Time running out for Thai HRDs ; One more day before being evicted from community land Urgent Alert: Community based Human Right Defenders at Risk of violence and eviction

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    Urgent Alert: Community based Human Right Defenders at Risk of violence and eviction by ‘mafia’ with links to land-grabbing scheme in Klong Sai Pattana Community, Thailand.

    On 24 September 2014, at about 16.30, two policemen, one intelligence army, two local ‘mafia’ and three unidentified man came to the Klong Sai Pattana Community in a Toyota, Fortuner, and a white Isuzu pickup truck. They told the villagers to leave the area within seven days. This is another attempt to intimidate the villagers to leave the area. The villagers were very terrified.

    {gallery}Time running out for Thai HRDs{/gallery}

    The Klong Sai Pattana Community has a legitimate right to stay on this land. This is pursuant to the decision and permission by the Agricultural Land Reform Office (ARLO) to allow the community to stay in this land. This permission is pursuant the Resolution made during the meeting of the Committee to Solve Problems of the Land Reform Network of Thailand No. 1/2009, that was chaired by Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, now former Prime Minister, on 11 March 2009 at the Parliament.

    This attempt to force the community to leave the land is wrong. Although the land has been given to the Klong Sai community, a large area of this land is still being illegally occupied by oil palm plantations for the past 30 years. In fact the Agricultural Land Reform Office (ARLO) did file a case against the Jew Kung Juy Development Co. to evict them from the land and was successful both at the Court of First Instance and the Appeals Court. The case is now being appealed before the Supreme Court.

    There have been many attempts to force the people to vacate their land. There have been much violence, and to date 3 community leaders have been assassinated. The violence against the community has been happening since August 2009.

    Recently, on 16 August 2014, two local ‘mafia’ have brought 50 soldiers to conduct searches of eight houses belonging to members of Klong Sai Pattana Community. This was done without any court warrant.

    This was followed by the incident of 24 September 2014, when they were told to leave their home and land in seven (7) days.

    The community states that there has been an attempt to sell this land by the Oil Palm plantation.

    Southern Peasants’ Federation of Thailand (SPFT) would hereby like to call on the Thai Government, The National Human Rights Commission(NHRC), The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Delegation of the European Commission to Thailand ,Diplomatic community and all other Stakeholders , to immediate act to ensure :

    1. That action be taken against the all persons who have threatened and/or inflicted the violence, against the community including also the said members of the army and police;
    2. That steps to be taken to prevent any attempt to harass or evict Klong Sai Pattana Community from their land;
    3. That steps be taken against any attempts to wrongly and/or illegally sell the said community land to any third party; and
    4. That all is done to ensure the wellbeing, happiness, security and protection of villagers in the Klong Sai Pattana Community

    Southern Peasants’ Federation of Thailand (SPFT) has been established with main objectives including coordinating with the state to implement agricultural land reform based on the community land entitlement and the establishment of Land Management Fund.

    Located in agricultural land reform zone, Klong Sai Pattana Community covers 906 rais (362 acres) of land in Moo 2, Tambon Sai Thong, Chaiburi District, Surat Thani Province and all villagers in the community are members of the Southern Peasants’ Federation of Thailand (SPFT)