Ms. Pareena demands fresh survey, claiming she acquired the land honestly
Embattled Palang Pracharat MP for Ratchaburi province, Ms. Pareena Kraikupt, is fighting back and has asked the Royal Forest Department to conduct a second land survey of her poultry farm, which was found to have encroached on national forest reserves in Chom Bung district of Ratchaburi province.
Royal Forest Department director-general Mr. Atthapol Charoenchansa said today (Tuesday) that he had received a letter from Ms. Pareena, addressed to him and the secretary-general of the Land Reform for Agriculture Office, seeking another survey, claiming that she acquired the land in question honestly over a decade ago.
The first survey, undertaken by officials of the Royal Forest Department, found out that 2.76 hectares of the 44.22 hectare plot, claimed by the MP, are located on national forest reserves and the rest is Sor Por Kor (land reform) land.
In the letter, Ms. Pareena also claimed that she had developed the land plot into a poultry farm over many years and that she has never been notified by officials that she has illegally occupied and utilized the land.
The poultry farm has been sealed off, at the order of Deputy Agriculture Minister Thammanat Prompao, after it was discovered that the bulk of the plot is Sor Por Kor land, with some encroaching on forest reserves.
Thammanat reportedly said that occupying more than 3 hectares of Sor Por Kor land by any individual is against the law and the land must be returned to the state.
Meanwhile, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Warawut Silpa-archa said yesterday that officials from the Royal Forest Department have been gathering evidence to support trespass charges against Ms. Pareena.
He assured that the same standard will be applied to all, whether they are politicians or farmers, and that they will face charges if they encroach on state land.
The Royal Forest Department is under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, while the Office of Land Reform for Agriculture is under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.