Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Forest Department to sue Pareena on four charges of alleged land encroachment

Dec 02. 2019
Thawee (left) and Attapol
Thawee (left) and Attapol
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By THE NATION

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A thorough inspection of Khao Son 2 chicken farm in Rangbua subdistrict, Jombeung, Ratchaburi province, revealed that the farm has encroached on 46 rai 1 ngarn and 40 square wah of national reserve forest, Royal Forest Department (RFD) director-general Attapol Charoenchansa and a Ratchaburi forest inspection team announced at a press conference on Monday (December 2).

The chicken farm is owned by Ratchaburi MP Pareena Kraikup of the Phalang Pracharath Party and has stirred widespread public criticism after a former member of the dissolved Thai Raksa Chart Party, Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, filed a complaint last month urging the RFD to inspect Pareena's property for possible encroachment of protected national woodland.

“The chicken farm encroaches on 41-1-59 rai of land in the national reserved forest on the left bank of the Phachi River under the National Reserved Forest Act 1964, and 4-3-81 rai of forest land under the Forest Act 1941,” said Attapol.

“We will file four charges against the owner – trespassing on national reserved forest land; residing, constructing, or making profit off national reserved forest land; defacing or destroying state owned lands without permission from officials; violating the Environment Promotion Act that resulted in the loss or damage of natural resources.”

Attapol also insisted that his department would pursue legal action without any special treatment towards the defendant, who is a MP of the government coalition, as netizens on social media have been suspecting ever since the case went viral.

Pareena’s father and ex-Ratchaburi MP Thawee Kraikup, who attended the press conference, questioned the accuracy of the 1:400,000 map used by the RFD. He also requested that the RFD reinvestigate the lands in question using a standardised map to ensure transparent investigation of his daughter’s property.

Thawee said he bought the lands from local villagers in 1980 and that the announcement of a national reserved forest area took place only afterwards.

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