Residents reclaim ancient stone castles in Nakhon Ratchasima

Image courtesy of KhaoSod

Residents in Nakhon Ratchasima have achieved a significant milestone in their campaign to reclaim ancient castles after a local temple built a structure over a treasured historic site. Demolition notices issued by the Supreme Administrative Court.

The dispute began when residents discovered that the monks at Wat Khok Prasat had constructed a Dharma practice hall over the ancient ruins of the Ban Lung Takhian Stone Castle. Villagers filed a complaint with the Fine Arts Department, which issued a demolition order on September 29 last year.

The temple had built the structure without obtaining permission from the department’s director-general, leading to a legal battle.

The Administrative Court initially issued a protective order to halt the demolition. However, the Supreme Administrative Court recently overturned this decision, allowing the demolition to proceed. The court concluded that the large structure could compromise the integrity of the ancient site, validating the Fine Arts Department’s directive.

Recently, representatives of the Ban Lung Takhian community met with the Fine Arts Department’s legal team to discuss the implementation of the demolition order.

The head monk of Wat Khok Prasat, Chaloei Arphatharo, had already sent a letter to the department, acknowledging the demolition order for the Dharma practice hall (building number 44) located in front of the stone castle.

The temple agreed that the Fine Arts Department’s directive was lawful and expressed willingness to cooperate fully with the demolition.

The temple, however, requested the department to send experts to oversee the demolition process to prevent inflicting potential damage to the ancient site. They also committed to covering all costs associated with the inspection and demolition.

Complicating matters, Som Donsawang has claimed ownership of the land based on a land ownership document. The land is currently under review by the Phimai Provincial Court, raising concerns that demolition activities might be considered trespassing.

Coordination with the Nakhon Ratchasima Agricultural Land Reform Office (ALRO) is underway to conduct a land survey. The contested land is designated for the conservation of ancient sites, making it ineligible for individual ownership, reported KhaoSod.

If the survey concludes that the structure encroaches on ALRO land, the department will issue an eviction notice to facilitate the demolition. This legal and bureaucratic process aims to ensure that the ancient stone castle is preserved for future generations, respecting both historical integrity and legal boundaries.

Thailand News

Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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