return the forest policies
Three years after it staged a coup, Thailand’s junta is subjecting rural people to harassment and prosecution, but pleasing investors, according to local NGOs. The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has been repeatedly criticised for its failure to solve economic problems and for the slide back to authoritarianism.
After three years of the junta’s ‘returning happiness’ mission, the country’s poor and ethnic minorities are still suffering from the junta’s ‘return the forest’ policy while the junta opens up more land for investors and cuts environmental regulations for big business.
The network of Thai poor people pressed the junta to rethink about its forest protection policies and come up with strategies to reduce prevalent socio-economic inequity in Thai society at the first official meeting between the group and the junta.
Northeastern NGOs have urged the junta to reconsider the implementation of the Return the Forest policies, stating that they have aggravated serious human rights violations against the poor while the rich are left untouched.