Southern Peasants' Federation of Thailand (SPFT)
One of the community leaders of an embattled farmers’ community in southern Thailand has been assassinated. He is the fourth villager assassinated during the on-going dispute with a palm oil company. 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 southern Surat Thani Province, was assassinated by two gunmen around 6 pm on Thursday. Chai was shot dead at his house by a .357 gun. He is the fourth member of the SPFT from Khlong Sai Pattana Community to be shot dead.
The military summoned a southern land rights activist for three days of detention after he led a group of local farmers to fight for their land rights. The military on Sunday issued a letter summoning Peerat Bunrit, one of the leaders of Southern Peasants' Federation of Thailand (SPFT) from Chai Buri District of Surat Thani Province in southern Thailand, to a so-called ‘attitude adjustment camp’ for three days.
After the coup d’état in May, the junta promised to return happiness to the Thai people. One of the policies that the junta has announced to deliver on this promise is an order to increase Thailand’s forest cover and tighten measures for land resource protection. Although the policy might seem ecologically sensible to many conservationists, the green-grabbing policy of the junta harms many of Thailand’s marginalised communities.
On 24 September 2014, at about 16.30, two policemen, one intelligence army, two local ‘mafia’ and three unidentified man came to the Klong Sai Pattana Community in a Toyota, Fortuner, and a white Isuzu pickup truck. They told the villagers to leave the area within seven days. This is another attempt to intimidate the villagers to leave the area. The villagers were very terrified. The Klong Sai Pattana Community has a legitimate right to stay on this land.