Who is Building on Our Mountain?

 | Thu 9 Jun 2016 06:02 ICT

CityNews – Raks Mae Ping, the social and environmental activism Facebook page, has a new cause celebre.

According to page administrator Sakda Darawan, Dr. Rungsrit Kanjanavanit MD, of the Department of Internal Medicine, CMU, who is a member of the page as well as being an amateur pilot, took a photograph of a new development at the foothills of Doi Suthep-Pui mountain range, which was posted on the page on 7th June. The post has gone viral with nearly a thousand shares and more and more photos were posted of this development by other members. As seen in both Google Earth images and pictures, a large swathe of land has been cleared in the area behind the 700 Year Sports Stadium complex.


Reports have now emerged that this area of nearly 100 rai will become residences for judges of the 5th Region Appeals Court. According to sources, this is a legal development, and part of the 800 rai of land reclaimed from the National Parks by former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Some of that land was used to build the Night Safari and the Royal Flora, and according to sources, this area was legally procured for the government.

“It may be legal,” said Sakda to CityNews, “but is it ethical? With people around Thailand looking to plant trees, why are these people cutting them? They are not aware of the environment at all. Also it is important to look back at how former PM Thaksin took 800 rai of national parks land. Was there policy corruption? Since former PM Thaksin’s brother in law, former PM Somchai Wongsawat was in the Ministry of Justice [Permanent Secretary of Justice, the highest non-elected position in the civil service] this matter bears deeper scrutiny.”


In response to Raks Mae Ping’s expose, we have just been informed that there is a press conference to be held this afternoon. CityNews will attend and there will be an update shortly after.
Some images are courtesy of Raks Mae Ping.