Connect with us

Opinion

Braving the Phuket land encroachment backlash

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: The island should applaud the courage and dedication of Sirinath National Park Chief Kitiphat Taraphiban for continuing the campaign to rid the park of all encroachment – even in the face of recent death threats (story here).

The state of many national parks and protected conservation areas is an embarrassment, with many beautiful locations degraded by corruption-fuelled, unregulated development.

Even the United Nations has issued warnings to Thailand about illegal development in and around tourist destinations that have been afforded the coveted status of World Heritage Site.

Encroachment is common in many countries, but in the vast majority of them it tends to involve desperately poor people trying to obtain shelter as part of their battle to survive. In most developed countries, clearing land inside a national park to set up a commercial operation is, well, simply inconceivable.

However, here in Thailand, encroachment has been very much a rich man, poor man phenomenon. As American podcast comedian Adam Carolla puts it, “rich man, poor man” behaviors are those that seem to be restricted to the very rich and the very poor. Examples include never carrying a wallet and spending evenings in front of a roaring fire, to name just a few.

In this sense, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) seems to be conducting quite an even-handed crackdown on encroachers nationwide, targeting both the rich and poor.

The scale of the problem at Sirinath National Park was revealed by Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Director Samak Donnapee in July, when he said that an estimated 2,700 rai of the park’s total 13,000 rai had been encroached upon.

This is hard to imagine in an age when satellite and mapping technologies have become so advanced. It also reveals the corruption that has spiralled out of control in the country, and needs to be handled as quickly as possible during the NCPO’s time in power.

As for the death threats made against Mr Kitiphat, we expect and hope that they are only that – threats. Those who have followed crime on the island know that assassinations tend to be carried out in a formulaic fashion that seldom involve advance warning, especially at the level of detail in this case.

There were no such threats reported back in 2003, when Phuket Provincial Land Office Deputy Chief Pongtorn Hiranyaburana was shot while conducting an investigation into the illegal issuance of title deeds. This case remains unsolved.

Nevertheless, we hope the Navy unit assigned to Mr Kitiphat never lets down its guard in the months to follow.

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Bangkok2 mins ago

Woman dies after jumping from Phra Khanong BTS station in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)24 mins ago

263 covid cases linked to canned seafood factory in Songkhla

Drugs44 mins ago

Narcotics Control Board announce recent drug busts, heroin and cocaine sent by mail

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Environment1 hour ago

Cambodia: 3 activists arrested for plotting against the government/insulting the king after documenting waste run-off

Chiang Mai2 hours ago

Chiang Mai eases restrictions, alcohol now allowed at restaurants

Thailand2 hours ago

Angry ex allegedly sets motorcycle on fire in school parking garage

Cambodia2 hours ago

6 arrested in Cambodia for allegedly trafficking people into Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 4,059 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand3 hours ago

Power outages coming to Kathu

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Samut Sakhon governor calls for more vaccine doses after order was cut

Thailand4 hours ago

Fruit buyer arrested for allegedly using counterfeit certificates to export durian

Tourism5 hours ago

Airports of Thailand president says tourism won’t pick back up until October

Thailand5 hours ago

Mobile sterilisation/vaccination truck helps Pattaya’s cats and dogs

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

4 marijuana strains to be become National Heritages, possibly help effects of Covid

Thailand6 hours ago

Ministry of Defence orders another Airbus C295 for the Royal Thai Army

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending