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Phi Phi national park chief resigns

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PHUKET: The Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park chief asked to be transferred to a different department yesterday.

He cited “failing health and work stress” as the reasons behind his decision, in a letter addressed to the director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP).

“I have been having health problems and the job is also stressful, which is why I’m asking for a change,” said Phi Phi Park Chief Sorayut Tansathian. “The protest regarding the park fee is just one of the reasons I’ve made this decision (story here).”

He was appointed as the park chief in June 2015 as part of an investigation into the ‘disappearance’ of hundreds of millions of baht in park fees over a period of three years (story here).

“I have done my best in this position for almost two years, with special focus on park fee reforms. During my tenure, the fee collection per year increased from less than 100 million to more than 500mn baht,” said Mr Sorayut.

“I also worked on tourism management and marine life protection and restoration (stories here and here). Now it’s time to pass the torch on to someone else.”

In January last year, Mr Sorayut banned all rock climbers, including independent climbers, from scaling the bolted rock faces on Phi Phi Don (story here).

The director general is expected to announce his decision regarding Mr Sorayut’s transfer request by tomorrow.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

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