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PHUKET: Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada has backed a plan that he believes may finally resolve one of the longest running land disputes in the province. The plan to end years of conflict between sea gypsies in Rawai and locals who claim to collectively own 19 rai of beachfront land in southern Phuket would see the central government buying the land from the title deed holders and developing the area as a permanent residence for the sea gypsy community.
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PHUKET: Record numbers of Chinese tourists are flocking to Phuket this month to join Chinese New Year celebrations on the island. Phuket International Airport has been bustling for the past few days with tourists arriving on extra flights from mainland China and Malaysia, said Airport Director Monrudee Gettuphan.
PHUKET: Two major flyover construction projects that were grounded by public opinion last year are clear for takeoff. Out of the 339 voting participants at the public meeting Thursday morning, 259 approved the project, a dramatic contrast to the 65% of 95 voters who shot down the plan on August 10 last year (story here ).
PHUKET: Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada has ordered an investigation into a Facebook user who has accused him of taking sides in a dispute over land rights between the sea gypsy community in Rawai and developer Baron World Trade Co Ltd, which plans to build luxury villas on the contested beachfront land. The Facebook user, who goes by the screen name Paskorn Jumlongrach, claimed in his February 2 post that the governor had sided with Baron World Trade and tried to persuade the sea gypsy community leaders to accept terms offered by the developer. His post also expressed strong disappointment that the Department of Special Investigation had not taken action after lengthy investigations.
PHUKET: A motorcycle crash victim is out of danger after undergoing surgery and receiving seven units of A-negative blood following a plea last week for donations of the rare blood type. German national Bernd Langer, 51, is recovering at Bangkok Hospital Phuket after coming off his motocycle in Rawai on January 24 (story here ).
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