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Sea gypsies curse enemy over land dispute


Sea gypsies living of Phuket’s Muang district yesterday held a ritual to ask for the protection of supernatural beings and burnt chilli and salt to curse an enemy in the wake of land dispute with an investor.

They also sprinkled cemetery soil to affirm the area where the ritual was held contains graves.
The dispute relates to a private company constructing a property that blocks a walkway to the ritual site.
Sea gypsy Ngeem Damrongkaset, 71, said the ceremony, which dates back to the start of last century, was conducted when the community faced a dire situation with no apparent solution in sight. Nheem said a similar ritual was held years ago over another land dispute with an investor. 
Another sea gypsy, Somsri Damrongkaset, said it was a necessity for the community to had convenient access to the ritual site and could also use the area for boat and fishing gear repairs.
Following a clash on January 27 over the issue that resulted in several people suffering injuries, bilateral talks facilitated by provincial officials were held last week but no solution was found.
A fact-finding panel is determining whether the company legally owns the land. 
 

Published : February 06, 2016

By : THE SUNDAY NATION