Jump to content

Little progress in hunt for abductors of Karen activist


webfact

Recommended Posts

Little progress in hunt for abductors of Karen activist
By PRATCH RUJIVANAROM
THE NATION

 

d989fca9b7d064b0e455821c091a66c8.jpeg

Pholachi or “Billy”

 

DSI yet to say if it will take on notorious case from Kaeng Krachan national park

 

BANGKOK: -- IT HAS BEEN three years to the day since Karen activist Pholachi “Billy” Rakchongcharoen went missing, but neither his case nor the Karen community’s appeal to return to their homeland at Ban Jai Phandin in the heart of Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi has seen any significant progress.

 

Pholachi was last seen on April 17, 2014, after being captured by national park officers under the control of then-park chief Chaiwat Limlikitaksorn.

 

On the third anniversary of his disappearance, Cross Culture Foundation chairman Surapong Kongchantuk, who assists for the Karen community’s legal fight and has worked on Pholachi’s case, said the investigation to find the activist and bring his abductors to justice had gone nowhere.

 

“There is little progress on Billy’s disappearance, as the Department of Special Investigation [DSI] is now conducting its investigation again. Whether or not they will accept Billy’s case as special will be concluded in the next few months,” Surapong said.

 

He said there was still a long way to go to seek justice for Pholachi and his family, as there were many obstructions to finding those responsible for his forced disappearance.

 

It was clear Kaeng Krachan National Park officials had a bitter dispute with the Karen community of Ban Jai Phandin, which had Pholachi as its representative because of his knowledge of the situation and Thai-language skill.

 

On September 3 and 4 in 2011, national park officers under Chaiwat’s command burned down the entire Karen village at Ban Jai Phandin. People’s houses, belongings and crops were destroyed and they were forced to relocate to Ban Bangkloi, which did not have enough land for the refugees.

 

Six days after the Karen village was torched, Tatkamol Ob-orm, a Karen civil rights campaigner who disclosed the news to the public, was shot dead in Phetchaburi.

 

As the Karen community fought back in the courts, Pholachi took an important role in campaigning for the rights of Karen people and seeking justice for the Ban Jai Phandin incident.

 

Lawsuits against the national park officials were filed in the Civil Court and Administrative Court in May 2012, but before Pholachi could see any progress in the legal cases, he vanished.

 

The Karen community battled on in court, but in February 2016 they suffered another crushing blow when the Administrative Court ruled against them in the case of No-ae Mimi, a villager of Ban Jai Phandin who had sued Kaeng Krachan National Park over the forced removal.

 

The court decided that the national park had legitimately relocated the Karen village and only had to pay Bt10,000 in compensation per person for the loss of personal belongings.

 

The Administrative Court delivered a similar verdict on the case of Ko-I Mimi and six other Karen people against Kaeng Krachan National Park in September 2016.

 

Earlier this month, Surapong led a team of reporters to visit the Karen community at Ban Bangkloi, where the settlers of Ban Jai Phandin have taken refuge, and showed how the Karen people’s quality of life remains poor.

 

“The people do not have enough land to sustain their living and this situation forces many young people to leave their homes and find job opportunities in the city,” he said.

 

Surapong said there were more than 200 people crowded in a small area that national park officials had allotted them. While there was an effort to promote rice cultivation on higher ground, the initiative was unsuccessful and some people had to live on Bt3,000 per month.

 

“The people here appeal to the national park to let them return to their homeland in Ban Jai Phandin, because they cannot sustain a living here and can live with the forest,” he said.

 

Meanwhile, Mana Phermphun, the current chief of Kaeng Krachan National Park, said they were trying to improve the Karen people’s quality of life as much as possible.

 

“More than 88 projects have been carried out by 22 organisations in Ban Jai Phandin in order to secure a good quality of life for the people in the area and prevent them from encroaching more into forestland,” Mana said.

 

In regard to the appeal to let the Karen return to Ban Jai Phandin, he said it was impossible to let them encroach on that part of the forest again. The area included the headwaters for the Phetchaburi River, so it was very important to protect it for ecological preservation, plus drought and flood prevention.

 

“Kaeng Krachan National Park has one of the most complex forest ecosystems in the region and it is on the way to becoming a World Heritage site. So, we have a difficult task trying to balance good living conditions for people in the forest, while protecting the pristine ecosystem for the next generation,” he said.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30312419

 
thenation_logo.jpg
-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-04-17
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why don't they just admit that the authorities don't give a fig?

They know what happened.....they know who organised his disappearance, but money speaks louder than words here.

Billy is just one of many that have been disappeared in Thailand...Police, military, government...no-one cares!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know a Karen girl here. Maybe one of the nicest people I know. She's very proud of her people and culture (in a nice way). She often tells me of their persecution and asks me "How can some people be so bad to other people?"

 

I'd really like to have an answer, but I have no idea why. My only consolation is that these people with this hate and prejudice are not happy people. They're bitter and twisted and will more than likely die so.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, webfact said:

IT HAS BEEN three years to the day since Karen activist Pholachi “Billy” Rakchongcharoen went missing,

He didn't go missing. 

 

He was kidnapped and most likely murdered. 

 

Not the first and won't be the last. 

 

Those responsible do so knowing that those who order such disappearances will never allow justice to be done. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, webfact said:

Pholachi was last seen on April 17, 2014, after being captured by national park officers under the control of then-park chief Chaiwat Limlikitaksorn.

 

4 hours ago, webfact said:

He said there was still a long way to go to seek justice for Pholachi and his family, as there were many obstructions to finding those responsible for his forced disappearance.

Nobody held to account and no police work.  A common theme for poor in Thailand.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, ChrisY1 said:

Why don't they just admit that the authorities don't give a fig?

They know what happened.....they know who organised his disappearance, but money speaks louder than words here.

Billy is just one of many that have been disappeared in Thailand...Police, military, government...no-one cares!

 

Indeed. There are many missing, unsolved or solved by with questionable outcome cases. Most TVF posters who've been here a while could list several or more with ease.

 

And that is highly unlikely to change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.






×
×
  • Create New...