FEATURE-Thai community fearing bad business votes to evict HIV hospice

Thomson Reuters Foundation
Thin Lei Win
Original Article:  tmsnrt.rs/1wtoNtd

"Residents of Lang Nern do not want Glory Hut Foundation to bring people with AIDS to live in this community", read the white banner that went up last month after villagers voted to evict the hospice.

The vote is not legally binding, but it effectively ostracised the foundation and the 48 people living there at the time, who were given six months to leave this community of 500 near the seaside resort town of Pattaya.

"I do not hate them. They are just in the wrong place," Wichien Weruwan, chief of Lang Nern, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation outside his home as eight other community members nodded in agreement.

"Everything about Glory Hut affects the business environment and our way of life."

Thailand is often hailed as an HIV success story – having slashed infection rates and focused on awareness to combat stigma – but the gang up against Glory Hut has exposed the deep-seated discrimination that persists.

Villagers complain that Glory Hut did not seek their permission before moving in eight months ago, and worry that their presence and trash is exposing them to diseases.

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