TRANG, Aug 25 – Thirty-four persons of Thailand’s Sakai ethnic minority in this southern province received their first official government identification cards, according to Trang Governor Maitri Intusut.
The governor was present at this special occasion for the Sakai in Palian district.
The Sakai, headed by Sang Sri Palian, have lived in this area for over a century. The Sakai still strongly preserve their lifestyle and tradition, which includes hunting, and collecting forest products for their own use and to sell on the market.
All those in this group received “Sri Palian” as their new surname, for they have lived in the area longer than other Sakai groups.
Mr Sang had previously contacted the government’s mobile district project to have their villagers registered as Thai nationals. His group of 34 persons is the biggest group among the Sakai in the area.
There are currently 99 persons belonging to four groups of Sakai in the province. Many of them are not registered, resulting in their disadvantage by not having Thai nationality or benefitting from social welfare.