6 June 2024

The Phetchaburi Administrative Court revoked orders today (Thursday), issued by the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, dismissing Chaiwat Limlikhitaksorn, former chief of Kaeng Krachan National Nark, from government service in April last year.

The PACC found Chaiwat guilty of torching about 100 Karen tribe shelters in Ban Bang Kloi in the park in 2011 and recommended that the ministry dismiss him from government service. The ministry issued the dismissal order on April 2nd last year.

The court’s ruling today is retroactive, which, among other things, means that he must be reinstated to his previous post as director of Protected Areas Regional Office 9 in Ubon Ratchathani province.

Examining the deep roots of Thailand’s dispute with ethnic Karen forest-dwellers

After the court’s decision was announced, Chaiwat thanked the court for providing him with justice, saying that he has been waiting for this day since his unfair dismissal.

With two more years before his mandatory retirement, he said that he will return to work in his previous post.

Chaiwat’s ordeal is, however, not yet over. He and four of his former subordinates at Kaeng Krachan National Park are still facing murder, abduction and obstruction of justice charges, filed against them by the Department of Special Investigation, over the enforced disappearance and presumed death of Karen human rights activist Porlajee Rakchongcharoen, aka “Billy”, back in 2014.