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Rawai sea gypsies retract complaint over EIA, win access to Balai shrine

Rawai sea gypsies retract complaint over EIA, win access to Balai shrine

PHUKET: The Rawai sea gypsy community have formally retracted their official complaint filed over how an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) survey was conducted for a hotel project carried out by Baron World Trade Co Ltd, and confirmed that they will retain access to the sea gypsies’ sacred Balai shrine.

Wednesday 18 September 2019, 04:43PM

Niran Yangpan, head of the Rawai sea gypsy community, led a delegation to Muang District Office yesterday (Sept 17) to officially retract the complaint, which was filed on Aug 26. (See story here.)

The request to retract the complaint was received yesterday by Muang Phuket District Chief Wikrom Jaktee.

Niran Yangpan, head of the Rawai sea gypsy community, explained that the Rawai sea gypsies had misunderstood about how the EIA would affect their lives.

“But after discussing it with a representative from the company, we now understand and see that the questionnaire is part of the process required for any development in the area. However, for the EIA, the company’s representative still has to clarify the process further and the reasons for the particular questions asked.”

CMI - Thailand

However, Mr Niran also confirmed that through talks with the company representative the sea gypsies will be able to continue to use the path from the village to access the scared Balai shrine.

“We were worried that the path would be closed in the future,” Mr Niran said.

“The company representative confirmed that they will keep the path open, but the size of the path will be reviewed in consideration of title deed for land,” he said.

District Chief Wikrom explained, “For the path to the Balai shrine, the boundary of the company's land must be surveyed. At this stage I cannot confirm the size of the path because it depends on the boundary of the land.”

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