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.
The military has summoned the leader of an embattled indigenous seafarer community in the southern province of Phuket for a discussion, accusing him of violating a junta order.
Human rights advocacy groups urged the authorities to take actions against the prime suspects of the enforced disappearance of a Karen activist after two years of no progress. On Thursday, 7 April 2016, representatives of 22 human rights advocacy groups, such as Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF), Network of Thailand’s Ethnic Minorities and Human Rights Lawyer Association (HRLA), submitted a joint statement on the enforced disappearance of Porlajee Rakchongcharoen, aka Billy, a Karen human and community rights activist, to the Department of National Parks (DNP).
A Karen network is urging the authorities to continue a project to restore Karen culture in the educational system after five years without progress. On Wednesday, 23 March 2016, Surapong Kongchantuk, Chairman of the Lawyers Council of Thailand's Human Rights Subcommittee on Ethnic Minorities, reported that 9 leaders of the Karen Network for Culture and the Environment visited the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education to ask for progress in the project to restore the Karen way of life.
Chiang Mai Provincial Court has dismissed charges against a Lahu ethnic minority activist accused of posting a video clip defaming the Thai military. According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), the Provincial Court of Chiang Mai on Tuesday, 8 March 2016, dismissed charges against Maitree Chamroensuksakul, a Lahu activist and citizen journalist, indicted for offences under Article 14 of the 2007 Computer Crime Code (importation of illegal internet content).
An indigenous seafarer community continues to face uncertainty in a standoff with a land developer as an excavator has been deployed to create a fence on the disputed land.
A military officer in northern Thailand has sued a Lahu ethnic minority activist for posting a facebook video clip, saying that the clip defamed him and injured the honor of Thai military.
Military officers have intervened in a land conflict between investors and a seafarer minority community in Phuket after violent skirmishers yesterday.
Skirmishes erupted between men reportedly hired by investors and a seafarer minority group in Phuket after a two-days standoff while military officers allegedly sided with the investors.
Back in 2003, Thailand ratified the 1966 UN International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), though it does not recognize the competence of the relevant Committee under Article 14 of the Convention regarding an individual complaints mechanism.