Local people are to be evicted in the name of development, as the Thai junta invokes its absolute power to clear land for the benefit of big businesses.
The Provincial Court has sentenced seven villagers in northern Thailand to one year’s imprisonment for encroaching onto private property. The Provincial Court of the northern province of Lamphun on Wednesday, 25 May 2016, read the Supreme Court’s verdict, confirming the ruling of the Appeal Court to sentence seven villagers from Ban Phae Tai Village of Wiang Nong Long District of Lamphun to one year’s imprisonment without suspending the jail term for encroaching onto a private land plot of Inthanon Kankaset Company.
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.
A Provincial Court has dismissed charges against a man accused of taking part in killing a southern land rights activist, citing weak evidence. The Provincial Court in Wiang Sa District of Surat Thani Province, on Tuesday, 15 March 2016, dismissed charges against Santi Wanthong, a suspect in the assassination of Chai Bunthonglek, a 61-year-old member of the Southern Peasant’s Federation of Thailand (SPFT) from Khlong Sai Pattana Community in Chai Buri District of Surat Thani.
Thailand’s marginalised communities countrywide staged rallies to call for land rights amid tight monitoring from the authorities. People’s Movement for Just Society (P-Move) and Northern Development Foundation (NDF), civil society groups promoting land rights for Thailand’s landless communities, staged a rally on Tuesday morning, 22 December 2015, at the Three Kings Monument Square in the northern province of Chiang Mai.
9 December 2014 – The murders of two human rights defenders working on land and natural resource issues in the south of Thailand underscore the need for authorities in the country to take urgent measures to ensure the safety and protection of such people, United Nations said today.
A leader of southern landless communities was shot dead after leading a campaign against a private oil palm plantation allegedly using land given to the communities. Somsuk Kohklang, a 50-year-old land rights village activist from the southern province of Krabi was shot dead on Wednesday afternoon while driving a motorcycle with his wife in an oil palm plantation in Muang District of Krabi.
The junta on Saturday ruled not to allow a cultural event on land issues to be held in Bangkok, while the organizers are puzzled because the event was aimed at entertaining the audience. The planned event ‘Our land…whose land?’ is composed of mini concerts and talks by Sulak Sivaraksa, a renowned social critic, and Pasuk Pongpaijit, a renowned academic.
Under the Thai military dictatorship, Thais are not only deprived of their freedom of expression and assembly but also the right to wear their favourite t-shirts. The Chiang Mai military has been especially paranoid and sensitive about t-shirts. In the latest incident, the Chiang Mai military attempted to force northern land rights activists not to wear the group’s campaign t-shirts when meeting a minister.
The Asian Human Rights Commission is gravely concerned to have learned that on Sunday, 9 November 2014, the military detained Praphat Pintobtaeng, a lecturer from the Faculty of Political Science at Chulalongkorn University, and three additional people in Chiang Mai who were participating in a walk rally to protest the policy of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to reclaim forest areas and dispossess villagers living within them.