearly. The foreign divers here have not been formally thanked, that's the point. 

Jor12 | 30 July 2018 - 20:05:13

It is plain to see why, judging from this opinion and the comments from the neocolonialists commentators who have the arrogance to believe they are owed everything. Hell there are even howls of protest when the format of the PN website is revamped! Oh, and the PM thanks were widely reported world wide in print, television and online, as was HM King's written message dated 4 July 2018. 

BenPendejo | 30 July 2018 - 15:34:48

Pathetic actions (rather inactions) on behalf of Phuket authorities, led by the Governor. Shameful and thoughtlessness rooted in petty and childish resentment. While many of us long-term expats have too much invested in family and business to leave, we stay on but carry nothing but scorn and disrespect for government officials, which is exactly what they deserve.

Rorri_2 | 30 July 2018 - 12:46:08

I wait, with bated breath, for the gang of Thai apologists, to comment, they couldn't, at the time, provide PROOF" of the PM thanking the foreign help, for the cave rescue.

Pauly44 | 29 July 2018 - 10:57:20

It is well known by long term expats the smile is fake, they "tolerate" foreigners as they bring wealth, but that's about as far as it goes, I don't believe these divers volunteered for the recognition but it would be appropriate for the officials to extend a Thanks for helping cleaning up their mess, TIT.

Discover Thainess | 29 July 2018 - 10:45:05

So sad but so true, the sheer racism of officials beggars belief. Can be seen on a daily basis. Quite honestly I can understand why people give up and leave, I know some can’t due to having family roots in phuket after being here so long. All these guys did an amazing job. We are proud of you all, well done. You don’t need thanks from ungrateful xenophobes. 

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