11 July 2024

PM Srettha Thavisin said today that it was a decision of the previous government to transfer 42,400 hectares in Tap Lan National Park to settlers.

Srettha said he cannot comment on the matter, which has become a heated and public issue, because it was already decided by the last government, which had Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan as chairman of the National Land Policy Committee (NLPC).

Srettha was referring to the Prayut Chan-o-cha cabinet resolution of March 14 last year, which endorsed the NLPC proposal to give the 42,400 hectares to settlers, many of whom are resort operators who already occupy the lion’s share of the disputed land.

Insisting that the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry will follow the law in handling the matter, Srettha added that it is important that the government listens to and hears people’s opinions.

A public hearing on the matter was held last weekend in Nakhon Ratchasima, with most of the settlers agreeing with the proposal.

Those who oppose the proposal have launched a campaign, #SaveTapLan, which is receiving huge support and is currently soliciting signatures.