Authorities Sue Man for Defamation Over Claims of Lack of Transparency

 | Thu 7 May 2015 09:02 ICT

CityNews – On 6th May Suriya Prasartbandit, Governor of Chiang Mai officially accepted a letter requesting help from Siam Vichiendee, a farmer in Mae Rim District, who has also sat for three terms on the local Mae Rim District Council.


According to Siam, last year he had petitioned ML Panadda Diskul, previous governor of Chiang Mai and current advisor to the prime minister’s office, to look into the practices of local authorities in handing out aid to farmers in Mae Rim. “The government gives poor farmers 1,000 baht aid per rai of land, for up to 15 rai per farmer, and I am worried that the distribution of this fund has not been even handed or transparent. So I asked ML Panadda to look into it,” said Siam. “I just wanted someone to do some investigation into this and see if it is all fair.”

“I didn’t mention any names or offices, I am not here to make trouble for anyone or to insult anyone, I just wanted it to be checked,” he said. “Once the local media began to look at this, the local officials at the Mae Rim Agricultural Office lodged an official complaint about me for defamation. Now I am going to have to go to court to defend myself against this charge which is untrue.”

Governor Suriya has promised to look into the matter and investigate both side’s claim. “Today it is easy for people to defame one another just by posting things on Facebook,” said the governor. “We have to make sure that the accuser has facts to support their supposition. I am here to see to justice.”