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Coconut trees provide evidence for land ownership case

The Thaiger

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Coconut trees provide evidence for land ownership case | The Thaiger
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Coconut trees have saved a 71 rai (11 hectare) patch of park forestland on beautiful Poda Island (8km from Ao Nang) from falling into the hands of the private sector. Evidence was solid enough for the Appeal Court to overturn a ruling that awarded the land ownership to a man.

If the plot became privately owned it could possibly fetch billions of baht given its location. Private investors would be keen to buy the plot from Chuan Pukaoluan, who has long fought with the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) over the plot.

The Court of Primary Instance initially ruled in favour of Chuan, who produced land-rights documents and pictures to back a claim that he owned and used the plot before it was declared a part of Hat Noppharat Thara Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park in 1967.

The DNP appealed and enlisted the help of experts in verifying the age of coconut trees on the plot.

Experts from the Chumphon Horticultural Research Centre randomly examined 12 coconut trees on the site, and analyses showed the oldest was just 45 years old. Chuan’s claim that coconut trees were planted there before the national park was established was no longer convincing.

“Through special techniques, we can accurately identity the age of a tree, said the centre’s representative, Supatra Lertwannakiat. The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has helped the DNP in finding new techniques for the court battle.”

On Thursday, the Appeal Court found the DNP evidence carried more weight and ruled in their favour.

“ I feel relieved now that we won the case”, said Hat Noppharat Thara Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park chief Worapoj Lomlim.

He said he could not sleep at all on Wednesday night because of anxiety.

DNP director-general Thanya Netithammakun said the Poda ruling marked the first time his agency had won in the Appeal Court. He said even though Chuan could still petition to the Supreme Court, it would be difficult for Chuan to find anything to rebut the DNP evidence.

Coconut trees provide evidence for land ownership case | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation

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Krabi

Krabi mayor hopeful tourism crisis will be over soon

Maya Taylor

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Krabi mayor hopeful tourism crisis will be over soon | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

As is the case in many popular tourist spots in Thailand, the economy in the southern province of Krabi has been decimated due to Covid-19. Nation Thailand reports that tourist numbers in Krabi have fallen sharply, from a yearly average of 6 million to just 1.5 million last year. Revenue from tourism has plummeted from around 120 billion baht to 29 billion.

Krabi local, Amarit Siripornjutagun, who runs the Ruen Mai restaurant in Krabi town, says that just as he was thinking the worst was behind him, the second Covid-19 outbreak hit the country. The resurgence of the virus means he now has 80% fewer customers.

“There was hope when we saw some tourists return to Krabi after the first outbreak of Covid-19 in Thailand. But my businesses have suffered again from this second outbreak.”

Amarit has managed to retain all his staff, despite the financial pressures he is facing, but says he will have to reduce their hours if things don’t improve this month. He is calling on the government to provide soft loans during the Covid-19 resurgence, in addition to social security assistance.

Meanwhile, Krabi mayor, Keeratisak Phukaoluan, believes there is light at the end of the tunnel and that eventually, the province will double its tourist numbers. He says the development of Krabi airport, and the provision of parking bays for 30 jet airliners, will increase the province’s status as a tourism hub, in line with the neighbouring provinces of Phuket and Phang Nga.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 cluster confirmed following Koh Lanta “big bike” event

Maya Taylor

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Covid-19 cluster confirmed following Koh Lanta “big bike” event | The Thaiger

A “big bike” party on Koh Lanta, in the southern province of Krabi, has resulted in a cluster of Covid-19 infections, according to officials from the Department of Disease Control. The DDC says there are currently around 10 confirmed cases and 129 people considered “at risk”.

The outbreak is linked to a patient who travelled to Koh Lanta from the Covid-19 hotspot of Samut Sakhon on December 9. He made the journey, accompanied by 2 friends, to attend the “Multistrada Thailand Meeting of Ducati Bikers” on the island on December 11. While there, he came into contact with 133 people, of whom 129 are considered “high risk” and 4 are believed to be “low risk”. Officials have already tracked all of those affected, due to the hotel having registered the details of each person attending the event.

Including the original patient, 10 cases of the virus have now been confirmed. 4 are in Krabi, 1 of whom was at the big bike event and subsequently passed the virus to his wife, daughter, and another family member. Another person infected at the event has transmitted the infection to his 2 sons in Phuket. A further 2 people have been confirmed infected in the southern province of Songkhla, due to another infected biker passing the virus to his sister.

Meanwhile, DDC officials are urging local authorities in each province to check for residents who may have attended the Koh Lanta event and inadvertently spread the virus.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Crime

Krabi man arrested for animal abuse after allegedly killing pet dogs

Caitlin Ashworth

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Krabi man arrested for animal abuse after allegedly killing pet dogs | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

A Krabi man was arrested on animal abuse charges after he allegedly shot and killed his pet dogs. The non-profit Watchdog Thailand filed a police complaint yesterday with a statement from a witness.

Police arrested 39 year old Surasak Kongduang at his home in Krabi’s Muang district. Surasak allegedly admitted to police that he shot both his pet dogs in the head and buried them in the backyard. Officers searched his home and found 3 guns and a bow. All weapons are legal and registered, police say.

Surasak allegedly told police that his wife fled and left the dogs behind after an argument a few days prior. He allegedly told officers that his mother is old and he felt bad about leaving her to care for the dogs, adding that one dog is lame while the other is sick.

Surasak was charged with animal abuse and for unlawful discharge of a firearm.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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