Alan, I don't beleive I am contradicting myself at all... the law is very clear in that matter at least in French (now the traslation and adaptation in english maybe another story).
The "public" domaine is 50 pas geometriques above the water line, which have been translated in St Martin (FRENCH SIDE...) into 17 meters instead of 83.2 in France mainland and most of the french territory.
This public domaine is in fact own by the State, by the domaine du littoral. The Domaine du littoral is being managed by Communes, Collectivite Territoriale, etc... The law give the right to those Collectivites territoriale, communes, etc to grant the public domaine to private entities for business purpose. Those "grant" are called Concession. The concession give the right of the land to the exploitant. It can dispose of the space the same way as if it was his. He only have the obligation to leave a sufficient space between the water line and his concession to allow "passage" - which mean, the space of his concession he is putting back to the public used is only and solely to allow the people to pass through the concession and navigate along the beach...Not to stay, put towels and establish a little camp site...At no point the law regarding the concession right says that people are allowed to use the part of the beach in front of a cocession for anything else than walking. It is clear that according to the small surface, it is only to pass by. It is called in French a "droit de passage
" and it doesn't mean "right of stay" or "right to park", it means "right to walk through", like an easement...
It still phases me that outsiders are "re-writting" the law or or interpreting it the way they want. Obviously in the case of those people, they were misleaded by the taxi driver, who didn't did any good to the situtation maybe for personal agenda, knowing that those beach bar (concession) are paying taxi drivers to bring them people... Maybe Kontiki didn't paid enought or decided to not fall into this system. But even misleaded, I don't think I would have done that in a country I just visit for few hours... Maybe I am stupid, but I would have take my stuff and move were obviously there were no beach chairs or concession. And like everybody agree with that, there are plenty of space on Orient, including in front of the taxi "line" to put your towel, without infringing on somebody else business. People do not understand that those concessions must be considerate like private property. If someone is to blame, it is not the business, but the State then who decided to rent out the public domaine to private people. The definition of "Public" in this case means more that the beach is deeded to the "public" (State), and cannot be sold or deeded to a private person, but it can be rented (leased) out.
I don't know how much clearer I can be, about that now, maybe thing seems evident for us because it is our law and it makes sense to us and it doesn't for outsider.. I dunno
Also , to close this "argument" the state is only allowed to dispose of 20 or 25% of the beach domain to grant concession. It has the obligation to leave 75 to 80% free of any concessions. So I can assume that at least 75% of Orient is free and open to anyone, which is easy to verify just by walking along the beach.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/16/2008 07:39AM by Tabba Khady.