Another confrontation has occurred between sea gypsies and a group of 10 workers from Baron World Trade Company at Rawai Beach in Phuket province. The workers had moved two backhoes into a disputed area to level the ground.
A deputy chief of the Phuket office of the Internal Security Operations Command said police and other officials had rushed to the beach to intervene before the situation escalated into a physical clash.
Baron World Trade representative Chatree Madsatun said the workers were to level the disputed land over which the firm has a claim of land rights to block tourists and fishermen from parking there. He said sea gypsies threw rocks and sticks at the backhoes, cracking some windows. The workers stopped digging and filed a police complaint for property damage, he said. The workers also removed the backhoes in the afternoon.
Tambon Rawai Mayor Arun Soros said he told the sea gypsies not to damage the company’s property again. He also told the workers to suspend their operation to prevent any clashes, while also instructing some 30 municipal employees and police to keep the peace. The matter was later tabled at a meeting presided over by the provincial governor to find preventive measures.