Military and police officers have prevented journalists from attending a forum on the controversial national park and wildlife protection bills, claiming that their presence could affect the image of the junta.
People living in national parks have denounced the national park and wildlife protection bills, saying they violate community rights.
Almost three years after the disappearance of Billy, the ethnic minority activist, the lives of the Karen in Kaeng Krachan remain in trouble, facing intimidation, drought and displacement.
After years of battle over land rights, an embattled indigenous seafarer community in Phuket has won a lawsuit filed against them by a land development company. On 31 January 2017, the Provincial Court of Phuket read the verdict on a dispute over the 33 rai plot on Rawai Beach of Phuket between an indigenous seafarer community and Baron World Trade Co, a real estate development company.
Despites laws on community rights under previous constitutions, academics and activists pointed out that rights over resources for local communities have been put under severe strain from the authoritarian regime of the Thai junta. Academics and human rights activists gathered at Thammasat University, Tha Prachan Campus in Bangkok, on Monday, 9 May 2016, at a public forum titled ‘Judicial Process, Community Rights and Human Defenders’ to discuss community rights under the military regime in Thailand.
The former chief of a National Park has been appointed head of a new park protection unit despite the fact that he is the prime suspect in the enforced disappearance of a Karen rights activist. The Daily News reported on Tuesday, 3 May 2016, that Thanya Netithamkul, Director-General of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), announced that the Department recently established a new forest and wildlife protection unit called the Tiger Corps Operation Unit.
An unidentified gunman has shot an activist who is a key witness to the murder of a land rights activist in southern Thailand. Supot Kansong, 42, a villager of Khlong Sai Pattana Community in Chai Buri District of Surat Thani, was ambushed by an unidentified gunman at around 3 pm on Friday, 8 April 2016. Supot was injured in the right thigh, hip and leg, but survived. He is currently being treated at Chai Buri Hospital. He was shot as he was driving back to the village after the tires of his car burst because nails had been spread on the road leading to the village.
The military have visited the home of a community rights activist in the northeastern province of Sakon Nakhon after she campaigned for the right of rubber farmers whose rubber trees were cut down by the military under the policy to evict farmers from protected areas.
Update: At least 100 more police and military officers were deployed at Khao Luang Tambon (Subdistrict) Administration Organization office at about 10 am on Tuesday to maintain order. At 10:20 am, Samai Pakmee, the chief of Khao Luang TAO council, informed the villagers that the meeting to finalise the renewal of a mining concession for Tungkam mining company will be postponed until further notice. The Thai authorities deployed officers to bar anti-mine villagers to enter a meeting over renewing a mining concession.
Thai authorities should urgently investigate the violent attacks and forced evictions against indigenous Chao Lay, known as sea gypsies, in Phuket province and bring those responsible to justice, Human Rights Watch said today. The Thai government is obligated under international law to protect the rights of all people within the country.