Mr.Somkiet Sangkhaosutthirak, Deputy Governor of Phuket recently held a meeting at Phuket Hall together with Phuket Government Organization, Phuket private agencies and leaders of the 5 Sea-Gypsy communities around Phuket. The meeting was held to discuss about how to improve the living conditions of the Phuket Sea Gypsies whose communities are located at Baan Hin Lukdeaw, Baan Laem Lha, Baan Sapam, Baan Rawai and Baan Laem Tukkae.
This meeting raised many issues such as housing and public utility setups. At present, 2 of the communities are located on private land, with the remainder on government land. There are obviously 2 different sets of rules for these locations so 2 different ways to resolve the issues will be required.
Another issue regards the sea gypsy’s work as fisherman. At present, the sea gypsies are fishing in the National Park, which is illegal, and also areas which overlap with tourism businesses and the fishing industry, which has caused some conflict.
It has been agreed that a board be set up to study and gather the required information needed to solve the problems, and that the results be reported within 3 months.