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Phuket villagers protest over community land after ownership claim


About 100 villagers from the Prachasamakkee community gathered at the Phuket provincial hall at 9am on Wednesday to defend their rights to live on community land after 70 residents were sued by a person claiming to be their landlord.

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The protest was led by community leader Surasak Tainapriew and secretary Weerayut Jaesoh, who handed a complaint letter to Phuket’s vice governor, Prakob Wongmaneerung.
“The reason for the protest today is that the villagers who have lived on the community land for more than 10 years understood that the land was unoccupied. The land was a tin mine that had its concession expire so the villagers moved in,” Surasak said. 
“Additionally, in 2005, the Muang Phuket District Office announced that the area was unoccupied land that the community could use together resulting in more villagers moving in. The community built the road and sought electricity from the PEA [Phuket Energy Authority], creating the Prachasamakkee community as it is today.”
The vice governor promised to pass the letter to the governor and departments involved to investigate. A process ordered by the courts will also have to be undertaken
“There are about 300 households in the community on land of about 300 rai [48 hectares],” Surasak said. “This year we learned that there is a group of people claiming the land saying they received it in a will. The court has ordered the land office and the villagers to mark the borderline over the disputed land to make a plan and give it to the court. I am asking all the departments involved to help the villagers.”
After Muang Phuket District announced the land was unoccupied in 2005, the alleged landlords sued the official department the following year and the court ordered the district office not to get involved in the case. 
Source: https://www.phuketgazette.net/news/phuket-locals-protest-community-land-claim

Published : December 06, 2017

By : Phuket Gazette