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The vice governor gets a word in, briefly, at Racha island today

Phuket Officials Destroy Road Across Raya Canal, Resort Owner Rebuilds It

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
PHUKET: The woman responsible for creating environmental issues on Racha island, off Phuket, organised to have a road rebuilt across a public canal as soon as government officials left, a meeting heard today.

A government-hired backhoe spent more than a week clearing the blocked canal but as soon as the workers left at the weekend, Sopannee Akachartkul, owner of the Rayaburi Resort, put her own backhoe to work to rebuild a road across the canal.

In the face of such defiance, Vice Governor Suthee Tongyam led a delegation from Phuket back to Racha island where they confronted Khun Sopannee in the middle of the newly redug canal today.

Actually it was more of a monologue as Khun Sopannee, from Bangkok, accused local officials of being corrupt and said at one point ''I don't have a chanote [land title] but that's my property.''

The road across the public canal links the Rayaburi Resort to a staff dormitory.

When the Rayaburi was built, there were complaints about barges bringing construction equipment that destroyed marine life on a beach in front of the resort.

The Rayaburi has also been accused of encroachment onto the beach in an extension of the resort's dining space.

When asked today whether the alleged encroachment was going to be dealt with, Vice Governor Suthee said: ''We will take this one issue at a time.''

He said this would be the last chance for Khun Supannee to mediate a solution to the canal road issue. The Rayaburi has been creating issues for seven years.

The vice governor and other officials, including Phuket Marine 5 Office chief Phuripat Theerakulpisut, made the point that the canal needed to be cleansed by high tides and the road simply created a stagnant pool into which restaurants and resorts drained their waste water without making sure it had been treated first.

Khun Supannee said she planned to speak to officials ''at a high level in Bangkok'' about why she did not need to do what Phuket officials tell her.

Comments

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If she holds pre-Chanote Nor Sor 3 (Gor), it's actually as good as Chanote to claim " it's my property", but most probably it wasn't the case.

"..accused local officials of being corrupt " - I'm bit curious whether she said it out of eprsonal experience and related expectations..

Posted by Sue on March 17, 2015 22:35

Editor Comment:

Nothing too specific, Sue, just a sweeping allegation.

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Should be interesting to see how this one plays out.

Posted by Discover Thainess on March 18, 2015 04:35

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If I understand this correctly, there is longstanding illegal construction and the government finally acts to remove a small part of it. Then the alleged responsible party rebuilds. What I don't understand is why the local government has to pay for the cleanup and why the responsible party has not been charged and arrested.

Posted by Ryan on March 18, 2015 09:21

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@Ryan - one assumes she has some influential friends who are helping look after her interests

I actually know the owner as I know her son quite well - I am watching this with interest - wealthy local landowner vs local government

I also cannot imagine why the owner clima local government officials are corrupt. Who would have thought it ??

Posted by Discover Thainess on March 18, 2015 10:40

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The arrogance of anyone with money in Thailand (& I don't exempt foreigners) is beyond belief. They think they can buy the law.

But then when you look at such august international bodies (IOC, FIFA, Formula 1) where the leadership buys its way out of trouble, bribes & scams, the example is set.

Posted by Logic on March 18, 2015 13:36


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