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Phuket's Nai Yang beach on one of its bad days

Beaches 'Must Be Given Back to Phuket'

Thursday, September 5, 2013
PHUKET: Vice Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada put it bluntly yesterday: ''I want the beaches back for Phuket's people. You have until the end of this week or the Department of Special Investigation will investigate you.''

The VG's frustrations were boiling over as local officials continued to obfuscate, dodge and weave around attempts to goad them into action.

Businesses were still operating all along the Surin beach shorefront, the vice governor noted, directing his ire at the Director of Thalang District, Supot Chanakit.

At a previous meeting, the vice governor had focussed on the Mayor of Cherng Talay, Ma-Ann Samran, demanding action.

Mayor Ma-ann did not appear at yesterday's meeting, which was attended by officials from all three Phuket districts.

Khun Supot told the vice governor that he'd sent letters out to 30 Surin beach businesses. The names of the beach businesses and the contents of the letter were not revealed.

After hearing that businesses still continued to encroach on Nai Yang, a beach north of Surin and south of Phuket International Airport, Vice Governor Jamleran expressed his frustration:

''Why didn't you do anything?'' he asked the Sarkoo Council Secretary, Papong Chaidam. ''There doesn't seem any effort to work together to solve these problems.''

The vice governor said that businesses without clear entitlement to operate on or alongside the beaches should be forced off them immediately.

''I want the beaches back for Phuket people,'' said Vice Governor Jamleran, who is Phuket born and bred.

''I want everything done this week. Have a report back to me by the end of the week,'' he said.

''We've been talking about this for a year. I feel ashamed. What will we have to leave in the future for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren?

''I feel ashamed. I really do.''

Phuket's beaches ''should be open for all Phuket people and for tourists to enjoy,'' he said.

The process of commercialising the beaches for the profit of a few had been going on for too long, he added.

Phuketwan believes Phuket's beaches will only be saved if control is taken from local councils and handed to an independent Phuket Beach Authority. All income from beach activities should fund their protection and maintenance, not go into private pockets.

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I admire Vice Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada stepping up and saying it as he sees it. And of course he is spot on. But in saying that he knows damn well why nothing has been done - local officials get paid plenty of tea money to keep these illegal business in operation.

I agree with PW and the assertion that an independent agency needs to take control of Thailand's beaches.

Posted by Ciaran on September 5, 2013 11:26

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And if, at the end of the week, nothing had been done?
What's our noble Vice-Governor going to do? Call more meetings? Issue a demand-letter? tell the Governor himself? Notify Bangkok?
Good words Vice Governor, now show some teeth!

Posted by jimbo on September 5, 2013 11:27

Editor Comment:

As the first paragraph says: ''You have until the end of this week or the Department of Special Investigation will investigate you.''

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Good for him. First time I've seen a VG give a deadline. I hope they stick to it.

Posted by rc on September 5, 2013 11:28

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Well done VG Jamleran the whole of the Phuket society need to get behind you!!!!!!! What you do shows you care!

Posted by Anonymous on September 5, 2013 11:41

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[quote]
'I want the beaches back for Phuket people,
[/quote]

But what exactly does he mean by that statement? I interpret it as meaning that only born and bred Phuket people should be allowed to 'squat' on the beaches with illegal businesses.

Perhaps he will be kind enough to clarify that he wants ALL illegal businesses removed from the beaches.

Posted by Simon Luttrell on September 5, 2013 12:41

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Sounds like a truly positive step, but not convinced about the 7 days. I understand a time frame must be set, in doing so perhaps they could list the (possible) reprocussions of missing said deadline?

Posted by Paul on September 5, 2013 16:22

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Question:Who decides about the sunchairs, who can put them on the beach, and how many. Who is getting all the Money? A fortune I guess, with minimal investment...

Posted by Swede from Malmo on September 6, 2013 01:00


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