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Phuket villagers urge government to uphold community title deeds

Phuket villagers urge government to uphold community title deeds

PHUKET: About 300 people from 15 communities in Phuket gathered at Phuket Provincial Hall this morning (Nov 26) to file a formal request for the central government to uphold its promise to allow poor people living on state land under the protection of ‘community title deeds’.

land
By Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 26 November 2020, 05:01PM


The formal request was addressed to Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, who is the chairman of a national land use subcommittee that is to meet next Monday (Nov 30) to consider whether or not the government should continue with its community title deed project.

Similar requests were filed in 23 provinces throughout the country today through group action organised by P-Move (People’s Movement for a Just Society).

Leading the local residents in Phuket this morning was Sinchai Ruphrojin, who explained that the request was submitted so that the Phuket Governor could forward it to Deputy PM Prawit.

“The request explains that P-Move has been supporting the ‘community title deed’ policy for many years, as we want the policy to be a tool to reduce the disparity of land ownership in Thailand, leading to the Prime Minister’s Office ordering that community title deeds be issued in 2010,” Mr Sinchai said.

In the meeting on Nov 12, the national subcommittee on land use resolved to use land on which  486 communities are living on – and applied for community title deeds for – for land-reform use, Mr Sinchai said.

The subcommittee did make it clear that the 486 communities could continue to live on the state land until the final resolution had been made, Mr Sinchai noted.

However, some officers had not upheld the ruling for the 486 communities to continue living on state land, he added.

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The formal petition submitted today included four main requests, that:

1) The Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), the Office of the Permanent Secretary and the Prime Minister’s Office must remove the topic of no longer issuing community title deeds from the meeting agenda for Nov 30;

2) Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha as Chairman of the National Land Policy Committee to use his authority to keep ensure the 486 communities are issued community title deeds as soon as possible; and

3) The Government to protect all 486 communities so the people in the communities can live on and use the lands normally. 

Vice Governor Piyaphong Chuwong together with Muang Phuket District Chief Somprat Prabsongkham officially received the formal request.

“We will forward the document to the Deputy Prime Minister as soon as possible and will call the P-move representative to come and update us with any progress within five days.” V/Gov Piyaphong said.

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