4 million rai of illegal rubber farms to be wiped out – Bangkok Post, May 20, 2015
[Interestingly, in the Thai-language press, this is being interpreted as a grave error by the military. It is thought that tackling encroachment will mainly impact the pro-Thaksin poor in the Northeast who are already being told that this is proof that the “aristocrats” in Bangkok do not have their best interests at heart.
Many Bangkok elite do want the military to use its absolute power to tackle law and order issues like this that would never be addressed by a democratically elected government or the criminally compromised police.]
…The forest areas were taken over by investors, their proxies and local villagers. But the target priority would be investors and landlords not having land ownership documents.
Gen Dapong said he had instructed authorities to talk to the villagers found to have encroached on protected lands and find a solution to their problems.
“We cannot merely use the law against the poor. We must help find a way out for them,” he noted.
The minister said a survey found four million rai of forested areas nationwide had been encroached upon and turned into rubber plantations illegally. More than 400,000 rai was in the Northeast…