THE last residents of Pom Mahakan community, located behind Mahakan Fort in Phra Nakhon district, where they and their forebears have lived for 6 generations, tearfully moved out today (April 25, 2018) as Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA) officials moved in to tear down their homes.
Their eviction is part of a plan to turn this area, which is within the inner ring of Bangkok’s historical Rattanakosin Island, into a manicured urban park, with this having been delayed for 2 decades because of the opposition the community put up.
However, the Thai-language daily Matichon reported that among the last members of this community moving out today is Aunt Heng, or Mrs Somporn Apanond, 77, and her family, just as the officials from the Public Works Department moved in to tear down more houses.
She owns a grocery store and previously lived in house number 169, and when that was demolished moved to house number 127 until the last day.
In a shaky voice, Aunt Heng said she still cannot accept moving out, but is able to bravely smile. She had thought that she would die in this community, but this will no longer be so.
Together with her family Aunt Heng is moving to Kalayamit community in Bang Sue area, where other members of the community have already shifted to.
She is taking a cat along with her, and actually it is not their cat but that of the community and known to everyone, but her grandsons love cats so it is also moving with them.
Top: Aunt Heng and her grandsons with the community cat she is taking to her new home. Photo: Matichon.
In-text and below: Houses of this really old community being pulled down. Photo: Matichon
Note: Background from the second report of the Advisory Group on Forced Evictions (