Fishermen rap Koh Lipe resorts

SATUN — About a dozen local fishermen at the popular Koh Lipe in Tarutao National Park have complained to military authorities that resort owners are putting up fences to prevent them from getting to their boats.

The group led by Raenu Talaymorn filed their complaint with the air and coastal defence command 491 of the Third Naval Area, according to a Thai Post report.Mrs Raenu accused resort owners of acting like they were the owners of public space at certain beaches on the tourist island by not allowing villagers to dock their fishing boats. The fishermen had been intimidated and forced to live further inland while some investors threatened to remove pylons used to moor their trawlers, she said. Mrs Raenu said a businessman tried to convince her mother to sign a document allowing the demolition of her house on Aug 9 but failed. Gen Surin Pikulthong, who chairs a committee tackling a land conflict between businessmen and sea gypsy communities along the Andaman Coast, said a panel had been set up to verify if the investors and resort owners possessed proper land ownership documents.Tarutao National Park authorities will launch a major land ownership survey on Koh Lipe either next week or the week after after an initial investigation found some businessmen had taken over more land than stated in their title deeds.

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