Fwd: [OB] Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand

To: "<>" <>
Subject: Fwd: [OB] Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2015 20:45:24 +1000
Something to consider if you are thinking of birding in Thailand's National 

Carl Clifford

Begin forwarded message:

> From: " [orientalbirding]" 
> <>
> Date: 18 April 2015 6:40:08 pm AEST
> To: <>
> Subject: [OB] Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand
> Reply-To: 
> I wonder how many birding visitors to Kaeng Krachan National Park, 
> Phetchaburi Province, Thailand, are aware of the unsavoury nature of the 
> human rights issues looming over the park? There are a number of long 
> established Karen villages inside the park. One year ago, as Kong Rithdee’s 
> column in Bangkok Post newspaper of 18 April 2015 reminds us, a Karen rights 
> activist Porlajee Rakchongcharoen, known as “Billy”, who lived in one of 
> these villages, was arrested inside Kaeng Krachan National Park allegedly for 
> the heinous crime of possessing a wild honeycomb and six bottles of wild 
> honey. Park chief Chaiwat Limlikitaksorn said that Billy was released after 
> receiving a warning. But nobody can confirm that Billy was ever again seen as 
> a free man after having been taken into custody by national park authorities. 
> Investigators who examined camera footage confirmed that there were no 
> photographs of Billy being released. Billy has been “disappeared”! Police, 
> family, friends and villagers all searched for Billy in vain. Not a trace was 
> ever found—he was never seen again.
> It is no secret that Billy was regarded by national park authorities as a 
> troublemaker, having led protests against forced evictions from the forest. 
> In one such eviction, uniformed men in helicopters descended on a Karen 
> village inside Kaeng Krachan National Park and burnt that village to the 
> ground.
> In an unrelated case, the same park superintendent was also tried, along with 
> four other officials, for the alleged murder of another Karen rights 
> defender, Mr Tabkamol Ob-om in 2011. Mr Tabkamol was shot dead while driving 
> in Phetchaburi (town). Last October the court acquitted Mr Chaiwat and his 
> co-defendants due to “unsubstantial [sic] evidence”. Karen people inside 
> Kaeng Krachan are said now to live in fear of government officials. (Source: 
> Bangkok Post Commentary, 18 April 2015)
> This has major implications for the Thai authorities, ever chasing the 
> tourist dollar, especially as Kaeng Krachan National Park is being assessed 
> for World Heritage status under the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. The 
> authoritarian Thai government will likely do its best to pretend that all is 
> well in the forest, and that nothing amiss ever happened. Will UNESCO collude 
> in this, and sweep both social and environmental management concerns under 
> the carpet as it has done before in Thailand, at Khao Yai National Park, for 
> example? Or will it this time concede that there are serious concerns over 
> protected area management in Thailand?
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