The Klong Sai Pattana community has been granted temporary reprieve and assurance from Governor Chatpong Chatputi that their rights to stay in their land will not be violated or threatened.
This article is following up on the situation of community-based defenders of the Klong Sai Pattana community. You can read Protection International’s earlier coverage of the situation here.
7 October 2014, Chaiburi District, Surat Thani Province, Thailand- On 24 September 2014, two policemen, one military intelligence officer, two local ‘mafia’ and three unidentified men came to the Klong Sai Pattana Community and told the villagers to leave their area within seven days. This threat is just the latest of a series of threats and intimidation that has been going on since August 2009, which to date has resulted in 3 community leaders being killed.
Thanks to the fast intervention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and other duty bearers and human rights defenders, the Surat Thani provincial governor called for a meeting with the community and the Southern Peasant Federation of Thailand ( SPFT).
Last week, 2 October 2014, the Surat Thani provincial governor, Chatpong Chatputi, who is also the head of Provincial Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) had a meeting with representatives from Klong Sai Pattana community and SPFT. Here, it was agreed that:
1) Within 15 days , The governor will set up a sub-committee which shall be made up of the authorities, community members, SPFT and those that have allegedly bought the said land, which is State land which is under the purview of the Agricultural Land Reform Office (ALRO), whereby this
sub-committee would be tasked to resolve all issues;
2) That the Klong Sai community’s right to stay and occupy the said land is affirmed, and they will be allowed to stay without any threats until the Supreme Court delivers the judgment on the appeal by the plantation company, Jew Kung Juy Development Company. The Agricultural Land Reform Office (ALRO) had sued the plantation company for trespassing of the land, and was successful at the Court of First Instance and the appeal
3) The ISOC will go to every village where the SPFT has members, which is in seven communities, to collect information on each member of the SPFT.
This is to verify the whereabouts of these persons.
4) The army will set up camp in front of community to provide security to the community to ensure peace and stability in the area.
The Klong Sai community appreciates the immediate response of a National Human Rights Commissioner Dr. Niran Pitakwatchara, UNOHCHR, diplomatic community and others that have helped stop the threatened forced eviction. At the same time, the community has only been handed temporary reprieve to the community, and would like to stress the need for all duty bearers to continue to monitor this situation until the matter has been resolved.
For more information, please contact Protection International here: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find more coverage of the community struggle on websites of our partner organisations:
International Coalition for Women Human Rights Defenders
Asian Human Rights Commission
Front Line Defenders