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Battle lines set in Koh Lipe territory dispute

Students got together on the island to stage a protest against the owner of a corporation that has staked a claim to ownership over a pathway that leads to a school, a hospital, and a beach. The proprietor of the company claims that the walkway is part of his personal property. At this time, the boardwalk is not available for use. Wasan Paileeklee, a member of the National Human Rights Panel, stated that the commission is keeping a careful eye on the most recent increase in tension. It is just the most recent disagreement in a long history of land conflicts that involve local populations, the government, and enterprises tied to tourism.

Since 2006, the commission has forwarded fourteen complaints concerning local land rights and has investigated nine of these issues altogether. Wasan asserts that the National Historic and Cultural Resources Commission (NHCR) has provided suggestions on the subject of the validation of land titles, cultural preservation zones, and public places. There has been little effort made to find a solution to the problems. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Thailand is urging the government to take immediate action in order to put an end to the ongoing territorial war that is taking place on the island of Koh Lipe in Satun province. This is being done in order to assist sea gypsies who currently call the island their home. The Moken are a semi-nomadic people that once inhabited more than 800 islands in the Andaman Sea and now live in coastal regions in Thailand. They can be found on the Thai mainland as well as the islands that are located in the Andaman Sea. It is estimated that there are fewer than 3,000 of them altogether. In spite of the fact that the Moken have possessed land bases on Koh Lipe for a considerable amount of time, a recent event has catapulted the Moken to the forefront of recent news reports. They have been calling this location home for some time. The current problems have a very real risk of getting worse, which might result in violations of human rights or even a full-scale war. This would be a very bad outcome. Wasan urged all of the parties involved to acknowledge the rights of the Moken people and to observe the United Nations’ regulations regarding the relationship between commerce and human rights. Mr. Wasan has indicated that he will communicate with the office of the Prime Minister in order to keep track of the issue. Thatchayanut Jiathanakan, the secretary to Minister Anucha Nakasai, who is in charge of the committee on ethnic groups, made a visit to the island yesterday in order to listen to the complaints of the inhabitants and promised to study the situation. The minister, Anucha Nakasai, is also the chairwoman of the committee that deals with ethnic groupings.

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