Protesters turn to ‘cursing ritual’ in the latest Doi Suthep protests

PHOTO: File Photo

by Nisanart Kangwanwong

If banners and peaceful protests don’t work, try a bit of local northern Thai ‘woo woo’ instead.

As part of next month’s protests agains the Doi Suthep housing development in Chiang Mai organisers are planning a ‘cursing ritual’.

The Doi Suthep Forest Reclamation Network is staging a major protest in late August to pressure the Court of Appeals Region 5 to give up the mountainside forestland on which a controversial housing project has encroached.

The Network coordinator Teerasak Rupsuwan says that members of the Community Organisations Development Institute from eight provinces of the upper North would join the protest. He says the network would first host several smaller-scale activities to raise public awareness about the issue.

Green ribbons will be strung around urban Chiang Mai and on “red car” taxi pickups to express opposition to the housing estate. Then , around mid-August, a traditional northern cursing ritual will be held to put a hex on the land used for the housing estate, which has been dubbed “the scar of Doi Suthep”.

“Once cursed, the property would be unsuitable for human habitation,” Teerasak said.

The network will ask that a “citizens’ council session” be convened where residents can share their opinions and vote on proposed solutions to the ongoing stand-off.

One such proposal, mooted by a sub-committee in a report for Prime Minister’s Office Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana, suggested the immediate demolition of 45 houses because they were built in “inappropriate locations”.

Another nine units could be demolished or “adjusted as appropriate” but should not be used as residences, the panel suggested.

Protesters turn to 'cursing ritual' in the latest Doi Suthep protests | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

Chiang Mai News

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