Apartments in Rawai beach, Phuket.

Phuket residents call for expulsion of Swiss man who allegedly kicked doctor

In a fervent display of discontent, approximately 500 Phuket residents and activists convened on Yamu beach, Thalang district, urging the expulsion of a Swiss national accused of assaulting a doctor. The demonstrators also demanded the restoration of public access to the beach, where the altercation transpired.

Swiss man who kicked doctor will face legal action over Phuket villa

The target of their ire was 45-year-old Urs Fehr, known as David, who allegedly kicked Dr. Thandao Chandam, a doctor at Dibuk Hospital, while she and a friend were stargazing on the beach steps on Feb 24. The incident unfolded in front of a villa where Fehr resides with his Thai wife, the same villa found to have encroached on public land, prompting orders for its removal from the Thalang district office.

During the protest, which commenced at 9 am, cries of “Get out David” resonated alongside calls for the return of Yamu beach to the public domain. Some demonstrators unfurled Thai national flags, and a chorus of the national anthem filled the air.

“We want to participate in the demand for the restoration of public access to Yamu beach, a public beach… It turns out that foreigners are occupying too many areas. Please resolve this,” voiced one resident, reflecting the broader sentiment against encroachments on public spaces by foreign entities.

Notably, the protest also highlighted concerns over the diminishing access to nature, as housing estates replaced a sprawling forest that once housed wildlife and provided resources for the locals.

In a display of solidarity, activists from the People Movement for a Just Society (P-Move) joined the demonstration, advocating for the authorities to prioritize public access to beaches.

Doctor allegedly kicked by foreigner near Phuket beach villa

Phuket police chief Pol Maj Gen Sinlert Sukhum affirmed that officials would explore measures, including blacklisting or visa revocation, for foreigners found violating local laws, underscoring the gravity of the situation.

-Thailand News (TN)


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