The warning comes after further photos have circulated on social media showing the children begging from people who visit Rawai, especially close to the pier.
Last Friday (June 15), a meeting was held at Phuket Provincial Hall between Vice Governor Siwaporn Chuasawad, the head of the Rawai sea gypsy community and representatives of various educational institutions which concluded on a clamp down on the begging children. (See story here.)
However, yesterday (June 19), just three days after last Friday’s meeting, photos were posted to the Thai language Facebook page ‘Voice of Phuket People: petition, inform, giving opinion about anything in Phuket’ showing a young sea gypsy boy tugging at a woman’s long dress, and in another photo holding a man by the hand as the man tried to walk away.
The user, whose user name translates as ‘Promise cannot believe’ confirmed to The Phuket News that the photos had been taken at 2:34pm yesterday.
Mayor Aroon responded to the photos, by saying “Right now there will be no arresting of the children, but we will extend an invitation to parents to have a meeting together with the children, police, other sea gypsies and their village headmen.
“During the meeting the parents will be told to teach their kids not to this. This is the first approach we will take,” he said.
“We’ll do the meeting with the parents and sea gypsy headmen first. Then, if the behaviour persists, then police must be responsible to catch them and train them,” he added.