23 May 2024

Thailand’s Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation is considering invoking the forest encroachment provisions of the National Park act to demolish a forest resort, which was used as the venue for a Palang Pracharat party seminar at the weekend.

The choice of ‘88 Garmonte’ resort, located in Wang Nam Khieo district of the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, as the venue for the Palang Pracharat party’s seminar, and the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan at the seminar, has been heavily criticized by the Opposition, despite Mr. Wongsuwan not being a party member.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said today (Wednesday) that the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr. Varavuth Silpa-archa, is now looking into the case will try to resolve the conflict over the status of the land on which the resort is located.

The Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation insists the resort was illegally built on land which is in the Tap Lan national park.  Nakhon Ratchasima public prosecutors, however, have so far refused to indict the resort owner after they were told by the provincial land reform office that the land in question has been redesignated for agricultural use.

The resort, located on more than 4.8 hectares of land, was raided by park officials in 2012 and 2017 and charged with forest encroachment.

On Tuesday, political activist Srisuwan Janya threatened to file a complaint with the Election Commission today to demand the dissolution of the Palang Pracharat party for holding its seminar at a resort which, he said, was illegally built in a forest reserve, which goes against the government’s policy to protect natural resources

He charged that the party’s use of the resort to hold its seminar amounted to supporting the illegal resort.